Earth’s savior wears Antifa 2

Keean Bexte of Rebel News travels to Stockholm to investigate Greta Thunberg.

“In 2019, Greta Thunberg [wearing an Antifa T-shirt] contributed a voiceover for a release of “The 1975”, a song by the English band of the same name. She finishes by urging: ‘So, everyone out there, it is now time for civil disobedience. It is time to rebel.’ Proceeds will go to Extinction Rebellion at Thunberg’s request.” – Wikipedia.

In the video, Swedish journalist Annike Rothstein talks about Greta Thunberg’s connection to Extinction Rebellion, and a picture of her wearing the Antifa shirt is shown, between 12 and 13.40 minutes.

Related image

An Extinction Rebellion climate alarm demonstration in London

Posted under Climate, Environmentalism, Leftism, Sweden by Jillian Becker on Friday, January 24, 2020

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Where hell is cool 12

The so-last-century World Economic Forum that still meets annually at Davos in Switzerland, recommends that the United States become “more like Sweden”.

Nations can learn from Nordic and other European countries when it comes to helping people scale up the economic ladder, and countries like China and the United States could reap billions by boosting social mobility, a report said Monday.

The World Economic Forum released its first “Global Social Mobility Index”, which analyzed 82 countries and suggests that governments should ensure a level playing field not just because it is the right thing to do, but it can benefit their economies.

“A level playing field” is a well-worn euphemism for Socialism among the globalists.

The release comes a day before the forum opens its latest annual gathering in Davos, Switzerland, where concerns about growing inequality are high in the minds of organizers.

“Inequality has become entrenched and is likely to worsen amidst an era of technological change and efforts towards a green transition,” the forum said.

In other words, “going green” would be a vast impoverishment, the forum admits. But – it believes – once the whole world has done it, there will be no more economic inequality. The greening – giving up fossil fuels and relying on the wind to blow us energy – will be accompanied by redistribution of money, so all people, all nations, will be equally poor, equally hungry. Except only the redistributors, the virtuous instigators of universal want. They will be well-fed.   

It has an index, “the forum” does. Inspired by the very same spirit that guides Bernie Sanders, it excites the elect with rosy conceptions.

The index ranked Denmark, Norway, Finland. Sweden and Iceland as its top five countries, registering over 80 points on a 100-point scale, while the United States came in at 27th, Russia was 39th, and China took 45th.

Somehow the notion that “social mobility” serves the cause of equality has arisen in its communal mind:

“If economies were able to improve their social mobility score by 10 points, gross domestic product would increase by 4.4% by 2030 on top of the societal benefits such investments would bring,” the forum said in a statement.

Redistribution aka Socialism has never increased GDP. It cannot. It is not a mechanism for increasing GDP. It is a mechanism for squandering wealth. And social mobility and economic equality are mutually exclusive. Social mobility occurs only with capitalism in a genuinely open society. Why don’t they know that? Who are they?

We come upon a name as the speaker of typically unintelligible patter:

Saadia Zahidi, a forum managing director for the new economy and society, said the report found that governments for now could make the greatest improvement in boosting social mobility by supporting [ever rising?] wages, quality of work [?], and “life-long learning systems”. [Systems?] “These are not things that are going to create a drag on growth,” Zahidi said. “These are actually things that are going to facilitate better growth. So that’s one aspect. The second aspect is that the gains can actually be quite big.”

Zahidi said she considered the index as warning sign or even a solution “to the trend towards entrenched inequality”.

How did Zahidi get there? Who is listening to her? Hers is a voice from the fog of Davoses past.

Would it be good if America became more like Sweden?

Not only socialists but all sorts of other romantics such as libertarians hold Sweden to be the model nation for prosperity, security, and happiness. As near to a utopia as earth has to show.    

So what is Sweden really like?

Bruce Bawer writes at Front Page:

Poking around YouTube the other day, I stumbled across a 2018 documentary that was written and hosted by Johan Norberg, a 46-year-old Swedish economist who is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, the libertarian think tank in Washington, and who is one of his country’s leading boosters of free trade and free markets. This was hardly Norberg’s first venture into the documentary form: in 2003, Britain’s Channel 4 aired Globalisation is Good, in which Norberg celebrated the prosperity created in Taiwan and Vietnam through the outsourcing of factory jobs from the U.S. – but neglected to breathe a word about the catastrophic impact of that outsourcing on millions of American workers.

Norberg’s 2018 documentary is entitled Sweden: Lessons for America? In it, he traces Sweden’s economic ups and downs over the last couple of centuries: once a dirt-poor land in the grip of guilds and regulations, Sweden embraced the free market and low taxes – resulting in a century of burgeoning prosperity – only to “screw it up” in the 1960s by introducing a big-government welfare state that charged Pippi Longstocking author Astrid Lindgren a 102% income rate and Ingmar Bergman 139%. (He fled to Germany.) From 1976 to 1995, Sweden went downhill; interest rates hit 500%; IKEA moved its headquarters abroad. But the story, as Norberg tells it, has a happy ending: the 1990s brought reforms – deregulation, lower taxes, school vouchers, widespread privatization of public services, no minimum wage – that resulted in a first-rate climate for entrepreneurship and innovation and a “very productive private economy” that yields enough wealth to fund generous welfare benefits and pensions. America, we’re urged in Norberg’s conclusion, should look to Sweden as a model.

