Culture, politics, science, philosophy.
General manifesto *****
The deep Crisis of the West
Europe and disorder, it seems, have become synonymous
30.01.2009 (updated 31.01.2009). From an article by David Solway in FrontPageMagazine (italics in original, boldface and hyperlinks added by me):
But it is not only a question of an errant and quixotic foreign policy predicated on a thorough misunderstanding of both historical reality and human nature. European social policy, with its core belief in the farsighted wisdom of a managerial class that is appointed rather than elected and a technocratic elite legislating its solutions down to the public, is equally destructive. For it revives shopworn, socialist-inspired theories and presuppositions that drive government to interfere in the domestic life of its people, leading to the very absolutist systems it presumably seeks to avoid.
The top-down and fundamentally undemocratic transnational order so dear to the Left is a surefire recipe for disaster. The untenability of the post-Marxist mentality is amply illustrated by Europe’s current plight. Indeed, the verdict is already in although few are willing to heed it: chronic unemployment, punitive rates of taxation, economic stagnation, unsustainable welfare entitlements, Defence budgets down to 1.8% of GDP, yet government spending averaging more than 50%, and a prehensile electorate glued to the teat. Like it or not, for Europe the game may well be over. The Benelux seed has blossomed into a post-Edenic garden of unaffordable welfarism and merged identities, presided over by an all-controlling administrative deity whose goal is, ultimately, to create a new species of post-historical man.
But in this world Paradise is not an option. Human nature may be nudged in certain humane directions over the long historical haul but it cannot be transformed by revolutionary or bureaucratic fiat [remark added by HT: but this is exactly what has been believed by proponents of the SSSM; see additional remarks below]. The French and Russian revolutions serve as perennial warnings of the harms unleashed by such unchecked hybris. The quest for political transcendence can lead only to eventual banishment from the imagined garden and to the flaming sword which turns every way.
The state of civic and cultural beatitude envisioned by the EU cannot stand up indefinitely against the rigors and pressures of inexpiable reality or, for that matter, the staying power of felt nationality. Ironically, the proof sits in Europe’s own frontyard, like a particularly unsightly garden gnome. Belgium, the bureaucratic center of the EU, is currently in the throes of a potential breakup, threatening to split into two new nation states, one serving the French-speaking Walloons and the other the Dutch-speaking Flemings. Even the leftish Economist has suggested that “a praline divorce is in order.”
This is bad enough but it gets worse. An open-door immigration policy, based on the multicultural pieties du jour, has given rise to a demographically fecund, Islamic fifth column within the body politic, currently estimated at 12% of the West European population. Add to this a corresponding fall in the indigenous birthrate below the replacement ratio, and we do not need a Daniel to read the writing on the wall. One constituency has issue, the other only issues.
Transnational multiculturalism is Europe’s effort to exorcize the malignant spirit of nationalist particularism which led to the nightmare scenario of the 20th century. The European Common Market, built on a foundation of historical memory and economic integration, was probably the best way to achieve this aim. But the current post-political solution may prove as bad or worse than the dilemma it is meant to resolve. The Kantian hallucination of perpetual peace, which allows for the infiltration of culturally immiscible elements into the social body while rendering the body politic incapable of defending itself against external threat, is fraught with baleful, real-time consequences in its wilfull indifference to the way the world works and the way human beings work in the world.
Shangri-la multiculturalism with its faith in the averaging out of all differences—while paradoxically accepting Muslim particularity—imperils the unique advantages of Western civilization: individual rights, the sense of cultural responsibility, liberal democracy, the free market of goods and ideas, the privilege of dissent, and the triage of lawful competition to ensure the leavening rather than the levelling of human distinction. In eroding or abandoning these hard-won benefits for the fiction of a kind of extra-territoriality, of post-historical immunity from human contingency and innate differences, Europe has embarked upon a suicidal trajectory.
We talk about “failed states” but it now seems we will have to consider the notion of a failed continent—a “senescent” continent (to use historian Niall Ferguson’s word) inundated by waves of hostile immigrants resistant to assimilation and insisting upon their “difference.” Meanwhile the very concept of national differences, of human singularity and cultural autonomy is surrendered to the fantasy of universal sameness. You can’t have it both ways. The project is manifestly incoherent.
There is big trouble ahead for a Europe that, on the one hand, stresses the liberal philosophical tradition of freedom of expression, yet, on the other, prosecutes Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders whose controversial film, Fitna, strives valiantly to uphold that tradition against its enemies and detractors. Clearly the European, or Entropan, postnational vision does not herald a glorious and enlightened world-in-the-making but is rather a harbinger of its gradual decay.
We are left with a sobering conclusion.The Europe which seems to shine so brightly in a sordid and unforgiving world is really the victim of a dark ideological declension, obsessed by colonial guilt, contemptuous of the best part of its own storied heritage, riven by contradiction and prone to the temptation of an illusory absolution. Its only redeeming feature is that it provides an object lesson for America.
Entropy is a measure of disorder in the universe. Entropa is merely its continental microcosm.
Read the entire article at FrontPage (also available from AINA).
