The Old Checkout Desk, She Ain’t What She Used to Be . . .

Librarians have a lot of time on their hands nowadays, what with google searches and the internet and all.  And one suspects they have always harbored ambitions to do more than hush noisy patrons and dust neglected tomes.  Unlike Prospero in Shakespeare’s Tempest, their library was not, it seems, “dukedom large enough,” so they have gone SJW in a big way (see here). Continue reading

When the Data is Errata

You may have seen an open letter that was recently written by some indignant Black students at Claremont Colleges, a consortium of pricy schools in Los Angeles. The occasion of their letter was a planned lecture by Heather Mac Donald, in which I understand the Black Lives Matter movement will be denounced, and to the delivery of which these students are consequently opposed. Their burden of their letter is that speech is Power, so power is speech, and censorship therefore enjoys Constitutional protection. Continue reading

A Rift in the Lute

Had you stepped inside the fashionable Fargo Barbecue the other day, you would have seen a local gallant named Snapper Darrill Rush dining with his inamorata.  On the table between the lovebirds, amid clean-picked rib bones and one or two fugitive beans, you would also have seen the cell phone of Mr. Rush.  Had your entrance come at what was to be a fateful moment, you would have heard that cell phone ring, and you would have seen the inamorata reach out and answer it.

That was her first mistake.

Continue reading

Coming Apart, An Anecdote

Last Monday evening, in a town not very far from here, a man named Ernest Trevino was discovered dead in his home with a gunshot wound to his chest. The next day police arrested Nicholas Royal Porter, 20, in the Houston suburb of Tomball.  If the police suspect a motive, they are keeping it to themselves, but the word gangland seems to shimmer between the lines of some comments on a local news site. Continue reading

Science Dismal and Science Gay

I have just returned from a week in New England—Boston mainly, where the American Association of Geographers (née Association of American Geographers) held its annual shindig.  I’m very far from being a regular at this event, especially of late, but various factors induced me to break my abstinence and make what may well be my last appearance among the bon ton of geography. Continue reading

Crossing the Rhetorical Rubicon: A Defense of Acerbity

Commenter Winston Scrooge deplores the tone of this blog, and more especially this author (here).  His point is serious, his argument thoughtful, and his tone altogether free of the bilious acerbity that, he says, too often taints my posts.  His argument has theological aspects that I will not tackle here, although the direction I would take is suggested in the comment I left at his site (and to which he has responded with his accustomed liberality and generosity of spirit).  Here I limit myself to what he says and suggests about the proper limits of Christian rhetoric, and set for myself the task of defending acerbity. Continue reading

Cheap and Nasty

This town once boasted a shabby student bar called the Blarney Stone.  It specialized in pouring out shots of hard liquor, and was therefore popular among students who wished to get well oiled before suffering or perpetrating date rapes.  The shots, the dates, and the rapes, were uniformly cheap and nasty. Continue reading

The Israel Fetish

In this morning’s tranche of electronic notices, there was a message from the Program Assistant at the Hillel Center inviting students to apply for a subsidized excursion to Israel.  For less than one thousand dollars, it announced, students could enjoy ten days of “breathtaking views, immersive learning, and challenging discussion.”  This paragraph caught my eye: Continue reading