Friday, June 30, 2017

Has WHO’s IARC cancer agency, partly funded by US, outlived its usefulness?

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The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has recently hit new lows in disgraceful behavior. Over the last 18 months, the Risk-Monger and others have been cataloging examples of a lack of scientific integrity, but recent revelations of inappropriate and unethical activities by IARC staff have brought the WHO agency down to its knees. This blog will show the following:
  • IARC’s Kate Guyton tried to suppress glyphosate panel members from cooperating with freedom of information requests;
  • IARC’s director, Christopher Wild, interfered with a US Congressional committee’s internal investigation;
  • IARC panel members were found to be meddling with US EPA research on glyphosate;
  • IARC’s communication team displayed a series of unethical dirty tricks;
  • A study has just been published where ten toxicologists show how IARC’s hazard assessment is outmoded and inadequate.
These events have taken place in the last two weeks and clearly, indicates that IARC is not fit for purpose. Before getting into the details, here is a bit of history of how far IARC has fallen from respectability and scientific credibility......To Read More....

Pack Of Feral Thugs Attack Mom & Baby At Walmart — Made One Massive Mistake

Angry Patriot June 29, 2017 10:56 
 
 Leftists have created an environment in which criminals roam freely on our streets, preying on innocent women and children. At the same time, these die-hard liberals constantly try to get rid of our Second Amendment Rights.
 
Thankfully, there are still plenty of brave red-blooded Americans out there who are willing to put themselves in harm’s way to protect innocents. This was the case with two Kansas men who defended a mom and her infant from murderous thugs–killing the criminals with a legally-owned gun...........One of the thugs, Arthur Fred Wyatt III (a very haughty name for a petty street criminal), had a gun on him (most likely illegal). He shot at the good Samaritans. He hit one of them, a 33-year-old Iraq War veteran from Missouri..........If there hadn’t been a gun-carrying honest citizen at Walmart that day, the mother and her child would most likely have died. The good Samaritans who tried to help would likely have been murdered by the assailants. It would have been a bloodbath. And the whole story would have been glossed over by the Black Lives Matter-supporting media.......To Read More....

This is Socialist Healthcare: European Courts say Hospital has Right to Kill Child Against Parents’ Wishes

By Onan Coca June 29, 2017

 This is socialist “healthcare” folks. While liberals may argue that socialism means more people get insurance coverage, they forget to mention that it also means that the hospital and the government now get to make the final decision about YOUR healthcare.

That’s right, it’s no longer up to you.
  • You want to try an experimental trial to fight whatever disease/sickness you face?
  • That’s too bad, the hospital would prefer that you die with dignity. What?
  • You’re willing to PAY for the procedure yourself?
  • Too bad. You’re not allowed.
I’m not being hyperbolic. I’m not saying that this could happen. It’s already happening. And, it’s coming to America.  

On June 27, the parents of 10-month-old Charlie Gard lost their final appeal to travel to the United States to have him treated for a rare brain disorder. The European Court of Human Rights (EHCR) denied the appeal of London parents Chris Gard and Connie Yates, which means that his life support will be removed and, at some point, he will be allowed to die............Let that sink in a minute: This treatment would have come at no cost to the hospital or the National Health Service (NHS), and would have been covered completely by private donations. They denied the parents their right to determine care for their own child.........We cannot allow ourselves to forget the true depravity of government-run anything.

Thought For the Day

ioting, looting, flipping cars over,                              blocking freewa

Peter Zeihan on Geopolitics: Gathering Strength

Gathering Strength
VISIT THE ARCHIVES TO RE-READ AND SHARE

Elections are funny things. They are the culmination and distillation of forces economic, political, military, technocratic, social, racial, ethnic, linguistic and cultural. Elections are the small bites that the media loves because they’re easily digestible data points, plus the dates are announced ahead of time. After the Brexit and Trump surprises of last year, election-chasing has become the new sexy. Think of the global cheers when Le Pen lost in France. Or the consternation when Turkey’s constitutional reforms went through. Or the sighs of relief when the Dutch and Austrian elections didn’t result in victories for neo-Nazis.

Drawing conclusions can be difficult. Of the endless minutiae that factor in, voters ultimately have to select from a less than subtle palette of choices. Making sense of it all is as difficult for the outside observer as it is for the voter. Generating predictions in such conditions are, in a word, problematic.

I’ve kicked out three big election calls for 2017, and all are in need of updates.

The Germans

If the polls hold at where they’ve been for the past nine months, Angela Merkel will earn her fourth term as chancellor this autumn. Her primary opposition (which just happens to double as her current coalition partner) has hemorrhaged nearly its entire leadership cadre in recent years and ruling with Merkel’s Christian Democrats has contaminated them in the eyes of most center-left voters. Such disenchantment, however, hasn’t really benefited Germany’s other two leftish parties, leaving Merkel & Co. with a commanding lead. Considering all the crises that continue to batter the European system, having Merkel’s deep expertise and calm demeanor at the heart of all things European remain the Continent’s most positive and reliable feature.

The Brits

Tory leader and Prime Minister Theresa May called snap elections this spring, and to many (me included) it appeared her Conservatives were poised for an epic routing of their opposition.

