Wear it Purple Day and other cultural-left moves sending us puce

Wear it Purple Day and other cultural-left moves sending us puce, by Kevin Donnelly.

Given the re-emergence of the Safe Schools program, a NSW prim­ary school putting on a Stolen Generations play where children dress as nuns and victimise Aboriginal children, and the Australian Education Union’s campaign to promote the LGBTI Wear it Purple Day, there’s no doubt that the cultural left now dominates our education system. …

The cultural left’s Australian Education Union and like-minded bureaucrats and academ­ics are using the education system and schools to radically reshape society by indoctrinating students with Marxist-inspired, politically correct ideologies. …

This Friday has been designated Wear it Purple Day and the NSW Teachers Federation is telling schools they should link “the key ideas of Wear It Purple Day to broader lessons on diversity and difference, to foster safe and supportive­ environments. The event embraces and celebrates sexuality, sex and gender diversity”. …

Like so many of the cultural-left elites dominating the public and political debate, the [Australian Education Union and its president] Ms Haythorpe believe that anyone who disagrees is a bigot and that the people, instead of expressing their views and opinions as is their democratic right, must be silenced­. …

And it’s been happening for years. In 1983 Joan Kirner, the one-time Victorian education minister and premier, argued at a Fabian Society conference that education “has to be part of the socialist struggle for equality, participat­ion and social change rather than an instrument of the capitalist system”. …

Since the late 70s and early 80s, the left-wing teacher union has ­argued that Australian society is riven with inequality and injustice and that the school curriculum must be used to promote its politic­ally correct views about global­ warming, the evils of capit­alism, that men are misogynist and sexist, and that there’s nothing beneficial about meritocracy and competition. …

Examples of the cultural-left’s takeover of the curriculum include the fact that students are now taught that gender and sexuality are “social constructions” that promote “unequal power relationships” between boys and girls, and that those who believe in tradit­ional marriage are guilty of ­“hetero-normativity”.

While the AEU and like-minded academi­cs argue against schools teaching about Christianity, or having formal religious instruction­ classes, they are happy to pressure schools to worship the Gaia by including Al Gore’s DVDs in the curriculum.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Chinese bullet trains to operate world’s fastest service between Beijing & Shanghai

Chinese bullet trains to operate world’s fastest service between Beijing & Shanghai, by RT.

The world’s fastest train will start running between Beijing and Shanghai in late September, knocking an hour off the 1,318 kilometers journey. …

Fuxing trains will reportedly make 14 return trips a day at an average speed of 350 kilometers per hour (kph) and a maximum speed of 400 kph, 50 kph faster than the previous versions.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

China Has Been Waging Economic Warfare on America for Decades

China Has Been Waging Economic Warfare on America for Decades, by Steven Mosher.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, China once again turned its wrath on America. … Paramount Leader Deng Xiaoping actually said so. “A new cold war is underway between China and America,” he declared to his Communist Party comrades.

That certainly sounds like a declaration of war to me. If your enemy says that you are at war, then you are probably at war, whether you want to be or not.

Beijing is determined to be the undisputed hegemon of the 21st century.

China’s strategic literature is full with “back-to-the-future” analyses in which China reassumes its traditional role as the hegemon. Only this time around, the Middle Kingdom will dominate not only Asia, but also the world.

Many Chinese analysts are now employing, as a model both for domestic politics and international affairs the same “Sinic Civilization vs. Barbarism Distinction” (huayizhibian) used in imperial times. America is seen as the leader of the “Barbarians” and must be defeated.

Virtually all of China’s top thinkers see the end of history arriving in a stark “China wins, Barbarians lose” scenario. This belief colors everything from industrial policy to trade deals and creates sharply differing expectations.

“Win-win” means different things in different countries:

American trade negotiators, operating under a “win-win” paradigm, see their role as negotiating equitable deals that are advantageous to both sides. Chinese negotiators nod sagely in apparent agreement, but their goal is something entirely different. To them, “win-win” means that China wins twice.

The first “win” comes in the terms of the trade deal, which they humbly insist should favor China “as a less-developed country.” The second “win” for China comes when it arrogantly and deceitfully goes on to cheat on those same terms.

This is so well understood in China that the phrase “win-win” has become a national joke — at America’s expense.

Over the years, China’s trade negotiators have had many good laughs at the expense of their clueless, naïve American counterparts — and at the expense of the American worker …

China has been engaged in a long-running, covert cyberwar against the United States. Beijing has literally stolen billions a year in intellectual property, especially dual-use technology, from U.S. companies. It is feverishly trying to discover cyber-vulnerabilities that could be covertly exploited, or used in the event of open conflict. …

It is an open secret that Beijing cleverly skews its market against foreign companies through technology theft, unwritten rules, and other machinations. As The Economist noted several years ago, “The meddling state [China] lets multinationals in, only to squeeze them dry of their valuable technologies and then push them out.”

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Saudi Arabia, Our Friend And Ally

Saudi Arabia, Our Friend And Ally, by Hugh Fitzgerald.

The State Department has just issued its annual report on religious freedom around the world.

Saudi Arabia, to judge by the language of the report, vied with North Korea as the worst offender. … He cited criminal penalties — but did not explain that for some of those “crimes” the penalty is death — for apostasy, atheism, blasphemy, and insulting the Saudi state’s interpretation of Islam, as well as discrimination against, and attacks targeting, Shi’ite Muslims. …

And while limits on the religious freedom of foreigners was mentioned, the report did not go into the details of how, in Saudi Arabia, the observation of Christian worship, no matter if held behind closed doors, is strictly forbidden and severely punished. A few years ago, four Korean women were singing Christmas carols softly in their rooms, far from any Muslims. The matawain, or religious police, who are always on the prowl, overheard them, hauled them away, and they were promptly deported for their caroling sins. They may have been lucky; the usual punishment for singing carols is 1000 lashes, which can prove fatal for some. And before there were the Korean women, there were British nurses, also caught celebrating Christmas behind doors. And that 1000 lashes is also the punishment prescribed for wishing anyone Merry Christmas in the thoroughly Islamic state of Saudi Arabia.

Nor did the State Department report take up the perennial problem of Saudi textbooks which preach hatred of Christians and Jews, about which discussion has been going on for more than a decade, with the Saudis constantly reassuring the Americans that they are making all the necessary changes. In fact, those textbooks continue to include lessons describing the Jews “as the sons of apes and pigs,” and of Infidels as the “most vile” of creatures (which is just a quote from Qur’an 98:6, though the State Department may not realize it). …

Meanwhile, in official Washington, Saudi Arabia is still considered a “friend and ally.”

Even though it … teaches hatred of Jews and Christians in its schools, and continues to spread Salafi Islam, with billions spent … on mosques, madrasas, and imams all over the Muslim world.

But aren’t the SJWs worried about the Saudi’s hate speech? No, not in the slightest.

