Will Europe Survive?

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Will Europe Survive?

Postby haggis » Fri Oct 08, 2004 4:33 pm

Off to dinner but more on this later. I've been very critical AND worried that Europe is sliding into a social "ghetto" and this gives me pause and hope.

"Only by working longer and moving towards the US social model can Europe hope to attain its Lisbon goals, according to Laurens Jan Brinkhorst, Dutch Minister of Economy, speaking at an event in Brussels on 7 October.

Modernising the European social model is a matter of urgency if Europe wants to maintain its model of choice in the long term and close the productivity gap with the US, believes the minister. . .

The current European model is not performing adequately said Mr Brinkhorst pointing out how far the EU had slipped behind the US. 'Since the early 1990s, the US has largely outpaced the EU in terms of economic growth. From 1991 to 2003, the US economy grew by no less than 47 per cent in total, whereas the EU economy achieved only 28 per cent growth.' Mr Brinkhorst also drew attention to the fact that in 2003, the US GDP per capita was 55 per cent higher than the EU's.
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Re: Will Europe Survive?

Postby Haggis@wk » Wed Jan 04, 2006 5:14 pm

....but then there is this to dampen my (admittedly low) expectations.

It’s the Demography Stupid

” Much of what we loosely call the Western world will not survive this century, and much of it will effectively disappear within our lifetimes, including many if not most Western European countries. There'll probably still be a geographical area on the map marked as Italy or the Netherlands--probably--just as in Istanbul there's still a building called St. Sophia's Cathedral. But it's not a cathedral; it's merely a designation for a piece of real estate. Likewise, Italy and the Netherlands will merely be designations for real estate. The challenge for those who reckon Western civilization is on balance better than the alternatives is to figure out a way to save at least some parts of the West.”

This is the part that'll drive OT nuts.

"In America, demographic trends suggest that the blue states ought to apply for honorary membership of the EU: In the 2004 election, John Kerry won the 16 with the lowest birthrates; George W. Bush took 25 of the 26 states with the highest. By 2050, there will be 100 million fewer Europeans, 100 million more Americans--and mostly red-state Americans."

<small>[ 01-04-2006, 05:40 PM: Message edited by: Haggis@wk ]</small>
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Re: Will Europe Survive?

Postby Shapley » Wed Jan 04, 2006 5:48 pm

Haggis,

Re-reading President Richard Nixon's book has gotten me to thinking (always a dangerous thing). According to President Nixon, Many terrorists in the '60s and '70s were trained by the KGB, and then sent out to 'rouse the rabble' and cause social discord, which the communists would step in and repair by implementing social reform that would correct the 'root causes' of terrorism (unequal distribution of wealth, etc., etc.). The real goal was to gain access to what President Nixon refers to as the 'oil jugular'. It is not coincidental that much of the terrorism around the world occurs in oil-rich nations.

It seems to me that, with the fall of Communism (or at least its primary proponent), a void was left, and those KGB trained terrorists were left as 'rebels without a cause'. Do you think radical Islam is providing the cause for these rebels, whose passion for mayhem is probably stronger than their passion for the Koran? It would seem to me that it might explain why we are seeing so many converts to Islam willing to engage in acts of terror. Are they perhaps terrorists first, and radical Islam simply gives them a cause (and a source of funding) for carrying out anti-western hatred?

President Nixon also points out the precarious position of Saudi Arabia. He likens Saudi Arabia to a wealthy spinster living in a bad neighborhood. To read his book is to gain an insight into why the U.S. maintains close ties to the Saudi's even though the Saudi's can ill afford to appear too friendly to the west. I realize his observations in The Real War are nearly thirty years old, and were written before Ronaldus Maximus was able to resolve some of the situations he speaks of, but I find his observations refreshing.

I've not read his later books. I will probably order them and read them later. I've always respected President Nixon, but my respect for him grows as I re-read this work.

V/R
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Re: Will Europe Survive?

Postby barfle » Wed Jan 04, 2006 5:54 pm

Yeah, with liberals like OT breeding freely, those of us who believe in private enterprise are doomed.
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Re: Will Europe Survive?

