Daily news and comments on the situation in post Saddam Iraq by an Iraqi dentist living in Texas
My very own cartoon
"Da'wa Party-controlled governorates threaten to form federal region if Maliki is replaced."This would not, at first glance, appear to be a credible threat. And, by ‘credible’ I mean ‘reasonably calculated to produce a state of fear and trepidation, leading to attempts at avoidance, on the part of ones opponents.’The Kurds are likely to think this is a fine idea. And Maliki's earlier attempts to arrest his veep, Tariq Hashimi, and other prominant Iraqiyya politicians have lead to their public support for formation of a Sunni dominant region of their own. Furthermore, a southern Shia region of provinces currently dominated by the Da'awa party would create alternate power centers for challengers to Maliki, both within Da'awa and between Da'awa and other Shia dominant parties. This is the opposite of what Maliki wants, which is centralization of power in his hands in Baghdad. (Of course, the threat pre-supposes that he's already lost his grip on the Prime Minister's chair in Baghdad.)So, so far as I can reckon it, the threat, so far as it's credible, is intended to be a threat against his allies in the Shia dominated ‘Rule of Law Coalition’ and maybe against Sadr. As best I recall, Sadr has been steadfastly opposed to any moves towards applied federalism. May also be seen as a threat by SCIRI; I'm not sure about their position on the subject.All in all, this looks to me to be more of the ‘burn down the playground’ behavior that Zeyad mentioned in a previous thread with respect to Egyptian politics. This may be a significant characteristic of the new Arab politics for some years to come. And that's probably to be expected as they begin to adapt to the notion of elections and of winning elections, and more significantly, adjusting to the notion of losing elections.(And, of course, this may be where Zeyad comes back in and tells me I've got it figured all wrong and I'd probably do better to not be speculating on Iraqi politics in public.)
You summed it up perfectly, Lee.
Brief side trip into American politics:New employment numbers out for May. Unemployment ticked up a notch, going up to 8.2% from the prior 8.1%, and America added only 69,000 new jobs over the month before (not enough to keep up with the number of people entering the job market for the first time--we need around 125,000--150,000 per month just to keep up with population growth).Today was a good day for Romney.
"if Maliki is replaced"Are there any efforts being made at replacing him? As far as I know he came out of the 2010 elections as the PM after considerable whealing and dealing following the election results. Is there any real threat to his position until 2014 when (I assume) the next elections are planned?Wouldn't that require some kind of no-confidence vote against him in parliament that led to new elections being held ahead of time?I haven't read anything like that, but perhaps I've just missed it, or perhaps Iraq is so far off the radar in western media that it hasn't been reported on. Why would Dawa need to make a threat like that when Maliki is PM? Is the opposition against him strong enough that he might be toppled?(As you see I have way more questions than opinions. Clearly Iraq is at least to some degree off the radar these days, in western media)
Lee "Today was a good day for Romney."And a horrible day for the stock market (which might be one and the same until the US election is over). Not that it was all due to the dissapointing new-job numbers in the US, that was just the icing on the cake. The Eurozone debacle is what's really punishing the markets and the hopes of any real recovery. I see that today all the gains in the US markets in 2012 have been wiped out and the Dow is now in the red for the year so far, and many European markets are in the dark red. And Greece hasn't even defaulted yet. And there are still (hope against hope) hopes that Spain will not. Oh my, are we in for some bad times in the near future. I'm moving away from stocks completely, accepting some losses and licking my wounds, and going all in in the US dollar for the foreseeable future.
"…‘a good day for Romney.’ "And a horrible day for the stock market (which might be one and the same until the US election is over)."Yeah, pretty much. Two things, well, maybe three or four depends on how ya count ‘em: 1. Romney knows better than the faerie tale economic theories he now espouses to keep in the good graces of his right-wing. 1a. Knowing better may not do him any good. If he manages to pull off a win in November, he's gonna be stuck with a Repubican Party which expects him to make the faerie tale work. And it's not gonna work. It's never worked; it's never gonna work. But he's leading a party who now believe in the faerie tale, and they're gonna demand he deliver on making it work. And it's not gonna work. The Republicans have managed to box themselves in to a disaster in the making. 2. The 2009 stimulus money is now running out. And the economy is starting to show that. It's not really recovered yet, and the lack of stimulus spending is being felt in the overall economy. 2a. Probably even more important than the stimulus money running out is that everybody's scared shitless of a collapse of the European economy dragging us down with them again. And they're preemptively suckin’ back into their protective shells. ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯Post Script:If any of you have, like me, been getting one image too dark to read, I've discovered that typing in ‘word’ (no quote marks) always seems to work. Get the other one right and it'll go through.
Marcus, other blocs, Sunni, Shia and Kurdish, are planning a no-confidence vote in Maliki, but he still has some strong support in the south.
They have decided that he is taking ominous steps to establish a new dictatorship, and he once told them '3abalkum nin6eeha?', (You think we'll give [our rule] up?)
Thanks for the explanation Zeyad. I had not heard that news before.I got some new news here back home today which relates to my dislike for some "repressive cultural expressions" but given the grief I was given last by PeteS and by an anonymous (that might and night not have been Zeyad himself, felt like it) I'll restrain myself from voicing it in the comments on this blog. Felt like I was steppig on toes, for real.
Sometimes, Marcus, it's more about how ya say something than exactly what ya say about it. Pretty much everybody's gonna wanna defend their hometown from perceived hostiles, even if they tend to agree with the criticisms being leveled.For instance, it's easier to get away with mentioning a venerable, ancient culture than discussing the primitive, tribal sumbitches. Means pretty much the same thing, but you're more apt to get away with the one than with the other. (On the other hand, Petes just likes deeming himself superior, so ya gotta just ignore most of that.)
(And, of course, this may be where Zeyad comes back in and tells me I've got it figured all wrong and I'd probably do better to not be speculating on Iraqi politics in public.)lol! But what fun is there in that? Personally, I find it interesting to listen to non-US voters speculating on American politics.
Marcus,You sound a bit like you are factoring in a world wide depression. I know what you mean though. I have considered getting out of stocks and into bonds lately too. But timing the markets is extremely difficult, far beyond my capabilities, so I will sit tight for now. I hear today has been bad for stocks.I have sometimes wondered if the US might be strong enough to pull the rest of the world out of another economic crisis. While our recovery is weak there are signs of things picking up steam. At least in my little corner of the country. Companies are sitting on large amounts of cash, consumers are out spending again (you can't keep an American from spending for long), houses are selling, construction firms are seeing more customers, and people are finding jobs. The United States economcy is still a large share of the world economy as a whole. And while Lee is right, there are many people who follow these things closely who are very worried about Europe, there are also a lot who are totally clueless. Those people are still spending and moving on with their lives. The question is, who will win that little tug of war?*sigh* But maybe I am too optimistic. A lot is riding on our elections this fall. News? News? Oh come on, Marcus, you can't just leave it like that! I will die of curiosity! (You know, Zeyad, that red cape in front of a bull thing I mentioned a long time ago. :) )
Da'wa Party-controlled governorates threaten to form federal region if Maliki is replaced.They are wrong. It is that simple. To do that is to undermine all the work people have done before them to try to bring Iraq back as a stable, healthy, unified country. Yes, I know, it is far from that at the moment. But giving up is the coward's way out. If there has been a mechanism put in place to replace a leader that the legislature feels is guilty of wrongdoing then it should be allowed to play out as written. Here we call it impeachment.
Lee,I read the Fareed Zakaria piece you left for me. Obviously an intelligent man who knows the region far better than I. My guess is that he is right that crippling sanctons would work to get Assad's regime to crack. They would also take a toll on people in Syria. There is probably no painless way to remove Assad. So, perhaps it should be the quickest way. Is that the quickest way?In any case, the removal of Assad by any means will set in motion changes that may be hard to deal with.
"They are wrong. It is that simple."I don't know that it really is that simple. The Iraqi constitution provided for the possible future formation of regional governments, inferior to the federal government in Baghdad for a reason. It's perfectly legal, constitutionally permissible, it's specifically approved in the original Iraqi constitution.Personally, as a citizen of a successful federal republic, I just don't accept that it's ‘wrong…simple as that’.
"So, perhaps it should be the quickest way. Is that the quickest way?"Perhaps 'quickest way’ is the wrong metric to use? Perhaps ‘least loss of life’ would be a better standard, even if that took a little longer? Perhaps also we should consider the potential for unintended consequences to appear and to bite us in the ass, if we happen to get out ahead of our allies on this one. Maybe there's more to consider than just ‘quickest way’.
Lee: " Pretty much everybody's gonna wanna defend their hometown from perceived hostiles, even if they tend to agree with the criticisms being leveled.For instance, it's easier to get away with mentioning a venerable, ancient culture than discussing the primitive, tribal sumbitches. Means pretty much the same thing, but you're more apt to get away with the one than with the other."Nah. What I'm saying's got nada to do with that. What I'm mentioning are the consequences of mass imigration from the middle east and central asia into our (previously largely homeogenous) society and pointing out some of the rather not so nice things that comes with that. And the flaws in the currently prevailing idea that all of those resulting problems are tha fault of folks like me refusing to "integrate" properly. That's all.My own home town, that Pete riled against a few posts back, was just yesterday voted the 10'th worst place to live in out of 300 communities in Sweden (it's the 3'd largest city). The same town in 1992 had 16% of the population born outside of Sweden, now it's 32% and factoring second generation immigrants Swedes are a minority - and are moving the hell away. At the same time Malmö leads the curve in rapes, robberies, theft and all manner of vice and Malmö is known, not just in Sweden but throughout Scandinavia as a "gangster city". Still it has NO, none whatsoever, connection to the fact that mass immigration of people from societies with no western concept of law and order is rapant. For sure no. Right?The fact that the Obama administrtion had to send an ambassador to Malmö to speak about the rampant anti-semitism. Do ya'll bye the media's suggestion that it's Swedish Nazi skinheads to blame? I last saw a skinhead in the 80's, and there were maybe 10 of them in the entire city, and if one rearded it's ugly head today it'd last about 5 seconds before bleeding to death after a gang beating (and good riddance). So who are chasing away the jews who've lived here in peace since the 14'th century? You take yoour best guess.The fact that we currently have the largest police operation in Sweden's history (operation Alfred) in my home town aiming to try to break up our many mafia gangs, that's just a coincidence, right? I should just live with flashing blue lights everywhere and consider it normal, right?And when we see statistical evidence that, for instance assault rape is 8 tims more common among men from ME countries than among locals (and it's not all immigrants, east asian men were LESS inclined to rape than Swedes, 0.8), are we just supposed to shrug that off? Or might we consider the possibility that men from cultures where women are suppposed to dress in bedsheets, and if they do not they are whores, are more prone to raping our women than the local populace? Or is the very question racist? The instance I alluded to in a previous post was just 4 arabs on a swedish 17 yo girl, which pales when considering the 8 afghans on a swedish girl that had a joyful time about e a month ago (left her bleeding from 2 out of the 3 orifices they used). I've never, in 38 years heard of any swedes doing that to a woman but now suddenly it's some kind of national sport it seems. Why? Are we supposed to just accept that?
Lee: (again) "Pretty much everybody's gonna wanna defend their hometown from perceived hostiles"What about REAL hostilities against the local population? Are we entitled to speak up on that? Or is that "xenophobic"?It's my own town Lee. I grew up here. And I am considering moving. If I had chldren I would have moved away already, most friends did once they had kids. And I'm just suppposed to suck it up so more fanatics from the middle east, central asia and north africa can get a nice place to stay? And I get the privelidge to pay for it with my taxes? Fuck that! Fuck that very much!Lee: "Pretty much everybody's gonna wanna defend their hometown from perceived hostiles"Beware of when that starts to happen for real.
Kipling: It was not part of their blood,It came to them very late,With long arrears to make good,When the Saxon began to hate.They were not easily moved,They were icy -- willing to waitTill every count should be proved,Ere the Saxon began to hate.Their voices were even and low.Their eyes were level and straight.There was neither sign nor showWhen the Saxon began to hate.It was not preached to the crowd.It was not taught by the state.No man spoke it aloudWhen the Saxon began to hate.It was not suddently bred.It will not swiftly abate.Through the chilled years ahead,When Time shall count from the dateThat the Saxon began to hate.
Chill, Marcus. Don't go medieval on us.
Just unloaded some thoughts, that's all.
"Nah. What I'm saying's got nada to do with that."But, the reaction of the ‘anonymous’ whom you presumed to be Zeyad does have to do with that. Maybe it was Zeyad; maybe it was another Arab reader, either way, what he (she?) picked up on was your anger. He reacted to that, in defense of the home boys. It's a natural reaction, pretty much constant among all people. We're all biologically inclined towards tribalism. We evolved that way. Semi-pack animals. Defend the pack is instinctive. Let me give you an example, the rest of that paragraph read as: "What I'm mentioning are the consequences of mass imigration from the middle east and central asia into our (previously largely homeogenous) society and pointing out some of the rather not so nice things that comes with that. And the flaws in the currently prevailing idea that all of those resulting problems are tha fault of folks like me refusing to ‘integrate’ properly. That's all."Okay, three things already up in that paragraph. 1. Nada to do with the natural, instinctive inclination to defend ones homeboys. So you say. (The reaction you got was, however, very likely a result of just that instinct.) 2. Problem arises from mass immigration into your (superior) homogenous culture. So you tell us. 3. Second problem is a certain political correctness which denies the connection to immigration and goes on to blame you for identifying that as an intergral part of the problem.Three things there, and that's only the first, short paragraph. And you go on to even more stuff.Much easier for the Arab, whose entirely human first instinct is going to be to defend fellow Arabs, to notice that you're angry and to begin to focus on that, than for him to try to deal with all the multiple other things that you bring up in illustration of your position. Easier to go after the anger ‘cause there's so much other stuff there, too much to focus on.You want to talk to them and expect to be heard? You gotta make them think they can talk back and be heard. They gotta think you'll at least hear them out. Otherwise, they're not gonna wanna talk about it with you at all. Easier to say ‘neo-nazi’ and move on.So, now you've identified the problem as a failure of the immigrants to adapt to their new environment. This people can discuss. But, you're not mad at Zeyad; he's not one of the people currently screwin’ up your happy post-Viking, Socialist Nordic Eutopia. He's in Texas.So, you want him to discuss it with you and not dismiss you as a neo-nazi racist bastard? You gotta give him the impression that, in spite of your obvious and admitted anger (and justified anger), there's a good chance you'll hear him out. (You don't have to promise to believe his version of how to deal with this, just let him know you'll hear him out first, if he's got something to say, before you come back with a response that makes him feel like you're damning the whole lot of them, him included. He's gotta feel like there's a chance you'll hear him out, or he's gonna go dealing with the anger first and let it lay there, and you get nowhere ‘cept now he's muttering to himself that you're a damn bigot underneath it all. Doesn't help in that process that you decided to toss out the poem about Saxon hate right there, before he gets a word in; save that for later if it needs be said at all.)
