Posted on October 18, 2010 by Bento
Via CS Monitor:
German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a gathering of young members of her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party this weekend that the “multikulti” concept – where people of different backgrounds would live together happily – does not work in Germany.
At “the beginning of the 1960s our country called the foreign workers to come to Germany and now they live in our country,” said Ms. Merkel at the event in Potsdam, near Berlin. “We kidded ourselves a while. We said: ‘They won’t stay, [after some time] they will be gone,’ but this isn’t reality. And of course, the approach [to build] a multicultural [society] and to live side by side and to enjoy each other … has failed, utterly failed.”
The crowd gathered in Potsdam greeted the above remark, delivered from the podium with fervor by Ms. Merkel, with a standing ovation. And her comments come just days after a study by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation think tank (which is affiliated with the center-left Social Democratic Party) found that more than 30 percent of people believed Germany was “overrun by foreigners” who had come to Germany chiefly for its social benefits.
Even more terrifying:
The study also found that 13 percent of Germans would welcome a “Führer” – a German word for leader that is explicitly associated with Adolf Hitler – to run the country “with a firm hand.” Some 60 percent of Germans would “restrict the practice of Islam,” and 17 percent think Jews have “too much influence,” according to the study.
In between France’s expulsion of tens of thousands of Roma immigrants and the assimilation of would-be book-banner Geer Wilders and other nationalist politicians into the mainstream of European politics, one is faced with a sobering picture of Europe. The continent of the Enlightenment still dreams in unreason. It falls to us to confront their monsters, leading by humane example.
Filed under: immigration, international, international: continental Europe, populism, racism | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 28, 2010 by Bento
Posted on March 21, 2010 by Bento
The health care bill passed.
I’m still highly ambivalent about the whole enterprise. My judgment on the issue has been clouded on both the Eastern and Western fronts. On the one hand, I’ve been unduly sensitive to claims that the bill would adversly effect the private insurance industry, not so much because it represents one-sixth of the economy (a system, incidentially, as large as the entire GDP of Britain), but because my personal economic standing could be effected. (Does that make me a terrible person? Or merely human, all too human?) My father, who pays my tuition, is an accountant for a health insurance agency. I wont’ say for which firm. It’s the 87th largest in the country. Figure it out for yourself, if you’re really curious.
On the other hand, I’ve occasionally leaned towards supporting it, though at the time I admitted the reasons I could give for my support were below the standards I usually set for myself. I think I’ve been unwarrentedly (sic) predisposed towards the bill because A.) common cognitive biases pertaining to support for the people you vote for, and B.) all the bill’s most visible opponents are so aggressively, shamelessly unpleasant and ill-informed, and I didn’t want to be associated with them.
I hope my suspicions are unfounded and it works. Or at the very least, that in this downturned economy, that I can get an internship with the Federal Ministry of Death Panel and Senior Liquidation Services.
Filed under: populism | Tagged: health care | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 16, 2010 by Bento
A nonprofit group that John Edwards set up to fight poverty paid $124,000 for Web videos and photos to the former Democratic presidential candidate’s mistress, say four lawyers familiar with the payments. The Center for Promise and Opportunity wrote the previously unreported checks to videographer Rielle Hunter in late 2006, the same year Edwards acknowledged he started a “liaison” with her. (Edwards contended originally that he cut off the relationship that year. He admitted more recently he’s the father of Hunter’s daughter, born in February 2008.) The checks have since been subpoenaed by federal prosecutors in North Carolina as part of a sprawling criminal investigation into nearly $1.5 million in payments from various Edwards entities and campaign contributors that were for Hunter’s benefit, say the lawyers, who asked not to be identified talking about an ongoing probe.
The Daily Beast can now describe the [John Edwards-Rielle Hunter sex-tape] in detail, based on accounts from multiple people who have viewed it. One source who has a medical background and has worked with pregnant patients says Hunter appears four or five months pregnant based on the swollen state of her belly and nipples. This would would place the tape’s filming somewhere around September or October of 2007, smack in the middle of Edwards campaign for the presidency.
Emily Bazelon comments:
That’s right—John Edwards apparently made a porn video with a woman he picked up in a hotel bar in the middle of his bid to become the Democratic presidential nominee. If Rielle is New Age gauzy-crazy, he is stark, raving mad.
Filed under: populism | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 19, 2010 by Bento
Within a few hours of his death, suicide bomber Joe Stack has 442 fans on Facebook.
(As of 12:32 AM 2/19/2010.)
Update: As of 7:35 AM 2/19/2010, Stack has 580 fans.
Update: As of 9:46 AM 2/19/2010, Stack has 656 fans.
Update: As of 2:17 PM 2/19/2010, Stack has 871 fans.
Update: As of 7:18 PM 2/19/2010, Stack has 1,175 fans.
Most of the people in the group claim to disavow Stack’s terrorist actions. This is incoherent. The “philosophy of Joseph Stack” that they have become fans of terminates at the logical conclusion “[V]iolence not only is the answer, it is the only answer.” Many people believe there are dysfunctions in our political system. Many people resent paying taxes. Many people believe our collected tax dollars don’t help those who most need it. None of these ideas originate with Stack. His only unique contribution is the prescription “Violence is the only answer” to improving the system.
Filed under: populism, violence | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 6, 2010 by Bento
On the second day of the Tea Party national convention, World Net Daily founder Joseph Farah, of course, spoke at length about the circumstances of Obama’s birth, and contrasted it to the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, “the most well documented birth in history.” Never no mind that that the record was written 70-110 years after the fact of the birth*, and contradicts both itself internally and contemporaneous historic accounts externally.
*If it happened at all. Given the unreliability of ancient histories in general and the lack of non-scriptural corroborating documentation, I am agnostic on the question of the historic Jesus.
Filed under: birtherism, conspiracy theories, Obama administration, populism, religion, religion: Christianity | 1 Comment »