UK and European ISPs Now Blocking Jihad Watch

UK and European ISPs Now Blocking Jihad Watch, by Marc.

I am seeing now that most of the UK and many other European Internet service providers (ISPs) are blocking this [the JihadWatch website] as well as many other websites from being viewed.

Not content with shadow banning academics guilty of wrongspeak from social media, attempting to turn them into unpersons, they are using blocking methods originally developed but rarely used to block criminal enterprises on the web (think scammers and pedophiles) with far more alacrity than when they were ever used as originally intended.

They use a variety of methods to control what you are allowed to view online, much like how I had “guardian control” on our television to stop the kids from watching channels that were not suitable. Amusingly, I know of one home and office firewall company that is listing as “adult entertainment.” A provider in the UK, also listing Jihad Watch as adult, asks for credit card numbers to prove you are old enough to view the site.

Canada is introducing “measures,” specifically in Quebec, to block illegal gaming sites, which I would bet my last Loony on being leveraged in the same way, as soon as they criminalize “Islamophobia,” a.k.a. any criticism of jihad and the violence and crime that go hand-in-hand with Islam.

So today, some Internet providers just block this and other sites, giving the impression that site is “down,” not available, mockingly suggesting, “please try later.” We will be seeing far more of this, and there is little anyone can do to stop this from being implemented further.

hat-tip Stephen Neil, Scott of the Pacific

Minister told to remind Germany of cancelled WW2 debt amid EU demand for £50bn Brexit fee

Minister told to remind Germany of cancelled WW2 debt amid EU demand for £50bn Brexit fee, by Greg Heffer.

Prominent Tory MP and veteran eurosceptic Sir Bill Cash suggested ministers “bear in mind” a post-war deal that saw Germany’s debt halved amid likely demands Britain pay a multi-billion pound EU exit fee.

Brussels’ chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier is ready to hit the Prime Minister with a eye-watering departure bill as soon as Article 50 divorce talks are triggered next Wednesday – with it believed the EU could demand the UK pay as much as £50billion.

But Sir Bill this afternoon advised Brexit minister David Jones to contemplate the 1953 London Debt Agreement should his department be faced with such a bill.

Signed by countries across the world the 1953 deal provided West Germany with relief on its massive post-war debts – including money owed from First World War reparations and post-1945 loans provided by the US.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Perpetual liquor licences will allow businesses to flourish, ACT Government says

Perpetual liquor licences will allow businesses to flourish, ACT Government says, by the ABC.

Relaxed new liquor licensing laws proposed for Canberra will help local night-life flourish, the ACT Government says.

Alcohol vendors will no longer have to re-apply for liquor licences every one to three years … Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay said it was important for government to get out of the way at times, to allow businesses to flourish — and that was the reasoning behind relaxing the laws. Under the new laws licensees would be given “perpetual licences”, which would only become void if suspended or cancelled by the Commissioner for Fair Trading. …

According to groups lobbying for measures curtailing the hours of late opening venues and bottle shops, the Government has only listened to the liquor industry.

Comments Phillip Barton, who ran a restaurant in Canberra’s center:

Drinking more = flourishing night life?  More drunkenness in the already tacky city center (“Civic”) is more like it.

Civic has been destroyed as a family destination by alcohol regulations (and the pills, which followed) and alcohol induced violence. Saturday and Sunday morning ‘pavement pizzas’ are the norm, and puddles of blood not unusual. That is ‘vibrancy’?

I sent back my alcohol license about four years ago; I would no longer tolerate the unaesthetic WARNING signs that I had to stick all over the entrance, the absurd complexity of the regulations, the extra wages that I had to pay staff, the harassing inspectors, and the license tax of about $3,000 per year. They made no price differentiation between nightclubs (where the business model was selling booze exclusively) and restaurants/cafes.

Alcohol was an insignificant amount of our sales and carried a very high stock price. It was a customer service — like toilet paper.  In the end, it became so expensive we opted out — alcohol, not toilet paper 🙂

The inevitable result is for more and more restaurants/cafes to revert to the old BYO. That is the emergent trend. Alcohol licenses are for seedy places appealing only to degenerates that are willing to guzzle enough booze to pay for the costs of government regulation and taxation.

It is NOT true that the free market is the Law of the Jungle where only the strong survive; it is only those who best supply the market what is needed and wanted that survive.

It IS true that under the Law of the Bungle (government regulation), only the feeble, weedy and degenerate survive.

Forbes Magazine is promoting Iran as one of “The 10 Coolest Places to Go in 2017”

Forbes Magazine is promoting Iran as one of “The 10 Coolest Places to Go in 2017,” by Penny Starr.

“Indagare founder Melissa Biggs Bradley is excited about the trip she just completed, to Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz and Persepolis,” the Forbes article states. “The country seemed to be on the verge last year, and that panned out.

“Tourism has doubled in the past year, Biggs Bradley notes, thanks to the 2015 nuclear agreement along with regular flights from London, Paris, Vienna, Istanbul, Dubai and Doha.”

“Visitors to Iran understand that they must adapt to Sharia law and customs, under which alcohol is strictly forbidden and women must wear hijabs, or headscarves, outside their rooms,” Biggs Bradley wrote. “Advanced visas are required for Americans, who must be accompanied by Iranian guides and may not visit Iranians in their homes.

Visitors must also “skip alcohol and put up with basic hotels,” Biggs Bradley wrote in the review published early this year. …

According to the U.S. Department of State, Iran is not an ideal travel destination because of it being designated as the No. 1 state sponsor of terror through its ongoing funding and arming of terrorists groups around the world and its human rights abuses against its own citizens and visitors.

Robert Spencer:

Forbes forgot to mention a few more of Iran’s attractions: acid attacks on women to enforce Sharia dress codes; the devaluation of a woman’s life, such that if she dies accidentally, her family will receive only half the legal compensation than given for a man; the devaluation also of a woman’s testimony in court, as worth half that of a man (as per Qur’an 2:282); public lashings for certain offences and death by stoning for women convicted of adultery; executions at a rate of over 800 per year, mostly for drug offenses; the honor killing of women, while the regime looks the other way; and heavy fines and jail sentences for women who do not wear the hijab.

