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“We’re taking people out of the country. You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are,” he said. “These aren’t people. These are animals.”
The livestreamed roundtable at the White House centered on so-called sanctuary policies, which limit local law enforcement cooperation with federal deportation efforts. His dehumanizing comments about immigrants weren’t new, nor was his attack on a Democratic politician. The most remarkable thing about both of them was that in the Trump era, reducing a group of people to subhuman and threatening to incarcerate another politician were scarcely notable.
Trump singled out Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, a Democrat who was not among the officials in attendance. She made national headlines in February when she warned residents on television before a targeted operation that she heard there would be arrests in the area by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
ICE acting Director Thomas Homan, who previously called for the government to prosecute local officials over sanctuary policies, said she had helped as many as 800 people get away. (The San Francisco ICE spokesman resigned afterward, criticizing the agency for making what he called a misleading claim, since no operation nets all its targets.) The White House said at the time that the Department of Justice was reviewing her actions, but nothing has come of it.
Trump said Wednesday that he still wants the Department of Justice to prosecute Schaaf.
Addressing Attorney General Jeff Sessions and alluding to speculation about obstruction of justice charges against himself, Trump said, “You talk about obstruction of justice, I would recommend that you look into obstruction of justice for the mayor of Oakland, California, Jeff.”
Sessions did not react, according to a report from the room.
Trump is leading a crackdown on unauthorized immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border that will refer adults apprehended after illegal entry for criminal prosecution, even if that means splitting up families and jailing asylum seekers. He is seeking legal changes that would make it easier to turn away or indefinitely detain asylum seekers and children.
You talk about obstruction of justice, I would recommend that you look into obstruction of justice for the mayor of Oakland, California. President Donald Trump
Meanwhile, he is continuing to push for more deportations from the country, including through increased local law enforcement involvement with ICE, even though local officials say that would be counterproductive to other policing efforts.
Trump framed the deportation issue around criminals, as he often does, although ICE arrests increasingly affect people who have not been convicted of crimes.
For him to call immigrants animals is nothing new. In 2015, he used the word twice in an interview with The Washington Post, referring to an undocumented immigrant who had been arrested for fatally shooting a woman in San Francisco. (The man’s attorneys said the shooting was unintentional, and he was acquitted.)
Last July in Ohio, Trump said “criminal aliens” were “animals” and then made a gruesome claim that they are murdering “young, beautiful” girls. Later that month, he said in New York that MS-13 “thugs” had “transformed peaceful parks and beautiful quiet neighborhoods into bloodstained killing fields” and “they are animals.”
He referred to a New York City terrorism suspect, a legal permanent resident who came to the U.S. on a diversity visa, as an “animal” in November.
In February, Trump referred to certain immigrants as “animals” who want people to suffer, and he accused Democrats of wanting to protect murderers. “I can’t get the Democrats ― and nobody has been able to for years ― to approve common-sense measures that, when we catch these animal killers, we can lock them up and throw away the keys.”
Referring to subgroups as animals has been used to justify violence, including by Nazis during the Holocaust and by Hutu perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide. Black people have been compared to animals throughout history and were treated like them through slavery and violence. Animal metaphors have similarly been used by conquerors and colonialists to dehumanize indigenous populations.
Source Article from https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-refers-immigrants-apos-animals-225539327.html
Boris Kollár, a Slovak politician, and businessman, Chairman of the party We Are Family, has spoken to Sputnik about the country’s take on the EU migrant crisis.
Sputnik: Is your attitude to the migration crisis still negative?
Boris Kollár: Our attitude has not changed. We have a rather balanced view on the refugee issue, our party will never support the hosting of refugees, but it would be misleading to think that this has given us votes, as is claimed by the media. Only 5,000 out of 170,000 of the electorate voted for us owing to our position towards migrants.
Sputnik: You will probably agree that the majority of those who come to Europe need help, don’t they?
Boris Kollár: Of course, I agree that these people need help, but let them receive it not in our country.
Sputnik: What do you think this help should look like?
Boris Kollár: One way is the hotspots on the territory of those countries from which the refugees come, mainly in South Africa. Another way is economic assistance to these countries. In other words, we should teach them how to fish rather than just handing them the fish.
Sputnik: The migrants come to Slovakia mainly from Serbia, Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria, not from North Africa and the Middle East.
Boris Kollár: I see no problem with regard to Romania and Bulgaria. Our countries are members of the EU and Slovak citizens can go to work in London, Vienna, Munich or other cities, so the Romanians and the Bulgarians can also come to our country. People from these countries and from any other country within the Free Trade Area do not bother me. The problem is the migrants from Ukraine, Serbia and other third world countries, for example, Vietnam. In our view, they decrease the possibility for our citizens to obtain a higher salary because the migrants agree to work for less money.
