Wednesday, September 29, 2010

RIP Tyler Clementi

I am so thankful that I did not come of age in the days of web cams and the rumor mongering of social network sites.  This is by no stretch the only case of something like this happening, but it is no less tragic or depressing.

Victim of Secret Dorm Sex Tape Posts Facebook Goodbye, Jumps to His Death 
Rutgers University Freshman Jumped From the George Washington Bridge

A Rutgers University freshman posted a goodbye message on his Facebook page before jumping to his death after his roommate secretly filmed him during a "sexual encounter" in his dorm room and posted it live on the Internet.

Items belonging to 18-year-old Rutgers student Tyler Clementi were found by the George Washington Bridge last week, according to authorities. Clementi's freshman ID card and driver's license were in the wallet. 

Clementi's post on his Facebook page, dated Sept. 22 at 8:42 p.m. read, "Jumping off the gw bridge sorry." 

Clementi's body has not been recovered, but police have pulled an unidentified male body from the Hudson River just north of the bridge. 

Paul Mainardi, the attorney representing the Clementi family, released a statement confirming Clementi's suicide. 

"Tyler was a fine young man, and a distinguished musician. The family is heartbroken beyond words. They respectfully request that they be given time to grieve their great loss and that their privacy at this painful time be respected by all," Mainardi said. 

Two students, Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei, have been charged with two counts each of invasion of privacy after allegedly placing a camera in Clementi's room and livestreaming the recording online on Sept. 19, according to a written statement by New Jersey's Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan.

A Twitter page that appears to have been operated by Ravi but has since been taken offline shows messages in which the accused student takes credit for the alleged videotaping of Clementi. 

On Sept. 19, Ravi appears to tweet, "Roommate asked for the room till midnight. I went into molly's room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay." 

Ravi faces two additional counts of invasion of privacy for allegedly attempting to use the camera to view and transmit another sexual encounter involving the same student just two days later, said Kaplan. 

On Sept. 21 Ravi posted, "Anyone with iChat, I dare you to video chat me between the hours of 9:30 and 12. Yes it's happening again."

Clementi's lawyer said the family is cooperating with the ongoing criminal investigation into Ravi and Wei's alleged actions. 

"The case is being investigated by the Rutgers University Police Department. The students -- like all who are accused of a crime -- must be presumed innocent until proven guilty," said Rutgers President Richard L. McCormick in a statement. "The case is also being investigated by the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs under the code of student conduct." 

"Rutgers is a community that is extraordinarily proud of its diversity and the respect its members have for one another." 

A Facebook memorial group created in honor of Clementi already has hundreds of members, many of whom are fellow graduates of Ridgewood High School in New Jersey. Clementi had graduated Ridgewood this past spring. 

One of Tyler's friends, Courtney Ayukawa, posted to the group's wall, "I will always remember everything from our preschool's Halloween party to your amazing musical talents. When you picked up the violin and began to play, it was as if everything just paused until you put it down again. We will never forget you Tyler. May you rest in peace." 

Strangers have also contributed to the memorial page, one writing simply, "R.I.P from a stranger."

Michael Zhuang, a friend of Ravi's for six years, describes the suspect as someone into computer programming and video games. 

Zhuang told ABC News he believes Ravi was excited to go to Rutgers and believes the media portrayals of Ravi as possibly homophobic or a serious prankster are not true. "I'm in shock, I didn't expect this to happen and I am just speechless. He's normally very nice and I don't think that this is a representation of him," said Zhuang. "He's very very open minded and he, like if it had been a girl in the room it wouldn't have been any different," he said.

Jim O'Neill, the public information officer for prosecutor's office, declined to comment on the case. 

Both Wei and Ravi surrendered to police. Wei has been released on her own recognizance and Ravi posted $25,000 bail.

Under New Jersey's invasion-of-privacy statutes, it is a fourth degree crime to collect or view images depicting nudity or sexual contact involving another individual without that person's consent, and it is a third degree crime to transmit or distribute such images. The penalty for conviction of a third degree offense can include a prison term of up to five years. 

Lawyers for both Wei and Ravi did not respond to messages left by ABC News. 

ABC News' Aaron Katarsky, Shimon Prokupecz and Ayana Harry contributed to this story.

The Gawker comments presented the dilemma of past cases in which peoples' private lives were revealed for all the world to see.  The difference here to me is that Mr. Clementi never asked to have his private life video-streamed for us to see (and put there by a roommate who advertised it without Clementi's knowledge).  How many people would like to have their lives put out there, particularly if you are gay, and in a society that still (even in this age of Glee) has homophobic strains?  Just look at the comments on the poster's Twitter page, treating Mr. Clementi almost as if he was diseased and Mr. Ravi as the victim of a terrible crime.  That is the dehumanizing process of what bigotry does to us and it permeates so much of our culture even today.   And it is that hateful world that helped make possible the coerced loss of a young man's life.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Russ Feingold 2010

I have written previously about my desire to see a Feingold candidacy in 2012, but it will mean nothing if Senator Feingold loses re-election in 2010.  He is right now down in a race to a teabagger.  Not just any teabagger, but like so many a two-faced hypocrite on abolishing unemployment benefits and Medicare, while raking in millions from taxpayers himself.  