And, just by the way, I don't buy the notion that the gang rapes are a result of the immigrants somehow being culturallly unable to distinquish between whores and pretty blonde Swedish girls from good families. They're not that stupid. They know they're living in a different world than the one they left behind. And even if they were somehow incapable of understanding the cultural difference, assuming for the sake of argument that they really do believe that most Swedish women are sluts…They still understand quite well that the Swedish women ain't their sluts and they got no rights to the blonde girls walkin’ down the street.There's a much simpler explanation for the gang rapes.They don't like you.
Or their backwards culture has morphed them into sexually repressed apes
@ 8:38 PM,Appears to me that you don't much like having the standard, politically correct, ‘cultural’ bullshit excuse dismissed as the bullshit it almost certainly is. You got a dog in this fight do ya?
Lee: "And, just by the way, I don't buy the notion that the gang rapes are a result of the immigrants somehow being culturallly unable to distinquish between whores and pretty blonde Swedish girls from good families. They're not that stupid."I'm just taking them at their word. The afghans who ganged up 8 men on one swedish woman and high-fived eachother annd cheered eachother on as they raped her for hours fir instance. They defended threir actions as such: It wasn't my fault, she was asking for it because she was a bad woman. I'm not sure whether they believe it or not, but they seem to justify it like that at least. (my hunch is being brought up surrounded by burkas they may just actually believe it)Lee: "There's a much simpler explanation for the gang rapes.They don't like you."In that case there's NO reason at all for them entering this country. If they don't like us even, but are just here to save their own hides, then we have zero obligation to assist, IMO. And, I' starting to believe you are right on this, that they don't much like us, but the inclination to gang rape I see as a cultural phenomenon. Plenty of swedes don't like eachother either, but we don't settle our grievances like that, ever.
Query then:Let's say you're having Sunday dinner at home with your family. Someone knocks on the door and you aanswer. Outside, in the rain, stands a shivering man saying: "please let me in mister, I'm freezing and hungry". You decide the decent thing is to let him in to get warm and to get a meal.He swiftly enters, kicks your cat out of the way, drops his trousers and takes a big shit on your living room floor, goes over to your CD-rack and pockets a handful of records, throws himself in the sofa, puts his shoes on the TV table and barks to your wife: "bring me a beer bitch!"You were willing to help out and now you stand there, looking at your cat whimpering in a corner, a big pile of steaming shit on the floor in your own home, your property stolen and your wife being humiliated and ordered around. What do you do?This is not a retorical question. I'm sure you can guess what I' getting at here but just try to answer straight forward the question: what do you do in a situation like that? Then we'll go from there.
@Lee 5:15 PMThat actually was a very good post and I can't disagree with a thing there. Your 1, 2, 3 list is entirely accurate. And your opinion that my vent was a poor start if I wished for a serious debate is also correct - too much anger and not a lot of room for reasoning. I can only say I'm angry and once I started writing the floodgates opened.I'd only add that me feeling my culture is "superior" (for lack of a better word) is a subjective feeling that I have, not some sort of objective truth I'm trying to put out there. I know it's not "superior" per se, but in my opinion it's my culture of choice. And there's only one place where we have that culture so I'd like to keep it intact or it'll be gone forever.
"This is not a retorical question. I'm sure you can guess what I' getting at here but just try to answer straight forward the question…"Well, now, FINALLY, you're getting to something other than just venting about the problem. Excellent. If you'd just manage to get here a little more swiftly, with a little less of an ostentatious display of your rage in the process, you'd probably not have had folks muttering about that 'neo-nazi’ stuff. And, I can even answer that question, not that it's going to solve Sweden's immigrant adjustment problem.If you'll allow me a little explanation time… Here in ‘The States’ as we sometimes call it, we have a serious ongoing disagreement about our immigrant problem, which is considerably less severe than what you're describing, and has to do with mostly illegal Hispanic immigrants. Big fuss still going on over what to do with an estimated 11 million illegal mostly Hispanic residents who mostly sneaked across the border from the south, looking for better economic conditions.One thing everybody seems to agree upon. Those who display violent criminal behavior go straight to the head of the line for immediate forced deportation back to wherever they came from (straight outta jail, usually after they've served prison time for the offenses committed).Answer is: We expel those bastards. Land an airplane back in their home country and set ‘em out on the ground to fend for themselves or get looked after by their own government or whatever they can arrange on their own. Our obligation ends when we shove ‘em off the plane, still alive, back wherever they used to call home.(And, yes, I'm well aware they use the ‘cultural’ argument as a sort of defense. I'm sayin’ that's bullshit off the git, it's a convenient rationalization for after they're caught, nothing more. They know better. They're launching an attack against the dominant culture, at what they perceive as a weak point, and they know they're doing it. But they use that when caught ‘cause some overly PC folks are dumb enough to buy into it and they know that too.) ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯ "That actually was a very good post and I can't disagree with a thing there."I actually thought it rather poorly written after I looked at it in print. I stand by what I wrote, but I think I tended to ramble around a bit. Could have tightened that up quite a bit.
Gettin' ahead of yourself here Lee. I said: "This is not a retorical question. I'm sure you can guess what I' getting at here but just try to answer straight forward the question: what do you do in a situation like that?"You've already skipped past the question and gone on to the larger implications of the answer to that question, because you know where I'm going with this. But I did ask you to answer the question directly. And then we'll talk more.So: You were willing to help out and now you stand there, looking at your cat whimpering in a corner, a big pile of steaming shit on the floor in your own home, your property stolen and your wife being humiliated and ordered around. What do you do?Please, just an honest and direct answer to that. If that (however unlikely) situation had played itself out in your own home, what would you do?
"But I did ask you to answer the question directly. And then we'll talk more."I believe I already did. ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯ "He swiftly enters, kicks your cat out of the way…"Violence. Animal abuse (which is illegal here and often frowned on even more than wife abuse.) "…drops his trousers and takes a big shit on your living room floor…"Vandalism "…goes over to your CD-rack and pockets a handful of records…Theft, strongarm robbery we'd call that. "…throws himself in the sofa, puts his shoes on the TV table and barks to your wife: ‘bring me a beer bitch!’"Threats and intimidation. ‘Assault’ we'd call that. I think that would technically qualify as an ‘assault’ although there is no ‘battery’ to go along with it.Yep, we'd set that bastard out on the tarmac back wherever the hell he used to call home.
Lee: "Yep, we'd set that bastard out on the tarmac back wherever the hell he used to call home."Again you're getting ahead of yourself because you know where I'm going with this. You aleady assume (correctly) that I'm talking about migrants committing crimes in their new country, while I asked about an isolated event taking place in one private home. So let's backtrack and clarify.So, you'd kick the guy rigt out of your home right? You might even kick him out litterally or take a baseball bat or even a shotgun to him to get him out, right? Am I correct that far? Yes or no will do? I know you're eloquent but let's keep it simple here, what would you do?
Lee,The Iraqi constitution provided for the possible future formation of regional governments, inferior to the federal government in Baghdad for a reason.If that is the intent then I was misunderstanding what Zeyad wrote. When he said "federal" region I was thinking he meant they were thinking of seceding, which would jeapordize the Iraqi country as a whole. If their intent is merely to form state/provincial governments, then that would be more what we are used to, which allows for flexibility within the country. I see nothing wrong in that.
Perhaps 'quickest way’ is the wrong metric to use? Perhaps ‘least loss of life’ would be a better standard, even if that took a little longer?Least loss of life would be one of the criteria for any action I would choose, yes. As to getting out ahead of our allies, there does come a point where leadership is called for. And like it or not, there are reasons people tend to look to the US for that.
"Again you're getting ahead of yourself…"No, I'm actually not. Yeah, I'd chuck the guy out on his ass, if I could pull it off physically. And I do have guns, plural, designed as mankillers, none of this ‘huntin’ rifle’ nonsense (although I have a couple of those too.). If my physical ability to chuck the guy out seems questionable, I have guns for just that reason. Maybe God made man; but it was Colonel Colt made men equal. And I have no particular philosophical objection to sendin’ a fella back out stone cold dead in such a situation as you describe.But… What you're describing is a ‘home invasion’ to use the overarching criminal charge that I'd expect to be brought against the guy for doing what you described him as doing. Whether or not I pressed for prosecution would probably depend on whether or not I thought I'd already taught him a proper lesson in the process of gettin’ his ass out of my house. If he were an immigrant, I'd certainly go for the prosecution, to make sure he got back on the tarmac, back where he belongs, which is not in my neighborhood. ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯ "When he said ‘federal’ region I was thinking he meant they were thinking of seceding…"I understand now.
Post Script:Notwithstanding that he was invited in, I don't think any prosecutor should have any trouble getting a jury convinced that he obviously exceeded the scope of the invitation, and no reasonable person could believe otherwise. If my prosecutor can't pull that one off, I need to be votin’ for a a new prosecutor
Lee: "No, I'm actually not. Yeah, I'd chuck the guy out on his ass, if I could pull it off physically. And I do have guns, plural, designed as mankillers, none of this ‘huntin’ rifle’ nonsense (although I have a couple of those too.). If my physical ability to chuck the guy out seems questionable, I have guns for just that reason. Maybe God made man; but it was Colonel Colt made men equal. And I have no particular philosophical objection to sendin’ a fella back out stone cold dead in such a situation as you describe."Excellent, and I do agree. I would have acted the very same way but since I have no guns I'd have to make do with my Louisville Slugger baseball bat and hope that that would be enough.So, to move on:You've thrown that guy out. He did need genuine help but he then misbehaved, in your home, in a way that was completely unacceptable to you. If he came knocking again, would you let him enter? I guess no.But: if the next day there was another knock on your door and another man was standing there shivering and hungry, would you let him in? Would you think, "it's not his fault that the last guy was such a bastard, I'm gonna cut this guy some slack and let him in, he clearly needs it" or would you have thought "fuck no, not another one after what happened the last time!".And what if you chose to let the second guy in and the reslut was the same as with the first one and you had to kick the second one out also (and get a second new cat, mop up shit from your floor once more, replace some more stolen CD's and calm your wife once again) What if a third guy came a knockin'? Would you let him in also? He's not to blame for the preceeding ones, after all. So would you let him in? Or would you at some point say enough is enough, my door is shut for people like that?Be honest now.
"And like it or not, there are reasons people tend to look to the US for that."And sometimes the answer to that glance is to tell ‘em we can't be expected to fix everything, and maybe this is one we oughta take a pass on.
Lee,Marcus is right, your post at 5:15 was very good.
"Or would you at some point say enough is enough, my door is shut for people like that?"People like ‘that’? What ‘that’?Let's just cut to the chase. We don't generally admit immigrants on a wholesale basis over here. It's individual inspection. (supposedly, Cubans get a group pass, but that's a domestic political thing makes no more real sense than the fight over the drilling in ANWAR.). If your entrance proceedures need tightened up, then tighten them up. You don't need to be ranting on about it, at least not here; you don't need permission from us to tighten up your entrance requirements.
Marcus,Or would you at some point say enough is enough, my door is shut for people like that?But, Marcus, they are not all people who will commit a crime. If you close the door totally, you are convicting people preemptively. Is there nothing in your laws that states a person is innocent until proven guilty?Btw, the men who raped the girls, were they arrested, tried, and convicted? If so, what were their sentences?
You may recall that Sweden accepted the most refugees of any western country from Iraq when the sectarian wars were tearing that country apart. You might also recall that my own position, at the time, was that it was a given that people who faced such horrors should receive blanket asylum, and that more countries should have had their doors open.I was one of the ones who advocated that Iraqi refugees (and refugees from similar conflicts) must be granted a safe haven. This opinion was from a humanitarian standpoint. You can go back in Zeyad's archives and look it up, that is where I stood.My shift of mind has been caused by very much the same stuff as my analogy with the family deciding to let a stranger enter who then fucks up completely. My home town is in shambles now. 15 cars burned just last night, in "socially neglected" areas. It's ongoing, relentess and progressively getting worse. My personal tipping point was when a nephew was robbed and beaten by a gang of arabs on scooters, and when a friend had to relocate his grocery store because of theaft and itimidation by people who came here for protection and who we are paying for. As i said, Sweden accepted more refugees from Iraq than any other western country. At the time I was actually proud of that. Today though, I have to start to question whether we did the right thing back then, because now our cities are burning and our women are being raped and our kids are being robbed and our elderly are being beaten to death on the streets. It's a very real part of our society and it just gets worse and worse and it has started to impact on me personally, and not just as far as where my tax money goes.Now Syrian is on the brink of civil war. If that had happened 10 years ago I'd have said that those who flee for their lives must be granted asylum here, if they reach here. Today I say: close the borders! I've seen what compassion brings you in return and I want no more of that!
"You can go back in Zeyad's archives and look it up…"I don't need to. No false modesty here, I have a better than ‘pretty good’ memory. Yes, you were a bit smug about it. "Today I say: close the borders! I've seen what compassion brings you in return and I want no more of that!And I don't think you'd have been getting called a nazi over that position, calmly stated. It was the unvarnished rage that got ya talked about. People often don't deal so well with that. Way too easy to get focused on, stuck on, that part.
And, as an aside… Just for what it's worth… The prospect of gettin’ sent back ‘home’ summarily and permanently seems to help convince a lot of immigrants that they really do want to behave themselves. You might mention that to your fellow Swedes.
