A Yankee Yoko In Queen Elizabeth’s Court

A Yankee Yoko In Queen Elizabeth’s Court, by Rod Dreher, writing from the US.

These are the most horrible, most L.A. people ever. Can you imagine doing this to the Queen, and if you don’t get what you want, threatening to go on television and denounce your own family — the Royal family at that! — as racist and sexist? What a complete prima donna! And Henpecked Harry, what a disgrace. …

How threatening to denounce the Queen of England as a racist and a sexist is a thing that her grandchildren would do — and how it might work to manipulate her into doing their bidding. This reveals what real power looks like in the 21st century.

How unfortunate that Harry (35) has become a leftist under the tutelage of his wife (38).

Another Rotherham-Style Report, This One from Manchester, on Muslim Pimps Abusing English Girls with Impunity

Another Rotherham-Style Report, This One from Manchester, on Muslim Pimps Abusing English Girls with Impunity, by Steve Sailer.

As I’ve been pointing out for years, the main feature distinguishing Rotherham from many other cities in England where Muslim pimps also abuse underage English girls while the cops look away because they don’t want to be seen as bigoted against Pakistanis, is that Rotherham commissioned an Official Report, published in 2014, that journalists could quote from without being accused of Trafficking in Racist Stereotypes. …

But I’m the kind of journalist who Trafficks in Racist Stereotypes (i.e., I don’t censor what I write based on Intersectional Who-Whom considerations). The next year, the Rotherham Report made it respectable for other journalists to notice that there was a problem, although they tended to imply the problem was in Rotherham rather national.

Now, a half dozen years after the Rotherham Report, there’s another official report out, this one on Manchester.

Fears over race relations affected police probe into child sex grooming gang, report suggests, by Colin Drury.

Dozens of teenage girls suspected of being groomed and abused in Manchester by gangs of men from Asian backgrounds were failed because police feared upsetting race relations, a new probe has suggested.

Victims repeatedly alerted officers about sexual assaults, giving names and addresses of those involved, but, in almost all cases, no action was taken.

Previous story here.

Now, a bombshell report suggests Greater Manchester Police and the city council shelved an investigation into what was happening at least partially because of the “many sensitive community issues” they felt faced with. …

The authorities knew that many [victims] were being subjected to the most profound abuse and exploitation but did not protect them from the perpetrators. This is a depressingly familiar picture and has been seen in many other towns and cities across the country.”

Diversity is our strength. Government knows what’s best for everyone. Sotto voce: White privilege makes it ok to treat whites badly. And so on from the PC establishment.

James N. Kennett:

The Leftoid press, police, social workers, and politicians all seem to think that when people find out about minority organised crimes, they will take to the streets with pitchforks and torches, and commit pogroms against innocent people who happen to have the same race as the criminals.

Yet, despite official cover-ups lasting over a decade, the public has found out about multiple instances of organised mass rape of children by Muslim gangs, and the feared pogroms have not materialised. Please, please, can we have law enforcement once again? The notions of equality before the law, and serving the public without fear or favour, were once the foundation of policing, and it is shameful that the British authorities ever felt they were dispensable.

An oldie but a goodie. A reminder of who is responsible for the worst scandal in British history:

Labour wanted mass immigration to make UK more multicultural, says former adviser,” by Tom Whitehead in 2009:

The huge increases in migrants over the last decade were partly due to a politically motivated attempt by ministers to radically change the country and “rub the Right’s nose in diversity”, according to Andrew Neather, a former adviser to Tony Blair, Jack Straw and David Blunkett.

He said Labour’s relaxation of controls was a deliberate plan to “open up the UK to mass migration” but that ministers were nervous and reluctant to discuss such a move publicly for fear it would alienate its “core working class vote”. …

The number of white, British-born citizens in the UK is at 76% and dropping by about 1% per year. Before 2050 they will make up less than half the population. The left see this as a good thing, and to even point it out draws screams of “racist.”

Mission accomplished. Future generations salute you, Tony Blair.

In Genius Move, Trump Supports Impeachment, Forcing Democrats To Oppose

In Genius Move, Trump Supports Impeachment, Forcing Democrats To Oppose, by the Babylon Bee.