Didn’t happen. Come election day (June 8) the Conservatives stumbled, losing their majority and only being able to continue ruling because of assistance from the DUP (think: Orange). Many might remember the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), the pro-British Protestant party that dominated Northern Ireland during the Troubles. The DUP are to the right of the UUP, who incidentally lost their two seats in parliament during the snap election. The party’s supporters are among the most pro-Brexit, pro-life, pro-British, anti-gay, anti-immigrant, socially conservative and Eurosceptic parties not only in Northern Ireland but throughout the UK. And these are the people Theresa May (and her more moderate, center-right party) will have to court in order to stay in power.

Two things changed. First, the Conservatives made a series of policy-release gaffs, denting their credibility as the only adults in the British political system. The Tories made deep inroads against the Scottish Nationals, focusing on putting the Scottish independence issue to bed for now, but it cost them against a massively underestimated Labour party.

Second, British Labour is no longer of the center-left. Jeremy Corbyn, often lampooned as the “British Bernie Sanders,” ran a sophisticated and successful campaign that even included a law & order platform heavy on the sort of pro-security spending and rhetoric that are the hallmark of not just the Right, but the hard right. The shift provided Labour its best showing in a decade, especially as younger, urban voters came out in higher numbers than expected.

May’s government’s top task will be to negotiate the country’s exit from the European Union with nothing resembling a mandate. Odds are a hard crash out of the EU that will generate a multi-year recession – and that’s the positive case. The less-positive case involves May’s government falling to its mildly-rebellious front bench or to the whims of a chaotic and hostile Labour opposition.

France

La Republic En Marche! didn’t even exist as a party 14 months ago, and after the June parliamentary polls its coalition now holds a commanding majority of 350 in the French parliament. The hard-right National Front quadrupled its representation, but only to 8. The real story is the absolute gutting of the conservative Republican-led alliance down to 137. The Socialist-led alliance lost the most, dropping to 44, following steady gains that began in 2004.

The question is what does this mean for the Fifth Republic. En Marche! is new. Most of its legislators have never held public office. The same holds for the party’s leader and France’s new president, Emmanuel Macron.

Here’s France’s problem:

The economy has been moribund since the 1970's and consistently fails to preform to snuff. The primary obstacles are cultural and regulatory: the post-WWII social welfare model has put down remarkably deep roots in France, leading the French to value government services and quality of life over the sort of activity that tends to generate taxes and… well, high quality of life. The result is a combination of ennui and rage that government isn’t doing more (sound familiar?).

The issue has gotten so bad as to contaminate France’s foreign relations with its most important partner: Germany. French governments have consistently demanded that the EU subsidize all things French with German money, as well as to use more German money to pay for whatever ails the broader European system. The Germans have politely, if firmly, declined to do so. Macron realizes and acknowledges that until such time as France can repair its own house, calling upon the Germans to fork out more for Europe just isn’t going to happen.

With a commanding majority, Macron and En Marche! will attempt to force the sort of economic, cultural and social overhaul that the last several French governments have tried and failed to do. Succeed or fail, expect strikes of a scale that France has not seen in decades (which is saying something).

If Macron is successful, then he will carry the case to Berlin that the Germans need to dig deep to pay for the federalization of the European Union. That means a common budget, common government debt, and some sort of sharing of existing liabilities. For Marcon’s case to get any hearing, his reforms at home must be far more painful than anything any French government has enacted since Napoleon.

So what does it all mean?

The common thread here is centralization.

Merkel is slowly, steadily, quietly, drawing power within the German and European system. Politically, it is to marginalize her opponents at home and abroad. Strategically, it is to prepare for a world with a more active Russia and Turkey and a less active America.

May has to wield her minority government as if she had a crushing majority. The only way to do that is to strengthen state institutions so that whoever holds them has an outsized influence in all things British. Somewhat ironically, Jeremy Corbyn’s shift to the hard right will make it easier for the moderate right to do just that.

While Marcon has the best political tools of the three, he is also attempting the most dramatic transformation: attempting nothing less than a complete overhaul of French policies and economic system. That will require the government forcing its will on an often unruly population who has the tendency to vote “No! What was the question?”

The centralization theme isn’t exactly coming out of the blue.

The world has felt more chaotic of late as the problems we face are getting larger and the tools we have used to respond for so long no longer work. Europe has had a migration problem but the tools needed to manage it are overwhelmed. The financial crisis left much of the world scrambling to get back to where they were a decade ago. But most importantly, the organizing principles of the world Order have been flaking at the edges. Governments the world over are starting to feel the cold as the Disorder sets in.

The rapid changes on the horizon require agile, quick decision making and implementation. These are anathema to many of the multiparty, parliamentary systems that dominate Europe. Germany, Italy and Spain in particular are amalgamations of smaller competing statelets that have been cobbled together over centuries – they’re not designed to allow the central government to implement changes easily. It is hardly a problem the Europeans have a monopoly on: Canada functions as ten countries in one – with all the complications that holds for policy. Brazil is confederal, while Japan struggles with a deep state that resists change in all its myriad forms. India is less a country and more a geographic expression akin to the Holy Roman Empire.

