Monthly Archives: December 2011

Slipping into Christmas

Featured image Leon Russell released a Christmas single at the height of his popularity in 1972. It’s called “Slipping Into Christmas,” and it’s probably more accurate to say it’s a blues love song with a seasonal theme: “Deck the halls with teardrops/Scrooge ain’t got a thing on me.” Leon recruited the late, great Freddie King for the guitar part. According to Memory Lane on Leon’s site, the song reached # 4 on »

Merry Christmas!

Featured image I hope your family is having as wonderful a holiday season as ours. After church yesterday afternoon, we had all of our children and my wife’s family with us for Christmas Eve. My wife made her sensational roast beef. My daughters gave me this very fun party game which eight or so of us played for a couple of hours. Our youngest said she wanted a big tree this year, »

Fighting Stereotypes in the U.K.

Featured image In the Telegraph, Damian Thompson has an interesting short piece titled “When Islam met the diversity industry.” He notes the incongruous compatibility between British Muslims and the heretofore aggressively secular diversity industry. Thompson focuses on the Islamic Diversity Centre in Newcastle. Much could be said about this group’s activities, but I want to make just one observation. The IDC’s stated purpose is challenging stereotypes of Islam. It is therefore rather »

Thought for the Day

Featured image Recently ran across this line from Rebecca West, written in the late 1940s with reference to the British Labour Party, but which reads just as accurately in the Age of Obama: “The individualist is being looted by his own country as if it were an enemy.” Well, Obama did once say that he considered his one experience in the private sector was like being “a spy behind enemy lines.” »

What To Do About Trump?

Featured image Republicans are on edge these days. The fate of the Republic hangs in the balance; Barack Obama, an unpopular president widely perceived as a failure, should be beatable in November; on paper, the GOP is poised to take the Senate and hold the House; but every day something seems to go wrong. Our Congressional leaders are a gang that can’t shoot straight, and our presidential contenders have staged what amounts »

Ishmael Jones: What process is due?

Featured image This week brought word that the Department of Justice has rejected a Freedom of Information Act request from the New York Times asking the agency to reveal the legal basis for the newly unveiled American program of strategic drone-attack assassinations of American citizens off the field of battle. Ishmael Jones draws on his experience working as a case officer for the CIA to offer this commentary from a perspective that »

Obama’s DOJ Strikes a Blow

Featured image We have been following the Obama administration’s effort to grease the skids for the 2012 election by enabling voter fraud, with the cooperation of various left-wing groups. Eric Holder announced at a speech at the Lyndon Johnson Library in Austin that the Department of Justice would take a hostile view of the various statutes that states have enacted to protect ballot integrity. Thus, it was no surprise when DOJ announced »

Still Crazed In Wisconsin

Featured image A blogger named Lance Burri spotted this story in the Baraboo News Republic of Baraboo, Wisconsin. It concerns a motel owner who put up a sign that has antagonized many passers-by: What is extraordinary is not just that a business owner would put up a sign that is a) obscene and b) political, but one that would infuriate roughly half of the potential customers who see it. Such is the »

Last Minute Christmas Gift Suggestions

Featured image Stuck for a topical gift at the last minute?  How about the new Lego Occupy Wall Street Riot Brigade (complete with that Zucotti Park smell!) And if that doesn’t work, how about this: »

Why “Reform” Makes Problems Worse: A Case Study

Featured image There’s an old saying that goes something like “scoundrels vastly underestimate the cynical possibilities of ‘reform,’” and my own social-sciency version of this is the equation P+R=2P, where P is the Problem and R is the Reform to solve the problem, but which makes the problem twice as bad.  And yes, elementary algebra shows that Reform is a Problem itself.  (See how easy modern academic political science is?  You think »

A California Yankee in the Dark Ages

Featured image A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court is one of Mark Twain’s lesser novels, but it made a mark. In the novel he adopted the device of time travel, I think, in part to display the superiority of democratic modernity to ages past and in part to mock novels that idealize the past. The story is something of a dream burlesque. Exploring the ancient past, Victor Davis Hanson has recently »

Silence of the Bams, cont’d

Featured image We all know that Obamacare is in the process of being implemented and already imposing enormous costs on the economy, but we haven’t heard much about it lately. We haven’t heard much about it lately from the Obama administration in particular. Why is that? In an important article in the September issue of the American Spectator, Grace-Marie Turner — president of the Galen Institute — inferred the method to the »

Bagless in Seattle: Resistance is good for the environment

Featured image Dr. Paul Manner writes from Seattle to comment on the new Seattle ordinance banning plastic bags that we discussed in “Bagless in Seattle: Victory is at hand.” Could the law’s favoritism toward paper bags be bad for the environment? Dr. Manner writes: Actually, plastic is far better for the environment, and this is the funniest aspect of this whole idiotic discussion. From Treehugger: Plastic bags create fewer airborne emissions and »

Obama’s Place on the Continuum of Greatness: A Dissenting View

Featured image Our post on President Obama’s absurd claim that he has accomplished more than any modern president through his first three years in office, with the “possible” exceptions of Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson, has gotten a lot of notice, as has similar commentary around the web. (Has any “mainstream” outlet publicized Obama’s howler? Not that I know of.) Michael Ramirez happily doesn’t have to rely on the New »

Photos of the Year

Featured image Every year, National Geographic magazine awards prizes for the best photographs of the year in the categories nature, places and people. The winners for 2011 are here. A lot of them are spectacular; this shot of a dragonfly in the rain, taken in Indonesia, won the grand prize: This one of a zebra fleeing a waterhole in Tanzania is another of my favorites: Some of the non-nature ones are very »

Why Can’t Republicans Win?

Featured image The House gave in today, and went along with the Senate’s two-month extension of the payroll tax holiday. The Associated Press assures us this is “a clear win for Obama.” Many people seem to think that House Republicans were trying to raise the payroll tax, but this isn’t true at all. On the contrary: the bill the House passed would have extended the payroll tax cut for twelve months, not »

Most Pitiful Occupation Ever

Featured image I am pretty sure this is not a parody, but rather a straight news story about an effort to Occupy Darien, Connecticut: First Day of Occupy Darien Draws Small Crowd: The first day of the Occupy Darien demonstration got off to a slow start at a wet Tilley Park in Darien on Wednesday morning with about 10 protesters coming out for the event. Cole Stangler of New Canaan was the »