All Eyes on Hungary at This Hour (Updated Throughout Today)

Featured image The polls have closed over in Hungary, where parliamentary elections will determine whether Viktor Orban and his Fidesz Party will remain in power, or be displaced by a conservative coalition that promises to continue many of Orban’s policies (such as, unfortunately, heavy dependence on Russia for energy supplies). Significant that Orban’s opposition calculates that it can only succeed by running a candidate who is nearly as socially conservative as Orban. »

On Energy, Europe Goes to Plan B

Featured image Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led European countries to resolve to end their dependence on Russian natural gas. The Telegraph reports: We are now in a world where Germany and much of the rest of Europe is planning for almost complete disengagement from Russia as a supplier of both oil and gas. The only question is how quickly this will happen. Germany gets half of its gas from Russia, the »

Security Guarantees, Real and Imagined

Featured image Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused a number of European countries–probably all of them–to reconsider their military defense postures. If Russia attacks them, will they be able to resist? And whom can they count on to come to their aid? Responses vary. Germany is talking about abandoning its post-WWII de-militarization. France, in Gaullist tradition, wants the EU to take the lead on security. Others rely on a presumed airtight NATO »

Total Defense

Featured image The world has cheered Ukraine’s determined resistance to Russian aggression, and even liberals have no problem with Ukraine’s government passing out automatic rifles to citizens. But some argue that Ukraine hasn’t gone far enough, that its government should not have waited for an invasion to arm its populace and encourage resistance to an invader. The example of the Finns’ armed and effective defense against Russia’s 1939 invasion has been cited »

War Is the Health of the State, 21st Century Edition

Featured image I don’t have a firm conclusion about just what we should do about the Ukraine crisis (beyond not sending Kamala Harris to Munich to embarrass the country). We ought to arm the Ukrainians with all the weapons they can use (short of nukes), impose serious sanctions on Russia, and perhaps some heavy cyber actions. But it is also worth considering that if Germany won’t stand up with the rest of the »

Who’s Wagging Whose Dog?

Featured image What follows is pure speculation, but I have had a sneaking suspicion for a while that the Ukraine crisis is ready-made for an international “solution” that benefits a number of leaders politically while avoiding any serious down-side. Like a war, for example. That suspicion is strengthened by the positive turn that reporting on Ukraine has suddenly taken. Thus, the London Times headlines: “Diplomacy with Russia can still save Ukraine, insists »

Europe in character

Featured image As a Russian invasion of Ukraine becomes more and more likely, major European nations behave more and more in character. Britain, in its finest Churchill-Thatcher tradition, is stepping up to the plate. It just delivered anti-tank weapons to Ukraine. Germany, reverting to its traditional approach of accommodating Russian aggression to further its interests, reportedly refused Britain permission to transport the anti-tank weapons through German airspace. Germany denies doing so, but »

Covid Mortality In Europe

Featured image Covid mortality is hard to measure, in part because different states and countries count covid deaths differently. Many people who died and who also happened to be diagnosed with covid–likely most–actually died primarily from something else, and the covid was more or less coincidental. Therefore, the most meaningful statistics are those relating to total mortality. If more people have died during the covid years than would have been predicted by »

Will Europe Abandon Green Energy?

Featured image The European Union has led the way in transitioning from fossil fuels to “green” energy, i.e. wind and solar. But that effort has hit a snag: wind and solar don’t work, and energy costs in the EU are skyrocketing. Now a Reuters report suggests that the EU may be thinking about jumping ship: The European Union has drawn up plans to label some natural gas and nuclear energy projects as »

Is the center-right collapsing?

Featured image The estimable Henry Olsen thinks so. He writes: Many anti-Trump Republicans long for the day when they can retake their party and expel the populist deviations from orthodoxy that vex them so. Evidence from around the world shows this is a pipe dream. Olsen explains: The same fissures in the old conservative coalition that plague the GOP appear in virtually every other modern democracy. Nationalist and populist parties have grown »

Let’s Not Imitate Europe’s Disastrous Energy Policies

Featured image Remember when Americans couldn’t afford to heat their homes in the late 1970s, and President Jimmy Carter urged everyone to buy cardigan sweaters and burn wood in their fireplaces? That is pretty much where Europe is today, as reported in the Telegraph: “‘Unprecedented’ gas price surge threatens national crisis, suppliers warn.” Energy chiefs have warned that Britain is facing a deepening national crisis after gas prices soared to record levels »

How Biden abets Putin’s power play against Europe

Featured image With winter approaching, Europe is facing an energy crisis. To a significant degree, Vladimir Putin is orchestrating it. Josh Rogin observes that Putin has been refusing to respond swiftly to requests by Europeans for more gas. He is also probably behind the migrant crisis along the Belarus-Poland border. As a result of that crisis, as John noted yesterday, the Belarus president has threatened to close down a key gas pipeline »

Poland’s Border Crisis

Featured image In a crisis that is, in some ways, reminiscent of our own disaster at the southern border, Poland is facing what amounts to an invasion across its border with Belarus. The London Times reports: The EU has accused Belarus of acting like a “gangster” by luring migrants from the Middle East, Afghanistan and Africa and helping them to storm the border, which is the EU’s eastern edge, into Poland. The »

Budapest Diary

Featured image I am quickly learning why the New York Times and the left (but I repeat myself) are so spun up about Hungary: the government here actually wants to defend Western civilization—and religion—from its enemies. Whether they are doing this well or badly I cannot fully judge yet, but that they mean to do it seriously is clear. So I guess I shouldn’t be surprised to find out that my visit »

Rape and Murder? It’s Political

Featured image In Austria, a 13-year-old girl was raped and murdered. Four Afghan immigrants were arrested for the crime. The alleged rape and murder of 13-year-old Leonie has shocked much of Austria as it was revealed that several of the four Afghans arrested or wanted for arrest in the case had prior, years-old deportation orders against them, as well as prior criminal convictions. This kind of story recurs over and over again »

I’m so glad I’m living in the USA

Featured image Spain has suffered from the Wuhan coronavirus to about the same extent (measured by per capita deaths) as the nations it makes the most sense to compare it with — France and Portugal. Spain has been slightly less hard hit than Italy, the UK, and U.S., though I doubt the difference between per capita deaths in Spain and the U.S. is statistically meaningful. When it comes to vaccinations, however, Spain »

Behind the EU’s vaccine debacle

Featured image The New York Times acknowledges that, whereas the U.S., the UK, and Israel are getting their populations vaccinated and seeing sharp declines in Wuhan coronavirus cases, the EU is a “mess” in this regard. David Leonhardt writes: Across most of the European Union, vaccine rollout has been slow, and new cases are surging. Europe — the first place where the coronavirus caused widespread death — is facing the prospect of »