The Liberal Fantasy of Cultural Appropriation Some academic leftists believe every culture has the exclusive right to its products. By Josh Gelernter

Among the many silly ideas of young leftists who want to appear good without the hassle of doing good, “cultural appropriation” stands alone. Since it’s spreading among American undergrads at a bubonic pace, it deserves a closer look.

According to Fordham law professor Susan Scafidi, cultural appropriation is “taking intellectual property, traditional knowledge, cultural expressions or artifacts from someone else’s culture without permission. This can include unauthorized use of another culture’s dance, dress, music, language, folklore, cuisine, traditional medicine, religious symbols, etc.”

Right here on NRO, Katherine Timpf has chronicled a smattering of recent appropriation crises: Westerners eating sushi, studying yoga, wearing toe rings. Professor Scafidi explains that appropriation is worst when “the object of appropriation is particularly sensitive” and religious in nature. Like yoga, which began as religious meditation, or toe rings, which — according to the online magazine Everyday Feminism — began as matrimonial accoutrements in the Orient.

Something else that has been appropriated from its religious origins: diatonic music — that is, virtually all modern music. The major and minor scales began as “church modes,” developed in the early churches of Europe. Church modes evolved from the Temple music of Jerusalem — along with harmony, whose first historical appearance appears to have been the antiphonal hymns sung by the two choirs of Levites who stood and sang opposite each other in the Jewish Temple.

Young non-Christian, non-Jewish leftists must renounce music.

Hillary’s E-mail Recklessness Compromised Our National Security By Andrew C. McCarthy

‘Secrecy” sounds so sinister. And when we’re talking about government, that is as it should be. In a self-governing society, transparency is our default setting. Secrecy is the government’s way of concealing corruption, incompetence, and profligacy. There must be a presumption against it.

A presumption, however, is not a prohibition. Presumptions are rebutted by necessity. Speaking about the necessity of good intelligence to military operations and homeland defense, General George Washington observed that “upon secrecy, success depends in most enterprises . . . and for want of it, they are generally defeated.” The necessity of secrecy and the catastrophe that can follow when secrecy is breached — these are core concerns of national security.

They are also what the Hillary Clinton e-mail saga is all about.

We could go on at length about Clinton’s arrogance in setting up a homebrew communications network, an outrageous violation of the transparency standards that were her responsibility as secretary of state to enforce. It was a familiar exercise in Clintonian self-dealing: Anticipating running for president in 2016, she realized she was enmeshed in the Clinton Foundation’s global scheme to sell influence for money, so she devised a way to avoid a paper trail. Accountability, after all, is for peons: the yoke of recordkeeping requirements, Freedom of Information Act productions, congressional inquiries, and the government’s disclosure duties in judicial proceedings was not for her Highness. Instead, it would be: No Records, No Problems — a convenient arrangement for a lifetime “public servant” of no discernible accomplishment whom disaster has a habit of stalking. The homebrew server was for Hillary’s State Department what an on-site drycleaner might have been for Bill’s White House.

Political Correctness Is Dying, Even in France By Michel Gurfinkiel

French socialist Christiane Taubira — the minister of justice, also known as the “keeper of the Seals” — formally resigned last week over what she called “a major political disagreement” with French socialist President François Hollande on anti-terror policies.

At stake was a constitutional amendment known as the Protection of the Nation Constitutional Act (Loi constitutionnelle de Protection de la Nation) that would strip persons who join ISIS or other jihadist networks, or who commit “grave crimes against the life of the Nation,” of their French citizenship.

The measure is largely symbolic. Still, it is immensely popular: according to an OpinionWay/Le Figaro poll, it is supported by 85% of the French as a whole, 80% of the socialist voters, and even 64% of the hard-left voters.

But Taubira, who was supposed to endorse and defend it as the minister of justice, claimed that it unfairly differentiated between the ethnic French and other groups of French citizens. Indeed, a first version targeted only binationals and had to be corrected. Taubira resigned nevertheless. Hollande and the socialist prime minister Manuel Valls may have preferred she stay.

Taubira, 63, can be described in some ways as the French Barack Obama.

Jindal Endorses ‘Principled Conservative’ Rubio By Bridget Johnson

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) got another endorsement from a former presidential contender today as former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal declared his support for the third-place Iowa finisher.

“We have a lot of great candidates running — a lot of my friends are running,” Jindal told Fox News this evening. “The reality is these are very dangerous times. This president has weakened our standing on the foreign stage. Our enemies don’t fear us, our friends don’t trust us. Marco has been consistent about strengthening America’s foreign policy… Marco has consistently stood up to the threat of ISIS and radical Islam.”

