Friday, November 25, 2016
Europe Begins to Take Immigration Seriously
The victory of Donald Trump cements the fear among European elites that was first stoked by Brexit. Can they change quickly enough for their voters?
The Prime Minister of France says that both his nation and Germany are in danger, and the European Union may fall apart. The hazard? Governments refusing to listen to their people's concerns about immigration and Islamist terror.
Immigration was one of the main drivers of Britons' vote to leave the EU, and Valls said the bloc, which more than a million migrants entered last year, had to regain control of its borders.
He said the Brexit vote and Donald Trump's election victory showed how important it was to listen to angry citizens, and that politicians scared of making decisions were opening the door to populists and demagogues.
Valls is worried chiefly about France's National Front party, which has a number of similarities to the forces that recently won stunning come-from-behind victories in the United Kingdom and the United States. In the United States, the election of Donald Trump came in large part because of his frequently repeated promises to get tough on immigration. In the United Kingdom, the so-called "Brexit" campaign struck a blow for Merry England. Though there are significant security challenges associated with Brexit, in all the results have so far been reassuring to those who backed the Leave campaign. Voters in that nation reasserted control over their national destiny and character, with the result that in the wake of this election concerns about immigration fell to a recent low among English citizens. Though immigration concerns remain the single largest issue for Britons, it has in the wake of Brexit fallen to the level of an ordinary political concern - only a few more citizens are very worried about it than are very worried about poverty, for example.
In Germany, however, concerns about immigration are still sky high.
On the other side of the scale are nations like Germany, where a grand total of 15 per cent of residents are immigrants and 38 per cent express concern, and Sweden where 14 per cent are immigrants and 36 per cent are worried.
Also high among German concerns is worries about crime and extremism. Thirty-five per cent of Germans told interviewers they were worried about terror, 28 per cent about extremism, and 36 per cent about crime and violence.
The result has been the repeated success of political movements in Germany at the local levels. Even Angela Merkel has begun to take notice. During her recent trip to Niger, the German leader cautioned refugees not to come to Germany. Ostensibly she is worried about the rate of drownings associated with refugee ships crossing the Mediterranean sea. However, like Valls, she has to be feeling the pressure of the electoral wave.
Merkel's shift puts her in good company. Self-described "liberal" politicians in Germany are also now demanding a new crackdown on immigrants, especially those who - as these politicians phrase it - "reject our state and act against our social order." It is pretty clear to what that coded language intends to refer. However, if anyone doubts that the issue is radical Islam, they need only look to the proposed policy solution: "an expansion of faith-led Islamic classes, which they say should be taught under state supervision in German, by teachers with full training."
That move to take direct government control of how Islam is taught represents a solution far too radical for Americans, whose First Amendment protects the church from any such government intervention. Nevertheless, that such solutions are even under discussion should go a long way to demonstrating that the public's patience with governing elites is largely gone. A political community is not just a market, as Aristotle said, but a group bound by shared values and common beliefs. That basic idea, as old as ancient Greece, is being restored to its central role in public life by another Greek idea: democracy.
Town Renames "Good Friday" for the Sake of "Cultural Sensitivity"
Whenever you hear a liberal talking about cultural diversity and sensitivity it normally means something insensitive is about to happen to Christians.
The latest case in point: Bloomington, Indiana - the home of Indiana University and a nesting place for a gaggle of intolerant liberals.
Mayor John Hamilton recently announced that are renaming two paid holidays for city workers -- in an effort to respect "differing cultures."
Columbus Day will henceforth be known as "Fall Holiday" and Good Friday will be known as "Spring Holiday."
Mayor John Hamilton told Fox 59 the name change will “better reflect cultural sensitivity in the workplace.”
According to our Fox television affiliate -- some folks around town got upset when City Hall posted a closing sign referencing specific holidays.
“As a mayor we are in charge of government. We do not set religious policies, we are not supposed to be part of religion and we are just trying to make sure that our government is open to all people and inclusive,” the mayor told the television station.
