Posted: April 20, 2017 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Global, History, Mediasphere, Religion, Terrorism | Tags: Ami Horowitz, Immigration, Islamism, Jihadism, Muslim, Prager University, Rape, Sweden
We’ve read and watched the news of Muslim immigration overwhelming Sweden. But how bad is it really? See this firsthand account from documentary filmmaker Ami Horowitz, who shows why increased Muslim immigration is leading to a spike in rapes and other violent crime.
Posted: March 7, 2017 Filed under: History, Mediasphere, Politics, Think Tank | Tags: Activism, Andrew Breitbart, Barack Obama, Breitbart News, CNN, Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox News Channel, Greg Gutfeld, Investigative journalism, journalism, MSNBC, Righteous Indignation, RUSSIA, Sweden, The Huffington Post, Twitter
Random thoughts on the fifth anniversary of his death
By now everyone knows Breitbart.com. But how well do they know the guy who started it all?
Andrew Breitbart died five years ago last week, so I’m thinking it might pay to remind people where the name “Breitbart” hails from: a man who is no longer on this earth, but seems to be felt everywhere.
First, Andrew was one of the deepest, funniest, smartest individuals I’ve ever met — and the world deserves to know him. Most people know of my relationship with A.B. — though I don’t talk about it much, unless I’m asked.
[Order Andrew’s legendary book “Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!” from Amazon.com]
In short, we wrote together, talked daily about everything. We conspired hourly for weeks at a time — from our start at the Huffington Post (yes, kids, he launched that site, and I wrote for it) to the Anthony Weiner episode — almost entirely and accidentally choreographed by Breitbart himself. He graced my show Redeye many times, peppering it with memorably absurd appearances. We always drank and sometimes got into trouble afterward (see the Opie and Anthony appearance after the Anthony Weiner press conference). I edited his pieces sometimes, helped organize his second book and helped when I could on his latest endeavors. This went on for nearly a decade, until his death.
“Andrew died a great man, and his life — and death — spawned a movement. In my humble opinion, you could not have had the election of Donald Trump without the phenomenon that was (and still is) Andrew Breitbart.”
Sadly, I had the honor that no one wants when it comes to a close friend: to speak at the reception following his funeral.
If Breitbart is part of your everyday lexicon, then you should know where the moniker hails from. Andrew Breitbart was a joyful, hilarious man. How many people know that? They must know that.
[Read the full story here, at Fox News]
There is a grim silver lining when you die young. There’s no additional 30 years of assorted career changes, gaps of non-exciting employment and detours into events that muddy early great achievements. If you live
long enough, you become disappointing.
Andrew died a great man, and his life — and death — spawned a movement. In my humble opinion, you could not have had the election of Donald Trump without the phenomenon that was (and still is) Andrew Breitbart.
* * *
Andrew was about waging war with the left by using the left’s tactics. His foot soldiers are everywhere now, and their footprints are all over the faces of the shocked liberals who never saw them coming.
Andrew was inclusive, not solely ideological. He was a party leader who wanted a tent big enough for everyone, not a litmus test for locksteppers. He might have rubbed shoulders with the religious, the vocally right-wing, the hardcore moralistic — but he had no tolerance for those who demonized by lifestyle. Did you know Andrew backed out of CPAC because it initially refused to allow gay groups to speak?
When groups planned to boycott CPAC 2011, Andrew promised to throw a bash for right-wing gays. He wanted to call it the “first annual Roy Cohn CPAC Breitbart Homocon Welcoming ’80s Extravaganza.” Breitbart loved exceedingly long titles. Overdoing it was his way of doing it.
