Culture, politics, science, philosophy.
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The deep Crisis of the West
«Something is rotten in the state of Denmark»
04.12.2014. The European Court of Human Rights says France violated the rights of Somali pirates who had attacked French ships and has ordered compensation for them over judicial delays, according to the BBC story Court tells France to pay damages to Somali pirates:
The nine Somali pirates should get thousands of euros because they were not immediately brought before a French judge, the court ruled.
One is to get 9,000 euros (£7,000) and the others sums of up to 7,000 euros.
The judges faulted France for keeping them in custody for an extra 48 hours.
The pirates had held French citizens hostage after seizing a French-flagged cruise ship and a French yacht in 2008.
The French military captured the pirates on the Somali coast in two operations, after the hostages had been released for ransoms of $2.1m (£1.3m) and $2m.
Indian Ocean shipping has been plagued by pirate gangs operating off Somalia in recent years, but international naval action in the region has sharply reduced the attacks.
Continue reading at BBC.
HonestThinking comments: This is outrageous! This is a disgrace! Something must be seriously wrong with the European Convention on Human Rights, and/or with the judges who interpret the rules like this. People who capture civilian ships and their crew, and then threaten to kill the latter unless huge sums of ransom are paid, deserve no mercy, and should not be granted the kind of rights afforded to ordinary criminal suspects who should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Will Germany abolish itself and France commit suicide?
04.12.2014. Four years ago, Thilo Sarrazin, a renowned German central banker, who was also a long-time member of the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), shocked the German establishment when he published a book in which he argued that Islamic immigration is undermining German society. In the book, Deutschland schafft sich ab [Germany Abolishes Itself], Sarrazin wrote that Islamic immigrants threaten Germany's freedom and prosperity because they are unwilling to integrate and rely overwhelmingly on welfare benefits. Thus writes Peter Martino in his Gatestone Institute article Will Germany abolish itself and France commit suicide? (all links in original). He continues:
Although Sarrazin's party, as well as the governing Christian-Democrats of Chancellor Angela Merkel, distanced themselves from the author -- and Islamic organizations tried to take him to court on charges of racial incitement -- the book hit a nerve with the German public. It sold over two million copies and became one of the most widely read books ever published in Germany.
Last October, Éric Zemmour, a French journalist, also published a book, which can be considered the French equivalent of Sarrazin's book. In Le Suicide français [The French Suicide], Zemmour argues that the policies of the French political elite are destroying the country. His arguments resemble Sarrazin's and the book has had the same impact. Its sales are breaking all the records. So far, in less than two months, over half a million copies have been sold, in spite of the fact that French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has declared that the book "does not deserve to be read."
One of the few French journalists who openly defends Zemmour is Élisabeth Lévy, who, like Zemmour, is of Jewish Algerian descent. She criticizes Zemmour's "bonapartism," but has also called the behavior of Prime Minister Valls -- and others who attack the book without having read it -- "Stalinist and Orwellian." According to Élisabeth Lévy, ordinary French citizens long for the past – not, however, to the days of Napoleon, but rather the days when French suburbs had not become strongholds of radical Islam; when French society was still based on French values, and when people who felt insecure were taken seriously by politicians.
The enormous commercial success of Zemmour's book illustrates the deep dissatisfaction of many average French citizens with their political and cultural elite. Four years ago, Thilo Sarrazin's book showed that many ordinary Germans do not want the German political elite to abolish Germany. Today, Éric Zemmour's book illustrates that many ordinary French are not prepared to commit national suicide.
Has Germany abolished itself? Not yet. Has France committed suicide? Not yet. What the books do indicate, however, is that Europe seems ripe for political upheavals.
Read the entire article at Gatestone Institute.
School marked down by Ofsted for being 'too white'
22.11.2014. Parents were angered after Lincolnshire primary school was marked down by Ofsted inspectors for not having enough black or Asian children, according to The Telegraph. See also The Daily Mail.
Keeps quiet or stammers about the current war of relgion
21.11.2014. In the face of the offensive of radical Islam, Francis’s idea is that «we must soothe the conflict.» And forget Regensburg. With serious harm also to the reformist currents of Islam. Thus writes Sandro Magister in www.chiesa. He concludes his article as follows (link added by me):
The bishops of the dioceses of the Middle East are calling upon the world for effective armed protection, which never comes. In Rome, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran publishes the most detailed denunciation of the atrocities of the caliphate, and declares an end to all possibility of dialogue with those among the Muslims who do not stamp out violence at its roots.
But when the secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, speaks in New York from the tribunal of the UN, as he did on September 29, he carefully avoids the taboo words “Islam” and “Muslims,” and pays the obligatory tribute to the mantra that denies the existence of that conflict of civilization which is plain for all to see.
