A Jewish Defence of White Supremacy

Please note this headline is meant to be cheeky.

Now I begin properly.

I had an interesting Facebook exchange this week that got me thinking. In the heated atmosphere generated by current immigration news, I was defending the unpopular notion that it is legitimate to worry about the “browning of America.” A response from one member of The Tribe:

“Believing that people are defined by their ancestry and not what they choose to do always, without question, invariably ends with people killing Jews. If you don’t care about “brown” lives, as you claim, at least care about your own.”

I pointed out three notable examples that contradict this claim.

Firstly, the USA practiced race slavery for centuries, not to mention decades of Jim Crow. Citizenship was only granted to free white persons under the nation’s first immigration law in 1790. It didn’t end up with the killing of Jews. In fact, the USA has been the best place in the world for Jews, and early Jewish settlers thought they were in paradise. Similarly, French Algeria and white South Africa were home to some of the most successful Diaspora communities. They found themselves less secure and in the Algerian case practically eradicated with the end of “white supremacy.”

Some people – especially the airheads in community leadership – imagine Jews are inherently part of some non-existent Rainbow Coalition. In fact, Jews are perfectly capable of thriving when others are not extended the same rights. The current cultural zeitgeist seems to be leaning in the direction that says not extending citizenship rights in an unqualified manner to the rest of the world puts us on the road to Nazism. To this I say piffle. On the contrary I think it would be worthwhile to think about how much American philosemitism and support for Israel owes its origins to the country’s Anglo Protestant roots. Maybe this will make more people wonder whether the browning of America is so good for the Jews after all?

POSTSCRIPT:

I should also point out that my friends in Hungary all say the Jewish community there is doing quite well and undergoing something of a cultural revival (I plan to visit soon to check this out). This is despite the fact that Hungary is said to be the epicenter of right-wing nationalism and anti-immigrant sentiment in Europe. The Jewish communities I have visited more recently on the continent, however, exhibit an air of depression, mostly induced by the radical Muslim threat. Islamophilic France has witnessed the brutal murder of a Holocaust survivor, Mireille Knoll, this year by Arab immigrants. Last year another elderly Jewish woman was killed by being thrown out a window. In 2015 there was a massacre at a kosher supermarket by jihadists. In 2012 a teacher and children at a Jewish school in Toulouse were murdered by a Muslim radical, Mohammed Merah. The details of the 2006 murder of Ilan Halimi by a gang of Muslims makes for sickening reading.

The chief suspect in the recent murder of a German Jewish girl is an Iraqi refugee who has fled back to that country.

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Why Libertarians Were Wrong About School Vouchers

Megan McArdle has an interesting article on Bloomberg on the disappointing results from voucher programs. I notice it has been getting attention from the likes of Charles Murray.

I don’t want to brag, but I could have told her this years ago

One reason I left libertarianism is because I felt the movement suffers from ‘Blank Slate’ thinking: like the Beltway right and the left, it is stuck in an “it’ll all be okay if we can just fix the schools” mindset. I think libertarianism can be enriched and made redeemable, however, if human biodiversity was properly incorporated into thought and policy.

For this reason, I did not hail the appointment of Betsy DeVos, something that pleased even the very anti-Trump CATO Institute.

Don’t get me wrong: I support school choice on principle. This is because a voucher system makes it cheaper to send kids to denominational schools. However, I do not believe it will perform miracles in terms of test results or narrow the achievement gap between different groups, even though this is how most of it’s supposedly Friedmanite advocates are compelled to sell the idea. If you want a good study on this, read Robert Weissberg’s ‘Bad Students, Not Bad Schools.’

Firstly, let’s have a look at Uncle Miltie (not Milton Berle, the avuncular economist). He is often credited with birthing the school choice movement in his 1955 essay “The Role of Government in Education.” But most of the school choice people show little indication of having read it. The essay concentrated only on permitting more parental choice, freedom from government control, and a little bit about bringing teacher salaries to market levels. In fact, 50 years later Friedman was compelled to say that nowhere did he mention anything about raising academic excellence or closing race, class, or sex gaps in test scores (the current obsessions in the education business). He does mention parents choosing to permit social dancing or not, and allowing to let them so choose.

