No discrimination or bigotry there.
No discrimination or bigotry there.
Refugees who expected to be welcomed with open arms, were in for a rude awakening. The arrival of hundreds of Yemenis has fostered a wave of opposition giving birth to what is considered South Korea’s first organised anti-migrant movement.
“Let’s kick out fake refugees!” shouts heard during a 30 June rally on the island which is part of the anti-immigration sentiment overtaking the country.
There were protests in Jeju and elsewhere, including Seoul, during the summer.
“From an early age, they learn to treat women like sex slaves and to beat them as they like,” Yang Eun-ok, a leader of the Jeju protest, tells the New York Times. “They can take many wives and produce many children. Now, there are 500 of them. In 10 and 20 years, how many of them will there be?”
Everyone loves Islamic immigrants. Allah be praised.
The Success of Islam, by Amil Imani.
The religious aspect of Islam played a minuscule role in the propagation of Islam, as evidenced by the fact that Muhammad’s preaching in Mecca for thirteen years converted only 150 followers. Keep in mind that this is the period when Mohammad was meek, powerless and a “crazed poet.” Nearly all his Mecca Quran dealt with mystical and religious type issues, with Allah’s hell and paradise.
It was during the following nine years in Medina, where a religious-mystical preacher was replaced by a violent and combative activist, when tens of thousands flocked to his faith. The Arabs of the time lived with chronic violence, one tribe against another. Warring among themselves was a major way of gaining wealth and making a living. Hence Muhammad’s success against the Jews of Medina began to attract others in droves to the booty of wealth, women and children.
The success of Islam from the early days depended on war and violence. During thirteen years in Mecca, Islam expanded by about twelve followers a year. But the Islam of Medina, based on war and violence and the enticement of booty, expanded the rank of the creed exponentially. It is estimated that Islam’s numbers swelled to nearly 100,000 by the time of Muhammad’s death.
Clearly, Islam surged at the point of the sword, with the dictum of polarization. Muslims were considered righteous irrespective of their deeds, while the kefirs (infidels) were stigmatized as enemies of Allah and subject to maltreatment and death. …
As Muhammad gathered more and more followers, he turned on the Jewish community of Medina, killed the men, plundered their belongings, and captured their women and children as slaves. That was the birth of “Jihad.” Be meek and deceptive first, until you gather enough power then unsheathe the sword. It worked then and it is working today.
hat-tip Stephen Neil
Is Australia Stolen Land? Not According to International Law. By Sherry Sufi.
Last month, Greens Senator Dr Mehreen Faruqi spoke some of the most misguided and divisive words heard in parliament in recent times. … Her speech begins with: ‘We are gathered here today on stolen land’.
Wrong. Australia was lawfully conquered and settled by the British Empire in accordance with the international norms of the old world order. That was a ‘might makes right’ world. Whoever could raise an army and conquer land did so. Muslim Arabs and Turks have had their fair share of conquests, as have Christian Europeans. The Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 sowed the seeds for the modern concept of territorial sovereignty within demarcated borders. Though it wasn’t until 1928 under the General Treaty for Renunciation of War as an Instrument of National Policy that territorial acquisition by force was first attempted to be outlawed through consensus among international signatories.
Otherwise known as the Kellogg-Briand Pact (after its authors US Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg and French foreign minister Aristide Briand), this 1928 pact of course didn’t succeed in immediately putting an end to all war. In fact, World War II, the most destructive of all conflicts still managed to occur only a decade later. Yet the importance of the pact came in its aftermath.
Shortly after the emergence of the United Nations, its Charter went on to guaranteeing ‘territorial integrity’ to member states. In the process, any territory acquired before the 1928 pact was deemed lawfully conquered under a ‘right of conquest’. Borders essentially became frozen in place and future conquests were made unlawful.
This prohibition was not applied retroactively. Doing so would have thrown the entire world into turmoil since virtually every piece of land has, at some point, been conquered by outside forces — or to use Dr Faruqi’s rhetoric, ‘stolen’.
Since Australia was settled in 1788 — a century and four decades prior to the cut-off point for lawful conquests in 1928 — its territorial legitimacy has never been in doubt. Hence, there are no legal or historical grounds to think of Australia’s founding as land ‘theft’.
As someone who identifies as a Muslim, Dr Faruqi should know of Islamic civilisation’s own territorial conquests far beyond the outskirts of Mecca in the 7th century stretching all the way to Spain in the west and China in the east.
Does she believe the Arabic-speaking Islamic countries that today stretch across North Africa, having conquered and replaced the indigenous Egyptian, Carthaginian, Berber and Nubian civilisations are all ‘stolen lands’? Does she believe that Iran, once home to an indigenous Avestan-speaking Zoroastrian culture, is ‘stolen land’?
There was once an indigenous Hindu civilisation in Dr Faruqi’s own country of origin, Pakistan. Islam was first introduced in the region by Umayyad conqueror Muhammad Bin Qasim in 711. Does she believe that Pakistan is built on ‘stolen land’?
hat-tip Stephen Neil
Do we Need Central Banks? By Richard Werner.
