Displaying posts published in

October 2017

Truck Control, It Only Happens Here and Other Gun Control Myths 4 mass shooting myths exposed. Daniel Greenfield

(1) Everything Kills — “Guns are uniquely lethal.”

Last year, a Muslim terrorist with a truck killed 86 people and wounded another 458.

Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, the Tunisian Muslim killer, had brought along a gun, but it proved largely ineffective. The deadliest weapon of the delivery driver was a truck. Mohammed, who was no genius, used it to kill more people than Stephen Paddock would with all his meticulous planning in Vegas.

Do we need truck control?

Deadlier than the truck is the jet plane. Nearly 3,000 people were killed on September 11 by terrorists with a plan and some box cutters. And then there are always the bombs.

The Boston Marathon bomber wounded 264, a suicide bomber at the Manchester Arena last year wounded 250 and the Oklahoma City Bombing (the only non-Islamic terror attack on the list) killed 168 and wounded 680. Paddock was also stockpiling explosive compounds. If he hadn’t been able to get his hands on firearms, he would have deployed bombs. And potentially killed even more people.

We know how many people Paddock was able to kill with firearms. We don’t know how many people he would have been able to murder with a truck or with explosives.

The mass killer who most ominously resembles Paddock was Francisco Gonzales: a Filipino with financial problems who shot the pilot and co-pilot on a gambler’s special flight from Reno. Back in Reno, Gonzales had told a casino worker that it wouldn’t matter how much he lost. The plane went down with everyone on board. Gonzales had a gun, but his actual murder weapon was a plane.

Guns are not uniquely lethal. We live in a world filled with extremely lethal objects from chemical compounds to big trucks. We can license and regulate some things. But we can’t regulate everything.

(2) America Isn’t Unique — “This is the only country where this happens.”

That’s the leftist meme deployed after the Vegas shooting. But Paddock’s death toll narrowly edges out that of South Korea’s rampage killer Woo Bum-kon who murdered 56 people. America is not the only country where rampage killers operate. And their attacks have nothing to do with the racist construct of “white privilege”. It’s the leftist conviction that America is uniquely evil that accounts for the myth.

Seung-Hui Cho, one of this country’s worst rampage killers who murdered 32 people at Virginia Tech, was South Korean.

But the worst rampage killer in South Korea didn’t use a gun. He set a train on fire.

Kim Dae-han, a paralyzed middle aged man, started a subway fire that killed 192 people and wounded 150 others.

Fatah’s surrender to Hamas. Caroline Glick

On Tuesday, a delegation of 400 Fatah officials from Ramallah, led by Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, arrived in Gaza to officially surrender to Hamas.

No, the ceremony isn’t being portrayed as a Fatah surrender to Hamas. But it is. It’s also an Egyptian surrender to Hamas.

How is this the case? Ten years ago this past June, after a very brief and deadly assault by Hamas terrorists against US-trained Fatah forces in Gaza, the Fatah forces cut and ran to Israel for protection. Fatah politicians also headed for the border and then scurried into Fatah-controlled (and Israeli protected) Ramallah. Ever since, Hamas has served as the official authority on the ground in Gaza. Its personnel have been responsible for internal security and for Gaza’s borders with Egypt and Israel.

Despite their humiliating defeat and removal from Gaza, Fatah and its PA government in Ramallah continued to fund Hamas-controlled Gaza. They paid Gaza’s bills, including the salaries of all the PA security forces that were either no longer working or working double shifts as stay at home Fatah gunmen and up and coming Hamas terrorist forces.

The PA paid Hamas’s electricity bills to Israel and it paid Israeli hospitals which continued to serve Gaza.

Internationally, the PA defended Hamas and its constant wars against Israel. The PA and Fatah, led by President-for-life Mahmoud Abbas, continued to use Israel’s defensive operations against Hamas as a means to ratchet up their political war against Israel. The latest victory in that war came last week with Interpol’s decision to permit the PA to join the organization despite its open support for and finance of terrorism.

For most of the past decade, the PA-Fatah has allocated more than half of its EU- and US-underwritten budget to Hamas-controlled Gaza. It has defended its actions to successive delegations of US lawmakers and three US administrations. It has defended its actions to EU watchdog groups. No amount of congressional pressure or statements from presidential envoys ever made a dent on Abbas’s strident devotion to paying the salaries of Hamas terrorists and functionaries.

