Monthly Archives: October 2015


Tonight, a story about another black-white “gap”. This time it’s a “sleep gap”: “an unexpected challenge in the quest for racial justice”. We read: In 2005, re­search­ers at the Uni­versity of Cali­for­nia, San Diego, began an ex­per­i­ment that would last five years. One by one, they brought 164 study par­ti­cipants to a sleep lab at […]

And Now For Something Completely Different

Under development: the pinniped space-program. Here.

Plus Ça Change

Here’s Marcus Aurelius, writing about the Clintons: “To my mentor Fronto I owe the realization that malice, craftiness, and duplicity are the concomitants of absolute power; and that our patrician families tend for the most part to be lacking in the feelings of ordinary humanity.” – Meditations, Book 1 Related content from Sphere

In The Gloaming

Making the rounds today (hat-tips to, among others, Bill Vallicella and our commenter Whitewall) is a jeremiad by Victor Davis Hanson, who has made these lamentations his métier in recent years. In this one, he mourns in particular the lost virtues of the West: the qualities that made our civilization shine so brightly, that gave […]

On Growth And Form

Montesquieu: “It is in the nature of a republic to have only a small territory; otherwise, it can scarcely continue to exist… In a large republic, the common good is sacrificed to a thousand considerations; it is subordinated to exceptions, it depends upon accidents. In a small one, the public good is better felt, better […]

Destroyer Of Worlds

The modern attitude places the burden of proof upon every aspect of traditional life. All is disposable unless proven necessary, including even the axioms upon which such proof depends. What vessel could contain this universal acid? Related content from Sphere

Memes And Species

A culture, a civilization, is a memetic ecosystem. If one species — a ritual, a tradition, a way of modeling some aspect of the world — goes extinct, the effect may reverberate through the entire habitat. Related content from Sphere


Well, there’s plenty to talk about tonight, in particular the lurid Benghazi hearings and Barack Obama’s pugnacious veto of a military-funding bill, but I just can’t summon up the will. Pick your team and join the shouting. This has all gone so far beyond any possibility of comity or reconciliation that anything I might say […]

La Difference

Back in 2007, psychologist Roy F. Baumeister gave a talk on why men and women are not the same. It’s lucid and thoughtful, and well worth your time. Read it here. Related content from Sphere


In our recent post on neoreactionary bloggers, we noted again, as we have often done before, the applicability of the Second Law of Thermodynamics to social decay. Our reader ‘antiquarian’, in the comment thread, pointed out that the late Robert Conquest’s (p.b.u.h.) Second Law of Politics also describes an entropic rule. For those of you […]

What Is It Like To Be A Mujahedeen?

Here’s a tart item from XX Committee‘s John Schindler on our military bureaucracy’s largely unsuccessful attempt to come to grips with the Islamic State. It’s not encouraging. There may also be another problem Mr. Schindler doesn’t mention. Recently I attended a talk by a former Navy intelligence analyst on the doctrinal underpinnings of Sunni jihad. […]

The Green Party

In his daily Best of the Web newsletter, James Taranto comments (behind the WSJ paywall, unfortunately) on how openly the Democrats are now sharpening their knives, licking their lips, and fixing their gaze on the assets of the wealthy. He refers in particular to an item in the New York Times by Patricia Cohen that […]

Gone The Sun

A pretty sunset today in Wellfleet today, looking northwest from Duck Harbor:  

Reactionary Roundup

“Neoreactionaries” are a wordy bunch, and it’s hard to keep up with the volume of blogorrhea they produce every week. If you’re interested, Nick B. Steves, who appears these days to be NRx’s General Secretary, posts his own gleanings from the “reactosphere” in a weekly, somewhat Catholic-leaning summary, here, and he’s also put together a […]

Buyer’s Remorse

In a recent post, Cassandra’s Blues, I mentioned that some of my friends, relatives, and correspondents find my take on current events, and my outlook for our future, a little “dour”. (Okay, all of them do, and looking back over the last few entries here, I can see why they might feel that way.) I’ll […]


Here’s another strong and detailed post from M. G. at Those Who Can See, this time on the “refugee” crisis in Europe. Take the time to read it all. Related content from Sphere

A Functioning Nation: System Requirements

In the comment-thread to our previous post, our resident left-wing gadfly and Obama-administration cheerleader — resplendent as always in saddle shoes, pleated skirt, class sweater and pom-poms — tried to make the case that the resurgent forces of genuine conservatism on the Right had sinned against America by exerting their influence in opposition to current […]

By Any Means Necessary

The Cold Civil War is heating up, and if the Left has its way, among the casualties will be the Constitutional order in which co-equal branches of government check and balance each other’s power. This being the bedrock of the American system, and our penultimate bulwark against tyranny, the times may soon become “interesting”, and […]

An Appalling Waste Of Human Intelligence

You may read a lot of academic papers, but I doubt you’ve seen a better abstract than this.


For years we’ve been told that dietary fat is bad for us, and that we should avoid it. Of course not everyone was saying this, but it was one of those “consensus” things, where dissenters were hectored and sneered at by those in the mainstream, and the government applied what pressure it could to enforce […]

The Second Amendment, And How It Got That Way

For you blue-state dwellers, here’s some ammo for those cocktail-party ambushes.

First, Do No Harm

A passage from Henry F. Pringle’s excellent 1931 biography of Theodore Roosevelt describes a piece of legislation known as the Raines Law (passed in Albany in 1896, when Roosevelt was president of the New York City Police Commission). It gives us a lovely example of another, higher Law, having to do with unintended consequences: Ostensibly […]


In the mail today came a link to an excellent, informative, and even-handed article on inequality, social mobility, and the heritability of advantageous traits. The author is an Englishman named Toby Young, and he zeroes in nicely on the question one comes to once one has hacked through the thorny ideological thicket surrounding these topics. […]

Trust: Our Strength, Our Fatal Weakness

The indefatigable JK has posted a link, in one of our recent comment threads, to an outstanding article that deserves promotion to the front page: an in-depth look at high- and low-trust societies and how they got that way. Read it here. Related content from Sphere

Cassandra’s Blues

In the New York public-transportation system there’s an ad campaign that features the slogan “If you see something, say something!” Its motive is unabashedly conservative: it seeks to make the community sensitive, and responsive, to existential threats. The problem is that such threats can take familiar forms that are easy to overlook, especially in a […]

Rights For Robots?

In today’s newsletter (which I recommend again to you all), we find a link to the following story: Incident of drunk man kicking humanoid robot raises legal questions We read: A few weeks ago, a drunk man in Japan was arrested for kicking a humanoid robot that was stationed as a greeter at a […]

Go Figure

Well, it looks like Hurricane Joaquin is going to give the mainland a miss. That means a remarkable streak will continue: it’s been almost ten years since a major hurricane last struck the continental United States, higher levels of CO2 notwithstanding. Just sayin’. Related content from Sphere

A Plague Of Unicorns

We’ve all been hearing about the scandal at Volkswagen, in which the company installed “cheater” software that restricted emissions only during testing. The CEO, Martin Winterkorn, has resigned in disgrace, reviled by all goodthinkful people. The software cheat was a crazy move, because it was bound to be discovered sooner or later. Why would the […]

Roll, Potomack!

Here’s a tart (and uncharacteristically brief) item by Mencius Moldbug that, despite being several years old, seems apropos.