For more than the past four decades, public policy discourse, especially when touching on macroeconomic and monetary policy, has been dominated by the views held and actively sponsored by the central banks, particularly in Europe and North-America, as well as Japan. Their policy narrative has been consistent over time and virtually identical between central banks …
We are all familiar with parts or all of this central bank narrative, even if we are not trained economists or not commonly interested in economic issues: This is because this narrative has been repeated ad nauseam hundreds of times in the past four decades.
As a result, even astute observers assume that empirical research has long established [the five central] insights from the central bankers, in uncountable meticulous quantitative research studies.
Central banking policy was revealed as a failure by the events of the GFC and what has followed.
But this is not the case. The truth could not be further from it: There is in fact no empirical evidence to support any of these five claims. They are mere assertions. Claims that have, in fact, been disproven by the facts. There is overwhelming evidence to the contrary, and this has become increasingly obvious since the 2008 financial crisis. …
After centuries of obfuscation, few people know how banks actually work. Banks make the vast bulk of loans from newly manufactured money (“bank credit”) — made by simply by typing a number into a computer, constrained only by the Basel Accords on how much they can create. They then charge interest on this money that they created of thin air. Good business model, eh? There are rules and constraints of course, but notice that bankers are wealthy without working hard.
In 2014, the first empirical study on how banks actually work was finally published (followed by a second study in 2015) and thus ended the centuries’ old debate …
The empirical tests rejected the financial intermediation and fractional reserve theories and showed that banks do not need prior savings, nor central bank reserves or other deposits to lend. Instead, banks create new money when they do what is called ‘bank lending’, and add it to the money supply. Bank loans thus do not transfer existing purchasing power, but add net new purchasing power. The [private] banks’ lending creates 97% of the money supply. Bankers’ decisions about how much money is lent — and thus created and added to the money supply — and given to whom for what purpose quickly reshapes the economic landscape and affects us all. …
Markets are never in equilibrium. Don’t be fooled by prices, but consider quantities — the short side exerts the power.
On our planet earth — as opposed to the very different planet that economists seem to be on — all markets are rationed. In rationed markets a simple rule applies: the short side principle. It says that whichever quantity of demand or supply is smaller (the ‘short side’) will be transacted (it is the only quantity that can be transacted). Meanwhile, the rest will remain unserved, and thus the short side wields power: the power to pick and choose with whom to do business.
Examples abound. For instance, when applying for a job, there tend to be more applicants than jobs, resulting in a selection procedure that may involve a number of activities and demands that can only be described as being of a non-market nature (think about how Hollywood actresses are selected), but does not usually include the question: what is the lowest wage you are prepared to work for?
Thus the theoretical dream world of “market equilibrium” allows economists to avoid talking about the reality of pervasive rationing, and with it, power being exerted by the short side in every market. Thus the entire power dimension in our economic reality – how the short side, such as the producer hiring starlets for Hollywood films, can exploit his power of being able to pick and choose with whom to do business, by extracting ‘non-market benefits’ of all kinds. The pretense of ‘equilibrium’ not only keeps this real power dimension hidden. It also helps to deflect the public discourse onto the politically more convenient alleged role of ‘prices’, such as the price of money, the interest rate. The emphasis on prices then also helps to justify the charging of usury (interest), which until about 300 years ago was illegal in most countries, including throughout Europe.
However, this narrative has suffered an abductio ad absurdum by the long period of near zero interest rates, so that it became obvious that the true monetary policy action takes place in terms of quantities, not the interest rate. …
Thus it can be plainly seen today that the most important macroeconomic variable cannot be the price of money. Instead, it is its quantity. Is the quantity of money rationed by the demand or supply side? Asked differently, what is larger – the demand for money or its supply? Since money – and this includes bank money – is so useful, there is always some demand for it by someone. As a result, the short side is always the supply of money and credit. Banks ration credit even at the best of times in order to ensure that borrowers with sensible investment projects stay among the loan applicants …
The banks thus occupy a pivotal role in the economy as they undertake the task of creating and allocating the new purchasing power that is added to the money supply and they decide what projects will get this newly created funding, and what projects will have to be abandoned due to a ‘lack of money’.
The central banks want to squeeze out private banks and take over money production themselves. This is positively Orwellian, centralizing the production and management of money to just a few central banks.
The job of central banks has been to engage in monetary policy in order to deliver stable prices, stable growth and stable currencies. However, central banks have thoroughly failed in this, as the frequency and amplitude of business cycles has increased during this time period, and more traditional cycles of growth and recession have been replaced by boom-bust cycles. …
Central banks are now in the process of consolidating their powers. They wish to get rid of competition in the form of paper money or bank credit. They are driving both cash and bank credit out of business through their negative interest rates [which reduce profits for private banks. They aim to become] … the complete masters of our lives, by allowing only digital currency that they issue and control — and that they can monitor in terms of all transactions, and that they can switch off, if, for instance, some pesky dissident criticizes them too much.
