The Weekend Jolt

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Time to Stop the Insanity

Dear Jolters,

A rough week in NYC. Because of needs on the home front, I wasn’t in Manhattan when the plotting Diversity Immigrant mowed down nearly two dozen people, leaving eight dead, others maimed. NR’s offices are in fact far from the location of the murders. But who doesn’t believe that if we keep tolerating candy-arse entry policies advocated by the Democratic Left, they will someday live or work near a place where these people who despise America will shout “Allahu Akbar” as they crash into school buses and end the lives of the innocent?

Long ago, it was time to stop this insanity, and call it that.

Below you will find NR’s take on the jihadi attack, and much more.

Editorials

1. There were two this week past. Numero Uno looked at Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s initial indictments of Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and Trump campaign flunky George Papadopoulos. From the editorial:

We continue to be concerned by the unbounded scope of Mueller’s investigative brief. Special-counsel investigations tend to become fishing expeditions as prosecutors with unlimited time and resources inevitably look to justify their probes. That possibility was especially likely with this investigation, because Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein gave Mueller such a foolishly wide berth. Yet there is nothing to suggest yet that Mueller is abusing his power.

2. The second editorial, Confronting the Terror Threat, is powerful stuff. From it:

The European example shows us that the tightest gun control, dramatic restrictions on civil liberties, and surveillance states far more intrusive than that in the United States can’t stop terrorists determined to kill the innocent. It’s simply misguided to focus the defense against terror on the means of committing murder. We must focus instead on limiting the population of potential terrorists, defeating their sources of inspiration, and fostering a culture that fully assimilates immigrants into the American body politic.

3. Our third editorial commends the GOP tax plan as a decent start. Here’s the opening paragraph:

Taxes on business badly need reform, and Republicans have devoted some thoughtful attention to how to do it. Their new tax-reform bill reduces corporate tax rates, lets businesses write off the cost of investments more rapidly, and changes the way we tax multinational businesses to comport better with how the vast majority of other countries do it. All of these changes should make the U.S. a more attractive location for capital, and in the long run more capital should mean higher wages. (The White House’s logic on this point is sound even if the magnitudes are open to dispute.)

Podcasts

1. I am seriously digging John Miller’s The Great Books podcast. Haven’t missed one — and you too should find a way to listen (reach back into what is becoming a timeless archive). In this week’s episode, John is joined by Benedictine College’s Susan Orr Traffas to discuss Aeschylus’s Agamemnon.

2. Put another dime in the jukebox baby: This week on Political Beats, Scott and Jeff tag-team author Robert Dean Lurie to discuss the underrated Hall & Oates.

3. The Remnant with Jonah Goldberg has taken root and is proving quite popular. Get with the program amigos! The new episode features that once-upon-a-time NR hand, the terrific Andy Ferguson. They perform blue, so get the kids out of the room.

4. Dave and Will crank out another episode of Radio Free California: This week they reminisce about the California Republican party dinner featuring Steve Bannon, weigh the media’s response to the Trump administration’s plan to raise fees at Yosemite and other national parks, and scoff at Stockton, California’s first-in-the-nation experiment in guaranteed basic income.

5. The Bookmonger celebrated Halloween Week with JJM’s interview of Leslie Klinger, author of The New Annotated Frankenstein. Mary Shelley fans will want to lend an ear (not literally).

6. The right to life is the topic on the new episode of The Liberty Files. This week David has NRI Buckley Journalism Fellow Alexandra DeSanctis on to discuss “Why aren’t more libertarians pro-life?”

7. On Q&A, Jay interviews Russia expert Mark Galeotti.

Nine National Review Pieces That Are Mandatory Reading or I’m Going to Burn the Toast

1. David French makes the case for considering and accepting Southern honor related to the Civil War. From his piece:

In other words, we need to remember history in full. And that means understanding complexities. It means realizing that honorable men can fight for the wrong cause yet for honorable reasons. It also means understanding that there are those who made the best decisions, for the best reasons, and our nation exists today because of their valor and their sacrifice.

