“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Civilizations normally fight for the preservation of their cultures, unite to expel invaders, revere their identities and the fundamental elements of their heritage. But no longer in the West?

Israelis have a better idea 

How Europe Built Its Own Funeral Pyre, Then Leapt In

Mass immigration, guilt and a continent on the brink of ‘societal catastrophe.’

The single most significant issue of our time is not North Korea’s drive to develop long-range nuclear missiles. It is not the threat posed to Europe by the Russian land power or the threat posed to America’s Asian dominance by Chinese sea power. It is not Iran’s growing Mideast influence, nor the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in U.S. elections and possible “collusion” by the Trump campaign.

No, the defining issue of our day is mass immigration into the nations of Western heritage. This growing inflow threatens to remake those nations and overwhelm their cultural identity. This is the issue that played the largest role in getting Donald Trump elected. It drove Britain’s Brexit vote. It is roiling the European continent, mounting tensions inside the EU and driving a wedge between the elites of those nations and their general populations.

Indeed, the central battlefront in the immigration wars is Europe, which accepted a trickle of immigrants in the immediate postwar era due to labor shortages. But over the years the trickle became a stream, then a growing river, and finally a torrent—to the extent that ethnic Britons are now a minority in their own capital city, refugee flows into Germany went from 48,589 in 2010 to 1.5 million in 2015, and Italy, a key entry point, received at one point an average of 6,500 new arrivals a day.

Throughout all this, the European elites celebrated the change and imposed a kind of thought enforcement regime against those who raised questions. The in-migration was initially hailed as an economic boon; then as a necessary corrective to an aging population; then as a means of spicing up society through “diversity”; and finally as a fait accompli, an unstoppable wave wrought by the world’s gathering globalization. Besides, argued the elites, the new arrivals would all become assimilated into the European culture eventually, so what’s the problem? Meanwhile, public opinion surveys over decades showed that large majorities of Europeans harbored powerful misgivings about these changes.

As British journalist and author Douglas Murray writes, “Promised throughout their lifetimes that the changes were temporary, that the changes were not real, or that the changes did not signify anything, Europeans discovered that in the lifespan of people now alive they would become minorities in their own countries.”

Murray, associate editor of the Spectator in London, is the author of a compact volume exploring this phenomenon. It is called The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam, and it was published six months ago by Bloomsbury. The tone is measured but unflinching. The picture he paints of the European future is bleak.

A key point of the book, reinforced through anecdote and abundant documentation, is that Muslim immigrants have not assimilated into their European host countries to any meaningful extent. Indeed, there is a growing feeling among many of the new arrivals that these aren’t host countries at all but merely lands ripe for Islam’s inexorable expansion. An 18-year-old Syrian refugee to Germany, Aras Bacho, writing in Der Freitag and the Huffington Post Deutschland, reflected this attitude when he said German migrants were “fed up” with “angry” Germans—described as “unemployed racists”—who “insult and agitate.” He added, “We refugees…do not want to live in the same country with you. You can, and I think you should, leave Germany. Germany does not fit you, why do you live here?….Look for a new home.”

Consider also the significance of this fact: By 2015 more British Muslims were fighting for ISIS than for the British armed forces. There was nothing hidden about the resolve of many European Muslims to retain their own culture while overwhelming the European one. At a rally in Cologne in 2008, then-Turkish prime minister (later president) Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a crowd of 20,000 Turks living in Germany, Belgium, France, and the Netherlands that assimilation in Europe would constitute “a crime against humanity.” He added, “I understand very well that you are against assimilation. One cannot expect you to assimilate.” Yet he admonished the five million Turks living in Europe to pursue political influence through democratic means in order to wield a “constitutional element” in transforming the continent. 

Reading Murray’s book, one gets an understanding of why he characterizes Europe’s demise as “strange.” The continent’s embrace of its own cultural death is indeed historically aberrational. Civilizations normally fight for the preservation of their cultures, unite to expel invaders, revere their identities and the fundamental elements of their heritage. But the West today is engaged in an extensive and progressive extravagance of civilizational self-abnegation. Murray calls this the “tyranny of guilt” and identifies it as a “pathology.” The concept of historical guilt, he writes, means that hereditary stains of guilt can be passed down through generations—much as Europeans themselves for generations held Jews responsible for the killing of Christ. Eventually this was seen as repugnant, and the Pope himself in 1965 formally lifted the historical burden.