* * *
Andrew once was a liberal, but like all liberals with a brain, he wised up. He was a crappy student (he wasn’t much of a reader, he admitted) who liked to party, and he was a default liberal — simply because it was easy and without risk. But when he saw the Clarence Thomas hearings, he transformed from a goofy, partying liberal into a libertarian/conservative Reaganite. He worked for Matt Drudge and then he gravitated toward Arianna Huffington, working as her researcher before helping launch her celebrity-drenched site. He told me his purpose at HuffPo: By giving a voice to liberal celebrities about political issues, he could show the world how absurd their beliefs really were. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: March 3, 2017 Filed under: Global, War Room | Tags: Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, Baltic Sea, Baltic states, Conscription, Crimea, Donald Trump, Jens Stoltenberg, NATO, RUSSIA, Russian Armed Forces, Sweden, United States, United States Secretary of Defense
Old joke: Where do the Swiss keep their armies?
Answer at the bottom.
STOCKHOLM (AFP-Jiji) — Sweden is to reintroduce compulsory military service, seven years after abandoning it, to respond to global security challenges including Russia’s assertive behavior in the Baltic Sea region, Stockholm said Thursday.
“We are in a context where Russia has annexed Crimea,” Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist told AFP, adding, “They are doing more exercises in our immediate vicinity.”
Sweden has had a professional army, staffed by volunteers, since 2010.
“We saw that our units could not be filled on a voluntary basis. A decision had to be taken to complement the [volunteer] system, which is why we are reactivating conscription,” Hultqvist said.
A non-NATO member, Sweden has not seen armed conflict on its territory in two centuries. It put conscription on hold in 2010 after it was deemed an unsatisfactory way of meeting the needs of a modern army.
In the past two decades the military’s budget has been slashed as its mission was revamped to focus more on peacekeeping operations abroad and less on the country’s defense.
But in recent years, concerns have risen about Russia’s intentions in the region — with alarms bells ringing after Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea Peninsula in 2014, experts noted. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: February 20, 2017 Filed under: Breaking News, Crime & Corruption | Tags: Assault, Police officer, Stockholm, Sweden
Police were forced Monday evening to fire warning shots after having been subjected to stone throwing in connection with the arrest of a wanted person. Later in the evening were several cars on fire and an unknown number of shops looted.
[Translated from Swedish]
Police were forced Monday evening to fire warning shots after having been subjected to stone throwing in connection with the arrest of a wanted person. Later in the evening were several cars on fire and an unknown number of shops looted. After midnight it should be have been quiet in the area.
It was in connection with the police to arrest a wanted person at the metro station in Rinkeby at 20 o’clock on Monday evening that they had stones thrown against it.
– A police officer was injured in the arm associated with it and they were forced to fire warning shots, said Lars Bystrom at Stockholm police.
– After police managed to get away with the arrested.
Cars have been set on fire
After the event at the Metro launched a new riots in the area shortly after 22 pm, when several car fires started nearby.
According to the emergency services should it move about a dozen cars. The police are talking about fewer cars, seven or eight. Some shops in the area should also have been subjected to looting, but it is according to the police during the night is not clear to what extent.
40 involved in riots
It is unclear exactly how many people were involved in the riot
– A 30, 40, 50, some may have disappeared, others have been added, it is difficult to get a handle on exactly how many, said police spokesperson Lars Bystrom to SVT News.
“Should get peace and quiet”
The police then regrouped to assist the emergency services in fire fighting.
– Now we have added proper resources to ensure the peace and quiet of the area, says Lars Bystrom. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: August 28, 2016 Filed under: Censorship, Global, Russia, Terrorism, War Room | Tags: Chancellor (education), Democratic Party (United States), Disinformation, European Union, Germany, propaganda, Sigmar Gabriel, Sweden, Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, United States, Vladimir Putin
Using both conventional media and covert channels, the Kremlin relies on disinformation to create doubt, fear and discord in Europe and the United States.
STOCKHOLM — NATO, officials in Stockholm suddenly encountered an unsettling problem: a flood of distorted and outright false information on social media, confusing public perceptions of the issue.
With a vigorous national debate underway on whether Sweden should enter a military partnership with
“People were not used to it, and they got scared, asking what can be believed, what should be believed?”
