Let’s Set The Record Straight, Here

Since the topic of political “extremism” is on everyone’s mind, I may as well get this out there.

I’m an extremist.

I’m an extremist for Western Civilization.

I’m an extremist for the legacy of the value of the individual that comes from the Judeo-Christian tradition.

I am a zealot for that civilization’s rejection of group guilt for the sins of the individual.

I am a full blown foot soldier for the idea that rights – freedom of expression, conscience, innocence until proof of guilt, and defending my life, family, home, freedom and community – are all indivisible parts of being human, not “privileges” granted to you by a benevolent government (and taken away by a less-benevolent one).

I am a militant (intellectually speaking, and here’s hoping it can stay that way) for the notion that “citizenship” means having all the powers, rights and responsibilities of government, allowing me (and you!) to govern a society together, regardless of (indeed, ignoring completely) the rest of our various identities.

I’m a howling berserker (again, purely intellectually, here) for the free markets of ideas as well as goods, which has made this civilization the most humane human system in all of history.

I am a full-blown crusader for the tolerance of dissent, and indeed exaltation of informed criticism of and dissent from our rulers, our laws, and indeed the imperfections of Western Civilization itself that our civilization, pretty much alone among all the world’s cultures through history, invented – as well as for the ability to tolerate, learn from, and co-exist with other cultures as equals in the eyes of God and the law…

…while keeping, living by, and proselytizing the parts of our civilization that have made it the system in human history that has most effectively and systematically upheld the dignity and value of human life, even with all its (amply studied) imperfections.
I’m a stormtrooper for the ideal that these freedoms, exaltations, values and traditions are not zero sum propositions; that taking freedom away from someone doesn’t give you more.

I’m a flag-waving militiaman for the imperative to spread those freedoms to as many people in the world as want them – and, if needed, defend them from those who don’t.
For those things, I’m an extremist. A peaceful one, one that welcomes both agreement and civil disagreement.

But I’m absolutely an extremist. You can have my Western Civilization when you pry it from my cold, hand – and you will spend an eternity trying to pry it from my hot, living soul, and failing.

“Extremism in the defense of freedom is no vice, and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue”
— Barry Goldwater.

Our Orwellian Overlords

Individualism is groupthink.

Hard work is indolence.

Objectivity is emotion.

Respect is hate.

Delayed gratification is fleeting and temporal.

Apparently Orwell is “the New Normal”, at least among progs:

Not just Orwellian – socially illiterate. These are traits of Western Civilization – which sprouted in the West, which happens to have been almost entirely white until a few hundred years ago, but could hypothetically have happened anywhere the ideals of individual worth and the value of the individual’s work have caught on. For all the left’s yapping about “historical accidents” and “lotteries of history”, this was the ultimate one, in human terms.

I used to wonder what these people supposed would happen when you treat a group that isn’t fundamentally an “Identity” group  as as identity group.   

Now I’m pretty sure that’s the goal. 

Lack Of Consent

A just government governs by the consent of the governed.

Which, in a pluralistic society (shaddap about Denmark), it’s not a high school civics class platitude. It’s not easy. Few large, pluralistic societies pull it off well.

And we’re getting worse at it.

I’m going to pullquote the conclusion from this Kevin Williamson piece on the subject – but I suggest reading the whole thing:

It is hardly surprising that, as we have seen in recent weeks, the two major tribes of American life cannot achieve widespread consent to a policy consensus during a time of acute national emergency — because there is no consensus about the facts of the case, which is itself the result of there being no consensus about who it is we can trust to document and adjudicate those facts. The falling dominoes of institutional failure and intellectual malfeasance have left standing very little of the institutional credibility we need to develop and implement useful and necessary public policies. The dangers and harm resulting from that are obvious even to a fringe libertarian like me. I do not want government to do very much, but I want government to do the things that we need it to do, and to do them effectively.

