Taking a lend: concerns over China aid to Pacific

Taking a lend: concerns over China aid to Pacific, by Primrose Riordan.

The head of Australia’s foreign ­affairs department has raised concerns about the transparency of tendering in China’s Belt and Road Initiative and about unsustainable lending to Pacific nations.

The BRI, also known as One Belt One Road, aims to partner with foreign governments and companies to channel more than $US1 trillion into ports, roads and other major infrastructure worldwide to counter China’s maritime and economic vulnerabilities. …

“The Belt Road Initiative I know has been discussed and while we are … supportive in ­principle of more infrastructure in this region and beyond we are ­concerned about … transparency, about rules, about open contracts and governance arrangements,” [Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade secretary Frances ­Adamson] said.

China has been particularly ­active in the South Pacific, funding infrastructure and construction projects and cultural diplomacy.

Ms Adamson said this had brought unsustainable debt ­burdens upon the island states.

Leaving them hopelessly indebted to China.

“We’ve seen, including in the South Pacific, a number of neighbours are fragile states — we’ve seen where big infrastructure ­projects have brought unsustainable debt burdens and ultimately proven more of a minus than a plus,” she said. …

The scheme is viewed by Western defence hawks as an attempt to economically marginalise the US and expand China’s overseas military presence. However, it has been embraced by New Zealand, which signed a memorandum of understanding in March.

That month, The Australian ­revealed the Turnbull government so far had rebuffed Mr Xi’s calls to align ­Australia’s $5bn Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility with China’s investment program.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Suspect ‘neutralised’ after explosion at Brussels Central station

Suspect ‘neutralised’ after explosion at Brussels Central station, by Jacquelin Magnay.

A man suspected of trying to carry out a suicide bomb attack in Brussels is dead, Belgium authorities have confirmed.

Brussels Central Station and the city’s main square were evacuated after the man appeared to detonate a bomb, casuing a small explosion in the station.

Soldiers shot the suspected suicide bomber who reportedly shouted “Allahu Akbar”, local officials said.

In March 2016, 32 people died in attacks on Brussels airport and the metro system which were claimed by the Islamic State.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Champs-Elysees attacker had gun licence while on watch list

Champs-Elysees attacker had gun licence while on watch list, by The Australian.

A man killed when he rammed a car into a police van on the Champs-Elysees stored a cache of weapons at his home and held a gun permit despite being on a secret service list of people linked to radical Islam.

Police took into custody on Monday night the father, ex-wife, brother and sister-in-law of Adam Dzaziri, who also had in his car an assault rifle, two pistols, ammunition and a large gas canister.

A source said at least nine weapons, including two pistols and a Kalashnikov-type assault rifle, were found at Dzaziri’s home in Plessis-Pate outside Paris.

The 31-year-old was killed in the attack that unfolded just after 4pm on Monday (12am yesterday AEST), but there were no other ­casualties. …

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Now James Comey, FBI sued for obstruction of justice

Now James Comey, FBI sued for obstruction of justice, by Bob Unruh.

A former contractor for several federal agencies and his attorney, who both sued former FBI Director James Comey claiming he obstructed justice by burying an investigation into the mass surveillance of Americans, are asking a federal court for a protection order preventing the destruction of evidence in the case.

The plaintiffs are Dennis Montgomery — a whistleblower who worked as a contractor for the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency and the director of national intelligence — and his lawyer, Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch.

They have filed in U.S. District Court in Washington a motion for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction.

They are asking the court to prevent the defendants, including Comey, the FBI and other federal officials mostly under the Obama administration, from continuing “illegally and unconstitutionally spying on and surveilling millions of Americans, including plaintiffs, without probable cause or a warrant.”

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Finsbury Park “terror” suspect: history of psychiatric problems

Finsbury Park “terror” suspect: history of psychiatric problems, by Nick Fagge.

The 47-year-old arrested on suspicion of murder and terror charges is named as Darren Osborne, from Cardiff. He is accused of driving van into crowd outside Muslim Welfare House near Finsbury Park Mosque at 12.20am. People were helping Makram Ali, 52, who fell ill and died minutes later …

He ‘repeatedly yelled: ‘I’m going to kill all Muslims — I did my bit’ and smiled, waved and blew kisses at public’. Imam and other worshippers pinned him down as he urged them to ‘kill him’ but they held him until arrest. …

The Finsbury Park terror suspect tried to kill himself six weeks ago by jumping into a river and begged to be sectioned, according to his sister. …

‘He asked to be taken into care, to be sectioned but they wouldn’t do it. He was on anti-depressants. He came to see me after he tried to kill himself. He showed me the bump on his head. I don’t know how he got out of the river, or really what happened.’

She added: ‘He asked me if he could stay. But he has made my life a misery over the years. Weston is a small town. Everyone knows Darren. I’ve lost jobs, boyfriends after people found out I am Darren Osborne’s sister. And this happened on my birthday, on my 50th birthday.’ …

However she added: ‘But Darren is not racist, he is not a terrorist. He is someone who is lost. He needs help. I feel so sorry for the people he hurt. …

She told the Evening Standard: ‘He’s not political. He wouldn’t even know who the Prime Minister is. I’ve never heard him say anything about Muslims or anything racist’.

Today it was revealed that the father-of-four had split from the mother of his children Sarah Andrews, 42, six months ago, and was living in a tent in some South Wales woodland.

Friends have described him as a ‘bloody psycho’ who had a reputation for drunken fights – one neighbour said the unemployed mechanic was always arguing with people in the street and said: ‘He’s always been a complete c*** – but this is surprising’.

