Sweden’s devolution from being a fairly harmless social welfare nation into the nanny state from hell is a cautionary tale of well intentioned liberalism run amok. A major symptom is the government-knows-best attitude regarding education, and the little citizens better shape up if they want to get along. The specific problem with education started in 2010 when law was passed by the Swedish Liberal Party that banned parental freedom to choose homeschooling.
One shocker indication of creeping totalitarianism is the very strong suggestion that one-year-old children be sent to daycare rather than be raised by parents. The government believes that it can do a better job of child rearing than the mom and dad, even of little babies who belong at home.
I’m guessing the kids get a strong dose of diversity propaganda, but the article doesn’t say that exactly. However, force-feeding multiculturalism is hinted by the observation, “They want to get the kids. They want to socialize them in the way they think is appropriate.”
STOCKHOLM, Sweden — Sweden used to be synonymous with freedom and safety. The nation was a haven for political refugees from around the world.
But today, Sweden is creating new political refugees: the home-schooler.
One of the escape routes for home-schoolers from Sweden is by ship, two hours across the Baltic sea to the Åland Islands. It’s a part of Finland where the locals speak Swedish and where parents can home school in freedom.
Sweden’s home-school movement has been crushed by a state apparatus that wants children as young as one year old in daycare, and all children in a classroom with a state-approved curriculum.
“The Swedish government believes that [the] state takes better care of children than parents,” said Jonas Himmelstrand, president of ROHUS, the Swedish Homeschool Association.
“They [the government] are slowly going to more of a police state, where children are more controlled. They have to be in school,” he added.
Freedom in Finland
Himmelstrand and his wife Tamara were threatened with tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of fines for home-schooling. The family slipped quietly out of the country and is beginning a new life in Finland.
“We had many friends tell us, ‘Please get out, we’re worried about you,'” Himmselstrand recalled.
Home-schooling parents Magnus and Cina Wallen-Henriksen worked in the music industry in Stockholm before fleeing to Finland.
“We were afraid to stay. Our children were in danger and our family was in danger,” Cina said.
“The choice [to leave] was quite easy to make,” Magnus added.
Most Swedish home-schoolers don’t make the decision for religious reasons, but because they see the educational and social development home schooling provides.
“We noticed our children are enjoying how they learn at home and in other places,” Cina explained. “Our children developed fast and good, both emotionally and social and intellectual.” Continue reading this article
The recent contraception kerfuffle and the ensuing debate about “religious freedom” must have made the Catholic church in America feel like it had some moral authority to weigh in on other issues. The debate started when a Georgetown student complained that her university health plan did not include contraceptives because she attended a catholic school.
We can’t know the strategy details, but the obvious results are in the news. The Catholic hierarchy has launched a campaign stirring up the flock to disobey US laws which the church deems unjust. The top target of the list by far is immigration enforcement, which the church regards as a impedance to future pew-fillers.
It would easier to accept the idea of Catholics standing for religious freedom against an intrusive government if the church didn’t have its hand out for all the federal money it can get, in the billions of dollars. In fact, Catholic Charities acts as an agency of Washington in areas like refugee resettlement and immigration services, even as it promotes non-assimilation and lawbreaking. If the bishops want to claim noble religious independence, then they need to get off the government gravy train.
The Catholic attack on immigration enforcement is really an attempt to undermine American sovereignty and open the borders to unlimited numbers of Latin Americans, which would result in increased Catholic influence. As the late Samuel Huntington observed, “If America had been settled not by British Protestants but by French, Spanish, or Portuguese Catholics, it would not be America; it would be Quebec, Mexico, or Brazil.”
Washington D.C. – Roman Catholic bishops in the United States are urging the public not to obey laws that counter religious beliefs.
The bishops have launched a campaign in the name of religious liberty, and say that laws that the church deems at odds with its moral teachings should not be followed.
In a new 12-page document that quotes the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the bishops said priests, lay people, public figures and others must be involved in the effort to change recent state and federal laws that church leaders believe violate religious freedom.
