The new tyranny 0

An imminent and severe threat to freedom is the policy of certain businesses and ostensible facilitators of business that suddenly see themselves as arbiters and dictators of moral rectitude rather than what they are needed to be and essentially are – profit-makers.

To be in business to make a profit is enormously useful, supremely  important, and highly moral. 

Visa and Mastercard are among those that have decided otherwise. They are refusing their services to people and organizations with who they have political disagreements.

As once it was religious disagreement that the powerful punished, now it is political disagreement. In both cases the punishers believe their views are  morally correct. It is not dissent, they believe, but immorality that they are punishing, for the long-term good of all humankind. 

It is very short-sighted of them. If they stick to a policy of selling their services only to their political like-thinkers, and implement it efficiently, they will be excluding as clients half the population of every Western country. We wonder if they have understood and accepted that consequence.

Among the people and organizations they are punishing are Jihad Watch and the Freedom Center. Both are politically conservative. So we presume that the people making the decision to deny them service are Leftists, and we must look at the issue through a Leftist lens to understand why they are thinking this way.

A Leftist lens is one that picks race, color, ethnic origin and sex as prime measures of virtue and deservedness. (The Left is obsessed with race and sex.) 

So who are the people at Mastercard and Visa who are punishing conservatives by refusing to serve them? 

The Management Committee of Mastercard is made up thus: 

26 members, of which 

5 are women, including the Vice Chair 

6 are Asian 

4 are Hispanic

10 are white men

The Management Team of Visa consists of :

11 members,  of which 

4 are women all bearing  the title of Executive Vice President and 1 more who is Vice Chair   

2 Asians 

5 white men including the CEO

(Who will wager us a dollar or two that they all vote Democrat and contribute to the Democratic Party?) 

Wallace Nunn writes at Front Page, a Freedom Center website: 

Every day there is a new report about how Facebook, Google,Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and other giants of social media censor content, banish certain commentators for incorrect views, and otherwise work in a steady if unsystematic way to homogenize political opinion within an acceptably progressive bandwidth.  Ideas are scoured for “racism” — as contentiously defined by the intellectual stylebook of the hard left Southern Poverty Law Center, which the media have set up as an “authority” on hate speech; freedom of speech is seen a nuisance rather than a guarantee of personal liberty and true diversity of opinion.

But there is an even more sinister threat to the first amendment than the social media, a threat that operates in a stealth way in the most crucial arena of our economic system.  It is corporate giants MasterCard and Visa, which now use their unparalleled financial power to determine what speech should be allowed and what speech should be silenced.

Most Americans use a credit or debit card every day and take these two corporations as much for granted as the light switch or the automobile ignition. We buy things with their cards ranging from the annual vacations to the daily groceries. These two interlocked corporations are the drum majors marching us into a cashless society. They are powers unto themselves, but their eminence rests on our money and the fees they exact to accommodate our transactions. 

The cards they issue are even more critical to the vendors whom they pay. Without the ability to accept charges to these cards as payment many businesses would in effect be out of business.

Unlike the comparatively clumsy and very public efforts of the social media to erase “offensive” — all too often a synonym for conservative — opinion, the cognate machinations of Visa/Mastercard take place more remotely and without response in the dark space of the mundane financial transaction.

It is as simple and as faceless as a lethal injection: An individual who wants to support an organization online makes the digital donation and is then informed that Visa/Mastercard will not process it. Neither the individual nor the organization he wishes to support are told that they are on a blacklist, let alone informed how they got there or how to get off.  The donor is denied his right to put his money where his mouth is. …

The Freedom Center had such an experience a few months ago when online donations were overnight peremptorily refused by Visa/Mastercard with no reason given and no protest accepted.  We were able to create enough noise about this injustice — in the media and with the threat of legislative attention — that the credit card giants turned the power back on just as capriciously as they had turned it off.

We were lucky. Robert Spencer, whose jihadwatch.org is one of the indispensable sites for understanding the intentions and the threat ofIslamic terrorism, has been shut down from receiving supporters’ donations for several weeks now, and is forced to try to keep Jihad Watch going on a shoestring while Visa/Mastercard imperiously ignores demand letters and threats of court action from his attorneys

The anti-Semitic Nation of Islam’s credit card donations are processed; the anti-Islamist Jihad Watch’s are not.

This oligopoly acts with the faceless finality of an IRS lien when it sets itself up as lawmaker, judge and jury with the power to decide which speech should be allowed and which should be shut down.  It kills free speech not by arguing against the ideas it disapproves of, but by the silence of the arbitrary act, using the financial system to accomplish the deed.

Over half the people of the United States who own a debit or credit card use it as their sole method for paying bills. (Most of the other half use them too, just not as frequently.) In 2015 there were 69.5 billion debit card payments with a value of $2.56 trillion and 33.8 billion credit card payments with a value of $3.16trillion — together adding up to around 6 trillion in an economy of 19 trillion.

This is a very sizable public accommodation. More importantly it is immense power, power that can be and is being used to shutdown the civil rights of people who want to support the speech of the FreedomCenter, Jihad Watch, other conservative groups and anyone else in our political universe. … 

We have come to a point in our history when government must once against step in to preserve rights and prevent wrongs just as it did in 1964. Civil Rights are as much imperiled now as they were then. The technology revolution has undeniably brought much that is good and fruitful, but as it has evolved, this revolution has developed a dark side that concentrates increasing power in the hands of fewer people. …

We too are exasperated by Visa/Mastercard, but we are not convinced that  government should step in. It’s better to keep government out. The cure is surely to be found, as always, in the free market. Competition is the right way to bring companies that exploit near-monopolies to their commercial senses – and will keep them morally clean and decent.   

