About Me

My Photo
“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” Benjamin Franklin

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Aussie PM Malcolm Turnbull’s cognitive dissonance concerning Islam.

It’s election day in Australia, and to ‘celebrate’ what is predicted to be a win for Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberal coalition I draw your attention to an article in the Spectator by Anglican Minister and human rights activist Mark Durie.  Mark is one of the few men in Australia publically challenging the failure of politicians to honestly address the challenge that Islam presents to liberal western democracies.

I reproduce part of his article below which for the most part is a commentary on Turnbull’s recent ill-fated dinner with Muslim leaders that included Sheikh Shadey.  It is found both in the Spectator and if you have difficulty reading it on that site, it is also reproduced on his own blog.

"Turnbull appears to subscribe to the really bad idea that the same basic values are channeled by all religions. In 2011 on Q&A he praised Islam’s moderation in embodying ‘universal values’. This vacuous universalism has blinded him to the possibility that a religion might actually teach things which he would be duty-bound to disparage. No doubt the PM is also influenced by advice from ASIO not to alienate Muslims by criticising their religion. This policy is ultimately driven by fear of offending adherents of the one religion from which most terrorists are drawn; and why millions of dollars are directed to Muslim organisations, and not to Sikhs or Copts. Turnbull attempted to use a ‘shoot the messenger’ strategy to minimise the cognitive dissonance of his conflicted statements, directing attention away from the religion onto an individual.

The fact remains that, whatever the sheikh’s personal attitudes to gays, his teachings on adultery and homosexuality are not personal. Given his extensive training in sharia law, Sheikh Shady’s views could only be called personal if they had diverged from the mainstream Islamic positions. But they did not."

It is deeply disturbing that our political leaders remain so obviously ignorant concerning the teaching of Islam and its incompatibility with liberal western democracies.  Instead they view Muslims as just another religious group to be wooed into their political camp.  

Regardless of who wins the Australian election today we will be waiting a very long time before the much needed public conversation about Islam takes place. 

Friday, 1 July 2016

Transgender bathrooms all the go in Marlborough

In a radical departure from our historical understanding of gender and sexual identity, Marlborough Girls College has agreed that a ‘transgender’ student presumably having all their male tackle intact is able to use the ‘bathroom of their choice’.

The Champaign corks will be popping at the Department of Education and the Human Rights Commission as New Zealand takes another step forward in the battle for equality and diversity.

Now with the bathroom sacred space conquered, the battle ground will move to the next area of gender discrimination – the showers and changing room.  I’m sure every Marlborough Girls School parent cannot wait for their thirteen-year-old daughter to have the opportunity to shower with Stefani.

And then the last field of discrimination awaits – the sports field. 

Why shouldn’t Stefani be allowed to play in the netball team, the girls rugby team, or compete in the traditional track and field events?

Oh yeah.  Everyone’s on board with that right? All the diversity embracing parents will be applauding from the sidelines as Stefani takes out the medals, and the girls who came second will know exactly how they are expected to behave.

We all know exactly how we are expected to behave. 

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Milo to reveal his macho in Malmo

Several years ago my wife and I found ourselves in New Orleans during decadence weekend where there was a gay pride march down Bourbon Street.  While the outward appearance was extravagant I wondered if that reflected their inner life.

But I digress.  Some time back Mark Steyn quoted Dutch gay humanist Oscar van den Boogaard:

Mr van den Boogaard is a Dutch gay "humanist", which is pretty much the trifecta of Eurocool. He was reflecting on the accelerating Islamization of the Continent and concluded that the jig was up for the Europe he loved. "I am not a warrior, but who is?" he shrugged. "I have never learned to fight for my freedom. I was only good at enjoying it."

Yet some gay men appear to have found their ‘macho’ and are starting to push back.  Breibart editor and outrageous gay man Milo Yiannopoulos @Nero has announced that he will be leading a gay pride march through one of Sweden’s Muslim ghettos in Stockholm in a few weeks’ time.

This is a modern ‘Daniel in the lion’s den’ story that is about to be played out in the heart of multicultural Europe where Muslims rank at the top of the protected victimhood ladder, second only to gays and the transgendered.   We will see how well Malmo's Muslims celebrate diversity when that multicolored quilt sashays past their prayer rugs.

I have said before that somewhat ironically it may be gay men whose bravery rescues our culture from the spread of Islam and the absurdity of our political elite who have facilitated it.

Thank you Milo, our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

It is the immigration stupid.

The progressive commentariat are aghast over Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.  How could people be so stupid as to ignore the warnings of their betters; that an exit would spell economic doom and disaster for them and for the nation of Britain?

