In Defence of Yassmin Abdel-Magied

In Defence of Yassmin Abdel-Magied, by Alistair Nicholas.

Conservative politicians and commentators calling for the sacking of  Ms Yassmin Abdel-Magied from her remunerated jobs at the ABC and Council for Australian-Arab Relations (CAAR) are doing themselves a disservice and, far worse, assaulting the values of a liberal-democratic nation. They would be better advised to point out the flaws in Ms Abdel-Magied’s arguments and hold her statements up to the ridicule they deserve. …

Before I am accused of being an apologist for Islam or a pseudo-conservative, let me state from the outset that, like many conservatives, I am sceptical of claims by Islamic apologists that the creed in any way resembles a religion of peace and tolerance. Further, I believe the level of Muslim immigration, particularly from the Middle East, needs to be reined in as it poses a significant threat to the culture and values of this nation. But those are arguments best left to another day. …

If we can call for Ms Abdel-Magied’s sacking today, the Left could one day call for any of us to be sacked for our conservative views. …

Either we believe in the principle of free speech, or we do not. We cannot be pick-and-choose conservatives on this matter or any other.

Of course another (perhaps less noble) reason for us to protect Ms Abdel-Magied’s right to speak her mind is that every time she opens her mouth, Ms Abdel-Magied does tremendous damage to the Left’s cause. Like few others she highlight the true hollowness and absurdity of the progressivist agenda.

Bravo, Ms Abdel-Magied! Bravo! Please keep that big mouth flapping.

Rather than seeing the ABC take Ms Abdel-Magied off the air, I pray the national broadcaster creates another program just for her. Long live free speech and her stream of nonsenses. Her every word is an example and indictment of the Left’s embrace of identity politics and its elevation of idiocy to a virtue.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Muslim teen who groped Surfers Paradise swimmers avoids jail — because cultural differences

Muslim teen who groped Surfers Paradise swimmers avoids jail — because cultural differences, by Tom Forbes.

A teenager who groped eight women as they swam at one of Queensland’s busiest beaches has been placed on two years’ probation by a Gold Coast judge.

The Afghan-born 17-year-old, who cannot be identified because he committed the offences as a juvenile, spent two hours grabbing women, aged between 15 and 24 years, as he swam between the flags at Surfers Paradise Beach on January 16 last year.

The offending stopped when three of the victims approached the lifeguard on duty and he then notified police. …

Judge David Kent heard the Victoria-based defendant grabbed his victims on their bottoms, breasts and, in three cases, their vaginas.

Crown prosecutor Nick McGhee said the defendant was seen swimming up to his victims “in quite a predatory manner”.

When questioned by the lifeguard on duty, the defendant allegedly said: “If I just say sorry, can we forget all about it?”

The judge said:

The judge accepted that seeing girls in bikinis is different to the environment in which he grew up.

Not only culturally incompatible, but the notion of one law that applies to all has been thrown out the window. The Koran makes clear that Muslim men are entitled, and non-Muslims are second class citizens. What would happen if a non-Muslim man treated their women that way?

hat-tip Stephen Neil

US Democrats Announce That Party Will Exclude Pro-Life Candidates

US Democrats Announce That Party Will Exclude Pro-Life Candidates, by Susan Berry.

Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom Perez’s announcement that pro-lifers are not welcome in his party has planted the seeds of rebellion among some Democrats and sharpened the view that the party is now primarily defined by its embrace of abortion on demand.

Tom Perez, now DNC Chairman

“Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health,” Perez said, as the HuffPost reported. “That is not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state.” …

The party has attempted to portray itself as built upon morally upright virtues – such as diversity and inclusiveness – yet Perez’s statement clearly demands the opposite. …

With the now deeply entrenched co-dependent political relationship between the Democrat Party and the abortion industry, there may be little chance for the party to open its tent to include more pro-life candidates in the near future.

Virtue signalling is competitive. Ever mounting virtue signaling leaves the leftists unable to compromise or accommodate impure views.

Pro-life Democrat politicians are left wondering:

“What Mr. Perez said makes no sense to me,” objected Sen. Joe Donnelly (IN), who identifies personally as pro-life. “This is a deeply personal issue, and we should be about respecting one another.”

Support for the Democrat position on abortion is in the minority:

The decision by Democrats to make abortion on demand its highest level priority, however, is at odds with recent data.

A Marist/Knights of Columbus poll released in January finds that 83 percent of Americans oppose the use of tax dollars to support abortion in other countries, with 61 percent also opposed to funding abortions in the United States with taxpayer dollars. These results include 87 percent of Donald Trump supporters and 39 percent of Hillary Clinton supporters.

Additionally, the poll showed 55 percent of Clinton supporters and 91 percent of Trump supporters approved limiting abortion to – at most – the first trimester or pregnancy.

Times columnist blasted by ‘nasty left’ for climate change piece

Times columnist blasted by ‘nasty left’ for climate change piece, by Chris Perez.

“After 20 months of being harangued by bullying Trump supporters, I’m reminded that the nasty left is no different. Perhaps worse,” Stephens tweeted Friday afternoon, as the hateful messages kept rolling in.

“Go eat dog d—s,” fumed one Twitter user.

“When is the Times going to get rid of you?” another asked.

Stephens even managed to tick off fellow journalists.

“You’re a s–thead. a crybaby lil f–kin weenie. a massive twat too,” tweeted Libby Watson, staff writer at Gizmodo.

“I’m gonna lose my mind,” seethed Eve Peyser, politics writer at Vice.

“The ideas ppl like @BretStephensNYT espouse are violently hateful & should not be given a platform by @NYTimes,” she said.

In the column, [Bret] Stephens never states that he believes climate change is a farce. He simply asserts that people should look at claims from both supporters and deniers, in the attempt to get all the facts.

He’s accurate:

“Anyone who has read the 2014 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change knows that, while the modest (0.85 degrees Celsius, or about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit) warming of the Northern Hemisphere since 1880 is indisputable, as is the human influence on that warming, much else that passes as accepted fact is really a matter of probabilities,” he writes.

