Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | April 17, 2012

Sweden continues to shock via the video medium

It’s hard to know what to say about the video posted at the Tundra Tabloids.  At an art exhibit in Stockholm on 15 April, visitors, including Sweden’s minister of culture, Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth, were invited to cut into a cake in the shape of a naked African woman.  The cake had a fake head attached to it (via a ringed neck), which emitted cries of pain at each cut from the hungry art patrons.

TT includes the following passage from news coverage of the event (which, you may be relieved to know, shocked at least some Swedes, who are now calling for Adelsohn Liljeroth’s ouster):

As part of the installation, which was reportedly meant to highlight the issue of female circumcision, the culture minister began cutting a large cake shaped like a black woman, symbolically starting at the clitoris.

Makode Aj Linde, the artist who created the installation and whose head is part of the cake cut by the minister, wrote about the “genital mutilation cake” on his Facebook page.

“Before cutting me up she whispered, ‘Your life will be better after this’ in my ear,” he wrote in a caption next to the partially eaten cake.

So the artist meant well.  Swedes of African origin were unimpressed, however, calling the whole thing a “racist spectacle.”

Frankly, it does come off as one.  But in my view, that’s not even the most important point.  Watch the video (it’s only 47 seconds) to see the art patrons laughing their heads off at the clever howling cake-woman.  For them, it’s a big, hilarious joke.  I don’t think these folks are representative of the Swedish people, but they are certainly Sweden’s self-appointed guiding lights.  And they don’t have any compunction – any “ick” reaction, any vague uneasiness – about an “artistic” depiction like this.

It’s quite possible that they think the shock factor is an effective way to alert, well, someone – clearly not themselves – to the evils of female genital mutilation.  But in that context, their full-throated laughter is simply grotesque.  There are some jokes it is our purpose as a civilization not to take, and this is one of them.  In terms of the horrors we should all be aware of, what the Stockholm arts crowd has alerted us to with this piece of “art” is itself.

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at Hot Air’s Green Room, Commentary’s “contentions,Patheos, and The Weekly Standard online.


Responses

  1. Even if you put aside the race angle, it’s still very hard to credit a culture as healthy if it celebrates carving up and eating an anatomically accurate human cake that emits a scream when cut. This is “art” celebrated by those whose culture deserves to, and will probably fail to jump a great white shark, probably sooner rather than later.

  2. While not being a fan of most “performance art”, the really interesting aspect of Dwyers latest offering is not the rather inconsequential (and harmless) romp by the Swedish arty set. The interesting bit is that “Tandratabloids” is currently rather topical. And this topicality is nothing to do with “cutting-edge” art (pardon the pun!).
    You see, the trial of Anders Behring Brevik has just begun in neighbouring Norway. You will remember this is the guy who embarassed his fellow far-right Islamaphobes by murdering 77, mainly young, people for the Greater Cause. Well, after his rampage, and his arrest, the police raided his home and seized his computer to see who he was communicating with. What they found was that Anders favourite pastime was poisoning his perception with extremist blogs. Among his favourites were (predictably) such well-known reservoirs of brotherly love such as Atlas Shrugs and Centre for Security Policy, and, (you have already guessed) Taundratabloids. In fact, Anders was fond of commenting on TT. Anders also left his own Mein Kampf for our delectation in the form of a lengthy tract in which he includes lengthy passages culled from “Eurabia” – a deranged rant authored by one Peder Are Norsveld Jensen. And who is this Peder Jensen? You’ve guessed it again (you guys are way ahead of me). Peder is Mr. Taundratabloids blog himself.
    When Peder became aware that his soulmate (and contributor) Anders was responsible he did what all fringe-right hatemongers do – he wrung his hands and publicly disowned his disciple. (Peder had originally jumped on the far-right bandwaggon of blaming the massacre on “Jihadists” until it became known that the perpetrator was a jihadist of a rather different complexion). Unfortunately for Peder, Anders isn’t reciprocating by disowning Peder. He has subpoenad poor Peder (and a raft of other far-right weirdos) to give evidence on his behalf at his trial. I predict that things are going to get interesting in hate-land as this trial progresses.

    You’ve got to hand it to Dyer though, her sources are impeccable.

    • The connection between bizarre Swedish faux art happenings and a Norwegian mass murderer is immediately obvious to even the most uninformed. Surprising that you felt the need to point it out.

      • Glad to have been of service

        • But I think you’re being disingenuous. I think you get the point perfectly well. That point being the sort of places Dyer sources her stuff.

          • The art certainly confirms man made global warming and highlights the absolute certainty of the need to pay retail for escorts in foreign countries.

    • I’ll see your Anders Brevik and raise you one Pol Pot.

      • Dammit! you’ve outbid me. All I’ve left in my kitty is an axe-murderer and a few of Dyer’s settler buddies.

        • Thats the mentality of Brevik’s intellectual predecessors that so many on the hard left like Paulite embrace so enthusiastically.

