European Decline

(Not) John Cleese on Threats to Europe (Updated)

Featured image UPDATE: Turns out this is not from John Cleese, though it has an Aristotelian authenticity that causes me to leave it up anyway. This is making the rounds, and should not be missed: ALERTS TO THREATS IN 2013 EUROPE From JOHN CLEESE The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Syria and have therefore raised their security level from “Miffed” to “Peeved.” Soon, though, security levels »

This Is Just Embarrassing

Featured image Reihan Salam reported yesterday on National Review Online that Sweden has passed the United States in hours worked per working age adults.  Let that sink in for a moment: Swedish workers–living in the enlightened social democratic paradise according to the American left–are working harder than Americans.  The figures Reihan cites are rather startling: The only reason the welfare state remains solvent is that an astonishing 85 percent of working-age native »

A few NR cruise notes

Featured image We returned from our National Review cruise of the Norwegian fjords yesterday afternoon. I want to offer a few notes for interested readers. We loved the cruise for all the obvious reasons. The programming was great and our fellow NR cruisers were outstanding. We met people we liked every day. The cruise is expensive and many of the cruisers are retired or of retirement age, but its therapeutic value all »

Anti-Muslim Backlash in the U.K.? Not So Much

Featured image After two Muslims stabbed an off-duty soldier to death and attempted to behead him, in broad daylight on a busy London street, it was widely reported that a dangerous, anti-Muslim backlash was in progress. British authorities arrested several individuals for making anti-Muslim comments on Facebook or Twitter, hoping, apparently, to stem the tide of anti-Muslim violence. But did the widely-anticipated, and even widely-reported, epidemic of anti-Muslim violence materialize? No, it »

Perhaps there is hope for Great Britain

Featured image In a post called “The Inevitable Decline of Great Britain (Con’t)”, John wrote that “in Great Britain, the authorities have no idea what to do about the real problem, an endless series of murders and attempted murders by fanatics yelling ‘Allahu Akbar!’” And John is right. However, the British public has at least a clue. A survey taken for the Daily Mail shows that almost two-thirds of voters in the »

Fecklessness, Swedish Style

Featured image In Stockholm, riots have taken place for six consecutive nights, with windows smashed, cars and schools set on fire, and policemen pelted with rocks. This would normally be considered a major problem, but the Swedes seem to be taking it pretty casually: Since last Sunday, May 19, rioters have taken to the streets of Stockholm’s suburbs every night, torching cars, schools, stores, office buildings and residential complexes. Yesterday, a police »

The Inevitable Decline of Great Britain (Cont.)

Featured image The brutal murder of an off-duty soldier by two Muslim activists continues to dominate the news in Great Britain. The scene was utterly bizarre: in broad daylight, in a busy section of London, the two Muslims apparently ran the soldier down with a car, within a block or two of his barracks, and then attacked him with knives and a meat cleaver. They attempted to behead him, apparently not quite »

In the End, Did Thatcher Win Or Lose?

Featured image That is the question that Mark Steyn posed yesterday at National Review. Was it a good piece? Hey, it was one of our Picks. It also echoed some of the themes I developed here. But, as my then-21-year-old son said after meeting him for the first time, “Mark Steyn is a genius.” Which is not, needless to say, how he ever described me. Mark is a sort of honorary Englishman, »

Was Margaret Thatcher Really Transformational? (With comment by Paul)

Featured image I yield to no one in my admiration for Margaret Thatcher; this photo of me with her, taken in 1997, is displayed proudly in my library: I agree with Paul that she saved Great Britain, at least for a generation. And Britain continues to benefit from her accomplishments: there is no Soviet threat, the unions have never regained their power, and Britain hasn’t adopted the Euro. But did she really »

Tough times in Europe

Featured image Under President Obama, the old normal unemployment rate in the former Western Europe — around 8 percent — seems to have become the new normal in the United States. I guess there’s at least poetic justice in this, since leading Democrats like Obama and John Kerry tend to see Western Europe as a model for the U.S. Unfortunately, though, the new normal unemployment rate in Europe is much higher than »

Syria’s european jihadists

Featured image Elliott Abrams wonders where the hard core jihadists currently fighting in Syria — an estimated 5,000 of them — will go when/if the fighting ends there. Israeli officials naturally are asking the same question. According to Abrams, the Israelis identify the following possibilities: They may go west to Lebanon, to fight the Shiite group Hezbollah. They may go south to try to cross into the Golan, and fight the Israeli »

Stick ‘Em Up, Cyprus Style

Featured image I can’t resist passing on this hilarious Michael Ramirez cartoon. All I can say is, don’t let it happen here! »

Modern Day Xenophon Wanted: The Education of Cyprus?

Featured image This semester I taught Xenophon’s neglected treatise The Education of Cyrus, which many observers have compared to Machiavelli’s Prince.  Seems now we could use a modern-day financial Xenophon to update it as The Education of Cyprus, where, according to news out within the hour, there is going to be a four-day “bank holiday” to prevent a total run.  We keep being reassured that this is a one-off event; that surely »

Let’s not forget knife control

Featured image One of my 2013 predictions — coming soon! — is that rifles will trail knives as murder weapons of choice in the coming year as they have in the most recent five-year period for which statistics are available. Magical thinking underlies the calls for gun control in the wake of the slaughter of the innocents at the Sandy Hook school, but a relentless logic is at work in this anecdote »

Mark Falcoff: The view from Germany

Featured image Occasional contributor Mark Falcoff is resident scholar emeritus at AEI. He is the author of books including Modern Chile, 1970-1989: A Critical History and Cuba the Morning After: Confronting Castro’s Legacy. Dr. Falcoff writes to comment on the German perspective on tomorrow’s election: At this writing it is not clear who will win tomorrow’s presidential election in the United States. But if, as some surveys suggest, Mitt Romney is the »

The Nobel Peace Prize Went to What??

Featured image I’ve been away from the site most of the day because it’s taken all day to wipe up the snorted coffee all over my desk from the news that the European Union has won the Nobel Peace Prize.  Is today April Fools Day and nobody told me? I can hardly contain the paroxysms of mirth and disgust at this vain and self-regarding gesture.  Fortunately, I don’t have to.  The overachieving »

Groundhog Day Almost Over For Europe?

Featured image I’ve given up following the Eurozone crisis on a daily basis—as has much of the media it seems—because it has settled into Groundhog Day territory.  Greece—still a basket case.  Spain—still having trouble selling its bonds.  Italy and France—still behaving irresponsibly.  Germany: cough up more dough you tight-fisted Teutonic bastards.  How long can this circus go on?  It’s been going on for better than two years now at least, and perhaps »