— Marinette Nyh Radebo, Mr. Hultqvist’s spokeswoman
The claims were alarming: If Sweden, a non-NATO member, signed the deal, the alliance would stockpile secret nuclear weapons on Swedish soil; NATO could attack Russia from Sweden without government approval; NATO soldiers, immune from prosecution, could rape Swedish women without fear of criminal charges.
“Moscow views world affairs as a system of special operations, and very sincerely believes that it itself is an object of Western special operations. I am sure that there are a lot of centers, some linked to the state, that are involved in inventing these kinds of fake stories.”
— Gleb Pavlovsky, helped establish the Kremlin’s information machine before 2008.
They were all false, but the disinformation had begun spilling into the traditional news media, and as the defense minister, Peter Hultqvist, traveled the country to promote the pact in speeches and town hall meetings, he was repeatedly grilled about the bogus stories.
Sweden’s defense minister, Peter Hultqvist, last month at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. He has tried to counteract disinformation that has threatened to sway public debate in Sweden about a proposed military partnership with NATO. Saul Loeb/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
“The planting of false stories is nothing new; the Soviet Union devoted considerable resources to that during the ideological battles of the Cold War. Now, though, disinformation is regarded as an important aspect of Russian military doctrine, and it is being directed at political debates in target countries with far greater sophistication and volume than in the past.”
“People were not used to it, and they got scared, asking what can be believed, what should be believed?” said Marinette Nyh Radebo, Mr. Hultqvist’s spokeswoman.
[Read the full story here, at The New York Times]
As often happens in such cases, Swedish officials were never able to pin down the source of the false reports. But they, numerous analysts and experts in American and European intelligence point to Russia as the prime suspect, noting that preventing NATO expansion is a centerpiece of the foreign policy of President Vladimir V. Putin, who invaded Georgia in 2008 largely to forestall that possibility.
In Crimea, eastern Ukraine and now Syria, Mr. Putin has flaunted a modernized and more muscular military. But he lacks the economic strength and overall might to openly confront NATO, the European Union or the United States. Instead, he has invested heavily in a program of “weaponized” information, using a variety of means to sow doubt and division. The goal is to weaken cohesion among member states, stir discord in their domestic politics and blunt opposition to Russia. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: June 2, 2016 Filed under: Censorship, Crime & Corruption, Mediasphere, Religion, Terrorism | Tags: Australia, Child abduction, Immigration, Islamism, Lesotho, Migrant, Migration, Muslim, Occupation, Rape, Sentebale, Sweden, Sweden Democrats
Where did peaceful, low-crime Sweden go? Why does Sweden now have the second-highest number of rapes in the world, after only Lesotho?
Posted: December 19, 2015 Filed under: Economics, Global, Mediasphere | Tags: East Asia, Extreme poverty, Jim Yong Kim, Poverty, Poverty threshold, Sub-Saharan Africa, Sweden, United Nations, World Bank, World population
For the first time, extreme poverty has fallen below 10% of the global population.
The new global poverty line uses updated price data to paint a more accurate picture of the costs of basic food, clothing and shelter needs around the world. In other words, the real value of $1.90 in today’s prices is the same as $1.25 was in 2005.
[Read the full story here, at Business Insider]
East Asian and Pacific regions have made the most progress. In 1990 just over 60% of the population lived in poverrty. Today that number is estimated at 4.1%. South Asia has also shown progress, moving from 51% to 13.5%, while sub-Saharan Africa remains the most challenged by poverty with 35.2% of the population living on less than $1.90 a day.
