“Freedom is the dream you dream while putting thought in chains.” —Leopardi

On May 10 The Chronicle Review published an article by Andrew Kay called “Academe’s Extinction Event.” A thoughtful, charming, and funny writer, Kay reflects on the 2019 Modern Language Association meeting, which seems to him rather frivolous amid the collapse of literary study and the humanities generally. Says Kay:

Have you ever seen that viral picture from 2017 of a party of Oregon golfers calmly putting while, in the near distance, a wildfire consumes the landscape? Trees blacken; smoke, pinkish-gray, shrouds everything in impasto blots; nature itself seems to creak, groan, and at last give way. But the golfers go blithely on. The conversion of this Edenic place into Dantean incandescence won’t interfere with the genteel game they know and love—or, if it will, they are determined to get in one last round before the region is razed. “Eye on the ball, Chet!” one can hear them saying. “Not on the cataclysm!”

Thus MLA 2019….

Cue four predictably middling women academics—Devin M. Garofalo, Anna Hinton, Kari Nixon, and Jessie Reeder—who decided to use Kay’s article as an occasion for punishing him for the crime of being a white man. In “The Humanities Without Nostalgia,” their response to Kay published in The Chronicle Review on May 17, Garofalo et al. claim Kay is nostalgic for the good old days when academe was a function of white male privilege. The irony of attributing (without contextual evidence) such a belief to Kay—a PhD who gave up on academe because he couldn’t find a career in it—while they themselves are all tenure-track professors was apparently lost on these bluestockings.

What is more, according to his critics, Kay is “damningly [damningly!] uninterested in women and scholars of color”—two groups whose rise in academe Kay allegedly blames for its decline. (Ah, if only he had argued that these groups and others have used ideas of personal identity to advance themselves while corrupting academic standards, but Kay is not the type of person to do that.) You might think it is bizarre to assume a scholar is obligated to be interested in “women and scholars of color” (why not also the elderly, or the disabled, or midgets, or albinos?), but having been to graduate school in English, I can tell you that such a moralistic non sequitur is par for the course in the deluded academy.

Garofalo et al. make other dubious and unserious claims, but I will spare you the details. In short, their minds consisting of trendy clichés, these academics wrote a piece characterized by wild misrepresentations of context, obvious logical contradictions, strange inferences, and gross non sequiturs. Had they more, or perhaps any, self-awareness, they would be embarrassed by this display. And if the editors of The Chronicle Review weren’t hacks themselves, they would have had the judgment to reject the article.

“Kay’s critics neither think nor write well, but are more of the usual boring academic followers.”

That “The Humanities Without Nostalgia” really is this bad has been demonstrated by Anastasia Berg in “Fanning the Flames While the Humanities Burn,” published in The Chronicle Review on May 20. In the article’s most important passage, Berg seizes on what Garofalo et al. are up to with her usual incisiveness:

Kay’s real sin…is not his unwitting bigotry…. [It] is that he fails to embrace his own sacrifice as well justified, fails to see his own loss as the “very necessary unsettling of white male dominance,” fails to welcome the “cleansing flame.” The problem is not what Kay says but that he dares to speak of his own predicament—that he dares to want publicly anything at all.

Here is the utterly pathological and malevolent perspective of Kay’s critics. Kay must not only be sacrificed; he had better keep quiet about it, because “to speak of his own predicament” is to affirm the very whiteness and maleness that are so dangerous to “women and scholars of color.” The irony is that not only do white men not get jobs today in academe just because they are white men; it is because they are white men that they don’t get such jobs, even as “women and scholars of color” are hired because of their identity.

Berg is right to use sacrifice as a metaphor. Striving for values often requires some concept of an enemy—some not-A against which A can be actualized and preserved—and for Garofalo et al., Kay is it. What they most resent, I suspect, is the quality of his prose. That Kay is a skillful writer is evident from his article that I’ve linked to above. This can also be seen from his essay “Pilgrim at Tinder Creek,” published in The Point (where Anastasia Berg is a very competent editor). This autobiographical work compares the hells of internet dating to the hells of trying to get a decent job in the contemporary academy. It is smart, funny, and poignant.

By contrast, Kay’s critics neither think nor write well, but are more of the usual boring academic followers. Here, for instance, is a description of Devin M. Garofalo’s “scholarship” from her faculty webpage at Florida Atlantic University:

Her current book project, ‘Interworlds: Nature, Scale, Form in the Long Nineteenth Century,’ explores how Romantic and Victorian poets and scientists imagined the category of “world” as making visible otherwise invisible and potentially radical blueprints of material and political relationality. She considers how nineteenth-century thinkers were acutely aware of the formal and scalar variety of material life: of how the human body might function, from the perspective of an insect, as an entire world, even as the category of “world” also comprises the luminous bodies glimmering in the night sky…. This plenum reconfigures conventional oppositions between subject and object, human and nonhuman, individual and collective, conveying experimental models for the organization of material and political life. Ultimately, ‘Interworlds’ shows how the category of “world” affords a lens for navigating the changing scales of space and time at stake in the nineteenth-century cosmopolitan imaginary. It also makes a broader conceptual move. Whereas recent theoretical debates about the global and the planetary often resist the category of “world” on political grounds, Garofalo reclaims its nineteenth-century complexity as an affordance for the environmental humanities.

Summarizing this pseudo-philosophical verbiage, let us say that Garofalo uses the works of “Romantic and Victorian poets and scientists” to make a case for left-wing politics and, specifically, for “the environmental humanities” (whatever that means—it’s hard to believe the subject could interest anyone who is not a stuffy pretender). But why use such intellectual figures to those ends? Well, because there’s no intellectual distinction in just telling people that they should “go green” and vote Democrat.

According to her profile at Academia.edu, Anna Hinton is “currently an African American Literature postdoctoral associate at Rutgers University.” Her “research interests are Disability Studies, African American Literature and Culture, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Motherhood Studies.” Her papers include “Making Do with What You Don’t Have: Disabled Black Motherhood in Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents” and “‘And So I Bust Back’: Violence, Race, and Disability in Hip Hop.” In other words, Hinton, too, is identity-politics rabble, her voguish “scholarship,” like Garofalo’s, concerning subjects that are external to the study of literature qua literature.

At her faculty webpage at Whitworth University Kari Nixon writes:

My research explores the way that contagious disease uncovers surprising points of human contact and aversion. I focus largely on the ways that wide acceptance of germ theory in the 1870s and onward ushered in a new era of aversion from the—apparently contagious—global community, and catalyzed self-protective efforts at isolation. I concentrate primarily on authors who resisted this cultural zeitgeist and stubbornly insisted on human connection as inevitable and in fact necessary for a fulfilling world experience, even in the face of dangerous contagious disease. In pursuing these goals, which also consider the broader growth in faith in science as an omnipotent power in the late part of the century, I’ve also published on Scandinavian drama from the period, as well as modern-day zombie comics and other contagion narratives.

Like the others, Nixon is plainly not a literary scholar, though, like them, she presents herself as going against the grain in what is supposed to be an admirable fashion; that is, she works on authors who “resisted…[the] cultural zeitgeist and stubbornly insisted on human connection as inevitable and in fact necessary for a fulfilling world experience, even in the face of dangerous contagious disease.” Pass the pom-poms, good team member.

Jessie Reeder’s faculty webpage at Binghamton University reads:

Professor Reeder’s research focuses on nineteenth-century British literature and its engagement with the wider world, particularly imperial zones. Her current book project, ‘The Forms of Informal Empire: Britain, Latin America, and Nineteenth-Century Literature,’ explores the unique literary and social narratives that developed in response to Britain’s informal influence in post-independence Latin America. This book reads across genres, nations, and languages, putting British and Latin American writing of the nineteenth century into dialogue in a new way….

