Iran’s Supreme Leader: ‘Real War’ with West Is ‘Culture War’ on TV, Internet

Iran’s Supreme Leader: ‘Real War’ with West Is ‘Culture War’ on TV, Internet, by Penny Starr.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei said that a war on Iran’s culture and economy is more dangerous to his Islamic regime than any military threat from the West. …

“The real war is an economic war, the real war is the war of sanctions, the real war is the arenas of work, activity, and technology inside the country,” Khamenei said. “This is the real war!”

“They draw our attention to a military war so that we ignore this war,” Khamenei said. “The real war is a cultural war.

“There are so many television and internet networks which are busy diverting the hearts and minds of our youth away from religion, our sacred beliefs, morality, modesty and the like,” Khamenei said.

Culture is upstream of politics. It motivates people.

Hungary’s Orbán: EU ‘Still Making Excuses for Crimes of Communism’

Hungary’s Orbán: EU ‘Still Making Excuses for Crimes of Communism’, by Jack Montgomery.

“Many in the West today are still making excuses for the crimes of communism; even the European Union itself is reluctant to unequivocally condemn them,” Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has said. …

The populist leader noted the left wing ideology “emerged in the 20th century as an intellectual product of the West [but] in the end it was we Central Europeans who were forced to live under this originally Western idea”.

Orbán underlined that, in the West, communism remained nothing more than a theory, providing “tingling intellectual excitement [for] meddlesome global utopians” such as Sidney and Beatrice Webb, prominent figures in Fabian socialism accused of acting as apologists for the Soviet Union.

He recalled how “many members of the Western intelligentsia, artists, writers and politicians – self-proclaimed ‘progressives’ – praised the genocidal communist dictatorship”.

It is difficult to believe that it was not obvious to them that those whom the Soviets regarded as class enemies – or as dangerous for any other reason – were being deported to slave labour camps.” …

The number of people killed by communist regimes in the 20th century is estimated at 94 million. Surviving communist regimes such as China and North Korea continue to be noted for their use of censorship, political repression, and arbitrary detention – often in Soviet-style labour camps – to quash dissent.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

What Does Steve Bannon Want?

What Does Steve Bannon Want? by Christopher Caldwell.

President Trump presents a problem to those who look at politics in terms of systematic ideologies. He is either disinclined or unable to lay out his agenda in that way. So perhaps it was inevitable that Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, who does have a gift for thinking systematically, would be so often invoked by Mr. Trump’s opponents. …

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Mr. Bannon, 63, has won a reputation for abrasive brilliance at almost every stop in his unorthodox career — as a naval officer, Goldman Sachs mergers specialist, entertainment-industry financier, documentary screenwriter and director, Breitbart News cyber-agitprop impresario and chief executive of Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign. One Harvard Business School classmate described him to The Boston Globe as “top three in intellectual horsepower in our class — perhaps the smartest.” Benjamin Harnwell of the Institute for Human Dignity, a Catholic organization in Rome, calls him a “walking bibliography.”

Perhaps because Mr. Bannon came late to conservatism, turning his full-time energy to political matters only after the Sept. 11 attacks, he radiates an excitement about it that most of his conservative contemporaries long ago lost. …

A nation of people, not ideas:

Where Mr. Bannon does veer sharply from recent mainstream Republicanism is in his all-embracing nationalism. He speaks of sovereignty, economic nationalism, opposition to globalization and finding common ground with Brexit supporters and other groups hostile to the transnational European Union. On Thursday, at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, he described the “center core” of Trump administration philosophy as the belief that the United States is more than an economic unit in a borderless world. It is “a nation with a culture” and “a reason for being.” …

Banking creates problems:

“Think about it,” he said in a talk hosted by the Institute for Human Dignity. “Not one criminal charge has ever been brought to any bank executive associated with 2008 crisis.” He warned against “the Ayn Rand or the Objectivist School of libertarian capitalism,” by which he meant “a capitalism that really looks to make people commodities, and to objectify people.” Capitalism, he said, ought to rest on a “Judeo-Christian” foundation.