Some observers would contest Norberg’s explanation of how Sweden attained economic success. “It got to be one of the richest countries in the world,” Swedish comedian Aron Flam said on a 2017 podcast, “by staying out of two world wars and selling arms to both sides” and, during the Cold War, relying on NATO (which it never joined) for free defense. But let’s put history aside for now and focus on the present. At the outset of his documentary, Norberg promises to show us “what it’s like to live in Sweden today”. When it comes to this topic, his show is a masterpiece of evasion – one that echoes much of the nonsense one often encounters in glowing libertarian accounts of the “Swedish model”. Libertarians, when they talk about Sweden, like to deny that Sweden is socialist, even though the country was ruled for decades by a party that identified as socialist; in any event, the fact remains that Swedes are, by nature, collectivist, statist, consensus-oriented, and anti-individualistic – scared to challenge received opinion and eager to join in ostracizing those who do.

They’re also, thanks to years of suicidal immigration policies, living in a social, economic, and cultural nightmare – to quote Flam, “a slow, simmering war zone“. In the cities, violent crime, shootings, gang rapes, car burnings, massive explosions, and even grenade-throwing have become routine. Just in the last couple of weeks, the chief of the National Police, Anders Thonberg, has put in an urgent request for backup from the military, and Ulf Kristersson, head of the Moderate Party, has charged the government with losing “control of what is happening in Sweden”. …

In a January 13 blog post, a cleric named Helena Edlund observed that in her hometown of Malmö it became normal some time ago “to wake up to bombs and bullets”; now, she laments, the same is the case in the most exclusive parts of central Stockholm, where she lives now. “I have lost count of the friends whose family members have been robbed, beaten, raped, or had their cars burned or stairs blown up,” she wrote. “For those who have lived in relative security in the country’s more privileged areas, this is something new, but those who live in vulnerable areas have had it this way for many years.” The same politicians whom Norberg extols unreservedly for making today’s Sweden wealthy and dynamic are accused by Edlund of having “destroyed” the country with their open-border policy and their readiness to roll out the welcome mat for “terrorists”.  Addressing those pols, Edlund asks: “What advice do you have for those of us who loved Sweden’s peace and security? Where should we go to seek asylum?”

The perpetrators of all this mayhem, of course, are Muslims, either immigrants or the children of immigrants – people to whom Sweden provided refuge and whom it has rewarded lavishly for not working. Most of them reside in no-go sharia enclaves where even the cops fear to tread. In 2016, a 60 Minutes Australia film crew was beaten by Somali migrants in Rinkeby, a no-go zone in Stockholm that is also known as “Little Mogadishu”. (“This,” said host Liz Hayes, “is a country that’s barely coping”; in an interview, an activist told her that Sweden is “on the brink of an economic and cultural disaster.”) Last September, a news team for Sweden’s SVT was targeted by stone throwers at the construction site for a new mosque in Stenhagen (“stone grove”), a no-go zone in Uppsala.

Then, last December 12, journalist Joakim Lamotte ventured, video camera in hand, into the town square of another no-go zone, Kronogården in the city of Trollhätten, thereby attracting the attention of several dozen young Muslim men, most of them masked, who (as can be seen here and here) gradually closed in on him, verbally harassed him, demanded that he leave “their” turf, and finally struck him repeatedly and stole his video equipment. Several police officers were present, but did nothing to protect Lamotte and made no arrests, even though a couple of them were also physically assaulted by the thugs.

How did Lamotte’s fellow Swedish journalists respond to this horror show? By mocking him and expressing support for his attackers. Robert Aschberg, a prominent Aftonbladet columnist, accused Lamotte of being a profiteering, self-dramatizing attention-seeker; Mathias Ståhle of Svenska Dagbladet tweeted that Lamotte’s account of being beaten and robbed made him “giggle”. The Swedish media’s take on this story was so egregious that even the BBC ran a report calling them out and treating Lamotte sympathetically.

The BBC did that? It must have been on a day when pigs were seen flying.

Fortunately, after decades of polite PC silence, more and more Swedes are finally admitting that they’re in deep trouble – hence the fast-rising support for the upstart Sweden Democrats, who call for serious immigration controls. Yet too many mainstream politicians and journalists remain in denial. Legislator Isabella Lövin asserted in 2016 that Sweden, with “the world’s first feminist government” …

It may have been the first, but most Western European countries now have them. The European Union is led by wymyn. Even where there are still some males in positions of power, the system is gynocratic – pacifist, emotional, conciliatory …

… is nothing less than a beacon of hope for the Western world; as of last November, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven was still sticking to the line that the underlying cause of all this lawlessness is high unemployment in certain neighborhoods; the felons’ cultural and religious backgrounds, he insisted, are irrelevant. In Sweden: Lessons for America?, Norberg lauds the newspaper Aftonbladet; in a bracingly blunt 2019 op-ed about elite Swedish views on immigration, Norwegian author Kjetil Rolness accused that paper (the flagship publication of the Swedish elite) of “almost pathological denial of realities, in favor of wishful thinking and virtue signaling”.