Postby OperaTenor » Wed Jan 04, 2006 6:11 pm

Hi Haggis, your first link isn't working for me.

He Who At Least Scans Your Links
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http://www.one.org
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Re: Will Europe Survive?

Postby piqaboo » Wed Jan 04, 2006 8:11 pm

originally posted by haggis:
the US has largely outpaced the EU in terms of economic growth. From 1991 to 2003, the US economy grew by no less than 47 per cent in total, whereas the EU economy achieved only 28 per cent growth.' Mr Brinkhorst also drew attention to the fact that in 2003, the US GDP per capita was 55 per cent higher than the EU's...
Kudzu grows faster than grape* vines too. And much faster than oak trees. Yet, both survive and thrive.

* passion fruit, kiwi, etc
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Re: Will Europe Survive?

Postby Haggis@wk » Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:40 pm

"Kudzu grows faster than grape* vines too. And much faster than oak trees. Yet, both survive and thrive."

Jeez, Piq, I wrote that 2 months ago and NOW you’re banging on me? Please read the entire Steyn piece (the second article about Demographics), it has a lot of science regarding demographics in it and I’m very interested in your opinion of it. I’ve always felt that you were rational enough to tell the BS from the profound

I would point out that your comment ties neatly into the Steyn article ESPECIALLY about kudzu; live oaks in some southern states have died because kudzu starved them from light. In addition Oaks affected by Sudden Oak Death are weakened and susceptible to death by the kudzu.

And the simile does hold with the reality that a foreign animal/growth introduced into an environment that has no natural defenses against it has a hard time defeating it.

Rabbits in Australia; those walking catfish in Florida; and snakes in Hawaii (almost Biblical?)

A cash quote by Steyn that…

” while Islamism is the enemy, it's not what this thing's about. Radical Islam is an opportunistic infection, like AIDS: It's not the HIV that kills you, it's the pneumonia you get when your body's too weak to fight it off.”

I think he has laid out a very depressing scenario and I want to believe he’s another Ehrlich, but I’m a great fan of Toynbee and that Toynbee quote has been in my mind since I first read it when I was “twenty something”

It’s possible that I’m convinced because Steyn’s article reinforces my own beliefs, but I really would like to hear someone else’s take on how wrong he is because…..

I think Europe is doomed and his comments about a female child born today resonated when I thought of ‘toid.

It's a sobering thought
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Re: Will Europe Survive?

Postby Haggis@wk » Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:51 pm

OT,
Me neither, I guess it did a natural death since I posted it in 10/05

The second link to the WSJ is now the one that has me depressed; and would be even more so if I had young children.

It's anathama to you to hear such condemnation against socialized medicine that Steyn blames on the death of Europe but that's been my belief for decades. When the goverment's function is to provide an endless circus, then the government cease to be a positive force.

We have lived to see that Erlich was wrong and to suspect that the United Nations Global Environmental Outlook is probably as faulty as Erlich's predictions.

But we will all (knock on wood) live long enough to measure Steyn's predictions; I hope we can be as derisive of him as he is of Erlich. But unlike Erlich, the numbers of demographics are more real that Erlich's
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Postby Haggis@wk » Thu May 11, 2006 2:38 pm

Putin


” President Vladimir Putin offered couples cash to have more children to halt a dramatic decline in population and called for a stronger army in a key speech on Wednesday in which he shrugged off sharp attacks by Washington.
Putin, defying predictions he would focus on foreign policy, zeroed in on Russia's dwindling population -- an issue with huge implications for the economy -- which is falling by 700,000 people every year.”


As I keep pointing out, the demographic trend is the HIV that is infecting Europe and what used to be the old Soviet Union and radical Islam is the influenza that kills the patient off.

Can you imagine that Russia loses the equivalant of one San Francisco every year (not that San Fran isn’t killing itself off with plunging birth rates and family flight!)

Incredible
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Postby jamiebk » Thu May 11, 2006 8:38 pm

Can you imagine that Russia loses the equivalant of one San Francisco every year (not that San Fran isn’t killing itself off with plunging birth rates and family flight!)

