You Can’t Have Denmark Without Danes

You Can’t Have Denmark Without Danes, by Megan McArdle.

When I asked people in Copenhagen about the secret of Denmark’s remarkable success, I kept hearing the same thing: “Trust.”

“Trust,” said a photographer, when I asked him the best thing about living in Denmark. “If we agree on something, you would live up to that.” That confidence, he added, “makes everyday life more comfortable.”

“There’s a lot of social trust,” a speechwriter at the culture ministry told me. “Farmers putting out their products by the roadside, and then putting a jar and saying, ‘Put money in this.’ It’s very common here, and it works.”

Las Olsen, chief economist at Danske Bank, said: “We have this high trust, and it is a huge asset. It is very good for productivity that you don’t have to spend a lot of time and money checking everything.” …

Although roughly 10 percent of the population consists of immigrants, in the downtown at least, the crowds look strikingly white and blond. …

High Danish wages translate into sky-high costs, especially for services. At a McDonald’s in downtown Copenhagen, a Big Mac meal set me back more than $10. …

Overall, Danes report high levels of trust in one another and in their government. … If you’re used to reporting on U.S. business and government, it’s eerie to hear people talk like that. The only other time I’ve had a similar experience was when I talked to people in Utah. … In both places, it seems to have its roots in a consensus-based culture founded on trust.

Trust is measured by questions like “If you lost your wallet, would you expect it to be returned,” or, “Will most people do the right thing most of the time?” Or simply, “Can most people be trusted?” Scandinavians routinely get some of the highest scores in the world. …

Denmark’s extremely high levels of trust allow Danes to get away with policies that would cripple another economy. Unlike Greeks, Danes don’t cheat (much) on their high tax rates, nor do they take (many) benefits they’re not entitled to or don’t need. They match their extraordinarily high wages with high productivity because they trust one another. …

Immigration:

Danish social cohesion works great for Danes. It’s not so great, though, at doing another thing modern advanced economies need: Absorbing outsiders. …

Lots of countries with generous welfare systems aren’t particularly trusting, for example, and those systems produce all the dire effects American conservatives warn about. And as Bjornskov suggests, low corruption distinguished Scandanavian societies centuries ago. That’s a trait that may go all the way back to the Vikings. …

Basically all the Danes I spoke to, from far-left Green Party types to market liberals, agreed that Denmark would be hard to replicate without Danes.

So what happens when people from notoriously low trust societies in the Middle East come to Denmark? Low trust trumps high trust. When I grew up in Australia, people didn’t lock the doors of their houses.

Google Leftists ‘Dig Through a Private Conservative Mailing List’ to Get People Fired

Google Leftists ‘Dig Through a Private Conservative Mailing List’ to Get People Fired, by Tyler O’Neil.

Former Google senior software engineer James Damore told PJ Media that Leftist staff at Google are “trying to dig through” a private mailing list for conservatives at the Silicon Valley company, attempting to get them fired. …

Why do employees “want to dig through it”? So they can get conservatives fired. “They want to dig through that to find anything that might kind of go against the code of conduct and try to get those people fired,” Damore said.

“It’s really dangerous to try to coordinate actions” if you are a conservative at the Silicon Valley giant, he explained.

Venezuelans report big weight losses in 2017 as hunger hits

Venezuelans report big weight losses in 2017 as hunger hits, by Vivian Sequera.

Venezuelans reported losing on average 11 kilograms (24 lbs) in body weight last year and almost 90 percent now live in poverty, according to a new university study on the impact of a devastating economic crisis and food shortages. …

Over 60 percent of Venezuelans surveyed said that during the previous three months they had woken up hungry because they did not have enough money to buy food. About a quarter of the population was eating two or less meals a day, the study showed. …

Maduro blames the country’s problems on an economic war waged by the opposition and business leaders, with help from Washington.

Barnaby Joyce takes final tumble over affair, joins Tony Abbott on backbench

Barnaby Joyce takes final tumble over affair, joins Tony Abbott on backbench, by Chris Kenny.

The government’s troubles — personal, political and policy — are emanating from the conservative side of the Coalition. The most critical fracturing in the body politic is at the conservative end where the Liberals and Nationals are bleeding votes to One Nation and the Australian Conservatives.

While conservatives must shoulder their share of the blame for their woes — from their strategic decision to fight a same-sex marriage campaign they could never win to Abbott’s failures in government and Joyce’s personal/public overlap — the Coalition’s crisis stems more from the triumphalism of the moderates and the marginalisation of conservatives. The 2016 election results and subsequent polls prove that conservative voters have walked away. …

Many Liberal MPs seem to think the character of the nation changed when they switched leaders. It did not. When Abbott made mistakes and Liberals replaced him with Turnbull, the voters didn’t change. Moderates may want to present a kinder, gentler face, but they can’t alter the history of Abbott’s landslide win or the reasons people voted for the Coalition. The verdict on the softer version of the Liberals was delivered in 2016, all but wiping out the Coalition’s majority.

