Early one afternoon last week in Toronto, 25-year-old software developer Alek Minassian allegedly drove his van over nearly a mile-long stretch of city sidewalk, wantonly plowing over pedestrians. Ten were left dead and at least sixteen others were injured. It was Canada’s deadliest vehicle-ramming attack ever.

Was it because women wouldn’t have sex with him?

Mere minutes after the attack, attention quickly focused on a post Minassian allegedly made on his Facebook profile—the only post ever made there:

Private (Recruit) Minassian Infantry 00010, wishing to speak to Sgt 4chan please. C23249161. The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys! All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!

A source from Canada’s Department of National Defence has reportedly confirmed that C23249161 was Minassian’s military ID number during army training.

But what about 4chan? And what’s an incel? And who are Chad, Stacy, and Elliot Rodger?

4chan is a legendarily infamous posting board responsible for countless memes and internet hoaxes, which led some to suspect that the Facebook post didn’t come from Minassian at all. Despite the Toronto PD and several “reputable” news outlets “confirming” that Minassian posted it, there’s reason to believe it was indeed a hoax. The most compelling evidence for this is not only the 4chan lingo, but the fact that the timestamp on the post was alleged to be 1:27PM EST. But surveillance footage shows that Minassian’s rampage began a few minutes before that, and it’s hard to believe he’d be able to type a Facebook message while driving a van over crowds of people.

“It was Canada’s deadliest vehicle-ramming attack ever. Was it because women wouldn’t have sex with him?”

However, most of the mainstream press, dripping with righteous misandry as it does, was eager to blame the bloodbath on the “Disturbing, Thriving Online Community of Celibate Men” known as incels. And that fact alone is likely more significant than whether Minassian personally identified with that group.

The website incels.me describes an incel thusly:

Incel means Involuntary Celibate, a person who, if you take the term literally, can’t have sex despite wanting to. In practice this goes beyond simply having sex and enters the realm of having no possibility of finding a partner, either to get validation, love, or acceptance from. Sex is mostly secundary [sic], though just like in every group a minority of incels disagrees.

The community is further split into “truecels” (those who’ve never had sex or a girlfriend), “mentalcels” (those who’ve failed at amorous relations due to mental problems), and “volcels” (those who voluntarily choose to be celibate).

Ironically, although incels are perceived to be entirely male, the term was said to have been first coined “in 1993 by a queer woman searching for a way to describe her sense of loneliness.” But the roaring modern majority of incels would likely say that neither women nor gay men have nearly the amount of trouble finding sexual partners that straight males do.

And together these lonely guys have formed a sad little community—a Coalition of the Unfuckables.

Incels perceive their problem as intrinsic to the modern cultural war against straight males. In a tech-driven culture where sex can be found with a few taps of a smartphone, most typically low-status females—those who would traditionally pair off with low-status males such as the incels at the local barn dance—can willingly hook up with higher-status “alpha” males, who use them as fuckdolls and discard them. Technology and growing wealth inequality favor high-earning attractive males at the expense of low-wage or unemployed Average Joes.

“Chad” is a blanket term used to describe a muscular, attractive, successful male—the one who gets all the hot girls who mock the lonely incels. “Stacy” is the shallow, status-seeking girl who fucks Chad rather than the far nicer and emotionally deeper incel. Although Chad is hated, Stacy bears most of the incels’ wrath because she denies them access to sex, affection, and reproduction.

Elliot Rodger was the half-Asian weirdling who posted a bizarre video rant and an online manifesto decrying the fact that although he was handsome and rich, he was still a virgin in his early twenties because all the shallow Stacy types kept falling for Chad. “Women are the ones who flock to the men who treat them badly, instead of going for the nice guys,” Rodger lamented. In 2014 in Isla Vista, CA, Rodger went on a shooting spree that left six dead before he killed himself.

Among the more deeply disturbed souls in the incel underworld—as well as the occasional troll—Rodger is a hero.

Donald Trump: The First Jewish President?

Whoa Mr Cole, which Jews are you talking about?

Just about everyone at the synagogues I attend, think President Trump is the greatest thing that happened to America since the 1st person put cream cheese and lox on a toasted onion bagel.

The dying breed of self hating leftist J street Jews who you write about, are disappearing faster than shmaltz herring at a kiddush. Between intermarriage, and lower than zero population growth, they’re on their way out.

The Jews who are proliferating are marrying within their religion and are almost all, right leaning politically and have more in common with middle American values than the MSM Antifa, moral relativist, secular humanists.

As for President Trump, we are delighted that we have a man of his word who does what he said he was going to do.

May God continue to grace our President with the wisdom and fortitude He has given him so far and allow him to keep on MAGA

Akiva Wagschal
Baltimore, MD

This article is so freaking brilliant I can’t stand it! I’m absolutely slavering for an opportunity to use it on my Trump hating brother and other self-hating Jews who were certain the only reason people could ever not like Obama was because of his race.

I’m anxious to say “The only reason you don’t like trump is because he’s so Jewish,” and see the reaction that brings. I’ll then cite all the reasons cited in the article, which of course will be met with all the expected denials. To which I’ll respond with the piece de resistance, the precise one constantly used by libs to prove they know your motivations better than you can ever hope to; “Of course you’ll say that but I know the truth.”

The satisfaction in this moment might be somewhat tempered by the knowledge that the liberal mind is in fact drifting towards antisemitism. Still, at the very least there will be a flicker of cognitive dissonance before they can cancel the idea that what they believe differs from what they profess to believe.