  3. Female ‘circumcision’ is practiced in some African, Asian and Middle Eastern cultures. Sweden has far more people of Middle Eastern descent than of African or Asian. Yet the ‘artist’ chose a black woman.

    Perhaps he remembered the dutch filmmaker Theo van Gough, who was violently murdered by a Muslim militant? His short film, Submission, about the repression of females in Moslem society, led to a very violent death.

    Given the seriousness of the subject, laughter was certainly inappropriate.

    Yet laughter is often a reaction to an uncomfortable situation. The greater the disparity between ‘not taking offense’ and the degree of uncomfortableness, the more manic the laughter is likely to be.

    • Female “circumcision” is practised almost exclusively in Africa, and is not confined to Moslem societies. Its cultural history precedes Islam and Christianity. Neither is repression of females a particularly Moslem thing. Alas, persecution of females is pretty much universal in the third world. India and Central America are among the very worst places to be a female. Hindu India is the home of “bride-burning”, and Christian Honduras leads the world in the rates of rape and murder of women (Excepting the war-torn Christian Congo)

      However, I do agree that this bit of art was tasteless. But as the say in the movies, “no women were harmed in its making”, and freedom of expression is part of the price we pay for living in a healthy liberal democracy like Sweden or the USA.

      • We can agree as to freedom of expression, no one is suggesting otherwise. The proper response is for Sweden’s Minister of Culture to resign.

        However, while you clearly wish to live in a “liberal democracy”, we still live, despite your sides best efforts, in a Representative Republic with democratic elections of the States representatives.

  4. I’m sure that the Swedish Minister for Culture will take all due heed of your call for her resignation.

    Liberal Democracy is a generic term for the polity shared by advanced Western democracies like Sweden, Australia, and the US. The term “liberal” refers to personal autonomy rather than its partisan US context. I appreciate there are parts of the country to which the term may not apply (Hint: the parts where they used marry their 13 year old cousins, and where literalist evangelical cults still thrive).

    • I’m not calling for her resignation, I’m stating the right thing for her to do. The fact that we both think that it’s highly unlikely that she’d resign without enormous outside pressure is an indication of her lack of character. That it would need great public indignation is an indication of Sweden’s cultural decline. That she probably won’t get much public indignation speaks volumes about the West’s cultural decline.

      “Libertarian” democracy would be a far more accurate term for ‘personal autonomy’ than “liberal;” democracy. And for every member of a ‘literalist evangelical cult’ who would like to reduce our ‘personal autonomy’ there is a corresponding member of the left who wishes to impose their agenda upon everyone. It’s convenient that you’ve ‘forgotten’ our recent discussion on schools, the liberal agenda and parental autonomy.

      The urge to control people exists on both sides of the political divide.

      There are three kinds of people; those who wish to control others, those who wish to be told what to do, think and believe and, the rarest; those who despise the first and pity the second.

  5. after noting the “ick factor’ and clucking over the inanity of it…..what’s left? this isn’t some sort of thing of import, just a dumb ass attempt to draw attention to a lousy practice.

    It represents Sweden no more than the insanity of Marcus and Rep. Michele Bachmann represents the US.

  6. “the insanity of Marcus and Rep. Michele Bachmann represents the US.”

    Marcus? To whom do you refer?

    No one represents the US and Bachman is a supporter of the Tea Party, which consists of quite a few people. Is it your intent to imply that members of the Tea Party are insane?

  7. Marcus Bachmann, Ph D and husband of the loony Michele.

    and, yes, it is my intention to say that the tea Party membership is not w/o its full share of the maladjusted.

    • Every party has it’s ‘full share’ of the maladjusted because the human race has it’s full share from which to draw membership. The innuendo contained in your ambiguous characterization of the Tea Party however, indicates that you actually believe them to be ‘unsane’.

      Besides mindless consumption of the media’s biased portrayal of the Tea Party, I wonder what part of the Tea Party’s agenda you find ‘insane’?

      Is it the proposition that, “Our moral, political, and economic liberties are inherent, not granted by our government.”?

      The proposition that, “The purpose of our government is to exercise only those limited powers that have been relinquished to it by the people”?

      Or perhaps that, “The most powerful, proven instrument of material and social progress is the free market. The market economy, driven by the accumulated expressions of individual economic choices, is the only economic system that preserves and enhances individual liberty. Any other economic system, regardless of its intended pragmatic benefits, undermines our fundamental rights as free people.”?