With the economy cratering, unemployment at unthinkable highs, tens of thousands dead and thousands more to die, it is almost impossible to write this, but: We are lucky that this epidemic is not a great deal worse than it is, because we are not ready for it and do not seem to have the capacity to get ourselves ready for it.

The whole point of politics – the very root of the word – is the art and craft of getting people to agree well enough on what needs to be done.

And we’re doing very badly at it.

Triple Down

I asked American progressivism “American “progressivism”, you couldn’t possibly out-do your myopia from 2016, could you?”

And American progressivism – in this case Vox.comsaid “hold my kombuchba“:

The idea that identity politics is at odds with liberalism has become conventional wisdom in parts of the American political and intellectualelite. Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker has condemned contemporary identity politics as “an enemy of reason and Enlightenment values.” New York Times columnist Bari Weiss argues that the “corrupt identity politics of the left” amounts to a dangerously intolerant worldview. And New York magazine’s Andrew Sullivanclaims the “woke left” seems “not to genuinely believe in liberalism, liberal democracy, or persuasion.” This line of thinking is practically the founding credo of the school of internet thought known as the Intellectual Dark Web.

It is also deeply, profoundly wrong.

If you are deeply, profoundly progressive, anyway. . “Liberalism” and “progressivism” intersect only occasionally, if by “liberalism” you mean any of the traits that’ve made Western Civilization free, inclusive and prosperous in a way that is utterly anomalous through human history, which “progressives” most certainly do not. 

What these critics lambaste as an attack on liberalism is actually its best form: the logical extension of liberalism’s core commitment to social equality and democracy, adapted to address modern sources of inequality. A liberalism that rejects identity politics is a liberalism for the powerful, one that relegates the interests of marginalized groups to second-class status.

Yet Again

You could almost sense it, coming everywhere from Democrats on social media to progs in the dead tree media; this was going to be the UK election that set so much right in the UK, undoing Brexit and re-setting the left’s agenda…

…and telegraphing the public mood about Trump and the rise of other populists in the west.

Well, they were half right.

Mr Johnson’s snap General Election gamble paid off as he romped home with an estimated majority of 78.
The ecstatic Tory boss said his “stonking” win has given him a “powerful mandate to get Brexit done” as humiliated Jeremy Corbyn vowed to quit.
The results mean Britain’s political chaos could finally be over, leaving Mr Johnson with the numbers to finally push his Brexit deal through Parliament in just weeks.

I’m trying to remember the last time anyone had an absolute majority. Under Thatcher?

The final count:

  • The Tories: 364
  • All the rest: 284. Labour was 203 of ’em.

So Jeremy Corbyn, the standardbearer for European-style Democrat Socialism, who explicitly walked hand-in-hand with his closest American counterpart, Bernie Sanders, has gone down in flames.

So that leaves Democrats in the US with a rousing anti-mandate from the UK (which has at times been a bellwether for sentiments in the US as well, as in the 1979 contest that put Thatcher in office), with a field of frauds, flyweights and, well, Labour candidates.

Which will leave them to flog their impressively vacuous articles of impeachment into a rallying cry for the legion of the invincibly ignorant.

Which, history shows, isn’t a bad strategery for them, but isn’t necessarily airtight.

Men In England Now A-Bed…

The tale of the Brits who, despite their government’s best efforts to neuter them, dealt with the terrorist attack in London over the weekend:

Of course, the Brits are lucky it’s a story that’s gone ’round the world; if it were regular street crime, they’d be prosecuted more seriously than the thug.

It’s something to celebrate – and take as a warning. “Progressive” government – in this case, one that strips citizens of their means and right to self-defense, rendering a citizen a subject – is a bigger danger than terrorism.