In a normal world, Ron Johnson would be laughed out of the room, especially in a state like Wisconsin, the home of the LaFollettes (and yes, sadly, Joseph McCarthy).  This is not a normal year.  It is one of recession, a spineless, barely-does-anything Democratic President, and a resurgent white supremacist-motivated right-wing, aching to become the majority so they can reveal the corporatist moderate President we have as some secretive Stalinist Muslim.  And the media, as useless and apologetic as Rahm Emanuel (except when cussing out progressives and unions), has spent the past two years caving into these bigots and portraying their hate rallies as some kind of "movement" (when their demonstrations attract smaller crowds than the ignored anti-war demonstrations right before the Iraq War).

To put it bluntly, Russ Feingold needs our help.  There are very few members of Congress I genuinely respect.  Maybe Dennis Kucinich, but certainly none of the troglodytes in the Democratic leadership (excepting maybe Dick Durbin on a good day).  Russ Feingold has voted our way on almost every major issue since he has been in the Senate.  He voted against NAFTA, banking deregulation, tightening of bankruptcy laws, tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, the Defense of Marriage Act, and most importantly was the only member of the Senate to vote against both the Patriot Act and the Iraq War.  To be sure, Russ is not perfect (his likeness for John Ashcroft was both creepy and frustrating), but he has been there on the most important issues almost every time in his career.  Harry Reid certainly cannot make that claim.  Neither can Nancy Pelosi.

For everyone in Wisconsin, if you are a progressive, I hope you are doing everything to help get Senator Feingold re-elected.  For those of us outside of Wisconsin, we look to him as a leader of the left in Congress--for that matter this country.  And for those of us out-of-state, I am going to do something I have never done before (outside of campaign volunteer work).  I am going to donate to Senator Feingold's re-election.  His opponent is a government money-addled executive, bankrolled, and using corporate donations to get himself into power.  It is up to us to help the Senator get re-elected.  Here is his campaign site, as well as the donation form.

Here is to hoping that you win, Russ.  You are one of the few incumbents who genuinely deserves it.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

State Terrorism: In The Name of Anti-Terrorism..

I have no doubt that the recent Supreme Court decision, allowing the federal government to prosecute as material support for terrorism anyone who so much as talks to a known a terrorist group, even to convince them to take a peaceful path, played a role in this.  Here is our hope and change that we can believe in: the FBI playing its traditional role of murder, terrorism, and harassment of the left (from Fred Hampton and Martin Luther King to these raids).  You can rest assured that no one from the tea party movement or Fox "news" is going to mind the sight of federal law enforcement and big government cracking down like this.  Such is their belief in freedom and liberty.

FBI searches 8 locations in Minn., Chicago 

Agency says it's part of terror probe; antiwar activists say they are targets
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The FBI said it searched eight addresses in Minneapolis and Chicago as part of a terrorism investigation Friday. Warrants suggest agents were looking for connections between local anti-war activists and terrorist groups in Colombia and the Middle East. 

FBI spokesman Steve Warfield told The Associated Press agents served six warrants in Minneapolis and two in Chicago.
"These were search warrants only," Warfield said. "We're not anticipating any arrests at this time. They're seeking evidence relating to activities concerning the material support of terrorism." 

The homes of longtime Minneapolis anti-war activists Mick Kelly, Jess Sundin and Meredith Aby were among those searched, they said. All three were subpoenaed to appear before a federal grand jury in Chicago: Aby on Oct. 5, Sundin on Oct. 12 and Kelly on Oct. 19. 

"The FBI is harassing anti-war organizers and leaders, folks who opposed U.S. intervention in the Middle East and Latin America," Kelly said before agents confiscated his cell phone. 

Sundin said she believes the searches are connected with the Minnesota Anti-War Committee's opposition to U.S. military aid to Colombia and Israel, as well as its opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

"It's kind of outrageous that citizens of the United States could be targeted like this," Sundin said. 

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Warfield said he couldn't comment on whose homes were searched or give details on why because it's an ongoing investigation. "There's no imminent threat to the community," he said. 

The searches were first reported by the Star Tribune.

The warrant for Kelly's home, provided by his attorney, sought evidence on travel he did as part of his work for the Freedom Road Socialist Organization and information on any travel to Colombia, the Palestinian territories, Jordan, Syria or Israel. The warrant for Sundin's home was similar but included a slightly different list of targeted groups.

Kelly's warrant also said agents sought information on contact with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Hezbollah. The U.S. government considers those three groups terrorist organizations.

"It appears to be a fishing expedition," said Kelly's attorney, Ted Dooley. "It seems like they're casting a huge seine or net into the political sea and see what they can drag up on shore and dry out. There's no rhyme or reason to it in a free society."