But then, in April, Abbas cut them off.

Ostensibly he cut them off because he was under pressure from the US Congress, which is now in the end stages of passing the Taylor Force Act. Once passed, the law will make it a bit more difficult for the State Department to continue funding the terror- financing PA.

While the Taylor Force Act is the ostensible reason for Abbas’s move, Palestinian sources openly acknowledge that congressional pressure had nothing to do with his decision.

Abbas abruptly ended PA financing of Hamas in retaliation for Hamas’s decision to open relations with Abbas’s archrival in Fatah, Muhammad Dahlan.

From 1994, when the PA was established, until 2007, when Hamas ousted his US-trained forces from Gaza, Dahlan was the Gaza strongman.

Once one of Abbas’s closest cronies, since 2011 Dahlan has been his archenemy. Abbas, now in the twelfth year of his four-year term in office, views Dahlan as the primary threat to his continued reign.

As a consequence, he ousted Dahlan from Fatah and forced him to decamp with his sizable retinue to the UAE. There Dahlan enjoys exceedingly close ties with the Nahyan regime.

French Authorities Drop the Ball in Marseille Slaughter Terrorism continues to spike in France while French officials ignore the obvious. Ari Lieberman

On October 1, a Muslim man of North African descent in his 30s arrived at Saint-Charles station in Marseille with one purpose in mind – to murder as many people as possible in the name of Islam. His first victim, a 20-year-old medical student from Marseille never stood a chance. The assailant lunged at her with a knife whose blade measured 8 inches, and stabbed her repeatedly while screaming “Allah Akbar.” He fled the scene but returned shortly thereafter to claim his second victim, a 21-year-old trainee nurse from Lyon. According to sources, one of the victims also had her throat slit.

The cold-blooded and depraved murder of the two young women failed to satiate terrorist’s lust for blood. After murdering his second victim, he ran toward soldiers patrolling as part of Operation Sentinelle, who shot him dead. In Western Europe, this is the new normal but the situation is particularly acute in France, which has experienced a rolling wave of terrorism since 2012. The country currently resembles an armed camp with the deployment of thousands of soldiers and police armed with automatic weapons, patrolling sensitive locations. But apart from increased security, France appears unable or unwilling to do more to counter the threat.

The Marseille slaughter could have easily been prevented but French authorities imbibed with a combination of political correctness, laziness and just plain stupidity, allowed it to occur. The terrorist who committed the gruesome attack was known to law enforcement. He was a recidivist whose rap sheet included a laundry list of petty crimes. In fact, just days before the attack, he was arrested for shoplifting but inexplicably released despite the fact that he possessed at least seven fake identities. The man, who informed the police that he was homeless, had given them a Tunisian passport in the name of Ahmed H, born on November 9, 1987 at Bizerte. But a quick fingerprint check would have revealed that he was lying through his teeth. Unfortunately, the fingerprint verification was performed after the Marseille slaughter.

French law enforcement officials attempted to deflect responsibility by claiming that the man had no known terrorist ties and that shoplifting offenses generally result in a police report and a court summons to appear at a later date. The proffered excuse is disingenuous at best. For years, French law enforcement officials have been cognizant of the nexus between criminal activity and radical Islamic terrorism. Several well-researched and detailed studies have confirmed this interconnection. In fact, as many as 80% of those who have committed terrorist attacks in the UK, France, Belgium, Germany and elsewhere in Western Europe in the name of Islam have criminal records with lengthy rap sheets that include drug dealing, petty larceny, assault and identity theft.

As noted, the terrorist who committed the Marseille outrage was a serial shoplifter and an identity thief. Khalid Masood, the UK terrorist who carried out the Westminster car-knife attack in March had a number of convictions for causing Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) possession of offensive weapons and public order offenses. Kobili Traore, the Muslim man who brutally beat elderly Jewish pensioner Sarah Halimi, while yelling Islamic and anti-Semitic slogans, and then proceeded to throw her out of a third-floor window to her death had spent several years in prison for acts of aggravated violence and drug dealing. Amedy Coulibaly, the terrorist who stormed the Hypercacher kosher supermarket in Paris killing four, had previously been jailed for dealing in stolen goods, drug trafficking and robbery. Brothers Ibrahim and Salah Abdeslam, who were part of the gang that perpetrated the deadly Paris attacks in November 2015, were drug users and traffickers. The bar the duo owned in Molenbeek, a district of Brussels, was shut down by police for being a drug den.

