by Jay Nordlinger

1) Chen Guangcheng is one of the greatest men in China, and in the world. He’s the “blind peasant lawyer” who blew the whistle on forced abortion and sterilization. The Chinese government has visited hell on him for several years. He has now escaped into U.S. custody, according to reports. Members of his family are in the hands of the torturers.

We had a piece on Chen and his ordeal in a November National Review. Go here, if you like.

2) An economy is a trickily psychological thing, even a spiritual thing. Victor Davis Hanson understands that — as he proved in a stunningly good piece yesterday. Is there anything VDH doesn’t understand? Is there no limit to his versatility?

3) In a typically excellent blogpost, Daniel Hannan made one of my favorite points — a pet point of mine, lifelong: Conservatives have to make a case to people — people of all sorts — if they expect to win. Don’t rule people out. Make your case to them — they may be more conservative than you know, or than they know.

This is one of the secrets of Susana Martinez’s success. Martinez, remember, is the new, or newish, governor of New Mexico. We had a profile of her in a February NR. She campaigned in front of people who had never seen a Republican — and who, as the candidate talked, nodded their heads.

4) Benzion Netanyahu has died at 102. If people didn’t hate his son so much, they’d give him more credit for being the extraordinary scholar and man he was. And when I say “people,” of course, I mean the Left, basically. Does anyone else count?

Netanyahu’s first son, Jonathan, was killed in the Entebbe raid. His second son, the prime minister, faces challenges that few statesmen ever have to face. How many prime ministers and presidents and whatnots have to deal with existential threats? With annihilative enemies, driving for nuclear arms? Against how many states is the U.N. practically organized?

Benzion Netanyahu understood that Jews would have to fight for their lives, and fight for their state — and that much of the world would despise them for it. And that they must press on regardless.

4) I have a little piece in the new Standpoint, the superb British monthly. I talk about my attachment to the British media — they give me a break from American problems and American personalities. In this piece, I say that I’m on “first-name terms with many British politicians” — Dave, Gordon, Tony, Boris, Ken, and yet more.

But did I write “first-name terms”? No, of course not: I wrote “on a first-name basis,” and an editor Britishized it. I mention this because I wouldn’t want any American readers to think I was affecting someone else’s English.

With that off my chest, I’ll go and have a lie-down. Ta.

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