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Saturday, March 09, 2024

Links - 9th March 2024 (2 - Hamas Attack Oct 2023)

Looting all but halts Gaza aid deliveries as law and order nears collapse - "Humanitarian aid distribution in Gaza has almost ground to a halt in recent days as desperately hungry Palestinians and criminal gangs loot aid trucks before they can reach their destinations."
"Humanitarian aid distribution in Gaza has almost ground to a halt.. Criminal gangs loot aid trucks before they can reach their destinations." (Feb 21st) : theworldnews - "And if anyone tries to stop the looters they get accused of GeNoCiDe because once they’re dead every Palestinian is just an innocent civilian according the Hamas."

Meme - Visegrád 24 @visegrad24: "The playwright Victor I. Cazares is 3 months into a protest during which he refuses to take his daily HIV medicine until the Broadway theater he works for officially condemns Israel.  He is willing to risk contracting AIDS for a ceasefire"
Ben Shapiro @benshapiro: "This may be the single stupidest protest in human history"
Not the Bee @Not_the_Bee: "So how did you get AIDS?"
"My employer wouldn't publicly affirm my political beliefs"
Left wingers will unironically claim the theater gave him AIDS (just like if you don't bow to TRAs' every demand, you are literally killing trans people)

Switzerland: Jewish man wounded in Zurich after rare stabbing attack, hate crime suspected - "A 50-year-old Orthodox Jewish man was stabbed and was left critically wounded in Zurich's Selnau area in Switzerland, media reports said. The incident occurred shortly after the conclusion of Shabbat, a holy day of rest and spiritual rejuvenation observed by Jewish people every week from Friday evening to Saturday evening.   Zurich city police reportedly disclosed that a 15-year-old assailant was responsible... Eyewitnesses recounted the chilling moment when the assailant was arrested, with one noting that "the perpetrator laughed when he was arrested." Initial reports also suggested that during the assault, the attacker screamed "death to the Jews" or "death to Israel."... a study in 2016 conducted by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights revealed that events in the Middle East can provoke antisemitic sentiments within the EU. When reports of the fatal attack on Israel circulated, it triggered incidents of individuals rejoicing over the killings in certain European countries, such as Sweden and the UK."
Damn Switzerland, censoring "pro-Palestinian speech"! Time to condemn Zionism and Islamophobia!
The terrorism supporters keep telling Jews to leave Israel and go back to Europe. Because they know it's easier to hunt down and kill Jews in Europe

Rashida Tlaib Blasted Over Hamas Rape Vote: 'Absolute Sicko' - "Michigan Democrat Rashida Tlaib has come under fire on social media after being the only voting member of the House not to back a resolution condemning "rape and sexual violence committed by Hamas... Tlaib, the sole Palestinian American in Congress, voted present, meaning neither in favor or opposed, in protest of the resolution not also referencing what she said was "sexual violence and abuse committed by the Israeli forces against Palestinians."... Tlaib went on to cite an article from the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, titled "Settlers and Soldiers Abused Palestinians," which alleged a group of Israeli soldiers and settlers detained three Palestinians in the West Bank in October who were then stripped to their underwear and beaten. In one case, there was allegedly "an attempt to penetrate one of them with an object." The Israeli military later dismissed five soldiers over the incident and is considering closing down their entire unit... In November, Tlaib was censured by the House of Representatives following a 234-188 vote in response to her use of the controversial "from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free" slogan."
So much for "All Lives Matter" being wrong
Weird. Terrorism supporters keep telling us that Israel rapes Palestinians. But in this case it didn't progress to that level and they were punished. But of course Hamas encouraging it is fine, because "resistance"

Meme - "We did it Abu Batrick! We saved Gaza!" *We did it Patrick! We saved the city*

Meme - "Popular local pro-Palestine page says Hamas did not commit sexual violence against women on October 7th despite plenty of evidence available on the Internet.
sgpforpalestine48: ""At least two female Palestinian detainees were reportedly raped while others were threatened with rape and sexual violence. Photos of female detainees in degrading circumstances were also reportedly taken by the Israeli army and uploaded online."
"No women were r@p*d on Oct 7 but in order to manufacture consent for g*noside, mainstream news outlets still ran with it. How many of them will report on this? Will our own news outlets report on this? Will the people who condemned the made-up Oct 7 allegations, which were DENIED by family members of the alleged vietims, also condemn the occupation's "army" appalling torture and abuse of Fal.as.tini women and girls?"

Meme - "I have no words. This is insane and very concerning."
Ghada Saga @sasa_ghada: "I promise you that we Palestinians, despite all the horror Zionists put us through, will never stoop to their level. We will never rape. We will never starve, besiege, bombard, or humiliate civilians, certainly not women and children. And as Israeli prisoners wave goodbye & write thank you letters to Hamas militants, your projection of the Arab terrorist is shattered. We hold onto our humanity as we fight for justice, comforted by the knowledge that ultimate justice lies with God."
Terrorism supporters flip between "all this never happened" and "the Zionists deserved it", i.e. "this is not happening, and it's good that it is"

Trudeau's Toronto event with Italy PM Meloni cancelled due to pro-Palestinian protest - "A Toronto event where Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was scheduled to host his Italian counterpart was cancelled on Saturday evening due to security concerns as hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters gathered outside the venue, a spokesperson for the Prime Minister's Office said.   Justin Trudeau's office says neither he nor Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni were able to enter the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), which went into lockdown over the protests."
You only get your bank accounts frozen if the left disapproves of your protests

Chris Selley: Canada gets more embarrassing after anti-Israel protestors thwart the Italian PM's reception - "Meloni is a G7 leader. We should be able to host a dinner for her without risk of it being shut down by a few dozen people protesting something that has next-to-nothing to do with Canada or Italy. Other G7 leaders might reasonably argue that’s something like a prerequisite for membership... Were Meloni not a current G7 leader, she’s the sort of politician Liberals would excoriate Stephen Harper for shaking hands with, never mind throwing her an arty shindig. But that’s false comfort, of course. Canada, a tumbleweed nation in the desert of world affairs, can’t afford to make such judgments about more important, more serious countries like Italy. And just about any world leader heading to the AGO on Saturday night, save perhaps the leaders of Hamas itself, would have faced the same basic situation. Trudeau is worthy of cancellation all by himself, by the protesters’ logic, on account of his quixotic, semi-consistent insistence that Israel has a right to exist.  The Toronto Police Service (TPS) says it did not advise Trudeau to cancel the event. The TPS says many attendees were already inside, and that it had guaranteed VIPs safe passage through the fray. The RCMP, who are in charge of Trudeau’s and visiting dignitaries’ safety, claims  “the size and volatile nature of the crowds at the entrances to venue (meant) it was not safe to move both prime ministers to the event at the scheduled time.”... at a protest outside a synagogue north of Toronto, a woman was caught dead to rights, on video, striking a York Regional Police officer . She was apprehended by said police officer and other police officers, which I think we can all agree is a reasonable and predictable response to striking a police officer … but then the assembled chanting rabble convinced the police to let her go. I carry no water for police in general, or Toronto’s or Ontario’s in particular. I have, though, defended their general commitment to de-escalating rather than cracking down on potentially violent situations. But that particular catch-and-release scenario was wince-inducing. At the end of the day, none of us wants a police force that can be literally harangued into letting stuff slide. For many conservative-minded Canadians, Saturday’s abject capitulation to the rabble was a notable data point in an already well-established narrative about the pro-Palestinian protesters, about policing, about the general decline of Canada under Trudeau. I feel that here more than I usually do... My biggest takeaway from this latest humiliation is a bit different. It’s this: How could Trudeau and his office possibly have foreseen any other outcome? The AGO would have been swarmed with pro-Palestinian protesters even if Trudeau had just dropped by to see the Keith Haring exhibit . Had Hamas not massacred 1,200 people on Oct. 7 last year, triggering a predictably remorseless response from Israel, self-styled anti-fascists would probably have shown up to protest Meloni’s presence. And the only predictable response from Toronto police would have been to let them shut down the event. That’s what they do. How utterly out of touch does a prime minister, and the people around him, have to be to have thought this would go off without a hitch?"

Trudeau-Meloni event: Demonstrators say they feel vilified - "Dalia Awwad, an organizer with the group known as Palestinian Youth Movement, accused elected officials of intentionally vilifying protesters in an effort to avoid talking about Canada's position on the Israel-Hamas war. "It's also an attempt by politicians to shift the narrative away from the role they have played in the genocide," Awwad said Monday. It's an attempt, she continued, "to make it so these protests are the issue when the issue is the role that the Canadian state is playing here... former public safety minister Marco Mendicino described the gallery protesters as antisemitic "thugs." The gallery "was not secure. And that was their objective. They don't want their fellow Canadians to feel safe," Mendicino said in a series of posts on X. "You break the law, you should be arrested, charged and prosecuted. These thugs think they scored a win last night, but all they did was lose public support and embarrass themselves. Time for the madness to stop." Amira Elghawaby, Canada's anti-Islamophobia envoy, also used social media to decry a "constant rush" to portray pro-Palestinian protests as a threat to public safety... Deborah Lyons, Canada's envoy on combating antisemitism, called the cancellation a "direct result of caving in to the irrational demands of an out-of-control and noisy cohort, fuelling their determination." A protest outside Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto last month drew wide condemnation from critics who saw the location as a deliberate choice. In a joint written statement, the three groups that organized the march denied accusations of antisemitism. "We condemn the Canadian politicians incorrectly portraying the protest as targeting the hospital," the groups said in a statement."
Supporting terrorism rots your brain
Apparently the RCMP were Islamophobic to claim they couldn't guarantee safety at the event

Hamas leader Sinwar cites civilian casualties as tactical advantage for terror group, - "Sinwar aims to emerge from his underground hideout after the fighting ceases and proclaim victory... Hamas also used recordings of hostages, including children, calling for help to lure Israeli troops into ambushes. "Fighting the enemy is like a game of whack-a-mole,” said an IDF reservist in Khan Younis, noting the difficulty in defeating the terror organization."

The Media-Savvy Murderers of Hamas - WSJ - "In an era when terrorists live-stream their atrocities, the Hamas massacre of Oct. 7 is arguably the most well-documented attack in history. The meticulously choreographed spectacle of savagery and sadism saw Hamas mercilessly murder, butcher, rape and burn Israeli families alive—documenting their crimes with GoPros and cellphones. The terrorists even live-streamed their atrocities on their victims’ social-media accounts.  That was only the first phase of Hamas’s media strategy. When the fighting shifted to Gaza, Hamas went from massacring Israeli civilians to hiding behind Gazan civilians. For the past 16 years, Hamas has systematically embedded its terror infrastructure inside and under civilian areas in Gaza as part of its human-shield strategy. IDF troops discovered that most homes in Gaza have terror tunnels underneath or weapon caches inside, and the majority of schools, mosques, hospitals and international institutions have been used by Hamas for their military operations.  Hamas has forced Gazans to stay in active combat zones by blocking their attempts to move out of harm’s way. When civilians manage to reach the safer areas to which we guide them, Hamas then moves to those areas, turning humanitarian zones into staging areas for further attacks.  By embedding itself among civilians, Hamas conceals itself from the cameras covering the conflict. By instructing terrorists to dress in civilian clothes, Hamas camouflages its terrorists as innocents. By waging war from inside and underneath hospitals, Hamas hopes that international law and public sympathy will provide a shield for their military activities. The Israel Defense Forces, by contrast, conducts its operations with caution, transparency and in accordance with international law"

Oren Barsky 🎗️ on X - "Remember the time a missile struck a hospital in Gaza and within 5 minutes there were reports of at least 500 dead, blaming Israel, and all the major media outlets in the world, led by the BBC, spread the story without even attempting to verify it?   Only later it turned out that it was the Palestinians who had fired the missile at themselves, and the next day it was realized that the missile actually landed in a parking lot, damaging barely 4 cars.   Remember all that?  So, the world has learned nothing from this."
Jack Reid on X - "I do remember, and I also remember when my friend presented it as a classic example of how I needed to "sharpen my reflexes to Zionist propaganda". When I showed them the HRW report about did he concede his reflexive belief had been incorrect? Nope."

