Nils Melzer’s book about the persecution of Julian Assange – Nils Melzer, The Trial of Julian Assange, A story of persecution, must be heeded, due to Melzer’s extraordinary position and status as an independent international investigator and legal expert in complaints of torture and ill-treatment,  which has given him access to details and documents not previously available. That is probably why it is hard to get the book in Australia.
U.S. government strategists are using sanctions as a wrecking ball to demolish the globalized economy. It is a desperate struggle to preserve their global hegemony and a unipolar world. The policy of consciously demolishing supply chains of essential products amounts to a reckless war on defenseless civilian populations. Sanctions disrupt trade worldwide and send shockwaves far beyond the countries directly targeted. This is well understood by financial planners.
"Sweden has failed to integrate the vast numbers of immigrants it has taken in over the past two decades, leading to parallel societies and gang violence, Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said on Thursday, as she launched a series of initiatives to combat organised crime." Australia, however, oft
Ivor Cummins is a health writer and biochemical engineer, who calls himself The Fat Emperor. He has drafted a letter for people to send to politicians and the press, querying the seriousness of COVID-19. He calls it the "Corona Basic Realities Letter," and writes, advocating 'herd immunity', as one of his 'indisputable facts', that: "Sweden, who were vilified for their approach, has had a very similar death rate to other countries." But Sweden actually has had a much higher death rate than its neighbours, although it did practice social distancing and other hygiene measures, whilst leaving businesses open etc.
The virus killed more than 5800 people in the relevant period, giving Sweden one of the world’s highest per capita mortality rates.
To compare those figures with other Scandinavian countries, Denmark has recorded 621 deaths, Finland has recorded 334 deaths, and Norway 262." [Sweden has about twice the population of the other Nordic countries, but the number of deaths is still very high in comparison.]
"The study, carried out by the country’s Public Health Agency, found that just 6.1 per cent of the country’s population had developed coronavirus antibodies by late May. This figure falls far short of Dr Tegnell’s prediction.
Experts have said achieving herd immunity would require at least 60 per cent of the population to become immune to the virus." From: https://www.news.com.au/world/coronavirus/global/coronavirus-sweden-has-recorded-its-highest-death-toll-in-150-years/news-story/086570ad4dc5336e46885fdef15e5fa3 (21 August, 2020)
You can find some other stats here: https://nucleuswealth.com/coronavirus-covid19-dashboard-charts-and-data-every-country/sweden
Cummins compares South American countries, Peru vs Brazil - lockdown vs none - claiming death rates are similar and assuming this proves lockdown does not help. But he should take into account other factors, such as dirty water, crowding, poor hygiene, undocumented workers, poor health system, which would make lockdowns and or treatment ineffective. See https://www.kunc.org/2020-08-31/peru-grapples-with-the-pandemic-despite-an-early-and-tough-lockdown.
Cummins criticises (Ferguson's epidemiological model> (an early influential British coronavirus epidemiological simulation that contributed - among others - to lockdown decisions), for Sweden vs 'actual' data. Strangely, Cummins does not appear to take into account the effect on the death rate of measures taken against the virus in Sweden, albeit lesser measures than in neighbouring countries (which had much lower death rates). This virus is so infective that, without any infection control measures, much higher contagion would be expected. This seems to be a common error in criticisms of quarantines and lockdowns. See this article for a thorough explanation of what the Ferguson model purported to do.
Ivor Cummings does not talk about Italy, which is an example of an entire country crippled by COVID-19, with a high severe illness and death rate that overwhelmed the hospital and funeral system. Three well-known factors operated there: The first was a mass infection that took place in a crowded football match; the second was that the government treated COVID-19 as if it were no more serious than the flu; the third was that Italy had such a high proportion of elderly people. The situation was made worse by the government failing to give financial support to its citizens, whilst ordering them into lockdown.
Victoria, Australia, is still experiencing in September 2020 what most of the world would see as a comparatively minor outbreak of COVID-19 in the community – certainly in contrast to Italy. The state initially locked down the most affected suburbs, but expanded lockdown quickly to the rest of the metropolis, and some affected regions. Contiguous states locked their borders against Victoria. Known new infections only reached 684 at their current peak, against a background of total known infections of 19,688 total, yet contagion reduced hospital and nursing-home staff, by quarantine and illness, to the extent that other states had to send in relief. What would have happened if there had been no lockdown? The virus would have spread to all other states and the hospitals would quickly have been overwhelmed. If, bizarrely, staff had continued to work in them without being tested themselves, without isolating if asymptomatic, patients presenting to hospitals with other illnesses would have run high risk of acquiring COVID-19 in addition to their presenting illnesses. Knowing this was a risk, even with quarantine, people avoided hospitals. Victoria is not out of the woods yet, and a small number of infections have escaped beyond the state, but the health system has coped to this point.
