The case against reparations 2

It is surely true to say that no matter who you are or where you come from, you have ancestors who were slaves and ancestors who owned slaves.

That alone is an argument against the idea that, on the grounds of an ancestral debt, people living now who do not and never have owned slaves, owe reparations to other people living now who are not and never have been slaves.

Yet a number of Americans – all Democratic Socialists, in a range of skin colors, some of them male but awfully sorry about it – who want to be president of the United States, are considering a policy of paying reparations to descendants of black slaves who were brought to America from Africa.

Those who are for it do not stipulate who will pay the reparations. All American tax-payers, including the descendants of slaves? All white American tax-payers? All Americans who have some white ancestors? Or only the descendants of slave owners?

Coleman Hughes, an undergraduate philosophy student at Columbia University, has written an article at Quillette which asks all the right questions about reparations, and gives all the right answers. It is a brilliant piece of lucid argument.

Coleman Hughes

In 2014, Ta-Nehisi Coates was catapulted to intellectual stardom by a lengthy Atlantic polemic entitled The Case for Reparations. The essay was an impassioned plea for Americans to grapple with the role of slavery, Jim Crow, and redlining in the creation of the wealth gap between blacks and whites, and it provoked a wide range of reactions. Some left-wing commentators swallowed Coates’s thesis whole, while others agreed in theory but objected that reparations are not a practical answer to legitimate grievances. The Right, for the most part, rejected the case both in theory and practice.

Although the piece polarized opinion, one fact was universally agreed upon: reparations would not be entering mainstream politics anytime soon. According to Coates’s critics, there was no way that a policy so unethical and so unpopular would gain traction. According to his fans, it was not the ethics of the policy but rather the complacency of whites—specifically, their stubborn refusal to acknowledge historical racism—that prevented reparations from receiving the consideration it merited. Coates himself, as recently as 2017, lamented that the idea of reparations was “roundly dismissed as crazy” and “remained far outside the borders of American politics”.

In the past month, we’ve all been proven wrong. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris have both endorsed the idea, and House speaker Nancy Pelosi has voiced support for proposals to study the effects of historical racism and suggest ways to compensate the descendants of slaves. These people are not on the margins of American politics. Most polls have Harris and Warren sitting in third and fourth place, respectively, in the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, and Pelosi is two heart attacks away from the presidency.

Let me pre-empt an objection: neither Harris nor Warren has endorsed a race-specific program of reparations. Indeed Harris has made it clear that what she’s calling “reparations” is really just an income-based policy by another name. The package of policies hasn’t changed; only the label on the package has. So who cares?

In electoral politics, however, it is precisely the label that matters. Given that there’s nothing about her policies that requires Harris to slap the “reparations” label onto them, her decision to employ it suggests that it now has such positive connotations on the Left that she can’t reject the label without paying a political price. Five years ago, Coates, his fans, and his critics more or less agreed that it would be political suicide for a candidate to so much as utter the word “reparations” in an approving tone of voice. Now, we have a candidate like Harris who seems to think it’s political suicide not to. The Overton window has shifted.

In one sense, Coates should be celebrating. He, more than anyone, is responsible for the reintroduction of reparations into the public sphere. Most writers can only dream of having such influence. But in another sense, his victory is a pyrrhic one. That is, the very adoption of reparations by mainstream politicians throws doubt on the core message of Coates’s work. In his 2017 essay collection, We Were Eight Years in Power, Coates argued that racism is not merely“a tumor that could be isolated and removed from the body of America,” but “a pervasive system both native and essential to that body”; white supremacy is “so foundational to this country” that it will likely not be destroyed in this generation, the next, “or perhaps ever”; it is “a force so fundamental to America that it is difficult to imagine the country without it”.

Now ask yourself: How likely is it that a country matching Coates’s description would find itself with major presidential contenders proposing reparations for slavery, and not immediately plummeting in the polls? The challenge for Coates and his admirers, then, is to reconcile the following claims:

1. America remains a fundamentally white supremacist nation.

2. Presidential contenders are competing for the favor of a good portion of the American electorate partly by signaling how much they care about, and wish to redress, historical racism.

You can say (1) or you can say (2) but you can’t say them both at the same time without surrendering to incoherence. Coates himself has recognized this contradiction, albeit indirectly. “Why do white people like what I write?” he asked [italics in original] in We Were Eight Years in Power. He continued:

“The question would eventually overshadow the work, or maybe it would just feel like it did. Either way, there was a lesson in this: God might not save me, but neither would defiance. How do you defy a power that insists on claiming you? What does the story you tell matter, if the world is set upon hearing a different one?” [italics mine]

In Coates’s mind, the fact that so many white people love his work suggests that they do not fully understand it, that they are “hearing a different” story to the one he is telling. But a more parsimonious explanation is readily available: white progressives’ reading comprehension is fine and they genuinely love his message. This should be unsurprising since white progressives are now more “woke” than blacks themselves. For example, white progressives are significantly more likely than black people to agree that “racial discrimination is the main reason why blacks can’t get ahead”.

This presents a problem for Coates. If you believe, as he does, that the political Left “would much rather be talking about the class struggles” that appeal to “the working white masses” than “racist struggles,” then it must be jarring to realize that the very same, allegedly race-averse Left is the reason that your heavily race-themed books sit atop the New York Times bestseller list week after week. Coates’s ideology, in this sense, falls victim to its own success.

But a pyrrhic victory is a kind of victory nonetheless, and so, partly thanks to Coates, we must have the reparations debate once again.

First, a note on the framing of the debate: Virtually everyone who is against reparations is in favor of policies aimed at helping the poor. The debate, therefore, is not between reparations and doing nothing for black people, but between policy based on genealogy and policy based on socioeconomics. Accordingly, the burden on each side is not to show that its proposal is better than nothing—that would be easy. The burden on each side is to show that its preferred rationale for policy (either genealogy or socioeconomics) is better than the rationale proposed by the other side. And, framed as such, reparations for slavery is a losing argument.

For starters, an ancestral connection to slavery is a far less reliable predictor of privation than a low income. There are tens of millions of descendants of American slaves and many millions of them are doing just fine. As Kevin Williamson put it: “Some blacks are born into college-educated, well-off households, and some whites are born to heroin-addicted single mothers, and even the totality of racial crimes throughout American history does not mean that one of these things matters and one does not.”

