How Democracy Is Losing the World

How Democracy Is Losing the World, by Pat Buchanan.

What will a watching world be thinking when it sees the once-great republic preoccupied with breaking yet another president?

Will that world think: Why can’t we be more like America?

Does the world still envy us our free press, which it sees tirelessly digging up dirt on political figures and flaying them with abandon? …

Non-democratic states can also become strong:

This century, China has shown aspiring rulers how a single-party regime can create a world power, and how democracy is not a necessary precondition for extraordinary economic progress.

Vladimir Putin, an autocratic nationalist, has shown how a ruined nation can be restored to a great power in the eyes of its people and the world, commanding a new deference and respect. …

Diversity?? Swimming against the tide of history and human nature:

“Our diversity is our strength!” proclaims this generation.

We have become a unique nation composed of peoples from every continent and country, every race, ethnicity, culture and creed on earth.

But is not diversity what Europe is openly fleeing from?

Is there any country of the Old Continent clamoring for more migrants from the Maghreb, sub-Sahara or Middle East?

Broadly, it seems more true to say that the world is turning away from transnationalism toward tribalism, and away from diversity and back to the ethno-nationalism whence the nations came.

The diversity our democracy has on offer is not selling.

Ethnic, racial and religious minorities, such as the Uighurs and Tibetans in China, the Rohingya in Myanmar, minority black tribes in sub-Sahara Africa and white farmers in South Africa, can testify that popular majority rule often means mandated restrictions or even an end to minority rights.

In the Middle East, free elections produced a Muslim Brotherhood president in Egypt, Hamas in Palestine, Hezbollah in Lebanon. After this, a disillusioned Bush 43 White House called off the democracy crusade. …

The next two years in the US will be showcase of the downsides of democracy:

Yet, for the next two years, we will be preoccupied with whether paying hush money to Stormy Daniels justifies removing a president, and exactly when Michael Cohen stopped talking to the Russians about his boss building a Trump Tower in Moscow.

We are an unserious nation, engaged in trivial pursuits, in a deadly serious world.

The Case Against Meritocracy An aristocracy that can’t admit it.

The Case Against Meritocracy: An aristocracy that can’t admit it. By Ross Douhat.

First, meritocracy segregates talent rather than dispersing it. By plucking the highest achievers from all over the country and encouraging them to cluster together in the same few cities, it robs localities of their potential leaders — so that instead of an Eastern establishment negotiating with overlapping groups of regional elites (or with working-class or ethnic leaders), you have a mass upper class segregated from demoralized peripheries.

Second, the meritocratic elite inevitably tends back toward aristocracy, because any definition of “merit” you choose will be easier for the children of these self-segregated meritocrats to achieve.

But even as it restratifies society, the meritocratic order also insists that everything its high-achievers have is justly earned. “He was born on third base and thought he hit a triple,” Ann Richards famously quipped of George H.W. Bush; well, the typical meritocrat is born on third base, hustles home, and gets praised as if he just hit a grand slam.

But even as it restratifies society, the meritocratic order also insists that everything its high-achievers have is justly earned. “He was born on third base and thought he hit a triple,” Ann Richards famously quipped of George H.W. Bush; well, the typical meritocrat is born on third base, hustles home, and gets praised as if he just hit a grand slam.

As a consequence, meritocrats are often educated to be bad leaders, and bad people, in a very specific way — a way of arrogant intelligence unmoored from historical experience, ambition untempered by self-sacrifice. The way of the “best and the brightest” at the dawn of the technocratic era and the “smartest guys in the room” decades later, the way of the arsonists of late-2000s Wall Street and the “move fast and break things” culture of Silicon Valley.

The one huge reason the Victorian Liberals got annihilated (and why it will happen again)

The one huge reason the Victorian Liberals got annihilated (and why it will happen again), by Lucas Rosas.

The Victorian state election was a humiliating annihilation for the Liberals .. who … suffered a huge swing against them with rich voters as well.

