Monthly Archives: June 2015

Here We Go

“I find your lack of faith disturbing.”

Call It Caitlyn

Ladies and gentlemen, we present the most numerous vertebrate on Earth: the bristlemouth.

What Is It Like To Be A Bat?

From a corporate presentation I’m watching just now, in order to earn my daily crust: “We need to create an ideation methodology across various stakeholder groups and provide full-circle communication.”

Killing Them Softly

The Supreme Court ruled today on a case about the constitutionality of lethal injection. From the Washington Post: The Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 on Monday to uphold a procedure used by states to carry out executions by lethal injection. The justices were considering a challenge brought by death-row inmates in Oklahoma, who allege […]

Two Down

There’s a pair of sad items in the news today: obituaries for Chris Squire and Walter Browne. Chris Squire you probably knew. He was the bass player for the rock group Yes, and was the only person to have played on every one of its albums. I was, and am, a huge fan of the […]

Off Topic

OK, for a change of pace, here’s a tribute to Ringo from Vinnie Zummo, a guitarist I used to work with. Very Beatle-y indeed.

Two Chief Justices In One!

Another day, another fundamental reordering of American society by the Supreme Court — this time, as expected, by just one man. The decision is just out, and I haven’t had time to read it yet. I did see this, though, from Chief Justice John Roberts: Under the Constitution, judges have power to say what the […]

More On King v. Burwell

Here’s a really excellent piece by Yuval Levin on today’s ruling, and its consequences for the rule of law. In the majority ruling, Chief Justice Roberts justified his renunciation of textualism thus: Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health-insurance markets, not to destroy them. If at all possible, we must interpret the Act […]

The Web Of Obligations

Beautiful piece here on the memory of the Civil War. Shall we, like the Taliban, destroy our statues with dynamite because they offend a prevailing dogma? Shall we disinter the bones of our ancestors like the radical Jacobins of the French Revolution did, scattering their unearthed remains to the winds – first to be reviled, […]

SCOTUSCare

Well, the Supreme Court issued its ruling on King v. Burwell today. By now you know the result. What can I say that hasn’t already been said? As usual, Antonin Scalia stood on the burning deck. Some excerpts from his dissent: This case requires us to decide whether someone who buys insurance on an Exchange […]

Around The Horn

Bill Vallicella has opened comments on that post I mentioned a few days ago, if you’d like to add any thoughts of your own. Meanwhile, Kevin Kim has put up his own response to William Cawthon’s essay about the South, here. Related content from Sphere

Carthago Delenda Est

In the wake of the Charleston shootings, there has been a new chorus of calls for the obliteration of symbols of the historic South. For balance, here is an essay, by William Cawthon of the Abbeville Institute, about the crushing of Southern identity by the hegemonic ideology of the Protestant North over the past half-century. […]

Is The Enlightenment To Blame?

Bill Vallicella, the Maverick Philosopher, replies to a question of mine, here. It’s a good and thoughtful response. When time permits (which it doesn’t at the moment), I’ll have some thoughts of my own to add. Bill has told me he will open the comment-box for that post (a rare move for him these days), […]

The Peter Principle

A timely passage: [P]olitics and the pulpit are terms that have little agreement. No sound ought to be heard in the church but the healing voice of Christian charity. The cause of civil liberty and civil government gains as little as that of religion by this confusion of duties. Those who quit their proper character […]

This Is The Future You Chose

We’ve been hearing a lot, lately, about Rachel Dolezal, Bruce Jenner, and other stories of historic magnitude, but awfully little about China’s “hack” of the Office of Personnel Management’s records — which, in this Information Age, is roughly on a par with Pearl Harbor. Why put “hack” in scarequotes? Because — wait for it — […]

You’ve Got To Feel It In Your Bones

Here’s an interesting find: a correlative connection between arthritis and solar cycles.

I Can’t Do That, Dave

There’s an item in the Independent today announcing that “Self-driving cars may have to be programmed to kill you“. As is so often the case, dear Readers, you heard it here first. Related content from Sphere

When The Student Is Ready, The Teacher Will Appear

Over at National Review, Kevin D. Williamson offers an astringent assessment of Donald Trump’s candidacy. Read it here.

This Is Your Civilization On Acid

In a post from January called Degeneracy Pressure, I remarked on the similarities between a collapsing star and a collapsing civilization. In both cases the differentiated parts of the system that once created stabilizing and uplifting forces have been transformed, by an irresistible alchemy, into a homogeneous, inert mass that exerts a crushing gravitational pressure. […]

Open Thread 6

Questions, comments, or whatever you’d like. The floor is yours.

Through The Looking-Glass

Here’s a story that’s making a stir today: apparently one Rachel Dolezal, the leader of the Spokane, Washington chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, is a white woman who has been passing herself off as black. It’s been said* that “to learn who rules over you, simply find out whom […]

Two From Hoffer

I’ve often mentioned and quoted the longshoreman philosopher Eric Hoffer. Here are a couple of passages from his book Reflections on the Human Condition, which was published in 1973: The untalented are more at ease in a society that gives them valid alibis for not achieving than in one where opportunities are abundant. In an […]

Seldon Smiles

It appears that Curtis Yarvin, a.k.a. Mencius Moldbug, has been banned from speaking at a major tech conference because of his political opinions. For those of you who don’t know the name: for several years beginning in 2007 ‘Mencius Moldbug’ wrote, at his blog Unqualified Reservations, a series of essays articulating a new, reactionary synthesis […]

Man Of The People

Here is the French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius: M. Fabius seeks an international arrangement to impose strictures upon the sovereign nations of the world in an attempt to control the Earth’s climate. (That such an arrangement will also transfer aspects of that sovereignty to gentlemen such as himself and his professional colleagues is, I believe, […]

Flavor Implosion

I had no idea such a thing was even possible, but here it is: Gird your cheeks. You’ve been warned.

Open Thread 5

Have at it.

Fourscore

My mother, who died in 2006, would have been 80 years old today. My remembrance of her is here.

Service Notice

Away for a couple of days. Will respond to comments as time permits.

There Lie They, And Here Lie We

Theodore Dalrymple: Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent […]

Science Is Never Settled

From the indefatigable JK: a medical story that might be a pretty big deal.

Comic Relief

With a hat-tip to Bill V., here’s an amusing clip from Egypt. I have no idea whether the subtitles are accurate, other than in the few spots I’m able to pick out a word or two. (Any Arabic speakers among you, readers?) Related content from Sphere