Leftism is so-o last century.
But it has done its destructive work.
It has driven the Western world into a state of decay.
Ed Klein gives an example of what he justly considers a sign of decadence in the US:
If you have any doubt about the deleterious effect of our culture on the direction of our country and its politics, I invite you to visit the Guggenheim Museum on New York’s Fifth Avenue.
There, on the fifth floor, you will find a long line of people in front of a sign that says “There is a two-hour wait”.
What are these people waiting two hours for?
They are waiting to enter a small rest room that contains an 18-karat solid-gold toilet.
This gold toilet is the creation of Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan. He has labeled his installation “America”.
Yes, in one of our country’s leading cultural institutions, people are waiting on line for two hours to urinate and defecate into “America”.
Maybe the time has not yet arrived for an American Gibbon to write a new Decline and Fall, but we are approaching the point of no return.
The failure of most pundits to recognize this reality prevented them from grasping the significance of the populist revolt that has swept across America and made Donald Trump the nominee of the Republican Party.
In Europe there is no need to look for signs of decadence. Europe is decaying so rapidly, decadence is so much the everyday condition of existence, it is taken as normal.
Here then is – not a sign but – a symptom of European decadence:
Jacob Lewis, writing for The Sun, reports:
Sex rooms, bondage dancers and 60 hour drug raves… a rare look inside the world’s most exclusive club
Berghain Club, Berlin
Covered in face tattoos and piercings, the German stares me down, running a finger across his skull-shaped rings as he decides my fate.
My heart is racing and a tiny voice inside me is screaming, “Please, please!”
Then it comes, a slow nod of the head from the man in black.
My ordeal is over. I try hard to control my trembling body as I slowly walk forward inside, to safety.
Welcome to Berghain, “the world’s best club” — where getting past legendary doorman Sven Marquardt is to survive an ordeal that has been known to make grown clubbers weep.
Doorman Sven Marquardt
Housed in a former East Berlin power station, it is as famous for its door policy as for its [public] sex and drug binges at parties that run from Friday night to Monday afternoon.
There are even special “dark rooms” downstairs where couples have very explicit sex — to a soundtrack of bullet-hard techno beats.
Meanwhile upstairs on the main dancefloor, male and female performers — naked apart from the odd slice of bondage leather — dangle in cages attached to the ceiling or gyrate on podiums.
On the top floor is the Panorama bar with its X-rated sculptures.
Florence Welch and Jake Gyllenhaal are just two of a long list of stars said to have been denied access and the chance to boggle at it all.
But those that make it in speak of an almost religious experience.
Homeland actress Claire Danes, 37, has described it as “the best place on Earth”.
And Lady Gaga chose the venue to launch her last album, arriving for the night in little more than a bra and knickers . . . and a moustache.
Lady Gaga entertains
The club’s enigmatic entry rules are the subject of endless debate among Berliners and tourists alike.
Internet forums buzz with rumours about how to win the right to pay your 16 euro entry fee. Turning up in big groups, talking in line and wearing anything but black are all reported to see you waved away.
There is even a website called Berghain Trainer that uses your camera and microphone to analyse your body language and voice as you try and get past a virtual doorman.
The 1,500-capacity club opened in 2004 in a deserted part of town and has since become an institution.
This month it was even awarded the same cultural tax status as the city’s theatres and museums.
I arrived at 12:30am on a Friday night and had barely opened the cab door out the front before I was offered drugs by one of half a dozen busy dealers.
The queue is mostly full of stony-faced, black-clad hipsters, despite Sven insisting there is no dress code or even favoured “type”.
The bearded icon, 54, who recently designed a T-shirt range for Hugo Boss, said: “I don’t mind letting in the odd lawyer in a double-breasted suit with his Gucci-Prada wife. If they make a good impression, let them in. We also take guys in masks and kilts, or Pamela Anderson blondes in run-of-the-mill high-street outfits who tag along with bearded blokes, licking the sweat off each others’ armpits. That, for me, is Berghain.”
Tom Gallagher, a 25-year-old expat from Dublin has seen for himself just how liberal the dress code can be.
He recalled: “I was there at 6am having just been rejected when I saw a bloke wearing nothing but a huge elaborate wedding turban and high heels step out of a cab. The bouncers didn’t bat an eyelid and he strolled right in.”
I only managed to get in on my second attempt. For my first try I had worn black jeans, black boots and a buttoned denim shirt.
The queue of stern, silent hopefuls moved slowly, with as many being sent packing as made it inside.
I watched as all but two friends from an eight person group of stunning girls were rejected.
The lucky two didn’t so much glance back at their former friends as they entered.
Five others were swiftly sent packing with German efficiency and then it was my turn.
Sven sat in the doorway behind a lackey who dished out his judgements, swiping us left or right like we were faces on a Tinder app.
The gatekeeper stared into my soul for ten seconds. I stared back. Then just as the underling seemed to be about to wave me in, I heard a barely audible mutter: “Nein.”
Sven had decided. His minion spoke: “I’m sorry. You can’t come in.”
Judged uncool, I walked back up the path face turning red with shame, past the waiting crowds to the hotdog stand that makes a killing selling beer to rejects. Stall-owner Alex P, 38, gave me some tips for next time.
He said: “You should look like you can party. If you have a good vibe and don’t look like a f***ed-up English tourist then it’s easy. No buttoned shirts for example.” …
My rejection just made me more determined than ever to get in. The next day I went shopping in Zara for black clothes and met three other wannabes doing the same.
Digby Burges, 30, a master’s student from Australia now living in Berlin, admitted: “I’m trying to find some dodgy black shoes. They’re really ugly but that’s what Berghain wants.”
I bought a jacket similar to what I had seen Sven wearing, as well as a black felt cap, some suspect “fashion” specs and a black T-shirt.
And this time when I rocked up to the door I had a tactic.
Ignoring the two hour-long queue stretching down the road, I set my face to stern mode and strolled right to the front, slotting in arrogantly in front of a group of friends.
My gamble paid off — people were too worried about seeming uncool in front of the bouncers to call me out.
A few minutes later I was in front of Sven again. This time I made sure to tap my feet to the sound of techno beats and look impatient.