The impeachment hearings have been thrown into chaos after President Trump announced that he supports impeachment, forcing Democrats to oppose their own impeachment inquiry.

“Impeachment? I’m for it. Great idea. Best idea, maybe ever,” he said, adding that he’s “getting kinda sick of all this winning anyway.”

“Sure, why not. Impeach me. I love it. Whatever. Now I’m gonna go watch Joker again. Great film. What’s that guy’s name? Phoenix something. Bob Phoenix, that’s it. Tremendous actor—absolutely perfect.”

Democrats quickly condemned his statements. Pelosi said, “It’s clear that Trump wants to be impeached because he’s not good at being president. Well, we’re going to show him a thing or two by forcing him to stay in the White House and finish out his term.”

The Virtue Of Impeachment

The Virtue Of Impeachment, by the Z-Man.

In the West, public morality says the people should be sovereign and pick representatives the people occupying public offices. The will of the people should be expressed in the law.

In the Arab world, public morality is defined by the Koran, not Enlightenment philosophy. Therefore, government should be run by righteous Muslims, according to the rules of Islam. …

In current year America, the ruling class is now fully detached from the society over which it rules, so it has begun to acquire its own moral code. You see this in the Democrat primary where candidates are running around preaching about the plight of transvestites or lecturing on white privilege. To normal people, these are bizarre fetishes that have to salience. Inside the ruling class they have become important moral signifiers, rooted in the common morality of the ruling class.

That brings us back to impeachment. The official narrative says he has been impeached because the political class thinks he violated his oath of office in his dealings with Ukraine. The official alternative narrative is the Democrats did this out of spite over losing the 2016 election. …

There may be another reason why this impeachment thing will not die and that is the evolving morality of the ruling class. They hate Trump, not because of what he does or even what he says. They hate him for who he is and who he represents. He is the rejection of their morality. The Democrats could make a spending deal with him in a heartbeat, but they refuse because to do so would legitimize him and what he represents to them. They simply cannot do that.

If you think about the last four years, the main argument against Trump by all sides of the political class is that he is lacking in character. Maybe the point of entry is his womanizing or his crude statements. The neoconservatives have endlessly lectured on his moral failings. The Israeli first zealot, Ben Shapiro, has repeatedly said he opposes Trump on moral grounds, despite giving the Zionists everything they ask. It turns out that “who they are” is not Trump and what he represents. …

What impeachment suggests is [democracy will be redefined]. The new definition of it will be something like Henry Ford’s choice of colors. The people can vote for whomever they like, as long as the candidate comports with the public morality of the ruling class. Rules will evolve to make sure no one like Trump can every gain access to official Washington. The political elite will become a closed system with a unique set of moral codes.

That may be the real point of impeachment. People like Adam Schiff appear to be insane, but he is just one of the berserkers of the emerging new morality. The point is not to remove Trump, but to codify him in such a way that his presence reinforces the new morality. Inside Washington, impeachment is already a moral signifier. The looming impeachment show will give the faithful in the ruling elite a chance to publicly display their virtue to their coreligionists inside the ruling class.

Global debt hits a fresh record of 322% of GDP

Global debt hits a fresh record of 322% of GDP, by the Institute of International Finance.

There is no return to normal interest rates (i.e. around 6%) and sound money until the debt crisis is resolved. Interest rates cannot rise without bankrupting half the world. When this crisis breaks it will sweep all other issues before it, but until then we’ll just keep a watch on it.

Interest rates are normally around 6% because of the future-time orientation of humans. Rates were at this level for centuries in Europe before fractional reserve banking (1600) and later central banking (1910).

The debt to GDP ratio is usually around 130%. It only rose past 150% twice, to 200% in 1929 in the West (depression followed), and then again around 1990 (GFC followed in 2008, then ongoing emergency measures to stave off depression since then).

Australian ‘Climate’ Fires Are Pure Fake News Propaganda

Australian ‘Climate’ Fires Are Pure Fake News Propaganda, by James Delingpole.