But now the concept is back in a suicidal Europe, where people apply it to themselves. This is indeed strange in historical terms. Murray explains the motivation of those who engage in such flights of moral dudgeon thus: “Rather than being people responsible for themselves and answerable to those they know, they become the self-appointed representatives of the living and the dead, the bearers of a terrible history as well as the potential redeemers of mankind. From being a nobody one becomes a somebody.”

Thus do we have the West singled out, even by Westerners, as a particularly brutish, harsh, exploitative, and evil civilization in a historical sea of relatively enlightened, restrained, and benign neighbors. But of course this has no basis in history. Consider the Ottomans, who built a potent, expansive empire through policies and programs with greater brutality and harshness than the West ever displayed. In the Balkans they ripped young boys from the arms of their parents in order to indoctrinate them in Islam and employ them as elite warriors charged with keeping down their own people. They discriminated against non-Muslims with burdensome taxes—or death for those who refused to pay. They employed all the tools of dominance in their drive to conquer vast territories, including Europe (thwarted on two occasions outside the gates of Vienna, when Europe considered itself a civilization worth saving).

And yet nobody suggests that modern Turks are responsible for any crimes or abuses of the Ottoman era or that Turkey is an illegitimate nation that deserves to be overrun by outsiders. Certainly there is no movement among Turks themselves to foster any such feelings or sentiments of guilt or atonement. Nor does anyone suggest that today’s China, or the Chinese, should hang their heads in shame at the 40 million or so people killed by direct actions and brutal policies of the Chinese leadership after Mao Zedong’s communist takeover. Indeed, the Chinese today consider themselves victims of outside forces of the past and give hardly a thought to the profound victimization perpetrated by their former leaders. The Aztecs of Mexico killed people and ate their flesh in rituals of religious sacrifice, yet nobody believes modern-day Mexicans lose legitimacy as a people because of it.

But in the West self-elevation through cultural self-abnegation rolls on. It comes at the cost of a decline in Western self-consciousness. “Europe,” writes Murray, “lost faith in its beliefs, traditions and legitimacy.” Abandoning their Christian religion with studied conviction, writes Murray, Europeans replaced it with the idea of progress—a secular concept that requires, as British intellectual John Gray has noted, every bit as much faith as any religion. Murray, with Gray, rejects the notion that mankind is on a trajectory of constant improvement as exemplified by Western liberalism. But that powerful concept militates against any sense of cultural self-preservation among many Europeans (and Americans).

The European people at large may or may not have given much thought to the validity or the sham of the idea of progress. But they have harbored a growing concern for decades about this transformation of their countries, about Europe becoming the home of the world whereas every other civilization and country remains the home of its own peoples. Murray cites multiple surveys, beginning at the early postwar period, showing sentiment running between 60 percent and 80 percent against the immigration trendlines. And yet the trendlines proved unalterable.

How did this happen? Murray paints a picture of the European elites, globalist in outlook and contemptuous of nationalism and Western heritage, tossing aside popular sentiments in their drive to transform Europe. Sweden’s prime minister in 2006 captured the opinion of many European elites when he said, “Only barbarism is genuinely Swedish. All further development has been brought from outside.”

But European leaders, responding to popular sentiment, began talking tough on immigration around 2000—while doing nothing to stem the tide. Murray calls this an “electoral trick” to mollify increasingly agitated voters. Around the same time the elites in government, think tanks, and the media began a campaign of vilification against anyone who dared to raise questions about where all this was going. Epithets of “racist” and “Islamophobe” were tossed around promiscuously. Jobs were lost, and standing relinquished in the realm of ideas, when rebels displayed the temerity to question the conventional narrative.

Murray describes a conference of academics in Germany to discuss Europe’s relations with the Middle East and North Africa: “It soon became clear that nothing could be learned because nothing could be said,” he writes, adding that “relevant words were immediately flagged and disputed.” Such words included “nation,” “history,” and—the mother of all wrongheadedness—“culture,” which most participants believed “had too many different connotations and disagreements around its use to be able to be used.”

Murray sums up: “So Europeans are blamed for what is happening to them, are denied any legitimate way to object, and the views of the majority are made to appear not just dangerous but marginal.”