Investments in education, health and social safety, in addition to strong growth in developing countries,have been mainly responsible for the rapid decline in global poverty. “This new forecast of poverty falling into the single digits should give us new momentum and help us focus even more clearly on the most effective strategies to end extreme poverty,” said Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank, in a statement. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 30, 2015 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Global, Mediasphere, War Room | Tags: Iraq, Police, Rape, Rape Victim, Refugee, Sexual assault, Sweden
Posted: July 12, 2015 Filed under: Mediasphere | Tags: Angela Merkel, Antisemitism, Black people, Central bank, Charlie Hebdo, Ed Miliband, EUROPE, Gothenburg, Greece, Islam, Islamic terrorism, Islamism, Islamophobia, Jews, LGBT, Muslim, Paris, Sveriges Riksbank, Sweden, Swedish krona, Thorbjørn Jagland, University of Gothenburg
Previously, Michael Skråmo worked to counter what he described as an unfair and misleading picture of Muslims as violent fanatics. Now Skråmo preaches jihad and calls Swedish jihadists to leave Sweden and join the holy war
The 29-year-old Swede, who today calls himself “Abdul Samad al Swedi”, grew up in Gothenburg. He converted to Islam during a field trip to Egypt about ten years ago and has since been engaged in a series of tax-funded Muslim organizations.
In 2009 he was invited to SVT, where he told Swedish viewers how Muslim phobia (Islamophobia) and hatred was spread around Europe.
Previously, the Swede have been heavily involved to counter what he described as a misleading picture of Muslims as violent fanatics. In an episode of SVT debate, which can be seen on Youtube, he attacked the malicious picture of Muslims spread in Europe.
“This fear is based on ignorance of Islam,” Michael Skråmo said. […]
Michael Skråmo, 29, took the whole family – his little four children and wife – to the IS-controlled area inside Syria. Now Skråmo filmed a propaganda video outside the Syrian city Kobane where he preaches jihad and calls Swedish jihadists to leave Sweden and join the “holy war”. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: March 19, 2015 Filed under: Breaking News, Crime & Corruption, Global | Tags: Aftonbladet, Agence France-Presse, AK-47, Bandidos Motorcycle Club, Biskopsgaarden, Gang, Gothenburg, Hells Angels, Shooting, Sveriges Television, Sweden
There have been dozens of shootings involving criminal gangs in Gothenburg, many of them in the Biskopsgaarden area, a housing estate with a large immigrant population and high unemployment
Several people were killed and more wounded after at least one gunman armed with an automatic weapon opened fire in a pub in western Sweden late Wednesday, police said, with the death toll expected to rise.
“There was a shooting in a pub. There have been several fatalities and a number of the injured have been brought to hospital…An automatic weapon was used…we can’t rule out that it’s gang-related. We’ve had problems for some time with gang crime in this area.”
— Police spokeswoman Ulla Brehm
“There was a shooting in a pub. There have been several fatalities and a number of the injured have been brought to hospital,” police spokeswoman Ulla Brehm told AFP.
[Also see At Least 8 People Injured After Shooting at Shopping Mall in Goteborg, Sweden]
“An automatic weapon was used… we can’t rule out that it’s gang-related. We’ve had problems for some time with gang crime in this area,” she added.
“I didn’t have time to think what was happening. Then I saw that my friend was bleeding. I tried to stop the flow of blood as well as I could with my hands.”
— A man who gave his name as “Rocky” to public broadcaster SVT
An eyewitness told tabloid Aftonbladet that two people entered the pub in the Gothenburg suburb of Biskopsgaarden with weapons that looked like Kalashnikovs and started shooting.
“We were sitting watching the football game when the shooters came in,” the witness said.
Another witness described how fast the shootings occurred.
“I didn’t have time to think what was happening. Then I saw that my friend was bleeding. I tried to stop the flow of blood as well as I could with my hands,” a man who gave his name as “Rocky” told public broadcaster SVT.
Police did not confirm the number of gunmen but said in a statement that the death toll was expected to rise.
Emergency services told newspaper GT that eight people were brought to hospital by ambulance and other Swedish media reported two dead. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: March 18, 2015 Filed under: Breaking News, Crime & Corruption, Global | Tags: Air ambulance, Ambulance, Bellevue Mosque, Cathays, Christmas, Daihatsu Materia, Gothenburg, Lars Vilks, Sveriges Television, Sweden
[Also see – Sweden: Several Dead at Gothenburg Pub, Criminal Gangs in Biskopsgaarden Suspected]
At least eight people have been injured and taken to hospital after a shooting at Hisingen in Gothenburg. It confirms SOS Alarm for SVT News . Eight people have been hospitalized after a shooting at Vårväderstorget on Hisingen in Gothenburg, says SOS Alarm.
