The end of Schengen?

If so, a sad day, here is the scoop:

Europe’s passport-free Schengen zone is facing the biggest test of its two-decade existence after Sweden  re-imposed controls on visitors crossing from Denmark across what had been one of most open borders in the world.

Hours after the measures came into effect, Denmark announced it would slap new controls on its own border with Germany, while Berlin warned that the 26-nation zone of passport-free travel was now “in danger”.

Six Schengen countries – Austria, Germany, France, Sweden, Denmark and non-EU member Norway – have now reintroduced border checks as Europe struggles to cope with an unprecedented influx of refugees and migrants from conflict zones including Syria and Afghanistan.

Here is the story, via Meg Greene.


They're defending themselves and acting to maintain public order. Nothing 'sad' about this day. It is an indicator that there might be life in Europe yet.

Europeans have listened to your brand of sexually-obsessed race purity shenanigans and seen the consequences on their own soil. No thanks.

Yes Europe is still paying the price for the sexual obsessed Catholic Church forbidding cousin marriage. We desperately need an influx of cousin-marrying Middle Easterners to reverse that momentous mistake.

Thanks for the non sequitur. It's been an education.

Do you believe that a state (or whatever term for polity you prefer) should not regulate -- or otherwise know something about -- the people coming into its area/jurisdiction etc.?

If you don't think a state should do this, fine. Believe what you will.

If you think a state should do this, then we're just arguing over the location of the border check, and the scope of the questioning.

The mayor of Cologne has summoned police for crisis talks after about 80 women reported sexual assaults and muggings by men on New Year's Eve.

City police chief Wolfgang Albers called it "a completely new dimension of crime". The men were of Arab or North African appearance, he said.

Women were also targeted in Hamburg.

BBC missed the "events" in Hamburg and Stuttgart, and that's the ones which are by now reported.More to come, if the rumors are right. Whether it will be visibly reported, we will see.

There were rumors of the Cologne bit in social media (and for once, facebook was quick to delete undesirable posts) - and rather right-wing and often known as being tendentious sources already on new years day. Readers begged in the comments of reputable newspapers and serious blogs for more information over the weekend, to no avail. And the BBC missed the bit of the about the female under cover police woman, whose had somebody touch her inside her panties that night. - which makes the press release from Jan 1st - "it was a nice party - not special happened" even more deeply ironic.

And now the feeble response this is a tragedy, as is in "it can't be, because it is unthinkable" - "this should not be allowed", but the big silence on how such events should be prohibited in the future - and in late January, early Feb the next big gathering, carnival is looming, not only in Cologne. And then everybody will be dressed up, wearing masks.....
And this is not only about the refugee influx, but the failed integration of lots of young men, coming from mainly Muslim backgrounds, who have partly been born in Germany, carry German passports, but do not share the values of an open, western society and think of woman as inferior beings - never mind having no respect for the police whats-so ever. (UK/ Rotherham is only a couple of steps ahead)
And denial as far a the eye can see.

It's being reported now. It was also on NPR today. They are talking about hundreds of young men not a small isolated group

"In an effort to prevent further violence, Ms. Reker ( Mayor of Cologne) said that city officials would begin working on measures to help young women protect themselves and to explain the city’s attitudes and norms to its many newcomers."

It seems that it is not their fault but Germany's. They had not been told that you don't rape women and/or steal their wallet and cell phones

Uncontrolled mass immigration is an experiment that people in Europe don't want to gamble on. I agree, though I think that one country/region should be picked out and have it's borders opened completely, just to see what will happen if this thing runs its course.

I am hoping your last sentence is sarcasm.

No, I'm serious. What is your beef with policy experiments?

Uh, how about the fact that that's an entire *country* you're talking about and no one wants to ruin their *home* forever just for your policy experiments? This isn't like "Oh, let's raise taxes and see what happens! We can always take it back." You can't take mass immigration back.


> no one wants to ruin their *home* forever

Our host, Tyler, and many other smart people believe that far from ruining a country/region, mass muslim immigration would bring immense benefits.

I take it that you disagree with the pro-immigration crowd? If so, why can't you persuade them that you're correct?

Note that at the moment, the pro-immigration crowd are winning the debate across Europe.

Kind of like how Attila the Hun won the debate over the Romans until he got out debated at Chalons.

Note that at the moment, the pro-immigration crowd are winning the debate across Europe.

Fine. Tell the National Front, the Sweden Democrats, and Vlaams Belang that their electoral successes are just a mirage.

Preferably Sweden, as it would teach a good less to that bunch of sanctimonious poseurs, who couldn't be bothered to fight the Nazis, but love to denounce the racism of the United States.

It's a policy experiment, it might turn out to be the case the the pro-open borders people are correct and Sweden becomes an amazing place as a result.

" it might turn out to be the case the the pro-open borders people are correct and Sweden becomes an amazing place as a result"

And monkeys might fly out of my butt, I'm not gonna bet on that result though. Hasn't the last half of 2015 for Germany and Sweden been about as close to an open borders experiment as we're likely to get?

The short term results are just about as negative as the most skeptical about OB would predict, so I can understand Tyler and Alex not wanting to draw people's attention to them.

@Cliff Arroyo:

> monkeys might fly out of my butt

Tyler is one of the smartest people I know of. Yet you don't seem to be able to persuade him that open borders immigration is a mistake. Why? Probably because it's not as obvious as you think.

Tyler is one of the smartest people I know of. Yet you don’t seem to be able to persuade him that open borders immigration is a mistake. Why? Probably because it’s not as obvious as you think.

