We are reaching new lows and not just in temperatures

Supporters carry placards as they march during the YouthStrike4Climate demonstration in central London on April 12, 2019. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

San Francisco breaks cold record as Bay Area freezes…

‘Global warming’ ‘Climate Change’ to Get Rebranding? 

What would it take for these supposedly educated fools to learn how to investigate such claims for themselves, to actually go about reading things that take a different view from the ones they hear all the time for which there is not an ounce of evidence? If they did do that, I would consider them actually educatable. As they are, they are just conformist nongs without a thought of their own.

But whatever blood may be on whichever hands, that blood is running a bit cold at the moment. It’s all part of the marketing plans these morons think is needed to get their message across about how the planet is heating, or cooling, or whatever it is doing that fits the narrative.

These are the kinds of sophisticates who in my  time used to think Uri Geller could bend spoons with the power of his mind. Although equally nonsensical, it did not endanger their own future or their future prosperity.

An Australian Wilderness of Mirrors

I read Wilderness of Mirrors a long time ago, after I had previously read CIA Diary and have been fascinated by the world of espionage ever since. So I will say this: whatever may be the truth or otherwise about Wang Liqiang who describes himself as a Chinese operative in Australia, this cannot yet be known to be true: Wang Liqiang: Beijing bit player at best as cloak-and-dagger claims fall away.

Wang claimed to have interfered with elections in Taiwan, ­infiltrated the student movement in Hong Kong and played a role in the kidnapping of the Causeway Bay Five, a group of Hong Kong booksellers snatched from Hong Kong and rendered to the Chinese mainland.

But five days on and multiple security sources have told The Weekend Australian the consensus view inside the security establishment is that while Wang’s claims are still being investigated, he is not the high-level operative-turned-defector he claimed to be. The Chinese Foreign Ministry was quick to denounce Wang, at the same time offering breezy assurances that China would never dream of meddling in the affairs of another state.

So think of this:

Australian Strategic Policy ­Institute executive director Peter Jennings said Wang’s confession had given Australian agencies an unprecedented insight into ­Beijing’s espionage activities. “We have, for the first time, direct and clear understandings from a ­Chinese intelligence operator himself about what China is doing in this country,” he said.

Liberal MP Andrew Hastie, who was involved in brokering Wang’s contact with ASIO and who appeared on the 60 Minutes broadcast, called him “a friend of democracy’’. “Anyone who’s willing to assist us in defending our sovereignty deserves our protection,” Hastie said.

The one possibility that can almost certainly be discounted is that Wang was sent by the Chinese themselves as a form of misdirection. That he was a bit player is no reason not to take him seriously. The question is whether he is a fantasist with no genuine knowledge or insight into anything of the Chinese spy apparatus. One way or another you will not know within a week. Let me finish with this from the case against:

“It is highly unusual for one junior intelligence operative (our assumption given his current 27 years of age) to play a big role in all these high-profile operations in different jurisdictions in a short period of time,’’ wrote Adam Ni, a researcher from Macquarie University and co-editor of China ­Neican, a newsletter aimed at ­“decoding” Chinese politics.

AND NOW THIS ALSO AT THE OZ: Security agencies wary of Andrew Hastie’s asylum call for ‘spy’. Let me just say that no one is going to do anything about our China policy no matter what is discovered based on this chap, one way or the other. But there is nothing wrong either with the story being given a public airing either. This is from the latest effort to downplay this issue.

Concerns have been raised at senior levels of Australia’s intelligence and security community about Liberal MP Andrew Hastie’s call for an alleged former Chinese spy to be granted asylum ahead of the formal assessing of his case.

Mr Hastie, who carries auth­ority as chairman of the federal parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security, was quick to urge the Morrison government to give Wang Liqiang its “protection” as the first Chinese operative to blow his cover.

The West Australian Liberal, a former Special Air Service Regiment captain, is supported by China watchers who back his persistent criticism of Beijing for meddling in the sovereign affairs of other nations, and for its human rights record.

