Friday, August 25, 2017

German supermarket Edeka clears foreign products from shelves in anti-racism stunt

A good way to lose business and illogical anyway.  Buying stuff from abroad is nothing like having hostile minorities living in your own country

A SUPERMARKET in Germany has stripped its shelves of products to make a point about “racism” and “diversity” as the country grapples with a dramatic rise in anti-migrant sentiment.

An Edeka store in Hamburg has removed foreign-made products from its shelves, replacing them with signs bearing “anti-xenophobia” slogans such as “This shelf is pretty boring without diversity”, “Our range now knows borders”, “This is how empty a shelf is without foreigners” and “We will be poorer without diversity”, The Independent reported.

Reaction was mixed on social media, with one person commenting that the shelves “look like they came straight from Cuba”.

A spokeswoman for the Edeka, Germany’s largest supermarket, said the company had “received a lot of positive feedback” to Saturday’s action. “Edeka stands for variety and diversity,” she said. “In our stores we sell numerous foods which are produced in the various regions of Germany.

“But only together with products from other countries it is possible to create the unique variety, that our consumers value. We are pleased that our campaign caused so many positive reactions.”

Edeka is expected to roll out the campaign more broadly as the country prepares for federal elections next month, with immigration high on the agenda.

Germany has experienced a dramatic increase in violent crime, including murder, rape and sexual assault, since Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to allow more than one million migrants into the country in 2015.

Authorities and the media have been accused of attempting to cover up crimes committed by migrants, notably in the wake of the New Year’s Eve mass sex attacks in Cologne. The German government has also pressured Facebook and other social networks to crack down on “xenophobia” and hate speech, raising fears of censorship.

The country has also been rocked by a string of terror attacks over the past two years, including a supermarket stabbing spree in Hamburg last month in which one person was killed and several injured. In December, a terrorist plowed a truck through a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 and injuring 48.

In October, ISIS claimed responsibility for a “lone wolf” knife attack in Hamburg in which a 16-year-old boy was killed, and in July a gunman opened fire in a Munich shopping centre, killing nine people and wounding more than 15.

That came a day before a suicide bomber carrying a backpack bomb filled with “metal parts” attempted to enter an open air music festival in Ansbach, before blowing himself up near the entrance.

Earlier that month, a teenage Afghan refugee armed with a knife and an axe attacked a group of Hong Kong tourists on a train in Wuerzburg, injuring five people before being shot dead by police.

Also in July, a Syrian refugee wielding a machete killed a pregnant woman and injured five others in a fast-food store in Reutlingen, although police ruled out a terrorist motive and said the attacker’s nationality “played no role” in the attack.

In February last year, 15-year-old girl stabbed a police officer at Hanover’s central railway station, in what was the country’s first ISIS-commissioned attack. The girl, a German-Moroccan dual national, was jailed in January this year.

Julia Klöckner, a senior member of Ms Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party, praised the Edeka stunt on social media, calling it a “wise action”. But Marcus Pretzell from the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany party hit back. “Why exactly should it be wise?” he said. “Is it not rather completely mad?”

Sven Schmidt, who posted the widely shared photos on Twitter, praised the campaign but criticised some of the negative reaction he received.

“Looking at all the mentions of hate and lack of understanding of other people I got, I’m happy that I posted it and showed my two cents against the racists, even though I know it was mainly about diversity,” he told The Independent.


Harvard Professor Calls Out Antifa for Trying to ‘Tear Down America’

Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz said Tuesday that liberals should not treat Antifa members as heroes for tearing down Confederate monuments because they are trying to “tear down America.”

“Do not glorify the violent people who are now tearing down the statues. Many of these people, not all of them, many of these people are trying to tear down America. Antifa is a radical, anti-America, anti-free market, communist, socialist, hard-left sensorial organization that tries to stop speakers on campuses from speaking,” Dershowitz said on “Fox & Friends”

“They use violence. Just because they are opposed to fascism and to some of these monuments, should not make them heroes of the liberals,” he added.

Dershowitz warned there is a danger to tearing down these monuments because it creates a slippery slope regarding what is acceptable and what is not.

“Of course there is a danger of going too far,” Dershowitz said. “There is a danger of removing [George] Washington and [Thomas] Jefferson and other Founding Fathers who themselves owned slaves.”

He compared the movement to remove Confederate monuments to Josef Stalin, and accused the agitators of trying to rewrite history.

