Culture, politics, science, philosophy.
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The deep Crisis of the West
At the forefront of political correctness
20.02.2018. "Don't feel guilty about our colonial history", Oxford Professor Nigel Biggar titled a column in The Times. He asked his colleagues and students to have "pride" in many aspects of their imperialist past: [...] Dozens of Oxford academics immediately united to condemn the "simple-minded" defense of British colonialism by the professor. Student associations also branded Biggar a "racist" and a "bigot", and asked the university to suspend him. Trevor Phillips, former chair of the UK Equalities and Human Rights Commission, said that Biggar's critics are using "an attack line of which Joseph Stalin would have been proud". Its goal, in fact, seems the moral destruction of the intellectual adversary. Thus begins Giulio Meotti his article Oxford University: Delirious Capital of Political Correctness (see original for links to Meotti's many sources; italics in original):
Biggar's case illustrates the atmosphere in Oxford, the West's capital of political correctness. Oxford's students and professors are the leaders of a movement which, under the guise of "anti-racism", is closing the Western mind and killing the Western culture with dogmatism, tribalism, anti-intellectualism and groupthink. All this indoctrinating has led only to a militant loathing of the Western past and a public revulsion for humanistic Western values, culture and the ability at least to try to correct our wrongs -- as only the West does. Students and professors are now unable to explain why a culture that treats women and men equally or that protects freedom of thought is superior to a culture that subjugates women and oppresses individual choice.
Oxford now preaches the cult of "diversity". But the true diversity for which a university should fight -- the diversity of opinion and thought -- is continually eroded and often completely destroyed. Roger Scruton, in an article for The Times, defined what is happening at Oxford as an "indoctrination without doctrine" and has charged Western universities with reviving the notion of "heresy".
Read the entire article at Gatestone Institute.
Serious problems within the Berlin Police
14.01.2018. Berlin's local government has come under fire after reports of frequent, habitual and sometimes criminal misconduct by Berlin's police cadets. According to the reports, such misconduct, especially by those with a migrant background, is rampant in the Berlin-Spandau police academy. Thus writes Germany-based journalist and author Stefan Frank in his article Germany: Berlin's Police Problem (links in original):
The scandal was revealed when a private WhatsApp voicemail was leaked to the public. The author, a paramedic who had given classes in the academy, complained:
"Today I held a class at the police academy. I've never experienced anything like it. The classroom looked like a pigsty. Half of the class [are] Arabs and Turks, rude as hell. Dumb. Could not express themselves. I was about to expel two or three of them because they disturbed the class or were actually sleeping. German colleagues related that some of them had threatened to beat them. ... [Some students] speak virtually no German. I am shocked, and afraid of them. The teachers ... believe that when they expel them, they will destroy the cars on the street. ... These are not our colleagues, this is the enemy among us. I have never before felt such hatred expressed in the classrooms. ... They throw punches during class -- you cannot imagine that."
The paramedic sent the voicemail to several people, one of whom brought it to the attention of Berlin's Chief of Police, Klaus Kandt.
The first reaction came from police spokesman Thomas Neuendorf, who acknowledged that there were "frequently problems" at the police academy; he also admitted that some of the cadets committed crimes -- but "they are immediately expelled." Neuendorf then attacked the paramedic by saying that "the tone and the form" of his criticism had been "inappropriate". Moreover, Neuendorf said, the paramedic should have reported these things only to his superior.
At the same time, it emerged that Berlin's police commanders and the Senate had been aware of problems with cadets "of migrant background" long before this exposé.
Continue reading at Gatestone Institute.
Not everyone can say #MeToo
14.01.2018. Sweden has let in a huge wave of young male migrants, many of whom have created an insecure environment for women; when these women have cried for help and tried to share their stories, the Swedish media and politicians have refused to listen. The Swedish media recently reported that police no longer have time to investigate rape cases because of the many murders. The main problem with the "#MeToo Movement" is that instead of relying on the rule of law, people start relying on the rule of social media. The number of "likes" or "retweets" decides whose experiences of sexual assault are recognized. If you have not been harassed or assaulted by a celebrity, nothing happens. If you were sexually assaulted by a nobody, nobody cares. Thus writes Nima Gholam Ali Pour in Sweden: Not Everyone Can Say #MeToo.
Diagnosing people you never met
14.01.2018. Following the Goldwater-psychiatrist debacle, the American Psychiatric Association declared it to be unethical for a psychiatrist to offer any kind of a diagnosis on a public figure without having examined that person. Thus writes professor emeritus Alan M. Dershowitz about what happened in the USA in the 1960s in his article Don't Diagnose President Trump – Respond to Him. He continues:
Now, more than half a century later, numerous psychiatrists and other mental health professionals are violating that sound ethical principle by diagnosing Donald Trump, whom they have never examined. They are offering diagnoses, ranging from Alzheimer's, to narcissistic personality disorder, to paranoia and more. A Yale psychiatry professor has suggested the possibility that Trump might be involuntarily committed to a mental hospital. Others have proposed that he be required to undergo psychiatric or psychological testing. While still others have suggesting invoking the 25th Amendment and declaring the president incompetent.