The federal law cited in the search warrant prohibits "providing material support or resources to designated foreign terrorist organizations."

"I'm having a hard time paying my rent," Kelly said. "There is no material support."

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a free-speech challenge to the law from humanitarian aid groups that said some provisions put them at risk of being prosecuted for talking to terrorist organizations about nonviolent activities.

Two groups use the name Freedom Road Socialist Organization, one based in Chicago and one in New York. They split several years ago, and the New York group said it was not targeted.

The website for the Chicago group, which describes itself as a "revolutionary socialist and Marxist-Leninist organization," shows Kelly and Sundin have been affiliated with it. Kelly edits FightBack!, a Minneapolis-based website and newspaper for the group.

Kelly's subpoena also commanded him to bring records he might have relating to the Middle East and Colombia, along with "all records of any payment provided directly or indirectly to Hatam Abudayyeh." 
The subpoena did not further identify Abudayyeh, but FightBack has interviewed and carried articles by a Hatam Abudayyeh who's the executive director of the Chicago-based Arab American Action Network. 

Abudayyeh did not immediately return a phone message left at his office.
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Kelly said he went to Lebanon two years ago for a Palestinian solidarity conference, and he's been on Colombian radio by phone from the U.S.

Sundin said she visited Colombia 10 years ago for a conference organized by a social movement there in opposition to U.S. military aid.

Aby said she went to Palestine in 2002 and Colombia in 2004 and 2006 to meet with activists. She said anyone who's an activist in those counties gets labeled as a terrorist.

Both Sundin and Kelly were organizers of a mass march on the first day of the Republican National Convention in St. Paul two years ago, and recently appeared at a news conference to announce plans for another protest if Minneapolis is selected to hold the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

Police estimated the peaceful march in 2008 drew 10,000 protesters; organizers put the figure at 30,000. 

Other protests were marked by destructive acts by anarchists. More than 800 people were arrested during the four days of the convention, including Sundin and Kelly.

Other Minnesota anti-war activists whose homes were searched included Anh Pham, Sarah Martin and Tracy Molm, Dooley said. He said he didn't know whose homes were searched in Chicago.

The FBI's spokesman in Chicago, Ross Rice, would only say two searches were conducted Friday in Chicago and there were no arrests. 

Asked about the reports, the U.S. Attorney's office spokesman in Chicago, Randy Samborn, confirmed warrants were served in the city "in connection with a law enforcement investigation." He also declined to provide details.


I am sure if we decided to round up anyone who has so much as talked to a member of the Likud Party, an organization that has been responsible for the deaths of many more people than the PFLP, there would be a much different response amongst the freepers and anti-masturbation set the Delaware GOP.  When was the last time an anti-war person in this country truck-bombed a federal building?  You never see anyone declaring that pro-gun Republicans (as Timothy McVeigh was), out of respect for the families, should be prohibited from walking within a three block radius of the federal building area that their brethren bombed.  

But no, an anti-war person may have emailed someone who was a member of one of those groups, or even met a supporter at a conference eight years ago, with no pretenses of wanting to blow something up.  That's terrorism to our friends in the FBI, but showing up at a presidential speech like this is perfectly OK to them (probably because they agree with him and hope he does what he's advocating on the sign).

If anyone from the NSA/Google is cataloging this, or even better the FBI, I say this with all sincerity and full meaning:  Fuck You.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Forget Masturbation....

...that's right, evil cretins.  You know who you are, you sexually active Americans.  Christine O'Donnell is not only a Republican candidate for the US Senate.  She's also a small town girl, living in a lonely world as a woman in her 30s (back in 2003) and, most importantly for the rest of us sinning types, chaste.  And why not make us suffer the same fate?  After all, according to the teabagger express, government should not be involved in anything, except when making us carry rape babies to term and not having sex or carnal thoughts and/or acts of self-love.  Yes, this is what the framers of our Constitution wanted.

For a person who has such hangups about sex, she certainly seems to enjoy talking about it, a lot. Admittedly, I enjoyed posting the video, if only because it gives me comedy relief. Apparently, when I was reading Das Kapital in my undergrad days, I forgot about the appropriate time and use for government action, like preventing people from having sex.  Check.

If only I had a less active sex life, especially in my undergrad years, I would have turned out alright, just like Ms. O'Donnnell--that is, if by alright you mean a "chaste" hypocrite who tells us that we should not be doing what she spent much of her college years partaking in.  Great candidate you picked there, tea party folk.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tea Party Smoke and Mirrors

I have never bought into the genuineness of the tea party movement.  Yes, I know, I am an evil pinko leftist baby eater, so naturally my opinion does not count to either the current administration or those who think Muslims and Mexicans should be put in concentration camps.  The biggest problem of this media-inspired non-movement, movement is that what demonstrations they hold, which have been smaller than the anti-war demonstrations ignored by our mainstream media before/right after the Iraq War, is the obsession with race and religion over economics in the signs from these so-called fellow citizens that attend their rallies.  You know which ones I am talking about, of course.  These wonderful people.