Sputnik: Could the government formed by the opposition (such as LGBT groups and others) work out a coordinated position on the issues like the above-mentioned migration crisis?
Boris Kollár: It depends on certainconditions. I think that if we could come to an agreement on the issues of national importance then it would make it possible to solve other problems. LGBT is an insurmountable obstacle for us, no doubt. <…>. We cannot concede this point. As for me, I would rather go back into the opposition than support gay marriage, the Istanbul Convention and things like that.
The views expressed in this article are those of the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
Source Article from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheEuropeanUnionTimes/~3/-DlmcKFOlTg/
Immigrants to Switzerland will be ineligible to apply for citizenship if they have used welfare in that country within the previous three years—unless they pay it all back, in terms of a tough new immigration law which has come into effect.
The new law, officially named the Civil Rights Act, is based on legislation that had originally been tried and tested in cities such as Basel and Zurich. Although it officially came into law in January, it is only now that the Act has been fully implemented in practice.
In terms of the law, only those people who are in possession of a settlement permit and who have not received any social assistance or have paid back the money in the last three years can obtain Swiss citizenship.
Because most of the Third World arrivals are uneducated and are not interested in employment or integration, this means the majority of them will be forced to leave the country or remain in legal limbo.
The second part of the law also demands that immigrants demonstrate a strong level of integration, which includes having a certain number of Swiss friends.
Language is also important, with communication being a key component of whether a migrant will be given citizenship or not.
Although the required language level varies from canton to canton, all regions are expected to enforce rules by which an intermediate understanding of either French, German or Italian is required before citizenship can be considered.
Migrants who have committed any crime at all are now automatically barred from having the right to stay in the country, something which had been disputed by the courts before.
Along with the rest of Western Europe, Switzerland has been deeply affected by the mass Third World invasion.
Invaders moving into Germany from Italy have used the alpine state as a stopover point and many have stayed put. Leaked documents shown to the media late last year reveal the government has only been able to verify the identities of just 10 percent of the invaders—which means that a staggering 90 percent of the nonwhites are living in the country on false aliases.
Unlike many other western European countries, the Swiss government has taken a very firm stance against immigration. Even before 2015, migrants who had been allowed to stay in the country by judges were having their benefits cut–a move which encouraged them to return to their country of origin.
Polls consistently show that over 70 percent of Swiss voters despise mass immigration and want it stopped, and the government appears to be listening and acting on their concerns.
It isn’t all good news though; statistics show that the small country’s population continues to rise, and the Third World invasion continues to be the number one case of this increase.
One estimate suggested that the country gains a (net) “migrant” every 11 minutes, a trend which cannot continue without severe unrest.
Last year, around 60,000 “migrants” were given temporary permits to reside in the country despite having no identification, a situation which the new law seeks to end.
Source Article from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheEuropeanUnionTimes/~3/aYPxcllfbgc/
Mexico has stronger immigration laws than the United States. Crossover into Mexico, like millions have done in America, one is likely spend months/years in a Mexican prison awaiting trial.
Traveling through Mexico in an automobile is dangerous enough. However, walking through Mexico is downright suicidal without help. Help that would come from either the government or from the cartels or both. And the travel with a large group, that is growing by the day, especially a group with women and children, it would be impossible to proceed without assistance, official assistance. Yet this is exactly what we see in Mexico.
Here is a tweet from the immigrants’ leader, Adolfo Flores from March 30, 2018. By the way, and quite unbelievably, Adolfo Flores is a national security correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles. He focuses on immigration. Contact Adolfo Flores at [email protected]. Buzzfeed doesn’t even attempt to hide its ultra-liberal bias.
The municipality we’re at now is offering buses to get us to the next town. It’s been happening at several stops, I imagine they’re more interested in getting people out of their public squares. pic.twitter.com/6ay7Rn8fzI
Please note that the size of the group, just from this cross-section from the Flores’ tweet. Also, it is very notable that the tweet says that buses are being made available to transport the so-called refugees to the next location. Buses just don’t appear out of thin air. Gasoline is not free and drivers don’t magically teleport to their buses. This is a well-coordinated event that is clearly on a timetable. Please also take note that the Flores tweet does not identify the location or the next stop on this migration.
Look at the first picture contained in this tweet, listed above. You will see a man in a uniform. This is an official Mexican government event. It is easy to figure out what President Trump has already noted. Trump is prepared to take action against the government of Mexico and he is taking away a centerpiece jewel of the Democratic Party in retaliation for this action. However, before the story relating how Trump is retaliating against the groups responsible for this invasion, it is important to point out that Youtube censors were immediately censoring the free flow of information to the public.