L Kahn
Evanston, IL

Dealing With Cox

Mr. Theodoracopulos:
I was very pleased to see you mentioned North Carolina as a happy place in your Dealing with Cox article. We most certainly are happy in Kernersville where I live.  Our citizens are hard working, mind their own business and are polite. Most are armed in some fashion or other but say little about it. Our mayor is so effective she ran unopposed last election and our Board of Alderman is conscientious with city funds and has presented us with a balanced budget each year. The town keeps making improvements one step at a time (parks, a new fire station) and the police and fire departments are very professional.

We did have to earn all of this, of course, and almost all are willing to work in some fashion to keep it so. Churches and the Chamber of Commerce keep us involved and it certainly helps that most are God-fearing whether they attend church or not. There’s the usual fracas every now and then since 24,000 people living together can’t get along all the time, but we deal with it.

I, too, have traveled to some of these places you’ve mentioned and they seem miserable to me as well. I’m thankful I ended up here and hope others can follow our example.

Thank you,
Benjamin Herrin
Kernersville, NC

Smearing the Smearers

Wow! One of the best written screeds I’ve read in a while. Truth, humor, sarcasm, and, good grief, full disclosure.

I’m using the piece in an advanced conversation class I teach to executives. “Fake” news is an issue here in México, too. What great well-written material to analyze!

Taki’s Magazine – just brilliant.

Joe Ehman
San Nicolás de los Garza, NL México

The death of Ms. Bergalis is no mystery.

I can speak with some authority on her premeditated murder by Dr. Acer.

In the 1990’s I lived in Charlotte, NC, next door to a married couple who met while they were both working at the FBI in Washington D.C. The husband had transferred to the Secret Service by the time I knew them, but told me as a former FBI agent what happened: Acer wanted to “make a statement” by infecting someone who was the exact opposite of the stereotypical AIDS patient, that is, a white Christian heterosexual female.

While Ms. Bergalis was seated in the patient’s chair, Acer stabbed himself in the thigh with a dental probe, coating the spiked tip with his HIV positive blood and used that tainted instrument to work on Ms. Bergalis’s teeth and gums.

That transferred his infection to her and eventually made her the face of the AIDS epidemic to the straight world and Congress.

I say “premeditated murder” because that’s exactly what Acer did: he intentionally infected Ms. Bergalis and made her a sacrificial lamb for the gay cause.


David Turner
Atlanta Georgia

David Cole is a truth telling dynamo. It would have been entertaining and informative to have read the comments on this article. The powers that be at Taki’s mag are stifling an outlet for the great unwashed, who desire nothing more than to acknowledge agreement or the opposite with some outstanding writing. Especially David Cole, traveling to Massachusetts once a year, to piss on Mike Wallace’s grave.

Tho Sweeney

Because that’s what guys do in coffee shops with tiny one-toilet bathrooms—they go in together to watch each other piss.

In my extensive personal experience (as a private security contractor I witnessed or participated in over 100 arrests for trespass in a retail business: “I’m not going to buy anything, and you can’t make me leave”) there are two reasons that exhaust the explanations of such behavior:

1. they wish to indulge in some activity that involves illegal drugs (sale, adulteration, consumption, or some combination) without being exposed to public view

2. both of them are homosexual (fill in the remainder of their adventure based on your own thoughts)

In quite a few instances, I either followed them into the bathroom (cued by their conversation, hand-to-hand exchange of a small object, etc.), or was directed to them by other patrons, where they both occupied a single stall of a very large and empty bathroom.

The business management had authorized use of “whatever means” to observe and identify their behavior once the sole legitimate purpose of the stall (removal of bodily waste) had been eliminated by their conversation (“yo, gimme dat shit”).

Once this was known, the foot is aggressively applied to the door adjacent to the lock. Yes, just like in the movies – easier than you think.
The look on their faces (especially when the flying door strikes one of them in the face): priceless.

Jeffrey Diamond
I.B.I., Wells Fargo, Pinkerton supervisor 1984-88
Senior Court Clerk, Supreme Court of New York County 1988-2002

Ted Kennedy’s Surprise For Grandma

Dear Taki

Ann Coulter for President!

Thank you

Jennifer Zech
New Canaan, CT

As horrific as these anecdotes are, they are just that, anecdotal. In order to make any sort of reasoned judgement about the criminality of immigrants, Coulter should have presented verifiable statistics of criminal activity within the immigrant population and contrast that to the same statistics within the resident and citizen population.

Regardless of the outcome, “building a wall” is still a ludicrous undertaking (see Fred Reed) designed to distract from real solutions to this problem.

Friedrich Bellermann
Selma, Oregon

Yours Insincerely

I’ve long assumed that Donaldson and Albery were Donleavy’s models for the Characters Binky (coincidence?) and His Lordship in his Schultz trilogy.  Also, have it on pretty fair sourcing that the heartwarming teddy bear tale from JPD’s Balthazar B was an actual anecdote Donaldson shared with him from his boarding school days.  All the more to like about each of them.  IMO

Thanks and keep up the fine and entertaining work,

John Varholy
London, England

Return of the Blackshirts

Trust Taki to turn bien pensants into an acronym. What a guy!

The question of the decade. “Who needed a mobile phone before everyone had them?”

