The best part of Obama's speech today

I thought Obama really nailed his appearance today. This bit was right on:

Here at home, we will strengthen our defenses, but we will not succumb to a siege mentality that sacrifices the open society and liberties and values that we cherish as Americans, because great and proud nations don't hunker down and hide behind walls of suspicion and mistrust.  That is exactly what our adversaries want, and so long as I am president, we will never hand them that victory.  We will define the character of our country, not some band of small men intent on killing innocent men, women, and children.

It was also interesting that he reiterated his view that "We are at war."

We are at war against al Qaeda, a far-reaching network of violence and hatred that attacked us on 9/11, that killed nearly 3,000 innocent people, and that is plotting to strike us again.  And we will do whatever it takes to defeat them.

A lot of conservative commentators, notably Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer,  have stated repeatedly without evidence that Obama doesn't think the United States is at war, even though he's said so many times. Well, he said it again.


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?