Also, if you happen to be a journalist and/or a peace activist, or have done anything whatsoever to upset the regime, you may be detained at the airport and jailed in Evin Prison on trumped-up charges. There, electrocution, brutal beatings, rape and drug-induced confessions and hangings are common.

Posted, thank you!

Labor, Greens cynical 18C move

Labor, Greens cynical 18C move, by Chris Kenny.

We need to call out the cynical way in which Labor and the Greens are seeking to use the 18C issue to inflame divisive race-based debate for political purposes. They are deliberately misrepresenting the aims of the proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act as somehow giving a “green light” to racism. This is dishonest and irresponsible. …

Both Shorten and Aly know the proposed changes will keep section 18C on the statute books so that racial vilification will still be outlawed in this nation under federal law (along with a range of complementary state laws against abuse, threats and vilification, and other protections such as defamation and obscenity laws).

They know the reforms proposed by the government aim only to prevent the repetition of clear cases of overreach against free speech. …

Changing the law to prevent overreach and the unfair persecution of people like Leak and the QUT students will not give anyone a new licence for hate. … The only ramifications should be to decrease the future likelihood of odious overreach by the AHRC.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Russia Has Been Trying to Influence Our Elections for Fifty Years; Suddenly, Democrats Are ‘Shocked’

Russia Has Been Trying to Influence Our Elections for Fifty Years; Suddenly, Democrats Are ‘Shocked’, by John Hayward.

Former CIA operations officer Scott Uehlinger … spent twelve years living in the former Soviet Union when he worked for the CIA, and he speaks Russian.

“I spent a lot of time literally going head-to-head with Russian intelligence. I mean, they were actually, believe it or not, at my wedding. Russian intelligence was invited to my wedding because I was married over in Moldova. I was friends – I was associates – with all of the intel reps in town, and that included the Russians. So I know things Russian,” he said of his background. …

“Now, of course Russia attempts to influence the election process. They’ve been doing it for fifty years. They’re not particularly effective at it, but they try to sort of — if they can, they do what they can to influence public opinion, and usually it’s ineffective.” …

“However, I would wager they’ve been more effective in this past election simply because with the hacks, the WikiLeaks revelations of the DNC emails and such, basically Russian intelligence was doing the job that a viable true media should be doing themselves. In other words, if we had good journalism in this country, those kinds of revelations would have been made.” …

The American people had WikiLeaks to provide the information that normal journalists should provide in a normal kind of society –- the society we had, let’s say, thirty years ago. That’s unfortunate. But to feign shock that Russia is attempting to do this by the Democrats is very disingenuous.” …

Uehlinger found it “ridiculous” that Democrats and the media have hyped their “Russia hacked the election” narrative for six months and counting, without a shred of evidence.

The politicization of the US bureaucracy under Obama:

Uehlinger argued that the “Deep State” is “not something out of a James Bond film, where people meet at midnight, and you can’t see their faces, and they’re sitting around a table plotting world domination.”

“The bottom line is, under eight years of an Obama administration, the bureaucracy has been naturally polarized,” he explained. “The people who favored the Obama administration have tended to rise to the top. I would estimate at the CIA, it’s probably, let’s say about 65 percent Democrat and maybe 35 percent Republican or conservative.”

“I was a conservative, but I was always out in the field,” he noted. “The people who are walking around in reality, the people who are in the bazaars and markets of the Third World – much as cops are mostly conservative, the CIA officers in the field tend to be perhaps more conservative, whereas your analysts, the Washington creatures, the people who spend their entire career in Washington tend to be more liberal. But there are a lot more of them than people like myself. We’re outnumbered.”

“Also, many people in the Justice Department have said it’s about 80 percent liberal. The bottom line is, these people, they’re empowered by Hillary Clinton and her former administration calling themselves ‘The Resistance.’ They’re empowered by that, and feel more justified in basically blunting or dulling the policies of the president,” he said.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Yes, The FBI Is Investigating the Trump Campaign

Yes, The FBI Is Investigating the Trump Campaign, by Matthew Vadum. No, that doesn’t mean the investigation is going anywhere.

Embattled FBI Director James Comey finally acknowledged publicly in congressional testimony that his agency is indeed investigating President Trump’s campaign for alleged ties to the Russian government and collusion regarding the November election.

The ongoing witch-hunt is probably a blessing in disguise for Trump. Democrats are putting all their eggs in one basket as they obsess over all these fuzzy and at times speculative connections between Trump and the Russians. They are feeding their crazed, Trump Derangement Syndrome-suffering base what nowadays passes for red meat. Normal people don’t care or they rightly intuit that the farfetched allegations that somehow some Russians hacked the election to favor Trump are nonsense.

The absence of evidence of collusion between Team Trump and Russia is overwhelming, for lack of a better word, and unless actual evidence of electoral mischief surfaces the public backlash against those crying wolf at some point is likely to be fierce. …

Although it has long been FBI policy to neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation to avoid smearing individuals who eventually are exonerated of wrongdoing, Comey confirmed his agency is investigating any possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russia. …

Trump claims Obama “wiretapped” him:

Comey also said he had “no information” to back up Trump’s explosive claim on Twitter from a fortnight ago that he was wiretapped at the direction of then-President Obama.

At the hearing, committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) agreed there was “no physical wiretap” of Trump Tower but acknowledged it is possible Trump was surveilled by other means.

Setting aside for the moment the semantic distinction between wiretapping and the more general term surveillance, the indispensable Jeffrey Lord reminds us at the American Spectator, that there have been many mainstream media reports supposedly based on information from intelligence community sources that have indicated wiretapping targeting Trump did indeed take place.

