On Saturday night, President Donald Trump opted to speak at a campaign-style rally in Michigan instead of addressing the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. The crowd proved so enthusiastic, they would have given the president the Nobel Peace Prize.
Speaking of China’s President Xi Jinping, the president said, “He’s been a great help on the border with North Korea and a lot of good things are happening there.”
Moments later, one loud voice started chanting, “Nobel! Nobel!” Flattered, President Trump chuckled with understanding, saying “Nobel” and walking away from the podium.
The crowd took up the chant, “Nobel! Nobel! Nobel!” for ten seconds as the leader of the free world stood speechless before the podium. He looked like he was on top of the world.
“That’s very nice, thank you. That’s very nice,” the president said, truly meaning his words. “Nobel,” he said, with a massive grin on his face.
Obama was awarded a Nobel Peace Price on his first 11 days in office — the nomination period closed then. But as everyone knows, he was awarded it for being left-wing and black — just virtue signalling and self-congratulations by the Norwegian Prize committee. Donald Trump could walk on water and their only comment would be to complain that he cannot swim.
The first scholars to develop this king of all Left-triggering ideas were Canadian anthropologist Peter Frost and the late University of Utah anthropologist Henry Harpending. …
When Europe became Christian, the death penalty was abolished. Right up until the beginning of the Middle Ages, people were left to settle their own disputes by fighting each other or demanding, from the state, that the murderer pay a fine for killing their relative. But, as Frost and Harpending put it, the Church gradually came to accept that, the “wicked” should be executed “so that the good can live in peace.”
With biblical justification, more and more crimes became subject to the death penalty. By the High Middle Ages, every single felony (any crime serious enough to have traditionally warranted the confiscation of property) was met with the hangman’s noose.
Those sent to the gallows were almost always high-testosterone young men prone to violent crime. In fact, Frost and Harpending calculated that one percent of the male population were executed every generation throughout the Middle Ages. And another one percent were killed at the scene of the crime or died in fetid prisons awaiting trial or execution. So two percent of young men were eliminated every generation.
And because they tended to be young, this process meant that they had fewer children than if they hadn’t been executed. Thus, they would have passed on fewer of their genes.
It’s here that Frost and Harpending perceptively draw their conclusion. Capital punishment must have changed the nature of European personality — by, in effect, culling out the psychopaths.
Criminality is strongly predicted by three key traits associated with psychopathology:
Low mental stability.
These traits are at least 50 percent genetic.
The murder rate collapsed between the 14th and 20th centuries and they statistically proved that part of the reason for this was the continual killing of the most impulsive and disagreeable young males every generation. The pool of violent men essentially dried up.
Those who were executed were overwhelmingly poor, with poverty associated with poor impulse control and low altruism. They had to be extremely poor because, in England at least, if you could read, then you could avoid execution by claiming “benefit of the clergy.”
With modern progressive immigration policies, the West now imports people from societies that haven’t had the same genetic experience –and have a much higher rate of criminality. The left of course deny it all.
But wait, it gets even more non-PC:
[Anthropologist Edward Dutton and Swedish psychologist Guy Madison] use the same statistical methods as Frost and Harpending to show that widespread execution was partly behind English people becoming more religious between the Medieval Era and the 16th century.
They argue that the English definitely became more religious, as evidenced by higher and higher percentages becoming monks and nuns, while heresy and witchcraft, deviations from accepted practice, grew increasingly unacceptable. And they estimate that religiousness is about 40 percent genetic, based on twin studies, and is predicted by exactly the same characteristics that predict not being a criminal: high altruism, high impulse control, and high mental stability. …
Precisely because Europeans were so intensely Christian, they didn’t adopt contraception, something which all previous civilizations had done when they got to about the stage the West reached in the early 18th century. Once contraception was adopted, it was taken up by cleverer and more educated people and used more efficiently by them, due to their higher IQ and better foresight. …
Meisenberg shows this is exactly what happened in Greece and Rome. But because of this religious rejection of contraception, it didn’t happen in the modern West until much later in our development. This meant that we could get to the Industrial Revolution before the positive correlation between IQ and number of surviving children, which you see in all primitive societies, went into reverse due to contraception.
So, in a roundabout way, widespread execution made us more religious. And, paradoxically, if that hadn’t happened, … IQ would have declined, and we would have returned to the Dark Ages, just like the Romans and Greeks and Muslims did before us.
The Labor Party’s new policy platform provides an opportunity to test the idea that parties of the left are increasingly mouthpieces for the concerns and pieties of the educated elite.
A striking analysis by economist Thomas Piketty has shown how the main left-of-centre parties in Britain, the US and France have steadily transformed from being parties of workers to being parties of high education since the 1950s.
He didn’t include Australia but Labor’s new 211-page document slated for discussion at Labor’s national conference — “a clear statement of Labor’s beliefs, values and program for government” — helps provide the answer here.
Mentions of “intersex” — that’s the “I” in LGBTIQ, in case you didn’t know — occur 63 times, ahead of those more esoteric concerns such as “wealth” (61 times) and “inequality” (47). Whatever intersex means — or is — it’s also far more important than “ownership” (12 mentions), “production” (18) and “distribution” (10).
That “bisexual” out-mentions “poverty”, 31 to 23, says it all. Ben Chifley and Bill McKell, Labor leaders who once championed the dignity and incomes of ordinary men and women, whatever their bedroom proclivities, must be turning in their graves. The light on the hill is now more like a strobe disco ball in a gay nightclub.
