Before Sleepy Joe’s Super Tuesday and COVID-19’s super-spreaders and the super-virus’s increasing proximity to the super Supreme Leader and all the other stuff that will afflict us this coming week, a Monday miscellany of items that may not have caught your eye:
~From our Abbahu Akbar files, as Laura Rosen Cohen would say: For over a decade, I’ve been saying that we’ve been living through an extraordinary moment in human history – the conscious self-extinction of some of the oldest nations on the planet. Also for over a decade, I’ve been saying that if I had to pick a Continental country that would surrender to Sharia first, I’d plump for Sweden. As Laura noticed the other day, in a land that fifty years ago was almost entirely ethnically homogeneous, an increasing number of Swedish grade schools now have a student body whose first language is Arabic. Within thirty years, ethnic Swedes will be a minority in Sweden.
How do you manage such a transition? Obviously, you make it a hate crime even to raise the subject, you racist you. Still and all, people do tend to notice these things. So maybe it’s time to move to the next phase and make the total transformation of cultural mores a sexy lifestyle choice. The above magazine cover is from Swedish Elle, hailing Imane Asry’s stylish hijab as the “Look of the Year”.
There’s an utterly charming Irving Berlin song from a century ago:
The Girl I Love Is On The Magazine Cover
Now the girl I love is on the magazine covered. That’s not an improvement.
You’re not Muslim? Hey, relax; you don’t have to be – yet. It’s just the new chic. And, in certain of the livelier neighborhoods, it might lessen the risk of getting sexually assaulted when you’re walking home after work.
Whenever Bernie Sanders’s socialism comes up in the Democratic debates, he deflects criticism by saying he favors something along the lines of Denmark’s model. Sanders’s debate rivals almost invariably let this answer pass. (I think Pete Buttigieg tried to take it on in the last debate but couldn’t get the floor.)
In reality, the policies Sanders advocates bear little resemblance to those of Denmark and other Scandinavian countries today. They do resemble many of the policies these countries tried 50 years ago. However, these policies failed and were discarded.
The Vermont socialist is getting away with false advertising, including bait and switch.
But with Sanders now the clear frontrunner, and perhaps on the verge of nailing down the nomination, some liberals are starting to look behind Sanders’s Denmark dodge, as Buttigieg tried to do in the most recent debate.
Fareed Zakaria calls Sanders on it in this Washington Post op-ed. He writes:
The image [Sanders] conjures up is of a warm and fuzzy social democracy in which market economics are kept on a tight leash through regulation, the rich are heavily taxed and the social safety net is generous. That is, however, an inaccurate and highly misleading description of those Northern European countries today.
Take billionaires. Sanders has been clear on the topic: “Billionaires should not exist.” But Sweden and Norway both have more billionaires per capita than the United States — Sweden almost twice as many. Not only that, these billionaires are able to pass on their wealth to their children tax-free. Inheritance taxes in Sweden and Norway are zero, and in Denmark 15 percent. The United States, by contrast, has the fourth-highest estate taxes in the industrialized world at 40 percent.
The Scandinavian economies were once more in line with Sanders’s socialist vision, but these policies were ruinous. Accordingly, they eventually were abandoned:
In Sweden, government spending as a percentage of gross domestic product doubled from 1960 to 1980, going from approximately 30 percent to 60 percent. But as Swedish commentator Johan Norberg points out, this experiment in Sanders-style democratic socialism tanked the Swedish economy. Between 1970 and 1995, he notes, Sweden did not create a single net new job in the private sector. In 1991, a free-market prime minister, Carl Bildt, initiated a series of reforms to kick-start the economy. By the mid-2000s, Sweden had cut the size of its government by a third and emerged from its long economic slump.
The story is essentially the same throughout Northern Europe, including in Denmark, according to Zakaria. And speaking of Denmark:
A 2008 OECD report found that the top 10 percent in the United States pay 45 percent of all income taxes, while the top 10 percent in Denmark pay 26 percent and in Sweden 27 percent. Among wealthy countries, the average is 32 percent.
The United States has a significantly more progressive tax code than Europe, and its top 10 percent pays a vastly greater share of the country’s taxes than their European counterparts.
Sanders doesn’t want Denmark’s taxation policy. Nor does he advocate other key elements of the Danish model — flexible labor markets, light regulations, and a deep commitment to free trade.
Sanders favors policies much more along the lines of those that failed Scandinavia in the 1960s and 1970s. Or perhaps a mixture of those policies and the ones that are failing in Venezuela today.
As I said, liberals have been slow to point this out. If Sanders is the Democratic nominee, conservatives, with President Trump in the lead, won’t be.
And some people with crap-for-brains still want the U.S. to allow more moslem refugees and immigrants to enter the U.S.
Sweden is learning this lesson the hard way, and their experience should inform our gubbermint’s decisions
As I repeat my first squad leader’s advice:
“Experience is the best teacher and other people’s experience is often the best. It’s cheaper and less painful.”
This isn’t terrorism. It’s a war. And it’s going on every day in Sweden.