For more than 25 years, I taught courses on law and psychiatry and related subjects at Harvard Law School. I co-edited a basic text in the field. And I have written numerous articles regarding the ability and inability of psychiatrists to predict future conduct. On the basis of my research and writing, I find it unprofessional, unethical and absurd for any mental health professional to offer a diagnosis or psychiatric prediction regarding President Donald Trump. We are all entitled to our opinions regarding his political and personal qualification to be president. I voted for Hillary Clinton in the last election, because I felt she was more qualified than Donald Trump to be president. That is my right as an American voter. But psychiatrists and other mental health professionals have no more of a right to pathologize a president or a candidate because they disagree with his or her political views than do prosecutors or politicians have a right to criminalize political opponents.
I have been writing against the criminalization of political differences for decades, because it is dangerous to democracy. It is even more dangerous to pathologize or psychiatrize one's political opponents based on opposition to their politics. Using mental health professionals to pathologize political opponents was a common tactic used by the Soviet Union, China and apartheid South Africa against political dissidents. The American Psychological Association took a strong stand against the use of this weapon by tyrants. I was deeply involved in that condemnation, because I understood how dangerous it is to diagnose political opponents instead of responding to the merits or demerits of their political views.
It is even more dangerous when a democracy, such as the United States, begins to go down the road of pathologizing political differences. So let us debate the merits and demerits of President Trump's policies, personality and other factors that are relevant to his presidency. But let us leave diagnoses to doctors who have examined their patients.
Read the entire article at Gatestone Institute.
Alan M. Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School and author of Trumped Up, How Criminalization of Political Differences Endangers Democracy.
On the forefront of academic fundamentalism
26.11.2017. Teaching assistant Lindsay Shepherd was accused of creating a 'toxic climate' at the university by screening a televised debate discussing gender-neutral pronouns. Thus begins the article Here's the full recording of Wilfrid Laurier [University] reprimanding Lindsay Shepherd for showing a Jordan Peterson video (link added by HT):
During a seminar with first-year communications students, Wilfrid Laurier University teaching assistant Lindsay Shepherd screened a TVOntario debate to illustrate the sometimes-controversial politics of grammar.
The video, an episode of The Agenda with Steve Paikin, included University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson presenting his case against the use of non-gendered pronouns. It also included panellists taking the opposite viewpoint.
Nevertheless, after an anonymous student complained, Shepherd found herself reprimanded for violating the school's Gendered and Sexual Violence policy. In a subsequent meeting with university officials, she was accused of creating a "toxic" and "problematic" environment that constituted violence against transgendered students. She was also falsely told that she had broken the law.
Shepherd recorded the meeting. Audio and selected transcripts are below. The voices are of Shepherd, her supervising professor Nathan Rambukkana, another professor, Herbert Pimlott, as well as Adria Joel, manager of Gendered Violence Prevention and Support at the school.
Continue reading at the National Post.
Se also Conrad Black: Our campuses show we're practicing cultural genocide on ourselves.
Spike in stabbings
17.11.2017. A recent surge in stabbings and knife-related violence across Germany is drawing renewed attention to the deteriorating security situation there since Chancellor Angela Merkel's 2015 decision to allow in more than a million migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Thus begins Soeren Kern his article Germany: Spike in Stabbings:
In recent months, people armed with knives, axes and machetes have brought devastation to all of Germany's 16 federal states. Knives have been used not only not only to carry out jihadist attacks, but also to commit homicides, robberies, home invasions, sexual assaults, honor killings and many other types of violent crime.
Knife-related crimes have occurred in amusement parks, bicycle trails, hotels, parks, public squares, public transportation, restaurants, schools, supermarkets and train stations. Many Germans have the sense that danger lurks everywhere; public safety, nowhere.
Police admit they are outnumbered and overwhelmed and increasingly unable to maintain public order — both day and night.
Statistics that are reliable on knife violence in Germany — where police been accused of failing to report many crimes, apparently in an effort "not to unsettle" the public — do not exist.
A search of German police blotters, however, indicates that 2017 is on track to become a record year for stabbings and knife crimes: Police reported more than 3,500 knife-related crimes between January and October 2017, compared to around 4,000 reported crimes during all of 2016 — and only 300 in 2007. Overall, during the past ten years, knife-related crimes in Germany have increased by more than 1,200%.
The media in Germany do not report most knife-related violence. Crimes that are reported are often dismissed as "isolated incidents," unrelated to mass immigration. Moreover, many crime reports, including those in police blotters, omit any reference at all to the nationalities of the perpetrators and victims — ostensibly to avoid inflaming anti-immigration sentiments.
Merkel's open-door migration policies have, however, set in motion a self-reinforcing cycle of violence in which more and more people are carrying knives in public — including for self-defense.
Read the entire article at Gatestone Institute.
Hypocritical to the bone?