The Turnbull Liberals lack policy differentiation from Labor, reflecting the fatal flaw of the so-called Liberal moderates who tend to cede criticism from leftists in the media and opposing parties and shrink from tough debates. Be it border protection, climate policy, the Northern Territory intervention or tackling the Australian Human Rights Commission, moderate MPs seldom show a stomach for the fight. They want to be loved [by the PC media]. …

When Joyce lets down social conservatives, Turnbull talks up his Paris targets and cabinet ministers dismiss immigration concerns, it is Pauline Hanson and Bernardi who rub their hands in glee. The Prime Minister and his supporters can pretend otherwise — perhaps convincing themselves they will steal the middle ground from Labor — but the hard evidence shows the Coali­tion has crab-walked away from its conservative flank, which has turned to right-wing break­aways. Unsurprisingly for a market economy, the mainstream is weighted to the right of centre; even Labor leaders are most successful when they pitch to the right.

For 1½ decades One Nation had become a historical footnote in Australian politics. It was reanimated when Abbott was brought down. This was not a coincidence. From day one Turnbull needed to demonstrate he was not steering the Coalition ship to port. Instead, he has been lured by the siren song of the leftist political/media class …

Philip:

Yes, Joyce threw away his career and betrayed his family, but what I find far more disturbing is the fact that if it had been a man he had had sex with and moved in with, then he would have been lauded by the media for his honesty.

hat-tip Stephen Neil, Philip Barton

President Trump Empowers Americans to Stop School Shooters

President Trump Empowers Americans to Stop School Shooters, by Daniel Greenfield.

“History shows that a school shooting lasts, on average, 3 minutes. It takes police & first responders approximately 5 to 8 minutes to get to site of crime. Highly trained, gun adept, teachers/coaches would solve the problem instantly,” President Trump pointed out on Twitter. …

From local police to the FBI to the armed officer on the scene, law enforcement failed miserably at every step in the process. That’s why law enforcement can never be the only option for stopping a killer. Controllers refuse to allow teachers and students to defend themselves …

The media has no interest in delivering anything except more hysteria. It has no answers for why these attacks are happening and its toxic habit of turning mass shooters into celebrities has already been shown to inspire more attacks.

hat-tip Scott of the Pacific

Jordan Peterson: six reasons that explain his rise

Jordan Peterson: six reasons that explain his rise, by Janet Albrechtsen.

One way to explain this rise of a man who has been described as a cowboy psychologist and an egghead who gives practical advice is that he drives many on the left bonkers. …

Reason 1. Peterson reckons that listening is good for our soul and even better for human progress. Sounds banal, but in an age when campus outrage and an angry mob mentality have seeped into our broader culture, listening to those we disagree with is a truly revolutionary message.

The University of Toronto psychology professor is old school. He gathers information and builds knowledge the Socratic way, by listening and testing ideas. That’s how he developed a fascination with why totalitarian regimes murdered millions in the quest for utopia. He’s suspicious of ideology, dogma and the doctrinaire. Ideology is dangerous, he says, because it’s too certain about things and doesn’t allow for dissent.

Moral relativism is equally dangerous because it makes no judgments and is blind to the greatness of Western civilisation. Human beings need a moral compass. The demise of religion has left a vacuum, and it has been filled by rigid ideologues and nihilistic moral relativists. Well-timed, given so many millennials are bunkering down with socialism or moral relativism. …

Reason 2. Peterson believes in free speech. He’s worried about the illiberal direction of modernity, not just on campus. … Peterson baulked at being told by the state to use the pronoun “ze” for transgender people. He said if someone asked him to use it for them, he’s a polite guy and he’d do it. But when the state tells you what to say, the state has crossed the line into forced speech.

Reason 3. Peterson is a force because he’s also damn good at getting his message across. He uses our most important stories, drawing from history, psychology, neuroscience, mythology, poetry and the Bible to explain his thinking. …

Reason 4. Peterson is secretly feared by utopians on the left. Life is full of unexpected and unavoidable suffering, he says. We get sick, we get betrayed, we lose jobs and friends and a sense of order. Get used to it. Deal with it.