Before MY related videos were fully uploaded and HOURS before they were to be released, Youtube’s liberal censors swept in and demonitied these two related videos before they could even be published
What these videos would have told us, is what President Trump is doing to stem the tide of this invasion of our border which grows closer.
NBC News posted the following headline on Easter Sunday:
Posted: Apr 01, 2018 10:48 AM PDTUpdated: Apr 01, 2018 10:48 AM PDT
In an April 1st tweet, Trump complained that US border agents aren’t allowed to do their jobs properly because of “ridiculous liberal Democratic laws” like “catch and release”. And with more “dangerous caravans coming” to the US border, “Republicans must go to Nuclear Option to pass tough laws NOW. NO MORE DACA DEAL!”
Border Patrol Agents are not allowed to properly do their job at the Border because of ridiculous liberal (Democrat) laws like Catch & Release. Getting more dangerous. “Caravans” coming. Republicans must go to Nuclear Option to pass tough laws NOW. NO MORE DACA DEAL!
The Presidemt, as I and millions of Americans favor DACA, as we do not want to see innocent people punished for the actions of their parents and we, as a group, favor amnesty for this group. However, the invasion that is coming is so serious, that the Presdent is taking DACA off of the table. The same can be said for the sacred cow called NAFTA. The President’s administration is busy negotiating a redo of NAFTA. However, Trump has had enough and is close to taking NAFTA off of the table and imposing tariffs on American goods. These are two major initiatives of the Trump administration, one cannot overexaggerate how serious he dangrous feels this immigration (caravans) truly is if he is willing to scrap two program that he believes in.
DOES ANYONE REALLY BELIEVE THAT TRUMP WOULD SCRAP NAFTA AND DACA FOR THE IMMIGRATION INVASION OF ONLY 1,500 PEOPLE? THE REAL INVASION FORCE HAS YET TO BE REPORTED ON. PAUL PRESTON AND I ARE WORKING ON THIS DEVELOPMENT IN REAL TIME.
Please note the President’s clear choice of words, “Caravans” coming. Trump did not say Caravan coming (singular), he quite clearly is saying “Caravans” coming (plural). The President is telling the American people what I already know, this immigration wave led by Florea and aided and abetted by the Mexican government and the Democratic Party, is merely the first “caravan (singular)”. This is a distraction! How do I know this?
On March 29, 2018, I had a private conversation with an FBI agent who had to be coy and lead me to some open source intel. This source also advised me to begin paying attention to FEMA camps becauuse they are going to be figuring prominently in the future. Subsequently, I put together a recent article on the topic, the first in a long time.
Saturday evening, March 31, 2018, Paul Preston contacted me told me about the coming invasion. We had a lengthy conversation and both agreed that this REPORTED invasion is merely a small, first wave, that is coming our way. It is a distration. Paul also told me that large amounts of roll-out wire was being sent to the border. Further, I related to Paul that I have been contacted by two employees working in different Oklahoma State Universities and they were advised by the military that Reserves and National Guard would soon be called up for foreign and domestic employment. In other words, it appears very likely that President Trump is fully aware of massive amounts of people that intend to cross our border, not just 1,500 so-called refugees. It also appears likely that the rumors that I am getting with regard to troop movements to the border are more than just rumors. It appears likely that we are going to see the construction of mobile and temporary FEMA camps which will house these attempted immigrants while they wait their deportation hearings before they can just disappear into the night.
I have been told that this is a plot further the unrest in California because the CALEXIT movement is failing. I will be developing this idea in more detail in Part Two.
Would you like get a glimpse of where this is headed? The following video made on Saturday, will provide one with some very pointed directions that this is ikely to follow.
For more stories like these, visit The Common Sense Show
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Police State Supreme Court Ruling on Immigrants
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
The US Supreme Court is stacked with right-wing extremists – progressive voices for social justice entirely absent.
The words “Equal Justice Under Law” adorn the High Court Building’s west facade. Facing east is the motto “Justice, the Guardian of Liberty.”
Since the Court’s 1789 establishment, these words belie its rulings, arguments, “supreme” allegiance to power, and support for the divine right of capital.
“We the people” are America’s privileged class, no others. The Constitution’s general welfare clause applies to them alone.
In his book “Democracy for the Few,” Michael Parenti called the Supreme Court an “aristocratic branch” of government.
Its members are appointed. They serve for life, and have great power for good or ill – too much of the latter, not enough of the former.
Justices nearly always side with corporate America. Today they’re supremely pro-business, ideologically conservative and reactionary.
No one nominated by Republicans or undemocratic Dems approaches the stature of William Brennan, William Douglas, Thurgood Marshall or Louis Brandeis.
Five current Supreme Court justices are Federalist Society members – Chief Justice John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch.