So countries are consolidating. Britain is preparing for a bruising Brexit. Japan has built its largest carriers since WWII and their constitution doesn’t even allow them to have a wartime military. The European Commission is desperate for a roadmap to demonstrate the end of the EU is not nigh. The Indian government is hoping to obliterate the opposition Congress Party as a political force so it can rule unfettered. China’s preparing for political lockdown at its autumn party gathering. Russia’s implementing Snowden-stolen social monitoring techniques at the speed of thought. France aims for a root-to-branch consolidation that guts parties and unions (most of us call these pillars of civil society). Turkey, Hungary and Poland are implementing personality cults. Liberal heartthrob Justin Trudeau wants to nearly double Canadian defense spending (yes, that Canada). Angela Merkel – brilliant, measured, and often boring – is openly discussing Germany’s need to secure its own defenses (and if that doesn’t terrify Europe as much as it titillates Putin, I don’t know what will).

As weird as it sounds, the United States is – so far at least – the exception. Donald Trump’s consolidation moves are typical for any freshman leader, not someone eyeing a storm on the horizon. Funny enough, it took Trump’s Twitter account to make the rest of the world look up.


Read The Absent Superpower for more on why each of these countries is – or isn’t – likely to succeed.
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Urban America's Underclass: More Money Won't Solve the Problems

Larry Elder

PBS NewsHour aired a story last year about Milwaukee, saying many residents call the city "the worst place to be a black man in America." It talked about last year's riots in the city after a cop shot a black man. One black Milwaukee resident explained that this is "what happens when you inflict poverty" on poor black residents.

 "Inflict poverty"?

In the 50 years following President Lyndon Johnson's launch of the "war on poverty" in 1964, government spent over $22 trillion on welfare and various anti-poverty programs. The problem in our nation's inner cities is not a lack of money -- it is a moral and spiritual problem largely created by our welfare state. The welfare system encourages women to marry the government and allows men to abandon their financial and moral responsibilities.

The problem is fatherlessness...... As long as blacks feel and act oppressed, as if they are under siege and behind enemy lines, little will change. The formula is simple, but it requires effort: hard work wins; you get out of life what you put into it; you cannot control the outcome, but you are 100 percent in control of the effort. Go to school, study, work hard, arrive early, stay late, pay attention to detail and be honest. That is the best "anti-poverty program" ever conceived..............To Read More....

White Terrorist Privilege

Mike Adams

The University of North Carolina at Wilmington employed a former domestic terrorist for several decades and no one seemed to care. Dr. James Reeves was a member of the Weather Underground domestic terror group back in the 1960s. By the end of the decade, Reeves was charged with conspiracy to commit murder, promotion of anarchy, assault with intent to commit murder, and receiving stolen goods. He was indicted on charges of stealing a rifle and firing it into the Cambridge Police headquarters near the campus of Harvard University. When a witness recanted, the charges relating to the attack on the police station were dropped. But there were other convictions awaiting the future educator who had declared war on his own country.........

In 2005, a North Carolina State University Professor named Kamau Kambon went on national television (a CSPAN lecture to students at Howard University) and argued for the global extermination of white people. His field of expertise was “Africana Studies.”

The very next year, the Duke lacrosse team was subjected to a public lynching over a rape that never happened. Over 100 professors led the charge against the innocent students denouncing them for “white privilege” every step of the way. Some students joined forces with them demanding the castration of the innocents.............To Read More....

Governing For The Lowest Common Denominator

Derek Hunter  

Well, the Congressional Budget Office score for the Senate health care bill is out, and it’s pretty much what was expected – not all that different from the House bill. It’s not all that different from Obamacare, either, which also was not unexpected. In essence, we’re now living in a country where the federal government is the provider of health insurance, one way or the other.

In their usual, rational way, Democrats are running around screaming the Republican health bill is going to kill people. How? Because the majority of the supposed millions of Americans who will “lose” health insurance would do so by choice, a fact the media can’t be bothered to point out.

In union membership and now health care, the American left is horrified at the prospect of voluntary participation. Don’t want to join a union? Tough. Shut up and pay. Don’t want to buy health insurance? Tough. Shut up and pay. It’s yet another example of how the party of “choice” really means to extend choice only on abortion, with everything else to be dictated by faceless bureaucrats......To Read More.....

The Progressive Boomerang

Victor Davis Hanson

The progressive strategy of investigating President Donald Trump nonstop for Russian collusion or obstruction of justice or witness tampering so far has produced no substantial evidence of wrongdoing.  The alternate strategy of derailing the new administration before it really gets started hasn't succeeded either, despite serial efforts to sue over election results, alter the Electoral College vote, boycott the inauguration, delay the confirmation of appointments, demand recusals, promise Trump's impeachment or removal through the 25th Amendment, and file suit under the Emoluments Clause.   A third strategy of portraying Trump as a veritable monster likewise so far has failed in four special elections for House seats......To Read More....

