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Merkel's Boner

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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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Thilo Sarrazin, author of the 2010 megaselling book Germany Abolishes Itself, has a new #1 bestseller in Germany, Wishful Thinking. Like all of Sarrazin’s books, it probably will never be translated into English. This article from DW.com suggests that Establishment response to Sarrazin has shifted from “too unthinkable” to “too obvious to think about.”

Thilo Sarrazin’s new book: a case of wishful thinking

The enfant terrible of non-fiction German literature is back. Thilo Sarrazin’s latest book examines the “big mistakes” in current German and EU politics – but his provocative statements no longer surprise anyone.

The most recent tome written by divisive German author Thilo Sarrazin has hit the shelves this week, and critics have been quick to dismiss it. The book, titled “Wunschdenken” (Wishful Thinking), builds on the controversy surrounding his 2010 explosive work, “Deutschland schafft sich ab” (Germany does away with itself).

German newspaper “Bild” had a heyday over the publication, declaring “Sarrazin is at it again.” Others in the German press were more critical: The political magazine “Spiegel” accused the economist and former politician of being egocentric and spreading “cold aggression with a scientific veneer.” The daily “Süddeutsche Zeitung” degraded his work to a mix of “cute, terrible and good.”

Sarrazin is apparently settling a number of accounts in his new book: The 71-year-old author seems to have created a 400-page-long list of reasons why Germany’s government is failing to address key issues. Sarrazin alleges that “Germany’s future is highly contingent upon hot topics like immigration, demographic changes and education – but not equality, gender politics or any debate on climate change.”

His conclusion: Germany has started to waste away its affluence and level of education as well as its cultural heritage. And who is to blame? Sarrazin accuses unequivocally Chancellor Angela Merkel as the main perpetrator behind all the ailments he observes.

Sarrazin believes that Merkel’s approach to the refugee crisis was a fundamentally wrong move. He goes as far as referring to Merkel’s “crude refugee and immigration policy” as the “biggest mistake in German politics since the end of World War II.” Sarrazin also accuses Merkel of putting the nation as well as the European Union under increased risk.

He seems to take particular issue with the increasing number of Muslim migrants arriving in Germany. Sarrazin looks at these developments as an experiment that is bound to fail. He postulates that the majority of asylum seekers arrived from the Middle East and Africa with a low standard of education.

“Their cultural and cognitive profiles are similar to those of the Muslims who already are in Europe. Therefore, it is to be expected that their development in terms of education, integration into the work force, dependency on government assistance, criminality and susceptibility to fundamentalism will follow similar patterns as those who are already here,” he writes.

Sarrazin’s outlook is a gloomy one, accompanied by dystopian statistics: If one million refugees continued to come to Germany each year (as they did in 2015), their numbers would skyrocket to 134 million people by 2050 – his figures include family reunions and offspring.

The author admits that this is an unlikely scenario, but insists that such numbers exemplify how easy it would be to apparently lose control over Germany’s immigration issues. “Gaining back full control over our borders (…) will become an existential issue for our culture and the survival of our society,” he writes.

When Sarrazin first published his theories in 2010, his party, the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), investigated whether he should be expelled because of his views, but it was decided that he could remain a member of the center-left party. Although he does not discuss the case directly in his latest book, he does express animosity towards established political values.

“If, as a German politician, you believe that everyone in the world should have the same rights according to Germany’s Basic Law and should be allowed to expect the same services from the welfare state as soon as they cross the German border, your immigration and refugee policies will be different than those of a politician, who truly chooses to work for the best interest of the German population.” Sarrazin fails, however, to specify who may or may not be included in his interpretation of the term “German population.”

… Six years ago, Thilo Sarrazin inflamed the country with his first publication on his views on immigration, “Deutschland schafft sich ab” (Germany does away with itself), where he specifically targeted migrants from Muslim countries. Two other books followed in 2012 and 2014. The once so media-savvy Thilo Sarrazin is now beyond his peak: His views on immigration policies are so well known that this book will fail to attract as much attention.

Sarrazin should have given his new book the title suggested by Kingsley Amis to Robert Conquest for a second edition of Conquest’s history of Communism.

 
• Tags: Merkel's Boner 
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From Gulf News:

DR Congo migrants in limbo as Costa Rica, Panama reject them

Published: 13:28 April 16, 2016 Gulf News
AFP

SAN JOSE: Around 200 African migrants, most of them from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), were in limbo between Costa Rica and Panama on Friday, with both Central American nations refusing them entry.

Costa Rica detained them on Thursday when its northern neighbour Nicaragua turned them back at its border as they sought to cross on their way to try to get to the United States. …

The migrants protested on Friday on the Costa Rican side of the border with Panama to be allowed to continue their journey to America.

From Al-Jazeera:

600 Africans stranded after traveling to Costa Rica

Government warns of a possible looming crisis as it blocks hundreds of people from moving forward en route to US.

John Holman | 21 Apr 2016 11:28 GMT | Latin America, Costa Rica, Migrants

More than 600 people from several African countries are stranded after crossing the Atlantic by boat to Brazil and then passing through Colombia and Panama before getting stuck in Costa Rica en route to the United States.

With more arriving every day – so far from seven countries on the continent – to the small border town of Paso Canoas, both the Red Cross and the government have warned it could turn into a crisis.

The whole journey took the people four months.

“It’s been bad, a lot of police in Colombia, Panama asking for money,” Youleyni, a pregnant woman from the Democratic Republic of Congo, who travelled with her husband, told Al Jazeera.

“We haven’t had money for the bus and had to walk a long way.”

Wilson Camara, identified as a leader of the group, told Al Jazeera they chose the arduous route because it had become very hard to get to Europe.

“There is a problem of terrorism and the borders are closed [in Europe] and so it is difficult. We, Africans, can’t get in. America’s easier to get to and seek refuge,” Camara said. …

The Red Cross said it was trying to help, but was worried about what would happen if the route through Costa Rica became a new mass migration trail.

“They could be changing their route from Europe and going to America and so we could have a humanitarian crisis if we don’t manage this right,” Luis Jimenez, a Red Cross representative in Costa Rica, said.