The Left can’t have it both ways, Lord writes, arguing those news pieces that supposedly justified an investigation of the Trump campaign suddenly don’t matter. Lord explains that Democrats are engaging in sleight-of-hand by arguing that because, as they say, Trump is wrong “about an Obama wiretapping of Trump personally,” the existence of “all those New York Times and Washington Post reports that emphatically state” that communications by the Trump team were indeed intercepted are therefore irrelevant.

hat-tip Scott of the Pacific, Stephen Neil

A history-setting trading streak for Dow, S&P 500 just came to a screeching halt, by Mark Decambre.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed [down] 237 points, or 1.1%,  … while the S&P 500 index finished off 1.2% …. The two main stock-market gauges hadn’t finished with a decline of 1% or more for a history-setting 110 trading days.

The broad-market S&P 500’s streak without a 1% down day is the longest since May 18, 1995, while the Dow’s is the longest since Sept. 20, 1993, according to Dow Jones data.

U.S. stocks had enjoyed an uptrend in the wake of President Donald Trump’s election victory on Nov. 8, on the back of hope for a roll out of a raft of pro-business policies, including tax cuts, deregulation and a boost in infrastructure spending.

On Tuesday, some market participants attributed the slump in equities to fears that Trump’s legislative agenda as it pertains to Wall Street would face delays as the GOP-led health-care overhaul plans appeared set to struggle on congress.

The wheels fell off the market’s love affair with Trump, basically because he seems to have run into some problems with Congress and tax cuts are ultimately threatened. Money raced off to safe currencies like the Japanese Yen and away from “good times” currencies like the A$. Stock markets had a “terrible” day.

How terrible?  Well, it’s the first time in 109 days that the U.S. markets have fallen more than 1 %.  That’s the best run up in about a quarter of a century — about the same amount of near world record setting time that Australia has gone without a recession.

What happens next to (U.S.) stock markets?  Probably not much if the history of the last 100 years is any guide, BUT anything is possible and it remains the case that since about WWII, there has only been one time where there wasn’t a significant market crash within a year of the end of a two term President, which Obama was.  It’s also the case that U.S. stock markets normally stumble after the first 2-3 interest rate rises in a cycle ie. around now. Plus, by most usual yardsticks, the US stock market is very pricey.

Pentagon buries evidence of $125 billion in bureaucratic waste

Pentagon buries evidence of $125 billion in bureaucratic waste, by Craig Whitlock.

Pentagon leaders had requested the [internal ] study to help make their enormous back-office bureaucracy more efficient and reinvest any savings in combat power. But after the project documented far more wasteful spending than expected, senior defense officials moved swiftly to kill it by discrediting and suppressing the results.

The report, issued in January 2015, identified “a clear path” for the Defense Department to save $125 billion over five years. The plan would not have required layoffs of civil servants or reductions in military personnel. Instead, it would have streamlined the bureaucracy through attrition and early retirements, curtailed high-priced contractors and made better use of information technology. …

The data showed that the Defense Department was paying a staggering number of people — 1,014,000 contractors, civilians and uniformed personnel — to fill back-office jobs far from the front lines. That workforce supports 1.3 million troops on active duty, the fewest since 1940. …

The study was produced last year by the Defense Business Board, a federal advisory panel of corporate executives, and consultants from McKinsey and Company. Based on reams of personnel and cost data, their report revealed for the first time that the Pentagon was spending almost a quarter of its $580 billion budget on overhead and core business operations such as accounting, human resources, logistics and property management.

All western institutions have bloated back-offices nowadays. For example, administrators have taken over universities and research organizations. They outnumber the academics and researchers, and they pay themselves salaries that are often much larger than the people who do the actual work of the institution– for services that, mysteriously, these institutions managed to do without until forty years ago. It’s a creeping corruption by hordes of camp followers, demanding an ever greater cut. Drain the swamps.

Trump Administration Starting to Look Like Every Other GOP Administration — Get Back to Immigration, Jobs, Trade, by Ann Coulter.

“Trump has got to get off this stuff, and he’s got to get off tax cuts and get back to what got him elected,” Coulter said. “He wasn’t elected by Goldman Sachs. He got 1 percent of their vote. He wasn’t elected by the donor class. … He doesn’t owe the donors. Get back to the law. Get back to deportations. Get back to the trade deals.”

“This is starting to look like every other Republican administration — massive spending on the military, which wastes $125 billion per year according to a McKinsey report,” she continued. “He’s moving money from one swamp to another. We don’t want war. We want more jobs, a wall and lots of deportations — not all this stuff that is indistinguishable from the Jeb Bush administration.”

Gay rights activists target IBM executive

Gay rights activists target IBM executive, by Rebecca Urban.

Marriage equality advocate IBM Australia is being targeted by ­militant gay rights activists who have condemned the company over a senior executive’s links to a ­Christian organisation.

Activists have criticised the IT giant and Sydney-based managing partner Mark Allaby, suggesting that his role on the board of the Lachlan Macquarie Institute, an internship program for young Christians, is incompatible with IBM’s public support on the issue. …

If two activists on Twitter can hound a guy out of his job for holding non-PC opinions…

Michael Barnett, convener of Jewish LGBTI support group Aleph Melbourne, and Rod Swift, a Greens candidate in the 2014 state election, have targeted IBM with a barrage of messages via Twitter in recent days, accusing the company of hypocrisy for ­allowing an employee to be ­involved with “an anti-LGBTI ­organisation”.

“A bad look … that IBM managing partner Mark Allaby sits on the anti-LGBT Lachlan Macquarie Institute board,” Mr Barnett ­posted on Thursday.

The next day he followed with: “As an LGBT champion @IBM­Australia, why did you employ a board member of a high-profile anti-LGBT organisation.”

Mr Swift pitched in, calling on IBM to explain whether it would “request this guy to step down” from the institute.

It’s bullying by bigots, pure and simple:

Australian Christian Lobby managing director Lyle Shelton said the ACL, which helped set up the Lachlan Macquarie Institute, denied that the organisation was “anti-LGBTI”. …

“Sadly, same-sex marriage activists are intolerant of different views and have co-opted some in the corporate sector to assist them in enforcing this to the point where people fear for their jobs.