Lynnette: "But, Marcus, they are not all people who will commit a crime. If you close the door totally, you are convicting people preemptively."Yes. That's sad but we're at that stage now. Too big a nuber of those who were granted asyluym behave in my country like, for lack of better words, fucking animals, that I am now prepared, forced, to start to see this group as a malignant entity as a whole. I am aware this is unjust, but this is where we're getting.Lynnette: "Is there nothing in your laws that states a person is innocent until proven guilty?"Yes, same as your laws. Any just laws. Lynnette: "Btw, the men who raped the girls, were they arrested, tried, and convicted? If so, what were their sentences?"The 4 arabs who raped one girl were given 9 months community service, because they were all under 18 yo. They'll not even get one day in jail, but will get to play pool or whatever in some muticulti playground sponsored by taxpayers (me) mooney. Of the 8 afghans it looks like it'll be about 1 year prison terns for the lot of them and that 7 of them will be deported their lawyers are fighting that because afghanistan is sooo dangerous), the 8'th had apparently managed to reveive citizensship even though he can't speak swedish. Go figure.
Lee: "The prospect of gettin’ sent back ‘home’ summarily and permanently seems to help convince a lot of immigrants that they really do want to behave themselves. You might mention that to your fellow Swedes."I try to.The problem is that if I say that in public here I will be called a xenophobic bastard and Anders Behring Breivik (the Norwegian mainiac terrorist) will be mentioned at once.
"[T]he 8'th had apparently managed to reveive citizensship [sic] even though he can't speak swedish. Go figure."We could revoke his citizenship for that, send him back anyway. They're supposed to be able to speak English. Turns up later they can't (and that does happen all too often), presumption is they must have cheated on the test or something like that.And, we can try 16-17 year olds as adults for violent crimes such as rape and murder. ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯ "The problem is that if I say that in public here I will be called a xenophobic bastard…"Well, that is a problem. One I understand. I variously get called a redneck fascist and or a socialists ‘useful idiot’ as the occasions sometimes arise. But, try not to take that out on Zeyad. It's not like he can fix it. And, even your fellow Swedes will have some trouble making the “xenophobic bastard’ thing stick if you shrugged it off calmly and simply repeated that it would work, at the very least it'd work on the specific guys getting sent back.
Lee: "We could revoke his citizenship for that, send him back anyway."This is one point where disagree with you. My belief is that citizenship is adamant. I care not for where someone comes from, what their skincolour is or how long they've resided in Sweden. IF they are citizens, then they are. And then any problems they might get into are OUR problems.What I do believe is that citizenship for someone coming from abroad is a reward, and not one that should be taken lightly. It should come with obligations as well as rights, and only after a long trial period.Once, however, citizenship is grated, then that person is a swede, with all rights and obligations. But stonethrowers, car-burners, rapists and the like should be tossed out summarily and not even considered for citizenship, IMO.
OK, I'm off for the night. Gettin' late. See ya'll.
"Once, however, citizenship is grated, then that person is a swede, with all rights and obligations."Born American is gold-plated over here and cannot be taken away. Naturalized citizenship however has a very few, very limited, circumstances under which it can be revoked, fraud in the application is one of them, and signing off on papers swearing you can speak English when you cannot will count, can count as fraud in the application.
Yeah, whatever, Ya'll have your ways and we have ours. The language part may be paramoout to you but I see it more as one aspect, and cetainly not a qualfier in it's own right.What about me? Surely my english is better than most of yall's new immirants. Could (should) I be given a green card based on that?
"Surely my english is better… Could (should) I be given a green card based on that?"English proficiency is not a requirement for a green card (residency permit--you're allowed to be here). It is a requirement for a grant of citizenship, supposedly anyway. A somewhat surprising percentage of new citizens appear to be not very proficient.
I went back and looked over the stuff I'd skimmed earlier.Found this that I think merits a response: "Too big a nuber of those who were granted asyluym behave in my country like, for lack of better words, fucking animals, that I am now prepared, forced, to start to see this group as a malignant entity as a whole. I am aware this is unjust, but this is where we're getting." 1. You are not ‘forced’ to view the immigrant community as a whole. That's a personal decision you're free to make or not make for yourself. You can consider that probably a lot of the immigrants would like to live quietly under Swedish law, but it only takes a fairly small percentage, a percentage who're very probably preying on the immigrant community as well, to upend a previously stable arrangement. 2. We've had the same, or at least similar, troubles at times over here. We've had the Tongs (Chinese) in some of the coastal cities, the Italian Mafia was notorious and still is famous, before that, and overlapping in time a bit, there were the Irish gangs with no particular designation, but often known as ‘The Mob’. Now we've got Mexican run ‘Cartels’ acting up. And some places still have trouble with Vietnamese gangs from when we did something of a wholesale entrance for Vietnamese after that war.The guys you've been railing against are very likely widely feared and despised in their own neighborhood, but you're dealing with a set of people who don't trust police and don't trust outsiders to protect them against their own. We've had that problem over here. It takes time and work. But it's doable.
Post Script:Final thing, and yeah, I know it'll be morning your time before you read this…You might get a little less crap from your bleedin’ heart Swedish neighbors about you being a xenophobic bastard if you could convince them that other nation's previous experiences with ‘ethnic’ crime strongly suggests that the criminals prey primarily on persons of their own ethnicity. That usually happens to be absolutely true, and I'll bet it's also true in today's Sweden, if you guys would just take a closer look at it.Mention that when they call you a bigot, and mention that it's arguably immoral to not be better protecting your immigrant guests and then let it go at that. You can expect it'll take awhile for that to sink in with most people.
On the subject of bleeding heart Swedes, I've been wondering about how Sweden's law enforcement is dealing with these issues. Are the perpetrators being caught and imprisoned for long periods of time or deported? If not, expect a lot more of the same.
Marcus,I remember well your support of Iraqis coming to your country. It was a very generous and kind thing to do. Perhaps you would like to hear from one such person. For his sake I am happy you were so kind.I don't know how Lee does it, but it's as if he reads my mind. :) I was going to mention that thing about immigrants tending to prey on their own people. That is more the case here with the Asian gangs in Minneapolis. Gang rapes are, unfortunately, not unheard of. But the difficulty here is that many victims in the Asian community will not come forward because of fear they will be blamed or be seen as somehow less then what they were before. A very sad state of affairs. Our police have tried to maintain links to community leaders to help find resolutions to problems. Communication is very important.The sentences you described seem light to me, except for the deportations. And Lee is right, those under 18 can be tried as adults here, depending on the severity of the crime.
Anarki? I didnt know he was blogging again
Oops. that post was 2 years old. lolz.
Bridget: "Are the perpetrators being caught and imprisoned for long periods of time or deported?"That depends. For crimes against the state such as tax-crime and the like we've got very strict rules, and also for narcotics crime. But crimes against individuals aren't taken as serious (except kidnapping for some reason) and oftentimes the penalty seems ludicrous. As for deportation, that happens sometimes. There's a good chance 7 of the 8 afghans who gangraped a woman will be deported. They were sentenced to that but have appealed. The 8'th had been here longer and was a citizen and can't be deported. The 4 christian Iraqis who gangraped a 17 yo girl will not be sent back because the poor souls might face repression back in Iraq. Usually only men over 20 with no children can face deportation.
Lee, Lynnette, I wrote a long reply to you too but blogger ate it and now I have other stuff to do.
@Lee, Lynnette"You might get a little less crap from your bleedin’ heart Swedish neighbors about you being a xenophobic bastard if you could convince them that other nation's previous experiences with ‘ethnic’ crime strongly suggests that the criminals prey primarily on persons of their own ethnicity. That usually happens to be absolutely true, and I'll bet it's also true in today's Sweden, if you guys would just take a closer look at it."That depends. There's some more classic mafia crime going on within ethnic minorities with protection rackets, extortion against small businesses and such. And Lynnette is right that the willingness to report crimes to the police is generally low in these groups. It could be that the trust in the police is limited, that they are too intimidated and fear reprisals or simply that they don't really know how to go about reporting a crime.But there's another form of crime. Street crime directed at individuals of a spontaneous nature, notably assault, robbery and rape. That's a type of crime where it's very clearly that immigrants are targetting swedes.In Malmö about 90% of street robberies are immigrant youths robbing swedish youths of cash, mobile phones and expensive clothing. Youths under 18 are about 50% swedish and 50% first or second generation immigrants in Malmö so the statistics are very clear - swedes are targetted. It's an ugly form of crime that involves intimidation, humiliation and sometimes severe violence, usually backed up by knives.In Gothenburg one street gang targetting women got caught because they accidently robbed a muslim woman and when they realised this they went back to give her posessions back. She wasn't placated and called the police on them. They expressed regret that they had robbed a fellow muslim, but had no remorse for the many swedish women thay had attacked before - they never admitted to anything despite many victims identifying them. It usually involved kicking the woman down from behind and stealing her handbag. A nice little thank you to the population who provided you with refuge from war.In neighboring Norway in Oslo during a three year period they had 41 assault rapes. Here in Sweden it's "racist" to keep statistics but the Norwegians aren't that PC so they found that 100% of assault rapes were committed by non western immigrants against norwegian women. 100%. Every single one during three years. Even though non western immigrants are only aboput 20% of the population. You just can't explain that away.Subtitled news coverage here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7t5ZffkA0AThere IS a crimewave of the most vicious sort of violent crime going on, right now, and in Sweden it is immigrants targetting swedes. It's the sort of crime that really upsets people and it affects whole families when it happens. We are slowly (because of media blackout of facts) waking up to this fact and many people are getting very, very angry about it, and hate is brewing. Hence my Kipling poem.
"…but blogger ate it and now I have other stuff…"I'm content to wait. If you got more to say, I can wait on knowing what it is. I'd pretty much said what I thought I had to add to the subject, but, I guess there is one other thing I might add here before you get your ‘long reply’ reformulated. And that is…The problem you're experiencing isn't dependent on the immigrants being Muslim. We've had the same sorts problems with non-Muslim immigrant groups. Catholics for instance: Notably Irish and Italians. Chinese Tongs (probably most of them atheists, but also including Taoists, Buddhists, Confucianism (to the extent that those three might be considered religions at all), Christians, Muslims and various animist and ancestor worshiping ‘folk religions’). I can identify native minority populations that have generated the same sort of problem. The feuds between the Crips and the Bloods are semi-infamous. Those are native born, African-American based gangs.The common denominator is the existence of a distinct, unassimilated minority group. The problem you're looking at is the result of an assimilation problem. It's not so much about them being Muslims; there's nothing particularly unique to Islam at work here. (That's probably an overstatement in a way; all of these examples have some unique aspects, but the common, root cause is an assimilation problem. This does not mean that some hard-nosed, cold-blooded re-examination of your immigrant and immigration policies is not in order. Sympathy and altruism and enlightened political correctness are all very nice in theory, but sometimes self-preservation has to be the first concern.) That's my take on it anyway.
"Street crime directed at individuals of a spontaneous nature, notably assault, robbery and rape. That's a type of crime where it's very clearly that immigrants are targetting swedes."Two things: 1. Good chance that immigrant on immigrant ‘assault, robbery, and [even] rape’ are being underreported. You've already acknowledged the reasons that might be happening. Ethnic criminals almost always practice against others of their own ethnicity before attempting to go after the more dangerous prey that is the dominant sect. 2. The attacks against Swedes very likely are just that. Attacks against the Swedes, against the dominant culture they cannot seem to enter. The ‘cultural’ excuse for the rapes is a sham. They're hitting at you where they think they can hit and maybe get away with it. They've just picked that as a weak spot, secure in the knowledge that some well-meaning, emotional, politically correct, blue-eyed, blonde idiots will buy their excuses when and if they're caught, and will go to bat for them and stare folks like you down.You need to change the terms of the conversation.
I want to change it to "one strike you're out", with strike as in committing a crime and out as in sent back to wherever you came from regardless of what may happen to you there. Not for speeding or jaywalking, obviously, but for crimes such as those I've discussed above.
Okay, I've had time to look over your 8:40 AM post.I've tried to point out that the phenomena you're describing isn't unique to Islamic immigrants. It happens pretty much everywhere, every time a new immigrant group comes in who have some difficulty adjusting to the native culture. And will even arise in native minority population if assimilation becomes a problem.That notwithstanding: There is an unique aspect to the Muslim influx into Sweden. The rise of agressive fundamentalist Islam seriously complicates the problem. The Saudi-funded radical imams know damn well that they have a fertile recruiting ground among a bunch of lost and confused Muslims now rattling around in the ‘lower class’ in many European nations.At least when we've had to deal with ‘ethnic’ crime in the past we've not also had to deal with an hostile foreign power intentionally exploiting and inflaming the problem as best they could, as one of their best weapons against their enemies (The West). You let the fundie preachers get to the young Muslims in your country before you do, and you're in for a rougher ride here than is the normal assimilation problem.
"I want to change it to ‘one strike you're out’"Seems reasonable to me. But, that's our rule (depending on the severity of the crime--obviously parking tickets and jaywalking and littering require a little less severe an attitude--kidnapping and rape and the like means the immigrant goes, still in chains, straight from prison to the plane takin’ him back to wherever his people came from).You want to start winning this argument? You probably ought to start arguing it as a common problem among countries who've allowed a large immigration to take place. Suggest that ya'll look for solutions that've worked before in places that've faced this before. That may help offer you some protection against the ‘xenophobic bastard’ charge. Make it about the phenomenon in general, not about Muslims, or Islam or even blue-eyed, blonde, p-c idiotry in Sweden.
Final note and then I take a breather here:It's very possible, I'd even think it probable, that the gang-rapes are being directed pretty much exclusively against Swedish girls. But, it's still a politically inspired crime mostly, not an expression of shock and outrage that the native Swedes still look and act like Swedes. It's an attack against the native population at what they perceive to be a weak point; nothing more; nothing less. They probably just beat the shit outta their own women.
Zeyad,Oops. that post was 2 years old. lolz.Yes, I have it on good authority that Anarki has been sucked into the black hole called Facebook, never to be seen by mere mortals like me again... ;)
Marcus,I don't know that I can add anything to the discussion you and Lee are having. I agree with what he has been telling you. The Imams are probably a critical factor in swaying how people are thinking. Get them to change, or replace them, and it might help. To do that you need connections within the community that have influence. Deportation of violent criminals would be a way of getting those people to listen. No one wants a loved one sent back.
There's room in there for your 2¢ Lynnette. I'm takin’ a breather here so somebody else can have the floor for awhile.
