How the Clintons deal drugs 1

Giving charity is the Clintons’ business. It is enormously profitable for them.  

How do they make their “giving”, through a “non-profit” foundation they own, into a phenomenally enriching enterprise?

We have told how in these posts: The great good works and wonky dilemmas of William J. Clinton, April 18, 2015; Floating up now from a sewer named Clinton, April 23, 2015; What needs to be known about the Clintons’ charities, April 25, 2015; Touched by the Clintons, May 1, 2015; The Clintons’ blood money, May 26, 2016. (Put any title – preferably all in sequence – in our search slot to get the low-down, which is very low indeed.)

Here’s more.

The Washington Examiner reports:

Under [Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s] leadership, at least a handful of the State Department’s global health efforts relied on drug companies that were also major Clinton Foundation donors in arrangements that raise questions about the distance Clinton kept from her family’s philanthropy. …

There is absolutely no connection between anything that I did as secretary of state and the Clinton Foundation.

She said. As usual, she was lying.

However, the same pharmaceutical firms that donated to the Clinton Foundation and sought the foundation-funded contracts Clinton described were also lobbying the State Department at the same time as some pursued taxpayer-funded contracts to do similar work. Executives at those companies have also contributed heavily to Clinton’s presidential campaign, complicating her attempts to attack the pharmaceutical industry as a political “enemy” akin to Republicans. …

The Clinton Health Access is just one of several charities operating within the sprawling philanthropic network known as the Clinton Foundation. Others include the Clinton Global Initiative, the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership and the Clinton Family Foundation. In some cases, the distinctions between which nonprofits are separate entities and which are offshoots of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation are unclear.

For example, the Clinton Global Initiative was peeled off from the larger Clinton Foundation in 2009 and operated as an individual charity until Clinton left the State Department in 2013, at which point it was rolled back into the main organization.

The confusing structure can make tracing the precise destination of donations to the foundation a difficult task. However, donor records show major pharmaceutical firms — including Pfizer, Merck & Co., and Sanofi — have written generous checks to the Clinton Foundation.

In its 2008 annual report, for instance, the Clinton Global Initiative touted a partnership with Merck to provide rotavirus vaccines to infants in Nicaragua. Shortly before that, the drug corporation was rocked by Brazil’s decision to strip Merck of a patent on HIV drugs in order to open its markets to cheaper generic versions of the medication.

So Merck took a knock, asked Hillary and help, and got it:

During Clinton’s first year at the agency, Merck lobbied the State Department to ease regulations restricting the distribution of its drugs “in certain Latin American markets,” according to lobbying disclosure forms from 2009. That placed the drug company’s international interests squarely on Clinton’s desk. By June of that year, her staff was collecting press clips on a $75 million partnership with Merck, funded by the State Department, to reduce childbirth-related deaths in Africa.

Wasn’t that nice of Hillary?

The Norwegian government had pledged a matching $75 million to the initiative, which was spearheaded by Clinton.

She deserved a little reward, wouldn’t you say?

She got it:

The government of Norway has also donated heavily to the Clinton Foundation, giving up to $25 million to the nonprofit.

She found partnering with Norway great fun, greatly lucrative:

In fact, Clinton’s emails suggest she even asked members of her State Department staff to facilitate a Norwegian donation to a foundation project, the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.

The clean cookstoves project served as a clear example of the blurred lines between Clinton’s foundation and State Department work.

In 2010, the secretary of state herself took the stage at the glitzy annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative and announced the State Department’s commitment to the clean cookstoves alliance, which sought to reduce dependence on cookstoves for heating and cooking in developing countries.

Led by Clinton, the Obama administration poured $105 million into the clean cookstoves project.

She delivered for Merck:

As a senator, Clinton had reportedly written a letter urging the Department of Health and Human Services to approve Merck’s human papillomavirus vaccine in 2005.

By 2011, under her purview at the State Department, the U.S. government had teamed up with Merck to provide that same HPV vaccine to women in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa. The initiative was set to cost $75 million.

And for Pfizer:

In Aug. 2009, the Clinton Health Access Initiative announced it had negotiated a deal with Pfizer to provide HIV medications across the developing world at a price that was marked down by 60 percent. That same year, Pfizer was also lobbying Clinton’s State Department in its interests, as it did every year of her tenure, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Pfizer gave up to $5 million to the Clinton Foundation, donor records show.

The pharmaceutical giant wrote a large check to the State Department to sponsor the U.S. pavilion at the 2010 World’s Fair in Shanghai. The expo was a priority early in Clinton’s term for political reasons, and the former secretary of state tapped her vast donor network to foot the entire $60 million bill during her first year at the State Department.

In 2012, Pfizer teamed up with the U.S. Agency for International Development, an arm of the State Department, for a major purchase of contraceptive drugs that were to be distributed to three million women.

Executives from Pfizer have also donated heavily to Clinton’s presidential campaign.

The well-connected charity has weathered controversy for the pattern of preferential treatment that seemed to flow from the State Department to the most generous of foundation contributors, be they pharmaceutical giants or oil conglomerates, since Clinton launched her bid for the White House last year.

Many of those same donors line Clinton’s campaign coffers today.

But the Democratic nominee continues to downplay criticism of her family’s philanthropy on the increasingly limited occasions she is asked about it.

Earlier this week, a report detailing financial entanglements among Hillary Clinton’s State Department, Russia and 17 companies that had either donated to the Clinton Foundation or paid former President Bill Clinton for a speech reignited the political perlustration of foundation activities that has come to define the nonprofit’s public profile.

Russia? Oh, yes.

Our next post will be about Hillary Clinton and Vladimir Putin.

The consensual rape of Europe 4

Brussels wants more Muslim immigrants!

The Express – asking in its headline “Is he mad? –  reports:

Dimitris Avramopoulos urged EU nations to open up their borders to more migrants despite the current chaos, which has seen millions of migrants force their way across Europe.

Who’s he? He is the EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship. His office is in Brussels, the capital of the European Union.

He knows about the recent acts of mass murder carried out by Muslim immigrants in that city.

But Dimitris Avramopoulos doesn’t give a damn.   