“All Australians, including corporate Australia, should openly and forcefully condemn every instance of bullying and intimidation.”

They want IBM to sack him merely for belonging to an organization whose views, on something that has nothing to do with IBM, they don’t like.

We get this is in climate all the time. It’s standard operating procedure for warmists to go after the funding or employment of any skeptic. No debate, just “shut up.” Once I had pointed out that there was no empirical evidence for the carbon dioxide theory of global warming on “60 Minutes” in 2008, I found myself unemployable in certain circles. Which is partly why I write this blog.

Populist challenge provokes an almighty tantrum from leftists

Populist challenge provokes an almighty tantrum from leftists, by Brendan O’Neill.

Has there ever been a tantrum as tinny and irritating as the one thrown by the chattering classes in response to Brexit and Donald Trump? It’s the mother of all meltdowns. The huff heard round the world. A hissy fit of historic proportions.

Children who don’t get their way normally foot-stomp and wail “I hate you” for three or four minutes before collapsing into a knackered heap. The liberal elite has been at it for nine months, ever since Brexit last June pricked the sealed, self-satisfied bubble they live in and reminded them that — brace yourself — there are people out there who think differently.

Brexit and Trump signal the demise of Western liberal civilisation, they sob. Fascism is staggering back to life, they cry. “Boy does this age remind me of the 1930s,” said British politician and historical illiterate Paddy Ashdown about Brexit. …

What we’re witnessing is the rage of the entitled, the fury of a technocratic elite that had come to see itself as the rightful, most expert overseer of politics. They really cannot believe that everyday people, millions of the idiots, have had the brass neck to say: “We don’t like how you do politics. We’re going to try a different approach.” …

The chattering-class tantrum is fuelled by an urge to dodge self-reckoning; by an absolute terror of asking what the old politics was getting wrong. …

And, of course, all tantrums involve lashing out, as this one does. The levels of antipathy aimed at voters, and at democracy itself, has been extraordinary. …

American-British conservative Andrew Sullivan frets that the “passions of the mob” have been unleashed. A writer for The Observer says it’s time to smash the “taboo” against saying that ordinary people are often very stupid, and “there are times when their stupidity combines to produce gross, self-harming acts of national stupidity”.

Don’t worry, mate: that taboo has been well and truly demolished, if it ever existed. Post-Brexit and post-Trump, the chattering classes have not been shy in wondering if the masses are too daft for politics. …

In a beautiful irony, the fact that their response to this revolt has been “Waaaah! How dare you?!” proves the revolt was long overdue.

The Totalitarian Consensus

The Totalitarian Consensus, by David Krayden.

The Left hates Trump because he has destroyed the totalitarian consensus that former president Barack Obama had assiduously built over the last eight years and is now in tatters.

The totalitarian consensus is a virulent and pervasive characteristic of the left-wing thought that used to be isolated to its more extreme manifestations but that now dominates and defines liberalism writ large. It does not seek a forum to express liberal ideas, nor does it even seek the hegemony of that liberal discourse; its goal is the elimination of any thoughts and opinions contrary to its prevailing notions and a consensus that there are indeed no other ideas worth considering — and it seeks the total surrender of any dissidents who still proclaim an opposing truth and ultimately a solemn confession that they have been wrong all along and please forgive their foolishness and revisionism. …

He had the audacity to suggest that the climate change swindle might demand some reappraisal, especially given the enormous cost of enforcing this environmental religion. Settled? Forget it.

But try to question the totalitarian consensus on climate change and you immediately confront a world view that demands subservience and labels opponents as “deniers” not worthy of rational consideration. …

Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin was not just characterized by megalomania, paranoid and consciousness brutality; he also possessed a fervent passion to annihilate all opposition and to have his victims recant for their heretical thinking just before the NKVD bullet hit them in the back of the head. It was not enough that they were wrong; they had to publicly admit that they were wrong through a full confession.

Coalition partyroom endorses far reaching changes to Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act

Coalition partyroom endorses far reaching changes to Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. Including powers to “terminate” any complaint considered to be trivial. Bill Shorten opened Question Time by asking Malcolm Turnbull why he has chosen to “weaken protections against racist hate speech.”

The Prime Minister said the government was “defending the law by making it clearer” and better protecting Australians by ensuring that mere “slights” and the “taking of offence” no longer triggered section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. …

“We need to restore confidence to the Racial Discrimination Act and to the Human Rights Commission’s administration of it.” …

Activist group GetUp has rushed out early to condemn Malcolm Turnbull’s move to push forward with changes to Section 18C, warning it amounts to an “attack on the safety and security” of indigenous and multi-cultural communities. …

Greens Leader Richard Di Natale said the proposed changes to section 18C represented an “attack on multicultural Australia” and an attempt by Malcolm Turnbull to “cuddle up to One Nation, the right wing of his party and a narrow section of the media. … You only need to look at the people who are pushing to water down 18C to realise this is a cultural and ideological war masquerading as a free speech crusade,” he said. “It’s shameful that the coalition believe it’s ok for people to be humiliated, insulted and offended on the basis of their race.”

Lies, barefaced lies and democracy

Lies, barefaced lies and democracy, by Alexander Boot.

People everywhere, especially in the US, react to various word combinations featuring ‘democracy’ with Pavlovian alacrity. Some such combinations have attained idiomatic stability. For example, no one sees anything wrong with intellectually unsound phrases like ‘liberal democracy’.

Democracy refers to a political method used to decide who governs the country. Liberty, with its various cognates, refers to a desired effect of government, no matter who forms it and by what method.