The organization supports rolling back civil liberties, imperial wars, free-wheeling laissez-faire capitalism and corporatism, along with ending New Deal/Great Society social programs.
It’s against reproductive choice, government regulations, labor rights, environmental protections and justice in defense of privilege.
Jennings v. Rodriguez was argued before the High Court on November 30, 2016. On June 26, 2017, the court ordered the case reargued.
Reargument took place on October 3, 2017. It involves whether government authorities can indefinitely detain immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers (including individuals with permanent legal status), along with whether they’re entitled to bond hearings at six-month intervals while appealing their case.
Representing Alejandro Rodriguez et al, the ACLU argued that congressional statutes don’t authorize prolonged detention -that without periodic bond hearings, individuals would be unjustly deprived of their liberty.
Before the Supreme Court’s ruling, the ACLU said the case “challenges the government’s practice of detaining immigrants facing deportation proceedings for months or years without due process, including many long-term green-card holders and asylum seekers.”
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on their behalf, ordering individual bond hearings at six-month intervals to decide whether prolonged detention without due process is justified.
Indefinite detention of undocumented immigrants costs over $2 billion annually, an unacceptable abuse of power.
“(N)o one should be locked up for months or years without a hearing to determine if their detention is even justified,” the ACLU argued.
US immigration policy is notoriously discriminatory, mostly harming people of color and Muslims.
Detainees held under deplorable conditions, treated like criminals, denied fundamental human and civil rights because they’re unwanted – including refugees and asylum seekers fleeing conflict zones or homeland repression.
On Tuesday, the High Court ruled 5 – 3 against Rodriguez et al – depriving them of due process and judicial fairness, hallmarks of all free societies, absent in America.
Trump appointee Neil Gorsuch ruled with the majority. Elena Kagan recused herself. She was Obama administration solicitor general when it supported indefinite detention of immigrants.
Following the ruling, the ACLU tweeted: “This decision will impact the lives of thousands of people, including lawful permanent residents, asylum seekers, and survivors of torture.”
“Many will ultimately win their deportation cases, but would be forced to unjustly suffer first.”
Tuesday’s ruling affects hundreds of thousands of indefinitely detained immigrants, refugees ad asylum seekers – countless numbers of others in America vulnerable to arrest and similar oppressive treatment.
Most media scoundrels paid scant attention to the ruling. The NYT initially published an AP wire service report, not its own until Wednesday.
The Washington Post covered it. So did the Wall Street Journal. CNN, MSNBC, and NBC news ignored it.
So did most congressional members – including self-styled progressives in name only Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
Obama administration officials supported indefinite detention without habeas or due process rights.
Tuesday’s ruling provided more evidence of the absence of equity and justice in America – police state harshness replacing it.
The High Court remanded the case back to the Ninth Circuit for further consideration on whether immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers have any constitutional rights – clearly not in America today.
VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at email@example.com.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Animal rights activists are up in arms over attempts to barbecue a dog at an immigrant welcome center in southern Italy, with migrants insisting the practice is normal where they come from.
Members of the Carabinieri, an Italian military police force, intervened immediately after receiving a call from an employee of the center who had witnessed the scene of a 29-year-old Nigerian man intent on roasting a dog at the center in Vibo Valentia, in the Italian region of Calabria.
The man had succeeded in skinning and chopping up the canine and was in the process of grilling it for himself and some friends when he was stopped by law enforcement officers. The young woman who called the police also volunteers at a pro-animal organization in the area.
Explaining to police that such a practice is “normal where we come from,” the migrant insisted that he didn’t kill the dog but had found it dead by the side of the road and had decided to grill it. He also pleaded ignorance of Italian laws forbidding eating cats and dogs.
Police transferred the migrant to a different welcome center, located in the former Hotel Miragolfo in the nearby town of Nicotera.
Among countries of origin, Nigeria accounts for the largest single group of migrants entering Italy at present, with nearly twice as many (15.7 percent) Nigerians entering Italy during 2017 as those from Guinea, the second largest immigrant group by country of provenance (8.4 percent).
This African nation has been the focus of much local media attention in recent weeks, with reports of growth of a “ruthless” Nigerian mafia on Italian soil, and the brutal murder and dismemberment of an 18-year-old Italian girl, Pamela Mastropietro, allegedly at the hands of three Nigerian migrants.
Mastropietro’s dismembered corpse was discovered earlier this month in two suitcases outside the central Italian town of Macerata, but was missing her neck, heart and genitals. The body had also been deboned and washed in bleach.
A prominent Italian criminologist said that the modus operandi in this case matched methods typically adopted by the Nigerian mafia.