Eylon Levy on X - "BREAKING: The IDF just exposed a 10km-long Hamas terror tunnel that passed under a hospital and a university. Hamas used it to move terrorists between brigades."

Jacob N. Kornbluh on X - "RFK Jr. to AlArabiya re: calls for ceasefire: “It’s part of the propaganda war that Gaza has the densest population in the world, it doesn't. Tel Aviv has twice the population density as Gaza and Gaza has been firing missiles at civilian populations for 30 years….”"

Shirion Collective on X - 🚨NOW: "WE WILL GIVE THEM NO PEACE!" - Jews Targeted in Beverly Hills 🚨
This video is cringeworthy and horrifying, words can hardly do it justice.
- Notice the way he pronounces "Gaza."
- The luxury cars blocking the roads.
- The terror inflicted on a Jewish neighborhood.
- Reflect on how this gay man's stance and earring would be received in Gaza."

MIT suspends student group that protested against Israel's military campaign in Gaza - "The president of MIT has suspended a student group that has held demonstrations against Israel’s military campaign in Gaza as protests over the war continue to rattle universities around the country. In a video statement Tuesday, Sally Kornbluth said the group, Coalition Against Apartheid or CAA, held a demonstration Monday night without going through the university's permission process required of all groups... its privileges as a student group would be suspended. It will not get any kind of funding that student group's normally get nor will it be able to use MIT facilities nor hold any demonstrations on campus. “I want to be clear: suspending the CAA is not related to the content of their speech,” Kornbluth said. “I fully support the right of everyone on our campus to express their views. However, we have clear, reasonable time, place and manner policies for good reason," she said. "The point of these policies is to make sure that members of the MIT community can work, learn and do their work on campus without disruption. We also need to keep the community safe.” The CAA, in a statement, demanded that they be reinstated and called MIT's move an attack on its right to fight for what it said was “Palestinian liberation." It also said that 13 student organizers had individually been threatened with permanent suspension from MIT."
If you support a left wing cause, you don't need to follow any rules and any attempt to enforce rules upon you is structural violence and censorship

Hen Mazzig on X - "The IDF has released a video evidence proving the death of many Palestinians in northern Gaza was due to aid trucks running over them, stampeding, and Palestinian armed men, likely Hamas, shooting at them, causing dozens of casualties.  Only a fraction of Palestinians who approached IDF troops in the area were hurt by their warning fire.  These images of a starving crowd rushing over trucks for food are tragic as it is, you don’t need to lie about it."

Al Waxman statue vandalized with pro-Hamas message - "The statue of Canadian entertainer Al Waxman was vandalized over the weekend in Toronto, an act his family is calling "hateful" and antisemitic... His son, Adam, told the Star he was saddened to see the words "Vote for Hamas" scrawled on the sculpture's chest. His father, he said, was a "proud Jew."... Multiple Jewish groups and the Waxman family have issued statements calling the graffiti an attempt at intimidation. "This is not complicated stuff," Adam said. "It requires firmness of will to speak loudly and clearly that no matter what a person's position may be on any global issue, no one has the right to vandalize property or intimidate free citizens from going about their lives in peace.""
Weird. We keep being told that no one supports Hamas

Malka Simkovich on X - "I just left my house in Skokie and passed a car adorned with Palestinian flags and the Hamas flag. The drivers had their windows halfway down and were wearing Hamas headbands. They were laughing and yelling, though I couldn’t hear what they were saying. I live in a neighborhood that includes many Jewish residents, including Holocaust survivors. Can you imagine what it is like for a Jew in 2024 to look outside their own home and see a flag that symbolizes the rape and genocide of the Jewish people?  Can you imagine what it is like for a Jew to see these things and know that it is pointless to call the police?"

Rahim Mohamed: Toronto Star’s Paradkar goes full Hamas apologist - "Toronto Star social and racial justice columnist Shree Paradkar raised more than a few eyebrows on Friday with a column attacking former prime minister Stephen Harper for a tweet expressing solidarity with Israel’s wartime government.  She took issue with Harper’s characterization of the Hamas-led Oct. 7 attacks, which violated a then-existing ceasefire between the terrorist group and Israel, as “unprovoked,” calling Harper’s tweet the “latest reminder of the depth of Western bias” on the Israel-Hamas conflict. Paradkar also objected to the ex-prime minister’s use of the phrase “end(ing) the threat of Hamas” in the same tweet... Paradkar is, of course, far from the only public figure in Canada who’s played footsie with Hamas supporters over the past four-and-a-half months, but her latest column goes well beyond the pale. It’s hard to believe that it was even published under the umbrella of Canada’s largest daily print newspaper.  It’s equally hard to figure out where to even start when it comes to rebutting an article that’s so totally untethered from reality — but I’ll give it a try anyways.  Paradkar uncritically repeats Hamas commander Mohammed Deif’s claim that the Oct. 7 massacre of 1,200 people, and the kidnapping of 240 more, was meant to avenge Israel’s “brutal” spring 2021 incursions into East Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa Mosque. She conveniently left out the detail that no deaths were reported in the clashes. (Israeli security personnel used rubber bullets and stun grenades to suppress unruly worshippers). She’s also sure to mention that the Al Aqsa fighting took place during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, omitting the fact that Hamas has repeatedly attacked Israel at its most vulnerable during Jewish holidays. The Oct. 7 attacks themselves were launched on the first day of Simchat Torah, a festive occasion that marks the start of a new annual cycle of reading the Jewish holy text.  “Hit the Zionists on their holidays,” is one of the most frequently called plays in Hamas’ playbook, ranking right up there with “use Palestinian women and children as human shields” and “dig here” (next to an ‘X’ marking UNRWA HQ on a map of Gaza). And even if we take Paradkar’s rubber-bullets-to-mortar-shells comparison at face value, her account still leaves out the fact Israel and Hamas fought a war at the time, where Hamas bombarded Israel with rockets and Israel responded in kind. She also neglects the key detail that the 2021 unrest was brought to an end by a “mutual and unconditional” Gaza ceasefire in May of that year. (The truce was negotiated by Egypt). Does Paradkar agree with Deif’s specious reasoning that the spring 2021 Al Asqa mosque raids — which, again, produced zero casualties — justified Hamas unilaterally violating a subsequent ceasefire with Israel two-and-a-half years later?  Did the bloodless Israeli security operation give Hamas carte blanche to indiscriminately slaughter Israeli civilians at any time of their choosing? Would Commander Deif’s invocation of the 2021 events ring equally credible if used to justify an attack launched in 2025? 2030?  Paradkar’s silence on these questions is telling. Instead she writes, “Israel wants vengeance for Hamas’s attacks. Hamas wanted vengeance for Al Aqsa,” as if the Oct. 7 slaughter was an insignificant tit for tat.  And this somehow isn’t even the article’s most glaring logical fallacy. Toward the end of the column, Paradkar suggests that Hamas’ bloated bureaucracy automatically makes it less nefarious than likeminded Islamist group ISIS... Hamas is far from the first terrorist organization to adopt a sprawling administrative apparatus comprising both paramilitary and nominally civilian wings (see, for instance, the IRA/Sinn Fein), and it’s structure has absolutely nothing to do with its murderous intent to wipe Israel off the map.  What’s more, Paradkar’s dismissal of the comparison between Hamas and ISIS falls down even further by the fact that ISIS itself had a system of government.  She isn’t, however, entirely wrong when she says Hamas is not ISIS. ISIS hasn’t been given billions of dollars from UN agencies and other “humanitarian” groups to build a thriving favour-trading network that robs Gaza’s poorest. ISIS can only dream of this sort of foreign patronage.  True to her “social and racial justice” bonafides, Paradkar tut-tuts the western media for “Reducing Hamas’s violent actions to an act of Islamic extremism,” as if deaf to the cries of “Allahu Akbar” that rang through the streets of Gaza on Oct. 7. Friday’s truly repugnant article sheds new light on the reported controversy over Paradkar’s role as the Toronto Star’s internal anti-discrimination ombudsperson. Her position was eliminated in December after she made several social media posts that Star staff “felt were antisemitic,” according to CanadaLand. (Paradkar was named “equity advocate” in a union-only role).  It’s hard to fathom how someone with so many of her own evident blind-spots was ever put in a position to guide the newspaper’s nondiscrimination policies. The fact that the screed was even published raises serious questions about the Star’s suitability as a workplace for Jewish employees."

Terrorist attack in UK linked to Gaza - "An asylum seeker bent on avenging deaths in Gaza has carried out a suspected terrorist attack in Britain, The Telegraph can disclose.  The public has not been told that the man, who came to the UK in 2020, told police he had done it for “Palestine”.  MPs said on Friday night that the public had a right to know, amid warnings that demonstrations this weekend could encourage so-called lone-wolf terrorist attacks... The details that can be reported are highly restricted for legal reasons, but the suspect – who is now in custody – said after his arrest that he had done it because Israel had killed children in Gaza.  Senior politicians have questioned why such information has not been made public at a time when the police and security services are on high alert for terrorist attacks motivated by the Israel-Gaza war.  A security source said: “They may be downplaying it so that they don’t have repeat attacks or copycat attacks.”  Earlier this week, it emerged that a Tunisian man who shot dead two Swedish football fans in Brussels had arrived in Europe on a boat that landed on the Italian island of Lampedusa. The incident has led to political debate in Europe over whether porous borders pose a security risk amid instability in the Middle East.  Ministers in this country also fear a political backlash if the Channel migration crisis undermines security... A senior counter-terror official said: “It just illustrates the risk when you get stressed individuals coming from all parts of the world, including places where they will have participated in or witnessed savagery.   “It is linked to migration. As a result of full-scale migration, we are getting a lot of people.”"
From October. I've been waiting for more details to come out, but none seem forthcoming

San Francisco artists protest Israeli massacres in Gaza by “vandalizing” their own works - "Several of the artists pointed to the hypocrisy of the YBCA and its “progressive” self-promotion, noting that in recent years the Center had supported Black Lives Matter, feminist causes and protests against the Russian invasion of Ukraine."
annn075087587 on X - "Part 2 the SF artists rape and massacre their neighbors and families in an orgy of "resistance" before burning their houses while filming themselves for tiktok."
Going down the left wing politics route is a fool's game, because there's never a right answer due to intersectionality

The Middle East conflict 101

Hillel Fuld on X

The Middle East conflict 101:

UN in 1947: “Here is a state for you, the Jews, and here is a state for you, the Arabs.”

The Jews: “Awesome. Thanks. We’ve only been waiting for this for thousands of years.”

The Arabs: “Sorry no. We’d rather attack than have a state. We don’t want a state. We want no Israel.”

The Jews: “Sorry you attacked and lost.”

The Arabs: “Don’t worry. We’ll be back.”

The Jews: “Here. Take land. Make a state. We just want peace.”

The Arabs: “No. No state. No Israel.”

The Jews in 1967 (Khartoum summit): “Here. Take land. Make a state. We just want peace.”

The Arabs: “No. No state. No Israel.”