Jindal stressed that despite his friendships with other candidates as well as Rubio, “I do think Marco is best positioned.”

“This election is about the future. I’m an ideas guy. We have got to turn the page on the Obama administration. I offered details policies through America Next on how we rebuild our economy. Marco is doing that as well,” he said, referencing his think tank.

“This is the most important election of our lifetime. We’ve got growing dependence on government. We’ve got more and more debt being piled on our children’s backs. Marco can unify our party,” Jindal continued. “His optimistic message is bringing voters from across the party lines, from across different demographic groups. He can unify our party and he can win this election in November. We cannot afford four more years of this president’s disastrous policies. I think he is a principled conservative. I think he is the right guy to lead us forward.”

We might as well abolish our immigration laws altogether’: Border agent By Rick Moran

President Obama has forbidden immigration authorities to enforce the law at the border, bringing back the Bush-era “catch and release” policy that allows illegals to go their merry way after they’ve been caught entering the country illegally.

It led one border agent to remark, “We might as well abolish our immigration laws altogether.”

Washington Times:

The Obama administration has revived the maligned illegal immigrant “catch-and-release” policy of the Bush years, ordering Border Patrol agents not to bother arresting and deporting many new illegal immigrants, the head of the agents’ labor union revealed Thursday.

Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, told Congress that Homeland Security was embarrassed by the number of illegal immigrants not showing up for their deportation hearings, but instead of cracking down on the immigrants, the department ordered agents not to arrest them in the first place — meaning they no longer need to show up for court.

Mr. Judd said the releases are part of President Obama’s “priorities” program, which orders agents to worry chiefly about criminals, national security risks and illegal immigrants who came into the U.S. after Jan. 1, 2014. Mr. Judd said illegal immigrants without serious criminal convictions have learned that by claiming they came before 2014 — without even needing to show proof — they can be released immediately rather than being arrested.

Trump’s Ban on Muslims: The Discussion the Media Won’t Have by Salim Mansur

Trumps call to ban the entry of Muslims to the U.S. seemed to indicate that it should be temporary, until the American leadership has figured out what in the complex reality of the Muslim world – religious, political, economic, cultural, and so on– contributes to turning a significant portion of Muslims into jihadi operatives at war with the United States.

Despite numerous terrorist attacks carried out by extremist Muslims inside the United States, Americans have not turned against their Muslim neighbors; on the contrary, Americans and Europeans in general have continued to be accommodating, tolerant, even protective, of Muslims in their midst, in keeping with their secular and liberal democratic values.

Americans have watched the unabated spread of terrorism and warfare in the name of Islam; the intensity of hatred in Muslim countries directed towards the United States; the attacks on Americans by extremist Muslims, and the betrayals by Muslim countries that have been receiving American assistance, such as Pakistan.

The elite in Muslim-majority states is mostly, if not entirely, responsible for the wretched state of affairs that has left those states at the bottom of the list of countries when measured in terms of economic development, human rights, gender equality, education, freedom and democracy.

For the elite in third world societies, a getaway to America has meant a readily available exit to avoid being held accountable for their misdeeds.

Herein lies the irony of a Trump’s proposed ban: it would greatly affect the Muslim elite and, consequently, compel them to begin taking responsibility for how they have mismanaged their societies and impoverished their people.

On December 7, 2015, U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign released a press statement calling “for a complete and total shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our representatives can figure out what is going on.” He was publicly saying what an increasing number of Americans over the years have apparently begun to think about Muslims and Islam in terms of the “clear and present” danger to their security and their country.

Belgium Unveils Plan to Combat Islamist Radicalization Brussels area is focus of plan to increase police and crack down on terror financing By Matthias Verbergt

BRUSSELS—The Belgian government, reacting to the major role terrorists from Brussels played in the Paris terror attacks, unveiled a program Friday to combat Islamist radicalization in and around the city.

The plans include the hiring of 1,000 new police officers across the country by 2019, with 300 of them added this year and deployed in eight municipalities in the Brussels region.

Interior Minister Jan Jambon said the additional police force in Brussels would focus on cutting off revenue sources for extremist groups by countering illicit trade in arms, drugs and false travel documents. Brussels police will also increase the monitoring of places of worship known for extremist preaching, he said.

The plans form part of a €298 million ($332 million) countrywide investment in counterterrorism that includes 110 more judiciary staff and the addition of 103 domestic intelligence service members.

