Category Archives: General

Whatever doesn’t obviously go anywhere else.

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 […]


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. […]


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.


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

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.


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. Related content from Sphere

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 […]


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 […]


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!” Related content from Sphere

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 […]


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 […]


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. Related content from Sphere

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.