HonestThinking comments: When I first published my own article The deep Crisis of the West almost two years ago (the Norwegian version was published in 2006) the reactions I got seemed to indicate that many people who shared my general concerns for the future of the Western world, felt I was going too far. Things are unfortunately getting worse every year, but at least it seems that more people are beginning to realize just how critical a situation we are in. Our future does not only hinge on Islam or the willingness of moderate Muslims to act in a reasonable way and/or become our allies. The fundamental problem of Europe (as well as of the USA), has to do with human nature. Unless we stop pretending otherwise, we will never get out of this mess. Not even partially.
Repeating myself somewhat from an earlier posting, the proponents of what I like to call the postwar paradigm have, in particular since 1950, emphasized how important they think it is that we should all pretend there is no such thing as human nature. Now, anyone who is stupid and/or ignorant enough to believe the baloney about the non-existence of human nature, should read The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature by Steven Pinker. And my readers should carefully note that when research now tells us there are indeed more profound human differences than previously thought,
Further recommended reading include:
- On Genetic Interests: Family, Ethnicity, and Humanity in an Age of Mass Migration, by Frank Salter.
- Race: The Reality of Human Differences, by Vincent Sarich and Frank Miele.
Part 6: When The Music Stops
29.01.2009. From Takuan Seiyo's 6th essay in an ongoing series at The Brussels Journal. Quoting from the concluding section What then is to be done, which contains some crucial insights:
There comes a time when cataloguing malfeasance and complaining is no longer enough. The sharpest shots of satire ring hollow. Casting ‘nay’ ballots becomes a symbolic gesture, with the empty signifier dangling in the wind of ill will and derision of a mentally altered majority, as a memorial to the signified.
We live at such a time. And so, this series will now leave the safe harbor of critique, satire and status quo analysis, and venture into the speculative field of what to do about it all.
It’s not that that there is a dearth of writers with a penetrating Right-based insight into Western society’s problems. Some even offer salutary advice. But they usually highlight a few ugly facets, and the facets they have omitted preclude the solutions that they offer. Or, the merit of their insight is tainted by their ego-driven attacks on people who have different insights.
Those who write about the evil of our Islamization rarely write about the evil of our deracination. For Islam works reasonably well in countries ranging from Qatar to Kazakhstan. Its repulsive features notwithstanding, Islam in those societies is devoid of self-denigration, self-extinguishing reverse racial discrimination, multiculturalism, egalitarianism, infantilism as the guiding principle in culture, females as the driving force in politics, out-of-control taxes, state welfare, therapeutical society, militant feminism, militant homosexuality, state suppression of the majority religion, street violence, gangbangers.
Body Snatcher Society has seeded and sprouted all these calamities that Islam doesn’t have, while also importing Islam’s afflictions by importing Muslims. If only judicious discrimination, ethnic self-confidence and reasonable morality had been maintained, the West would have not needed to pay attention to Islam. Islam would have remained in the diminished and solipstistic haze where Jan Sobieski’s winged hussars left it on land in 1683, and the U.S., British and Dutch Navies left it on the sea by 1815.
Those who write about the demographic decline – i.e. massive Third-World immigration – don’t write about the cultural decline, entirely self-engendered by the West. But those who write about the cultural decline, don’t write about the demographic decline.
Those who write about racial differences rarely write about the political differences. And those who write about politics and society would rather touch a yellow scorpion than the issue of racial differences – even though the social and cultural rot is a direct consequence of the lunatic pretending that such differences don’t exist, and the current recession is a “diversity recession”.
Those who justly decry the epidemic of abortion, rarely consider the back-alley wire coat hanger jobs before abortion was legalized. Those who bemoan the lack of Western procreation, fail to consider the toxic culture that foils parental efforts to raise decent progeny. Those who want to go back imagine that in their past lives they were country squires and cardinals.
Those who preach a return to orthodox Christianity, fail to see that the one group upon which God’s Providence most shone in modern history – America’s Founding Fathers – were unorthodox deists and thorough children of the Enlightenment. Those that lambast “godless atheists”—as though atheists could not be moral, spiritual and conservative -- are ignorant of the great moral leaders and their uncountable followers for over 3000 years in East Asia, the cradle of “godless atheism.” Who could be more ethical than Confucius, or more conservative than Sun Tzu?
Many of those who feel the sum total of the West’s decline most acutely, blame the Jews while worshipping a Jewish Messiah, drawing their faith from Jewish apostles, using hospitals built by Jewish charity and pharmaceuticals invented by Jewish scientists, sending hate e-mail by computers programmed by Jewish code-writers, and disregarding the 10% -20% of Jewish genes that their own ancestors’ DNA soaked up in Europe over the ages.
Those who preach conservatism fail to notice that conservatism as a political force has died by its own hand. Those who preach capitalism, fail to notice that capitalism has just hanged itself, ignominiously. Those who preach libertarianism seem to have no clue either about the depth of baseness that resides in the human soul or the geopolitical forces built of such baseness.
Hardly any of the above connects the dots into economics, even though “follow the money” has much to do with tracing the West’s social ills. And if they write about economics from a Right perspective, e.g. The Wall Street Journal, they are liberal and hypocritical in matters of immigration, racial and gender differences, the implosion of the white ethny. They are blind too to the built-in flaws of the supply-side model they usually advocate.