Williamson’s observation holds not only between blacks and whites but between different black ethnic groups as well. Somali-Americans, for example, have lower per-capita incomes than native-born black Americans. Yet they would not see a dime from reparations, since they have no connection to American slavery. But should it matter why Somali immigrants are poorer than black American natives? Insofar as there is a reparations policy that would benefit the poor, should Somali immigrants be denied those benefits because they are poor for the wrong historical reasons? The idea can only be taken seriously by those who value symbolic justice for the dead over tangible justice for the living.

We can either direct resources toward the individuals who most need them, or we can direct them toward the socioeconomically-diverse members of historical victim groups. But we cannot direct the same resources in both directions at once. In 2019, “black” and “poor” are not synonyms. Every racial group in America contains millions of people who are struggling and millions of people who are not, and if any debt is owed, it is to the former.

Secondly, the case for reparations relies on the intellectually lazy assumption that the problems facing low-income blacks today are a part of the legacy of slavery. For most problems, however, the timelines don’t match up. Black teen unemployment, for instance, was virtually identical to white teen unemployment (in many years it was lower) until the mid-1950s, when, as Thomas Sowell observed in Discrimination and Disparities, successive minimum wage hikes and other macroeconomic forces artificially increased the price of unskilled labor to employers—a burden that fell hardest on black teens. Not only did problems like high youth unemployment and fatherless homes not appear in earnest until a century after the abolition of slavery, but similar patterns of social breakdown have since been observed in other groups that have no recent history of oppression to blame it on, such as the rise of single-parent homes in the white working class.

Nevertheless, there is a sense nowadays that history affects blacks to such a unique degree that it places us in a fundamentally different category from other groups. David Brooks, a New York Times columnist and a recent convert to the cause of reparations, recently explained that “while there have been many types of discrimination in our history”, the black experience is “unique and different” because it involves “a moral injury that simply isn’t there for other groups”.

I’m highly skeptical of the blacks-are-unique argument. For one thing, it’s not true that blacks have inherited psychological trauma from historical racism. Though the budding field of epigenetics is sometimes used to justify this claim, a recent New York Times article poured cold water on the hypothesis: “The research in epigenetics falls well short of demonstrating that past human cruelties affect our physiology today.” (For what it’s worth, this accords with my own experience. If there is a heritable psychological injury associated with being the descendant of slaves, I’ve yet to notice it.) 

But more importantly, if humans really carried the burden of history in our psyches, then all of us, regardless of race, would be carrying very heavy burdens indeed. Although American intellectuals speak of slavery as if it were a uniquely American phenomenon, it is actually an institution that was practiced in one form or another by nearly every major society since the dawn of civilization. As the Harvard sociologist Orlando Patterson wrote in his massive study, Slavery and Social Death:

‘There is nothing notably peculiar about the institution of slavery. It has existed from before the dawn of human history right down to the twentieth century, in the most primitive human societies and in the most civilized. There is no region on earth that has not at some time harbored the institution. Probably there is no group of people whose ancestors were not at one time slaves or slaveholders.”

And that’s to say nothing of the traumas of war, poverty, and starvation that would show up abundantly in all of our ancestral histories if we were to look. Unless blacks are somehow exempt from the principles governing human psychology, the mental effects of historical racism have not been passed down through the generations. Yes, in the narrow context of American history, blacks have been uniquely mistreated. But in the wider context of world history, black Americans are hardly unique and should not be treated as such.

Finally, the framing of the reparations debate presupposes that America has done nothing meaningful by way of compensation for black people. But in many ways, America has already paid reparations. True, we haven’t literally handed a check to every descendant of slaves, but many reparations proponents had less literal forms of payment in mind to begin with.

Some reparations advocates, for instance, have proposed race-conscious policies instead of cash payments. On that front, we’ve done quite a bit. Consider, as if for the first time, the fact that the U.S. college admissions system is heavily skewed in favor of black applicants and has been for decades. In 2009, the Princeton sociologist Thomas Espenshade found that Asians and whites had to score 450 and 310 SAT points higher than blacks, respectively, to have the same odds of being admitted into elite universities. (The entire test, at the time of the study, was out of 1600 points.)

Racial preferences extend into the job market as well. Last September, the New York Times reported on an ethnically South Asian television writer who “had been told on a few occasions that she lost out on jobs because the showrunner wanted a black writer.” The article passed without fanfare, probably because such racial preferences—or “diversity and inclusion” programs—pervade so many sectors of the U.S. labor market that any particular story doesn’t seem newsworthy at all.

Furthermore, many government agencies are required to allocate a higher percentage of their contracts to businesses owned by racial minorities than they otherwise would based on economic considerations alone. Such “set-aside” programs exist at the federal level as well as in at least 38 states—in Connecticut at least 25 percent of government contracts with small businesses must legally be given to a minority business enterprise (MBE), and New York has established a 30 percent target for contracts with MBEs. One indication of the size of this racial advantage is that, for decades, white business owners have been fraudulently claiming minority status, sometimes risking jail time, in order to increase their odds of capturing these lucrative government contracts. (A white man from Seattle is currently suing both the state of Washington and the federal government for rejecting his claim to own an MBE given his four percent African ancestry.)

My point is not that these race-conscious policies have repaid the debt of slavery; my point is that no policy ever could. For this reason I reject the appeasement-based case for reparations occasionally made by conservatives—namely, that we should pay reparations so that we can finally stop talking about racism once and for all. Common sense dictates that when you reward a certain behavior you tend to get more of it, not less. Reparations, therefore, would not, and could not, function as “hush money.” Reparations would instead function as a kind of subsidy for activism, an incentive for the living to continue appropriating grievances that rightfully belong to the dead.

Some reparations advocates, however, are less focused on tangible dispensations to begin with. Instead they see reparations as a spiritual or symbolic task. Coates, for example, defines reparations primarily as a “national reckoning that would lead to spiritual renewal” and a “full acceptance of our collective biography and its consequences”—and only secondarily as the payment of cash as compensation. How has America done on the soul-searching front? As Coates would have it, not very well. For him, the belief occupying mainstream America is that “a robbery spanning generations could somehow be ameliorated while never acknowledging the scope of the crime.”