Like those common academic terms, “intersection” and “lens,” “dialogue” is a dead giveaway: Reeder is a cant-peddler, one of countless hollow academics who want to affect a stance of noble opposition, to “imperial zones” in her case.

Compare the approaches of these academic clones with the approach of my literary journal The Agonist:

For us, works of literature are essentially verbal constructions. Race, gender, sexual orientation—these things, in our view, are not aesthetic criteria, and therefore do not factor into what we publish, review, or publish criticism on.

It is because “works of literature are essentially verbal constructions” that literary critics historically have focused on how such works do what they do, and evaluated them accordingly. The how is far more important than the what, for it is the element of form that gives something aesthetic interest and affords aesthetic pleasure. Otherwise, why read a novel or poem rather than a newspaper or Das Kapital?

But close reading is not easy. It is difficult, for example, to show through textual analysis how great writers create distinct and rich characters that represent important things about human life, things that not every writer can make us see. Very few people can do that. And though, after a point, it becomes extremely difficult to say anything new about a major writer, academics remain committed to the silly pretense that they have to make “original contributions to scholarship.”

Hence why so many academics regard literature as nothing but a means for affirming their nonliterary values, prejudices, and resentments. As Kay observes, the professoriat has lost sight of what literature is for—owing, let us be clear, to people like his critics—and academic literary study therefore deserves to fade into irrelevance, just as it is doing. Most literature professors are like someone who, upon being introduced to a stranger, should immediately reduce his inexhaustible complexity to “environmentalism—good,” or “white man—bad.” Nor is there anything they despise more than the awareness of their own inferiority, as inevitably evidenced by those few people in the world who do write well, like Andrew Kay. So it happened that Garofalo et al. claimed the man’s lament for their dying profession is really about nostalgia for “the patriarchy.”

It was a dirty, defensive trick, an ignoble attempt to exercise power over someone who left them feeling intellectually defeated. For, unlike Kay, they cannot write interesting journalism and essays; and unlike James Wood, Christopher Ricks, Marjorie Perloff, and other strong contemporary critics, they cannot write about literature on its own terms, either. And so they work up an enemy in order to appear morally sophisticated, and hence worthy of distinction. It is not Kay who believes in white male supremacy. It is, amusingly, his moralistic critics. Their trite chatter about white male supremacy is a reflection of their own underlying anxieties and insecurities. They want to make somebody suffer for their wretched condition—for their awareness that white men, as a group, write better than they do—and here Kay is useful.

Over Memorial Day weekend, some shocking news broke about the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. David Garrow, Pulitzer Prize-winning King biographer, came across some new details about the FBI’s secret bugs of King in the National Archives. (The full tapes are not scheduled for public release for about another decade.)

During one orgy in King’s room at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C., according to FBI summaries of the tapes, he watched and laughed as one of his ministers raped a parishioner. Another time, he jokingly referred to himself as the head of the “International Association for the Advancement of P***y-Eaters.” There’s more, but you get the gist.

With every statue in the country of Robert E. Lee being hauled off and sold for scrap, first, I would like to say that I oppose the removal of MLK’s statue from the Washington Mall.

But the latest revelations also present me with a fantastic opportunity to renew my proposal that we replace Martin Luther King Day with Thurgood Marshall Day!

I say this knowing full well that Black America has been waiting with wild anticipation for what this white girl has to say about a national holiday celebrating an African American civil rights icon. But it is a national holiday and, most important, Marshall is a much cooler African American civil rights icon.

In addition to the fact that Marshall worked closely with J. Edgar Hoover to expel communists from the NAACP — while King’s organization was bristling with them, to the immense annoyance of President John F. Kennedy — Marshall redeemed blacks’ civil rights the American way: by winning his battles in court.

That’s how it’s supposed to be done in a country of laws. We’re not French.

As described in my book Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America, Marshall, with his eloquent legal arguments, is the true heir to our founding fathers. He argued case after case before the Supreme Court, winning landmark victories, such as Brown v. Board of Education, that rapidly improved the lives of all black Americans.

“Martin Luther King Jr., though an inspiring orator, was heir to the French Revolution, using street protests to advance political change.”

Martin Luther King Jr., though an inspiring orator, was heir to the French Revolution, using street protests to advance political change. That’s why Marshall dismissed King as an “opportunist” and “first-rate rabble-rouser,” according to Taylor Branch’s book, “Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-63.”

Perhaps King’s most famous protest was his confrontation with Theophilus Eugene “Bull” Connor, Birmingham, Alabama’s lame-duck commissioner of public safety. Connor, a machine-politics Democrat, was a vile racist, backed by that state’s segregationist governor, George Wallace, also a Democrat.

After witnessing Connor’s tactics, the good people of Birmingham removed him from office as quickly as they could. First, they voted to eliminate his office entirely. Then, when he ran for mayor, they decisively voted against him.

It was over. Decent Alabamians had won.

But King decided to provoke the lunatic Connor one more time, in the remaining days of his public service.

City merchants, including the black millionaire A.G. Gaston, begged King to call off the Birmingham protests on the rather obvious grounds that Connor had already been beaten at the ballot box. President Kennedy’s Justice Department did, too.

King refused. His movement was dying, and he needed a major public spectacle to keep it going.

With television crews crawling all over Birmingham, King arranged for hundreds of black children to march on the town. As expected, this led to a massive conflagration when Connor turned fire hoses and police dogs on little kids, some as young as 6 years old. The explosive images were instantly broadcast around the world.

King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s Wyatt Walker were “overjoyed,” according to Garrow’s book Bearing the Cross. Walker gloated: “There never was any more skillful manipulation of the news media than there was in Birmingham.”

The demented Connor was delighted, too — the protests helped him rally his dwindling racist following.

The only people who weren’t happy were the citizens of Birmingham, both black and white.

Liberal destruction from Karl Marx to the Weather Underground traces its history back to Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the French Revolution. They would achieve perfect freedom … at the sharp edge of a guillotine.

The French Revolution was spontaneous, impulsive, passionate, emotional, utopian, resentful, angry, dreamy — anything but rule-bound and reasoned. No one knew, from one year to the next, where the revolution was heading. That’s why, at the end of it all, the French enthusiastically threw themselves into the arms of Napoleon, a dictator.

By contrast, Americans were thinkers and debaters. They began their revolution with a legal document, the Declaration of Independence, which exhaustively explained “the causes” that impelled “the separation.” It ended with the Articles of Confederation, and then a Constitution, meaning we have agreed-upon rules, continuity and stability.

And we had the principle that all men are equal before God. For about a century, it was a principle often honored more in the breech than in the observance. That is, until the clever barrister Marshall came along, went to court, and demanded that America live up to its ideals.

King’s protests had the unfortunate effect of giving violent street agitation a halo. Now every idiot smashing a Starbucks window thinks he’s a civil rights champion. But it was Marshall, doing it the American way, who changed the world.

As Marshall said, civil rights was serious business — and King was “a boy on a man’s errand.”

HOUSTON—If it doesn’t come from an animal—or, I guess, if you wanna get technical and include Soylent Green in our definition, an animal or a human—then it’s not meat.

I’m surprised I have to explain this.

There’s no such thing as “plant-based” meat.

As of Jan. 1, the state of Missouri has decreed that anyone selling a product called “meat” that is not, in fact, meat has violated the laws against misleading labeling and is therefore subject to criminal sanctions. A lot of vegans are unhappy.

But why is this controversial at all?

All right, normally I don’t like the government getting down into the nitty-gritty of commerce like that, but when you have 17 jillion companies out there splashing pictures of laboratory food all over the internet but calling it “meatballs,” you’ve got a problem beyond putting the word “champagne” on some kind of fizzy concoction from upstate New York. At least the guys in Buffalo are trying to use the same ingredients they use in Champagne. In the case of the makers of fake sausage, steaks, burgers, and tacos, they go to elaborate lengths to make it look exactly like a sausage, steak, burger, or taco when all they would have to do is invent a nonsense word like “tofurkey” and everyone would be fine with it.

