It happened a week ago, but the police kept quiet about the incident and the church management did not file a complaint, it has only just come out: last Friday a 19-year-old Afghan stormed into the Versöhnungskirche [Church of Reconciliation] at around 7.20 pm in an open community evening in the Eilbek district of Hamburg.
He threw chairs and benches around, kicked over a Bible stand, splintered the glass and threw hymn books onto the ground. According to an eye-witness, the church-goes present were very afraid and let him continue his destruction. No wonder, he was wearing swirling Islamic dress, which might have hidden a suicide belt.
The Muslim did not speak during his destructive rage and also had no connections to Salafists, therefore the State Protection department of the state criminal prosecution agency assumes there was no “Islamist” motive.
…Eyewitness Peter H, who sent PI the photo of the Afghan attacker, reports that he asked the Muslim in front of the church why he had done it as he ended his affray. The Afghan then screamed the answer: “Because I am a Muslim!”
This is being done at the behest of Hamas-linked CAIR. … CAIR officials have repeatedly refused to denounce Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist groups. Several former CAIR officials have been convicted of various crimes related to jihad terror. CAIR’s cofounder and longtime Board chairman (Omar Ahmad), as well as its chief spokesman (Ibrahim Hooper), have made Islamic supremacist statements.
Meanwhile, when do the families of the victims of jihad get their moment in the sun? When is Victims of Jihad Appreciation and Awareness Month?
And will there be special celebrations of Muslim Appreciation and Awareness Month in San Bernardino?
Difficult to believe that the California Democrats could be so insensitive and dopey.
Jihadist enemies of Western freedoms and democracy remain smug and emboldened. Following the slaughter in Nice, France when 31-year-old Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel mowed through a crowd going zigzag with his truck to kill as many possible while shouting “Allahu akbar”, a remembrance march for the 84 people he murdered and the dozens he wounded — many of whom are still in the hospital — was banned because of safety concerns.
TURKISH citizens and police have ‘surrounded’ the Incirlik air base it operates with the United States — and where a large stockpile of NATO nuclear weapons is held — ahead of a visit by a senior US official tomorrow.
Reports out of Turkey suggest all entrances to the air base have been blocked by heavy vehicles and police sent to secure its peremiter.
The unusual night-time move sparked rumours of a second coup attempt on Turkish social media, with concerned citizens rushing to the air base to join the blockade.
The move comes less than a week after a top US Army general was accused by Turkish media of ‘leading’ the uprising against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier this month.
But Turkish Minister for European Affairs has since reportedly sought to reassure local media, stating the mission was just a “safety inspection”.
German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck is famously supposed to have said “Never Believe Anything Until It Is Officially Denied.” That safety inspection statement smacks of official denial.
Election Justice USA finds that Bernie Sanders lost an estimated 184 delegates to Election Fraud.
Well, 184 is only the upper estimate considering election fraud. Not even counting in the immense MSM bias, lack of debates, DNC bias/shenenigans outside of fraud, Hillary’s huge funding thanks to corruption… It should have been a landslide for Bernie!
Myth-busting website Snopes flagrantly lied about the lack of visible American flags on the first day of the Democratic Convention, claiming an image from the second day of the convention was actually from the first day in an attempt to debunk a factual story from The Daily Caller.
Shame on them. Even the debunking site Snopes feels it has to bend the truth to help Hillary. There is a widespread throwing of principles out the window as US politics goes tribal.
Over the past week, there was a troubling development for the establishment: Trump was soaring in the polls. In fact, in the widely watched, Reuters/IPSOS poll, for the first time Trump had taken an inexcusable 1 point lead following the Republican National convention.
So, as we reported last night, something had to be done. And something was done: Reuters “tweaked” its polling methodology. …
[A]ccording to Reuters “the inclusion of the word “Neither” is capturing Soft Trump supporters who, if given such an option, prefer not to make a choice. Here it is important to note that the soft supporter phenomenon also affects Clinton, but to a much lesser degree.”
