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How Frogs Are Boiled

With a hat-tip to our reader and commenter Libertybelle, here’s a strong piece by Mark Steyn on the way things happen.

A Lot Of Us Are Asking The Same Question Right About Now

Here’s a good item, just posted to an aging comment-thread by the indefatigable JK: Why Does the Republican Party Exist? For some real political geekdom, read the last link in the article, on the highway-bill’s pension gimmick. Also just in from JK: this explanation of Donald Trump’s surging popularity.

Order And Disorder

Here is an article from Vox about a trans-gendered high-school student, with a female body, who wants to use the boy’s bathroom. The title of the piece is: A federal judge said being transgender is a mental disorder. Here’s why he’s wrong. The piece relies for its argument on the recent (2013) reclassification, by the […]

Verb Of The Day

Here’s something I’ll bet you didn’t know about: “anting”. From Gilbert Waldbauer’s What Good are Bugs?: The amazing behaviors by which many birds, including some quail and a multitude of perching birds, use or solicit ants to free their bodies of lice and parasitic mites are known as anting, Birds ant in two quite different […]

The EM Drive

OK, this is interesting: ‘Impossible’ rocket drive works and could get to Moon in four hours Some details here.

And Now For Something Completely Different

Here’s a treat: Dick Cavett interviewing the great Oscar Peterson at the piano. And when you’re done with that, check this out.

The ‘National Conversation’ Continues

Here’s a good post by Lewis Amselem, a.k.a. ‘Diplomad’, on race relations in the West. He begins: Let me be blunt: I find that discussions of race quickly get boring, idiotic, inconclusive, and, often, verbally and even physically violent. Race tells you very little if anything about a person and his or her attributes except, […]

Time Preference

On presentism: One of the characteristic mental disorders of our period is an easy contempt for the past. It’s not just that we are taught to hate the past, for one can respect and still detest an enemy. It’s that we despise it. We observe it with an easy, swaggering and thoroughly unquestioned contempt. We […]

Four Concentric Circles

This is just the damnedest thing I’ve ever seen. I can hardly focus my eyes on it.    

It’s On

High political drama in the Senate today: a blistering speech by Ted Cruz. The blisteree: Mitch McConnell. You’ll be hearing more about this. Here.

Bongo-Bongo!

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: A biology professor and two of his graduate students are doing field-work in the jungle. Suddenly they are surrounded by tribal warriors brandishing spears and clubs. They are quickly subdued and taken to a village a few miles away. The Chief appears. He glowers at them and says: […]

The New RINO

It appears that the intellectual and philosophical conclave known as ‘neo-reaction’, or the ‘Dark Enlightenment’, has just made its first memetic inroad into the broader political culture, with the derogatory neologism ‘cuckservative’. The term refers to ‘conservatives’, generally white and male, who, cowed and ensorcelled by the hegemonic multiculturalism and relativism of what neo-reactionaries calls […]

Nothing Outside The State

For God’s sake, please, please, just leave us alone.

Ship Of Fools

Here. Also: Bob Corker, who led the Senate’s disgraceful abrogation of its Constitutional treaty power with regard to the Iran deal, is suddenly upset that the President rushed the deal to the U.N. before Congress could complete its 60-day ‘review’ of the treaty — a deal that by the Senate’s own actions had already been […]

A Respectful Whistle

This may ring a bell: There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one’s own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and […]

Service Notice, and Open Thread 8

Busy few days coming up. Back soon.

Nothing Is Real

Here is an excellent piece on why putting women in combat is such a bad idea. I’d post an excerpt, but you really should read the whole thing. See also this older item by Fred Reed. Throughout history, wise societies have realized that women, as the source of, and natural limit to, future generations, are […]

Done Deal

Former Spook ‘Nate Hale’ comments, here.

Remains Of The Day

Here’s a nice item: an undercover video showing Planned Parenthood’s Senior Director of Medical Services, Deborah Nucatola, discussing availability and prices of aborted body parts. I expect you will be hearing more about this. In particular, it will be of interest to hear from Hillary Clinton, who in 2009 received Planned Parenthood’s Margaret Sanger Award. […]

Science, Unsettled

Here. May I also recommend to you an excellent book: The Neglected Sun, which makes a persuasive case that the effect on the Sun on Earth’s climate is significantly underestimated in mainstream climate models and the IPCC’s reports and predictions.

America’s Jacobins: Feeling Their Avoine

Recently a commenter scoffed at suggestions that, given the sudden anathematization of all things Confederate, statues honoring Confederate heroes might soon be removed. Fast forward a week, and we’re already moving past anything so tame as that — to the actual disinterment of the dead. No announcement yet as to which lamp-post will display the […]

Open Thread 7

All yours, folks.

Oh, And By The Way

Do you like your little town just the way it is? Does it seem appropriate to you that, as free Americans, our communities ought to enjoy local control of zoning, schools, and other civic concerns? Well, enjoy it while it lasts, you racist, because the Transformer-In-Chief has other plans. Things are moving awfully fast these […]

The Culture War: Dispatch From The Front

The other day, in the context of the gagging and grinding-into-the-dust of a dissenting Oregonian baker, I mentioned Tom Nichols’ observation about the difference between authoritarians and totalitarians: that the former only cares about what you do, while the latter must also control what you think. Totalitarians demand not only obedience, but conversion. Mr. Nichols […]

May Cause Flashbacks

Making the rounds today is a neural-network project from Google called DeepDream. It’s an open-source effort to train neural networks to recognize images (for you programmers, the code is here). I haven’t had any time to give this a close look, but if I understand correctly, when the system is presented with an unfamiliar image […]

Links

Just a few topical ones: ‣   Patrick Buchanan (pre-Greek-referendum-result) on the E.U.’s worsening cohesion. ‣   Milton Friedman saw this coming. ‣   Dark Independence-Day ruminations by Dymphna. ‣   On spree killings. ‣   Your tax dollars at work (well, if you live in Oregon’s Gresham-Barlow school district).

Troubleshooting Gun Violence

A recent exchange on Twitter (another urgent call for gun bans, in reaction to the spree-killing in Charleston) reminded me once again the extent to which gun-control zealots are driven, not by reason and wisdom, but by missionary Utopianism, cultural resentment, naive and sheltered pacifism, and lust for social control. (As someone once said, gun […]

Kneel

Or, Woe to the Vanquished, Part II. What’s the difference between authoritarians and totalitarians? As Tom Nichols observed recently: the former only cares about what you do, while the latter must also control what you think. They demand not only obedience, but conversion. Things are moving fast these days. This acceleration is exactly what we […]

Woe To The Vanquished

From the latest Radio Derb, here’s a corking rant by John Derbyshire on the latest national frenzy: the destruction and damnation of all symbols of the Confederacy. It’s so good that I reprint it here in full, with some emphasis added. Back there in our April 11th podcast I noted the 150th anniversary of Robert […]

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.

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.

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 […]