Monthly Archives: February 2013

A Compelling Natural Force

I’m working late tonight, so here’s a strange item for you to mull over: the Dyatlov Pass Incident. Read about it on Wikipedia, here, or for a more detailed account, have a look here. Strangest of all: the missing tongue.

Suppose You Were An Idiot

Here’s Maxine Waters, who is a walking one-woman argument for limiting the power of the Federal government, “explaining” sequestration. Apparently, more jobs will be lost — 170 million — than currently exist. As Charles Cooke said on Twitter just now, “I wouldn’t trust this woman to explain how a fork works.”


From Norway: an uncommonly open-minded video about race. Here.

And The Burnt Fool’s Bandaged Finger

… goes wabbling back to the Fire.

Be Very Afraid

If a picture is worth a thousand words, here’s a festschrift on Federal spending, from the Heritage Foundation. Browse. And just for some perspective about the calamitous effects of the impending “sequestration” — upon which event, we are told, the sun will be folded up, the heavens flayed, the pregnant she-camels neglected, and Hell set […]

Time Out

I’ve written and deleted three posts already today, and am just going to lay off for a day or two. I’m cranky and fed up, and have a toothache besides, and nothing interesting, good or useful will come of writing under such circumstances. Back in a bit.


Writing at NRO, Jonah Goldberg comments on the sky-is-falling hysteria surrounding the impending “sequester” — which, were you just to listen to the news or to White House Press releases, you’d never imagine would still leave the federal government spending more money than last year. Mr. Goldberg observes: Obama wants more tax hikes and thinks […]

Something Fishy

The world’s tuna fishery is collapsing, with prime specimens selling for seven-digit prices. Yet tuna is everywhere, from supermarket shelves to delis to sushi bars, and the retail cost remains low. How is this possible? According to this item, a majority of the “tuna” being sold in the U.S. isn’t tuna at all. A lot […]

A King Out Of Water

Mencius Moldbug comments on the approaching death of Lawrence Auster, here. Auster himself is puzzled, and I think his puzzlement illustrates rather well exactly the points Moldbug makes about him: Auster’s specialty is order and clarity, while Moldbug’s piece, as always, is long, discursive, and sesquipedalian. But I thought it was quite a nice tribute, […]

Slow Road To Extinction

Over at Mangan’s, our friend Dennis links to a post by Bruce Charlton about the cratering birthrates of the developed, Westernized world. That there is something maladaptive about secular modernity has been apparent for some time, and I’ve written about this myself; most of the discussion to date, however, has focused on social and cultural […]

This And That

I’m just whipped tonight, having got home from work at 5 a.m. this morning, and having to get right back up for another long day. A miscellany for tonight, then: — Some Forteana, here and here. — The world’s Tweets, in real time. — From Russia, with love (you might have missed this one). — […]

America 2.0

With a hat tip to reader Bill Keezer, here’s a blunt, crepuscular rant from noted gloominary Victor Davis Hanson.

The Next Cold War?

A young researcher in China has begun a project to find the genetic basis for the heritable components of human intelligence. We shouldn’t be surprised to see that this is happening in China, and not in the West, where most of the academics I know are of the opinion that there’s no such thing as […]

Another Cobblestone On The Road To Hell

Milton Freidman responds to President Obama’s call for a hike in the minimum wage. Here, from beyond the grave.

Ave, Kevin!

Kevin Kim, whose academic specialty is the study of the world’s religions, has written a stupendous essay on the possibly-divine nature of Peter Sellers’s character Chance, from the movie Being There. Get thee hence and read it, here.

Disarmed Forces

Reader JK sends along a provocative item from ABC News. The gist: the soldiers who were shot at Fort Hood by the jihadist infiltrator Nidal Hasan have been denied various benefits, including the Purple Heart, because the Defense Department refuses to define the shooting as an attack by an enemy combatant — preferring instead to […]

You’ll Always Be A Part Of Me

I do love Wikipedia. Here’s a page listing those parts of our bodies that are named after people.

Chasing Rainbows

A vexing feature of modern physicalistic non-theism is that, followed to its logical conclusion, it leads to moral nihilism. (I realize that theistic attempts to put morality on an objective basis also face serious challenges, but that’s not the point tonight.) Moral nihilism being, to most folks, bad, there’s been a rash lately of books […]


As often happens to me at this point in the week, I’m up late again, working. I’ve been thinking about all sorts of postworthy topics in the past few days, but I just can’t find the time right now to write about them, so they’ll have to wait. So for tonight, all I have to […]


Sad news from Lawrence Auster today: the pancreatic cancer he’s been fighting so stoically has now metastasized to his brain. It’s hard to imagine that he has much time left. It’s also hard to imagine VFR silenced.

State Of The Union: Great, But Undergoverned

I haven’t got a whole lot to say about the speech. What did anyone expect? There isn’t a problem anywhere on Earth that isn’t best solved by some new Federal program, “partnership”, or “investment”. And all without adding a “single dime” to the deficit. There was the call for higher Federal minimum wage, the argument […]

Let’s Just Flush The Whole Bloody Civilization Right Down The Loo And Be Done With It

My God, this is unbelievable. The IOC has decided that wrestling will no longer be part of the Olympics as of 2020. Wrestling. What next, running? Well, at least we still have synchronized swimming, ping pong, kayaking and badminton, for you traditionalists.