Posted under Business, Economics, Ethics, Leftism by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, December 18, 2018

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Universal homelessness 3

In the past, attempts at world government have been either imperial or federal: the whole world governed by a single nation – Napoleon’s dream for the French, Hitler’s dream for the Germans; or a union of nation-states with some powers of local self-rule, a league of all nations under the supreme authority of a central government.   

But those visions now are faded. Karl Marx’s idea of a world ruled (somehow) by “the workers” who will “lose their chains” and “unite” across national boundaries, regardless of race, creed, language, history, underlies the new One World ideal. But it is developing in ways Marx did not foresee. It is not “the workers” who will become one but the peoples. They will move in vast waves across the earth, up and down and to and fro upon it. They will mix and mingle. There will be no nation-states because there will be no  nations. Along what courses the human currents flow, from where to where, will be decided, regulated, and organized by the World Government. 

The plan is laid out in the UN’s Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, signed in Morocco in December, 2018, by most of the UN’s member countries – including countries that no one in the world wants to migrate into such as Venezuela, and some like Cuba from which no one is allowed to migrate out of. (The countries that have not signed on to it are: Austria, Australia, Bulgaria, Chile, Croatia, the Czech Republic, the Dominican Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland and the United States of America.)     

Though the “non-binding” compact declares a policy which, if implemented, will make nation-states obsolete, it does not say that it is against them, or against their right and duty to protect their sovereignty by guarding their borders. In fact, it slyly seems to insist on being for them. A sub-section of Clause 15 asserts: “The Global Compact reaffirms the sovereign right of States to determine their national migration policy and their prerogative to govern migration within their jurisdiction, in conformity with international law. Within their sovereign jurisdiction, States may distinguish between regular and irregular migration status, including as they determine their legislative and policy measures for the implementation of the Global Compact, taking into account different national realities, policies, priorities and requirements for entry, residence and work, in accordance with international law.”

Why doubt the sincerity of this emphatic “reaffirmation”? Where’s the catch? 

It’s in the repeated phrase “in accordance with international law”. What law would that be?

Why, UN law. 

UN law – according to the UN – overrules the laws of member states.

With what UN laws in particular do states’ decisions on immigration have to conform?

No surprise – “human rights law”.

And what are human rights according to the UN?

When the authors of the Global Compact for Migration come on to human rights, a deluge of familiar UN-speak Left-talk cascades down the page, including: “gender equality and empowerment of women and girls”; “eliminate all forms of discrimination, including racism, xenophobia, and intolerance against migrants and their families”; “mainstreams a gender perspective, promotes gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, recognizing their independence, agency and leadership in order to move away from addressing migrant women primarily through a lens of victimhood”; “promotes broad multi-stakeholder partnerships to address migration in all its dimensions by including migrants, diasporas, local communities, civil society, academia, the private sector, parliamentarians, trade unions, National Human Rights Institutions, the media and other relevant stakeholders in migration governance”

As to laws, the document cites its own Framework Convention on Climate Change, and its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – neither of which are in fact legally binding (and it remains arguable whether any United Nation “laws” are ever binding because the United Nations has no way of enforcing them if the states concerned choose to disregard them).  

We know from statements by its authors that the Framework Convention on Climate Change is intended to give the UN the power to redistribute wealth world-wide. 

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a high-minded document which affirms the UN’s determination to “abolish poverty and hunger”, and make everyone in the world well-educated, well-housed, healthy and happy –  without explaining how to fund the party. 

These are not documents of law. They are documents of ambition. 

But all too possibly the Global Compact for Migration will turn out to be a self-license for the UN to decide which countries migrants can or must move from, which countries they can or must move to – and to get them moving. 

A nation-state is a people’s home. If (when?) there are no nation-states we will all be homeless.   

The UN must be destroyed!

The would-be last and only religion 3

The purpose of Islam, the 1400-year-old movement, is to subjugate the world. The aggressive process by which this must be accomplished is called “jihad”. It is surely no more possible to be a Muslim – a follower of Islam – without being dedicated to the achievement of this end, by this means, than it would be possible to be a swimmer who never enters water. 

Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum, tells this story at Quadrant (read it in full here): 

A petite, pretty twenty-four-year-old Bangladeshi named Momena Shoma arrived in Melbourne on February 1, 2018, to study linguistics on an excellence scholarship at La Trobe University. Describing herself as “an introvert and very shy in nature”, she spoke of an ambition to become a university instructor. Coming from an affluent and secular Dhaka family which considered her “brilliant”, Momena had been an A student at some of the capital’s elite English-language educational institutions: Loreto School, Mastermind School and North South University (NSU). She graduated from NSU with an honours degree in English language and literature in 2016, then enrolled for a master’s degree at NSU before switching to La Trobe. 

Like many newly-arrived foreign students, Momena turned to the Australian Homestay Network (AHN), “Australia’s largest and leading homestay provider”, to find a family with which to board. She quickly settled in a home in Bundoora, near the university. 

What could be more innocent? Anyone worrying about her being dangerous because of her Muslim faith would have been called out for racism, chauvinism, xenophobia, bigotry and (that most dreadful of accusations)“Islamophobia”. That she wore a burka (the black full-body Islamic covering) only made such suspicions the more heinous. 