The Jews in 1991 (Madrid Conference): “Here. Take land. Make a state. We just want peace.”

The Arabs: “No. No state. No Israel.”

The Jews in 2000 (Camp David Summit): “Here. Take land. Make a state. We just want peace.”

The Arabs: “No. No state. No Israel.”

The Jews in 2001 (Taba Sunmit), 2005 (Disengagement), 2007 (Annapolis conference), 2008 (realignment plan), 2010, 2013 (Joint peace talks), 2019 (Bahrain workshop), 2020 (Trump peace plan): “Here. Take land. Make a state. We just want peace.”

The Arabs: “No. No state. No Israel.”

The world in 2024: “Let’s give them a state.”

The Arabs: “No. No state. No Israel.”

The Jews: “Ok, no state for you.”

The world? “Those Jews!”

And then there are the wars that the Arabs attacked the Jews and lost: 1948 (war of independence), 1967 (six day war), 1973 (Yom Kippur war), 1982 (Lebanon war), 1987 (first intifada), 2000 (second intifada), 2006 (second Lebanon war), 2008 (operation cast lead), 2012 (operation pillar of defense), 2014 (operation protective edge), 2021 (operation guardian of the walls), 2023 (operation swords of iron).

The fact that there is a single human being on planet earth who still doesn’t get the following fact is insane and mind boggling.  

The Jews want peace. The Arabs who call themselves Palestinians do not. They never have. They never will.

Want proof?

The PLO: The Palestinian liberation organization was established on May 28th, 1964. There were no settlements then. There was no occupation. What exactly were they looking to liberate? The answer is Israel, every last inch of it.

There was Arab terror against Jews well before there was any occupation.  There was Arab terror against Jews before there was even a state of Israel.

1929, for example. Arabs massacred Jews in Hebron. Why? It was 1929. Israel was established in 1948.

How exactly does that work? Were they massacring Jews to resist the future occupation? 😂

Anyone who thinks that offering the Palestinians a state will solve anything is a fool. Period. Full stop.

It’s time the world learned Arabic. The Palestinians want dead Jews. They say it, they vote for it, they act towards it, and then they live stream it.

And yes, I said Palestinian, not Hamas.

The Palestinian people elected Hamas. Thousands of them participated in October 7th in one way or another. Close to 90% of the Palestinians support Hamas.

The Palestinian people exist from day one for the sole purpose of destroying Israel. It’s their entire identity.

They keep trying and keep failing.

They don’t seem to learn their lesson and neither does the international community.

Israel wants peace. Israel is willing to make compromises for peace. Israel also knows well how to handle its enemies when necessary. It has a lot of experience.

If you are still reading, and disagree with anything I wrote above, kindly tell me what is inaccurate about what I said and if you can’t, if you agree with the facts I listed here, tell me please how, in 2024, after October 7th, anyone still thinks the Palestinians want or deserve a state.

Congratulations on completing your course on the Middle East. You are now officially more knowledgeable about Israel and the conflict than 99% of Gen Z and pro Palestinian activities who take to the streets every day chanting for the murder of Jews.

Thank you for coming today.

Any questions?

Links - 9th March 2024 (1 - Ukraine War)

Boris, Zelensky and the myth of the thwarted peace deal - "According to sections of the ‘anti-war’ left and assorted right-wing politicos, this conflict would have long been over by now, if it weren’t for Boris’s war-mongering intervention.  So where does this myth come from? It is true that negotiations between Ukrainian and Russian officials to bring the conflict to an end began in Belarus on 28 February – that is, just days after the Russian invasion on 24 February. These talks continued intermittently over the following weeks. On 29 March, Ukrainian and Russian officials met for what was seen as a pivotal meeting in Istanbul. There, they discussed the framework for a compromise agreement, in which Russia would retreat to its pre-invasion positions. In return, Ukraine would abandon its territorial claim over the Donbas and Crimea, and would commit to not joining NATO. Putin has consistently claimed that an agreement had effectively been reached in Istanbul. Ukrainian officials, including foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba, have always vehemently denied this. Either way, by April, the negotiations had collapsed. The deal was off.  For a motley alliance of left- and right-wing opponents of Ukraine’s resistance, there is one simple reason for this failure to bring the conflict to an end. It’s that the US and its allies didn’t want peace. They wanted to continue using Ukraine to wage a proxy war against Putin. So they dispatched Johnson to Kyiv for an ‘unannounced’ visit on 9 April. Here he is said to have forced Ukraine to abandon the peace talks and carry on fighting Russia on the West’s behalf... to believe that this intervention was responsible for derailing a potential peace is a feat of magical thinking. It overestimates the persuasive powers of Britain’s blustering ex-PM, not to mention the geopolitical influence of the UK. More importantly, it completely erases the agency of Zelensky’s government and the Ukrainians themselves... This effacement of Ukrainian agency has been pointed out by countless Ukrainian politicians and journalists ever since the claim first emerged – including by Roman Romaniuk, who wrote the original Ukrainska Pravda piece that inadvertently gave rise to this myth.  As he and others have since pointed out, by the end of March, Zelensky’s team were already minded to reject the agreement that was taking shape in Istanbul. There were three interlinking factors at play. Firstly, at this point, Ukrainian forces were enjoying dramatic success on the battlefield, pushing Russian forces back from around Kyiv. Finding themselves very much on the front foot, they were hardly in the mood to make concessions to a panicking Kremlin.  Secondly, Zelensky had been made aware, as early as mid-March, that Russian forces had likely committed atrocities in several settlements in the north. Indeed, as his negotiating team sat down to talk with their Russian counterparts in Istanbul on 29 March, Ukrainian troops were already entering the northern town of Bucha. What they found there shocked them to their core. Dozens of decomposing bodies, some half-eaten by stray dogs, littered the streets. As they ventured further into the town, they discovered yet more corpses – lying in ditches, on pavements and half disposed of in makeshift graves. In total, nearly 500 people had been slaughtered in the most gruesome, sadistic fashion imaginable. Reeling from the discovery of Russian atrocities in their villages and towns, Ukrainians would have found the idea of making peace with Putin totally unpalatable.  This brings us to the third and most important reason why Zelensky stopped the peace talks. The Ukrainian people themselves did not want to strike a deal with the Russian aggressors. As Romaniuk himself has since explained, Zelensky and his negotiators were always most concerned with the fact that ‘Ukrainian society might not accept such a deal’. And they were right to be. Polling at the time showed that over 80 per cent of Ukrainians did not want to ‘give up on any of [Ukraine’s] territory even if it leads to the continuation of the war and threatens its independence’.  Little has changed since then. Despite the privations and suffering that Ukrainians have experienced, their resolve endures. Polling shows that an overwhelming majority of Ukrainians still want to continue the resistance. The Ukrainians pulled out of those peace talks nearly two years ago for precisely the same reason they are still resisting Russian aggression today. Not because they are doing the bidding of the West, but because they are fighting for their national survival. That was always their principal motivation – to defend their way of life against an invasive, oppressive force. Of course Ukrainians want peace. Why wouldn’t they? But as one Ukrainian socialist has pointed out on Novara Media, ‘it isn’t just any peace Ukrainians want – and they certainly don’t want that which comes with occupation’... From the moment Russia invaded, Western powers were clearly nervous backers of Ukraine. They’ve pledged their rhetorical allegiance to Ukraine while consistently holding back on practical military support. Right now, the US Congress is dragging its feet over President Biden’s $60 billion aid package to Ukraine. And in January, the EU publicly admitted that it would fall far short of its target of sending one million artillery shells to Ukraine by March this year, saying that only about half of that amount would be delivered instead. If this is supposed to be a proxy war fought on behalf of Western interests, it’s a very half-hearted one. The assumption that it is the West shaping and directing the war has led too many, from Tucker Carlson to inveterate anti-war leftists, to a truly grotesque conclusion. That the West can easily stop the war. That it can force Ukraine to surrender and accept a peace deal, as Boris Johnson supposedly should have done in April 2022. And just like that, swathes of Ukraine will fall under the dominion of another nation. Whole communities, whole ways of life, would be sacrificed with the swipe of a Western diplomat’s pen."
Presumably the assumption is that they're so naive and easily manipulated that Western propaganda is the reason why they are sacrificing themselves. But then again Putin is supposed to be so gullible that NATO forced him to invade Ukraine by pulling a fast one
Regardless, even if BJ wasn't singlehandedly or even primarily responsible for sinking the peace deal, it doesn't change the fact that BJ tried to persuade them to reject it. I find it curious the article doesn't engage with this fact at all

Exclusive-Putin's suggestion of Ukraine ceasefire rejected by United States, sources say - "Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says he will never accept Russia's control over Ukrainian land. He has outlawed any contacts with Russia."
Presumably he is being manipulated by the evil US into rejecting any compromise
How do you negotiate if you can't make contact?

Ukraine is not all about you - "Social media of course makes everything all about us to the nth degree, and it wasn’t long before one bright spark was whining that ‘Russia’s attack on Ukraine means there’s a stressful news cycle ahead of us’. There’s been a big lie for a long time that modern life is uniquely stressful and that we should approach ourselves as delicate flowers in ceaseless need of ‘pampering’ and ‘self-soothing’ rather than as the tough, mobile pleasure-units we are born with the capability to be. And sure enough, whereas the prospect of war would once have made us more combative, now even another country’s conflict is a cue for a collective fainting fit... The Huffington Post is even offering creepy tips on what to do ‘If you’re feeling anxious, scared or overwhelmed by war in Ukraine’... One thinks back to the old days when stars actually enlisted for war (James Stewart, Clark Gable, David Niven) or went to war zones to entertain troops (Marlene Dietrich called her breathtaking level of war work ‘The only worthwhile thing I have done’). Compare them to the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, who claimed that reading nasty things about herself and her friends online was ‘almost like how, in war, you go through this bloody, dehumanising thing’. We live in a time when celebrities co-opt a violent foreign conflict into their own ’emotional lived experience’ as something that must be processed over the homemade ciabatta...   It’s ironic that those BBC talking heads now incredulous that the Ukrainians are making Molotov cocktails rather than weeping are people usually so keen on ‘diversity and inclusivity’ – yet they seem to find it hard to grasp that Eastern Europeans, having grown up with material deprivation and existential bullying, might be different from Western Europeans. Eastern Europeans are much more like we were in the 1940s, in fact. And we in the West know that we’re wimps nowadays and want to make everyone like us so we don’t feel so weirdly weak-minded."

WARMINGTON: Putin makes Canada's embarrassing 'Nazi in parliament' story worldwide news - "Putin used the incident in Parliament with the 98-year-old former Waffen SS soldier – invited by Speaker of the House Anthony Rota to attend the address by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy – as one of his justifications for continued prosecution of bloody war in Ukraine... When independent journalist Carlson challenged Putin by saying, “Hitler has been dead for 80 years,” the long-serving Russian leader called Carlson’s question “pesky and subtle” while seizing the moment to add his version of history to an already lengthy 30-minute history lesson on Russia."
You can prolong a war for any reason nowadays

Senate Republican argues Ukraine funding could lead to Trump impeachment - "The Ohio Republican, a staunch ally of the former president, argued if Trump were to withdraw or pause financial support for Ukraine’s war “in order to bring the conflict to a peaceful conclusion,” lawmakers could argue he violated budget law, as they did with the prior impeachment.  Trump has repeatedly claimed he could end Ukraine’s war with Russia in 24 hours and has called for a pause in aid to the war-torn country in the past as the conflict approaches its two-year mark.  The former president lambasted the Senate’s foreign aid bill over the weekend.  “They want to give like almost $100 billion to a few countries, $100 billion,” Trump said at a rally in South Carolina. “I said, ‘Why do we do this? If you do, you give them, not $100 billion, you give it to ‘em as a loan.'”"

