"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Saturday, December 14, 2019

Links - 14th December 2019 (2) (Sweden and Migrants)

Thread by @afneil - "Sweden today: Explosions took place in three different locations in and around Stockholm in one night last week. There were no injuries, just the usual shattered windows, scattered debris and shocked people woken by the blast.
Explosions so normalized in Sweden that SVT, Sweden’s BBC, did not even mention the three explosions in the country’s capital on its national news programme that evening. Instead, the main domestic story was the purported censorship of ‘big female bodies’ on Instagram.
Between January and June this year, more than 100 explosions were reported in Sweden, up from about 70 in the same period last year. A total of more than 160 suspected attacks with explosives were reported last year.
Wilhelm Agrell, professor of intelligence analysis, Lund University, warns situation so dire integrity of Swedish state in jeopardy. ‘State’s monopoly on violence has been hollowed out bit by bit and no longer exists .. armed criminal violence is increasingly similar to terrorism"
If Andrew Neil of the BBC says it, is it still a paranoid right wing white supremacist conspriacy theory?

Sweden's 100 explosions this year: What's going on? - BBC News - "This category of crime was not even logged prior to 2017. Then, in 2018, there were 162 explosions and in the past two months alone the bomb squad have been called to almost 30.  "Bangers, improvised explosives and hand grenades" are behind most of the blasts, says Linda H Straaf, head of intelligence at Sweden's National Operations Department... Teams have been sent to work with gang crime specialists in the US, Germany and the Netherlands, and they are liaising with Swedish military experts who dealt with explosives in Africa and Afghanistan. "It's very new in Sweden, and we are looking for knowledge around the world," says Mats Lovning, head of the National Operations Department.  For criminologist Amir Rostami, who has researched the use of hand grenades in Sweden, the only relevant comparison is Mexico, plagued by gang violence.  "This is unique in countries that pretty much don't have a war or don't have a long history of terrorism," he says. Most attacks have taken place in low-income, vulnerable suburbs in the biggest cities: Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo.  Malmo had three blasts in just over 24 hours at the start of this month.  But more affluent places are now being targeted too. An explosion in the residential northern Stockholm suburb of Bromma last month destroyed the entrance to a block of flats, blew out windows and damaged cars... Swedish police do not record or release the ethnicity of suspects or convicted criminals, but intelligence chief Linda H Straaf says many do share a similar profile.  "They have grown up in Sweden and they are from socio-economically weak groups, socio-economically weak areas, and many are perhaps second- or third-generation immigrants," she says... A recent study by polling company Kantar Sifo found that law and order was the most covered news topic on Swedish TV and radio and on social media."
So much for the Swede on Facebook who insisted to me that these were just firecrackers and nothing to worry about

Bomb attacks are now a normal part of Swedish life | The Spectator - "One night last week, explosions took place in three different locations in and around Stockholm. There were no injuries this time, just the usual shattered windows, scattered debris and shocked people woken by the blast. The police bomb squad was already on its way to the first explosion in the district of Vaxholm when it had to turn around and prioritise the detonation at a residential building in the more densely populated city centre. Residents whose doors had been deformed by the shock wave had to be rescued. The third target (seemingly unrelated) was a facility belonging to a Syriac Orthodox church, which had already been bombed twice in the past year. ‘Normalisation’ is a term that we have come to associate with domestic violence: the victim begins to think of abuse as a part of everyday life. Explosions have become so normalised in Sweden that SVT, Sweden’s equivalent of the BBC, did not even mention the three explosions in the country’s capital on its national news programme that evening. Instead, the main domestic story was the purported censorship of ‘big female bodies’ on Instagram. Apparently, we mustn’t be referred to as ‘women’ any more, but ‘female bodies’, lest anyone’s gender be assumed. The explosions were left to the local news. To understand how Sweden arrived at this degree of normalisation, consider the statistics: between January and June this year, more than 100 explosions were reported in the country, up from about 70 in the same period last year. A total of more than 160 suspected attacks with explosives were reported last year. There are no comparable figures available for earlier years because it’s such a recent phenomenon. Until recently no one would have thought of adding a column on bombings to the national Swedish crime statistics.Wilhelm Agrell, professor of intelligence analysis at Lund University, has warned that the situation has become so dire that the integrity of the Swedish state is in jeopardy. ‘The state’s monopoly on violence, the actual token of a sovereign government, has been hollowed out bit by bit and no longer exists,’ he wrote a few weeks ago. ‘The armed criminal violence is having effects that are increasingly similar to those of terrorism.’ A new report from the Swedish Defence University warns that clan structures in some immigrant areas are putting the Swedish justice system under ‘severe stress’. In these parallel societies, the Swedish state is weak, witness intimidation is systematic and ordinary citizens are pressured to submit to clan rule.Sweden’s gangs, which mainly operate out of the country’s socioeconomically weak immigrant neighbourhoods, do not only use explosives to assert their dominance. Sweden had 45 fatal shootings in so-called criminal environments last year — a tenfold increase in one generation. By contrast, Norway has fewer than three such shootings a year. According to the newspaper Dagens Nyheter, nine out of ten perpetrators of Sweden’s gang shootings are either first- or second-generation immigrants. The country has gone from having among the lowest rates of violent crime in western Europe to one of the highest. When it comes to bombings, no other developed country in the world which is not at war has experienced anything like Sweden’s epidemic. At first, it was argued that these are just wars between gangs: awful, but avoidable if you just steer clear. But the bombings have now increased to such an extent that it’s impossible to ignore the collateral damage. The biggest blast so far, which took place in the university town of Linköping in June, demolished two residential buildings and damaged more than 250 apartments. A police spokesman called it a ‘miracle’ that no one was severely injured... As inured as Sweden has become to gang violence, the country was shaken by this cold-blooded murder of a mother with a baby in her arms. Justice Minister Morgan Johansson declared on Twitter that the state would chase Ms Hakim’s killer ‘to the ends of the earth’. But gang violence has severely strained police resources. A month after the murder, more than a hundred witnesses are yet to be heard. So much for chasing anyone to the ends of the earth: there weren’t even enough police to knock on doors around Malmö... Now the Danes are starting to worry too. After two recent bombings in Copenhagen, both linked to gangs in the south of Sweden, the Danish government has declared that it will introduce checks at the border next month. Two Swedish nationals are being held in relation to a bombing outside the Danish tax agency. It’s tough for everyone to come to terms with the new reality. Gang violence is intimately tied to the issue of immigration and failed integration, so those who highlight the problem have often been smeared as bigots. Only a few years ago Sweden’s leading daily, liberal Dagens Nyheter, came up with the phrase ‘safety deniers’, which it compared to looney climate deniers. The government has invested in a PR campaign for the ‘image of Sweden’ — but every grenade attack makes it trickier."

Former CEO of Scania Warns Sweden is Heading For Civil War - "The former CEO of trucking company Scania has warned that Sweden is heading towards civil war due to uncontrolled mass immigration.In an interview with Swebbtv, businessman Leif Östling said that the arrival of so many new migrants who have failed to integrate into Swedish society is creating a fertile ground for violent unrest.“We’ve taken in far too many people from outside. And we have. Those who come from the Middle East and Africa live in a society that we left almost a hundred years ago”... Östling underscored problems with integration by highlighting his own experience running Scania, where around 90 out of a hundred Somali migrants hired to work for the company were fired or left because they were unable to arrive on time or work in teams.Östling believes that the “knowledge transfer” necessary for migrants to cope in Swedish society could take a generation to accomplish."

PeterSweden on Twitter - "So this is Sweden in 2019. A woman stabbed a man in self defence while she was being raped. She has now been arrested for attempted murder. We have the worlds first "feminist" government. Women get arrested for self defence now."

Bilyana Martinovsky on Twitter - "Interesting situation in #Sweden : women terrorized by alien men who throw stones and call them names, but local men do not interfere. Why? They say: 'because it is mainly women who voted for politics which enable it all'."

As Bombings Spread, Denmark Closes Border With Sweden - "Denmark will temporarily reinstate border controls with Sweden and step up police work along the border after a series of violent crimes and explosions around Copenhagen that Danish authorities say were carried out by perpetrators from Sweden... Since February, there have been 13 blasts in Copenhagen. Authorities believe an Aug. 6 explosion at the Danish Tax Agency “was committed by criminals that had crossed the border from Sweden.” Two Swedish citizens are in custody.  Denmark Justice Minister Nick Haekkerup has called a June 25 double murder – where two Swedish citizens were gunned down in suburban Copenhagen – “a showdown between feuding gangs from Sweden.” On Saturday, one 15-year-old boy was shot dead and another 15-year-old was critically wounded in Malmo, Sweden’s third-largest city, which lies just across the water from Copenhagen... The shooting took place just minutes after an explosion in another Malmo district where a bomb set under a car detonated, destroying the vehicle and damaging other cars. Police said Monday that the blast could have been a diversion from the killing.  No one has been arrested in the Malmo shootings."

Abandoning Malmö to Its Criminals - "Acts of violence occur so frequently in Malmö that news of one blurs into the next. This year, there already have been 29 explosions in a city of just 320,000. Sweden as a whole is on pace for about 150—or about three per week... As Sweden’s national police chief put it last week, there is “no equivalent” to this bombing campaign in any other Western country. And the violence extends beyond bombings. On Saturday, gunmen killed a 15-year-old boy and critically wounded another at a pizzeria, minutes after yet another explosion in Malmö. Witnesses reported the sound of “an entire clip being emptied.” In August, the city was shaken to its core when Karolin Hakim, a young doctor whose boyfriend is a well-known figure from the city’s criminal underworld, was shot and killed in an affluent Malmö neighborhood. She was carrying her infant baby in her arms. The killer placed a bullet in her head when she was already lying on the street. As with many Malmö residents, there is a personal dimension for me. In August, 2017, I was awakened at 2:30am by burglars attempting to enter my home. I was alone with my then 5-year old twin daughters when four men smashed the glass panes of the antique door on the ground floor. I carried my sleeping daughters upstairs, called the police and desperately looked around for a makeshift means of self-defense. The best I could manage was a hammer. Over the phone, a police officer urged me not to make my presence known to the intruders, whose silhouettes I could see on the frosted window as they poked around the area where I kept my daughters’ bicycles. Thankfully, my neighbor happened to come home late that night, inadvertently scaring off the burglars when he turned on the stairwell lights in our shared entryway. From my bedroom window, I got a good view of the four men as they ran down the street and disappeared. Half an hour later, I gave a young and resigned-seeming police officer my account of the incident. When I asked him how best to protect my family in the future, he told me the best solution was “not living in Malmö: Things have escalated to a point where we can’t manage the situation.” His answer shocked me, and I subsequently wrote an opinion piece for a Swedish national newspaper about it. The article was widely circulated and provoked much discussion. My local Malmö newspaper, by contrast, criticized the decision to publish my piece at all, questioned the validity of my account, and fretted that it might hurt the city’s image. Though many of the bombings and homicides go unsolved, they are known to be the work of warring criminal gangs that are predominantly based in the country’s immigrant neighborhoods. In recent years, the attacks have shifted from underprivileged areas and into the more prosperous city center, where professionals inhabit 19th-century houses on picturesque cobblestone roads... For years, the Swedish media and political establishment have done their best to play down the trend, dismissing concerns such as my own as alarmist overreactions. Malmö has been hailed as a multicultural success, despite growing evidence to the contrary... A Social Democratic MP from Malmö, Hillevi Larsson, infamously claimed during a parliamentary debate in 2017 that she goes on her bike everywhere in Malmö, and that there is thus no reason to be afraid. Shootings are mainly about ”gangsters shooting at each other,” she argued. But if a government doesn’t protect its population, then ordinary people will find a way to address the problem themselves—sometimes by simply leaving. Indeed, underpopulated Swedish municipalities with low crime rates now are actively recruiting well-off families from Malmö and other dangerous areas. The idea of “gated communities” is still a taboo in this country. But there is always the option of simply leaving a city like Malmö for a place with less crime"
Presumably the Swedish police have been taken over by Nazis and are now spreading fake news. And the lived reality of Malmo residents is irrelevant if it's "racist"

