Sunday, March 04, 2018

Food Handout Ban for Foreigners Sparks Debate in Germany Over Racism, Migration Policies

A decision by a food bank here to stop providing food to anyone without German citizenship has stirred an ongoing national debate over discrimination and migration policy, with blame flying in more than one direction.

The “Tafel” (Table) food bank, a non-profit non-governmental organization in the western city of Essen, collects food nearing expiration date from restaurants and supermarkets to give to about 6,000 needy people each week.

Local media initially caught wind of the decision to stop registering foreigners, which the organization on its website attributed to “the increase in the number of refugees in recent years.”

After reports drew angry reactions, the NGO’s manager, Jörg Sartor, expressed surprise at the response, telling a press conference that he did not “understand all the excitement” about the decision, which took effect in January.

He said elderly people were frightened away from the food bank, citing complaints of “pushing and shoving,” and blaming migrants who do not understand Germany’s culture of standing in line but have a “give me” attitude.

Those comments only fueled the controversy. Over the following weekend, six of the food bank’s delivery vans and one of its entrances were vandalized with graffiti slogans such as “Nazi.”

The Essen Tafel is one of 930 food banks across Germany, but the only one to ban foreigners.  Manfred Jabs, head of Tafel food banks in two other German states, told the Zeit newspaper the Essen move was discriminatory and “a contradiction of the founding principles of the Tafels.”

The move does not contravene anti-discrimination law, however, as that does not cover the issue of food handouts.

Still, a spokesman for the federal Anti-Discrimination Agency said it was “fundamentally questionable” to exclude people because they are refugees.

Chancellor Angela Merkel also waded into the issue, telling the RTL broadcaster that “one shouldn’t make such distinctions,” but also acknowledging that the situation highlighted the “pressures” facing nonprofit organizations.

Others have similarly labelled the move as discriminatory.

“I can only appeal to our society that we do not define ourselves by German or not German, but that we define ourselves as decent or indecent,” Joachim Stamp, interior minister of North Rhine-Westphalia state (where Essen is located) told a session of the state’s parliament Wednesday.

But others blamed Merkel’s refugee policies, which have seen 1.2 million asylum seekers arrive in the country since 2015.

The far-right anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party said the chancellor’s “asylum chaos” had forced the food bank’s hand.

“Who could have reckoned with an extra 75 percent of asylum scroungers at the charity, who use their elbows against the weak?” the AfD asked in a statement, referring to Sartor’s claims of “pushing and shoving” scaring elderly Germans.

Left Party leader Sahra Wagenknecht also blamed the government, saying its poor planning after the refugee crisis overburdened nonprofit groups.

“It isn’t right that the poorest people bear the costs of migration,” she said in a radio interview. “Irresponsible government policies,” rather than the food bank in Essen, had “poisoned the political climate,” Wagenknecht added.

Poverty issues researcher Christoph Butterwegge pointed to the government’s social policies as the problem, telling DW that “the main thing here is the successive cutbacks of the social welfare system.”

Butterwegge said the food bank’s decision smacked of racism – “nationality cannot be a selection criterion for food aid” – but that preventing hunger “is the government’s responsibility.”

The food bank’s leaders held an “emergency” meeting Tuesday to discuss the outcry. They agreed to meet with lawmakers in two weeks’ time to discuss alternate solutions, but nevertheless committed to maintaining the ban until summer.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert told the mayor of Essen Wednesday that Merkel welcomed the decision to hold discussions on the matter and would be “very interested” in the outcome.

“Need is need,” Seibert said. “Citizenship is not a guideline.”


Georgia: NRA hate proves costly for Delta airlines

Gov. Nathan Deal said he would reluctantly support a measure that stripped a lucrative tax break for Delta Air Lines but also includes broader cuts to the state’s income tax rate.

The Republican was a vocal supporter of the $50 million tax break, which would have eliminated the state’s tax on jet fuels. But Senate Republicans voted Wednesday to strip it out of the measure after Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle said he would “kill” the incentive unless Delta restored ties with a gun rights group.

At a press conference Wednesday, Deal said he was frustrated by the “antics” of Republicans seeking higher office and said he would still seek to salvage a tax break for Delta. But he said he couldn’t veto a measure that also amounted to a sweeping tax cut for residents.

“The real story is the unprecedented $5 billion tax cuts for Georgians,” he said. “The real story is what it has always been: What is in the best interests of our state.”


France’s Le Pen Charged Over Gory ISIS Tweets: ‘World Upside Down’

French far-right leader Marine le Pen said Thursday that the bringing of criminal charges for tweeting graphic images of ISIS violence was clearly an attempt to silence her. She said the world was “upside down.”