“First we got into it was five injured , then it turned out that there were three more. We sent a total of ten ambulances to the scene. Right now , I can see that five of them are at the hospital and unload injured.”
Jack Soderberg at SOS , Expressen
Ten ambulances and a large number of police were sent to the scene. The alarm came to the police at 22:23.
The shooting took place inside a restaurant on Vårväderstorget says Jenny Widén, spokesperson for the police Western Region. Damage State of the shot is still unclear , according to police. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: February 9, 2015 Filed under: Art & Culture, Entertainment | Tags: Academy Award, Cinema, Dead Reckoning, design, Eric Rohman, Film poster, graphics, Heritage Auctions, Illustration, John Cromwell, Lizabeth Scott, Movie Poster, Movies, Poster Art, Sweden, vintage
Swedish poster for “Dead Reckoning” (John Cromwell, USA, 1947) [see also]
Designer: Eric Rohman (1891-1949) [see also]
Poster source: Heritage Auctions
Posted: January 16, 2015 Filed under: Art & Culture | Tags: Cinema, design, Fiction, graphics, Horror, Illustration, Movies, Science fiction, Sweden, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Thriller, vintage
Swedish poster for The Day the Earth Stood Still (left) Compare to the U.S. poster (right)
Posted: January 15, 2015 Filed under: Art & Culture, History | Tags: Der Spiegel, European Union, German Empire, Germans, Germany, Greece, Monarchy, Politics of Germany, Royalty, Sweden, United Kingdom
Can you name these crowns? Answers after the jump… Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 25, 2014 Filed under: Art & Culture, History | Tags: Baltic Sea, Christmas, Copenhagen, Denmark, design, Hirschsprungske Samling, Illustration, Silent Night, Sweden, Viggo Johansen, vintage
Silent Night, 1891 (oil on canvas), Johansen, Viggo (1851-1935) / Hirschsprungske Samling, Copenhagen, Denmark / Bridgeman Images
Posted: August 27, 2014 Filed under: Art & Culture, Mediasphere, Science & Technology | Tags: 3D print, 3D Systems, Frankfurt, Lund University, New Zealand, Olaf Diegel, Saxophone, Selective laser sintering, Sweden
“It really surprised me as to how mechanically complex a sax was and it did make me wonder as to whether the mechanisms could be simplified.”
— Olaf Diegel
While attending Euromold 2013 in Frankfurt, Germany, last December with a band playing 3D-printed instruments, Olaf Diegel was set a challenge by the head of 3D Systems, Avi Reichental. The Professor of product development at Lund University, Sweden was given the task of creating a 3D-printed working saxophone. The first ODD prototype was revealed last week in a short demonstration video, which you can see here.
For the latest addition to the 3D-printed band, Diegel used a traditional alto sax as a design template to match the various key spacings and mechanisms. He worked in SolidWorks CAD software to produce the STL files needed for printing the nylon blower on a selective laser sintering (SLS) printer. The process took around 6 months due to a move from New Zealand to Sweden and other projects that demanded his attention, and the working prototype is made up of 41 components, not including springs and screws. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: May 19, 2014 Filed under: Breaking News, Economics, Global | Tags: France, Geneva, Johann Schneider-Ammann, Minimum wage, Sweden, Switzerland, United States, Voting
Geneva (AFP) – Swiss voters on Sunday rejected a proposal to introduce the world’s highest minimum wage, which would have guaranteed every worker in one of the world’s priciest nations at least $25 an hour.
…the initiative flopped as voters heeded warnings from government and other opponents that it would deal a death blow to many businesses and would weaken Switzerland’s healthy economy…
A proposal to introduce a minimum wage so high it could pass for mid-management pay elsewhere, was rejected by 76,3 percent of Swiss voters.