Then came the stare, the fingering of his skull rings. And moments later I was inside. Victory!
Photography is strictly barred and once in the club, both my iPhone’s cameras were covered with stickers. Privacy is the key to Berghain’s success. And it is not hard to see why.
Within minutes of arriving I find myself in the “dark rooms” where naked bodies romp in the shadows.
Mirrors and reflective surfaces are also banned in the club. This is presumably to save party-goers from the sobering horror of catching their reflection halfway through a 36-hour drink, drug and sex marathon.
Some clubbers have been known to spend 60 hours straight here, despite beats so hard that I feel like my ears are going to bleed, even though I’m no dance music novice.
Len Faki, resident DJ at the club since it opened, said: “What I value the most is the freedom and diversity it offers. It’s an open minded space that gives everyone the chance to be themselves, to express themselves without judgement.”
Alan Smith, a 33-year-old musician and British expat, said: ‘I think it’s really good that’s there’s a place where people can do whatever they want to do and not be judged. It’s very free. What I love about it is that there’s a real sense of freedom and sexual emancipation. These people are not wanting your approval, they’re just there to do whatever the f*** they want and have a good time.”
As I left the party, I saw the fresh-faced shoppers I’d met in Zara excitedly waiting in line in their new kit.
They called me later to let me know they never made it past Sven.
Thousands straining to be weird enough to be admitted to orgies.
Orgies have happened, do happen, will always happen.
When do they become a sign of decadence?
When a society becomes proud of them.
The Green Party of Germany wants the dissolution of the German nation:
Right on the nail as always, Pat Condell blames Europe’s ruling politicians, and above all Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, for turning Europe into a battlefield of jihad. He sees all-out war coming. We do too. He reminds the indigenous peoples of the continent that they still have the power to save their countries by voting those politicians out. Just as the British people voted to take their country out of the corrupt tyranny called the European Union.
Americans also need to heed his message. In this context, Hillary Clinton is the potential Angela Merkel of the the United States. She has announced that she wants a 500 percent increase in the number of Muslim “refugees” coming into America from the Middle East. She must not be given the power to do to America what Merkel has done to Europe.
What can explain the zeal with which Obama has empowered Iran, against all reason, against all opposition and difficulty – including the truculent and obstreperous behavior of Iran itself?
Obama ardently wants Iran to be a power in the world. Why?
Bret Stephens’s report yesterday at the Wall Street Journal on the progress of Iran towards nuclear arms under Obama’s patronage only deepens the mystery of the motive.
What diplomats call the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—known to the rest of us as the Disastrous Iran Deal—was agreed in Vienna a year ago this week. Now comes a status update, courtesy of our friends at the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, or BfV.
In its fascinating 2015 annual report, published late last month … there’s this:
The illegal proliferation-sensitive procurement activities [by Iran] in Germany registered by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution persisted in 2015 at what is, even by international standards, a quantitatively high level. This holds true in particular with regard to items which can be used in the field of nuclear technology.
The report also notes …
… a further increase in the already considerable procurement efforts in connection with Iran’s ambitious missile technology program which could among other things potentially serve to deliver nuclear weapons. Against this backdrop it is safe to expect that Iran will continue its intensive procurement activities in Germany using clandestine methods to achieve its objectives.
The BfV report arrived days before Germany arrested a Pakistani national, identified as Syed Mustufa H., accused of spying for Iran. It also corroborates another German intelligence report, this one from the intelligence service of North Rhine-Westphalia, that Iran’s nuclear procurement efforts have increased dramatically in recent years, from 48 known attempts in 2010 to 141 in 2015. Seven other German states have reported similar Iranian procurement efforts.
This violates Iran’s explicit commitment to go through an official “procurement channel” to purchase nuclear- and missile-related materials.
There is such a channel open to Iran?
All this was enough to prompt Angela Merkel to warn the Bundestag last week that Iran “continued to develop its rocket program in conflict with relevant provisions of the U.N. Security Council”. Don’t expect German sanctions, but at least the chancellor is living in the reality zone.
As for the Obama administration, not so much. For the past year it has developed a narrative — spoon-fed to the reporters and editorial writers Ben Rhodes publicly mocks as dopes and dupes — that Iran has met all its obligations under the deal, and now deserves extra cookies in the form of access to U.S. dollars, Boeing jets, U.S. purchases of Iranian heavy water (thereby subsidizing its nuclear program), and other concessions the administration last year promised Congress it would never grant.
“We still have sanctions on Iran for its violations of human rights, for its support for terrorism, and for its ballistic-missile program, and we will continue to enforce those sanctions vigorously,” Mr. Obama said in January. Whatever.
The administration is now weighing whether to support Iran’s membership in the World Trade Organization. That would neutralize a future president’s ability to impose sanctions on Iran, since WTO rules would allow Tehran to sue Washington for interfering with trade.
The administration has also pushed the Financial Action Task Force, an international body that enforces anti-money-laundering standards, to ease pressure on Iran, which FATF did last month by suspending some restrictions for the next year.
And then there’s the Boeing deal to sell $17.6 billion worth of jets to Iran, which congressional Republicans led by Illinois’s Pete Roskam are trying to stop. Iran uses its civilian fleet to ferry weapons and fighters to its terrorist clients in Syria and Lebanon.
“The administration is trying to lock in the Iran deal and prevent a future president from doing anything, including pushing back on Iran’s malign behavior,” says the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Mark Dubowitz, who knows more about Iran sanctions than anyone in Washington. “Instead of curbing Iran’s worst behavior, the administration effectively facilitates it.”
One last detail: In June, the Journal’s Jay Solomon reported that the International Atomic Energy Agency had discovered “traces of man-made uranium” at Iran’s military facility at Parchin. The agency reported this finding in a footnote to a report in December, but the administration made no comment then and now dismisses it as old news. The IAEA is no longer allowed to inspect Parchin, or any other military installation, under the deal.
