Great Again

Great Again, by Conrad Black.

Everyone who follows American affairs should understand that the country is now in what amounts to a second, but non-violent civil war. …

The Democrats and some of the Republicans smell blood and wish to see the Trump presidency destroyed and believe that to be possible. Some have been spooked by the malicious media carpet-bombing of the president; some actually think that there has been some impeachable offense committed, despite the absence of any evidence of one.

But most have never seen such an immediate and no holds-barred battle between the Washington power structure and a new administration.

Because Donald Trump took control of the Republican Party by running against all factions of both parties, and the Washington media and lobbyists, Hollywood, Wall Street and the campaign financing system (and financed his own campaign for the nomination), and pitched his appeal to those dissatisfied with the system, he won an astonishing series of victories even unto the White House, and banished the Bush-Clinton-Obama triumvirate that had ruled post-Reagan America. But all the other elements of the political class he assaulted remain in place and are swarming Washington like assassins in the most unstable days of the Roman Republic and Empire. ..

Certainly, the opportunities for Trump’s opponents have been enhanced by some of the president’s inconsistencies and indiscretions, but almost all of these would have been overlooked or thought amiable in a normal presidential honeymoon, in which everyone settles in comfortably, a halcyon fairness is accorded by the media, and public curiosity about the new residents of the White House is benignly informed. …

The antics of Trump’s enemies have exceeded all modern American standards of systematic dishonesty.

The arrival of Anthony Scaramucci as White House communications director is a sharp upward ratchet in the Trump game, and demonstrates a couple of his more impressive traits. The president does seek high-quality collaborators, as he did when his business was in crisis, and in forming his cabinet. He is highly determined and almost impossible to discourage. It has been a fierce battle these six months and both sides are escalating, which makes talk of bipartisanship especially absurd. …

There will never be any evidence of Trump-Kremlin collusion, and the whole concept is just self-serving Clintonian myth-making, that has flourished in the hothouse of Democrats unable to accept the election result, echoed by a partisan press that is a prop of the failed ancien regime Trump assaulted. This episode should disabuse the entire political class of the temptation to criminalize policy differences, a cancerous constitutional deformation ignited by Watergate, and nurtured by Iran-Contra and the nonsense of President Clinton’s peccadilloes.

What’s at stake:

Apart from the fact that this is war, what seems to escape notice is that if Trump fails, and however he fails, it will not bring a return to something good. It would be the return of those who gave America the initial under-reaction to terrorism, the housing bubble and world financial crisis, the elevation of Iran to preeminent influence in Iraq and much of the Middle East, then the North Korean crisis, the migrant humanitarian disaster, a flat-lined American economy hobbled with a back-breaking and under-funded welfare system, and the enthronement of political correctness to the point of official inability to utter the words “Islamist extremism.”

Not only should Trump win, he must win, to prevent the profound decline of America, and the rise to world leadership, as if on the other end of a teeter-totter, of China. That is what is at stake, not the president’s hairstyle, syntax, or tweeting habits.

How Australia can solve the F-35 JSF disaster

How Australia can solve the F-35 JSF disaster, by Robert Gottliebsen.

The horror of the Joint Strike Fighter (F-35) disaster looks like it is going to be uncovered in the UK rather than Australia. But, as the facts become known in Britain, even the most dimwitted of Australian politicians will understand that we have a deep problem.

However, the British Joint Strike Fighter crisis is actually worse than Australia.

Nevertheless, like Australia the British Parliament has been grossly misled about the costs involved.

The British politicians have been told that each Joint Strike Fighter will cost between £77 million and £100 million. Thanks to research work by Deborah Haynes, the defence editor of The Times, the British learned that the cost of the aircraft was actually more than £150 million.

Naturally, all the usual suspects said the journalist was wrong. But the British National Audit Office has had a good look at the real JSF costs. They estimate that by March 2021, the UK will have outlaid £5.8 billion on 21 JSF aircraft — a total of £276 million per aircraft.

But then there are extras which take the total cost to £7 billion for the 21 JSF or a total cost per aircraft of £333 million — that’s more than $US400 million and about twice The Times’ estimate, which did not include all the ancillary requirements. …

Even if you take out the necessary add ons, the UK audit office estimate of $US300 million per aircraft is more than three times what the Australian parliament thinks it is paying. Indeed, Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said last month the per plane price had dropped to below $US100 million. While it’s true that the British version of the JSF is more costly than the Australian version, the difference is relatively minor.

