Category Archives: General

Whatever doesn’t obviously go anywhere else.

A Potpourri From Dr. V

Bill Vallicella, the Maverick Philosopher, is in fine form this week. Yesterday he published an excellent meditation on free will, and today he’s breathing fire upon the political Left: It is hopelessly naive to think that we can have comity without commonality… we have reached the point where we agree on almost nothing and that […]

Service Notice

Yet another outage today with my hosting service. Apologies to all.

Back

Time to start betting back to regular operations around here, I think. It was good to take some time off, and I thank all of you who visit here regularly for your patience. I’ll confess that it’s been a little harder lately for me to keep to daily blogging; I’ve had many distractions, and I […]

Service Notice, and Open Thread 14

Need a few days offline, folks. Back later this week, or early next.

Open Thread 13

Haven’t had one of these for a while. Ask me anything, propose a topic, chat amongst yourselves. Whatever you like.

Four Faiths

I’ve just run across a glum and deeply reactionary essay by Gregory Hood, written in November of 2014, on the spiritual exhaustion of the West, and the durable appeal of Islam. It examines four possible foundations for the future of our civilization: Christianity, paganism, techno-liberalism, and submission to Islam. Some excerpts: To most people, being […]

Coincidence?

Yesterday my server was down for several hours. This hardly ever used to happen, but lately I’ve had a lot of little outages, and my hosting company’s technical support (the company is Bluehost) has also been outsourced to India. It used to be that when I opened a live chat with tech support I would […]

Commentus Interruptus

We had another outage today. Both this website and my email server were down for hours. (My hosting company, Bluehost, isn’t what it used to be, and I think I’m going to have to start shopping around for another service.) Apologies to all. Related content from Sphere

Make Much of Time

I was remiss not to have noted here the death of the great George Martin, who left us, earlier this week, at the age of 90. He was a visionary artist, and by all accounts a gentleman. The Beatles would not have been what they were without him. Now he is joined in death by […]

Forward!

I want to thank everybody once again who emailed me in response to my previous post, and to all who commented. I had begun to have very serious doubts about whether I was really doing anything useful or helpful here, or just shouting up a drainpipe, and the many responses I received were enormously encouraging. […]

What am I doing here?

Our commenter ‘Musey’, in response to our previous post about Special Relativity, wrote from Australia to tell me her husband Martin said I’d “explained that very well”. Readers, if you look at my early archives you’ll see that I used to explain a lot of things in here that had nothing at all to do […]

Antonin Scalia, 1936-2016

It was with the profoundest shock and sorrow that I learned, early this evening, of the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. This is devastating news. I was an enormous admirer of this great jurist — not only as an irreplaceable defender of the Constitution, but as writer, a philosopher, a scholar, a humorist, a raconteur, […]

Service Notice

I’ve been using the hosting service Bluehost for eleven years now, and until recently I’ve been thrilled with their service, and have recommended them often to other bloggers. Lately, though, they’ve been scaling up, and downtime’s increased. Worse, their tech support, which used to be prompt and helpful, has been all but unreachable lately. We’ve […]

Sherp

I. Want. This.

Res Ipsa Schmipsa

“Evidence is fact that discriminates between one theory and another. Facts do not “speak for themselves.” They speak for or against competing theories. Facts divorced from theory or visions are mere isolated curiosities.” — Thomas Sowell, A Conflict Of Visions Related content from Sphere

Bob Elliott, 1923-2016

Bob Elliott, the surviving member of the great comedy duo Bob & Ray, has died. He was 92. Nobody much younger than I am will even know who these people were. It’s the curse of the old that only they know, as the great mill of history grinds the past into dust, what has been […]

Plug

Readers will be aware that I’m recovering, slowly, from having my left knee replaced. (It’ll be three weeks tomorrow since the surgery.) The operation was actually a redo of the original job, last March, which turned out to have been botched. Total knee replacement is major surgery — it inflicts a grievous wound, and the […]

What Say You, Tea Leaves?

It’s been almost a year — it was February 28th, 2015 — since I predicted that Hillary Clinton would not be the Democratic nominee. (Readers can find the historic vaticination — upon which I immediately staked a bottle of whisky in a wager with our commenter ‘The One Eyed Man’ — in the comment-thread here.) […]

Rules Of Order

Here’s an extended meditation on that modern Sisyphus, Wile E. Coyote, and on the genius of his creator, Chuck Jones.