Comments Robert Spencer:

It is terribly unfortunate what happened in Finsbury Park, but Darren Osborne has a history of mental illness. There are those who try to claim that jihadis are mentally ill, too, but the fundamental difference is that there is no group other than jihadis that is everywhere attempting to conquer the globe with justifications from religious edicts.

The leftist-jihadist alliance will continue to do all it can to try to make a false case that this is a terrorist attack, which it is not. It is an isolated incident. Statistics on human rights abuses by Islamic states under Sharia, the jihadist violence globally, the history of conquests, and continued efforts toward the same prove the difference between a calculated drive toward conquering the House of War (and abuses against infidels and apostates) and an isolated attack by a mentally ill man who was self-admittedly aggravated by an Islamic supremacist incursion.

Islam creates a climate where loonies and depressed Muslims gain some approval by lashing out and killing non-Muslims in the name of Allah. Now the climate of fear of Islamic terrorism in Britain has created the inverse — a native loony lashes out by killing Muslims.

hat-tip Scott of the Pacific, Stephen Neil

Moral equivalence wafts through the air

Moral equivalence wafts through the air, by Alexander Boot. More on Finsbury Park.

Nowadays I tense up slightly every time I find myself in a Central London crowd. And — call me a racist and report me to the Commission for Racial Equality — I automatically examine every young Muslim coming my way.

Is he carrying some work tools or a gun in that satchel? Is it food or a bomb in his Sainsbury’s bag? Unlike Mr Osborne, I’m a civilised man, so I don’t go beyond looking with apprehension. But I can understand his action, even if I can’t excuse it.

It’s not Islamophobia that has put the electricity of fear and tension into the atmosphere, but Islamic terrorism. So surely our response to the Finsbury Park attack should distinguish between action and reaction.

Both may be reprehensible, but it takes a broken moral compass to suggest they are equally reprehensible. Or else it takes a conscience warped by what some call political correctness and what could more appropriately be called our civilisation’s suicide wish.

This is a dangerous disease, and our prime minister is showing advanced symptoms of it. She assigned an equal measure of “hatred and evil” both to the Finsbury Park attack and the numerous and more deadly acts of Muslim terrorism that had provoked it.

The former, said Mrs May, is “every bit as insidious and destructive to our values and our way of life” as the latter. That’s why “We will stop at nothing to defeat it.”

Nothing, Mrs May? That’s good to hear. So let’s begin by admitting that we’re at war – not with alienated loaners on cannabis, not with Islamists, not with Islamofascists, not with Islamic fundamentalists, but with Islam.

This war has been going on for 1,400 years, and it has had lulls alternating with flare-ups. We’re going through a flare-up now, and unless HMG does something about it, people like Darren Osborne (no relation to George) will.

If they start doing it en masse, that could spell disintegration of public order, with vigilante justice replacing the rule of law. And then, “As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding; like the Roman, I seem to see the River Tiber foaming with much blood.”

When Enoch Powell thus quoted Virgil in a similar context, he was instantly vilified, and our progressive press still sputters spittle at the “rivers of blood” speech. But, even though Powell didn’t have specifically Muslims in mind, he saw the dangers of multi-culti diversity.

His moral compass hadn’t gone haywire, as Mrs May’s has. If she really will stop at nothing to defeat violence, she should start by stopping the Muslim action first, and the reaction to it second. This isn’t just a temporal sequence, but a moral pecking order.

A taste of their own medicine

A taste of their own medicine, by Alexander Boot. About the first act of terrorism against Islam in living memory, at Finsbury Park, see here.

No sane person would condone the Finsbury act of terrorism. No intelligent person would say it was unpredictable, especially if he studied physics at school. Didn’t Newton explain that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction?

It’s axiomatic that, if the state won’t protect the people, the people will protect themselves. The laws of political correctness superseding all other laws, the state has done nothing to solve the problem of Muslim terrorism or even to acknowledge that this is what it is.

This problem, it’s useful to remember, is of the state’s own doing. Both main parties are implicated in this, but especially the one so ably led by Comrade Corbyn. For, as Peter Mandelson has admitted with his customary cynicism, Blair’s government deliberately set out to admit millions of Muslims, whom they correctly saw as future Labour voters.

At the same time no efforts were made to integrate the Muslims into British society. On the contrary, Islamic particularism was encouraged in the name of diversity. Nor has anything been done to make sure that none of Britain’s 1,600 (!) mosques would be used as recruitment grounds for mass murderers.

Specifically, from 1997 until 2003 the Finsbury Park Mosque, the site of this morning’s crime, provided a platform for Abu Hamza to preach Islamic hatred for our hospitable country. And this was far from the only mosque used for that purpose.

Those impassioned youngsters, many of whom can’t even speak proper English despite being born in Britain, are easy clay to mould. They go out and kill in the name of Allah, with people in Britain becoming increasingly desperate and insecure.

Pressure has been building up in the cooker for a long time, and everyone knew the top would be blown before long. Actually, the only thing that surprised me was that the first act of unsanctioned counter-terrorism took place in London: I thought a northern city, such as Leeds or Manchester, would be more likely.

How long before Muslims are routinely attacked in the streets? How long before order turns to ordure? It’s anybody’s guess. But this is a matter of when, not if.

I’m genuinely sorry for those poor people in Finsbury. But I’m even more sorry for Britain.

Immigration is destroying housing affordability, we need an Australia-first migration program

Immigration is destroying housing affordability, we need an Australia-first migration program, by Mark Latham.

Instead of cutting immigration numbers to bring down housing demand and housing prices, Liberal and Labor are focusing on just one side of the housing market: increased supply.

