China Overtakes US in Scientific Articles, Robots, Supercomputers

China Overtakes US in Scientific Articles, Robots, Supercomputers, by Anatoly Karlin.

By the end of the 1990s, China had come to dominate the mainstays of geopolitical power in the 20th century – coal and steel production. As a consequence, it leapt to the top of the Compositive Index of National Capability, which uses military expenditure, military personnel, energy consumption, iron and steel production, urban population, and total population as a proxy of national power. …

By the end of the 2000s, like Victorian Britain in the mid-19th century, China became the workshop of the world, overtaking the US in both manufacturing and coming very close to it in terms of PPP-adjusted GDP. As a consequence, this was when China also overtook the US on a wide range of consumer welfare and ecological impact indicators, such as exports, CO2 emissions, Internet users, energy consumption, car sales, car production, and number of patents issued. …

But as of this year, China is hurtling past yet another set of inflection points – the hi-tech component of its economy, roughly comparable to any of the major European Powers a mere decade ago, is now about to converge and then hurtle past that of the US by the end of the 2010s …

This process can be proxied by three indicators: Number of scientific articles published, operational stock of industrial robots, and number of supercomputers.

Meanwhile Australia slumbers on with little high tech industry, exporting the cream of its technical talent, decrepit defenses, and an national agenda focused on PC issues like gay marriage, with welfare gradually crowding out everything from a budget that will be in deficit for as far as the eye can see. Postmodern arts graduates rule this country, woefully (unless you have one of the nice elite jobs on taxpayer money).

Turkey sets conditions for German access to the Incirlik Airbase in Turkey

Turkey sets conditions for German access to the Incirlik Airbase in Turkey, by Deutsche Welle.

Turkey says German MPs can visit the airbase if the Berlin government stops trying to distort Turkish history. German politicians have been blocked from touring the facility, where their own military is stationed. …

The foreign minister’s comments were an apparent reference to the German parliament’s recent passing of a resolution over the 1915 killings of millions of [Christian] Armenians by the Ottoman Empire, of which modern day Turkey emerged.

How important the stories of the past are.

Millionaire Accused of Abuse Releases Surveillance Video Footage of Ex-Fiance ‘Beating Herself Up’

Millionaire Accused of Abuse Releases Surveillance Video Footage of Ex-Fiance ‘Beating Herself Up’, by Katherine Rodriguez.

Scott Mitchell, 45, released the footage of Mary Hunt, 29, as part of a legal battle over allegedly stolen jewelry, the Daily Mail reported.

Mitchell accused Hunt of stealing $2.1 million worth of jewelry when they broke off their engagement last summer, while Hunt claimed he abused her and set her up.

Before cameras that probably would have worked.

Venezuela Prepares for Massive Protests By Arresting Activists

Venezuela Prepares for Massive Protests By Arresting Activists, by Anthony Fisher.

As Venezuela prepares for nationwide protests calling for the recall of its wildly unpopular President Nicolas Maduro scheduled for this Thursday, its socialist government is arresting activist leaders and opposition politicians.

In other words, business as usual for the “Chavista” regime, which continues to oversee a complete collapse of the economy and the rule of law in an oil-rich nation once described by delusional liberal economic writers as an “economic miracle,” but which now features forced labor, starvation, triple-digit inflation, extreme scarcity of basic household goods, and frequent political violence.

This is what happens when private property rights are trampled upon. It’s not exactly a secret that there is a strong correlation between societal wealth and economic freedom, or that communist societies end up as police states run by a rich over-class. Sadly, if the activists want change they have to start causing real pain for the over-class, starting with the lower end who are enforcing the regime’s will.

UPDATE: Venezuelan Regime Kidnaps Yon Goicoechea, Friedman Prize Winner, by Ian Vasquez.

Members of what was surely the Venezuelan regime’s secret police yesterday kidnapped opposition leader and 2008 Milton Friedman Prize winner Yon Goicoechea from his car after he left his home.

Diosdado Cabello, the second most powerful person in the regime, publicly announced that the government had arrested Yon on the bogus claim that he was carrying explosives. In the video broadcast on national television, Cabello referred to the $500,000 Friedman Prize award that Yon received as evidence that Yon was some sort of foreign-employed agent bent on terrorism. “That man was trained by the U.S. empire for years,” he said, “It looks like his money ran out and he wants to come here to seek blood. They gave him the order there in the United States.”

