Monthly Archives: November 2009

It’s A Hell Of A Town

In the comment thread to our recent post about John Derbyshire’s book We Are Doomed, commenter JW asked one very good question: why, if increasing ethnic and cultural diversity lead to corresponding increases in tension and strife, does New York City (where I live) manage to function as well as it does? Why indeed? To […]

Marriage Of Convenience

A recent item in the Long War Journal informs us that it appears that al-Qaeda is consolidating a Waziristan-style presence in Eastern Syria. Nothing happens in Syria without the consent of the Ba’ath Party, and the story does indeed tell us that there appears to be a working partnership in place between al-Qaeda and former […]


I’ve just begun reading John Derbyshire’s dour and mordantly funny new book We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism. The first chapter deals with our bizarre and destructive obsession with Diversity — a liberal viewpoint, now thoroughly hegemonic at all levels of societal administration, that Mr. Derbyshire sums up as The Diversity Theorem: Different populations, of […]


There’s all sorts of interesting scientific news today, including several stories from recent Science Daily newsletters. First up: there is further supporting evidence that the Toba volcano, which I have written about before, indeed caused far-flung devastation when it blew a gigantic hole in the island of Sumatra 73,000 years ago. The explosion is believed […]

Things Are Heating Up

David Duff is having a nice gloat over the Climategate kerfuffle — which I must say is unfolding rather gratifyingly, for those of us who thought we already had enough religions in the world and didn’t see the need for any expensive new ones. Here.

In Hot Water

While I was away this weekend, paying scant attention to the news, a serious brouhaha seems to have erupted in the global-warming community. Apparently a hacker got hold of, and made public, emails and internal documents from the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia — a major center for AGW study — […]

This Is Bad

You know you’ve been spending way too much time programming when you suddenly see the people making sandwiches at the deli counter as a thread pool, and the single slicer as a synchronization object.

Courting Trouble

I know I said I’d lay off this stuff, but what the heck. In today’s edition of the WSJ’s Best of the Web, James Taranto offers the following:

Immune Responses

Our recent post on the need for cultures to have, like any organism, an effective “immune system” has led to an interesting discussion with our friend Kevin Kim. It continues here.

Chain Of Fools

A brain is only as strong as its weakest think.

Enough For Now

I’ve been writing an awful lot about the decline of the West lately, and in particular about how our crazy obsession with “diversity” affects our prospects in our ancient conflict with Islam; one might think that’s the only thing on my mind, which it certainly is not. I also think that I’ve begun to give […]

Mohammed Comes To The Mountain

I’m working late again this week, and have had no time to write. But reader JK has sent along a link to an informed and thoughtful post about the Obama administration’s decision to try Khalid Sheik Mohammed in the criminal court here in New York City. Here is an excerpt:

Diplomatic Immunity

The Fort Hood massacre has got people talking, and it even seems suddenly to have dawned on a lot of people — as a startlingly new idea — that perhaps there might even be appropriate limits to our liberal infatuation with multiculturalism and radical non-discrimination: that “diversity” might not only not be the summum bonum […]


As I write, the Wolverines are collapsing yet again, this time against Wisconsin. How I miss Lloyd Carr. Apparently I am not the only one who is upset with Rich Rodriguez, as you can see below.

It Is Balloon!

I have to say: YouTube is amazing. Here’s something for you music lovers “of a certain age”: a clip from the old TV series F Troop, in which the folks at Fort Courage were visited by a musical act calling themselves The Bedbugs. As it turns out, the leader and drummer of The Bedbugs are […]

Oakeshott On Conservatism, Cont’d

Recently Bill Vallicella excerpted, and I commented briefly upon, some passages from philosopher Michael Oakeshott’s essay On Being Conservative. Wishing to refresh my memory of a few points, I opened it up again today — and was impressed once more by what a fine piece of writing it is, and by how well it limns […]

Evelyn Hofer, 1922-2009

Tonight we note with sadness the death of photographer Evelyn Hofer, who although not nearly as well known as some of the prominent photographers of her day, was widely regarded as one of the greatest photographic artists of the 20th century. I did not know Ms. Hofer well, though I met her on a couple […]


President Obama gave a speech today at Fort Hood. You can read the transcript here. In his remarks he referred to Nidal Hasan’s murderous rampage as “incomprehensible”. To him it may actually be, which is in itself a harrowing thought. For most of the rest of us, it is anything but.


Economist Thomas Sowell offers some sensible remarks about the health-care juggernaut now bludgeoning its way through Congress: One of the strongest talking points of those who want a government-run medical care system is that we simply cannot afford the high and rising costs of medical care under the current system. First of all, what we […]

The Great Game, Cont’d

For those of you who were puzzled by the sudden withdrawal of challenger Abdullah Abdullah from the runoff election in Afghanistan the other day, the Asia Times has the answer: he did so under U.S. pressure, as part of a complex deal brokered by our Secretary of State during her recent visit to Pakistan. Mr. […]

Yep, We’re Winning

From the AFCEA Nightwatch newsletter for November 5th: The Taliban in Afghanistan now operate in more than 220 of the 400 districts in Afghanistan, compared to fewer than 30 five years ago. A new Pakistani Taliban movement has sustained insurgency in the Pakistan border regions and spread terror east of the Indus River boundary and […]

At A Glance

Our former Lieutenant Governor, Betsey McCaughey, offers a brief survey of some of the just-passed House healthcare bill’s salient points. Here.

Maybe There’s Something To It

In a recent post we mentioned that some of the boffins at CERN had begun to suggest, apparently seriously, that the problems that have dogged the development of the latest generation of high-energy particle colliders — first the Superconducting Supercollider here in the US, and more recently CERN’s Large Hadron Collider — might actually be […]


The topic of the day is obviously the massacre at Fort Hood. The news agencies have rather a hot potato in the essential fact of this story, namely that an apparently radicalized Muslim, a member of our own armed forces, launched a murderous attack upon servicemen who were about to be deployed to fight fundamentalist […]

Looking Good!

On the front page of today’s Times is a story I’m surprised I hadn’t heard about before. It seems that the Iraqi security forces are using a bomb-detection gizmo that seems, quite obviously, to be nothing more than an expensive, tarted-up divining rod. The gadget in question is called the ADE 651, and the Iraqis […]

Keys To Ascension

With a hat tip to my friend and former employer Bob Wyman, here’s a clever way to get people to take the stairs.

Model Airplane

I’m old enough to remember Pan American World Airways, which throughout my early years was America’s foremost airline. I flew Pan Am on many occasions (including, once, all the way to Japan for a recording project), and through the misty lens of memory I recall the service and comfort being far superior to the cattle-car […]


The other day our comrade in bloggery Horace Jeffery Hodges offered a post with a link to some old Calvin and Hobbes strips. I’ve always been a big C&H fan, and among my favorites among Bill Watterson’s many recurring themes were the strips in which Calvin’s dad would teach the restless wee lad about science. […]

Study War Some More

I must confess to being, along with several million of my fellow Gothamites, a tad distracted this evening; if you can’t guess why I’m not going to tell you. So here’s a link, sent today by a reader, that those of you with an interest in matters military, and in our current predicament in Afghanistan, […]