So let’s recap. Mr. Obama says Iran is honoring the nuclear deal, but German intelligence tells us Tehran is violating it more aggressively than ever. He promised “snapback” sanctions in the event of such violations, but the U.S. is operating as Iran’s trade-promotion agent. He promised “unprecedented” inspections, but we’re not permitted to inspect sites where uranium was found. He promised an eight-year ban on Iran’s testing of ballistic missiles, but Tehran violated that ban immediately and repeatedly with only mild pushback from the West. He promised that the nuclear deal was not about “normalizing” relations with a rogue regime. But he wants it in the WTO.
Is Mr. Obama rationalizing a failed agreement or did he mean to mislead the American public? Either way, truth is catching up with the Iran deal.
Plainly Obama has misled the American public. What is the truth?
Is it illogical, or too far-fetched, to ascribe the same desire to the American commander-in-chief who is helping Iran become powerful enough to achieve its aim?
“Brexit” is short for “Britain’s exit” from the European Union.
The EU was always an unworkable idea. The Germans and French wanted it: the Germans because they needed to dissolve their guilt for two world wars and the Holocaust in the larger entity of a United States of Europe; and the French because they were envious of the United States of America’s superpower status and hoped to beat it by leading a united Europe.
Britain was always an uneasy member. It wisely refused to abandon the Pound for the EU’s common currency the Euro.
A referendum will be held in Britain on June 23 and a majority is expected to vote for leaving the undemocratic and extremely corrupt EU. (That majority may have been enlarged by Obama’s impudently telling Britain to stay in.)
(See also here.)
Those for leaving it and those for remaining in it are not divided along party lines. Though a probable majority of Conservatives want to come out (including the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson), the Prime Minister, David Cameron, wants to stay in.
And here’s part of an article by a member of the Labour Party on some of the worst abuses of the EU and urging Britain’s exit:
Josephine Bacon writes at Gatestone:
There is a joke going around the internet it how the European Union works (or doesn’t):
Pythagoras’s theorem – 24 words.
Archimedes’s Principle – 67 words.
10 Commandments – 179 words.
Gettysburg address – 286 words.
U.S. Declaration of Independence – 1,300 words.
U.S. Constitution with all 27 Amendments – 7,818 words.
EU regulations on the sale of cabbage – 26,911 words.
Why are EU Regulations so long? Maybe because they have to be translated into the 18 official languages?
No. That would be a reason for keeping them short. The real reason is that bureaucrats can go on micromanaging forever.
Interpreters also have to be found who can work into and from those languages at the European Parliament. The translation budget is massive. One of the official languages currently is Irish. It can confidently be said that there is no one in the Republic of Ireland who does not speak English; many Irish do not even speak or understand Irish, and certainly none of Ireland’s politicians will be fluent only in Irish. But all of the “acquis”, the body of regulations that are already part of the EU body of laws, also have to be translated into the languages of candidates for EU membership, such as Turkey, thus adding more languages to the tally each time a new regulation is passed. If Catalonia breaks away from Spain and remains a member of the EU, Catalan will need to be added, even though Catalan politicians all speak perfect Spanish.
This month, in March, an official audit reported that EU auditors refuse to sign off more than £100 billion ($144 billion) of EU spending. The Brussels accounts have not been given the all-clear for 19 years in a row. Moreover, the EU is apparently less than incompetent at managing the funds it has.
This is happening at a time when the EU is demanding that the UK pay it £1.7 billion ($2.45 billion). It was reported on September 17, 2015 in the Daily Mail newspaper that Britain had reluctantly paid this sum, which prime minister David Cameron himself, a fan of staying in Europe, has described as “appalling”.
Also reported on September 17 in the Daily Telegraph, was that, according to the annual report of the European Court of Auditors, £5.5 billion ($7.9 billion) of the EU budget last year was misspent because of controls on spending that were deemed by experts to be only “partially effective”.
The audit, published on March 17, 2016, found that £109 billion ($157 billion) out of a total of £117 billion spent by the EU in 2013 alone was “affected by material error” – that is, disappeared into various people’s pockets. …
Few people outside European parliamentary circles are aware that there is an EU “traveling circus”. Once a month, the European Parliament moves from Brussels in Belgium to Strasbourg in France. Even though Members of European Parliament (MEPs) voted to scrap this move, the French government, which initiated this madness in the first place, has the power to block any such decision and is apparently determined to do so. That is another fact which goes unmentioned by those determined to keep the UK in the EU. When this author challenged an MEP, Mary Honeyball, on the subject, she claimed that it was “being dealt with”, but the French government is fiercely opposed to keeping the parliament exclusively in Brussels and it has the power to block any such reform. The cost of the “travelling circus” alone is conservatively estimated at £130 million ($187 million) a year.
The free movement of labour between EU member states was always going to be a non-starter. Has anyone noticed the hordes of British plumbers and electricians emigrating to Bulgaria and Romania? The movement of skilled and unskilled labour from the poorest countries of the EU to the wealthier ones – those that offer generous benefits to the unemployed and even subsidise low wages – has always been a fact of life, one seriously underestimated by successive British governments. The British suffer most because, of all the countries of the EU, the UK offers the most generous benefits. The so-called “freedom of movement”, which has proved to be just a one-way street, is only one of the reasons why Britain needs to regain control of its own destiny and stop being subservient to laws being made by unelected, overpaid, un-unelectable bureaucrats in Brussels.
Unfortunately, most voters in the British referendum glean their information from the sound bites of politicians on television. This circumstance leaves the public open to manipulation, uninformed, and ignorant of the facts. One fact, however, that cannot be ignored is that ever since Britain joined the European Economic Community in 1973, British politicians across the entire political spectrum from left (Tony Benn) to right (Enoch Powell) were perceptive enough to realize that Britain would lose the power to make its own laws and turn into a vassal of the France-Germany axis.
Leaving the European Union will give the UK back its sovereignty and leave it free to make alliances not only with its former European partners, but with other Commonwealth countries, to say nothing of the United States, and Central and South America.
And Britain will be able to control its own borders again, and obey only its own laws, and possibly use those powers to save itself from the catastrophic Islamization of Europe.
It is patently absurd to apologize for doing something you did not do. Obama likes to go round the world apologizing for what past American governments did. Is he about to apologize to the present Japanese government for the bombs President Truman decided to drop on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945? And ought they to be apologized for?