Thinkers on the Right are conspicuous as well in having taken conservation out of conservatism. The best observer of the fault line where moral decay breeds the maleconomy that breeds an unsustainable depredation of the Earth and of its resources is a social liberal Obamaniac by the name of James Howard Kunstler. Mr. Kunstler’s naïveté in so many socio-political areas of great consequence does not take away from the depth of his insights into some issues where true conservatives ought to develop depth as well.
Perhaps the name of James Kunstler’s website, Clusterfuck Nation, is what the Right ought to reflect upon most deeply. For our civilization is in a cluster situation far direr, and in many more ways, than our analysts have dared string together.
Among the many damages that the tenure of George W. Bush in the White House inflicted on conservatism was the concept of “faith-based community.” In reaction, “progressive” liberals started calling themselves “reality-based community.” That was even more ludicrous, for no group of people on Earth is as intent on denying reality as precisely those liberals. But reality does count, and is the supreme sovereign.
The West is now a brakeless bus rolling toward the abyss. It has already crashed the economic guardrail, and it will crash the other guardrails too before the g-force of reality launches it onto a parabolic course. There is a giant legume pod, a pre-programmed robotic alien, at the steering wheel. For the passengers to survive, the first step is to recognize and observe this situation with no blinders -- to become a reality-based community again.
The second step is to orient the conduct as per that observation, after which come the stages of decision and action (8). But most of us have already progressed to decision and action, without having done enough of the prerequisite observation and orienting. Therefore, conservatives are trying to convince the driver to turn the steering wheel, without recognizing that all they will get in response is more pedal to the metal. Or, they try to persuade the other passengers to vote the bus driver out of his seat. But most of the passengers are already Pods, snatched a long time ago and of one programmed will with the driver.
Yet a different group of conservatives tries standing athwart the road, yelling stop. But what worked for William Buckley in the 50s does not work anymore. For one, all of us are on the bus now, so how can anyone imagine he is standing on the road? In the 50s, Body Snatchers were only in the universities and among the intelligentsia. Now, hundreds of millions have been turned into Pods too, currently all in rapture, for Messiah hath returned. The Pods are now within our closest families.
We have to figure out how to get off this bus, hoping that other passengers will follow. And to that, the rest of this series will be devoted.
Read the entire essay at The Brussels Journal.
See also: From Meccania to Atlantis - Part 1: The March of the Body Snatchers, 28 October 2008, Part 2: From the Clenched Fist to the Raised Middle Finger, 1 November 2008, Part 3: From Encirclement to Breakout, 27 November 2008, Part 4: Tribe, 12 December 2008, Part 4½: Darkness in the Cranium, 14 December 2008, Part 5: From Screeching Cats to SDG, 19 December 2008, Part 51⁄2: Music We Can Believe In, 26 December 2008.
Norway's pro-Israel opposition leader under 24-hour guard
29.01.2009. "Norway, a country that used to be very pro-Israel, has turned into one of the most anti-Israel countries in Europe today," within both government and public opinion. That's according to Dr. Asle Toje, a researcher at the BI Norwegian School of Management and foreign policy adviser to the Progress Party of Norway (Fremskrittspartiet).
Toje is a staunch advocate of Siv Jensen, chairwoman of the main opposition Progress Party, who has recently come under fire for her pro-Israel stance. Following her appearance at a pro-Israel rally in Oslo on January 8, Jensen began receiving death threats, and is now under 24-hour security supervision. "I have never experienced this kind of hatred in Norway," said Toje, who was present at the demonstration. "There were people throwing stones at and spitting on rally-goers. Afterward, people carrying Israeli flags were randomly attacked in the streets." Continue reading in Jerusalem Post.
Survey Shows Alarming Lack of Integration
27.01.2009. A third of all children born in Germany belong to immigrant families, but many immigrants are poorly integrated into German society. A new study has shown that Turks in particular are faring poorly in Germany.
A new study has delivered a damning verdict on the integration of Germany's immigrants, concluding that an alarmingly high percentage of them live in a parallel world with poor prospects of a decent education and career advancement.
The study presented on Monday by the Berlin Institute for Population and Development is based on annual population statistics and finds that Turks in particular, the second largest group of immigrants after ethnic Germans from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, are faring badly, even after decades of living in Germany.
Continue reading in Spiegel Online.
The trial of Geert Wilders represents another blow against Dutch freedom
27.01.2009. From an article by Bruce Bawer in City Journal:
With Hirsi Ali abroad, the torch passed to Geert Wilders. At times, it seems that he is the last prominent Dutch figure willing to speak bluntly about the perils of fundamentalist Islam. The same people who demonized Fortuyn have done their best to stifle Wilders. In April 2007, intelligence and security officials called him in and demanded that he tone down his rhetoric on Islam. Last February, the Minister of Justice subjected him to what he described as another “hour of intimidation.” The announcement that he was making a film about Islam only led his enemies to turn up the heat. Even before Fitna was released early last year, Doekle Terpstra, a leading member of the Dutch establishment, called for mass rallies to protest the movie. Terpstra organized a coalition of political, business, academic, and religious leaders, the sole purpose of which was to try to freeze Wilders out of public debate. Dutch cities are riddled with terrorist cells and crowded with fundamentalist Muslims who cheered 9/11 and idolize Osama bin Laden, but for Terpstra and his political allies, the real problem was the one Member of Parliament who wouldn’t shut up. “Geert Wilders is evil,” pronounced Terpstra, “and evil has to be stopped.” Fortuyn, van Gogh, and Hirsi Ali had been stopped; now it was Wilders’s turn.