…Swiss voters also overwhelmingly voted in favour of harsh laws against convicted paedophiles, with 63.5 percent supporting a lifelong ban on them working with children, regardless of the gravity or nature of their crime.
A series of referendums in Switzerland also saw voters nix a multi-billion-dollar deal to buy fighter jets from Sweden and massively support a lifelong ban on convicted paedophiles working with children.
The massive rejection of the “Decent Salary” initiative was widely seen as a slap in the face to its union backers, who insist at least 22 Swiss francs ($25, 18 euros) an hour, or 4,000 francs ($4,515, 3,280 euros) a month, is needed to get by in Switzerland. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: May 8, 2014 Filed under: Art & Culture | Tags: Christmas, Gamla stan, Södermalm, Stockholm, Stockholm County, Sweden, The Scream, Travel and Tourism
Nisse Zetterberg – View from Södermalm, Stockholm, 1948
Posted: April 3, 2014 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, U.S. News | Tags: Ana Trujillo, Andersson, Mexico, Prosecutor, Stiletto heel, Sweden, Trujillo, University of Houston
(AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Brett Coomer)
HOUSTON – A woman attacked her boyfriend in a fit of rage, sat on him after knocking him down and then stabbed him to death with the stiletto heel of her shoe, striking him at least 25 times in the face, a prosecutor told jurors Monday.
The lawyer for 45-year-old Ana Trujillo, however, said it was her client who was attacked, and she defended herself from 59-year-old Alf Stefan Andersson using the only weapon she had available.
Testimony began Monday in Trujillo’s murder trial. Prosecutors say she killed Andersson, who was a University of Houston professor and researcher, during an argument at his condominium in June. She is free on a $100,000 bond.
During opening statements, prosecutor Sarah Mickelson said Trujillo had a history of being angry and aggressive in her contentious on-again, off-again relationship with Andersson, a native of Sweden who became a U.S. citizen.
“The one thing we can be sure of in this case is that Ana Trujillo is not a victim. Ana Trujillo struck Stefan Andersson 25 times with the heel of her shoe while he lay on the floor and bled out.”
— Prosecutor Sarah Mickelson
Mickelson said that earlier in June, Andersson and Trujillo, 45, a native of Mexico, had reconciled.
The prosecutor described Andersson as mild-mannered and quiet, and Trujillo as hot-tempered.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 17, 2013 Filed under: Humor | Tags: Fire alarm system, Hotel, Ice, Ice Hotel, Jukkasjärvi, Kiruna, Sweden, Torne River
The best nanny state order ever?
Jazz Shaw writes: Sweden has a tourist attraction simply known as The Ice Hotel which gets constructed every winter in Jukkasjärvi, Kiruna. Built entirely out of blocks of ice by a collection of artists, it draws a lot of visitors who presumably don’t mind freezing their backsides off just for the fun of staying there… So how does this relate to the problem of nanny state regulations? Well, this year The Ice Hotel will be equipped with one additional feature.
Sweden’s Ice Hotel has been ordered by the National Housing Board to install fire alarms, despite being made completely out of frozen water. The Ice Hotel, which is rebuilt every year in northern Sweden out of enormous chunks of ice from the Torne River in Jukkasjärvi, Kiruna, will this year come equipped with fire alarms – and the irony isn’t lost on the staff.
“We were a little surprised when we found out,” hotel spokeswoman Beatrice Karlsson told The Local.
“But we do understand. Safety is a primary concern for us. There are indeed things that can catch fire, like the reindeer skins, the mattresses, and the pillows.”
While it might sound crazy that a building made of water needs to be equipped with fire alarms, the fact that the hotel is built from scratch every year means it needs to abide by the rules that apply to every new building, rules set by the National Housing Board (Boverket).
There’s really not much left to add, I suppose. Except to say that if you built one in New York, they’d probably need the same equipment plus about 500 union sign-offs before you could erect it. Here’s a video of the project with a few of the artists who are carving it. Enjoy.