The second problem I have always had with the teabaggers has been the substance of the alleged cause they claim to support.  If you believe what our friends at Fox "news" say, the tea partiers are concentrated on economic issues, opposing big government, taxes, socialism, etc.  This is in spite of the fact that the two most prominent tea party candidates, Sharon Angle and Christine O'Donnell, are religious dispensationalists who are much more concerned about making impregnated rape victims have their babies and banning masturbation, but for the purpose of this post I will relieve the reader from such obsessions.  Let us look at what the teabaggers  (i.e., Republican voters who are upset that a black man is in the White House and doing most of the same things their white conservative brethren were doing when they were in office) support.

Here are the "pledges" from our esteemed Republicans in its newest incarnation, the Pledge to America.

Whenever the agenda of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to institute a new governing agenda and set a different course.

These first principles were proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, enshrined in the Constitution, and have endured through hard sacrifice and commitment by generations of Americans. In a self-governing society, the only bulwark against the power of the state is the consent of the governed, and regarding the policies of the current government, the governed do not consent.

An unchecked executive, a compliant legislature, and an overreaching judiciary have combined to thwart the will of the people and overturn their votes and their values, striking down long-standing laws and institutions and scorning the deepest beliefs of the American people.

An arrogant and out-of-touch government of self-appointed elites makes decisions, issues mandates, and enacts laws without accepting or requesting the input of the many.

Rising joblessness, crushing debt, and a polarizing political environment are fraying the bonds among our people and blurring our sense of national purpose. Like free peoples of the past, our citizens refuse to accommodate a government that believes it can replace the will of the people with its own. The American people are speaking out, demanding that we realign our country’s compass with its founding principles and apply those principles to solve our common problems for the common good. The need for urgent action to repair our economy and reclaim our government for the people cannot be overstated. With this document, we pledge to dedicate ourselves to the task of reconnecting our highest aspirations to the permanent truths of our founding by keeping faith with the values our nation was founded on, the principles we stand for, and the priorities of our people. This is our Pledge to America.

We pledge to honor the Constitution as constructed by its framers and honor the original intent of those precepts that have been consistently ignored – particularly the Tenth Amendment, which grants that all powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

We pledge to advance policies that promote greater liberty, wider opportunity, a robust defense, and national economic prosperity. We pledge to honor families, traditional marriage, life, and the private and faith-based organizations that form the core of our American values.

We pledge to make government more transparent in its actions, careful in its stewardship, and honest in its dealings.

We pledge to uphold the purpose and promise of a better America, knowing that to whom much is given, much is expected and that the blessings of our liberty buoy the hopes of mankind.

We make this pledge bearing true faith and allegiance to the people we represent, and we invite fellow citizens and patriots to join us in forming a new governing agenda for America.
If by chance anyone is reading who supports this, I kindly ask you to answer the following.

1.  If our current executive branch is "arrogant" and "unaccountable,"  traits which you claim to oppose in government, what do you call supporting a president who unilaterally declares an American citizen a "detainee" in Cuba, and as such warranting a torture session?  What do you call lying this country into a war, a war that was (under our Constitution [the document you claim to support]) supposed to be declared and made by Congress, not the President?  What do you call a person who says that he has the right to sign executive orders that permit the suspension of habeas corpus?  Seem unaccountable and arrogant to you?  Well, dear tea partiers, I mean Republicans, you voted for and supported that government for eight long years.

2.  In your own pledge, you complain about federal spending.  Nowhere in your pledge do you ever list what spending you will cut.  Not one member of your party, since this is really just a get-out-the-vote for Republicans anyway, will list a single budget item that you will cut.  Instead, you say that you want to oversee Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.  Nothing else.  Has it ever occurred to you when Mitch McConnell and John Boehner were in the majority, these same men (your leaders) supported and steered the passage of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, infusing over $400 billion of pure deficit spending in Medicare?  That not once, in all the time the Republicans were in the majority, did your party (the one you vote for and support) ever submit a single balanced budget (when you had a Republican President and Congress)?

Tell me, and I ask this as a sincere question to the tea party folk reading this, how can you reduce our $13 trillion national debt and our $1.5-plus annual deficit without cutting our largest budget item, the military?  You know that this cannot be accomplished.  And you cannot do anything about the deficit, which in my view is of no consequence and a blessing in disguise, without cutting or eliminating Social Security and Medicare.  Why not propose these kinds of specific cuts?  Why not be principled von Hayekians and advocate what you know you need to do to reduce the deficit?  Has it not occurred to you (the supporters, not the leaders, naturally) that you are just being played for votes and that your party will actually not implement any of this, especially when they do not even bother to give you any specifics in the very document they are using to vie for power?  

It is easy enough for you to cut a state budget, but you know what will happen to you politically if you touch the military or Social Security.  Your party's leaders know it.  That is why in over 20 pages of their pledge, in all of the flowery language to cut spending, they refuse to list or illustrate what they will eliminate or drastically reduce.

