Monthly Archives: October 2010

Roll Over, Geert

Well, here’s a surprising development, brought to our attention by the indefatigable JK: in this video clip, we see liberal stalwart Bill Maher breaking ranks with party orthodoxy, and expressing public concern about the usurpation of Western culture by Islam. This is not actually an inconsistent position for Mr. Maher, whose scorn for religion he […]

More Is Less

Listening to Gotham’s news-radio station this morning as I performed my ablutions, I heard the following announcement in the business segment: “Consumers are cutting back this holiday season, but not as much as in recent years.” In other words, consumers are spending more this year than last year. How is that “cutting back”? Who writes […]

Days Of Swine And Roses

How utterly gormless has our moribund liberal Western culture become in its prostration before its nemesis? A story making the rounds today should give you some idea. Here.

Call Ahead

Here’s an amusing distraction: someone has noticed, in a clip from Charlie Chaplin’s 1928 movie The Circus, what appears to be a woman talking on a cell phone. Less amusing, for those of us of a certain age: that the newswoman relating the story seems not to know who “Charlie Chapman” is. Here. Related content […]

Of Politics And Polyads

Bill Vallicella, the Maverick Philosopher, wrote a sharp little post a couple of days ago about the divergent philosophical assumptions that inspirit the political struggle between liberals and conservatives. The problem, he argues, can be represented as an aporetic tetrad: In illustration of my thesis, consider the the values of individual liberty and material (as […]

Mixed Message

We’ve been hearing for quite some time now that the stupendous haymaker awaiting the Democrats next week has nothing to do with amply justified outrage over their policies, tactics, and sneering unconcern for public opinion and the consent of the governed, but is simply the unfortunate result of how difficult it has been for them […]

L’état, C’est Mike

To define the word “chutzpah”, the example usually given is that of a teen who murders his parents, and then insists that the court take mercy on an orphan. And then there’s this. (P.S. During the several seconds I spent diligently researching this story, I also came across this feisty little website, which tickled me […]

Fanning The Flames

Things have been getting hot in France, and are now doing so as well in Britain, as their social-welfare economies begin to collapse under their own weight. The latest update comes from London, where firefighters have decided to go on strike on Friday, November 5th. For those of you who don’t know, the fifth of […]

Slow News Day

Not much to comment on tonight. The top story appears to be that Tony Blair’s sister-in-law, in what must surely be an irritating development for the former P.M., has made an ostentatious conversion to Islam. (This woman, whose name is Lauren Booth, has been a burr under Mr. Blair’s saddle for some time now. Meanwhile, […]

2D, Or Not 2D?

A while back we took a look at physicist Craig Hogan’s curious idea that the Universe might actually be a kind of hologram. (For an explanation, and a very strange comment, have a look at the original post.) Now Dr. Hogan is getting closer to putting his theory to the test. Learn more here, and […]

Mugged By Reality

Everybody’s talking about the Juan Williams firing. For those of you who have spent the past day or two under anesthesia, or held at gunpoint in an al-Qaeda safe-house, Juan Williams is the National Public Radio “on-air personality” who publicly spoke forbidden truths, and was immediately sacked and disfellowshipped for his heresy. Here’s what happened, […]

Blunt Talk

I’ve long argued that we ought to legalize marijuana — for several very good reasons, each of which would, I think, be compelling in its own right. First of all, legalization would be a heavy, if not mortal, blow to the black-market economy that supports the drug gangs that have made Mexico an earthly hell […]

Is Multiculturalism In Retreat?

Ah, the many blessings of Diversity. What were they again? It seems lately that all over the liberal Western world, native peoples are developing a nasty case of buyer’s remorse: it is finally dawning on them that the natural friction between dissimilar human groups in too-close proximity is, almost without exception always and everywhere, a […]

Battle Royal

We’ve just got back to Gotham from a delightful weekend in Cape Cod — including a brief hop, courtesy of a friend with a a small plane, over to Martha’s Vineyard (where the lovely Nina and I first met, 35 summers ago). During the drive back to the city, we listened in on a “debate” […]

Change Of Fortune

Well, the shouting is over, the dust has settled, the press have dashed off to file their dispatches, and there is a new champion speller here in Wellfleet: a fellow named Robert something, an amiable fellow who has finished in the top two or three for years. It came down to the two of us […]


We’re in Wellfleet for the weekend. It’s time once again for the Oysterfest, our little town’s annual celebration of its succulent and highly prized indigenous bivalve. (A local oysterman told me today that the festival, which is in its tenth year, is now the fourth-largest town fair in the country, though as we go to […]

Crack Addict

It’s a very busy week, and there will be scant opportunity for writing for the next day or two, so it’s Shameless Filler time once again. This cheeky item certainly qualifies, I think. What? You sophisticates are in no mood for such lowbrow japery? Well then, waste your time instead with the hosts of my […]

Only Here For The Beer

Satoshi Kanazawa, writing at Psychology Today, discusses an interesting scientific finding, namely that intelligent people drink more alcohol. Over at Mangan’s today there is an engaging discussion about his essay. Dennis’s commenter Pat Hannagan takes issue with Kanazawa’s assumption about the correct order of precedence as regards beer-making and agriculture: Kanazawa says: The production of […]

It’s All Too Much

In Thursday’s post I took the measure of the river of data that my plugged-in life brings my way, and noted that, as much as I like having access to it all, I’m finding it almost impossible to keep up with its ever-increasing volume. (“Drinking from a fire-hose”, we used to say at PubSub.) The […]

Briar Patch

Might this fall’s impending conservative landslide actually help Barack Obama’s chances for re-election? Victor Davis Hanson, in an essay over at NRO, makes the case that the Transformer-In-Chief might be in a position to benefit from the economic lift that a conservative Congress would provide, while telling his progressive base he’s still true to his […]


As much as I love the Internet — I’m a keen consumer of information, and I don’t know how I spent the first four decades of my life without it — it sure is getting hard to keep up. I have a personal email account, and a work account. In order that I don’t miss […]

A Little Rebellion

If the Tea Party is, as I’ve suggested, an American Salafist movement, then it seems natural enough for it to quote the Prophet in justification of its own existence. (Of course the Tea Party’s “Prophet” is not one man, but many: namely, the Founding Fathers, peace be upon them.) To that end, here’s a piquant […]

May God Thy Gold Refine

As a generally conservative sort of blogger, I write a lot about how important it is to defend our traditional American culture against its many foes, foreign and domestic. But in case you’ve forgotten just what it is we’re fighting for, have a look at this inspiring clip, courtesy of the indefatigable JK. Related content […]

Why You Do This To Me, Dhimmi?

We’ve been just about completely mum on the clash-of-civilizations front for the past couple of months, so here’s an update. The blasphemy trial of Geert Wilders resumed in Holland today. No sooner had it got under way than the presiding magistrate, Jan Moors, made a snarky comment about the defendant, prompting Mr. Wilders’s attorney to […]

Sam Harris Presents His Case

Sam Harris is about to release a new book, called The Moral Landscape. Dr. Harris has been working for a while now to try to put morality on an objective footing (something I think can’t be done). His premise, if I may sum it up with extreme brevity, is that there are some moral systems […]

Slow News Day

It’s been a busy couple of days, and I haven’t had much of the solitary time that brooding and writing requires. Today, for example, we spent gallivanting around the city, and at one point we found ourselves harborside in the out-of-the way Brooklyn neighborhood known as Red Hook. The weather was splendid, and we took […]