Author Archives:

Adeste Fidelis

In a post written earlier this month, after a conversation about global warming with an intelligent and well-educated friend, I remarked on the similarity between secular environmentalism and religion: I was struck once again by the clarity with which global-warmism reveals itself as a secular repurposing of the religious impulse — a deep and universal […]

Lies, Damned Lies, And Sound Effects

For some reason I find this story oddly dispiriting.

Plug

You may recall that my son Nick, a baseball analyst and former college pitcher, launched a wildly popular website last year called PitcherGIFs. In it he presented animated GIFs of every pitcher in the majors throwing every pitch they had, along with Nick’s insightful analysis. The site was taking off like wildfire, until a dispute […]

Rock And Roll, Houthi Coup

As you have no doubt heard, there has been a revolt in Yemen, where Shi’ite rebels known as the Houthis have seized control of the levers of power. About Yemen, President Obama — who, when it comes to foreign policy and a whole lot more, has been described of late as “King Midas in reverse” […]

Meta-Meat

Saw this on the supermarket shelf the other day:     We are now twice removed from reality — not just ersatz pepperoni, but ersatz pepperoni made, in turn, of ersatz turkey. (And to add a frisson of horror: that awful, missing ‘e’.) But wait: is there such a thing as mock tofu? Nay, the […]

Degeneracy Pressure

I hope you will forgive me for a series of nested self-quotes in this post. Back in November, I posted a little item in which I quoted this, from an even earlier post: The universal acid of radical skepticism having nearly completed its work, all transcendent values have now been dissolved — and if all […]

Mind The Flying Pigs

My God, I actually agree with Piers Morgan — on a matter involving guns, no less. His thoughts on American Sniper, here. I think this might be a good time to visit Hell. Don’t forget your skates.

Yemen On The Brink

Here.

May Cooler Heads Prevail

You’d have had to have been trapped in a snowdrift somewhere not to have heard by now that NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) has announced that 2014 was the warmest year in the history of Planet Earth (likely the whole solar system, if you’re an MSNBC viewer, though I’ll confess I haven’t tuned […]

Battered-West Syndrome

Sorry to bang on, post after post, on the same topic, but the Paris attacks continue to reverberate. Our e-pal and occasional commenter David Duff, with whom we see eye to eye about most things, has posted at his excellent blog an essay by one Qanta Ahmed, a self-described “opinion-maker” who is what Western multiculturalists […]

More On Our Top Story

Just a few links for tonight, from two thoughtful observers. First, a couple of items from Bill Vallicella. The first is a meditation on the “No True Scotsman” fallacy; given how much rubbish we’ve been hearing about who is and isn’t a true Muslim lately, it is timely. In the second item Bill, citing the […]

What Will We Do?

Much has been made, in recent days, of the fact that most Muslims are not terrorists. This is true: the percentage of the world’s Muslims who engage in the active slaughter of civilians is so small as to be a rounding error. But in an open and generally unarmed society, in which the default stance […]

Coda

I realized today that I had been remiss in failing to note in these pages the death of the guitarist Jeff Golub, who succumbed on January 1st, at the age of 59, to a rare and incurable brain disease. I worked with Jeff for many years. He was a charming and intelligent man, and an […]

You Learn Something New Every Day

Well, some days, anyway. Today I heard for the first time about something called “Blaschko’s lines”. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about them: Blaschko’s lines, also called the Lines of Blaschko, named after Alfred Blaschko, are lines of normal cell development in the skin. These lines are invisible under normal conditions. They become apparent […]

QOTD

“There is a deep reassurance for the frustrated in witnessing the downfall of the fortunate and the disgrace of the righteous. They see in a general downfall an approach to the brotherhood of all. Chaos, like the grave, is a haven of equality. Their burning conviction that there must be a new life and a […]

Charlie Hebdo

By now we have all heard the awful news from Paris. Time prevents me from commenting at length just now, but my feeling is that this will be as pivotal an event as 9/11 was, if not more so. This horrific attack is not only an assault on the prevailing social philosophy of the West, […]

Ourobouros

Have you heard of Poe’s Law? Wikipedia defines it thus: Poe’s law, named after its author Nathan Poe, is an Internet adage reflecting the idea that, without a clear indication of the author’s intent, it is difficult or impossible to tell the difference between an expression of sincere extremism and a parody of extremism. Now […]

But Let Us Persevere In What We Have Resolved, Before We Forget

As far as the RSS data are concerned, the Great Pause continues. More here.