To top it off, the British have been studying the video of the JSF at the Paris Air Show. Because the aircraft was flying at very high levels, those on the ground couldn’t really follow what was going on. But the videos showed that the JSF was really struggling despite some excellent flying by its test pilot. And just to rub the salt deep into the British wounds Moscow has had its own air show and showed off its new Sukhoi Su-35 aircraft which performed with unbelievable brilliance. There was no comparison. And, of course we all know, the Indonesians are going to buy the Russian Sukhoi Su-35 aircraft. …

A solution?

I rely on Airpower Australia, which has been unerringly accurate in this area over the past decade. They simply have done the sums that were not done in the defence department. And their solution is that the only way out of this mess is to bring together the JSF and the brilliant aircraft the F-22, which the US has stopped producing.

The JSF has some magnificent software. And if the two programs were brought together we could have an aircraft able to match the Russians and Chinese. If Britain and Australia came together there is a good chance that they could convince the Americans to go down this track. Because like the major Australian and US banks, the JSF program is now too big to fail. No matter what its deficiencies and costs, everyone is locked in to this total disaster. But the merger with the F-22 gives us a chance not to abandon the JSF program but to enhance it.

The Transgender Ban Isn’t Fair. Neither is War. The military demands results, not diversity.

The Transgender Ban Isn’t Fair. Neither is War. The military demands results, not diversity. By Daniel Greenfield.

The ban on transgender service that President Trump reaffirmed was there for eight years under Obama. It was there in his first term and his second term. And the media said nothing.

Only in the summer of last year did the ban technically end. …

Obama had kept the ban in place for almost his entire two terms in office. And he found a way to retain it throughout his final months. With a year’s review, the transgender recruits could only be accepted after he was out of the White House. That way he could have his social justice cake and eat it too. He would get the credit for ending the transgender ban without dealing with any of the problems. …

So Obama left this issue as a time bomb for his successor. Plenty of problems:

45% of transgender persons in the 18 to 44 age range are suicidal. This is a serious risk for personnel who are around weapons or operating machinery or aircraft. If this were the only issue, it would be enough to justify the medical ban.

Transgender operations and hormone therapy requires constant monitoring by a doctor. They carry serious health risks. Some of those risks require serious medications and ongoing management.

That is not what the military usually expects to deal with from recruits.

The Rand study being touted by transgender advocates who claim that medical expenses will only be in the millions relies on a statistical bait and switch. The actual cost is estimated to be in the billions. …

Leftist hypocrisy, only credible because the media is complicit:

So President Trump got rid of it. His policy is the same one that existed for most of Obama’s time in office. The televised outrage over it is shameless and cynical posturing by media hypocrites.

The transgender ban isn’t a moral or religious policy. It’s a medical one. The military doesn’t have the resources and isn’t equipped to deal with the complicated medical and social problems involved.

The Department of Defense fitness standards have an extensive list of disqualifiers. A “history of major abnormalities or defects of the genitalia such as change of sex” is there in between pelvic inflammatory disease and missing testicles. These medical issues are there alongside missing fingers, a history of gout and numerous other problems. They’re there because the military wants healthy and able recruits. …

The wider issue is leftist “progression” towards me-me-me:

The left is obsessed with identity politics. It breaks down every situation to the oppressed and the oppressor. It seeks to restore “justice” by overthrowing the oppressor. We can’t afford to let these tantrums of childish self-righteousness tear apart the military the way they have torn apart our country.

Identity politics is egocentric and narcissistic. There is no room for that attitude on the battlefield. The political crusade for a transgender military is selfish and irresponsible. It demands that the military put the lives of others at risk to cater to the emotional whims of their identity politics. And that is the exact opposite of the attitude with which thousands of our best and bravest have gone forth to war. …

In times past, Americans learned important lessons from their military service. These days, the left expects the military to learn lessons from the dysfunctional grievance society that it has created. …

Once upon a time we understood that we were part of something greater. And that we could not achieve greatness without each other. Identity politics has shredded that sense of aspirational community. It has replaced it with the conviction that we are oppressed by each other.

Poll: Only 23% of Americans think having transgender in military is good. According to the media, everybody except for a few social retards is very upset at Trump for banning transgenders in the military.

hat-tip Stephen Neil, Scott of the Pacific

Australian Preachers in free speech test on atheists and gays

Australian Preachers in free speech test on atheists and gays, by Matthew Denholm.

A new anti-discrimination complaint will test the limits of free speech and religious expression in Australia, with two preachers — a Presbyterian pastor and a street evangelist — accused of offending gays and atheists.

Hobart pastor Campbell Mark­ham and street preacher David Gee told The Australian the complaint, which had been ­accepted by Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Sarah Bolt, was an attack on the rights of all Australians to speak their ­beliefs.