Top intelligence sources say an ASIO assessment could conclude Mr Wang is a former Beijing agent, as he claims, with intimate knowledge of covert Chinese operations in Australia, Taiwan and Hong Kong. But they also told The Weekend Australian, while not discounting Mr Hastie’s views, that the 27-year-old’s behaviour was highly unusual.

It might just be worth mentioning that nothing of any significance has ever been revealed that showed Joe McCarthy was anything other than 99% correct in everything he had said. We have enemies and they really do want to do us harm.

The stupidest man in American politics

As if where you put the plants inside China matters to global levels of CO2.

Meanwhile, at almost the same level of idiocy, we have this: China says developed countries lack ‘political will’ on climate goals.

Mr Zhao called for developed countries to honour financial commitments including providing US$100 billion to poorer states harmed by climate change.

The US$100 billion – which China has said it is entitled to part of – was a non-binding accompaniment to the Paris Agreement, and was the annual amount that rich countries pledged to muster by 2020.

They wouldn’t say it unless they thought there were people who would take it seriously. And there are!

The reappearance of anti-semitism in the West

The incomparable Henry Ergas on Jews hear echoes of another time. Here is most of what he wrote.

According to Ephraim Mirvis, the Orthodox Chief Rabbi of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, “the overwhelming majority of British Jews” are “gripped by anxiety” at the possibility of a Labour victory….

As Mirvis put it: “A new poison — sanctioned from the top — has taken root in (Britain’s) Labour Party.” Declaring Labour’s claim it is doing everything it can to stamp out the anti-Semitism a “mendacious fiction”, Mirvis concluded that in next month’s election, “the very soul of our nation is at stake”.

That Corbyn’s response would only have deepened the Chief Rabbi’s concerns should be obvious. Interviewed on Wednesday by the BBC’s Andrew Neil, Corbyn was asked four times whether he would like to apologise for the widely reported flaws in the party’s handling of anti-Semitism.

Each time, he refused. Meanwhile, his closest allies hurled a torrent of abuse at Mirvis, accusing him of everything from bigotry to homophobia.

Unfortunately, Britain’s Labour Party is not alone. As Peter Kurti demonstrates in a paper released earlier this month by the Centre for Independent Studies, anti-Semitic attitudes, which were once the exception, are rapidly becoming the norm in the “progressive” left worldwide.

To some extent that reflects the realities of political compet­ition. According to a Pew Research Centre survey, more than 90 per cent of Muslims in Muslim-majority countries have an unfavourable view of Jews, with large numbers believing they are to blame for worsening relations between Muslims and the West.

As migrants from those countries constitute a rapidly growing share of left-leaning electorates in the advanced democracies, their prejudices have contaminated the outlook of politicians scrambling for Muslim votes.

But the Muslim share of Western electorates is scarcely large enough to account for much of the rise in anti-Semitism on the left.

Nor can it be explained by envy, hardship or insecurity, all of which underpinned the working-class anti-Semitism of the 1930s.

On the contrary, studies suggest the new anti-Semites are young, well-educated and reasonably well-off.

They are, of course, a heterogeneous group. However, what they have in common is the demonisation of Israel….

But alongside that anti-Semitism of the Third Worldists, there is, particularly in Europe, also a growing anti-Semitism of the comfortable elites. As French sociologist Danny Trom has found, what they loath is not Israel’s modernity but its commitment to values they would rather bury….

In an age of appeasement [Israel] rejects fashionable pieties, instead returning blow with blow. At a time when the “nowhere” are triumphant and the nation is denigrated as a straitjacket, it harbours a fierce patriotism. And in a world of disposable selfhood, where you are whoever you want to be, it remains stubbornly attached to an identity gained by birth and forged by faith.

