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Happy Thanksgiving

… to all of you, as always. Thank you for reading and commenting. As we noted recently, gratitude is perhaps the most important requirement for a happy life. We have much to be thankful for today in America; as a nation we can be thankful, especially, for the mortal calamity we avoided a year ago […]

It’s All Too Much

Richard Fernandez: Some social commentators have noted a mood of disillusionment. “Millennials report depression in higher numbers than any previous generation”, up to one in five. People appear to be tuning out of politicized “comedy”, sports and entertainment, exhausted by the public frenzy. It’s a direct consequence of the fall of the Narrative. The irony […]

Does This Look OK To You?

Here’s a timeline of the Uranium One caper. (Caveat lector: I haven’t independently confirmed every detail, but it seems about right.) See also Andrew McCarthy’s summary here, and his discussion with John Batchelor, here. Related content from Sphere

Information Please

Is it me, or does the Las Vegas shooting seem to have dropped right down the memory hole? We still don’t have a clear motive; there’s the laptop with the missing hard-drive; the time-line has gone through several revisions, and there was the very curious story of the actions of the hotel security guard — […]

Thoughts For Thursday

In this short video clip, Dennis Prager names the single trait that, in his opinion, is the key to happiness. I’m not at all sure that it all boils down to a single factor — but I’ll agree with him that if it does, he’s picked the right one. And, it being late November, the […]

Dangerous Game

There’s a been a fuss about President Trump’s plan to remove the Obama-era ban on elephant trophies. Bien-pensant liberals greeted the news with uncomplicated moral revulsion, along the following lines: 1) Elephants are marvelous, beautiful, intelligent animals. 2) Hunting marvelous, beautiful, intelligent animals is always morally wrong. Therefore: 3) Supporting a policy that endorses, or […]

The Cracked Brass Bell Will Ring

Off to see King Crimson at the Beacon Theater tonight. They are a remarkable ensemble, including, among others, two of my favorite drummers, Pat Mastelotto and Gavin Harrison, the great bassist Tony Levin and — sui generis — the Gurdjeffian guitarist and musical innovator Robert Fripp. I’ve never seen them perform, and I’m happy to […]

Nuh-Uh

Well! No sooner do I write about how Bill Clinton seems to be gliding smoothly across the surface of our latest moral panic, than prominent Democrats seem suddenly to notice that the man is in fact, as so many of his victims had been trying to tell everyone for decades, a loathsome sexual predator. I […]

What’s In A Name?

Over at American Greatness, Roger Kimball explains why he’s given up on Trumpism.

Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off

Yesterday a the New York Times published an opinion piece by a black academic, one Ekow Yankah. The essay is called Can My Children Be Friends with White People? Professor Yankah’s answer is no, for the reason that black people must assume that every white person is, unless proven otherwise, such a virulent racist as […]

How Does He Do It?

It seems that hardly a day goes by lately without the ruination of another prominent man by allegations of sexual misconduct. Somehow, though, Bill Clinton sails along. Can there be any doubt that this blackguard is a sexual predator of the first order? Of course not; the allegations are legion, including a highly plausible accusation […]

Tales From The Swamp

Once again, here’s the indispensable Andrew McCarthy, former Federal prosecutor, on the Mueller investigation. In his latest essay, he compares it to the way the Obama DOJ handled its investigation of Hillary Clinton. The contrast is instructive, and sorely vexing. Related content from Sphere

Freeman Dyson, Heretic

Our e-pal Bill Keezer sent along a link today to an essay on climate change by the eminent physicist Freeman Dyson. As it happened I offered a post about this very essay ten years ago, and it’s at least as relevant now as it was then. Have a look. My post is here, and the […]

Blam!

The view out my front window just now (click for larger version):   These guys should really pay more attention to the calendar.

Service Notice

Back in May we had a problem with server-side caching at Bluehost. The symptom was that commenters would see the comment-box pre-populated with the name and email of whoever had commented last. Please let me know if you see this happening again now. (I will be sorely vexed with Bluehost if so.) To clear the […]

Veritas

Worried that our culture is in decline? Relax. In fact, the more you can relax, the less this will hurt.

Oh Goody

Here’s the future of the automobile, from former GM, Ford, and BMW executive Bob Lutz. I love driving. Glad I got the chance, I guess.