The Guardian has more:

“This phenomenon has been building for years,” Millman added. “The number of Africans making this trip and asking for asylum every year at the US border is in the thousands, so this 600 is just a traffic jam. You see these kind of agglomerations every now and again.”

Africans typically take planes to Ecuador or Brazil, or occasionally stow away inside cargo ships, before making their way up through several countries in Latin America to the US border, where they claim asylum, Millman said….

Costa Rica has typically taken a laissez-faire attitude to migrants crossing its territory, but may have now decided to shift policy because Nicaragua recently began to send people back to Costa Rican soil.

What’s currently going on is that the leftist presidente of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, out of solidarity with the Castro Brothers, has shut his southern border to keep out the swarm of Cubans trying to get to the American border before America wakes up and reforms its dry foot / wet foot immigration privilege for Cubans.

So, a Camp of the Saints is building up among Africans caught up with the blockade of Cubans, which could set a publicity precedent if the Africans are allowed to proceed en masse.

Last September, I wrote in Taki’s Magazine in a column entitled “Gradually and Then Suddenly” about forward planning in the Smartphone Age for what will likely become an ever growing number of probes against America’s borders, searching for weaknesses that could then be quickly overwhelmed by flash mobs, in the mode of last year’s hegira to Europe.

Could a Camp of the Saints happen in the U.S.? Might we see a sudden rush by land, sea, or air?

It already has happened, multiple times. It could easily happen again, and on a vastly larger scale.

As you’ll recall, the Obama administration set off a race for the border in 2014 by hinting that Central Americans were welcome as long as they mouthed the right words.

… For Europeans, the United Nations’ little-publicized 2015 population forecast is horrifying: The Middle East will grow from 481 million today to 750 million in 2050 and on to 937 million in 2100. Worse, the U.N. sees sub-Saharan Africa growing from 962 million today to 2,132 million in 2050 and on to an apocalyptic 3,935 million in 2100.

…In the past, impoverished South Americans have tended to illegally immigrate to the Southern Cone countries of Argentina, Brazil, and Chile. Brazil, as you know, is the country of the future and always will be. In this century, Brazil seemed to be getting its act together. But that turned out to be just a mask for the traditional orgy of corruption.

… What are the odds that at some point something will go wrong in Latin America that interested parties in the U.S. will try to define as justifying our own Camp of the Saints? Last year, the Obama administration tried to pass off Central American gang violence as justification for letting in unaccompanied youths. Next year, it could be an earthquake, hurricane, civil strife, recession, inflation, sexism, homophobia, or transgender insensitivity.

And for that matter, if the population of Africa keeps doubling—because encouraging Africans to show some restraint and responsibility is racist—what’s to stop a flash mob from coming from Africa? Sure, it sounds implausible today with Africans currently flocking toward Italy, but keep in mind that Australia had boat people coming all the way from Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean, which is as far from Darwin, Australia, as Dakar, Senegal, is from New York.

This is not a major threat at the moment. But the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.

 
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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 fall, I asked:

Does Western Europe Need a Continent-wide Organization to Defend Its Borders?
STEVE SAILER • SEPTEMBER 7, 2015 • 100 WORDS • 87 COMMENTS

Actually, Europe is already supposed to have one, complete with an almost-finished billion dollar headquarters building, which next year will replace its current quite lavish HQ.

It’s called NATO.

And yet NATO’s main role seems instead to have been to blow up the government holding back the tide in Libya.

Invade-the-World, Invite-the-World, indeed.

But now, five months later, it’s finally occurred to the Great and the Good that NATO actually, you know, exists:

NATO Will Send Ships to Aegean Sea to Deter Human Trafficking
By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT and SEWELL CHAN FEB. 11, 2016 130 COMMENTS

BRUSSELS — With more than a million migrants having reached Europe in the last year and many more on the way, NATO stepped into the crisis for the first time on Thursday, saying it would deploy ships to the Aegean Sea in an attempt to stop smugglers.

But while the hastily made decision reflected the growing urgency of the situation, it was not clear that it would have much practical effect on the flow of refugees fleeing Syria’s five-year civil war:

But, NATO reassures reporters, it won’t use it’s trillion dollar investment in hardware to do anything:

The alliance said it would not seek to block the often rickety and overcrowded migrant vessels or turn them back, and military officials were scrambling to determine precisely what role their warships would play.

NATO’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, said that “this is not about stopping or pushing back refugee boats.”

Gen. Philip M. Breedlove of the United States Air Force, NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe, subsequently told reporters here that his staff was figuring out the rules of engagement and how to deal with refugee boats that are intercepted.

Sounds like a plan!

In NATO’s defense, it clearly doesn’t have a big enough headquarter’s staff to come up with a plan, as shown by its tiny new HQ building.

 
• Tags: Merkel's Boner 
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In puzzling over Merkel’s Boner, I’m reminded of one of the wackier political events of my lifetime: President Nixon imposing a wage and price freeze on the country in 1971. It sounds ridiculous now, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. As I recall, pretty much everybody except Milton Friedman was for it. I was for it. (In my defense, I was 12.)

From The Commanding Heights by Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw, 1997:

The climax came on August 13-15, 1971, when Nixon and 15 advisors repaired to the presidential mountain retreat at Camp David. Out of this conclave came the New Economic Policy, which would temporarily — for a 90-day period — freeze wages and prices to check inflation. That would, it was thought, solve the inflation-employment dilemma, for such controls would allow the administration to pursue a more expansive fiscal policy — stimulating employment in time for the 1972 presidential election without stoking inflation. The gold window was to be closed. …

Most of the participants at the Camp David meeting were exhilarated by all the great decisions they had made. During their discussions, much attention was given to the presentation of the new policy, particularly to television. President Nixon expressed grave concern that if he gave his speech during prime time on Sunday, he would preempt the tremendously popular television series Bonanza, thus potentially alienating those addicted to the adventures of the Cartwright family on the Ponderosa ranch.

But his advisors convinced him that the speech had to be given before the markets opened on Monday morning, and that meant prime time. A few of the advisors would recollect that more time was spent discussing the timing of the speech than how the economic program would work. Indeed, there was virtually no discussion of what would happen after the initial 90-day freeze or how the new system would be terminated.