Brussels is devising plans to take in MORE people. …

The document – know as a communication – shockingly points out that the EU wants to carve out more legal pathways for migrants to encourage them to come to Europe.

It states:

European countries will continue to stand steadfast in meeting their legal and moral commitment to those who need protection from war and persecution.”

And there’s more evidence of Europe’s lust for martyrdom from the MailOnline, which reports:

Male Norwegian politician raped by asylum seeker says he feels guilty that his attacker will now be deported because the man might suffer back in Somalia.

The Norwegian politician, Karsten Nordal Hauken, was raped by a Somali asylum seeker. The rapist was convicted and deported after serving his sentence.

Nordal Hauken writes that he feels sorry for his attacker.

Karsten Nordal Hauken was raped in his home and the perpetrator was subsequently caught and jailed for 4.5 years. However, when Nordal Hauken found out that the man was to be deported back to Somalia after serving his time, he reveals he felt guilt that the man would possibly face hardship in his old country.

Nordal Hauken describes himself as a “young Socialist Left Party member, feminist and anti-racist”.  

The politician reveals that he struggled to come to terms with being a heterosexual male rape victim, and subsequently self-medicated with alcohol and cannabis.

“I am a heterosexual man who was raped by a Somalian asylum seeker,” Nordal Hauken writes for NRK [the Norwegian government-owned radio and television public broadcasting company]. “My life fell into ruin, but now I feel guilty about him being sent out of the country.”

He reveals how he was called up by the prison shortly before the perpetrator was to be deported to Somalia, having served 4.5 years in prison for the rape.

‘I felt relief and happiness that he would be gone forever. I felt the Norwegian State had taken responsibility to carry out the ultimate revenge, like an angry father confronting it’s child’s attacker. But I also had a strong feeling of guilt and responsibility. I was the reason that he would not be in Norway anymore, but rather sent to a dark uncertain future in Somalia. I see him mostly like a product of an unfair world, a product of an upbringing marked by war and despair.

Not as an adult individual responsible for his own actions.

It is not hard to find explanation for why Europe is dying.

It is killing itself out of bureaucratic lunacy institutionalized in the EU, and nauseating sentimentality – both of which it mistakes for moral obligation so compelling as to be worth dying for.

 

(Hat-tip for the Mail link to our Facebook commenter John Bobbitt)

How “democratic socialism” blighted Scandinavia 4

The enthusiasm among the expensively under-educated first-time voters for old-time socialist Bernie Sanders, is probably stoked by his (fingers-crossed-behind-his-back) promises to give them “free” college education. Among other goodies. All absolutely free, dropping from the heavens as it were. And as he calls himself a  “democratic socialist”, and tells them that Denmark, Sweden and Norway are extremely happy democratic socialist countries with perfectly sound economies –  why, what could go wrong if they put him in power and he has that wonderful system do for them what it’s done for those happy Scandinavians?

Margin note: Since politicians seldom if ever fulfill their promises, and never have to pay any price for not doing so, but know that promises always garner votes, we wonder why every ambitious candidate doesn’t offer free everything-he-can-think-of. Free college education for all of course – and free iPhones and free computers. That much goes without saying. But why not also: free houses, free cars (two for a family), free month-long vacations twice yearly … ? And … mmm … what else? Free yachts? No. Perhaps that would be going too far. Might raise a little twinge of doubt. But for the slightly older voter, what do you say to guaranteed paid paternal leave of say a month? Maternal leave of say six months? And who’s for a guaranteed income of [pause to think of a fairly preposterous figure] say $100,000 per annum? You see? That guy has your vote, hasn’t he? What fools we’d be not to vote for him. And if he doesn’t take everybody in, if some pause and wonder how the funding would actually be worked (absent bounty from the lord of the universe), his pitch will have the excellent result of getting the doubters at least to start asking the questions that lead men in desperate times to Real Economics.

But to return to Bernie Sanders and “democratic socialism”. It’s not what he would have them think it is.

Ray DiLorenzo writes at Canada Free Press:

Since democratic candidates Bernie Sanders and, to a lesser degree, Hillary Clinton, point to Sweden, Denmark and Norway as models of democratic socialism, let’s examine where they are today.  …

Denmark has the highest level of private debt in the world.  More than half of Danes use the black market to obtain goods and services.  The number of people below the poverty line has doubled in the past 10 years. Denmark’s schools, according to the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) lag behind even the UK’s. If you need emergency medical service, you need to make an appointment.  Cancer rates are among the highest in the world and [the Danes’] use of anti-depressants is the 2nd highest on the planet. Denmark has become a quasi police state.  Police are not required to display their ID numbers or give you their names.  Denmark has plenty of racists, pedophiles, crooks, drug addicts, you name it … and, the trains don’t run on time. Denmark, as of late, has tilted to the right.  With welfare abuse, an eroding work ethic and social order, something had to be done.

Sweden had been poor for much of the 19th century until they turned to free-market capitalism around 1870.  They became rich, and, in fact, between 1870 and 1936, they had the highest growth rate in the industrialized world.  By the 1960s, Sweden made a hard left turn, raising taxes, welfare payments and discouraging entrepreneurship. In 1975, Sweden was the 4th wealthiest nation on earth; by 1993, it had dropped to 14th. In Sweden, the effective tax rate, in some circumstances, had reached 100%.  IKEA founder, Ingvar Kamprad, fled Sweden in 1973.  Sweden came up with a scheme to confiscate corporate profits and give them to labor unions.  The idea was to have a market economy without entrepreneurs and capitalists.  Of course, job creation, wages and opportunity plummeted.

Until recently, Norway has resisted change to a market economy.  In 1999, the former social democrat Minister of Business, Bjorn Rosengren, called Norway, “the last Soviet state”.  But Norway now is gradually shifting from a full-boat welfare state to a system that rewards work and investment.

What Bernie Sanders has failed to mention, in his sales effort for democratic socialism, is that almost all European nations, including Scandinavia have seen a dramatic fall of support for socialism and now have adopted policies of free-market capitalism and individual responsibility. Sanders’ and Clinton’s idea of democratic socialism and its illusion of prosperity peaked about twenty years ago.  The affluence, high levels of income equality, long life and good health, all pre-date the welfare state.  Much of what Scandinavia had enjoyed is now at risk due to the welfare state, not because of it.

