Banning circumcision is dangerous to your health
By Spengler

On June 26, the District Court of the Federal State of Cologne ruled that circumcision of children for religious reasons at the instruction of parents constituted the infliction of bodily harm and therefore was a punishable offense. As the judges concerned included their email addresses and telephone numbers in a press release, concerned individuals might wish to express their views directly.

To: State Court Judge Dr Jan F Orth, Cologne
(; tel +49-221-477-3304 )
and District Court Judge Jorg Baack (, tel +49-221-477-2008 .)

Your Honors: Your decision last week to criminalize the religious rite of circumcision presents a threat to the survival of the German people. Germans are failing of the desire to live. At your present fertility rate of 1.3 children per female, there will be virtually no German speakers left to celebrate Goethe’s quadricentennial, although a few Jewish scholars still might learn German as a supplement to Yiddish. In more ways than you imagine, this decision poisons the hearts of your countrymen and reduces their long-term prospects for survival.

Whether the Constitutional Court will uphold your decision remains to be seen; in the meantime, you have put the life of Germany’s small Jewish community into suspension. Physicians at the Jewish Hospital in Berlin have stopped performing circumcisions for fear of legal action. Even worse: you have provided a pretext for every Jew-hater in Germany to denounce a fundamental practice of our religion on the spurious pretext of child welfare.

Not even the Nazis thought of banning circumcision as a way of uprooting Jewish life in Germany. If your decree withstands a constitutional challenge, Germany once again will be Judenrein. The difference today is that you need us more than we need you.


Cross-posted from National Review Online: The Corner

The Islamist destruction underway in Timbuktu (including the tomb of Sidi Mahmoudou, d. 955, and the doors of the Sidi Yahya Mosque, ca. 1400) raises a question: What is it about Islam that so often turns its adherents against their own patrimony? Consider some examples:

* The destruction of Hindu temples in medieval India.
* The Mamluks using the Great Sphinx of Egypt as target practice and the Great Pyramid as a quarry.
* The Turkish destruction of churches in northern Cyprus since 1974.
* The Saudi destruction of antiquities in Mecca since the 1990s,
* The Palestinian sacking of the Tomb of Joseph in 2000.
* The Taliban destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha in 2001.
* Al-Qaeda’s bombing of Ghriba synagogue in Tunisia in 2002,
* The pillaging of Iraqi museums, libraries, and archives in 2003.
* The destruction of an historic Malaysian Hindu temple in 2006.
* The destruction of L’Institut d’Égypte in 2011.


The much-anticipated operation was a brilliant success, but the patient died.Chief Justice John Roberts is a clever surgeon, and he left a bloody mess to prove it. He’s in the Mediterranean now, on the island of Malta, lecturing to European lawyers about how to “grow” in office, basking in the applause of fans of the welfare state.

Some of our most intellectually resplendent pundits and academics are applauding, too. They’re calling him the dancing master of “finesse,” the lord of the “physics of American politics,” the genius of the conservative attempt to move judicial review back to the center.

What they’re not saying is that John Roberts has bequeathed to the rest of us a monstrosity of a health-care system, now embedded in the law, where it will only grow, fester and metastasize. Worst of all, Mr. Justice Roberts has given Congress, and all the Congresses to follow, the unrestrained power to rob, plunder and pillage and call it a “tax.”

Escape From Sharia — on The Glazov Gang by Jamie Glazov

Escape From Sharia — on The Glazov Gang
by Jamie Glazov
Amani Mustafa, Anni Cyrus and Nonie Darwish share their experiences of breaking from the chains of Islamic slavery.

Egypt under Islamists The Trouble Has Just Begun by Mudar Zahran Since the US Administration insisted early on that the Muslim Brotherhood be invited to the Cairo speech and presented with the choicest seats there – all in direct violation of the wishes of then-President Hosni Mubarak, who ultimately refused even to attend the speech – all options but surrender seem to have been off […]

Radical Islam Spreading in Spain by Soeren Kern The report, which examines some of the main Islamist groups operating in Spain, shows that the common thread linking all the groups together is their mutual desire to establish an Islamic Caliphate. Two Islamists have been arrested in Spain on charges of torturing and murdering two fellow Muslims for “abandoning radical Islam.” The […]


Three months ago, I quoted George Jonas on the 30th anniversary of Canada’s ghastly “Charter of Rights and Freedoms”: “There seems to be an inverse relationship between written instruments of freedom, such as a Charter, and freedom itself,” wrote Jonas. “It’s as if freedom were too fragile to be put into words: If you write down your rights and freedoms, you lose them.”