And apparently the only way to achieve cultural diversity and sensitivity is by disrespecting Italians and Christians.
"It was not necessary and just stands to divide rather than unite when it comes to Good Friday," the Herald Times wrote in a staff editorial.
The newspaper said a case could be made for changing Columbus Day. "To some in our country the idea of celebrating him is akin to celebrating a marauding invader who sought to destroy a culture," they wrote.
But Good Friday? "It’s a day important to the faith of many in this country," they wrote. "The idea of acting as if city leaders don’t acknowledge its existence and would rather stick a “Spring Holiday” name on it is insensitive to those for whom it means a lot. It’s an unnecessary poke in the eye to many Christians."
Well said, editors!
Mayor Hamilton may not be aware but Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on Good Friday. It's about remembering that God so loved the world that He gave His only Son. Good Friday is a holy day -- not a day to frolick around a maypole in a field of pansies.
And to be honest - I've grown weary of boorish bureaucrats trying to whitewash our faith from the public marketplace all in the name of tolerance and diversity.
They never touch the Muslim holidays, do they? When was the last time you saw a liberal lawmaker launch a crusade to rename Ramadan? You'd have a better chance of spotting Peter Cottontail hopping down the bunny trail.
Conservative Group Launches Boycott of Target Over Bathroom Policies
A conservative watchdog group has started a campaign to boycott Target over its bathroom policies.
In April, Target announced that customers and employees at its locations would be allowed to “use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.”
At the time, the American Family Association launched a petition to boycott the company for the policy, which garnered over 1 million signatures.
Now, watchdog group 2ndVote has launched the #AnywhereButTARGET hashtag and website to encourage customers to do their Christmas shopping elsewhere.
The stated purpose of the boycott is to “make Target understand that there are consequences for supporting a radical movement that is determined to redefine marriage, gender, and, ultimately, the First Amendment.”
According to the group’s press release:
2ndVote is calling on conservative consumers to engage the country’s second-largest retailer on its company-wide policy that allows and encourages individuals to choose restroom and changing room facilities based on gender identity rather than biological sex. Immediate pushback from conservatives forced Target to spend $20 million to add gender neutral bathrooms to its stores shortly after announcing the policy earlier this year.
Following the American Family Association boycott, Target announced it would spend $20 million to install private, unisex restrooms in its stores.
“When a company as large and well-known as Target chooses to insert itself directly into such a radical movement that seeks to ultimately destroy religious liberty and completely goes against our conservative values, it’s our role as an organization to give conservatives a way to communicate directly with the company,” 2ndVote Executive Director Lance Wray said in a statement.
According to its website, 2ndVote is a group that seeks to “expose the corporate influence on major policy decisions and turn the tide on the attacks on conservative values and principles.”
Boycotts of companies for the political views of their owners has become a trend in recent years, with supporters of same-sex marriage boycotting Chick–fil–A in 2012, and supporters of mandatory contraception coverage boycotting Hobby Lobby in 2014.
At least half of anti-Trump protesters arrested in Portland didn’t vote, report says
After Donald Trump’s upset victory last week made him the next president of the United States, thousands of protesters marched in Portland’s streets to proclaim the businessman was “not my president.”
But, according to KGW, state election records indicate that at least half of those arrested didn’t register to vote or turn in a ballot in Oregon.
The television station cross-checked a list of 112 people arrested by Portland police and determined that 34 of those arrested did not return a ballot and another 35 were not registered to vote in the state. The voting records for another 17 protesters had yet to be confirmed, according to KGW.
One protester, though she was registered to vote in Oregon, told the station that she had voted in Washington state after recently moving across state lines. Opponent Hillary Clinton won Oregon’s seven electoral votes.
Most of those who were arrested in connection to the demonstrations had their charges dropped while police are completing paperwork, and will receive traffic citations instead, according to a statement from the Portland Police Bureau and the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office. But two teenagers, who were arrested after a man was shot and hurt early Saturday morning, are being charged with attempted murder or aiding and abetting it, OregonLive reported.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.