Monthly Archives: June 2013

Around The Horn

Here’s a weekend roundup of loosely related items. Mark Steyn’s been dipping his quill in aqua regia as usual this week, and from him we have a pair of items. First up is an NRO piece called The Simulacrum of Self-Government, in which Mr. Steyn describes: …just another day in the life of the republic: […]

Dank Buds!

Good Lord: is this for real? (Asking for a friend.)

Ahoy There!

If, like so many Americans, your summer plans include boating with friends & family, always remember: safety first! Be sure to stow away a few of these.

Nothing To Do, But What A View

I wish Carl Sagan were alive to see this: a gigapixel panoramic view of the surface of Mars. Don’t forget to click the “full screen” button.

Worth Defending

I seem to be linking to Bill Vallicella a lot lately, but that’s just because he says a lot of sensible things, and says them well. In a fine, short post from a couple of days ago, he asks: Why Not Stick To Philosophy? Why indeed? Having worked hard enough for long enough to have […]

This And That

As often happens to me mid-week, I’m working long hours. So for tonight, just some links that have been piling up: — Diplomad comments on the banning of Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller from the U.K. — From Walter Williams, some reminders from the Founding Fathers on why the right to bear arms is of […]

Speaking Roughly To The Dupes

A reader writes: If memory serves – never a sure bet – some time ago on your blog, you quoted Winston Churchill saying that “”If you’re not a liberal when you’re twenty-five, you have no heart. If you’re not a conservative by the time you’re thirty-five, you have no brain.” I learned today that he […]

More, More, More

If this is for real, it is a major innovation. Call your broker.

A Tree Falls In Brooklyn

After a long couple of weeks spent preparing our little Wellfleet dacha for the first of the summer’s round of tenants (there’s always an awful lot to do after a year’s benign neglect), the lovely Nina and I got back to Gotham late tonight to find that the huge mulberry tree in our backyard had […]

Word Jam

Our friend Mangan has sent along a link to an online vocabulary test that I thought all of you, being of course among the upper echelons of the world’s cognitive elites, might like to have a go at. Here it is. Pro tip: check your answers twice before submitting; the test is hard on the […]

…And The Brave New World Begins

The New York Times‘s omphaloskeptic opinionator Charles Blow has outdone himself in his latest column, in which he presents a gallimaufry of depressing (and unsurprising) statistics about the accelerating disintegration of the American nation and culture, then stands blinking in the rubble, as if to say “what happened”? What has happened, Mr. Blow, is the […]

Harris, Vallicella, Hodges, and Atran On The Jihadist Impulse

A little while ago I linked to a piece by Sam Harris entitled Islam and the Misuses of Ecstasy. In it, Mr. Harris wrote: I have long struggled to understand how smart, well-educated liberals can fail to perceive the unique dangers of Islam. In The End of Faith, I argued that such people don’t know […]

Arms Race

It was inevitable: given that surveillance cameras are everywhere these days, and that facial-recognition software is increasingly cheap and reliable, “privacy” freaks (who obviously have “something to hide”, or why make such a fuss?) are fighting back with a high-tech countermeasure, in the form of goggles that emit a cloaking glare of low-infrared radiation. There’s […]

Cease And Desist, You Say?

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Phyrric Victory?

With a hat tip to our pal Mangan, here’s why yesterday’s SCOTUS ruling on the Arizona voter-ID law is actually good news for those of us who think that in accordance with the law, only citizens should be able to vote hate-filled, racist xenophobes. Related content from Sphere

What Might Have Been

Well, here’s a sensational assertion: were it not for the stifling effect of federal regulation, our 2011 GDP would have been $53.9 trillion, rather than the paltry $15.1 trillion we ended up with. So say economists John Dawson of Appalachian State University and John Seater of North Carolina State University, in a recently published paper, […]

Danny Gatton

I’ll wager that most of you don’t know the name. He was a guitar player from Washington, D.C. Like some other great players I can think of — Roy Buchanan and John Bushnell come to mind — Danny Gatton was revered by his peers (“revered” is almost an understatement) — but never achieved the renown […]

The Hunt For The Real Killers Continues

From today’s IRS hearings, we have Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) getting an informative update from FBI Director Robert Mueller on the status of the investigation. It’s good to see the IRS is really taking this seriously. Meanwhile, it seems the NSA’s anti-terrorism surveillance program hasn’t been as frighteningly far-reaching as all those “voices” warning us […]

Slow News Day

Another busy day at work, after which the lovely Nina and I spent the evening celebrating our 31st wedding anniversary (!). So, for tonight, all I have for you is a pair of links. First, a striking video of giant plasma vortices on the Sun. Second, a good piece by Sam Harris about Islam, featuring […]

Unity And Diversity

Here’s a paper worth reading carefully, from Frank Salter and Henry Harpending: J.P. Rushton’s theory of ethnic nepotism In brief, the paper argues that in ethnically diverse settings, the statistical advantage conferred by intra-ethnic altruistic cohesion is sufficient to create significant group-level selection pressure, even when the actual kin relations are fairly weak. Related content […]

Leviathan Unbound

From the Washington Post: an article by law professor Jonathan Turley on what he calls the “fourth branch” of government — the largely autonomous horde of regulatory and administrative agencies, comprising millions of Federal employees, that run the nation from within the Executive branch. An excerpt: For much of our nation’s history, the federal government […]

A First-Class Time-Waster

I’ve been taking a little break from writing; despite all that’s going on, I’ve been distracted and unfocused, and have had nothing of any substance to say. So, speaking of distractions, here’s one that has cost me a couple of hours recently: a highly addictive game that uses Google’s street-view data. I found it quite […]


This from Mangan just now, regarding the NSA phone-surveillance revelation: As I’ve said, oh, about a hundred times already, the best way to prevent terrorism is to prevent the terrorists from entering the country. Had the Bombing Borat Brothers not been allowed refugee status, that whole episode would never have happened. Sure, we get a […]

Shades Of Night, Descending

In case you missed it: Verizon forced to hand over telephone data Long ago, Charles Dickens wrote this about the United States: I believe that the heaviest blow ever dealt at Liberty’s head will be dealt by this nation in the ultimate failure of its example to the earth.   Related content from Sphere

La Chitarra Piangente

Still swamped today, but had to pass this along. For all of you youngsters.

Service Notice

Another busy spell here. Back shortly.

Ad Astra Cum Asta


Stage Four

This latest current-events biopsy further confirms the diagnosis.

It’s ON

This is an interesting item: even as Sunni-Shia violence is getting hotter by the day in Iraq, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s preeminent intellectual, has called on all Sunni Muslims to join the anti-Assad forces in Syria, now that Hezbollah has joined the coalition fighting for the preservation of the regime. The ancient hatreds are […]