By my lights, however, we’ve done quite a bit of symbolic acknowledging. For over 40 years we’ve dedicated the month of February to remembering black history; Martin Luther King Jr. has had a national holiday in his name for almost as long; more or less every prominent liberal arts college in the country has an African-American studies department and many have black student housing; both chambers of Congress have independently apologized for slavery and Jim Crow; and just last month the Senate passed a bill that made lynching a federal crime, despite the fact that lynching was already illegal (because it’s murder), has not been a serious problem for at least half a century, and was already the subject of a formal apology by the Senate back in 2005.

If this all amounts to nothing—that is, to a non-acknowledgement of historical racism—then I’m left wondering what would or could qualify as something. The problem with the case for spiritual reparations is its vagueness. What, precisely, is a “national reckoning” and how will we know when we’ve completed it? The trick behind such arguments, whether intentional or not, is to specify the debt owed to black Americans in just enough detail to make it sound reasonable, while at the same time describing the debt with just enough vagueness to ensure that it can never decisively be repaid.

At bottom, the reparations debate is a debate about the relationship between history and ethics, between the past and the Good. On one side are those who believe that the Good means using policy to correct for the asymmetric racial power relations that ruled America for most of its history. And on the other side are those who believe that the Good means using policy to increase human flourishing as much as possible, for as many as possible, in the present.

Both visions of the Good—the group-based vision and the individualist vision—require the payment of reparations to individuals (and/or their immediate family members) who themselves suffered atrocities at the hands of the state. I therefore strongly approve of the reparations paid to Holocaust survivors, victims of internment during World War II, and victims of the Tuskegee experiments, to name just a few examples. Where the two visions depart is on the question of whether reparations should be paid to poorly-defined groups containing millions of people whose relationship to the initial crime is several generations removed, and therefore nothing like, say, the relationship of a Holocaust survivor to the Holocaust.

Among the fallacies of the group-based vision is the conceit that we are capable of accurately assessing, and correcting for, the imbalances of history to begin with. If we can’t even manage to consistently serve justice for crimes committed between individuals in the present, it defies belief to think that we can serve justice for crimes committed between entire groups of people before living memory—to think, in other words, that we can look at the past, neatly split humanity into plaintiff groups and defendant groups, and litigate history’s largest crimes in the court of public opinion.

If we are going to have a national reckoning, it must be of a different type than the one suggested by Coates. It must be a national reckoning that uncouples the past and the Good. Such a reckoning would not entail forgetting our history, but rather liberating our sense of ethics from the shackles of our checkered past. We cannot change our history. But the possibility of a just society depends on our willingness to change how we relate to it.


 

The end of “the end of the world” is not nigh 5

The excellent Sultan Knish has posted an article about the doom-prophets of the Man-Made Global Warming cult that rewards reading not only with its acuity but also with its comedy.

Here are some delectable parts (but please read it all):

“This is our final chance,” Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke warned while gesticulating wildly in a hipster Iowa coffee shop. “The scientists are unanimous that we have no more than 12 years.”

While patrons of the Lost Canvas wait for the apocalypse to overtake us, they enjoy espressos, bubble tea and art classes. There are also “handmade items from local artisans” for those preparing for a world without technology after the Green New Deal, which O’Rourke endorsed in his prediction of a twelve-year climate apocalypse, has outlawed cars, planes, cows, industrial civilization and machine tools. 

Local espresso hipsters weren’t too worried that everything they know will be gone in twelve years, possibly including mango flavored coffee, which tastes as bad as it sounds, because they know that Bobby Francis doesn’t really mean that the world will end in twelve years: they’ve heard it all before. … 

Are the scientists unanimous about that twelve-year deadline until the sky falls? 

Bobby was quoting the UN’s IPCC report to the espresso oppressed of Keokuk, Iowa. …

“It’s a line in the sand and what it says to our species is that this is the moment and we must act now,” Debra Roberts, a co-chair of the IPCC’s working group on impacts, declared. “This is the largest clarion bell from the science community and I hope it mobilizes people.” 

Roberts is a South African city official who is environmentalist royalty and has sat on endless numbers of commissions, panels, teams and moots. Which part of the “science community” does she hail from? Her CV, which the IPCC site decided to take down as part of its commitment to transparency, notes that she has a PhD in Urban Biogeography from a Durban university that no longer exists under that name. 

The IPCC is famous for the same two things as most madmen standing on street corners and shouting incomprehensibly at the top of their hoarse voices: predicting and postponing the end of the world

“If there’s no action before 2012, that’s too late. What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future,” IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri had claimed in 2007. 

In 2008, he appeared to have claimed that there was only 8 years left. 

At a 2009 Senate hearing, two years later, Pachauri insisted, “we have just about 6 years left in which we will have to bring about peaking of emission.” 

That would be in 2015. 

Pachauri was replying to a question from Senator Jeff Merkley. A decade later, the world didn’t end. And Merkley is still warning that if we don’t listen to the IPCC, the world and all its coffee shops will end. 

Last year, Merkley pushed a Senate resolution in support of the IPCC’s latest world ending memo warning that the world will end “as soon as 2040”. That’s safer than the world ending by 2015. 

What’s Pachauri’s scientific basis for making all these claims? 

His CV, which has also been taken down by the IPCC site, notes that he has a PhD in Industrial Engineering and Economics. That’s better than Urban Biogeography, but not exactly relevant. 

As a railway engineer, Pachauri could probably make the trains run on time like Mussolini. But his apocalypses always keep getting stuck in a limbo of missed timetables and snarled tracks. 

Pachauri is also a pornographer – in more ways than one. He writes pornographic sex-fiction;  and his warmist end-of-the-world predictions are so repugnant and disgusting – to non-believers – that they can aptly be called political pornography.

Democrat politicians keep getting their apocalypse timetables from railway engineers and urban biogeographers before wandering into the nearest coffee shop to warn that the “End is Near”. 

Bobby O’Rourke claims that we have only twelve, or eleven years and change, left. And that the “scientists are unanimous” in forecasting a world without coffee shops. Are they really? 