CNN Tries To Move Forward After Its Latest Humiliation

Kurt Schlichter

“Ladies, gentlemen, and non-binary beings who refuse to be forced into one or more specific genders,” began CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker, employing the network’s prescribed group salutation. “I have gathered you all today here in the CNN newsroom to discuss this Anthony Scaramucci Russia story we retracted and how it has had a negative impact on our network’s sterling reputation for journalistic integrity and objectivity. Hey, pay attention! Stop laughing!”

The room quieted down. Even Don Lemon looked up from the bar, where he was mixing a cosmopolitan.

“Listen, people….,” Zucker began.............To Read More......

Anger Privilege

Posted by Daniel Greenfield Wednesday, June 21, 2017 21 Comments @ the Sultan Knish Blog
If you want to know who has privilege in a society and who doesn’t, follow the anger.

There are people in this country who can safely express their anger. And those who can’t. If you’re
angry that Trump won, your anger is socially acceptable. If you were angry that Obama won, it wasn’t.

James Hodgkinson’s rage was socially acceptable. It continued to be socially acceptable until he crossed the line into murder. And he’s not alone. There’s Micah Xavier Johnson, the Black Lives Matter cop-killer in Dallas, and Gavin Long, the Black Lives Matter cop-killer in Baton Rouge. If you’re black and angry about the police, your anger is celebrated. If you’re white and angry about the Terror travel ban, the Paris Climate treaty, ObamaCare repeal or any leftist cause, you’re on the side of the angry angels.

But if you’re white and angry that your job is going to China or that you just missed being killed in a Muslim suicide bombing, your anger is unacceptable.

If you’re an angry leftist, your party leader, Tom Perez will scream and curse into a microphone, and your aspiring presidential candidate, Kirsten Gillibrand, will curse along, to channel the anger of the base. But if you’re an angry conservative, then Trump channeling your anger is “dangerous” because you aren’t allowed to be angry.

Not all anger is created equal. Some anger is privileged rage.

Good anger gets you a gig as a CNN commentator. Bad anger gets you hounded out of your job. Good anger isn’t described as anger at all. Instead it’s linguistically whitewashed as “passionate” or “courageous”. Bad anger however is “worrying” or “dangerous”. Angry left-wing protesters “call out”, angry right-wing protesters “threaten”. Good anger is left-wing. Bad anger is right-wing.

Socially acceptable displays of anger, from Occupy Wall Street to Black Lives Matter riots to the anti-Trump marches to the furious campus protests, are invariably left-wing.

Left-wing anger over the elections of Bush and Trump was sanctified. Right-wing outrage over Obama’s victory was demonized. Now that left-wing anger led a Bernie Sanders volunteer to open fire at a Republican charity baseball practice outing. And the media reluctantly concedes that maybe both sides should moderate their rhetoric. Before listing examples that lean to the right like “Lock her up”.

Why were chants of “Lock her up” immoderate, but not Bush era cries of “Jail to the chief”? Why were Tea Party rallies “ominous” but the latest We Hate Trump march is “courageous”? Why is killing Trump on stage the hottest thing to hit Shakespeare while a rodeo clown who wore an Obama mask was hounded by everyone from the Lieutenant Governor of Missouri to the NAACP?

Not all anger is created equal. Anger, like everything else, is ideologically coded. Left-wing anger is good because its ideological foundations are good. Right-wing anger is bad because its ideology is bad.

It’s not the level of anger, its intensity or its threatening nature that makes it good or bad.

And that is why the left so easily slips into violence. All its ideological ends are good. Therefore its means, from mass starvation to gulags to riots and tyranny, must be good. If I slash your tires because of your Obama bumper sticker”, I’m a monster. But if you key my car because of my Trump bumper sticker, you’re fighting racism and fascism. Your tactics might be in error, but your viewpoint isn’t.

There are no universal standards of behavior. Civility, like everything else, is ideologically limited.

Intersectionality frowns on expecting civil behavior from “oppressed” protesters. Asking that shrieking campus crybully not to scream threats in your face is “tone policing”. An African-American millionaire’s child at Yale is fighting for her “existence”, unlike the Pennsylvania coal miner, the Baltimore police officer and the Christian florist whose existences really are threatened.

Tone policing is how the anger of privileged leftists is protected while the frustration of their victims is suppressed. The existence of tone policing as a specific term to protect displays of left-wing anger shows the collapse of civility into anger privilege. Civility has been replaced by a political entitlement to anger.

The left prides itself on an unearned moral superiority (“When they go low, we go high”) reinforced by its own echo chamber even as it has become incapable of controlling its angry outbursts. The national tantrum after Trump’s victory has all but shut down the government, turned every media outlet into a non-stop feed of conspiracy theories and set off protests that quickly escalated into street violence.

But Trump Derangement Syndrome is a symptom of a problem with the left that existed before he was born. The left is an angry movement. It is animated by an outraged self-righteousness whose moral superiority doubles as dehumanization. And its machinery of culture glamorizes its anger. The media dresses up the seething rage so that the left never has to look at its inner Hodgkinson in the mirror.

The left is as angry as ever. Campus riots and assassinations of Republican politicians are nothing new. What is changing is that its opponents are beginning to match its anger. The left still clings to the same anger it had when it was a theoretical movement with plans, but little impact on the country. The outrage at the left is no longer ideological. There are millions of people whose health care was destroyed by ObamaCare, whose First Amendment rights were taken away, whose land was seized, whose children were turned against them and whose livelihoods were destroyed.