Kelly Harbeson

The Week’s Most Overweight, Reprobate, and Boilerplate Headlines

The first thing you notice when looking at a picture of Randa Jarrar is that she is extremely fat.

The fact that she’s a fat fattie can’t be stressed enough, which is why we’re opening with it.

Roughly the size of Kuwait, Jarrar makes a point of publicly self-identifying as an “Arab American Muslim American Woman”—apparently she threw two “Americans” in there just to cover her girth—and declaring that she absolutely hates white people. Warning—this shrill, obese harpy has quite the potty mouth on her:

I’m inspired by several things. Usually my hatred for the man, and I can’t fucking stand the white hetero patriarchy. Then, sometimes, I’m sucking a white dick….I don’t give a fuck. I’m buying guns….I’m going to do some stupid shit. I’m tired of being the bigger person….I’m also just tired of the left being stupid….Why is [Richard] Spencer’s house still standing? I don’t understand. Like, it needs to be fucking broken into. People need to fucking throw grenades into it. I don’t give a fuck.

If she’s sincerely “tired of being the bigger person,” she needs to start cutting the donuts in half.

Jarrar is paid a pretty penny by the State of California to teach creative writing to college students. Allegedly the daughter of Middle Eastern millionaires who apparently likes eating pussy as much as she likes gobbling Cinnabons, Farrar decided to dance on Barbara Bush’s grave on April 17th when the former First Lady passed into the Great Beyond. A mere hour or so after the admittedly uncomely and frankly mannish Bush Family matriarch joined the Choir Invisible, Ms. Farrar queefed out the following tweet:

Barbara Bush was a generous and smart and amazing racist who, along with her husband, raised a war criminal. Fuck outta here with your nice words.

She followed that one up by squatting down and squeezing out this one:

PSA: either you are against these pieces of shit and their genocidal ways or you’re part of the problem. That’s actually how simple this is. I’m happy the witch is dead. Can’t wait for the rest of her family to fall to their demise the way 1.5 million Iraqis have. byyyeeeeeeee.

“Unless they’re Batman, anyone wearing a mask in public is probably up to no good.”

When people questioned whether a paid state employee who is entrusted to mold the soft, mushy minds of hormonally addled youngsters should be encouraging things such as burglary and grenade-tossing and salivating over the deaths of others, she displayed the flatulent arrogance of a stampeding warthog:

I work as a tenured professor. I make 100K a year … I will never be fired.

Then she gave out a phone number that she claimed to be hers but was actually that of an described as “so dumb he probably has another brain under his balls so he can walk.”

Yet unlike nearly the entire rest of the hip-hop community—which absolutely worshiped Donald Trump until he declared his candidacy for president and black Americans were brainwashed into hating him—West has not abandoned our golden-haired chief executive.

Last week West enraged the entire black American community and their caregivers by declaring “I do love Donald Trump” and expressing fondness for such personages as gay libertarian billionaire and Trump booster Peter Thiel, conservative cartoonist Scott Adams, and some right-wing black woman we’ve never heard of.

In the wake of the blacklash, West remained defiantly MAGA:

You don’t have to agree with Trump but the mob can’t make me not love him. We are both dragon energy. He is my brother. I love everyone. I don’t agree with everything anyone does. That’s what makes us individuals. And we have the right to independent thought.

Dragon energy? Is that anything like tiger blood? And if so, does that mean Kanye West, like Charlie Sheen, has AIDS?

Last week West released a new track supporting his decision to wear a red MAGA hat:

Bruh, I never ever stopped fightin’ for the people
Actually wearin’ the hat’ll show people that we’re equal…
See, that’s the problem with this damn nation
All Blacks gotta be Democrats, man, we ain’t made it off the plantation.

On Friday the president declared that Kanye West “has performed a great service to the Black Community.” And who knows the blacks better than Donald Trump? He has a great relationship with them!

Last Saturday as about two dozen members of a white-power group called the National Socialist Movement descended on the small Atlanta suburb of Newnan, GA to hold a rally in a public park, authorities evaded another Charlottesville debacle by doing what they should have done in Charlottesville—they arrested anyone wearing a mask.

Employing a 1951 Georgia law that was designed to cripple the KKK, police in Newnan—there were an estimated 800 law-enforcement officials from all across Georgia to protect the handful of white nationalists—separated the two groups with an eight-foot fence. Then they instructed anyone wearing masks—all of whom conveniently happened to be counter-protestors—to remove their masks or face arrest. Ten masked leftists were arrested, none of whom is attractive without the mask.

A local sheriff told a reporter that antifa came to Newnan “with a purpose. They came here to antagonize, take control of our community and incite fear.”

The white nationalists apparently had more peaceful motives. They gave their little speeches for about an hour and left town. And no one was injured. Let this be a lesson: Unless they’re Batman, anyone wearing a mask in public is probably up to no good.

I think it was Jean Améry who said that once you have been tortured you remain tortured. I do not mean to claim any kind of equivalence in the experience, but once you have been to North Korea, you never forget it, either—as, for example, you might forget whether or not you have ever been to Stevenage or Welwyn Garden City. North Korea is at one of the unpleasant edges of human possibility.

Ever since I went to North Korea as part of a British delegation of youth and students (though I was neither a youth nor a student at the time), I have been drawn to pictures of the Kim dynasty, whether of Kim the First, Second, or Third. There is a fascination to this horrible family that makes the Borgias seem like philanthropists (the Borgias certainly had better taste); and you feel, as you look at pictures, that if only you stare long and hard enough at them, you will pluck out the heart of their mystery—an absurd notion, of course.