Last year, the head of climate and ecological science at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab was claiming that it was 25 years. Does that mean that California has 25 years while Iowa only has 12 years left? …


The year before, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis was claiming that it was ten years. If you’re keeping track, that means the apocalypse may only be eight years away now. 

In 2008, Andrew Simms, the co-director of the New Weather Institute, claimed that we had only 100 months to avoid disaster. And he urged a Green New Deal, long before AOC, as the answer. 

Andy’s 100 months expired a few years ago. The world and its artisanal coffee shops are still here. 

“I think we have a very brief window of opportunity to deal with climate change,” NASA’s James Hansen, the prophet of chicken littleism, claimed in 2006. “No longer than a decade, at the most.” 

A decade later the planet is still here. So is James Hansen. 

And NASA is back to reaching for the moon instead of warning that the world will end in [Insert Number of Years Here] unless we go back to the caves and cultivate tofu plantations under the stalagmites. 

Then in 2009, Hansen warned that Obama had only four years to save the earth. …

The world is always ending a few years down the road. If the false prophets are feeling casual, they may give us a decade. 

Even two. 

It’s always urgent that we sign the latest agreement, implement the latest program and push more money into the pockets of the very people telling us that the world will end if we don’t. …


The Democrats are stuck in the coffee shop at the end of the world with Bobby O’Rouke. There are espressos, lattes, handcrafted soaps that smell like rancid fat and predictions that the world will end. 

This is the cult and this is its catechism. 

Its priests are railway engineers and urban bioengineers. There is a consensus. An absolute truth. Put a dollar in the plate to save the icebergs and see you in church next Sunday for another latte. 

Vote “Beto” to save the planet from the people who have children, drive old cars and use shopping bags. The infidels who get their coffee plain black, for under three bucks, and use store bought soaps. …

Twelve years. Twenty-five years. Six years. It doesn’t really matter. 

The numbers create a sense of urgency in the latte section before the next art class. Their contradictory nature is one of those mysteries of faith that all religions have. And if the prophets are an Indian railway engineer and a South African municipal official, that is the diversity which passes for lefty spirituality. Any movement that brings together different people from around the world must be vaguely sacred. …

The debate … assumes that the apocalypse is nigh and it’s only a matter of determining whether we will be reduced to cannibalism and socialism in 2030, 2040 or 2052. Until then, have another mango espresso. 

It tastes just like the end of the world.



Pediarchy 7

Pediarchy – a society or culture dominated or ruled by children.

Nancy Pelosi, the figurehead of the Democratic Socialist Party, wants the voting age to be lowered to 16.

Of course she does. The likelihood that a 16-year-old will vote for free education, free housing, free health care, free contraception, free cell phones, free marijuana, is very high.

Also open borders, solar panels, and windmills.

The kids will be keen to strip the wealthy of their money and redistribute it among environmentalists. Why would they not? Its easy to be against private property when you don’t own anything. (Nancy owns a lot, but she will have immunity from expropriation because she is, for a little while longer at least, allowed to be the figurehead of her Party.)

These days, Americans by the age of 16 are thoroughly anti-American. They have been fully indoctrinated by their schools, since kindergarten, to despise America and capitalism and to love “diversity and inclusion” (aka racism).

The child vote will not be a novelty for the Democrats. They have long known that they can rely on the votes of the immature – as confidently as on the criminal, the insane, and the alien. The way they see it, the younger a voter is, the better. Okay, not toddlers. But fifth-graders even maybe. Because the very young, generally speaking, love extremes. They are natural iconoclasts. To them, destroying is fun, and there’s an awful lot needing to be destroyed – airplanes, cars, cattle, buildings, mines, factories, banks, the Constitution, white men – if the world itself is to be saved from destruction, which will otherwise happen for sure just 12 years from now, the young Democratic Socialists say.

Once sweet sixteens can vote, they can also be eligible to run for office. And why should any office, however high, be barred to them? Only an old white man addicted to his privilege would insist on an Attorney General having a qualification in Law. And nobody needs a qualification to legislate. Or to be governor. Or even president.

In fact, the Democratic Socialist Party already has a line-up of boys and girls eyeing the presidency.

One candidate for the highest office is a boy of 48, who likes to skateboard across the stage at Party rallies waving to his fans. He has videos made of his teeth being professionally cleaned, boasts of having a police record, and apologizes for being white. Then there are two old boys (both white), 76 and 77 respectively. And half a dozen girls …

Posted under education, Environmentalism, government, United States by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, March 19, 2019

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For Freedom 3

Victor Davis Hanson explains why he supports the presidency of Donald Trump:

Posted under Capitalism, liberty, United States, US Constitution by Jillian Becker on Monday, March 18, 2019

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A terrorist act against Islam: cui bono? 8

Western countries have generally been ineffectual in stopping Islamic terrorism. Actually, they haven’t tried very hard. So is there a case to be made that the  jihad by means of terrorism which has been pursued by Muslims through the last three decades, needs now to be met by similar acts of terrorism against them?

That seems to be the case made by the terrorist, Brenton Tarrant – a fervent environmentalist and anti-conservative despising President Trump and admiring Communist China (see here and here) – who attacked the mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, yesterday (March 15, 2019).  

The answer is no.

Above all else, because all acts of terrorism are wrong.  Terrorists kill anyone anywhere – that’s why terrorism is terrifying. You or your child could be the victim of it in any public place at any time. Civilization, the rule of law, moral good sense, all forbid the random taking of life. There is no cause, actual or conceivable, that justifies or excuses it. None.

And furthermore, it would not work. By far the most victims of Muslim terrorism are Muslims (as you can read every day at the website ironically named “The Religion of Peace”). Islam is not civilized; the law that Islam obeys is barbaric; Islam does not have any tradition of moral good sense.While individual Muslims close to the victims suffer for their loss, Islam as such does not.

Unkind as it is to entertain such a thought, a murderous attack like Tarrant’s on the mosques in New Zealand can be positively useful to Islam.

Islam likes to claim that it is irrationally hated and victimized by the rest of humankind, in particular by Westerners, and an act of mass murder perpetrated against them because they are Muslims, “proves” it. “Proves” “Islamophobia” is real and widespread. “Proves” Muslim victimhood.