2. Heather Wilhelm chimes in to say ‘stop litigating the Civil War.’

3. There’s a play out called Ferguson. Kyle Smith has seen it. Even better, he reviews it. I have to share the last slice:

Johnson’s story falls apart when the play’s last witness, Ciara Jenkins (underplayed to wonderful effect by Renika Williams), begins to speak. A black woman, she is a disinterested observer who happened to be behind Brown and Wilson as their confrontation escalated. She recalls Brown angrily charging at Wilson like a football player, at no point raising his hands in submission. Perhaps the wounded Brown was staggering? No, she says, he was charging while the officer repeatedly shouted at him to stop before finally shooting him. Could the encounter have ended a different way? Yes, she offers. Brown could have just stopped running. “I don’t understand why he just didn’t stop,” she says, quietly, sensibly, devastatingly. All of the destruction Ferguson rained down on itself for the year that followed sprang from that one errant decision: An incensed 18-year-old, his mind addled by cannabis, gave a police officer no choice.

4. OK, this was quite a week for analysis for Andy McCarthy, for the obvious reasons. On the Manafort indictments, he has initial thoughts — not much there, and this could prove a boon to Trump — and then a second round of thoughts about the indictments, and what they don’t include. Such as:

In my haste to cover what is in the indictment, I left out of the column what is not: There are no tax charges. The indictment not only mentions tax evasion in various places; the commission of tax crimes is a key element of the money-laundering conspiracy charged in Count Two. Yet despite detailing that Manafort and Gates submitted fraudulent tax returns, the indictment does not accuse them of tax-law felonies that the prosecutors would be required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

This is curious, and I don’t know if the explanation is substantive or administrative.

5. More Andy. Responding to the terrorist attack in New York City on Halloween, he makes once again, a powerful case for immigration reform:

Because of the centrality of immigration issues to the Trump campaign and presidency, we have been debating visa and refugee policy. I’ve thus tried to point out, any number of times: While the potential that trained jihadists could enter the country by masquerading as good-faith immigrants is serious, it is not the primary danger. The overarching threat is self-created: an immigration policy that promotes assimilation-resistant enclaves in which sharia supremacism embeds. Though we worry about the jihadist of today, we must be at least as concerned about the ten-, twelve-, 15-year-old kid who settles into a sharia-supremacist enclave and, like Saipov, is a jihadist seven years from now.

6. Eli Lehrer says eliminate the corporate completely.

7. If you’re hearing echoes of Jim McGreevy in Kevin Spacey’s bizarre explanation of his kiddie exploitation, then you may have read Graham Hillard’s piece.

8. Alexandria, VA’s Christ Church, spooked by political correctness into deep-sixing a memorial to once-parishioner George Washington, should be ashamed, writes Jay Cost.

9. Todd Myers recaps and updates the 10-thumbed effort by blue-state attorneys general to bully ExxonMobil on climate change.

BULLY BONUS: Kyle Smith exposes how Hollywood bullies try to play the victim. Here he is on Thespian Stacey, Lover of Boys:

Spacey and Weinstein misread the public, and their own position, by trying to claim they are two decent guys who are mostly on the side of the angels. Spacey’s belated coming out was intended to show him in a sympathetic light, making us think of him as a victim of some sort. “I know that there are stories out there about me and that some have been fueled by the fact that I have been so protective of my privacy,” he said in his statement. The implication was that the societal norms that forced Spacey into the closet for so much of his life partially explain his actions — that his assaulting a 14-year-old boy was really just a symptom of a diseased society.

Seven Articles Published Elsewhere that Merit Your Attention

1. Am I cheating by making Selection One Rick Brookhiser’s praising New York Times review of Gordon Wood’s new history, Friends Divided: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson?

2. I’m with Oliver Wendell Douglas: Green Acres is the place for me. John Robb, in the summer 2017 issue of City Journal, explains that cities face major terror threats. The essay, not for the faint of heart, should not to be ignored. From his piece:

Another growing threat to our cities, commonest so far in the developing world, is gangs challenging government for control. For three sultry July days in 2006, a gang called PCC (Primeiro Comando da Capital, “First Command of the Capital”) held hostage the 20 million inhabitants of the greater São Paulo area through a campaign of violence. Gang members razed police stations, attacked banks, rioted in prisons, and torched dozens of buses, shutting down a transportation system serving 2.9 million people a day.

The previous May, a similar series of attacks had terrified the city. “The attackers moved on foot, and by car and motorbike,” wrote William Langewiesche in Vanity Fair. “They were not rioters, revolutionaries, or the graduates of terrorist camps. They were anonymous young men and women, dressed in ordinary clothes, unidentifiable in advance, and indistinguishable afterward. Wielding pistols, automatic rifles, and firebombs, they emerged from within the city, struck fast, and vanished on the spot. Their acts were criminal, but the attackers did not loot, rob, or steal. They burned buses, banks, and public buildings, and went hard after the forces of order — gunning down the police in their neighborhood posts, in their homes, and on the streets.”

