Xi whiz

Xi whiz, by Niall Ferguson.

An emperor who is a dotard. A population in the grip of opium addiction. An economy held back by bureaucracy and crumbling infrastructure. A culture fixated on past greatness but in fact hopelessly decadent. This was how Westerners in the 18th and 19th centuries regarded China. It is how the Chinese (not to mention most Europeans) now regard the United States. …

Ever since President Xi Jinping’s triumphant appearance as the defender of free trade and champion of globalization at the World Economic Forum in Davos back in January, there has been a striking trend: Those commentators most averse to Donald Trump also tend to be those most gushing in their praise of his Chinese counterpart. …

Xi whiz! But wait a second. We’re supposed to be impressed that, to quote The Economist, Xi Jinping’s “grip on China is tighter than any leader’s since Mao”? Last time I checked, Mao was responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of his fellow citizens in a succession of Mao-made catastrophes: the 1949 revolution itself, the Great Leap Forward, and the Cultural Revolution. If Mao is Xi’s role model, China is more likely to become a gigantic North Korea than the post-American colossus. …

But what is Xi’s thought exactly? The relevant amendment to the constitution runs to nearly 3,000 words, but in essence it combines the familiar (“socialism with Chinese characteristics,” a euphemism for capitalism since 1982), with new themes introduced by Xi in the last five years: “the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation,” green development, anti-corruption, and the Party’s primacy over the military. There is not much here that is Maoist. Replace the word “Chinese” with “Swedish” and it wouldn’t look out of place in a Scandinavian social democratic manifesto. …

Liberty matters, but the new left seem ignorant about this today:

Two centuries ago, Westerners were right that China was suffering from stagnation and decline. Chinese observers can be forgiven for thinking the same about America today. Yet it is far from clear that China in 2017 has anything like the vitality and potential of Britain or the United States in 1817. Apart from anything else, what made the English-speaking world so dynamic in those days was the unparalleled economic and political liberty that had been established there.

Beginning in the late 1970s, China overcame centuries of stagnation precisely because Mao’s successors understood that they had to decentralize the People’s Republic, giving economic if not political power to the people themselves. If Western commentators are right, Xi Jinping wants to go in the opposite direction.

Compassion Sets Humans Apart

Compassion Sets Humans Apart, by Penny Spikins.

When considering the question of whether humans are a naturally aggressive and violent species, it might be good to take a deep breath and have a look at the other side of the coin.

Yes, there is evidence of interpersonal violence in our ancient history. But actually there is far less of it than one might assume. There is, in fact, far more evidence of interpersonal care: of people who have tended to the injured and ensured that the sick or lame were kept alive. This tendency—for kindness, compassion, and care—is far more unique to the human species than our tendency to lash out. Many animals respond to threats by fighting back. Very few animals tend to their wounded friends, and only humans do it consistently. …

Stories about violence and aggression naturally draw our attention; we evolved to pay particular notice to potential threats for the good reason that doing so kept us alive. As a result, the news is filled not with stories of everyday kindness but with those that are visceral and scary—they seem more significant because they are frightening. It is easy to think of ourselves as “violent apes.” But on the whole, a better descriptor would be “compassionate apes.”

‘Dream come true’: 19-year-old auctions virginity for $3.9 million on controversial website

‘Dream come true’: 19-year-old auctions virginity for $3.9 million on controversial website, by Frank Chung.

A 19-YEAR-OLD US model claims to have sold her virginity to an Abu Dhabi-based businessman for nearly $3.9 million on a controversial auction website.

Cinderella Escorts, a Germany-based website which encourages young women to auction their virginity to wealthy older men, says the winning bid of 2.5 million euro ($3.87 million) beat an offer of $US2.4 million ($3.16 million) from a “Hollywood actor” and $US1.8 million ($2.37 million) from a “Russian politician”.

The woman, known as Giselle, said in a statement released by the website that it was a “dream come true”.

“Every woman has to decide on her own if it is worth to give her virginity for free to a boyfriend who maybe later on will break up with her, rather than selling it,” she said.

“But I made my decision and now I can study wherever I want, buy a new house and travel around the world. It gives me a lot of opportunities.”

Giselle described the trend of women selling their virginity as “a form of emancipation”, saying she was “shocked” at people who were against it.