It is, for all those reasons, the perfect object for the hatred of Third Worldists and cosmopolitans alike. Add to that mix the bacilli, which were never quite extinguished, of the old anti-Semit­ic tropes — conspiracy theory, national betrayal, secret global power — and the result is a brew as potent as it is toxic.

None of that implies a Corbyn government would unleash a new holocaust, though one should never forget Hannah Arendt’s grim admonition that “it is in the very nature of things human that once a specific crime has appeared for the first time, its reappearance is more likely than its initial emergence could ever have been”.

And then there is this from the city in which I was born: Hatred towards Jews on Full Display at York University.

Mayor Tory took to Twitter to say: “I am very disturbed by the apparent polarization and violence evident from the events of last night at York University. I have heard concerns from several Jewish groups in our city today. Anti-Semitism and violence is totally unacceptable.”

Both John Tory and Justin Trudeau’s condemnation of anti-Semitism sounded suspect to me, in that it was an example of politically correct parroting using language that carries no weight.

Trudeau was being something of a chameleon with his actions.

Yes, the PM denounced anti-Semitism at York. But he also joined hands with such luminaries of democracy and human rights as North Korea, Egypt, Nicaragua, Zimbabwe and the “State of Palestine” to betray its ally Israel and for the first time ever vote in favour of a United Nations resolution that condemns the country.

Politicians cannot claim to fight anti-Semitism while tolerating other examples of Jew hatred.

These votes are an annual ritual at the UN, where the Jewish state is targeted by the Islamic Bloc of over 50 countries, along with the Third World dictators they get to back them.

As for Mayor John Tory, he denounced anti-Semitism on one hand, but has no problem with opening up Toronto City Hall to Islamic call for prayers, the kind of which have previously referenced Jews as people who have earned the wrath of God — something I have documented in previous columns.

Even Toronto Police chaplain Musleh Khan is on record discussing supposed quotes from the prophet that Jews have earned the wrath of Allah. 

“trump in afghanista”

You know, the media who, of course, you can trust to keep up with everything, wanted to know why he had gone for a medical examination and why he had not worn his tie. Here’s the answer.

And for what it’s worth, I typed in “trump in afghanista” and no links came up on google. Not even this one: TRUMP IN AFGHANISTAN, which comes with this.

Boris and Brexit way ahead, at least for now

From POLL PREDICTS TORY SWEEP via MRP election poll: Boris Johnson heads for big majority. From the comments on the first of the links with the second particular apposite:

Okay, yellow is Scottish Nationalist, green is Liberal, and grey is Democratic Unionist. I think. I’m no expert on British politics.

The irony of London – perhaps the capital city of capitalism – voting overwhelmingly for a Marxist who admires Venezuela.

They really would sell the rope that would be used to hang them.

SO LET ME ADD THIS AS WELL: From Brexit Ho! by John O’Sullivan.

After two weeks of Britain’s election campaign, which now has less than three weeks to run, the lack of excitement over its result is palpable. The national polls have been more or less steady since the starting gun was fired, with the Tories hovering around 40 percent support, Labour rising slightly to 30 percent, the Liberal Democrats stuck around 16 percent, and the Brexit party falling to single figures. The weekend saw a slight strengthening of all these trends, with the Tory percentage settling down in the mid-40s, for a lead over Labour of well into double figures. If repeated on Election Day, that would produce a solid Tory majority of about between 40 and 60 seats. As the pundits say, however, these figures could all change very rapidly under the influence of events.

No certainty anywhere.

To tweet or not to tweet, that is the question

I put this up on July 28 this year and just thought I might post it again, ahem. Came under the heading, Twitter too.

Big tech must be treated like media: Sims.

ACCC chair Rod Sims has described technology giants Facebook and Google as publishers, who should be regulated in a similar way to traditional media.

Following the release of the ACCC’s final report into the market power of digital platforms, Mr Sims said Google and Facebook should be subject to the same laws as publishers and broadcasters.

And not before time. Moreover, it might even become a bi-partisan issue. At least you can hope. From the US.