Generous welfare programs can stifle the work ethic, honesty, innovation and entrepreneurship of even the most ambitious among us. The Democratic Socialists, in essence, have run out of other people’s money, and ideas.

Posted under Denmark, Norway, Socialism, Sweden by Jillian Becker on Saturday, February 27, 2016

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The red, the green, and the white man walking 0

In September 2015, Sanders’s presidential campaign received the support of the former Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers, who wrote: “I believe that among the Sanders supporters there are thousands who are dissatisfied, who are disgruntled, but who do not have a coherent left analysis, who therefore are open to our ideas as they weren’t before they got involved in the Sanders surge. … So, why don’t we join a Sanders local campaign or go to a mass rally? … We could have lists of places and projects where anarchists and others are working with people in projects that are using anarchist and community participatory ideas and vision. Places where Bernie supporters might get involved once they knew about them.”

That paragraph and the following come from Discover the Networks:

In his first public speech as a presidential candidate in Burlington, Vermont, in May 2015, Bernie Sanders broadly laid out the major planks of his campaign’s agenda:

  • He declared that financial inequality “is immoral, it is bad economics, it is unsustainable”. 
  • Vowing to send “a message to the billionaire class”, he said: “You can’t have huge tax breaks [for the rich] while children in this country go hungry … while there are massive unmet needs on every corner…. Your greed has got to end…. You cannot take advantage of all the benefits of America if you refuse to accept your responsibilities.”
  • He pledged to enact “a tax system that is fair and progressive, which tells the wealthiest individuals and the largest corporations that they are going to begin to pay their fair share”.
  • He claimed that “the current federal [hourly] minimum wage of $7.25 is a starvation wage and must be raised … to $15.00 an hour”.
  • He described the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) as a “modest” step in the direction of rightfully forcing the U.S. to “join the rest of the industrialized world and guarantee health care to all as a right”.  “And we must do it through a Medicare-for-all, single payer health plan,” he explained.
  • He called for “pay equity for women workers”, and “paid sick leave and guaranteed vacation time for every worker in this country”.
  • Describing the rising costs of a college education as “insane”, he vowed to “fight to make tuition in public colleges and universities free, as well as substantially lower interest rates on student loans”.
  • He pledged to “expand Social Security benefits” and mandate “a universal pre-K system for all the children of this country”. 
  • Asserting that “there is nothing more important” than fighting global warming, he said: “The debate is over. The scientific community has spoken in a virtually unanimous voice. Climate change is real, it is caused by human activity, and it is already causing devastating problems in our country and throughout the world.” He elaborated that in the absence of government intervention, America would inevitably see “more drought, more famine, more rising sea level, more floods, more ocean acidification, [and] more extreme weather disturbances”, in the absence of government intervention.
  • He called for the government to use taxpayer dollars to rebuild America’s “crumbling infrastructure” by repairing “our roads, our bridges, our water systems, our rail and airports”.
  • He would begin this process by working to advance, in the Senate, a five-year, $1 trillion bill that he himself had proposed, claiming that it “would create and maintain 13 million good paying jobs”.

Bernie Sanders has an older brother, Larry, who says that Bernie is a “genuine socialist”.

We know about Larry from Nico Hines, who writes a quite sympathetic – even affectionate – profile of him at the Daily Beast:

[Larry Sanders is] a soft-spoken man, who has been calmly explaining his little brother’s sudden political success from his sun-drenched kitchen table in Oxford [England]. …

If Bernie is able to ride the recent surge in support all the way to the White House, Larry says he would go big — no matter what Congress, the usual conventions or even the majority of the Democratic Party might say.

“He’ll flex his muscles,” Larry said. “I mean this is not cowboy stuff, there are very intricate constitutional discussions, [but] he won’t hesitate, if he thinks he’s got the constitutional power to do something—he will do it.”

If that’s a warning to those who think President Obama has been guilty of constitutional overreach, he also has one for Democrats who would try to moderate a Sanders presidency. … Bernie wants to revolutionize politics, but he also specifically wants to revolutionize the Democratic Party.

There is no doubt that Larry was a formative influence on Bernie, who is six years his junior. When Larry was at college studying Marx and Hegel, Bernie was still at high school. “Sometimes I would tell Bernard about something I’d heard about or read about so I think he did get — at a much younger age than most people — an idea of political thought. So I think I did help him get started,” he said. “He has given me credit — not all the credit.”

As a radical member of the Young Democrats in the 1950s, Larry was already attracting political attention within the student body. “I do recall a Republican club paper called me ‘an obese socialist’, ” he said, laughing. “And I wasn’t even very fat then!”

Last week, Larry was appointed health spokesman for the left-wing Green Party in England. He had been an active member of the Labour Party in the 1980s, but he grew disillusioned once Tony Blair had taken the party into the center ground.

He is far more impressed with Jeremy Corbyn — the hard left campaigner who won a shock election to become the new leader of the Labour Party last year. Many have pointed out the similarities between the two men [Bernie, that is, and Jeremy], even though British politics is centered considerably to the left of the American mainstream — and Corbyn is way out to the left of that.

Larry isn’t so sure that his brother is more moderate, however. “Bernard is a genuine socialist in his sense of class warfare — that he thinks there is not a national interest so much as there is an interest with sectors of the population,” he said. “In that sense, his passion and the sense of conflict between the major owners and the rest of the population is very socialist — as socialist as Corbyn.”

Some of the Corbynistas have been helping Larry and the “London for Bernie” organization to raise awareness about the global primary, which allows Americans abroad to send delegates — and even some super delegates — to the Democratic convention. Larry said Corbyn supporters within the Labour Party had helped to arrange for UNITE, Britain’s largest union, to allow Bernie’s supporters to hold events in their buildings for free. The union confirmed that the group used its rooms without charge. The move might be a violation of U.S. campaign finance law depending on who was involved, according to the former general counsel for the Federal Election Commission.

Bernie has always told his brother that the cause of socialism, or social democracy, is more important than his own career.