As a result, the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll – pre Friday evening – had Trump 40.2%, Clinton 38.5%, but, on a “pro forma” basis, eliminating “Neither” from the “Neither/Other” answer produced a different result. In that case, Clinton was ahead, 40% to 36%.
In other words, the real reason for the “tweak” was to push Hillary back in the lead simply due to a change in the question phrasing methodology.
With the first new poll under the new polling “approach” due to be released last night, we predicted that it would show a dramtic rebound for Hillary, just as Trump was picking up steam, and in doing so changing the entire frontrunner narrative from the ground up.
Hillary won the Democrat nomination over Sanders in large part because of the appointed “super delegates” and because the supposedly-neutral DNC was pushing strongly for her. Now the “umpires” in the larger race are bending the rules for her. A more attractive candidate is hard to imagine.
A hardline Muslim preacher suspected of radicalising three British jihadis told teenage disciples that it is ‘permissible’ under Islam to have sex slaves.
Ali Hammuda, an Imam at a Cardiff mosque where three young jihadis from the city worshipped before travelling to Syria to join Islamic State, also told the group of boys as young as 13 that the ‘day of judgment is close’.
The cleric’s extraordinary preachings were recorded secretly at a halaqa, or religious study circle, at the Al-Manar mosque by an undercover reporter.
A problem with meritocracy is that some of the qualities that allow people success in life are hereditary, the most controversial one being IQ. Universal education and a meritocratic system has led to a hereditary elite, where members of the elite marry each other, make good money, then buy great educations for their kids. This phenomenon has become quite marked among the better schools in the US — the Ivy league universities plus a handful of others. This is where the elite meet, marry, and find future jobs.
Many influential major organizations in the US now basically only hire from these top universities, ignoring the bulk of state universities, and most all the members of these organizations went to such schools and only hire from such schools. The US is now increasingly run by graduates of these same few schools. The same happens in Australia to a lesser extent, but it is less obvious. It seems to the elite that this caste system is based on merit and is therefore the natural order of things. But is it the best way to run society? Best for whom?
Vanderbilt Hall, Yale University
Toby [Young] is the son of Michael Young, the British sociologist and Labour life peer whose 1958 satire The Rise of the Meritocracy has been credited with coining the term. … If meritocracy creates a new caste system, “the answer is more meritocracy.” To restore equality of opportunity, he suggested subsidies for intelligence-maximizing embryo selection for poor parents “with below-average IQs.”
His outlandish resort to eugenics suggests that Toby Young found himself at a loss for solutions, as all modern critics of meritocracy seem to do. The problems they describe are fundamental, but none of their remedies are more than tweaks to make the system more efficient or less prejudicial to the poor.
[O]ur authors fail as critics of meritocracy because they cannot get their heads outside of it. They are incapable of imagining what it would be like not to believe in it. They assume the validity of the very thing they should be questioning.
But what would it be like not to take meritocracy for granted? The basic idea — that we should rank candidates for power according to some desirable quality, then pick the best of them — seems too obvious to have needed inventing, but invented it was, and (at least in the West) not so long ago. If we go back to the occasion of its first appearance in the English-speaking world [in 1854, as a way of selecting entrants into the then-incompetent British public service], we will find a group of men who opposed it, not just because they did not think it would work in practice, but because they disagreed with it in principle. …
When the idea of meritocratic exams for entry to the British bureaucracy was first proposed in 1854:
… it is remarkable how unanimously the educators favored the plan and how unanimously the mandarins opposed it. The report’s finely phrased ideas would collapse in practice, the latter warned. For instance, replacing promotion by seniority with more subjective “promotion according to merit” would give free rein to favoritism. In departments that had experimented with qualifying exams, supervisors found that the tests put money in the pockets of “crammers” but did little for productivity. To its opponents, the whole thing smelled like a schoolmasters’ scheme.