Where is all this going? It can’t end well. As Murray puts it, “Day by day the continent of Europe is not only changing but is losing any possibility of a soft landing in response to such change.” Perhaps majority sentiment will simply lose out to the globalist elites, with their faith in the ultimate triumph of the liberal ethos and their hatred of national borders. But perhaps not. A powerful backlash could be coming. The sense prevails, writes Murray, “that Europe is not much more than one terrorist attack away from the rules of the game changing completely. At which point Europeans may choose to name almost anyone as their umpire.”

America lags behind Europe in the magnitude of its immigration problem. But, with an estimated 11 million illegals in country and the same prevailing elite sensibility dominating our discourse, the United States eventually will hit a similar crisis point unless current trends are altered or reversed. It’s worth noting that the percentage of Americans born outside the country has approached a historical high of 14 percent—similar to what it was in the 1920s, the last time the country curtailed both the numbers of immigrants and the nations from which they were allowed to come. That may be what’s brewing here today with the election of Trump.

But Europe remains a searing object lesson for anyone who wishes to look at it carefully. Murray, after surveying the direction of entrenched policies, the welling up of ever greater anger at those policies, and the opprobrium heaped upon outspoken dissidents, concludes: “To say that in the long run this heralds the makings of a societal catastrophe is to understate matters.”

Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington, D.C., journalist and publishing executive, is editor of The American Conservative. His latest book, President McKinley: Architect of the American Century, was released in September.


  1. Germany's DW Reports:

    Israel to deport 40,000 African refugees without their consent

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced an unspecified international deal to expel some 40,000 African asylum seekers from the country. The Israeli Cabinet also voted to shut down a migration center.

    African refugees in Holot protest against their detention (Getty Images)
    The Israeli prime minister said Sunday he had reached an "international agreement" that allowed his country to deport around 40,000 African refugees.

    The asylum seekers, mainly from Sudan and Eritrea, entered Israel through Egypt's Sinai Peninsula in the early and mid-2000s.

    Read more: African asylum-seekers in Israel stuck in limbo

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Cabinet also approved plans to shut down the Holot migrant detention center in southern Israel and gave asylum seekers a three-month deadline to leave the country or face deportation.

    African asylum seekers in Israel (picture-alliance/dpa)
    Activists say that refugees from Sudan and Eritrea cannot return to their "dangerous" homelands

    The Israeli government says the African migrants are "infiltrators" and not genuine refugees.

    "The infiltrators will have the option to be imprisoned or leave the country," Israel's Public Security Ministry said in a statement.

    "This removal is enabled thanks to an international agreement I achieved that enables us to remove the 40,000 remaining infiltrators without their consent. This is very important," Netanyahu said at the start of his Cabinet meeting.

    "This will enable us to close down Holot and allocate some of the large funds going there to inspectors and removing more people," the prime minister added.

    If Israel, can get rid of 40,000 unwanted refugees, then there is no technical issue to prevent sovereign European countries and the US to return hundreds of thousands if not million back to their native countries. They have the right, the means and a growing will to do so.

  2. Hungary and Poland have it right.

    “We don’t want to live in an empire again, we continue to see the European Union as the union of free nations,” Orbán said. “We Hungarians want Europe to remain European,” he added, calling for “Christian culture” to be preserved and strengthened.

  3. Forcing countries of origin to clean up their own countries makes more sense in the long run.

    Hopefully, the US will follow suit.

  4. Force the elites in Mexico to stop exporting their social problems to the US.

  5. Mexico had an opportunity, under Nafta, to build up its economy and improve the life of working class Mexicans. The Mexican elites did just the opposite.

    The elites got preferential tax treatment to build massive factories on the US border, hired workers at $1 per hour, assembled Chinese parts and products, stamped them "Hecho en Mexico", made a fortune and exported social costs to the detriment of US workers.

    1. That was always the "Plan".

      The first 'wacky' billionaire that wanted to be President, Ross Perot, warned US of the "Giant Sucking Sound" that is NAFTA.

      What is often not told, how well Walmaet is transforming Mexico into a junior partner in North American corporate consumerism.

  6. Trump is right on immigration and the American people elected him.

    Prior to the election, I provided 18 reasons why Trump would be elected. He was, primarily because of his stance against illegal immigration.

    If Trump keeps his word and halts immigration and returns illegals to their countries of origin, he will win again, bigly.

