Monday, August 27, 2012

Report: France's suburbs "separate Islamic societies"

Something called the Gatestone Institute International Policy Council has published an article about a report by the "influential French think tank" L'Institut Montaigne.

From the article:
France's decrepit city suburbs are becoming 'separate Islamic societies' cut off from the state, according to a major new study that examines the spread of Islam in France.

Muslim immigrants are increasingly rejecting French values and identity and instead are immersing themselves in Islam, according to the report, which also warns that Islamic Sharia law is rapidly displacing French civil law in many parts of suburban Paris.
The 2,200-page report -- that's equal to at least five books, and must have kept dozens of think tankers off the dole for a year -- seems to describe the situation candidly.
♦ The authors of the report show that France, which has between five and six million Muslims (France has the largest Muslim population in European Union), is on the brink of a major social explosion because of the failure of Muslims to integrate into French society.

♦ Seine-Saint-Denis, which the report describes as a "wasteland of de-industrialization," is home to more than 600,000 Muslims (primarily from North and West Africa) out of a total population of 1.4 million.

"In some areas, a third of the population of the town does not hold French nationality, and many residents are drawn to an Islamic identity," the report says.

♦ Islamic values are replacing those of a French Republic which has failed to deliver on its promise of "equality," the report says, and the residents of the suburbs increasingly do not see themselves as French.

♦ ... Low educational achievement is endemic among the Muslim population. This, in turn, is turning France into a "divided nation." Most Muslim youth are "not employable." More than 20% of the residents of Clichy and Montfermeil leave school without a diploma (about 150,000 people per year), according to the report. The unemployment rate for Muslim youth in the suburbs of Paris is around 43%.

These drop-outs enter a cycle of social exclusion negatively shapes their lives and those of their children. Many Muslim youth turn to "deviant behaviors across the range of incivilities in a parallel economy in which drug trafficking is the most prominent."

♦ The report also describes a proliferation of mosques and prayer rooms in the suburbs. The religious orientations of the mosques are heavily influenced by the national origin of the founder or president of a given mosque.
And so forth.

Given this situation, you might expect that somewhere in 2,200 pages the question would be asked: Are France and Islam incompatible? Can the religion that once almost overran France by force of arms and is now overrunning it through mass-production wombs be integrated with the indigenous population, or is that a desperate fantasy?

Perish the thought. The Institut, which glorifies itself with the mantle of the great essayist Montaigne, falls back on multi-culti clichés. Their only recommendation is more of what has abjectly failed already.

The report closes with a warning: "France's future depends on its ability to re-integrate the suburbs into the national project."

The Institut's web site asks its readers, "How to revive the political participation of the inhabitants of the [Muslim] quarters?" Choices were limited to the following:

"By organizing campaigns of civic sensitization and appeals to inscriptions on electoral lists" (I'm not sure what the second part means -- maybe my translation is off): 10 percent of respondents.

"By associating the residents with the decision making process through instances of participatory democracy": 43 percent.

"By giving more weight to civic education in school programs": 26 percent.

"By giving the right to vote to strangers [outsiders? Illegal immigrants?] in local elections": 15 percent.

"Don't say": 6 percent.

It seems that the Institut Montaigne, and the French political and intellectual Establishment, are afraid to face the truth. In doing so, they are preparing the ground for either France's official Islamization or civil war.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I declare I'm psycho! When do I report for my new federal job?

The PJ Tatler has obtained documents from the Justice Department detailing efforts to recruit attorneys and staff who are dwarfs or who have “psychiatric disabilities” or “severe intellectual disabilities.”  On May 31, 2012, Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez issued a directive to affirmatively recruit people with these “targeted disabilities.” 

This DOJ policy does not merely involve prohibitions against discrimination, but rather the documents reveal deliberate recruitment efforts to hire as attorneys and staff for the Department of Justice people suffering from psychiatric disorders and intellectual disabilities.  Moreover, applicants can “self-identify” their disability by means of the “Standard Form 256, Self Identification Disability.”

U.S. Department of Justice
Form 256, Self Identification Disability

Dictated to me, Sanford Lightfinger, on this 23rd day of August in the fourth year of the Obama Godship.

I, [sign your name or make your mark] ____________X_____________, do hereby declare myself ha ha! Ha! to be totally flipped out and therefore he he he qualified for immediate appointment to a position in the U.S. Department of ho! ho! hyah! Justice.

