Magazine: The Straggler

Decline and Fall

There is a school of psychology called Situationism that pooh-poohs the notion of individual character. This line of thought began with some experiments by Stanley Milgram of Yale in the ...

Recycling the Sixties

It starts! January 20, the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s inauguration, passed with little comment, so far as I could judge. Then the public-sector unions of Wisconsin began demonstrating ...

Morpheme Addiction

Until very recently the only thing I knew how to say in Turkish was the proverb Nerede çokluk, orada bokluk, which means (I shall bowdlerize slightly) “Where there are people, ...

Shovel Ready

One of our township’s very few claims to fame, perhaps the only one, arises from its cesspools. The Wikipedia article headed “cesspool” devotes an entire paragraph to Huntington. In numbers ...

Hats Checked

The other day I stepped into an elevator while wearing a hat. Seeing ladies in the elevator, I removed my hat. One of the ladies, who was of a certain ...

Sad, Bad, Mad

Scowling out at me from my New York Post is Steven Hayes, recently convicted of an exceptionally vile crime in my neighbor state of Connecticut. With another man, not yet ...

A Sea of Glass

What a place it is, this world we humans have made! It has such variety, such abundance of skills and knowledge, so many aspects one never thinks of from one ...

Labor Pains

August lived up to its reputation as the Silly Season this year, the news dominated for several days by JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater, who quit his job August 9 ...

On Thy Silver Wheels

The recent political ructions over the extension of unemployment benefits brought Norman Tebbit to my mind. Tebbit was Margaret Thatcher’s secretary of state for employment in the early 1980s. There ...

Dinner with the Buckleys

For some time I had wanted to meet James Buckley, fourth of the ten in his generation. (Bill Buckley was sixth.) This man had an extraordinary career. He served at ...