As a fifth-generation California farmer who is also a classicist and military historian, Victor Davis Hanson is one of the most astute observers of the state’s dystopic diversity. Last December he started biking around for a ground-level view of his farm-country environs and characterized what he saw as Two Californias.
Now he is back, fearing the place is on a “razor’s edge with disaster.”
We calibrate California’s decline by its myriad of paradoxes. The nation’s highest bundle of gas, sales, and income taxes cannot close the nation’s largest annual deficit at $25 billion. Test scores are at the country’s near bottom; teachers’ salaries at the very top. Scores of the affluent are leaving each week; scores of the indigent are arriving. The nation’s most richly endowed state is also the most regulated; the most liberal of our residents are also the most ready to practice apartheid in their Bel Air or Palo Alto enclaves.
We now see highway patrolmen and city police, in the manner of South American law enforcement, out in force. Everywhere they are monitoring, watching, ticketing — no warnings, no margins of error — desperate to earn traffic fines that might feed the state that feeds them. I could go on. But you get the picture that we are living on the fumes of a rich state that our forefathers brilliantly exploited, and now there is not much energy left in the fading exhaust to keep us going.
I see California in terms now of the razor’s edge with disaster not far in either direction. A postmodern affluent lifestyle hangs in the balance here without a margin of error. Let me give some examples.
I drive a lot on the 99 Freeway both northward and southward. (What follows would apply to the 101 as well, or, in fact, to most state “freeways.”) In vast stretches of the 99 it is unchanged from the two lanes when I first began driving in 1969, but now with worse pavement, larger potholes, and treacherous shoulders. Yet the state then had about 20, not 37 million people, and around 12 million licensed drivers, not well over 25 million (and who knows how many unlicensed drivers?). Nonetheless, our ancestors were brilliant sorts, and left us a well-engineered and planned grid that can still handle all sorts of the minor challenges. So on a day of perfect weather, with good drivers, at low traffic hours between 9 and 2, and without ongoing road maintenance or construction, I can make the 190 miles to either Sacramento or Los Angeles in three hours — just as I used to in far older, less reliable cars of 30 years past.
But that is rare these days. You see, there are too many proverbial ifs now. Tamper with just one variable — leave too early or return too late; have some rain or fog; have one of the two lanes shut down for anything from tree trimming to pothole filling; experience one idiot whose lawn-mower or paint sprayer fell out of his open flatbed truck — and the fragile system shuts completely down, creating paralysis for thousands of backed-up drivers. For our generation’s grid to work as it should, we would need three lanes, in good condition, perhaps four — and a pool of drivers who were all trained, licensed, registered, and insured. But you see, we had other priorities and values the last twenty years and so we took for granted the freeways we inherited. So we indulged and as the proverbially obese clogged our arteries. Continue reading this article
In a major upcoming speech, Prime Minister David Cameron is promising battered Britain a respite from years of immigration overload by a particularly hostile bunch of diverse foreigners. He says he will decrease legal immigration by a substantial number: “we would aim to reduce net migration to the levels we saw in the 1980s and 1990s” according to the text of the speech.
If Britain actually were to do such a thing, it would be revolutionary, something that would make unhappy citizens around the world demand similar restrictions from their own governments.
In his most forthright speech on the issue since he became Prime Minister, he will say that mass immigration has led to “discomfort and disjointedness” in neighbourhoods because some migrants have been unwilling to integrate or learn English.
Pledging to cut the numbers entering Britain to tens of thousands, rather than hundreds of thousands, Mr Cameron will say that “for too long, immigration has been too high”.
He will also promise to “stamp out” forced marriages, saying that “cultural sensitivity” cannot be allowed to stop the Government from acting.
In the speech to party members in Hampshire, the Prime Minister will attack Labour for claiming it was racist to talk about immigration, saying it is “untruthful and unfair” not to speak about the issue, however uncomfortable.
The Prime Minister will also blame the welfare state for creating a generation of workshy Britons, leaving the jobs market open for migrants. Figures show that of the 2.5 million extra people in employment since 1997, three quarters were foreign-born workers. Continue reading this article
Donald Trump has been getting a lot of attention for his possible run for the Presidency and positive results in polling. The press likes to emphasize his curiosity about Obama’s birth certificate (a tail-chaser, IMHO), but the public’s appreciation for the hotel magnate probably has more to do with his straight-talk style of expressing his views.
Trump recently remarked that there is a problem with Islam — something the country has largely recognized but which most political leaders ignore out of fear.
“Bill O’Reilly asked me, is there a Muslim problem? And I said absolutely, yes,” he said. “In fact I went a step further. I said I didn’t see Swedish people knocking down the World Trade Center.”
