WASHINGTON — As part of an information offensive in Iraq, the U.S. military is secretly paying Iraqi newspapers to publish stories written by American troops in an effort to burnish the image of the U.S. mission in Iraq.
The articles, written by U.S. military "information operations" troops, are translated into Arabic and placed in Baghdad newspapers with the help of a defense contractor, according to U.S. military officials and documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times.
Many of the articles are presented in the Iraqi press as unbiased news accounts written and reported by independent journalists. The stories trumpet the work of U.S. and Iraqi troops, denounce insurgents and tout U.S.-led efforts to rebuild the country.
Though the articles are basically factual, they present only one side of events and omit information that might reflect poorly on the U.S. or Iraqi governments, officials said. Records and interviews indicate that the U.S. has paid Iraqi newspapers to run dozens of such articles, with headlines such as "Iraqis Insist on Living Despite Terrorism," since the effort began this year.
On the one hand the obvious argument is that all is fair in love and war. On the other hand the United States isn't exactly setting a good example about press freedom.
Not content to simply write stories for publications owned by others, the US military is investing in the growing Iraqi media market.
One of the military officials said that, as part of a psychological operations campaign that has intensified over the last year, the task force also had purchased an Iraqi newspaper and taken control of a radio station, and was using them to channel pro-American messages to the Iraqi public. Neither is identified as a military mouthpiece.
Ahmad Chalabi's newspaper ran the stories as real news articles while other newspapers labelled the stories as advertisements or as sponsored stories. What do the Iraqi people think of such stories? Also, what's the quality of the stories?
The company doing much of this work is known as The Lincoln Group and was formerly known as Iraqex. Curiously, a site called Source Watch has an article about the Lincoln Group that puts their address on K Street in Washington DC which is the famous area for DC lobbyists.
A correspondent brings my attention to a New York Times article entitled: "Forced to Marry Before Puberty, African Girls Pay Lasting Price".
CHIKUTU, Malawi - Mapendo Simbeye's problems began early last year when the barren hills along Malawi's northern border with Tanzania rejected his attempts to grow even cassava, the hardiest crop of all. So to feed his wife and five children, he said, he went to his neighbor, Anderson Kalabo, and asked for a loan. Mr. Kalabo gave him 2,000 kwacha, about $16. The family was fed.
But that created another problem: how could Mr. Simbeye, a penniless farmer, repay Mr. Kalabo?
The answer would shock most outsiders, but in sub-Saharan Africa's rural patriarchies, it is deeply ingrained custom. Mr. Simbeye sent his 11-year-old daughter, Mwaka, a shy first grader, down one mangy hillside and up the next to Mr. Kalabo's hut. There she became a servant to his first wife, and, she said, Mr. Kalabo's new bed partner.
Now 12, Mwaka said her parents never told her she was meant to be the second wife of a man roughly three decades her senior. "They said I had to chase birds from the rice garden," she said, studying the ground outside her mud-brick house. "I didn't know anything about marriage."
Obviously the Gray Lady does not approve of this sort of oppression of females. My correspondent says:
Western opinion leaders *say* that they support multiculturalism and that all cultures are equally valid. But as soon as they encounter a culture that truly does life differently from theirs, they demand that it be changed to be like theirs. From a sociobiological point of view, the "oppressed" girls below are better off than college-educated American women, because they end up with more surviving children. In terms of reproductive success, a college education is worse than poverty and AIDS combined!
All true. Natural selection is a brutal thing to watch. No wonder humans do not want to believe it applies to them.
Multi-culturalism is a moral pose assumed by Western intellectuals to try to make themselves appear morally superior to the white proletariat. They do not reallly mean it. They want the Sudanese or Ethiopians to stop cutting clitorises off of females. They want African men to do more of the work in African families. But even more they want to feel superior to others of their own kind. White on white status competitions are more important to them.
Really, I'm not making this up. The Gray Lady says so. Immigrants from less developed countries are causing a bedbug epidemic in New York City.
"It's becoming an epidemic," said Jeffrey Eisenberg, the owner of Pest Away Exterminating, an Upper West Side business that receives about 125 bedbug calls a week, compared with just a handful five years ago. "People are being tortured, and so am I. I spend half my day talking to hysterical people about bedbugs."
Last year the city logged 377 bedbug violations, up from just 2 in 2002 and 16 in 2003. Since July, there have been 449. "It's definitely a fast-emerging problem," said Carol Abrams, spokeswoman for the city housing agency.
In the bedbug resurgence, entomologists and exterminators blame increased immigration from the developing world, the advent of cheap international travel and the recent banning of powerful pesticides. Other culprits include the recycled mattress industry and those thrifty New Yorkers who revel in the discovery of a free sofa on the sidewalk.
This may sound funny. But extermination costs $300.00 per room and sometimes repeated applications of 4 different chemicals are necessary. Plus, extermination is highly time consuming with the need to put most clothes and other materials in plastic bags. Black market DDT anyone?
Immigration also brings tuberculosis and other diseases.
The Wall Street Journal reports on the causes of the large increases in real estate prices in recent years.
America still has lots of wide-open spaces, but many of them aren't where people want to live. And builders are finding it more difficult to get permits to put up new houses in many of the more economically vibrant metropolitan areas, particularly along the East and West coasts.
"The housing supply has been constrained by government regulation as opposed to fundamental geographic limitations," concludes a paper released in December 2004 by Edward L. Glaeser, an economics professor at Harvard University, and two colleagues.
Homeowners share the blame. Prof. Glaeser's paper says they have grown savvier about organizing themselves to block proposals that would bring new and more densely packed housing to their neighborhoods -- something that they fear could reduce the value of existing homes.
Think about this argument. It sounds like a complaint against people who oppose high density building. Economists argue that housing wouldn't cost as much if it was built more densely. True enough. But isn't higher density housing undesirable for most people. Doesn't the higher density also translate into lower perceived value by most potential buyers?
Consider the interests of existing homeowners. Why are homeowners fearful of higher density housing? The economists say the homeowners fear declining housing prices. But the declines in prices are due to declines in perceived value. Higher density housing lowers quality of life of lower density housing owners living in the same area. If a neighborhood gets more houses built on smaller lots then suddenly more cars are parked on the street, more cars are going by all hours of the night and day, noise levels are higher, and there's more pollution.
Higher density housing mixed with larger and more expensive houses is also redistributionist. The houses that have fewer occupants per dollar of assessed value end up paying more taxes per occupant and therefore those houses effectively subsidize the occupants of higher density housing. Why should homeowners want to subsidize the living standards of other people in the name of the free market?
The classic libertarian economic argument against building regulations just plain ignores the external cost problem. People who organize to resist new building are organizing to avoid external costs that lower their quality of life. They also avoid higher taxes. The higher taxes subsidize people in higher density housing who demand as much or more public services while paying less in taxes.
But why the increased demand for housing? More people. Imagine the United States with half its current population. Housing costs would be much lower in desirable locations for living because lower demand would lower land costs. Of course immigration is driving America in the opposite direction. We are long past the age of unexplored frontiers or sparsely populated coastlines. Every addition to the total population is another person to compete for limited land resources in the most desirable areas. Worse yet, the average immigrant is a member of the recipient class and makes less money, pays less in taxes, and generates more demand for government services and taxes than the white and Asian American populations.
Faced with the choice between running again as head of Likud and likely winning but getting nowhere with his agenda because of internal opposition, or risking everything on a new party with the chance to achieve his goals, Sharon opted for the latter course.
"That's an interesting choice. It means the substance is more important to him than the politics," said Yair Hirschfeld, an initiator of the first back-channel, Israeli-Palestinian contacts in the 1980s that eventually led to the interim peace agreement known as the Oslo Accords.
Sharon is driven to create defensible borders for Israel.
And the substance of what Sharon wants to achieve, Hirschfeld said, is nothing less than the ultimate definition of Israel's future borders, either through negotiations with the Palestinians or through unilateral moves.
Sharon is looking more moves down the chessboard than his opponents. While some hardliner settlements supporters think that they have a God given (or "G-d given" in their parlance) right and duty to make settlements. Sharon is a lot less sentimental or a lot less mystical. Sharon sees the basic problem: Israel needs demographically defendable borders. The wombs of Palestinian women are a demographic time bomb ticking in the heart of Israel. The only solution is to put more Arabs on the other side of walls. If only American leaders could have Sharon's guts and insight.
Sharon has formed a new party of the political center and hopes to use his popularity to retain power in an election which will come by March 2006.
Now 77, Sharon spent years as a military tactician. On Monday he proved again that as he has gotten older, he has also gotten bolder.
Never one to play defense, the man nicknamed "the bulldozer" charged ahead with a beaming smile, sweeping aside the traditional rules of the game by founding a new, centrist "National Responsibility" party that will test the sentiments of the Israeli electorate in snap elections that will take place no later than mid-March.
Sharon's new party is expected to be made up of about a dozen breakaway members of Likud, including prominent Finance Minister Ehud Olmert. But the new party's aim is to attract members from the left and center as well, including possibly former Labor Party leader and prominent statesman Shimon Peres.
Some Likudniks want to reverse the settlements pull-outs. But Israel really needs to go even further and put even more Arab Muslims on the other side of walls separating the Jews from the Muslims. The Israelis have already also so betrayed the Arab Christians that they probably need to separate themselves from the Christians as well.
Republican Senator John Warner of Virginia along with Democratic Senators Carl Levin of Michigan and Mark Dayton of Minnesota asked US officers who serve out on the battlefields of Iraq what they think of US troop levels in Iraq. The officers unsurprisingly said that more troops are needed.
"We wanted the view from men who had been on the tip of the spear, and we got it," said John Ullyot, a Warner spokesman who declined to comment on what was said at the meeting but confirmed that some Capitol Hill staff members were also present. According to two sources with knowledge of the meeting, the Army and Marine officers were blunt. In contrast to the Pentagon's stock answer that there are enough troops on the ground in Iraq, the commanders said that they not only needed more manpower but also had repeatedly asked for it. Indeed, military sources told TIME that as recently as August 2005, a senior military official requested more troops but got turned down flat.
These are not the top and highly political officers who normally speak to Congress while sitting alongside Donald Rumsfeld. These are the middle and lower level managers who have to keep their mouths shut while the company lies in public. Surely some of you have been inside of corporations and watched them do such things. Well, same idea.
I do not think the war is worth fighting in the first place. But the position of the war's advocates is undermined by the understaffing of the effort. If it is so important to win then why be so half-assed about fighting it? The only military reason I can see for keeping US troop levels down that is that the more brothers and cousins we kill the more other brothers and cousins will join the resistance to seek revenge. But such an interpretation is hardly an argument for our continued fighting in the first place.
"I didn't advocate invasion," Rumsfeld told ABC television, when asked if he would have advocated an invasion of Iraq if he had known that no weapons of mass destruction would be found there.
The US Defense chief added: "I wasn't asked," when asked whether he supported the March 2003 invasion.
Asked on ABC television's "This Week" program if he was trying to distance himself after the fact from the controversial US decision to invade Iraq, Rumsfeld replied: "Of course not. Of course not. I completely agreed with the decision to go to war and said that a hundred times. Don't even suggest that."
Rumsfeld denies that officers in the field have ever been turned down in requests for more troops.
"No one has ever been turned down by me. The troops that have been asked for have been given," Rumsfeld told ABC television.
Rumsfeld is a great straight man. He says really absurd things with a totally straight face. He ought to retire from public office and work up a comedy act.
The Bush Administration does not want to admit more troops are needed for a few reasons:
In a nutshell: The Bushies have a large vested interest in lying about Iraq.
Back in August 2005 Lieutenant General William E. Odom, U.S. Army (Ret.) and former director of the National Security Agency under Ronald Reagan argued that all the reasons for staying in Iraq have it exactly backward.
Here are some of the arguments against pulling out:
1) We would leave behind a civil war.
2) We would lose credibility on the world stage.
3) It would embolden the insurgency and cripple the move toward democracy.
4) Iraq would become a haven for terrorists.
5) Iranian influence in Iraq would increase.
6) Unrest might spread in the region and/or draw in Iraq's neighbors.
7) Shiite-Sunni clashes would worsen.
8) We haven’t fully trained the Iraqi military and police forces yet.
9) Talk of deadlines would undercut the morale of our troops.
But consider this:
1) On civil war. Iraqis are already fighting Iraqis. Insurgents have killed far more Iraqis than Americans. That’s civil war. We created the civil war when we invaded; we can’t prevent a civil war by staying.
