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Hometown: Xenia, OH
Member since: Tue Sep 19, 2006, 04:46 PM
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I tend to agree. It's a tough situation for Europe.

With an unending flow of refugees and others making the short trip from the Turkish coast to nearby Greek islands, Europe's choices are limited. The EU has patrols in the eastern Mediterranean. They could use those to sink the boats rather than rescue them but that seems immoral.

The EU could force people who land in Greece to return to Turkey immediately but there are international laws that apply to those claiming to be refugees that they would have to ignore.

They could provide the resources to Greece to house and feed the arrivals and process their applications for asylum or refugee status, deport those who do not qualify and allow qualified refugees to move to other EU countries.

Or the EU and the rest of the world could deal with the cause of the continuing flow of refugees instead of arguing over what to do about them.

New study shows Trump has potential to unite whites' "ethnic and economic anxieties into a powerful

populist coalition".

A newly released poll shows the populist power of Donald Trump

For example, Lee Drutman noted that ethnically conservative and economically progressive populists who want increased spending on Social Security and a decrease in immigration vastly outnumber political conservatives and business Republicans. (?) “So when Trump speaks out both against immigration and against fellow Republicans who want to cut Social Security,” Drutman wrote, “he’s speaking out for a lot of people.”

The PEPS follows prior research and measures resentment toward African Americans and immigrants with statements like “blacks could be just as well off as whites if they only tried harder” and “it bothers me when I come in contact with immigrants who speak little or no English.” It also contains a measure of ethnocentrism developed by Donald Kinder and Cindy Kam, which compares how favorably respondents rated whites to how favorably they rated minority groups.

Finally, the PEPS included questions about taxes, the minimum wage, government health care, big business and labor unions — which together form a reliable measure of economic liberalism.


On economic issues, Trump separates himself even more from his closest competitor in the PEPS survey, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.). The graph below shows that Cruz outperforms Trump by about 15 percentage points among the most economically conservative Republicans. But Cruz loses to Trump by over 30 points among the quarter of Republicans who hold progressive positions on health care, taxes, the minimum wage and unions.

It appears from the PEPS data, then, that the Trump coalition unites resentment of minority groups with support for economically progressive policies.


We all know that the republican party is full of people with a "resentment of minority groups". Where did these poll takers find the "quarter of Republicans who hold progressive positions on health care, taxes, the minimum wage and unions."

The point is made in the article that Trump is not really that 'progressive' in economic terms since he "opposes raising the minimum wage and has proposed a massive tax cut on high incomes" and supports spreading 'right-to-work' to more states. Of course, within the GOP being 'economically progressive' by comparison is a low bar to hurdle.

Britain's unions will fight to keep the UK in the EU. Conservatives want it out.

Britain's unions ready to join fight to stay in European Union, top official says

Britain's trade unions are close to joining the push to keep the country in the European Union, bringing grass-roots muscle to a fight that has so far been dominated by big business and bankers, the head of the country's largest union group said. ... The TUC, which represents most unions, remains a political force with close ties to the opposition Labour Party which is broadly supportive of EU membership.

Unions will fight to stay in, emphasizing jobs and workers' rights
, Frances O'Grady, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, told Reuters in an interview. "What we need to do is start putting rights and jobs center stage in the campaign debate," O'Grady said. "The bulk of the rights at work that matter to us originated in Europe."

The EU-mandated protections for workers would be at risk if Britain votes to leave the EU. Many lawmakers in Cameron's Conservative Party resent them as an embodiment of EU over-reach into the affairs of member states.

For the TUC, by contrast, they are sacrosanct. "A Brexit would have massive implications for jobs, rights, and the very fabric of the UK," O'Grady said, referring to a possible British exit. "If you take that floor away, workers will be worse off. It's a hell of a gamble for those, who want to leave Europe, to depend on particularly the government we have now to protect the rights on which so many people's working lives depend."


Conservatives will downplay the threat to labor rights if the UK leaves the EU. Conservatives will focus on using a fear of immigrants and refugees to to achieve their economic goals.