“That’s especially true of the sophisticated but fallible models and simulations by which scientists attempt to peer into the climate future. To say this isn’t to deny science. It’s to acknowledge it honestly.” …

“Censoriously asserting one’s moral superiority and treating skeptics as imbeciles and deplorables wins few converts,” he adds. “None of this is to deny climate change or the possible severity of its consequences. But ordinary citizens also have a right to be skeptical of an overweening scientism. They know — as all environmentalists should — that history is littered with the human wreckage of scientific errors married to political power.”

New York Times Readers Are Canceling Subscriptions Over Climate-Denying Writer, by Carla Herrenia.

The New York Times just hired Bret Stephens, a conservative writer who identifies as a “climate agnostic” ? infuriating many readers who say the paper is going against its mission to cover climate change.

Now, scientists are rallying people against the Times and its new hire. …

The Times’ decision to hire Stephens, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, was part of the paper’s efforts to expand its range of political views. But for many, Stephens’ hire was a backward step for a paper that had previously declared climate change to be one of the most pressing modern topics.

And Mann wasn’t the only scientist to denounce the paper’s decision. Ken Caldeira, a Stanford climate researcher, and physics professor Stefan Rahmstorf, an ocean science fellow with the American Geophysical Union, both wrote letters to Times editors alerting them of their canceled subscriptions.

They are really not going to like my upcoming book.

The lie we were told as kids was this: The end of American liberty would come at the hands of the political right.

The lie we were told as kids was this: The end of American liberty would come at the hands of the political right. By John Kass.

Conservatives would take away our right to speak our minds, and use the power of government to silence dissent. The right would intimidate our teachers and professors, and coerce the young.

And then, with the universities in thrall, with control of the apparatus of the state (and the education bureaucracy), the right would have dominion over a once-free people.

Some of us were taught this in school. Others, who couldn’t be bothered to read books, were fed a cartoon version of the diabolical conservative in endless movies and TV shows. The most entertaining of these were science fiction, sometimes with vague references to men in brown shirts and black boots goose-stepping in some future time. …

Nope, it is indisputably the left taking away our freedoms — with PC:

Because it is not conservatives who coerced today’s young people or made them afraid of ideas that challenge them. Conservatives did not shame people into silence, or send thugs out on college campuses to beat down those who wanted to speak.

The left did all that.

It’s there in front of you, the thuggish mobs of the left killing free speech at American universities. The thugs call themselves antifas, for anti-fascists.

They beat people up and break things and set fires and intimidate. These are not anti-fascists. These are fascists. This is what fascists do. …

If the left agrees with your views, you may speak. If the left doesn’t agree, they will shut you down. This is America now. …

An instructive vignette:

Some liberals also have seen their careers ruined by mob rule. Those two professors at Yale, a husband and wife, come to mind. She told Yale students not to worry if some other student wore a sombrero as a Halloween costume, that there were more important things to worry about than political correctness and a student wearing a sombrero.

But a Yale student, a woman, a minority, screamed in response, weeping in hideous self-indulgent theatrics captured on video. And all of this caught fire on the internet and sparked the virtual mob on social media. The professors, the husband and wife, with decent records and obvious care for the intellectual development of their students, were shamed out of Yale.

And all educators across the country took note.

The Left-Wing Takeover of Fox News

The Left-Wing Takeover of Fox News, by Cliff Kincaid.

When Bill O’Reilly left Fox News he declared, “I am very confident the truth will come out and when it does I don’t know if you are going to be surprised, but I think you are going to be shaken as I am.” Some observers think he was referring not to the sexual harassment allegations against him, but to behind-the-scenes maneuvers by one of Rupert Murdoch’s sons, James, and his very liberal wife, Kathryn.

Her bio says, “Between 2007-2011, Ms. Murdoch served as Director of Strategy & Communications for the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) where she also managed CCI ‘s partnership with Microsoft in the development of a global greenhouse gas emissions tracking software.”

In short, she is a globalist insider who sees the green hysteria as a viable way to control people and their lifestyles.

We warned back in 2007 in our column, “Rupert Murdoch Picks Liberal Son as Successor,” that James Murdoch was maneuvering to take control of Fox News. We also noted that James Murdoch “buys into global warming hysteria,” and that his liberal philosophy on environmental and other matters “could become the party line” of the Fox News Channel.

It turns out that his wife is more of an environmental zealot than he is. …

The Gateway Pundit website notes that Kathryn Murdoch regularly trashes Trump on Twitter. Indeed, her Twitter feed goes after many different conservative personalities and policies of all kinds. A collection of her most significant Tweets includes attacks on Trump aide Steve Bannon, and despondency over Trump’s election victory. On the other hand, she praised Fox News personality Shepard Smith for criticizing Trump.

The more powerful Fox became (on the backs of the right), the more Fox moved to the left. The only places left for people who want reality rather than the PC narrative will soon be online.

hat-tip Scott of the Pacific

US President Donald Trump thought job ‘would be easier’

US President Donald Trump thought job ‘would be easier’, by AFP.

He misses driving, feels as if he is in a cocoon and is surprised at how hard his new job is.

President Donald Trump yesterday reflected on his first 100 days in office with a wistful look at his life in business and televisions before the White House.

“I loved my previous life. I had so many things going,” he told Reuters in an interview. “This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.” …

Mr Trump, who said he was ­accustomed to not having privacy in his “old life”, expressed surprise at how little he had now. And he made clear he was still getting used to having 24-hour Secret Service protection and its accompanying constraints.

“You’re really into your own ­little cocoon, because you have such massive protection that you really can’t go anywhere,” he said.

When the President leaves the White House, it is usually in a limousine or an SUV. He said he missed being behind the wheel himself.

“I like to drive,” he said. “I can’t drive any more.”

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Pyongyang slams Israel as ‘disturber of peace armed with illegal nukes under US patronage’

Pyongyang slams Israel as ‘disturber of peace armed with illegal nukes under US patronage’, by RT.

North Korea has accused Israel of being the “only illegal possessor” of nukes and threat to peace in the Middle East, and threatened Tel Aviv with a “thousand-fold punishment” after Israeli Defense Minister called Pyongyang’s leadership a “crazy and radical group.”