For those who really worry about destabilizing the region, the sensible policy is not to stay the course in Iraq. It is rapid withdrawal, re-establishing strong relations with our allies in Europe, showing confidence in the UN Security Council, and trying to knit together a large coalition including the major states of Europe, Japan, South Korea, China, and India to back a strategy for stabilizing the area from the eastern Mediterranean to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Until the United States withdraws from Iraq and admits its strategic error, no such coalition can be formed.
Thus those who fear leaving a mess are actually helping make things worse while preventing a new strategic approach with some promise of success.
2) On credibility. If we were Russia or some other insecure nation, we might have to worry about credibility. A hyperpower need not worry about credibility. That’s one of the great advantages of being a hyperpower: When we have made a big strategic mistake, we can reverse it. And it may even enhance our credibility. Staying there damages our credibility more than leaving.
Ask the president if he really worries about US credibility. Or, what will happen to our credibility if the course he is pursuing proves to be a major strategic disaster? Would it not be better for our long-term credibility to withdraw earlier than later in this event?
3) On the insurgency and democracy. There is no question the insurgents and other anti-American parties will take over the government once we leave. But that will happen no matter how long we stay. Any government capable of holding power in Iraq will be anti-American, because the Iraqi people are increasingly becoming anti-American.
Also, the U.S. will not leave behind a liberal, constitutional democracy in Iraq no matter how long it stays. Holding elections is easy. It is impossible to make it a constitutional democracy in a hurry.
President Bush’s statements about progress in Iraq are increasingly resembling LBJ's statements during the Vietnam War. For instance, Johnson’s comments about the 1968 election are very similar to what Bush said in February 2005 after the election of a provisional parliament.
Go read the full article. He takes on every point and says the conventional wisdom is wrong.
By contrast, any argument for "staying course," or seeking more stability before we withdraw -- or pointing out tragic consequences that withdrawal will cause -- is bound to be wrong, or at least unpersuasive. Putting it bluntly, those who insist on staying in Iraq longer make the consequences of withdrawal more terrible and make it harder to find an alternative strategy for achieving regional stability.
Once the invasion began in March 2003, all of the ensuing unhappy results became inevitable. The invasion of Iraq may well turn out to be the greatest strategic disaster in American history. In any event, the longer we stay, the worse it will be. Until that is understood, we will make no progress with our allies or in devising a promising alternative strategy.
"Staying the course" may make a good sound bite, but it can be disastrous for strategy. Several of Hitler's generals told him that "staying the course" at Stalingrad in 1942 was a strategic mistake, that he should allow the Sixth Army to be withdrawn, saving it to fight defensive actions on reduced frontage against the growing Red Army. He refused, lost the Sixth Army entirely, and left his commanders with fewer forces to defend a wider front. Thus he made the subsequent Soviet offensives westward easier.
To argue, as some do, that we cannot leave Iraq because "we broke it and therefore we own it" is to reason precisely the way Hitler did with his commanders. Of course we broke it! But the Middle East is not a pottery store. It is the site of major military conflict with several different forces that the United States is galvanizing into an alliance against America. To hang on to an untenable position is the height of irresponsibility. Beware of anyone, including the president, who insists that this is "responsible" or "the patriotic" thing to do.
A single month's burn of money in Iraq would pay for a really good wall along the entire US-Mexico border.
Kusky speaks to 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley this Sunday, Nov. 20, 2005, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.
“New Orleans is going to be 15 to 18 feet below sea level, sitting off the coast of North America surrounded by a 50 to 100-foot-tall levee system to protect the city,” says Kusky, a professor in the Earth Sciences Department at St. Louis University. He estimates this will happen in 90 years. “That’s the projection, because we are losing land on the Mississippi Delta at a rate of 25 to 30 square miles per year. That’s two acres per hour that are sinking below sea level,” he tells Pelley.
As the city assesses damage and plans to rebuild, Kusky believes there’s a better plan.
“We should be thinking about a gradual pullout of New Orleans and starting to rebuild people’s homes, businesses and industry in places that can last more than 80 years,” says Kusky. Instead, the law will allow residents to rebuild if their homes lie at the 100-year flood level, much of which was inundated by Katrina’s waters and would be put underwater again should levees fail.
While 60 Minutes will give Kusky's idea a lot of publicity this is not a new position for him. On September 25, 2005 in a Boston Globe op/ed Kusky called for moving or abandoning New Orleans due to inevitable submergence.
The city has other problems of location. To protect communities along the Mississippi River, the Army Corps of Engineers built a 2,000 mile long system of levees that help prevent river flood waters surging from the channel and inundating low lying areas. However, the levees also channel sediments that normally get deposited on the flood plain and delta far out into the Gulf of Mexico, causing the land surface of the delta south of New Orleans to sink below sea level at an alarming rate. A total land area the size of Manhattan is disappearing every year, meaning that New Orleans will be right on the Gulf Coast by the end of the century.
The projected setting of the city in 2100 is in a hole up to 18 feet below sea level directly on the hurricane-prone coast. The city will look like a fish tank battered by coastal waves, surrounded by 50- to 100-foot-high seawalls that are barely able to protect it from hurricanes that are only as strong as Katrina. Such a city is untenable, and we as a nation need to face this reality.
As my regular readers know, I take the same position. I think that fixing the channel sediment problem should take precedence over building flood walls and the lower lying areas should not be rebuilt. We should try to stop the erosion of the delta which human engineering projects caused (or at least greatly accelerated) in the first place. But humans should not live in flood deltas unless they want to sign pieces of paper saying they do not expect any government disaster help when hurricanes hit.
Also see my post "Should New Orleans Get Rebuilt And Who Should Pay For It?" Also, read an excellent Scientific American article about the Mississippi river delta (same article here and here). What is happening has been obvious for a long time. Why not have public policy align with the scientific reality?
In June 2004, for the first time, more than half the public (54 percent) thought the US had made a mistake, a figure that holds today.
With Vietnam, that 50-percent threshold was not crossed until August 1968, several years in; with Korea, it was March 1952, about a year and a half into US involvement.
Why did Americans go sour on the Iraq war so quickly, and what can Bush do about it?
John Mueller, an expert on war and public opinion at Ohio State University, links today's lower tolerance of casualties to a weaker public commitment to the cause than was felt during the two previous, cold war-era conflicts. The discounting of the main justifications for the Iraq war - alleged weapons of mass destruction and support for international terrorism - has left many Americans skeptical of the entire enterprise.
In fact, "I'm impressed by how high support still is," Professor Mueller says. He notes that some Americans' continuing connection of the Iraq war to the war on terror is fueling that support.
Some of Bush's remaining support comes from Republicans who are for whatever the Democrats are against. But some of the war's opposition comes from Democrats who against whatever the Republicans are for.
One reason the American public loses support for wars more quickly is that family sizes have dropped. During WWII my mother's mother had 3 sons in the war and 1 son at home. Plus she had 4 daughters. She could have lost a son and still had plenty of kids. She got lucky and none died. Even my B-17 squandron commander uncle was lucky to complete all his missions. But today far more common single child families who lose a son in Iraq have no kids left.
Also, as death from accidents and diseases has become more rare death seems more of an anomaly. People rarely lose children or young adult kids for any reason. Each death becomes more shocking due to its rarety.
Plus, it is hard to see how the Iraq war improves US security. It doesn't pass a basic plausbility test. If the threat of foreign terrorists to the US mainland was so great as to justify a war that costs the loss of thousands of US lives, the maiming and permanent damage of tens of thousands of more US soldiers, the expenditure of hundreds of billions of dollars, and the negative reaction that this war has elicited abroad then wouldn't a threat that large also justify, say, large efforts to keep out and hunt down and deport illegal aliens from the Middle East? Wouldn't a threat that large also justify a huge curtailment of granting of visas to people from the countries where Al Qaeda recruits terrorists? The very asymmetry of the response between what the US will do to a country in the Middle East and what the US government won't do to protect us at home makes me think the Bush Administration is just plain lying about their shifting justifications for the Iraq war.
We also do not trust public institutions as much as previous generations did. The Bush Administration's numerous mistakes in the conduct of the Iraq war combine with the optional nature of the war to make people a lot more critical. 9/11 did not have to lead to the Iraq invasion the way the Pearl Harbor attack led to the total mobilization of the US economy in World War II. The very limited effects of 9/11 on US security and the small scale of the required response are demonstrated by the fact that the US did not fully mobilize the economy or institute a draft in response to 9/11. Support for the Iraq war required a dishonest conflation of the battle against Al Qaeda with Saddam's Iraq and a dishonest conflation of all types of "weapons of mass destruction" as somehow equivalent threats even though anthrax and chemical artillery shells pose little threat to the United States as compared to what a single nuclear warhead could do.
Parenthetically speaking, every time Bush tries to link the war in Iraq to Al Qaeda any impulse I have to forgive Dubya for his massive Iraq mistake gets thoroughly smashed. I despise anyone who insults my intelligence by telling me that sort of lie in an attempt to deceive me for his own benefit.
Update Bryanna Bevens points out that a CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll puts Bush's disapproval rating on federal spending and immigration as even lower than on Iraq.
According to poll results, this is how 1066 people rated the President on policy matters:
(Disapproval ratings )Terrorism 49%
Overall job approval 60%
The economy 61%
The situation in Iraq 63%
Controlling federal spending 71%
The two issues with the highest disapproval rates were federal spending and immigration.
Hmm…Bush II has the lowest approval ratings of his career…65% of the people say they disapprove of his performance on immigration issues. It would seem to me that Americans are fed up with politicians who ignore the problems of illegal immigration and if Bush II was facing re-election, he would surely lose.
The public disapproves of Bush for a wide range of reasons. It is gratifying to see that immigration is one of them. Immigration has ceased to be a fringe issue.
In Britain Labour Party MP Ann Cryer commissioned a report that found Pakistani Muslims engage in high rates of consanguineous marriage.
The report, commissioned by Ann Cryer, revealed that the Pakistani community accounted for 30 per cent of all births with recessive disorders, despite representing 3.4 per cent of the birth rate nationwide.
It is estimated that more than 55 per cent of British Pakistanis are married to first cousins, resulting in an increasing rate of genetic defects and high rates of infant mortality. The likelihood of unrelated couples having the same variant genes that cause recessive disorders are estimated to be 100-1. Between first cousins, the odds increase to as much as one in eight.
In Bradford, more than three quarters of all Pakistani marriages are believed to be between first cousins. The city's Royal Infirmary Hospital has identified more than 140 different recessive disorders among local children, compared with the usual 20-30.
This is all a recipe for societal decay.
People who in-breed effectively are constructing their own mini-society within the larger society. They feel less loyalty to government and fellow citizens.
This brings to mind Phil Rushton's new report on how genetic distance affects feelings of group loyalty and patriotism.
Research showing how genes affect group loyalty and patriotism was published in the October 2005 issue of Nations and Nationalism, an academic journal of the London School of Economics.
Entitled "Ethnic nationalism, evolutionary psychology, and genetic similarity theory," it shows how genetic similarity provides "social glue" in groups as small as two spouses and best friends or in those as large as nations and alliances.
The evidence comes from studies of identical and non-identical twins, adopted and non-adopted children, blood tests, social assortment, heritabilities, family bereavements, and large-scale population genetics.
For example, identical twins grieve more for their co-twin than do non-identical twins. And, family members grieve more for children who resemble their side of the family than they do their spouse's side.
Also, spouses who are more genetically similar have longer and more satisfying marriages.
Based on their DNA, two randomly chosen individuals from the same ethnic group are found to be as related as first cousins.
Thus, two random people of English ancestry are the equivalent of a 3/8 cousin compared to people from the Near East; a 1/2 cousin by comparison with people from India; and like full cousins by comparison with people from China.
The study's author, J. Philippe Rushton, professor of psychology at the University of Western Ontario said, "This explains why people describe themselves as having "ties of blood" with members of their own ethnic group, who they view as "special" and different from outsiders; it explains why ethnic remarks are so easily taken as 'fighting words.'"
Here's an important point:
Human social preferences, like mate choice and ethnic nepotism, are anchored in the evolutionary psychology of altruism. Adopting a "gene's eye" point of view allows us to see that people's favoritism to kin and similar others evolved to help replicate shared genes.
People who are more distantly genetically related will behave less altruistically toward each other. Leftists who are for immigration of other races are basically promoting the formation of a society whose members will behave less altruistically at the scale of the entire society. The members of this society will instead be far more nepotistic in giving jobs, promotions, charity, and other help. They'll be more willing to commit crimes against strangers since strangers will be more genetically distant from them.
