Snapshot of “far-right” in Europe

Daily Mail provides a summary of where things stand for center-right in Europe after the Austrian election.

Austria

The eurosceptic and anti-immigrant Freedom Party (FPOe) came close to winning the presidency in December, which would have made its leader the European Union’s first far-right president.

One of Europe’s most established nationalist parties, it is forecast to come second or third in this weekend’s vote and could become junior coalition partners to the favourites, the conservative People’s Party (OeVP).

Founded in 1956 by ex-Nazis, the party earned a stunning second place in 1999 elections with nearly 27 percent.

Last year its candidate Norbert Hofer narrowly lost a presidential runoff against Greens-backed economics professor Alexander Van der Bellen.

Germany

The openly anti-immigration and Islamophobic Alternative for Germany (AfD) is the third-biggest party in the Bundestag after the September election, a political earthquake for post-war Germany.

The party took nearly 13 percent of the votes, having failed in the 2013 election to make even the five percent required for representation in parliament.

It has more than 90 seats on the benches of the parliament that meets for the first time on October 24.

France

Marine Le Pen’s National Front (FN), founded by her firebrand father Jean-Marie in 1972, took nearly 34 percent of votes in the May presidential election run-off won by Emmanuel Macron

This was double her father’s 17.8 percent score when he reached the second round in 2002.

In campaigning, Le Pen vowed to abandon the euro, reinstate control of the nation’s borders and curb immigration if she won.

But the party fared badly in June parliamentary elections, taking just eight seats out of 577.

Tensions since then burst into the open when Le Pen’s right-hand man Florian Philippot quit and looks set to go his own way. 

Hungary

The Movement for a Better Hungary, known as Jobbik, is ultra-nationalist and eurosceptic. It is the second largest party in the legislature but has been outflanked by Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s own hardline anti-immigration stance.

Italy

The Northern League is a ‘regionalist’ formation that evolved into an anti-euro and anti-immigrant party that secured 18 seats in the 2013 parliamentary election.

The next general election must be held by spring 2018 and the party is hovering at around 14 percent of voter intentions.

Greece

The neo-Nazi Golden Dawn finished third in the September 2015 election, with seven percent of the vote and 18 MPs. One later defected and the party is now the fourth biggest in parliament.

Sweden

The Sweden Democrats party, with roots in the neo-Nazi movement, made a breakthrough in September 2014 to become the country’s third biggest party with 48 of 349 seats and nearly 13 percent of the vote.

Netherlands

The anti-Islam Freedom Party (PVV) of Geert Wilders in March became the second party in parliament, with 20 seats in the 150-member parliament.

Bulgaria

The nationalist United Patriots coalition entered government for the first time in May after coming third in a March election. It is the junior party in the governing coalition.

Slovakia

In March 2016 the People’s Party Our Slovakia benefited from Europe’s refugee crisis to enter parliament for the first time, winning 14 seats out of 150.

 

US – Cultural War to Civil War?

The Federalist examines how “The radicalization of the Democratic Party is transforming everything that happens in America into another battle in our unending culture war.

For all their shortcomings, conservatives at least have a limiting principle for politics. Most of them believe, for example, in the principles enshrined in the Constitution and maintain that no matter how bad things are, the Bill of Rights is a necessary bulwark, sometimes the only bulwark, against tyranny and violence. In contrast, here’s Timothy Egan of The New York Times arguing unabashedly for the repeal of the Second and Fifth Amendments.

The rapid radicalization of Democrats along these lines follows a ruthless logic about the entire premise of the American constitutional order. If you believe, as progressives increasingly do, that America was founded under false pretenses and built on racial oppression, then why bother conserving it? And why bother trying to compromise with those on the other side, especially if they reject progressives’ unifying theory that America is forever cursed by its original sin of slavery, which nothing can expiate?

Before you scoff, understand that this view of race and America is increasingly mainstream on the American Left. To read someone like Ta-Nehisi Coates, whose recent article in The Atlantic is a manifesto of racial identity politics that argues Trump’s presidency is based on white supremacy, is to realize that progressive elites no longer believe they can share a republic with conservatives, or really anyone with whom they disagree.

Coates has attained near god-like status among progressives with his oracular writings on race and politics, which take for granted the immutability of race and racial animus. So it’s deeply disturbing when he writes, as he does in a new collection of essays, that “should white supremacy fall, the means by which that happens might be unthinkable to those of us bound by present realities and politics.”…..

For a sincere progressive, almost everything that happened in the past is a crime against the present, and the only greatness America can attain is by repudiating its past and shaming—or silencing, if possible—all those who believe preserving our constitutional order is the best way for all of us to get along.

Seen in that light, the radicalization of Democrats is something qualitatively different, and much more dangerous, than the radicalization of Republicans. It means, among other things, that the culture war is now going to encompass everything, and that it will never end.