      What part of the proposed actions supported by the Tea Party do you differ with?
      1. “Protect the Constitution
      Require each bill to identify the specific provision of the Constitution that gives Congress the power to do what the bill does.”?
      2.”Reject Cap & Trade
      Stop costly new regulations that would increase unemployment, raise consumer prices, and weaken the nation’s global competitiveness with virtually no impact on global temperatures.”?
      3.”Demand a Balanced Budget
      Begin the Constitutional amendment process to require a balanced budget with a two-thirds majority needed for any tax hike.”?
      4.”Enact Fundamental Tax Reform
      Adopt a simple and fair single-rate tax system by scrapping the internal revenue code and replacing it with one that is no longer than 4,543 words—the length of the original Constitution.”?
      5.”Restore Fiscal Responsibility & Constitutionally Limited Government in Washington
      Create a Blue Ribbon taskforce that engages in a complete audit of federal agencies and programs, assessing their Constitutionality, and identifying duplication, waste, ineffectiveness, and agencies and programs better left for the states or local authorities, or ripe for wholesale reform or elimination due to our efforts to restore limited government consistent with the US Constitution’s meaning.”?
      6.”End Runaway Government Spending
      Impose a statutory cap limiting the annual growth in total federal spending to the sum of the inflation rate plus the percentage of population growth.”?
      7.”Defund, Repeal, & Replace Government-run Health Care
      Defund, repeal and replace the recently passed government-run health care with a system that actually makes health care and insurance more affordable by enabling a competitive, open, and transparent free-market health care and health insurance system that isn’t restricted by state boundaries.”?
      8.”Pass an ‘All-of-the-Above” Energy Policy
      Authorize the exploration of proven energy reserves to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources from unstable countries and reduce regulatory barriers to all other forms of energy creation, lowering prices and creating competition and jobs.”?
      9.”Stop the Pork
      Place a moratorium on all earmarks until the budget is balanced, and then require a 2/3 majority to pass any earmark.”?
      10.”Stop the Tax Hikes
      Permanently repeal all tax hikes, including those to the income, capital gains, and death taxes, currently scheduled to begin in 2011.”?

      That’s the platform upon which the Tea Party stands, their Contract from America which they ask every Congressional Representative supportive of those principles to sign.

      Personally, I find nothing in it to be ‘insane’ or even ‘unsane’. In fact I find it to be eminently sane, if a bit naively optimistic. Which in no way detracts from the importance of enacting those principles,as they would go a long way toward addressing many of the problems our government can address.

      So again, to what specifically, do you find ‘insane’.

      If you can’t or won’t, then you indicate that you’re merely carrying the media’s clearly biased message, which would make you complicit in that deceit.

      • I love the term “unsane”. Is this the mental-health equivalent of vampires being “undead”? If it is, it is a perfect metaphore for the Tea Party crowd. By the way, whatever happened to the Tea Party? We haven’t heard much from them since they sent a shower of do-nothing whingers to Congress. Perhaps they are also “undead”?

        • Unsane is a recognized term. More evidence of a woefully inadequate education. As you made no relevant objection to the Tea Party’s platform, specious innuendo and slander is evidently all you have for rebuttal.

          Since insanity implies the condition of the absence of “knowing right from wrong”, those beliefs and actions which otherwise would be evidence of insanity by people, such as yourself, who clearly know right from wrong, falls neatly into the category of unsane. Liberals are objectively classifiable as unsane because their beliefs are opposed by reality, rather than subjective opinion.

          Reports of the Tea Party’s demise are greatly exaggerated.

      • GB—- could you please point to where you think that innuendo in my comment is?

        after that, we can discuss

        The proposition that, “The purpose of our government is to exercise only those limited powers that have been relinquished to it by the people”?

        and have a laugh while trying to discern just what has been ceded to the discretion of the government and political ….before moving on to the confusion of the benefits of the free market with the proposition that it’s best not to regulate markets.

        • Sure. First you make the direct claim that Marcus and Michelle Bachman are prone to ‘insanity’, then you call Michelle a ‘looney’.

          I know nothing of Marcus, so I’ll limit myself to discussion of Michelle, whom I have seen on TV a number of times. While I find her analysis to be somewhat simplistic, she has never said or supported anything of which I am aware, that could be fairly defined as insanity’. Perhaps you could supply an instance?

          Then, when I asked, “Is it your intent to imply that members of the Tea Party are insane?”

          You replied, “yes, it is my intention to say that the tea Party membership is not w/o its full share of the maladjusted.”

          Since every party has its maladjusted, to single out mention of it, without qualification is to give the clear unspoken message (you had previously implied it, which prompted my question) that the Tea Party not only has has its fair share but is primarily made up of the maladjusted.

          Now, you can deny it, which will remove all doubt as to your intellectual honesty.

          • try looking into Bachmann’s refusal to fill out the census form, GB, while sitting in the body that’s charged with authorizing it. you’ll find grounds for “loony” there.

            • and Gb… that sh1t about my “intellectual honesty” sorta marks you as a bit of a fool. this latest instance is at least the third time you’ve resorted to that shoddy ploy, and it would be better all around if it were retired rather than given further employ.