In 2016, the Spectator ran an unusually frank article by Tove Lifvendahl, the political editor of Svenska Dagbladet, about Sweden’s immigration challenges; but its subtitle was telling: “We’ve taken in far too many people and we’re letting them down badly – especially the children.” This is the Swedish establishment mentality in a nutshell: even when they’re being honest about the problem, they reflexively feel obliged to express more concern for immigrants than for native Swedes  

The anarchy in the streets is only part of the big scary picture. Norberg’s documentary portrays a Sweden where retirement homes, pensions, schools, and health care are just plain terrific. On the contrary: the immense cost of providing for immigrants (Muslims make up over 8% of Sweden’s population, the second highest figure in Europe, and the yearly bill for housing, feeding, and clothing the huge percentage of them who are on the dole is colossal) – has drained more and more money from basic services and benefits for hard-working native Swedes (this, moreover, in a country where people with jobs are so heavily taxed, supposedly to cover those basic services and benefits, that a citizen with a purportedly decent income has to struggle to get by). In recent years, while the national mainstream media have all but ignored this mass redirection of taxpayer funds, alternative news sites and local papers have told one horror story after another about retired Swedes who’ve been unceremoniously tossed out of their residences to make room for newly arrived Muslims.

Mass immigration, Swedish businessman Henrik Jönsson told Dave Rubin on a January 17 podcast, is causing Sweden to go broke “because we have the most expensive welfare system in the world”. And yet last year the Swedish parliament, the Riksdag, voted to increase the annual number of immigrants. Rolness, again, had it right when he wrote that too many Swedes prefer foreign refugees to Swedish babies; similarly, Swedish journalist Kajsa Norman assailed police and media for downplaying assaults on Swedish girls by Muslim men, maintaining that “sympathy for the refugees trumps sympathy for the girls”.

What did Sweden: Lessons for America? have to say about this crisis that seems destined to drag Sweden into anarchy, civil war, and/or sharia? Nothing whatsoever. … Does he mention that Jews are leaving Sweden in droves because of Muslim harassment (and worse)? No. For that matter, while touting Sweden as an economic success story, Norberg omits to mention its dramatic decline in GDP, GDP per capita, and current account balance during the last few years (a trend that was already clear when he made his documentary).

None of which should surprise anybody. Norberg is one of those libertarians who, for all their repeatedly professed love of liberty, refuse to oppose the disastrous immigration policies that have already done serious damage to individual freedom throughout the West – witness, for example, the prosecution in Britain, Austria, Denmark, Canada, and elsewhere of citizens accused of offending Muslims.

Watching Norberg’s documentary on Sweden, one can’t help thinking of an observation by Aron Flam: “Swedes don’t really understand the concept of liberty.

Nor do the fantasists who run the World Economic Forum.

Sweden: a model for America? 1

Sweden, much admired by Bernie Sanders and others on the Left as a model “democratic socialist” country, is not socialist like Venezuela. It tried socialism, found it didn’t work, “turned sharply back toward capitalism” round the middle of the 1990s, and regained prosperity. It is still a highly taxed welfare state.

The Swedes were happy with that, and decided in Christian spirit to share their happiness with tens of thousands of aliens from the Third World. They came from the hot lands of Africa and Asia to the north of Europe, with its long cold winter nights.

Judith Bergman writes at Gatestone about what happened to Sweden when it welcomed a “large influx of people [read Muslims] who do not have the educational or language skills to work in the Swedish economy”.

The small Swedish city of Filipstad exemplifies a place where the influx of non-Western migrants, some of them illiterate, with little or no education, has meant that the unemployment rate in that group is at 80%: they depend for their livelihoods on the municipality’s social welfare program.

In 2015, during the European migration crisis, nearly 163,000 migrants arrived in Sweden seeking asylum – primarily from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq …  60,000 received a residence permit. In the group of people over the age of 15, made up of 40,019 people, only 4,574 get their livelihood from employment … 18,405 people from the cohort live on welfare handed out by municipalities and 9,970 people receive funds for studying.

Many municipalities … need to make budget cuts. In Ystad, in the south of Sweden, the municipality, as part of the services of the welfare state, [has been helping] the elderly with hot meals and cleaning services. Now, to save money, the municipality will no longer serve hot meals to the elderly and cleaning services will be limited to once every three weeks. The elderly will instead have to get ready-made meals from the supermarket. …

Motala municipality … announced that it would lower the heat in buildings managed by the city, including old age homes, to save money. “We will take care of the elderly; they will not be freezing, they can have blankets,” the message went.

The criticism of the proposed savings on care for the elderly in Motala, however, was so massive that the municipality had to back down. …

Meanwhile, in June, the Swedish parliament voted in favor of a law that is likely to increase immigration to Sweden based on family reunification.

 Alert capitalists will be buying shares in the blanket industry.

Posted under Islam, Sweden by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, December 4, 2019

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Fascist socialism versus Islam 3

President Trump will keep Americans safe from both Democratic Socialism and Islam while he is in power. But what will happen after him?

Is the American future to be fascist-socialist under Democratic rule – as California is now (see our post immediately below, Californian left-fascism, a model for the nation? November 15, 2019)?

Or is it to be Islamic?

Islam is already exerting decisive power in Europe. Most effectively in Sweden and France. And it is steadily advancing towards domination in America.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, acronym CAIR,  has announced that it wants to get 30 Muslims into Congress. And there are at least 100 members of Congress who would welcome CAIR’s chosen members into their company it would seem, since 100 members of Congress have written letters to CAIR to affirm their friendship with that Hamas-connected organization. Ninety-seven of the signatories are Democrats, three are Republicans.