Cummins seems to be championing the idea of herd immunity, without thinking it through. Herd immunity needs definition. Many definitions disagree. The requirement, in herd immunity, for a much higher number of cases to establish, than usually allowed through strict quarantine, would mean potentially far more suffering. The virus would not go away, but would remain in the community to affect upcoming aging or otherwise vulnerable cohorts; thus a lurking endemic nasty. The capacity for COVID-19 to reinfect, and the ability of the virus to change rapidly, calls into question the very possibility of widespread immunity.
Not just deaths
Cummins should not just be looking at deaths, and neither should we. Deaths may actually be a poor indicator of the damage this virus may do. We should be looking at a continuum, as in: If the proportion of people who contract COVID-19, and who are over 80, die, what happens to those (of any age) who live? Given the ability of this disease (unlike flu) to cause clotting problems all over the body, affecting organs which affect other organs, we should be expecting that a proportion of survivors will have various rates of blood clots and organ damage. What proportion of these will clear, improve, or become chronic and dangerous? How long will how many survivors survive? Check out the following videos by doctors regarding clotting and organ-damage.
"More long-term damage caused by COVID-19 than expected | COVID-19 Special" (August 26, 2020)
The above video has many comments of interest, from people who have suffered lingering damage from the virus.
"An NYC Cardiologist Explains the Long Term Effects of COVID-19."
The cardiologist in the above video points out that, even if you are young and fit when you catch COVID-19, you still may not be able to do what you used to do, after you recover. He also says that people should present early for treatment because then treatment can be started to reduce the damage to organs, thus perhaps reducing the severity of chronic conditions that may linger and prevent full recovery. He also says that four years after the 1918 Great Flu epidemic, many survivors still had debilitating symptoms.
"Long-term health effects of COVID-19" (Lung specialist talks about pulmonary fibrosis, which may lead to need for lung transplants.)
Most important to factor in, among all these continuum possibilities, is the incredibly infectious nature of COVID-19, far more than the flu. Cummins does not appear to think much about this.
Ivor Cummins' letter suggests that recent rises (second waves) of corona virus are the result of countries conducting more tests, or the effects of seasonality. There seems to be little evidence of seasonality, however.
He speaks confidently of vaccines to help the susceptible, but there is no certainty of any effective vaccines arriving.
Researchers have discovered microfossils resembling fungi in lavas that erupted on the seafloor 2.4 billion years ago, representing the oldest evidence of fungal life.
The new paper, published in Nature Ecology and Evolution today, suggests that fungi not only emerged much earlier than suspected but also evolved beneath the sea rather than on land.
Until now, the fossil evidence for cavity-dwelling fungi only extended back 46 million years, but the new discovery potentially extends that record by 2400 million years.
“I was looking for minerals to date the age of the rock when my attention was drawn to a series of vesicles and when I increased the magnification of the microscope I was startled to find what appeared tobe exquisitely preserved fossilised microbes,” Professor Rasmussen said.
“It quickly became apparent that cavities within the volcanic rocks were once crawling with life.
“The new discovery has implications for the evolution of life on Earth, representing the earliest evidence of possible fungi by 1 to 2 billion years, and the earliest evidence of eukaryotic life by at least 500 million years.
“We hope this research will help to answer fundamental questions about the evolution of life on our planet and beyond.”
The research aims to help identify targets in the search for life on rocky planets in the Solar System, including Mars, where vesicular basalts have been previously identified.
Co-author Dr Janet Muhling, also from Curtin University, said the team is currently searching the ancient volcanic rock record for microfossils to construct a more complete picture of life in the deep biosphere on early Earth.
“The discovery of well-preserved microfossils in 2.4 billion year-old vesicular basalts is exciting because it opens up the possibility that microfossils may exist in even older volcanic rocks than previously thought,” Dr Muhling said.
The paper was co-authored by researchers from the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm.
