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Way Of The Mister Short (WOTMS): A Reassuring Fable

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Chris B Oct 11, 2022. 2 Replies

Brian Keith Dalton, a.k.a. "Mr. Deity," has been taking William Lane Craig to task lately for his lazy and generally not-horribly-thoughtful take on why belief in Yahweh is so essential to him and how wonderful it must all be to have the supposed…Continue

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The Big Picture: How We Got Into This Mess, And How We Get Out of It (Robert Reich)

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Doug Hanlon Sep 24, 2022. 16 Replies

Lately it occurs to me What a long, strange trip it's been. -- The Grateful Dead, "Truckin'" And that "long, strange trip" has gotten positively rocky, particularly in the last 40 years, under the influence of Reagan, both Bushes, and of course,…Continue

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   Had a long hard day?Need to just unwind and 'shoot the breeze'with a few good buddies?Pull up a stool, grab yourself a brewski ora cup of hot fresh brewed java andlets chit-chat about anythingthat's on your mind.Pass the peanuts please.  Continue

A riddle: What is IT?

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Astronomers do IT all night. Chemists do IT by bonding. Newton did IT with force. Eighteenth century physicists did IT with rigid bodies. Maxwell did IT with magnetism. Volta did IT with a jolt. Watt did IT with power. Joule did IT with…Continue

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How do mothers (usually) bring up boys to respect women as equals? Or not do so?

Started by Tom Sarbeck. Last reply by Andy Stout Jun 30, 2022. 12 Replies

Who can get through a day of the 2016 presidential campaign and not think of this?Here's part of how my mom did it in the late 1930s and the 1940s. I didn't know what she had in mind when she raised us as if there was no such thing as boys' work or…Continue

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Thanksgiving Day Plans

Started by Jean Marie. Last reply by Joan Denoo Dec 8, 2020. 45 Replies

What is everyone doing for Thanksgiving this year, or, as the Native Americans call it, "Immigration Day". Are you hosting or guesting?Are you looking forward to it,or dreading it? Who will be there, what recipe will you be cooking?Continue

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Comment was by Doug Hanlon on October 12, 2022 at 7:32pm

Onyango said: "

Doug I am being as general as one can be in this situation. I think you are guilty of ethnocentrism. I doubt the people leaving Africa are looking for a higher culture as you claim. For most, their cultures are richer than they can get anywhere. It is opportunities to prosper is what they are looking for. Maybe I am naive, but the reasons you give for people moving are so outlandish- you talk of corruption, gang violence & discrimination as if these are not present in the west.

Why is it impossible for host nations to create a multicultural society that allows all groups to thrive? A society that makes integration possible through cultural exchange? What do you find particularly wrong or untoward about the concern of losing one's identity? What is it about their identity that bothers you?"


No, I don't think African would-be immigrants to Europe are "looking for a higher culture". I think they are as you say, "looking for opportunities to prosper" ... which are not there in their countries, because of the corruption, incompetence, tribal violence. Yes, every horrible thing in Africa can also be found in Europe and America -- the difference is one of scale: it's far, far worse in Africa.

Are their cultures 'rich'? Of course they are, in one sense. They're satisfying to those who grow up in them. But they are painfully backward in so many important ways, by many metrics. The treatment of women, police corruption, superstition, longevity ... this is not arguable.

We could argue about why things are so bad in Africa -- there is a book entitled 'How Europe Underdeveloped Africa', which presents one side of the argument. I think it's nonsense, but, on the other hand, I don't 'blame' Africans, or believe that it's some inherent flaw in them.

We're all intelligent chimpanzees. And we're a pretty nasty species. How our different sub-groups ('races', 'tribes', 'ethnic groups') have climbed up the ladder of social evolution, at very different rates, would also be an interesting discussion. My personal guess is that geography plays a big role -- here I've been influence by Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel, and Peter Zeihan's Accidental Superpower.

[ https://www.amazon.com/Guns-Germs-Steel-everybody-30-Apr-1998/dp/B0... Jared Diamond

https://www.amazon.com/Accidental-Superpower-Generation-American-Pr... Peter Zeihan]

I'm part American Indian, and my particular tribe never got far beyond the hunter-gatherer stage. But a bit futher south, with, presumably, not very different genes, there were Native Americans who were clearly on the road to high civilization: pyramids, astronomy, a positional-exponential numbering system that was superior to its contemporary European equivalent. They invented many things but, as Che Guevara noted, they didn't invent gunpowder. So they were destroyed by those who had invented it.
Continued in a second post.