This starting premise is where he departs so spectacularly from cultural Marxists. The utopian imaginings of socialism and communism created great suffering. So stop dreaming, Peterson says, accept that life can be hard. Accept, too, that each of us is capable of being monstrous and marvellous in all our human complexity. And make choices about that. Accept individual responsibility. …

Reason 5. Get your own house in order before you start lecturing others or presuming to know how to fix other problems. Peterson’s message is a direct challenge to two particularly rank strains of modernity: victimhood and virtue-signalling. Both are cop-outs. Much harder, and more important, says Peterson, is to fix what you can at home because if we all did this there would be fewer victims and less misery in the world.

Reason 6. Men need to grow the hell up, he says. A whiny guy who blames others for his poor life choices is of no use to himself, no use to women, no use to children and no use to a world that has prospered from those who take responsibility. A boy who never grows up can’t possibly deal with the periods of chaos we all must face. And parents shouldn’t bother children when they’re skateboarding, meaning let them take risks so they can manage them as adults.

hat-tip Stephen Neil, Scott of the Pacific

Dutch party centre bans kid’s cowboy party because “it’s racist”

Dutch party centre bans kid’s cowboy party because “it’s racist”. By Voice of Europe.

After complaints of leftist activists, Dutch party centre TivoliVredenburg in Utrecht, will no longer organise ‘Wild West’ parties for children, their spokesman said.

The far-left action group “De Grauwe Eeuw” filed a police report against the organisation behind the festival. According to them, the feast for children between 2 and 12 years old uses ‘racist stereotypes’.

“Cowboys are responsible for the genocide on America’s native inhabitants”, De Grauwe Eeuw stated.

Didn’t the Dutch run a “racist” colony and a have few “racist” wars in what is now Indonesia? There sort of games can go on forever. Or is the left really about silencing a certain political point of view?

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Trudeau Exposed: A Leader Who Embraces Diversity and Islamic Supremacists

Trudeau Exposed: A Leader Who Embraces Diversity and  Islamic Supremacists, by Christine Douglass-Williams.

Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau is now making quite the impression in India — and globally — as he continues to parrot his commitment to “diversity.” To his detriment, it never seems to occur to him that diversity, like any other concept, needs to be scrutinized and tested. To Trudeau, diversity has no definable boundaries, and to this end, he has been making merry with Islamic supremacists, jihadists and even terrorist Sikh separatists.

The latter is getting Trudeau into hot water in India, starting with a humiliating snub by the Indian government: nowhere was Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to be found to meet Trudeau when he arrived, not even in a Twitter greeting. …Upon arrival, Trudeau was greeted by a junior agriculture minister.

Trudeau’s “diversity” credo has manifested itself in a manner that has angered the Indian establishment, and for good reason. Trudeau seeks the Sikh vote “so much so that he even attended a Khalsa Day parade organized by a radical Gurudwara, or Sikh temple, in Toronto. Some Sikh Gurudwaras in Canada have also barred the entry of Indian diplomats.” Likewise, Trudeau seeks the Muslim vote so much that Canada has an “Islamic supremacist entryist problem” in government. …

What will Trudeau say in India now? That its Prime Minister Modi and annoyed citizens are Sikhophobic?

Trudeau has been as insulting to the citizens of India who oppose Sikh terrorism as he is insulting to Canadians who oppose Islamic supremacism. Trudeau’s indiscriminate kowtowing to whoever will give him a vote is now being paraded on the world stage in full costume, earning him unwanted attention — from mockery to anger from the Indian press.

A bright young blogger in that country summed up the problem with Trudeau:

Justin Trudeau is a mascot of everything that is wrong with the world today. From being at the forefront of encouraging every degeneracy to welcoming radicalism into his homeland, from cheap gimmicks of tokenism to attempts at creating a culture of politically correct absurdities, the stink of his leftist hypocrisy wafts far and wide. As citizen of India, I could not care less if the elected leader of Canada seeks to drive his nation to the dumps. But where it has an adverse effect on my country is where I choose to draw the line……

India is not CNN’s studio where global champions of pseudo-liberalism, pseudo-secularism and radical Islamism will find a platform to propagate their hypocrisy and watch the world burn. You might be rich, white, the offspring of royalty and the global poster-boy of liberal values, but it amounts to zilch, especially if you mess with India.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Marion Maréchal Le Pen’s Dynamic Speech

Marion Maréchal Le Pen’s Dynamic Speech, by Rod Dreher.

Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, the right-wing French politician, delivered a solid speech to CPAC today. … It was not the usual American conservative boilerplate. For example, check out this passage:

To open oneself to the outside, you must have a solid core. To welcome, you have to remain, and to share, you must have something to offer. Without nation, and without family, the limits of the common good, natural law, and collective morality disappears, as the reign of egoism continues.