They want to flood the Sydney basin with wall-to-wall urbanisation. …

This is the snake oil of our time: the fantastic notion that in a city ­already heavily congested, we can swamp Western Sydney with new arrivals and new suburbs and somehow the magic of “improved urban planning” will produce a metropolitan ­nirvana. …

The head of the Greater Sydney Commission, Lucy Turnbull, has said “we need to plan for an additional 1.74 million people by 2036”, mostly in Sydney’s West.

She’s part of the cheer squad for “improved urban planning”, with “an aspiration for a 30-minute city”, so everyone can live within half-an-hour of his or her workplace. …

Funny how in most cities the nice areas where the elite live — including the top bureaucrats — has got great transport, but the places where the elite don’t live tend to have inadequate roads and weak public transport:

Southwest Sydney has the worst of all worlds: Shanghai’s residential expansion with Botswana’s road building capacity.

With so much growth on its urban fringe, Sydney’s traffic congestion has turned upside down.

Around the city centre, on roads like the Cross-City Tunnel, you can put down a picnic blanket and enjoy morning tea without too many cars bothering you.

Sixty kilometres away, on Narellan Rd, the morning peak starts at 5.30, with delays stretching to 40 minutes.

Barely a day goes by when we don’t curse this wretched roadway and the imbeciles who planned it. …

Sydney is full.

It will never be a liveable city as long as massive immigration numbers overwhelm our suburbs and clog up our roads.

Why don’t our political leaders understand this reality?

They don’t see the problems because they don’t live near them.

The Big Australia mentality that sustains the nation’s 200,000-plus annual immigration program is the ultimate act of selfishness.

The business lobbyists, economists and MPs pushing for big migration numbers do so safe in the knowledge that overcrowding and congestion will never affect the gentrified, inner-city boroughs in which they live.

‘UK playing two-faced game: condemning extremism, while cultivating jihadists’

‘UK playing two-faced game: condemning extremism, while cultivating jihadists’, by RT.

Neil Clark, British journalist and writer:

“The story really is that the British government and the British authorities have been playing a very two-faced game. On the one hand, they’ve been verbally coming out and condemning hate preachers and extremism, but on the other hand, they’ve also been cultivating jihadists radical Islamists in order to help them topple governments around the Middle East they didn’t like, for example, Assad’s government in Syria and Muammar Gaddafi’s government in Libya.

Raza Nadim, campaigns coordinator & spokesperson for Muslim advocacy group MPACUK:

The reality is, most Muslim don’t feel safe and they haven’t for a while…They are genuinely concerned how toxic the environment is for Muslims; you look at how Muslims are treated as a political football. For some people it is a very real dilemma: do I stay here and be treated as a second class citizens and put my life at risk, or do I actually leave and live in more relative peace?

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Supreme Court unanimously reaffirms: There is no ‘hate speech’ exception to the First Amendment

Supreme Court unanimously reaffirms: There is no ‘hate speech’ exception to the First Amendment, by Eugene Volokh.

From today’s opinion by Justice Samuel Alito (for four justices) in Matal v. Tam, the “Slants” case:

[The idea that the government may restrict] speech expressing ideas that offend … strikes at the heart of the First Amendment. Speech that demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other similar ground is hateful; but the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express “the thought that we hate.”

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote separately, also for four justices, but on this point the opinions agreed:

A law found to discriminate based on viewpoint is an “egregious form of content discrimination,” which is “presumptively unconstitutional.” … A law that can be directed against speech found offensive to some portion of the public can be turned against minority and dissenting views to the detriment of all. The First Amendment does not entrust that power to the government’s benevolence. Instead, our reliance must be on the substantial safeguards of free and open discussion in a democratic society.

And the justices made clear that speech that some view as racially offensive is protected not just against outright prohibition but also against lesser restrictions.

Too bad Australia cannot follow that example.

hat-tip Matthew

Horror as 250 Christian kids ‘kneaded in a dough mixer’ by ISIS

Horror as 250 Christian kids ‘kneaded in a dough mixer’ by ISIS, by Bob Unruh.

The American Center for Law and Justice, an organization that works on behalf of persecuted Christians both in the United States and overseas, has scolded the United Nations Human Rights Council for ignoring the plight of Christians in Iraq and Syria. … :

The actions of ISIS against Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq and Syria clearly embody the definition of genocide as enshrined in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. The ISIS campaign to destroy these religious minorities and decimate their homelands and cultures undoubtedly meets the definition of genocide, and as long as the UN does not recognize it as such, these vulnerable groups remain unprotected and in peril.

We got the report of a Christian Syrian woman who saw “‘Christians being killed and tortured, and . . . children being beheaded in front of their parents’”. She said, “250 children . . . were put in the dough mixer, they were kneaded. The oldest one of them was four-years-old”.

ISIS tortured a boy while demanding his father and two others renounce Christianity, before executing all four by crucifixion. Eight Christian women were publically raped and beheaded. There are “mass graves of Christians”.

The U.N. council, however, “has remained silent while the Islamic State has continued its barbaric work.”

hat-tip Stephen Neil

New Zealand Labour to close open door for Asian migrants

New Zealand Labour to close open door for Asian migrants, by Bernard Lagan.

Struggling with high property prices, clogged roads and violence against ethnic groups, New Zealand is rethinking its liberal immigration policies.

The leader of the Labour Party, who is challenging the ruling National Party in the general election in September, has claimed that cutting immigration is essential for citizens’ quality of life.

“None of us would invite 20 people over for dinner if we didn’t have enough chairs for them to sit on,” Andrew Little said. “Well, right now our cities don’t have enough chairs.” …

The country admits 14.7 migrants each year for every 1000 citizens, a rate far above Britain’s 5.1 per 1000.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

The West Can’t Smell What Eurasia is Cooking

The West Can’t Smell What Eurasia is Cooking, by Pepe Escobar.