Nixon’s chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman, went in to see the president privately at Camp David the evening before his speech. “The P. was down in his study with the lights off and the fire going in the fireplace, even though it was a hot night out,” Haldeman wrote in his diary. “He was in one of his sort of mystic moods.”

Haldeman’s phrase “mystic moods” doesn’t necessarily mean “drunk.”

Nixon told Haldeman “that this is where he made all his big cogitations…. He said what really matters here is the same thing as did with [Franklin] Roosevelt, we need to raise the spirit of the country; that will be the thrust of the rhetoric of the speech…. We’ve got to change the spirit, and then the economy could take off like hell.” As he worked on the speech, Nixon tormented himself, worrying whether the headlines would read NIXON ACTS BOLDLY or NIXON CHANGES MIND. “Having talked until recently about the evils of wage and price controls,” Nixon later wrote, “I knew I had opened myself to the charge that I had either betrayed my own principles or concealed my real intentions.” But Nixon was nothing if not a practical politician, as he made clear in his masterful explanation of his shift. “Philosophically, however, I was still against wage-price controls, even though I was convinced that the objective reality of the economic situation forced me to impose them.”

Nixon’s speech — despite the preemption of Bonanza — was a great hit. The public felt that the government was coming to its defense against the price gougers. The international speculators had been dealt a deadly blow. During the next evening’s newscasts, 90 percent of the coverage was devoted to Nixon’s new policy. The coverage was favorable. And the Dow Jones Industrial Average registered a 32.9-point gain — the largest one-day increase up to then.

The Cost of Living Council took up the job of running the controls. After the initial ninety days, the controls were gradually relaxed and the system seemed to be working. But unemployment was not declining, and the administration launched a more expansionary policy. Nixon won reelection in 1972. In the months that followed, inflation began to pick up again in response to a variety of forces — domestic wage-and-price pressures, a synchronized international economic boom, crop failures in the Soviet Union, and increases in the price of oil, even prior to the Arab oil embargo.

Nixon, under increasing political pressure from the investigations of the Watergate break-in, reluctantly reimposed a freeze in June 1973. Government officials were now in the business of setting prices and wages. This time, however, it was apparent that the control system was not working. Ranchers stopped shipping their cattle to the market, farmers drowned their chickens, and consumers emptied the shelves of supermarkets. Nixon took some comfort from a side benefit that George Shultz, at the time head of the Office of Management and Budget, identified. “At least,” Shultz told the president, “we have now convinced everyone else of the rightness of our original position that wage-price controls are not the answer.” Most of the system was finally abolished in April 1974, 17 months after Nixon’s triumphant reelection victory over George McGovern — and four months before Nixon resigned as president.

So it is possible for the political system to learn from politician’s mistakes. But humiliating loss of office helps get the message across.

 
• Tags: Merkel's Boner 
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From DW:

Merkel rejects limits on refugee intake at CSU meeting in Bavaria

The German chancellor dismissed influential Bavarian leader Horst Seehofer’s suggestion of a cap on refugees for 2016, as tensions mount between Merkel’s Christian Democrats and their sister party in the south.

Angela Merkel attended a meeting on Wednesday with representatives of the Christian Social Union (CSU), sister party of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU), after a tense previous appearance in November alongside state premier Horst Seehofer.

Meeting with CSU representatives in the Bavarian town of Wildbad Kreuth, Merkel again rejected proposals for capping the number of refugees allowed into Germany in 2016.

“There exist some varying positions. That will probably not change in the discussion today,” Merkel said, referring to CSU chief Horst Seehofer’s desire to implement a natiowide ceiling of 200,000 refugees this year.

Merkel’s Law: When you find yourself in a hole, keep digging!

I think it’s important that Merkel sooner or later lose her job for committing Merkel’s Boner. That’s what makes a lasting impression on politicians: other politicians losing their jobs.

The Narrative is so powerful at rewriting history that politicians don’t even understand examples of other politicians winning their jobs: for example, George H.W. Bush winning on Willie Horton in 1988 or Pete Wilson winning on Prop. 187 in 1994 are down the Memory Hole.

But losing … that’s what grabs future politicians’ attention.

 
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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 Washington Post:

Multiculturalism is a sham, says Angela Merkel

By Rick Noack December 14 at 2:29 PM

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s refugee policy has attracted praise from all over the world. Time magazine and the Financial Times newspaper recently named her Person of the Year, and delegates applauded her for so long at her party’s convention on Monday that she had to stop them.

The speech that followed, however, may have surprised supporters of her policies: “Multiculturalism leads to parallel societies and therefore remains a ‘life lie,’ ” or a sham, she said, before adding that Germany may be reaching its limits in terms of accepting more refugees. “The challenge is immense,” she said. “We want and we will reduce the number of refugees noticeably.”

Although those remarks may seem uncharacteristic of Merkel, she probably would insist that she was not contradicting herself. In fact, she was only repeating a sentiment she first voiced several years ago when she said multiculturalism in Germany had “utterly failed.”

“Of course the tendency had been to say, ‘Let’s adopt the multicultural concept and live happily side by side, and be happy to be living with each other.’ But this concept has failed, and failed utterly,” she said in 2010.

Repeating those ideas on Monday was meant to calm her supporters who have grown increasingly weary of the influx of refugees. Newcomers, Merkel stressed, should assimilate to German values and culture, and respect the country’s laws.

Merkel emphasized that despite her commitment to limit the influx of refugees, she was standing by her decision to open the borders earlier this fall. “It is a historical test for Europe,” she said, adding that other countries in Europe should accept more refugees to take some of the burden off Germany.

 
• Tags: Merkel's Boner 
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E.U. naval forces arresting Somali pirates in Indian Ocean

One of the more curious aspects of the coverage of “Europe’s migrant crisis” is the apparent assumption that Europe couldn’t possibly do anything to keep Asians and Africans from crossing the Mediterranean because that would require naval forces, and whoever heard of Europe having boats in the water?