Secondly, let’s accept the virtues of free choice and let’s say we roll it out across the country. What can we expect to happen?

Well, in a sense, we already have an example of free choice in education: the university sector. There are cheap loans available and no ZIP Code lottery to speak of. They are mostly private organisations. How many of the 4000 universities in America put academic work above all else, and how many focus on attracting students with fancy football stadiums, the social life, or other amenities? I’d say 1% or so focus on the academics, the rest are kindergartens for 20 year olds. George Lynn Cross, when he was President of the University of Oklahoma, was being more honest than most when he said his goal was to “build an academic program the football team could be proud of.”

Weissberg’s insight is that the real problem is not lack of supply, it is insufficient demand for academic achievement. Hey, we all want to be fit, too. But if we opened up free gyms across the country, or increased the number and types of gyms, how many of us would go and put the effort in? I know I didn’t when I had a free gym at college.

The desire for academic excellence may be widespread in some quarters. But across great swathes of American society, academic excellence is not much valued.

To quote Weissberg: “America’s educational woes reflect our demographic mix of students. Today’s schools are filled with millions of youngsters, many of whom are Hispanic immigrants struggling with English plus millions of others of mediocre intellectual ability disdaining academic achievement… To be grossly politically incorrect, most of America’s educational woes vanish if these indifferent, troublesome students left when they had absorbed as much as they were going to learn and were replaced by learning-hungry students from Korea, Japan, India, Russia, Africa and the Caribbean.”

The vast majority of a school’s success depends on two factors: the cognitive ability of the child and the disposition he brings to class; not on texts, teachers or classroom size. A smart kid will do just as well with a grimy old textbook as he will with a flashy free laptop.

Thirdly, the school choice people come out with another fallacy. At every school choice event you will hear somebody say that at one time there was a single, small TV with a crappy picture on the market for $1000 a pop. Now, they say, we have a plethora of TV sets to choose from, including fancy widescreen plasma things for a few hundred bucks. Contrast this with the classroom, they say, which has remained the same for 200 years because there is no free market in education.

Yes, the free market brings us wonderful things. But human beings are not a typical commodity.

There is a museum in Ithaca that costs more to enter than a good seat to see ‘Hamilton.’ It is a museum of failed products, open to researchers, marketers, product developers, etc. Watch a news report about it here.

90% of new products fail. When they do, these products can be safely discarded or put on a shelf in a museum. But with the product of a failed school, you can do no such thing. What do you do with a person who can’t be educated? They have a legal right to be in school and so far nobody has come up with a program that can turn kids with 85 IQs into Harvard students.

(This view of people as like products is one reason many libertarians have turned into open borders loonies, by the way).

I would suggest too many are in school and it would be better to have more teens working. It might even be more cost effective to have them on welfare, as some places are spending $20,000 a year per kid to educate, which is more than what they could get on unemployment benefits.

What is a value for money option conducive to social peace? One option might be to let struggling and disruptive kids drop out of school earlier and give them the opportunity to go back to learning later, when they are more mature and perhaps sick of doing menial jobs.

The Importance of Trump

Like Richard Nixon, Donald Trump is the Silent Majority candidate of this election. The more the media howl at his abrasiveness and sheds crocodile tears for those he offends, the stronger he becomes. You can’t understand this without understanding Nixon and the electoral coalition he built that won him a 49-state landslide despite an overwhelmingly hostile media.

Trump’s people aren’t concerned with the minutiae of different tax plans or who gets endorsed by the Beltway think-tanks. They are not necessarily ideological conservatives, much less libertarians. The sight of various dyed in the wool GOPers and the libertarians who usually vote with them calling Trump a ‘RINO’ are stupendously missing the point and sadly oblivious to their own irrelevance.

The Trump base are responding to the erosion of American institutions; a process begun with some malice on the part of the American left but never effectively halted by the Republican Party. This is partly because mass Third World immigration, the greatest factor in America’s undoing, is supported by the Chamber of Commerce faction of the party, so the GOP is pursuing profits in the short-term but actually increasingly hurting it’s chances of winning the national ticket with every electoral cycle as a result of the demographic changes it is fostering.