An Experiment

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

White Supremacist is the epithet du jour, which Liberals paste everywhere as gleefully and randomly as my grand-daughter with a new sticker book.
But what does it mean, White Supremacist? Traditionally, it was the belief that White people were superior to other races, that something in their genetic make up or possibly in their culture, made them capable of achieving more success for more people than any other race or culture on Earth.
Nowadays, of course, such a belief would be a hate crime against humanity. It’s unthinkable to suggest that races or cultures differ (or that they even exist at all). But if what if the belief was correct? Can you prove it’s not?
Suppose you treated it as a science problem and tried to apply the scientific method? There are two possible causes – race and culture. Limit one variable at a time.
Hypothesis: Western Civilization has produced more success measured by greater wealth, better health, wider spread learning, and more freedom for the people living under it, than any other culture has produced for its own people, in the history of the world.
How would you falsify the proposition? What evidence would you seek?
If you couldn’t falsify the proposition, that wouldn’t prove it’s true. Maybe you just didn’t find the correct evidence. But if you gave it an honest effort and still couldn’t prove the claim was false, then shouldn’t you concede the possibility that the claim could be true?
Should speaking the truth be a hate crime against humanity?
Joe Doakes

It’d be an interesting experiment on its own – and moreso to combine it with observing the reactions of people reading the thesis.

Remember – “Western Civilization” isn’t inextricably “White”. There was no virtue specific to caucasian genetics that made Western Civilization happen, any more than black or Asian genetics made it impossible. It was a combination of social factors that made improving the human condition a virtue, made improvement of technology desirable and profitable, and made social self-examination the vogue for at least a while. Africans can do democracy and free markets – check out Botswana, which has been a constitutional democracy since independence, and stable and prosperous, especially by sub-saharan standards, to boot.

Had Judeo-Christianity’s ennoblement of the individual mixed with a series of tribes that valued individual merit over “will to power” and heredity in, say, India or Sub-Saharan Africa or China, and Northern Europe remained mired in Dark-Ages-style warlordism, it’s entirely likely caucasoid citizens of a free, prosperous, democratic India or Nigeria or China could be barbering about “brown supremacy” today.

Touched By The Concern

Big Leftymedia is concerned that former ISIS fighters who defected from France to the Caliphate aren’t getting due process:

[Human Rights Watch spokesman Belkis] WILLE:  The trials of ISIS suspects in Iraq are fundamentally unfair. We say this based on sitting through many of these trials over the last two years. And what we see is that defendants do not get any of their basic due process rights granted to them under international law, as well as under Iraqi law. There is absolutely no presumption of innocence when they walk into the courtroom. And many times, defendants are alleging that they have been tortured.

[NPR Middle East correspondent Jane] ARRAF: France doesn’t have a death penalty. In a statement, the Foreign Ministry said it would relay its opposition to sentencing the men to death. But it also said it respected Iraqi jurisdiction. The men were handed over by Kurdish Syrian forces to Iraq because the alleged crimes were committed in Iraq and Syria.

Due process is a human right, and it’s be disingenuous of someone who supports Western Civilization to say otherwise.

I’m just wondering where the concern was when ISIS was on the ascendant?

Priorities

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Trump plans to withdraw the 2,000 US military members from Syria.  Neo-Cons are upset.  Defense Secretary Mattis is resigning.  The establishment consensus is Trump is making a horrible mistake.  Is he?
George Washington warned against entangling alliances.  That’s pretty good historical precedent for Trump to bring our troops home.  Yes, the neo-cons reply, but the world has changed since Washington’s time. We need to police the world.  Failing to do so is isolationist.  Failing to fight every battle means people will die, nations will fall.
So?  The world, to Americans, means Christendom.  True, that world has changed.  Rome ruled for 500 hundred years before it fell.  A thousand years later, England, France and Spain were the great powers; then the Axis Powers for a decade; then the nuclear nations calling themselves the Security Council; power constantly changing.
But England is no longer a great power (despite having nuclear weapons).  It contributes a few hundred people to each global conflict, not enough to tip the scale.  As a power, they’re a has-been.  So are France, Spain, Rome.
We’re headed their direction.  The economic and military domination we enjoyed after WW II is gone.  We should stop pretending, stop over-extending.  We should pull back to our own shores, fortify against the coming global crash, hope to ride out the long night while the rest of the world burns.
Socialism is a disease and we’re facing an epidemic.  The treatment for an epidemic is quarantine: save the ones you can, let the rest die.  Isolation is not a bad thing for a nation, it’s the responsible thing.  Put America First.
Joe Doakes

I’m starting to think we’ll need that internally.

