Monthly Archives: December 2012

Winter Wonderland

Well, all that rain turned to snow last night. Here’s the view out the front window, looking west across a mile of woodland to the bay.     The little camera in my phone is not the best, but that new-fangled HDR software makes everything look pretty.

Service Notice

We’re sequestered in the rainy and windswept Outer Cape for the next few days, enjoying a warm fire and a little intercalary downtime with some old friends. Back soon.

Raising The Bar

Move over, Tom Friedman! Here, from Sean Penn, is a late entry for Worst Writing of 2012. It really is just unspeakably awful. Enjoy!

Down The Rabbit Hole

Consistent, at least. Here.

Better Late Than Never

Best Christmas song ever. Sorry I wasn’t able to post this before the Big Day.

Merry Christmas

To all of you, with my thanks as always for reading and commenting. I’ll make up for my own laziness at the keyboard today by pointing you to this delightful Christmas meditation by our friend Kevin Kim.

Fog Of War

According to this report, the Assad regime has deployed poison gas in Homs, killing 7 and injuring others. The quoted source is “opposition activists”, by way of al-Jazeera, so the story may not be veridical. But if so, in we go, I’d imagine.

Santa, Shamanta

If you’ve seen Walt Disney’s Fantasia, which featured an animation of Tchaikovsky’s Christmas suite The Nutcracker, you’ll likely remember the fairy-circle of mushrooms performing the Chinese Dance. The mushrooms have white stalks, with red caps that are also speckled with white. Such mushrooms are a common theme at Christmas, as we see in the assortment […]

Testa di Cazzo!

Here. Also, as an “extra added bonus”, a new word: ctenactinium.

Yes, A Bulwark Against Tyranny

Reader ‘Up2L8’ has added an excellent comment to the end of our “Hell On Earth” thread, in which he lists the various drafts of the Second Amendment that preceded its ratification.

Morbid Obesity

One of our foremost gloominaries is Patrick Buchanan. Today, in a ringingly despondent essay, he looks at the past and the future of the Republican Party, and considers its prospects in light of the inexorable trend, in all democracies, toward relentless government expansion and ultimate exhaustion. His concluding remarks: If we would see our future, […]

What Buck?

I’m working today, with no time for writing — so here are NightWatch‘s comments on the Benghazi report: Special NightWatch Comment: The most important finding of the Accountability Review Board (ARB) on the Benghazi tragedy is that al Qaida is alive and well and living in Benghazi. The rest is pretty much well known, with […]


Here’s a mighty close call.

Suzanna Hupp Joins The “Conversation”

I almost added this to the previous post, but it deserves a post of its own.

Do Something!

When America’s leftward “progress” encounters friction nowadays, we are told to have a national “conversation”. What is meant by the word “conversation” in this sense is something like: “the conservative opposition will now listen quietly and attentively, whilst enlightened liberals lead them through a long-overdue course of reeducation and rehabilitation. They may then speak, so […]


This is amazing. From XKCD cartoonist Randall Munroe.

Web Of Deceit

Here’s a new one: a spider that builds decoy spiders.

West Meets East

I just realized I had neglected to note the passing of the great Ravi Shankar, who died last week at the ripe old age of 92. He was for me, of course, as for everyone else who was young in those days, the one who opened the door to the treasure-house of Indian music. I […]


With a hat tip to our friend Jeffery Hodges, here’s an excellent survey of the moribund and incoherent state of American conservatism. It is not a cheery picture.

Constructor Theory

From a fascinating interview with physicist David Deutsch: There’s a notorious problem with defining information within physics, namely that on the one hand information is purely abstract, and the original theory of computation as developed by Alan Turing and others regarded computers and the information they manipulate purely abstractly as mathematical objects. Many mathematicians to […]

Hell On Earth

In the wake of the Newtown shootings, the usual voices on the Left have resumed their call for the nation to “do something” about guns. In a longish post, here are some contrarian opinions from around the blogosphere, and a few observations of my own.

From The Abyss

There was an eruption of unspeakable horror, of pure Evil, today in Newtown, Connecticut. From what I understand many small children — 18, according to the latest report — have been shot to death. There will be bitter political debate in the days to come — such as we have never seen before, I think […]

Take Good Heed Not To Judge Me Ill

Laura Wood, the Thinking Housewife, brings to our attention France’s newest public institution: the National Observatory of Secularism. Its function is to train the State’s benevolent and watchful Eye upon “religious pathology”. Whether secular pathology will be detected as well is left to the reader’s intuition.

