Charles Murray's hanging curveball

Via Andrew Sullivan, I see that Bell Curve author Charles Murray is expressing shock and dismay at the number of "African blacks, Middle-Eastern types, and East Asians" in Paris these days. He adds:

Mark Steyn and Christopher Caldwell have already explained this to the rest of the world—Europe as we have known it is about to disappear—but it was still a shock to see how rapid the change has been in just the last half-dozen years.

Well, as it turns out, Europe is going to be just fine, thank you. Here's Brookings scholar Justin Vaïsse, writing in the new issue of FP about the Eurabia genre:

By relying chiefly on anecdotes rather than data, these books misrepresent the complex evolving picture of Islam in Europe. They also eliminate social and economic conditions, including discrimination, from the picture. [...]

The most likely scenario for the next few decades -- increasing integration of Muslims accompanied by continued cultural tensions, occasional terrorist bombings, and differentiated outcomes in various countries -- is a conceptual impossibility for most Eurabia authors because for them Muslims can't really become Europeans. It is, however, already the reality. Maybe it is time they take notice.

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: Here's one of Clive Davis's commenters on what's really wrong with Murray's post:

On a side note, how seriously should we take the comments of someone who uses the word “marooned” to describe three free days in Paris?


Oh, Europe's weather is frightful

As today's photo essay shows, winter is in full force across Europe, causing havoc with the lives of millions. Airports have shut down, roads are treacherous, and rail derailments are becoming a frequent occurrence. But most of the temperatures Europeans are complaining about aren't all that bad. Yeah, sure, it's a bit chilly, but come on:

Judith Moritz reports from Woodford in Cheshire, where temperature overnight plunged to -17.6C, below that recommended for a domestic freezer.

The high temperature over the holidays in my native Iowa reached that level once, or maybe twice. Edward Lucas, in The Daily Mail, agrees with my sentiment:

Timidly shivering in their badly insulated houses, or tottering along unswept pavements in unsuitable footwear and inadequate clothes, the British present a pathetic sight in winter.

Not just incompetent in the face of the challenge of a cold snap - but too often joyless to boot.

What a contrast to Russia and other East European countries where I have spent most of my adult life.

Despite my pooh-poohing, the cold-wave sweeping the continent is having a severe effect. British demand for gasoline is at a record high, a Eurostar train stalled in the Channel Tunnel, and rather sadly a million Scottish sheep are in danger of dying. Perhaps most distressing for Britons, a wave of football fixtures this week have been postponed, with even more games slated for this weekend put on hold.

Europe is lucky in one regard this winter. The ever-constant threat of gas flow disruptions, as a result of geopolitical arguments in eastern Europe, has yet to rear its head this season. The only hiccup this far has been a row between Belarus and Russia, with Belarus threatening to cut off the flow of gas to the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad over an oil price dispute.