“To believe that wine makes cheerful I would have to be a Christian, that is to say believe what is for precisely me an absurdity.” – Page 20 of Why I Am so Clever by Friedrich Nietzsche, translated by R. J. Hollingdale.

 

“I have absolutely no knowledge of atheism as an outcome of reasoning, still less as an event: to me it is obvious by instinct. I am too inquisitive, too questionable, too high spirited to rest content with a crude answer. God is a crude answer, a piece of indelicacy against us thinkers – fundamentally even a crude prohibition to us: you shall not think!” – Pages 18 to 19 of Why I Am so Clever by Friedrich Nietzsche, translated by R. J. Hollingdale.

“”The mother tongue of Europe is Christianity”, said the great German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe — not a Pope. Maybe that language will again be strong in the future. Maybe priests will keep Christianity alive in London, Brussels and Paris. Maybe. But that is not what happened in North Africa. By now, Goethe’s “mother tongue” has, in Europe, been reduced to a barely-discernible whisper. Instead, one can hear…the “Islamic tongue” getting stronger every year.” – Europe: What Happens to Christians [That] Will Come Here by Giulio Meotti for the Gatestone Institute April 30, 2017.

“Given that people who identify as transgender make up only a small fraction of 1 percent of the national population, why have they received such an absurdly outsized share of media attention? This is a good tip-off that there’s something else going on. The transgender issue isn’t primarily about transgender persons. Rather, it has become terrain that progressives want to claim, believing the existence of transgender persons vindicates their view of gender as arbitrary and fluid.” – Why Transgenderism Is Progressive Totem by Sethu A. Iyer for The Federalist April 30, 2017.

” [Marine] Le Pen’s success reflects a kind of ideological laundering, which she has conducted with her closest adviser, Florian Philippot, a polished, media-savvy “énarque,” who swears he decided to join Le Pen for her talent, not her ideology. Indeed, the pair has coated the FN [National Front] with several layers of fresh paint – all blue, white, and red, of course… [W]hile her combination of rebranding and rabble-rousing probably will not be enough to win her the presidency, she has already succeeded in transforming the face and the psyche of France for a long time to come.” – Who Is Marine Le Pen? by Christine Ockrent for Project Syndicate April 24, 2017.

“As the French presidential election reaches its conclusion, the description of Europe [The EU] as a “community of destiny” still holds true, even after 60 years. On May 7, France will decide not just its own fate, but that of the EU, too. Europeans should rejoice [If Emmanuel Macron wins] – but then they must get down to work.” – The French Election and Europe’s Future by Joschka Fischer for Project Syndicate April 29, 2017.

“As I made my way along the street [Drottninggatan in Stockholm, Sweden where an Islamic extremist had mowed down 4 people with a truck on the 7th of April, 2017], I was aware…of the crosswalks – of the entire, generally unheeding, pedestrian ritual of crossing the street. Coming to an intersection; stopping; waiting for the “walk” light to turn green; waiting for an oncoming car to slow down; taking the car’s slowing as a signal that I could begin to cross, trusting that the driver’s foot would stay on the brake and not move over to the accelerator – it sounds melodramatic, but you couldn’t not think about it, walking down that street where candles were still burning around mounds of flowers at certain places, one at a corner, one near a doorway, one and then another and another in the middle of the pavement. Crossing at the crosswalks, I found I was conscious of being at the mercy of the drivers.” – Walking in Stockholm, at the mercy of the drivers by Joan Wickersham for the Boston Globe April 28, 2017.

 

“He was only in his 30s when he came to power, defeating a sinister ultraright group that threatened to wreck France. Well read and intelligent, he had had the finest education France offered and made the best of it. He had high ambitions for the unity of Continental Europe and France’s foremost place in it, and looked upon a newly isolated Britain with scarcely concealed irritation bordering on contempt. He contemplated military action in Syria. He especially wanted to bring the tens of thousands of French exiles home from London to contribute once again to the life of the country, and promised nothing less than a popular revolution designed to “unblock France.” Both Emmanuel Macron and Napoleon Bonaparte fit this description perfectly…” – France and the Benefits of a Little Dictatorship by Andrew Roberts for the New York Times April 28, 2017.

“The first-round vote [that took place in France on the 23rd of April, 2017] showed a sharply divided nation. [Marine] Le Pen took nine departments among those with the highest jobless rates. They are not likely to fall for the [Emmanuel] Macron charm or his liberal ‘open to the world’ policies. So France will come out of one election and approach another split between the haves and have-nots with two articulate rabble-rousers confronting the political start-up of the decade.” – What’s the matter with Europe’s new emperor? by Jonathan Fenby for The Spectator April 29, 2017.

“…American “legal science” has proven uniquely incapable of staving off  the dangers of the politicization of criminal law over the past generation. American jurists do not have the influence to put the brakes on the projects of politicians who make their careers on tough-on-crime platforms; post-Nazi continental Europe, where the traditions of legal science have reasserted themselves powerfully, is different in this regard. In continental Europe today the legal profession generally manages to keep a steady hand on the criminal justice system.” – Page 159 of Hitler’s American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law by James Q. Whitman.