Church leaders have been fighting tough immigration laws in Alabama and elsewhere that many religious groups say make it impossible for them to aid undocumented immigrants. Many such laws include provisions making it a crime to harbor or transport undocumented immigrants.
Catholic leaders have also protested a decision by federal officials not to renew a church contract for work with sex trafficking victims, many of whom are from Latin America. The decision not to renew the contract was linked to church officials’ refusal to provide the women birth control or abortion services.
“We address an urgent summons to our fellow Catholics and fellow Americans to be on guard, for religious liberty is under attack, both at home and abroad,” the bishops wrote.
Churches of various denominations long have stood at the side of people they consider unfairly targeted by unjust laws — in recent years churches have, for instance, offered sanctuary to immigrants facing deportation.
In New Jersey, the Reformed Church of Highland Park is helping three Indonesian immigrants avoid deportation by allowing them to live inside the church.
Pastor Seth Kaper-Dale said has vowed to continue to welcome undocumented Indonesian immigrants into his church. The immigrants living inside the church say they came to the U.S. to escape persecution because of their Christian faith.
Several years ago, Elvira Arellano, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, made national headlines when she took refuge in a Chicago church for a year to avoid being separated from her U.S.-born.
Arellano became an activist and a national symbol for illegal immigrant parents as she defied her deportation order and spoke out from her religious sanctuary. She was arrested and deported by immigration officials — who normally are reluctant to enter a church to enforce laws — after she spoke at a rally. Continue reading this article
There’s nothing like a successful free-speech lynching to get the leftist mob riled up. They are currently doing a celebratory pitchfork dance about Rich Lowry’s recent firing of John Derbyshire from the National Review. The magazine was upset about Derb’s column with a white version of “The Talk” to children about tough race realities that relate to safety.
Now a lefty site is calling for NR to go further, and excise any references to anti-sharia reformers Andrew McCarthy, Robert Spencer, David Horowitz and Daniel Pipes. ThinkProgress believes that those writers exhibit the dreaded “Islamophobia,” which the friends of Allah like to characterize as being an evil like racism even though Islam is an ideology, not a race.
How any political persuasion this side of Genghis Khan could approve of Islam’s totalitarianmisogynous system of society is beyond me, but the lefty bunch is all in. Birds of a feather, apparently; the marxists and Islam share a dislike of free speech.
The National Review has been cleaning house over the past week. Last week the conservative publication fired John Derbyshire for a racist rant and today the magazine terminated its relationship with Robert Weissberg for his ties to a white nationalist group.
But while the National Review has decided to very publicly purge itself of white supremacists and racists, bigotry toward Muslims appears to go unchallenged in the pages of the magazine and on its blog, National Review Online (NRO). NRO contributing editor Andrew McCarthy, who accused President Obama of standing with the Muslim Brotherhood against 9/11 families in his post “The President Stands With Sharia,” told Rep. Peter King’s (R-NY) hearing on the radicalization of American Muslims:
What “radicalizes” Muslims is Islam — the mainstream interpretation of it. The “radicals” propagating it do not need the “captive audience” provided by the prison environment. The “radicalization” is happening in plain sight.
The denigration of Islam and Muslim Americans isn’t limited to McCarthy’s screeds. A number of noted Islamophobes are regularly given free rein to guest post on NRO’s site or write in the magazine, including:
Robert Spencer, who just last month concluded that “Islamic supremacists” may have subverted the “U.S. defense against jihad terror,” because the man who heads the Central Intelligence Agency’s Counterterrorism Center — and is credited with crippling Al Qaeda and other militant networks in Pakistan — was identified as a Muslim in a Washington Post profile.
David Horowitz, who, in an interview last year, stated, “What has the Arab world contributed except terror?…The theocratic, repressive Arabic states do no significant science, no significant arts and culture.”
Daniel Pipes, who, in the pages of The National Review in 1990, wrote, “All immigrants bring exotic customs and attitudes, but Muslim customs are more troublesome than most.”
