Category Archives: Norway

Immigrant Children In Norway Do Poorly In School

Every so often education “experts” offer a “study” which proves what any logically thinking person could figure out on his or herself. A new report from OECD entitled: “Migrant Education” comes to the conclusion that first generation immigrant children do not perform as well as children native to the society. It also notes these children do very poorly in vocational education classes. Statistics indicate that children of immigrants are significantly lacking in access to kindergarten education and thus enter primary education lacking in skills that native born children have picked up in early childhood education.

This issue has confronted immigrant children in virtually every nation of the world. The solution is rather simple and does not require another “study.” Simply provide free early childhood education for immigrant children, pay parents to send their children to these educational experiences, and most problems will disappear over time.

Is Socialist Norway A Shining Example Marx Was Right?

As capitalist economies collapse, as unemployment soars to new levels, there remains the case of Norway which is based on Socialist principles and had endured the crisis without encountering the problems of capitalism. Several economists are now returning to the ideas of Karl Marx in order to re-think his comments concerning the destiny of capitalism. A difficulty in discussing “Socialism” with modern people is their confusion concerning the term. Many associate “Socialism” with the USSR which used that expression or NAZI Germany which used the expression. This is akin to saying: “Christians conducted the Inquisition. Christians committed genocide in the New World, therefore, all Christians are guilty of genocide and believe in the Inquisition.” There are Christians and there are Christians. Make a list of people who refer to themselves as “Christian” and have absolutely nothing in common with one another.

Marx was NOT the initial Socialist. There were “Utopian Socialists” prior to him and he hated Utopian Socialists. Several Utopian Socialists experiments were attempted in America during the 19th century. Among the best selling books in 19th century America was Edward Bellamy’s “Looking Backward” which describes a free Socialist America in 2000 which has eliminated poverty. Marx accurately identified that Capitalists were greedy and exploited people creating the concept of ‘alienation’ of the worker from his/her work. He described the spread of globalization and competition between capitalists in the world–certainly his prediction is accurate. He predicted there would be rising unemployment and urged a society in which the needs of workers would be protected from the evil of exploitation. He misinterpreted the ability of some capitalists to recognize workers needed decent pay in order to purchase products. But, has not the greed of Wall Street exemplified his belief the first priority of capitalists is their own welfare, not that of society or those who do the work of in society?

My comments are simplistic and reduce complexity of economics to a few cliches,(sorry, Marx can not be explained in a sentence or so),but how do critics of Socialism explain that Norway has been using Socialist principles and has created a modern society which provides a high standard of living and the government runs a surplus including a $300 billion fund to invest for the future? In Capitalist America, 45 million people lack medical care, in Capitalistic America there is no free early childhood care, in Capitalist America there are no paid paternity and maternity leaves for couples, in Capitalist America there is no base economic security for those who lose their jobs.

The future will eventually lead to combining the best features of Capitalism with the best features of socialism. In the first decade of the 20th century, the American Socialist Party led by Gene Debs urged addressing the ills of capitalism without calling for its end. It was Gene Debs who opposed the madness of America’s blunder in entering World War I rather than seeking to end the fighting. And, Gene Debs remains the only presidential candidate in American history who was imprisoned for opposing a war.

Perhaps, it is time to study what is beneficial in Norway and apply some of those principles in order to save capitalism from its own greed. Who today can deny that Marx was right about the inherent selfishness and greed of capitalists? I have a hunch those being fired would prefer a dose of socialism that would provide them a decent unemployment package, including access to medical care.

Norway Stands And Fights At UN Conference

It was no surprise at the UN conference on racism that President Ahmadinejad would go through his litany of hate and stupidity as he attempted to prove there was only one nation in the world guilty of racism–Israel. As his speech of hate began at least 23 nations walked out of the auditorium, but Norway decided to remain and found itself attacked by many for listening to the outpouring of ignorance from the Iranian leader. Norway’s Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store insisted he remained in order to follow Ahmadinejad with his own speech which attacked the Holocaust denier. Store told the audience that speeches filled with hate and anger only “threatens the very focus of this conference. Through his message (Ahmadinejad) has made Iran the odd man out. And Norway will not accept that the odd man out hijacks the collective effort of the many.” He went on to note violations of human rights and the practice of racism in Iran which hardly makes that nation the conscience of the world.

The Israel government let Norway know of its displeasure at the failure to walk out. President Sarkozy defended nations which remained to fight racism on the conference floor rather than refusing to attend or walking out the door. There is much to recognize in the view that nations should attend the conference and confront those who spout hate and ignorance rather than giving them complete control over what happens. We respect the efforts of Norway and France to openly confront the forces of racism which, unfortunately, have too much power in the UN.

Norwegian Politicians Spreads Hate!

If you live in Norway, head for the fjords because them Muslims is headed your way to spread their headscarves and funny eating habits all over the nation of Norway. Progress Party leader Siv Jensen warned that Norway is in danger of being overwhelmed by “those people” and we all know who “those people” are, don’t we? In the 1930s, “those people” were the Jews and today they are the Muslims according to the idiot lady who leads a Norwegian political party. She warns Norwegians that Muslims want to impose their ideas on the nation as part of what she termed “a subtle Islamification” of her beloved country. I bet those Middle Eastern people don’t even like to ski on the slopes of the mountains!