Australia’s ‘climate’ fires are fast becoming the biggest fake news scare story of 2020. All the world’s stupidest, most annoying, hand-wringing, virtue-signalling leftists, luvvies, eco-loons, shyster politicians, second-rate activist scientists and other bottom feeders are jumping on the bandwagon. …

Australia’s leftists have never forgiven Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s Liberal Party (ie Australia’s conservatives) for winning the general election in May 2019. That’s because it was billed as the ‘climate election’, which the left was supposed to win.

As I wrote at the time, in Australia — as in the U.S. and the UK — the left thinks global warming is an election-winning issue. But the voters just aren’t interested. …

Now all the losing losers who lost in Australia are taking their revenge by demanding the resignation of Scott Morrison (aka ScoMo), supposedly because of his mishandling of the fires. They couldn’t beat him by fair means so now they’re trying to do it by foul means. …

Scott Morrison? Wrong person. Forests in Australia are the responsibility of the states.

Few sensible Australians believe the nonsense that climate change is responsible for these fires. The ones that do believe it are the kind of people who, in the U.S., would have voted Hillary and who in the UK would have been Remoaners in the Brexit debate, for there is a strong correlation between globalism and a love of big government and total gullibility when it comes to anything that has to do with climate change.

From Tim Blair:

Even minor attempts to reduce that fuel load are punished. Let’s suppose, for example, you have a wood fireplace at your rural house. Doing the right thing by the law and the environment, you do not cut down any trees to use as firewood. Instead, you simply collect dead branches and fallen trees lying around in the bushland dirt. This also reduces the amount of fuel available for potential bushfires, so you’re on the side of the angels.

But wait! Heed the warning from NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service Central West area manager Fiona Buchanan, in April last year: ‘We are getting the message out there that removing firewood, including deadwood and fallen trees, is not permitted in national parks. We want people to know the rules around firewood collection… It’s important people are aware that on-the-spot , fines apply but also very large fines can be handed out by the courts.’

She wasn’t bluffing. A man had earlier been fined $30,000 for illegally collecting firewood in the Murrumbidgee Valley National Park. Why? Because, as Buchanan explained: ‘Many ground-dwelling animals and threatened species use tree hollows for nesting, so when fallen trees and deadwood is taken illegally, it destroys their habitat. This fallen timber is part of these animals’ natural ecosystem.’

Their “habitat”? Fire-trap or death-trap more like. Green ignorance is killing them, and us.

We know a person in WA who was sent to prison, twice, for bulldozing a fire break on his own land.

My father’s house was nearly burned down near Canberra, because it is only 100 meters from a national park that has been collecting fuel for over a decade, getting ready for a really intense blaze. Fortunately the fire stopped at his back door.

Negligence? Who let this happen all over eastern Australia (a few minutes from Eric Worrall’s house near Brisbane):

Forests are a state government responsibility in Australia. If you want government in Australia to fix the fire problem, if you want the political class to know there is a penalty for the culpable negligence that repeatedly leads to these needless tragedies, then demand the resignation of this tv-friendly pair:

Premier of NSW

Premier of Victoria

A reader writes:

The fire that levelled my neighbour’s house (Batlow) has meant at least 20 different ‘official’ vehicles, all carrying people with clipboards, have visited the site in the last 36 hours.

When too much government is never enough — after your house has burned down.

Inside Trump’s war room

Inside Trump’s war room, by Ben Riley-Smith.

He already has $100m banked, a set-up that dwarfs his 2016 campaign and a killer plan. …

The President and his advisers have ­identified soaring growth as their best chance of re-election, judging that Americans tend not to vote against their own pockets. …

There are the pledges delivered from his 2016 race — “promises kept”, as his campaign calls it: the US is out of the Iran nuclear deal and ­leaving the Paris climate-change agreement. ISIS’s caliphate is “gone” and North Korea is “negotiating”. Tariffs on tens of billions of dollars’ worth of steel and aluminium trade have been levied, much of it targeting China. The North American Free Trade Agreement has been renegotiated. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has passed. Plus, two new conser­vative judges are ­sitting on the Supreme Court — a huge win for Trump’s evangelical supporters.

