Fighting the ctrl-left in Canada

From Rebel Media.

Last night, approximately 750 Canadians from all walks of life came to the Rebel’s Freedom Rally to protest M103, the Liberal motion to oppose “Islamophobia” — that is, the criticism of Islam.

Speakers included Faith Goldy, Pierre Lemieux, Chris Alexander, Kellie Leitch, Brad Trost, Charles McVety, and Rebel Commander Ezra Levant.

Some of those at the event had been born in the Middle East and were distressed to see de facto blasphemy laws on the verge of coming to their adopted country.

Wrong White privilege pin colour!

This month the students at Elizabethtown College in US “are wearing white pins in the shape of puzzle pieces to remind them of their white privilege.”

The campaign was launched over the weekend by the Elizabethtown College Democrats, who say it aims to make students at the small and private liberal arts college in Pennsylvania more introspective about issues of race, especially in their predominantly white region of Lancaster County.

“Discussions about race are often perceived as being only open to people of color, but I think it is just as important for white people to partake in conversations about race,” Aileen Ida, president of the College Democrats, told The College Fix via email.

Obviously these students have right to pay $56,200 in tuition and fees to make a fool of themselves but at the very least they should get the colour of the pin consistent with history. The appropriate colour for the pin should be blue for the following reason.

The Pact of Umar, an apocryphal treaty between the Muslims and the Christians, that later gained a canonical status in Islamic jurisprudence states the following.

Obligation to identify non-Muslims as such by clipping the heads’ forelocks and by always dressing in the same manner, wherever they go, with binding the zunar (a kind of belt) around the waists. Christians to wear blue belts or turbans, Jews to wear yellow belts or turbans, Zoroastrians to wear black belts or turbans, and Samaritans to wear red belts or turbans.

Given that most of the White students are Christians, the appropriate colour for the pin should be blue. Using white as the pin colour leaves them aligned with the Ku Klux Klan. Is that really the message these students want to send? Even the Nazis got it right historically, when they specified yellow as the colour for the star that Jews had to wear as a badge.

Of course this left the Taliban in Afghanistan in a quandary, when they specified, during their  rule from 1996 to late 2001, that the Hindus had to wear badges in public to identify themselves. With no precedence for Hindus in the Islamic jurisprudence, they selected yellow as the colour of choice for these badges, thus staying within the confines of the Pact of Umar.

Michael Flynn’s political assassination by the Deep State

US continues its march toward a Banana Republic status with an out of control intelligence community in tow. The Week opines.

The United States is much better off without Michael Flynn serving as national security adviser. But no one should be cheering the way he was brought down.

The whole episode is evidence of the precipitous and ongoing collapse of America’s democratic institutions — not a sign of their resiliency. Flynn’s ouster was a soft coup (or political assassination) engineered by anonymous intelligence community bureaucrats. The results might be salutary, but this isn’t the way a liberal democracy is supposed to function.

Unelected intelligence analysts work for the president, not the other way around. Far too many Trump critics appear not to care that these intelligence agents leaked highly sensitive information to the press — mostly because Trump critics are pleased with the result. “Finally,” they say, “someone took a stand to expose collusion between the Russians and a senior aide to the president!” It is indeed important that someone took such a stand. But it matters greatly who that someone is and how they take their stand. Members of the unelected, unaccountable intelligence community are not the right someone, especially when they target a senior aide to the president by leaking anonymously to newspapers the content of classified phone intercepts, where the unverified, unsubstantiated information can inflict politically fatal damage almost instantaneously.

Bloomberg notes.

There is another component to this story as well — as Trump himself just tweeted. It’s very rare that reporters are ever told about government-monitored communications of U.S. citizens, let alone senior U.S. officials. The last story like this to hit Washington was in 2009 when Jeff Stein, then of CQ, reported on intercepted phone calls between a senior Aipac lobbyist and Jane Harman, who at the time was a Democratic member of Congress.

