Strip Bettina Arndt of OAM, says Victorian Attorney-General Jill Hennessy

Strip Bettina Arndt of OAM, says Victorian Attorney-General Jill Hennessy, by Lachlan Moffet Gray.

Victorian Attorney-General Jill Hennessy is attempting to have men’s rights activist Bettina Arndt stripped of her Order of Australia, saying the award “is an insult to victims of sexual abuse”.

An insult and challenge to PC you mean. “Shut up,” explained the feminists.

Ms Arndt received the honour on Australia Day for her service to the community as a social commentator and to gender equality through her advocacy for men’s rights.

On Tuesday Ms Hennessy wrote to Governor-General David Hurley, urging him to cancel Ms Arndt’s award.

Opponents of PC must be stripped of authority, financing, credibility, and access to the media. Obviously Bettina Arndt should not have a medal from the Australian Government. The ostensible reasons are irrelevant. Here’s the real reason:

Ms Arndt has received criticism over many of her views expressed in the public sphere like her “Fake Rape Crisis” tour which argues there is a “manufactured rape crisis” on Australian university campuses or her arguments in defence of convicted pedophiles George Pell and Nicolaas Bester.

Bring it on, ladies, by Betina Arndt.

What a week. It was obvious my Australia Day Honours award would create a stir. Receiving an honour for service to “gender equity through advocacy for men” was destined to get feminist knickers in a twist. But boy, did they lose it big time.

From early morning after my award – a Member of the Order of Australia, or AM – was announced, they were out there, piling on the abuse.

Petitions were started seeking to have the award rescinded and then, amazingly, yesterday the Victorian Attorney-General, Jill Hennessy, announced she had written to the Governor-General asking him to strip me of my honour. Wow, what a mistake that was, turning the whole fracas into a free speech issue which is now attracting huge numbers of people wanting to sign up for my campaigns.

Funnily enough, the ABC, our public broadcaster, didn’t utter one word about my award until Hennessy joined the pile-on and then suddenly invited me on Virginia Trioli’s radio show to discuss it.

But back to the beginning. The very first announcement of the award was greeted by vicious articles from activists, resorting to their usual tricks by digging deep into my 45-year media career to pull quotes out of context presenting me as a total villain and degenerate. …

Despite their best efforts, I was being flooded with a hugely positive response, swamped by emails from people who’d obviously never heard of me before but were delighted to hear someone was standing up for men. …

Then they rolled out a big gun – namely former Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty, who became a domestic violence advocate after her son was tragically killed by her estranged ex-husband. Sadly, this once admirable woman is now being employed as a weapon. Sure enough, the media reported Batty was shocked and appalled by my award, claiming my work “pits men against women”. That’s because I quote the official statistics showing at least a third of domestic violence victims are actually male. …

Overall, the whole fracas has been pretty amazing. The feminists have so overplayed their hand, making it painfully obvious that they see me as a force to be reckoned with, a formidable enemy to be silenced at all costs.

What better evidence of the determination of the sisterhood to shut down any debate that challenges their anti-male narrative.

Amen Betina.

Feds Back Off Jailing Michael Flynn After Stunning New Evidence That Gov’t ‘Lied’ and ‘Framed’ Him

Feds Back Off Jailing Michael Flynn After Stunning New Evidence That Gov’t ‘Lied’ and ‘Framed’ Him. By Victoria Taft.

The government lied, “framed,” hid favorable evidence, and showed “contempt for the law at every turn” in their treatment of Michael Flynn, the retired three-star Army general and former Trump White House national security adviser. …

The net result was that federal prosecutors publicly considered, for the first time, that Flynn would get no jail time and instead be put on probation for his previous guilty plea in what we now know was the beginning of the FBI’s “Crossfire Hurricane” operation against the Trump White House. …

The filing included a statement by the retired – and now financially ruined – Army general …:

“In truth, I never lied,” Flynn wrote in a new supplemental motion to withdraw his guilty plea filed Wednesday. “My guilty plea has rankled me throughout this process, and while I allowed myself to succumb to the threats from the government to save my family, I believe I was grossly misled about what really happened.” …

[Flynn’s attorney, Sidney Powell] averred that Flynn’s first set of lawyers had a “conflict of interest” and worked against Flynn’s interests by having him plead guilty to a charge of lying to FBI, a charge that itself was trumped up by Peter Strzok and another FBI investigator. That second investigator, identified by Powell as Agent Joe Pientka, it turns out, was in charge of the Crossfire Hurricane op against Trump.

Flynn was the first of Trump’s team to be picked off by the left. It seem incredible at the time, but he pleaded guilty. Now we know it was all because of lies by anti-Trump institutions, and because he was being financially ruined by having to hire lawyers to defend himself.

An interesting lesson in how the leftist deep state can deal with opposition — lying and ruining them in its courts.

It’s abuse of power all the way down.

The Cult of Western Shaming

The Fallen Bogeys of Other Countries that are Going to “Bury Us”, by Victor David Hanson.

In the late 1950s, many elites in the United States bought the Soviet Union line that the march of global communism would “bury” the West. Then, as Soviet power eroded in the 1980s, Japan Inc. and its ascendant model of state-sponsored industry became the preferred alternative to Western-style democratic capitalism.

Once Japan’s economy ossified, the new utopia of the 1990s was supposedly the emerging European Union. Americans were supposed to be awed that the Euro gained ground on the dollar. Europe’s borderless democratic socialism and its “soft power” were declared preferable to the reactionary U.S.

By 2015, the EU was a mess, so China was preordained as the inevitable global superpower. American intellectuals pointed to its high-speed rail transportation, solar industries, and gleaming airports, in contrast to the hollowed-out and grubby American heartland.

Now the curtain has been pulled back on the interior rot of the Chinese Communist Party, its gulag-like re-education camps, its systematic mercantile cheating, its Orwellian surveillance apparatus, its serial public health crises, and its primitive hinterland infrastructure.

After the calcification of the Soviet Union, Japan Inc., the EU, and the Chinese superpower, no one quite knows which alternative will next supposedly bury America.