My name is Emperor Napoleon van Waterloo. I am of ha ha ha! noble descent. My father was Fabien, Duc de Foie Gras. My mother, Annabel Flemmmmyng-Priscus, Lady-in-Waiting to the no. 77 bus (Clapham Junction).

Born at the bottom whoh who ha ha of the Marianas Trench, I rapidly rose to the top, reaching the surface in my 45th year. Too day I am a famous entre ... entre ... preener. CEO, COO, President, Chairman of hya hya ha ha hya Flying Tree Design Co. Ltd., the country's leading producer of whale coffins. We use only ha ha he he ha ha ha! wind-powered buzz-saws, a totally green business!

I voted for His Godship in 2008. Totally, absolutely he ha ha mad! References from 17 psychiatrists will be provided on request.

I hear there will ha ha ha ha soon be a vacancy for the office of U.S. Attorney General. Wink wink, waiting in the wings.

The above is a true and faithful transcript of the deponent's statement. [signed] Sanford Lightfinger, Washington Home for Unusual Cases. My commission expires December 31, 2050, unless I do first.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The behavioral fallout of junk money

Back in 2006, with the housing debacle and our current recession/depression/whatever only a cloud no bigger than a baby's hand, a financial commentator named Eric Englund wrote a psychologically astute article about the moral and psychological wages of central banks playing games with national currencies. Titled "Central Banking and the Depreciation of Self-Worth," it was recently republished at Financial Sense.
Right behind owning one’s own body, the second most personal asset an individual owns is the fruit of one’s own labor – with such fruit typically taking the form of money; which is exchanged for food, clothing, transportation, shelter, etc. Accordingly, with the common yardstick here being money, a person’s self-worth, in part, can be measured by earnings power, accumulated savings, and personal net worth.
Let's pause to acknowledge that a person's moral standing can't be measured in money, and that saints are indifferent to their prosperity or lack of it as a criterion of self-worth. Just the same, for most people, their image of themselves is dyed by wealth and poverty. It's human nature, even if it would be better overcome or at least subdued.
With central banks, however, continuously perpetrating the immoral and fraudulent act of fiat inflation, money perniciously loses value over time. When such an important and profoundly intimate self-measuring tool (money) loses its stability, people tend to lose their moral bearings and social decay ensues. And, correspondingly, state power increases – for a while at least – as the populace becomes evermore dependent on state bureaucrats for guidance. ...

For a state to gain in power, it must shift its citizens’ chief allegiance from the family to the state. As aided by the Federal Reserve and America’s public schools, Uncle Sam is winning this power struggle for loyalty – for now. When mothers and fathers are economically and financially illiterate – thanks to public schools – then the Federal Reserve’s siren-song of easy credit becomes irresistible. Profligate parents do not serve as economic and moral anchors for the family. Instead, they reach a stage of permanent adolescence in which they are more likely to teach their children to play a video game than to teach children how to read, write, do basic math, and lead a virtuous life. 

As a quick sidebar, you can even detect those "adults" who have reached permanent adolescence by their driving habits – such individuals drive as if they are in a NASCAR race or playing an auto-racing video game. In a household "run" by adolescent-adults, parents redefine their roles as that of a child’s best friend. A house, additionally, is no longer a home but more of a hangout. With family bonds weakening, and state power increasing, it is no wonder that the Homeland Security Act, the Patriot Act, and NSA snooping have only received a collective shrug of the shoulders.
Which came first, the adolescent-adult or the government fiscal manipulation? As with most such questions, neither really; it's a self-reinforcing feedback loop. The more that alleged grownups act like teenagers in the high school hallway, the greater the temptation for the Fed, legislators, and government agencies of all stripes to behave like the school principal. And the more they do, the more chronological adults slough off responsibility for themselves and their families. As long as it's legal -- or in some cases, as long as they can get away with what they want to do -- who cares? If it were wrong the government would stop it. If they mess up, the Great Father in Washington will make them whole.

Englund argues that bad money management at the highest levels of government affects sexual morality, citing Otto Friedrich's study of 1920s Germany. And when central bank fiddling of the economy bears its bad fruit, the results can be catastrophic not merely in some abstract sense but in destroying people's will to live. 

