Friday, April 06, 2007

Pakistan Teeters on the Edge

In Pakistan, a country that is the fountainhead for much of the Islamic terrorist activity in Europe and Asia, the Islamists sense the government's crumbling power and are getting bold.

The head of a radical mosque in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, has threatened to use suicide bomb attacks against the government.

Maulana Abdul Aziz made his defiant call to thousands of followers during Friday prayers.

The government is facing calls to clamp down on the activites of students in two madrassas attached to the mosque.

If the government does take action, "our last resort will be suicide bombings", Mr Aziz declared.

He also demanded that the government close down Islamabad's video shops and brothels within one month.

The Taleban-style activity of Mr Aziz's followers in the capital has caused outrage among human rights activists.

Last week female students from a madrassa that is part of Mr Aziz's Lal Masjid (red mosque) complex abducted a woman they accused of running a brothel, holding her captive for two days.

Some of the students are also staging an armed occupation of a children's library in the capital.

The government says it hopes to resolve its differences by peaceful means.

Pakistani dictator Perez Musharraf's government is gradually losing its hold on power. The country's population has been long sympathetic to Islamic terrorists - openly supportive of Osama bin Laden and the Taleban - and increasingly anti-Western and anti-American. The Pakistant intelligence service created the Taleban, helped them sieze power, and continues to assist them to this day, though quietly. Musharraf's recent deal with the Islamists, to keep the Pakistani army out of the country's ungovernable provinces along the Afghan border (where the Taleban and al Qaeda are regrouping) was meant to buy Musharraf some relief from the pressure. But the deal has backfired, giving the Islamists a safehaven from which to rebuild and emboldening the Islamists throughout Pakistan, who realize that Musharraf probably doesn't have the support to launch a serious crackdown. The Musharraf government's alliance with the U.S. is deeply unpopular in Pakistan and the pressure rising against the government seems unstoppable. A violence outburst is inevitable, and it is increasingly likely that Musharraf will be topppled, or forced to accomodate Islamist wishes.

Contrary to the bureacrats in Brussels who would like to remove any rhetorical link between Islam and terror (see post below), Pakistan's clerics understand perfectly what motivates young Muslims to violence:

"If the government says it will launch an operation against us as a last resort, our last resort will be suicide bombings," Mr Aziz told his supporters.

"What is our way?" he asked them, the Associated Press news agency reports.

The students called back, "Jihad, jihad (holy war)".

"I give a deadline of one month to the government to close brothels and video shops," Mr Aziz said.

"If the government fails we will take action."

Outside the mosque, a group of supporters set fire to a pile of videos and CDs.

Mr Aziz also said he had set up a Sharia law court at the mosque, made up of 10 clerics.

Given that so many of the Muslims involved in terrorist activity in Britain and Europe are linked to Pakistan, having been trained, recruited, financed in or from Pakistan or having been born to Pakistani immigrants, it would behoove Western countries to immediately cease all immigration and tourism from and to Pakistan, sealing the country off as if under quarantine. If Musharraf does fall, that will become absolutely essential, since the Islamists will quickly control the country and its ample military and nuclear assets.

Of course, the situation in Pakistan should prompt someone to ask President George "I want to bring democracy to the Islamic world" Bush whether or not he'd like to see a free and fair election in Pakistan right now? If not, why not? Doesn't democracy cure all ills?

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The High Cost of Low-Skilled Immigrants

One of the arguments that "open borders" advocates on the right like to advance for allowing the U.S. to be invaded by millions of unskilled workers from the Third World is that these people will "do jobs Americans are unwilling to do." What that really means, of course, is that the immigrants will work at jobs that Americans are very willing to do for much, much lower wages than Americans (who are used to a certain standard of living) are willing to accept. The idea, then, is to undercut American labor in favor of a foreign workforce who are less likely to unionize or complain - a new peasant class, if you will. The "open borders" right (as represented by the Wall Street Journal crowd) argues that this benefits Americans in the long run by lowering prices for goods and kicking in new tax dollars. Unfortunately, as most people already suspected, that argument is hogwash. A new study by the Heritage Foundation finds that low skilled immigrant workers cost the state and local governments $3 for every $1 they pay in taxes.