White nationalism? Climate change? The bogeys are mainly used by the left to frighten us into adopting their policies, sending them money, and raising their status.

Locust plague in Africa is much worse than coronavirus

Locust plague in Africa is much worse than coronavirus, by an anonymous contributor.

I can’t find the quote at the moment, but there once was a newspaper editor of, I think the New York Times, who roughly said that for his paper’s news reporting:
one death in New York is worth
… ten deaths in Europe
… or 100 deaths in Asia
… or 1,000 deaths in Africa.

Bear that in mind and it will be less of a surprise to read that there is a locust plague in Africa at the moment which is “the worst in seven decades” and “could get “500 times worse” according to the UN. It’s gone unreported on Australian mainstream news services.

Here’s why it’s on track to be a really big deal:

  • A pestilence in northwestern China in 311 AD that killed 98% of the population locally was due to locusts. There are many more examples like that.
  • Throughout written history, locusts have generally been acknowledged as the biggest insect pest for humans.
  • In one day, they can eat their own body weight, travel over 90 miles, and increase their population ten-fold within a few days. A swarm can consume enough food for tens of millions of people. They will eat other locusts when normal food supplies run low. They are almost unstoppable once swarming and very hard to find when going to ground to lay eggs.
  • Swarms have devastated crops and been a contributory cause of famines and human migrations.

In 2020, great locust swarms still can’t be contained. Last week, the U.N. announced that desert locusts — the most devastating type — descended upon East Africa.

There are a lot of hungry Africans and their numbers are increasing relatively rapidly. In the last century, the population has grown around ten-fold. By the end of this century, it will be a more important area of the world than all of Asia in terms of population. In fact, by 2100, Africans are projected to make up 40 % of the world’s population.

More on locusts in general:

Why the Drudge Report has Gone Anti-Trump and Is Quietly Becoming More PC

Why the Drudge Report has Gone Anti-Trump and Is Quietly Becoming More PC. By Victoria Taft.

Bob Norman writes in [Columbia Journalism Review] that he passed the “Keep Out” signs and snuck onto Drudge’s secreted property near the Florida Everglades to learn the secret of the news mogul’s disaffection. …

The reporter never got an answer from Matt Drudge about why he fell off the Trump bandwagon, though he surmises it might have been due to Trump’s failure to “build the wall.”

He called his interview, such as it was, “tortured” and said:

I told him I was curious about his current thoughts on Trump.

“You and everybody else,” he said.

I noted that he went all in on Trump during the election.

“That was three years ago,” he said.

So what happened? PJMedia reported in December that it appeared the website reportedly had been sold. In August, as Buzzfeed News reported, the business plan and advertising completely switched.

Drudge has deleted all his tweets, despite having half a million followers.

Drudge may have quietly sold the news site, signed a non-compete (or something like it) and a confidentiality agreement, promised to be a good boy and stay out of politics to avoid sullying his former site, and gone into hiding from the outside world while he plans his next conquest.

We don’t know.

What better way for the left to turn the political culture than to buy the leading right-wing political website and quietly subvert it. Many people (including us at WR) noticed last year that suddenly the articles on Drudge stopped supporting Trump and instead were quietly critical. Also, there were no more links to insightful articles critical of the left and PC. Hmmmm.

Nothing quite like a controlled opposition, or a fixed fight.

The Drudge Report has became a bit boring.

The Intellectual and Moral Decline in Academic Research

The Intellectual and Moral Decline in Academic Research, by Edward Archer.

My experiences at four research universities and as a National Institutes of Health (NIH) research fellow taught me that the relentless pursuit of taxpayer funding has eliminated curiosity, basic competence, and scientific integrity in many fields.

Yet, more importantly, training in “science” is now tantamount to grant-writing and learning how to obtain funding. Organized skepticism, critical thinking, and methodological rigor, if present at all, are afterthoughts.

Thus, our nation’s institutions no longer perform their role as Eisenhower’s fountainhead of free ideas and discovery. Instead, American universities often produce corrupt, incompetent, or scientifically meaningless research that endangers the public, confounds public policy, and diminishes our nation’s preparedness to meet future challenges. …

One reason non-government organizations lead the battle to improve science is that universities and federal funding agencies lack accountability and often ignore fraud and misconduct. There are numerous examples in which universities refused to hold their faculty accountable until elected officials intervened, and even when found guilty, faculty researchers continued to receive tens of millions of taxpayers’ dollars. Those facts are an open secret: When anonymously surveyed, over 14 percent of researchers report that their colleagues commit fraud and 72 percent report other questionable practices. The problem goes well beyond the known frauds. …

Retractions, misconduct, and harassment are only part of the decline. Incompetence is another. An article in The Economist suggested, “[f]raud is very likely second to incompetence in generating erroneous results.”

The widespread inability of publicly funded researchers to generate valid, reproducible findings is a testament to the failure of universities to properly train scientists and instill intellectual and methodologic rigor. That failure means taxpayers are being misled by results that are non-reproducible or demonstrably false.

A number of critics, including John Ioannidis of Stanford University, contend that academic research is often “conducted for no other reason than to give physicians and researchers qualifications for promotion or tenure.” In other words, taxpayers fund studies that are conducted for non-scientific reasons such as career advancement and “policy-based evidence-making.” …

Policy-Based Evidence-Making

As Eisenhower feared, the pursuit of government grants corrupted our nation’s scholars and money has now become a substitute for intellectual integrity and curiosity.

Research used to be entirely funded by private money, until WWII. Sponsors were vitally interested in the results, which kept everyone more-or-less honest.

With the success of the Manhattan project in WWII, government stepped in to repeat the miracle everywhere. Government took over research funding at universities and special institutes after WWII, and was the dominating (suffocating?) funder by 1970. Since then, technological advance has slowed noticeably, even though ever more people and money is poured into research.

It’s all about the money. Government cannot run a commercial enterprise well, it cannot run banking well (which is why we have private banks manufacturing government money when loans are made), and it cannot run research. The incentives are all wrong.