Normally intercepts of U.S. officials and citizens are some of the most tightly held government secrets. This is for good reason. Selectively disclosing details of private conversations monitored by the FBI or NSA gives the permanent state the power to destroy reputations from the cloak of anonymity. This is what police states do.

In the past it was considered scandalous for senior U.S. officials to even request the identities of U.S. officials incidentally monitored by the government (normally they are redacted from intelligence reports). John Bolton’s nomination to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations was derailed in 2006 after the NSA confirmed he had made 10 such requests when he was Undersecretary of State for Arms Control in George W. Bush’s first term. The fact that the intercepts of Flynn’s conversations with Kislyak appear to have been widely distributed inside the government is a red flag.

All this was not an isolated event as WaPo notes.

Nine current and former officials, who were in senior positions at multiple agencies at the time of the calls, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.

More disturbing is the release of SIGNIT related to this case.

President Trump’s national security adviser, Gen. Michael Flynn, was forced to resign on Monday night as a result of getting caught lying about whether he discussed sanctions in a December telephone call with a Russian diplomat. The only reason the public learned about Flynn’s lie is because someone inside the U.S. government violated the criminal law by leaking the contents of Flynn’s intercepted communications.

In the spectrum of crimes involving the leaking of classified information, publicly revealing the contents of SIGINT — signals intelligence — is one of the most serious felonies. Journalists (and all other nongovernmental citizens) can be prosecuted under federal law for disclosing classified information only under the narrowest circumstances; reflecting how serious SIGINT is considered to be, one of those circumstances includes leaking the contents of intercepted communications, as defined this way by 18 § 798 of the U.S. Code:

The key will be to watch if there is any follow through on this.

The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said Tuesday that the most significant question posed by the resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn is why intelligence officials eavesdropped on his calls with the Russian ambassador and later leaked information on those calls to the press.

“I expect for the FBI to tell me what is going on, and they better have a good answer,” said Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which is conducting a review of Russian activities to influence the election. “The big problem I see here is that you have an American citizen who had his phone calls recorded.”

Given Trump’s propensity to never back down from a fight, this angle might lead to interesting results if the investigation proceeds in that direction.

The abrupt resignation Monday evening of White House national security adviser Michael Flynn is the culmination of a secret, months-long campaign by former Obama administration confidantes to handicap President Donald Trump’s national security apparatus and preserve the nuclear deal with Iran, according to multiple sources in and out of the White House who described to the Washington Free Beacon a behind-the-scenes effort by these officials to plant a series of damaging stories about Flynn in the national media.

The effort, said to include former Obama administration adviser Ben Rhodes—the architect of a separate White House effort to create what he described as a pro-Iran echo chamber—included a small task force of Obama loyalists who deluged media outlets with stories aimed at eroding Flynn’s credibility, multiple sources revealed.

Cliodynamics and projection of political instability

Peter Urchin is a scientist, author and founder of a new transdisciplinary field of Cliodynamics (from Clio, the muse of history, and dynamics, the study of why things change with time), which uses the tools of complexity science and cultural evolution to study the dynamics of historical empires and modern nation-states. It is the “area of research at the intersection of historical macrosociology, economic history/cliometrics, mathematical modeling of long-term social processes, and the construction and analysis of historical databases.”

In 2010 he stated the following:

Quantitative historical analysis reveals that complex human societies are affected by recurrent — and predictable — waves of political instability (P. Turchin and S. A. Nefedov Secular Cycles Princeton Univ. Press; 2009). In the United States, we have stagnating or declining real wages, a growing gap between rich and poor, overproduction of young graduates with advanced degrees, and exploding public debt. These seemingly disparate social indicators are actually related to each other dynamically. They all experienced turning points during the 1970s. Historically, such developments have served as leading indicators of looming political instability.