The more Sunnis and Shi’a go at it, the more each side expends in men, materiel, money, and morale, in fighting with each other in many different theaters — Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Bahrain, possibly the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan — the less trouble they can make for us, the Infidels. The “proxy war” between Iran and Saudi Arabia that is now going on will be even more useful to the West if it becomes a direct and ferocious conflict, and one which, given the balance of forces in the area, is likely to go on for at least as long as did the Iran-Iraq war. Perhaps there is some downside to such an outcome, but I just can’t figure out what that might be.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Religious freedom at risk in same-sex shift

Religious freedom at risk in same-sex shift in Australia, by Paul Kelly.

The myopic failure of parliament to confront the need for broad ­religious-freedom guarantees in association with same-sex marriage laws has produced the inevitable — strong warnings that one right will be won at the erosion of other rights. …

They rest upon three realities: that protection of belief and ­religious freedom in this country is seriously inadequate; the refusal of politicians either to admit or to address such defects; and the abundant evidence at home and abroad that individuals and institutions will be intimidated after the marriage law is changed.

Assertions to the contrary by politicians are worthless. Having been derelict in their duty they now complain about people pointing out the consequences of their dereliction. …

Advocates of same-sex marriage insist the change to marriage law must be the only issue considered at the plebiscite. Anything else is dismissed as a scare or distraction. You can only believe this if you believe the consequences of the change don’t matter or if you don’t care if the price of a new right is the sacrifice of other rights or if, in fact, you actually support the winding back of protections for individual belief and religious freedom.

In his recent article for The Guardian, Frank Brennan said religious freedom in Australia was seen as a “second-order right” while in international law it was a “first order ‘non-derogable’ right”. …

The tactical mistake the Liberal Party made was seeking to make opposition to same-sex marriage the issue (a losing position) when it should have made same-sex marriage only on the condition of religious tolerance guarantees the issue (a winning position). ,,,

The debate about religious freedom has focused entirely around the ceremony, not the society. But the bigger issue concerns protections for individuals, schools, charities, adoption agencies, businesses and institutions. The politicians will deny it but advocates of same-sex marriage felt religious freedom beyond the ceremony was a non-issue they didn’t have to worry about, a telling conclusion.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

The Reality of “Emerging Markets”

The Reality of “Emerging Markets”, by Jayant Bhandari, who constantly travels the world searching for investment opportunities and advising institutional investors.

After the departure of the British — as well as the French, German, Belgians, and other European colonizers — most of the newly “independent” countries suffered rapid decay in their institutions, stagnant economises, massive social strife, and a fall in standards of living. An age of anti-liberalism and tyranny descended on these ex-colonized countries. They rightly got to be known as third-world countries. …

The blame — at least among those on the Right — went mostly to socialism and the rise of dictators. This is not incorrect, but it is a merely proximate cause. …

According to conventional wisdom, the situation changed after the fall of the socialist ringleader, the USSR, in the late ’80s. Ex-colonized countries started to liberalize their economies and widely accepted democracy, leading to peace, the spread of education and equality, the establishment of liberal, independent institutions, and a massive economic growth sustained during the past three decades. The “third-world” would soon be known as the “emerging markets.”

Alas, this is a faulty narrative. Economic growth did pick up in these poor countries, and the rate of growth did markedly exceed that of the West, but the conventional narrative confuses correlation with causality. It tries to fit events to ideological preferences, which assume that we are all the same, that if Europeans could progress, so should everyone else, and that all that matters is correct incentives and appropriate institutions.

The claimed liberalization in the “emerging markets” after the collapse of the USSR did not really happen. Progress was always one step forward and two steps back. In some ways, government regulations and repression of businesses in the “emerging markets” have actually gotten much worse. Financed by increased taxes, governments have grown by leaps and bounds — not for the benefit of society but for that of the ruling class — and are now addicted to their own growth.

The ultimate underpinnings of the so-called emerging markets haven’t changed. Their rapid economic progress during the past three decades — a one-off event — happened for reasons completely different from those assumed by most economists. The question is: once the effect of the one-off event has worn off, will the so-called emerging markets revert to the stagnation, institutional degradation, and tyranny that they had leaped into soon after the European colonizers left?

In the “emerging markets” (except for China) synchronized favorable economic changes were an anomaly. They resulted in large part from the new, extremely cheap telephony that came into existence (a result of massive cabling of the planet done in the ’80s) and the subsequent advent of the new technology of the internet. The internet enabled instantaneous transfer of technology from the West and, by consequence, an unprecedented economic growth in the “emerging markets.”

Meanwhile, a real cultural, political, and economic renaissance started in China. It was an event so momentous that it changed the economic structure not just of China but of the whole world. Because China is seen as a communist dictatorship, it fails to be fully appreciated and respected by intellectuals who are obsessed with the institution of democracy. But now that the low-hanging fruit from the emergence of the internet and of China (which continues to progress) have been plucked, the “emerging markets” (except, again, for China) are regressing to the normal: decay in their institutions, stagnant economies, and social strife. They should still be called the “third world.”

China. Korea, and Japan are more like the West, intrinsically different from the  third world:

There are those who hold China in contempt for copying Western technology, but they don’t understand that if copying were so easy, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and South Asia would have done the same. …

For those who have not travelled and immersed themselves in formerly colonized countries, it is hard to understand that although there was piping for water and sewage in Roman days, it still does not exist for a very large segment of the world’s population. The wheel has been in existence for more than 5,000 years, but a very large number of people still carry water pots on their heads.

It is not the absence of technology or money that is stopping these people from starting to use some basic forms of technology. It is something else. …

This matters for the West now, because we have imported so many third world immigrants:

Europeans of [Churchill’s] time clearly knew that there was something fundamentally different between the West and the Rest, and that the colonies would not survive without the pillars and cement that European management provided. With the rise of political correctness this wisdom was erased from our common understanding, but it is something that may well return to haunt us in the near future as expectations from the third-world fail and those who immigrate to Europe, Canada, Australia, and the US fail to assimilate. …

The missing ingredient in the third world was the concept of objective, impartial reason, the basis of laws and institutions that protect individual rights. This concept took 2,500 years to develop and get infused into the culture, memes, and genes of Europeans — a difficult process that, even in Europe, has never been completed.

Without reason, the concepts of equal law, compassion, and empathy do not operate. Such societies simply cannot have institutions of the rule of law and of fairness. … Any imposed institutions — schools, armies, elections, national executives, banking and taxation systems — must mutate to cater to the underlying irrationalities and tribalisms of the third world. …

Without impartial reason, democracy is a mere tribal, geographical concept steeped in arrogance. All popular and “educated” rhetoric to the contrary, I can think of no country in the nonwestern world that did well after it took to “democracy.” …

Papua New Guinea was another country that was doing reasonably well, before the Australians left. It is now rapidly regressing to its tribal, irrational, and extremely violent norm, where for practical purposes a rape is not even a crime. …

The world may recognize most of the above, but it sees these countries’ problems as isolated events that can corrected by a further imposition of Western institutions, under the guidance of the UN or some such international (and therefore “noncolonialist”) organization. Amusingly, our intellectual climate — a product of political correctness — is such that the third world is seen as the backbone of humanity’s future economic growth.