Thick and Thin

Slideshows (scroll down) here and here, respectively.

Enumerating The Eschaton

The End of Days, 263 ways, ancient and modern. Here.

Nightly News Notes New Nork Nuke; Nearby Nations Nervous

So, it seems that North Korea has detonated another atomic weapon. I wonder if there will be any room for this in tomorrow’s SOTU, in between calling for new “investments” and introducing all the Lenny Shotniks I’ve heard will be attending.


If you live in Santo Antônio da Platina, Brazil, you might want to buy an umbrella. Or, better yet, a new home, somewhere else.

Must-See TV

Here’s Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick’s pre-storm presser from Thursday night. Pure gold.

Glass Half Full

Readers, as bad as things may be getting over here — and anyone with any sense can see they’re going to get a hell of a lot worse before they get better — at least we don’t have to endure some of the unspeakable horrors that afflict other, less fortunate nations. So be of stout […]

Battery, Parked

Attentive readers may recall that a few years ago we U.S. taxpayers lent $465 million to Tesla, a maker of electric cars. More recently we restructured the loan so that Tesla wouldn’t run out of money. (It is now, after all, a matter of vital national interest that Elon Musk’s entrepreneurial speculations actually pay off.) […]

Artificial Inanity

I’ve mentioned the incomparable Deepak Chopra in these pages a time or two in the past. The man is of course the world’s greatest living mountebank, and has made a fabulous living hawking 24-carat flapdoodle to swooning suckers. You have to admire talent like that. As it turns out, somebody admires it enough to have […]

Lèse Majesté

In case you haven’t heard, the chattering classes are all atwitter about a talk given at the recent National Prayer Breakfast by one Ben Carson, chief of pediatric neurosurgery at John Hopkins. At the podium, standing just a few feet away from President Obama, Dr. Carson spoke about several matters of national policy — in […]

Flying Squid

That’s right, flying squid. And as fast as Usain Bolt, if flying isn’t enough. Here. (“Fast ‘n’ bulbous”, as I think a wise man once said.)

Spot The Bug

Here’s an clever idea: crowdsourcing of malaria diagnosis, using a simple video game. Have a look.

The Idols Of The Tribe

If you’ve been following the national “conversation” about immigration and race relations (at least as publicly reported), it may come as a surprise to you to learn that one can speak about these things in a heterodox way on any grounds but “hate”. To express such dissenting opinions, however rational their basis, and however common […]

My Kind Of Cat

Here. Courtesy of Devin Townsend.

The Girl’s Got Rhythm

I’m swamped with work this week, so no time for writing. But as always, I’d hate for you to go away empty-handed — so here’s a fantastic dance scene by the one and only Eleanor Powell, accompanied by a young Buddy Rich.

There Must Be A Better World Somewhere

Here’s Dr. John.

Two Scents Worth

If you’re like me, you’ve been wondering whether there are any critters out there that can locate food by way of odor gradients. Well, meet the Eastern mole: the mammal that smells in stereo.

Stop The Presses!

This just in: the largest known prime number is now 257,885,161 – 1. More here.

Holy Wood Brown

I almost never write about gustatory matters here, but I’ll make an exception to rave about a particularly outstanding offering from one of America’s most creative microbreweries, Dogfish Head. Dogfish Head specializes in unusual and high-strength ales. Their best-known products are their highly hopped IPAs (the 90-Minute Imperial IPA, weighing in at 9% alcohol by […]

Edge Of The World

February is probably the quietest and loneliest month on the Outer Cape, but in many ways the deep winter is most beautiful time of year out here, I think. Here’s the high bluff at the end of Longnook Road, Truro, late yesterday afternoon.    

Worlds In Collision

Here’s the late Chris Kyle being interviewed by one Belinda Luscombe, an editor at Time. The gulf between them is obvious. It seems to me that to her he is almost incomprehensible, as if he belonged to some alien species. (Which probably isn’t very far from the truth: I expect that Mr. Kyle had very […]

Timing Is Everything

“It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end.” – Leonardo do Vinci

Chris Kyle, 1974-2013

We’ve just heard that the renowned Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, the most effective sniper in American military history, has been murdered in Texas. Details are scant. Our deepest condolences to his young family.

Service Notice

We were down for a while tonight: our hosting service,, had its first extended outage in the seven years I’ve been with them. (I enthusiastically recommend them, nevertheless, to any of you who are looking for an Internet host; Bluehost provides outstanding and highly reliable service for an insignificant sum of money. There isn’t […]

Gang Green

Here’s a fine curmudgeonly rant about some of the lousy products we’ve had forced on us by our government’s shouldering aside of free markets in the name of saving the Planet. (My pet peeve: those bloody CF bulbs.) If, upon reading this, your inclination is to leave a comment about how wonderful it is once […]

Ed Koch, 1924-2013

Ed Koch died today. He was a good mayor (not perfect, but who is?), a hell of a character, and a real New Yorker. We Gothamites will miss him. R.I.P., Ed. You did just fine.