Friday, 20 November 2015

Niall Ferguson on the fall of the European Union

Harvard history professor Niall Ferguson has written an interesting column, comparing the fall of the Roman Empire with what happens in Europe today:

Peter Heather’s The Fall of the Roman Empire emphasises the ­disastrous effects not just of mass migration, but also organised vio­lence: first the westward shift of the Huns of central Asia and then the Germanic irruption into Roman territory.
In his reading, the Visigoths who settled in Aquitaine and the Vandals who conquered Carthage were attracted to the Roman ­Empire by its wealth, but were ­enabled to seize that wealth by the arms acquired and skills learnt from the Romans ­themselves.
“For the adventurous,” writes Heather, “the Roman Empire, while being a threat to their existence, also presented an unprecedented opportunity to prosper ... Once the Huns had pushed large numbers of (alien groups) across the frontier, the Roman state ­became its own worst enemy. Its military power and financial sophistication both hastened the process whereby streams of incomers became coherent forces capable of carving out kingdoms from its own body politic.”
Uncannily similar processes are destroying the European Union today, though few of us want to recognise them for what they are. Like the Roman Empire in the early 5th century, Europe has allowed its defences to crumble. As its wealth has grown, so its military prowess has shrunk, along with its self-belief. It has grown decadent in its malls and stadiums. At the same time, it has opened its gates to outsiders who have coveted its wealth without ren­ouncing their ancestral faith.
The distant shock to this weakened edifice has been the Syrian civil war, though it has been a catalyst as much as a direct cause for the great Volkerwanderung of 2015.
As before, they have come from all over the imperial periphery — North Africa, the Levant, South Asia — but this time they have come in their millions, not in mere tens of thousands. To be sure, most have come hoping only for a better life. Things in their own countries have become just good enough economically for them to afford to leave and just bad enough politically for them to risk leaving.
But they cannot stream northwards and westwards without some of that political malaise coming with them. As Gibbon saw, convinced monotheists pose a grave threat to a secular empire.
It is doubtless true to say that the overwhelming majority of Muslims in Europe are not violent. But it is also true the majority hold views not easily reconciled with the principles of our liberal democracies, including our novel notions about sexual equality and tolerance not merely of religious diversity but of nearly all sexual proclivities. And it is thus remarkably easy for a violent minority to acquire their weapons and prepare their assaults on civilisation within these avowedly peace-loving ­communities.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Communist China tortures lawyers

Communist China´s human rights violations should not be forgotten!

Beijing prosecutor and lawyer Tang Jitian was on the grounds of a Chinese black jail last year, investigating a case, when local police officers handcuffed and attacked him.

“I was first strapped to an iron chair, slapped in the face, kicked on my legs, and hit so hard over the head with a plastic bottle filled with water that I passed out,” Tang said to Amnesty International of his sudden detention. Three other lawyers with him received the same treatment that day.

Under the ever-tightening censorship policies of China’s central government, human rights activists and lawyers in the country have found themselves subject to a brutal, sweeping crackdown this year. On Nov. 12, human rights organization Amnesty International released a new report that tells Tang’s chilling story—as well as dozens of others from lawyers who’ve also been assaulted by the Chinese government.

These personal accounts come to light at a crucial time: Next week, China will answer questions from a United Nations anti-torture committee at a conference in Geneva—the UN’s fifth probe into the country’s torture practices.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Garry Kasparov: "Trying to ally w Putin to fight ISIS is like giving yourself cancer to fight a cold"

Garry Kasparov @Kasparov63 6 hours ago
Trying to ally w Putin to fight ISIS is like giving yourself cancer to fight a cold. He supports terror, Iran, Assad, & wants more refugees.
Garry Kasparov is of course right. Sadly, the weak US, UK and German "leaders" are again doing their utmost to please this dictator, who has blood in his hands.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

US presidential candidate Marco Rubio: "Putin is a gangster"


Florida senator and presidential candidate Marco Rubio is the right man to handle Vladimir Putin!

Rubio in a speech:

"As soon as I take office, I will move quickly to increase pressure on Moscow. I will impose a new round of sanctions on The Kremlin’s senior leadership and other Russian entities, including Gazprom, and will work with Europe to exclude Russia from the SWIFT interbank payment system.
I will immediately provide Ukraine with lethal military assistance and increased intelligence sharing to ensure that Putin’s violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty comes at a price.
I will impose visa bans and asset freezes against high-level Russian officials, and move to isolate Russia diplomatically by ceasing efforts to engage Moscow on issues not essential to resolving the crisis in Ukraine.
Under my administration, there will be no pleading for meetings with Vladimir Putin. He will be treated as the gangster and thug that he is. And yes, I stand by that phrasing."