Using data from 2004, the report shows the average household headed by a low-skilled worker paid $9,689 in taxes but received $32,138 in benefits a year. The more than $22,000 difference is the "tax burden" which rises to $1.1 million over the worker's lifetime.

The cost to state and local governments come from "Medicaid, food stamps, public housing and other welfare programs." Since low-skilled immigrants receive more in benefits than they pay in taxes, that means all other taxpayers are subsidizing immigrants and their families through taxes, which helps explain why so many areas of the country are witnessing steep state and local tax hikes. In short, you may save money on produce or lawncare because of the large number of low skilled immigrants, but you will end up paying it all back in taxes to support their growing families. Since Latinos, who comprise the largest group of immigrants, don't seem to rise up the economic ladder nearly as quickly as other groups (Asians, for instance), taxpayers will likely be supporting those ever-growing families for generations.

In 2004, according to the Heritage Foundation report, the country had 17.7 million low-skilled households that together cost taxpayers $397 billion that year. Those households, without an influx of new unskilled workers, will cost at least $3.9 trillion over the next 10 years.

Worse, while you are paying ever-higher taxes to support the massive wave of immigrants, they will be busy changing America to better resemble the Third World nations from which they come. Economic conservatives and libertarians who support mass immigration and open borders make the mistake of assuming that all people are essentially the same and that culture is unimportant. They are very wrong.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Denying Reality in Brussels

Once again, the bureaucrats running the European Union have proven that political correctness and multiculturalist fantasy trumps reality - and the safety or EU citizens - at the highest levels of European government.

The European Union has drawn up guidelines advising government spokesmen to refrain from linking Islam and terrorism in their statements.

Brussels officials have confirmed the existence of a classified handbook which offers "non-offensive" phrases to use when announcing anti-terrorist operations or dealing with terrorist attacks.

Banned terms are said to include "jihad", "Islamic" or "fundamentalist".

The word "jihad" is to be avoided altogether, according to some sources, because for Muslims the word can mean a personal struggle to live a moral life.

One alternative, suggested publicly last year, is for the term "Islamic terrorism" to be replaced by "terrorists who abusively invoke Islam".

An EU official said that the secret guidebook, or, "common lexicon", is aimed at preventing the distortion of the Muslim faith and the alienation of Muslims in Europe.

"The common lexicon includes guidance on a number of frequently used terms where lack of care by EU and member states' spokespeople may give rise to misunderstandings," he said.

This would be funny - almost a scene ripped out of the British TV series Yes, Minister - if it weren't so dangerous. According to the EU, European leaders are supposed to deny any link between Islam and Islamic terrorism, even though the terrorist in question are solely Muslim, recruit only other Muslims, publiclly declare that they are fighting for Islam, find justification in Islamic texts, drape themselves in Islamic rhetoric and culture, and enjoy considerable support among Muslims (and only Muslim) in Europe and abroad.

The suggested phrase "terrorists who abusively invoke Islam" is so ridiculous it could only have come from the mind of a bureaucrat. Unfortunately, it echoes the mindless blather of President Bush, who in the wake of 9/11, asserted by strenght of hope alone, that "Islam is a religion of peace" and that Islamic terrorists were "twisting" Islam to suit their goals. Suhc is nonsense as any clear reading of Islamic history or theology will amply show (President Bush constantly shows himself unacquainted with either). Robert Spencer, among others, has done a fantastic job of exposing the core theology of violence inherent in Islam.