              • That ‘sh1t’ is entirely intentional. One of the primary means with which liberals debate (you certainly do it) is to refuse to engage in direct rebuttal, distract with another topic, then go off on a tangent and finally walk away from the discussion having never acknowledged that they couldn’t factually, logically or rationally rebut the original argument presented by the other side. As if an implied “well, we’ll have to agree to disagree” settles the matter in their favor.

                Feelings, however valid, do not an argument make. At best, they’re an incentive for the person experiencing the ‘feeling’ to delve more deeply into the matter, so as to get to the truth of the issue. Then if intellectually honest, that person either acknowledges the other persons points and adjusts their viewpoint or factually and rationally carries the discussion forward.

                Yet you rarely if ever do so. I can’t count the number of times that just I alone, never mind others, have backed you into a verbal corner from which you couldn’t retreat, had no rebuttal and yet you never, not even later, acknowledged that my argument had validity.

                Then, sometimes but days later, another post would bring up another similar discussion in which you maintained the same position, with no new rationale and then acted like the prior discussion had never happened. You’re not alone in this, other conservatives have noticed the same thing, one even labeled it the “liberal reset button” which he speculates goes off shortly after liberals fall asleep. I’ve witnessed it with close friends, so its an actual malady.

                I’ve adopted the tactic of closing with rubbing your nose in this by stating what the consequences of continuing to engage in your dishonest tactic will cost; public exposure of what you’re doing.

                This isn’t meant to be cruel or needlessly confrontational but if someone doesn’t call liberals on this what’s the discussion for…to just yell at each other while figuratively holding fingers in the ear yelling la, la, la I can’t hear you!”…

                Please don’t waste time by projecting and accusing me of doing the same thing. I don’t. I welcome factual rebuttal, it’s the ‘meat’ that sharpens my fangs😉

            • Uh, no. I refused to fill out the ‘census’ form too. It was an unconscionable invasion of privacy and many questions could not be justified under any circumstances. Bachman’s refusal is to be celebrated, clearly it was an act of conscience. or do you only support non-violent resistance and civil disobedience when it’s in favor of issues with which you agree?

              • had she resigned from the Congress as an act of conscience, that would have been fine and fair.

        • “after that, we can discuss”

          “The proposition that, “The purpose of our government is to exercise only those limited powers that have been relinquished to it by the people”?”

          Two words; enumerated powers.

          The Constitution is, unfortunately for the liberal left, quite unambiguous. It clearly states that those powers not directly granted to the federal government, belong to the states or the people and, that all power extends from the people.

          That is the law of the land until the Constitution is amended and even when amended, to retain fidelity to its foundational principles limits how much it may be amended.

          “and have a laugh while trying to discern just what has been ceded to the discretion of the government and political ….before moving on to the confusion of the benefits of the free market with the proposition that it’s best not to regulate markets.”

          An inordinate amount of discretion and power has been granted to the government but, its not too late to correct that mistake. In fact, that is the primary goal of the Tea Party, the Republican Party (at least in lip service) and central to the political view of the author of this blog.

          There is no inherent conflict between a free market and its proper regulation. Indeed, a free market cannot exist without the minimal regulation which gives it, its formation.

          It is in the greatly expanded regulation, which seeks to protect all participants from unethical practices, that seeks to dictate equality of outcomes and protect people and businesses from the consequences resulting from their own bad decisions, wherein we have strayed far into the area where individual freedoms are encroached upon and further threatened.

          Nothing in the Tea Party propositions violates these assertions.

          The Contract with America is a summary, stating what they stand for, not detailed legislation and regulations purporting to be made into law. It expresses the goals that party seeks, not a detailed map of how we should get there.

          Even if the devil is in the details and political realities make unlikely the implementation of much of their platform, you have yet to make the case that it is ‘insanity’.

          Now, its time for you to ‘put up or shut up’ as they say but intellectual honesty requires that if unable to ‘put-up’ you will extend a retraction before letting the matter drop.

          • read Art I, GB…..the black-letter powers of the Congress are broad.

            and regulation of markets that seeks to protect all parties from unethical practices is not only legit but laudable and has been the direction of the common law for nearly a thousand years and at least as far back as Edward I (IIRC)

            • OK, I just reread the entire article. The only words that can possibly be used in support of your position that the powers of Congress are ‘broad’ (in the manner you imply) are, “to provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States”. All the rest is quite specific and consists of common sense rules for maintaining individual liberty from both external and internal threats.

              Now to provide for the common defense clearly requires a common sense evaluation and congressional consensus that a threat is both credible and direct in potentiality. Someday, aliens might threaten the earth but until they do,Congress has no authority to pass restrictive laws in an area that no evidence supports.

              So the crux of continuing liberal efforts to extend governmental intrusion into hitherto ‘uncharted waters’, is “to provide for the general welfare” which, with a single caveat, I support. That condition is that it not substantially or meaningfully intrude upon individual liberties. Right there, with no equivocation is the line, which no man, nor government may cross.