Who put in “or social democracy”? It is extremely unlikely that Bernie has “always” told his brother that his is “the cause of social democracy”. That’s his claimed cause as he fights in the Democratic Party for the presidential nomination. His long career shows his cause to have been a deeper shade of red.  

“What he said to me very clearly was: ‘I don’t mind running and making a fool of myself, I’ve been humiliated before — I’ll go back to doing the job I love[as Senator], no big sweat, but if I do badly then everyone will say: ‘See, I told you, nobody is interested in that crap.’ And for a generation those ideas and the millions of people he thinks need those ideas will be wiped out,” Larry said.

He would not have run if he thought he would damage the cause — ‘I think I can make a respectable showing’ — that was his decision. I’m not sure that he thought he could win.”

Bernie Sanders has already surpassed the “respectable showing” stage, he has the Clinton camp on the hop, and the latest polling suggests that he has closed a 40-point deficit to come within the margin of error in Nevada.

Larry says he always had faith in his brother but he uses the word “astonishing” over and over again to describe the events of the last six months.

Bernie likes to praise the Scandinavian countries as “democratic socialist” models,

Here, in a 2013 video, Stefan Molyneaux talks about the Myth of Scandinavian Socialism.

We don’t agree with all his opinions, but find the facts he presents interesting: 

Posted under communism, Denmark, History, Leftism, Norway, Soviet Union, Sweden, Totalitarianism, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, February 20, 2016

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The black flag of Sweden 3

Increasingly in recent years, European governments, NGOs, universities, and media organizations have been handing over positions of power to Muslim immigrants and their children …

So writes Bruce Bawer, who lives in Norway, in an article at Front Page on Norway’s conquest and colonization by Islam. It is conquest by invitation. Has such a thing ever happened before?

And this is from Breitbart, by Virginia Hale:

Sweden prides itself on being a “humanitarian superpower”, and it displays and polishes its halo via granting asylum, almost no questions asked, to anyone who claims to be from dangerous parts of the world. The country, with a population of eight million, is now taking more than 100,000 refugees per annum and it’s rising 20% year on year.

The country has a zero-tolerance attitude towards any scepticism of the country’s masochistic levels of immigration and politicians constantly denigrate native Swedes and their culture.

Mona Sahlin, a former leader of the currently ruling Social Democrats said she hated anything Swedish and that Swedes were jealous of immigrants because they have “a culture, an identity, a history” and that Swedes don’t, and Sweden’s previous Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said, last December, that Sweden belongs to immigrants, and not to Swedes.

Well, in less than 10 years, that will be literally true.

Multicultural Sweden is very different from the rainbow paradise Sweden likes to pretend, but the debate on immigration is so toxic that to criticise or question any aspect of it is toattract the attention of the violent “anti-fascist” thugs AFA and the self-proclaimed “Swedish Stasi”, Researchgruppen.

Sweden’s insanely thuggish “anti-fascist” organisations carry out their punishments of supposed “intolerant” and “hateful” people – basically anyone who questions Sweden’s current immigration policies, and members of the Sweden Democrats party which is just so obscenely fascist and offensive its immigration policy is to suggest it be brought in line with the rest of Scandinavia.

After AFA invaded an SD candidate’s home, beat him and carved a swastika on his forehead with a knife, ex-Prime Minister Reinfeldt said SD supporters “should not be surprised when things like this happen” because of their politics.

What is particularly bizarre is that even SD supporters and critics of Sweden’s immigration policy who are not ethnic Swedes are not immune to this kind of brutality either. Sweden Report, a blog by an American writer living in Sweden, gave an example of  this ludicrosity – that “anti-fascists” beat Nima Gholam Ali Pour, a politician of foreign descent, because of his membership of the Sweden Democrats party. He describes the incongruous scene:

Let’s just pause there for a second and ponder a very simple scene: A group of masked young white Swedes are kicking a dark-skinned man lying on the ground. But this is not a hate crime. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The masked white Swedes are doing a good and noble thing for the antifascist cause, because the dark-skinned man on the ground is a contemptible racist.

Native Swedes tend to live in areas away from areas inhabited by migrants and so are removed from the fact that their immigration policies are actually harming the people – genuine asylum seekers fleeing persecution in the Middle East – they say they’re wanting to help.

Conservative newspaper Svenska Dagbladet carried a guest column by Swedish-Assyrian journalist Nuro Kino, who has won awards for his reporting on human rights issues highlighting the plight of minorities in Iraq and Syria. In his article he describes a trip to a Syrian man’s hairdressing salon where the hairdresser and other men in the salon, Christian Syrians and Assyrians who had fled religious persecution, voice passionate opposition to the Swedes’ policy of giving refugees purporting to be from Syria automatic permanent residency.

The men brandish an iPhone playing a video of the funeral of a religious leader, a black Islamic flag being flown by a man in the procession who vows, “We will do our utmost to fulfil your dream of an Islamic State!” and express horror that this is happening in Sweden.

One of the men recounts his cousin bumped into the al-Nusra member who killed his brother, in a nightclub in Sweden.  One asks “What’s with the Swedes? Why does not the government do anything? Why are these people not in jail? Will they really get to threaten us and get away with it? Anyone wishing for an Islamist state in Sweden will also demand that we all bow down to Islam or die, whether you are a Muslim who refuses to follow the extremists, Christian or atheist. That’s what we have fled!”

Another unfortunate incident, reported by Swedish daily newspaper Borås Tidning and translated by blogger Swedish Surveyor, took place in a Swedish language school for immigrants at the end of last month. Emergency services had to be called because a Muslim student told students to be quiet because “Allah forbids us from laughing.” Having given this glimpse of the sort of diversity he was going to be enriching the country with he proceeded to point at a woman and tell her, “You are a Christian, that is not good. Here everyone shall be Muslim and wear a veil.” … It emerged that the student had behaved in this way for some time, and though he was investigated by police and Sweden has incredibly stringent “hate crime” laws, the politically correct Swedish police decided that his actions did not constitute a crime.

The Swedes’ ever universalist outlook means they have kidded themselves to think they can allow huge swathes of people from war-torn countries to live in Sweden, indiscriminately, and that people will come to enjoy the illusory paradise of a multicultural society rather than bringing their wars and poverty to Sweden with them.