Build a wall around California, Illinois, and the mid-Atlantic states. And make them pay…

…well, no, let’s not get fancy . Just build it.

Un Proposicion Modesto

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The government controls the lives of everyone living under its jurisdiction, so everyone in the community should have a voice in electing the government, right?

Even non-citizens.

Hey, what’s the problem?  Everyone residing in the community is affected by local government, we all have “skin in the game.”  Why should the accident of birthplace give citizens special privileges not afforded to resident aliens, border jumpers, students who overstayed their visas and even tourists?

However you got here, you ARE here, so you should have a say in the rules you’re living under.  Anything less would be un-American.

Joe Doakes

Take the Democrat approac to borders and the rights and privileges of citizenship to its logidal extreme and they really shouldn’t be barbering about Riussian “interference” in our elections, since the Russians have exactly the same rights as illegal Salvadorans have to steer our democracy.

Being Necessary To The Security Of A Free State

While Trump plies his wiles trying to get the feckless Germans and Dutch to pay their share of defending their stagnating continent, at least part of free Europe doesn’t need reminding of the consequences of not standing up for their own freedom.

The Poles need no reminding about keeping their defenses strong.

And to their north, the Latvians, Lithuanians, and especially Estonians, in the wake of Obama’s debacle in Ukraine, seem to grasp the need to defend their freedom.  Four percent of Estonia’s entire population is in the military or the (voluntary) reserves – not bad for one of the more libertarian states in Europe.

It‘s very personal to them:

Like almost all Estonians of his generation, what drives [Estonian special forces Colonel Riho] Uhtegi is intensely personal, and tends to be tied up in the history of his country.

“We all had one grandparent that remembered independence,” said Uhtegi, speaking of growing up during the Soviet occupation, “and they filled our heads with stories of it.” He shifts his very blue Estonian gaze back from the distance. Unspoken is the fate of all the other grandparents—the ones who were executed by the Russians or died somewhere in a gulag. Wartime casualties aside, more than 10 percent of Estonia’s population was deported before Stalin’s death in 1953.

And it’s not even a little bit abstract:

“You know why the Russians didn’t take Tbilisi in 2008?” Uhtegi asked me. “They were just up the road, 50 kilometers or so, and nothing was stopping them.”

Having spent many years in Georgia, I knew the answer to this one: because Georgians are crazy. Uhtegi barked a laugh. “Yes. Exactly. Georgians are crazy, and they would fight. The idea of this unwinnable asymmetric fight in Tbilisi was not so appealing to the Russians.”

He continued: “There are always these discussions. Like, yeah. The Russians can get to Tallinn in two days. … Maybe. [The Estonian capital is about 125 miles from the Russian border.] But they can’t get all of Estonia in two days. They can get to Tallinn, and behind them, we will cut their communication lines and supplies lines and everything else.” That dead-eyed Baltic stare fixes me again. “They can get to Tallinn in two days. But they will die in Tallinn. And they know this. … They will get fire from every corner, at every step.”

Read the whole, fascinating thing.

Cultural Genocide!

Donald Truimp proposes to separate children of legal immigrants from their parents for 25 hours a week for instruction in American values – including traditions like Christmas, Easter, and of course fluency in English.    Spokespeople for the proposal say that if immigrants won’t willingly  assimilate to American life, they – or at least their next generation – should be forced to assimilate.

The proposal would also hike sentences for crimes committed in immigrant neighborhoods, and impose potential prison terms on parents who send their kids on extended trips back to the home culture for de-assimilation.