The new EU guidelines make clear what has been obvious for some time: European multiculturalists cannot face up to the reality of Islamic terror. Many Muslims will not assimilate, or behave peacefully. Islam in its purest form is intolerant, misogynistic, homophobic, totalitarian, anti-science, anti-reason and supremacist. Islam will not play nice in the politically correct garden; it wants to burn the garden down and plant only its own seed. But, acknowledging that means repudiating the central notion of multiculturalism - that all cultures and all peoples are the same, equal in value and merit. That no culture is better than another and to thinks so is racist. Most of Islam's believers are brown or dark-skinned, so to reject Islam is to reject them, and that would be racist. Racism is the worst crime possible in Europe and cannot be tolerated. Therefore, European leaders are perfectly willing to avert their eyes as their continent is colonized and the civilization destroyed from within. They cannot admit their multiculturalist paradise is a lie. They cannot question their true faith.

Europe will suffer for this. By denying reality the EU remains unable to take the measures necessary to save itself - stopping Muslim immigration and beginning the deportation of Muslims already living in Europe. Fortunately, such obvious and ridiculous evasions will continue to errode Brussels's credibility among European votes (who can very well see the truth with their own eyes), who may increasingly turn to anti-immigration parties and ultimately bring the EU house of cards crashing down upon itself. At least, one has to hope.

Thumbing Down the Schools

Many Americans probably think that the perilous decline in the quality of public education so manifestly visible in the U.S. over the past few decades is simply an American problem. But it isn't. Many of the same idiotic ideas that have become fashionable in the U.S. educational establishment also took root across the Atlantic. This should not be surprising, since those ideas all share common left-wing roots.

In Britain, the educational theorists took aim, decades ago, at the practice of segregating classes by levels of acheivement. It had been traditionally assumed that smarter students should be given their own classes so that they could pursue their studies at a pace more consonant with their own abilities, leaving average students to proceed at a slower pace, and steering the below-average students away from higher education toward productive, but less-intellectually demanding trades.

But, begnining in the 60s and 70s, educational theorists declared those practices to be elitist! Racist! Classist! An unacceptable reminder of the borgeois society they so despised. So they eliminated classes for the gifted (whom they despise above all) and mainstreamed all students, to be taught at the same speed. They claimed that doing so would increase social cohesion and raise the scores of the lesser-abled students. Naturally, it didn't. Like everything else the modern educational establishment has touch, it has failed.

At least 120,000 bright children are effectively going backwards in secondary schools, prompting fresh fears over the way top pupils are taught.

One child in five who was doing well in some core subjects at the end of primary school failed to make any further progress in the first three years of secondary education, according to figures obtained by the Conservatives. Many of the top performing pupils at 11 actually did worse by the age of 14.

The findings come as the Government issued fresh threats to hundreds of "coasting" schools that they face closure unless standards improve. Local authorities are being told to issue notices to schools that fail to boost pupils' grades warning that they will be turned into privately-sponsored city academies if improvement is too slow.

But last night the Tories blamed poor results on the continued use of mixed ability classes at many state secondary schools, which they say is dragging bright children down.

In a report, they analysed test results gained by 11-year-olds in 2003, then compared them with scores gained three years later, half way through secondary school.

Thousands of children deemed to be high achievers at the end of primary school had made little or no progress when they moved on to secondary level. According to the data, some 65,100 pupils, one in 10, obtained the same score or a worse in English tests sat at 14 than they did at 11.

In maths, 18,000 were at the same position after three years of secondary school. Science, where few lessons are set by ability, showed the worst results.

Some 121,200 children, or one in five, who passed national curriculum tests in science aged 11 were at the same level or worse at 14.

Further analysis shows that many exceptionally bright children were at a lower level after three years of secondary school than they were at the end of primary.

Those holding "education degrees" both in America and Europe tend to be intellectual mediocrities, who would have had great difficulty obtaining any other type of degree and go on to impose their disdain for high intelligence and academic excellence on the educational institutions they ultimately come to infest. Rather like political bureaucrats, who thrive on creating mindless regulations meant increase their own standing and protect their own jobs, while accomplishing nothing particularly productive, the educational theorists have managed to create their own fiefdom in the public schools (in American and Europe) in which achievement, discipline and distinction had been shoved aside in favor of multiculturalism, political correctness and the patently false (but fanatically held) idea that everyone is equal in abilities. The results have been the same on both sides of the Atlantic.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Whittling Away Border Security

The much ballyhooed border fence that Congressional republicans managed to approve late last year is being eviscerated by - who else? - President Bush. The man who swore to protect American territorial integrity and sovereignty is very busy gutting any actual immigration enforcement, reducing the size of fence, and working to see that as many illegal immigrants as possible get to stay here.