A vital area of policy in which political correctness confines us to a fantasy land of wrong answers. Read it all.

One of the axioms of the left is that all groups of people have the same statistical properties (in everything that really matters). While this is politically correct, it is of course significantly wrong. That error is the cause of many disastrous mistakes in public policy, such as in motivating indiscriminate immigration to the West from third world countries.

Black Lives Matter: The Klan with a Tan?

Black Lives Matter: The Klan with a Tan?

The US Democratic Party used to be the home of the slavers. The Ku Klux Klan was basically the armed wing of the Democratic Party. Abraham Lincoln was a Republican. History is taught and propagated by leftists institutions, so these uncomfortable facts (which often surprise leftists) are downplayed to the point of being little known.

The US Democrat Party changed all that in the 1960s, when it switched from anti-back racism to, increasingly, anti-white racism. Now it seems like the Black Lives Matter movement is increasingly like the armed wing of the modern Democratic Party, a political ally that sometimes turning up to beat up its enemies. BLM engages in political violence, such as murdering cops, so the above meme has a grain of truth to it.

Some history the PC crowd don’t want you to know:

hat-tip Scott of the Pacific

CNN’s Angela Rye: Statues of Washington, Jefferson and Lee ‘All Need to Come Down’

CNN’s Angela Rye: Statues of Washington, Jefferson and Lee ‘All Need to Come Down’, by Faith Gates.

It’s happening just as Donald Trump predicted. He said in a press conference Monday that if a confederate statue of Robert E. Lee comes down, what’s next? Statues of George Washington because he was a slave owner? Well that is exactly what CNN political analyst Angela Rye thinks should happen.

Tucker Carson says some interesting things. This is pretty important stuff, because of where it is heading:

Once revolutions gain speed, they tend to go further than anyone imagines. The French Revolution is the standard case. The US Constitution is going to be a target, then rebuilding US society. The harvest of the long march through the institutions is now coming in, and it could be bitter indeed — a generation of ignorant youth programmed by the worst of leftist academia, threatening to rebuild our world for us.

Commies, Confederates or Christ

Commies, Confederates or Christ, by Doug Wilson.

There is a revolution in progress. This is what a revolution looks like. The revolutionaries have been preparing it for decades, following out the logic of Gramsci’s “long march through the institutions.” They are in the process of making what they believe is their final concerted push. They are doing this because, as things stand now, there is no place for conservatives to stand as they try to push back.

The conservatives, such as they are, have been operating on cruise control for those same decades — holding to the form but lacking the substance. The form they have been holding to is the brick skin of Western culture, but they have acquiesced in a repudiation of all the internal support columns of Western culture, which would be the Christian faith. And remember, without Christ the Christian faith has its own forms of holding to the form but lacking the substance — funny hats and no gospel. …

For those who have been buying into the flatteries of the liberal democrats, the flatteries that say we can have a society with “a center that holds” without a transcendental authority, my point is a stark and ugly one. But ugly or not, it is manifestly true: Christ or chaos. …

There is no coherent defense against Leftist insanity available that can prevail by simply appealing to common sense or shared civic traditions. Hollow traditions are simply that brittle exterior that make such a satisfying crunchy sound when the radicals punch through them. This is a battle between false gods on the march and hollow gods standing on pedestals just waiting to be yanked over. …

Eric Erickson has some good things to say about this as a battle over the God-vacancy. He is talking about the Antifa thugs on the Left and the neo-Nutzis on the Right. My point is consistent with his, but I am comparing the agitators on the Left with the respectable buttoned-down, creased-khaki conservatives on the modest and diffident right. …

Removing the statues:

The Left is attacking America, not the Confederacy. The Confederacy, for those just joining us, lost the war. Part of the accommodation that was reached after the war was an arrangement where the nation grew back together with both sides being proud of how both sides fought. …

The Left has not decided that a resurgent Confederacy is a real threat. They have determined (correctly) that the whole thing is woven together. If they can get everyone cowed by the emotional logic of “Slave-owner!,” they will be able to tear down a lot more than a memorial plaque in a community cemetery in Mississippi somewhere. …

Contemporary America has rejected God, and refuses to name of the name of Jesus. … We have therefore lost the concept of sin, but we have not lost the ability to pile up grievances. Sins can be forgiven (if you call upon Jesus), but grievances accumulate. … So these statues are coming down, not because they represent sinners, but because they are represent losers. This is a power struggle, not a moral struggle. …

Is the new order working out better for you than the old?

The central logical telos for all forms of egalitarianism — financial, sexual, environment, etc. — is the impoverishment of others. …

We have been told, and for some time now, that we could have a stable, orderly society without a transcendental authority. So how’s that working out? We were told that common sense would enable us all to work together, regardless of the fact that we all believed different things about ultimate reality. Is that still true?

We have gotten to the absurd point where people in Che! shirts are accusing Robert E. Lee of being a bad man. We must repudiate slave-owners, said the guy in the murderer shirt.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Trump approves sending 4,000 more troops to Afghanistan

Trump approves sending 4,000 more troops to Afghanistan, by Fox News.

President Trump has signed off on sending an additional 4,000 troops to Afghanistan, ahead of his address to the nation Monday night, Fox News has learned.

Trump is set to unveil his strategy for Afghanistan, becoming the third commander-in-chief to attempt to stabilize the war-torn country and forge a victory in what is now America’s longest war. An estimated 8,400 U.S. troops are currently in Afghanistan. …

I think he is going to give [his generals] a chance to prove what they want and their strategy,” former Trump deputy campaign manager David Bossie told “Fox & Friends,” noting that Trump can adjust the plan in the future.

The stakes are high. Some 16 years after the 9/11 terror attacks, which first drew U.S. forces into Afghanistan, the local government controls just half the country – beset by the Taliban insurgency and terrorist factions. …

In Afghanistan, Gen. John Nicholson’s comments suggested the Pentagon may have won its argument that the U.S. military must remain engaged in order to ensure that terrorists aren’t again able to threaten the U.S. from havens inside Afghanistan.

Increasing troop levels from 8 thousand to 12 thousand in a country of 33 million people hardly seems like a game changer. I wonder what the locals think of the foreigners waging war in their country for 16 years and counting?

‘Time to Come Home!’ Donald Trump’s Long Frustration with the Afghanistan War

‘Time to Come Home!’ Donald Trump’s Long Frustration with the Afghanistan War, by Charlie Spiering.

“Do not allow our very stupid leaders to sign a deal that keeps us in Afghanistan through 2024 — with all costs by U.S.A.,” Trump wrote on Twitter in November 2013. “MAKE AMERICA GREAT!”

Trump shared his frank assessment about the Afghanistan conflict many times in 2013, as the United States military was repeatedly hit by terrorist attacks in the region.

