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Ruth King

Umbrellas in the Rain by Mark Steyn America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It August 17, 2017

The latest European terrorist attack – by Barcelone wolves – hit a country that made a conscious choice thirteen years ago to opt for a quiet life. So much for that. One of the psychological changes that has happened since the Madrid bombings of 2004 is that Spaniards and other Europeans now accept, albeit mostly implicitly, that this is less to do with foreign policy, or foreign soldiering, than with domestic matters, such as immigration and multiculturalism.

I’ll have more to say on this subject with Tucker Carlson live on Fox News on Friday evening at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific. Meanwhile, here is what I had to say about the Madrid attacks in my bestseller America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It. I think most of it holds up. The mourners in the streets marched under placards bearing the single word “Basta” – “Enough”. They didn’t mean “enough” terrorism, but “enough” with Bush’s wars and being a fully participating member of the “coalition of the willing”. So the Spaniards caved, folded, walked away – and, as they learned today, for the Islamic supremacists it still wasn’t “enough”:

If the critical date for Americans in the new century is September 11th 2001, for Continentals it’s a day two-and-a-half years later, in March 2004. On the 11th of the month, just before Spain’s general election, a series of train bombings in Madrid killed over 200 people. That day, I received a ton of e-mails from American acquaintances along the lines of: “3/11 is Europe’s 9/11. Even the French will be in.” Friends told me: “The Europeans get it now.” Doughty warriors of the blogosphere posted the Spanish flag on their home pages in solidarity with America’s loyal allies in the war against terrorism. John Ellis, a Bush cousin and a savvy guy with a smart website, declared: “Every member-state of the EU understands that Madrid is Rome is Berlin is Amsterdam is Paris is London is New York.”

All wrong.

On Friday March 12th, hundreds of thousands of Spaniards filled Madrid’s streets and stood somberly in a bleak drizzle to mourn their dead. On Sunday, election day, the voters tossed out José María Aznar’s sadly misnamed Popular Party, and handed the government to the Socialist Workers’ Party. Aznar’s party were America’s principal Continental allies in Iraq; the Socialist Workers campaigned on a pledge to withdraw Spain’s troops from Iraq. Throughout the campaign, polls showed the Popular Party cruising to victory. Then came the bomb.

Having invited people to choose between a strong horse and a weak horse, even Osama bin Laden might have been surprised to see the Spanish opt to make their general election an exercise in mass self-gelding. Within 72 hours of the carnage, voters sent a tough message to the terrorists: “We apologize for catching your eye.” Whether or not Madrid is Rome and Berlin and Amsterdam and Paris, it certainly isn’t New York.

To be sure, there were all kinds of Kerryesque footnoted nuances to that stark election result. One sympathized with those voters reported to be angry at the government’s pathetic insistence, in the face of the emerging evidence, that the bomb attack was the work of Eta, the Basque nationalist terrorists, when it was so obviously the jihad boys. One’s sympathy, however, disappeared with their decision to vote for a party committed to disengaging from the war. And no one will remember the footnotes, the qualifications – just the final score: terrorists toppled a European government.

Provocateur Journalism CNN uncritically publishes a list of “hate groups” compiled by the discredited Southern Poverty Law Center. Mark Pulliam

When a news organization reports an impending weather event based on forecasts from the National Weather Service, or warns of potential seismic activity anticipated by the U.S. Geological Survey, or alerts the public concerning an infectious-disease outbreak being tracked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, no one questions the news organization’s motives, because the underlying information is factual and derived from a reliable, nonpartisan, and authoritative source.

CNN presents itself as a news organization, yet today it posted a dubious story titled “Here are all the active hate groups where you live,” based entirely on data from the Southern Poverty Law Center. The SPLC is not the equivalent of the National Weather Service, the USGS, or CDC, to put it mildly. It is risible for CNN to recite SPLC data uncritically, with no additional validation, as a credible list of “domestic hate groups,” let alone to describe SPLC’s data as “widely accepted.” As I recently chronicled in City Journal, the SPLC is far from a reliable, nonpartisan, and authoritative source.

