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G M
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« Reply #50 on: December 16, 2006, 04:16:11 PM »

**Very interesting, hadn't heard of Bassam Tibi before this article.**

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20061214.wwente14/TPStory/National/columnists

Germans may regret ignoring ‘prophet' in their midst
 
MARGARET WENTE

From Thursday's Globe and Mail


BERLIN — Bassam Tibi is an unabashed alarmist. He is among Germany's foremost political scientists, and an expert on political Islam. And he says that even now — after 9/11, after Madrid, after 7/7, and all the rest of it — the European elites don't have a clue what they are up against.

“Europeans don't know what Islamism is,” he argues. “We are talking about a new totalitarianism. And Islamists are establishing themselves in Europe with great success.” They thrive, thanks to Europe's tolerance of the intolerable.

Dr. Tibi, a Muslim born in Syria, is persona non grata there.

He's not too popular in Germany either, where he has been accused of inciting Islamophobia. “It is most disturbing to see how writers who try to warn about the totalitarian character of Islamism are defamed as racists,” he says. “This wrong-headed political correctness prevents any honest discussion about the subject.”


This is not the message you will hear from any Muslim leader. The standard line is that extremism has been exaggerated, the media are to blame, and that the real problem is that Muslims have been unfairly targeted. But long before 9/11, Dr. Tibi began warning Europe had become dangerously vulnerable to radical Islamists. Today, many of these movements have their logistics, as well as their support systems, in Western Europe. In the name of multiculturalism, Muslims were encouraged to build parallel societies. Now, many have no intention of integrating into the mainstream.

It's true, he says, that the radicals are no more than a tiny minority — between 3 per cent and 5 per cent of the Muslim population, he guesses — but they are gaining ground. “They control most of the mosques and the welfare institutions, and they are the official speakers for Islam.” (Among the most revered is Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, now preaching from Qatar on Al Jazeera, who says Islam justifies suicide bombing.)

In spite of the new lip service being paid to integration, he says, Europe shows little interest in acting to promote it. Part of the problem is that there's no consensus on what it means to be European.

“Some people think there is no such thing as a common identity binding us together,” he says.

Dr. Tibi himself has argued for the importance of affirming just such an identity. He called it Leitkultur, or core culture, defined as the values of modernity — democracy, secularism, human rights, and civil society. The term was quickly adopted by Germany's conservative wing, and so the orthodox intelligentsia condemned it as quasi-racist. No surprise there. The mainstream intelligentsia of Europe also regards the United States as a far greater threat to world peace than radical Islamism.

There are now 20 million Muslims living in Europe, and the Islamic diaspora is expected to double and even triple in the coming decades. Will these Muslims become European citizens with a European identity? “Not if we allow the present situation to continue,” he says. “There's an inability to understand what is going on on the ground. The young men involved in the Paris riots know very little about Islam and they are not practising Muslims. But their world view is shaped by Islamism and their image of themselves is determined by Islamist-identity politics.”

Dr. Tibi is impatient with the endlessly repeated nostrum that Islam is “a religion of peace.” “When you study religion, you do not study texts, you study social facts. A Muslim boy is torching cars and he is thinking he is waging jihad. Religion has nothing to do with terrorism. But you can use it to legitimate terrorism. There is a conflict — it is social and economic, but it is articulated in religious language.” And the quest of converting the entire world to Islam, he insists, is an immutable fixture of the Muslim worldview.

I asked Dr. Tibi how many of Germany's 3.2 million Muslims share his progressive, secular views. “Maybe a few thousand,” he said.

There's a twist to this story, and it, too, is not a happy one. Dr. Tibi is getting out, moving to the U.S., where he has been a visiting professor at Harvard and Cornell — not only because his views are more respected there, but because, after 44 years, he still feels like an outsider here. “I love Germany,” he says. “I love the German language, and there are many decent Germans.

“But I believe Germany is an ethnically exclusive country. Bassam is not a German name. A Muslim is not a German. And there is no space for me in an ethnically exclusive country.”

Dr. Tibi is a prophet without honour in his own land. And that raises another uncomfortable question. If he can't become a German, then who can?

mwente@globeandmail.com
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G M
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« Reply #51 on: December 16, 2006, 04:21:09 PM »

**Hirsi Ali has had to flee from europe, to the US.**

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-ali16dec16,0,2351518.story?coll=la-home-commentary

Why they deny the Holocaust
On top of nearly constant anti-Semitic propaganda, much of the Muslim world hasn't even heard of it.
By Ayaan Hirsi Ali
AYAAN HIRSI ALI, a Somali immigrant who served in the parliament of the Netherlands until earlier this year, is the author of "Infidel," an autobiography to be published in February.

December 16, 2006

ONE DAY IN 1994, when I was living in Ede, a small town in Holland, I got a visit from my half-sister. She and I were both immigrants from Somalia and had both applied for asylum in Holland. I was granted it; she was denied. The fact that I got asylum gave me the opportunity to study. My half-sister couldn't.

In order for me to be admitted to the university I wanted to attend, I needed to pass three courses: a language course, a civics course and a history course. It was in the preparatory history course that I, for the first time, heard of the Holocaust. I was 24 years old at that time, and my half-sister was 21.

In those days, the daily news was filled with the Rwandan genocide and ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia. On the day that my half-sister visited me, my head was reeling from what happened to 6 million Jews in Germany, Holland, France and Eastern Europe.

I learned that innocent men, women and children were separated from each other. Stars pinned to their shoulders, transported by train to camps, they were gassed for no other reason than for being Jewish.

I saw pictures of masses of skeletons, even of kids. I heard horrifying accounts of some of the people who had survived the terror of Auschwitz and Sobibor. I told my half-sister all this and showed her the pictures in my history book. What she said was as awful as the information in my book.

With great conviction, my half-sister cried: "It's a lie! Jews have a way of blinding people. They were not killed, gassed or massacred. But I pray to Allah that one day all the Jews in the world will be destroyed."

She was not saying anything new. As a child growing up in Saudi Arabia, I remember my teachers, my mom and our neighbors telling us practically on a daily basis that Jews are evil, the sworn enemies of Muslims, and that their only goal was to destroy Islam. We were never informed about the Holocaust.

Later, as a teenager in Kenya, when Saudi and other Persian Gulf philanthropy reached us, I remember that the building of mosques and donations to hospitals and the poor went hand in hand with the cursing of Jews. Jews were said to be responsible for the deaths of babies and for epidemics such as AIDS, and they were believed to be the cause of wars. They were greedy and would do absolutely anything to kill us Muslims. If we ever wanted to know peace and stability, and if we didn't want to be wiped out, we would have to destroy the Jews. For those of us who were not in a position to take up arms against them, it was enough for us to cup our hands, raise our eyes heavenward and pray to Allah to destroy them.

Western leaders today who say they are shocked by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's conference this week denying the Holocaust need to wake up to that reality. For the majority of Muslims in the world, the Holocaust is not a major historical event that they deny. We simply do not know it ever happened because we were never informed of it.

The total number of Jews in the world today is estimated to be about 15 million, certainly no more than 20 million. On the other hand, the world's Muslim population is estimated to be between 1.2 billion and 1.5 billion. And not only is this population rapidly growing, it is also very young.

What's striking about Ahmadinejad's conference is the (silent) acquiescence of mainstream Muslims. I cannot help but wonder: Why is there no counter-conference in Riyadh, Cairo, Lahore, Khartoum or Jakarta condemning Ahmadinejad? Why are the 57 members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference silent on this?

Could the answer be as simple as it is horrifying: For generations, the leaders of these so-called Muslim countries have been spoon-feeding their populations a constant diet of propaganda similar to the one that generations of Germans (and other Europeans) were fed — that Jews are vermin and should be dealt with as such? In Europe, the logical conclusion was the Holocaust. If Ahmadinejad has his way, he shall not want for compliant Muslims ready to act on his wish.

The world needs to be informed again and again about the Holocaust — not only in the interest of the Jews who survived and their offspring but in the interest of humanity.

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Quijote
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« Reply #52 on: December 19, 2006, 08:29:19 AM »

Received the book a short while ago, already 3/4 through. Good reading. Already found a lot of stuff to agree on, but also some I critisize. Will give review shortly as soon as christmas holly (maybe new years eve) passed.
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G M
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« Reply #53 on: December 19, 2006, 06:55:38 PM »

Looking forward to the review.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #54 on: December 20, 2006, 05:24:20 PM »

This datum from Stratfor.com today supporting Steyn's thesis:

JAPAN: Japan's population will suffer a 25 percent decline, dropping from 127.8 million in 2005 to 95.2 million in 2050, the Health Ministry reported. This is more than the previously forecast 21 percent decline. The decrease is a result of delayed marriages and falling birth rates. The latest report says the number of senior citizens will double to 40 percent of the population and the population under 14 years of age will fall from 13.8 percent to 8.6 percent.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #55 on: December 21, 2006, 10:31:57 AM »

All Tomorrow's Euro-Muslims
Books
BY JOSEF JOFFE
 
URL: http://www.nysun.com/article/45039

Mark Steyn, the Canadian columnist who lives in "blue" New Hampshire, is a true "red-stater" whose genius ranges somewhere between Mark Twain and Ambrose Bierce. He has got punch, wit, and smarts, and if he were teaching in a North American humanities department, they would send him off to "sensitivity training" for life, without parole.

In "America Alone" (Regnery, 224 pages, $27.95) Mr. Steyn aims his rhetorical sandblaster at three targets: Europe, Islam, and the welfare state. Why this trio? Europe is dying for lack of babies, Islam produces a surfeit thereof, and the fault lies, au fond, with the postmodern welfare state that relieves the individual of ever more responsibility while shouldering him with boundless guilt about past sins, such as racism and colonialism plus an equally boundless "respect" for "The Other." Hence, he predicts: "Go to any children's store in Amsterdam or Marseilles ... Look at the women in headscarves or full abaya. That is the future."

The facts are obvious. European women are having 1.4 children (1.1 in Spain) Muslim immigrants 3.5 — and six in places like Gaza. Play the compound interest game, and somewhere down the line, Europe will turn into "Eurabia." Or as Mr. Steyn puts it in his inimitable prose: "By the next century, German will be spoken only at Hitler, Himmler, Goebbels and Goering's Monday night poker game in Hell. And long before the Maldive Islands are submerged by ‘rising sea levels' every Spaniard and Italian will be six feet under. But sure, go ahead and worry about ‘climate change.'"

Mr. Steyn has a point. In the West, only three nations are at or above the replenishment rate of 2.1: America, Israel, and Iceland. Skip that demographic speck in the Atlantic; it is too small and remote to make for generalizations. But why America and Israel? These two outriggers of the West have a "project" — an intact national identity, a warrior culture, and foes all around them. They simply cannot afford to die out, and they have a sense of themselves — call it a mission — that bellows: "We will never slink offstage!" Mind you, it was the Brits who invented "the white man's burden," and the French who proclaimed a "mission civilisatrice" for themselves. But that's over and done with after two murderous world wars, innumerable defeats, and spirit-breaking upheavals. No wonder that they have chosen security über alles — a cradle-to-grave welfare state that stifles self-reliance and obligation to the future. Why should I have children? They deplete my time-budget as well as my wallet. Let the state take care of me tomorrow.