Democracy is a physical technicality; liberty mainly has metaphysical connotations. …

The underlying assumption is that liberty is an integral property of democracy and vice versa. …

In theory, 50.1 per cent of the electorate may well vote for selling the nation into slavery, provided the price is good. The remaining 49.9 could scream themselves hoarse about the monstrosity of it all. Their protests would go unheeded: democracy has been served. …

The subjects of King George (choose any numeral) or King Louis (ditto) enjoyed the kind of individual freedom that isn’t even approached by the citizens of any ‘liberal democracy’ of today. To use one, far from the most important, example, no Western monarch would have dreamed of extorting over half of his subjects’ earnings – something that’s accepted as a fair privilege of any ‘liberal democracy’. …

No Western monarch could have conceived intruding on the people’s private lives to the same extent as modern ‘liberal democracies’ routinely do for ‘the common good’. (Michael Gove, supposedly the intellectual giant among the Tories, has foolishly praised Mrs May for using those words at every turn. He doesn’t seem to realise that ‘common good’ is the self-vindicating buzz phrase of every modern tyranny.) …

PC is a modern tyranny:

No lords or magistrates of the past imposed such tyrannical diktats on language as do today’s enforcers of political correctness. No government censorship of the past was as despotic as today’s self-censorship demanded by society.

The state throws its weight behind such demands, with any ‘liberal democracy’ prepared to punish people not for what they do but increasingly for what they say. This blurs the distinction between state and society, yet not many see this as a factor of tyranny.

Monarchy had some advantages:

Among many arguments in favour of monarchy is that, by and large, monarchs were professionals trained in statecraft since childhood. Democracy (as distinct from republicanism) is by definition rule by amateurs who typically have no time, once in office, to climb the learning curve. Someone like Trump, starting his political career at presidency, is akin to a soldier whose first rank is four-star general, unthinkable in either an army or a monarchy. That doesn’t mean that monarchs are invariably better than presidents or PMs, only that the odds go that way.

Note that all the major combatants in the First World War, arguably the greatest catastrophe in Western history, were either democracies or monarchies with strong democratic elements. The German Reichstag had to vote for war credits and, had it voted against, the war wouldn’t have happened.

hat-tip David Archibald

MULTICULTURALISM: First among equals or an also-ran culture?

MULTICULTURALISM: First among equals or an also-ran culture? By Kevin Donnelly. First, the usual PC violation of logic and reality:

The Victorian Government’s recently launched a multicultural campaign entitled “Victorian. And Proud of it.” … On one hand Premier Daniel Andrews argues that “everyone should have the freedom to be themselves” and that we should “celebrate the things that make us different”. On the other hand he also argues “there is one law for all” and we should “never tolerate the things that divide us”.

The inherent contradiction is that it is impossible to celebrate diversity and difference while at the same time asking all to commit to a common set of beliefs and values.

Some cultural practices are unacceptable and should never be tolerated. Extreme examples include child brides, female circumcision and treating women as second-rate citizens, issues which persist in many old-world cultures yet to evolve into the modern world. …

Western culture matters:

The reality is that [Australia is] a Western liberal democracy and our beliefs and institutions are a unique product of Western civilisation and the Anglosphere.

Historical events like the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution underpin our culture and distinguish us from religions that have never experienced such epochal events.

While we are a secular society, where there is a division between church and state, it is also true that Christianity, especially the New Testament, has had and continues to have a profound and beneficial effect on our way of life. …

As detailed in Inventing the Individual: The Origins of Western Liberalism by Larry Siedentop, concepts like equal before the law, the inherent dignity of the human person and what the American Declaration of Independence describes as “unalienable rights” are inspired by Christianity.

Multiculturalism has been a failure:

While the Premier lauds multiculturalism as the “best system there is”, the reality, both here and overseas, is that it is a failed social experiment. One only needs to witness that violence and social upheaval in Britain and Europe to appreciate how unsuccessful it has been.

In 2015 then British Prime Minister David Cameron admitted as much and argued that all must commit to “those values that underpin tolerance and equal rights”. In a 2015 speech Cameron also argued: “Yes, we are a nation that embraces, welcomes and accepts all faiths and none, but we are still a Christian country.”

Much earlier, in 2010 German Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted “multiculturalism has failed, utterly failed” and that migrants wishing to live in Germany must integrate. …

Cultures are not equal:

Those living in Western, liberal democracies like Australia are sick and tired of being told their way of life must be compromised on the mistaken basis that all cultures are equal and that it is wrong to favour one over another.

The PC nostrum is that all cultures are equal, but then the PC crew proceed to criticize and denigrate only Western culture. Illogical, intended only to given them political advantage — just like the pigs in George Orwell’s animal farm.

hat-tip Stephen Neil, Augusto

A Post-Racial Society is Racist: The National Book Award goes to a ridiculous racist

A Post-Racial Society is Racist: The National Book Award goes to a ridiculous racist. By Daniel Greenfield.

The 2015 National Book Award winner wrote that the police officers and firefighters who dashed in to save people in the World Trade Center on 9/11 were “menaces of nature” and “not human to me”.

After the National Book Foundation disgraced itself with its award to Ta-Nehisi Coates’s bizarre racist tract, “Between the World and Me,” in which white people, even if they’re saving lives after a terrorist attack, are not human, it decided to go one worse with its 2016 winner who insists that a post-racial society is a racist idea.

That’s Ibram X. Kendi, an assistant professor of African American History at the University of Florida, who won for “Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America.” Like Coates, Kendi appears to come from a black nationalist family and Stamped is another black nationalist tract.

Stamped from the Beginning claims to narrate “the entire history of racist ideas, from their origins in fifteenth-century Europe”. Apparently racist ideas had not existed for all of human history until the Europeans invented them around the same time as the printing press and the muzzle-loaded rifle.

The book is based around villains and heroes. … The heroine is Angela Davis, a Communist terrorist. … Kendi’s heroine was the advocate for a totalitarian Communist empire which used actual slave labor. His villain was a man who was dragged through the streets of Boston while fighting to free slaves.

But black nationalists, like most leftists, don’t object to slavery. They object to America.