White Working-Class Voters and Trump

Several exit poll studies after the 2016 US election pointed out that some counties in the Rust Belt underwent a 30-point vote swing. Lot of those who voted for Obama in 2012 switched their vote to Trump in 2016. Did all of them suddenly become racist as the leftist press asserts?

George Soros wanted an answer to the same question and funded a study.

 “The three researchers who conducted the study are Stacy Harwood, a professor urban and regional planning at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign; Harris Beider, a visiting professor in Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs; and Kusminder Chahal, a researcher at Coventry University in England.

While the study’s primary stated goal is to provide a deeper understanding of the white working class, an unstated goal of the study is to help the American left and the Democratic Party recapture some meaningful chunk of the white working-class voting bloc.”

The study made the following observations.

White working-class voters are sick and tired of political correctness and identity politics

“We can’t even say what we feel,” says a Tacoma interviewee who voted for Trump because “he’s actually saying this stuff that many people across America are thinking.”

Trump-supporting members of the white working class also despise identity politics and they perceive the Democratic Party “as the party of identity politics.”

“Some in our study had grown up in staunch Democrat families and had previously supported Democrat candidates,” the researchers explain. “Yet the view is that politicians are more interested in looking after communities of color than white working-class communities.”

White working-class voters think ‘white privilege’ is a bunch of idiotic claptrap

The study participants describe “white privilege” as nonsense.

“Participants felt they were struggling because they lived paycheck to paycheck, had two or three jobs, and worked hard to put food on the table,” the researchers say. “Their limited economic means and lack of upward mobility did not seem like white privilege.”

“The working class has been abandoned or exiled by the Democrats”

“The working class has been abandoned or exiled by the Democrats,” the study flatly concludes.

Banana peel in a tree leads to emotional collapse

Good grief! Is this for real? How are these people going to function in the real world?

The University of Mississippi cut short a fraternity retreat this weekend when a participant threw a banana peel into a tree, which was perceived by some students as a racist act, the Daily Mississippian reported.

“To be clear, many members of our community were hurt, frightened, and upset by what occurred at [the retreat]… Because of the underlying reality many students of color endure on a daily basis, the conversation manifested into a larger conversation about race relations today at the University of Mississippi,” Alexa Lee Arndt, interim director of Fraternity and Sorority Life, wrote in a letter Monday to the campus’s Greek life community.

Student Ryan Swanson, said that he put the peel in a tree near one of the cabins when he could not find a trash can.

Black students said they came upon the peel after leaving a Saturday morning session on race relations at the university.

Arndt, who was on the trip, convened an open forum that afternoon to discuss the incident, and Swanson took responsibility after a member of the sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha demanded someone fess up.

The meeting then began to unravel—some participants left the room crying—and students departed from the campsite as they no longer felt “welcome” or “safe.”

The remainder of the retreat was officially cancelled that night.

Swanson apologized in a statement to the Daily Mississippian. “Although unintentional, there is no excuse for the pain that was caused to members of our community,” he said. “I want to thank my friends in the [National Pan-Hellenic Council] for their candid and constructive conversations that we have continued to have. I have much to learn and look forward to doing such and encourage all members of our university community to do the same. We must all keep in mind how our actions affect those around us differently.”

He did not respond to the Washington Free Beacon‘s request for comment.

Makala McNeil, president of Alpha Kappa Alpha and one of the students who happened upon the peel, told the student paper, “You see how much fear and how much anger you incite in black people just from an unintentional image.”

In May, bananas were found hanging from noose-like ropes in three areas around the American University campus, some marked with AKA—for Alpha Kappa Alpha—and with the word “Harambe,” the name of the gorilla who was shot in an Ohio zoo last year. In September 2016, a black student at American reported that white students put boxes of rotten bananas outside her dorm room.

Katrina Caldwell, the university’s vice chancellor for diversity and community engagement, has reportedly been working on a university response by “talking to people on campus who have some experience working across diversity to help the students process what happened.”

The Free Beacon has contacted Arndt and Caldwell for comment. Members of their respective offices said they could not speak about the incident.

Bill Gates joins the old money crowd

NYT reports on the floundering UK newspaper industry.

The Guardian, three years removed from a Pulitzer Prize that helped spur the British newspaper’s international expansion, is fully embracing a new moneymaking strategy in the face of industrywide revenue problems: philanthropy….

The Guardian has already used contributions from nonprofits, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, to help fund its reporting. Philanthropic partnerships make up a relatively small portion — about 3.8 million pounds, or $4.9 million — of the company’s approximately $276 million in revenues for the 12-month period that ended April 2. But over the past 12 months, it has received commitments of $6 million in multiyear funding.

Intersectionality in real life

Intersectionality is a term coined by American civil rights advocate Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw to describe overlapping or intersecting social identities and related systems of oppression, domination, or discrimination. Intersectionality is the idea that multiple identities intersect to create a whole that is different from the component identities.

In real life Intersectionality looks like this.