Today, even children have now become merchandise. We hear now in the public debate, we have the right to order a child from a catalog, we have the right to rent a woman’s womb, we have the right to deprive a child of a mother or father. No you don’t! A child is not a “right”. Is this the freedom that we want? No. We don’t want this atomized world of individuals without gender, without fathers, without mothers, and without nation.

She went on to condemn euthanasia, gender theory, and transhumanism. Le Pen said that the fight cannot be political alone, but must take place in culture, in media, and in the education system.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

From Real Engineering to Social Justice Engineering

From Real Engineering to Social Justice Engineering, by Robert Weissberg.

American higher education evolves slowly but, every so often it becomes convulsed, enters the crisis mode and hundreds of millions are spent on newly created projects. Since WW II at least two such crises some six decades apart have occurred, and it is hard to imagine two more unlike events.

The first was America’s response to the “backward” Soviet Union unexpectedly launching the world’s first orbiting satellite, Sputnik I on October 4th, 1957. …

The second upheaval is more recent, namely countless colleges and universities, including the most prestigious, spending tens of millions to promote diversity and inclusion which, in practice means recruiting and graduating more academically marginal minority

The sputnik crisis:

Panicky newspapers and magazines condemned America’s inability to match Russians brainpower. According to a Gallup Poll, 70 percent of Americans thought that American high-schoolers should work harder. Polls also reported a new-found infatuation with tough standards while the news media also relentlessly condemned the push for equality and making learning fun. …

Congress quickly overcame historic resistance to meddling in education and in 1958 enacted the National Defense Education Act (NDEA) that allocated money to states to identify the intellectually gifted and counsel them to study science and mathematics. …

The centerpiece of this reaction was a heightened focus on brainpower as a national resource, not the pastime of a few oddball geeks. Absolutely nobody worried that super-charged science programs would “not look like America” or ignored the talents hidden in America’s under-privileged. …

Nobody worried too much about Wernher von Braun’ s tainted Nazi past. A candidate who campaigned on the platform of saving America from the Commies by “investing” millions in students who could barely read would have been judged a dangerous pinko. Public discussions spoke of enlisting the “best minds,” “eminent men” or “best people” so as to restore the glories of American science. …

The “diversity crisis”:

The diversity mania is spreading faster than head lice at a daycare center. … Even the smallest financially troubled schools, including those with a sectarian mission, now find the money to fund a diversity bureaucracy. …

If diversification is the cure, what is the disease? No doubt, every single American, regardless of ideology at the end of the 1950s understood what atomic bombs did and how they could be delivered by an unstoppable ICBM. Now imagine a 2017 poll asking respondents to complete the following sentence: “We need diversity in education because….”

Past failures are indisputable and surely known to every campus apparatchik over the age of forty. Since the late 1960s universities have struggled and failed to hire academically qualified minority professors and there is no reason to suppose that spending a few million more to the budget will, at long last, hit pay dirt. …

Particularly bizarre is the pedagogical “philosophy” that assumes that the academic performance of struggling minority students can be boosted by focusing on the allegedly toxic traits of whites and the university’s traditional “too white” curriculum. Is there any scientific evidence that minority students with dismal SAT scores will master Organic Chemistry if white freshman are detoxified of racist stereotypes, trained to spot hostile microaggressions while their white or Asian instructors learn to suppress unconscious biases? …

I predict that diversity will arrive entirely in the form of Potemkin academic departments whose sole function is to provide ersatz diplomas and academic sinecures to those who cannot master the real thing. Ironically, a policy not all that different from long-standing programs targeting academically marginal athletes and the not too smart children of major donors. These diversity homelands will be administratively top-heavy departments where the giveaway is the designation “Studies.” Current examples include Black Studies, Political Studies, Women’s Studies, Disability Studies, Postcolonial Studies, Queer Studies and on and on.

When NASA was white guys because it was selected on merit, man got to the moon in 1969 using slide rule technology. NASA mandated diversity from about 1970, and nowadays doesn’t even have a rocket — it has to use Russian ones to get to the International Space Station. I can’t help feeling the parasites triumphed.

Protect Kids or Confiscate Guns?

Protect Kids or Confiscate Guns? By Pat Buchanan.

On Feb 15, 1933, anarchist Giuseppe Zangara tried to assassinate President-elect Franklin Roosevelt in Miami. His arm jostled, he killed instead Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak. Five weeks later, on March 20, 1933, Zangara died in the electric chair.

Swift, sure and pitiless, but that legal justice system worked.

With Cruz, the system failed up and down the line.