Yon won the Friedman Prize in 2008 for having led the student movement that played the central role in defeating the constitutional reform that would have given Hugo Chavez what at that time would have been an unprecedented concentration of political and economic power.

hat-tip Tim Andrews

MODERN SEXISM: Champions of change will make life miserable for men at work

MODERN SEXISM: Champions of change will make life miserable for men at work, by Janet Albrechtson.

At the gender round table, a group of chief executives and senior public servants known as the Male Champions of Change took aim at men within their organisations who may feel they are being discriminated against on the basis of gender.

Alas, for a bunch of clever men, there is an obvious and inherent contradiction in their fulminating. On the one hand they set gender targets for women. On the other hand, they say there’s no bias to see here. Once you set a female gender target, then gender features in hiring and promotion decisions. When ownership of two X chromosomes helps you get a job or a promotion, then it’s hard to argue that there’s no discrimination afoot.

CBA boss Ian Narev, who said: “If you’re a senior male and you genuinely believe that an appointment’s been made other than on merit, and you genuinely believe you won’t get a chance because you’re a male, you’re probably not a good fit any more.”

Narev has set a 40 per cent target for women in senior management roles by 2020. Yet he is saying to men bugger off if you believe you’re being discriminated against on the basis of your chromosomal mix.

Outrageously obvious sexism, as virtue signalers outdo each other.  What politically correct fools. None of these people belong anywhere near a management position because they are too incompetent.

There is something disturbing about corporate big shots who peddle gender targets and won’t admit to the sex discrimination that necessarily entails. Instead, they try to tear down any man who genuinely believes he has been discriminated against on the basis of sex. There is such a thing as objective truth.

Reality-denying postmodernism run amok among the bureaucratic elite who tax us and pay themselves what they think they are worth, free from market discipline.

Here is some relevant reality: Because the IQ distribution in men has a larger standard deviation than in women, only 37% of western humans with IQs over 120 are female. An IQ of at least 120 is usually considered required for management.

The distribution of g [raw intelligence] in male and female populations. The scale of the horizontal axis is in units of the male standard deviation.

The distribution of g [raw intelligence] in male and female populations. The scale of the horizontal axis is in units of the male standard deviation.

So if 50% of executives were female then females would be over-represented — if IQ is important. (Perhaps it’s not, in these PC times? The quoted source above notes that 66% of public service managers in the US are female.)

The “debate” on same-sex has been a sham. Using its media power, the SSM lobby and broader Left have howled down and suppressed the contra case

The “debate” on same-sex has been a sham. Using its media power, the SSM lobby and broader Left have howled down and suppressed the contra case. By John Muscat. Just like the carbon dioxide theory of global warming.

What has passed for debate so far is a sham. Using their preponderant media power, the SSM lobby and broader Left have suppressed the contra case with jackboot tactics. They have shrunk, trivialised and obscured the issues at stake. A contrasting approach came, ironically, from Labor’s Joe Bullock, who recently resigned his senate seat in protest at the ALP’s pro-SSM position. …

It’s often said that the impacts of SSM are largely confined to the gay community … But amending the definition of marriage will send cultural messages reverberating across society. … [It] weakens the once valued link between procreation and parenthood, taking it to breaking point. Another message is that fatherhood and motherhood have no distinctive characteristics, and can be replaced by some generic concept of co-parenthood. …

These messages hasten our transition from a “parent society” to a nanny state, since failures in family formation attract rising levels of bureaucratic intervention. Forced to abandon their old dream of nationalising the instruments of economic life, the Left has turned its sights on nationalising aspects of domestic life.

UPDATE: The ALA is running a petition to protect the Marriage Act and to hold a binding referendum at the next federal election.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

 

Christian Persecution in the Muslim World: Christians as ‘Target Practice’

Christian Persecution in the Muslim World: Christians as ‘Target Practice’, by Raymond Ibrahim.

One account told of a couple who, after their children were abducted by ISIS militants, answered their door one day to find a plastic bag on their doorstep. It contained the body parts of their daughters and a video of them being brutally tortured and raped.

