Latest Analysis and Commentary

Socialism: Be Careful What You Wish For

by Philip Carl Salzman  •  March 22, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • The object of socialism is supposedly to increase economic equality by evening out the wealth in society among individuals and families. This is done by taking wealth from those with more than the average and redistributing it to those with less than the average. As wealth will not usually be voluntarily surrendered, the redistribution would have to be enforced by government agencies, backed by laws and administrative regulations. Socialism in practice, however, has usually resulted in members of the governments redistributing the wealth they seize to themselves and their associates. Even in the US government, at present, members of Congress do not bind themselves to observe the laws to which they bind the rest of the country. As Lee Atwater reportedly put it, "The dawgs don't like the dawg food."

  • Equality of results severs the relationship between being able to enjoy the rewards of one's production and the confiscation of those rewards for distribution to others. The disconnect between work and reward undermines the motivation to work and to innovate. Why work or take risks when the profits, if one is successful, go to others? If you take away an incentive to work and produce, you end up taking away the producers.

  • Socialism means turning over your freedom to your government, which claims that it knows how to spend your money better than you do. History has unfortunately proven this to be an economic and delivery-of-services death spiral, whether of sub-standard quality of public education in the US, or the delivery of health care to veterans. Now, President Donald J. Trump is finally trying to address the crisis that veterans' healthcare has become. How? By privatizing it.

  • If justice is giving each person his or her due, then taking wealth from those who have earned it, in order to give it to those who have not earned it, is a practice dubious at best. It is human to envy those with more and better. However, it is doubtful that it is good social policy to base political policy on these sentiments: one historically ends up with worse and less.

(Image source: iStock)

For so long, it appeared that socialism had definitively failed in practice and had lost its appeal as an economic ideology. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) had crashed; its Eastern European satellites had escaped in the 1990s; China had transitioned from socialism to state capitalism beginning with the economic reforms of 1978 and has carried on energetically ever since; communist Cuba had declined to an offshore holiday resort for Canadians and Europeans, and socialist Venezuela totally collapsed. In a 1989 essay entitled "The End of History?", Francis Fukuyama argued that, in the events mentioned above, we were witnessing "an unabashed victory of economic and political liberalism."

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Palestinians: The Other Peace Deal

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  March 21, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • Hamas is now accusing the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Fatah of exploiting the economic crisis in the Gaza Strip to call on Palestinians to overthrow the Hamas regime. Fatah, for its part, is accusing the "dark forces" of Hamas of acting on orders from outside parties to establish a separate Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip.

  • The US administration says it will publish its long-awaited plan for peace in the Middle East, known as the "Deal of the Century," after the general elections in Israel on April 9. Perhaps it would be a good idea if the US administration came up with a plan to make peace between Palestinians and Palestinians before attempting to make peace between the Palestinians and Israel.

  • What is clear, meanwhile, is that the Fatah and Hamas leaders are more interested in warring with each other than improving the living conditions of their people. The two groups have already rejected the upcoming "Deal of the Century": for now, that is the only deal they seem ready to make.

Hamas and Fatah, the Palestinian parties ruling the Gaza Strip and West Bank respectively, have been at war with each other for the past 12 years. But when it comes to repressing and violating the human rights of their people, Hamas and Fatah are comrades-in-arms. Pictured: Palestinian Authority President and Fatah Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (right) meets with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh on May 30, 2007 in Gaza. (Photo by Abu Askar/PPO via Getty Images)

Hamas and Fatah, the two major Palestinian parties ruling the Gaza Strip and West Bank respectively, have been at war with each other for the past 12 years. They disagree on many things, but when it comes to repressing and violating the human rights of their people, Hamas and Fatah have proven that they are comrades-in-arms.

In the past week, Fatah has been launching scathing attacks on Hamas for using excessive force to suppress Palestinians protesting economic hardship in the Gaza Strip. Fatah says that hundreds of Palestinians, including political activists and journalists, have been arrested or severely beaten by Hamas security forces.

The charges against Hamas are not baseless. Photos of wounded Palestinians have surfaced on social media. Some had black eyes and bruises over different parts of their bodies, while others appeared to have had their legs and arms broken by Hamas security officers.

