It’s Time to Shoot Bambi

Featured image In many suburban neighborhoods, deer now rival raccoons as pests. I take this personally because deer have been ravaging our flower gardens this year, but I have never understood why deer seem to like gardens so much. After all, we live in a lush part of the world with plenty of rainfall and lots of open space. So why do the deer love suburbs? This Wall Street Journal article confirmed »

Neoliberal . . . Crabs?

Featured image The left’s obsession with inequality has reached a level of fanaticism that you could easily confuse with parody. Check out this New York Times headline: It’s for real. Here’s some of the whole story: Hermit crabs face a uniquely competitive real estate market. They need bigger and bigger shells throughout their lives, but can’t grow these homes themselves. So they rely on castoff snail shells, and are constantly on the »

Do We Still “Hold These Truths”?

Featured image On the first page of Natural Right and History (1953) Leo Strauss asks: Does this nation in its maturity still cherish the faith in which it was conceived and raised? Does it still hold those “truths to be self-evident”? About a generation ago, an American diplomat could still say that “the natural and the divine foundation of the rights of man . . . is self-evident to all Americans.” Well what »

The Wrath of Mother Nature

Featured image I spent most of last week on the big island of Hawaii, and since the news media said that fear of the volcano eruption had depressed tourism, it was the obvious thing to do. Here is a short highlight reel of the eruption from a helicopter, which had to stay above 3,000 feet; the zoom-in shot in the middle is very shaky (the helicopter ride was quite bumpy) but you »

Apoc-Eclipse After Action Report

Featured image The Power Line Northwest News Bureau is now styling by the pool after an exhausting morning of eclipse chasing. Is this one of Daniel Boorstin’s “pseudo-events,” or just the media coverage, whose dire warnings of epic traffic jams out here in central Oregon were totally not true at all? But somehow this image does seem accurate: Faithful Power Line reader and punchline provider David Deeble points out that democracy must »

Apoc-eclipse Preview

Featured image As mentioned the other day, I’ve trekked up to central Oregon, near Bend, to take in the total eclipse tomorrow. They’re calling it “apoc-eclipse,” but I think the predictions of traffic armageddon is fake news, rather like the predictions for massive gridlock at the 1984 LA Olympics, where in fact just the opposite occurred—it saw the least traffic congestion in years. Some other time maybe I’ll explain why this is »

It’s a Dog-Eat-Dog World Out There. Oh, Wait

Featured image I sometimes wonder whether Disney movies featuring talking animals are responsible for the sentimentalization of nature at the heart of popular environmentalism. Case in point is the recent video everyone is going nuts over featuring a polar bear “petting” a dog (35 seconds): The Washington Post reports that “The man who shot the video praised the bear for showing ‘that kind of heart toward another animal.'” Now, if you have any sense at »

Back From the Outback [Updated With Beer]

Featured image Well, we didn’t actually get a glimpse of the Outback: we spent two weeks in Melbourne and a couple of days in Sydney. But we are home from Australia, anyway, and I thought some of our readers might be interested in a report. The main purpose of our trip was to spend some time with my daughter Laura and her husband Peter. Peter’s job has taken them to Melbourne for »

A Bald Eagle Before Breakfast

Featured image It wasn’t long ago when bald eagles were an endangered species. More recently, you might see one, on rare occasions, on a lake in northern Minnesota. In recent years, they have multiplied to the point where sightings on the way to work are no rarity. This was a first, however. I was heading toward my garage this morning to leave for a breakfast meeting when I caught a glint of »

If the GOP Field Were Whales. . .

Featured image They’d look like these guys: all spouting off at once, but not getting very far. (Can’t find Trump the Orca though): »

And Now For Something Completely Different. . .

Featured image Like whales. It’s whale migration season out here on the Left Coast.  Here’s a two-minute highlight reel of some action, culminating with yesterday’s up close and personal at the San Simeon pier. (Ah-nold film buffs will know this location from the closing scene of his finest film, Commando.) I’m thinking of named the whale “Cecil.” Whaddyathink?  »

There’s something about Katy (and Lizzy)

Featured image I found Corey Kilgannon’s Saturday Saturday New York Times story to be worthy of note and thought readers might find it of interest. Kilgannon’s story is variously headlined “Long separated, sisters have a college reunion” (in the paper, where it caught my eye) and “2 women moved to write stories uncover a surprisingly personal one” (online). I found it a touching story with plenty of material for further reflection. Here »

Wild Turkey

Featured image With Thanksgiving just around the corner, one’s thoughts naturally turn to turkeys. And, no, I don’t mean Obamacare: I mean real turkeys, especially wild ones. Wild turkeys were just about extinct not many years ago–like Canada geese, amazingly enough–and until quite recently, hardly anyone had ever seen a wild turkey. I first learned about a turkey resurgence when my older brother, at that time a near-professional hunter who lives in »

A Bear’s Argument For Evolution

Featured image How is this video of a bear an argument for evolution? Because it shows bears are getting smarter. For many thousands of years, bears didn’t have to deal with dumpsters. And, as far as I know, bears never invented the wheel; yet this bear understands the concept perfectly. Let’s put it this way: this bear is smart enough that, if he were a human and registered to vote, he wouldn’t »

Photo of the Day

Featured image We were watching a movie in our library a little while ago when one of my daughters had the feeling of being watched. She turned around and looked out the window. There, gazing back at her from a few feet away, was a deer. The deer had retreated a bit by the time my youngest daughter got out her phone and took this picture: We have a cowbird, too, that »

California Dreaming, Chapter 3

Featured image For this installment I take time out from observing California’s socialist-utopian dysfunctionality to observe a few of those “exploitable asymmetries” mentioned previously that make it possible for California to get away with so much of its nonsense.  The other day a pod of whales frolicked on the water just offshore from me, and I managed to catch a great blues act, Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers, at one of »

Theater of the Absurd Seasons

Featured image Here in Minnesota, we have enjoyed an unusually mild winter, and now it seems to be rushing pell-mell into summer. The thermometer has edged over 70 degrees several times this week, and today I think it got up to 75 or so. This is truly extraordinary for mid-March in Minnesota; March ties with February as Minnesota’s snowiest month, on the average. A few days ago, the Minneapolis Star Tribune posted »