Al-Jazeera reports these statements from Islamic leaders:

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the deadly attack on the mosques, describing them as “the latest example of rising racism and Islamophobia. With this attack, hostility towards Islam, that the world has been idly watching and even encouraging for some time, has gone beyond individual harassment to reach the level of mass killing. It is clear that the understanding represented by the killer that also targets our country, our people and myself, has started to take over Western societies like a cancer.”

Erdogan’s spokesman separately condemned what he called a “racist and fascist” attack. “This attack shows the point which hostility to Islam and enmity to Muslims has reached. We have seen many times Islamophobic discourse against Islam and Muslims turning into a perverse and murderous ideology. The world must raise its voice against such discourse and must say stop to Islamophobic fascist terrorism,” he said.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan blamed the New Zealand attacks on rising Islamophobia after 2001’s September 11 attacks. “I blame these increasing terror attacks on the current Islamophobia post-9/11 where Islam & 1.3 bn Muslims have collectively been blamed for any act of terror by a Muslim. This has been done deliberately to also demonize legitimate Muslim political struggles.” .

The Jeddah-based Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) said the attack “served as a further warning on the obvious dangers of hate, intolerance, and Islamophobia“.

Al-Azhar, the world’s foremost Sunni Islamic institution and university, said the attacks reflects an “escalation of the discourse of hate, xenophobia and Islamophobia” in Western countries.

Worst of all, the terrorist act of revenge perpetrated in New Zealand can and almost certainly will be used to justify Islamic terrorism against us, not only in the future but even in retrospect.

Posted under Islam, jihad, Muslims, Terrorism by Jillian Becker on Saturday, March 16, 2019

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Everybody hates the Jews – unless it suits them not to 10

Oh the protestants hate the catholics
and the catholics hate the protestants
and the hindus hate the muslims
and everybody hates the jews

So sang Tom Lehrer in his 20th century satire, National Brotherhood Week.

There’s been a resurgence of anti-Semitism – or to give it its common or garden name Jew-hatred – all over the formerly Christian world where it never disappears entirely. The boost results now from the addition of Islamic cultural color and its fun new cooking recipes to the social mix.

Even in the US, the Democrat majority have just proved themselves open-minded on the issue since a couple of newly-elected Muslim members of Congress, the representative for Hamas, Rashida Tlaib, and the representative for Somalia, Ilhan Omar, have given them a new perspective on it. (Warning: The Tlaib link goes to an article showing examples of extreme political obscenity.)

Don’t expect Western anti-Semites to be consistent with their hatred. They can condemn anti-Semitism when it suits them. For instance, when they use it as an accusation against their opponents.

That’s what President Emmanuel Macron did. Here’s the story, told by Guy Millière at Gatestone:

After sixteen Saturday demonstrations by the “yellow vests,” who began in November by protesting French President Emmanuel Macron’s increase in fuel prices, the controversy seems to have taken a darker turn.

That seems to have come to light on February 13, when a small group of demonstrators started hurling insults at a French Jewish philosopher, Alain Finkielkraut — who was born in and lives in Paris — after they spotted him on a sidewalk. One man, shouted, “Shut up, dirty Zionist sh*t,” “Go home to Tel Aviv,” “France is ours,” “God will punish you.” A cameraman filmed the incident, then shared the video on social networks. A scandal ensued. The “yellow vests” movement as a whole was immediately accused by the French government of anti-Semitism and “fascism”.

Finkielkraut claimed that he had not been attacked as a Jew, but as a supporter of the State of Israel. He then added that the man who had insulted him did not speak like a “yellow vest” and that the words “God will punish you” is an expression from “Islamic rhetoric”. Police who watched the video identified the man as a radicalized Muslim, and the next day arrested him.

In the days leading up to that incident, several anti-Semitic acts had taken place in and near Paris. The German word “Juden” [Jews] was painted on the front of a Jewish bakery; swastikas were drawn with a black marker on portraits of former Jewish minister Simone Veil; trees that had been planted in memory of Ilan Halimi, a young Jew who had been kidnapped, tortured and murdered [by Muslims] in 2006, were destroyed. Investigations have begun but nothing so far has shown any relationship between the “yellow vests” movement and any of these anti-Semitic acts. The French government nevertheless continues accusing the “yellow vests” of being at least partly to blame.

When the French government, for instance, published statistics about anti-Semitic acts committed in 2018, and noted a 74% increase from the year before, the government spokesman linked this increase to the “disorders” that have been taking place in France, implicitly meaning the “yellow vests”.

Meanwhile, in a demonstration against anti-Semitism organized for February 19 by the Socialist Party and The Republic on the Move (the party created by Macron), fourteen parties agreed to participate. Marine Le Pen’s National Rally, however, was excluded. The organizers said that as the National Rally belongs to the “extreme right”, it cannot participate in a protest against the “fascist peril”. Slogans included: “It’s enough”, “No to hate” and “Anti-Semitism is not France”. Former Presidents Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande took part. Prime Minister Edouard Philippe spoke of a “united France”. A Muslim singer, Abd al Malik, was invited to sing the French anthem.

President Macron, during the event, was at the Holocaust Memorial in Paris. The next day, he attended the annual dinner of the CRIF (Representative Council of Jewish Institutions) and gave a speech against “racist hatred”. To make sure that his audience understood that he was talking about the “yellow vests”, he used an expression he had used on December 31: “hate crowds”.

The “yellow vests” movement continues to be described by members of the government as guilty of being anti-Semitic and “fascist” despite the minor detail that nothing proves any culpability in recent anti-Semitic acts. The “yellow vests” movement began only in November and therefore cannot be held responsible for the increase in the number of anti-Semitic acts for the whole of 2018. Small groups of anti-Semites who did try to infiltrate the demonstrations of “yellow vests” were quickly expelled. The “yellow vests” movement is fundamentally a movement against taxes that many French people consider arbitrary; it has nothing to do with either anti-Semitism or “fascism”.