Citizen Journalist Joakim Lamotte Might be Sweden’s Last Hope: If He Can Stay Alive! (Video) - "Swedish independent journalist Joakim Lamotte went to Gothenburg, Sweden on October 24, 2019 to investigate the violence, robberies and unrest taking place in the city. The full video of his live report can be seen here, in one short video segment, a brave 50 year-old woman stepped forward and shared the effects that Sweden’s suicidal mass-migration crisis has had on her life.   Journalist Joakim Lamotte is best known for his investigation into the devastating effects Sweden’s migration crisis has on women and children in Sweden  In 2017, Lamotte was the first Swedish journalist to report on migrant ‘children’ sexually assaulting Swedish girls in classrooms across the country. Lamotte further stated that children or teachers who dare to speak out about the migrant epidemic of sexual violence in schools are branded ‘racist’.  Lamotte used to work for Sweden’s state broadcaster SVT. in 2015, at the height of Sweden’s migration crisis, Lamotte, became an independent journalist who regularly published his investigative work on his Facebook page.  Lamotte has been subject to systematic threats to his life with the aim of silencing him and stopping his journalistic activities for years. The intensity of the threats against him and his family are shocking. He has received bomb threats to his family home, threats to kill his wife, shoot him, rape and burn his daughter alive…the attacks are terrifying and only increasing...
“Lamotte has filed many police reports about the threats against him – but every single one has been dropped, despite the existence of evidence, contact information and names of his attackers.”"

GUPEA: Refugee immigration and public finances in Sweden - "This study estimates the fiscal cost of refugee immigration. This is done by calculating the total value of economic resources that are redistributed through the public sector in Sweden in 2007 to the population of immigrants who once arrived in the country as refugees or their family members. The total redistribution corresponds to 1.0% of Swedish GDP in the same year. Four-fifths of it is due to lower public per-capita revenues from refugees compared with the total population, and one-fifth is due to higher per-capita public costs associated with refugees."
Table 3. Share of refugee population aged 18-64 receiving social assistance by origin is interesting, and shows that not all refugees are the same. A whopping 40.2% of Somali refugees and 29.3% of Iraqi refugees are on social assistance (and this rises massively when controlled for age and years since immigration). On the other hand only 3.2% of Eastern European, 6.4% of Latin American and 11.9% of Former Yugoslavian refugees are on social assistance (with minimal rises after controls)

The fiscal impact of immigration to welfare states of the Scandinavian type - "In this paper, we examine the potential of immigration to strengthen fiscal sustainability, which is under pressure by an ageing population in many European countries. We look at a particularly challenging case, namely that of Denmark, which has extensive tax-financed welfare programmes that provide a high social safety net. The analysis is based on a forecast of the entire Danish economy made using a dynamic computable general equilibrium model with overlapping generations. We present life cycle estimates of the potential fiscal impact of immigration considering the cost of immigration on the margin as well as on average. The main conclusion is that immigrants from Western countries have a positive fiscal impact, while immigrants from non-Western countries have a large negative one, which is also the case when considering only non-refugee immigrants. The negative effect is caused by both a weak labour market performance and early retirement in combination with the universal Danish welfare schemes."

Stone-Throwing, No-Go Zones & Rape: Sweden Starts Looking at Migration Problem With New Eyes - "journalists from the Swedish national public television broadcaster Sveriges Television AB (SVT) were attacked with stones while reporting on the building of an Islamic Centre in the Stenhagen district of Uppsala, known for its considerable migrant population. The Swedish police immediately launched an investigation into the attempted assault and injury.It is not the first stone-throwing incident to have occurred in the Stenhagen neighbourhood... representatives of the Sweden Democrats (SD), the country's conservative party, were pelted with stones in Stenhagen during a campaign against the construction of the planned mosque. Some stones were up to 10 centimetres in length... It appears that the latest attack on the national broadcaster's reporters has changed their tone, prompting them to address the broader social trouble which has been brewing for the past few years in the country: Sweden is one of a handful of countries to accept a record number of migrants in recent years.According to the official statistics, 806,155 newcomers were awarded residencies in Sweden between 2013 and 2018, i.e. almost 10 per cent of the entire population...
"Stone-throwing is frequent, especially at police," she says. "Most interesting was the taxpayer-funded SVT programme by Janne Josefsson; when he visited a migrant area in Göteborg [in May 2019] where a guard was heavily beaten by a male migrant gang, almost to death. This prominent journalist was in shock, things there have become much worse than the [community] he reported on 20 years earlier in the same place."
She notes that Josefsson's podcast revealed that law enforcement agents avoid migrant gang areas and that the gangs watch the police with drones and know each move they make... SVT raised the issue of no-go zones populated by North African and Middle Eastern immigrants unwilling to integrate into European society. According to the Swedish broadcaster, some Swedish municipalities have been forced to hire private security companies to tackle growing crime and violence because of a lack of municipal police to conduct adequate patrols in the cities. According to Martinovski, Uppsala, previously known for being the town where the "father of botany" Carl von Linne is buried, has recently gained prominence for rapes. She recalled the story of a local resident named Angelica, who was raped by alleged Arab migrants who stormed into her apartment. The young woman later committed suicide because the police decided to end the investigation despite the fact that they had DNA... Martinovski believes that the increasing attention to the migrant dilemma in the mainstream media indicates that the cup of Swedes' patience has overflowed... in addition to growing crime rates, the government's open-border policy has caused Swedish municipalities to declare bankruptcy by laying on them the excessive financial burden of receiving and integrating newcomers... "Sweden is becoming conservative, driven by extreme liberalism, extreme leftism and extreme globalism.""

Swedish Immigration Policy: In Tentsa, Mass Immigration Without Assimilation - ""I don’t go to those places without security,” a Swedish journalist tells me when I ask whether she would accompany me to some of her country’s “especially vulnerable” areas... the country was rocked by mass car burnings across its west coast. Authorities faulted “youth gangs” for the fires, a euphemism for criminal young men of migrant backgrounds... At times, ambulances and fire trucks will enter only with police protection. Desperate police have appealed to imams and clan leaders for help when they cannot contain the violence... I stopped outside the Malmö Synagogue. I was greeted by a metal security fence and closed-circuit cameras. In 2010, the synagogue was attacked with explosives. And in December 2017, hundreds of protesters in the city chanted for an intifada and promised to “shoot the Jews” after President Trump announced the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. One of the consequences of mass migration to Europe that no one had predicted was the importation of a different strain of anti-Semitism... I witnessed similar social phenomena in some Stockholm neighborhoods. I was more discreet on that trip; journalists have been violently attacked in those areas. In Rinkeby, young girls and even some babies were dressed in modesty headscarves. Cafés were in practice male-only spaces, and a restaurant in the town center offered segregated seating, with a curtain, for “families,” a euphemism for women... In Tensta, another “extremely vulnerable” district near Rinkeby, I stopped by the local administrative office. It is one of the few visible institutions of the Swedish state in the area. Security guards stood at the door. The week before, masked assailants left burning tires outside the office — one of a number of attacks on authorities in the neighborhood... The on-the-ground reality I witnessed in some parts of Sweden stood in stark contrast to the egalitarian utopia I had been sold by American progressives. How did Sweden, on the whole a prosperous and peaceful nation, also develop parallel, segregated societies afflicted by criminality and violence? The starkest reminder of this reality are the numerous grenade explosions and gun murders that have become a regular occurrence across some sections of society. In fact, Sweden’s homicide rate is now above the Western European average... Sweden’s institutionalization of multiculturalism began in 1975, when a parliament led by Social Democrat Olof Palme rejected assimilation in favor of policies that encouraged minorities to keep their separate identities. “Of course, if you say these things [critically] in Sweden, you’ll be ferociously attacked by social workers and the dominating left-wing academia for being inhumane,” Adamson says.Most then choose to remain silent. But some of the loudest dissident voices are coming from immigrants themselves, who experience firsthand the failures and contradictions of Swedish multiculturalism. “We have failed at integration for the past 30 years,” Mustafa Panshiri, a former police officer and now full-time integration educator, tells me. Panshiri, who came to Sweden with his family from Afghanistan when he was eleven, says Sweden excels at welcoming migrants but fails at explaining what citizenship is. “You don’t have to speak a single word of Swedish to become a citizen. There are no expectations.”... ethnic Swedes I spoke with responded with incredulity when I told them about what I saw in some neighborhoods in their own cities. They didn’t believe that within a short metro ride they could find communities practicing sex segregation, religious fundamentalism, and the imposition of extreme modesty culture on young children. They conceded, however, that they hadn’t spent much time in those areas. Most of those I spoke with had never even visited them — and have no reason to. Parallel societies are exactly that: They exist side by side and rarely meet."

Sweden: Muslim Bus Driver Stops Service for Call to Prayer - "A Muslim bus driver in Stockholm refused to let a woman board his bus as he and another two others began praying in the vehicle.The incident took place on Friday evening with the woman later saying that she thought no one would believe her story... the woman said that she found the driver, along with two boys, kneeling on the seats of the bus engaging in prayer. When she attempted to board and knocked on the door of the bus, they ignored her and left her outside in the rain.She said that while she was let on the vehicle after the trio had stopped praying, the driver became aggressive because she had disturbed him during his prayer."