The SPLC has been criticized from all points of the political spectrum for its incessant fundraising (resulting in the accumulation of a “surplus” exceeding $300 million, some of which is invested offshore in Cayman Island accounts), lavish executive salaries (some topping $400,000 annually), and a litigation program calculated to generate sensational headlines rather than tangible results alleviating “Southern poverty.” Morris Dees, one of SPLC’s co-founders, has used the SPLC to promote his political agenda—and enrich himself.

As for chronicling “hate groups,” the SPLC is principally focused on maintaining lists of individuals and groups with opposing politics, and subjectively labeling them “hate groups” or “extremists,” often without justification. SPLC senior fellow Mark Potok, who is in charge of maintaining the lists, has declared that “our aim in life is to destroy these groups, to completely destroy them.” Even Politico has called SPLC’s agenda into question, asking “Has a Civil Rights Stalwart Lost Its Way?” The writer of that story, Ben Schreckinger, noted the frequent charge that “the SPLC is overplaying its hand, becoming more of a partisan progressive hit operation than a civil rights watchdog.” Politico’s skeptical look at SPLC joined a torrent of criticism appearing in other publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Harper’s, The Weekly Standard, Reason, The Federalist, and even The Progressive.

What exactly is a “hate group”? The FBI doesn’t keep track of such groups, but the SPLC purports to do so, using subjective criteria that do not include the use or threatened use of violence. Instead, SPLC labels groups based on their political views, designating as “hate groups” such diverse entities as magazines, websites, record labels, and even religious sects. In the popular perception, “hate group” is a label that appropriately describes the KKK, neo-Nazis, racist skinheads, and similar groups—and the SPLC does in fact label them as such—but the SPLC misleadingly lumps these odious groups together with mainstream organizations with which it disagrees, solely because of their views regarding, among other issues, LGBT rights, immigration policy, and opposition to Sharia Law.

Who’s Next, George Washington? What Trump got right in the press conference Harry Stein

My first job, in 1972, was with a small weekly in Richmond, Virginia. Like my fellow writer/editors, I was a proud veteran of the sixties campus wars, and our left-of-center politics were strongly represented throughout the paper; which is to say, we were far from a neat ideological fit with the deeply conservative town Richmond still was back then. I joked with my friends up north that, the morning after Richard Nixon’s landslide victory in November, I could actually see my McGovern vote in the paper. The politics weren’t all that I disliked about Richmond. It was sleepy, ghastly hot in the summer, and in general far from what I then thought of as “the action.”

But there was one thing that I loved about the place: it was steeped in history. On Clay Street, just a few blocks from our office on Broad, was the Confederate White House. Not far off loomed the magnificent, Jefferson-designed state capitol. Over on Franklin, the Jefferson Hotel boasted the staircase said to be the model for the one in Gone With the Wind. But above all there was Monument Avenue, with its imposing statues of the generals whose prowess had sustained hope in this capital of a doomed nation a century earlier: Stonewall Jackson, J.E.B. Stuart, Robert E. Lee.

As a Northerner and a lefty, I’d grown up thinking of the South as the bad guys. Nonetheless, there was an undeniable grandeur to these stone figures, and I felt it every day driving past them on my way home. They were men of surpassing courage and nobility, rightly enshrined in national myth: “There stands Jackson like a Stone Wall.” And the image of Lee, wearily arriving at Appomattox aboard Traveller, having resisted calls from diehards that he continue the fight, saving the nation from yet more bloodshed. I wasn’t the only one who felt this way. One of my colleagues, Richmond-born and recently graduated from Harvard (and now a left-wing commentator of some note), would tear up every time he heard “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.”

As a Red Diaper baby, I came from a different tradition. My parents never saw Gone With the Wind—they were outside the theater, picketing. But I, too, felt the pull of that history, in all its messiness and grandeur. It was our history, as Americans.