Victor Davis Hanson writes at Townhall:
The dropping of two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 remains the only wartime use of nuclear weapons in history.
No one knows exactly how many Japanese citizens were killed by the two American bombs. A macabre guess is around 140,000. The atomic attacks finally shocked Emperor Hirohito and the Japanese militarists into surrendering.
John Kerry recently visited Hiroshima. He became the first Secretary of State to do so – purportedly as a precursor to a planned visit next month by President Obama, who is rumored to be considering an apology to Japan for America’s dropping of the bombs 71 years ago.
The horrific bombings are inexplicable without examining the context in which they occurred.
In 1943, President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill insisted on the unconditional surrender of Axis aggressors. The bomb was originally envisioned as a way to force the Axis leader, Nazi Germany, to cease fighting. But the Third Reich had already collapsed by July 1945 when the bomb was ready for use, leaving Imperial Japan as the sole surviving Axis target. Japan had just demonstrated with its nihilistic defense of Okinawa – where more than 12,000 Americans died and more than 50,000 were wounded, along with perhaps 200,000 Japanese military and civilian casualties – that it could make the Americans pay so high a price for victory that they might negotiate an armistice rather than demand surrender. Tens of thousands of Americans had already died in taking the Pacific islands as a way to get close enough to bomb Japan. On March 9-10, 1945, B-29 bombers dropped an estimated 1,665 tons of napalm on Tokyo, causing at least as many deaths as later at Hiroshima.
Over the next three months, American attacks leveled huge swaths of urban Japan. U.S. planes dropped about 60 million leaflets on Japanese cities, telling citizens to evacuate and to call upon their leaders to cease the war.
Japan still refused to surrender and upped its resistance with thousands of Kamikaze airstrikes. By the time of the atomic bombings, the U.S. Air Force was planning to transfer from Europe much of the idle British and American bombing fleet to join the B-29s in the Pacific.
Perhaps 5,000 Allied bombers would have saturated Japan with napalm. The atomic bombings prevented such a nightmarish incendiary storm.
The bombs also cut short plans for an invasion of Japan — an operation that might well have cost 1 million Allied lives, and at least three to four times that number of well-prepared, well-supplied Japanese defenders.
There were also some 2 million Japanese soldiers fighting throughout the Pacific, China and Burma — and hundreds of thousands of Allied prisoners and Asian civilians being held in Japanese prisoner of war and slave labor camps. Thousands of civilians were dying every day at the hands of Japanese barbarism. The bombs stopped that carnage as well.
The Soviet Union, which signed a non-aggression pact with Japan in 1941, had opportunistically attacked Japan on the very day of the Nagasaki bombing.
By cutting short the Soviet invasion, the bombings saved not only millions more lives, but kept the Soviets out of postwar Japan, which otherwise might have experienced a catastrophe similar to the subsequent Korean War.
World War II was the most deadly event in human history. Some 60 million people perished in the six years between Germany’s surprise invasion of Poland on Sept. 1, 1939, and the official Japanese surrender on Sept. 2, 1945. No natural disaster – neither the flu pandemic of 1918 nor even the 14th-century bubonic plague that killed nearly two-thirds of Europe’s population – came close to the death toll of World War II. Perhaps 80 percent of the dead were civilians, mostly Russians and Chinese who died at the hands of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.
Both aggressors deliberately executed and starved to death millions of innocents.
World War II was also one of the few wars in history in which the losers, Japan and Germany, lost far fewer lives than did the winners. There were roughly five times as many deaths on the Allied side, both military and civilian, as on the Axis side.
It is fine for Secretary of State Kerry and President Obama to honor the Hiroshima and Nagasaki victims. But in a historical and moral sense, any such commemoration must be offered in the context of Japanese and German aggression.
Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan started the respective European and Pacific theaters of World War II with surprise attacks on neutral nations. Their uniquely barbaric war-making led to the deaths of some 50 million Allied soldiers, civilians and neutrals – a toll more than 500 times as high as that of Hiroshima.
This spring we should also remember those 50 million – and who was responsible for their deaths.
The world owes America gratitude for winning two world wars – and the Cold War. And for so much more that a book as long as the Obamacare act or the IRS’s tax rules could not contain all the reasons.
To generalize for a delightful moment of offensive political incorrectness: Germans notoriously lack a sense of humor.
Of course there have been, and are, some German humorists. But that there should be a national scandal, a huge legal controversy, even headlines across the world about a piece of humorous writing by a German in Germany, can only be astonishing.
It has happened.
Stefan Frank writes at Gatestone:
Who would have thought that there is still a law in Germany that makes “lèse majesté” (offending the dignity of a monarch) a punishable crime? And that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is now benefiting from just that – and that it could plunge Germany into a (further) “national crisis.”
The terms “national crisis” and “governmental crisis” have been coming up again and again. In light of all the massive problems Germany has, this one is about a poem in which a cabaret performer and comedian, Jan Böhmermann, recently insulted the Turkish President.
Erdogan has called for Böhmermann’s head and, as of last week, has Chancellor Merkel on his side.
The story began in March, when a German regional television station aired a music video during a satirical show, in which repression and human rights violations under Erdogan were pilloried in a humorous way. The Turkish government summoned the German ambassador and demanded that the video be removed from the internet and never be shown again. Germans thereby learned that the German ambassador is regularly summoned to Ankara – three times so far this year. According to reports, the Turkish government once complained about teaching material in Saxony’s schools that dealt with the Armenian genocide.
The revelation that Erdogan is so easy to insult inspired some people to see if they could go the extra mile. Cabaret artist Jan Böhmermann published an “Offensive Poem” (its actual title) on ZDF Neo, a tiny state-run entertainment TV channel with a market share of 1%. It contained speculations about the Turkish president’s digestive and sexual preferences. AFP reports that,
In his ‘libelous poem’, which, as comedian Jan Böhmermann smilingly announced on television, openly exceeds the limits of free speech in Germany, Böhmermann accused Erdogan of having sex with goats and sheep, among other things.
