Monday, September 21, 2015

How to Make Nations Disappear

I've always like magicians. Seriously, who doesn't? Be it clowns and card tricks or making 747's disappear. While I appreciate the illusions and the showmanship which goes into each performance, I've always found myself drawn to the act of the illusion itself. Perhaps it's the sleight of hand tricks that I enjoy the most---creating a believable situation, stating a "problem" and then presto chango, the "problem" re-manifest itself into some other form; be it a flower, coin, different card, or simply vanishes into thin
air. I think we, as spectators, are complicit in the illusion just as much as the magician. After all, we know it's a trick, yet we allow ourselves to believe by suspending our logic and reason and step, albeit briefly, into a world of make believe.

I think politics is a bit like magic too. We all see the problem. We know what our logic and reason tells us, yet, we are subtly drawn into a world of make believe by a media which manipulates the truth into something which sounds reasonable to many of us. The politicians use a verbal form of "sleight of hand" to lead us along a path where the roses have no thorns. Together, they create a world of illusion which promises one thing but delivers another while trying to convince us that it's the same as what we desire. I don't think we're to blame, at least not entirely. There's a part of us which wants to believe. We want to think that the individuals in office are looking out for us; that they have our best interests at heart, and yet, the logical portion of our brain tells us that we've just been hoodwinked in the way a magician seems to magically move coins from one pocket to another.

One of the tricks used most often by the media and politicians is misdirection. Have you ever noticed how we seem to go from crisis to crisis? We seem to always be jumping from one fire into another. The media treats each as if it's some earth shattering event given the "overkill" they devote to each; creating this feeding frenzy where they start citing each other's opinions and comments as if it's actually part of the story. Of course, there's the opposing pundits doing the same thing. Eventually, the public grows mind numbingly confused and loses interest out of frustration. Mission accomplished. But don't fret! We're soon off to the next big thing before we know it and the cycle repeats itself. Naturally, the politicians and their handlers are busy putting out their own spin. They're just as much a part of the media spin cycle as any of the talking heads.

Right now, we're being bombarded with stories about the poor refugees coming by makeshift boat or foot from war torn areas of the Middle East in search for a better and safer life (the majority are single young men not whole families). At least that's the storyline. We see pictures and video of these battered refugees confronting various military and police units who are either impeding their travels or herding them through like cattle. We are told, if the media mentions it at all, that most of these individuals are from Syria, Afghanistan and the East African nation of Eritrea. It's true that that most of the refugees are in fact coming from these areas, but many more are coming from surrounding areas not affected the hostilities. They're simply looking for an easy way out of the region.

We're also not being told that overwhelmingly these migrants are Moslem. Some are hoping to escape persecution by fellow Moslems (Sunni vs. Shiite, moderate or secular vs conservative or extremist). What we're not hearing much about are the Coptic Christians and Yazidis who are trying to get out of harm's way. These groups, along with the Kurds, are the region's most persecuted. While the media doesn't mention it, these groups are more likely to be murdered by extremists like ISIS than any of the other groups, who are at least Moslem. We also don't hear about the Christians, Yazidis, or Kurds who do make it to the refugee camps. Far from safe, they are often attacked and robbed by other refugees (who happen to be Moslem) and unfortunately, the authorities are much too busy to deal with it. Their attention is focused on being understaffed, a lack of housing, fresh water, food and ample sanitation (not to mention disease).

The media and politicians have been silent on the violence Europe is experiencing too. Since this mass exodus into places like Austria, Germany, France, Belgium, and Scandinavia, there are been several violent encounters with police over what is seen as "non-Sharia" compliance; from women's clothing to ringing church bells to food; a few Moslems have recently petitioned the Mayor of Munich and the City Council to end Oktoberfest and stop serving beer (alcoholic beverages are forbidden under Sharia law). No doubt they'll also demand that Germans stop eating pork which has been a staple of the German diet (along with beer) for centuries. German girls have been asked not to wear short skirts to school as not to "offend" the newly arrived Moslem children and their parents. Schools have been asked to remove crosses and other religious items as well. In addition, there has been outbreaks of violence between Moslems sects with centuries old hatreds, battling each other with rocks, bottles, and fists with the police seemingly powerless to combat it. Many admit they are heading for Europe because of promises of free housing, food, medical treatment, and yes, "willing blue eyed blonde women needing strong men" as one advertisement put it...I kid you not.

These are the tip of an iceberg which has collided with Europe. Not since the end of World War II has there been such a mass movement of people from one region to another, but I can take it one step further when I say that it's been since 1511, the last attempted invasion of Europe by Islam, has there been an influx of this many Moslems on European soil. At that, nearly all of Christendom had fallen under the banner of the Crescent Moon. To be fair, the chaos in the Middle East is largely the fault of the West; especially the United States. Yes, this cesspool of religious and ethnic hatred has been going on for centuries. However, it has generally remained localized. However, this time it was the blundering of Washington working hand-in-hand with corporate interests that has reopened Pandora's Box. This then is the sleight of hand orchestrated by politicians sitting in the United Nations and in the EU Parliament working hand-in-pocket with the media to portray an image that is only partially true while attempting to cover up the real truth---that Europe has been sold out.