The fascist-socialist Democrats and militant Islam are in alliance now, presenting a common front to their shared arch-enemy, President Trump with his tens of millions of followers. But the time may all too possibly come when one or the other – likely the Democrats first – will, by crooked means (because they cannot do it by honest election), take command of all three branches of government. Then the allies will become rivals and enemies.

Both are global and totalitarian in ambition, a similarity which will make them rivals.

And although they both suppress individualism, demand doctrinal orthodoxy and punish heresy, their differences of doctrine and character will make them enemies.

The New Left is:

Secular

Egalitarian

Libertine

Western, middle-class, modern, academic  

Revolutionary

Islam is:

A god-worshiping religion  

Male dominated

Puritanically prurient

Oriental, tribal, archaic, bellicose

Unalterable

So they way it looks now, if the worst should come to the worst, the American future will be either fascist-socialist or Islamic.

The question is: when the conflict between them comes as it must, which of the two dark forces is likely to prevail?

Posted under Europe, Fascism, France, Islam, Leftism, Socialism, Sweden, United States by Jillian Becker on Sunday, November 17, 2019

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Terrifying children 6

Plainly and simply, the Left is the side of evil. The sinister side.

At present it is mentally torturing millions of children.

Dennis Prager (with whom we often agree on political issues and always strongly disagree on religion) writes about the adult-made Children’s Climate Crisis:

The entire American Left – the mainstream media, the environmentalist movement and Democratic politicians in particular – are celebrating the involvement of teenagers and even younger children in protesting the world’s “inaction” with regard to global warming.

And not just the American Left, of course. The Left throughout the world is celebrating. A 16-year-old Swedish girl whose contempt for adults is breathtaking is an international hero. Congressional Democrats invited her to testify in Congress, and the United Nations has likewise invited her.

All those LEFTIES sit back in their comfy chairs and smile placidly as the kids shout about having the earth snatched from under them and their future confiscated by us right-wingers who refuse to abandon civilized life and revert to the life of savages under THEIR control!

The 16-year-old Swedish kid is called Greta Thunberg. Thunberg the Teenage Thunderer. (See her long Wiki entry here.) Prophet of earth’s imminent doom. Of whom President Trump (arguably the wittiest president) has remarked:

She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!

Dennis Prager goes on:

The mayor and city council of New York City further politicized their city’s public schools by allowing students to skip school to actively participate in a global warming protest.

The message of young climate change activists is: “You adults aren’t doing your job. As a result, we have no future.” As a sympathetic reporter – are there any non-sympathetic reporters? – for the Los Angeles Times put it, “Teens are still waiting for a sign that their elders get it.”

The Times’ coverage is typical. It reported: “Underneath the activism lies a simple truth: Young people are incredibly scared about climate change. They see it as a profound injustice and an existential threat to their generation and those that will follow.” …

“‘They do worry, and they worry kind of a lot,’ said Maria Ojala, an environmental psychologist at Orebro University in Sweden. …

It is critical to remember that hysterias – such as Russian collusion with the Trump campaign, “endemic and systemic racism in America”, the heterosexual AIDS “crisis” in America and the “rape culture” on American college campuses – are to the left what oxygen is to biological life. No oxygen, no life; no hysteria, no left.

Apparently, however, the left-wing hysteria about global warming leading to the virtual extinction of life on Earth has not moved enough adults. …

The “existential threat” scenario is another left-wing falsehood used to whip up hysteria that will lead to the Left’s control of the economy and society.

Consider this: If the Left didn’t tell them the world is going to end, they wouldn’t worry about it. They’d be enjoying their young lives, maybe even learning to appreciate that they [Americans] live in the freest country at the most prosperous time in human history. Instead, thanks to Leftists (who are children in adult bodies), they live in their grip of “existential eco-anxiety”.

This is but one more way in which the left abuses children (along with telling them they are neither boys nor girls but whatever they later choose to be; teaching them contempt for their country …

Right!

… and depriving them of the greatest source of morality, meaning, community and happiness — any of the Judeo-Christian religions).

Ah – just there, of course, is where we disagree with the writer. He seems to have forgotten hellfire!

But otherwise, yes, we agree.

It’s depressing, and it’s frightening.

The scariest movies are those featuring brainwashed children. This horror show is happening in real life.

 

Posted under Climate, Sweden, United Nations, United States by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, September 24, 2019

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The Feminist Islamic Kingdom of Sweden 1

… is so politically correct …

Posted under Islam, Sweden by Jillian Becker on Saturday, July 6, 2019

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The man who let out secrets 3

Julian Assange, the man who published secrets stolen from the Pentagon by Chelsea (then Bradley) Manning, was dragged out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London yesterday (April 12, 2019) and is being held in jail while an extradition request from the US is being considered.

 

 

AP reports:

A bearded and shouting Julian Assange was pulled from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and hauled into court Thursday, the start of an extradition battle for the WikiLeaks founder who faces U.S. charges related to the publication of tens of thousands of secret government documents.

Police arrested Assange after the South American nation revoked the political asylum that had given him sanctuary for almost seven years. Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno said he took the action due to “repeated violations to international conventions and daily-life protocols”.

In Washington, the U.S. Justice Department accused Assange of conspiring with former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to break into a classified government computer at the Pentagon. The charge was announced after Assange was taken into custody.

His lawyer said the 47-year-old Assange would fight extradition to the U.S.