    1. Mr Trumo has not "kept his word" with regards any other campaign promise.

      His only legislative victory, a tax cut, a far thing from the TAX REFORM that was promised in the campaign.

      Mr Trump will not deliver on Immigration, either.

  7. If Trump is not successful, we will end up as a one party leftist state.

    1. Mr Trump is a "Leftist" a Neo-Liberal from Manhattan..

      There already is a one party.
      The Federal Socialists

      Busting budgets, exploding deficiets and expanding US military operations around the Globe.

      That is not what Mr Trump promised ...
      But it is what he is delivering.

  8. Many Americans like to remember Bill Clinton as a "great president" for some reason. George Bush and Hussein were just as bad. they were all wrong about NAFTA.

    As of 2015:

    #1 More than 845,000 American workers have been officially certified for Trade Adjustment Assistance because they lost their jobs due to imports from Mexico or Canada or because their factories were relocated to those nations.

    #2 Overall, it is estimated that NAFTA has cost us well over a million jobs.

    #3 U.S. manufacturers pay Mexican workers just a little over a dollar an hour to do jobs that American workers used to do.

    #4 The number of illegal immigrants living in the United States has more than doubled since the implementation of NAFTA.

    #5 In the year before NAFTA, the U.S. had a trade surplus with Mexico and the trade deficit with Canada was only 29.6 billion dollars. Last year, the U.S. had a combined trade deficit with Mexico and Canada of 177 billion dollars.

    #6 It has been estimated that the U.S. economy loses approximately 9,000 jobs for every 1 billion dollars of goods that are imported from overseas.

    #7 We could cut the total U.S. trade deficit in half and create 5 million more jobs in the United States.

    #8 Since the auto industry bailout, approximately 70 percent of all GM vehicles have been built outside the United States. In fact, many of them are now being built in Mexico.

    #9 NAFTA hasn't worked out very well for Mexico either. Since 1994, the average yearly rate of economic growth in Mexico has been less than one percent.

    #10 The exporting of massive amounts of government-subsidized U.S. corn down into Mexico has destroyed more than a million Mexican jobs and has helped fuel the continual rise in the number of illegal immigrants coming north.

    #11 Someone making minimum wage in Mexico today can buy 38 percent fewer consumer goods than the day before NAFTA went into effect.

    #12 Overall, the United States has lost a total of more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001.

    #13 Back in the 1980s, more than 20 percent of the jobs in the United States were manufacturing jobs. Today, only about 9 percent of the jobs in the United States are manufacturing jobs.

    #14 We have fewer Americans working in manufacturing today than we did in 1950 even though our population has more than doubled since then.

    #15 Back in 1950, more than 80 percent of all men in the United States had jobs. Today, only 65 percent of all men in the United States have jobs.

    #16 As I wrote about recently, one out of every six men in their prime working years (25 to 54) do not have a job at this point.

    #17 Because we have shipped millions of jobs overseas, the competition for the jobs that remain has become extremely intense and this has put downward pressure on wages. Right now, half the country makes $27,520 a year or less from their jobs.

    #18 When adults cannot get decent jobs, it is often children that suffer the most. It is hard to believe, but more than one out of every five children in the United States is living in poverty in 2014.

    #19 In 1994, only 27 million Americans were on food stamps. Today, more than 46 million Americans are on food stamps.

    #20 According to Professor Alan Blinder of Princeton University, 40 million more U.S. jobs could be sent offshore over the next two decades if current trends continue.

    1. The "reformed" tax code, it has been reported, supports continued off shore operations by corporate entities.

      The devil being in the detailss ...
      Details that were not made public knowledge prior to passage.


  9. Job creation for 2017, at a six year low.
    More retail store closures, in 2017, than any year since 2008.

    Wall Street booms, while Main Street continues to slide South.

    The Democrat Neo-liberals in the Trump Administration doing their best, to feather their own nests ...
    ... while the vaunted Trump recovery cannot even match Obama's job creation numbers.

    Jobs, jobs, jobs ...

    Perfomance does not meet the rhetoric.