Coronavirus: Domestic plane in Australia flew with man from Wuhan coming down with coronavirus, some may now be isolated, man hospitalized, four of his companions now sick

Coronavirus: Domestic plane in Australia flew with man from Wuhan coming down with coronavirus, some may now be isolated, man hospitalized, four of his companions now sick. By Charlie Peel.

Up to 200 passengers on a flight from Melbourne to the Gold Coast will be contacted by health authorities and warned they were travelling with a man infected with coronavirus. …

The 44-year-old Chinese man – the first person in Queensland identified with the disease – flew from Wuhan to Melbourne, via Singapore, on January 22. …

The man felt ill when he arrived in Queensland and spent the night in his hotel room where he became “increasingly unwell” before going to hospital in an ambulance about 3.30pm on January 28.

The man and his eight companions are in isolation in the Gold Coast University Hospital. Four of them, including children, are showing signs of illness and have been tested for the virus.

Queensland’s chief health officer Jeanette Young said the department would contact every person on the flight — between 150 and 200 people — to alert them.

Passengers seated within two rows in front of and behind the group will be asked to go into isolation by the health department.

Dr Young said the man was one of seven people confirmed to be afflicted with the virus in Australia.

Death toll rises as virus spreads to every Chinese region, by the BBC.

The death toll of the coronavirus has risen to 170 and with a confirmed case in Tibet, the virus has now spread to every region in mainland China.

Chinese health authorities have said there were 7,711 confirmed cases in the country as of 29 January.

Infections have also spread to at least 16 other countries.

Coronavirus very unlikely to be spread by packages shipped from China, by Becky Kellogg.

Dr. Nancy Messonier, the director of the CDC’s Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said …

“In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures,” Messonnier said.

The virus is spread from person to person when someone else coughs, and the next person inhales those droplets left in the air. And while you may move away when someone sick coughs near you, touching things sick people may have touched is just as crucial.

The takeaway – wash your hands and sanitize commonly used items as much as you can, especially in public places.

As coronavirus spreads, Beijing suburbs close themselves off. By Louis Casiano.

Wary residents on the outskirts of Beijing have taken their own measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus from outsiders by effectively closing off their towns from the rest of the world.

Villagers wearing masks and armbands stand guard and roads are being blocked by anything capable of stopping traffic to prevent anyone from entering Zhuangke, a village in the Hebei province, which borders Beijing.

“If we let in one (infected) person, the whole village would be ruined,” said Chen Shuyi, a member of the village committee. …

The tactics used by the villagers are similar to ones used during the outbreak of SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, in 2002-03. The disease originated in China and killed nearly 800 people. The current number of coronavirus cases now surpasses the number of cases of SARS during the outbreak nearly two decades ago, but the current death toll is lower.

Potential for something bad here. Looks like the virus is mostly out of the bag now, so we just have to hope the symptoms are generally mostly harmless. Vaccines won’t come until a couple of months at least.

Is This The Man Behind The Global Coronavirus Pandemic?

Is This The Man Behind The Global Coronavirus Pandemic? By Tyler Durden. This author tends to be alarmist, and this theory has yet to be confirmed (i.e. denied by the proper authorities, and later admitted), but it’s a hell of a story. So, don’t know if this is true, but…

Peng Zhou, Leader of the Bat Virus Infection and Immunization Group, Wuhan Institute of Virology

The real reason behind the viral spread is because a weaponized version of the coronavirus (one which may have originally been obtained from Canada), was released by Wuhan’s Institute of Virology (accidentally or not), a top, level-4 biohazard lab which was studying “the world’s most dangerous pathogens“, perhaps it would be a good idea for the same Wuhan Institute of Virology to remove the following “help wanted” notice, posted on November 18, 2019, according to which the institute is seeking to hire one or two post-doc fellows, who will use “bats to research the molecular mechanism that allows Ebola and SARS-associated coronaviruses to lie dormant for a long time without causing diseases.” …

The full job posting, which can still be found on the Wuhan Institute of Virology website can be found here (and screengrabbed below as it will be gone within a few hours [see original article — the job posting is in Chinese and then Google-translated]). …

To summarize:

  1. One of China’s top virology and immunology experts was and still works at China’s top-rated biohazard lab, the Wuhan Institute of Virology …
  2. Since 2009, Peng has been the leading Chinese scientist researching the immune mechanism of bats carrying and transmitting lethal viruses in the world.
  3. His primary field of study is researching how and why bats can be infected with some of the most nightmarish viruses in the world including Ebola, SARS and Coronavirus, and not get sick.
  4. He was genetically engineering various immune pathways (such as the STING pathway in bats) to make the bats more or less susceptible to infection, in the process potentially creating a highly resistant mutant superbug.
  5. As part of his studies, Peng also researched mutant Coronavirus strains that overcame the natural immunity of some bats; these are “superbug” Coronavirus strains, which are not resistant to any natural immune pathway, and now appear to be out in the wild.
  6. As of mid-November, his lab was actively hiring inexperienced post-docs to help conduct his research into super-Coronaviruses and bat infections.

Hmmmm.

Is Bernie Sanders a Crypto-Communist?

Is Bernie Sanders a Crypto-Communist? By Bryan Caplan.

During the Cold War, numerous communist intellectuals and politicians deliberately concealed their commitment to Marxism-Leninism. Why? To be more successful intellectuals and politicians.

A few crypto-communists even managed to become national leaders. Fidel Castro gained power in 1959, but only announced his communism in 1961. Nelson Mandela presented himself as a reasonable democratic reformer. Yet after his death, the African National Congress openly admittedly that Mandela had been on the politburo of the South African Communist Party for decades. Ho Chi Minh joined the Communist Party in 1920, but in 1945 he loudly posed as a moderate democratic reformer — famously quoting the U.S. Declaration of Independence to charm the West. Juan Negrin, last prime minister of Republican Spain, was also very likely a crypto-communist.

Which brings me to my question: What about Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders? Is he a crypto-communist?