Trump voters are not fascists or RINO’s or socialists or whatever. They are in the rawest sense just one thing: Americans. It must be noted that they are predominantly the descendants of America’s founding stock, supplemented by the pre-WWI European immigrants, and that they are opposed by a coalition of the fringes that represents a kind of anti-America. So while Trump’s people may not be reading Edmund Burke or Adam Smith, they are still our people. It’s up to the GOP to recognise them and embrace them, as opposed to turning their backs in embarrassment or spitting on them.

My Stance on the Confederate Battle Flag and Public Displays of Confederate Symbols

I wrote this on Facebook soon after the Charleston shooting and the ensuing controversy. But it looks like the issue isn’t receding anytime soon. This is what I said then, and what I stand by now:

There’s been a lot of talk on the matter of the Confederate flag recently.

Is it appropriate to display Dixie’s Battle Flag on public buildings? This flag being the symbol of the *Confederate Army*, not the actual CSA, by the way.

In my view one of the most admirable things about America has been the spirit of magnanimity regarding Confederate symbolism and Southern patriotism.

Plenty of honourable, decent Americans at the time believed that secession was lawful. It so happened that legality of it was never decided in the courtroom, but on the battlefield. The contest of 1861-65 was a matter of might over right. Had the South prevailed, nobody would be questioning its right to exist, no more than we do in regards to Canada today.

Race slavery would have continued for a few decades, but as in every country in the western hemisphere apart from Haiti, it would have died a natural death. It’s feasible that several states in the Union could have maintained slavery for a time. Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri and West Virginia kept it up during the war and after the Emancipation Proclamation (which only applied to rebel-held territory). Secession might even have speeded up the process. If the Union had no obligation to return escaped slaves without the fugitive slave law, slavery might have collapsed from the number of runaways.

All this is hypothetical, though. The South lost a war, in which many men took up arms against the federal government because they felt it was oppressive and that a new one would suit them better. Rather in the spirit of 1776, isn’t it? From what I have read, there were plenty of legally valid and logical reasons for secession, held by men of honour, intelligence, and principle. Robert E. Lee was one of them. And he wasn’t defeated by the forces of law or logic, but by being out-manned and out-gunned.

I don’t like the modern efforts by some cultural militants to cleanse the South of all patriotic sentiment and Confederate symbolism, from renaming schools to removing the portraits of Confederate generals at the war colleges. They see this as unfinished business and have no shame in stomping on the faces of the defeated all over again.

It’s not in the spirit of consensual, constitutional government to treat such vanquished people like mere bandits. I prefer that old spirit of magnanimity, diversity of opinion, and respect for the ambiguities of the war.

Life under Anarcho-Tyranny

During the summer, my attention was drawn to this newspaper report about a youth brawl on a Dublin beach. These riots have become something of an annual cultural event, typically involving about 100 youngsters . Last year, there was a heavy contingent of Africans involved in Portmarnock – easily observable from some of the video footage – though that went unmentioned in most media coverage. The thing that engaged my interest in this story, however, is the police response. We are told that “no arrests were made” though there was a Garda presence in this large, open space. What the police did do, however, was close the nearby train station for the day, impacting the many tourists and law-abiding citizens coming to visit.

Its a small example of a phenomenon I have grown interested in recently: anarcho-tyranny. It was memorably observed and named by the late columnist Sam T. Francis in 1992. Francis, writing on the state law and order under the modern managerial state he was so fond of studying, said “we refuse to control real criminals (that’s the anarchy) so we control the innocent (that’s the tyranny).” This leads to a situation where the housing projects of feral youths and angry minorities are left to themselves, while, according to Francis, there is rampant “criminalization of the law-abiding and innocent through exorbitant taxation, bureaucratic regulation, the invasion of privacy, and the engineering of social institutions.” One example might be gun control laws that have no impact on the criminal classes. This reaches true absurdity in a country like South Africa, where a white farmer is legally confined to having a shotgun with a certain number of shells in a country where gangs roam around with sub-machine guns.