Like the rest of the toxic sewage of black nationalism washing into the culture through movie theaters and publishing houses, it’s a mass of tribal chauvinism with the traditional pageantry of victimhood. If Coates’ rant could be summed up as, “Everything wrong in my life is the fault of white people”, Kendi’s screed can be reduced to, “Everything wrong with the black community is the fault of white people”.

This isn’t civil rights. It’s xenophobia.

So where does this racist nonsense come from? Turns out that this is based on a PC assumption that is incorrect — namely the idea that the statistical properties of all groups of people are identical. In particular, of white and blacks. The best researched and quantified subject in all of social science is the black-white IQ difference, and it is substantial. Leftists hate this fact and hotly deny it — while proclaiming science is on their side! What cheek.

If you pretend that blacks and whites have the same average IQ, then something else must explain black economic and intellectual under-performance. Hence the PC notions of white privilege and widespread anti-black racism, which nowadays are pretty much undetectable other than by pointing to the inequality of outcome.

[Kendi says] “I define anti-Black racist ideas– the subject of this book– as any idea suggesting that Black people, or any group of Black people, are inferior in any way to another racial group. … When you truly believe that the racial groups are equal, then you also believe that racial disparities are the result of racial discrimination.”  …

Kendi is asking his readers to choose between a logical impossibility and political correctness. He equates genetic equality with behavioral equality. Believing that some people behave badly is as unacceptable as believing that they are genetically inferior. But if the bad behavior of one group can only be the fault of an outside group, then someone must be “behaviorally inferior”.

If there are higher rates of drug use, single motherhood or domestic violence in the black community, their only conceivable source can be racial discrimination. But does that mean that unfavorable racial disparities among the white majority are also the result of racial discrimination? Can favorable racial disparities for Asians, in America and around the world, also be attributed to racial discrimination?

Heroic refusal to face up to the facts, more like. Start from a bad premise, and all that follows is worthless. Kendi is quite logical and his reasoning appears sound, but his  starting assumption is politically correct and factually wrong — so his conclusions are of no value. This is an example of real societal harm caused by political correctness.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Turkey’s Holy War: Relations with European powers deteriorate as one-man government returns

Turkey’s Holy War: Relations with European powers deteriorate as one-man government returns, by Robert Ellis.

On April 16 a referendum will be held in Turkey, where voters can decide on constitutional amendments which will remove all cumbersome checks and balances to Erdogan’s power. In his campaign to secure a ‘yes’, Erdogan has admitted he has been planning for such a system since he was mayor of Istanbul in the 1990s. Furthermore, that his plans for an executive presidency will concentrate all power in the hands of one person.

This “Turkish-style” presidential system means Erdogan will have the power to appoint and dismiss ministers and high-level state officials without the need for parliamentary approval. He will also be able to declare a state of emergency, issue decrees, dissolve parliament and call elections without being held to account. The president will not only be head of state but also head of government – the post of prime minister will be abolished, and in effect the judiciary will be subject to his control.

What is particularly alarming, as the Venice Commission (the Council of Europe’s advisory body) has pointed out, the way the new constitution is configured means the president could stay in office for a potentially unlimited period of time. …

Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Çavusoglu has warned of “holy wars” in Europe and Erdogan has spoken of a struggle between the cross and the crescent, after the European Court of Justice allowed employers to ban the Islamic headscarf along with other religious symbols. As Turkey is term president of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), President Erdogan also intends to mobilize the OIC against Euro-fascism.

Western style democracy and progress towards a wide dispersal of power in a secular state is being rolled back very fast in Turkey. An Islamic dictatorship with a chip on its shoulders about Europeans seems to be rapidly emerging.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Almost half of Canadians want illegal border crossers deported – Reuters poll

Almost half of Canadians want illegal border crossers deported – Reuters poll, by Rod Nickel.

Nearly half of Canadians want to deport people who are illegally crossing into Canada from the United States, and a similar number disapprove of how Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is handling the influx, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Monday.

A significant minority, four out of 10 respondents, said the border crossers could make Canada “less safe,” underlining the potential political risk for Trudeau’s Liberal government.

The increasing flow of hundreds of asylum-seekers of African and Middle Eastern origin from the United States in recent months is becoming a contentious issue in Canada.

Although there has been broad bipartisan support for high levels of legal immigration for decades in Canada, Trudeau is under pressure over the flow of the illegal migrants.

He is questioned about it almost every time he appears in parliament, from opponents on the left, who want more asylum-seekers to be allowed in, and critics on the right, who say the migrants pose a potential security risk. ….

When asked specifically about the recent border crossings, … 48 percent said Canada should “send these migrants back to the U.S.” Another 36 percent said Canada should “accept these migrants”.

The immigration debate is warming up in Canada. Leftists are driving open-border policies throughout the West for their own short-term electoral advantage — but if you don’t have borders, you don’t have a country.

Global brands shun Google for “hate” videos

Global brands shun Google for “hate” videos, by Alexi Mostrous.

Global brands including Volkswagen, Toyota and Tesco last night joined the more than 250 companies that have suspended advertising deals with Google as the internet giant apologised for failing to crack down on extremism.

ITV, Aviva and Heinz also pulled advertising from YouTube, Google’s video platform, after an investigation by The Times found the companies promoted on videos posted by hate preachers, rape apologists and homophobic extremists banned from entering Britain.

Google boss apology as more firms suspend ads over hate videos, by John-Paul Ford Rojas.

The European boss of Google has apologised for online adverts appearing next to extremist material as big firms, including M&S, pull ads from the internet giant. …

Sky, the owner of Sky News, said: “It is clearly unacceptable for ads to be appearing alongside inappropriate content and we are talking with Google to understand what they are doing to stop this.” …

He said Google was looking at better defining hate speech and inflammatory content, simplifying controls available to advertisers, and going further and faster in its efforts to remove “bad content” – in the context of 400 hours of content being uploaded to YouTube every minute.