There was a large picture of Kim Jong-Un in The Daily Telegraph this week as he visited the hospital to which the survivors of a bus crash had been taken. Dressed in a white coat, he leans over the side of a bed, bringing comfort to its injured occupant. Next to him are two doctors, also in white coats, taking notes of the pearls of medical wisdom and advice that fall from Kim’s lips. Not a word of that wisdom must be lost for posterity; for when a Kim speaks, The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine become redundant.

“It is not easy to imagine Kim losing much sleep over a mere 32 people killed in a bus crash.”

Men with notebooks standing behind leaders and taking down their precious words were a constant of communist iconography. Someone like Ceausescu had only to step into a turnip field for him to become the greatest expert on growing turnips the world had ever known. Usually the leader was dressed in some kind of pseudo-proletarian costume, with or without a specially tailored cloth cap. (Ceausescu, incidentally, was much influenced by Kim Il-Sung. There is a wonderful film of Kim’s state visit to Romania in 1975, available on YouTube, in which Kim dances with Romanian pseudo-peasants in colorful national costume. How communist dictators loved folk dancing!)

At first, it occurred to me that the scene with Kim in the hospital was staged; almost everything in North Korea is, at least everything in which Kim appears. But then I saw that this was not staged, but real. How did I know?

I hesitate to mention it, because it might get people killed—in North Korea people have been killed for less. But I noticed that the side rail of the bed in which the patient lay was in terrible condition. Its white enamel and blue paint were as chipped, and the metal underneath as rusted, as they would have been in, say, Mauretania or the Central African Republic. If it had been a proper North Korean mise-en-scène, of the kind I witnessed for myself all those years ago, the bed rail would have been gleaming. The chipped enamel and paint, and the rust, were a rare glimpse of reality and gave the game away.

According to the accompanying article, Kim said that “the unexpected accident brought bitter sorrow to his heart and he couldn’t control his grief at the thought of the bereaved families who lost their blood relatives.” Unfortunately, Kim does not have the kind of face that easily conveys emotion; and while it is true that the ability to commit mass murder is not incompatible with the grossest sentimentality—indeed the two often seem two sides of the same coin—it is not easy to imagine Kim losing much sleep over a mere 32 people killed in a bus crash.

Still, our own politicians are increasingly given to hyperbole over the emotional impact upon them of accidents or disasters. They think that extravagant displays of emotion are required of them, and perhaps they are right. Any leader who doesn’t rush immediately to the scene of a disaster and utter heartfelt platitudes is regarded as a monster of coldheartedness who will lose the next election. We have forgotten that empty vessels make the most noise and demand not so much our pound of flesh as our flow of tears and outpouring of cliché.

In the modern world, information is the mother of humbug as necessity is said to be the mother of invention. (Actually, invention is more often the mother of necessity than is necessity the mother of invention; for who needed a mobile telephone before mobile telephones were invented?)

Benito lives! The Blackshirts are here. Fascism is on the march—at least according to Madeleine Albright, secretary of state under Bill Clinton and—in my book, having allowed Albanian gangsters to win power in Kosovo—the worst American foreign minister ever. She attacks Hungary and Poland, the left’s newest whipping boys, for preferring their own kind to African migrants, but she’s not alone. The usual suspects are all piling on. Fascism is back, but this time, alas, without the beautiful uniforms. Damn!

La Albright was taken to task a long time ago by Barbara Amiel for pretending she did not know she was Jewish—until Washington beckoned. “Hasn’t she ever looked in the mirror?” wrote Barbara, Lady Black, herself very proud to be Jewish. I hope I’m not picking on Albright, a typical Washington phony, obsequious to the trendy left. I just don’t like her choice of words. Fascism comes with large crowds, larger buildings, flared breeches, shiny boots, and lotsa horses on parade. And plumes, lots of plumes. I don’t see any of that, and I can’t even hear the marching bands, let alone see them. Like all lefties, this woman is full of bullshit. If fascism is on the march, I’m Bill Cosby. (That poor man has already paid 3.38 million greenbacks to the purported victim, and now faces life in jail and having to pay her millions more.)

“In America there is free speech only for those who think like the bien-pensants; the rest are all considered fascists.”

Boy, is the left trigger-happy. It takes only the wrong accent (from the American South), the wrong look (Northern European), the wrong clothes (bespoke suit), and the wrong attitude (happy), and the outrage begins to flow. And when it comes to patriotism, fuggedaboutit. (We’re all one people and other such baloney.) The fascist label also applies to those dumb types who think that bathrooms should be segregated and used by people whose gender corresponds with that on their birth certificate. To resist the bathroom trend, or bill—it will soon become law in the land of the depraved—is unutterable.

At a chic Noo Yawk restaurant the other evening, a Chinese-looking woman speaking with an American accent, whose every third—or second—word was “like,” was complaining about Texas. “I was, like, in Austin, and it was, like, the most liberal place in the state, but it was, like, terrible, a bad place, like, awful…” I was having a baklava sweet cake with my friends Michael Mailer and Bartle Bull, and should have crowned her with it, but she would have thought me, like, a fascist, so I, like, let it go.