There are notable failures, too. Obamacare, the flagship healthcare law of Mr Trump’s predecessor, remains on the statute books. The border wall is unbuilt and will not be financed by Mexico. Immigration numbers have not shot down. There is growing concern that the trade war with China will hurt the economy. Yet, whatever their merits, the policies Trump championed during his first tilt at the White House have largely been put into practice. …

Since 1900 there have been 20 US presidents apart from Trump. Just five who stood for re-election lost. At Trump campaign HQ, the team is plotting to take advantage of that incumbency factor. …

Deafening Cheers Break Out For Trump At National Championship Game. Glenn Reynolds: “Absurd. The press assures me that he’s extremely unpopular.”

The Republican Party, in contrast to its role in 2016, is said to be working “hand in glove” with the Trump team and believes it has far superior information on US voters than the Democrats. Every American is given a score between 0 and 100, the latter denoting the most dedicated Trump fan, and targeted accordingly. It is based on data such as past voting history and location.

Key to the re-election plan are Trump’s rallies: attended by thousands of cheering, raucous supporters, they were a centrepiece of his first White House bid. Their political benefit is partly messaging, allowing Trump to speak unfiltered to voters. But they also glean another vital campaign ­commodity: data. The Trump team sees rallies as a volunteer registration opportunity, a way to log personal details of supporters and lock them in tighter to the campaign. Sign-up forms to attend capture valuable information. Staff question those queuing to get in for more intel. …

Trump’s political instincts and media manipulation were key factors in his 2016 win. Already he has identified weak spots in potential Democrat rivals and handed out nicknames — “Crazy” Bernie Sanders, “Sleepy” Joe Biden. Campaign officials have no intention of trying to quieten “the boss”. But could his unpredictability distract from that “golden” economic message? [Larry] Sabato thinks so: “This is going to be a contest not so much between Trump and the Democrats but between Trump’s economy and Trump’s personality.”

China Is Slowly Taking Over Africa And No One Is Talking About It

China Is Slowly Taking Over Africa And No One Is Talking About It. By James Dunnigan.

Chinese expansionism doesn’t always involve reviving, or inventing, territorial claims along their borders. Chinese efforts to annex the South China Sea and large areas on their Indian border get a lot of diplomatic, military and media attention but there is another kind of Chinese expansion that, while less noticed, is becoming a serious economic and political problem for the countries the Chinese have been allowed to invade economically. …

There are growing number of countries that allow Chinese investment on a large, multi-billion dollar, scale. Such large investments come with conditions, and that’s where the trouble begins.

The Chinese insist that they must bring their own Chinese workforce. This includes demands that these new visitors can establish their own Chinese settlements and then stay when the project is over. The new visitors must be allowed to start businesses. This sort of thing results in the Chinese establishing a permanent economic presence and control over a growing percentage of the local economy. …

One reason for building a large navy and military air transport fleet is to provide armed escorts for Chinese bill collectors and diplomats.

Since 2000 Chinese use of these “invasion” tactics has become increasingly obvious in the African nations involved. … The bad relations began when Africans realized that the Chinese bring their own workers and employ few locals for construction projects China was paying for. Over time fewer and fewer locals were used. This gave the Chinese greater control over projects, usually related to construction (buildings, roads, and the like) or mining. …

There are now plenty of Chinese (about two million now, throughout Africa) and Chinese companies (about 10,000 so far) to rebuild and maintain this infrastructure that has now became a vital part of the local economy.

The Chinese workers are kept in separate camps initially and eventually in newly built towns and city neighborhoods.. The Chinese rarely mix with locals. …

The local tyrants are treated well as partners. That’s because these thugs are shunned by Western nations and businesses. Because of this, China is increasingly seen as a supporter of evil governments and that has generated a widespread African hostility towards all things Chinese. This has led to anti-Chinese riots in some countries and a general animosity towards the Chinese at the grass roots level. Thus, when these countries go through their next rebellion the Chinese are likely to be a popular target and a major loser if the rebels win. …

China is also flooding African markets with inexpensive goods. Both of these tactics are hurting local businesses and cause unrest among African business owners and workers. …

Russian fears

Many Chinese neighbors are actively resisting these terms because these nations know what it means; eventual annexation of some or all their territory because it is now “Chinese.” Even Russia and North Korea are threatened by this.