This is a worrying but inevitable trend. If major public companies (who tend to be PC) can force Google (which is also PC) to ban certain material as “hate” — what’s next? How far will banning non-PC material go? Is free speech on privately owned platforms like Google and YouTube not viable in the face of commercial pressure? These platforms only exist due to advertising money, so the advertisers rule.

The antidote to bad speech is good speech, but advertisers don’t want their ads to appear next to what they consider bad speech. Maybe the ultimate solution is for all content to be classified to a fairly fine grained level, and advertisers choose which classifications their advertising appears with. Until then, commercial pressure to ban blasphemous material will only increase, as non-PC thoughts are increasingly driven from the public square.

Tim Allen compares Hollywood to Nazi Germany

Tim Allen compares Hollywood to Nazi Germany, by Fox News.

Tim Allen says that living in Hollywood right now is akin to Nazi Germany.

The comedian made the claim while appearing on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”

“You gotta be real careful around here,” Allen noted. “You get beat up if you don’t believe what everybody else believes. This is like ’30s Germany.”

Allen, 63, plays an outspoken conservative on the sitcom “Last Man Standing” and is one of the few actors in Hollywood to profess having right-wing leanings.

Key Democratic Officials Now Warning Base Not to Expect Evidence of Trump/Russia Collusion

Key Democratic Officials Now Warning Base Not to Expect Evidence of Trump/Russia Collusion, by Glenn Greenwald. Greenwald is a very PC player, and even he is backing away from the claims.

From MSNBC politics shows to town hall meetings across the country, the overarching issue for the Democratic Party’s base since Trump’s victory has been Russia, often suffocating attention for other issues. This fixation has persisted even though it has no chance to sink the Trump presidency unless it is proven that high levels of the Trump campaign actively colluded with the Kremlin to manipulate the outcome of the U.S. election — a claim for which absolutely no evidence has thus far been presented.

The principal problem for Democrats is that so many media figures and online charlatans are personally benefiting from feeding the base increasingly unhinged, fact-free conspiracies — just as right-wing media polemicists did after both Bill Clinton and Obama were elected — that there are now millions of partisan soldiers absolutely convinced of a Trump/Russia conspiracy for which, at least as of now, there is no evidence. And they are all waiting for the day, which they regard as inevitable and imminent, when this theory will be proven and Trump will be removed.

Key Democratic officials are clearly worried about the expectations that have been purposely stoked and are now trying to tamp them down. Many of them have tried to signal that the beliefs the base has been led to adopt have no basis in reason or evidence. …

Perhaps most revealing of all are the Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee — charged with investigating these matters — who recently told BuzzFeed how petrified they are of what the Democratic base will do if they do not find evidence of collusion, as they now suspect will likely be the case. “There’s a tangible frustration over what one official called ‘wildly inflated’ expectations surrounding the panel’s fledgling investigation,” BuzzFeed’s Ali Watkins wrote. …

For so long, Democrats demonized and smeared anyone trying to inject basic reason, rationality, and skepticism into this Trump/Russia discourse by labeling them all Kremlin agents and Putin lovers.

Leftist propaganda running amok in  time of fake news and overwhelming media bias. But look, it works: Poll: Majority of young adults view Trump as ‘illegitimate’ president.

Is Denmark On The Brink? Interview with Iben Thranholm.

Is Denmark On The Brink? Interview with Iben Thranholm, by Erico Tavares.

Iben Thranholm examines political and social events with focus on their religious aspects, significance and moral implications. She is one of Denmark’s most widely read columnists on such matters.

Tavares: … In a sense Sweden is the canary in the coalmine of Europe’s demographic future, since they have been at the forefront of this transformation and openly embrace it. Being a close neighbor we would like to get your views on what is happening there, as well as in Denmark. How do the Danes look at Sweden, with hope or apprehension?

Tranholm: With absolute horror!

The Swedish media, which is quite pro-government and its leftwing policies, does not always report the full extent of the problems in their society. So it is hard to have a very accurate picture of what is going on. But we in Denmark have a good sense. We are very aware of the murders, rapes, riots, violence and the hand grenades that go on there. This does not often make the news but we know it is going on. And we don’t want to go down the same route.

This is the result of decades of policies promoting multiculturalism in Sweden. And what is left is this hollow house. You know, in the Bible it is said that if a house is left swept, tidied and unoccupied it eventually it will be taken over by evil. And I fear that this is what is happening in Sweden. Far from being a multicultural paradise, the problems can no longer remain hidden. …

Tavares: Swedes and Danes share many cultural traits. What explains this divergence in opinions? Is it because you do not face the same societal problems?

Tranholm: We are not as politically correct as the Swedes. …

Which is not to say we don’t have problems. We do. We face the same identity issues, and our traditions – in particular our Christian heritage – are fast disappearing from our society. That same hollowness is now becoming mainstream in Denmark. And this eliminates much of the arguments to defend ourselves against the importation of foreign values and customs, many of which are at odds with our own. Simply forbidding things will not change this reality. …

Tavares: Secular Muslims may also lose out a result. Many cherish Western values but will increasingly find a native society that is at odds with them, as their own communities become more extremist. Many complain that the Islam in Denmark and other European countries is more hardcore or even radical than in their home countries.

Tranholm: That is true. And again that is largely a result of this cultural hesitation in the societies that host them. As a result, those more aggressive forms gain more ground to the detriment of everyone, especially women. …

Tavares: So how long you think before the Christian cross is removed from your flag? And how does the Danish monarchy, which is sworn to protect Danish culture and religion, feel about all of this?

Tranholm: No European politician will stand up for Christianity. Nobody. Expect from perhaps Hungarian Prime Minister, Victor Orbán.

There is this unholy alliance between the left and radical Islam. Many Europeans have such a disdain for their own traditions that they would prefer to see Christianity being eradicated even if it might cost their way of life and even personal freedoms in the end.

We have this bizarre situation where Western feminists support women having to wear a head cloth, along with foregoing many of the rights they should be able to enjoy in our countries. And these women often get penalized by their own communities when they try to assimilate into our society, while the feminists stay quiet. It is all very multicultural and good.