Posted: September 17, 2013 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Global | Tags: Drevviken, Masturbation, Prosecutor, Södertörn, Södertörn District Court, Sexual assault, Stockholm, Sweden
I’m gonna move to Sweden!
A man who openly masturbated on a Stockholm beach has been acquitted of sexual assault in court after it was ruled he was not targeting a specific person, with the prosecutor saying it’s “okay” to play with yourself in public.
The incident occurred on June 6th at the Drevviken beach when the man removed his shorts and began masturbating close to the water. He was subsequently charged with sexual assault.
The Södertörn District Court has now acquitted the 65-year old in a judgement which stated that it “may be proven that the man exposed himself and masturbated on this occasion”.
However, the court added that no offence had been committed as the masturbating man was not pleasuring himself towards a specific person. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 9, 2013 Filed under: Economics | Tags: Austria, Finland, Hong Kong, Huffington Post, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, United States
TIME.com‘s Samantha Grossman writes: Americans have the largest disposable incomes in the world, but that doesn’t mean they’re the dropping the most cash on food, alcohol and tobacco. Analyzing data from the USDA and EuroMonitor International, the folks over at the Huffington Post noted that as a whole, Americans spend a smaller portion of their incomes on food than their peers in other developed nations. On a more comprehensive ranking, which factors in all money spent on food eaten at home, dining out, alcohol and tobacco, the U.S. places just nineteenth. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 5, 2013 Filed under: Economics, Mediasphere | Tags: CataCombo Sound System, Catatomb, Coffin, Fredrik Hjelmquist, Richard III, Spotify, Stockholm, Sweden
Do you have a passion for music that you’ll take to the grave? A Swedish coffin company is helping loved-ones stream music straight to the recently departed. The world’s first ‘Di-Hi-Fi’ CataCombo Sound System, which costs around $29,910, is aimed at music-lovers who don’t want to rest in peace.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 4, 2013 Filed under: War Room | Tags: Barack Obama, Kosovo, National security, Rwanda, Sweden, Syria, United States, Weekly Standard
By Daniel Halper
President Obama, speaking earlier today in Sweden about America’s proposed intervention in Syria:
“We may not be directly imminently threatened by what’s taking place in a Kosovo or a Syria or a Rwanda in the short-term but our long-term national security will be impacted in a profound way and our humanity’s impacted in a profound way.”
Source: The Weekly Standard–Daniel Halper
Posted: September 4, 2013 Filed under: Mediasphere | Tags: Barack Obama, Bashar al-Assad, Matt Drudge, Obama, Red Line, SCOAMF, Sweden, Syria, Syria Accountability Act, United States, White House
President Obama said in Sweden today that he personally “didn’t set a red line” on Syria:
“First of all, I didn’t set a red line,” said Obama. “The world set a red line. The world set a red line when governments representing 98 percent of the world’s population said the use of chemical weapons are [inaudble] and passed a treaty forbidding their use, even when countries are engaged in war. Congress set a red line when it ratified that treaty. Congress set a red line when it indicated that in a piece of legislation entitled the Syria Accountability Act that some of the horrendous things happening on the ground there need to be answered for. So, when I said in a press conference that my calculus about what’s happening in Syria would be altered by the use of chemical weapons, which the overwhelming consensus of humanity says is wrong, that wasn’t something I just kind of made up. I didn’t pluck it out of thin air. There’s a reason for it.”
And here’s video of Obama setting a “red line” in regard to Syria, from over a year ago:
And here’s a background call in April 2013 with “a White House official” that left no doubt about what President Obama’s own officials thought about where the red line came from:
We go on to reaffirm that the President has set a clear red line as it relates to the United States that the use of chemical weapons or the transfer of chemical weapons to terrorist groups is a red line that is not acceptable to us, nor should it be to the international community. It’s precisely because we take this red line so seriously that we believe there is an obligation to fully investigate any and all evidence of chemical weapons use within Syria.
