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Merkel Youth

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From the BBC:

Germany blast: Syrian migrant ‘behind Ansbach explosion’

A failed asylum seeker from Syria is believed to have killed himself and injured 12 other people after setting off a bomb outside an open-air music festival in the German city of Ansbach.

Bavaria’s interior minister said the 27-year-old man detonated his device after being refused entry to the festival.

This just proves we must Let Them All In, all billion-plus Muslims.

Otherwise, the Muslims who are already here will kill us. As you can see, they don’t deal well with frustration.

Joachim Herrmann said the man who died had entered Germany two years ago.

It is third attack in the state of Bavaria in a week.

A shooting rampage in Munich on Friday left nine dead while an axe attack on a train a week ago in Wuerzburg injured several people.

And then there’s the new machete-chopping by a Syrian refugee in Baden-Württemberg this weekend.

By the way, from an interview with Hillary Clinton in Time:

Exclusive: Hillary Clinton on Running and Governing as a Woman
Jay Newton-Small @JNSmall Jan. 7, 2016

… Q. Any particular foreign leader whose executive stewardship you admire and might want to emulate as president?

Hillary: Well, I have to say that I highly admire Angela Merkel. I’ve known Angela since the 1990s, she and I actually appeared on a German TV show together. I have spent personal time with her. She is, I think, a really effective strong leader and really right now the major leader in Europe, not just in Germany. I admire her political skills and her principles, her strong work ethic. I just find her to be an incredibly important person in the world today and I look to her to see how she’s managed it.

Read More: TIME’s 2015 Person of the Year is Angela Merkel

Also, in The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg, who was given much access to hang out with President Obama and talk foreign policy, writes:

Merkel is perhaps Obama’s favorite ally. Transactional, clinical—an actual scientist by training—and emotionally self-contained, she also possesses a quality Obama says he admires: political courage. Her position on the absorption of Middle Eastern refugees might cost her her job. Obama, I get the sense, believes he would do what she has done if faced with similar circumstances. …

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From The Independent:

German machete attack: Syrian refugee kills woman and injures two others in city of Reutlingen

Man has been arrested by police following assault outside fast food restaurant in Reutlingen
Caroline Mortimer @cjmortimer 6 hours ago962 comments

… The unnamed victim is believed to be a Polish woman who worked at the restaurant and may have been pregnant at the time of the attack, German tabloid Bild reports.

Mohammad Alhelo told German newspaper, Stuttgarter-Zeitung, that the man had run into the restaurant swinging the machete around his head.

He said: “He ran with the machete through the restaurant and swung it over their heads”.

The 20-year-old, who worked at the fast food restaurant with the attacker and his victim, said he [was] refilling the drinks machine when the attack started and ran away in a panic.

Mr Alhelo said the attacker was arguing with the woman before he killed her on the street – he said he had fallen in love with the woman when he started working there.

He described the man as “a friendly guy” who had arrived alone in Germany from Syria around 18 months ago.

After killing the woman in the restaurant the man injured two more people before being arrested.

He said a passing BMW managed to run him over and afterwards he “lay prostrate on the ground and didn’t move”. …

The police has confirmed the attacker was a 21-year-old Syrian refugee but have not released his name. The motive for the attack is unclear but police said there is no evidence it is terror related.

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In The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg, who was given much access to hang out with President Obama and talk foreign policy, writes:

Merkel is perhaps Obama’s favorite ally. Transactional, clinical—an actual scientist by training—and emotionally self-contained, she also possesses a quality Obama says he admires: political courage. Her position on the absorption of Middle Eastern refugees might cost her her job. Obama, I get the sense, believes he would do what she has done if faced with similar circumstances. …

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Last September, the government of Hungary was widely condemned as “un-European” for attempting to defend the European Union’s external border against intruders from other continents. This winter, Sweden, which, along with Germany, had been causing the mass migration that Hungary had attempted to defend the European Union against, has imposed border controls for the first time in half a century with … Denmark.