A tectonic geopolitical shift happened in Astana, Kazakhstan, only a few days ago, and yet barely a ripple registered in Atlanticist circles.

At the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), founded in 2001, both India and Pakistan were admitted as full members, alongside Russia, China and four Central Asian “stans” (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan).

So now the SCO not only qualifies as the largest political organization – by area and population – in the world; it also unites four nuclear powers. …

NATO, by the way, miserably lost its war in Afghanistan. The Taliban control at least 60% of the country — and counting. And adding supreme insult to predictable injury, the Islamic State Khorasan (ISK) — Daesh’s branch in Afghanistan — has just captured Tora Bora, where way back in late 2001 the Pentagon’s B-52s were bombing already-escaped Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. …

The SCO has also steadily evolved in terms of economic cooperation. … The trend is inevitable, in parallel to the interpenetration of the New Silk Roads, a.k.a. Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Russian-led Eurasia Economic Union (EEU).

So no wonder at their bilateral meeting in Astana, Xi and President Putin once again exhorted the merging of BRI and EEU. And we’re not talking only about the BRI, EEU and SCO trio; that also concerns the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the BRICS’s New Development Bank (NDB), the Chinese Silk Road Fund — a full array of politico-economic mechanisms.

Things are moving incredibly fast – on all fronts. At a recent “Future of Asia” conference in Tokyo, the supposedly rabid anti-Chinese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced, although subject to many conditions, that Japan is ready to cooperate with BRI, with its “potential to connect East and West as well as the diverse regions found in between.” A possible China-Japan reset would add the definitive momentum to the BRI, EEU and SCO interpenetration. …

As Eurasia integration inexorably moves in leaps and bounds, the contrast with the proverbially swampy Atlanticist arrogance could not be more glaring. …

Imagine Qatar/Iran selling their future Europe-bound gas in euros, not in US dollars, just like the Chinese will adamantly move to pay Qatar – and Saudi Arabia – in yuan for their energy supplies.

Make no mistake; the – inexorable – future spells out trading energy not in petrodollars but in yuan, which is convertible to gold. …

As Exceptionalistan grows increasingly erratic, all key strategic decisions ahead rest with Xi-Putin – and they know it. What’s certain is that the SCO is bound to get involved deeper and deeper in protecting the key project of the young 21st century; Eurasia integration.

What went wrong with the F-35? Expert reveals why jet is ‘one of the greatest boondoggles in history’

What went wrong with the F-35? Expert reveals why jet is ‘one of the greatest boondoggles in history’, by Michael Hughes, Professor of Finance, Francis Marion University.

U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters from the 58th Fighter Squadron, 33rd Fighter Wing, Eglin AFB, Fla. May 2013

Stealth is easily defeated. An aircraft’s geometry can only be designed to be stealthy at one radar frequency, and its stealthiness declines as you move away from that frequency. And of course stealth is no help against the proliferating passive detection systems. Guess what?

The F-35 is designed to be stealthy primarily in the X-band, the radar frequency range most commonly used for targeting in air-to-air combat [wavelengths of 2.5 to 3.75 cm].

In other radar frequencies, the F-35 is not so stealthy, making it vulnerable to being tracked and shot down using current – and even obsolete – weapons. …

In addition to the performance compromises made to allow stealth, too many design compromises were made trying to be all things to all roles:

Part of the enormous cost has come as a result of an effort to share aircraft design and replacement parts across different branches of the military.

In 2013, a study by the RAND Corporation found that it would have been cheaper if the Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy had simply designed and developed separate and more specialized aircraft to meet their specific operational requirements. …

In January 2015, mock combat testing pitted the F-35 against an F-16, one of the fighters it is slated to replace…. The F-35A was less maneuverable and markedly inferior to the F-16D in a visual-range dogfight.

One key reason the F-35 doesn’t possess the world-beating air-to-air prowess promised, and is likely not even adequate when compared with its current potential adversaries, is that it was designed first and foremost to be a stealthy airplane.

This requirement has taken precedence over maneuverability, and likely above its overall air-to-air lethality. The Pentagon and especially the Air Force seem to be relying almost exclusively on the F-35’s stealth capabilities to succeed at its missions. …

Lockheed Martin and the Pentagon say the F-35’s superiority over its rivals lies in its ability to remain undetected, giving it ‘first look, first shot, first kill.’

Hugh Harkins, a highly respected author on military combat aircraft, called that claim ‘a marketing and publicity gimmick’ in his book on Russia’s Sukhoi Su-35S, a potential opponent of the F-35.

He also wrote, ‘In real terms an aircraft in the class of the F-35 cannot compete with the Su-35S for out and out performance such as speed, climb, altitude, and maneuverability.’ …

Pierre Sprey, a cofounding member of the so-called ‘fighter mafia’ at the Pentagon and a co-designer of the F-16, calls the F-35 an ‘inherently a terrible airplane’ that is the product of ‘an exceptionally dumb piece of Air Force PR spin.’

He has said the F-35 would likely lose a close-in combat encounter to a well-flown MiG-21, a 1950s Soviet fighter design. …

This a lemon. Abandon it.

Essentially, the Pentagon has declared the F-35 ‘too big to fail.’

As a retired member of the U.S. Air Force and current university professor of finance who has been involved in and studied military aviation and acquisitions, I find the F-35 to be one of the greatest boondoggles in recent military purchasing history. …

So-called sunk costs, the money already paid on a project, should never be a factor in investment decisions. Rather, spending should be based on how it will add value in the future. …

I believe the F-35 program should be immediately cancelled; the technologies and systems developed for it should be used in more up-to-date and cost-effective aircraft designs.