In an interview with Hebrew news site Walla this week, Avigdor Lieberman stated that North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un is a “madman” in charge of a “crazy and radical group” which is “undermining global stability.” …

In response, Pyongyang promised a “thousand-fold punishment to whoever dares hurt the dignity of its supreme leadership,” calling Lieberman’s “sordid and wicked” remarks a part of Israel’s smear campaign to cover up its own crimes.

Firing back at the perceived hypocrisy, the North Korean Foreign Ministry said that, unlike Israel, which is a “disturber of peace” in its neighborhood, their country is full entitled to seek deterrence against “US aggression.”

The Norks are just the sort of people we want with nukes on ICBMs. Every international discussion would end up being about them.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Saudi Arabia’s ‘Lavish’ Gift to Indonesia: Radical Islam

Saudi Arabia’s ‘Lavish’ Gift to Indonesia: Radical Islam, by Mohshin Habib.

Prior to Saudi Arabia’s attempts to spread Salafism across the Muslim world, Indonesia did not have terrorist organizations such as Hamas Indonesia, Laskar Jihad, Hizbut Tahrir, Islamic Defenders Front and Jemmah Islamiyah, to name just a few. Today, it is rife with these groups. …

Jakarta-based journalist Krithika Varagur, writing in The Atlantic on the second day of the king’s visit, describes Saudi efforts in Indonesia:

“Since 1980, Saudi Arabia has devoted millions of dollars to exporting its strict brand of Islam, Salafism, to historically tolerant and diverse Indonesia. It has built more than 150 mosques (albeit in a country that has about 800,000), a huge free university in Jakarta, and several Arabic language institutes; supplied more than 100 boarding schools with books and teachers (albeit in a country estimated to have between 13,000 and 30,000 boarding schools); brought in preachers and teachers; and disbursed thousands of scholarships for graduate study in Saudi Arabia.”

This Saudi influence has taken a serious toll on Indonesia, 90% of whose 250 million people are Sunnis. Despite its pluralistic constitution, which says, “The state guarantees each and every citizen the freedom of religion and of worship in accordance with his religion and belief,” Indonesia — which declared independence in 1945 — has grown increasingly intolerant towards Christians, Hindus and Shiite Muslims. …

A mere three weeks after the Saudi king wrapped up his trip, at least 15,000 hard-line Islamist protesters took to the streets of Jakarta after Friday prayers, calling for the imprisonment of the capital city’s Christian governor, who is on trial for “blaspheming the Quran.”

In a separate crisis, crowds were demanding that Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (known familiarly as Ashok) be jailed for telling a group of fishermen that, as they are fed lies about how the Quran forbids Muslims from being governed by a kafir (infidel), he could understand why some of them might not have voted for him. If convicted, Ashok stands to serve up to five years in prison.

hat-tip Scott of the Pacific

‘Broken by US power machine’: Trump’s 100 days prove his maverick image was fake

‘Broken by US power machine’: Trump’s 100 days prove his maverick image was fake, by RT.

Donald Trump’s election strategy relied to a degree on the image of an anti-establishment billionaire who could fix a broken DC. Instead, his actions in office have been aligned with the policies of the same special interests he used to speak out against.

Some of Trump’s critics say he was dishonest from the start. Others, like Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, believe he has been “broken” by the US establishment, which would not tolerate a president that wanted to improve relations with Moscow or stop America’s perpetual wars.

There have been U-turns on NATO, NAFTA, China, and the US as policeman of the world.

Beware, this is from “Russia Today”, but there may still be an element of truth to it. Time will tell us how much.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Elton John’s health is deteriorating. Here’s one big reason we should care

Elton John’s health is deteriorating. Here’s one big reason we should care, by Doug Mainwaring.

Elton John reportedly spent ten days in a hospital following a couple days in intensive care battling a serious, potentially life-threatening infection. … This is only the most recent in a series of illnesses which have caused the performer to cancel gigs around the world.

In 2013, after emergency surgery for appendicitis, the now 70-year-old John told the Daily Telegraph, “This is a wake-up call. I’m 66 not 36 anymore . . . I want to spend more time with my children.”

Huh? What children? Hasn’t he been gay forever?

Modern medical technology and the normalization of third party reproduction have enabled gay men and anyone else who cares to—no matter what their age—to become biological parents.  At the same time, despite ongoing medical advances, keeping older men alive while their bodies are deteriorating is still, to put it crudely, a bit of a crap shoot. …

Sir Elton John was 63 years old when his first child was born through surrogacy and 65 at the birth of his second. His partner, David Furnish, was 48 and 50. …

The engineering of children through gamete purchase and surrogacy — womb rental — currently falls under no such restrictions. It is a booming industry with lots of money to be made, akin to the wild, wild west or the California gold rush. …

Society’s recent quick evolution on matters relating to marriage and children is reflected in the evolution of Sir Elton John’s own thought, as his views on both gay marriage and gay parenting have changed substantially over the last decade.

In 2008, he said that civil partnerships — not marriages — were more appropriate for gays. And as recently as 2012, John said, “It’s going to be heartbreaking for [our child] to grow up and realise he hasn’t got a mummy.”

Third party reproduction is a boon for infertile parents, but not so much for children brought into the world in that manner.  Greater government scrutiny and regulation is needed in order to bring it into line with current adoption regulations.

For wealthy white gay males such as John and Furnish, there are no rules, only endless opportunities to acquire children.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Australian ABC does terrorism report on “fixated persons” who are “mentally ill” without once mentioning “Islam”

Australian ABC does terrorism report on “fixated persons” who are “mentally ill” without once mentioning “Islam”, by Andrew Bolt.

The ABC revels in a new euphemism for Islam. It’s “fixated”.  This and the “radical ideology” euphemism allow it to file a long report on a new terrorism unit without once mentioning “Islam” in a negative way.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

The People’s Climate March – AKA Watermelons’ War on Capitalism

The People’s Climate March – AKA Watermelons’ War on Capitalism, by James Delingpole.