Take a look at the US. For over 25 years we've been demanding an end to illegal immigration. We've been demanding a secure Southern border. We've been demanding an increase in border patrol agents and funding. We've been demanding stiffer penalties for employers and churches who smuggle and protect illegal immigrants. We've been demanding an increase in ICE funding and deportations. We've demanded widespread application of E-Verify. And what have we gotten for all those years? Well, we've gotten a partial amnesty courtesy of Ronald Reagan.
We've gotten lip service about building a wall and clamping down on employers of illegal immigrants. We've gotten a half hearted effort at applying E-Verify. We got a federal lawsuit against Arizona for enforcing existing federal immigration laws (and the unprecedented approval by the DOJ to allow a foreign government to interplead against a US State). We got an illegal gun deal ("Fast and Furious") perpetrated by the US Justice Department which resulted in the murders of US agents. We got so-called "sanctuary cities" which can pick and choose what federal laws to ignore, including refusal to cooperate with ICE agents. We got border patrol agents who were told to "stand down" and not do their jobs, resulting in agents being killed. We got states having to pick up the financial tab for medical treatment of illegals, of providing translators for schools and taxpayer based services. We got the re-introduction of long eradicated diseases. We got an increase in drug gangs and cartels. We got an end to deportations short of violent criminals (who simply re-enter a few days later). We got in-state tuition rates for illegals going to school (plus access to grants, housing, and taxpayer subsidized loans). Of course, we also got funerals as several---mostly women---were murdered not to mention other violent crimes.

You may also note that in nearly every instance when public outrage reached the boiling point, "something" always happened to divert the public's attention away. The greater the outrage, the longer the media focused on whatever that something was. Sometimes is was domestic like the economy and at other times its some manufactured "crisis" overseas. This is in essence the same diversion used by magicians in their sleight of hand acts; get the people to look somewhere else while hiding what you don't want them to see.

So who gains from this? Well, domestically, employers gain the most. They get individuals who are willing to work hard for sub-standard pay and little chance they'll complain. Employers can avoid taxes and having to offer benefits. There's no chance of unionization. Working conditions aren't a concern and neither are other niceties such as mandatory restroom or hourly breaks, limitation of hours, vacations, or even lunch breaks. In short, employees are barely a step up from slaves. Churches and other groups benefit by expanding their level of influence over the illegal immigrants (and perhaps a financial kickback down the road). In addition, these institutions benefit by making broader connections with those who'll partner with them in breaking the law through housing, medical treatment, and employment. Even in the case of legal immigration, employers expect to pay lower wages with few if any benefits. This influx of potential employees drives down wages as competition for jobs increase. Meanwhile, higher paying jobs are outsourced to lower paying companies overseas. Unions support amnesty for illegal immigration in the hopes they will fill the mostly lower paying jobs and fill empty union coffers. Plus the increase in union membership will, hopefully, restore at least a measure of organized labor's former clout.

Lastly, the foreign countries benefit. Most are struggling economically; limited to primarily an agricultural base, few ever developed a middle class thanks to a combination of limited education, a repressive Church hierarchy which discouraged economic self-improvement, and an upper class which controls the levers of power. Women are largely considered to be second class citizens, whose primary purpose is to marry, have children, and stay home. Many are "discouraged" from even voting. Of course, there's always the military and police which serve as enforcers of the status quo. Whenever there's been an attempt to reverse the trend, it's often brutally put down. On those rare occasions when a "Man of the People" has succeeded, they've been ousted by a coup and a military junta installed (mostly with the active support of the US Government coupled with sweetheart deals for a select few corporations). Such has been "democracy" corporate style!

As for Europe, I don't see who benefits from the overthrow of centuries of culture and tradition while disrupting the economies. Perhaps surrendering Europe is the price the West has to pay for access to oil, yet oil is available elsewhere. Perhaps subjugation of Europeans is better than a nuclear war; better a few hundred thousand die than millions and collapse the economies of the world. Certainly an eventual world war would eliminate what the elites call an "excess" global population given the decline in available fresh drinking water and high yield farm land. Not to mention a weakening of the West's resolve, declining population, and strong political leadership. Maybe too this is payback for the intervention of Western (mostly US) military forces at the behest of corporations into the Middle East to seize direct control of the oil fields and shipping lanes, not to mention expanding access to markets.

There's no doubt that the US is in decline as well. It lacks the full support of most countries, including former and current allies who note that the US has been unable to match its actions with its promises. American political leadership has become something between a global joke and a global embarrassment. The American People are fed up with Washington and the rumblings of fundamental change are growing ever louder. The economy has deep fissures and the crisis with illegal immigration is making them worse. Russia and China, on the other hand, have showed a willingness to step up and fill the gap being left by the US. Neither have any patience with Moslem extremists and have shown they are more than willing to use the same level of brutality. Perhaps that's what it will take. Imagine the irony of our Cold War arch-enemy Russia coming not just to the rescue of the West, but to ours as well. Talk about your sleight of hand. That would be the slickest trick of them all.

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