3.  How can you claim to be "against deficits," while simultaneously supporting any cut in our tax rates for the wealthiest Americans?  The richest 400 people in this country have over 10% of this nation's GDP (over $1.4 trillion).  The Bush tax cuts, which you want to make permanent, has been by far the largest contributor to our budget deficits in the past decade.

Since 2001, those tax cuts that you want to make permanent have contributed over $1.6 trillion to our national debt.  How do you plan to pay for these trillions of new dollars on our deficits to make sure Paris Hilton can keep her coke stash replenished?  Nowhere in that document do you even try to mention what you would do.  

Please, by all means, enlighten me and say your peace.  I have been waiting for one of you to finally walk the walk and publicly, contractually forgo any and all future Social Security payments beyond your own tax contributions.  Not surprisingly, dear tea party enthusiasts, you have refused to practice what you generically preach for everyone else.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The White Folks Revolt

It is that dawn of the fall, the coming before the abyss for the white people of Western Europe and North America--when we know that within the next few decades we will no longer be running this world.  And oh, how we hate it so.

Anti-immigration sentiment grows in Sweden
STOCKHOLM – A far-right group's election breakthrough has shattered Sweden's reputation as a bastion of tolerance after years of being seemingly inoculated against the backlash on immigration seen elsewhere in Europe.

Sunday's election showed that the country's welcome to refugees is not universally accepted: Nearly 6 percent of the population voted for a nationalist group that accuses immigrants — especially Muslims — of eroding Sweden's national identity and its cherished welfare state.

It's a bitter pill for a nation that frowned upon Denmark's vitriol toward Muslim immigrants, Swiss attempts to ban minarets and France's crackdown on Gypsy camps.

"The banner of tolerance has been hauled down and the forces of darkness have finally taken the Swedish democracy hostage, too," the Expressen tabloid wrote in a post-election editorial.

"It's Monday morning and time for Swedes to get a new self-image," read a bold front-page headline in Svenska Dagbladet.

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt's coalition won the election but lost its majority in the 349-seat legislature, weakening its ability to push through crucial legislation.

The Sweden Democrats, a small nationalist party, entered Parliament for the first time, winning 20 seats to hold the balance of power between the 172 seats captured by the four-party center-right bloc and the 154 seats won by the three-party leftist opposition, according to preliminary returns.

Hardening attitudes toward immigrants have helped far-right radicals gain influence elsewhere in western Europe.

The Netherlands, which built a reputation of open-minded policies, took a hard right turn against immigration in 2002, when populist politician Pim Fortuyn broke all taboos against speaking out against multiculturalism and said Holland was "full." Anti-immigrant parties have been significant factors in every election since then.
In June, anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders, who has denounced the Quran as a "fascist book" and campaigned to halt more Muslim immigration, more than doubled his seats in Parliament and is the kingmaker of the emerging right-wing coalition. Wilders goes on trial next month for "hate speech" for some of his most outspoken anti-immigrant remarks.

The U.S. also has seen a backlash, underscored by the uproar over Arizona's attempts to get tough on illegal immigration and plans to build an Islamic center near ground zero in New York.

Sweden became barren ground for such groups after the sudden rise and fall of a right-wing populist party in the early 1990s. Since then, Swedes have dealt with immigration issues delicately, at times even apologetically.

When a mainstream political party eight years ago suggested basic Swedish-language skills should be mandatory for citizenship — an uncontroversial requirement in many other countries — it was accused of catering to xenophobes.

Swedish leaders also lashed out at Scandinavian neighbor Denmark for sharply tightening immigration in 2002, and reacted with horror to the anti-Muslim statements by leaders of the nationalist Danish People's Party.

That helped cement Sweden's reputation as being a haven for immigrants, and was one the reasons the nation of 9.4 million attracted more Iraqi refugees following the U.S. toppling of Saddam Hussein than any other country in the West.

To many, that era is over with the election of the Sweden Democrats to Parliament.

"During the 15 years I have lived in Sweden, I've always been proud of being able to say that if there's racism in Sweden, it's to a small degree," said Richard Aliaga Tello, a 36-year-old immigrant from Peru. "It's sad not being able to have that pride anymore. On the contrary, I'm going to feel a bit ashamed."

Led by Jimmie Akesson, the Sweden Democrats won 20 parliamentary seats and the balance of power between the center-right government and the left-wing opposition. Both main blocs refuse to work with Akesson, 31, and are likely to seek a deal across the political divide just to keep him out. "They will be forced to change their policies, above all on integration and immigration if they don't want to keep losing votes to us," a defiant Akesson told Swedish Radio. 

Akesson denies allegations of racism, saying his party has nothing against immigrants as individuals. It's their large number that's a burden on the Swedish welfare state, he says. 

"We haven't had the capacity to receive all those who have been let in. We haven't had the capacity to get them out into society, get them to work, to assimilate them into Swedish society," Akesson told The Associated Press in a May 24 interview at the group's secret Stockholm office. 