  10. Fusion GPS, the producer of the discredited Trump-Russia dossier, has failed in a bid to keep its bank records off limits to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

    Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, California Republican, signed a subpoena in October through which he revealed how Democrats funded the dossier. But he wants access to an additional 70 Fusion bank transactions involving 10 law firms, at least three journalists and media companies.
    Fusion, whose co-founder Glenn Simpson likens Fusion to a news room operation, went to U.S. District Court to block Mr. Nunes. Fusion argued the transactions do not relate to the committee’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Fusion further said that the First Amendment protects the firm’s client confidentiality.

    But Judge Richard J. Leon rejected all the arguments in a Friday opinion.

    It marked a win-win for Mr. Nunes. On the same day, he announced a detailed agreement with the Justice Department. DoJ agreed to turn over FBI records on how it used the dossier to investigate President’s Trump’s campaign. It also promised committee access to Justice and FBI officials as Republicans probe internal law enforcement biases against the president.

    The chickens are coming home to roost!

  11. Right you are, about those chicks.

    Mueller's team is trying to determine if Trump and others involved in drafting the language aboard Air Force One knew it was inaccurate and whether it was aimed at deceiving federal investigators looking into whether the Trump campaign actively assisted a Russian intelligence operation aimed at interfering in the U.S. campaign.

    In August, Trump Jr. released a chain of emails that showed he had agreed to the meeting not to talk about adoptions, but because the music promoter, Rob Goldstone, had assured him that the Russian lawyer had "official documents and information" that would "incriminate" Clinton, "and be very useful to your father."

    Goldstone wrote that the damaging information on Clinton was "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump."

    "If it's what you say, I love it," Trump Jr. replied.

    1. ... "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump."

      "If it's what you say, I love it," Trump Jr. replied.

      Collusion and conspiracy

      Don Jr coordinated the release date ...
      "Late summer", if I recall correctly. Mr Mueller, more importantly his Team at the DoJ has the EXACT wording of the coordination of the conspiracy to commit what Steve Bannon referred to as ...


  12. I have to say ...

    Waiting for the punchline to the joke Mr Mueller is telling ...
    Wears on one's patience.

  13. .

    Deuce ☂Sat Jan 06, 11:46:00 PM EST

    We are in the golden age of new non-commercial media. Hopefully, it is the final days of the big lying paid media oligopoly on all the usual suspects.

    Not something we should count on. If anything, the consolidation continues under the current administration.

    We hear horror tails of MSM dominance in the media. Of course, this is absurd especially under the implied definition of the MSM that we get from our carping Hawaiian gadfly, that is, that the MSM are those that disagree with his views. In fact, the haole merely confuses raw numbers with reach.

    More than once, I have put up links here to a broad survey of US media habits by Pew Research. It measured not only the political positioning of the editorial content of the various media but also how America gets its news.

    It found that while there were more liberal outlets than conservative ones, the conservative had more direct influence on their audience. For instance, 47% of FOX News' base audience say that FOX is their main source for getting their news especially political news. Liberal audiences tend to get their news from a broader distribution of media types.

    [Note: the polarization in views in this country continues as while conservative audiences seek to support their consensus bias by restricting where they get their news, liberals accomplish the same thing by simply not watching anything they view as too conservative or alt right.]

    However, back to my initial point. The Pew study noted that most people get most (though certainly not all) of their political news and views from watching local news.

    As part of his anti-regulation campaign, one of the first things Trump did after becoming president was to loosen or eliminate some anti-monopoly regulations that affected the media. One of the prime beneficiaries under these actions was the Sinclair Group, a giant conservative media conglomerate that constantly pumps out the pro-Trump message. And though the haole probably hasn't heard of them they are one of the largest media groups in the country. You might remember they were the ones fined by the FCC for running sponsored ads run as news stories. Anyway, under the new FCC rules, Sinclair will have access to 70% of America through their local TV stations.

    The media is the message. To assume any political party isn't going to try to dominate it for their own purposes is naïve. Propaganda is alive and well.

    This is not to say their hasn't been a broadening of the number of social media outlets and blogs. There has been. However, their influence is limited when compared to the big boys.


    They dominate in local television

    announcements restrictions

    1. Trump Tax Cuts Effects

      Speaking of the Sinclair Group, they were one of the companies who announced they would be granting bonuses to their employees in response to the Trump tax cuts. And the Trump administration has certainly used these ad hoc moves as proof their tax cut works in increasing worker wages. However, it is always better to look beyond the hype to motives and actual effects.

