Schrödinger’s policy about Muslims entering the U.S.

VåldRachel Maddow finally got a Trump spokesperson to her show. Watch Kellyanne Conway not answer the question about whether Donald Trump has changed from a ban on all Muslims entering the country to ”extreme vetting” of those immigrating from ”regions of the world that have a history of exporting terrorism”.

Nor did she answer the question about which these regions are or whether e.g. Germany is such a region.

So the first policy, which was even put in writing, is both dead and alive. No matter how hard Rachel Maddow tried, she couldn’t get Kellyanne Conway to neither redraw this policy nor acknowledge that it still be valid.

”Extreme vetting” is not an evolution of the ”complete ban”. It’s actually a completely different policy, targeting completely different people and situations:

  • ”Complete ban” vs. ”Extreme vetting”
  • ”Entering the U.S.” vs. ”Immigrating to the U.S.”
  • ”Muslims” vs. ”from regions of the world that have a history of exporting terrorism”

There is of course no way to stop people from committing acts of terrorism by vetting immigrants since you don’t have to live in a country to go there. So if he wants to stop foreigners from for example 9-11 (or Seven-11) acts, he needs to vet them also when applying for tourist or business visas.

The only act of terror committed on U.S. soil by a person that had actually immigrated to the U.S. was the wife in the San Bernardino shooting.

Out of thousands of mass killings, with tens of thousands of people shot in the last decade, exactly one half was committed by a person that stands at least a small chance of being stopped by Donald Trump’s second policy. She could still have come by lying or by using a tourist visa.



Trump Blackmailing Mexico

In March, John Oliver did a great piece on the Trump Wall. Watch it below!

The cost for the wall is said by Donald Trump to be at most 12 billion dollars. John Oliver concludes that it will cost at least 25 billion dollars, plus maintenance.

Shortly after this show was aired, Donald Trump posted an explanation as to how he intends to make Mexico pay. To read it, you need to check the box and state that you are not a robot. Because robots are not allowed to read this text. It’s a bit like stating that you are above 18 to get access to other types of content.

The idea is as follows: 24 billion dollars are sent from people within the U.S. to other people within Mexico every year. By threatening to stop the flow of this money, he will make Mexico pay between five and ten billion dollars once.

This is how: ”no alien may wire money outside of the United States unless the alien first provides a document establishing his lawful presence in the United States”.

They claim the 24 billion dollars are sent primarily by people being illegally in the U.S., which he obviously doesn’t know – it’s a guess. However, even if that were the case, his whole idea is based on the assumption that there be no way for these people to send money via a proxy. As if these people had no friends, employers or family that could perform the transmission for them.

He then continues to claim that only Mexico stands to lose by enforcing trade restrictions, which of course is not true. If you reduce the amount of goods being imported, prices will go up, which will affect the U.S. citizens in a negative way. Though it is true that the party with the highest income from its export usually is the winner, that doesn’t automatically make the other party a loser. It’s not that simple.

Finally, it becomes really weird. In order to put pressure on Mexico, he intends to cancel not only visas for people that work in the U.S., but also for business travelers and tourists.

Let’s take that again, shall we?

A person from Mexico that wants to visit the U.S. for a conference, a business deal, some relaxing golf or a visit to children and grandchildren will be denied entry because that is how Donald Trump intends to force their neighboring country into paying for something they don’t need or want.

This behavior has never been seen in the civilized world in modern days. This type of embargos have been used against nations that violate human rights, but never as diplomatic blackmail.

Donald Trump intends to run the U.S. as a  17th century Fürst.

By enforcing his embargo, which quite honestly I don’t think he will, but let’s assume that for once he is truthful, he would alienate every Western country in the world. He would also force us to act, because of the unfair treatment of a country that is a founding member of the U.N.. The lease you can expect is a boycott of American goods by civil rights organizations.

To use Trump’s vocabulary, it will probably be ”ugly”.

Not at all ”a beautiful, beautiful thing”.


The Donald vs. Swedish Nationalism


Donald Trump and Jimmie Åkesson

The Swedish nationalist party Sverigedemokraterna endorses Donald Trump.

They are quite different personalities, Donald Trump and the leader of the Swedish nationalist party Jimmie Åkesson. Åkesson is cautious and calculating, like you would expect from a pretty young conservative. Though I thoroughly dislike what he and his pals have done to my country, I have to admit that the guys in the top of the party are thorough and rarely reckless, and they usually manage to hide the part of the agenda that makes ”normal” voters uncomfortable by e.g. claiming to want to clear out all racists from their party.

