Monthly Archives: June 2011

Mt. Washmore

Who says immigrants can’t assimilate?

Wonk Like An Egyptian

On January 28th, as the ground was shifting in Egypt, our crack strategic-analysis team here at waka waka waka saw a critical opportunity for the Muslim Brotherhood, and predicted that the Ikhwan would step smartly into the breach. We wrote: Nature abhors a vacuum, and although the newspapers have so far reported that religious groups […]

They Go Mad In Herds

With a hat-tip to Bill Vallicella, here’s a heretical item from the Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics at Princeton University, William Happer, on a topic we’ve taken up in these pages from time to time. Related content from Sphere

This Just In

Well, here’s a shocker. Whoever could have imagined such a thing? Are the Wealthiest Countries the Smartest Countries? Actually, what’s shocking is not so much the rediscovery of the obvious truth that human capital matters — but that the story has actually been picked up by the press (it’s all over the place this morning). […]

All Or Nothing, Then Nothing

I haven’t said much of anything about the passage of the gay-marriage bill; I haven’t really had a dog (or a God) in that particular fight. I have gay friends and I’m happy for them, but I also see it as a relatively benign symptom of a much larger process: an ever-expanding radical anti-discrimination in […]

Five Feet High And Risin’

Today brings another provocative essay by Victor Davis Hanson, this time on the hypocrisy of socialist elites. (I know I’ve been reposting a lot of VDH lately, but he’s been on rather a tear, I think.) Excerpts: This discussion is, of course, a belabored example of why and how socialists do not like socialism. Indeed, […]

Ceteris Paribus

Anthony Daniels, who writes as “Theodore Dalrymple”, gave a talk a few weeks ago at the Sixth Annual Meeting of the Property and Freedom Society, in Bodrum, Turkey. (The P.F.S. looks like an interesting outfit, by the way, if you have libertarian sympathies, and for this meeting they fielded an impressive lineup of speakers.) In […]

Feets Of Fury

In case you’ve never seen it, here’s some of the best martial-arts choreography ever filmed: Jackie Chan and Ken Lo giving it hell in Drunken Master II. Related content from Sphere

Time To Go

There’s a good deal of disagreement out there about whether we should be getting out of Afghanistan. The prospects are bad either way. A while back, after I’d finally emerged from the herd-minded and thoughtless liberalism of my youth, I became sympathetic to neoconservative optimism about remaking the world in America’s image. I imagined right […]

Noah’s Arc


Wednesday’s Child

Our friend The Stiletto has linked to a sad and instructive item, by the daughter of the feminist icon Alice Walker. The Stiletto excerpts the following passages: [M]y mum taught me that children enslave women. I grew up believing that children are millstones around your neck, and the idea that motherhood can make you blissfully […]

Anti-War Movement

Here, for once, is a sensible piece of legislation. It has no chance of passing.

Funk Break

If you’re going to be in Gotham on Saturday, July 30th, you should get yourself over to Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Bandshell (conveniently located just 250 yards from waka waka waka‘s New York command center) for what bids fair to be an outstanding evening’s entertainment. The headliner, Malcolm Rebennack Jr. (A.K.A “Dr. John“), is a national […]

Cartoon Anatomy


Baby Elephants!

Courtesy of Jonah Goldberg. Related content from Sphere

Wilders Acquitted!

Good news. One cheer for Europe. Here.

Two From The Right

Lawrence Auster has put up two links today that I think deserve reposting here. In the first, Mark Steyn addresses our nation’s modern, self-abnegating approach to war: Transnational do-gooding is political correctness on tour. It takes the relativist assumptions of the multiculti varsity and applies them geopolitically: The white man’s burden meets liberal guilt. No […]

Knights And Pawns

As a follow-on to our breezy review of the Foreign Relations Committee’s report, here’s a serious assessment of what the endgame in Afghanistan might look like, from STRATFOR’s George Friedman. The gist: The United States was always aware of the limits of Pakistani assistance. The United States accepted this publicly because it made Pakistan appear […]

The Enfeebled Host

Here’s a sad item about central California — a lament, perhaps, or something approaching the final draft of an obituary — from Victor Davis Hanson. Related content from Sphere

Tar Baby

Recently the Senate Foreign Relations Committee produced a report on how things are going in Afghanistan, and I’ve given it a careful going-over. Despite my natural optimism, I’ll confess it’s left me a little chopfallen. I’ve excerpted a few snippets below: Foreign aid, when misspent, can fuel corruption, distort labor and goods markets, undermine the […]

One From The Gipper

Here’s a pungent partisan punchline, from a president who could actually tell a joke. Related content from Sphere

Bottom Feeder

If you’re curious about the “go meatless” movement, then get a load of this.

