Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

The deification of Democracy

December 25, 2017

Bad decisions, wrong decisions, stupid decisions, promulgation of ridiculous laws, mayhem and murder are all justified today if they were decisions taken, or actions performed, “democratically”. “Democratic” applies as an adjective for any action or decision supported by a majority.

Democracy may be the best political system available for a society at a given time. But it is not sacrosanct and it is definitely not the best system for all societies at all times. Corporations and other enterprises prefer not to use “democratic” management for very good reasons. Armies and police forces and even bureaucracies cannot operate democratically. The worst schools are those where teachers are subject to the whims of the incompetent. No family company operates democratically. It is self-deception to imagine that the UN or the EU are democratic organisations. The idea that all countries must always be better off with a “democratic” system is flawed.

baying for democracy

We have deified “democratic” to the extent that the number of bodies is always given precedence over the existence – let alone the quality – of minds or the behaviour of those bodies. We have made a god of “universal suffrage” and a religion of systems that seem “democratic”. Even if the critical faculties of the human brain are not fully developed till the age of 25, voting age is being reduced everywhere to give half-developed minds the vote. Even if a true democracy can only be a form of anarchy, the semblance of majority choice of political parties is considered sufficient to attain a state of grace. A numerical majority in favour can validate falsity. Behaviour has no part to play. Experience and knowledge have no part to play.

…. it is mere existence as an individual that suffices to have an “equal vote”. And if everyone has the vote it is assumed that “democracy” has been attained – as if it were some sort of state of grace.  The only real criterion is that of age, even if some countries still have some other criteria in force. The merit of the individual is irrelevant. Votes can and are bought by promises or by free meals or by money or by a bus-ride. A “bought” or coerced vote weighs as heavy as one that is freely given. (There is nothing wrong in buying or selling votes – the flaw lies in that the seller has a vote equal to that of free elector). A fool has the same vote as a wise man. A large tax contributor is equated to a small tax contributor. Government servants paid for by taxes have the same weight of vote as the tax payers. Priests and politicians have the vote. The behaviour of an individual does not affect his vote. Experience, intelligence, wisdom, competence or criminality are all considered equally irrelevant. A majority vote is considered to be the “will of the people” where “constitutions” are supposed to prevent excesses against minorities. But constitutions are subject to the same majority vote. One hundred and one idiots take precedence over one hundred wiser men. And we inevitably get the politicians that universal suffrage deserves. This democracy and its universal suffrage needs also to be tempered by merit. But meritocracy smacks of elitism and no self-respecting socialist could tolerate that.

Universal Suffrage which ignores merit has led to the Lowest Common Factor becoming what counts and not the Highest Common Multiple that is being sought.

The primary flaw lies in the assumption that all humans are “equal” – whatever that is supposed to mean. No one disputes that people behave differently, have varying competence, have varying intelligence, have varying value to the society they are in and yet there is a mindless regurgitation of the litany that “all humans are equal”.

Equality and excellence cannot coexist.


 

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After a year of dumping on Trump

December 22, 2017

I doubt if any US President has ever had such concerted opposition from the media and the establishment (Democrat and Republican) as Trump has.

It has become a pastime for “liberals” both in the US and globally to mindlessly dump on Trump. But after one year of the “liberal” world dumping on Trump, his actual record is fairly impressive:

  1. The world has been saved from a Hillary Clinton presidency
  2. ISIS has been decimated and the Islamic Caliphate remains a distant dream
  3. A much needed tax reform – the first in 31 years – has been passed in the US.
  4. The long overdue recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has moved a step forward.
  5. The ridiculous ban on Arctic drilling for oil and gas has been removed.
  6. US growth is up above 3% and on track for over 4%.
  7. With Neil Gorsuch the US Supreme Court is returning to rationality and some balance.
  8. The Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines are going forward
  9. The demonisation of coal has been slowed down – if not stopped.
  10. Illegal immigration is drastically reduced.
  11. Markets are booming.
  12. NATO members have started paying their dues.
  13. The US is leaving the meaningless Paris climate non-treaty.
  14. The Obama care individual insurance mandate has been removed.
  15. The US has left the TPP.
  16. Manufacturing job creation has increased.
  17. Unemployment is down.
  18. Black unemployment and Hispanic unemployment are at historic lows.
  19. Housing sales are sharply up.
  20. The appeasement of radical Muslim “sensibilities” in the US has slowed down.