The 15 mentions of “LGBTIQ” and a further 21 of “LGBTI” — together roughly on par with “homelessness” (41) — perhaps reflects the ascendant intersex faction’s Bolshevik-style crushing of the formerly dominant queers, whose more mainstream views are going out of style.
But I digress. Why is the oldest political party in Australia so obsessed with this marginal, elitist rubbish? Why does it care about bisexuality anyway, when, as Woody Allen said, it immediately doubles your chance of a date on Saturday night.
At least upper-class women are still front of mind, given Labor’s promise to “promote diversity in corporate Australia, including a quota of 50 per cent on government boards”. Thank God for champions of change like AMP’s Catherine Brenner. …
What’s not important to New Labor:
In the section on banking you may have expected something with economic teeth. Labor clamoured for this royal commission after all. Breaking the banks apart perhaps, or changing the law to make limited liability contingent on higher taxes on top bankers? Nothing. What about how the financial sector siphons billions in fees each year from ordinary people — not all of them alive — arguably the biggest public policy issue in Australia today? Not a peep. …
What is important:
Labor will “establish a Commissioner for Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status issues, to work across government and the private sector”. Just what we need, someone else on $339,460 a year to tweet and foment grievance. …
The current left and right parties, handing out the sinecures:
Whatever their rhetoric, Piketty suggests so-called left and right-wing parties have ditched their respective advocacy for redistribution on the one hand or genuine free markets. “The ‘left’ has become the party of the intellectual elite or the Brahmin left, while the ‘right’ can be viewed as the party of the business elite, or the ‘Merchant right’,” he says.
Super is a boon for the finance industry and a tax shelter for the well-off, but a dud for everyone else:
Far from just neglecting the poor, Labor’s determination to ratchet up the rate of compulsory superannuation to 12 per cent positively hurts them. “Raising the super guarantee doesn’t just reduce workers’ take-home pay, it also hits the federal budget. It is a myth that superannuation reduces government spending on retirement,” concludes the Grattan Institute in a paper out today.
Ok, this is from a US context, but it graphically illustrates how “progressivism” has changed”:
London is close to unrecognizable from the city I knew as a teen. Its skyline has a touch of Dubai to it, the wealth is tangible, even obscene, the prices absurd, the energy young and incredibly diverse.
“It’s not our capital any more, is it?” my brother asks, as if seeking confirmation from me. I can see what he means, by virtue of not being there continuously as change accumulated and transformed. In a little less than a week in London, I have yet to buy anything from someone English. Everywhere I hear foreign accents or one of the more than 300 languages London now incorporates. Thirty-seven percent of the capital’s population is foreign-born — the same as New York City — and that share is predicted to be 50 percent by 2031. But New York has always been a thriving immigrant city; newcomers have always defined the place, and it’s just one of several vast metropoles in America. But London is the overwhelmingly dominant city in the U.K., and has never previously been a city of immigrants in the English psyche. London, in fact, is synonymous with the essence of England, and has been a national center since the Roman era. The counties surrounding it are called the Home Counties, because London has always been home. …
Last week’s PRRI/Atlantic study of the key voters who brought us Trump brings this out with stunning and, for me, decisive clarity:
Sixty-eight percent of white working-class voters said the American way of life needs to be protected from foreign influence. And nearly half agreed with the statement, ‘things have changed so much that I often feel like a stranger in my own country.’ …
What few on the left seem to see is that cultural anxiety, given the ethnic and cultural transformation of the last few decades, is an entirely predictable and entirely understandable response. If people felt that someone in charge actually saw their point of view, sympathized with it, and attempted even minor changes to accommodate it, we would have a different politics. But all they had was Trump. And all they still have is Trump. …
[Britain] has long accepted immigrants, but until the 1950s, net immigration was a rounding error. Since then, it has exploded. In the last 20 years, it has reached American levels. …
It wasn’t their economic insecurity that gave us Brexit. It was that no one in charge even sensed their unease. Elites — and I count myself among the guilty — gave them nothing by way of reassurance or even a sense that they were understood instead of reviled. …
Home is indeed where one starts from. Change it too rapidly and it will disintegrate. We have been fools on mass immigration, we have been fools for preventing an honest debate about the benefits and drawbacks of diversity, and we have been contemptible in our contempt for so many of our fellow citizens. Both countries are now paying a terrible, terrible price.
The book starts by talking about how Americans’ blindness to tribalism as a social and anthropological fact has been disastrous for us overseas. She quotes President Woodrow Wilson saying that “America does not consist of groups” — a statement that was bonkers on its face in a time of legal segregation, among other things. But that was the myth that Wilson wanted us to believe, and that many white Americans wanted to believe. …
That was the American ideal, though not the American reality. Chua doesn’t use that to slam America as hypocritical, though. She says that this sentiment represents America “at both its best and its worst.” That is, America aspires to be a nation where loyalty to ideals and principles trumps group loyalty — that is America at its best — but is also a nation where the better angels of our nature are so comely that cause us to overlook our demons. …
Chua talks extensively about how our very American reluctance to recognize tribalism has caused us to make catastrophic foreign policy mistakes. And not only our reluctance to recognize tribalism, but also the remarkable success we have had as a nation in restraining tribalism. Though far from perfect, we really are exceptional among the nations of the world in this achievement. The problem is, we think of it as universal, or at least universalizable.