Another Christian mother from Mosul answered the door to find ISIS jihadis demanding that she leave or pay the jizya (protection money demanded as a tribute by conquered Christians and Jews, according to the Koran 9:29). The woman asked for a few seconds, as her daughter was in the shower, but the jihadis refused to give her the time. They set fire to the house; her daughter was burned alive. The girl died in her mother’s arms

It’s a long article, with many examples. Where are our media? Where are our leaders?

Mideast Christian: “Where are the leaders of the West, Ban Ki-Moon, the EU, WHO, and other Christian organisations?”

The persecution of Christians in the Islamic world has become endemic.

Because these accounts of persecution span different ethnicities, languages, and locales—from Morocco in the West, to Indonesia in the East—it should be clear that one thing alone binds them: Islam—whether the strict application of Islamic Sharia law, or the supremacist culture born of it.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Some Observations From the Man Who Created Alt-Right: An intellectual movement that Democrats want to use to smear Breitbart and Trump

Some Observations From the Man Who Created Alt-Right: An intellectual movement that Democrats want to use to smear Breitbart and Trump, by Paul Gottfried.

At their best, Altright commentators offer a welcome contrast to what Peter Brimelow styles “conservatism, inc.”  They are a breath of fresh air for anyone like me who occasionally forces himself to look at the centrist bilge, ostentatious beating up on Confederate symbols and the shilling for multinational corporations that I encounter on the respectable (non-right) Right.

Parts of the Republican establishment are working to get Hillary elected.

I need hardly add that next to the Never Trump crew laboring directly or indirectly to elect “crooked Hillary” as our next president, my Altright acquaintances are exemplary defenders of the American republic. And here I won’t bother to draw already meaningless distinctions between those neocons and establishment Republicans who, like Robert Kagan, Max Boot, Brent Scowcroft and Richard Armitage, are working actively for Hillary’s election and those who like Bill Kristol, Guy Benson and Eric Erickson are energetically sliming Trump whenever they can create the occasion. The two groups are hoping to produce the same results.

The prankish, outrageous side of the Alt-Right get it into “trouble”:

Unfortunately there is this hitch among representatives of Altright. At least some of them show tasteless prankishness and a tendency to say outrageous things just to shock. I told AP that there are “moderates” on Altright; and they are the ones who construct the convincing arguments.

Unfortunately our leftist (indeed Cultural Marxist) media are more interested in embarrassing the entire Right by quoting the nuttiest remarks made by those identified with the Altright than they are in noticing inconvenient truths.

And it’s obvious to me that statements that come out of Altright, intended to unsettle blacks, Hispanics, and Jews (but kindly note never the gay lobby), are counterproductive. They do nothing to enhance the credibility of this oppositional force.

But is a result of the horrendous media bias:

[The first thing that a serious Right must learn is that it’s not competing on a level playing field. What Trump describes as the “lying, crooked” media have been fixing the field to their advantage for decades.

The clients of the multicultural Left can hurl obscenities at white people and burn America flags and have their misdeeds hidden or excused. The other side, very broadly understood, will be tarred with charges of bigotry, no matter how obsequiously it “reaches out.”

This unfortunately is the way things are, and those in Altright with loose tongues who enjoy shocking should at least recognize that they will never be in a position of power or influence unless they practice verbal restraint.

The future:

On a more optimistic note: the beginnings of an effective post-neoconservative Right may be taking shape in the form of the Trump movement. … This is the most promising attempt to create a post-neoconservative Right that I have seen since being exiled from the conservative movement eons ago. …

Often in politics, it’s the enemy that unites, and in this case those whom circumstances have brought together, have chosen their adversaries well. They are facing with very limited resources, the ultimate traitors to the Right and to an America that should be spared Hillary’s picks for federal judgeships and her refusal to fight specifically Muslim terrorists.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

US Secretary of State Kerry in Bangladesh: Media Should Cover Terrorism Less so ‘people wouldn’t know what’s going on’

US Secretary of State Kerry in Bangladesh: Media Should Cover Terrorism Less so ‘people wouldn’t know what’s going on’, by Jeryl Bier.

In light of recent terror attacks in that country, Kerry addressed the problem of terrorism, including root causes and how the terrorists spread their message. The secretary said that the media could “do us all a service” by reducing coverage of terror attacks.

What he said:

Remember this: No country is immune from terrorism. It’s easy to terrorize. Government and law enforcement have to be correct 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. But if you decide one day you’re going to be a terrorist and you’re willing to kill yourself, you can go out and kill some people. You can make some noise. Perhaps the media would do us all a service if they didn’t cover it quite as much. People wouldn’t know what’s going on. (Applause.)

