Category Archives: General

Whatever doesn’t obviously go anywhere else.

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).

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 […]

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.)

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. […]

Open Thread 3

Have at it, folks.

Belated Birthday

It escaped my attention at the time, but April 22nd, 2015 marked the tenth anniversary of the present incarnation of this blog. (It actually had begun a few months earlier, in late 2004, but I had chosen a fly-by-night hosting service that soon went belly-up, taking all my content with it.) Since then we have […]

Open Thread 3

Perhaps once a week is too often for this. We’ll see.

Egalitarianism Ruins Everything

Some time ago I commented on a tiny, emaciated female police officer I had seen in Prospect Park. Now we learn that a 33-year-old woman, Rebecca Wax, is to be made a New York City firefighter despite having failed the physical exam. Fighting fires is not a political or ideological abstraction. Actual fires take place […]

Open Thread

Fire away.

A Pair Of Ace’s

Forgive the apostrophe-trolling in the title, but the blogger known as Ace of Spades has been in fine fettle lately. See here and here. In the second linked piece, Ace mentions the “Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect” (named for physicist Murray Gell-Mann), which the late Michael Crichton described as follows: Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is […]

Open Thread

As our regular comment-threads seem to meander far off-topic from time to time (and because I am generally too warm-hearted and lazy to moderate comments), I am introducing this new feature, in the hope of keeping our other comment-threads pithy and focused: an occasional (perhaps weekly) placeholder for for free association, idle chat, bibulous logorrhea, […]

Things Fall Apart

As I write, the civil society is breaking down again, this time in Baltimore. (I don’t have much to say about it, or perhaps I should say that I am not yet prepared to say, in this forum at least, some of the things I might say about it.) Nobody who has been paying attention […]

Just Say No!

Here’s an interesting idea from Charles Murray: a way for the beleaguered citizen to stand up to a bullying Leviathan.

Half Empty

Victor Davis Hanson is one of our pre-eminent gloominaries. This isn’t surprising, given that he is a scholar of history, and that his family has been farming California’s Central valley for generations. Both of these things give him an objective baseline against which to measure our civilization’s, and in particular California’s, accelerating decline and decay. […]

Coming Around

I’m much improved this week. I’m still full of powerful narcotics, but I’m getting around a lot better, and my “little grey cells” are starting to come back to life. It’s hard to know where to pick up the thread of current and recent events; an awful lot has been going on. There’s the Iran […]

Update

Sorry to have been down so long… this post-operative experience is everything they warned me it would be, and then some. The deep pain, and the meds one has to take to manage it, are so disorienting and exhausting that any sort of serious thinking, reading, or writing are just impossible. (Even typing is affected […]

“Let The Healing Process Begin”

We hear this expression all the time lately. As a lover of language, I’ve done a little research, and it turns out that in archaic usage it could refer to actual injuries, too, and not just to somebody, somewhere, having said something uncomplimentary. Good to know! I’m home again, but too exhausted and doped up […]

Update

Knee replaced without incident. In hospital till later this week. Thanks again all. – MP

Service Notice

Back in January of 1996, I had a little mishap down at the kwoon. We had a cocky student who needed taking down a peg, and in the course of doing so I smote him with a jumping double kick — showboating on my part, really, because such things are hardly necessary for effective Hung […]

Bright Side

Overheard in a checkout line yesterday: Shopper #1: “Tomorrow night’s Daylight Savings Time.” Shopper #2: “Yeah. ‘Spring Ahead’, right? So we lose an hour of sleep.” Shopper #1: “Yeah… but maybe the extra hour of sunlight will help melt all this snow!”

This And That

I won’t comment on Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress tomorrow, other than to note that President Obama has nothing on his public schedule at 11 a.m., and that the boycott of the address by the Congressional Black Caucus and other Democrats is not something they ought to be particularly proud of. (My own representative, Yvette […]

Acronym Of The Day

…is ‘TATO’. It stands for ‘TATO And TATO Only’. (hat-tip: D.R.H.)

Let Me Count The Ways

On an end-table next to where I do most of my reading there is a lamp with a ‘three-way’ bulb. Last night one of its filaments burned out, and I found that I had no more of these bulbs in the house. I’ll go looking for another tomorrow. I know that these ‘three-way’ bulbs were […]

Never Mind!

Well, whaddya know: after decades of scaremongering about dietary cholesterol, it looks like the U.S. government is about to tell us we don’t need to worry about it after all. This from the Washington Post: The nation’s top nutrition advisory panel has decided to drop its caution about eating cholesterol-laden food, a move that could […]

Links

Yet another round of painful periodontal surgery today. I’m too out-of-it to write much, or well. Some links, then: ‣   I’m going to have to get myself some of this, I think. ‣   42 hours of Buckminster Fuller lectures. ‣   The St. Augustine Monster. ‣   Medieval Metallica. ‣   Charles Cooke […]

¡Hola!

Well, we’re back from our little trip to Banderas Bay. It’s bracing to be back home again in the frigid North. Balmy breezes in February are nice enough in small doses, I suppose, but frankly the whole tropical-paradise thing has a limited and transitory appeal to Ice People like me. If history hasn’t already made […]

Service Notice

Leaving the country for a week. Probably no posts till we get back.

Lies, Damned Lies, And Sound Effects

For some reason I find this story oddly dispiriting.

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.

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 […]

Merry Christmas!

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

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 […]

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 […]

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.

Fanning The Fire

The nation waits with bated breath for the Ferguson grand jury to return its verdict. The expectation is that there will be no indictment, as it appears that Michael Brown had attacked Officer Darren Wilson, badly injuring him, and was trying to take the officer’s pistol when he was shot. The expectation is also that […]

Links

I’ve been too busy, again, to discharge my duties around here for a few days — and I’m working late again tonight. Here are a few links that have been piling up: ‣   Nine horror films under 9 minutes. ‣   The Life of R’lyeh. ‣   What to get me for Christmas. ‣ […]

End Of The Road

More sad news today: Tom Magliozzi, who with his younger brother Ray hosted the weekly radio program Car Talk, has died of Alzheimers at age 77. I’m really, really sad to hear this. I loved this show, and I loved these guys. (Yeesh — first Jack Bruce, and now Tom Magliozzi, in a just over […]

Fact And Faction

The other day a group calling itself ‘Hollaback’ posted a video on YouTube called 10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman. Its apparent purpose was to call attention to the oppressive conditions that women, even in these relatively enlightened times, must endure in a culture still in the grip of a malevolent and […]

Potpourri

I’ve been neglectful of the blog this past week — it’s been five days since the last post. I’ve been busy, but that’s not all of it; there are times when the well just runs dry, and this has been one of them. It certainly isn’t as if there isn’t a lot going on that’s […]

One By One

I’m sorry to see this: Paul Revere, of the 60’s band Paul Revere and the Raiders, has died. Geoffrey Holder, too. Man, I’m starting to feel old.

Merga

If the U.S. is going to be involved at all in the Mideast snake-pit — and it appears that it is — then there is one party that stands out as being worthy of our trust and support, namely the Kurds. They are currently being exterminated, while we shift from foot to foot, inspect our […]

This And That

I’m working late tonight — so for now, here’s some Q&A about that “impossible” spaceship drive I mentioned a while back. Also, here’s one person’s attempt to model the cultural manifold that will provide the context for the next civil war. I’ll say also, just in passing, how surprised I am that the Supreme Court […]