Our ideological blindness caused us to fail to understand that the Vietnam war was not about communism, but about nationalism — and that Vietnamese nationalism also included anti-Chinese hatred. Did you know that the Chinese dominated Vietnam for almost a thousand years? I didn’t. Did you know that ethnic Chinese within Vietnam, though a minority, controlled most of the economy, even into the modern era? I certainly did not. Chua says that the US government totally missed the ethno-nationalist core of the Vietnamese nationalist struggle, preferring to understand it in Cold War ideological terms. …
When you have an ethnic minority dominating a nation’s market, you have the potential for vicious conflict. In a fascinating chapter on the fate of Venezuela, Chua discusses how that country’s light-skinned elites controlled an extremely disproportionate amount of its economic resources. Hugo Chavez — dark-skinned, kinky-haired — capitalized on this to come to power. We all know what a disaster Chavismo has made of Venezuela’s economy, but it’s very important to understand that Chavez didn’t come from nowhere. Massive inequality in Venezuela — an inequality that broke down among racial and ethnic lines — laid the groundwork for his despotic rule. …
Chavez, by the way, was popularly elected, then twice re-elected. …
Chua points out that we fetishize democracy so much in the West that we miss how democracy can exacerbate tribalism. This is what happened in Iraq, a Shia-majority country that had been ruled by police-state terror by Saddam Hussein, a member of the Sunni minority. When democracy came, naturally the Shia voted for Shia. Once in power, the Shia ruled as tribalists, securing power and privilege for themselves, and pushing the Sunni to the side. Hence, ISIS. Chua cautions that democracy is not to blame for ISIS, strictly speaking, but imposing democracy on a country saturated by religious tribalism was bound to unleash forces that produced ISIS. …
The conflict is not best understood as a religious one, but rather as a tribal struggle. The fact that the Taliban are fanatical Muslims obscures to our eyes the more important fact that they are Pashtuns, the tribe that has historically dominated Afghanistan, fighting against Tajiks and other Afghani peoples. …
The beneficiaries refuse to see:
Chua says that she wrote a piece for the New York Times in 2003, talking about how 80 percent of Venezuelans — dark-skinned men and women like Hugo Chavez — are economic outsiders in a nation in which 20 percent of light-skinned Venezuelans control most of the economy. She was not prepared for “the deluge of vicious hate mails” from white Venezuelans, who told her that racism did not exist in Venezuela, and that there were no racial barriers to black and brown progress there. …
We do the same thing. Try to convince liberals of any race that poor and working class whites who voted for Trump, and who feel marginalized, have a point. They will raise hell. Try to point out instances of anti-white discrimination, or anti-Christian discrimination, and they will either deny it or, if they admit that it happens, will say that these whites and/or Christians deserve it anyway. …
She talks about the economic and cultural clash between white coastal elites and whites in the heartland. Get this:
Tribalism in America propelled Donald Trump to the White House. If we want to understand this tribalism, we have to acknowledge the impact of inequality and the wedge it has driven between America’s whites. “Coastal elites” have become a kind of market-dominant minority from the point of view of America’s heartland, and, as we’ve seen all over the developing world, market-dominant minorities invariably end up producing democratic backlash. …
Where the US leads, the West is going:
Chua says that in America today, every group thinks they are discriminated against, and are on the defensive. Depending on which community you’re talking about, you can find evidence for it. For example:
It is simply a fact that the “diversity” policies at the most selective American universities and in some sectors of the economy have had a disparate adverse impact on whites. …
Chua brings this up in her chapter on democracy and political tribalism in America to say that whites aren’t making this stuff up. But she also goes on to point out how American blacks aren’t making it up either when they point to certain facts about their own disadvantageous position. Nor are women. Nor are … you get the point. …
We are at such a dangerous time in the US because no political tribe can dominate. An irony of white domination is that whites not only had the power to impose their will on minorities, they also had the security to loosen up, to be more inclusive and universalist.
Once a society goes tribal, it’s hard to turn back.
The reality, as measured by the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study and the Program for International Student Assessment tests, is that standards have either flat-lined or gone backwards.
The reasons why Australian students underperform has little, if anything, to do with funding. Compared to other OECD countries Australia’s expenditure on education as a percentage of gross domestic product is above average.
But compared to stronger performing education systems, Australian classrooms have been forced to adopt a dumbed down, overcrowded curriculum that lacks academic rigour. …
In relation to history, for example, the curriculum is awash with references to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and spiritual values with minimum reference to the benefits and value of Western civilisation and the importance of the Enlightenment and Judeo-Christianity.
In relation to classroom practice, our curriculum also fails to embody best practice. Research carried out by the OECD concludes that the prevailing orthodoxy in Australian schools in based on constructivism.
Constructivism is defined as a situation where “the classroom is no longer a place where the teacher (‘expert’) pours knowledge into passive students, who wait like empty vessels to be filled. In the constructivist model the students are urged to be actively involved in their own process of learning.” …
As concluded by the UK report The Secret of Successful Schools,the philosophy of teacher-directed learning is one of no excuses, where expectations are high, there is strong discipline and a traditional curriculum based on “teacher-led, whole class teaching”. …
Another reason Australian students underperform is because our education system is highly centralised, bureaucratic and inflexible.
In a wide-ranging interview with The Australian, the former prime minister also backed nuclear power, warned against the growing dominance of apparatchiks in the political system and cautiously endorsed US President Donald Trump — “if you look through the tweeting and some of the apparent tantrums”.
John Howard, 2014
“I can’t for the life of me see why we can’t have a sensible debate about the level of immigration,’’ he said. “I’d like to hear the debate. I really would. One of the problems with political discourse at moment is we’re losing power to discuss something.” …
“No country will accept what it apprehends to be unlimited immigration. That’s the lesson out of Europe,” Mr Howard said.