But European navies not only exist, they are currently policing the Indian Ocean to keep down Somali pirates. The E.U. has Operation Atalanta, while European nations participate as well in the U.S. headed Combined Task Force 150. Here’s Wikipedia’s description of the E.U.’s operation

Operation Atalanta:

Operation Atalanta, also known as European Union Naval Force Somalia (EU-NAVFOR-ATALANTA), is a current counter-piracy military operation at sea off the Horn of Africa and in the Western Indian Ocean, that is the first undertaken by the European Union Naval Force. …

The following vessels have, among others, been committed to the Operation as of 25 February 2015.[25][26]

Belgium Karel Doorman-class frigate BNS Louise-Marie (F931), Belgium[27][28]
Belgium Karel Doorman-class frigate BMS Leopold I (F930), Belgium
Germany Brandenburg-class frigate FGS Brandenburg (F215), Germany[29]
Germany Brandenburg-class frigate FGS Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (F218), Germany
Germany Brandenburg-class frigate FGS Schleswig-Holstein (F216), Germany[30]
Germany Brandenburg-class frigate FGS Bayern (F217), Germany
Germany Bremen-class frigate FGS Rheinland-Pfalz (F209), Germany[29]
Germany Bremen-class frigate FGS Köln (F211), Germany[31]
Germany Bremen-class frigate FGS Niedersachsen (F208), Germany[32]
Germany Bremen-class frigate FGS Lübeck (F214), Germany[33]
Germany Sachsen-class frigate FGS Hamburg (F220)[34][35]
Germany Rhön-class tanker FGS Rhön (A1443), Germany[36]
Germany Berlin-class replenishment ship FGS Berlin (A1411), Germany

Netherlands De Zeven Provinciën-class frigate HNLMS De Ruyter (F804), Netherlands
Netherlands De Zeven Provinciën-class frigate HNLMS Evertsen (F805), Netherlands[37]
Netherlands Karel Doorman-class frigate HNLMS Van Speijk (F828), Netherlands
Netherlands Karel Doorman-class frigate HNLMS Van Amstel (F831), Netherlands[38]
Netherlands Replenishment oiler HNLMS Amsterdam (A836), Netherlands[39]
Netherlands Rotterdam class amphibious transport dock HNLMS Johan de Witt (L801), Netherlands[40]
Netherlands Holland-class offshore patrol vessels HNLMS Groningen (P843), Netherlands
Italy Maestrale-class frigate ITS Maestrale (F570), Italy
Italy Maestrale-class frigate ITS Libeccio (F572), Italy[41]
Italy Maestrale-class frigate ITS Zeffiro (F577), Italy[42][43]
Italy Maestrale-class frigate ITS Espero (F576), Italy[44]
Italy Maestrale-class frigate ITS Scirocco (F573), Italy[45]
Italy San Giorgio-class amphibious transport dock ITS San Giusto (L9894), Italy[46]
Italy Horizon-class frigate ITS Andrea Doria (D553), Italy[47]
France helicopter cruiser FS Jeanne d’Arc (R97), France[48]
France Mistral-class amphibious assault ship BPC Tonnerre (L9014), France
France Georges Leygues-class frigate FASM Jean de Vienne (D643), France
France Georges Leygues-class frigate FASM Georges Leygues (D640), France[48]
France La Fayette-class frigate FLF Aconit (F713), France[49][50]
France La Fayette-class frigate FLF Guépratte (F714), France[51]
France La Fayette-class frigate FLF La Fayette (F710), France[52]
France La Fayette-class frigate FLF Surcouf (F711), France[53][54]
France Tourville-class frigate FASM De Grasse (D612)[55]
France Floréal-class frigate FS Floréal (F730), France[56][57]
France Floréal-class frigate FS Nivôse (F732), France[25][58]
France Cassard-class frigate FAA Jean Bart (D615), France[59]
France D’Estienne d’Orves-class frigate FS Jacoubet (F794), France[60][61]
France Durance-class tanker FS Marne (A630), France[62]
France Foudre-class landing platform dock FS Siroco (L9012), France[63]
New Zealand Lockheed P-3 Orion P-3K2 Orion, New Zealand
Portugal Vasco da Gama-class frigate NRP Vasco da Gama (F330)[64][65]
Portugal Vasco da Gama-class frigate NRP Álvares Cabral (F331)[66]
Portugal Lockheed P-3 Orion P-3C Papa, Portugal[67]
Spain Santa Maria-class frigate SPS Santa Maria (F81), Spain
Spain Santa Maria-class frigate SPS Victoria (F82), Spain[68]
Spain Santa Maria-class frigate SPS Numancia (F83), Spain
Spain Santa Maria-class frigate SPS Navarra (F85), Spain
Spain Santa Maria-class frigate SPS Canarias (F86), Spain
Spain Santa Maria-class frigate SPS Reina Sofía (F84), Spain[69]
Spain Álvaro de Bazán-class frigate SPS Blas de Lezo (F103), Spain
Spain Álvaro de Bazán-class frigate SPS Mendez Nuñez (F104), Spain
Spain Descubierta-class corvette SPS Infanta Elena (P76), Spain
Spain Descubierta-class corvette SPS Infanta Cristina (P77), Spain[70]
Spain Descubierta-class corvette SPS Cazadora (P78), Spain
Spain Descubierta-class corvette SPS Vencedora (P79), Spain[71]
Spain Galicia-class landing platform dock SPS Galicia (L51), Spain[72]
Spain Replenishment oiler SPS Patiño (A14), Spain[73][74]
Spain Meteoro-class offshore patrol boat SPS Relámpago (P43), Spain[75]
Spain Lockheed P-3 Orion P-3M Orion, Spain
United Kingdom Type 22-class frigate HMS Cumberland (F85), United Kingdom
United Kingdom Type 23-class frigate HMS Northumberland (F238), United Kingdom
United Kingdom Bay-class landing ship RFA Lyme Bay (L3007), United Kingdom
Greece Hydra-class frigate HS Salamis (F455) Greece[76][77]
Greece Hydra-class frigate HS Psara (F454) Greece
Greece Elli-class frigate HS Elli (F450), Greece[78]
Greece Elli-class frigate HS Adrias (F459), Greece[79][80]
Sweden Stockholm-class corvette HSwMS Stockholm (K11), Sweden
Sweden Stockholm-class corvette HSwMS Malmö (K12), Sweden[81]
Sweden Akademik Shuleykin-class auxiliary vessel HSwMS Trossö (A264), Sweden
Sweden ocean patrol vessel HMS Carlskrona (P04), Sweden[82]
Norway Fridtjof Nansen-class frigate HNoMS Fridtjof Nansen (F310), Norway – (Non EU member contribution)
Finland Pohjanmaa class minelayer FNS Pohjanmaa, Finland[83][84]
Romania Type 22-class frigate Regele Ferdinand (221), Romania
Ukraine Krivak-class frigate Hetman Sahaydachniy (U130), Ukraine

 
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Not strong enough to break the blockade: German High Seas Fleet, Jutland, 5/31/1916

From the translation in Gates of Vienna of an interview with Thilo Sarrazin, German central banker and author of the 2011 mega-seller Germany Abolishes Itself.