      For instance, when Trump first took office he touted how as president he would jawbone and demand companies reverse the trend to outsource and concentrate on producing jobs in the US. Carrier, the coal industry, Ford, Exxon, etc. His success would have to be at best described as negligible. Carrier cancelled (temporarily) the move of some jobs to Mexico from a specific plant while continue the transfer at a plant down the road. Now, workers are being laid off from even those 'saved' jobs. The only positive movement in the coal industry, 79 jobs at a one new facility. Workers in Kentucky who voted for Trump are still waiting for the jobs he promised. Ford? After the fact, they admitted that the cancellation of their move to Mexico was due more to slow sales in small cars than to Trump's message. Exxon? They admitted almost immediately that the increase in jobs Trump was taking credit for was planned for many months before Trump took credit for it. You can't blame either the companies or Trump for trying to get some positive press.

      Just as I didn't give Obama much credit for what was happening in the economy, I don't give Trump much either. However, being realistic, all presidents are going to lay claim to anything that plays positive while rejecting or excusing everything negative that occurs under their watch.

      There is no doubt there has been a 'Trump Bump' in the stock markets as individuals and companies anticipate the goodies they will be getting under the Trump tax cut and loosened regulations. As much or a bigger effect in the steady rise in the market over the past few years have been the positive fundamentals enjoyed by companies and progressively improving economies worldwide. However, since the majority of Americans aren't directly affected by the stock market gains, the cuts can hardly be considered a populist move as they affect the market. On job gains, we have seen a steady record of growth under Trump, over 2 million jobs created in his first year. However, that performance merely continues a rising trend with job growth expanding over the past 87 months. And truth be told, despite the job growth under Trump in his first year, it still falls short of job growth under Obama in his last year.



    2. {...}

      Wage growth continues to lag under Trump. The 2.5% rise last year mirrors the weak wage growth we saw under Obama. So back to the tax cut's effect on wages.

      The Sinclair Group announced a $1000 bonus to its employees prior to Christmas. Naturally, it was well received by employees and touted by Trump. However, there was nothing permanent in the bonus that would affect overall wage levels. If cycles reverse, don't count on those bonuses continuing. Likewise, not only are wages not rising but benefits tied to wages such as retirement benefits will continue to lag.

      Plus, we need to look at motives. As pointed out, the Sinclair Group was one of the main beneficiaries of Trump's deregulation. The bonuses are a small price to pay for the access they gained. Likewise, other companies were touted by the administration for offering the same type bonuses. Wells Fargo that currently has lawsuits pending in federal courts will benefit from Trump's DOJ decisions limiting the ability to bring forward class action suits. Comcast will benefit from Trump's net neutrality decisions. AT&T is looking to get it's Time Warner merger approved. I could go on.

      No doubt we will also hear about companies increasing wages. Here its good to remember that labor conditions are tight with unemployment at or below the natural unemployment rate and companies are struggling to find qualified workers all of which puts upward pressure on wages. In addition, 18 states are scheduled to increase minimum wages this year with the obvious effect on wage growth. So it is probably wise to look for root causes before accepting talking points especially in light of surveys showing the vast majority of companies have no plans to boost wages strictly on the basis of the tax cuts.

      It's been that way for the past 30 years. No reason to expect it to change now.



    Dozens of students have been detained by Iranian authorities who have arrested more than 1,000 people in their attempt to quell anti-government protests, according to Iranian MPs.

    Mahmoud Sadeghi, a reformist MP, was quoted by the Iranian labour news agency as saying that around 90 students have been detained with at least 10 unaccounted for.

    The scale of the crackdown emerged as the shadow foreign secretary, Emily Thornberry, defended Jeremy Corbyn over his silence on the unrest in Iran, saying the Labour party takes an approach of “extreme caution” when it comes to the politics of the Islamic republic.

    Thornberry told the BBC it was impossible to determine what political forces lay behind the protests, which began on 28 December and are said to have led to at least 21 deaths – mostly of protesters but also some security guards, according to officials.

    Corbyn has been under increasing pressure to speak out about the protests. Tom Tugendhat, who chairs the Commons foreign affairs committee, said it was “extraordinary” that Labour had not spoken out against the Iranian regime.

    The international community is split over how to respond to the protests. A US attempt to raise the issue at a UN security council discussion on Friday was opposed by Russia. When the discussion took place, France rejected American efforts to make the protests an excuse for ditching the 2015 nuclear deal.

