It's the end of the road....
Gotta go through Denmark first:
"A zoo in central Denmark is planning to publicly dissect a year-old lion it killed to avoid inbreeding — a year after another Danish zoo triggered online protests for killing a healthy young giraffe, dissecting it, and feeding it to lions in front of children. The Odense Zoo said the carcass of the healthy female lion will be dissected Thursday to coincide with the schools’ fall break. Officials said the event is intended to be educational."
The kids were probably like "Wow! Cool!," or whatever they say these days.
"Joanna Swabe, head of the Brussels-based Humane Society International/Europe, said in a statement that ‘‘zoos routinely overbreed and kill lions and thousands of other animals deemed surplus to requirements.’’ US zoos try to avoid killing animals by using contraceptives to make sure they don’t have more offspring than they can house. That method has also been criticized by some for disrupting animals’ natural behavior. In February 2014, the Copenhagen Zoo faced international protests after a giraffe was killed, dissected, and fed to lions in front of children. The zoo in Odense has done public dissections for 20 years. On Thursday, scores of children stood around a table where the zoo had displayed a stuffed lion cub next to the lion being dissected."
That is going to take a bit of the smiles away.
On up to Finland:
"A three-ring circus in Finland: Soldiers of Odin, clowns, and asylum seekers" by Richard Martyn-Hemphill New York Times February 10, 2016
TAMPERE, Finland — A surreal political circus is wheeling its way through the frosty streets of Finland’s third-largest city.
In one ring is the Soldiers of Odin, a far-right, leather-clad vigilante patrol named for a Norse deity, which has taken upon itself the task of protecting Tampere from the 1,200 or so people seeking asylum here from Syria, Iraq and other places.
In another is a troupe of clowns who skip through the streets carrying lollipops, feather dusters and toilet brushes, mocking and sometimes confronting anti-immigrant groups, including the soldiers. The clowns call themselves the Loldiers of Odin, and have emerged on the scene in the past few weeks as champions of multiculturalism.
And so it goes as this industrial town — which some call Finland’s “capital of comedy” — and much of Europe grapple with the influx of newcomers from the Middle East, Africa and beyond.
It started with the Soldiers of Odin, a group that began in Kemi, a town on the fringe of Lapland near the Arctic Circle that saw thousands of asylum seekers coming through from the Swedish border in late 2015. Now the group is organized in as many as 25 cities in Finland, and a Facebook group for the soldiers has been formed in Norway.
In Tampere, members of the group patrol the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods three times a week, though, so far, their only contribution to law enforcement has been to call the police after encountering a drunken Finn.
“We are a patrol group looking out for the safety of people, the safety of women,” said the group’s local leader, a 37-year-old electrician who spoke on the condition that he be identified by only his first name, Tony.
Enter the Loldiers, to the accompanying tunes of a decrepit accordion and with one clown portraying Odin as a bearded buffoon in a dressing gown and a plastic horned faux-Viking hat. The clowns first rambled into the soldiers’ path on a recent weekend patrol, honking horns and singing nursery rhymes. The next Saturday, the Loldiers tried to repeat the trick at a nationalist rally. The police were not amused and arrested two of the clowns for disturbing the demonstration.
Well, the Fins did collaborate with you-know-who way back you-know-when so there are tendencies.
Jussi Jalonen, a local historian who studies extreme right-wing movements, said the clown troupe was employing the art of parody in an attempt to make anti-immigration fervor and the vigilante patrols appear ridiculous. “They are basically a performance group who are protesting — peacefully and by the means of comedy — against the extreme right,” he said.
I'm always happy when I see my war-pushing, agenda-promoting paper pick up the cause of protest.
The clowns declined to break character to give interviews, though the clown who was arrested at the demonstration said afterward that he had made the police laugh when he was taken to the station. “It was lovely,” the clown said of his arrest.
Another staged protest?
Some of the anti-immigration demonstrators dismissed the clowns as anarchists. They said that just like in Batman’s Gotham City, the heroes are the vigilantes, and the clowns are the villains.
(Blog editor's chin slumps to chest; whatever you think of the issue (or anything else) life is not a Batman movie)
“They are trying to provoke the Soldiers of Odin to hit them, so they will take the blame,” said one of the anti-immigration protesters, who was waving a flaming torch and identified himself only as Jarkko, a 36-year-old construction worker. “But the Soldiers of Odin have kept their cool and have not responded to their provocations.”
The Soldiers of Odin were not visible at the demonstration, though some of the marchers said some members might have been there but not in their trademark leather jackets with images of Odin on the back.
The Soldiers of Odin say they are undaunted by the arrival of the clowns, promising more marches when the snow melts in the spring and when new arrivals are expected. “They are not giving us trouble,” said Tony, the leader of the Tampere division of the Soldiers of Odin. “They are making trouble for themselves.”
His small vanguard of 50 soldiers emerged in Tampere over the past few weeks, playing off resentment of the elite, distrust of the Finnish news media, frustration over growing unemployment and fear prompted by a sudden influx of foreigners — all coming alongside accompanying reports of sexual assaults and terrorist attacks across the Continent in 2015.