“I’m certainly not an expert to put it mildly, but there’s something there that teaches some very negative vibe” Trump said about the Koran.
“There’s a lot of hatred there that’s some place,” he continued. “Now I don’t know if that’s from the Koran, I don’t know if that’s from some place else. But there’s tremendous hatred out there that I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Now if he would only recommend that America end Muslim immigration for national security reasons. . .
Wayne Simmons is a former CIA agent who is warning about the likelihood that Obama will bring thousands of Libyan refugees here. He was interviewed by Judge Andrew Napolitano on the Fox Business network April 11 (Bringing Al-Qaeda to Us).
Simmons certainly knows the problems associated with America’s refugee program, which has welcomed hostile and criminal groups into our midst in the name of national virtue. He remarked, “We have allowed asylum for what has now become the single largest street gang in the world, MS-13.” He also noted that there are now 17 Somali gangs in this country, due to Washington’s misguided do-goodery.
Regarding the Libyans he said, “It will not be long until the C-17s or perhaps commercial airlines will be coming in and out of McGuire Air Force Base and then right across the fence to Fort Dix. . . The big problem, Judge, is we don’t know who these people are. It is virtually impossible for us to run a background check on the majority of these people and that’s how a lot of these terrorists are allowed to slip into the United States.”
Kids these days may have fancy digital gizmos, but they miss out on a lot of great experiences from traditional America, because the loony liberal educational establishment wants to stamp out customs with any Christian content. The goal is to make America safe for diversity, where no one believes in anything.
A sophomore at a local private high school thinks an effort to make Easter politically correct is ridiculous.
Jessica, 16, told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson Show that a week before spring break, the students commit to a week-long community service project. She decided to volunteer in a third grade class at a public school, which she would like to remain nameless.
“At the end of the week I had an idea to fill little plastic eggs with treats and jelly beans and other candy, but I was kind of unsure how the teacher would feel about that,” Jessica said.
She was concerned how the teacher might react to the eggs after of a meeting earlier in the week where she learned about “their abstract behavior rules.”
“I went to the teacher to get her approval and she wanted to ask the administration to see if it was okay,” Jessica explained. “She said that I could do it as long as I called this treat ’spring spheres.’ I couldn’t call them Easter eggs.”
Rather than question the decision, Jessica opted to “roll with it.” But the third graders had other ideas.
“When I took them out of the bag, the teacher said, ‘Oh look, spring spheres’ and all the kids were like ‘Wow, Easter eggs.’ So they knew,” Jessica said.
The Seattle elementary school isn’t the only government organization using spring over Easter. The city’s parks department has removed Easter from all of its advertised egg hunts.
Americans feel more strongly than ever that the lack of immigration law enforcement directly effects poverty in the country.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 61% of Adults say if immigration laws were enforced, there would be less poverty in America. Only 19% disagree with that assessment, while 20% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
The number of adults who feel there would be less poverty is up 16 points from early July 2007 when only 45% of Americans felt that way. At that time, 32% disagreed.
Seventy-seven percent (77%) of Republicans and 58% of adults not affiliated with either political party feel there would be less poverty if immigration laws were enforced, a view shared by just 48% of Democrats. [. . .]
Men — by a 67% to 56% margin — are more likely than women to believe enforcing immigration laws would reduce poverty.
Adults under the age of 50 are more inclined to agree that there would be less poverty if immigration laws were enforced than their elders.
Despite the billions of dollars spent on government anti-poverty programs, a majority of Americans nationwide still believe there are more poor people in the country today than there were 10 years ago. In fact, a plurality (45%) of adults thinks the current government anti-poverty programs actually increase poverty in America.
A majority of Likely U.S. Voters feel that the policies and practices of the federal government encourage illegal immigration. Most voters continue to favor strong sanctions on employers who hire illegal immigrants and landlords who rent to them. Voters also feel strongly that police should check the immigration status of drivers during routine traffic stops.
President Nicolas Sarkozy’s controversial Interior Minister Claude Gueant wants to reduce the number of legal immigrants entering France, including those coming to work legally or join their families.
Asked by Le Figaro weekly magazine whether he was going to do something to reduce legal migration, Gueant, who has previously stoked controversy with statements on Islam and immigration, said “of course.”
“I’ve asked for the number of people admitted as labour immigrants (around 20,000 per year) to be reduced,” he said in the interview to be published on Friday.
“And we will continue to reduce the number of foreigners coming to France to join their families,” or around 15,000 people a year, he said, adding that he had requested a study of other European countries’ practices vis-a-vis international law.
The UMP party of Sarkozy and Gueant has veered increasingly to the political right ahead of next year’s presidential election.
Critics accuse it of trying to win over voters who would otherwise vote for the anti-immigration far-right National Front party.