Six months after approving a bill promising to build some 850 miles of fence along the U.S.-Mexico border, the Bush administration and Senate Republicans are now saying 370 miles is enough.

In his negotiations with Republican senators, Mr. Bush also appears to have rejected the key compromise in the Senate bill passed last year: allowing only longtime illegal aliens with "roots" to have a path to citizenship. He instead favors a more circuitous path that is open to almost all illegal aliens.

The same President who waxes incoherent on the wonders of democracy as a panacea for all ills adamantly refuses to listen to the very people who elected him when it comes to the border.

The administration's zeal to erase the laws passed by the Republican-controlled Congress left some House members dumbfounded and angry.

Some Republicans are annoyed that Mr. Bush appears ready to ignore mandates of the Secure Fence Act.

"I drafted that bill. It says 'shall.' That's the same language we put in the border fence in San Diego," said Rep. Duncan Hunter, California Republican. "Doggone it, this is the law. Follow the law."

Mr. Hunter shouldn't be surprised. The Bush administration only heeds the law in cases when it expands the President's power. In situations, like the border, where the law conflicts with the administration's aims, it ignores the law, sidesteps the law, or breaks it outright.

Lies and evasion come as naturally to President Bush and his acolytes as does breath-taking incompetence (see Iraq).

Monday, April 02, 2007

The Melting Pot Meltdown

Multiculturalists and "open borders" immigration enthusiasts like to remind is that America is made up of all different kinds of people who came here from all over the world. Of course, the multiculturalists want to obliterate the very Western culture that made the U.S. the wealthiest nation in history, and the open borders crowd want cheap labor even if it destroys the country for which they feel very little actual - it is, after all, a "proposition nation," not one borne of blood, language, land or culture. As it turns out, the one cherished myth that the open borders crowd like to tout - after abusing the historical facts to their advantage most, the melting pot, apparently ceases to work while their policies are in effect.

Increasingly, a new study shows, U.S.-born Asians and Hispanics are choosing to wed foreign-born members of their own ethnicity. At the same time, greater numbers of new immigrants are marrying among themselves.

Some sociologists believe the shift could have significant implications: It could signal a widening gap between the races. Or, in another view, it could reflect growing pride among minority peoples.

There's no question what has fueled the trend. The 11 million immigrants who arrived in the 1990s dramatically increased the same-ethnicity pool of potential mates. Hispanics are the country's fastest-growing minority group, Asians the second-fastest.

This would have been self-evident to Americans living 100 years ago, which is why, after each great migration (from Italy, Eastern Europe, Ireland, or Scandanavia) immigration restrictions were imposed, and why after 1924 virtually all immigration was halted - to give the majority culture time to assimilate the new immigrants. When you keep the flood gates open, filling the nation will millions of more aliens, the new immigrants have less and less reason to assimilate (by marriage or any other means) since their growing numbers make it easier for them to stay together and give them added political clout.

Thus, the result of mass immigration should not be surprising.

Using census data from 1990 and 2000, Qian and Lichter identified "unprecedented declines in intermarriage with whites, and big increases in marriages between native- and foreign-born members of Asian and Hispanic ethnicities." Their study findings were recently published in the American Sociological Review.

In 10 years, the percentage of Hispanics who married outside their ethnicity fell to 19.9 from 26.9. The decline among Asians was even greater, 33.2 percent compared with 41.7 percent.

Meanwhile, among marriages between people of the same ethnicity, pairings between native- and foreign-born rose 50 percent for Asians and 9 percent for Hispanics.