“What we have seen in the case of Pamela are the same methods the Nigerian mafia systematically employs in Nigeria and elsewhere,” Meluzzi said. “It is a routine to cut victims into pieces and, in some cases, to eat parts of their bodies.”
Troubling as well have been reports of startling percentages of female Nigerian migrants into Italy who wind up as prostitutes, whether by choice or coercion, and become virtual slaves of the Nigerian mafia.
Currently, some 80 percent of Nigerian girls and women migrating to Italy end up in prostitution, a form of sexual slavery from which the girls and women have no recourse. Roughly half of the prostitutes currently working in Italy are Nigerians.
Nigerian traffickers have exploited Europe’s migrant crisis to traffic girls across the Mediterranean to Italy to force into prostitution. From 2014-2016, more than 12,000 Nigerian girls and young women arrived in Italy, and of these, some 9,400 wound up as sex workers.
Source Article from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheEuropeanUnionTimes/~3/VqfsEWqoAOo/
“There are also ethnic Swedes engaged in group violence, but not in the same numbers as foreign-born offenders.”
Swedish police officer Peter Springare has been reported to police and will likely be investigated after he said the country’s gang rape problem is linked to migration and was a “cultural phenomenon”.
Springare, who gained global attention after blowing the whistle on the extent of migrant crime in Sweden last year commented on the issue of gang rapes earlier this month claiming such attacks were “new” and were a consequence of the last 10 to 15 years of immigration policy, Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reports.
“There are also ethnic Swedes engaged in group violence, but not in the same numbers as foreign-born offenders,” Springare said. The comments, which were recorded by broadcaster TV4, have since been reported to Bergslagen police who have announced that an internal investigation will likely take place.
The communications manager for the police in Bergslagen confirmed that the report would be passed on to internal investigators and said that Springare’s comments could potentially harm public trust in the police.
Source Article from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheEuropeanUnionTimes/~3/r9o3CNTookM/
I’m going to talk to you about identity. Whenever I talk to my son about what I should talk about, whenever I’m nervous about giving a presentation – and I was definitely nervous about this one, I can tell you – he always says: “Just make sure you talk about what you know.” And that’s great advice, everyone should follow that. So I’m going to try to talk about what I know, and I know something about identity anyways, and I’m very interested in helping people understand what identity means and also maybe how to strengthen their identity. And I can’t think of anything better that you can possibly do than that and I think in some sense it’s the answer to all the problems that plague us.
I’m going to tell you a story about how I came to understand the things that I’ve come to understand. Back in the late-mid 1970s, when the Cold War was raging and when the nuclear arsenal of the Soviet Union was in full force against the equally dangerous nuclear arsenal of the West, I had a series of very apocalyptic nightmares. I don’t really know why I was so obsessed with the Cold War. I mean, it’s not like I was alone. Everybody was as obsessed with it to some degree, it was a Cold War after all.
I couldn’t understand that we would arm ourselves to the teeth and risk the destruction of everything just to buttress what we believed in. It didn’t seem that the potential sacrifice was worth the gain. So I started to study belief systems from a psychological perspective. I was curious about what function they played, what role they served, and I was also interested in something else, which I didn’t realize at the time, which was at the core of what I later understood as the postmodern conundrum.
The postmodern conundrum is roughly the fact that the world is a very complicated place and there are a very large number of ways to interpret it, and the postmodern conclusion is: because there are an indefinitely large number of ways to interpret the world, that no one solution is in any real sense preferable to any other, and that solutions are imposed by power.
When I was thinking about the Cold War, I was wondering about why it was occurring, and then I was wondering at the same time about the fact that these two opposed belief systems had emerged, and I thought: Well, is this war, this thing we’re willing to put everything to the torch for, is it merely a matter of opinion? Is it the fact that human nature is infinitely malleable, and you can generate any number of axiomatic systems or any number of games that people are all capable of playing equally and that it is merely a matter of arbitrary decision ‘which one gets played’?
Or is there something deeper going on? Is there a war of wrong against right? And the corollary I suppose of that is; there is such a thing as wrong and right, and if there is such a thing as wrong or right, and if the war is about that, then who’s wrong and why and who’s right and why?
So I started to dig into what I would regard as the metaphysical substrate of belief and I came to understand at least in part that the belief systems that we inhabit are like stories. Story is a description of how a person went from one place to another place. If it’s a comedy, it’s a better place. If it’s a tragedy, it’s a worse place.
But in any case, it’s a story about how to go from one place to another place. One of the things that you begin to understand if you study stories is that there are worse stories and better stories.
There are certainly worse stories and better stories to live out, so for example, I would say, most people, if they made a conscious choice, would rather live in a comedy than a tragedy. They might not feel the same way about other people, they might condemn them to a tragedy, but they would pick comedy, perhaps.