Böhmermann apparently mixed these unsubstantiated claims with (as an example) truthful statements on the oppression of minorities in Turkey (Erdogan wanted to “get Kurds, cut Christians,” he said).
In a preemptive surrender, which many Germans view as the real scandal, ZDF immediately deleted the broadcast from its Internet archives – before Erdogan could even complain. “The parody that satirically addresses the Turkish President does not meet the quality requirements the ZDF has in place for satire shows,” the station explained of this step. “For this reason, the passage was removed from the program.” This, as ZDF program director Norbert Himmler said, occurred “in consultation with Jan Böhmermann.” The limits of irony and satire were exceeded in this case
ZDF editors now criticize this course of action, and are asking for the piece to be accessible in the archives once again.
Chancellor Merkel – who is not otherwise known to react quickly to crises – tried to appease Erdogan shortly after the broadcast of the program. In a telephone conversation with Turkish Prime Minister Davutoglu, she called the poem “deliberately hurtful” and “unacceptable”. She probably hoped to settle things without having explicitly to apologize, which many Germans from across the political spectrum would resent. But Erdogan has no intention of settling down. He called for the criminal prosecution of Böhmermann. …
Laws, some of which date back to the German Empire, complicate the issue. Hardly any German has ever heard of them, but they have suddenly become relevant. In Germany, the term “abusive criticism” has primarily been familiar to lawyers; the fact that gross affronts are prohibited in Germany is probably obvious to many citizens. However, little known – and much less accepted – is a law from 1871, which makes the “slander of institutions and officials of foreign states” an offense carrying a penalty of up to five years in prison.
On April 14, Angela Merkel announced that she is granting the Turkish President’s demand for prosecution against Böhmermann – against the objections of her coalition partner, the Social Democratic Party (SPD).
In Germany, justice should decide such a case, not the government, says Merkel. But many commentators believe this justification to be hypocritical; after all, Erdogan supposedly already filed lawsuits as a private individual at the Court in Mainz. What Merkel will now enable is another court case for “lèse majesté.” The Berlin Tagesspiegel writes:
“The majority of Germans are against the fact that she [Merkel] is complying with Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s majesty demands in this way. ‘Majesty’ is, therefore, the appropriate term, because penal code section 103 from the year 1871 is for lèse majesté. So it comes from a time when we were still driving carriages and had an emperor. And the Turks had a sultan.”
Many also consider Merkel’s decision to be particularly absurd because on the same day, the Chancellor announced that she wants to abolish the law on lèse majesté “by 2018.”
Through her decision, Merkel signaled that the Turkish President’s “honor” is more important than that of normal German citizens, who can only take ordinary legal action when they are slandered, and who do not enjoy the privilege of an extended “protection of honor” for “princes.”
Erdogan has managed to extend what he already practices in Turkey to Germany. A few months ago, when nobody in Turkey had even heard of Jan Böhmermann, Die Welt reported:
Paragraph 299 of the Turkish Penal Code, which provides for imprisonment of up to four years for insulting the head of state, has become the most common political offense. As a CHP party inquiry revealed, 98 people were arrested for this reason in the first ten months of last year. 66 were indicted, and 15 were kept in custody. The number of preliminary proceedings is unknown; human rights activists estimate several hundred. ‘With these reactions, Erdogan shows how justified this criticism is,’ said CHP human rights politician Sezgin Tanrikulu of Die Welt. ‘A regime that responds to all criticism with criminal proceedings is moving toward a dictatorship’.
The Turkish penal code – now in Germany?
The Turkish government called the slander of Erdogan a “serious crime against humanity”. The choice of words is reminiscent of how Erdogan once acquitted Sudanese President Omar al Bashir of genocide allegations in Darfur: “Muslims cannot carry out genocide.” Erdogan at the time was expressing an attitude often widespread in the West: crimes are not crimes when Muslims commit them. This also seems to be the view of many German politicians and journalists; rarely is a Muslim despot or demagogue criticized in Germany, while at the same time, no one in Germany has any inhibitions about vilifying Christianity or the Church.
It is this double standard, among other things, that Mathias Döpfner, CEO of the major German publishing house, Axel Springer, denounced in an open letter to Böhmermann … In it, Döpfner calls for “solidarity with Jan Böhmermann.” He also writes:
First, I want to say: I think your poem succeeded. I laughed out loud. So it’s important to me to say that, because in the past few days, there hasn’t been a single article about your text – whether accusatory or taking your side – that didn’t first (and at the same time captatio benevolentiae) emphasize how tasteless and primitive and insulting your satire about Erdogan was.
According to Döpfner, it’s “as if you were to accuse a Formula 1 car manufacturer of having fast cars.” Being offensive is certainly the goal, and has a useful consequence: “It is very revealing what reactions your satire triggered. A focal point and a turning point.” Döpfner evokes various works by German artists, comedians, and cartoonists that are solely about mocking Christians and their faith. “When it comes to the provocation of religious or, more precisely, Christian feelings, anything goes in Germany,” says Döpfner. However, if someone offends Erdogan, that leads to “a kind of national crisis.”
Döpfner remembers how in Turkey, Erdogan proceeded against freedom of speech, minorities, and equality for women by force, and mentions the “excessive and reckless violence of the Turkish army” against the Kurds. Why, of all things, does insulting Erdogan cause such turbulence in Germany? Döpfner writes:
For the small compensation of three billion euros, Erdogan regulates the streams of refugees so that conditions do not get out of control in Germany. You have to understand, Mr. Böhmermann, that the German government apologized to the Turkish government for your insensitive remarks. In the current situation, they are simply ‘not helpful’ – artistic freedom or not. You could easily call it kowtowing. Or as Michel Houellebecq phrased it in the title of his masterpiece on the self-abandonment of the democratic Western world: submission.
Erdogan, who also campaigned in Germany during Turkish elections, appears to consider Germany an appendage of his Great Ottoman Empire. He calls out to Turks in Germany: “Assimilation is a crime against humanity.” He has great power in Germany. This is not only based on German organizations like the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB), which is controlled by the Turkish government, but above all on his ability to provoke upheaval in Germany if he wants. That Chancellor Merkel has delegated even more power to Erdogan in this situation, by imploring him to prevent hundreds of thousands of migrants in Turkey from heading for Europe, has made the situation even worse — particularly because she has explained over and over that this is the only solution to the migrant crisis.