Specifically, the F-35 should be replaced with a series of new designs targeted toward the specific mission requirements of the individual branches of the armed forces, in lieu of a single aircraft design trying to be everything to everyone.

hat-tip Matthew

Islamic terrorism in Perth? Shots fired but no one hurt so it is only a small story, but ABC omits any mention of Islam

Islamic terrorism in Perth? Shots fired but no one hurt so it is only a small story, but ABC omits any mention of Islam. By Graeme Powell.

A man who allegedly fired 18 gunshots at four cars, narrowly missing the occupants, as he drove through the Perth suburb of Beechboro has been arrested and charged by police following a high-speed pursuit.

Abdul Fatha Popal, 34, was taken into custody by heavily armed members of the police Tactical Response Group (TRG) after crashing his vehicle in Morley during last night’s chase. …

Popal, from Thornlie, is accused of shooting at four vehicles on Beechboro Road North between 7:00am and 8:00am on Saturday, near the Potters House Christian Centre.

One car was hit by seven rounds.

At least two bullets hit windscreens, with one shot narrowly missing the driver of one vehicle.

Police said it was lucky no-one was killed. …

No-one was struck by the gunfire, although detectives have not revealed how many people were in the cars when they were hit.

Perth Now:

Those cars – a Hyundai Sonata, a Toyota Hilux, a Ford Ranger, and a Skoda Yeti — all allegedly received bullet holes from the gun, which Mr Popal was also accused of firing with intent to cause fear and not keeping secure.

Mr Popal is also accused of carrying a 60cm double edged dagger

The court heard a nurse assessed Mr Popal as having delusions from ingestion of meth, but the psychiatric assessment showed no serious mental illness.

No mention of Islam in either report. But the ABC television news showed footage of the shooter’s home, which showed two women in Islamic garb including hijabs.

This fits a pattern of Islamic terrorism worldwide. ISIS fighters frequently get high before committing suicide bombings or terrorist attacks, so the meth is hardly surprising.

But strictly no connecting the dots by the ABC. What would the reporting have been if Abdul had manage to hit people instead of merely putting bullet holes in their cars?

Say “tranny” in Canada, go to jail

Say “tranny” in Canada, go to jail, by Taki Theodoracopulos.

In Canada, “Human Rights” mean you have no right to disagree with even one iota of what the government defines as “Human Rights.” If you say that some Muslims like to blow up people—which is true—this is obviously because you hate Muslims and want to blow them up, so the best thing to do is to toss you in a jail cell and let you stew about the fact that “hate speech” is not free speech, and you’re an idiot for ever thinking it was.

Last week, by a rollicking margin of 67-11, Canada’s Senate passed Bill C-16, which amends the nation’s absolutely unnecessary Human Rights Code to include “gender identity” and “gender expression” as things which you are officially no longer permitted to hate. …

If you refuse to submit to some mental case’s demand that you refer to them in their preferred pronoun of “xe,” “xir,” or “zip-zop-boobity-bop,” you are committing a hate crime against them and deserve to be treated like a mangy pit bull in a rusty animal shelter.

“Hatred…is a most extreme emotion that belies reason,” the bill states. We disagree. In several ways, hatred can be the most reasonable response to something. What belies reason is the idea that men who think they’re women are anything more than delusional men.

Germany: Police Powerless Against Middle Eastern Crime Gangs:”The clans simply have no respect for the authorities.”

Germany: Police Powerless Against Middle Eastern Crime Gangs:”The clans simply have no respect for the authorities.” By Soeren Kern.

A court in Hanover has handed suspended sentences to six members of a Kurdish clan who seriously wounded two dozen police officers during a violent rampage in Hameln. The court’s ruling was greeted with anger and derision by police who said it is yet another example of the laxity of Germany’s politically correct judicial system.

Dietmar Schilff, chairman of the GdP police union in Lower Saxony, said that the ruling had left many police officers shaking their heads in disbelief: “All police forces expect protection and support from the state.” He added:

“If we want to protect those who ensure public security, it must be clear that anyone who attacks police officers attacks the state — and has to fear appropriate consequences. It does not matter from which milieu the perpetrators come.”

Observers have surmised that the real reason for the judge’s leniency was that he feared his family might be subjected to retribution from the clan.

Middle Eastern crime syndicates have established themselves across Germany, where they engage in racketeering, extortion, money laundering, pimping and trafficking in humans, weapons and drugs.

The syndicates, which are run by large clans with origins in Lebanon, Turkey, Syria, among other places, operate with virtual impunity because German judges and prosecutors are unable or unwilling to stop them.

The clans — some of which migrated to Germany during Lebanon’s 1975-1990 civil war and have grown to thousands of members — now control large swathes of German cities and towns — areas that are effectively lawless and which German police increasingly fear to approach.

Ralph Ghadban, a Lebanese-German political scientist and a leading expert on Middle Eastern clans in Germany, said … “The clans now feel so strong that they are attacking the authority of the state and the police. They have nothing but contempt for the judiciary…. The main problem in dealing with clans: state institutions give no resistance. This makes the families more and more aggressive — they simply have no respect for the authorities….

“The state must destroy the clan structures. Strong and well-trained police officers must be respected on the street. It is a poor example if clan members are allowed seriously to injure 24 policemen and six others without having to fear real consequences. In addition, lawyers and judges must be trained. The courts are issuing feeble judgments based on a false understanding of multiculturalism and the fear of the stigma of being branded as racist….