Sanders has sent decades worth of frightening signals — praising Soviet bloc regimes, honeymooning in the Soviet Union, and such. Indeed, he’s said and done almost exactly what you would expect a sincere Marxist-Leninist who wanted to be a U.S. Senator would say and do. Note, moreover, that Sanders came of political age during the 60s and 70s, when communism made a big comeback in the U.S. radical left.

True, this hardly proves that he’s a closeted communist. Alternately, Sanders could be a communist dupe, or a even a true believer in “finding the good in the bad.” The upshot: We have to settle for a probability that Sanders is a crypto-communist, all things considered.

Well yes, more or less.

hat-tip Matthew

Take a Look at These Demographic Numbers From Trump’s New Jersey Rally

Take a Look at These Demographic Numbers From Trump’s New Jersey Rally. By Katie Pavlich.

Despite freezing temperatures in the middle of winter, people camped out a day ahead of his remarks in order to make it inside the arena.

Nigel Farage’s Last Speech to the European Parliament

Nigel Farage’s Last Speech to the European Parliament. This is pretty good:

“The British are too big to bully.”

“We love Europe. We just hate the European Union.”

“It is globalism, against populism. And you may loathe populism, but I’ll tell you a funny thing. It’s becoming very popular.”

“No more being bullied.”

Look at that PC twit at the end in the chair. Just sums it all up.

Brexit tomorrow.

CNN Calls Trump Supporters Stupid Illiterate Rednecks

CNN Calls Trump Supporters Stupid Illiterate Rednecks.

That’s not a news network. That’s a prejudice network.

UPDATE: Republican ad follows: “They think you’re a joke.”

UPDATE: While on the topic of how smart voters are, check out these lefties as they struggle with a simple question:

Reality versus political correctness. Ideology is making these people seriously dopey.

The Cloud and the Internet Need Hydrocarbons

The Cloud and the Internet Need Hydrocarbons, by Mark Mills.

Tech companies confront an inconvenient fact: the global cloud uses more energy than is produced by all the planet’s wind and solar farms combined.

One-click shopping and streaming video, and everything else digital, rely on an ecosystem of energy-intensive hardware to mine rare-earth elements, manufacture silicon engines, and light up countless cell towers and warehouse-scale data centers.

This hardware is deeply and deliberately intertwined in global systems overwhelmingly fueled by hydrocarbons — the old-fashioned stuff that provides 85 percent of all energy, with just 3 percent coming from wind and solar. …

These same tech companies, meantime, are preparing for the brave new world of artificial intelligence (AI) by building out an even bigger cloud infrastructure. Global digital-energy consumption, projected to rise at an unprecedented rate, is on track to outstrip the growth in output from all wind and solar installations planned over the next decade. …

Physics dictates energy costs for speed. Global networks already use as much electricity as Italy. Forecasts see 5G at least doubling that usage. … Digital traffic is projected to increase 400 percent in the next five years alone. …

Nothing prevents deep-pocketed tech companies from abandoning public grids to build their own green power plants. That’s not happening because the cloud needs what conventional energy systems provide: reliable and affordable power.

Going back to windmills is not the answer. Hydrocarbons are just a stop-gap until we get fusion power working.

Yale Will Eliminate a Beloved Introductory Art Class for Being Too White, Male, and Western

Yale Will Eliminate a Beloved Introductory Art Class for Being Too White, Male, and Western, by Robby Soave.

Enrollment has swelled for Yale University’s introductory art history course, which covers “the Renaissance to the present.” That’s because the school plans to eliminate the popular class after the spring.

According to The Yale Daily News, the art department has decided that the class might make some students uncomfortable due to the “overwhelming” whiteness, maleness, and straightness of the artists who comprise the Western canon (though that last label may be dubious). Indeed, the focus on Western art is “problematic,” course instructor Tim Barringer told the student newspaper. …

No go. Painted by a white man (Renoir).

It has become more common in recent years for small cabals of students to rebel against liberal arts curricula that they feel are too focused on Western artists, authors, and thinkers. Students at Reed College, for instance, successfully pressured educators to disband an introductory humanities course. In that case, the activists demanded that all European texts be removed and replaced by non-European books as a form of reparations “for Humanities 110’s history of erasing the histories of people of color, especially black people.” …

When a university eliminates an introductory art class because a tiny number of ideologues object to the whiteness and maleness of it all, it feels like they are declining to teach history because some people don’t like what happened.

The West’s outsized influence on the events of the last several centuries may very well be problematic, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t real.

The Growth Dilemma

The Growth Dilemma, by Joel Kotkin.

Until just a few years ago, the need for economic growth to sustain societies was almost universally acknowledged. This was not just gospel on the free-market Right. Whatever its failings, 20th century socialism was growth-oriented and espoused the notion, however poorly realized, that greater material progress was critical to expanding working-class wealth.

Now political leaders in France, Iceland, as well as the European Commission increasingly believe, along with influential economists such as Joseph Stiglitz, that growing the economic pie should be supplanted by such goals as better health care, less inequality, and fighting climate change.

Roll back the enlightenment and the miracle of the industrial revolution, in the name of progress:

Many, particularly on the environmental Left, go even further and advocate “de-growth,” essentially urging societies to consciously reduce their economic wealth. This agenda requires that energy, housing, food, and other consumption costs steadily increase, or be legally prohibited, so that ordinary people will be unable to eat meat regularly, use more energy, live in larger spaces, and travel freely. There’s even a quaint notion that we need to return to a more primitive state of existence, essentially cancelling out the progress of the last few centuries. America’s Green Party, for example, would seek to limit long-distance trade entirely in favor of a feudal economy that is “largely self-sufficient in the production of its necessities.” …

Now, rather than seek to outperform the somewhat more robust economy and modest uptick in blue collar jobs under President Trump, progressives focus mostly on identity issues, environmental piety, and income redistribution. …

Some zealots on the Left, such as the Guardian’s George Monbiot, openly welcome economic decline and believe that recessions will reduce carbon emissions, even if it causes people to lose their jobs and homes. Monbiot and many other climatistas offer only a degraded quality of life, including rationing of virtually everything and calls for restrictions on having children due to their “carbon legacy.” …

Some scientists suggest the world must eliminate hot dogs in favor of “maggot sausages” and even recommend that we consider recycling ourselves by embracing the finer points of cannibalism. Since such measures may prove unpopular, environmentalists increasingly seek to construct a global “technocracy” to preempt popular control and ensure that only experts will design and implement policies for hoi polloi.

