Category Archives: Journalism

UPDATE II (4/5): Big-On-Gun-Control Sweden Suffers “Gun Violence,” AKA Goon Violence, Or, More Accurately, A “Migrant” Problem

Crime, Europe, GUNS, IMMIGRATION, Israel, Journalism

“Acquiring a legal gun [in Sweden] requires strict screening.” Yes, Sweden has some of the strictest gun laws; and the best standard of living in the developed world. And now it’s unraveling because of what dumb American kids call “gun violence,” but is actually goon violence, better defined as Muslim-migrant violence. Not that you’d know it from reading “Why are young men in Sweden shooting each other?”

The Economist is a great source for news, global news, all news. While it coats the truth with more than a patina of political correctness, at least you get news that isn’t about Horny Stormy (CNN) or Sarah Carter and the FISA Court (at Fox News, where only Tucker rocks).

What The Economist tries to relay is that:

* The Muslim migrant violence is part of a continuum of  crime, namely nothing new. It certainly has nothing to do with the “refugee crisis of 2015.”

On the other had,

* “Most gang members are indeed first- or second-generation [Muslim] immigrants.”

* It’s the fault of the Swedes for not giving these snakes enough TLC:

… In 2011 only 17 people were killed by firearms. In 2017 the country had over 300 shootings, leaving 41 people dead and over 100 injured. The violence mostly stems from street gangs running small-time drug operations in big cities such as Stockholm, the capital, Malmö and Gothenburg. Gang members have even used hand grenades to attack police stations. Between 2010 and 2015, people were killed by illegal firearms at the same rate as in southern Italy. Though Sweden is still a relatively peaceful place, this is worrying.

Gangs are nothing new: bikers and Balkan mafiosi have traded drugs and occasional bullets in Sweden since the early 1990s. But the gangs emerging today are less organised and more prone to commit petty crime. Acquiring a legal gun requires strict screening, but Kalashnikovs from the Yugoslav wars are readily available on the black market. To sweeten the deal, smugglers often throw in hand grenades (there were 43 grenade incidents in Sweden last year). The victims and perpetrators of gang violence are nearly always young men.

How to explain the rise of gang violence? It cannot be the economy, which is doing well, or Sweden’s quality of life, which is among the best in the world. And crime in general is in decline. So what has gone wrong?

Some blame the refugee crisis of 2015, when Sweden took in the most asylum-seekers per capita in Europe. But shootings with illegal guns have been rising since the mid-2000s. Most gang members are indeed first- or second-generation immigrants—72% of them, according to one report, but they tend not to be new arrivals. It takes years for migrants to be settled enough to be sucked into crime, says Amir Rostami of Stockholm University. Sweden accepted lots of asylum-seekers in the 1980s and 1990s from countries like Iraq, Somalia and the former Yugoslavia.

Sweden built them homes and taught them its language, but it failed to integrate them into the labour market. The Swedish welfare system offers good education and generous benefits. But for immigrants there is little social mobility. Powerful unions insist on high wages for entry-level jobs, so firms often find it uneconomical to hire immigrants with limited education or not much Swedish. Today, 16% of people born abroad are unemployed—one of the highest rates in the OECD. Gangs offer frustrated young men an alternative. “They let you feel like a king, even if for one day,” says Mr Rostami.

Alarmed, the government has provided additional funding for integrating migrants, imposed harsher punishments for gun crimes and granted a weapons amnesty. Police have stepped up surveillance and co-operation with other European countries to curb weapons-smuggling. In January the Swedish government set up a centre to combat violent extremism.

Still, witnesses are scared to talk and the police are stretched. Not one firearm-homicide case in Stockholm was solved in 2016. The government hopes to turn that around: police wages have been bumped up, and officers who left during a reorganisation three years ago (which coincided with a rise in crime) have been re-hired. Preliminary results for 2017 show that the clear-up rate for firearm murders has risen to a (still woeful) 30% in Stockholm. But over 100 cases remain unsolved. …

“Why are young men in Sweden shooting each other?”

UPDATE I (3/27):

Gangs with grenades in Sweden.

UPDATE II (4/5):

UPDATED: Not Russia, But American Ally Turkey Is ‘The World’s Biggest Jailer Of Journalists,’ Frequently For LIFE

Foreign Policy, Free Speech, Journalism, Media, Middle East, Russia, War

If you’re getting your news from the American media, you probably don’t know that Turkey, so far an American ally, headed by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is massacring “Kurdish insurgents in Syria’s Afrin province.”

Turkish troops are capturing Kurdish villages, and killing members of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG). Lots of civilians, no doubt, are perishing. Except that Turkish journalists are forbidden to report about their government’s atrocities ongoing.

When “Turkey’s army claims to have ‘neutralized’ over 2,000 YPG fighters in Afrin without killing a single civilian,” that’s what goes to press. “Not a single mainstream media outlet has question[s] the figures.”

Why?