The Road To Perdition

An old friend, who lives in California, writes: I spent hours on New Year’s Day attending online traffic school, and only passed by the skin of my teeth, as there was a serious language/grammar/thinking gap between me and the authors of the course. Here are just a few examples. I would have spent hours more […]

Old Wine, New Bottle

The New Yorker‘s essayist Adam Gopnik — whom I have always considered to be quite lavishly talented, despite his dainty and epicene style — beclowned himself one minute into this New Year with a stupendously mawkish item on gun control. It is so bad, in fact — so completely barren of fact, rational argument, or […]

Happy New Year!

I’ll take a brief time-out from all the intercalary Saturnalia that’s been going on around here this week to wish all of you a merry turn of the dial — and a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2015. The world may be going to hell, but there’s no reason we can’t enjoy the ride! My warmest […]

In The Carboniferous Epoch We Were Promised Abundance For All

Coming soon, to a formerly vigorous republic near you: Hospitals cancel operations to cope with Government’s A&E crisis Over 300 long-planned operations are cancelled each day as England’s NHS hospitals need more beds for A&E departments under record-breaking strain. In the first two weeks of December, 3,113 elective operations were cancelled – many only hours […]

Merry Christmas!

To you all. Thank you, as always, for reading and commenting.

Up Where He Belongs

We must note with deep sadness the death of the great Joe Cocker, who succumbed to cancer yesterday. He was only 70. I posthumously award Mr. Cocker a major distinction: his amazing version of the Beatles’ A Little Help From My Friends is, in my opinion, the only cover of a Beatles song that is […]

File Under ‘National Conversation’

Here’s Heather Mac Donald on our smoldering civil war.

Small World

A reader writes to make an interesting point: not long ago the Black Muslim leader Louis Farrakhan made an inflammatory speech in Baltimore (to see just how inflammatory — indeed, quite literally so — have a look here). The NYPD shooter, Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley, who was certainly black, and apparently a Muslim, was, perhaps, in […]

Is Digital Civilization Sustainable?

Here’s something else that the Sony hacking story has me thinking about: the ‘arms race’ between hackers and cybersecurity. There have been a lot of high-profile cyberattacks lately, and if anything, they seem to be getting more frequent, and more damaging. What’s worse, more and more of every aspect of our lives, and of every […]

Al Über Alles

The Sony affair has revealed, in many ways, just how appallingly far our culture’s wasting disease has progressed, but this is by far the direst symptom of all: Sharpton to have say over how Sony makes movies Excerpt: Hollywood ​came to the Rev. Al Thursday as embattled Sony exec Amy Pascal ​met ​privately with the […]

Up And At ‘Em

I’ve recovered considerably from Monday’s little indignity, and although I haven’t had time or energy to comment on the big stories of the week, I should be back in fighting form soon enough. Just a couple of little items for tonight: At the conclusion of all the injecting and slicing and yanking and scraping and […]

Service Notice

It might be a little quieter than usual here for the next couple of days. I’m recovering tonight from a fairly substantial round of reconstructive oral surgery, and the next few days will be as busy as my capacities, which are likely to be somewhat diminished by powerful medicaments, will allow. My thanks as always […]

This Ain’t The Movies

Perhaps the silliest response to the Ferguson incident is one I’ve heard at least a dozen times, both publicly and privately: “Why didn’t the officer just wound him?” The speaker is invariably an Eloi hoplophobe who wouldn’t know a Ruger from arugula. It’s fatiguing. With a hat tip to the indefatigable JK, here’s Michael Yon […]

The Bonfire Of The Sanities

Following on last spring’s item on the NYPD, here’s a story from yesterday’s Post: FDNY drops physical test requirement amid low female hiring rate The Fire Department has stopped requiring probationary firefighters to pass a job-related physical-skills test before getting hired… Fifty years ago, it would have been obvious to any rational person that this […]

There Are Too Damn Many Laws

Recently I wrote: Have we reached the point where we want to forbid the police to use force, when necessary, to make arrests? Approach this idea with caution, for to grant a monopoly of physical force to the State, except in cases of immediate self-defense, is the very bedrock of the social contract that makes […]

