Monthly Archives: May 2015

In The Gloaming

Sorry, readers, if the last two items seemed a bit glum, even for me. (I guess it’s kind of a Kübler-Ross thing.) I’ll try to cheer up a bit, and enjoy the decline. The autumn years are not without their comforts, for both a nation and a man. Related content from Sphere

No Exit

In our previous post we linked to Victor Davis Hanson’s gloomy column on the many symptoms of Western decline. Our e-pal David Duff also sent along a link to a similar essay entitled Like Cattle Before a Thunderstorm. Both of these pieces acknowledged a widespread sense of foreboding, but both also showed a curious paralysis, […]

Don’t Worry. Despair.

Over at National Review, Victor Davis Hanson reads us a litany of national woes. He has chosen as a preface a too-familiar epigraph: “Things fall apart; the center cannot hold; / Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.” – W. B. Yeats, “The Second Coming” The article begins: Things are starting to collapse, abroad and […]

Open Thread 4

As always: a placeholder for for free association, idle chat, bibulous logorrhea, and confessions of the heart. (Or, perhaps, for the introduction of serious topics or questions.)

Hold Your Nose And Click

I think it’s safe to say that this The New Republic article — The White Protestant Roots of American Racism — is the worst piece of “journalism” you’re going to see all day. I was about to give it the severe beating it deserves — particularly with respect to Puritanism, Calvinist soteriology, and the central […]

Charles Murray on the SAT

We hear a lot in the mainstream media about the correlation between family income and student achievement. The assumption is usually that it is the affluence itself that causes, by some unjust and remediable social mechanism, favorable outcomes for children of well-to-do families. But a more parsimonious explanation — one that will be obvious to […]

Gradually, Then Suddenly

In a response to our recent post on the entropic influence of the political Left, commenter ‘Epicaric’ wrote: It is my impression … that these forces have accelerated of late, shedding its once linear progression for a pace far more geometric in nature. This is entirely ‘lawful’, and is exactly what we should expect. All […]

What is the Right?

In our last Open Thread, our resident liberal gadfly Peter, a.k.a. ‘The One Eyed Man’, left a comment citing the late Richard Hofstadter to the effect that the political Right (in particular, the “dissident” Right whose views are often summarized in these pages), exhibits a “paranoid style”. Several of us responded in the ensuing discussion. […]

That “Science” Guy

John Derbyshire give Bill Nye’s nose a tweak, here.

Open Thread 3

Have at it, folks.

When One With Honeyed Words But Evil Mind Persuades The Mob, Great Woes Befall The State

Yesterday President Obama gave a commencement address to the Coast Guard Academy. He devoted much of it to brazen propaganda about “climate change”, including even going so far as to make it a scapegoat for Islamic violence and political chaos in the Mideast and Africa. We’re all well-accustomed (perhaps “inured” would be a better word) […]

Move Along, Please

I’m very busy with work today, so for the nonce I’m afraid I must redirect you elsewhere. You’re in luck, though: here’s a fascinating post on human nature by the always-interesting hbd*chick. Also: don’t miss this tart post from Thomas Sowell. (Nothing we haven’t heard before, but very nicely said.) Related content from Sphere

While I’m On The Subject

Speaking of Hillary Clinton: something you hear often from her supporters (not to mention Mrs. Clinton herself) is that “we need a woman in the White House”. The assumption seems to be (indeed, can only be) that a woman would somehow do the job differently than a man, simply by virtue of being a woman. […]

NFI

Here’s a strange item that’s been making the rounds. (Charles Fort, call your office.)

Kudzu

This from Judicial Watch, yesterday: Documents Reveal Obama Administration Knew that al Qaeda Terrorists Had Planned Benghazi Attack 10 Days in Advance Yes, folks, that’s right: the story we were given, again and again, by this administration — that the attack in Benghazi was just an impromptu reaction to an inflammatory video — was, as […]

Sauce For The Gander

As I enter the autumn of my years, I’m trying to shed some lingering bad habits — both to be rid of the habits themselves, and as an exercise in self-mastery. One of these is talking back to the radio. I suffered a breakdown of discipline on that one today, though, I will confess. I […]

Belated Birthday

It escaped my attention at the time, but April 22nd, 2015 marked the tenth anniversary of the present incarnation of this blog. (It actually had begun a few months earlier, in late 2004, but I had chosen a fly-by-night hosting service that soon went belly-up, taking all my content with it.) Since then we have […]

Open Thread 3

Perhaps once a week is too often for this. We’ll see.

