Commandments for the Current Age

Coveting again, but in an unexpected way. Although I think there is an older prohibition here against showing continuing affection for one's spouse after a certain point in time, lest it aggrieve the jealousy of those who have lost the spark.

A Story in Two Tweets

Apparently Obama gave a speech. In it he apparently said something about people finding it difficult to say that Nazis are bad. This occasioned some comment.



Signs point to 'no.'

Volk & Family

The loss among Swedes of a sense of home, of living in a place where you have to be taken in even when you don’t deserve it, haunts Swedish politics today—and, more broadly, all European politics. It is one of the great drivers of xenophobia because it stresses questions that never arose in the old days: Who deserves a place in the family and why? At root, the mourning for folkhemmet recognizes the loss of any sense of mutual obligation. It’s not easy to imagine the policies or the politicians who could restore such a sense today. In the meantime, many Swedes are choosing to heed their own lost leftist ideals by voting for the far-right at the ballot box. Unlike most of the Swedish establishment, the populists at least acknowledge that those ideals have been breached.
The "old days" the article refers to are a brief post-war period of consensus. Otherwise, I'm not sure you can say very many human civilizations have ever enjoyed the luxury of the question never arising: what do people have to do to "deserve" what they take from the fruits of others' labor?

Rebellion in the Senate

Sen. Booker, a man well-known for his melodrama, has decided to openly defy the rules in order to put out what he plainly views as explosive emails from the SCOTUS nominee. Having read them, though, I'd think these emails would be reassuring to Democrats about the quality of the man they are considering for the post.

For example, here he is defending the independence of the law-enforcement arms of the Executive from the politics of the elected President. As I understand it, that is exactly the position of Democrats vis a vis Donald Trump and the FBI or DOJ. The nominee was on their side way back in the Bush administration.

And here is the nominee asserting that he is on the side of a "race neutral" airport security policy in the wake of 9/11, when profiling (more on religion than race) was being put forward by many as an obvious security procedure. Again, for Democrats, this should put him on the side of the angels.

Booker says he's prepared to be expelled from the Senate in order to get these documents in front of the American people. Well, OK, thanks I guess. What does he see in these documents that is so alarming?

UPDATE: Booker was just grandstanding, it looks like -- the documents were cleared for release last night, at the request of his staff.

A Confession

The dilemma — which he does not fully grasp — is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.

I would know. I am one of them....

This isn’t the work of the so-called deep state. It’s the work of the steady state.
You can read his (or her) defense of this approach to electoral government at the link.

That's Not Going to Cut It, Francis

The Pope says that our response to the current scandals in the Church should be "silence and prayer."

What's Fonzie Like?

UPDATE: Original text deleted. This looks to be a death hoax, which is a strange form of internet behavior I’ll never understand. The article claims he had no children, but he has 3 according to Wikipedia. People should cut this sort of thing out.

I Guess There's Some Football Going On

...and thank God for normal America.

I guess we aren't quite done yet.

Kyl Back to Senate

McCain's term will be finished by his old colleague John Kyl, another 'grand bargain on immigration' guy. Even in 2007, when that article was written, his voters were incensed about the issue. I don't get the sense that the Republican electorate has grown more accepting in the ensuing decade.

Conversational Old Norse

Phrases you can use with friends and family, from our favorite cowboy scholar.

Senescence Affects Ideas

The WSJ has an article today describing our left's ideas as 'exhausted.'
This liberalism evolved within a society shamed by its past. But that shame has weakened now. Our new conservative president rolls his eyes when he is called a racist, and we all—liberal and conservative alike—know that he isn’t one. The jig is up. Bigotry exists, but it is far down on the list of problems that minorities now face. I grew up black in segregated America, where it was hard to find an open door. It’s harder now for young blacks to find a closed one....

Today’s liberalism is an anachronism. It has no understanding, really, of what poverty is and how it has to be overcome. It has no grip whatever on what American exceptionalism is and what it means at home and especially abroad. Instead it remains defined by an America of 1965—an America newly opening itself to its sins, an America of genuine goodwill, yet lacking in self-knowledge.
Spengler writes that last week's funeral for John McCain was really a funeral held by members of his elite class for the world they thought they lived in. That world, above all, they mourn.

Both items h/t Wretchard.

Responses to Tyranny from America's Geniuses of Vienna

Three of the great minds of the last century, Joseph Schumpeter, Karl Popper, and Friedrich Hayek, all wrote pieces on how to respond to tyranny if it ever came to the West. The Economist has a helpful survey of their ideas.
Hayek and Popper were friends but not close to Schumpeter. The men did not co-operate. Nonetheless a division of labour emerged. Popper sought to blow up the intellectual foundations of totalitarianism and explain how to think freely. Hayek set out to demonstrate that, to be safe, economic and political power must be diffuse. Schumpeter provided a new metaphor for describing the energy of a market economy: creative destruction.
These are ideas that are well worth considering at length.

Politics as Usual

The funeral of Senator John McCain was a festival of anti-Trump rhetoric, in spite of the fact that some Trump family members were in attendance. Well, that's doubtless just what McCain would have wanted. However, there is a footnote to this story that is worth knowing.

NPR: School Shootings Overestimated by at least 2/3rds

An unexpected but appreciated attempt at real journalism.
This spring the U.S. Education Department reported that in the 2015-2016 school year, "nearly 240 schools ... reported at least 1 incident involving a school-related shooting." The number is far higher than most other estimates.

But NPR reached out to every one of those schools repeatedly over the course of three months and found that more than two-thirds of these reported incidents never happened.... We were able to confirm just 11 reported incidents[.]
It's as if the government bureaucracies can't be trusted to tell citizens the truth.

I Have Returned

The trip to the Swamp was eventful, but I am still thankful to return to the mountain. Yesterday I crossed three great rivers as well as three states, the long Shenandoah valley, and several high mountain passes to get here. It is good to be back.

BB: Feelings Acceptable as Answers on Math Tests

“Any emotion, feeling, statement, or catchphrase is an acceptable answer to most of the problems in the new mathematics standards,” a Common Core representative told reporters. “As long as students are being sincere, genuine, authentic, and true to themselves at the time they are answering the question, that’s all we can ask as educators.”