This continues a trend seen in the recent by-election for the Sydney electorate of Wentworth and more broadly over the last decade where the rich are increasingly abandoning their traditional affiliation for the Liberal Party and are instead voting for the ALP and the Greens. …

Over the course of the last half century the children of the rich have been increasingly educated in classrooms on university campuses. These university campuses have evolved to the point that nearly the entire humanities faculty on every campus in the nation is staffed by lecturers not simply of the far left but the extreme left. … These days any even vaguely non-left leaning professor (and even some more moderate leftist ones) need to keep their heads down to avoid being ostracised and, inevitably, unemployed. …

Over and over again the Australian right has refused to face the obvious reality that if you let your enemies teach your children and grandchildren how to view the world your enemies will eventually win.

Ignatius of Loyola the founder of the Jesuits used to say that if you gave him a boy till the age of 7 and he would give you the man. The entire right side of the Australian political spectrum has been handing over its children to be brainwashed by activists from the furthest left ten per cent of the population for 12 to 18 years of their lives and then wonders why decade after decade their philosophies, political ideas and the values they hold dear continue to lose ground.

Without removing leftism from the education system there can be no victory. That is the most important battleground, the most vital stronghold in the culture war. Without it sanity will not prevail, and the fantasies of the deluded will continue to thrive.

Same goes for the ABC.

Santa says renewables “push down prices”. Sydney Morning Herald believes him.

Santa says renewables “push down prices”. Sydney Morning Herald believes him. By Joanne Nova.

Finally, No really, renewables are so cheap we can switch to them and change the global climate for free.

This is a new study by the kind of “independent” group that is totally dependent on Big Gov handouts. It compares Australian prices to other obscenely expensive countries and finds that “renewables push down prices”. Compared to what? Not compared to nations with cheap electricity. And not compared to most of the last thirty years in Australia before we added all the unreliable gear. …

If renewables actually reduced average prices, this would be a first. Around the world, the more intermittent generators you have, the more you have to pay for electricity.

Say it again: there is no country on Earth with lots of solar and wind power and cheap electricity.

Australian history:

While solar and wind energy is free in the sense that you don’t have to pay the Sun or dig up wind from underground, the energy is widely dispersed rather than concentrated. So we need to deploy a lot of machinery over wide areas to collect the energy — and that’s expensive.

Wind and solar are intermittent, so base-load coal or nuclear stations need to be kept running to back them up — and that’s expensive.

Riots in Paris The police underestimated the madness of the crowd

Riots in Paris: The police underestimated the madness of the crowd. By Claire Berlinski.

The Gilets Jaunes, or Yellow Jackets … claim to be leaderless and unaffiliated with any party, politician, or unions. They are mostly working- and middle-class people from France’s abandoned rural provinces. …

I spent Saturday speaking to the Gilets Jaunes near the Bastille, where I figured I’d have a good vantage point on a traditional protest site. I walked with them as they slowly made their way to the city hall, or Hôtel de Ville. It was obvious from a single glance that these weren’t Parisians, but rural people who couldn’t afford to buy expensive Parisian clothes or get chic haircuts. I instantly understood why Macron rubs them the wrong way. They looked worn out; their hands and faces were lined; they were mainly in late middle-age. They seemed to be decent, respectable, weary people who had worked hard all their lives, paid their taxes, and played by the rules.

They couldn’t have seemed less disposed to violence, nor more apolitical. They were respectful of the police, and vice-versa. As cops drove by, relaxed, the Gilets Jaunes smiled at them, like kids excited about their first trip to the big city, waved at the officers, and gave them the thumbs-up. The cops reciprocated. The sentiment was fraternal. “We’re all weary, overtaxed working men,” they were saying to each other. “We’re on the same side.”

I concluded they were just what they were advertised to be: family men and women who couldn’t make ends meet and who were tired of Macron’s attitude. Why this protest, why now, I asked? The fuel tax was just the straw that broke the camel’s back, they said; it made the difference between “able to make ends meet, barely,” and “not able to make ends meet.” It had just been getting steadily worse every year since the economic crisis began. They had run out of hope. …

People at the Charles de Gaulle Étoile saw something else entirely. There, the police were physically overwhelmed by about 5,000 Gilets Jaunes who had come explicitly prepared to do violence. … The rioter demographics were surprising. They were mainly aged 30-40, the police reported — a bit old for rioting, you’d think. They were “socially well-inserted” into the movement, but unlike the majority of the protesters, they had come with the goal of breaking and smashing things, rejecting the authority of the state and its symbols as savagely as they could. Of the 378 people taken into custody on Saturday, only 33 were minors. Most were rural men.