Somebody’s Gotta Do It

The key weakness of liberalism — which, to be fair, has at times done much to improve society — is that it must assume as “given” the existence, and the continuing existence, of the society it hopes to improve. But liberalism, by its very nature — its pacifism, its sentimentalism, its opposition to hierarchy, its […]

Love Story

I enjoyed this very much: Mark Knopfler playing his guitars, and talking about playing guitar. (The clip is hosted at Laughing Squid, where it’s described as Mr. Knopfler giving a “wonderful guided tour of his guitar collection” — but that isn’t what it is at all, as older and wiser readers will understand.) Here. Related […]

Sacred And Profane

The transgendered have become holy objects because, unlike those of us who are frozen in a conventional relation between our sex and our gender, and are trapped in the matrix of objective and pre-existing natural categories, the transgendered demonstrate the supremacy, and so the apotheosis, of the subjective. In a secular religion that denies the […]

Part And Parcel

A Muslim terrorist in a rented truck mowed down pedestrians in New York today, killing eight people. At a news conference, Governor Cuomo assured us that the killer was a “lone wolf”, and that there was no evidence of a “wider plot”. Rubbish. The “wider plot” has been in effect for fourteen centuries. It continues […]

A Diagnosis Of Liberalism, 1964

I’ve been reading James Burnham’s Suicide of the West. Published in 1964, it is an anti-liberal jeremiad, and a corking good one. It also anticipates a number of themes that have become central tenets of both traditional-conservative and neoreactionary criticism. I’m still only about three-quarters of the way through, but I’ll offer some excerpts. Burnham […]

The Nettle Ungrasped

A few days ago I mentioned a manifesto called the Paris Declaration — signed by, among others, Roger Scruton — and gave it two-and-a-half cheers. I did allow that I had a “quibble or two”, but in general I thought — and I still do think — that it was an important step in the […]

¡Math Is Hard!

From Campus Reform: Prof: Algebra, geometry perpetuate white privilege The story is about one Rochelle Gutierrez, a professor of mathematics at the University of Illinois. We read: “On many levels, mathematics itself operates as Whiteness. Who gets credit for doing and developing mathematics, who is capable in mathematics, and who is seen as part of […]

Turn And Face The Strange

Here is David Bowie, in a 1999 interview, predicting in considerable detail the transformative, revolutionary effect of the Internet on media and culture.

Something To See Here

Here is former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy’s detailed summary of the reeking DOJ/Clinton/Rosatom affair. (The Hill has also been covering the story, for example here.) Corruption and obfuscation at this level should be front-page news, every day. If it had happened under a Republican administration, it would be. Related content from Sphere

Thread Of The Day

Here’s Twitter’s most interesting and unusual feed, @ThomasWictor, on Niger and Benghazi.

Go Not Gently!

A group of concerned thinkers, including Roger Scruton, have written a rousing manifesto calling for the defense of Europe against its accelerating cultural suicide. The document is called The Paris Statement, and it is good strong stuff. (I learned about it from this article at Reaction, where you can find additional commentary.) You can read […]

‘A’ For Effort

Ah, Diversity. How its worship enriches us! It doesn’t, of course. But it does, at least, make for some last-minute entertainment, here on the deck of the Titanic. There are some areas of human activity that lie forever beyond the reach of heartfelt wishes and fond imaginings: places where reality is still there even after […]

As It Will Be In The Future, It Was At The Birth Of Man

From Albion’s Seed, page 896: There is a cultural equivalent of the iron law of oligarchy: small groups dominate every cultural system. They tend to do so by controlling institutions and processes, so that they tend to become the “governors” of a culture in both a political and a mechanical sense. The “iron law of […]

Goodbye, Columbus

Everywhere you look, the Admiral of the Ocean Sea is out, and Indigenous Peoples are in. (Well, the indigenous peoples of Europe, not so much…) Those of us who don’t get all our history from Howard Zinn, however, know that the Noble Savage was a good deal more savage than noble. Some details here. Related […]

C6ISR

Here’s an interesting Twitter thread, from Thomas Wictor: the world’s leading authority on WWI flamethrowers, and a most unusual fellow.

Yikes!

The volcanic island of La Palma (one of the Canary Islands) is in the news after an earthquake swarm. Why “yikes”? See here.