But, as Momena took a twenty-five-centimetre kitchen knife to her Bundoora room and repeatedly stabbed her bed, she signalled the danger to come. In the words of a magistrate, “She did the practice run on the mattress with the first family that hosted her and they felt intimidated enough to go to AHN, saying, ‘We’re scared, we don’t want her to continue living with us’.” Out she went, facing homelessness.

Responding to her urgent need for accommodation, the Singaravelu family—husband and nightshift nurse Roger (fifty-six), wife Maha (forty-five)and daughter Shayla (five)—welcomed Momena into their four-bedroom house in the suburb of Mill Park on February 7 for a few days until she found more permanent lodgings. Maha explained her motive in accepting Momena: “I felt for her, being in a foreign country. I put myself in her shoes and her parents’ shoes.”

Themselves immigrants from Malaysia, the Singaravelus had come to Australia thirty years ago, Roger explained, “to seek opportunity”.They had hosted foreign students since 2014 in a spirit of multiculturalism, of giving back, and of teaching tolerance to their daughter. A neighbour, Neil Fitzroy, described the Singaravelus as engaging and open, taking in foreign students to give them “an Australian experience”. 

Matters started well enough with Momena, Maha recalls: “She was very pleasant to deal with. She even offered to babysit our daughter if we ever went out.” Roger concurs: “Shoma gave a good impression right up before the attack.” He found her “well mannered” and noted that she spoke betterEnglish than he did.

Growing up in Malaysia, a Muslim-majority country, Roger tells me, he and Maha “understand the norms that are embraced by Muslims”. But AHN had not told the family that Momena wore a burka, and her appearance, Roger recounts, “gave us a shock when she first arrived at our doorstep”. That she “was constantly lifting the burka during meal times” to get food into her mouth made the family feel “uncomfortable having meals together”. Much less did AHN tell the couple about Momena having been thrown out of her previous homestay due to her practice at stabbing. And no one knew she had stolen the knife from the first homestay host.

On February 9, after two days with the Singaravelus, Momena struck. At 4.25 p.m., with Maha out of the house and Roger napping on a mattress in the lounge with his child in his arms, Momena, wearing her burka,used her stolen knife to stab her host in the neck. But the under-five-foot woman lacked the strength to cut the much larger Roger’s jugular vein, getting the knife only superficially into his neck—enough to make him bleed “like a fountain” but not enough to do him fatal damage.

In his words: “I thought I was dreaming as I felt a sharp pain on my neck. I woke up and started screaming.” He tried to pull the knife out as Momena leaned over him and pushed it in, yelling all the while, “Allahu Akbar!” He noted that “her eyes were so intense”. Roger continues:

I reactively grabbed onto the knife and fought [her] off … I was pleading with her for a good four, four and a half minutes and said, “Please let go [of the knife], Shoma. Please let go. We will talk.” All she [kept] saying was “Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar,” while my daughter was screaming here, and I told my daughter,“Run, Shayla, run.” 

Finally, Roger prevailed and pulled the blade out. After that, he says:

I managed to grab hold of my five-year-old daughter out of the house and rang Mustafa Osmanoski from my mobile, and he came to my aid immediately. When I managed to open the garage door, the neighbour across the road came to help me too.

Mustafa, seventy-six, a retired security guard of Macedonian origins, and his wife Safia, watched over a sullen and immobile Momena for twenty minutes as she awaited arrest, slumped against the wall of the room where her attack had taken place. The neighbours recount her saying that “It was a mission and that she had to do what she had to do.” 

To the police, she calmly elaborated that she had come to Australia not to study but to kill “in the name of God”. She expected that a knife stab to the neck “would be fatal”. Seeing herself as a foot soldier ofIslamic State (ISIS), Momena had planned the attack; indeed, before leaving Dhaka, she had told her younger sister Asmaul Husna, twenty-two, of her murderous plan. …

Her motive? Momena acknowledged bearing no personal grudge against Roger (who had spoken barely fifty words to her) but attacked him out of a sense of duty to “trigger the West”: meaning, to spur non-Muslims to attack Muslims, possibly leading to the chaos that brings on the End of Days. She explained: 

I had to do it … it could have been anyone, it’s not specifically him. He just seemed like a very easy target since he was sleeping, so yeah, and I had to push myself. I wouldn’t even hurt a rat. This, I just felt like if I don’t do it I will be sinful, I will be punished by Allah.  

Charged with attempted murder and one count of engaging in an act of terrorism, Momena proudly and defiantly presented herself in the magistrate’s court in August, wearing a niqab, as an ISIS soldier. She refused to stand for the magistrate or to enter a plea.

At the Victorian Supreme Court in September, the judge compelled her to take off the niqab and show her face to establish her identity as she made her plea. This time, Momena pleaded guilty to engaging intentionally in a terrorist act “with the intention of advancing a political,religious or ideological cause, namely violent jihad”. (The attempted murder charge was dropped.) 

Her sentencing will take place in January; the maximum penalty is life in prison. An online poll asked if she should be deported or incarcerated: after running for several weeks, the vote was overwhelmingly (84 to 16 per cent) in favour of deportation. 