They used to do this in the middle ages too

Support for draconian anti-growth policies remains remarkably strong at the top of the global elite. Non-profit foundations — depositories for the wealth of old money, including the fossil fueled fortunes of the Fords and Rockefellers — have become leading advocates for radical climate policies. The biggest backers of California’s draconian climate change laws include not just ragged tree-huggers, but many of the state’s biggest hedge funds, venture capitalists, tech firm CEOs, and their fortunate heirs. The marriage of old capitalist money with Left green policies has been called “the new face of the environmental movement.” …

The elois and the morlocks emerge:

The abandonment of growth as a goal reflects progressives’ increasing lack of interest in, if not disdain for, the aspirations of the working- or middle-classes. Obama’s Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers has admitted that Democrats have little interest in the middle echelons, preferring to serve a “coalition of cosmopolitan elite and diversity.” Under Obama, Summers’s “elite” did well even with painfully slow income growth, as assets like urban real estate and tech stocks rose, sometimes dramatically, while share of the country’s wealth going to workers continued to decline. …

Without economic growth, and the opportunity for people to rise up the class ladder, we will devolve, as Tocqueville warned, towards a class structure more favorable to “aristocracy” and authoritarian rule. …

No thanks:

As the new green Left pushes policies that can only harm, not improve standards of living for all but the wealthy, climate change advocacy has emerged as a flashpoint for political rebellion. In the 2019 elections held in Australia, a country dependent on fossil fuel and mineral exports, the sometimes-over-the-top antics of the environmentalist Get Up group was widely credited with moving voters away from the progressive party and towards the conservatives. Middle- and working-class revolt against green zealotry has helped to spur political change in the U.S., Britain, and Germany.

Read it all.

16-Year-Old French Girl Insults Islam, Absurdity Ensues

16-Year-Old French Girl Insults Islam, Absurdity Ensues, by Richard Spencer.

The Times of London, staid as ever, reported it all with a straight face on Friday: “Police have told a French teenager to go into hiding after she received death threats for insulting Islam.” That’s right, a teenager in France, not in Pakistan, or Saudi Arabia, or Iran. Now insulting Islam forces you to flee for your life right in Emmanuel Macron’s paradise of multiculturalism.

And wait, it gets worse. We’re not told what she said, of course – that would be just too much for delicate modern ears to take – but note that the Times said she insulted “Islam,” not “Muslims.” This distinction is lost on many today, but assuming that the Times still has some residual concern for precision in reporting, we can justifiably assume that the girl criticized a set of ideas and beliefs, not a group of people.

This is a key distinction, for people cannot change certain immutable characteristics (race and, yes, gender), and thus it would be wrong to denigrate them on the basis of those characteristics. But ideas? They should be evaluated on their merits, and free criticism of them by those who do not hold them is a foundation of free inquiry and thus of a free society. Isn’t it?

Well, it has been up until recently. Ordinarily in the West, those who criticize ideas, particularly religious ideas, are celebrated as heroes, courageous “free thinkers,” unshackled by dogma and superstition. But of course that only applies to Christianity and Judaism. Criticizing Islam, well! That’s entirely a different matter, and no laughing matter, infidel!

or insulting Islam, this 16-year-old girl, whom the Times tells us is “named only as Mila,” has been forced into hiding: “The 16-year-old has been advised to stay away from her lycée (sixth-form college) in southeast France after calls on the internet for her to be killed, raped or attacked.” …

She is being given psychological support. That support is being provided by “the local prosecutor’s office,” which at the same time is trying to decide whether or not to charge the girl they are protecting from rape and death threats with “hate speech.”

How modern! I’ll bet the globalists felt a burst of pride when they heard of this.

A quarter million people killed by Islamic fundamentalists since 9/11.

How the Postmodern Left Grabs Power Over You, on the Way to Global Governance

How the Postmodern Left Grabs Power Over You, on the Way to Global Governance. By Todd Huizinga, a United States diplomat from 1992 to 2012.

Without realising it, many Americans have succumbed to the relativistic worldview of postmodernism, in which truth is no longer authoritative and objective. Instead, truth is in the eyes of the beholder. A trickle-down form of postmodernism has become for many of us the implicit basis upon which we think.

A standard definition describes postmodernism as “characterised by broad scepticism, subjectivism, or relativism; a suspicion of reason; and acute sensitivity to the role of ideology in asserting and maintaining political and economic power”.

The postmodernists say “truth” is just a tool of those with power. Nonsense, and objectively so. That charge of the postmodernists is, however, simply projection. No wonder the postmodern left are so acutely aware of ideology. They are power-hungry parasites who would rule over the rest of us. After all, they know best — just ask them!

Postmodernist cultural change has transferred power from the competent to the postmodernists and their mascots, and their big government

This type of subjectivistic relativism, this suspicion that truth is not really truth but simply a tool to assert power, has seeped into virtually all areas of life. It is the heart of identity politics, and it is the heart of political correctness. Political correctness and identity politics are the two sides of the same postmodern coin. They both reject the idea that there is any truth claim that can command greater allegiance than the feelings or opinions of any individual or group, especially those that are deemed to be oppressed or disadvantaged. Reality itself is nothing more than what each individual or group feels it to be.

  • If I am a transgender person, I have the right to deny my actual gender and force everyone else to treat me in a way that corresponds to my chosen gender identity, as if my real gender were not real.
  • If I am a man who is in love with another man, I have a right to marry him and to force everyone else to call it a marriage.
  • If a pregnant woman expects to face difficulties in raising her child after its birth, she can choose not to call him or her a child, and to claim that it is her human right to abort another human life.
  • If I want to seek a better life in another country, then it is xenophobic to support any immigration laws that stand in the way. …

Postmodern art makes sense. So nourishing and skillful. And obviously so much better than anything that came before.