All the multi-cultural blather will not change how people see each other:
The paper described the group-identification processes as innate--part of the evolved machinery of the human mind. Even very young children make in-group/out-group distinctions about race and ethnicity in the absence of social learning.
Want to live in a more balkanized society split up by genetic groups? That's what current immigration patterns are driving us toward.
I found it very curious that upper class Indians are claimed in this press release to be genetically closer to Europeans than to lower class Indians.
For example, YouGov asked respondents how loyal they feel towards Britain. As the figures in the chart show, the great majority say they feel "very loyal" (46 per cent) or "fairly loyal" (33 per cent) but nearly one British Muslim in five, 18 per cent, feels little loyalty towards this country or none at all.If these findings are accurate, and they probably are, well over 100,000 British Muslims feel no loyalty whatsoever towards this country.
The proportion of men who say they feel no loyalty to Britain is more than three times the proportion of women saying the same.
For more on British Muslim loyalty problems see here.
For more on cousin marriage and its importance in understanding politics and societies see my posts "Consanguinity prevents Middle Eastern political development" and "John Tierney On Cousin Marriage As Reform Obstacle In Iraq" and "Consanguineous Marriage Perpetuates Violence In Muslim Mindanao" and "Endless Supply Of Brothers And Cousins Fuels Iraq Insurgency". If you want to understand the world understand consanguinity and genetics. The human race will suddenly make a lot more sense. Though probably your view of the human race's future will become more pessimistic. Also see Steve Sailer's article "Cousin Marriage Conundrum". Also see Steve's post "Corruption's Correlates". The Consang.net has a Global Prevalence map which demonstrates once again that a picture is worth a thousand words.
First cousin marriages also lower IQ by a few points on average, which Arabs can't afford. One study found a seven point depression in IQ, but other studies point to maybe half that. In any case, it's one reason that IQs among Caucasian Muslims are lower on average than among other Caucasians.
Of course, this has major implications for the question of the day about why Muslim immigrants aren't integrating into European societies, with everybody who is anybody denouncing European racism. But if the Muslims force their daughters to marry their cousins from the Old Country, they aren't going to engage in the most effective form of integration: inter-ethnic marriage.
A racial group is a partly inbred extended family. Due to cousin marriage, Muslims are particularly inbred within particularly limited extended families, which is a major reason why Muslim cultures are so fractious and integrate so poorly into larger societies.
Moreover, cousin marriage is to be deplored on multiple grounds. It goes hand in hand with arranged marriages, which we in the West despise. White Europeans are supposed to be beating themselves up with guilt right now over their failure to "integrate" Muslims, but arranged cousin marriages are the surest engine for maintaining Muslim ethnocentrism. And, finally, Muslim cousin marriages are a major engine of immigration fraud. Believing in true love, European countries allow their citizens/subjects to bring in their foreign spouses, but these arranged cousin marriages seldom have anything to do with romance, and often everything to do with getting visas for extended family members.
Obviously, European countries need to stop first cousins from marrying. But, that's not the way you're allowed to think about the problem:
"The problem that faces clinicians is how to deliver genetic services without stigmatizing British Pakistanis on the basis of their marriage pattern."
Stigmatization of cousin marriage is exactly what Britain needs, but it won't happen because it's associated with a politically privileged minority group. As we've seen in the U.S., stigmatization can work when a behavior is seen as either being common among the majority (e.g., drunk driving, smoking) or within a non-privileged minority (e.g., cousin marriage was easily stigmatized because it was associated with white hillbillies, who aren't a political force qua hillbillies). But when a form of bad behavior is linked to a privileged minority, such as gangsta rap or illegitimacy is linked with blacks, it is much harder to stigmatize in a multi-culti society.
White leftists are too foolish to act responsibly when non-whites are in their midst. They have status games they need to play and they need to act out their myths. Common sense just goes out the window.
Theresa (don't know her last name) has translated a Norwegian news article into English. Immigrant men in Norway beat their families.
It is more common [in Norway] that men with immigrant backgrounds hit their wives, than do men of ethnic Norwegian backgrounds -- this is demonstrated by the numbers from police and crisis centers from around the country.
Eighty percent of the women that seek out the Crisis Center in Oslo have immigrant backgrounds. [NB. Immigrants make up 22.3% of the Oslo population.*] Nearly all are married to men of foreign origin, discloses the center director, Tone Skjelbostad, to Dagsavisen (the day paper).
Also, nation-wide the numbers show that foreign women staying at crisis centers that are married to immigrant men are clearly over represented comapred to the total number of immigrants [in the country]. In total, 48% of all women at crisis centers had foreign backgrounds in 2004. Sixty-eight percent of these women were married to foreign men.
Of those not married to foreign men I wonder what percentage are married the sons of foreign men or what percentage were beaten by their foreign brothers or fathers.
"We know that there is much violence against women in cultures where men have a lot of power and there is little parity [equality]. Now are there many immigrants from such countries in Norway, and the violent element with foreign backgrounds is growing," said the director of the Crisis Senter Secretariat, Tove Smaadahl.
The women get beaten by their families for dating Norwegian men? Sounds like it:
Many of the foreign women at the crisis centers are also being exposed to [victims of] violence after relationships with ethnically Norwegian men.
"Dark numbers" [lit.]
The numbers from the Oslo police district show that around 70% of family violence cases have attackers or victims, or both, that are of backgrounds other than Norwegian.
So you have to figure that those from the Muslim countries, who are only a fraction of the 8%, are doing an awful lot of beating to be the cause of such a large fraction of total beatings. Repeat after me: Muslim immigration is bad.
Update: Check out this Christian Science Monitor article by Bruce Bawer entitled "Not all Muslims want to integrate".
But enduring segregation is a fact of life in France as it is elsewhere on the continent. Millions of "French Muslims" don't consider themselves French. A government report leaked last March depicted an increasingly two-track educational system: More and more Muslim students refuse to sing, dance, participate in sports, sketch a face, or play an instrument. They won't draw a right angle (it looks like part of the Christian cross). They won't read Voltaire and Rousseau (too antireligion), Cyrano de Bergerac (too racy), Madame Bovary (too pro-women), or Chrétien de Troyes (too chrétien). One school has separate toilets for "Muslims" and "Frenchmen"; another obeyed a Muslim leader's call for separate locker rooms because "the circumcised should not have to undress alongside the impure."
Many Muslims, wanting to enjoy Western prosperity but repelled by Western ways, travel regularly back to their homelands. From Oslo, where I live, there are more direct flights every week to Islamabad than to the US. A recent Norwegian report noted that among young Norwegians of Pakistani descent, family honor depends largely on "not being perceived as Norwegian - as integrated."
Again, Muslim immigration is bad.
But now, for the first time ever, America's educational gains are poised to stall because of growing demographic trends. If these trends continue, the share of the U.S. workforce with high school and college degrees may not only fail to keep rising over the next 15 years but could actually decline slightly, warns a report released on Nov. 9 by the National Center for Public Policy & Higher Education, a nonprofit group based in San Jose, Calif. The key reason: As highly educated baby boomers retire, they'll be replaced by mounting numbers of young Hispanics and African Americans, who are far less likely to earn degrees.
Because workers with fewer years of education earn so much less, U.S. living standards could take a dive unless something is done, the report argues. It calculates that lower educational levels could slice inflation-adjusted per capita incomes in the U.S. by 2% by 2020. They surged over 40% from 1980 to 2000.
This National Center for Public Policy & Higher Education pedals the standard liberal tripe that the solution is improved education. Never mind the low correlation between spending per student and educational outcomes. Never mind the huge body of evidence for large differences in average IQs between the races. Faced with a genetically caused difference in average ability and an enormous demographic crisis for the United States the stupid knee jerk liberal response is to make arguments based on the bright shining lie that underlies all American mainstream domestic policy debates. The emperor has no clothes but the yahoos insist on debated flaws in the design of the emperor's gown.
Faced with a huge problem America's pathetic elites vacillate between two responses: A) Lie about it or B) Ignore it. Do we deserve this? Are Americans collectively all so fllawed that most of us deserve the misrule of liars?
More U.S. white-collar jobs will then be likely to move offshore, warns National Center President Patrick M. Callan. "For the U.S. economy, the implication of these trends is really stark," he says.
Callan's projections are based on the growing diversity of the U.S. population. As recently as 1980, the U.S. workforce was 82% white. By 2020, it will be just 63% white. Over this 40-year span, the share of minorities will double, to 37%, as that of Hispanic workers nearly triples, to 17%. The problem is, both Hispanics and African Americans are far less likely to earn degrees than their white counterparts. If those gaps persist, the number of Americans age 26 to 64 who don't even have a high school degree could soar by 7 million, to 31 million, by 2020. Meanwhile, although the actual number of adults with at least a college degree would grow, their share of the workforce could fall by a percentage point, to 25.5%.
Of course educational spending will rise as average academic performance declines with our elites lying the whole way.
IF the educational gaps remain as they are (Projection 1), then personal income per capita in the United States is projected to decline from $21,591 in 2000 to $21,196 in 2020—a drop of $395 or 2% (in inflation-adjusted dollars; see figure 8). In contrast, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, personal income per capita had grown 41% nationally during the two decades prior to 2000. One consequence of such a decline in personal income would be a decrease in the nation’s tax base.
Under Projection 1, over one-third of the states would experience a decline in personal income per capita, including many currently with the highest levels, such as California, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York. In these states, the decrease in income would be much more substantial than the U.S. average and could significantly affect their tax bases. For example, the projected decline in personal income per capita from 2000 to 2020 in Colorado would be $662, in New York $1,182, and in California $2,475.
Some triumphalist Americans, suckered by neocon propaganda against Europe, delight in making favorable demographic comparisons of the future of the United States as compared to Europe Europe. But even if America's demographic problems are not as bad as Europe's they are still very bad and we have no reason to gloat. We are in deep trouble. Our most productive groups are aging and reproducing below replacement rate. Worse yet, the problem can't be solved as long as our worthless political, media, and academic elites lie about race and enforce a taboo against the truth.
Update: How dumb is America becoming? The really bad news reported by Abigail and Stephan Thernstrom is that high school graduation rates greatly understate the academic differences between the races. The Thernstroms report that 12 grade Hispanics know little more than 8th grade whites.
"Blacks nearing the end of their high school education perform a little worse than white eighth-graders in both reading and U.S. history, and a lot worse in math and geography. In math and geography, indeed, they know no more than whites in the seventh grade. Hispanics do only a little better than African-Americans. In reading and U.S. history, their NAEP scores in their senior year of high school are a few points above those of whites in eighth grade. In math and geography, they are a few points lower."
For more bad news see "Hispanic And Black High School Graduation Rates Very Low" and "Immigrants Do Not Improve Academically In Later Generations" and "Texas Standard School Test Results Are Warning On Immigration" and "Worsening English Language Problem With Immigrant Children".
CAIRO, Nov. 16 -- The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest Islamic group, more than doubled its legislative representation in runoff parliamentary elections, according to initial results announced Wednesday.
The Brotherhood, which was founded in 1928 and has been banned since 1954, had won 34 seats after a first-round runoff vote Tuesday, and the ruling National Democratic Party about 70 seats. The results were reported by the semiofficial Middle East News Agency, quoting judges in counting stations.
Someone tell Condi Rice, George W. Bush, and the neocons that democracy does not produce liberalism, tolerance, and freedom in many parts of the world. But they do not want to know. So never mind. There's no convincing the invincibly ignorant with mere evidence.
Car-burning has been described as a rite of passage for young dwellers of the cités, as the housing estates are known. It is so common that in the first seven months of this year, nearly 22,000 vehicles went up in smoke.
That is over 3000 cars a month and over 30 cars a night.
“It’s great. You smash a window, throw in a Molotov cocktail and wait for the petrol tank to go up,” one exultant youth was quoted as saying last week.
On an average Saturday night they burn 30 cars in the Paris suburbs, but as anger swept through them on the night of October 27 several hundred were torched. The figures kept climbing on each successive night of rioting. It seemed that years of built-up anger and frustration had erupted. At first, the police were the target.
Muslim immigration is bad. As for the years of built-up anger and frustration: What France needs is for its native people to erupt against its corrupt elites and replace these elites with leaders who will protect them by deporting the Muslims.