The left is rolling out its big guns against this latest Trump atrocity.

Continue reading

Downfall

Europe – blessed by US deterrence with the longest period of peace in its history – loves to hector America about how much better Europe does, well, everything.  

Laugh it up, Eurotrash:

There is a Roman Empire-like sameness throughout Europe in fashion, popular culture, and government protocol — a welcome change from the deadly fault lines of 1914 and 1939.

Yet, as in the waning days of Rome, there is a growing uncertainly beneath the European calm.

The present generation has inherited the physical architecture and art of a once-great West — cathedrals, theaters, and museums. But it seems to lack the confidence that it could ever create the conditions to match, much less exceed, such achievement.

The sense of depression in Europe reminds one of novelist J. R. R. Tolkien’s description of the mythical land of Gondor in his epic fantasy The Lord of the Rings. Gondor’s huge walls, vaunted traditions, and rich history were testaments that it once served as bulwark of a humane Middle-earth.

When they were a collection of smallish, ethnically and culturally homogenous statelets, they had something going for them (other than the whole “going to war with each other every generation or more” thing).

But the thing about European cultures is, you can never “become” French, or Norwegian, or Dutch; those societies are defined by language, history and ethnicity (even polyglot Switzerland).  Combine that with being in demographic death spirals (at least those countries west of the German/Polish border) and importing millions of people, first “guest workers” and later refugees to fill in the demographic gaps, workers who can never be truly assimilated into their respective societies…

…and all that placid homogeneity that allowed Swedish and Dutch and French society to actually be Swedish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, whatever, is all by the boards.

And then, the best they can hope for is to become occasionally fractious, like we do.  The worst?

The same thing that always happens when one culture drowns in another.

Resist The Authoritarians!

Over at Power Line, Paul Mirengoff asks a question that is redolent with parallels for anyone that lives in a Democrat-dominated area:   if a government is truly authoritarian, nobody wants to be pegged as a “Resister” – for example, to be placed on an “enemies list”.

If you’re on an enemies list in a genuinely authoritarian country – Franco’s Spain, Pinochet’s Chile, Argentina in the sixties and seventies – being an “enemy” meant midnight knocks on the door and cars snatching people off streets and goons hauling off classrooms full of college kids.

In the parts of the US that voted for Hillary and melted down when Trump won, “resistance” means a latte in the morning after pilates, before a vigorous session of screaming at people on Twitter.

Mirengoff looks at “authoritarian” (according to the current leftist whinging) Hungary:

The Washington Post reports that a pro-government newspaper in Hungary published an “enemies list.” Political opponents of prime minister Viktor Orban promptly expressed outrage at not being on the list.

One of them launched a petition demanding to be on the list. He invited others to join in that demand. Nearly 8,000 did.

This tells me that Orban’s government is not authoritarian. The Post eventually concedes as much. Deep into the story, it acknowledges that in Hungary “there is free expression, with opponents speaking out on television, newspapers, and on the streets.” Earlier this month, when the new, elected parliament was sworn in, thousands of opponents rallied against Orban just outside the building.

Trying to get Hungarians to stop expressing freely takes tanks, as the Soviets found.

Liberals in the media are exercised because nearly every newspaper and media outlet in Hungary supports Orban (occording to journalists who oppose Orban and who aren’t, as it happens either unemployed or in jail).  In other words, for  being the same as the American media, but on the right…

 

Just To Be Clear

I do advocate tolerance.  Most notably and recently, I’ve mixed it up with activists in the MN GOP who’ve said there’s no room in the Republican party for people of the Muslim faith, because – this is a paraphrase cut so closely it might as well be a quote – the Koran tells Muslims to deceive the infidel, and all Muslims follow the Koran to the letter in exactly the same way.  And their goal is to spread Sharia law everywhere.  Even in the MN GOP.

