Saturday, November 16, 2019

Independent media noticing the bombing and gang events in Sweden, especially Malmo

There are increasing reports, mainly in independent and sometimes conservative Media, that some areas of Sweden, especially Malmo, are getting overrun with criminal gang attacks and bombings, and burglaries. Quillette has a recent story by Henrik Jonsson, “Abandoning Malmo to its Criminals”. 

Andy Ngo mention this story on Twitter.  It refers to an early story that presents a particularly shocking picture of Malmo.

Tim Pool described real problems in Sweden in 2017, after a trip subsidized by Watson, and criticized by some as “helicopter journalism”.   His explanation here is pretty lucid, about the quibbling in the discussion.

He recently posted another discussion of the recent bombings especially in Malmo.

I have a friend in NYC who came from Germany and told me about similar problems in Berlin when I saw her in September 2016 (before the election).  In Germany there is suppression of criticism of hospitality to migrants and the apparent personal risks for people there it may cause.
I visited Sweden in myself in early August 1972, taking the train to Kiruna from Narvik.  Some one tried to “pick me up” in a hotel in Kiruna, an odd place for a solicitation. The iron mines in the distance are spectacular.  I met a student from Montreal on the train back to Stockholm, and corresponded with him for two or three years. 

By Fpo74 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Conservative YouTube channel claims China is accusing the CIA of promoting feminization of men in Asia

“Black Pigeon Speaks”, whose YouTube channel was briefly banned (he is a normal conservative) reports that China has accused the American CIA of encouraging “feminization” of men in Asia. This sounds a little like an expansion of the “Manchurian candidate” idea (guess who that is).

This started in Japan after WWII (maybe understandable), spread to Korea in the 1980s as the South Korean government wanted to distract citizens from politics, and then to China.

He talks about “soy boys” in the West (I think Eduardo discussed this in a video, and probably Tim Pool) and “meat” in Asian countries.  China has complained that is men are being “sissified”.
The video seems also aimed at those who want to see gender fluidity be seen as OK.

BPS also notes that physically stronger and more physically attractive men (including gay men – Eduardo Sanchez-Ubanell is a good example) tend to be more conservative (or at least libertarian) politically, and resent the intersectionalities imposed by the far Left.  There are cultural splits growing in LGBTQ communities in all western countries.
BPS also avoids using the term “Nazi” in the video at all, which Tim Pool has said gets videos removed.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Job market and training in Kenya, hampered by social values?

Someone sent me a story about a job skills “boot camp” in Moringa, Kenya, noting that university graduates do not find jobs there.

The mismatch between education in these countries and jobs may be leftover from colonialism and may well be complicated by antiquated social values (and homophobia), which makes volunteerism and foreign assistance (except from non-democratic countries) difficult.  It may be difficult for large western companies to function well, which tends to make these countries targets for China, Russia, etc (even North Korea).  So the bad faith influence of some “evangelists” in the past may be bad for security now.
Wikipedia  child labor in Kenya picture: 
By Kabai Ken - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Monday, November 4, 2019

Journalist in Congo who warned about Ebola killed in attack

A journalist in the Congo who had also worked as a volunteer and who raised awareness of Rbola, was killed in a local terror attack. He worked for a radio station in Lwemba, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.    ABC News reports

ABC links to a story of “what you need to know” about Ebola, comparing it to HIV in being bloodborne (this can be misleading politically).

Vaccine use is increasing “concentrically” but there are new antibody therapies that can increase survival.  

Saturday, November 2, 2019

"The Rising Threat of Digital Nationalism" in this weekend's Wall Street Journal

Akash Kapur has a major “Saturday Essay” in this weekend’s Wall Street Journal, “The Rising Threat of Digital Nationalism”, link

China has set the example. Russia wants to set up a "Runet” with a kill switch to the outside world".  About 25% of all countries have shut down Internet for temporary periods, causing logistical disruption for visitors and citizens and businesses alike. 

The sub-headline on p. 2 of the continuation is “Is the Global Internet Coming to an End?