So then I started to try to tease apart the story that the West lived by. I came at it from two very different perspectives. One was, essentially literary. It was literary in the same way the psychoanalysts were literary theorists. The psychoanalysts Freud and Jung in particular were very interested in the large-scale structures of the narratives of human life.
Freud was particularly interested in the narrative of the family. He thought that the primary narrative was the narrative of the family. And that was in some sense the emergence of the autonomous individual from his or her initial dependent state. Freudian psychoanalytic theory is full of observations about how that can go terribly wrong. Particularly in those situations where families are let’s say overprotective, or rife with unresolved conflict.
Jung for his part broadened his analysis of the stories that people lived by. Outside the realm of the family into the realm of the literary and metaphysical. Jung was a student of religion and mythology. And from Jung I learned that stories contained a certain kind of truth and that great stories contain great truths.
And they’re not truths like scientific theories are true, they’re truths like great literature is true, they’re truths like Dostoevsky is true or they’re truths like Tolstoy is true or they’re truths like the fundamental mythological stories that oriented culture are true. They’re true in ways that we know, but don’t understand.
At the same time that I was studying this, I was also reading Nietzsche, and Nietzsche of course, famously proclaimed in the late 1800s that God was dead. And people who regard themselves as acolytes of Nietzsche or maybe as admirers of Nietzsche, who never read him, claim or assume that he said that in some triumphalist tone, because Nietzsche in some sense did style himself, at least, a severe critic of Christianity. But nothing could be further from the truth.
Nietzsche said that God was dead, that we’d killed him, and that we’ll never find enough water to wash away the blood. And that’s not a triumphalist proclamation, and he said that approximately at the same time that the consequence of the death of God would be that European civilisation would vacillate between nihilism and totalitarianism. And that 100 million people would die as a consequence in the 20th century. That’s a hell of a prediction for someone back in basically the mid-1860s.
Nietzsche, who didn’t live very long, was looking for a way out of that conundrum – being neither a fan of nihilism nor a fan of totalitarianism, and he thought that human beings would have to metamorphose into creatures that could determine their own values. That’s where Carl Jung encountered Nietzsche essentially.
Because Jung was also a student of Nietzsche, and a deep student of Nietzsche, but because Jung had been influenced by Freud, who is the great discoverer of unconscious mechanisms in the human mind, he understood that it wasn’t possible for human beings to create their own values. And the reason for that was that we are neither our own masters nor our own slaves.
Our nature was not infinitely malleable. We could not simply tell ourselves what to do. And even if we did, we would not simply listen. That you have a nature, that everyone has a nature, every human being has a nature with which they must contend.
That’s what took the Freudians into the study of the [unintelligible], and that’s what took the Jungians into the study of the collective unconscious and then into the study of literature and mythology.
I found that very compelling and very interesting. Jung believed that because the Gods had disappeared from the outside world that they would have to reappear in the inside world. That’s not an easy statement to understand. But it’s a statement that’s true. Even though it’s not easy to understand.
At the same time, I was reading a lot of straight psychology. Especially the animal behavioral literature, the neuroscience literature. Neuroscience of cognition, neuroscience of emotion, neuroscience of motivation, and then I saw this alliance between the psychoanalytic Jungian worldview and the more strict scientific worldview, because it turns out that if you carefully attend to biology and animal behavior, you also find that human beings have a nature.
And that animals have a nature, and that there’s a nature that human beings share with animals as well. There is a researcher in the Netherlands, Frans de Waal, who has done great work with primates, laying out the biological emergence of the idea of morality among chimpanzees. Brilliant work, and this was very exciting to me, because remember I was trying to determine whether or not the war between the West and the collectivists, let’s say, was merely a matter of opinion or whether there was something right somewhere that someone had.
Well, I started to learn from Jung and animal behaviorists and the neuroscientists, and also from one other source, Jean Piaget, who was a developmental psychologist who studied the origin of morality in children, and who in his way was attempting to sow up the gap between science and religion. That was Piaget, the most famous developmental psychologist to ever live, the most famous child psychologist.
That was his self-description of what he was doing. He was trying to understand how to rectify the gap between science and religion and so there were these three sources that I could draw from: there was the developmental literature, there was the psychoanalytic/literary literature and there was the straight biological literature, and they’re all pointing to the same direction, actually. They’re saying that living creatures have a nature, and human beings have a nature.
That nature finds its expression in stories, and why is that? Well, it’s because we watch ourselves express our nature. And then we map that expression in drama. So, we capture ourselves in drama. We capture ourselves in drama before we understand who we are. That means that in drama, there is wisdom that we don’t understand.
