Monthly Archives: September 2012

Off The Grid

To all who’ve emailed with links, comments, etc. recently: thanks as always. We’re moving house today and tomorrow, however, and will not be able to get to any of it for at least a couple of days.

The Future Must Not Belong To Those Who Slander The Prophet

Here’s an item from Iowahawk, posted way back in 2006, that’s as relevant today as the day it was written. Update: As is this.

Vandalism Still Illegal

We’ve been hearing a lot about free speech lately (though not nearly enough). Here’s the NYPD coming to its defense. (And responding to an assault.)

The Hell-Bound Train

The latest Economic Freedom of the World Annual Report has the U.S. ranked eighteenth, down from second place in 200o. Well, home of the brave, still, maybe. We’ll see.

Made For Each Other

Speaking of world-class narcissists, no list would be complete without including  the exquisitely unlovable Madonna. (Sadly, I learned this first-hand; you will find my name on your copy of Like a Virgin, if you have one.) Ms. Ciccone has now enlivened the campaign season in her own special way. The Huffington Post reports: Madonna brought […]

How To Get Friends!

We never seem to run out of examples of the pathological narcissism of Barack Obama. Just when I decide to lay off for a few days, I get this in the mail:  *        *        * Malcolm — If you win this, you’re going to have a lot more friends […]

Service Notice

There will be reduced activity here this week, as the lovely Nina and I are fully consumed with the immense task of emptying our Brooklyn house so as to permit a major reconfiguration of its interior space. Given that our kids have now moved out, and that we are spending more and more of our […]

“Trickle Down”: Fact And Fancy

Here’s an outstanding essay by economist Thomas Sowell on widely held misconceptions regarding the historical effects of varying tax rates on the wealthy. An excerpt: The very idea that profits “trickle down” to workers depicts the economic sequence of events in the opposite order from that in the real world. Workers must first be hired, […]

100% Recycled Material

Again, I’ve had no free time for writing today — I’ve been very busy with work, and meanwhile the lovely Nina and I are busy preparing our modest brownstone for a major construction project that begins in just a few days. So for tonight, a repost of some old items: A reminiscence of my salad […]

The Agony Of Da Fleet

Too busy today for any writing — so for tonight, the Irish perspective on Olympic sailing, courtesy of a longtime reader.

One Man’s Gaffe…

Mitt Romney’s campaign, in the, um, collective opinion of the “mainstream media”, suffered a major setback the other day. As you may perhaps have heard by now, Mr. Romney’s opponents unearthed a video clip in which the GOP candidate, speaking to a private audience (or so he thought), commented on the difficulty of winning the […]


A reader brings to our attention a fantastic Google-Maps-based application. Here.

Throw The Book At Him

Salman Rushdie meets God’s justice (dramatization). Early James Cameron, I think. Here.


That was quite a storm we had here in the Northeast last night, coming most abruptly on the heels of a delightful run of gorgeous late-summer days. It brought to mind Mark Twain’s remarks about New England weather: Yes, one of the brightest gems in the New England weather is the dazzling uncertainty of it. […]

Brace For Impact

Mohammed as Brigitte Bardot. See here. Anyone out there old enough to remember the Candid Camera theme? ♪ ♫ “It’s fun to laugh at yourself, It’s a tonic tried and true; It’s fun to look at yourself, As other people do!” Maybe instead of another Charles Martel, what we need these days is another Allen […]

New York To London In 0.00186 Seconds

Here’s another edgy little item: warp drives might be feasible after all. Sharpens up the Fermi paradox even more, if so.

There It Is Again!

Recent events remind us, once again (with a hat tip to James Taranto), of the enduring mystery of the number 47. More here.


Here’s a sampling of today’s headlines from Drudge: Chinese General: Prepare for Combat with Japan IRAN DEPLOYS RUSSIAN-MADE SUBMARINE IN GULF Ships from 30 nations sweep mines in Persian Gulf in warning to Tehran Pentagon suspends joint patrols with Afghans after more troops killed Marine Squadron Commander Died in Taliban Attack Libya: We gave USA […]

Any Kids?

Here’s an attention-grabbing item: an ancient Coptic papyrus fragment referring to Jesus’s wife.

Are You A Slow Learner?

Still mired in false consciousness? When you look in the mirror, do you still see that same old bourgeois running-dog imperialist lackey looking back at you? If you’re like many Amerikans who still cling bitterly to the misguided policies of the past — you know, the ones that got us into this mess — the […]

Stick A Fork In

Wow. Look at this chart.


We can only hope that this sort of thing diminishes reproductive fitness. It may not.

Stress Relief

OK, a moment of relief from all the dismal news of the day — a tweet by @FunnyFacts. The sentence “I never said she stole my money” has 7 different meanings depending on the stressed word.


Foggy Bottom: no more questions about Benghazi, please. CNN: State Department was warned three days in advance of Benghazi attacks that the security situation was deteriorating fast; did nothing. WH press secretary Jay “Baghdad Bob” Carney: worldwide protests “not a case of protests directed at the United States writ large or at U.S. policy…” CT […]

Tunnel Vision

I realize, dear readers, that these pages, which once upon a time covered an eclectic salmagundi of topics, have had a relentless focus lately on politics and foreign affairs. Our interest in other things is undiminished, but with the world catching fire, and the most important presidential election of our lifetime right around the corner, […]

Tactical Blasphemy?