For longer than one might have expected, the U.S. Constitution was a happy exception to that general rule – until, that is, the contortions required to reconcile a republic of limited government with the ambitions of statism rendered U.S. constitutionalism increasingly absurd. As I also wrote three months ago (yes, yes, don’t worry, there’s a couple of sentences of new material in amongst all the I-told-you-so stuff), “The United States is the only Western nation in which our rulers invoke the Constitution for the purpose of overriding it – or, at any rate, torturing its language beyond repair.”

Thus, the Supreme Court’s Obamacare decision. No one could seriously argue that the Framers’ vision of the Constitution intended to provide philosophical license for a national government (“federal” hardly seems le mot juste) whose treasury could fine you for declining to make provision for a chest infection that meets the approval of the Commissar of Ailments. Yet on Thursday, Chief Justice John Roberts did just that. And conservatives are supposed to be encouraged that he did so by appeal to the Constitution’s taxing authority rather than by a massive expansion of the Commerce Clause. Indeed, several respected commentators portrayed the Chief Justice’s majority vote as a finely calibrated act of constitutional seemliness.

Great. That and $4.95 will get you a decaf macchiato in the Supreme Court snack bar. There’s nothing constitutionally seemly about a court decision that says this law is only legal because the people’s representatives flat-out lied to the people when they passed it. Throughout the Obamacare debates, Democrats explicitly denied it was a massive tax hike: “You reject that it’s a tax increase?” George Stephanopoulos demanded to know on ABC. “I absolutely reject that notion,” replied the President. Yet “that notion” is the only one that would fly at the Supreme Court. The jurists found the individual mandate constitutional by declining to recognize it as a mandate at all. For Roberts’ defenders on the right, this is apparently a daring rout of Big Government: Like Nelson contemplating the Danish fleet at the Battle of Copenhagen, the Chief Justice held the telescope to his blind eye and declared, “I see no ships.”


How Islam Ruined My Life — on The Glazov Gang
Amani Mustafa, Anni Cyrus and Nonie Darwish share the horrors they endured under Islam.

Stealth: Not-So-Secret Secrets by Taylor Dinerman If major international war really is obsolete, it is mainly due to America’s military superiority: it makes adversaries reluctant to take us on. We are now seeing Russian and Chinese “stealth” aircraft appear, at least in prototype form. The Chinese have prototypes of the J-20 large fighter bomber, which looks as if it may […]

ANDREW McCARTHY: SOVEREIGNTY PREEMPTED….Even the conservative justices don’t understand states’ rights.
“The problem is an iteration of what ails conservatism across the board. We sing our paeans to federalism and limited government. But when it gets down to brass tacks, we reliably opt for big, centralized government, whether the issue is illegal immigration, unsustainable welfare-state programs, education, energy, or most of the remaining “internal objects,” as Madison put it — the matters that “concern the lives, liberties, and property of the people,” including the “internal order of the state,” that proponents assured skeptics the Constitution would retain in state control. We just think we can do big “compassionate” government smarter and less intrusively than the Left — or, at least, that’s what we tell ourselves.”

Justice Antonin Scalia, in a characteristically electrifying dissent, seized on the cataclysm at the heart of the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Arizona immigration case. It came in the form of a question: “Would the States conceivably have entered the Union if the Constitution itself contained the Court’s holding?”

Fittingly, Scalia summarized this holding, in Monday’s Arizona v. United States case, as a hypothetical provision proposed by the Framers when adoption of the Constitution was being debated: Imagine if Article I had granted Congress the power “to establish Limitations upon Immigration that will be exclusive and that will be enforced only to the extent the President deems appropriate.” In short, the Court ruled that the states can be precluded from their natural right of self-defense against alien outlaws if Congress, in its discretion, decides to enact national immigration standards — even if the president refuses to enforce what Congress has prescribed. Hence, at the whim of Leviathan’s central planners and passively aggressive (non-)police, the states are defenseless.

Being defenseless in this context is not merely a practical problem — namely, the problem that states and their citizens are certain to suffer that physical and financial harm. Being defenseless raises, in addition, two other considerations of epic importance.