The new world they are constructing around us suits them just fine:

In the last thirty years, political postmodernism has deconstructed and redefined political categories associated with modernity — such as, for example, the nation-state, national sovereignty, international law and human rights — in order to assert a new, post-national view of governance and a new kind of human rights corresponding on an international level to identity politics at a national level.

The new human rights are based, like identity politics, on a denial of truth. No longer does “human rights” mean the right to live, speak and act in accordance with the unchanging truth about human nature — in accordance with that which promotes human flourishing. Rather, “human rights” now stands above all else for the right to choose; the right to choose one’s own, personal truth and thus to be liberated from the truth claims of others while imposing one’s own truth claim about oneself on everyone else. Just like identity politics.

And this so-called “right to choose” must be enforced by the coercive power of an ever-growing government. After all, in a world without the authority of objective truth, only those who hold political power have authority that is enforceable. In principle, no relativist is far from Mao Zedong’s famous dictum: “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.”

Not surprisingly, the new human rights downplays the classical rights that protect the individual from government, such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of the press, and favours rights that must be enforced by government, such as women’s rights …. children’s rights … LGBT rights … and unlimited immigrant rights.

Everyone loves the new postmodernist global architecture.

As it happens, all “rights” that undermine the power of rationality, evolved tradition, and white men in their own countries. It’s all about power.

So government as guarantor of “universal human rights” expands to government as master. …

There are no constraints, no limits, neither geographical nor aspirational. There are no checks or balances to stand in the way of the good that can be accomplished by the global elite. The language here is almost messianic, ascribing a quasi-salvific power to politics and “governance”. It sets aside the West’s traditionally Judeo-Christian recognition of human fallibility for the notion that, via activist global governance, the world can be transformed and human beings liberated from the constraints of tradition, culture and religion.

Just like in the Soviet Union, comrades!

No wonder most of us voted against the EU (via Brexit), Hillary, Bill Shorten, Jeremy Corbyn, …

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Coronavirus: The Game of Chance

Coronavirus: The Game of Chance. There is not much hard evidence so far. But there are some useful comments among the hype and fear-mongering.

Z-Man:

Right now, the cause of this infection is being blamed on eating weird foods, but no one really knows. There are serious people wondering if this is not the result of some error in their bio-weapons program. The Chinese did steal coronavirus from Canada recently and we know they have a clandestine lab located in the area of the pandemic. It’s not an unreasonable suspicion. …

If things get much worse, then people will want to know how this happened. Even in a big country like China, a million deaths will spawn a lot of speculation. No one is going to accept the bat stew argument or dumb luck as an excuse. …

What China is today is an accidental compromise between the prosperous urban dwellers and the legacy ruling class. It just sort of happened. As long as the good times keep rolling, the new class of Chinese will tolerate the corruption and petty shenanigans of the ruling party. … No one really knows what will happen if times stop being good.

This virus outbreak could be the big test. It really does not matter what actually caused it if the government is unable to contain it. People unhappy with the party will use the crisis as a chance to speak out against the party. That’s how rumors about the plague’s origin will emerge. Instead of blaming peasants eating bats, it will be bureaucrats experimenting with bio-weapons or perhaps experimenting on people. A crisis can easily become a vehicle for conspiracy theories about the state. …

As things stand, this virus has at least two characteristics experts predict will precede a disaster. One is the virus is contagious during the “incubation period.” This means people can spread the virus to others, weeks before they show signs of infection.

The other red flag is the mortality rate. The numbers coming out of China are mostly certainly wrong, but we have roughly 100 confirmed deaths and 3,000 cases. That’s a three percent mortality rate. The Spanish Flu was around ten percent, so this virus is not as deadly yet.

James Delingpole:

The previous British Government chose Huawei to roll out 5G telephones in Britain:

Would you buy a communications system from an oppressive, secretive, totalitarian regime which may be responsible for perhaps the deadliest viral pandemic since the catastrophic Spanish Flu outbreak of 1919?

Even before the coronavirus raised its terrifying head, buying 5G technology from China’s Huawei looked like a bad idea for Britain.

Now it’s looking like the most stupid idea since the Trojans saw the Wooden Horse their Greek enemies had left outside the gates of Ilium and said: “Nice! Let’s drag it inside.” …

On Coronavirus:

The coronavirus has emerged from Wuhan which, not uncoincidentally, is the home of China’s germ warfare programme.

Rather than nip the problem in the bud, China has behaved exactly as you would expect a secretive, totalitarian regime to behave: lying about the virility and morbidity of the infection; allowing as many as 5 million people to leave Wuhan before any quarantine was able to take effect; lobbying the World Health Organisation not to declare it a global emergency.

Paul Wolfowitz:

For a precedent, look back to 1918 when the Spanish flu broke out amid World War I. In the US, government officials and the press played it down lest it hurt the war effort. While the Los Angeles health chief declared there was “no cause for alarm” and a leading newspaper described the disease as the “same old fever and chills”, people were dying in their thousands.

The name Spanish flu was a misnomer. In the countries where it originally surfaced — France, China and the US — the news was suppressed by censorship and self-censorship to maintain wartime morale. … Not until King Alphonse XIII of neutral Spain fell ill did news of the virus spread.

Between the spring of 1918 and early 1919, three waves of Spanish flu tore across the planet, facilitated by censorship and secrecy. The results were catastrophic: 50 million people died worldwide, including 15,000 in Australia in one year.

But before the advent of mass air travel, Australia back then was fortunate to have time to prepare. According to the National Museum Australia, the flu was spread quickly at the end of World War I as infected soldiers returned to their homelands. … Australia’s remoteness from the European battlefields gave it months to prepare for the inevitable onslaught. …

Meanwhile, Chinese police are interrogating people for “spreading rumours” on social media about the virus. Two days before Wuhan’s government disclosed the severity of the outbreak, it hosted shared “potluck” banquets for more than 100,000 people. On January 10, a government expert told state network CCTV the virus was “under control” and a “mild condition”. Wuhan’s biggest newspaper didn’t put the outbreak on its front page until almost three weeks after the first cases.