One of the smartest people you know offered that we ought to take in scads of Syrian refugees because he had a swell playmate (ca. 1968) who had a pair of great grandparents who had immigrated from the Ottoman Levant during the period running from 1890 to 1904. It might occur to you that the moderators are giving voice to their viscera, which is not open to argument.

@Art Deco:

Tyler Cowen is not an imbecile. He's a very smart man, well read especially on cognitive biases. Perhaps a childhood friend from that part of the world could bias him somewhat, but I'm pretty sure he doesn't want to be on the wrong side of history.

I know very smart people on both sides of most political issues. Almost on all sides of most religious and philosophical and aesthetic issues. There were people just as smart as Tyler who supported slavery and communism and fascism. (John Calhoun, Georg Lukacs, Ezra Pound.) Immigration is hardly exceptional in causing very smart people to disagree.


I think Tyler may be wrong. I just think it's based on a more substantial mistake than that he had a schoolfriend from Syria.

Tyler Cowen is not an imbecile. He’s a very smart man, well read especially on cognitive biases

He also has viscera, as does Tabarrok. Both will say inane things if it tallies with their biases (see "The Ferguson Kleptocracy". Sorry to break it to you. While we're at it, babble about 'the right side of history' is humbug.

I just think it’s based on a more substantial mistake than that he had a schoolfriend from Syria.

Kathleen Fata (Mrs. Kenneth Robinson) was born in Fall River, Mass. in 1959 and lived there as recently as 2010. Her father and grandfather were also born in Fall River. It was (one of four sets of) her great grandparents who were born in the Levant.

While Tyler is for allowing more refugees/immigrants in, he's not an open borders fanatic like Alex.

What about the poseurs who only could be botheres to fight the Nazis after Hitler declared war on them--and one of his allies attacked the poseurs?

Do you support the right of people, including Europeans, to form Jew free states?

I support the right of Europeans to exclude Jews from immigrating to their countries, if they so wish. It would be foolish but it is their right.

There are already Jews in European states, so supporting the right of Europeans to form Jew free states would require more than just preventing Jewish immigration.

Agreeing with Cliff that this would be obviously foolish.

But, the moral impact of expelling someone who's already a citizen is massively higher than excluding an immigrant though, right? In most any country, being a citizen involves having been made a lot of promises by other citizens. An immigrant hasn't received any of those promises.

Yeah, I support the right to have immigration controls, even stupid ones that would affect me, as this would, but ethnic cleansing... Not so cool with that.

Generally, being a citizen involves promises made by the state, and these promises are routinely broken. Furthermore, contemporary states have imposed legal regimes that prohibit people from not only determining the demographic composition of their states, but many of their social activities and communities as well.

If the Nazis had (in an intellectually honest way) done a Jew free state policy experiment, they would have realised how terribly mistaken they were and 6 million lives would have been saved.

Where do you find a seven-digit army of Jews marching o'er the landscape, disregarding frontiers, and demanding welfare benefits?

An "army"? Without guns, political representation or any sort of leaders whatsoever?

Quite the "army", huh. Might just need to mow down these unarmed civilians to the last man, woman and child now that they have evolved in the imagination to an "army".

Evidently Canadian schools teach nothing of metaphor, and Canadian families produce children incapable of understanding it.

It is in no sense whatsoever an army.

So you don't support the right of Europeans, and presumably anyone else, to determine the demographic composition of their states and exclude whomever they want?

What's your question, the first one you posed, or the second?

They're the same question.

How the enlighten have fallen... These are the same people who used to call the US "backwards" for not having open borders with Mexico. Next thing you know they will be reconsidering their welfare benefits! Shocker!

Quoting Master Tyson: ""Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth."

My style is impetuous and my defenses are impregnable.

Thanks, uncontrolled immigration!

And who's fault is that exactly? US/EU/NATO: First recruit, train and finance them, then use them against whatever regime doesnt obey you, then declare them as “evil”. Then bomb them, then invite them.

You forgot to blame everything on the people who were recruited, trained, financed, used, disposed of and later bombed. They are evil.

They are. But they have lots of accomplices thats what bothers me...

One could even argue whether they would even exist without our implicit support / result of stupid policies (choose your interpretation). My guess is probably not. And thats troubling...

Probably the failed Russian invasion of Afghanistan would have lasted 6 months longer and most of the rest would have gone better. Kind of impossible to prove.

Cancelling direct trains to make people pass through a border checkpoint is not good. If the journal is right, rail rolling stock needs to be doubled to handle the delays.

Excellent point. Railway cars carrying people between countries should never be stopped.

No I'm the guy pointing out how silly open border fetishism sounds when you start probe it's weak spots. Your the guy that doesn't get irony I guess.

Of course, ironic remarks are the best way to exchange ideas.

Socrates sure thought so. Jesus too. I mean sure those guys weren't John Rawls level thinkers much less Te-Neishi Coates-level influential, but they were pretty successful at getting ideas across.

Wouldn't the obvious solution be to check passports before the train departs, or when it arrives?

This is already done in places (the Eurostar from London, which is outside the Schengen area).

However, you can't just implement this in an existing rail network without massive changes. Trains can be boarded from many different stations, all of them completely uncontrolled. And it is not just limited to stations on international routes, since passengers can change trains within the station.

What is needed is a separate, controlled platform with immigration services at each station on an international route. It needs to have enough space so that passengers can clear immigration before their train arrives and then wait for the train. This isn't something you can just do overnight.

These are commuter trains (think LIRR or BART if your are from NYC or SF) that run every 20-30min and carry thousands of people at rush hour. They don't run from "Denmark" to "Sweden", they make a dozen local station stops on both sides of the border, for both inter- and intra- country commuters -- the whole point was that there wasn't supposed to be any difference!
In fact, much of the development of the regional economy in southern Sweden has been focused on making it a part of the Copenhagen area....