“The clans adhere to a religious group, a kind of sect with an Islamic orientation. The Islamic understanding of their spiritual leader, Sheikh al-Habashi, who died a few years ago, justifies violence against unbelievers. He taught that there is only the house of ??war [Dar al-Harb], which justifies plundering unbelievers and possessing their wives….” …

Berlin is lost,” said Michael Kuhr, a well-known Berlin-based security consultant. “These clan structures have established themselves in all areas of organized crime. We will never go back to how things were 20 years ago. In addition, these people are highly dangerous and have lost all respect for the power of the state.” …

Police say they are alarmed by the aggressiveness and brutality of the clans, which are said to view crime as leisure activity. If police dare to intervene, hundreds of clan members are mobilized to confront the police.

Imagine that happening in your country. Your political leaders will do nothing, the media ignores you, and anyone who complains or sticks up for themselves is cut down with cries of “racist”. Like Rotherham.

Putin: Comey welcome to join Snowden in Moscow

Putin: Comey welcome to join Snowden in Moscow, by Mark Moore.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that Moscow would offer ousted FBI Director James Comey asylum if an investigation is launched against him for releasing details of conversations he had with President Trump.

Comparing Comey to serial leaker Edward Snowden, Putin said it “sounds strange, when the head of special services records his talks with the commander-in-chief and passes this talk to the media. Then what is the difference between the FBI director and Mr. Snowden?”

The Russian leader called Comey a “rights defender” and said the Kremlin has his back.

​”By the way if, in relation to this, a prosecution would be launched against him (Comey), we are ready to provide him with political asylum in Russia. He has to know this,” Putin said during a live televised call-in show in Moscow.

Alexandria Shootings Show the Left’s Toxic Hatred Has Gone Too Far…

Alexandria Shootings Show the Left’s Toxic Hatred Has Gone Too Far…, by James Delingpole.

Gosh what could possibly have been the motivation of Alexandria shooter James Hodgkinson, the Bernie-Sanders-loving, Russia-collusion-obsessed liberal activist whose Facebook page boasts about his participation in the Climate March on DC, celebrates the wisdom of Neil Degrasse Tyson, “likes” a cartoon showing Steve Scalise to be in league with the Ku Klux Klan, thinks the U.S. is secretly run by the Koch Brothers, and who signed a petition with the left wing online pressure group Change.org claiming that “Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It’s Time To Destroy Trump & Co”?

Unfortunately, he left so few clues that we may never know. …

There follows a list of recent rhetorical violence, mock violence, and actual violence against non-PC people by leftists in Trump’s America. All over the top.

We’re told by leftists that, no really, the right is just as bad. Why remember, what happened to Congresswoman Giffords…

Well yes, actually, I do remember.

I remember how desperately the liberal-left MSM sought to blame the act of a random nutcase on what they insisted was the “inflammatory rhetoric” used by Republicans.

But that when providing actual evidence of this “inflammatory rhetoric”, about the best the liberals could come up with was that a Sarah Palin campaign website used crosshairs to symbolize the Democrat politicians she was trying to unseat (not kill, please note; not execute; but just boot out of office using the democratic electoral system), that the word “targeted” even when used metaphorically smacked dangerously of firearms, and that maybe talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh spoke a bit roughly sometimes about the liberal-left.

And that was it. That was the best they could do.

Can you imagine what a field day the liberal left would be having right now if, instead of Republicans it had been a group of Democrat congressmen shot by a right-wing terrorist?

Well no, actually you probably can’t for the simple reason that the right doesn’t do nasty like the left does.

I’m not saying there aren’t psychotic killers with right-wing affiliations out there. … But what the left never manages successfully to prove — though Lord only knows, they try hard enough — is that the thing that radicalizes these loons is an aggressive right-wing eco-system of inflammatory media.

That’s because there isn’t one.

Trawl the internet as much as you like. Read the headlines. Listen to the talk shows. Watch TV. No matter how hard you look you won’t find nearly the same level of hatred and aggression from conservatives as you now do routinely from liberals. …

I don’t expect the liberal-left to change any time soon. They’re angry, they’re frustrated and –- thanks to the malign influence of everything from left-wing college professors to the poisonous liberal media -– they’re on a downward spiral of cry-bully destruction which I believe can only get worse.

Let’s console ourselves on at least one point, though: all those years where these people have tried to pretend that they are our moral superiors – those days are long, long gone.

You could never have said of the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik or Jo Cox’s killer Thomas Mair or the Tucson 2011 shooter Jared Loughner that their political outlook reflected that of many conservatives.

But you could definitely say of James Hodgkinson -– from his favorite political commentators to his views on Trump to the kind of cartoons he liked on social media to his analysis of what’s wrong with America –- that he thought very much on the lines of many, if not most mainstream left-liberals.

And there’s the difference. Troubling, don’t you think?

Can a Divided America Survive?

Can a Divided America Survive? By Victor Davis Hanson.

History has not been very kind to countries that enter a state of multicultural chaos. …

America is no more immune from collapse than were some of history’s most stable and impressive consensual governments. Fifth-century Athens, Republican Rome, Renaissance Florence and Venice, and many of the elected governments of early 20th-century Western European states eventually destroyed themselves, went bankrupt, or were overrun by invaders. …

Red America and Blue America are spiraling into divisions approaching those of 1860, or of the nihilistic hippie/straight divide of 1968. …

The two Americas watch different news. They read very different books, listen to different music, and watch different television shows. Increasingly, they now live lives according to two widely different traditions. …

History is not very kind to multicultural chaos — as opposed to a multiracial society united by a single national culture. The fates of Rwanda, Iraq, and the former Yugoslavia should remind us of our present disastrous trajectory.

