European Decline

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, »

France Joins the Supply Side: Paul Krugman Hardest Hit

Featured image With lefty nostalgists like Paul Krugman pining away for a return to the punitive income tax rates of up to 90 percent in the 1950s, it is worth taking in what just happened in France. France’s unreconstructed socialist president Francois Hollande made a big splash upon taking office of instituting a 75 percent income tax on all incomes over 1 million Euros. So how’d that work out? From Yahoo news »

Hamburg Becomes a War Zone

Featured image Hamburg has become the scene of street fighting between Islamic supporters of ISIS and expatriate Kurds: Parts of downtown Hamburg, the second-largest city in Germany, resembled a war zone after hundreds of supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State [IS] engaged in bloody street clashes with ethnic Kurds. … The unrest began on the evening of October 7, when around 400 Kurds gathered outside the Al-Nour mosque near the central »

Strangest Story of the Week

Featured image We all know that the Christian faith is slowly dying out in most of Europe, but did you happen to catch the Wall Street Journal story last Tuesday about how Germany taxes churchgoers, and how a proposed hike in the tax on churchgoers is expected to reduce church attendance even further? Here’s the lede: FRANKFURT—In Germany, being an official church member usually means paying an extra tax. But a change »

The Future That Doesn’t Work

Featured image Scratch a Progressive, and they’ll tell you that their ideal for what America should look like is the “social democracies” of enlightened Europe.  That’s why we need higher minimum wage laws, pro-union mandates, and other regulations on the job market.  (One new idea in The New Yorker this week is a three-day work week.)  Meanwhile, younger Americans are finding it harder than ever to get started in today’s economy, and »

A New Hope for Anthony Weiner?

Featured image Just when you think there’s no possible political future for Anthony Weiner. . . News out of Germany reported in today’s Wall Street Journal about how the Green Party, whose deep radicalism was muted in exchange for a share of power in center-left coalition governments over the last 20 years, began its political existence by championing, among other things, pedophilia. On Monday, a political scientist hired by the party to »

(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 »