09.11.2017. Earlier this year, following a testimony from one woman and one girl, police uncovered a gang of rapists and child abusers in Newcastle. Seventeen men, convicted under Operation Sanctuary, were routinely raping young women, and girls as young as 14. They plied their victims with alcohol and drugs before assaulting them. This month, several MPs have been demoted or suspended pending investigations for allegedly touching the knees of journalists or researchers, and for making 'lewd' comments and texting women to ask them out for drinks. Which of these things got more media coverage? The rape of working-class women or the inconveniencing of middle-class women with a hand on the leg or an unwanted text? The latter, of course. Thus begins Ella Whelan her article 'Pestminster': feminism's double standards. She concludes as follows:
The difference between these cases is important for two reasons. First because looking back at the northern rape scandals should help confirm that the Westminster scandal really is a small, insignificant affair. No doubt there are unpleasant men in parliament. And yes, women shouldn't have to put up with handsy old men at boozy lunches. They should tell them to get lost. But this is hardly shocking stuff. With the exception of a serious claim of rape, made by Labour activist Bex Bailey, most of the allegations coming out of 'Pestminster' are petty.
And secondly, contrasting these two cases helps us to understand how much feminists misuse language today. To describe well-educated professional women in the sphere of politics as 'vulnerable' is ridiculous. However, girls in care in the north whose abuse was ignored or overlooked really were vulnerable. Jane Merrick and Kate Maltby, journalists who have made incredibly petty accusations against MPs, aren't brave; the northern women who persisted in bringing their serious suffering to light are brave. Sending someone a dirty text message is not 'sexual predation'; but raping, assaulting and harassing girls as young as 14 is.
There is a powerful class dynamic to the 'Pestminster' scandal. What we have here are middle-class women playing the role of victims in a very unconvincing way. But real victims, if they're working class and northern, are quickly forgotten. It is alarming that in Britain in 2017, you will get more sympathetic coverage in the broadsheet press if you're posh and someone touches your knee than if you're working-class and were raped for months.
Read the entire article at Spiked.
Ella Whelan is assistant editor at spiked. Her new book, What Women Want: Fun, Freedom and an End to Feminism, is published by Connor Court.
20.09.2017. The deadly season is almost over. Soon, the waters between Europe and Africa will become less attractive to cross, as winter approaches. Human traffickers will retreat into the shadows to count their money and lay plans to ensnare hundreds and thousands of "fish" in their boats next season. And most of all, they will spend the time praying Europe doesn´t disrupt the money-making opportunity of a lifetime by coming to its senses. Instead, they hope with every fiber of their beings that the kindness of Europeans and their governments will continue to lure great masses of people directly into their hands.
As long as a golden ticket in the form of access to a European welfare state is dangled in front of millions of people in less prosperous societies, the sea will continue to claim its victims and the traffickers will continue to pack anything that halfway floats with human cargo. And the answer is not to provide ferry service to assist in making the illegal trade more profitable. Aid agencies that do anything other than return people to non-European shores, are part of the problem, not the solution. Their misguided "assistance" is the best friend the coastal criminal ever had. Despite the intentions behind the efforts.
Thus begins Erica A. Blair her article Your kindness is kiling people. Towards the end she concludes as follows:
I do not suggest that people be left in the water to drown. I suggest that they be taken aboard and delivered to an asylum facility outside of Europe, where their applications can be assessed and processed. Under no circumstances should they gain access to the rights and privileges of an asylum seeker if they are not entitled to such a status. Paying your way into Europe via smugglers must not remain a viable option. And we must cease assisting human traffickers in making their deadly business more attractive and sustainable. We must take effective measures that end all the meaningless deaths related to this criminal industry.
Read the entire article at Resett.no.
The versatile weapon
09.08.2017. Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School, Alan M. Dershowitz, was recently accused of racism. Writes he (who is not a Trump supporter) in The Latest Anti-Trump Weapon: Accusing Their Critics of "Racism" (italics in original):
In addition to falsely accusing their political enemies of criminal conduct, some extremists, who are determined to see Donald Trump indicted, have come up with a new weapon: accusing those who disagree with them of "racism."
It began when I said in public what every experienced criminal lawyer was thinking in private:
"The second one [grand jury] is important because of where it is. It gives the prosecutor the power to indict in the District of Columbia, which is a district that is heavily Democratic, and would have a jury pool very unfavorable to Trump and the Trump administration. So it gives the prosecutor a tremendous tactical advantage... The District of Columbia is always solidly Democratic and has an ethnic and racial composition which may be very unfavorable to the Trump administration..."
I did not say that the residents of the District of Columbia would be consciously unfair to indicted Trump associates, or that Black juries are more biased than white jurors. I merely observed -- as the Supreme Court, the NAACP, the ACLU and all experienced lawyers have noted -- that life experiences matter in jury selection and deliberation. It matters whether a jury pool is largely comprised of Democrats or Republicans, Blacks or whites, poor or wealthy. If it didn't matter, our legal system would not go to such lengths to assure diversity in jury pools. This is an uncontroversial observation, but nothing is uncontroversial in the divisive political climate in which we live today.