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Turkey: Women's Rights Abuses Widespread and Systematic

by Uzay Bulut  •  March 21, 2019 at 4:00 am

  • "As the largest jailer of journalists in the world, it's no surprise that Turkey has the most female journalists behind bars... most detained on anti-state charges." — Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

  • The new bill, expected to be voted on ahead of the March 31 local elections, aims to lower the age at which sexual relations with a child (under the cover of marriage) is considered a crime from 15-years-old to 12-years-old. If it passes, it will "pardon" the underage-marriage offenses of approximately 10,000 men currently serving prison sentences on sexual-abuse charges.

  • "Such an amnesty would whitewash... and encourage... illegal 'marriages' with children... It would also discourage the victims from appealing to the legal mechanisms and reintroduce the concept of 'marriage with rape offenders' into law." — The "TCK (Turkish Penal Code) 103 Women's Platform," an umbrella organization for 157 women's and LGBT groups.

Police in riot gear move to disperse thousands of mostly female demonstrators participating in the "17th Feminist Night March," on March 8, 2019 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

International Women's Day kicked off in Istanbul with the murder of a woman by her boyfriend. A few hours later, thousands of mostly female demonstrators participating in the "17th Feminist Night March," were attacked with pepper spray by riot police attempting to disperse the annual March 8 event, launched in 2003. This year, however, Turkish police had declared the march "unauthorized," and closed off all streets leading to the avenue on which it was to take place. Scuffles ensued between the police and women who circumvented the barricades.

This incident gives an indication of the way in which the human rights of women are violated regularly in Turkey, not only by the government, but often at the hands of their own family members.

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Will Saudi Arabia Leave the Seventh Century?

by Judith Bergman  •  March 20, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince, Mohammad Bin Salman (known as MBS), has sought to project an image of himself as a keen reformer and modernizer, a moderate who respects women's rights and the guarantor of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 plan, which aims to bring the country into the 21st century, at least economically, by, among other ventures, becoming less dependent on oil revenues.

  • The recent charges against the eleven women's rights activists presents an opportunity for the Saudi regime to prove that its talk of modernization and reform is not just limited to bringing the Saudi economy up to date with the 21st century by reducing the dependence on oil exports or by opening the first cinema.

  • The regime now has a magnificent opportunity to prove that it genuinely wants to move from 7th century jurisprudence and into a more 21st century understanding of concepts such as the rule of law -- especially a law, a women's right to drive, that it has already permitted.

  • It could also do so by providing a general amnesty, not only to the 11 women activists recently charged, but to the many others sentenced, some of whom have been mentioned above. Such an initiative would help present the country in a refreshing new light to the West, and might even help Saudi Arabia attract the significant financial investments it so needs and desires.

In 2012, the young blogger and human rights activist, Raif Badawi, was arrested in Saudi Arabia for "insulting Islam through electronic channels" and in 2014 sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes. Pictured: Badawi with his children, before his imprisonment. (Image source: Badawi family handout)

Eleven women are on trial in Saudi Arabia this week, charged with lobbying for women's right to drive and for abolishing the system of male guardianship over women[1]. Under the male guardianship system, Saudi women are still treated as legal minors. They are assigned a male guardian, who has to approve their applying for a passport, travelling outside the country, studying abroad on a government scholarship, getting married, leaving prison, or even exiting a shelter for abuse victims, according to the BBC.

The male guardianship system drew renewed international attention in January, when a young Saudi woman, Rahaf Mohammed, barricaded herself in a hotel room in Bangkok, and said that her family would have her imprisoned if she returned to Saudi Arabia. She eventually found asylum in Canada.

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Turkey: Tens of Thousands Prosecuted for "Insulting" Erdoğan

by Uzay Bulut  •  March 20, 2019 at 4:00 am

  • Since Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's 2014 election, there have been 66,691 "insult investigations" launched, resulting in 12,305 trials thus far, and the "numbers are increasing." — Yaman Akdeniz, professor of law, Istanbul Bilgi University.

  • Ahmet Sever, a spokesperson for Turkey's former president, Abdullah Gül, authored a book in which he wrote: "We [are] faced with a government or, more precisely, with one man, who considers books to be more dangerous than bombs."

  • Meanwhile, as Erdoğan continues playing a double game with the West, as part of his decades-long bid to become a member of the European Union. That plan may well be why his justice minister announced in December that he would be unveiling a new strategy for judicial reform. The EU should not fall for this transparent ploy. Instead, it should be demanding that the Turkish government cease prosecuting innocent people -- including those whose only "crime" is criticizing Erdoğan.