Roger suffered cuts to his shoulder, severed tendons in his hand, and a ruptured vertebra in the neck. He recovered after surgery for injuries to his shoulder and neck. Testifying in April, he described the attack’s “devastating effects” on his family. Shayla was traumatised by what she witnessed: “She continues to experience nightmares and flashbacks, and requires psychological treatment. She still sees blood on the wall and asks me to clean it off, although there is nothing there.” …

 [T]ree days after Momena’s attack on February 9, a Dhaka Metropolitan Police team from the CTTC [Counter Terrorism Technology Centre?] went to the Shoma family home at the Royal Aroma Garden apartment building to investigate. … Momena’s sister Asmaul Husna (also known as Sumona), who also attended elite English-language schools, was “very rough” in her attitude. Then, the CTTC reports: “when the police officers were leaving, Sumona surprisingly launched a knife attack, shouting Allahu Akbar. She also said, ‘You are Kafirs [infidels]. We must establish the rule of Islam in the country. We must do jihad if necessary’.” A press account says she added, “I will kill [Bangladeshi Prime Minister] Sheikh Hasina, I will kill [Syrian President Bashar] Assad.They are all infidels. One day everyone will join jihad and Islam will rule the world.”

The injured policeman was taken to the hospital and quickly released. The CTTC subsequently found that, before departing forMelbourne, Momena had ordered her sister to murder a policeman and instructed her on the use of a knife. 

Within three days, then, the two sisters, both inspired by Islamic motives, had stabbed two victims in two countries. … 

Why did the Australian authorities allow Momena into the country after the government of Turkey (and perhaps those of Tunisia and the United States) had rejected her visa application?

The intrusive and “most dreaded“ Australian Form 80, required of all applicants for permanent residence and some for temporary residence, asks, “Have you ever been refused a visa to any country?” and “Have you … ever been associated with an organisation engaged in violence or engaged in acts of violence (including … terrorism)?” What value have these questions? …

The case of Momena Shoma crystallises the need for Australia and other Western countries to develop fair but rigorous mechanisms to exclude Islamists [ie. jihadis – ed] from their countries. Note: Islamists, not Muslims.

Yes, distinguishing the one from the other is a challenge, but, given adequate time, skill and funds, it can be done. 

Can it really?

How? 

Posted under Australia, Bangladesh, Islam, jihad, Muslims by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, December 12, 2018

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All about sex 2

There are only two sexes.

Tony Perkins writes at the Daily Signal (a Heritage publication):

Reading the headlines this week is like taking a trip to an alternate universe. Ten years ago, if you’d have said that in 2018 teachers would get fired for calling a girl a girl, most people wouldn’t have believed you. Unfortunately, that’s the ridiculous world Americans are waking up to every morning. But to most people’s relief, not everyone is playing along with this charade. And that includes President Donald Trump. 

Almost two years in, this administration is still trying to mop up the mess made by Barack Obama. And considering the huge disaster it inherited, it’s amazing how much progress the White House has already made rolling back the absurdity of Obama’s LGBT legacy. 

After squashing the government’s gender-free bathroom mandate, Trump moved on to the military. Now, he’s directed his agencies to make one of the most important changes of all: protecting the 54-year-old CivilRights Act. Obama chose to read the law the way he wanted — not how it was written by Congress. For the last few years of his administration, he started using his own interpretation of the Civil Rights Act to give special protections to people who identify as transgender. There’s just one problem:that’s not what the 1964 Congress meant — and it’s not what the statute says. …

So, Trump issued his own memo. For the purposes of his administration, the Justice Department explained, “sex discrimination” would not include “gender identity”.  

That was music to the ears of a lot more than conservatives.In the medical community, experts were relieved to see that the president’s policy matched what was wise and prudent for patients. In a letter to the departments of Justice, education, and Health and Human Services,  a coalition of doctors, bioethicists, therapists, academics, and policy groups all praised the president for taking a scientifically-sound approach. 

Dr. Michelle Cretella, head of the American College of Pediatricians, explained why that’s so important in an interview on Thursday’s “Washington Watch”.  The letter, she points out, represents the views of more than 30,000 physicians who all understand that gender identity is a very real threat to modern health care. “Transgenders are saying, ‘I think and feel this way,therefore, I am.’  And it’s one thing for us, as physicians, to treat the person with respect and honor their name change, but it would be a complete  malpractice to treat them as the opposite sex.”

As she explains, there is nothing any of us can do to change our binary, biologically-determined-at-conception sex. “A man on estrogen is not a woman. He is a man with a male physiology on estrogen, and that’s how a physician must approach him.”

The very serious problem, she points out, is that people are so ideologically-driven that they want to ignore the medical research. 

More than ever, Cretella says, “Medicine is at the point now where we understand that men and women have — at a minimum — 6,500 genetic differences between us. And this impacts every cell of our bodies — our organ systems, how diseases manifest, how we diagnose, and even treat in some cases.” 

Treating a person differently based on their feelings isn’t just harmful, she argues, but deadly. In cases like heart disease, certain drugs can endanger women and not men. Even diagnoses present differently in men and women. The symptoms for certain diseases, she explains, can manifest themselves in completely opposite ways. “And these are nuances that medicine is finally studying and bringing to light. And it’s actually ironic that the transgender movement [is] so anti-science. There is absolutely no rigorous science that has found a trait called ‘gender identity’ in the brain, body, or DNA. Now sex — I can show you that. It’s in our chromosomes. It’s in the body. It’s in the reproductive organs. Over 99.98 percent of the times, our sexual development is clearly and unambiguously either male or female.”

The sex differences, she explains, are real and consequential. If she had one message for America, Cretella said, it would be this: “Stick with science.”