Lee: "I've tried to point out that the phenomena you're describing isn't unique to Islamic immigrants. It happens pretty much everywhere, every time a new immigrant group comes in who have some difficulty adjusting to the native culture."I haven't actually singled out Islamic imigrants. I noted, deliberatly, that the 4 arabs guilty of gang rape were christians. IMO the strong tribal mentality among many (most) of our recent immigrants is more of a problem than their Islamic faith. But I still do think that men from cultures where women are seriously repressed pose a bigger risk when it comes to attacks on women here - and the statistics I have speak in favour of this. Wy are east / south east asians less likely to commit rape than Swedes, they have a 0.8 record in under representation over a 5 year period? Why have middle eastern men an 8.37 record of over representation? This means a ME man is on average 10 times more likely to rape than a chinaman. I'm sure there may be other factors but I would put forth the cultural aspect and the way "proper women" are supposed to behave as the major one. Lee: "And will even arise in native minority population if assimilation becomes a problem."A problem here is that assimilation is a dirty word. Integration is the aim of all policy. (a tangent that might lead us away from my beef with some immigrant groups annd onto my beef with our own policymakers - possibly a more interesting subject and quite possibly the root cause for my first beef)Lee: "That notwithstanding: There is an unique aspect to the Muslim influx into Sweden. The rise of agressive fundamentalist Islam seriously complicates the problem. "It certainly could. 4 "swedes" were convicted to 8 years each today on terror charges in Denmark. They had planned to go into the offices of the Jylland Post (who published muhammed cartoons) with assault rifles and kill as many as possible. We also had one suicide bomber in the runup to Christmas 2010 who only managed to blow himself up. So this is a threat, which could become a serious threat, but it is nothing that directly impacts on anyone in their everyday life like crime against individuals does. Yet at least.
Lee: "It's very possible, I'd even think it probable, that the gang-rapes are being directed pretty much exclusively against Swedish girls. But, it's still a politically inspired crime mostly, not an expression of shock and outrage that the native Swedes still look and act like Swedes. It's an attack against the native population at what they perceive to be a weak point; nothing more; nothing less. They probably just beat the shit outta their own women."Again I have to say I DO see a cultural basis for these attacks. If they "just beat the shit outta their own women" couldn't that be also partly explained by culture? What if we speak about a thing like acid-in-the-face throwing on women by scorned men, isn't that something we largely see happening in Persia and central Asia? Wouldn't that mean there's a greater inclinatiion in those parts to act on rejection through vengeance? We had a persian, a doctor no less, two days ago in Stockholm who cut the lips off his younger wife because he suspected she was seeing another man. His explanation to the police was: "I don't care. I'll get four years in jaiil but she'll be ruined for life". And all the "honor killings" we've had here in the last years, they certainly do seem to occurr in some specific cultures.So why couldn't rape against swedish women also have something to do with culture, when all the statistics both here and in neighboring countries point to it?We had a really large flood of immigrants from the balkans also,, in the 90's, and while they too are somewhat over-represented in sex-crime it's not nearly to the same degree.
Lynnette:"I agree with what he [Lee] has been telling you. The Imams are probably a critical factor in swaying how people are thinking. Get them to change, or replace them, and it might help."TThere has been talk about a swedish Imam-school of some sort. But I think this is just a reaction to the TV-programs who revieled where the present Imams stood on womens rights issues a few weeks back, and I wouldn't be surprised if it amounts to nothing. A problem is that many mosques are financced by Saudi money, and while there's little proof it's believed by many that that comes with strings attached. Many Imams have had their education in Saudi Arabia.
"I noted, deliberatly, that the 4 arabs guilty of gang rape were christians."Ah, yes, I remember that now that you mention it. Okay, we're agreed that it's not religion-specific then. "IMO the strong tribal mentality among many (most) of our recent immigrants is more of a problem…"I've been wondering if it wasn't perhaps a territorial statement mostly. (Were the four Christians even of the same tribe?) They were laying down markers against native Swedes tresspassing on what they'd marked out as ‘their’ turf? A lot of the more ostentatious gang-related violence we see is basically territorial marking or territorial acquisition. Probably the same over there. "I'm sure there may be other factors but I would put forth the cultural aspect and the way ‘proper women’ are supposed to behave as the major one."Well, we don't entirely disagree there. Although… I would suggest that the 'cultural’ aspect mostly plays a role in selecting the type of attacks they decide to mount. (And the idea that they can seek some political cover if they're identified and caught is a big part of it.) But the purpose of the attacks isn't to change the behavior of native Swedes to something they find more acceptable. Rather, they're asserting themselves. This is an ‘in your face’ demonstration; gang-rape is the selected means, but getting Swedish women to cover up is not the goal; the goal is to demonstrate their own power, to intimidate you; i.e. intimidate Swedes in general and intimidate the Swedish police and government along with you. (And I'm thinkin’ they're likely makin’ turf claims.) "A problem here is that assimilation is a dirty word. Integration is the aim of all policy."Integration may be the word they like to use, but they don't really want to integrate; what they're actually seeking is an ‘accomodation’ of some sort. I.e. They're expecting to re-create a distinctively Middle Eastern society living alongside of but separate from the native Swedish society. That's never gonna work. Forget that. Middle Eastern societies are notoriously intolerant, have been since the 11th Century, and the rise of the Muslim fundies is simply making it worse . Might work if tolerance were considered a virtue in Middle Eastern societies, but it is not.Assimilation and integration are differences in degree, not differences in kind. Ya'll can work that out. But you're not going to be able to work out having neither and pretending that an accommodation is the same thing, just another difference in degree. Again, Middle Eastern societies are notoriously accommodating. They can't barely accommodate to modernity in their own countries. It's becoming a serious problem for them, and a recreated Middle Eastern society ain't gonna accommodate any better just ‘cause it's plunked down in a colder climate. Sorry dude, but we tried that separate but equal’ thing over here. The blacks were right; it invariably leads to inequalities and to further conflict down the line. We've tried it; it don't work. Tell your friends it's been tried over here and we finally gave it up as inherently unworkable. ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯ "And all the ‘honor killings’ we've had here…"Different beast. I've been talking about the attacks by the immigrants against the native population. But, to the extent that you seem to think that I've been claiming that their cultural biases make no difference in their target selection… No, I've not meant to go quite that far.
Okay, before I take shit over this: "Middle Eastern societies are notoriously intolerant, have been since the 11th Century, and the rise of the Muslim fundies is simply making it worse "I think I misstated that there. What I should have written would be more like… "Middle Eastern societies are notoriously intolerant, and have been [trending that way] since around the 11th Century, and the rise of the Muslim fundies is simply making it worse "I might catch some shit over that one too, but it's at least what I meant to suggest rather the prior oversimplification of where I meant to go.
And, fix a typo: "Again, Middle Eastern societies are notoriously unaccommodating."There; that's better.
Lee: "They were laying down markers against native Swedes tresspassing on what they'd marked out as ‘their’ turf?"No, in the most caes the violence happens on "our" turf. If you look at schoool violenve in Malmö it becomes quite clear. There are quite few reports of it in the eastern side of Malmö (which is almost copletely non-swede), and there are quite few reports in the western side (which is almost completely swedish), but along the faultline in between these two parts of the citty violence is rampant, and it's almost exclusively directed from east to west - by immigrants against swedes. So it's not like it's "their" turf it's rather it COULD be about expanding their present turf into ours. Or - what I think is a more realistic view - that it's opportunist and they strike at swedes where they can.Lee: "the purpose of the attacks isn't to change the behavior of native Swedes to something they find more acceptable. Rather, they're asserting themselves."Entirely correct.Lee: "This is an ‘in your face’ demonstration; gang-rape is the selected means, but getting Swedish women to cover up is not the goal; the goal is to demonstrate their own power"Entirely correct.Lee: "to intimidate you; i.e. intimidate Swedes in general and intimidate the Swedish police and government along with you."I don't thiknk it's that thought out. I believe it's more spontaneous and actually without any clear goal. They're enserting themselves and trying to demonatrate power but not with any real agenda apart from making themselves feel powerful at the present moment (and they are not, nor really).And I come back, again, to that Kipling poem. Swedes are very apt to "turn the other cheek", very reluctant to make complaints. Hell, in a restaurant if we receive bad service and lousy food we'll say "yes it was all good" and leave and never come back instead of voicing constructive critisism (not a good trait). But, when pushed to far swedes are uncompromising and cold. Which might prove to be a rude awakening for those who are now pushing us very much. I really don't think they understand us, they really do see our reluctance to take on problems as a weakness that can be exploited in the long run.
Lee: "Integration may be the word they like to use, but they don't really want to integrate; what they're actually seeking is an ‘accomodation’ of some sort. I.e. They're expecting to re-create a distinctively Middle Eastern society living alongside of but separate from the native Swedish society."Yes, that's what they want, even if they don't know why they want it - comes natural I suppose. But that's not the problem. That could be overcome if WE had the right policies. It's OUR policies that fail. They fail us and they fail any immigrants who truly would like to become part of swedish society (and there are many historically - it's not a fools errand to try).Assimilation is frowned upon (villified even) because it basically says immigrants are supposed to become swedes. They are supposed to assimilate into our dominant culture in most things, while certainly holding on to some of their own culture. That's racist here.That is probably hard for ya'll yanks to understand, because your idea is that it's perfectly normal for any immigrant to want to become an american, and for most immigrants it's their highest desire. Ask a 1'st generation immigrant to the US who came from Somalia what he is and he'll say he's an american. Ask a 2'd generation immigrant from Somalia in Sweden the same and he'll say he's somali.Here the polic is "integration" which is a consequence of (I hardly dare say the word since it's now so associated with Breivik in Norway) cultural relativism - or cultural marxism. All cultures are equal and therefor demanding immigrants to assimilate into our culture is wrong, but rather we should all meet in this imagined meltingpot and "integrate" and out will come a new muticultural identity. That's the policy in Sweden, especially in Sweden but also to an extent in other wester european nations. But, the problem is not many swedes actually want to integrate, not even the proponents of multiculturalism when it comes down to it (journalists and politicians tend to live in ethnic swedish enclaves). So we end up a very divided society. And in such a society there are frictions between groups, and people like me get affected and in time we get very angry.
As I said before: "…territorial marking or territorial acquisition."They don't have to mark territory that's undisputedly 'theirs’, no point in marking territory that's undisputedly not theirs. Marking occurs at the borders and on territory selected for aquisition. "It's OUR policies that fail."It's your policies I was critcizing. Assimillation and integration are merely degrees of separation along the same continum. You can work on that, on where you want to settle along the continum, but, in the end, it'll find its own resting point: "All cultures are equal and therefor demanding immigrants to assimilate into our culture is wrong, but rather we should all meet in this imagined meltingpot and ‘integrate’ and out will come a new muticultural identity."Naïve bullshit. You do not really get to plan the assimilation point; it develops in its own place along the line that is the continum. You can aim for a spot, but don't count on hitting it. The multicultural identiy is what happens when you assimilate; you pick up some stuff from the minority culture; and that will eventually become what it means to be Swedish.Christmas was originally the Roman Saturnalia. Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny were German. We've started (tentatively) to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and Mardi Gras is famous. The mulitcultural identity results from the assimilation, not from the accomodation.First they must learn to behave within Swedish society's established boundaries. They don't have to be like Swedes, merely to behave themselves. The rest will follow eventually once that minimum requirement is established.
Spelling error: ‘acquisition’.
Perhaps this part deserves more notice: "That is probably hard for ya'll yanks to understand, because your idea is that it's perfectly normal for any immigrant to want to become an american, and for most immigrants it's their highest desire. Ask a 1'st generation immigrant to the US who came from Somalia what he is and he'll say he's an american. Ask a 2'd generation immigrant from Somalia in Sweden the same and he'll say he's somali."That difference arises mainly because the requirements to ‘become an American’ are so minimal. The Constitution is only three pages long. First and foremost, however, the immigrant must behave himself in public.If he just can't stand living in a society that allows him to remain a Somali if he chooses or ‘be an American’ if he chooses that, just for instance since you chose that example, then he needs to be somewhere else, ‘cause he ain't met our minimal requirements.
Okay, final note: "…The mulitcultural identity…"This one's tricky. There are folks who think this means that there will be several separate cultures all identifying themselves as e.g. Swedes. This doesn't work, seldom works anyway, maybe, occasionally with the Jews (who've learned a thing or two over the years about being accommodating), for awhile anyway, but history indicates that's merely an accommodation to circumstances. Nope, a workable multi-cultural identity is a consensus on what's the common identity. That works itself out if, and only if, the minimum requirements get agreed upon going in.
Marcus -- I've read the thread. Just btw, you DO know that Kipling is regarded in some quarters as a racist? It's probably more accurate to say that he inherited the condescending attitude of his colonial culture. Personally I don't see a lot of difference. Here in Ireland we had a lot less trouble with the Swedes who only came for unpretentious rape and pillage, than with the Brits, who knew what was good for us and made a point of letting us know.Anyway, I'm not sure what I can add to the discussion other than that in my view the blame for a crime always lies with the individual perpetrator ... not with his ethnic or tribal affiliation, or any other trite grouping that it may seem easy to label as aberrent.[You]:"Yes. That's sad but we're at that stage now. Too big a nuber of those who were granted asyluym behave in my country like, for lack of better words, fucking animals, that I am now prepared, forced, to start to see this group as a malignant entity as a whole. I am aware this is unjust, but this is where we're getting."I'm inclined to say: "tough titties". Or, to challenge you to kill them all. Too Draconian? Well, then, maybe you know in your heart and soul that tarring everyone with the same brush is neither just nor can it lead to a solution. Only facing the problem head on and doling out appropriate punishments and rewards is likely to help.You have to incentivise people to buy into society. Maybe you'd like people to be grateful just for being admitted to Sweden. But wanting something doesn't make it so. If you see a whole group as being a malignant entity, it will certainly be a self-fulfilling prophecy. How can you hope for improvement if even those who try to rise above their influences are labeled as malignant? You will create a cycle of self-perpetuating hate.By way of disclaimer, I am far from being a bleeding heart liberal on this subject. I'm entirely in favour of making the punishment fit the crime, and using deportation as one tool among many. But I think it would be a serious tragedy if one of Europe's most accommodating countries turned indiscriminately on the people it had hoped to help.
"Assimilation is frowned upon (villified even) because it basically says immigrants are supposed to become swedes. They are supposed to assimilate into our dominant culture in most things, while certainly holding on to some of their own culture. That's racist here."I think Americans sort of think that immigrants came here because they see something they like, so of course they want to assimilate. Duh, otherwise they would've stayed where they came from. (the exception to the rule being the descendants of slaves.....but that's a whole 'nuther subject). Yours truly will soon be celebrating, with a group consisting of white and Hispanic people, a Texas African American celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation fondly known in these parts as June 'teenth. A party is a party.