“In other words, these people want to tell you what to do with your body as a woman, but they accuse somebody who is selling it of being against emancipation,” she said.

A reader comments on the absurdly-high price:

It’s a free market, eh? Though I’d be surprised if the price stays this high this long. If pretty white girls are so sought after, perhaps we might see some money return from East to West. Though I suspect they will get priced out of the market by the third world, where there must be no shortage of talent ready to compete for sums a lot lower.

Then there is the cost of assessing the state of her virginity, which will surely become a relevant sales point to rule out all the pretenders. Though the obvious spin off industry will be surgery to re-virginize women. At $3m, these costs are covered.

Of course girls who did this in Islamic countries would have to be killed afterwards.

hat-tip Joanne

Back to Bolted-Down Industries

Back to Bolted-Down Industries, by Viv Forbes.

Once upon a time Australia was attractive to processing, refining and manufacturing industries using our abundant mineral and food resources, our reliable low-cost coal-fired electricity and a workforce trained in technical skills.

No longer.

Australia used to have 11 oil refineries, spread around the country. There are just 4 left, all over fifty years old, and all in danger of closing down. Green barriers to oil exploration have forced most of them to rely on costly imported crude oil.

Now, for the first time in at least 60 years Australia no longer produces motor vehicles.

China and India have about 430 coal power plants under construction but Australia has not built a single coal-fired power station for seven years — some politicians even rejoice when they manage to close and demolish one.

Brisbane’s new trains are being made in India, Victa mowers are made in China and most coastal shipping died decades ago. Steel works and refineries producing aluminium, copper and zinc are under stress. All these industries are being pushed overseas by costly unreliable electricity and other government barriers and burdens.

Red-green policies being pushed by all major parties are making Australia more dependent on bolted-down industries such as mining and farming that can’t be sent overseas because their basic resources are here. And green opposition to nuclear power increases Aussie reliance on coal.

A century ago Australians relied on wool, wheat, gold, silver, copper, lead-zinc, butter, beef and timber — all products of bolted-down industries.

Red-green policies are pushing us back to those days.

Secret Informant in Fear for His Life After Jeff Sessions’ DOJ Leaks His Name One Week Before Testifying Against Clinton Crime Family

Secret Informant in Fear for His Life After Jeff Sessions’ DOJ Leaks His Name One Week Before Testifying Against Clinton Crime Family, by Joe Hoft.

The Jeff Sessions DOJ leaked the name of the FBI informant in the Clinton Uranium One bribery case.

On the Sean Hannity Show it was reported that the Sessions DOJ told Reuters the man’s name who has information on the Clinton Foundation and Uranium One is William D. Campbell.

Campbell worked as a consultant for a Russian firm. According to reporter John Solomon the informant is a consultant and his evidence will show Russian agents with suitcases of cash ready to bribe the Clintons for US uranium.

A reader comments:

The guy was outed yesterday by the Deep State. He has cancer and is on the way out. As such, he’s afraid of being “Clinton-a-cided”.

The Democrat Spin has already begun. This will be their biggest challenge yet, to protect the criminal acts of the Clintons and their associates.

They are now of no use to the Democrats, so Bill and Hill are expendable. The only reason they’ll be protected is to protect the currently active Deep State criminals

hat-tip Scott of the Pacific

Race, Genocide, and Memory: Indonesia in the 1940s

Race, Genocide, and Memory: Indonesia in the 1940s, by Philip Jenkins. The Dutch East Indies, later the nation of Indonesia, had been dominated by the Dutch since the 1600s.

When the Japanese invaded in 1941, they interned Dutch civilians and coerced European women into prostitution. They also targeted mixed-race Eurasians, the Indos. Far from ending with the defeat of Japan in 1945, the Dutch agony actually grew still worse as much of the country fell under the sway of radical nationalists. Besides a reasonably organized nationalist government and army, there were also legions of irregulars and youth militias, called the Pemuda. Meanwhile, other military forces were in play. The Dutch attempted to restore their rule, fighting a savage colonial war that lasted until 1949. Into this cauldron then came the dominant regional power, namely the British Empire, which wanted to supervise a peaceful transition from Japanese occupation.