Steering Republicans away from focusing on profits, towards people and values:

It was Pat Buchanan who in his 1992 run for president first called on Republicans to value jobs and communities over profits. An argument consumed the party over whether this was a better-rounded vision of society or just the grousing of a reactionary. After a generation, Mr. Buchanan has won that argument. By 2016 his views on trade and migration, once dismissed as crackpot, were spreading so fast that everyone in the party had embraced them — except its elected officials and its establishment presidential candidates.

Not Islam:

Mr. Bannon does not often go into detail about what Judeo-Christian culture is, but he knows one thing it is not: Islam. Like most Americans, he believes that Islamism — the extremist political movement — is a dangerous adversary. More controversially he holds that, since this political movement is generated within the sphere of Islam, the growth of Islam — the religion — is itself a problem with which American authorities should occupy themselves. This is a view that was emphatically repudiated by Presidents Obama and George W. Bush.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

SpaceX to Fly Passengers On Private Trip Around the Moon in 2018

SpaceX to Fly Passengers On Private Trip Around the Moon in 2018, by Calla Cofield.

SpaceX will fly two private citizens on a trip around the moon in 2018, the company’s founder Elon Musk announced Monday (Feb. 27).

The private spaceflight company will use its Falcon Heavy rocket to send the two paying passengers into space aboard one of the company’s Dragon spacecraft. The two private citizens, who have not yet been named, approached SpaceX about taking a trip around the moon, and have “already paid a significant deposit” for the cost of the mission, according to a statement from the company. The names of the two individuals will be announced later, pending the result of initial health tests to ensure their fitness for the mission, the statement said.

The two passengers will be the only people on board what is expected to be about a weeklong trip around the moon, according to Musk, who spoke with reporters during a phone conference today.

“This would be a long loop around the moon … It would skim the surface of the moon, go quite a bit further out into deep space and then loop back to Earth,” Musk said during the teleconference. “So I’m guessing, distance-wise, maybe [300,000] or 400,000 miles [about 500,000 to 650,000 kilometers].” …

The crew-carrying Dragon spacecraft will operate, in large part, autonomously, so the passengers would have to train for emergency procedures but would not be in charge of piloting the spacecraft, Musk said. The crew-carrying Dragon spacecraft will operate, in large part, autonomously, so the passengers would have to train for emergency procedures but would not be in charge of piloting the spacecraft, Musk said.

‘The contemporary US belongs to all nations’: Former Iranian president targets Trump’s travel ban and says the American political system is ‘corrupt’ in open letter to the president

‘The contemporary US belongs to all nations’: Former Iranian president targets Trump’s travel ban and says the American political system is ‘corrupt’ in open letter to the president, by the Daily Mail.

Iran’s former hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sent a letter Sunday to President Donald Trump, striking a somewhat conciliatory tone while applauding immigration to America and saying it shows ‘the contemporary U.S. belongs to all nations.’ …

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In the letter, published by Iranian media outlets, Ahmadinejad noted Trump won the election while he ‘truthfully described the U.S. political system and electoral structure as corrupt.’

Ahmadinejad decried U.S. ‘dominance’ over the United Nations, as well as American meddling in the world that has brought ‘insecurity, war, division, killing and (the) displacement of nations.’

He also acknowledged the some 1 million people of Iranian descent living in America, saying that U.S. policies should ‘value respect toward the diversity of nations and races.’

‘In other words, the contemporary U.S. belongs to all nations, including the natives of the land,’ he wrote.

‘No one may consider themselves the owner and view others as guests or immigrants.’

As Steve Sailer points out, in PC world “non-Americans” are just Americans who haven’t moved to America yet.

The IQ of Politics

The IQ of Politics, by Tucker Carlson.

The country has reached a point where the elite consensus on any given issue should be reflexively distrusted.