Mr Markham said the accu­sations against him related to online blogs in 2011 in which he referred to the “distressingly dangerous homosexual lifestyle”, “appalling health risks of the homosexual lifestyle” and criticised posters — designed for school­children — normalising same-sex couples. …

Mr Markham … did not believe his blogs, which he saw as an extension of his preaching and aimed primarily at parishioners, were demeaning of, or hurtful to, homosexuals.

“Has stuff I’ve said or written upset people?” he said. “Of course. I don’t set out to do that, but that’s part of being a human being.”

While the complaint was heading to a conciliation conference, he would refuse to modify his preaching. “I don’t think it’s right that people can be threatened with legal action for expressing what they believe is true,” he said. …

Tasmania has some of the nat­ion’s broadest anti-discrimination laws, which make it unlawful to “offend, humiliate, intimidate, insult or ridicule” someone on the basis of certain attributes, including sexuality and religious belief.

Both preachers were receiving legal advice and did not believe they could, at this stage, name the complainant.

Anonymous complaints. “I’m telling.”

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Atheism in Russia Falls by 50 Percent in Three Years

Atheism in Russia Falls by 50 Percent in Three Years, by Thomas Williams.

The number of Russians who identify as atheists has fallen by 50 percent in just three years, according to a recent poll by the Levada research center.

The poll, which was conducted in late June, revealed that the number of Russian atheists, or those who consider themselves “absolutely irreligious,” fell sharply from 26 percent in 2014 to just 13 percent in 2017.

Religious believers now make up 86 percent of the population, the survey found, with 44 percent describing themselves as “quite religious,” 33 percent as “not too religious” and 9 percent as “very religious.” …

Fifty-nine percent of respondents hold a favorable view of Islam, while 17 percent have “conflicted feelings” toward them and 13 percent look on Muslims with “dislike” or “fear.”

The leftist narrative is that society progresses from paganism, to a monotheistic religion such as Christianity, then grows more rational and abandons the superstitions of religion altogether. An alternative narrative, much more prominent in history, is that societies that lose religion fall into corruption and excessive self centered-ness, leading to hedonism–the then become unsustainable, and then either fail to survive or else they find religion again.

The left likes to believe that their thoughts and dictums can replace the moral teachings and psychological wisdom of the past (“religion is so yesterday, our way is so rational and much more fun”).

We shall see.

hat-tip Charles, Stephen Neil

IRAQ – “We couldn’t go back, even if we wanted to,” say Mosul Christians

IRAQ – “We couldn’t go back, even if we wanted to,” say Mosul Christians, by Tony Gamal-Gabriel.

The jihadists may have been ousted from their Iraqi hometown of Mosul but many Christians like Haitham Behnam refuse to go back and trade in the stability of their new lives.

“There’s no security, no protection for Christians back there,” said the former resident of the largest city in northern Iraq. …

Under the brutal rule of IS, Mosul’s Christian community of around 35,000 was handed an ultimatum: convert to Islam, pay a special tax imposed on non-Muslims, or risk being executed unless they leave town …

“There’s no security (in Mosul). People were brainwashed over the past three years,” said Behnam, a Catholic. “Even the children have become Daesh, they’ve been taught to slit throats,” he said using an Arabic name for IS.

A customer at the small workshop that Behnam rents was quick to agree. “If I was a Christian, I wouldn’t go back to Mosul until its residents prove to me that they’re ready to accept me,” said Omar Fawaz, a Muslim from the east of the city.

Once the battle for Mosul was over, his parents had returned, only to find their home occupied by the victorious security forces.

“Neighbors told us to take the house of a Christian who used to live four doors down,” said the 29-year engineer.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Mark Latham at home with other side

Mark Latham at home with other side, by Brad Norington.

Mark Latham, the boy from Green Valley in Sydney’s west, conceded he did not travel to the eastern suburbs much.

Yet he seemed to feel at home last night in Liberal heartland — indeed in Malcolm Turnbull’s electorate — as he ­addressed an enthusiastic crowd of the party’s Bellevue Hill branch at the Woollahra Golf Club. …

Mr Latham’s main message, warmly received, was that institutions in Australia had been taken over by the left.

“It’s an insidious, dangerous process,’’ Mr Latham said.

“It’s more dangerous than anything that was happening with the threat posed by the Soviet Union in the 1950s and 60s because by and large these things are beyond democratic control from the politicians we’ve got right now.

They don’t seem to do anything to stand up against the leftists who march through institutions.’’

Mr Latham said average citizens felt the madness of what they saw every day was beyond their control, giving the example of a Queensland schoolyard where Jesus allegedly could not be ­discussed.