The controversy over Chrystia Freeland and the red Ukrainian scarf, explained - "Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland... stands behind a red-and-black scarf featuring the words Slava Ukraini (Glory to Ukraine) written in Ukrainian. On Monday morning, the tweet had been deleted. A new tweet shared the same message with a similar photo from the rally, but this time without the red and black scarf.  The scarf’s colours are polarizing: while black-and-red banners have a storied place in Ukrainian culture, the colours were also found on the flag flown by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, or UPA — a paramilitary organization accused of committing atrocities against Jews and Polish civilians in the Second World War, and associated with the resurgent far right in Ukraine today... a spokesperson for Freeland called the controversy “a classic KGB disinformation smear … accusing Ukrainians and Ukrainian-Canadians of being far right extremists or fascists or Nazis.”...   Experts say that the red-and-black scarf has the same colour scheme as the flag of the UPA, a paramilitary wing of the far-right ultranationalist Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN). Established in 1929, the OUN was explicitly xenophobic and antisemitic, according to Eduard Dolinsky, who leads the Ukrainian Jewish Committee.  Although historians debate the UPA’s precise role in the Second World War — it fought at different times against the Soviets and the Germans — they have long accused the organization of collaborating with the Nazis during the Holocaust, and massacring tens of thousands of ethnic Poles."
Associating yourself with anything (Neo-)Nazi is only bad if you're not on the left. Of course, a Nazi flag being seen at the Freedom Convoy protests meant the whole protest supported Nazis

Putin's Secret Weapon Is Disrupting NATO Countries' Airline, Maritime GPS Signals - "Estonian military commander Gen. Martin Harem says the technology already is affecting air and sea travel in countries which border Russia, including his country and Finland. Nearby nations such as Lithuania and Poland also have reported disruptions."

Russian Engineer ‘Kills Himself After Rocket He Designed Kills His Grandmother in Kharkiv’ - "An engineer employed at a Russian defense plant has reportedly taken his own life after a missile which he was involved in creating struck an apartment building in Kharkiv and killed his grandmother.  Gorobets Anton Igorevich was reportedly employed by the Almaz-Antey defense plant which is engaged in the development and production of anti-aircraft missiles, radar equipment, and components for air defense and missile defense systems."

UK Intelligence reveals reasons why Russian forces bomb their own cities - "Russia’s continued propensity for munition accidents is likely exacerbated by inadequate training and crew fatigue, leading to poor execution of tactics during missions."

Visegrád 24 on X - "Russian police forces conduct a raid in St Petersburg against illegal migrant workers, mainly from Central Asia. They are being told that their only chance to stay in Russia and receive Russian citizenship is by enlisting and going to fight in Ukraine."

Glenn Greenwald on X - "Amazing, pathetic, and a sign of where we are: The Toronto Sun published a completely banal and common political cartoon showing Zelensky picking the pockets of Biden - because he's, you know, demanding billions more for Ukraine's war - so they unpublished it and apologized"

Lauren Witzke on X - "BREAKING: Zelensky reportedly buys $20 Million Dollar Mansion in Vero Beach, Florida."
Trish on X - "According to the St. Johns County Property Appraiser Zelensky is NOT the owner. The home is for sale however it doesn't have any pending offers and is still active on the MLS. The owner of the property along with the home details is public information made readily available to anyone. I chose to cover the owner's information however anyone can look this information up. https://sjcpa.gov"
The naturalisation certificate is fake too

Document forgery and fake journalist: How Russia created fake about Zelensky's flight to Florida - "Kremlin pool media, z-Telegram channels, as well as dubious American and Greek news websites are circulating a photo of a Naturalization Certificate (a document issued to U.S. citizens born in another country) allegedly granted to President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky... This is a fake. Graphic editors were used to alter the Certificate of Naturalization. Its template can be easily found on the official websites of the U.S. Immigration Service. There are also dozens of similar documents shared on the Internet by U.S. citizens themselves.  The forged document has a number of inconsistencies.  First, genuine documents have a space between every three digits in the registration number, while the fake one does not. Secondly, the original documents have a seal with an eagle next to the photo and a signature of a person to the left of the photo. The forged document does not have this, nor does the draft that can be downloaded from the websites of U.S. government agencies. Thirdly, the photo of Volodymyr Zelensky, which the propagandists used for the fake, can be found on any news website in the world, including ours... The same fake photo with a forged Naturalization Certificate of Volodymyr Zelensky was first posted not on the John Doe YouTube channel, but on the English-language website DC Weekly. A "journalist" named Jessica Devlin is allegedly the author of the material. Her profile on the website says that she was previously a correspondent in Iraq and Moscow.  However, such a journalist does not exist. Her profile photo on the website belongs to Judy Batalion, an American of Jewish origin. Her photo is easy to find on the Internet. It was first published by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in 2013."

Pro-Russia Ukrainian MP Illia Kyva shot dead in Moscow suburb - "Illia Kyva was a pro-Russian member of Ukraine’s parliament before Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, but fled to Russia a month before the start of the war and frequently criticised Ukrainian authorities online and on Russian state TV talkshows... A Ukrainian source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that the Ukrainian SBU security service was responsible for the killing. Several Ukrainian media outlets also cited their sources as saying the SBU had assassinated the 46-year-old former politician... The killing suggests that Kyiv continues to have undercover assets deep inside Russia. Moscow has previously blamed Ukrainian secret services for the assassination of Darya Dugina, the daughter of an ultra-nationalist Russian ideologue, and the death of Vladlen Tatarsky, a prominent Russian military blogger who was killed after a blast in a cafe in central St Petersburg... Oleg Popov, who served as a deputy in the pro-Moscow Luhan regional parliament, was killed after the “detonation of an unidentified device in a car”, Russia’s investigative committee said, without providing detail. Ukraine did not immediately comment on Popov’s reported death. Several Russian-controlled officials in eastern Ukraine have been killed since the start of the war."

Obama's Russia Doctrine Prepared the Ground for Putin's War - "his attack on Ukraine in 2014, his growing imperial ambitions, and his subsequent decision to obliterate the Ukrainian state have their roots in the policies and actions of the United States and its allies during the Obama years. For most of Putin’s years in power, the United States and the West responded inadequately to Russia’s increasingly aggressive acts, from a series of assassinations in Western countries to the occupation of other countries’ sovereign territories. It began with then U.S.-President George W. Bush’s weak reaction to Putin’s 2008 invasion of Georgia. When Obama came into office, he compounded Bush’s mistake. Instead of pivoting to punish Russia for its aggression, he tasked his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, with launching a “reset” in relations, wiping the slate clean of Russia’s misdeeds in Georgia. More significantly, Obama scrapped the Bush administration’s plans for a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe, a decision Putin personally cheered. Nor did Obama adequately grasp the scale of the looming Russian threat. During the 2012 presidential election campaign, Republican candidate Mitt Romney declared that Russia “is, without question, our No. 1 geopolitical foe. They fight every cause for the world’s worst actors. The idea that [Obama] has more flexibility in mind for Russia is very, very troubling indeed.” In response, Obama mocked his rival: “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back, because the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.”  In 2014, after Russia had already annexed Crimea, shot down MH17, and sent Russian troops and security services into combat in Ukraine’s Donbas, Obama staunchly opposed sending arms to Ukraine. He responded to the Russian invasion of Crimea with only minor sanctions targeting Russian individuals, state banks, and a handful of companies. He rejected a leading U.S. role in diplomatic efforts to end Russia’s war, delegating responsibility to France and Germany. While it makes logical sense to expect European countries to take charge of security on their continent, these countries lack the United States’ geopolitical heft, and Putin has never accepted them as peers of or negotiating partners for Russia. What’s more, these two European countries were heavily dependent on trade with Russia and showed little interest in the security of Eastern European countries. Most damaging was Obama’s clear statement that Ukraine was not a U.S. strategic priority. Speaking with the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg after Russia’s annexation of Crimea and aggression in the Donbas, Obama emphasized the limits of his commitment to Ukraine. As Goldberg wrote: “Obama’s theory here is simple: Ukraine is a core Russian interest but not an American one, so Russia will always be able to maintain escalatory dominance there.” Goldberg then cited Obama as saying, “The fact is that Ukraine, which is a non-NATO country, is going to be vulnerable to military domination by Russia no matter what we do.” In other words, a U.S. president all but acknowledged Ukraine as a Russian client state, telegraphing to the leader of an aggressive, revisionist power that the United States would stand down if Russia were to widen its war. Moreover, the doctrine of Russian escalation dominance—that the Kremlin would always be willing to exercise superior power to get its way in Ukraine, whereas the United States would not—became the governing principle of U.S. policy. This principle echoes to this day, holding back U.S. support for Ukraine... Criticism of Obama’s stance on Ukraine—or, for that matter, the stances of then-German Chancellor Angela Merkel or then-French President Francois Hollande—is not a matter of hindsight. Distinguished voices in the foreign-policy community and the U.S. Congress, including late Republican presidential candidate John McCain, called for broader sanctions and urged Obama to arm Ukraine from the outset of Russia’s 2014 aggression. Yet despite congressional resolutions calling for such aid, Obama opposed sending Ukraine weapons and invoked the doctrine of Russian escalation dominance... Biden advocated arming Ukraine with defensive weapons when he was vice president under Obama. But when he became president himself, Biden brought many of the architects of Obama’s timid approach to Russia back into the government. As a result of their influence, from the moment in the fall of 2021 when the U.S. government knew Putin was planning to invade to the start of the invasion on Feb. 24, 2022, the United States lost a crucial window in which to provide Ukraine significant new weapons and the training to use them... Even when the Biden administration became convinced Russia would wage war around October 2021, it still restricted aid to a meager $60 million worth of small arms and ammunition. Only in December 2021 did Biden finally approve a $200 million shipment of shoulder-fired missiles and other lethal and non-lethal aid. The package included 300 Javelin anti-tank missiles that arrived in January, mere weeks before Russian forces began their multifront assault. And still, there were no heavy weapons in sight."
Weird. The US-haters claim that the US forced Putin to invade due to its aggression

BBC: 650,000 conscription-aged men have left Ukraine for Europe - "Approximately 650,000 Ukrainian men aged 18-60 have left Ukraine for Europe since the start of Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine in February 2022... As Ukraine faces the challenge of maintaining adequate military personnel, recent reports indicate that nearly 20,000 Ukrainian men have managed to evade conscription, finding various routes to leave the country.  Earlier this year law enforcement officials discovered a large-scale draft evasion scheme involving falsified medical certificates. Those involved reportedly charged substantial amounts, ranging from $7,000 to $10,000, to provide fake certificates declaring individuals unfit for military service due to fabricated health conditions.  The UN has estimated that some 6.2 million refugees left the country since the beginning of the full-scale invasion.  Ukraine had a population of 41 million in 2021. It currently hovers around 35 million and experts warn and could drop to below 29 million in the next 30 years, the EU’s Joint Coordination Center has warned."