Assange took refuge in the embassy in 2012 after he was released on bail in Britain while facing extradition to Sweden on sexual assault allegations that have since been dropped. He refused to leave the embassy, fearing arrest and extradition to the U.S. for publishing classified military and diplomatic cables through WikiLeaks.

Manning, who served several years in prison for leaking troves of classified documents before her sentence was commuted by then-President Barack Obama, is again in custody in Alexandria, Virginia, for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks.

Over the years, Assange used Ecuador’s embassy as a staging post to keep his name before the public, frequently making appearances on its tiny balcony, posing for pictures and reading statements. Even his cat became well-known.

But his presence was an embarrassment to U.K. authorities, who for years kept a police presence around the clock outside the embassy, costing taxpayers millions in police overtime. Such surveillance was removed in 2015, but the embassy remained a focal point for his activities.

Video posted online by Ruptly, a news service of Russia Today, showed several men in suits pulling a handcuffed Assange out of the embassy and loading him into a police van while uniformed British police formed a passageway. Assange … shouted and gestured as he was removed …

He later appeared in Westminster Magistrates’ Court, where District Judge Michael Snow wasted no time in finding him guilty of breaching his bail conditions, flatly rejecting his assertion that he had not had a fair hearing and a reasonable excuse for not appearing.

“Mr. Assange’s behavior is that of a narcissist who cannot get beyond his own selfish interests,” Snow said. “He hasn’t come close to establishing ‘reasonable excuse’.”

Assange waved to the packed public gallery as he was taken to the cells. His next appearance was set for May 2 via prison video-link in relation to the extradition case.

Assange’s attorney, Jennifer Robinson, said he will fight any extradition to the U.S.

“This sets a dangerous precedent for all journalist and media organizations in Europe and around the world,” she said. “This precedent means that any journalist can be extradited for prosecution in the United States for having published truthful information about the United States.”

Asked at the White House about the arrest, President Donald Trump declared, “It’s not my thing,” and “I know nothing about WikiLeaks,” despite praising the anti-secrecy organization dozens of times during his 2016 campaign.

Speaking in Parliament, British Prime Minister Theresa May said the arrest shows that “no one is above the law”.

A stupid remark that, inapplicable to Julian Assange. It would apply to people in power who evade answering for their crimes, such as Hillary Clinton.

Moreno [President Lenin Moreno of Ecuador] said in a video posted on Twitter that Ecuador was no longer willing to give Assange protection. Other Ecuadorian officials in Quito accused supporters of WikiLeaks and two Russian hackers of trying to destabilize the country. …

Assange has been under U.S. Justice Department scrutiny for years for WikiLeaks’ role in publishing government secrets. He was an important figure in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe as investigators examined how WikiLeaks obtained emails that were stolen from Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and Democratic groups.

WikiLeaks quickly drew attention to U.S. interest in Assange and said that Ecuador had illegally terminated Assange’s political asylum “in violation of international law”.

“Powerful actors, including CIA, are engaged in a sophisticated effort to de-humanise, de-legitimize and imprison him,” the group said in a tweet over a photo of Assange’s smiling face. …

Assange’s arrest came a day after WikiLeaks accused Ecuador’s government of an “extensive spying operation” against him. It alleges that meetings with lawyers and a doctor in the embassy over the past year were secretly filmed. …

Former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa called [President] Moreno’s decision “cowardly”, accusing him of retaliating against Assange for WikiLeaks spreading allegations about an offshore bank account purportedly linked to Moreno’s family and friends.

Allegations were made that the publication by Wikileaks of the stolen information endangered American agents in foreign countries. Of course that would tell against Assange. But he has denied it, and it has not been confirmed.

Assange was at one time accused of acting for Russia, which he also denied.

We agree with Mark Steyn’s opinion of the matter.

At issue is not the honesty or the virtue or the motives of Julian Assange.

The issue is liberty. 

We would like to know our readers’ opinions. 

Myths of our time 17

This is a list of beliefs – in no particular order – that are very widely and commonly held, but are untrue:  

Sweden is a happy country. Fact: It is a Muslim-infested misery-state, the rape capital of Europe.   

The BBC is a trustworthy, truthful, unbiased source of news. Fact: It is dishonest, it routinely distorts or suppresses news it doesn’t like, is snobbish, deeply and persistently anti-Semitic, and heavily biased to the Left. 

The Jews seized the state of Palestine, sent most of the Palestinians into exile, and oppress those who remained. Fact: There never was, in all history, an independent state of Palestine. The territory is the historic homeland of the Jews. When Arab armies tried to destroy the modern Jewish state, many Arabs fled, intending to return when their side was victorious, but their side was defeated. Israeli authorities tried to persuade Arab residents not to leave. Those who remained are the freest Arabs in the Middle East, with all citizens’ rights. 

Nazism was a right-wing ideology. Fact: Nazism was National Socialism and as distinctly derived from the tradition of the Left as its rival International Socialism.

Che Guevara was a hero. Fact: Che Guevara was a torturer and mass murderer, and a coward.  

The Mahatma Gandhi was a good man who liberated India from the British Raj. Fact: Gandhi was a cruel man who had little if any influence on the British decision to withdraw from India.

Senator Joe McCarthy was an evil witch-hunter of Communists. Fact: McCarthy did his duty in tracking down potential Communist fifth-columnists, propagandists, and traitors during the Cold War.