“Let’s get out of Afghanistan. Our troops are being killed by the Afghanis we train and we waste billions there,” he wrote. “Nonsense! Rebuild the USA.” …

“We have wasted an enormous amount of blood and treasure in Afghanistan. Their government has zero appreciation. Let’s get out!” Trump said after Karzai’s bluster. “Can you believe that “President” Karzai of Afghanistan is holding out for more, more, more and refuses to sign deal. Tell him to go to hell!” …

“We should leave Afghanistan immediately. No more wasted lives,” he wrote. “If we have to go back in, we go in hard & quick. Rebuild the US first.”

Trump told voters that he would listen to the generals, instead of the foreign policy establishment.

“I am proud instead to have the support of our warfighting generals, active duty military officers, and top military experts who know how to win – and know how to keep us out of endless war,” he said.

Trump Debuts Afghanistan Strategy: ‘We Are Not Nation-Building Again, We Are Killing Terrorists’

Trump Debuts Afghanistan Strategy: ‘We Are Not Nation-Building Again, We Are Killing Terrorists’, by Kristina Wong.

President Trump unveiled his plan for Afghanistan after seven months of deliberation Monday evening, announcing tweaks around the edges of the current strategy instead of a different approach.

He announced five “core pillars” to the approach: getting rid of any timelines for how long U.S. troops would remain in Afghanistan; using all elements of power, including diplomatic and economic; getting tougher on Pakistan;getting India to help more with economic development; and expanding authorities for U.S. forces to fight terrorists. …

He floated the idea of a “political settlement that includes elements of the Taliban and Afghanistan, but added, “nobody knows if or when that will ever happen.”

He said it was up to the people of Afghanistan to “take ownership of their future” and to “achieve an everlasting peace,” but did not say how that would happen.

“We are not nation-building again, we are killing terrorists,” he asserted.

Trump did not talk about how much more the new strategy would cost, but said the U.S. would ask its NATO and other allies to do more. The U.S. spends about $45 billion per year in Afghanistan. While he did not announce a withdrawal date, he said “our support is not a blank check … The American people expect to see real reforms, real progress, and real results. Our patience is not unlimited.” …

“The American people are weary of war without victory. Nowhere is this more evident than Afghanistan the longest war in American history, 17 years. I share the American people’s frustration over a foreign policy that has spent too much time, energy, money and most importantly, lives,” he said.

However, he said despite his “original instinct” to pull out, “decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office, in other words when you are president of the United States.”

After studying the Afghanistan in “great detail and from every conceivable angle,” he said he did not want to repeat the mistake of the previous administration in Iraq and pull out too early, leaving a vacuum for terrorists to fill.

“We cannot repeat in Afghanistan the mistake our leaders made in Iraq,” he said. “We must address reality.”

Checking My Six Month Prediction – Did it Age Well?

Checking My Six Month Prediction – Did it Age Well? By Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert.

I learned this past week that if you are marching with urine-hurlers, and making common cause with urine-hurlers, you’re just as bad as urine-hurlers. And if that logic doesn’t hold up, it would feel super-awkward for me to be on the team that says it does. But that’s just me. …

And what about the racist dog whistle that anti-Trumpers tell us only they and racists can hear? Is it not super-awkward that your best criticism involves hearing a secret message that only racists can detect?

Or what if your view is that President Trump accomplished nothing in his first six months? Would this extensive list of his accomplishments make you feel super-awkward?

I will take anti-Trumpers at their word that they don’t feel awkward about any of this. I got that prediction totally wrong. I recently wrote a blog post explaining why anti-Trumpers don’t feel awkward. It involves something I call the Mass Hysteria Bubble.

US Engineers Begin Preparatory Work for Border Wall Construction

US Engineers Begin Preparatory Work for Border Wall Construction, by Ron Nixon.

The United States Army Corps of Engineers has begun preliminary preparations for the construction of segments of a wall in several places along the border with Mexico, the Department of Homeland Security said on Tuesday.

Engineers are drilling and taking soil samples to determine what type of barriers would be most effective in the different types of geography along the border, said David Lapan, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security. …

President Trump mandated construction of the wall in an executive order in January. In March, the Department of Homeland Security put out a call for prototypes of a “physically imposing” and “aesthetically pleasing” border wall. The structure would also be designed to prevent climbing and tunneling. …

Mr. Trump initially spoke of building a “big, beautiful” wall along the entire 2,000-mile border with Mexico. But last week, he scaled back that plan, saying the length of the wall could be as little as 700 miles.

“You don’t need 2,000 miles of wall because you have a lot of natural barriers,” Mr. Trump said in a conversation with reporters aboard Air Force One last week. “You have mountains. You have some rivers that are violent and vicious. You have some areas that are so far away that you don’t really have people crossing. So you don’t need that. But you’ll need anywhere from 700 to 900 miles.”

Donald Trump Finally Comes Out of the Closet

Donald Trump Finally Comes Out of the Closet, by Michael Krieger.

The firing of Steve Bannon is in my opinion the most significant event to happen during the Trump administration thus far. …

I learned the lesson from the Obama administration. People = policy, and the people Trump was elevating were almost unanimously awful. Irrespective of what you think of Bannon, him being out means Wall Street and the military-industrial complex is now 100% in control of the Trump administration. …

The removal of Bannon is the end of even a facade of populism. This is now the Goldman Sachs Presidency with a thin-skinned, unthinking authoritarian as a figurehead. …

With the coup successful, Trump no longer needs to be impeached.

Here’s another prediction. Watch the corporate media start to lay off Trump a bit more going forward. Rather than hysterically demonize him for every little thing, corporate media will increasingly give him more of the benefit of the doubt. After all, a Presidency run by Goldman Sachs and generals is exactly what they like. …

Trump is being trained by the media, as are all politicians who rely on votes from voters who get their information from the media:

This is not to say I think the media will become pro-Trump, it just means the obsessive and aggressive propaganda will be dialed back considerably. Trump is now inline, and he will be rewarded by the establishment for that. He will learn that the more he gets with the program, the easier his life will be and the more secure his power.

He is merely being conditioned, and my forecast is that Trump will gladly embrace the worst parts of the establishment going forward. Why? Because Trump’s true worldview fits in way more with Goldman Sachs and the military-industrial complex than with populism. It always has. The whole thing was just an act to get elected. Firing Bannon is just Trump coming home to who he always was. A ruthless oligarch. …

What now for those who supported Trump’s election promises?

I understand that many other people just voted for him as a middle finger to the system, but for the true believers who thought he had their backs, it’s now long past the time to pack up your bags. …

Too many people have invested way too much in Trump to admit they got played. Sure, there will be outrage for a few days and people will swear to be “off the Trump train,” but as soon as the next wedge social issue gets played up by the media, they’ll be right back onboard. I expect excuses from “new right” leaders to come within a few days, or weeks at the most. …

An enormous opportunity has opened up for left-leaning economic populism. … Donald Trump won the Presidency not because he was especially great or loved, but because his opponent was terrible, he talked in populist terms, and people just wanted to give a middle finger to the political establishment and corporate media. If that’s right, what’s to stop a movement from winning power if it promises to flip the bird to both Trump and Clinton while also making you laugh? Not much.

