Monthly Archives: December 2011

Happy New Year!

With grim 2011 winding down, I thought about making a New Year’s resolution to take a more positive outlook toward the future, to express more optimism in these pages, and generally to stop being so pessimistic about everything. I figured it probably wouldn’t work out, though, so I gave up on the idea. But just […]

Search Me!

There’s something for everyone here at waka waka waka, and we’ve made it a late-December tradition to take a look back at some of the thousands of keyphrases that brought visitors our way from Google and other search engines over the past year. Here’s our 2011 selection; it’s a curious crop as always.

This And That

We’re on something of a holiday schedule this week — so for tonight, just a grab-bag of little diversions: — An item that, if it were a post of its own, would surely have been titled “Bird Brains”, or perhaps “Counting Crows”. — A little hibernal music from the late Jackie Gleason. — For you […]

Merry Christmas!

Whatever Christmas means to you — be it everything or nothing — I hope you all have a warm and happy one, in the company of people you love.

Christmas Eve, World At War

Here’s a time capsule from December 24th, 1941, seventy years ago today: Christmas Eve remarks from the White House lawn by Franklin D. Roosevelt and the visiting Winston Churchill. The US had just entered the war; Britain had until a fortnight earlier stood alone against the Nazis, and since September had endured the horrors of […]

Circling The Drain

Diana West comments here on the dismal verdict in the Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff trial in Vienna. Her crime, if you haven’t followed the case, was to comment disapprovingly on Mohammed’s deflowering of his nine-year-old wife Aisha. Well, tolerance is paramount in a decent society, I guess. Meanwhile, Christmas masses have been canceled in Iraq due to […]

Auto-Goal

Well, there you have it: a bumbling, humiliating performance by the House GOP on the ridiculous two-month payroll-tax moratorium (which, among its other shortcomings, is so idiotically brief that it presents costly problems to payroll processors). Nice work, guys. Charles Krauthammer offers a scathing summary here.

Tower Of Babel

Here’s a page that shows a live stream of Wikipedia edits. You can filter the stream by language version and edit size. It’s curiously fascinating, for a minute or two at least.

Shadow Portrait

Here’s a clever idea.

Lil’ Kim

For you strategic-security wonks, John McCreary has published a substantial post on events in North Korea today at NightWatch — complete with a parting jab at the Times. I’ll reproduce it here. North Korea: North Korea is demanding that foreigners either remain in their homes or leave the country. Pyongyang authorities ordered some foreigners to […]

Dueling Donks?

I’ve been getting robocalls over the past few days for a “Draft Hillary” campaign. Mounting a primary opposition to the President would be a smart move for the Democrats, I think, given how deeply Mr. Obama has disappointed so many of his supporters. I have a feeling Hillary would be a lot harder to beat […]

Shades Of Night Descending

Here is a long and deeply depressing essay about California’s dying Central Valley, by one of its lifelong residents, Victor Davis Hanson. How did we let this happen to ourselves?

Yeah!

Time for some NRBQ, I think. Here’s Wild Weekend. And here’s Get Rhythm. Man, what a band.

We’ll Make It Up In Volume!

Via Drudge: According to an investigation by one James Hohman, of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, the Chevy Volt bakes in up to a quarter of a million dollars of government subsidies per vehicle. Meanwhile, sales of the Volt for 2011 had reached just over 6,100 by the end of November, which looks to […]

Worlds Without Number

Here’s the latest from the Kepler planetary probe: Earth-sized exoplanets. Not in the temperate, ‘habitable’ zone, but we’ve found some of those too. All this after only a couple of years of looking, with a technology that is still in its infancy. Can anyone really imagine anymore that the galaxy isn’t teeming with Earth-like, watery […]

The Haunting of Don Carlo

An article in the current New Yorker begins: On the night of October 16, 1590, a palace apartment near Piazza San Domenico Maggiore, in Naples, was the scene of a double murder so extravagantly vicious that people are still sifting through the evidence, more than four centuries later. The most reliable account of the crime […]

This Just In

Kim Jong Il has died. This is going to be interesting.

