Category Archives: Society and Culture

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. […]

Liberal Theodicy

Today I read a good piece by one of my favorite political writers, Mollie Hemingway. In the wake of the Amtrak derailment, and the Left’s immediate rush to blame the disaster on inadequate government spending (which is to say, on fiscal conservatives), she raises the concept of ‘theodicy’ — that is, “attempts to defend God’s […]

On Baltimore

In the aftermath of the Baltimore riots, there was a great deal of partisan debate about the root causes of the many woes of the urban black underclass. Many on the Right went no further than to blame black “thugs” and “race-hustlers”, and to call for militaristic crowd-control, while the Left settled in comfortably to […]

Things To Read

I’m swamped with work tonight, so I’ll just pass along two interesting articles. First, here’s a good piece by Frank Miniter: How To Win a Debate With an Anti-Gunner. Gun owners and Second Amendment defenders living, as I do, in the belly of the liberal beast are all too familiar with the reflexive scorn that […]

Mugged By Reality

We’ve all heard of the “law of unintended consequences”. It’s worth noting, though, that unintended consequences fall into two types: those that are unforeseen because the complexity of a large, dynamic, and possibly chaotic system obscures them even from the most searching analysis, and those that are patently obvious to some observers, but are unseen […]

SSM And SCOTUS: A Repost Re Tradition

In the same-sex marriage arguments at the Supreme Court the other day (see the Washington Post’s coverage, here), the discussion naturally touched upon the wisdom, or folly, of discarding by government fiat a sacred tradition that is at least as old as civilization itself, and universal to every society that has ever existed. Left and […]

SSM And ‘Sexual Discrimination': Begging The Question

In today’s Best of the Web, James Taranto focuses on a question asked by John Roberts: “I’m not sure it’s necessary to get into sexual orientation to resolve the case. I mean, if Sue loves Joe and Tom loves Joe, Sue can marry him and Tom can’t. And the difference is based upon their different […]

SSM At SCOTUS

The Supreme Court heard arguments today in Obergefell v. Hodges, which, as you may know, concerns itself with whether or not same-sex couples have a right to redefine what marriage is, and to compel every state to accept the new definition. Good coverage of the arguments here. Haven’t even had time to go over it […]

Nyah-Nyah

Want to provoke a race war in America? This sneering video is probably as good a way as any. Just keep pushing, Eloi. Keep pushing.

Kill The Headlights, Step On The Gas

Here is a thing Hillary Clinton said in 2004: “I believe that marriage is not just a bond but a sacred bond between a man and a woman. I have had occasion in my life to defend marriage, to stand up for marriage, to believe in the hard work and challenge of marriage. So I […]

This Is The Future You Have Chosen

Seventy years ago, our military forces stormed the beaches of Normandy, on their way to the liberation of Europe. That was then. This is now.

Society And The Second Law

In preparing the previous post, I ran across a blog I’d never seen before — a neoreactionary organ called Let A Thousand Nations Bloom. (I had originally been about to use Mao’s line, “Let a thousand flowers bloom!”) I rather liked the look of the website, so I gave it a link at the bottom […]

On Nationalism

Here is some splendid clarity from John Derbyshire on the oft-maligned idea of nationalism: I’m a nationalist: which is to say, I believe in the idea of a nation as the political expression of a particular people, of mostly-common broad ancestry, speaking a common language and cleaving to a common culture within well-defended borders. Here’s […]

Chasing Rainbows, or The Conclusion That Must Not Be Reached

Charles Murray comments on a recent Washington Post article on IQ. Here.

Zap!

This should worry you: The Shaming of Cheryl Rios Because the world has got so small, everything collides with everything else. Attention from all parts of this flattened, shrunken system can swivel to focus on any node at any time — and attention can exalt or destroy. In this case, it is like stereotactic radiosurgery: […]

On Punching

Recently the Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau criticized Charlie Hebdo’s anti-Islamic cartoons. He accused the magazine of using satire to “punch down” — that is, of abusing one’s own position of safety and privilege in order to harass the “disenfranchised”. The blogger and columnist Daniel Greenfield has offered a tart response. Excerpt: The left has adopted […]

Anarcho-Tyranny

Following on those recently linked posts by Victor Davis Hanson and Heather Mac Donald, which limned in dispiriting detail the total collapse of the rule of law as applied to illegal immigrants and the crimes, petty and otherwise, that they commit (see, for example, the corrosive vandalism and petty theft described by Mr. Hanson), we […]

The Problem With Singapore

Singapore’s long-time leader Lee Kuan Yew died a couple of weeks ago. His death brought a surprising outpouring of praise from all quarters: even Barack Obama praised the man, and John Kerry, in a characteristically infelicitous phrase, said Mr. Lee ‘exuded wisdom’. You should find this acclamation puzzling, because Mr. Lee was the polar opposite […]

Put Away Childish Things

One of the more spirited characters in our politically-oriented online media is the blogger who goes by the name ‘Ace of Spades’. Here’s a fine rant by Ace on this shameful Indiana business. (Warning: intemperate language.)