“This is why so many people are frustrated,’’ he said. “This is why we’ve got a gathering like this in the Prime Minister’s own electorate — Australians feeling, ‘I’m losing my country, my local member is the Prime Minister and the slide continues worse than ever’.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Importing China’s poison

Importing China’s poison, by David Archibald.

In 2012 John Holland had been awarded a design and construction contract for Perth Children’s Hospital. The contract was valued at $1.2 billion. …

Now completed, the hospital is unable to open due to another problem. Lead contamination has been found in the water supply. Lead is heavy metal that can harm the nervous system and brain development and is especially dangerous for pregnant women, infants and children.

John Holland has stated that the lead contamination came from a 50-metre length of old pipe that was connected to the hospital. That was isolated and the problem continues.

The most likely source of the lead is brass fittings in the pipework. There are estimated to be more than 5,000 brass fittings in the water supply of Perth Children’s Hospital, many of which are in the walls. Replacing them all is an expensive proposition, likely to be in the tens of millions.

In 2014, the US government mandated a lead limit of 0.25 percent in plumbing fittings. Brass is normally two-thirds copper and one-third zinc. Manufacturers have added lead to brass to increase machinability and thus lower their production costs. Lead is also cheaper than zinc or copper.

As lead has a lower melting point than copper or zine, it tends to migrate towards the grain boundaries in the form of globules as it cools from casting. The pattern the globules form on the surface of the brass increases the available lead surface area which in turn affects the degree of leaching. In addition, cutting operations can smear the lead globules over the surface. These effects can lead to significant lead leaching from brasses of comparatively low lead content. A brass valve may have an overall lead content that is within specification but the manufacturer may have used a much higher lead content in the machined faces that are in contact with the water flowing through. One lead contamination problem in a new US public building was traced to an 18 percent lead content in the faces of a brass ball valve.

On top of all that, a high proportion of Perth’s water supply is now desalinated seawater – but not completely desalinated with a salt content of 200 ppm. The chloride ions from that slightly salty water would leach lead at a great rate.

China’s role in all this is pernicious. At one level they have hollowed out Australian industry by giving work normally done here, to Australian standards, to Chinese subcontractors. And if China didn’t have low standards, they wouldn’t have any standards at all. A few years ago there was contamination of infant formula in China because the manufacturer wanted to save money. Now we have imported the problem of poisoning of children.

Macron vows to clear migrants off streets

Macron vows to clear migrants off streets, by Adam Sage.

President Macron pledged to clear migrants off the streets of France by the end of the year as he defended plans to turn 62 cheap hotels into shelters.

Seeking to defuse growing tensions and prevent the emergence of new camps after the destruction of the Jungle in Calais last year, he said all migrants would be offered housing.

France has escaped the brunt of Europe’s migration turmoil, receiving 87,550 asylum applications from April last year to March this year, a fraction of the 598,515 received in Germany over the same period. Many of the migrants arriving in France intend to move on to other countries, notably Britain and Germany.

However, with the German government tightening its asylum procedures and security measures being reinforced in Calais, officials in Paris are braced for an upsurge in immigration from former French colonies in north and west Africa. The issue is highly sensitive in a country where more than 40 per cent of voters backed extremists on the left and right in the recent presidential election. …

The purchase by the state of 62 Formule 1 hotels, which will be turned into shelters for about 6000 homeless people, mainly migrants, is a central pillar of the plan but is causing widespread controversy. In Semeac, in the Pyrenees, locals built a wall in front of a hotel this week to keep out the 80 or so migrants due to move in there. …

In Bailleul, northern France, police unions denounced as “pure madness” the plan to place dozens of migrants in the town’s Formule 1 hotel, which is near a motorway that leads to Calais. Officers said that the migrants would use the premises as a base from which to try to stow away in lorries heading for Britain.

West Wing wars burst into open

West Wing wars burst into open, by Rhys Blakely.

Open warfare has erupted inside the West Wing as his new communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, attacked senior White House colleagues and threatened to sack them all in a bizarre, obscenities filled rant to a journalist.

Mr Scaramucci blasted White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and Donald Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, in a telephone call to a New Yorker journalist.

In the subsequent article written by Ryan Lizza, the former Wall Street financier called Mr Priebus a “f***ing paranoid schizophrenic” and accused Mr Bannon of trying to build his own brand “off the f***ing strength of the president”.

He also ordered the reporter “as an American citizen” to name White House staff whom he believed had been leaking information about him and when Mr Rizza declined, he said: “OK, I’m going to fire every one of them.