So people who know better have deliberately distorted my point in order to argue that what I observed was racist. It began with Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who dilutes the powerful term "racism" by tossing it around as promiscuously as rap singers toss around "motherf***er" Here is what she said:
"What he [Dershowitz] is saying is 'all of those black people are there and they don't like Trump and so he's not going to get a fair trial and so they should take it out of that jurisdiction. It shouldn't be there to begin with.' I don't like that, and I'm surprised that Alan Dershowitz is talking like that. We will not stand for it. We will push back against that because that is absolutely racist."
No one was particularly surprised, or in any way influenced, by her crying "racist" once again. If I had said the opposite of what I said -- namely that race doesn't matter in jury selection -- she would have called me a racist as well.
Read the entire article at Gatestone Institute.
HonestThinking comments: Professor Dershowitz makes an interesting observation here: If you say that the race of jurors is relevant, you are a racist; if you say that it is irrelevant, then you are also a racist.
Searching for answers
19.07.2017. In 2014, when waves of refugees began flooding into western Europe, citizens and officials alike responded with generosity and openness. Exhausted refugees spilled out of trains and buses to be met by crowds bearing gifts of clothing and food, and holding up placards that read "Welcome Refugees." This was a honeymoon that could not last. Some of the upcoming difficulties had been anticipated: that the newcomers did not speak the local languages, might be traumatized, would probably take a long time to find their footing, and had brought their ethnic, religious and sectarian conflicts with them, causing them to get into battles with each other. All of these things happened but—as Angela Merkel promised—were manageable. "Wir schaffen das." Thus begins Dr. Cheryl Benard her article I've Worked with Refugees for Decades. Europe's Afghan Crime Wave Is Mind-Boggling. She continues:
But there was one development that had not been expected, and was not tolerable: the large and growing incidence of sexual assaults committed by refugees against local women. These were not of the cultural-misunderstanding-date-rape sort, but were vicious, no-preamble attacks on random girls and women, often committed by gangs or packs of young men. At first, the incidents were downplayed or hushed up—no one wanted to provide the right wing with fodder for nationalist agitation, and the hope was that these were isolated instances caused by a small problem group of outliers. As the incidents increased, and because many of them took place in public or because the public became involved either in stopping the attack or in aiding the victim afterwards, and because the courts began issuing sentences as the cases came to trial, the matter could no longer be swept under the carpet of political correctness. And with the official acknowledgment and public reporting, a weird and puzzling footnote emerged. Most of the assaults were being committed by refugees of one particular nationality: by Afghans.
This brings us to a third, more compelling and quite disturbing theory—the one that my Afghan friend, the court translator, puts forward. On the basis of his hundreds of interactions with these young men in his professional capacity over the past several years, he believes to have discovered that they are motivated by a deep and abiding contempt for Western civilization. To them, Europeans are the enemy, and their women are legitimate spoils, as are all the other things one can take from them: housing, money, passports. Their laws don't matter, their culture is uninteresting and, ultimately, their civilization is going to fall anyway to the horde of which one is the spearhead. No need to assimilate, or work hard, or try to build a decent life here for yourself—these Europeans are too soft to seriously punish you for a transgression, and their days are numbered.
But we are still left with a mystery. Welfare fraud is one thing: it makes a certain kind of sense, if you have no regard for rule of law or fairness and you are lazy. But why is this current cohort of Afghans making its mark as sexual predators . . . and inept, stupid ones at that? In search of an answer, perhaps we should take a closer look at the victims. We have eliminated improper attire and an unwittingly seductive manner, but might they have any other traits in common to shed light on why they became the targets of such madness? Reviewing them, one word comes to mind: fulfillment. A Turkish exchange student, happy to be advancing her education in industrial design at a good university in Vienna. A girl in a park, enjoying the sunshine. Two friends, taking their babies for a walk. A mother, enjoying a summer stroll with her two children. A contented old lady, out with her pet. Attractive, accomplished, happy, normal people . . . an unbearable sight, perhaps, to—and here I must agree with President Trump—losers. That is what he proposed we should call terrorists, and he is right. These young men, even minus a suicide vest, are losers, which has inspired them to become social terrorists.
The young Afghan attackers are saying, yes, that they have no impulse control, that their hormones are raging, and that they hate themselves and the world—but most especially, that they will not tolerate women who are happy, confident and feeling safe in public spaces. They are saying that they have no intention of respecting law, custom, public opinion, local values or common decency, all of which they hate so much that they are ready to put their own lives, their constructive futures and their freedom on the line for the satisfaction of inflicting damage.
Which brings me to a final theory being vented in Austria: that these destructive, crazed young men are being intentionally infiltrated into western Europe to wreak havoc: to take away the freedom and security of women; change patterns of behavior; deepen the rifts between liberals, who continue to defend and find excuses, and a right wing that calls for harsh measures and violent responses; to inflict high costs and aggravation on courts and judicial systems and generally make a mess of things.
For the record, I am not convinced that there is a deliberate plan behind this, but I do agree that angry and unstable young men are susceptible to destructive paths. Those paths can lead to ideological extremism and terrorism, or to the formation of gangs and packs that attack, harm and destroy. As we have seen, presently many of their attacks are inept and easily blocked by random civilian passersby. But they will get more skillful over time, and Europe had best develop a defense against them.
What to do? The necessary measures, I think, are obvious.