Merkel considers it indecent when Europeans secure their own country’s borders based on current laws, but she gives Erdogan full reign to proceed with migrants at his discretion. …
Böhmermann’s television appearances were canceled; he fears for his life and is under police protection.
Muslims march in Germany, chanting “With Allah’s help we will conquer you!”
Watch the Third World marching in – and on – a demoralized First World:
Blatant hypocrisy is on full display, along with the menace. The law they are equal under is German law. But they want to replace it with sharia, under which women and non-Muslims are not treated equally with Muslim men.
In an article on the suicide of Europe, containing much we agree with, the excellent and erudite Victor Davis Hanson writes at the National Review:
Like atheism, childlessness reflects the assumption that ego-driven rationalism and satisfaction of the appetites are all there is and all that there ever will be.
And it is that point in particular that we want to discuss.
But first – the important points he makes:
Because of what Europe has become, it now has few viable choices in dealing with radical Islamic terrorism. Its dilemma is a warning to Americans that we should turn away from a similar path of national suicide.
After suffering serial terrorist attacks from foreign nationals and immigrants, a normal nation-state would be expected to make extraordinary efforts to close its borders and redefine its foreign policy in order to protect its national interests.
But a France or a Belgium is not quite a sovereign nation any more, and thus does not have complete control over its national destiny or foreign relations. As part of the European Union, France and Belgium have, for all practical purposes, placed their own security in the hands of an obdurate Angela Merkel’s Germany, which is hellbent on allowing without audit millions of disenchanted young Middle Eastern males into its territory, with subsequent rights of passage into any other member of the European Union that they wish. The 21st-century “German problem” is apparently not that of an economic powerhouse and military brute warring on its neighbors, but that of an economic powerhouse that uses its wealth and arrogant sense of social superiority to bully its neighbors into accepting its bankrupt immigration policies and green ideology.
The immigration policies of France and Belgium are unfortunately also de facto those of Greece. And a petulant and poor Greece, licking its wounds over its European Union brawl with northern-European banks, either cannot or will not control entrance into its territory — Europe’s window on the Middle East. No European country can take the security measures necessary for its own national needs, without either violating or ignoring EU mandates. That the latest terrorist murders struck near the very heart of the EU in Brussels is emblematic of the Union’s dilemma.
As far as America is concerned, a fossilized EU should remind us of our original and vanishing system of federalism, in which states were once given some constitutional room to craft laws and protocols to reflect regional needs — and to ensure regional and democratic input with checks and balances on statism through their representatives in Congress. Yet the ever-growing federal government — with its increasingly anti-democratic, politically correct, and mostly unaccountable bureaucracies — threatens to do to Americans exactly what the EU has done to Europeans. We already see how the capricious erosion of federal immigration law has brought chaos to the borderlands of the American Southwest. It is a scary thing for a federal power arbitrarily to render its own inviolable laws null and void — and then watch the concrete consequences of such lawlessness fall on others, who have been deprived of recourse to constitutional protections of their own existential interests.
Europe’s immigration policy is a disaster … Europeans — for a variety of 20th-century historical and cultural reasons — often are either ignorant of who they are or terrified about expressing their identities in any concrete and positive fashion. The result is that Europe cannot impose on a would-be newcomer any notion that consensual government is superior to the anarchy and theocracy of the Middle East, that having individual rights trumps being subjects of a dictator, that personal freedom is a better choice than statist tyranny, that protection of private property is a key to economic growth whereas law by fiat is not, and that independent judiciaries do not run like Sharia courts. It most certainly cannot ask of immigrants upon arrival that they either follow the laws of a society that originally made Europe attractive to them, or return home to live under a system that they apparently rejected.
All good so far. Then:
I omit for obvious reasons that few present-day Europeans believe that Christianity is much different from Islam, and apparently thus assume that terrorists might just as well be Christians.
But he hasn’t omitted it, has he? A bitter regret has stepped quietly into the article and lingers by the door – a regret that Europe has (broadly speaking) abandoned its religion.
He goes on, cogently again:
… In Europe, immigrants are political tools of the Left. The rapid influx of vast numbers of unassimilated, uneducated, poor, and often illegal newcomers may violate every rule of successful immigration policy. Yet the onrush does serve the purposes of the statist, who demagogues for an instantaneous equality of result. Bloc voters, constituents of bigger government, needy recipients of state largesse, and perennial whiners about inequality are all fodder for European multicultural leftists, who always seek arguments for more of themselves. …
Which is the case in America too. As he says:
The same phenomenon is with us in the United States … [where] importing the poor and the uneducated expands the Democratic constituency. …
The Western therapeutic mindset, which maintains that impoverished immigrants should instantly have what their hosts have always had, trumps the tragic view: that it is risky, dangerous, and sometimes unwise to leave one’s home for a completely alien world, in which sacrifice and self-reliance alone can make the gamble worthwhile — usually for a second generation not yet born.
Demography is Europe’s bane. One engine of unchecked immigration has been the need for more bodies to do the sorts of tasks that Europeans feel are no longer becoming of Europeans. …
Again that is also true of America.
But more curious is the reason why Europe is shrinking — the classic and primary symptom of a civilization in rapid decline.
Europeans are not having children for lots of reasons. A static and fossilized economy without much growth gives little hope to a 20-something European that he or she can get a good job, buy a home, have three children, and provide for those offspring lives with unlimited choices. Instead, the young European bides his time, satisfying his appetites, as a perpetual adolescent who lives in his parents’ flat, seeks to milk the system, and waits for someone to die at the tribal government bureau. After a lost decade, one hopes to hook up with some like soul in her or his late thirties.
The last eight years in the U.S. have seen an acceleration of the Europeanization of America’s youth.
Socialism … insidiously takes responsibility away from the individual and transfers it to the anonymous, but well-funded, state. … Why seek children and the honor of raising and protecting them when the state can provide all without the bother and direct expense? Why have a family or invest for the future, when the state promises a pleasant and politically correct old-age home?