And then, over centuries, over thousands of years, we start to articulate that wisdom, and it becomes explicit, and then we start to philosophize with what’s become explicit. And if we’re fortunate, then what we philosophized, and what we’ve made articulate and what we’ve dramatized, and what we’ve acted out, and what’s at the base of our social and biological nature are all the same thing – and then we’ve got it right. And that’s what we’ve done in the West.
You know, one of the things I was thinking about, was this idea that… there are two ideas that people talk about, which I have a certain amount of sympathy for. One is that you should have pride in your culture, I understand the impetus for that. I told you how I feel when I come to Europe. I can hardly stand it. I really mean that, the ecstatic experience of being in the great cities of Europe is overwhelming. And I think it is because I do have a gift for perceiving the miraculous.
I think it’s a miracle when the lights are on, and the reason for that is that it is a miracle when the lights are on. Because it is not the natural state for the lights to be on. The natural state of things is to fall apart and not to work. And yet, they work, and they work all the time, and our great societies work, and they work magnificently, and that doesn’t mean they’re perfect. But nothing is perfect. And you don’t throw away the wheat with the chaff.
I’m going to tell you another story. There is this psychologist named Jaak Panksepp, he just died about a year ago. He wrote a book called Affective Neuroscience, it’s a great book. It’s a book about emotion, about the neurological basis of emotion. And Panksepp was kind of a romantic.
The scientists who involve themselves with the scientific study of emotion tend to be romantic types, interestingly enough. And he was a whimsical scientist in many ways. He discovered the play circuit, the mammalian play circuit. It turns out that we have a biological system that’s independent, neurologically predicated, that does nothing but mediate play – which I thought was very interesting because of my interest in Jean Piaget, who believed that the morality of children, and the morality of adults, emerged out of the games that we learned to play as children, and Panksepp also discovered that if you take rat pups away from their mother, and you feed them and you give them water and shelter, they die.
Human infants are the same, by the way, they have to be massaged, touched, they have to be cuddled, they have to be interacted with or their gastrointestinal system shuts down and they die. And you can stop that from happening with rats if you just tickle them with the end of a pencil eraser, a little massage, and then he found out that they giggled if you did that.
No one knew that, because they do it ultrasonically, like bats, so you have to record it and slow it down. Panksepp discovered that rat pups laugh. And you might think: “Who the hell cares about that?” But that’s not the right way of looking at things. Because he was looking at a continuity in our nature that was tremendously deep, that went way back down into the animal kingdom.
He also discovered this: if you take two juvenile rats and you put them in a pen, they will spontaneously wrestle, they will engage in rough-and-tumble play, and if one of the rats is 10% bigger than the other, then the 10% bigger rat will pin the little rat. And, then you think: “Well, that’s a dominance challenge and the big rat wins, end of story.” But it’s not the end of the story, and here’s why.
It’s because most games don’t only occur once. Most games are played many, many, many times. So, Panksepp decided that he would pair the rats, the same two rats, multiple times in play context, and so the first thing he found out is once the big rat had pinned the little rat, the little rat had to ask the big rat to play. That was his role in the next encounter.
The little rat would look playful, like a dog, and then the big rat would pounce on him and they would tussle around. Then he found that if the big rat didn’t let the little rat win, 30% of the time, across repeated encounters, then the little rat would stop asking the big rat to play.
When I read that, it just knocked me off my chair, because what I realised was that Panksepp had put his finger on the emergence of morality. The same kind of morality that Jean Piaget had observed emerging in children. Piaget observed that sophisticated children like to play games that other people like to play.
That’s kinda what you tell your kids when they’re playing a game like soccer or hockey, you say: “It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose, it matters how you play the game.” And, really, what you’re telling your children is: “Life isn’t a game, life is a series of games and the rules that govern playing the series of games isn’t the same as the rule that governs playing a single game.”
You don’t want to be the winner of a single game, you want to be the winner of the series of games, and if you want to be the winner of the series of games, then you have to conduct yourself in a certain manner. And that’s not arbitrary. It’s so far from arbitrary that it even governs the behavior of rats.
It’s not sociological. It’s not learned. It’s not whim. It’s not arbitrary. It’s not opinion. It’s an emergent property. Morality is an emergent property that emerges across a sequence of iterated, voluntary games. Then you might ask yourself: “How do you have to conduct yourself if you’re going to be the person that emerges victorious across an indefinite sequence of games?” And the answer to that is: like the big rat, you have to play fair.
Then you might ask yourself: “Well, if you watch people trying to play fair over a 150,000 years and try to infer what it looked like to play fair, what would your descriptions be?” And the answer to that is: you would describe the hero, the individual hero whose positive actions are constantly represented in drama, and literature and mythology.