Should progressivism serve the masses or the elites? Today, the elites are enjoying the lion’s share of progressive gains …
[Scott] Wiener’s bill was aimed at addressing a crisis in his city: the lack of affordable housing. Today, the median home price in San Francisco is $1.6 million, about eight times the national median. The principle cause … is the mismatch between the demand for housing and the supply of housing. That is, the surging digital economy has supercharged demand, while tightening limits on construction have enervated supply. …
In fact, most potential buyers are pushed out of the market. In the Bay Area, workers are frequently pushed out beyond the suburbs, beyond the exurbs — all the way to other cities. And so commutes of two hours or more are common. …
Wiener’s bill would have addressed this problem by partially overriding local zoning restrictions on housing density, specifically on height limits, in areas served by mass transit. It’s hard to think of a bill more friendly to the masses than that. Yet Wiener ran into a wall of liberal Democratic opposition …
Why the fierce opposition? Perhaps it’s because the dominant progressive voices in California are, in fact, regressive. That is, they prefer to protect the privileges of the landed — who benefit, of course, from high land prices — as opposed to the aspirations of the landless. …
Modern political niceties prevent the lords and ladies of today from pronouncing that they wish the rabble to be gone. And so the exclusionist argument is laundered through the green vernacular of “sustainability.” It’s by this linguistic transmutation that the selfish NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) activist is elevated into a high-minded eco-hero. …
The impact of gentry liberalism is visible in a national “heat map” of real estate prices. Indeed, the pricing of coastal California — from the Bay Area to the Mexican border, and fairly far inland, too — is so hot that it’s out of reach for the proles. In Los Angeles, for instance, the typical home costs $553,000; only one in four Angelenos can afford to buy there.
In other words, the bulk of California’s 39.5 million people are finding themselves squeezed out of normal home ownership. Thus the plutocrats get their oceanfront views, while their maids and gardeners are forced to live far inland, 40 or 50 miles away. Moreover, an increasing number of California’s gainfully employed are forced to live in their cars. In fact, thanks to gentry liberalism, when adjusted for the cost of living, California has the highest poverty rate in the nation. …
Then along came Scott Wiener to threaten this gentried-up arrangement. His argument could be stated simply: my constituents need affordable housing, so let’s change the law to allow the building of it. Wiener was making, in its essence, a class-based argument — the teeming masses, too, deserve a piece of the pie. …
History tells us that the masses, when mobilized, have a fair shot at prevailing in their class struggles—including, these days, the fight over housing. …
In the early 19th century, the poet Shelley did the math for rising British proletarians: “Ye are many— they are few.” And in the century to follow, Britain was reformed — and transformed.
San Francisco is an extreme, but there are many similar cases in the West today.
Hundreds of people from a Central American migrant caravan rallied on Sunday at the U.S.-Mexico border, many preparing to report to U.S. authorities later in the day to make asylum claims that may land them in detention centers.
The month-long caravan that at one point gathered 1,500 immigrants from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador drew the wrath of President Donald Trump during its journey through Mexico. …
The remaining 400 or so members of the caravan now face hard choices, whether to cross illegally into the United States, ask for asylum at the border or try to remain in Mexico.
“I feel a little cold. I feel anxious,” said Jaime Alexander from El Salvador in the morning, shaking slightly on his way to the Tijuana, Mexico side of the border fence on a Pacific Ocean beach.
Some young men clambered up and straddled the fence, legs dangling into California. The migrants were cheered on the San Diego side by U.S. immigration activists.
Footage TODAY of Central Americans from the Caravan reaching the San Diego border "wall". The migrants are climbing the fence and cheering "Gracias, México!"
Our planet has just experienced the most extreme two-year cooling event in a century. But where have you seen this reported anywhere in the mainstream media?
Here is the simple truth, from the satellites that have observed almost the whole world since 1978:
From the beginning of 2016 to now is one of the biggest drops in global temperature ever recorded by instruments, over 0.6 degrees Celsius. To put that in context, the entire modern global warming which extends back to maybe 1900, is thought to be about 0.8 to 1.0 degrees. The claim in the Delingpole article is for a drop over a two year period, which rules out some of the deeper but sharper drops where there was a warming rebound immediately afterwards.
In the news? Crickets.
Did anyone predict this? Yes, sort of. A couple of people said there would be a cooling from about 2017, including me. I believe my prediction was the most credible, by virtue of having the best reasoning behind it.
I used a spectral method from engineering that no one seems to have thought of applying to climate before, but is the obvious and correct way to search for a link between solar activity and temperatures here on Earth. That method showed a most unexpected feature, a notch in the spectrum at 11 years — which is the average length of a sunspot cycle. No one knew that until I found it.
The implication of the notch is that temperatures on Earth follow the sunspot activity after a delay of about one sunspot cycle. Sunspot cycles vary between 9 and 13 years, and the current one is long, at 13 years. There was a relatively major downturn in solar activity starting around 2004:
Add 13 years to 2004, and you get 2017 as the start of the corresponding fall in surface temperature here on Earth. The graph above is one I published on Joanne’s blog in 2014, where the downturn starting around 2017 was predicted.
The world of climate is dominated by mainstream climate scientists who are fairly certain carbon dioxide is the cause of warming. Even among people who are skeptical of the carbon dioxide theory, the field is crowded, and most people have little technical knowledge but are mostly in it for the politics. So it is difficult to stand out and be noticed, even when you have something novel and correct to say.
The notch delay theory made the predictions of a downturn in 2017 first in 2014, and then again in 2016. See here, here, and here.