“What I’m going to do is, I will eliminate everyone in the comms team and we’ll start over.” …

Anthony Scaramucci, a former hedge fund entrepreneur who was appointed as White House communications director last week, called CNN yesterday morning to suggest that the Trump administration was mired in “paranoia and back-stabbing”. Leaks to the press had reached intolerable levels, he said, before issuing a remarkable challenge to Reince Priebus, the chief of staff. “If Reince wants to explain he’s not a leaker, let him do that.”

He added: “As you know from the Italian expression, the fish stinks from the head down. But I can tell you two fish that don’t stink, OK, and that’s me and the president.

Is this just Trump gradually replacing swamp creatures and people partly in the swamp with his own people? He may have had a tough time finding people with adequate experience who weren’t at least partly infected by the swamp. If so, it will take time to train up a team. Time will tell.

Meet Tally: The Grocery Stocking Robot About To Eradicate 1,000’s Of Minimum Wage Jobs

Meet Tally: The Grocery Stocking Robot About To Eradicate 1,000’s Of Minimum Wage Jobs, by Tyler Durden.

If Amazon, or anyone for that matter, can truly create smart stores with no check outs and cut employees in half they can effectively destroy the traditional supermarket business model.

And while the demise of the traditional grocery store will undoubtedly take time (recall that people were calling for the demise of Blockbuster for nearly a decade before it finally happened), make no mistake that the retail grocery market 10-15 years from now will not look anything like the stores you visit today.

So, grocers have a choice: (i) adapt to the technological revolution that is about to transform their industry or (ii) face the same slow death that ultimately claimed the life of Blockbuster.

As such, as the the St. Louis Post-Dispatch points out today, the relatively small Midwest grocery store chain of Schnucks has decided to roll out the first of what could eventually be a large fleet of grocery stocking robots. …

Tally, created by a San Francisco-based company named Simbe, is also being tested at other mass merchants and dollar stores all across the country. …

Meanwhile, with nearly 40,000 grocery stores in the U.S. employing roughly 3.5 [million] people, most of whom work at or near minimum wage, Bernie’s “Fight for $15” agitators may want to take note of this development.

Muslim gang rampaged through Liverpool attacking strangers because they were white “non-Muslims”

Muslim gang rampaged through Liverpool attacking strangers because they were white “non-Muslims”, by Neil Docking.

A gang of Muslim men rampaged through Liverpool city centre attacking strangers because they were white “non-Muslims”.

One witness feared Amin Mohmed, Mohammed Patel and Faruq Patel were ISIS terrorists.

The drunken yobs targeted three unknown men before Mohmed, 24, and Mohammed, 20, set upon Gary Bohanna when he revealed he was Christian.

Laughing Faruq, 19, who was not convicted of a racial or religious motive, then filmed Mohmed punching St Helens councillor Paul Lynch to the ground, as his terrified girlfriend tried to protect him.

Liverpool Crown Court heard counter-terrorism officers raided the three men’s homes in Bolton after the shocking incident on March 20 last year.

The judge, Recorder Louise Brandon, said: “This was a disgraceful and sustained campaign of violence carried out on the streets of this city.” …

Paul Treble, prosecuting, … “He was concerned because one of them seemed to be using racist language, talking about Muslims and Christians.” …

The attacker shouted “Why aren’t you a Muslim?” before punching him twice, breaking his glasses and causing a 2cm cut above his left eye.

Just a gang of thugs so not a big deal … except it fits a pattern, and they belong to a cult of 2 billion people that preaches the superiority of its members and gives them permission (and more) to treat non-members very poorly.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Senator Smith’s Family Values

Senator Smith’s Family Values, by David Archibald.

The WA branch of the Liberal Party currently has 16 people in federal parliament. Of those, one quarter are childless female lawyers, which is a very narrow demographic from which to draw your representation. Of the males, two are homosexual, which means that over a third of WA’s federal Liberal representatives have never changed a nappy, so to speak. They have very little in common with the people whose interests they are supposed to defend.

Our story relates to one of the homosexuals: Senator Dean Smith. At the time of the 2013 election, Senator Smith went doorknocking in the industrial suburb of Rockingham with the Liberal candidate for the seat of Brand, Donna Gordin. He and Ms Gordin were surprised by the number of households in which grandparents were bringing up their grandchildren because the generation in between had been destroyed by their drug habits. He undertook to do something for these people when the Liberals were returned to power.

Now Senator Smith has mooted a private member’s bill legalising homosexual marriage. … The purpose of the private member’s bill is to deny the Australian public any say in the matter [via a plebiscite, which is current Liberal Party policy].