Waiving the Jones Act for Puerto Rico Is the Right Step Repealing it altogether would be even better. Then the GOP can move on to killing other onerous regulations. By Theodore Kupfer

Republican senators Mike Lee (R., Utah) and John McCain (R., Ariz.) have introduced legislation to permanently exempt Puerto Rico from the Jones Act. This is a common-sense decision on the merits that will help the island recover from Hurricane Maria. It might also be a way for Republicans, who have so far been an inert governing party, to refresh their legislative agenda.

The Jones Act, passed after World War I, requires that shipping between U.S. ports be conducted with American-made ships that are staffed by American crews. The Jones Act prevented foreign vessels from delivering aid to Puerto Rico in the wake of the hurricane. Waiving it was an obvious move, and after hesitating, the Trump administration granted a waiver last week. That was a good decision at the time, but the legislation of Lee and McCain is a warranted next step.

On the merits, the Jones Act is a bad law. It cost Puerto Rico $17 billion in economic growth between 1990 and 2010, according to one economist’s estimate, and costs Hawaii and Alaska, too. It raises the cost of consumer goods, which particularly hurts poor consumers. All of this is to protect the interests of the American shipping industry, which lobbies ferociously. A full repeal of the act would be best, but McCain and Lee are right to try to pass a permanent exemption for Puerto Rico.

But the law could also chart a path forward for the Republican party, which is currently wedded to a stale agenda. In a Washington Monthly article titled “Why the Jones Act Is Robin Hood in Reverse,” political scientists Brink Lindsey and Steven Teles describe the legislation as an example of “regressive regulation” and rent-seeking:

The people who benefit from the regulation have big economic stakes on the line, while those who pay the costs may not even notice the effect on their individual well-being. This is true even though those costs may add up, across the whole economy, to billions of dollars, well in excess of what the beneficiaries take home.

According to Lindsey and Teles, authors of the forthcoming The Captured Economy, such regulations “generate economic inefficiency” and also “exacerbate the trends in the economy” that generate income inequality. Poor consumers in Puerto Rico and Hawaii lose; politically connected shipping interests win. Lee and McCain’s bill, then, is the kind of regulatory reform that will help regular consumers.

Regular consumers in Puerto Rico, that is. The natural disaster occasioned the Republican proposal, but it might be wishful thinking to cast this bill as a first step toward enacting a broader middle-class agenda. Yet increasingly, it’s middle-class Americans who vote Republican; Republicans could better serve their interests.

So far, they haven’t. House Republicans first passed a health-care plan that financed tax cuts for the wealthy with cuts to Medicaid, then Senate Republicans failed to shepherd through more modest health-care reforms, and now the GOP is tinkering with a tax-reform framework that doesn’t do enough to help middle-class families, as Ramesh Ponnuru has argued. It’s worth asking how long this can go on, especially given the schism, laid bare by Trump, between the party’s donor class and its base. Party leadership has remained studiously opposed to fresh thinking, but if Republicans want to maintain power, they will eventually have to pass legislation and govern.

The Glass House of the NFL The league’s national significance is rapidly diminishing, due to hypocrisy and hyper-politicization in a once-loved American establishment. By Victor Davis Hanson

The National Football League is a glass house that was cracking well before Donald Trump’s criticism of players who refuse to stand during the national anthem.

The NFL earned an estimated $14 billion last year. But 500-channel television, Internet live streaming, video games, and all sorts of other televised sports have combined to threaten the league’s monopoly on weekend entertainment — even before recent controversies.

It has become a fad for many players not to stand for the anthem. But it is also becoming a trend for irate fans not to watch the NFL at all.

Multimillionaire young players, mostly in their 20s, often cannot quite explain why they have become so furious at emblems of the country in which they are doing so well.

Their gripes at best seem episodic and are often without supporting data. Are they mad at supposedly inordinate police brutality toward black citizens, or racial disparity caused by bias, or the perceived vulgarity of President Donald Trump?

The result, fairly or not, is that a lot of viewers do not understand why so many young, rich players show such disrespect for their country — and, by extension, insult their far poorer fans, whose loyal support has helped pay their salaries.