              That they have done so before and will again, in no way affects the truth of that assertion. It is not up to us to ‘adjust’, it is up to them to reform and revise. That is so because, until we compose a wholly new Constitution, our founding premise is that our rights are inherent and not subject to either debate or revision, as they are granted to us from a higher power. If you don’t believe that, then obviously you need to look into emigration.

              The direction of common law for “nearly a thousand years and at least as far back as Edward I (IIRC)” and the regulation of markets that seeks to protect all parties from unethical practices is legit but laudable… when it restrains itself from substantively impinging upon individual liberty.

              Our right to not be ripped off or even harmed, stops where liberty begins, my friend. One is far more important than the other. For without freedom you’re already dead, whether you realize it or not.

              In regulating and protecting ourselves from all harm, inconvenience and political incorrectness, you are killing the golden goose and your children’s children will curse your memory for it, for you haven’t the right to rob them of their birthright.

              There are paths that appear right to a man but lead only to sorrow.

              “[The] right and wrong [of an issue] can sometimes only be learned through hindsight.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein

              History has already shown us the wrong of these issues but as always, “those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it” George Santayana

              • and the general welfare clause isn’t as open-ended as can be?

                “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;”

                might not also cover quite a bit, GB? Seems to me that it might

                “To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”

                this last bit might cover a fair bit of stuff as well.
                —–

                as for your ideas that regulations to prevent outright frauds and sharp and unethical practices that fall just short of the full five elements that define fraud may infringe so greatly upon the liberty of the natural right to of the rich, strong, intelligent and educated to prey upon the less fortunate so that we’re all as good as dead is the prattle that led people to nail some crazy Jew to a bit of lumber.

  8. Just for comparison, former Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz resigned after making an offensive racial joke in private. I guess the joke wasn’t as funny as the Swedish cultural minister’s schtick.

    • The fact is that you haven’t a clue as to the Swedish Cultural Minister’s “schtick” because what we have seen provides no knowledge of what the people in the video were laughing about. The only thing we know for sure is the provenance of the video. And as we now know, this provenance should leave us with rather more distaste and circumspection than anything these women might have been laughing about.

      Perhaps these women were laughing in anticipation of the faux-outrage that might be expected from such well-known defenders of women’s rights as neo-nazi blogger Peder Jensen.

      • Of course we have a clue. Our communication involves more than the strictly verbal. Or have you forgotten body language? The Minister’s big smile and all the people reacting with laughter to something Liljeroth clearly said, as she feeds the artist is clearly in support of the artist and her ‘art’.

        They’re rationalizing, that the ‘message’ (her art) is justified by the cause they favor. Another case of the means used is justified by the end sought. And, you’re acting as an apologist for this by seeking to minimize and offering ludicrous alternatives, based on what “we don’t know” but we know enough.

  9. Yeah, sure.

    Thank you for two paragraphs of utter conjecture.

    As if you and Dyer are the sort of people who might be “shocked” that an obscure Swedish government minister might (or might not) be slighting black women. What a hoot!

    The “body language” from Dyer is transparent. Her faux “shock” isn’t motivated by a sudden conversion to the cause of black women. It is motivated by hatred of Europeans in general, and Scandanavians in particular. That particular point is well taken by anyone reading her comment. As for the very notion that the neo-nazi blogger Jensen might have the slightest concern for the dignity of black women – you must be joking. His only interest in black women (or men) is keeping them out of Europe. Read his blog.

    • Thank you for two paragraphs of denial.

      “When they attack one personally, it means they haven’t a single political argument left.” Maggie Thatcher

      Sadly, Dyer and I aren’t shocked at all, just disgusted, the world appears to have its full share of people such as yourself.

      Valid criticism of European and Scandinavian public official’s behavior, arising out of post modernist appeasement, isn’t hatred. Your psychological filters and blinders have you seeing hatred when it isn’t there but many often see what lies within and project it on to others, as a defensive mechanism.

      Perhaps reading Dr. Sanity could help you.

      I have no idea whether Jensen is a neo-nazi or not but untouched pictures don’t lie and concern in Europe over the non-assimilation of immigrants into Europe is not prima facie evidence of racism.

      Lots of emotional accusations from you but little rational rebuttal.

      “Where there is shouting, there is no true knowledge.” Leonardo da Vinci

      • Well, now. The title suggests that she is shocked. Perhaps she really meant to say Sweden “disgusts” etc. But hatred of Europeans is a recurrent theme of Dyer’s (and to be fair, her far-right ilk). In this case she seems to be making the case that Sweden is so morally corrupt that it is about to implode. Unfortunately, for those who prefer to get their information elsewhere than Anders Brevik’s favourite neo-nazi blog, this argument just doesn’t stack up. Transparancy International rates Sweden as one of the least corrupt societies, and The index of Failed States again rates Sweden as one of the most stable on the planet. This is a country which has weathered the Bush economic crash in rude health. It is a small country that can build and export its own jet-fighters, and whose Volvo cars and ASEA electrical engineering are household names abroad. I imagine that Dyer’s “shock” is really resentment at the fact that a society with social values so contrary to her own could be so obviously free and successful.