Their fear of being accused of Islamophobia has resulted in a system in which extreme behavior goes unchallenged, which has led to their job agency’s “assimilation guides” being found to be recruiting for ISIS, and their multicultural centre’s “expert on Islamophobia”, an Islamic convert, going on to defect to the Islamic State.

It may not be absurd to ask: how long will it be before ISIS takes over the government of Sweden? Of Norway? Of Western Europe? …

Posted under Islam, jihad, Muslims, Norway, Sweden by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, December 22, 2015

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Why the New Left won the Cold War 8

If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that men have to reject.             – Ayn Rand

The political philosophy of the New Left is weak, shallow, and in its expression by some of its gurus, patently absurd. But it has won the West. It has won the academies of the pan-European word, and through them generations grow up steeped in the creed.

What is the creed, and why has it won?

It has won because it echoes a Christian teaching, to which some 8,000 generations (reckoning 4 generations per century) of Europeans have been subjected.

It is the notion that to be a good person you must pity other people and make sacrifices for them. Only if you do that, are you worthy and virtuous.

It has been drummed into every Christian from his earliest years, so even if he rebels against his religion, his class, his culture, his race, his nation, he clings to that idea as to the moral kingpin of his universe. Take it away, and the center will not hold.

The New Left was a rebellion by affluent, middle-class adolescents (some of them well advanced in middle age) against their class, culture, race, and nation, starting  about twenty years after the end of the Second World War (1939-1945).

The old Left, a secular version of Christianity, won the support of middle-class intellectuals by directing pity on to the working-class. The intellectuals would, at whatever cost to themselves, lead the oppressed and exploited workers in revolution. In Russia to start with, they did just that before the end of the First World War.

By the late 1960s, the old Left, in the person of dictators and their henchmen, was actively oppressing millions, including the populations of the Eastern European countries and a part of Germany.

So the old Left lost its appeal partly because the Leftist regimes could not easily be held up as models of paradise on earth. In addition, the working-class in the West had generally become prosperous enough to be content with its lot.

The New Left found new victims to feel sorry for. It found them first abroad, in the Third World, which was not prosperous. It declared the people of Third World countries to be exploited and oppressed by European colonialism and imperialism, even if their countries were no longer colonies or parts of empires. Its concern extended to Third World descendants who lived in the First World.

Then it declared that in the First World, women were victims of male-dominated societies. Many women volunteered for the role.

Next, homosexuals were declared, and many declared themselves, victims of heterosexual-dominated First World societies.

The main thing was, New Left intellectuals found new groups to pity, and so new sources for pride in a feeling of self-worth.

After 1991, with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War – of which the West was the immediate winner – the old Left was held by Western intellectuals (whom Thomas Sowell calls “the self-annointed”) to have been the wrong Left. The New Left, they maintain, is the politically correct Left.

The strange thing about the (new or old) Left’s remedy for human suffering is this: While only the individual can feel pain and suffer distress; while no masses, no group, no class, no race as such can suffer or feel anything at all; yet  the Plan of the Left to remedy suffering is always one that sacrifices individuals for the sake of the group. It is always a Plan that is implemented regardless of individual suffering. So important is the Plan itself, that any number of individuals may be persecuted, silenced, tortured, enslaved, killed for it. 

There is no collective remedy for human suffering. The only prescription that works is individual freedom; leaving people alone to serve their own purposes in the manner they choose for themselves. (Nothing need prevent an individual from aiding other individuals if that’s what he wants to do.)

*

John Schindler, who calls himself “a traditional leftist”, writes about why he believes the New Left has won in an article titled Who Really Won the Cold War?, in The Federalist. I quote it in full.

While he makes some points I do not agree with (chiefly the idea he takes for granted that Leftism ideally serves the cause of “human freedom”), he makes many more that bear out what I have said about the old Left and the New Left, and how and why the New Left has won the Cold War. I found this surprising. But it explains why an essay by a “traditional leftist” appears in The Federalist.

He starts with a figure from the old Left who has just recently risen to prominence:

The election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party has sent shockwaves far beyond Britain. There has been disbelief that the United Kingdom’s storied left-wing party opted to be led by a man so obviously contemptuous of his own society. In the wake of their recent electoral debacle under the uninspiring Ed Miliband, Labour has chosen as its leader an activist who resembles a walking leftist cliché. Corbyn’s radicalism is not in doubt. Aside from his embrace of socialist-throwback platitudes that linger on his party’s left flank on the full range of domestic issues, in adamant rejection of Blairism, Corbyn’s foreign-policy views merit attention. Openly hostile to NATO and Britain’s longstanding “special relationship” with the United States, Corbyn adds overt sympathy for numerous authoritarian regimes.

He blames the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, not the Kremlin, for the Ukraine crisis and has endorsed Russia Today, Putin’s TV propaganda network. Corbyn opposes essentially all overseas military operations by Britain and wants to parley with Bashar al-Assad, four years into Syria’s fratricide, while viewing Tehran as a partner for Middle East peace.

That said, leftist infatuation with foreign dictators is hardly new. For decades a crush on “progressive” despots safely far away from their own free country has been a staple of the Western far-Left diet. Corbyn is simply a paid-up member of his ideological tribe.

Yet Corbyn surpasses his predecessors in his fervent embrace of the social-justice message at home as well as abroad. He exudes hostility towards the Britain that made the historic Labour Party. This, after all, is a man who celebrates Hamas, Hezbollah, and related Islamist extremists as freedom-fighters, while explaining the death of Osama bin Laden was “a tragedy”.

Unsurprisingly, Corbyn enthusiastically espouses multiculturalism and says Britain should “celebrate” record numbers of immigrants entering the country — a position not popular with many voters, who see the European Union being overwhelmed by waves of migrants from Asia and Africa. Between his crush on the West’s enemies and his desire to change his country’s population, Corbyn wants to abolish Britain, not reform it.

Yet we should not regard Corbyn as a particular outlier. In truth, his cocktail of trendy “progressive” opinions, which rejects virtually everything about their own society, is commonly found among postmodern Western leftists. The only difference is that Corbyn makes no effort to mask his views. Many of his fellow travelers obscure their take, which would be considered extreme by most voters, behind moderate-sounding language.