Anti-Semitism in France has been gaining momentum. In the last 15 years, eleven Jews were murdered in France by anti-Semitic killers, often in horrific ways. In a growing number of neighborhoods, everyday life for French Jews has become unlivable. Many who have the means have left France. Many who have not left have moved to more secure areas of the country. In the last two decades, 20% of French Jews (100,000 people) have emigrated, and tens of thousands have abandoned unsafe places, such as Seine-Saint-Denis, and have relocated inside France.

Some journalists observed that a decision to mobilize people against a “fascist peril” — and to unite almost all political parties while excluding the National Rally — seemed like a political trick, unfair and biased. They emphasized that most of the anti-Semitic attacks and all the murders of Jews in France came not from members of the National Rally or “fascists”, but from extremist Muslims.

Also on February 19, tens of thousands of people across France demonstrated against anti-Semitism. Those protests would certainly seem praiseworthy — if they had no hidden agenda. Many commentators, however, seem to think that this was what was taking place.

Some community leaders stressed that the demonstration against anti-Semitism was a political operation aimed at demonizing the “yellow vests” to arouse fear of a non-existent peril in order to help Macron’s Republic on the Move party win the European elections in May.

Other people noted that holding a demonstration which excluded the right-wing National Rally party was a move aimed at diverting attention from the real anti-Semitic danger. They also suggested that political parties which support the murderers of Jews were precisely those which deny that radical Islam is a danger.

Television commentators pointed out that the government had largely ignored the “anti-Zionist” dimension of the insults addressed to Finkielkraut. They also noted that the presence among the demonstrators of parties, such as the French Communist Party, and Europe Ecology — which support terrorists who murder Jews — was a shock.

Gilles William Goldnadel, Honorary President of the France-Israel Association, published an article in Le Figaro stating:

“Making the yellow vests take the blame is an act of cowardice [to avoid mentioning] Islamism…. Asking people to march against anti-Semitism while cynically rejecting political parties in the name of a fantasy anti-fascism, but accepting to be at the side of parties that support killers [of Jews] is outrageous… It is Islamism that kills Jews in France. We must not forget it. Since 1945, every drop of Jewish blood that has flowed in France was shed by Islamism“.

MP Meyer Habib said that, “hypocrisy reaches new heights when parties that praise terrorist killers claim to fight against anti-Semitism.” He enumerated in Parliament the list of Jews murdered in France and gave the names of their murderers, to show that all of them were radicalized Muslims. He added that the mobilization should be a mobilization against “radical Islam”, not against “fascists”.

In a television interview, the author Éric Zemmour defined the behavior of Macron and the government as a “masquerade of pyromaniac firefighters“:

“They claim to fight against anti-Semitism by attacking imaginary fascists, and they do it in alliance with leftists who support anti-Semitic murderers, but they do nothing against the Islamization of France, which is the main source today of anti-Semitism in France…

“Macron and the government are accelerating the rise of Islamism by each year hosting in France hundreds of thousands of Muslim immigrants who come from countries where anti-Semitism is omnipresent, and continuing to repeat blindly that Islam is a religion of peace. They actively contribute to the rise of anti-Semitism by barely denouncing Muslim anti-Semitism.”

The journalist Ivan Rioufol, also using the word “masquerade,” spoke of a fight led by the government against “almost non-existent fascists”, and of the “use of the fight against anti-Semitism” to crush “an almost non-existent anti-Semitism” while sparing “the anti-Semitism that attacks and kills“. …

A documentary film, Under a False Identity, by the journalist Zvi Yehezkeli, showed in detail how some Islamist organizations are preparing to be the “vanguard of the revolt” and using all the opportunities available to take control of France. One of the people he interviewed, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in France, said that the Muslim Brotherhood is gaining ground, and can count on the help of the French government, which subsidizes its activities. …

Back to Macron’s speech at the CRIF dinner: He spoke briefly of “an anti-Semitism based on radical Islamism”, but immediately — and incorrectly: as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, “Islam is Islam.” — defined “radical Islamism” as a “deformed religion” and not true Islam. He said just as briefly that “anti-Zionism is a form of anti-Semitism”, but that he would not call for a vote on a law to condemn anti-Zionism.

He immediately added that he intends to fight against “other hatreds: hatred against Muslims, racism in all its forms, anti-LGBT racism”. He said that he will ban associations that “feed hatred”. He then named three associations he intends to ban as soon as possible: a very small neo-fascist group, Social Bastion, and two extremely tiny Nazi groups, Blood & Honor Hexagon and Combat 18. He did not name any leftist, anti-fascist or Islamic group, even though they are evidently responsible for much of the violence committed at the end of the demonstrations of “yellow vests” and are easily identifiable: many have websites or street addresses.

Macron stated that “the foreign policy of France is known”, but he failed to elaborate. He could not very well remind a Jewish audience that France is one of the main supporters of the Palestinian Authority, or that he had “regretted” Israel’s decision to freeze the funds used by the Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas to reward murderers of Jews and their families, or that he had worked for months with Germany and the United Kingdom to create a trade mechanism intended to help Iran’s of the mullahs, who often repeat that they intend to wipe Israel off the map.

On February 20, the fifteenth demonstration of the “yellow vests” took place in Paris without major incident. The police used a few explosive grenades but no one was hurt. There were no anti-Semitic attacks. A fully veiled woman, wearing a yellow vest on which anti-Jewish slogans were written, was asked by demonstrators to leave. She was in the company of some bearded men also wearing yellow vests. They all quietly left.

The next day, in the center of Paris, another demonstration was held. Pro-Palestinian advocates assembled to demand the release of “Palestinian political prisoners”. They waved pictures of people who had been convicted of murdering Jews and were now in Israeli prisons, and signs on which were written, “Israel murders Palestinian children”, “Destroy Israeli apartheid” and “Death to Israel”. Macron and the French government do not seem to find the organizers of that demonstration problematic.

So that’s the picture. The civilized world, the post-Enlightenment West, the forgiving, loving, Christian world as it used to be, condemns race-hatred. It will even go so far as to forbid it by law.

It commands:

Thou shalt not hate. Especially thou shalt not hate supremacist, totalitarian, misogynist, homophobic, savagely cruel, murderous Islam.

But thou mayest hate the Jews.

Puppet in Congress 6

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez “can do anything – if somebody else pulls the string.”