        And on the Irish theme, I have to confess that my paternal grandmother hailed from the city of Cork in the Emerald Isle. the Irish aren’t a “race”, and are a melange of various waves of invading Celts; the Norsemen who first arrived as raiders and then established the trading cities of Dublin and Waterford, the Anglo-Normans, and in the 17th and 18th centuries, the Scottish-Dissenters, and English planters.
        I may add that Ireland, even after its recent economic vicissitudes, does exceptionally well on the failed states and transparancy indexes, and that the rightist Heritage Centre’s freedom index continues to rate Ireland as among the freeist people on the planet.

        • Granted, she did use the word.

          “hatred of Europeans is a recurrent theme of Dyer’s (and to be fair, her far-right ilk)”

          We’ve already covered this, valid criticism of behavior long thought outside social norms is not hate. It is however, a way for you to try to avoid and minimize the issue.

          “In this case she seems to be making the case that Sweden is so morally corrupt that it is about to implode.”

          No, the case she’s making I expressed as, “The fact that we both think that it’s highly unlikely that she’d resign without enormous outside pressure is an indication of her lack of character. That it would need great public indignation is an indication of Sweden’s cultural [moral] decline. That she probably won’t get much public indignation speaks volumes about the West’s cultural decline.”

          You didn’t respond, so clearly you were unable to rebut, yet now you act like those points were never made…

          Sweden’s lack of corruption is to be applauded, it’s stability is due to the equanimity of the Swedish character and a highly homogenous demography.

          According to the CIA World Factbook, as of 2010; 9.2% of the Swedish population was born outside the EU, 5.1% in a member EU country, so 85.7% are native born. 87% are Lutheran and it’s net migration rate is a low 1.65 migrant(s)/ per 1,000 population (2012 est.) vs the US’ 3.62 per 1000.

          Sweden spends but 9.9% of its GDP on healthcare vs the US’ 16.2%, again a reflection of that homogenous demography.

          “This is a country which has weathered the Bush economic crash in rude health.”

          That would be entirely due to it’s Euro trading partners, who’ve gone much deeper into debt providing the Greeks, et al with social benefits.

          It also has a 51.3% tax rate vs the US’ 22%… there’s much less disparity between incomes in Sweden than the US and there’s also much less private capital available for job creation and entrepreneurship.

          It also helps when you don’t have to pay for your defense, allowing the US to foot that bill.

          “It is a small country that can build and export its own jet-fighters,”

          Oops, you just made the case for the Swede’s being arms dealers. Not very PC of them. Clear evidence that liberal principles take a back seat to monetary concerns, huh?

          The Volvo has a fine reputation but Volvo stopped publishing profits in 2005 (a bad sign) and Volvo was sold by its owner Ford to the Chinese in 2008…couldn’t have been doing that well, could it?

          “I imagine that Dyer’s “shock” is really resentment at the fact that a society with social values so contrary to her own could be so obviously free and successful.”

          You imagine incorrectly, we wish the Swedish people nothing but freedom and success. Dyer’s and my ‘bone to pick’ with the Swedish centers around societal acceptance of stunts like Minister Liljeroth’s and attitudes like Jens Orback who publicly stated that, “We must be open and tolerant towards Islam and Muslims because when we become a minority, they will be so towards us.” – Jens Orback, Minister for Democracy, Metropolitan Affairs, Integration and Gender Equality, Government of Sweden

          “I seem to smell the stench of appeasement in the air. ” Maggie Thatcher

          The Swede’s seem singularly lacking in being able to detect that scent. Too many years of careful neutrality I suspect. While too long in allowing other people to fight the ‘good fight’ (the Nazi’s, the cold war against Communism and now Islamic terrorism) weakens the moral fiber of a people.

          It is that ‘smell’ to which Dyer and I object but “We don’t have to smell your breath to know your head is up your ass.” Peter V. Bella

  10. Those darn Scandinavians spent centuries raping and pillaging anything they could, messing up my happy Irish ancestors operation and polluting the Hibernian gene pool. It’s going to take more than the Nobel Prize, North Sea oil and Abba to make up for that.

    • Yeah, those Irish ancestors (of whom I have my share) they never encroached upon others, no! And that Hiberian gene pool would be heavily into inbreeding by now, if not for some occasional injections of foreign DNA. The Scandinavians were no different from the majority of tribes, taking what others were too weak to hold. Indeed, when it favors them, the Muslims still honor that practice.

      But Abba, Scandinavian pop/disco wasn’t payment of debt, it was further extension of any debt owed😉

  11. Ran out of ‘reply’ space!

    ”and the general welfare clause isn’t as open-ended as can be?