“In terms of asylum (around 10,000 people a year), our country is more generous, despite restrictions, than Germany or the United Kingdom, even though we apply the same international conventions,” Gueant said.
“If it emerges that there are anomalies in our practices, changes will be made,” he said.
With regard to illegal immigration, Gueant said that “before 2001, France only sent between 8,000 and 9,000 people back to their countries (while) today it’s around 30,000.”
He said the aim was to expel 28,000 people in 2011 but “Quite frankly, I hope that we can expel more.”
“We are at home, France will soon belong to us. There are already 10 million of us, soon there will be 20 million, you’ll see. You will not be able to stop us from doing anything. This country is ours.”
Nevertheless, the French authorities arrested dozens of the Muslims who staged a protest against the new law.
Police on Saturday arrested 61 people — including 19 women — for attempting to hold an outlawed Paris protest against France’s pending ban on face-covering Islamic veils, a top police official said.
Fifty-nine people were detained while trying to demonstrate at Place de la Nation in eastern Paris, as were two others while traveling there from Britain and Belgium, said Nicolas Lerner, chief of staff for the Paris police chief.
The arrests come amid in a rising, if small, groundswell of controversy over Monday’s start of an official ban of garments that hide the face, which includes Muslim veils such as the slit-eyed niqab and the full face-covering burqa. Women who disobey the law risk a fine, special classes and a police record.
The demonstrators rallied in defiance of a ban of the protest ordered Friday by Paris police on the ground that a Muslim group’s call for the rally was “clearly an incitement to violence and racial hatred,” said Lerner.
“The demonstration was not banned because of the practice (among some Muslim women) of wearing veils, but because of the speech,” he said, adding that Jewish groups and others had planned counter-protests — raising the prospect of public disorder. Continue reading this article
In 2001, the torso of a young black boy was pulled out of the Thames in London near the Globe Theater. The body had no head or limbs, so the mystery of who he was and where he came from took a decade to solve. Police called him Adam so the public wouldn’t forget that he was a real boy. (See my 2008 article, Witchcraft Imported by Immigration)
Analysis of the stomach, lungs and bones indicated he had lived most of his life in Nigeria and had come to Britain only a few days before his death. Other tests showed that he had ingested a paralytic agent, when rendered him unable to move as he was cut into pieces during a ritual witchcraft murder.
The case shined a light on the growing problem of human sacrifice in Britain, committed largely by African immigrants who practice witchcraft. The Times of London reported in 2006 that there were 50 such cases in that city alone (‘Witch child’ abuse spreads in Britain).
Incidentally, witchcraft diversity is alive and well in the Middle East, India and Mexico, as well as Africa. Every case is a reminder that all cultures are NOT morally equal, and immigration from those places welcomes practices that we consider reprehensible crimes.
In the case at hand, we now know the name of the little boy who was so brutally murdered — Ikpomwosa — although he will likely be remembered as Adam. But the identity of the killers remains a mystery.
The horror of Adam’s last hours is almost beyond imagination. In his short life, he’d got used to being far away from his West African home and perhaps even accustomed to being passed — like a chattel — from one adult to another.
From the moment he was handed over to a man he didn’t know and brought to London, this poor little boy — five, maybe six years old — would have known only cruelty and terror. In those final hours, he must have been so frightened, so terribly alone.
What I want to believe is that he was so drugged he was unconscious and oblivious of the terrifying events that were about to unfold. But, deep down, I fear that wasn’t so.
Post mortem results, too grim to bear much repetition, reveal that he was still alive when his throat was cut; the West African poison that was found in his intestine is a paralysing agent, not an anaesthetic. There’s a very real chance that Adam would have seen what was coming.
Unable to move and unable to scream, Adam’s last sight on earth would have been of a man approaching him — and then the flash of a razor-sharp knife.
Britain’s first ritual killing had just claimed its victim, an innocent little boy.
Adam’s body was found in the River Thames in London, close to the reconstruction of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, on September 21, 2001. The case, however, soon became known as ‘the torso in the Thames’ because when it was found, the body was without its legs, arms and head and had been entirely drained of its blood.
All that was left was the small trunk of a little black boy, its lower half clad in a pair of bright orange shorts. When it was first spotted in the river by a member of the public, he initially assumed he was looking at a barrel.
I’m a correspondent on ITV’s London Tonight programme and within days of the body being discovered I was dispatched to the first police press conference about the case.
It was one of those occasions you never quite forget, with the normal bustle and noise of a busy press conference making way for a stunned silence, with even the most hardened reporters visibly shaken by the horror of what the police were describing.
Some, I know, simply didn’t believe them.