A recent broadcast from John Derbyshire mentioned the relationship between this new regime and what happened in Rotherham, South Yorkshire in regards to Muslim rape gangs. The ‘tyranny’ side of anarcho-tyranny places strong emphasis on enforcing multiculturalism and political correctness. Last year, when a woman in Liverpool was upset at Alan Sugar for making a relatively innocent joke about the Chinese, she wrote to the police saying “I thought racism was illegal” and called for his arrest. Cravenly, the police interviewed this woman three times (once for over an hour) and spent several days deliberating whether Sugar committed a hate crime. While I hope there were no actual crimes committed in Liverpool that week, it seems unlikely. In Rotherham itself, foster children were seized from a couple because they were members of the ‘racist’ UKIP.

Political correctness and light-touch policing of the underclass was the root of the problem in Rotherham. We know that about 1400 girls of white British extraction, primarily from the working classes, were pressed into sex slavery by Pakistani Muslims who saw them as sub-human. Now, if you’ve ever been to certain Muslim countries with a fair-haired companion of the female persuasion you’re probably aware you have to be careful (unless you are ideologically blinded, that is). Alas, in the discourse of ‘anti-racism’ and ‘diversity’ such differences are not meant to exist. A Home Office employee who raised the alarm about the Asian Muslim gangs as early as 2001 was censured and forced to attend a “diversity course” to “raise her awareness of ethnic issues”. I can’t confirm whether or not the slogan War Is Peace. Freedom Is Slavery. Diversity Is Our Strength was inscribed on the wall. Big Brother comes down hard on naughty things like this incident of “racism”, but criminal gangs can be overlooked for years if they consist of Designated Victim Groups.

The South Yorkshire Police, by the way, had little trouble raiding Cliff Richard’s home over some alleged sexual impropriety almost 30 years ago.

Why Zionists Should Be Happy

A while back I was asked to give a presentation on matters Israel at a Zionist Federation gathering of young activists. Nothing specific, just whatever I wanted to say. I figure that if I could only get one message out to folks today on any side of the debate, it would be this: Zionists should be very happy. I say this because the Zionist project has been successful and happens to be stronger than ever.

Let me explain, briefly.

Far too often, I have suffered in gatherings of Jews and others in the pro-Israel community where the mood has been like it probably was at the Winter Palace just before Lenin stormed in. Many feel we are being slaughtered on the ideological battlefield by the pro-Palestinian camp. There is a perception that Israel’s very survival is tenuous. Plagued by economic worries, demographic challenges, and a supposedly increasing diplomatic isolation, they openly wonder whether Zionism’s time has passed. The enemy makes every effort to play on these fears.

Some pine for a time they believe to have been more heroic and optimistic for the Jews and the Zionist movement. I recently had one lady list all the usual woes to me before saying how she wished she could instead be fighting with the Irgun in 1948. I could not believe somebody would wish to trade the problems of today with the problems of 1948, when the Jewish state’s chances of surviving the year were put at 50:50 by members of Ben Gurion’s own Cabinet.

I recommend taking a step back to assess the economic, demographic, and diplomatic situation. I am confident that seeing the big picture here will ingrain some much-needed optimism. A few words on the general prospects for Zionism are also in order.

The Economy

One of the best tests of Zionism’s success is simply to ask whether Israel is a good place to live. By all conventional measures, it is, and there is no need to re-hash all the factors that make it so. The 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration is close upon us, though, and this provides us with a good opportunity for reflection. The land of Israel was in a noticeably unpromising state at this time. In 1913, on the eve of the First World War, there was not a single motor car in the country. This was while Detroit was producing thousands a day. By the time the Balfour Declaration came about, there was not a single Jewish lawyer to be seen (imagine a country without Jewish lawyers!). Today, Israel ‘boasts’ the highest per capita number of lawyers in the world. Neither was the situation good for a long time after independence. Israel’s status as an economic basket case was so well known that Milton Friedman said it destroyed the reputation of Jews as bad soldiers but good economic managers. A popular joke went that the best way to end up with a million dollars in Israel was to go there with two million. Adherence to a kind of paternalist socialism, all the rage throughout the world at the time, kept the country down for decades. In the 1990’s things began to change utterly under the direction of Benjamin Netanyahu, who fancied himself as Israel’s Ronald Reagan or Thatcher. And thanks to that agenda, Israel is in the OECD and boasts a per capita GDP of $32,567. That looks average by the standards of western Europe, but a damn sight better than Israel’s neighbours. There are no signs of this heading south, and every sign of it heading up.