Why does it matter? Because the taste of Texas, Nebraska, and Missouri steak has been created by two centuries of breeding, crossbreeding, mixing purebred herds with commercial herds, experimenting with feed and grazing land, the reseeding of pastures, and veterinary care that results in the marbling effect and the tenderness and the texture that creates a Yummy Response.

But do those cowboys get credit? They do not. They are reviled as purveyors of poison.

There was a time, thirty years ago, when it seemed like the greatest enemy of the cattle industry was McDonald’s. McDonald’s bought some ranchland in the Panhandle of Texas and started experimenting with lean breeds that would presumably result in the “100 percent hamburger cow.” They were unsuccessful, partly because a beef cow can’t be 100 percent anything—there are too many layers and cuts, even in a free-range longhorn steer from the 19th century that’s never been crossbred with anything.

“There’s no such thing as ‘plant-based’ meat.”

Then the War on Meat took a strange turn when Bess Myerson, the Consumer Affairs Commissioner of New York City, issued some kind of official proclamation warning the public about beef and calling for a boycott. The governors of Wyoming, Montana, Texas, Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska paid a visit to the Big Apple to ask the assembled politicians of the East Coast whether they would like to see a boycott of New York tourism in return, since the whole thing seemed gratuitous and Big Brotherish. You don’t have to be a hardcore libertarian to have problems with the government dictating what you eat.

But here’s my question. Why do the companies that sell “not meat”—Frankenfoods made from plant cells and/or vegetable cocktails—spend millions of dollars to make it look exactly like meat? Wouldn’t that be a contradiction in vegetarian philosophy? “I’ve decided to chew leaves the rest of my life, but I want all the leaves to look like hot dogs.”

For example, the product called “Beyond Meat Beyond Sausage.” I don’t know what’s in it—they seem remarkably shy about printing their ingredients—but it looks exactly like a bratwurst or a Jimmy Dean pork sausage, and it’s sold in one of those soft plastic cartons with the cellophane pulled across the top that they use in grocery-store refrigeration cases. The purpose of the plastic cartons is to soak up the residual blood so it doesn’t drip, but in this case there is no blood but they want you to believe there is. Is that twisted or what?

With a company like Memphis Meats, on the other hand, there’s a valid argument for claiming the word, simply because the cells they use do come from animals. I would kind of like to know which breed the cow or pig is and where it came from, but I don’t dispute that a single cell of meat that ends up being cloned into a TV dinner is in the meat family. Whether it’s actual meat is another thing. The traditional use of the word means you’re eating something that used to be alive, and in that case Memphis Meats doesn’t qualify. Memphis Meats gives me the willies, to tell you the truth, because their philosophy—“Better Meat, Better World”—sounds like the opening of a 1980s Roger Corman sci-fi movie in which the whole cast gets consumed by replicating mutant genes.

“At Memphis Meats,” their website proudly claims, “our mission is to bring delicious and healthy meat to your table by harvesting it from cells instead of animals.”

Or as they say in Motel Hell, “It Takes All Kinds of Critters to Make Farmer Vincent’s Fritters.” And we know how that story turns out.

The other odd factoid about the meat-labeling controversy is that the vegetarians and vegans are all in favor of the manipulation of cellular food forms when it means turning a broccoli stalk into a fake cheeseburger, whereas genetically modified foods of any other type are by definition demonic poisons created by the agribusiness conspiracy. In other words, there’s a basic Pavlovian need to visualize a cheeseburger before consuming a not-cheeseburger.

This means they’ll do anything to avoid simply putting together a bunch of plants and vegetables in a healthy stew/salad/whatever and labeling it as “Healthy Stew/Salad/Whatever.” They want you to think it’s meat. The vegetarians want to consume it as a meat. You don’t need to go to those lengths, though, because we already have a food group that satisfies that need. It’s called, uh, meat.

The RMS Titanic was notoriously marketed as “unsinkable” because it featured sixteen internal watertight compartments. If its hull sprang a leak at any one spot, doors would automatically shut and contain the water. If no more than two, or in some cases four, compartments flooded, the Titanic would stay afloat.

Unfortunately, by sideswiping an iceberg, the Titanic compromised its hull, perhaps in part due to poor-quality rivets. The long gashes and separation of the plates exposed a fatal five compartments to the sea. Moreover, the internal bulkheads didn’t extend all the way up to the deck and therefore weren’t as watertight as advertised, allowing water to slosh throughout. The Titanic therefore sank rapidly, before help could arrive.

But that doesn’t mean separate compartments within the hull were a bad idea. They remain a shipbuilding standard today.

Thinking about the fundamental trade-offs of ship architecture offers an unsettling insight into the design dangers in both the European Union and United States of America.

These two ships of state lack watertight internal compartments, which increases the need for strong external borders to prevent flooding from abroad. In a century in which would-be migrants from the Global South will increase vastly in number, we need to draw analogies from the maritime disasters of the past to have a chance of avoiding a similar fate.

The Titanic was hardly the first ship to feature internal barriers. The concept of compartmentalization, the nautical version of not putting all your eggs in one basket, was invented by Han dynasty Chinese shipwrights nearly 2,000 years ago. Designers would compensate for a potentially fatal weakness in the external hull by restricting the mobility of water within the ship.

A different way to cut down on disasters at sea is to lessen the chance of an external leak by adding a second bottom or an entire second hull. In the wake of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, Congress mandated that oil tankers have double hulls. The last old single-hulled tankers were phased out in 2015.

Just as at sea, the less protection from immigration leaks that the E.U. or the U.S. has from internal borders, the more we need stronger security around the continent.

Of course, not all U.S. and E.U. elites see swamping by illegal immigrants as a problem.

How to allocate political decision-making within such large entities as the U.S. has always been a difficult question.

“Thinking about the fundamental trade-offs of ship architecture offers an unsettling insight into the design dangers in both the E.U. and the U.S.”

As a vast continental-scale polity, the United States reserves a fair amount of control to states, and states cede much control to localities.

The U.S. was briefly a loose confederation, but the 1787 Constitutional Convention devised a more centralized federal system. Of course, the Constitution still reserved a significant amount of power to the states. The Tenth Amendment, added in the 1789 Bill of Rights, declares:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Over time, those with the whip hand in Washington at the moment pushed against states’ rights in the name of federal dominion. For example, the slave states generally ran Washington before the Civil War, so they increasingly used the federal government to force the states opposed to slavery to help them maintain their peculiar institution, shoving through anti-states’-rights impositions such as the Fugitive Slave Act and the Dred Scott decision.

But then in 1860, the Democrats self-destructed and Republican Abraham Lincoln was elected with only 40 percent of the vote. Immediately, the Fire-Eaters of South Carolina rediscovered the sacred principle of states’ rights and launched the Confederacy.

Similarly, in this century, after a long stretch of liberals imposing their whims upon the fifty states, such as forcing local bakers to prepare gay wedding cakes, the election of Donald Trump suddenly reopened the eyes of progressives to the philosophical virtues of states’ rights. For example, the Sierra Club complained last year:

Donald Trump Doesn’t Care About States’ Rights

And while the Democrats’ rediscovery of federalism is hypocritical, it is not unreasonable. After all, America is indeed a giant landscape, and policies that seem sensible at one latitude and longitude often don’t appeal in another. We can all get along better if we don’t insist that Washington impose every one of its dictates upon each state.

But that raises the question of which policies should be under local control and which need to be federal. With an incredible 5,000 more Central Americans engulfing the U.S. each day, we need to think hard about this.

For example, one of the privileges of American citizenship is that the U.S. has always allowed citizens to move freely within states. A Florida man can take a job in Idaho, no questions asked.