From The Guardian:

Sweden to impose ID checks on travellers from Denmark

In a move to stem the flow of refugees, valid photo ID will be required for people travelling from Denmark for first time since 1950s

David Crouch in Copenhagen

Sweden is set to drastically reduce the flow of refugees into the country by imposing strict identity checks on all travellers from Denmark, as Scandinavian countries compete with each other to shed their reputations as havens for asylum seekers.

For the first time since the 50s, from midnight on Sunday travellers by train, bus or boat will need to present a valid photo ID, such as a passport, to enter Sweden from its southern neighbour, with penalties for travel operators who fail to impose checks. Passengers who fail to present a satisfactory document will be turned back.

“The government now considers that the current situation, with a large number of people entering the country in a relatively short time, poses a serious threat to public order and national security,” the government said in a statement accompanying legislation enabling the border controls to take place.

The move marks a turning point for the Swedish ruling coalition of Social Democrats and Greens, which earlier presented itself as a beacon to people fleeing conflict and terror in Asia and the Middle East.

“My Europe takes in people fleeing from war, my Europe does not build walls,” Swedish prime minister Stefan Löfven told crowds in Stockholm on 6 September. But three months and about 80,000 asylum seekers later, the migration minister told parliament: “The system cannot cope.”

Almost 163,000 people applied for asylum in Sweden in 2015, the highest in Europe as a proportion of the population. In the autumn, applications were running at 10,000 weekly. But Stockholm has made clear it wants to slash the flow to around 1,000 a week in 2016.

Temporary border controls were first revealed in November, but the current legislation is valid for three years. Announcing the U-turn in refugee policy, the deputy prime minister burst into tears.

This fiasco brings to mind that modern European leaders and intellectuals seem logically woozy on the fundamental tradeoff issue of geographical liberty and security, which is that you have to put border controls somewhere. You can make the secure area bigger or smaller, but in an era of easy travel and smartphones, you have to make a choice to put it somewhere. Prime Minister Orban of Hungary suggested that the logical place was the external border of the E.U. in order to maintain freedom of movement within the E.U., but he was shouted down as some kind of neo-Nazi who was betraying Europe by trying to keep a million Muslim mob of non-Europeans out.

But consider personal safety. I have good locks on the doors of my house, so I don’t need to lock the doors of my individual rooms, the way I would have if I couldn’t secure my front door, or if members of my family found it fashionable to invite drifters in to spend the night with us.

If I lived in a gated community, I wouldn’t need to lock my front door at all, but I don’t, so I do.

In other words, I can have liberty of movement at some geographic scales, as long as I have security at some other level.

Translating that into European geopolitics, the European Union has long sponsored ease of movement between member states such as Sweden and Denmark. In fact, Swedes and Danes have been welcome to visit each other’s countries without border checks for three score years, long before the E.U. But now Scandinavians are finding out why they can’t have nice things anymore: lack of continental perimeter defense.

The Schengen agreement has been widely seen as making daily life more convenient in the E.U. just like not having to lock and unlock each internal door in your family home is more convenient than living in a flophouse where you can’t trust the other tenants to not riffle through your stuff when it’s unlocked.

But this amenity implies an external security perimeter around the European Union, as Hungary attempted to improvise last September, to rancorous condemnations from Sweden and Germany for being “un-European.” But now, because Sweden and Germany intentionally subverted the E.U.’s external border, Swedes must give up their luxury of not having border controls with Denmark. That’s why Swedes can’t have anymore the nice thing of no waiting in line when going to Denmark.

The logic of this inevitable tradeoff doesn’t seem like it ought to be terribly confusing, but for a few crazed weeks in September, few powerful people in Europe besides the Hungarian Prime Minister seem to grasp it.

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From the NYT:

Erdogan’s Party in Turkey Regains Parliamentary Majority

ISTANBUL — In a stunning electoral comeback, the Islamist party of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan regained its majority in Parliament on Sunday, ensuring Mr. Erdogan’s continued dominance of Turkish politics after months of political turmoil and violence.