Of course, they – and I – say Muslims, and all immigrants, should assimilate into our culture (and, for my part, that “multiculturalism” must be killed with fire).   To which I respond “What on earth is more assimilatory than trying to attend a Minnesota GOP caucus?

Some of them have gone so far as to say there’s no room for people who are inclusive of Muslims (not Islam, mind you –  they they gotta support the rest of the GOP’s platform and, of course, the US) and them.  To which I’ve replied “don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out”.

But with all that said – this is the sort of thing that needs to be kept on the other side of a high, spike-topped, literal and intellectual border wall

 

Heard On Social Media, 1938

SCENE:  A group of people are sitting in a cafe in south Minneapolis.  

Harland BERG and a few other people sit around tables, absently drinking coffee and reading the Minneapolis Star when Oscar KJEDELIG walks into the room.  

KJEDELIG:  We need to prevent Germans from caucusing at the Farmer-Labor Party caucuses next week.

BERG:  Er…Germans?

KJEDELIG:  Yes!  Germans follow a crazy dictator who wants to bring world war.

BERG : Well, some certainly do.

KJEDELIG:  “Look at this book!  (He waves a mimeographed copy of a pamphlet entitled “All Germans Want To Start A War”, by…well, it’s hard to tell who wrote it).  Read it and you’ll know everything.

BERG:  Like you do?

KJEDELIG:  Of course.

BERG:  Well, I do speak the language, and did study a whole hell of a lot about Germany and the Germans, and I happen to know that the desire to start a world war is correlated with Germans who live in places where the Nazi Party is in control.  Germans living in Canada, Australia, Chile, and especially places like the Dakotas, Montana, New Ulm Minnesota and so many other places have absolutely no correlation with Germans who want to kjill us.

In fact, we can test it now.  (BERG turns to Will HEINRICH, a first-Generation German immigrant sitting at the next table).  (BERG switches to German) “Hey, da, Willi – wollten Sie eine Weltkrig anizufangen, und “untermench” umzubringen?”

HEINRICH:  Solche quatsch!   Ich habe dreiβig Jahre in Amerika gewohnen!  Ich war im Groβer Krieg im Amerikanischen Heer!

BERG:  So there you have it.  Not that I know anything about Germans.

KJEDELIG:  That’s not what this (waves the pamphlet) says.

BERG:  The pamplhet is wrong.

KJEDELIG:  That’s not what the pamphlet says.

BERG:  It says it’s not wrong.

KJEDELIG:  It says anyone who disagrees is working for the Germans.

BERG:  Of course it does.

KJEDELIG:  Clearly you hate America.

BERG:  Clearlly

And SCENE:

Apropos nothing.

“You Guys Are Lucky I Don’t Know How To Build A Bomb”

I haven’t talked much about the case of Tnuza Hassan, the woman accused of setting fires at Saint Kate’s last week.   If the allegations in the press are true, she couldn’t have been more clear about her motives if she’d hired a Madison Avenue ad firm:

Tnuza J. Hassan, of Minneapolis, allegedly told police that “she wanted the school to burn to the ground and that her intent was to hurt people,” ..lShe told police and fire investigators, “You guys are lucky that I don’t know how to build a bomb because I would have done that.”

I’ve reached no conclusions – we don’t know much, and even when we do, my conclusions will be of little or no consequence.

Just a couple of observations:

Hold The Narrative:  The usual suspects have pointed it out – “She’s a domestic Muslim terrorist”.   I’ve seen some snarky comments about Hassan’s family travel plans: ” She said she had been a student at Saint Catherine’s but quit last fall because she and her family were planning to vacation in Ethiopia,”

Which has caused the usual crowd of Fudds to chant “Ah HAH.  She’s going back to her Muslim terrorist hellhole”.

The thing is, though, that Ethiopia is majority Christian; most of its people are Coptics.  There is a sizeable Muslim minority, but there’s just not a lot of strife between the two over there.

