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Where Is Assange?

Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, has been effectively imprisoned in the Ecuadorean embassy in London for four years. He is accused of rape in Sweden, and the U.K. has spent millions surrounding the embassy in the hope of swooping him up and extraditing him. I won’t comment on the merits of the charges, other […]

The Swamp

Hardly a day goes by now without new evidence of Clintonian corruption. The latest has to do with the FBI’s curiously handled investigation of the Clintons’ email server, and the FBI director’s audacious decision not to recommend charges in the case. As the Wall Street Journal reports here, after the FBI began its investigation of […]

Birds Of A Feather

The choleric president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte (the one, in case you’ve forgotten, who called Barack Obama “a son of a whore”), recently announced his “separation” from the United States, and a pivot to China. Why? Well, it obviously makes sense, in an era of spastic and ineffective American foreign policy, for a small […]

The Soul Of A New Machine

You’ve probably heard of “quantum computing”, but you may not know what it is. Here is a piece by Peter Diamandis, of Singularity University, that gives a helpful introduction to the key idea: that the bizarre “superposition” of a particle’s unmeasured quantum states makes it possible for n quantum bits (or “qubits”) to do the […]

Service Notice

Our daughter’s visiting from Austria with our infant grandson, and we are all out of town for a wedding this weekend. Back soon. Chat amongst yourselves, if you like.

The Observer-Created World

We’ve just had another intractable disagreement in our most recent comment-thread (with, of course, our resident Clintonian gadfly). The dispute is, in microcosm, the same that is pulling America, and indeed all of the West, to pieces. As I have said many times before, so much depends on axioms, and on what words mean. We […]

I’m Shocked – Shocked!

It’s been a busy few days, with little time for writing. But I won’t run off without offering a morsel to sustain you (and to reassure you that things are, indeed, as they seem). Related content from Sphere

Caste And Character

Tonight’s reading assignment is an outstanding essay, Weaving the Basket of Deplorables, recently posted at the site The Dissenting Sociologist. Its epopseudonymous author (sorry, but I felt the need for a name that’s both an eponym and a pseudonym), whom I shall call DS, has done a masterful job of distilling and clarifying some core […]

Pussy, Ariot

This is where we’ve got to.

Rules For Radicals

Bil Vallicella comments here on the selectivity of Democrat outrage over Donald Trump’s hot-mike remarks. The gist: The insight is that the Left uses our decency, which they don’t believe in, against us, mendaciously feigning moral outrage at what doesn’t outrage them at all. (Cf. Saul Alinsky’s RULE 4: “Make the enemy live up to […]

Round Two

Tonight we have the second debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Before watching you might like to read Diplomad’s thoughts, which are generally the same as my own. In response to anyone who is on the fainting couch over the latest peek into Donald Trump’s character, and can’t imagine how anyone could vote for […]


From this morning’s NightWatch: Russia-US-Syria: Russian relations with the US over Syria continue to worsen. Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said on 6 October, “Let me remind the so-called US strategists that the air cover for the Russian military bases in Hmeimim and Tartus is provided by S-400 and S-300 surface-to-air missile […]

Got Me!

Just now I put up a post linking to a Washington Post article about simulated violence in football. “Not parody”, I said, and mocked its author. I’ve changed my mind, and taken down the post. The article is parody — well done, and richly deserved. A good example of Poe’s Law, either way. Related content […]

It’s Turtles All The Way Down

In yesterday’s post, I wrote: It’s foolish to romanticize the past, to yearn for a Golden Age that in many ways was never so golden at all, and anyway can never return. But it is equally foolish — indeed, far more so — to revile and reject and discard it all, to imagine that in […]

Service Notice

Late this morning our previous post attracted a sudden flurry of distasteful comments. I don’t usually moderate comments — life is too short — so I’ve just removed all comments from that post and shut it down. I’ve generally been very fortunate in this regard. I flirt with serious heresy here sometimes, and so far […]

P. P. P.

When the Rachel Dolezal story popped up in June of 2015 (if you’re fortunate enough to have forgotten this one, she was a “black” activist who turned out, embarrassingly, not to be black at all), I wrote a little post about real versus fictional privilege. An excerpt: Once upon a time, people of mixed race […]

Alt-Right, or Wrong?

There’s a lively discussion on the “alt-right” underway over at The Maverick Philosopher, if you’d like to have a look.