The angry left has gained a great deal of power. It has used that power to wreck lives. It is feverishly plotting to deprive nearly 63 million Americans of their vote by using its entrenched power in the government, the media and the non-profit sector. And it is too blinded by its own anger over the results of the election to realize the anger over its wholesale abuses of power and privileged tantrums.

But monopolies on anger only work in totalitarian states. In a free society, both sides are expected to control their anger and find terms on which to debate and settle issues. The left rejects civility and refuses to control its anger. The only settlement it will accept is absolute power. If an election doesn’t go its way, it will overturn the results. If someone offends it, he must be punished. Or there will be anger.

The angry left demands that everyone recognize the absolute righteousness of its anger as the basis for its power. This anger privilege, like tone policing, is often cast in terms of oppressed groups. But its anger isn’t in defiance of oppression, but in pursuit of oppression.

Anger privilege is used to silence opposition, to enforce illegal policies and to seize power. But the left’s monopolies on anger are cultural, not political. The entertainment industry and the media can enforce anger privilege norms through public shaming, but their smears can’t stop the consequences of the collapse of civility in public life. There are no monopolies on emotion.

When anger becomes the basis for political power, then it won’t stop with Howard Dean or Bernie Sanders. That’s what the left found out in the last election. Its phony pearl clutching was a reaction to the consequences of its destruction of civility. Its reaction to that show of anger by conservatives and independents was to escalate the conflict. Instead of being the opposition, the left became the “resistance”. Trump was simultaneously Hitler and a traitor. Republicans were evil beasts.

James Hodgkinson absorbed all this. The left fed his anger. And eventually he snapped.

Anger has to go somewhere.

The left likes to think that its anger is good anger because it’s angry over the plight of illegal aliens, Muslim terrorists, transgender bathrooms, the lack of abortion in South Carolina, the minimum wage at Taco Bell, budget cuts, tax cuts, police arrests, drone strikes and all the other ways in which reality differs from its utopia. But all that anger isn’t the road to a better world, but to hate and violence.

Millions of leftists, just like Hodgkinson, are told every day that Republicans are responsible for everything wrong with their lives, the country and the planet. Despite everything they do, all the petitions they sign, the marches they attend, the donations, the angry letters, the social media rants, Republicans continue to exist and even be elected to public office. Where does that anger go?

Either we have a political system based on existing laws and norms of civility. Or we have one based on coups and populist leftist anger. And there are already a whole bunch of those south of the border.

Leftist anger is a privileged bubble of entitlement that bursts every other election. Its choice is to try to understand the rest of the country or to intimidate, censor, oppress and eventually kill them.

James Hodgkinson took the latter course. His personal leftist revolution ended, as all leftist revolutions do, in blood and violence. The left can check its anger privilege and examine its entitlement.

Or his violence will be our future.
 

Whether for Reasons of Good Policy or Personal Revenge, Trump and Republicans Should End Subsidies for the OECD

June 26, 2017 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty
If I was Captain Ahab in a Herman Melville novel, my Moby Dick would be the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. I have spent more than 15 years fighting that Paris-based bureaucracy. Even to the point that the OECD threatened to throw me in a Mexican jail.
So when I had a chance earlier today to comment on the OECD’s statist agenda, I could barely contain myself


Notwithstanding the glitch at the beginning (the perils of a producer talking in my ear), I greatly enjoyed the opportunity to castigate the OECD.

Indeed, returning to my Moby Dick analogy, I’m increasingly hopeful that the harpoons I keep throwing at the OECD may finally draw some blood.

In his budget, President Trump has proposed to cut overall spending for international organizations. And we’re talking about a real budget cut, not the phony kind of cut where spending merely grows at a slightly slower rate.

The budget doesn’t specify funding levels for the various bureaucracies, but various Administration officials have told me that their goal is to completely defund the Paris-based bureaucracy.
To quote Chris Matthews, this definitely sends a thrill up my leg.

But I’m trying not to get too excited. It’s still up to Congress to decide OECD funding, and the bureaucrats in Paris have been very clever about currying favor with the members of the subcommittee that doles out cash for international organizations.

Though as I mentioned in the interview, the OECD didn’t do itself any favors by openly trashing Trump last year. Even if they have their doubts about Trump, I suspect most GOPers in Congress aren’t happy that the bureaucrats in Paris were trying to tilt the election for Hillary Clinton.
Here are some examples.