Swedish town that approved a mosque's calls to prayer had previously rejected church bells - "As if the decision to allow a mosque in the southern Swedish town of Växjö to feature a call to prayer wasn’t controversial enough, it has now emerged that a Catholic church located just 1.5 kilometres from the mosque was denied a request to ring church bells. It was announced earlier this week that the mosque in Växjö will be allowed to feature a call to prayer on Fridays, provided the calls do not exceed 110 decibels, as heard from outside, or 45 decibels as heard from inside... the Catholic church Sankt Mikaels has twice been denied the right to ring church bells on the grounds that it would be disturbing to area residents. The church is roughly 1.5 kilometres from the mosque.  The church’s priest, Ingvar Fogelqvist, told Smålandsposten that the request to ring church bells was denied in the 1990s and again in the early 2000s. The church has just a small bell located inside the church, which the priest said "sounds good, but can't be heard far."Now that the nearby mosque has been granted permission to conduct a call to prayer each week, the Catholic priest said that the church may reapply for the right to ring outdoor bells to mark Sunday services and special occasions like funerals.“It is a matter of fairness and with the decision granting the mosque permission to do a call to prayer, we have discussed the possibility of applying again”"

Swedish Newspaper Scolded for Renaming Christmas 'Winter Celebration' - "A report by one of Sweden's leading regional dailies on anti-terrorist measures ahead of Christmas, now called "Winter Celebration", has provoked an outcry from fellow Swedes who perceived this newspeak as political correctness gone too far."

Sweden Spinning out of Control - ""Löfven, you have lost control of Sweden," the leader of the largest opposition party, the center-right Moderate Party, Ulf Kristersson, recently wrote in an article in the daily newspaper Aftonbladet, in which he criticized Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven for failing to solve some of Sweden's biggest problems...
"Last year, 306 shootings occurred and 45 people were shot dead. According to the police, the number of people killed has doubled since 2014. During the same period, the number of people who have been subjected to sexual abuse has tripled according to BRÅ [the Swedish Crime Prevention Council]... At the same time, we have an integration crisis: More than half of all the unemployed are born outside of Sweden. In our exclusion areas, [utanförskapsområden] there are schools where not even half of the students pass all subjects... Many children born in Sweden hardly speak Swedish, and there is extensive repression [in the name of] honor culture. Here too we have called for reforms, but the Social Democrats say no."...
Kristersson's criticism demonstrates that the political mainstream in Sweden is fully cognizant of the country's fundamental problems. This criticism is especially significant coming from the Moderate Party: Kristersson's predecessor, Frederik Reinfeldt, who was prime minister of Sweden from 2006 to 2014 and chairman of the Moderate Party from 2003 to 2015, did not share these concerns. In 2014, Reinfeldt urged Swedes to "Open your hearts" to the refugees of the world... One of the realities, according to the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) -- the state authority for community protection and preparedness -- is that terrorism is now a threat everywhere in Sweden, and therefore even smaller municipalities need to be prepared for terrorist acts to occur... From the beginning of 2019 to the end of July, there were 120 bombings in Sweden, according to police statistics. The figure represents an increase of 45% over the same period last year, when 83 bombings took place. The south of Sweden has been particularly badly hit, with 44 bombings... In the southern Swedish city of Landskrona alone -- a place of roughly 35,000 inhabitants -- since December 2018, there have been seven explosions or bombings. In August, the entrance to Landskrona's city hall was blown up."
One Swede on Facebook claimed all the explosions in Sweden were just firecrackers going off

PeterSweden on Twitter - "Greta Thunberg said her childhood had been stolen. I want to bring attention to another important topic. Thousands of Swedish children have had their childhood stolen by rapists. Last year saw a record number of 7840 rapes. Almost 50% of victims were children. "

Sweden could drop ancient history from school curriculum in favor of gender roles & postmodernism - "History has already been de-prioritized through “extensive deletions,” according to SvD, and formative eras like the Roman Empire and the Viking Age will now be removed altogether in favor of subjects like immigration, the environment, climate, “norm-challenging,” critical theory, “democratic values,” and gender roles. The emphasis will be on a “postmodernist view” of society, rather than the classical philosophical tradition, SvD reports, and history classes will focus on Western colonialism, nationalism, and the slave trade... The idea has incensed professors and educational professionals. History professor Dick Harrison, speaking to Aftonbladet, called the idea “bizarre and baffling,” while Dagens Nyheter literature critic Maria Schottenius called it “crazy” and warned it would deprive students of a connection to their heritage.“If you have no knowledge of the ancient, you can have no respect for the future either,” social science and ancient culture scholar Jenny Wallensten, of the Swedish Institute in Athens, told SvD, calling the new proposal “absurd.”“To erase antiquity from history teaching? Unfortunate,” former Minister of Education Jan Björklund tweeted, adding that “the same proposal came when I was a minister, but I stopped it.”"

Sweden PM: No Link Between Rising Gang Crime and Mass Migration - "Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has claimed that there is no link between the high number of migrants the country has taken in recent years and the rising problem of gang violence... When asked by the host of the Agenda programme Anders Holmberg about links between mass migration and gang violence, Löfven was dismissive of any connection, blaming poverty and unemployment rates instead. “The segregation is because there is too low employment and too high unemployment in these areas. But that would have been the same regardless of who had lived there. If you put people born in Sweden under the same conditions, you get the same result,” the Swedish leader said. Löfven went even further, claiming that without the migration crisis of 2015, the country would still be facing the same problem: “Because of the economic gaps, the social injustices would have been the same.”Several prior reports conflict with Löfven’s statements, including a report from September by newspaper Expressen that claimed the majority of suspects in shooting cases in the multicultural city of Malmö were from migrant backgrounds.Another study, conducted by public broadcaster SVT, revealed last year that the majority of sex attackers were also from migrant backgrounds. As many as eight in ten assault rapes — in which the victim did not know their attacker — were committed by migrants... Statistics Sweden’s integration database for health insurance and labour market studies (LISA) said that up to 90 per cent of asylum seekers who came to the country during the 2015 migrant crisis and had permanent residency were unemployed."

Sweden: 90% of 2015 Migrants with Residency Status Are Unemployed - "“Sweden is one of the most high-tech countries in the world, where we streamline simpler jobs. Therefore, the knowledge gap is too large for many of the refugee immigrants who come here,” Lundborg noted.“Sweden is a high-cost country. It is expensive to live here. If you then have a group that does not meet their living expenses through the work they do, they must still go to the society for help with their livelihood”... the European Union statistics agency Eurostat revealed that Sweden was now 24th out of 28 member states in terms of unemployment. Figures released last year showed a stark contrast between the native Swedish unemployment rate and the foreign-born unemployment rate. As a result, many municipalities which took in a high number of asylum seekers in 2015 have recently announced major financial troubles, some on the verge of bankruptcy.  Germany, which took in the most asylum seekers during the 2015 crisis, has seen similar problems getting migrants into work. A 2017 report claimed that the district of Salzlandkreis in Saxony-Anhalt had a migrant unemployment rate of 96.3 per cent."
From 2019

Sweden Unemployment Rate Approaching Highest in EU - "The municipality of Filipstad went public weeks later, stating they had similar problems covering costs of migrants. Filipstad also noted that many residents had left the area, dwindling the tax base even further."

Swedish Unemployment Figures Reveal Extent of Migrant Joblessness; Unemployment Figures Show Almost One in Five Foreign Residents Without Work - "For native Swedes the unemployment rate has declined from 3.9 to 3.6 percent, which if taken alone would give native Swedes one of the lowest unemployment rates in the European Union, tied with Hungary and only being beaten by Germany and the Czech Republic according to Eurostat figures... A report from the Swedish Employment Service last year showed that very few new migrants were even interested in pursuing education to achieve vocational qualifications, claiming that only three to four percent have expressed any interest in schooling at all.Schools with large amounts of migrant-background pupils, particularly in so-called “vulnerable areas” commonly referred to as no-go areas, are also failing to graduate with up to half of the pupils in a school in the Stockholm suburb of Rinkeby failing pass into high school."

Sweden Has Most Difficulty Getting Migrants into Work in Nordic Area - "A study by Professor Emeritus in Economics Lars Calmfors has revealed that compared to Finland, Norway, and Denmark, Sweden has had the most difficulty getting new migrants into the workforce... “It is an obstacle in Sweden that we have a high minimum wage. This then applies to retail and hotels and restaurants where many low-skilled people can get a job”... “I think we would also need a lower minimum wage. Then one could try to do it in such a way that one does not lower the minimum wage in general, but one tries to construct new types of low-qualified jobs that can simply be paid less,” he added.Germany has attempted a similar programme in which the government subsidised so-called one euro an hour jobs, aiming at employing 100,000 migrants. Despite the programme, a report from earlier this year stated that around 65 per cent of the asylum seekers who had come to Germany in recent years remained unemployed."

Study: Migrants Hurt Long Term Economic Growth - "Enzo Weber from the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) in Nuremberg and his colleague Roland Weigand produced a new report on the long term economic effects of mass migration. According to the IAB report, without additional efforts from the German government and others in the European Union (EU) the long term impact of mass migration could be highly negative for the economies of Germany and Europe. They say that the real problem with migrants is a distinct lack of qualifications, or qualifications that don’t meet European standards, and the huge language barrier between migrants from places like the Middle East and North Africa... According to the pair of researchers, not only will long-term unemployment rise and total tax revenues fall in the long term but the medium term economic forecast could be just as dire, if not more so... A study from the London School of Economics is far more optimistic about migrants impacting the economy in a positive way. The study released in May by the Open Political Economy Network states that migrants could return the investment in merely five years, but is solely dependent on the rapid integration that some are increasingly sceptical of."