Very long ‘secular cycles’ interact with shorter-term processes. In the United States, 50-year instability spikes occurred around 1870, 1920 and 1970, so another could be due around 2020. We are also entering a dip in the so-called Kondratiev wave, which traces 40-60-year economic-growth cycles. This could mean that future recessions will be severe. In addition, the next decade will see a rapid growth in the number of people in their twenties, like the youth bulge that accompanied the turbulence of the 1960s and 1970s. All these cycles look set to peak in the years around 2020.

He has since updated his views.

My research showed that about 40 seemingly disparate (but, according to cliodynamics, related) social indicators experienced turning points during the 1970s. Historically, such developments have served as leading indicators of political turmoil. My model indicated that social instability and political violence would peak in the 2020s…

My model tracks a number of factors. Some reflect the developments that have been noticed and extensively discussed: growing income and wealth inequality, stagnating and even declining well-being of most Americans, growing political fragmentation and governmental dysfunction (see Return of the Oppressed). But most social scientists and political commentators tend to focus on a particular slice of the problem. It’s not broadly appreciated that these developments are all interconnected. Our society is a system in which different parts affect each other, often in unexpected ways.

Furthermore, there is another important development that has been missed by most commentators: the key role of “elite overproduction” in driving waves of political violence, both in historical societies and in our own (see Blame Rich, Overeducated Elites as Our Society Frays). As I wrote three years ago, “Increasing inequality leads not only to the growth of top fortunes; it also results in greater numbers of wealth-holders. The ‘1 percent’ becomes ‘2 percent.’ Or even more. … from 1983 to 2010 the number of American households worth at least $10 million grew to 350,000 from 66,000. Rich Americans tend to be more politically active than the rest of the population. … In technical terms, such a situation is known as ‘elite overproduction.’ … Elite overproduction generally leads to more intra-elite competition that gradually undermines the spirit of cooperation, which is followed by ideological polarization and fragmentation of the political class. This happens because the more contenders there are, the more of them end up on the losing side. A large class of disgruntled elite-wannabes, often well-educated and highly capable, has been denied access to elite positions.”

Craft Whisky

Now that every young hip urban metrosexual is drinking “craft beer” made by a “hobbyist” with distinctly anti-Trump views in a “microbrewery”, you don’t have to be left behind if you are older and wiser. Beckon the rise of “craft whisky”! In particular, Balcones from Texas.

After a tumultuous two years between the founders and the money, their new operation in Waco is up to speed producing great whisky and a bourbon with Texas corn. The old single malt that won all the awards, is what is being shipped now and it was made under the railroad trestle at the old location. The new production, in their historic warehouse property, will start shipping sometime in the summer.

800-year financial perspective

The linked article, “Venetians, Volcker and Value-at-Risk: 8 centuries of bond market reversals” by Paul Schmelzing, a financial historian atHarvard University, delves into the esoteric details of the fixed income market but some stated facts are relevant for general discussion.

Paul Schmelzing, Harvard UniversityThe economist Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk once opined that “the cultural level of a nation is mirrored by its interest rate: the higher a people’s intelligence and moral strength, the lower the rate of interest”. But as rates reached their lowest level ever in 2016, investors rather worried about the “biggest bond market bubble in history” coming to a violent end. The sharp sell-off in global bonds following the US election seems to confirm their fears. Looking back over eight centuries of data, I find that the 2016 bull market was indeed one of the largest ever recorded. History suggests this reversal will be driven by inflation fundamentals, and leave investors worse off than the 1994 “bond massacre”.

Chart 1: The Global risk free rate since 1285

Chart 2: Length and size of bull markets since 1285

As chart 2 shows, over 800 years only two previous episodes – the rally at the height of Venetian commercial dominance in the 15th century, and the century following the Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis  in 1559 – recorded longer continued risk-free rate compressions. The same is true if we measure the period by average decline in yields per annum, from peak to trough. With 33 bps, only the rallies following the War of the Spanish Succession, and the election of Charles V as Holy Roman Emperor surpass the bond performance since Paul Volcker’s “war on inflation”.