It's a logistical and economic disaster...

You don't even have to stop the train. They can do border checks while the train moves. This happens for trains between Switzerland and Germany, or at least used to.

Yes but the border check in the train from Frankfurt to Basel is focused on spotting cigarettes, alcohol and meat. Border police profiles and only questions the most suspicious passengers in a rail car, not a systematic thing. So it's about import duties, not immigration.

I've encountered a few rolling passport checks. Romania-Moldova, Azerbaijan-Georgia, Croatia-Hungary (pre-EU).

You can do this on inter-city trains, but not on commuter rail, which is what most trains over the DK-SE border are. The Copenhagen metro area seamlessly crosses the border and the authorities have spent billions on infrastructure to make it way -- ten of thousands of people commute across the border every day for work.

To imagine the kind of logistical nightmare that is going on, imagine putting a border control on the LIRR as it crosses the New York city line or on BART as is crosses into San Francisco...

They're coming to their senses. No country can afford unchecked immigration

I wouldn't trust the Germans either. 11 million. That's the estimate of the non-combatants killed by the Germans in the 1930s and 1940s.

It is the inevitable result of the inability to control the Schengen Zone's border with the rest of the world. In my opinion, it is too little and too late. Frau Merkel made a colossal blunder.

Indeed she did. But why? Does she drink? What possessed her?

A little bit of underestimating the push back and the normal pressure for more population growth to increase revenues across the board, all filtered through some idealism about what being a good person means.

The events of 2015 are a striking demonstration of how lowbrow the elite conventional wisdom of the West has become.

That's the quote of the year, thusfar.

'What possessed her?'

Maybe the teachings from a certain biblical figure?

Maybe she's just not a racialist.

Hartz Reforms 2.0

You make it sound like Germany is broken beyond repair. However, Germany has a stronger background to deal with immigration compared to the US: a) Jus Soli does not exist there, and b) German people: if you are the employer of illegal workers the neighbors you have never met will call the police and you'll get a hefty fine or a conviction.

In the US the sanctions for employers of illegal workers are a joke. A few convictions a year in such a big country. For US populist politicians is easier to sell the idea of building a wall in the border with Mexico than enforcing the illegal work law. Business owners don't like to be bothered with the law.

"a) Jus Soli does not exist there,"

That implies that their stronger dealing with immigrants because the immigrants children won't be Germans? Unless, Germany forceably evicts them, how do you prevent the formation of a permanent second class citizen.

Racist. Scandinavia trying to maintain its white "purity".

And this is the attitude that got us into this mess in the first place...

I think you are joking, but if not ... trust me, we gave up on that dream ages ago.

Sadly much less successful than Japan

God forbid they pass on their own country and that of their ancestors to their own posterity.

Maintaining racial purity is racist, yes. And yes, the Japanese are racist - they are just more polite about it than some others ... perhaps how they get away with it.

Maintaining racial purity is racist. Ultimately, existence is racist as it implies that a race existing is better than not existing.

The Japanese have always been outrageously racist, but the global anti-racism movement has really focused exclusively on European whites. There is little international pressure on Japan to accept mass immigration even though Japan meets all the criteria cited for demanding European and Neo-European nations to do so such as low fertility rate and a peaceful desirable place to live.

Heck of a job, Merkel.

Don't over-dramatize this. The idea of Shengen was never "border controls are evil and we are forever banishing this evil from Europe". It was "border controls are a pain, and as long as they aren't buying us much, we will dispense with them." Well, right now they are buying us a lot, so we will have them again, at least of a while. The Shengen treaty itself envisioned such circumstances and explicitly allowed for their temporary re-imposition. EU citizens and travelers on valid visas are still able to freely move between countries; they just need to show their passports.

Back in September, the Germans and the Swede failed to understand some basic game theory grasped by PM Orban of Hungary:

Wait, you are saying the Germans weren't fascist enough, SS?

You mean looking after the interests of your own people is now 'fascist'? Thanks for the clarification.

That's ALWAYS what he means.

It strikes me that this is both a reaction to the refugee flood, and also an additional cost of it which will probably be pretty unpopular.

I think it is difficult to over-dramatize this - it is an economic disaster for the region and it is a sign of absolute panic on the part of the government that they are even considering, much less implementing, this.

The goal has long been to create growth by integrating southern Sweden into the economy of the Copenhagen area -- that is why billions have been spent on creating the "Oeresund region" and highly integrated infrastructure that was predicated on the schengen border.

And it has been at least partly successful: Tens of thousands of people commute across the border every day; university innovation has easy access to the financial and business resources of a major city, which has supported development of something of a bio-medical tech hub, etc, etc.

Disembarking, standing in line for half an hour and showing a passport, and re-embarking may not be (too) much hassle for someone who travels on holiday a couple of times a year or even for someone who travels on business once a month -- it just adds an hour or so to the travel time. But it's prohibitive for a daily commute or even for coordinating a project that requires several meetings a week.

This means that imposing border controls in the area has a huge economic impact; it is similar to the economic impact of putting state border passport controls around DC and adding an hour to the time it would take to travel between locations in DC, Virginia, and Maryland.

The Swedish government knows this, but it is still so panicked that they're willing to do it anyway.

@Tyler: uncontrolled mass immigration sounds like an idea which should be tested and not rushed. There are economic reasons to think it would be positive, but sociological considerations suggest (a priori) that there will be negatives too.

A posteriori, a very small number of muslim immigrants are rampaging around our capitals murdering hundreds of people. Other muslim immigrants/descendants are failing to integrate and adopt western values - in very large proportions. Some (again a minority) are using the darker side of their religion as a moral excuse to rape and sexually abuse our children, and the climate of political correctness is conspiring to cover this up (Rochdale, Oxford).