Even less? This is the total for just one month earlier this year, from 6 June to 6 July inclusive:

Ramadan death toll for 2016

Of those 229 attacks, how many did you hear about in the media? Is there a pattern the global elite don’t want us to notice perhaps?

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Britons in BLACKMAIL threat from hardline Islamists if they wear BIKINIS on the beach

Britons in BLACKMAIL threat from hardline Islamists if they wear BIKINIS on the beach, by Leda Reynolds.

Every year around 500,000 Brits jet off to Morocco, which is known for its year-round sunshine, idyllic beaches and tantalising food.

However, while many women in the UK add their bikini to their suitcase without a second thought, Islamists in Morocco are warning those caught wearing skimpy swimwear will have their photograph taken and the image posted online for millions around the world to see.

The hardliners are angry women from the West are showing flesh in a country where more than 99 per cent of the population is Muslim, modesty is expected and many females wear headscarves.

The pictures were snapped secretly as victims relaxed on beaches or frolicked in the waves and are meant to shame the women into “repenting”. The images were accompanied by a variety of posts urging women to “turn to religion”. One read: “This is what happens in Morocco, land of Islam, principality of believers.”

Robert Spencer comments:

While the world convulses in horror over France enforcing its now-discarded burkini ban on French beaches, few realize that these threats in Morocco are the real wave of the future, and that before too long it will be far more dangerous for a non-Muslim woman to wear a bikini to a beach that it has ever been for Muslimas to sport burkinis there.

And also, contrary to the Express headline, this is not a blackmail threat. What British woman can be blackmailed by photos of her in a bikini? This is much more likely to be a death threat: an implicit call to Muslims in Britain to kill the women in the photos.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Section 18C is too broad and too vague, and should be repealed

Section 18C is too broad and too vague, and should be repealed, by Lorraine Finlay, Augusto Zimmermann, and Joshua Forrester.

One matter often overlooked in these controversies is whether 18C is in fact constitutional. In our book No Offence Intended: Why 18C Is Wrong, we argue the Constitution’s external affairs power does not support 18C. Further, the section also impermissibly infringes the implied freedom of political communication.

Important comments on “hate,” a word the PC are twisting to their own ends:

The international treaty most directly supporting Section 18C is the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and Article 4 in particular. This is directed against, among other things, the dissemination of all ideas based on racial hatred.

A strong word is used here: hatred. Not dislike. Not disdain. Hatred.

Hate itself is a strong and distinct emotion. Article 4 is therefore directed at a narrow range of expression: that is, expression motivated by, manifesting, or creating hatred. …

The range of language that may offend, insult or even humiliate is far larger than language that is hateful. The assertion that some offensive or insulting expression leads to hate overlooks the many instances where such expression doesn’t lead to hatred.

Selective enforcement is a politically correct burueacracy’s dream for keeping people in line:

An essential requirement of the rule of law is certainty. People must know where a legal line is drawn so they can avoid going over it. The uncertainties of 18C and 18D add to the already heavy burden that 18C places on the implied freedom of political communication.

Read it all.

Conditions Deteriorate at Migrant ‘Jungle’ in Calais

Conditions Deteriorate at Migrant ‘Jungle’ in Calais, by the Wall Street Journal.

These camps are a really bad advert for migration. What a pig sty. I’m sure most Britons can’t wait to have these people join them.

A reader writes: “I volunteered once at a Japanese camp for people displaced by the Kobe earthquake and it was spotless, so clean and ordered by the residents that we had really nothing to help out with except throw a party for them. These were the poorest Japanese people in Kobe, from the part with the worst houses that got flattened. The Japanese are a lot like the British in WWII: big sense of local community, easy to raise money and support, with a spirit of self reliance and industry.” A high-trust society.

Japanese emergency camp

Japanese emergency camp.

hat-tip Matthew

Apple holds Europe to ransom: Tech giant threatens to cut jobs in EU after Brussels orders it to pay back US$14.5bn in tax over ‘illegal’ sweetheart deal with Irish government

Apple holds Europe to ransom: Tech giant threatens to cut jobs in EU after Brussels orders it to pay back US$14.5bn in tax over ‘illegal’ sweetheart deal with Irish government, by Martin Robinson.