Sweden is reeling from a wave of shootings and bombings with 268 shootings just this year so far. And that’s in a country of 10 million people which has crime numbers on par with some American cities.
“Sweden may have the answer to America’s gun problem,” Vox declared in 2016. Or maybe not.
These shootings aren’t being carried out with handguns, but with AK-47s. The weapon so often used as a boogeyman by gun control advocates, but rarely featured in everyday gun violence, is a staple of Sweden’s gang war scene. Along with hand grenades and other explosives rarely seen in America.
A call by the police last year asking gang members to turn in their grenades worked as well as expected.
There have been 187 bomb attacks this year. In just 1 week in August, there were three major bombings. Much of the violence is concentrated in Malmo which experienced 58 bombings in 2017.
Malmo has a sizable immigrant and Muslim population. And it’s a center of gang violence…………
But Muslim gang violence in Sweden isn’t just its problem anymore.
Bombings took off in Copenhagen with explosions outside a police station and a tax office over the summer. The targets were political and the bombs weren’t fireworks or hand grenades, but commercial explosives used for demolitions. The suspects turned out to be criminals who had entered from Sweden.
The violence was probably related to gang wars involving the Brothas, Loyal to Familia and other splinter gangs. Despite the gang names, the actual gang members have names like Osman and Omar.
While Muslim gangs operating out of Malmo appear to be pushing into Copenhagen, likely fronts and splinter groups of the Hells Angels, Muslim gangs out of Copenhagen, like the Black Cobras, are pushing into Malmo. To the Muslim gangs, Sweden and Denmark are just territories to seize and control.
That’s the same attitude that has brought Muslim gang members into ISIS.
Omar El-Hussein, a “Palestinian” Jordanian migrant criminal, who attempted to murder Mohammed cartoonist Lars Vilks before attacking a bar mitzvah at the Great Synagogue, had come through the ranks of the Brothas, building up a long criminal record, before finally joining ISIS.
After the attack, a journalist interviewed fellow Brothas gang members, Ahmed and Abdur Ramadan. “Those who depict our prophet, we’ll blow them up,” they declared.
The reference to bombings isn’t accidental.
Muslim gang leaders have reportedly taken the lead in joining ISIS. And their interest in explosives isn’t purely about gang violence. The bombing attacks on a police station and tax office weren’t gang rivalries. Despite the denials by the authorities, they have all the classic hallmarks of terrorism.
Denmark has reacted to the terror traffic from Sweden by imposing border controls on bridge crossings.
And while that might help slow the rate at which weapons flow into the country and bodies pile up, the real problem isn’t coming in from Sweden, but from Morocco, Turkey, Pakistan, Jordan, and Somalia.
Europe’s open infrastructure, its rejection of national and regional borders, has worsened the problem. From the mass flow of migrants from Muslim countries to the ease with which Muslim gang members move between European countries, the lack of border security has made the conquest of Europe easy.
The growing linkages between Muslim gangs across national borders is a warning of worse to come.
The main components of Islamic militias, like the ones that tore apart Syria and Libya, were gangs. Islamist forces like these are often made up of gangs with grandiose names. The Copenhagen gangs are still associated with international gangs and use their names, but eventually they will go Islamic.
And then it won’t be the Hells Angels anymore. It’ll be the Islamic State of something or other………….
Whether or not the Swedish authorities can successfully keep feeding their population the same lies about the magic of integration, Denmark and Norway don’t want Sweden’s problems coming home.
But while Sweden’s insistence that it is a “humanitarian superpower” because of the volume of migrants it has taken in has obviously worsened the problem, no European country is immune from the threat.
The gangs in Sweden and Denmark disregard national borders and governments. They’ve bombed police cars and police stations because they believe that they are the law. They don’t care which government is in power or what its policies might be. They are the only authorities in their particular no-go zones.
And while it’s fashionable to deny that no-go zones exist, the bombings amply testify otherwise.
While the debate goes on about the thin line between terrorism and gang violence, the authorities are deploying the familiar toolkit of counterterrorism measures, including eavesdropping, to fight the war.
And when bombs go off and AK-47 fire is heard in broad daylight, does it matter what kind of war it is?
Bernie Sanders would like us to be more like Sweden. That means a frightened citizenry, bullets and bombs going off in the streets, while our taxes go to fund social welfare programs for our killers.
America can’t be more like Sweden. Not even Sweden is going to be able to be like Sweden anymore.
Abandoning Malmö to Its Criminals
By the way, those criminals are mostly moslem ‘refugee’ imports.
And Swedes should remember; they voted in the gubbermint that did this to them. And now they’re getting it good and hard, just as Mencken wrote.
“I think they just shot someone right across from my balcony,” my friend told me.
The gunshot rang out even as we were texting about another recent act of violence here in the Swedish city of Malmö—a car bomb that went off in a residential area close to my home.