REPORT: Economic Benefits Of Migration Debunked, 'A Reservoir For Low-Cost Labour' - "According to IFO Institute for Economic Research migration expert Gabriel Felbermayr, “We know that people who come as refugees, much more difficult to integrate into the labor market than those who immigrate to work,” and said, “Usually it takes at least a generation,” until the employment rate, “has approached the domestic population.”This amount of time to enter the workforce presents huge problems for the welfare system that the migrants are thought to be able to prop up. Often the countries which they come from improve and conditions allow them to go back, meaning a zero return on investment from the costs associated with housing and education. Employers often fail to recognise the qualifications of migrants from Africa and the Middle East as they have found their education not comparable to a European equivalent qualification. This leads many former professionals to low paid work and the report says, “for companies the refugees are mainly REPORT: Economic Benefits Of Migration Debunked, ‘A Reservoir For Low-Cost Labour’,” and not the engineers and academics many left wing media sources have said... The German people themselves appear wiser than the experts who argue the economic benefit. It was revealed that only 16 percent of them believe Chancellor Merkel’s idea of a migrant-fuelled economic miracle"

Fearful Norwegians Wonder: Are 'Swedish Conditions' Coming to the Streets of Oslo? - "Like the rest of Norway, Oslo traditionally has been a safe place, even by the standards of other wealthy countries. It’s also remained more demographically homogenous than most of its neighbours, being geographically isolated from migration patterns that have affected the rest of Europe.Over the last month, however, Oslo’s city centre has witnessed an eruption of unprovoked attacks on random victims—most of them ethnic Norwegian men—by what police have described as youth gangs, each consisting of five to 10 young immigrants... Until now, Norway had seemed to cope well with the influx of immigrants from war-torn Muslim countries, in part because the intake levels generally were kept at a level that permitted newcomers to be integrated without overwhelming local resources. Indeed, there has been a broad consensus in Norwegian politics to keep immigration rates lower than those of comparable countries such as Sweden and Germany. Nevertheless, concerns have been rising in recent years, even if the ruling class was hesitant to discuss the issue. The country’s libertarian Progress Party (Fremskrittspartiet) has repeatedly asked the country’s statistical agency to report on the statistical relationship between crime and country of origin. In the past, Statistics Norway refused, saying that such a task was “beyond its capacity.” But this year, for the first time, such a report was published. And the numbers were clear: Immigrants from certain backgrounds—particularly Palestinians, Iraqis and Afghanis—were many times more likely to commit violent crimes than other Norwegians (including other immigrant groups). In 65 out of 80 crime categories, non-Norwegians were over-represented. The largest discrepancy was in regard to domestic violence: Immigrants from non-Western countries were found to be eight times more likely to be charged for such crimes. Rape and murder were also heavily skewed toward these immigrant groups. Worryingly, the figures showed that second-generation immigrants were more likely to be criminals than their parents... in the quest to maintain their own cultures, some Muslims in Norway prefer to segregate instead of integrate. The newspaper Aftenposten recently uncovered the existence of Islamic schools presenting as cultural centres. And Islamsk Råd, the Islamic Council of Norway, now has proposed a separate branch of the Barnevernet—the government-run social services responsible for children—to deal with Muslim children... this tension between racial sensitivity and blunt talk on crime has existed for generations in many Western societies. But it’s a relatively new topic in Norway, which is only now embracing certain hyper-progressive academic trends. (Oslo Metropolitan University, for instance, has recently produced an expert in so-called Whiteness Studies.) In fact, some influential Norwegians apparently would prefer that Statistics Norway had never released its report on crime and immigration in the first place. This includes Oslo’s vice mayor, Kamzy Gunaratnam, who told Dagbladet, “Damn, I’m angry! I’m not interested in these numbers…We don’t have a need to set people up against each other. These are our children, our people.”But burying the truth is never a good long-term strategy for anyone, including members of immigrant communities. The more persuasive view is that these issues should be addressed candidly, while they are still manageable. Unlike many other European countries, Norway doesn’t yet have an influential far-right party. But that may change if voters see that mainstream politicians are too polite to address a problem that ordinary people all over Oslo are talking about."
Too bad the Swedes can't suppress Norwegian statistics

Does Norway have a far-right problem? | Coffee House - "according to an article in the Guardian, Norway has a problem. It’s in the grip of pervasive, far-right nationalism, breeding terrorists by the…well, at least, two. And its right-of-centre government, in spite of extending Norway’s generous welfare payments to newly-arrived immigrants, has been “appeasing and instrumentalising hatred for years”, according to Sindre Bangstad, a Norwegian social anthropologist“Norway is in denial about the threat of far-right violence,” reads the bombastic headline... politicians have been (wrongly) convinced that Islamist terrorism is the biggest threat, the article claims. Hang on, though. Aren’t Norwegians among the least racist people in the world? That’s a fact that’s elegantly left out, as is research showing Norwegians are also far less Islamophobic than most Europeans (beaten only by the Dutch)... Norway’s PST (Police Security Service) classify Islamist terror threats as the most serious, although it has upgraded the threat of far-right extremism from “unlikely” to “possible” after the recent attempted mosque attack... It is also worth pointing out that Norway has the world’s largest research centre on the extreme right which was set up by the same Conservative government that Bangstad claims is enabling racism.So when Bangstad says that “young white Norwegian men [are] seemingly unable to cope with their perception of a loss of privilege,” it’s not so much an analysis as a political viewpoint. If all white men resent the fact that they’ve been marginalised in Norwegian society, why do only a tiny fraction of them become white supremacists?"

Sweden's far right party surges into first place in shock new poll - "The leader of a party once shunned for its ties to far-right extremism is now riding a wave of popularity that he says may pave the way to a century of political dominance in Sweden.Jimmie Akesson, the head of the Sweden Democrats, woke up on Friday to news that his party was now polling as the country's biggest.At 24 per cent, it is a few percentage points ahead of the ruling Social Democrats that have towered over Sweden's political landscape for most of the postwar era... The kind of influence Mr Akesson is talking about would mark an historic break with the balance of power in Sweden, where the political establishment once vowed to keep the Sweden Democrats out of any coalition... In the meantime, the government has been accused of inaction in handling a growing wave of violence in the country. In late August, a woman was shot dead in Stockholm's Vallingby suburb, and in the southern city of Malmo another young woman was shot dead while carrying her baby. In the same city, a 15-year-old was shot dead outside a pizza restaurant. There has also been an increase in the number of bombings, prompting defence experts to compare Sweden with Northern Ireland in the 1980s and even contemporary Afghanistan."

How Swedish Professor's Life Was Destroyed Over Raising Migrant Gang Rape Issue on Twitter - "Sweden's Jagarhar (#Iamhere), a left-leaning pro-government non-profit, dubbed by The Guardian "the online love army", was meant to fight "hate speech" on the web. However, crossing Jagarhar's path has cost a Swedish academic her career and later led to an abrupt arrest... Swedish scientist Bilyana Martinovski, Associate Professor in Human-Machine Interaction and PhD in Linguistics with an excellent 27-year academic record, was abruptly arrested at Stockholm Airport on her arrival from a vacation in Egypt. After being taken into custody by a total of about 10 armed policemen the academic was taken to a remote police station. Like any other law abiding Swedish citizen the professor believed that she had the right to due process. However, by Martinovski's account, law enforcement officials treated her rudely and tactlessly not allowing her to be accompanied by a witness, explaining nothing and searching her body and belongings. She, furthermore, recollects that she was questioned without a lawyer being present... law enforcement officials eventually took DNA samples without asking for her consent.  She was released late at night and cast out of the police building into the dark cold streets of a suburban Stockholm area completely unknown to her... the police officer read her the following sentence: "You are here because you are a suspect of a libel on Twitter against Kajsa Klein [Jagarhar communications leader] which caused her distress ('ofredande') in the period between September 2017 and [March or May] 2018'". Klein is a member of Jagarhar, a pro-government network of tens of thousands of volunteers monitoring social media that was founded by Iranian-born Swedish journalist Mina Dennert on 13 May 2016. The organisation's declared aim is to fight hatred and xenophobia on the web. To that end Jagarhar holds social media debates, writes articles, delivers lectures, carries out investigations, and reports "questionable" web content to the authorities... Jagarhar's campaigns, however, are very often directed at journalists, opinion makers, and debaters on the conservative and libertarian half of Sweden's political spectrum, Dahlin noted referring to Swedish authors Katerina Janouch and Ann Heberlein, who have also been targeted by the anti-hate group... The story started in September 2017 when a spike in gang rapes sparked a heated debate on the web amid the government's open border policy and mainstream Swedish media's blackout of stories concerning growing crime rates in the country.  Martinovski recalls that the media silence prompted her to search for information on the web. In the Spring of 2017, she stumbled upon a US-hosted and now defunct website, GangRapeSweden.com, that presented court verdicts on gang rape cases from 2011 to 2017 in Sweden. She says that she was shocked both by the huge number of cases and the detailed descriptions of hideous sexual assaults mostly committed by newcomers from the Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa. The professor notes that she couldn't believe her eyes and decided to check the data.
"I called the courts and asked for the court ledgers over all gang rapes between 2011 and 2017. The court ledgers I got from the courts showed about 50,000 rape cases but less than 7 percent [of attackers] were convicted", the academic says, adding that the majority of convicted gang rapists came from outside of Europe...
The professor, however, soon found out that GangRapeSweden and other sites containing information about migrant-related sex abuse were reported and shut down at the request of left-leaning Swedish organisations, in particular, Jagarhar... she called out Kajsa Klein, Jagarhar's communications strategist, for censuring dissenting voices which prompted the left-leaning organisation to attack the academic. In response, Kajsa Klein wrote a series of denunciations to Martinovski's employers and colleagues accusing the professor of alt-right sympathies and xenophobia. The social network group proved to be very influential as the academic was soon fired from Stockholm University, being deprived of a research affiliation and any possibility of finding a job in higher educational establishments in Sweden... Klein claimed that Martinovski is an "alt-right" extremist: "Yes, far-right, alt-right, etc. SU [Stockholm University] said the only thing she appears to like is Putin. Maybe Trump... The case rests with the democracy and hate speech department of the Stockholm Police"... Martinovski specifically asked the authorities if there had been any case initiated against her and found out that there wasn't any. That means that Klein resorted to nothing short of defamation"
Strange how love looks so much like hate

Swedish Municipality's Migrant-Free Ad Sparks Accusations of Nazism – Video - "A tiny municipality in southern Sweden has stirred up a hornet's nest with a new commercial proclaiming that it's a safe neighbourhood, where ordinary Swedes can live and prosper.Staffanstorp Municipality in Skåne County has incurred the enmity of mainstream media with its new commercial.The film opens with a black and white scene from a dingy city full of graffiti, where some rowdy youngsters are seen harassing a mother and her daughter. The family then proceeds to move to Staffanstorp, where colour returns, and they get a new lease on life... many found the fact that all the actors representing Staffanstorp staff were white disappointing, lamenting the perceived lack of diversity. Some even accused the municipality of promoting white flight.
“People read too much. We do not register ethnicity, we do not think about what skin colour people should have when we make advertisements”, the municipality's strong man Christian Sonesson told Expressen.  “What is strange is that a family looking for security can irk opinion journalists to a degree when they pay more attention to the film than real, tragic events that happen”...
“The thing with the Staffanstorp's movie is that virtually every normal person is likely to find it quite sympathetic, while the establishment becomes hysterical over it. The latter's reactions are a very useful reminder of the different worlds these groups live in”... “I'm genuinely curious what caused the outrage. The fact that there are no one-legged actors? Blind? That no one is bald? Dyslexic? Sami? Wheelchair-bound? What is it?”"