Former Soviet Union provinces in Central Asia, independent since 1991 are seeking closer ties with nuclear armed Russia for defense against these Chinese moves.

China would be all over North Korea if it weren’t for the fiercely nationalistic North Korean dictatorship. All Koreans know that historical “Greater Korea” used to include large portions of northeast China that once had majority Korean population. These areas now have a large Korean minority population but are indisputably Chinese.

Same thing is happening in northwest China where Xinjiang province was once known as East Turkestan and it had a majority Uighur Moslem population. Centuries of Chinese efforts to turn Xinjiang from a conquered province into a Han (ethnic Chinese) majority region have succeeded in many respects.

A similar effort is underway in Tibet, where the local population are distant cousins to the Han but have for over a thousand years resisted Chinese occupation and domination. Tibet is losing that battle. …

Russia, Central Asian and other Asian nations are seeing the same tactics being used on them and are demanding restrictions on these practices. Thailand turned down billions in Chinese investments because the Chinese would not limit the use of Chinese labor doing the work in Thailand.


Many people believe that the endgame for China is to make a whole lot more money and to gain control over a whole lot more resources. And China is undoubtedly pursuing those goals, but as Forbes has noted, ultimately what this is about is turning Africa “into another Chinese continent”

The reason Chinese corporations are in Africa is simple; to exploit the people and take their resources. It’s the same thing European colonists did during mercantile times, except worse. The Chinese corporations are trying to turn Africa into another Chinese continent. They are squeezing Africa for everything it is worth.

In fact, it’s hard to find a major construction project in Africa right now that is not being orchestrated by the Chinese, which has enabled Beijing to leave their mark in some of the major cities in the continent.

hat-tip Scott of the Pacific

Iran: Lies coming home to roost, post-modern theories about truth and media control found wanting

Iran: Lies coming home to roost, post-modern theories about truth and media control found wanting. The lie that a “mechanical error” brought down the airliner was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

“You Killed Our Geniuses” – Regime Crackdown Intensifies As Iranians Flood Streets In Third Day Of Protest. By Tyler Durden.

Despite an aggressive crackdown by the Iranian regime that reportedly included soldiers and riot police firing into crowds of civilians — in open defiance of President Trump’s warning to Tehran not to “kill your protesters” — anti-government protests over Iran’s mistaken shoot-down of UIA Flight 752 continued on Monday for a third straight day, following the regime’s admission of responsibility on Saturday.

During the protests, which erupted out of anger over the regime’s initial lies about Flight 752 (it initially insisted that a “mechanical error” was responsible despite video evidence suggesting a missile strike), Iranian security forces fired both live ammunition and tear gas into crowds of angry demonstrators. …

Shouts of “Death to the dictator” could be heard in footage circulating on social media. It showed protesters shouting, directing their fury at Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the system of clerical rule.

They killed our geniuses and replaced them with clerics,” demonstrators chanted at a one protest outside a university on Monday, a reference to the dozens of Iranian students who were returning to school in Canada who were aboard the flight. …

In one of the more dramatic protests, students at Tehran University reportedly shouted on Saturday that “They are lying that our enemy is America! Our enemy is right here!

Lion of the Blogosphere:

On the topic of pointing fingers about the passenger jet, it’s ironic that American media blames Trump, while no one in Iran is blaming Trump; not the Iranian government, and not the various segments of the Iranian people. Once again, U.S. media is truly the enemy of the people.

Venezuela Mourns Soleimani, by John Hinderaker.

For many years, people have commented on the seemingly-incongruous alliance between radical Muslims and Communists. In fact, however, there is no mystery: both are hostile to the values of advanced Western civilization and yearn for tyrannies that are not, in practice, particularly different from one another. Thus, while millions of Iranians are celebrating the demise of terrorist leader Qasem Soleimani, we shouldn’t be surprised that Venezuela’s Maduro regime is officially mourning him.