Thank goodness for us, the president has.

It seems that the Left is opting for sterility. They are for “sex changes” which render the patient (or self-victimizer) infertile. They are for abortion as the normal way to deal with a pregnancy – on the grounds that it is good for a woman’s health!   

Could hatred of humankind be taken any further? 

Posted under Sex by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, December 11, 2018

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Looking on the funny side of identity politics 1

No one comments on the state of our world and human folly as well as Mark Steyn does:

Posted under Comedy by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, December 11, 2018

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A bold proposal for saving the human race 8

In the play Lysistrata by Aristophanes, the women of Athens refuse sexual encounters of any kind with the men. (To force them to end the war with Sparta, but that’s irrelevant to this article.)

It provides a precedent for our proposal.

We suggest that the time has come for heterosexual men to refuse sexual encounters of any kind with women.

The feminist movement has persuaded Western women – the most advantaged class of human being in all history – that they are victims of men. They advocate and practice spiteful action against them. Even to the point of ruining their reputations so severely, so completely, that the targeted men lose their livelihood, their families, their homes, their hopes (as in David Mamet’s play Oleanna).

The “womyn” declare that all men are rapists by nature, whether they rape or not. They deny a man due process if he is accused, fairly or unfairly, of a sexual advance of any kind from the mildest of compliments to rape.

Masculinity as such they routinely, platitudinously, label “toxic”.

So men in business are leaving office doors open when they have to deal with a woman in the same room. And they keep recording devices on for future defense against false accusation. They are becoming reluctant to employ women.

A male student will avoid sitting next to a female student in case – since he says nothing to her, takes pains not to touch her or offend her in any imaginable way  – he is accused of breathing too hard. That would bring him before the school tribunal, which would read the accusation to him, refuse to hear what he has to say about it, and immediately impose draconian punishment on him.

So a man hesitates to approach a woman. Decides against asking a woman to go out with him. Avoids telling a woman that he likes the way she looks, or speaks, or acts.

So men cannot woo women. Will not marry. Will not have children.

If men find a way to woo and wed, they live in fear of the marriage failing; because if it does, they will lose their property and income, and their children, to the disgruntled wife.

Clearly the time has come for men to give up.

To stop fighting the losing battle.

To break off sexual relations with the opposite sex.

Women will say they don’t care.

At first.

But they soon will.

Posted under Sex, United States by Jillian Becker on Sunday, December 9, 2018

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Climate alarmism: an agenda of global domination 4

When Barack Obama said nonsensically that he led “from behind”, he was simply excusing his inability to lead, and – though he did not mean to – demonstrating his weakness and cowardice.

Who except the former affirmative-action president doesn’t know that “lead” means being in front and having others follow?

Well, “his know-nothing fans” is the answer.

Now President Trump leads.

Politicians are rising in Europe who follow him in wanting to make their nations great again – by recovering national self-determination, stopping the intrusion of Third World hordes into their countries, and focusing on protecting the freedom and promoting the prosperity of their citizens rather than trying to affect the climate conditions of the next century.

In short, they see the need to act against the aggressive International Left.

And not only in Europe are they coming to power, but in South America too.

From Breitbart, by Thomas D. Williams:

Brazil’s new foreign minister said this week that his “main mission” in office is to combat the Marxist ideology of the preceding regime, including “climate alarmism” and abortion.

Ernesto Araújo, named as future foreign minister by president-elect Jair Bolsonaro, said that putting an end to Marxist ideology in Brazil’s foreign policy is “the main mission that the president has entrusted to me” in an op-ed published in the Gazeta do Povo newspaper.

According to Araújo, the Workers’ Party (PT), which governed Brazil for 13 years under Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff, turned the country’s foreign policy into a tool to spread Marxist ideology, and the mission of the new administration is to dismantle that apparatus.

Among the Marxist elements pushed by the PT, Araújo cited climatic alarmism, knee-jerk third-worldism, adherence to abortionist policies in international forums, and the destruction of the identity of peoples through mass immigration.

“All these are elements of the PT’s ideology, that is, of Marxism,” he said.

“To cure a disease it is not enough to say that we detest it; it is necessary to know its causes and manifestations, its strategies and its disguises,” the minister said.

In an earlier blogpost, the future minister went into greater depth regarding his understanding of the aims of the climate change lobby.

“This dogma has served to justify increasing the regulatory power of states over the economy and the power of international institutions over national states and their populations,” Araújo wrote in mid-October, “as well as to stifle economic growth in democratic capitalist countries and foster China’s growth.”

Araújo, who is a vocal supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump, said that China is the enemy of the West and that the globalist movement wants to transfer the economic power of the West to that country.

The minister’s words this week coincided with an announcement by the president-elect that Brazil has withdrawn its offer to host the United Nations COP25 climate summit in 2019, citing “current fiscal and budgetary constraints” as well as “the transition process for the newly elected administration’.

Greenpeace reacted strongly to the news, saying that the new government had “shamed the climate agenda” and lost an opportunity to position Brazil as a “climate leader” on the international stage.

“Shamed the climate agenda”? They mean the new Brazilian government makes “the climate agenda” look shameful.

Which it is.

In a statement this week, Greenpeace went on to call President-elect Bolsonaro, who will take office on January 1, an “environmental threat”, while lamenting that the new foreign minister Ernesto Araújo “believes that climate change is no more than a major international conspiracy, something that functions as an agenda of global domination”.