    I just addressed that, the liberty of the individual is the natural barrier to further government intrusion. That’s not personal opinion, that’s the foundational premise of our country.

    “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;”might not also cover quite a bit, GB? Seems to me that it might”

    Not nearly as much wiggle room here as you imply. Commerce, prior to the ascension of the left, has always been understood to be simply the exchange of material goods and the monetary funds involved in material commerce. International, interstate and commerce with the formerly sovereign nations of the Indian Tribes was and is the proper venue for the federal government. No argument there, as long as individual rights are not breached.

    “To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”this last bit might cover a fair bit of stuff as well.”

    Sure, as long as those enacted laws and regulations don’t infringe upon our rights. If they do, they’re unconstitutional, regardless of how many Congressional votes were cast in the legislation’s favor. This is a central point; the Constitution, in regards to the government is a statement of ‘negative rights’, primarily telling the Federal government what it cannot do and what it may do. The states have to work within that framework as well.

    “Don’t tread on me still applies.”

    ”as for your ideas that regulations to prevent outright frauds and sharp and unethical practices that fall just short of the full five elements that define fraud may infringe so greatly upon the liberty of the natural right to of the rich, strong, intelligent and educated to prey upon the less fortunate so that we’re all as good as dead is the prattle that led people to nail some crazy Jew to a bit of lumber.’

    Are you actually implying that the majority of the ‘rich’, the strong, the intelligent and the educated prey upon the less fortunate?

    Certainly some do but if you’re implying that to be the norm, then you’ve stepped over the line into the argument for Communism.

    My point being that the cure can easily become worse than the disease and, when protective zealousness intrudes upon our rights, it invariably becomes a greater malady than the original offense.

    The religious power structure nailed that Jewish carpenter to the cross because his ideas threatened their power.

    Which has nothing to do with arguing that reasonable but limited regulation of Capitalism results in the greatest opportunity for all, historically results in the greatest standard of living for the most people, creates the accumulation of capital to provide for charities and intrudes upon individual liberties the least.

    • —-Are you actually implying that the majority of the ‘rich’, the strong, the intelligent and the educated prey upon the less fortunate?—

      —–

      GB, try, just try, I ask, to give my words a fair reading……… sure I’m asking a lot of you here, but, dangnabbit, I’m worth it!!!!!!

      how does anyone in their right mind (or close to that high standard) go from reading a comment advocating the prevention of fraud and business practices just short of fraud …..to a stinking paraphrase that turns to the statement into a condemnation of the majority of the strong, intelligent and educated.

      Of course, George, I understand that you’ve limitations, and of course you’re less educated, and less intelligent and have earned less money than have I, but I don’t wish to take advantage of those things and urged to try harder to keep up your end…… or if you can not, enlist help….. If you can not afford assistance, there are programs to aid adults with literacy deficits…..

      • Who’s George?

        Chill. You’re losin it frog.

        I quote, “as for your ideas that regulations to prevent outright frauds and sharp and unethical practices that fall just short of the full five elements that define fraud may infringe so greatly upon the liberty of the natural right to of the rich, strong, intelligent and educated to prey upon the less fortunate so that we’re all as good as dead is the prattle that led people to nail some crazy Jew to a bit of lumber” [emphasis mine]

        When you used ‘natural right’ in the context you did, was I really out of line wondering where you were coming from? A request for clarity isn’t even an assumption, much less an accusation.

        You’ll have to explain that last part, it presumes ‘facts not in evidence’…the fact being that I have little beyond wild speculation, as to what you’re talking about.

        • focus on explaining where you got the “majority” from before we go further.

          • You’re being obtuse fuster.

            When you say, “the natural right to of the rich, strong, intelligent and educated to prey upon the less fortunate so that we’re all as good as dead” it’s safe to presume that you’re not referring to just a couple of bad apples. As, if in your estimation that was the extent of the problem, then why bring it up in the first place?

            So the implication, arguably, is that in your estimation, its
            a big enough problem that even if some “rich, strong, intelligent and educated” don’t prey upon the less fortunate, it wasn’t worth mentioning or qualifying, which leaves the implication that it’s the majority.

            No, you didn’t directly say that but left unqualified, it was the unspoken implication, however unintentional it may have been.

            Obama for instance isn’t talking about a couple of greedy individuals, he’s repeatedly issued an unqualified condemnation of the rich, as a class.

            But rather than assume, I just asked for some clarification and you go postal.

            Since your reaction greatly exceeds any possible provocation, I suspect this is about another issue; most probably, my pointing out the consequences of intellectually dishonest debate. I discount sloppy reasoning as an explanation because its a long time pattern, ask anyone who regularly visits this blog.