Scholars wonder how the trend could affect race relations. For decades, Lichter and Qian note, people have tended to view rising rates of intermarriage as a sign of growing acceptance between peoples of different color and culture.

"You could argue that recent immigration is creating a kind of balkanization," Lichter said.

That is exactly what it is causing. The more diverse the population becomes, the less unified it will be; the result will be ever greater levels of racial tension and, eventually, violence. This can already be seen in high-immigration areas.

But not to worry. This is exactly the result the multiculturalists want.

"Most people prefer to marry someone with whom they have a lot in common - heritage, culture, values, customs, habits, language and appearance," said B.J. Gallagher, an L.A. sociologist who specializes in diversity issues. "It's not a bad thing. It's a natural thing."

Marc Lamont Hill, who teaches urban education at Temple University, sees the increase in same-culture marriages as "absolutely a good thing."

"We've been taught that white people, and particularly white women, are the standard for beauty and attractiveness," Hill said. Marrying within ethnicity is a way of moving beyond that, he said.

Debbie Wei, who was born in New York, now is principal of the Folk Arts Cultural Treasure School in Philadelphia, said that when she was growing up, "there was a lot of pressure not to date Asian men. Some of it was internalized racism."

Back then, in the late '60s, the Asians she saw in the media were cartoon figures like Hop Sing, the Cartwright family's cook on "Bonanza," or exoticized sexpots like Suzy Wong.

It was during a trip to Hong Kong, taken to recover her lost language and culture, that she met the man she would marry, Ming Chau. The couple, both about to turn 50, celebrated their 25th anniversary this year.

Chau said he never imagined he might wed an American, and never saw Wei as being one.

"I didn't think, 'She's foreign-born,'" he said. "She's Chinese."

Naturally. The goal of mass immigration, embraced delivberately by multiculturalists, and unwittingly by Wall Street Journal "open borders" types, is to gradually errode, and ultimately, erase the American identity altogether.

The progress toward this goal is more visible every day.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Editing History to Appease Muslims

In Britain, school teachers are dropping courses about the Holocaust and other subjects for fear of irritating Muslims students.

Schools are dropping the Holocaust from history lessons to avoid offending Muslim pupils, a Governmentbacked study has revealed.

It found some teachers are reluctant to cover the atrocity for fear of upsetting students whose beliefs include Holocaust denial.

There is also resistance to tackling the 11th century Crusades - where Christians fought Muslim armies for control of Jerusalem - because lessons often contradict what is taught in local mosques.

The findings have prompted claims that some schools are using history 'as a vehicle for promoting political correctness'.

The study, funded by the Department for Education and Skills, looked into 'emotive and controversial' history teaching in primary and secondary schools.

It found some teachers are dropping courses covering the Holocaust at the earliest opportunity over fears Muslim pupils might express anti-Semitic and anti-Israel reactions in class.

The researchers gave the example of a secondary school in an unnamed northern city, which dropped the Holocaust as a subject for GCSE coursework.

The report said teachers feared confronting 'anti-Semitic sentiment and Holocaust denial among some Muslim pupils'.

It added: "In another department, the Holocaust was taught despite anti-Semitic sentiment among some pupils.

"But the same department deliberately avoided teaching the Crusades at Key Stage 3 (11- to 14-year-olds) because their balanced treatment of the topic would have challenged what was taught in some local mosques."

Britain has imported millions of people from a culture totally alien to that of the British Isles. Now, those people are refusing to assimilate to British culture, attacking Britain and demanding that their culture be honored above native British culture. Shockingly, Britain seems to be surrendering without so much as a wimper before this assault. Islam, it seems will conquer Europe without firing a shot.

Using intimidation to gain control of school curricula is a tactic worthy of the communists. If Muslims can now veto what topics are taught in schools, how much longer before they can control what topics are discussed in public.

The only way for Britain, and the rest of Europe, to save itself is to immediately cease all immigration from the Middle East, and begin compelling those Muslims who have already immigrated to return home, but financial inducement or by force.