Other Muslims are becoming headteachers and subverting our school system into a way to indoctrinate children in the darker side of Islam (see

Female genital mutilation is rampant in the UK. So is forced marriage and there have been a few honour killings (the chilling effect concerns me more than the small number of murders, even taking into account the number that are surely hidden from the police).

Freedom of speech in the UK has been de facto destroyed by muslims. If you disagree with me, please post a cartoon depiction of Muhammed on Marginal Revolution and tour Paris and London doing book signings.

I would kindly suggest that you and Alex drop your support for open borders and instead support some policy experiments to test what happens to a European country as the percentage of Muslims from the middle east (not Bosnian muslims) increases to a very high level, e.g. over 50%. Since the list of positives and negatives are both large in (dis)utility, the value of that information would be huge.

I believe that your rationality has been compromised on this issue. There is no other issue I can think of where smart people such as yourself would advocate rushing headlong into a policy on the basis of obviously incomplete models, rather than first seek to use experiments to fix your models.

There's a peaceful, underpopulated place with nice weather and nice scenery very conveniently close to Syria which would be an ideal place to test the impact of admitting large numbers of Syrian refugees: the Golan Heights.

Unfortunately, the border controls are run by an occupying power which annexed most of the Golan Heights in 1981.

So, prior_test do you support greater Muslim immigration to Germany this year than last?

Syria will soon be empty at current rates.

Similar logic would dictate freely admitting all Mexicans to Texas and New Mexico. Or all Moroccans to southern Spain.

Pick an area that is naturally or artificially isolated and crank up the proportion of immigrants in that area. Islands are good. Give the region a very high degree of autonomy.

Let it run for 50 years and see what happens.

@steve: it wouldn't make a good policy experiment IMO. The target country needs to be a European country or area. For example one could choose the Isle of Wight and pump it up to 500000 muslims, with a fully democratic system to elect theor own MP, councils, etc.

Syrian refugees would feel much more at home in the Golan Heights than on the Isle of Wight. Indeed, some Syrians were born in the Golan Heights.

A five digit population of Druzes were born in the Golan Heights. Syria's population before the recent unpleasantness was about 21 million.

Irrelevant - it's not about making syrians "feel at home", it's about settling the empirical question of what effect muslim immigrants have on western society.

These are not the heights you're looking for. (Makes obscure hand gesture)

Freedom of speech is for the purpose of being able to freely debate ideas and hold governments to account. There are a million ways to criticize Islam without making pictures of Mohammed. SOME Muslims are oversensitive about it, in my opinion, but cartoons of Mohammed are a very poor use of free speech.

If you think free speech has been destroyed in the UK, you clearly aren't paying attention to the fact that lots of people continue to espouse man different views.

When someone threatens to kill you for a Mohammed cartoon or a picture of Bambi, that picture must be drawn. Or speech has been limited.

Yes, it is a limitation of speech. But not a limitation that has anything to do with the reasons that free speech is important.

As a general rule, we still enjoy free speech for all the important reasons.

So nice of you to tell everybody what is important.

Clearly we are just to stupid to understand what kind of cartoon, movies, litterature is important and which is not.

Maybe we should have a small group of people who could decide every time. Then we wouldnt have problem with cartoons of muhammed, baceause clearly there are no reasons to make fun of islam.

Hey, I think it`s stupid that some of them get so pissed off about pictures of Mohammed. It`s not like it`s in the Qur'an.

But there's nothing constructive whatsoever about publishing Mohammed cartoons. There are trillions and more other ways to use free speech, almost all of which in ways which are more constructive, even for the purpose of idle banter and entertainment.

But there’s nothing constructive whatsoever about publishing Mohammed cartoons.

There's nothing constructive whatsoever about Fashion Police. Ergo we assassinate Melissa Rivers?

Assassinating people is obvious wrong. That's why the police march in with guns and kill all the terrorists and imprison for life anyone who lives. They would do precisely the same thing if you dedicated yourself to eradicating "Fashion Police".

Really, the whole thing is beyond stupid, ESPECIALLY the jihadists, but really, there's nothing constructive about publishing images of Mohammed. If you have gripes with Islam, there are thousands and millions of ways to do so. It seems that the people who want to publish such images do so for the purpose of creating offense, and rarely do so in a way that draws attention to any sort of issue that needs to be discussed.

"Yes, it is a limitation of speech." -Therefore, not free speech.
You suffer, I suppose, from that polite people fallacy: there should be some balance between free speech and personal sensibility (religious in this case). But that assumes that free speech impedes other freedoms, like freedom of religion, which it does not. You are complete and utterly free to exercise your religion regardless of what others express in speech. Mohamed cartoons will hurt your feelings, but will not stop you in your tracks on your way to mosque.

But there’s nothing constructive whatsoever about publishing Mohammed cartoons.

Of course there is. It's telling people that you will not be cowed by fundy lunatics.

If a cartoon of Mohammed is a poor use of free speech, how about a government-sponsored award winning photograph?

I wonder if Andres Serrano is aware he has insulted the second most important prophet of Islam? The National Endowment of the Arts might also be concerned with their expressed bigotry and hatred of Islam.

The whole point of Freedom of Speech is that it protects controversial opinions.

No one's preventing you from expressing your opinion. It's just that some violent radicals are touchy (understatement) about a certain image.

The state still upholds your free speech, including protection from violent radicals and legal sanction against those who would threaten with violence over the matter.

A lot of people are preventing a lot of other people from expressing their opinion. Canada has entire government bodies set up to prevent some people expressing opinions. As Mark Steyn found out. Britain has put people in jail for preaching in public. They jailed the leader of the BNP for saying, in a pub, that girls were being sexually abused by Muslims in Rotherham. As they were.