The translated interview from Die Zeit:

Thilo Sarrazin: “You Are Welcome to Ask Me What I Would Do if I Were Head of Frontex”[1]

Interview with Thilo Sarrazin by Tina Hildebrandt and Heinrich Wefing

September 13, 2015

Die Zeit: Except for perhaps North Korea, there are no border controls that function,

Thilo Sarrazin: … Africa, which has 1.2 billion people now and will have 4.4 billion by year 2100, is not a monkey on their back.

Die Zeit: Aside from the fact that we do not believe that billions of people will start out from Africa — if they did, no fence could keep them out.

Thilo Sarrazin: Yeah, you should study a little military history. The British managed in WWI — without radar and, until 1916 — without aerial reconnaissance, it sealed the entire North Sea against blockade runners.

Really not strong enough to break a blockade

Feel free to ask me what I would do if I were head of Frontex and had the political and financial means.

Die Zeit: So what would you do?

Thilo Sarrazin: I would capture every ship. Even if it were a not merchant ship, I would set its passengers ashore at the exact spot on the African coast where they started and destroy the boat. You may be sure — after six weeks, no more of them would start out and there will be no more boat refugees.

Die Zeit: Let’s think that through. You have a militarily secured, impenetrable border around the Schengen area. What do you do with war refugees from Syria?

Thilo Sarrazin: War refugees from Iraq and Syria should for then most part be accommodated near their homeland, that is in Turkey, northern Iraq and Jordan. And then, when the war is over, they can most easily return.

Die Zeit: That is, we should take no war refugees into Europe?

Thilo Sarrazin: I believe, to put it positively, war refugees should be accommodated near the location of he conflict.

Die Zeit: And if that overwhelms these countries? The situation in Lebanon is explosive, Jordan is extremely fragile, war against the IS prevails in Iraq…

Thilo Sarrazin: Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan are the neighbor states. And there are the Gulf States or Saudi Arabia which are stinking rich and have taken not one foreign Arab and co-religionist. They have the primary responsibility to keep order in their region.

The Australians and Israelis have shown that the naval equivalent of boots on the ground — boats in the water — works.

 
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From the ominously entitled Slaughter & Rees Report issued by Dartmouth’s Tuck MBA school:

Slaughter & Rees Report: How Refugees Can Revive Europe’s Economies

BY MATTHEW SLAUGHTER AND MATTHEW REES NOV 02, 2015

Continuing to stream into and across Europe, the refugees risking their lives for hope confront the continent’s policymakers with a more prosaic question: What will the refugees mean for the economies of individual countries and the broader European economy?

A recent report by the Swiss bank Credit Suisse contains a refreshingly well-reasoned answer: the refugees, far from being an economic drag, will deliver a long-term economic stimulus to the region.

… A central driver of the continent’s economic woes is its demographics. Consider this: only three of the European Union’s 28 member states—France, Ireland, and Sweden—have birthrates high enough to maintain the size of their working-age populations. Seven of the world’s ten oldest countries are in Europe (Germany is 2nd; Italy, 4th; Portugal, 5th; Greece, 6th; Bulgaria, 7th; Austria, 8th; and Spain, 10th). And last year the population of seven European countries actually declined.

All this adds up to “demographic suicide,” as the European Central Bank’s vice president put it recently. As countries experience a lower ratio of those working to those in retirement, along with little economic growth, their fiscal burdens can grow quickly and without clear end. …

But as the Credit Suisse report demonstrates, the refugees flowing into Europe can help reverse its demographic challenge. They are projected to increase the EU’s population over the next five years by five million people—about 1.5 percent of the region’s total population. In purely economic terms, it helps that most of the migrants are young and male. More than half of those entering Germany are men between the ages of 18 and 34, and more than 75 percent are of working age. Many are also well-educated. Among the Syrians in Sweden, more than 40 percent have completed at least an upper secondary education, reports the Financial Times.

Nothing says Quality Education like a Syrian high school diploma.

Thus the conclusion by Credit Suisse that the impact of Europe’s migrants will be modestly positive through 2023, increasing the continent’s average annual growth rate to 1.3 percent.

In addition to providing a demographic boost to Europe, the refugees are also likely to provide a dynamic boost as well. The decision to uproot oneself and one’s family requires a degree of enterprise and risk-taking that frequently translates into the economic realm. … It is clear that the refugees can enrich the economic and cultural fabric of countries across Europe. It is up to the continent’s policymakers to ensure that the refugees are given the opportunity to do so.

Tuition at the Tuck School of Business to hear this kind of incisive analysis is $64,200 per year, but with room, board, and various fees, Tuck totals $99,655 annually. So, you get $345 change back on your Woodrow Wilson. Over the two years of your MBA program, that’s $690 in change on your two $100,000 bills.

 
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A key part of imposing the Camp of the Saints on Europe is to demoralize Europeans with the argument that it’s impossible for European countries to maintain land and sea borders: Whaddaya whaddaya? Dontcha know, the migrant always gets through!

Two obvious counter-examples, however, are Israel and Australia. Israel is tricky to demonize for obvious reasons, especially in America, but demoralizing Australians into giving up their quite effective system that keeps out boat people is straightforward. White Australians are evil and therefore deserve to lose their country.

The chief salient of the offensive at the moment is the vague story of a Somalia boat lady called Abyan (pseudonym) who has gotten pregnant while interned on Nauru. She claims to have been raped, but won’t give any details of the alleged rape to allow her story to be factchecked.