Comment was by Ian Mason on October 11, 2022 at 5:01am

Onyango, the myth is from a verbal culture, not the media. 

Yes, racism plays a significant part in the failure of intergration. Politicians in particular love to exploit the slightest little 'deviation' from the norms as an attack on the host culture and immigrants/refugees learn very quickly that they'll never be as good as 'us'. There is, however a minority that are hostile toward the host nation from the start, like the Lebanese Palestinians I mentioned. They treated Red Cross personel as enemies from the very beginning, which was very enervating and wearing on us who were trying to do our best. Roma, too.

Chris, I think there are an unknown number of people outside the system for whatever reason. They are the ones, homeless and destitute who are exploited by criminal gangs.

I was in Bruxelles recently, for the second time in the past few years and was suprised by the number of homeless and beggars. They seemed to be European for the most part. Perhaps they thought that the wealth of the EU would trickle down to them. 

Comment was by Chris B on October 11, 2022 at 3:12am

I think one's identity and the possibility to lose it - is that even possible? - is another myth used by agitators. Ask yourself what ís your identity, and where do you keep it? Can it be taken away? Of course not.

I always welcomed the multicultural society, I believe we need it and should try to stay away from monocultures as far as possible. But these days there are strong forces against integration.

The special treatment of Ukrainians might have to do with racism, but certainly also with the propaganda...

Comment was by Onyango M on October 11, 2022 at 2:11am

I want to agree with Chris that if you cut financial aid to the refugee centres, you can't blame them for not integrating.

I can't comment on the crime rates because i haven't looked at the data. Ian, what do you think would be the source of the urban myth? Is it TV shows? Literature? Or what?

Doug I am being as general as one can be in this situation. I think you are guilty of ethnocentrism. I doubt the people leaving Africa are looking for a higher culture as you claim. For most, their cultures are richer than they can get anywhere. It is opportunities to prosper is what they are looking for. Maybe I am naive, but the reasons you give for people moving are so outlandish- you talk of corruption, gang violence & discrimination as if these are not present in the west.

Why is it impossible for host nations to create a multicultural society that allows all groups to thrive? A society that makes integration possible through cultural exchange? What do you find particularly wrong or untoward about the concern of losing one's identity? What is it about their identity that bothers you?

Finally, Ian has mentioned the case of Ukrainians being accepted with open arms and I am almost tempted to say racism has to do with it. They are white. They are Europeans. Africans are 'other' and different.

Comment was by Chris B on October 11, 2022 at 1:08am

In the Netherlands the costs for care of refugees are cut so severely that the system totally fails; refugees sleep outside for want of a bed, the administration for admission is lagging years behind, there is no housing for people who are allowed to stay, and the people cooped up and waiting somewhere in the system are driven to begging, fighting, crime or suicide. I can't blame them. 

Comment was by Ian Mason on October 10, 2022 at 2:37pm

Yes, it's true that immigrants/refugees are very 'overrepresented' in crime in the Scandinavian countries, paticularly sexual assault.. Some say it's the demographic, that so many are young males. My experience from working with the Danish Red Cross Asylum Section in the 90s is that there's an 'urban myth' among Arabs that all Scandinavian women will fuck any man and don't mean it when they say 'no'. A shitty attitude that is hard to remove. 'This thing is true because my friend tell me this thing' is proof against all logic and reason. (An aside; the same attitude exists in Britain. 'Everybody knows they're like that'). New arrivals at asylum reception centres are often pissed off that they're not given designer clothes and smart phones as a matter of course too. Many go on to successful intergration but a hard core remains of angry, resentful and sometimes violent idiots who seek the 'respect' they think they deserve by joining drug-running gangs who are often at war with each other or the established criminal outfits like Hell's Angels, Bandidos etc. 

I never had much trouble with Somalis, perhaps because where I worked they were a minority and were kept down by the Arabs, one of the most racist groups I've ever met, particularly Lebanese Palestinians. They were well balanced - they had a chip on each shoulder. Almost none of THEM had any intention of intergrating, ever. 

