"Gonna End Up A Big Ol' Pile Of Them Zones" Edition
Obligatory shilling. I wrote for The Telegraph about Central and Eastern European efforts to accept refugees and how Western Europe should do more to support them.
A golden bridge to peace. In what strikes me as a very clear-eyed piece, Aris Roussinos argues that the war is only going to get worse for everyone:
Nato was right to provide Ukraine with the munitions that have made the Russian advance so costly — and which should give Putin pause before ordering the assault on Kyiv. These munitions have enabled the Ukrainians to negotiate from a position of relative strength: yet once Kyiv is besieged, the Ukrainian position will weaken with each passing day.
Community spirit. Ed West critiques liberal universalism:
In contrast to utopian ideas of universalism, caring for your neighbours is inherently human. When Syria collapsed, Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon cared for most of the refugees; with Ukraine in crisis, Poland has come to the aid of its neighbour, with whom the Poles have strong historical and cultural ties. A utopian might view men from a faraway land as no different from women and children from next door, but it’s perfectly reasonable for the Poles to see the two things differently.
Time preferences. Katherine Bayford critiques European complacence:
Across the Western world, short-term political gain has been made at the expense of long-term strategic planning. The true danger lies in believing that others are making the same mistakes.
Scarred by experience. Park MacDougald reflects on the sad legacy of Jack Kerouac:
Scarred by the experience of celebrity and worn out by years of hard living, Kerouac took the money from his sales and moved back in with his mother. In the last decade of his life, he sank into alcoholic paranoia, reading National Review, ranting to friends about Jews and Communists, and writing little of note aside from 1962’s Big Sur, a bleak chronicle of his own mental breakdown dashed out in a 10-day burst of clarity amid bouts of delirium tremens.
Pax geriatrica. Ed West (again) considers the decline of fertility:
In recent years we have benefited from what has been termed the Pax Americana Geriatrica. Most wealthy countries have median ages of over 40, and middle-aged people don’t like starting fights. We have responsibilities and worries, our frontal-lobes have made us cautious, and our testosterone levels are in terminal decline.
What was it all for? Philip Cowley considers on how a combination of the maximal imposition of NPIs and minimal efforts to get people vaccinated has backfired in Hong Kong:
That was fine while Covid could be kept out at the border, or any outbreaks quickly detected and suppressed. But once Omicron broke through, it soon overwhelmed the system. It is now ripping through residential care homes, killing the unvaccinated at appalling rates. About half of today’s deaths were in care homes. More than half were entirely unvaccinated.
The language of terrible things. James Harris criticises hyperbole:
The language of terrible things has become detached from the concepts it refers to and is now just a means of eliciting a reaction, and not much of a reaction, from a jaded crowd.
Seems like a pretty fascist thing to say to me.
A taboo of the tabooless. Zineb Riboua reflects on self-censorship:
Self-censorship should be understood as a taboo in our tabooless societies. The fact that anyone would impose on themselves rules is incomprehensible and will remain this way.
I would tell you what I think about this piece but, er - well - anyway - moving along…
Have a lovely week,