Category Archives: Society and Culture

Right For Robots?

In today’s newsletter (which I recommend again to you all), we find a link to the following story: Incident of drunk man kicking humanoid robot raises legal questions We read: A few weeks ago, a drunk man in Japan was arrested for kicking a humanoid robot that was stationed as a greeter at a […]

As I was Saying…

I’ve written several posts about the culture of victimhood and microaggression now hegemonic in academia and eslewhere. Among other points, I’ve noted that such a culture of perceived oppression is actually made possible only by the clemency of the ambient culture: It is as if the grievance culture is a little ‘virtual machine’ running inside […]

Dawkins And Diversity

With the migrant crisis in Europe at full boil, immigration is a hot topic. I’ve just had another round with our multiculturalist gadfly in the previous post’s comment thread, but of course we’ve been over all of this before. I invite readers to review, in particular, the long and patient discussion we had here, which […]

As The World Burns

Though it’s September, and time to get back to business around here, I haven’t had enough quiet time over the past few days to do any serious writing. (Though you may find it hard to believe, it actually takes me rather a long time to produce a substantial post — and then there’s coming up […]

How Frogs Are Boiled

With a hat-tip to our reader and commenter Libertybelle, here’s a strong piece by Mark Steyn on the way things happen.

Order And Disorder

Here is an article from Vox about a trans-gendered high-school student, with a female body, who wants to use the boy’s bathroom. The title of the piece is: A federal judge said being transgender is a mental disorder. Here’s why he’s wrong. The piece relies for its argument on the recent (2013) reclassification, by the […]

The ‘National Conversation’ Continues

Here’s a good post by Lewis Amselem, a.k.a. ‘Diplomad’, on race relations in the West. He begins: Let me be blunt: I find that discussions of race quickly get boring, idiotic, inconclusive, and, often, verbally and even physically violent. Race tells you very little if anything about a person and his or her attributes except, […]


Stop me if you’ve heard this one: A biology professor and two of his graduate students are doing field-work in the jungle. Suddenly they are surrounded by tribal warriors brandishing spears and clubs. They are quickly subdued and taken to a village a few miles away. The Chief appears. He glowers at them and says: […]

The New RINO

It appears that the intellectual and philosophical conclave known as ‘neo-reaction’, or the ‘Dark Enlightenment’, has just made its first memetic inroad into the broader political culture, with the derogatory neologism ‘cuckservative’. The term refers to ‘conservatives’, generally white and male, who, cowed and ensorcelled by the hegemonic multiculturalism and relativism of what neo-reactionaries calls […]

A Respectful Whistle

This may ring a bell: There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one’s own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and […]

America’s Jacobins: Feeling Their Avoine

Recently a commenter scoffed at suggestions that, given the sudden anathematization of all things Confederate, statues honoring Confederate heroes might soon be removed. Fast forward a week, and we’re already moving past anything so tame as that — to the actual disinterment of the dead. No announcement yet as to which lamp-post will display the […]

The Culture War: Dispatch From The Front

The other day, in the context of the gagging and grinding-into-the-dust of a dissenting Oregonian baker, I mentioned Tom Nichols’ observation about the difference between authoritarians and totalitarians: that the former only cares about what you do, while the latter must also control what you think. Totalitarians demand not only obedience, but conversion. Mr. Nichols […]

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 […]


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.”

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 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 […]

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, […]

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), […]

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. Related content from Sphere

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]


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 […]


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.


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 […]


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.) Related content from Sphere

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.


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. Related content from Sphere

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 […]