The basic underlying problem is populism;  politicians, however oligarchical, find they can soothe inequalities if they prod individualistic citizens back into localism and tribalism, moving up to nationalism.

The article talks about the possible evolution of a “splinternet”
It also suggests that big social media companies should be mediated by the same sorts of fairness doctrines that conventional media had in the past.
But the growth of huge tech empires with a few large companies controlling things came about as the Dotcom boom started to come apart around the year 2000.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

OONI tracks overseas censorship and Internet shutdowns

Cnet has a story by Laura Hautala about the Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI), which tracks uneven censorship overseas, here

The article starts out with a story of how a University of Toronto student found he could pay his taxi driver in Ethiopia when the government shut off Internet access.
Curiously, there is an unrelated food channel on YouTube with the same acronym.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Trump, in unusual Sunday morning address, announces death of major ISIS leader

President Trump has confirmed the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi when trapped in a tunnel in northwest Syria, in an unusual Sunday morning address.
The speech was quite graphic and personal in tone, and some observers felt Trump had “said too much” from the viewpoint of protecting intelligence gathering.
This is a rapidly developing story.

The Washington Post actually downplayed the story in the way it worded its headline, as Tim Pool explains

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

New countries that could exist soon (could western Russia split off?)

General Knowledge has at least three videos, “New Countries that Might Exist Soon”.
I’ll link video #2.

One of the most interesting (for my writing) was Ingria, which would incorporate NW Russia (including St. Petersburg), SW Finland, and E Estonia.   The “Allegro train” remember runs from Helsinki to St. Petersburg. The Finnish part had been ceded back in the October 1917 revolution and returned (Karelia) as a result of the Russo-Finnish war.  When I visited a couple of Finnish cultural centers (esp. in Ohio) this summer, I found them concerned about Russia.  There was a mysterious assassination in the border town of Imatra in Dec 2016.  Maybe a connection?
Other “countries” discussed here are Quebec and California. Harvard undergrad student John Fish, who grew up in Waterloo Ontario (near Toronto) is taking a gap year to work in Montreal and hasn’t mentioned the language or culture issue at all.  It’s as if, as Prager U says, he can work “anywhere”.
The first video discussed Catalonia and the autonomous regions of Spain (including the Basque area – I visited Bilbao and San Sebastian in May 2001).
By SeppVei - Own work, Public Domain, Link

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Artists and filmakers ponder the "Boycott Divestment Sanctions" movement against Israel for aggressive West Bank / Gaza policies

There is controversy over a “Boycott Divestment Sanctions” movement against Israel, and the fear that some employers in media, especially film and in Hollywood, will blacklist or refuse to hire artists who participate publicly.  Alex Ritman has an article in Hollywood Reporter.  

Likewise, some filmmakers have found that their views change, and apparently this is not the first such boycott (involving Palestinians, settlements, etc.)  And there is quite a bit of cultural pressure in many creative circles to join boycotts as part of generally leftist “cancel culture”.  Truthout has an article by David Clennon who says he has been through more than one cycle of considering his “obligation” to boycott.

But everyone is very clear that a boycott to protest overly aggressive policies by Israel is not anti-Semitic.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Douglas Murray explains the vicious cycle inherent in populist ideologies

Douglas Murray, British conservative political commentator, discusses two of his books,  The Death of Europe”, as well as “The Madness of Crowds” with Peter Robinson on the “Uncommon Knowledge” series of the “Hoover Institution” channel.

Yes, that sounds conservative. But Murray seems to point to the death of countries as a logical consequence of the reparative justice demands of the far Left. That would be the natural result of “open borders” which the most radical elements demand as an antidote for racism.  But this in turn seems like a punitive or corrective idea after colonialism and slavery (and then segregation). 

The idea creates a vicious cycle, where the “alt-right” starts articulating “great replacement” theories, feeding populism on the right among peoples not well off enough to function well as individuals.  

It creates a problem for individuals.  I could consider, for example, in my situation, should I have housed an asylum seeker?  But the Left threatens to come back and demand that individual speakers, if they are to stay on line, be willing to actively support their collective demands as a group to protect them from the enlarging threat from the radical right.