From mid-1945, as Dutch and Indo civilians began to be released from the prison camps, they faced brutal persecution — massacres, rapes, torture, and mutilations at the hands of Pemuda groups. Militias organized under the dreaded slogan Siap! (Get ready!), which became a signal for slaughter regardless of the age or sex of the victims. This was explicitly a race war, directed against whites and Indos, as well as other groups the rebels regarded as supportive of Dutch authority—the Ambonese, native Christians, and also the Chinese. In the worst of the Bersiap pogroms, in late 1945, at least 30,000 people were murdered. Other Bersiap outbreaks would recur later in the decade, but 1945 was by far the bloodiest period. …

In November 1945, the British and their allies fought an apocalyptic battle against the rebels in the city of Surabaya. … Although the British conquered the city, they had no desire to restore Dutch colonial rule, which duly ended in 1949. Indonesia was born.

So how are these events remembered today? For Indonesians, the revolution of the 1940’s remains an heroic time, and the battle of Surabaya is especially treasured and idealized. Sutomo, the thoroughly evil terrorist leader, is a national hero. The Dutch government, meanwhile, has painful memories of its army’s role in the guerrilla war, and it has apologized for massacres undertaken against nationalist villages, paying compensation to survivors.

But what about the Bersiap, and its victims? For many years, they remained forgotten outside the families affected, and as the story was never told in the English-speaking world, it made no impact in film or fiction. Postcolonial guilt made the Dutch themselves fearful of being accused of racist and imperialist arrogance. How could anyone criticize the righteous anger of an oppressed colonial people rising in arms? Far better just to forget the whole affair.

Young Mother Who Converted to Islam Murdered in Hammer Attack After Going Back to Western Lifestyle

Young Mother Who Converted to Islam Murdered in Hammer Attack After Going Back to Western Lifestyle, by Virginia Hale.

A young mother who converted to Islam was brutally murdered by her husband, who barred her from seeing family and friends after she started wearing Western-style clothes again, a British court has heard.

Akshar Ali hit Sinead Wooding with a hammer and stabbed her repeatedly, before dumping in the woods and then torching the mother-of-four’s body, Prosecutor Nicholas Campbell QC told Leeds Crown Court.

Ms Wooding was in the process of converting to Islam and changed her name to Zakirah when she met Mr Ali, 27, who worked on a food stall at Leeds indoor market, according to the Times.

The pair were married at an Islamic ceremony in early 2015, but the jury heard their relationship was “volatile” and violent at times, with arguments over 26-year-old Wooding continued visits to family and friends her husband had “forbidden” her from seeing.

Mr Campbell said Ms Wooding had started wearing Western clothing days before she was killed on May 11 at a party held at the house of her husband’s friend Yasmin Ahmed, who along with Mr Ali, denies murder.

Islam is primarily a political ideology, from seventh century Arabia. It is not a religion like Christianity, Buddhism, Confucianism, etc. The penalty for leaving is death.

We must protect our wives and daughters from these barbarians.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Same-Sex Marriage in Australia: The snakes in the grass are laughing

Same-Sex Marriage in Australia: The snakes in the grass are laughing. By The Spectator Australia.

On the eve of the announcement of the Yes victory, the Prime Minister had already changed his tune, buying into the left-wing line that any religious or free speech protections are ‘discrimination’. In the new paradigm, as this magazine has repeatedly warned, homosexuality is now normal and and criticism or dissent from the homosexual agenda is viewed as discriminatory and wrong.

Which, in turn, means that should your school or a teacher decide to ‘educate’ your young child, or your teenager, about the joys and ways of homosexual couplings and ‘encourage’ them to ‘identify with’ such practices themselves, you as a parent or grand-parent will no longer have the legal right to object in any shape or form. Welcome to our brave new world.

This cowardly and deceptive line was confirmed by the Attorney-General, George Brandis, who told Sky News: ‘We are certainly not going to remove one form of discrimination and at the same time instate a new form of discrimination.’ Conservatives have been betrayed. The snakes in the grass are laughing.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Turnbull has Deserted Us

Turnbull has Deserted Us, by Janet Albrechtsen.