I think the “DirtBag Left” will catch the Trump team completely off guard over the next few years. The reason Trump’s prospects look pretty good right now for a second term is because there’s no real organized opposition to him. By real organized opposition, I mean a movement driven by actual ideas and passion that is also working on a plan to run a competitive candidate in 2020. The current “resistance” consists of Hillary donors, neocons, the corporate media and elements of the deep state. While Trump complains about this opposition constantly, he doesn’t realize how good he has it. The American public hates those factions more than they hate Trump, and nobody wants to vote for that discredited garbage in 2020. …

Lots of Trump voters are now up for grabs, and if they can come up with a genuine message of economic populism that avoids the typical leftist pitfalls — such as supporting misguided young people dressing up like ninjas, carrying flags and hurling rocks at people trying to give a talk — the opportunity to create a populist movement of immense national significance is there. People across the country are craving it, but they want nothing to do with antifa, political correctness, or aggression against free speech.

Interesting analysis. The most interesting phase in US and world politics for decades, lasting maybe almost two years, maybe be drawing to a close.

Google Teaming With Left-Wing Groups to Drive Conservatives Off the Internet?

Google Teaming With Left-Wing Groups to Drive Conservatives Off the Internet? By John Hinderaker.

Leftists are trying to drive conservatives off the web by pressuring hosting services, payment services like PayPal, and other companies that provide technical support on a more or less indiscriminate basis to web sites.

They already have had considerable success in this regard. Their pretense that the campaign is directed only at “hate” sites is absurd. No rational person would put pamelageller.com, for example, in that category.

And don’t think for a moment that this effort will end with the initial targets. Before long, the Left will try to make it impossible for mainstream conservative sites like Power Line, as well as Christian and Jewish web sites, to exist. Bill Jacobson writes at Legal Insurrection:

Attempts to induce corporations to silence conservatives are nothing new. We have seen years of pressure tactics from groups such as Media Matter to shut down voices such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity by pressuring and harassing advertisers. Campaigns are currently underway to force advertisers away from websites such as Breitbart and Gateway Pundit.

As discussed in many posts, this tactic can be effective when highly organized because major corporations are scared to death of bad publicity in general, but particularly bad publicity that could find it accused of supporting racism or other -isms. So the easy decision is to drop the advertising, rather than face protesters outside headquarters and in social media.

That tactic now has gone to a completely different level with attempts to intimidate internet hosting companies and companies that provide internet infrastructure to cut off access to the internet. So far, the effort has been focused on the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer. People might not care that The Daily Stormer is taken down, but the history of leftist tactics shows that the target universe will expand dramatically and it will not be long before efforts are directed, as they are now for advertisers, at mainstream conservative and right-of-center websites.

Is Google Working with Liberal Groups to Snuff Out Conservative Websites?

Is Google Working with Liberal Groups to Snuff Out Conservative Websites? By Paula Bolyard.

Google revealed in a blog post that it is now using machine learning to document “hate crimes and events” in America. They’ve partnered with liberal groups like ProPublica, BuzzFeed News, and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to make information about “hate events” easily accessible to journalists.

And now, there are troubling signs that this tool could be used to ferret out writers and websites that run afoul of the progressive orthodoxy. …

ProPublica poses as a middle-of-the-road non-profit journalistic operation, but in reality, it’s funded by a stable of uber-liberal donors, including George Soros’s Open Society Foundations … The Southern Poverty Law Center, of course, is infamous for targeting legitimate conservatives groups, branding them as “hate groups” because they refuse to walk in lockstep with the progressive agenda. And it goes with out saying that The New York Times and BuzzFeed News lean left.

Wow. Check out the nasty letters sent to websites the lefty net-vigilantes do not like:

An email sent to several conservative writers by a ProPublica reporter may give us some indication [of what Google means by “help journalists covering hate news leverage this data in their reporting”]. Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer along with some others received this from ProPublica “reporter” Lauren Kirchner:

I am a reporter at ProPublica, a nonprofit investigative newsroom in New York. I am contacting you to let you know that we are including your website in a list of sites that have been designated as hate or extremist by the American Defamation League or the Southern Poverty Law Center. We have identified all the tech platforms that are supporting websites on the ADL and SPLC lists.

We would like to ask you a few questions:

1) Do you disagree with the designation of your website as hate or extremist? Why?

2) We identified several tech companies on your website: PayPal, Amazon, Newsmax, and Revcontent. Can you confirm that you receive funds from your relationship with those tech companies? How would the loss of those funds affect your operations, and how would you be able to replace them?

3) Have you been shut down by other tech companies for being an alleged hate or extremist web site? Which companies?

4) Many people opposed to sites like yours are currently pressuring tech companies to cease their relationships with them – what is your view of this campaign? Why?

In other words, nice website you’ve got there. It would be a shame if anything happened to it.

To summarize: Liberal ProPublica, working with the smear merchants at SPLC — powered by Google — sent a reporter out to issue not so veiled threats against conservative websites. It’s blatantly obvious that the goal here is to tank websites they disagree with by mounting a campaign to pressure their advertisers and tech providers to drop them as clients. This comes on the heels of Google, GoDaddy, CloudFlare, Apple, and others singling out alt-right sites for destruction in the wake of the Charlottesville riots.

Robert Spencer (who also writes for PJ Media) responded to the threat on his Jihad Watch blog:

The intent of your questions, and no doubt of your forthcoming article, will be to try to compel these sites to cut off any connection with us based on our opposition to jihad terror. Are you comfortable with what you’re enabling? Not only are you inhibiting honest analysis of the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat, but you’re aiding the attempt to deny people a platform based on their political views.

This could come back to bite you if your own views ever fall out of favor. Have you ever lived in a totalitarian state, where the powerful determine the parameters of the public discourse and cut off all voice from the powerless? Do you really want to live in one now? You might find, once you get there, that it isn’t as wonderful as you thought it would be. …

We’re on a very slippery slope. Be assured that the left won’t stop at taking down alt-right sites. They’ve tasted blood with their recent successes and they won’t quit until we are all silenced. …

They will not rest until every one of the names on SPLC’s dubious 900-member hate list is purged from the Internet. Make no mistake. They are marshaling forces to pressure advertisers and tech providers to take conservative sites down. Just take a look at this list of Christian groups that made the list because they haven’t jumped on the LGBTQ bandwagon. …

If the SPLC and ADL, with their (growing) list of “hate groups” are going to be the arbiter for approved online speech, we have reached a very scary place in this country. It will be the end of the Internet as we know it and America will be no better than totalitarian China and N. Korea.