Anyone convicted of a felony or any kind of sexual crime should be immediately deported, and that consequence should be made known to new arrivals as part of their initial orientation. This is the only way to stop the accelerating problem. (Doing so will, of course, require changes to European law.)
Read the entire article in The National Interest.
Dr. Cheryl Benard was program director of the Initiative for Middle Eastern Youth and the Alternative Strategies Initiative within the RAND Corporation's National Security Research Division.
Suffers from «Suspended Communities»
04.07.2017. The imperative of integrating immigrant communities in Europe into their host nation's cultures has taken on a new urgency. Thus begins Andrew A. Michta his article Europe's "Suspended Communities":
The deepening public anxiety in the wake of the escalating wave of terror attacks across Europe is only the most visible manifestation of immigration policies gone wrong. Along with the worry has come a crisis of public confidence in elites' ability to govern, which has fueled the rejection of establishment political parties and the liberal elite consensus. At the core, the public anger is driven by a justifiable fear that unless governments undertake an urgent course correction on immigration policy the most rudimentary security of European societies will be compromised. With each jihadist attack, the official reassurances that governments are doing their best to stop the violence ring more and more hollow, as do the hair-splitting debates over what constitutes "extremist ideology."
The root causes of the accelerating jihadist terror wave across Europe are not economic inequality, racism, or Islamophobia—the usual shibboleths invoked after a terrorist attack. But while radical Islam provides the ideological rationale for jihadist terror, another important enabler is the emergence of an increasingly permanent chain of "suspended communities" nesting within nations throughout the West. As these ethnic and cultural enclaves consolidate, they also grow more and more disconnected from the national community, with daily business transactions often being the dominant form of contact maintained with the larger host nation.
The ethnic and religious diasporas that are to varying degrees the norm across Western Europe today—be they in the suburbs of Paris, the districts of Hamburg, or in towns such as Luton in the United Kingdom. These communities are in essence a petrified version of the once-temporary way stations for migrants, from which the inhabitants eventually ventured forth to become French, German, British, and so on. In contrast, today's suspended communities freeze the immigration process part way, demanding only a partial uprooting from the original culture and marginal acculturation into the host society. The current immigration pattern into Western Europe, reinforced by decades of misguided multicultural ideology and elite disavowal of the nation-state, lacks a key ingredient of past immigration policies: the finality of acculturation and societal absorption.
Today, the debates over immigration into Europe reflect the lack of consensus on the fundamental question of what comes next: Will the new immigrants continue to create insular diaspora settlements, or will they integrate into their host nations, accepting their values and embracing the attributes of democratic citizenship? The intensity of the argument is underscored by a deepening disconnect on immigration policy between Europe's West, where five decades of Muslim immigration has significantly changed the ethnic make-up of societies, and newer EU members from largely mono-ethnic post-communist Europe, which has all but rejected the idea that EU solidarity should entail "adapting" to the patterns established in Western Europe. Hence, Europe has yet to come to grips with the consequences of accepting millions of immigrants without a policy in place to ensure that they become not just fully integrated in society, but engaged citizens of their adopted nations.
European democracies urgently need a new set of clearly defined guidelines on immigration, ones that ensure the preservation of their nation-states and the transmission of core principles of mutuality and engaged democratic citizenship. New policies must include civic education as a precondition for citizenship, lessons on the nation's history rather than the group identity politics that currently dominates school curricula, and the insistence that immigrants assimilate into the mainstream national culture.
Read the entire article in The American Interest.
Andrew A. Michta is the dean of the College of International and Security Studies at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies. Views expressed here are his own.
Must be defeated
05.06.2017. Many imams in the West -- citizens of the United States, Canada and other countries -- use their pulpits to promote practices that go against democratic values and ultimately lead to terrorism. Thus begins Saied Shoaaib his article Defeating Extremist Islam - A Western Imperative. He later continues (italics in original):
Contrary to some claims, the type of clerics who preach murder and sexual abuse in North American and European mosques do not suffer from poor socioeconomic conditions and are not mentally unbalanced. Rather, they are loyal followers of an interpretation of Islam that envisions the establishment of a worldwide caliphate governed by sharia law. They deeply believe that the only way to enter Allah's paradise is to live by the letter of the Quran and the Hadith (the words and deeds of the Prophet Muhammed).
Muslim innovators abound in the West, as well, and should be the ones establishing mosques, educational institutions and media outlets, to provide followers with an alternative to political Islamism. Finally, imams in Western countries must be held to the same standard as members of other professions. They should be required to receive occupational licenses, based on criteria determined by the state, in conjunction with modern Muslims seeking a peaceful life and the ability to integrate into their societies without fear of repercussions at the hands of fundamentalists.
Read the entire article at Gatestone Institute.
See also Are Jihadists Taking over Europe?, by Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio.
«Police say that the incident is not terror-related»
21.05.2017. A video from Times Square shows the horrifying moment driver Richard Rojas plowed through a group of pedestrians and splayed them across the street. The clip from 42nd St. and 7th Ave. emerged Thursday afternoon, showing the Navy veteran's burgundy Honda Accord heading south before it makes a sudden U-turn and hits the unsuspecting crowd on the sidewalk. [...] Police say that the incident is not terror-related. Thus reports New York Daily News in Surveillance footage shows Times Square driver smashing into crowd (WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO).