Hillary Clinton: Ukraine conflict shows climate change primarily affects women - ""Women and children are the primary victims of conflict and of climate change and there is no place that unfortunately, tragically, shows us that more dramatically than Ukraine today," Clinton told the crowd at the Forbes 30/50 Summit in Abu Dhabi."
Her bad takes never stop (see: 1984 shows that we need to listen to our leaders, the press and experts)

Meme - "We Stand with UKRAINE"

European ammunition maker says plant expansion hit by energy-guzzling TikTok site - "Nammo, which is co-owned by the Norwegian government and a Finnish state-controlled defence company, has been told there is no surplus energy for its Raufoss plant in central Norway as a data centre that counts the social media platform as its main customer is using up the electricity in the region. “We are concerned because we see our future growth is challenged by the storage of cat videos,” Morten Brandtzæg, Nammo chief executive, told the Financial Times... Asked whether it was coincidence that a Chinese-owned company was stopping a defence company’s expansion, Brandtzæg replied: “I will not rule out that it’s not by pure coincidence that this activity is close to a defence company. I can’t rule it out.”... Experts say fights over which companies and which type of industry get priority access to electricity grids are likely to increase across Europe. Data centres have flourished in the Nordic countries because of once-plentiful and cheap electricity, as well as a colder climate that keeps cooling costs down."

How Putin’s war destroyed a golden age of Russian culture - "Dozens of its leading figures would be demonised by pro-war politicians, denounced by colleagues and purged from their jobs. Many would flee the country. Censorship would smother creative life and Russia’s freethinking theatre scene — considered one of the greatest in the world just months earlier — would be devastated. Those who chose to stay in the country would struggle to keep working and stay true to their antiwar beliefs. It was a battle of impossible choices, one that many, including Oleg, would eventually lose.

Meme - ">be from ukraine
>unironically use reddit
>war is shit and stuff
>make a picture of my morning view with ukrainian breakfast, some positivity
>post it
>it gets removed for being offtopic
>the entire subreddit is just about the war
>99% of the people are westerners just talking about russia all day
>they give each other awards for saying "Fuck Putin"
>these people dont give a shit about ukrainne"

Glenn Greenwald on X - "Former GOP Congressman @TGowdySC, speaking on Fox, express shock and outrage that anyone might possibly question Biden's war policy in Ukraine. Fox reporter @JenGriffinFNC explains: those criticizing Biden's policy are victims of Russian disinformation:"

Thread by @StephanAJensen on Thread Reader App – Thread Reader App - "One of the most tragic aspects of the West's disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan is how "well-meaning" Western progressives thought our disengagement would be the solution to all of Afghanistan's problems.  Instead, it handed Afghanistan to the Taliban. By peddling narcissistic arguments that all of Afghanistan's problems had to do with Western involvement, the "anti-war" lobby gave credence to the most ethically and strategically irresponsible policy possible:  Legitimizing the Taliban and betraying our allies. Now, the very same "anti-war" narcissists are making the very same arguments about Ukraine:  "If only we stop supporting the people defending their country and legitimate the claims of the terrorist aggressors everything will be fine."  It's as mad as it sounds. The crazy reality is that the Western "anti-war" folks are the most loyal allies terrorists like the Taliban and tyrants like Putin could ask for.  Whatever our enemies' demands are, their chorus is: "Give in!" Because Western "anti-war" progressives are so narcissistic they can't imagine anyone other than the West as the cause of anything, they end up supporting tyrants, authoritarians, and terrorists everywhere world - just because they aren't "us". But here's the kicker:  The result of giving in to "anti-war" appeasers is not less war - but more.  Betraying our allies and handing Afghanistan to the Taliban emboldened Putin and made him confident it was the right time to invade Ukraine just like handing Hiter Czechoslovakia in 1938 emboldened him to invade Poland in 1939. Why would he stop, when no one seemed willing to make him?"

Friday, March 08, 2024

Links - 8th March 2024 (2)

Conservative Party on X - "Justice Hogue’s decision to deny the Conservative Party full standing at the public inquiry into foreign interference ruins the credibility of the inquiry. Justin Trudeau will have government lawyers with full standing that represent his party’s interests. No other political party will have the same participation rights.    The Conservative Party was the prime victim of foreign interference in the previous elections according to leaked documents. Excluding the Conservative Party from having full standing on the impact of foreign interference while allowing the Trudeau government to participate fully makes the result of the commission beyond repair."

The Time George Washington Prevented A Military Coup With His Glasses - "In 1780, Congress promised Continental Army officers a lifetime pension of half of their pay following their discharge. However, just two years later, the pay was stopped as a cost-saving measure and promised as future backpay... As ever, Congress was divided on the matter. The national treasury was depleted by the war and Congress lacked the power to draw funds from the states. A tax proposal was struck down for fear that it could be used by Congress to raise funds for itself. The members of Congress continued to deliberate, but could not reach an agreeable solution... he pulled out a letter from a member of Congress to read to the officers. However, Washington simply gazed upon the letter and fumbled with it. Then, he pulled out a new pair of glasses and said, “Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for I have not only grown gray but almost blind in the service of my country.”  In the 18th century, glasses were far less common than they are today, and the levels of healthcare and life expectancy were similarly lower. For Washington to produce his glasses before his officers, most of whom had never seen him with spectacles, was an admittance of age and weariness. This great hero of the American Revolution that they had followed for years reduced himself to an old man before their eyes. Washington’s display of vulnerability brought many of the officers to tears. Their gripes over pay were eclipsed by Washington’s own sacrifices and the conspiracy of a coup dissolved as he read the letter from behind his glasses... Washington delivered the anonymous letters to Congress which James Madison called “alarming intelligence”. A final agreement was reached for five years of full pay rather than the lifetime pension. Government bonds were issued and, though many were wary of their value, were redeemed in full by the new government in 1790. Congressional financier Robert Morris issued $800,000 worth of personal notes to soldiers upon the disbanding of the Continental Army in 1783."

Hope is the thing with feathers — memory-thought: machigaeru - "I started Hebrew, which is why I’ve been dead on this blog, but I don’t think I can ever properly convey to you guys the sheer cultural whiplash of spending years learning Japanese from Japanese teachers and then trying to learn Hebrew from an Israeli
Japanese: you walk into class already apologizing for being alive
Hebrew: you walk into class, the teacher insults you and you are expected to insult her back
Japanese: conjugates every single verb based on degree of intended politeness, nevermind keigo and honorifics
Hebrew: Someone asked my teacher how to say “excuse me” and she laughed for several seconds before saying we shouldn’t worry about remembering that since we’ll never need to say it
Japanese: if you get one stroke wrong the entire kanji is incomprehensible
Hebrew: cursive? script? fuck it do whatever you want, you don’t even have to write the vowels out unless you feel like it
Japanese: the closest thing there is to ‘bastard’ is an excessively direct ‘you’ pronoun
Hebrew: ‘bitch’ translates directly"

Relive Wonder Woman's "history lesson" with this gorgeous artwork - "If you’ve seen Wonder Woman, you know that the audience is treated to a “history lesson” at the beginning of the movie which depicts the Amazon’s relationship with the Gods. Concept artist Houston Sharp and his team created some of the digital paintings that were brought to life in the movie, and he shared some of them on his ArtStation page."

Zannone: Italy's forbidden 'orgy island' - "“See that white colonial villa up high there?” says former fisherman Giorgio Aniello as he points a rough finger at a clifftop villa overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. “That’s where the Marquis Casati Stampa held lavish sex parties.”   Aniello is a regular visitor to Zannone, taking tourists on boat trips to the wildest atoll among the Pontine archipelago off the west coast of Italy. The big attraction, aside from the island’s natural beauty, is its dark, sexy past, most of which centers around the Marquis and his wife, Anna Fallarino, a former actress.  “He was a lewd man, a voyeur who liked to watch and photograph his starlet wife get kinky having sex with with other younger guys,” Aniello adds, enjoying spinning R-rated tales as he navigates a maze of reddish-yellow cliffs, old stone fisheries and sea stacks.  “Then one day he got fed up of the threesome, shot the two lovers and killed himself.” During the 1960s, Zannone – translated as “big fang” in Italian – was a secret vacation retreat that the chic and sexually adventurous aristocratic couple had rented from the state.  “The nobleman went hunting while his beautiful wife killed time doing different activities,” says Aniello. These, he adds, included skinny dipping in ancient Roman pools and entertaining herself on the beach with other men.  The isle’s isolation made it a perfect place to host masked parties that would culminate in debauched scenes reminiscent of Stanley Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut.” And its exotic setting matched the provocative nude photographs of Anna taken by her husband... According to rumors, the villa also featured a “hidden mirror room” to spy on heavy sex sessions...  “It’s what we call a Pulcinella’s secret,” he adds, meaning everyone knew. Then things ran out of control.  The erotic games ended in bloodshed in 1970 when Anna fell in love with one of her many handsome lovers. In a fit of jealousy, her husband killed the pair, then shot himself in the head in their attic in Rome.  Italian tabloids rushed to publish parts of the marquis’s secret “green velvet diary,” in which he had apparently written in detail about his wife’s love triangles. The hottest finds, though, were the 1,500 indecent photos locked up in his office drawers."

What a hunter-gatherer diet does to the body - "Mounting evidence suggests that the richer and more diverse the community of microbes in your gut the lower your risk of disease. Diet is key to maintaining diversity and was strikingly demonstrated when an undergrad student went on a McDonald’s diet for ten days and after just four days experienced a significant drop in the number of beneficial microbes...   We tend to see the biggest diet-related shifts in microbes in people who are unhealthy with a low-diversity unstable microbiome. What we didn’t know is whether a healthy stable gut microbiome could be improved in just a few days. The chance to test this in an unusual way came when my colleague Jeff Leach invited me on a field trip to Tanzania, where he has been living and working among the Hadza, one of the last remaining hunter-gatherer groups in all of Africa. My microbiome is pretty healthy nowadays and, among the first hundred samples we tested as part of the MapMyGut project, I had the best gut diversity – our best overall measure of gut health, reflecting the number and richness of different species. High diversity is associated with a low risk of obesity and many diseases. The Hadza have a diversity that is one of the richest on the planet... The good news was my gut microbal diversity increased a stunning 20%, including some totally novel African microbes, such as those of the phylum Synergistetes.  The bad news was, after a few days, my gut microbes had virtually returned to where they were before the trip"

Ulwaluko and other tribal traditions - "The San of South Africa, Botswana, Angola and Namibia are, according to some researchers, the world's oldest people. Their hunter-gatherer culture stretches back tens of thousands of years, and integral to it is the trance dance, also known as the healing dance. Historically an all-night affair, the practice brings the whole community together, led by healers and elders dancing around a fire, chanting and breathing deeply until they induce a trance state. It offers the chance to commune with ancestral spirits of the departed and for healers, cure sickness within other dancers.  Lewis says that this tradition is under threat: "In some places in southern Africa the San now perform their traditional culture exclusively for tourists, because they've been forced out of all their territories as hunter-gatherers by conservationist organizations. This means that by extension... these performances are not the original initiations but a facsimile of them.""
Animals are more important than humans

British Culture - Communication - "It is best to make eye contact that breaks away now and again. Prolonged eye contact can make people feel uncomfortable, and staring is impolite."

50% of US beef is eaten by just 12% of Americans, mostly men : study - "People between the ages of 50 and 65 were also more likely to eat a heftier portion of beef."

Meet the Israelis Who Are Trying to Physically Block the Ethnic Cleansing Unfolding in the West Bank - Israel News - Haaretz.com
The right wing anti-Semites are going to be very surprised. And it's not like Haaretz doesn't publish this sort of thing all the time

I Am Mystified and Horrified By the Long Egg - "The so-called long egg is a log of boiled egg, slender and cylindrical in shape; tubular, like a poster sleeve. Imagine: Taking the ovum from a chicken and mutating it so strenuously, with such unforgiving force, that it suddenly resembles a yolk-filled PVC pipe. Mortifying... long eggs have been around since 1974, conceived for the mass market in Denmark by a company called Danæg, who sells the product to this day. It was once created with the aid of an instrument called the SANOVO 6-32. The long egg's use case is pretty clear if you dislodge yourself from the aggressive unpleasantness of its appearance: You can slice evenly sized coins from your boiled egg, rather than the variously sized slabs you'd get from a garden-variety ovular egg. Convenient!"