Across the US, the usual suspects are taking to the streets to march in protest of the thing today they are pretending is called “climate change” – but which, if they were honest, they would call by his proper name: President Donald J. Trump.

Make no mistake, these marches today are no more about global warming than last weekend’s were about defending science. They’re just an anti-Trump protest by the same people who in January this year were marching around dressed as vaginas, and who in Berkeley the last few weekends have been beating people up wearing facemasks.

It’s no coincidence that many of the organizations on the People’s Climate March steering committee are in receipt of millions from Democrat donor, arch-globalist, and Agent of Evil George Soros. “Mr. Soros, who heads the Open Society Foundations, contributed over $36 million between 2000 and 2014 to 18 of the 55 organizations on the march’s steering committee, according to an analysis released Friday by the conservative Media Research Center. Six of the groups received during that time more than $1 million each: the Center for Community Change, the NAACP, the Natural Resources Defense Council, People’s Action, Public Citizen and the Union of Concerned Scientists.”

Even if you didn’t know this, the clues are in the signs…

Yes. Administration Change. That will totally stop non-existent global warming from happening.

See also: Tooth Fairy; Santa Claus; yes, of course, I’ll still love you in the morning…

One of the reporters was walking with one of the marchers and asked what this was all about. The answer, “Climate Justice.”  That is a dead give-away they were talking to a Marxist. Anytime “justice” is used in such a way it tells you what they really are: watermelons — green on the outside but red on the inside.

Lots more photos here.

hat-tip Scott of the Pacific, Charles

Mexico’s Government Warns U.S.A. to Not Build Border Walls

Mexico’s Government Warns U.S.A. to Not Build Border Walls, by Bob Price.

The Mexican foreign secretary called the plan to build walls along the border a “hostile” and “deeply unfriendly” act, and an “aggravating action”. He warned that Mexico intends to conduct a fierce legal battle to stop any border walls that violate the rights of Mexicans.

Huh? What, the right to walk into the USA when ever they feel like it? The right to live and work in the USA? Collect welfare, use the hospitals, etc etc?

The Global Effort to Flatter Ivanka

The Global Effort to Flatter Ivanka, by Amy Davidson.

The international project of flattering Ivanka Trump — which some of the world’s most notable women, from Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, to Queen Máxima, of the Netherlands, engaged in at a panel discussion during the W20 conference, in Berlin, this week — does not always run smoothly.

There was, first, the achingly obvious oddity of deciding that Trump, whose experience on the public stage largely consists of marketing her clothing and jewelry lines, and her efforts to get her father, Donald Trump, elected, was qualified to sit between Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, and Chrystia Freeland, the Foreign Minister of Canada. That was quickly followed by the dispiriting thought that Trump might actually have as much power over people’s lives as the other women, through the influence that she supposedly wields over her father.  …

When asked, more specifically, how she advised him, she said, “It’s been an ongoing discussion I’ve had with my father most of my adult life, and we’re very aligned in many, many areas. And that’s why he’s encouraged me to fully lean into this opportunity and come into the White House and be by his side.” The implication was that nepotism was one of her father’s virtues, and proof of his good character. …

Foreign countries and companies might appreciate the idea that they can more easily handle Donald Trump if they lavish his daughter with attention; this is a common enough practice when dealing with authoritarian governments. But it should at least cause a little unease here at home. And one saw, again, in Berlin how the perceived need to pander to Ivanka Trump can distort almost any conversation. …

Comments Paul Mirengoff:

The strategy is far shrewder than the approach of American leftists. They seek to demonize Ms. Trump and make her life miserable — whether it’s a loser shouting at her on an airplane (as she sits with her young children) or jerks trying to injure her business.

100 Days in and the Reichstag Hasn’t Burned Yet

100 Days in and the Reichstag Hasn’t Burned Yet, by Walter Russell Mead.

With President Trump’s 100 day mark approaching, those prophesying apocalyptic doom under have not come out looking so good.

There have been no mass arrests of peaceful protestors. Federal judges rule against presidential orders, the President sputters in indignation—and the rulings stand. Putin hasn’t been offered the code to the nuclear football. Late night comics excoriate the president and the Gestapo doesn’t knock at their door. The grifters and mountebanks who hopped on the campaign wagon back when nobody in the establishment was willing to help the Trump operation are either learning to play in the big leagues or being edged toward the exits. The stock market is strong; the economy hasn’t tanked. An avalanche of leaks hasn’t exposed the collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign that so many people were sure was going to lead to impeachment.

In other words, life in our constitutional republic is still rolling on much as usual — or at least, closer to usual than any of the hyperventilators predicted. Congress and the courts are functioning as they did before; the powers of the President are still limited by the rule of law. …

But the Trump-Hitler folks made buffoons of themselves with paranoid fantasies and steamy, overheated scenarios of impending doom. Some will be big enough to admit their mistake, look hard at what they got wrong and why, and emerge as smarter and more creditworthy participants in the national conversation. Others, many others, will try to act as if nothing has happened, and will wonder why nobody listens the next time they cry “Wolf.”

Senior Australian Liberal speaks out against Turnbull: ‘This is a government which hates their own constituents’

Senior Australian Liberal speaks out against Turnbull: ‘This is a government which hates their own constituents, by John Stapleton.

“The Turnbull government is at war with the people. This is a government which hates their own constituents. The Liberal Party has lost touch with what it stands for and will be decimated unless it changes tack. Across the next electoral cycle the Liberals will lose power federally and in every state with the exception, perhaps, of Tasmania.”

Those are not the words of the opposition, but of one of the Liberal Party’s leading strategists of the past 20 years. Geoffrey Greene has worked as Liberal Party state director in both South Australia and Queensland and was one of the architects behind John Howard’s successful election campaigns between 1996 and 2007.

The Turnbull government has attacked every core constituency, small business, superannuants, pensioners, families with children, all because they have a budget that is out of control. … They have not done anything about their own backyard. Public servants still fly at the front of the plane.”

He warns that the crashing political fortunes of his party is being accompanied by administrative collapse at federal, state and branch levels, with membership and donations in freefall.