Murder On The Nile

Horrifying images and video from Egypt, here. One of the consistent lessons of history, from Aristagoras to Gorbachev, is that authoritarian systems place themselves at great risk when they attempt to liberalize. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces is learning this lesson today; they have unleashed forces that they have no idea how to […]

Just Saying

You know who I feel sorry for? Flightless birds. Jesus, what a crappy deal.

Hitchens Pro And Con

There’s been a huge outpouring of opinion about Christopher Hitchens from both Right and Left, most of it encomiastic, but mixed in with some harsh reviews as well. That isn’t surprising; obviously a polemicist like Hitchens — especially one who crossed the aisle as publicly as he — is going to have his fair share […]

Lumos!

The Senate has passed their stopgap spending bill, which included a rider that annuls, temporarily at least, what would effectively have been a ban on incandescent bulbs beginning this year. The intrusive legislation had made an awful lot of people hopping mad — but looking on the bright side (especially now that it has been […]

Christopher Hitchens, 1949-2011

The death of Christopher Hitchens has hit me hard today; he was something of a hero of mine. Mr. Hitchens was everything I admire in a writer: a master of language, with incomparable style and wit, and a restless and erudite scholar — but unlike so many in possession of similar (but almost invariably lesser) […]

Sad News Tonight

Christopher Hitchens has died. Read this remembrance, by Christopher Buckley.

Into The Mire

In an excellent little essay at NRO, Michael Knox Beran reminds us that human suffering is, to borrow a word from the natural sciences, conserved: it can be transformed but not eliminated — and that the modern liberal obsession with its eradication at any cost is futile, and in the end destructive. We read: The […]

Dawa Digest

Here are a couple of recent items on the dawa-jihad front: First: you may have heard about the kerfuffle that arose recently when the home-improvement chain Lowe’s decided to yank its sponsorship of the “anti-Islamophobic” television series All-American-Muslim. (Dozens of other sponsors soon joined them; all are now predictably being tarred as “racists” by the […]

Don’t Let the Door Hit Ya Where That Bulldog Shoulda Bit Ya

The British New York Times columnist Roger Cohen has registered, in this recent item, his condescending disapproval of David Cameron’s rejection of the EU’s fiscal-union proposal. It is regrettable, opines Mr. Cohen, that the “pinstriped effluence” of the ancient British nation should wax so mawkishly sentimental over its silly old sovereignty, which is at this […]

Fry, Baby, Fry

A few months ago I started noticing a particular female announcer’s voice on radio and television commercials. She had a pleasant enough voice, but I thought it exhibited a peculiar weakness — in her falling inflections she would routinely drop below the bottom of her tonal register, and her sonorous voice would break momentarily into […]

All Quiet On the Eastern Front

Not having much to say tonight, I thought I’d just put up a few pictures I snapped around Wellfleet yesterday and today. I apologize for the mediocre quality: I’d left my camera behind in New York this time around, and so they were taken with my phone. Yesterday I decided to explore the path leading […]

Eine Kleine Nachtmusik

We have coyotes out here in the Wellfleet woods, though we hear them oftener than see them. They like to socialize on moonlit nights, and last night they had a pretty good jamboree going not far from our little hilltop. The sound of it isn’t exactly musical, to my ear at least, but you can […]

The Road To Energy Independence

Okay, forget Solyndra. If the Obama administration really is serious about “investing” in “innovation”, they should have a look here.

Bloody Well Right

David Cameron is getting plenty of heat from the EU for standing up for his people, for once. Well, good for him, I say, for refusing to surrender England’s ancient sovereignty to a lot of unelected Eurocrats as their doomed continent falls under the all-too familiar shadow of coalescing German dominance. To quote Winston Churchill: […]

PSA

Let’s be careful out there, folks.

