This & That

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…

For starters, here are a nice online simulator of a classic drum machine, and some footage of a very large squid.

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:

Malcolm —

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.


  1. The one eyed man says

    That’s some squid you got there. #CephalopodLivesMatter

    Posted December 30, 2015 at 8:23 pm | Permalink
  2. I think they used presonal computing in submarines before sonar became available for the detection of objects under water.

    Posted December 31, 2015 at 1:02 am | Permalink
  3. whitewall says

    The drum machine makes me remember my teen years when I got some chances to sit behind a red Slingerland drum kit. The squid…not that large though…was used for bait when bottom fishing in the Gulf Stream off the NC coast when I got the opportunity to work with my step grandfather on his charter boat. Slimy creatures.

    Now the 3-D printing field is very interesting. We have quite a bit of medical technology as well as other tech ventures here in NC. These 3-D devices are in the news weekly it seems. Disrupting the world is right as the link pointed out. Localization may just replace globalization. Can a better limited government be “printed” to aid in this “smaller but local” dynamic?

    Then speaking of global, we read that Barack the Magnificent will embark on a world “Magical Mystery” tour to high light his foreign policy prowess. One wonders how easily AF 1 can land amid gunfire that has come from all his “successes”. Maybe Barack is really looking for suitable asylum locations for his post dictatorship. Somewhere that does not have an extradition agreement with the US. Meantime in 2016, all these “Democrats” who have backed him all these years will need to rethink their survival strategy for the “afterlife”. These people will start leaking unbelievable amounts of info to the media in an effort to save themselves and still be thought of as “good Americans”. From me to them–forget it.

    Posted December 31, 2015 at 9:26 am | Permalink
  4. whitewall says

    White liberal guilt is so addicted to black suffering that a nonsense book like this one from Coates is mainlined without thinking. There is no species like white liberals when it comes to groveling…groveling as virtue.

    Posted December 31, 2015 at 11:52 am | Permalink
  5. cg says

    Apparently, it’s all in the face:

    Posted December 31, 2015 at 12:34 pm | Permalink
  6. antiquarian says

    To some degree, black people are to the Left what Judaism is to fundamentalist Christians: a necessary component of a cultural and moral narrative, which is not necessarily part of it.

    As I see events, though, much of the previous basis of the Left is burning itself out, and the black victimization identity they’ve perennially pushed is one of those things. The various forms of the media, particularly television, used to be its chief proselytizing tool, but that’s rapidly fracturing. Now lacking any moderating force since the balkanization of ideologies, the Left is getting further Left (as for example, in a socialist being treated as a serious candidate for the Presidential nomination, or the very places, colleges, where free speech was most celebrated turning dark with humorless intolerance and moralizing rigidity) but is losing support– as the sharp rise in Independents over the past few years shows. (That is, they can’t stand to be a member of either party, which while it’s not good for Republicans, shows that Independents think badly of Democrats too.)

    Posted January 6, 2016 at 1:38 pm | Permalink
  7. Malcolm says

    The bases on which the two parties used to differentiate themselves — limited government, economic policy, federalism — have all but disappeared, leaving what is effectively a one-party system. The new alignment, as might be expected as the rot of multiculturalism and mass immigration begins to deepen its effect, is much more along identitarian lines. The D’s and mainstream R’s being almost indistinguishable on the “national question”, all that’s left for dissenters is to go “independent”.

    Posted January 6, 2016 at 2:25 pm | Permalink
  8. I am among those independents you mention, Malcolm. In a way, I always have been, though prior to 9/11 I considered myself a liberal (traditional definition NOT a so-called “progressive”). I still tend to be traditional on some social (NOT socialist) issues.

    Though I still couldn’t bring myself to join the GOP (Anti-Darwinism? Pass a law to make pi = 3.14 exactly? Completely rigid anti-abortion? Misc. nonsense …), joining the Dems is and always will be out of the question.

    Hence, as an independent, I have adopted a very pragmatic voting strategy — always vote not for the lesser evil between the two major candidates but against the greater evil, which is usually easier to discern (at least for me). In other words, I vote against that candidate who upon winning would drive me to sit in traffic, naked, eating glass.

    Posted January 6, 2016 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

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