Maybe that’s all over now. Maybe, as my colleague Kay Hymowitz once observed, for kids today American history runs from the oppression of the Indians to the oppression of blacks to the oppression of women, with nothing ennobling in between. Not long ago, talking with several people in their twenties, I was startled to learn that, until the movie came out, none of them had heard of Dunkirk. How, then, could we expect them to know about figures like Richard Kirkland, “the Angel of Marye’s Heights,” the Confederate soldier who, during the abattoir that was Fredericksburg, emerged from the safety of the commanding Southern lines to tend to dying Union soldiers on the killing field below?

Our history is rife with moral complexity. My wife and children exist only as a result of two near-misses. One ancestor, on her mother’s side, whose descendants would include several prominent abolitionists, nearly drowned after falling overboard on The Mayflower, while her great-grandfather on her father’s side, at 12, was nearly shot down from a rooftop in Fort Smith, Arkansas, by an occupying Union soldier after shouting “Long live Jeff Davis!”

All of which is a preamble to saying that, in his exchange with the churlish and ignorant press corps in the aftermath of Charlottesville, Donald Trump got it right when he said: “This week it’s Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder is it George Washington next week and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?” He may not have been the ideal messenger—with his combative style, manic egotism, and casual relationship with facts, he never is—but he laid out a case that for months has cried out to be made, and he did it so clearly that the refusal of the media and the elites of both parties, not just to credit it, but even to acknowledge it, speaks volumes. Though Trump has never quite defined what his notion of making America great again actually means, preserving that which needs no fixing—including the history that is our common legacy—is a key part of it.

No Place Truly Safe The Barcelona attack reminds us that jihadists declared war on the West long ago—and that the war goes on. Bruce Bawer

We hadn’t traveled together outside the country—the country, in our case, being Norway—all summer, so a few weeks ago we decided to plan a brief, cheap trip to somewhere else in Europe. We put together a list of our favorite cities, plus a few we haven’t yet gotten to. We checked out airfares and hotel prices. And we consulted a color-coded map of Europe that I’d run across online. The darker the color of the country, the greater the likelihood, according to experts, that it will be a terrorist target in the near future. We love Berlin and Munich, but Angela Merkel’s madness has made those cities unappealing destinations, so we crossed them off immediately. We also love Paris, but the recent terrorist attacks there, not to mention the ever-worsening immigrant crime situation and the pictures we’d seen of refugees camped out on the streets, led us to cross it off our list.

Mind you, it’s not just a matter of not wanting to be blown up. It’s about the fact that places like Paris and Berlin just don’t feel the same. It’s also about not wanting to make even a piddling contribution to the economy of a country that has pursued irresponsible immigration and integration policies. London? No. I don’t want to spend my vacation money in a country that lets in jihad-preaching imams while banning Robert Spencer.

I’d go to any of these places for work reasons, but not for a vacation. Even a war correspondent doesn’t vacation in a war zone.

A sensible choice would have been Prague or Budapest: on the color-coded map, the nations of Eastern Europe, owing to their sensible border policies, are white or pale yellow, meaning very safe. But we just didn’t feel like Eastern Europe this time around.

So we decided on Barcelona. We’d been to Spain multiple times, but never its second most-populous city. It seemed a sensible choice: it didn’t come up often in discussions of possible terrorist targets.

We were planning to go sometime around now. We’d picked out a hotel and found a decent airfare. But at the last minute, we decided that we didn’t feel sufficiently adventurous. It would have involved long days of walking and visits to several must-see places, from the Sagrada Familia to the Picasso Museum. So we opted for Copenhagen, a more familiar, closer destination, where we could drop in to our favorite bars, wander around Tivoli, and have some nice dinners.

Al-Qaeda to U.S. Muslims: ‘No Escape from Coming Confrontation’ to Avoid ‘Concentration Camps’ By Bridget Johnson

An al-Qaeda leader warned American Muslims that they’re headed for “concentration camps” unless they pick up arms and fight, quoting late American al-Qaeda recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki stating that “surely your situation is becoming similar to that of the embattled Muslim community of Spain after the fall of Grenada.”