On the other hand, even though, say, Delawareans can legally move to San Francisco, finding lodging there is likely to be a nightmare because liberal coastal Californians have imposed a web of state, municipal, and neighborhood regulations that economically dissuade their law-abiding fellow Americans from flocking to the Golden State. The current rent for an average 792-square-foot apartment in San Francisco is $3,609.

Yet, immigrants who intend to have a lucrative sojourn in San Francisco for a few years and are thus willing to temporarily sleep in bunk beds and violate rules against overcrowding are less hindered by local laws.

Moreover, San Francisco has declared itself a “sanctuary city” in which rule of law does not apply when it comes to United States immigration codes.

But do states’ and cities’ rights over immigration make more sense than national sovereignty?

Because the United States lacks internal compartmentalization restricting movement, the conclusion of almost everybody who has thought rigorously about the issue has been that the federal government’s control over immigration is essential.

Granted, the Articles of Confederation put each state in charge of deciding upon American naturalization, but as The Federalist Papers points out, that was a bad idea. The need for uniform immigration law makes it a fundamental federal concern, as in Section 8 of the Constitution:

The Congress shall have power…to establish an uniform rule of naturalization….

Local control of immigration might make sense if immigrants were to stay forever in the sanctuary cities.

For example, San Francisco chose to release illegal-immigrant career criminal José Ines García Zárate onto its streets (and piers), where he fatally shot San Francisco resident Kate Steinle.

A San Francisco jury then found Zárate not guilty of murder, not guilty of manslaughter, and not guilty of assault with a firearm, only dinging him for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

And in March of this year, San Francisco won again, when the Ninth Circuit ruled that Kate’s parents couldn’t sue the city for having released Zárate without telling federal immigration authorities (who would have deported him).

Now, you might say that if San Francisco wants illegal immigrants like Zárate so much, it can have them.

But of course San Francisco doesn’t actually want its illegal immigrants to settle down and spend the rest of their lives in San Francisco. When they are worn-out or just sick of hot-bunking, it wants to dump them on the rest of the country. The same costly rules that discourage Americans from moving to San Francisco encourage immigrants to leave.

Sanctuary cities tend to leak immigrants in large numbers to the rest of the country, especially after illegal aliens have acquired some impediments to deportation, such as fathering a U.S.-born anchor baby, sending for a Dreamer, or concocting a sad story about oppression back home.

The European Union is somewhat more compartmentalized than the U.S., consisting of separate countries with their own languages, laws, and leaders. But who exactly is sovereign—the member states or the E.U.—is not all that explicitly spelled out.

The member states have decompartmentalized with a mutual right for their citizens to work in each other’s countries and the ability to travel from country to country without showing a passport.

But these agreeable internal amenities raise the obvious question of perimeter integrity. If the shipowner strips out the internal compartments, the hull had better not leak.

But the normally bossy E.U. delegated border defense of the continent to individual member states, not seeing it as a collective responsibility. Of course, the poorer states, such as Greece, didn’t have much short-term incentive (or means) to turn back migrants arriving by sea since the newcomers hardly wanted to stay in Greece, with its flat-broke welfare state.

The E.U.’s attempts to rip out the old bulwarks between nations, while failing to adequately shore up Europe’s outer hull, threatens to let a Third World immigration leak into any one country, such as Merkel’s miscue in 2015, eventually inundate much of the continent.

In turn, this combination of the E.U.’s fundamental flaws set off Brexit in 2016 as the British headed for the lifeboats. But, as on the Titanic, it’s turned out that there aren’t as many as hoped.

It occurred to me this week that anti-whiteness is the new anti-Semitism. Not that Jew hatred no longer exists. It does, of course. But the formula’s been tweaked. See, Jews in olde Europe were seen as black magical. Satanic devils, evil from the moment of conception, eternally cursed for the death of Jesus. Jews could mesmerize you. They could spellbind your virginal women and have their way with them. They drank blood and ate babies; they stirred cauldrons and recited incantations.

During Europe’s darkest periods, Jews were blamed for everything from the plague to crop failures.

By the dawn of the 20th century, anti-Jewish ideology had become “enlightened”…but not by much. The old supernatural ideas still lingered within the new eugenic lingo. The Nazi “intelligentsia” frequently spoke of Jews as devils and demons (Goebbels referred to Jews as the “demons of decay”). They were still corrupters, altering not just the economics of a nation but its very soul, and everything wrong with you and your good Christian family could be placed squarely on their shoulders.

These days, anti-Jewish sentiment in civilized nations (and especially in the U.S.) has largely dropped the superstitious mumbo jumbo for “real world” beefs about Jews’ politics. Ironically, the most recent anti-Jewish mass shooters were not angry at Jews for being Jews (a massive shift from historical anti-Semitism). Instead, they were angry at Jews for helping to facilitate the mass importation of invasive Third World immigrants. The killers took a simple political fact—Jews in the U.S. lean left and generally support open-border policies—and loonied it up into “If I kill some kikes, it’ll keep the beaners out.”

Generally speaking, far-rightists in the U.S. who hate Jews hate them more for their politics than for their identity. Whites, on the other hand, are totally hated by leftists just for being white. Whites are now hated for the exact same reason Jews were hated in the past: They exist. The parallels between current anti-whiteness and old-timey Jew hatred are strong. Whites are born cursed (white privilege), and they walk the earth to torment the good and the decent. Everything bad that exists today, and everything bad throughout history, has been because of the white menace. Whites are “the source of the world’s ills” (that’s an exact quote from The Guardian, frighteningly similar to the motto on the masthead of Der Stürmer: “Die Juden sind unser Unglück!”—“The Jews are our misfortune!”).

And whites, if not stopped, will kill us all through “climate change,” which is caused by whiteness (yes, “scientists” actually do make that claim).

“In the end, racial superstitions are all about blame-shifting.”

Ask the average black person about the infamous “Tuskegee experiment,” and most will say, “Whites gave black men syphilis.” That’s untrue. The Tuskegee study, highly unethical though it was, involved white and black medical professionals who allowed blacks to go untreated after they caught syphilis on their own. It was a vile endeavor, but the idea that whites “give” diseases to blacks mirrors the Middle Ages myth that Jews gave whites the plague.

If you’re nonwhite, you get to pin your every problem on whites. Whites made you sick. Whites are why you got fired. Whites are why you robbed that liquor store. Whites are killing you with their evil thoughts, which are sucking the life out of you like the aliens in Lifeforce. The very presence of whites forces women of color to miscarry (I’m not making that up…and this lunatic claim is found not in a Nation of Islam pamphlet, but on “mainstream” news sites).

This is good old-fashioned irrationality. It’s why people of color can attack whites for killing their fetuses in utero just by the power of their presence, and—at the same time—attack whites for seeking to save nonwhite fetuses from abortion mills. “Those demons are killing our fetuses! Also, those demons are stopping us from killing our fetuses!”

If that seems illogical to you, just remember that superstitions only make sense to those entranced by them. Superstitions allow people to escape the responsibilities of living in the real world and understanding actual cause and effect. “Whites are killing our fetuses with their racist thoughts! Now I’m off to vote for Democrat congresswoman Felicity Fetuskiller, as I do every two years.” In the Middle Ages, when farmer Deutschmann declared, “Ach! My virginal 13-year-old daughter is with child! She was hypnotized by a Jew,” it absolved him of having to face the reality of why his little girl was actually pregnant. Maybe he shouldn’t have hired a farmhand who goes by the nickname “Horndog Hans,” or maybe he needed to realize that every time jolly old Uncle Jürgen comes to visit, preteen girls end up pregnant all over town.

In the end, racial superstitions are all about blame-shifting.