The article goes on to conclude, “On balance, then, more than to a 1994-style meltdown, fixed income assets seem about to be confronted with dynamics similar to the second half of the 1960s, coupled with complications of a 2003-style curve steepening. By historical standards, this implies sustained double-digit losses on bond holdings, subpar growth in developed markets, and balance sheet risks for banking systems with a large home bias.”

“Republicans to gut ethics office”, flavour added

Once again BBC hyperventilates about the misdeeds of Republicans and informs us of the following.

Republicans have ditched a plan to gut the independent body that investigates political misconduct after a backlash.

The lawmakers’ surprise vote to strip the Office of Congressional Ethics of its independence prompted public uproar and a dressing down from Donald Trump…

The secretive move, which overshadowed the first day of the 115th Congress, was reversed in an emergency meeting.

Perhaps some background material is in order to put this in perspective.

Jun 10, 2010 (recall that during this period Democrats controlled the House and the Senate). Liberal publication Politico informs us of the following:

Lawmakers seek to gut ethics office

The Office of Congressional Ethics, a powerful symbol of Democrats’ promise to “drain the swamp” in Washington, is in danger of having its power stripped after the midterm elections.

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus have led the charge, airing complaints about the aggressive, independent panel in a private session with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last month, and they’ve drafted a resolution that, if approved, would severely curtail the panel’s power.

Jan 2, 2017. Liberal publication WaPo informs us of the following:

The 119-to-74 vote during a GOP conference meeting means that the House rules package expected to be adopted Tuesday, the first day of the 115th Congress, would rename the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) as the Office of Congressional Complaint Review and place it under the oversight of the House Ethics Committee.

Under the proposed new rules, the office could not employ a spokesman, investigate anonymous tips or refer criminal wrongdoing to prosecutors without the express consent of the Ethics Committee, which would gain the power to summarily end any OCE probe.

The OCE was created in 2008 to address concerns that the Ethics Committee had been too timid in pursuing allegations of wrongdoing by House members. Under the current House ethics regime, the OCE is empowered to release a public report of its findings even if the Ethics Committee chooses not to take further action against a member.

The move to place the OCE under the Ethics Committee’s aegis stands to please many lawmakers who have been wary of having their dirty laundry aired by the independent entity, but some Republicans feared that rolling back a high-profile ethical reform would send a negative message as the GOP assumes unified control in Washington.

A bit of a different perspective than BBC, don’t you think? On top of that, this perspective is from liberal publications, which highlights how out of touch BBC has become.

EU, light at the end of the tunnel?

 Jan 7, 2017, German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel:

Germany’s insistence on austerity in the euro zone has left Europe more divided than ever and a break-up of the European Union is no longer inconceivable, German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel told Der Spiegel magazine. (emphasis added)

Gabriel, whose Social Democrats (SPD) are junior partner to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives in her ruling grand coalition, said strenuous efforts by countries like France and Italy to reduce their fiscal deficits came with political risks.

“I once asked the chancellor, what would be more costly for Germany: for France to be allowed to have half a percentage point more deficit, or for Marine Le Pen to become president?” he said, referring to the leader of the far-right National Front.

“Until today, she still owes me an answer,” added Gabriel…..

Is that because Merkel has suddenly realized that there are greater threats elsewhere?

Dec 31, 2016:, German Chancellor Angela Merkel:

Islamist terrorism is the biggest challenge facing Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel has said in her New Year message.

Sanctuary cities, a blessing in disguise?

One of the first order of battle for the Trump administration might be “sanctuary cities”. The list of sanctuary cities is a long one and includes several major cities.

800px-us_sanctuary_cities_map-svg

Mayors of several cities have already indicated that they will not cooperate with the federal government. Just the other day Rahm stated the following.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, President Barack Obama’s former chief of staff, said Monday at a news conference that city officials have been fielding calls from residents worried that it may change its status because of the threat from Trump.