Beyond these differences, there are many striking similarities between the nationalist movements, that tell us a lot about human psychology and how what inexplicably happened once is about to happen again.

The supporters

The supporters are to a large extent the same in both countries. They’re men. They’re white. They’re in later stages of life. They’re ”poorly educated”. Yes. This is a fact.

They are sometimes outsiders, but mostly just regular workers. In some cases, they run a small business. They are rarely successful above average. They live in the countryside or at least outside big cities.

There are also, in Sweden, some immigrants who hate Muslims for some reason or another, and who tend to overlook the anti-immigration policies of the SD party as something these nice people don’t really mean, and if they do then so be it – getting the Muslims out has priority.

The disregard for facts and the sect-like behaviour, where they worship their leader and will do anything to achieve his goals is another similarity. Or, in DJT’s words: ”I have the most loyal people” and ”I could shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.

It is only rational that the motto of the Trump fans is ”Make America great again”, since longing for a glorious past where life was much simpler, women didn’t pursue careers, foreign languages were never heard and black people would stay outside white communities and, in the case of Sweden, outside the borders, comes natural to these mostly senior people.

They feel their country is being taken away from them. They consider their country to be their property to begin with, and will argue that anyone that disagrees with them be an intruder.

International regard

Another parallel is the way all nationalists, Trump and Åkesson included, seem to think that others perceive their country. Though there is a difference in how they want their respective country to be viewed, there’s a clear similarity between their projected image of the view of others.

In the case of SD, supporters often highlight that Sweden is viewed as being weak and almost ridiculous in our efforts to care for refugees. This idea is spread through various far right websites and Facebook pages, such as Britain First, but it has little to do with the actual perception of the majority population of other countries.

Similarly, while Donald Trump seems to wish that America would be feared rather than respected for its compassion, and hence tries to establish an image of President Obama being too weak to be scary, the reality is that few if any American presidents have been as respected in other Western countries. He won the Nobel Peace Prize, because we were so happy to finally see someone striving for peace, even though it didn’t work out exactly how we wanted it in the years to come.

Telling their supporters that they alone can reestablish the image of their country is not only part of the narrative of Trump and Åkesson, but it also seems to be something they actually believe, because they are that out of touch with reality.

Mainstream media

I have to admit: The claim that mainstream media, or ”gammelmedia” as Sweden Democrats like to call it, are against both Trump and Åkesson is in fact true. That is not a conspiracy theory in itself. It’s a consequence of media being populated by people who see through their agendas. Obviously, while Trump’s and Åkesson’s supporters are poorly educated, journalists and reporters are not. Education is like a vaccine against stupidity. This being said, I am not in any way suggesting that all uneducated people are supporters of SD or Trump, or ”stupid” for that matter. You don’t have to have a college or university degree to think rationally. But without one, you are more vulnerable to the slogan and simplified solutions policies they drive.

When it comes to not trusting the press, there is an issue that goes beyond media being biased against Trump and Åkesson, and that is that their supporters tend to not trust the facts that are being presented. Instead, they share Internet memes and obscure articles that can say anything. Journalists have ethics. They are bound to tie their conclusions, however colored by their opinion, to facts.

Donald Trump uses his Twitter account to share not only white supremacists but also other unconventional thinkers, and Sverigedemokraterna’s supporters and politicians very often use ”hate sites” like Avpixlat to spread what must in every aspect be characterized as misinformation.

Incidentally, the Twitter account of Mats Dagerlind, publisher of Avpixlat, shows a profile picture where he wears a hat saying ”Make America and Sweden great again”.

”Build a wall!”

For geographical reasons, Sweden being surrounded by water except for borders towards Norway and Finland, where immigrants rarely enter, there is no suggestion to build an actual wall around our country. Still, the SD party repeatedly calls for closed borders, Swexit (from the EU) and a general limitation of all categories of immigrants. While most Swedes are in favour of immigration per se, but may want to see regulations around asylum seekers because they generate a cost, Sweden Democrats are convinced that immigration is inherently bad, and must be kept to a bare minimum, with the exception of immediate neighbours such as Norwegians and Danes.

