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An Appalling Waste Of Human Intelligence

You may read a lot of academic papers, but I doubt you’ve seen a better abstract than this.


For years we’ve been told that dietary fat is bad for us, and that we should avoid it. Of course not everyone was saying this, but it was one of those “consensus” things, where dissenters were hectored and sneered at by those in the mainstream, and the government applied what pressure it could to enforce […]

The Second Amendment, And How It Got That Way

For you blue-state dwellers, here’s some ammo for those cocktail-party ambushes.

First, Do No Harm

A passage from Henry F. Pringle’s excellent 1931 biography of Theodore Roosevelt describes a piece of legislation known as the Raines Law (passed in Albany in 1896, when Roosevelt was president of the New York City Police Commission). It gives us a lovely example of another, higher Law, having to do with unintended consequences: Ostensibly […]


In the mail today came a link to an excellent, informative, and even-handed article on inequality, social mobility, and the heritability of advantageous traits. The author is an Englishman named Toby Young, and he zeroes in nicely on the question one comes to once one has hacked through the thorny ideological thicket surrounding these topics. […]

Trust: Our Strength, Our Fatal Weakness

The indefatigable JK has posted a link, in one of our recent comment threads, to an outstanding article that deserves promotion to the front page: an in-depth look at high- and low-trust societies and how they got that way. Read it here. Related content from Sphere

Cassandra’s Blues

In the New York public-transportation system there’s an ad campaign that features the slogan “If you see something, say something!” Its motive is unabashedly conservative: it seeks to make the community sensitive, and responsive, to existential threats. The problem is that such threats can take familiar forms that are easy to overlook, especially in a […]

Rights For Robots?

In today’s newsletter (which I recommend again to you all), we find a link to the following story: Incident of drunk man kicking humanoid robot raises legal questions We read: A few weeks ago, a drunk man in Japan was arrested for kicking a humanoid robot that was stationed as a greeter at a […]

Go Figure

Well, it looks like Hurricane Joaquin is going to give the mainland a miss. That means a remarkable streak will continue: it’s been almost ten years since a major hurricane last struck the continental United States, higher levels of CO2 notwithstanding. Just sayin’. Related content from Sphere

A Plague Of Unicorns

We’ve all been hearing about the scandal at Volkswagen, in which the company installed “cheater” software that restricted emissions only during testing. The CEO, Martin Winterkorn, has resigned in disgrace, reviled by all goodthinkful people. The software cheat was a crazy move, because it was bound to be discovered sooner or later. Why would the […]

Roll, Potomack!

Here’s a tart (and uncharacteristically brief) item by Mencius Moldbug that, despite being several years old, seems apropos.

Natura Abhorret A Vacuo

Big day in the Mideast: now that the Iranian deal is done, Russia is swiftly consolidating its control over Syria, and is demanding that we leave. As reported in the Jerusalem Post, the Russians are busily establishing a secure zone in the eastern Mediterranean. It appears that they are also mounting airstrikes, but not against […]


Here’s another story from the Times, and for me, it’s a mighty sad one: The Music May Stop at a Storied Manhattan Studio The facility in question is Avatar Studios, which has for almost forty years been one of the finest recording studios in the world. It is now up for sale, and if history […]

1529, 1683, 2015

Here’s a headline from the New York Times: Rise of Austrian Right Lengthens Shadow of Nazi Era The article comments on the rise in Austria of anti-immigrant sentiment. What is remarkable, although not surprising, is that the entire continuum of political opinion on the question of immigration and and of the ethnic and religious composition […]


Well, we’re back. It had been decades since I’d been to Vienna, and I’d forgotten what a lovely city it is. Gracious, orderly, and physically beautiful, it is a perfect embodiment of the sublime cultural achievements of a great civilization at its apex. (That apex is of course long past, but for now the order, […]

Upon A Golden Bough

Having passed a lovely weekend in Vienna, the lovely Nina and I are now in Istanbul. We’ll be back home, and this long-neglected blog will be beginning to get back to normal, early next week. I must say, there is a certain something about seats of empire. Even when the thing has thoroughly run its […]

As I was Saying…

I’ve written several posts about the culture of victimhood and microaggression now hegemonic in academia and eslewhere. Among other points, I’ve noted that such a culture of perceived oppression is actually made possible only by the clemency of the ambient culture: It is as if the grievance culture is a little ‘virtual machine’ running inside […]

Service Notice, and Open Thread 10

Even though we’ve only just reopened the storefront here, the business may be mostly shuttered again for the next couple of weeks — this weekend we are off to a musical retreat in the Isles of Shoals, and then we’ll be getting a firsthand look at the European situation for the rest of the month. […]

Dawkins And Diversity

With the migrant crisis in Europe at full boil, immigration is a hot topic. I’ve just had another round with our multiculturalist gadfly in the previous post’s comment thread, but of course we’ve been over all of this before. I invite readers to review, in particular, the long and patient discussion we had here, which […]

As The World Burns

Though it’s September, and time to get back to business around here, I haven’t had enough quiet time over the past few days to do any serious writing. (Though you may find it hard to believe, it actually takes me rather a long time to produce a substantial post — and then there’s coming up […]

Knock Yourself Out

Something I hear a lot, in the ultra-blue precincts I haunt, is that the Second Amendment is a superannuated relic, an eighteenth-century atavism, and has no place in modern America. I hear mutterings about flintlocks and muskets, and become aware of a prevailing sentiment that the thing simply ought to be chucked. Well, have a […]


It’s September, and time to get back in harness. Have I missed anything? I have nothing prepared for tonight, but the little grey cells should be back in writing order again sometime in the next few days. Meanwhile, here’s a fantastic drum solo, some solid climate heresy, a video clip I find amusing, and some […]

Lucky Us

To a first approximation, every species that ever was is extinct. It is within a rounding error to say that every ancestral lineage that ever began eventually petered out. Imagine Nature as a machine-gunner firing into a crowd. The fact that you and I exist means that for four billion years, our personal ancestors have […]

Open Thread 9

It’s the least I can do.

Service Notice

It’s August, and as I do every year I am going to disconnect from the Internet a bit. It’s necessary therapy — particularly so this year, I think, as I think the quality of recent posts has been noticeably off. I also need to take some time to think about just what I want to […]

Chuck Bucks

Well, this is interesting: Senator Charles Schumer has decided to oppose the Iran deal. From the New York Times: Advocates on both sides have strong cases for their point of view that cannot simply be dismissed,” Mr. Schumer, Democrat of New York, said in a lengthy statement. “This has made evaluating the agreement a difficult […]

535 Days

I don’t often link to WSJ editorials, but their comment here on President Obama’s latest regulatory audacity is worth reading. The gist: the States should simply refuse to be bullied in this way. The WSJ’s idea is that the Court will, rightly, strike this thing down as a usurpation of the law-making power of Congress […]

Things Have Never Been So Awful

The inescapable Neil deGrasse Tyson informs us that scientific illiteracy is “a tragedy of our times”. Not “the” tragedy of our times, mind you, just “a” tragedy of our times. There are, you see, just so many of them — so many, in fact, that it’s becoming hard to keep track of which ones to […]

“I Did Everything Superhumanly Possible”

I’ve just read a book I must recommend to you all — Dear Reader: The Unauthorized Autobiography of Kim Jong Il, by Michael Malice. The book is extraordinary in that it captures, with frightening accuracy, not only the near-solipsistic narcissism of the fully developed totalitarian dictator, but also the seductiveness of the expertly managed personality […]

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. Related content from Sphere

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.


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. Related content from Sphere

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 […]