ISIS execution in Kirkuk Al-Masdar News

I doubt that any Democrats will reject their tax decreases. I doubt that any enterprise will reject the reduction of corporate tax. I doubt that any growing US enterprise will not consider investment and job creation. The EU does not like the US tax reform because they see a growing disadvantage to European industry and a loss of jobs to the US.

Whether Trump can survive the continuing onslaught remains to be seen. Whether the UN can return closer to honesty remains to be seen. Whether bilateralism can overcome politically correct but bankrupt multilateralism remains to be seen.

But the reality is that the world is a better place after one year of Trump than it would have been with Hillary Clinton.


 

The one or the many

October 31, 2017

It is the classic dilemma of our age which shows up everywhere.

I nearly always tend towards prioritising the one primarily because without the one there cannot be the many, without the local you cannot get to global, without the national there is no international and without the excellence of the few you cannot get the good of the herd. I prefer the highest multiple possible to the lowest common factor. It colours my politics. I prefer the search for excellence rather than the common mediocrity of socialism. I prefer the the internationalism which comes as a consequence of strong nationalism to the bullying of the UN or the EU.

I side with “to each as he deserves” rather than to “each as he desires”. Freedoms flow bottom up from the individual to the group rather than privileges and sanctions flowing from the group down to the oppressed individual.


 

Democratic autocracies

April 16, 2017

The trend is clear.

Democratic elected autocrats is political evolution in motion.

We already have Czar Vladimir, Maharaja Modi and King Barack succeeded by King Donald. The squabbling kingdoms of Europe are drifting without any clear vision or direction.

Now comes Sultan Erdogan.

It is the sign of things to come.

image The Economist

Democracies have probably become too wishy-washy, too soft and very close to anarchic mob rule. This development may well be a necessary political evolution.


 

Trump wasn’t wrong about Sweden (just a little early)

February 21, 2017

Fake news in Sweden is nothing new  – it is mainly by omission of course. Politically unpalatable stories are generally ignored or downplayed by a docile main stream media which never questions the basis of political correctness. They have also made a god of multi-culturalism and cannot (or will not) distinguish between multi-ethnic and multicultural (A “society” – to be a society – can be multi-ethnic but not multicultural).

After what seemed to be another “ignorant” Trump comment about Sweden, he has been proven to be correct in substance if not in timing by the extensive riots in Rinkeby (an immigrant dominated suburb of Stockholm) yesterday. What he said was “You look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this? Sweden. They took in large numbers. They’re having problems like they never thought possible”. His reference to “last night” was wrong but the rest was spot on. Of course there was high indignation from Sweden in general and from the liberal/left in particular, but their high dudgeon may prove to be badly misplaced.

Meanwhile, Rioting Breaks Out In Sweden

It would appear the mainstream media (along with several celebrities and Swedish politicians) is going to be apologizing to President Trump once again.

Having spent the entire new cycle trying to ignore the immigrant crisis facing Sweden, and pin the ignorant tail on Trump, both Dagbladet and Expressen reports riots breaking out in the highly immigrant concentrated Stockholm borough of Rinkeby, Sweden with police firing warning shots as 100s of young people throw stones and burn cars.

During the evening hundreds of young people gathered in the center of Rinkeby, well known for its high concentration of immigrants and people with immigrant ancestry. In June 2010, Rinkeby was the scene of riots and attacks against the local police station and Rinkeby is the region in which the ’60 Minutes’ crew were attacked in 2016.