We are far enough away in time, and until recently were far enough away in spirit, from the 1929-1939 Depression that financiers jumping out of skyscrapers seemed like a quaint slice of history, like Cato slicing his wrist at the fall of the Roman republic. But there was nothing funny about it.
Historian William K. Klingaman conveys in his book, 1929: The Year of the Great Crash, that – as related to the stock market crash – asphyxiation by gas was the most common method of committing suicide, yet there was considerable variety. He states:
The wife of a Long Island broker shot herself in the heart; a utilities executive in Rochester, New York, shut himself in his bathroom and opened a wall jet of illuminating gas; a St. Louis broker swallowed poison; a Philadelphia financier shot himself in his athletic club; a divorcee in Allentown, Pennsylvania, closed the doors and windows of her home and turned on a gas oven. In Milwaukee, one gentleman who took his own life left a note that read, "My body should go to science, my soul to Andrew W. Mellon, and sympathy to my creditors."
While visiting New York, at the time of the great crash, Winston Churchill saw the broken body of a man who had jumped from a building and plunged fifteen stories to his death. Later, a notable suicide took place on Friday, November 8, 1929 when J.J. Riordan, president of the County Trust Company, took a pistol from a teller's cage at his bank, went to his home in downtown Manhattan, and shot himself.
So far, we can be thankful that the Whatever It Is we are experiencing hasn't led to many suicides. Perhaps that's only because our culture is less bound to moral codes than that of the '30s. Then again, we haven't yet arrived at the phase of demented "money printing" that is widely expected as the only way for the government to deal with a national debt that can never be paid off in "real" money.
History, clearly, has shown that money, a human construct in and of itself, has a powerful affect on the human mind. Hence, it logically follows that the central-bank–induced depreciation of the dollar – a fiat currency – goes hand in hand with the social decay we see all around us. We must learn from the German experience. To help reverse this decivilization process, we must abolish the Federal Reserve and establish a 100% gold standard – in effect, a counterrevolution. And then perhaps, once again, we will walk amongst a people who live by the Golden Rule.
When a nation runs on paper currency that is worth whatever the government says it's worth -- the definition of "fiat currency" -- it tends to distort all other values, perhaps devalue values themselves. Not just economies but people can only thrive when they are backed by more than the dictates of politicians.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

John Mayall's 70th birthday concert

John Mayall, his current band, and some of his old mates got together for a blues blowout in Liverpool nine years ago, with Mick Taylor and Eric Clapton dropping in. It was taped and is now available from Netflix (you can also buy it if you're so moved) on a Blu-ray DVD. The sound and video quality are about ideal.

Watching it often propelled my mind back 40 years. Among my fellow heads in Berkeley, late '60s, Mayall's albums cornered a large bit of our attention. Mayall was the pre-eminent pioneer of electric blues in England. His first Bluesbreakers album helped popularize Eric Clapton. The second featured Peter Green (later to found the original Fleetwood Mac) as lead guitarist. Mick Taylor took over the role in the third album. We played them all in "heavy rotation," as they say in radio biz.

Mayall, gray-haired and wearing the inevitable tank top in the video, isn't some old specimen for nostalgia buffs. He remains an outstanding keyboard player and blues harmonica player -- he blows an amazing Sonny Boy Williamson-style solo on one of the numbers in this concert -- and a guitarist to boot. There aren't any flies on his latest Bluesbreakers band incarnation either: as the video shows, they're probably the equal of his classic ensembles. The band's lead guitarist, Buddy Whittington, has no need to be embarrassed in the company of guest players Mick Taylor and Eric Clapton.

I went to a concert with Mayall and Taylor about 1985. Mayall wasn't a big draw at the time, considered something of a has-been, not yet old enough to be a "legend." Mick Taylor's time with the Stones was over, too. So the concert venue was literally a roadhouse, a dingy building off the highway north from Santa Fe to Taos.

As I recall, the first set was well along and there was no sign of Taylor. Was he doing a superstar act to build up anticipation? Had he forgotten the concert or got lost somewhere in the wilds of New Mexico?

When he finally took the stage, wearing a kind of embroidered silk kimono, I thought: yup, he's going to prance around like Zeus on speed and command our worship. But no. Histrionics, none. His expression was vacant, body language statue-like. Throughout the rest of the performance, he seemed to be mentally somewhere else. I couldn't help wondering if he was coked to the gills.

