Book Review: The Victim, by Eric Matheny

410GJ4wTGbL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_This review was first published on Blogcritics.

 A true work of literature is distinct from a purely entertaining piece of writing by its counterpoints. Usually, it is a combination of fine prose, suspense, philosophical thought and moral dilemmas, exacerbated by tough choices. Sometimes they leave no space for an acceptable compromise. All of these must be narrated as a highly entertaining story, which is the essence of contemporary novel. Eric Matheny’s, The Victim, has it all.

It is quite rare to find such a book in a humongous pile of publications produced by an independent press. With hundreds of thousands of new titles flooding the market every year, it is a prodigious task to discover the worthy ones. Luckily, I came across The Victim, by Eric Matheny. Its plot engrossed me with its dynamics and the vivid liveliness of the novel’s characters, all of them controversial at best. But this is what real life is about: deep inside, none of us is a pure angel or devil, perhaps with a few rare exceptions. And more so when we are confronted with a legal system.

While reading the book, I soon realized that it was written by a lawyer, with a deep theoretical knowledge of and profound practical experience in all legal matters, including investigation, court proceedings, penitentiary rules, and other activities. It shows in colorful description of court battles, discussions in lawyers’ offices, and actions outside the frame of the legal system. At times I caught myself thinking that I was reading a novel by John Grisham or Mike Connelly. Indeed, when I finished reading, I found a short author’s biography, confirming my guess at his profession.

As with most crime fiction, this novel begins with crime. It was not a premeditated crime, committed for selfish purpose. Rather, it was an impulse of moment reaction from the protagonist – Anton – to eliminate evidence of a tragic accident that he caused. He was young then, with a promising career in the years to come. It seemed to him then that all possible traces of the crime had been thoroughly wiped out. As often happens in reality, the case was closed due to a lack of evidence of foul play. Accidents happen. The only problem for Anton was his own conscience.

Years passed by. He became a lawyer, with a good family life – though not without problems – and successful career, which was gathering speed. But the feeling of guilt, which haunted him since the accident, morphed into a terrible moral dilemma when he knew that not all traces of his crime had disappeared. Defending his clients became practically impossible. The solution to moral dilemma was admission of the crime. The consequence of this was obvious: ruined career, years in prison, ruined life. Defending himself was a possibility but…

The novel is saturated with court drama, intense emotions, and a clash of interests and personalities. Characters in the novel live their own life, with peculiarities of their behavior, manners, and speech. For example, this is how one of his clients, a hardened criminal named Quincy, speaks in prison: “That lying’ ass, bitch-ass, punk-ass cracker! I done to my people git me a paid lawyer and this bitch says I should hung myself? …. No way, ain’t no cracker-ass lawyer gonna cook my goose.”

I found this novel a highly entertaining reading. I give it 4 stars.



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A Cop and a New Immigrant without English

This is a true story. A new immigrant got a job of truck driver. His English vocabulary was limited to ‘yes’ and ‘no’. How he managed to get from Toronto to California is anybody’s guess. Not far from San Fransisco a policeman stopped his truck. That’s how the driver negotiated with the policeman.

“Your documents,” the policeman said sternly.  The driver took his papers from the glove compartment and handed them over.

“Where are you going?” the policeman asked.

“From Toronto,” the driver answered with a thick accent. This exhausted his English vocabulary.

“I am asking where,” the policeman insisted.

“From Toronto,” repeated driver. And then clarified: “Little English.”

“Oh, I see,” the policeman said politely. “What language do you speak?”

“From Toronto,” said the driver. “Little English.”

“Dam it,” grunted the policeman. “Do you understand at least something?”

The driver nodded in agreement.

“Yes,” he said. “From Toronto. Little English.”

“German?” asked the policeman. “French? Italian? We have policemen that speak some.”

The driver understood at last.

“Russian,” he declared.

“Nobody here speaks Russian,” said the disappointed policeman. “Some Spanish?”

“Spanish?” repeated the driver and the sparkle of joy lit his eyes. “Oh, yes, Spanish. Yes, yes.”

The policeman said something in fluent Spanish, expecting a lively conversation. He looked like Mexican: not tall, with distinctive features of Spaniard. His hopes died as soon as the driver opened his mouth. All of a sudden he began to sing.

“Bessa me,” he was singing. “Bessa me moo-oo-cho.” Here his Spanish was exhausted as well, but not enthusiasm.

“Lala, lalala, lalala, lalala, lala-a-a,” he continued to sing the well-known tune. A broad smile appeared on the dull face of the policeman.

“Bessa me,” started the driver the next round. “Bes-sa me moo-oo-cho.”

“OK,” gave up the policeman. “Enough.” But the driver was not able to stop.

“Lala, lalala, lalala, lalala, lala,” he continued.

“Would you bloody stop?” suggested the policeman with a note of irritation. In response the driver set off to another cycle.

“Bessa me, Bessa me moocho,” he kept on singing. The policeman stretched his hand to the driver, returning the documents.

“Go to hell, bessa me moocho” he said, unable to suppress a smile. The driver started the engine and went off, his song muffled by the roaring engine.



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Book Review: ‘Fat Chance’ – Wonderful Humor by R.J. Leahy

This article was first published in Blogcritics


Humor in literature has always been a precious rarity: just a handful of writers excelled in this field. Nowadays, when a massive commercial promotion of mediocrity is funded by big publishers, discovering a really good read in this category is less realistic than inheriting a big fortune from poor relatives. Fat chance, some would say. But I found one! Coincidentally, the novel’s title is Fat Chance, by R.J. Leahy.

A fabulous piece of literature, written by a true man of letters, it is saturated with laugh, wits, mystery, and weird personalities. Actually, upon some consideration, his characters may seem not that weird: we all meet them everyday, but fail to register their idiosyncrasy in our minds, not to mention that we miss to notice our own.

The story amuses you from the start. McDermott, a private investigator, sees a big woman running past the dinner window. “She laughed as she ran, trotting around the parking lot like some great flamingo with a glandular problem.” That’s how he introduces a female persona, who later becomes the object of his investigation. Her name is Patty Chance; she weighs about two-hundred and fifty pounds; everyone knows her as Fat Chance.

McDermott, having a few grey spots in his biography, took an offer to beat out of New York and drive a Mercedes to California. Quite unexpectedly his car stopped dead at a gas station in a tiny rural settlement in New Mexico.

A mechanic, with a tag “Jim” on his overall, examines the Mercedes. When McDermott calls him out “Jim”, as the tag indicated, the mechanic says that he is not Jim: the overall that he wears is not his. As he does not introduce himself otherwise, McDermott calls him “Not-Jim”, and mentions him later this way.

Not-Jim reciprocates. After he finds out that McDermott is a private investigator but has never solved a murder case, Not-Jim introduces him to everyone as a detective who has never solved a murder case.

Not-Jim found out that the fuel injector of the Mercedes must be replaced. To bring it from the nearest dealer should take about two-three days. That’s what holds McDermott up in this tiny town, where he got involved in investigation, local politics and personal intrigues of people around him.

For every personality that comes his way McDermott gives unforgettable description. In the hotel where he stayed, a fifteen year old local Indian maid appears in the story this way: “With the race to adulthood, her ass lapped her and was now waiting for the rest of her body to catch up.”

Being a New Yorker, McDermott discovers that the rural people have their own wits and wisdom, worth to discover. For instance, Casual, who takes care of him in the hotel, responds to his remarks with her own: “Honey, only good girls keep a diary. Bad girls – they ain’t got the time.”

Local sheriff takes from McDermott the key from the Mercedes and orders him to remain in town until the case of Fatty Chance disappearance is solved. The legal reason is that McDermott is a witness of something related to the case. The true reason though is different: the sheriff has no experience in serious investigation, as in his town nothing serious happens. He wants McDermott to help him with the detective work. Sheriff, having lots of free time, is also a real estate agent: he is not very busy with this either, as in this small place it is hard to find buyers or sellers.

It turns out that people in a small town are no less sophisticated than those who live in megalopolis. However, in a small place it is hard to hide whatever we consider private and confidential. Greed and lust possess many souls; absurd belief in cosmic aliens is not a rarity either. When this is exposed in a small community, the whole ordeal becomes hilarious.

Surely McDermott cannot miss the local bar. There, he gets acquainted with the barman, who later somehow takes part in the story. Here is his first impression of the guy: “His head was narrow and long, with angles in all wrong places, like he’d entered this word not through the womb, but a keyhole.”

The author’s pondering of approaching the middle age is both philosophical and melancholic. Charming as it is, it ends up on a humorous note: “The only signal we have that middle age is approaching is an irresistible urge to buy a sports car. Women get menopause. Men get a mustang.”

As a big-city guy, McDermott now finds its previous hectic life not as attractive as it had seemed before. His description of the sulky New York morning makes me laugh: “The transition from the gray haze of night to the gray haze of day is too subtle, even for the undead.” Don’t we all know this half-existence of the undead when we rush to 9 to 5 job?

Whenever McDermott encounters people who are not to his liking, he finds in them the most prominent and absurdly funny features. Here is what he says about the face of the local Indian chief: “I’d seen sun-damaged skin before but this one was ridiculous. I’ve thrown away better-looking shoes.”

No need to say more about the author’s sense of humor. It is up to the reader to discover and enjoy it – you can’t miss it, it is on almost every page, if not in every paragraph. Leahy is a master of slang, dialogs, and description of scenery. Add to this an intriguing mystery plot and suspense, and you’ll get the idea what this novel is for those who understand and appreciate humor and good literature. I give it five stars, as there are no more in the system.



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Donald Trump vs. Bob Rae

This article was first published in Blogcritics under the title Alternatives to Donald Trump’s Xenophobic Approach to Radical Islam Are Sadly Lacking

DonaldTrump-AWhy have terrorist acts become such shocking news items, and even one of the central topics of, political speeches? There were just sixteen people killed and twenty-one wounded, but according to the Gun Violence Archive, in 2015 in America the number of deaths caused by firearms violence was 13,049, and the number of injured reached 26,350. Perhaps the problem is exaggerated?

But we cannot wipe from our memory a long history of international terrorism—the recent shooting in San Bernardino, the 9/11 tragedy, and the fact that since 2001 the FBI has responded to and prevented twenty-five thousand terrorist attacks. Terror changed the way we live and think. No public mode of transportation is safe: the same is true for any public place or public gathering. For the media, I think what is much more surprising should have been a relatively small number of deaths from terror during these years, but a small number is never taken as great news. All of a sudden it is.

Then, Donald Trump calls for banning Muslim immigration and even the entry of Muslims into the United States. Although Donald Trump does not intend to kill anybody, his declaration blew the minds of many politicians in all ideological spectrums to no lesser extent than the terror act itself. They all used vocabulary expressing outrage and indignation to demonstrate their allegiance to the basic principles of civility and governance. The almost unanimous consensus among them is that Donald Trump is dead wrong and not even qualified to run for president. As a result, the rating of Donald Trump rose to new heights.

It is a paradox, of course, and it needs to be explained by an objective mBobRae-Aind, but none happen to be around. On the contrary, emotionally and ideologically charged articles and speeches are plentiful. I found the most typical representation of popular views in the article Terror, Trump and Canada’s future, written by Bob Rae, the former NDP leader,  (The Globe and Mail, December 15, 2015). The core idea of it is that segregating a group on the basis of their religious or national (or similar) identity is wrong in principle and contradicts all the moral norms of Western civilization. There is no doubt that he is right. But…

There is no single word in his article suggesting security measures that would ensure the safety of the country’s people. What happened? Is there no danger from Muslim immigration, or there is another reason not to discuss it? Or it is just a taboo to discuss it? There shouldn’t be; after all, we are a democratic world first, and a politically correct one second.

If you asked Bob Rae this question in a small gathering, he would say—as all like-minded speakers would, I guess—that there are merely individual radicals among a mass of peaceful Muslims who have run away from war zones to safety and in search of a better life. We all have heard this argument from the left and the right, from Obama to Hollande to Merkel. But none of them—none, I repeat—support this statement with statistics. Peaceful, that’s it.

Actually, Barack Obama, the president of the United States, in one of his speeches gave us a hint how many peaceful Muslims are out there. He claimed that 99.9 percent of Muslims are peaceful. Another words, 0.1 percent of Muslims are violent terrorists. I made a simple calculation. There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world. Therefore, there are 1,600,000 violent terrorists out there. Impressive. It seems that Mr. President had not thought long before he said that.

If a meaningful number of peaceful Muslims is not available, then perhaps there are other pieces of evidence that can give us a clue? For instance, to prove the point, peaceful followers of Islam could stage massive—as there are so many of them—demonstrations against acts of terror committed by people of their faith. There are thousands of imams around the globe who could condemn radical interpretations of Islam and the atrocities committed for its sake. Nothing of that sort has taken place.

We may hear our politicians argue that many Muslims are poorly educated and therefore not politically active. To understand the value of this argument it is sufficient to recall how the whole Muslim world erupted when a small newspaper published a few cartoons. All of a sudden it became the cause of violence, outrage, and terror in all—all!—Muslim countries and communities. There were hundreds of thousands of people participating in violent protests and crimes. There were deaths, destruction, and hate speeches. “Death to Charlie Hebdo” was the most popular slogan. Does Bob Rae know it? Of course he does.

It is quite obvious that politicians like Bob Rae do not connect two factors that are closely related: humanity toward Muslim victims of ethnic and sectarian wars, and the hostility of Islam, radical or not, toward Western civilization. The number of Muslims hostile to the West is staggering. This is demonstrated by polls conducted in the counties and also by open declarations of hatred from their political and spiritual leaders. There is also no proof that Muslims in the Western world assimilate well and accommodate the values of a country that offered them refuge. For good measure, each act of terror makes the assimilation of Muslim communities more difficult, thereby exacerbating the problem. Does Bob Rae know it? Yes, he does. He writes: “From Pakistan west to northern Nigeria, the forces of hate and extremism have captured many hearts and minds and intimidated and bullied many more.”

There’s no doubt that people with such antithetical convictions cannot coexist with even the most egalitarian society unless they abandon the original principles of their religion. So, what is Rae’s solution? Here it is: “Let us continue to reinforce the values and institutions, at home and abroad, that ensure we live in safety and freedom.” So touching.

Bob Rae is not concerned so much with security as Donald Trump’s popularity, which he explains as “a blaze of brutal self-promotion.” He completely ignores the fact that Donald Trump’s rating rose because he suggested a solution—whether it is right or wrong is open for debate. But no one else did that. But people are weary of political correctness, which prevents honest discussion and a businesslike approach.

Bob Rae says, in his quest for rightness: “Mr. Trump’s ideas are not simply ‘outrageous,’ or ‘ridiculous,’ or ‘unacceptable.’ He is a purveyor of hate, racism, and deep prejudice. This goes beyond ignorance…”

There is no need to list all the epithets. It is supposed to show that Bob Rae is not ignorant and that he has sufficient knowledge and moral stature to say so. But judging by his article, this is a big question. For instance, he uses a battered rhetoric to compare Trump’s ideas with events of the 1930s, obviously alluding to the Nazi ascent to power in Germany.

This is an interesting phenomenon of modern political speak. As soon as someone expresses ideas more radical than allowed by political correctness, they are quickly labelled Hitler and Nazis, in the hopes that the label alone is convincing enough. But in our time, the only regimes whose ideology resembles the spirit of the 1930s are in Muslim countries, most notably in Iran. I will repeat just its very well-known rhetoric: first, exterminate all Jews, and then fight other infidels until the total victory of Islam. Actually, the ayatollahs went further than Hitler. Hitler intended to exterminate only Jews, gypsies, and homosexuals, but let others live, albeit subservient to Germans. He did not care about religion and beliefs. Muslim radicals went much further.

Does Bob Rae know it? He surely does, but he saved the comparison with the Nazis just for Donald Trump. For Bob Rae and a similar breed of politicians, Donald Trump, who does not intend to kill anybody, is much worse than those who intend to kill most of humanity!

I write this not because I intend to defend Donald Trump or share his views. My point is that there are so many politicians who, in their delusion of ultimate rightness, become so ignorant and dishonest that they become a greater danger to society than radical politicians. To illustrate the point, I’d like to get back to the history of 1930s, as Bob Rae did, but compare the contemporary situation not with what happened inside Germany, but rather outside it. At that time, the Western world was obsessed with pacifism and leftist ideology. Almost all politicians—except for half a dozen like Churchill—had been doing things beyond admissible to give Hitler what he wanted in the belief that yielding to his demands would pacify him and prevent war. Churchill was desperate in his appeal to political common sense and in his attempts to convince European governments that Hitler could and should be stopped, that Versailles treaty had to be adhered to. To no avail. Only when the war started did the pacifistic madness end in blood and the power came to sober politicians like Churchill.

The war turned out to be a tragedy for Germany in no lesser extent than for all the other European countries. The scale of destruction and losses inflicted by the victorious countries is beyond comprehension. There are still debates about if such atrocity was justified. Rightly so. But there is no difference of opinion about the actions of the left-wing politicians and pacifists: it was their delusion and good intentions that brought us to the most destructive war in history. But Bob Rae did not mention it. He resorted to a totally false comparison—it is obvious that no mass killing, genocide, or preparation for technological extermination of humans of any faith are in the mind of Donald Trump, regardless how “brutal” his self-promotion is. Does Bob Rae know it? I assure you, he does. Why then does he ignore reality and adopt his no less “brutal” self-promotion? Because his devotion to ideology and political correctness makes reality irrelevant. Facts simply do not exist if they do not “reinforce” his values.

There is another very interesting phenomenon of our time: Muslims do not participate in this discussion, neither do they react to Donald Trump’s proposal. It seems that even the most Muslim-friendly politicians do not consider them partners in the solution of the Islamic threat. But without Muslim leaders and Muslim communities’ participation, no solution will be effective. Perhaps they are not interested in the discussion? Surprisingly, our politicians are willing to talk for them, but they are not interested in talking with them. This tells us something about their wisdom and ability to solve important problems.

Doubtless, the Western world’s politicians face a severe dilemma—segregating a group of people on the basis of their faith is morally wrong, whether they are Muslim or not. Donald Trump, it seems, stepped over the boundary of this principle. I expect his critics to say that Donald Trump was wrong because there is either no danger in mass Muslim immigration to the United States, or because there is a solution, and here it is. But they know too well that the danger is there, and they don’t know the solution. But we all need a solution, whether we are Muslims or not. If no one offers it, then Donald Trump will remain the only one who does.

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What Change Canada Voted For

Now, Justin Trudeau is Prime Minister of Canada. A person who has neither knowledge nor experience in politics, in economics, and in administrative matters became a leader of the country. Some analysts and media were quick to point out what mistakes had conservatives made during the election campaign. Even Stephen Harper said that conservative’ s failure was his fault. Remarkably, very few, if any, say what liberals did right. The reason is that there is almost nothing they did right: in fact, this election was an evidence of colossal failure of common sense. This happens from time to time with any nation: at some moments in history common sense does not make sense for people anymore, no matter how strong and convincing its arguments are.

In reality, neither conservatives did anything wrong, nor liberals did much right, as I will show in the analysis below.

Conservatives had a remarkable record with the economy. In the 2008 crisis Canada weathered the storm much better than any country around the globe. This was due to the government’s fiscal policy, which was a combination of restrictions, regulations, and proper economic stimulus. In the following difficult years, when most developed countries struggle with high unemployment and deficit, Canada managed to have budget surplus. The recent price drop of oil had a negative impact on Canadian economy, but it is much less severe than should have been expected.

Anyone who has a higher formal education in macro economy – I am one of them – knows that healthy expansion of economy is based on savings and investment. This, in turn, promotes jobs creation and, as a consequence, increased consumption. That’s what essentially was the conservative’s policy in the past, and that’s what they promised for the future.

Liberals offered quite the opposite: they promised a spending spree, by using the surplus, created by conservatives, and by borrowing beyond their means, thus creating deficit. This policy has invariably only one outcome: a splash of consumption in the first 2-3 years, and then a long period of stagnation and restoration of economy. Common sense suggests to trust economy, and the surplus, to those who made this surplus. Instead, voters trusted management of the country’s economy to Justin Trudeau, who has – I dare say – no idea how mechanics of economy works. It does not make sense. But it happened.

Liberals chose Justin Trudeau as their leader not because he had any achievement in politics, or any accomplishment at all, for that matter. They chose him for one reason only: his association with the name of his father Pierre Trudeau, who was a famous prime minister of Canada.

Pierre Trudeau resigned before his term was over. He had no choice, as mismanagement of economy during his reign was appalling. It would make sense for a Liberal party leader candidate to disassociate himself from Pierre Trudeau. This association though was a major factor, which contributed to success of Justin Trudeau. It does not make sense. But it happened.

Regardless of how good or bad the association with Pierre Trudeau was, the fact that Justin Trudeau is the son of Pierre Trudeau says nothing about his ability to govern the country. In the past, only monarchies transferred reign of power to the offspring regardless of his ability to govern. Usually the nation accepted it as a normal thing. Stupidity of such inheritance was obvious, but now this notion of power inheritance made a spectacular victory in Canada. It does not make sense. But it happened.

Some expressed opinions that conservatives made a mistake concentrating on non-important issues, such as hiqab. This is, in my opinion, a superficial argument. Hiqab is, as Canadian majority looks at it, a barbaric dress of a culture completely foreign to Canada. Actually, it is unthinkable for Canadians to see a complete coverage of the face by policemen, doctors, nurses, judges, or political figures. It is unthinkable to present a driver’s license with the face covered. It is a security risk to allow a hiqab-covered person to enter a bank. That’s what Harper and his party were against. It made sense, but it failed. I don’t think that it was a fault of conservatives. It was a failure of common sense.

In the matter of refugees conservatives appealed to the nation’s common sense. Humanity and compassion for people in distress, as all other good intentions, do not generate a budget for helping them. Every nation could do only what it could afford to do. Many people think that spending money on migrants is just the matter of the government’s good will. Far from it: it is everyone’s money and effort. There will be much less immigration welcoming activists and supporters if it was the matter of personal contribution, such as donation or sponsorship. Justin Trudeau intends to accept amount of refugees which would exacerbate Canadian economic and social problems, not to mention security risk. Such policy does not make sense. But it worked.

Conservatives advocated tougher measures against terrorists and dangerous criminals. It does make sense. But it didn’t work. Liberals were against it. It does not make sense. But it worked.

In my opinion, neither Harper, no conservatives, did anything wrong in their election campaign. They did not make unrealistic or false promises. They were frank and truthful to the public. This was the only mistake they made, if we can call it that.

I believe that Stephen Harper is a great statesman, one of the most prudent Canada has ever  had. If he was defeated by equally gifted opponent, I would have accepted this fact without much regret, even if the new policy was not to my liking. But bad policy without capable leadership is a sure way to a long-lasting misery.

Now, we are heading into rough waters: deterioration of economy in 2-3 years, bad relationship with the U.S., and a profound, dangerous change in international politics. Welcome change.

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Human Flood from the Third World: Is there a solution?

Migrants in Germany

Migrants in Germany

This article was first published in Blogcritics.

Why the recent flood of migrants from the Third World to Western Europe was such a shock to media, public and politicians? After all, there had been warning voices predicting it. There had also been plenty of evidence that the stream of migrants from troubled places on Earth was a permanent phenomena, and gathering steam.

Now, the same dominating section of media found the prime culprit of the problem: the civil war in Syria. But there have always been wars in the Middle East and Africa in the past, and the number of refugees amounted to millions. However, none of the West European countries had to deal with the similar influx of them.

There has never been a shortage of advocates who were in favour of accepting refugees and other migrants. Recently they became more vocal than ever. Their argument is that not helping people in despair is morally wrong. After all, the memory of the Third Reich is still fresh, when Hitler’s regime made Jews run from Europe to elsewhere, but no state gave them even a temporary refuge.

This comparison is not only factually, but also morally wrong. Jews did not flee a war zone: they fled genocide. Jews had no means to fight the Nazi regime. They were unarmed, without any support, absolutely helpless against the powerful Germany oppressive machine. During the war with Germany though, Jews serving in allies armies and in guerrilla units proved to be fierce and dedicated fighters against Hitler’s army.

If you look at the pictures of Syrian refugees showing a few women and children on the forefront, you’d find that the majority of them at the background are young men. Why they do not fight, but rather run to Europe? It is their obligation to defend whatever their affiliation is: there is plenty of help from outside world to Syrian fighting factions. Of course it is dangerous: of course it is safer and easier to become a refugee and live on a fat European subsistence. In fact, they should not be considered refugees, because they had choices, albeit difficult ones.

Actually, in strictly legal terms most of them are not refugees: they do not flee a dangerous zone. Many of them migrate from refugee camps in Turkey, Jordan and other places. They are looking for a better place to settle, but it does not mean that European Union, as well as the U.S. and Canada, are bound by any convention to accept them. The 1951 Convention Article 1 (D) explicitly “excludes individuals who, at the time of the 1951 convention, were already receiving protection or assistance from another UN organ or agency.”

Advocates of unlimited migration to Europe are quick to explain that it is logical for the most able people to undertake a dangerous trip to Europe first, and then to help their families reunite with them in Europe. Great! They leave their families in a war zone, ostensibly facing death, while they enjoy whatever comfort and safety is there in Europe. Their families, even if not perished, would wait long time, perhaps years, until their cases were considered. And the humane, kind Europe would have to accept large families of the applicants, whereby exacerbating the migrants crises. As stated in Economist in the article Merkel at her limits, “those granted asylum have the right to bring family later.” Sure thing that the human flood we now witness is the tip of the iceberg.

The reality is that the problem of massive migration from the Third World to the Western Europe is created by European self-distracting liberalism. This problem is, as it should now be clear to the whole political spectrum, a permanent component of European life. It is not only just the current influx of migrants, as it may seem, but its future as well.

Western Europe had to deal with much, much larger number of real refugees and displaced persons in the past, particularly after the WWII: there were total of more than 40 millions refugees, of which 12 millions were Germans. They all were true refugees, with no choice other than to flee genocide. It was a terrible burden on Germany and, perhaps to no lesser extent, on some other European countries. But 10 years later there were no refugees in Europe: they all became undistinguishable from the local population. The explanation is obvious: the refugees were people of the same culture and mentality, and had similar education and set of skills as the locals. They simply morphed into the indigenous population.

The contemporary migration from the Third World is fundamentally different. Only a small part of it integrates into the local societies. Their descendants fair no better. According to statistics, their unemployment rate reaches in some places 60 percent. They rely on government subsistence in much greater extent than the indigenous population. The more generous and humane their host country is, the more severe the economical burden of the new immigrants on the county’s economy. Crime among migrants is rampant. In many instances Muslim population demonstrates intolerance to the local culture and beliefs. The greater is the migrant’s population, the more severe are problems associated with them. As everything in nature, the limit will be reached at some point when the society would not be able to exist the way it used to, and all its moral and economic foundations will collapse.

The number of newcomers has already reached the size which strains social and economic resources of Western civilization. There are no conditions to create more jobs for migrants, as their skills are very low, or none. To support them, the productive part of society has to work harder, and get less for its work. The cruel reality is that money is not made by humanitarian ideas: it is the result of intellectual achievement and hard work of the society. Financial burden, along with the fast growing criminality among newcomers and their insistence on supporting their customs make the life of a host country a misery. Another few years of unrestricted immigration, and the whole European society will share the poverty and the way of life of the poorest.

A big part of contemporary migrants are not refugees in political terms: they run from poverty in search of a better life. Quite an understandable desire, and it deserves compassion and help from those who are better off. After all, it is morally wrong and against humanitarian spirit of Christianity – the core of Western Civilization – not to do so.

But there are about 4 billion (or more) unfortunate people around the world, who live in appalling poverty, and mostly in the countries with oppressive regimes. They are all potential migrants. The more they hear stories of generosity of the Western World from their fellow-nationals, the greater number of them resort to dangerous trips to developed countries. These people do not travel to Russia, Eastern European countries, or China. Their destinations are Western Europe, the U.S., Canada and Australia.

There are some among our politicians and human rights activists who advocate for unrestricted immigration or a lenient policy toward it. But you would be surprised to know that none of them is willing to sacrifice their own well-being in favour of their ideology and beliefs. They want the whole society to bear the burden of their ideas. It is easy to become a humanist at somebody’s expense. It is much harder to face the reality and make a tough, painful choice.

The dilemma for developed world, and particularly for Western Europe, is profound, and could shutter its moral foundation. They can stick to its Christian morality and the spirit of humanity, and accept all people in despair – hundreds millions of immigrants from the Third World. This is a sure way to destroy developed societies and become no different from the countries of immigrants origin. Another choice is to stop the immigration no matter how cruel the consequences would be. This is a terrible dilemma from the moral perspective: hundreds of thousands of migrants would die in the journey for a better life. Which of the choices is better? One thing is clear: the time of political correctness, be it in words or in actions, is over. Any decision would be painful, but the reality should be expressed to the indigenous population in no unambiguous terms: there are terrible choices. None of them is good. But they have to be made now, as time is running out.