Look, it’s really simple. The SAT 50 years ago pulled a lot of smart people out of every little town in America and funneled them into a small number of elite institutions, where they married each other, had kids, and moved to an even smaller number of elite neighborhoods. We created the most effective meritocracy ever.

But the problem with the meritocracy, is that it leeches all the empathy out of your society … The second you think that all your good fortune is a product of your virtue, you become highly judgmental, lacking empathy, totally without self-awareness, arrogant, stupid — I mean all the stuff that our ruling class is. …

Intelligence is not a moral category. That’s what I find a lot of people in my life assume. It’s not. God doesn’t care how smart you are, actually. …

Putting smart people in charge of things is fine, but what you really want is wise people. The beginning of wisdom is to know what an asshole you are. …

Carlson gets annoyed by elitist PC. This is his worst interview, the one he regrets most, where he got infuriated with the liberal writer Lauren Duca and got mean:

How did she infuriate him so?

It was the unreasonableness … It’s this assumption — and it’s held by a lot of people I live around [in an upscale Washington neighborhood] — that you’re on God’s side, everyone else is an infidel, and by calling them names you’re doing the Lord’s work. I just don’t think that’s admirable, and I’m not impressed by that.

Australia: Bogan call bites Aly

Australia: Bogan call bites Aly, by Stephen Brook.

Waleed Aly is a talented figure who can write geopolitical think pieces for Fairfax papers and mix it with the kids on Channel Ten’s The Project. But he is also a polarising one: you either love him or hate him. …

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Aly recently found himself uncharacteristically on the receiving end of an unfavourable social media storm when he made an off joke during The Project that ­managed to besmirch bogans and administration workers. One typically intemperate and unfair attack on Facebook read: “The word bogan is really just dog whistle for working-class Anglo Saxons. It’s used by smug hipsters and genuine racists like Waleed. Waleed Aly you are a racist scumbag!

But not by a bogan!

The post was made by one David Kozgrev, who just happens to be David Cosgrove, son of our Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (retd). Talk about making life uncomfortable for the G-G. Says a spokesman from Government House: “The Governor-General is currently overseas and does not know whether any such post was made by one of his family. He hopes not.”

CEO pay — it’s not like they’re sports stars

CEO pay — it’s not like they’re sports stars, by Adam Creighton.

I’m hereby offering my services to be the next CEO of Australia Post for less than $560,000 year, including bonus, a mere 10 per cent of the remuneration of outgoing chief Ahmed Fahour. I’m hard working, organised, and reasonably bright. And I’d be fully across global postage and parcel trends before I started. Taxpayers would save more than $5 million a year.

Naturally, I don’t have a chance. The so-called market for chief executives of public (and state-owned) companies functions like a cartel, where suppliers, the managers themselves, exert huge power over the sale price.

Who could blame Fahour for accepting his outlandish pay? He’s only human. The problem is the system, not individuals, and a populist cut in the next Australia Post chief’s pay will do nothing to fix it.

We all enjoy a bit of economic rent in our lives — what economists call the excess of what we are paid over what we need to be paid to keep doing our job. But the world’s managerial class has gorged on it since the 1980s.

In Australia the pay of the top ASX200 companies has increased from less than 20 to more than 50 times average earnings, or more than $3 million, in 2015. In the US, average CEO pay, adjusted for ­inflation, has increased from about $US807,000 a year in 1965 to just under $US15 million a year in 2012. Plato would have a heart attack: he thought the richest residents of Athens should earn no more than five times the poorest.

The Productivity Commission in its 2009 analysis of executive pay found pay increases had easily outstripped growth in the value of stocks. Indeed, productivity and real median income growth in most countries have stagnated as the pay of managers has soared.

But CEOs aren’t in a market, but instead form a cartel where members set their own remuneration.