First, the right of self-defense is a vital, ineliminable aspect of sovereignty. If it is eliminated, a state is no longer a sovereign; it becomes a subject, at the mercy of its federal master’s fancy. Second, the guarantee that states are sovereign, and would remain so, is a vital, ineliminable aspect of the states’ agreement to adopt the Constitution and create the Union. If it is eliminated, the solemn compact has been broken. Why should a state remain in a union whose government will neither protect it nor tolerate its fundamental right to protect itself?

As my friend Heather Mac Donald observes, Justice Scalia’s dissent is a “must read.” Heather also contends that Scalia’s explicit assertion of “a historic and inherent state authority to police state borders, regardless of what the feds do or do not do” has, up until now, “only been implicit” in the arguments made by supporters of the Arizona law (S.B. 1070). That is certainly true of the litigants’ arguments and the reasoning offered in judicial opinions.

It is a different story, however, in the commentariat. In fact, I emphatically posed just such an argument in an NRO column last year, when the high court decided Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting, a related Arizona immigration case (upholding the power of states to revoke the business licenses of employers who hire illegal aliens). Further, I offered the same federalism theory when Heather and I discussed preemption on the Corner in 2010, after the first lower-court ruling on S.B. 1070.

Alas, his riveting dissent notwithstanding, Justice Scalia is as much a part of the problem as of the solution on illegal immigration. So are his three fellow conservative justices, and so is most of the modern conservative movement. That’s the reluctant conclusion I came to after the Whiting decision, and Monday’s ruling only confirms it.

The problem is an iteration of what ails conservatism across the board. We sing our paeans to federalism and limited government. But when it gets down to brass tacks, we reliably opt for big, centralized government, whether the issue is illegal immigration, unsustainable welfare-state programs, education, energy, or most of the remaining “internal objects,” as Madison put it — the matters that “concern the lives, liberties, and property of the people,” including the “internal order of the state,” that proponents assured skeptics the Constitution would retain in state control. We just think we can do big “compassionate” government smarter and less intrusively than the Left — or, at least, that’s what we tell ourselves.

Conservatives by and large agree that immigration enforcement is principally a federal responsibility, and hence that Washington has the power to preempt the states from exercising their sovereign police powers. So the problem, my conservative friends, is not Obama. We are the problem. Once that “federal responsibility” premise has been accepted, the ballgame is over.

That the Court’s conservative justices are aboard this runaway train was elucidated by last year’s Whiting opinion. All four of them joined in Chief Justice John Roberts’s bold declaration that the “power to regulate immigration is unquestionably a federal power.”

In Monday’s dissent, though he makes a case for states’ rights, Justice Scalia proceeds from this same foundational assumption. Scalia is a writer of singular forcefulness. The reader is gripped by his passion for state sovereignty as essential to the nation’s founding, and for the states’ deeply rooted power to police their territories. The justice convincingly illustrates that, in the early Republic, the dubious thing was suggestion of a federal role in immigration enforcement; the state’s power was undeniable. Still, even as the words crackle off the page, the careful reader notes that Scalia has already undermined their persuasive force with a fleeting yet shattering concession made earlier (page 8) in the dissent. Immediately after first underscoring that “the power to exclude” trespassers on its territory goes to “the core of state sovereignty” (emphasis in original), Scalia writes:

Like elimination of the States’ other inherent sovereign power, immunity from suit, elimination of the States’ sovereign power to exclude requires that “Congress . . . unequivocally express its intent to abrogate.” [My italics.]

For all the rhetorical fireworks, this is Justice Scalia’s ultimate position on state sovereignty: not that it is inviolable, just that if Washington wants to strip it away, Congress needs to be clear in doing so.

That is not sovereignty. Indeed, to borrow Justice Scalia’s own method of testing a proposition, would the states have agreed to enter the Union if the Constitution had stipulated that their sovereign powers were subject to total abrogation by Congress, as long as federal legislators were plain-spoken about it? Not a chance: As Scalia puts it, “The delegates to the Grand Convention would have rushed to the exits.”

Justice Clarence Thomas is also ostensibly strong on states’ rights. At bottom, though, as his short dissent from Monday’s decision demonstrates, he’s in the same place as Justice Scalia. Thomas’s main objection to the Court’s ruling, like Scalia’s, is that nothing in the federal immigration laws passed by Congress has preempted the states. He does not appear to doubt, however, that Congress could preempt the states — again, it would just have to be done clearly and unequivocally. Justice Thomas’s objection to the majority ruling that voided three of the four contested provisions of Arizona’s immigration law is that the majority improperly substituted its own meanderings about what Congress must have been trying to accomplish for the modest words that Congress actually used. He is correct about that, but so what?