“The idea of willy nilly going through and doing what Stalin did, just erasing history and rewriting it to serve current purposes does pose a danger. And it poses a danger of education malpractice,” Dershowitz said.

The professor added that both sides of the aisle have a responsibility to condemn the extremes that occur on their particular point of the political spectrum.

“I’m a liberal, and I think it’s the obligation of liberals to speak out against the hard-left radicals, just like it’s the obligation of conservatives to speak out against the extremism of the hard right,” Dershowitz concluded.


Hands off the "Sun" newspaper!

The Sun is a generally conservative British tabloid newspaper with a mainly working class readership.  Labour party people  calling for journalists to be sacked from it are like jumped-up Joe Stalins

Imagine living in a country where politicians were so casually illiberal, so possessed of tinpot tyrannical urges, that they thought nothing of firing off letters of condemnation to the press when it said things they didn’t like. A country where the political elite was so cavalier about the ideal of press freedom that it was happy to demand ‘action’ against journalists whose commentary it judged to be offensive. A country where parliamentarians formed censorious gangs and put pressure on editors to sack columnists for having the ‘wrong’ view.

Well, if you’re a Brit like me, you live in that country. This week, taking their shameful place alongside Turkey’s President Erdogan, who likewise bristles at any newspaper that publishes things he disagrees with, 107 British MPs wrote a letter condemning the Sun for publishing a column critical of aspects of Islam, and suggesting that the journalist who wrote it, Trevor Kavanagh, be sacked.

The MPs, including Labour’s Naz Shah, Diane Abbott and Angela Rayner, and some Tories and Lib Dems too, insist that the Sun ‘retract this article’ — that is, unpublish it, bin it, and never say anything like this again — and that it ‘strongly consider’ whether Kavanagh has any place in its pages. That Kavanagh was political editor of the Sun for 20 years and is a core part of the paper’s personality is of no moment whatsoever to these self-styled cleansers of the press. He upset them, so he must go.

Anyone who believes in press freedom ought to be alarmed by this abuse of power by MPs, who are scandalously using their electoral clout to try to chill the press. The first alarming thing about the letter is its hyperbole. Like all aspiring censors in history, the 107 signatories must turn what was merely a point of view about potential problems relating to Islam into the embodiment of evil, something likely to damage community life and stir up violence. Just as censors of old insisted degenerate art would pollute men’s souls, and sexual literature would propel the populace into a frenzy, so the 107 censorious signatories claim Kavanagh has contributed to an ‘atmosphere of hostility’, used ‘Nazi-like terminology’, and given the impression that a ‘Final Solution’ is required for Muslims. Erm, calm down?

In truth, his column simply raised questions about Islam, which is a faith system. Are beliefs, ideas, no longer open to criticism? If so, that’s politics over with. Kavanagh writes about last week’s conviction of a predominantly Muslim grooming gang in Newscatle, which committed over 100 offences, including rape, against women and girls. He says it has become almost ‘unsayable’ to point out that, for some reason, a fairly significant number of Muslims are involved in some pretty awful misogynistic behaviour and other criminal activities. He suggests this is ‘The Muslim Problem’ but it is too often ‘unspoken’, because people fear a backlash if they criticise Islam. The nasty demand by politicians that he be sacked for writing this proves his point.

Kavanagh doesn’t say anything racist or caricaturing about individual Muslims. He talks about Islam and Muslim culture. The rash response by those 107 MPs is really an attempt to ringfence Islam itself from stinging rebuke or just everyday criticism. Under the guise of protecting individual Muslims from harm, they’re really seeking to protect the ideology of Islam from blasphemy. This makes their letter even worse: not only are they using their political authority to try to stymie press discussion — they’re doing so to the medieval end of ensuring that a particular religion and the culture it might or might not have a role in fostering never be subjected to the same level of criticism as other belief systems.

Then there’s their call for action. This should worry us all. They want the article taken down and Kavanagh taken down too: the letter asks the Sun’s editor to think about whether ‘Mr Kavanagh’s brand of bigotry fits with your vision for the paper’. Who do they think they are? For 350 years Britain has had a press largely free from state interference, independent of the political class, and yet here we have a significant section of the legislative arm of government — a sixth of it — issuing dire warnings to a newspaper. The arrogance and disregard for historically hard-won liberties are astonishing. And the precedent set is a potentially lethal one: if politicians get the idea that they can bully the press whenever it says something they don’t like, then we’re all in trouble.