The so-called market for executive remuneration isn’t a free market at all. In a free market buyers and sellers negotiate; their own money is on the line. The wage a corner shop owner pays his assistant is set in a free market. But executives and their boards more generally, the sellers of management services, in effect set their price because the shareholders, the buyers, have no control over the decision. Shareholders might be able to vote for particular board members, but they can’t affect the pay offer. Remuneration consultants, incentivised to recommend “above average” pay, add fuel to the fire, and help perpetuate the myth that good managers must cost a fortune. …

The late Australian historian John Hirst once said to me that Australians get angry about CEO pay ­because they sense rightly it’s someone not too different from them sitting behind a desk.

The value added by sports stars and ­entertainers, especially the former, can be objectively measured. The output of chief executives isn’t measurable or verifiable in the same way. No one can split out the contribution of one manager to the success of an entire company, especially large ones.

Extreme danger ahead for EU as Europe topples to the Right

Extreme danger ahead for EU as Europe topples to the Right, by Douglas Murray.

Europe is still reeling from two separate crises: the 2007-08 financial crisis and the 2015 immigration crisis. Both play into Le Pen’s hands. For although the FN [Le Pen’s National Front] is generally described as a party of the far right, its views on many economic issues are anti-free-market and anti-globalist, and in any other context would be described as far left. In a continent where right-wing economic policies are widely blamed for the crash, this is now an advantage rather than the eccentric oddity it once appeared to be.

marine-le-pen-2014

Consider what Australia would be like if had suffered what France has recently gone through:

It is hard for people outside France to appreciate how swiftly mainstream opinion in France has shifted in recent years.

But imagine if Australia had endured a period like France has just been through. Imagine if Australia was now in its third calendar year of a state of emergency. If in 2015 one of the nation’s most iconic magazine offices had been stormed — and its editors massacred — by two al-Qa’ida-trained gunmen. Imagine if Jewish targets in Australia had repeatedly been targeted by similar terrorists, and if two locally born Muslims had slit the throat of a priest saying mass at an altar in Adelaide.

Imagine, furthermore, if during this same period co-ordinated terrorist attacks had claimed hundreds of dead and wounded in an evening of terror in Canberra and almost 100 people had been mowed down on the Sydney waterfront by another Islamist terrorist shouting Allahu Akbar.

In such a situation I imagine that even the representatives of Australia’s mainstream parties would unveil somewhat more robust opinions on the ABC’s Q&A program than they do today.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Swedish policeman blames migrants for the majority of country’s rapes and shootings and accuses politicians of ‘turning a blind eye’

Swedish policeman blames migrants for the majority of country’s rapes and shootings and accuses politicians of ‘turning a blind eye’, by Mail Online.

A Swedish detective who has triggered a row by blaming violent crime on migrants has gone one step further and accused politicians of turning a blind eye to the problem because of ‘political correctness’.

Earlier this month Peter Springare, who has spent more than 40 years in the police, aired his anger on social media when he was told not to record the ethnicity of violent crime suspects.

Springare, 61, who is based in the central city of Orebro, wrote: ‘Countries representing the weekly crimes: Iraq, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Somalia, Syria again, Somalia, unknown, unknown country, Sweden.

‘Half of the suspects, we can’t be sure because they don’t have any valid papers. Which in itself usually means that they’re lying about your nationality and identity.’

Prosecutors launched an inquiry, suggesting he had incited racial hatred, but later dropped the charges.

Now Springare has told The Sunday Times: ‘The highest and most extreme violence – rapes and shooting – is dominated by criminal immigrants.

‘This is a different criminality that is tougher and rawer. It is not what we would call ordinary Swedish crime. This is a different animal.’

That seems to fit with the other news we’re getting from Sweden. Despite the PC clamp on news, it’s getting out via the Internet.

In his Facebook post Springare wrote: ‘Here we go; this I’ve handled Monday-Friday this week: rape, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, rape-assault and rape, extortion, blackmail, off of, assault, violence against police, threats to police, drug crime, drugs, crime, felony, attempted murder, Rape again, extortion again and ill-treatment.