Either the United States will return to a shared single language and allegiance to a common and singular culture, or it will eventually descend into clannish violence. …

Illiberal attempts to end free speech, to sanction racial and gender segregation, and to attack rather than argue with opponents are disguised by euphemisms such as “safe spaces,” “trigger warnings,” and various -isms and -ologies.

Behind the guise of campus activism and non-negotiable demands is the reality that too many students simply are unprepared to do their assigned work and seek exemption through protests in lieu of hard studying.

Life and death in Apple’s forbidden city

Life and death in Apple’s forbidden city, by Brian Merchant.

Foxconn’s enormous Longhua plant is a major manufacturer of Apple products. It might be the best-known factory in the world; it might also might be among the most secretive and sealed-off. …

It’s printed on the back of every iPhone: “Designed by Apple in California Assembled in China”. … The vast majority of plants that produce the iPhone’s component parts and carry out the device’s final assembly are based here, in the People’s Republic, where low labour costs and a massive, highly skilled workforce have made the nation the ideal place to manufacture iPhones (and just about every other gadget). …

Foxconn is the single largest employer in mainland China; there are 1.3 million people on its payroll. Worldwide, among corporations, only Walmart and McDonald’s employ more. …

Suicides:

If you know of Foxconn, there’s a good chance it’s because you’ve heard of the suicides. In 2010, Longhua assembly-line workers began killing themselves. Worker after worker threw themselves off the towering dorm buildings, sometimes in broad daylight, in tragic displays of desperation – and in protest at the work conditions inside. There were 18 reported suicide attempts that year alone and 14 confirmed deaths. Twenty more workers were talked down by Foxconn officials.

The epidemic caused a media sensation – suicides and sweatshop conditions in the House of iPhone. Suicide notes and survivors told of immense stress, long workdays and harsh managers who were prone to humiliate workers for mistakes, of unfair fines and unkept promises of benefits. …

Steve Jobs, for his part, declared: “We’re all over that” when asked about the spate of deaths and he pointed out that the rate of suicides at Foxconn was within the national average. …

Most employees last only a year:

The vision of life inside an iPhone factory that emerged was varied. Some found the work tolerable; others were scathing in their criticisms; some had experienced the despair Foxconn was known for; still others had taken a job just to try to find a girlfriend. Most knew of the reports of poor conditions before joining, but they either needed the work or it didn’t bother them. Almost everywhere, people said the workforce was young and turnover was high. “Most employees last only a year,” was a common refrain. Perhaps that’s because the pace of work is widely agreed to be relentless, and the management culture is often described as cruel.

Since the iPhone is such a compact, complex machine, putting one together correctly requires sprawling assembly lines of hundreds of people who build, inspect, test and package each device. One worker said 1,700 iPhones passed through her hands every day; she was in charge of wiping a special polish on the display. That works out at about three screens a minute for 12 hours a day. …

Xu and his friend were both walk-on recruits, though not necessarily willing ones. “They call Foxconn a fox trap,” he says. “Because it tricks a lot of people.” He says Foxconn promised them free housing but then forced them to pay exorbitantly high bills for electricity and water. The current dorms sleep eight to a room and he says they used to be 12 to a room. But Foxconn would shirk social insurance and be late or fail to pay bonuses. And many workers sign contracts that subtract a hefty penalty from their pay if they quit before a three-month introductory period. …

Instead of discussing performance privately or face to face on the line, managers would stockpile complaints until later. “When the boss comes down to inspect the work,” Xu’s friend says, “if they find any problems, they won’t scold you then. They will scold you in front of everyone in a meeting later.”

“It’s insulting and humiliating to people all the time,” his friend says. “Punish someone to make an example for everyone else. It’s systematic,” he adds. In certain cases, if a manager decides that a worker has made an especially costly mistake, the worker has to prepare a formal apology. “They must read a promise letter aloud – ‘I won’t make this mistake again’– to everyone.” …

Foxconn was not our stereotypical conception of a sweatshop. But there was a different kind of ugliness. For whatever reason – the rules imposing silence on the factory floors, its pervasive reputation for tragedy or the general feeling of unpleasantness the environment itself imparts – Longhua felt heavy, even oppressively subdued.

When I look back at the photos I snapped, I can’t find one that has someone smiling in it. It does not seem like a surprise that people subjected to long hours, repetitive work and harsh management might develop psychological issues. That unease is palpable – it’s worked into the environment itself. As Xu said: “It’s not a good place for human beings.”

hat-tip byrmol

Britain has to decide what Brexit means – right now

Britain has to decide what Brexit means – right now, by Robert Colvile.

There are two competing visions.

One is, effectively, no Brexit: or rather, something that calls itself Brexit but is as close as humanly possible to the existing arrangements. Above all, it means continued access to European markets on current terms, even if that involves accepting free movement (with cosmetic restrictions) and continued payments to the European budget.

The other, normally called hard Brexit, is actually just Brexit. Britain would gain control of its borders and laws, and be able to strike trade deals with other countries, even if it would retain the closest possible ties to Europe – and might accept some (or much) EU regulation, or continue to pay for some of its projects.

Rhetorically, both of these end up in much the same place. But their essentials are very different. One starts with In, and moves Out. The other starts with Out, and moves In. That is why their “fail states” are very different too. The first is the status quo, but worse. The second is crashing out into a brave and uncertain new world.

hat-tip Matthew

Theresa May’s war on the internet

Theresa May’s war on the internet, by Dan Glazebook.

Theresa May’s first policy announcement since last week’s election… was – the end of internet freedom.

Specifically, what was announced was that [Britain and France] would be introducing heavy fines for internet companies that failed to remove what they, very loosely, defined as “extremist content.”