Acts of violence occur so frequently in Malmö that news of one blurs into the next. This year, there already have been 29 explosions in a city of just 320,000. Sweden as a whole is on pace for about 150—or about three per week (as Quillette has reported previously). These are attacks by criminal gangs that usually target other criminals. But the victims are sometimes innocent bystanders. In one recent case, for instance, a female student was severely injured in the face when she happened to pass by a shop that exploded in Lund, a ten-minute car ride from Malmö. The more spectacular attacks have left whole cities such as Malmö fearful and traumatized, as a grandmother explained in a recent Facebook post about a bombing that blew out the windows of a residential building where her grandchildren were sleeping—”… two very frightened Swedish children, whose safe existence just fell apart.”
Writing for the newspaper Expressen that same day, Malmö-based journalist Fredrico Moreno likened his city’s bombing epidemic to a terror spree: “The bombs that wake us at night, that explode so that glass windows fly into bedrooms, have taken thousands of Malmö residents hostage…Friends tell me in passing how they have refurbished or switched rooms at home so that the children are not hurt when there are explosions nearby.”
As Sweden’s national police chief put it last week, there is “no equivalent” to this bombing campaign in any other Western country. And the violence extends beyond bombings. On Saturday, gunmen killed a 15-year-old boy and critically wounded another at a pizzeria, minutes after yet another explosion in Malmö. Witnesses reported the sound of “an entire clip being emptied.” In August, the city was shaken to its core when Karolin Hakim, a young doctor whose boyfriend is a well-known figure from the city’s criminal underworld, was shot and killed in an affluent Malmö neighborhood. She was carrying her infant baby in her arms. The killer placed a bullet in her head when she was already lying on the street.
As with many Malmö residents, there is a personal dimension for me. In August, 2017, I was awakened at 2:30am by burglars attempting to enter my home. I was alone with my then 5-year old twin daughters when four men smashed the glass panes of the antique door on the ground floor. I carried my sleeping daughters upstairs, called the police and desperately looked around for a makeshift means of self-defense. The best I could manage was a hammer. Over the phone, a police officer urged me not to make my presence known to the intruders, whose silhouettes I could see on the frosted window as they poked around the area where I kept my daughters’ bicycles. Thankfully, my neighbor happened to come home late that night, inadvertently scaring off the burglars when he turned on the stairwell lights in our shared entryway. From my bedroom window, I got a good view of the four men as they ran down the street and disappeared.
Half an hour later, I gave a young and resigned-seeming police officer my account of the incident. When I asked him how best to protect my family in the future, he told me the best solution was “not living in Malmö: Things have escalated to a point where we can’t manage the situation.”
His answer shocked me, and I subsequently wrote an opinion piece for a Swedish national newspaper about it. The article was widely circulated and provoked much discussion. My local Malmö newspaper, by contrast, criticized the decision to publish my piece at all, questioned the validity of my account, and fretted that it might hurt the city’s image.
This ad for Staffanstorp, a municipality 20 minutes from Malmö, sparked intense debate in Sweden this week. It shows a family that moves from Malmö after being harassed by a street gang.
Though many of the bombings and homicides go unsolved, they are known to be the work of warring criminal gangs that are predominantly based in the country’s immigrant neighborhoods. In recent years, the attacks have shifted from underprivileged areas and into the more prosperous city center, where professionals inhabit 19th-century houses on picturesque cobblestone roads. Recently, someone detonated a bomb at a fancy sushi restaurant just a few blocks from my house. A few weeks before that, the patisserie and café across the road was blown up. Before that, it was the nightclub down the road. It’s a small city, and there are few residents who haven’t been affected by the violence in some way.
We’ve been woken by bombings four times this year. When the sushi restaurant exploded, the blast was so powerful it made the windows in our bedroom rattle and a number of car alarms go off in the distance as the shockwave hit them. The explosion happened three blocks away, but the sound had become so familiar that I went back to sleep without even getting out of bed to check on my twins.
For years, the Swedish media and political establishment have done their best to play down the trend, dismissing concerns such as my own as alarmist overreactions. Malmö has been hailed as a multicultural success, despite growing evidence to the contrary. “This is a serious situation, but most people shouldn’t be worried, because they are not going to be affected,” the head of intelligence at Sweden’s National Operations Department assured everyone earlier this week. We are also made to understand that the perpetrators are, as one police official put it, “from socio-economically weak groups, socio-economically weak areas, and many are perhaps second- or third-generation immigrants.” A Social Democratic MP from Malmö, Hillevi Larsson, infamously claimed during a parliamentary debate in 2017 that she goes on her bike everywhere in Malmö, and that there is thus no reason to be afraid. Shootings are mainly about ”gangsters shooting at each other,” she argued.
But if a government doesn’t protect its population, then ordinary people will find a way to address the problem themselves—sometimes by simply leaving. Indeed, underpopulated Swedish municipalities with low crime rates now are actively recruiting well-off families from Malmö and other dangerous areas. The idea of “gated communities” is still a taboo in this country. But there is always the option of simply leaving a city like Malmö for a place with less crime.
That police officer who came to my home in 2017 was all too correct—which is why my wife and I recently made our own plans to leave the city with our family. Maybe one day we’ll return, but not until Swedish politicians show more concern for fighting crime than fending off criticism.