‘Suspected perpetrators; Ali Mohammed, mahmod, Mohammed, Mohammed Ali, again, again, again Christopher… what is it true. Yes a Swedish name snuck on the outskirts of a drug crime, Mohammed, Mahmod Ali, again and again.’

A reader comments: The apathy and spinelessness of the Swedes in allowing their politicians to do this to their country is quite chilling. In Australia, either the electorate sweeps away the establishment parties in two years time at the next election, or it will be too late. I would love to believe that Bernadi and Hanson will hold the balance of power, but it seems unlikely. Neither is the full package – one lacks IQ and the other charisma. I find their courage admirable.

hat-tip Philip Barton

Why Millennials Are Lonely: Loneliness has gone viral.

Why Millennials Are Lonely: Loneliness has gone viral. By Caroline Beaton.

First, incredibly, loneliness is contagious. … People who aren’t lonely tend to … become lonelier if they’re around people who are.

Why? Lonely people are less able to pick up on positive social stimuli, like others’ attention and commitment signals, so they withdraw prematurely – in many cases before they’re actually socially isolated. Their inexplicable withdrawal may, in turn, make their close connections feel lonely too. … One lonely person can “destabilize an entire social network,” like a single thread unraveling a sweater …

The second reason for millennial loneliness is the Internet makes it viral. … Ironically, we use the Internet to alleviate our loneliness. Social connection no longer requires a car, phone call, or plan – just a click. …

The breakdown of community and civic society has almost certainly gotten worse. Today, going to a bowling alley alone, Putnam’s central symbol of “social capital deficit,” would actually be definitively social. Instead, we’re “bowling” — and a host of other pseudo-social acts — online.

One reason the Internet makes us lonely is we attempt to substitute real relationships with online relationships. Though we temporarily feel better when we engage others virtually, these connections tend to be superficial and ultimately dissatisfying. Online social contacts are “not an effective alternative for offline social interactions,” sums one study. …

The more isolated we feel, the more we retreat online, forging a virtual escape from loneliness. This is particularly true for my generation, who learned to self-soothe with technology from a young age. It will only become more true as we flock to freelancing and other means of working alone.

hat-tip Scott of the Pacific

Democrats Pick Establishment Leader To Head Up The Party.

Democrats Pick Establishment Leader To Head Up The Party, by Den Shapiro.

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The Democratic Party has no intention of working with President Trump. Perez’s first words after winning: “Someday, they’re going to study this era of American history. They’re going to ask the question of all of us: Where were you in 2017 when we had the worst president in the history of the United States? We will be able to say that the Democratic Party led the resistance and made sure this was a one-term president.” …

Perez is a utopian socialist:

J. Christian Adams, a lawyer who worked with Perez, says that Perez is a “utopian. I’ve sat in rooms with him listening to his progressive vision of a future free from everything he dislikes. He is a true believer that the government can force the transformation of a culture and a society for good.”

And an open-borders fanatic:

Here’s Adams again: Perez served “many years as a board member and president of the Soros-funded open-borders pusher, Casa de Maryland…[he also served for] two years as “immigration advisor” and special counsel to the late Ted Kennedy, the chief architect of the disastrous immigration system we have today.”

Race-based politics are his thing:

According to the Wall Street Journal, Perez is a “champion of disparate-impact theory, which purports to prove racial discrimination by examining statistics rather than intent or specific cases.” Under Perez’s tenure at the DOJ, he attempted to threaten lawsuits against a series of banks not by proving racism, but by showing that a disproportionate number of minorities had been denied loans.

Perez was the moderate in the race, because the other candidate was Ellison.

A reader comments: Perez’s  goal is to “Make America Mexico Again”. He is a globalist in the extreme, and is all about Agenda 21. He prays to the God’s Soros and his son, Obama….. This is where the US would have been headed under Hillary Clinton. The Orwellian Left is still fooling the remnants of what was once the great Democratic Party in the USA.

hat-tip Scott of the Pacific

Donald Trump supporters to boycott Oscars in protest against ‘Limousine Liberals’

Donald Trump supporters to boycott Oscars in protest against ‘Limousine Liberals’, by David Millward.