“This is a government which only listens to big business,” Mr Greene said. “Small business has been annihilated.”

The stupidity of the modern political class is engulfing them all:

“Generally speaking, the whole malaise of this government is due to inept advice, ministerial and organisational,” he said. “The Liberal Party once possessed a professional caste of political operatives and campaign staff who helped politicians nuance their messages and understand the voters.

How ironic that it is Pauline Hanson who is reaping the benefit:

“The rise of Pauline Hanson is a reflection that the Liberal Party has walked away from their values. It permeates the brand across the country. It is offensive.”

The bureaucracy rules because politicians have little idea:

Mr Greene said the party’s drift from its base was compounded by the lack of professional political operatives now working in parliamentary offices.

“I have never seen a set of government ministers more captured by their departments,” he said. “Managers sourced from the department are loyal to their departments, professional advisers are loyal to their parties, and to those who voted for them.

How capitalism is setting washerwomen free

How capitalism is setting washerwomen free, by Chelsea Follett.

Has anything changed the world more than the internet? South Korean economist Ha-Joon Chang thinks so. He would argue that one invention — an engine of liberation — has had a far more powerful effect on daily lives. He means the washing machine, of course, which the late Hans Rosling called the greatest invention of the industrial revolution. It freed women from the chore of laundry — or at least from spending one full day a week every week doing it.

As a result, Americans now lose less than two hours a week to the task, and today a greater proportion of poor US households own washing machines than average American households did back in the 1970s. While washing machines are far from being the only reason that women’s options have multiplied in the West, they have certainly helped. “Without the washing machine,” claims Chang, “the scale of change in the role of women in society and in family dynamics would not have been nearly as dramatic.” …

Water storage basins with built in washboards that are commonly used for washing both clothing and dishes in Honduras.

One 2013 study estimated that, in 2010, 46.9 per cent of households worldwide owned one. That means the market for washing machines has significant room to grow – and that there is a vast amount of latent human potential still out there, yet to be unleashed. …

In 1981, less than 10 per cent of urban Chinese households had a washing machine … but by 2011, 97.05 per cent did. …

It’s a slightly different story in India, where liberalising economic reforms didn’t begin until 1992, rather later than in China. From 1992 to 2016, India’s economy grew four-fold. Only 11 per cent of Indian households owned a washing machine in 2016. …

Not only has competition and the profit motive incentivised the washing machine’s invention, it is the capitalist drive that is ensuring ongoing marketing to new customers in developing countries. Innovation stagnates under socialist systems, but capitalism has created more life-transforming innovations than any other economic system and sown the greatest rise in living standards in history.

hat-tip Matthew

The Rise of the Generals

The Rise of the Generals, by Patrick Buchanan.

Has President Donald Trump outsourced foreign policy to the generals?

So it would seem. Candidate Trump held out his hand to Vladimir Putin. He rejected further U.S. intervention in Syria other than to smash ISIS. He spoke of getting out and staying out of the misbegotten Middle East wars into which Presidents Bush II and Obama had plunged the country.

President Trump’s seeming renunciation of an anti-interventionist foreign policy is the great surprise of the first 100 days, and the most ominous. For any new war could vitiate the Trump mandate and consume his presidency.

Trump no longer calls NATO “obsolete,” but moves U.S. troops toward Russia in the Baltic and eastern Balkans. Rex Tillerson, holder of Russia’s Order of Friendship, now warns that the U.S. will not lift sanctions on Russia until she gets out of Ukraine. If Tillerson is not bluffing, that would rule out any rapprochement in the Trump presidency. For neither Putin, nor any successor, could surrender Crimea and survive.

What happened to the Trump of 2016? …

To get Xi Jinping to help with our Pyongyang problem, Trump has dropped all talk of befriending Taiwan, backed off Tillerson’s warning to Beijing to vacate its fortified reefs in the South China Sea, and held out promises of major concessions to Beijing in future trade deals. “I like [Xi Jinping] and I believe he likes me a lot,” Trump said this week.

One recalls FDR admonishing Churchill, “I think I can personally handle Stalin better than … your Foreign Office … Stalin hates the guts of all your people. He thinks he likes me better.” FDR did not live to see what a fool Stalin had made of him. …

Monday, the USS Mahan fired a flare to warn off an Iranian patrol boat, 1,000 meters away. Supposedly, this was a provocation. But Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif had a point when he tweeted: “Breaking: Our Navy operates in—yes, correct—the Persian Gulf, not the Gulf of Mexico. Question is what US Navy doing 7,500 miles from home.” …

But before President Trump proceeds along the path laid out for him by his generals, brave and patriotic men that they are, he should discover if any of them opposed any of the idiotic wars of the last 15 years, beginning with that greatest of strategic blunders — George Bush’s invasion of Iraq.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Australia’s green tape’s 80-fold explosion, costing $176bn a year ($7k per person per year)

Australia’s green tape’s 80-fold explosion, costing $176bn a year ($7k per person per year), by Dennis Shanahan.

The number of pages of commonwealth environmental laws has ballooned more than 80-fold since they began in 1971 and are costing the nation $176 billion a year in lost economic opportunity.

$176 billion a year is $7,000 per person per yer — or $35,000 per year for a family of five. Sounds a little large, but there is probably something substantial there.

In 1971, when the McMahon Liberal government introduced the first commonwealth ­environment laws under the new Department of Environment, Aborigines and the Arts, they ­covered just 57 pages of legislation and regulation.

Last year, federal environmental laws stretched to 4669 pages of rules and regulations after peaking at 5004 pages in 2014 just after the Coalition ousted the Rudd-Gillard Labor government. …

The [Institute of Public Affairs] has calculated that red tape, not just so-called green lawfare that activists employ to delay and frustrate large developments, is costing the economy $176bn a year in foregone output.

The study highlighted the plight of the Adani Carmichael mine project in central Queensland, which has been targeted by activists trying to stop the Galilee basin opening to coal mining.