Global temperatures will come off the current plateau into a sustained and significant cooling, beginning 2017 or maybe as late as 2021. The cooling will be about 0.3 °C in the 2020s, taking the planet back to the global temperature that prevailed in the 1980s. This was signaled (though not caused) by a fall in underlying solar radiation starting in 2004, one of the three largest falls since 1610 when records started. There is a delay of one sunspot cycle, currently 13 years (2004+13 = 2017).
By the way, it was not increasing carbon dioxide that caused most of the recent global warming. There is a mistake in all the climate models, dating back several decades and due to a poor assumption. It is this error that makes carbon dioxide appear to be a potent warming agent, but the climate models overestimate its warming effect by a factor of five to ten. The whole global warming “crisis” is really about that one subtle error. Book coming soon.
If the notch-delay solar theory is correct, the temperatures will now trend downward for the next decade. If there is no downtrend starting around 2017 – 2020, then it is wrong.
By the way, no government funds Joanne and me — we get funding only from individual private donations. If you think this work is important and want it to continue, please consider donating to us here.
Back to Delingpole:
Meanwhile a study by Judith Curry and Nic Lewis – also largely unreported by the mainstream media – confirms what skeptics have been saying for years: that the computer models used by the alarmist establishment to predict global warming are running too hot.
According to Investors Business Daily:
In the study, authors Nic Lewis and Judith Curry looked at actual temperature records and compared them with climate change computer models. What they found is that the planet has shown itself to be far less sensitive to increases in CO2 than the climate models say. As a result, they say, the planet will warm less than the models predict, even if we continue pumping CO2 into the atmosphere.
As Lewis explains: “Our results imply that, for any future emissions scenario, future warming is likely to be substantially lower than the central computer model-simulated level projected by the (United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), and highly unlikely to exceed that level.
Russian officials brought fifteen people to The Hague from the city of Douma, Syria, said to have been present during the alleged April 7 chemical attack – including 11-year-old Hassan Diab, who was seen in a widely-distributed video taken by the controversian NGO organization known as the “White Helmets,” who filmed themselves giving Diab “emergency treatment” after the alleged incident.
“We were at the basement and we heard people shouting that we needed to go to a hospital. We went through a tunnel. At the hospital they started pouring cold water on me,” said Diab, who was featured in the video which Russia’s ambassador to the Netherlands says was staged.
The boy and his family have spoken to various media outlets, who say there was no attack. …
Emergency paramedic Ahmad Saur who is with the Syrian Red Crescent, said that his hospital ward did not receive any patients exposed to chemical weapons the day of the alleged incident, and that all the patients either needed general medical care or help with injuries. ..
Meanwhile, the West — unhappy with this unexpected diversion to its narrative — has called the Russian press conference a “stunt” — with Britain and France both denouncing it as an “obscene masquerade.”
Hmmm. Who is telling the truth here? After the lead up to the Iraq war in 2003, it’s not so easy to assume our guys are correct.
North Korean state media were silent Saturday, a day after the leaders of the two Koreas met and vowed to remove nuclear weapons from the peninsula and work toward a formal end to the Korean War. Despite the bold declaration, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in failed to provide any new measures on a nuclear standoff that has captivated and terrified millions.
North Korea’s media have not publicly mentioned the summit since reporting early Friday that Kim had left the capital Pyongyang to meet with Moon. It’s possible the North is spending extra time so that its propaganda experts can give the summit a major news treatment on television and in newspapers later Saturday.
If the substance on nuclear matters was light, the images Friday at the border village of Panmunjom were striking: Kim and Moon set aside a year that saw them seemingly on the verge of war, grasped hands and strode together across the cracked concrete slab that marks the Koreas’ border.
The sight, inconceivable just months ago, allowed the leaders to step forward toward the possibility of a cooperative future even as they acknowledged a fraught past and the widespread skepticism that, after decades of failed diplomacy, things will be any different this time.
On the nuclear issue, the leaders merely repeated a previous vow to rid their peninsula of nuclear weapons, saying they will achieve a “nuclear-free Korean Peninsula through complete denuclearization.” This kicks one of the world’s most pressing issues down the road to a much-anticipated summit between Kim and President Donald Trump in coming weeks.
President Donald Trump on Friday placed himself at the center of the remarkable summit between the leaders of North and South Korea, taking credit for bold and innovative diplomacy that may open a path to peace where other leaders failed.
“It’s certainly something that I hope I can do for the world,” Trump said. “This is beyond the United States. This is a world problem, and it’s something that I hope I’m able to do for the world.”
The dramatic turn of events on the Korean Peninsula was the capstone to a week that crystallized the ways Trump has established his foreign policy approach as one that rests largely on the pride he takes in busting the old conventions of diplomatic negotiations and remaking them in his image. …
“We get a kick every once in a while out of the fact that I’ll be watching people that failed so badly over the last 25 years explaining to me how to make a deal with North Korea,” Trump cracked during a White House news conference Friday with Merkel. ” I get a big, big kick out of that.” …
“The United States in the past was played like a fiddle,” by North Korea, because Pyongyang could take advantage of a “different kind of leader,” Trump said Friday. “That’s not happening to us.” …
Trump claims he has forced the issue through his tough stance on North Korea during his first year in office, and vowed that he will be a sharper negotiator than any of his predecessors.
Trump also credits the personal bond he forged with Chinese President Xi Jinping for fostering the rapid turnabout with North Korea, China’s Communist ally and economic lifeline.
