No, Stephen Hawking is not with God 32

Yesterday, lured by a picture of Stephen Hawking, I read an article by Randy DeSoto, recording Franklin Graham’s regret that Hawking was an atheist.

I went to the comments. Some share the regret; some insist that the late great physicist is now – despite his atheism – with God. A few are by irritated atheists.

I succumbed to the temptation of writing something in the empty slot that had my thumbnail beside it. I asked: “What did God make matter out of?”

A design engineer, Matthew Winter, answered that as matter can neither be destroyed nor created, God must have given up some of his own energy to “create” matter. Not an entirely nonsensical notion. Matter is a form of energy.

He apparently understood God to be eternal and primal energy plus will. I wondered if he saw this theology of his as deism. I asked him if that was the same god who begat himself upon a virgin and answered personal prayers. I have not yet had a reply.

Some Christians, some believers in the gods of many religions, try hard to reconcile their faith with science. They often misquote Einstein to back up their arguments – as is done in the article on Hawking.

They fail, of course. Faith is not Reason. Science does not support the idea of divine creators, or of anything outside nature.

I continue to be amazed that adult, sane, educated, intelligent people can believe in the supernatural.


Jillian Becker    March 16, 2018

Posted under Atheism, Christianity, Religion general, Science by Jillian Becker on Friday, March 16, 2018

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When truth is also fun 4

The great Katie Hopkins speaks truth to two dullards – and a largely dullard audience:

Posted under Videos by Jillian Becker on Thursday, March 15, 2018

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Incontinent virtue 4

The mainstream media in the US are not reporting the news from South Africa – that all white-owned land is to be expropriated by the government without compensation. (See our posts, A calamity in South Africa, March 11, 2018, and White refugees from the dark continent, March 12, 2018.) )

US governments had a lot to do with the rise of the communist ANC [African National Congress] government in South Africa. Now that the effects of what many Western governments wrought in their zeal to replace the oppressive white apartheid regime (which had actually much reformed itself before it was deposed), most of them have lost interest.

A South African writer, critic and journalist (we have not had permission to give his name) informs us:

Yes, this whole “expropriation without compensation” issue has taken most people by surprise. [President] Ramaphosa was thought to be “business-friendly” but somehow the vast power and financial resources that fell into their laps in 1994 have made them very arrogant and wedded to their classical Marxist precepts.

The whole “land theft” myth which is based on nothing except speculation and facile stereotypes about SA history, has now become so rigidly established that one may hardly question it. That fuels the righteous outrage of blacks who want to “make the farmers pay”, also as scapegoats for what they perceive as “white supremacy”.

It is difficult to say how the farmers are going to react. Many are hoping that it is “just talk” and nothing will happen. But they are mistaken. The lunatic fringe of blacks, such as Malema’s EFF [Economic Freedom Fighters party] and another outfit called BLF (Black First Land First) are extremely radical and anti-white. They don’t want the whites in the country anymore and openly say so. The ANC is scared of losing votes to the left and will therefore co-opt their policies or prejudices.

In the north of the country, I suspect the farmers will put up a fight. Further south probably not. There could well be some kind of conflict. The thing is that the Afrikaners do not have other passports and a back door as all the other European colonists in Africa had. So what are they to do?

The other unknown are the foreign Africans in South Africa. In the event of a conflict they might rise up against the ANC too, as they have been badly treated by local blacks.

The ANC has already spent about R300 billion on their so-called “land reform” which was wasted on corruption, bureaucracy and turning productive farms into wastelands. So the prognosis of creating a new black-run agriculture is not good and it will probably end as in Zimbabwe with food shortages and a drag on the economy. We export quite a lot of fruit and other produce, including wine, which would knock the balance of payments and destroy many jobs.

So we are in for “interesting times”, as they say!

Ultimately “white guilt” is to blame. People are just so scared of speaking out because then they are vilified as “racists”. If you ask me, the ANC won the propaganda war too well in the late eighties, with the help of Sweden, Canada and all the other Western countries, and now they believe they are gods, impervious to human reason or self-doubt.

Someone quoted Adam Smith the other day where he said something about the excesses of virtue that are worse than those of vice, as one’s conscience limits vice, but not virtue.

In this time of crisis, rational virtue – always opposed to incontinent virtue – is being practiced by the Australian government with an offer of asylum to the white refugees. Australians expect the South Aricans to be the sort of settlers who will integrate well; have the same values, culture, and standards; contribute amply to the good of the country, and not be a burden on it.

From Breitbart:

Australia is ready to consider issuing special visas to mainly white, Afrikaans-speaking South African farmers due to the “horrific circumstances” of land seizures, violence and murder they face.

Peter Dutton, Australia’s home affairs minister, told the Sydney Daily Telegraph on Wednesday his department was examining a range of methods to smooth their path to Australia on humanitarian or other visa programs. As Breitbart News has reported, South Africans are increasingly worried that the government’s plans to expropriate land from white farmers without compensation could destroy the economy and the country’s fragile democracy.

Not just could, but surely will.

South Africa’s new president Cyril Ramaphosa has vowed to pursue the same course as Zimbabwe’s former leader Robert Mugabe in expropriating farmland from white farmers without compensation. President Ramaphosa, who replaced Jacob Zuma after years of corruption scandals finally forced the 75-year-old from office, was cheered in the South African parliament as he pledged to “accelerate our land distribution program … to redress a grave historical injustice and make more land available to our people for cultivation.”

Such is the level of violence in South Africa that thousands of white, Afrikaans-speaking farmers have taken to the streets to protest and plead for help.

Last year the October 30th #BlackMonday protests were organized after civil rights group AfriForum released figures claiming the murder rate for South African farmers was 156 per 100,000 — putting it well above the already high national average and making farming arguably the most dangerous occupation in the world outside a war zone.

At the same time, the number of slain farmers, farm workers, and family members — most of them white — [in 2017] had hit 71, surpassing the estimated death toll for 2016.

Now Australia stands ready to offer help.

“If you look at the footage and read the stories, you hear the accounts, it’s a horrific circumstance they face,” Mr. Dutton told the Telegraph.