Demographics

This is a major existential issue but one many refuse to even talk about. Every Israeli knows and is haunted by the words of Arafat on the subject, when he said the womb of the Arab woman was his best weapon. But the big story here should really be that there is no story. The war of the wombs is going in Israel’s favour. The Jewish and Arab fertility gap, once considerable, has closed to 0.7 births per woman. The proportion of Jewish births in Israel today is significantly higher than it was in 1995: 69% vs. 75%. Most interestingly, the non-Haredi Jewish woman in Israel has a fertility rate of 2.6 – the highest in the western world – whereas a generation ago it stood at 2.1. The Arab birthrate has been falling slightly, with the Jewish one rising. By 2085, there will be more Israelis than Poles. But Poland’s median age will be 57, while Israel’s will be a far more healthy 32. Israel will have more young people than Italy or Spain, and will have more males of military age than Germany by the end of the century. There could be no greater win for the Zionist project. Indeed, Israel might be the only western country around without a death wish. Hebrew, a language formerly confined to the prayerbook and religious study, currently has more speakers than Danish, though Denmark has had quite a headstart on the modern state of Israel. There are in fact more speakers of Hebrew today than there were of English in the time of Shakespeare.

Diplomacy

There is a commonly-peddled myth that Israel is growing more diplomatically isolated. All one can say to this is: really? Are things worse for Israel today on the diplomatic front than it was during the era of the Soviet Union, Third World Socialism, and pan-Arabism? Remember the communist/Islamic bloc vote in the UN to declare Zionism as racism in the 1970s? The anti-Zionists of the world will never enjoy a coup like that again.

The big picture is that Israel has done very well on the diplomatic front in recent years. Relations with China and India, once atrocious (inspired by Marxist ideology on their side) are now quite warm, and there has been extensive cooperation on the military and intelligence fronts. Last year there was a very hush-hush meeting of Israeli and Chinese general at Oxford. The Chinese were said to be very understanding of Israeli concerns. The story of relations with the Vatican, once truly awful, is one of increasing improvement. When Pope Paul VI became the first Pope to visit Israel in 1964, he refused to utter the country’s name and did not visit any sites of Jewish significance. Compare that to the prayer of Pope John Paul II at the Western Wall. All this has happened while ties with the US have remained strong.  But in an increasingly multi-polar world, Israel is making the right moves.

A word should be added here on the defence front. I do not believe Israel faces any insurmountable problems in this area or in relation to maintaining defensible borders. Many argue that Israel would not be left with strategic depth of she withdraws from the disputed territories along the 1967 lines. Even if Israel does, it is quite possible that adequate strategic depth can be created at sea. This was a pet idea of the late General Israel Tal’s and has been implemented over the past decade. Just look at all those German submarines Israel has been acquiring.

Prospects for Zionism 

The strength of Zionism is that it is not an ‘ism’ like all other ‘isms’. It was the fascinating Yeshayahu Leibowitz who said that Zionism is not an ideology, but a complex of activities undertaken to restore facilitate Jewish settlement and Jewish independence in its own land. There are only anti-Zionist ideologies for denying that the Jewish nation is a nation. The young men and women developing software applications in Tel Aviv today are as much an part of Zionism’s success story as the pioneer farmers redeeming the land were in the 1930s. The ideologies that arose contemporaneously in the 19th and 20th centuries looked for abstract principles to address specific problems. Zionism placed its hope in weapons and tractors and has outlived them.

In its non-ideological character there is great strength. Zionism can encompass religious and secular, territorial maximalist and minimalist, left and right. Its important that it be kept that way. While it is good to have a ‘big tent’, it is most important to be a kind of starfish, in that if one arm gets cut off, another should be able to take its place. The waning of Labour Zionism in the 1970s did not lead to a withering of Zionism despite the fact it had largely built the state.

I was spurred to put this up in response to a piece by The American Conservative’s Noah Millman warning against Israeli ‘Catastrophism’. I think his words make for an appropriate closing:

“Israel is not, in any meaningful sense, a provisional experiment. It is downright bizarre that both so many Israeli Jews (and their friends abroad) and so many of Israel’s detractors continue to talk as if it were. Bizarre – and destructive. That conviction within Israel feeds policies that, in turn, feeds the extremism of its opponents – and vice versa.”