If the Europeans have thrown in the generative towel, Mr. Steyn plows ahead, the Muslims have not. They are lean, mean, and super-fertile, and they are thrust forward by a mighty sense of moral superiority as they look down on the decadent, libertine, and slothful West. Again, Mr. Steyn has a point. There is a lassitude about Europe that stands in stark, possibly tragic contrast to its glorious past — when its adventurers roamed the four corners of the globe as conquerors, when it produced everything, from the Renaissance to the fax machine, that makes up Western civilization.

This book is a relentlessly funny and felicitous polemic, but as in any polemic, its sparkling insights don't quite add up to a watertight brief. Sentences are honed to the sharpest, wittiest point, but, in the end, they leave you breathless and with a sense of du trop. You begin to scratch your head once your look past the sheer delight of reading.

Eurabia? There are only 20 million self-righteous and embittered Muslims in Europe — and 430 million soi-disant Euro-weenies. It will take a while before the former overwhelm the latter — a couple of hundred years at least. Meanwhile, these secular and Christian folks are not amoebae or lemmings, driven to their demise by forces they neither understand nor control. If September 11, 2001, was no wake-up call, July 7, 2005, in Britain was, and so were the murder of Theo van Gogh in Amsterdam and a spate of foiled terror attacks since then.

Those Euros are beginning to see multiculturalism as an unforeseen passport to "parallel universes" in their inner and outer cities; they are taking a hard look at their mosques, and what is taught in them; and they are tightening up on immigration. The new buzzword is "integration," which is a more correct moniker for "assimilation."

Nor is America as exceptional as Mr. Steyn would have us believe. Berkeley is more like Berlin than Boise when it comes to the siren call of multiculturalism and "Otherism." There is altogether too much guilt and too little pride in the West. But what a magnificent civilization it remains. It may run out of babies, but will it also run out of spunk?

Perhaps even Mr. Steyn doesn't think so. His diatribe is a "device," as the journalist's lingo has it — a call to arms and to conviction. Eventually, appeasement must and will falter. Meanwhile, read this book and savor the fireworks. Grim as it is, it will make you laugh and then force you to think. Pedagogy could not be more pleasurable.

Mr. Joffe, publisher-editor of Die Zeit in Hamburg, taught American foreign policy at Stanford this fall, where he is also Abramowitz Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He just published "Überpower: America's Imperial Temptation."
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G M
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« Reply #56 on: December 21, 2006, 04:16:03 PM »

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/12/21/nnames21.xml

Mohammed overtakes George in list of most popular names
By Sarah Womack, Social Affairs Correspondent
Last Updated: 2:02am GMT 21/12/2006



Mohammed, and its most common alternative spelling Muhammad, are now more popular babies' names in England and Wales than George, reflecting the diverse ethnic mix of the population.

The Office for National Statistics said there were 2,833 baby boys called Mohammed in 2006.

   
The name is 22nd in the list of most popular boys' names, moving up a place from last year.

Spelled Muhammad, it is the 44th most popular name and enters the top 50 for the first time along with Noah, Oscar, Lucas and Rhys.

There were 2,833 babies called Mohammed born in 2006 and 1,422 called Muhammad. The total exceeds the number of Georges (3,386) or Josephs (3,755).

The list of popular babies' names for 2006 also shows that the cult of celebrity is changing the baptismal tide.

There were 38 babies called Cruz (after David Beckham's third child) this year, raising the name from 1,508th to 650th. There were 14 Peaches (after the daughter of Bob Geldof), raising that name from 4,509th to 1,561st.

Jack has been the top boys' name for 12 years but Olivia has risen three places from last year. Last year's top girl's name, Jessica, dropped to number three, There are just three new names in the top 50 girls' names list - Imogen, Sophia and Anna.

The ONS said some of the girls' names gaining the most popularity this year were Evie (21), Freya (23), Poppy (30) and Jasmine (31).

As usual, the boys' top 50 is more stable, but Harrison jumped six places to number 36. Alfie, Cameron and Henry all rose five places to numbers 16, 30 and 39 respectively.
 
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Quijote
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« Reply #57 on: January 07, 2007, 05:18:37 AM »

Ok, finished the book. Like it a lot. Preparing a posting.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2007, 08:52:02 AM by Quijote » Logged

"En un lugar de la Mancha, de cuyo nombre no quiero
acordarme, no ha mucho tiempo que viv?a un hidalgo de los de
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Quijote
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« Reply #58 on: January 07, 2007, 05:25:57 AM »

Quote
Freya

Funny. That's a very germanic name. Freya, goddess of the old nordic sagas.

So there are 7141 Georges and Josephs up against 4255 Moes on the 44th place. Other than the muslims showing a *truly disturbing* lack of inventiveness, I still count more Brits here.
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"En un lugar de la Mancha, de cuyo nombre no quiero
acordarme, no ha mucho tiempo que viv?a un hidalgo de los de
lanza en astillero, adarga antigua, roc?n flaco y galgo corredor."
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #59 on: January 23, 2007, 07:52:15 PM »


Islam converts change face of Europe
By ETGAR LEFKOVITS

Talkbacks for this article: 53

As many as 100,000 French and British citizens have converted to Islam over the last decade, according to a new book by an Israeli historian.
The figures cited by Hebrew University Prof. Raphael Israeli in his upcoming book The Third Islamic Invasion of Europe are representative of the fast-changing face of Europe, which the Islamic history professor says is in danger of becoming "Eurabia" within half a century.
He noted that about 30 million Muslims currently live in Europe, out of a total population of 380 million., adding that with a high Muslim birthrate in Europe, the number of Muslims living in the continent is likely to double within 25 years.
Israeli also cited massive immigration and Turkey's future inclusion in the EU as the primary reasons why the face of Europe will be indelibly changed within a generation.
European concerns over a fast-growing Muslim population is at the center of opposition to Turkey's entry into the EU, he said, as the inclusion of Turkey into the EU will catapult the number of Muslims to 100 million out of a total population of 450 million.
"The sheer weight of demography will produce a situation where no Frenchman or Dutchman could be elected to parliament without the support of the Muslim minority," he said Monday in an interview with The Jerusalem Post.
"Muslims will have a more and more decisive voice in the makeup of European governments."
"With Turkey as a member of the EU, the process will be accelerated, without [Turkey] it will be slower but it will still happen," he added. Turkey has strong relations with Israel.
The historian, who has authored 19 previous books, said that Muslim political power in Europe would directly impact domestic politics, including Europe's immigration policy, with millions of additional Muslims waiting at the door to gain entry to the EU as part of "family reunification" programs.
"Every European with a right mind has every reason to be frightened," Israeli said.
The 50,000 French and 50,000 British who have converted to Islam over the last decade, including many from mixed marriages, did so for personal convictions, romanticized notions of Islam, as well as for business reasons, while others see Islam as the wave of the future at a time when Christianity is on the wane, Israeli said.
He said that Muslims converting to Christianity existed but their numbers were significantly smaller.
Israeli noted that conversions in mixed marriages worked only in one direction since a Muslim woman who marries a Christian is considered an apostate in her community, and faces physical danger.
"It is time one should wake up and realize what is happening in Europe," he concluded. Israeli's book is due out in London in the coming months.•

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1167467792048&pagename=JPost%2FJPArt icle%2FShowFull
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Quijote
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« Reply #60 on: February 13, 2007, 09:05:04 AM »

I guess I own you an answer:

Well, for some time I've been thinking about a proper response to this thread. All I can say is, I can't give you one.

Steyn's book is funny, easy to read. It's polemic, therefore provocative and also sparkling some good thoughts. I had a good time reading it.

Only problem is, when I look around, I don't see much of this happening. Sure, you're able to dig out some really frightening news articles. From your point of view, Britain must already be a muslim state. And I guess they're even more frightening when you're in sunny California. Europe lived through worse than this.

The future is unpredicatble as ever. Before I read the book I was lot more concerned about this topic, now I've become a lot more indifferent. Maybe because it's interesting to see an old saying coming true  "The clouds are darker from the other side of the river."

Can't really write much more clever than this.  smiley
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"En un lugar de la Mancha, de cuyo nombre no quiero
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« Reply #61 on: February 21, 2007, 12:31:09 PM »


I suppose I could post this on the Afg-Pak thread, but it seems like a pretty good example of "America Alone".

=============

ITALY: The Italian Senate voted against a measure to keep Italy's approximately 1,900 soldiers in Afghanistan. Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema had said the government should resign if the bill failed to pass, since it was a crucial test of the government's unity.

stratfor.com
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #62 on: March 25, 2007, 01:31:32 PM »

POPE FEARS LOW EURO-BIRTH RATE: Europe appears to be "losing faith in its own future," Pope Benedict XVI said yesterday. Speaking on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, Benedict expressed concern about the "demographic profile" of Europe, where many are having fewer children.  He said the trends ''favor dangerous individualism.''

LBN
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« Reply #63 on: May 14, 2007, 09:18:35 AM »

WSJ
Canada's Cut-and-Run Crowd
By MARY ANASTASIA O'GRADY
May 14, 2007

The vote on a nonbinding resolution to bring the troops home had serious implications for Americans. But it didn't take place on Capitol Hill and it wasn't about Iraq.

This vote, taken last month, was held in Canada's House of Commons. Sponsored by the Liberal Party, the resolution called for the country to pull its soldiers out of Afghanistan in May 2009, when its NATO commitment expires. Though the ayes fell short of victory (134-150), it was only because the hard-left New Democratic Party, which wants the troops out now, refused to support it. Thus despite the loss, the resolution creates a lot of uncertainty about Canada's reliability in the struggle against radical Islam.

Canada is a founding member of NATO and has been the U.S.'s security partner in the North American Aerospace Defense Command (Norad) since 1958. Both NATO and Norad constitute a recognition that solidarity among Western societies plays a key role in the defense of our shared values and way of life.

Thus, when Canadian politicians start agitating to cut and run from the alliance in the middle of a war, it's a worrying development. One also has to ask whether a wavering Canada suggests a more widespread attitude among NATO members. Does the West have the fortitude to go the distance against this determined and lethal enemy?

Our neighbors to the North have been with us in the fight against al Qaeda since the first moments of the 9/11 attacks. On that day the top ranking officer on duty at Norad's command center in Colorado, which scrambled the jets that responded, was a Canadian. Canadian families opened their homes to thousands of stranded air travelers. In the weeks and months that followed there was no doubt about support from Ottawa.

The Liberal Party, led by Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, didn't hesitate to commit the nation to the allied response. In 2002 Canada sent 800 troops into the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar and the country also made financial commitments. Between 2001 and 2011, Canada is slated to spend $1.2 billion in development assistance in Afghanistan, making it the single largest recipient of Canadian foreign aid.

Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin took the reins in December 2003 and Canada remained committed. In a Sept. 22, 2005 speech, Defense Minster Bill Graham praised the Canadian military's work in Afghanistan, noting that "this is not the time for Canada or the international community to abandon or even reduce our commitment to a country in which we have invested so much in human and financial resources over the past few years."

Despite all this, by the time Mr. Martin called an election for January 2006, Canadians had to face the fact that years of Liberal rule had gutted the military, and that their country's geopolitical relevance, once on a par with that of Australia, had seriously diminished. Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper won that election in part because he made restoring Canadian pride an issue. As if to seal his commitment to the effort, the new prime minister chose a visit to the troops in Afghanistan as his first trip abroad. "Your work," Mr. Harper told the soldiers, "is about more than just defending Canada's interest. It's also about demonstrating an international leadership role for our country. Not carping from the sidelines but taking a stand on the big issues that matter. You can't lead from the bleachers." Mr. Harper also led and won a vote, despite his party's minority status, to extend Canada's commitment in Afghanistan by two years, out to May 2009.