…it is absolutely the case that the President’s red line is the use of chemical weapons…
And this one is especially devastating:
And the people in Syria and the Assad regime should know that the President means what he says when he set that red line. And keep in mind, he is the one who laid down that marker. He’s the one who directed that we provide this information to the public. And he’s the one who directed that we do everything we can to further investigate this information so that we can establish in credible, corroborated, factual basis what exactly took place.
Source: Drudge, The Weekly Standard
Posted: July 30, 2013 Filed under: Economics | Tags: Economic history, England, George Mason University, Gordon, History, Human, Industrial Revolution, Second Industrial Revolution, Standard of living, Sweden, Tyler Cowen, United States
What if everything we’ve come to think of as American is predicated on a freak coincidence of economic history? And what if that coincidence has run its course?
By Benjamin Wallace-Wells
Illustration by Mario Hugo
Picture this, arranged along a time line.
For all of measurable human history up until the year 1750, nothing happened that mattered. This isn’t to say history was stagnant, or that life was only grim and blank, but the well-being of average people did not perceptibly improve. All of the wars, literature, love affairs, and religious schisms, the schemes for empire-making and ocean-crossing and simple profit and freedom, the entire human theater of ambition and deceit and redemption took place on a scale too small to register, too minor to much improve the lot of ordinary human beings. In England before the middle of the eighteenth century, where industrialization first began, the pace of progress was so slow that it took 350 years for a family to double its standard of living. In Sweden, during a similar 200-year period, there was essentially no improvement at all. By the middle of the eighteenth century, the state of technology and the luxury and quality of life afforded the average individual were little better than they had been two millennia earlier, in ancient Rome.
Then two things happened that did matter, and they were so grand that they dwarfed everything that had come before and encompassed most everything that has come since: the first industrial revolution, beginning in 1750 or so in the north of England, and the second industrial revolution, beginning around 1870 and created mostly in this country. That the second industrial revolution happened just as the first had begun to dissipate was an incredible stroke of good luck. It meant that during the whole modern era from 1750 onward—which contains, not coincidentally, the full life span of the United States—human well-being accelerated at a rate that could barely have been contemplated before. Instead of permanent stagnation, growth became so rapid and so seemingly automatic that by the fifties and sixties the average American would roughly double his or her parents’ standard of living. In the space of a single generation, for most everybody, life was getting twice as good.
At some point in the late sixties or early seventies, this great acceleration began to taper off. The shift was modest at first, and it was concealed in the hectic up-and-down of yearly data. But if you examine the growth data since the early seventies, and if you are mathematically astute enough to fit a curve to it, you can see a clear trend: The rate at which life is improving here, on the frontier of human well-being, has slowed.
If you are like most economists—until a couple of years ago, it was virtually all economists—you are not greatly troubled by this story, which is, with some variation, the consensus long-arc view of economic history. The machinery of innovation, after all, is now more organized and sophisticated than it has ever been, human intelligence is more efficiently marshaled by spreading education and expanding global connectedness, and the examples of the Internet, and perhaps artificial intelligence, suggest that progress continues to be rapid.
But if you are prone to a more radical sense of what is possible, you might begin to follow a different line of thought. If nothing like the first and second industrial revolutions had ever happened before, what is to say that anything similar will happen again? Then, perhaps, the global economic slump that we have endured since 2008 might not merely be the consequence of the burst housing bubble, or financial entanglement and overreach, or the coming generational trauma of the retiring baby boomers, but instead a glimpse at a far broader change, the slow expiration of a historically singular event. Perhaps our fitful post-crisis recovery is no aberration. This line of thinking would make you an acolyte of a 72-year-old economist at Northwestern named Robert Gordon, and you would probably share his view that it would be crazy to expect something on the scale of the second industrial revolution to ever take place again.
“Some things,” Gordon says, and he says it often enough that it has become both a battle cry and a mantra, “can happen only once.”
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