The home affairs minister noted Australia has refugee, humanitarian and other visa programs which have the “potential to help some of these people”. He said he had asked his department to look at the options “because from what I have seen they do need help from a civilized country like ours”.

“The people we’re talking about want to work hard, they want to contribute to a country like Australia,” Mr. Dutton continued. “We want people who want to come here, abide by our laws, integrate into our society, work hard, not lead a life on welfare. And I think these people deserve special attention and we’re certainly applying that special attention now.”

Mr. Dutton suggested options included the in-country persecution visa category, and to bring them to Australia on humanitarian visas via referrals from others in Australia.

Posted under Australia, Refugees, South Africa by Jillian Becker on Thursday, March 15, 2018

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Do as I say, or else 1

Theodore Dalrymple, whose many excellent books commenting illuminatingly on our times includes Our Culture, What’s Left Of It, gives this account of how fascist-communist “anti-fascist” Antifa fell violently upon a quiet literary event in the English town of Lewes.

We quote much but not all of it from New English Review. Go here to read the whole thing:

I was to be the penultimate speaker, followed by a controversial conservative journalist, Katie Hopkins, who was to talk about her own recently published memoir, Rude.

The event ended in violence.

The festival organizer … had informed me in advance that there might be trouble from demonstrators who would want to prevent Hopkins from speaking. …

To say that she is unafraid of controversy or criticism is to understate the case. They are her stock-in-trade. …  [A]n outspoken, not to say militant, mocker of current political pieties, she is herself the object of the most severe objurgation, with no allowances made. In debate, she is uncompromising and fearless. …

She appears genuinely not to mind when attacked on television or in print or on social media: she accepts with good grace the fact that, if you express opinions in public, you must expect criticism and detraction, fair or otherwise, though she always returns blow for blow. She laughs at insults. …

Her main mode of defense is always attack …

She has been a severe critic of the Islamization of Britain. She speaks the truth about it. And that is not permitted in Britain now.

So Hopkins is widely regarded as a purveyor of hate speech — utterance that is to be answered by prohibition, rather than by argument. The category of hate speech is disturbingly expandable and depends on the propensity of groups of people to take offense or feel threatened (where it pays to be offended, people will take offense). Certain groups, but not others, are accorded legal or social protection from unpleasant name-calling, as if they were endangered species. …

Considerable efforts were made to bar Hopkins from speaking at the event. When I arrived in Lewes, posters in many windows proclaimed that Lewes wanted no hate speech. A town councillor had argued that the invitation to Hopkins should be withdrawn. The council had the right to ask for this because it owned and ran the venue, a deconsecrated church; and the councillor argued that the demonstration against Hopkins would be so violent that her appearance would constitute a threat to health, safety, and public order. On legal advice, however, that this argument was blatantly political, the council, with not a single Conservative member despite the town’s evident prosperity, voted overwhelmingly for the invitation to stand.

It turned out that the councillor who had argued for the withdrawal of the invitation was sympathetic to the demonstration against Hopkins, so that in essence his argument had been almost a threat: if you do not do as I say, like-minded people will react violently, and since you have been warned, such violence will be your fault. Do as I say, or else: the new democratic principle.

I gave my talk without interruption from the gathering crowd outside, but during the question-and-answer that followed, as Hopkins’s time to speak grew nearer, I heard some banging on the windows, at which fists and angry faces also appeared. Then there was some chanting, but not so loud as to make me inaudible. The trouble really began after I had finished speaking, in the short break before Hopkins was to start. The councillor’s self-fulfilling prophecy was about to come true.

A crowd of perhaps 120 had by now gathered outside the hall. Initially, only two policemen were present. One was pelted with so many eggs that he looked as if someone were planning to make him into an omelet. Eyewitnesses attested that some of the demonstrators handed eggs to children to throw at the police, presumably because the children would be too young to be arrested for assault. At any rate, it is significant that some adults were so determined to prevent Hopkins from speaking that they thought it reasonable and appropriate to bring children to a potentially violent occasion — an occasion, in fact, at which they themselves were prepared to employ violence. This is surely a demonstration of the ability of ideology to induce practical moral blindness.

Some of the demonstrators were masked. They tried to prevent those who had bought a ticket for the event from entering the building. One of those ticket holders subsequently wrote and published an account of what happened when she [and her companion] attempted to gain entrance:

There was a very large and noisy demonstration in the grounds and spilling onto the road, and we were immediately taunted as we made our way to the lynch gate [sic: a Freudian slip, if ever there was one, from lych-gate], despite no one knowing who we were. A militia of masked young men dressed in black tried to prevent us from entering the grounds. At first I thought they were working with the police, controlling the flow to protect attendees from the scuffles ahead, because a couple of policemen were observing at close quarters. One militiaman asked me why I was there. I said to hear Katie. He immediately swore at me, called me a fascist, bounced against me, manhandled me and tried to push me over. I was wearing stilettos and he easily pushed me into a bush, which thankfully cushioned my fall. I said: I have every right to be here. I looked towards a policeman for support, but he turned away, having seen everything. Anthony, who was now a few yards away, came to my side, and we stayed very close from then on as we determinedly made our way through to the church doors. Anthony is visibly Asian/ethnic and was not attacked as I was. Our keeping very close afforded me some protection as the crowd was chanting that it was pro refugees, unlike fascist Hopkins. 

We came to a stop about six feet from the church’s main doors, which were solidly closed. A line of five thugs, a man on a large mobility scooter, and a woman had blocked our path. I tried to reason with the woman, who looked out of place and even a little scared herself, being so petite. She said that people with vile views should not be allowed to speak. I said I thought we fought two world wars to protect free speech. I mentioned that my grandmother’s brother ended up in a concentration camp because he was a French citizen who stood up against the Nazis’ bullying. She maintained the mantra that evil people should not be allowed to spread their filth. There was no reasoning, and I didn’t want to provoke anyone, as we were trapped, and there were calls for Katie’s blood; so, I kept quiet. 