  12. The political philosophy underpinning the US Constitution owes far more to the liberal-rights ontology of the Enlightenment than to religion. The proof of the pudding is that these ideas, and the philosophy that underpins them, were contested tooth and nail by organized religion. One of the most fundamental and revolutionary aspects of the Constitution bequeathed to us by the Founding Fathers was the separation of the spheres or religion and government. Their wisdom can be well appreciated if you can imagine the sort of society we would have if some fundamentalist so-called “Christians” got their hands on the levers of government under a constitutional dispensation that allowed them to determine or interfere with our precious liberties. Welcome to Saudi America. No thanks!

    • So why can’t I buy a bottle of whiskey on Sunday in Minnesota? Or a new car on Sunday? How come nobody, especially government employees, has to work on Christmas and Thanksgiving?

      • Because there are secular laws giving public employees the day off, and because there are secular laws restricting trading on Sundays in some states. That’s democracy. There may have been a religious motive behind these laws, but they exist as laws because of a secular legislative process – not because priests and pastors decree.

        Adultery, (a sin I am told, punished in the Bible by stoning) was once a civil crime in many states of the Union. Do our local Ayatollahs seriously suggest we should re-enact laws criminalizing adultery? And stoning?

        • If there was an entry for “muddled thinking” at the Kentucky State Fair that would be a blue-ribbon winner.

          It doesn’t matter if a secular legislative process founded on some pseudo-democratic process is the impetus for Sunday “blue laws”. When such laws are passed, they’re in violation of the establishment clause, of the secularly sacred US Constitution, as you zurdos are quick to point out when somebody puts a creche on the courthouse lawn.

    • “The political philosophy underpinning the US Constitution owes far more to the liberal-rights ontology of the Enlightenment than to religion.”

      On the surface that appears to be correct but the truth is deeper than you imply. As a group, the founding fathers were far more religious than the norm of today.

      Nowhere in the Constitution do the words separation or church appear. ALL the Constitution has to say about church and state relations is that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”
      The clear intent is to forbid Congress from making laws which either formally or in a de facto manner, establish a state religion.

      “the separation of church and state” is an interpretation, that is most often used by liberals attempting to twist the Constitution’s meaning in order to advance their agenda.

      “you can imagine the sort of society we would have if some fundamentalist so-called “Christians” got their hands on the levers of government under a constitutional dispensation that allowed them to determine or interfere with our precious liberties”

      You mean like George Washington?

      “It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.”

      “Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

      • These were George Washington’s personal values and opinions. (The right to express opinions is also protected under the Constitution). However, fortunately, he was obliged to exercise his executive functions as President according, not to the Bible, but the Constitution and laws of the United States.

        Some of the least religiously observant societies on Earth are the most law-abiding, and some of the most religiously observant, the most corrupt, callous, and lawless. The oil-states of Norway and Nigeria being prime examples of this phenonomen.

        • The point escaping you is that Washington’s personal views were responsible for his fidelity to the Constitution. And why he refused a third term and set an example that few if any Presidents since have met.

          The West has the lowest murder rates per capita, but religious Ireland has 31% less murders than secular New Zealand…

          • Except that Ireland isn’t very religious anymore. They have just had a survey saying that less than 30% attend church regularly, and that 80% of nominal Catholics disagree with their church on matters of sexual morality. Last autumn Ireland closed down its embassy at the Vatican over the Catholic Church trying to frustrate a legal investigation of institutional abuse by Catholic clergy.

            • In 2009 The Iona Institute for Religion and Society reported the conclusions of a new poll, which showed that two-thirds of people in Ireland attend church at least monthly. This figure has significantly increased from the 54% of people who reported monthly church attendance in 2008.

              In rural areas, attendance is highest. It lessens for town dwellers and is even less in the suburbs of the big cities.

              The lowest rates of Mass attendance are among people in the 25-34 age range.

              Only Malta and Poland report higher incidences of Church attendance.

              • Only, according to the UNDOC which collects homicide data worldwide and produces standardized statistics:

                In 2010 (The latest year that data is available from both countries) The murder rate per 100,000 inhabitants for Norway was 0.68, and for Ireland, 1.3.

                This rather proves my point if your religious observance statistics (From a Roman Catholic advocacy group!) are correct. (However, I understand that your results are distorted by the omission of one vital fact: The figures concerned only refer to people who identified themselves as “Roman Catholics”. There was a proper civil census in Ireland in 2011 which showed a high percentage of people answering “none” to the question of religious persuasion.

                • Figures don’t lie but liberals sure do figure. Moving off on a tangent again, I see. I haven’t disputed that Norway is a more peaceful country than Ireland. But as usual that’s beside the point under discussion, which was that there are relatively peaceful countries with a high rate of religious affiliation.

                  The results I quoted aren’t distorted because they don’t include other religious persuasions, so in fact the figures I provided are actually lower than the country’s total.

                  Without examining your poll we can’t verify it. There are a myriad of ways to influence a poll’s results. Some polls compile data from Ireland’s largest city and then extrapolate it to the entire country. Some couch the questions in such a manner as to give a false impression.


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