The Adani central mining project application has been running for seven years and faced more than 10 court challenges. It includes a 22,000-page environmental impact statement.

hat-tip Joanne

We’re all victims of the great green swindle: A generation who thought they were doing the right thing by buying diesel and clean energy have been taken for a ride.

We’re all victims of the great green swindle: A generation who thought they were doing the right thing by buying diesel and clean energy have been taken for a ride. By Alice Thomson.

Now my family is as green and healthy as possible. We recycle our apple cores, the children play sport every day under the Westway flyover, we bought a second-hand diesel car and then a hybrid and take the train to Devon for holidays.

But the children are probably less healthy than I was 40 years ago. When the youngest started to wheeze I took him to the doctor who said he had doubled the number of inhalers he hands out in the past three years, so many children are becoming asthmatic.

It’s the diesel, all that nitrogen dioxide and those toxic pollutants,” he explained. “He’ll inhale the particles in the car even with the windows shut, when he’s playing football by a busy road and even from the trains at the station.”

Our obsession with cutting carbon emissions has had terrible consequences. Air pollution contributes to an estimated 40,000 premature deaths a year in Britain, mainly among the young, the frail and the elderly, according to the Royal Colleges of Physicians and of Paediatrics and Child Health. It can also hinder brain development, raise the risk of heart attacks, strokes and cancer, and contribute to the onset of Alzheimer’s. …

European governments subsidized diesel cars to slightly reduce carbon emissions, but car companies cheated and their diesel cars are pumping out carcinogens in cities while not reducing carbon emissions:

Our attempts to be altruistic have harmed rather than helped the most vulnerable. Almost as bad, those 11 million people who now own a diesel car are about to be penalised for following government advice a decade ago that the vehicles would help the country cut CO2 emissions. …

Gordon Brown’s budget of 1998 may have said in the small print that the government “recognises the adverse effect that the use of diesel has on local air quality” but first as chancellor and then as prime minister he shifted incentives towards diesel, until more than 35 per cent of cars were running on it, while manufacturers fiddled their engine management systems to cheat the testers.

Japan, meanwhile, steered consumers away from polluting diesel, America stuck to petrol and India began switching buses to compressed natural gas (CNG).

Netanyahu’s bold move against Europe

Netanyahu’s bold move against Europe, by Caroline Glick.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu adopted a new strategy for managing Israel’s diplomatic relations with the West. …
If they act in accordance with international diplomatic norms, Israel will respond in a like fashion. If they choose instead to discriminate against Israel and treat it in a manner no other democratic state is treated, Israel will abandon diplomatic convention and treat foreign governments as domestic critics.

On Monday, after his repeated requests for Germany’s visiting Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel to cancel his plans to meet with Breaking the Silence and B’Tselem, Netanyahu gave Gabriel an ultimatum. Gabriel could meet with Netanyahu, or he could meet with them. Gabriel refused to cancel his meeting with Breaking the Silence and B’Tselem. So Netanyahu canceled their meeting.

This has been a long time coming:

Today’s Western democracies are in a furor over the notion that foreign governments would dare to interfere in their domestic affairs. The uproar in the US over Russia and in Europe over Turkish efforts to drum up support for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan among Turkish nationals in Europe make clear how roundly democracies decry attempts by foreign governments to influence their internal politics.

This then brings us to Israel, and the unique rules that the West applies in its dealing with the Jewish state.

In the final quarter of the 20th century, European and other Western states abandoned their earlier support for Israel. From 1974 on, Europeans could be depended on to either support condemnations of Israel at the UN and other international forums, or to abstain from votes.

Whereas from 1974 to 2000, European hostility was largely limited to the diplomatic arena, beginning in 2000, the Europeans began to expand their anti-Israel policies to the Israeli domestic political sphere.

After the PLO abandoned the peace process with Israel at the July 2000 Camp David summit and initiated its terrorist war against Israel two months later, the Europeans began massively funding radical leftist groups registered as NGOs in Israel. The collapse of the peace process and the initiation of the Palestinian terrorist war all but dried up domestic support for groups like Peace Now, B’Tselem and Rabbis for Human Rights. But with millions of euros in their pockets and the unconditional diplomatic support of Europe, these groups were able to become players in Israel’s domestic politics and cause massive harm to Israel’s international standing. …

Every time Israeli officials and others protested about their unfair treatment of Israel, the Europeans responded that they were simply restating allegations made by Israelis.

The fact that the Israelis they quoted were only able to speak because Europe paid for their microphones was entirely beside the point, as was the fact that those Israelis reflected the views of next to no one in Israel. …

Germany:

As polls taken between 2011 and 2015 showed, between a third and half of Germans view Israel as the moral equivalent of Nazi Germany. The Palestinians, by their telling, are the new Jews.

Likewise, a large majority of Germans is sick of hearing about the Holocaust. And an even larger majority says that Israel is behaving unjustly toward the Palestinians.

hat-tip Scott of the Pacific

MILO Announces New Media Venture

MILO Announces New Media Venture, by Lucas Nolan.

Former Breitbart Senior Editor MILO has announced the founding of his new $12 million dollar media company, MILO, Inc.

In a Facebook post, MILO outlined his new business plan and the $12 million investment funding that it has received from undisclosed investors. He has reportedly hired a seasoned media executive to lead the new 30-person team that will be based out of Miami, Florida. The new company will manage MILO‘s books, tours, merchandise and radio and TV opportunities.

In a statement, MILO said, “This isn’t some vanity nameplate on a personal blog. This is a fully tooled-up talent factory and management company dedicated to the destruction of political correctness and the progressive left. I will spend every waking moment of the rest of my life making the lives of journalists, professors, politicians, feminists, Black Lives Matter activists and other professional victims a living hell. Free speech is back — and it is fabulous.” …

MILO said, “MILO, Inc. will bring laughter and war to every corner of America in dozens of different formats. I will fight harder and look hotter than anyone else on the political right. And I will do more damage to the political left than anyone else in American culture.”

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Liberalism’s Failure

Liberalism’s Failure, by Taylor Lewis.