"Insulting the president" is a crime in Turkey. If convicted, violators face up to four years in prison -- and longer, when the insult is public. According to Istanbul Bilgi University professor of law, Yaman Akdeniz, since Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's 2014 election, there have been 66,691 "insult investigations" launched, resulting in 12,305 trials thus far, and the "numbers are increasing." Pictured: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at a rally in Istanbul, Turkey on May 18, 2018. (Photo by Getty Images)

The criminalization in Turkey of "insulting the president" reached a new low in early March, when a father and daughter in Ankara accused one another of engaging in the punishable offense, as part of an internal family feud.

According to Istanbul Bilgi University professor of law, Yaman Akdeniz, since Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's 2014 election, there have been 66,691 "insult investigations" launched, resulting in 12,305 trials thus far, and the "numbers are increasing."

Özgür Aktütün, chairman of the Sociology Alumni Association, told the independent Turkish daily BirGün that although Turkey has been "a society of informants" since the Ottoman Empire, "what is striking in recent times is the [rampant] use of [whistleblowing] on every issue."

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Britain's War on Christianity: Part I

by Soeren Kern  •  March 19, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • "Christian street preachers should be free to share the gospel, even where it means challenging the beliefs of others." — Christian Concern, in a petition to UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid.

  • In recent years, dozens of Christians — clergy and non-clergy — in Britain have been arrested or fired from their jobs due to their faith. Much of the harassment is based on three sections of two British laws that are vague and open to subjective interpretations.

  • At an appeal hearing at Bristol Crown Court, attorney Michael Phillips emphasized the importance of freedom of speech, even in cases where the speaker does not necessarily hold the views being expressed. Another attorney, Paul Diamond, argued that there is no right not to be exposed to contrary ideas. He added that should passers-by not wish to hear the preaching, they are able to walk away.

James McConnell, a 78-year-old Christian pastor in Northern Ireland, was charged in 2015 with making "grossly offensive remarks" about Islam during a sermon. Pictured: Pastor McConnell leaves Belfast Magistrates' Court on December 16, 2016 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

The unlawful arrest of a Christian street preacher in London has drawn attention to the continuing use of hate speech laws to silence Christians in multicultural Britain — even as incendiary speech by Muslim extremists is routinely ignored.

On February 23, Oluwole Ilesanmi, a 64-year-old Nigerian evangelist known as Preacher Olu, was arrested at Southgate Station in North London after complaints that his message about Jesus was "Islamophobic." A video of the arrest, viewed more than two million times, shows how two police officers ordered the man to stop preaching because "nobody wants to listen to that," confiscated his Bible and then arrested him for "a breach of peace."

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Turkey: Putin's Ally in NATO?

by Burak Bekdil  •  March 19, 2019 at 4:00 am

  • On March 7, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey would never turn back from the S-400 missile deal with Russia. He even added that Ankara may subsequently look into buying the more advanced S-500 systems now under construction in Russia.

  • With the S-400 deal, Turkey is simply telling its theoretical Western allies that it views "them," and "not Russia," as a security threat. Given that Russia is widely considered a security threat to NATO, Turkey's odd-one-out position inevitably calls for questioning its official NATO identity.

  • Turkey has NATO's second biggest army, and its military love affair with Russia may be in its infancy now, but it undermines NATO's military deterrence against Russia.

Turkey has NATO's second biggest army, and its military love affair with Russia may be in its infancy now, but it undermines NATO's military deterrence against Russia. Pictured: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, on March 10, 2017. (Image source: kremlin.ru)

On September 17, 1950, more than 68 years ago, the first Turkish brigade left the port of Mersin on the Mediterranean coast, arriving, 26 days later, at Busan in Korea. Turkey was the first country, after the United States, to answer the United Nations' call for military aid to South Korea after the North attacked that year. Turkey sent four brigades (a total of 21,212 soldiers) to a country that is 7,785 km away. By the end of the Korean War, Turkey had lost 741 soldiers killed in action. The U.N. Memorial Cemetery in Busan embraces 462 Turkish soldiers.

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Hamas War Crimes against Israel, Palestinians

by Bassam Tawil  •  March 18, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • Suddenly, everyone was talking only about the rocket attacks on Tel Aviv, and Hamas seemed to have gotten away with its beating and shooting at peaceful protesters. It is also worth noting that many of the Palestinians who were brutally beaten by Hamas were children. In the view of many Palestinians, what Hamas is doing in the Gaza Strip is tantamount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.

