The Beast on Jekyll Island Born

“If I must have a master, let him be one with epaulets, something that I can fear and respect, something that I can look up to, but not a master with a quill behind his ear.”  

John Randolph of Roanoke (1815) *

Kristor tells us that The Fed is becoming The Bank, that the Beast born on Jekyll Island is even now transmogrifying into its loathsome Mr. Hyde.  Thus we are about to experience the nightmare of John Randolph and live under the thumb of “a master with a quill behind his ear.”  Perhaps we are about to experience the nightmare of an earlier John, who on the island of Patmos dreamed of the day when “no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the Beast, or the number of his name.”** Continue reading

Under the Rainbow Flag

Somewhere under the rainbow,
Way down low
There’s a land that I heard of
Once on the radio.

When William Wordsworth spoke of “natural piety,” he meant the reverent sensibilities with which men are born, as opposed to the artificial manias with which they are throughout their lives infected, inflamed, and then bored.  Like all Romantics, Wordsworth believed that natural piety is pure in a child and then perverted by false education as the child matures.  Thus “natural piety” in an adult includes piety towards the person he was as a child, which is what Wordsworth means by the line “the Child is father of the man.”  For those who do not recognize these allusions, here is Wordsworth’s “Rainbow” (1802).

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Study Tips Old and Study Tips New

“If some alluring girl, in gliding by,
Shall tip the wink, with a lascivious eye.”

John Dryden, “The Fourth Satire of Persius” (1693)

“I will give you a tip, if you once get the grip
It will give you a pretty tight squeeze.”

Evan Y. Davies, “The Song of the Grip” (1920)

My students are great believers in the existence of “study tips.”  They constantly ask me for them; I constantly disappoint them.  They labor under the fond and false belief that I possess, and yet for some reason withhold, a secret strategy for the effortless assimilation of geographic knowledge.  They are, in other words, the suckers whom P. T. Barnum tells us are born every minute.  Men less honest than I will in years to come pick the purses of these chumps by selling them miracle weight-loss programs and maps to heaven by way of the broad gate. Continue reading


ChatGPT4 is supposed to be an improvement over ChatGPT3. One thing it can now do is correctly state what will happen if a glass containing a ring is inverted over a bed. The ring will fall out. If the ring is embedded in ice, it will not fall out. If the glass with the ice and ring is left in a warm room for long enough both the water and the ring will fall out. Amazing! It reminds me of a scene from Asterix the Gaul. The Romans have captured Asterix and his druid, Getafix, and are trying to get them to make the magic potion that gives them superhuman strength. Naturally, the Gauls do not want to do this. Getafix gives them a hair growing potion instead. But, before the deception is discovered, the Roman leader, who thinks he has drunk the correct potion, wants to test his new abilities, trying ever lighter loads until he finally picks up a small rock convinced he has Herculean strength. Continue reading

Blackface Bad, Dragface Good

The  President of [West] Texas A&M has just manfully stepped up to declare in public that drag shows “degrade women and are ‘derisive, divisive and demoralizing misogyny.’” This has prompted the predictable storm of manufactured gayfake outrage from the Commies, which he must have known would be sure to follow his remarks.

Now, while his courageous act is extraordinarily unusual these days in any figure of prominence, the most remarkable aspect of this turn of events is I think that *it had never before occurred to anyone that, in effect, drag shows treat women the way that the old blackface vaudeville productions treated blacks: with contempt.* This had not even occurred to me, and I wager that I am fairly unusual in my extreme sensitivity to and morose cynical enjoyment of the manifest and absurd contradictions espoused by the Left (whatever the character of its current skin suit).

For white men to make themselves up as black in public performances is bad, horrible, a sin that cannot be forgiven. But for men to make themselves up as women in public performances is totally cool.

So funny.

Addition to Will AI Prevent Civilizational Collapse?

The day you can call up a credit card company, airline, any e-commerce company,  to resolve some problem you are having, and you are happy that they put you through to that super intelligent AI will be the day that we should get all emotional and excited about AI. Just yesterday the Fedex bot asked if I wanted a list of a store’s opening hours. I answered, “No.” It responded, “I’m sorry. I didn’t understand your answer. Would you like a list of the store’s opening hours?” “No.” “I’m sorry. I didn’t understand your answer. Would you like a list of the store’s opening hours?” “No.” “I’m sorry. I didn’t understand your answer. Would you like a list of the store’s opening hours?” At which point I hung up.

Somewhat narcissistically, I asked ChatGPT4 to describe my own philosophy, only because it is that of which I am most familiar – it has something like 140 real articles and over 200 postings to draw on – and it was pathetic and inaccurate, though directionally correct. I didn’t come out as a SJW, so that was something. If we ask ChatGPT4 some question where we do not know the answer, we will not know that it is a bloviating mess.

The Great Gay Age

“All the world’s a mass of folly,
Youth is gay, age melancholy;
Youth is spending, age is thrifty,
Mad at twenty, cold at fifty.
Man is naught but folly’s slave,
From the cradle to the grave.”

W. H. Ireland, “Of the Folly of All the World” (1807)

Gay first meant blithe, then it meant proud, then it meant fake.  I remember my grandmother lamenting the first semantic shift and I have read proud persons reviling the second.  I, however, welcome the new sense of “fake and gay” because this Great Gay Age affords so many occasions for its use.  P.G. Wodehouse once wrote “the hour produced the man.”*  Here the hour has produced the word.

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