Paris has a population of 2.15 million in the city and 10.5 million in the surrounding area. So say a population of about 12 miilion in the area where the cars get torched. If the United States was experiencing a similar phenomenon nationwide then we'd be losing over 700 cars per night from arson or over a quarter million cars per year.
Mr Gaudin’s graphically enhanced point is that Marseilles’ natural borders – steep hills to the north, east and south, with the sea to the west – have forced it to build HLMs, or high-rise council flats, in the city centre. He contrasts this with most French cities, which have housed their poor immigrants in outer-city suburbs – the infamous banlieues – physically and psychologically excluding them from the bourgeois city centres.
But before the Muslim riots Marseilles was losing 5 to 10 cars a night to arson!
As other French cities burst into flames, Marseilles stayed calm. At the peak of the riots, about 35 cars were burnt a night in the city, hardly more than the pre-riots average of 5 to 10 a night.
Marseilles has police no-go zones.
Yet Marseilles is far from an idyll of racial harmony. There are police no-go zones, and police recently discovered a cache of weapons, including machine guns and a rocket launcher, in one such area.
Relative comparisons between decaying societies tend to cause people to underappreciate just how much is going wrong.
EVREUX, France - Three white-haired women stood before the burnt wreckage of their beauty salon, reminiscing about the days when they still felt safe walking the streets of this Normandy town after dark.
"We were happy here," said one of them, an 80-year-old. "Now we're afraid."
Another looked at her watch and reported it was almost 4:30 p.m. the time that school lets out and when this group of older ladies makes sure they're at home, behind locked doors.
Evreux is like many towns in France, with its prim flower beds, its towering stone cathedral and streets left scarred from a night of fury that has changed the way people live.
80 year old ladies shouldn't have to flee from the streets when schools are let out.
BAGHDAD -- Before 8,500 U.S. and Iraqi soldiers methodically swept through Tall Afar two months ago in the year's largest counterinsurgency offensive, commanders described the northern city as a logistics hub for fighters, including foreigners entering the country from Syria, 65 miles to the west.
"They come across the border and use Tall Afar as a base to launch attacks across northern Iraq," Col. H.R. McMaster, commander of the Army's 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, which led the assault, said in a briefing the day before it began.
When the air and ground operation wound down in mid-September, nearly 200 insurgents had been killed and close to 1,000 detained, the military said at the time. But interrogations and other analyses carried out in recent weeks showed that none of those captured was from outside Iraq. According to McMaster's staff, the 3rd Armored Cavalry last detained a foreign fighter in June.
The role of foreign fighters in Iraq has developed into part of a mythology constructed to try to justify a foolish and counterproductive war.
So why the constant exaggerations about the role of foreign fighters? Anthony Cordesman says the exaggerations are politically useful.
"Both Iraqis and coalition people often exaggerate the role of foreign infiltrators and downplay the role of Iraqi resentment in the insurgency," said Anthony H. Cordesman, a former Pentagon official now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, who is writing a book about the Iraqi insurgency.
"It makes the government's counterinsurgency efforts seem more legitimate, and it links what's going on in Iraq to the war on terrorism," he continued. "When people go out into battle, they often characterize enemies in the most negative way possible. Obviously there are all kinds of interacting political prejudices they can bring out by blaming outsiders."
Thanks to Greg Cochran for the tip.
Army Maj. Gen. William Webster, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division says US forces in Baghdad have capture 81 foreign fighters in almost a year.
Addressing a reported statement by Iraq's Interior Minister Bayan Jabr, Webster said he believed it "a distinct possibility" that insurgents now were training in Iraq for attacks in other countries. Webster added he had not seen any evidence of Iraq being used as a training ground or of any large-scale training camps.
Webster said U.S. forces in Baghdad have detained 81 foreign fighters since he began his current tour in Iraq almost a year ago. The "overwhelming majority" came from Syria, he said. The second-largest category was those whose origin could not be determined, he said. Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Egypt accounted for the next three largest groups, in that order, he said.
The bulk of the insurgents in Iraq are Iraqis. Most of them are fighting because US troops are in Iraq. Some fight because they want Sunnis to rule Shias. The main connection between the war in Iraq and the counter-terrorist battle against Al Qaeda is that the US troop presence is like a big expensive recruitment advertisement for Al Qaeda: "See, those infidels reallly do intend to invade and rule us".
The U.S. military does everything in Iraq worse and slower than it could if it solved its language problems. It is unbelievable that American fighting ranks have so little help. Soon after Pearl Harbor the U.S. military launched major Japanese-language training institutes at universities and was screening draftees to find the most promising students. America has made no comparable effort to teach Arabic. Nearly three years after the invasion of Iraq the typical company of 150 or so U.S. soldiers gets by with one or two Arabic-speakers. T. X. Hammes says that U.S. forces and trainers in Iraq should have about 22,000 interpreters, but they have nowhere near that many. Some 600,000 Americans can speak Arabic. Hammes has proposed offering huge cash bonuses to attract the needed numbers to Iraq....
If you want to develop an appreciation of the importance of local language skills I recommend Stuart Herrington's book about his service as an intelligence officer in Vietnam: Silence Was A Weapon: The Vietnam War In The Villages. The deficiencies in Arabic language training are an appalling, very large, and on-going mistake. Though the same could be said about the war in the first place.
[I]f the United States is serious about getting out of Iraq, it will need to re-consider its defense spending and operations rather than leaving them to a combination of inertia, Rumsfeld-led plans for "transformation," and emergency stopgaps. It will need to spend money for interpreters.... It will need to make majors and colonels sit through language classes.... It will need to commit air, logistics, medical, and intelligence services to Iraq—-and understand that this is a commitment for years, not a temporary measure. It will need to decide that there are weapons systems it does not require and commitments it cannot afford if it is to support the ones that are crucial. And it will need to make these decisions in a matter of months, not years—-before it is too late.
Short time horizons would make sense if we were preparing to leave. But the Bush Administration will not hear of talk about withdrawal.
Iraqi government forces might eventually improve. IQ tests under development for selecting smarter Iraqis to serve in the military (developed at the behest of the US military btw) might eventually help improve the Iraqi military's performance. So many Iraqis will end up getting recruited that some will want to fight for the Iraqi government. But how many? And how many US soldiers will get killed or maimed in the meantime and how many more tens or hundreds of billions will we spend before we finally withdraw?
A television news executive admitted last week to censoring coverage of the riots for fear of encouraging politicians such as Mr. Le Pen.
Jean-Claude Dassier, the head of the television news service LCI, told a conference in Amsterdam:
"Politics in France is heading to the right, and I don't want right-wing politicians back in second or even first place because we showed burning cars."
He fears electoral victory for Jean-Marie Le Pen and his fellow immigration restrictionists.
A Frenchman tells me the French press and internet are being censored (and he was writing on Nov. 10, 2005 so his "last night" was Nov. 9):
Since last night, some anti-islamist websites (as France-Echos, politically far right, that I've already cited here) are unavailable from France (except via the use of proxies).
I'm not in France and have access to France Echos: I noticed there that the forum is still active (posting from foreigners in majority) and that one of the responsible of the website (Francis Percy Blake) carefully avoid to answer to questions about this censorship.
I've requested a friend in France to check for me some websites, and could notice that France-Echos is not the only one censored, but that the most known islamist forum is NOT censored.
National media have announced that violence has greatly decreased this night ("only" 482 cars burned instead of 610). However, in Nice Matin (the newspaper of the French Riviera) they indicate discretly (not on the front page) that the number of cars burned in the department has increased (30 cars) despite the curfew.
I understand that the strategy is to try to limit the competition between cités which is indeed a part of the problem.
Tomorrow, November 11th, is holyday: it's the anniversary of the end of WWI (nov 11, 1918). An islamist group is calling for a huge demonstration on the Champs Elysées (Paris), on Yahoo! News French I could read an article about it, calling it a "call for peace", but this demonstration has, AFAIK, not yet been allowed. Reminder: Islamists were first beginning to prepare an independant demonstration for saturday afternoon, but after that have decided to rally the demonstration of friday whose original aim was "for Palestine and in memory of Yasser Arafat". The Parisian Police has forbidden the detail sale of oil.
The analysis of what appears on AFP shows that the official culprit of these riots are "racism" (of course: only the racism of whites) and "discrimination". Sarkozy has requested that foreigners condemned would be forbidden to stay in France, but the left is against, and SOS Racisme (a socialist association) has intended a complaint at the Conseil d'Etat for illegality.
And a proof of the censorship in a newspaper as important as Liberation (the 2nd after Le Monde) has been found: http://www.acmedias.org/B473.asp
Again, from a Frenchman on the manipulation of the public by the press:
In short: last wednesday, some "youths" had attacked a bus, spread petrol in it, and put it on fire. A disabled woman was in the bus, unable to leave the bus alone, and she tells that the youths spread petrol directly on her. Fortunately, the bus driver came back to help her, and she is just severely burned, alive.
At first, the media tried to avoid this affair: it would give a "bad image" of the rioters, and they want to "appease the tensions". However, on friday evenning, France 3 (a part of the national TV group France Television) diffused a interview of 2 daughters of this woman (according to the newspaper "Le Figaro", she has 3 daughters). These two girls are, as their mother, whites, Europeans, and one looks like a lot her mother.
A few hours after, TF1 (private TV) and France 2 (another of the group) diffused their interview of the daughter of this woman: an arabic islamist girl...
Sure, it is possible that this woman has really 3 daughters, and that one of these is Arabic and Islamist: I do not know. But it is very surprising: in such situations, France 2 should use the France 3 images, because of synergy in the group, the competition is against TF1.
So, even if it is all regular, that this woman has 3 daughters, one being an arabic islamist, that France 2 with 24 hours late decided to find the daughter of this woman, and film her, even if there is nothing behind, that it's just genuine journalism, it fits so much with the current propaganda that Islam has nothing to do with riots that it is surprising. An extraordinary luck, I would say.
You can't trust the press.
Morgan Stanley chief economist Stephen Roach says Germany is restructuring for more rapid growth.
Germany, despite its bad press, is very much on the move. Yes, it still has one of the most expensive and rigid labor markets in the world. But the rigidities are not as severe as they were just a few years ago. For example, German labor unions have lost significant power in recent years -- they no longer bargain across industries but confine their negotiations to individual companies. Moreover, led by the metals sector, Germany is now moving away from the shortened 35-hour work week. And in an effort to avoid the high fixed costs of hiring and firing, Corporate Germany has hired increasingly large numbers of part-time workers and contract temps; collectively, such “flexi workers” currently make up about 39% of the total German workforce -- up sharply from the 29% share a decade ago. At the same time, German businesses are now moving aggressively to increase IT spending -- making up for the shortfall in the late 1990s; the IT share of German capex has increased from 30% to approximately 50% over the past ten years. Last but hardly least, there has been a dramatic recent increase in German corporate restructuring; M&A activity in Germany has increased from $73 billion to $138 billion over the last three years.
Read the whole thing. He lays out some other facts that suggest Germany might be doing what needs to get done to get on a faster growth track.
Indeed, it is Mr. Norquist's informal political alliance, what he calls the "Leave Us Alone" coalition, that points up the most serious rents in the 21st-century Republican fabric. Over the past decade, the coalition has grown from its original libertarian base to include Christian Right activists whose agenda of moral regulation represents a flat rejection of libertarian values. It is the modern-day equivalent of Bella Abzug, the New York feminist, and James Eastland, the Mississippi segregationist, attending Democratic conventions together in the 1960's. It is too ridiculous to last, and it won't.
The potential for schism in the unwieldy Republican ranks is nothing new; it goes back to the debate between libertarians and Christian moralists that played out in the National Review in the 1950's. In 1980, Ronald Reagan won a presidential election as head of a movement that improbably fused together disciples of Jerry Falwell and disciples of Milton Friedman. But all the factions could agree on the need for a tough stand against Communism, no matter what their differences might be over abortion or federal spending.
Ehrenhalt thinks the conflicts of interests between the factions in the Republican coaltion are becoming more apparent to the various factions. This makes sense to me intuitively. Take abortion for example. 25 years ago libertarians and moderate Republicans who were not opposed to abortion didn't have to worry that a President like Reagan might nominate justices to the US Supreme Court who would overturn Roe v. Wade. The size of the shift needed on the Supreme Court was too large to happen in a single President's term of office. But we are fast approaching the point where the Supreme Court will really overturn Roe v. Wade and that'll make differences on this issue harder to ignore.
