Russell Kirk—The Conservative Giant That Conservatism Inc. Wants To Forget

birzercoverHe was once credited as the leading figure of the “Conservative Intellectual Movement” (to borrow George Nash’s phrase) but today Conservatism Inc. wants to keep Russell Kirk in obscurity. Luckily, Bradley Birzer, the Russell Amos Kirk Professor of History at Hillsdale College, has written what may be the definitive Kirk biography Russell Kirk: American Conservative. It will hopefully have the valuable effect of showing how what masquerades as “American conservatism” has almost nothing to do with the vision or values of the man who once defined it.

Birzer’s impressive accomplishment is especially noteworthy because there’s been no lack of Kirk biographies. Two such works, one by my late colleague H. Wesley McDonald and the other by Gerald Russello, were published by University of Missouri Press with my heartfelt recommendations. But neither book shows the breadth and exhaustiveness of Birzer’s Herculean research.

Clearly the author was aiming at being thorough. He covers just about everything his subject published and left behind in his Read more >>

National Data: Immigrants Grab January Jobs At Double Americans’ Rate—New Illegals Surge Underway


American businesses added 151,000 jobs in January, sharply slower than December’s rate of gain but good enough to push unemployment to its lowest rate in eight years (4.9%.) Wages rose a robust 0.5%. Many economists attributed this to a “tightening” labor market, but there were other factors, including minimum wage hikes that kicked in in many states on January 1st.

The U.S. economy just witnessed the two best years of job growth—2014 and 2015, in that order—since 1999. But something doesn’t feel right. Real economic growth has been limping along at a 2.1% rate since the Great Recession ended. The problem: worker productivity is down. New workers are simply not producing as much as the older ones.

Mainstream economists attribute the productivity malaise to the shift of jobs out of manufacturing and mining, where capital per worker is high, to retail, health care, and other service industries that are notoriously labor intensive. Missing from the discussion: human capital—the capital embodied in education, work ethic, verbal skills, etc. An economy increasingly addicted to relatively cheap immigrant labor cannot hope to maintain worker productivity at historic levels.

The “other” employment survey, of Households rather than Employers, reported a whopping 615,000 job gain in January. This follows an equally impressive 485,000 gain the prior month.

And the news that you can only rely on to report: January saw a return to the long-term trend of immigrants displacing Americans in the workforce: Read more >>

John Derbyshire On Helsinki’s Angels: Way To Mess Up A Quiet, Homogeneous Little Scandinavian Country, Guys...

[Adapted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively on]

I was just reading this MailOnline article about Finland, headlined (and it's a long headline): Nazi daggers, SS hats and a hangman's noose: On night patrol with the "Soldiers of Odin," neo-Nazi led vigilantes vowing to "keep Europe's women safe from migrant sex attacks" . [By Jake Wallis Simons, February 4, 2016]

That's the headline. They don't stint on headlines over there at the Mail.

The Daily Mail story concerns that group mentioned in the headline—the “Soldiers of Odin.” It's a vigilante group that's come up in response to Finland taking in 32,000 illegal immigrants last year, most from Iraq.

Imprimis:  Just a couple of queries here about these Finnish vigilantes, the Sons of Odin.

440px-Ekman_VainamoinenFirst query: Odin was a Norse god, a god of the Germanic people. The Finns aren't Germanic. Their language is not even Indo-European. The hero god of the Finns is actually a chap named Vainamoinen, conceived in Ilmatar, Goddess of the Air, by the East Wind.

I think what we have here is a case of Cultural Appropriation!

Second query: It's commendably thorough of them to have had those T-shirts made up with the words DEFEND FINLAND printed on the front; and those windbreaker jackets with the words SOLDIERS OF ODIN printed on the back, and the caps printed with S.O.O. for "Soldiers of Odin," but…why Read more >>

The Fall Of Paul And The Failure Of Left-Libertarianism

A year ago, it would have been unthinkable that Rand Paul’s presidential campaign could underperform that of his father, Ron Paul. Rand had expanded his father’s presidential base, attracting Tea Partiers and Evangelical Christians and even winning over Establishment Republicans like Mitch McConnell. Time ran a cover story proclaiming Rand Paul is the Most Interesting Man in Politics [by Michael Scherer, October 16, 2014] and most polls showed him at or near the top of GOP pack—indeed, a May 28-31, 2015 Washington Post/ABC poll found Rand Paul tied for first place with Jeb Bush (!). However, after that Paul failed to receive double digits; he had been below 5% since August [ 2016 Republican Presidential Nomination, Real Clear Politics]. Now he’s out. What happened?

The most obvious answer: Donald J. Trump, who announced his candidacy just as Rand Paul’s numbers began to fall. Rand Paul was on the receiving end of numerous Trump stumpings. Thus when Paul tried to attack Trump by saying “I think there’s a sophomoric quality about Mr. Trump … about his visceral response to attack people on their appearance, short, tall, fat ugly," Trump hit back brutally: “I never attacked him or his looks, and believe me, there’s plenty of subject matter right there." [ Donald Trump hits Rand Paul on his looks during GOP 2016 debate, by Adam Edelman, New York Daily News, September 15, 2016]

But Rand Paul has been an afterthought since Trump began his campaign, and Trump’s insults were not really key. Instead, three other aspects of the Trump campaign—Trump’s opposition to Political Correctness, his celebrity appeal, and his nationalism—have deflated whatever air Read more >>

Rubio Can’t Win White House–Trump OR Cruz Could

hesacubanDonald Trump won more votes in the Iowa caucuses than any Republican candidate in history.

Impressive, except Ted Cruz set the new all-time record.

And Marco Rubio exceeded all expectations by taking 23 percent.

Cruz won Tea Party types, Evangelicals, and the hard right.

Trump won the populists and nationalists who want the borders secure, no amnesty, and no more trade deals that enable rival powers like China to disembowel American industries.

And Rubio? He is what columnist Mark Shields called Jimmy Carter, 35 years ago, "the remainderman of national politics. He gets what's left over Read more >>
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