Incredible[quote]

I am not sure that a demographic shift necessarily means the city is dying. The truth of the matter is that SF has experienced a 7.3% growth rate from 1990 to 2000. From 2000 to 2004 the population dipped by 4.2%. You can look some of this up yourselves: http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06/06075.html

In any event, SF is a culturally diverse city. Many families opt for suburban living in the general Bay area due to economic conditions. This has led to a lot of the typical "city" problems such as commute traffic, pollution etc. Housing is the real issue. Almost all of the housing in SF is rental...heavily skewed to apts. and condos. Most families cannot afford the $1,000,000+ entry level price to buy a modest fixer-upper.
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Postby dai bread » Fri May 12, 2006 1:25 am

Some comments on Mark Steyn's article:

..."I don't think Don Rumsfeld would regard it as a promotion if he were moved to Health and Human Services."

That's a pity. Defence of the Realm is one thing; actively waging war is another.

..."We've prioritized the secondary impulse over the primary ones: national defense, family, faith and, most basic of all, reproductive activity--"Go forth and multiply," because if you don't you won't be able to afford all those secondary-impulse issues, like cradle-to-grave welfare."

"Go forth & multiply"? Is Steyn saying the State should get involved in the bedrooms of the nation? The biggest driver of falling birthrates is a high standard of living, and this connection was made years ago as standards rose substantially after WW2 and birthrates dropped inversely.

...."reliance on immigration to ensure its future"...

The E.U. doesn't have this on its own. You'll all be aware of the recent furore in the U.S. over illegals.

The whole question of transnational migration is difficult & complex. A lot depends on which countries you're talking about for a start. I've often been intrigued by the fact that migrants who make it to France don't want to stay there, they want to go on to Britain. Why? I would have thought France was a decent country to live in. Plenty of British people think so.

The Aussies have more or less solved their problem by making their holding pens extremely uncomfortable. Illegals are held in them for years. As well, Islamists soiled their own nest by bombing Bali, thereby depriving Indonesia of huge tourist income, and allying the Indonesian Govt. with the Australian one to curb illegal migration, among other things.

..."the smarter Islamists have figured out. They know they can never win on the battlefield, but they figure there's an excellent chance they can drag things out until Western civilization collapses in on itself."

Guerilla warfare has always been like this. Just ask what's left of the French Resistance. So far in history, military strength has eventually prevailed, as it did in France in 1944. In Iraq, Iran & Afghanistan, it may not. Afghanistan in particular is a known historical problem. If the British couldn't take it when their empire was at its height, what chance has anyone else? The Soviets couldn't hold it either, much later and with much better technology than the British had. It could be said in both cases that the occupying powers didn't want to hold it. That raises the question of why they invaded in the first place.

..."Civilizations die from suicide, not murder"... I've always thought they died from old age. As I know only too well, having just helped a carrier haul a big chunk of Axminster upstairs, we get weaker as we age. This applies to nations & empires as well. Mind you, sometimes old people lose the will to live, and I expect this applies to nations & empires as well. I'm not sure how to categorise the demise of the British Empire, but I wouldn't call it suicide. Sundry colonised people, educated in British values, rebelled against colonial regimes. There was a certain inevitability about the end of the British Empire. The cost of holding it would have become astronomical, both financially & in lives & injuries.

..."Multiculturalism means your kid has to learn some wretched native dirge for the school holiday concert instead of getting to sing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" or that your holistic masseuse uses techniques developed from Native American spirituality, but not that you or anyone you care about should have to live in an African or Native American society."

Hear, hear. In NZ, this is called Political Correctness, and is loudly derided whenever it rears its ugly head. That doesn't stop some people, though.

I would add another comment: the multi cultures never interact much with us. We're always expected to interact with them. This includes accepting their values where they conflict with ours. Political correctness rears its head often in this context. When a Chinese murders another Chinese here, it's our fault.

..."I believe that once you are a Canadian citizen, you have the right to your own views and to disagree." The poor guy was between a rock & a hard place. I'm sure his country's law doesn't allow for discrimination against Canadian citizens at all, so he has no choice. Mind you, he would have got much more respect from his normal constituents if he'd said so instead of pussyfooting.