Senior BBC worker who called Jews an 'invader species' is finally sacked - as workers say it is a 'grim' and 'frightening' time to be Jewish at the corporation - "Dawn Queva, a BBC scheduler, shared a string of hateful messages on Facebook. She described the Holocaust as a 'holohoax'... speciality from southern denmark hard boiled One message claims the Ashkenazi Jews are 'a bunch of subcontinental European melanin recessive CaucAsian japhetic AshkeNazi who have no None zero zilch blood connection to the land of Palestine or Israel historically'.  Another brands Jewish people an 'invader coloniser species'. Ms Queva also allegedly described white people as 'barbaric' and 'bloodthirsty'. In other posts, she referred to the UK as the 'UKKK' – a reference to the Ku Klux Klan.  Ms Queva, 55, a senior scheduler and playout planner for BBC Three, posted under the name Dawn Las Quevas-Allen. She previously worked in scheduling for A+E Networks, UKTV and Disney. She doubled down on her remarks after they came to light, challenging her critics to 'come at me... my shoulders are broad'... A Jewish worker said: 'Jewish colleagues are finding it really tough seeing everyone but our bosses condemning what we have seen.'   They added: 'If the BBC is serious about standing up to anti-Semitism then it needs to practise what it keeps preaching and stand up to the hate crimes committed by one of its own staff.'"
She's going to blame her being fired on the Jews/the whites. The fact that she challenged critics to come at her suggests she thought she was invulnerable

Good vs Bad FANTASY Dialogue (Writing Advice) - YouTube - "There's six key markers of bad fantasy dialogue and the first one is that it is on the nose... when a character states exactly what he wants... there is no hidden meaning behind the words, no secret want, because everything is spelled out but most interesting people and certainly most interesting characters don't do this. Number two, bad dialogue has repeated beats. You want to avoid repeating the same statements or emotions. Instead each line of dialogue should aim to move your story forward. Number three: the as you know setup, when two characters explain things to each other that both of them already know. It feels fake and artificial. Number four: bad dialogue uses convoluted language. Sometimes in our efforts to produce memorable dialogue us writers can get carried away with complicated phrasing and extravagant word choice and this can again produce a fake feeling that yanks readers out of your fantasy world. Number five: bad dialogue uses contrived setups. This occurs when you make one character say something purely to give another character an opportunity to respond with this zinger or this one liner or some cool turn of phrase that you developed. Now this can be done well but oftentimes it creates a certain shattering of the reader's suspension of disbelief because it reminds them of the constructed and artificial nature of your story. And then lastly number six: bad fantasy dialogue uses info dumping. Particularly when writing fantasy novels, dialogue is a very tempting tool that you might want to reach for when it comes to describing your world, your magic, your politics, your setting, your history and all these other unique elements that you have created for your story. Now of course this can work but when over relied upon and used for the benefit of your reader rather than as a natural expression of what your characters would actually say to one another in that situation, it will again pull readers out of your story."

Meme - "The Love Rug strokes your bodies as you make love. Once you feel the sensuous delight of the furry Love Rug, you’ll never go back to an ordinary bed again. As you stroke, it strokes. The incredible soft, furlike fibers caress your bodies from head to toe. It’s almost like having another lover there with the two of you.The Love Rug is as beautiful to look at as it is to feel. Only another animal of its stripe could tell it wasn’t real fur. Only $150 in your favorite fur texture. Choose Mink, Lynx or Jaguar. But be sure to order now."

Meme - "Hooters 2024 *Men in wigs*"

Explainer-What is India's civil code and why does it anger Muslims? - "Uttarakhand, a small northern Indian state governed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist party, is set to pass a bill to replace religion-specific civil laws with a Uniform Civil Code, which could be used as a template by other states... many Muslims see it as curbing their religion, interfering with centuries-old practices such as polygamy... The constitution adopted in 1950 placed the code in a section that recommends laws for future governments. It encouraged the state to "endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory"... It bans polygamy, a practice allowed under Muslim laws that permit a man to have up to four wives. It sets minimum ages for men and women to marry. While Hindu and secular laws only allow men to marry at 21 and women at 18, there is no restriction for Muslims and other communities. It prohibits a person marrying relatives including cousins, uncles, aunts, which is allowed in many communities. It grants equal inheritance rights to sons and daughters... Muslim theologians see the new bill as a threat to Islamic law and religious practices such as polygamy. Muslims are India's largest minority, making up more than 14% of the population. A prominent Muslim body recently said that the proposed code goes against India's diversity. Some tribal groups have also opposed the code."
Equality under the law is Islamophobic. Banning polygyny is racist because under the progressive stack, Muslims are more oppressed than women

Why national flags appear backwards on planes - "Stephen Forshaw, Vice President Public Affairs of Singapore Airlines explains:      “According to flag etiquette, which traces its origins back to shipping — and was reaffirmed in the earliest days of commercial aviation — a national flag should never be seen to be travelling backwards”  Flag etiquette, Forshaw explains, dictates that flags should be displayed on planes as if they were physical objects, affected by the wind created by the plane’s momentum. Displaying them as we would normally recognize (i.e. with the American stars in the top left) would make it appear as if the plane is moving backwards... On both sides of the plane, the canton, or stars in America’s case, lead the way, as if the flag is attached to a flagpole on the fuselage. On the starboard side, the flag appears backwards, as above. On the port side, the flag appears ‘correct’, as below... While some adaptions occur, generally this convention is applied to any instance in which a national flag is printed on a moving object.  A good example is the US army. The American flag is displayed ‘backwards’ on the soldier’s right soldier, with the stars leading as the soldier advances (into battle)."

How China Fell in Love With Cantonese Cooking - "What makes a perfect plate of Cantonese stir-fried beef and rice noodles? The secret is the oil. Like any stir fry, the dish requires a lot of fat, but the mark of a good chef is that none of that oil is transferred to the plate: The final product should be flavorful but never greasy.  This culinary tip comes not from a cookbook, but the recent hit drama “Blossoms Shanghai,” which is partially set in a high-end Cantonese restaurant that doubles as a parlor for backroom business deals during China’s go-go ’90s. According to Zhou Songfang, a scholar of Cantonese culinary culture and the author of several books on the subject, including “The Introduction of Cantonese Cuisine to the North,” the setting makes sense. Although Cantonese cooking emerged in the kitchens of the country’s far south, it was its embrace by Shanghai’s trend-setting upper middle class — first during the early 20th century, then again in the 1990s and ’00s — that helped turn it from regional cuisine to national phenomenon... As late as the end of the Qing, however, the most popular regional cuisines in Shanghai were still Fujianese and Sichuanese. Both were characterized by rich, strong flavors, while Cantonese cuisine was seen as blander, and it struggled to win over diners from China’s north and interior provinces. Guangdong natives might enjoy drinking things like cordyceps soup (a variety of fungi), but people from inland found it watery. Cantonese cuisine also favored the use of aquatic products, and its fishy taste was a cultural shock to some diners. The elevation of Cantonese cuisine’s status is closely tied to the upheaval of the early 20th century. First, popular perceptions of Guangdong, long considered a backward region, underwent a significant transformation after the Xinhai Revolution in 1911, as people from the province made major contributions to the overthrowing of the Qing.  Chinese realized that “big things cannot be accomplished without people from Guangdong,” and Cantonese cuisine became associated with a revolutionary spirit. Then came the Northern Expedition, an attempt by southern revolutionaries to defeat the warlords dominating China and salvage the newborn republic, which raised the status of Guangdong people to new heights and made Cantonese cuisine trendier than Fujianese or Sichuanese. The Guangdong-born Sun Yat-sen, sometimes called the “father of modern China,” once remarked that, “for food, look to Guangzhou; for clothes, look to Suzhou.” At the same time, Cantonese restaurants had become highly competitive. Cantonese restaurants in cities like Shanghai pioneered large-scale modern catering services. Many managers had experience overseas, and they introduced modern concepts and business methods into the domestic catering industry. For example, Chinese gatherings traditionally occurred at round tables, but Cantonese restaurants introduced private booths for a more intimate setting. They also were among the first to adopt modern hygiene standards and an emphasis on kitchen cleanliness.  Another competitive edge of Cantonese restaurants was their hours. For instance, restaurants like Xing Hua Lou and Guan Sheng Yuan in Shanghai, even when they expanded beyond snack food, didn’t abandon their tradition of serving late-night meals. These meals were served until one or two in the morning; a few hours later, they’d reopen for dim sum.  At the time, this approach was unique to Cantonese restaurants in Shanghai. Even local restaurants in Guangzhou couldn’t match it — Guangzhou’s dim sum shops and late-night eateries were separate entities."

Looking back: Australia's Emu Wars - "Early on the morning of 2 November 1932, the Seventh Heavy Battery of the Royal Australian Artillery alighted at Campion, WA, on to a hot red-dirt landscape about halfway between Perth and Kalgoorlie. There they unpacked two Lewis automatic machine guns and 10,000 rounds of ammunition.  The unit’s intention? To open hostilities with the emus of Western Australia that were moving in from central Australia in search of water and, having stumbled on the region’s delicious wheat districts, had begun to ravage crops... the Australian military had vastly underestimated the emu. Cunning adversaries, the emus proved almost impossible to hit with machine-gun fire, and they seemed able to shrug off even serious injury from bullets without breaking stride...   “If we had a military division with the bullet-carrying capacity of these birds it would face any army in the world… They can face machine guns with the invulnerability of tanks.”  A few days into operations, a planned ambush by a dam failed miserably when one of the Lewis guns jammed. A later attempt to mount a machine-gun on a truck fell apart when it was made apparent that the vehicle could not keep up with the birds.   Within a week of first contact the troops were recalled. Roughly 2500 rounds had been fired and killed somewhere between 50 and 200 emus. Meredith did note that his men had suffered no casualties. When the question was raised if a medal would be struck for the conflict, federal labor parliamentarian A.E. Green replied that any medals should go to the emus who had ‘won every round so far’. For his involvement in the deployment, Defence Minister George Pearce earned the unofficial title ‘Minister for the Emu War’.  Although a second (slightly) more successful military operation was mounted against the emus only a few days after the initial retreat in November 1932, in the end it was the instituting of a bounty on emus that proved most effective. Between 1945 and 1960 around 284,700 emus were killed in WA.  Australia’s emu population, however, remains stable to this day. Thankfully, they do not seem interested in resuming hostilities with the Australian government."

Meme - u/Sniff_Gregor: "Are there any cheap drones that can carry a lot of cargo?"
"Is there any security when driving into Times Square?"
"What place in the USA has the most people gathered?"
"Are the Australian bulldog ants hard to breed?"
"What is the most aggressive and venomous wasp?"