Suddenly, the crowd behind surged, and it looked like we might be in serious danger as eggs were thrown, a placard headed our way, and more militants appeared. Just then a journalist from More Radio appeared at my side. He was immediately denounced as a fascist by one of the thugs, but he brought out a mike and began to interview the most vociferous one, a particularly on-edge individual who looked a cigarette paper away from hurting someone. The ghastly young thug said it was necessary to stop this speech because if it was allowed we would soon become like Nazi Germany and worse.

It was well after the start time by now, and the journalist phoned a colleague and confirmed to us that the event [of Katie’s speech] had been cancelled.

News got around. The protestors chanted their victory. Some cried something like “When she comes out, we’ll get her.” We could hear others asking what to do when Katie appeared. …  The church door opened briefly and protestors surged forward. It was quickly shut. A policeman, who looked terrified, came to the front and spoke into his walkie-talkie, but soon disappeared into the graveyard. We knew we had to get out, as the crowd wanted blood.

We followed the radio journalist, who conducted a tortuous route to safety through the muddy graveyard. Later, on the pavement, when I suggested to him these folks were Momentum [a militant left-wing organization affiliated with the Labour Party], he said he believed they were from Antifa [a militant, ostensibly antifascist, movement that believes in political homeopathy, namely, that the employment of fascist methods will drive out fascism]. He said that most of the protestors were not people from Lewes (where he lived).

While all this was going on, my wife and I, who had intended to leave to catch our train before Hopkins spoke, were trapped inside the hall, having been advised by the egg-covered policeman to wait. The banging and the chanting were now incessant. There were about 40 of us inside to 120 outside. One lady I spoke to was terrified and in tears because she had been separated from her husband by the mob and did not know where he was. One man described how one of the demonstrators said to him that he would let him pass and enter the hall, as if he had the authority in his gift to permit or prohibit. Another lady wished that she had never come. A German lady said that she had come to live in England in 1968 precisely to avoid this kind of thing, which had then seemed so common in Germany. Where had the tolerance and good humor she had known in those days gone?

Some of the demonstrators managed to break into the church using a crowbar. Bouncers provided by a security company (after another such company had pulled out, fearing more serious violence than it could handle) rushed after the intruders. One bouncer suffered a serious injury to his arm, requiring an operation.

Hopkins was smuggled out of the building, the police having advised her, before she was able to speak, that they could not guarantee her safety if she stayed. She tweeted that she had left the building and asked the demonstrators to disperse peacefully. When police reinforcements arrived, somewhat tardily, the people in the hall were escorted under cover of darkness out through a back entrance and through the ancient graveyard. This was no doubt advisable, but, in effect, it turned the law-abiding rather than the lawbreakers into fugitives.

The police made no arrests, despite having been assaulted themselves and witnessed others being assaulted, despite the fact that a building was illegally broken into, despite the fact that 40 people had been falsely imprisoned, despite the fact that threatening language (of a degree likely to make any reasonably firm-minded person afraid for his safety) had been used repeatedly. They failed to protect citizens who were going about their lawful business. To say that they were useless would be an exaggeration: goodness knows what would have happened had they not been there. But they did not carry out their duty with alacrity, and the social media — videos, sound recordings, photographs — that helped to call the mob into being in the first place are now being used to hold the police to account for their passivity in enforcing the law.

The question arising from the episode is how far it was isolated … and how much was it a harbinger of things to come? Certainly, it gave me another lesson in how fragile public order is and how quickly it can break down. …  The Hopkins incident also demonstrates how weak is the attachment to freedom of speech and thought, especially among people so convinced of their own rectitude that they feel entitled — indeed, duty-bound — to silence others. …

As there, so here in America. And all over the West.

Theodore Dalrymple thinks that what happened in Lewes might be one of the early battles of a second Civil War in England, since violence begets violence.

One of the problems of this, apart from its sheer moral and intellectual idiocy, is that it will eventually call forth equal and opposite violence. Thus, the Lewes Speakers Festival would be an episode in the forthcoming English Civil War, the second of that name.

Civil war all over the West?

It is not impossible. It is not even unlikely.

Posted under Anarchy, Britain, Civil war, communism, Crime, Fascism, immigration, Islam, jihad, Leftism, Muslims, nazism, Race, United Kingdom, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, March 14, 2018

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White refugees from the dark continent 9

Following on from yesterday’s post immediately below –

Newsweek reports:

More than 12,000 people have signed a petition asking President Donald Trump to let white people in South Africa emigrate to the U.S. amid a vote by the country’s parliament favoring a motion that could see South Africa’s constitution amended to allow for land to be stripped from owners without any compensation.

The motion … has once again stoked fears among the country’s white farmers of a violent and disastrous land redistribution akin to that which crippled Zimbabwe in the 2000s.

The online petition calls on Trump to “take the steps necessary to initiate an emergency immigration plan allowing white Boers to come to the United States.” Boer is the term used to describe South Africans of Dutch, German or Huguenot descent, who are also commonly referred to as Afrikaners.

The petition suggests that Trump should stop admitting refugees from Somalia and the Middle East, claiming they “cannot be properly vetted”,  and allow white South Africans into the country instead.

Other sources add: “White South Africans can be easily vetted and also possess skills that make them compatible with our [Western] culture and civilization.”

A similar petition, calling on European Union President Jean-Claude Juncker, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May to allow white South Africans into EU countries, has gained nearly 17,000 signatures.

If those 17,000 who seek asylum in Europe or Britain are granted it, their doom at the hands of Third World barbarians will only be postponed.

According to another source (

The white South African population currently faces ethnic cleansing and persecutions at the hands of the ANC government, the EFF [Economic Freedom Fighters, the revolutionary political party led by Julius Malema who has threatened the genocide of white South Africans], and various individual anti-white aggressors. Over 4000 white farmers have been brutally murdered, [with the attacks] often including torture and rape and mutilation. Many white South Africans today live in poverty and squalor as a consequence of the ANC government’s Black Economic Empowerment policy which shuts whites out of the labour pool.

That is what the liberals of the Western world – who all but worshipped Nelson Mandela the Communist terrorist leader – have brought about.