And while Somalis have picked up a dodgy reputation – some earned, some unfair – the story of Ethiopian immigration to the US is placid and successful; Ethiopian immigrants’ crime rate is vanishingly low, and they have assimilated well into American society.   And I’ve seen or heard of no split between Ethiopian Coptics and Muslims when it comes to assimilation.

Now – there are plenty of Somali Muslims who’ve moved to Ethiopia over the years; like Democrats moving from Minneapolis to Edina, they have brought some problems with them.  We don’t know much about Miss Hassan’s family or background.   Does that bear on it?

We’ll come back to that.

Homegrown:  When I read Miss Hassan’s rhetoric (as related by the police to the press, anyway), I thought “something here sounds amiss”.

To me, Hassan’s statements didn’t sound like those of a young, self-radicalized Muslim – or, I should say, not just like one.  The tone – again, third or fourth hand – sounded like the sort of thing you could hear (with or without accompanying violence) at a Women’s March, or a BLM rally, an “Anti”-Fa rally, in any campus newspaper opinion (or “news”) section, or any number of other events common among young, identity-politics-addled bobbleheads found on today’s campuses…

…especially relentlessly PC institutions like Saint Kates.

So while many are asking the young Muslim woman accused of arson “do you think you, a woman, could get any kind of education at all in your squalid homeland”, it may be worth asking if in fact Miss Hassan’s little outburst isn’t a repudiation of her education…

…but a symptom of it?

Much Ado About S______es.

News flash: President Trump said something offensive.

Maybe.

The is sure, but can’t confirm it beyond Dick Durbin – a man with a long record of practicing the ethics of convenience – and repeated by the Dems’ stenographers in the media, which only stops them when the subject is a Democrat, but whatever, but whatever; it’s one of the reasons I trust a used car salesman with an untreated gambling addiction more than the institution of the media.

Anyhoo, the President ostensibly referred to certain nations – as distinct from people – as “S***h**es”.

My dislike of Trump goes back, uninterrupted, to the mid-eighties – but let me break this down for you:

If you are referring to a society where the vast majority of the people are short of basic necessities like food, water and jobs because the “government” runs things for the benefit of a kleptocratic ruling “elite” (in the same sense that the Crips, MS13 or the Mafia are “ruled by an elite”) – as in much of subsaharan Africa, and a fair part of Asia and Central and South America – the President may have had a point.

If you are talking about a society that brags about having a culture hundreds or thousands of years old – but all of that cultural history is marked by feudal warlordism, systematic devaluation of the individual, mass murder, indentured servitude and serfdom, systematic ignorance of human rights and endless cycles of variations on single-person or single-party rule, the President isn’t that far off.

If you’re talking about a culture that we’ve had to teach how to stop herding people into death camps at bayonet-point in living memory, or a country where very significant numbers of people were perfectly happy to send their neighbors of an inconvenient ethnicity to their deaths for 13 pieces of silver, or one where millions of people long for the return of the most bloodthirsty tyrant of all time? The President may have been wrong in the literal sense, but not moral or metaphorical ones. `

And if you live in an American city where the achievement gap and the gap between the gentrified “haves” and the ghettoized “have nots” is approaching third-world levels, crime is rising even as the national crime rate is plummeting, and the public debt bubble is growing to catastrophic levels, and the leadership’s response is to virtue-signal about minimum wages and police shootings?

The President wasn’t referring to you, but to foreign countries. So far. But he’s not far off.

I didn’t vote for Trump. But some of the people howling about his (alleged) remarks really need to broaden their focus. All humans are created equal before God and the Law (whether their rulers acknowledge it or not), but all governments and nations are not.

Anyone who disagrees is invited to live in Venezuela until further notice. Which isn’t saying “America – love it or leave it”; it’s saying “History: learn it or end up on the wrong side of it”.

MSGA

Switzerland bans asylum-seekers from obtaining Swiss citizenship if they’ve been on welfare in the past three years.  (Article in German;  If you don’t read German, Google Translate is your friend).