    Iran has tried to recast the protests against the clerical establishment as the result of foreign interference. Thousands of government supporters staged rallies on Saturday, with state television showing protesters in cities including Amol, Semnan and Shadegan waving Iranian flags and chanting “Death to America”, “Death to Israel” and “Death to Britain”.

    1. The Deep State continues to demonize both Russia and Iran.

      The Imperium needs an "Other".

  15. .

    America lags behind Europe in the magnitude of its immigration problem. But, with an estimated 11 million illegals in country and the same prevailing elite sensibility dominating our discourse, the United States eventually will hit a similar crisis point unless current trends are altered or reversed. It’s worth noting that the percentage of Americans born outside the country has approached a historical high of 14 percent—similar to what it was in the 1920s, the last time the country curtailed both the numbers of immigrants and the nations from which they were allowed to come. That may be what’s brewing here today with the election of Trump.

    Simple solutions for simple minds.

    If you want to sell something to the uneducated, the worried, the unemployed; if you want to gain their support, come up with a simple populist message, blame it on the 'other'. Anything more complicated simply confuses and muddies the message.

    Why worry about the growth of multinational companies, of automation, of robots, of transitional imperatives (the death of retail and the growth of Walmart and Amazon), the slow wage growth by design leading to women entering the workforce in mass just to try to maintain a standard of living, the death of unions, get the picture...why mention all of that when it's so much easier to simply blame the other?

    A changing culture, a nostalgia for the 'golden age', the loss of the American dream, the loss of American pride, the loss of our Christian traditions, keep it simple, blame the 'other'.

    Why confuse the base? Why mention a steady stream of losses in war, a mercenary, sorry all volunteer, armed services where ordinary citizens have no stake in the game yet fail to ask simple questions on costs and competency like why are we spending so much and losing so often? Why mention the 60's or the 'me generation' and changing attitudes towards authority, identity, and individual rights? Why mention comfortable parents who read Dr. Spock, pampered their kids and turned them into snowflakes or malingers who would rather sit in their parents basements and play video games rather than have sex, whose only interaction with other individuals is through text messaging. Why mention the PC craze? Why mention the protests, the riots, the fights for individual rights? Why mention feminism? Why mention the two-wage family and the deterioration of the traditional family unit? Why mention the decline in religion? Why wonder why it is the atheists who pushed that decline in religion who are now talking about Christian traditions? Well, you get the picture. Why complicate things when you can blame it all on the other, a simple message for all the sheeple out there, one they will readily accept.


    1. Nice academic deflection. Other than that nonsense and elitist sanctimony:

      Simple solutions for simple minds.

      If you want to sell something to the uneducated, the worried, the unemployed; if you want to gain their support, come up with a simple populist message, blame it on the 'other'. Anything more complicated simply confuses and muddies the message.

      You really think everyone else is too stupid to get the big picture? There is an argument for cultural integrity whether it is based on religion, tradition, geography or history. There is a right to defend. Elitist disparagement is no more insight into a problem that the gut reaction of a working man who paid his way and objects to it being taken from him by some new uninvited arrival with no skin in the game.

    2. .

      IMO, arguing that there is a single cause for the changes in our economy or our culture over the last 70 years is absurd. Even arguing that immigration is the primary reason is based on emotions not rational thought. It ignores all the major transformative changes that have occurred in our society during that time span.

      You really think everyone else is too stupid to get the big picture?

      No, I don't. I don't believe the majority of people in this country buy that. If I'm wrong on that then you might be right about it being 'elitist' disparagement. That said, it doesn't change my views.

      Elitist disparagement is no more insight into a problem that the gut reaction of a working man who paid his way and objects to it being taken from him by some new uninvited arrival with no skin in the game.

      I don't argue that the gut reaction of a working man is very important to him. I don't argue that there are many out there who buy the argument that they are suffering because of immigration. I don't deny that there are people out there, perhaps many people out there, that have suffered from immigration. What I do argue with is the apparent primacy you or they give to immigration as the cause for the changes we have experienced in this country since you and I were young.

      A gut feeling is visceral but not necessarily fact based.


      There is an argument for cultural integrity whether it is based on religion, tradition, geography or history. There is a right to defend

      I don't disagree. I merely disagree with your cause/effect arguments on root cause.