There was also worry about what throwing competition open to all comers would do to the service’s social tone. “The more the civil service is recruited from the lower classes, the less it will be sought after by the higher,” warned the MP Edward Romilly. This was not mere snobbery. If the government wanted civil servants who could stand up to MPs, financiers, and foreign statesmen, it had to recruit men of comparable social standing. …
Other objections approached closer to the principle. There were, first of all, questions of democratic accountability. Civil servants who felt they owed their jobs to no one and nothing but their own merit would be independent, which was also to say impervious to checks and balances. They would not derive their power from the people even by so remote a means as a parliamentary patron. … the voters of England were used to treating office as among “the legitimate prizes of war” after elections, “not merely for its emoluments, but also for the sake of influencing administration.” It was almost a kind of direct democracy.
A greater concern was that meritocracy would produce an overweening centralized state.
The reforms were adopted by the British in 1870, and are arguably at the root of today’s problems with oversized and activist government:
There is no question that the size of government did explode. The staff of the civil service tripled in fifty years and then doubled in ten, hitting 281,000 on the eve of World War I. Obviously, this was mainly because the government had taken on so many more tasks — but one reason for that was that the public had come to trust that the government was full of people who knew what they were doing. Interference that would have never been tolerated in the bad old days of jobbery was now justified by the national government’s (largely meretricious) mystique as a repository of intelligence.
[I]intelligent people who are bored by their jobs will make their jobs interesting as far as possible — which, when civil servants do it, is not necessarily to the public good.
Meritocracy called into being an entirely new class, partly taken from the old gentry, partly from the new commercial class, and loyal to neither. Between 1870 and World War I, this new class took possession of all the former pillars of the old aristocracy’s power, not just the civil service but the army, the bar, local government, party associations, and the church.
Well that explains a lot about our current woes. So what are we to do?
Meritocracy began by destroying an aristocracy; it has ended in creating a new one. …
But the solutions on offer never rise to the scale of the problem. Authors attack the meritocratic machine with screwdrivers, not sledgehammers, and differ only in which valve they want to adjust. Some think the solution is to tip more disadvantaged kids over the lip of the intake funnel, which would probably make things worse. … has anyone asked working-class families if being sucked into a frantically achievement-obsessed rat race is a benefaction they are interested in? …
[U]nless families are abolished, successful parents will always pass on advantages to their children, which will compound with each generation. It does not matter how merit is defined; the dynamic of meritocracy remains the same, its operations inexorable.
The author offers a novel solution:
My solution is quite different. The meritocracy is hardening into an aristocracy — so let it. Every society in history has had an elite, and what is an aristocracy but an elite that has put some care into making itself presentable? Allow the social forces that created this aristocracy to continue their work, and embrace the label.
By all means this caste should admit as many worthy newcomers as is compatible with their sense of continuity. New brains, like new money, have been necessary to every ruling class, meritocratic or not. If ethnic balance is important to meritocrats, they should engineer it into the system. If geographic diversity strikes them as important, they should ensure that it exists, ideally while keeping an eye on the danger of hoovering up all of the native talent from regional America.
But they must give up any illusion that such tinkering will make them representative of the country over which they preside. They are separate, parochial in their values, unique in their responsibilities. That is what makes them aristocratic.
A tough sell, I realize. Not since the Society of the Cincinnati has a ruling elite so vehemently disclaimed any resemblance to an aristocracy.
Ah, now we get to a serious flaw in the current arrangement, one that is distressingly obvious to one who has seen it close up:
Here [is] the meritocratic delusion most in need of smashing: the notion that the people who make up our elite are especially smart. They are not — and I do not mean that in the feel-good democratic sense that we are all smart in our own ways, the homely-wise farmer no less than the scholar.