The Majority of Palestinian Casualties are not Civilians. Here’s How You Can Tell.

This is where the blogosphere really comes into its own. Since the beginning of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, NGOs have been calling it a “war on children” (the words of Osama Dayo, of Save the Children). The UN has claimed up to three-quarters of the casualties have been civilians. Nobody in the mainstream media questions these numbers. That’s because you can’t question the motives of a self-described human rights organisation, an established charity, or a UN agency.

My take on these claims is more sceptical. Firstly, experience tells me that ethnic and ideological hostilities often hide behind the more acceptable language of ‘human rights’ activism. Secondly, do you know the kind of people who work for the UN and NGOs?

But there is one method anybody can use to get a fairly accurate picture of the make-up of combat casualties. Some people have used it to assess the Second Intifada and more recent hostilities between Israel and the Palestinians. It devastates the claims of Hamas, the UN, Amnesty International, and other unsavoury types. And so far, none have been able to refute it.

Statistics

Basically, if Israel was largely killing civilians in Gaza through indiscriminate bombing, one would expect the casualties to be a fair reflection of the Gazan population. Around 50% would be male, and 50% female. Around 40% would have to be under the age of 14. But this is not the case, in the current war or the last.

A fellow by the name of Don Radlauer ingeniously laid out all Palestinian casualties from the Second Intifada on the basis of age and gender as part of a wider study. He found that 95% of the Palestinian casualties were male, while the gender ratio for Israelis killed was around 60:40. Not only that, but 80% of those male Palestinians were in their late teens and early twenties. We can assume that proportionately fewer civilians were killed on their side as opposed to Israel’s. It’s all here. Here are just two interesting graphs:
pal fatalities by gender

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pal fatalities by age

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More recently, for Operation Protective Edge, an amateur pro-Israel blogger took the Palestinian casualties from a list provided by Al Jazeera. He broke them down by age and gender. Now we can see once again that there are far too many young males for the deaths to be majority civilian.  80% of the Gazans killed so far have been male, with almost half of these males being in the 18-28 age group.  20% of these males are between 29 and 48.

cas by gender

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If anybody of the anti-Israel persuasion can make a case against these figures and my conclusions, I’d like to hear it. I have sent the Protective Edge statistics to several colleagues of the extreme left and to a few angry Muslims on online forums. I have been doing the same with the Radlauer study for years. Nobody has come up with anything convincing yet.

Human Rights Organizations and that Joe Loughnane Incident

Two recent reports from Amnesty International on the ordeals of Palestinian communities in the Middle East could not be more different.

Trigger-happy‘ is supposed to demonstrate excessive forced used by the IDF in response to Palestinian demonstrations and rioting in the West Bank. Amnesty claims 22 civilians have been killed over a period of 12 months. The casualties are mostly young men, in or around areas of hostility at the time. The report is 87 pages long and contains 14 individual photographs and 18 in-depth biographies of the victims, some up to three pages long and with interviews of family members. There is also an accompanying video of four minutes length.

Squeezing the life out of Yarmouk‘, on the other hand, is Amnesty’s attempt at covering the siege of a settlement mostly populated by the descendants of Palestinian refugees in Syria. The death toll here has been close to 200 civilians in 8 months. They are a mixture of men and women, young and old, pointing to killings of an indiscriminate nature. The deaths have been primarily by starvation, sniper-fire, and bombings.  Yet this report is a mere 39 pages long. It contains no photographs of the victims. Nor is there any real information on individual casualties. It is as dry as a Wikipedia summary, reading like something Amnesty only had to do because they were obliged. ‘Trigger-happy’, on the other hand, is an emotive call to action, somebody at Amnesty’s personal crusade. ‘Trigger-happy’ was displayed prominently on the front page of their website for two weeks. The other was there for a day.

The information in the reports may or may not be true. I am more interested in the discrepancy of focus and language [H/T to Yisrael Medad for pointing this out to me]. One would have a very distorted picture of the global human rights situation from reading Amnesty reports. The reasons for the discrepancy are worth a discussion.