The result will permit Mr. Erdogan to remain the country’s pre-eminent political figure while pushing the boundaries of the constitutional limits of the presidency, a largely ceremonial role.

With 99 percent of the votes counted, according to the state broadcaster TRT, the Justice and Development Party, or A.K.P., captured 49.3 percent of the popular vote, giving it a solid majority of 316 seats in Parliament.

The victory for the A.K.P. came at great cost to the cohesion of Turkish society. Critics say Mr. Erdogan’s divisive rhetoric, by denigrating opponents as terrorists or traitors, helped polarize the country. And a government crackdown on dissent in the lead-up to the vote, with mobs attacking newspaper offices and a recent raid on a media conglomerate opposed to the government, raised concerns abroad about Turkey’s commitment to democracy.

The outcome was also a spectacular upset given that most polls had predicted a result similar to June’s national election, which had denied the A.K.P. a parliamentary majority for the first time in more than a decade.

The victory seemed to validate Mr. Erdogan’s electoral strategy of turning more nationalist, and taking a harder line with Kurdish militants in the southeast, where a long-running war resumed in recent months. Much of the party’s gains seemed to come at the expense of the far-right nationalist party, as voters switched to the A.K.P.

Nobody seems to be talking about it in coverage of Erdogan’s unexpected comeback, but wouldn’t Chancellor Merkel’s October 18th visit to Erdogan to try to bribe Turkey with money and E.U. rights in return for cutting back on the migrants have been a key event in validating Erdogan in the minds of wavering Turkish voters, especially in the minds of Turkish nationalists?

After all, Dr. Merkel spent the earlier part of 2015 humiliating Turkey’s old enemy, Greece. But now even mighty Germany is in submission to Turkey’s leader.

I certainly don’t know enough about Turkey’s byzantine politics to understand exactly what’s going on, but this scenario seems like basic human psychology. Voters pay attention to who looks like the alpha dog — e.g., look at how everybody is all excited by Rubio putting ¡Jeb¡ in his place. If the Moral Leader of the World and ruler of Europe comes and begs your President for mercy, well, maybe you’ll re-evaluate your objections to the guy. Whose bandwagon do you want to be on?

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Screenshot 2015-10-12 16.51.59

What with demand for Volkswagens soaring, German Chancellor Merkel’s decision to let in (literally) countless numbers of newcomers from the Muslim world is being hailed as an economic masterstroke that will counteract the deleterious wage-boosting effects of the number of working-age residents in Germany being otherwise expected to plunge from 49.2 million in 2013 all the way down to 48.8 million in 2020.

But, strange as it may seem from reading The Economist, the word “demographics” means more than just “age.” One of the more interesting aspect of demographics is the “consanguinity” rate, or percentage of all marriages that are between first or second cousins, a statistic which correlates strikingly with a lack of what Europeans consider civic virtues.

Professor Alan Bittles of the Centre for Comparative Genomics at Murdoch U. tracks those rates at his website.

Interestingly, the Merkel Youth seem to come overwhelmingly from inbred cultures, which is probably not coincidental.

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From Yahoo News:

‘Finland’s no good’: Disappointed migrants turn back
AFP By Anne Kauranen

Tornio (Finland) (AFP) – Hundreds of predominantly Iraqi migrants who have travelled through Europe to reach Finland are turning back, saying they don’t want to stay in the sparsely-populated country on Europe’s northern frontier because it’s too cold and boring.

Migrants have in recent weeks been crossing back into Sweden at the Haparanda-Tornio border just an hour’s drive south of the Arctic Circle, and Finnish authorities have seen a rise in the number of cancelled asylum applications.

“You can tell the world I hate Finland. It’s too cold, there’s no tea, no restaurants, no bars, nobody on the streets, only cars,” 22-year-old Muhammed told AFP in Tornio, as the mercury struggled to inch above 10 degrees Celsius (50 Fahrenheit) on a recent blustery grey day.