ESPN talking heads and network TV analysts do not help. They often pose as social-justice warriors, but they are ill-equipped to offer sermons to fans on their ethical shortcomings that have nothing to do with football.

In truth, the NFL’s hard-core fan base is not composed of bicoastal hipsters. Rather, the league’s fan base is formed mostly by red-state Americans — and many of them are becoming increasingly turned off by the culture of professional football.

Professional athletes are frequently viewed as role models. Yet since 2000, more than 850 NFL players have been arrested, some of them convicted of heinous crimes and abuse against women.

The old idea of quiet sportsmanship — downplaying one’s own achievements while crediting the accomplishments of others — is being overshadowed by individual showboating.

Players are now bigger, faster, and harder-hitting than in the past. Research has revealed a possible epidemic of traumatic brain injuries and other crippling injuries among NFL players. Such harm threatens to reduce the pool of future NFL players.

There is a growing public perception that the NFL is less a reflection of the kind of athleticism seen in basketball or baseball, and more a reflection of the violence of Mixed Martial Arts — or of gladiators in the ancient Roman Colosseum.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who has received more than $212 million in compensation since 2006, has been a big moneymaker for the owners. Yet otherwise, he has been a public-relations disaster, largely because of his incompetent efforts to sound politically correct. Goodell often insists that trivial rules be observed to the letter. For instance, the league denied a request by Dallas Cowboys players to wear small decals honoring Dallas police officers killed in a 2016 shooting.

At other times, Goodell deliberately ignores widespread violations of important NFL regulations — like the requirement that all players show respect for the American flag by solemnly standing during the national anthem.

Mr. President, Decertify the Iran Deal and Then Walk Away Iran has never, not for a moment, been ‘transparently, verifiably, and fully implementing’ the JCPOA. By Andrew C. McCarthy

The question is not whether President Trump should decertify President Obama’s farcical Iran nuclear deal. Of course he should. Indeed, he must: Even if we set common sense to the side, federal law requires it.

Instead, there are two questions.

1. Why has President Trump recertified the deal, not once but twice?

This is shameful. Remember, Trump insisted throughout the 2016 campaign that the deal — formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — was the worst and most dangerous in the history of deals. Just two weeks ago, addressing the U.N. General Assembly, he described it as an “embarrassment” and “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.” Yet, under the statute that calls for presidential findings every 90 days, the president, in recertifying, represented to Congress and the American people (a) that Iran is “transparently, verifiably, and fully implementing the agreement” and (b) that continuing the JCPOA is “vital to the national security interests of the United States.”

These assertions insult the intelligence.

The U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is charged with what laughably passes for the “monitoring” of the JCPOA and related “side agreements,” which the Obama administration shielded from congressional inspection. Last week, the IAEA fessed up: The agency has been unable to verify that Tehran is implementing the deal. The regime has barred inspectors from inspecting military sites. Consequently, as the invaluable analyst Omri Ceren points out, the IAEA has no way of verifying that Iran has refrained from “activities which could contribute to the design and development of a nuclear explosive device” (as required by the JCPOA’s Annex 1, Section T — see here, at p. 27).

This admission is not news. It just makes the obvious — the inevitable — explicit. It has been widely known from the first that the JCPOA is not verifiable, despite the Obama administration’s guarantees that it would be. It has long been known, moreover, that Iran is not in compliance with many of the JCPOA’s terms. That, too, illustrates the duplicity by which Obama sought his foreign-policy legacy monument: To get the deal approved by Congress — or, at least, to get it not disapproved under the cockamamie Corker-Cardin legislation — the prior administration solemnly pledged to hold the mullahs to the letter (and, of course, that this could be done verifiably). Obama officials further vowed that sanctions would “snap back” if Iran failed to comply. Once the deal got its congressional stamp of non-disapproval, though, we learned that Obama was quietly waiving violations left and right, and had even agreed to limits on what the IAEA could report — the better to conceal Iran’s breaches.

Bottom line: Iran has never, not for a moment, been “transparently, verifiably, and fully implementing” the JCPOA. The Obama administration knew this all along — and knew it would go this way. The Trump State Department, which is chockablock with Obama holdovers and has heavily lobbied the new president to stand by the deal, has known it from Day One.

And what about that second representation: vital to the national-security interests of the United States?

Seriously? With a straight face?

