European Decline

Lord’s Prayer Banned As Offensive

Featured image This is one of those news stories that you think must have originated at The Onion, but I am pretty sure it is legitimate. Either that, or someone has hacked the Associated Press’s computers: The Church of England is threatening legal action over the rejection of a one-minute film featuring the Lord’s Prayer that it wanted to run before showings of the new Star Wars film that opens shortly before »

Heard About “the Wallstrom Affair”?

Featured image Did you hear anything about the dustup in Sweden in the spring over the remarks of foreign minister Margot Wallstrom? She belongs to Sweden’s Social Democratic Party and holds impeccable left-of-center credentials, and also served for a time as the Commissioner for the Environment at the European Union, where she said all of the politically correct platitudes about global warming and sustainable development. She also worked at the UN for »

EU Moves Step Closer to Open Tyranny

Featured image As Britain moves closer to a referendum some time in the next couple of years about whether to remain in the European Union, news out of Portugal this week ought to be giving heartburn to Brussels Sprouts everywhere. Portugal’s voters recently elected a left-leaning anti-EU majority to its parliament, but the country’s president is refusing to allow the new majority to form a government. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard reports in The Telegraph: »

Politics Comes to Switzerland

Featured image Sometimes I hear people, usually apolitical libertarians, point to Switzerland as a model of a decentralized and de-politicized government. There’s some truth to this, but mostly Switzerland is an anomalous country (Hitler didn’t think it important to conquer), or, as I sometimes describe it, Switzerland is essentially a giant bank with a few well-run public services. That may be changing. From the Telegraph today: Anti-immigration party wins Swiss election in »

U.K. Labour Party Commits Suicide

Featured image Three weeks ago we took note of the extraordinary candidacy of the far-left Jeremy Corbyn to be the next leader of the Labour Party, how it would represent the suicide of the Labour Party. Put it this way: Corbyn makes Bernie Sanders look like one of those dreaded “neo-liberals” of Naomi Klein’s self-induced nightmares. (At least Sanders is pro-Israel, unlike Corbyn, who could be a stenographer for Hamas.) Well, today »

Refugee Logistics: Nothing Happens for No Good Reason (2)

Featured image Last summer we saw the spectacle of thousands of central America children turning up on America’s southern border, and I noted at the time, in “Nothing Happens for No Good Reason,” that it was unlikely that the sudden flood of immigrants to the U.S. simply happened spontaneously. Someone had to put the word out in central America to create critical mass of “migrants” as well as organizing the logistics to »

EU Refugee Hypocrisy

Featured image Hans Rosling is one of my favorite demographers and analysts of change over time. If you’ve never seen any of his Gapminder videos, you owe it to yourself to catch up (especially the one on the washing machine, which is guaranteed to enrage feminists). A few months ago he asked a simple question: why are “refugees/migrants” paying thousands to cross the Mediterranean in rickety boats when you can fly to »

Meanwhile, In Other News

Featured image In a startling turn of events, Greece yesterday capitulated fully to the European Union in terms much harsher than the terms the nation rejected a week ago in the referendum. Though more precisely everyone appears to have capitulated to Germany, as the French and Italians, among others, are reported to have supported more generous terms to Greece. So, perhaps the headline should be “Europe Capitulates to Germany.” Has a familiar »

Beware of Greeks Bearing Bonds

Featured image It appears Greece is slowly caving to the Germans, chiefly because the markets called the bluff of their tiny economy. Once it became evident that Greek default wouldn’t roil the world’s markets—bond spreads even on other weak Euro-states barely budged—Greece lost its leverage, despite the landslide referendum vote. (I think the market turmoil of China is much more significant at the moment.) But their leverage is not totally dissipated. Clearly »

What Obama Could Learn from the EU

Featured image What do the Greek crisis and the arms negotiations in Iran have in common? We keep extending the deadline and talking further in deference to the crazy people causing the problem. Only in the case of Greece, the EU has finally reached a point of “No” and meaning it, stopping the socialist centrifuge reducing the Greek economy to its constitutent parts. But the Obama foreign policy titans continue to extend »

Today’s Greek Chorus

Featured image In no particular order: • Remember the famous Fox Butterfield headline in the New York Times: “Crime Keeps on Falling, But Prisons Keep on Filling”?  Well yesterday the Times outdid itself with an early edition headline on the Greek crisis: “Trillions Spent, But Crises Like Greece’s Persist.” Gee: I wonder if there’s a connection? Maybe someone can ask Fox Butterfield. One wonders what the Times headline will be when it »

Looks Like We Called Greece Right

Featured image Two weeks ago we posted our first ever “Monday Morning Briefing” for Power Line VIP subscribers, which we hastened to add later may not appear always on Monday, and may be closer to “bi-weekly,” since bi-weekly is ambiguous: is that twice a week or every other week?  Just like everything else bi, isn’t it? (And I promised my mom long ago that I’d never be bi-anything. . .) Anyway, our »

The Decadence of the Liberal Mind in One Sentence

Featured image As the Greek economy continues its predictable slow motion collapse, one of the early WSJ account of the inevitable bank closures and capital controls imposed yesterday has one of the funniest sentences I’ve read in a long time, but which is also fully revealing of the decadence of the liberal mind: “How can something like this happen without prior warning?” asked Angeliki Psarianou, a 67-year-old retired public servant, who stood »

For Germany, Demography Is Doom

Featured image Germany’s economy dominates the EU, but if demography is destiny–and it is–then, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard argues in the Telegraph, Germany is doomed. I had not realized that the numbers are so grim: Germany’s birth rate has collapsed to the lowest level in the world and its workforce will start plunging at a faster rate than Japan’s by the early 2020s, seriously threatening the long-term viability of Europe’s leading economy. … The »

The British Election and Its Lessons for Us

Featured image Britain goes to the polls on Thursday to elect a new government. Did you know this? It is hardly getting any media notice here in the U.S., perhaps because our lazy media can’t take its eyes off the long coronation of Queen Hillary.  Anyway, the polls are a scramble, and everyone paying attention (which means only Michael Barone and Henry Olsen) is saying it is the most unpredictable election in »

Will ISIS Invade Italy?

Featured image That eye-catching possibility was raised by this Daily Beast article by Barbie Latza Nadeau: “Italy Fears ISIS Invasion From Libya.” Last weekend in Italy, as the threat of ISIS in Libya hit home with a new video addressed to “the nation signed with the blood of the cross” and the warning, “we are south of Rome,” Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi shuttered up the Italian embassy in Tripoli and raised »

Greek Socialists to Send Lump of Coal to the EU?

Featured image Greece has elected a far-left socialist government that plans to dump austerity (and perhaps the Euro currency with it) into the dustbin of history. The socialist government is also likely to harsh some mellows among enviro-socialists who think socialism is the path for saving the planet. The Guardian reports the reality: Syriza’s election victory has kindled hopes of an environmental champion pushing for greater climate ambition on the European stage, »