From the desk of George Handlery on Sat, 2009-11-21 11:30

George Handlery about the week that was. Rejection, quotas, under- and over-achieving minorities. Exploiting refugee status. When cowardice is masked as tolerance. Old procedures for new crimes? Health care, the budget savings and the deficit.

1. The hope of an easily attained good life and ignorance regarding the country and the working of advanced societies attracts large numbers of Gypsies to Canada. At this time, the place of departure is Hungary. With the help of totally distorted reports of the situation prevailing in there and also aided by a skill to say the right things at the right places, the Roma arrive. They travel with tourist visas and upon their arrival, they request refugee status. This is generally refused because Canadian Immigration knows that Hungary, but also the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, etc. are “safe countries”. The Gypsies’ movement-to-paradise is aided and amplified by shady organizations. They feed the eager press with stories of persecution at home while they recruit candidates for export and generously organize their trip. A profit is made as the migrants to the land of milk and honey sell their possessions at a discount. Doing so means burning all bridges to proceed on a road that leads to nowhere. As a result, after their forced return, these “refugees” are totally destitute. Reportedly, Canada is considering the reintroduction of visas – a requirement that had only been suspended a few months ago.

2. With the Gypsies, the countries of central and east central Europe harbor the continent’s most problematic, but by virtue of its numbers most weighty minority. The case of this ethnic group, which, coming from India, had entered, the region in waves before the 15th century is in some ways unique. It differs from the dilemma presented by those groups of the region that dominated for centuries a settled area and where now they might be a majority. The Gypsies have developed an imported exaggerated sense of separateness. Thereby they have been successful in resisting personal and collective integration and settlement. In the eyes of the majority and the Roma community, the many that have integrated have ceased to belong to the minority.

Correctly, the reader might think here of the Jews who have maintained their unique identity for a longer time than the Gypsies had. There is, however, a significant difference. Unlike in the case of the Gypsies, nowhere did those Jews that remained identifiable represent a subculture whose features would have prevented success in a modern setting. Admittedly, the anti-Semites saw a “Jewish problem” and accused the Jews – as do the vocal enemies of the Gypsies – of being bloodsuckers. That, however, is the point where the parallel ends. If Jews were put under pressure it was partly to prevent them – as they managed to do in some now ignored places and instances – from integrating and even assimilating themselves. In modern times, the hostility was fed by the over-achievement of Jews. Accordingly, hostility arose because of the eminent success of Jews to adjust to the consequences of the industrial revolution. Therefore, this resentment was provoked by the collective over-achievement of Jews and their surpassing the accomplishments of the more tradition-bound and less mobile majority. This resentment expressed itself in the passing of quotas that limited the admission of Jews to the universities and curtailed their representation in prestigious professions.

Especially currently, the resentment of Gypsies is not fueled by their over-achievement by those who might feel outsmarted by them. Gypsies are disliked because of their inclination to organize themselves for violence against the majority. Among the charges is that they cultivate a subculture that approves a way of life based upon illegal activities whose target is the majority. Cultural self defense that rejects schooling achieves that the Roma are self-excluded from modern activities. The resulting under achievement finds reinforcement in welfare legislation that rewards failure through the welfare payments.

3. Much is disturbing about the Obama administration’s decision to try in a civil court Islamists terrorist apprehended by the cursed Bushies. For one thing, the justice systems that grew out of the Magna Charta’s tradition, nurtures a prejudice. It is that the government might use courts to intimidate political opponents by prosecuting them. That means that for the accusing state it is made especially hard to prove its – politically suspected – charge. This “bias” is meant to protect normal citizens against the politically motivated charges of government intent to liquidate its critics. Furthermore, such courts are meant for action against normal lawbreakers. They are, therefore, not ideally suited to serve as tribunals that proceed against conspiring political criminals that the terrorists are. By handling caught-in-the-act terrorists as “suspects” in normal cases, the charge brought against them will be more than diminished. Proof will be dismissed, and often, through its scrutiny, it will impair national security. Furthermore, the judgments will handle unusual crimes as though they would be normal misdemeanors. Their point is that those tried are the deluded warriors of their personal war (therapy might be a cure!) that aims at the destruction of our civilization. Giving them the protection meant for chicken thieves implies that the crime, the court and the procedural limitations, are out of tune with reality.

4. Tolerance is one of the most notable product of our civilization and it is worthy of being regarded as a value to be defended. Unfortunately, tolerance is often invoked when something should be protected in order to continue with our way of life – including the practice of tolerance. In these cases, tolerance is devalued to serve as a slogan that masks either confusion or cowardice. Tolerance is often demanded for elements that feel they wage total war against the side that is asked to be tolerant in the face of attacks on its substance. In such cases, tolerance means to be asked, in the name of our own principle by those who reject it, to cooperate with an effort aimed at our destruction.

5. The idea is wide spread that the radical extremism of some Muslims residing in advanced societies is to be ignored. The advocates of this response assume that the upshot of the demonstrated good will and tolerance will be moderation. Naturally, it is true that resistance will anger fundamentalists and they will, therefore, express that sentiment by hostile actions. A “stop and desist” can only be implemented if the propaganda of violence is met with a response whose terms block the jihad. Since we are dealing with misguided fanatics, this will take long and it will demand sacrifice.

6. At last, some good news for the American reader. I hear that the campaign to revise the health insurance system has used the Swiss “sister republic’s” case in its support. Ms Ruth Dreifuss, the Minister in charge of the project has praised her policy in the LA Times. Among other things, the measures implemented by her and the course she advocates for others was originally sold because it was said to result in savings. If true, that would support the US thesis that no new federal debt will result. Here the merciless fact is that, instead of contracting by about 10% as promised in 1994, health insurance costs have risen consistently. Seventy per cent is the magic number. This year we had an increase of 10%. More is promised. As things stand, next year my wife and I pay for an average coverage within an excellent health-care system more than a thousand dollars/mo. Add a yearly $600 deductible and ten per cent of all subsequent costs. This must be a saving. The question is: compared to what?