But Wilders—who for years now has lived under 24-hour armed guard—would not be gagged. Thus the disgraceful decision to put him on trial. In Dutch Muslim schools and mosques, incendiary rhetoric about the Netherlands, America, Jews, gays, democracy, and sexual equality is routine; a generation of Dutch Muslims are being brought up with toxic attitudes toward the society in which they live. And no one is ever prosecuted for any of this. Instead, a court in the Netherlands—a nation once famous for being an oasis of free speech—has now decided to prosecute a member of the national legislature for speaking his mind. By doing so, it proves exactly what Wilders has argued all along: that fear and “sensitivity” to a religion of submission are destroying Dutch freedom.
Continue reading in City Journal.
Nazi methods in court
23.01.2009. From an article by Paul Belien at Hudson New York:
The Dutch judicial authorities are going to prosecute Geert Wilders, one of the 150 members of the Dutch Parliament, for making the movie Fitna. In this short documentary, which explains what happens if a number of verses of the Koran are taken seriously, Mr Wilders compares the Muslims’ holy book to Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf. He claims the Koran calls for violence against Jews and other non-Muslims. Fitna can be seen here. [...]
The case against Mr. Wilders in the Netherlands bears a striking resemblance to the 2004 conviction of the Vlaams Blok, another popular political party, in neighboring Belgium. The Vlaams Blok, despite the electoral support of 24% of the voters, was disbanded following a court verdict that it should be considered to be a racist, hence criminal, organization.
The party was convicted on the basis of an anthology of 16 texts published by local party chapters between 1996 and 2000. Many of these texts simply quoted official statistics on crime rates and social welfare expenditure, One of the texts dealt with the position of women in fundamentalist Muslim societies and had been written by a female Turkish-born Vlaams Blok member from the town of Aalst who had herself been raised in such an environment. The court said the Aalst section of the party published her story “not to inform the public about the position of women in the Islamic world, but to depict the image [of non-indigenous people] as unethical and barbarian.”
The court stated explicitly that what the party had written “was not necessarily untrue,” but alleged that the party’s “intentions” in publishing the truth had been of a criminal nature.
The same applies to Mr. Wilders’ Fitna movie. Whether or not it is true what Mr. Wilders says does not matter to the Dutch court. It claims he has committed a crime by making statements which “substantially harm the religious esteem of the Islamic worshippers … by affecting the symbols of the Islamic belief.”
A major argument in this regard seems to be that Mr. Wilders compared the Koran, with its many verses that call for murdering Jews, to Adolf Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’. Mr. Wilders is one of Holland’s most outspoken defenders of Israel and the Jews. Ironically, his adversaries have on several occasions compared him to the Nazis, but none of them adversaries has been prosecuted for making this comparison. Countless non-leftist European have been compared to the Nazis in the past decades. The European Left has used terms such as ‘Nazi,’ ‘Fascist’ and ‘racist’ to such an extent that the words have become meaningless. Even Israel is regularly called a Nazi state. However, when Mr. Wilders uses the comparison, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal “considers this insulting to such a degree … that a general interest is deemed to be present in order to prosecute Wilders because of this.”
As in Belgium, the prosecution against Mr. Wilders is a political attempt to kill a politician and a party which threaten the ruling establishment. As Dutch public prosecutor Otto Van der Bijl told CNN, Mr. Wilders will be prosecuted because a total of nine (!) people filed complaints against him. One of these is Mrs. Els Lucas of the governing Labour party, a political opponent of Mr. Wilders’ PVV party, and a party which is rapidly losing its blue-collar voting base to the PVV.
What must one call the methods of a court that issues verdicts like the one in Amsterdam? The Wall Street Journal calls them Saudi methods. But perhaps Nazi methods is more appropriate. Or is it a criminal offence to say so because it might incite ‘hatred’ against the Dutch judiciary?
A petition in defense of Mr. Wilders can be signed here.
Read the entire article by Paul Belien at Hudson New York.
A Dutch court imports Saudi blasphemy norms to Europe
23.01.2009. The latest twist in the clash between Western values and the Muslim world took place yesterday in the Netherlands, where a court ordered the prosecution of lawmaker and provocateur Geert Wilders for inciting violence. The Dutch MP and leader of the Freedom Party, which opposes Muslim immigration into Holland, will stand trial soon for his harsh criticism of Islam.
Mr. Wilders made world news last year with the short film "Fitna." In the 15-minute video, he juxtaposes Koranic verses calling for jihad with clips of Islamic hate preachers and terror attacks. He has compared the Koran to Hitler's "Mein Kampf" and urged Muslims to tear out "hate-filled" verses from their scripture. This is a frontal assault on Islam -- but, as Mr. Wilders points out, he's targeting the religion, not its followers. "Fitna," in fact, sparked a refreshing debate between moderate Muslims and non-Muslims in the Netherlands, and beyond.
There are of course limits to free speech, such as calls for violence. But one doesn't need to agree with Mr. Wilders to acknowledge that he hasn't crossed that line. Some Muslims say they are outraged by his statements. But if freedom of speech means anything, it means the freedom of controversial speech. Consensus views need no protection.