Analysts suspect the actual number of infected is thousands higher than the more than 2700 presently confirmed. The lesson of 1918 is that secrecy can kill. Chinese communism now threatens the world with a massive medical disaster.

Richard Fernandez:

This illustrates how giant totalitarian governments like China’s can be at a disadvantage in dealing with emergent events. What it gains in ruthless response cannot always make up for lost response time caused by the official denial of embarrassing facts. That explains why establishments are often surprised by events like Brexit and Hillary Clinton’s shock loss. They are unexpected because they were not in the 5 year plan. They arrive like a bolt from the blue.

When the unexpected happens the official Narrative often increases the reaction time of the system. While events are slow moving there may be no penalty but in the fast moving global world threats like the coronavirus may hit the public even before institutions admit it exists.

Mongolia closes China border, by Louis Casiano.

The government of Mongolia said Monday it has closed its large border with China, and Malaysia announced that it would bar visitors from the Chinese province at the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak after medical officials warned its ability to spread was growing.

The ban makes both nations the second and third countries to close its border with China, following North Korea. …

Mongolia has also closed its schools, playgrounds and universities until March 2.

Do Mongolia and North Korea know something we don’t?

The Revolution Comes To The Cornfields

The Revolution Comes To The Cornfields, by Rod Dreher.

In a mid western high school in the USA attended by the children of one of Dreher’s readers, there are “safe space” signs in every classroom, the cafeteria, and the hallways. But no American flags.

[This poster] is an example of what the writer James Poulos describes as the “Pink Police State”. It’s what you get when “health and safety” override every other consideration. GLSEN, the gay activist group, figured out twenty years ago that if it presented its radical re-education agenda as a “safety” measure, it would be widely adapted in schools. And so it has been.

The reader’s question about dissenting teachers is a good one: what if you said no, I’m not going to allow my classroom to be used for propaganda purposes? I guarantee you that teacher would be stigmatized, and would face professional hostility. She would be accused of creating an “unsafe space,” and of being a bigot. Remember what the leading Democratic presidential candidate tweeted the other day:

… It is vital for conservatives and old-fashioned liberals to understand the nature of this fight we’re being dragged into. Do you get it? From the Social Justice point of view, to oppose them, or even to question their claims, is to be a heretic bigot. This is not a matter of reason. In fact, reason itself is a tool of oppression to these people. …

The revolution has made its way into classrooms in Midwestern small towns. There is nowhere to hide from this stuff. …

If your kids’ public or private school has embraced this ideology, you should get them out of it, if you can. If you can’t, then you should be educating them as to why it is a lie, and helping them to find the spiritual resources to resist it. …

What we must wake up and understand is that the old liberal-democratic arguments based in a familiar defense of traditional liberties are ceasing to work, in part because the culture has been changed, and is changing very fast.

It’s all about power. Specifically, transferring it from individuals and a democratic government to an unelected rights-based big government bureaucracy run by the left. They are making you out to be a criminal for having opposed or neglected this issue in the past. Therefore you deserve to be ignored and diminished and discriminated against. Yep, you.

Christopher Caldwell:

In the quarter-century after Reagan, conservatives lost every battle against the substance of political correctness. … Political correctness was not a joke after all. It was the most comprehensive ideological capture of institutional power in the history of the United States.

… This language of “-bashing” and “-phobia” and “bigotry” and “lies” was new. No longer was the irreconcilability of individuals’ and society’s sexual priorities a tragedy or a disagreement. Recast in the categories of civil rights law, it was a crime, a crime that was being committed against a whole class of people. The customs and traditions in the name of which it was being committed were mere alibis.

… Once social issues could be cast as battles over civil rights, Republicans would lose 100 percent of the time. The agenda of “diversity” advanced when its proponents won elections and when they lost them.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Holy Hatred Day Defiled

Holy Hatred Day Defiled, by Tim Blair.

Nobody enjoys it when sacred rituals are trampled. Except, you know, maybe the tramplers. …

Every January 26, this group gathers online to sneer at Australia, to demand the date of our national day be changed and to catalogue all the crimes committed by this foul land.

It’s an annual ritual that goes way back to the Howard era, when self-loathing became a must-have political fashion accessory for urban elites.

Hate Day festivities generally kick off in mid-January before building to their spectacular condemnatory climax. It’s quite a custom.

A key element of Hate Day involves people denouncing Australia’s “invasion” but never planning to leave. Anyway, everyone generally allows these folk to harmlessly follow their curious belief system before we all go back to work.

Labor doesn’t know which way to turn. Be with most Australians, or join the green-ABC haters?

Labor education spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek:

Oh no.

Well, you can imagine the responses. “Oh Tanya, Tanya, Tanya,” wailed ABC favourite Jane Caro. “I know not what to say.”

She could try saying this: “I’ve had enough of this joint and I’m going back to England where I was born.”

Others were even more distressed.

“How sad,” mourned NSW Greens senator Mehreen Faruqi, her Hate Day completely ruined. “Why not work to make students proud of our nation by taking a lead on justice for First Nations People, tackle the climate crisis and inequality.”

Faruqi moved here from Pakistan in 1992. She spent yesterday at an Invasion Day rally, presumably apologising to everybody. …

“What is ‘loyalty to Australia’?” asked Ben Cubby, an editor at the Sydney Morning Herald. In his office, nobody has ever heard of such a thing. It’s unknowable, much like “profit”, “sales” and “circulation”.

Ah the new left. So reliably unrealistic, while collectively feathering their own nests at the expense of the rest of us.

A Peek at America before 1950 and the Assault by the Left

A Peek at America before 1950 and the Assault by the Left, by Anthony DeBlasi.