3. In Westchester, the pinheads at the Journal News endorse a major tax deadbeat over the successful GOP incumbent, Rob Astorino. Hard to believe, but maybe, not really. Here’s the idiocy.

4. In good times and in bad, California’s pension fund managers win fat bonuses. Learn more from Steve Greenhut’s excellent piece written for California Policy Center.

5. At Ohio State, the student government refuses to support a measure backing free speech. The College Fix has the sorry story.

6. Punks at the Daily Cal at Berkely published an anti-Semitic cartoon of Alan Dershowitz. They denied the slight, but in this sharp retort published by Gatestone Institute, the famed law professor calls bullpoop.

7. At the American Exceptionalism website, S.T. Karnak explains how the fight over or nation’s history is what is really behind the NFL protests.

There’s a Webathon Happening

Our #30DaysHathBucktember effort needs your attention and your generosity. Especially if you love NRO, have loved it for years, know that it costs more to produce our conservative brilliance than revenues flow in to pay for such, realize NR is a cause, a vital one, know that others are making all this possible — if that describes you, then really, look into your conscience, and if you have the means, know that any contribution, even (especially!) the Widow’s Mite, will be appreciated. If you’re a tightwad, well, God help you. As the Beatitudes proclaim, blessed are the cheap, for they shall inherit the wallet moths. All that said, Charlie Cooke makes an excellent case for just one of the projects (podcast expansion) for which NRO seeks your financial support. Please read it. Or if you are in the mood to give right now, don’t let Charlie distract you: Donate here.

Keeping Up with Appearances

1. Ramesh will be on Face the Nation this Sunday. You gain an hour of sleep so no excuses for not watching.

2. Jonah gets roasted on Tuesday, November 7th, for Commentary’s annual big fundraiser. Rich Lowry and Rob Long are among the mockers. Who knows, there may still be tickets available — if so and you want to attend, go here.

Baseballery

Kudos to the World-Champion Houston Astros. They’ve come a long way. Back in 1962, when they were in the National League, and were the Colt .45s, they journeyed to New York early in their inaugural season to play the also-expansion Mets on April 17th, at the once-heralded Polo Grounds, before a measly 3,191 fans. The game was not without its drama: The Mets tied it in the bottom of the 9th (Gus Bell, pinch-hitting with two outs), but Houston won it in the 11th on Don Buddin’s three-run homer (also with two outs). The little-remembered Herb Moford took the loss. By the end of the month the 33-year-old washed-up hurler was out of the Big Leagues. By the end of the year the Astros, who had a .500 record through a dozen games, were in 8th place, ahead of the Cubs and Mets.

Rest in Peace Anne-Laure Decadt

The 31-year-old wife and mother of two, a Belgian national, was one of those murdered in New York this week by an Islamofacist terrorist. The Washington Post published a profile about her. Mrs. Decadt seemed beautiful in every way, and deserving of her name, made famous in a 17th-century poem, and then in the 1890s in the song by Lady John Scott. Annie Laurie was made even more famous by Elia Kazan and James Dunn, who deservedly won an Oscar in 1945 for his exceptional performance in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, in particular for the heart-tugging scene — surely one of the best in cinema history — in which he plunks out and sings the melancholy tune. It seems, in its way, worth sharing now. Dunn didn’t sing this, but here is the song’s second verse, which we leave here with prayers for Mrs. Decadt’s peaceful repose.

Her brow is like the snaw-drift,

Her neck is like the swan,

Her face it is the fairest,

That ’er the sun shone on.

That ’er the sun shone on –

And dark blue is her e’e,

And for bonnie Annie Laurie

I’d lay me down and dee.

Follow, follow, follow

Try to remember: Scott Rasmussen, Mike Gonzalez, Anne Bayefsky, Conrad Black, Nina Rosenwald, Erik Telford, Elizabeth Thompson, Jim Geraghty, Mary Katharine Hamm, Bridgett Wagner, Life News, Greg Mueller, Ed Whelan, Becky Kevoian, Cam Edwards, Stephen Miller, Theodore Kupfer, Jillian Kay Melchior.

A Dios

You travel for fun, you go for a bike ride, and a person of deep hatred runs you over, and then shouts, “Allahu akbar!” They glory in their shame. This week, of All Saints and, more importantly, All Souls, remember the dead and pray for their eternal peace.

Best,

Jack Fowler

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