Given the, shall we say, somewhat imperfect blessing that mass Muslim settlement in the West has turned out to be, there’s been some ruction in certain “deplorable” quarters over the President’s unilateral action to admit unvettable Middle Eastern individuals to the U.S. in large and increasing numbers. “On what authority?“, some folks wonder. Well, with […]

After The Republic

It’s September, and the lovely fall weather is here. Feeling refreshed and optimistic? Well, snap out of it. Need some help with that? This jeremiad, by the distinguished scholar Angelo Codevilla, ought to do the trick. Related content from Sphere

And The Ball Comes Loose!

If you are able to achieve the detachment necessary to view politics as a spectator sport (no easy trick, when the existential stakes are so high), then one of its most entertaining features, for those of us up here in the cheap seats, is what has come to be called “narrative collapse”. It affects the […]

Rise And Fall

Here’s a fine animation showing the expansions and contractions of religions and empires over the past two thousand years.

Our Wonderful Future

I actually watched the debate tonight (my plans for a far more enjoyable evening, which included a body-cavity search by the TSA and stepping on a nail, having fallen through at the last moment). I’d give it to the team of Lester Holt and Hillary Clinton. They worked well together, and Mr. Trump was on […]

Sunday Sermonette

Just a couple of links to get the ball rolling on this busy Sunday: first, a pungent jeremaid by Lewis Amselem, a.k.a. Diplomad (nothing we haven’t all been saying, really, but a fine summary of where matters stand), and then John Schindler with a retrospective look at the F.B.I’s role in Mrs. Clinton’s email affair. […]

Scalia On A “Runaway Convention”

The idea of an Article V convention — the remedy the Framers gave the States to rein in an out-of-control Federal government by amending the Constitution without the participation of Congress — is slowly gaining support, despite the fact that most people, were you to ask them about it, still don’t even know that such […]

Our True Present Danger

Adam Walinsky, a career Democrat, has written a lucid and persuasive essay to explain why he will be voting for Donald Trump. It begins: I was a Democrat all my life. I came to Washington to serve President John Kennedy and Attorney General Robert Kennedy. When the president was murdered and his brother struck off […]

That Time Of Year Again

Tomorrow will be the first day of autumn, my favorite season. Here’s a musing on the topic from ten years ago.

Tell Us How You Really Feel

I do enjoy a good polemic every now and then, and Kevin D. Williamson has “the knack”. Here he is today on IRS commisioner John Koskinen: Every day this crime-enabling, justice-obstructing, lying, craven, tinpot totalitarian walks around in the sunshine is a day we should be ashamed to be Americans. More here. Related content from […]

Remains Of The Day

We’ve mentioned the mysterious “Antikythera Mechanism” before (see here and here). Now divers have found a human skeleton, probably containing intact DNA, at the shipwreck site. Story here. (See also this story, suggesting that the device was already old when it was lost at sea.) Related content from Sphere

Dancing With The Bear

Here’s NightWatch‘s John McCreary on the Syrian aid-convoy incident: Syria-UN: The UN suspended aid convoys in Syria after the air attacks against the aid convoy on the 19th. “As an immediate security measure, other convoy movements in Syria have been suspended for the time being, pending further assessment of the security situation,” a UN spokesman […]

How Do You Solve A Problem Like The Alt-Right?

Milo Yiannopoulos explains. (He’s happy to do so, because he knows the Left won’t take his advice.) An excerpt: As well as jokes, there’s something else that establishment elites need to stop demonizing as racism: national pride. During the 2015 election in England, a left-wing candidate for parliament called people who fly the English flag […]

Truth To Power

With a hat-tip to our e-pal Bill Keezer, here’s an old piece by the late Christopher Hitchens, in which he recounts his filing of an affidavit swearing that the Clintons had sought to smear and discredit Monica Lewinski. It’s a fine example of Hitchens’ style — how I miss him! — and is well worth […]

All Power Rests In Belief

The American author Lionel Shriver recently gave a keynote speech at a writers festival in Brisbane, Australia. Rather than give the talk she had advertised, she decided to say a few words about the victimological specialty known as “cultural appropriation”. She denounced and anathematized it root and branch, and said, very clearly and correctly, that […]

Bête Noire

I’m a bit of a stickler for language. One common locution that’s been bothering me, ever since I started noticing it a few years ago, is the habit of news reporters to use the word “after” when they mean “when”. (Now that I’ve pointed it out, you’ll start noticing it too, and you’ll see how […]

Back To Business!