Even if the returnees were tried & found guilty of treason, they are still citizens. I hope the law is being studied with a view to amending it appropriately, but I don't know what an appropriate amendment would be. If war is not declared, are the people you're fighting, your nations enemies, & does the law relating to treason apply? How does it apply in respect of peacekeeping operations?

..."I would say socialized health care is a good marker"... Socialised medicine again. It's been discussed to death on this board. It's a pity Steyn doesn't have better marker. In this country, I'd suggest the proposed compulsory microchipping of dogs, or the proposal to charge a toll on anyone entering Auckland's isthmus area by car.

....why wouldn't you fancy your chances against the Belgians and Danes and New Zealanders?"... An interesting concept. The French came unstuck when they tried some state terrorism here in 1981 (if I remember rightly). Their agents were caught by police work and an observant populace, and that's why I think the "war against terror" should be a police matter, not a military one.

..."When it comes to forecasting the future, the birthrate is the nearest thing to hard numbers"... The imbalance between the poor & the rich is the problem here. Even on a local community level, poor people tend to have bigger families than rich ones. China's one-child policy is necessary to our well-being as much as it is to China's. 1.3 billion growing exponentially? I'll let someone else work it out, but to a non-mathematician like me it's scary. However, as living standards rise world-wide, birthrates will fall, as I said above.

..."The "free world," as the Americans called it, was a free ride for everyone else." Americans insist on being the world's policeman. I've said before, it will bankrupt you.

..."Europe by the end of this century will be a continent after the neutron bomb: The grand buildings will still be standing, but the people who built them will be gone. We are living through a remarkable period: the self-extinction of the races who, for good or ill, shaped the modern world." This does seem remarkably pessimistic. Comment from lliam?

..."If China ever takes its place as an advanced nation, it will be because the People's Republic learns more from British Hong Kong than Hong Kong learns from the Little Red Book." The Chinese have been traders & businessmen for millennia. They don't need to learn from anybody. They just have to revert to their usual ways, and this they are doing very quickly.

..."British Muslims want to live under Shariah--in the United Kingdom. " therein lies the contradiction of these people. They want it all. There's nothing new in that, but the U.K. was built by Western values. Maybe there's enough overlap between Christianity & Islam to keep a Western nation like the U.K. going, but from what I read about Sharia law I doubt it. But then, there are all sorts of Muslims, just as there are all sorts of Christians, and non-Christian Westerners. Indonesia, for instance, poses none of these problems. It poses others, which I won't go into here. This post is already too long.

As you may have gathered, it's a cold, wet day here and I have the time to read and comment on, a long article. Mark Steyn seems a bit pessimistic, at least from this side of the world. Others who live nearer the action may have a different view.
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Postby dai bread » Fri May 12, 2006 11:32 pm

It's another cold, wet day here, so....

The French committed their terrorism here in 1985. My memory didn't serve me too well.
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Postby Haggis@wk » Mon Sep 18, 2006 2:42 pm

Good news – bad news

The head of the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization openly dedicated to the violent spreading of Islam and the Islamic conquest of the world, says there’s no need to worry—Europe is already doomed and the Pope’s remarks won’t change a thing



Europe and encroaching radical Islam


”The leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood said the Islamic political movement’s relations with Christians should remain “good, civilized and cooperative.”
“While anger over the pope’s remarks was necessary, it shouldn’t last for long because while he is the head of the Catholic church in the world, many Europeans are not following it. So what he said won’t influence them,” Mohammed Mahdi Akef said.”



Middle East Forum

"These organizations represent themselves as mainstream, even as they continue to embrace the Brotherhood's radical views and maintain links to terrorists. With moderate rhetoric and well-spoken German, Dutch, and French, they have gained acceptance among European governments and media alike. Politicians across the political spectrum rush to engage them whenever an issue involving Muslims arises or, more parochially, when they seek the vote of the burgeoning Muslim community.