In the West, I believe that we have fortunately managed to articulate the principles of fair iterated play better than any society has ever managed in the past. I don’t believe that that’s because there’s anything particularly special about us. Because I believe that the principles of fair play, as I said, even govern the behavior of rats. But knowing this, or even appreciating it as a possibility, puts a new twist on two ideas:
One is that you should be proud of your culture. It’s like… no! You shouldn’t be ‘proud’ of your culture. You should bloody well recognize that it got some things right and that all of your good fortune is dependent on that, and then you should take the utmost responsibility for continuing to play the damn game properly.
And you should have enough sense to be grateful for all the sacrifice that was made by all those people who came before you so that you could end up being the beneficiary of this eminently playable game.
So, I could say: “Well, what are the rules of the game?” There’s an idea in Genesis: to the foundational story of Western culture, that being emerged from something like potential, from chaos, as a consequence of God’s use of language, the Logos. Logos is the deepest idea of the West, and it means something like clear, competent truthful communicative endeavor. So, there’s an idea in Genesis that that’s the spirit that God used to bring forth order from chaos at the beginning of time. When God employed the Logos to extract order out of chaos, he extracted habitable order, and then pronounced that it was good.
At the same time, when God made human beings, he pronounced the maiden the image of God, which means that human beings have the capacity, that Logos-like capacity, to speak habitable order into being out of chaotic potential, and the deep idea is that if you do that truthfully, then what you bring forward is good. That’s aligned very tightly with the principle of fair play. It’s easy to play fair with someone who tells you the truth. You can communicate with them, you can trust them, you can take risks with them, you can cooperate with them, you can negotiate with them, and you can jointly engage in the endeavor to bring forth the habitable order that is good from the chaos of potential.
When we insist that the immigrants who come to our countries, to become beneficiaries of the game that we’re playing, follow the rules, we are not merely saying; ‘we have a culture, you have a culture, you’re in our culture, so you should follow our rules’, what we’re saying instead is: “We have inherited a culture and it seems to work. It works well enough so that we’re happy to be here, and many people would like to be, and if you want to come to our culture and be a beneficiary of the game, then you have to abide by the rules that produce the game. We’re not saying that you have to do it because it’s ours, or because we’re proud of it, or because in some sense we’re right as individuals, or even as a culture. We’re saying it because we’ve been fortunate enough to observe what the rules that make a functioning society actually are, and sensible enough, thank God, most of the time to follow them well enough so that there are a few countries on the planet that aren’t absolute pits of catastrophe.”
Now, I didn’t know what to say about immigration when I decided to do this talk, but I don’t think it matters, because there are many complex things that can be said about immigration, about many of the problems that face us, but there is a meta-question, which is not ‘how do you solve a difficult question?’, but ‘how do you solve the set of all possible difficult questions?’
The answer to that is quite straightforward: Speak the truth and play fair, and that works.
So I have been communicating that as diligently as I can for the last three decades, predicated on my observation that we got some things right, we should do better with it even, and that if we transformed ourselves, each and every one, into better people, predicated on the observation of that core identity, that we would then become collectively the sort of people who could probably solve any problem that was put to them no matter what its magnitude. And so what I was hoping to do today to set off this discussion about identity and immigration in Europe in the 21st century is to say: Be the sort of people to generate the proper solutions, and then perhaps the solutions will arise of their own accord. Thank you.
Immigration authorities have found nearly 80 people crammed into the back of a truck trying to enter the US without proper documents.
The truck was travelling on highway in Laredo, Texas, near the US-Mexico border when the driver was pulled over. He was later arrested.
He was questioned about his immigration status and though he is a US citizen, the truck was subjected to a secondary search and 76 people from Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala were found huddled inside.
At least 13 were found to be unaccompanied children.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said all the people found in the trailer were in “good health”.
CBP did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Laredo Sector Assistant Chief Patrol Agent Gabriel Acosta said in a CBP news release: “These criminal organisations view these individuals as mere commodities without regard for their safety. The blatant disregard for human life will not be tolerated.”
“We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to disrupt and dismantle these organisations and prosecute those responsible,” Mr Acosta said.
Transporting people across the border in trailer trucks has become a dangerous practice.
In July, ten undocumented immigrants died from overheating while trapped in a trailer in San Antonio, Texas.
The air conditioning and ventilation systems had broken leaving dozens more with severe brain damage and other injuries.
The driver, a US citizen from Florida, had left the vehicle in a Wal-Mart parking lot and claimed he did not there were people in the back.
Survivors, however, claimed they banged on the walls in order to get out.
The undocumented immigrants found on 26 January, including the children, will be taken to a processing and detention centres.
They have arrived at a time when border security and the fate of the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme, which allowed people brought to the US illegally as minors to stay and work, are under hot debate in Congress.