The new law also introduces new criteria for integration. For example, those seeking naturalization must develop Swiss friends and associates. And someone imprisioned conditionally for more than three months is ineligible for naturalization.

There are also various language requirements. Similar to Austria, there are different rules in the different cantons (states) of Switzerland. The highest requirements are in the canton of Thurgau. While (Switzerland in general requires applicants to reach standardized language) level B1, those wishing to naturalise in Thurgau must reach B2 in writing. Spoken level in Thurgau will remain B1.

Preventing people coming for the taxpayer-funded goodies?

Requjiring integration into the language, culture an society?

What’ll they think of next?

Don’t Parc The Arc

I saw this on social media over the the last week or so – a quote from Martin Luther King…:

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

…followed by a list of moral advances that’d seem to prove the proposition:

1776: Do we really need a king?
1863: Should people own slaves?
1954: Should schools be desegregated?
1967: Can a state legally prohibit interracial marriage?
2017: Is taxation theft?

The guy who wrote the post – who I think would fairly describe himself as an anarcho-libertarian –  meant well.  So did the guy who made the original quote, Martin Luther King.

But can there be a more toxic, wishful, pollyannaish platitude than this one?

Kevin Williamson reframed it well – the moral arc of the universe bends inexorably toward tyranny and barbarism.   

Look st the list of moral advances of the past 241years.  through the good graces of pushback against *that* moral arc, often at huge risk (like the signers of the Declaration of Independence); the king and slavery were removed with an exceptional amount of bloodshed; desegregation was neither bloodless nor inevitable.   The fact that some struggles don’t require bloodshed show that our society can, often, work out issues without going to war.

Not sure that aphorism recognizes what an anomaly modern Western civilization is.   Definitely sure people who casually use the saying don’t know it.

It Never Existed, Lindström

Swedes burn books to sanitize the historical record…

of Pippi Longstocking.

The other day came the news that the library in Botkyrka municipality, on the outskirts of Stockholm, had burned older editions of one of the Pippi books, Pippi in the South Seas (1948), because local officials have decided that they “contain racism.”

After this action came to light, the municipality issued a press release acknowledging that the books had indeed been destroyed because they contained “obsolete expressions that can be perceived as racist” – but that they had been replaced on the library shelves by a 2015 edition of the book from which those expressions have been carefully scrubbed.

Problem solved?

Since Lindgren died in 2002, of course, she was not around to grant anybody the right to fiddle with her prose. Her publishers had simply taken it upon themselves to do to her work what a lot of people would love to do to, say, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Like Mark Twain, Lindgren was the very opposite of a racist. But her use of language in Pippi in the South Seas, like that in Huck Finn, violates the Left’s current ideological tests.

The news of the Botkyrka book-burning was first reported on a July 9 broadcast by investigative journalist Janne Josefsson, who appears to be one of the few level-headed practitioners of that profession left in Sweden. “When you burn books for ideological reasons,” Josefsson later told Expressen, “there’s something in me that says, wait a second now, are we really going to let these things disappear? Shouldn’t they be allowed to survive so that that I can explain to my child that this is how you talked in those days?”

To Big Left, history is just another egg to be broken to make the omelette.

Their Finest Hour

The people of London are a lot more courageous than their city’s government.

Stories are filtering out of London about people resisting their attackers during Saturday night’s terrorist attacks around London.

This from John Holbrooke, a Brit lawyer who’s been covering not only terror, but the way the Brit poltical establishment has been bending over backwards to not, y’know, call it anything of the sort.

And at least we – the people who think Western Civilization, not to mention innocent human life – is with defending have something to be  proud of today.

Good thing the people of London are disarmed, and have to resort to pint glasses (the waste of Brit beer alone is inhumane) and chairs to protect their lives.

Of course, that’s why the attacks aren’t happening in Dallas or Memphis or Bismarck or Jacksonville.