One in Three British Jews Consider Leaving UK, Majority Thinks Labour Party Harbours Anti-Semites

One in Three British Jews Consider Leaving UK, Majority Thinks Labour Party Harbours Anti-Semites, by Victoria Friedman.

This is despite a fall in anti-Semitic attitudes amongst the British public, according to the study.

Bannon ‘Intellectual Heart’ of Movement Who Would Rather Work Weekends than Party in Hamptons

Bannon ‘Intellectual Heart’ of Movement Who Would Rather Work Weekends than Party in Hamptons, by Tony Lee.

Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon is the “intellectual heart and soul” of President Donald Trump’s nationalist-populist movement …

While Bannon, as former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus noted, worked “24 hours a day” to fulfill Trump’s campaign promises, other aides reportedly enjoyed partying in the Hamptons. Politico is referring to its Playbook report that spotted White House aides like Dina Powell, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, and Kellyanne Conway partying with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and anti-Trump financier George Soros in the Hamptons last month.

While the US is toppling offensive symbols, what about the Democratic Party?

While the US is toppling offensive symbols, what about the Democratic Party? By John Kass.

Destroying public imagery and iconography isn’t the kind of thing Americans do. Actually, it’s the kind of thing that ISIS does.

But Sharpton, the noted race hustler, helped me see things in a different way.

History is important, but history can also be quite offensive.

But there’s one thing wrong with Sharpton. It’s not that he goes too far. It’s that he doesn’t go far enough.

Because if he and others of the Cultural Revolution were being intellectually honest, they’d demand that along with racist statues, something else would be toppled.

And this, too, represents much of America’s racist history:

The Democratic Party.

The Democratic Party historically is the party of slavery. The Democratic Party is the party of Jim Crow laws. The Democratic Party fought civil rights for a century.

And so by rights — or at least by the standards established by the Cultural Revolutionaries of today’s American left — we should ban the Democratic Party.

Not only get rid of it in the present, but strike its very name from the history books, and topple all Democratic statues of leaders who benefited, prospered and became wealthy by cleaving to the party. And shame Democrats until they confess the truth of it.

The Democratic Party’s military arm in the South was the KKK. The Democratic Party opposed the 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution, making the former slaves citizens of the United States and giving them the vote.

If the new Cultural Revolution was serious, wouldn’t it also demand that the Democratic Party be put in a museum somewhere, away from decent people, along with those Confederate statues? …

That’s how it is with history. You can’t say the Democratic Party wasn’t the slavery party. It’s historical fact.

Just as it is also historical fact that the Republican Party was the party of abolitionists.

The Storm Before The Storm

The Storm Before The Storm, by Rod Dreher.

The rising Left is bound and determined to crush or at least permanently sideline people it deems heretics — in particular, whites, males, orthodox Christians, and skeptics of the LGBT project. It does not want a pluralistic modus vivendi; it wants total domination. The establishment Left lacks the will to stop them. Its members are terrified of appearing un-woke. …

The establishment Right lacks the will to stop them either, for fear of being called bigots. And it lacks the will or the imagination to stand in any way against corporate interests. …

The real glue holding the dynamic Left together is hatred of the Other. … For them, the culture war is of such paramount importance that it precludes economic-based alliances.

The real glue holding the dynamic Right together is hatred of the Other. … [They] would like to suspend the culture war and make common cause with the economic Left, but the Left is not interested. …

Christianity, in whatever diluted form, was for most of America’s history the ties that bound us together (whether or not we were Christians). Those days are gone. Liberalism, in the broadest historical sense, is secularized Christianity, and as such is parasitic on Christianity. When Christianity disappears, as it has largely done in Europe and is well on its way to doing in the United States, it takes with it the basis on which liberalism operates. Laws and procedures alone do not hold a people together. …

Bottom line: Identity politics will dissolve the traditional bonds that have held Americans together, and re-bind forces of the Left and forces on the Right to each other. Absent Christianity as a meaningful force in American life, liberalism will continue to fade into exhaustion and senescence. Illiberalism of the Left and of the Right is not yet fully mainstream, but that day is coming.

Glenn Reynolds:

The thing is, you don’t get Hitler because of Hitler — there are always potential Hitlers out there. You get Hitler because of Weimar, and you get Weimar because the liberals are too corrupt and incompetent to maintain a liberal polity.

Britain Drills Its First Shale Well Since 2011

Britain Drills Its First Shale Well Since 2011, by Jamie Horgan.

Six years ago, exploratory drilling in Lancashire, England was blamed for two small earthquakes, and the British government put a quick stop to shale operations. It’s been a long road back, but Cuadrilla began drilling the vertical component of what will eventually be a shale well near that fateful Lancashire site.

The stakes are high for Britain. The country’s most important source of domestic oil and gas, the North Sea, is maturing as a resource—companies are having to slash costs to stay competitive in today’s low-price environment, and are all the while coping with decreasing yields as fields pass their prime. …

Blame it on ignorance egged on by environmentalists, and lack of incentive due to ownership:

According to the British Geological Survey, the UK is home to some 1,300 trillion cubic feet of natural gas trapped in shale rock (for reference, Britain consumes roughly 3 trillion cf). And, over the past decade, the United States has demonstrated just how transformative a resource shale can be. …

Unlike the U.S., the UK doesn’t afford mineral rights to landowners. Because British property owners don’t also own the oil (or in this case natural gas) that may lie beneath their land, they lack the financial incentive to accede to the extraordinary disruption that accompanies commercial hydrocarbon production.

New York Times Reporters Applaud Far-Left Violence

New York Times Reporters Applaud Far-Left Violence, by John Hinderaker.

New York Times reporters Thomas Fuller, Alan Feuer and Serge Kovaleski are responsible for this admiring profile of the far-left Brownshirts called antifa: “‘Antifa’ members are ready to literally fight right-wingers.” …

Is antifa violent? Well, that depends on what the meaning of “violent” is:

“You need violence in order to protect nonviolence,” she said. “That’s what’s very obviously necessary right now.” …

“When you look at this grave and dangerous threat — and the violence it has already caused — is it more dangerous to do nothing and tolerate it or should we confront it?” Sabaté said. “Their existence itself is violent … so I don’t think using force or violence to oppose them is unethical.”

The mere existence of supporters of President Trump is violent, so it is OK to attack them with baseball bats. The Times reporters show no sign of disagreeing with this “reasoning.” …

Here is a photo of antifa responding to a violent window in Washington, D.C. during President Trump’s inauguration:

… Funny how the heroes of antifa don’t like to be photographed. Why do you suppose that is? …

Antifa rioters always bring bats and clubs, just in case they encounter anyone violent:

… Antifa is nothing more or less than a fascist organization. Hitler’s Brownshirts had nothing on them. I thought their childish trick of naming themselves the opposite of what they really are wouldn’t fool anyone, but apparently it has fooled the New York Times. Or maybe the Times is just on their side.

Glenn Reynolds:

The press is happy to have people hurt, so long as it’s the right people. Remember this when they start their “have you no decency?” routine.