The OECD’s number-two bureaucrat, Doug Frantz, actually equated America’s president with the former head of Germany’s National Socialist Workers Party.
The Deputy Secretary General of the OECD has described…Donald Trump as a “lunatic” whose political rise mirrors that of Hitler and Mussolini. …Speaking on RTÉ’s This Week, Doug Frantz said…“if you look at the basis ‘us and them’ that Donald Trump sets up, that Hitler set up, that Mussolini set up, then you can begin to at least be concerned and I’m concerned: I think any right-minded person should be concerned…The person who sits in the White House is the most powerful person in the world and if that person is someone who follows every whim and appeals to the most base instincts of a population, then we’re all under real threat”.
And another news report caught the OECD’s Secretary General, Angel Gurria, basically asserting that Trump is racist.
Angel Gurria, secretary general of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development  and former Mexican foreign minister, says the word “racist” can be applied to Donald Trump. …Gurria tells UpFront’s Mehdi Hasan: “I would tend to agree with those who say that this is not only misinformed, but yes, I think the word racist can be applied. I think that because the American public is wise, it will then act in consequence,” Gurria adds.
By the way, I’m making sure to share these partisan statements with lots of people in Congress and the Administration.

In an ideal world, lawmakers would defund the OECD because it is an egregious waste of money. But if they defund the bureaucracy because its top two officials tried to interfere with the US election, I’ll still be happy with the final outcome.

I’ll close by recycling the video on the OECD that I narrated for the Center for Freedom and Prosperity.


P.S. In the interest of fairness, I’ll acknowledge that the OECD occasionally produces good work. I’ve even favorably cited research from the bureaucracy on issues such as government spending, tax policy, and expenditure limits.

But even if the bureaucracy ended its statist advocacy agenda and gave staff economists carte blanche to produce good papers, that still wouldn’t change my view that American tax dollars should not be funding the OECD. Though I confess it would be a much less attractive target if it returned to its original mission of collecting statistics and publishing studies.

 

More Dishonest “Poverty” Research that Doesn’t Measure Poverty

June 25, 2017 by Dan Mitchell
 
I periodically share data showing that living standards are higher in the United States than in Europe.
My goal isn’t to be jingoistic. Instead, I’m warning readers that we won’t be as prosperous if we copy out tax-and-spend friends on the other side of the Atlantic (just like I try to draw certain conclusions when showing how many low-tax jurisdictions have higher levels of economic output than the United States).

I’m sometimes asked, though, how America can be doing better than Europe when we have more poverty.

And when I ask them why they thinks that’s the case, they will point to sources such as this study from the German-based Institute of Labor Economics. Here’s some attention-grabbing data from the report.
The United States has the highest poverty rate both overall and among households with an employed person, but it stands farther away from the other countries on its in-work poverty rate than its overall poverty rate. The contrast between the US and three other English-speaking countries — Australia, Ireland, and the United Kingdom — is particularly striking. Compared to those three nations, the United States has an overall poverty rate only a little higher but an in-work poverty rate that is much higher.
And here’s the main chart from the study, with the United States as the bottom. It appears that there twice as much poverty in the USA as there is in a stagnant economy like France.

There even appears to be more poverty in America than there is in Spain and Italy, both of which are so economically shaky that they required bailouts during the recent fiscal/financial crisis.....To Read More....

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Trump and America’s Changing Relationship with Europe

By Alexandra Phillips

For Trump, the clear threat to international harmony is not the might of Russia, nor the possibility of a Communist invasion that dominate the darkest fears of Europeans still wearing the scars of both, but the perceived insidious contagion of polar religious and cultural attitudes from a growing Islamic diaspora, a battle in which the secular stringency of Russia and China become mighty resources, while the laissez-faire attitude of the inept European handling of mass migration, is an exacerbating risk. Russia’s annexation of Crimea has been comparatively starkly ignored by an America who led the Europeans through the heightened tensions of the Cold War. Trump’s lack of recognition of this innate fear of many Europeans has divided Europe’s capitals on Trump as they are over many other issues......Read More

My Take - The situation is outlined reasonably well here, but I have some issues with the author's conclusions.  He says Europe needs a 'cuddle' from the U.S. but Trump gave them a slap on the wrist.  Baloney.  Europe needs a good smack in the mouth and a strong slap in the back of the head.   Let's try and get this right.  Europeans are spoiled socialists who're about to go belly up and they're being replaced by people that belong to a political criminal concept masquerading as a religion - Islam - who intend to rule them or kill them, and yet they cling to their stupid concepts of multiculturalism.  Europe - as a societal concept - is completely antithetical to Islam.  If they're going to survive Europeans will have to initiate a civil war or accept  extinction! 

This article in Geopolitical Futures highlights just how Islam keeps it's adherents backward and suffering .... Modern Medicine and the Islamic State.

Nothing we see today has changed since Winston Chruchill penned these words about Islam in 1899.
How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy.

The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity.

The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property – either as a child, a wife, or a concubine – must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities.

Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen: all know how to die: but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it.  No stronger retrograde force exists in the world.  
Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.
You may find this June 27th aticle in American Thinker on the long term relationship between Germany and Islam as a way to explain their irrational actions today. 

Germany and Islam
By Mike Konrad

Germany has a bizarre historical connection with Islam that lies beneath much of the present day crisis in Europe. One could argue that these connections are just the product of historical coincidences, but with Germany the coincidences seem to add up regularly.

When one studies the age of European imperialism, Germany came late to the game, almost as an afterthought.  Bismarck, for all his authoritarian faults, felt that imperialism would do Germany no good, and wanted no part of it.  He was overridden by public opinion, and Bismarck's policy was later repudiated by Kaiser Wilhelm II, who wanted Germany to take her “Place in the Sun.”
 