Similarly, the factions of the Republican coalition who believe in lower taxes and less spending have got to be thinking that when it comes to spending what is the point of even bothering to vote for Republicans rather than Democrats? Other factions in the Republican coalition (e.g. neocons who want to spend a lot invading other countries or otherwise conservative old folks who want more Medicare benefits) have gotten their way to a point where fiscal conservatives have got to feel demoralized about Republicans as the ruling party.
But I see a much bigger threat to the Republican coalition: More states are going to fall into the Donkey column due to immigration. For example, the influx of Hispanics into Georgia and North Carolina might knock both states of the fairly reliable Republican column in Presidential elections. The Republican Party has already declined into long term minority status in California. The fate of the Republican Party in Californa presages the fate of the Republican Party elsewhere.
One of the curious trends in American politics is a decline in the extent to which the parties are defined by class and an increase in racial identity determining party affiliation. Lower class whites increasingly have voted Republican and this has compensated for the growing number of other races voting for the Democrats. But higher income liberals who do not identify with capital owners vote for the Democrats in spite of their income levels. Is this pattern stable? Or will the parties eventually return to representing class interests? Or will the decline of whites as a percentage of the total US population drive even more whites into the Republican Party?
Right now the Republicans are hurting in the eyes of the public because of the Bush Administrations' mistakes and policies. Will the discrediting of Bush lead to a paleocon resurgence in the Republican Party?
Years ago I read and found enlightening Enhenhalt's book The United States of Ambition. It is about the decline of the old style machine politics of backroom deals for choosing candidates and for running governments and the rise of entrepreneurial self-starting individual candidates who make careers out of politics. The book gave me some respect for the advantages of the old political machines. In many instances the political machine operators were much better at choosing competent political candidates than our current system where the candidates pretty much go out on their own and sell themselves to voters. The average voter just isn't very knowledgeable and lots of elections are fought between charismatic figures who are far better at being candidates than at making decisions and administering governments.
As demographic trends bring about a declining quality of the average American voter could a revival of the political machines compensate for this trend?
LEIDEN, Netherlands -- As Prof. Afshin Ellian arrived at Leiden University law school one day recently, two bodyguards hustled him through the entrance and past the electronically locked doors leading to his office. For the rest of the day, the men stood sentry outside those doors, scanning the hallways for any sign of the people who want him dead.
Ellian is one of a soaring number of Dutch academics, lawmakers and other public figures who have been forced to accept 24-hour protection or go into hiding after receiving death threats from Islamic extremists. In a country with a tradition of robust public debate and an anything-goes culture, the fear of assassination has rattled society and forced people such as Ellian to reassess whether it's worth it to express opinions that could endanger their lives.
While France embraced the "Proposition Nation" approach favored by neoconservative intellectuals the Netherlands just as enthusiastically embraced and celebrated the multiculturalism advocated by leftist intellectuals. Well, both approaches failed.
One of the many Dutch political figures, academics, and public intellectuals who are living under political protection is Somalia born Dutch member of parliament Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Hirsi Ali's police protection is so extensive that her neighbors are suing the Dutch government and her apartment building owner for all the impositions they suffer as a result.
One neighbour, who asked to remain anonymous, said: "It is crack-pot. The security guards drive out of the parking garage with squealing tyres - in the middle of a residential area. The guards walk around day and night, and a car with the engine running is constantly stationed outside our window. I've had enough".
Of course Hirsi Ali hears all those same noises and can never escape from them by moving.
PARIS -- Dutch police arrested a known teen-age extremist Friday and six other suspects for allegedly plotting to assassinate Dutch politicians and to attack the headquarters of the Dutch intelligence service, authorities said.
The group, they said, has links to a cell broken up last year after the Nov. 2 assassination of Theo Van Gogh, an outspoken filmmaker and descendant of the artist Vincent Van Gogh.
THE HAGUE - A Dutch terrorism suspect arrested in October allegedly hoped to shoot down an El Al airliner at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, a television program reported Friday, citing police and secret service documents.
Samir Azzouz, 19, was one of seven suspects arrested in four Dutch cities on Oct. 14 on suspicion of plotting a terrorist attack.
Azzouz, one of almost one million Moslems who are roughly six percent of the country’s population, allegedly recruited two Federal Express workers at the Schiphol airport to give him information on the airline's landing and take-off patterns.
We should not have to have our societies disrupted, our politicians and intellectuals living under bodyguard protection, and our people killed by terrorists. How about a practical solution?
A few years back Ward Connerly tried and to get his Racial Privacy Initiative passed in California as a ballot referendum. The initiative would have outlawed government collection of racial identity information on the theory that the less the government knew about racial identity the less it could implement racial preferences. Well, in France estimates of how well racial groups do are all pretty speculative because the government either does not collect or refuses to publish by race breakdowns of school performance, incarceration rates, unemployment rates, average income, and assorted other measures. One can come across articles claiming that, for example, 70% of the people French prisons are of Arab Muslim and black Muslim extractions or that the French military is anywhere from 10% to 23% Muslim. But these are all rough estimates by people who are eyeballing particular institutions. France does not have the huge bodies of statistical evidence by race that the United States has.
France's attempt at racial blindness has failed at preventing race from becoming a big political issue and it has failed to make all races and ethnic groups perform equally well. This has become a political problem and the French government started making noises about implementing racial preferences even before the riots by Muslim ethnic groups. Perhaps the French government moved so slowly to put down the riots in part because the government wanted to use the riots to build support for a racial preferences system by using the riots to illustrate the depth of France's problems with certain immigrant groups.
Now, consider that France fancies itself a nation founded on an abstract set of ideas rather than on joint membership in an in-breeding ethnic group. So France is a "Proposition Nation" of the sort that neoconservative intellectuals want to turn America into.
Nobody in Fajullah hates anybody more than the WSJ Propositionists hate the French. James Taranto of the WSJ, for example, recently insinuated that 3,000 French people hadn't really died in the August heat wave—the Frogs probably just made it up because 3,000 Americans died on 9/11!
The irony, and it's an instructive one, is that France has officially sported a Proposition Nation ideology for 200 years. To any passing Martian, it would look almost identical to the one advocated by Taranto and Co.
Pro-immigration neoconservative intellectuals argue for granting membership in the American polity based upon a common embrace of beliefs about freedom and democracy. Since the pro-mass immigration neocons argue that nearly everyone in the world loves freedom and democracy (really, I'm not making this up) basically they see the whole world as proto-Americans trapped under the rule of corrupt small elites running un-American governments. In the neocon view these downtrodden oppressed folks are all just waiting to get free and start respecting everyone's rights to freedom of religion, speech, property, etc. However,as Steve Sailer points out France embraced the "Proposition Nation" idea for hundreds of years before the neocons showed up and France's highly meritocratic and racially blind "Proposition Nation" failed to assimilate and make successes out of their North African and sub-Saharan African immigrants.
The standard neocon response to immigration, clearly seen for example in a derivative thinker like Tamar Jacoby, is that mass immigration would be all hunky-dory if it weren't for those evil leftist intellectuals (probably of French descent) who seduce innocent immigrants into identity politics, affirmative action, etc.
But France shows that you can follow all the convenient neocon ideas and still have minority groups rioting in the streets.
Of course, the French won't be allowed to discuss any effective solutions for their problem—such as the push-pull plan to encourage Muslim emigration I outlined on Sunday.
Instead, respectable opinion is telling the French that they must impose affirmative action quotas on themselves. (Indeed, that was the plan of supposed tough-guy Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy all along.)
And, of course, free speech—never France’s strong point—will have to be replaced by “anti-hate” laws to suppress the inevitable native protests, especially when affirmative action is seen to be failing.
Not for the first time on VDARE.COM, we see that diversity is not strength. It’s weakness—the subversion of hard-won liberal principles (quotas are incompatible withfreedom of association and equality before the law). And, back of that, it’s rioting in the streets.
The neconservative "Proposition Nation" theory fails in empirical practice. But the neocons are, as they continually demonstrate, unempirical ideologues. They are promoting false and harmful myths about human nature. They are wrong on immigration. They are wrong on foreign policy.
French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy has ordered the expulsion of all foreigner caught carrying out attacks in the on-going riots.
"I have asked prefects that foreigners here legally or illegally, who have been convicted (over the unrest) be expelled without delay from our territory," he said of the top government officials who oversee France's 96 administrative districts.
Unfortunately most of the rioters have not been caught. Also, the total number arrested only runs into a few thousand and some of those have French citizenship.
Mr Sarkozy told MPs that non-French nationals - "not all of whom are here illegally" - had been convicted of taking part in the attacks.
"I have asked the prefects to deport them from our national territory without delay, including those who have a residency visa," he said.
This is a small step in the right direction. But why didn't the French government act more promptly to impose curfews and call out the military to put down the riots?
J'ai demandé aux préfets que les étrangers, qui sont en situation régulière ou irrégulière, qui ont fait l'objet d'une condamnation, soient expulsés sans délai de notre territoire, y compris ceux qui ont un titre de séjour", a-t-il précisé."Quand on a l'honneur d'avoir un titre de séjour, le moins que l'on puisse dire c'est que l'on n'a pas à se faire arrêter en train de provoquer des violences urbaines", a ajouté le ministre.
Thanks to "Invisible Scientist" for the tip.
Villepin said discrimination is a "daily and repeated infringement of our national ideals."
"These discriminations have a considerable cost for our community," he said. "They deprive our country of talent, and the determination to succeed like others. They feed - notably in the young - frustration and the feeling of not belonging to the national community."
Now that whitey has been fingered as the villain in this piece of political street theater France is going to embrace racial preferences with a vengeance.
While Villepin points to foreign-sounding names as indicators which French businesses use to discriminate he offers no explanation for why, say, Vietnamese immigrants in France are not mostly living in lower class ghettoes and not filling up French prisons. Villepin wants no truck with the idea that the reasons some groups do poorly lie with those groups. The French like to think they are different in some special way from Americans. But they repeat all of our mistakes.
Sarkozy's small scale deportations will matter far less in the long run than Villepin's racial preferences racket.
November 7, 2005--Seventy-five percent (75%) of Americans say that immigration issue are somewhat or very important in terms of how they will vote for President and Congress on Election Day. That includes 46% who consider the issue "very important."
Sixty percent (60%) of Americans say they favor building a barrier along the border between the United States and Mexico to help reduce illegal immigration. A Rasmussen Reports survey found that just 26% are opposed to this approach.
Forty-nine percent (49%) also favor a proposal that would end "birthright" citizenship to children born of illegal aliens in the United States. Forty-one percent (41%) are opposed.
Under current law, anyone born in the United States is automatically eligible for citizenship. Sixty-nine percent (69%) of Americans know that this is currently the law.
Republicans in Congress are considering proposals to end birthright citizenship and to build a barrier along the Mexican border.
26% opposition to a barrier is an incredibly low figure.
Birthright citizenship is already not available to the children of diplomats born in the United States. If Congress repealed birthright citizenship would the Supreme Court uphold the law? The 14th Amendment to the US Constitution says All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States." But note the "subject to the jurisidiction thereof". What exactly is meant by "jurisdiction"? How does it apply to illegal aliens?
"I'm inclined to think the Constitution requires a broad birthright citizenship rule," said David A. Martin, a law professor at the University of Virginia. "The language says people 'subject to the jurisdiction' -- certainly for all kinds of purposes we do assert these children are subject to our jurisdiction."
But Republicans are beginning to challenge that, saying someone in the United States illegally might not meet the meaning of "subject to the jurisdiction." A 1985 book by Peter Schuck and Rogers Smith said a change in statute might be enough.
A border barrier modelled after Israel's West Bank barrier would cost less than $10 billion. The barrier would pay itself back many times over in reduced medical subsidies, reduced crime, reduced pollution, lower housing costs, and many other benefits.
The Federal Highway Administration says most highway sound barriers are constructed of concrete or masonry block, range from 3-5 meters [9-16 feet] in height, and cost between $175 and $200 a square meter.
According to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, there are "more than 2,630 linear miles of sound barriers" along U.S. highways, constructed at a cost of some $1.4 billion.
By comparison, the Pentagon is spending about $3.9 billion a month in Iraq and Afghanistan, not counting rebuilding costs, the Associated Press has reported.
A barrier will reduce the number of people who try to cross. But even with a very forbidding barrier some will try to cross anyway. A barrier would need to have more depth than a single wall or fence in order to slow crossing attempts. One objective of a barrier is to have sensors that report the presence of people in a barrier area so that Border Patrol can arrive and apprehend people before they move through a barrier. The barrier needs to take enough time to cross that the Border Patrol will be able to get to a section before crossers can move very far.
