I’m back from a couple weeks away. I got married and didn’t check any emails. My thanks to Managing Editor Jude Russo for filling in for me in my absence, keeping the site up and running, and you all aware of some of what we’ve been up to here at The American Conservative.
Leading the homepage yesterday was Center for Immigration Studies executive director Mark Krikorian, with a piece explaining how the Biden Administration has flipped the structure of our immigration laws almost exactly on their head. In law, Congress has given the president authority to keep out anyone who needs to be, but has authorized him only to let in those who are eligible under extensive rules. In practice today, the Biden Administration claims to have the authority to let in anyone they like, but officials may only keep foreigners out under narrow, particular circumstances. Don’t hold your breath, but we’ll see if Congress does something about it.
Out from behind the paywall is neurologist Peter Robinson’s review of Nervous Systems: Brain Science in the Early Cold War. It is almost a book about what “we can see in our own mind when we see how it views the mind.” Or, perhaps more clearly, “We can understand some of the Cold War birth of neuroscience as hysteria about hysteria.” One question we might ask, upon reflection, is what it says about social contagion that American fears of the possibility of Soviets “conditioning” human minds led to programs like MKUltra.
And also back from a brief absence is contributing editor Sohrab Ahmari, with a column responding to the claim that all this support for Ukraine is, in weakening Russia and further drawing Europe into our defensive sphere, making America stronger. Everything costs something, and Ahmari reminds us that in protracting the conflict we are risking nuclear war and the economies of our allies to be rather less prepared for whatever else the future holds. Our recent track record for walking and chewing bubble gum is not actually very good.