The new battle lines are drawn: nationalism versus globalism; populism versus technocracy; provincials versus urban dwellers; God-and-country patriotism versus allegiance-less individualism. …

Socially immobile and invisible to the global economy, France’s working class is feeling the squeeze of modernity’s hypercapitalism. “In the shopping malls the cashiers are lined up like cattle for the slaughter,” said a sommelier by the name of Thierry Corona. “And immigrants arrive and they immediately get handouts!” …

The West has been beset with a bad case of liberal fatigue. The open borders, open trade, open society model inspired by the Enlightenment, honed by the U.S. Constitution, and codified by postwar governments and international institutions is beginning to sputter.

Society is as rich as it has ever been, and yet we’re more miserable than ever. What happened? The promises of globalism have all been delivered. Free movement of people and capital has been a boon for hedge fund profits and stock prices. Yet the prosperity hasn’t stopped anxiety from inching upward, or plain people from stupefying themselves with drugs. “Why is neoliberalism failing?” is the great question of the 21st century. …

Globalism brings  the wages of interchangeable workers to the same level everywhere — China, India, Poland, England. There are winners and losers. The elite are those who aren’t interchangeable, so they get good wages themselves, employ others cheaply, and get cheap goods — big winners. But…

Tracing the story of a Cadbury chocolate factory’s move from England to Poland, Meek details the decline of morale that follows the loss of local expectations. For nearly a century, residents of Keynsham knew that their local Cadbury confectionery plant was a source of employment. Then, on Oct. 3, 2007, it all changed. The word went out that the factory was to shut down and move to Skarbimierz, Poland. Just like that, come 2011, one hundred years of history were rubbed out thanks to a closed-boardroom decision. As Meek writes, the factory’s leaving meant the loss of “highly paid, permanent, solidly pensioned jobs…not because [the workers] had done anything wrong, or because their products weren’t selling, or because the factory was unprofitable, but because their Polish replacements could do the same job for less than one fifth of the money.” …

Talk of market temperance is unheard of in the higher echelons of Western society. Those comfortably seated in the high perches of prosperity have made their peace with profit-seeking. Hillary Clinton’s urging of her supporters to focus on racism and not Wall Street bonuses showed just how far today’s liberals are willing to go to keep their enriched positions. …

The stubborn little flame that is the middle class in these countries will only get hotter. It won’t be snuffed out by Walmart shelves stocked full of cheap Chinese trinkets. It won’t be extinguished with gobs of cheap labor imported from afar.

Immigration from the third world pours petrol on this fire.

Le Pen Wins Day Two, and Day Three As Well

Le Pen Wins Day Two, and Day Three As Well, by Scott McConnell. The author obviously wants Le Pen to win — and makes a case.

Marine Le Pen can’t possibly win. French friends on Twitter told me this weeks ago. I asked one souveraniste activist the other night; he said she will do well to break 40 percent, and might be held to 35 percent. The entire French political class is aligned against her. And to many people who might be broadly sympathetic, leaving the euro seems like a leap into the dark. …

So, I concede, 11 days before the vote, a Le Pen win would be a huge upset, much more so than Trump or Brexit.

And yet.

She is a really skilled candidate, a wonderful one. Last night she was on TF1, not the main news channel but the somewhat lower-brow government-funded one. The most popular channel in France. She was interviewed for an hour and 15 minutes. She was tag-teamed by two journalists, and then a third was brought in to take her on, from London yet. The grilling was all tasteful — the journalists seemed clearly to enjoy the role they were playing, that of picking apart MLP’s positions, and enjoyed as well her skill in parrying their efforts to trip her up. …

She opposes the view she ascribes (quite justly) to the former banker Macron, that the “market” should be the “big boss” of everything—above everything else, nation, family, identity. That France should be transformed into a giant public marketplace. She talks about Europe with some tact — “I feel myself European” — but proposes a new form of “freely executed” bilateral negotiations between nations, rather than rule from Brussels.

But, as she makes clear later, she is no fan of the deference all French politicians pay to “Madame Merkel,” the way they all seek her benediction. She is of course fine with Madame Merkel when the latter defends the interests of Germany, which she should. Less so when she invites in a million and a half immigrants from who knows where, and no one knows where they are. …

But in terms of being a person who might, in the pollsters phrase, “understand people like me” she is miles ahead of Macron. …

She has really tried to get around to the left of Macron on every issue except immigration, where she of course well to the right. It is a fundamental choice France faces — that of course is the one thing everyone seems to agree upon.

This morning’s news showed new polls stating that roughly 60 percent of voters thought Le Pen had made a “good start” on her campaign, while less than half thought Macron had begun well. …

I know, I know, she can’t win. Everyone opposes her. But if you just came in from a foreign country and looked at the news, you might think she could.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Why Donald Trump Decided to Back Off Nafta Threat

Why Donald Trump Decided to Back Off Nafta Threat, by Peter Nicholas.

President Donald Trump was prepared to end the North American Free Trade Agreement deal, which had governed trade relations for the past 23 years, with a dramatic announcement Saturday at a Pennsylvania political rally marking his 100th day in office.

As rumors spread of the possible action, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto called the president urging him not to pull out of the accord. “Let me think about it,” Mr. Trump said. Within a half hour a call came in from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with a similar request.

After the talks, Mr. Trump was convinced “they’re serious about it and I will negotiate rather than terminate,” the president said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Thursday.

Interesting. Does he have a set agenda and is just taking a negotiating position, or is it all very fluid and open to change? Impossible to know, of course.

Far-Left Austrian President: All Women Must Wear Headscarves to Fight Islamophobia

Far-Left Austrian President: All Women Must Wear Headscarves to Fight Islamophobia, by Ben Kew.

Austria’s far-left president, Alexander Van der Bellen, has suggested that one day all women must wear headscarves to fight Islamophobia.

During a talk to students, Van der Bellen said that whilst be believes a woman should wear “whatever she wants”, should Austria’s “rampant Islamophobia continue, there will come a day when we must ask all women to wear a headscarf – all of them! – out of solidarity towards those who do it for religious reasons”.

I’ll bet you’re looking forward to that day, sisters.