Which is exactly what it is.

Posted under Brazil, Climate, communism, Environmentalism, Leftism, United States by Jillian Becker on Thursday, December 6, 2018

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“Pericles, Alexander, Augustus, Charlemagne, Churchill, Reagan, Thatcher” – Trump? 14

That a serious and excellent historian should even be considering whether President Trump will qualify to stand among the greatest of the great leaders of history, is a tribute to him that could most satisfactorily rile the Democrats if they were to hear of it.

Victor Davis Hanson is the historian who reflects on President Trump’s ambition for America and how leaders who had similar aims in the past succeeded and failed.

He writes at American Greatness to answer his own question, ”Does ‘make X great again’ ever happen in history?”

The short answer: Sometimes.

Here’s one example. By 527 A.D., the Eastern Roman Empire at Constantinople seemed fated to collapse like the West had a near century prior. The Persian Sassanids were gobbling up Byzantine lands in the east. Almost all of old Rome west of Greece had already been lost.

A growing and unsustainable administrative state exercised near control of Constantinople. Christianity was splintering into irrelevant factionalism. The law was a selective mess.

Justinian was certainly an unlikely emperor: an outsider of peasant stock from the northern frontier, an Eastern Latin rather than Greek speaker (and likely the last native Latin-speaking emperor), who would marry an infamous but shrewd courtesan, Theodora.

Yet in some 38 years of sometimes brutal rule, Justinian through the leadership of his brilliant generals, Belisarius and Narses, stabilized the eastern borders. He reclaimed for eastern Rome North Africa, Sicily, much of Italy, and some of Spain, often through small, well-organized armies and prudent alliances. He reformed the bureaucracy, systematized Roman law (Codex Justinianus), and built the magnificent Christian cathedral of Hagia Sophia — the largest church in the world for a thousand years.

Justinian might have done even far more had not a devastating three-year epidemic of bubonic plague spiked and wiped out a quarter of the empire’s population. The millions of losses created a permanent manpower shortage that left the Byzantines vulnerable to relentless Gothic enemies in Western Europe — and ultimately, a century and a half later, the conquests of new Islamic armies in the Middle East and North Africa.

Because from the get-go, Islam has been a religion of war, as it is now. 

The outsider Justinian’s agendas were those of many past reformers and restorers: apply the law equally and rationally, control government finances, restore the value of the currency, unite and inspire the population with iconic buildings and new infrastructure, reform and enhance religious practice [hmm], and offer predictable and steady rule.

History is replete with leaders who wish to perpetuate the status quo and to manage supposed permanent decline, but less frequently witnesses a few successful “great again” reformers of various stripes and agendas, both elected and the more ruthless (e.g., Pericles, Alexander, Augustus, Constantine, Charlemagne, Elizabeth, Catherine the Great, Joseph II, Lincoln, Churchill).

In our own time, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher are the most notable restorers. Both came into power at a time when the English-speaking West was considered near spent.

A much talked about “crisis of confidence” and “malaise” had led to general British and American depression about the costs of containing global communism. No one seemed to know what to do about the economy — given stubborn stagflation, low growth, high unemployment and inflation, and a rising “misery” index.

Oil shortages and rising prices were proof of “peak” oil in a dependent West — and permanent reliance on corrupt Middle-East petrodollar kingdoms. Radical Islam and Middle East terrorism were on the rise. 

They were the same thing.

But then so were ascendant “Tiger” economies in Asia that seemed in perpetuity would make cars, steel and just plain stuff better and cheaper than in Detroit or Manchester.

The cultural residue of the Sixties made any call for reformation and renewal seem quaint and hokey.

The late Sixties of the last century being when the New Left began its “long march through the institutions”; which succeeded in the twenty-first century in the almost total takeover of education in the West, and culminated in the election of Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States. These were the Cold War victories of communism.

The United States would no doubt follow Britain’s postwar trajectory.

Downwards.

Declinism — supposedly due to moral nihilism, debt, spiritual emptiness, permanent energy shortages, Cold War militarism, laziness, statism, corruption — was thematic in think tanks and current in-the-know books. …

By “spiritual emptiness” was meant a desertion from the Christian churches. Of course, we see that as one good trend among all those undeniable evils.

After the end of the roaring 1960s and late 1970s, both Thatcher and Reagan were written off as near kooks, advocating strong defense, renewed nationalism, optimism, traditionalism, limited government, lower taxes, smaller government, and free-market deregulation — as pathways to a new muscular Britain and renewed superpower United States.

The results of their revolutions were the collapse of global communism …

That is to say, the collapse of the Soviet Union and its empire in Eastern Europe. As pointed out above, the ideology of communism was not defeated but steadily on its way to its greatest triumphs. But much was restored through the political victories of Reagan and Thatcher. Much was made greater.

…  the eventual restoration of Anglo-American international finance, recalibrated American entrepreneurism, and energy renaissances. Certainly the United States today in terms of technology, defense, agriculture, fossil fuel production, and higher education towers over its competitors in ways that would have seemed impossible in the 1970s.

Higher education? Well yes, in the sciences and technology. In innovation. Despite the ever more arrogant imposition of Leftist orthodoxy in the academies.

The idea of a Trump economic restoration in 2015-2016 seemed equally absurd. Larry Summers had assured us that annualized 3 percent GDP growth was the stuff of “fantasies.” He predicted instead a recession at 18 months of the Trump term, while Paul Krugman insisted on a market collapse in early 2017 with dubious chances of recovery.