There are now 2,500 Canadian troops in Afghanistan and they are doing some of the heaviest lifting. Unlike many other NATO partners, which limit their troops' participation to the more pacified north, Canadian soldiers are fighting in the south alongside U.S., British and Afghan units. Last year Canada took command of NATO operations around Kandahar. Violence escalated again this spring as allied forces launched another offensive against the Taliban. This has coincided with an increase in Canadian casualties. Fifty-four Canadian soldiers have been killed since 2002 and nine of those died in a 10-day period in April, commencing on Easter Sunday.

We are now into the sixth year of this war and polls suggest the public is growing tired of it. Public weariness is not surprising, particularly since the enemy is tied up in the heroin trade and is empowered by civilians who make their living off the poppy crop and by robust demand in Europe. Just ask the Colombians how hard it is to fight the organized crime networks that traffic in prohibited -- and therefore high-value -- substances.

Slow progress is not the only thing working against public confidence. Recent charges that Afghan police abused detainees who were turned over to them by the Canadian military have also played a role and the left is having a field day, as if Canada has its very own "Abu Ghraib." The opposition senses a weakened Mr. Harper, and this explains why it is now attacking the very policy it designed -- despite the fact that holding up Canada's NATO commitments and helping secure and build an Afghan democracy were once noble Liberal goals.

The opportunity to make Afghanistan Mr. Harper's Iraq must be tempting to the Liberals. But by following this line of thinking, the party is playing right into the hands of Islamic fundamentalists, who are eager not only to destroy Afghan democracy but more to the point, Canada's.

In his speech in Afghanistan, Mr. Harper reminded the troops that two dozen Canadians lost their lives in the World Trade Center. "Since that time, al Qaeda has singled out Canada as one of the countries targeted for terror," he warned.

Since then it also has become clear that wealthy Saudis are trying to sow radicalism among Canada's significant Muslim population by promoting fundamentalist teaching in local mosques. There has also been an attempt to assert Shariah law in Canada, and at least one significant terror plot has been broken up. None of this is unrelated to what's going on in Afghanistan, and withdrawing from the fight would not reduce the risks to Canada. On the contrary, a Canadian surrender in Afghanistan would be a victory for terrorists and would energize jihad recruitment in Canada. It's easy to see why ambitious Liberals are willing to play the antiwar card so as to return to power. It's harder to understand why the Canadian public would go along with it.

• Write to O'Grady@wsj.com.
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« Reply #64 on: July 23, 2007, 12:14:17 PM »

“In London last week, the Optimum Population Trust called for Britons to have ‘one child less’ because the United Kingdom’s ‘high birth rate is a major factor in the current level of climate change, which can only be combated if families voluntarily limit the number of children they have.’ ‘Climate change is now widely regarded as the biggest problem facing the planet,’ says Professor John Guillebaud. ‘We’re nearing the point of no return and people are feeling increasingly desperate and helpless. The answer lies in our own hands... We have to recognize that the biggest cause of climate change is climate changers—in other words, human beings, in the UK as well as abroad.’ As the professor sees it, having fewer children is ‘the simplest, quickest and most significant thing any of us could do to leave a sustainable and habitable planet for our children and grandchildren.’ The best thing we can do for our children is not to have them.” —Mark Steyn
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G M
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« Reply #65 on: April 19, 2008, 05:50:06 PM »

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/obama-america-guns-2021119-gun-world#

Saturday, April 19, 2008
Mark Steyn: Guns and God? Hell, yes
Obama attacks two of the things that elevate the U.S. above places like Europe

MARK STEYN
Syndicated columnist


Our lesson today comes from the songwriter Frank Loesser:
"Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition."
Or as Barack Obama and his San Francisco pals would put it: God and guns. Loesser got the phrase from Howell Forgy, a naval chaplain at Pearl Harbor, who walked the decks of the USS New Orleans under Japanese bombardment, exhorting his comrades. When the line came to Loesser's ears, he turned it into a big hit song of the Second World War:
"Praise the Lord and swing into position
Can't afford to sit around a-wishin'…" – which some folks sang as "Can't afford to be a politician." Indeed. Sen. Obama's remarks about poor dumb, bitter rural losers "clinging to" guns and God certainly testify to the instinctive snobbery of a big segment of the political class. But we shouldn't let it go by merely deploring coastal condescension toward the knuckledraggers. No, what Michelle Malkin calls Crackerquiddick (quite rightly – it's more than just another dreary "-gate") is not just snobbish nor even merely wrongheaded. It's an attack on two of the critical advantages the United States holds over most of the rest of the Western world. In the other G7 developed nations, nobody clings to God 'n' guns. The guns got taken away, and the Europeans gave up on churchgoing once they embraced Big Government as the new religion.
How's that working out? Compared with America, France and Germany have been more or less economically stagnant for the past quarter-century, living permanently with unemployment rates significantly higher than in the United States.
Has it made them any less "bitter," as Obama characterizes those Pennsylvanian crackers? No. In my book "America Alone," just out in paperback and available in all good bookstores – you'll find it in Borders propping up the wonky rear leg of the display table for the smash new CD "Michelle Obama And The San Francisco Macchiato Chorus Sing "I Pinned My Pink Slip To The Gun Rack Of My Pick-Up,' 'My Dog Done Died, My Wife Jus' Left Me, And Michael Dukakis Is Strangely Reluctant To Run Again,' Plus 'I Swung By The Economic Development Zone Business Park But The Only Two Occupied Rental Units Were Both Evangelical Churches' And Other Embittered Appalachian Favorites."
Where was I? Oh, yes. In my book "America Alone," I note a global survey on optimism: 61 percent of Americans were optimistic about the future, 29 percent of the French, 15 percent of Germans. Take it from a foreigner: In my experience, Americans are the least "bitter" people in the developed world. Secular, gun-free big-government Europe doesn't seem to have done anything for people's happiness. Consider by way of example the words of Keith Reade. He's not an Obama speechwriter, he's a writer for the London Daily Mirror. And the day after the 2004 presidential election he expressed his frustration in an alarmingly Obamaesque way:
"Were I a Kerry voter, though, I'd feel deep anger, not only at them returning Bush to power, but for allowing the outside world to lump us all into the same category of moronic muppets. The self-righteous, gun-totin', military-lovin', sister-marryin', abortion-hatin', gay-loathin', foreigner-despisin', nonpassport ownin' rednecks, who believe God gave America the biggest d*** in the world so it could urinate on the rest of us and make their land 'free and strong.'"
Well, that's certainly why I supported Bush, but I'm not sure it entirely accounts for the other 62,039,073 incontinent rednecks. Reade, though, does usefully enumerate some of the distinctive features that separate America from the rest of the West. "Self-righteous"? If you want a public culture that reeks of indestructible faith in its own righteousness, try Europe – especially when they're talking about America: If you disagree with Eutopian wisdom, you must be an idiot.
Obama and far too many Democrats have bought into this delusion, most thoroughly distilled in Thomas Frank's book "What's The Matter With Kansas?", whose argument is that heartland voters are too dumb (i.e., "moronic muppets") to vote for their own best interests.
Europeans did "vote for their own best interests" – i.e., cradle-to-grave welfare, 35-hour workweeks, six weeks of paid vacation, etc. – and as a result they now face a perfect storm of unsustainable entitlements, economic stagnation and declining human capital that's left them so demographically beholden to unassimilable levels of immigration that they're being remorselessly Islamized with every passing day. We should thank God (forgive the expression) that America's loser gun nuts don't share the same sophisticated rational calculation of "their best interests" as do Thomas Frank, Obama, too many Democrats and the European political establishment.
As for "gun-totin'," large numbers of Americans tote guns because they're assertive, self-reliant citizens, not docile subjects of a permanent governing class. The Second Amendment is philosophically consistent with the First Amendment, for which I've become more grateful since the Canadian Islamic Congress decided to sue me for "hate speech" up north. Both amendments embody the American view that liberty is not the gift of the state, and its defense cannot be outsourced exclusively to the government.
I think a healthy society needs both God and guns: It benefits from a belief in some kind of higher purpose to life on Earth, and it requires a self-reliant citizenry. If you lack either of those twin props, you wind up with today's Europe – a present-tense Eutopia mired in fatalism.
A while back, I was struck by the words of Oscar van den Boogaard, a Dutch gay humanist (which is pretty much the trifecta of Eurocool). Reflecting on the Continent's accelerating Islamification, he concluded that the jig was up for the Europe he loved, but what could he do? "I am not a warrior, but who is?" he shrugged. "I have never learned to fight for my freedom. I was only good at enjoying it."
Sorry, it doesn't work like that. If you don't understand that there are times when you'll have to fight for it, you won't enjoy it for long. That's what a lot of Reade's laundry list – "gun-totin'," "military-lovin'" – boils down to. As for "gay-loathin'," it's Oscar van den Boogaard's famously tolerant Amsterdam where gay-bashing is resurgent: The editor of the American gay paper the Washington Blade got beaten up in the streets on his last visit to the Netherlands.
God and guns. Maybe one day a viable society will find a magic cure-all that can do without both, but Big Government isn't it. And even complacent liberal Democrats ought to be able to look across the ocean and see that. But, then, Obama did give the speech in San Francisco, a city demographically declining at a rate that qualifies it for EU membership. When it comes to parochial simpletons, you don't need to go to Kansas.
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« Reply #66 on: May 28, 2008, 03:35:51 PM »

http://www.churchnewspaper.com/Editorial.aspx

Religious trends and our religious future

If recent reports of trends in religious observance prove to be correct, then in some 30 years the mosque will be able to claim that, religiously speaking, the UK is an Islamic nation, and therefore needs a share in any religious establishment to reflect this. The progress of conservative Islam in the UK has been amazing, and it has come at a time of prolonged decline in church attendance that seems likely to continue.
This progress has been enthusiastically assisted by this government in particular with its hard-line multi-cultural dogma and willingness to concede to virtually every demand made by Muslims. Perhaps most importantly the government has chosen to allow hard-liners to act as representing all Muslims, and more liberal Muslims have almost completely failed to produce any leadership voices to compete, leading many Britons to wonder if there are indeed many liberal Muslims at all, surely a mistake.
At all levels of national life Islam has gained state funding, protection from any criticism, and the insertion of advisors and experts in government departs national and local. A Muslim Home Office adviser, for example, was responsible for Baroness Scotland’s aborting of the legislation against honour killings, arguing that informal methods would be better. In the police we hear of girls under police protection having the addresses of their safe houses disclosed to their parents by Muslim officers who think they are doing their religious duty.
While men-only gentlemen’s clubs are now being dubbed unlawful, we hear of municipal swimming baths encouraging ‘Muslim women only’ sessions and in Dewsbury Hospitals staff waste time by turning beds to face Mecca five times a day — a Monty Pythonesque scenario of lunacy, but astonishingly true. Prisons are replete with imams who are keen to inculcate conservative Islam in any inmates who are deemed to be culturally ‘Muslim’: the Prison service in effect treats such prisoners as a cultural block to be preached to by imams at will. Would the Prison service send all those with ‘C of E’ on their papers to confirmation classes with the chaplain?! We could go on.
The point is that Islam is being institutionalised, incarnated, into national structures amazingly fast, at the same time as demography is showing very high birthrates. Charles Taylor’s new and classic work on the Secular Age charts the rise of the secular mindset and what he calls the ‘excarnation’ of Christianity as it is levered out of state policy and structures. Christianity is now regarded as bad news, the liberal elite’s attack developed in the 1960s took root in the educationalist empire, and to some extent even in areas of the church.
Today the Christian story is fading from public imagination, while Islam grows apace. There needs to be some fresh thinking in this area where the claims of Christ are sensitively explained. Our church leaders must develop ways of explaining this, as our feature on mission and evangelism this week demonstrates.
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« Reply #67 on: May 31, 2008, 10:23:42 PM »

Horror In Hamburg   
By Stephen Brown
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, May 30, 2008

A young female form lying crumpled on a sidewalk. Blood flowing from multiple stab wounds. Police cars. Ambulances. Flashing lights. Emergency personnel working frantically to save an innocent life that had barely begun.
It is a scene that is becoming all too common in Western Europe with its growing Muslim population, as the northern German city of Hamburg experienced in May yet another horrifying honor murder of a young female.