Quite apart from violating the terms of the JCPOA and refusing to permit verifiable inspections from the start, Iran continues to be the world’s No. 1 sponsor of anti-American terrorism, backing Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Taliban, a network of Iraqi cells, and the Houthis in Yemen, to cite just the best-known examples. That’s not just me talking; the regime continues to be one of just three countries on the U.S. government’s official terrorist list (the others are Syria, which is Iran’s cat’s-paw, and Sudan, which has longstanding ties to the regime in Tehran).

Moreover, Iran maintains its aggressive program of ballistic-missile development in defiance of Security Council resolutions. In fact, less than three months ago, Trump imposed new sanctions on regime officials and abettors. Iran is exporting arms and personnel to fortify Assad’s barbarism in Syria. It continues to threaten Israel’s destruction — in fact, two of the ballistic missiles it has test-fired were inscribed in Hebrew “Israel must be wiped out.” The mullahs are substantially responsible for the massive Hezbollah build-up (including an arsenal estimated at well over 100,000 missiles) that raises the distinct possibility of a catastrophic war. And, still proud to be the “Death to America” regime, Iran continues to abduct American hostages and menace American naval vessels.

Islamic Sunset on Germany by Guy Millière

Because Germany had committed genocide, it was impregnated with self-hatred and a rejection of its own identity. Germany turned to European construction and tried to define itself as European, in order not to call itself German.

A gradual replacement of the non-Muslim population with a Muslim population is taking place. Forty percent of children under five and born in Germany today have foreign roots.

The demographer Michael Paulwitz wrote a year ago that unless the current trends are reversed, Germans will become a minority in their own country, possibly in fifteen to twenty years.

Germany’s federal elections were supposed to lead to the triumph of Angela Merkel. Their results were rather different from what was anticipated. Merkel’s “victory” looks like a disaster: the Christian Democratic Alliance (CDU-CSU) won 33% of the vote — 9% less than four years ago, its worst result since 1949. The Social Democratic Party (SPD), which governed the country with Merkel during the last four years, lost more than 5%, and fell from 25.7 % to 20% of the vote — the worst result in its history. Alternative for Germany (AfD), a conservative nationalist party born in 2013, obtained 12.6%, and will enter in the Bundestag for the first time. Die Linke, the Marxist left, received 9%. As neither the SPD nor Die Linke will participate in the next government, and as AfD is radically opposed to the policies pursued by Merkel, she has only two possible partners: the libertarian Free Democratic Party and The Greens: both of whose positions on most subjects seem incompatible.

Angela Merkel will remain Chancellor, but by default, and mostly because there was no other real choice: six months ago, two-thirds of the German population wanted her to be replaced. Only 8% wanted her to remain in her post. Martin Schultz, former President of the European Parliament, who was the SPD candidate, did not offer anything different and led a lackluster campaign.

If Merkel succeeds in forming a coalition, it will be a precarious and unstable assemblage that will keep Germany on the verge of paralysis and make the country the sick man of 21st century Europe.

Germany actually already is a sick country, and Angela Merkel is part of the sickness.

In 1945, Germany was in ruins. It rebuilt itself and gradually became Europe’s leading economic power. While regaining strength, it did not assert itself politically and remained discreet, humble, repentant, silently shameful. Because of its role in the war, it was reluctant to recreate an army when NATO powers asked it to rebuild one; instead, it adopted a general position of appeasement that led to “Ostpolitik”, a policy of rapprochement with the communist East and the Soviet Union.

Because nationalism had led to National Socialism, Germany rejected any form of nationalism. Because Germany had committed genocide, it was impregnated with self-hatred and a rejection of its own identity.

Germany turned to European construction and tried to define itself as European in order not to call itself German.

This process lasted until the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of the country. Reunification was widely perceived in Germany as the fruit of humility and discretion.

Angela Merkel, who had seemed to embody a successfully reunified Germany, inherited this process when she became Chancellor in 2005.

Malfunctions had already begun to surface. The German economy remained prosperous, but poverty was increasing (in 2005, 17% of Germans were officially poor and earned half of the national average income) and the number of working poor was growing.

The birth rate was extremely low. It had started to decline in 1967, and rapidly fell to 1.5 children per woman. The population, in general, was aging.

Germany began to bring in Turkish migrants to compensate for the lack of manpower. By 2000, the number of migrants had reached 3.5 million.