“Everyone’s surprised at how tight he clamped down,” on North Korea, Trump said. “Everyone said that he’d just talk about it, he wouldn’t do it. Well, he did it, and he did it out of a relationship that we have.” …
Well, nothing like this Korean summit happened under Obama, Bush, or Clinton.
Trump threatened North Korea with war. While it scared the globalists, it also scared the North Koreans — no one was sure if Trump would go to war.
Trump managed to get the Chinese to crack down hard on North Korea, imposing real sanctions, something no one else had done. Only Trump could credibly threaten China with trade sanctions, because he campaigned against free trade and against China taking advantage of the US.
So Trump is succeeding where the liberal elites in the swamp failed for decades. Nothing like this would have happened under Hillary.
Clinton hates everyone. You can’t relate to people you despise….
As a college sophomore, Clinton once described herself as a “misanthrope.” Her inability to hide that made her an amazingly poor candidate, one who would have had difficulty capturing a seat on any city council on her own. Dealing with the populace standing between her and power was never anything but a chore. …
Her inability to master the basics of being a politician inspired one of the great underreported witticisms of the 2016 campaign, when Donald Trump was asked about his comparatively loose debate preparations. “I don’t need to rehearse being human,” he said. …
Clinton “suffered from a chronic inability to crack a simple joke,” Chozick writes. Even at special off-the-record drinks events specifically designed by her staff to allow Clinton to let her guard down and banter with reporters the way Barack Obama did, Clinton excoriates the journos for having big egos and little brains. On one such fence-mending effort in New Hampshire, Chozick writes, “She exuded a particularly icy aloofness and a how-long-do-I-have-to-talk-to-you-a**holes demeanor that made me feel as if I’d never been born.” Reporters felt so abused by the Big She during the 2008 campaign that when Clinton made an 88-second visit to the press bus proffering bagels and coffee, there were no takers. This is a bit like throwing raw filet mignon into a tank full of piranhas and watching it descend slowly to the bottom untouched.
Imagine someone telling the 1988 version of you that Bill Cosby is a rapist, Donald Trump will be president, and Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, and Prince will all be dead from drugs before they turn 60.
Today’s conviction of Cosby may be the greatest fall from grace in the history of American celebrity. Those who did not experience Cosby’s cultural domination through his stand-up career, I Spy, cartoon animation, and finally as the reassuring wise and loving patriarch of the Huxtables might not understand.
Cosby was king of American television the way Michael Jackson was king of pop. He was number one year after year in the ratings, pulling nightly numbers that today only the Super Bowl can top.
Cliff Huxtable a rapist?
Impossible. But today a jury found it happened, beyond a reasonable doubt. What a tragic mess. What a fall.
The brighter side?
Someone who was perhaps the most beloved and trusted celebrity of his time was held accountable by the law. That means something, especially these days.
A leaked report has stated what many in the health industry have whispered privately; there is a lot less money in curing people than in long-term management of disease.
The issue is brought into focus by the possibility of a gene therapy that could soon cure a large variety of genetic conditions by changing individual units of DNA. …
Richter points to the sofosbuvir treatment of hepatitis C marketed by Gilead Sciences. In 2015 this brought the company $12.5 billion, mostly in the United States, as people suffering liver damage from the virus rushed to take up the new drug. However, the therapy cures most patients so thoroughly they’re finished treatment within 12 weeks. Better still from a social perspective, but worse for profits, once treated people no longer transmit the virus, preventing new infections. This year Richter expects American sales to fall to less than $4 billion.
In recent weeks many people across the globe have been moved and outraged by the story of little Alfie Evans, whose life hung in the balance in a British hospital and whose fate was taken from the hands of his parents by the National Health Service (NHS) and the courts.
As of the time of this publication, Alfie was forcibly removed from his breathing devices but continues to breathe on his own. The NHS and the courts would not even allow Alfie to go home with his parents, and when the nation of Italy offered to fly him to a Rome hospital for experimental treatment (at their own expense) the courts told Alfie’s parents they would not be allowed to leave the country.
Even after Alfie surprised doctors with his will to live he was denied water for nearly six hours. He continued to be denied nourishment. With the denial of his exit from England altogether it was clear that the British courts and the NHS had no intention of letting Alfie live.
But why? …
The NHS simply cannot afford the extremely expensive prospect of keeping alive a little boy who most likely will not live much longer due to an incurable condition. … It’s cruel, but logical…the inevitable result of a single-payer system. …
What is not logical and nearly incomprehensible is the decision of the court not simply to deny Alfie further treatment, but then deny his right and the right of his parents to leave the country to seek treatment elsewhere. …
Worse, it’s like East Germany and the Berlin Wall:
Some years ago I watched a documentary on the design and building of the Berlin Wall between East Germany and West Germany. … In one clip, an aging (former) East German Wall architect spoke briskly about the strategy of his designs. …
With great sincerity – almost pleading with the interviewer – he said, “We had to build the wall. Too many people were leaving for the West and you need people to make socialism work. We had to build the wall to keep them in so they could see how great socialism was, so they could see that it works.” …
The point is – this man and his comrades felt that the only way to sell people on their socialist vision was to force them to live in it. Those leaving were just too stupid to understand that it was the best thing for them.
This is exactly the point in the ruling by the NHS and the courts to forbid their free citizens from leaving the country. If they are allowed to flee the heart-wrenching consequences of socialism, then others will want to do the same. How can a socialist system work without the cooperation of everyone? And how can you force people to participate in that socialist system when they discover that system may kill them or their loved ones?
You build a wall.