The ‘leave’ vote won because the political elite and those who toady for them in the media had lost the trust and confidence of the nation’s majority.  The primary issue for them was not the economy, it is the immigration stupid.

There are large sections of Britain, including the city of London that have become a different country.  That London, arguably the financial capital of the world and the early 20th century’s predominantly Christian global super power should have a Muslim mayor demonstrates just how significant the transformation has been.  It is not just Muslim immigration and the concomitant terrorist threat, although it is that, causing upset amongst the native population, it is also the fact that immigrants from Europe have driven down wages and reduced employment opportunities for everyone.

While it is true that skilled immigrants from culturally similar nations add value to the economy, policies that support mass immigration of largely unskilled, culturally alien and religiously separatist immigrants are guaranteed to fail on many levels.

One of the more insightful articles on the issue of immigration comes from NY Times columnist Ross Douthat where he lays out 10 reasons why immigration is an issue that our political elites have failed to get right.  A summary of his points are listed below:

1. The nation-state is real, and (thus far) irreplaceable. Yes, the world of nations is full of arbitrary borders, invented traditions, and convenient mythologies layered atop histories of plunder and pillage. And yes, not every government or polity constitutes a nation (see Iraq, or Belgium, or half of Africa). But as guarantors of public order and personal liberty, as sources of meaning and memory and solidarity, as engines of common purpose in the service of the common good, successful nation-states offer something that few of the transnational institutions or organizations bestriding our globalized world have been able to supply. So amid trends that tend to weaken, balkanize or dissolve nation-states, it should not be assumed that a glorious alternative awaits us if we hurry that dissolution to its end.
2. Immigration is a perilous solution to demographic decline. One of the common right-of-center cases for mass immigration, offered by politicians like Jeb Bush and optimistic economists alike, is that in an age of falling birthrates the West needs migrants to sustain its economies and support its welfare states. (“New Germans who are today being fingerprinted as their asylum claims are processed will tomorrow care for the elderly and pay the taxes that fund a generous welfare state,” The Economist promised last fall.)
This is true up to a point, but its logic assumes that immigrant assimilation goes reasonably well — that immigrants find it relatively easy to learn the language, to adapt (at least up to a point) to Western social norms, to find and hold jobs in a post-industrial economy, and that they don’t simply become another set of clients of the welfare state they were supposed to save.

3. Culture is very real, and cultural inheritances tend to be enduring. Present-day America attests to that fact: We pride ourselves (justifiably) on our success assimilating immigrants, but centuries after their arrival various immigrant folkways still define our country’s regions and their mores. The Scandinavian diaspora across the upper Midwest still looks a great deal like Scandinavia — hardworking, gender egalitarian, with high levels of civic trust, higher-than-average educations and incomes, etc. The cavaliers, servants, and slaves migration to Tidewater Virginia obviously still shapes the Deep South’s entrenched hierarchies of race and class. The Scots-Irish migration to Appalachia and its environs is still heavily responsible for America’s sky-high-by-Western-standards murder rate. And of course the wider world is full of similarly striking case studies.

What this implies is that accepting immigrants from a particular country or culture or region involves accepting that your own nation, or part of your own nation, will become at least a little more like their country of origin. [bolding mine BM]

4. Cultural commonalities help assimilation; cultural differences spur balkanization. That is, the more a foreign-born population has in common with the nation it’s entering — in terms of everything from language to religion to family structure to education levels to cultural habits — the more easily it can make itself truly at home in its adopted country. [or the more difficult – BM].

5. Punctuated immigration encourages assimilation; constant immigration limits it.  [assimilation is not a default setting as Douthat notes:]

Two-thirds of British Muslims only mix socially with other Muslims; that portion is undoubtedly higher among Pakistanis and Bangladeshis specifically. Reinforcing this parallel life is the common practice of returning “home” for a few months every two or three years and an immersion in foreign electronic media. Integration into a wider national life is further hindered—and the retention of a deeply foreign culture is further encouraged—by the fact that most Pakistani marriages, even if one spouse is born in Britain, essentially produce first-generation-immigrant children: the one study that measured this phenomenon, conducted in the north England city of Bradford, found that 85 percent of third- and fourth-generation British Pakistani babies had a parent who was born in Pakistan. (Incidentally, that study also found that 63 percent of Pakistani mothers in Bradford had married their cousins, and 37 percent had married first cousins.)

[Note: BM]

A Muslim refugee family that my children helped to resettle in Christchurch returned to Iran in order to find a husband for their daughter.  The pull of religion and clan is much stronger in Muslim refugee and immigrant communities than our politicians understand or are prepared to acknowledge.  This leads to separatism rather than integration, and the development of ‘other’ communities within our major cities which, if Europe is any guide, become breeding grounds for radicalism and potential violence.

6. Cosmopolitanism is unusual; tribalism comes naturally. The Western way of life – economically individualistic, voluntaristic in religion, defined by nuclear families rather than extended clans – was already unusual (WEIRD, in the jargon of sociologists) by human standards before the current era of mass migration. But it did not aspire to a pure cosmopolitanism: the “individualistic” Westerner in 1960 could still rely on various commonalities (religious, linguistic, social, sexual) handed down from the pre-liberal French or English or Teutonic past. (Schwarz notes the fascinating research showing that English schoolchildren had been playing the same games since the 12th century A.D.)

Now, though, there is a palpable sense in the liberal circles that in the ideal society everyone would be a true citizen of the world, a dilettante of culture and religion, equally comfortable around neighbors of any race or faith or background, with no unchosen preferences or loyalties.

One need not delve into, say, Robert Putnam’s research on diversity and the decline of social trust to see that this is not in fact how most people wish to live. (The recent statistic, somewhat shocking to the creative class, that even in our highly-mobile and deracinated America most people live within eighteen miles of their moms, should tell you something about the resilience of tribe even in a late-modern WEIRDo society like ours.) And if the only model of assimilation you offer new arrivals to your society is a cosmopolitan ideal that’s both unattainable and unattractive to many people, and if at the same time your immigration policies make it relatively easy for them to reject that ideal and build a permanent tribal enclave instead – well, you shouldn’t be surprised if that’s what they choose to do.

Nor should you be surprised that this, in turn, provokes greater tribalism among native dissenters from a pure cosmopolitanism – be they stark dissenters like Trump voters or Le Pen supporters, or milder dissenters like the sixty-three percent of German women who now feel that Germany’s has welcomed too many migrants in the last year. Which brings us to the next point:

8. Native backlash against perceived cultural transformation is very powerful, and any politics that refuses to take account of it will fail. Even if you suppose, that is, that mass immigration would be an unalloyed good in a world where Western populations could manage to overcome their (or what you think of as their) bigotry and nativism and racism, in the world that actually exists politicians have to account for those forces and not simply assume that the right Facebook rules and elite-level political conspiracies can perpetually keep a lid on populism. If you make choices that very predictably empower the National Front or Pegida or Trump, you cannot wash your hands of those consequences by saying, “oh, it’s not my fault that my fellow countrymen are such terrible bigots.” The way to disempower demagogues is not to maintain a high-minded moral purity that’s dismissive of public opinion’s actual shape; it’s to balance your purity with prudence, so as to avoid handing demagogues issues that might eventually deprive you of power entirely, and render all your moral ambitions moot.

9. Liberal societies are not guaranteed survival. Francis Fukuyama’s “end of history” is an excellent descriptive frame for the contemporary developed world, but it is not an infallible prophecy. The liberal order has been remarkably resilient, the alternatives still look deeply unappealing – but one cannot assume that this pattern will continue indefinitely, or make political choices as though liberalism, pluralism and democracy are fixed features of the modern landscape, rather than still-contingent things.

Which does not mean that liberal societies should be governed in an apocalyptic mood, or that a perpetual “one percent doctrine” should guide leaders facing any policy dilemma. But it does mean that political stability is not something that statesmen can simply take for granted, or leave out of their equations when they think through the long-term consequences of their choices. And when you combine the factors discussed above – the resilience of cultural identity, the power of tribalism, the risks of backlash – then mass immigration on the scale we’ve seen recently in Europe, particularly combined with what may be a long era of relative economic stagnation, offers of the most plausible drivers for a near-future breakdown in liberal norms.

10. Europe and America are different. I’ve made this point before, but it deserves reiteration: All of the reasons for caution about mass immigration apply on both sides of the Atlantic, but they don’t apply in the same way. America has a longer history of successful assimilation, a melting-pot and mongrel culture that makes hyphenated identities easier to integrate, a geographical separation that (even now) makes it easier to manage immigration flows, and a tradition of religious pluralism that probably offers more room for, say, a conservative Islam to grapple with modernity than does the post-Christian laicité that’s official in France and unofficial elsewhere in Europe.

We also aren’t just a narrow sea away from an array of broken, chaotic, fundamentalism-ravaged societies, and we don’t face the kind of demographic mismatch with Latin America that Europe faces with Africa.

Read the entire article:

Whether an independent Britain that is once more capable of controlling its borders post Brexit will still be capable of retaining its nativist identity remains an open question.  While cities like London Birmingham and others have become increasingly Muslim in their character it difficult to see how they can avoid a future that does not include some kind of balkanization.

Nevertheless, they have made a step in the right direction, assuming of course that their political classes head the message, and don’t simply continue on with mass immigration following their exit from the EU. 

That also remains an open question.