Importing Muslim migrants also brought a slow Islamization of the country. In the main cities, mosques were built. Koranic schools were opened. Islam was integrated into public school curricula.

Merkel constantly sought consensus and worked with the Social Democrats for eight of the twelve years she spent as the head of the government.

Germans seemed to accept this arrangement until she decided to open the borders of Germany to a huge wave of refugees and migrants from the Middle East in August 2015. More than 1.5 million unvetted people entered the country; most were young men entitled to family reunification.

Claims that refugees would assimilate without major problems started colliding with reality. Rapes multiplied. Violence escalated.

In 2016, almost half the crimes in Berlin were committed by recent migrants to the country Jihadist networks took shape. Terrorist acts started to take place. Muslim anti-Semitism led to attacks on synagogues. The costs of welfare rose sharply.

Merkel expressed no regret. She did not even have second thoughts after the elections: she said that if she had to open the borders of the country again, she would do it. She tried to impose her decisions on immigration on the reluctant European countries of Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland. She is still trying.

Shame is still present in the minds of million of Germans, but fading away. A few years ago, a survey showed almost 70% of Germans were angered at still being held responsible today for crimes against Jews. Roughly 25% of people surveyed agreed with the statement: “Many Jews try to use Germany’s Third Reich past to their advantage”. Recent polls shows that between one-third and one-half of Germans view Israel as the political equivalent of Nazi Germany. The German government now regularly pretends to give lessons on morality to Israel, but never criticizes terrorist leaders such as Mahmoud Abbas.

Germany remains in a position of appeasing, securing and strengthening economic ties with rogue regimes such as Iran. The German army is so ill-equipped that during exercises instead of weapons, it uses broomsticks. Polls show that the German population now think that the main danger to world peace does not come from Iran or North Korea, but from the United States. Germany is today the most anti-American country in the Western world . Stern, Germany’s most popular news weekly magazine, recently put on its cover an image of Donald Trump performing a Nazi salute while draped in the American flag.

Economic efficiency is low. The German economy is essentially an industrial economy and not adapted to the digital age. Investment in GDP has declined; innovative activity is weak; productivity stagnates. Since 2008, annual productivity growth has been only 0.5%. The planned closure of German nuclear power plants in the name of “protecting the climate” raises wholesale electricity prices, while German households and businesses bear the financial burden of paying among the highest electricity costs in the developed world. Unskilled immigrants from the Muslim world cannot replace skilled Germans who retire or pass away. The number of poor people continues to increase. The capacity for receiving immigrants has reached its limits; living conditions in many shelters have become substandard: floors are not cleaned regularly and are soiled for days with blood, urine, feces, and invasion of cockroaches are frequent. The German Commissioner for Immigration recently said that only a quarter to a third of the refugees who settled in Germany could enter the labor market. The others will have to rely on government benefits for the rest of their lives.

Diseases that were nearly eradicated, such as tuberculosis, made a comeback. Vaccines did not exist as Europeans had stopped making them.

The median age in Germany is now 46.8. A gradual replacement of the non-Muslim population with a Muslim population is taking place. Forty percent of children under five, born in Germany, have foreign roots. Since 2005, the population of new arrivals has increased by 24%, while the native population has decreased by 5%.

Demographers say that unless the current trends are reversed, Germans will become a minority in their own country, possibly in fifteen to twenty years.

Nothing at the moment indicates that the trends will reverse.

Most of the German press is permeated with political correctness. Newspapers and magazines support multiculturalism, and do not talk about the most urgent problems facing the country: anemic economic growth, population ageing, and Islamization. Many journalists, professors and writers say that German culture does not exist. When books criticizing Islam may become best sellers, their authors are immediately demonized. Deutschland schafft sich ab (“Germany Abolishes Itself”) was an enormous success in 2010, but its author, Thilo Sarrazin, was immediately treated as a “racist” and pushed towards the margin of all political debates. Rolf Peter Sieferle, a former counselor of Angela Merkel, wrote several articles describing the self-destruction of Germany. “A society that can no longer make the difference between itself and the forces that dissolve it lives morally beyond its means,” he said in 2015. Insulted and rejected by those with whom he used to work, he committed suicide in September 2016. A collection of his notes was published after his death, Finis Germaniae (“The End of Germany”).