Unlike Barack Obama, who once assured us that he did not see a Red America or a Blue America, rather a United States of America — then proceeded to govern through two terms as a highly partisan liberal Democrat — Corbyn states openly that there is only one “real” Britain, and it is deep red (which in Britain, as most of Europe, means left-wing).

Corbynism is no sudden or shocking development, but the natural culmination of 50 years of left-wing views that have shifted from a desire to reform Western democracies to an unconcealed wish to kill them, or at least change them so fundamentally that they bear little resemblance to themselves.

The Old Left, for all its sometimes horrific flaws, sought socioeconomic change to benefit average citizens, not all-out social revolution. They, in their own way, were very much a product of Western culture. After the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, which split the Left worldwide into communist and social democratic groupings, the latter worked within the socioeconomic system, embracing democracy while seeking minimal deep changes to society itself.

Even the communists were hardly social revolutionaries in practice. In the initial euphoria of the revolution there was experimentation. The Soviet Union became the first society ever to allow abortion and easy divorce. In Hungary, during the short-lived red revolution at the end of World War I, Bolsheviks embraced social radicalism and introduced sex education to undermine the traditional family.

However, once firmly in power, the Soviets dropped any pretense of social revolution to mirror the politico-economic one. While religion was persecuted and mild feminism got lip service, Stalin banned abortion and the party frowned upon sexual immorality. After all, the revolution needed soldiers and workers, and who but communist women could make those?

Although the abortion ban was dropped after Stalin, Soviet social practices remained highly “heteronormative,” with homosexuality being criminal while men and women were strongly encouraged to marry and be fruitful. In its most extreme form, Nicolae Ceaușescu nearly banned abortion and contraceptives altogether in his effort to build his highly fecund socialist Romania.

Many were the Western progressives who visited the East Bloc during the Cold War, having been fed propaganda about the wondrous “new society”, only to discover that communism was actually behind the West in matters of family, sex, and gender.

While the Soviets and their clients remained mired in traditional social models, the West moved on — or forward, depending on your viewpoint. The great social revolution of the 1960s, which passed the East Bloc by because communism had insulated the countries, brought forth a New Left in the West that was interested in matters of sex, gender, and race rather than who owns the means of production.

Their “long march through the institutions” after a half-century must be judged wholly successful. While the Right has won the battle for economics across the West — calls for public ownership now seem quaint rather than threatening to capitalists — the New Left has triumphed on the social front in every arena.

In the United States, which was more resistant to the New Left agenda than many Western countries, the Obama years have witnessed the victory of social justice on all major matters of race, gender, and sexuality. Thanks to activists, politicians, and courts, Americans today are living in a very different social and sexual world than their parents and grandparents.

More than a few communists saw all this coming. Beginning in the 1970s, East Bloc secret police began to notice the impact of the New Left on their Old Left countries. Cries for radical individualism from dissidents under Western influence troubled the communists, who didn’t know what to do about this trend, which they dismissed as a bourgeois affectation.

By the 1980s, the more perceptive East Bloc security services were denouncing this Western poison, which took the form of radical feminism, sexual freedom, environmental activism, and gay rights. To traditional communists, who barely understood this new ideology, it was a scary Western import, according to the secret police. Some in Eastern Europe termed this decadence “anarcho-liberalism”, and they considered it a disease of an affluent late capitalist society burdened with excessive consumerism and leisure time.

In the end, of course, the communists lost. Lots of average people in the East Bloc wanted the freedom to own cool shoes, while some pined for the social-sexual liberties that the West offered. In many ways, the revolutions of 1989 to 1991 that changed the map and politics of Europe and beyond can be viewed with a quarter-century of hindsight as the defeat of the Old Left in the East by the New Left in the West.

We are living still with the consequences of this seismic political shift. With the sudden disappearance of the communist threat, the Right lost interest in socioeconomic fairness, a Cold War necessity to keep reds at bay on the home-front, while oddly so did the Left.

The obsessive interest of the New Left in social justice has come at the expense of economic concerns, with the result that on a wide range of topics their positions, barring lip service, differ hardly at all from the Right. Few on the Left question our basic economic arrangements; tearing down our social foundations has been their core program.

Barack Obama is the most left-wing president ever on social justice, yet he is a darling of Wall Street. Hillary Clinton, despite her belated interest in social issues, is deeply enmeshed in high finance and will never challenge it. Thus Bernie Sanders, who is an amalgam of Old and New Left, is treated like an atavism by mainstream liberals when he opens the economics can of worms.

It’s all enough to make the few traditional leftists among us want to pull their hair out. The broad alliance of cultural Left and corporate Right, which questions none of our economics, has triumphed in our politics — or at least had until Donald Trump came along to question “settled” issues such as mass, often illegal, immigration. The cultural Left favors this because it gradually dissolves the traditional culture, which they despise, while the corporate Right favors it for the cheap labor. Postmodern capitalism is at least as revolutionary a force as anything cooked up by any Marxist, as well as something any Social Justice Warrior can live with.

For more than a generation we have sorely lacked mainstream contributions from social democrats who seek to make our society better, not destroy it. There ought to be no illusions about what the cultural Left seeks: a full revolution of our society and its history, which they see as benighted by irredeemable racism, sexism, and Old Think. Their opponents are objectively evil and on the“wrong side of history,” as Obama himself has assured us, and they must disappear. “Error has no rights,” the mid-nineteenth-century Vatican formulation, has oddly been adapted by our postmodern Left.

As communists once predicted the state itself would wither away, resulting in complete human freedom and progress, the New Left expects that all traditional societal arrangements will wither away, thereby allowing full human freedom and progress. One offered discipline and order and sometimes gulags; the other offers sexual liberty, anti-racism, and iPhones.

Both these beliefs are illusions, and dangerous ones, rooted in a Marxist sense of “knowing” where history is going. The working class was once revered by leftists as uniquely virtuous, while for the New Left that vanguard role is played by minorities sexual and racial, who are allegedly untainted by the dominant group. The essential willingness to ignore inconvenient truths remains the same.