Over the last two weeks, the New York Times has devoted five articles, plus part of a sixth, to this one undocumented story, apparently on the hope that this case will shame white Australians into trashing Australia’s border controls:

Lawyer Tried to Keep Somali Rape Victim in Australia

keeping her in Australia before the government suddenly flew her to Nauru without providing the abortion she had requested. The case of the 23-year-old woman, known by the pseudonym Abyan, has amplified criticisms
WorldPrint Headline: “Lawyer Tried to Keep Somali Rape Victim in Australia”

Asylum Seeker’s Rape Claims Overshadow Australia’s Bid for U.N. Rights Body

policy of turning back refugee boats and holding asylum seekers in prison camps in poor South Pacific island nations such as Nauru and Papua New Guinea has undermined any goodwill. Pressure is mounting on Prime Minister Malcolm
WorldPrint Headline: “Asylum Seeker’s Rape Claims Overshadow Australia’s Bid for U.N. Rights Body”

Australia Debates Asylum Seeker’s Fate
A pregnant Somali asylum seeker, known as Abyan, has become a focal point in the continuing dispute over Australia’s refugee policies.
WorldPrint Headline: “Australia Debates Asylum Seeker’s Fate”

Australia’s Migrant Rules Criticized Over Abyan, a Somali Asylum Seeker

tried to reach Australia in a rickety boat that was intercepted at sea two years ago. She ended up in a detention center on Nauru, one of two remote Pacific islands where Australia sends asylum seekers. Her lawyers say she was raped WorldPrint Headline: “Australia’s Migrant Rules Criticized Over Abyan, a Somali Asylum Seeker”Australia to Fly Somali Refugee From Nauru for Abortion CANBERRA, Australia — A Somali refugee who alleged she was raped in Nauru will be flown to Australia for a second time to potentially have an abortion, Australia’s government said Wednesday, a day after the United Nations’ human
WorldPrint Headline: “Australia to Fly Somali Refugee From Nauru for Abortion”
Tony Abbott, Ousted Australian Leader, Urges Europe to Take Hard Line on Migrants
offshore camps has dropped much less. More than 600 people are still being detained on the small Pacific island nation of Nauru, and more than 900 remain in a camp on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. As public criticism of the
WorldPrint Headline: “Tony Abbott, Ousted Australian Leader, Urges Europe to Take Hard Line on Migrants”

Of course, if a single criminal (?) case should be used to determine the demographic fate of a continent, what about this story of the German sex criminal recently arrested for murdering two migrant boys? From CBS News:

Violence against migrants in Germany spikes

… Last week, a German man was arrested for kidnapping and slaying a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old migrant. The suspect, whose last name wasn’t released in line with German privacy laws, told authorities he had killed the 4-year-old a day after abducting him from the capital’s central registration center for migrants, the Berlin prosecutor said.

By the logic of the story of the pregnant Somali, this should be grounds for changing Dr. Merkel’s policy: instead, Germany must protect defenseless foreign children from decadent Teutons by keeping the Muslim children safe from German pedophiles in their own part of the world. If a claim of rape on distant Nauru is enough to morally discredit Australia’s policy, then migrant boys being abducted from refugee centers in Germany’s capital should more than discredit Dr. Merkel’s policy. Who will think of the children?

But, somehow, I don’t think we’ll see that logic occur to many.

Funny how that works.

 
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From the NYT:

Erdogan’s Party in Turkey Regains Parliamentary Majority
By TIM ARANGO and CEYLAN YEGINSU NOV. 1, 2015

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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Chancellor Merkel is starting to notice that her decision to unilaterally trash E.U. rules and let in countless Muslim from Syria (population 19 million) and who knows from where else maybe isn’t quite working out so hot. But, don’t worry, she’s come up with a new solution to fix her old solution: She’ll get the Turks to stop the Syrian invasion of Europe!

In return, she’ll merely give 79 million Muslim Turks the right to move to Europe.

Merkel Links Turkey’s E.U. Hopes to Stemming Flow of Refugees
By TIM ARANGO OCT. 18, 2015

ISTANBUL — Desperately seeking help to contain Europe’s migrant crisis, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany on Sunday explicitly linked accelerating Turkey’s effort to join the European Union to Turkish cooperation in clamping down on the flow of refugees from Turkey to Europe.

Ms. Merkel, who has long opposed Turkey’s admission to the bloc, said she would support speeding up the process, a concession that underscored the importance European leaders place on Turkey’s cooperation in trying to contain what has become the largest flow of migrants since World War II, as people flee violence and deprivation in the Middle East and Africa.

“No country can shoulder the refugee burden alone,” Ms. Merkel said at a news conference with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu of Turkey in Istanbul on Sunday. “The job has to be shared.”

For weeks, a deal in principle between Europe and Turkey has been discussed: it would include almost three billion euros, or about $3.4 billion, to help Turkey deal with nearly 2.2 million refugees, mostly from Syria, who now live in Turkey. At the news conference, Ms. Merkel and Mr. Davutoglu said no agreement had been finalized and that the details were still being worked out. …

In the early evening, Ms. Merkel met with Mr. Erdogan, Turkey’s pre-eminent decision maker, and they also discussed the migrant crisis, as well as the European Union accession process and counterterrorism.

In a statement, Mr. Erdogan said he had asked Ms. Merkel for support in accelerating Turkey’s efforts to join the union.

…. In the negotiations, Turkey has made visa-free travel to Europe for its citizens a top priority, and Ms. Merkel said she had agreed to push that issue forward. Turkey is the only country that has been formally accepted for possible membership in the union whose citizens must have visas to travel to Europe.

Turkey has long sought to join the European Union — formal talks began in 2005 — but the process has stalled in recent years, partly because of European concerns about Turkey’s human rights record and a government crackdown on the news media and freedom of expression.

And also because Turkey is filled with Muslim Turks, who, once included in the E.U. Schengen Zone, would be entitled to move anywhere they felt like. Here’s a 2004 VDARE article I wrote on Turkey’s attempt to get into the E.U. Back in 2002, Randall Parker cited French elder statesman Valery Giscard-D’Estaing’s frank talk about what adding Turkey to the E.U. would mean for Europe:

Mr Giscard d’Estaing told Le Monde that Turkey’s capital was not in Europe, 95% of its population lived outside Europe, and it was “not a European country”.