  • Recently, in a grotesque allegation, UN human rights "experts" claimed that Israel may have committed war crimes by shooting at Palestinian demonstrators who tried to breach the Gaza-Israel border fence and infiltrate into Israel. The demonstrators who were shot were mostly Hamas and Islamic Jihad members, as both organizations have openly admitted. In other words, Israel is being accused of war crimes for defending its border against terrorists attempting to infiltrate it in order to murder or kidnap Israelis.

  • Perhaps a small step, such as viewing easily available material, would set the record straight. These UN human rights "experts" might, for a change, glance at the videos and photos coming out of the Gaza Strip to see who is really responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity: Hamas. Its members are opening fire at peaceful protesters, who are taking their lives in their hands to end the harsh economic conditions created by their rulers' catastrophic policies in the Gaza Strip. It is the leaders of Hamas, and only Hamas, who are committing war crimes in and around Gaza. They are committing war crimes against Jews and they are committing war crimes against their own people.

In recent days, Hamas members in Gaza have been beating, shooting at and arresting hundreds of peaceful Palestinian protesters whose only "crime" was to demand a dignified life, jobs and a better future. Many of the Palestinians who were brutally beaten by Hamas were children. Pictured: Hamas gunmen in Gaza City, July 20, 2017. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Hamas has again proved that it really is a terrorist group that oppresses its people and prevents them from expressing their opinions. It has also shown that when it is in trouble, it will do its utmost to divert attention from the problems it is facing at home.

As far as Hamas is concerned, one of the best ways to divert attention from the growing frustration with its rule is by attacking Israel and Jews. Then, Israel is forced to respond to defend itself. That will allow Hamas to tell its people that there is no room for internal fighting and disputes "because we are under attack by the Jews." No Palestinian would dare to criticize Hamas while Israel is supposedly "attacking" Hamas. Anyone who did so would be accused of being a "traitor" and "collaborator" with the "Zionist enemy."

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"Dangerous Nuclear Schemes"

by Peter Huessy  •  March 18, 2019 at 4:00 am

  • The proposed policies, if adopted by the new leadership in the House, would certainly fracture whatever consensus exists today to modernize America's strategic nuclear deterrent -- and at a time when both Russia and China are charging ahead militarily, and Iran and North Korea are racing toward a deliverable nuclear weapons capability.

  • If the United States chooses to eliminate its land-based missiles, as arms control advocates have proposed, it would dramatically and dangerously simplify an adversary's targeting calculus. The US would be reducing more than 500 distinct American-based nuclear-related targets -- including 450 Minuteman silos and 48 launch control centers spread across five American states -- down to only five continental US targets -- three USAF bomber bases, and two submarines bases -- and only roughly 10 targets if US submarines at sea were included.

  • China's "declared" policy of no first use policy is, in fact, suspect, considering the country's deployed weapons and nuclear threats to the US that involve America's protection of Taiwan. China, needless to say, is being currently exposed for its massive track record of lying, cheating and stealing everything, from their military land-fill bases in the South China Sea to the virtual theft from the United States of China's entire telecom industry.

  • There is no reason whatever to discontinue implementing the traditional three-part nuclear deterrent posture (land, sea and air) endorsed not only by the 2018 nuclear posture review (NPR) but also by the past three nuclear posture reviews (1994, 2001 and 2010). If the proposals above are adopted, two nuclear dangers in particular will be heightened. First, America's allies, no longer credibly protected by the US nuclear umbrella, may seek to build their own nuclear weapons to compensate for the omission. Second, in a crisis, America's adversaries might seek to disarm the US, or coerce it to stand down, especially as US nuclear forces would have been so diminished as to invite aggression, rather than deter it.

In the real world, it is important to remember what President John F. Kennedy said about America's newly built Minuteman missiles: that they were his "ace in the hole" and prevented the Cuban missile crisis from ending in Armageddon. Pictured: An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launches during an operational test on August 2, 2017, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California (Image source: U.S. Air Force)

Modernization of the US strategic nuclear deterrent, often referred to by those who oppose it as "dangerous nuclear schemes," will require multiple decades to complete. To sustain such an effort, a bipartisan consensus needs to continue annually, regardless of who controls Congress or the presidency.

To succeed at its best, a nuclear modernization effort should be combined with a measurable, but verifiable arms control agenda; either the continuation of existing arms control treaties, expanded arms control efforts, or both.

Russia's violations of the INF treaty, including Russia's deployment of upwards of 100 illegal missiles, led to the INF treaty (unfortunately) becoming defunct. Such violations by Russia obviously make pursuing further or other arms control initiatives extremely difficult.