The communist government of South Africa seems now to be following the Zimbabwe model. If so, the resulting economic ruin of the country will have repercussions throughout the world. South Africa is mineral-rich. It is one of the world’s biggest producers and exporters of gold. Stock-markets everywhere – including the US – will be hit. Anyone who is concerned about the state of the US economy will be wise to watch what is happening in South Africa.


(Hat-tip for the first information about the petition to our valued commenter, liz)

Posted under Africa, Britain, Europe, Refugees, South Africa, United States by Jillian Becker on Monday, March 12, 2018

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A calamity in South Africa 4

When Zimbabwe was Rhodesia, it was a land of plenty. All citizens, black and white, benefited from the skill and labor of whites and blacks on the white-owned farms. (Note: the country had no apartheid laws.) Then, with the dynamic aid of socialist Britain, it fell under the dictatorship of communist Robert Mugabe. He sent gangs of “veterans” – ie. murderers – to seize farms owned by whites. The farmers, their families, their black servants were slaughtered. Often they were tortured first. For the fun of it. And the land became unproductive.

Now, South Africa …

Our Facebook summary of a Daily Mail article tells the story:

White South African farmers will have their land confiscated after a landslide vote in parliament. The motion was brought by the murderous radical Julius Malema, but the policy was also a key factor in the new president Cyril Ramaphosa’s platform after he took over from Jacob Zuma in February. It passed by 241 votes to 83. In 2016, Malema told his supporters he was “not calling for the slaughter of white people – at least for now”. Freedom Front Plus party leader Pieter Groenewald said the decision to strip white farmers of their land would cause “unforeseen consequences that is not in the interest of South Africa”. The deputy chief executive of the civil rights group Afriforum said the motion was a violation of agreements made at the end of apartheid.

A few facts:

Many of the white farmer families have owned their farms for hundreds of years. In many cases it is all they have. Now it is to be taken from them without compensation.

They did not “steal” it from any of the Bantu tribes, who came overland from the north and encountered white settlers arriving by sea at about the same time. The only native people of South Africa were the Khoikhoi (or Bushmen). The Bantu were not farmers but herdsmen.

Large areas of the land already redistributed by the ANC government to black owners – 2.8 million hectares [1 hectare = just under 2 and a half acres], for which the government paid R20.5bn – are today under-utilized or fallow.

Ilana Mercer – South African born libertarian – writes at Townhall, pointing out that this legalized crime of expropriation has long been foreseeable:

Up until, or on the day, a predictable calamity unfolds in South Africa, you still find Western media insisting that,

* No, there’s no racial component to the butchering of thousands of white rural folks in ways that would make Shaka Zulu proud.
* No, the mutilated, tortured bodies of Boer and British men, women and children aren’t evidence of racial hatred, but a mere artifact of good old crime. No hate crimes. No crimes against humanity. Move along. Let the carnage play on.

And the latest:

To listen to leftist, counterfactual, ahistoric pabulum served up by most in media, a decision by South Africa’s Parliament to smooth the way for an expropriation without compensation of private property came out of … nowhere.

It just so happened — pure fluke! — that the permanently entrenched, racialist parties in parliament used their thumping majorities to vote for legalizing state theft from a politically powerless minority. Didn’t see that coming!

And still they beat on breast: How did the mythical land of Nelson Mandela turn into Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness?

How did that country’s vaunted constitution yield to “the horror, the horror” of land theft?

Easily, even seamlessly — as I’ve been warning since the 2011 publication of  Into the cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa, which provided the analytical edifice for what’s unfolding. …

One of Cyril Ramaphosa’s presidential campaign promises was to finally get down to the business of the people: stealing private property. Since replacing Jacob Zuma as president, Ramaphosa has openly endeavored to speed up the transfer of land from white to black owners after his inauguration two weeks ago. Yet, this inherently aggressive, coercive act was studiously finessed by the news cartel. Before Ramaphosa, Zuma too had “called on parliament to change South Africa’s Constitution to allow the expropriation of white-owned land without compensation”. 

Unlike so many celebrity journos involved, both men know that said constitution is no bulwark against state expropriation. Or against any “public” or private violence, for that matter. As a protector of individual rights to life, liberty and property, the thing is worse than useless — a wordy and worthless document.

Take Section 12 of this progressive constitution. It enshrines the “Freedom and Security of the Person”. Isn’t it comforting to know that in a country where almost everyone knows someone who has been raped, robbed, hijacked, murdered, or all of the above, the individual has a right to live free of all those forms of violence?

Here’s the rub: Nowhere does the South African Constitution state whether its beneficiaries may defend their most precious of rights. Recounted in Into The Cannibal’s Pot is example after example of innocent victims of crime punished and prosecuted by those who swore to uphold the constitution. These victims are punished for merely and minimally defending their so-called constitutionally enshrined rights.

The African National Congress (ANC) has always, not suddenly, disregarded the importance of private property, public order and the remedial value of punitive justice. …

The ANC under its leader Nelson Mandela was, and the ANC remains, essentially a communist party. It made concessions to capitalism because its leaders were persuaded that the economic consequences for the country if it did not would be catastrophic. Now, it seems, such a catastrophe looks less forbidding to them.

As for equality before the law: The South African Bill of Rights is contemptuous of it. It enshrines group rights and allows for compensatory and distributive “justice”.

In other words, it is all for “social justice” which is not just at all.

The state’s confiscatory powers may be used to redress “past injustices”. “To promote the achievement of equality; legislative and other measures designed to protect or advance persons, or categories of persons, disadvantaged by unfair discrimination may be taken.”

The Constitution already allows a good deal of mischief in the name of the “greater good”, land expropriation included. Thus the Expropriation Bill of 2008: It’s the precursor to the current land expropriation process. Where, pray tell, was the news cartel when it was floated as an impetus for land nationalization?

With the 2008 Bill, the dominant ruling party had empowered itself — and “any organ of state, at any level of government” — to take ownership and possession of property “simply by giving notice to the expropriated owner”. The state would make the “final” determination of the compensation due, subject only to a limited form of court review. Both movable and immovable property has always been up for grabs — “livestock and farming implements, residential homes, business premises and equipment, patents, and shares”. The 2008 Bill was temporarily shelved before the 2009 elections, but not forgotten. It led naturally to talk about nationalization.