Is somebody else pulling her string?

If the alarming information given in this video is true – and we think it is – it would explain a lot: the woman’s glibness with ready-made phrases and slogans; her contrasting inability to utter a grammatical sentence in answer to a question in an interview; her extraordinary self-assurance. It is easy to sound sure of yourself when what you say has been scripted for you.

Europe-Iran: an evil partnership 17

Europe loves Iran.

Which is to say, Germany loves Iran. And Germany decides what Europe loves.

Which is to say, the rulers of Germany decide what Germany decides what Europe loves.

And Chancellor Angela Merkel decides what the rulers of Germany will decide, and she has decided that Germany and therefore Europe love Iran.

She can rely on the concurrence of the EU’s mascot, French president Emmanuel Macron.   

Here’s a bark or two of his clap-trap against Brexit in an open letter:

‘Brexit … symbolizes the European trap. The trap is not being part of the European Union. The trap is in the lie and the irresponsibility that can destroy it. … And this trap threatens the whole of Europe …”  (Our emphasis.)

We hope it does more than threaten the EU. We hope Brexit brings down the whole rickety structure. It really could set an example to other member states, and with a little bit of luck the European Union will fall into a heap of rubble in a pall of dust. 

Meanwhile, it loves Iran.

From Gatestone, by Majid Rafizadeh:

According to a report published by Amnesty International on February 26, the human rights situation in Iran has “severely deteriorated”. Why then does the European Union continue to pursue appeasement policies with a regime that has an excruciating human rights record? Sadly, Europe — in spite its endless moral preening and self-righteousness — seems to have become the world most immoral player — if it was not already. The European Union, for instance, unjustly singles out for bullying the only liberal, democratic, human-rights-abiding country in the Middle East: Israel … yet tries to find ways to keep on doing business with a country such as Iran that is not only trying to establish its hegemony throughout the Middle East — through proxies in Iraq, Yemen, Syria and Lebanon — but is also the serial violator of just about every human right imaginable … The only conclusion one can come to is that Europe would evidently still like to kill the Jews and is happy to support those wishing to kill them. How much more immoral can one get?

The list of unspeakable human rights violations committed by Iran’s regime is lengthy; however, by far the most disturbing seems the cruelty enacted against children.

According to the Norway-based organization Iran Human Rights (IHR), which closely monitors executions in Iran:

“Despite ratifying the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child which bans the death penalty for offenses committed at under 18 years of age, Iran stays the world’s top executioner of juvenile offenders. According to reports by IHR, Iranian authorities have executed at least 40 juvenile offenders since 2013. “

These children are held in custody and executed before they have the chance to reach adulthood. At least 6 minors, including two child brides were executed in 2018. Amnesty International comments on Iran’s use of capital punishment on children:

“Girls as young as nine can be sentenced to execution; for boys it’s 15. At least 73 young offenders were executed between 2005 and 2015. And the authorities show no sign of stopping this horrific practice. …

Under Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, executions can be conducted in four different ways: hanging, stoning, firing squad, or crucifixion.

Vague charges can be brought up by the Islamic Republic’s judiciary system or the Revolutionary Court, such as “waging war against God”, spreading moharebeh(“corruption on earth”) such as protesting, or endangering the country’s national security. These charges can be stretched to allow for simple acts such as criticizing the Supreme Leader to become crimes, simply to allow an order of execution to be carried out.

This is all allowed to occur while the deeply cynical EU continues to label the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as a “moderate”.

The use of cruel and inhumane punishments is also on the rise in Iran. According to Amnesty International’s report, the use of various forms of torture such as amputation and flogging has been increasing at an alarming rate. …

Due to the recent protests in the country, the theocratic establishment has also ratcheted up its censorship of media, jamming of foreign satellite television channels, and detention of human rights defenders. Human rights defenders and prominent lawyers … who defended or supported social movements such as the opposition of  compulsory hijab, have been unfairly prosecuted and sentenced to long prison sentences.

These increasingly wanton human rights violations should raise alarms among the European governments, who are always lecturing the rest of the world about how caring they are — for instance not sending criminals back to countries where they might be tortured. It should horrify them to know that they are in some way enabling and emboldening this regime and empowering it to continue to commit these vicious acts.

But Europe is not horrified by the Iranian regime. Not in the least. In fact the EU actively supports the Iranian theocracy, because Germany rules Europe, and Angela Merkel’s Germany loves Iran.

Caroline Glick writes at Breitbart:

In a recent conversation with senior Trump administration officials, Breitbart News was told that the force behind the European Union’s trenchant support for Iran is Germany.

This EU support for Iran is manifested in a series of ways.

For example, after President Donald Trump walked away from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), otherwise known as the Iran nuclear deal, last May, the EU responded harshly.

Brussels refused U.S. calls to join America in abandoning the deal that paves the way for Iran to develop a nuclear arsenal, and which funds its terrorism and aggression throughout the Middle East and world. The EU’s “big three”, Germany, France and Britain, spent months putting together a financial vehicle to sidestep U.S. economic sanctions on Iran. They instructed European firms to defy U.S. sanctions and maintain their economic operations in Iran.

In other words, rather than siding with their most powerful and important ally – the United States of America – in its efforts to forge a policy vis-à-vis Iran that actually diminishes the threat the regime poses to global security and stability, the Europeans – led by Germany — have stood with Iran against the United States.

The EU has also, following Germany’s lead, refused to ban Hezbollah – Iran’s terror proxy – from operating in Europe. Instead, the EU’s policy is to make an artificial distinction between what it refers to as the “military wing” of Hezbollah and what it refers to as Hezbollah’s “political wing”. The fact that even Hezbollah rejects the distinction, and that the so-called “political wing” in Europe raises money for Hezbollah and mobilizes terrorists to join Hezbollah through open indoctrination, is of no interest.

Like its Iranian controllers, Hezbollah seeks the obliteration of the Jewish state. When the British parliament voted last week to outlaw Hezbollah’s fake “political wing” from operating in the United Kingdom, the German government was quick to announce that it would not follow suit.

Germany — and through it, the rest of continental Europe — will continue to allow the genocidal terror group to operate openly on its soil.