President Roosevelt was a liberal who saved America from economic disaster. Fact: President Roosevelt was a Communist sympathizer. His policies prolonged the Depression.

President Obama’s period in office was scandal-free. Fact: President Obamas’ period in office was exceptionally full of scandals, some of them the worst examples of corruption and plain treason in US history. 

Islam is a religion of peace. And its name means “peace”. Fact: Islam is a religion of war and conquest. Its name means “submission”.

Carbon dioxide is a poison. Fact: Carbon dioxide is the food of green plants.

Human beings are changing the climate of the planet for the worse. Fact: The climate of the earth is always changing as vast cosmic forces act upon it. Human beings can make very little difference, if any, to the heating and cooling of the planet.

A baby in the womb is not a living human being. Fact: A fetus with a heartbeat is alive, a living human being.

Government exists to care for and provide for the people. Fact: government robs the people, threatens the people, frightens the people. Whatever government does, it does badly. Government must be kept within bounds to properly perform its only essential duty, the defense of liberty, by enforcing the law and preventing invasion.

President Trump is a racist. Fact: He is not and has never been a racist. He has worked all his adult life with people of many races, never discriminating against any of them on racial grounds.

President Trump is an anti-Semite. Fact: He is the most pro-Jewish pro-Israel US president ever.

President Trump oppresses women. Fact: he honors women, promotes them, behaves towards them as heterosexual gentlemen in our culture customarily do (or did).

President Trump is a liar. Fact: He tells the truth. Like every human being, he can be inaccurate with dates, numbers, recollections, but on all important matters he is consistently truthful.    

The Democratic Party protects minorities. Fact: The Democratic Party is the party of slavery, segregation, secession, and the Jim Crow laws. By keeping millions of blacks on welfare, Democrats have kept them from independence, advancement, and prosperity.

Democrats act in the interests of the working class. Fact: Democrats despise the working class.

The US media report the news. Fact: The US media, in the huge majority, are lackeys of the Left.

American universities encourage free thinking, free and open exchange of opinion, the exploration of ideas. Fact: Most American universities are centers of Leftist indoctrination, dogmatic and intolerant.

Western civilization is grounded in “Judeo-Christian” values. Fact: Western civilization as we inherit it derives its values from, and owes its success to, the Enlightenment, which was an intellectual revolution against the oppressive authority of the Christian churches.

The “white patriarchy” has been bad for non-whites and women. Fact: Almost everything we have that sustains our lives and makes them endurable; almost everything we know;  every comfort, every convenience, every freedom that makes it possible for us to pursue happiness, physically, socially, politically, was given to us and the world by white middle-class men. 

That’s just a starter list.

We invite readers to add to it.

Envying the guilty 1

Come, fix upon me that accusing eye./ I thirst for accusation.” – W. B. Yeats.

The Left claims moral superiority on the grounds of being “more compassionate than thou”. From before Marx to after Alinsky, those who would organize “the community” so that the state supplies everyone’s needs equally, justify whatever measures they take to achieve that end by reference – explicit or implicit – to human suffering. They are the self-appointed champions and saviors of society’s victims, the servers and protectors of “the common good”. It is not the individual they care for. The interests of the individual must be identical with the interests of the community. Whenever necessary, the individual must be sacrificed for the good of the community.

It is a political philosophy that cannot but cause what it claims to cure – vast human suffering. Since only the individual, not the crowd, can feel pain, he is being sacrificed to an idol. To matter at all, the individual must be a member of a victim group. He must be of an exploited class, a colonized race, an oppressed sect, a minority “gender”. That, and only that, is his role, his dignity, his importance. If you are not one of the exploited, you are one of the exploiters; if you are not one of the oppressed, you are an oppressor. Because you are of the exploiter and oppressor class you can only save yourself from the righteous contempt and active revenge of the victims by taking up their cause. Be a champion and savior of the victim classes. Be a Socialist.

The New Left consisted for the most part of such non-victims who rebelled against their deplorably non-victim class, race, nation, culture. To be white, of European descent, living in the free West, financially well off, educated, heterosexual, was to be wrong, guilty, despicable. If they could find nothing in their condition or family history that would allow them to claim precious inclusion in a victim category, they could at least reject their families, their race and nation, their class, their status. To prove their renunciation of “privilege” each felt it necessary to be more active, more loud, more violent in the cause than the next rebel.

How they envied the real victims. Until they came to the common agreement that they could go further than rebellion; not just reject their race, class, and “gender”, but actually renounce them and “identify as” something different. Even another sex. Even a different color. Sex and color are, they say, “social constructs”. They are not immutable realities. You can be accepted as a member in good standing of the colonized, of the powerless crushed by the powerful. Reach for that happiness. You want it, take it.

To that idealism the Western world has become accustomed.

But now a new and even more astonishing claim has arisen on the Left. At first it might seem too improbable to be true. But on further consideration it could appear to be a logical development of New Left theory. It reverses the movement of the oppressor class to belong to “the wretched of the earth”. Now they – some of them – want to be known as belonging to the oppressor class.

Envy victims no longer, comrades. Envy the victimizers.

The Swedes are leading the way. They are laying claim to being a colonial power, not in the past*, but now. They must make amends, give up their identity, yield their country and culture to others.