Cathar-sis

Having mentioned secular religion in our previous post, this seems an apt moment to catch up with the latest heresies on the global-warming front (environmentalism being the most transparently religious liberal piety of them all). Here we have a wide-ranging roundup of “damned facts” from the Arch-Vile himself, Christopher Monckton. Here, too, is Steve Goddard, […]

Liberal Theodicy

Today I read a good piece by one of my favorite political writers, Mollie Hemingway. In the wake of the Amtrak derailment, and the Left’s immediate rush to blame the disaster on inadequate government spending (which is to say, on fiscal conservatives), she raises the concept of ‘theodicy’ — that is, “attempts to defend God’s […]

How High’s The Water, Mama?

With a hat tip to reader Bill K., here’s a dark post from Richard Fernandez on the modern world’s growing “compassion fatigue” in the face of spreading chaos. I’ll excerpt the post’s closing lines: The first rule of civilization is to preserve it. Once enough of it is conceded to barbarism, when a sufficient quantity […]

Glitch

Rather an odd coincidence today: an old friend called, with whom I hadn’t spoken in quite a while. He asked how I was; I said that while I was well, generally, I had had a bit of a rough time the past few weeks with my knee-replacement surgery, and now with the prospect that it […]

On Baltimore

In the aftermath of the Baltimore riots, there was a great deal of partisan debate about the root causes of the many woes of the urban black underclass. Many on the Right went no further than to blame black “thugs” and “race-hustlers”, and to call for militaristic crowd-control, while the Left settled in comfortably to […]

Whence All But He Had Fled

For a man who campaigned on promises of unprecedented executive transparency, President Obama seems inordinately fond of making laws in secret. A couple of months ago he kept his Net Neutrality plan hidden from public view until after the FCC commissioners had enacted it (by a single vote), and now he’s doing the same thing […]

Defiance

In this outstanding post, Bill Vallicella brings his trademark clarity of thought and exposition to the question of free speech in the dar al-Harb. His brief essay is the best response I’ve seen to the shootings in Garland and the ructions that ensued in the media. Required reading. Related content from Sphere

Egalitarianism Ruins Everything

Some time ago I commented on a tiny, emaciated female police officer I had seen in Prospect Park. Now we learn that a 33-year-old woman, Rebecca Wax, is to be made a New York City firefighter despite having failed the physical exam. Fighting fires is not a political or ideological abstraction. Actual fires take place […]

Open Thread

Fire away.

La Pilule Rouge

Still too busy to post. So have some Moldbug. Key passage: Alexander sees that his government has made a bad, stupid, irrational and really downright evil decision. But he does not go out and try to convince his readers (all 10,000 of them, perhaps) to vote differently. In his actions, he reveals that he’s perfectly […]

A Pair Of Ace’s

Forgive the apostrophe-trolling in the title, but the blogger known as Ace of Spades has been in fine fettle lately. See here and here. In the second linked piece, Ace mentions the “Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect” (named for physicist Murray Gell-Mann), which the late Michael Crichton described as follows: Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is […]

Things To Read

I’m swamped with work tonight, so I’ll just pass along two interesting articles. First, here’s a good piece by Frank Miniter: How To Win a Debate With an Anti-Gunner. Gun owners and Second Amendment defenders living, as I do, in the belly of the liberal beast are all too familiar with the reflexive scorn that […]

Sky Still Not Falling

Here’s a roundup of recent climate science from the Cato Institute. (One quibble: although the article correctly notes that there has been no “major hurricane” strike on the U.S. mainland since 2005, I think it might at least have mentioned Hurricane Sandy. Although Sandy was not officially a hurricane when it made landfall in New […]

Mugged By Reality

We’ve all heard of the “law of unintended consequences”. It’s worth noting, though, that unintended consequences fall into two types: those that are unforeseen because the complexity of a large, dynamic, and possibly chaotic system obscures them even from the most searching analysis, and those that are patently obvious to some observers, but are unseen […]

SSM And SCOTUS: A Repost Re Tradition

In the same-sex marriage arguments at the Supreme Court the other day (see the Washington Post’s coverage, here), the discussion naturally touched upon the wisdom, or folly, of discarding by government fiat a sacred tradition that is at least as old as civilization itself, and universal to every society that has ever existed. Left and […]

Open Thread

As our regular comment-threads seem to meander far off-topic from time to time (and because I am generally too warm-hearted and lazy to moderate comments), I am introducing this new feature, in the hope of keeping our other comment-threads pithy and focused: an occasional (perhaps weekly) placeholder for for free association, idle chat, bibulous logorrhea, […]