The question of the identity of the man behind this week’s most talked-about movie deepens. First there was this link from our reader Dom, then this, which came in the mail just now. Dom commented earlier that “Yahoo news is now reporting that the movie was not made by an evangelical Christian, but by a […]


This is just terrific. Obama in 2007: “I truly believe that the day I’m inaugurated, not only does the country look at itself differently, but the world looks at America differently. If I’m reaching out to the Muslim world, uh, they understand that I’ve lived in a Muslim country — and I may be a […]

Just Sayin’

There is something downright surreal about President Nero, who according to reports skipped his daily intelligence briefing on September 12th so he could sashay off to Vegas, tweeting about the Paralympics right now. Oh, and sweatshirts, too! “Winter is coming”. You got that right, pal.

Whence The Moss Piglet?

Six years ago I scribed a breezy little item about the tardigrade, one of our planet’s commonest, yet most exotic, microfauna. I haven’t thought much about them since, I’ll confess, but I just ran across a charming short video about the tim’rous wee beasties, featuring an affable philotard by the name of Mike Shaw. Here.

Hot Off The Grapevine

In keeping with our time-honored tradition of spreading unsubstantiated rumors, I’ll mention that a little bird just whispered in my ear that we have killed Mullah Omar, the leader of the Taliban. I have no way of confirming this yet. We’ll see… Update: Looking doubtful. That’s just as well: they’d be spiking that football all […]

Time Out

All right, a break from Armageddon for a moment: have a look at a newly discovered species of blue-bottomed monkeys.

Grizzly Man

Now this: a Lebanese report (I have no way as yet of confirming it) claims that Ambassador Stevens was raped before he was murdered. In our previous post we noted that Egyptian ambassador Anne Patterson forbade the embassy’s Marine guards to carry live ammunition. What is it in the modern Western mind that makes us […]

A “Glaspie Moment”

In its most recent posting, NightWatch has issued extensive and pertinent comments on the attacks in Egypt and Libya. I reproduce them here: Egypt-US: The day after the storming of the US Embassy, all day and night on 12 and 13 September, mainstream media aired footage of obviously unemployed Egyptian young men gathering and milling […]

Be Glad You Are Where You Are

Reuters live stream: police vs. demonstrators in Cairo. Here.

Makes Sense To me

Today Barack Obama, commenting on the murder of our ambassador to Libya by a Muslim mob, said this: Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths. We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, but there is absolutely no justification for this type of senseless violence, […]

The Dhimmi-Monde

Today is the eleventh anniversary of September 11th, 2001, when a team of Muslims, seeking martyrdom in jihad against infidels, slaughtered thousands of innocent American civilians and tore a gaping hole in the heart of the world’s greatest city. On this anniversary, a violent mob of similarly minded Islamists, enraged by a perceived insult to […]

French Toast

Writing at Via Meadia, Walter Russell Meade comments on Europe’s accelerating slide into toothless decrepitude. As an example, he gives us France, who would like very much to intervene in Syria, but lacks the military oomph to do so. This is of course due to Europe’s having had, under the postwar U.S. security umbrella, the […]

There Otter Be A Law

Important thing to keep in mind in the fight against global warming: keep those damn sea urchins in their crevices, living on scraps. Ghettoization, you say? Sure. But this is the moral equivalent of war, folks.


Here’s a beautiful time-lapse video shot in two Western parks during the Perseid meteor shower. Full-screen recommended.

Tab Hoarding

In a post-n-thread over at Ace of Spades HQ about computer time-sucks, Ace complains of something that afflicts me too. He calls it “tab hoarding“. It’s the result of skittering about the Web reading items that contain links, opening the links for a moment in a new tab, and going back to what you were […]

Easy Street

Over at VFR, commenter “Buck” has presented an amusing little doggerel dating back to 1949: DEMOCRATIC DIALOG Father, must I go to work? No, no, my lucky son. We’re living now on Easy Street On dough from Washington. We’ve left it up to Uncle Sam, So don’t get exercised. Nobody has to give a damn— […]

As You’d Expect

Nobody should be surprised to learn that the security vacuum in Syria is drawing in jihadis from all over, bent on annexing new territory for the dar-al-Harb. Our reader Dom sent us this item today.

A Map of The Empire Whose Size Was That Of The Empire

Where? Google, of course.

The Bitten Hand

With yet another hat-tip to VFR, here’s an interesting little item on Mitt Romney’s despisèd Bain Capital.

Czechs and Balnea

Be still, my heart: Beer Wellness Land. More images here.


Well! There you have it. I have to say: the more political conventions I see, the more I miss H. L. Mencken. “There is something about a national convention that makes it as fascinating as a revival or a hanging. It is vulgar, it is ugly, it is stupid, it is tedious, it is hard […]

…And Suppose You Were A Member Of Congress

I live in New York’s 11th Congressional District, and so my proxy in the House of Representatives, the champion responsible for advancing my interests in the august councils of this great Republic, is a woman by the name of Yvette Clarke. Ms. Clarke recently appeared on The Colbert Report. During her brief interview, she was […]

Somebody’s Gotta Do It

One of the absurdities of modern political life is the assumption that everyone, regardless of innate qualifications, should have a college education (indeed the assumption, at least on the Democratic side, seems to be not only that everyone belongs in college, but that every citizen person within our borders also has an inalienable right to […]

We Make A Life By What We Give

To the person who sent the Churchill books to my home in Brooklyn today, with no note enclosed: if you’re a reader of this blog, thanks. (And thanks also, of course, even if you aren’t.) It’s nice to have something to look forward to when we get back to the city.

Not So Fast

In this election year’s frenzy of so-called “fact-checking”, we’ve been hearing a lot about the Obama administration’s recent maneuver regarding the 1996 welfare-reform law known as TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, part of the Social Security Act). In case you missed it, back in July, HHS secretary Sibelius issued a fiat declaring that the […]