Naturally, Corbynistas are cheering on the largely Labourite letter-writers. So is Corbyn himself, who says Kavanagh’s article was ‘wrong, dangerous and must be condemned’. Perhaps we should get Kavanagh to stand in a public place with a placard round his neck saying ‘DANGEROUS’? Corbynistas are sometimes referred to as Marxists. Please. Marx understood the value of an unfettered publishing sphere away from the threats and censorious ambitions of the political elite. The free press is ‘the ever vigilant eye of the people’s spirit, the embodiment of the people’s trust in itself’, he wrote. No, Corbynistas mimic someone else, a different figure from history. Careful guys, your Stalinism is showing.


The virgin Sturgeon finally realizes that being a national socialist is not a good look

There was another guy with a funny moustache who was a national socialist once

It has dominated Scotland’s political landscape for a decade and brought the country to the brink of independence but Nicola Sturgeon wishes she could turn the clock back and change the name of the Scottish National Party.

Ms Sturgeon, who joined the SNP at the age of 16, said yesterday she was embarrassed by the SNP name, particularly the “National” part of it.

The party leader made the admission at the Edinburgh Book Festival in a discussion about nationalism prompted by Elif Shafak, a Turkish author who was wrongly accused of publicly denigrating Turkishness with her novel The Bastard of Istanbul.


Religious freedom at risk in shift to homosexual marriage in Australia

The myopic failure of parliament to confront the need for broad ­religious-freedom guarantees in association with same-sex marriage laws has produced the inevitable — strong warnings that one right will be won at the erosion of other rights.

This is the unpalatable situation Australia faces with same-sex marriage. Despite claims from George Brandis, Bill Shorten and many others, such warnings are fully justified.

They rest upon three realities: that protection of belief and ­religious freedom in this country is seriously inadequate; the refusal of politicians either to admit or to address such defects; and the abundant evidence at home and abroad that individuals and institutions will be intimidated after the marriage law is changed.

Assertions to the contrary by politicians are worthless. Having been derelict in their duty they now complain about people pointing out the consequences of their dereliction.

Senior Liberals should beware of running a dishonest campaign ­asserting that such freedoms are protected when that is manifestly not the case.

This has been pointed out by many religious figures including the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher, human rights lawyer and priest Frank Brennan, a range of Liberal politicians including Tony Abbott, and the chair of the Senate committee report, South Australian Liberal David Fawcett. It was documented at length in submissions to the committee that recommended protections for religious freedom be enhanced. This inadequacy has been raised in many independent reports over the years.

Advocates of same-sex marriage insist the change to marriage law must be the only issue considered at the plebiscite. Anything else is dismissed as a scare or distraction. You can only believe this if you believe the consequences of the change don’t matter or if you don’t care if the price of a new right is the sacrifice of other rights or if, in fact, you actually support the winding back of protections for individual belief and religious freedom.

In his recent article for The Guardian, Frank Brennan said religious freedom in Australia was seen as a “second-order right” while in international law it was a “first order ‘non-derogable’ right”.

While the Liberal Party is desperate to “resolve” the same-sex marriage issue, it should beware presiding over a process that sees the roll-back of rights once believed to be intrinsic to its existence. That will come with a high price in future years.

The tactical mistake the Liberal Party made was seeking to make opposition to same-sex marriage the issue (a losing position) when it should have made same-sex marriage only on the condition of religious tolerance guarantees the issue (a winning position).

Newspoll this week showed strong support for same-sex marriage but the vote was 62-18 per cent for protecting religious freedoms at the same time.

The debate about religious freedom has focused entirely around the ceremony, not the society. But the bigger issue concerns protections for individuals, schools, charities, adoption agencies, businesses and institutions. The politicians will deny it but advocates of same-sex marriage felt religious freedom beyond the ceremony was a non-issue they didn’t have to worry about, a telling conclusion.

The efforts of Senator Brandis and Liberal backbencher Dean Smith to draft bills with protections for ministers and celebrants is important and should be recognised.

Wider guarantees must involve legislation beyond the Marriage Act such as anti-discrimination acts. This recognises that, over time, the main social consequence will not arise from same-sex marriage itself but the wider social, cultural and institutional change it brings.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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