Related: Swedish police, accused of coverup, look into reports of sex assault
Still waiting after more than a month.
Some members of the group, including the organization’s leadership in Kemi, according to reports in the local newspaper Aamulehti, are committed neo-Nazis, and some members hold criminal records for domestic abuse.
I was waiting for that shoe to drop.
“They write that we are Nazis, but that is not true,” Tony said. “The group is not a Nazi group. The group is a patrol group.”
Call 'em what you will; my problem with the controlled right is their use, wittingly or not, as a tool of Zionist interests with their Islamophobia and blindness to false flags along Operation Gladio lines and such. Wake up!
The 1,200 new asylum seekers seem to be well aware that they are the subject of considerable controversy and fear. “Some of them are afraid of us,” said Ahmed Ramzi al-Bayati, 22, an asylum seeker from Iraq. “When they see us, they step aside.”
That is brought to me via new$stand every day.
But he said he has nonetheless been made to feel welcome by volunteers and instances of local hospitality.
“I think they are afraid for their country,” he said of the Finns. “They don’t want anyone to demolish it after what they did to build it. No one wants that. But if they see the good side of us . . . ,” he trailed off and smiled.
I already have.
Better keep your bags packed because we are not stopping in Sweden.
"Norway gave its cops guns. After 1 year, it’s taking them away" by Adam Taylor Washington Post February 05, 2016
Norway has long been one of the relatively few European countries where police officers do not routinely carry firearms. In November 2014, this changed: The country’s police officers were ordered to be armed at all times. However, that order ran out this Wednesday, and Norwegian police officers have now disarmed.
So, after roughly 14 months, Norway’s experiment with permanently armed police officers is over — for the time being, at least.
What lies behind this experiment? According to Jørn Schjelderup, deputy chief of police at the Norwegian Police Directorate, the answer is simple: Norway’s police had only armed themselves after a threat assessment made in October 2014 found that a terror attack was ‘‘likely to happen’’ in Norway within the next 12 months. In October 2015, a new assessment was made that suggested the threat was no longer likely, but after the attacks in Paris in November a decision was made to temporarily extend the arming of police.
Now, with a lowered threat assessment, the police are returning to their normal policy, which involves keeping weapons locked inside their vehicles.
Historically, the use of firearms by police officers in Norway has been remarkably rare. Officers only began keeping weapons locked in their vehicles in 2013, Schjelderup says, though some departments have kept weapons in their vehicles since around 2000 or so.
Can you share your secret with Americans? It's over two a day dead here.
While Norwegian police officers were armed for the past year, Schjelderup says there was no increase in the number of incidents involving police firearms over the year. ‘‘Police use of weapons, and threats of use of weapons is very similar to the same level as before the armament,’’ he told The Washington Post.
There were some accidents involving the more widespread use of firearms, Schjelderup explained, though not as many as you might expect.
‘‘We have experienced cases of accidental firing, both as result of disarmament after duty, maintenance of weapon, loading and when officers have been doing weapons training,’’ he said. ‘‘However the total amount is considered relatively low compared to the total amount of weapons handling being done every single day.’’ (Most accidental discharges came when officers were disarming themselves, Schjelderup says.)
Schjelderup credits the high levels of training the Norwegian police officers are given for their restraint when using the weapons. Every officer in service must undertake weapons training and tactical training involving firearms for at least 48 hours every year. For the Police Response Units (the Norwegian equivalent of SWAT teams), the expectations are higher: 103 hours a year.
It’s worth noting, too, that gun ownership is restricted in Norway. But a culture of hunting and sports shooting means there is a relatively large number of firearms among the general public in the country (academic studies have suggested that Norway is just outside the top 10 in the ranking of countries by firearms per capita).
The italicized part was extra gunfire from the web version of the piece.
As Norway killer sues for human rights, survivors stay away
Norwegian killer says solitary confinement, in 3-room suite, violates his rights
Norwegian killer’s rights were violated, court rules
It's regarding that Anders Behring Breivik character whom some claim is a different person in prison than that accused of the crime (he dead?), and there are some doubts as to whether the event actually happened at all and was another in a long line of staged and scripted psyop crisis drills reported as real.
"Unhappy in Europe, some Iraqis return home" by Loveday Morris Washington Post January 01, 2016
BAGHDAD — Despite a grueling month-long journey to Sweden, he came back home - one of a surging number of returnees, Iraqi and international authorities say. The International Organization for Migration says it helped 779 Iraqis come back from Europe voluntarily in November, more than double the previous month, and those figures don’t include people such as Faisal, who returned on his own.
Some have chosen to leave because they were confused about the asylum process, disillusioned with the lack of opportunities or homesick, while others were forced to go when their asylum claims were rejected.
‘‘It was a boring life there, their food even a cat wouldn’t eat it,’’ Faisal Uday Faisal, 25, said of his two months in an asylum center near the Swedish city of Malmo. ‘‘I went to Europe and discovered Europe is just an idea. Really, it’s just like Bab al-Sharji,’’ he said, referring to a Baghdad market neighborhood.