Morsal Obeidi, barely 16, arrived in Hamburg from the war-torn country of Afghanistan when she was three, probably barely remembering her country of origin in her new homeland. The German Muslim student, who had won a prize in her multicultural school for tolerance and peaceful co-existence with others, was stabbed 20 times by her 23-year old brother, Ahmed, who ambushed her at a commuter train station.

The reason for Morsal’s murder is a common one for female Muslim victims of honor killings who emigrate to the West with their families and grow up between two cultures: she was living too western a lifestyle.

“She had a different life than the family wished,” admitted Ahmed, who assaulted his sister so severely that he wounded himself and had to be treated in hospital.

According to one report, Ahmed’s younger sister started her teenaged rebellion when she was 14. The schoolgirl was tired of living by the rules of the family’s Afghan-Muslim culture that see the daughters confined at home and made to do housework when not at school while the sons have all the freedom they want.

Such girls from South Asian and Muslim communities are also monitored very carefully after reaching puberty, as the male members of the family are very concerned that they remain virgins until marriage, since this involves their “honor.” One German Muslim woman wrote that the physical attributes she developed upon turning 13 filled her Turkish father with “deep worry.” This male obsession with virginity is manifested in the expression, common in these traditional cultures, that “…a man’s honor lies between a woman’s legs.”

Ahmed was most likely one of those male family members concerned about his sister’s chastity. It was reported he watched Morsal very closely and, when he was not available, he had cousins, uncles and aunts do it for him.

Morsal’s rebellion against such strict control included such normal, western behaviour for teenaged girls as wearing “uncovered hair, makeup and jeans” as well as smoking, drinking and staying out late, all of which brought her into conflict with her family. But all in all, it was reported the young schoolgirl simply wanted the same freedoms her German classmates had.

Like in many families where honor murders occur, violence was already extensive in Morsal’s. Before her death, the teenager had suffered numerous assaults at the hands of her father, Ahmed and a 13-year-old brother, who had once knocked her tooth out. An older sister is also suspected of mistreating her.

“You dress like a tramp,” Ahmed said to his sister once before beating her up, his sense of moral superiority being somewhat misplaced, since he himself has an extensive criminal record, starting when he was 13. This ‘man of honor’ is a thief and had already knifed others in fights, once being stabbed eight times himself in an argument involving prostitutes outside a brothel.

Such domestic violence had caused the tormented Afghan-German girl to spend nights at youth shelters. But like many immigrant teenagers from traditional cultures, with their deep sense of family which they do not want to give up overnight, she always returned home. But the final straw leading to her tragic death may have been the young girl’s staying away from home for three nights in a row.

Sadly, Morsal’s was not the only honor murder to occur in Germany this year.

Last March in Berlin, an 18-year old boy stabbed his grandparents to death after his German mother had separated from his Turkish father and got a new boyfriend. The murders were carried out at the behest of the father, according a newspaper report, to restore his honor. The father and son had already assaulted the grandfather and boyfriend earlier in separate instances, while the father had threatened his wife’s family many times with death, causing his spouse to flee to a women’s shelter.

The wife’s unavailability is probably what caused her parents to be targeted as well the fact the grandmother approved of the separation (no surprise there). The son carried out the killing, since, like in other honor murders in Germany, the Muslim families often get the underage sons to do the killing because the maximum sentence for a minor for murder is only ten years, and often less.

Like in the Berlin case, a Kurdish man from Iraq murdered his wife for leaving him, for which he received a life sentence at his trial last fall in Munich. Leaving the husband can often be a death sentence for the wife in traditional Muslim families.

This particular killer showed no remorse whatsoever and was even smiling in the court room. Only three hours after a successful divorce court hearing in 2006, the murderer ambushed his ex-spouse on the street, stabbed her twelve times (the knife broke, stopping the assault) and then poured gasoline over her prostrate body lying on the sidewalk, burning her alive. This was all done before the eyes of their five-year-old son with the sadistic killer telling the court you can’t take children into consideration when it concerns honor.

Also at his trial, the Kurd said he had killed his wife because she had betrayed him and that his “religion and culture” forbid that. Laughably, he also partly blamed German laws for his murderous rage. He whined that in Germany “…only women have rights. So they become stuck-up and believe they can do whatever they want.”

The killer also admitted he first received permission from his wife’s father in Iraq to murder his daughter. When it is believed a woman has dishonoured the family, even if married, it is usually her birth family that kills her, since it was responsible for her upbringing and thus it is the one “dishonoured.”

This ongoing clash between the religious and cultural values of Muslim societies with those of western civilization manifested themselves in two other honor murder trials in Germany.

In Monchengladbach, a city in the Rhineland, a Turkish immigrant received a life sentence last February for shooting his wife and daughter to death on the street in 2007. Again, it was a case of a wife leaving her husband with their children after years of brutal treatment that included rapes and beatings.

Like the Kurd in the Munich case, this criminal also showed no remorse and also murdered his wife in dramatic fashion. After she had fallen to the ground with the first shot, the ‘man of honor’ put his foot on her and fired twice more directly into her head. One female Muslim lawyer at the trial said such theatrical executions are meant to show “…that the man is doing everything to restore his honor and that he defended himself against the rebellious wife.”

And last March in Bonn, a father was facing a life sentence for having murdered his 17-year-old daughter in 1993. The native Syrian, along with two nephews, strangled the young victim with a cord because, like Morsal Obeidi, she wanted to “live like German girls.” They later buried the body in a wood.

The father’s undoing was that he made his other daughter witness the murder as a warning as to what would happen to her if she ever decided to determine her own life.

“If you don’t behave according to our rules, the same thing is going to happen to you,” she was told.

Racked by guilt that made her life a living hell, the surviving sister informed the police of the honor killing 14 years later.

Like after the Hatun Surucu honor murder in Berlin in 2005 that awoke Germany to this social horror in their midst, German politicians and authorities are again falling all over themselves after the Morsal Obeidi killing in Hamburg. They say they will examine the youth shelters’ role in failing to prevent the tragic murder (as if they are to blame), as well as nebulously promising to do more to protect women facing such danger as well as explain to them their rights.

In reality, while these measures will help somewhat, much like a band aid, the real problem has to do with the values the murderers acquire in their countries of origin. As long as these men believe they have a cultural and religious right to control women, determine their lives (especially their sexuality), treat them like eternal minors, and even murder them when they transgress some archaic, tribal code of honor, then it appears there is not much Western countries can do after they arrive within their borders, since they despise our culture and, like the Kurd in the Munich trial, hold our laws in contempt.

The problem is exacerbated by the fact that parts of western European cities, where Muslims form the majority of the population, are now ruled by sharia law where these anti-civilization values can grow and spread.

But every voice, especially those of victims like Morsal, makes a difference. A spirit of change exists in every culture, including the Muslim. It is the Muslim women that have to be compulsorily educated in massive fashion if honor murders are ever to be stopped. Making Muslim womens’ visas and those of their family members’ contingent on this understanding of compulsory education would benefit enormously in this effort. No half measures. More Muslim women would determine their own lives if they were not so afraid of honor killings. And a real sense of urgency is needed to deal with this social nightmare facing these young female souls.

But in the end, it is we Westerners who have to stand up for the life-affirming values we hold dear and change our laws substantially to reflect this. Western legal codes were written when the predatory and barbaric practice of honor murder was unknown due to the absence of these immigrant groups. This must be rectified and the new reality reflected in new laws, since the bottom line is that we cannot have women being killed at sixteen if we are to call ourselves human.

Stephen Brown is a columnist for Frontpagemag.com. A scholar and former news reporter, his field of expertise is Muslim forced marriages and honor killings. Email him at alsolzh@hotmail.com
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« Reply #68 on: June 11, 2008, 09:23:36 PM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/12/us/12hate.html?partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&pagewanted=print

June 12, 2008
AMERICAN EXCEPTION
Unlike Others, U.S. Defends Freedom to Offend in Speech

By ADAM LIPTAK
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — A couple of years ago, a Canadian magazine published an article arguing that the rise of Islam threatened Western values. The article’s tone was mocking and biting, but it said nothing that conservative magazines and blogs in the United States do not say every day without fear of legal reprisal.

Things are different here. The magazine is on trial.

Two members of the Canadian Islamic Congress say the magazine, Maclean’s, Canada’s leading newsweekly, violated a provincial hate speech law by stirring up hatred against Muslims. They say the magazine should be forbidden from saying similar things, forced to publish a rebuttal and made to compensate Muslims for injuring their “dignity, feelings and self-respect.”

The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal, which held five days of hearings on those questions here last week, will soon rule on whether Maclean’s violated the law. As spectators lined up for the afternoon session last week, an argument broke out.

“It’s hate speech!” yelled one man.

“It’s free speech!” yelled another.

In the United States, that debate has been settled. Under the First Amendment, newspapers and magazines can say what they like about minorities and religions — even false, provocative or hateful things — without legal consequence.

The Maclean’s article, “The Future Belongs to Islam,” was an excerpt from a book by Mark Steyn called “America Alone” (Regnery, 2006). The title was fitting: The United States, in its treatment of hate speech, as in so many other areas of the law, takes a distinctive legal path.

“In much of the developed world, one uses racial epithets at one’s legal peril, one displays Nazi regalia and the other trappings of ethnic hatred at significant legal risk, and one urges discrimination against religious minorities under threat of fine or imprisonment,” Frederick Schauer, a professor at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, wrote in a recent essay called “The Exceptional First Amendment.”

“But in the United States,” Professor Schauer continued, “all such speech remains constitutionally protected.”

Canada, England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, South Africa, Australia and India all have laws or have signed international conventions banning hate speech. Israel and France forbid the sale of Nazi items like swastikas and flags. It is a crime to deny the Holocaust in Canada, Germany and France.

Earlier this month, the actress Brigitte Bardot, an animal rights activist, was fined $23,000 in France for provoking racial hatred by criticizing a Muslim ceremony involving the slaughter of sheep.

By contrast, American courts would not stop a planned march by the American Nazi Party in Skokie, Ill., in 1977, though a march would have been deeply distressing to the many Holocaust survivors there.