We could never “drill our way out” of an energy crisis—so Obama had insisted and wrote off the very idea of a manufacturing rebound as some myth requiring a “magic wand”. Massive illegal immigration was a permanent fact of life, as was the new demography and identity politics. We were apparently to live with the Iran Deal and though not spoken, an eventual nuclear Iran. Nuclear missiles pointed at the West Coast from North Korea required “strategic patience.”

“Lead from behind” …

Surely the most absurd of Obama’s many absurd formulations!

… diplomacy relied on an international consensus of the sort illustrated by the Paris Accord and permanent refugee status of the Palestinians — as well as avoidance of disruptive moves likes leveraging NATO partners to meet their promised contributions, moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, considering taboo tariffs to trim China’s huge surpluses and its assumption that its ascendance to global hegemony was a matter of when, not if.

Trump had lots of assets and advantages in seeking to restore U.S. power and prosperity. American research universities dominate global education. American frackers had produced more natural gas and oil than ever thought possible. Agriculture had never been more productive, and the United States had unused leverage and economic clout to recalibrate trade deals and alliances in a more symmetrical fashion.

The dilemma of Trump’s restoration was similar to that of many radical reformers: being an abject outsider meant he was beholden to few insiders and was largely immune from stifling and ossifying establishment groupthink. Yet his pariah status also ensured little inside help, lots of status quo deep state venom, and a learning curve required to rein in the chariot of a huge and dangerous bureaucracy.

No one knows how this latest historical effort to make great again a perceived ailing state will play out. On the plus side, Trump has sought to restore traditional jurisprudence through impressive judicial nominations. He has praised rather than lectured business and helped to free the animal spirits of capitalism. Trump cut rather than raised taxes, deregulated rather than stymied entrepreneurialism, and expanded energy leasing on federal lands and green-lighted pipeline construction.  His current foreign policy team of Bolton, Mattis, and Pompeo is impressive and seeks to restore U.S. deterrence that will bring far more stability to the world than mushy lead from behind subordination. A possible Chinese agreement to cut their trade surpluses and play by international trading rules, and a North Korean guarantee of denuclearization would be the most significant foreign policy developments since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Where has Trump’s MAGA agenda stalled?

And why? Who stalled it?

Answer: The Republican Party:

A Republican majority House and Senate squandered a rare chance for radical change between 2017-2018 by failing to repeal and reform Obamacare, failing to build a border wall, failing to pass an immigration law that would secure the border and ensure only meritocratic, legal, diverse and measured immigration, and failing to stop out of control spending and debt by addressing unsustainable entitlements.

Both both President Trump and the Republican Party failed to foresee how low the Democrats would sink:

Trump and the Republican Party also have underestimated the effects of radical changes and protocols in voting laws, such as voter harvesting in California that has made Election Day totals largely irrelevant. Trump has neither chipped away at the 90-percent negative coverage of the media nor yet made it irrelevant. …

Inept Justice Department decisions led to the venomous Mueller investigation that ignored real wrongdoing as it chased a Trump collusion unicorn. In some sense, if Trump’s election as the first president without either political or military experience was unprecedented, equally unparalleled was a 90 percent hostile media, coup-like attempts to abort a presidency through absurd resorts to the Logan Act, Emoluments Clause, the 25th Amendment, lawsuits, impeachment writs, and non-stop celebrity talk of assassination, and death and destruction to the Trump family. Almost any other man Trump’s age would long ago have collapsed under the stress and venom.

The future of Trump’s solid two years of achievement is uncertain. The more his economic policies and foreign affairs bring results, the more the hatred of him grows, both inside and outside his own party.

So Trump’s three signature long-term agendas hang in the balance — checking China’s often ruthless rise to global commercial and eventual military supremacy, growing an economy that includes preeminent American manufacturing, energy production, and industrial output, and ending the idea of a bicoastal elite adjudicating politics and culture for a supposedly backward and declining traditional interior.

No one knows quite how to fathom Trump’s paradox. His extraordinary powers of resilience and retaliation stave off the constant assaults from progressives and the media, and such defiance inspires a red-state America. Yet so far Trump’s caustic retorts also stymie winning over enough swing and minority voters to achieve a 51 percent ruling majority to ensure his ideas of restored greatness.

Is that so? His tweets are his undoing? Yet they are instant communications with his constituency. His loyal followers like them. And their votes put him in the White House.

For now, Trump’s fate may be in the hands of others—as it was in 2016 when what put him over the top was wide scale repugnance at the thought of a corrupt President Clinton and all that her victory would entail. The final take-over of the Democratic Party by progressive extremists might well empower Trump to reelection.

Yet it is a scary idea that the fate of making America great again might hinge on the nihilism of the Democratic Party.

Not if the Democratic Party is defeated in 2020.

It is quite possible, it is even likely, that Donald Trump will be one of the great restorers of history whose achievements endure.

President George H. W. Bush 2

From our Facebook page we quote this summary of an interesting article, with which we almost entirely agree, by Ashley Hamilton at American Greatness, with our introductory comment:

It is not nice to speak ill of the dead. But it is necessary to tell the truth about dead presidents:

When the Berlin Wall came down and all Europe was freed, President George Herbert Walker Bush refused to go to Berlin, because he chose “evenhandedness over elation”. The end of the Cold War was not his finest hour. Were the people of East Germany, Prague, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia not owed a speech by the leader of the free world? Not worthy of an address? Were the survivors of both Hitler and Stalin not a big enough audience to attract the president’s attention? Apparently not. President Bush went to Kiev instead, where he told Ukrainians to be . . . Russians! He came to a city that had been starved of freedom. He came to a country that had been destroyed by famine. He came to praise stability by preaching against “suicidal nationalism”! He came at a great turning point in history. But he was not a great American president.