I came across an article on Swedish feminists balancing combatting sexism and racism

Swedish Feminists Thread Needle Between Sexism and Racism in Migrant Controversy
A scandal over alleged sexual assaults by migrants puts Sweden—renowned for its gender equality and its liberality—in a difficult place

Though the facts of what actually happened at the festival remain unclear, the controversy has raised questions in Sweden about whether the Scandinavian country’s liberal political values had stifled a more honest discussion about how to integrate migrants from the Islamic world who might not share those values—even as the response of right-wingers fed accusations of racism.

It is not the first time that Sweden has had to deal with the uncomfortable intersection of racism and sexual assault against women. After sexual assault allegations were made against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in Sweden in 2012, the country faced scrutiny over statistics that suggested it had one of the highest rape rates in the world. Right-wing organizations, such as the Gastestone Institute, have used this data as an indication of risk migrants pose to women. But Sweden’s National Council for Crime Prevention cautions against comparing crime data across countries, and attributes Sweden’s statistics to high rates of reporting rape, and a broadening of the definition of rape in 2005.

The attention on these particular assaults has put many Swedish feminists in an uncomfortable place. They don’t want to play down the very real threat of sexual violence that all men potentially pose, but they don’t want that threat used as a political weapons against refugees. “It is very dangerous to racialize sexual harassment,” says Tiina Rosenberg, a founding member of Sweden’s feminist party, the Feminist Initiative, and a gender scholar and professor at Stockholm University.

Other Swedish feminists agreed, saying that, while it may be good that it the national refugee crisis brought attention to the violence all women face, it is wrong to describe the problem as specific to refugees. “This kind of harassment and violence has been going on for a long time in every country,” says Gudrun Schyman, a Swedish politician and spokeswoman for the Feminist Initiative, “What is common is men.”


Great post. It reminded me of this article about a Pat Buchanan adviser in 1996.

How an obscure adviser to Pat Buchanan predicted the wild Trump campaign in 1996

(S)ooner or later, as the globalist elites seek to drag the country into conflicts and global commitments, preside over the economic pastoralization of the United States, manage the delegitimization of our own culture, and the dispossession of our people, and disregard or diminish our national interests and national sovereignty, a nationalist reaction is almost inevitable and will probably assume populist form when it arrives. The sooner it comes, the better…

(Samuel Francis in Chronicles)

Imagine giving this advice to a Republican presidential candidate: What if you stopped calling yourself a conservative and instead just promised to make America great again?

What if you dropped all this leftover 19th-century piety about the free market and promised to fight the elites who were selling out American jobs? What if you just stopped talking about reforming Medicare and Social Security and instead said that the elites were failing to deliver better health care at a reasonable price? What if, instead of vainly talking about restoring the place of religion in society — something that appeals only to a narrow slice of Middle America — you simply promised to restore the Middle American core — the economic and cultural losers of globalization — to their rightful place in America? What if you said you would restore them as the chief clients of the American state under your watch, being mindful of their interests when regulating the economy or negotiating trade deals?

That's pretty much the advice that columnist Samuel Francis gave to Pat Buchanan in a 1996 essay, "From Household to Nation," in Chronicles magazine. Samuel Francis was a paleo-conservative intellectual who died in 2005. Earlier in his career he helped Senator East of North Carolina oppose the Martin Luther King holiday. He wrote a white paper recommending the Reagan White House use its law enforcement powers to break up and harass left-wing groups. He was an intellectual disciple of James Burnham's political realism, and Francis' political analysis always had a residue of Burnham's Marxist sociology about it. He argued that the political right needed to stop playing defense — the globalist left won the political and cultural war a long time ago — and should instead adopt the insurgent strategy of communist intellectual Antonio Gramsci. Francis eventually turned into a something resembling an all-out white nationalist, penning his most racist material under a pen name. Buchanan didn't take Francis' advice in 1996, not entirely. But 20 years later, "From Household to Nation," reads like a political manifesto from which the Trump campaign springs.

To simplify Francis' theory: There are a number of Americans who are losers from a process of economic globalization that enriches a transnational global elite. These Middle Americans see jobs disappearing to Asia and increased competition from immigrants. Most of them feel threatened by cultural liberalism, at least the type that sees Middle Americans as loathsome white bigots. But they are also threatened by conservatives who would take away their Medicare, hand their Social Security earnings to fund-managers in Connecticut, and cut off their unemployment too.


Another thread had this Pew poll from 2013 on Muslim attitudes - some surprising, some predictable -

in one of the responses. I thought it would shed some light on the stereotype of Muslims that seems so prevalent today among republicans and others.