Six years later, a state court judge in New York dismissed a libel case brought by several Puerto Rican groups against a business executive who had called food stamps “basically a Puerto Rican program.” The First Amendment, Justice Eve M. Preminger wrote, does not allow even false statements about racial or ethnic groups to be suppressed or punished just because they may increase “the general level of prejudice.”

Some prominent legal scholars say the United States should reconsider its position on hate speech.

“It is not clear to me that the Europeans are mistaken,” Jeremy Waldron, a legal philosopher, wrote in The New York Review of Books last month, “when they say that a liberal democracy must take affirmative responsibility for protecting the atmosphere of mutual respect against certain forms of vicious attack.”

Professor Waldron was reviewing “Freedom for the Thought That We Hate: A Biography of the First Amendment” by Anthony Lewis, the former New York Times columnist. Mr. Lewis has been critical of efforts to use the law to limit hate speech.

But even Mr. Lewis, a liberal, wrote in his book that he was inclined to relax some of the most stringent First Amendment protections “in an age when words have inspired acts of mass murder and terrorism.” In particular, he called for a re-examination of the Supreme Court’s insistence that there is only one justification for making incitement a criminal offense: the likelihood of imminent violence.

The imminence requirement sets a high hurdle. Mere advocacy of violence, terrorism or the overthrow of the government is not enough; the words must be meant to and be likely to produce violence or lawlessness right away. A fiery speech urging an angry mob to immediately assault a black man in its midst probably qualifies as incitement under the First Amendment. A magazine article — or any publication — intended to stir up racial hatred surely does not.

Mr. Lewis wrote that there was “genuinely dangerous” speech that did not meet the imminence requirement.

“I think we should be able to punish speech that urges terrorist violence to an audience, some of whose members are ready to act on the urging,” Mr. Lewis wrote. “That is imminence enough.”

Harvey A. Silverglate, a civil liberties lawyer in Cambridge, Mass., disagreed. “When times are tough,” he said, “there seems to be a tendency to say there is too much freedom.”

“Free speech matters because it works,” Mr. Silverglate continued. Scrutiny and debate are more effective ways of combating hate speech than censorship, he said, and all the more so in the post-Sept. 11 era.

“The world didn’t suffer because too many people read ‘Mein Kampf,’ ” Mr. Silverglate said. “Sending Hitler on a speaking tour of the United States would have been quite a good idea.”

Mr. Silverglate seemed to be echoing the words of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., whose 1919 dissent in Abrams v. United States eventually formed the basis for modern First Amendment law.

“The best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market,” Justice Holmes wrote.

“I think that we should be eternally vigilant,” he added, “against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe and believe to be fraught with death.”

The First Amendment is not, of course, absolute. The Supreme Court has said that the government may ban fighting words or threats. Punishments may be enhanced for violent crimes prompted by racial hatred. And private institutions, including universities and employers, are not subject to the First Amendment, which restricts only government activities.

But merely saying hateful things about minorities, even with the intent to cause their members distress and to generate contempt and loathing, is protected by the First Amendment.

In 1969, for instance, the Supreme Court unanimously overturned the conviction of a leader of a Ku Klux Klan group under an Ohio statute that banned the advocacy of terrorism. The Klan leader, Clarence Brandenburg, had urged his followers at a rally to “send the Jews back to Israel,” to “bury” blacks, though he did not call them that, and to consider “revengeance” against politicians and judges who were unsympathetic to whites.

Only Klan members and journalists were present. Because Mr. Brandenburg’s words fell short of calling for immediate violence in a setting where such violence was likely, the Supreme Court ruled that he could not be prosecuted for incitement.

In his opening statement in the Canadian magazine case, a lawyer representing the Muslim plaintiffs aggrieved by the Maclean’s article pleaded with a three-member panel of the tribunal to declare that the article subjected his clients to “hatred and ridicule” and to force the magazine to publish a response.

“You are the only thing between racist, hateful, contemptuous Islamophobic and irresponsible journalism, and law-abiding Canadian citizens,” the lawyer, Faisal Joseph, told the tribunal.

In response, the lawyer for Maclean’s, Roger D. McConchie, all but called the proceeding a sham.

“Innocent intent is not a defense,” Mr. McConchie said in a bitter criticism of the British Columbia law on hate speech. “Nor is truth. Nor is fair comment on true facts. Publication in the public interest and for the public benefit is not a defense. Opinion expressed in good faith is not a defense. Responsible journalism is not a defense.”

Jason Gratl, a lawyer for the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association and the Canadian Association of Journalists, which have intervened in the case in support of the magazine, was measured in his criticism of the law.

“Canadians do not have a cast-iron stomach for offensive speech,” Mr. Gratl said in a telephone interview. “We don’t subscribe to a marketplace of ideas. Americans as a whole are more tough-minded and more prepared for verbal combat.”

Many foreign courts have respectfully considered the American approach — and then rejected it.

A 1990 decision from the Canadian Supreme Court, for instance, upheld the criminal conviction of James Keegstra for “unlawfully promoting hatred against an identifiable group by communicating anti-Semitic statements.” Mr. Keegstra, a teacher, had told his students that Jews were “money loving,” “power hungry” and “treacherous.”

Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Brian Dickson said there was an issue “crucial to the disposition of this appeal: the relationship between Canadian and American approaches to the constitutional protection of free expression, most notably in the realm of hate propaganda.”

Chief Justice Dickson said “there is much to be learned from First Amendment jurisprudence.” But he concluded that “the international commitment to eradicate hate propaganda and, most importantly, the special role given equality and multiculturalism in the Canadian Constitution necessitate a departure from the view, reasonably prevalent in America at present, that the suppression of hate propaganda is incompatible with the guarantee of free expression.”

The United States’ distinctive approach to free speech, legal scholars say, has many causes. It is partly rooted in an individualistic view of the world. Fear of allowing the government to decide what speech is acceptable plays a role. So does history.

“It would be really hard to criticize Israel, Austria, Germany and South Africa, given their histories,” for laws banning hate speech, Professor Schauer said in an interview.

In Canada, however, laws banning hate speech seem to stem from a desire to promote societal harmony. While the Ontario Human Rights Commission dismissed a complaint against Maclean’s, it still condemned the article.

“In Canada, the right to freedom of expression is not absolute, nor should it be,” the commission’s statement said. “By portraying Muslims as all sharing the same negative characteristics, including being a threat to ‘the West,’ this explicit expression of Islamophobia further perpetuates and promotes prejudice toward Muslims and others.”

A separate federal complaint against Maclean’s is pending.

Mr. Steyn, the author of the article, said the Canadian proceedings had illustrated some important distinctions. “The problem with so-called hate speech laws is that they’re not about facts,” he said in a telephone interview. “They’re about feelings.”

“What we’re learning here is really the bedrock difference between the United States and the countries that are in a broad sense its legal cousins,” Mr. Steyn added. “Western governments are becoming increasingly comfortable with the regulation of opinion. The First Amendment really does distinguish the U.S., not just from Canada but from the rest of the Western world.”
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« Reply #69 on: July 25, 2008, 11:33:38 AM »

“Measure of America” report documents social decay of the United States
By Patrick Martin
Jul 19, 2008, 06:32

A new study released Wednesday, entitled “The Measure of America,” provides a wealth of data demonstrating the profound and deepening social decay of the United States. Commissioned by the Oxfam charity and several foundations, and published by Columbia University Press, the report documents, using government figures, the dramatic decline of American society relative to other advanced industrialized countries and the mounting social disparities within the US.

The study takes the methodology employed by the United Nations Development Report, widely recognized for its insights into the social conditions of less developed countries, and applies it for the first time to the study of an advanced country. The result is a portrait of America that shows much of the country’s population living in conditions that are closer to the “Third World” than to the “American Dream.”

The report analyzes figures provided by the US Bureau of the Census in its 2005 census of economic and social conditions. It thus lags significantly behind the actual deterioration in conditions of life, since the census was taken before the collapse of the sub-prime housing market and the ensuing plunge of the US economy into recession. A report based on today’s conditions would be even bleaker.

The three social scientists who prepared the study constructed an American Human Development Index which includes both median income figures and data relating to health, life expectancy and “access to knowledge” (school enrollment and the proportion of the population with college and professional degrees.) The result is a broader picture of social conditions than would be provided by a purely economic analysis.

In terms of the human development index, the United States has fallen from second place in 1990 (behind Canada) to 12th place. This decline continued through both the Clinton and Bush administrations, with the US falling to sixth in 1995, ninth in 2000, and 12th in 2005.

In certain respects, the decline is even worse. The US is 34th in infant mortality—with a level comparable to Croatia, Estonia, Poland and Cuba. US school children perform significantly below their counterparts in countries like Canada, France, Germany and Japan, and 14 percent of the population, some 40 million people, lack basic literacy and number skills.

Of the world’s 30 richest nations, which comprise the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the United States has the highest proportion of children living in poverty, 15 percent, and the most people in prison, both in absolute numbers and as a percentage of the whole population. With five percent of the world’s population, the US has 24 percent of the world’s prisoners.

The report notes: “Social mobility is now less fluid in the United States than in other affluent nations. Indeed, a poor child born in Germany, France, Canada or one of the Nordic countries has a better chance to join the middle class in adulthood than an American child born into similar circumstances.”

In overall life expectancy, the United States ranks an astonishing 42nd, behind not only Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and all the countries of Western Europe, but also Israel, Greece, Singapore, Costa Rica and South Korea. The US spends twice as much money per capita on health care as any of these countries, but its citizens live shorter lives.

Two principal contributing factors were identified in the report—the epidemic of obesity, a disease primarily of poverty and miseducation, and the lack of health insurance for 47 million Americans. The report also noted that homicide and suicide are among the 15 leading causes of death in America.

The health crisis in the United States was underscored by a second report, issued Thursday by the Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit research group based in New York. This study found that 75 million people are either uninsured or under-insured, one quarter of the population. Karen Davis, president of the Commonwealth Fund, focused on the rising cost and diminishing availability of health care. “The central finding is that access has deteriorated,” she said.

A major factor is the immense administrative costs incurred by private insurance companies which spend billions of dollars to avoid paying claims. Much insurance company profit gouging is masked as “administrative” expenses as well. Administrative costs take 7.5 percent of US health care spending, compared to 5 percent in Germany and Switzerland, which also have private health insurers, and 1 percent or less in countries like Canada and Britain that have government-run insurance systems.

Assessing 37 separate healthcare indices, the Commonwealth study found that even in those areas where there was some improvement in absolute terms, other countries had improved by a far greater amount, pushing the US further down the table. For example, the US reduced the number of preventable deaths for people under 75 from 115 to 110 per 100,000 over the past five years. However, other countries, led by France, Japan and Australia, did much better. The US is now last among developed countries in this measure, having just slipped below Ireland and Portugal.

The Measure of America report also documents the widening social gulf within the United States, particularly in geographical terms, as it breaks down the census statistics to provide a table ranking all 50 states and all 438 congressional districts. The report greatly understates the degree of income inequality since the US economic census counts only wage and salary income, leaving out dividends, interest, capital gains and business profit, the principal forms of income for the upper class. But even with these limitations, the findings are devastating.

The executive summary of the report notes that “the average income of the top fifth of US households in 2006 was almost 15 times that of those in the lowest fifth—or $168,170 versus $11,352.” The top one percent of households possesses at least one third of the national wealth, while the bottom 60 percent possess just 4 percent of the total.