Yesterday, presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard’s campaign sued Google, alleging that the company wrongly suspended the campaign’s Google Ads account during the critical hours following the first Democratic debate. The Complaint is venued in federal court in central California.

Its allegations are explosive. Gabbard accuses Google of trying to sabotage her presidential campaign because she, like Elizabeth Warren, has argued in favor of reining in the tech monopolies, including Google. Here are some of the Complaint’s allegations:

4. In the June 26-27, 2019 Democratic Party presidential debates, tens of millions of Americans got to hear Tulsi Gabbard’s voice for the first time. And people liked what they heard: Gabbard quickly became the most searched-for Democratic presidential candidate on June 27-28. In the crucial post-debate period—a time when presidential candidates receive outsize interest, engagement, and donations—Americans around the country wanted to hear more from Tulsi Gabbard.
7. On June 28, 2019—at the height of Gabbard’s popularity among Internet searchers in the immediate hours after the debate ended, and in the thick of the critical post-debate period (when television viewers, radio listeners, newspaper readers, and millions of other Americans are discussing and searching for presidential candidates), Google suspended Tulsi’s Google Ads account without warning.

8. For hours, as millions of Americans searched Google for information about Tulsi, and as Tulsi was trying, through Google, to speak to them, her Google Ads account was arbitrarily and forcibly taken offline. Throughout this period, the Campaign worked frantically to gather more information about the suspension; to get through to someone at Google who could get the Account back online; and to understand and remedy the restraint that had been placed on Tulsi’s speech—at precisely the moment when everyone wanted to hear from her.

Utterly unacceptable. People go onto these platforms because they are suckered in with the promise that they will not be censored and once the network is build up find themselves sandbagged by a bunch of ignorant techies. Let them be sued, and as far as the eye can see.

The publisher here is “WordPress” and they don’t edit. They just provide the platform and we do the writing. And if we break the law in what we say, we are no more protected than if we said it anywhere else. If, however, WordPress were to refuse to allow us to write anything positive about Donald Trump, let us say, then they would be the publisher. Unless it is illegal to say something, it should be illegal for these various platforms not to publish what others have put up on their site. No different from what might be put in a personal letter.

“Social media” is a new phenomenon and the rules should apply to them. Community standards is an invention by each of these platforms and has nothing to do with any kind of legal determination of what can and cannot be said in public. I hope Christian Porter is able to change the rules and in just such a way that the entire world is compelled to follow along in the same kind of way.

We are living in a new Age

This is the editorial in The Age today: China revelations a major wake-up call. This is how it ends, and I agree with every word:

Australia finds itself in new territory, grappling with a relationship based on shared economic interests but, as China brandishes its meddling authoritarian ways, at ideological odds. The latest revelations are a major wake-up call for Australia to ensure it protects itself, and its way of life.

These are the lead stories on The Age Online website. Preservation of our way of life you would hope is more important than foreign trade.

China tried to plant its candidate in Federal Parliament, authorities believe

Bo "Nick" Zhao and Brian Chen, who he alleged was trying to get him into Federal parliament.

Bo ‘Nick’ Zhao was in trouble financially when he said he was approached with a million-dollar offer to become China’s man in Federal Parliament. ASIO released an extraordinary statement late on Sunday about the latest revelations.

‘Worse than I thought’: Liberal MP says Chinese interference a serious threat

Senator James Paterson says China's interference in Australia was worse than he thought.

The Morrison government has assured Australians the nation’s domestic spy agency is investigating claims from a potential Chinese defector that China tried to get a spy elected to Federal Parliament.

Hong Kong voters deliver pro-democracy message in ‘de facto referendum’

Local residents celebrate as Junius Ho Kwan-yiu loses in District Council Elections, outside a polling station in Hong Kong,

The election was seen as a test of community support for protests that continue after five months, with establishment figures campaigning on the need to restore stability.

Defections are messy and we may never know the full story