Which brings us to Chicago, and Mexican immigrant Arnulfo Ochoa. Last month, his pregnant 19-year-old daughter Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, already the mother of a 3-year-old, was lured to the residence of 46-year-old fellow Latina Clarisa Figueroa and her 24-year-old daughter Desiree, under the pretense of picking up some free baby clothes and a stroller. Unfortunately, the “let it go” in letgo.com doesn’t always apply to the seller, so when Ochoa-Lopez showed up to collect her free stuff, she was strangled by the murderous pair, and her baby was cut from her belly so that the elder Figueroa could claim it as her own. Sadly, the baby was badly injured during the mother/daughter tag team’s unauthorized “-section.”

It’s a brutal tale, and no laughing matter (says the guy who just wrote “-section”). But it’s also one that doesn’t involve evil white men. One noble female Latinx person of color was murdered by two other noble female Latinx persons of color. How could demonic white racism possibly factor into this story? Well, just ask Ochoa-Lopez’s father, Arnulfo. At a press conference held by the Ochoa family last week, Arnulfo blamed “these anti-immigrant laws” for the crime, and he claimed that “racism” was the reason police didn’t “take action sooner and save a life.”

Why would the elder Ochoa blame racism for a crime committed by Latinas on a Latina? Well, for the same reason some of his family members were clutching crucifixes. Faith! “Whites dunnit” is the official faith of choice for most people of color in the U.S. today.

Granted, the Ochoas are grieving, so they deserve some slack for being irrational in the wake of such a horrific crime. Still, I can’t help but wonder why none of the family members at the press conference praised the quality of the murderous Figueroa family’s empanadas or carnitas. I thought “better food” excuses all murders committed by Hispanics. I guess that’s only when the victim is white.

And by the way, Chicago is a sanctuary city in a sanctuary county in a sanctuary state. In other words, what “anti-immigrant laws”? Chicago is the core of a Matryoshka doll of sanctuary.

From my perspective, no one is to blame for Ochoa-Lopez’s murder except the two tarditas who killed her. But if it gives Mr. Ochoa some inner peace to direct his anger toward something grander in scale, how about asking if the influx of illegals, and the crime that often accompanies them, are spreading cops too thin in major metropolitan areas? Or how about the fact that every member of the Ochoa family who spoke at the press conference spoke Spanish? Maybe if immigrants learned the damn language, they could communicate better with police. We didn’t win Illinois in the Mexican-American War, Mr. Ochoa. Having bilingual cops in Southwestern border states makes sense—it’s just smart policing. But you’re in Chicago. Maybe you should adapt to the city, rather than expecting every cop to adapt to you.

But it turns out the cops, in fact, did nothing wrong. The delay in finding Ochoa-Lopez’s body was not their fault. When faux mamá Figueroa took Ochoa-Lopez’s baby to a hospital claiming it was hers, hospital staff members immediately saw that this was not a woman who had just given birth (hell, even Middle Ages doctors could have figured that out). Yet the suspicious hospital workers did not call the police. Had they, the cops might have had an early lead. But no, they sat on the info and let Figueroa start a GoFundMe for the dying infant whose mom she’d just murdered.

Why did the hospital staff stay mum? I’ll put ten bucks on fear of being called racist (“You must take a nonwhite woman’s word when she says she just gave birth!”). I’ll wager another ten-spot that somewhere on the staff is a white feminist who holds that all women must be believed even when they claim things that are medically and scientifically impossible (“Judge Kavanaugh rape-trained me 200 times. It left no physical marks or medical traces, because…he’s a magical demon!”).

The tragic truth is, there was no way police could have “taken action sooner and saved a life.” Ochoa-Lopez was dead within minutes of entering Figueroa’s home. By the time Ochoa-Lopez’s family noticed she was missing, she was already cold. Compare that with the case of 12-year-old white girl Polly Klaas, whose kidnapper (and subsequent murderer) was actually helped out of a ditch by oblivious cops and sent on his way after taking the girl. They had him, and they let him go. Mr. Ochoa should be grateful for the small mercy of not having to live the rest of his life tormented by such “if onlys.”

Whites didn’t cause the Ochoa tragedy, and whites couldn’t have prevented it. Unless whites are magic. Maybe they should’ve used their wizarding skills to warn Ochoa-Lopez that the “free baby clothes” offer was a setup. Those damned racist telepathic wizards…they never help people of color.

I’m not trying to heap scorn on a grieving dad. But my point is that he’s a complete nobody who was thrust into the spotlight unexpectedly, and his first reaction to his daughter’s death was to spout antiwhite conspiracy rhetoric. That’s when you know a myth has reached max penetration, when the dirt farmers and ditchdiggers start spewing it. “Intellectuals” are supposed to spout bullshit; it’s practically part of the job description. But when that bullshit leaves the university campus and becomes an immediate talking point for simple working stiffs…well, now you’ve got serious saturation.

“Whites did this, and they could have stopped it. Their demonic powers caused this tragedy, and they could’ve used their powers to make it right, but they did nothing.” That’s become the standard go-to argument for every angry or grieving nonwhite.

As a Jew, I take no pleasure in seeing the “evil demon scapegoat” baton get passed to a new group of people. But as a historian, I do take a certain amount of cynical interest in witnessing the consequences when a society long past its Dark Ages imports millions of immigrants from nations still immersed in theirs.

So enjoy watching history repeat itself. Same script, but recast for today’s young, urban, multicultural market.

In the grand tradition of primates tossing feces at perceived rivals, leftists in the UK have lately taken to throwing milkshakes at right-leaning figures they hyperbolically refer to as fascists. And as with the multifarious nasty things that they do, they justify it in the name of some “greater good” that they are comically incapable of quantifying or even articulating.

Once again we see the absurd and grating tendency of leftists to justify physical assault based on the warped notion that certain ideas inevitably lead to…well…physical assault.

The trend apparently began early in May when Danyal Mahmud, a 23-year-old Muslim living in England, threw a milkshake in the face of anti-Islamist agitator Tommy Robinson, who was born Stephen Yaxley-Lennon. By Mahmud’s own admission, he had joined a group of leftist protesters in taunting Robinson by chanting that he was “scum”—again, leftists see nothing wrong with dehumanizing others based on the premise that the people they are dehumanizing deserve it because they, um, dehumanize others—before Robinson and some cohorts came over to have a little chat about the prevalence of Muslim grooming gangs in England. Mahmud apparently couldn’t handle the discussion and dumped his shake on Robinson’s head, which immediately led to Mahmud receiving a beating.

Just like a woman who hits her partner and then claims victimhood when he hits back, the man who called Robinson “scum” and assaulted him with a milkshake is now whining that he feels under threat:

I’m a low-key person, I didn’t anticipate this publicity and I don’t want it—I’m getting death threats on social media and I am worried about me and my family being targeted.

“In the grand tradition of primates tossing feces at perceived rivals, leftists in the UK have lately taken to throwing milkshakes at right-leaning figures.”

Well, maybe you shouldn’t have targeted him by calling him “scum” and pouring a milkshake over his head, no? (I realize the question is an exercise in futility, because by definition, ideologues are blind to their own hypocrisy.)

It wasn’t the last time Robinson would be “milkshaked”—a “protestor” assaulted him with a shake the very next day. In case you weren’t aware, the mainstream media have now taken to referring to leftists who assault people on the streets as “protestors.” If you doubt that, when was the last time you heard the American press refer to the violent leftists in Charlottesville as “rioters”? Nope, they were almost exclusively referred to as either “protestors” or “peaceful protestors.”

Naturally, Twitter blew up with bloodthirsty leftists displaying their usual compassion by wishing it would happen again and again and again to Robinson.

Next in line for a milkshaking was Carl Benjamin, a UKIP candidate who is best known as the YouTuber Sargon of Akkad. It would be the fourth time he received this treatment and likely not the last.