Asked what the effect of including Turkey in a future wave of European enlargement would be, he said: “In my opinion, it would be the end of Europe.”

Underlining his opposition to Turkish membership of the EU, Giscard d’Estaing said that letting non-European countries join the 15-member club would be “the end of the European Union.”

“The day after you open negotiations with Turkey, you would have a Moroccan demand (for membership of the union,)” said the 76-year-old politician.

Giscard’s comments reflected in blunt language what many EU politicians whisper privately, but they come at a particularly delicate time when Brussels needs Turkey’s cooperation to try to solve several problems related to enlargement.

But, now due to Merkel’s unforced error, own goal, whatever sports metaphor you want to use, the E.U. is begging Turkey not the other way around. From the Financial Times:

Commission officials briefed EU ambassadors on Thursday on the Turkish requirements for completing the terms of the action plan, including €3bn in fresh funds; unblocking about five chapters in Turkey’s EU membership negotiations; and visa-free access for 75m Turks to the Schengen border-free area from as soon as 2016.

Holy cow: “visa-free access for 75m Turks to the Schengen border-free area from as soon as 2016.”

The NYT article doesn’t mention the world “Schengen,” but does go on to mention that the Turkish government doesn’t have the world’s best human rights record. But, due to Merkel’s Boner, Europe is looking for its salvation to the tender mercies and transparent stratagems of the Top Turk.

If this reminds you of a Simpson’s episode about fighting invasive Bolivian tree lizards by unleashing wave after wave of Chinese needle snakes, well, you’ve come to the right place.

 
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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 Consang.net website.

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

 
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Screenshot 2015-10-08 02.01.09

For Peace Prize punters, here are the latest odds fr0m NicerOdds.co.uk. For some reason, I don’t see Clock Boy’s name on the Peace Prize list, although I had him down as a sure bet for the Physics Nobel for inventing Time, so what do I know?

Dr. Mukwege sounds like he’d be a worthy winner. From Wikipedia:

Denis Mukwege (born 1 March 1955) is a Congolese gynecologist. He founded and works in Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, where he specializes in the treatment of women who have been gang-raped by rebel forces. Mukwege has become the world’s leading expert on how to repair the internal physical damage caused by gang rape.

Mukwege has treated thousands of women who were victims of gang wartime rape since the Second Congo War, some of them more than once, performing up to 10 surgeries a day during his 18-hour working days.

Speaking of gang rape, how about Alexis Jay, who wrote the 2014 Rotherham Report that finally broke the omerta in England?

Mussie Zerai is an Eritrean priest who helps organize the Camp of the Saints, even though there’s no war in Eritrea. Speaking of the Camp of the Saints, how about Jean Raspail for giving us a 42-years to prepare? Granted, we totally frittered it away, but still …

You’ve probably heard of Angela Merkel.

Screenshot 2015-10-08 02.17.54

By the time you’ll read this, you’ll probably know who won, but it’s fun to look at old odds. How well did the prediction markets work out this time, Professor Hanson?

For some reason, I don’t see Ta-Nehisi Coates on the list, but then I had him down for Medicine/Physiology for being the world’s leading expert on Black Bodies, so what do I know?

For the Literature Prize, it looks like there’s a Year of the Woman thing going on.

“Sorry, old man. Because of the weak imagery, scanty plot, and pedestrian language in your latest, we’ve turned your table over to Joyce Carol Oates.” William Hamilton, The New Yorker, early to mid-1970s

Joyce Carol Oates is an excellent writer but she’s highly prolific, which usually counts as a detriment in winning the Nobel. And she has been publishing books since 1963. American authors usually don’t win lifetime achievement awards, since they don’t lack for opportunities for publicity. To win, they’re usually expected to sober up and write something better than their recent stuff, like The Old Man and Sea helped Hemingway garner his gong.

I haven’t heard a theory about why Oates is so highly ranked this year, but I’ll make up one: giving her the award would strike a blow against the male-biased notion that important writers should write important books that stand out. Oates would represent all the productive female novelists who write lots and lots of novels without a lot of drama about Promethean ambitions.

That’s probably not the worst theory in the world for justifying a Nobel.

Or maybe she’s near the top because she’s on Twitter? (Here are the Nobel candidate’s sensible tweets on Donald Sterling.)

Or maybe sozzled English punters keep hearing from America about the transcendent literary importance of Ta-Nehisi Coates and thinking, reasonably enough, that the Americans must be referring to Joyce Carole Oates? Coates, Oates, let’s call the whole thing off …

Dwight Garner of the NYT would like to see win J.P. Donleavy, who, amazingly enough, is still alive 60 years after publishing The Ginger Man, a novel that inspired everybody from Hunter S. Thompson to Colin Quinn to take up drunkenness as the key to being a Celtic bard.

Obviously, the Literature Award is a near total-crapshoot because how valid are opinions on literary merit across multiple languages? But, if the Nobel Committee wants to be relevant, the novelist who has dominated 2015 is this guy.

 
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From the New York Times op-ed page:

The Case for Euro-Optimism
By ULRICH SPECK OCT. 6, 2015

… As is often the case these days, Ms. Merkel knows what she’s talking about. Not only can Europe overcome its current challenges, but the storm is actually making the union stronger. …

But the response, largely coordinated by Germany, has been equally impressive. Ms. Merkel has set up an informal system of governance that works fairly well, inside and outside Germany: her coalition partners, the Social Democrats, at home; President François Hollande of France, crucial to winning Western Europe; the European Council president, Donald Tusk, representing Central European interests; and the European Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, who knows how to play the Brussels machine. President Obama is the key outside partner.

A Merkel-centric “power-horizontal” sets up a very different union from the one that governments have agreed to in the treaties.

Uh, you know, that’s called Germany trampling on the rule of law.

Instead of Brussels, Berlin has become the power center. Neither federalists nor nationalists are happy with that.

But the German Chancellor is happy and that’s what counts, according to the Eührerprinzip.

Perhaps no challenge better illustrates the union’s strengths than the waves of refugees arriving in Europe. Ms. Merkel has correctly framed it as a challenge for Europe as a whole, rather than for individual countries. And Europe has acted accordingly, taking a contentious but successful vote to spread the burden of accepting the refugees.