Without a Second Amendment or much of a defense budget, Europeans not only divert capital to enervating social programs, but also have sacrificed any confidence in muscular self-protection, individual or collective.
Even postmodern nations remain collections of individuals. A state that will not or cannot protect its own interests is simply a reflection of millions of dead souls that do not believe in risking anything to ensure that they are safe — including their own persons and those of their family. Finally, Europe is Petronius’s Croton. It does not believe in any transcendence as reified by children or religion. If there is nothing but the here and now, then why invest one’s energy in children who live on after one dies? Like atheism, childlessness reflects the assumption that ego-driven rationalism and satisfaction of the appetites are all there is and all that there ever will be.
Europe’s perfect storm is upon us. A shrinking, statist, and agnostic society that does not believe in transcendence, either familial or religious, is now in a war with near neighbors of a very different sort. In the Middle East, the fundamentalists are growing in numbers, and they most certainly do believe that their own lives are nothing in comparison to the Phoenix-like resurrection of their Caliphate and the sensual pleasures in the hereafter that will reward their martial sacrifices in the here and now. Of all the many reasons why immigrants to Europe so often dislike their generous hosts, the simplest may be because they so easily can.
… It would take another St. Jerome (“All were born in captivity and siege, and do not desire the liberty they never knew. Who could believe this?”) to chronicle the Western tragedy.
As a general rule, whatever Europe is now doing, we should do the opposite — for our very survival in an increasingly scary world.
So, an article saying much that needs to be said.
But we come back to this: Europe “does not believe in any transcendence as reified by children or religion. If there is nothing but the here and now, then why invest one’s energy in children who live on after one dies? Like atheism, childlessness reflects the assumption that ego-driven rationalism and satisfaction of the appetites are all there is and all that there ever will be.” And: ” A shrinking, statist, and agnostic society that does not believe in transcendence, either familial or religious, is now in a war with near neighbors of a very different sort.”
His argument is that Europeans now do not think, or feel, or believe that there is any larger purpose to be served than the achievement of their own private personal ambitions and pleasures; no goals beyond their own individual lives worth putting their energies into. Previous generations believed they had a posterity in their children, the continuation of their families; and/or in the immortality of their nation; and/or in a spiritual afterlife.
And that is true. They did.
Then their nations were taken away from them, blended into a monstrous political entity called the European Union. What Frenchman, or Italian, or Englishman will ever say: “Breathes there a man with soul so dead/ Who never to himself has said/ This is mine own, my native … European Union”?
And what of their losing the desire for descendants? That’s harder to explain. In addition to the fading away of marriage, the dread of the expense of children, the shrinking from the emotional risk of entering into the responsibilities of relationships, there is a much larger source of discouragement; what one might call a cosmic despair: our knowledge of global doom. By “global doom” I don’t mean “global warming”, but the certainty that this world in which we exist and act, will one day itself cease to exist. It may be only in about 3 billion years that the final doom will come upon it, but go it will, for sure.
Whether or not those explanations are the right ones – perhaps among many others – it is a fact that Europeans are not having enough children to ensure the survival of their nations, even if they were to take back national sovereignty from the bureaucratic dictatorship of the EU.
This means they are discarding the future, as individuals and as a bridging generation between their nation’s yesterday and tomorrow. And because they have no future to work or build for – what have they to defend? So when another culture, a savage culture that arose and remains in the ignorant Dark Ages and knows nothing of the physical destiny of this planet, invades their continent, and increases with many children, and believes that making war ensures their endless and dominant continuation on earth and immortal happiness after death, there is nothing effective standing in its way. No one to bar the gates. No one to fight back. The imaginary spokesman of the dying European culture with no stake in the future says, “Come in, if you want to. Take what you want. Do as you will. I won’t be around much longer to know or care what happens here.” (“A shrinking, statist, and agnostic society that does not believe in transcendence, either familial or religious, is now in a war with near neighbors of a very different sort.”)
Hanson suggests that the Europeans’ discarding of the future, and consequent abandonment of the greatest civilization the human race has ever attained, is not only tragic – which it is – but also immoral. He implies this by adding to the causes – familial, national – that kept European Man going for centuries, the cause of religion. He plainly considers it a highly desirable thing that human beings should believe that their time on earth is not the whole of their existence. He believes in an afterlife as formulated in Christian doctrine. The quality of that afterlife for each individual may depend on how the individual Christian behaves in his earthly life. Hoping for heaven, he will be good according to the precepts of his faith. (Now that is true of Catholics, whose church allows that good works as well as “the grace of God” can bring one to heaven. But many Protestant sects, most notably Calvinists and Lutherans, teach that only God decides your eternal destination, and he does that even before you are born, so what you do can make not a jot of difference to the iron ruling. The only encouragement such churches offer the faithful is that if you live dutifully, obedient to the commandments of your God, you will be perceived as a person destined for heaven, and thus perceived, you may live in hope.)
One way or another, Christianity – Hanson seems to assume – helped Europeans be strong in defense of their inheritance, prolific in procreation to ensure their posterity, and above all continent in their appetites for the hope of heaven.
And that may very well have been true. But we deny that lack of religious belief now is a cause of the self-inflicted doom of Europe. It seems plain to us that lack of interest in this life – beyond personal attainment and pleasure – is at work.
Atheism does not assume that “ego-driven rationalism and satisfaction of the appetites are all there is and all that there ever will be”. Some atheists might assume it, but there is nothing about atheism that logically involves any such assumption.
Atheists are more likely to strive harder in this life to know, to achieve, to build, to love and hate, defend and attack, as well as to think and enjoy, than those who believe that their final, greater, and possibly happier destiny is in another world. Atheists who learn and build are very likely to want descendants to continue their discoveries, further their achievements, and add to their works, since only those they beget and what they bequeath will survive their death.
By that reasoning, atheism could have been the salvation of Europe. We might propose that far from the loss of Christianity dooming the European nations, it is the legacy of Christianity as self-abasement, non-resistance to evil, the choice of self-sacrifice, and the love of martyrdom that has primed Europeans through their inherited moral culture to let this death happen to them. And if that is so, what we are seeing is the logical end of Christian history in the age of science.
