Monthly Archives: May 2010

Lessons Learned, And Not

National Review has just reposted a fine, and scathing, editorial published on May 6, 1961, in the aftermath of the doomed Bay of Pigs invasion — which failure NR editors Buckley et al. ascribed to a “failure of will”, and a reluctance to offend “World Opinion”: Have we learned? There is always reason to hope. […]

The Cerebral Michelangelo

From my friend Jess Kaplan (not to be confused with commenter JK) comes a very interesting item about just what’s painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Here. Related content from Sphere

An Inconvenient Truth

It’s a busy stretch just now: I’ve been putting in long days at work, and will be traveling tomorrow evening. So for tonight, here’s a timely piece by Wellfleet resident John Stossel about the realities of “green energy”. He reminds us that it is unrealistic to imagine that there is anything in prospect anytime soon […]

Public Access

One of my oldest and closest music-biz pals is the great jazz guitarist Steve Khan. Here’s an interview he did recently for the new Inside Musicast website.

Martin Gardner, 1914-2010

I was saddened to learn today that the great Martin Gardner had died on Saturday at a rest home in Norman, Oklahoma. He was 95. For those of you who didn’t know him, Martin Gardner was universally regarded by those who did as one of the brightest lamps of the 20th century. He was best […]

Service Notice

We’ll be away all weekend, joining our son at his college graduation. Back in a few days.

Haute Cuisine

In yesterday’s paper was an article about how prevalent marijuana use is amongst professional chefs. (According to my wide-ranging observations, they could also have written the same article about professional writers, artists, dancers, musicians, psychologists, lawyers, accountants, etc.). It’s an interesting story, and remarkable for how casually marijuana use, which is after all still illegal, […]

The Early Kagan

Readers who have been trying to get a handle on Elena Kagan may find this interesting: her baccalaureate thesis from Princeton, written in 1981. In it she makes a searching examination of the causes leading to the self-destruction of the American Socialist Party in the years following the First World War. She concludes with the […]

Us And Them

An article in Monday’s Times describes the current state of affairs in Rwanda. It has been a full sixteen years since the challenges of multiculturalism got out of hand there, but for some reason the blessings and benefits of Diversity — despite the vigorous application of exactly the sort of enlightened government measures that always […]

Fair And Balanced

As a counterpoise to the impression I might have given in a recent post, here is what all that Russian “directness” leads to at home.

All The Nous That’s Fit To Print

The New York Times has introduced a philosophy-blog. It’s called The Stone. It will be interesting to see how it goes.

Change We Can Be Leavin’

Amongst the many blessings conferred upon a reluctant polity by the recent health-care bill is a little “Easter egg” you may not yet have heard about. (To be fair, I suspect that most of the solons who poked this egregious legislation down our gullets didn’t know about it either, though that hardly redounds to their […]

Strong Horse

One of the reasons America is declining in the world is that we (and the rest of the effeminized West) are perceived by our foes and rivals, rightly, as having lost our virile resolve. We are generally more concerned with “being better” than our enemies than actually defeating them, and so we court-martial Navy Seals […]

Discussion, Discussed

Our cyber-friend Jeffery Hodges has just published, and posted at his website, a thoughtful article on the intellectual and cultural requirements for productive discourse. The subject is of particular interest to Jeffery, who is a college professor in Korea — where, in keeping with Confucian social tradition, to question one’s superiors is to get above […]

Walter Sear, 1930-2010

I note with heartfelt sorrow the death of the great recording engineer Walter Sear, who died on April 29th from complications of a fall. (Somehow I missed his obituary notices at the time, and have only just heard the news.) Walter occupied a very special place in the New York recording community. Having never joined […]

Blurb For Derb

Here’s a pungent edition of Radio Derb, starting with an poignant obituary for England.

Life In The Fast Lane

Readers, what do you make of this?

Over Here, Diogenes

Stopping by Gates Of Vienna today, I read an item about yet another “interfaith dialogue” conference, this time in Macedonia. Given that religious acrimony has been such a mighty engine of sanguinary conflict throughout all of recorded history, people generally take a hopeful view of these little pow-wows, and their participants, for rising above the […]

“The Courage To Do Nothing”

Last week The Select Committee for Energy Independence and Global Warming held a hearing on “The Foundation of Climate Science”. The loyal opposition was represented by Lord Christopher Monckton, who made a persuasive technical case (see here) and gave a splendid performance. Here’s a glimpse: From Lord Monckton’s testimony: Warming at the very much reduced […]

Why Are We Living Longer?

We direct you to an intriguing item at Mangan’s, about a “slow-aging” subpopulation that had previously been masked by youthful deisease and trauma. Here.

The Day The Music Died

I realize that the recent flooding in Nashville has imposed a frightful toll of hardship in all the many ways that such disasters always do, but as a musician and recording engineer I find this particularly poignant. Related content from Sphere

Doesn’t Add Up

Over at NRO, Jonah Goldberg and others are wondering about something that has been puzzling me too: if Faisal Shahzad was trained by jihadis in Pakistan, why did he make such a crappy bomb? I mean, the guy even had an engineering degree, for crying out loud. He used the wrong kind of fertilizer, propane […]


Mark Twain, as posthumously quoted in the Montreal Gazette, April 25th, 1935: When a host asked Mark Twain if he would like a drink before breakfast, the humorist replied: “Thanks, I do not care for a drink for three reasons. In the first place, I never drink before breakfast. In the second place, I am […]

Internal Affairs

A topic I’ve heard people kvetching about lately is the prevalence of unpaid internships for aspiring youngsters. The complaint is that they violate the spirit of minimum-wage laws, and drive out competition for entry-level jobs. I’ve written about minimum-wage laws before; they seem beneficent enough, but they have a darker side, and darker origins than […]

Now That’s Diversity!

David Brooks had a daring item in the Times today, in which he came awfully close (though stepping back from the brink) to saying some awfully unsayable things. But I’m not in the mood for more of this stuff tonight (if I were I’d likely be rounding on Mayor Bloomberg, too, for his flurry of […]

Jim Kalb On Inclusiveness

Today I read, at the new conservative/HBD website Alternative Right, an essay by Jim Kalb called The Effects Of Inclusiveness. A sample: No person or society can realize all human possibilities. We are finite creatures who realize ourselves–become good, happy, productive, vibrant, and creative–by becoming something in particular. Since we are social, that particularity requires […]

El Norte

Here’s another pointed essay about the Arizona brouhaha: What If Arizona Were Quebec?

Mistaken Identity

In a speech at the University of Michigan on Saturday, President Obama castigated critics of recent government excesses, reminding them that “government is us”. This seems innocent enough, but in fact it is chilling. The Founders saw a powerful central government as an unfortunate and dangerous necessity, the only way to administer certain tasks that […]

Extra Nipples

Much has been written in recent years about the taming and effeminization of the Western male. Though there are still pockets of resistance, the dismal process proceeds apace, and appears even to be accelerating. The community in which I have made my home for the past 28 years, the (more recently) upscale and uber-liberal neighborhood […]

Arizona: Phoenix, or Tombstone?

I’ve been mum about politics for a few weeks, and in particular haven’t said anything about the controversial Arizona legislation, although as you might imagine I of course see no reason why Arizona shouldn’t act if the federal government simply won’t. Meanwhile, here in New York our own mayor — who, as both New York […]

Hard Rain Gonna Fall

Here, with a hat tip to my friend Eugene Dushkin, is a breezy item about investment strategies for the forthcoming collapse of civilization.