“An authoritarian party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski’s ‘Law and Justice’ has shaken hands with fundamentalist Catholicism,” the theologian and former Jesuit priest Stanislaw Obirek commented as early as last year, in an interview with the German state broadcaster MDR. The church, he said, had become a political player.Although the chair of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki, supported Pope Francis, the majority of the Polish clergy were conservative and openly urged people to vote PiS, Obirek said. The theologian’s assessment was that “it was only through the submissiveness of all political parties towards the church that we ended up with the political situation we have in Poland today.”
The recipe is universal. Find a wound common to many, someone to blame for it and a good story to tell. Mix it all together. Tell the wounded you know how they feel. That you found the bad guys. Label them: the minorities, the politicians, the businessmen. Cartoon them. As vermin, evil masterminds, flavourless hipsters, you name it. Then paint yourself as the saviour. Capture their imagination. Forget about policies and plans, just enrapture them with a good story. One that starts in anger and ends in vengeance. A vengeance they can participate in.That’s how it becomes a movement. There’s something soothing in all that anger. Though full of hatred, it promises redemption. Populism can’t cure your suffering, but it can do something almost as good—better in some ways: it can build a satisfying narrative around it. A fictionalized account of your misery. A promise to make sense of your hurt. It is them. It’s been them all along.For all those who listen, Populism is built on the irresistible allure of simplicity. The narcotic of the simple answer to an intractable question. The problem is now made simple. The problem is you.
The report claims: “Saudi Arabia has, since the 1960s, sponsored a multimillion dollar effort to export Wahhabi Islam across the Islamic world, including to Muslim communities in the west.“In the UK, this funding has primarily taken the form of endowments to mosques and Islamic educational institutions, which have in turn played host to extremist preachers and the distribution of extremist literature. Influence has also been exerted through the training of British Muslim religious leaders in Saudi Arabia, as well as the use of Saudi textbooks in a number of the UK’s independent Islamic schools.”It adds: “A number of Britain’s most serious Islamist hate preachers sit within the Salafi-Wahhabi ideology and are linked to extremism sponsored from overseas, either by having studied in Saudi Arabia as part of scholarship programmes, or by having been provided with extreme literature and material within the UK itself.”Advertisement
The candidate is of course now president of the United States, who calls the media “the enemy of the American people.”This is not a small development in the long history of shocking Trumpisms.AdvertisementYou don’t need to take the Guardian’s word for it. Here’s the opinion of William McRaven, the former special ops commander and architect of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden: “This sentiment may be the greatest threat to democracy in my lifetime,” he told journalism students at the University of Texas earlier this year.Yes, journalists are important. So important that the founding fathers cited the freedom of the press in the first amendment to the constitution. At the start of the Bill of Rights, it’s sandwiched between the freedom of religion and the right to petition the government.Journalism is so important that the Massachusetts constitution says this: “The liberty of the press is essential to the security of freedom in a state: it ought not, therefore, to be restrained in this commonwealth.”
This time, the killer—a lone man in a suicide bomb vest—struck at a concert by pop idol Ariana Grande, a tiny singer with an enormous, powerful voice whose fans like to wear pink kitten-eared headbands to match hers. Grande, whose journey from child star to pop artist has sometimes threatened to derail like fellow Disney veteran Britney Spears, has emerged lately as a gracious, multitalented star, adored by tween and teen girls and their mothers, the boys brave enough to admit they love her too, and young gay men.This is who the bomber decided to kill.In targeting children, what happened in Manchester gets at the very heart of terrorism. Because what is more terrifying than the thought of sending your child out into the world—into a joyous space created for her—and never seeing her alive again? We try to raise our children to be brave, but what happens to our own courage when we think about the possibility of sudden, irrevocable danger?
This would be a remarkable position for someone long affiliated with Richard Mack’s extremist Patriot organization, the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, to hold. Among the core tenets of CSPOA dogma is the far-right “constitutionalist” belief that sheriffs represent the highest law of the land, and are capable of overturning or ignoring federal laws within their own jurisdictions. Moreover, Clarke’s history of incendiary remarks includes his advocacy of “a second American revolution.”
The Identitarian Movementis currently being monitored by the BfV, Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, for possibly infringing on the constitution, also known as the Basic Law.The right-wing movement, with an estimated 300 members, propagates a return to what it sees as traditional national values and is accused of xenophobia and Islamophobia.The military’s counterintelligence agency, MAD, is presently examining a total of 284 cases of alleged far-right extremismin the Bundeswehr.Bundeswehr under pressureMAD investigations include four students at the Bundeswehr’s university who are suspected of having ties to far-right movements, according to SZ’s report. The MAD probe is scrutinizing potential direct or indirect links between the four students and a first lieutenant in custody since late April on suspicion of planning terrorist attacks. Franco A. and his two known accomplices had reportedly been scheming to blame refugees for the attacks. Franco A. had pretended to be a Syrian migrant himself and received subsidiary protection status in a scandal that raised many questions about how asylum applications are handled by Germany’s Office for Migration and Refugees.The case of Franco A shook the German military, whose image was already suffering after a series of abuse cases. German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen launched a major inquiry into the present state of disarray at the Bundeswehr, but has been criticized for mismanaging the crisis, and faces accusations of doing too little, too late.
House Medicaid amendments were less about Medicaid than about lassoing Republican “yes” votes on the budget rewrite, and, two, that the Ohio House Republican caucus is shifting. To the right.
Germany’s interior minister has presented a 10-point plan on the divisive issue of “Leitkultur” – the idea of establishing dominant German values. Thomas de Maiziere believes this will help integrate immigrants.