The boy’s head, arms and legs had been removed with skilful precision, we were told, while his lower intestine contained a highly unusual mix of plant extracts, traces of the toxic calabar bean and, perhaps most surprisingly of all, clay particles containing flecks of pure gold.
The police knew that sheer shock value would keep the story in the headlines for a few days but they also knew that a body without a face, without a name, meant there was a real danger of this being perceived as a murder without a victim. So they gave the boy a name.
‘His name is Adam,’ a visibly affected Commander Andy Baker told us, ‘and until we can identify him and his family, we will act as his family.’ Continue reading this article
It is always admirable when persons in the public eye have the grit to say when they have made a mistake. And when an apparent liberal admits that multiculturalism is a dumb idea, then it’s practically a flying pig moment.
Anyway, an Australian newspaper editor, Greg Sheridan, recently explained how he came to reject multiculturalism as a worthwhile political goal, a learning process that is interesting to observe. You can read his “before” viewpoint from 1996 at the end of the article.
The lengthy piece at times wanders off into the weeds of Australian public policy and the definition of multiculturalism, but the real story is how the author came to fear the crime and violence spawned by Islamic immigration. When Sheridan no longer felt safe walking home from the train and his son was challenged by a Muslim kid with a gun, he no longer felt enriched by Islamic diversity.
You can listen to a recent radio interview with Greg Sheridan here.
IN 1993, my family and I moved into Belmore in southwest Sydney. It is the next suburb to Lakemba. When I first moved there I loved it.
We bought a house just behind Belmore Sports Ground, in those days the home of my beloved Bulldogs rugby league team. Transport was great, 20 minutes to the city in the train, 20 minutes to the airport.
On the other side of Belmore, away from Lakemba, there were lots of Chinese, plenty of Koreans, growing numbers of Indians, and on the Lakemba side lots of Lebanese and other Arabs.
That was an attraction, too. I like Middle Eastern food. I like Middle Eastern people. The suburb still had the remnants of its once big Greek community and a commanding Greek Orthodox church.
But in the nearly 15 years we lived there the suburb changed, and much for the worse.
Three dynamics interacted in a noxious fashion: the growth of a macho, misogynist culture among young men that often found expression in extremely violent crime; a pervasive atmosphere of anti-social behaviour in the streets; and the simultaneous growth of Islamist extremism and jihadi culture.
In the ongoing budget-cutting debate in Washington, some congressional Democrats have accused their Republican opponents of being held captive by the Tea Party movement, but voters like the Tea Party more than Congress.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 48% of Likely U.S. Voters say when it comes to the major issues facing the country, their views are closer to the average Tea Party member as opposed to the average member of Congress. Just 22% say their views are closest to those of the average congressman. Even more (30%) aren’t sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Forty-nine percent (49%) of voters think the Tea Party movement is good for the country, consistent with findings since May 2010. Twenty-six percent (26%) disagree and say the grassroots, small government movement is bad for America. Sixteen percent (16%) say neither.
Forty-five percent (45%) say the average Tea Party member has a better understanding of the problems America faces today than the average member of Congress does. That figure is down seven points from a year ago. Still, today only 31% think the average member of Congress has a better understanding. Twenty-three percent (23%) are undecided.
One-third of voters continue to have ties to the Tea Party movement. That includes 22% who say they themselves are members and 12% more who say they have friends or family who belong. Those findings haven’t budged from the end of December. Fifty-two percent (52%) say they have no links to the Tea Party, but 14% are not sure. [. . .]
Forty-four percent (44%) of Republicans say they are members of the Tea Party, with another eight percent (8%) who have family members or friends who are in the group. Sixty-seven percent (67%) of Democrats have no ties to the group. Seventy-eight percent (78%) of Republicans – and 54% of voters not affiliated with either major political party – say the movement is good for the country. A plurality (48%) of Democrats sees it as bad for the country.
Sixty-nine percent (69%) of GOP voters and 62% of unaffiliateds say their views about the major issues facing the country are closest to those of the average Tea Party member. But among voters in President Obama’s party, only 37% say their views are closest to the average member of Congress, while 47% are undecided.
Most Democrats (54%) think the average member of Congress has a better understanding of the problems America faces today. Seventy-two percent (72%) of Republicans and 51% of unaffiliated voters have more confidence in the understanding of the average Tea Party member.
There’s a similarly sharp divide between Mainstream and Political Class voters. Fifty-nine percent (59%) of those in the Mainstream think the Tea Party is good for America, but 69% of the Political Class say it’s a bad thing. There are comparable differences of opinion when it comes to whose views are closest to their own and who has a better understanding of today’s problems.
But then 38% of Mainstream voters are either Tea Party members or have a family member or friend who belongs to the movement. Ninety-four percent (94%) of those in the Political Class have no ties to the Tea Party. Continue reading this article
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