At a protest over the weekend where Black Lives Matter activists and Antifa fanatics showed up together, one Antifa member wound up punching a Black Lives Matter activist after the Black Lives Matter member chastised the Antifa radicals for hiding behind their masks.

The BLM activist stood in front of the Antifa crowd, bellowing, “Take the mask off! Take the mask off.” His compatriots started chanting, “Mask off! Mask off! Mask off!”

That prompted the Antifa crowd to start yelling at the black man, “He’s a cop! He’s a cop! He’s a cop!”

One masked male white member of Antifa got right in the black man’s face, then punched him directly in the face, prompting another BLM activist to start yelling, “You f**king hit ’em! You f**king hit ’em! Take the mask off!”

A young female Antifa member then started screaming, “He f**king pushed me! He f**king pushed me!” She and the BLM activist started screaming curses at each other.

Later, a BLM member addressed the Antifa crowd, saying, “We ain’t gonna let some outsiders make us look bad.”

While we are on the topic of Antifa, how does CNN view it?

Back in the real world … the truth about income inequality

In the current leftist parallel universe, the media elites try to figure out if a guy, whose favourite daughter is an Orthodox Jew,  is a closet Nazi, and Blacks, who were never slaves, are fighting Whites who were never Nazis, over Confederate statues erected by Democrats whilst blaming Trump. Meanwhile in the real world, this was the state of income equality in 2014, when Obama held the reins. It is doubtful much has changed since then.

With serious issues like income inequality on the front burner, it is strange to see that the Left is instead focused on trivialities like this, Man stabbed after haircut gets him mistaken for a neo-Nazi, but as CNN stated, before hastily deleting the headline, “Activists seek peace through violence

Has the Confederate statue issue reached peak stupidity?

In the 1980s and 1990s the concept of Repressed Memory attained wide public awareness after percolating in the academia since 1896, when it was identified by Sigmund Freud in his essay Zur Ätiologie der Hysterie (“On the etiology of hysteria”). All went well till the people started recalling encounters with UFOs and visiting aliens on other planets. That was the start of the end of Repressed Memory concept and it died completely after a series of scandals, lawsuits, and license revocations.

Perhaps this whole Confederate statues issue is reaching the same point of absurdity. Here are some examples.

Traveler, USC’s mascot, comes under scrutiny for having a name similar to Robert E. Lee’s horse

Confederate flag ‘looking’ tiles to be removed from subway

Joan of Arc statue in French Quarter tagged with ‘Tear It Down’ graffiti

Group calls for removal of Christopher Columbus statue downtown

Black Pastors Ask Smithsonian to Remove Bust of Planned Parenthood Founder

Work crew removes Taney statue from Maryland State House grounds

Who knows what examples tomorrow’s news will bring us. Perhaps redesign of the Roman numeral “X” because it looks too similar to the Confederate flag below? Perhaps remove the statues of Malcolm X because his last name is lifted right off the Confederate flag? Oh sorry, it is already in the works! Statue of Malcolm X in Oakland Should Be Removed

As for those guys walking around with tiki torches, anybody who walks around with those torches without serving Mai Tai is a fool.

US 2018 election factoid

From the liberal pollster Nate Silver.

Even if Democrats were to win every single 2018 House and Senate race for seats representing places that Hillary Clinton won or that Trump won by less than 3 percentage points — a pretty good midterm by historical standards — they could still fall short of the House majority and lose five Senate seats.

This is partly attributable to the nature of House districts: GOP gerrymandering and Democratic voters’ clustering in urban districts has moved the median House seat well to the right of the nation. Part of it is bad timing. Democrats have been cursed by a terrible Senate map in 2018: They must defend 25 of their 48 seats1 while Republicans must defend just eight of their 52.

Trump and the illegal vote

One oft-cited remark about Trump is that he lost the popular vote. Given that lot of Republicans in California don’t even bother voting because they don’t have any candidates to vote for, with the following fact, perhaps the outcome could have been different.

Based on our review of 2016 EAC EAVS report , the 2011-2015 U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, and the most recent California total active and total inactive voter registration records , California is failing to comply with the voter registration list maintenance requirements of Section 8 of the NVRA. For example, a comparison of the 2011- 2015 U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, and the most recent California active and inactive voter registration records shows there were more total registered voters than there were adults over the age of 18 living in each of the following eleven (11)counties : Imperial (102%), Lassen (102%), Los Angeles (112%),Monterey (104%), San Diego (138%), San Francisco (114%), San Mateo (111%), Santa Cruz (109%),Solano (111%), Stanislaus (102%), and Yolo (110%).

Our own research shows that the situation in these counties is, if anything, worse than the foregoing data suggest . For example, we contacted Los Angeles County directly this past June. At that time, county officials informed us that the total number of registered voters now stands at a number that is a whopping 144% of the total number of resident citizens of voting age. In our experience, these kinds of registration rates indicate a failure to comply with the vote.