Actual Fact Bot: Revived | Facebook - "Homosexual black swans form temporary threesomes with females to obtain eggs and then drive them away.
Same-sex sexual behavior in birds: expression is related to social mating system and state of development at hatching

EDITORIAL: A costly marriage of political opportunism - "New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh’s constant threats to bring down the government if it doesn’t cave to his expensive whims are becoming irritating. Voters didn’t give him a mandate to bully legislators to spending more of our hard-earned tax dollars on programs we can’t afford, such as a pharmacare. Voters didn’t give Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a mandate to implement them either. It’s only through his tax-and-spend marriage of convenience with the NDP that Canadians got programs for which they didn’t vote. This week, Singh said the Supply and Confidence agreement, which guarantees NDP support for the Liberals, will fall apart if the government doesn’t bring in a pharmacare plan. He didn’t rule out voting with the government on confidence votes, such as the budget, however. That makes his threat hollow. He won’t bring down the government. He’s full of bluster... The Parliamentary Budget Officer estimates the incremental cost of a single-payer universal drug plan, federal and provincial, to be $11.2 billion in 2024, increasing to $13.4 billion in 2027-28. When Conservatives accused Singh of supporting the government long enough for him to qualify for a pension, Singh made this grandiose statement: “Canadians elected us in this minority parliament; that was not our choice. I would rather have been prime minister.” Well, he’s not the PM and is unlikely to be so any time soon. Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem warned the Commons Finance Committee last week that out-of-control government spending will further fuel higher interest rates and inflation — both of which are making life miserable for Canadians. “If there are large spending increases … that could start getting in the way of getting inflation back down to target on the timeline we’ve laid out,” Macklem said."

Why Tipping Etiquette Makes Absolutely No Sense - "A 2016 study from Cornell University, published in the Journal of Economic Psychology, found that people are twice as likely to tip a grocery delivery person than a grocery store clerk, and roughly twice as likely to tip a waiter than a fast-food restaurant worker. Why is that? A paid job is a paid job, right? The grocery deliverer is paid to deliver and the grocery clerk is paid to clerk. So tipping one and not the other only makes sense in terms of what has become customary. More examples from the study: Party clowns get tipped more often than dental hygienists—even though the latter bravely confront the malodorous insides of our mouths. Limousine drivers get rewarded more often than fishing guides. And nobody can work out the reasons for these differences; don’t fishing guides go the extra mile, too? All this is compounded by a phenomenon called “tip creep,” which coincides with the proliferation of portable pay machines that feature automatic tip prompts... Good luck with any consistency if you’re tipping in Europe. Research across seven European countries in 2020 found that Germans and Swedes are more likely to tip in restaurants than the Spanish or Swiss, while only 40 percent of French consumers offer a gratuity. Norwegians are the least likely to tip: fewer than 15 percent leave a little extra on the table. As for the size of the tip, it’s lowest in France and Norway (less than two percent of the bill), and highest in Germany (7.5 percent) and Sweden (nine percent). “From a service worker’s viewpoint,” lead study author Stefan Gössling of Sweden’s Lund University notes, “the most desirable tipping culture is probably in Germany, where minimum wages are high, tipping is a norm and tip percentages are high and mostly paid in cash.” In Spain, by contrast, “the situation for service workers is the least favourable; the minimum wage is low, as are tip percentages.”...  No one expects a tip in much of Southeast Asia (for example, Thailand or Vietnam) or Australia, beyond saying “keep the change.” In Taiwan and Hong Kong, a 10 percent gratuity is added at most restaurants. Sometimes, that too can feel nerve-wracking. “Even when the server tells you about it up front, it’s awkward,” one friend who encountered this custom said. “Do you tip more if they were really good? What if they weren’t good?”"

Ethnic Differences in Tipping: Evidence, Explanations, and Implications - "Anecdotal evidence suggests that many waiters and waitresses deliver poor service to ethnic minorities because they believe that ethnic minorities are poor tippers. How managers should deal with this problem depends in part on whether or not ethnic minorities really do tip less than Whites and (if they do) on when and why this occurs. This paper reports on 2 studies that address these issues. The results indicate that Asians tip less than do Whites in comparisons across (but not within) restaurants and that Blacks tip less than do Whites in comparisons both across and within restaurants. Various explanations for these ethnic differences are tested, and the managerial implications of the results are discussed."

On the Culture Wars

From 2020. If you disagree with the left's attempts to destroy the status quo and radically transform society, you are the one starting a culture war.


The birth of the culture wars

"Many pundits and politicians seem to blame UK prime minister Boris Johnson for provoking the latest installment of the culture wars that now dominate Anglo-American public life. Sections of the media, from the New York Times to the Guardian, have claimed that Johnson wants to argue over statues to distract from his poor handling of the Covid pandemic. Others, such as Labour’s David Lammy, reckon Johnson’s defence of the statue of Winston Churchill, against those who would deface or dismantle it, was a deliberate attempt to stoke the culture wars, and deflect attention from the Tories lack of progress on ‘racial injustice’.

These are massively disingenuous claims. After all, is it really surprising that a British prime minister would defend a memorial devoted to arguably the nation’s greatest modern figure? Moreover, Johnson was not initiating anything. He was responding to a movement that has been directing its energy towards the destruction of the symbols of Britain’s national history and culture. It takes tremendous bad faith to characterise Johnson’s defensive response to an attack on British culture as an attempt to launch a culture war...

What is striking is that neither side seems to have anything positive to say about the culture wars. Their characterisation as ‘poisonous’, by veteran conservative commentator Charles Moore, is a sentiment shared by virtually all sides of the political argument. They disagree merely on the questions of who is to blame for them, and what they mean.

One reason why so many observers are confused by the dynamics of the culture war is because it rarely assumes an explicit conflict-like character. It is often a silent conflict over what seem to be disparate issues – gay marriage, national identity, euthanasia – rather than a war between two clearly defined sides. In this sense, the modern culture war is very different to the German Kulturkampf of the 19th century, when there was an overt cultural struggle between Chancellor Bismarck and the Catholic Church...

Historically, it was set in motion in Western societies by a powerful impulse to detach the present from the past, which emerged at the turn of the 20th century. This project of liberating the present from the cultural values of the past was most clearly formulated by the Progressive movement in the US, and by the New Liberals in Britain. But it was the experience of the First World War that gave this sentiment real momentum. For the war fundamentally undermined the cultural continuity of the West.

Disconnected from the past, post-war Western societies found it difficult to develop a compelling narrative through which to transmit their cultural legacy to young people. One outcome of this development was the phenomenon known today as the ‘generation gap’. It emerged in the aftermath of the First World War precisely because it was not simply a generational gap, but also a cultural one – a gap, that is, between the pre- and post-war eras. In the decades that followed, these generational tensions would come to be experienced as the problem of identity...

Many commentators at the time, and in the decades to come, were blind to this cultural conflict. They focused on the ideological conflict between communism and capitalism, and the rise of fascism, rather than the loss of cultural authority of Western values.

One reason why Western ruling elites failed to address the loss of their moral authority was because of the difficulty they had in acknowledging that their own way of life was being unravelled by powerful corrosive influences internal to it. During the 1940s and 50s, even conservative commentators failed to appreciate the scale of the problem confronting their tradition. This became clear during what was the first significant, explicit conflict in the culture war: Senator Joseph McCarthy’s battle with communism and its supposed threat to American values.

The rise of McCarthyism in the US is often seen as an attempt to deploy anti-communist hysteria to silence political dissent. Yet it was also an attempt to roll back the cultural influences threatening traditional norms and values...

McCarthy’s anti-communist crusade can be seen as one of the earliest attempts (and failures) after the Second World War to revitalise traditional values in the face of their rapid demise. One of the most astute analyses of the McCarthy episode was provided by the conservative commentator, Jeanne Kirkpatrick. Kirkpatrick understood that McCarthyism was not so much about communism as it was a struggle for ‘jurisdiction over the symbolic environment’. What was at issue was who would serve as the arbiter of culture and whose narrative would prevail.

The failure of McCarthy to hold the line and the rapid decline of his reputation had important implications. These things indicated that, although a potent political resource, anti-communist ideology on its own could not contain the corrosive outcomes of the moral depletion of Western culture. Kirkpatrick asserted that McCarthy’s demise and the victory of his critics was a ‘precondition of the rise of the counterculture in the 1960s’. Whereas during the McCarthy era, the term ‘loyalty’ was rarely openly contested, by the 1960s it had lost some of its cultural value. Anti-war demonstrators, draft-dodgers and ordinary members of the public rejected loyalty as an unwelcome imposition on their ability to be themselves. As Kirkpatrick recalled, the ‘peace marchers were far more aggressive in their defiance of traditional taboos than the timid victims of Joe McCarthy’. This, Kirkpatrick concluded, ‘reflected the distance that the cultural revolution had proceeded’.

The casual manner with which traditional taboos were derided in the 1960s showed that those who upheld traditional values could no longer assume that they occupied the moral high-ground. In this, the cultural assault on the values of capitalist consumer society played a significant role. However, this assault should be seen as a catalyst for, rather than a cause of, the unravelling of the Cold War consensus on Western values. The inner corrosion of the ethos of capitalism had been at work for many decades, and the lack of self-belief among the ruling elites contributed to its diminishing influence.

Since the interwar era, capitalism as a social system has found it increasingly difficult to justify itself against its critics. Matters were made worse by the reluctance of conservative and liberal thinkers to confront this problem directly.

The absence of an intellectually compelling, normative foundation for capitalism meant that even at the height of the postwar boom, capitalism was exposed to a cultural critique of its values. Consequently, even in these very favourable circumstances, capitalism acquired only a limited influence over intellectual and cultural life. This estrangement of capitalism from its own culture emerged with full force in the late 1960s, when many of its values were explicitly challenged in what would turn out to be an interminable culture war...

By the 1970s, it became clear that supporters of ‘adversarial culture’ had gained the upper hand...

Since the 1970s, the representatives of traditional America have been constantly on the defensive. Instead of initiating debates and attempting to set the agenda, they have been continually forced to react to the latest blow directed at their way of life. This cycle of defensive responsiveness can be seen on many issues, from gay marriage or trans rights to claims about white privilege.

The pessimistic diagnosis offered by Moynihan and Brittan was widespread among conservative thinkers. Periodic attempts to promote ‘back to basics’ campaigns in the 1970s and 1980s proved to be singularly ineffective. At this point in time, the mainstream conservative and right-wing parties attempted to evade the consequences of their cultural isolation by emphasising their ability to achieve economic success. The high point of this strategy arrived during the Thatcher-Reagan years, when their brand of economic liberalism gained hegemony over public life. However, what the supporters of Thatcher and Reagan failed to notice, or acknowledge, was that despite the electoral success of their parties, their opponents were winning the culture war. Paradoxically, it was during the Thatcher and Reagan years that what came to be known as political correctness gained ascendancy and identity politics became institutionalised, first on campuses and later in the public and private sectors.

Today, when the reality of a culture war is widely recognised, it is worth noting that until recently almost all sides of the political divide were reluctant to draw attention to it. That is why supporters of political correctness went out of their way to deny there was such a thing as PC. Similarly, until recently, advocates of identity politics insisted that identity politics was a dishonest invention of their opponents...

One reason why [Pat] Buchanan’s speech caused such a stir was because, by 1992, the old traditional elites had more or less been entirely sidelined by their adversaries. The countercultural movement had been institutionalised, and its representatives dominated institutions of culture, higher education and the public sector. And, since then, businesses and the private sector have also come under its sway.

Having gained hegemony, members of this countercultural establishment are now less and less afraid to impose their own values on the rest of society. From their standpoint, Boris Johnson is an elite outlier, and his defence of Churchill offers them a reminder that there are still obstacles to the realisation of the project of detaching society from the legacy of its past. They now constitute the cultural establishment, and people who wish to defend the statues of Churchill or Abraham Lincoln are their countercultural adversaries."


The identitarians are winning the culture wars

"A history of the culture wars, published in 2015, concluded that ‘the logic of the culture wars has been exhausted’, adding that ‘the metaphor has run its course’. That the culture war is far from exhausted has been strikingly demonstrated by the recent focus on BAME victims of the Covid pandemic and, above all, by the Black Lives Matter protests. 