I mean that the majority of meritocrats are, on their own chosen scale of intelligence, pretty dumb. Grade inflation first hit the Ivies in the late 1960s for a reason. Yale professor David Gelernter has noticed it in his students: “They are so ignorant that it’s hard to accept how ignorant they are. It’s very hard to grasp that the person you’re talking to, who is bright, articulate, conversable, interested, doesn’t know who Beethoven is. Looking back at the history of the twentieth century, just sees a fog.”
It was the meritocratic ideology that paved this road to ignorance. Being open to all comers, with intelligence the only criterion, meant that no particular body of knowledge could be made mandatory … , lest it arbitrarily exclude students conversant only with their own traditions. This has predictably yielded a generation of students who have no body of knowledge at all.
Unlike meritocracies, aristocracies can put actual content into their curricula — not just academically, but morally. Every aristocracy has an ethos, and a good ethos will balance out the moral faults to which that aristocracy is prone.
The task of reforming our present elite ought to be entrusted to someone with a feeling for what is good in it. For all its flaws, this elite does have many virtues. Their moral seriousness contrasts favorably with the frivolousness of certain earlier generations, and their sense of pragmatism, which can sometimes be reductive, can also be admirably brisk and hard-nosed. What is needed is someone who can summon a picture of the meritocratic elite’s best selves and call them to meet its example. But this process can begin only when this new ruling class finally owns up to the only name for what it already, undeniably is.
Apologies for such a long post, but it grapples quite directly with several of the biggest problems of our age. Almost no one questions the dominance of good test takers. Almost no one ponders how our bureaucracy became so large and activist, beyond noticing the obvious connection with taxes. And no one is thinking about how to make our permanent government of bureaucrats, academics and media accountable to the people whom they govern. Chucking them out after an election is a bit much, but it would probably be an improvement on the current mess!
By the way, the author (whom I do not know) and I both attended top US schools. I can vouch from first hand experience that the phenomenon is very real and obvious in the US, and presumably only slightly less so in Australia.
The powerful political network helmed by Charles and David Koch is ruling out running advertisements intended to hurt Hillary Clinton, another sign of their insistence on avoiding the presidential race.
The Koch network has previously said they will not back Republican candidate Donald Trump, but on Saturday officials told reporters that they would not run negative Clinton spots, a position taken by some Republican groups that are uneasy with the controversial GOP standard-bearer. …
The Kochs have assembled a political operation some consider to be on par with the Republican National Committee, using a constellation of nonprofit organizations to drive elections and policy fights in recent years. They today have 1,200 paid staff members in 38 states.
Yet their refusal to back Trump — whose language on immigration and trade is found to be too incendiary by the libertarian-inspired Kochs — is a leading reason why Trump is expected to be massively outgunned by Clinton and her allies in the advertising wars.
The left may have to find new bogey men. They currently trace everyone they wish to smear back to the Kochs (David Koch pictured), and claim their vast money is behind all right wing causes. It’s not, and George Soros funds far more, but don’t let that stand in the way of the leftist story about how they are really underdogs oppressed by a vast right wing conspiracy.
[The night of the coup] presented different opportunities as hardline Muslim Sunnis, whipped up to a frenzy, targeted Turkey’s Christian community.
In Matalya, a sprawling city in Anatolia, once the heartland of Christianity in the East, they targeted a Protestant church. … Gangs chanting “Allahu akbar” rounded on it to smash its glass frontage. “The attack on the church was light. But it’s significant that it was the only shopfront attack in those three days,” said its minister, Pastor Tim Stone, last night. “We were the only targets.”
In the Black Sea city of Trabzon others attacked the Santa Maria church, smashing windows and using hammers to break down its door. …
A year earlier Father Andrea Santoro, a 61-year-old Roman Catholic priest, was murdered in the Santa Maria Church. Father Santoro was shot from behind while kneeling in prayer in the church. Witnesses heard the murderer, aged 16, shouting “Allahu Akbar”….