The full research paper, Fungus-like mycelial fossils in 2.4 billion-year-old vesicular basalt, can be found at: http://www.nature.com/natecolevol/
Updates (18/8/15) : 1. "Julian Assange and the Value of WikiLeaks: Subverting Illusions" (17/8/15) | Global Research republished from Roots Action, 2. Manning barred from legal library before solitary confinement hearing (17/8/15) | RT.
This article has been adapted from the original article which was published on RT on 10 Aug 2015. The fate awaiting Julian Assange should he be extradited to the United States is indicated by the treatment of fellow whistleblower Chelsea Manning at the hands of the United States Government. See Chelsea Manning faces indefinite solitary confinement, lawyer says (13/8/15) | RT.
A member of Assange's legal team, Jen Robinson, says that a number of important questions have been raised, adding that "Julian hasn't been charged, yet he is being punished."
"First, they refused to take his testimony while he remained in Sweden. Then they refused to hear it in the UK, saying it was illegal to come here. Five years later, after being rebuked by their own courts, they say they'll consider it," she told the Press Association.
"Instead of hearing what he had to say, the prosecutor chose to cast a shadow of suspicion over Julian by seeking his extradition. We offered his testimony from London before the arrest warrant was issued, and have continued to offer it since."
In March, the Swedish director of public prosecutions, Marianne Ny, agreed to question Assange on Ecuadorian embassy soil, as the sexual assault allegations reach the statute of limitations in August.
However, the meeting planned for June 17 was called off at the last minute, as Ny said Sweden had not received official permission from Ecuador to enter its London embassy. Assange scorned Ny's decision, saying it was nothing more than "a public relations exercise."
Meanwhile, UK human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell#fn1" id="txt1"> 1 said that by agreeing to interview 44 people in the UK, but not Assange, Sweden was "guilty of double standards and victimization," adding they are "making an exception of him."
"It is wrong to deny Assange the option to be interviewed in the UK, which has been extended to others and which he has been offering for five years," the Press Association cited him as saying.
"The Swedish authorities are not applying the law about overseas interviews consistently and fairly. They are acting in an exceptional and discriminatory way towards Assange. Julian Assange has been in various forms of detention for five years, without ever having been charged with any offence. This amounts to pre-trial punishment and is a gross abuse of his human rights and the legal system."
If Assange steps out of the Ecuador Embassy, he will be arrested and extradited to Sweden. Police officers are keeping a round the clock watch on the Australian's refuge, which has already cost the British tax payer more than £12 million ($18.6 million).
"Will the Cameron government spend another £12 million to detain a person who hasn't been charged, simply because Sweden refuses to make use of the mechanisms available to resolve Julian's case?" Robinson asked.
The 43 year-old sought asylum in the embassy because he fears that his extradition to Sweden on suspicion of rape and sexual assault will lead to his transfer to the US, where he could face trial over WikiLeaks' publication of classified US documents.
Assange denies Sweden's accusations, calling them politically motivated. He claims that the ultimate goal of this legal process is to transfer him to the United States.
Whilst much of the content on Peter Tatchell's web-site, including his defence of Julian Assange, is laudable, other content on his site, unfortunately repeats the lying narrative of the mainstream media. Examples can be found in Iran nuclear deal: Why aren't we talking about Iranian human rights abuses? (23/7/15):
The country's rulers have ambitions to be a regional and, eventually global, power. Having nuclear weapons would give them leverage and a place at the top table in international affairs. Tehran calculates that the world would have to take them seriously, and would not be able to pressure them, if they had the bomb.
Iran's desire for expanded geo-political influence in the Middle East echoes the existing US and Saudi Arabian influence in the region. The ayatollahs are already projecting their power beyond their own borders; supporting Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza and Assad in Syria.
Whatever may be the truth behind Peter Tatchell's claims that Iran persecutes gays in the above article and elsewhere, the scale of the alleged persecution seems trivial compared to mass killings in neighbouring Iraq since 1990 and Syria since 2011 at the hands of United States military and its proxy terrorists. See Former US Attorney General: US (& Australian) sanctions against Iraq are genocidal (Jan 2014).
I could find nothing about any of this on Peter Tatchell's web-site.
The term ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ was coined in 1973 after a bank robbery and hostage situation caused hostages to bond with their captors and helped them fight off those who were there to rescue them. Ironically, there is a new brand of the syndrome in the country where it originated – Sweden. Only, it doesn’t involve a few hostages and hostage-takers.