Wishful Thinking

In a recent STRATFOR article, George Friedman uses the example of the “Arab Spring” uprising in Egypt as a case study in what he calls “an inherent contradiction in Western ideology and, ultimately, of an attempt to create a coherent foreign policy.” At the root of this ideological confusion, says Friedman, is a tension between […]

Destroying Civilization, By Degrees

Here.

It Was Behind The Sofa

There’s a buzz going round that the boffins at LHC may have found the Higgs boson.

Changing Times

President Obama gave a rousing speech for his base yesterday in Osawatomie, Kansas: a collectivist stem-winder in which he invoked the rough-riding spirit of Teddy Roosevelt to call for more leveling, more government regulation of everything, and more central planning — in general, more “tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro […]

Speak, Pencil

Have you ever read this?

Hitchens On The Mattress Grave

Christopher Hitchens has suffered the torments of the damned in the past eighteen months, and in this harrowing essay at Vanity Fair, he reflects skeptically on Nietzsche’s oft-repeated claim that “Was mich nicht umbringt macht mich stärker“. What has not yet killed him, as he makes very clear indeed, has made him no stronger at […]

Does Size Matter?

Following on our recent post about race and intelligence: one question that often comes up is where brain size fits in. Brain size does seem to vary among human populations in the same way that the distribution of intelligence does — with East Asians, for example, having bigger brains on average than whites — so […]

Potential

Mulla Nasrudin was carrying home some liver which he had just bought. In the other hand he had a recipe for liver pie which a friend had given him. Suddenly a buzzard swooped down and carried off the liver. “You fool!” shouted Nasrudin, “the meat is all very well — but I still have the […]

How High’s The Water, Mama?

Not really rising at all, according to sea-level expert Nils-Axel Mörner, who actually goes and measures it, all over the globe. David Duff has brought to our attention to a new article by Dr. Mörner in the Spectator, in which we read (my emphasis): It has now become traditional for climate change summits to open […]

Dead Civilization Walking

Pure insanity in deep-blue Boston: First-grader accused of sexual harassment A Boston elementary school is investigating a 7-year-old first-grader for sexual harassment after he struck another boy his age in the groin. But the mother of the accused said her son was fending off the other child, who had choked him in an altercation on […]

Fa-La-La

The merry Christmas season is upon us once again, so in a joyous Yuletide spirit, let’s put aside all this partisan bickering and enjoy a little light-hearted holiday cheer. Why, I’ve got just the thing.

Third Rail

The wall of ideological taboo around frank discussion of race and intelligence is beginning to crack. So far we’re used to hearing about it mostly from beyond-the-pale HBD bloggers, or rare damn-the-torpedoes authors like Charles Murray — but truth, when buried, has a way of patiently seeking daylight. (Or, as Churchill put it, “you must […]

How Insensitive

Hot on the heels of Climategate II, Walter Russell Meade brings to our attention a peer-reviewed paper from the latest Science that calls into question “settled” wisdom about the sensitivity of global temperature to increases in atmospheric CO2. Here. Traffic’s up around here lately, and this might be a good moment to reiterate our position […]

Mideast Roundup

In the latest NightWatch, John McCreary makes some important points about recent developments in Iran, and about the West’s policy of economic sanctions: Iran: Comment: Several reputable analysts have suggested that the attacks against the British Embassy are symptoms of a fundamental political struggle in the Iranian leadership elite. The argument is not new, but […]

Too Rational?

Here’s some common sense from Thomas Sowell, in the context of an essay about Newt Gingrich’s position on immigration: Let’s go back to square one. The purpose of American immigration laws and policies is not to be either humane or inhumane to illegal immigrants. The purpose of immigration laws and policies is to serve the […]

Well, I’ll Be!

Here’s a stunning development, a real shocker: Early Results in Egypt Show a Mandate for Islamists Seems to me there was somebody who saw this coming almost a year ago, even before the Times started writing things like “We can think of no better rebuttal to Osama bin Laden and other extremists.” Back around January […]