Great Britain doesn’t yet have a wall to keep its citizens in, but the courts have built one with the law. …
For some bizarre reason, a nation that boasts figures like Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher, a tiny island nation that was once so powerful and broad it was said that the sun never set on the British empire…for some inexplicable reason that nation has chosen to hang its pride and joy on socialized medicine. …
To release this child to the care of any other nation would be to admit failure, and heartless bureaucrats who will never have to watch young Alfie struggle for air or dehydrate to death have decided that their misplaced pride is more valuable than the lives of their citizens.
Reader Stephen comments:
A heart-wrenching story that exposes the black heart at the centre of socialism. Always and everywhere, everything the left touches turns to custard; and here is a particularly despicable example of left-wing ideology trampling over people.
The left, you know, those caring types who feel everyone’s pain and are the champions of the oppressed have not one jot of compassion for poor, defenceless Alfie. They just want him dead. And quickly. It’s sick.
Where are PETA and the greens who bleed buckets for every
defenceless whale and dolphin and sheep? Not a peep from those misanthropes. Perhaps if we discovered that little Alfie were transgender or a member of a certain unnamable religion, the left would would swing swiftly into action to save him.
Stephen Colbert’s Wednesday night attack on Kanye West’s sanity, followed by the late-night host’s demand that the rap superstar stop praising Trump, might have been wrapped in humor, but these tactics are as old as the Democrat Party itself. …
Sure, Colbert couches his venom in yuk-yuks, but the warning is clear. …
Because Kanye offered support to the sitting president of the United States who is not a Democrat, who is not approved by the establishment, Colbert used the power of his national television show, and the untold millions of corporate dollars that fund it, to smear Kanye as crazy (“lost his mind”) and to demand he shut up and stay in his place (“put the phone down,” unless you are going to tweet about ping pong).
Colbert is not just sending a message to Kanye, not just punishing the rap superstar with personal attacks, Colbert’s rhetorical whipping is a public one meant to send a message to other blacks to stay in their place.
Please note that Colbert is not responding to Kanye man-to-man, Colbert is not making an intellectual argument. Rather, Colbert’s response is to angrily lash out with ad hominem name-calling and an order to “shut up,” or else…
In other words, Colbert is not treating Kanye as a man, as an equal, but as a servant required to think, believe, vote, speak, and express himself in only the approved ways.
Kanye’s cultural power is enormous and what we are witnessing in real time is the Democrat Party’s worst nightmare come to life. There is simply no question that over the last 50 years Democrats have failed black America miserably, and having a cultural leader like Kanye point to this fact and argue forcefully and with compassion for an end to the group mentality that reliably delivers 90 percent of the black vote to Democrats despite their appalling track record, is a huge threat to the organized left’s power.
He’s a free thinker, is that not allowed in America? Because some of his ideas differ from yours you have to throw in the mental health card? That’s just not fair. He’s actually out of the sunken place when he’s being himself which is very expressive
Until very recently, the Russian view of the North American Oil & Gas Renaissance was to “deny!deny!deny!”. According to Putin and the Kremlin flunkies and trolls, North American shale oil & gas was a joke, destined to collapse “any day now.” And they played the same song for almost a decade with minimal, if any, revision. Years after oil & gas prices collapsed in 2014, Russia was still claiming that North American oil & gas production was not having any appreciable impact on the Russian economy. …
When the Kremlin is afraid of something, its first response is to mock it and deny its existence and/or its importance. This is a standard operating procedure seen during the Soviet years and during the Putin years. But there may come a day when the Kremlin needs some credibility, and finds that it has squandered it all.
SpaceX has been changing the equation of space launch for over six years now, which should have given Russia plenty of time to adapt to the challenge.
But for many reasons, Russian industry is old and tired, cranky and stiff. Rich in grandiose vapourware announcements of “startling innovations”, mediocre in the prototype, but very very weak in actual mass production. It is becoming a Russian cliche. …
Whether you are talking about ships, planes, helicopters, tanks, or missile forces, the story is the same. Loud claims about the capabilities of weapons systems are made, while the darker realities behind the propaganda screens tell a different story. And given the massive levels of corruption across Russian industry, even a doubling of current oil prices would not allow Russia to make up the skills and innovation deficit across the industrial spectrum. Russia no longer has the necessary talent to do what would have to be done to back up its propaganda releases.
And that is very bad, because the Kremlin is getting Russia involved in a large number of wars and quasi-wars:
… the Kremlin has gotten involved in “too many fronts,” has “too few resources,” and “absolutely no friends,” a situation that has prompted Putin to talk about the use of nuclear “wonder weapons” not as a last resort “but as the only one” ___ (rosbalt.ru/blogs/2018/04/10/1695422.html) via WOE2.
The civilian homefront is losing its strength and cohesiveness in a weakening economy, encouraging ever increasing brain drain and capital flight abroad. Tipping point mechanisms eventually take hold, making decline unstoppable.
Last week, Lockheed Martin proposed building a hybrid F-22 Raptor/F-35 Joint Strike Fighter for Japan. The jet, possibly to be known as F-3, would be the most advanced jet fighter in the world. …
Japan didn’t intend to wait so long for new fighters. The country originally planned to purchase the F-22 Raptor, but a U.S. law meant to protect the F-22’s technology from prying eyes banned the fighter from export. (Ironically, the law is rooted in Israel’s unauthorized export of U.S. fighter technology to China, which resulted in the J-10 “Vigorous Dragon” fighter.) …
Last month, news sources announced Japan was scrapping an effort to produce an indigenous air superiority fighter, opting to instead develop one with an international partner.