……. warnings of increasing radicalization among Sweden’s Muslims – warnings he started to broadcast a decade ago – now seem eerily prophetic in light of an Associated Press investigation that found Stockholm to be a breeding ground for jihadists among Swedish Somalis. 

According to the AP report, which first ran Jan. 24, an al-Qaida-linked group is busy recruiting anti-government fighters among Somali youths living in Rinkeby. A suburb of Stockholm, Rinkeby has earned the nickname of “Little Mogadishu” because of the number of Somalis living there. Rinkeby is also the center of the recruiting efforts of al-Shabab, a group with ties to al-Qaida.

Rinkeby is a known problem area in Stockholm. It was here NRK journalist Anders Magnus was attacked with stones last spring, and here the police never go in the evenings without reinforcements from other patrols according to Dagbladet. A freelancer the newspaper spoke to, described the situation as serious. …

Rinkeby riots Feb 20th 2017

Rinkeby riots Feb 20th 2017

As an immigrant in Sweden, I find a decided lack of courage among Swedish politicians and the main stream media when they will not talk about the immigrant problems (which are primarily issues with Muslim immigrants, and religion is not irrelevant) because:

  1. they cannot bring themselves to admit that the multicultural meme  that they have religiously propounded is shallow, lazy and discredited (as opposed to multi-ethnic but with an evolving mono-culture), and
  2. they believe that keeping silent may make it go away.

Donald Trump is not big on academic, rational, logical thinking. He reacts from the gut and, at least in this instance, his gut emotions about Sweden are not wrong.


 

“Dilbert” withdraws his support for Berkeley

February 7, 2017

Scott Adams (creator of Dilbert) got his MBA from UC Berkeley but he is not amused by the shenanigans there. He suggests Berkeley is closer to Hitler than the right wing Milo Yiannopoulos they stopped (by rioting).

dilbert-blog

Berkeley and Hitler

Here’s the best article you are likely to read about the absurdity of calling ANY American president Hitler. This is the sort of persuasion (sprinkled with facts) that can dissolve some of the post-election cognitive dissonance that hangs like a dark cloud over the country. Share it liberally, so to speak. You might save lives.

Speaking of Hitler, I’m ending my support of UC Berkeley, where I got my MBA years ago. I have been a big supporter lately, with both my time and money, but that ends today. I wish them well, but I wouldn’t feel safe or welcome on the campus. A Berkeley professor made that clear to me recently. He seems smart, so I’ll take his word for it.

I’ve decided to side with the Jewish gay immigrant who has an African-American boyfriend, not the hypnotized zombie-boys in black masks who were clubbing people who hold different points of view. I feel that’s reasonable, but I know many will disagree, and possibly try to club me to death if I walk on campus. 

Yesterday I asked my most liberal, Trump-hating friend if he ever figured out why Republicans have most of the Governorships, a majority in Congress, the White House, and soon the Supreme Court. He said, “There are no easy answers.”

I submit that there are easy answers. But for many Americans, cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias hide those easy answers behind Hitler hallucinations. 

I’ll keep working on clearing the fog. Estimated completion date, December 2017. It’s a big job.

As he says, the privileged elite, Trump-haters need to come to terms with the reality that most of the US Governors, both houses of Congress, the White House and most of (soon) the Supreme Court are Republican.


 

The US Cultural Revolution (as seen from 2050)

February 5, 2017

Paraphrasing freely from a Wikipedia entry:

The US Cultural Revolution, was a sociopolitical movement that took place in the United States from 2016 until 2028. It was set into motion by Donald Trump, when he became President of the United States (ostensibly representing the Republican Party), with the intent to “Make America Great Again”. His stated goal was to preserve ‘true’ American freedoms by reducing the size of government and by purging the leftist and liberal elements that had infiltrated US society and the media, and to re-impose the ideals of freedom of thought as the dominant ideology within the country. The Revolution marked the return of right-of center thought to the mainstream of the United States establishment. 