Yellow Vest protesters demand MORE from Macron – even after President caved in with £9billion of tax cuts

Yellow Vest protesters demand MORE from Macron – even after President caved in with £9billion of tax cuts, by Chris Pleasance.

Yellow Vest protesters demanded even more concessions from Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday even after he caved in to their demands for more pay and lower taxes with a £9billion spending splurge on Monday night. …

Meanwhile thousands of students angered by Macron’s education reforms joined the Yellow Vests on the streets for a ‘black Tuesday’ of unrest, further complicating matters for the French President.

And even Macron’s traditional allies in Europe warned they will be ‘closely monitoring’ his spending plans to check whether they fall within EU limits. …

Protesters gathered around TV sets across France on Monday night to hear Macron promise a seven per cent rise in the minimum wage, an end to tax and surcharges on overtime and pensions, and tax-free bonuses. …

But opponents said this uncosted spending bonanza would not prevent thousands of protestors taking part in a fifth weekend of action, planned for Saturday.

Jean-Luc Melenchon, leader of the far-Left France Unbowed party, said: ‘Emmanuel Macron thought he could hand out some cash to calm the citizens’ insurrection that has erupted. I believe that Act Five will play out on Saturday.’

From Macron to May, Europe’s politics broken

From Macron to May, Europe’s politics broken, by Greg Sheridan.

Almost any road to Brexit would be manageable provided the British system had time to prepare. May’s desperate manoeuvres to hang on to her job, combined with her adamant refusal to make a decision when there is any excuse for delay, mean Britain has no chance to prepare for anything.

She is contriving the worst combination of circumstances for her nation imaginable. …

Macron’s ­humiliation … is just as comprehensive and equally as startling. Though he won the presidency in May last year with waves of ­celebrity-like goodwill from the public, he now has an approval ­rating with his people way below that which Donald Trump enjoys in the US.

Macron was cast not only as the reformer of France but also the new hero of Europe. A passionate advocate of action on climate change, he also wanted deeper ­political integration for ­Europe, a European army, a new vision of a Brussels-centric future for his troubled continent, a new model of government for the world. The French people couldn’t care less.

For four weeks now not only Paris but cities around France have burned as the “yellow-vests” movement has protested against all Macron’s reforms. They want lower petrol prices much more than they want ­climate change activism. The yellow vests the protesters wear symbolise their commitment to their cars. And the yellow-vest movement, despite spasmodic violence and vandalism, is supported by a staggering 75 per cent of the population.

Macron, who had conducted himself with the ­hauteur of a Hollywood-style hero of the elites, could not make the grand climate summit in ­Poland. Instead, he had to go home and surrender. Political action now in France doesn’t occur in the National ­Assembly or the ballot box — it happens in ­violent encounters on the streets.

Macron’s surrender to the streets was abject. And comprehensive. First, he promised to postpone the fuel tax increases. Then, quickly, he promised to scrap them ­altogether. … Macron … will introduce an increase in the minimum wage, remove ­income tax from overtime, introduce untaxed bonuses and ­increase welfare benefits. Why should public spending in France stop at a paltry 57 per cent of GDP?

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Study: Elite Zip Codes Thrived in Obama Recovery, Rural America Left Behind

Study: Elite Zip Codes Thrived in Obama Recovery, Rural America Left Behind, by John Binder.

The gutting of the American manufacturing base, through free trade, has been a driving catalyst for the collapse of the white working class and black Americans. Simultaneously, the outsourcing of the economy has brought major wealth to corporations, tech conglomerates, and Wall Street.

The dramatic decline of U.S. manufacturing at the hands of free trade—where more than 3.4 million American jobs have been lost solely due to free trade with China, not including the American jobs lost due to agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS)—has coincided with growing wage inequality for white and black Americans, a growing number of single mother households, a drop in U.S. marriage rates, a general stagnation of working and middle class wages, and specifically, increased black American unemployment.