Bridget, and yours truly spent last weekend at a brazilian carnival in Copenhagen with lots of beers and caipirinhas in the company of both swedish and latin american friends. I might have come off here as a narrow minded bigot, to some degree or to some people, but that's not really the case.
Marcus, you don't come off as a narrow minded bigot at all. My reference to Juneteenth was just an attempt to show that many differences do become resolved with the passage of time.Americans have been dealing with these issues for years, so I understand your concerns. Illegal immigration from Mexico has become a hot button issue of late, even though we have always had illegal immigration from Mexico and nobody used to bother with it too much. What has changed? The perception on the part of many Americans that illegal immigration is now a threat. In many ways, it has become so. Criminal activity out of Mexico has multiplied due to the drug cartels, and it is spreading into the US. I haven't been to the border in years, nor has anyone that I know. We just don't go there anymore. Many people are angry with the federal government because they don't think enough is being done to control the situation. It sounds to me as though the Swedish government is likewise not doing enough to satisfy you that they are doing what is necessary to put a stop to these crimes. Until you have confidence that the perpetrators are going to be caught and punished, you have every right to be concerned.
Marcus,Actually you came across as a man frustrated beyond belief by circumstances that you feel you have no control over. Understandable. And hopefully you also understand that we are not here to lecture you, but to try to help in any way we can. The United States is a nation of immigrants and we have struggled with a lot of the same issues. Rape is a crime of dominance. It is likely that those who commit it will act out elsewhere as well. Although maybe not in exactly the same way. There are allies to be found in the immigrant communities. I can say for absolute certainty that if anyone messed with Anarki's wife, he'd be toast.[Bridget] I think Americans sort of think that immigrants came here because they see something they like, so of course they want to assimilate.More than that, we expect them to. But that doesn't mean forgetting everything from their home country, just those things that have no place here. That means our laws are to be followed. And they supercede any previous laws that may have been followed in an immigrant's home country.
You all make some good points. The truth is always somewhere in the middle. Please do continue. We can all benefit from the discussion.
I seemed to be doing the lion's share of posting there for awhile. Seemed like time for me to step back and let some other opinions be aired. And it further seemed to me that we'd reached a natural break point. That is, unless Marcus was interested in more specific suggestions for how to handle the issues presented by the immigration of a foreign population, I thought I'd pretty well done up my 2¢ worth on the subject immediately at hand. Might be stuff for others to add though.
Pete: "I'm inclined to say: "tough titties". Or, to challenge you to kill them all. Too Draconian? Well, then, maybe you know in your heart and soul that tarring everyone with the same brush is neither just nor can it lead to a solution."OK, you picked up on the most drastic statement I made, and now that I look at it I must back off some on that. I am not FORCED to view whole groups as malignant, and to say so is just plain stupid because it goes against better judgement. But I realise, nevertheless, that I have turned to have a negative outlook from the get-go towards some immigrant groups. Instead of thinking good about people until they have proven to be bad I have started to expect the worst from them until they have proven to be good. Not fair perhaps, but it's not irrational either what with all the negative stuff we're dealing with here. And I have to stress that it really is a big impact on our society, especially here in Malmö. Pete: "But I think it would be a serious tragedy if one of Europe's most accommodating countries turned indiscriminately on the people it had hoped to help."Of course if would be a shame. But if you drag the pendulum in one direction far off what is reasonable, it will tend to swing back equally far off what is reasonable in the opposite direction, once it swings back. And sooner or later it will swing back. Do you think we had a referendum where our population was asked: "should Sweden have the most open immigration policy in the world and give the largest percentage of its GDP in (public) foreign aid of all nations in the world?" We were never asked about it. Last year it was written into our constitution that Sweden is and should be a "multicultural nation", again we were never asked. You might say we have a chance to make our voice heard at the polls. Yeah, about the same chance a US citizen would have had to impact on an issue where the Dems and the Reps are in total agreement.
Lee: "And it further seemed to me that we'd reached a natural break point."Yes we did. I vented out a lot of frustration and ya'll commented on it. Lee: "That is, unless Marcus was interested in more specific suggestions for how to handle the issues presented by the immigration of a foreign population,"I am very much interested in this. It is obvious to me that we will have to adress this in Sweden in the not very far away future. The reaction so far among most politicians and much of our media has been to first stick their heads in the sand annd simply not acknowledge any problems. Then to turn quite viciously against any spoken opposition. Neither of those approaches will work for long if the problems are real, and they are. So some sort of approaches towards solutions WILL come, that is inevitable, and if we could learn from other nations then I'd be willing to listen.For the record: my own opinion now is that we should drastically reduce new immigration to gain breathing room to adress the problems we have already.
"Last year it was written into our constitution that Sweden is and should be a ‘multicultural nation’."That caught my attention. I decided to look into that. Seems to be a not insurmountable problem, but not an insignificant one either. As I understand it, this was intended to apply to the Sami (a/k/a ‘Laplanders’ to those of us not yet politically corrected)? I'm gonna jump to the conclusion especially that the special schools part of it, with mother tongue instruction, is viewed as applicable only to the Sami and not to immigrant neighborhoods?How to interpret or amend this as applicable to immigrants as opposed to the indigenous I'll call a political problem and mostly ignore for now. "For the record: my own opinion now is that we should drastically reduce new immigration to gain breathing room to adress the problems we have already."I don't see this as unreasonable, although, again, it's a political problem--I'll put this on ‘pass for now’ too.That much said, I think I'll wait to see how much more gets said on the more immediate subject at hand before heading into the ‘I am very much interested in this.’ territory.
Two words: immigration reform
Thoughts to keep in mind going forward… More specificity implies a more detailed discussion of the differences between the conditions immigrants find here in America and find in Sweden, and, I'd reckon, in most of Europe. (To put it bluntly, I don't think the Europeans quite get what ‘integration’ actually means.) I suspect they've been trained incorrectly, the result of a shallow understanding of American racial history, specifically the white/black history. They've gotten the impression that ‘integration’ resulted when Rosa Parks refused to go to the back of the bus, when the Freedom Riders took the same ‘back of the bus’ fight nationally, and from the confrontations over blacks being allowed to eat at lunch counters patronized by whites. As if… Ya just get rid of the ‘whites only’ designated areas and 'voila’ one has integration. It's not that easy.Getting rid of the Jim Crow laws was not, in and of itself, integration. Official, legally enforced, sharing of some common pubic areas and services is not sufficient to declare integration. If there's no interaction then it's just overlapping territory.And with a long history of immigration, and having ‘struggled with a lot of the same issues.’ to quote Lynnette, we've tried different approaches at times and have had some variation in the results.
Lee: "As I understand it, this was intended to apply to the Sami (a/k/a ‘Laplanders’ to those of us not yet politically corrected)? I'm gonna jump to the conclusion especially that the special schools part of it, with mother tongue instruction, is viewed as applicable only to the Sami and not to immigrant neighborhoods?"I don't know where you got that information. It may have been the pretext, but even here in Sweden the Sami angle wasn't announced more than in passing. No, the idea is that we're now a multicultural society period. That swedish culture and norms are no more significant or impotant here than any other group's. Believe me, the multiculturalists in Stockholm couldn't care less about the Sami people. Normally they act AGAINST all that the Sami see as in their interests - such as shooting off of wolves who kill their reindeer. You'll never find a more wolf-loving swede than in the inner city of Stockholm where no one has ever seen a live one. No, the Sami angle is utter bullshit, I can tell you that much.The Sami are never even mentiioned by the multiculturalists, rather they are strongly defeded by the nationalists who in turn are villified by the multicultural establishment. If you read anything about how the changing of our constitution was aiming to protect any indigenous people - that's a plain lie.The "special schools part of it, with mother tongue instruction" has had NOTHING to do with the Samis (Or Laplanders if you will, the term is not politically incorrect, they see themselves as Swedes of Lapland and of the Sami nation. You can call them a Lapp or a Same - but not a Lappjävel (that'd be the derogatory term)). No, the mother tounge issue takes another approach. Two weeks ago it was decided here in Malmö that Arabic should (might, it hasn't passed yet) be promoted as a second language in schools.Now, we've always had a language that is insignificant beyond our borders. So, we've had English as mandatory in shools for a long time starting in the 3'd grade (10 years of age). Not only is it the world language, and very useful to master, there are also studies that say bilingualism is good for the general intake of knowledge - you get smarter. Then those who wish will enter into 3'd language studies in the 7'th grade - I chose German myself - it's less than passable now since I haven't used it for a long time, but it lingers in the back of my head. Most choose a 3'd language but for study weary youths there are practical courses you can take instead.I wouldn't have minded if Arabic was put forth as a 3'd language alternative. But for it to replace english as a 2'd language - that's just folly. That's just a way to raise grades among the immigrant students without any regard to the usefulness of the actual studies. Just a way to hide the fact that with mmass immigration out scchool results have plummeted in international standings (from the very top to soewhere in the middle now).Just another fools errand. IMO
"If you read anything about how the changing of our constitution was aiming to protect any indigenous people - that's a plain lie."I didn't actually read that. I think I was hoping for a little more sanity than is evidenced by the Swedish government undertaking to ensure that the Arabic language survives in Sweden. We'll still call this a political problem, although it's worse than I'd have hoped. That's unfortunate.Still, it's a political problem, and working on ‘how’ to sell a reasonable agenda is going to be less my focus than is the matter of ‘what’ is a reasonable agenda. Do the latter first, then consider the former.
Lee: "differences between the conditions immigrants find here in America and find in Sweden, and, I'd reckon, in most of Europe. (To put it bluntly, I don't think the Europeans quite get what ‘integration’ actually means.)"Well, yourse is a very young nation to begin with, and one founded heavily on immigration. Ours are oftentimes millennia old nation states (where the borders may have moved around some). I noticed on some of my many (delightful) visits to the US when going to "historical sights" that they were always younger than our own quite insignificant rådhus (older local parliament) here in Malmö. I can go outside and in 5 minutes be in an area that preceeds any now residing structure in North America. And that's here in Sweden which has a quite young history by European standards.There's a difference on how we view the soul of our respective nations. I believe we're more inclined to associate it with our history and people, and you're more inclined to associate it with some collection of ideas. I'm not making judgement either way, just stating there's a difference in how we view our respective nations.Then onwards to "‘integration’" as you talk about. First of all I don't really think it's all that integrated in the USA just yet. Saw this lately:http://www.livescience.com/20663-black-white-segregated-neighborhoods.htmlSeems to me even Americans tend to go with their own, to a large degree.Second, it's perhaps understandable that in a millennia old country with one sole dominant race/culture it will be less of a smooth ride to integrate outsiders than in a nation founded by and on immigration such as the USA.
"I believe we're more inclined to associate it with our history and people, and you're more inclined to associate it with some collection of ideas."Yeah, I reckon that's right. "I don't really think it's all that integrated in the USA just yet."True dat. It's a work in progress at best, but I think it's progressing quite nicely these days.
Lee: "Still, it's a political problem, and working on ‘how’ to sell a reasonable agenda is going to be less my focus than is the matter of ‘what’ is a reasonable agenda. Do the latter first, then consider the former."Entirelly correct.But HOW? How do you raise the voice of sanity against an establishment so cemented in one ideology?It seems almost, today, as a task on par with advocating market ecnomics in East Germany in the early eighties (despite the fact that we don't face the same punishments).So: any ideas on what would be a reasonable agenda and how to promote it, if you take into consideration that most main stream media will NOT be supportive? I am myself at a bit of a loss here.
"So: any ideas on what would be a reasonable agenda…"Yeah, and I'll get to that later. Still waitin’ on alternate voices to perhaps be heard more, on the matters already discussed "…and how to promote it, if…"Probably get to that too, an overview anyway, all in proper order.
All right. Let's call it a day. It's getting late here and I'm off to watch the final 4 episodes of "Game Of Thrones" I have saved. A pal said it was as good as "Rome" but it itsn't. Still quite an OK show though.
I've been in a meeting all day today, so didn't get a chance to catch up until now. I think I do have a couple of things to add to the discusion.First of all on integration. Not being an immigrant I may not get this exactly right, but I will try. I don't believe it is necessarily centered on language, that is merely a tool to advance yourself within the society. I believe it is more to do with feeling as if you are a contributing part of the country you are living in. You can raise a family, find a job, and enjoy a decent life just like anyone else there. We have immigrants who are not citizens yet, but are in our military. They are an important part of their adopted country, they are participating in its defense.Marcus, read some of Anarki's posts after he arrived in Sweden. He gives a little idea of what it is like to be in a new country and starting over. Unfortunately Zeyad has been quiet on this subject. Maybe he doesn't feel comfortable about lodging criticism, I don't know.As to some of the specific things you could do to modify some of the more extreme ways of thinking, that is more difficult. But I think if you get one (integration) the other will gradually follow. In our state I know there have been efforts made by various religions to build bridges. Finding common ground is helpful.
Marcus,I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but does your comment:But I realise, nevertheless, that I have turned to have a negative outlook from the get-go towards some immigrant groups. Instead of thinking good about people until they have proven to be bad I have started to expect the worst from them until they have proven to be good. Not fair perhaps, but it's not irrational either what with all the negative stuff we're dealing with here. And I have to stress that it really is a big impact on our society, especially here in Malmö.not remind you of anything? Think back about 11 years to a date in September and the effect it had on the United States.