The Australian Immigration Department has been left behind by other federal government operations in its monitoring of Australia's social media chatter.
Immigration was accused of ''spying on citizens'' and monitoring online political dissent after an internet row with a pro-asylum seeker activist last week, allegations the department denies.
Could we end up being gagged about immigration, as in Sweden?
People are complying with the destructive culture to avoid punitive action being taken against them. They are being held hostage not by empathy and sympathy, but by political correctness and laws against free speech.
In total, 115,845 immigrants arrived in Sweden in 2013, many from Syria and Somalia. The figure is the highest Sweden has ever had in a one-year period. The Swedish Parliament and Government aim to have a migration policy that protects the right to asylum, facilitates freedom of movement across borders within the framework of regulated immigration, and promotes needs-based labour immigration.
Citizens of the EU/EEA and Switzerland are entitled to live and work in Sweden without acquiring a work or residence permit.
Schools, law enforcement, jobs/unemployment, welfare and healthcare are being impacted by a heavily disproportionate number of immigrants causing problems and rising costs. It will mean the destruction of the welfare system in Sweden if this goes on. It's come to the point where the police refuse to respond to calls from certain areas, areas which incidentally happens to be filled with immigrants.
As a refugee you don't have to prove anything. This gives you the right to free healthcare, an apartment and free benefits for as long as you wish for and you don’t even have to learn how to speak the language. Nobody’s flooding Africa with Non-Africans and giving them free health care, affirmative action and special privileges.
(Paraphrase of the film)
When President Obama visited Sweden last year, he expressed admiration for the "Swedish model". This should make Americans, and the Western world too, nervous. A UN report says that in about 15 years, Sweden will be a third world nation, below Libya and Bulgaria. Swedes believe their country is "racing into the future" but critics warn that it's "racing to the bottom".
Sweden has been a laboratory of social experiments. They believe they are building a perfect society. They have been compared to other countries that have tried to build perfect societies, such as North Korea and the Soviet Union. If you don't like the way it's being done, you won't be shot like in North Korea, but your life could become very unpleasant very quickly.
A journalist visited the home of a professor who thought he made anonymous comments about immigration. Left wing hackers helped the newspapers track him down, and others like him. He was then exposed to the whole nation as being "racist". Another man, a manager was fired for views critical of immigration.
A cornerstone of their society is "multiculturalism". They have mass immigration from some of the poorest and most backward nations on Earth. Swedes who disagree with this plan, you are labelled "racist", "fascist" or even "Nazi". You must be "friendly" towards foreigners, and immigration. Once you are "proven" to be hostile to immigration, you are out of the game!
It doesn't matter that the model is failing, crime is increasing and standards in schools are plummeting. Jews are living in fear in some areas, and some migrants are fearful, but Swedes are supposed to learn from immigrants, not the other way around!
Assimilation is completely out of the question! "Assimilation" is a Nazi word in Sweden. Many Swedes have their opinions stifled in fear of being called a "racist". You could lose your job, no career, you might lose your family, There was a new newspaper to cover these issues, but Swedes were too intimated to have the newspaper "Despatch International" delivered to their homes. What if the neighbours saw it? They could think your were a racist, or hate Muslims! "Despatch International" now hangs on through donations.
Sweden has become a nation in which some newspapers are too dangerous to read. Parents warn their children not to participate in public discussions, not to express "radical" ideas about this or that, because they are afraid it will harm them. You can't solve problems because you can't mention the problems!
Sweden was a good, rich country, but while it won't become a third world country overnight, there's a risk that it will!
In 2012, the World Economic Forum ranked Sweden as the fourth-most competitive country in the world. There is an image of Sweden as tolerant and liberal and a nation that take freedoms seriously, and appreciates the importance of liberty.
“In Denmark as in Sweden, says social editor Kaj Schueler, “it is sometimes argued that there are only certain things that should be said, thought, and debated when it comes to topics like feminism, Islam, immigrants, cultural differences, crime, and multiculturalism. If you do not take a politically correct stance on these questions, it is said, you are excluded from the media.”
The right to express and receive thoughts, opinions and feelings is an important right. And it is also important that it has been enshrined in Sweden’s constitution.
Sweden has long had a law against ‘objectionable or offensive behaviour’ ( ‘förargelseväckande beteende’). This law, which still exists today, was applied to anti-Semitic propagandists before the hets mot folksgrupp.