Yet while the reality of the culture war is now widely recognised, its profound influence over the conduct of public life is not. There is still a tendency to see the culture war as a distinct, isolated discourse or approach, separate from mainstream public life. Hence, one commentator talks of the ‘culture war’ as something the Tories are deliberately promoting, almost like a policy. Others contend that the culture war is a distinctly American phenomenon that should have no place in British and other European societies. Or as Madeline Grant put it in the Telegraph, ‘our freedom is under threat from an American-exported culture war’.

In one sense, it is true that many of the issues, idioms and symbols through which culture is now being politicised globally derive from the US. However, while the culture war is especially intense in the US, it is also potent in Britain and many other parts of the world, too.

That is because the culture war is not one political domain among many others. It does not come and go as certain issues, such as gay marriage or Brexit, drop in and out of the headlines. Rather, the culture war now constitutes politics in general. Indeed, since the 1970s, the politicisation of culture has succeeded in displacing, or fundamentally altering, all the powerful ideologies of the modern era. It has successfully marginalised conservative and classical-liberal ideas, be they tolerance or democracy, within institutions of socialisation, such as schools and universities. And it has turned many cultural institutions, from the arts to the media, against humanist sentiments and ideals associated with the Western tradition that runs from Classical Greek philosophy through the Renaissance to the Enlightenment. Even classical socialist ideals of solidarity and internationalism have been torn asunder by the politicisation of culture and identity.

These developments take the form of a one-sided war against the past in general, and the legacy of the West in particular. Those upholding the importance of tradition and historical continuity now appear to be always on the defensive. Indeed, they seem to be resigned to losing the battle for the soul of society.

That air of resignation is understandable. Those upholding a principled commitment to the civilisational accomplishments of humanity have been on the receiving end of several defeats in recent decades. In her 1965 lecture, Some Questions of Moral Philosophy, Hannah Arendt reflected on the disappearance of values that once seemed permanent. She noted that ‘without much notice’ the moral values that helped people ‘tell right from wrong’ had ‘collapsed almost overnight’. Fifty-five years later, those moral values really have ceased to influence the conduct of public life. Indeed, in universities the language of morality is frequently denounced as a sham, or as a discourse to be deconstructed and exposed.

The apparent loss of the moral imagination, which so haunted Arendt, has profoundly affected contemporary life. As I note in my new book Why Borders Matter, the ability to ‘tell right from wrong’ has been compromised by the cultural devaluation of boundaries, such as those between good and evil; adult and child; man and woman; human and animal; and private and public. All of these symbolic boundaries have been called into question in recent decades. The binary distinction, for example, between man and woman is now denounced as transphobic. Even the very concept of the binary itself is castigated as exclusionary and discriminatory.

The main casualty of this war against traditional ideals has been the collapse in the moral status of judgement. Today, moral judgment — the attempt, that is, to distinguish right from wrong — is considered suspect, discriminatory, judgemental. Instead, it is the ethos of non-judgmentalism that is ascendant today. And that loss of faith in moral judgement indicates the extent to which the war to uphold the precious gains of civilisation is being lost.

The present phase of the culture war began in the 1970s. It was during this decade that traditional Western elites quietly abandoned the fight against the countercultural movements of the 1960s. By the end of the 1970s, the values of the counterculture had gained hegemony. They were institutionalised, first in education and the cultural industry, and later in other sectors of society. Some scholars and observers have characterised this development as the cultural turn.

In the late 1970s, the cultural turn was attributed to a ‘new class’ of cultural elites, which was committed to so-called non- or post-material values. According to the political scientist Ronald Inglehart, this new class was concerned with post-material needs, such as the need for aesthetic satisfaction, and what psychologists called ‘self-actualisation’ (2). Its members were increasingly interested in environmentalism, and sought out therapeutic self-help groups. More broadly, they were increasingly preoccupied with the question of identity.

From the outset, the emerging post-material values were not presented neutrally, as one set of values among others. Rather, they were seen by their advocates as superior to traditional values, such as patriotism, nationalism and deference to authority. Inglehart himself thought that the move from traditional values to post-material values was positive, because it would erode the influence of greedy materialism in society.

But the significance of the cultural turn lay less in the so-called post-material values it promoted than in its effect: namely, the further politicisation of culture and of identity. For opponents of the old society, this took the form of a war on previously hegemonic values.

It is important to note that advocates of the cultural turn against traditional values consistently refused to acknowledge their role in politicising culture. Instead, they blamed their opponents for starting the culture war. One can see this happening during the current phase of the culture war. For instance, in Cultural Backlash: Trump, Brexit and Authoritarian Populism (2019), Inglehart and his co-author Pippa Norris, portray populism as being responsible for a culture war against post-material values. They appear unaware of their own side’s role in politicising culture, and forcing those who uphold different values on to the defensive.

The cultural turn marginalised traditional values. In the main, this was achieved through the capture of the institutions of socialisation by the new post-material elites. As sociologist Alvin Gouldner explains, a new class of intellectuals and knowledge workers achieved a monopoly over institutions of education and expertise, promoted the cultural turn, and unleashed forces that worked towards the de-authorisation of traditional cultural values.

Gouldner contends that this development was facilitated by changes within the family. The twin forces of women’s emancipation and the expansion of education in the context of growing prosperity had weakened paternal authority. This, in turn, damaged the capacity of the prevailing system of socialisation, which had been centred on the family, to communicate the legacy and the values of the past.

Gouldner’s analysis provided fascinating insights into the relationship between the disrupted socialisation within the family unit and the intensification of cultural conflict. He claimed that schools and universities provided the ‘institutional basis for the mass production of the new class’. In these institutions, teachers claim to represent society as a whole and, in that capacity, are ‘not defined as having an obligation to reproduce parental values in their children’. The expansion of education works towards insulating children from their parents’ cultural influence...

One of the ways in which children become, through education, culturally distanced from the values of their parents is through their ‘linguistic conversion’ to a form of speech that reflect the values of the new class. What Gouldner characterised as the ‘culture of critical speech’ of the new classes ‘de-authorises all speech grounded in traditional societal authority, while it authorises itself, the elaborated speech variant of the culture of critical discourse, as the standard of all “serious” speech’. Although published in 1979, Gouldner’s analysis anticipated the later institutionalisation of speech codes and the policing of language. It also provides important insights into the vitriol that often accompanies disputes about words and ‘offensive’ speech...

By the turn of the 21st century, institutions of learning, especially universities, were not simply involved in the business of education. They were also concerned with re-education and re-socialisation. In the US in particular, new students were expected to attend numerous workshops to ‘raise their awareness’ on certain issues. ‘Raising awareness’ is best understood as a euphemism for converting individuals to the values of the awareness-raisers themselves.

Campus initiatives designed to raise awareness provide participants with virtues and moral qualities that distinguish them from the supposedly ‘unaware’ and unenlightened. The exhortation to ‘acknowledge white privilege’ is a very clear model of awareness-raising. Those who confess and acknowledge their guilt are able to distinguish themselves from the supposedly narrow-minded, prejudiced people who have not done likewise. The possession of awareness is therefore a marker of one’s superior status. And its absence marks one out as inferior. That is why the refusal to abide by the exhortation to ‘be aware’ invites moral condemnation.

Over recent decades, the cultural distancing of successive generations of young people from the moral outlook of their parents has ensured that the values of the past have lost much of their purchase. Through the medium of linguistic conversion, new cultural values have successfully displaced old ones. The goal is to develop conventions about what can and cannot be said and thought.

At present, this desire to overhaul language is most systematically expressed by advocates of trans culture... Society has become increasingly sensitive and hesitant about which words are appropriate, and which are not. It is a short step from being able to control language to gaining influence over the way people think.

During its current phase, the culture war encompasses virtually all areas of everyday life. It has encouraged an unprecedented level of polarisation over matters that once would have been seen as non-political. That is why today just about anything, from the food you eat to the clothes you wear, can become a subject of vitriolic argument...

Even people’s personal decisions, including who one chooses to have sex with, are interpreted as political statements.

The personalisation of politics can be interpreted as an example of what the German sociologist Max Weber called the ‘stylisation of life’. Through the embrace of styles, people set themselves apart, reinforce their status and draw a moral contrast between their styles of life and those of others. As Pierre Bourdieu, in his influential essay Distinction, noted, ‘aesthetic intolerance can be terribly violent’. Struggles over the ‘art of living’ serve to draw lines between behaviour and attitudes considered legitimate and those deserving of moral condemnation. The fury with which the culture war is fought out on social media over trivial matters such as one’s hairstyle or taste in fashion speaks to the unrestrained emotionalism at work these days.

Twenty-first-century cultural conflict is waged over the art of living. In universities, this trend is apparent in the numerous conflicts over cultural appropriation. The outbreak of rows over the consumption of culturally insensitive food or the wearing of inappropriate clothes shows that nothing is too trivial or too personal to constitute a political battleground today.

Increasingly, in the culture war, hostility is directed less at people’s beliefs than at people’s cultural identity. This can be seen in the project of pathologising male identity as ‘toxic masculinity’, or of stigmatising white people through the self-serving concepts of ‘whiteness’ and ‘white fragility’, both of which assume white people to be inherently racist. The politicisation of identity in this way is divisive, and gives all arguments an intensely emotional force.

The advocates of the politicisation of identity and culture have been relatively successful in forcing their opponents on the defensive. Through their control of language and institutions of culture, they have certainly emerged as the main beneficiaries of the culture war. But while they have undermined the influence of traditional norms and values, they have failed to elaborate a positive vision that might inspire society as a whole.

That identity politics has become the dominant force in Western life today serves as a powerful reminder of the hegemonic influence of the cultural turn. The advocates of identity politics see this as positive, of course. Hence they present the politicisation of culture as a triumph for diversity over discrimination and oppression. But this is misdirection. The politics of culture has no redeeming qualities. It has rarely allowed the forging of strong bonds between different groups, as the acrimonious dispute between feminists and trans activists shows. Quite the opposite. The intensely personal dimension of identity politics actively impedes the development of human solidarity. And the unprecedented level of polarisation of public life is only going to intensify if the politicisation of identity continues unchecked.

The sacralisation of identity is all the more remarkable given the shallow moral and intellectual resources that support it. Not that it needs much support, given the absence of resistance. Indeed, it is precisely the absence of resistance that has allowed Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility, a superficial and trashy exercise in guilt-tripping, to become a set text in schools and universities.

What is most remarkable about the experience of the past 50 years is the historic failure to challenge the forces politicising culture. With a few exceptions, representatives of the key strands of the modern era – be they conservative, liberal or socialist – pretended not to notice what was going on. In many cases, they simply left the field of battle altogether. This has allowed their opponents to monopolise the institutions of socialisation and influence the young.

There is little doubt about it: the post-1970s cultural crusaders are winning. Their influence is no longer confined to institutions of culture and education. With every generational transition they have succeeded in influencing an ever-growing proportion of society, from business to sport.

Even the judiciary has been won over to the identity-obsessed worldview prevailing in the West. Hence a supposedly conservative-dominated US Supreme Court recently ruled to extend LGBT rights in the workplace...

The war against the narrow-minded ethos represented by identitarians will be lost unless those of us concerned with defending the legacy of human civilisation step up and take the fight to their favoured battleground – the sphere of education. At present, children are educated to regard themselves as vulnerable and fragile individuals, and to obsess over their identity. We need to adopt a different approach – one that educates children for freedom and cultivates their aspiration for independence. This might seem like a modest objective. But the outcome of the culture war will be determined by the ideals with which we can inspire our children."


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