Of course, Parolin raises the protest against the “irresponsible apathy” shown by the United Nations. But it is precisely on the UN that Francis calls for the sole legitimate decision on any armed intervention in the theater of the Middle East.
The Argentine rabbi Abraham Skorka, a longtime friend of Bergoglio, has said that he has heard him say that “we must soothe the conflicts.”
With Islam, even in its theologically bloodiest form, this is what the pope does. He never calls those responsible by name. They must be “stopped,” he has said, but without specifying how. He prays and he has others pray, as he did with the Israeli and Palestinian presidents. He calls for all steps of dialogue to be taken, but on what unites and not on what divides.
In 2006 Benedict XVI, first in Regensburg and then in Istanbul, said what no pope had ever dared to say: that violence associated with faith is the inevitable product of the fragile bond between faith and reason in Muslim doctrine and in its very understanding of God.
And he told the Islamic world clearly that it had before itself the same epochal challenge that Christianity had already faced and overcome: that of “welcoming the true achievements of the Enlightenment, human rights and especially the freedom of faith and its exercise.”
From this came the sprout of Islamic-Christian dialogue that found expression in the “letter of 138 scholars” written to pope Joseph Ratzinger by Muslim figures of various orientations.
In recent days, Pope Francis has greeted some of their representatives, who have come to Rome for a new round of dialogue. But there has been no talk of those capital questions, the sprout has withered.
It has now been a millennium that in Islam the “door of interpretation” has been closed and the Quran can no longer be discussed except at great risk, even that of life.
Read the entire article at www.chiesa.
Some Indians consider it their birthright
11.11.2014. Students are often keen to exercise their rights but recently there has been an interesting twist - some in India are talking about their right to cheat in university exams. "It is our democratic right!" a thin, addled-looking man named Pratap Singh once said to me as he stood, chai in hand, outside his university in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. "Cheating is our birthright." Continue reading in The students who feel they have the right to cheat (BBC).
HonestThinking comments: As these kinds of backwards cultures gain more and more influence in the West, our societies become increasingly corrupt as well.
How to gain control over the situation in the UK
10.11.2014. It’s the dishonest debate on immigration that poisons the atmosphere for refugees, writes Douglas Murray in his article Who do we let in? It's time to choose. He concludes as follows:
Today it is almost impossible to find anyone, even of the left, who thinks that transplanting whole Kashmiri villages to the North of England in the 1960s was a good idea. Brought in to do low-paid, low-skilled jobs which then disappeared, their children don’t even have their parents’ opportunities. Stuck in areas with few prospects, the religion their parents often sought to escape becomes — predictably enough — the dominating factor in their lives. Did anybody in favour of immigration factor that in during the 1960s? No. Does anybody factor in the multi-generational issues mass migration raises today? No. Experts discuss immigration solely as a fiscal issue. But it isn’t. It is also a societal one and a moral one. Nobody doubts most Somalis are better off here, but are our lives better for having them here? What are the metrics for where the negatives outweigh the benefits? Are there any?
We pretend that Somalis from one of the most dangerous and lawless countries on the planet become secular democrats once they are in Acton. And we like to say that the vast influx of families from the Indian subcontinent simply make East London more ‘diverse’. Sure. But it has also brought Bangladesh-style political corruption and Pakistan’s religious wars to areas such as Tower Hamlets.
Finally, wrapped up in all of this, are genuine asylum seekers. These are the people who get a double dose of bad luck. Though they constitute the tiniest percentage of immigrants to the UK, the advocates and apologists for mass immigration continuously use them as examples. In doing so they make a terrible mistake. Very few people who want stricter border controls object to genuine asylum seekers being given sanctuary in this country. Though we may have to accept that we can’t welcome every gay in Africa or every religious minority in the Middle East, and that countries near to or bordering the conflict zones are the best places for refugees to go. But when the mass economic migration of recent decades is melded together with asylum, the well of public tolerance for genuine asylum seekers is poisoned. One reason France may take in twice as many asylum seekers as the UK each year is that France takes in less than a quarter of the net economic migrants each year that we do.
Only two things really matter on immigration: who you take in, and in what numbers. We refuse to discuss the former and our governments botch the latter. In the years after 1681 Britain took in roughly 50,000 Huguenots — an extraordinary occurrence. But that is equal to a normal six weeks of immigration in 21st-century Britain. Perhaps this will all turn out beautifully. Perhaps everyone will integrate every six weeks as well as those French Protestants did over centuries. Or perhaps they won’t. But what a gamble to take with a country.
Read the entire article in The Spectator.
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