He had already travelled from Tornio to the capital Helsinki almost 750 kilometres (465 miles) south, and then back up to the Tornio border again to return to Sweden.

… Another group of around 15 Iraqi refugees waiting at the bus station that Tornio shares with its Swedish twin town Haparanda also said they wanted to go back to southern Sweden.

“Finland is no good,” the men echoed each other.

Sweden may be just as cold as Finland, but Sweden has bigger immigrant communities because of a longer history of integration.

And another graph that explains the migrant crises of 2016-2100
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Population 1950-2015-b

The demographers of the United Nation’s Population Division have quietly released their World Population Prospects: 2015 Revision report.

Above is a graph I put together from their new data that explains much about the “Migrant Crisis” of 2015.

As you can see, way back in 1950, the population of the Middle East was only 18% as great as the population of Europe, while Sub-Saharan Africa was only 33% as large. Even in 2000, the Middle East had only 49% of the population of Europe, while Africa had almost caught up to Europe with 88% of its population.

But from 2000 to 2015, the Middle East added 124 million people, making it now 65% as populous as Europe.

In this century alone, Sub-Saharan Africa has added 320 million people, making it 130% as populated as Europe.

Some of this information about the past is new. For example, the U.N.’s estimate of the population of the continent of Africa back in 2010 has grown by 13 million people, or over 1% between the 2012 Revision and the 2015 Revision. When it comes to population, the past just isn’t what it used to be.

But what about the future?

As a general pattern, the U.N. has found, the completeness of the counts tends to be worse in the fastest growing countries. Thus, the harder the U.N. has looked at Africa in this decade, the more people and more new babies it keeps uncovering.

It turns out that while the total fertility rate in Africa is falling, it’s falling quite a bit more slowly than the U.N. had expected before its disturbing 2012 Revision.

Sub-Saharan Africa simply isn’t behaving like the rest of the world:

Screenshot 2015-09-19 16.44.14

This U.N. map of total fertility rates can be found here. I reviewed the deep structure reasons for Sub-Saharan Africa’s anomalously high fertility here.

The upward adjustment in Africa’s population projections in the 2012 Revision of World Population Prospects came as a shock. But the 2015 Revision forecasts Africa’s population in 2100, about one lifetime from now, to be another 5% higher than the U.N. projected just back in 2012.

And here’s my full graph of the U.N.’s 2015 Revision numbers:

Population 1950-2100-b


The U.N. now projects that, despite lower fertility in some Muslim countries such as Iran, the population of the Middle East will surpass that of Europe in 2045 and reach 937 million by 2100.

As for Sub-Saharan Africa, the U.N. foresees the population growing to 3,935,000,000 (3.9 billion and change) by 2100. (The total population of Africa and the Middle East will be 4,872,000,000.)

That’s probably not going to happen due to some combination of (A) intelligent self-restraint, (B) mass migration, and (C) Malthusian Nightmares (war, famine, disease, etc. etc.) keeping the population of Sub-Saharan Africa in 2100 from being more than six times as great as Europe, which would be an 18-fold increase in 150 years.

Keep in mind that there’s not a one to one relationship between population growth and emigration. In general, people try to assess whether the future at home looks brighter than the present. But people in Africa and the Middle East can see their countries’ futures will be more crowded and constrained.

Personally, I hope the reason that this graph doesn’t prove accurate is largely (A) intelligent self-restraint. But at present, white people don’t seem to be making much of an effort to facilitate and encourage reasonable family planning in Africa. Because that would be, you know, racist.

Which is the worst thing in the world, much worse than the U.N.’s population forecast.

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From the New York Times:

KABUL, Afghanistan — The winding road to Germany starts on the outskirts of Kabul, at the Ahmad Shah Baba bus depot.

This is where some of the youngest and poorest Afghans hoping to migrate to Europe gather each day to leave. If they carry a backpack at all, it is usually slack, with little inside. Some have begun hearing that there is one country eager to have them.

