Category Archives: Rhetoric

on hardening and breakage

One of today’s internet tempests was prompted by a column suggesting the only peaceful future for the United (sic)¬†States is a mutually agreed upon separation into two. It doesn’t seem especially serious; the proposed map is a hint: The main … Continue reading

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when statistics tip the hand

I was reading a column ostensibly on Justice Neal Gorsuch, but mainly it was written to bemoan the effect President Trump is having on the judiciary because of the change in confirmation rules in the Senate. There wasn’t much in … Continue reading

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on news, social media, and over-reactions

When I lived in San Bernardino, I got a first hand view of how news is reported, after a fire in our neighborhood. What I had seen and experienced basically resembled the reported account, but with some meaningful distinctions. It … Continue reading

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on Ben Shapiro

It’s tempting to say there are two “Americas,” one in which Ben Shapiro is a fairly typical conservative commentator (at least in the substance of his thinking; he’s atypically lucid and engaging), and one in which he is a violent … Continue reading

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on the American Dream and black bodies

From what I can tell from current writing, racialists today seem to have fixated on a notion that a black person is reduced in the mind of everyone else to merely their body. Thus a “black body” is just an … Continue reading

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Bret Stephens on reactions to terrorism

In the category of columnists able to see a bigger picture, along with Megan McArdle we can add Bret Stephens, who very specifically points out how the obfuscation about Charlottesville that people rightly denounced has been routinely overlooked when the … Continue reading

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McArdle on Damore

One could wish the level of discourse overall in our society was at the level Megan McArdle exemplifies in this column. It shows an awareness and appreciation of both the natural differences that apparently exist between males and females and … Continue reading

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on discourse about disagreements

One of the more significant features of the current moment is the extent to which political allegiance has become for so many an all or nothing proposition. It is impossible for some to even acknowledge a weakness in their own … Continue reading

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on Facebook and newness

I’ve been reviewing my Facebook time-line as an exercise in self-reflection, looking back on things I’ve found interesting or important or entertaining enough to post over the years. I’m feeling very ambivalent about Facebook these days; I think my departure … Continue reading

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on required readings and eternal things

Intellectuals in the West have long had an affinity for¬†what C. S. Lewis referred to as “chronological snobbery,” the unreflective assumption that what is more recent and modern must be better than what went before. Our entertainment driven culture takes … Continue reading

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