Great And Small

Courtesy of Reuters:  


“Liberty and democracy are eternal enemies, and every one knows it who has ever given any sober reflection to the matter. A democratic state may profess to venerate the name, and even pass laws making it officially sacred, but it simply cannot tolerate the thing.” – H.L. Mencken, the Baltimore Evening Sun (13 April 1925) […]

In The Beginning…

If you’re like me, you’ve been asking yourself lately: when did people first make cheese? Here’s your answer.


Today Dennis Mangan comments on the actor Jamie Foxx’s recent opening monologue on Saturday Night Live, which I hadn’t seen until just now. It is startlingly frank (I realize I shouldn’t be startled by this sort of thing any more, but I’ll admit I was) in its triumphalist antipathy toward white people. At one point […]

Family Matters has published a fascinating article about household income inequality in America, based on a novel analysis of historical income data. Applying the mathematics of log-normal distributions to census data for the incomes of working and non-working individuals of both sexes, the authors found a way of simulating various household combinations that allows them to […]

Our Minds Are Dark, Our Wills Weak, Our Hearts Foul

Get thee post-haste to the Maverick Philosopher‘s website, where our friend Bill Vallicella has inked a splendid meditation on how very much we have to be humble about. The best turn of phrase: “…an early weaponization of the space between chucker and effer.” Too much the gentleman, he, to make it rhyme.

Food For Thought

Here’s something I didn’t know until just now: squids have doughnut-shaped brains, with the esophagus going right through the hole. See for yourself.

Born That Way

Writing at The Thinking Housewife, Laura Wood examines an article, by one Alice Dreger, about the sexuality of two African tribes, the Aka and the Ngandu, in which both masturbation and homosexuality are absent. Mrs. Wood writes: Dreger says that the absence of homosexuality does not conflict with the prevailing belief in the West that […]

Fat Cat

In an item that’s been making the rounds since its publication a few days ago, Mark Steyn examines the modest lifestyle of America’s populist champion. Here.


Not long ago we posted links to an important series of essays by Nick Land on what is now being called the “Dark Enlightenment”. The essays were published at the website They are now gone.

Tech Talk

Forgive me, readers, but I have to make a brief technical digression: for some time now I’ve been grappling with a common but perplexing computer problem, one that appears to have vexed and confounded an awful lot of people. I’ve just found the solution, and I must share it here so that others Googling the […]

Tea In The Sahara

Just got back from the VFR dinner on Manhattan’s West Side. The mood was a tad somber, given our discouraging circumstances, but it was encouraging to break bread with so many clear-eyed and highly intelligent people, and to meet in person many whose comments and essays I’ve been reading for years.

A Cool Reception

I meant to post this yesterday (and I see Kevin Kim’s on it today): the impertinent global-warmism gadfly Lord Monckton (featured previously in these pages here and here) is taking heavy fire for having pointed out, at a United Nations climate summit, the stupendously inconvenient finding that there has apparently been no global warming for […]


Blogger Ellison calls our attention to a potable that might be better left in the pot. Here.

Two Steps Forward, …

Here’s a website that will appeal, I think, to at least a few of our readers, for various reasons: Retraction Watch.

Party Animals

It’s been known for a while that extraversion — one of the “Big Five” personality traits — is positively correlated with longevity in humans. (Pessimism, on the other hand, is negatively correlated, so I’ll take this opportunity to say that it’s been nice knowing you, readers.) It now appears, perhaps unsurprisingly, that this extraversion-longevity relation […]

Working Late

No time for writing tonight. So here are two video clips: First, here’s the late Christopher Hitchens letting that cad Bill Clinton have it with both barrels. (Why Clinton remains so popular eludes me; the man is a knave and a blackguard.) Second, here’s the one and only Stevie Wonder working his magic, and stealing […]

The Loyal Opposition

If I asked you to name the holiest of America’s founding documents, there’s a good chance you’d pick the Declaration of Independence. (The only other one even remotely in the running would be the Constitution.) How well do you know the Declaration? We all remember those reverberant passages about self-evident truths (despite their being, if […]

Jews, Genes And Intelligence

I haven’t much time for writing today, so for now, here’s Steven Pinker on the genetic basis of the high IQ of Ashkenazi Jews. Pinker is one academic who, despite being a fairly high-echelon member of the Cathedral staff, apparently has an office with a window, and flirts openly with apostasy. Among the apostatic asseverations […]

The Dark Enlightenment, cont’d

We’ve added some new links to our Dark Enlightenment post. See also this essay on the tension between democracy and liberty.

The Cheetah

This is magnificent. Look at the flow, the coordination: right rear, left rear, left front, right front. Look at the power. Most amazing of all: see how steady the cat’s head remains throughout, and the unblinking gaze.

Better Late Than Never

The irrepressible Pat Condell wishes us all a happy Islamophobia Awareness Month. Here.