“So, the loss of manufacturing work since 1960 represents a steady decline in relatively high-paying jobs for less-educated workers,” recent research from economist Eric D. Gould has noted.

Fast-forward to the modern economy and the wage trend has been the opposite of what it was during the peak of manufacturing in the U.S. An Economic Policy Institute study found this year that been 2009 and 2015, the top one percent of American families earned about 26 times as much income as the bottom 99 percent of Americans.

History shows that concentrating most of the economic goodies in a small part of the population is never sustainable, especially in a democracy. The globalists have over-reached.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

‘Your time is up’ South Africa sets date for white farmer land grabs – March 2019

‘Your time is up’ South Africa sets date for white farmer land grabs – March 2019, by Rachel O’Donoghue.

The country’s National Assembly approved a proposal to change the constitution to make the so-called reforms legal in a vote of 183 to 77.

This paves the way for land to be taken from farmers without giving any kind of compensation. …

According to local reports, Economic Freedom Fighters MP Hlengiwe Mkhaliphi argued land grabs must go ahead as she declared: “Your time is up, white people”.

Africa for Africans, Europe for everybody. Not a peep of protest from the globalists.

Graves of white farmers

‘There is NO room for renegotiation’: Juncker delivers hammer blow to May’s hopes of saving her Brexit deal as she launches frantic tour of Europe begging for concessions to appease mutinous MPs

‘There is NO room for renegotiation’: Juncker delivers hammer blow to May’s hopes of saving her Brexit deal as she launches frantic tour of Europe begging for concessions to appease mutinous MPs, by James Tapfield.

In a speech to MEPs today EU commission president Mr Juncker warned ‘there is no room for renegotiation, but further clarifications are possible’.

The diplomatic scramble comes after Mrs May was humiliatingly forced to scrap a Commons vote on the Brexit deal to avoid catastrophic defeat.

Everything You Need to Know About This Dog’s Breakfast of a Brexit Fiasco

Everything You Need to Know About This Dog’s Breakfast of a Brexit Fiasco, by James Delingpole.

Who was it that turned the routine, unproblematic, eminently manageable customs arrangements between the Northern Irish and Irish borders into such a major obstacle? …

They plucked this imaginary problem out of thin air in order to stymie the negotiations. And instead of saying: “Bog off! The British don’t want to put up a hard border and the Irish don’t want to put up a hard border so there’s not going to be a hard border — what is your problem?”, our negotiators — taking their lead from chief Surrender Monkey Theresa May — have played along with it. By acquiescing with the enemy’s terms, they have turned a fake problem into a real problem.

Here’s my biggest fear right now: that we are about to be stitched up by the Establishment and given a spavined, milksop Brexit In Name Only which bears no resemblance to what 17.4 million Britons voted for in June 2016. And it’s all because of that “Backstop”.

British Yellow Jackets?

Last weekend’s Brexit Betrayal March was just a polite dress rehearsal. Liberal commentators such as Tanya Gold at UnHerd may deplore the fact that marchers brandished placards like “Treason May — your ‘deal’ is Brexshit” and portable sets of gallows. But I’m afraid that this is nothing compared to what’s coming if the British people don’t get the Brexit they voted for. …

Sure, we are not as prone to rioting and revolution as the French. But Brexit was our moment: our Agincourt. We won. We’re not going to give that territory back without one almighty fight. Does the liberal Establishment really not understand this?

hat-tip Charles

Kamala Harris Proposes a Dream for America that Opposes Democratic Standards

Kamala Harris Proposes a Dream for America that Opposes Democratic Standards, by Brad Slager.

It seems to be a hallmark of the Democratic party: insist on the intellectual heft of their party figures, and when proof of the opposite arises demean anyone who dares point out the evidence. Warren, Acasio-Cortez, Booker, Beto, etc. have all been pushed out on stage and sold as geniuses to be followed. Just do not resort to the hateful thing, and analyze their own words.