Continue reading in The Wall Street Journal - Opinion Journal.
Death to free speech
22.01.2009. On Wednesday, freedom of speech in Europe took a new and devastating
turn, as a Dutch appellate court ordered the prosecution of Geert
Wilders, parliamentarian and filmmaker, charging him with "inciting hatred and discrimination" against Muslims for his film exposing the threat of radical Islam.
This ruling comes a mere six months after the public prosecutor's office found Wilders' dialogue contributed to the debate on Islam and that he had not committed any criminal offense. Now, curiously, the court has done an about-face and decreed that charges may be brought against the politician, and that prosecuting him is somehow in "the public interest."
After releasing a ten-minute self-produced film entitled "Fitna," Wilders found himself wound up in a litany of "hate speech" litigation, one such suit filed by a radical Imam asking for 55,000 Euros in compensation for his hurt feelings.
Ironically, the film's narrative is primarily comprised of quotes from the Koran which incite violence and death to "infidels" as well as scenes of an Imam preaching death to the Jews. Akin to something out of the Twilight Zone, the Imams who routinely spout hate speech from the pulpit and who are instigating these suits are never themselves charged with incitement to immediate violence. Moreover if the film "Fitna," which merely quotes the Koran and depicts angry Imams, is "hate speech" then what is the Koran itself?
Continue reading this American Spectator article by Brooke M. Goldstein and Aaron Meyer.
Geert Wilders to be prosecuted for “Hate Speech”
22.01.2009. The Amsterdam Court of Appeal orders the criminal prosecution of the Member of Parliament of the Dutch Second Chamber Geert Wilders. See e.g.:
HonestThinking comments: This is one more sign that Europe is moving in the direction of totalitarianism. When reality does not conform to the utopian visions of multicultural politicians, they have but two options:
- admit that they have been wrong,
- silence their critics.
The issue is not whether Wilders is right or wrong. The issue is not whether Wilders have treated Islam and Muslims unreasonable or not. The issue is whether or not we shall uphold the principle of freedom of expression.
OUTRAGE OVER DEMONSTRATION IN GERMANY
Police Remove Israeli Flag during Islamist Protest March
16.01.2009. Police in the western German city of Duisburg have admitted they removed flags a student had hung in his apartment in support of Israel during a pro-Palestinian protest march in the city. Officers broke down his door and removed the flags. The city's police chief has issued an apology, but outrage is spreading.
It's certainly not a new phenomenon in Germany for feathers to be ruffled every time bombs fall or rockets fly in the Middle East. It is unusual, though, for German police officials to use force to enter into an apartment and remove an Israeli flag from a bedroom because people protesting the Gaza Strip invasion on the street below are bothered by it.
But that's what happened this weekend in Duisburg in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Around 10,000 people had gathered on Saturday morning at the central station in the city, located in the Ruhr region, to protest against Israel's course of action in the Gaza Strip. The protest, organized by the Islamist group Milli Görüs, which, although legal, has been monitored for years by German domestic intelligence agencies in charge of observing potentially radical or fundamentalist groups.
After a short time, the protest passed along one of the city's main thoroughfares. At a house on the corner, protesters spotted two Israeli flags -- one hanging from a balcony and the second from the window of a bedroom inside the apartment. Twenty-five-year-old student Peter P.* and his 26-year-old girlfriend had mounted them there.
'Suddenly I Saw a Police Officer in my Bedroom'... Continue reading at Spiegel Online.
Something is rotten in this country
12.01.2009. Excerpts from an article by Hans Rustad at Document.no:
The pictures tell an interesting story. All over Europa Muslims are protesting the war in Gaza. At the fringes are anti-Israeli and antisemitic slogans and cartoons. But in Norway this extreme Islamist right is echoed in the official press: antisemitic slurs and cartoons are printed in Norway's established newspapers.
It is hard to believe.
On Thursday the 8th of January a rally was held in front of Norway's Parliament building. A few hundred souls protected by 200 police in full riot gear. Many participants were elderly people bussed in from far away. Maybe they didn't know what was in store. Few Oslo citizens dared to go out. There was foreboding in the air.
The daily Dagbladet had two days earlier carried a front page that screamed: Siv Jensen supports the bombing, with the title transposed on a picture of a wounded Palestinian child. Siv Jensen is the leader of Norway's biggest opposition party, the Progress Party. All the other parties tend to agree on major points and keep PP on the outside in spite of a 25-30 percent backing in the opinion polls.
Not only the political parties but also the press has moved to the center-left in later years, presenting the Progress Party as something that does not belong here. Like Israel.
When Siv Jensen dared to speak in front of the Parliament she was committing something like sacrilege, a blasphemy against political decency, a favourite word with the foreign minister, the suave Jonas Gahr Støre.
TV transmitted live what was soon to become the worst riots Oslo has seen in modern times. Hundreds of Muslim youths ran amok, smashing windows, abusing people and shouting "Kill the Jews" and "Allahu akbar".
The pro-Israeli demonstration had to be halted and the participants were shuffled into busses for the ride home. On the way several were attacked and brutally beaten to cries of "Attack the Jew".