The European Commission’s three-year investigation into Apple’s sweetheart deal with Ireland has found it amounted to illegal state aid.

Its damning report published today says the tech giant paid as little as 0.005 per cent tax by funnelling its non-US profits through its Irish headquarters with no staff or premises then on to its US$178 billion offshore fund.

The giant tax bill, which could reach US$21 billion because of interest, will not be difficult for the company to pay because it made US$53.4 billion last year – the biggest profit in corporate history.

Apple Inc. headquarters sign
Apple’s real HQ is in Silicon Valley, California.

Apple ploughs all its non-US sales through Ireland, where the EU says it has been paying hyper-low tax rates. The majority of profits are then sent offshore where no tax is paid, with some going to America for research and development.

The Commission’s landmark report says that between 2003 and 2014 Apple paid a rock bottom Irish tax rate on most of its profits outside the US before sending it to a tax haven where it paid no tax at all. It has more than US$178 billion stashed in offshore accounts.

In 2011 Apple’s profits outside America were $22 billion but Ireland agreed that only $55 million was considered taxable.

Apple threatens the EU:

But Apple will appeal saying the Commission’s figures are ‘completely made-up’ and its CEO Tim Cook, who previously called the probe ‘political c**p’, is threatening EU job losses if they don’t back down. …

CEO Tim Cook posted a lengthy message on apple.com, warning about devastating ramifications for the sovereignty of European countries in light of the competition chief’s hard line. “In Ireland and in every country where we operate, Apple follows the law and we pay all the taxes we owe.”

Ireland doesn’t want the money:

Ireland has said it doesn’t want Apple’s money even though it is equivalent to £2,400 for each of its 4.5million residents and would cover the costs of its national health service for a year. …

Ireland will today be ordered to claw back billions in backdated tax – but extraordinarily the government will appeal the decision and reject the money.

The US Government warns the EU not to go after American companies over tax avoidance:

The tax affairs of a string of other firms, including Amazon, Google and McDonald’s, are also set to come under the EU microscope in the coming months.

Big multinational companies have been avoiding paying significant tax anywhere for years by moving profit around, so it is good to see this scheme finally come under real pressure.

Ultimately this is about an interpretation of tax rules, huge and complicated though they may be. The amount of money at stake is huge. Shame the  tax rules aren’t simple and unambiguous, but here are so many loopholes and complications precisely because big companies and wealthy people lobbied to have them in there. No doubt the various tax codes are individually and jointly quite contradictory, so in the end there will have to be some politically driven compromise.

Finally, it comes down to political muscle, with the US government warning the EU off taxing its companies. Delightful.

The Hypocritical Etiquette of Our Masters: Political correctness is crazy over race

The Hypocritical Etiquette of Our Masters: Political correctness is crazy over race, by George McCartney. Nowhere does PC run more rampant than over race.

It’s a near certainty that Barack Obama was elected president by people desperate to avoid the third rail of American political discourse. In today’s America you can’t be counted among the socially acceptable if you acknowledge the tiniest preference for your race over another. That’s why a person of color, the light-skinned, well-spoken Obama, was just the ticket in 2008 and again in 2012. He let those who voted for him off the racial hook. …

Still, isn’t it odd that the charge of racism should be so potent? After all, nearly everyone in our nation shares this vice: white, black, brown, yellow. Most of us for most of our lives prefer to be with our own kind. And yet to say so earns one a sentence on the scaffold of public excoriation, humiliated by having a Scarlet R emblazoned on one’s breast.

Aren’t we supposed to have the right of free association? Not, it seems, in public and corporate life. Nor are we free to speak as we please. There’s an unforgiving linguistic etiquette to be observed with regard to race.

It’s reached the laughable stage:

ABC newsreader Amy Robach discovered this last week when she referred to blacks as colored people. Her media counterparts pounced immediately expressing their heart-felt dismay. Robach swiftly apologized for her egregious violation. She had slipped, she explained. She had meant, of course, to say people of color. This locution, as everyone knows, makes all the difference.

However, the consequences can be serious:

We Americans have been notably cowed by our increasingly ramrod racial etiquette. Make a faux pas, suggest a racial or ethnic preference however mild and you might lose your standing among your peers along with your job.

Again, the Monty Python team said it well decades ago:

hat-tip Stephen Neil