Framing marriage as about reproduction, not fulfillment:

Cicero said that marriage is the founding bond of society, and it has been ever thus. Every human tribe has had a form of marriage. In fact humans couldn’t have evolved without marriage. In Stone Age tribes, the female does not become a net positive food contributor until the age of 43. Until then she relies upon her mate to bring some food home or, otherwise, her children would starve. Non-procreational sex was also invented to help glue the pair bond against the forces, such as adversity, that might rend it.

What began as a biological imperative acquired a cultural overlay; thus the marriage ceremony. Culture is the continuation of evolutionary pressures by non-physical means. This was understood by the ancients who put the fear of God into those who sought society’s blessing for their unions. …

As the Book says, marriage is about bringing children into the world. Such an enterprise is not to be entered into lightly, or abandoned at the drop of a hat. …

Gay marriage:

It follows that anything which lessens the dignity of the estate of marriage reduces the seriousness of its undertakings, the first of which is the protection and succour of the fruit of the union. If anyone can marry anyone else, then marriage doesn’t mean much. ….

Homosexuals are 1.4 percent of the male population and lesbians are 0.7 percent of the female population. They will be with us to the end of time, are part of the human condition and God’s creation. Disparaging homosexuals would be as self-loathing as being a refugee advocate. It seems that in the chemical warfare in the uterus between mother and foetus, homosexuals are an acceptable loss so that the rest of the males can be more male-like, much in the same way that sickle cell anaemia developed in parts of Africa to mitigate the effects of malaria. …

Which brings us back to the amusing Senator Smith, who wants to both help children abandoned by their drug-addled parents and also to have homosexuals look gooey-eyed at their partners. Senator, you can have one or the other, but not both. You might think that opiates are stronger than the institution of marriage, and therefore we might as well abandon the children and go ahead with homosexual marriage. But some children would be saved if we did not allow homosexuals that option. And therefore we should maintain marriage as it is –- for the sake of the children.

UK Police Ask Ex-Muslims to Pull ‘Allah Is Gay’ Sign, But Allow ‘Jesus Is Gay’ to Stay

UK Police Ask Ex-Muslims to Pull ‘Allah Is Gay’ Sign, But Allow ‘Jesus Is Gay’ to Stay, by Gage Cohen.

During London’s Pride parade last week, members of Britain’s Council of Ex-Muslims (CEMB) were asked by police to lower their banners that read “Allah is Gay,” while other signs saying “Jesus is Gay” attracted no such concern.

“Pride is full of placards saying ‘God is Gay,’ ‘Jesus had two fathers,’ as well as those mocking the church and priests and pope, yet CEMB members hold signs saying ‘Allah is Gay’ – as we did – and the police converge to attempt to remove them for causing ‘offence,’” a statement on the CEMB’s website says.

In line with PC prejudices.

Senior Australians overwhelmingly believe political correctness is “ruining society”

Senior Australians overwhelmingly believe political correctness is “ruining society”, by Stephen Smiley.

Of 1,000 people aged over 50 surveyed by CoreData for the [Australian Seniors Insurance Agency (ASIA)], 88 per cent thought people in modern Australia were too politically correct.

As well, 74 per cent of seniors said people who strived to be politically correct annoyed them, and 45 per cent said they tried to avoid being politically correct just for the sake of it.

And 86 per cent of those surveyed said the drive to be politically correct was ruining society.

Experience counts.

This One Photo Perfectly Sums Up Why We Needed Trump’s Military Transgender Ban

This One Photo Perfectly Sums Up Why We Needed Trump’s Military Transgender Ban, by Megan Fox.

Twitter is going ape over Trump’s decision not to let transgendered people serve in the military. The virtuous left wants to know why — while clutching their pearls and clucking at us. This one photo sums up the reason better than I ever could. …

This is not the kind of thing we need running around screwing up the military with its outrage and perpetual offense taking. The military exists to kill people and break things. It is not a social experiment. It is a fighting force. Anything that gets in the way of killing people and breaking things needs to be tossed out.

Pretty White Australian Girls’ Lives Matter

Pretty White Australian Girls’ Lives Matter, by Ann Coulter.

As usually happens when Muslims attack, the press is consumed with worry about their mental state and well-being.

Sample Headlines:

Somalis on edge after Minneapolis cop named in fatal shooting — The Daily Herald (Everett, Washington), July 18, 2017

Somalis in Minneapolis on defensive after police shooting — St. Paul Pioneer Press (Minnesota), July 21, 2017

Minneapolis shooting brings unwelcome attention to Somalis — Associated Press, July 22, 2017

There are nearly 2 billion Muslims in the world, amounting to a quarter of the world’s population, controlling 50 countries. The English-speaking world is about a fifth that size and constitutes a dwindling majority in about a half-dozen countries. But, somehow, no matter how the story is written, Muslims always get to play the victim, and Anglo-Saxons are cast as the aggressors.