Swedish school bans centuries-old Christian tradition but celebrates Muhammad's journey to heaven - "Prohibition of the Swedish Christmas tradition Lucia has sparked debate in Sweden. In Motala, the Lucia celebration has been cancelled at Kärrbacken School.According to preschool manager Anna Karmskog, they want to avoid discrimination, offensive treatment and do not want to “exclude” anyone... many children are reported to be anxious and sad in a large crowd, and the “gender perspective” as the children “walk in a row” is questioned... "Everyone does not feel comfortable with Lucia celebrations according to the school. But last week, the school celebrated Muhammad’s journey to heaven without even informing us""

Swedish school bans the Swedish flag - "The Swedish flag has now been banned at a primary school in Sweden. The reason is that the flag may be offensive to certain groups and breaking the law "offensive against ethnic groups."The sensational ban is introduced at Söndrum school in Halmstad. Use of the flag is now only allowed on the national day or when foreign students are invited... Swedish flag can be perceived as racist... Akerlund also believes that by using the Swedish flag one may be guilty of violating the racism law. The prohibition also applies to school photography since the school management wants school photographs to be "free of national symbols"."
So it's not just Anglo liberals who hate their countries

Flying the Isis flag is legal, Sweden declares - "Flying the Isis flag in Sweden is not illegal and cannot be considered an incitement to racial hatred, according to a Swedish prosecutor."

4chan Launches “Operation Swedistan” - Save My Sweden - "With Sweden so increasingly crazy these days, what if they just actually did it? As this one Norwegian user wisely pointed regarding this question though, if that were to happen all it would indicate is that Sweden had already been truly lost to begin with."
It seems this didn't work

Gandalf was really just fighter with INT18

Gandalf was really just fighter with INT18. : DnD

Gandalf lied, he was no wizard. He was clearly a high level fighter that had put points in the Use Magic Device skill allowing him to wield a staff of wizardry. All of his magic spells he cast were low level, easily explained by his ring of spell storing and his staff. For such an epic level wizard he spent more time fighting than he did casting spells. He presented himself as this angelic demigod, when all he was a fighter with carefully crafted PR.

His combat feats were apparent. He has proficiency in the long sword, but he also is a trained dual weapon fighter. To have that level of competency to wield both weapons you are looking at a dexterity of at least 17, coupled with the Monkey Grip feat to be able to fight with a quarter staff one handed in his off hand at that. Three dual weapon fighting feats, monkey grip, and martial weapon proficiency would take up 5 of his 7 feats as a wizard, far too many to be an effective build. That's why when he faced a real wizard like Sarumon, he got stomped in a magic duel. He had taken no feats or skills useful to a wizard. If he had used his sword he would have carved up Sarumon without effort.

The spells he casts are all second level or less. He casts spook on Bilbo to snap him out his ring fetish. When he's trapped on top of Isengard an animal messenger spell gets him help. Going into Moria he uses his staff to cast light. Facing the Balrog all he does is cast armor. Even in the Two Towers his spells are limited. Instead of launching a fireball into the massed Uruk Hai he simply takes 20 on a nature check to see when the sun will crest the hill and times his charge appropriately. Sarumon braced for a magic duel over of the body of Theodin, which Gandalf gets around with a simple knock on the skull. Since Sarumon has got a magic jar cast on Theodin, the wizard takes the full blow as well breaking his concentration. Gandalf stops the Hunters assault on him by parrying two missile weapons, another fighter feat, and then casting another first level spell in heat metal. Return of the King has Gandalf using light against the Nazgul and that is about it. When the trolls, orcs and Easterlings breach the gates of Minos Tiroth does he unload a devastating barrage of spells at the tightly pack foes? No, he charges a troll and kills it with his sword. That is the action of a fighter, not a wizard.

Look at how he handled the Balrog, not with sorcery but with skill. The Balrog approached and Gandalf attempts to intimidate him, clearly a fighter skill. After uses his staff to cast armor, a first level spell, Gandalf then makes a engineering check, another fighter skill, to see that the bridge will not support the Balrog's weight. When the Balrog took a step, the bridge collapsed under its weight. Gandalf was smart enough to know the break point, and positioned himself just far enough back not to go down with the Balrog. The Balrog's whip got lucky with a critical hit knocking Gandalf off balance. The whole falling part was due to a lack of over sight on behalf of the party, seriously how does a ranger forget to bring a rope? Gandalf wasn't saved by divine forces after he hit the bottom, he merely soaked up the damage because he was sitting on 20d10 + constitution bonus worth of hit points.

So why the subterfuge? Because it was the perfect way to lure in his enemies. Everybody knows in a fight to rush the wizard before he can do too much damage. But if the wizard is actually an epic level fighter, the fools rush to their doom. Gandalf, while not a wizard, is extremely intelligent. He knows how his foes would respond. Nobody wants to face a heavily armored dwarf, look at Gimli's problem finding foes to engage in cave troll fight. But an unarmored wizard? That's the target people seek out, before he can use his firepower on you. If the wizard turns out to actually be a high level fighter wearing robes, then he's already in melee when its his turn and can mop the floor with the morons that charged him. So remember fighters, be like Gandalf. Fight smarter, not harder.

Links - 14th December 2019 (1)

‘Broken heart syndrome': Woman hospitalized after mistaking wasabi for avocado - "She reportedly consumed a "large amount" of the spicy wasabi paste, thinking it was a mild, avocado-based dip. Within minutes, the woman felt a "sudden pressure" in her chest, which then spread to her arms.That wasn't enough to convince her to leave the ceremony, though, and she endured the pain for several hours. The pain even started to die down by the end of the evening, so it wasn't until the following day — when she woke up feeling oddly weak — that she sought medical attention.Doctors diagnosed her with "broken heart syndrome," a term that applies to people who experience symptoms similar to a heart attack following physical or emotional distress.The condition, which is technically referred to as takotsubo cardiomyopathy typically affects women aged 58 to 75. In addition to physical causes, "broken heart syndrome" can also be brought on by life-altering events such as financial loss, frightening car accidents or after receiving bad news.But this case was the first to be brought on by "food consumption alone"

Moms Outraged After Shirtless Beach Photos Of Their Long-Haired Sons Keep Getting Taken Down By Instagram - "in some cases, the moms were even banned from Facebook or Instagram for days on end...
maybe stop sexualizing the chests of girls and women?  The chest is not a sex organ. Breasts are not genitals."

World postal rates overhauled after US quit threat - "The US had earlier threatened to pull out, arguing that discount rates for countries such as China were putting the US at a massive disadvantage.It said that it had become cheaper for US consumers to ship items from China rather than buying domestically. As a result, it argued this was unfair to US manufacturers and was costing the US Postal Service up to $500m ($404m) a year... From January 2021, high-volume importers will be able to impose "self-declared rates" for delivering foreign mail and packages.Countries that import more than 75,000 tonnes (75m kgs) of post every year can apply their own rates by July 2020... China's delegation supported the deal, and said during talks that it had been "actively working... to find a positive solution and compromise". Under the UPU's remuneration system, national postal operators are compensated for delivering mail from abroad.In theory, higher rates are applied to highly developed countries, and lower rates to those that are least developed. But several members complain that advanced economies like China have been miscategorised and are paying lower rates than they should be.The UPU had previously pledged to discuss changes to the system, which is already reviewed by members every four years.But the US signalled last October that it would leave unless the system was changed, and members voted earlier this year to hold emergency talks."

Orchard Road ice cream carts could end with their owners - "his ice-cream cart and six others along the stretch of shopping street could become a memory when their licence holders pass on.Street hawkers like Mr Chieng hold licences that are personal to the holder and non-transferable, said the Singapore Food Agency (SFA).They cannot transfer their licence to family members or friends who might want to take over.“It’ll be a pity if there are no more ice-cream uncles, especially because this is Singapore’s traditional ice-cream,” said Mr Chieng in Mandarin. “I don’t know if anything will be done to make sure Orchard Road will still have ice-cream uncles in the future.” Mr Chieng is among 13 street hawkers allowed to sell ice-cream on any "public land”, according to SFA, with seven choosing to operate along Orchard Road... In a written reply to a parliamentary question in 2016, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli said that street hawkers were licensed in 1994, in a one-time exercise to control their numbers, and “no more licences were issued after that".“The intention was to phase out these street hawkers through natural attrition and allow such trades to move into proper premises”... Mr Masagos explained that the street hawking scheme was reopened in the early 2000s to temporarily help those who are needy and less employable tide over their financial difficulties... All the ice-cream street hawkers on Orchard Road hold an islandwide licence, which allows them to sell ice-cream and canned beverages in public areas in Singapore.Mr Chieng explained that newer street hawkers hold a licence that only allows them to operate within the town council where they live, which is why there are so few ice-cream street hawkers on Orchard Road.SFA said there are about 200 street hawkers who have chosen to sell ice-cream... About 20 years ago, there were more than 30 ice-cream hawkers along Orchard Road, with many of them gathering where Ion Orchard now stands, recalled Mr Tan, whose stall is located outside Wisma Atria... Tourists and locals CNA spoke to said they would miss the ice-cream street hawkers... The tourist from the Philippines who is visiting Singapore with friends for the first time said the ice-cream street hawkers “give character” to Orchard Road.“I didn’t know that there are so few left here. It’s like Singapore’s special product, so it’s quite sad”... For many Singaporeans, the ice-cream street hawkers were a common sight growing up"

There Are No Jobs Americans Won’t Do - "If immigrants "do jobs that Americans won't do", we should be able to identify occupations in which the workers are nearly all foreign-born. However, among the 474 separate occupations defined by the Department of Commerce, we find only a handful of majority-immigrant occupations, and none completely dominated by immigrants (legal or illegal). Furthermore, in none of the 474 occupations do illegal immigrants constitute a majority of workers...
Illegal immigrants work mostly in construction, cleaning, maintenance, food service, garment manufacturing, and agricultural occupations. However, the majority of workers even in these areas are either native-born or legal immigrants...
Many occupations often thought to be worked overwhelmingly by immigrants (legal and illegal) are in fact majority native-born:
    Maids and housekeepers: 51 percent native-born
    Taxi drivers and chauffeurs: 54 percent native-born
    Butchers and meat processors: 64 percent native-born
    Grounds maintenance workers: 66 percent native-born
    Construction laborers: 65 percent native-born
    Janitors: 73 percent native-born...
The stereotype that native-born workers in high-immigrant occupations are mostly older, with few young natives willing to do such work, is largely inaccurate. In fact, 34 percent of natives in high-immigrant occupations are age 30 or younger, compared to 29 percent of natives in the rest of labor force...
A number of politically influential groups face very little job competition from immigrants (legal and illegal). For example, only 7 percent of lawyers and judges and 7 percent of farmers and ranchers are immigrants, as are at most 9 percent of English-language reporters and correspondents"