Never mind. That young whippersnapper Macron is also worried that goose-stepping is becoming chic. “Europeans must turn away from selfish nationalism,” says the gerontophile. Xenophobia is his particular phobia. The fact that the Hungarians and the Poles have voted for a government that doesn’t dance to the E.U.’s tune sticks in his craw. What does not stick is the fact that the E.U. operates without transparency, and its officials are unelected and unaccountable. Funny that. The dictators are calling the democratically elected dictatorial.

In this upside-down scenario, the Poles and the Hungarians remain the best people in Europe, or at least the most honest where democracy is concerned. What the chic bien-pensants call liberalism had the people fooled for a while, but their game is up. A minority has gained enormous power and wealth from globalization, but the masses have been left out in the cold. The BPs—ugly, soft, greedy, well-connected, and rich, ensconced in their villas, campus houses, and guarded city apartments—have never experienced financial difficulties. They are all theory, no practice. These solipsists wouldn’t recognize a migrant if the wrong sort came into their house and mugged them. Except that he wouldn’t, because he couldn’t. Too many guards. The solipsistic bien-pensants have never experienced the direct consequences of immigration, but they write and even lecture us about it. They have never felt like strangers in their own countries, and look down their noses at those who do. They encourage the creation of “safe spaces” in schools and universities for those who enforce speech and behavior codes for those who don’t agree with them. In America there is free speech only for those who think like the bien-pensants; the rest are all considered fascists.

Jordan Peterson has published a popular new book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, and the man is traveling the world to discuss it. He has even brought his antidote to America, as if our leading philosophers—Bill Kristol, David Frum, and John Podhoretz—were not steering the ship of state aright.

An obscure wretch, contrary as Diogenes in his tub, I should like to offer some maxims for you cynics, for I am a psychologist who is more pessimistic and tragic-minded than Peterson. Consider them an antidote to hope.

Trust should be determined by egoism.

In a world whose fundamental characteristics are need, desire, and pain, it is inevitable that human nature should be incorrigibly self-interested. If, though, people are constrained by need or fear, then they shall probably be compelled to align their interests with yours. As a result, they shall be much less likely to betray or fail you in some other manner. Minus such constraint, they shall be much more likely to come into conflict with you as they endeavor to advance their ever-changing interests. As we read in Hamlet,

What to ourselves in passion we propose,
The passion ending, doth the purpose lose.
…This world is not for aye, nor ’tis not strange
That even our loves should with our fortunes change.

“Ultimately, it is owing to the very nature of the human mind that we do not understand ourselves.”

Now in this age of individuals, social relations are extraordinarily difficult and even more treacherous than in the past. The reason is that traditional customs, born of need and fear, have been replaced by individual autonomy. And, given what people are, on average—that is to say, selfish, dishonest, inconstant, and wicked—it follows that to depend on another is an exceedingly dangerous thing, although, of course, we must all do it. We see this danger most of all in the vexed state of marriage, which seems more and more unlikely to survive.

Therefore, while in a world of endlessly variable and unpredictable experience there will be plenty of instances in which it won’t be necessary to do so, it is still a wise maxim, with respect to whether you should trust someone, to ask yourself: Does he need me? Does he, for whatever reason, fear the loss of the value I represent to him? If not, be very careful about extending your trust.

Nor should friends and family be exempt from a measure of prudent distrust. Although these persons are the most important to us, as we learn from Shakespeare and other old masters, it is often they who do us the most harm.

We don’t understand ourselves.

How often does it happen, in looking back on our behavior, that we realize we were in error, though at the time we did not think so? To age is to learn how foolish we were. We reflect on a bad relationship, for example, and with the perspective afforded by time recognize what we did not notice before. In some cases, it seems as though we were not even the same person, and indeed there are philosophically robust arguments for believing just that, although I myself do not.

Ultimately, it is owing to the very nature of the human mind that we do not understand ourselves. I wrote about this nature a little while back in an essay for The Imaginative Conservative:

The mind is essentially functional; its primary purpose is not to arrive at truth, but to enable us to pursue our ends, which are largely practical in nature. We therefore believe things not so much because they are true as because they make us feel a certain way. And though truth is not determined by feeling, human value is. It is true that the earth orbits sun, but the value of that natural fact—so central to human life—is affective, passional, an affair of the heart. And so it is with everything. Reason is very weak compared to the imagination, which is not only more powerful than it, but comprehends the affects besides. It is no wonder, then, that myth and allegory long preceded philosophy and science. And the mind functioning to aid survival and well-being, it is no wonder either that we spend a good deal of time in willful ignorance: getting on in life, our main activity, depends on believing some things rather than others, to which mere truth is subordinated. As Conrad wrote in Victory, “every age is fed on illusions, lest men should renounce life early and the human race come to an end.” In fact, since illusions, lies, errors, and the like are often most effective when it comes to advancing our largely selfish interests, it is merely fitting that throughout much of life we know neither ourselves nor others, all while misperceiving experience (often deliberately) to that end.

We don’t understand other people.

In The Principles of Psychology , William James makes this striking remark about the self and other people: “He is for me a mere part of the world; for him it is I who am the mere part. Each of us dichotomizes the Kosmos in a different place.” Selfhood—with its inexhaustible particularity—is the source of all perception, thought, belief, knowledge, and value. Now this renders fraught, in an epistemic sense, our relations with other people, who, like us, perceive only from their own point of view, that is to say, from their own subjective experience, from the self in the deepest sense. And human experience varying a great deal from person to person and culture to culture, it naturally happens that we spend much of life failing to understand other people, even though we are frequently unaware of that ignorance.