The National Review has been notified of the Islamophobic statements made by a number of their contributors in the past. To date, they appear to have decided to do nothing. Perhaps now is the time for The National Review to take a hard stance against all bigotry, intolerance and racism.
On ground level, it appears that many actual Mexicans have not received the memo that nobody is fleeing any more. Someone should tell them that Mexico has a booming economy, or so it is claimed. The Mexes keep coming, at least judging by the vans stuffed full of job thieves that continue to break in.
One recent example: nine illegal aliens killed in south Texas in a full-up van that flipped over.
A van overstuffed with suspected illegal immigrants rolled and crashed after fleeing a traffic stop in a South Texas border city, leaving at least nine Mexican citizens dead and injuring six others, officials said Wednesday.
Immigration authorities have eight survivors of the wreck in custody, according to Enrique Mendiola, acting assistant chief for the Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley sector. He said no one has been charged and an investigation is ongoing.
Border Patrol agents stopped the van in Palmview, 10 miles west of McAllen, on Tuesday night. Some of the passengers immediately sprinted away and agents pursued them on foot, catching one, Mendiola said.
But as the foot chase unfolded, the van sped off.
The agents came across the wreck three or four blocks away on U.S. 83. The scene was strewn with backpacks and water bottles and nine bodies lay scattered nearby, he said.
The van was demolished, but several managed to flee the wreck, Palmview police Cmdr. Lenny Sanchez said. The vehicle had been gutted to accommodate far more than the eight people it was designed to carry, he said.
Six people were taken to a hospital and three of them were later released to authorities, Sanchez said. All of them are in the custody of Border Patrol, he said. One of the men who fled subsequently turned himself in: Palmview police handed him over to immigration authorities, Sanchez said.
It wasn’t clear how many people from the van remained on the loose.
Mendiola said most of those involved in the crash were from Mexico. Sanchez said all those who died were Mexican citizens, but he declined to provide the nationalities of those who survived. He said authorities believed they entered the country illegally.
Many of the dead came from the southern state of Oaxaca, one of the poorest regions of Mexico, according to Ricardo Alday, spokesman for the Mexican Embassy in Washington. Consular officials were interviewing survivors and gathering information on the dead to assist their families with repatriation of the bodies.
A 23-year-old woman who lives nearby told the McAllen Monitor that she didn’t see the accident happen but that several victims seemed to be alive in the immediate aftermath.
“The bodies were everywhere,” Diana Castillo said. “It’s really sad because they came over here to live a better life and then they lost their lives.”
Anna Garza, a 56-year-old woman who also lives near the scene of the crash said “lots of helicopters came really quickly, I think to take the wounded to the hospital.”
I would love to see the costs to the American taxpayer toted up in a few months after all the hospitalized illegals have been released and their medical bills can be examined. “Lots of helicopters” — what’s the price tag for that? Plus all the police work, shipping the bodies home, the cost of sending the survivors back.
Ramos performed poorly, despite having nearly four years to rehearse his lies. His fumbling responses to questions illustrated his low intelligence, which was also shown by his inability to discern an American father and sons from fellow foreign gangsters as murder targets.
A prosecutor questioned the credibility Tuesday of a gang member who denied at his triple-murder trial that he fired the shots in 2008 that killed a man and two of his sons on a San Francisco street.
Prosecutor Harry Dorfman prodded at Edwin Ramos’ varying accounts of what happened June 22, 2008, the day Tony Bologna, 48, and his sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16, were shot and killed in their car on their way back to their Excelsior neighborhood home from a family outing.
Dorfman pointed out that Ramos, 25, began his interview with police inspectors three days after the shootings by denying he had even been in San Francisco on the Sunday afternoon when the Bolognas were killed. Ramos now says that he was driving the car from which the actual killer opened fire, and that the shootings came as a surprise to him.
The prosecutor repeatedly asked Ramos to give his definition of a lie and his reasons for telling different versions of what happened.
“You will lie if you think the truth will hurt you?” Dorfman demanded.
Ramos befuddled Ramos looked taken aback by the direction of the cross-examination and said he didn’t understand some of the questions. At times he appeared incredulous and smiled as he addressed serious subjects, something he explained Monday was a nervous habit.