If convicted of distributing violent images, the National Front leader, who lost an election run-off last year to President Emmanuel Macron, could be imprisoned for up to three years and fined some $90,000.

Prosecutors in a Paris suburb filed preliminary charges against her Thursday over the three controversial tweets, which featured graphic images of a caged man on fire, an ISIS prisoner being run over by a tank, and the body of James Foley, the American journalist who went missing in Syria in 2012 and was later beheaded by the Sunni terrorist group.

The tweets were posted in late 2015, shortly after ISIS’ deadly attacks in Paris, but until late last year Le Pen as a deputy in the National Assembly enjoyed immunity from prosecution.

At the request of the French justice minister, lawmakers voted in November to strip her of that immunity, laying the ground for this week’s indictment. (Earlier last year, the European Parliament had voted to lift her immunity – she was an MEP at the time of the incident – at the request of the French government.)

After last November’s vote Le Pen called it a violation of her freedom of expression. She tweeted that a jihadist returning from Syria takes fewer legal risks than does a lawmaker who denounces ISIS’ debased behavior.

Under French law, the posting of “violent messages that incite terrorism or pornography or seriously harm human dignity,” and which could be seen by a minor, is a criminal offense.

Responding to Thursday’s development, she told the BFM television news network the indictment was “clearly aimed at silencing me” but added that she “will not be silenced.”
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She said she would consider any conviction a “medal of patriotism.”

Le Pen told the conservative Le Figaro that the law she is being charged under was designed to protect children back in the era of Minitel, a French pre-world wide web technology that was known for its sex chat lines.

“It’s the world upside down,” she said.

At the time Le Pen posted the images, she was responding to a broadcast journalist, Jean-Jacques Bourdin, whom she accused of likening ISIS – also known by the Arabic acronym Daesh – to France’s far-right wing.

“THIS is Daesh,” she tweeted under the images.

Foley’s parents at the time condemned the posting of the “shamefully uncensored” picture of their son’s body.

Le Pen then took down that tweet, saying she had not been aware of the identity of the person in the image, which she said could be accessed on Google by anyone.

Le Pen’s political opponents slammed her over the tweets, with then-prime minister Manuel Valls accusing her of “inflaming” public sentiment and other ministers demanding legal action against her.

The incident occurred several weeks after the Paris terror attacks, when ISIS gunmen killed 130 people over three hours at a concert hall, sports stadium and restaurants in the French capital.


The Leftist race obsession again

It's the Democrats who keep racism alive in America  

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.‘s dream of individuals being judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin is sadly far from being realized, especially within today’s Democrat Party, where racial politics are passed off as a fight for equality and diversity. This reality was on full display in the Senate on Thursday when Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) gave his rationale for voting against President Donald Trump’s judicial nominee Marvin Quattlebaum. Schumer stated, “The nomination of Marvin Quattlebaum speaks to the overall lack of diversity in President Trump’s selections for the federal judiciary. Quattlebaum replaces not one but two scuttled Obama nominees who were African-American.”

Schumer, who must think “minority leader” means something else, further explained, “As of Feb. 14th, 83 percent of the President Trump’s confirmed nominees were male, 92 percent were white. That represents the lowest share of non-white candidates in three decades. It’s long past time that the judiciary starts looking a lot more like the America it represents. Having a diversity of views and experiences on the federal bench is necessary for the equal administration of justice.” So, to put it bluntly, Schumer voted against Quattlebaum because he is white.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) responded to Schumer, tweeting, “I’ve known Chuck Schumer for years. He is not a racist, but this was an absolutely shameful reason to vote against a very qualified nominee like Marvin Quattlebaum.” Graham added, “This is political correctness run amok. Voting against a highly qualified nominee because of the color of his skin does nothing to bring our country and nation together. Frankly it is a massive step backward.”

Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), the GOP’s only black senator, also weighed in on Schumer’s comments, tweeting, “Perhaps Senate Democrats should be more worried about the lack of diversity on their own staffs than attacking an extremely well-qualified judicial nominee from the great state of South Carolina.”

The fact remains the Democrat Party has a long history of race-based politics. Schumer’s statements were merely political “diversity” virtue signaling, to the lowest common denominator. He raised no concerns over Quattlebaum’s past record, nor did he question any of his judicial views. Rather, Schumer simply played the race card as if that were reason enough to reject the man. Schumer is playing the worst kind of identity politics. Fortunately, his racially biased concerns fell flat as Quattlebaum was confirmed by the Senate with a vote of 69-29.



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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