The latest is perhaps their brightest, California Senator Kamala Harris. Tabbed as a hopeful for the 2020 election Harris has been enthusiastically reported on in recent months …

So Kamala Harris wants to live in a world that looks more like Wakanda? … Wakanda is a notably monochromatic society. Granted, being nestled in an East African region will contribute to this, but the reality is the country is the polar opposite of diversity. This is deemed as a hateful ethno-state position, is it not? … Legal conflicts are settle in battlefield fashion between males, a rather toxic political system by my measure. The call to “invest in some women and girls” is a curious call in order to lead us to a male-dominated society.

hat-tip Scott of the Pacific

Sabotage: The Deep State Has Destroyed Trump’s Chances Of A Trade Deal With China, And The Stock Market Is Tanking As A Result

Sabotage: The Deep State Has Destroyed Trump’s Chances Of A Trade Deal With China, And The Stock Market Is Tanking As A Result. By Michael Snyder.

Somebody out there apparently does not want President Trump to make a trade deal with China. Just after U.S. and Chinese officials agreed to suspend the implementation of new tariffs for 90 days, one of China’s most important tech executives was literally kidnapped as she was changing planes in Canada. Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was simply on her way to Mexico, but at the urging of U.S. authorities the Canadians grabbed her and are refusing to let her go. Reportedly, the plan is to extradite her to the United States where she will apparently face charges relating to Huawei’s evasion of U.S. sanctions against Iran.

When Trump was negotiating face to face with the Chinese, he was not aware that this was taking place. So now all of Trump’s hard work is out the window, and our relations with the Chinese are probably the worst that they have been since the Korean War.

If U.S. authorities wanted to punish Huawei, they should have just slapped a big fine on them and have been done with it. The Chinese would have been annoyed, but not that much damage would have been done.

But kidnapping a high profile member of Chinese tech royalty and throwing her in prison is something that the Chinese will not forgive. …

Just imagine how Americans would feel if China kidnapped a high profile member of our tech royalty and multiply that outrage by about 10.

Until Meng Wanzhou is let go, there is not going to be any deal with China. Many Americans are not familiar with Huawei, but they are essentially China’s version of Apple or Microsoft.

This is What The “Trade” War With China Is Really All About

This is What The “Trade” War With China Is Really All About. By Tyler Durden.

China’s ambitions to be a leader in next-generation technology, such as artificial intelligence, … rest on whether or not it can design and manufacture cutting-edge chips. …

China’s plan has alarmed the US, and chips, or semiconductors, have become the central battlefield in the trade war between the two countries. And it is a battle in which China has a very visible Achilles heel. …

This is a concern for China as the $412 billion global semiconductor industry rests on the shoulders of just six equipment companies, with three of them based in the US. Together, these companies make nearly all of the crucial hardware and software tools needed to manufacture chips, meaning an American export ban would choke off China’s access to the basic tools needed to make their latest chip designs.

“You cannot build a semiconductor facility without using the big major equipment companies, none of which are Chinese,” said Brett Simpson, the founder of Arete Research …

As the FT, notes, the real difficulty is not in designing the chips, but in making them: “From a design perspective, Chinese companies are at least on par with anyone else in the world,” said Risto Puhakka, president of VSLI Research. “Where they have a challenge is if they decide to make a very cutting-edge chip.” …

Foremost among them is the Netherland’s ASML, which makes the photolithography machines that print and etch designs on to silicon wafers. It is the only supplier of the extreme ultra violet (EUV) lithography machines needed to make a 7-nanometre processor, the industry’s current gold standard.

Over in the US, Lam Research and Applied Materials as well as Japanese company Tokyo Electron dominate the market for equipment that can deposit billions of transistors and other active components on to a single chip. Another US company, KLA Tencor, sells much of the technology used in testing and monitoring the quality of chip production. …

Puhakka of VSLI Research said: “[These equipment suppliers] have the research and development, the trade secrets in metallurgy, the recipes: all of that knowledge base is 40 years old.” said VSLI Research’s Mr Puhakka.

“This is not about money. This about the knowledge base . . . and that knowledge base is not moving” he added, delineating China’s core dilemma. …

China has every intention of not only matching, but surpassing total US military spending — springing the biggest Thucydides Trap ever witnessed in civilization — and in light of the importance of an autonomous, self-reliant semiconductor industry, one can argue that much of this spending will go toward beating the US where it truly matters … in the technological arms race.

I used to work for KLA-Tencor, in their R&D section. Like Stanford, it is in Silicon Valley.