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Note to Our Readers

March 18, 2019 at 3:00 am

(Image source: iStock)

Gatestone Institute deplores the mass shootings in the New Zealand mosques. Violence against the innocent is never acceptable. Our hearts go out to those who were so unspeakably slaughtered and to their anguished families: the people you loved were taken from you far too soon. Our prayers are with you and the wounded at this agonizing time. — All of us at Gatestone.

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Ireland's Anti-Israel Drift: How Did It Come to This?

by Lawrence A. Franklin  •  March 17, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • Ireland, as a European Union member state, is subject to the EU's commercial rules. EU trade rules may prohibit Ireland's unilateral action as an EU treaty requires common commercial policy for all EU member states. The proposed law "could force US companies with Irish subsidiaries to choose between violating the Irish law or violating US Export Administration Regulations." — Orde Kittrie, Professor of Law, Arizona State University.

  • Worst, there is no evidence that Ireland's "pro-Palestinian" activities are in any way helping Palestinians, who continue to be arrested, tortured and deprived of any viable future by their own corrupt leaders. Most European activities seem actually focused on trying to destroy Israel.

  • What is most notable, of course, is that there is no commensurate hostility toward any other country. Ireland's rancid vote also needs to be contrasted to its virtual silence regarding countries that are daily committing hair-raising crimes against humanity, such as Iran, China, Turkey, Syria, North Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Mauritania, Cuba, Venezuela or Sudan, for instance. Why only Israel? What is now on display is simply a hypocritical condemnation by Ireland of the only democracy in in the Middle East with equal rights for all its citizens.

  • What is essential is that this double standard -- one set of rules for Israel and a whole other set of rules for countries actually committing atrocities -- must stop.

Ireland's legislative lower house (Dáil) on January 29 approved a bill that would make it a crime for Irish citizens to import or sell any product produced by Israelis in areas located beyond the 1949 armistice lines, most of which, such as Jerusalem, were actually liberated by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War from their illegal occupation by Jordan in 1948-49. Pictured: Leinster House, seat of the Irish Houses of Parliament. (Image source: Leandro Neumann Ciuffo/Wikimedia Commons)

Ireland's legislative lower house (Dáil) on January 29 approved a bill that would make it a crime for Irish citizens to import or sell any product produced by Israelis in areas located beyond the 1949 armistice lines, most of which, such as Jerusalem, were actually liberated by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War from their illegal occupation by Jordan in 1948-49, after Israel was attacked by five Arab armies who were literally hoping to crush it the day of its birth. In 1967, Egypt, presumably hoping to finish the job it had started in 1948, created a casus belli (cause for war under international law) by announcing a blockade of Israel's access to the Red Sea via the Straits of Tiran.

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Common Causes of Three Crises in Three Continents

by Amir Taheri  •  March 17, 2019 at 4:00 am

  • The last century witnessed a plethora of ideology-based regimes: The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the People's Republic of China, the United Arab Republic and the Buddhist Socialist State of Myanmar among others. The pretension behind all those labels was that rather than being the art of solving the people's problems, politics was a means of advancing the real or imagined goals of an ideology.

  • Another thing the three crisis-struck regimes (Iran, Algeria, Venezuela) have in common is that they are all oil-and-gas states, which means that because they don't depend on income from taxation, they can regard their people as expensive and bothersome extras.

  • In all three countries, the traditional military holds the balance of power between the ruling elite of which their own top brass is part and the mass of the rebellious citizenry.

The obvious thing that the crises in Iran, Algeria and Venezuela have in common is that they are rooted in a sharp disconnect between a discontented but combative people thirsty for change and a tired but arrogant ruling elite hell-bent on hanging onto power. Pictured: Supporters of Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaidó gathered at a Citizens' Assembly on March 16, 2019 in Valencia, Venezuela. (Photo by Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images)

Three crises in three continents: Iran in Asia, Algeria in Africa and Venezuela in Latin America. Do they have anything in common?

The obvious thing they have in common is that all three crises are rooted in a sharp disconnect between a discontented but combative people thirsty for change and a tired but arrogant ruling elite hell-bent on hanging onto power.

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Iran Inches Closer to its Goal: "Wipe Israel off the Map"

by Majid Rafizadeh  •  March 16, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • As Iran's theocratic establishment believes that the Supreme Leader is Allah's representative on earth, whatever words or desires the Supreme Leader utters are considered Allah's wishes, which must be brought to life by Allah's true believers.