Ashley Hamilton’s full last line is:

He was a great man who was not a good president.

But all that matters about him to America, to the world, to present and future generations, is his presidency.

*

Michelle Malkin issued a reminder that …

…the Bush regime and the Bush dynasty [stand for] something that impoverishes the American worker. It grows the deep state at the expense of small businesses and liberty. The elitism of the Bush wing of the Republican party is what Trump defeated, and I think he has to remember that’s why he’s in the office — because of the adamant rejection of that attitude and those policies.

Posted under communism, Eastern Europe, Soviet Union, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Monday, December 3, 2018

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The camel’s nose 3

The camel’s nose is under the tent.

This camel – named Jihad – has thrust his nose far under the tent of the United States’ federal government.

There were two Muslims in Congress: Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), now attorney-general of Minnesota, and Andre Carson (D-Ind.), still a member of the House of Representatives.

Two more have been elected: Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and Ilhan Omar (D-MN), who took her brother as a second husband. For her, laws against bigamy, incest, visa-cheating and perjury are being ignored.

For them, Congress is already prepared to change one of its rules.

Time magazine reports:

The new rule was co-authored by Omar, Rep. Jim McGovern, ranking Democrat on the Rules Committee, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. The proposal states that it will “ensure religious expression” and “clarify in the rules that religious headwear is permitted to be worn in the House chamber”.

So Ilhan Omar can be in obedience to the rules when she wears her hijab in the House. No scofflaw she!

It is as if, to the Democrats, 9/11 never happened.

How far (we wonder) will a Democrat-dominated House go to allow the customs and even the laws of Islam to take preference over, and so supersede, the customs and laws of the United States?

How far into the tent will the camel be allowed to intrude?

This is how Robert Spencer concludes his book The History of Jihad from Muhammad to ISIS*. (We highly recommend it. If only every leader and government official in the non-Muslim world, and every teacher at every education level, would read it and keep it for continual reminder of the appalling threat that Islam poses to us all!)

In the twenty-first century, the leaders of Europe, as well as many in North America, have brought almost certain doom on their countries no less unmistakable that that which befell Constantinople on May 29, 1453. Instead of taking responsibility for what they have done, they have doggedly stayed their course. They would have denounced the doomed Emperor Constantine XI, like his tragic predecessor Manuel II, as “Islamophobic”, and his exhortation to defend Constantinople to the death as “militaristic” and “xenophobic”. 

Muhammad is supposed to have said it so long ago: “I have been made victorious through terror.” In the early twenty-first century, he is being proven correct. As the fourteen-hundred-year Islamic jihad against the free world continues to advance, the best allies the warriors of jihad have are the very people they have in their sights.

Constantinople was a center of high civilization. In a section titled The Fall of Constantinople of Chapter Six of Spencer’s book, The Jihad Advances Into Europe, he describes what happened to the Christian, Greek-speaking population.

[T]hey made the streets run with blood. Historian Steven Runciman notes that the Muslims “slew everyone that they met in the streets, men, women, and children without discrimination. The blood ran in rivers down the steep streets from the heights of Petra toward the Golden Horn”. …

Muslims raided  monasteries and convents, emptying them of their inhabitants, and plundered private houses. They entered the Hagia Sophia, which for nearly a thousand years had been the grandest church in Christendom. The faithful had gathered within its hallowed walls to pray during the city’s last agony. … The Muslims then killed the elderly and weak and led the rest off into slavery.

There was one unintended consequence of the conquest that was beneficial to Europe and eventually to the world.

In the Eastern Roman Empire, of which Constantinople was the hub and the capital, classical learning had survived. That is noted by Spencer. We would add that it had been almost totally extinguished in the West by the spread of Christianity.

The Muslim conquest of the great city and its empire released golden stores of pre-Christian culture to revitalize the moribund West.

Spencer writes:

One consequence of the fall of Constantinople was the emigration of Greek intellectuals to Western Europe. Muslim territorial expansion at Byzantine expense led so many Greeks to seek refuge in the West that Western universities became filled with Platonists and Aristotelians to an unprecedented extent. This led to the rediscovery of classical philosophy and literature and to an intellectual and cultural flowering the like of which the world had never seen (and still hasn’t).

First the dawn of the Renaissance, then the sunburst of the Enlightenment. That was the spring of our great civilization, one of the highest achievements of which was the founding of the United States of America – under a Constitution which came as near as any idea ever could to establishing an ideal political order.

That civilization, and that political order, are what Islam now threatens to destroy. And the very people who should be striving hardest to prevent the destruction, in America as in Europe, are helping the destroyers – the jihadists of Islam – to accomplish their terrible ends.

*

From Creeping Sharia:

At least 128 American Muslims ran for office in 2018. At least 57 were elected to local, state, and national positions. Numbers haven’t been that high since 2000, when about 700 Muslims ran, and 153 were elected.

 

*The History of Jihad from Muhammad to ISIS by Robert Spencer, Post Hill Press, New York, 2018.

Posted under Islam, jihad, Muslims, United States by Jillian Becker on Sunday, December 2, 2018

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