That’s why a Somali cop’s fatal shooting of a pajama-clad Good Samaritan has gone directly into the “Be Nice to Muslims!” file, rather than the “Why Are All These Somalis Here?” file. …

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, women of any race committed about 10 percent of all murders from 1980 to 2008, and black people committed a majority of all murders. Other than a small child, it’s difficult to think of a demographic that poses less of a threat to a policeman in America than a 40-year-old white woman. …

With Somalis, you get all the social pathologies of Muslims and the American underclass rolled into one package. There’s the terrorism and pederasty — but also the criminality and joblessness!

At least with taxpayer-draining Mexican illegals, you can say, yes, but they provide the rich with such cheap labor! Someone, somewhere in America, gets a benefit. There is absolutely no benefit to the more than 100,000 Somalis brought in by Minnesota, except to feed the Scandinavian ethnomasochism, expressed as arrogant self-regard.

From Rushdie to Geller: The Steady Erosion of Free Speech

From Rushdie to Geller: The Steady Erosion of Free Speech, by Robert Spencer.

When the Islamic Republic of Iran called for his death for insulting Islam, Salman Rushdie became an international hero of free speech. Later defenders of this fundamental freedom, however, have not fared as well …

Rushdie was hailed as a hero, a living martyr for the freedom of speech. Writer Christopher Hitchens noted, “We risk a great deal by ceding even an inch of ground to the book-burners and murderers.” Egyptian Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz denounced Khomeini’s fatwa as “intellectual terrorism”. …

It may have been the high-water mark of pop culture support for the freedom of speech.

On the evening of May 3, 2015, I was standing next to Pamela Geller at the venue of our just-concluded American Freedom Defense Initiative/Jihad Watch Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest in Garland, Texas, when one of our security team ran in and told us that there had been a shooting outside. It is safe to say that if the jihadis had succeeded in their aims, we would both be dead.

Since that day, Pamela Geller has never been safe; she is now the Islamic State’s number one target in the United States. ISIS quickly issued a communiqué on the Garland attack, including a death fatwa against Geller. The threat was reinforced by subsequent jihadi attempts on Geller’s life. …

The response now from the elite? They’ve learned to shut up and not criticize the seventh century culture from Arabia:

“It’s needlessly provocative,” said New York Representative Peter King, whose hearings on Muslim radicalization in 2011 had themselves been widely termed “provocative.” King said he thought our event was “insulting someone’s religion.”

Coren and King were expressing the dominant view. Other more prominent voices soon piled on, including even voices on the right …

After being on the receiving end of a chorus of condemnation from the media, Geller was harshly questioned by CNN’s Alisyn Camerota. Geller told Camerota, “The fact that we have to spend upwards of $50,000 in security speaks to how dangerous and how in trouble freedom of speech is in this country. And then we have to get on these news shows, and somehow we are, those that are targeted, those that were going to be slaughtered, are the ones who get attacked speaks to how morally inverted this conversation is.”

The dominant line was essentially that if Pamela Geller and I had just left well enough alone, all would have been well.

There is a fundamental misunderstanding and denial about a fundamental incompatibility:

The erroneous assumption behind the widespread condemnation of Muhammad cartoons is that to make America compatible with Islam, all we have to do is give just a little. What non-Muslims have to give up is the right to draw and publish cartoons of Muhammad. And surely that’s not so great a sacrifice. Why insist on being gratuitously “provocative”?

The problem with this rosy little scenario is that the jihadis are already “provoked.”

It was the murderous jihadis who made drawing Muhammad the flash point of the defense of free speech, not Pamela Geller. It is they who, by their determination to murder non-Muslims who violate their religious law on this point, have made it imperative that free people signal that they will not submit to them. If we give in to the demand that we conform to this Sharia principle, there will be further demands that we adhere to additional Sharia principles.

It is ultimately a question of whether we will submit to Sharia, or stand up for freedom.

“Islam” means “submit”. It’s not a secret.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Americans Don’t Care About Afghanistan: Will kids who weren’t yet born when the war began have to fight it?

Americans Don’t Care About Afghanistan: Will kids who weren’t yet born when the war began have to fight it? By Andrew Bacevich.

Reporters I talk to tell me that the Trump administration remains deeply divided on how to proceed in Afghanistan. The internal debate appears to mirror the one that played out in 2006 when the George W. Bush administration wrestled with what to do with an Iraq War that had gone badly awry.