The Marshmallow Test

I’ve finally been reading David Hackett Fischer’s Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America. (I’ve known for years that this book was essential reading for anyone interested in the cultural history of the United States, but late is better than never.) The book is delightfully engaging. I just came across this, in a chapter on […]

Outline For A Diagnosis Of Late Modernity: Part 1

After the Las Vegas shooting, I noted that when I was a boy guns were a common and unremarkable part of normal American life: I grew up in a rural area of west-central New Jersey. When I was a boy, all the households around me had a gun or two. We boys used to stack […]

The “Irrational” Slur Against Trump Voters

With a hat-tip to Bill Vallicella, here’s a long and detailed assessment of the claim that Donald Trump’s voter-base — middle- and working-class Americans — made an irrational choice that was contrary to their own interests. The author demonstrates that this view is unsupportable, and that those who make it are usually applying a standard […]

Eastward Ho!

Sorry for the lack of substantial content around here lately. From time to time I become so weary of the passing scene that I hardly know what to say about it. I’ll be back to normal soon, I expect. Meanwhile: Diplomad is kissing California goodbye. Can’t say I blame him. Related content from Sphere

More

As the gun-ban furor continues, here are two more items you should read: I used to think gun control was the answer. My research told me otherwise. Mass Shootings Are A Bad Way To Understand Gun Violence Related content from Sphere

The X Factor

Just after the slaughter in Las Vegas, Hillary Clinton (remember her?) took to Twitter to offer this tendentious and ignorant comment: The crowd fled at the sound of gunshots. Imagine the deaths if the shooter had a silencer, which the NRA wants to make easier to get. In Ms. Clinton’s moated and wholly self-referential mind, […]

Don’t Kid Yourselves

In the wake of the LV massacre we hear the usual outcry from gun-rights opponents. It’s just another instance of the great and widening chasm separating the two Americas, and as always the hue and cry will simply push the two sides farther apart. In confronting this act of evil, the “progressive” mind leaps reflexively, […]

Straight Into Darkness

Sorrow is everywhere today: following on the sickening atrocity in Las Vegas is the news that Tom Petty — one of the greatest rockers and songwriters of my generation — has died. Related content from Sphere

Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off

I’m still waiting for the Muse to return from vacation. Meanwhile, here’s a fine post on disagreement by our friend Bill Vallicella. Note the link in Bill’s post to the acerbic NRx blogger ‘Porter’. I’d earlier called Bill’s attention to Porter’s post on the NFL brouhaha, which you might enjoy also. Related content from Sphere

Steyn On Decline

With a tip of the hat to our pal Bill Keezer, here’s a good item by Mark Steyn on the “progressive disease” I’ve called C.I.V. It’s all been said before, but it needs saying again and again. Best line: “When you demolish your own inheritance, the lot does not stay empty. Something arises in its […]

Why You Should Subscribe To CRB

Here’s an essay by William Voegeli on immigration, published at Claremont Review of Books back in August. It is outstandingly clear and comprehensive. I’ll offer a brief excerpt, in which Voegli makes what I think is the most important point of all about immigration policy (I have bolded the relevant passage): Given the stakes, the […]

Homeward Bound

Well, the lovely Nina and I are on our way back. We’re traveling a day later than we meant to: we’d flown from Boston to Vienna (and had left our car at Logan Airport), but while we were overseas the carrier, Air Berlin, having declared bankruptcy, canceled all flights to Boston forever. So now we […]

Notes From Abroad

Vienna, September 19th — As it was last time we were here, Vienna — unlike so many other European cities — still manages to maintain its European character, at least in its more affluent districts (I should note that we have not moved around the city much this trip, and have only been inside the […]

Europe: Prostrate And Bleeding

File this under “Diversity and its Blessings”. I’m off to Vienna and Prague tomorrow; I’ll let you know how things seem there.

Pit Stop

Well, I’m back home in Wellfleet after a splendid three-day weekend on Star Island. (The high point of the weekend was a tribute performance we gave on Saturday night in honor of the late Walter Becker, consisting of a baker’s dozen of Steely Dan’s greatest hits. (It would have been impossible to get that together […]

Service Notice

I’ll be away this weekend (as I was last year at this time) for our annual musical retreat on Star Island. Back early next week. The comment-box is open, if anyone would like to broach any topics for consideration. Related content from Sphere

Blood Sport

Mencius Moldbug on fascist-hunting: Unfortunately no central statistics are kept, but I wouldn’t be surprised if every day in America, more racists, fascists and sexists are detected, purged and destroyed, than all the screenwriters who had to prosper under pseudonyms in the ’50s. Indeed it’s not an exaggeration to say that hundreds of thousands of […]