Well, I’m back from Star Island. The musical weekend was a blast, even though a few of us — for example, our keyboard whiz Ray — had last-minute conflicts that kept them from coming. We carried on undaunted, nevertheless, and had a splendid time. I must say that after having had, what with our Vienna […]

Star Trek

Last year about this time I spent a delightful weekend on Star Island, a rocky speck off the cost of New Hampshire, and this weekend I’m doing it again. Why leave the charming seaside village of Wellfleet, and all the comforts of home, for spartan accommodations on a remote, craggy islet? It’s because I have […]

One Way — Or The Other

One thing that should be clear to all in this election cycle: either Hillary Clinton is going to win this election, or Donald Trump is. The chance of any other outcome is effectively zero. If you are any sort of conservative — and if you believe, as I and millions of others do, that the […]

Rules Of Order

Here’s something interesting: Hyperbaton is when you put words in an odd order, which is very, very difficult to do in English. Given that almost everything else in the English language is slapdash, happy-go-lucky, care-may-the-Devil, word order is surprisingly strict. John Ronald Reuel Tolkien wrote his first story aged seven. It was about a “green […]

Temporal Provincialism

Our reader Robert, a.k.a. Whitewall, posted in the comment-thread to our previous post a link to an editorial piece from The New Criterion (by way of Instapundit; the original is here). It deserves promotion from comment to post. The piece, which is presumably by Roger Kimball, the editor of New Criterion, uses a beautiful phrase […]

Paul Gottfried on the “Alt Right”

Here are some trenchant remarks on the Alternative Right from Paul Gottfried, the man who coined the name. I have spent the evening with Professor Gottfried on a couple of occasions, and I can assure you that he is the farthest thing imaginable from the sort of neo-Nazi hothead that the mainstream media would have […]

Defense Makes Sense

We’ve been hearing for while — including in these pages — that even as gun sales rise and rise and rise, there are actually fewer households in which someone owns a firearm. Not so, according to Pew (via Breitbart): A Pew Research Center poll released on August 26 shows that 44 percent of all households […]

Sword vs. Pen

The summer break is winding down, and soon it will be time to get back to whatever it is I ought to be doing here. Meanwhile, though, our friend Bill Vallicella is already back in harness, and has put up two brief items touching on the plight of the desaparecida Molly Norris, who was driven […]

Light the Blue Touch-Paper, and Stand Well Back

Well! It looks as if Hillary Clinton is, with a big speech tomorrow evening, about to put the “Alt-Right” front and center in national politics (and into the minds of millions of Americans who previously had no inkling of it). I wonder what she imagines is going to happen. Pass the popcorn! Related content from […]

Risky Business

From NightWatch: Syria-Syria Kurds-US: On 19 August, the Syrian air force conducted the first air attacks and Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militiamen in Hasakah Governate. Ground fighting intensified late on the 19th when Kurdish YPG fighters battled Syrian forces. “The clashes continue in areas inside the city today (20 August). There were military […]


Shot. Chaser.

A Difference Without a Division

With the increasingly documented genetic reality of human biodiversity washing over the gunwales of Utopian universalism, there’s a word on the rise in liberal circles: essentialism. It’s used to make a retreat from discredited Lewontinian denial of genetic differences, without really ceding any ideological ground. In effect it says: “OK, OK — we’ll admit that […]

Quid Quo, Bro

We’re still on summer break for a few more weeks, and I’ve been paying little attention to the news. One thing that did catch my eye, though, was the emerging story of the Obama administration’s $400-million ransom payment to Iran a while back — paid in a great pile of foreign currency, and brought in […]

Back To the Old Drawing Board

Over the transom today from our commenter Henry: an article about the failure of nature to deliver the heavy particles that physicists have been predicting for decades. One possible explanation: perhaps the world is simply odder than we can imagine. Related content from Sphere


Well, it’s nice to be back home, except for the fact that this grotesque presidential campaign is still going on. Donald Trump finds new ways every day to let the Democrats and the press distract the nation’s attention from the oozing, Lovecraftian horror that is Hillary Clinton; today, apparently, was no exception. How easily she […]

Homeward Bound

We’re on our way back to the States — between flights at the moment, in Dusseldorf. I’ve been almost completely out of touch, but even over here the coming U.S. election seems to be attracting a lot of attention. With that in mind, then, here are a couple of interesting links that have come my […]

Proof Of Concept

We’re still in Vienna; heading back to the States on Saturday. What a calm and orderly place this is! It may be otherwise in corners of the city we haven’t visited, but so far as I can tell Vienna, and the other little Austrian towns we’ve been to, are everything you’d imagine: polite, law-abiding, efficient, […]