  • Iran has built, or is in the process of building, more than 10 military bases in Syria, some of which are near the Israeli border.

  • When will the international community begin to take the Iranian's government clear verbal threats and physical aggression seriously? Or would the international community secretly like to see Israel destroyed, under Europe's Orwellian inversion of the words: "the peace process"?

The Deputy Commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Hossein Salami, recently threatened Israel on Iran's Channel 2 TV. (Image source: MEMRI)

Iran's military activities and clear public threats to annihilate Israel continue to grow in frequency and intensity. These moves not only instill fear, as they are doubtless meant to do; they also threaten to disrupt the international community. With such dire promises of conflict, it would be expected that the international news media and politicians throughout the world would have something to say about this situation. Instead, Iran's continued abusive behavior continues to be cozied up to at worst, or at best, ignored.

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EU: Telling Europeans What to Think

by Judith Bergman  •  March 15, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • The above initiatives, of course, exist in addition to all the other measures that the EU has put in place to "guide" Europeans onto the path of proper thinking... which the untransparent and unaccountable online tech giants -- Facebook, Google, Twitter and Mozilla -- signed in October 2018, and their 2019 "Code of Conduct on countering illegal online hate speech online."

  • In the same vein as China's "reeducation camps" or the former Soviet Union's "rehabilitation centers" that abused psychiatry for political purposes, Marine Le Pen in September was ordered to undergo psychiatric tests for tweeting the pictures, ostensibly to establish whether she "is capable of understanding remarks and answering questions".

  • It is probably safe to say that the first victims of the EU's media literacy policies will be diversity of opinion and free speech.

Marine Le Pen (pictured at podium), the leader of France's Rassemblement National (National Rally) party, posted tweets condemning the Islamic State terrorist group, including photos of their murdered victims. For this, she was charged with the crime of "disseminating violent images," and ordered by a court to undergo a psychiatric evaluation to determine whether she "is capable of understanding remarks and answering questions." (Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images)

The first European Media Literacy Week, an initiative of the European Union, will take place March 18-22 in various European cities. The week is a new initiative by the European Commission, putatively "to underline the societal importance of media literacy and promote media literacy initiatives and projects across the EU". The European Commission explains its policy of strengthening 'media literacy' within the EU -- which could have been a noble and useful initiative -- the following way:

"With the rapid rise of digital technology and its increasing use in business, education and culture, it is important to ensure everyone can understand and engage with digital media.

"Media literacy is vital for economic growth and job creation. Digital technologies are a key driver of competitiveness and innovation in the media, information, and communication technology sectors."

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Denmark in a State of Unreported Collapse

by Ole Hasselbalch  •  March 14, 2019 at 5:00 am

  • The official statistical definition of "descendants" includes only the first generation after the person who migrated to Denmark. So the official figures do not show the real picture.

  • If the population statistics continue to follow that pattern, ethnic Danes -- whose birthrate is far lower than that of non-Western immigrants -- will become a minority sometime around the year 2065. According to a 2017 report by Statistics Denmark, only about half of non-Western immigrants between the ages of 16 and 64 are employed (53% of men and 45% of women).

  • In 2017, a third of all the people provided for by Denmark's basic social-welfare system were immigrants, which constitutes a rise of 82% in a mere seven years. These figures show that the public expenses connected to immigration will, in the long run, bring the welfare state to an end.

Contrary to misleading media reports, Denmark is not forcing suffering refugees to live on a remote island. Only foreign criminals "convicted of crimes and slated for deportation under the terms of their sentences" will be housed there. And they will even be given ferry rides to the mainland, under the excuse that this is necessary due to "international conventions". (Image source: Erik Christensen/Wikimedia Commons)

The media portrayal of Denmark as a country hostile and inhumane to migrants is misleading, if not completely false.

One reason for the inaccurate picture is that it is painted by journalists' political bias. Another is that trustworthy official Danish statistics on the country's immigration problem are both difficult to find and even harder to interpret. A further problem is a lack of reliable research, at best; and purposely distorted data, at worst.

The following breakdown illustrates that rather than being more relatively free of the consequences of mass migration than other European countries in general, and Scandinavian countries in particular, Denmark is in a state of societal collapse. In spite of Copenhagen's many laws that govern migration and affect immigrants, the Danish people have been experiencing a major cultural and political shift in their life as they have traditionally known it.

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