Ukrainians have been welcomed in large numbers with open arms and not even a smidgeon of racism or protest from the rabid nationalists. Perhaps the honeymoon will end in the next few months.

Those who came as immigrants in the 60s and 70s from Turkey have mostly settled into a new way off life or gone back. Their children and grandchildren especially manage a balance between the traditional and the Danish, a bit like the non-orthodox Jews: different diet, different high days and holy days and that's about it. My grandson said to me last year that in kindergarten 'me and Kasper and Ahmed play...' and that's about the tone of things a lot of the time.

So, mostly personal observations rather than a policy statement. I don't really have an answer but I feel that it's possible to remain optimistic about the future. The ultimate solution is of course development in the poorer parts of the world but there seems to be little chance of that. The big money interests like an abundant supply of the poor in the world.

Comment was by Ian Mason on October 10, 2022 at 2:06pm

Athena in her incarnation of goddess of wisdom, Joan. A good idea.

Comment was by Doug Hanlon on October 10, 2022 at 7:05am

Let's be as general as possible and say that most people who migrate from Third World countries know that life in the advanced countries is far superior -- all cultures are NOT equal.

I doubt they come for 'free stuff'. Let's agree that the huge majority leave for what we would consider 'legitimate' reasons: their government is corrupt, their economy is crap, gang violence is rife, they are persecuted because they're not the same religion/ethnic group as the ones with state power.

Any decent person will sympathyze with them.

So ... we come back to the original question, which we cannot evade.

Should we have Open Borders? That is, should we take in the tens of millions of people from Africa, Latin America, Asia who would come if they could -- and who wouldn't have to make the dangerous, expensive journal that the people now coming across our southern border have to make.

Yes, or no?

There is another issue as well. People flee their horrible country and, perhaps, feel some gratitude to the country that takes them in, as they should. But their children, raised in that country, will not. They find themselves in an alien culture, where they're seen as 'other' by many of the native inhabitants.

We have to face reality. Atheists above all others should be willing to do this. (I personally would love to believe that when I die, an invisible man in the sky will usher me into paradise -- I'll take the Muslim one, not the Christian one, thank you -- but it's obviously howling nonsense.)

In a perfect world, immigrants and their children would assimilate to their new (and higher) culture, and all would be well.

In the real world ... well, have a look at the sweet, kind Swedes, and their Somali 'new Swedes'.

"When Somalis go to Sweden, they enter a country which has not experienced a major war in over two hundred years, a state apparatus stretching over a five-century time span, strong institutions, high-tech industry, an advanced knowledge-based economy with a generally high level of education. Sweden is also one of the most secularized societies with liberal values in areas that are central to traditional Somali culture: family, sexuality and gender. These circumstances combine to make a society which is radically different from that of Somalia.

According to an official report in 1999, most Somalis in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö lived in multicultural neighbourhoods where few Swedes and Swedish-speakers lived, this also applied to Somalis in smaller towns. A contributing factor to this development was that these were the districts where mosques were located where they could practice Islam and that Somali community organisations were established in these districts.

According to an interview study done by Malmö University in 2013, Somalis express strong concerns about losing their culture and Islamic religion. Adult Somalis stated their greatest worry was to ensure a Somali identity among their children, which led to endless conflicts with daycare institutions and schools who "ignore their cultural preferences and teach children things which are the exact opposite of what their parents preach"." [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somalis_in_Sweden]


The Wiki article doesn't mention the delicate issue of Somali violent crime in Sweden. Here's a liberal take on it: https://www.fairplanet.org/story/the-somali-mothers-fighting-street...

Here's a conservative take: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8818631/Swedish-police-chi...

Atheists should not fear looking at 'disconfirming evidence'. Lazy minds will effectively refuse to look at evidence that contradicts their emotionally-important beliefs. If you've ever tried to argue with a fundamentalist, you'll know what I mean.

We shouldn't have lazy minds.

Comment was by Joan Denoo on October 10, 2022 at 5:36am

The cartoonist got it wrong, Odin should be replaced with Athena!

Comment was by Mrs.B on October 10, 2022 at 2:14am

Several Iran ones were on the news tonight.

 

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