The milkshaking trend had metastasized to the point where last week, police in Edinburgh asked a McDonald’s to cease selling milkshakes near where Brexit Party alpha dog Nigel Farage was scheduled to speak. McDonald’s complied, but Farage got milkshaked anyway by a fat, balding, bearded, bespectacled male progressive—why do they ALL adopt that most hideous of styles?—who purchased his banana-and-salted-caramel shake from a local Five Guys restaurant and then made the atypical decision to not guzzle it down and pack more suet on his frame. The perp, 32-year-old Paul Crowther, justified the assault in the name of a higher cause:

I didn’t know he [Farage] was in town. I thought this is my only chance. It’s a right of protest against people like him. The bile and the racism he spouts out in this country is far more damaging than a bit of milkshake to his front.

Hey, tubby—care to wipe the self-satisfied smirk off your face long enough to prove how saying “England should get out of the EU” amounts to bile and racism that causes massive damage? No? Didn’t think so.

Crowther was arrested and charged with assault because in England, as in America, tossing a milkshake at someone is legally considered an act of violence.

On Twitter, Farage bemoaned the fact that the modern left is so assured of their unimpeachable goodness that they don’t even bother to discuss things anymore:

Sadly some remainers have become radicalised, to the extent that normal campaigning is becoming impossible. For a civilised democracy to work you need the losers [sic] consent, politicians not accepting the referendum result have led us to this.

Last week an 81-year-old Brexit Party member was assaulted with a milkshake, as was a reporter for Breitbart UK.

Unless you count the scene in the 1971 film Billy Jack where the local rednecks pour flour over a Native American girl’s head to make her white, I can’t recall the last time an alleged “right-winger” decided to throw food on someone as an act of political protest. And in the film, the rednecks get their brains beaten out by Billy Jack—and it’s considered a perfectly righteous thing to do. And, mind you, this was a movie.

Yet for most of my life I’ve witnessed leftists throw eggs and glitter and pies and shoes at people they consider unacceptably “right-wing.” One thing the leftist press neglected to mention about all those “peaceful anti-racist protesters” in Charlottesville is that they threw urine-and-feces-filled balloons at their perceived ideological opponents and justified it because that’s just what you do to “Nazis.” And though these types would likely cheer the scene where Billy Jack stomps the rednecks into the ground, it never seems to occur to them that they might be begging for a similar ass-whipping.

Mainstream media outlets such as The New York Times and CNN earnestly attempted to justify “why” this milkshaking trend is happening.

Newsweek paints the phenomenon as harmless “absurdist memetic humor,” while The Guardian, blithely ignoring 100% of reality, argues that the trend “represents a frustration with traditional media’s failure to hold the far right to account.” Why, it’s almost is if the “traditional media” hasn’t portrayed the “far right” as Satan incarnate for at least a generation!

Benjamin Franks, a professor at the University of Glasgow, twists himself into a pretzel to justify milkshaking as a noble reaction to the cancerous scourge of whiteness:

It turns a symbol used by the alt right — milk — to symbolize ‘whiteness’ and to mock ethnic groups with a greater predisposition to lactose intolerance, into an image of dramatic opposition.

All right, then, in the name of fairness, would it be wrong to suggest that perhaps some right-wing “protestor” should accost Mr. Franks on the street and shove an unpeeled banana up his ass? Or, as podcaster Mike Enoch recently asked, if tossing a milkshake at someone isn’t an act of violence, would it be OK if he threw one at a Jew?

Milkshaking apologists have also scoffed at the idea that this is a slippery slope and that if we justify tossing milkshakes, soon we’ll justify throwing bricks. Sorry, but this has already happened: Muslim activists recently threw bricks at supporters of Tommy Robinson, while an English woman said that Nigel Farage should have acid lobbed in his face. And just as Burger King appeared to suggest that they supported milkshaking, a British beer manufacturer recently said that its clients shouldn’t waste their beer on “fascists” and should instead clobber them with bricks.

And the modern left is so predictable, we all know that even after 100,000 milkshakings, if one intrepid “right-winger” were to respond by knocking out someone’s teeth, this would be all the evidence the left would need to “prove” that the right wing is violent and needs to be exterminated.

Noble cause corruption refers to the tendency of hardcore ideologues to perform a psychological trick upon themselves whereby they justify the most rancid and despicable acts of aggression so long as these deeds are committed in the name of a higher cause. Modern leftists are champions at arguing that it’s perfectly good to preemptively kill someone merely based on the notion that the victim’s ideas will inevitably lead to murder. So long as you’ve identified a “folk devil” and tagged them as bad, it’s impossible to be guilty of doing anything bad to them.

The modern left’s heads are so far up their own asses with the idea that they are unimpeachably good, I suspect they may all soon suffocate to death. Or maybe that’s simply wishful thinking.

How much money is enough? Would $30 million suffice for an old woman with no children?

I ponder these questions as I try to understand why Marianne Nestor Cassini has spent several months in Nassau County Jail for contempt of court.

The widow of Oleg Cassini was left half of his $60 million estate, with his four grandchildren set to inherit the other half. But $30 million is evidently not enough for Marianne.

Since Oleg’s death in 2006, she has refused to give the grandkids a dime and failed to comply with various court orders. An exasperated judge on Long Island, near Cassini’s Gatsby-like estate in Oyster Bay, finally had her jailed last year.

One of the humiliations Marianne has suffered since then—besides strip searches and bad prison food—is the revelation that she’d been lying about her age. She isn’t 68. She’s 76.

I knew Oleg since he was Jackie O’s favorite designer and dressing my mother and her friends. The mustachioed descendant of Russian nobility was a top tennis player and equestrian who was racing trotters well into his 70s.

An infamous swordsman, Oleg bedded Grace Kelly, Ursula Andress, and Marilyn Monroe and married Gene Tierney, who had two daughters before they broke up for good.

“Most people, if offered an inheritance of $30 million, would gratefully take it and enjoy the rest of their days.”

Marianne, a fashion model who had appeared on 200 magazine covers, had worked for Oleg for decades. But no one knew until his death that they’d secretly been married since 1971.

The theory is that Oleg’s brand—still successfully selling perfume and wedding gowns—was helped by his image as a dashing, very available playboy. Marianne stayed in the background as his gal Friday, helped by her sister Peggy, who also worked for Oleg.

I’ve known Marianne since we stood together at a swimsuit show while the Pointer Sisters sang “Jump.”

Most people, if offered an inheritance of $30 million, would gratefully take it and enjoy the rest of their days. But Marianne wants it all, the Oyster Bay estate, the Gramercy Park town house where Oleg lived, and the East 63rd Street building that houses Oleg Cassini Inc.

Oleg’s daughter Daria died childless in 2010. Christina, who went to the Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, died in 2015 survived by four children.

But Marianne believes the grandkids should have no claim to Oleg’s legacy because Christina wasn’t really Oleg’s daughter—she was the product of an extramarital affair between Tierney and handsome Hollywood agent-producer Charles Feldman.

The 1948 fling was chronicled by Louella Parsons and other columnists, as was a brief marital reconciliation soon after news broke that Tierney was pregnant. It looks like Oleg did the right thing for his estranged wife to avoid scandal.

Marianne claims Christina’s resemblance to Feldman is uncanny, but no DNA testing has been done. And the issue is moot.

Robert De Niro once—after paying child support to an ex for many years—was able to get a DNA test to prove he wasn’t the father, but the judge ruled that he had to keep paying because it wouldn’t be fair to the child to suddenly stop the gravy train.

Since Oleg treated Christina as his daughter, she was legally his daughter, no matter what Marianne says. But her lawyers have had trouble getting her to listen. One called her “stubborn.”

So she stubbornly stays in jail like a dog in the manger, while the court system seizes Oleg’s various assets and auctions them off. Christina died before she could inherit, but maybe her children will finally collect.