Hate speech in Sweden is now defined as speech that publicly and intentionally threatens or expresses disrespect or contempt for ethnic or other such groups by alluding to race, colour, national origin, ethnic origin, creed or sexual orientation.
Hate-speech laws, wherever they exist, are invariably justified in the name of protecting people. But what this means is that the state begins regulating peoples’ everyday verbal interactions.
Assar Lindbeck has been Sweden’s most influential economist during the post-war era, and is often referred to as “The Nestor of Economics in Sweden”. Lindbeck was a leading member of the Nobel Prize committee 1969-1994. Assar Lindbeck points out that it is “clear” that Sweden cannot have open borders, since the welfare state cannot afford the strain of unlimited immigration. asylum seekers are ill-equipped for life in the high-tech Swedish society. Employment statistics show that over 60 percent of the new arrivals and their relatives have a very “rudimentary education”, which means that many of them are actual or practical illiterates.
Two women in their thirties accused Assange of rape and sexual molestation during a high profile visit he made to Stockholm in 2010 – at the height of his website’s revelations of US military attacks on civilians in Iraq. The WikiLeaks founder has long argued that the Swedish investigation is politically motivated and backed by Washington as a way to speed his eventual extradition to the U.S., where he says he would be tried for publishing thousands of classified U.S. government documents - using "rape" as a smokescreen similarly in the way they use "racism" for any criticism of immigration!
This has been adapted from an e-mail from asumofus.org. Original story here.
See also: Russian law requires registration of "NGO carrying out functions as a foreign agent" of 13 July 2012
The roar of a chainsaw shatters the peaceful calm of the Karelia forest in Northwestern Russia. A logger carves into an exquisite giant -- a 600-year-old tree -- with expert precision. Within minutes, he has masterfully sliced through tree rings, added the felled tree to a growing pile, and moved on to the next.
These trees -- part of Russia's last remaining old-growth forests -- will be chopped up to make cutting boards, wooden spoons and other items for IKEA. IKEA has built a reputation around sustainability and tells its customers, literally, "We Love Wood", and that the furniture they buy will not contain wood from old-growth forests. But a new report shows that IKEA is clear-cutting Russia's remaining ancient forests and destroying hundreds of thousands of unique animal species for profit. If it doesn't stop now, there may be no trees left.
IKEA is the third-largest purchaser of wood in the world, behind Home Depot and Lowe's, and roughly 60 percent of the products stocked in IKEA's 300 department stores across the globe contain wood of some form. IKEA already decimates 1,400 acres of forest a year -- that's why it purchased this enormous swath of over 740,000 acres of Russia's Karelia lush boreal forests -- for expansion.
IKEA is trying to convince customers that it adheres to the strictest environmental standards, and only uses wood sourced in economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable ways. But a Swedish conservation group discovered that IKEA's wholly-owned subsidiary, Swedwood, is clear-cutting the last of Karelia's old-growth forests from areas of high conservation and devastating invaluable forest ecosystems in the process. This directly violates the minimum requirements IKEA has set for its timber.
IKEA truly cares about its sustainable image and internationally-known brand and is especially vulnerable to public pressure from SumOfUs.org members. That's why it is important we send a strong message now.
As a world leader in the furniture industry and one of the world's largest companies, with over $30 billion in profits between 2000 and 2008, IKEA has the means to make its forestry practices more ecologically friendly and needs to stop misleading its customers.
Thanks for loving trees,
Emma, Taren, Kaytee and the rest of us
Why are old-growth forests so important?
Russia's lush, old-growth forests perform vital functions for life on Earth. They help to stabilize the climate by locking carbon in the soil -- which helps safeguard our climate. In addition, old-growth forests have much greater biodiversity than managed plantations, and are home to literally hundreds of thousands of unique animal and plant species, like rare species of lichens, mosses and other plants and animals. These species cannot survive in secondary forests.
But because of logging, only 10% of Russia's old-growth forests remain.
NGOs claim that IKEA, through Swedwood, is helping to destroy ecosystems that are home to endangered species by clear-cutting already depleted old-growth forests. In Karelia, only isolated tracts and pockets of old-growth forests remain.
In Russia, Swedwood Karelia LLC owns a logging concession of over 740,000 acres. And with Russian markets increasingly opening to the global market, and World Trade Organization (WTO) membership likely, environmentalists fear the worst damage to Russia's forests is yet to come.