Sweden has undergone a dramatic demographic shift since World War II when it was a largely homogenous country. Labor migration from southern Europe was followed by waves of refugees fleeing Chile's dictatorship, Iran's revolution, Iraq's oppression of Kurds and the Balkans' ethnic strife. 

Today, one in seven Swedes is foreign-born, slightly more than the European average, said Jan Ekberg, an economist at Linnaeus University in Vaxjo who has studied immigration across Europe. 

While providing a generous welcome, Sweden has struggled to integrate them into the job market. In 2006, 57 percent of immigrants were working, compared with 80 percent of native Swedes, Ekberg said, citing official statistics. 

"It's in areas where you see the weakest integration of immigrations in the labor market where the Sweden Democrats have the strongest support," he added. 

Akesson wants to cut Sweden's admission of asylum-seekers and immigrants seeking reunification with their families by 90 percent. Last year, Sweden took in 45,000 people in those categories. 

He is especially concerned about Islam, calling its impact on Swedish society "our biggest foreign threat since World War II." He mentions cases of public schools that have stopped serving pork and no longer celebrate the end of the school year in church. 

A TV campaign advertisement by the Sweden Democrats showed an elderly Swedish woman trying to reach an emergency brake labeled "Immigration" before a mob of burqa-clad women pushing strollers could get to another brake with a sign saying "Pensions." 

A Swedish private TV network refused to show the commercial, saying it was inciting hatred against Muslims. 
To the Sweden Democrats, it was one of many examples of how mainstream media and the political establishment were trying to silence its views. Akesson was not invited to the final party leader debate on Swedish national broadcaster SVT even though polls suggested his party would enter Parliament. 

On Monday, Reinfeldt had difficulty digesting the fact that 330,000 Swedes had voted for the Sweden Democrats, whose roots go back to an explicitly xenophobic movement in the 1980s. 

They couldn't all be xenophobes, he said at a news conference, but instead may be people who have lost faith in the way integration has been handled in Sweden. 

"There is every reason to try to understand and try to address those feelings," Reinfeldt said. 

Daniel Poohl, the editor of anti-racism magazine Expo, suggested Sweden's self-image "as the world's most tolerant nation" was wrong. 

"Racism and xenophobia constitute a serious problem for society," he said. "Combined with dissatisfaction and frustration, it has now gotten a voice in parliament."

Associated Press writer Malin Rising contributed to this report.


The liberals in Sweden are being too nice to those voters.  They deserve the same vitriol as those forces in this country, particularly in Arizona, who want to turn this nation into a non-white free zone.  Sounds harsh and mean to say about our white right brethren?  I always give credit to conservatives who bother to write about these issues.  They are, if nothing else, brutal in stating their actual intentions.

What Do White Nationalists Want?
by Jared Taylor

Lost in Justin Raimondo’s torrent of mistaken assumptions and wild accusations is one useful question: What do “white nationalists” want? By putting the term in quotation marks, Mr. Raimondo has stumbled onto an important truth, namely, that there is no accepted term for contemporary Americans who still hold some of the views about race that were taken for granted by virtually all Americans until about the 1950s.

Until then, most people believed race was an important aspect of individual and group identity. They believed that the races differed in temperament and ability, and whites preferred the societies built by whites to those built by non-whites. They wanted the United States to be peopled by Europeans because they believed only people of European stock would maintain the civilization they valued. These views were so wide-spread, so taken for granted, so indisputable that there was no term for them. Just as there was no name for people who expected the sun to rise in the East, there was no name for people whose views are today sometimes given the clumsy term “white nationalism.”

The national-origins immigration policy that lasted until 1965 embodied this basic understanding of race. As one of the supporters of that policy, Congressman William Vaile of Colorado explained in 1924, “[the United States] is a good country. It suits us. And what we assert is that we are not going to surrender it to somebody else or allow other people, no matter what their merits, to make it something different.” I might add that even if this sentiment shocks Americans today, it is exactly the view of their own country held by virtually every Japanese, Israeli, or Mexican.

What perhaps most succinctly characterizes those whom Mr. Raimondo calls “white nationalists” is the conviction that it was a terrible mistake to abandon national-origins quotas and throw the United States open to immigration from everywhere. As Senator Sam Ervin of North Carolina wondered at the time: “What is wrong with the national origins of the American people?  What is wrong with maintaining them? What is wrong with preferring as immigrants one’s own kinsmen?” There were no good answers to those questions then and there is none today.

I believe Sam Ervin—and Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt—shared my desire for a country in which our ancestors were respected as pioneers and statesmen, not reviled as murderers and thieves. I believe they wanted a country in which their children’s children would walk in the ways of their forebears, sing the same songs, worship the same God, revere the same heroes, and proudly carry forward the civilization and culture of the West. I am certain they believed this would be possible only in a nation whose majority people were the biological heirs to the creators of that culture and civilization.