Prosecutors say Ramos opened fire from a car on the Bologna family after mistaking one of the men for a rival in a gang whose members had shot and wounded a friend earlier that day.
None of the Bolognas was a gang member, and a son who survived the attack, Andrew Bologna, now 21, has testified that Ramos fired the fatal shots. Continue reading this article
The Atlantic used to be an interesting magazine, capable of engaging with challenging subjects. In 1994, it published Roy Beck’s ground-breaking investigation, The Ordeal of Immigration in Wausau.
Now it has a sob story about DREAMer kids, young illegal aliens who claim innocence because they were brought as children by their parents rather than unlawfully jumping the border on their own volition. Everybody’s a victim these days.
The author of the piece, Julia Lurie, appears to be near the age of the DREAMers and is sympathetic to their situation. But would she be willing to give up a slot in grad school to an illegal alien student?
Lurie presents the DREAM Act as being reasonable and fair, even though the illegal aliens would be taking places that should go to citizen kids. Funny how the generous types don’t care who gets hurt or what the cost is.
In fact, actual DREAM legislation has been a history of bad faith, of bills stuffed with loopholes providing an array of hidden amnesty goodies for persons who are not all fresh-faced kiddies. The 2010 DREAM Act was even worse than the 2007 version of a bad idea, specifically that American students should be pushed aside to give benefits to foreigners.
They can’t open bank accounts, apply for drivers licenses, or go to public universities. But more and more of these young people are “coming out” and finding ways to thrive.
When he reaches for his earliest memories, Nico Lopez recalls clenching his small fists around his seat belt buckle and straining to listen to the smiling flight attendant’s directions for take-off. As he watched Guatemala City disappear beneath him, he pulled his feet onto the seat, wrapped his arms around his knees, and quietly began to cry. It was 2001, and Nico was seven years old.
Now a tall, quietly confident young man with dark hair and green eyes, Nico will soon graduate with honors from a public high school in Stamford, Connecticut. Despite having grown up in a neighborhood where gunfire is likened to the doorbell ringing — you hear it all the time and don’t really think much of it — he is the leader of the student government, often the only non-white member of his AP classes, and, in his spare time, an English tutor for recent immigrants.
You know how the rest of the American dream story is supposed to go: Nico receives a merit-based scholarship to college and finds a job that helps him support his mother, who has worked as a housekeeper for the past 17 years. He gets married, has second-generation kids, and serves as a shining example of how any American can succeed if he tries hard enough.
Except Nico isn’t technically American. He overstayed his tourist visa as a seven-year-old and is now one of over 2 million immigrant youth who entered the United States as minors and now live here illegally. Federal law prohibits Nico from going to college at a public university, while, somewhat counterintuitively, Connecticut state law gives Nico access to in-state tuition though not financial aid.
As a result, Nico’s choices lie along a cruel spectrum. On one end, he could adopt the tricks of the trade of living as an undocumented person in America: he could find a low-paying job that pays cash under the table, have a friend at the DMV make a license for him, go to doctors who don’t require social security numbers or insurance cards, and sweet-talk bank tellers into opening accounts. Like the vast majority of undocumented residents, Nico could squeeze into America’s shadowy corners, away from the attention of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Continue reading this article
The man accused of gunning down a father and two of his sons on a San Francisco street took the stand in his murder trial Monday to describe a troubled childhood that led him to join a gang.
Edwin Ramos, 25, spoke quickly and quietly in San Francisco Superior Court about the years leading up to the fatal shootings in June 2008. He smiled repeatedly as he testified, in what he explained was a nervous habit.
Other family members who have testified in Ramos’ 3-month-old triple-murder trial have depicted him as a confused boy who grew up without parents in rural El Salvador. He came to the United States at age 13 to join his mother, but life here was no better than in his native country, Ramos said.
He testified that he spoke little English and that his Spanish was a “country” version that set him apart from his peers. His mother called him “gay” if he cried, and her boyfriends beat him, he said.