Here’s another shameful ­ad­mis­sion in the diary of a political orphan. At the recent local council elections in my electorate that fall within Malcolm Turnbull’s federal seat of Wentworth, I registered a donkey vote. First time ever. Last time? Maybe not.

The Turnbull government has deserted conservative voters like me. The Prime Minister rarely talks about fiscal repair, and when he mentions “Liberal values” there’s no meat on the bones of that phrase. Important areas such as welfare reform are of no interest to him. Turnbull had to be cajoled into ending subsidies for renewable energy. … By snubbing sound and sensible centre-right policies, Turnbull has snubbed the Liberal membership base, too. His perfunctory performances at fund­raisers and crabbiness when grassroots members want a selfie with him only compounds his disconnect from the party.

In 1996 centre-right voters, many of them working class, felt abandoned by Paul Keating’s big-picture embrace of symbolic agendas and moved to John Howard and the Liberal Party. Eleven years later, many voters who enjoyed the economic prosperity and cultural leadership of Howard grew complacent, decamping to Kevin Rudd and Labor because Rudd promised to be Howard-lite. Today there’s nowhere for political orphans to go except to the fringe or to the donkey. …

On Wednesday morning Turnbull gloated about a Yes vote in the same-sex marriage plebiscite, ­refusing to pay due respect to more than 4.8 million voters, who included Liberal members, who voted No and paid lip-service to freedom of belief.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Ned Ryun on Roy Moore: ‘I Strongly, Strongly Suspect Somebody out of the McConnell Camp Planted the Story’

Ned Ryun on Roy Moore: ‘I Strongly, Strongly Suspect Somebody out of the McConnell Camp Planted the Story’. By John Hayward. The truth is vital here — are the allegations of sexual impropriety 38 years ago true, or just cynical lies timed to win the Democrats a vital seat in the US Senate?

Bannon asked Ryun about celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred’s involvement in the Roy Moore case, representing a woman who accuses Moore of assaulting her in 1977 when she was 16 years old. …

“Remember the incident with Arnold Schwarzenegger?” Ryun asked. “She brought all these women in front of him, said they’re going to sue, they’re going to file suit against Schwarzenegger. Guess what? After the election, absolutely nothing happened.” …

Ryun cited an observation the late Christopher Hitchens made in 1992, that “polls these days are not made to truly understand public opinion, but they’re meant to shape public opinion; they’re used as a weapon now.” …

Ryun [accused] the D.C. “consultant class” of concealing a good deal of inappropriate behavior toward women.

Ryun said there was no doubt in his mind that the allegations against Moore were part of an “organized hit,” as Bannon put it.

“I’ve been in D.C. almost 20 years. And, again, I don’t have hard proof, and I will say this clearly: I do not have hard proof, but I strongly suspect it’s a very short list of people, all who are associated with Mitch McConnell – whether it’s Josh Holmes, whether it’s Karl Rove, might even be Steven Law – I don’t know, but I strongly, strongly suspect somebody out of the McConnell camp planted the story.”

A reader notes:

I think the fact that the signature in the yearbook (which is the only piece of evidence in multiple accusations) had the added “D A” tells me it is a fake. They forged that from the divorce papers that woman got in from of the judge. … The signature is forged and the ink will not be 40 years old. They were counting on the judge retiring from the race before that signature could be examined.

I am sure we will see delaying tactics to prevent that examination. …

Her stepson says she is a liar. She is getting paid under the table in cash no doubt.

hat-tip Charles

The Next Big Middle Eastern War Saudi Arabia vs. Iran.

The Next Big Middle Eastern War: Saudi Arabia vs. Iran. By Daniel Greenfield.

The real war is the one that the Saudis and the Iranians have been maneuvering toward for years. Those maneuvers included everything from Iran’s nuke deal, the fighting in Yemen, the Syrian Civil War, the Iraqi suppression of Kurdish independence, the rise of ISIS, and the Qatari embargo. …

The Saudis and the Iranians are both assembling their coalitions. …

Israel is loosely aligned with the Saudis. That may sound strange, but Israel’s biggest threats, from Iran’s nukes to Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists, can be traced back to Tehran. …