The Fiscal Impact of Immigration in the UK - "Studies consistently find that the net fiscal contribution of the current population of EU-15 migrants (those from the older EU member states) is positive, while that of non-EEA migrants is negative. In contrast, the fiscal contribution of EU10 migrants (from post-2004 EU accession states) is contested... the fiscal impacts of immigration also depend on the effects of migrants on the tax contributions and use of public services of the UK-born. One example is the labour market impact of immigration, especially whether and to what extent the employment of migrants creates more unemployment among domestic workers. Increasing unemployment among domestic workers leads to less tax revenues and increase consumption of welfare benefits. Most fiscal impact studies assume that the impact of migrants on domestic workers employment is negligible, yet empirical findings from the literature on the employment effects of immigration remain mixed (Migration Advisory Committee 2012, Rowthorn 2008). On the other hand, the presence of migrants may also increase the tax contribution of the UK-born. For instance, the presence of low skilled migrant females working as nannies may allow domestic workers to increase their labour supply increasing also their tax contributions"

‘Their heads should be cut off’: Belgian volunteers who wore shorts flee Morocco - "Three young Belgian girls are returning home from volunteer work in Morocco after a local school teacher allegedly threatened to behead them, for wearing shorts. The teacher has been arrested and the charity’s work curtailed.The girls were part of a group of nearly 40 volunteers who were helping to build a road in the remote village of Adar. The charity that organized the trip, Bouworde, posted a video of their activities on social media, prompting the 26-year-old teacher to unleash decapitation threats because their attire didn’t “respect the Muslim faith”... The volunteers’ clothing also attracted the attention of Moroccan lawmaker Ali El Asri, a member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (PJD), who said: “Since when do Europeans start working in clothing that is meant for sunbathing?”... The debacle comes less than a month after three Moroccan men were sentenced to death for murdering two Scandinavian women in a popular hiking area in the Moroccan Atlas mountains."

Paris police attacker had suffered 'psychotic fit', says wife - "The wife of a police employee who killed four colleagues at the Paris force's HQ says he had a psychotic episode, was incoherent and heard voices the night before, reports say... Harpon was a 45-year-old IT specialist who had worked for the Paris police force for 16 years.Officials said he had been working in the force's intelligence division.Mr Castaner said there had been no warning signs about the attacker, adding: "On the face of it, he looked a model employee."Harpon also had a hearing and a speech disability.He converted to Islam 18 months ago, according to reports, and had recently stopped talking to female colleagues in the office. But a government spokeswoman has said there is no indication he had been radicalised before the attack."

French police worker who slaughtered four colleagues 'supported 2015 terror attacks' - "The civilian police worker who slaughtered four colleagues in a frenzied knife attack adhered to 'a radical vision of Islam' an anti-terror prosecutor said.The assailant, 45-year-old computer expert Michael Harpon, had been in contact with members of the 'Salafist Islamist movement', prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard told reporters.The attacker 'agreed with certain atrocities committed in the name of that religion' and defended the Charlie Hebdo attacks in 2015 which rocked Paris, Ricard said.He had also changed his attire in recent months and wished to no longer 'have certain kinds of contact with women'... he had worked in a section of the police service dedicated to collecting information on jihadist radicalisation.  Several people interviewed by police have since revealed he converted to Islam in 2008, not 18 months ago as had been suggested"

Guns taken from Paris police amid Islamist fears | World | The Times - "Seven Paris police officers have been ordered to hand over their weapons and one has been suspended after being suspected of Islamic radicalism.The orders were issued amid a climate of fear within the Paris police after a Muslim officer stabbed to death four colleagues and injured two more at the force's headquarters on October 3... After the attack Didier Lallement, the Paris police chief, told officers to be on the lookout for signs of radicalisation among their colleagues. A change in appearance, clothes, eating habits or day-to-day customs, "the refusal to shake hands with female staff", a rejection of authority and "collective life" could all be signs... 33 officers had been identified as possible radicals since the stabbings. Seven had been told to hand over their firearms... Concerns had been raised about 63 officers since 2012"
Is this Islamophobic?

Halal supermarket in Paris told to sell pork and alcohol or face closure - "A halal supermarket in Paris has been ordered by local authorities to sell pork and alcohol or face closure.The Good Price mini-market in Colombes has not followed the conditions of its lease, which states the shop must act as a "general food store", the local authority has said.It argues that members of the local community are not being served properly if the shop does not sell pork or alcohol products... "We want a social mix," Mr Besnard added. "We don't want any area that is only Muslim or any area where there are no Muslims."

France has turned into one of the worldwide threats to free speech - "Macron and his government are attempting to unilaterally scrub out the internet of hateful thoughts. The French Parliament has moved toward a new law that would give internet companies like Facebook and Google just 24 hours to remove hateful speech from their sites or face fines of $1.4 million per violation. A final vote is expected next week. Germany passed a similar measure last year and imposed fines of $56 million... Europeans know these companies are quite unlikely to surgically remove content for individual countries. The effect will be similar to the “California Exception.” All states are subject to uniform vehicle emissions standards under the Clean Air Act, but California was given an exception to establish more stringent standards. Rather than create special cars for California, the more stringent standards tend to drive car designs. When it comes to speech controls, Europeans know they can limit speech not only in their countries but practically limit speech in the United States and elsewhere.Indeed, Europeans are building on past success. Back in 2013, a group of Jewish students used French laws to sue Twitter to force it to hand over the identities of anonymous posters of comments deemed anti-Semitic... the father of French conservative presidential candidate Marine Le Pen was fined because he had called people from the Roma minority “smelly.” A French mother was prosecuted because her son went to school with a shirt reading “I am a bomb.” A German man was arrested for having a ringtone with the voice of Adolf Hitler. A German conservative politician was placed under criminal investigation for a tweet in which she accused police of appeasing “barbaric gang raping Muslim hordes of men.” Even German Justice Minister Heiko Maas was censored under his own laws for calling an author an “idiot” on Twitter.The result of such poorly defined laws is predictable. A recent poll found only 18 percent of Germans feel they can speak freely in public. More than 31 percent did not even feel free to express themselves in private among their friends. Just 17 percent of Germans felt free to express themselves on the internet, and 35 percent said free speech is confined to small private circles. That is called a chilling effect, and it should be feared. There are also renewed calls in the United Nations to make hate speech a type of international crime. Muslim nations want blasphemy included, and Israel wants anti-Semitism to be criminalized. Even in our own country, politicians like Howard Dean and various academics have declared that hate speech is not protected by the First Amendment. Representative Frederica Wilson has called for people to be “prosecuted” for making fun of members of Congress. A recent poll found half of college students in the United States do not believe that hate speech should be protected."

Friday, December 13, 2019

Links - 13th December 2019 (2)

The ‘Ai Stead Mai’ S’pore Love Story in the 90s - YouTube - "Ah Hock loved Michelle and asked her, ‘Ai stead mai?’ in the 90s. Today, he tried again but would it work?"
When a lady says no, she means maybe

Is the dictionary sexist? Petition calls for Oxford English Dictionary to remove sexist terms for women - "A petition that now has nearly 30,000 signatures and counting on Change.org was started by a simple online search.Maria Beatrice Giovanardi, a London-based communications and marketing expert, typed the word “woman” into a search engine earlier this summer while looking up information on women’s earnings.She said she was bombarded with results for synonymous of woman that included words like bitch, piece, bit, mare, baggage, wench, petticoat, frail and biddy...  One woman, who identifies herself as a feminist and a linguist, took to Twitter to explain why she didn't sign the petition."Lobbying dictionaries to make their definitions fit your political preferences is misguided""
We're well on our way to Newspeak

There's Only One Reason to Remake 'The Princess Bride' | The Mary Sue - "The Only Reason to Remake The Princess Bride Would Be to Gender-Swap and Diversify It"
Art for art's sake is now art for politics's sake

chels on Twitter - "California’s what happens when rights are respected. When work is rewarded. When nature’s protected. When diversity is celebrated and free markets are fair markets.We are nothing less than the progressive answer to a transgressive President. #CADEM19"
"People are literally shitting in the streets, Gavin."
"And working people are fleeing in droves .... good job California"

Wearing high heels as female mating strategy - "Females use various behavioural tactics in order to attract the attention of a desirable mate. Wearing high heels enhances female physical attractiveness for the opposite sex, thus their use seems to be a powerful sexual signal. We investigated female preferences for high heels both in everyday life as well as in a hypothetical mating scenario. Slovak females reported a low frequency of wearing high heels (45% once per month, 38% never) in everyday life. Females with a lower body height and high self-perceived attractiveness reported more frequent use of high heels than others. Sociosexuality and involvement in a romantic relationship did not predict the wearing of high heels. When females imagined an interaction with an attractive male, preferences for high heels steeply increased compared with a scenario with an unattractive male. Females with a low body height use high heels in all probability to visually elongate their leg length in order to increase their physical attractiveness. High heels seem to be a form of sexual signalling by females in intersexual interactions."
So much for women doing it 'for themselves'

Cursed Baizuo Opinions - Posts - "Im literally right here #BiVisibilityDay"
"Can you please get your fursona out of this tag? Bi Visibility Day is about attraction to multiple genders, not your beastiality."
"I don't want to argue about this confused drama about me into bestiality, because im not. Im just posting about me being a open visible bisexual person. So can we please not continue with this, its not necessary."
"You're a furry. That, by definition, makes you into beastiality. That's what being a furry is. If it upsets you, you can always block me. Justk now that you are still being insanely disrespectful to the LGBT+ community by trying to associate them with furries."
"Being a furry by definiton doesnt make someone into bestiality? What?
It just means you find anthropomorphic animal characters interesting, why you taking it to that route?"
The furries just need to brand being one a gender and they can be included. So much for inclusivity
She changed or wiped her Twitter, but some of this was from https://twitter.com/Black_Zork/status/1176243935775219712


The Cup Noodle Industrial Complex - "In Japan, you can eat a different flavor of instant noodles every day of the year."