Now we know who that partner might be: Lockheed Martin. Aside from Sukhoi in Russia and Chengdu in China, Lockheed Martin is the only company in the world that has actually developed and produced stealthy, fifth-generation fighters. According to a report in Reuters, Lockheed is offering a hybrid F-22 Raptor/F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jet, combining the best attributes of both.
So what would this stealthy F-3 hybrid jet look like? The first thing that comes to mind is an F-22 Raptor on the outside with the F-35 JSF on the inside. Such a design would combine the Raptor’s stealth, twin engine layout, supermaneuverability and larger internal payload with the JSF’s advanced computers, modern avionics and networking capabilities. (The F-22 Raptor, while a still a fairly modern jet, runs on 286 microprocessors from the Windows 95 era.)
F-35 top, F-22 bottom
In other words, eliminate the outdated electronics and computers of the F-22 and the compromised and poor avionics of the F-35. Hooray!
The F-3 would also be attractive to other nations that were frozen out of F-22 purchases but still need a world-class air superiority jet. Japan, Australia, Saudi Arabia and Israel were all interested in purchasing the F-22. …
If Japan pays for the development costs of F-3, the U.S. Air Force could piggyback onto the purchase, lowering costs for all parties. …
An F-22/F-35 mashup would probably take ten years to develop and could cost more than 60 billion dollars. In 2017, an Air Force study quoted the cost of procuring an additional 194 F-22s at 50 billion dollars — including ten billion just to restart the production line.
I’m tired of saying, “Be careful, it’s speculative.” Then, “Be careful, it’s gambling.” Then, “Be careful, it’s a bubble.” Okay, I’ll say it: Bitcoin is a scam.
In my opinion, it’s a colossal pump-and-dump scheme, the likes of which the world has never seen. In a pump-and-dump game, promoters “pump” up the price of a security creating a speculative frenzy, then “dump” some of their holdings at artificially high prices. And some cryptocurrencies are pure frauds. Ernst & Young estimates that 10 percent of the money raised for initial coin offerings has been stolen.
The losers are ill-informed buyers caught up in the spiral of greed. The result is a massive transfer of wealth from ordinary families to internet promoters. And “massive” is a massive understatement — 1,500 different cryptocurrencies now register over $300 billion of “value.” …
Promoters claim cryptocurrency is valuable as (1) a means of payment, (2) a store of value and/or (3) a thing in itself. None of these claims are true. …
Cryptocurrency is best-suited for one use: Criminal activity. Because transactions can be anonymous — law enforcement cannot easily trace who buys and sells — its use is dominated by illegal endeavors.
Most heavy users of bitcoin are criminals, such as Silk Road and WannaCry ransomware. Too many bitcoin exchanges have experienced spectacular heists, such as NiceHash and Coincheck, or outright fraud, such as Mt. Gox and Bitfunder. Way too many Initial Coin Offerings are scams — 418 of the 902 ICOs in 2017 have already failed.
Hackers are getting into the act. It’s estimated that 90 percent of all remote hacking is now focused on bitcoin theft by commandeering other people’s computers to mine coins. …
Bitcoin is absurdly wasteful of natural resources. Because it is so compute-intensive, it takes as much electricity to create a single bitcoin — a process called “mining” — as it does to power an average American household for two years.
Ouch. Certainly there is a place in the world of finance for “currencies” that are free of government control and can be exchanged over the Internet. The big problem is that there is no way of valuing them: they provide no income (unlike stocks, bonds, or property) and have no history as a medium of exchange (unlike gold).
Bitcoin did not start out as a scam. But because it is new, on the Internet, and cannot be rationally valued, it is perfect for a pump-and-dump.
“If I were to think about … injustice too hard I would wallow in pity and all-consuming anger,” wrote media personality Yassmin Abdel-Magied in her autobiography Yassmin’s Story: Who Do You Think I Am?. That was in 2016, and it would be another year before the then 24 year old’s controversial Anzac Day Facebook post ‘Lest We Forget: (Manus, Nauru, Syria, Palestine)’ appeared.
At that time, Abdel-Magied had been living a life of privilege. Born in Sudan, she, along with her family, left a third-world dictatorship and found refuge in Australia, thanks to the generosity of a Christian family. A bright student, she studied engineering and graduated with first-class honours. As an African Muslim migrant woman, she rated highly on the intersectionality scoreboard, and was feted as a success story. She hosted an ABC television show, and gave frequent interviews to the media. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade paid for her to travel throughout Africa to plug her book. Yassmania, you might say.
Last week she endorsed a call from Sally Rugg, a former GetUp! director and Incoming Change.org national director, for thousands of people to tweet “Lest we forget (Manus)” on Anzac Day. “Do it,” tweeted Magied. It appears the only thing she is truly sorry for is the loss of her taxpayer-funded tiara. …
As a 15-year-old, Magied began giving speeches as an activist, but she acknowledged she played to the audience. “I’m ashamed to say that I embellished my problems with discrimination and being accepted in society to gain approval from the Socialist Alliance group,” she wrote. “I played up to their expectations in my speech, when we were protesting and at any opportunity.” You could say not much has changed. …
“My preferred modus operandi is to minimise fuss, to ‘wear’ it, to weather the storm and then rebuild from the wreckage,” she writes. Again, bear in mind this was written in 2016. Not bad coming from someone who has built a new career on perpetual wailing. But this last excerpt is the prize gem: “It does frustrate me that I now have a public profile built on the assumption that I enjoy outrage.”
So, Yassmin, in regards to your question Who Do You Think I Am, the answer is obvious, and it is to be found in the significant difference between your words and your actions. For pity’s sake, please stop the yassmoaning.