Sand in the Gears

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013 Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

Those of you who read what I scribble here and elsewhere know I nurse a few curious theories about science, like that it ought to remain distinct from scientism, and that the scientific process taught in schools is hokum, and ...

How we talk about good and evil

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013 Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Those of you who caught my first essay, in which I argued that the layman no longer has adequate language to discuss good and evil, and who did not subsequently spit out your coffee while sputtering with outrage, might appreciate ...

The lost conservative mind

Monday, August 19th, 2013 Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

I recently read Russell Kirk's The Conservative Mind, and composed a thought about it in relation to the state of this country, which perhaps more than ever before mirrors the state of man today—outwardly self-reliant, inwardly flailing. My thought is ...

On concession

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013 Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Some of you may like my latest essay on the Image "Good Letters" channel at Patheos. Others of you may hate it with a fiery burning hatred. Here's an excerpt: It was an offering. I understand why you are afraid of men ...

Uninterested

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013 Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Finally, fiction from me that doesn't involve death or melancholy or predestination or anything else likely to induce heavy drinking. It's all dialogue, and I wrote it years ago whilst sitting utterly uninspired and bored in a large corporate bureaucracy. ...

Sodas and guns and minimum virtue

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013 Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments »

On the radio I heard a shill for some agglomeration of sugary drink manufacturers inveigh against NYC mayor Bloomberg's attempted regulation of soda sizes. "We believe New Yorkers are smart enough to make these decisions for themselves," he said. If you've ...

Cheaper by the dozen

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013 Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

There is a difference between being anti-intellectual and being anti-intellect, and this is where Russell Jacoby foundered, in his essay last year about the lack of intellectualism among conservatives. As Peter Lawler notes, it's shoddily done for want of defining ...

In defense of The Hobbit

Thursday, February 7th, 2013 Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

Look, it's not like The Hobbit is Holy Scripture. It's not even, last I checked, part of the Apocrypha. It seems to me that the standard for judging Peter Jackson's film rendition, then, ought to be whether it succeeds as ...

Gays, Boy Scouts, and dogma

Monday, February 4th, 2013 Posted in Uncategorized | 19 Comments »

The Boy Scouts of America is considering an end to its prohibition against homosexual troop leaders, deferring that decision to local councils. Sexual molestation! cry opponents, and so into the breach rushes the conscientious journalist, whose moral obligation is to ...

Slippery words

Friday, February 1st, 2013 Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

You might like my latest post at Good Letters. An excerpt: "We are used to words not meaning anything, you see, and so who cares if foot-long is not supposed to mean eleven inches, that cheese is not supposed to be a vegetable ...

Literally small-minded

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013 Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Granted, playwright turned conservative-screed artist David Mamet lately comes across like that kid in philosophy class who just got hold of Atlas Shrugged and believes everyone should read it immediately. Still, he's not an idiot. Which is what makes Ta-Nehisi Coates's ...

Problem-rushers

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

We're trying to find an office manager, and so I've had to articulate what makes for a good employee. This is a treacherous and particularized endeavor, because the people who appear to be good employees for other bosses would likely ...

An open letter to the weeping conservative

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

Look, it's not the end of the world, or America, or really much of anything. In fact, it could become the beginning of something. Here are eight reasons you should take heart from what you consider last night's loss. 1. Congressional ...

Voting is its own revenge

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

On Election Day, it helps to keep in mind who is to blame for the mess we're in. Which reminds me to share with you an excerpt from my most recent essay at Image's Patheos channel: "Sports talk is well suited ...

Conflict of Visions

Monday, September 17th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments »

I suppose the Constitution has seen better times. Time Magazine asked last year if it's still relevant, a former Speaker of the House scoffed at the notion that a radical expansion of federal power might be forbidden by it, and ...

Honoring Muhammad

Saturday, September 15th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized | 36 Comments »

The thing is, I didn't know we'd all gotten together and decided to officially call this guy "the Prophet Muhammad." I know that's what he is to 2 billion or so Muslims, but that leaves around 5 billion of us who ...

Why Journalists Fail

Thursday, September 13th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Let me run a theory about men and women by you. Your job is to tell me if you think the New York Times would print it: The reason that women economically outperform men—women in their 20s outearn their male counterparts, ...

Lessons from the news to come

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

In case you don't have time to follow the news for the next week, here's a summary: 1. Someone insulted Mohammed. 2. Otherwise intelligent and civilized ambassadors for the Religion of Peace murdered some people for being American (they'll get around to ...

Letter to an Aspiring Kingmaker

Saturday, September 1st, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

Hey you. Yes, you, the one poring over push-poll numbers and wondering how you can get more smug college kids to accost people with clipboards in swing districts. We are ten weeks from The Most Critical Election in the History ...

Chicken hawks, meatheads, and real soldiers

Saturday, August 18th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

I suppose in the grand scheme of crapola that is major network television, a show where has-beens and desperately-wish-they-could-bes get to play at being army men isn't the worst possible fare. "Stars Earn Stripes" is an NBC show in which ...

Confederacy of Dunces

Saturday, August 11th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

"They would try to make me into a moron who liked television and new cars and frozen food. Don't you understand? Psychiatry is worse than communism. I refuse to be brainwashed. I won't be a robot!" "But, Ignatius, they help out ...

Stream of conscience

Friday, July 6th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Whenever I have a lot to do, and I finally muster the resolve to do it, I'll say "time to get down to it." This always reminds me of that Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young song, which makes me think ...

Semantics

Saturday, June 16th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

I'm sure it made sense to someone, this posting of an apartment complex management's response to a resident's complaints. But some conversations, I think, are best conducted in privacy. A sampling of the resident's itemized complaints -- nearly all of ...

The cowardice of the Chronicle

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

So The Chronicle of Higher Education has seen fit to fire Naomi Schaefer Riley for criticizing the state of what passes for "Black Studies" in American universities. There's no need to break that down here, Jonathan Last has a telling ...

Monetizing infanticide

Monday, May 7th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

I suppose it should come as no surprise when a country that has long encouraged widespread killing of unborn and newborn children, and which nourishes a commercial avarice untempered by virtue, hits upon a way to make money from the ...

Hunting dogs

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized | 30 Comments »

"When the law is against you," goes the adage, "argue the facts. When the facts are against you, argue the law. When both the facts and law are against you…." Here we may turn for instruction to Jerry Taylor, ringleader of ...

For taunt-seekers

Monday, March 5th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments »

God, now I have to go back and read a bunch of crap I wrote ten years ago to see if I still agree with it. I don't know much about this Cato business. I do of course know Koch. I ...

Professorial logic

Monday, February 13th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

There are many plausible explanations for why men commit nearly all murders and start most wars. It could be that we're just hard-wired to smash skulls. Or perhaps it's that we've learned how much chicks dig a man in uniform. Or ...

On the vice of chimps with shotguns

Friday, February 10th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

"Voting is a universal right." This wisdom from Victor Sanchez, president of the United States Student Association, explaining his efforts to get more college students to vote. Mr. Sanchez is himself a recent college graduate, and a fine illustration of ...

On the Virtue of Hemlock

Sunday, February 5th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

In his recent Boston Review essay, philosophy professor Carlos Fraenkel manages the neat trick of advocating a sensible position -- that high-school students should be taught philosophy -- so ineptly that he ends up proving the opposite, namely, that while ...