That's what I've been saying for years about the forced or otherwise migrations that always seem to benefit the $ame cho$en intere$ts.
While some who come back of their own volition may not have been fleeing danger in the first place, aid agencies warn that legitimate asylum seekers are also being discouraged as Europe becomes less welcoming to newcomers and tries to tighten its borders. Finland and Belgium are among the countries that have warned arrivals from Baghdad that they won’t automatically receive asylum.
Faisal concedes that he left for economic reasons, the kind of asylum applicant European authorities are trying to sift out from those fleeing violence. He said he decided to ‘‘arrange a story’’ about being threatened by Iraqi militias.
Faisal begged his father, who had already spent $8,000 on sending his sons to Europe, to send money so he could come home. ‘‘He missed the services here. At home everything is done for him,’’ said Faisal’s father, Uday Faisal Mohee.
He's a daddy's boy! Those Muslims!
‘‘The problem is, the words Europe or America has such magic for the young people. This one is still affected even though he knows the reality,’’ he said, pointing to his younger son, who returned to Iraq after being detained in Turkey en route but still wishes to try again.
I've stopped believing in the illusion of my newspaper being an impartial arbiter.
‘‘There are thousands of Iraqis who have come back, and thousands more that want to,’’ said Sattar Nowruz, a spokesman for the Iraqi Ministry of Migration and Displacement. Iraqi embassies in Europe are scrambling to provide emergency travel documents for those travelling back.
Nowruz said many young Iraqis were encouraged by television broadcasts of hundreds of thousands flocking to Europe this summer. According to the United Nations’ humanitarian organization, 8 percent of the nearly 1 million refugees and migrants who have arrived in Europe by sea this year were Iraqi.
Aid agencies say asylum seekers are struggling to have their cases heard.
‘‘Some authorities are encouraging applicants to return,’’ said Shannon Pfohman, head of policy for Caritas Europa, ‘‘implying that they won’t get asylum, won’t get a job and generally painting a bleak picture.’’
A total of 35,000 refugees and migrants left Europe ‘‘voluntarily’’ from the beginning of the year to November, Pfohman said. ‘‘But really much of it is more forced. It’s not clear what extent it’s voluntary,’’ she said, adding that a further 17,000 were deported.
Those fleeing certain countries are being increasingly lumped together, she said, whereas each claim should be individually assessed. But asylum systems are overwhelmed.
The uncertainty and often chaotic claims process has led even some of those fleeing the worst of the Islamic State’s atrocities to give up and return to a life of displacement.
After spending $11,000 traveling to Germany, and four months waiting for his asylum claim to be processed there, Ibrahim Abdullah, a 42-year-old member of the minority Yazidi sect, returned to his camp in northern Iraq in October.
He was displaced in the Islamic State’s devastating assault on the northern Yazidi town of Sinjar last year. Hundreds of thousands fled. Yazidi men who were captured were killed and dumped in mass graves, and women were sold as sex slaves.
There is reason to doubt that, and those things have been waved at us so often when wars need to be pushed forward.
Never you mind the millions in graves over U.S. war lies.
Kurdish forces recaptured Sinjar last month, but the town has been reduced to rubble by fighting and U.S. airstrikes that backed the counteroffensive there. Abdullah’s village on its outskirts is still under the Islamic State’s grip.
Despite having little to return to, Abdullah became concerned that he would not be able to bring his 16-year-old son and wife to join him in Germany as he had originally hoped.
‘‘It was a camp there, or a camp here,’’ he said. Returning, he said, was the most difficult decision of his life.
‘‘I’ve been with my family all my life. I’ve never been away from them. They were telling me to stay, but I couldn’t,’’ he said. ‘‘I wanted to take my family to Europe where there’s peace and security, where we are treated like humans. Here, as a minority, we don’t feel accepted.’’
Proving how hard and unnatural migration is. You have to be forced to do it.
Some return to less than they had when they left.
Wissam Razzaq, 34, had lived in a rented house with his wife and four children before he left for Finland in September. He sold his taxi, his source of income, to help pay for the 27-day trip.
His brothers had both died during Iraq’s sectarian bloodletting, one in 2006 and another the following year. His neighborhood was regularly hit by car bombs. He felt he had a genuine claim and would be able to bring his family to join him.
He does, we all do to peace and security, and I'm sorry my lying sh** government brought war and insecurity to us both.
But he had just one asylum interview in the 45 days he spent in Finland - during his first week there. He felt unwelcomed as right-wing protests against refugees were held.
‘‘If I found only 20 percent of what I’d imagined, I’d have stayed,’’ he said.
With no source of income, Razzaq and his family have had to move into a room of his parents’ house.
‘‘I’ve come back and I’ve had to start from the bottom again, from zero,’’ he said. ‘‘All my efforts and suffering were for nothing.’’
Welcome to AmeriKa!
This post started in Finland so I suppose it should finish there, too.