I am offended when people ask if I write under a pen name. The question seems to cast aspersions on a century of Mortimer family history—of which three generations have carried the same given name as I. Are we to understand that the names of other writers shine with a more pleasing patina than mine? George Orwell? John le Carré? Isaac Bickerstaff? Edgar Box? Well, I disagree—and so I will remain faithful to the name of my birth.

Others before me have suffered from similar arrows of reattribution. Chief among them was the fine conservative campaigner and letter writer Henry Root. He got rich in the wet-fish trade in 1970s London before turning his mind to the betterment of society. This included the forming of various public associations—Ordinary People Against Pornography was one—and offering support to various public figures. One of the many lessons I take from Henry Root’s life is: If you’re aiming high, aim for the top. So it was that an assistant private secretary to the Prince of Wales found himself drafting the following reply:

The Prince of Wales has asked me to thank you very much for your letter of 18th May in which you asked if he would be able to visit your flat on Saturday 9th June. I’m afraid his Royal Highness will be unable to accept your kind invitation since he has already made his plans for that day.

“President Trump’s platform of jobs and security would have been part of the arterial mainstream of politics in Root’s day.”

Elsewhere in his roll call of quixotic failure were to be found replies from Mrs. Thatcher—who thanked him for his “pertinent views”—and Queen Elizabeth II, whose office declined his eminently sensible suggestion for a reform of the House of Lords. Indeed, his correspondence reveals as much about the addressees as it does about Root. General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq—the military dictator of Pakistan—warmly endorsed his reassurance that “most of us realise that a backward people such as yours needs and appreciates the smack of firm government.” Being appreciative that the “smack of firm government” is by needs sometimes ill-directed, Root reassured the head of Scotland Yard that a certain margin on the death penalty was only to be expected: “Better that 10 innocent men be convicted than that one guilty man goes free!” The good commissioner replied with an audible sigh of relaxation, thanking him for his understanding.

As Root was “not without means,” the support offered was often more than moral in nature, frequently including a pound note as a gesture of good faith. Many of the ingrates who received these honoraria nonetheless felt constrained—no doubt by the encroaching fear of regulation—to return them. A typical rebuttal came from the congenial treasurer of the Conservative Party, Lord McAlpine, whose only requirement for daily happiness was said to be a limitless supply of cigars and champagne. “I’m sure you are well aware—and have already been informed by General Wyldebore-Smythe—that there is no question of purchasing a peerage from the Conservative Party!” he fumed. Heartbroken, Root with great reluctance joined the Liberals.

As a Renaissance man, his worldview went beyond mere politics. Literary projects encompassed theater (The English Way of Doing Things), intellectual history (Seminal Thinker in a Nutshell, coedited with his wife, Doreen), and anthropology. His academic work Womanwatching—intended as a reply to Desmond Morris’ Manwatching—was pitched to the publisher Jonathan Cape as follows: “With a letter of introduction from you, I’ll hop incognito through the door [of a ladies sauna] in a pair of ballet pumps and—with a cry of ‘Straighten up ladies, I’ve been sent by Cape!’—take unusual photos before ejection…. Let’s be positive about this one!” Yet the exhortation fell on deaf ears (had only it been 2018, of course, he could have wafted into their steamy coven on a cloud of self-identification). Undeterred, Root set about buying the publisher. His instructions to a London merchant bank still stand as a blueprint for how to start a takeover bid: “Don’t charge in like bull at the gate. Use a little stealth! I don’t want Cape to see me coming.” Fools that they were, the bank declined to partner with him.

His cultural encounters are a record of the waters of decline lapping at a lone rock of civilization. When Mrs. Root put her back out cleaning the Rolls—a strange occurrence, given that Root himself was supervising the operation; but nobody’s perfect—he innocently contracted a Greek masseuse to aid his wife’s recovery. The couple were ill-prepared when the young health professional “sat athwart Mrs. Root and suggested Sapphic alternatives with the door closed.” Restlessly curious, he immediately wrote to the Greek ambassador: “Is this some indigenous custom of your once great country, instigated by such celebrated homosexualists as Plato the Great and General Alexander?”

Copying the same letter to the British Foreign Office—humbly requesting that the Foreign Secretary, Lord Carrington, should not himself be disturbed—he started conducting due diligence on various European holiday destinations. Of Spain in the wake of the death of Franco, he noted: “As so often happens, democracy has brought in its wake swarms of local Pedros who roam the streets putting their hands up ladies’ skirts and infiltrating to their own ends the wallet-pockets of package tourists.” The head of the Southern-European desk wrote back that “the activities to which you refer are indeed apt to occur.” It is not known whether Mr. and Mrs. Root made the trip—or indeed ever left the British Isles again. His letters now stand as a reminder of how far the political center of gravity has drifted from the Common Man. President Trump’s platform of jobs and security—like Nigel Farage’s successful bid for Britain to leave the E.U.—would have been part of the arterial mainstream of politics in Root’s day. Yet, like these movements, his Montaigne-like insights into the world would probably now be considered “extreme.”