The authors observe: “Growing inequality in income distribution and wealth raises a profound question for Americans: Can the uniquely middle-class nation that emerged in the twentieth century survive into the twenty-first century? Or is it fracturing into a land of great extremes?” While not drawing any conclusion, they admit, “the answers to these questions will determine ... the future of America.”

There are staggering disparities in income, health care and educational opportunities from state to state, between urban and rural areas, and between relatively well-off areas like the Northeast and Pacific Coast and impoverished areas like much of the South and the Appalachian region.

The top ten states in terms of median income lie along the Eastern seaboard from Virginia to New Hampshire. The bottom five states include West Virginia and four states of the Deep South: Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas. It is worth emphasizing that the 2005 census figures were compiled before Hurricane Katrina devastated three of those states.

There are even greater disparities within states and regions. The poorest congressional district in the United States is not in the South, but in the central valley of California, around the cities of Fresno and Bakersfield, where tens of thousands of agricultural laborers toil under conditions not much improved from the time John Steinbeck wrote The Grapes of Wrath.

In the 20th district of California, only 6.5 percent of adults have graduated from college, and the median household income is $16,767, below the US poverty line. Meanwhile, ten of the 20 richest congressional districts are also in California, including the Silicon Valley and the upscale suburbs of Los Angeles and San Diego.

The richest congressional district is New York’s 14th, encompassing Manhattan’s east side: 62.6 percent of the adult population have a college degree and median family income is $51,139 a year (counting only wages, not the income from capital). A short subway ride away in the Bronx is the 16th congressional district, one of the five poorest in the US, where only 8.6 percent of adults have a college degree and the median annual income is $19,113.

Summing up the findings of the report, co-author Sarah Burd-Sharps writes, “Some Americans are living anywhere from 30 to 50 years behind others when it comes to issues we all care about: health, education and standard of living.” While the US remains one of the richest nations in the world, it is “woefully behind when it comes to providing opportunity and choices to all Americans to build a better life.”

Just as revealing as the figures provided by the Measure of America report is the response to it on the part of the American media and political establishment. The report was published by Columbia University, one of the most prestigious American colleges, and its co-authors held a press conference on Capitol Hill to announce their findings. But not a single major daily newspaper carried an account, nor was the study mentioned on any of the evening television newscasts.

The regional press in California reported the dismal last-place ranking for the 20th congressional district, but not the wider findings. And Talk Radio News Service, a web site serving the largely ultra-right talk radio industry, posted an item that turned the findings upside down, under the bizarre headline, “Report: Most Americans doing better than fifty years ago.”

The silence of the media was matched by the silence of the Democratic and Republican candidates for president. Neither Obama nor McCain made mention of the findings, although both have made photo-op appearances in poverty-stricken areas like eastern Kentucky, New Orleans and inner city Detroit.

In that context, it is worth pointing out that Obama’s campaign is making little effort in the five most impoverished states, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama and West Virginia. The last four have been virtually conceded to the Republicans. The Obama campaign hopes for a heavy turnout among Mississippi’s large black population to vote for the first major party African-American candidate.

In fact, neither party is able to advance any policy to address the vast decay of American society. The Measure of America and Commonwealth Fund reports are the latest in a series of studies that depict a society—ravaged by poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, ill health and inequality—that is going backward. The sclerotic two-party system cannot provide any answer to the social disaster because it is a corrupt instrument of the financial aristocracy that is plundering the country to pile up ever-greater wealth for itself.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #70 on: July 25, 2008, 01:29:44 PM »

Not sure why this is in this thread, but OTOH not sure what other thread it should go in  cheesy

A lot of these numbers are quite at variance with what I understand to be the case.   Do you have a URL for this?
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G M
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« Reply #71 on: July 25, 2008, 02:03:08 PM »

I'd be curious to see how the numbers are skewed by illegal immigration, especially in the area of health insurance, income and mortality. I'd think the California stats would be especially impacted by illegal immigration.
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G M
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« Reply #72 on: July 25, 2008, 02:17:43 PM »

http://www.heritage.org/Research/welfare/bg2064.cfm

August 27, 2007
How Poor Are America's Poor? Examining the "Plague" of Poverty in America
by Robert E. Rector
Backgrounder #2064

Poverty is an important and emotional issue. Last year, the Census Bureau released its annual report on poverty in the United States declaring that there were 37 million poor persons living in this country in 2005, roughly the same number as in the preceding years.[4] According to the Census report, 12.6 percent of Amer icans were poor in 2005; this number has varied from 11.3 percent to 15.1 percent of the population over the past 20 years.[5]

To understand poverty in America, it is important to look behind these numbers—to look at the actual living conditions of the individuals the government deems to be poor. For most Americans, the word "poverty" suggests destitution: an inability to provide a family with nutritious food, clothing, and reasonable shelter. But only a small number of the 37 million per sons classified as "poor" by the Census Bureau fit that description. While real material hardship certainly does occur, it is limited in scope and severity. Most of America's "poor" live in material conditions that would be judged as comfortable or well-off just a few generations ago. Today, the expenditures per person of the lowest-income one-fifth (or quintile) of house holds equal those of the median American household in the early 1970s, after adjusting for inflation.[6]

The following are facts about persons defined as "poor" by the Census Bureau, taken from various gov ernment reports:

Forty-three percent of all poor households actu ally own their own homes. The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a three-bedroom house with one-and-a-half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.

Eighty percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, in 1970, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.

Only 6 percent of poor households are over crowded. More than two-thirds have more than two rooms per person.

The average poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens, and other cities throughout Europe. (These comparisons are to the average citizens in foreign countries, not to those classified as poor.)

Nearly three-quarters of poor households own a car; 31 percent own two or more cars.

Ninety-seven percent of poor households have a color television; over half own two or more color televisions.

Seventy-eight percent have a VCR or DVD player; 62 percent have cable or satellite TV reception.

Eighty-nine percent own microwave ovens, more than half have a stereo, and more than a third have an automatic dishwasher.
As a group, America's poor are far from being chronically undernourished. The average consump tion of protein, vitamins, and minerals is virtually the same for poor and middle-class children and, in most cases, is well above recommended norms. Poor children actually consume more meat than do higher-income children and have average protein intakes 100 percent above recommended levels. Most poor children today are, in fact, supernour ished and grow up to be, on average, one inch taller and 10 pounds heavier than the GIs who stormed the beaches of Normandy in World War II.
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SB_Mig
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« Reply #73 on: July 25, 2008, 04:19:51 PM »

My bad...

Popped up in a StumbleUpon search, so I had to do some digging:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9621
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SB_Mig
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« Reply #74 on: July 25, 2008, 04:35:42 PM »

Quote
Most of America's "poor" live in material conditions that would be judged as comfortable or well-off just a few generations ago.

I find that statement ridiculous. A few generations ago, many houses had no running water, electricity, or access to basic services. It's comparing apples to oranges.

The thing that irks me about the article is that it somehow equates material possessions with quality of life. The tone is one of "Get over it "poor" people. You own stuff, so be happy."

Owning a bunch of crap doesn't mean that your neighborhood isn't gang and drug infested or violent, lacks quality social services, and is a just plain horrible place to live. Detroit, Compton, New Orleans' 9th Ward, the Appalachians, all horrible places where people own stuff and their lives suck. Please... rolleyes
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G M
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« Reply #75 on: July 25, 2008, 05:08:12 PM »

Quote
Most of America's "poor" live in material conditions that would be judged as comfortable or well-off just a few generations ago.

I find that statement ridiculous. A few generations ago, many houses had no running water, electricity, or access to basic services. It's comparing apples to oranges.

The thing that irks me about the article is that it somehow equates material possessions with quality of life. The tone is one of "Get over it "poor" people. You own stuff, so be happy."

Owning a bunch of crap doesn't mean that your neighborhood isn't gang and drug infested or violent, lacks quality social services, and is a just plain horrible place to live. Detroit, Compton, New Orleans' 9th Ward, the Appalachians, all horrible places where people own stuff and their lives suck. Please... rolleyes


Isn't it better to be "poor" in American than to be poor throughout most of the world? If we examine the gang and drug infested areas in urban America, what policy solution do you advocate that hasn't as of yet been attempted?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #76 on: July 25, 2008, 06:26:08 PM »



Am I correct in reading
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9621
to be a part of/connected to the ACLU?

If so, ugh.  Speaking as a former member, the ACLU has negative credibiity for me.
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« Reply #77 on: March 05, 2011, 05:37:45 PM »

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/261379/arid-uka-s-gratitude-mark-steyn?page=1

March 5, 2011 7:00 A.M.
Arid Uka’s Gratitude
Multiculturalism says he’s as German as Helmut and Franz. Except he’s not.


According to Bismarck’s best-known maxim on Europe’s most troublesome region, the Balkans are not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier. Americans could be forgiven for harboring similar sentiments after the murder of two U.S. airmen in Germany by a Kosovar Muslim.

Remember Kosovo? Me neither. But it was big at the time, launched by Bill Clinton in the wake of his Monica difficulties: Make war, not love, as the boomers advise. So Clinton did — and without any pesky U.N. resolutions, or even the pretense of seeking them. Instead, he and Tony Blair and even Jacques Chirac just cried “Bombs away!” and got on with it. And the Left didn’t mind at all —  because, for a modern Western nation, war is only legitimate if you have no conceivable national interest in whatever war you’re waging. Unlike Iraq and all its supposed “blood for oil,” in Kosovo no one remembers why we went in, what the hell the point of it was, or which side were the good guys. (Answer: Neither.) The principal rationale advanced by Clinton and Blair was that there was no rationale. This was what they called “liberal interventionism,” which boils down to: The fact that we have no reason to get into it justifies our getting into it.

A decade on, Kosovo is a sorta sovereign state, and in Frankfurt a young airport employee is so grateful for what America did for his people that he guns down U.S. servicemen while yelling “Allahu akbar!” The strange shrunken spectator who serves as president of the United States, offering what he called “a few words about the tragic event that took place,” announced that he was “saddened,” and expressed his “gratitude for the service of those who were lost” and would “spare no effort” to “work with the German authorities” but it was a “stark reminder” of the “extraordinary sacrifices that our men and women in uniform are making . . . ”

The passivity of these remarks is very telling. Men and women “in uniform” (which it’s not clear these airmen were even wearing) understand they may be called upon to make “extraordinary sacrifices” in battle. They do not expect to be “lost” on the shuttle bus at the hands of a civilian employee at a passenger air terminal in an allied nation. But then I don’t suppose their comrades expected to be “lost” at the hands of an army major at Fort Hood, to cite the last “tragic event” that “took place” — which seems to be the president’s preferred euphemism for a guy opening fire while screaming “Allahu akbar!” But relax, this fellow in Frankfurt was most likely a “lone wolf” (as Sen. Chuck Schumer described the Times Square bomber) or an “isolated extremist” (as the president described the Christmas Day Pantybomber). There are so many of these “lone wolves” and “isolated extremists” you may occasionally wonder whether they’ve all gotten together and joined Local 473 of the Amalgamated Union of Lone Wolves and Isolated Extremists, but don’t worry about it: As any Homeland Security official can tell you, “Allahu akbar” is Arabic for “Nothing to see here.”
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AndrewBole
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« Reply #78 on: March 14, 2011, 09:35:14 PM »



Isn't it better to be "poor" in American than to be poor throughout most of the world? If we examine the gang and drug infested areas in urban America, what policy solution do you advocate that hasn't as of yet been attempted?

