What is refreshingly different about the French compared to the Americans is their lack of the need to turn every occasion into a homecoming parade. They are so not Ra Ra! Part of it has to do with the sensible TV coverage. Part of it has to do with the fact that they are perhaps, for the most part, better educated.
I'm not a big fan of libertarians or libertarian Republicans, but Kentucky Senator Rand Paul deserves tremendous credit for his brinksmanship on the Patriot Act in forcing the U.S. Senate leadership to bend on the issue of the federal government's massive, once very secret, monitoring of our private communications.
We fail to counteract the seductive narrative of violent extremism because we do not engage it on its own terms. We talk above it and around it, but not straight at it. Reducing our values to war cries in the mouths of statesmen is an ineffective way to bring those among us who might be seduced back into the fold.
Nearly a week has passed since President Obama at last announced his tardy strategy for dealing with Isis, the jihadist organization Obama now calls a huge threat only months after dismissing it as the "junior varsity" of jihadism. There's been no shortage of activity, as distinguished from action, from the Obama administration.