The Revolution was launched in November 2016, when he was elected President. On assuming office in January 2017,  Trump alleged that leftist elements had infiltrated the government and society at large, aiming to promote a socialist-leaning, “world government”. He insisted that this “wrong thinking” be purged through a reversal of the over-permissive laws of the US. To this end he ensured a majority of right leaning justices in the Supreme Court. He attacked the traditional establishment media by promoting the alternative media channels developing through the internet. Liberal bureaucrats were isolated and marginalized wherever they could not be sacked. Left leaning institutions were starved of government funds. The American heartland responded to Trump’s appeal by voting those considered “too liberal” out of office, all around the country. After the Republicans dominated the elections of 2018, the movement received widespread support from the military, urban workers, and the Republican Party leadership itself. During the same period Trump’s personality cult grew to immense proportions.

Trump officially declared the US Cultural Revolution to have ended after his first term as President in 2020 but its active phase lasted until the end of his successor’s term in 2028. The Trump era coincided (2017-2024) with the economic boom which followed the economic crisis that had persisted all through his predecessor’s term of office (2008-2016). After Trump’s era ended, he was succeeded by another Republican (“Trump’s 3rd term”) and the US began a slow movement back towards the center. However the Trump era saw an irreversible shift away from “big government” and some of the more permissive practices and laws that had crept into the mainstream of US society in the 40 years before Trump.

In 2035, the Republican Party declared that Donald Trump and his US Cultural Revolution was “responsible for the rebirth of the Party, and a return for the country, to the principles of the founding fathers of the United States”.


 

The Islamic Republic of Gambia is no longer “Islamic”

January 31, 2017

It always strikes me as ridiculous when so-called religious laws (which are just as man-made as any other and are always anachronistic) are allowed to prevail over more recently made, more appropriate laws. This applies especially to countries which claim to be secular but then allow the inflow of people who claim that their own religious law takes precedence over the laws of the country they are emigrating to. Of course, at the present time, this means Sharia law and immigrants who claim that it takes precedence over the laws of the country they are emigrating to.

I wonder why all these countries do not require of immigrants that they attest – in writing – to their acceptance of the local law of the land over any religious law.

The new President of Gambia has realised that there may be more disadvantages to being an Islamic country than advantages. He has changed the name of his country from the “Islamic Republic of Gambia” to “The Gambia”.

gambia-loses-islamic

Gambia loses “Islamic”

IBTimes: 

The Gambia’s new President Adama Barrow has removed “Islamic” from the official name of his country pledging more reforms in the tiny West African nation. In his first press conference since taking over as leader, Barrow said he would soon be overhauling government institutions to make the administration more effective.

“The rule of the law, that will be the order of the day,” said Barrow, adding that The Gambia, where Muslims constitute 90% of the population, would no longer be an “Islamic republic”. The word “Islamic” was added to the country’s name in 2015.

Calling on the nation to unite, the 51-year-old former businessman promised to develop the country by implementing a series of democratic reforms.

“The field will be level for everybody, and in total reconciliation, if people reconcile, that will unite everybody, and we want to hold that line… My government will look at all areas and there will be a complete overhaul of the system,” said the new leader.

A political crisis gripped The Gambia after Barrow’s predecessor, Yahya Jammeh, the autocratic leader who ruled the African nation for 22 years, refused to step down despite losing the polls in December 2016. Jammeh faces a series of human rights abuse allegations forcing him to go into exile as soon as Barrow took oath from neighbouring Senegal.

Maybe it is no longer politically correct to be “Islamic”?