Turkey, which once boasted two million Christians, has barely 120,000 now, fewer even than Iran. But what shocked people most about July 15’s attacks was how much hatred still remains after almost 10 years.
Though it is nominally a secular republic there can be little doubt that the government and Turkey’s 117,000 Sunni imams work together. …
“Turkey is like Iran in 1975,” said one Iranian in Istanbul. “I’m sure we will see it become an Islamic Republic very soon.”
Turkey is switching from nominally secular to an Islamist state, and presumably it will not join Europe or continue in NATO.
When is free speech and peaceful protest in a free society against the law? Apparently only when it is about, abortion. In Tasmania, Victoria and the ACT, exclusion zones have been put in place to prevent any anti-abortion demonstration, and in NSW the Greens are advocating similar zones.
If you think these protestors were holding up dismembered and blood covered baby dolls, or graphic images, like other protestors like to do, think again.
On Wednesday, Graham Preston was the latest person to be fined for such a protest. Preston was arrested in Hobart in April last year for standing peacefully near an abortion clinic, holding a sign saying: “Everyone has the right to life, Article 3 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” The back said: “Every child has the right to life, Article 6 Convention on the Rights of the Child.” Another sign held by someone else showed an unborn child eight weeks from conception. Preston was fined $3000.
What a terrifying public spectacle. But wait, it gets worse. That was in Hobart. Just look at what those crazed Christian fundamentalists got up to in the ACT.
Kerry Mellor is part of a group that has been assembling to pray outside 1 Moore Street every Friday for 18 years. In the past they had a sign that said “pray to end abortion”, some “choose life” signs and holy pictures. They were essentially religious protests and didn’t have any material to give out. Most people wanting abortion went in the side door. A few people looked askance or spat at the group, and sometimes people joined in the prayers. But there was never any great confrontation. The group became a sort of Canberra institution, “the people outside the abortion clinic”.
After the exclusion zone around the ACT abortion clinic run by Marie Stopes International was put into place in March, Mellor was fined $750, in April. However, he was able to contest and it was withdrawn because he wasn’t in the exclusion zone but on an opposite corner. So then the ACT government changed the zone.
The zone now includes most of the street and a good portion of other streets to make it difficult for anyone to see any of the group.
However, recently on Friday morning, Mellor was within the zone accompanied by others. There were six police and three vehicles including a paddy wagon. Other members of the group moved on. Mellor claims, “I was alone … I prayed silently, the sergeant greeted me and asked me did I know I was within the protected area. Was I aware I was engaged in prohibited behaviour? I replied that prayer is not prohibited. He said it was in that area.”
Mellor continued to pray silently with his hands in his pockets. He didn’t display his rosary but they continued to ask what he was doing. Mellor asked what was the evidence of protest. Then, according to Mellor, the policeman said he saw him “bow his head and make sign of the cross” and this was evidence of his offence of protest in protected area. Prayer was the defining element of the offence. Mellor has been issued a criminal infringement notice. He does not intend to pay a fine because he feels his religious liberty, his right to peaceful silent religious expression, is being infringed. He says the only way to resolve this is in a court.
“Prayer was the defining element of the offence”. What I find amazing is how brittle and thin-skinned our brave cultural victors are (the left has won the culture war, right Mike?) when faced merely with the image of a bowed head and a silent signing of the cross.
What does it matter if he prays, if you don’t believe in his god or his moral convictions? You won the war, you are a free secular state that bows to no god. He is one man, standing on a street corner, thinking silent thoughts.
What right have you to tell him what to think, and where to think it? If you are comfortable with your actions, your legality and your morality, why are you offended by his silent presence in our public square?
You do not have to share Right to Life’s view about abortion to be concerned about this dangerous development.
Indeed. But those who do share this view must take heed. Merely holding these views is dangerous to your legal status, security, employment and social standing. It has become civil disobedience merely to think the wrong thoughts in a public place.