The combination of a very tall wall with lots of barbed wire and some fence layers running parallel to it could intimidate most would-be crossers and also slow up most actual crossers enough to make crossing a fairly rare event. Israel's partially completed West Bank barrier has already greatly reduce Palestinian terrorist attacks into Israel. So barriers can work.
The folks at WeNeedAFence.com point out that the cost of a fence is chump change compared to the cost of a few weapons.
A 2,000 mile state-of-the-art border fence has been estimated to cost between four and eight billion dollars. That is roughly equivalent to four B-2 bombers or Virginia class submarines.
Thanks to crush41 for the heads-up.
Rep. Duncan Hunter of San Diego, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, planned to announce legislation Thursday to create a two-layer reinforced fence with lighting and sensors from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico, a 100-yard border zone to the north of the barriers, and 25 new ports of entry.
Note that Hunter, as chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, is inside the House leadership and also has national security credentials. California Republican Ed Royce, chairman of a House terrorism subcommittee, also has signed on to support this bill. So the bill is getting backing from House members who are concerned with national security.
The proposal would also increase penalties on employers who hire undocumented workers, step up deportation of illegal immigrants already in the United States and deny citizenship to U.S.-born children of illegal entrants, among a host of enforcement measures.
"Certainly, building a wall across the entire border wouldn’t be the right thing to do," said Jarrod Agen, spokesman for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. "You want the right mix of infrastructure and detection technology so you can spot things and know where to deploy your agents."
But Hunter said extra technology offers nothing to impede border crossings, or at least delay them long enough for federal agents to arrive and make arrests. Hunter has proposed funding for two 15-foot barriers, separated by 50 yards of open space with a road for border agents. The design would allow for a third fence later, he said.
The measure, introduced by Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., is a virtual kitchen sink of immigration proposals. It includes provisions ranging from the fence to workplace enforcement to giving local police authority to enforce immigration laws to scaling back the ability of immigrant families to be reunited.
Local police encounter illegal aliens every day throughout the country and could rapidly apprehend large numbers of illegals.
Immigration is a hot topic. A bunch of other immigration bills are about to be introduced.
Rep. James Sensenbrenner, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, which has primary jurisdiction over immigration policy, is expected to introduce a bill as early as Friday. His measure will focus on making it easier to deport criminal illegal immigrants and closing legal loopholes.
The millionaires in the US Senate tend to more strongly take the side of employers who want cheap labor. So House bills that tighten immigration enforcement face major obstacles in both the Senate and the White House. But the wind is definitely blowing toward the direction of tighter immigration enforcement and the House is much closer to the sentiment of the people than are the Senate or President Bush.
On Sunday night, vandals burned more than 1,400 vehicles, and clashes around the country left 36 police injured, setting a new high for overnight arson and violence since rioting started last month, national police chief Michel Gaudin told a news conference.
Attacks overnight Sunday to Monday were reported in 274 towns and police made 395 arrests, Gaudin said. The Justice Ministry said Monday that 27 people had been convicted in fast-track trials since the beginning of the unrest.
What percentage of those arrested have French citizenship?
So far there have been only isolated reports of wanton violence beyond France's borders -- five cars set on fire in Berlin on Sunday night and six in the western German city of Bremen. In Brussels, five cars were also set alight on Sunday.
In the Netherlands, where almost 20 percent of the population is of foreign descent, the riots in France are also being closely monitored.
Muslim leaders of African and Arab communities have also issued a fatwa, or religious order, against the riots.
"It is strictly forbidden for any Muslim... to take part in any action that strikes blindly at private or public property or that could threaten the lives of others," the fatwa by the Union of Islamic Organisations in France said.
My guess is these religious groups are going to get government money in exchange for these groups taking measures to enforce of the peace. The government will probably partially surrender sovereignty in some neighborhoods in exchange for Muslim militant groups preventing further riots. But can the purchased groups rein in the gangs?
Two French police were shot and the destruction of property is increasingly accompanied by physical assaults as well.
Local police commander Bernard Franio said: "This is real, serious violence - not like the previous nights. I'm very worried because this is mounting."
In Grigny, south of the capital, rioters fired on police with pellet guns or hunting rifles late yesterday, national police spokesperson Patrick Hamon said.
In time the Muslim gangs will smuggle in more guns and also learn how to build improvised explosive devices. Will the French put down the rioting before it starts to mature into something more deadly?
The New York Times reports that the rioters have begun building improvised explosives.
Most people said they sensed that the escalation of the past few days had changed the rules of the game: besides the number of attacks, the level of destruction has grown sharply, with substantial businesses and public buildings going down in flames. Besides the gunfire on Sunday, residents of some high-rise apartment blocks have been throwing steel boccie balls and improvised explosives at national riot police officers patrolling below.
The French police had better start buying heavily armoured vehicles.
Battles are very straightforward: Side A wins, Side B loses. But the French government is way beyond anything so clarifying. Today, a fearless Muslim advance has penetrated far deeper into Europe than Abd al-Rahman. They're in Brussels, where Belgian police officers are advised not to be seen drinking coffee in public during Ramadan, and in Malmo, where Swedish ambulance drivers will not go without police escort. It's way too late to rerun the Battle of Poitiers. In the no-go suburbs, even before these current riots, 9,000 police cars had been stoned by ''French youths'' since the beginning of the year; some three dozen cars are set alight even on a quiet night. ''There's a civil war under way in Clichy-sous-Bois at the moment,'' said Michel Thooris of the gendarmes' trade union Action Police CFTC. ''We can no longer withstand this situation on our own. My colleagues neither have the equipment nor the practical or theoretical training for street fighting.''
The French government will try hard to buy the peace. I expect backroom deals involving money and an unofficial system of declaring some areas off limits to French police in exchange for Muslim militant groups keeping the peace in those areas in ways that do not involve arson. Of course women in those areas will continue to be required to wear hijabs or risk rape or stabbing or other forms of assault. I also expect the French government to adopt a racial preferences system to discriminate against whites and for Muslims.
Update: A French correspondent points to a French language analysis of the fatwah against violence (anyone read French?) which he says shows the fatwah argues against indiscriminate violence by referencing Koran verses arguing for jihad and for attacks against Jews. So leading Muslims in France are for jihad. This is hardly surprising. Anyone who knows French want to go read that post and report back what it says? Even better yet, anyone want to translate it into English?
The Europeans need not wait like deer caught in headlights and watch their societies deteriorate under the demographic weight of hostile Muslims. Steve Sailer offers a modest proposal: The Muslims should be paid to leave.
Which brings us to the unmentionable alternative solution that Peter Brimelow has just pointed out in his Why Not (Muslim) Emigration?: A more practical approach than "fashioning a national identity that will connect” etc. etc would be to have the disaffected simply leave.
Start by deporting all the rioters who get caught by the police. I bet the rioting would calm down very rapidly as the news got around that rioting was a one-way ticket out of France.
A push-pull policy could be very effective in getting Muslims to go away. European countries should combine the push of a crackdown on welfare and crime with the pull of a buy-out offer. Returning to the Old Country with a sizable nest egg would be alluring to many who haven't assimilated into the European middle class.
Steve proposes a buy-out program.
Offer Muslim residents, say, $25,000 each to go away. Permanently.
The cost may seem high. But it is a lot cheaper than war and a lot cheaper than funding the welfare and prison and other costs of having large, growing, and hostile subpopulations eating at the foundations of your society. Also, the money paid would put an end to being-hit-on-the-head lessons.
I do not see why people who do not have permanent legal residency would need to get bought out. Illegals and temporary workers could just get rounded up and escorted to air flights. A bounty could be offered to legal citizens to pay them for turning in illegals. Even legal residents could get deported without payment if the governments in Europe wanted to get cheap about it. In the econo version the buy-outs payments could be offered only to Muslim citizens. Buy their citizenship back from them.
First the Europeans need to end all immigration from Muslim countries and to stop processing applications for asylum, legal residency, and citizenship from those countries. Also, births to people who are non-citizens should not automatically bestow citizenship on the babies. Then aggressively round up and deport all illegals. Then buy out the citizenship of anyone who will sell their citizenship. Then deport them.
Europeans, like Americans, need to look real hard into themselves and ask themselves how much they like or even love their own societies. If their love of their own societies burns strongly enough then they ought to take the needed steps to remove those who hate the very things they love.
The assiduously courted invasion usually rests on a curious idealism that I find hard to credit in adults. The notion is that we are all just people, brothers under the skin, that all we need is love and understanding, black and white together, kum bah ya; only a few reactionary forces need to be stilled to bring about universal bliss. This happy thought doesn’t surprise me among students in high school. Politicians aren’t.
Has no one noticed that diversity doesn’t work? Putting together peoples with little in common begs for trouble, usually with success. It is the chief source of the world’s bloodshed and enmity.
Look around you. Start with Canada, where the Brits and French detest each other. Drop down to the USA, where black, white, and brown wait uneasily for no one is sure what; the lid is held on by Washington, which acts as a sort of federal Tito. There are Hindus and Moslems in India, Tamils and Sinhalese in Sri Lanka, blacks and whites in South Africa, Moslems and Buddhists in Thailand, Turks and Germans in Germany, Vietnamese and Montagnards in Vietnam, Moslems and animists in the Sudan, Jews and Moslems in Israel, Cambodians and Vietnamese in Cambodia, Protestants and Catholics in Ireland, Indians and Mexicans in Chiapas, Basques and Spaniards in Spain, Indians and Fijians in Fiji.
But what have facts to do with foreign relations? It is much more entertaining to base policy on adolescent theories and see what happens.
Actually, adolescents are more realistic about human nature. You have to go off to college to get brainwashed by tenured fools with the really immature and stupid theories about human nature. Read Fred's whole essay.
Update II: Theodore Dalrymple says Western intellectuals have promoted assumptions that inevitably lead Muslims to conclude that their poorer performance in Western societies is the fault of the everyone but Muslims.
The evidence of Muslims’ own eyes and of their own lives, as well as that of statistics, is quite clear: Muslim immigrants and their descendants are more likely to be poor, to live in overcrowded conditions, to be unemployed, to have low levels of educational achievement, and above all to be imprisoned, than other South Asian immigrants and their descendants. The refusal to educate females to their full capacity is a terrible handicap in a society in which, perhaps regrettably, prosperity requires two household incomes. The idea that one is already in possession of the final revealed truth, leading to an inherently superior way of life, inhibits adaptation to a technically more advanced society. Even so, some British Muslims do succeed (the father of one of the London bombers owned two shops, two houses, and drove a new Mercedes)—a fact which their compatriots interpret exactly backward: not that Muslims can succeed, but that generally they can’t, because British society is inimical to Muslims.
In coming to this conclusion, young Muslims would only be adopting the logic that has driven Western social policy for so long: that any difference in economic and social outcome between groups is the result of social injustice and adverse discrimination. The premises of multiculturalism don’t even permit asking whether reasons internal to the groups themselves might account for differences in outcomes.
As long as Western intellectuals insist upon promoting false assumptions about human nature the West is going to continue to head down the road of cultural suicide. Reject the left liberal falsehoods about human nature. Reject the lies. Turn away from collective societal suicide. Our civilization is worth saving.
AUBERVILLIERS, France -- Marauding youths torched nearly 900 vehicles, stoned paramedics and burned a nursery school in a ninth night of violence that spread from Paris suburbs to towns around France, police said Saturday. Authorities arrested more than 250 people overnight _ a sweep unprecedented since the unrest began.
Unrest, mainly arson, was reported in the northern city of Lille, in Toulouse in the southwest and in the Normandy city of Rouen. It was the second night that troubles spread beyond the difficult Paris suburbs.
So far we aren't seeing either organized small arms attacks or use of improvised explosive devices, at least not that I've seen mentioned. If either of those forms of attacks start happening then that'll be a very ominous turn of events. So far we are just seeing lots of angry north African Muslim Arab youths rioting and asserting control of their turf (which they mostly are already accustomed to controlling).
The north African Arab Muslim gangs are moving outside of their neighborhoods to attack less defended non-Muslim neighborhoods.
Thursday night into Friday morning, the violence spread to other parts of France for the first time. Attacks and fires were reported in Normandy on the northwest coast, Dijon in the central Burgundy region and Provence in the far south.
Firefighters are tired from the continous fires.