At that time, the Pentagon convened a so-called “Council of Colonels” to study the situation and identify available alternatives. The group, which included a rising star by the name of H.R. McMaster, came up with three basic options. They were: 1) Go Big, 2) Go Long, or 3) Go Home. Ultimately, President George W. Bush opted, in effect, for a combination of 1) and 2). The result was the Iraq Surge of 2007-2008.

In the event, however, it turned out that Big — an additional increment of 30,000 troops — wasn’t big enough. And Long — the final two years of the Bush administration — wasn’t long enough. A decade later controversy about who to blame persists, but by any measure Iraq remains an epic failure of U.S. policy.

As far as present day Afghanistan is concerned, Go Big is not a plausible option. Presumably, it should be possible for the world’s greatest military to defeat the Taliban and the other primitively-armed Islamist groups active in Afghanistan. Yet political willingness to commit several tens of thousands of U.S. troops in an effort to win outright simply doesn’t exist.

Having now risen to the post of national security adviser, McMaster reportedly wants to Go Long, apparently clinging to the view that the nation-building project once grandly known as Operation Enduring Freedom can yet be redeemed. Steve Bannon, viewed in some quarters as the American Rasputin, supposedly wants to Go Home, with Mattis either uncommitted or somewhere in between.

How General Turner’s ultimate boss, the commander-in-chief, figures in all of this is difficult to say. Not least among the reasons that Afghanistan today is “strategy free” is that Trump himself has demonstrated remarkably little interest in what goes on there. Overseeing the Afghanistan War does not number among his priorities.

Worse still, members of the press share in Trump’s inclination to treat Afghanistan as an afterthought. The New York Times and the Washington Post … when it comes to setting editorial priorities, both papers choose to treat the Afghanistan War as a matter of marginal importance. Notably, neither paper maintains an active presence in Kabul.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Google is teaching computers how to censor out non-PC reality

Google is teaching computers how to censor out non-PC reality, by Samuel Westrop.

Google’s latest project is an application called “Perspective,” which, as Wired reports, brings the tech company “a step closer to its goal of helping to foster troll-free discussion online, and filtering out the abusive comments that silence vulnerable voices.” In other words, Google is teaching computers how to censor. …

Released in February, Perspective’s partners include the New York Times, the Guardian, Wikipedia and the Economist. Google, whose motto is “Do the Right Thing,” is aiming its bowdlerism at public comment sections on newspaper websites, but the potential is far broader.

Perspective works by identifying the “toxicity level” of comments published online. Google states that Perspective will enable companies to “sort comments more effectively, or allow readers to more easily find relevant information.” Perspective’s demonstration website currently allows anyone to measure the “toxicity” of a word or phrase, according to its algorithm. What, then, constitutes a “toxic” comment?

Even a statement as obvious as “Radical Islam is a problem” is 88% toxic:

Guess Google likes radical Islam. Certainly the current PC stance is to be nice and to protect Islam, while hating the foundational religion of the West.

No reasonable person could claim this is hate speech. But the problem does not just extend to opinions. Even factual statements are deemed to have a high rate of “toxicity.” Google considers the statement “ISIS is a terrorist group” to have an 87% chance of being “perceived as toxic.” …

Or 92% “toxicity” for stating the publicly-declared objective of the terrorist group, Hamas: “Hamas’s charter calls for killing Jews”.

Why does Silicon Valley believe it should decide what is valid speech and what is not? Because it can. This has ominous implication for free speech in the West:

Google is not the only technology company enamored with censorship. In June, Facebook announced its own plans to use artificial intelligence to identify and remove “terrorist content.” These measures can be easily circumvented by actual terrorists, and how long will it be before that same artificial intelligence is used to remove content that Facebook staff find to be politically objectionable? …

Conservative news, it seems, is considered fake news. Liberals should oppose this dogma before their own news comes under attack. Again, the most serious problem with attempting to eliminate hate speech, fake news or terrorist content by censorship is not about the efficacy of the censorship; it is the very premise that is dangerous.

Under the guidance of faulty algorithms or prejudiced Silicon Valley programmers, when the New York Times starts to delete or automatically hide comments that criticize extremist clerics, or Facebook designates articles by anti-Islamist activists as “fake news,” Islamists will prosper and moderate Muslims will suffer. …

Google, Facebook and the rest of Silicon Valley are private companies. They can do with their data mostly whatever they want. The world’s reliance on their near-monopoly over the exchange of information and the provision of services on the internet, however, means that mass-censorship is the inevitable corollary of technology companies’ efforts to regulate news and opinion.