Here are the Blogs in the Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 18 August 2012
As a beneficiary of British foreign aid – I bought my first house with money saved from the generous salary an aid project paid me when I worked in the South Seas – I am well placed to appreciate the absurdity of continued British aid to India. It is not only absurd: it is corrupt, the modern ...Read More...
Posted on 08/18/2012 4:18 PM by Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 16 August 2012
As London prepared for the Olympics, the most that my friends there hoped was that they would not suffer inconvenience, at least not beyond the increased taxation that will no doubt soon be exacted in order to pay for the games. The worst report I have heard so far about the games’ impact on daily ...Read More...
Posted on 08/16/2012 11:56 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Wednesday, 15 August 2012
In April, the British Medical Journal published an article about two studies conducted by the New York-based Commonwealth Fund. The studies compared the healthcare systems of 14 advanced countries, and on the 20 measures of comparison, Britain's centralized National Health Service performed well ...Read More...
Posted on 08/15/2012 2:34 PM by Theodore Dalrymple
Tuesday, 14 August 2012
It often seems, to doctors at least, as if trust in medicine is inversely proportional to its ability to save lives. When doctors could do little more than hold their patients’ hands as they died, often hastening their deaths with their absurd prescriptions, they enjoyed absolute trust. As soon ...Read More...
Posted on 08/14/2012 1:14 PM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 13 August 2012
The degree to which Man is, can or ought to be rational has long been a favorite question of philosophers, psychologists, sociologists, economists and barflies alike. No one minimally acquainted with the infinite variety of human self-destruction, without at least one or two episodes of which almost ...Read More...
Posted on 08/13/2012 8:19 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Sunday, 12 August 2012
My mother saw Hitler in the stadium during the 1936 Berlin Olympics. It was the only fragment of memory of her childhood in Nazi Germany that she ever spoke of and, perhaps illogically, it did not predispose me favorably to the Olympic spectacle.
The opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics reminded ...Read More...
Posted on 08/12/2012 11:59 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 10 August 2012
When human rights meet multiculturalism, difficulties are certain to arise, and conflicts ensue, that would not have surprised Michael Oakeshott. If all political questions are to be answered by means of mere syllogisms in which abstract principles are the major premise, absurdities and worse will result. ...Read More...
Posted on 08/10/2012 6:09 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 28 July 2012
By a strange irony, alleged Aurora mass murderer James Holmes was a doctoral student of neuroscience—the discipline that will, according to its most ardent and enthusiastic advocates, finally explain Man to himself after millennia of mystery and self-questioning.
But what could count as an explanation ...Read More...
Posted on 07/28/2012 10:26 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 27 July 2012
Nothing infuriates like the truth, especially when it controverts a deeply-held prejudice such as that censorship is bad for great art and even incompatible with its production. Whenever, therefore, I adduce a certain truth that is obvious to the point of truism, namely that the majority of great art ...Read More...
Posted on 07/27/2012 1:39 PM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 23 July 2012
In Britain, intellectuals intone the mantra “prison doesn’t work” the way Buddhist monks intone Om mani padme hum. I have even heard a former lord chief justice, Lord Woolf, say it. No Church of England clergyman utters the Nicene Creed with anything like the fervor (or hope) with ...Read More...
Posted on 07/23/2012 6:44 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 20 July 2012
Banks are like governments, you can’t altogether do without them, however often you wish that you could. So when I read that one of the banks of which I am a small and unimportant customer had been engaged in the fraudulent manipulation of interest rates, fined accordingly, and denuded of its ...Read More...
Posted on 07/20/2012 9:38 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Tuesday, 17 July 2012
When I was young I assumed that anything medicinal must be nasty to the taste. This assumption was partly the fruit of experience – medicines that were given to me were nasty to the taste – and partly attributable to the puritanical Zeitgeist in which I grew up, according to which anything ...Read More...
Posted on 07/17/2012 12:33 PM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 14 July 2012
Despite the rapid decline in prevalence of smoking in the general population, it remains the most important cause of preventable death in the western world. But is smoking itself preventable by therapeutic intervention? Indeed, is smoking a disease that doctors could or should prevent and treat? If ...Read More...