Picture a neighborhood composed of low and middle income families, each with two parents, no homeless people, no street drugs, safe to walk the streets at night. Is this the figment of an overactive imagination? Well, it is in fact a peek at a neighborhood in New York City where the son of immigrant parents read The New York Times every morning in high school, before orchestra rehearsal. Me. The principal, strongly authoritarian and well loved, opened a weekly assembly of highly diverse youngsters by reading a psalm from the Bible. Tough-as-nails, yet tenderhearted teachers passed on a tradition of excellence in thought, expression, and civility while preparing us for a wide range of careers in a free and independent America.

This typical school of 1940s New York City had higher standards and grade profile than any counterpart today and operated on a budget far smaller in equivalent dollars than any current public school budget. In these “backward” times, the schools were free of substance abuse problems, sexual promiscuity, and identity problems. There was an abiding respect for the authority of teachers and parents and for the dignity of every person regardless of race, religion, or ethnicity. There were clubs in my school for religion, for foreign languages (including Latin). A Reporters’ Club recorded significant events for the school paper. There were toy drives for a local hospital . . . The list of extracurricular engagements was long. …

Mid-20th century saw a rapid loss of understanding regarding timeless constants relating to the fundamentals of life. “We are living at a time when the status of man is undergoing profound upheavals,” observed Igor Stravinsky in 1947. “Modern man is progressively losing his understanding of values and his sense of proportions. This failure to understand essential realities is extremely serious. It leads us infallibly to the violation of the fundamental laws of human equilibrium.”

So much “progress” by white upper middle class leftists. They are better off. Imagine if they had to get real jobs where they were paid by the market, on a voluntary basis, instead of living off tax dollars collected by threat of force. This includes the hordes of vocal lefties who are government consultants or work for an NGO, or some other product of big government by the left. No wonder they are always on about moral differences and how bad other people are — a combination of projection and guilty conscience.

Insights of a Recent Immigrant to Australia

Insights of a Recent Immigrant to Australia. This was written in the last couple of weeks by an Indian-Australian to an Indian friend of his in the US, who forwarded the commentary to a friend of his in England, who sent it to us at The Wentworth Report. All appropriate permissions were obtained, but the authors wish to stay anonymous.

It is highly politically-incorrect, because it breaks the commandment that only whites can be criticized. But it’s a first hand witness account, so it is presumably realistic. Of course, one must not generalize further.

Today I went to the Medicare office to get a bill sorted. Sri Lankans and Indians have taken over the whole department in this particular branch. The service levels have gone downhill from what I remember, compared to before about 2010 when it was all Aussies.

They all seem confused and keep asking each other for help in filling simple forms. The two aunties were discussing some kitchen recipe while one of them was serving me. I felt like I was in Chandigarh Passport Office. This is in inner South East Melbourne, the wealthiest part of Melbourne. Even if I didn’t experience any of this, the fact that the out of all places, the Medicare office branch now employs a security guard is revealing!

I came to this outer suburb called Dandenong in 2005. There were mostly whites here then, and minorities were mostly Chinese and some Afghan refugees. Today, 15 years later, it’s completely Sudanese and Somali refugees, Indians, Chinese, Turks, Afghans, etc. A couple of streets are no-go zones, because Sudanese youth have a habit of bashing people up gangsta style for no reason other than “why not?”.

I know that there exist a couple of places in Melbourne where you can pay (bribe) to pass your driving license because of Indians working inside who have setting [i.e. corrupt arrangements] with driving instructors.

If you call the Australian Tax Office for a query, God forbid if you get an Indian on other side; the best option is to disconnect and try again until you get an Aussie. Something that will take you 30 minutes with the former will be resolved in 5 minutes with the latter, and the latter will treat you like a human being.

There is now a situation where this trend will continue without major pushback from Aussies, unless immigration from these cultures is halted or significantly cut back as a public policy. Fortunately that’s already happening with Australia; the quota for the number of permanent resident visas has been reduced, on top of which barely 50% of the quota is being issued. But I have bad news for you, inside news — most of those who don’t qualify for permanent residency in Australia do qualify for permanent residency in Canada — through the provincial schemes and Canada’s generally inferior immigration system.

I know many who have gone from Aus to Canada. You see, no one in their right mind would do this because Aus is a significantly more liveable/better country than Canada, but the Aus immigration system is now pushing the bottom 70% to Canada.

Progressivism leads to poorer education outcomes for blacks and latinos

Progressivism leads to poorer education outcomes for blacks and latinos. By John Hinderaker.

Is the West better off for all that leftist “progress” since the 1960s?

Apparently not blacks and latinos in education, according to a new report by Chris Stewart of Brightbeam, titled: “The Secret Shame: How America’s Most Progressive Cities Betray Their Commitment to Educational Opportunity For All.”

Stewart is a liberal activist from Minnesota who undertook to find out why the Twin Cities’ left-wing public schools have some of the country’s worst achievement gaps between white and minority (black and Indian) students.

Stewart compared achievement by race in a number of cities that he classified as progressive or conservative. The results didn’t surprise me, but they shocked Stewart. Conservative cities (as ranked by political scientists used as a reference for the study) consistently did a better job of closing student achievement gaps — sometimes, to zero — than progressive cities.

Stewart’s group looked at a number of variables that they thought might help to explain these findings. The result:

Of all the factors we looked at, progressivism is the greatest predictor.

The Brightbeam study does not attempt to explain the causation that its numbers clearly reveal, but calls on those who run progressive school districts to rethink their assumptions. Bacon’s Rebellion offers some obvious possibilities:

* Agency. By blaming racism and discrimination for the woes afflicting minority communities, progressives deprive minority students of agency — the sense that they control their own destinies and that their efforts will make a difference. If minority students see themselves as victims of systemic racism, why bother working hard and “acting white”?

* Discipline. Progressives have implemented “social justice” approaches to school and classroom discipline on the grounds that suspensions and other punishments disproportionately affect minorities. The resulting breakdown in classroom discipline has the perverse effect of disproportionately harming the minority students whose classes are being disrupted.

* Lower standards. As an offshoot of the “self esteem” movement, progressive educators don’t want to damage the self-esteem of minority students. Accordingly, they have lower expectations and set lower standards for minorities to offset the advantages that white students have from “white privilege.”