As for the Iranians, German leaders insist that their continued allegiance to the nuclear deal stems from their conviction that the deal is a non-proliferation agreement and advances their security, and not from their support for Iran. But evidence grows by the day that the opposite is the case. Whereas in Iran, last month the regime had to hire people to fill the streets to “celebrate” the fortieth anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution, senior German leaders were happy to gush in joy as they congratulated the murderous regime for its longevity.

The German Foreign Ministry sent State Minister Niels Annan and an Iran desk officer to celebrate the occasion at the Iranian Embassy in Berlin. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeyer sent a congratulatory telegram to his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, praising the Islamic regime. In contrast, in November 2016, Steinmeyer refused to send a congratulatory telegram to President-elect Donald Trump and referred to him as a “hate preacher.”

In an article in the Washington Examiner, Iran expert Michael Rubin argued that Germany’s support for the Islamic regime is a function of financial interests.

In his words, “For German authorities across from the political spectrum, human rights is only a tool with which to dress its foreign policy rhetoric. … For German authorities, the primary goal is commercial benefit. The execution of gays, slaughter of Jews, repression of other minorities, and terrorism are inconveniences to ignore.”

There is much to support Rubin’s conclusion. But a cursory glance at Germany’s focus in its hypocritical human rights activism shows that money isn’t the only reason that Germany is the greatest defender of a regime that openly seeks the annihilation of the Jewish people and the Jewish state.

Israel’s NGO-Monitor is a group that reports on funding for radical non-governmental organizations (NGOs) dedicated to advancing the cause of Israel’s destruction. NGO-Monitor has documented copiously how the German government spends millions of dollars every year funding groups that criminalize Israel’s very right to exist, and goes to great efforts to hide reporting of is funding activities.

During a visit to Israel in 2017 by Germany’s then-foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel, the depths of Germany’s commitment to these groups was laid bare. Parallel to scheduling a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Gabriel ostentatiously announced his plan to meet with two radical anti-Israel propaganda groups funded by Germany …

When Netanyahu heard about Gabriel’s plan … he informed Gabriel that he had to choose between meeting with [the two anti-Israel organizations] or meeting with [him]. Gabriel insisted on meeting with the German-funded NGOs. So Netanyahu canceled their meeting.

When seen in the context of Germany’s extensive funding for political groups whose goal is to criminalize Israel and delegitimize its right to exist, Germany’s enthusiastic, warm, and supportive ties to the genocidally anti-Jewish Iranian regime seem to point to motivations far more sinister than mere greed.

We suspected that Islam-loving President Obama’s most compelling reason for wanting a “deal” with Iran that allowed it to become a nuclear-armed power, was that he thought it the most likely way Islam would be able to destroy Israel.

We suspect that Germany-dominated Europe thinks so too.

The continuing persecution of a hero 1

Tommy Robinson, the man who dared to object publicly and persistently to Muslim gangs raping, enslaving, debauching and pimping thousands of children in England, has just been charged for the umpteenth time. He is to be re-tried for the same “crime” – the name of which was changed with a wave of a prosecutor’s pen when his official tormentors couldn’t make their first choice stick – that he was sentenced for the last time, when his conviction was quashed by no less a power than the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales.

Tommy speaks for a great many of his fellow citizens. How many, no one knows; but tens of thousands have turned out in the streets to support him.  Now his supporters need to do more than gather, more than hold up banners, more than applaud speeches. They need to make their anger felt. But how? Tommy does not incite them to violence.

The craven authorities in Britain looked away from the Muslim rape gangs because they are afraid of Islamic terrorism. If Muslim criminals are brought to trial and found guilty, they are given as light a sentence as the quaking judges can apologetically impose on them. The lesson to be learnt is that no argument short of murderous violence commands attention in Islamized Britain. As Tommy does not commit or incite terrorist violence, he will be sentenced to a long term in a prison full of  violent Muslims. He will be beaten again, all too possibly to death.      

Posted under Britain, Islam, Muslims, tyranny, United Kingdom by Jillian Becker on Friday, March 8, 2019

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A good and necessary wall 3

Breitbart reports:

This year, researchers project that up to 500,000 illegal aliens will successfully cross the U.S.-Mexico border and make it into the country, undetected by Border Patrol. Similarly, the country is on track for more than 600,000 border apprehensions in 2019, a level of illegal immigration that has not been seen since former President George W. Bush.

What can the government of a civilized country (of which there are a few, and of which America is one) do when an unarmed horde of foreigners, intent on occupying it, advances to its border and attempts to invade it? What can it do to protect itself short of shooting at the invaders, killing some of them and so forcing the rest to retreat? Which it cannot do because the country is civilized.

But the invaders must be stopped. So … how? The obvious answer is for the border to be made as impenetrable by unwanted intruders as it can be. And, obviously, a physical barrier would go a long way towards making penetration difficult.

Yet there is passionately argued opposition to the idea that a wall on the southern border of the US to keep out an advancing horde of 500,000 invaders is a solution to the problem.

Though it is likely that all the opposition derives from emotion rather than reason, some reasoned arguments are advanced (see for instance here). But none offers an alternative solution to the problem of how to keep those 500,000 invaders out.

Only 500,000? According to a Gallup Poll, there are a 158 million people who want to migrate into the United States.

A Gallup World Poll has found that 15 percent of the world’s adults (750 million people) would like to move to another country if they had the chance. The research is based on 453,122 interviews in 152 countries. Desire to migrate is strongest in Sub-Saharan Africa, followed by parts of Europe outside the EU. When it comes to the most desired destinations, 21 percent of potential migrants worldwide would like to move to the United States. That equated to 158 million adults. Canada was the second most desired destination [47 million] followed by Germany [42 million].

Of course not all would-be immigrants will try to enter the US through the southern border. But for a lot of them that’s the direct way.

As many as 37 million people in Latin America would like to relocate to the U.S. permanently, making it the region where a move to the U.S. is most popular. Approximately one-third of all Dominicans and Hondurans want to become Americans.

Would those who oppose a wall protest against it so fervently, strive so strenuously to keep it from being built, if they did not know that it will keep the invading horde out?

Posted under immigration by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, March 6, 2019

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