Monthly Archives: March 2014

Chemotherapy For A Cold

Matt Ridley comments on the latest round of climate reports from the UN, here. I present this simply in the interest of balance, of course. I find it necessary to reiterate our own editorial position on global warming “climate change” from time to time, so here it is: 1) The Earth may indeed be warming; […]

Women At War!

I’ve written before (see here, here and here) about my mother-in-law, Lily Renée Willheim Phillips, who was born in Vienna, fled the Nazis in the Kindertransport, and made her way first to England and then to New York. Once she got here, she took up a job drawing comic books, working at a company called […]


It’s lousy out: chilly and raining. It occurred to me earlier, as I was taking note of this, that there are an awful lot of words for this sort of weather, all beginning with ‘d’: damp, dark, dispiriting, dreary, dull, dismal, disagreeable, drenching, dank, drab, doleful, dim, depressing, and probably some others I haven’t thought […]


Patrick Buchanan’s been on a bit of a roll lately. In his latest, he invites us to look at this Ukrainian ruction from the Russian point of view.

Fair-Weather Friend

The political statistician Nate Silver recently predicted that the Democrats might lose the Senate this fall (insh’Allah). This has caused some consternation over on the Left. Mr. Silver also moved his blog, recently, from the New York Times to ESPN. In an item published earlier today, he notes that this seems to have ruffled a […]

The Center Cannot Hold

In case you missed it, Venice has just voted to secede from Italy. It’s happening all over Europe: a backlash against centralization, a resurgence of identitarianism, and a yearning for local control. (It’s happening in America, too.) When I was in Venice and Florence in 2012, it seemed that almost any conversation with the locals […]

The Heat Death Of The Universe

Back in February the New York Times Magazine published an article about the decline of eros in the modern-day marriage. The story noted what should be an entirely unsurprising fact: where there is less differentiation in gender roles, there tends to be less sex. We read: A study called “Egalitarianism, Housework and Sexual Frequency in […]


— Learn a card trick from Penn and Teller. — Credit where credit’s due. — A survey of meteorologists on “climate change”. — Where the wild things are. — Unintended consequences of Britain’s welfare state. — Bead chains in action. — Why Intelligent Design retains its broad appeal. — Height and IQ. — The Museum […]


Boy, what a week. Not being a man of independent means, I still must toil for my daily crust, and this week that included a 24-hour-long workday spanning Tuesday and Wednesday (a software crisis in the Antipodes, now resolved). I used to do a lot of those as a youthful studio rat, but for a […]

Between Two Chairs

Blessed is he who hath a soul, Blessed is he who hath none, Woe and sorrow to him who hath it in conception. – Gurdjieff

Current Events

Well, it appears from yesterday’s referendum that the people of Crimea would rather be Russian. Vladimir Putin is glad to welcome them back to the Motherland. The Obama administration, which didn’t want to see the referendum happen at all, imposed some punitive measures on a few Russian big-shots, but nobody over there seems to mind […]

Family Matters

Our e-pal hbd*chick has just put up a fascinating post on the Hajnal Line. The what? The Hajnal Line marks a boundary between areas of Europe characterized by different marriage practices. Among hbd*chick’s primary areas of interest is the effect these differences have had on both culture and genome in historical time. Hie thee thither […]

It’s On

Over at VDare, John Derbyshire reviews A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race, and Human History, a forthcoming book by chief New York Times science writer Nicholas Wade. The book is important — a watershed, really. For the first time (that I’m aware of, at least), a major writer with impeccable Cathedral credentials brings squarely into mainstream […]

The Minimum Wage, Part 2

A while back I agreed to comment on a New York Times editorial advocating a rise in the minimum wage. (The editorial, entitled The Clear Benefits of a Higher Wage, is here.) The brief editorial’s main point is that a minimum-wage increase cannot be reliably expected to cause enough of an increase in unemployment to […]

You Get What You Pay For

WSJ columnist James Taranto has a regular feature in his Best of the Web newlsetter, in which he posts news items where obvious cause-and-effect relationships are presented as baffling paradoxes. A typical such item might be a headline that says “Despite Historically Low Crime Rate, Incarcerations Are At All-Time High”. He had a good one […]

Comic Relief

I’m working late tonight, as I often do on Tuesdays. To ease my toil, I generally listen to classical music on Pandora; one of today’s highlights was the pyrotechnic allegro ma non troppo from the Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso for Violin and Orchestra in A Minor, by Camille Saint-Saëns, as played by the incomparable, and […]

Shoulder-High We Bring You Home

It was a sad day today: the lovely Nina and I drove to Philadelphia to attend a memorial service for the twenty-eight-year-old son of some dear friends. The young man, who died suddenly and unexpectedly, had made a very deep and very positive impression on a great many people’s lives, and hundreds were in attendance. […]


While all eyes are on Ukraine, it would be easy to lose sight of an earlier U.S. foreign-policy triumph: Libya. Has it really been a year and a half since we stopped having to worry about how to spell ‘Khadaffy’? How time flies. Anyway, in case you were wondering, it’s going straight to hell — […]

Cage Fighter vs. Pajama Boy

OK, one more on the events in Ukraine, this time from DiploMad. (h/t to Bill Keezer.) Key excerpt: “Putin is a patriot; Obama is not.”


Here’s another good article about Putin’s play in the Ukraine (or just “Ukraine”; I can’t keep track).

Hey, This Is Easy!

From the Times: WASH­ING­TON — The Oba­ma ad­min­is­tra­tion, strug­gling with con­tin­ued po­lit­i­cal fall­out over its trou­bled health care law, said Wednes­day that it would al­low con­sumers to re­new health in­sur­ance poli­cies that do not com­ply with the law for two more years. The ac­tion is a re­flec­tion of the dif­fi­cul­ties the pres­i­dent has faced as […]


XKCD is always clever, and often brilliant. I like this one in particular.

History? How Many Divisions Does He Have?

I’ve been hearing a lot lately about Vladimir Putin’s being behind the curve, history-wise. The reader who sent me that Ceylan Özbudak article yesterday, for example, said in his email to me that “territorial gain is an atavistic idea”, as well as saying that “I really question how strong supposed ethnic/historical affiliations are at this […]

Her Knight In Shining Armor

Here’s a depressing commentary on, among other things, the quality of the modern American male (my emphasis): Woman Going Into Labor Robbed in Anne Arundel County — A woman reported to be in labor and her boyfriend were robbed in Annapolis as they headed to a hospital, police said. The couple was confronted by three […]

Ukraine: Jottings

I haven’t said much here about the situation in Ukraine; it would be like shooting fish in a barrel to use this latest ruction as an opportunity to highlight the incompetence of this administration’s foreign-policy team, and anyway, others have beaten me to it. (I will, however, recall that during the 2012 presidential campaign, Mitt […]

HBD 101

Given the popularity in recent years of books like Steven Pinker’s The Blank Slate, and the ready availability of reference material on the internet — and given also the accumulated wisdom of the ages, the testimony of our own eyes, and simple common sense — it always comes as a bit of a shock to […]