Obama aligned America with Iran and Qatar. The Arab Spring, Benghazi and the recent Iraqi attacks on the Kurds were all consequences of that disastrous policy. While Trump is hostile to Iran and Qatar, key foreign policy figures in his administration have been sending mixed signals on Iran’s nukes, the Qatari embargo and the Yemeni campaign. Some of this is due to the influence of Obama holdovers. …

Middle Eastern wars emerge from a combination of ancient tensions and modern policies. The tensions are the dynamite, but the modern policies light the fuse. The manifest destiny of Islam, its violent expansionism and throbbing xenophobia, are the dynamite. And the dynamite will always be there. …

Our foreign policy assumes that peace is the natural condition of mankind. But in the Islamic realms of the Middle East, conflict is the natural condition. And the more we try to reform the Middle East, the more explosive it becomes. Instead of managing the inevitable conflicts, we’ve tried to resolve them.

The instinct in Washington D.C. is to find a non-violent resolution. But that may not be realistic.

hat-tip Scott of the Pacific, Stephen Neil

Transport NSW to announce Ferry McFerryface as new Sydney ferry

Transport NSW to announce Ferry McFerryface as new Sydney ferry, by Maani Truu.

Over a year after the Name Your Ferry competition was launched, Transport NSW has announced the name of the final ferry in its new fleet: Ferry McFerryface. …

Ferry McFerryface was actually the second most popular choice, however, with the most votes going to Boaty McBoatface, the name of a British research vessel.

“Given Boaty was already taken by another vessel, we’ve gone with the next most popular name nominated by Sydneysiders,” said Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance, the ABC reported.

While the joke is a good one, it is wearing thin:

“It was funny when the Brits proposed Boaty McBoatface. It was still funny when the Swedes used Trainy McTrainface. Sadly the joke is wearing thin now though, and Ferry McFerryface just doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily,” one Facebook user wrote.

The deconstruction of humanity

The deconstruction of humanity, by Melanie Phillips.

The knee-jerk bullying, victim-group sectarianism and repudiation of reason itself over transgenderism defy belief. …

Intimidation by transgender activists, in the laughable cause of promoting greater tolerance and inclusivity, has suddenly become the new norm. Examples — such as the Christian maths teacher who was suspended for addressing as a girl a female pupil who identifies as a boy — are coming thick and fast. …

The really extraordinary aspect of all this is the way in which the establishment — Conservative government ministers, schools, universities, the Church of England — are meekly falling into line with the hallucinatory requirement, enforced by coercion, character assassination and social ostracism against anyone who dares resist, that we deny the fact that we belong to the sex into which we were born.

Postmodernism is triumphing over the Enlightenment. The truth has gone into hiding.

The reason for this existential collapse is that the relativist west has so heavily bought into the belief that reality is merely what we decide it to be. Ours has become a culture of radical subjectivity in which there is no such thing as objective truth. Everything is instead a matter of opinion and individual perception.

Feelings trump facts every time. No-one’s lifestyle is to be considered wrong or inferior to anyone else’s. No judgment is to be permitted, except for the judgment that judgmentalism is wrong. What is right for me is what is right. What I declare something to be is what it is. I feel, therefore I am.

Why? It allows cultural Marxists to remake society in their image./ They get to call the shots, and they get a better share of the goodies.

The ostensible aim of all this is to end discrimination, prejudice and social exclusion. This is untrue. The aim is unilaterally to change the entire basis of society from one governed by external moral rules and duties to one in which the only rule that has any authority is the duty to actualise our own inner potential and fulfil our own desires.

There is no belief in God now, there is only the current life and what you can get away with. We are returning to the might-is-right ethos of pre-Christian times:

People declared themselves answerable to no moral authority beyond themselves. Human beings would now make it all up as they went along. …

Sex, sex, sex:

Normative rules of sexual constraint, marriage, heterosexuality and so on were all dismissed as harmful social constructs. Now human biology is also being turned into a social construct so that it can be deconstructed and reconstructed at will. Humanity itself has to become fluid.