The state does not uphold anyone's right of free speech. Only in America and only to a limited extent there. Everywhere else polices speech - to the benefit of the Left and their Muslim allies. No one else.

" Canada has entire government bodies set up to prevent some people expressing opinions."

For example ... ?

Anyways, you've gotten thousands and millions of Americans every day speaking freely about how they want to engage in various forms and levels of genocide in the Middle East. You are beyond deluded if you think that only the left and Muslims benefit from free speech.

It’s just that some violent radicals are touchy (understatement) about a certain image.

So if Christians were blowing up buildings because of Piss Christ, that would mean Piss Christ was a bad use of free speech?

This is nonsense. Those "violent radicals" have agency.

See also: (a bit nsfw)

For example … ?

You're utterly ignorant of your own country's 'human rights tribunals'? How do you have the audacity to remark on anything at all?

Art - the human rights tribunals are about enforcing non-discrimination, not silencing free speech. For example, your employer can't harass you about your race, gender or sexual orientation, and cannot take these into account for hiring/firing decisions.

A private citizen can say what they want, but employers do not have the right to treat people like garbage or discriminate.

If you think treating people like garbage deserves protection as free speech, then I encourage you to open a business and see how long it takes you to get sued.

Free speech isn't about the right to treat people like garbage.

Hate speech, harassment and discrimination do not receive protection in Canada, nor should they. And anyways, this is quite a different matter from the suggestion of SMFS that "Canada has entire government bodies set up to prevent some people expressing opinions." It's not about silencing opinions, which you can express in many ways, it's about ensuring that people can enjoy the expectation of being able to go about their everyday life without being treated like garbage.

Art – the human rights tribunals are about enforcing non-discrimination, not silencing free speech.

Nathan, everyone here present is aware of the distinction between a sales pitch and a true description except...Nathan, who presumes to instruct the rest of us. The experience Messrs. Steyn and Levant had with the 'human rights tribunals' should have discredited the sales pitch for any sentient being.

(While we're at it, 'enforcing non-discimination' is an affront to freedom of contract, freedom of association, and any free man. Canada is largely bereft of free men).

"” Canada has entire government bodies set up to prevent some people expressing opinions.”

For example … ?"

I give you, the Canadian Human Rights Commission:

"No one’s preventing you from expressing your opinion. It’s just that some violent radicals are touchy (understatement) about a certain image."

Sophistry for Dummies, 1 ed.

Hilariously stupid, Nathan. Whom was Steyn preventing from being hired? Or the priests who were targeted for writing in a magazine?

Some people think that free speech is the right to treat people like garbage.

What about the freedom to live free of harassment and discrimination?

You are free to publish books entitled "Why I hate Muslims/gays/etc.". You can start your own website (many have done so). And others, using their free speech, are free to speak out against these people.

Actions have consequences, as the right wing always likes to remind people. Only, they feel that they should not face consequences when their actions negatively affect others. Damned hypocrites, if you ask me.

Nathan W January 5, 2016 at 11:24 pm

Some people think that free speech is the right to treat people like garbage.

Yeah. That is exactly what free speech is. If you are only allowed to say the things Big Brother thinks are nice, you do not have free speech.

What about the freedom to live free of harassment and discrimination?

There is no such right in the American constitution. Nor in anyone else's. Nor do Leftists in the West manage to achieve this. They simply stop non-Leftists comment on it. After all, the girls of Rotherham had a legal right not to be raped, much less harassed and discriminated against. People who pointed out they were raped - including some parents - were jailed.

You are free to publish books entitled “Why I hate Muslims/gays/etc.”. You can start your own website (many have done so). And others, using their free speech, are free to speak out against these people.

In America. Not in Canada. Not in Britain. Not in Australia.

Actions have consequences, as the right wing always likes to remind people. Only, they feel that they should not face consequences when their actions negatively affect others. Damned hypocrites, if you ask me.

Even if I suggested every Muslim in the world ought to be forcibly converted at the point of a sword, how would that negatively affect anyone? You just make up these claims to justify your prejudices. No more. All the while protecting non-Westerners from the consequences of their actions. The hypocrisy here is not ours. It is yours.

We agree Nathan W. I am so very glad you will join me in explaining to your fellow leftist that because many different forms of Protestantism are allowed to flourish in the US that we have no need to protect the religious freedoms of Muslims. After all as long as many different kinds of religion are allowed there is no need to make sure a specific religion is allowed.

Just because I don't like to exaggerate the threat of Muslims, which cause fewer deaths than slippery bathtubs, doesn't mean I'm a leftist.

Anyways, I'm pretty sure that the constitution is quite clear that no religion shall be afforded special protections, in that all religions are protected in the USA.

People are being murdered for drawing cartoons of Mohammed and you say you don't like to exaggerate the threat of Muslims? Do tell.

I’m pretty sure that the constitution is quite clear that no religion shall be afforded special protections

Well, you're wrong, although you're right about how it's been interpreted.

Fewer people get killed by Muslim extremists than die in their bathtubs, having slipped and broken their hips, etc.

Terrorism is real, but some folks exaggerate the threat enormously, and are practically falling over themselves to facilitate the rise of the police state to combat something that is less dangerous, in the West, than hundreds or thousands of things.

> There are a million ways to criticize Islam without making pictures of Mohammed

Yeah, that's called non-free or limited speech.

Furthermore, what other things would be de facto or de jure banned in a Western European country if it became majority mudlim? WE MIGHT BE ABLE TO ANSWER QUESTIONS LIKE THESE IF WE RAN SOME POLICY EXPERIMENTS.