His mother often told him, “I wish you were never born,” Ramos testified.
He said he had run away from home several times and eventually found refuge in an offshoot of the MS-13 gang, 20th Street. Previous witnesses said Ramos later joined another MS-13 offshoot, Pasadena Locos Sureños.
It was as a member of that gang, prosecutors say, that Ramos opened fire from a car June 22, 2008, on the occupants of a Honda Civic on Maynard Street in the Excelsior neighborhood. Ramos thought at least one of the men in the car was a member of a gang that had shot a Pasadena Locos Sureños member that morning, prosecutors say.
Inside the Honda were Tony Bologna, 48, and his three sons, none of whom was in a gang. Bologna and his sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16, were killed. A third son, Andrew Bologna, now 21, was unharmed and testified earlier that Ramos was the shooter. Continue reading this article
If you were to wear a ski mask into the bank on a warm day, some odd looks would likely be forthcoming from concerned employees. But when faces are masked by burqas, political correctness precludes anyone questioning the identities of the bag wearers.
Naturally this is a useful scenario for clever thieves, particularly for men of smaller stature, who use the Islamic sack as a disguise. Scholar Daniel Pipes has collected dozens of cases of the burqa being used in criminal situations, Niqabs and Burqas As Security Threats.
In Philadelphia, the city has experienced a string of bank robberies committed by robbers in burqas. Before Muslim immigration, nobody would have thought of the burqa as an unquestionable disguise, but now America is culturally enriched by diverse outfits for crime.
The Philadelphia Police Department and the FBI are seeking the public’s help in identifying the suspects connected to a bank robbery last month.
At about 12:20 p.m., on March 20th, police say two suspects walked into the Sovereign Bank in the 8000 block of Stenton Avenue. They presented a threatening demand note to the teller, obtained an undisclosed amount of cash, and then fled the area on foot.
Authorities say these suspects are repeat offenders and are responsible for several bank robberies in Philadelphia between December 23, 2011 and April 4, 2012. Continue reading this article
The latest insult is ICE’s press release lauding their tippy-top medical care for inmates, er guests. New detainees get a medical screening within hours of arrival, and the agency “pays for off-site specialty and emergency care, consultations and case management.” Nice!
Interestingly, no dollar cost is given for this array of generous medical and dental services. So we little citizens are supposed to just accept that illegal aliens get better healthcare than veterans and not complain about how our taxes are spent.
Providing quality health care to detainees in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) custody is an important and challenging task — one that Assistant Director for ICE Health Service Corps (IHSC) Dr. Jon Krohmer takes very seriously.
The ICE Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) ensures the safe and humane conditions of confinement for aliens detained in ICE custody. This includes the provision of reliable, consistent and appropriate health services. IHSC, which falls under ERO, is comprised of more than 900 Public Health Service-commissioned officers, federal civil servants and contract support staff. Their mission is straightforward: to serve as the medical authority for ICE on a wide range of medical issues, including the agency’s comprehensive detainee health care program.
IHSC provides direct care to approximately 15,000 detainees housed at 21 IHSC-designated facilities throughout the nation. In addition, IHSC oversees the medical care provided to an additional 17,000 detainees at non-IHSC staffed detention facilities across the country. Whenever necessary, it authorizes and pays for off-site specialty and emergency care, consultations and case management.
“A detainee’s health care begins the moment they walk through the facility’s doors,” said Dr. Krohmer. “Within the first 12 hours of their admission, all detainees undergo a preliminary health screening, which includes an evaluation of the individual’s medical, dental and mental health status and within the next 14 days, a more detailed physical examination takes place.”
Because so many of these detainees are either new arrivals in the country or haven’t had access to health care in the past, Dr. Krohmer said it is not unusual for serious health problems to be diagnosed at these screenings.
“We’re finding out about health issues that even they didn’t even know about and in most cases are able to begin treatment,” he said.