Now, taken at face value, this might seem to be referring to ISIS [Islamic State, formerly ISIL] recruitment videos or online suicide bombing training videos, or whatever. But the direct encouragement of violence is already illegal. So, what exactly is being proposed? Who exactly will be targeted?

It was former PM David Cameron who originally came up with the idea that “nonviolent extremism” should be criminalized alongside violent extremism. Intriguingly, as an example of what he meant, he included the idea that the “West is bad,” as well as elsewhere arguing that the promotion of “wild conspiracy theories” would also qualify. Well, the collusion between, for example, British intelligence and Al-Qaeda might sound like a wild conspiracy theory. But, in the context of Britain and Al-Qaeda’s shared enemies in the form of Gaddafi and Assad, this collusion actually did take place. …

A theory about where this is going:

Back in 1983, pretty much everyone got their political information from either the newspapers or the BBC. In other words, between them, the big press barons – about 4 or 5 of them – and the British state had total monopoly control of political information.

This meant that when they portrayed Labour leader Michael Foot as a bumbling Oaf, that became the abiding image of him. A tiny handful of millionaire Tories effectively had total control over the public image of every politician in the land.

This time around, it’s a different story. The newspapers and the TV threw everything they could at Corbyn – ‘he’s a terror-supporting, magic money tree-mongering, Brexit-frustrating Remainiac’ – but people weren’t buying. And why weren’t they buying? Because they’re not reading the newspapers, and they’re not watching terrestrial TV. This time around, people, young people in particular, were increasingly getting their political information from social media – and on social media, the conservatives did not control the narrative.

For example, an RT interview I did about British collusion with terrorism shortly before the election got over one and half million views on Facebook – higher than the daily readership of the Daily Mail. …

So, you can see why the Tories are furious about the internet. They, and the British state more generally, have totally lost control of the narrative. And that’s what cost them this election.

So that’s what this new crackdown on the internet is really about; it’s about regaining control of that narrative. It’s about turning the CEOs of YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Google into the Rupert Murdochs of the 21st century – the political allies and mouthpieces of the British state and the capitalist class, and doing this by forging a new relationship that explicitly punishes them if they refuse to play ball.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Turnbull government carefully tackles Chinese interference

Turnbull government carefully tackles Chinese interference, by Greg Sheridan.

The Turnbull government has expressed in strong terms its displeasure with the way Chinese diplomats deal with Chinese citizens in Australia.

The Chinese embassy in Canberra has been told by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade that it has no right to harass or threaten any Chinese national in Australia whom Beijing considers to be corrupt or to have taken corruptly obtained wealth out of China. Although the Turnbull government sympathises with Beijing in its wish to prosecute anyone who has illegally moved assets or broken the law in China, it insists the Chinese must operate through the Australian government and our law enforcement agencies.

The chief Chinese intelligence agency, the Ministry of State Security, is very active in Australia, and many things that Beijing does within Australia go beyond the normal bounds of diplomatic behaviour, according to government sources. …

An example of how not to behave:

One of the most publicised incidents occurred at a meeting of the Kimberley Process that Australia hosted in Perth last month. The Kimberley Process is an international group that addresses the trade in conflict diamonds.

Australia, which was chairing the meeting, had invited a Taiwanese diamond trading authority to attend as a guest. This was consistent with previous practice.

Beijing objected to this because it is trying to intimidate Taiwan and strangle its international space.

China had two entirely reasonable courses of action available to it. One was to register its objections to the Taiwanese presence with the Australian government, which it did.

The other was, if it didn’t get the answer it wanted, to refuse to attend the meeting.

Instead, the official Chinese delegation, including Chinese diplomats, shouted down the Aboriginal welcome-to-country ceremony at the start of proceedings, then shouted down the start of Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s speech.

They then recruited some African delegates to join in the shouting down until finally the organisers asked the Taiwanese delegation to leave, setting up bilateral meetings for the delegates instead. …

Getup!

It is also the case that third parties — such as GetUp! — do not face even the registration and disclosure obligations of political parties but campaign directly in Australian politics and can receive enormous amounts of foreign funding.

em Strategist James Devine Launches Hashtag #HuntRepublicanCongressmen After Steve Scalise Shooting

Dem Strategist James Devine Launches Hashtag #HuntRepublicanCongressmen After Steve Scalise Shooting, by Adam Shaw.

A New Jersey Democratic strategist is capitalizing on the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) by launching the hashtags #HuntRepublicans and #HuntRepublicanCongressmen, and he is showing no signs of backing down, claiming “the chickens came home to roost.”

James Devine, a longtime political strategist in the Garden State, tweeted in the wake of the shooting at a Republican baseball practice in Alexandria on Wednesday:

Perhaps responding to the anger directed at him online, he then clumsily tried to justify the hateful tweets by repeating a tired Democratic talking point, attempting to link Scalise to David Duke:

For a century the KKK was the militant wing of the Southern Democrats, not the Republicans — something the media doesn’t talk about now.

Amazingly, in light of his tweets, he told MyCentralJersey.com that the shooting was the result of “escalating rhetoric and vitriol that has been evident in our political system culminating with the election of our president and the chickens came home to roost, you know?” …

On Thursday, he offered a snarky apology, saying, “I am sorry if my #HuntRepublicanCongressmen hashtag hurt the feelings of any GOP snowflakes but you have not engaged in civil discourse.” …

Other New Jersey Democrats quickly distanced themselves from Devine’s apparent incitement, with a spokesman for New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chairman John Currie claiming to MyCentralJersey.com to be “in no way associated with Mr. Devine’s hashtag.”

Incredible. The delusional thinking encouraged by the media today is breathtaking.

hat-tip Charles