Imperialism would not have destroyed Germany, per se; smaller and weaker nations such as Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, and even backward Spain all had empires.

But what set Germany apart was a concerted love of Arabs and Islam. There was something deeper and darker to this than mere German MachtPolitik.  One of his first acts, upon assuming power as Kaiser, was to visit the Ottoman Empire in 1889,  He wore a fez. He offered to arm the Turks. .........Read more

Will the Brits Ever Learn, an Armed Citizenry is a Safe Citizenry

By John Snyder

Of course, none of these gun laws and restrictions imposed thereto prevented the London Bridge and other terrorist attacks.  If anything, they facilitated the effectiveness of the attacks by rendering Londoners and other Britons supine, defenseless and helpless in the face of suicidal, murderous fanatic Islamist terrorists. It remains to be seen if British Government officials will see, understand, and admit to the utter stupidity of the anti-gun public policies over the years, and rectify them........Read More

Trump Should Say “You’re Fired” to Mueller After Revelation of Comey’s Vengeful Special Counsel Ruse

By Cliff Kincaid

Unless drastic action is taken, in the form of a “war room” with veteran conservative operatives to challenge the Mueller/Comey onslaught, Trump will likely lose. As part of the counter-attack, Trump will have to fire Mueller, just like he fired Comey, and then he will have to drain the swamp at the FBI, as we urged before. All of “Comey’s Homies” should be identified and fired. The FBI is out of control, including its former directors Comey and Mueller.

Trump is the elected president. Will he act to restore civilian control of the government and put the unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats in their place?............ Read More

The $5.7 billion 'pink slime' lawsuit against ABC was settled, leaving the beef company feeling 'vindicated'

Kate Taylor

ABC News and Beef Products Inc. reached a settlement in a $5.7 billion lawsuit that claimed a story ABC ran in 2012 misled viewers and caused hundreds of layoffs. On Wednesday, ABC announced it had reached an "amicable resolution" with BPI. The terms of the settlement are confidential, the Sioux City Journal's Nick Hytrek reported. BPI's attorney, Dan Webb, said the settlement "vindicated" the company and its "lean finely textured beef," the product that ABC dubbed "pink slime" in its 2012 reports, according to Hytrek.....To Read More....

Peter Zeihan on Geopolotics: Patar, PACOM, and the Absence of US Foreign Policy

                       
                       
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Qatar, PACOM, and the Absence of US Foreign Policy
So, two things that happened in the past week that were of interest to me.

First, Saudi Arabia issued its official demands that the Qatari government would need to meet for the Saudis and their allies to end their diplomatic, political and economic blockade. With deep conditions ranging from the shuttering of the al Jazeera news service to a complete realignment of the country’s foreign policy from one of independent stances to something more appropriate to a province of Saudi Arabia.

Second, I spoke at PACOM in Hawaii about the changing nature of American power. The subsequent discussion focused heavily on the evolving role of the U.S. military as the country’s geopolitical priorities shift. The two neatly dovetail and highlight one of the deepening challenges the U.S. government faces in the next few years.

Let’s start with the background.

Near the end of World War II at the Bretton Woods conference the United States struck a deal with the allies. In the post-war order, the United States will defend not just your countries, but all your trade. You will no longer need to fight one another to access raw materials or markets. Furthermore, the American market -- the only one of size to survive the war -- will be open to you. All you have to do is side with America against the Soviets. Put simply, the United States pledged its military and economy to subsidize history’s largest alliance network.

By 1992, however, the Cold War had ended and -- caught up in the transition from the Bush Sr administration to Clinton -- the Americans neglected to craft a replacement strategy. The world changed, but U.S. strategic overwatch and subsidization of the alliance did not. All the various Cold War allies -- ranging from the Germans to the Koreans to the Chinese to the Greeks -- continued to benefit economically, but the Americans no longer received the strategic deference that was part of the original Bretton Woods deal.

Twenty-five years later, the economic cost of such an outdated strategy has led to the perception in many Americans’ minds that the world is freeloading on American security commitments. This isn’t intolerance or a fit of pique, it is a reasonable response to Washington’s inability to craft a replacement for a security policy that is a generation out of date. Such perceptions heavily colored the populist nature of the 2016 presidential election, and of course the election of Donald Trump -- and now the American retrenchment is in full swing.

Yet it hardly started with Trump. American strategic policy has been on autopilot since 1992. The Clinton, W Bush and Obama administrations were too distracted, disinterested and/or unaware of the intricacies of the international system to meaningfully update the original Bretton Woods deal. In Donald Trump the Americans now have a leader just as distracted, disinterested and/or unaware as his three immediate predecessors. What is different about Trump is that as a populist he feels no attachment to the Bretton Woods system, so there is no natural inclination to just let-it-ride. Consequently, there are a growing number of breaches as the freshmen president, by action and inaction, peels away bits of the old system -- but doesn’t replace them with anything new.