Blonde women in Trump gear TRIGGER students at Howard University

Blonde women in Trump gear TRIGGER students at Howard University, by Twitchy.

A group of white women, some of whom were wearing Trump gear, triggered the Howard University community over the weekend when they dared attempt to eat lunch in the school’s cafeteria …

Even the Twitter account for the school’s dining services weighed in on the need for students to have “safe & comfortable” dining spaces:

If not letting people get a meal because you don’t agree with their shirt is “all that is right about America,” then we have problems.

Yeah, and go sit at the back of the bus.

Terror and migration: Truth Europe will not admit

Terror and migration: Truth Europe will not admit, by Jennifer Oriel.

In UN and EU documents, the defence of Western sovereign borders is curiously portrayed as hatred of Muslims. One might consider strong borders indispensable to the protection of all peaceful citizens residing in Western countries, Muslims included. …

The EU and UN worked in unison to defend open borders across Europe against clear evidence that the policy facilitated jihad. Thousands of migrants claiming Syrian refugee status were neither Syrian nor refugees. Once again, the EU has joined the UN to campaign against xenophobia.

In January, European Council president Donald Tusk described three chief threats to the EU. The second threat in Tusk’s analysis is “anti-EU, nationalist, increasingly xenophobic sentiment in the EU itself”. Note the word association. Tusk might have praised the remarkably peaceful response of Europeans to mass migration from the Islamic world. He could have thanked European people for their immense generosity and tolerance, despite the multiple jihadist attacks and assaults committed against them. He could have acknowledged the socioeconomic burden imposed on European citizens by the EC. He might have conceded humbly that EU chiefs were too hasty in prosecuting an open-border policy in an age of transnational jihad. He might have shown empathy for the victims of Europe’s open-border policy and sympathised with the understandable counter-reaction. Instead, Europe’s political leaders treat the natives as collateral damage in their pursuit of an open-border utopia.

Spain is the latest casualty of the EU’s open-border policy. In the hours before the latest jihadist strike, the Spanish maritime service intercepted more than 600 people trying to cross the Mediterranean from Morocco.

And there is the related problem of official denial. …

The unelected bureaucrats staffing the EU and UN risk turning the free world into a wasted asset. If the emergence of a European population resistant to open-border zealotry has come as shock, it is because Eurocrats are so far removed from the people they claim to serve. The bulging register of thought crimes that every PC comrade carries around in his head shields him from the intolerable realism of the dissenting masses. But shouting xenophobia at realists won’t stop terrorism. And it won’t protect the free world from those determined to make us unfree.

Terrorist scare in Stockholm today

Terrorist scare in Stockholm today, by Jaymez.

We had a bit of a terrorist scare in Stockholm today. We were walking along a main thoroughfare when we heard an almighty explosive noise. …

Read the link to find out what it was all about. It’s a bit of a journey but Jaymez has some recommendations, culminating in:

The right to retention of Australian residence or citizenship of Muslims should be reconsidered and even if it requires new legislation, if they have:

  • Shown they do not wish to assimilate, or who have demanded our society change to suit their religious or cultural beliefs
  • Protested violently against the legal publication of cartoons or films which portray Muhammad in a bad light, or mock Islam,
  • Are calling for any form of Sharia law,
  • Supported in any way a terrorist organization,
  • Encouraged or applauded fundamentalist and/or terrorist Islamic behavior,
  • Been granted refugee status under false pretenses.

Islam demo, Hyde Park, Sdyney 2012

Hyde Park, Sydney 2012

Europe migrant crisis: Angela Merkel faces heckling on refugees

Europe migrant crisis: Angela Merkel faces heckling on refugees, by David Charter.

The whistling and shouting reached its climax when Angela Merkel insisted that Germany’s strength lay in its diversity and thanked her audience for helping to cope with the influx of migrants. …

The long-serving chancellor came to the former East Germany on the election trail this week and defended her refugee policy, despite the noise made by a small number of nationalists. …

“We know the past years were not easy,” she began, as hecklers in the open-air venue in the town of Apolda chanted “liar, liar” and “Merkel must go”.

From vantage points around the edge of the 2000-strong crowd police kept watch through binoculars while other officers mingled with the two dozen people doing the heckling. Mrs Merkel likes to address rallies without protective screening and it makes the security services palpably nervous.

Even among her core supporters some doubt the wisdom of her refugee policy – but they still believe she is the best choice for chancellor.

“It was perhaps her one mistake,” said Ramona, a nurse, who travelled from the nearby city of Erfurt to hear Mrs Merkel speak. “It is going to be tough in the next few years – it was just young men who came, and they have to find work. But we are standing by Merkel. It was the ethical thing to do.” …

In eastern Germany the nationalist AfD has the highest support but nationally it is polling at barely 8 per cent. One of Mrs Merkel’s hecklers, Erwin Schmidt, 70, said: “She has divided the German people with her asylum policy. She let in illegal immigrants without passport or papers, she opened the doors for terrorism, for Islam, and we do not want her any longer.”

Will those be Europe’s famous last words: “it was just young men who came, and they have to find work.”.

Mainstream conservatives on SPLC’s “hate group” hit list now stand to lose platforms

Mainstream conservatives on SPLC’s “hate group” hit list now stand to lose platforms, by Jordan Schachtel.

CNN has published a list of “hate groups” currently operating in the United States, relying on an extremely partisan analysis from the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

Several truly extremist groups populate the list, such as the Ku Klux Klan, New Black Panthers, Nation of Islam, and others.

But along with the neo-Nazi and Islamic extremist groups on the list, the SPLC has lumped in as “hate groups” mainstream, well-known conservative individuals and organizations who merely speak out about the threat of radical Islam.

Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch:

First came the SPLC’s claim, uncritically accepted by the establishment media, that it was an impartial and reliable arbiter of what constituted a “hate group” and what didn’t.

Then came the defaming of opposition to jihad terror as “hate.”

And PayPal has dropped Jihad Watch, and more of this kind of thing is sure to come soon — and not just to Jihad Watch, but even to many for whom Jihad Watch is “controversial” for standing against jihad terror and Sharia oppression.

If you support the work of Jihad Watch, close your PayPal account now. Contact them and tell them why. Tell all your friends that PayPal has bowed to Left-fascism, and to boycott it. …

The Left is moving in for the kill now and trying to delegitimize and silence all voices of dissent. Don’t allow this rapidly creeping totalitarianism to succeed.

Everyone and anything non-PC is a “hate” group. ‘Cos they hate it!

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Trump to ‘cut all military aid to Pakistan’, thinks Washington is being ‘ripped off’ by Islamabad

Trump to ‘cut all military aid to Pakistan’, thinks Washington is being ‘ripped off’ by Islamabad, by Reuters.