HonestThinking comments: Not terror related? Yeah, sure! See the videos and judge for yourself.
No Kids, No Problem!
16.05.2017. Europeans are increasingly less likely to see childlessness as a problem. Interestingly, gender equality within a society plays a key role. The demographers Eva-Maria Merz and Aart C. Liefbroer analysed the individual and cultural factors affecting attitudes. Thus begins the article No Kids, No Problem! - How personal and cultural factors shape attitudes toward voluntary childlessness in Europe (emphasis added):
In recent decades, more and more people in Europe have chosen not to have children. However, little is known about attitudes toward this behaviour. In their study, the researchers decided to measure attitudes toward voluntary childlessness and look at the factors that influenced people's views. They based their analysis on a large-scale sample from all walks of life in 25 European countries (European Social Survey, ESS 2005-2006).
Country level predictors: gender equality
The researchers found that people were more likely to endorse childlessness in countries with higher levels of gender equality, such as in Scandinavia, than in countries with lower gender equality, such as in Southern and Eastern Europe (see figure 1). They explain this fact by pointing out that countries with high levels of gender equality place a greater emphasis on individual autonomy and decision-making, emancipation and modernisation.
Interestingly, the highest disapproval rates toward childlessness were found in Eastern European countries, even though these countries have seen an immense decline in fertility since the collapse of communism and the transition to a liberal market economy. The researchers suggest that, although fertility behaviour might have changed, people may want to retain their traditional values, including a positive attitude toward children, to help create a feeling of security.
In contrast, a country's wealth in terms of its gross domestic product (GDP), and the level of childcare provision didn't appear to influence attitudes toward childlessness.
Personal factors: education, religion, age, and gender
Personal factors also play an important role. Younger and older respondents disapproved more of childlessness than middle-aged people. The researchers postulate that young people, particularly those who don't already have children, may expect to later become parents themselves, and are therefore less tolerant of those who choose not to have children. As for older people, the oldest of the Europeans included in the survey had experienced two wars and had been raised in traditional family homes, which made having children a virtue. As such, they disapproved of those who remained childless.
Women had a more positive attitude toward childlessness than men. The researchers explain this based on the higher "opportunity costs" for women who choose to have children: They tend to have more to lose in terms of their career opportunities than men, should they decide to become parents.
Education and religious beliefs are important too: Respondents with higher educational levels viewed childlessness more positively than people who were less well educated. The researchers speculate that this was because people with higher levels of education tend to have a more tolerant and nuanced view of human behaviour, while also facing higher opportunity costs if they have children themselves. This makes them more tolerant of people who choose to remain childless.
Religious people, on the other hand, tended to disapprove of childlessness compared to their more secular peers, irrespective of denomination. The demographers explain this by pointing to the high value placed on marriage, childbearing and family life in all monotheistic denominations.
In sum, the highly educated, the religiously uncommitted and those who value autonomy across Europe are much more likely to approve of voluntary childlessness.
Article from Population Europe.
Sleepwalking us to disaster
07.05.2017. There have never been so many childless politicians leading Europe as today. They are modern, open minded and multicultural and they know that "everything finishes with them". In the short term, being childless is a relief since it means no spending for families, no sacrifices and that no one complains about the future consequences. As in a research report financed by the European Union: "No kids, no problem!". Thus writes Italian journalist and author Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, in his article Europe's Childless Leaders Sleepwalking Us to Disaster (llinks and italics in original):
Being a mother or a father, however, means that you have a very real stake in the future of the country you lead. Europe's most important leaders leave no children behind.
Europe's most important leaders are all childless: British PM Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and the French presidential hopeful Emmanuel Macron. The list continues with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
As Europe's leaders have no children, they seem have no reason to worry about the future of their continent. German philosopher Rüdiger Safranski wrote:
"for the childless, thinking in terms of the generations to come loses relevance. Therefore, they behave more and more as if they were the last and see themselves as standing at the end of the chain".
"Europe is committing suicide. Or at least its leaders have decided to commit suicide", wrote Douglas Murray in The Times. "Europe today has little desire to reproduce itself, fight for itself or even take its own side in an argument". Murray, in his new book, entitled The Strange Death of Europe, called it "an existential civilisational tiredness".
Continue reading at The Gatestone Institute.
Being eroded at American campuses
05.04.2017. The free speech wars on North American campuses appear to have arrived at their inevitable endpoint. For years, American and Canadian students have played around with a new form of morality in education. It is based not on a traditional concept of searching for truth or investigating and analysing ideas, but rather on the concept that the veracity of an opinion can be discerned by the person uttering it. In this way, a considerable number of people have apparently decided that a variety of "privileges" exist that make some speakers vital to listen to and others unnecessary, unless they agree to mouth a set of pre-ordained platitudes. This concept, coupled with the idea that minorities require special protection from speech, have now finally delivered the moral breakdown that was always waiting for it. The warning signs have been there for years. Thus begins Douglas Murray his article On Campus: Minority Priorities.