In March 2010, a plan was tabled in Parliament for turning “all productive land into a national asset leased to farmers”.  Such sentiments are hardly new. True to a promise made in Mandela’s 1955 communistic Freedom Charter, the ANC has already nationalized the “mineral wealth beneath the soil” and the water rights.

The result of nationalizing water rights: the Cape peninsula, one of the most fertile regions of the entire planet, full of vineyards, famous fruit farms, nature reserves where a vast variety of wild flora has flourished, is now afflicted with drought. The City of Cape Town itself is running out of drinking water!

Israeli experts, who can turn a desert into a garden, offered to come and solve the water problem, but the ANC-led authorities refused because they hate the Jews. Because “Palestine”. (See the Reuters report here.)

Note: More Jews were imprisoned and died for the cause of black liberation in South Africa than any other “white demographic”.

All along had the entrenchment of a property clause in the South African Constitution angered judicial activists, who conflate the protection of private property with the entrenchment of white privilege. Their fears were overblown. Back then, I wagered that nationalization would necessitate but a minor tweak to the Constitution, since the latter already allows all the mischief mentioned. …

Since the dawn of “freedom” in South Africa, commercial farmers, mostly white, have been terrorized and threatened with land claims. As if this were not bad enough, they can now expect nationalization.

In case Zimbabwe is a distant memory, the nationalization of South Africa’s farms will increase unemployment in the agricultural sector, and with it, rural poverty. That will guarantee mass migration to the cities, with all the attendant problems which this exodus poses. Also, it will undermine South Africa’s ability to meet its food needs and deter investment in the country.

There will also be much blood spilt. Famine and Death will stalk the land. As many an example of communist rule attests.

But Communists never have to say “sorry”.

Posted under South Africa, Zimbabwe by Jillian Becker on Sunday, March 11, 2018

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That frozen hell, those flying pigs … and all hail, great chief! 4

Hell has frozen over, and a flight of pigs unprecedented in number is crossing and recrossing the skies over America. CNN – that polluted source of fake news, plain lies (so shameless they could be called “hillaries”), and simmering insurrection against President Trump’s government – has actually declared the truth that President Donald Trump could justly be called a “great president”.  

Thursday on CNN’s Outfront, host Erin Burnett acknowledged in the wake of the announcement President Donald Trump would meet with North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un that if Trump were to defuse the North Korea nuclear situation, he would go down as a “great president”.

Her actual words:

Just an extraordinary evening and, of course, opening the door to the big question — if President Trump could truly solve this problem, that would be going down as a great president. There is no way around that. That is the reality here.

We have esteemed him as a great president for some time now. In the post we link to, we quote an article at American Thinker by Karin McQuillan, in which she writes:

Thanks to his fearless and clear-sighted character, we finally have a president who will not allow North Korea or Iran to have nuclear weapons.  Those of us who see that this is vital for national security are deeply grateful … 

It remains to be seen if North Korea can be “denuclearized”. North Korea has made many promises and broken them all.

If anyone can make it happen, President Trump can.

Posted under media, North Korea, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, March 9, 2018

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The case for President Trump’s tariffs 23

This post is intended to be read along with the post immediately below, The case for free trade.

“Our Steel and Aluminum industries (and many others) have been decimated by decades of unfair trade and bad policy with countries from around the world. We must not let our country, companies and workers be taken advantage of any longer. We want free, fair and SMART TRADE!” – President Trump

According to Forbes:

While the exact amount of tariffs has not been confirmed, the President has indicated that he favors tariffs of 25% on steel imports and 10% on imported aluminum. Similarly, the specifically affected countries were not called out, but it’s likely the President might exempt some of our closest trading partners.

The imposition of tariffs would, according to the President, level the playing field between the United States and countries like China.

Now we quote Seton Motley, president of Less Government, a DC-based organization “dedicated to reducing the power of government and protecting the First Amendment from governmental assault”. (And so also, it would seem, a libertarian.) He is a leading authority on technology and telecom policy, and a policy adviser to The Heartland Institute.

He makes a case for President Trump’s tariffs not because he is for protection in principle – he says he is not – but because other countries practice it to the detriment of the United States.

He writes at Townhall:

President Donald Trump wants to fix the nightmare mess that is DC’s crony globalist fake “free trade” – and conservatives all across the nation are up in arms.

A lot of really great conservative thinkers are very, very angry with Trump’s tariff threat.

(Please note: They at this point remain threats – not tariffs. Read“The Art of the Deal. Very often you threaten, but never enact – the threat is enough to better the deal.)

And as much as I like and respect so very many of these conservative thinkers – they are all very, very wrong.

A lot of what you get from them is a lot of talking points … “Tariffs are taxes!” “Protectionism is bad!” “Free trade is good!”

The very obvious secret is I agree with all of these points.

The other very obvious secret is none of them apply to what DC pretends is “free trade”. 

Globalist big business robber barons have spent the last half-century-plus lobbying DC for more and more one-sided, America-last trade deals in which America removes all of our government impediments – tariffs, domestic subsidies, import caps, etc. – to our world’s-largest now-$18-trillion-per-year economy. This thereby allows the unfettered flow of goods and services from all round the world.

We have done absolutely nothing about the very many government impediments – tariffs, domestic subsidies, import caps, etc. – that just about every other nation imposes upon us, severely limiting the flow of our goods and services into their relatively paltry markets.

This has been one long, ongoing trade war declared and engaged in by every nation on the planet – except the U.S., and one incessantly long run of titanically stupid trade policy. …

These terrible deals have been a key component in our nation’s loss of millions and millions of jobs. And the loss of who should be key allies in the fight for less government domestically.

Rather than fight for less government domestically – thereby making it more tenable to remain in the States – the globalist big business robber barons flipped the script.

They got DC to emplace ever more America-last trade deals – and then moved their businesses to the countries from which they had just negotiated unfettered access to our economy, costing us millions of gigs and escaping all of our stupid domestic government – and all of the government impediments the other countries emplace upon U.S. exports.