[Trump’s] supporters have already made it clear that they will have no truck with people they regard as “Limousine Liberals”.

A Facebook post originated by Republicans in Arizona has called on the “backbone and decent people of America” to stand up against the “bitter people of the entertainment industry”.

The group hopes its supporters will hit the television ratings by voting with their remote controls should Mr Trump come under attack during the acceptance speeches. The political sympathies of nearly all the nominees suggest that this is possible.

Accepting a Film Independent Spirit award on Saturday night, Casey Affleck, who has been nominated at the Academy Awards for his performance in Manchester by the Sea, said: “The policies of this administration are abhorrent and will not last.” …

The scene for the latest round of the president versus Hollywood’s liberal aristocracy was set at last month’s Golden Globes awards when Meryl Streep rounded on Mr Trump. Characteristically he used Twitter to hit back, describing her as “overrated”. …

It’s going to be the most political Oscars for a number of years. When people were talking about it a few months ago, they thought it would be a race issue,” said one Hollywood insider. “Now agents are unleashing their stars to say what they will. They are telling their clients they are not going to lose anything.”

Style was wanting, but Tony Abbott’s substance is right

Style was wanting, but Tony Abbott’s substance is right, by Jennifer Oriel.

The reflexive rage against former prime minister Tony Abbott blinds the government to his ­constructive ideas.

Tony Abbott

The frontbench has rejected a suite of policy proposals pregnant with potential because Abbott crafted them. If refined, the proposals could propel the government from a sunset state into a period of policy renewal and coherence. …

The Liberals have all but ­ignored Abbott’s policy proposals and focused instead on style over substance. Their collective anger rests on two comments: that many people view the Liberals as “Labor lite”, and the government is drifting towards electoral defeat unless it changes course. It is on the ­second point that Abbott justifies the need for a policy reset. …

The policies Abbott suggested:

The first reform is aimed at making the legislative process more democratic. It is to change section 57 of the constitution so that legislation rejected twice by the Senate three months apart can go to a joint sitting without the need for a double dissolution election.

Subsequent reform proposals are to: freeze the RET; reduce ­immigration rates; avoid all new government spending while eliminating “frivolous” expenditure; withdraw funding for the Human Rights Commission so that responsibility for protecting liberties rests with the parliament, the courts and free press; maintain ­secure borders; promote beneficial free-trade agreements; and strengthen defence.

Polling:

In the first Newspoll this year support for the government plummeted to its lowest point since Turnbull took the leadership from Abbott in 2015. Labor is ahead of the Liberal coalition 54 to 46 in two-party preferred terms. The Turnbull government’s primary vote sits at 35 per cent. …

The real problem is the record 29 per cent of people polled who would decline to give first preferences to either major party. Given Pauline Hanson’s rising popularity and the Coalition’s sustained decline, it ­appears Liberals are bleeding ­voters on the Right flank.

A game-changing possibility:

It is unlikely the Liberals can recover the New Right, which has a counter-revolutionary outlook, unless they form a coalition with one of the emerging minor parties. Such a coalition might encourage the Liberals to adopt a drain-the-swamp strategy consistent with classical liberalism, which will appeal also to conservatives battling to end neo-Marxist corruption of public institutions.

The times they are a’changin:

The lesson both major parties should learn from their removal of sitting prime ministers is that the party does not know better than the people. Abbott was the right man, but before his time. Turnbull was the right man for the centrist era, but it is drawing to a close. The centre is holding, but it is no longer a centrist enterprise. A new order is emerging. It will be led by ­muscular conservatives, a counter-revolutionary mass, or some combination thereof.

he government should show maturity and give due ­respect to the policy brain that won it office — twice.