Getting there in spite of them

Charlie Martin (who lives in Colorado) looks at why passenger trains can’t compete with airlines as they do in Europe. The answer is simple arithmetic — long distance trains take much too long: I can imagine taking the train to New York on vacation, because I am a train nut and the trip would be […]


I don’t know whether there is such a thing as vicarious hedonism or whether I have what has been called a “freedom fetish,” but something happened earlier which has been happening to me more and more. When I saw a pedestrian walking down the street smoking a cigarette, it made me very happy, and cheered […]

Double secret hedonism

As part of my ongoing search for the musical roots of modern American hedonism (a search in which I take no pleasure,* mind you), with a start I suddenly remembered “Keep On Dancing” — a 1965 song by a group named The Gentrys, of all things. As you can see, this was no grungy looking […]

George Carlin, 1937-2008

George Carlin was one of my favorite comedians, and I’m sorry to see him go. Ann Althouse loved Carlin, and pays tribute to him with a collection of YouTube videos — “decades-old routines that spring to mind immediately as the most brilliant comic riffs I’ve ever heard.” If you enjoyed Carlin, check out Ann Althouse’s […]

Why you should apologize — ineffectively and dishonestly — for what you didn’t do

Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Annette John-Hall argues that because slavery’s legacy affects us all (like it or not, it does), it shouldn’t be taboo to discuss it, which she claims it is. …for some, the subject is inexplicably taboo. Verboten. Don’t ask, don’t tell. Get over it, they say. It’s in the past. Talking about it […]

A good move for the Belmont Club

I’m delighted to see that one of the most astute bloggers in the sphere — Richard Fernandez of Belmont Club fame — is now the author of a Pajamas Media Xpress Blog. In his first post, he looks at disappearing coverage of the Iraq War (I like the Cheshire Cat analogy), including a tantalizing glimpse […]

Students Achieve Fusion

Students at Penninsula College have achieved fusion. I am more than a little proud to say I had a little to do with it. At least in so far as getting them on the right track. From left to right: Devon, Ivan, Sarah, Chris, Aaron, and Derek. The Reactor It glows Which just goes to […]

horse’s ass emissions — at taxpayers’ expense

If James Hansen isn’t the horse’s ass of the year, I don’t know who is: James Hansen, one of the world’s leading climate scientists, will today call for the chief executives of large fossil fuel companies to be put on trial for high crimes against humanity and nature, accusing them of actively spreading doubt about […]

Blackness Wins

I think this election is going to turn on the economy. Oil prices in particular. The Democrat resistance to drilling, mining, and converting is going to bite them hard. This campaign will turn on blackness. The blackness of oil. The blacker candidate will win.

Fusion Pioneer Says: Drill Now

Fusion energy pioneer Robert Hirsch says in a CNBC interview that the US must drill for oil. And use all its available resources to help us get over the current liquid fuels hump. I’m inclined to agree. No Blood For Oil or No Drilling For Oil? Good question. Cross Posted at Power and Control

Tired of gaffes yet?

Jennifer Rubin looks at Barack Obama’s recent trifecta of gaffes (the dishonest flipflop on public campaign financing, the recklessly hubristic “Great Seal” nonsense, and finally the blatant playing of the race card), and sees a genuine opportunity for McCain: Will these incidents have a lasting impact on the race? That depends on how effectively McCain’s […]

Regular junkies sometimes have more sense than political junkies

Front page stories like this showing American officials on their knees to the Saudis annoy the hell out of me. JIDDAH, Saudi Arabia – Facing strong U.S. pressure and global dismay over oil prices, Saudi Arabia said yesterday that it would produce more crude this year if the market needed it. But the vague pledge […]

bad methodology or home cooking?

Why is the Newsweek poll showing Barack Obama with a 15 point lead getting so much attention? And why is it being accepted so uncritically? Might it be what people want to hear? According to Backcountry Notes something looks funny about Newsweek’s numbers, especially when they are compared to the other numbers. He has a […]

Two more 60s love songs

From 1967 (the same year as the Troggs’ “Love is all around” love song linked in the earlier post), here’s one that reminded me of it; Brenton Woods’ “Oogum Boogum Song”: Unfortunately, there is no contemporaneous video to go with it, but the display of the lyrics is better than some of those videos which […]

My ongoing inability to explain the difference between zero intolerance and zero tolerance

There’s an extended and intriguing discussion by several bloggers at Volokh (including Eugene Volokh) about a recent study showing that 53% of academics have a negative view of evangelical Christians. Ilya Somin thinks that the negative view is grounded in opposition to the evangelicals’ political conservatism, while others see personal prejudice, or even an anti-Christian […]

And if you like hedonism?

If you like laws and sausages, you should never watch either one being made. So “said” Otto von Bismarck, in what I always considered a statement meant more as irony than serious advice. Unless I’m reading him wrong, Roger Kimball seems to be taking the above very seriously — to the point where he posits […]

Go Your Own Way

In keeping with the theme of Do Your Own Thing. The guitar work on this is something else.

How green was my car!

This one’s for the books. I’m getting ready to sell a car that’s been sitting in my yard and has not run for years. Even though I’m selling it “AS-IS,” I thought that if I could get it running it would be easier to sell, so a few days ago I began by charging up […]

We See Nothing

The Atlantic has an interesting article on how moving people out of crime ridden neighborhoods has moved the crime with them as well. In the whole piece, not one single commentator mentioned the rhinoceros in the room. Drug prohibition. The American price support system for criminals. Oh it gets mentioned in passing. The usual “drug […]

Feeling empathy for Genghis Khan

Empathy. That’s normally thought of as the ability to put oneself in another person’s position. It’s part skill and part common sense, although I am not 100% certain that understanding the emotions of others necessarily requires an ability to feel them as that person might. Try as I might to understand why Hitler hated Jews, […]