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb leader Abu Musab Abdel Wadoud, aka Algerian Abdelmalek Droukdel, made the comments in this week’s new issue of the English-language Inspire magazine from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which included a lengthy how-to on attacking the train system with a homemade derailment tool placed on the tracks.

“How many lone jihad operations have had the impact of changing policies, bringing about the fall of political parties or even governments in some of the strongest and most influential countries of the world! This is why the martyrdomseeker

and Inghimasi (storm trooper) instills more fear in the hearts of the enemy than other fighters,” Wadoud said in a Q&A. “It is due to the positive results of lone jihad operations that we invite the sons of our Ummah [Muslim community] to adopt this new method of jihad and hold on to it firmly.”

He said that though the United States “is impossible to invade for a power outside the American Continent since it is surrounded by 6000 kilometers of the Atlantic Ocean,” lone jihad operations are “uncostly in terms of lives and expenses for Muslims, its impact on the enemy is significant and almost disproportional.”

“There is little doubt that this type of jihad enrages the disbelievers even more when a revert from their own race or nationality carries out such an operation… someone who had once been part of their community before Allah guided him to Islam and jihad,” Wadoud continued. “This is enraging for the enemies of Islam because it proves that Islam transcends their narrow nationalism and a Muslim’s loyalty is to his religion and not to his homeland. This aspect is harder for them to digest than the operation itself, so let us reflect on it. This is one of the weak spots in which there is enragement of the disbelievers.”

“Due to the edge that a Muslim living in the West enjoys, many scholars and leaders of jihad have encouraged carrying out martyrdom operations in the West. The reward and station of such an individual is no less than the reward of those who migrate to the theaters of jihad.”

Wadoud discussed how “crime rates in America are much higher than other nations, and it comes as no surprise that most crimes are of a racist nature.”

“And this is something that Obama on the eve of his departure from the White House himself admitted frankly,” he added. “The inescapable result of Trump’s victory and the coming to power of his likes in Western countries means that the room for co-existence in the West is being eroded with every passing day. And this does not affect Muslims alone, but all races other than the ‘white race’ (as they love to portray themselves). With the permission of Allah, this trend will prove to be in the interest of Muslims, since it will awaken the conscience of the Ummah and make it cognizant of the reality of Western Crusader savagery.” CONTINUE AT SITE

If the Monuments Must Go, Don’t Forget These By Tyler O’Neil

After the clashes in Charlottesville, a mania against Confederate monuments has swept the country. Local leaders in various states have decided to remove statues and monuments, while at least one black pastor in Chicago has called for excising even George Washington’s name from public parks, and Anonymous has planned to remove 11 statues on Friday.

One plausible response is to defend the statues. Another would be to encourage the movement to go further.

Activists who cry for the removal of Confederate statues do so on the grounds that these leaders were racist, that they hurt people based on the color of their skin or their national origin. If those are the criteria, however, why stop with the Confederacy?

Racism has a long and varied history, and certainly these social justice warriors wouldn’t want to defend racists, even if they were important inventors, politicians, or scientists, right?

Here are 10 people whose statues should be removed, if the Left insists on that sort of thing.
1. Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924).
Woodrow Wilson statue in Rapid City, South Dakota. Photo courtesy of Presidents USA. http://www.presidentsusa.net/wilsonrapidcity.html

Woodrow Wilson, America’s 28th president, wasn’t just a racist. As president of Princeton University, he discouraged blacks from applying for admission. His book series History of the American People defended Ku Klux Klan lynchings in the late 1860s.

When Wilson was president, his war department drafted black soldiers, and while it paid them the same as whites, it kept them in all-black units with white officers. When black soldiers protested, Wilson told them “segregation is not a humiliation but a benefit, and ought to be so regarded by you gentlemen.”

The pro-KKK film The Birth of a Nation became the first film screened in the White House under Wilson’s presidency. Under Wilson, racial segregation was implemented in the federal government, at the Post Office, and in the military.

In 2015, the University of Texas removed a statue of Wilson, along with one of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, from campus. Statues of Wilson remain, however. Many stand across Europe, a prominent one stands in Rapid City, S.D., and his presidential library and museum gives prominence to his birthplace in Staunton, Va.

2. Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922).
Bell Statue in front of the Brantford Bell Telephone Building. Photo credit: the city of Brantford, Ontario.

Alexander Graham Bell deserves recognition for inventing the telephone, but he was also a horrible racist. Bell served as honorary president of the Second International Eugenics Conference in New York in 1921, and led the eugenics movement during that period.

Based on the naturalistic worldview of Charles Darwin, many scientists in the early 20th century adopted the idea that human beings needed to continue to evolve — that natural selection involved choosing the strong over the weak, and that therefore human society should promote the existence of strong people at the expense of the “less fit.”

Eugenics leaders saw evolutionary fitness in explicitly racial terms.

Bell made a hobby out of breeding livestock, and this gained him an appointment to biologist David Starr Jordan’s Committee on Eugenics, which extended the principles of breeding to humans. From 1912 to 1918, Bell was the chairman of the board of scientific advisers to the Eugenics Record Office. Such organizations advocated for laws to establish compulsory sterilization for people who, in Bell’s words, were a “defective variety of the human race.”

To make matters worse, California’s compulsory sterilization law (one of the results of Bell’s advocacy) was used as a model for that of Nazi Germany.

The most famous and impressive monuments to Bell are in Canada. A statue depicting Bell in the style of the Lincoln memorial stands by the Bell Telephone Building in Brantford, Ontario. The Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site rests in Baddeck, Nova Scotia. Alexander Graham Bell Memorial Park has a monument to telecommunications.

In the U.S., the Alexander Graham Bell Laboratory stands in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Georgetown. The laboratory was created by Bell himself for the research and development of telecommunications technology.

Let’s Not Talk about Islam By Bruce Bawer

There’s an old Cole Porter tune called “Let’s Not Talk about Love.” It’s not one of his most delightful works, but it does fall into the ample category of Porter “list” songs. Here’s an excerpt:

Let’s talk about frogs, let’s talk about toads,

Let’s try to solve the riddle why chickens cross roads,

Let’s talk about games, let’s talk about sports,

Let’s have a big debate about ladies in shorts.

And so on. And on. And on. The point soon becomes clear: let’s discuss absolutely everything. Everything! With one single, solitary exception:

But let’s not talk about love.

I’ve been thinking about Porter’s song today while watching the TV coverage of the Barcelona terrorist attack. On the BBC, on Sky News, and on CNN (I live in Norway, and therefore was unable to watch the U.S. broadcast networks), reporters and newsreaders talked about the specifics of the carnage, caused by a truck whose jihadist driver deliberately steered it off the road and onto the pavement, killing at least thirteen pedestrians. The newsfolk displayed maps of Barcelona and explained in detail where La Rambla (also known as Las Ramblas), the location of the terrorist attack, is located in relation to other major spots in the city. They showed pictures of the body-strewn avenue itself, with the corpses themselves blurred out of respect for the dead.

They discussed the popularity of La Rambla as a tourist destination, and went into some detail about the nationalities of vacationers currently thronging the city. They noted that La Rambla is Barcelona’s chief tourist street, essentially its counterpart to the Champs-Elysées in Paris, the Kufürstendamm in Berlin, Fifth Avenue in New York – and, perhaps most significantly, La Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, where, in July of last year, eighty-six people were killed in a similar jihadist atrocity.

They pondered the apparent lack of sophistication of this particular crime, the biographical background of the truck driver, the timeline of the atrocity, the apparent speed and weight of the truck itself, and so on. They talked about the wounded, about the degree to which they had been wounded, about how many had been sent to hospitals.

But they didn’t talk about Islam. They didn’t talk about jihad. CONTINUE AT SITE

Don’t Kick Neo-Nazis off the Internet They’re much easier for law enforcement to track online than offline. By Kyle Smith

The mad scramble to signal virtue can operate contrary to the virtue under consideration. Being opposed to racism is virtuous. Seeking to proclaim this quality to the world by booting neo-Nazis off the Internet is not. Those on the activist left may not always be wrong about everything, but it’s a useful working assumption that they are.