I was going to hold this thought for awhile, but Lynnette has already kinda gone there; first step there anyway: "But HOW? How do you raise the voice of sanity against an establishment so cemented in one ideology?"First thing is to properly identify the real problem and to deal primarily with that; deal with the real problem. In your case the apparently ideologically inspired opposition has improperly defined the situation. Assimilation and integration are not separate things; they're differences of degree, not differences in kind. The contrary to integration is not assimilation, it's segregation. To wit: in·te·gra·tion noun \ˌin-tə-ˈgrā-shən\ Definition of INTEGRATION 1 : the act or process or an instance of integrating : as a : incorporation as equals into society or an organization of individuals of different groups (as races) b : coordination of mental processes into a normal effective personality or with the individual's environment ***And see: seg·re·ga·tion noun \ˌse-gri-ˈgā-shən\ Definition of SEGREGATION 1 : the act or process of segregating : the state of being segregated 2 a : the separation or isolation of a race, class, or ethnic group by enforced or voluntary residence in a restricted area, by barriers to social intercourse, by separate educational facilities, or by other discriminatory means b : the separation for special treatment or observation of individuals or items from a larger group < segregation of gifted children into accelerated classes > ***I don't know how to make the argument in Swedish; I don't know even a little bit of Swedish. So, you're on your own for the translation. But, in English: One does not integrate different cultures or different societies. One integrates individuals. For that to occur one may, as a practical matter, need to come to an accommodation between the cultures. But you need to recognize that the purpose of the accommodation is to preserve some degree of segregation, not to promote integration; i.e. to preserve some degree of ‘separation…of a race, class, or ethnic group’ while still allowing for integration on an individual basis.What you need is a common definition of what it means to be Swedish before ya'll start issuing citizenship papers to folks who have not yet agreed with you about what it means to be a Swede.And one of the things you, Marcus, has to do is not get yourself similarly confused about what it is you're trying to address. You start the broad-brush stuff against the immigrants when you should be targeting specific immigrants, and maybe specific policies and tendencies, and you're gonna wind up every bit as confused as the bleedin’ heart types already are, and you'll never get any sense pounded into ‘em. ‘Cause you'll not be doin’ any better at identifying and isolating the problems than they are. Blind leading the blind, or trying to, which will result in the blind resisting being lead by the equally blind. Get ya nowhere.
I think a lot depends on the country's legal system and how it handles various disputes that might arise because of a culture clash.There have been two instances in the news lately pertaining to Somali immigrants. The first is in regard to mode of dress. A number of Somalis quit at a company that had institued a dress code. Apparently someone's long dress had been caught in a footwear washer. They are now restricting dresses that fall below the knee. The company says it's a safety issue, some of the workers say it's because of their religious beliefs. The other incident was regarding another Somali family where child protection services removed 6 children from a home because one of them complained about being abused by her parents. That case is in court. Three of the youngest have been placed with relatives at this time.In both these cases there needs to be communication and understanding on both sides.
Lynnette, I agree it's a problem when we start to generalise. But you have to understand also that people do that in all kinds of situations. And there ARE differences between "us and them" that I think are very problematic. Again I'll illustrate with an example:About a year ago in Landskrona, a small town of about 80.000 close to where I live, there was a nasty crime committed. In an argument over a parkingspace between an elderly Swedish couple and a Lebanese immigrant the old swedish lady was punched in the face, hit her head on the curb and died after a day in intensive care. Her husband and the young man had argued, she went to separate them and the Lebanese guy punched her in the face - there were several witnesses.Now this in itself is a cowardly and nasty crime. But it was the reaction of the family of the accused that really turned my stomach.If a swede had done something like that his family would be ashamed, they would probably quitely give him moral support by coming to the trial, but would feel that he indeed had done wrong and deserved punishment. No doubt about that.In this case a 50+ mob of the Lebanese guy's extended family turned up and protested so severely the trial had to be cancelled and moved to the "security room" in the courthouse in Malmö. The prosecutor had to get 24 hour police protection during the trial - she got death threats. The extended family of the accused raised hell and DEMANDED the guy be set free. This to me illustrates tribal thinking. They had no regard whatsoever for the victim or swedish laws but turned out in force to protect their own, no matter what. My instinctive feeling was that they should all be rounded up and deported an masse, because clearly they have zero respect for our society. In the end what happened was the lawyers managed to plead it down to involontary manslaughter, the guy got a years sentence and got out after eight months served a few weeks back. The old lady is still dead and her husband is a grieving widower. Was justice served? Not in my book.But it was the reaction of the extended family of the perpetrator that really got to me. Do I want them here? No.
Another example from about a month ago. A 62 YO swedish man in Gothenburg is out walking his dog. At the public square in Kortedals he goes into a grocery store and ties his dog up outside. As he exits a group of teenagers are teasing his dog and are throwing stuff at it. He gets angry, approaches them and yells at them. They attack, kick him to the ground, continue to kick while he's on the ground and finish by jumping on his head so his skull caves in. He's been in a coma for a month,, might live, might not, but will probably never walk or talk again.The perpetrators? 5 iraqi kids, 4 of them 15 YO and one 14 YO.When the parents of two of the kids were interviewed forst they blatantly denied that their kids could have been involved. "It's just because we're immigrants" they squealed, playing the racist card. Then as it was crystal clear it indeed was their kids it turned to "the swedish man attacked them first, he must have, they're such good kids".You see, all of this: gang-rapes, deadly beatings against elderly by teens, torching cars just to fight the firefighters with sticks and stones for sport - those are fairly new things in our society. I'm not saying we didn't have crime before, but not like this we have now, not even close. And I see precious little attempts from the immigrant community to adress this. What I DO see is whitewashing, explaining away, denial and playing the racist card.
Lee: "What you need is a common definition of what it means to be Swedish before ya'll start issuing citizenship papers to folks who have not yet agreed with you about what it means to be a Swede."I agree. I think we have failed in that. I do think the USA does a much better job with that.Lee: "And one of the things you, Marcus, has to do is not get yourself similarly confused about what it is you're trying to address. You start the broad-brush stuff against the immigrants when you should be targeting specific immigrants, and maybe specific policies and tendencies, and you're gonna wind up every bit as confused as the bleedin’ heart types already are, and you'll never get any sense pounded into ‘em. ‘Cause you'll not be doin’ any better at identifying and isolating the problems than they are. Blind leading the blind, or trying to, which will result in the blind resisting being lead by the equally blind. Get ya nowhere."Yes, when I take a step back and think it over I know that you're right about this. But I have this problem - get so freaking angry sometimes.When I think rationally my idea is that we need both better carrots and a harsher stick here. The carrots being that we need to make it easier for immirants to enter into swedish society and worklife. The stick that if they commmit crimes or prove unwilling to meet some set of basic societal ground rules, then they cannot remain here. And I think we need a breather to be able to sort this out - a pause in new imigration.
"…we need both better carrots and a harsher stick here."You're already getting to what you need to do. I said something before about discussing the what before we discussed the how. But, Lynnette already got me into the how to some extent, and you're already on the what.S'okay. I think I'll adjust my plan a little then, and maybe finish up the how part…Second thing then. Now that you're presumably straightened out on the ‘integration’ vs ‘assimilation’ thing. The real question is ‘integration’ vs ‘segregation’. Now ya got that down; now ya gotta chill a bit as you work the problem. 1. Assimilation is not bad per se, except insofar they mistakenly believe that to be true. Rather, it's nothing more than too much integration for a particular person's personal comfort level, is all that it is, it's an empty epithet. But, you're not gonna win that argument as a starting point; ain't gonna happen, so don't have that argument. Just deny the charge without too much explaining. (Maybe get into more detail on this distinction later, but for openers, avoid having the argument at all.) Rather, you want to come to an agreement on how much integration is enough and how much is too little. How much segregation is desirable and how much is too little? Keep the conversation headed there, and don't let yourself get roped into defending ‘assimilation’; that's a dead-end as an opening position. 2. Remember that you were fully implicated in causing the problem. You were all in, fully on board, with the decision to allow wholesale immigration. It's not like it's their fault and you're off the hook for this. So deal with your opposition respectfully. You're not a several orders of magnitude better or wiser on account of having been the first to repent. 3. The problem is going to span a couple of generations achieving solution, so get used to that idea and don't get too frustrated at the pace of correction of the problem. 4. Do not seek arguments you don't have to have. Don't, for instance, start arguing against another wholesale immigration from Syria unless it's necessary. Probably not necessary. Probably the bleedin’ hearts are not eager to have another wave of immigration from the Middle East either and will handle the question by ignoring it. Allow them to ignore it; assist them in that by ignoring it yourself for the most part (again, maybe get into it when and if you're getting to more detail and are still communicating instead of tossing epithets at one another, but avoid that as an opening position).. Although, I notice you have mentioned it again today. Are the bleedin’ hearts actually pushing for ya'll to line for Syrian immigrants? 5. Lastly: ‘Chill’ is almost always good advice. Too much display of passion for a minority opinion (yours), is gonna come across as radicalism of some sort or another. It just is. So, ‘chill’ is almost always good advice--don't push it passionately.Okay, that's the second thing handled. First, define the problem correctly. Second, take care that ya don't come across as a kook or a radical, certainly not as a fanatic..We on the same page so far?
And I wrote that out wrong: "How much segregation is desirable and how much is too much?"That's how that should have read.
"…and the Lebanese guy punched her in the face… "Now this in itself is a cowardly and nasty crime. But it was the reaction of the family of the accused that really turned my stomach."I do believe you've finally run into a genuine example of a cross-cultural failure to communicate. From a normative Swedish point of view this was a cowardly act--vigorous young man hitting an old woman. From a Middle Eastern point of view, the old woman had interfered in the men's business. (And they weren't even throwing punches yet as you describe it.) The Lebanese probably thought she deserved to get punched--too bad it killed her; that's unfortunate; but that was just an accident. And she deserved the punch from their point of view.
Marcus,In the first case you cited, there is a possibility that maybe should be considered. Or at least as you described the incident it comes to mind. You have two men arguing, one of whom decides to haul off and slug the other, but just at that moment the man's wife chooses to step between them and try to separate them. She gets hit, falls, and dies. In that scenario it is truly not the man's intent to kill her, it was an accident. It is quite possible that this is what happened, or at least what the man told his relatives happened. Not understanding the Swedish judicial system, and coming from a county where perhaps more stringent rules apply, they assume the man will be found guilty of murder, for an accident. They protest. Lee's right, failure to communicate. I will cut them some slack.The second case is different in my view. There you have kids who deliberately tried to injure the man, and did so. In this country, even with their ages, they might have been tried as adults. I think that what is really needed is to weed out the truly criminal element and try hard to help those who just wanted a better life to succeed. How to do that is what we struggle with.
"The second case is different in my view."Different in my view too. I'g guess Marcus also can see it as much closer in kind to the gang-rapes than to the old woman taking a (quite possibly accidentally) deadly punch. Again, an attack against what'd be perceived as weak point; a gang attack on an old man. This is territorial marking.
Lynnette. I cut people no slack after death threats against a state prosecutor because they demand a killer of their own kind to be set free. If they tried that in the USA my bet is the FED's actually would round them up and deport any one of them who could be implicated in the threats.I'd guess also that the guy never actually meant to kill the old lady, but the punch was no accident - according to withnesses it was a deliberate punch right in the face. A cowardly thing to do in my book. Still, her death was likely an accident.But where do the extended family get the idea that it's up to them if he's convicted or not? Clearly they must understand that punching someone and causing their death leads to prosecution. That it is actually a crime. But no, they still back their own, no matter what. Tell you what - I don't think they'd react much different if he had stabbed the old lady to death. Still a case of their own being targetted by outsiders - still an assault on the tribe, the all important tribe. Well, I'd say we show them there's a bigger and meaner tribe here already and toss their sorry asses outta here. They can have their beloved street-violence champion hero, the brave assaulter of little old ladies, returned to them once he's served his time in jail.
Lee: "Again, an attack against what'd be perceived as weak point; a gang attack on an old man. This is territorial marking."It's also a sort of crime that completely infuriates a lot of people. And the reaction of the fathers were very typical: "it's not my son's fault. The police are racist, or the old Swede started it all or society failed us, my son is innocent!" Yeah, there were only about 20 witnesses who saw him jump on the head of a man already on the ground.
?But where do the extended family get the idea that it's up to them if he's convicted or not?"They get that idea from back home, from Lebanon. Good chance they tried to bribe somebody first and then got frustrated by not being able to find the ‘fixer’ who's supposed to be the go-between between bribe and prosecutor or judge, or both. And it was after that they went with plan ‘b’ for when folks got no money for the bribe. Justice is a much more ‘iffy’ thing in the Middle East. Amenable to bribery, and lacking the resources to bribe someone, mob displays. ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯ "It's also a sort of crime that completely infuriates a lot of people."No doubt. Those are supposed to get people's attention. And, the idea is to intimidate people. If it also ‘infuriates’ some, that's probably part and parcel of them getting their territorial point across. "And the reaction of…"Yeah, rationalization and justification are pretty much common to ethnic gang activity worldwide; We've heard it all before too.
Back to the point… The first thing to do was to recognize that the gang violence afflicting Sweden has nothing to do with being sufficiently politically correct. It's ethnic gang violence like generally occurs with any unassimilated, (i.e. not sufficiently integrated, ‘cause we're avoiding the false distinction between ‘assimilation’ and ‘integration’) minority. If they're insufficiently integrated, then they're excessively segregated. So, we got the problem defined correctly and yet are still avoiding the political correctness fight among the home Swedes over the false distinction between assimilation and integration. And, second theoretically, Marcus has also figured out he doesn't want to let the bleedin’ hearts depict him as a racist fanatic. So, that's the first two things handled.Third thing then, homework. Need to do your homework. As I've said before: It's highly likely that the incidences of immigrant on immigrant crime and oppression is orders of magnitude higher than are the instances of the cross-cultural clashes. (If less occasionally spectacular.) If there's no evidence for that proposition in Sweden it's probably because nobody's wanted to face up to it and collect the evidence. Do your homework anyway; find what ya can; supplement as necessary with learned studies from other countries who've already seen the problems, and be ready to argue for the non-uniqueness of Sweden if ya have to go with entirely foreign sources. But, be prepared to introduce some data. Gather it as ya may at your leisure, in advance.And, back to the ‘Chill’ advice. You can afford to chill. You're on the winning side of this fight, maybe doesn't seem that way to you today, but ya are. Sweden's only got about 5% Muslim/Middle Eastern immigrant population. I read that in the late 1980s, early ‘90s it was already around 2½% Muslim, mostly Bosnians and like that, some north Africans. That means the newcomers are only around 2½% themselves.Two and a half percent and they're tryin’ to take and hold turf. Way bad idea; they've got the neither the throw weight nor the mojo to pull that one off. They'll lose. It's that simple. But, meantime, they're makin’ the same sort of moves on your country as they are in France, but there's two things they got going for them in France. First, they're up to maybe 10% of the French population. And second, they're goin’ up against the French. The French are wusses.You're on the winning side, eventually; so you can afford to chill. Your side wins eventually.Question then becomes: What does this ‘win’ look like? It'll come in one of two forms. (Or, maybe an unlikely third form; we may perhaps get to that later.) Either you'll break up the gangs and manage to enforce minimal Swedish cultural norms, i.e. those things that Swedes agree just have to be minimum acceptable behavior in Sweden, like not tossing daughters off of balconies and not tolerating gang-rapes of anybody, whether or not saint or slut, no beat downs of old people just ‘cause they're blonde Swedes, stuff like that. Or, you'll wind up cordoning off the polluted areas and letting them sort it out by themselves among themselves, and the home Swedes' continuing challenge will simply be to keep the Arab bastards inside their fence.The first form of resolution is much to be preferred.Next I'll be ready to discuss the actual application of real world solutions.