Left to right: Hugo Chavez, Simon Bolivar, Soleimani, Che Guevara and Fidel Castro. The translation is: “Faces, times and countries change, but the goal is the same.” Right on, collectivists!

On Facebook Greta looks 16, but secretly identifies as two grown men

On Facebook Greta looks 16, but secretly identifies as two grown men. By Joanne Nova.

On Facebook no one knows you are a puppet — until a bug reveals who edits your posts. Such a bug happened on Thursday and by Friday people on 4chan had pointed out that Greta’s facebook posts were being done by her father and some guy in India called Adarsh Prathap … [who is] a UN climate official. …

Greta’s Facebook account is not set up as a “fan page” it’s set up to look as if it is her account alone. …

I predict that no fans of Greta will unfriend her (or the two men).

So deceptive, like everything about climate warmist material. See more here.

Greta Snaps Over Demands: ‘We Want This Done Now – As In Right Now’. By Ryan Saavedra.

Far-left climate extremist Greta Thunberg demanded in a new op-ed that world leaders cave to her anti-capitalist agenda “right now” as they prepare to meet in Davos for the 50th anniversary of the World Economic Forum.

“We demand that at this year’s forum, participants from all companies, banks, institutions and governments immediately halt all investments in fossil fuel exploration and extraction, immediately end all fossil fuel subsidies and immediately and completely divest from fossil fuels,” Thunberg wrote in an op-ed in The Guardian. “We don’t want these things done by 2050, 2030 or even 2021, we want this done now – as in right now.”

Trying it on.

Trudeau Apologizes for Airliner Full of Canadians That Hit Innocent Iranian Missile

Trudeau Apologizes for Airliner Full of Canadians That Hit Innocent Iranian Missile, by Veishnoriets.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has issued an apology after a plane full of Canadians struck an Iranian missile near Tehran last week. The collision resulted in the destruction of an extremely expensive Iranian anti-aircraft missile, and also the deaths of 57 Canadians.

Trudeau, the famously considerate leader of the most polite country on earth, said in a written statement that “it is completely unlike Canadians to run straight into someone that they see crossing airspace. In Canada, Mounties frequently have to intervene at intersections to help people who block traffic by letting everyone else drive ahead first. We Canadians let the entire world down when we didn’t move out of the way for the missile, which was innocently trying to protect Iran from American aggression. For this, we are sorry.” …

“Next time, we will do our best to get out of the way faster,” Trudeau’s office added.


How fragile is Iran’s regime?

How fragile is Iran’s regime? By David Goldman.

Iran’s average monthly after-tax wage was US$318.53 …

The number of Iranian women of child-bearing age increased slightly over the same period, so the collapsing birth rate clearly reflects decisions not to bear children. …

“Approximately 97% of the country is experiencing drought conditions. Due to gross water mismanagement and its damaging impact on the country, Iran faces the worst situation in the water resources of any industrialized nation. Tens of thousands of villages have been deserted and most of the major urban centers have passed their limits to absorb new rural migrants.” …

Few countries have endured this level of deprivation outside of full war mobilization, and few have seen such a drastic decline in the number of births. The only modern comparison is Venezuela. Governments with a monopoly of economic resources and the willingness to kill significant numbers of their own citizens can stay in power for quite some time, but there seems no question that Iran’s regime is fragile and prone to destabilization.

The Iranian leadership gotta have them nukes, like North Korea. Can’t back down now — look what Clinton and co. did to Qaddafi. (Libya is the only country to officially renounce and dismantle a nuclear weapons program. UPDATE: A reader points out that South Africa had a nuclear program too, dismantling their seven bombs in 1989.)

Trump tweet in Farsi ‘the most liked Persian tweet’ in history of Twitter

Trump tweet in Farsi ‘the most liked Persian tweet’ in history of Twitter, by Carlin Becker.

On Saturday, protesters in the country called upon Khamenei to step down after Iran admitted to shooting down a commercial airliner on which dozens of Iranian citizens were traveling. That evening, the president sent out a tweet in Farsi, saying that he stands with their efforts.