My hopes for the land in which my descendants will live are no different from those of virtually every person who has ever lived anywhere. The idea that nothing will be lost if a founding population is replaced with aliens is a new disease that strikes only whites. Our Mexican neighbors would scoff at the notion that “diversity” is a strength or that millions of English-speaking, white-skinned immigrants were a form of “cultural enrichment.” They would be astonished at the idea of elevating to a position of power a gringa who claimed white women made better decisions than Mexican men. In all these things they could not be more natural, normal, or healthy. It is we who have betrayed the ideals of our ancestors and diced with our children’s future by opening the doors to dispossession.

Is dispossession too strong a word? Just visit Detroit or Miami or parts of Los Angeles. You will not find the civilization Jefferson or Lincoln or Teddy Roosevelt thought they were building for their children. There are great swathes of America in which Spanish—or even Chinese—is the lingua franca, and where English-speakers are out of place. At the college down the road there are footbaths in the student union so Muslim immigrants can clean their feet before salaaming in the worship area they demanded be set aside for them. Washington’s and Jefferson’s names are being pulled down from public schools to be replaced with Cesar Chavez and Martin Luther King.

I am not certain it is possible to salvage from the chaos immigration is bringing to this country a nation of which my grandchildren can even feel a part, much less be proud. But unless whites wake up from their stupor, unless they—like the white firemen of New Haven—realize they have legitimate rights as a group and are prepared to fight for them, they will be shoved aside by Africans, Asians, Mexicans, Haitians, and Muslims who have, in addition to very sharp elbows, a keen sense of their own interests.

It is certainly true that there are many group identifications besides race. Our deepest ties are to our families, and our loyalties expand in concentric and overlapping circles: clubs, friends, work groups, nationalities, even cities and states. But the largest group to which most people feel a natural loyalty is race. That is because race marks the limit of our extended families, and defines the group to which we are genetically closer than to any other.
Loyalties of this kind are not rational but they are no less powerful for this reason. I love my own children more than I love the children of strangers, not because they are objectively superior but because they are mine. No one disputes my right to this irrational loyalty—nor should they dispute my right to an equally irrational, equally deep and genetic loyalty to my extended family.

At the same time, though I make sacrifices for my own children that I would never make for the children of others, this implies no ill feeling for other children. I can even have great affection for other children but mine come first. It should not require pointing out that, in like manner, loyalty to a race or nation need imply no ill feeling for any other. I can admire and like the Chinese or the Watusi without wanting my own country or my own descendants to become Chinese or Watusi. They, in turn, have no desire to fill their countries with Europeans.

Mr. Raimondo seems to think only a Nazi could oppose miscegenation or care about the racial/ethnic composition of his country. I’m sure we can count on him to explain to Israelis who want a Jewish state, and to the many Jews and blacks who oppose inter-marriage that they are actually Nazis. And, of course, the many Americans who opposed what they called “amalgamation” and even passed laws to forbid it were all Nazis long before Nazism. The Japanese, who would rather invent clever robots than encourage immigrants, and the Mexicans who do not let non-citizens own property are no doubt Nazis, too. This is the sort of silliness that comes from thinking in clich├ęs, from swallowing the mantras of liberal egalitarianism.

Mr. Raimondo seems to insist on looking at everything from a libertarian perspective so let us adopt one. Mr. Raimondo does not appear to understand that I am not proposing a state-enforced caste system; I want to dismantle the one we have, the one that turned the New Haven firemen into untouchables. Likewise, I have always stood for completely free association, and if someone wants to associate across racial lines that is his business. In 1843, Massachusetts repealed its anti-miscegenation laws for the same reason I oppose them: healthy societies don’t need them.

Many doctrinaire libertarians think there should not even be immigration control. They argue that in an ideal world of private property each property owner could set his own immigration policy. Until that day comes, I am certainly not proposing an expansion of state power; merely a policy that preserves our heritage rather than devour it.

And what if, like Mr. Raimondo, we are to put libertarianism before the preservation of race or heritage? Perhaps he has not noticed that it is only whites who have even imagined an individualism as pure as libertarianism. How many non-white allies has he found in his battle against the state? Does he really think Mexicans and Africans will help him dismantle state power rather than seize it for their own purposes? By ignoring race Mr. Raimondo is ensuring the failure of what I take to be his most cherished project.

Where Mr. Raimondo and I most clearly part company is that I am in earnest about the survival of my people and their civilization. For that I apologize to no one. If Mr. Raimondo does not see the crisis, he has every right to enjoy his ignorance, but he joins forces with the very multi-culturalists he claims to oppose when he denies to whites an awareness of their group interests without which they are doomed to oblivion.


Such are the twists and turns of the most honest conservatives in this country.  Twenty years ago, Taylor was writing books about how the welfare state really hurt blacks and how we should be kind to non-white peoples by cutting everyone off (with the assumption that somehow welfare was only for minorities), along with other posited remedies like sterilizing 'welfare mothers'.  Jared just simply took his views on race and immigration to their logical extreme, which is where the right in this country and everywhere in the West is moving these days (much like their forebears in the eugenics movement in the 19th and early 20th century).  I do not anticipate it getting better, either, but worse, a lot worse and soon.  What we are seeing in the Park51-Islamic center/mosque "controversy" in New York City is a mere precursor of what conservatives in this country will be doing in the very near future, which is advocating and trying to use (when allowed) the power of the government to punish and restrict non-Christian religious practice, much in the same way they are trying to set up a system of internal passports for anyone who is Latino.

