"I thought you knew enough Elvish at least to know dún-adan: Man of the West, Númenórean."

― Bilbo Baggins
"The West" is hardly a new term in need of explanation. It applies to that part of civilization -- or, if you like, to that civilization --- which is philosophically rooted both in Athens and Jerusalem. Contra the author, 'race' has nothing to do with it. Aristotle would have considered the Germans and the Jews as much barbarians as he did the Celts; nor did the Jews of Jesus' day see any 'racial' kinship with Greeks or any of the others. However, the author is correct to suggest that religious heritage is important to the West. Much of the West may now be post-Christian, and not Jewish either, but even that part of the West owes an unfathomable debt to Jerusalem. Excluding India from the West is not a sneer at Hindus, but a recognition that they are simply not indebted in the same way.

I cannot believe that this term, constantly in use throughout my lifetime, is in need of explanation to audiences today. I must regard the attempt to redefine the term as hostile to the truth, a truth known (and well known) to everyone who will now be involved in the debate over the proper domain of "the West." Much will be revealed by where one chooses to fall on the question of whether or not to redefine the term as a sort of racism or religious chauvinism.

One thing that Trump's team is certainly right about is that the West needs, and merits, a defense. I count myself among its defenders.

Linda Sarsour Would Like Your Attention to Her Full Remarks

I'm sure you've heard of Ms. Sarsour, if not before today than following her speech at the Islamic Society of North America. She would like you to watch the whole thing before making up your mind about it. It's about 24 minutes long, if you're inclined to do so; follow the link above.

I've lately been revisiting my opinion of Ms. Sarsour's reputation. What I had always heard about her from right-wingers and reform-minded Muslims was that she was an American Islamist who hated Jews and Israel; and I would have gone on believing that if I hadn't lately read a profile of her from a left-wing site claiming that she is an unprincipled politician who has no grasp of Islamism (which they approve of, this group) and who loves Jews and Israel -- or at least is willing to play very nice with them in order to advance her political career in NYC.

That reminded me enough of Chesterton's approach to criticism of Jesus and Christianity -- 'Old bucks who are growing stout might consider him insufficiently filled out; old beaux who are growing thin might feel he expanded beyond the narrow lines of elegance' -- as to be inclined to give her a look and see where she really stands. This is the speech she wants to stand on, by her own remarks; see what you think of it.

Revel in the Smell of Cordite

After a pleasant evening of shooting off fireworks and other explosives -- the highlight of the evening was some for-entertainment-only mortars, which came complete with a cardboard launching tube -- it's nice to crack a beer and see everyone else enjoying themselves too.


The Associated Press:
As many in the United States celebrate the Fourth of July holiday, some minorities have mixed feelings about the revelry of fireworks and parades in an atmosphere of tension on several fronts.

How do you celebrate during what some people of color consider troubling times?
There are no good answers forthcoming, but there is some advice from U.S. News (and World Reports?) on how not to celebrate during what 'some people of color' consider troubling times.

Request denied. Enjoy your freedom.

Happy Independence Day

Remember what we celebrate.