Cruz should never have been allowed to purchase or possess a gun. He was angry, alienated, isolated. Police had been to his family home to deal with complaints 39 times. Yet he had no arrest record when he purchased his AR-15.

Classmates at Douglas High had speculated that if there ever were a school shooting, Cruz would be the one to do it. The FBI was alerted a month before that Nikolas Cruz was a time bomb ready to explode.

As the NRA’s Dana Loesch told CPAC Thursday:

“The government can’t keep you safe and some people want us to give up our firearms and rely solely upon the protection of the same government that’s already failed us numerous times to keep us safe.”  …

Gun control would work, where drug control and prohibition (of alcohol) failed?

If people have decided to mass murder classmates or co-workers, inviting “suicide by cop,” are they going to be stopped from acquiring a semiautomatic by a Congressional law?

Have our drug laws halted drug use? …

Government:

There are twice as many guns in America as there were just decades ago. And a primary reason people acquire them is because they believe they need them to protect themselves and their families, and they no longer trust the government to protect them.

They view the demand for banning and confiscating specific weapons as a first step down the inexorable road that ends in the disarmament of the people.

Most mass shootings take place in gun-free zones, where crazed men of murderous intent know their chances of maximizing the dead and wounded are far better than in attacking a police station.

Our embassies are defended by Marines with M16s. Security guards with guns defend banks and military bases, presidents and politicians.

Maybe gun control could be made to work if our political class and wealthy elite were to give up their protection — forego the armed guards at their workplaces and stop living in gated communities? They could go unarmed like the rest of us. Dream on.

Massacres were unheard of until the 1960s. The progressives changed the culture.

There will never be another Billy Graham, because the world that made him possible is gone

There will never be another Billy Graham, because the world that made him possible is gone, by Jon Ward.

As word of Billy Graham’s death spread on Wednesday morning, commentators observed that since he retired in 2005, no evangelical leader has emerged to occupy his unique place in American society.

But even if there were anyone out there with the same talents that enabled Graham to represent all of evangelicalism, we likely would never know it. The cultural context in which Graham became one of the most important religious figures in American history was radically different than the one that exists today.

“The America that emerged from World War II and the Great Depression was exceptionally unified and cohesive, and possessed of an unusual confidence in large institutions,” Yuval Levin wrote in his 2016 book, “The Fractured Republic.”

“But almost immediately after the war, [America] began a long process of unwinding and fragmenting,” Levin wrote.

And so, the fact that American Christianity hasn’t given rise to a leader like Graham over the last two or three decades isn’t just a result of the fracturing of evangelicalism into different factions …

It’s also a story about the fragmentation of American life — arguably a reversion to the norm in American history rather than a departure from it.

Tony Abbott declares war on Scott Morrison

Tony Abbott declares war on Scott Morrison, by Andrew Bolt.

Four Turnbull ministers, especially Scott Morrison, mocked and rubbished Tony Abbott for saying our incredible immigration rate was too high, even though Morrison himself once agreed.

They’ve stupidly turned a vital debate — one the public clearly wants — into a dishonest get-square, and goaded Abbott into war. Talk about an own goal …

With responses like that from those four ministers — misleading, irrelevant, hostile and plain false — no wonder Abbott is furious.

Voters should be, too. Ministers seem more concerned with destroying Abbott than protecting Australia.

And then there’s the hypocrisy. Scott Morrison in fact once agreed with Abbott that immigration was too high and causing severe strains. …

Does this rate of population increase — about triple that of Britain, quadruple that of France and nearly double that of the US — seem remotely rational?

I know more about winning elections than anyone, by Tony Abbott.

Tony Abbott

One thing I am not going to cop is gratuitous criticism from ministers who are only in government because I led them there. …

It is an undoubted fact that real wages are growing more slowly now and that housing is less affordable than at any time in recent decades. It is a further undoubted fact that getting around our major cities is becoming more difficult because infrastructure has not kept up with population growth.

Immigration is certainly not the only contributor but, at double the rate this decade than last, it is most assuredly one of them. …

You’d think a government that’s lost the past 27 Newspolls might be curious about how it could lift its game. You’d think a government that has too few ­policy differences with Labor might consider a change of ­emphasis that would make clearer the choice of who’s really on the voters’ side. But no, ministers have gone out of their way to attack a colleague who knows more about winning elections than anyone in the parliament.

Acting Prime Minister Mathias Cormann said I was wrong to criticise the experts. Actually, experts provide advice but it’s government’s job to make decisions. If government were required to take public-service advice, there’d be no point bothering with elections. One of this government’s failings is that it too often takes advice from the “experts” who got us into difficulties in the first place.