So we severed the link between sex and procreation through sperm donation, surrogacy, IVF and the rest of the bio-engineering box of tricks. We stripped sexual orientation of any fixed meaning so that people can move in and out of different proclivities – heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, asexual – at will. …

To manage this, we deliberately muddled sex and gender. That’s because sex is biology and biology is fixed, whereas gender is a social construct and therefore we can desconstruct and reconstruct it. And so sexual identity has to be denied altogether and transformed into gender. …

But sexual identity is human identity. We are not androgynous, nor do we reproduce by parthenogenesis. The human race is created by the fusion of male and female. Sexual difference is at the very core of what makes us human beings. Denying the role of complementarity and difference in the human race throws its ability to procreate and raise its offspring safely, and thus its very survival, into doubt.

Perverted vs. lecherous

Perverted vs. lecherous, by Lion of the Blogosphere.

Perverted: abnormal or unnatural sexual desire.

Mother Nature created our sex drive so we would reproduce. There’s nothing unnatural about a man whose sperm is still good being sexually attracted to a sexually mature 14-year-old girl (presumably old enough to have a healthy baby). …

Lecherous: unrestrained or excessive indulgence of sexual desire.

Yes, lecherous would be a good adjective for a man in his early 30s who constantly hits on teenage girls. Even though it’s natural to be attracted to teenage girls, trying to get with them violates social norms. …

The thing about girls under the age of 18 is that it’s really hard for men over a certain age who don’t work in a school to interact with them socially. That’s sort of intentional. Society doesn’t want older men and teenage girls to have any social contact with each other. The only way, I guess, before the internet, would be to cruise malls, a place where teenagers used to hang out without their parents. …

Today, older men can meet teenage girls on the internet. That’s where former Congressman Anthony Wiener met the 16-year-old girl to whom he emailed a photo of his penis. (Which is considered a major crime, even though there’s an abundance of easily viewed penis photos on the internet for any teenager who wants to see them. I feel bad for Wiener, who I met in person a few times and seemed like a decent guy for a Democratic politician.)

One more lecher in the Senate isn’t going to mean the end of democracy. On the other hand, one more Democrat in the Senate could open the floodgates of massive third-world immigration that would indeed end our nation as we know it. Had this news come out before the primary, I would certainly have endorsed Strange over Moore, but the liberal Washington Post made sure to release the story at a time when it would do maximum damage to Republican control of the Senate.

On unverifiable sexual allegations about political figures

On unverifiable sexual allegations about political figures, by Neo Neocon.

It has become extremely common for people running for election (or newly-appointed to a political post) to be accused at the eleventh hour of sexual offenses. … The time of the alleged offense is almost always many years ago, and sometime many many many years ago. The accusations vary from sexual jokes in the workplace to unwanted touching, mistresses, and sexual kinkiness, all the way to more serious crimes such as assault and rape. …

So by now the tactic is not only not unusual; we’ve actually grown accustomed to it …

Ordinarily there’s no evidence whatsoever except the accuser’s words. Usually the closest we come to getting evidence is the unsealed divorce record (which usually merely contains the allegations of the accuser) or a settlement by a business (which is not an admission of guilt or even of a good case). But it’s not at all unusual to have no evidence at all, except that of proximity and opportunity (and sometimes not even that). …

The accuser is generally someone we’ve never heard of before. How can people decide if that person can be trusted to tell the truth? … In a trial we can actually see the witness … and evaluate his or her demeanor for ourselves. … But there’s nothing like that sort of protection for the accused in the current flurry of accusations. People are free to say what they want about a public figure because it is almost impossible for that figure to win a defamation suit.

The MSM prints the stories it wants to print — which often means accusations against Republican candidates, because those stories serve the political leanings of the MSM. The accusers say what they want to say, and although they may be subject to questioning or ridicule or scathing blog posts, they will never be subject to cross-examination because one of the hallmarks of such accusations is that charges are almost never filed against the accused, because the cases are so weak legally.  …

At least, if you’re a Republican. Bill Clinton had to be “caught” with the DNA evidence on the famous blue dress before the media was willing to concede that there had been some sexual acts between Clinton and the youngish (but not teenaged) Lewinsky. And it was up to the National Enquirer to out John Edwards for his affair; the MSM wouldn’t touch the story.

Not only is the MSM far more eager to spread the word about supposedly erring Republicans, but it is aided in this endeavor by the fact that the public judges Republicans more harshly in the sexual sphere. “They’re hypocrites!” is the refrain, if suspect behavior is alleged. Unlike Democrats, Republicans often profess to care a great deal about things such as fidelity.