Category Archives: History


The present of “the city of white sepulchres” present is the future of the West, if we continue to allow it:

Brussels’ failures are emblematic of Europe’s failings. The city that hopes to govern a post-national Europe has been made impotent by the petty jealousies and nasty rivalries of two ethnic groups barely large enough to qualify as tribes in much of the world. Brussels is in some ways a satire of the European project: committed to transnational goals, hobbled by unresolved ethnic spats. A city dedicated to universal secular human values is now threatened by fanatical death cults that have grown up in its miserable, insecure slums.

The West as a whole these days is cursed by moral grandiosity and failing performance. Our self-esteem has seldom been more robust, or our performance more pitiable. We busy ourselves with what we think is the last unfinished work of implementing universal egalitarianism, by for example tending to high school students who identify with a gender other than that into which they were born, ensuring that they can use the restrooms toward which their aspirations lead them. We see ourselves as courageous warriors even as the foundations of our world are beginning to crack. We claim that tolerance and diversity are the touchstones of our civilization, and have raised a generation of weaklings who cannot bear to be exposed to unorthodox ideas or to the bustle and collisions that life in a diverse society inevitably brings. To cite another of Jesus’ condemnations of hypocrisy, we ‘tithe mint and dill and cumin, and neglect the weightier matters of the law.’ That is, we busy ourselves obsessively over small bore issues, and ignore the graver challenges that face us on every side.

Because reality is too harsh.

[Afternoon update]

Related: When will our “leaders” own up to the fact that the EU is a giant scam?

I think that ISIS has fatally exposed it.


My immediate hot take:

In general, it’s wise to say “We don’t know who did this or why and we shouldn’t speculate until we get all the facts.” In this case we know exactly who did it, and why. The French won’t be talking nonsense about “violent extremism.”

The (obviously) racist French have closed the borders. They are going to (GASP!) profile, to determine who can leave the country. For example, white (and probably many black) Americans will be allowed to leave. Adult male Algerians and Moroccans (and Syrians, to the degree that they’ve been invading recently) not so much.

This was an act of war, and I expect France to treat it as such. Unfortunately, with the apparent collapse of Westphalia, it won’t be obvious who to punish for it, but if ISIS takes “credit” for it, expect them to get a pounding in Syria and Iraq, Russians or no. And unlike us or Israel, the French know they will be immune from charges of “war crimes.”[Update a few minutes later]

#ProTip The French declaration of a state of emergency effectively suspends civil liberties.

[Update a couple minutes later]

Call me nuts, but I’m guessing that France, and Europe in general, is going to be tightening its Syrian-refugee policy as a result of this.

[Saturday-morning update]

Great timing, Barack: “We have contained [ISIS].” An asshat extraordinaire.

Also, oopsie, more bad timing: Al Gore in Paris this weekend for a summit on the “greatest challenge facing us,” too much plant food in the atmosphere.

Roger Simon: Why Paris happened. Yes, there don’t appear to be any world leaders today, least of all Barack Obama.

Mark Steyn: “The barbarians are inside, and there are no gates.”

And from Richard Fernandez: A Europe with no borders has taken a body blow:

It’s significant that the attacks occurred during a period of heightened alert associated with big soccer matches. French president Hollande himself was watching a game when he had to be unceremoniously shuttled to the safety of a government building. That suggests that French security forces and intelligence were genuinely surprised by the attack and therefore there exist terror networks they don’t know about capable of large-scale operations. Scotland Yard and MI5 must realize this and will inevitably be burning the midnight oil tonight.

DHS should be doing the same thing.

[Afternoon update]

Claire Berlinski checks in from Paris.

Fred Thompson

Rest in peace. My condolences to Jeri and the family.

He was my top pick in 2008, and it was a disappointment that he had to drop out. The “fire in the belly” thing is one of the stupidest modern reasons to not pick a president. We shouldn’t want someone to run the country who wants the power that badly. Ideally, we’d draft someone who didn’t want the job, but was abundantly competent and would accept it out of patriotism (original example, G. Washington; much more recent one, Paul Ryan).

It’s interesting to note that if he’d been elected, and re-elected, he’d have died in office. Of course, in that alternate history, he might still be alive.

[Late-evening update]
More thoughts from Michael Ledeen.

Fixing Broken Bread

An interesting article on going back to pre-industrial wheat.

It isn’t clear the degree to which grain is intrinsically bad for us, and to which it’s been made much worse by the current varieties and processing methods.

I found this an interesting statement: “The giant band of wheat that stripes the center of America is a byproduct of the industrial age.”

That could be said of many unhealthy things, including the public school system.

“I Love Free Speech…”


In less awful news, 95 percent of the students surveyed said that free speech is important to them. However, as I have long predicted and discussed, when you ask Americans if they like free speech, they nearly always say “yes.” But when you get into the nitty gritty details about what kind of speech warrants protection, you discover that some folks (especially college students) are more in the “I love free speech, but…” camp. And I fear the list of exceptions is growing larger by the day.

Not sure which is more dismaying, that they’re unaware of the First Amendment, or that they oppose it. But clearly the Left is continuing its march through the institutions. Which is why books like this one could be very valuable:

Why a father-son collaboration? That’s what I wanted to know, too, so I asked the elder Paulsen, who was a year ahead of me at Yale Law School. Mike reported that he had given a lecture at Princeton in 2006, after which the law professors and college professors at dinner complained about their students’ “goofed-up ideas” about the Constitution. The law professors blamed the college professors, the college professors said “they came to us this way,” and blamed pervasively bad ideas about the Constitution in the culture, the media and even textbooks. Stuck in an airport the next day, Prof. Paulsen killed time writing an outline.

If they can get them to read it. The problem starts in kindergarten, and extends all the way into post-docs.