I identify three phenomena at the root.

Firstly, many of us sceptical about  the actions of NGO’s are familiar with Moynihan’s Law, which says that the greater the number of complaints being aired against a country, the better protected are human rights in that country. As a more open society, journalists, academics and other unsavoury types are free to roam and report in Israel. They are not in Syria. The philosopher Roger Scruton strongly hinted in his book on Lebanon, A Land Held Hostage, that Robert Fisk’s disturbingly soft treatment of Hafez Al-Assad during the civil war there helped ensure his access to the region, even though Fisk, the old fraud, was often out of the country for many of the events he claimed to witness.

Secondly, it may be that the relative tranquillity of Israel and Palestine does more to attract aid workers and journalists. One of my favourite quotes of all time was given by a young lady called Emily Williams, an American manager of a medical NGO in the Palestinian territories:

“Palestine is the best-kept secret in the aid industry… People need field experience and Palestine sounds cool and dangerous because it can be described as a war zone, but in reality it’s quite safe and has all the comforts that internationals want. Quality of life here is so much higher than somewhere like Afghanistan, but we don’t tell anyone so that we are not replaced or reassigned.”

My understanding is that most correspondents would rather pen dramatic write-ups on clashes  between the IDF and its enemies from the comfort of the American Colony Hotel in eastern Jerusalem than endure the miserable, macchiato -free conditions of Yemen.

Finally, some time ago in National Review, John O’ Sullivan identified another law: any organization that is not explicitly right-wing will over time become left-wing. What is true of the Episcopalian Church is equally true for Amnesty, or Oxfam, or Human Rights Watch. It’s just the type of people organisations that shun profit-making attract.

And on that point I want to talk about Joe Loughnane and the jackasses at NUI Galway.

Here is Joe, in all his eloquence:

Notice Joe says he’s been on the Galway campus for ten years. That’s the product of an extensive education in human rights law, apparently. According to this piece, he’s worked for several months at an unnamed human rights organisation in London. His antics, which include very direct threats against students and guests at his university, are well known and should preclude him from employment in any respectable establishment. Yet I am not so confident that he’ll be shunned by any organisation dedicated to human rights today. It was this blog two years ago that pointed out that Amnesty Ireland’s Communications Co-ordinator  at Amnesty International in Ireland, Justin Moran, is a Sinn Fein activist. I’ve made similar allegations of extremist penetration into religious groups like Trocaire and EAPPI.

The hi-jacking of the language of “human rights” and many hitherto respectable organisations dedicated to that cause by people like Joe Loughnane and his Palestine Solidarity Campaign bullies is one of the most significant developments of our time. After all, how could a man proudly displaying the banner below actually believe in any honest notion of human rights? And how can a human rights organisation in good conscience hire him?

loughnane

Sean Gallagher and political agendas in RTÉ

I note than Sean Gallagher’s case against RTÉ may be heard in the High Court this year.

Good.

What the media overlooks is often more interesting than what it reports. The drama of the Halawa family was a missed opportunity to ask hard questions about a group of Irish Muslim activists in Egypt. Once upon a time, people who asked questions about Communist subversion of the American government were called paranoid “red-baiters”. Then came the Mitrokhin Archive and the declassification of the Venona Project in the 1990s, and we know those red-baiters were right. Senator McCarthy was widely laughed at in the 1950s for calling Harry Dexter White, one of the architects of Bretton Woods, a Soviet agent. In 2013, Foreign Affairs could run lengthy articles asking why Harry Dexter White spied for the Soviets. We can do the same for Alger Hiss, John Stewart Service, Owen Lattimore, and perhaps hundreds more of their contemporaries.

In the spirit of making sure justice is done today rather than by historians decades from now, the painful possibility of subversion of some kind needs to be confronted. Of particular assistance here may be be an assistant producer of Frontline, Aoife Kelleher, daughter of the Labour Party politician Tom Kelleher. It seems a lot of players here revolve around her.

So, even though Passover is still a few months away, I have Four Questions for Ireland’s national broadcaster about the infamous night of October 24th, the final Presidential debate:

1. Why was Michael D. Higgins was not asked a direct question by a member of the audience? This seems inexplicable, given that along with Gallagher he was the main contender.