Not natural allies for Western liberals
26.03.2017. If liberals are in favor of freedom of speech, why do they turn a blind eye to Islamist governments such as Iran, which execute people for expressing their opinion? And why do they not let people in the West express their opinion without attacking them or even giving them the respect of hearing what they have to say? They seem, in fact, like the autocratic people from whom I was fleeing, who also did not want their simplistic, binary way of thinking to be threatened by logic or fact. Finally, a short message to liberals might go: Dear Liberal, If you truly stand for values such as peace, social justice, liberty and freedoms, your apologetic view of radical Islam is in total contradiction with all of those values. Your view even hinders the efforts of many Muslims to make a peaceful reformation in Islam precisely to advance those values. Thus writes Majid Rafizadeh in his article As a Muslim, I am Shocked by Liberals and Leftists.
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, political scientist and Harvard University scholar is president of the International American Council on the Middle East.
A symbol of UK's predicament
24.03.2017. Welcome to London: We can say we're not afraid, light candles and make hearts of our hands but the truth is that we can't go on like this, says Katie Hopkins in her article in The Daily Mail.
Censors its own free speech
12.03.2017. The European Parliament has introduced a new procedural rule, which allows for the chair of a debate to interrupt the live broadcasting of a speaking MEP "in the case of defamatory, racist or xenophobic language or behavior by a Member". Furthermore, the President of the European Parliament may even "decide to delete from the audiovisual record of the proceedings those parts of a speech by a Member that contain defamatory, racist or xenophobic language". No one, however, has bothered to define what constitutes "defamatory, racist or xenophobic language or behavior". This omission means that the chair of any debate in the European Parliament is free to decide, without any guidelines or objective criteria, whether the statements of MEPs are "defamatory, racist or xenophobic". The penalty for offenders can apparently reach up to around 9,000 euros. Continue reading at Gatestone Institute.
Has found out that the Swedish media is dishonest
11.03.2017. Journalist Tim Pool has released a video (11 minutes) where he sums up his experience with Sweden in general, and the Swedish media in particular: Sweden has real problems.
Is absolutely right about Sweden
08.03.2017. Many journalists around the world are eager to condemn Donald Trump no matter what. When he Tweeted about immigration in Sweden a few days ago, social media exploded. Most of his opponents said that Trump made up the immigration problem Sweden has. They are wrong. Only hours later there was a violent and destructive riot by immigrants in the capitol of Sweden, Stockholm. The police were forced to shoot with live ammunition to put an end to it. In Malmö, a city in southern Sweden, they have struggled with gang violence and lawlessness for years. So when Trump talks about Sweden having an immigration problem he is actually spot on. Thus writes René Zografos in his article Trump is absolutely right about Sweden:
It's well known to Scandinavians and other Europeans that liberal immigration comes with drugs, rapes, gang wars, robbery and violence. In addition to that we see the respective nations' cultures fading away, for good and for bad. But the immigration problem is not only a Swedish predicament. The truth is that several European cities have huge immigration problems where even the police force is afraid to interfere in some neighborhoods. UK, France and several other European countries are changing rapidly with the extreme quantity of immigration. I'm not saying immigration is exclusively bad, but a lot of problems come with poor immigration policy; some of the consequences are violence, terror and gangs.
The fact is that the press here in Europe hasn't been doing their job properly. There is this fear on the part of journalists to not report the basic truth - which is that Europe has enormous problems that comes from liberal immigration politics, and as we now see not just in Sweden, but also here in Norway. But it's not politically correct for journalists to say or write that immigration in Europe is unsuccessful. With that said, most of the people that come from other countries are behaving flawlessly and are a gift to our society, but then again to report that everything is all good is simply wrong. These journalists should find another job, because they do not have the integrity that is required to be decent journalists.
For further reading on this topic, please see René Zografos' blog.
HonestThinking comments: Zografos is a blogger with Huffington Post, and the above article was initially published there. Interestingly enough, Huffington chose to censor the above article; see here for Zografos' explanation of what happened (in Norwegian).
Where females fear to tread
01.03.2017. I didn't come to Sweden for the riots. Or because of Trump. In fact, I was supposed to be here in December — before airline strikes stood in my way. I came because I was asked. Repeatedly. Swedish women reaching out by email, by letter, to quietly show me what has become of their country. Thus begins Katie Hopkins her report Where females fear to tread: Sweden, the Scandi-lib paradise where terrified women have vanished from the streets and a conspiracy of silence and self-censorship on immigration buries the truth. She concludes as follows:
I left saddened. Saddened that in a country so proud of women's rights, that leads the way on maternity and female equality, pockets of life like this exist.
Where women of all religions and colour are trapped in their home by fear.
Where young men are happy to tell me to my face that I am a white whore and make sexual gestures to show me my place.
Where the reason one women is scared to show her face is because the feminists will vilify her with racial slurs.
Where the public broadcaster wants me to accept a hand grenade in a bin is normal.
Standing in the queue for the bus, surrounded by these people, I can honestly say, I have never felt so alone.