US President Donald Trump is mulling cutting off all military aid to Pakistan because ‘Washington is being ripped off by Islamabad’, claims a Foreign Policy report. …

During the discussions at Camp David, there were differences of opinion over taking a harder line on Pakistan for failing to close Afghan Taliban sanctuaries and arrest Afghan extremist leaders. US officials say the Afghan Taliban are supported by elements of Pakistan’s military and top intelligence agency, a charge Islamabad denies.

About time. A faint glimmer of hope.

With Bannon gone, it’s civil war

With Bannon gone, it’s civil war, by Michael Davis.

At its most coherent, Trumpism has always been a heretical offshoot of Bannonism: the same populist-nationalist spirit without its conservative, Christian foundation.

So there’s really no other way to say it: objectively speaking, with the departure of Bannon, there is no point of continuity between Candidate Trump and President Trump. They’re two completely different people who happen to share the same Twitter handle. …

The West Wing … is now controlled by New York liberals: Ivanka, Jared Kushner, Dina Powell, and Gary Cohn. …

There’s been a slow leak of prominent defectors from the beginning of this presidency, none of which attended major firings. Most prominent were Ann Coulter, Milo Yiannopoulos, and Paul Joseph Watson: three of the President’s most ardent media boosters, who ‘got off the Trump Train’ after his attacks on Syria. …

If I were a White House counsellor, I wouldn’t worry about Trump’s re-election prospects… at least not for that reason. What he loses in Bannonites, he makes up for in prodigal establishmentarians. But as a voter and a journalist, I do wonder about the future of the nationalist movement. …

What happens after Trump? As we said, the actual Trumpist machine is now either ‘establishment’ or out-and-out liberal. Whoever he appoints as his successor, it probably won’t be someone his base would accept on their political vision.

Which means we should expect Trump to give rise to a new political dynasty, much like the Clintons: ideologically tepid but efficient technocrats. Trumpism, like Clintonism, will be defined less by its ideology than its managerial competence …

So, what happens if he appoints (say) Ivanka: someone the Trumpist base has never really liked and certainly never trusted? What happens when the head of the Trump machine is someone to whom the base has absolutely no affection or loyalty – someone that won’t get a free pass for deviating from the nationalist program, the way Trump himself has?

The movement’s best chance for survival is that Bannon turns his guns on the New York faction and forces a purge, reinstalling allies of the Old Guard (Bannon, Priebus and co) Otherwise, if the Trump Administration concludes with such a deep and pronounced ideological divide, there will be civil war – almost certainly one brutal enough to destroy both the Trumpists and the Bannonites.

Steve Bannon believed in Trumpism. Donald Trump doesn’t.

Steve Bannon believed in Trumpism. Donald Trump doesn’t. By Ezra Klein at Vox (PC site).

As president of the United States, Trump is proving to be one of the weakest, most disinterested executives in memory. He seems happy — even eager — to be both operationally and ideologically marginalized inside his own administration. …

White House staff, congressional Republicans, military leaders, and executive branch officials are increasingly confident simply ignoring President Trump. … After Trump tweeted his threats at North Korea, the key organs of American foreign policymaking — the State Department, the Defense Department, and so on — were quick to declare that nothing had changed, there was no military buildup or new red lines, and everyone should just ignore the commander in chief’s morning outburst. A list like this could go on. …

Trump could react to all this with fury. He could elevate aides, like Bannon, who are committed to his ideological agenda and invested in reshaping the federal government around his vision, and fire Cabinet officials and top staffers who seem to be using his administration to drive their agendas. But he isn’t.

There are two ways a president can make sure the federal policy roughly tracks his wishes. One way is to insist on it himself, but Trump has no interest in doing that. Another way is to outsource ideological enforcement to committed, empowered lieutenants.

Bannon was the closest thing Trump had to a lieutenant like that: He was the true believer running around the federal government trying to force various agencies and officials to align their work with Trump’s campaign promises. In his interview with the American Prospect’s Robert Kuttner, Bannon said that forcing the government to actually carry out Trump’s trade agenda was a daily struggle.

The problem is that Bannon could only win those fights if Trump wanted him to win those fights — and now we see Trump didn’t. Instead, Trump has systematically elevated outsiders to his campaign and operation like John Kelly and Gary Cohn while alienating or firing allies like Bannon and Reince Priebus. The result is a White House where the top staff doesn’t care what Trump says and the president doesn’t seem to care that they don’t care.

This doesn’t make much sense unless you buy Hayes’s theory of Trump’s presidency: that we’re watching a president who wants to comment on his own presidency without actually driving its agenda or being held accountable for anything he says.

Maybe. Perhaps Trump is finished. But Trumpism must continue or Westerners have a much reduced future.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Finnish Professor: Sweden is a major threat to Finland than Russia

Finnish Professor: Sweden is a bigger threat to Finland than Russia, by Paul Lillrank.

The reason is the Muslim mass immigration.

According to [Professor Paul Lillrank], Sweden has proportionally received more immigrants than any other OECD country. Additionally, the worst is the integration of them.

Paul Lillrank believes Sweden is turning into an insecure parallel society with an ethnic subclass. Multiculturalism starts conflicts, and politicians in Sweden have had a great deal of humor, he says. The labor market is not adapted to low-skilled asylum immigrants, something Swedish politicians do not want to understand. When resources are not enough to maintain the Swedish welfare state, the authorities say they do not understand why.

Swedish municipalities are so bad at managing returning IS terrorists that they choose to “love bomb” them with financial contributions and priority in the country’s housing queue, the professor points out. …

According to Paul Lillrank, the Swedish political elite stands out to be a moral superpower, but in reality it is increasingly resembling a collection of fools with the same “self-destructive madness” that Karl XII exhibited in his last years as a Swedish king, he writes.

The Norwegians and Danes, who have spoken about border controls against Sweden, have already realized the serious threat from neighboring countries. Paul Lillrank believes that Finns must understand the same thing.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Melbourne Police to charge Sunni trio with attacks on Shia mosque

Melbourne Police to charge Sunni trio with attacks on Shia mosque, by the ABC.

Three men have been accused of committing Islamic State-inspired terrorist attacks against a Melbourne mosque.

The trio, aged in their 20s, are each accused of engaging in a terrorist act over an arson attack that destroyed the Imam Ali Islamic Centre at Fawkner in December, Victoria and federal police say.

Two of those men, 25-year-old Ahmed Mohamed and 27-year-old Abdullah Chaarani, are already in custody over an alleged plan, separate to the arson attack, to bomb Melbourne landmarks on Christmas Day.

The third man allegedly involved in the destruction of the mosque is 29-year-old Hatim Moukhaiber, who was arrested after police pulled over his car at Roxburgh Park on Saturday night. …

“We’re not saying that these are just arson attacks,” Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner Counter Terrorism Ian McCartney told journalists in Melbourne on Sunday. “What we’re going to allege is these were Islamic State-inspired attacks. They were inspired and designed to influence, put fear into a particular community.”

A little bit of seventh century Arab culture in the world’s most livable city.

hat-tip Stephen Neil