But whatever was going on with him, it didn't inhibit his playing, which was everything I'd hoped for. That guitar was on fire.

In Mayall's birthday concert video, Taylor has put on weight, wears a striped business shirt under a plain jacket, and exhibits much the same lack of affect -- he actually seems shy. I found myself feeling protective toward him, ridiculous as that sounds. How refreshing to see a guitar whiz just concentrating on making music without gestures and anguished expressions.

Clapton is on good form. I can't say I've warmed to his albums I've heard since The Cream, but he returns to his blues roots here and it's easy to see why he was such a sensation in '60s London. I wish, though, that Peter Green had been in the concert; he's still the finest electric blues guitarist I've ever heard. But I guess his famous eccentricity was still too much for Mayall or the concert producer to want to deal with.

I don't much care for blues anymore. It's too limited a genre, tiresomely predictable, taken up by too many mediocre musicians -- a default setting for bar bands and retro teenagers. But it's a pleasure to see and hear Mayall and his way-back machine still at the top of their game. You understand how they lit up a musical generation.

Friday, August 10, 2012

How to cheat the IRS successfully: be an illegal immigrant

This is typical of what happens in an administration headed by a Marxist radical:
Child tax credit payments to illegal immigrants have quadrupled in the past five years as a result of President Obama’s stimulus package and the Internal Revenue Service’s refusal to pursue instances of fraud, a new study shows. The IRS is also failing to inform citizens that illegal immigrants have stolen their Social Security Numbers. 

The IRS paid out $7.4 billion in tax refunds to illegal immigrants in 2012, quadruple the $1.7 billion paid out in 2007, according to a new report by Senate Republicans. The report was released as Treasury Department Inspector General J. Russell George revealed that the tax agency has allowed tax breaks for illegal immigrants and other areas of fraud to continue under the Obama administration. ...

The IG [Inspector General of Tax Administration] studied returns for the 2010 tax year and found that $4.2 billion had been issued to ineligible workers. They have been aided in part by the 2009 stimulus bill, which eased eligibility requirements for the tax breaks. More than 2 million illegal workers claimed the credit in 2010, a 46 percent increase over 2008. The government paid out $4.2 billion to illegal filers, double 2008’s $2.1 billion price tag.
Are you still naive enough to imagine money you earned is yours? Papa Doc Obama and his servants will be happy to turn your pockets out so he can redistribute your earnings to his shadow army of illegals.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

The state of the Union

 Dunblane "Slam" Doerr, U.S. Very Special Agent, testifying
before a House Committee against HR 6357.

A U.S. congressman has introduced a bill to make it illegal for your government to kill you without due process.
Last Friday, US Congressman Dennis Kucinich introduced HR 6357, a bill which aims to ‘prohibit the extrajudicial killing of United States citizens’ by the federal government. In other words, in the Land of the Free, they need to pass a law to prevent the government from indiscriminately murdering its own citizens.
However, the bill has run into unexpected opposition. Rep. DeLancy Street, the much-loved Plutocrat Party congressman from New York, spoke against it in a House chamber populated by four congressmen, 17 ushers, and one spectator.

According to the Congressional Stuck Record, Rep. Street delivered himself of the following comments:

Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to Bill HR 6357 introduced by my distinguished colleague Mr. Kucinich. This is a deeply flawed piece of legislation which will drag this great Congress's name through the mud in 49 states plus Arizona.

At my instigation, the nonpartisan Center for Citizen Assassination conducted a study of the projected outcomes were this bill to become law. The resulting report should be disquieting to any fair-minded person.

According to the CCA analysts, every "black ops" killing is directly responsible for creating 2.7 jobs. That's 2.7 tax-generating, "shoot-ready" jobs in high-tech fields such as drone piloting. But that's only the tip of the lettuce -- er, strike that -- of the iceberg. 

Domestic assassination further supports an administrative staff of 72,477 federal workers (women and minorities especially encouraged to apply). With our country's well-known employment problems, I hardly think it is time to put these patriotic men, women, and trans-sexuals out on the street. And for what, I ask you, for what? To prevent the removal of members of hate groups brought the attention of our government through the tireless cooperation of the Southern Propertied Watchbird Center?