The very same night there was a huge protest march, officially pro-peace but unofficially pro-Palestinian. Leader of thee Mosaic community, Anne Sender, and rabbi Joav Melchior decided to take part, but cries of "Kill the Jews" in Arabic made their blood freeze. Melchior wears a kippa, and he was verbally abused and told to go packing. With sadness they both left.
On Saturday there was another demonstration in front of the Parliament building, this time with children in "bloodsoaked" clothes at the front of the march. In spite of several brutal confrontations outside the Israeli embassy Basim Ghozlan, leader of the Islamic Union, urgfed the demonstrators to proceed to the embassy where police were waiting. The children suddenly found themselves sandwiched between police barriers and the surging violent demonstrators pushing from behind. Panic ensued.
Police detained 160 people, most of them young people of Middle Eastern/North African origin. Three kids - 12 to 13 year olds - told how they had been led by a hard core to smash seven MacDonald's restaurants. Then the cry rang out: "To the university to chase Jews."
One should think that the papers woud be full of denunciations and shock that Jews are once again fair game in the streets of Oslo. The last time was under the German occupation during World War II. But there is a strange silence. A few innuendos: "We deplore expressions of racism" etc. But no real shakeup. Why not?
Continue reading at Document.no. See also the BJ article Even in Oslo They Use Children As A Human Shield.
Daniel Pipes criticizes the Olmert administration
11.01.2009. Commentary on the Israel-Hamas war has tended toward partisan pleading, making the moral case for or against Israel. That's a crucial debate but not the only one; there's also a need for a cool strategic assessment: Who is winning, who is losing?
Hillel Frisch argues that Hamas (which he calls "a small isolated movement that controls a small strip") has "grossly miscalculated" by antagonizing the Egyptian government and making war on Israel. He concludes that Hamas has embarked on "strategic suicide." Perhaps, but scenarios exist in which Hamas gains. Continue reading in Jerusalem Post.
Hamas, Hizbullah must be destroyed
05.01.2009. Excerpts from an article by Farid Ghadry at ynetNews.com (emphasis added):
Our only chance, as a civilization that invented Algebra and helped usher advances in medicine, astronomy, and literature during an era of co-existence with the west, is to re-create that co-existence. How could we do that if ignorance is our guide and violent men are our leaders? Witness co-existence by the fact that Algebra was invented by al-Jabr just about the same time the Jewish King Omri founded Samaria.
How could Arabs and Muslims help their societies if their program for progress is built upon violence? When was the last time Hamas or Hizbullah issued their 5-year plan to improve the lives of their followers? It will never happen because the failed leadership of both organizations seeks power instead of duty, money instead of benevolence, and longevity in both instead of renewal for the good of their people.
Hizbullah and Hamas must be destroyed and the regimes in Damascus and Tehran must be changed for all Arabs and Farsi people to survive and prosper in an ever evolving world timed in nanoseconds and propagating through quantum physics. Their poisonous rhetoric of violence feeding a frenzied mass of ignorant Arabs leaning on their extreme religion to honor their incapacity to compete with the West is destroying future generations of hopeful saviors of our culture and traditions.
We Arabs must be the ones to stop Hamas and Hizbullah, rather than support their demonic and twisted logic of resisting development, enlightenment, and progress of the region. Even when development and enlightenment stare them in the face, their instinct is to destroy them pretending to safeguard their honor, the mechanics of which supersede all else including a happy life of fulfillment and accomplishments.
So while we abhor violence of all kind, Israel's campaign against Hamas must continue to the bitter end not only for the sake of peace but also to help Arabs realize they have a choice: Destroy like Gaza or develop like Dubai. Will this happen soon? Maybe not, but if a wake-up call and a nudge, once in a while, to pierce through the fog of deceit perpetrated by Syria and Iran is what it takes to see the light, then we stand by the West and Israel in the only hope that an Arab Renaissance in the Levant may actually have a chance of resurrection.
Farid Ghadry is the President of the Reform Party of Syria, a leading US-based opposition group to the rule of Assad and “resistance” in the Levant.
The dishonest scientist
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01.01.2009. Doing research for my forthcoming book, I just came across J. Philippe Rushton's 1997 paper Race, Intelligence, and the Brain (published in Personality and Individual Differences, Vol. 23, No. 1, pp. 169-180), where "the errors and omissions of the Revised Edition of S. J. Gould's The Mismeasure of Man (1996)" are exposed. Given Gould's considerable influence on the general public, in part because of his indisputable qualities as a popularizer of science, it is important to inform people that Gould was not an honest man. Consider the following excerpts from the just mentioned paper:
Summary - The first edition of The Mismeasure of Man appeared in 1981 and was quickly praised in the popular press as a definitive refutation of 100 years of scientific work on race, brain-size and intelligence. It sold 125,000 copies, was translated into 10 languages, and became required reading for undergraduate and even graduate classes in anthropology, psychology, and sociology. The second edition is not truly revised, but rather only expanded, as the author claims the book needed no updating as any new research would only be plagued with the same 'philosophical errors' revealed in the first edition. Thus it continues a political polemic, whose author engages in character assassination of long deceased scientists whose work he misrepresents despite published refutations, while studiously withholding from his readers 15 years of new research that contradicts every major scientific argument he puts forth. Specific attention in this review are given to the following topics: (1) the relationship between brain size and IQ, (2) the importance of the scientific contributions of Sir Francis Galton, S. G. Morton, H. H. Goddard, and Sir Cyril Burt, (3) the role of early IQ testers in determining U.S. immigration policy, (4) The Bell Curve controversy and the reality of g, (5) race/sex/social class differences in brain size and IQ, (6) Cesare Lombroso and the genetic basis of criminal behavior, (7) between-group heritabilities, inter-racial adoption studies, and IQ (8) why evolutionary theory predicts group differences, and (9) the extent to which Gould's political ideology has affected his scientific work.