It would be incredibly stupid to plan violence or other criminal activity on Facebook. Now take a look at the neo-Nazis. Do they strike you as overly burdened with intelligence? When the Third Reich fanboys frolic on the Daily Stormer, it’s extremely helpful to law-enforcement agencies and the rest of us. Anyone can access the site and learn what these idiots are thinking, hoping, planning. They’re so stupid that they actually think using a pseudonym in Internet comments makes it hard to learn who they are. It doesn’t. Forcing them off the Internet is a way of forcing them to get smart: If they start organizing via text messages on burner cell phones, they’ll be much more difficult to track.

Yet Google, Apple, Twitter, and much of rest of the tech world have allowed themselves to be prodded by lefty activists into booting white-power idiots off their platforms. What will be the consequences of that? More resentment and whining about being treated unfairly by the lads with the 88 tattoos. (H is the eighth letter: 88 means “Heil Hitler.”) That need not concern us overmuch except that the more outraged they get, the more paranoid they get — and the more paranoid they get, the more violent they’re likely to get.

So Richard Spencer’s l’il stormtroopers should be allowed access to every Internet platform, social-media app, and hotel ballroom they seek out. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. The more clips of their meetings show up on the Internet to be ridiculed by Stephen Colbert, the better. If those meetings are held in dank secret basements rather than at the Holiday Inn on Route 5, we won’t know what is going on in them.

And it’s better to know. Anti-terrorism squads should be watching everything the neo-Nazis say and do. Undercover agents should infiltrate them, keep close tabs on them, and sow internal discord among them.

To the Left, all white supremacists look the same. Indeed, to the Left, Ronald Reagan wanted to blow up the world and George W. Bush was the Hitler of Crawford, Texas. But within the brownshirts there is apparently much heated discussion about the finer points of hate. Michael German, a former FBI agent who infiltrated neo-Nazi groups in the 1990s, told the Wall Street Journal that back then, various organizations despised each other so much that anyone who belonged to one group was blackballed by the others.

End the Violence Those who break the law at protests should do jail time. By Jim Talent

Jim Talent was the Republican Senator from Missouri (2002-2007) He lost the next election to Democrat Claire McCaskill. He is a Fellow at the Heritage Foundation.

Andy McCarthy has written an estimable column outlining the legal aspects of federal “domestic terrorism” laws. One of Andy’s points is that acts of violence in the context of protests are overwhelmingly state rather than federal crimes; another is that state officials’ response to the violence so far has been largely rhetorical. What’s worse, for the most part, is that the rhetoric has merely made use of the violence to make political points.

He’s right. I’ll go further and say that words, no matter how strong, are no longer enough, if they ever were, to stop this growing trend. What is needed is action, both legislative and executive, from state authorities.

I wrote about this several months ago in the context of violence on campus. Now the problem is spreading to city parks and neighborhoods. What needs to happen, broadly, is this:

First, state laws must single out violence and disorderly conduct in the context of mass expression for special and certain punishment, and the punishment must be meaningful to the kind of people who do this sort of thing. That means jail time. If existing laws are not strong enough to do the job, state legislatures should make them stronger, and everyone should know that the laws have been strengthened.

The problem has grown so great that nothing less than incarceration will be sufficient to stop it. The message must be that if you are involved in a protest and you break the law, you will go to jail, and not just overnight. You will cool your heels in the county jail for a minimum of a month or two until you learn to respect the rights of other people.

That principle must apply to any kind of violence or disorder. Even crimes that in other contexts would appear minor, such as blocking access to a street or building, must result in real jail time. The whole point is to nip unlawful conduct in the bud before it blossoms into violence against people or destruction of property.

It doesn’t matter where the offenders are on the political spectrum or what they are protesting. It’s not up to them to decide whether their ends justify violent or criminal means. It’s up to the rest of us, through the responsible public officials, to insist they keep their conduct lawful and peaceful.

Second, the laws must be strictly enforced. This is where governors must be strong leaders.