Not all Sweden Democrats are racists, but more or less all racists are SD supporters.

There is an important difference between Sweden and the U.S. in the sense that, being located in a corner of the world, we had very few immigrants until some 20 to 30 years ago.

This means that being a Swede equals being white to those that long back to the days where you just knew that every neighbour shared your genetics. This also means that Swedish racism is easier to hide. You can talk about being against differences in ”culture” when you actually mean skin color. Some twenty years ago, the Sweden Democrats were in fact Nazis, heiling and marching. It was only some fifteen years ago, when the current leaders were actually members, that they removed the proposal to ban all adoptions from non-European countries whose purpose was to keep the ”Swedish race” white.

So while Americans never deny that African-Americans be entitled to their citizenships, Sweden Democrats keep emphasizing that even second generation immigrants may lack the Swedish mentality and culture and that they have to adapt completely, ”be assimilated” as they call it, or else they must leave the country. Multiculturalism is the worst thing ever.

Of course, immigrants have always come to Sweden and affected and shaped our civilization – otherwise we would still be barbarians, which was once pointed out by our then Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt*. That particular statement has been thoroughly spread as proof that the leaders of our country don’t recognize just how remarkably superior we are as a people, while  what he meant to say was that every culture needs influences to grow and excel and Swedes are no exception.

Still, even though the mechanisms are different, the underlying message is the same in both countries.

Black = bad.

White = good.

Foreigners = dangerous.

Especially one type of foreigners.

”Muslims want to kill us all!”

The hate of Muslims has replaced the hate of Jews among nationalists around the world. They are described as being against whatever the country in question values the most.

Of course, religious fundamentalists regardless of religion are usually conservatives, and they have more in common with each other than with the rest of the society they live in. They just don’t see it. Ironically, the same people therefore blame Muslims for holding views they themselves hold, on e.g. women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, corporal punishment at home, etc..

Somehow, supporters of far right movements manage to both hate feminists and homosexuals while still hating Muslims for presumably being against said people.

I have spent hundreds of hours debating the antagonism against Muslims from SD supporters, but it is hard to get past their simplified view of the world.

Most of the really dangerous terrorists are today Muslims, sure, and that then means to these people that most if not all Muslims are dangerous. The fact that this is not logical in any way is impossible to explain.

Muslims have been in Sweden for some 30-40 years. Many came with the fall of the Iranian Shah in 1979. They were wealthy and often educated. Many run businesses today, or work in high tech companies. These people, together with Iraqi and Lebanese that came later, are an integrated and important part of the Swedish workforce. Most of them are secular Muslims.

They are now as scared as German Jews were during the phase that led to the Crystal Night.

”One simple solution for each problem, please!”

Trump and his Trumpeteers:

”Lock her up!”

”Bomb ISIS!”

”Mexicans are rapists!”

”Close the borders!”

Åkesson and SD supporters:

”Muslims are the biggest threat to our society!”

”Refugees are rapists!”

”Close the borders!”

”The only way is up!”

Both started out as underdogs, then gained surprisingly much ground in a short period of time. While doing so, the supporters and actually many others thought they would just continue to grow forever. Like beyond 100 percent. It’s like they just looked at the curves and extended the lines. They didn’t get that there is a limit to the amount of voters that will appreciate the message of Mr. Trump and Mr. Åkesson, and when you’ve reached all of them, you will need to change your strategy to expand. The SD party understands this, and now want little to do with their old racist voters in continuous attempts to appeal to non-nationalist voters, but Trump doesn’t.

”They’re cheating!”

The SD voters think Trump will win, even though there is little evidence of that. They also think the reason their own party is trailing in the polls is that there is a conspiracy against their leaders. Voter fraud is as high on the agenda for far right supporters everywhere, because they are scared and feel cheated in life in general and are hence more prone to believe that The Establishment is out to ruin their life. Donald or Jimmie is their champion and they need to fight the system for them.

Depicting and addressing the opponent in schoolyard bullying terms

Donald Trump calls his counter-part ”Crooked Hillary”, presumably because his supporters love it, which in turn is yet another proof of their complete lack of sophistication.

Åkesson does not behave that way, because he is politically smarter than Trump. He knows that in order to appeal to the voters that are thinking of joining his party, he must express himself with some kind of dignity.