  16. Glancing over the responses from White House proxies concerning Mr Bannon's remarks about the Trump Campaign meeting with Russians and the issues of patriotism and treason ...

    Lot's of ad hominem against Mr Bannon, but no denials as to the substance of his quote.

    The meeting at Trump Tower and the subsequent stonewalling of the FBI ...


  17. " And in that context, the claim is quite misleading, because the “multiple studies” on crimes committed by “immigrants” — including a 2014 study by a professor from the University of Massachusetts, which is the only one cited in the article — combine the crime rates of both citizens and non-citizens, legal and illegal."

    ...and the citizens of Baltimore, Chicago, and etc.


  18. Immigration and Crime
    Assessing a Conflicted Issue

  19. Quirk has now officially joined Jack Hawkins playing on the monkey bars there in LULULULULULULLAND

    1. Q and Jack Hawkins are capable of signing into their Google accounts, which is more than I am caoable of.

      It is getting harder and harder to string together my moments of stable genius.


    3. .

      It is getting harder and harder to string together my moments of stable genius.

      Hmmm. I'm sorry to say, I don't believe that is Google's fault.




    5. .

      No thanks, I don't want to get caught up in any caste riots.

      And stop yelling. You're giving me a headache.


    6. There are no caste riots

      That was done away with in the Indian Constitution.

      What there are now are allhirmative action programs for the shalits I believe they are called now... .the old "UNTOUCHABLES"

      CAN YOU HEAR NOW ???????????



  20. A country without an active honest advertising sector is finished.

    Just look at VENEZUELA.



  21. I shall have my daughter fix my sign too so JACK"WAR CRIMINAL"Hawkins CAN'T MONKEY WITH IT AGAIN.

    1. What in the world are you writing about now, Robert "Stable Genius" Peterson?



  23. .

    BobSun Jan 07, 07:50:00 PM EST
    There are no caste riots

    That was done away with in the Indian Constitution.

    Try and keep up, Bob.

    Mumbai Shuts Down as Protests Erupt Over Caste Tensions

    MUMBAI, India — Mumbai, India’s bustling commercial hub, came to a standstill on Wednesday as protesters called for a general strike and thousands took to the streets.

    The catalyst for the strike was violence against members of the lower-caste Dalits, or so-called untouchables, that occurred when several hundred thousand gathered on New Year’s Day at a monument southeast of Mumbai to commemorate the victory 200 years ago of a British-led force against high-caste Hindus.

    But as marchers blocked train tracks and highways, they also expressed deeper frustrations with both of India’s major political parties, which they accuse of failing to improve the lot of the hundreds of millions of Indians who have traditionally been stuck at the bottom of the country’s economic and social hierarchy.

    “We are here to demand justice,” said Jitender Nikalje, a Dalit protester.

    On Wednesday, both houses of Parliament were repeatedly adjourned in response to the protests. Rahul Gandhi, the leader of the opposition Congress party, wrote on Twitter that the attacks by far-right Hindus were part of a “fascist vision” by India’s governing Bharatiya Janata Party, or B.J.P., which has ties to Hindu nationalist groups, to keep Dalits “at the bottom of Indian society.”

    In the Goregaon neighborhood of Mumbai, a Dalit stronghold, nearly 1,000 people marched down closed streets on Wednesday, shouting chants denouncing both the B.J.P. and the Congress party, which ran India for most of the period since independence from Britain.

    "India has been the same for 2,000 years,” said Shobhit Ambavade, who brought his twin 11-year-old sons to the march. “People are still dominated and humiliated by the upper castes...”


    I don't make this up, old chap.

    When I point out your umbrage is selective, I mean it. You won't see these things if you don't bother to look.


    1. Reality bites our own "Stable Genius" in the ass.

      I had a stable genius, once.
      Sold that jackass and bought a good dog.

    2. Yes yes Quirk a minor disturbance .
      .The old ways die hard. Look at detroit

      Now read the Indian Constitution and AND about affirmative action programs for shalits something you knew nothing of before.

  24. How long did our Jim Crow last ?

    100 years ?

    Give it some time before jumping on your Q pulpit.

  25. I could relate knowledge about all this from JOESEPH CAMPBELL that Quirk could easily handle but with Jack "WAR CRIMINAL" HAWKINS in the house it would be profane to do so thus I shall wait to a better time.