The Kindness of Strangers

Just got a package from Amazon containing a CD by the rock band Clutch. I have no idea who sent it to me, but I do get the occasional item in the mail from readers (mostly books). Anyway, thanks, whoever you are. This is not exactly the sort of thing I usually listen to, but […]

Service Notice

OK, off for knee-revision surgery at 4:30. Back in harness before too long, I expect. At the very least I’ll post something, just as “proof of life”, as soon as I am able. If not, carry on! The barbarians are at the gates. Update, January 13th: I’m back home, but completely knackered. It was a […]

Dead Man Walking

I don’t know if you’ve been following this crazy Sean-Penn-El-Chapo story, but what an incredible dope Sean Penn is: The Man Who Got El Chapo Arrested. He will now have every neck-tattooed La Santa Muerte gang-banger south of the Rio Grande hunting him down until the end of his days. I reckon that at this […]

Friday Miscellany

Sorry for another grab-bag post, but even with all that’s going on in the U.S. and abroad I just don’t have the “bandwidth” to do much writing at the moment. (It may not be until I’ve recovered a bit from Monday’s surgery that things will get back to normal around here.) I’m also so fatigued […]

Still Here

Sorry about the quiet spell here, readers. Our lovely daughter (newly betrothed!) has been visiting us from Vienna over the “hols”, and it’s been good to disconnect from the wider world for a couple of weeks. I’m sorry to say, also, that another hiatus is coming up soon. Some of you may remember that I […]

Happy New Year!

Here comes 2016. Buckle up! Thanks again to all of you for reading and commenting.

This & That

This intercalary week is always a good time for a change of pace, and with all that’s been going on in the local physical world, I’ve hardly glanced at the computer for the past few days. (It’s been nice.) Even better, I’ve managed to pay almost no attention at all to the news. Finding myself […]

Service Notice

On a little holiday break with family. Back soon. Also, sorry about the outage yesterday (if any of you noticed).

Homer Nods

It’s amazing how hard it is to proofread your own stuff. I just saw a glaring typo in the first line of a recent post; it sat there for more than a day before I spotted it. (If you didn’t see it, too late; it’s fixed.) It ruined the whole flow of the line, and […]

Nose : Grindstone

Done with the weekend’s sessions, but still swamped with work. All I’ve managed to post over the past few days has been a few comments over at Maverick Philosopher, where a discussion of “tribalism” continues, here. Back soon. Related content from Sphere

Service Notice

Recording sessions all weekend. Talk amongst yourselves.

Open Thread 11

I’m working late tonight, and haven’t time to write. So here’s yet another placeholder for free association, idle chat, bibulous logorrhea, and confessions of the heart. (Or, perhaps, for the introduction of serious topics or questions.) You have the floor. Related content from Sphere

Period Piece 2

I’ve got nothing tonight — I’m weary of arguing, and the Muse is silent — so for now, an update to an old item from the early days of this blog. The original post was about a Victorian-era bust of Washington Irving that stands in Prospect Park. Have a look. Here’s another example of the […]

Happy Thanksgiving!

To all of you. Among the many blessings I have to be thankful for is to have you all as readers and commenters.

Katy, Bar The Door

The idea of settling myriads of Syrian “refugees” here in the U.S. is, I’m glad to see, meeting some heavy headwinds. Dozens of governors have refused to comply, and now the House has passed a bill that seeks to make the “vetting” process more rigorous. (That latter, though, is really just a gesture; “vetting” Muslim […]

The Fall

I’ve always loved this season. Here are a few of the snapshots that have piled up on my smart-phone this autumn. Turkeys in my front yard the other day (they should be more careful this time of year, especially keeping in mind that we grow a lot of cranberries out here): Cape Cod Bay from […]

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 […]

Stateside

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 […]

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. […]

Okay!

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Service Notice, and Open Thread 8

Busy few days coming up. Back soon.

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. […]

Open Thread 7

All yours, folks.

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). Related content from Sphere

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. Related content from Sphere