“To the brave and suffering Iranian people: I have stood with you since the beginning of my presidency and my government will continue to stand with you. We are following your protests closely. Your courage is inspiring,” Trump wrote.

“This tweet by @realDonaldTrump with more than 100k likes is already the most liked Persian tweet in the history of Twitter,” Saeed Ghasseminejad, senior adviser and financial economist at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, claimed.

Iranian protesters refuse to walk on US, Israeli flags

Iranian protesters refuse to walk on US, Israeli flags, by Tzvi Joffre.

Videos circulated on social media showed Iranian students parting as they approached the large flags, taking pains to avoid stepping on them. A few people who did walk over the flags were booed by protesters in the area with chants of “Shame on you.”

Some reports said that the protesters near the flags chanted “Our enemy is in Iran, not America.”

How Trump Used An Encrypted Swiss Fax Machine To Defuse The Iran Crisis

How Trump Used An Encrypted Swiss Fax Machine To Defuse The Iran Crisis, by Tyler Durden.

As the WSJ reports, just hours after the U.S. strike which killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the Trump administration sent an urgent back channel message to Tehran: “Don’t escalate.”

The encrypted fax message was sent via the Swiss Embassy in Iran, one of the few means of direct, confidential communication between the two sides, U.S. officials told the WSJ.

Then, in frantic attempts to de-escalate even as top US and Iranian leaders were stirring patriotic sentiment and nationalistic fervor, the White House and Iranian leaders exchanged further messages in the days that followed, which officials in both countries described as far more measured than the fiery rhetoric traded publicly by politicians. …

Former Swiss ambassadors say the diplomatic channel is effective because the U.S. and Iran can trust a message will remain confidential, be delivered quickly, and will reach only its intended recipients. Statements passed on the back channel are always precisely phrased, diplomatic, and free of emotion, something which is clearly impossible on Trump’s favorite social media platform, twitter, which he uses for precisely the opposite purpose: to spark outrage and to appeal to base emotions of his core supporter group.

Sir Roger Scruton, RIP

Sir Roger Scruton, RIP. By Steven Hayward.

Very sad news from England this morning of the passing of Sir Roger Scruton at the age of 75 after a long battle with cancer over the last year.

Sir Roger deserves to be considered the greatest conservative thinker and writer of the last generation …

In the introduction to his book The Meaning of Conservatism, Scruton writes that “Conservatism may rarely announce itself in maxims, formulae, or aims. Its essence is inarticulate, and its expression, when compelled, skeptical.”

Why “inarticulate”? Because, as he explains elsewhere, the liberal has the easy job in the modern world. The liberal points at the imperfections and defects of existing institutions or the existing social order, strikes a pose of indignation, and huffs that surely something better is required, usually with the attitude that the something better is simply a matter of will. The conservative faces the tougher challenge of understanding and explaining the often subtle reasons why existing institutions, no matter how imperfect, work better than speculative alternatives. …

I’ll sign off with perhaps my favorite short quote from him: “A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ‘merely relative,’ is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.”

The left cannot allow free thought and expression, because its ideas are irrational and run counter to our knowledge of the real world and of human nature. Hence the characteristic suppression of thought by leftists when they’re in power. Scruton recently wrote:

In comparison with the dark cloud of denunciation which was all that the impersonal machine of Communism could produce by way of a university, we had created a pool of light in which we could converse in freedom. This was a sign of the virtue of my country, too: without the British sense of fair play and free enquiry, we would never have pursued so quixotic a cause.

Yet, how different things are today. Round-robins of denunciation now circulate in our universities accusing one scholar after another of the wrong word, the wrong associations, the wrong ‘ism’ or ‘phobia’ from the list of favourite thought-crimes …

Now in Britain, as then in Czechoslovakia, the true intellectual is a dissident, and if our national memory is to survive, it will be because we have succeeded in building here, as once we built there, an underground university devoted to knowledge.

A reader adds his favorite Scruton quote:

Intellectuals are naturally attracted by the idea of a planned society, in the belief that they will be in charge of it.

Another reader:

He was treated appallingly by the politically-correct Left. They hated him of course, because he showed up their hypocrisy and double standards.