The Alternative for Germany (AfD) political party promises to “shake off the Bundestag”. The 12.6% of the vote it received will undoubtedly give it a voice. Its leaders are treated by the media and other political parties as the incarnation of the devil. Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel warned against the entry of “real Nazis” into the parliament . A leader of the far-left Die Linke party asked: “Have we not learnt the lessons from the war?”. Jewish leaders are scared: Dr. Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany said that AfD uses strategies generally used by aspiring “fascist dictatorships.”

The AfD party is not Nazi, however. Its members rather seem to fear that Germany and Germans will disappear under the weight of Islam. The Nazis were anti-Semitic, militarist, socialist, and desired to conquer. The AfD is not anti-Semitic, not militarist, not socialist, and does not want to conquer other countries. Jewish leaders in Germany are frightened because they think that if the AfD is hostile to one minority, the Muslims, it could grow hostile to other minorities. They are probably wrong. There is no comparison between Muslims and Jews. The AfD has strongly supported Israel’s right to exist and Israel’s right to has to fight the Islamic threat against it.

Some AfD members have made controversial statements about German soldiers, and about the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin.

At the same time, the AfD is currently Germany’s most pro-Israeli party. It is also the only party that clearly foresees the very real risk of Germany sliding towards an Islamic sunset.

Is it possible for Germany to recover? We shall see. What is at stake here, however, is far more than Germany.

The Real Roots of Islamic Terrorism by Khadija Khan

Last month, an Islamic preacher was caught red-handed in Britain preaching for ISIS and jihad, and inciting youths to commit violence against non-Muslims. To everyone’s purported astonishment, he was not delivering his lectures on websites. He was delivering sermons live in a public-charity mosque — funded by taxpayers — in Stoke-on-Trent.

France and Britain remain in the constant grip of Islamist terror, yet their governments, despite having laws prohibiting “hate speech”, have so far failed to address the influence that preachers of violence and hatred have with local Muslims.

Blaming terror recruitment only on the internet is just an invented story, like the one that every suicide bomber or those who committed acts of terror in the name of Islam were lone wolves who merely took “inspiration” from terror outfits such as al-Qaeda or ISIS.

Governments in Britain and other countries in the grip of terror posed by Islamists have probably also been using the “online” excuse to shake off any charges of reckless endangerment or criminal neglect that they have might have committed by allowing these extremists to flourish in West.

The terrorists involved in the Parsons Green Underground attack and other incidents, as in Barcelona, were found to have ties with local mosques or seminaries, yet the administrations of these places have refused to take any responsibility, and stated that they are not accountable for the acts of their members.

Another terrorist attacks France and slaughters two innocent women at the Marseille train station. The terrorist was reportedly chanting the Arabic verses.

Within 24 hours, another terror attack took place in Edmonton, Canada outside a football stadium, when a man with a knife left five people injured. An ISIS flag was reportedly found in suspect’s car.

The strike in a country known for going extra miles to take in immigrants from the war-torn Middle East exposes the fact that these terrorists are enemies not only of human rights but often if the very people trying to help them.

No soft gesture, however, will deter extremist Muslims unless the whole world submits to their version of Islam.

The Truant Teacher Problem Collective bargaining agreements allow traditional public school teachers to “get sick” too often. Larry Sand

It’s hardly a secret that many teachers take advantage of the allowable sick days that are part of a typical union collective bargaining agreement (CBA). All teachers use sick days legitimately at some point, but many (including yours truly, on occasion) have been known to call in sick when perfectly healthy. My middle school was typical, where teachers invariably got “sick” much more often on Mondays and Fridays. And some would come down with a bad case of the flu at strategic times—like the three days before the four-day Thanksgiving weekend, giving them a ten-day vacation with pay.

But now, using data from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, a Fordham Institute study released in September demonstrates the full extent of the absentee problem. On average, teachers miss about eight school days a year due to sick and personal leave, while the average U.S. worker takes only about three and a half sick days per annum. Worse, the study shows that 28.3 percent of teachers in traditional public schools are chronically absent—defined as missing more than 10 days of school per year because of illness or personal reasons. In charter schools—most of which are not unionized—the corresponding rate is just 10.3 percent. But even within the charter sector, the study reveals a glaring disparity: teachers in unionized charters are almost twice as likely to be chronically absent as their colleagues in non-unionized charters—17.9 percent to 9.1 percent.