“Since the presidential election, there has been a sense of uncertainty among many immigrant communities in Chicago and across the nation,” Emanuel said. “I want to assure all of our families that Chicago is and will remain a sanctuary city.”

The sanctuary city designation broadly means that local police will not coordinate with federal law enforcement in efforts to deport undocumented immigrants.

One option Trump has stated is to cut off funding for these cities. Another viable option is to proceed in a manner similar to what Eisenhower did in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Woodrow Wilson Mann, the mayor of Little Rock, asked President Eisenhower to send federal troops to enforce integration and protect the nine students. On September 24, the President ordered the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army—without its black soldiers, who rejoined the division a month later—to Little Rock and federalized the entire 10,000-member Arkansas National Guard, taking it out of the hands of Faubus.

A better option might be to consider devolution of power to States, i.e. strengthen the Tenth Amendment, thus reversing the recent trend which has seen power gradually erode at the State level. The law of unintended consequences, will ensure that the Democrats will come to severely regret the choice of making their cities a sanctuary for illegal immigrants, contrary to the wishes of the federal government. Who could foresee the adverse and unintended consequences of the Seventeenth Amendment when it was originally enacted?

Post-election US, lay of the land

It is time to tabulate the results of the 2016 election. At the federal level, Republicans control the White House, Senate and the House of Representatives. They will also get a chance to reshape the Supreme Court. How did this happen? Well it has been happening for a while, with gradual erosion of Democrats at the State level, which has in turn led to Clinton and Sanders, neither one of them a spring chicken, being the the only primary candidates. Contrast that with the Republican primary which started off with 17 candidates. This affect of extirpation of the farm-team cannot be underestimated.

Surprisingly that erosion has continued at the state level in this election. Republicans control a record 69 of 99 state legislative chambers, and wound up with at least 33 governorships, the most since 1922. All that is the net result of Obama’s own preternatural self-assurance and inability to heed lessons. For them it might get worse because in 2018, the Democrats must defend an 25 seats in their Senate caucus, many of them in states that Trump carried.

This first shot across the bow was Obama’s inability to understand or to heed the lessons of the election of Scott Brown in the liberal state of Masschusetts. This was followed by the 2010 election in which the “Republican Party gained 63 seats in the US House of Representatives and making it the largest seat change since 1948 and the largest for any midterm election since the 1938 midterm elections. The Republicans also gained 680 seats in state legislative races, to break the previous majority record of 628 set by Democrats in the post-Watergate elections of 1974.” Instead of addressing the issues, Obama decided to unleash the IRS on the Tea Party, in the true Chicago-way, which inexorably brings us to where we are today.

demseat

Some have received the memo, and the ‘publisher of The New York Times penned a letter to readers Friday promising that the paper would “reflect” on its coverage of this year’s election while rededicating itself to reporting on “America and the world” honestly.’ Other leftist are holding back less.

Others like Juncker have not received the memo. He stated the following.

“We will need to teach the president-elect what Europe is and how it works,” Juncker, arguably the EU’s most powerful politician, told students during a conference in Luxembourg, his home state. “I think we will waste two years before Mr. Trump tours the world he does not know.”

It is not a surprise that Juncker said that, but it is surprising that he was sober enough to be understood by the reporters.

All said “roughly 80 percent of the population living in a state either all or partially controlled by Republicans.”

No wonder there is talk of a Democrat civil war.

Progressives are itching to see the national apparatus reduced to rubble and rebuilt from scratch, with one of their own installed at the top.

And there is talk among some progressives, like Bill Clinton’s former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, about splitting from the Democratic Party entirely if they don’t get the changes they seek.

“The Democratic Party can no longer be the same, it has been repudiated,” Reich said on a conference call with members from the progressive grassroots group Democracy for America.

Heckuva job Obama!