- Andrew Rilstone forensically dissents and demolishes the attacks on 'Political Correctness' (UK version at least). It always baffled me why conservatives were so keen on attacking politeness.
- Alex reckons that today's terrorists are Desperate, Incompetent, Converts, Kids, Harmless, Economically insignificant, Aimless, Disconnected, and Suicidal.
- The best of Five Thirty-Eight.
- That La Clinton should want her State Department slaves to play secret agents on the poor old UN donkey – the beast that forever clip-clops on stage to mop up America's failed policies in the Middle East, this decrepit skyscraper on the East River packed with enough asbestos to kill a nation of peacekeepers, this bureaucratic shambles with its pathetic Secretary-General whose English is still in need of vast improvement – shows what an utterly worthless institution the US State Department has become. They were supposed to spy on the encryption details of delegates, credit card transactions, even frequent flyer cards. But who would want to read the nonsense that the UN's overpaid staff write, or how much they spend on lunch at Nobu's with the Nicaraguan consul, or who paid for whose mistress to fly to Havana on the shavings of his UN flights? And why spy on the UN when they are the most leak-prone organisation on the globe?
It's a chapter in two halves, the first being Gibbon's account of the history of monasticism up to the fifth century, and the second about the conversion to Catholicism / Orthodoxy of the various Barbarian peoples who had previously practised Arianism, of which the most dramatic incidents take place in the Vandal kingdom of north Africa. This has been so far the least exciting of the three volumes I've read, Gibbon somehow trudging through various inept rulers and barbarians, even the chapters describing the fall of Rome not exactly fizzing with energy. But now with the end in sight and with a thematic subject on which he is passionate, it somehow catches fire. See also notes on the Comma Johanneum, Ulphilas, proof that Christianity is right, the persecution of the Jews in Spain, and poor editing.