IKEA under fire for ancient tree logging, The Guardian. May 29, 2012. (Editorial comment: Although the Guardian has, to its credit, taken a principled stance on this issue, it has been publishing lies about the conflict in Syria. These lies could well make it possible for the US, it's NATO allies, Israel and the Arab dictatorships to carry out their plans to launch a war against Syria and Iran. The ecological cost, not to mention the human cost, of such a war could hardly be less terrible than IKEA's destruction of Russian rainforests
Sweden has joined the United States, Britain, Spain and other nations as a target of politically motivated violence. It is no longer possible for countries such as the Netherlands and Sweden to think about their populations as homogenous groups with shared values and world views.
The costs are high. Foreigners are 6.2 times as likely to be incarcerated than Swedes, or 520% higher incarceration rate.
As one of a many open immigration policies in Europe, Sweden has struggled to confederate more immigrants from Iraq than any other Western nation since the fall of Saddam Hussein.
Sweden has always welcomed asylum seekers from all over the world, particularly the Arab and Islamic worlds.
However, foreigners are 6.2 times as likely to be incarcerated than Swedes, or 520% higher incarceration rate.
The number of violent and deadly crimes has increased by about 200 percent from 1976 to 2006, the report showed. Only in 2009, five deadly shootings occurred in Malmo, compared to four in Stockholm and eight in Gothenburg.
The anti-immigration party’s personality Jimmie Akesson has described a flourishing series of Muslims – about 5 per cent of a country’s race – as a biggest outmost hazard to Sweden given a Second World War.
Explosions that killed a suspected bomber and injured two passersby on a busy shopping street in Stockholm are being investigated as a “terrorist crime,” sending shock waves through Sweden, which prides itself on its open, peaceful society and had so far been untouched by the post-9/11 attacks.
The man, identified as 28-year-old Iraqi-born Swede Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly, directed his ire toward Sweden’s military presence in Afghanistan and Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who drew an image of the prophet Muhammad’s head on a dog’s body in 2007.
Omar Mustafa, president of the Islamic League in Sweden, said he feared the attack could undo the years of progress made by Muslims living in Sweden.
The right is pointing to the bomber as a clear example of why Sweden should stop accepting more immigrants and promoting a multicultural society.
Reasons Sweden support the most open immigration program in Europe
1. Too much prosperity between 1940-1970 when they were building the welfare state. Most Swedish people think that the two are causally linked. They think the are prosperous because they expanded the welfare state 1940-1970.
They escaped the war. Sweden as a nation is still naive and innocent. The first notable wave of immigration into Sweden came in the post-World War II period with workers from Germany and Holland, later spreading to southern Europe including Italy, Greece and Turkey.
2. Egalitarianism is very strong for historical reasons. This makes them lean left.
More than a thousand years of continuous existence as a sovereign state allowed for the gradual development of strong national institutions. During the medieval period, the practice of serfdom was never established, and the preponderance of independent farmers helped minimize social class differences and nurture an ethic of equality.
3. Humans are basically "good". If they act bad, it is probably because they are having an emotional difficulty, a hard time, and talking to them will solve the problem. Beyond those who seek to rubbish welfare state-ism with references to alcoholism, depression, and suicide, Sweden is high on the quotient of niceness and goodness.
Swedes think that is true for all life. They are surrounded by nice, good normal people, and become very native. This combined with the mirror effect ("everyone is like me") with catastrophic consequences. They simply don't have theories about predators and opportunistic people, such as people who exploit the welfare state, thugs, Islamic terrorist etc.
4. White guilt. When Finland and Italy were poor in 1960, Swedes had been rich and prosperous for 30 years. Their "white" guilt needs to be balanced by non-Westerns.
They believe very strongly in their social model. They, understandably but wrongly believe is why they don't starve or have wars like Africans, corruption and a soft state like Italians or crime, inequality and social problems like America.
5. Secularism. When you don't have religion, your mind looks to substitutes. This can be ideology or things like new-age, both popular in Sweden. A spiritual vacuum can be deceptively liberating, but encourage open-ness to ideas that may be contrary to their interests.
Like Australia, the large ethnic diversity that does exist makes it problematic to define what is typically Swedish today.
Green taxes are well accepted in Scandinavian countries.
Since 1991 Sweden has had a carbon tax of 103 Euros per tonne per taxpayer
It is not compensated in any way and it is not a focus of political protest.
