My eye was caught by this headline from Agence France-Presse: "Belgian Scheme Tries To Nip Radicalisation In The Bud." Put aside the fact that "radicalization" is itself a weaselly equivocation, and that in Molenbeek it's way past being "in the bud", given that the suburb's residents have played a role in the Paris slaughter, the Jewish Museum murders, the Madrid train bombings, etc, etc. But, as I say, put all that aside and take the "Belgian scheme" at face value:
Molenbeek (Belgium) (AFP) - In the troubled Brussels district of Molenbeek, politician Sarah Turine is on the frontline of her own war to stop the sons of Belgian families going off to Syria to join Islamic State fighters.
The first step is often to send a sociologist and psychologist to try to re-establish the link between the troubled young man and his family. The next is to flag up the dire consequences of the choice they seem to be about to make.
"We must try to defuse this anger among the young," Turine, who oversees a radicalisation prevention programme in Molenbeek, told AFP over tea at an upscale Arab cafe.
"We have to assure them they have a place here, that they are not second-class citizens, and to undermine the recruiters' arguments," said Turine, a member of the leftist Ecolo party.
Doesn't all this sound awfully time-consuming and manpower-intensive and expensive? The "first step" is to send round "a sociologist and psychologist"? Two trained, credentialed professionals? In the 21st century, you can't get a doctor to make a house call - unless you're a "troubled young man" of jihadist bent in need of mental-health counseling.
Wouldn't it be easier and cheaper not to keep importing and expanding the particular community which produces all these "troubled young men"?
Perish the thought. The more "troubled young men" at risk of "radicalization" the more sociologists and psychologists we need to send round:
Belgium has come under fire for failing to crack down on the radicalisation of its youth since the Paris attacks this month saw 130 people killed by jihadists, many of whom lived in or had links to the impoverished immigrant district of Molenbeek.
For families it can be hard to know where to turn in the tiny northern European country, already the region's top recruiting ground for jihadi "foreign fighters" in Syria and Iraq compared to the number of people.
Community leaders say Molenbeek presents a toxic mix of reasons its youth are becoming radicalised: high unemployment, lack of career prospects, drug abuse, petty crime and isolation from Belgium's non-Muslim majority.
Put aside the fact that on present trends the majority won't be "non-Muslim" for long and that the "isolation" comes mostly from the self-segregating minority. Instead, just admire the success of the anti-radicalization program:
Bilal, a 21-year-old Muslim resident of the district, says recruiters from the Islamic State group that claimed the Paris attacks convinced around a dozen of his male and female friends to join their cause in Syria...
Turine said she is certain the programme has helped "dozens and dozens and dozens" of young Muslims and has prevented some going to Syria.
So Ms Turine is "certain" that her expensive government program has helped "dozens and dozens and dozens" of young Muslims and prevented "some" going to Syria. Whereas Bilal can name a dozen young Muslims just from his own personal circle who've gone off to Syria.
And, meanwhile, thousands and thousands and thousands of additional young Muslims pour into the European Union every week.
You do the math.
To use a Low Countries analogy, Ms Turine is putting a finger in a dike that opens up a hundred new holes every day.
~Why cannot the obvious - that mass Muslim immigration is not a good fit for western societies - be stated? Short answer: Because it's not "politically correct". On the subject of which, Kathy Shaidle writes:
Around that time, Nick DiPaolo won some Best Young Comic award and was repeatedly assured he was going to be the Next Big Thing because he was so politically incorrect and "people are dying for someone to take that on." Now, I LOVE DiPaolo with all my heart (and MasterCard), but, well, I hear he's playing Hilarities in Trenton this weekend. Sometimes his liberal superstar pals Amy Schumer and Louis C.K. toss him guest spots on their award-winning TV shows...
We have been "winning" since the beginning, and yet we keep losing.
And what would "winning" look like?
Take my home province: Our lesbian premier has mandated a new sex-ed curriculum that was co-written by a convicted pedophile and teaches kids, among other things, that there are six genders, not two.
That's correct. In Canada's largest province, that's the official state-mandated truth, starting from kindergarten - and there is no serious organized resistance to it. So what do you think the adults that emerge from such schools in twelve years' time will be like?
On the radio this morning, Michael Graham asked me about recent polls finding that 40 per cent of millennials think "hate speech" should be criminalized and nearly a third of Democrats feel the same way about dissent from "climate change" orthodoxy. And that's why John Kerry stands up in Paris and blurts out that killing cartoonists for drawing something you disapprove of has a "legitimacy" or "rationale". If you don't believe in free speech for climate deniers or homophobes, why would you believe in it for Charlie Hebdo? Sure, you might be a little squeamish about gunning them all down in cold blood - but all you're doing is quibbling over the penalty: fines for trans apostates, prison for climate apostates, death for Islamic apostates. They're merely different points on the same continuum.
As Kathy points out, since the Eighties everybody has breezily asserted that no-holds-barred ribald comedy is a surefire way to kill political correctness. The result is that, at college campuses across the fruited plain, if it's a choice between jokes or PC, the youth of America will happily forego the former. It's not just that in the interests of "social justice" they're willing to give up free speech, but that they're willing to undergo a full-scale humorectomy. The anodyne, evasive profanities of a John Oliver are all that remains.
~Thank you for your warm response to my cat album, Feline Groovy, which was released yesterday. I'm pleased to see Marvin the cat and I are holding our own against Harry Connick and Michael Bublé. Those guys are such losers. It's available from Amazon via CD or digital download - and also from iTunes and CD Baby.
~Later today I'll be on the radio with Brian Lilley on CFRA in Ottawa. The fun starts at 1.30pm Eastern.