The next step in this game is what is happening in Europe, where open racism by the white population against non-white immigrants and non-whites in general is more accepted and widespread.  This means that in the very near future, we can expect proposals to banish new immigration from Muslim majority countries, as well as most of Latin America, a ban or restrictions on the practice of Islam (headscarf ban in public schools, targeting minaret construction, etc.), which will culminate in state-sanctioned, wholesale rights-violations of non-white and especially Muslim immigrants in the US.  I would not exclude the advocacy or attempted reintroduction of internment camps, particularly if there is another terrorist attack on our soil (couched in Orwellian language of "protecting" the people they want to see interned or worse).  The same people who cry Communism and big government when it comes to anything that impacts them will transform into the kind of statists that Madison warned us against.

I hope I am wrong about all of this, but I do not think I am.  The hardening and closing of the white mind, or the majority thereof (since I am white and do not have the political values and culture of most white people in this country), has begun (and has been under way in this country for at least the last few years).  We are already to the point that the conservatives of the recent past, like ex-President Reagan, would look like a bleeding heart today.  When Pat Buchanan ran for the Presidency in 1992, against then-President George H.W. Bush in the Republican primaries, he was attacked by his own party, including by people like William Bennett for being a "xenophobe" for advocating the construction of a fence along the US-Mexican border.  We are to the point that even a supposedly black liberal-Maoist-Kenyan-Muslim is fulfilling what Buchanan wanted almost two decades ago (with little opposition--that is, unless you want to risk being called a Mexico lover).  As 2050 arrives (year zero for the coming numerical minority in this country for peoples of European descent), it is only going to descend into more extreme language, expressed views of paranoia, that it will make Glenn Beck seem multiculturalist for desecrating the memory of Martin Luther King.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Something Nice

I periodically receive correspondence from my tens of readers.  I must admit, my readers seem extremely intelligent and write some interesting emails that I enjoy reading.   And for those of you whom I semi-regularly converse with, I can never thank you enough for the input.  

When it comes to constructive criticism, one of the more common themes is my negative/doom-and-gloom attitude about culture and politics. Certainly, when it comes to this site and my worldview in general I tend to have what some would call a glass-half-empty-and-getting-emptier-all-of-the-time perspective.  It is probably a product of my cynicism, distaste for the devolution of my civilization and species, and because so many of those Rousseauian dreams of my youth have been crushed time after time.  

It is not easy to be an artist in the sciences and go through law and grad school and retain a positive outlook on life.  And I constantly warn my students against this because I do not want them to end up the same way that I am today.  It is a life of disappointment and lowered expectations.  You should have the most idealistic thoughts, and only become depressed and misanthropic on your own terms, not mine.

To that ends I want to administer a polite recognition to the one and only attention magnet, Lady Gaga.  Yes, she is a horrific excuse for a singer, and yes she is probably doing this to garner more fame by claiming to care about others (when she never seemed to care before becoming "famous" from her antics).  All of that is true and does not matter because she is at least right, about this issue.

That is more than you can say for the self-hatred and destruction caused to others by the likes of George Rekers.

On another note, Sarah Palin sprouted horns, wings, and a pitchfork to announce her refudiated presence in Iowa.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Life and Times of Christine O'Donnell

Evidence No. 1,103 that the Republican Party has gone insane.  And just in case you think I am being hyperbolic, Delaware Senatorial nominee Christine O'Donnell has a message for you.  Stop masturbating.  No, really, stop.

By the way, here are some other speakers at a  S.A.L.T. event not shown in the video, offering a variety of "Victorian" cures for masturbation.  According to one speaker, "It was better to cut off a boy's genitals entirely then to let him go insane or die from masturbating too frequently. Some parents had their sons' foreskins fastened shut with rings, clamps, or staples to prevent erections and masturbation." 

Yes, what a great way to address masturbation.  Talk about cutting off young boys' genitals, fastening foreskins, and putting clamps on those little devils.  That will teach the guys.  The irony is if you put every speaker from that group on a polygraph, I surmise that each and every one of them has masturbated.  There is no way any man has yet to do so by his teenage years.  So, just imagine these anti-sex folk practicing the very things they preach against for us because telling people they are going to hell for masturbating (a biological function of our sexuality) is about the equivalent of damning someone for breathing or drinking water in this civilization.

And to think, that is what the Republican voters of Delaware want as their Senator.  That should tell you all that you need to know about what has happened to the Grand Old Party in this country.  The big issue of America, eliminating self-love (and by such inventive means as genital mutilation).  It has been a long and downward slide since Lincoln and 'Fighting Bob' LaFollette.