Being poor in Slovenia is great. We are still socialist by heart. You know, the true kind. Free healthcare, free education, miniature crime rate, no gang activities, sub euroland average unemployment rate, no segregation, very good non expensive food !!

A word on Islam in Europe,


I add to the above finding of an European collegue, that the clouds seem darker from the other end. Islamization of Europe ? What ? Gentlemen, this is a modern migration of peoples. This doom and gloom article mongering tactic is something alot of the rilers are doing. "Look, look people. The gypsy stole an apple. We told you, the gypsy is a thief. Put up walls and barriers so the thief cannot reach you anymore".

 It is with exactly the same rhetoric, and because of it, that I get from reading most of articles from GM, that Europe is starting to get alarmingly high nationalist responses, more and more so. Poland, Spain, Greece... Hungary (damn they are my neighbours!!) now has outspoken Fascist leadership. And I dont mean this in a recycled American anti freedom kind of context. Lynch the mystic, purge the unclean in the truest sense of the form. Paramilitary guard groups walking around Roma districts. To control the immigrant. To have a lid on the foreigner. Openly stating they will once again grant the state of Hungary direct access to the sea, like it used to have. No matter though, most of my American colleagues throw the term Fascism around like its used underpants. Im used to it.

Thank the gods that the Germans are relatively normal at the moment. When shit goes downhill there, better put on a mask, because shit will be flying everywhere.

Europe, especially with its patient, the Balkans, is a fascinating tutti frutti melting pot of jenesaisquoi.. Or should I say stove?  With countless long forgotten grudges and vendettas that can be brought up to speed with the flinch of an eye. Depends on the need of course. We cant even decide what we want to be (tut tut, Ireland).

 And that stupendous rhetoric that I speak of above, VERY dangerously and carelessly incites the population. All you need is to bend the will of the Serbs, through some twisted, half assed "affair" and you get genocide veterans lining up in parliament to ANSWER THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE. And when you get a madman up in there, you get mad men everywhere around here again. And once more you will have people citing Star Wars over the news : "So this is how liberty dies...With thunderous applause."

I am affraid the time of simple polar ideology is past us. We can no longer speak the way we (or should I say you, I am still a kid, basically) were able to speak in the 80s and the roaring 90s. Its not a us vs them question anymore. Its a us vs us, if anything. And people, especially the younger generations, are starting to feel this.

To sum up, I am not afraid of the Islamization of Europe in the slightest. What I AM affraid of is this terribly misplaced narrative of an elated state of panic, that seemingly more and more anti-quasi left (true left doesnt exist anymore, not in Europe anyway) are utilizing. The pointing fingers and affair hunting. People are bored. The political continuum doesnt have any creative incentive since the great Fukuyama spoke. Much to our/his demise he corrected himself, and said he might be wrong. At least he is courteous. Its all just "you steal, he steals, they all steal.... corruption everywhere, incompetent politicians, foreigners invading our land, taking our jobs, bureaucrats using the worker, rocket shield here, walls there...," blah blah blah. This inert dubiosity has caused us yet again to reap what we have sown. People with a stingy ear for yellow press. All this is, is just yellow press.

Eurabia will come to pass, just like Rome has continued in the mantle of the Odoacer for a good century. In alot of ways, better off than before.

If a push comes to a shove here, I rather have petty social and religious incidents than a war in Europe. Again. GAHHH.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2011, 09:43:48 PM by AndrewBole » Logged
G M
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« Reply #79 on: March 14, 2011, 10:03:27 PM »

Honor killings, sharia, suicide bombers, attacks on jews. Yeah, muslims are really making europe a wonderful place.
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« Reply #80 on: March 14, 2011, 10:12:06 PM »

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-12734188

14 March 2011 Last updated at 15:11 ET


Sweden suicide bombing suspect faces terror charges
Police convoy Ezeedem Al Khaledi arrived at Glasgow Sheriff Court amid heavy security

A 30-year-old man has appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court in connection with a suicide bombing in Sweden.

Ezedden Khalid Ahmed Al Khaledi, described as a Kuwaiti national, faces three charges under the Terrorism Act and five others under immigration laws and banking regulations.

He made no plea or declaration and was remanded into custody.

Two people were hurt in two explosions in Stockholm in December. A man with an explosive device was later found dead.

The Stockholm bomber was named as 28-year-old Iraqi-born Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly.

He had settled in Luton with his wife Mona, with whom he had three young children - two girls and a boy.

He previously attended the University of Bedfordshire.

The attack was believed to be the first suicide bombing in Sweden's history.
Police raid

Detectives have been investigating whether Abdaly was supported by others or acted as a lone attacker.

Mr Khaledi was arrested following a police raid on the 19th floor of a block of flats in the Whiteinch area of Glasgow on Tuesday 8 March.

A convoy, flanked by armed officers and watched from a police helicopter, escorted him to the private hearing in Glasgow Sheriff Court.

Proceeding were translated into Arabic for him.

The first charge against him alleges he provided money for Abdaly.

He is also accused of possessing money and bank cards which could have been used for terrorism, and with entering into an arrangement to provide money for terrorist purposes.

Mr Khaledi also faces a charge that he falsely claimed to be a Kuwaiti national so he could claim asylum and benefits in the UK and of fraudulently opening bank accounts.

He is expected to return to court next week under conditions of high security.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #81 on: March 15, 2011, 12:46:22 AM »

Andraz:

Great to have you join the conversation here; I think you bring a perspective the interaction with which will enrich us all with greater intellectual diversity.

"Being poor in Slovenia is great. We are still socialist by heart. You know, the true kind. Free healthcare, free education, miniature crime rate, no gang activities, sub euroland average unemployment rate, no segregation, very good non expensive food !!"

When I visited Slovenia last year to do the seminar for Borut, I liked the country and its people very much.  That said, when I hear the line you offer here, the following comments/questions occur to me:

The name of this thread "America Alone" comes from a book by Canadian intellectual Mark Steyn.  In AA, the bulk of Steyn's analysis is through the analytical methods of demographics.   What you say here may be true, for now, of Slovenia and other parts of Europe, but the larger picture painted by MS is that Europe is not replacing its indigenous populations precisely because of the tax and regulatory burdens being placed upon those who would work and support themselves in order to raise families and that in order to continue the wonders you describe above this leads to allowing substantial immigration by populations (e.g. Arab and Turk) not committed to Euro values but to other ones which are inconsistent with Euro values and that therefor the foundations for a large clash are being built and that it could get very ugly.

The demographic numbers as painted by MS are quite scary.  Working from memory, 2.1 births are needed to maintain population levels, yet countries such as Germany, Spain, Italy and most of Europe have numbers which are dramatically below this-- often around 1.5 (!) or even as low as 1.3!  This means the Euro populations are both aging and contracting dramatically-- thus presenting profound actuarial difficulties for the Euro socialist model. 

The solution being tried for the past decades is what you call "a modern migration of peoples".   The problem is that these peoples come from cultures profoundly in divergence with Euro values and with little to no desire to become part of Europe and its values.  This is being aided and fomented by leftist/progressive/socialist/multicultural attitudes which are castrating Euro's self-respect and will to insist that those who come should come to be Europeans.   This, as best as I can tell, is what sets the stage for the growing ugliness which you discern.  Bottom line, the underlying trends are setting up a profound clash.

You may not be seeing it yet in Slovenia, but as best as we can tell looking from the outside, many parts of Europe are seeing and feeling the beginnings of this clash.

"A word on Islam in Europe,

"I add to the above finding of an European collegue, that the clouds seem darker from the other end. Islamization of Europe ? What? Gentlemen, this is a modern migration of peoples. This doom and gloom article mongering tactic is something alot of the rilers are doing. "Look, look people. The gypsy stole an apple. We told you, the gypsy is a thief. Put up walls and barriers so the thief cannot reach you anymore".

I have no idea at all about the gypsies, except that I know that Hitler had it in for them almost as much as he did for my people. (I am Jewish).  But what does this have to do with the arrival and growing strength of Islam in Europe.  Islam is NOT just another religion, it is a theocratic political doctrine as well, and one that has profoundly fascist elements (think of the various death fatwas and various murders (a.k.a. honor killings) for writing books, drawing cartoons, dating infidels, changing to other religions and so forth.

"It is with exactly the same rhetoric, and because of it, that I get from reading most of articles from GM, that Europe is starting to get alarmingly high nationalist responses, more and more so. Poland, Spain, Greece... Hungary (damn they are my neighbours!!) now has outspoken Fascist leadership. And I dont mean this in a "recycled American anti freedom kind of context" (your intended meaning here is not clear to me). Lynch the mystic, purge the unclean in the truest sense of the form. Paramilitary guard groups walking around Roma districts. To control the immigrant. To have a lid on the foreigner. Openly stating they will once again grant the state of Hungary direct access to the sea, like it used to have. (Not familiar with this-- at whose expense would this be?  Slovenia's) No matter though, most of my American colleagues throw the term Fascism around like its used underpants. Im used to it."

Perhaps this is directed at me?  Although I readily admit to be deliberately provocative with my choice of terms such as liberal (American use of the term) fascism and Islamic fascism, I like to think that I do it with some thought.  In order to not overload this thread with too many themes we can continue discussing this aspect of the conversation on the thread about"Fascism"?

"Thank the gods that the Germans are relatively normal at the moment. When shit goes downhill there, better put on a mask, because shit will be flying everywhere."

Part of the Mark Steyn hypothesis is precisely that, due to demographic trends, the Germans ARE going to places you fear they will go.  Already they begin their dance with Russia again.

"Europe, especially with its patient, the Balkans, is a fascinating tutti frutti melting pot of jenesaisquoi.. Or should I say stove?  With countless long forgotten grudges and vendettas that can be brought up to speed with the flinch of an eye. Depends on the need of course. We can't even decide what we want to be (tut tut, Ireland)."

Well, putting aside the reference to Ireland because I don't know to what you refer smiley my understanding is that Europe was doing diddly to stop the terrible situation that was developing in the former Yugoslavia and that it was America, a bit under Bush 1 and much more under Clinton, that stepped in to stop a gathering genocide.  Of course you know of this history much better than me and I stand ready, willing, and able for you to add to my understanding of these matters.

"And that stupendous rhetoric that I speak of above, VERY dangerously and carelessly incites the population. All you need is to bend the will of the Serbs, through some twisted, half assed "affair" and you get genocide veterans lining up in parliament to ANSWER THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE. And when you get a madman up in there, you get mad men everywhere around here again. And once more you will have people citing Star Wars over the news : "So this is how liberty dies...With thunderous applause.""

Again we circle the same point-- is the underlying problem the rhetoric of those concerned by the trends resulting from demographic contraction, or is the underlying problem the demographic contraction caused by an overburdensome socialistic state and multi-culti wimpiness?

"I am affraid the time of simple polar ideology is past us. We can no longer speak the way we (or should I say you, I am still a kid, basically) were able to speak in the 80s and the roaring 90s. Its not a us vs them question anymore. Its a us vs us, if anything. And people, especially the younger generations, are starting to feel this."