But, speaking Arabic or Turkish before their fellows Muslims, they drop their facade and embrace radicalism. While their representatives speak about interfaith dialogue and integration on television, their mosques preach hate and warn worshippers about the evils of Western society. While they publicly condemn the murder of commuters in Madrid and school children in Russia, they continue to raise money for Hamas and other terrorist organizations. Europeans, eager to create a dialogue with their increasingly disaffected Muslim minority, overlook this duplicity. The case is particularly visible in Germany, which retains a place of key importance in Europe, not only because of its location at the heart of Europe, but also because it played host to the first major wave of Muslim Brotherhood immigrants and is host to the best-organized Brotherhood presence. The German government's reaction is also instructive if only to show the dangers of accepting Muslim Brotherhood rhetoric at face value, without looking at the broader scope of its activities."
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Postby GreatCarouser » Mon Sep 18, 2006 4:41 pm

Meanwhile the Iranians weigh in 'officially' in their usual conciliatory, diplomatic manner:
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei links Pope's remarks to a 'crusade' against Muslims
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Postby piqaboo » Tue Sep 19, 2006 2:10 pm

Reading Steyn's demographic article, and piecing this response together...
He's modeling. And he's got some unstated assumptions
1) change is linear, and going in the same direction
2) muslims will vote in their new countries

2) I cant discuss, as I dont know if they vote in Europe or here. Some voting blocks are mis-used (blacks who dont vote because they have no power clearly dont understand that their power IS the vote) and I've heard it said that in the US, Jews dont vote for anything as a block, but they sure vote against certain issues as a block (very effective use of power).
This, from a later post, addresses it:
[i]Politicians across the political spectrum rush to engage them whenever an issue involving Muslims arises or, more parochially, when they seek the vote of the burgeoning Muslim community.
[/i]

Re 1): if his trends go as he claims, he's still got some faulty math, so I think he's drawn his doomsday too early on the timeline. The most obvious example:

"Spain 1.1, about half replacement rate. That's to say, Spain's population is halving every generation. "
Faulty math anyway. That would only be true if all existing generations died off in the next generation (generation = 20 yrs). Since lifespan is ~ 70+ yrs, we have ~ 4 generations going at any given time.
Thus, if Spain only replaces half of each generation, it will still take 3 generations to reduce the population to half of what it is now (assuming that at time 0, overall population evenly divided across the 4 populations).

Mroe re 1): Its my limited experience that this trend is reversing among affluent republic-loving americans. I know many 3-6 children families, and see many more pregnant young women (of all races) at work than I did when I was a young woman. In general, a lot more pregnant women of all ages. I've been thinking that the era of the 40+ first time mom is peaking. This is being driven by: those same moms encouraging their kids to have kids early *(how the heck else will we become grammas?), studies showing the effects of paternal age on mental health of children (mom correlates to idiocy (various trisomy's), dad correlates to schizophrenia), and I have no idea what else. Perhaps its just fashion.

Whatever the cause, I dont think in the US that the birthrate per woman is going to drop for much longer.

*joking aside, we AMAs know how much harder it is to do without sleep. The first allnighter hardly dented me 20 years ago.

eventually every couple on the planet may decide to opt for the Western yuppie model of one designer baby at the age of 39.
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According to a poll taken in 2004, over 60% of British Muslims want to live under Shariah--in the United Kingdom.

Not arguing with the author here. I think that the law of the country stands, and if someone wants to impose their own codes above on beyond, within their own community, so be it (Home Owner's Association anyone?) but they can not over-ride the federal, state and city laws.
(my HOA was forced to change its bylaws to allow children, because state law does not permit them to be excluded). And of course, people must be free to leave said community (tho the community is then free to exclude them in perpetuity as a result).

This aspect of immigration is what bothers me. I'm ok with celebrating the highlights of other cultures and races. Im not ok with over-riding the culture of the country to which those immigrants ASKED to come.
And Im damn sure not ok with overriding the laws thereof.

So, if I want to celebrate Guy Fawkes day with the Altoid, no problem. If my neighbors want to celebrate saints days the way they did in the old country, no problem. If they want to do away with thanksgiving because it didnt exist in the old country... problem.

Overall, I somewhat share the author's fear, but not his conviction that the trend is irreversable, nor the slope as steep as he describes.

re kudzu, my point is that the slower growing plants are more valued, and continue to grow despite the presence of the noxious weed, because we are willing to control the kudzu as best we can to keep it out of the vineyards etc. Fast growth is not the only arbiter of health.