But there is a more insidious lesson to be gleaned from his Life and Work: that some brigand is always ready to come out of the woodwork and retrospectively claim the work of a better man. In Henry Root’s case, it was a dissolute creep called Willie Donaldson. Other than reverse plagiarism, his career included making stage shows go bust, pimping, and associating with drug smugglers. He disliked everyone, including Bob Dylan, yet no one more than himself. This probably accounts for him being history’s only known recreational user of Rohypnol. Despising the telephone even more than Dorothy Parker, he ended life as a paranoid recluse, eventually being discovered dead of a suspected crack overdose with pornography playing. The sooner Willie Donaldson is forgotten, the better. Worse even than attempting to steal Root’s persona was the attempt to claim the letters had been written as a joke. We conservatives are becoming ever more used to such below-the-belt cultural swipes, and must remain ever more on guard. One day some wretch may even crawl from a similar den and attempt to claim my work is a joke of his own creation. Don’t believe him.

This week, we’ll cover one of the little-noticed ways mass Third World immigration is making our country more colorful: elder rape.

Usually the vibrant cultural diversity that immigrants bring runs more along the lines of child rape, drunk driving and food stamp fraud. But our official government policy of importing the Third World also means we’re going to have a lot more elder rape, too.

Thank you, Teddy Kennedy! Something for the seniors.

I was recently reminded of this aspect of diversity because, a few days ago, jury selection began in the trial of illegal alien Victor Aureliano Martinez Ramirez and anchor baby Jose Fernando Villagomez for the rape, torture and murder of 64-year-old Marilyn Pharis.

Pharis was attacked in 2015, just a few weeks after Kate Steinle was killed by an illegal in San Francisco—a wondrous moment in time when Donald Trump wanted to deport illegals, rather than call them “Dreamers” and give them amnesty.

Like Steinle’s killer, Martinez Ramirez had a lengthy and impressive arrest record in this country, including felony assault with intent to commit sexual assault. A week before his violent home invasion, he was released from jail on drug and weapons charges.

We don’t know the details of the recent attack because the perps have VIP status, requiring the utmost discretion from our media. But based on what is known, the crime sounds pretty gruesome.

“We don’t know the details of the recent attack because the perps have VIP status, requiring the utmost discretion from our media.”

Pharis was attacked at 10 in the morning, at home, sleeping in her own bed, after working a night shift at Vandenberg Air Force Base. According to the dry legal charges and hospital report, she was penetrated with a “foreign object” and beaten with a hammer, leaving her with a broken neck and broken eye sockets. Pharis survived, managed to call the police and was taken to a hospital, where she died eight days later.

While we wait for the trial transcript, here are a few more examples of this multicultural trait we are importing for no good reason.

Sergio Martinez-Perez was the sort of hardworking undocumented immigrant from Mexico we keep hearing so much about from elected Republicans angling for campaign donations from the Koch brothers. He “played by the rules,” working in Omaha, Nebraska, as a roofer. (Roofing is well known to be a job Americans just won’t do.) Only 19 years old, Sergio was a “Dreamer.” They’re “absolutely incredible kids!”

One summer night in 2013, Sergio got drunk and broke into the home of 93-year-old Louise Sollowin, savagely beat her, breaking her nose and orbital bones, then ripped off her adult diaper and raped her. Sollowin’s daughter had put her mother to bed earlier that night. When she returned at 8:30 the following morning, she found Sergio lying naked and passed out on top of her mother’s bloody body. Three days later, Louise Sollowin died.

Sergio would already have been on a bullet train to legal status had Marco Rubio’s amnesty passed. (Just think of all the Sergios a Trump amnesty will get us!)

Mexican illegal immigrant Victor Manuel Batres Martinez raped, sodomized and beat two nuns in their 50s, strangling one to death with her own rosary beads. By the time of his nun-rape in 2002, Martinez had already been arrested multiple times before for kidnapping, robbery and possession of narcotics. Under the rigorous immigration enforcement procedures of the Clinton and Bush administrations, Martinez had been “ordered” deported three times, meaning he signed a note three times promising to leave.

In 2013, Antonio Nieto, a certified nursing assistant, was convicted of sexually assaulting patients in a nursing home. The staff didn’t believe the first victim, a 59-year-old woman, who was considered a complainer for objecting to the facility’s oppressive anti-smoking rules. This allowed two more female patients to be sexually assaulted by Nieto, one 73 years old, and the other 93. (Always believe the smoker!)

Nieto needed a Spanish translator at trial. Don’t say Third World immigrants aren’t creating jobs!

In 2008, a rash of rapes of women older than 60 in Texas finally ended when the police arrested Jose Ayala Nunez, a Honduran illegal immigrant, who later pleaded guilty to the assaults.

Isn’t a wall beginning to sound like a deal at any price?

NEW YORK—Several hundred emails pour in each week asking me about the Joe Bob Wellness Regimen.

People wanna know, “How do you do it, Joe Bob? Glowing skin after a three-day drunk. Toned abs over your beer gut. A certain aroma about your torso that prevails even after extended sessions in the cigar bars of Jersey City. And that hint of peat-bog detritus in your breath every time you return from either Scotland or Vinnie’s Package Store in Coney Island.”

I am truly humbled by all the attention, and so in the interest of public health and a vigorous America, glistening like Vin Diesel’s deltoids after being oiled up by a team of Swedish strippers, I’m happy to take you through my Wellness Day.

I always try to rise each morning by 9:45, because this creates the mental confidence caused by “not sleeping till 10” while also creating a 15-minute window to remove the previous day’s clothing and aim a garden hose directly at the eyeballs, thereby removing any blood in the iris. It helps to prepare for this morning ritual by coating the face with raw bee pollen coated with silk gum because this will cause you to throw up immediately instead of waiting until later in the day.