Clarence Clemons, 1942-2011

We note with sorrow the death of Clarence Clemons, soul of the E Street Band for forty years, who died Saturday after suffering a devastating stroke. His death will leave an awfully big hole in a great many hearts. I got to know Clarence more than thirty years ago, when the E Street Band moved […]

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My friend and colleague, the extravagantly gifted software engineer, globe-trotting bon vivant, and intrepid adventurer Yaniv Sarig, has sent me a outrageously funny item that will, I’m afraid, only evoke incapacitating hilarity in those of you who know a thing or two about programming. But it’s too good not to share, so here it is. […]

Schlock And Awe

Yesterday the Times‘s Nicholas Kristof posted a risibly bird-brained column entitled Our Lefty Military. In it he lauds the U.S. armed forces as a socialist paradigm, comparing them in glowing terms to the morally inferior “gimme” mentality of the private sector. We read: The United States armed forces knit together whites, blacks, Asians and Hispanics […]

A Pouch Full Of Stones

Here’s a salient item from John McCreary at NightWatch: Israel: On 19 June the Defense Forces will begin a nationwide civil defense exercise, called Turning Point 5, that will include the largest simulation of missile interceptions ever held by the air force, The Jerusalem Post reported. The exercise will involve all the air force’s missile […]

If It Did It

When even Jim Cramer is somber about the market, things can’t be good. In a post published today, Mr. Cramer outlines what he thinks “Armageddon” would look like, should it come to pass: Throw in the towel and buy lower and later if you think the worst is coming. Or stay the course. At this […]

Call Of The Wild

If you haven’t already seen photographs, here is what happened in Vancouver when the Canucks lost the Stanley cup to Boston last night (after taking the first two games of the series). HT: Lawrence Auster. Related content from Sphere

The Meltdown Pot

Here are a trio of reviews of Byron Roth’s book The Perils of Diversity: by Fjordman, Steve Sailer, and Richard Lynn.

The Ikhwan Springs Forward

Here’s Stanley Kurtz, writing at the Corner: Although it’s too soon to fully understand what they mean, there are important developments in Egypt today in the run-up to this fall’s election. First, a major coalition of parties has formed that includes not only the Muslim Brotherhood, but two key liberal parties, Wafd and Ghad. The […]

Facts Of The Matter

Sam Harris has been addressing the question of free will in a series of short posts (we’ve already commented on the first two, here and very briefly here). Dr. Harris is forthrightly skeptical that free will, as popularly conceived, exists. He seemed concerned, in the first of his posts, to make some sort of case […]

The Secret

Yesterday, June 12th, the lovely Nina and I celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary. Given that so many marriages fall apart these days, that’s a pretty good streak — and as the years lengthen, I’m asked from time to time just how we’ve managed it. I’ve given it a lot of thought. There are of course […]

Stop The Hate!

There are few surer ways to mark oneself as a moral leper these days than to be a “nativist”: to imagine that over time the particular inhabitants of a place form a naturally balanced community, with an organic harmony that the mass importation of aliens is likely to disrupt, often with catastrophic results. To harbor […]

Damned If You Don’t

Here’s an item I’m still trying to get my head round: Hebrew University has just awarded a research prize to a graduate student’s essay in which she claims that Israeli soldiers are “racists for not raping Arab women.” Have a look. Related content from Sphere

Paper Cuts

Here and here.

A Jewel Unearthed

Poking around the other day at a second-hand bookseller’s in the West Village, I came upon a curious little self-published volume in a stained leather binding, cracked and brittle with age. Opening it with the greatest care, I discovered it to be a book of verse, and after reading a few entries with growing excitement, […]

Ready, Aim, Sing

Here I am working late again — so for this evening, just a link. It’s a good one, though: a collection of vintage Tom Lehrer videos. Here.

Tilting At Windmills

Ah, the Green Revolution. Noblest of causes, worth every imaginable sacrifice. Yet what a wellspring of virtuous, practical, and best of all, economy-boosting innovations saving the planet has turned out to be! The Chevy Volt. Cap’n’Trade. Biofuels. Chinese light-bulbs. Wind-turbines. Regarding the latter, the Viscount Monckton of Brenchley comments here. Related content from Sphere

Everything A Man Can Lose

Here’s the great Luther Allison, performing Living in the House of the Blues just a few months before his untimely death in 1997. What’s that? Did you say you want some more? Well OK, here’s some more. Related content from Sphere

The Weight

Things look gloomy for the US economy these days. Job numbers are way down. The markets are sagging. A while back President Obama instructed American businesses to “step up” and resume hiring. That ought to have disposed of the problem at once, but for some reason compliance has been spotty. A report from the Small […]


San Francisco is considering a ban on circumcision. In support of this initiative, prepuce protectionists in the City by the Bay have published a comic book that may look eerily familiar to European immigrants of a certain age. It has attracted considerable attention, and rightly so. Here. Related content from Sphere

A Note From HLM

Reader JK sends along this gem from H.L. Mencken. I reproduce it in full, with highlights bolded. H.L.MENCKEN 1524 HOLLINS ST. BALTIMORE December 2nd 1927 Dear Charles:- A few notes: 1. I bought some brown shoes six or eight years ago, and have worn them off and on ever since. I have also taken to […]

Required To Be Adults

Here’s some common sense about taxes and the welfare state, from William Voegeli.

Déjà View

We’re still up in Cape Cod, very busy the past few days with chores and domestic duties as we get ready to head back to Gotham. I’ve got nothing new to offer tonight, so I thought I’d repost an old item (something I don’t think I’ve ever done before): a favorite Wellfleet-themed entry from three […]

More From Sam Harris On Free Will

Sam Harris has posted a follow-up to his free-will article, here. He expands on his reasons for believing that our commonsense intuitions about free will are false (no argument from me), but says nothing further about the moral-responsibility issues we discussed in our recent post. Related content from Sphere

Shoot The Messenger

Because I’ve been away on vacation since the middle of last week, and am somewhat out of touch, I missed some very bad news out of Pakistan: the disappearance of the outstanding Asia Times Pakistani bureau chief, Syed Saleem Shahzad. It is now revealed to be murder, by agents unknown. NightWatch’s John McCreary comments: Pakistan: […]