Such peeling is on full display with U.S. policy to the Persian Gulf. Trump’s first overseas visit wasn’t to traditional partners like Canada or Mexico or traditional allies like the United Kingdom or Japan, but instead to Saudi Arabia where Trump was quickly sucked into a gilded flattery fest of Trumpian proportions. The Saudis emerged from the visit-glow thinking they had the White House’s stamp of approval to restructure their region in whatever way they saw fit. Their first act wasn’t to move against ISIS or Iran, but Qatar -- a tiny country the Saudis have long viewed as unnecessarily close to Iran, unnecessarily promiscuous when it comes to sponsoring political groups opposed to Saudi goals, and in general unnecessarily free-willed.
Qatar, however, didn’t buckle -- and that brings us to PACOM.

The U.S. military apparatus is charged with dispensing and enforcing U.S. strategic policy. As part of such duties, the military must constantly interact with allies and rivals around the world. That takes soldiers. Sailors. Marines. Airmen. Bases -- and those bases require commitments to local and regional security concerns. That takes engagement, reliability, consistency. Every. Single. Day. By far the Americans’ largest overseas base these days is in Doha…the capital of Qatar. The CENTCOM base there has been the nerve-center for all US operations in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan for some 15 years now.

The Qataris believe -- correctly -- that the U.S. military has their back and so there is no need for them to back down to the Saudis. The Saudis believe -- correctly -- that the Trump administration has green-lit their desire to restructure their region more to their liking. The Trump administration believes -- correctly -- that the U.S. strategic policy it inherited needs an overhaul, but has yet to craft that replacement policy.


The result in the U.S. military and diplomatic community is an overriding sense of confusion and frustration. Their standing orders are clear, but the shifts out of the White House are equally clear. And increasingly, the two contradict. The folks at PACOM can’t figure out, for example, whether they are supposed to treat China as a threat, a partner, a rising power who should be engaged…or given space. And mixed messages aren’t the best things when dealing with multiple aircraft carrier battle groups.

The issue is not so much Trump’s tendency to make policy via Twitter (although that obviously doesn’t help), but instead that ever since the Cold War ended the Americans have not had a goal.

Until the Americans select a new one they cannot have a coherent strategy. Until they have the national conversation required to select that goal, these deepening splits between needs and actions will only widen, leaving allies new and old not just in a lurch, but often acting against one another -- as Saudi Arabia and Qatar are now.


There are plenty of places where this disconnect between emerging strategic interests and outdated policy will grind. Some of the louder ones include NATO, where it is no longer clearly in America’s interests to defend Europe against Russia. At the DMZ, where North Korea is far more a threat to South Korea, Japan and even China than it is to the United States. In the South China Sea where Chinese aggression is less a threat to American interests than to Taiwanese and Japanese. In Kuwait where America’s lack of oil import needs staggeringly reduces the Americans’ interest while staggeringly increasing Saudi belligerence. America’s use of Turkey’s Incirlik airbase will likely evaporate for a mix of reasons ranging from disenchantment with the evolution of the Turkish political space to a general feeling that the refugee issue is Europe’s problem, while Syria is Turkey’s problem.

Other places generate a lot less heartburn and -- even without some new overarching strategy -- are likely to keep their current levels of American involvement regardless. The UK, Canada and Australia have been and will remain America’s closest allies under almost any reasonable scenario. Morocco and Algeria are reliable partners in the struggle against Islamic militancy. Proximity and economic centrality will keep the Americans involved in Panamanian affairs for as long as water transport is a thing. Singapore sits on the world’s most strategically located real estate and is likely to be a valued partner until the end of time itself.
Perhaps the quirkiest aspect of all this are the countries likely to suffer the most from the policy discombobulation.

On the surface the Qatari-Saudi spat seems like it would deliver the Persian Gulf to Iran on a silver platter. But no. Within the first week of the argument, Turkey had deployed troops to its airbase in Qatar. Nothing is easy in the Middle East, even (especially!) for powers inhabiting the region. Turkey’s push to support Qatar is a clear indication to Tehran (and Riyadh) that even if US troops left the region tomorrow, Iran gets to look forward to facing off against yet another superior economic and military power. Unlike the United States, however, Turkey has a bevy of permanent regional interests directly opposed to Iran’s own, and occupies prime real estate in the neighborhood.

Trump’s wobbling on NATO seems like it gives the Russians everything they want -- a Europe without the American security umbrella. But no. With the Americans out, the Germans have no choice but to rearm -- and every time that has happened, it hasn’t turned out well for Moscow.


Loosening security ties with the East Asian rim seems like a dream come true for the Chinese. But no. Not only does that force Japan, Korea and Taiwan to massively bulk up their defense capacities (and perhaps go nuclear), but China’s extensive international economic position is utterly dependent upon the Americans keeping markets open and sea lanes safe on a global scale. Without America, there is no Chinese economic miracle -- and most likely a naval war with Japan that China simply cannot win.

What will the Americans decide they want out of all of this? What will their new goal be? No clue. American politics are loud and messy and amped up with righteous indignation at present. Even if Americans could start the national conversation on finding that elusive goal today, I doubt they’d come up with the final answer in this presidency.
 

Read
The Absent Superpower for more on why each of these countries is – or isn’t – likely to succeed.
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