Let us give the Old Left, particularly its social democratic guise, credit that they did not seek the extirpation of our whole society and culture, but instead its transformation. What the New Left today fights for is far more revolutionary and utopian. A Europe that seeks a future where actual Europeans are a dying remnant, replaced by more vigorous immigrants, is but one manifestation of this worldview.

Leftists once heartily sang the “Internationale,” which promised “This is the final struggle” (C’est la lutte finale). Communists were quite wrong about that. History has moved on and left them behind everywhere but Cuba, North Korea, and Western universities. Yet their social-justice descendants believe the same thing, with a different favored fantasy class.

They will be proved wrong, too. The Corbyn vision has no future to offer most Britons. It would be incomprehensible to generations of Labour patriots who fought for Britain, her values, and her allies. The only question is how much damage to what is left of the West will be inflicted before the New Left is vanquished, too.

I wish I could share his optimism that the New Left will be vanquished (in the foreseeable future).

And what I miss in the essay is any reference to the human misery that “traditional leftism” of the redder kind has caused wherever it has had power to cause it. Of course, his focus is on the British Left, which was never – until now? – as red as all that.

I dislike his implication that collectivism (aka Leftism) of his favored – or any –  kind is a valid recipe for improving what Leftists have called “the human condition”.

But I applaud his recognition that the New Left “seeks the extirpation of our whole society and culture”, and that he deplores that terrible aim.

If only he could also see that it is logically, even necessarily, derived from the old socialist collectivist thinking to which he remains faithful!

 

Jillian Becker   September 18, 2015

Flight from freedom 2

Are the Europeans unable to endure freedom?

Do they want to be enslaved by Islam?

As ever more Muslims pour into Europe as “refugees”, their charm, their success – or what is it about them? – attracts locals to emulate and join them.

From Gatestone, by Soeren Kern:

In Norway, the Police Security Service (PST) revealed that nearly a dozen refugees sent to Norway under the UN’s quota system turned out to have close links to the terror groups Islamic State and the al-Nusra Front. Police also discovered that some refugees had backgrounds in Syria’s secret police, and others were suspected of carrying out war crimes during the country’s ongoing civil war.

The newspaper Dagbladet also reported that Islamic extremists are scouting refugee reception centers in Norway in search of new recruits for terrorism. According to the paper, several people who received asylum in Norway later became central figures in the country’s radicalized Islamic community.

Meanwhile, an increasing number of Norwegians are converting to Islam, apparently because of a perceived need for stronger rules in Norway’s liberal society. “Converting to Islam is perhaps the most extreme form of youthful rebellion today,” Muslim convert and religion professor Anne Sofie Roald told the newspaper Aftenposten. She said she thinks conservative Islam represents clear limits and a new form of security in Norway’s “anything goes” society.

And this report  is from the Norwegian site NewsinEnglish, by Nina Berglund:

“In general, many converts become ‘more Catholic than the pope’,” Roald told Aftenposten. She converted to Islam in 1982 and initially used a hijab but later stopped wearing it: “The reality can be that the ideas about limits set by religion can be more appealing than the limits themselves.” Like Elgvin, though, she thinks conservative Islam represents clear limits and a new form of security in a very free and liberal society like Norway’s, which can attract those rebelling a society where “almost anything goes”. The historic student protests of the 1960s led to social freedoms that now, perhaps, a new generation is rebelling against. That’s a paradox in a country that prides itself on its own hard-won freedom and independence [? – ed], and its egalitarian society.

One 26-year-old Norwegian woman … “Elsa” … who didn’t want to be identified, told Aftenposten she’d fallen in with a “bad” group and abused both drugs and alcohol. She began to pray and then took Arabic language lessons, which gave her “a good gut feeling” about Islam. She began to read more, and said that what appealed to her most were the rules within Islam that were much stronger than in Norwegian society in general.

I think people need that, guidelines and rules and consequences in the form of punishment or praise,” Elsa told Aftenposten. “Something to believe in.”

Morten Ibrahim Abrahamsen, now a 23-year-old man … converted after surviving the massacre of July 22, 2011 on the island of Utøya … Abrahamsen told Aftenposten he had a religious experience while he desperately tried to hide from the lone gunman Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 69 people at the Labour Party’s youth summer camp that Abrahamsen was attending.

“I met a lot of resistance, also publicly, from people who thought I was vulnerable and had all but been forced to convert,” Abrahamsen said, after he’d declared his faith to representatives of the Islamic organization Islam Net in Oslo. It’s been a target of controversy for organizing conferences featuring radical Muslim clerics, for segregating men and women who attend and for spreading the word about Islam from information stands on the street, among other things.

“But now it’s been nearly four years (since the massacre and his conversion) and I’m thriving with my religion,” Abrahamsen told Aftenposten. “I have found the sense of calm I was looking for.”  …

Representatives of Islam are keen to win new converts. Among them is … 22-year-old [health-worker] “Maria”, who declined further identification but said her conversion and subsequent decision to wear not only a hijab but also gloves and an occasional niqab that covers her face shocked colleagues. Their reaction was so negative that she found a new jobs where she now feels accepted. Her Norwegian family accepted her conversion and she says her Muslim girlfriends have become like “sisters” for her. …

Yes, freedom can be hard to bear.

Self-reliance can seem too great a burden.

And besides, it’s so nice to have someone else to blame for one’s failures, disappointments and miseries.

All you have to do, if you’re a woman, is live your life wrapped in a black tent, do nothing that your lord and master doesn’t tell you to do, endure his beatings, and bear his children that he can take away from you at any moment on a whim. “Clear limits.”

And if you’re a man, give up thinking for yourself. Get a scar on your forehead from bowing to the earth to the god of a warlord. And hate all human beings who do not do the same.

Oh – and beat your wife. Have her stoned to death if she’s raped. Deny your daughters education. Marry them in their childhood to old men. Bury them alive if they disobey you.

And raise your sons to be just like you.

