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More Civilization

Civilization is a choice, a habit, a line in the . . . sand. For modern, prosperous society to progress, to grow more healthy and wealthy and wise, most of us have to agree on a small set of principles. Mostly, we must agree not to rush to violence at

Terrorized?

This week, a major-party politician said that “we cannot let a minority of people — and that’s what it is, a minority of people — hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority.” How can simply having a viewpoint — a very American thing to possess, by the way — terrorize

Video: Odds Against

How safe from terrorism are we? Well, look at the odds…. Some very basic truths are not very popular. So, folks, let’s start with those very basic truths. The ones most politicians, for example, don’t dare say.

Against Terrorism

It’s the business of reporters to report on events like the Boston bombings, and the business of commentators to explain them. But since we don’t have enough evidence, yet, about who did what, all commentators can do is speculate . . . And that’s not very illuminating. Anyone can speculate.

A Pointed Reminder

“In schools,” the Washington Post headline warned, “a pointed finger or a toy gun can spell trouble.” The front-page feature detailed a far too extensive and growing list of zero tolerance, zero commonsense punishments meted out to children as young as five at various “educational” institutions. A ten-year old boy

Ends, Means, Evils

Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian who used bombs and guns in a terrifying killing spree a little over a year ago, got what he wanted: He was judged as a political terrorist and not insane, sentenced to prison for ten to 21 years, Norway’s unbelievably minimum “maximum” — with the

Against Regimentation

On Monday, Senator Rand Paul got caught in a contretemps with the TSA. He was not in transit to or from his work in Congress, so he couldn’t enlist constitutional protection from being detained. And detained he was. Well, the TSA insists that he was not “at any point detained,”

Becoming What You Oppose

A bombing, then a shooting. Norwegians reel from the Oslo and Utoya massacres. The casualty count has hit the nineties. Early reports mentioned jihadist terrorism, but the malefactor appears to be Norwegian, white, and Christian. “It’s not just that Anders Behring Breivik is not a jihadist,” wrote Jesse Walker at

The Finger of Terror

One of the most chilling spectacles ever to confront a Houston middle school functionary recently turned the legs of Taylor Trostle’s math teacher to jelly. And her heart to stone. According to the unnamed teacher’s write-up of the incident, Taylor was caught “putting her hand in the shape of a

The War on Terror Lumbers On

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to blow up himself and 277 other people on Flight 253 to Detroit Christmas Day. Fellow passengers subdued and disarmed him. Lessons? Start with the obvious: There are still terrorists in other countries who want to hurt us. Some will say that we must beef up

Domestic Terrorism Since 9/11

Terrorism still vexes Europe, and seems unavoidable in Middle East hot spots. But since 9/11, thank goodness, there’s been no domestic terrorism in the United States. But what do we say when we see a story about a terrorist attack on U.S. soil? Let’s qualify the statement: There’s been no

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