Now their new host nations’ continued protectionism benefits them. Heck, their new host nations often subsidize their companies.

Meanwhile, America’s small businesses – which can’t move overseas – have to stay here and get pummeled by ever-expanding domestic government and the relocated-globalist-big-business-robber-baron subsidized-and-protectionism-protected goods and services – being brought in unfettered to compete against them.

These small domestic businesses very often cannot endure the relentless pummelings – and succumb and go under. Thereby costing us millions of additional gigs. …

All of this has for decades been DC’s definition of “free trade”.  It has absolutely nothing to do with actual free trade, free markets, or freedom of any sort.

And this is what conservatives all across the country are in the midst of defending.

Ok: You don’t like Trump’s proposed tariffs – I get it.

But at least Trump knows there is a HUGE problem that needs to be addressed (and has known it for decades).

So until someone amongst the many contesting conservatives acknowledges there actually is a HUGE problem – I’ll be siding with the guy who knows there is, and is looking to address it.

We invite the opinions of our readers on whether President Trump is justified in imposing – or at least threatening to impose – tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Posted under China, Economics, Trade, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, March 7, 2018

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This post has 23 comments.


The case for free trade 8

President Trump is speaking of imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum to boost domestic production.

To explain the case for free trade, we quote from a speech delivered at the (libertarian) Mises Institute a few days ago by Thomas J. DiLorenzo.

It is not an exaggeration to say that trade is the keystone of modern civilization. For as Murray Rothbard wrote:

The market economy is one vast latticework throughout the world, in which each individual, each region, each country, produces what he or it is best at, most relatively efficient in, and exchanges that product for the goods and services of others. Without the division of labor and the trade based upon that division, the entire world would starve. Coerced restraints on trade – such as protectionism – cripple, hobble, and destroy trade, the source of life and prosperity.

Human beings cannot truly be free unless there is a high degree of economic freedom – the freedom to collaborate and coordinate plans with other people from literally all around the world. That is the point of Leonard Read’s famous article, “I Pencil,” which describes how to produce an item as mundane as an ordinary pencil requires the cooperation and collaboration of thousands of people from all around the world, all of whom possess very specific knowledge … that allows them to assist in the production and marketing of pencils. The same is true, of course, for virtually everything else that is produced.

Without economic freedom – the freedom to earn a living for oneself and one’s family – people are destined to become mere wards of the state. Thus, every attempt by the state to interfere with trade is an attempt to deny us our freedom, to impoverish us, and to turn us into modern-day serfs.

[Ludwig von] Mises believed that trade or exchange is “the fundamental social relation” which “weaves the bond which unites men into society”. Man “serves in order to be served” in any trade relationship in the free market. …

Trade involves the exchange of property titles. Restrictions on free trade are therefore an attack on private property itself and not “merely” a matter of “trade policy”. This is why such great classical liberals as Frederic Bastiat spent many years of their lives defending free trade. Bastiat … understood that once one acquiesced in protectionism, then no one’s property will be safe from myriad other governmental acts of theft. To Bastiat, protectionism and communism were essentially the same philosophy.

It has long been recognized by classical liberals that free trade was the most important means of diminishing the likelihood of war. …

[I]t is not democracy that is a safeguard against war but, as the British (classical) Liberals were to recognize, it is free trade. To Richard Cobden and John Bright, the leaders of the British Manchester School, free trade – both domestically and internationally – was a necessary prerequisite for the preservation of peace. …

As Frederic Bastiat often said, if goods can’t cross borders, armies will. This is a quintessentially American philosophy in that it was the position assumed by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Thomas Paine, among others. A foreign policy based on commerce,” wrote Paine in Common Sense, would secure for America “the peace and friendship” of the Continent and allow her to “shake hands with the world – and trade in any market.” Paine – the philosopher of the American Revolution – believed that free trade would “temper the human mind”, and help people to “know and understand each other”,  and have a “civilizing effect” on everyone involved in it. Trade was seen as “a pacific system, operating to unite mankind be rendering nations, as well as individuals, useful to each other. . . . “War can never be in the interest of a trading nation.”

George Washington obviously agreed. “Harmony, liberal intercourse with all Nations, are recommended by policy, humanity and interest,” he stated in his September 19, 1796 Farewell Address. Our commercial policy “should hold an equal and impartial hand; neither seeking nor granting exclusive favours or preferences; consulting the natural course of things; deversifying by gentle means the streams of Commerce, but forcing nothing . . .”

The period of world history from the middle of the fifteenth to the middle of the eighteenth centuries was an era of growth in world trade and invention and of institutions suited to trade. Technological innovations in shipping, such as the three-masted sail, brought the merchants of Europe to the far reaches of America and Asia. This vast expansion of trade greatly facilitated the worldwide division of labor, greater specialization, and the benefits of comparative advantage.

But whenever human freedom advances, as it did with the growth of trade, state power is threatened. So states did all they could then, as now, to restrict trade. It is the system of trade restrictions and other governmental interferences with the free market, known as mercantilism, that Adam Smith railed against in The Wealth of Nations. … [He] was defending trade on moral as well as economic grounds by enunciating his doctrine of how free trade was part of the system of “natural justice”.  One of the ways he did this was to defend smugglers and the act of smuggling as a means of evading mercantilist restrictions on trade. The smuggler, explained Smith, was engaged in “productive labor” that served his fellow man (i.e., consumers) …

For the same reason, black markets are defensible.

Despite powerful arguments in favor of free trade offered by [Dr. Francois] Quesnay, [Adam] Smith, David Ricardo, and others, England (and other countries of Europe) suffered from protectionist trade policies for the first half of the nineteenth century. But this situation was turned around due to the heroic and brilliant efforts of what came to be known as the “Manchester School,” led by two British businessmen, John Bright and Richard Cobden. Thanks to Bright and Cobden Great Britain achieved complete free trade by 1850.