2. Why was Glenna Lynch, a businesswoman and left-leaning activist, permitted to ask not one, but two questions to Sean Gallagher? Lynch is a follower of, and is followed by, the assistant producer Aoife Kelleher on Twitter (whose account is now private). Aoife has a history of sending supportive tweets about Lynch when she makes radio and TV appearances.

3. Why was Austin Stack not accepted on the show? The son of prison officer Brian Stack, who was murdered by the IRA in 1983, he made a request to Frontline in order to ask a question to Martin McGuinness. He was declined, and two others got to ask questions to McGuinness instead. One was an unremarkable Fianna Fail girl, and the other was Kevin Conroy. Conroy said he personally disliked Sean Gallagher and was contacted “out of the blue” by Aoife Kelleher to ask questions at the debate. Conroy opened his question to McGuinness with a statement condemning Sean Gallagher.

4. How could 26 minutes lapse between the reading of the infamous hoax tweet and the end of the program without a correction being issued?

I believe the real answers to these questions will show there really was a conspiracy that night. It was all rigged against Gallagher and in favour of Higgins. One can even make the case for Norris being hard done by. A young man by the name of Fitzpatrick was allowed to ask Norris a question. It was really more of a statement claiming he was irresponsible to re-enter the race. This man failed to identify himself as a Higgins supporter, and indeed his question would have bolstered the case for voting Higgins for those of the left-wing persuasion. He also appears to have at least some acquaintance with Aoife Kelleher.

In media circles, there was clear preference for the left-liberal, openly homosexual candidate that was David Norris. After his campaign was wrecked beyond redemption in late July ans early August of that year, with the help of yours truly, Norris was too much of a lost cause. Yet we still have what many people in RTÉ probably wanted: a President with far more loyalty to the teachings of Marx, Shaw, and the Webbs that he does to the Irish Constitution.

Once this fact is established, the Irish people will have to make an informed choice about the future of RTÉ. We can stay the course. We can reform. Or we can do what Kennedy wanted to do to the CIA after the Bay of Pigs: splinter it into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds.

You can guess my preference.

Dissenting on the Mandela Myth

What are people celebrating about the ‘New South Africa’ Mandela and the ANC have wrought, exactly?

That one in five whites left the country due to crime and the state of the economy? Half a million Europeans immigrated to South Africa in the 50s and 60s.

That about 10% of Boer farmers have been murdered, while 90% of land seized so far by the state the government admits is unproductive?

Unemployment is twice as high in South Africa as it was at the end of apartheid. Black life expectancy has actually fallen. The Johannesberg Stock Exchange, once the tenth largest in the world, has actually left the Central Business District for the safer suburb of Sandtown. The country’s main synagogue once sat proudly in the centre of Johannesberg. Now its in a gated suburb for safety.

White South Africa had its problems, but widespread misconceptions about it, spread with the help of communist regimes and left-wing activists, led to a takeover by the brutal ANC who are running the country into the ground and making life worse for blacks and whites.

While it was not an ideal situation for blacks back in the day, things were getting better gradually, and the National Party’s relatively conservative economic policies led to increased economic growth and standards of living for everybody. For instance, blacks in apartheid South Africa owned more private cars than the entire population of the USSR at the time.

The black school population grew by 250 percent in the first twenty-five years of apartheid. The black share of total personal income nearly doubled in twenty years, from twenty percent in the mid-1970s to thirty seven percent in 1995, while that of whites declined from seventy one to forty nine percent.

It also saved South Africa from the communist menace. If the ANC had come to power in the 1960s, Zimbabwe today would look enviable from the other side.

The gains were wrecked as a result of the revolutionary democratic-utopian fervour. Evolution, not revolution, was the way to black empowerment. The vote doesn’t mean much if you have no job and can’t get about your business safely.

Today, interest groups in South Africa are fighting viciously and desperately for a bigger slice of a constantly shrinking pie. This is what leads to tragic events such as the killings at the Lonmin mine strike.

The ANC has done in South Africa what Mrs. Thatcher said the socialists are always happy to do: make the poor even poorer, provided the rich get less rich.

If conservatives and libertarians are too afraid to address these things head on, we will always lose.