Hell, I go back to the 60s and 70s grin  Anyway, IMHO the foundation principles which guide our respective social orders matter profoundly.  It IS a matter of what you are willing to stand for.  If Europe will not insist that its values of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, etc be respected, then its immigrants will not be inclined to do so-- and the conflict which you fear becomes inevitable.   

When Spain came to conquer what is now Mexico, the Aztec Empire was based upon a religion of war, capturing the enemy, and cutting their still beating hearts from their chests and offering them to the Sun God.   The concept of Freedom of Religion does not cover this!  Nor does it cover "death fatwas and various murders (a.k.a. honor killings) for writing books, drawing cartoons, dating infidels, apostasy, teaching girls to read, women going out in public with their hair uncovered, and so forth."

"To sum up, I am not afraid of the Islamization of Europe in the slightest."

Maybe some time in the Muslim neighborhoods of Paris or Rotterdam, where the police fear to go, would change your mind?

"What I AM affraid of is this terribly misplaced narrative of an elated state of panic, that seemingly more and more anti-quasi left (true left doesnt exist anymore, not in Europe anyway) are utilizing."

Not sure of your meaning with "anit-quasi left".

"The pointing fingers and affair hunting. People are bored."

Or perhaps the factors which stifle them from breeding in numbers sufficient to maintain population have something to do with it?  Perhaps more than "bored" the better term is "stifled"?

, , ,

"Eurabia will come to pass, just like Rome has continued in the mantle of the Odoacer for a good century. In alot of ways, better off than before."

Illiterate American that I am, the term Odoacer goes right over my head with nary a look back smiley but I find what you say here to encapsulate the essence of something I do not understand at all.  How on earth is Europe better off as Eurabia?!?

"If a push comes to a shove here, I rather have petty social and religious incidents than a war in Europe. Again. GAHHH."

But what you may get is dhimmitude-- maybe not yet in Slovenia, but perhaps not so far away from you and perhaps in ways which will affect you in Slovenia.

Again,  I respect what you bring to this conversation.
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AndrewBole
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« Reply #82 on: March 19, 2011, 08:07:41 PM »

Hi Marc.

Thank you for the extensive reply and comments and sorry at the same time for the late response.

here goes :

MARC :"
When I visited Slovenia last year to do the seminar for Borut, I liked the country and its people very much.  That said, when I hear the line you offer here, the following comments/questions occur to me:

The name of this thread "America Alone" comes from a book by Canadian intellectual Mark Steyn.  In AA, the bulk of Steyn's analysis is through the analytical methods of demographics.   What you say here may be true, for now, of Slovenia and other parts of Europe, but the larger picture painted by MS is that Europe is not replacing its indigenous populations precisely because of the tax and regulatory burdens being placed upon those who would work and support themselves in order to raise families and that in order to continue the wonders you describe above this leads to allowing substantial immigration by populations (e.g. Arab and Turk) not committed to Euro values but to other ones which are inconsistent with Euro values and that therefor the foundations for a large clash are being built and that it could get very ugly.
"

The socialism comment was more of a pun than anything. Though some of it rings true. I am aware of Steyns book. We shared some thoughts at a debate about it at a seminar in uni. Generally it is a very amusing book, that opens some very solid questions, but all in all it falls a bit flat on its face with some of the conclusions. Mainly, that demographics is only a part of, lets call it, interobjective stability. Here I link you the main official statistical database for the Euroland : http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/statistics/search_database    It is a very nicely layed out database, with preety much every piece of data one can gather. In any further outlandish ventures about Europe, and specific countries within, I heartily recommend checking this site first. Although keep in mind it is raw statistical data, so if you dont have an eye for it, better keep away SmileySmiley

I cant, for some reason link specific tables, but hopefully, you will see the primary subtopics that I have opened, which show you some of the conditions from certain countries with questionable demographic potential in the last 15 years, that have been actually, relative to other countries, going up. In the general indicators of investment stability, unenployment rates, administrational transparence (i.e. corruption), low crime rates, favorable gini coefficient ratings, wealth dispersion,  and yes Slovenia is among them. To sum up this part of the conversation, I do not beleive the current trend of demographic redux ALONE, will have a generally negative influence. These kinds of trends have been popping up thruought history, and while they can be understood as an indicator, they only ever become dangerous when coupled with a different polarity which can make a volatile combination. I guess in favor of your commentary, this could be the Islamist problem.

To maybe further my position more, the demographic DOES pose a financial problem and with it an immigration one. With the "baby boom" generation starting to retire, there is a problem with the working potential, which is way lower, to fund the pension system, which is, at least in Europe, since Bismarck, "pay as you go" as opposed to the funded version. And this could be remedied to a great extent with actual LOWERING of immigration policies. Put in generic terms, if there are 500 doctors missing in Slovenia, they could easily be brought here from somewhere else and fill the fiscal gap. Of course there is the problem of language and assimilation and all that, but it is enough to ilustrate.

Besides that, what I already wrote somewhere else, I have alot greater fear/respect/scare factor from incredibly gifted scientists, coming from the "Islamic" continuum. Because, If I dare venture into philosophy of religion for a second, their theologic structure of the total otherness of Allah, Islam as a religion, accepts SO MUCH easier, all the findings of modern science (quantum mechanics, bioethics,..) that pose all sorts of incredibly uncomfortable questions for Christianity.

MARC : I have no idea at all about the gypsies, except that I know that Hitler had it in for them almost as much as he did for my people. (I am Jewish).  But what does this have to do with the arrival and growing strength of Islam in Europe.  Islam is NOT just another religion, it is a theocratic political doctrine as well, and one that has profoundly fascist elements (think of the various death fatwas and various murders (a.k.a. honor killings) for writing books, drawing cartoons, dating infidels, changing to other religions and so forth.

The gypsy comment was but an example, of what the type of rhetoric I was trying to portray in my initial comment, is starting to do in some of the  more problematic parts. It is starting to get the "glare and scare" type of undertone, that the German propaganda started to get in the mid 30s.

And NO, not at all the Fascism comment wasnt directed at you, please forgive me. Only now I see, it turned out a little fishy SmileySmiley I meant my friends from England and the USA, lets call them my peers.

MARC : "
Part of the Mark Steyn hypothesis is precisely that, due to demographic trends, the Germans ARE going to places you fear they will go.  Already they begin their dance with Russia again.
"

Yes this part I remember. Although personally I think it goes way overboard. Mere demographic trends wont trigger this by a long shot. Not to mention that Turks, the primary immigrators there, are one of the best assimilated foreign groups in whole Europe. I cant speak from experience though, maybe some other German friends can ? What is true though, and that stands for everywhere, that immigrators usually inhibit the lower echelons, and with this all the grime that happens down low ( Cheesy Cheesy ) although one of the subgroups from Eurostat can show you, that within 2 generations, they start to get higher, utilizing the relatively favorable vertical mobility options in Germany. I cannot comment the dance with Russia, as I am afraid we will be falling into deep ideological discrepancies here. Ultimately though, I most definitely approve of this dance.


MARC : "Well, putting aside the reference to Ireland because I don't know to what you refer smiley my understanding is that Europe was doing diddly to stop the terrible situation that was developing in the former Yugoslavia and that it was America, a bit under Bush 1 and much more under Clinton, that stepped in to stop a gathering genocide.  Of course you know of this history much better than me and I stand ready, willing, and able for you to add to my understanding of these matters."

ahhh, this could end up into pages upon pages, but putting it in the manner of "nobody did anything so we came in and sorted the whole ordeal" is way too naive. Generally the situation was/is 1000 times more complex. Yes the international community did respond, but too late and with totally innapropriate force. Dropping a few bombs and saying mission accomplished wasnt alot different to that legendary Iraqi general who was claiming he is routing US forces, while you could see his soldiers surrendering in the background. The only positive thing, that DID have an effect, and still has, were the peacekeeping forces, which were mostly European.Genocide(s) happened long ago before anyone arrived and even after they arrived. One of the two biggest slaughters of the war, which I will not mention here, as I do not want to offend potential viewers from the countries that got the lesser end, was even funded by the US forces and the CIA. Offering air support, intel, and assets to spawn guerilla groups to enter cleansing of ethnic pockets. Anyway, way OT, for another time perhaps.....lets go on

MARC : "
Again we circle the same point-- is the underlying problem the rhetoric of those concerned by the trends resulting from demographic contraction, or is the underlying problem the demographic contraction caused by an overburdensome socialistic state and multi-culti wimpiness?
"

Socialistic state does not exist anymore. Not in its prime context at least. Perhaps in N Korea and Cuba. But those are more for show than anything else. Not underlying problem, but my great concern for the rising violent nationalism is the rhetoric, BECAUSE it starts fueling the demo issue in the manner I spoke of above. Just like the Jewish question and its solution (which was something common throughout European history, not something the NSDAP made up) started fueling the cultural, ethnical and economic difficulties, hyperinflation and all, basically to support a crazy mans crave for power. This is again why I say demographic issues alone arent a sole cause for alarm. Coupled with slight shifts of wellbeing, economic downsides AND viscious primitive yellowpress propaganda and I am starting to hoard weapons. Usually in hard times, people always look for a scapegoat and at the moment, Islam is precisely that. And to bend the will of the people, especially bored, depressed and poor, yellowpress propaganda works wonders.

MARC : "
"Maybe some time in the Muslim neighborhoods of Paris or Rotterdam, where the police fear to go, would change your mind?"
"

I am unsure of this comment. Surely I cant understand it as an argument against Muslims in general ? I mean ANY time in ANY neighbourhood where police fear to go would change my mind. Hell the most scared I am in Paris is in any given LAfayette mall, seeing men in scarfs with makeup and leather jackets with a handy purse. But yeah, coincidentally, what you bring up here, the occurence of modern day apartheid and slums are one of my main arguments why liberal capitalism in its Western perfected form, with all its freedoms and independences cannot and willnot be able to tackle this. On the one hand you claim any interjection of the state as "socialism" (which is a farcry from it actually) on the other hand you would put all sorts of barriers and laws and general state interference etc. to help save what you hold dear and claim that it works best WITHOUT the state. Hmm.

The quasi left commentary was intended at the general status of the political Left, at least in Europe. It is nonexistent. Thats why I said quasi left, as an inert movement without smell, taste nor color.

MARC : "Illiterate American that I am, the term Odoacer goes right over my head with nary a look back smiley but I find what you say here to encapsulate the essence of something I do not understand at all.  How on earth is Europe better off as Eurabia?!?"

Odoacer was a germanic foederati general that succeeded/brought down Romulus Augustus as the Rex Italiae in the 5th century, marking the end of classical era of the Roman Empire. What most people imagine as a decline into barbarism and plunder was actually a very prosperous age, in many ways better and fairer than before. I hope this makes my Eurabia parallel clearer !

with best regards

a very tired Andrew !
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G M
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« Reply #83 on: March 19, 2011, 08:14:22 PM »

"Islam as a religion, accepts SO MUCH easier, all the findings of modern science (quantum mechanics, bioethics,..) that pose all sorts of incredibly uncomfortable questions for Christianity."

Exactly where do you get this from? Last time I checked, modern science was something produced by western civilization while islam produces ?
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G M
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« Reply #84 on: March 19, 2011, 08:40:39 PM »

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/01/stoning-in-afghanistan-allahu-akbar-allahu-akbar-allahu-akbar.html

Too advanced for christians to even contemplate!
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