The British public was plundered by the mercantilist “corn laws” which placed strict import quotas on the importation of food. The laws benefited political supporters of the government who were engaged in farming at the expense of much higher food prices, which was especially harmful to the poor. Bright and Cobden formed the Anti-Corn Law League in 1839 and turned it into a well-oiled political machine with mass support, distributing literally millions of leaflets, holding conferences and gatherings all around the country, delivering hundreds of speeches, and publishing their own newspaper, The League. …

From his home in Mugron, France, Frederic Bastiat single handedly created a free-trade movement in his own country that eventually spread throughout Europe. Bastiat was a gentleman farmer who had inherited the family estate. He was a voracious reader, and spent many years educating himself in classical liberalism and in just about any other field that he could attain information about. After some twenty years of intense intellectual preparation, articles and books began to pour out of Bastiat (in the 1840s). His book, Economic Sophisms, is to this day arguably the best defense of free trade ever published. His second book, Economic Harmonies, quickly followed, while Bastiat published magazine and newspapers all over France. His work was so popular and influential that it was immediately translated into English, Spanish, Italian, and German.

Due to Bastiat’s enormous influence, free-trade associations, modeled after one he had created in France and similar to the one created by his friend, Richard Cobden, in England, began to sprout in Belgium, Italy, Sweden, Prussia, and Germany.

To Bastiat, collectivism in all its forms was immoral as well as economically destructive.

Collectivism constituted “legal plunder,” and to argue against the (natural) right to private property would be similar to arguing that theft and slavery were “moral”. The protection of private property is the only legitimate function of government, Bastiat wrote, which is why trade restrictions – and all other mercantilist schemes – should be condemned. Free trade “is a question of right, of justice, of public order, of property. Because privilege, under whatever form it is manifested, implies the denial or the scorn of property rights.” And “the right to property, once weakened in one form, would soon be attacked in a thousand different forms.”

There is no clearer example of how trade restrictions are the enemy of freedom than the American Revolution. In the seventeenth century all European states practiced the policy of mercantilism. England imposed a series of Trade and Navigation Acts on its colonies in America and elsewhere, which embodied three principles: 1) All trade between England and her colonies must be conducted by English (or English-built) vessels owned and manned by English subjects; 2) All European imports into the colonies must “first be laid on the shores of England” before being sent to the colonies so that extra tariffs could be placed on them; and 3) Certain products from the colonies must be exported to England and England only.

In addition, the colonists were prohibited from trading with Asia because of the East India Company’s state-chartered monopoly. There were import duties placed on all colonial imports into England.

After the Seven Years War (known in America as the French-Indian War), England’s massive land holdings (Canada, India, North America to the Mississippi, most of the West Indies) became very expensive to administer and police. Consequently, the Trade and Navigation Acts were made even more oppressive, which imposed severe hardships on the American colonists and helped lead to revolution.

After the American Revolution trade restrictions nearly caused the New England states — which suffered disproportionately from the restrictions — to secede from the Union. In 1807 Thomas Jefferson was president and England was once again at war with France. England declared that it would “secure her seamen wherever found”,  which included U.S. ships. After a British warship captured the USS Chesapeake off Hampton Roads, Virginia, Jefferson imposed a trade embargo that made all international commerce illegal. After Jefferson left office his successor, James Madison, imposed an “Enforcement Act” which allowed war-on-drugs style seizure of goods suspected to be destined for export.

This radicalized the New England secessionists, who had been plotting to secede ever since Jefferson was elected, issued a public declaration reminding the nation that “the U.S. Constitution was a Treaty of Alliance and Confederation” and that the central government was no more than an association of the states. Consequently, “whenever its [i.e., the Constitution’s] provisions were violated, or its original principles departed from by a majority of the states or their people, it is no longer an effective instrument, but that any state is at liberty by the spirit of that contract to withdraw itself from the union.”

The Massachusetts legislature formally condemned the embargo, demanded its repeal by Congress, and declared that it was “not legally binding”. In other words, the Massachusetts legislature “nullified” the law. Madison was forced to end the embargo in March of 1809. …

John Taylor, a noted Anti-Federalist, was a lifelong critic of mercantilism and laid out his criticisms in his 1822 book, Tyranny Unmasked. Like Bastiat, Taylor saw protectionism as an assault on private property that was diametrically opposed to the freedom the American revolutionaries had fought and died for. The tyranny that Taylor sought to “unmask” was the collection of fables and lies that had been devised by mercantilists to promote their system of plunder. If one looks at England’s mercantilist policies, Taylor wrote, “No equal mode of enriching the party of government, and impoverishing the party of people, has ever been discovered.” …

Many of Taylor’s arguments were adopted and expanded upon by the great South Carolinian statesman John C. Calhoun during the struggle over the 1828 “Tariff of Abomination”,  which a South Carolina political convention voted to nullify. The confrontation between South Carolina, which was very heavily import dependent, as was most of the South, and the federal government over the Tariff of Abominations almost led to the state’s secession some thirty years prior to the War for Southern Independence. The federal government backed down and reduced the tariff rate in 1833.

The Northern manufacturers who wanted to impose British-style mercantilism on the U.S. did not give up, however; they formed the American Whig party, which advocated three mercantilist schemes: protectionism, corporate welfare for themselves, and a central bank to pay for it all. From 1832 until 1861 the Whigs, led by Henry Clay and, later, by Abraham Lincoln, fought mightily in the political arena to bring seventeenth-century mercantilism to America.

The Whig party died in 1852, but the Whigs simply began calling themselves Republicans.

We have often praised the Republican Party for its opposition to slavery, but we do not praise it for this:

The tariff was the centerpiece of the Republican party platform of 1860, as it had been when the same collection of Northern economic interests called itself “Whigs” for the previous thirty years.

By 1857 the level of tariffs had been reduced to the lowest level since 1815, according to Frank Taussig in his classic Tariff History of the United States. But when the Republicans controlled the White House and the Southern Democrats left the Congress the Republicans did what, as former Whigs, they had been itching to do for decades: go on a protectionist frenzy. In his First Inaugural Address Lincoln stated that he had no intention to disturb slavery in the Southern states and, even if he did, there would be no constitutional basis for doing so. But when it came to the tariff, he promised a military invasion if tariff revenues were not collected. …

By 1862 the average tariff rate had crept up to 47.06 percent, the highest level ever, even higher than the 1828 Tariff of Abominations. These high rates lasted for decades after the war.