Yeah, but Ms. Merkel’s humanitarian spasm garnered a lot of Facebook Likes, so there’s that. Who knew that a mess of Afghans would take it seriously? Aren’t we yet living in a virtual world where there are no actual consequences to our gestures of moral superiority?

“I am trying to go to Germany,” Abdul Javed, 16, said after buying a bus ticket. “Hopefully I will pass this test and get there.” …

The ticket agent, Rahmatullah, says he does not have a bus headed all the way to Munich. But the equivalent of $14.50 secures a seat on the first leg of the journey, to Nimruz, a desolate province along Afghanistan’s border with Iran.

Until last year most of the teenagers headed toward Nimruz wanted to go no farther than Iran, to seek work as laborers. But these days, the province is better known as the first stop on the path to Europe.

Merkie, you’re doing a heckuva job!

I wonder what the J.D. Power Ratings of the number of flaws in new Mercedes and BMWs are going to be in a decade? That’s assuming the Merkeljugend ever put down the X-Box controls, get off their welfare-subsidized couches, and get factory jobs.

Which is a big If.

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Angela Merkel has second thoughts

Top story in the New York Times:

Facing Migrant Crisis, Germany Sets Emergency Border Controls


Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière announced that Germany would impose temporary controls at its southern border with Austria, after thousands have crossed over in recent weeks. …

The move by the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel was seen as a strong sign — if not an outright message — to other European Union members that Germany was growing weary of shouldering so much of the burden for Europe’s largest humanitarian crisis in decades without more help and cooperation from other nations.

For others, though, the concern was that if even the richest and most powerful nation in the 28-member union was showing signs of hitting its limit, how would Europe be able to find a path through this seemingly ceaseless refugee emergency? …

Although one of the proudest European achievements of recent decades was passport-free travel between most member nations, the rules allow the reinstatement of border restrictions in cases of crisis and national security, he said.

Merkel’s suspension of Schengen rights for EU citizens is of course due to a largely self-inflicted crisis, a huge own goal.

It’s almost as if young male Muslims in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia respond to incentives and precedents. If Mother Merkel suddenly decides one day a couple of weeks ago to invite into the EU a huge mob out outsiders, is it really that surprising that the mob showing up this weekend turns out to be even vaster than was expected before her moral grandstanding move?

Granted, I’m some kind of crazed extremist who believes in outdated if not downright evil concepts like rule of law, prudence, moderation, responsibility, protection of lawful borders, orderly processes, careful selection, paying for refugees to be given refuge in lower cost countries near their home, and the maintenance of self-ruling national governments “for ourselves and our posterity.”

Here’s a simple concept I’ve long pointed out regarding Europe: secure external borders for the European Union and its Schengen system of internal freedom of movement are not contradictory: the former is a prerequisite for the latter to be sustainable.

It’s like in my house. My family members and invited guests enjoy a high degree of freedom to traipse all over within my house. I don’t need a Serena Williams-style Panic Room to retreat to within my own house. Why not? Because I have a reasonable system of locks, lights, and alarms guarding my external entrances. And my family members are in agreement with me that they aren’t going to, on a whim, invite a mob of young male strangers into the house.

In contrast, the Chancellor of Germany is now widely recognized to be a saint and a moral exemplar for suddenly tossing all those dubious concepts out the window. Except now, predictably, she’s temporarily retreated to her Panic Room within the EU, inconveniencing legitimate EU travelers.

But … it is enjoyable to say:

I told you so.

Here’s a music video explaining the baseball reference in the post’s title:

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Screenshot 2015-09-12 04.39.15

As we all know by now, Germany has pulled off a massive economic coup by importing a brilliant new workforce from Syria (and also from random places where you can buy fake Syrian IDs, but who’s checking?). Soon you’ll be buying flying BMWs designed by genius Merkel Youth. The newcomers are going to work until they drop in 60 years and will gladly pay every rightful Euro in income tax to the German government to support Teutonic oldsters.

In contrast, Hungary is condemned to backwardness.