Freedom, Religious And Otherwise

This ruction about Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act is deplorable for many reasons — not least of which is the fact that Indiana’s law is nothing unusual, and resembles very closely similar laws in other states (including, for example, Connecticut, whose governor has ostentatiously called for a state-spending boycott of Indiana, and Illinois, where young […]

Decline And Fall

Thanks all for the well-wishes in comments and emails, folks. I’ll leave you all on this cheery note.

Whoops!

Here’s an interesting item from across the pond: We were wrong to try to ban racism out of existence, says former equality chief The modern order (there’s an oxymoron for you!) is all about careless destruction.

Like It Is

It’s nice to see Rudy Giuliani standing firm on his remarks about Barack Obama. Mr. Giuliani has obviously reached the point where he is answerable to nobody: he is independently wealthy, and has no voters to appease. The Cathedral’s levers therefore having (for now at least) no point of purchase on him, he is free […]

The Truth Will Set You Free

I was out doing errands just now, and stopped in at the local Asian fruit-and-vegetable shop. I had grabbed several things that were three for a dollar, five for a dollar, etc., and the young woman behind the counter quickly summed up the total in her head. I complimented her on her calculating skill. She […]

Commonality Of Atoms

In a recent nerf-ball interview with Vox, President Obama gloated at the disintegration of the American nation into a dissociated congeries of human particles. In his remarks, Mr. Obama said the following thing: …I’m pretty optimistic, and the reason is because this country just becomes more and more of a hodgepodge of folks… So people […]

Land Of The Free

President Obama has proposed that we make community college ‘free’. Leaving aside the obvious, inviolable, but apparently unmentionable truth that no public service is ‘free’ (and passing up as well the opportunity to razz the President for his cockamamie scheme, since ridiculed out of existence, to start taxing college-saving plans to help foot the bill), […]

Degeneracy Pressure

I hope you will forgive me for a series of nested self-quotes in this post. Back in November, I posted a little item in which I quoted this, from an even earlier post: The universal acid of radical skepticism having nearly completed its work, all transcendent values have now been dissolved — and if all […]

What Will We Do?

Much has been made, in recent days, of the fact that most Muslims are not terrorists. This is true: the percentage of the world’s Muslims who engage in the active slaughter of civilians is so small as to be a rounding error. But in an open and generally unarmed society, in which the default stance […]

QOTD

“There is a deep reassurance for the frustrated in witnessing the downfall of the fortunate and the disgrace of the righteous. They see in a general downfall an approach to the brotherhood of all. Chaos, like the grave, is a haven of equality. Their burning conviction that there must be a new life and a […]

Charlie Hebdo

By now we have all heard the awful news from Paris. Time prevents me from commenting at length just now, but my feeling is that this will be as pivotal an event as 9/11 was, if not more so. This horrific attack is not only an assault on the prevailing social philosophy of the West, […]

Ourobouros

Have you heard of Poe’s Law? Wikipedia defines it thus: Poe’s law, named after its author Nathan Poe, is an Internet adage reflecting the idea that, without a clear indication of the author’s intent, it is difficult or impossible to tell the difference between an expression of sincere extremism and a parody of extremism. Now […]

The Road To Perdition

An old friend, who lives in California, writes: I spent hours on New Year’s Day attending online traffic school, and only passed by the skin of my teeth, as there was a serious language/grammar/thinking gap between me and the authors of the course. Here are just a few examples. I would have spent hours more […]

Old Wine, New Bottle

The New Yorker‘s essayist Adam Gopnik — whom I have always considered to be quite lavishly talented, despite his dainty and epicene style — beclowned himself one minute into this New Year with a stupendously mawkish item on gun control. It is so bad, in fact — so completely barren of fact, rational argument, or […]

In The Carboniferous Epoch We Were Promised Abundance For All

Coming soon, to a formerly vigorous republic near you: Hospitals cancel operations to cope with Government’s A&E crisis Over 300 long-planned operations are cancelled each day as England’s NHS hospitals need more beds for A&E departments under record-breaking strain. In the first two weeks of December, 3,113 elective operations were cancelled – many only hours […]

File Under ‘National Conversation’

Here’s Heather Mac Donald on our smoldering civil war.