 

More countries from the SDC list could be added to Trump’s immigration restrictions

January 31, 2017

Seven countries are currently on the US list for immigration restrictions, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, Syria, and Somalia. However there are clear indications from Trump’s chief of staff that other countries could get added to the list. Reince Preibus said on CBS News on Sunday:

“The reason we chose those seven countries was, those were the seven countries that both the Congress and the Obama administration identified as being the seven countries that were most identifiable with dangerous terrorism taking place in their country. …… Now, you can point to other countries that have similar problems, like Pakistan and others. Perhaps we need to take it further. But for now, immediate steps, pulling the Band-Aid off, is to do further vetting for people traveling in and out of those countries,”

These seven countries covered by Trump’s order are also included in a list of countries labeled as specially designated countries (SDCs) that “have shown a tendency to promote, produce, or protect terrorist organizations or their members.”  This list – held by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement department (ICE) consists – it is thought – of 35 countries. The list as of 2011 is still available. However, Barack Obama apparently added Israel to this list but his list was later scrubbed from public view.

While the immigration restrictions are temporary, ostensibly to check screening processes, since these 7 countries are “failed states” and cannot provide sufficient information, government to government, further countries from the list may also be subjected to temporary restrictions. I suspect that this is why Saudi Arabia is not on the list. The government there is fully functioning and has probably promised the US information about travellers. (Much of the support for Saudi support for Sunni, terrorist groups, is from non-governmental sources). Pakistan does not always provide information about terrorists which it has – especially if this is Taliban or Kashmir related. It would not be surprising to see immigration from Pakistan also being subjected to restrictions.

These are countries that harbor and train terrorists. These are countries that we want to know who is coming and going in and out of to prevent calamities from happening in this country.

……….. He was elected president in many respects because people knew that he was going to be tough on immigration from countries that harbor terrorists. And I can’t imagine too many people out there watching this right now think it’s unreasonable to ask a few more questions from someone traveling in and out of Libya and Yemen before being let loose in the United States.


The ICE list as of July 2011

ICE List of Specially Designated Countries (SDCs) that Promote or Protect Terrorists

July 2, 2011

Screening Aliens From Specially Designated Countries

The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General issued a report in May 2011 titled “Supervision of Aliens Commensurate with Risk” that details Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) detention and supervision of aliens.  The report  includes a list of Specially Designated Countries (SDCs) that are said to “promote, produce, or protect terrorist organizations or their members”.  The report states that ICE uses a Third Agency Check (TAC) to screen aliens from specially designated countries (SDCs) that have shown a tendency to promote, produce, or protect terrorist organizations or their members and that the purpose of the additional screening is to determine whether other agencies have an interest in the alien. ICE’s policy requires officers to conduct TAC screenings only for aliens from SDCs if the aliens are in ICE custody.

According to the report, ICE provided this list of specially designated countries. ICE policy requires officers to perform a TAC for detained aliens from these countries.

  • Afghanistan
  • Algeria
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Djibouti
  • Egypt
  • Eritrea
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Israel
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Malaysia
  • Mauritania
  • Morocco
  • Territories of Gaza West Bank
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Tajikistan
  • Thailand
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Uzbekistan
  • Yemen

 

Illegal voting in the US is rampant because voter eligibility is never checked

January 28, 2017

UPDATE! 

Why Trump’s probe of voter fraud is long overdue

All industrialized democracies — and most that are not — require voters to prove their identity before voting. Britain was a holdout, but last month it announced that persistent examples of voter fraud will require officials to see passports or other documentation from voters in areas prone to corruption. 

The real problem in our election system is that we don’t really know to what extent President Trump’s claim is true because we have an election system that is based on the honor system.  …….. The Justice Department has also opposed every effort by states—such as Kansas, Arizona, Alabama and Georgia—to implement laws that require individuals registering to vote to provide proof of citizenship.


It is politically incorrect to question the US voting system. After all, it is the greatest democracy in the world!

But what is notable among all the various politicians and the media who claim there is no significant ineligible voting is that they all just make bald assertions or state “that there is no evidence of illegal voting”. Of course there isn’t. But there is no evidence that ineligible voting is not happening – or that it is not happening on a large scale. First, data on eligibility is never published and, in most cases is not even collected. The onus is surely on the election commissions to check and ensure that voters are all eligible, not for others to prove that some voters are or were ineligible.