The Week’s Most Busted, Disgusted, and Maladjusted Headlines

Daryush Valizadeh—don’t ask us to pronounce it, because we don’t know, either—is an American-born writer of Persian and Armenian ancestry who is better known as “Roosh V.” Since early in this millennium, he has carved a niche for himself as the most high-profile blogger in the “manosphere,” which initially emerged as a reaction to radical feminism and its devastating effects on gender relations. Roosh has written several travelogues about how to use “game”—i.e., manipulating female psychology in order to “bang” them. His audience seems to consist almost exclusively of young males who are apparently clueless about how to seduce women and therefore hang around with other young males in order to accuse one another of being fags.

More recently Roosh has amped up the fag-bashing to the point where he claims that our degenerate society is forcing men to become fixated on the female posterior in order to make men gay. He also claimed that Listerine mouthwash has become gay.

If there’s anything gayer than seeing gayness in everything, we are unaware of it.

Now, like so many others in the dissident right, Roosh has repented and is pretending that he found God.

He claims that the recent death of his sister from cancer combined with his own experiences with “hedonism,” as well as an alleged “message” he received while on psychedelic mushrooms, has forced him to reject the “red pill” in favor of the “God pill.” He also claims he has started reading the work of E. Michael Jones, a race-denier who recently tweeted that if it were not for the Catholic Church, Europe would be as destitute as Africa.

Whereas Roosh used to posture as someone with an intimate knowledge of female psychology, he remains single and unmarried at forty and has apparently given up the whole “game” game and is blaming his lack of success with females on…drum roll, please…SATAN:

Modern women are influenced by Satanic influences that control how their sexuality is displayed. Therefore when you are immediately aroused by a woman’s body in public, and drop all rational to desire her intensely, you are being tempted by Satan. She is merely the conduit.

Last week he also announced that his online forum—which used to consist almost exclusively of discussions about fornication and premarital sexual activity—is now banning those discussions because they apparently vex God grievously:

Due to my recent return to faith, my sense of morality is becoming based on the Bible. I’ve stopped a lot of behaviors that I’ve used to do and am in the process of making other changes. I’ve also realized that the majority of my published materials and online platforms lead men into sin or enable them to partake in sin. I no longer want this to occur, so I am implementing two new rules on this forum that are effective on June 1, 2019….You can no longer discuss fornication or pre-marital sexual activity….

Good luck with the whole neo-Amish thing. We’re absolutely certain that the way to win the hearts and minds of our youth is to forbid them from having any fun.

Brittany Sorey is a 30-year-old mother of six in Florida who was recently charged with filing a false police report and released on a $216 bond—all as punishment for making a false rape accusation that led to a man’s death.

In late March, Sorey’s husband was arrested after she accused him of menacing her with a Glock handgun and shoving her to the ground during a domestic dispute over “infidelity allegations.”

“If there’s anything gayer than seeing gayness in everything, we are unaware of it.”

Last month she told police in Largo, FL that an unidentified Hispanic man forcibly entered her apartment and “battered her and vaginally penetrated her with a broken broom handle and a box cutter.” She made the same claim when grilled by detectives.

Sorey and her brood later vacated the apartment but let a friend named Timothy Hignite stay there. According to court papers, on May 10 a neighbor, 60-year-old Michael Peterson, knocked on the apartment door demanding repayment of a loan he’d made to Ms. Sorey. Peterson was allegedly drunk and belligerent, and when Hignite called Sorey to tell her what was going on, she reportedly told him that the man who was screaming in the background sounded like the man she claimed had raped her in March.

When Hignite attempted to go outside, he was allegedly attacked by Peterson. He stabbed Peterson to death but is not being charged because police ruled it was in self-defense.

After Peterson’s stabbing death, Sorey reportedly told police that she had “fabricated the entire report of sexual battery and that it never happened.”

A warning to Ms. Sorey: Next time a man gets killed because you falsely accused him of rape, you will also be charged $216, so hold your tongue next time.

The Boston Museum of Fine Arts recently apologized for something about which they apparently didn’t need to apologize, but no one wants to make the black kids and their black teacher angry, now, do they?

According to middle-school teacher Marvelyne Lamy, when she attempted to take her black students to the museum, a staff member told her group:

No food, no drink, and no watermelon.

A museum spokesperson responded that the staff member actually had said:

No food, no drink, and no water bottles.

Museum officials apologized for basically enslaving and whipping the children again, dredging up centuries-old traumas. They also promised to torture their staff with sensitivity training. Hopefully they will also train their employees to meticulously enunciate the term “water bottles” in the future.

A recent study by the National Association of Scholars finds that American colleges are becoming more segregated than at any time since the Jim Crow Era. This only applies to blacks segregating themselves, because as we all know, there is nothing more supremely evil on Earth than when white people do it.

Surveying 173 colleges, the study found that 80 of them (46%) segregate orientation programs; 75 (43%) allow for black-only residential arrangements; and 125 (a robust 72%) allow for all-black graduation ceremonies. Slightly over two-thirds of colleges in the survey provide for “Diversity Fly-Ins,” in which nonwhite students receive an all-expenses-paid trip to visit the campus before deciding to enroll.

Although these race-based programs are ostensibly designed to protect nonwhite students from all the alleged “racism” constantly foisted upon them by the whites, we suspect they may actually be intended to make black students feel less ashamed about suffering a graduation rate that is 20% lower than for white and Asian students as well as SAT scores that are, on average, 177 points lower than those of white students.

Pieter Bosch Botha, AKA Pieter Howes, was a gay white “journalist, actor and director” who made his bones on Twitter by taunting President Trump and bashing the very notion of “whiteness.” He stated that all white people—even the “good” ones—are racists.

In an article titled “On South Africa’s White Genocide Myth And How Right-Wing Afrikaners Are Dividing The Nation,” Howes wrote:

White South Africans have never apologized for Apartheid and colonialism. A few feeble and wholly inadequate acknowledgments have been attempted by some whites. However, the historical pain that weighs heavily on the shoulders of black people has never been compassionately and unequivocally recognized….Now, repeat after me: There is no white genocide taking place. Again. There is no white genocide taking place.

Early in May, Botha killed himself.

Repeat after us: If there is to be a white genocide taking place, we’d prefer it to be an auto-genocide by white people who hate their own skin.

Writing in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, scientists from Stanford University and the U. of Virginia have concluded that when it comes to success, confidence is more important than ability.

The researchers pored over 150,000 applicants for small business loans in Mexico as well as 250 American college undergraduates performing mock job interviews and found that, according to the Times, “the most reliable predictor of success…was not ability, but overconfidence.”

This tends to contradict earlier studies that claim self-esteem and performance may actually be inversely correlated.

But if the new study is true, we finally have empirical evidence that Dunning-Kruger effect is a blessing rather than a disability.

Every Monday, Jim Goad reads the previous day’s “Week That Perished” on his podcast.

The monstrous regiment of modernists was so quick off the mark with their hideous, egomaniacal plans to rebuild the roof of Notre-Dame—one could not call any of their proposals a restoration—that I began to suspect that the fire that destroyed the roof was the result of a conspiracy by them. Gone were my suspicions that it was either Muslim terrorists or degenerate smokers who had set the fire, and my new hypothesis was perfectly reasonable. Modernists, after all, have done far more damage in the long run to the urban fabric of Europe than even the Second World War did; and it stands to reason that they, the modernists, would not want anything to escape their attentions for long, lest anything remain intact to shame by painful comparison their own wretched efforts.

So far their proposals have included apiaries and swimming pools, and all of them look like greenhouses for the cultivation of marijuana. And why not? After all, Baudelaire wrote a book about les paradis artificiels, that is to say those induced by psychoactive substances, and is not a spire an arrow pointing up to heaven? All conceptions of paradise are artificial in the sense than none of us has any direct knowledge of such a location; perhaps, in the spirit of ecumenical multiculturalism, a kind of Muslim-style paradise could be created under the glass roof (I shall refrain from describing it because young people might read this).