Finally, as others have pointed out, birthrate tends to correlate inversely to standard of living. Has anyone looked at relatively affluent muslim countries to see if the average birthrate is lower than in the poorer countries? and within muslim countries, do the rich breed slower than the poor, as is the pattern in the west? (For this at least - not followign the trends for birthrate among the rich - Haggis, you must appreciate the Kennedys. :snark:)
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Postby Haggis@wk » Wed Sep 20, 2006 11:23 am

Kennedy, kudzu...coincidence? Maybe

It use to be said that if Mississippi could ever find a use for kudzu and broken glass it would soon be the wealthiest state in the union
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Postby analog » Sun Sep 24, 2006 5:13 pm

dai bread wrote: Mark Steyn seems a bit pessimistic, at least from this side of the world. Others who live nearer the action may have a different view.


Here's a British magazine article with a good mix of political incorrectness and eloquence.

http://www.newcriterion.com/archives/25/09/have-spoken/

Should he have spoken?

By Roger Scruton


In 1968 the products of the postwar baby boom decided to seize the European future and to jettison the European past. In that same year Enoch Powell delivered to the Birmingham Conservatives the speech known forever after as “Rivers of Blood”: a speech that cost him his political career, and which, on one plausible interpretation, made the issue of immigration undiscussable in British politics for close to forty years. It is a speech that raises in its acutest form the question of truth: What place is there for truth in public life, and what should a politician do when comfortable falsehoods have settled down in government, and their uncomfortable negations seek forlornly for a voice? ...........................

.........................The problem with censorship, as John Stuart Mill pointed out a century and half ago, is that it makes it impossible for those who impose it to discover that they are wrong. The error persists, preventing the discussion that might produce a remedy, and ensuring that the problem will grow. Yet when truth cannot make itself known in words, it will make itself known in deeds. The truth about Hitler burst on the world in 1939, notwithstanding all the pious words of the appeasers. And the truth about immigration is beginning to show itself in Europe, notwithstanding all the liberal efforts to conceal it. It is not an agreeable truth; nor can we, in the face of it, take refuge in the noble lies of Enoch Powell. The fact is that the people of Europe are losing their homelands, and therefore losing their place in the world.


Cogito ergo doleo.
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Postby dai bread » Mon Sep 25, 2006 12:33 am

Very eloquent indeed. Also very worrying. I have read several reports from Europe about immigration, and none of them are optimistic. They don't gel with our experience, so I have to assume that Europe (including Britain) is different, which it is, but I hadn't though it was that different.

Not that all is sweetness and light with our immigrant communities. The Court news is as full now of immigrant names as it is of local ones. Chinese seem to dominate. I have often wondered in the course of my dealings with them, if the Chinese still regard Caucasians as hairy barbarians. I'm sure some of them do. This is upsetting to me, as it cuts across my experience of NZers of Chinese ethnicity, who are the salt of the earth.

I think the passage of time will heal all, but in the meantime our leaders need to be vigilant. So do we.
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Postby Haggis@wk » Mon Sep 25, 2006 11:25 am

Dai,

” have to assume that Europe (including Britain) is different, which it is, but I hadn't though it was that different.”


British Police will brief Muslim leaders BEFORE terrorist raids

Almost one in 10 British Muslims would not inform police if they suspected that someone of the same faith was involved in a terror attack

I don’t know, obviously never having visited NZ but I suspect that the answer is yes; they ARE that different (at least for now).

I can’t begin to fathom why the police would coordinate raid with leaders before conducting raids. Are they willing to consult Anglican leaders before raid illegal bingo parlors (yeah, yeah, that’s a stretch I know, mainly because I can’t think of a terrorist act an angry Anglican would commit!)

I keep thinking that thing can't get worse, that reasonable attitudes will prevail but then I see things like this.

The fact that approximately 90,000 British Muslims are willing to let a terror attack go ahead makes me wonder what percentage of U.S. Muslims would be similarly inclined?
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Postby Shapley » Mon Sep 25, 2006 12:40 pm

Haggis,

I suppose a closer comparison would to ask whether they co-ordinate with Catholic Leaders before raiding IRA and Sinn Fein groups.

V/R
Shapley
Quod scripsi, scripsi.
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