At this very moment, no less than 2.5 million hate group members identified by the SPWC are being targeted for

The transcript of the congressman's remarks ends at this point.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Olympian detachment

Max Hastings of the Financial Times is worried that Britain will detach itself from the European Union in a fit of absent-mindedness. (Registration required for link.)
A new YouGov-Chatham House poll shows that 57 per cent of respondents want a referendum on continued British membership of the EU, in which 49 per cent would vote to leave. The poll also asked so-called “opinion-formers”, who unsurprisingly make a different judgment: 53 per cent oppose a referendum, and 63 per cent favour continued membership. But it seems rash to underrate the danger that, during the next decade, Britain will leave the EU almost by accident, because nobody has sold the arguments for staying in.
Righto, Max, nobody has "sold" the arguments for staying in, as long as you don't count the Labour and Tory parties, the BBC, virtually every British daily paper, and the rest of the "opinion formers" to which he refers. 

Interesting phrase, that. Apparently it is now assumed that in the U.K., you have opinions formed for you by Those Who Matter. D.I.Y. opinions are no longer à la mode.

Hastings has exercised his cerebrum in root cause analysis.  
The nation currently lacks a vision of how it will earn its living through the 21st century, a vision that the coalition government seems unable to provide. 
Could there be a more concise "vision" of statism? God help a Britain where individuals decide for themselves how they will earn a living. That's the government's job. The Soviet Union never failed to tell its miserable population how to earn a living.What's that, Comrade? You feel the call to dedicate yourself to astronomy? Sorry, Boris, it's just not on. Report to the Magnetogorsk steel plant Monday at 6 a.m.
British EU membership has been a key element in the nation’s identity for 40 years. But it is now in serious question, because many British people see not just the euro, but also the EU, as a failure. They wish to escape, though with no coherent or credible idea of where else to go.
Why must they go anywhere else? Why can't Britain just be Britain? (Well, for one thing, it's now a Bantu-Islamic catchment area, but that is -- in the currently ubiquitous phrase -- another conversation.)

As British as rain, steak-and-kidney pie, and the EU, eh, Max? Begging your pardon, but it has been a key element in the identity of the trans-party, trans-national, trans-everyone-but-themselves financial Establishment. The rest of the British people have a bad attitude about the EU partly because people like you have never been willing to permit them to vote in a referendum on the subject. They are stubbornly cross about being told which shoe they are to put on first in the morning by a professional technocrat elite in Brussels.
The difficulty facing the political class, including those who recognise the economic importance of EU membership [who else but the political-economic limousine class?], whatever its difficulties, is that nobody today knows what the Europe of the future will look like.
Or maybe they know, and that's why they want no part of it.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

A semi-appreciation of Gore Vidal

Well, gosh. The old boy's pegged out. I will miss him.

Probably not many on my conservative side of the political spectrum feel the same. But I admired him without, usually, agreeing with his arguments. He was the rare leftist who could write with elegance and spirit. (The late Christopher Hitchens was another. I miss him, too.)

I've read Vidal a fair amount, although not much in recent years. When I sampled his later essays, they seemed like the doodles of a crackpot. How to account for an obviously intelligent man indulging in such tosh? 

Here's my guess. Vidal had the temperament of an artist. He wasn't a great one, but still, an artist. He approached every subject as a writer, a craftsman, not a critical thinker.

As the years added up, I suspect this world began to seem less and less real to him, as happens to some aging people. Eventually it became a kind of game: to see how far he could go with outrageous, absurd positions while still being entertaining and retaining his old style and wit. I haven't read any of the obits, but I suppose the words "style" and "wit" will figure prominently, and fair enough.

Unlike today's young left-wingers, Vidal actually knew history. His historical novels like Julian, Creation, and Lincoln display insight into personalities, times, and places. I haven't read his campy stuff like Myra Breckinridge and don't intend to, but at its best his fiction does him credit. As do some of his essays and articles, mostly the earlier ones.

Finally, I respect him as a homosexual who didn't conceal it but, as far as I know, kept it a private matter. I'd like to believe there are still many gay men like that. If so, they just go on about their lives normally and you don't hear about them. It's the screaming faggots that get the media attention, of course.

The journalists with literary pretensions will doubtless claim that he was the last in some great line, the torchbearer of a generation of whatever. Baloney. Gore Vidal wasn't part of a pack; he was Gore Vidal. And that wasn't so bad.