Trump’s first two months prove he’s anything but a fascist

Trump’s first two months prove he’s anything but a fascist, by Kyle Smith.

When Donald Trump moved into the White House, were you under the impression it was tantamount to either Fifth Avenue Moses coming in to part the filthy waters of the Swamp, or MussoHitler about to bring down the mighty hammer of neo-fascism upon the US?

If so, the joke’s on you. If there’s any ancient tale that presaged the start of the Trump Era, it’s the Voyage to Lilliput in “Gulliver’s Travels.”

Gulliver-like, Trump finds himself tied down by a thousand tiny strings, paralyzed by micro-people he can barely detect. Because of their combined power, he can’t do much of anything. If it’s the system vs. Trump, the system is winning, bigly. But it isn’t Berserkeley radicals or marching feminists in pussy hats who are leading the charge to #resist. Resistance to change is as natural in Washington as cherry blossoms in spring.

Since being promoted from private citizen to president, the only thing Trump has exercised undisputed authoritarian control over has been his Twitter account. And even that mysteriously seems to go silent at the exact times his aides are being badgered with questions about his latest tweet. …

Up until 10 minutes ago, [Liberals] thought the Constitution was a bad thing due to its ability to frustrate rapid progressive change.

Australian energy crisis will be worse than expected, with costly blackouts coming

Australian energy crisis will be worse than expected, with costly blackouts coming, by Robert Gottliebsen.

I have moved around the country to find out exactly how bad is the Australian energy crisis. …

The looming crisis is much worse than I expected. Three state governments, Victoria NSW and South Australia, have vandalised our total energy system. The Premiers of each state clearly had no idea what they were doing and did not sit down with top engineers outside the government advisers to work out the best way to achieve their objectives — whether that be an increase in renewables or gas restrictions. …

Without urgent action residents of NSW, Victoria and South Australia have a 75 per cent chance of blackouts next summer if the Hazelwood power station shuts on April 2. Those blackouts will cost the nation tens and tens of billions of dollars in the food, medicine and processing industries. …

All industries and consumers will experience much larger energy costs from the network — but to be safe must also consider spending vast sums to be prepared for the power and gas shortages. This is third world. …

To lock in the likelihood of blackouts for next summer the Victorian government is encouraging and allowing the closure of Australian’s largest generator: Hazelwood. Without Hazelwood, if it is simultaneously hot in Sydney and Melbourne blackouts are certain unless there is also a lot of wind in the right places and the network can get the power to the capitals. …

The problem with back-up gas (or any other sort) is that if you are producing large amounts of electricity from wind and solar then these back-up plants are only required for, say, 10 or 20 days a year. It makes them very high cost and totally uneconomic. That’s why Engie’s Point Pelican gas plant in South Australia was shut during the crisis. The cost of erecting and running uneconomic back up plants to wind and solar must be costed into the renewables projects. It has not been.

At present the system is an inefficient mess. The state decisions to install solar and wind power should have been accompanied by a very detailed plan to change the distribution system. This is the job for skilled engineers rather than by public servants and ministerial advisers seeking Green votes.

All Australians “are detrimental”. Climate Scientist worries that her baby will cause floods, droughts, and warm globe

All Australians “are detrimental”. Climate Scientist worries that her baby will cause floods, droughts, and warm globe, by Jo Nova.

After years of struggle to conceive, plus tortured introspection about the effect her baby might have on future storms, Sophie Lewis, climate scientist, announces [her baby is on the way]. … We hope her good news brings her  years of joy.

We also pray she escapes the climate bubble soon. Because by golly, she’s in deep. Lewis reveals the paroxysms of irreconcilable guilt — where the evolutionary drive conflicts with the climate religion:

Older climate scientists speak widely about their worries for their grandchildren and the world they have provided them. While such concerns must weigh on older minds, younger climate scientists’ future concerns require active deliberation. Should we have children? And if we do, how do we raise them in a world of change and inequity? Can I reconcile my care and concern for the future with such an active and deliberate pursuit of a child?

Put simply, I can’t. Nowadays, the pitter-patter of tiny feet is inevitably the pitter-patter of giant carbon footprints. Reusable nappies, a bike trailer and secondhand jumpsuits might make me feel like I’m taking individual action but they will achieve little. A child born today is inevitably a consumer and, most significantly, is a consumer of greenhouse gases.

Warning. Pure climate-princess material coming — The climate battle is like World War II:

Living in and starting a family in volatile and uncertain times are not unique experiences. My grandmother fled Europe in the early 1950s for a better life in Australia. A German Jew, her family had been scattered, with herself interned in Britain, her sister lost in Auschwitz and her family’s desperate flight rebuffed by an indifferent world. Years of horror, combined with strict rations and economic uncertainty drove her to strike out bravely for a new life in Australia with her young babies.

But there was icing on the cake of the abject horror then — No such luck now:

Climate change is a critically different problem. In my grandmother’s time of abject horror, good people were empowered – to varying degrees – to do good. After the war ended, the actions of just a few were recognised as having salvaged the honour of all our humanity. Nowadays, the very act of living in Australia, regardless of concern for our climate future, is detrimental.

Now there are no heroes, just climate prophets (who can’t seem to predict anything useful) and whose bodily existence, like everyone else, including babies “is detrimental”.

All because of an old climate model with a mistake in it.

French anti-terror prosecutors are investigating an attack at Paris’s Orly airport by a gunman who was eventually shot dead by security forces

French anti-terror prosecutors are investigating an attack at Paris’s Orly airport by a gunman who was eventually shot dead by security forces, by the BBC.

Ziyed Ben Belgacem, 39, was killed on Saturday after he put a gun to a soldier’s head saying he wanted to “die for Allah”, officials say.

I listened carefully to the ABC’s initial coverage of this event and although they gave many details and interviewed some people, they didn’t reveal that Allah, as usual, was involved. Like this BBC article, on the second night of coverage on the nightly news they mentioned that the terrorizer was Islamic.