Should the left likewise recommend Sharia law for everyone, “out of solidarity towards those who do it for religious reasons”?

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Man ‘sentenced to death for atheism’ in Saudi Arabia

Man ‘sentenced to death for atheism’ in Saudi Arabia, by Bethan McKernan.

A  man in Saudi Arabia has reportedly been sentenced to death on charges of apostasy after losing two appeals.

Several local media reports identified the man as Ahmad Al Shamri, in his 20s, from the town of Hafar al-Batin, who first came to the authorities’ attention in 2014 after allegedly uploading videos to social media in which he renounced Islam and the Prophet Mohammed.

He was arrested on charges of atheism and blasphemy and held in prison before being convicted by a local court and sentenced to death in February 2015.

At the time Mr Shamri’s defence entered an insanity plea, adding that his client was under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time of making the videos. …

Atheism not permitted out of the closet:

Last year, a citizen was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 2,000 lashes for expressing atheistic sentiment in hundreds of social media posts.

Mr Shamri’s name and hometown have trended on Arabic-speaking Twitter in the last few days. Some users have even celebrated his sentencing.

“If you’re a lowkey atheist that’s fine. But once you talk in public & criticize God or religion, then you shall be punished,” one such post read.

“I wish there could be live streaming when you cut his head off,” said another.

This is the culture Saudi is exporting all over the world. Good old seventh century Arab culture for ever, everywhere.

Here’s What Ronald Reagan Did When College Kids Went Ape At UC-Berkeley

Here’s What Ronald Reagan Did When College Kids Went Ape At UC-Berkeley, by Donna Carol Voss.

A group of protestors put the governor to the test in 1969. …

In an extremely controversial move, for which he never apologized, Reagan declared a state of emergency and sent in 2,200 National Guard troops. He enacted a curfew and banned public assembly for two weeks. The National Guard patrolled the streets of Berkeley, dispersing any crowd of four or more. It wasn’t pretty, but they restored order.

There is a classic, should-be-in-the-Smithsonian clip of Reagan at a press conference after the fact with university administrators. He says: “Those people told you for days in advance that if the university sought to go ahead with that construction, they were going to physically destroy the university.”

Someone in the crowd shouts that Reagan should have negotiated with the students. Reagan, with the incredulity of someone who understands that youth don’t run the world for a reason, says: “Negotiate? What is to negotiate? All of it began the first time some of you who know better and are old enough to know better let young people think that they have the right to choose the laws they would obey as long as they were doing it in the name of social protest.”

To underscore the point, Reagan got up and walked out of the room. They don’t make ‘em like that anymore.

In Hungary, It’s a Duel to the Death between the P.M. and ‘Dr. Evil’

In Hungary, It’s a Duel to the Death between the P.M. and ‘Dr. Evil’, by Michael Walsh.

The visible struggle for the soul of Europe may be going on in France, but the real action lies further east, in Hungary, where prime minister Viktor Orban is locked in a struggle with the Hungarian-born George Soros (real name: Gyorgy Schwartz) in a proxy war against the de-Christianization and Islamization (via “migrant” invasion) of Europe. …

Soros, who tried once to break the Bank of England, is also a convicted criminal in France. And, of course, he’s the model for this guy:

The battle is ostensibly over the Soros-founded Central European University in Budapest. … Orban supporters see the CEU as a globalist stalking-camel, trying to get its nose under the tent of Hungarian nationhood and indigenous culture. The fight also pits Orban and Hungary against the EU, which naturally supports Soros, so in case you were wondering, now you know which way to root.

Keep an eye on Budapest — what happens there will ripple westward. The whole world will soon be watching.

Yale Grad Students Go on ‘Symbolic’ Hunger Strike Where They’re Allowed to Eat

Yale Grad Students Go on ‘Symbolic’ Hunger Strike Where They’re Allowed to Eat, by Alex Griswold.

According to a pamphlet posted on Twitter by a  former Yale student, the hunger strike is “symbolic” and protesters can leave and get food when they can no longer go on.

Sure. Why not?

Here’s a real hunger strike from 2010: Peter Spencer ends hunger strike protest, by Samantha Maiden.

HUNGER striker Peter Spencer has ended his 52 day protest over farmers’ property rights and Australia’s climate change responsibilities but will continue his fight “on the ground” supporters said today.

Peter Spencer

In a statement released shortly after 9:30 am today, his supporters said he would now be hospitalised until doctors could determine his medical condition. …

His spokesman Alistair McRobert said Mr Spencer has been under increasing pressure from supporters about his welfare and in response has said, “On day 52 of his hunger strike, which was initiated to correspond with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at Copenhagen, Peter Spencer (61 years old) comes down from the suspended platform part way up a wind monitoring tower on his Shannon’s Flat property “Saarahnlee” near Cooma, NSW,” the statement said. …

His decision to end the hunger strike followed medical advice that there were increasing concerns about his electrolyte levels and other developing medical issues.

Mr Spencer, a father of six, said he survived on lemon juice, water, painkillers and vitamins throughout his hunger strike.

Middlebury Professor Apologizes To Rioters For Inviting Charles Murray

Middlebury Professor Apologizes To Rioters For Inviting Charles Murray, by Ashe Schow. Remember this mob of students who shut down a talk by Charles Murray in early March?

See here and here.

Middlebury College seems dead-set on adhering to social justice norms by apologizing for the violence that occurred when social scientist Charles Murray came to speak — not apologizing to Murray, the professor rioters injured, or the students who wanted to hear Murray’s speech, but to the rioters who shut it all down.

In a post for The Middlebury Campus, Bert Johnson, chair of the school’s political science department and an associate professor, apologized to the students who were upset over Murray’s invitation, writing that he should have consulted with dissenting students before co-sponsoring the event.

Rod Dreher wrote just after the event:

Middlebury College is on trial now. Its administration will either forthrightly defend liberal democratic norms, or it will capitulate. There is no middle ground. …

These little Maoists studying at elite colleges and universities like Middlebury are on the fast track to move into the American ruling class. You see what they will do to dissenters.

Guess we now know the answer. Wait til that mob become the rulers of society.