Bruce Bawer explains at Front Page:

Back in 2005, Mona Sahlin, who from 2002 to 2004 had served as Sweden’s minister of integration, told an audience at a Swedish mosque that many native Swedes envied them, because, she said, immigrants have real cultures and histories while Swedes have only “silliness” such as the commemoration of Midsummer Night. Later that year, at a debate on integration policy, the Norwegian activist Hege Storhaug asked Lise Bergh, who had succeeded to the post of Swedish minister of integration, whether Swedish culture was worth preserving. Blithely, Bergh replied: “Well, what is Swedish culture? And by saying that, I think I’ve answered the question.”

Those two appalling comments reflect a mentality – one that is shared, unfortunately, by a great many Swedes – that goes a long way toward explaining the breathtakingly self-destructive policies that, over the last few decades, have sent Sweden barreling down the road toward cultural self-annihilation. Of course, other Western European countries are headed down the same road, but they aren’t moving quite so quickly and eagerly, and with such a fatuous, pathetic air of self-satisfaction, toward their grim fate. The difference lies entirely in that Swedish mentality. Even more than most other Western Europeans, Swedes, especially the self-consciously sophisticated urban elites, are possessed of a degree of self-abnegation that is nothing short of pathological.

Consider this. In the U.S., we have “Native Americans”. Canada has the “First Nations”. Australia has its “aborigines”. What all these peoples have in common is that they were there first. In Sweden, the native peoples, the ur-folk, are, needless to say, the Swedes themselves. There are ten million of them, and they’ve been there for millennia. But when establishment journalists and politicians in Sweden refer to their country’s “indigenous people” they’re not talking about themselves. No, they’re talking about the 20,000 Sami (also known as Lapps or Laplanders) who live way up in the far northern reaches of Sweden, tending reindeer and wearing funny red outfits.

Now, the Sami (of whom there are also several thousand in northern Norway and Finland and the neighboring parts of Russia) are no more indigenous to Scandinavia than are the Swedes themselves. The earliest references to both peoples, as it happens, appear in the same work – De origine et situ Germanorum, written by the Roman historian Tacitus and published in A.D. 98. And yet Swedes refer to the Sami people, but not themselves, as “indigenous”. Think of it: it’s as if native French speakers in Paris or Nice or Toulon were to regard themselves as less authentically French than the speakers of Breton or Alsatian, or as if Castilian-speaking Madrileños were to indicate, by word or deed, that Catalan speakers in Barcelona were more genuinely Spanish than themselves.

So it is that Swedes, when it comes to the Sami, have – at least at the highest levels of government, society, and cultural life – embraced, in the name of some thoroughly twisted concept of morality, a bizarre, self-denying lie. And they have, as we well know, done essentially the same thing in regard to immigrants from the Muslim world. In an article published on New Year’s Day, Sweden’s current Minister of Culture and Democracy, a woman by the name of Alice Bah Kuhnke, briefly described a new law that expands minority-group rights, guaranteeing, for instance, the right of foreign-born kindergartners to be taught in their own languages and the right of foreign-born seniors in retirement homes to be taken care of by people who speak their languages.

There is, to be sure, nothing radically new about any of this: the Swedish government has long considered it a priority to ensure that immigrants are able to live out their lives in Sweden without ever having to be contaminated in the slightest degree by anything Swedish.

Apparently by way of justifying the introduction of these new programs – at a time, note well, when native Swedes are already smarting from severe cuts in education, housing, medical care, and the like owing to ballooning government expenditures on Muslim immigrant communities – Bah spent most of her article promoting something that is just as purely the stuff of fantasy as the idea that the Sami are Sweden’s only “indigenous people”: namely, the proposition that Sweden has always been a country of immigrants. “The story of our national minorities and our indigenous peoples,” Bah wrote, “is the story of Sweden….Sweden has always been a place where people with different languages, history and culture meet. It is easy to believe that this is a modern phenomenon….But the diversity that exists in Sweden has a deeper and longer history.”

By any measure, this is an absurd claim. It could hardly be less true. Few countries on earth have been as ethnically and culturally homogeneous for as long as Sweden has been, and for a member of the Swedish cabinet to maintain the exact opposite – and to have her lie ratified by publication in one of the country’s major newspapers, Svenska Dagbladet – is disgraceful even by contemporary Swedish standards. “As recently as 1940,” observed a writer for the Friatider website in a response to Bah’s disingenuous assertion, “only one percent” of Swedish residents were foreign-born. (And the great majority of that one percent, I would wager, were Norwegians, Danes, and Finns.) “The last major immigration wave,” noted Friatider, “occurred during the Bronze Age 3,500 years ago.”

True, all of it. But in Sweden, you challenge the official lies at your peril. The Friatider writer went on to report on one Tomas Åberg, who makes a tidy regular income, at taxpayer expense, by reporting to the Swedish police about Facebook users who, in his view, are guilty of “incitement against ethnic groups” – a term that can include anything from casual bigotry to informed criticism of Islam to reasonable disagreement with Sweden’s immigration rules to expression of frustration with a welfare state that prioritizes everyone else over ethnic Swedes. In 2017-18, Åberg ratted on no fewer than 1,218 people; thanks to him, the number of Swedes convicted of “incitement against ethnic groups” rose tenfold. In gratitude for his efforts, the newspaper Aftonbladet named him a “Swedish hero.” …

Socialists everywhere in the West please note the message from your much admired Sweden: Feel guilty for oppressing Them; blame yourselves, abase yourselves, give Them all you have. They are better than you, and you owe them. It might remind you of something someone is reputed to have once said.

