Monthly Archives: February 2011

Mission Accomplished

Back in Gotham, but too pooped to post. Will resume shortly.

Service Notice

The lovely Nina and I will be on the road for a couple of days — off to southern CA to pay my dear old Dad a visit on his 85th birthday. Might be quiet here till we get back, early next week. Related content from Sphere

Boyling Over

Lawrence Auster asks: “Is some kind of intensification of the world going on? At the very moment that uprisings are proceeding in several Muslim countries simultaneously, uprisings are proceeding in several states of the United States simultaneously.” Yes, some kind of intensification of the world is going on, and I think we can find an […]

How’s It Going?

Well, it’s hard to feel cheery tonight, I have to say. Muammar Qaddafi, pausing on his way to martyrdom, is strafing his people, and blowing up oil pipelines. It is becoming clearer every day that the wave of “freedom” sweeping the Arab world is a disaster in the making. Europe watches aghast, bracing itself for […]

Pinkies Up

If you haven’t heard, the University of Arizona will announce on Monday the establishment of a new alma mater, to be called the Institute for Civil Discourse. The effort to institutionalize its important new curriculum — which will target militaristic metaphors, contumacious dissent-mongering, and other unseemly manifestations of political faction — was triggered by the […]

Mail Call

We’re back from our little retreat. Over the transom while we were en route: First, a tireless and Argus-eyed reader has noticed an item at Iran’s Press TV website reporting that Muammar Qaddafi (or however we’re supposed to spell that moniker of his; I never seem to see it the same way twice) has left […]

Political Chemistry

I’ve been “offline” for a couple of days — avoiding the computer and the news media — but plenty has been happening. If you’ve been waiting for the Muslim Brotherhood to extend its hand in Egypt, wait no longer. The Ikwhan’s éminence grise and foremost theoretician Yusuf Qaradawi — the one who explained to the […]

Femme Fatale

After a very busy spell we’re traveling tonight, and things might be quiet here for a couple of days (though you never know). But for now, here’s a gruesome item about the Tunisian uprising, with an odd twist: a mysterious blonde sniper. Related content from Sphere


How one thing leads to another! With my glory days as a globe-trotting big-shot recording engineer behind me (for now at least), I earn my daily crust in a small cubicle in midtown Manhattan, writing C++ code for a medium-sized global corporation. It is now 9:15 P.M., and as is so often the case, I […]

There Must Be Some Mistake

We’ve heard a lot for quite a while now about America’s stubborn Achievement Gaps. The stubbornest and most notorious of these is the gap between the races in primary-school education (as mentioned again in yesterday’s Times, where it is fully explained), but another lingering blot on our escutcheon has been the scandalous underrepresentation of women […]

Extra Dark

Well, I realize that I’m probably the only person outside of Pyongyang who didn’t already know about this website, but my son just introduced me to the Perry Bible Fellowship. My first click of the ‘Random’ link brought me to this, and I was stuck for the next hour or so. Related content from Sphere

Oh, They Mean Her

I wonder how many of you this happens to: I see a headline like “Clinton To Announce New Special Envoy To Afghanistan And Pakistan“, and the Clinton that comes to mind is that taller one, the one who doesn’t really even have a job any more. I have a feeling that doesn’t just happen to […]


The website has been offering some amazing solar images lately. Here’s a good one: a video clip of a gigantic plasma ejection.

Pretty Good Joke

From Stephen Fry, by way of David Duff: A girl goes into a bar and asks for an example of double entendre, so the barman gives her one.

What Next?

The latest from STRATFOR: Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman delivered the following statement Feb. 11: “In the name of God the merciful, the compassionate, citizens, during these very difficult circumstances Egypt is going through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to step down from the office of president of the republic and has charged the high […]

Strong Horse

“Hosni, old boy, it’s time you made your farewell address to the Egyptian people.” “Why? Where are they going?”

Two Heads Better Than One?

As you’ve probably heard by now, our second-term upstate Congressman, Republican Christopher Lee of New York’s western 6th District, has resigned after having been exposed, quite literally, by a woman to whom he had sent a half-naked picture of himself by way of Craigslist. (Mr. Lee is married, with a young child.) Booth Tarkington said […]

Mind Detector

I’m swamped again at work, with no time to write. So for this evening, just a provocative little tid-bit. I had coffee very briefly today with my friend Salim Ismail, a remarkable fellow who was most recently the director of the Singularity University. I don’t get to see Salim very often, because he is always […]

What Is A Moral Fact?

In the comment thread of our previous post, we’ve been looking at Sam Harris’s claim that there can be a prescriptive natural science of human morality, one that uncovers objective normative truths. This would rebut, it seems, the idea that there are no “oughts” in nature. People do want there to be absolute moral truths, […]

Sam Harris On The Ramparts

A while back I noted that Sam Harris has a new book out (The Moral Landscape), in which he argues that it is possible to develop an objective, entirely naturalistic science of human morality that would be not just descriptive, but prescriptive as well. From a philosophical perspective this is a hugely audacious assertion, because […]


While I was in our local upscale grocery-market today, an amazing little vegetable caught my eye. It was something called “Romanesco” broccoli (Brassica romanesco, as it turns out), and it is one of the most beautiful natural fractals I’ve ever seen. Smitten, I bought one, and when I got it home I snapped a couple […]


What’s your favorite color? Mine are the darker blues and greens; best of all are the deep and aqueous tones in between. The blues and greens are horizontal, and patient, and extended in time, like the sea and the sky and forest; the reds and yellows and oranges are vertical, and call us to the […]

Climate Of Hate

I’m chastened; things are worse than I thought. It seems Paul Krugman, Sherrif Dupnik, et al. were right after all: there really is a lot of racist, violent, over-the-top, “eliminationist” rhetoric out there. At a political rally deep in the Southwest, a cameraman has captured on video chilling footage of this vitriolic, inflammatory hate-speech: people […]

The Truth Prevails, A Bit

Amongst all the turmoil in the Mideast, some good news: Lars Hedegaard has been acquitted — on a technicality, but we’ll take it. He published this statement at the website of the International Free Press Society: As my ancient forefathers, the Vikings, would have said: It is always good to fight. It is better to […]

I Know It When I See It

Oh my. Here’s the Tera Patrick of fiscal conservatism, steaming up the lens again. Republicans concerned about the Presidential field will want to watch this in private. Related content from Sphere

Comic Relief

Allan Sherman, Dean Martin, and Vic Damone. A previous age of the world.

Light Fuse, Stand Well Back

A hat tip to Lawrence Auster for bringing to our attention an excellent article by Caroline Glick on the strange-bedfellow convergence of rose-bespectacled, democracy-exporting conservatives and West-loathing, Howard-Zinn-style leftists in cheering on the uprising in Egypt. Both viewpoints, argues Ms. Glick, are animated by narcissism about the West, though of very different kinds: the democracy-evangelists […]


Now King Abdullah of Jordan, stalling for time while he makes his arrangements, has dismissed his cabinet. Meanwhile, in Egypt, Mubarak no longer has the support of the Egyptian Army, and is presumably wrapping up the last of his official duties: emptying the vaults of the national treasury into a waiting aircraft. Related content from […]

Shall We Never Overcome?

Things are just so terribly unfair, so pitilessly unequal in this awful society that some days it’s all I can do not to retire to the attic with a notepad and a length of stout rope. Today’s Times brings to our attention yet another clamant injustice: egregious gender inequality at Wikipedia, where it turns out […]