This intercalary week is always a good time for a change of pace, and with all that’s been going on in the local physical world, I’ve hardly glanced at the computer for the past few days. (It’s been nice.) Even better, I’ve managed to pay almost no attention at all to the news.
Finding myself with a few moments alone today, though, I thought I’d take the time to post some of the miscellany that’s been accumulating around here. Let’s see what we have…
I’ve been saying for a while now that 3-D printing is going to be a world-changing technology. The technology is still in its infancy, though — think of presonal computing in the 1980’s — so it still isn’t on most peoples’ radar. With a hat-tip to the indefatigable JK, here’s an article about what we might expect from this nascent technology.
It’s Kwanzaa! Here’s the heart-warming back-story of this special holiday.
From Puerto Rico, more tragic evidence that we must find a common-sense way to deny the police such easy access to guns.
Over the transom the other day came an email from Barack Obama. The greeting was calculated to strike terror in the heart of those with any lingering fondness for the traditional American nation:
I’ve got 12 months left to squeeze every ounce of change I can while I’m still in office. And that’s what I intend to do.
Charles Cooke offers some commentary on all that “change”, here.
Here is an excellent fisking of some typical climate-change propaganda. This is what we are up against, folks.
Oh, also, just saw this, from Ban-Ki Moon, on the Paris climate agreement:
“We have to do as science dictates.”
Yes, that’s from the Secretary General of the United Nations, folks. That amazing remark probably deserves a post of its own (if not a book). For now, though, I’ll just plop it out there. (Paging Bill Vallicella!)
From the New York Times, a sad story of a woman’s wrongful death. File under “Fantasy vs. Reality”:
Farkhunda’s death and the legal system’s response call into question more than a decade of Western efforts in Afghanistan to instill a rule of law and improve the status of women. The United States alone has spent more than $1 billion to train lawyers and judges and to improve legal protections for women; European countries have provided tens of millions more.
But like so many other Western attempts to remake Afghanistan, the efforts have foundered, according to Afghan and Western lawyers and officials. Afghan society has resisted more than 150 years of such endeavors by outsiders, from the British to the Russians to the Americans. This remains a country where ties of kinship and clan trump justice, and where the money brought by the West has made corruption into a way of life. The rule-of-law programs were often designed in ignorance of Afghan legal norms, international and Afghan lawyers say. And Western efforts to lift women’s legal status provoked fierce resentment from powerful religious figures and many ordinary Afghans.
No worries, though: settle them over here in their thousands and millions, and the Magic Dirt of the West will lift the scales from their eyes.
Let’s see… what else… oh yes: we were visiting with some friends the other day, and they were swooning, in all the right ways, over Ta-Nehisi Coates’s book, Between the World and Me. I’ve read some of this book, and it is appallingly bad. Pusillanimous, paranoid, and petulant, the book manages simultaneously to insult, and condescend to, not only whites (by saying, explicitly and often, that their very existence as a people depends exclusively upon their domination of “black bodies”), but also blacks (by denying them all agency and responsibility) and the American nation itself (for the success of which enterprise Mr. Coates makes the audacious claim that slavery was both necessary and sufficient). Despite (or because) all of that, the book has become a sacred text in white liberal circles, and I’ve already discovered that failure to make conspicuous obeisances to it or its author, should either come up in genteel conversation, is to have one’s own virtue called seriously into question. So, rather than attract further opprobrium by further comment, I’ll just direct you, for the sake of balance, to reviews of this thing by (in ascending order of social radioactivity) Anthony Daniels (a.k.a. “Theodore Dalrymple”), Steve Sailer, and Jared Taylor.
That’s enough for now, I think. Back again soon.