If They take your coat, give them your cloak also. If They smite you on your right cheek, turn to them the other also.

Envy the guilty. Long for accusation.

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*Sweden had some small colonies in Africa in the seventeenth century, each for a few years only. And in the nineteenth century, in the Americas, they colonized three Caribbean islands: Guadeloupe for a year, Tobago for a few months, and Saint Barthélemy, the only possession Sweden held for any length of time – ninety four years, from 1784-1878. New Sweden, which became the state of Delaware, was settled by Swedes for seventeen years from 1638-1655.

Posted under Sweden by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, January 15, 2019

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The ruinous cost of free health care 1

“Free” government benefits are the most expensive goods in the world.

The Democratic Socialist Party – formerly the Democratic Party – is trying to win votes by promising free health care for all.

Supposing a national health service were to be introduced into the USA, what would it cost?

Investor’s Business Daily reports and comments:

Democrats have been falling over themselves to endorse Bernie Sanders’s government takeover of health care. Maybe they should have taken a closer look at his “Medicare for all” plan before signing up. The gargantuan price tag is just one of its many terrible flaws.

Last year, 16 Senators, including three presidential hopefuls, co-sponsored Sanders’s “Medicare for all” bill. And earlier this month, more than 70 Democrats signed on to form a “Medicare for all” caucus. Support for the bill is now something of a litmus test for Democratic hopefuls.

Do they have any idea what they’re endorsing?

A new study out Monday from George Mason University’s Mercatus Center finds that the Sanders plan would add $32.6 trillion to federal spending in its first 10 years, with costs steadily rising from there. That closely matches other studies — including one by the liberal Urban Institute — that looked at the Sanders plan.

To put this in perspective, “Medicare for all” would nearly double the size of the already bloated federal government.

Doubling corporate and individual income taxes wouldn’t cover the costs.

Even this [estimate of $32.6 trillion over 10 years] is wildly optimistic. To get to this number, author Charles Blahous had to make several completely unrealistic assumptions about savings under Sanders’ hugely disruptive plan.

The first is a massive cut in payments to providers. Sanders wants to apply Medicare’s below-market rates across the board, which would amount to a roughly 40% cut in payments to doctors and hospitals. Blahous figures this will save hundreds of billions of dollars a year.

Democrats are also apparently unaware that “Medicare for all” would be a more expensive than anything that exists anywhere else in the world … 

Sanders’ plan would eliminate all out-of-pocket expenses for medical, dental and vision care. The only exception would be a small copay for brand-name drugs. …

There is no industrialized country in the world that does this.

Even in the Scandinavian countries that Bernie Sanders directs us to admire (rather than Stalinist Russia which is actually his ideal), “people pay as much as 30% of their nations’ health costs out-of-pocket”. 

And – perhaps surprisingly to American communists –

In Communist China, almost a third of health spending is out-of-pocket.

In Bernie’s USA, the illusion of all medical treatment being “free” would need to be maintained. But how? After all, doctors cannot work for nothing. Hospitals have running costs.

Because Sanders would eliminate prices entirely from health care, the only way to control health spending would be to slap stiff price controls on doctors, hospitals and drugs, or ration care.

Rationing is inevitable in any government-run health service. Administrators have to decide how to allocate resources. When you are in control of your own medical decisions, you decide what treatment, what drugs you are able or prepared to pay for. When the state decides for you, it will not consult your preferences. It will make kill-or-cure, life-or-death decisions for you. The “death panels” that Sarah Palin warned against will determine how long you live; and, for as long as you live, in what state of health.   

Here’s what health care in the U.S. would look like as a result:

There would be chronic shortages of doctors nationwide. Hospital overcrowding would be epidemic. Waits for everything from hip replacements to cataract surgery to cancer treatments would be extensive. Drug innovation would come to a virtual standstill. And there would be endless fights over the size of the government’s health budget, along with massive amounts of waste, fraud and abuse.

How do we know this? Because this is precisely what’s happened in countries that have already gone down the “Medicare for all” road.

In Canada, the average wait time for a hip replacement is nearly two years in some provinces. Patients with cataracts can end up waiting a year for surgery. The UK has fewer doctors, nurses and hospital beds per capita than any other industrialized nation, and is in a state of almost constant crisis.

Almost constant crisis”? There is no break, no pause, no relief for the briefest of moments from the crisis that is the National Health Service of Great Britain.

Here at home, the Veterans Health Administration — once touted by the left as a model of socialized medicine — has seen deadly delays and massive corruption, even as its budget ballooned in size.

Almost 10% of Medicare spending today is for what the government euphemistically calls “improper payments”, but anyone else would label it waste. Extend this across the entire health care system and Sanders’s “Medicare for all” would result in some $400 billion a year in “improper payments”.

But the biggest problem with “Medicare for all” — and any plan to socialize medicine — is its underlying assumption. Namely, that a handful of government central planners can manage trillions of dollars’ worth of resources better than hundreds of millions of people making trillions of decisions every day in the free market. They can’t.

We already know central planning never works, since it has miserably failed where it’s been tried. It didn’t work in the Soviet Union. It doesn’t work in North Korea or Cuba, and it’s causing untold misery in Venezuela.

A socialist government – which is what the government would be that saves or executes its subjects by controlling their health care – is always, necessarily, inescapably, one big Death Panel.

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