Murray also discusses the “hardware v. software” problem for intersectional groups, especially LGBT (most of all, trans).  The irrational focus on the “born this way” argument interferes with pragmatic behavior necessary for people to live together.
Murray says he is gay himself. Generally, the tone of his comments reminds me of Joshua Green’s “Moral Tribes”. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Does Kim Jong Un's visit to Mt. Paektu and wild ride mean anything?

Various media sources give significance to Kim Jong Un’s recent horseback ride up the pseudo-sacred Mt. Paektu provides premonition of other sensational announcements.

In the past that could have been big missile launches (as in 2017) or it could be some or of conciliation made to look good (such as opening diplomatic channels to South Korea).

The Newsweek story includes a speech by John Bolton that Kim Jong Un will never give up on loosening the sanctions and keeping some sort of nuclear capability as part of his grip on power.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Judges to Trump: you can't deny green cards to legal immigrants just because of public assistance

Three federal judges have slammed Trump’s attempt to deny green cards to immigrants (legal) who apply for public assistance, some who have children born as US citizens. Here is the CNN story

Legally, the judges said that the orders flouted the intentions of Congress.
There was a story of a couple where one member has leukemia who was denied a green card.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Trump double crosses the Kurds (the largest ethnic group without a state) in Syria (?)

Ben Hubbard, Carlotta Gall, and Eric Schmitt have a detailed story in the New York Times that explains what is happening with Trump’s formal withdrawal of American forces protecting rebels in Syria.

Erdogan is expected to threaten an attack, but underground Kurdish militia called the Syrian Democratic Forces or SDF still may have covert American support, according to the NYT.

Trey Yingst has a major Twitter thread about this whole development for Fox News. 
The Kurds are the largest ethnic group without a state, major video

Wikipedia attribution: 
By Levi Clancy - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Talks with North Korea in Stockholm on "denuclearization" stall today

Michael R. Gordon and Timothy Martin (in Seoul) report ambiguous results on attempted talks between the US and North Korea in Stockholm Saturday, story.  (I visited that city once, in 1972, for two days.) 

The general idea was to be some lifting of sanctions in exchange for North Korea’s stopping of nuclear development and eventually allowing inspections.

But David E. Sanger of the New York Times reported that the talks had broken down “in hours”. 

Alex Ward had described the intended program in Vox, here

Wikipedia picture: 
By Johan Fredriksson, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Friday, October 4, 2019

The Trump-Biden-Ukraine mess is anything but a clear reason for impeachment now

I haven’t followed the Trump – Ukraine – Biden mess very much in the past few weeks, partly because I have been “on the road” and I haven’t had time to play close attention to a timeline that seems so complicated.

The Washington Post seems to have a good timeline analysis (by Philip Blake and Aaron Blake) that goes back to early 2014 when a Ukrainian president was ousted from power (ironically, almost the same days as the publication of m third book). There follows Putin’s seizure of Crimea, the plane crashes and all kinds of other skirmishes, even a cyber attack on their power grid.

A quick reading of the timeline shows the likelihood of some inappropriate behavior by the Bidens previously.

Of course, it would be illegal for Trump or any candidate to ask for foreign help in affecting US elections (however perverse 2016 turned out to be). It’s ironic to me that the same point has come up before in conjunction with earlier concerns about the possible effect of US election reform on blogging (back in the 2005 or so period, when there was an incident in my own “career” that I have talked about).

But is should not be surprising to any “whistleblower” that Trump would be tempted to probe, given obvious information available earlier on possible misbehavior in the Biden camp.

Tim Pool has a few videos on this where he seems to ask for some questions about this.

Again, I haven’t tried to plough through the details.  But on the surface, it still looks like impeachment could be self-defeating for the Democrats and backfire badly.
It is disturbing that Trump congratulations China’s 70th anniversary of something (Red Chinese communism) at the same time the Hong Kong protests grew more violent with protesters being shot.

CNN reports a second whistleblower Sunday.
Wikipedia attribution: By Marion Duimel, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link