But what do we see if we look at the 2007 TIMSS test of 8th graders in mathematics. An awful lot of the tired, the poor, the huddled masses showing up in Germany look like they were 8th graders about 8 years ago.

Back in 2007, Hungarian 8th graders scored the highest in Europe, with 10% reaching the Advanced, 36% the High, 61% the Intermediate, and 91% at least achieving the low benchmark.

In contrast, among Syrian 8th graders in peaceful 2007, 0% scored Advanced, 3% High, 17% intermediate, and 47% low.

So, in the top two levels of math skill, Hungarians outnumber Syrians 12 to 1.

At the bottom, only 9% of Hungarians fail to achieve the minimum Low benchmark vs. 53% of Syrians.

Results were fairly similar in 2011.

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From the Los Angeles Times:

Germany’s open-door policy in migrant crisis casts nation in a new light

Yeah, it’s him again: Merkel Youth

A migrant from Syria holds a picture of German Chancellor Angela Merkel as he arrives from Hungary at Munich’s main railway station on Sept. 5. Germany has agreed to set aside more than $6 billion next year to help migrants. (Sean Gallup / Getty Images)


Just two months ago, Germany was suffering from yet another image problem, deplored as a harsh and heartless overlord in its effort to impose financial discipline on its European neighbors.

Its hard-nosed bailout negotiations with debt-ridden Greece and apparent willingness to throw Athens under the bankruptcy bus triggered protests around the world and caricatures of Chancellor Angela Merkel as Adolf Hitler.

Now Merkel is being hailed as an angel of mercy and her country as a paragon of virtue for flinging open the doors to a massive influx of refugees. The sight of Germans whooping in welcome and thrusting gifts at bedraggled asylum seekers arriving on chartered trains has stood in sharp contrast to the indifference or outright hostility directed at them in other European nations.

Some Germans hope that such positive images might help remove some of the stains on their reputation, including older, darker associations with trains full of unwanted people — those who were systematically sent to their deaths by the Nazis. Merkel said she was moved by the sight of hundreds of migrants stuck at a railway station in Hungary last week, chanting their desire to come to Germany.

“This wasn’t always the case,” she said with characteristic understatement. …

But such incidents have been drowned out in recent days by the numerous accounts and images of ordinary Germans turning out in droves to help the newcomers in their midst.

In Munich, such efforts shifted into high gear at a donation bank, where half a dozen people sorted through heaps of clothing, toys, bicycles and bedding earmarked for refugees. The welcoming attitude was particularly noteworthy in a city that has long had to live with the stigma of being the birthplace of the Nazi Party.

This is the third night in a row I’ve clicked on an MSM article and Merkel Youth’s face pops up, all in different shots:

- BBC yesterday

- NYT two nights ago

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From the BBC:

Why Germany needs migrants more than UK

Robert Peston
Economics editor

2 hours ago

From the section Business 325 comments

This guy, again

There is an economic and demographic backdrop to the differential policies towards asylum-seekers of Germany and the UK – to Germany’s relatively open door, that compares with the UK’s heavily fortified portal (which will be opened just a bit by David Cameron later today).

The two relevant points (leaving aside moral ones) are that:

- the UK’s population is rising fast, whereas Germany’s is falling fast;

- the dependency ratio (the proportion of expensive older people in the population relative to able-bodied, tax-generating workers) is rising much quicker in Germany than in the UK.

So to put it another way, it is arguably particularly useful to Germany to have an influx of young grateful families from Syria or elsewhere, who may well be keen to toil and strive to rebuild their lives and prove to their hosts that they are not a burden – in the way that successive immigrant waves have done all over the world (including Jews like my family in London’s East End).

As you can see, what is striking is that the UK is set to become the EU’s most populous country, ahead of Germany and France, as a result of a relatively high fertility rate and greater projected rates of net migration.

It would be hard to win another Battle of the Somme without a lot of cannon fodder. And we can never get enough millworkers.