The French government has deployed 1,300 riot police in the streets of troubled communities. It has dispatched firefighters from around the Paris region to relieve their suburban counterparts, exhausted from the nightly demands of chasing hundreds of blazes.
In Baghdad a continuing story has been the attacks on vehicles on their way to the airport and the inability of the US military to totally stop these attacks. Well, the trains that run between Paris and the Charles de Gaulle International Airport pass through Muslim neighborhoods and the Muslims are attacking the airport trains.
Two trains connecting Paris and the airport were attacked Thursday, prompting engineers to run only one in five trains on Friday, rail officials said. The U.S. Embassy warned travelers Friday against taking trains to the airport, calling conditions in the troubled areas "extremely violent."
Imagine that. Muslim rebels could cut Paris off from international air travel.
The violent outbursts have been particularly sensitive for Sarkozy, the son of a Hungarian immigrant, who has advocated more rights for immigrants and has proposed changes in French law that would allow government buildings to be used as mosques. But he also has ordered major crackdowns on crime in poor communities where residents say police often harass them needlessly.
In an interview published in the newspaper Le Parisien Wednesday, Sarkozy said some of France's poorest towns are under "the rule of gangs, of drugs and of traffickers." He insisted his crime-fighting techniques would use both "firmness and justice."
A correspondent who is a French citizen tells me Sarkozy is not the firm defender of law and order that he pretends to be.
Sarkozy only speaks, rarely acts (and it's probably better like this). His nickname gives a very quick idea of how he is considered: "Sarkozislamist". Many people wonder if he is a "sous-marin" ("submarine" = someone acting for someone else undercover) of the Islamists.
To give you an idea of Sarkozy's way of dealing with problems: a few years ago, polls showed that "insecurity" had become a major concern for French people. By "insecurity" they meant: the fact that you cannot go in certains areas, that when you park your car you have a high risk of finding it destroyed when returning, that burglary is on the rise, etc. The Government told they had "understood the strong message from the population", and Sarkozy developed the concept of "road insecurity". So, as French were concerned with insecurity, they moved policemen out of dangerous area to the road side to control if people did not drive too fast, if they had fasten their security belt, etc. And he could announce a huge success in his "fight against insecurity"...
This French correspondent also says that the real differences between Villepin and Sarkozy are exaggerated.
The opposition between both is exaggerated by media on any affair, and for these riots, they are positioning themselves on opposite points. While Sarkozy uses strong words and speak about Republican Law, Villepin is trying to give an image of himself as compassionate, and is willing to give advantages to Muslims.
But actually, these are no more than words. When Sarkozy speak about being strong, he is not at all, and he has not done anything to put in practice what he tells.
Another problem with Sarkozy is that he is the one who has given a huge political power to Islamist by creating an official Muslim Organization.
Why hasn't the French government called out their Army to restore order? One possible reason for reticence: A substantial number of French Army soldiers are Muslims and their loyalty is in doubt.
A large chunk of France's ethnic immigrants come from the country's former North African colonies. Many have failed to break away from low-income housing projects, and experts say they are often marginalized in terms of educational opportunities and jobs.
Today, these ethnic immigrants represent between 10-20 percent of French soldiers, a figure that is growing, the French Institute report notes.
The French government tries to hide data about crime rates by race and other race-related information. So it is hard to know how many French soldiers are Muslim. I recently came across a claim that 23% of French military recruits are Muslim. Anyone come across better information on the ethnic make-up of the French military? That correspondent says the Muslim recruits are rebellious and religious and cultural clashes routinely play out in French military barracks. But a recent report by a French research institute improbably claims that the North Africans in the French military are just as patriotic toward France as are Frenchmen.
M. Bertossi reported that beur soldiers feel "just as patriotic as the rest" and are especially motivated in the struggle against terrorism, which they see as a slur on Islam. But the loyalty of the French-Islamic troops was "constantly questioned" by their officers and comrades.
While some Muslims undoubtedly feel the way Bertossi claims quite a few do not. I bet top French policy makers have doubts about whether French Army Muslim soldiers would obey orders if sent out to restore order in the Muslim suburbs around Paris.
The Brussels Journal web log has a lot of coverage of the effects of Muslim immigration on European society. The French government also doesn't want to call out the Army because to do so would be an admission of the scale of the problem.
The latter, however, is unlikely to happen. If the politicians bring in the army they are acknowledging what the policemen, the fire fighters and the ambulance drivers know but what the political and media establishment wants to hide from the people: that there is civil war brewing and that Europe is in for a long period of armed conflict. This is the last thing appeasing politicians want to do and so they have begun to criticise Sarkozy.
Of course by failing to quickly and ruthlessly put down the rebellion the French government is allowing it to spread so that it really ends up looking far larger. French media censorship can not hide all this from the French public.
That previous post also relays reports about "no-go" zones in Belgian and Swedish cities where Muslim immigrant groups keep out fire fighters, rescue vehicles, and even police.
Paris-based Iranian writer Amir Taheri reports that some Muslims want to create their own local sovereignties free from French sovereign government control.
Some are even calling for the areas where Muslims form a majority of the population to be reorganized on the basis of the "millet" system of the Ottoman Empire: Each religious community (millet) would enjoy the right to organize its social, cultural and educational life in accordance with its religious beliefs.
In parts of France, a de facto millet system is already in place. In these areas, all women are obliged to wear the standardized Islamist "hijab" while most men grow their beards to the length prescribed by the sheiks.
The radicals have managed to chase away French shopkeepers selling alcohol and pork products, forced "places of sin," such as dancing halls, cinemas and theaters, to close down, and seized control of much of the local administration.
A reporter who spent last weekend in Clichy and its neighboring towns of Bondy, Aulnay-sous-Bois and Bobigny heard a single overarching message: The French authorities should keep out.
"All we demand is to be left alone," said Mouloud Dahmani, one of the local "emirs" engaged in negotiations to persuade the French to withdraw the police and allow a committee of sheiks, mostly from the Muslim Brotherhood, to negotiate an end to the hostilities.
This is the logical end result of immigration of incompatible religious and ethnic groups combined with multi-culturalism: the Balkanization or Lebanonization of a society.
The number of cars torched overnight - 1,295 across France - was the highest since the violence began Oct. 27, France-Info radio and other French media reported. Police, who earlier put the number at 918, did not immediately confirm the figure.
The night before, 900 vehicles were burned throughout the country.
By one measure the rioting is definitely spreading. Over half the burning cars Saturday night were not near Paris.
The number of cars torched overnight - 918 across France - was the highest yet since the unrest began Oct. 27. Of the cars burned, 545 were outside of the Paris region, the Interior Ministry said. The night before, 900 vehicles were burned across the country.
The count of overnight arson attacks, still incomplete, could rise further, the police said Sunday, adding that it did not include shops, gymnasiums, nursery schools and other targets attacked by bands of youths.
Overall, the intelligence chief expressed doubt that there was much coordination among the marauding gangs in different towns or regions.
"In this era of Internet, text-messages, cellphones and television, everybody knows what's going on," said the chief, who asked to remain anonymous for security reasons. "The coordination comes mainly from the information revolution. The methods are similar because their social class is similar…. I don't justify it at all, but there is an element of social demand here, of social distress. The message is: Our life is [expletive], so we are going to destroy everything."
Claude Chevallier, manager of the smouldering carpet depot, sees breakdown all around -- "on the family level, in schools and in civic life. Many youths have never seen their parents work and couldn't hold down a job if they got one."
Meanwhile six youths, all aged under 18, were last night arrested in a raid on a building in Evry, south of Paris, during which more than 100 bottles, gallons of fuel and hoods for hiding rioters' faces were also found.
The government has been embarrassed by its inability to quell the disturbances, which have called into question its unique integration model, which discourages recognizing ethnic, religious or cultural differences in favor of French unity. There is no affirmative action, for example, and religious symbols, like the Muslim veil, are banned in schools.
"The republican integration model, on which France has for decades based its self-perception, is in flames," the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung declared. An editorial in Germany's Süddeutsche Zeitung called the violence around Paris an "intifada at the city gates," a reference to the anti-Israeli uprising by Palestinians.
I expect to see France embrace racial preferences for Arabs and black Africans. The preferences will become a substantial tax on French businesses. But first the French need to find a way to stop the rioting. Deportations of rioters would be effective. But I do not think the French will do that.
The week of riots in poor neighbourhoods outside Paris, which has spread to 20 towns, has been well covered by the international media.
Not so for Århus, Denmark.
“Nothing of it has penetrated to the English-language sections of Danish media,” laments the Viking Observer.
The Observer took the trouble to translate into English the following from Danish Jyllands-Posten:“Rosenhoj Mall has several nights in a row been the scene of the worst riots in Århus for years. “This area belongs to us,” the youths proclaim. Sunday evening saw a new arson attack.
As long as the rioters do not start building improvised explosive devices to start killing people I expect the French elite will choose appeasement as their top response. Though if the French electorate gets mad enough the National Front could make big enough electoral gains to make more punitive policy responses such as deportations possible. But my guess is that Western Europe is not ready to turn away from demographic suicide.
In France, about 70 percent of immigrants and their second- and third-generation offspring are Arabs from Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia; recent years have also seen influxes of black Africans from former French colonies even farther south.
One significant change, is that until a decade or so ago, immigrants proudly referred to themselves as ''French Arabs," ''French Algerians," ''French Moroccans," and so on. Today, in a sign of alienation, they typically call themselves ''Muslims," taking religion, often the radical brand, as their strongest identity.
Their identities are shifting away from feelings of being French. Well, if they do not see themselves as French then deportation won't exactly remove them from their French homeland, now will it?
More than 44 percent of U.S. military recruits come from rural areas, Pentagon figures show. In contrast, 14 percent come from major cities. Youths living in the most sparsely populated Zip codes are 22 percent more likely to join the Army, with an opposite trend in cities. Regionally, most enlistees come from the South (40 percent) and West (24 percent).
The recruits come from not just rural but also poor areas.
All of the Army's top 20 counties for recruiting had lower-than-national median incomes, 12 had higher poverty rates, and 16 were non-metropolitan, according to the National Priorities Project, a nonpartisan research group that analyzed 2004 recruiting data by Zip code.
Quality of recruits has hit a 10 year low.
Senior Pentagon officials say the war has had a clear impact on recruiting, with a shrinking pool of candidates forcing the military to accept less qualified enlistees -- and presumably many for whom military service is a choice of last resort. In fiscal 2005, the Army took in its least qualified group of recruits in a decade, as measured by educational level and test results.
So hard up kids with lousy prospects are getting killed and maimed by improvised explosive devices. I wonder if white kids from areas which are experiencing large illegal Hispanic immigrant influxes are better recruiting areas. As the illegals drive down the wages for manual labor a stint in the Army becomes more attractive. The costs of being a below average white rural guy in America keep rising. Also see my post "October 2005 Iraq Coalition Death Rate 5th Highest Since Start Of War".
For the first time in his presidency a majority of Americans question the integrity of President Bush, and growing doubts about his leadership have left him with record negative ratings on the economy, Iraq and even the war on terrorism, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows.
On almost every key measure of presidential character and performance, the survey found that Bush has never been less popular with the American people. Currently 39 percent approve of the job he is doing as president, while 60 percent disapprove of his performance in office -- the highest level of disapproval ever recorded for Bush in Post-ABC polls.
Read the full article for the bigger list of ways that the American people have a negative view of the Bush presidency. He can't hit numbers this low without it being a sign that even a substantial number of people in the Republican conservative base are turning against him. Bush is a faux conservative. Wake up Republicans. The article reports Republican support for Bush has dropped from 91% to 78% since the beginning of 2005.
The American people are catching up with me on the character issue.
The survey found that 40 percent now view him as honest and trustworthy -- a 13 percentage point drop in the past 18 months. Nearly 6 in 10 -- 58 percent -- said they have doubts about Bush's honesty, the first time in his presidency that more than half the country has questioned his personal integrity.
We can't trust that man. He's demonstrated this again and again. Can't trust him on immigration, on spending, on racial preferences, on foreign policy, etc. On the bright side thanks to Dubya's performance it'll be a lot harder for a Bush family member to win a future US Presidential election.
Check out this graph "Historical Bush Approval Ratings". The trend is obviously downward. At some point he'll probably hit bottom where a core of dedicated religious and partisan faithful just refuse to see him in a bad light - at least when answering questions put to them by pollsters. I have a hard time seeing how he could recover some of his lost popularity unless he uses Ayatollah Sistani's coming request for the US to pull out of Iraq and decides to point to it as a reason to declare victory and withdraw.