Escape The Echo Chamber - Posts - "A few days ago, a 24-year-old college football fan held up a sign on TV asking for beer money. When the donations exceeded $600 he announced that the money would be donated to a children’s hospital. This news went viral and the amount donated quickly rose to over $1,000,000. A beer company said they would donate a year’s supply of beer to the fan with his face printed on the cans.
All the the love and goodwill in the story disappeared when a reporter decided to dig into the man’s twitter history as a teenager and found some Tosh.0 quotes that were very politically incorrect. After the story was published the beer company, in a portrait of courage, canceled their beer gift.
The internet responded by digging into the reporter’s twitter history and found far worse tweets filled with racist and homophobic statements. Cancel culture hitting back at cancel culture."

Some Absolute Toad From The Des Moines Register Digs Up Tweets From Carson King (The Iowa State Kid Who Raised $1 Million+ For The Children's Hospital) And Plans To Expose Him - Internet Beats Him To The Punch With His Own Tweets Of Homophobia and N-Words
On Aaron Calvin

Jesse Singal on Twitter - "A young Des Moines Register reporter retweeted Osita Nwanevu's article about how cancel culture isn't real and shortly thereafter got fired for offensive tweets he did like 8 years ago"

What 'cancel culture' and its critics get wrong - "critics of cancel culture are reacting to its partisan character. I'm using the term partisan in the precise sense, to mean an expression of the views of "a part" of the political community, as opposed to the views of the whole. The kind of cancelation I described above — about Nazis, Stalinists, violent racists, child molesters, and practitioners of incest and cannibalism — is affirmed, once again, by nearly everyone on nearly every side of every dispute that divides us as a society. It is transpartisan, an expression of the convictions of almost everyone. It is, for the most part, beyond dispute.But today's "cancel culture" isn't like that. On the contrary, it's precisely the lack of an overwhelming consensus in favor of ruling morally out of bounds certain views and actions — especially about race, gender, and sexual orientation — that provokes the activists to demand that transgressors against these nascent norms be cast out. The activists have leapt ahead of public opinion, in other words, and are attempting to shape it using tactics derived from street politics and amplified by social media. This gets the normal cultural mechanism backwards... A small number of online progressives have appointed themselves a moral vanguard, upholding and attempting to enforce, through the methods of a digital mob, a form of puritanical egalitarianism that is affirmed only by a few... It's this dynamic — a small minority of ideological activists ganging up on an individual, attempting to compel media companies, book publishers, television shows, movie studios, and corporations into casting the individual into outer darkness — that has prompted columnist Peggy Noonan and others to liken cancel culture to the totalitarianism of China's cultural revolution... Will it work? We have reason to doubt it — and even to suspect that the moral browbeating is contributing to the very political backlash the activists are reacting against. To see this, it's instructive to turn to the political realm. Unlike authors and entertainers, who are dependent on niche audiences and the support of powerful business interests that can be swayed by the fear of bad publicity, politicians respond to public opinion more broadly and directly. And there we can see the real limits of the push to cancel moral transgressors. For one thing, Donald Trump is in the White House, having run a campaign fueled in part by fury at the moral finger-wagging of "political correctness." For another, Democrat Ralph Northam is still governor of Virginia seven months after a photo purporting to show him wearing blackface in his medical school yearbook was made public. Polls at the time the story broke revealed that white voters were more likely than blacks to favor him resigning over the controversy — showing, perhaps, that views on the episode were more conflicted than activists would allow"

Phul Nelson - "We can't blame every Islamic person for what happened on 9/11"
"Yep. Can't keep blaming slavery and racism on every white person either..."
Not to mention 9/11 was only 18 years ago - but slavery...

Sex education lessons in UK schools advise kids aged 6 about 'touching private parts' - "Parents have slammed lessons on “self-stimulation” which encourages children aged between six and ten to touch their "private parts" in bed and the shower. More than 240 primary schools in the UK have introduced lessons as part of the All About Me sex education programme for kids aged six to ten... “They are calling it self-touching and they won’t use the term masturbation, but when you read it that’s exactly what they’re talking about."Conservative MP David Davies also slammed the programme.He said: “These classes go way beyond the guidance the Government is producing and are effectively sexualising very young children.""
Once again, sex education is sex instruction. Meanwhile some activists want to remove the ability of parents to opt out

Thread by @RachelRRomeo - "I just had such an affirming experience. On my 8hr intl flight back from a conference, I sat next to a father/son. In broken English, the father began to apologize/warn me that his ~10 yr-old son had severe nonverbal autism, and that this would like be a difficult journey.
I told him not to worry, I was a speech-language pathologist with lots of experience with minimally verbal kiddos. Challenging behaviors began even before take off: screaming, hitting me, and grabbing for my things. The father repeatedly apologized, but did little else.
I asked him how his son preferred to communicate. He didn’t seem to understand. Perhaps this was a language barrier, but I think instead the child had very little experience with communication therapy. I put away the talk I was working on & asked if I could try. He nodded.
I tried to see if he was stimulable for a communication board. I started by pulling up some standard images for basic nouns on my computer but I could tell that screens really bothered him. So I summoned my god-awful drawing skills and tried to create a (very!) low-tech board.
And by god, it clicked. I made symbols for the things he was grabbing, for his favorite stuffed penguin, and for his dad. He took to it very quickly. I introduced way more symbols that I normally would, but hey, how often do we get an 8-hour session?!
By the end of the flight, he had made several requests, initiated several times, & his behaviors had reduced quite a bit. The father was astounded – clearly no one had ever tried an AAC approach with him. I gave him the paper & showed him how to use it, and he nearly cried.
This was the human desire for communication, pure and simple. To connect with another person and share a thought. Communication is a basic human right, and I was overjoyed to help someone find it. What a privilege and a gift."

Net zero: Alta. town grasps electrical holy grail - "A small Alberta town is the first in Canada and likely the first in North America to produce as much of its own electricity as required to run town operations.It’s called “net zero” as far as electricity is concerned and it has been achieved in Raymond, population about 4,000, by installing solar panels on nearly all town-owned buildings."
1) It's for "town operations" - not for the whole town
2) It says they're even on electrical costs. Not sure if this means that since the panels are on a lease model, the lease (net on credit for putting power into the grid) is as much as they'd have paid for non-solar energy anyway
3) More than 20% of it was paid for with a government grant
4) Maintenance is only covered for 15 years. Maintenance costs increase with age (and output decreases) so after 15 years they're almost certainly going to be in the red
5) Since they're projected to come out even in the first year, they're going to be in the red in subsequent years due to degradation


Illiteracy In Quebec Becoming A Massive Problem In The Province - "It ranks next-to-last in Canada in terms of literacy, despite the fact that school has been mandatory until age 16 since 1988. Approximately 53 per cent of the population do not reach the necessary threshold to function properly in a society that each year is becoming increasingly complex. And among that percentage, 19 per cent are unable to read and write... Over half of Quebecois have difficulty understanding the meaning of a 300-word article from the Journal de Montréal. Some are unable to read a doctor's prescription, or even understand the map of the metro in Montreal... it would be profitable to invest in education. According to economist Pierre Fortin, a one per cent increase in literacy country-wide would lead to a $32 billion increase in Canadians' total revenue. And this would hold true with each one per cent increase... Over time, even language's utilitarian qualities begin to fade. Nearly one-fifth of adults with a university degree have a poor grasp of basic grammar in French. "We give diplomas to lawyers, engineers, etc. You name it, professionals are making writing mistakes and sometimes it's hard to understand what they write""
Cue libertarian reeing because taxation is theft and all government spending is wasteful

How 1 shoe can ruin a family photo : funny

Thread by @SeamusBlackley - "I went to Boston’s MFA and @Harvard’s @peabodymuseum to attempt collecting 4,500 year old yeast from Ancient Egyptian pottery. Today, I baked with some of it... Here is a large batch of starter, carefully made from the Old Kingdom sample, added to water and some unfiltered olive oil. The idea is to make a dough with identical ingredients to what the yeast ate 4,500 years ago. The aroma of this yeast is unlike anything I’ve experienced... The scoring is the Hieroglyph representing the “T” sound (Gardiner X1) which is a loaf of bread. The aroma is AMAZING and NEW. It’s much sweeter and more rich than the sourdough we are used to. It’s a big difference... The crumb is light and airy, especially for a 100% ancient grain loaf. The aroma and flavor are incredible. I’m emotional. It’s really different, and you can easily tell even if you’re not a bread nerd."
We need heirloom yeast

Why the Soviets Sponsored a Doomed Expedition to a Hollow Earth Kingdom - "In December of 1923, two unlikely travelers arrived in Darjeeling, India intent on finding what could not possibly exist: Shambhala, a kingdom located inside a hollow earth. Along them trailed Soviet spies, Western occultists and Mongolian rebels, all serving their own agendas. Even with so many eyes on them, their expedition still managed to disappear from the face of the earth for months; when they finally emerged, they had a fascinating story to tell and even more secrets to hide."

Dominic Sandbrook On Britain In The Early 80s

Particularly pertinent given how Labour in the UK got smashed (though unfortunately not wiped out), to weeping, wailing and the gnashing of teeth, inability to understand statistics in the form of polling, claims of media bias, accusations of election rigging and predictions that the UK is going to be ruined and the NHS sold off:

Dominic Sandbrook On Britain In The Early 80s | History Extra Podcast - HistoryExtra

"‘Lots of people doing well, and that was one of the ironies wasn't it? The late 70s, they come out of what you described as one of the gloomiest decades in modern British history. But yet for a lot of people life was more comfortable than ever. They had central heating. They had more things’

‘Yes, absolutely. They had, I mean, that's the great paradox, isn't it? And you get that when you talk to people about 70s and the 80s, that you can tell a story about it, which is all doom and gloom, particularly the 70s. You know, the strikes, having to get a humiliating bailout from the International Monetary Fund. The Heath government broken by the miners, the Callaghan government broken by the unions in 1979. A sort of story of ungovernability and failure.

And that's the story that a lot of British people told about their country. They would sort of say, yes, I'm personally better off than ever, and I'm going on holiday, and I've got my new telly, and all the rest of it. However, the country as a kind of corporate entity is going to the dogs, and that we are falling behind our competitors, we haven’t got Empire anymore.

