The continuing plunge in the price of oil from $115 a barrel in mid-2014 to $30 today is really, really good news. I know just about every economic commentator says otherwise, predicting bankruptcies, stock market crashes, deflation, political turmoil and a return to gas guzzling. But that is because they are mostly paid to see the world from the point of view of producers, not consumers.
– Matt Ridley.
“Over the past two or three years people have finally started waking up to the fact that conspicuous consumption is now about useless degrees, not SUVs.”
– Adam Smith Institute. The comment comes from a new monograph by the ASI, entitled The New Aristocrats: A cultural and economic analysis of the new virtue signalling.
Well, I am really old school, then. I drive a Jag.
In a way, then, Palin’s speech was the perfect endorsement for Donald Trump’s campaign: an incoherent mess of angry, resentful sentiment, delivered in a way designed to provide the maximum in media spectacle. Palin effectively—and, okay, somewhat poetically—captured and amplified the identity-politics-driven nonsense that feeds both the candidate and his supporters.
– Peter Suderman
I don’t need a special month or special channel. What’s sad is that these insidious things only keep us segregated and invoke false narratives.
– Stacey Dash
It was one of the most emotional performances I’ve ever done. I was in tears. They’d backed up the stage to the wall itself so that the wall was acting as our backdrop. We kind of heard that a few of the East Berliners might actually get the chance to hear the thing, but we didn’t realize in what numbers they would. And there were thousands on the other side that had come close to the wall. So it was like a double concert where the wall was the division. And we would hear them cheering and singing along from the other side. God, even now I get choked up. It was breaking my heart. I’d never done anything like that in my life, and I guess I never will again. When we did “Heroes” it really felt anthemic, almost like a prayer. However well we do it these days, it’s almost like walking through it compared to that night, because it meant so much more.
– David Bowie, describing a concert he gave in Berlin, 1987.
Interesting take from Reason magazine.
RIP. He will be greatly missed and his influence on music has been undeniable.
– More about Wicked Campers and their vans (copiously illustrated and with further links) at BrianMicklethwaitDotCom. Click on the middle picture at the bottom of that posting to see where I found the above sign.
“Libertarian men are the most romantic people in the world”.
– Priya Dutta.
For centuries, people have pondered the meaning of evil. But the solution to the riddle is that evil has no meaning. Evil is the absence of meaning; it is meaninglessness. To build, to create, to act in the world—these all have meaning. Evil cannot. It is only a black hole that can tear apart meaningful things, and return them to the hollow silence of the universe. This is what we mean when we say that evil is “banal.” It lacks the infinite grandeur of even a grain of sand, let alone of laughter, or of a kiss. In that sense, evil does not matter. It is incapable of mattering. It cannot live or mean things. The best it can do is look on in ire, envy, and despair. And the envious are always walled off from the world that we, the living, inhabit, by an invisible and impervious barrier that they erect themselves; they always have the deadly touch of King Midas. We defy evil and envy when we live. Living in this world sheds light into darkness. It is all we can do, and all that needs to be done, and it is more than enough. Therefore, we shall live. We shall be joyful, hard-working, silly, creative, and smart and sexy and brave and fun. Be a brief candle that helps spread another light.
– Timothy Sandefur, writing a long and moving item about a close relation who was one of the 14 people murdered in San Barnadino recently by Muslim terrorists. Read the whole, outstanding piece. I don’t know how Tim had the fortitude to write so well about such a terrible event to affect his family. The article contains links to charities and organisations well deserving of support.
It is indeed interesting, and worrying, that students are so sensitive and censorious today. But I have a question for the hand-wringers, the media people, academics and liberal thinkers who are so disturbed by what they’re calling the ‘Yale snowflakes’: what did you think would happen? When you watched, or even presided over, the creation over the past 40 years of a vast system of laws and speech codes to punish insulting or damaging words, and the construction of a vast machine of therapeutic intervention into everyday life, what did you think the end result would be? A generation that was liberal and tough? Come off it. It’s those trends, those longstanding trends of censorship and therapy, that created today’s creepy campus intolerance; it’s you who made these monsters.
– Brendan O’Neill.
The bigotry and oafishness of these places is now a well-known feature of life in the US and here in Europe. These places are causing damage; these young people are, remember, future voters and legislators. Have we perhaps reached a stage where not going to such a place is in fact a desirable state?
O’Neill argues that the current generation hasn’t arrived at its intolerance from nowhere:
The Yale snowflakes are pathetic, yes. But what’s even more pathetic is the ridicule of the snowflakes by the very generation who created this world in which words are seen as wounding, judgement is considered harmful, and everyone is treated as fragile. Having claimed for 30 years that offensive discussion, or porn or racist newspapers, create a ‘hostile environment’, can the older generation really be surprised that students are now setting up Safe Spaces? The Safe Space is the logical solution to the notion that words and images cultivate a ‘hostile environment’.
Item: Another example of just how messed up American education now is.
There can only be one explanation for the disgrace that is Donald Trump: he must have failed to realise that the film industry’s demonic portrayals of conservative politicians are politically motivated caricatures, not role models to be emulated. In Love Actually, the villain is a crude, lecherous redneck Republican president on a visit to London. He is keen not just to bully Britain but also to force himself upon Martine McCutcheon’s character. Prime Minister Hugh Grant – an anti-war version of Tony Blair – tells him to get lost, tearing up the “one-sided” special relationship in the process, to the cheers of a grateful nation. As an insight into the Left-liberal mind, this scene takes some beating; the US president at the time was George W Bush and the invasion of Iraq had just been completed. But Trump, who unfortunately remains in the lead for the 2016 Republican nomination, seems to be auditioning for the remake.
– Allister Heath.
Read it all. By the way, I have noticed in some other online forums that Trump fans get very annoyed at we Brits opining about his views. Well, he chose to refer to the UK as part of his recent remarks about Muslims, so he puts himself in the frame for criticism. If you cannot take the heat, etc. The same would apply if a Brit, such as the broadcaster Piers Morgan, chooses to bash America for its 2nd Amendment.
If Stalin was 75 percent violence and 25 percent propaganda, Putin is 75 percent propaganda and 25 percent violence.
– Peter Pomerantsev, from “Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia”
There are many weird and angry political movements in the 21st-century West. But it’s hard to think of any as ugly, vindictive and packed with prejudice as the Israel-bashing BDS movement.”
– Brendan O’Neill.