Author Archives:

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 […]

Two From Hoffer

I’ve often mentioned and quoted the longshoreman philosopher Eric Hoffer. Here are a couple of passages from his book Reflections on the Human Condition, which was published in 1973: The untalented are more at ease in a society that gives them valid alibis for not achieving than in one where opportunities are abundant. In an […]

Seldon Smiles

It appears that Curtis Yarvin, a.k.a. Mencius Moldbug, has been banned from speaking at a major tech conference because of his political opinions. For those of you who don’t know the name: for several years beginning in 2007 ‘Mencius Moldbug’ wrote, at his blog Unqualified Reservations, a series of essays articulating a new, reactionary synthesis […]

Man Of The People

Here is the French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius: M. Fabius seeks an international arrangement to impose strictures upon the sovereign nations of the world in an attempt to control the Earth’s climate. (That such an arrangement will also transfer aspects of that sovereignty to gentlemen such as himself and his professional colleagues is, I believe, […]

Flavor Implosion

I had no idea such a thing was even possible, but here it is: Gird your cheeks. You’ve been warned.

Open Thread 5

Have at it.

Fourscore

My mother, who died in 2006, would have been 80 years old today. My remembrance of her is here.

Service Notice

Away for a couple of days. Will respond to comments as time permits.

There Lie They, And Here Lie We

Theodore Dalrymple: Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent […]

Science Is Never Settled

From the indefatigable JK: a medical story that might be a pretty big deal.

Comic Relief

With a hat-tip to Bill V., here’s an amusing clip from Egypt. I have no idea whether the subtitles are accurate, other than in the few spots I’m able to pick out a word or two. (Any Arabic speakers among you, readers?)

In The Gloaming

Sorry, readers, if the last two items seemed a bit glum, even for me. (I guess it’s kind of a Kübler-Ross thing.) I’ll try to cheer up a bit, and enjoy the decline. The autumn years are not without their comforts, for both a nation and a man.

No Exit

In our previous post we linked to Victor Davis Hanson’s gloomy column on the many symptoms of Western decline. Our e-pal David Duff also sent along a link to a similar essay entitled Like Cattle Before a Thunderstorm. Both of these pieces acknowledged a widespread sense of foreboding, but both also showed a curious paralysis, […]

Don’t Worry. Despair.

Over at National Review, Victor Davis Hanson reads us a litany of national woes. He has chosen as a preface a too-familiar epigraph: “Things fall apart; the center cannot hold; / Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.” – W. B. Yeats, “The Second Coming” The article begins: Things are starting to collapse, abroad and […]

Open Thread 4

As always: a placeholder for for free association, idle chat, bibulous logorrhea, and confessions of the heart. (Or, perhaps, for the introduction of serious topics or questions.)

Hold Your Nose And Click

I think it’s safe to say that this The New Republic article — The White Protestant Roots of American Racism — is the worst piece of “journalism” you’re going to see all day. I was about to give it the severe beating it deserves — particularly with respect to Puritanism, Calvinist soteriology, and the central […]

Charles Murray on the SAT

We hear a lot in the mainstream media about the correlation between family income and student achievement. The assumption is usually that it is the affluence itself that causes, by some unjust and remediable social mechanism, favorable outcomes for children of well-to-do families. But a more parsimonious explanation — one that will be obvious to […]

Gradually, Then Suddenly

In a response to our recent post on the entropic influence of the political Left, commenter ‘Epicaric’ wrote: It is my impression … that these forces have accelerated of late, shedding its once linear progression for a pace far more geometric in nature. This is entirely ‘lawful’, and is exactly what we should expect. All […]

What is the Right?

In our last Open Thread, our resident liberal gadfly Peter, a.k.a. ‘The One Eyed Man’, left a comment citing the late Richard Hofstadter to the effect that the political Right (in particular, the “dissident” Right whose views are often summarized in these pages), exhibits a “paranoid style”. Several of us responded in the ensuing discussion. […]

That “Science” Guy

John Derbyshire give Bill Nye’s nose a tweak, here.

Open Thread 3

Have at it, folks.

When One With Honeyed Words But Evil Mind Persuades The Mob, Great Woes Befall The State

Yesterday President Obama gave a commencement address to the Coast Guard Academy. He devoted much of it to brazen propaganda about “climate change”, including even going so far as to make it a scapegoat for Islamic violence and political chaos in the Mideast and Africa. We’re all well-accustomed (perhaps “inured” would be a better word) […]

Move Along, Please

I’m very busy with work today, so for the nonce I’m afraid I must redirect you elsewhere. You’re in luck, though: here’s a fascinating post on human nature by the always-interesting hbd*chick. Also: don’t miss this tart post from Thomas Sowell. (Nothing we haven’t heard before, but very nicely said.)

While I’m On The Subject

Speaking of Hillary Clinton: something you hear often from her supporters (not to mention Mrs. Clinton herself) is that “we need a woman in the White House”. The assumption seems to be (indeed, can only be) that a woman would somehow do the job differently than a man, simply by virtue of being a woman. […]

NFI

Here’s a strange item that’s been making the rounds. (Charles Fort, call your office.)

Kudzu

This from Judicial Watch, yesterday: Documents Reveal Obama Administration Knew that al Qaeda Terrorists Had Planned Benghazi Attack 10 Days in Advance Yes, folks, that’s right: the story we were given, again and again, by this administration — that the attack in Benghazi was just an impromptu reaction to an inflammatory video — was, as […]