And I think psychologically, that it had become quite embedded by the end of the 70s. And it's, it's not just among people who are kind of, you know, civil servants and business leaders and so on, but actually you see it so much in popular culture. I mean, the classic example that I give at the beginning of the book is Fawlty Towers. The hotel is a sort of metaphor for Britain itself. You know, the famous episode when the American Waldorf salad, the American tourists arrive, and nothing works, they can't get a hot meal. You know, Mr. Hamilton, the American guy has pitched up says, you know, this is the crummiest shoddiest hotel in all of Western Europe. And he's not really just talking about Fawlty Towers, he's talking about Britain…

Margaret Thatcher's genius as a politician is that she's able to tap both those things. So she appeals to people's anxieties about what's happening to their country and about national decline. But she's also able to tap their aspiration, the new kind of materialism, the consumerism, and there, I think it really helps that she's a woman. Because she says, oh I understand about the family budget, I'm a housewife and mother just like you and all this kind of thing. And that appeal to domesticity is, I think, a really important part of her appeal. I can't think of any other politician in British history, who's been so successful at both sort of playing the Imperial warrior, but also playing the I'm an ordinary person like you, who, you know, just wants to spend an evening cooking and and she probably couldn't have done what, she certainly couldn't have done it if she hadn't been a woman...

[When Thatcher wasn’t PM] Life at Downing Street was actually pretty calm measured, you know, everyone knew what they were doing. They didn't have huge shouting matches. This is sort of, you know, we're all good chaps and we can get on with this sort of ethos. But with Mrs. Thatcher life was incredibly histrionic. You know, if you disagreed with that, she took it very personally. She held grudges. You know, there were endless kind of shouting matches, sort of this sort of apocalyptic mood in the early 80s. Everything's going wrong. And she's not the politic, you know, she's, it's not really in her makeup to come into the room and say, calm down everyone, this will be fine. It's actually much more in her makeup to work herself into this incredible lather and to get really overwrought about things in a way that was often hidden from the public...

There's a book I talk a little bit about called authors take sides on the Falklands, and it was modeled on a book from the 1930s called authors take sides on the Spanish Civil War, and basically the organizers got all these intellectuals and writers and stuff and said, ‘What do you make of the Falklands?’. And most of them thought it was absolutely awful.

And what they objected to, you know you, you don't even need to read between the lines. They say it quite bluntly. What they hate about it is that it has reawakened this patriotism in the British people that they think, thought was dead since the 1960s. You know, Salman Rushdie says at one point, he doesn't even want to talk about it, it just makes him feel so ashamed. And, you know, that's the interesting thing that this, that I think is what distinguishes her from other prime ministers. And actually, what distinguishes this period, really from the 70s, or the 60s, is the revival of this populism.

And it's populism taking center stage, you know, the patriotism of the common man and woman that the elites have supposedly sneered at for the last 20 years or so. And it was, you know, I'm sure, one reason why this theme struck me so strongly is obviously because I was writing the book, just before, during and after the 2016 referendum...

Make America or Britain or wherever great again, is a standard political device. So Trump's not the first president to use that phrase. Bill Clinton used that phrase, Ronald Reagan used that phrase, and making Britain great again, is what, all opposition leaders pretty much say. The country was great in this golden age before the current government took over. We will recapture that lost greatment . I mean, that's a pretty standard political device...

I talked in the book about her use of the phrase ordinary people. So she uses it something like 250 times during her time in office. She doesn't talk about you know, I'm for the middle classes, or I'm for that, she says I'm for ordinary people. And the implication is that people who oppose her are not ordinary. They are of course in this sort of Tory demonology, they are trade union barons, rent a mob, student protesters, strikers, stuck up steering snobs, you know, all that sort of stuff.'...

People look for somebody to blame. And it really matters that the person who's presiding over all this is a Tory woman. And that I think, explains a lot of the personal bitterness towards Margaret Thatcher. And there's no doubt that her policies made things worse.

But the one thing that always struck me is, France, since the 19, well, since the 1990s, has had this cripplingly high youth unemployment rate, which we don't have. So one in four French kids is basically out of work. But no French person ever says, Jacques Chirac, what an evil man. Francois Hollande cackles while young people are thrown on the scrap heap. Nobody says that kind of stuff. But people still say that about Margaret Thatcher, they still say she's, you know, that woman blah de blah de blah.

Again, I think the fact that she's a woman matters enormously, of course, she invited some of this. She's so strident and confrontational... the fact that she's a woman, I think, makes it very easy for people to personalize it and to blame what is the result often of huge kind of global economic forces on one person. And you know if she hadn't, she'd fallen under a bus in 1978, Michael Foot had been Prime Minister, would there have been a recession in the early 80s? Yes. Probably not as bad, but yes. And would Britain be full of, you know, gigantic car factories and coal mines full of people and all that kind of thing today? Obviously not...

Some of the biggest Thatcherites were dead against [the Falklands War]... Why would you do this, you know, spend so much money retaking islands with 1800 people. It doesn't make any strategic sense, it’s so risky, could ruin everything we've worked for. It's just mad. That's their take on it. Alan Walters used to send around these papers saying it might be much cheaper to bribe the Falkland Islands to come and live in Devon or something or send them to New Zealand where they can sort of talk to sheep to their heart's content.

But Mrs Thatcher's immediate instinct was: we’ve got to get them back. The public want us to get them back. And she was right… Two out of 10 people wanted to attack Argentina itself, basically to invade Argentina. The public were very bellicose, that's what horrified kind of intellectuals and kind of, you know, academically kind of people who were just sort of where did all of these people come from? It’s like they climbed out of their rocks, all these patriots…

Everything about the war is perfectly you know, no script writer could have invented a better scenario. The Falkland Islanders are these kind of harmless, old fashioned sheep farmers. They look like people from the 1950s. They've never hurt anybody. They were just, you know, prodding along having their sheep dog trials and stuff when the archies pitched up. The Argentines are a fascist dictatorship with a track record of kind of attaching electrodes to their poets and throwing them out of aeroplanes over the Atlantic, you know, they’re baddies basically. You know that that there's no way of sort of selling this another way. The UN backs Britain, the United States eventually backs Britain, France backs Britain, even Argentine’s neighbor, Chile, they hate Argentina. They help Britain...

There's the spectacle of the task force leaving, the ships plowing across the ocean. The landings under enemy fire, the little figures, little green figures with their big packs kind of trudging across the landscape through the rain. It all feels like a little rerun of the Second World War basically. And it's, it's perfectly calculated to stir the hearts of people who've grown up watching the Dambusters and Dad's Army. And you know, you look at the press reaction, the sort of almost hysterical outpourings of excitement and then of enthusiasm when victory is won.

And I do think it changes the story. It drives unemployment off the front pages, it banishes the idea of Britain being ungovernable. It, for the first time in Mrs. Thatcher’s Premiership, it shows people actually she is capable of doing what she says. You know, it's not all going to kind of fall apart as soon as she touches it... the image that sums it up is the image, the very famous of the troops marching across the moorlands, and there's one of them with the Union Jack sticking out of his backpack, the photo that's always used for the Falklands War.

And it's the flag that makes it. Because when people, many people had not associated the flag with success for 30 years, you know, 40 years. When people had seen the flag on the news it’d been in the context of it coming down. You know, Prince Philip is in the Gold Coast for their independence kind of thing. The flag comes down, the new flag comes up. It's the kind of, falling flag basically. And when people have seen the British Army on the news, it'll be in the context of Northern Ireland. They've just killed somebody. Or they've been blown up in a horrific kind of roadside bomb. So it's like that. Yes, it's, the record has been changed. And it gives people a taste for things that that had been lost..

There was a huge furore about the BBC. The BBC didn't want to call the British forces, our forces, which a lot of Tory MPs thought was basically tantamount to treason. And the Brit, the BBC also saw its role as to basically report the news, objectively, sort of arbitrating between the Argentine and British versions. Again, a lot of people complained about, they said that British Broadcasting Corporation should be on Britain's side. You know, as you were in the Second World War...

Columnists and writers at the time often said, you know, basically you go to a council estate, you go to a sort of industrial town and when you, Labour, people go canvassing, they report that on the doorstep time and again, people say I really admire Maggie for the Falklands. Of course, we should be fighting them, of course, all this kind of thing.

And yet they would say themselves, Guardian writers like Peter Jenkins, the Guardian’s kind of star political writer of the day would sort of say, I don't know anybody who supports the war. You know, that's a little bit, I don't know anybody who voted leave, kind of stuff...

I did think to myself, how accurately some of this prefigures, the debates we have right now. That there is a kind of, even in the 80s there is a sort of real sense of a gulf between the kind of people who kind of write and read literary novels, shall we say, who are just appalled by the whole enterprise and embarrassed by what they see as the jingoism and the glory and slaughter and so on. And then, you know, the sort of the voices of the football grounds, who just cannot see why there's anything wrong with, why you wouldn't fight to recapture your territory when it's been invaded. And yeah, there is a class dimension there I think. I think there's a sort of, you know, there's a working class patriotism, that the Falklands specifically stirs...

There’s a definitely a class element to all this… For a lot of the 20% who don't support the war, there's a sense of, just a sense of shock, I think that what they see as their country has been taken away from them, and that is a very kind of remainy sentiment I can remember reading after the Brexit referendum.

Paddy Ashdown says that he said to his wife: I don't recognize this country anymore. You know, what's happened to this country? You hear people say all the time, what's happened to this country? Well, people were saying that in 1982. Alan Bennett the playwright wrote in his diary after victory in the Falklands, he wrote, you know, I don't feel English now. They're singing Rule Britannia in Downing Street. How can this be happening?

You know, I think there's a whole generation who had come of age in the 1960s. And they've gone through the 70s, feminism, gay rights, the Labour Party moving to the left. And they sort of felt that history was on their side. They were young, you know, you do feel that when you're young. And you’re in University, you're the kind of master of your own little universe. And you sort of think, you know, those fuddy duddies, those tweedy, Tory reactions of the 50s have been kicked into the dustbin. And we will remake society and we will, we will bring in a kinder, gentler, more equal Britain.

And then this ghastly woman becomes Prime Minister in 1979 and goes around telling people that it's, you know, it's good to be ambitious and to make money and, you know, you shouldn't feel guilty about that. And then, you know, she clearly loves the Falklands War and says how thrilling is her word, thrilling it is to be fighting for freedom.

Instead of arguing about kind of welfare policies or whatever, and all these people respond to this and think this is great, and you, the sort of 60s product, you know, with your cherished copy of EP Thompson's the Making of the English Working Class and your copy of John Lennon's Imagine and stuff. You think, Christ, what's happened. This isn't the country I thought I was in. We were in control of the future. And now the future has been taken away from us by these vulgar Tory materialistic jingoists. And there is a class dimension to that, I think. And I think that that actually runs right through modern politics to this day"


Women and "stereotypes"!

Is it still unfair to say that liberals hate their countries, if patriotism is seen as shameful? It's interesting that patriotism is associated with populism

Of course in Labour demonology, “for the many, not the few” implies that if you oppose Labour…

Ironically, feminists hate Margaret Thatcher so much. But they're just being sexist

Apparently singing "Rule Britannia" is un-English. Who knew? Is it English to hate your country?
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