Uh, well, yeah, but for about 11% of the expected 2015 arrivals. And Ms. Merkel forgot to multiply the number of asylees by the number of their relatives.

True, the old refugee system broke down under the sudden weight. But with a speed that surprised even Euro-optimists, the union has begun to fashion new rules, often on the fly.

I.e., while Germany violates E.U. rules willy-nilly, Hungary tries to uphold them but is denounced for being anti-E.U.

What we see unfolding is a pan-European system of governance.

With apologies to Mel Brooks:

Autumn for Merkel and Germany
Europe is prostrate, must pay
We’re taking at a faster pace
Look out, here comes the Muslim race!

 
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You may have wondered why, outside of my repetitious drumbeat, there has been so little comment on how the Gulf Arabs aren’t spending their money to help their Muslim brethren in need. One reason is because they have better things to spend their money on, such as the American think tanks who provide the press with ideas and quotes. From the New York Times:

Foreign Powers Buy Influence at Think Tanks
By ERIC LIPTON, BROOKE WILLIAMS and NICHOLAS CONFESSORE SEPT. 6, 2014

… More than a dozen prominent Washington research groups have received tens of millions of dollars from foreign governments in recent years while pushing United States government officials to adopt policies that often reflect the donors’ priorities, an investigation by The New York Times has found.

The money is increasingly transforming the once-staid think-tank world into a muscular arm of foreign governments’ lobbying in Washington. And it has set off troubling questions about intellectual freedom: Some scholars say they have been pressured to reach conclusions friendly to the government financing the research.

The think tanks do not disclose the terms of the agreements they have reached with foreign governments. And they have not registered with the United States government as representatives of the donor countries, an omission that appears, in some cases, to be a violation of federal law, according to several legal specialists who examined the agreements at the request of The Times.

As a result, policy makers who rely on think tanks are often unaware of the role of foreign governments in funding the research.

Joseph Sandler, a lawyer and expert on the statute that governs Americans lobbying for foreign governments, said the arrangements between the countries and think tanks “opened a whole new window into an aspect of the influence-buying in Washington that has not previously been exposed.”

“It is particularly egregious because with a law firm or lobbying firm, you expect them to be an advocate,” Mr. Sandler added. “Think tanks have this patina of academic neutrality and objectivity, and that is being compromised.”

The arrangements involve Washington’s most influential think tanks, including the Brookings Institution, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the Atlantic Council. Each is a major recipient of overseas funds, producing policy papers, hosting forums and organizing private briefings for senior United States government officials that typically align with the foreign governments’ agendas.

Most of the money comes from countries in Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere in Asia, particularly the oil-producing nations of the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Norway, and takes many forms. The United Arab Emirates, a major supporter of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, quietly provided a donation of more than $1 million to help build the center’s gleaming new glass and steel headquarters not far from the White House. Qatar, the small but wealthy Middle East nation, agreed last year to make a $14.8 million, four-year donation to Brookings, which has helped fund a Brookings affiliate in Qatar and a project on United States relations with the Islamic world.

Some scholars say the donations have led to implicit agreements that the research groups would refrain from criticizing the donor governments.

“If a member of Congress is using the Brookings reports, they should be aware — they are not getting the full story,” said Saleem Ali, who served as a visiting fellow at the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar and who said he had been told during his job interview that he could not take positions critical of the Qatari government in papers. “They may not be getting a false story, but they are not getting the full story.” …

Qatar and the United Arab Emirates — two nations that host large United States military bases and view a continued American military presence as central to their own national security — have been especially aggressive in their giving to think tanks. The two Persian Gulf monarchies are also engaged in a battle with each other to shape Western opinion, with Qatar arguing that Muslim Brotherhood-style political Islam is the Arab world’s best hope for democracy, and the United Arab Emirates seeking to persuade United States policy makers that the Brotherhood is a dangerous threat to the region’s stability. …

The tens of millions in donations from foreign interests come with certain expectations, researchers at the organizations said in interviews. Sometimes the foreign donors move aggressively to stifle views contrary to their own. …

Scholars at other Washington think tanks, who were granted anonymity to detail confidential internal discussions, described similar experiences that had a chilling effect on their research and ability to make public statements that might offend current or future foreign sponsors. At Brookings, for example, a donor with apparent ties to the Turkish government suspended its support after a scholar there made critical statements about the country, sending a message, one scholar there said.

“It is the self-censorship that really affects us over time,” the scholar said. “But the fund-raising environment is very difficult at the moment, and Brookings keeps growing and it has to support itself.”

The sensitivities are especially important when it comes to the Qatari government — the single biggest foreign donor to Brookings.

Brookings executives cited strict internal policies that they said ensure their scholars’ work is “not influenced by the views of our funders,” in Qatar or in Washington. They also pointed to several reports published at the Brookings Doha Center in recent years that, for example, questioned the Qatari government’s efforts to revamp its education system or criticized the role it has played in supporting militants in Syria.

But in 2012, when a revised agreement was signed between Brookings and the Qatari government, the Qatar Ministry of Foreign Affairs itself praised the agreement on its website, announcing that “the center will assume its role in reflecting the bright image of Qatar in the international media, especially the American ones.” Brookings officials also acknowledged that they have regular meetings with Qatari government officials about the center’s activities and budget, and that the former Qatar prime minister sits on the center’s advisory board.

Mr. Ali, who served as one of the first visiting fellows at the Brookings Doha Center after it opened in 2009, said such a policy, though unwritten, was clear.

“There was a no-go zone when it came to criticizing the Qatari government,” said Mr. Ali, who is now a professor at the University of Queensland in Australia. “It was unsettling for the academics there. But it was the price we had to pay.”

It’s a little unfair of me to say the Brookings Institution doesn’t come cheap. Relative to how much money rich guys spend on sports these days, public policy intellectuals are an excellent bargain. I haven’t been invited to hang around many Washington think tanks in a while, but I visited several in the previous decade. At least back then, they usually weren’t super plush. The physical accommodations were kind of at the community college faculty office level.

In other words, Qatar can buy a lot of Washington think tank influence for many orders of magnitude less than the $200 billion it has budgeted to host the 2022 World Cup.

 
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Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

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


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