Still, the SD supporters are pretty much the same kind as Trump supporters. They use degrading nick names for politicians they don’t agree with, they send hate messages to us who don’t share their views. The childish, bullying tone that most people leave behind at the age of 13 is yet another example that shows the core of what this article is about:

These people are narrow-minded because they are quite simple-minded to begin with.

We’ve been here before

Please re-read this article, but replace ”Muslims” with ”Jews”.

Then think about whether you’ve seen these trends before.

*All bildning står på ofri grund till slutet, blott barbariet var en gång fosterländskt.
— Esaias Tegnér (1782-1846)

… once famously paraphrased by then Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and used as proof that he hated Sweden.

Did he ask them to kill her?

”Hillary wants to abolish – essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, if she gets to pick, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”

Those who defend Donald Trump have been wrestling over these words.

”It was a joke!” That was the first interpretation, and probably the most true one, from a former, now fired, campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski.

”This is a political movement. This is a strong political movement, the Second Amendment, and there can be no other interpretation … I mean, give me a break.”

This is what Trump now told his favorite pundit Sean Hannity, and it’s the version that is explained over and over by his supporters.

What we’re talking about is political power, there’s tremendous political power to save the Second Amendment, tremendous. You look at the power they have in terms of votes and that’s what I was referring to, obviously that’s what I was referring to and everybody knows it.”

I just have to poke around a bit among the sentences.

First of all: He didn’t actually tell them to kill her. So in order to prove that’s what he said, every other interpretation must be ruled out.

Who are ”the second amendment people”? Well, since not even Donald himself denies that he referred to the gun owners, that is a given.

Now, the interpretation he has provided, that he wanted them to vote, is not valid, simply because he starts with an ”if”, and what follows depends on that ”if”.

”If she gets to pick” places us in a situation where she was already elected. You can’t continue that sentence with ”we must make sure she wasn’t elected”, unless you’re in possession of a time machine.

Everything that follows ”if she gets to pick” must be based on the assumption that we’re in a future where Hillary Clinton is the president.

So, let’s simplify the sentences. What he said boils down to:

”When HRC has been elected president, gun owners can still do something about it”.

What can they do? Certainly not vote, for another four years. I would really love to hear any of DJT’s supporters provide alternative interpretations to ”shoot her”. Here are some suggestions:

  • Sulk and hide
  • Move to a war zone like Syria
  • Buy an island and fund a new country
  • Protest in the streets singing anti peace songs like ”We shall undercome” and ”Imagine all the people living life in war

If I were on his side, I would have stuck with ”I made a bad joke”. It’s probably half true. The other half of the truth is most likely that he is so into his poisonous rhetoric that he thinks suggesting to shoot her is an acceptable thing to say, like the next step after ”lock her up” and ”she should be shot by a firing squad”.



Plagiarizing the President

Next TeeDonald Trump Jr. is making a ”he did too” attempt to accuse President Obama of plagiarizing his speech during the RNC, since both contained the sentence ”that’s not the America I know”, which apparently to him is the same as Melania Trump’s quite lengthy sequences that were almost word by word copied from Michelle Obama.

If using this very short sentence could be called plagiarizing, which most people would agree is a bit ridiculous, then they are both plagiarizing George W. Bush.

”The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That’s not what islam is all about. Islam is peace. [Muslims] must not be intimidated in America. That’s not the America I know. That’s not the America I value.”

However, I think copying the entire statement above, especially if done by anyone named Trump, would be quite welcome.

Please go ahead!

The Bully that will start a War

Like a nine-year-old bully being brought before the teacher, he defended himself with the oldest excuse there is: ”He started it.”

This is not true. Mr. Khan didn’t start it. Donald did, when he suggested to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S. and when he suggested that every American Muslim was somehow responsible for not stopping the Orlando shootings. The really weird part is he doesn’t even see it.

I have been contemplating why, and the answer seems to be that he doesn’t understand that his words matter to other people. However, he is extremely sensitive about what is said about him, to the point where it becomes ridiculous.

Does it matter?

Does it matter to me, personally, living on the other side of the Atlantic that this man lacks the empathy to leave a grieving mother alone? That he can’t control himself, even though advised to shut up, enough to just drop an insult?

Yes, it does. Because what happens when a narcissist with no empathy has nuclear weapon at his disposal? What happens when he has the power to send troops?

Well, we’ve seen it before. More than once.

I am afraid. I mean. I am really, really afraid. Horrified.