Marcus,My guess would be that not all those people were issuing death threats. And, no, I don't approve of that type of thing either. But just demonstrating, I can see that. There were a number of Somalis outside of the courthouse when they were hearing the child custody case. They were peaceful.I'd guess also that the guy never actually meant to kill the old lady, but the punch was no accident - according to withnesses it was a deliberate punch right in the face.Hmmm...that might well be. Although sometimes looks can be deceiving.A cowardly thing to do in my book.Well, it would have been a cowardly thing to do whether or not it was the man or his wife that was hit. They were both elderly.Still, her death was likely an accident.And intent is what the legal system takes into account. But where do the extended family get the idea that it's up to them if he's convicted or not?And here is the crux of the culture clash. In the Middle East it seems to me that because of the lack of truly impartial and fair judicial systems people tended to rely on their relatives, or tribe, it you will, for support. Until they believe they can get a fair hearing under Swedish law you may get people who overreact.It is extremely difficult to move people from one system of doing things to something totally different. They will make mistakes. As long as those mistakes are minor, and not criminal, they need to be cut a little slack. And it is important that they in turn listen to people who are more familiar with the system and are trying to help. It will help them to avoid those missteps that could get them into trouble.
This in from England a few days ago:"In a year when several paedophile gangs were convicted of raping and prostituting victims in north west England, Nazir Afzal says it is impossible not to notice 'that the perpetrators were Asian and the victims were not.'The Chief Crown Prosecutor for the region added that 'cultural baggage and the status of women among some men in these communities contributes to their disrespect for the rights of women.'It was claimed last month that fears they would be branded racist meant that police and social services left one group free to rape up to 50 white girls, and Mr Afzal said today he would not 'turn a blind eye.'"http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2156296/British-gangs-raping-sexually-exploiting-vulnerable-white-young-girls-Asian-problem-Crown-prosecutor-admits.htmlIt's good that the prosecutor is willing to take this seriously. I have to say if his name was John Smith, instead of Nazir Afzal he wouldn't have been quite as likely to be so outspoken, and the newspaper wouldn't have sided with him (at least that's the way it works here). I note also that he doesn't dismiss the cultural angle.
In the CNN special I posted about yesterday one of the things that Germany was trying was to have the imams of various mosques attend classes on, basically, how things are done in Germany. To try to clear up any problems before they become problems.
Sorry, no time to read your last comment, Marcus. Gotta run. Hopefully I'll be back later...
Lynnette: "But just demonstrating, I can see that. There were a number of Somalis outside of the courthouse when they were hearing the child custody case. They were peaceful."But in the case I refer to they weren't peaceful. They disrupted the original trial in Landskrona enough so that it had to be cancelled and moved to the security hall in the courthouse in Malmö, and after that they went after the prosecuter.Lynnette: "And here is the crux of the culture clash. In the Middle East it seems to me that because of the lack of truly impartial and fair judicial systems people tended to rely on their relatives, or tribe, it you will, for support. Until they believe they can get a fair hearing under Swedish law you may get people who overreact."I can see that that could be a partial explanation. But I also know they fled here for a reason and presumably they have some sort of understanding that our justice system is actually not like that back home.Lynnette: "It is extremely difficult to move people from one system of doing things to something totally different. They will make mistakes. As long as those mistakes are minor, and not criminal, they need to be cut a little slack."This was IMO criminal and not minor. They violently disrupted a trial so that it had to be cancelled and moved and then threatened a prosecutor, all in defence of a relative who was clearly guilty. That's an attack on the rule of law itself.
Lee: "If they're insufficiently integrated, then they're excessively segregated. So, we got the problem defined correctly and yet are still avoiding the political correctness fight among the home Swedes over the false distinction between assimilation and integration."That seem a good starting point.Lee: "And, second theoretically, Marcus has also figured out he doesn't want to let the bleedin’ hearts depict him as a racist fanatic."That's a tall order given our current debate climate, but I'll aggree the effort should be made.Lee: "What does this ‘win’ look like? It'll come in one of two forms. [...] Either you'll break up the gangs and manage to enforce minimal Swedish cultural norms, i.e. those things that Swedes agree just have to be minimum acceptable behavior in Sweden, like not tossing daughters off of balconies and not tolerating gang-rapes of anybody, whether or not saint or slut, no beat downs of old people just ‘cause they're blonde Swedes, stuff like that."That'd be a start. I believe education and employment are vital factors also, for all concerned.Lee: "Or, you'll wind up cordoning off the polluted areas and letting them sort it out by themselves among themselves, and the home Swedes' continuing challenge will simply be to keep the Arab bastards inside their fence."That seems unlikely, rather we'll probably cordon ourselves off and let the rest go. Gated communities are not an unrealistic expectation.Lee: "The first form of resolution is much to be preferred."I agree.But again I will add that (and you touch on it by bringing the % figures up) a halt in new immigration would provide us a much better opportunity to take on the existing problems than if we continue on our present course and break new records in added immigration yearly. In fact I'd go so far as to say I don't think it will be possible at all without a respite. It's not like the trouble spots in the world seems likely to go away any time soon so the flow will keep coming unless we, here, decide to impose stricter rules.
"I believe education and employment are vital factors also, for all concerned."Integrated education is vital. The American civil rights movement was born in education. It's generally seen as a sixties movement, but Brown vs Board of Education was a critical turning point, and that was handed down in 1954. "[W]e'll probably cordon ourselves off and let the rest go."At current population ratios? Unlikely. The territorial marking you're seeing now is largely a result of the gangs already trying to keep their captive population away from the home Swedes. They'll cooperate in the fencing in. "[A] halt in new immigration would provide us a much better opportunity to take on the existing problems than if we continue on our present course…"Yeah, ya probably need to get that much done at least. Just as a starting point.
Quaere though: Is anybody seriously gearing up for new waves of immigrants out of Syria (or even Egypt)? One might reasonably expect the bleedin’ hearts to be studiously ignoring the subject about now.
The increase from Syria has started and I have little doubt it will increase, perhapss significantly. Depends on how it goes there I suppose. But the major arrivals today are from Afghanistan, Somalia and Romas from the balkans.If anyone's gearing up? No, I don't think so, I think what happens will happen and it will depend largely on events in those troubled regions, and the opportunities for people from there to actually get here. Unless Syria is formally declared a war-zone anyone applying for asylum here must present some sort of individual reason for it. But with the stories coming out of there today many people may well have individual reasons that'll be considered enough.
Lee: "At current population ratios? Unlikely. The territorial marking you're seeing now is largely a result of the gangs already trying to keep their captive population away from the home Swedes. They'll cooperate in the fencing in."I was mostly talking about some cities and neighborhoods, not the country as a whole.And now I have football to watch. Later tonight Sweden faces Ukraine. Very important, that.
"Unless Syria is formally declared a war-zone…"Ah, so that's how that's triggered. Yeah, you probably need to get that fixed. That would be an early priority.And then on to some proposed solutions. You can worry them over at your leisure later…
"*** Street crime directed at individuals of a spontaneous nature, notably assault, robbery and rape." I went over your examples again in my head and skimmed down through the thread again to make sure I had it right.. Marcus, my man, this is all gang-related (except maybe the old woman). We've seen this stuff before, over here; still have some of it in some places. This has the Crips and the Bloods written all over it, or Los Solidos The gangs are the recruiting agents for what you were calling ‘more classic mafia crime’. These are the farm clubs where they prove themselves before they move on up to the big leagues; they're earning their reps through the violence. They're claiming and marking territory for themselves and for the big league clubs they serve and grow up to join. This is about owning the turf and sending out warnings to Blond Swede that he and his police, and even his firemen, no longer hold authority over this ground. The only reason this is 'racist’ is because the bad guys just happen to have a ready-at-hand, captive population to exploit, and that population just happens to be ethnically distinct. We've seen this where the ethnicity would be hard to distinguish genetically, but the language and customs were a barrier, as well as where Jim Crow laws relegated long resident American blacks to second class citizen status.The Middle Easterners don't trust the authorities. (That's almost certainly learned behavior from back home.) That makes them vulnerable. And these guys are claiming the turf and the vulnerable population on it as their own to exploit. My advice would be to start planning on reclaiming that territory for Sweden. Take away their turf and disperse their captured population, so they can't prey on it out of sight of the home Swedes; effect a diaspora for Muslims across Sweden.You guys in Europe seem to isolate ethnic minorities to a much greater extent than we do in America. Part of this is logistical I'd reckon; we're more spread out, and more automobile oriented. There are other reasons, but that's a reason too. It's harder to isolate a population over here, even where they tend to clump together. And folks do tend to clump together with like folks; it's a characteristic trait of the human species. But, isolation is harder to achieve over here.¹ That's one of the main reasons we have less of a problem with this kind of stuff on a per capita basis.So, break up the ethnic enclaves. I'm not saying there shouldn't be ethnic concentrations and neighborhoods where they can relax and feel they're among folks ‘like themselves’; that almost certainly does serve useful social functions. And I'm certainly not suggesting you leave yourself open to accusations of promoting ‘assimilation’. I'm suggesting instead that you attack the immigrants' isolation.² The immigrants are entitled to be free of the predators. Break up the enclaves into more and smaller enclaves that the bad guys can't so easily defend. That means small enough and diverse enough to necessarily inflict some contact with outsiders on almost everybody, on a fairly regular basis, even if one could retreat back into ethnic isolation most of the time.³――――――――――― Footnotes to follow
Footnotes from prior――――――――――― ¹ See the description Zeyad gave of the district he's currently living in down in Texas: "…Iraqi Shia refugees (with some Sunnis and Mandaeans), established Iranian expats, Saudi military trainees and pilots…. Some Lebanese Christians and Shia, Egyptians, and Jordanians thrown in the mix. *** The native population is largely military types from other parts of the US…. Hispanics (Mexicans, Dominicans and Puerto Ricans, but largely Mexicans, both residents and illegals), middle class Blacks, and a few White [Texas] natives. [as opposed to the ‘military types’, who'd be ‘not natives’ I'd suppose]" ² Integrated education is vital. The ‘foreigners’ need to be sharing classrooms with the home Swedes. Our blacks eventually insisted firmly enough; there is no ‘separate but equal’ category that's ever going to work, and the breakthroughs followed from that. The demanded changes began with integrated education, and, in just over two generations, have resulted in a black president. ³ In the alternative, you can flood the zone with police and social workers, effectively ‘re-occupying’ the territory until you've cleaned up and cleared out the predators. This is much harder to do, and takes much longer to get done.
It was claimed last month that fears they would be branded racist meant that police and social services left one group free to rape up to 50 white girls, and Mr Afzal said today he would not 'turn a blind eye.'"What!?I hope that's not true. If you are hired to protect and serve the populace, you do your job. And that means arresting criminals, whoever they are.
Those who were disruptive should have been arrested and fined.But I also know they fled here for a reason and presumably they have some sort of understanding that our justice system is actually not like that back home.Then they need to be taught how the system works in their new home.This was IMO criminal and not minor.See my first response.However, I don't think being disruptive is a deportable offense. Here are what we consider deportable offenses.
Marcus,But again I will add that (and you touch on it by bringing the % figures up) a halt in new immigration would provide us a much better opportunity to take on the existing problems than if we continue on our present course and break new records in added immigration yearly.One of the countries that was covered in that CNN show last night was Canada. They actually need to encourage immigration because of their low birth rates. It is the only way to replace workers and grow the economy. They seem to have succeeded quite well in meshing cultures. Perhaps theirs is a model that should be studied.
The increase from Syria has started and I have little doubt it will increase, perhapss significantly.Just curious, have you gotten many people from Libya?
Lynnette:"They [Canada] actually need to encourage immigration because of their low birth rates. It is the only way to replace workers and grow the economy. They seem to have succeeded quite well in meshing cultures. Perhaps theirs is a model that should be studied."We hear about Canada all the time here. But a big, big difference is that Canada basically imports people straight into available jobs because they require workers for those jobs. They are selective about who they let in and they are also, admittedly, more ready to actively work to integrate newcomers, since they need them.In Sweden we get refugees. Presently a big (we're talking 10's of percents, perhaps half) part of them are analphabetic, primarilly the ones from Somalia and Afghanistan, but also many of the Romas from the balkans, our three largest groups.It is said that it takes on average 7 years for these immigrants to enter into our workforce. But that's for the ones who DO enter at all. And that's old data from sets of immigrants with better educations from back home than the ones now arriving.And we have a lot of social welfare that is just plain insane. Did you know that parents can take 15 months of paid parental leave here, up until the child turns 8 years old? Well, immigrants with kids from abroad can come here and have paid parental leave for their kids that weren't even born here. You've got a few kids under 8 years old that's a couple years right there, then you get a few more while here and there's another couple of years. And there's the basic "barnbidrag" a government handout per kid, which increases per child the more children you've got. They're entitled to that too, from the get go.Trust me, it's not nearly the same here as in Canada. We do not imoport a workforce that we need (If we wanted to do that we might start with trying to incite the tens of thousands of young Swedes who work in the service sectors in Norway and Denmark back with competitive wages). We let in a wellfare force we will have to pay for, and pay increasingly for. That many of them would like to actually work is beside the point, since that's not how it goes.
Lynnette: "Just curious, have you gotten many people from Libya?"Not that I've heard of. I think maybe they aim for France where there's a big North African population already.
Lee: "These are the farm clubs where they prove themselves before they move on up to the big leagues; they're earning their reps through the violence. They're claiming and marking territory for themselves and for the big league clubs they serve and grow up to join."Hmm... yes, that makes sense. I have heard that some of the seemingly random rioting came after a couple of older drug pushers were arrested. Could be the minor leagues stepping up and showing off to their seniors, or acting on command of their seniors even.Lee: "You guys in Europe seem to isolate ethnic minorities to a much greater extent than we do in America. Part of this is logistical I'd reckon; we're more spread out, and more automobile oriented."I think Sweden is quite a bit less population dense than the US is, but you're right in that the infrastructure is different, especially in cities. The isolation in enclaves is a problem on both sides. Immigrants cluster together, naturally as you say. Also once a certain point is reached swedes move away. Can't expect people to sacrifice themselves and their families on the altar of integration, if they feel it goes against their interests.