Read the entire article in The Daily Mail.
Laughing at the messenger
01.03.2017. Once again, an American has pointed to a failing in European society, and instead of focusing on the problem identified or even admitting that there is a problem, the European response has been to point at the American and blame him for creating the problem he has in fact merely identified. We are being given an accurate representation of a serious problem. If the response to every problem is denial, and the response to anyone pointing to the problem is opprobrium, legal threats or hilarity, it suggests that Europe is not going to make the softer-landing it could yet give itself in addressing these issues. It might make us feel better, but every time we attack or laugh at the messenger, rather than addressing the message, we ensure that our own future will be less funny. Thus Douglas Murray introduces his article about Europe's denial of its current problems at Gatestone Institute.
See also: Swedish Ambulance Union: 'We need military equipment to protect medics from hand grenades'.
What is the truth about the situation in Sweden?
27.02.2017. The U.S. media debate has been misleading, but the biggest problem is that the Swedish political establishment doesn't want to know the answer. Thus writes Tino Sanandaji in his article in National Review.
Tino Sanandaji has a Ph.D. in Public Policy from the University of Chicago, and is currently a researcher at the Institute for Economic and Business History Research in Stockholm.
Police protection unit leaked information to Moroccan crime syndicate
22.02.2017. Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad broke the news late on 21 February, that confidential police information has been regularly leaked to a Moroccan-Dutch criminal organisation, from a police service, which is charged with the security of Geert Wilders and members of the Royal Household. An experienced police officer from a Moroccan background, working with the so-called Service Safety and Security (DBB), is suspected of having sent information derived from police investigations to members of a criminal organisation guilty of fencing and laundering criminal money. According to a number of high-ranking police officers, the officer in question was tasked with so-called 'area scans'. Hij reconnoitred locations that threatened people like Geert Wilders would visit. For his work, the officer had access to a database with highly confidential information. "For work of this nature, you need to be able to request almost all information that you think you need," according to an investigating officer. The officer suspected of corruption has been apprehended last Monday on suspicion of violating professional secrecy and is suspended from duties. Thus reports Gatestone Europe, and later continues:
An officer involved in the investigation states:
"The problem with these corruption investigations is that the apprehended policemen's loyalty to their Moroccan family members and friends outweighs their loyalty to the police department."
The police services have had to cope with unrest for some time now. In November 2016, a report found that the DBB suffered from distrust amongst officers, miscommunication and conflicts. The head of the service resigned as a result.
The officer is the second with a Moroccan background to be suspected of corruption within a year, which is called a severe blow to the policy of diversity in the police force.
Read the entire article at Gatestone Europe.
An ever more severe disaster
16.02.2017. Criminals trying to recruit students. Brawls between different ethnic groups. Drug dealing. Welcome to the prestigious Värnhem School in central Mälmo. Swedish newspaper Expressen paints a stark picture of the school confronted with so many trouble and problems, it had to install fences and hire security personnel. Still the situation got so out of hand the school had to close down for two days after large, running battles within the school, a week before its students were to serve at the Nobel Prize dinner. Thus writes Vincent van den Born of Gatestone Europe. He later continues (link and italics in original):
The fighting spreads, spilling out into the streets around the school. There, a student is beaten up so severely by multiple people, an ambulance has to take him to hospital. Three times the fighting flairs up again. At the end of the afternoon, the school's administration, after consultation with the police, decides to close the school completely. Almost two thousand students are sent home. The Board of Education takes it a step further. Värnhem will be closed on Monday as well and the teachers have to regain control in order to ensure the students safety. A decision is made to hire guards.
Wednesday, 11 January 2017. Two of the security guards on Värnhem press the alarm when a sixteen-year-old and an eighteen-year-old shove them, threaten further violence within the school. Police come to the scene. The students resist. The youngest even comes to blows with one of the policemen.
There are about thirty police reports of events occurring on, or just outside of the school from all of last year and up to a few weeks ago. Everything from the theft of e-readers to abuse. On 19 January, a security guard to a stun gun from the seventeen-year-old student who brought it with him to school. After all that, the teachers are now getting a text message on their phones as soon as a fight is observed, telling them to run to the front desk to find out where it is taking place.
Fences, security guards, the aura not of a school, but of a prison. Several of the teachers Expressen talked to seem to think that this is the future of schools in Sweden. Nearby elementary schools also want security guards and surrounding fences to create some kind of security. But it is a fleeting security. Can fences protect against students recreating IS-executions, or the sexual harassment of six-year-old girls inside?
When Expressen reporters are on the school grounds, the principal of Värnhem – whom they interviewed the day before – stops and asks them what they are doing. She doesn't like reporters hanging around. "It's not interesting," she said when Expressen first told her they wanted to do a story on the school. She fears the bad publicity.
The reason? In 2015, Värnhem received an award for taking in the highest number of newly arrived pupils in all of Malmö. The school's problems, to an important degree, stem from allowing too many immigrant pupils in, in too short a time and not having the money, or the forethought, of arranging for the extra problems these new pupils bring.
Read the entire article at Gatestone Europe.
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