Check out the Iraq Coalition Casualties web page. The October 2005 daily death rate of 3.19 is the 5th highest since the war began. The 4 higher months were January 2005 (4.7 daily death rate), April 2004 (4.67), November 2003(3.67), and March 2003 (7.67).
Factors that did not prevent such a high death rate include:
The enemy forces have improved faster than coalition forces have improved.
As the violence of the protracted war continues and some 75,000 civilian employees struggle to rebuild the war-torn nation and support the military, contractor casualties mount. Their deaths have more than tripled in the past 13 months.
As of Monday, 428 civilian contractors had been killed in Iraq and another 3,963 were injured, according to Department of Labor insurance-claims statistics obtained by Knight Ridder.
It took about 18 months from the start of the March 2003 invasion of Iraq to reach 1,000 U.S. deaths; it took less than 13 months to reach 1,000 more. A major reason for the surge, statistics show, is the insurgency's embrace of IEDs, together with the military's inability to detect them.
Think about that. The US casualty rate is higher. This is a very inconvenient fact for that minority of the US population who still support the war.
Nearly two thirds of combat deaths are from IEDs.
In the first six months of battle in Iraq, only 11 soldiers -- about 4 percent of the 289 who died -- were killed by homemade roadside bombs. In the last six months, at least 214 service members have been killed by IEDs, or 63 percent of the 339 combat-related deaths and 53 percent of the 400 U.S. fatalities, according to data complied by the Brookings Institution's Iraq Index.
A small task force launched in July 2004 and led by a one-star officer, Army Brig. Gen. Joseph Votel, has been credited with developing various technologies to combat the IED threat -- such as equipping soldiers with electronic devices to detonate the makeshift bombs before they can damage U.S. military convoys. The task force has an annual budget of about $1.2 billion.
Yet the insurgents have been able to build bigger, more powerful bombs capable of shredding the armor of military vehicles and decimating five-ton trucks.
Some military officials complain that the Pentagon has made little progress getting the White House to pressure agencies such as the CIA, FBI and Department of Energy to devote more resources and full-time personnel to the anti-IED effort. One difficulty they cite is that a one-star general tends to wield little influence in the government hierarchy.
The US military has also been slow to acquire better armoured vehicles to replace Humvees. Even up-armored Humvees can't cut it against the better IEDs. But as IEDs improve even further with shaped charges and more potent explosives can any vehicle protect its occupants against them?
Maybe the IED problem is unsolvable. Or maybe it can't be solved with the current procurement practices and relationships between US government agencies. My solution: Declare victory and leave. Saves money. Saves lives. Leaves the Iraqis to decide among themselves whether the Shias or Sunnis will rule the Arab areas. We could guarantee a friendly government in the Kurdish area by simply supplying them with arms.
French Muslim youths who blame the French police for the deaths of a couple of deaths of two of their number continued rioting for the sixth straight night as the riots spread to additional areas.
Dozens of vehicles and garbage cans were set on fire as youth gangs and police clashed for a sixth night in poor suburbs ringing the eastern side of Paris.
Hundreds of police patrolled Clichy-sous-Bois, where the riots broke out, after two teenagers of African origin were electrocuted and a third critically injured while reportedly hiding from police within the walls of an electrical sub-station last Thursday. Police deny the allegation.
He admits belonging to a group that is sometimes a bit "chaud" - meaning troublesome - a hint at the unrest of the past few days.
He describes the nightly presence of the CRS, the French riot police, as provocation.
"If they didn't come here, into our area, nothing would happen," he says. "If they come here it's to provoke us, so we provoke back."
How dare the police think they have a right to patrol a neighborhood during a riot. You'd think the police see themselves as legitimate enforcers of the law and that the police see the laws of their own society as applying to everyone.
"The law must be firmly applied and in a spirit of dialogue and respect," government spokesman Jean-Francois Cope quoted Chirac as telling the weekly cabinet meeting.
Apply the law in a spirit of dialogue? The "dialogue" has to get pretty physical with rioters. Imagine the French cops saying to rioters "I respectfully bash you to the ground and hope you will respectfully respond by staying down and groaning".
Cope is worried about an "escalation of disrespect".
"The absence of dialogue and escalation of disrespect would lead to a dangerous situation. There cannot be 'no-go' areas in the republic," Cope told reporters.
Too late Mr. Cope. France has had no-go areas dominated by north African Muslim Arabs for years.
France now has spokesmen for poorly behaved ethnic groups who defend the right of their groups to burn cars and riot without getting insulted in response.
Squabbling broke out within Villepin's government when Equal Opportunities Minister Azouz Begag openly criticised Sarkozy for calling the protesting youths "scum".
"I talk with real words," Sarkozy fired back in an interview in the daily Le Parisien. "When someone shoots at policemen, he's not just a 'youth', he's a lout, full stop."
Politicians in America are under tighter taboo rules about what can be spoken aloud than those in France. But the taboo enforcers are gathering strength in France as well.
Note that France has an "Equal Opportunities Minister" and that minister has a name that denotes a non-French origin. France, like Brazil, is in the process of implementing racial preferences to discriminate against whites and for other racial and ethnic groups. This will fail to improve performance of the lower performing groups just as it has failed in the United States.
When groups need preferences that's a sign that immigration policy should be adjusted to keep out those groups. The French like to argue their society is superior to American society in various ways. However, through immigration policy the French have now inflicted upon themselves higher crime, riots, no-go areas in cities, racial preferences, and religious conflict.
Also see my previous posts "Theodore Dalrymple on French Ghettoes", "Guy Milliere says France No Longer A Western Country", and "Muslim Veils, Marking Territory, Broken Windows".
Disseminating information about how to evade a host country’s laws is not typical consular activity. Consulates exist to promote the commercial interests of their nations abroad and to help nationals if they have lost passports, gotten robbed, or fallen ill. If a national gets arrested, consular officials may visit him in jail, to ensure that his treatment meets minimum human rights standards. Consuls aren’t supposed to connive in breaking a host country’s laws or intervene in its internal affairs.
The border-breaking guide is just the tip of the iceberg of Mexican meddling, however. After 9/11, Vicente Fox’s government realized that the immigration amnesty that it had expected from President Bush was on hold. So it came up with the second best thing: a de facto amnesty, at the heart of which is something called the matricula consular card.
Mexican consulates, like those of other countries, have traditionally offered consular cards to their nationals abroad for registration purposes, in case they disappear. In practice, few Mexicans bothered to obtain them. After 9/11, though, officials at Los Pinos (the Mexican White House) ordered their consulates to promote the card as a way for illegals to obtain privileges that the U.S. usually reserves for legal residents. The consulates started aggressively lobbying American governmental officials and banks to accept matriculas as valid IDs for driver’s licenses, checking accounts, mortgage lending, and other benefits.
The only type of Mexican who would need such identification is an illegal one; legal aliens already have sufficient documentation to get driver’s licenses or bank accounts. Predictably, the IDs flew off the shelf—more than 4.7 million since 2000. Every day, illegals seeking matriculas swamp the consulates. Every seat and place to stand in the modest, white stucco Santa Ana, California, consulate was filled one morning this July, most of the people there seeking the 200 or so matriculas that the consulate issues per day.
The Mexican government knows just how subversive its matricula effort is. A consulate’s right to issue such a card to its nationals is indisputable; where the Mexican diplomats push the envelope is in lobbying governments to adopt it as an American ID. In announcing the normalization-through-the-matricula push, then-foreign minister Jorge Castañeda was characteristically blunt: “We are already giving instructions to our consulates that they begin propagating militant activities—if you will—in their communities.”
The Mexican government opposes housing codes and other laws that make it hard for illegals to live in American society.
Mexico’s consuls go even further in undermining U.S. border law. They’re evolving a “disparate impact” theory that holds that any police action is invalid if it falls upon illegal Mexicans, even if that action has nothing to do with immigration. In July, the Mexican consul general in New York City, Arturo Sarukhan, lambasted Suffolk County, Long Island, officials for evicting over a hundred illegal aliens whose dangerously overcrowded housing violated fire and safety codes. The code enforcement constituted a “vilif[ication]” of the Mexicans, Sarukhan said, and inflamed community “tensions.” Policing fire and safety codes is a core function of local government—unless it interferes with an illegal Mexican, in the New York consul general’s view. He might note that the “tensions” in Long Island aren’t due to the Suffolk County government but to the continuing influx of Latin Americans flouting American law.
Mexico wants us to take in their illegals and then educate their illegals and their American citizen descendants as Mexicans in Spanish and with Mexican history lessons.
The gall of Mexican officials does not end with the push for illegal entry. After demanding that we educate their surplus citizens, give those citizens food stamps, deliver their babies, provide them with doctors and hospital beds, and police their neighborhoods, the Mexican government also expects us to help preserve their loyalty to Mexico.
Since 1990, Mexico has embarked on a series of initiatives to import Mexican culture into the U.S. Mexico’s five-year development plan in 1995 announced that the “Mexican nation extends beyond . . . its border”—into the United States. Accordingly, the government would “strengthen solidarity programs with the Mexican communities abroad by emphasizing their Mexican roots, and supporting literacy programs in Spanish and the teaching of the history, values, and traditions of our country.”
The current launching pad for these educational sallies is the Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior. The IME directs several programs aimed at American schools. Each of Mexico’s 47 consulates in the U.S. (a number that expands nearly every year) has a mandate to introduce Mexican textbooks into schools with significant Hispanic populations. The Mexican consulate in Los Angeles showered nearly 100,000 textbooks on 1,500 schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District this year alone. Hundreds of thousands more have gone to school districts across the country, which pay only shipping charges. Showing admirable follow-up skills, the consulates try to ensure that students actually read the books. L.A. consulate reps, for instance, return to schools that have the books and ask questions. “We test the students,” explains Mireya Magaña Gálvez, a consul press attaché. “We ask the students: what are you reading about now? We try to repeat and repeat.”
I bet that in poorer parts of Mexico there's a shortage of school books.
The Mexican government lies about why it wants Mexican history taught in American schools.
Like most explanations given for Mexican involvement in American cultural matters, the justification for the textbook initiative is tortured. “If people are living in the U.S., of course they need to become excellent citizens of this place,” says Magaña Gálvez. “If we can help in their education, they will understand better.” But if the goal is American assimilation, why take a detour through Mexican history? “We must talk about Mexican history,” she explains. “Our history is very rich, very intensive. It’s important to know that history. The students will feel proud to become Americans if they feel proud of their country.”
Mexican diplomats lobby California schools to violate the proposition law against bilingual education. George W. Bush's US Department of Education cooperates with Mexico on a program to bring Mexican teachers into US schools to train US teachers to teach Mexican culture and history. Our government and the Mexican government are the enemies of US nationalism.
The Mexicans are massive hypocrites. Mexican immigration laws select for people who will not be net drains on society.
Mexico’s own immigration policies are the exact opposite of what it relentlessly advocates in the United States. Its entry permits favor scientists, technicians, teachers of underrepresented disciplines, and others likely to contribute to “national progress.” Immigrants may only enter through established ports and at designated times. Anyone not presenting the proper documentation and health certificates won’t get in; the transportation company that brought him must pay his return costs. Foreigners who do not “strictly comply” with the entry conditions will face deportation. Steve Royster, who worked in the American consulate in Mexico from 1999 to 2001, presided over several deportations of Americans who had overstayed their visas. “They were given a choice: accept deportation or go to jail,” he says.
Providing full college tuition or all-expenses-paid secondary and primary education for illegal American students in Mexico? Unthinkable. Until recently, U.S.-born children of Mexican parents weren’t even allowed to enroll in Mexican public schools, reserved for Mexican citizens only. The parents would have to bribe officials for Mexican birth certificates for their kids. (The 1998 change in the Mexican constitution to allow dual nationality now makes enrollment by U.S.-born Mexicans possible.) “We’re not friendly with immigrants; that’s a big difference with the speech we have here with American schools,” admits a Mexican diplomat.
See "FBI Official Says Matricula Consular Card Is Security Threat". Also see my previous posts on Heather on immigration: "Heather Mac Donald: The Immigrant Gang Plague", "Heather Mac Donald On The Illegal Alien Crime Wave", "Heather Mac Donald On Terrorism, Racism, Immigration Law Violators", "Heather Mac Donald On Illegal Alien Gangs And Restrictions On Police", nad "Heather Mac Donald: A New Latino Underclass".