“Shilajit should be included as a side dish if one of your nutrition goals is to be full of shilajit.”

A little after 10 I step into a claw-foot bathtub with a polyethylene mat positioned to avoid pratfalls, whereupon I fumble through several bottles of essential body oils containing cocoa butter, hydrating tangerines, radiant lavender, jojoba, and sunflower that were left in my apartment by a gay guy until I find a bar of lye soap made from leftover cooking fat, and I scrub that son of a bitch over everything except my dangling participles, if you know what I mean and I think you do.

Thus invigorated with blotchy red perforations all over my body, I take a sliced pineapple, a handful of minced fresh parsley, three egg whites, one cup of spinach, two tablespoons of organic ground flaxseed, some dried black currants, and pour all of it into a blender that has been prepped with two cups of 130-proof Booker’s Bourbon. You now have all your vegetables for the day.

By the way, I’ve shared this recipe with women who practice vagina sunbathing, and I can attest that it is equally effective when used indoors on a rainy Tuesday by a heterosexual with a non-tanned woodie.

(You thought I was making that up, didn’t you?)

Now it’s time for a little midmorning mood shift, using Kundalini meditation. For those of you unfamiliar with Kundalini, it’s a type of consciousness-raising in which a coiled female serpent takes up residence at the base of the spine. To simplify my life, I use a nude Latina masseuse named Luciana who shows up three times a week at 11:45 and coils her entire body at the base of my spine, then proceeds to kunda my lini.

Let the workday begin. To make sure my memory and cognition are at peak levels, I take fish oil, cocoa flavonols, and turmeric in order to remember how to spell “turmeric,” as well as acetyl-L-carnitine to annoy the Takimag copy editor, who is always unsure where the “L” goes and why it’s capitalized with hyphens on either side of it. I also take choline to avoid early-onset Alzheimer’s, although early-onset Alzheimer’s is an ironclad defense against libel suits, so I go easy on it.

By lunchtime I’m feeling the effects of the previous evening’s 2 a.m. pork burrito, so I do a probiotic cleanse of maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and organic kiwi juice, followed by a light lunch of sugar-cured ham slabs on a cinnamon bun that’s been sliced lengthwise and soaked in salted Belgian cream. Wash it down with a can of Lithuanian Energy Tonic (2,000 milligrams of caffeine), and you’re ready to conquer the afternoon work schedule.

Before President Trump trashes the Iran nuclear deal, he might consider: If he could negotiate an identical deal with Kim Jong Un, it would astonish the world and win him the Nobel Peace Prize.

For Iran has no nuclear bomb or ICBM and has never tested either. It has never enriched uranium to bomb grade. It has shipped 98 percent of its uranium out of the country. It has cameras inside and inspectors crawling all over its nuclear facilities.

And North Korea? It has atom bombs and has tested an H-bomb. It has intermediate range-ballistic missiles that can hit Guam and an ICBM that, fully operational, could hit the West Coast. It has shorter-range missiles that could put nukes on South Korea and Japan.

Hard to believe Kim Jong Un will surrender these weapons, his ticket of admission to the table of great powers.

Yet the White House position is that the Iran nuclear deal should be scrapped, and no deal with Kim Jong Un signed that does not result in the “denuclearization” of the peninsula.

If denuclearization means Kim gives up all his nukes and strategic missiles, ceases testing, and allows inspectors into all his nuclear facilities, we may be waiting a long time.

Trump decides on the Iran deal by May 12. And we will likely know what Kim is prepared to do, and not prepared to do, equally soon.

“How long can we sustain a worldwide empire of dependencies?”

France’s President Emmanuel Macron is in D.C. to persuade Trump not to walk away from the Iran deal and to keep U.S. troops in Syria. Chancellor Angela Merkel will be arriving at week’s end with a similar message.

On the White House front burner then are these options:

Will North Korea agree to surrender its nuclear arsenal, or is it back to confrontation and possible war?

Will we stick with the nuclear deal with Iran, or walk away, issue new demands on Tehran, and prepare for a military clash if rebuffed?

Do we pull U.S. troops out of Syria as Trump promised, or keep U.S. troops there to resist the reconquest of his country by Bashar Assad and his Russian, Iranian, Hezbollah and Shiite allies?

Beyond, the larger question looms: How long can we keep this up?

How long can this country, with its shrinking share of global GDP, sustain its expanding commitments to confront and fight all over the world?

U.S. planes and ships now bump up against Russians in the Baltic and Black seas. We are sending Javelin anti-tank missiles to Kiev, while NATO allies implore us to bring Ukraine and Georgia into the alliance.

This would mean a U.S. guarantee to fight an alienated, angered and nuclear-armed Russia in Crimea and the Caucasus.

Sixteen years after 9/11 and the invasion of Afghanistan, we are still there, assisting Afghan troops against a Taliban we thought we had defeated.

We are now fighting what is left of ISIS in Syria alongside our Kurd allies, who tug us toward conflict with Turkey.

U.S. forces and advisers are in Niger, Djibouti, Somalia. We are aiding the Saudis in their air war and naval blockade of Yemen.

The last Korean War, which cost 33,000 U.S. lives, began in the June before this writer entered 7th grade. Why is the defense of a powerful South Korea, with an economy 40 times that of the North, still a U.S. responsibility?

We are committed, by 60-year-old treaties, to defend Japan, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand. Voices are being heard to have us renew the war guarantee to Taiwan that Jimmy Carter canceled in 1979.