The Middle East would be empty before Europe became majority Muslim by migration.

If Europeans are concerned about maintaining their values and institutions in the face of migration, they should reach out to newcomers and involve them in their communities so they can learn about the values that are important to Europeans. Fearmongering is likely to have the opposite effect.

If Europeans are concerned about maintaining their values and institutions in the face of migration, they should reach out to newcomers and involve them in their communities so they can learn about the values that are important to Europeans. Fearmongering is likely to have the opposite effect.

Yeah, that'll work.

What do you suggest Art? There seem to be two streams of thinking. 1) Reach out, be nice, and teach them the language and values of their new home. 2) Treat them like garbage to try to convince them to leave.

Which one to you think will lead to better long term results? Or do you suggest a different approach?

My 'approach' is to understand that a nation is a nation and not a hotel. Most countries will have a fairly low stress-tolerance for settler immigration, which is why there should be very little of it. The last thing you should do is put legal fences around migrant populations, ruin freedom of contract and association, and ply migrants with welfare benefits. That's a recipe for what you have now in the suburbs of Paris.

> they should reach out to newcomers and involve them in their communities so they can learn about the values that are important to Europeans.

And the muslims may very well say "oh, thanks, your values are very interesting but we would quite like to obliterate them".

To put it another way, you are trying to answer an empirical question using ideology. I would prefer to answer it with .... an experiment.

The Middle East would be empty before Europe became majority Muslim by migration.

If Europeans are concerned about maintaining their values and institutions in the face of migration, they should reach out to newcomers and involve them in their communities so they can learn about the values that are important to Europeans. Fearmongering is likely to have the opposite effect.

Sophistry for Dummies, 1st ed.

If you spend your life telling someone that they are evil, eventually they might give up on trying to be decent.

You are letting a very small minority of extremists define the other 1.6 billion. Allowing anecdotes to rule your mind.

If a non-Moslem is not free to depict Mohammed, it's only a short time before he is not free to publicly declare Mohammed a false prophet, a murderous villain, or a pedophile either.

In my experience, in actual conversations with actual Muslims in actual Muslim majority countries, Muslims are not prone to violence if you don't believe that Mohammed was a messenger from God.

There might be some mentally ill brainwashed nutjob extremists with a proclivity to violence. They are the problem, not Muslims in general.

In my experience,

People actually read the papers and the results of social survey research, Nathan, as inconvenient as that may be to you. People here can observe the frames and filters you use, and interpret your 'experience' accordingly.

And how do they react when you point out that Mohammed was a lying mentally ill extremist rapist prone to violence?

If Muslims in general were not the problem, then Muslims wouldn't be exiting en masse from countries where they are the demographic majority.

Anecdotal evidence, the cornerstone of Sophistry for Dummies.

In my experience, in actual conversations with actual Muslims in actual Muslim majority countries, Muslims are not prone to violence if you don’t believe that Mohammed was a messenger from God.

And how many thousands have you brought this up with? Because we're talking about over a billion people. 0.1% is a hell of a lot of dangerous lunatics.

In Mali, Egypt, Indonesia and India ... spoke about religion with lots of Muslims, and they seemed quite happy to do s o even if I promised them 100% that I wasn't interested in conversion, and just wanted to learn.

Anyways, it seems like the Islamophobes are prone to making a big deal over anecdotes. There's a civil war going on in Islam, and some of it has spilled over. Most Muslims are genuinely decent people. Don't believe me? Go to a mosque, ask a random person to tell you about Islam, resist the temptation to change the conversation to negative stereotypes, and you'll find that they are pretty decent people. Oh, but there's some anecdote ... but if there's an anecdote about a white man, religion is irrelevant because he's just "mentally ill".

You're letting the actions of a small minority of violent extremists define the other 1.6 billion.

Pshrnk - "How do they react when you point out that Mohammed was a lying mentally ill extremist rapist prone to violence?"

I think they would probably feel sorry for someone who's so obvoiusly been brainwashed by Islamophobes, and perhaps if you weren't being too much of an asshole and were willing to listen, they might try to set the record straight.

By modern standards, most Europeans in history were also paedophiles, it having been common to marry away girls on parental orders in their early teens. I think the modern standards are much better for a whole host of reasons, but a) you're applying norms of one era to another era and b) you are doing so to the group that you don't like but ignoring that it also happened in your very own group.

Moreover, it is not established as historical fact that he had sex with the nine-year old that he married. According to tradition, it was acceptable to marry a girl after her first period. But some versions of the story suggest that they didn't actually have sex until she was in her twenties.

it having been common to marry away girls on parental orders in their early teens.

Where and when, Nathan?

Everywhere. In almost all of history.

Like, what do you think it means to have a Barmitvzvah at 13 for boys and 12 for girls? Was ancient Israel a nation of paedophiles or were there simply different standards back then?

Here's a useful wiki on the question: I highlight that the Romans approved of girls being married at 12, that European canonical law approved marriages as young as 7 (not to be consummated until puberty - identical to Qur'anic law), and that marriage of girls under the age of 12 was normal in both early USA and the UK.

Think about it: girls start getting their periods around ages 8-13. That's kind of evolutionary proof that this is the normal beginning of child bearing age. Thankfully, we've evolved socially, which allows women to make something of themselves before getting bogged down with children and spouses.

Everywhere. In almost all of history.

No, Nathan. Only in your imagination. Read Angus Maddison about how European demographics differed from Indian demographics, for a start. Or, examine available church registries from the early modern period. This notion that it has been a regular occidental practice to marry off 13 year olds has no reality outside the space between your ears.

This comment has about as much relationship to fact as Mandeville's Travels.