But as the Christian religion peters out in disbelief, its acolytes perish unresisting at the hands of other – passionate – believers.
Now if only Muslims could be persuaded to abandon their faith, their belief that they must conquer and subdue all others and gain an afterlife in paradise … what then? Europeans might still be dying out, but at least not in agony and terror.
Some sane Europeans are making slight efforts to resist the Muslim onslaught which threatens, all too plausibly, to overwhelm the continent and destroy its civilization.
It’s good to see resistance, but unless it expands rapidly into a vast movement, it is too little, too late.
Stephen Brown, writing at Front Page, tells the story of a small effort, made by one university in Germany, to try and assert the European value of tolerance over the continual exploitation of it by intolerant Muslims.
While Western civilization often caves in nowadays to demonstrations of Islamic supremacy one small, appeasing step at a time, a European academic institution firmly stood its ground recently and upheld Western values against one such Islamist test probe.
The Technical University of Dortmund (TUD) in Germany, finally had enough of Muslim students bullying others, especially women, after the former had taken over for a prayer room an area the university had set aside as a quiet space for all students. Located in the physics building, TUD recently closed the facility. …
The university had originally intended the room to be a “religion and world-view neutral” space to accommodate students of different faiths attending TUD from around the world. …
But instead of relieving stress, the TUD’s well-intentioned idea was rather to cause a lot of it.
University officials may have been unfamiliar with the doctrine of Islamic supremacy, which claims the superiority of Islam over all other religions, when they made the decision to open such a facility. Along with the equality-of-faiths-be-damned attitude, inherent in Islamic supremacism is also a condemnation of a fundamental, underlying value of Western civilization, that of tolerance.
In America, Omar Ahad, a co-founder of the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), probably summed up best the Islamic supremacist doctrine. When making a speech in California, he stated: “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth.”
But if the TUD administration was familiar with the Islamic supremacy doctrine, one must then ask why it would even proceed with this experiment in the first place without safeguards in place? There would obviously be problems with fundamentalist Muslim students possessing supremacist notions. They would definitely not miss an opportunity like this to demonstrate their belief in their religion’s superiority and launch a test of strength. …
It wasn’t long before they did so, storing their prayer rugs there and violating the university’s usage rules for the space. Probably hoping to avoid confrontation, the administration naively reacted to the Muslim students’ aggressive actions by placing a couch and a bookshelf in the room [to signal “this is no prayer room”]. …
But in dealing with Islamic supremacists, such feeble measures are doomed to failure. In fact, it was possibly because of the university’s weak, initial reaction to their power probe that, according to the newspaper Die Welt, the supremacists just got “obviously more radical”.
Visitors complained that Muslim students blocked off more than half the room and had used a large picture hanging on the wall to do so. This, apparently, was done to segregate the sexes. The noise from the Muslim students’ praying also kept the “Quiet Room” from being quiet. Besides prayer rugs, Korans were also stored there with one left out in the open. Besides the Koran, “flyers in Arabic and instructional pamphlets in German” were displayed. …
But it was the Muslim students’ actions towards women that appears to have been the final straw in the university’s decision to close the facility. … Women were instructed to wear headscarves … [and] told they could not wear perfume in the room. And female visitors were “repeatedly intercepted” at the door by male Muslims who told them they could only use the room’s smaller part.
“The room was also divided by curtains into a bright area for men and a dark one for women,” Die Welt reported, the smaller, darker area perhaps unwittingly symbolising the Islamist attitude towards women. …
What was happening was a violation of the law regarding the equal treatment of men and women. …
The expected Muslim student reaction to the university’s decision was not long in coming. More than four hundred signed a petition, demanding the room’s re-opening, protesting its “rigorous and unarranged” closing, indicating they should have been consulted first. They also regarded “these forms of disrespect as discrimination”. Which should surprise no one. When Islamists fail to get their way, accusations of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim racism are almost sure to follow.
But to its credit, TUD’s administration did not wring its hands in anxiety over the charge of discrimination, and then cave in to the petition’s demand, as other Western universities would have done. Instead, its office of the chancellor shot back with a “detailed” letter of its own, telling the Muslim students the room was closed because they were breaking the rules in their use of it. Moreover, in Germany they would have to abide by German law regarding equality.
“We gladly take up your notes regarding the meaning of integration and allow ourselves to add that this includes a knowledge and acceptance of the valid laws in the Federal Republic of Germany, to which we are all bound,” the letter read. The missive also quoted for the Muslim students’ benefit Article 3 of the German Constitution that stipulates equality, especially “equal rights for men and women”. These rights, the administration made clear, “are a sacrosanct, core area in it”.
So far, no answer has been received to the university’s response. …
As for the Islamic supremacists, the room’s closing represents only a partial failure. While they could not appropriate the room for their own purposes, the supremacists could still be viewed, in some respects, as victorious. By causing the room’s closure, they still determined its use, or non-use, in this case. If it couldn’t be a Muslim prayer room under Muslim control and rules, then the supremacists are probably satisfied with the fact that they have prevented any other faith from using and enjoying it. In this respect, their dominance behaviour was successfully established.
Which is really what Islamic supremacy is all about.
European governments “may have been unfamiliar with the doctrine of Islamic supremacy”, its absolute intolerance, when they started the process – now accelerating – of importing millions of Muslims into Europe.
But what sort of excuse is that?
Why did they not inform themselves? Find out what it would mean to do such a thing? What the consequences would be?
And if they did know, then what was their aim?
What is the mysterious cause of Europe’s determining to destroy itself?
Guilt and shame? Europe has much to feel guilty and ashamed about. But not nearly as much as the Second and Third Worlds have – without it bothering them in the least.
Boredom? There’s a fat treatise to be written about that possibility.
Blind stupidity? Not to be ruled out.
Getting tired of power? Tired of greatness?
Nations can surely grow tired of power and greatness just as individuals can.
Whatever the cause or causes, Europe is slowly committing suigenocide. (To coin a legitimately constructed word.)
Digging its own grave. Where quietness and equality are forever to be found.
It’s an undertaking without precedent in history.