More important, the study’s author, David Griffith, suggests a direct link between teacher attendance and student achievement. He writes, “There are roughly 100,000 public schools in the United States, with over 3 million public school teachers and at least 50 million students. So every year, at least 800,000 teachers in the U.S. are chronically absent, meaning they miss about 9 million days of school between them, resulting in roughly 1 billion instances in which a kid comes to class to find that his or her time is, more often than not, being wasted.”

Of course, when the regular teacher calls in sick, the schools arrange for a substitute. Some subs are excellent, but they’re in high demand, and the chances are slim that one of them will get assigned to your child’s classroom. All too often, a sub can’t be found or doesn’t show up. If they do make it to the classroom, they often can’t control the class, or they have their own agenda for the day.

This study is yet another in a growing list that shows CBAs are harmful to students. In 2015, researchers Michael Lovenheim and Alexander Willen found that laws requiring school districts to engage in the collective bargaining process with teachers’ unions lead students to be less successful in life. In 2009, Stanford researcher Caroline Hoxby detailed in practical terms how CBAs stifle flexibility in determining the best slot for a teacher at a given school and deny the opportunity to get rid of underperformers—rigidity being the hallmark of labor contracts. In 2007, Stanford researcher Terry Moe found that CBAs appear to have a strongly negative impact in larger school districts, but seem to have no effect in smaller ones, except possibly “for African-American students—which is important indeed if true.”

Some observers have disputed the impact that CBAs have on chronic teacher absences. National Council on Teacher Quality president Kate Walsh claims that school culture explains the disparity. She points to discrepancies in teacher-absence rates between cities. For example, more than 30 percent of traditional public school teachers miss more than 10 days in unionized Chicago, while in San Francisco, also unionized, only 10 percent hit that mark. Walsh claims, “The difference is there’s a cultural expectation you show up.” School culture may have the power to trump CBAs, but the much more common phenomenon is that CBAs set the culture of the schools.

Amnesty Lessons Europe finds that amnesty for illegal immigrants brings ever more illegals. Heather Mac Donald

The popular will regarding illegal immigration appears to have triumphed over elite sentiment—at least for now. The Senate is close to passing a House measure to build 700 miles of fence along the Mexican border, without demanding amnesty for illegal aliens or a guest-worker program as a quid pro quo. “Comprehensive” immigration reform (a.k.a. amnesty), the pet project of the Bush Administration and its conservative open-borders supporters, has for the moment foundered on political and social reality.

Anyone who still questions the wisdom of the enforcement-first strategy embraced by House Republicans (and a few staunch GOP senators such as Alabama’s Jeff Sessions) need only look at Madrid, where a conference on the European illegal immigration crisis has thrown the folly of amnesty into sharp relief. Spain is leading an appeal to other European Union members to beef up their support for a new EU border control agency. The agency, Frontex, tries to apprehend illegal immigrants as they sail from Africa to Spain’s Canary Islands. Spain’s Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos argued on Friday that the African influx threatened Europe’s entire border, not just Spain’s.

But Spain’s appeal for aid has so far fallen on deaf ears. The reason: Spain is largely responsible for exacerbating the illegal immigration problem by having granted amnesty to its illegal aliens last year, according to leading EU representatives. Nicholas Sarkozy, France’s interior minister, says that Spain’s 2005 amnesty to 600,000 illegals lies behind the explosion of illegal migration this year. Officials have caught more than five times the number of Africans trying to reach the Spanish islands in the first 8 months of 2006—24,000—than they caught in all of 2005. France experienced an identical surge in would-be “refugees” after its own amnesty in 1997, says Sarkozy. Austria’s justice minister Karin Gastinger has charged that amnesties create a “pull factor [to] the people in Africa [and] give the wrong signal.” Even Senegal, the source of most immigrants to Spain, has criticized the Spanish amnesty for encouraging illegal immigration, according to Deutsche Presse-Agentur.

Needless to say, the European experience with amnesty repeats the U.S. one. Following the 1986 American amnesty, illegal Mexican immigration surged several fold. By now, we have enough shared experience with misguided immigration policy not to keep making the same mistake. France’s Sarkozy proposes a Europe-wide ban on mass amnesties. This is one French idea that the U.S. would be wise to embrace.