Here's another useful wiki:

Why exactly are you defending marrying a 12 year old? Just because it was legal with the consent of the parents doesn't mean a large proportion of people did it.

To say that most Europeans were married at any point in their life to someone under 16 would be completely false. In 1890 the average age of marriage was 22 for females and 26 for males, and there is substantial evidence that it was trending down, not up, at this time, as the age steadily decreased until the 1970s.

I think those are American figures. The nadir was around 1956.

I've seen figures for colonial Massachusetts which have the median age at first marriage for women at 20 years and men at 28 years. That's in a predominantly agricultural society with a much lower man-land ratio than most parts of Europe.

It is worth noting that "most of history" is something like 10,000 BC to 1000 AD.

I do not consider examples from the 1800s to run counter to this.

However, it's obviously a good thing that young adults are not legally allowed to marry at such ripe ages any more.

It is worth noting that “most of history” is something like 10,000 BC to 1000 AD.

Uh, no. From about 3200 BC forward, and notably later outside the Near East. And you made explicit reference to occidental civilization, with regard to which you're just wrong.

Let me correct myself to say what I meant. History since we were humans (not pre-humans). I'm not referring to the written record here.

Our church has confirmation for boys and girls at age 12. It doesn't mean that they can thereafter get married. And if Nathan W thinks that medieval Jews had bar(!) mitzvahs for girls, he definitely doesn't know much about Jewish culture.

I think the argument from politeness carries weight mainly because of the unfunniness of political cartoons.
I too wouldn't care if political cartoons, Mohammed-y or otherwise, went away altogether, but not out of a compulsion to observe a tenet of a religion that's not my own.
If The Simpsons are ever unleashed on Islam - well, I would die on that hill.

The whole point of free speech is that no one but the speaker has any authority decide what is or is not a "poor use."

And, should this principle be threatened by a de-facto prohibition on cartoons of Mohammed then producing, printing, displaying and publishing them seems an excellent way to say, loudly and unambiguously, that free speech shall not be abrogated ( by restricting its exercise to "good" uses or other means).

Sounds like your proposed experiment has been tried and found wanting.

I've got an idea: we could give these people their own countries and see how they turn out. We could call them "Pakistan" or "Syria."

There have been mass migrations all through history and still there's a world with people on it. One difference is that this time it's not well-armed Vikings, Mongols or Vandals determined to make pyramids out of European skulls. Looks like if a significant portion of the European population is opposed to dancing demographics they should elect some new leadership.

That's a trite statement. The US, Chile, Turkey et al. are the results of mass migrations; there were winners and losers.

Voluntarily opening the borders of your high trust society to millions of net tax consumers from clannish, low trust societies is not good policy. It's also hard to organize against the welfare state when it gets to import its own constituency, tax citizens for their upkeep, and label any criticism of its policy as immoral.

Tyler, I think this speaks to your political economy concerns about open borders.

Liberals on Muslim immigration are insincere or inconsistent

Or you are attacking a (pictured!) straw man? Or at least one that is not representative of many liberals?

Here is an example:

"Republican war on women" quoting Wikipedia
Prominent Democrats such as Nancy Pelosi[5] and Barbara Boxer,[6] as well as feminists, have used the phrase to criticize proponents of these laws as trying to force their social views on women through legislation

Do they ever mention "Islam war on women" ?

1. You have produced zero examples that match the cartoon you posted previously- i.e. a liberal permitting misogyny because it was a Muslim. Might exist, but that type of cultural relativism is extremely rare.

2. Liberals do talk about the lack of women's rights around the world, certainly more than conservatives who only seem to bring up the topic when insulting Islam.

Sorry, I think you mean extremely common. Have we already forgotten Rotherham?

1- I think it's common. Your commander in chief says Islam is a religion of peace; Certainly it is not towards women, or apostates or gays, or Christians who are leaving the Middle East ( Pakistan small Christian minority is subject to intense discrimination and segregation. )

Say anything negative against Islam and you're labeled an Islamophobe. Criticism of the religion itself is off limits

Bush said the same thing. What would you have the president say? "Bring it on?"

And he's not our commander in chief. He's commander in chief of the military.

Cliff - Yes, Rotherham happened. It is not, however, the general story.

"Yes, Rotherham happened. It is not, however, the general story."

Sophistry for Dummies, 1st ed.

@Original D Sorry, He is commonly referred to as commander in chief. Here is Mc Cain calling him just that

I would like the president ( Obama or Bush) to not say : "Islam is a religion of peace" when it clearly isn't. I am not hearing Trump say it.

I think feminists are aghast at the treatment of women in some Muslim lands.

But they sensibly focus on the battles closer to home. What good would it do for them to complain that things are worse somewhere else, when they are trying to make things better here?

So, the National Organization of Women has endorsed restricting immigration of young male Muslims?

Steve, are young male Muslim immigrants the main reason American women don't get paid family leave?

When did paid family leave leap frog rape/ sexual assault on the feminist hierarchy of importance?

It's curious how all of a sudden leftists adopted this alogical tick of insisting that so long as a condition exists contributing to the exacerbation of that issue doesn't matter. Importing thousands of men intractably opposed to paid "family leave" seems like a strange way of further a goal Ricardo. Unless that is you don't really care all that much about the goal except so far as it can be used as a political weapon. There's no logically way for someone who supports paid family leave to support brining tens of thousands of Syrian refugees without admitting that bolstering the reserve army of the Democrat GOTV takes precedence over any women's issues. And that's fine but it also means when you get right down to it feminism matters more to Steve Sailer than it does to you. Which is saying something.

Sam - Why should feminists be obliged to take on battles a world away where they have no reason whatsoever to think that they should have access to political power, when they still have their sights on equality at home?