On this road to Orwellian totalitarianism by the central planners at the central banks, it is only a small further step to argue that the little chips on our digital cash cards would be safer — in the name of combatting crime again! — if one embedded them under the skin of our right hands, or our foreheads. …
The overarching trend of the 20th century has been the concentration of power in the hands of the few. This has not been a healthy trend, as many millions of innocent people died during the 20th century.
Central banks have been key beneficiaries and today’s locus of this unprecedented concentration of power. At the same time, central banks lack accountability. …
Lord Acton, a shrewd observer of power, concluded: “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
Lesser known is that he also seems to have been aware of the power in the hands of the bankers: “The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the people versus the banks.” …
The truth of the matter is: We don’t need central banks. Since 97% of the money supply is created by banks, the importance of central banks is far smaller than generally envisaged.
If you are interested in the power money has in society, this is an important article.
The European Union Reaches Its Breaking Point: Declares Political War on Hungary. By Bill Wirtz. Over immigration.
In a surprise decision on Wednesday, the European Parliament decided to trigger a procedure to sanction one of its member states: Hungary. The battle for the future of Europe is on. …
Last year, French President Emmanuel Macron identified two countries as obstacles to further European integration: Poland and Hungary. Since then both have only become more vocal in their opposition to the Brussels bureaucracy. It must be said that the conservative majorities in those Central European countries have opposed the EU on grounds of culture, heritage, and tradition much more so than the Euro, big government spending programs, and tax harmonization. In fact, Hungary and Poland both feed enlarging welfare states with little concern for the sustainability of their spending, so their common ground with American conservatives exists mostly on social values. …
Before the Hungarian parliamentary election on April 8, Orbán was sharpening his populist tone to secure another absolute majority in parliament. With regard to his ideological opponents being funded by Soros, he said this:
We are fighting an enemy that is different from us. Not open, but hiding; not straightforward but crafty; not honest but base; not national but international; does not believe in working but speculates with money; does not have its own homeland but feels it owns the whole world. …
Article 7 of the Lisbon Treaty (which has governed how the EU functions since 2009) allows the European Parliament to launch a procedure against a member state that doesn’t fulfill the criteria that it initially agreed to when it joined the EU. Once triggered, the European Commission investigates the situation. The European Council (which represents the member states of the EU) then votes on whether to strip the country of its voting rights within the council. The proposal can only pass if countries vote in favor by a four-fifths majority (Hungary cannot vote on its own behalf).
The fact that Article 7 was triggered at all shows the EU’s distrust of Hungary, which will only alienate Budapest all the more.
hat-tip Stephen Neil
Scott Morrison flags religious freedom laws, by Elias Visiontay.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has raised the possibility of legislation to enshrine religious freedoms, in an interview where he called himself a “big believer” in freedom of speech. …
Responding to a question from host Paul Murray on religious freedoms, the Prime Minister said:
“I send my kids to a Christian school. I think that Christian school should be able to ensure that they can provide education consistent with the Christian faith and teachings … I don’t think that school should be told who they can and can’t employ.”
“I’ve seen where … issues of freedom of speech … have gone over the last 10 years,” he said.
“(I’m) not quite sure I’m pleased with the trajectory.”
On free speech in universities, the Prime Minister said that “there’s free speech for some and not for others … I think that’s been an issue.”
“What I’ve always noticed from the left is they are happy to have free speech so long as you agree with them but if you have a different view to them then apparently you’re a bigot.”
Why legislate for a free speech carve out for religions? Why not free speech for everyone? A special rule for “religions” will easily be exploited by the less restrained, and we all know which side of politics that currently means.
hat-tip Stephen Neil
Western culture is fundamentally different from that of the ancient Greeks and Romans, and much of that difference is due to Christianity. For instance, our societies are much fairer and less cruel. The possibility of an afterlife and a reckoning leads to more restrained and less selfish behavior in the here and now. The notion that we are all, kings and peons alike, equal in the eyes of an almighty creator is socially liberating and protects the lower orders from depredations. Jesus was a political revolutionary (among other things).
Paul was a very influential figure in the early Christian world, and effectively wrote a lot of Christianity.
Tom Holland … is well known for his accessible works on antiquity including books such as Dynasty and Rubicon on the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. He has also produced important (and by their nature controversial) TV documentaries and books on the spread of Islam.
What has also become apparent is that Holland is increasingly open about the fact his research has led to a significant change of heart towards Christianity as a cultural force.
The historian became both fascinated and appalled by the might and cruelty of the Roman Empire and aspects of the Islamic world that arose later. …
Of course, believing that Christianity has been a tremendous force for good does not mean you believe that it is true. On this front Holland says that, despite being attracted to aspects of Christianity, he has yet to make the metaphysical step of faith.
hat-tip Stephen Neil
What Is Hezbollah? From Prager U.
Sadly Hezbollah and Iran are too powerful, a danger to the West, and effectively run Lebanon.
hat-tip Scott of the Pacific