"May I end up next to Judas Iscariot, Brutus, and Cassius in the devils mouth at the center of hell if I ever fail to present my most honest assessment and best judgment of evidence for empirical truth" (p. 39). So swears one Stephen Jay Gould, justifiably worried that his activist background may have tarnished his reputation for scholarship. Critical examination of the new edition of The Mismeasure of Man shows that, indeed, Gould's resort to character assassination and misrepresentation of evidence have caught up with him. [...]
After carefully reading the book, I charge Gould with several counts of scholarly malfeasance. First, he omits mention of remarkable new discoveries made from Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) which show that brain-size and IQ correlate about 0.40. These results are as replicable as one will find in the social and behavioral sciences and utterly destroy many of Gould's arguments. Second, despite published refutations, Gould repeats verbatim his defamations of character against long deceased individuals. Third, Gould fails to respond to the numerous empirical studies that show a consistent pattern of race differences in IQ, brain size, crime, and other factors that have appeared since his first edition went to press.
Gould's omission of recent, devastatingly contradictory evidence constitutes at best shoddy and at worst dishonest scholarship. Even before Gould's (1981) first edition, Van Valen (1974) had reviewed the literature and estimated an overall correlation of 0.30 between brain size and intelligence. Gould (1981) neglected to even mention Van Valen's review. The 1990s have been called the 'Decade of the Brain' for good reason. Remarkable discoveries made using MRI confirm many of the relationships described by the 19th century visionaries defamed by Gould. Neither Gould nor his publisher show any scruples in releasing these chapters without the required revisions. Since Gould chose to withhold this evidence from his extensive readership, allow me to reveal it. (For more detail, see the review by Rushton & Ankney, 1996). [...]
The first of these MRI studies were published in the late 1980s and early 1990s in leading, refereed, mainstream journals like Intelligence (Willerman et al., 1991) and the American Journal of Psychiatry (Andreasen et al., 1993). I know Gould is aware of them because my colleagues and I routinely sent him copies as they appeared and asked him what he thought! For the record, let it be known that Gould did not reply to the missives regarding the published scientific data that destroyed the central thesis of his first edition.
Further evidence of Gould's method is the way the 1996 edition deletes the very section of the 1981 edition that discussed the brain-size/IQ relation. In the 1981 edition (pp. 108-111), Gould cited Jensen's (1980) Bias in Mental Testing (pp. 361-362) in order to pooh-pooh Jensen's report of a 0.30 correlation between brain-size and IQ and a table from Hooton (1939) which showed that average head sizes differed by SES. Gould (1996) gives no reason for making this selective cut, which would have appeared on page 140 of the new edition. I can only infer that when Gould read Jensen's (1982) review of his book, which he mentions doing in the introduction, he realized that Jensen's citation of the 0.30 correlation between brain size and IQ was based on Van Valen's (1974) review and so could no longer be dismissed as just Jensen. I submit that Gould realized that repeating this section verbatim, given the weight of the new evidence, would destroy his entire thesis. Rather than revise his arguments in light of the truth, Gould chose to repeat them without change and to withhold any evidence to the contrary. Both Gould and his publisher owe it to their readers to explain why this supposedly 'new' edition studiously avoids any mention of all the new evidence. [...]
On Character and Character Assassination
Gould's faults extend well beyond sins of omission to include sins of commission. The 'new' edition repeats the same false accusations that have been well refuted since 1981. Thus, Gould leaves unmodified his denigration of Sir Francis Galton as a 'dotty Victorian eccentric' (p. 108) despite having been called to account for painting a thoroughly tendentious portrait by University of Cambridge statistician, A. W. F. Edwards (1983) in the London Review of Books. Edwards rightly excoriated Gould, as the author of a book full of references to correlation, regression (including multiple regression), principal components analysis, and factor analysis, for failing to inform his readers that this whole statistical methodology is derived from Galton's pioneering work on the bivariate normal distribution and linear regression. [...]
Early IQ Testers, Immigration, And The Holocaust
[...] In his 1981 book In Search of Human Nature, the eminent historian Carl N. Degler took Gould to task for ignoring contradictory information. Degler pointed out, for example, that it was the evidence of high IQs in Jews and Chinese in California that led Lewis Terman to strengthen his view that the low Black IQ was heritable. Degler also pointed out that although the comparatively high scores of Orientals did not prevent them from being excluded from immigration, such scores would embarrass any attempt to make IQ the basis for ethnic bias in immigration. Again, in 1992, the noted columnist Daniel Seligman debunked Gould's anti-testing propaganda in his book A Question of Intelligence. Most revealing of Gould's scholarship, perhaps, is that Herrnstein and Murray (1994) also highlighted the issue in a special boxed section on page 5 of The Bell Curve, a book that Gould reviewed (twice!). Did Gould overlook these refutations? Why did he not respond to them in his 'revision'?