Is Digital Civilization Sustainable?

Here’s something else that the Sony hacking story has me thinking about: the ‘arms race’ between hackers and cybersecurity. There have been a lot of high-profile cyberattacks lately, and if anything, they seem to be getting more frequent, and more damaging. What’s worse, more and more of every aspect of our lives, and of every […]

Al Über Alles

The Sony affair has revealed, in many ways, just how appallingly far our culture’s wasting disease has progressed, but this is by far the direst symptom of all: Sharpton to have say over how Sony makes movies Excerpt: Hollywood ​came to the Rev. Al Thursday as embattled Sony exec Amy Pascal ​met ​privately with the […]

The Bonfire Of The Sanities

Following on last spring’s item on the NYPD, here’s a story from yesterday’s Post: FDNY drops physical test requirement amid low female hiring rate The Fire Department has stopped requiring probationary firefighters to pass a job-related physical-skills test before getting hired… Fifty years ago, it would have been obvious to any rational person that this […]

There Are Too Damn Many Laws

Recently I wrote: Have we reached the point where we want to forbid the police to use force, when necessary, to make arrests? Approach this idea with caution, for to grant a monopoly of physical force to the State, except in cases of immediate self-defense, is the very bedrock of the social contract that makes […]

Sound And Fury

Yesterday’s Senate report on the CIA has sparked a lot of talk, most of it on a very shallow and very binary level. (Post on that forthcoming, when time permits.) As noted yesterday, the report is far from impartial. Several former directors and deputy directors of the CIA, who were active during the period covered […]

A Slight Air Of Unreality

Today we will have the Senate’s report on the use of harsh interrogation methods by the CIA. There will be a great spasm of hand-wringing — indeed, there already has been — and no doubt the report will be further confirmation, for those who scarcely need it, of the fundamental vileness of the United States […]

On The Rule Of Law

From a column by Thomas Sowell, today at NRO: Let the responsibility lie with whoever forces a resort to force. Also: For people who have never tried to take into custody someone resisting arrest, to sit back in the safety and comfort of their homes or offices and second-guess people who face the dangers inherent […]

And So It Goes

Well, Zemir Begic is already down the memory hole, it seems (who?), along with executive action on amnesty, etc. Now it’s Eric Garner, all the time, and race-hatred is ablaze in the streets again — the flames whipped up, as always, by those who delight and luxuriate in cultural arson. Mr. Garner’s story is a […]

If They Had A Hammer…

Did you hear about the brutal murder of Zemir Begic in St. Louis a couple of days ago? He was beaten to death, with hammers, by ‘teens’. If you haven’t heard about this it isn’t surprising; none of the major news outlets thought it fit for much attention. After all, there’s no reason to think […]

The Healing Touch

On Monday night, as the sack of Ferguson was just getting underway, President Obama appeared on television to make a lackluster appeal for decorum. (His remarks were broadcast in split-screen, with the gathering riot on one side and Mr. Obama on the other; the juxtaposition made for some memorable TV.) Writing at City Journal, Heather […]

Watching The World Burn

By now even the most rose-bespectacled Pollyannas among you (you know who you are) must be noticing that things are getting a little, um, frayed. As I write, civil order is fracturing, with impressive coordination, all over the country. Last night an American city was sacked by barbarians — looted, pillaged, and burned as the […]

Angels And Demons

When hopes and dreams are loose in the streets, it is well for the timid to lock doors, shutter windows and lie low until the wrath has passed. For there is often a monstrous incongruity between the hopes, however noble and tender, and the action which follows them. It is as if ivied maidens and […]

Paging Dr. Richter

Everybody’s talking about the unilateral illegal-alien amnesty President Obama plans to announce tonight. (One thing you may not have heard, buy the way, is that it will add as many new foreign workers as there have been jobs created since 2009, at a time when, for example, unemployment among blacks, who will disproportionately be competing […]

Boil That Frog

Yawn… ISIS beheads another American. You know, when I was younger, that would have been a pretty big deal.

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 […]