There is no hypocrisy in American feminists advocating for women in America, where they are citizens, but not wasting their time advocating for women in countries that are sure to ignore them.

That having been said, perhaps they would do well do work for something like "re-education" for some newcomers along the lines of "how to treat a woman".

What is paid family leave? Feminists want women to be paid not to work?

Josh - Most Western countries have paid maternity leave, often between one year and two years, which gives them a public benefit often through employment insurance, and allows them to return to their previous job after this period. This allows new mothers to spend the first full year with their child. An increasing number of countries also allow men to take leave as a part of the same program, allowing the father to offer this care for the infant while the mother stays at work.

The sad news was Spain, Italy and Greece being admitted to EEC in the 80s. Today's new border control are part of the consequences.

The original EFTA together with EEC would have made a fine passport free travel zone.

Greece belongs in EU no more than Aruba belongs in NAFTA.

Italy was a founder member. Have you heard of Wikipedia?

You knew I meant Portugal!

Spain actually does a good job of controlling their borders with effective controls and bribing Morocco to cooperate. They seem to have less interest in experimenting with Muslim immigration than other Western Europeans. I wonder why?

Judging by the number of blacks in Spanish cities who a) speak poor Spanish and b) pack up their vendor stands and disappear whenever the police come near, I'm not sure the Spanish do such a great job. It seems to me that there is fairly high public tolerance of the police not trying very hard to catch these folks though.

If you consider Catalonia as an independent territory (as they love to be viewed), Catalonia is just behind France and Belgium in terms of % of Muslim population.

Everyone on this message board is overestimating the pull factors and underestimating the push factors.

Previously I wondered if Denmark had reached the limit for her human resources to handle the problem. Sweden's action is basically that she does not believe that Denmark is able to pre-screen out the undesirables transiting to Sweden.

This belief is correct. There is no pre-screening.

I read in the newspaper today that Danes of Unusual Size are preparing to smuggle asylum seekers to Sweden to evade id checks. One of those behind it is Annika Holm Nielsen, "a candidate for the left-Green Enhedslisten". In general, it seems the Green parties of Europe are quite united in working to flood their respective host countries with third-world immigrants. Recall the hot tears of Åsa Romson, of the Swedish Green Party, when she had to close the borders.

As it happens, the very same people did that already in September. "Now that you remind me, yes, it was a bit like ferrying jews across during WW2." Except for a few unimportant details, but who is counting? The article above helpfully lists the legal consequences of doing this; alas, one should not get one's hopes up that the Coast Guard will sink, burn and destroy the danish vessels.

This is not just a matter of European integration. Denmark and Sweden have had permeable frontiers to each other, and to citizens of the other Nordic countries, since the 1950s.

A large portion of the comments here are conflating internal and external border controls. The Schengen area can have open internal borders without open immigration if all external borders are well controlled. These six countries would be better off either (1) providing financial and logistical support to Greece and other southern and eastern countries to improve their external borders, or (2) taking steps toward kicking those countries out of the Schengen area, i.e. imposing border controls at Greece, Hungary, etc.

'A large portion of the comments here are conflating internal and external border controls.'


Thank you for pointing this out! Was beginning to wonder if I missed something b/c no one was talking about this.

US/EU/NATO: First recruit, train and finance them, then use them against whatever regime doesnt obey you, then declare them as "evil". Then bomb them, then invite them.

We bomb them because we invite them. Globalism isn't cheap.

I had a feeling that this refugee issue would eventually lead to this. Still, this is a sad day for Europe. A setback for the European dream. Was it always just a dream?

Only to people who believe in Magic Dirt theory. The rest of us are saying we told you so.

Sweden re-imposed controls on visitors crossing from Denmark

Those rotten Swedes. I have been waiting a long time to say that. I am just kidding though.

This thread is hilarious as seemingly bright men blinker their evolutionary-endowed pattern recognition and declare themselves unable to predict what might happen when over a miillion Arabs and Africans cross the Hajnal lines. We already have an ongoing experiment in what happens with large numbers of Arab and African Muslims in a country: it's called the Maghreb and the Middle East. Lara Logan experienced it, and was "sexually assaulted," a euphemistic phrase for whatever was done to her that put her in a hospital for four days. She has actually never recovered. This experiment is also ongoing in Sweden; look up their rape statistics. Funny, I don't hear about these kinds of events happening in Israel. Maybe we could ask the Israelis for their input on this crucial question?

Tyler, your policy prescriptions are inflicting real and permanent harm on people. Stop it.

I am broadly in favour of immigration. I tend to see "illegal" immigration as an abstraction that hides a market movement. But to me this news is more about yet another of the EU's "can't happen" things happening.

To me this isn't about pro- or anti-immigration, but about the EU being predicated on being able to predict the future, and then being unable to do so.

If the market governed movements of people, then the category of "immigrant" would no longer exist.

Nor would civil rights laws, public education, procedural rights, or "free" food, shelter and medical care.

Highly predictable outcome. As even Tyler acknowledged, the utopian desire to promote unrestrained free movement in the here and now will guarantee that movement will be more restricted in the coming half century than it was in the last. But the equilibrium has become unstable and things could get out of hand very quickly. Free movement ideologues like Caplan and Tabarrok only do the causes of both liberty and order harm in the real world.

zz - I'm not defending marrying 12 year old girls.

I'm saying that it used to be accepted, and that we should evaluate people by the norms of their time. Similarly, I do not berate George Washington as a slave owner. But in both cases, we easily acknowledge that it is no longer acceptable, and these are good things.

I am glad that this is no longer normal. There are plenty of reasons to oppose child marriage.

Comments for this post are closed