The reality of g?
[...] Gould likes to leave his readers chanting the mantra that "g is nothing more than an artifact of the mathematical procedure used to calculate it". Jensen and Weng (1994) and Carroll (1995) provide detailed empirical and analytical demonstrations of the reality of g. Suffice to note for the purposes of this review that they find that g is remarkably robust and invariant across different data sets, different statistical procedures, or even simulated data, and that Gould avoids any mention of these studies.
Natural Born Criminals: What Gould Doesn't Want You to Know
The reader of The Mismeasure of Man will search in vain for even a dismissing reference to any of the following recent studies of the biological correlates of criminal behavior. Raine (1993) reviewed several studies that used the state-of-the-art techniques of Computerized Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) to study the brains of violent and sexual offenders. He tentatively concluded that frontal lobe dysfunction was associated with violent behavior including rape. Moreover, given the relation between brain size and IQ (Rushton & Ankney, 1996; see above), Lombroso's finding of a smaller brain in criminals relative to non-criminals is likely correct. Numerous American studies from those of H. H. Goddard in 1917 to the present, including The Bell Curve's 12 year longitudinal study of over 12,000 youth (Herrnstein & Murray, 1994), have established the predictive relationship between IQ and crime. [...]
Finally, consider the striking racial differences in criminal behavior. These differences are consistent across time, national boundaries, and political-economic system, which argues strongly for their having some genetic component. For example, as far back as records go, in the U.S., Orientals have been underrepresented and Blacks overrepresented in crime statistics relative to Whites. This pattern is not specific to the U.S. but is repeated around the world. Analyses of INTERPOL Yearbooks throughout the 1980s show that African and Caribbean countries have double the rate for violent crime of European countries and three times the rate of the countries in the Pacific Rim. The combined figures for murder, rape, and serious assault per 100,000 population for 1984 and 1986 were Africans -- 142, Europeans -- 74, and Asians -- 43. For 1989-90, the pattern was unchanged: Africans -- 240, Europeans -- 75, and Asians -- 32 (Rushton, 1990, 1995a). [...]
Conclusion: Case Closed
Others have speculated on the extent to which Gould's political outlook has colored his scientific work (Davis, 1986; Dennett, 1995, Ruse, 1993). In Darwin's Dangerous Idea, Dennett (1995) brilliantly documents how Gould has been systematically misleading his readers for decades, attempting to smuggle anti-Darwinian mechanisms into evolutionary theory with a lot of clever talk of "spandrels" "punctuated equilibrium", and "dialectical processes". Gould notwithstanding, Darwinian adaptation is the way evolution works and the mechanism on which working evolutionary scientists base their research programs.
Gould himself tells us (1996, p. 19) that he originally considered titling his book Great Is Our Sin from Charles Darwin's remark: "If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin." Gould avers that the scientific study of human differences in mental ability is nothing but an apology for elitist European enslavement and oppression of the rest of the world -- so it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end, amen. This has become the Apostle's Creed of the Adversary Culture. (Do not blame criminals from poor backgrounds, they are but helpless victims of a wicked system; affirmative action and multiculturalism must be invoked to exorcise the demons of capitalist oppression, racism, and sexism). In Gould's (1996) benediction, he keeps the faith of "political correctness", while grudgingly confessing that many see it as "leftist fascism" (his words, p. 424).
In his preface, Gould describes his background and how it has affected his work. All his grandparents were Eastern European Jews whose entry into America, he believes, Goddard "would have so severely restricted" (p. 38). Thus the book is dedicated to "Grammy and Papa Joe, who came, struggled, and prospered, Mr. Goddard notwithstanding". Gould's father fought for the leftist International Brigade in the Spanish Civil War (p. 39). He himself actively campaigned against racial oppression in the U.S.A. and in England (p. 38). I for one admire Gould for having the candor to divulge this background. No doubt personal experience affects all scholarship (including mine). However, even the most deeply held values cannot justify withholding evidence, engaging in character assassination, and repeating unfounded charges despite published refutations.
No doubt we are all prisoners of our background as well as slaves to our genes, but facts remain facts. Brain size and IQ are correlated. Men do average larger and heavier brains than do women. Asians and Europeans do average larger and heavier brains than do Africans. Higher SES [Socioeconomic status] groups do average larger and heavier brains than do lower SES groups.
Perhaps more than any scientist in recent memory, Gould has wielded his influence not only as a professor of science at Harvard but also through the pages of the New York Review of Books and through broadcasts on educational television, to seriously and intentionally misrepresent the science and politics of IQ. By his own standard, Gould has consigned himself to the innermost circle of hell. But science, fortunately, is not religion or politics. Gould need only own up to the facts and end his career of relentless special pleading. The second edition of The Mismeasure of Man does not measure up to Gould's own standard of "honest assessment and best judgment of evidence for empirical truth".
The full paper, including references, is available e.g. from lrainc.com. The related paper The debunking of scientific fossils and straw persons, by
Arthur R. Jensen (published in Contemporary Education Review,
Summer 1982, Volume 1, Number 2, pp. 121- 135) is also definitely worth reading.
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