This continuity of care not only lasts during the individual’s period of detention, but also throughout their removal to their country of origin. Before any detainee boards a plane to be removed from the United States, they must first undergo an evaluation to make sure they are fit to fly. Continue reading this article
Reading the press accounts, you would think that a free ride home (courtesy of the American taxpayer) was the most horrible punishment ever for invasive foreigners.
The particular deportees in this case are the ones who have spawned anchor babies, possilby to assure future US citizenship when the kiddies arrive at maturity and can sponsor mom & dad as legal immigrants. Illegal alien job thieves like to complain that having jackpot kids entitles them to stay, as if procreation trumped law and sovereignty.
(The rat-sign in the photo below should read, “WHOM would Jesus deport?”)
And illegals do purposefully enter the U.S. in order to plop out an anchor kid, as the video below illustrates.
During the first six months of last year, the federal government deported more than 46,000 parents who claimed their children are U.S. citizens, according to a new report that has raised concerns about what happens to children after their parents are expelled.
An additional 21,860 parents of U.S.-citizen children were ordered out of the country but may not have left, according to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement report to Congress last week.
The report, which reflects statistics from January through June 2011, is the first time the government has released detailed information on the number of parents of U.S.-citizen children who have been deported. The agency was directed by Congress in 2010 to begin collecting the data.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Wednesday that she was concerned about U.S.-citizen children whose parents have been deported. But she said the government has increased its emphasis on deporting immigrants with criminal convictions, and the majority of the parents’ deportations fell into that category.
“The No. 1 concern all of us should have is, ‘Where are the children? What’s going on with the children?’ “Napolitano said during a meeting with reporters and editors at The Arizona Republic. “But the plain fact of the matter is having a child in and of itself does not bestow citizenship.”
A 2009 report by the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General estimated that more than 100,000 parents of U.S.-born children had been deported between 1998 and 2007. Continue reading this article
Michael Barone has written a nice article about the assault on higher education by the diversity bureaucrats, as if “inclusion” were the job of the university rather than education.
But the piece would have been improved by the inclusion of some dollar signs showing what all this diversity really costs.
Following is a jaw-dropper that I’ve been saving, where the taxpayer cost of a deluxe diversity office at UC Berkeley is mentioned in the fine print in a bio paragraph about a professional diversocrat:
My 30 years as a professor in the Department of Astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley, has given me a comprehensive perspective about the needs and desires of the students, faculty, and staff on this campus. With shifts in state policies and economic challenges over the past few decades, I have shared mounting concerns about the ability of this university to continue to reflect the rich diversity of California and the nation. In 2007, Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau, with the support of campus leadership, launched an entirely new division—the Division of Equity & Inclusion—to address these concerns as never before.
[. . .]
Dr. Gibor Basri is the vice chancellor for equity and inclusion at the University of California, Berkeley, overseeing a staff of approximately 150 and a $17-million budget. His responsibilities include working with faculty, staff, and students on strategic planning and fundraising for UC Berkeley’s Initiative for Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity and to carry out other key programs. An expert in “brown dwarves,” stars that cool down to planetary temperatures, Basri is an astrophysicist, who has taught at Berkeley for 25 years.
Here in California, the chronic budget problems have caused a chainsaw to be taken to the state’s once excellent university system.
How many times have you heard Barack Obama talk about “investing” in education? Quite a few, if you’ve been listening to the president at all.
In fact Americans have been investing more and more in education over the years, led by presidents Democratic and Republican. But it’s become glaringly clear that we’re getting pretty lousy return on these investments.
That’s been evident at the K-12 level for a long time. Teacher unions and education-school types have had custody of most of our public schools for more than three decades, during which test results and high school graduation rates have been mostly stagnant.
It has come to the point that Democratic politicians like former New York City superintendent Joel Klein, past and current Chicago Mayors Richard M. Daley and Rahm Emanuel, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and Newark Mayor Cory Booker have taken on the teacher unions.
Obama’s education secretary, Arne Duncan, deserves credit for doing a bit of this as well. All this, despite the fact that teacher unions funnel millions of taxpayer-funded dollars into Democratic campaigns. Continue reading this article
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