Owners and employees of hedge funds have made $122.7 million in campaign contributions this election cycle, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics—more than twice what they gave in the entire 2012 cycle and nearly 14% of total money donated from all sources so far.
Rich people vote Democrat nowadays. The post-modern left is the home of the global elite, not the worker.
A new decree by Venezuela’s government could make its citizens work on farms to tackle the country’s severe food shortages.
That “effectively amounts to forced labor,” according to Amnesty International, which derided the decree as “unlawful.”
In a vaguely-worded decree, Venezuelan officials indicated that public and private sector employees could be forced to work in the country’s fields for at least 60-day periods, which may be extended “if circumstances merit.”
Talk about reproducible results. This often happens when socialism gets excessive. It’s a complete mystery to those on the left with no understanding of economics or people.
Programed as they are in feminist myth-making, journalists, young and old, often ask incredulously, “Why would western girls travel to join ISIS fighters?” “ISIS men don’t believe in equality between the sexes.”
At heart, neither do women. Not when hormones rage.
Islamic State projects strength. Strength is an aphrodisiac. Women are biologically programmed to be attracted to powerful men. That’s one reason some girls willingly put on black nose bags and flock to become ISIS brides.
Brainwashed to think biology is incidental, and that men and women are essentially interchangeable; younger readers will likely find it harder to grasp something as primordial and important as the male-female biological category.
Sheikh Muhammad Ayed has no such problem. Speaking in a deep, sonorous voice; in what sounds like classical Arabic, this imam can be observed on YouTube delivering a sermon from East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque. The object of Sheikh Ayed’s coruscating derision is the emasculated West. It is primed for a muscular, Muslim takeover, he argues.
A few years ago, I became aware of serious problem in science: the irreproducibility crisis.
A group of researchers at Amgen, an American pharmaceutical company, attempted to replicate 53 landmark cancer discoveries in close collaboration with the authors. Many of these papers were published in high-impact journals and came from prestigious academic institutions. To the surprise of everyone involved, they were able to replicate only six of those papers—approximately 11 percent. …
The institutionalization of science in the early decades of the 20th century created a scientific sub-culture, with its own reward systems, behaviors, and social norms. The rest of society sees this sphere a bit differently: Scientists are portrayed as selfless individuals who are solely motivated by curiosity and a hunger for knowledge. However, the existence of the irreproducibility crisis implies that other motives may also exist. …
Sociologists of science have consistently identified “public recognition” as scientists’ primary motivating factor. …The inconvenient truth is that scientists can achieve fame and advance their careers through accomplishments that do not prioritize the quality of their work. If recognition is not based on quality, then scientists will not modify their behaviors to select for it. In the culture of modern science, it is better to be wrong than to be second. …
Objective quality should be based on the concept of independent replication: A finding would not be accepted as true unless it is independently verified.
Most people still don’t seem to realize that the carbon dioxide theory of global warming is based entirely on a model, which is to say it is theoretical. There is no empirical evidence to back it up, let alone reproducible evidence. In fact there is considerable empirical evidence to say it is dead wrong, namely the missing hotspot — and also the pause in warming for the last 15+ years isn’t exactly supportive. Yet the global elite is fully supportive of the theory … perhaps because regulating emissions of carbon dioxide requires a global bureaucracy.
The IMF’s chief Christine Lagarde is presiding over an organisation that is almost out of control.
The International Monetary Fund’s top staff misled their own board, made a series of calamitous misjudgments in Greece, became euphoric cheerleaders for the euro project, ignored warning signs of impending crisis, and collectively failed to grasp an elemental concept of currency theory.
This is the lacerating verdict of the IMF’s top watchdog on the fund’s tangled political role in the eurozone debt crisis, the most damaging episode in the history of the Bretton Woods institutions.
That’s what happens when a bunch of PC people take over a technical institution. They trade off its past good reputation, but of course the political hacks ruin it shortly thereafter.