Of course, there is no end to the uses to which this prime space might be put. There could, for example, be a three-Michelin-star restaurant there. Think of the rent it would pay, the prices it could charge! The French state (which is responsible for the upkeep of the building) would—or at least could—be relieved of financial anxiety about it.

This proposal might be objected to because it would not be socially inclusive enough; the Pope would not countenance it because it would exclude illegal immigrants (except, perhaps, as plongeurs). The customers would be mainly wealthy foreigners, Russian oligarchs, Gulf oil sheikhs, and the like, and while this might assist with France’s yawning commercial deficit, it would do little for social justice, the ultimate aim of human existence, by which is meant the reduction of everything to the lowest common denominator.

“Perhaps the best solution would be a shopping mall in the roof, where the insolvent could continue their eternal search for the unnecessary.”

So a three-star restaurant will not do. We must think of something else. An amusement park for all the family, perhaps, themed on Jurassic Park or Mickey Mouse, or with alternating themes to avoid boredom. Or the space could be hired out for events, provided that they were relayed to the public in front of the west door of the former cathedral. The events should not be religious, naturally, because—since everyone is not of the same religion and the state is secular—religion divides rather than unites.

Think of the wonderful possible lighting effects through a glass roof! Not just the dull old floodlighting of old. Strobes and as many colors as Jacob’s coat! Never a dull moment, unlike in religious ceremonies such as the Mass. Next to social justice in the hierarchy of the good to which human life aspires comes entertainment, that is to say distraction.

Distraction from what, though? First of all, boredom—the boredom of silence and being alone with one’s thoughts, which as everyone knows is the most terrible of states to be in, a kind of hell. Boredom is a much-underestimated cause of a social pathology; it is the avoidance of boredom that drives many people to drink, vandalism, drugs, and violence. At least a terrible life is not boring, as a good one often is; that is why many women prefer appalling, violent men to decent, responsible, dull ones (it is the latter they most fear). A crisis at home prevents you from having to confront the triviality of human existence.

Perhaps the best solution for Notre-Dame would be a shopping mall in the roof, where the insolvent could continue their eternal search for the unnecessary—and, in the condition of modern mass taste, the uniformly inelegant and aesthetically worthless, too. Escalators up from the former altar would ensure that those with the illness of obesity would not have to get out of breath in their ascent heavenwards, and surely it would not be above the wit of man to make the roof mall wheelchair-accessible. If there were not enough space for shops, they could be cantilevered out, the modern equivalent of the flying buttress and in its way just as miraculous.

It is necessary to move with the times, and moreover to show those medievals that we in the 21st century are just as capable of artistic creation as were they. And let us not forget how much of the roof that burned wasn’t medieval in the first place, it was only 19th-century. True, Viollet-le-Duc steeped himself in knowledge of the medieval period and was, moreover, an architect of genius, but his work was inauthentic all the same, and a glass roof would be an authentic expression of our times, authenticity being (next to social justice and entertainment) the highest good. One must always be authentically oneself, even if one’s authentic self isn’t very charming.

I dined a couple of weeks ago in Paris with some Parisians of the we-must-move-with-the-times school of thought (or feeling). They were all for a glass roof, and against an attempt to restore the roof to what it was before, with or without the spire. Surely in the era of smartphones we could build something as good as anything our predecessors built, who did not have the internet, let alone Twitter?

On the other hand, I dined the following evening with some Parisians of the school (predominant in number but probably not in influence) of restorers-to-the-status-quo-ante. They said they would be prepared to descend into the street to demonstrate against the modernist vandals, though they were not the demonstrating types. Their rage at the modernists’ proposals was almost palpable.

Now here, I thought, was a cause at last worth having a civil war over! The future of Mankind is at stake.

Goody, goody gumdrops! The Donald has pardoned Lord Black and I couldn’t be happier. Conrad got a bum deal and spent three and a half years behind bars for charges I always believed to be phony, most of which were overturned. Never mind. One cannot get back the years wasted in a cell for as good a mind as Conrad’s, but one does emerge stronger from the pokey. (Throwing writer David Irving in jail in Austria was also a sham, using a law designed to harass political opponents.) The newspaper most used to wrap gefilte fish in, the Big Bagel Times, reported the Black pardon in a manner that can only be described as constipated. Black is a conservative, a red flag to envious lefties, but there’s also something else involved. I have spoken to medical experts about the envy shown by lefty hacks, and I have been told that it is not only ideological but also physical. British hacks and their American counterparts, I have been assured, enjoy a bowel movement only two to three times per month. They are not only full of you-know-what, it also clouds their mind and makes them envious of their betters. This leads to writing and reporting whoppers and so on. When I last spoke to Dr. Klinghoffer in Zurich, a specialist in constipation and other forms of brain diseases, he insisted that lefty hacks are easily cured of their brain problems by daily colonoscopies.

But let’s get back to Lord and Lady Black. The closest I got to being fired from The Spectator these 42 years was at the turn of this century over an article that Conrad memorably labeled “Taki Worse Than Goebbels.” I kept the headline of a Standard street ad and had it framed, and when Conrad came to my New York house for dinner while waiting to go to prison, there it was, on my mantelpiece, and he gave a wry smile. It was not done on purpose to remind Conrad; I keep it there so that people will see it and get angry.

The gefilte fish wrapper cattily reported that the surprise party that Conrad threw for Babs’ 60th at La Grenouille in the Bagel—which cost $62,000 and was charged to his company, the present Telegraph-Spectator—was claimed as a business expense, and that The Donald was the reason. I happened to be at that party, and as with most things in America, it was business despite the fact Taki was present. Actually, Conrad was trying to set up a deal with the future 45th president of you-know-what, and had gone as far as to place yours truly next to Melania at dinner. All the big shots were there and I remember it well. Too well, alas.

“I saw a large orange vision approaching me. It was The Donald, and he was smiling broadly.”

While the future first lady and I discussed that ghastly social climber Richard Holbrooke, whose biography was beautifully reviewed by Sam Leith in The Spectator two weeks ago, Melania wanted to know what Holbrooke’s real name was. All I could tell her was that Holbrooke was a name the con man had pulled out of a hat, but what I did know was that he and the Americans, not for the first time, had established a Muslim belt in the middle of the Christian Balkans. That is when a gefilte fish wrapper columnist sitting across from Melania and me began to interrupt. Neither she nor I liked that, and it finished badly. I told him that he would be sucking on his gums for the next couple of months if he interrupted us again, and he shut up.

After Conrad gave a gracious speech praising his wife and calling out Donald Trump (as well as yours truly), I saw a large orange vision approaching me. It was The Donald, and he was smiling broadly. It was obvious that Melania had told him of my threat to punch the lights out of the condescending elite interrupter. “You’re the greatest,” he told me, and I have never seen or heard from him since.

And speaking of Holbrooke, I remember when he ran off with TV newscaster Peter Jennings’ wife, Kati Marton, a sexpot I knew because of our children going to the same kindergarten school in the Bagel. Peter was a very nice man—a lefty, to be sure, but he didn’t deserve to be cuckolded by Holbrooke. The last time I saw her was during the premiere of the greatest movie ever made, Seduced and Abandoned, starring, in a two-minute appearance, yours truly. (The great Debbie Ross wrote that I was a Greek Gielgud—not in my sex habits, Debbie.) Kati Marton is a good writer and as previously stated a sexpot and attractive and very smart, but she must have had a brain aneurism the day she married the pushiest man on earth.

Never mind! It’s now all over where Holbrooke is concerned; he croaked, and Conrad is pardoned, and although I’m not feeling hunky-dory—my last week of partying set me back a bit—I’m off to my son-in-law and daughter’s schloss deep in the Austrian countryside for my grandson’s christening and three days and nights of making whoopee. Yippee!