He’s In The Details

Some time ago I offered a peek at the way modern legislation ensures transparency and ease of understanding. Given that getting at the meaning of almost any Federal bill these days entails reading not only the bill itself, but also the plexus of other Acts that it refers to or modifies, thoroughly unraveling these monstrosities […]

Sound And Fury

Yesterday’s Senate report on the CIA has sparked a lot of talk, most of it on a very shallow and very binary level. (Post on that forthcoming, when time permits.) As noted yesterday, the report is far from impartial. Several former directors and deputy directors of the CIA, who were active during the period covered […]

A Slight Air Of Unreality

Today we will have the Senate’s report on the use of harsh interrogation methods by the CIA. There will be a great spasm of hand-wringing — indeed, there already has been — and no doubt the report will be further confirmation, for those who scarcely need it, of the fundamental vileness of the United States […]

On The Rule Of Law

From a column by Thomas Sowell, today at NRO: Let the responsibility lie with whoever forces a resort to force. Also: For people who have never tried to take into custody someone resisting arrest, to sit back in the safety and comfort of their homes or offices and second-guess people who face the dangers inherent […]

A Dextral Potpourri

Here’s something I’ve only just come across, though it was begun almost a year ago: a running list of victims of left-wing purges for thoughtcrime. And don’t miss John Derbyshire’s commentary on it, here. Speaking of Derb, here’s a dour assessment of the State of the Union, recently published at Takimag. And as long as […]

Lord, Have Mercy

This exists.

And So It Goes

Well, Zemir Begic is already down the memory hole, it seems (who?), along with executive action on amnesty, etc. Now it’s Eric Garner, all the time, and race-hatred is ablaze in the streets again — the flames whipped up, as always, by those who delight and luxuriate in cultural arson. Mr. Garner’s story is a […]

The Audacity Of Mendacity

Even the Washington Post now agrees that President Obama’s unilateral action on immigration is unprecedented, and that his claims to the contrary are audacious and palpable falsehoods. It is now up to Congress to defend its Constitutional authority in the only way it can, short of impeachment: by using the power of the purse to […]

If They Had A Hammer…

Did you hear about the brutal murder of Zemir Begic in St. Louis a couple of days ago? He was beaten to death, with hammers, by ‘teens’. If you haven’t heard about this it isn’t surprising; none of the major news outlets thought it fit for much attention. After all, there’s no reason to think […]

Memento Vivere

As bad as things are, all is not lost. Here are three clips of good live music. First, a farewell performance, by Crowded House, of Neil Finn’s Don’t Dream It’s Over. I’ve always thought this is a beautiful, beautiful song, and by the time this version was recorded in 1996, Mr. Finn’s voice, which had […]

Next

In a post the other day I wrote: The universal acid of radical skepticism having nearly completed its work, all transcendent values have now been dissolved — and if all that once was sacred is now remembered at all, is only to be mocked and scorned. Nietzsche saw this coming: “the total eclipse of all […]

Happy Thanksgiving!

To all of you. Although dark clouds gather, we still have a great deal to be thankful for — and here’s a little historical reminder that much of what we have to be thankful for is still worth preserving and defending.

The Healing Touch

On Monday night, as the sack of Ferguson was just getting underway, President Obama appeared on television to make a lackluster appeal for decorum. (His remarks were broadcast in split-screen, with the gathering riot on one side and Mr. Obama on the other; the juxtaposition made for some memorable TV.) Writing at City Journal, Heather […]

Watching The World Burn

By now even the most rose-bespectacled Pollyannas among you (you know who you are) must be noticing that things are getting a little, um, frayed. As I write, civil order is fracturing, with impressive coordination, all over the country. Last night an American city was sacked by barbarians — looted, pillaged, and burned as the […]

Angels And Demons

When hopes and dreams are loose in the streets, it is well for the timid to lock doors, shutter windows and lie low until the wrath has passed. For there is often a monstrous incongruity between the hopes, however noble and tender, and the action which follows them. It is as if ivied maidens and […]

Meanwhile…

At least there’s some good news today.

Paging Dr. Richter

Everybody’s talking about the unilateral illegal-alien amnesty President Obama plans to announce tonight. (One thing you may not have heard, buy the way, is that it will add as many new foreign workers as there have been jobs created since 2009, at a time when, for example, unemployment among blacks, who will disproportionately be competing […]