Sweden is proud of the way its towns and cities open out onto green and wild natural spaces.
The tax represents one quarter of the price of petrol and diesel, but most Swedes do not realise this, since the tax is not stated at the pumps.
A litre of diesel costs 1.11 Euros of which 30 centimes is carbon tax.
Driving habits have not changed so much, but domestic heating systems have.
Fuel heating is often swapped for electric heating, with one third subsidised by the state.
The cost of electricity, however, has risen.
Families pay 4 times as much for carbon emissions than industry does, but housing rights are guaranteed and workers have good industrial and unemployment protection and guaranteed rights to free health care.
The government believes that carbon emissions have been reduced by 9% in Sweden due to the tax.
At the same time their economic growth has increased by 40% in 18 years.
Now the average Swedish person emits one tonne less of carbon than a French person, and 16 tonnes less than an American.
Swedish reality is a challenge to the very inferior future that US, British, Canadian and Australian governments and media market to their own populations. Why do we put up with it? Perhaps because we are told that no other way exists.
(Source: France 2 News 26 October 2009)
Population numbers in Sweden
Sweden's population was 8 million in 1974 and reached 9 million in 2004, at a rate which would lead to 10 million in 23 years.
In fact Sweden's population has not increased significantly since 1995, when it began to level out after a steep growth curve.
Most of the increase over deaths is due to immigration from within Western Europe. (Radio Sweden 12 August).
Unlike Australia, the Swedes have learned not to overshoot their carrying capacity and to retain democracy through protecting the established population's networks.
Australia, to the contrary, practices demographic splintering and top-down government, based on an unsustainable extractive commodity and land-speculation economy.
Sweden is able to have a healthy economy and good multi-party democracy where it provides far superior rights to its citizens than Australia does, and in the context of trends to population stability! Compare this actuality to the ideology promoted by the Australian government and the Murdoch media.
In the 19th century, Sweden's yearly population growth rate peaked at 1.2% (i.e. it doubled in less than 60 years), compared to 1% today (migration excluded). This considerable population growth rate led, before the Industrial Revolution, to a pauperization of the rural population, for each generation inherited smaller and smaller shares. Due to years of crop failure in the 1840s and 1860s, the U.S. Homestead Act of 1862, and to a lesser extent religious persecution, emigration started and grew. Between 1850 and 1930 1,050,000 Swedes emigrated (re-migration excluded), chiefly to Canada, U.S. and to Denmark. If they had not left, Sweden's population would have been about 2,000,000 higher today, given that famine and civil war hadn't been the outcome of their staying. (After 1929 the net-migration has been directed towards Sweden.) Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Sweden
Sweden has a strictly regulated rental market, with laws and taxes that prohibit speculation. (The Australian housing industry would not last a minute there.)
Housing rights are legally guaranteed in Sweden for citizens or legal immigrants. This is also the case in EU countries. (Britain, with an exploitative private housing dominated market similar to Australia's, is going to have a very hard time conforming to this requirement of EU participation.)
Work and standard of living
There is no national minimum wage law. Wages were set by collective bargaining contracts every year. Nonunion establishments generally observe these contracts. Substantial benefits (e.g., housing, childcare) provided by social welfare entitlement programs assured even the lowest-paid workers and their families a decent standard of living. Foreign companies employing workers from their country of origin at wage levels below minimums stipulated in domestic collective-bargaining contracts created frictions in the labor market. For example, in one case, Swedish workers blocked a work site in the city of Vaxholm because construction workers from Latvia, who had been contracted to build a school, did not have collective agreements with a Swedish union.
The legal standard workweek is 40 hours or less. Both the law and collective bargaining agreements regulate overtime and rest periods. The maximum allowable overtime per year is two hundred hours. The law requires a minimum period of 36 consecutive hours of rest, preferably on weekends, during a period of 7 days. The law also provides employees with a minimum of five weeks' paid annual leave. The government effectively enforced these standards.
The work environment authority, a government?appointed board, issued occupational health and safety regulations; trained union stewards, safety ombudsmen, and government inspectors monitored them. Safety ombudsmen have the authority to stop unsafe activity immediately and to call in an inspector. These rules were effectively enforced. Work places were generally safe and healthy. In law and practice, workers could remove themselves from situations that endangered their health or safety without jeopardizing their future employment.