Here is the thing. Wherever you stand in the debate on whether immigration is a good or bad thing – and most economists would argue that immigration promotes growth – right now immigration looks much more economically useful to Germany than to the UK.

Which is perhaps one of the unspoken reasons why Germany is being much more welcoming to asylum seekers from Syria and elsewhere right now.

That said, some business leaders and a couple of Tory ministers gave me what can only be described as an off-message critique of David Cameron’s approach to the migrant crisis over the weekend.

They said that Angela Merkel is creaming off the most economically useful of the asylum seekers, by taking those that have shown the gumption and initiative to risk life and limb by fleeing to Europe.

You can tell by this Merkel-loving innocent child’s facial width to height ratio (who is beloved by photo editors at both the BBC and the NYT)

Front page of yesterday

that he’s someday going to grow up to be some kind of genetic engineering prodigy who will gratefully write huge tax checks to the German government. He looks like some kind of Muslim Wayne Rooney, and you know how rich Wayne is.

Emperor Valens, 328-378

By the way, Edward Gibbon had some interesting things to say in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire about the very old idea that a government can get rich off taxes by helping a million migrants cross the River Danube.

I know a lot of people today think it’s a sophisticated brand new idea, but, actually, the Emperor Valens was persuaded by his courtiers in the 376 A.D. that inviting a million German barbarians, desperately fleeing the vicious Huns, cross the Danube into Roman territory was going to help restock the Roman treasury and revibrantize Roman demographics.

You can find out how well this strategy worked out, personally, for Valens here.

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Here’s the top-center photograph of

Screenshot 2015-09-05 19.51.16

An innocent Syrian child is finally safe in Mother Merkel’s arms

Yeah, I know; but how many other NYT readers do you think will get the photo editor’s joke?

From the New York Times:

As Germany Welcomes Migrants, Some Wonder How to Make Acceptance Last

BERLIN — .. While the prospect of accepting an expected 800,000 new residents this year offers Germany an opportunity to rejuvenate its aging demographics and ensure its economic prosperity, it also challenges a prevailing cultural consensus of what it means to be German.

“The refugees are synonymous with formidable change,” Thomas de Maizière, Germany’s interior minister, said recently in an interview with the German weekly Die Zeit. “We must get used to the thought that our country is changing.”

That change is at the doorstep. When thousands of migrants were allowed to leave Hungary late Friday and were put on buses to the Austrian border, many were brandishing posters of Chancellor Angela Merkel. In their days of near internment in the inhospitable Hungarian capital, some of the exhausted and desperate travelers broke into chants of “Germany, Germany” and “Merkel, Merkel,” demanding to be allowed to continue their journey west. …

Among the strongest voices urging tolerance toward immigrants have been the German news media, from the mass-circulation Bild to the public television stations. Experts point to the news media’s positive stance as crucial in helping the public shift its perception of more foreigners coming to the country.

Recalling Nazi racial laws that singled out the Germanic, or Aryan, people as superior to other ethnicities, leading to the Holocaust and the atrocities of World War II, President Joachim Gauck recently urged Germans to embrace the diversity that has since grown up around them.

Until “even more people can part with the image of a nation that is very homogeneous and in which nearly all people speak German as their mother tongue, are fair-skinned and largely Christian,” he said, their perception of German society will not reflect the reality of who lives here.

“In reality, life as we live it here is already far more diverse,” Mr. Gauck said. “In our heads we know this, but the spirit sometimes lags behind. We as a nation must redefine ourselves, as a collective of different people, but who all accept common values.”

Many, including Ms. Merkel, have compared the challenge facing Germany to the historic decisions after the breach of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, when the leaders of West Germany swiftly enacted measures aimed at ensuring the peaceful merger of what for decades had been two separate states.

Even as the country prepares to mark a quarter-century of German reunification this fall, a spate of violent anti-immigrant protests in the eastern state of Saxony has led to accusations that differences between the two regions still exist, revealing just how difficult it can be even for two peoples who share a language and heritage to feel as one.

• Tags: Merkel Youth 
Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.

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