Posted under Europe, Islam, jihad, middle east, Muslims, Norway, Syria by Jillian Becker on Monday, August 10, 2015

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The stink of corruption 1

Well, yes, there is global pollution. Whether it warms anything is another question. But the stink of corruption emanating from the Clintons and their Foundation is polluting the atmosphere of the world.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air reports:

Ukrainian energy mogul Victor Pinchuk has connections to the Clintons that go back almost a decade, and financial connections to the regime in Tehran that go much farther …

Pinchuk owns Interpipe Group, a Cyprus-incorporated manufacturer of seamless pipes used in oil and gas sectors.

Newsweek [reports that it] has seen declarations and documents from Ukraine that show a series of shipments from Interpipe to Iran in 2011 and 2012, including railway parts and products commonly used in the oil and gas sectors. Among a number of high-value invoices for products related to rail or oil and gas, one shipment for $1.8m in May 2012 was for “seamless hot-worked steel pipes for pipelines” and destined for a city near the Caspian Sea. Both the rail and oil and gas sectors are sanctioned by the US, which specifically prohibits any single invoice to the Iranian petrochemical industry worth more than $1m.

In other words, Interpipe should have been slapped with penalties and sanctions for its operations with Iran. Pinchuk’s company has a US subsidiary, which means that US sanctions apply across the entire organization.

It was a clear case of sanctions-busting. So what happened?

The agency for imposing penalties for sanctions violations in these cases …  is the State Department.

Who was in charge at the State Department during this period? None other than Hillary Clinton.

The person in charge of enforcing sanctions on Iran somehow missed key violations from a man who was pouring millions of dollars into her family foundation.

Between 2009 and 2013, including when Mrs. Clinton was secretary of state, the Clinton Foundation received at least $8.6 million from the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, according to that foundation, which is based in Kiev, Ukraine. …

In 2008, Mr. Pinchuk made a five-year, $29 million commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative, a wing of the foundation that coordinates charitable projects and funding for them but doesn’t handle the money.

The pledge was to fund a program to train future Ukrainian leaders and professionals “to modernize Ukraine,” according to the Clinton Foundation. …

Now there’s a good cause for you if you are searching for one! Modernizing Ukraine! Give, give to stanch your bleeding heart!

Despite all of Pinchuk’s activity with Iran, the State Department apparently took no action against his company or Pinchuk himself. That lack of response finally got the attention of Rep. Steve Stockman last November, before his retirement, who requested that the Department of the Treasury investigate Interpipe. So far, there have been no developments on that front.

Sniff the air. As the reporter says: “That smells to high heaven.”

And the Pinchuk affair is only one instance of a foreign billionaire purchasing special favors from the present US government and a possible future US government:

There are many powerful people with access to enormous funds who go in for what we might call speculative bribery:

Pinchuk was among an elite few dumping tons of money into the Clinton Foundation … checks worth millions of dollars from company executives, philanthropists, billionaires and foreign organizations, among them … the Saudi Mohammed al-Amoudi and Rilin Enterprises, which is led by Chinese billionaire Wang Wenliang, a member of the Chinese parliament.

It’s a sort of bet. The donors are willing to wager vast sums on what they consider a fair probability that Hillary will be elected president of the mightiest nation on earth, and then, they expect, their generosity will garner its reward.

With rather less of a chance on their side, however, they are also trusting to the Clinton honor. If their trust is well placed, we would have to expect US foreign policy under the next President Clinton to be bought and pledged already. But the saving disgrace of the Clintons may turn out to be that they have no sense of honor, any more than a sense of honesty. Who would be  surprised? The foreign donors might be angry, but if they know anything about the Clintons at all they must know they were making no sure bet.

The Clinton Foundation’s “practice of accepting contributions from foreign countries” is said in the report to be “a major point of contention”. We can see why that may be the case. There was, for instance, a $500,000 check from Algeria “for Haitian earthquake relief”. There was nothing in the world stopping Algeria sending money direct to Haiti for earthquake relief, except that it was more concerned with bribing Hillary Clinton than relieving the victims of a natural disaster.

 Saudi Arabia and Norway have each given between $10 million and $25 million to the Clinton Foundation since its inception, according to the organization’s records. …

For what? For Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea to fly about in a private jet? For Hillary to buy support for a presidential campaign run from the Foundation’s HQ?

Well, some of it perhaps. But some of it is also, definitely, for good causes.

On the subject of those lucky causes, what they are, and how good, we posted an article two days ago – The great good works and wonky dilemmas of William J. Clinton, April 18, 2015. Readers can judge for themselves how good they are.

Interested readers can also go to clintonfoundation.0rg/about, where the three Clintons boast:

We believe that the best way to unlock human potential is through the power of creative collaboration. That’s why we build partnerships between businesses, NGOs, governments, and individuals everywhere to work faster, better, and leaner; to find solutions that last; and to transform lives and communities from what they are today to what they can be, tomorrow.

Everywhere we go, we’re trying to work ourselves out of a job. Whether it’s improving global health, increasing opportunity for women and girls, reducing childhood obesity and preventable diseases, creating economic opportunity and growth, or helping communities address the effects of climate change, we keep score by the lives that are saved or improved.

What began as one man’s drive to help people everywhere grew quickly into a foundation committed to helping people realize their full potential. Because the best thing we can do together is give others the chance to live their best life stories.

We’re all in this together.

They’ll take the whole global village. They’ll take what there is to take. In a jolly, communitarian way. (And even individuals can be helped by the Clintons and a bit of foreign money to “work leaner”.) By hook and by crook, the Clintons will realize their full potential. They are living their best life story.

For more about this source of moral sepsis, read here about a new book by Peter Schweizer, titled: Clinton Cash: How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.

Our guess is that the corruption goes far, far deeper than anyone has yet found out, or ever will.

A message from Norway 0

“Islamism”, “radical Islam”, “Islamic extremism”? They don’t exist. There is only Islam. All Muslims believe that sharia law and its punishments – limb amputations for theft, death for adultery, apostasy, and homosexuality – are the best of all possible punishments. How could any be better, when these have been prescribed by Allah himself?

So says this Norwegian. And almost all the Norwegians in his audience agree with him.

Posted under Islam, jihad, Law, Muslims, Norway, Theology, Totalitarianism, tyranny by Jillian Becker on Monday, January 5, 2015

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