Too many mayors have been lenient for fear that they will suffer political consequences if they enforce the law against members of politically favored groups. Given what I’ve seen from our current crop of mayors, I don’t expect that to change.

Governors represent a larger constituency, the vast majority of which is weary of people who deliberately stir up violence and disorder. Further, cities are political subdivisions of the states; states are ultimately responsible for how the cities are governed, and as far as I know, all the state constitutions give their governors full authority to preserve civil order when local officials won’t.

So governors must thoroughly prepare their responses before the crises come and must act decisively when the crises happen. I wrote about the steps that should be taken in the context of violence on campus, but the same principles apply here:

[Governors] should make it a personal priority to: ensure that state law enforcement personnel are properly trained and equipped; prepare a bipartisan list of competent and fair special prosecutors who can be swiftly appointed should the need arise; establish close connections with their college administrators and local authorities; and — when they see trouble brewing at one of their universities — publicly warn that speech will be protected and violence will be punished.

I’ll add only that states should spend whatever is necessary to make sure they have large numbers of well-trained and -equipped personnel ready, whether from the state police or their National Guards.

One advantage of this approach is that it will identify and neutralize the loose bands of anarchists and other troublemakers who are roving around the country causing this violence. McCarthy is right that we should be concerned, from a constitutional standpoint, about excessive federal involvement in monitoring or infiltrating these groups. But that isn’t necessary. Once state authorities arrest and incarcerate these individuals, their names, faces, and fingerprints will be on the books, and subsequent violations can and should be punished more harshly, including with felony imprisonment when warranted.

The Fall of Jupiter? Macron’s Declining Popularity The young French president is finding his policies mired in gridlock in his first months in office. By Jeff Cimmino

Emmanuel Macron’s victory in France’s presidential election this year marked the triumph of a steady, centrist hand over the far-right nationalism of Marine Le Pen. His presidency, moreover, was supposed to be “Jupiterian,” characterized by an aloof, dignified posture designed to exalt his office in the eyes of legislators and the public. Yet the storms and harsh realities intrinsic to governing have damaged Macron’s image.

The young president’s popularity has dropped rapidly in opinion polls. One recent survey revealed only 36 percent of French citizens were satisfied with his performance. Macron is now “more unpopular than his predecessor Francois Hollande — himself very unpopular — was after the same length of time in office,” reports The Independent. His popularity has declined about 30 points since June. A separate poll, conducted by YouGov, also found his approval rating had fallen to 36 percent.

The Jupiterian president is learning that he can’t distance himself from the consequences of trying to enact reforms. On the contrary, Macron’s ambitious agenda is forcing him down from his throne.

Consider a structural reform that Macron is proposing for the French government: He wants to streamline the law-making process by cutting the number of delegates in both houses of parliament by one-third. “We need long-term perspective,” Macron said, “but we must also act quickly and swiftly, therefore the shuffle between the two houses of parliament must be simplified.” If necessary, Macron will put the reform up for a vote by the French people. Some see this as a sign of authoritarian tendencies.

Spending and tax cuts have proven just as controversial for Macron. While Macron had hoped to institute tax cuts soon after the election in order to boost the moribund French economy, financial realities have stood in the way. Macron also wants to reduce France’s budget deficit, but to do that and cut taxes requires spending cuts. He decided to cut defense spending, a move that has been met with the disapproval of many French citizens. France’s top general resigned, and another criticized Macron’s “juvenile authoritarianism.” As it stands, Macron’s tax cuts have been delayed, his spending cuts have met much consternation, and his relationship with the military has frayed.

Other reforms in Macron’s agenda have met concerted resistance. A proposal to cut a housing benefit, which would affect hundreds of thousands of French students, met vigorous opposition from students’ unions. “Disgruntlement among students is a thorny issue,” reports the Guardian, “because the government is seeking to avoid students joining potential protests against Macron’s proposed changes to labour laws this autumn.” Macron’s labor reforms are intended to make it easier to hire and fire employees by revising a complex set of regulations.