Run, Hillary, Run

Democrats put that slogan on the back bumper; Republicans put it on the front. At least, that was the joke from years ago. Now it’s probably the reverse. Wouldn’t it be great if Hillary jumped in? To the race, I mean.

But seriously, folks. This picture of Hillary cracks me up each time I see it. Granted, it’s over a month old but does anyone think her appearance has improved since? Check out the cankles. Losing has not been kind to her. The source for this picture is the Daily Mail (who else?) in the Femail section. Hillary is, get this, the Secretary of Summer. Carry on, Madame Secretary, to becoming the Secretary of Autumn, Winter, and Spring. I confirm all four appointments.... [Read More]

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The Dawn Wall

The Dawn Wall is a documentary about the life of climber Tommy Caldwell, culminating in  first free* ascent of a 3000-foot sheer wall on El Capitan in Yosemite with his partner Kevin Jorgeson. During Tommy’s early years, he learns climbing from his father, whom he finally surpasses in his mid-teens. Tommy’s victory at age 16 in the International Sport Climbing Championship in Snowbird, UT launched his professional climbing career.

In 2000, he and three other climbers traveled to the Kara-Suu valley in Kyrgyzstan on a climbing expedition. While they were 1000 feet up a wall, Uzbek rebels fired on them and forcing them to rappel down. The four rebels marched them around the wilderness for six nights, hiding them from Kyrgyz army patrols during the day. At the end, they were left alone with only one of the rebels, at which point Tommy pushed the rebel off a ridge so they could escape to the safety of a Kyrgyz army post. He describes that experience and subsequent path to climbing the Dawn Wall in this talk. [spoilers]... [Read More]

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Trolling the NPCs

Normies and NPCs* freak out in Massachusetts over signs posted around town that read “Islam Is RIGHT About Women.” The most fun element of this is the confused looks on the faces of the individuals interviewed and the news-robots reporting. They don’t understand the message but they’re certain it’s hate speech.

... [Read More]

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As California Goes, So Goes the Nation

The video embedded below details the decline of California over the last 50 years or so. Arguably, most of the decline happened during the latter half of that period. The narrator lists the usual litany of ills: higher taxes, poorer services, one-party rule, and increasing income stratification. Aside from the first of these, they are all markers of a third-world society. He’s not wrong about any of it.

What’s left unexplained is how this is tolerable for anyone. Victor Davis Hanson has addressed the this question in general terms but he’s personally unhappy with the regime because he has to suffer its negative consequences at his Central Valley farm. My perspective is somewhat different. I can afford to pay the confiscatory taxes and don’t have to deal with homeless or crime* in my neighborhood. Unaffordable housing is not my problem. The climate is great and the cultural amenities are superb. On the surface everything is fine.... [Read More]

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Why Tulsi Scares the Democrats

Tulsi Gabbard was interviewed by Dave Rubin yesterday. She

  • is patriotic, loves her country
  • hates identity politics
  • supports the melting-pot model vs. the salad bowl
  • is against open borders; supports  secure borders
  • is not a gun grabber (though not an unapologetic 2A supporter)
  • is skeptical about the growth of presidential power
  • favors devolving power to the states
  • is critical of the DNC
  • has “Republican friends” in Congress

She’s talking the talk. Who knows if she’d walk the walk. Certainly, she’s the least repulsive of the Dem candidates, though she does have a few repulsive views (e.g., reparations).... [Read More]

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Depressed Growth

According to this guy, the US has been in a depression since 2007, using an idiosyncratic definition of depression. Putting aside the semantics, I was skeptical of, yet intrigued by, the claim that there was a significant, persistent change in economic growth since the 2008-9 recession. Using data from FRED, I plotted real GDP per capita. The plot is on a semi-log scale, where a constant percentage growth appears as a straight line. The quarterly FRED GDP data are plotted in red. Exponential fits to the 1947-2007 and 2009-2019 are plotted in green and blue, respectively. The fits have been extended to highlight the difference between the two annual growth rates (2.15% & 1.56%). The difference between the green and blue fits in the current year is more than $10k per capita: nothing to sneeze at.

... [Read More]

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Engineers of the Human Soul

Stalin said, “The writer is the engineer of the human soul.” One of the characters in the film The Lives of Others slightly misquotes Stalin to include all artists as engineers of the human soul. It seems that Stalin was a few decades ahead of Andrew Breitbart’s politics is downstream from culture. Totalitarians know their stuff.

This is not a movie review but I do recommend this film. It’s about the Stasi in East Germany, set a few years before the fall of the Berlin Wall. It’s in German with subtitles, streaming on Netflix. I enjoyed this joke from the movie:... [Read More]

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Conservatism is Progressivism Driving the Speed Limit

In his essay from 1960 entitled Why I Am Not a Conservative, Friedrich Hayek wrote

…by its very nature it [conservatism] cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving. It may succeed by its resistance to current tendencies in slowing down undesirable developments, but, since it does not indicate another direction, it cannot prevent their continuance. It has, for this reason, invariably been the fate of conservatism to be dragged along a path not of its own choosing. The tug of war between conservatives and progressives can only affect the speed, not the direction, of contemporary developments.

…conservatives have been guided by the belief that the truth must lie somewhere between the extremes with the result that they have shifted their position every time a more extreme movement appeared on either wing.... [Read More]

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Mollie on the Podcast

Mollie Hemingway is a guest on the most recent Ricochet flagship podcast. I know a lot of you guys aren’t necessarily fans of this podcast but I think most of you are fans of Mrs. Hemingway. Her part of the podcast starts at about 16:30. She discusses her new book Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court. She and her coauthor interviewed many people involved in the nomination and confirmation hearings. You will learn new things by listening to this.

I don’t consume the podcast via the website but that’s one way to get it:... [Read More]

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The Left Discovers Human Biodiversity

Blank-slatism is a cornerstone of leftist orthodoxy: all humans are the same and race is a social construct. Even though Diversity is Our Strength™ anyone can be anything, do anything. Imagine my shock at coming across an article in a leftist publication endorsing human biodiversity:

The scientific research hits on some of the most sensitive racial anxieties of Western-African relations, but it’s also an amazing story of human biodiversity.... [Read More]

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