[B]y 1860 England itself had moved to complete free trade; France sharply reduced her tariff rates in that very year; and Bastiat’s free-trade movement was spreading throughout Europe. Only the Northern United States was clinging steadfastly to seventeenth-century mercantilism.

After the war the Northern manufacturing interests who financed and controlled the Republican party (i.e., the old Whigs) were firmly in control and they “ushered in a long period of high tariffs. With the tariff of 1897, protection reached an average level of 57 percent.” This political plunder continued for about fifty years after the war, at which time international competition forced tariff rates down moderately. By 1913 the average tariff rate in the U.S. had declined to 29 percent.

But the same clique of Northern manufacturers was begging for “protection” and persisted until they got it when Herbert Hoover signed the Smoot-Hawley tariff of 1929, which increased the average tariff rate on over 800 items back up to 59.1 percent. The Smoot-Hawley tariff spawned an international trade war that resulted in about a 50 percent reduction in total exports from the United States between 1929 and 1932. Poverty and misery was the inevitable result. Even worse, the government responded to these problems of its own creation with a massive increase in government intervention, which only produced even more poverty and misery and deprived Americans of more and more of their freedoms.

The case for President Trump’s tariffs follows immediately in the next post. …

What happened at the FBI? 9

Yesterday we wrote about the corruption of the leadership of the CIA.

Now here’s a summary of just some of the instances when the FBI failed the nation in recent years – under corrupt leadership. (James Comey’s leadership is not discussed, but a good brief overview of his failures and deceptions can be found here.)

Many murders were committed because the Left in power favored Islam.

Lloyd Billingsley writes at Front Page:

After Nikolas Cruz gunned down 17 people at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, FBI special agent Robert Lasky, head of the bureau’s Miami division, said he “truly regrets” the pain caused by the FBI’s failure to act on a tip about the shooter.

The FBI said it had no way to trace the tip …

An obvious lie …

… then FBI boss Christopher Wray said the message was never passed on to the FBI’s Miami field office, as official protocol required. Relatives of the victims might have noted the passive verb construction. In typical style, Wray failed to name the person who never passed on the tip, and offered no explanation why that person might have done so.

Wray did say “we deeply regret the additional pain this causes all those affected by this horrific tragedy”. In response to that admission Florida governor Rick Scott called for Wray to resign. Across the country Americans could make a case that Wray and many others in the FBI deserved much sterner measures.

In 2013 Omar Mateen lost his job as security guard at Florida’s St. Lucie County courthouse. Mateen had made “inflammatory comments about women, Jews and the mass shooting at Ft. Hood.” The FBI twice questioned Mateen after he touted ties to terrorists, but FBI special agent Ronald Hopper told reporters “we were unable to verify the substance of his comments and the investigation was closed.” On June 12, 2016, Mateen gunned down 49 people and wounded 58 others at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

Mateen was born in the United States of Afghan parents but the Tsarnaev brothers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar, [Sufi] Muslims from the Caucuses region, entered the United States on tourist visas then claimed asylum. Russian intelligence warned the FBI the Tsarnaev brothers were dangerous but the FBI’s investigation found no links to terrorism.  On April 15, 2013, the brothers planted bombs at the Boston Marathon that killed three people and wounded at least 264.

In 2008, the FBI had picked up emails between U.S. Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan and Islamist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, a terrorist with ties to the 9/11 hijackers. In these emails, Hasan was asking for religious sanction to kill American soldiersThe FBI failed to interview Hasan or even make a phone call to his superiors, and no government agency took any steps to stop him. On November 5, 2009, at Fort Hood Texas, Hasan gunned down 13 unarmed American soldiers, including private Francheska Velez, 21, who was pregnant, and wounded more than 30 others.

Senator Joseph Lieberman sought to make the Hasan-Awlaki emails public but the FBI blocked their release, and military prosecutors forbade their presentation in the trial.

During those proceedings, reporters asked Robert Mueller, FBI boss from 2001-2013, if the bureau had dropped the ball by failing to act. “No,” Mueller responded, “I think, given the context of the discussions and the situation that the agents and the analysts were looking at, they took appropriate steps.” No word about any “regrets,” deep or otherwise, about Hasan’s victims.

For POTUS 44 [Obama], the Fort Hood attack was not terrorism or even “gun violence”. The mass murder was “workplace violence” and Mueller had no problem with that. POTUS 44, who as Barry Soetoro attended a Muslim school in Indonesia, proclaimed that the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. He also ordered that the FBI must not consider any links between Islam and terrorist attacks against the United States.

Mueller duly purged hundreds of counter-terrorism training materials of any hint that Islamic terrorists might pose a security problem. CAIR boss Nihad Awad thanked Mueller for his “pledge” to review FBI counterterrorism training.  So Mueller slavishly put political correctness above the safety of the American people, and that doubtless explains why the FBI looked the other way as the Tsarnaevs, Omar Mateen and others plotted their deadly actions.

Mueller’s politically correct compliance also explains why deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, who has problems of his own, tapped the former FBI boss to head up the Russia investigation. Mueller duly bulked up his team with big-time Clinton supporters but his probe has turned up no collusion with the Trump campaign, as the 2016 presidential loser and her media fan club charged.

If Mueller wants to show some integrity, he should shut down the probe immediately.

But where would he suddenly get integrity from?

The former FBI boss’s preference for politics over safety, abetted by incompetence, has trickled down into similar inaction against walking red flags such as Nikolas Cruz. After his mass shooting Christopher Wray admitted the FBI failed and expressed deep regrets. President Trump and Congress need to lean on this guy more than a little bit.

Peter Strzok worked three shifts exonerating Hillary Clinton and framing Donald Trump. That doesn’t sound much like the job description of the FBI’s chief of counterintelligence. So why is this partisan bigot still employed by the FBI in any capacity?

Who are the FBI agents, and their bosses, who looked the other way in the Fort Hood, Boston Marathon and Orlando terrorist attacks? What, exactly, are they doing now?

Answer: Continuing to work hard at undermining the Donald Trump presidency. Is there any reasonable doubt about it?

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