Because “Turkey is the world’s biggest jailer of journalists, with over 100 currently behind bars.” (“Muzzling the Media No one in Turkey dares report accurately on the war in Syria,” The Economist, Mar 1st, 2018.)

On February 16th a court sentenced six media workers, including a prominent novelist, to life in prison without parole on trumped-up charges of involvement in an abortive coup in 2016. … The internet is no longer a safe space for dissent. In the past month more than 800 people have been detained for protesting against the war on social media.

MORE.

UPDATE: Trump turning on the Kurds to pacify the Turks. Us “moving to repair relations with Turkey, endangering ties with Kurdish allies.”

NEW COLUMN updated (12/2): Making Sense Of The Russia Monomania

Donald Trump, Iraq, Journalism, Russia, War

Making Sense of The Russia Monomania” is the new column, now on WND.COM. An excerpt:

Periodically, America experiences episodes of mass, hysterical contagion.

What is “hysterical contagion”? A sociologist explains it as the spread of symptoms of an illness among a group, absent any physiological disease. It provides a way of coping with a situation that cannot be handled with the usual coping mechanism.

For example, in 1983, girls in the West Bank fell ill, one after the other. Soon, all the schools and finally the entire community was engulfed, affected with the same symptoms. Arab doctors implicated the Israelis. But of course. The Israeli Occupation had poisoned the girls by gas to reduce their fertility. When real doctors arrived on the scene to examine the neurotics; the girls were pronounced physically healthy.

The frenzied behavior known as mass hysteria or hysterical contagion is well documented. The Trump-Russia “collusion,” “obstruction of justice” probe qualifies, with an exception: This particular form of mass madness involves not physical symptoms such as those observed in the West Bank, but a meme, a story-line. Rumors for which no evidence can possibly be adduced are recounted as facts. Naturally licit behavior—such as diplomacy with Russia—is criminalized by a Federal Government that has enough laws on the books to indicts each one of us, if it so desired.

Indeed, the Establishment and opposition elites have poisoned the country’s collective consciousness. However, it’s the emotional pitch with which the Trump-Russia collusion group-think is delivered, day in and day out, that has gripped and inflamed irrational, febrile minds.

What sociology terms “a collective preoccupation” is fueled by organizational- and communication networks. Friendship networks and work organizations (think government departments infested with like-minded individuals) serve as nodes in a system that transmits faulty signals across the synapses of a collective, damaged brain.

The political storyline du jour is manufactured by America’s gilded elites. To this, DC operative Karl Rove confessed during the era of Bush II: “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.”

When you’re the most powerful entity in the world, as the US government certainly is—you get to manufacture your own parallel universe with its unique rules of evidence and standards of proof. What’s more, as the mightiest rule-maker, you can coerce other earthlings into “sharing” your alternate reality. Or else.

The manufacturing of Fake News by the Deep State, circa 2017, is of a piece with the anatomy of the ramp-up to war in Iraq, in 2003. (Chronicled in achingly painful detail in Broad Sides: One Woman’s Clash With A Corrupt Culture.) Except that back then, Republicans, joined by diabolical Democrats like Hillary Clinton, played a lead role in dreaming up Homer Simpson’s Third Dimension.

Conscripted into America’s reality, Iraqis paid the price of this terrible American concoction. Hundreds of thousands of them were displaced and killed due to “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” …

… READ THE REST. The complete column is “Making Sense of The Russia Monomania.” It’s now on WND.COM.

UPDATE 12/2:

Fake News Fallacies And The Las Vegas Massacre

Ancient History, Crime, Ethics, GUNS, Journalism, Left-Liberalism, Media, Propaganda, Terrorism

Days following the Oct 1 massacre of country music concertgoers in Las Vegas, a CNN ego in an anchor’s chair, her name is Brooke Baldwin, continued to push her guests to reconsider guns already regulated. Is this journalism or activism?

Ms. Baldwin had previously (and shamefully) tried to extract an anti-gun “change of heart” message from a female country music DJ she interviewed. The young woman reacted with class, refusing to wade into the mire with Ms. Baldwin. I suspect Baldwin will continue her asinine lack of discipline. Come to think of it, there are no disciples any longer, are there? Baldwin and her pals on the late-night shows are activists, not journalists. There was a reason the ancients created the disciplines.

Ms. Baldwin further shed credibility by asserting that the shooter used automatic rifles in the slaughter. Not that it makes the man less monstrous, but the shooter (whose name will live on in infamy) used semi-automatic rifles. The bump-fire modification used is a LEGAL modification. As a member of the GabFamily said, let media morons think the Vegas shooter used automatic rifles. Let the dumb Left re-ban automatic weapons.

Some credible individuals, such as U.S. Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Shaffer, insisted the gunman deliberately targeted country music concertgoers so as to kill Trump Supporters. Was Stephen Paddock targeting Deplorables? As Jack Kerwick has argued, this is one perfectly plausible theory of the crime.

Another fallacy echoed by Fake News: Mass shootings are the purview of white males. Don’t listen. Look at this lineup of ghouls: