Date: November 22, 2015

SCOOP: Anti- migrant performance on football match in Ljubljana

Last evening in Athens there was a football derby match between Panathinaikos and Olympiakos. On the other part of Balkans another big derby match was going at the same time between two biggest Slovenian football clubs: Olimpija Ljubljana and Maribor.

Sometime around midnight, I received a text from a good friend of mine, who’s a Slovenian researcher and blogger: “You should check on this!” There was a photo from a football match showing supporters of Maribor also called “Viole” with banners and flags.

Dejan, Viole

Maribor fans wrote on a huge banners following: “The most precious thing that can be taken from us is our own nation. If we will not fight for it we will lose it forever. Stop migrants!”








Supporters lift with banners also national flags of Slovenia and there was a flag with the Celtic Cross mainly used by ultra-right, fascist and nazis groups.

team derby

Source: Facebook page of NK Maribor

Let’s just mention some facts on football club Maribor. The coach of the club is Krunoslav Jurčić, Croatian. Here is for the illustration the team that started yesterday’s match:
In Athens the match between Olympiakos and Panathinaikos was canceled. But supporters of Panathinaikos still came with this banner:

For years I have already been dealing with research on right-wing ideologies. Obviously I am aware of links between football supporters and neo-naziism or neo-fascism. “In the 80’s and 90’s, Nazis were still the dominant forces in our group. But sure, we kicked those mother fuckers out,” supporters of Athens based Panathinaikos told me once. “In our group they are minority now,” they claimed.

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“ISIS isn’t doing anything important”

Apparently a quote by Obama. As paraphrased by CNN’s Michelle Kosinski:

What? It will be interesting to see the full quote. It looks pretty bad. But it sounds like other language some have thrown around to downplay ISIS. Obama, too, with his language like, “What I’m not interested in doing is posing or pursuing some notion of ‘American leadership’ or ‘America winning”,” seems like he doesn’t give any fucks.

We shouldn’t be scared all the time. We should keep in mind that the chances of getting killed in a terrorist attack are very low. We should keep things in perspective. Still, that’s not the same as saying ISIS, having taken over vast swaths of land, massacred minorities, persecuted locals, and murdered civilians across the world, is not “doing anything important.” They have changed the direction of major foreign policy decisions.

Let me put things in perspective:

Other people:

Some valid arguments against refugee program

Yesterday I wrote about the anti-refugee protests held by Overpasses for America and how their rhetoric and arguments were crazy. “No refugees illegals,” said a sign.

However, I don’t want to imply that there are no rational arguments in favor of curtailing or slowing down the admittance of refugees from certain countries. Just that people who call for the arrest of the president, or who post images of the Statue of Liberty in flames and the text, “They are here for your children. … Arm yourself, get training,” are typically not making the best arguments, are fueled by fear and paranoia.

In the interest of fairness, I should link to a few people who are making more civil and convincing arguments against refugees.

Megan McArdle points out some bad arguments come from the pro-refugee side, too.

The Gulf states are not taking refugees. Not really an argument for us not taking refugees as much as it is one that the Saudi Arabia and others aren’t doing their part. It is an argument that those states are Islamic and are a bigger cause of the problem in that they are funding the campaign against Assad.

But even if they are Islamic, they might not be the most welcoming to foreigners, which is why they so far haven’t been welcoming, and America is the welcoming immigrant country. One could argue that to cite Saudi Arabia’s inaction as justification is to deny America’s exceptionalism. No one would cite Saudi Arabia’s human rights record as something America should aim for.

We should settle Christians who are being murdered by a theocratic terrorist group that kills non-believers. According to a New York Times Magazine article, Christians are leaving Syria in droves. So far 3 percent of the Syrian refugees America has accepted have been Christian, compared to a Syrian population of 10 percent Christian. Does those numbers indicate the U.S. should be accepting more Christians? Hard to say without knowing more information, such as the local population demographics, the extent of violence in different places, and the demographic composition of those who have applied for refugee status.

One of the people who attacked in France snuck into Europe with a group of refugees. Ensuring who is allowed in when they step off boats with fake documents is hard, but that is more of a problem for Europe, where 100’s of thousands are coming on boats, than America.

So there are some issues to consider with regards to refugees, but they should be considered logically.

Is Bernie Sanders a socialist? Depends on your definition of socialism.

There’s an ongoing debate over whether Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is really a socialist or not. The independent Senator from Vermont, who caucuses with the Democrats, has long called himself a “democratic socialist”–and has often simplified it to “socialist.” He recently gave a speech defending socialism by invoking welfare policies like Social Security and the FDR agenda.

Forbes contributor Tim Worstall wrote that, while those policies may be liberal ideas, they aren’t socialism. He said that socialism is only about who gets to own the means of production, not the assets, which Sanders wants to be redistributed.

But socialism, like communism, and like many other ideologies, including conservatism and liberalism, it should be said (look at the vast differences between neo-cons, paleo-cons, social cons, and libertarian cons just within the U.S.), is a slippery concept.

Sanders often cites Denmark as an example of a “democratic socialist” country he would want the U.S. to emulate. Is Denmark socialist? Their right-leaning PM Lars Rasmussen says no.

But according to Liberalapedia, Denmark is socialist. Specifically, it is a social democracy, which Liberalapedia says can mean socialism:

Democratic socialism can mean Social democracy as in Sweden, Denmark and other Scandinavian countries and that works, Denmark is the happiest country in the world while Sweden, Norway and Finland are among the happiest. Democratic socialism can also mean Command economies which don’t work.

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Overpasses for America gets into an argument with me

Overpasses for America is a Tea Party-era group who has been protesting this past week against America’s refugee program for Syrians. I wrote about their protests yesterday, calling them the “dark underbelly of anti-refugee animosity.”

Today, Overpasses’ official Twitter account got into an argument with me. Here’s the tweet I sent that started it off:

Overpasses responds:

In the heat of battle, I misfired, too:

The actual number of illegal immigrants in America is between 11 million and 12 million, as noted by multiple sources.

I corrected my tweet later:

Next Overpasses stated that Syrians should be fighting for their country rather than fleeing:

My response:

Overpasses made an inept comparison:

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Highway overpasses display dark underbelly of anti-refugee animosity

On my way from Denver up to Fort Collins today, I noticed a man with two small American flags in each hand standing on the overpass above the highway. In front of him was a sign that said, “No refugees.”

Ah, there it is. Beyond a (low) threshold, the number of flags a patriot is waving is inversely related with the rationality and sanity of one’s individual argument. Overpasses for America is a Tea Party-style group began around August 2013 as “Overpasses for Obama’s Impeachment.” People stood on overpasses with anti-Obama signs and American flags and tried to get Obama impeached. Apparently it didn’t work. From that inception, the overpasses movement, rebranded as Overpasses for America, continued to host anti-Obama/anti-Democrat protests.

As can be seen by the cover photo chosen for the Chicago anti-refugee protest, the most important thing is to have a lot of American flags:
overpasses flags copy

Since the Paris attacks, there have been a number of anti-refugee protests. The one in Naperville, IL chose a more even-headed title: “NO Syrian Refugees Rally” (as opposed to “No ISIS Refugees”).

Here are some photos from the Chicago rally (posted to their Facebook page):

They get their issues mixed up:

"No more illegals" and "No refugees illegals" signs.

“No more illegals” and “No refugees illegals” signs.

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