Posted on 07/14/2012 7:47 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 13 July 2012
Here in my French fastness, where the wild boar are even more destructive to the garden than the drunks who scream and shout on Friday nights outside my English home, I received the news of François Hollande’s proposed taxes on foreign-owned second houses with what the French call flegme. ...Read More...
Posted on 07/13/2012 10:26 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 12 July 2012
Recently, the Times of London carried a large, bold headline that practically vibrated with moral indignation: THE TAX AVOIDERS. It headed a story about wealthy people who use a loophole to avoid almost all of their income tax, paying only 1.25 percent instead of nearly 50 percent. The government revenue ...Read More...
Posted on 07/12/2012 7:52 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Wednesday, 11 July 2012
A feeling of moral superiority is often compensation for the lack of any other kind of superiority, and has the advantage that it can never be decisively disproved. With respect to capital punishment, Europeans feel morally superior to Americans because they have abolished it as a relic of judicial ...Read More...
Posted on 07/11/2012 5:04 PM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 9 July 2012
The slightest and most seemingly insignificant utterance may in fact be a window on an entire world-view, and therefore worthy of reflection. For example, when leafing through a literary magazine recently that consisted entirely of book reviews, my eye alighted on a brief notice of a recently-discovered ...Read More...
Posted on 07/09/2012 7:06 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Tuesday, 3 July 2012
"Here I am, then, alone in the world, with no longer a brother, neighbour, or friend, but only myself, for company. The most sociable and loving of humans has been banished from society by unanimous agreement."
Thus Jean-Jacques Rousseau at the beginning of his Reveries of a Solitary ...Read More...
Posted on 07/03/2012 9:36 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 2 July 2012
Small items of news often tell us more about the zeitgeist than the greatest events of the day. The British Medical Journal for June 9 reported that a Spanish gynecologist in Majorca had been ordered by a court to pay $520,000 in child support for a child who was born after his attempt to abort it at ...Read More...
Posted on 07/02/2012 12:33 PM by Theodore Dalrymple
Tuesday, 19 June 2012
The word “unhappy” has been virtually abolished from the English language. For every person who says “I’m unhappy” there must now be a thousand who say “I’m depressed.” The change in semantics is important: the person who says he is unhappy knows that ...Read More...
Posted on 06/19/2012 9:05 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 18 June 2012
Sports have long been the greatest single cause of injury in the western world, though as a cause of accidental fatality it remains comparatively infrequent. Not all such injuries are inevitable, however, or inseparable from the sporting activity which give rise to them.
A paper in a recent British ...Read More...
Posted on 06/18/2012 8:07 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Sunday, 17 June 2012
ED Miliband’s recent speech in which he tried to rehabilitate Englishness in the minds of his supporters illustrates the Left’s perennial difficulties with patriotism and national identity, particularly when they are English.
The Left doesn’t like them because they weaken the ...Read More...
Posted on 06/17/2012 6:39 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 16 June 2012
It is possible, on the Welsh borders where I spent the Queen's jubilee, to believe that something of the old England remains.
Only the advantages, not the depredations, of the 20th century are evident there: the food, for example, that would have been unutterably vile at the beginning of the reign ...Read More...
Posted on 06/16/2012 7:28 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 4 June 2012
On a flight from Copenhagen to Brussels, I read two publications that I see infrequently: the International Herald Tribune and Le Soir, the principal Belgian newspaper in French. Both, not surprisingly, had much coverage of the European crisis, and both used an expression that, to me, has a sinister ...Read More...
Posted on 06/04/2012 5:17 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Sunday, 27 May 2012
Medical journals, the Lancet among them, are not famed for their humor, but a letter in a recent edition of the latter raised a smile, at least in me.
It referred to a previous paper in that august publication from Taiwan about the health benefits of exercise. It is a medical truth now universally ...Read More...
Posted on 05/27/2012 10:39 AM by Theodore Dalrymple