Lee:"Break up the enclaves into more and smaller enclaves that the bad guys can't so easily defend. That means small enough and diverse enough to necessarily inflict some contact with outsiders on almost everybody, on a fairly regular basis, even if one could retreat back into ethnic isolation most of the time.³"I think Denmark is actually attempting something like that. Then the Danes are way more straight forward and ready to call a spade a spade than swedes are. They had problems with criminal biker gangs a few years back, went tough and broke the gangs down quite effectively. And certainly the Danish press isn't nearly as one-dimensional. They have this funny idea that they can report on events and people can actually think for themselves.
Lee: "Integrated education is vital. The ‘foreigners’ need to be sharing classrooms with the home Swedes."This used to work well. But also here there's a tipping point once you reach certain numbers. Also it's a vast difference if we're talking second generation immigrants who were born here, or those who came here very young, compared to kids arriving new at school age. Also here you most certainly have the "white flight" phenomenon. As soon as a school gets a bad rep parents with means move the hell away. People can look the other way despite a lot of problems but not when they think it affects their kids. I hear you on this, and I agree with it, but I think it's a very tough problem, and a core problem also - one of the most important ones. And once again - my suggestion that we need a respite from new immigration seems to be right at the top of the list of how we might tackle this.
"Can't expect people to sacrifice themselves and their families on the altar of integration, if they feel it goes against their interests."Of course you can; that's precisely what the bleedin’ hearts are for; huntin’ reluctant people down and insertin’ Middle Eastern immigrants among them is precisely what these folks would be good at; be right up their alley. (And, you'd be amazed at what effect such a policy would have on the immigration debate you want to have.) "As soon as a school gets a bad rep parents with means move the hell away."We called it ‘busing’. Hunted down the white kids and insert black kids among them. If they fled, hunted them down again. Hauled black kids in and white kids out, on buses; hence the name.
Marcus,We hear about Canada all the time here. But a big, big difference is that Canada basically imports people straight into available jobs because they require workers for those jobs.Yes, they do. And to a certain extent I understand from the practical point of view of their situation. However, there is that soft-hearted side of me that winces a little at the coldness of it. We concentrate more on bringing families over. It is hard enough to start over in a new country, let alone to do it alone. Unfortunately, as Zeyad mentioned, it doesn's always work out. I think there is probably room in our system to shift a little more to Canada's way of doing things, without sacrificing the family reunification part. But I don't make policy, so my thinking is probably irrelevent.With bringing refugees over, like you are doing, you will get more of the uneducated. Sometimes that does take more time to get people up to speed on how things are done. I well remember one family from a country in Africa who weren't used to electricity. They didn't understand how the stove worked and so when they wanted to cook dinner, they started a fire...in the middle of their apartment's living room. The fire department wasn't too thrilled about that!
Here is an article regarding a recent gang rape in St. Paul. This pertains to trying one of the perpetrators as an adult. He was 17 at the time of the rape.I have heard of other instances where the perpetrator was younger, yet was tried as an adult. A case in Florida seems to come to mind.
Lynnette, those cases are awful, simply awful. I read the article and noticed the self mutilation and the depression the girl suffered afterwards. We had one case in Stockholm about two years ago, also gang rape, where the girl got so depressed she cut herself too, quit going to school and ended up throwing herself in front of a train after suffering for about a year. And she had family and social services all trying to help her, but to no avail. It's such a horrible crime, and a crime that the perpetrators commit for their own high amusement and power trip. It makes me think they deserve the harshest of punishments and I have absolutely ZERO sympathy and am willing to hear NO excuse for their behaviour.What I find baffling is that we get no more vigilante revenge acts here, since our legal system is so much more lenient than yours is and our penal system so much more cushy. Possibly it's like with suicides - the media doesn't report on them so as not to inspire more acts. Perhaps revenge acts do happen. I can only say that if someone committed such a crime against a girl I cared about, a daughter especially, I could not live with a year or two in jail for the criminal. I'd be waiting when he got out, I'm sure of that. If the state compromises its monopoly on violence by being too lenient on those who commit savage acts, the risk is that people will lose faith in the rule of law and take it into their own hands.
Marcus,Psychological trauma, no matter what the cause, can be a very difficult thing to deal with. And rape, for the victim, is such a personal assault on self-worth that it takes a strong individual to overcome. Here is a recent incident that happened in Texas. In this case the father killed a man who was abusing his 4 year old daughter. I tend to sympathize with the father and would not indict him on the grounds that he was protecting his home/family. I can see where this would be traumatic for him as well.What I find baffling is that we get no more vigilante revenge acts here, since our legal system is so much more lenient than yours is and our penal system so much more cushy.Very law-abiding people perhaps? Or the ability to control their anger and channel it constructively is far better than ours?
Lynnette, new figures in from Norway just yesterday. The rapes continue and they still haven't caught a norwegian culprit. It's 5 years running now that every single rapist caught has been a non western immigrant and the victima are almost exclusively norwegian girls. Now they're starting with girl-taxis so women can get safely home at night, because walking is clearly too dangerous and some rapists have actually been taxi-drivers (possibly illegal taxis), so now new measures must be taken. Check out this cab:http://www.dagbladet.no/2012/06/13/nyheter/taxi/voldtekt/natteravner/22087033/The text on the side says: "we drive you home safely", so it's clear why these new taxis are needed.
Self-defense courses for women would be helpful as well. Weeding the rapists out of the general population by prosecution and deportation, if applicable, goes without saying.
Self defence courses are a two edged sword. On the one hand if you get into a sticky situation it's good to have training in self defence. But having training in self defence could also provide a false feeling of security that increases the risk of getting into sticky situations. And training in self defence is no guarantee that you're able to actually defend yourself, especially for women against rapist scum men who are usually bigger, stronger and might be armed.I believe information is vital. Women need to know that getting into an illegal taxi with a stranger driving it is high risk behaviour, that walking home at night is high risk, etc. Of course the argument against this is that it could be said it puts the task of changing their behavior on women, something they shouldn't have to do. They SHOULD be able to walk home at night without fearing attacks. I agree, but I just don't see how anyone could guarantee that no matter the increase in police or cameras or proper lighting in public areas. Those measures could, and often should, be taken too, but the risks need to be communicated.Lynnette: "Weeding the rapists out of the general population by prosecution and deportation, if applicable, goes without saying."Again I agree. And also here an information campaign needs to be undertaken. Every man should know rape is completely unacceptable, that it carries harsh sentencing, and foreign nationals should know it WILL lead to deportation for life. No exceptions.
Part of a self defense course would be how to recognize high risk situations and how to avoid them. Also included would be things you can carry that may level the playing field a little. Not necessarily a gun, as that is something an attacker can use against you. But even something as simple as a whistle can help to draw attention to what is happening and bring help.If an attacker grabs you there are moves you can try to get away. The difficulty lies partly in making that commitment to fight, instead of give in. That can be hard to do.I agree that tough laws are really a necessity when it comes to violent crimes. And they should be spelled out, so that people are aware that there will be consequences to their actions.
@LeeJust read a new report (in swedish) here:http://www.newsmill.se/artikel/2012/06/14/kraftigt-kad-invandring-till-sverigethat says the prognosis for new imigration to Sweden by refugees and dependants on those refugees will hit 174.000 for the years 2012 and 2013. It should be noted that this information is from our "immigration department" Migrationsverket, and that when they are not corrrect, which they almost never are, they are a usually a lowball estiate. So take that as a minimum estimate.The bulk will arrive from Somalia, Afghanistan, Romas fro the balkans and Iraq - in that order. The present strife in Syria and the possibility of a large stream from there is not included.Now, 174.000 people is close to 2% of our population, and in 2 years. So basically we're talking about adding 1% of our population annulally and with all the swedes who are moving out it becomes even more significant.Population wise it'd mean the same as if the USA accepted 3 million people annualy from disaster zones, where not even half are even litterate. (low ball estimate - could be 4 million)Perhaps that can help you to get a perspective on our problems. Imagie also they're moving into a socialist wellfare state where they have every economic right the natives have (and sometimes more) and you'll surely grasp the economic issues we're dealing with.
I believe I already agreed that one of the first things you folks need to do is you need to get a handle on your wholesale immigration policy.On the brighter side… You guys keep taking in 1% a year, and half of them illiterates, and that pretty much guarantees that most of your bleedin’ heart contingent will be repenting their current policy preferences within the next 10 years or so. In fact it sorta raises again the specter of that unlikely third possible outcome that I'd mentioned earlier.
Yeah, about that, what was it?
Deportation, of course. Forced deportation that is, ‘cause they won't go back willingly. And that'll get ugly. (This is not not the ‘brigher side’ I was referring to above. The ‘brighter side’ would be that even the bleedin’ hearts will have to repent their current policies in the face of such a wave.)Our illegal immigrant population runs maybe 4% of the total population; most of those are Hispanic, 60% areg Mexican. Legal immigrants, not citizens, runs maybe 11% of total population.Romney was advocating what he called ‘self-deportation’ for the illegals, which boiled down to making continued residence so difficult for them that they fled back to wherever it was they came from. (He was roundly ridiculed for this, even within the Republican Party, and subsequently quit makin’ those kinds of noises. Don't know if he's repented of the notion or just learned to not talk about it anymore.)
"Not necessarily a gun, as that is something an attacker can use against you."See, the thing about the gun is this: You're supposed to go ahead and shoot them. Not supposed wave the gun around in the hopes of a Hollywood movie ending, where you showing the gun makes them run away and you don't actually have to use the damn thing.
Haven't read the comments yet, so excuse me if someone already posted this. I approve.
New development on the immigration question for the United States. The Obama administration has announced that Obama will, by executive order, institute as policy what was known as the ‘DREAM Act’, which did not pass congress, although the Democrats had been for it.Essentially, anybody brought to this country by their parents at a young age (under 16), and who have clean criminal records, are going to be granted green cards (residency and permission to work or to go to college or whatever). This applies to people under 30 years old, between 16 and 30 years old. (I don't get the cutoff at 30; could be there's gonna be another order coming later, covering people over 30, or could be over 30 is already covered by the amnesty program under Ronald Reagan; I'd have to look that one up to be clear on its terms.)The executive order does not offer citizenship, just residency. Obama administration said the congress was ‘gridlocked’ and they were tired of it.
Marcus,Population wise it'd mean the same as if the USA accepted 3 million people annualy from disaster zones, where not even half are even litterate.Yes, I see your point. That would put a huge strain on resources, especially with Sweden's type of system. At the height of illegal immigration into the US our southern border states were already complaining about something similar.But right now I think we are fighting the last battle myself. With the economic downturn affecting so many people we are actually seeing numbers of illegal immigrants decline and the trend is for people to go back to their home countries.It would be a good time to have a rational discussion and put a fair policy in place. However, that is probably only my pipedream, considering the gridlock in Washington over everything. I applaud Obama's decision regarding allowing the children of illegal immigrants to stay and continue on in school. Personally I believe that any illegal immigrant who has stayed here long enough to build a life and contribute to this country should be allowed to stay and apply for citizenship if they want to. The policy of deporting them and making them wait the requisite time period to apply legally is shortsighted. You can lose some valuable members of society that way. I understand that you can't reward people for breaking the law, however that is too harsh a punishment. A better punishment would be a fine and/or some form of community service.
Lee,Huh! Beat you to that Dream Act thing. :)See, the thing about the gun is this: You're supposed to go ahead and shoot them.lol!Yes, I suppose that is the general idea. But sometimes it doesn't always work that way. People hesitate, or try to be kind and try to shoot only to wound, giving the attacker a chance to go for the gun.
I see that, according to Lynnette and CNN, the executive order only gives a two-year deferral to the young illegals, they have that long to actually apply for green cards. Some details still being worked out by some of the reporters reporting on this it would seem. And there may be a requirement for being a ‘successful’ student, i.e. having graduated high school or gotten the GED equivalent. (Such requirements seem sensible to me.) Probably some details still to become clear.
Among the details becoming more clear… There is no ‘executive order’ here. They just up and announced it as the new policy and procedure of Homeland Security, called it ‘prosecutorial discretion’, and to hell with whomever don't like it. Damn hard to get courts to overrule prosecutors' decisions to just not prosecute. I don't know that it's ever been done.
Last in: Sweden decided today there's enough was in Syria that anyone from there will get asylum here. There were only about 900 syrians who were aleady here but this decision, based on experience, will probably mean a couple of hundred thousands in the end - since the strife in Syria is ulikely to subside. Lucky for those people they get a no-ask refuge. Unlucky for me who has to pay for it, again.
Quaere then: If ya'll have a housing shortage, where ya gonna put ‘em?
That's a good question and one that many are asking. They'll most likely be crammed in in too small apartments wherever apartments can be found. I can't see any real increase to Malmö though, because this city is full, not a spare room left. My guess smaller towns where they may have some flooring space left. They have resorted to re-modeling old military baracks and stuff like that before. But it will be a huge problem, that's for sure.But that problem will arise even without any increase from Syria. No one in our government has commented on any expected increase from there, that's my own best guess. If there is a really shitty situation in a place, and there is one single country that is offering blanket asylum for folks from that place, and that country also offers a very generous wellfare-system, and there already are lots of people from the place that turned real shitty, what's gonna happen? Pretty simple to figure out it seems to me.
I hear there's a lot of empty housing in Ireland.
They just up and announced it as the new policy and procedure of Homeland Security, called it ‘prosecutorial discretion’, and to hell with whomever don't like it.Apparently Homeland Security has the choice of where to allocate resources. And they have decided (or Obama has encouraged, don't know which) to focus those resources on going after actual criminals for deportation. That seems smarter to me.
I hear there's a lot of empty housing in Ireland.lol!Just in case PeteS dropped by this comments section, Lee?
Last in: Sweden decided today there's enough was in Syria that anyone from there will get asylum here.Then the only solution is to solve the Syria problem.
Another solution is that we wake up to the fact that we do not always have to be the most generous country on earth. It's not a law of nature as far as I know.
You'll have to talk to your elected representative for that.
Believe me, I'm trying to.
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