The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics and Society

Given a choice between a leader with a strong hand or a democratic system of government, most Muslims choose democracy. Regional medians of roughly six-in-ten or more support democracy in sub-Saharan Africa (72%), Southeast Asia (64%) and Southern and Eastern Europe (58%), while slightly fewer agree in the Middle East and North Africa (55%) and Central Asia (52%). Muslims in South Asia are the most skeptical of democratic government (a median of 45% say they support democracy).

In a majority of countries surveyed, at least half of Muslims say they are somewhat or very concerned about religious extremism. And on balance, more Muslims are concerned about Islamic than Christian extremist groups. In all but one of the 36 countries where the question was asked, no more than one-in-five Muslims express worries about Christian extremism, compared with 28 countries where at least that many say they are concerned about Islamic extremist groups.

Across the 23 countries where the question was asked, most Muslims see no inherent conflict between religion and science. This view is especially widespread in the Middle East and North Africa (median of 75%) even though, as previously noted, many Muslims in the region are highly committed to their faith. Across the other regions surveyed, medians of 50% or more concur that religion and science are compatible. The one exception is South Asia, where fewer than half (45%) share this view.

Asked specifically about the origins of humans and other living things, Muslims in Central Asia, Southern and Eastern Europe, and the Middle East-North Africa region agree with the theory of evolution (regional medians from 54% to 58%).


Muslims' attitudes are easy for Trump and others to stereotype but the reality of their diverse opinions makes things more complicated that the right would have people believe.

I was surprised, perhaps I should not have been, that Muslims were supportive of science, particularly theory of evolution. I don't know what the figure for American Christians is in terms of their believe in evolution but a large segment of them seem to reject evolution.

Well said. This may help too: 5 Major Myths Of Europe's Refugee And Migrant Crisis Debunked

Hundreds of thousands of people have fled to Europe from repressive and conflict-laden countries this year in the largest refugee crisis since World War II. The sudden influx has sparked an urgent discussion among the European Union nations over what response is necessary to mitigate the crisis. While incredible displays of generosity and solidarity have come out of that debate, the conversation has also included talking points and narratives that are more rooted in myth than fact.

Many of these false claims about the refugee and migrant crisis have been repeated ad nauseam in the media and online comment sections, as well as by prominent politicians in Europe and the United States. The propagation of these myths not only distorts the reality of the crisis and those caught up in it, but can also affect how states and populations move to help those in need.

"A lot of politics is relatively fact-free in this arena, and we need to much better understand what drives migration before we can form the right policies," migration expert Hein de Haas told The WorldPost in an interview on the subject last month.

The WorldPost took a look at five of the major myths circulating around the refugee and migrant crisis.

Myth #1: The Majority Of People Are Economic Migrants
Myth #2: Migrants And Refugees Can Just Stay In Turkey
Myth #3: They Don't Look Like They Need Help
Myth #4: Islamic State Militants Are Posing As Refugees
Myth #5: Refugees And Migrants Will Ruin Economies


The "relatively fact-free" nature of politics when in comes to refugees sounds like a republican creation but the far-right in Europe is good at it too.

"But on the left ... there are some people who ... minimize the differences between the parties.

But the truth is that Mr. Obama’s election in 2008 and re-election in 2012 had some real, quantifiable consequences. For one of the important consequences of the 2012 election was that Mr. Obama was able to go through with a significant rise in taxes on high incomes.

If Mitt Romney had won, we can be sure that Republicans would have found a way to prevent these tax hikes. And we can now see what happened because he didn’t. According to the new tables, the average income tax rate for 99 percent of Americans barely changed from 2012 to 2013, but the tax rate for the top 1 percent rose by more than four percentage points. The tax rise was even bigger for very high incomes: 6.5 percentage points for the top 0.01 percent.

Speaking of Obamacare, that’s another thing Republicans would surely have killed if 2012 had gone the other way. Instead, the program went into effect at the beginning of 2014. And the effect on health care has been huge: according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of uninsured Americans fell 17 million between 2012 and the first half of 2015, with further declines most likely ahead.

The bottom line is that presidential elections matter, a lot, even if the people on the ballot aren’t as fiery as you might like. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Obviously, Krugman is not a fan of the 'both parties are the same.'
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