Only citizens are supposed to vote in federal elections. Even “green card holders” are not eligible to vote in federal elections. Since 1996, a federal law has prohibited non-citizens from voting in federal elections, subject to punishment by fines, imprisonment, inadmissibility, and even deportation. But while voter registration forms require that a box for citizenship be ticked (a self-declaration), the immigration status for non-citizens is rarely – if ever – checked. There are virtually no prosecutions and even then, only if someone complains against a particular individual.

American Immigration Center:

Non-U.S. citizens are not allowed to vote in the federal elections. Non-U.S. citizens include Green Card holders, those in the U.S. on nonimmigrant visas, undocumented immigrants, refugees and asylees. These categories of immigrants do not have the right to vote for the President of the U.S.

Natural born U.S. citizens and naturalized citizens can vote in the Presidential Elections. U.S. citizens have more rights than legal permanent residents. Green Card holders can remain in the U.S., work here and also bring certain categories of relatives to the country. But they are not granted all the rights granted to U.S. citizens, including the right to vote, serve on juries and work in certain government positions. Though the immigration status granted to legal permanent residents is permanent, they might lose their Green Cards if they commit deportable crimes.

Green Card holders who misrepresent their status as a U.S. citizen and vote in the federal election are more likely to lose their immigration status in the U.S. This misrepresentation can also make them deportable from the country.

Federal law does not prevent non-citizens from voting in state or local elections.

I have heard many anecdotes of green card holders (by definition non-citizens) who did vote in the 2016 US elections. This is not definitive evidence of course but suggests that very little checking is done. What is even more remarkable, and quite amazing, is that neither identification nor proof of status as a citizen is required as a matter of routine when voting.

Plain stupidity.

The bottom line is that no non-citizen is eligible to vote. The opposition to having ID to vote is primarily from politicians who wish to make use of ineligible voting. A large number of the voters – especially in States like California – in the 2016 elections were non-citizens. A significant number were green-card holders.

Stupidity

Stupidity

Add to this that even citizens are permitted to be registered in more than one state. They are not supposed to vote more than once, but there is no check that they do not.

It is not just likely – but is highly probable – that as many as 5 million voters in the 2016 presidential election were ineligible to vote.

As William Campenni writes in American Thinker:

lllegal Aliens Really Do Vote – a Lot

………. A voter registration form was thrust in my hands.  The very first item on these forms, in Virginia and the rest of America, was “I am a citizen of the United States of America,” with YES and NO blocks to check.

“Don’t I need to show you some proof of citizenship?” I asked. She replied “no.”  I asked her how she could verify that I wasn’t lying. Sensing she might be on a slippery slope, she called over a supervisor from the Registrar’s Office and told the woman of my concern.  The official told me they never checked citizenship status because I would be penalized if I lied. Really? So I asked her how she would verify my truthfulness, or those of the dozens of new voters being registered that day.  Defensively, she replied that they checked all registrations for accuracy at the Registrar’s Office when they were turned in.

I called the Registrar Monday, and asked if they do indeed verify citizenship status.  I was told that they didn’t unless someone made a specific complaint against an individual applicant.

……… nobody at the Registrar’s Office is checking citizenship.

The brutal truth is that illegal aliens vote, and in large numbers.  Voter fraud is not exclusive to illegal aliens.  There are also legal aliens (green card, H1B visas, tourist visa holders, etc.) who vote illegally.  And it’s not just Latin Americans.  The non-citizen demographic includes South Asian tech workers, Irish overstays, West and Horn of Africa immigrants, and Asian students. Then there are dual-state voters (college kids, snowbirds, transients), reincarnated voters, and un-purged voters long moved from their precincts.

While few cases are prosecuted, it’s not because few crimes are committed.

So much for the greatest democracy in the world where – in my estimation – upwards of 5% of the votes cast are ineligible.


 


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