The government also announced the recruitment of 70 additional Special Forces by 2019, as well as the installation of 260 extra surveillance cameras on highways and enhanced security checks at the country’s airports and train stations.

The Nov. 13 Paris attacks, which left 130 people dead, were partly perpetrated by Belgian nationals and plotted in Belgium, investigators have said. Belgian authorities have arrested 11 suspects, all originating from the Brussels region, in relation to the attacks.

The focal point of the Belgium’s much-anticipated move is the Canal Plan, named after the waterway linking Brussels with the adjacent town of Vilvoorde. It is meant to harmonize the de-radicalization strategies of seven of the 19 Brussels municipalities and Vilvoorde, all located along the canal and most touched by radicalized inhabitants departing to the Middle East to join Islamic State and other jihadist groups.

The plans of the center-right Belgian government have faced sharp public criticism from the mostly left-wing local Brussels mayors, who are in charge of implementing it.

Clinton’s False Email Equivalence Hillary tries to wrap Powell and Rice into her email security breach.

A week ago Hillary Clinton’s allies accused the State Department Inspector General’s office of belonging to the vast right-wing conspiracy. So you have to admire her chutzpah this week in trying to spin a memo from that same office to exonerate her use of a renegade private email server. All the more so because the new memo strengthens the case that she mishandled national secrets.

In Thursday’s Democratic debate, Mrs. Clinton hailed a new document from State IG Steve Linick that summarizes his view of the email practices of five prior Secretaries of State. The memo says he found a few instances of “sensitive material” sent to the private email accounts of Republicans Colin Powell and staffers to Condoleezza Rice.

“Now you have these people in the government who are doing the same thing [to Powell and Rice’s aides] they’ve been doing to me,” claimed Mrs. Clinton—that is, “retroactively classifying” documents. “I agree with Secretary Powell, who said today this is an absurdity.”
Ah, yes, the old everybody-does-it defense. Mrs. Clinton wants Americans to believe it was common practice for top diplomats to use private email, and that they are all now subject to overzealous interagency squabbling over classification. By Friday Democrats were spinning that Mrs. Clinton is a political victim for having been singled out. Her media phalanx is buying this line, though the Powell and Rice details prove the opposite—and how reckless Mrs. Clinton was by comparison.

Marco Rubio’s New Hampshire Crucible The Florida senator has become everyone’s target as he pitches optimism and conservative unity to build on his Iowa momentum.By Joseph Rago

Laconia, N.H.

Lake Winnipesaukee has a monsoon season, apparently, but sheets of rain did not prevent voters from packing the former mill where Marco Rubio spoke Wednesday. The fire marshals closed the doors, as they did the night before in Exeter and would later that evening in Dover. Fresh off his surge in Iowa to a stronger-than-anticipated third, the senator is drawing crowds beyond the merely curious that feature some ineffable, heightened quality—something approaching genuine enthusiasm.

Mr. Rubio’s message is the same as it always was, with a well-rehearsed rap that matches Ted Cruz’s. But his political bet is that some New Hampshire voters want their anger tempered by optimism and a cheerful note or two.

The Florida senator’s combination of optimism and despair can nonetheless be contradictory. America is the greatest nation in the history of the world, he says, but it’s at risk of decline amid extraordinary challenges, and by the way if the present is terrible, look forward to the glorious “new American century” of the future.

Mr. Rubio can be as acid as Mr. Cruz or Donald Trump about the failures of President Obama and the diminished potential of American life, and he says the election is no less than “a referendum on our identity as a nation and a people” (as he says at every stop).

Jihad Comes to Africa Boko Haram, al-Shabaab and other ruthless groups threaten to turn the continent into global jihad’s deadliest front By Yaroslav Trofimov

Africa’s Muslim belt is getting bloodier.

Boko Haram—the regional affiliate of Islamic State and one of the world’s deadliest terrorist groups—has accelerated its campaign of almost daily suicide bombings. Just last month, the group massacred 86 people, many of them children, in the Nigerian village of Dalori and 32 others in the Cameroonian village of Bodo.

To the west, al Qaeda’s regional franchise has been waging war on the government of Mali and expanded its reach last month to the previously peaceful country of Burkina Faso, slaying at least 30 people—many of them Westerners—in an assault on a luxury hotel. In the east, another al Qaeda affiliate, Somalia’s al-Shabaab, overran an African Union military base three weeks ago and slaughtered more than 100 Kenyan troops.