This courageous defender of racism promised if her party gained power it would rule under the banner of Norway for Norwegians and there would not be any special privileges for any religion. I believe she would be pleased if all Arabs hit the road to Baghdad and never came back. So, tell me, Ms. Jensen, were the present Norwegian people always in the country or did they come from elsewhere?

Japan Women Lag In Government Positions

At a recent symposium in Tokyo women from around the world discussed what is happening in the drive to ensure women have an equal role in government decisions. Some nations such as Rwanda and Norway mandate a certain percentage of seats in Parliament must be held by women which results in figures in the 30% range for those two countries. Rwanda probably leads the world since women now are in possession of over 50% of decision making government positions. Despite its prosperity and high education levels, Japanese women only constitute 9.4% of members of the lower house of parliament.

It is interesting why Japan ranks so low in women assuming a role in government. It most probably stems from cultural factors and the lower percentage of Japanese women in high positions leadership positions.

Don’t Hit Children Says Islamic Council

The Islamic Council of Norway has come out against hitting children and made clear that a Muslim parent had no right to use physical violence against a child. The statement came in the midst of extensive discussions by the Norwegian government concerning the rights of children to be free from use of violence against them. In 1995, the Supreme Court of Norway said that giving one’s child a light disciplinary smack was not illegal, but the Norwegian government now wants to end all forms of physical violence against children. State Secretary Astri Aas-Hansen of the Ministry of Justice, said: “It needs to be crystal clear that children have the same legal protection as adults in Norway. Parents also ned to know that they do not have any punishment rights. Just as it is wrong to smack an adult, it is also wrong to smack a child.”

It is about time that Norway came to the conclusion any form of violence against children is wrong. Now, if Norway can export its sensible ideas to the United States we might put an end to physical violence against children in America.

Norwegian PM Urges Obama To Lead

Jens Stoltenberg, prime minister of Norway, is reacting to eight years of failed Bush leadership by urging the newly elected president to assume the fight to restore America’s position in the world as a moral leader. He emphasized his nation wishes to cooperate with the new leader of America, but he also made clear: “we expect the USA to take the international lead on important issues, on the basis of dialogue and cooperation. In order o handle the major global challenges facing us, we need joint solutions. this is true for the financial crisis, the climate policy, the fight against poverty and our efforts for peace and security.”

Most nations of the world want to end the Bush unilateral approach to dealing with major issues. Bush enjoyed being the person who created problems and then sought assistance from other nations in order to clean up his mess. The world is tired of such attitudes toward problems and wants joint cooperation in identifying the best path to solve problems.

Reality Of Trying To Train Afghan Police!

During the past five years, Norwegian police have been assigned the task of retraining Afghans to serve in a modern police force. The latest report of their success and failure leans more to the negative than to the positive. According to the Norwegian police analysis of what has happened over the past five years, the following are indicative of trials and tribulations of the Norwegians:

In July of this year, an Afghan officer who was being trained as an instructor, took two police cars and nine colleagues and headed off to defect to the Taliban.

Tests conducted on the police recruits for the police program revealed 95% of them tested positive for cannabis and amphetamines.

The police were assigned the task of destroying 50,000 hectares of opium production. They destroyed 4,300 hectares.

Female Afghan police officers are the targets of sexual attacks by their superiors.

Afghan police are reportedly freeing persons arrested on narcotics charges in return for bribes.

Torgrim Moseby, who plays a key role in the training program believes many who have been accepted into the program have ties to tribal chiefs and to the Taliban.

Reality is that Afghanistan will not have its problems resolved by additional brigades of soldiers unless there are efforts to restore dignity to members of the Afghan armed forces and ensure they are well paid and properly led.

Racism In Norway Where There Are Few Black Faces

The state church of Norway has found itself embroiled in a conflict over the presence of one of their ministers in the town of Oppdal which is in the mountains. The local church leader has come under sharp criticism after he prevented a pastor, who originally comes from Sierra Leone, from participating in several funerals because relatives did not want a black skin pastor having anything to do with the final send off of their dead relative. Pastor Joseph Moiba has been told by local residents, that people like himself, “don’t fit in Norway” and the pastor has been physically and verbally abused. Nils-Tore Andersen, leader of the state church council, Kirkeradet, is shocked because in his view, the church should be a leader in the fight against racism.

Andersen’s reaction to family complaints concerning a black skinned man participating in funerals was “we try to meet the wishes of families in a funeral, but there’s a limit.” Andersen was upset the local pastor acceded to requests of families and barred Moiba from participating in several funerals.

Moiba is on a sick leave due to stress caused by the incidents and he fears they will resume when he returns to duty. One can only wonder how such intensity of feeling can emerge from people who have so little contact with Africans.

NOrway Reserves Academic Posts For Women Only

Tora Aasland, Minister For Research and Higher Education, has decided to break rules of the European Union which forbid discriminating in hiring due to gender. She said next year’s budget would contain money that is earmarked for academic posts that can only be filled by women. She argued the gap in technology and science is great and there is need to close it by aggressively fostering the hiring of women for academic positions. “We used this method in the 1990’s and I believe that is why we had so many women doing post doctoral work when the scheme was ended in 2003. I hope the earmarked funds will be a useful tool” in closing the gender gap in higher education.

The 1900’s initiative had to be halted due to European Union complaints it violated equal rights. Aasaland intends to lobby for changes that will allow specific programs to deal with gender bias that already exists.