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Niqab in Canada: Why it is an Issue?

Women in Nijab

Women in Nijab

Niqab is a black shapeless garment, which covers all woman’s body, including face. Usually it has a small slit for eyes, but some variety have opening only for one eye, or even hide both eyes by transparent material.

It happened a while ago that two women, hidden inside Nijab, appeared at the Canadian citizenship ceremony. The authorities considered inappropriate for attendees to hide their faces during a public official procedure, and ordered the women to leave. The women appealed to the federal court, which declared the decision of citizenship authority unconstitutional, and confirmed the two women’s right to attend the citizenship ceremony with their faces hidden.

This issue lingered for some time, attracting little interest of the public, but suddenly exploded in the last month into one of the most heated topics of the federal election campaign. What happened?

One Muslim woman asks in her article: Don’t we have more important issues, such as economy, to discuss? What’s the big deal that we do not see the faces of two women at the citizenship ceremony?

Some voices were quick to accuse Conservatives in exploiting this issue. They may be right, but it does not explain why the public suddenly became so involved in the discussion. It also does not explain why NDP and Liberals have been drawn into this seemingly trifle debate. Why bother?

The reality is, that all political parties became slaves of political correctness, the victim of which is the truth. This Nijab issue, insignificant as it might seem, coincided with the flow of information about influx of Muslim refugees to Western Europe. The fact that it is a disaster was admitted even by the most politically correct press. Under the weight of refugee tide all humanitarian and legal foundations of Western Europe civilization has cracked. Even France and England, which have the most liberal policy towards migrants from the third world, in fact shut their doors to migrants.

Europe is terrified. But not only Europe. Canada is among those countries, whose population is afraid that something similar may happen with it. The majority who are against Nijab are those who likely would vote against accepting Syrian and other migrants.

The interesting fact is, that even Muslim community, usually so active in its religious and customs matters, is predominantly silent. It demonstrates that Canadian Muslims are also not in favour of mass immigration from the Middle East.

Conservatives intend to accept 10 thousands migrants till September 2016. NDP was quick to raise this number to 46 thousands over 4 years. Other NDP members opt for 100,000.

All political parties have highly charged emotional appeals associated with migration from the Middle East.

NDP appeals to Canadian traditional generously and humanity. Conservatives appeal to the population’s sober mind and understanding of reality. The dilemma is clear, although outside the boundary of politically correct language: do we have sufficient funds for absorbing the influx of migrants? Are we willing to face European-style disaster, because we are very kind and compassionate? Do we care in what country our children and grandchildren will live in ten or fifteen years from now? That’s what Nijab, rightly or wrongly, associated with.

Make no mistake: arguments that immigrants from the third world countries help economy is a myth. If interested, browse Internet for statistics of the most immigrant-friendly countries, such as Sweden, France, England and Germany. I do not have to elaborate other points. Suffice it to say, that once started, immigration will grow forever, until either humanitarian principles, or the country itself, will collapse.

There are other issues with Nijab, but perhaps of lesser importance. If granted citizenship, the Niqab-covered women will have full rights to obtain education and become lawyers, judges, doctors, police persons, and other. Now imagine that you bring your mentally unstable child to a psychologist or a psychiatrist, who is hidden inside Niqab. She might have an opening for two eyes, or for one eye, or for none. Would your child be healthier after such a visit?

Another point: what about having a police woman in Niqab?

In early 1980s there was a case in Toronto, when a policeman – a person immigrated from India – claimed that he had the right to wear a turban while on the job, as his religion does not allow him to take it off. He won his case in the court. I have never seen a policemen in turban, and I am happy with that. If I am in distress and look for police, the last thing I would do is to look for a turban in the crowd and call out for his help.

Even less desirable would be a police woman hidden in Niqab. I doubt that anyone would be tolerant enough to see a pilot of international (and even domestic) flight in Niqab. There is no need to expand the list.

I believe that common sense should prevail, and limits of freedom and democracy have to be recognized. If Canada is so kind to immigrants and their customs, it is reasonable to expect from them to recognize the customs of this country, and respect it.

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