International Cat Speculators Since 2006

Some videos

Sargon of Akkad reviews an article about a radical feminist who went through a sex change and discovers what it’s really like as a man. Turns out female privilege is a very real thing.

That time that China went to war with sparrows.

How Rwanda uses drones to deliver urgent medical supplies.

The Moiré Effect Lights That Guide Ships Home – aka “it’s difficult to research something if you don’t know what it’s called.”

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It’s here.

lot of stuff about the Electoral Finance Bill (as it was then), and lots more besides.

Another Kiwiblog post from 2007.

The Greens should be ashamed for their role to date.  Labour could not have introduced this bill without their support.  They could have insisted on a multi-party approach to the legislation.  More importantly they could have  insisted on a public policy process instead of a secret one.  But they sold their votes out for almost nothing.

The greens sold their vote for pretty much nothing?

I guess they’re nothing if not consistent.

Times have Changed

I found this old kiwiblog post, writing the latest “Offensive Content” page.

predicted on 25 July that the Government would not approve the Auckland Airport sale.

When the actual Trade Minister comes out against it, you know it is doomed.  He would not speak against it without the PM’s approval.  The PM is sending a message to the approving Ministers not to approve it.

Nowadays Winston regularly speaks without Ardern’s approval, it’s a real problem for her.

How times have changed.

There’s a meme right now where people are telling journalist (especially those just made redundant) to “learn to code”.

This is in response to journalists telling other laid off professions to do so.

But heaven forbid that they get a taste of their own medicine.

But it gets worse.

So now he’s claiming that his feelings weren’t hurt. But he reported it anyway.

Never mind that there might be a lot of people pissed off at the increasing bad behaviour. If people talk to each out about how bad journalism is, that’s a coordinated campaign and must be stopped by the authorities!

In other words, he’s yet another example of how journalism is going to fight to the death against the changes needed to stop it dying.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve challenged a couple of people to produce evidence that Trump is racist. The response is usually a lot of spluttering and outrage, but to this day I’ve never seen strong evidence. In fact the first time I did so we ended up agreeing that, while Trump’s father was without question thoroughly racist, his son is really a very different person.

Interestingly I discovered to today that there’s a handy Wikipedia article outlining all the charges against Trump. There’s an extensive listing of incidents, but those incidents are… thin.

Let’s go through the recorded incidents since becoming president.

Immigration policy

On January 27, 2017, via executive order, which he titled Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, President Trump ordered the U.S border indefinitely closed to Syrian refugees fleeing the civil war. He also abruptly temporarily halted (for 90 days) immigration from six other Muslim-majority nations: Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. A religious test would give immigration priority to Christians over Muslims. Human rights activists described these actions as government-approved religious persecution. The order was stayed by Federal courts.[86][87] The Trump White House would go on to issue revised versions of the ban on March 6, 2017 and September 24, 2017.

Let’s face it, we all know about this. It’s not racial – at worst it’s about religion. I note that there is a section of US law that requires the US government to prioritise Christian refugees.

Black Caucus

In a February 2017 presidential press conference, White House press correspondent April Ryan asked Trump if he would involve the Congressional Black Caucus when making plans for executive orders affecting inner city areas. Trump replied, “Well, I would. I tell you what. Do you want to set up the meeting?” When Ryan said she was just a reporter, Trump pursued, “Are they friends of yours?”The New York Times wrote that Trump was “apparently oblivious to the racial undertones of posing such a query to a black journalist”….

In March 2017, six members of the Congressional Black Caucus met with President Trump to discuss the caucus’s reply to Trump’s campaign-rally question to African Americans, “What do you have to lose?” (by voting for him). The question was part of Trump’s campaign rhetoric that was seen as characterizing all African Americans in terms of helpless poverty and inner-city violence.[89]According to two people who attended the March meeting, Trump asked caucus members if they personally knew new cabinet member Ben Carson and appeared surprised when no one said they knew him. Also, when a caucus member told Trump that cuts to welfare programs would hurt her constituents, “not all of whom are black”,[90] the president replied, “Really? Then what are they?“, although most welfare recipients are white.[90] The caucus chairman, Rep. Cedric Richmond, later said the meeting was productive and that the goals of the caucus and the administration were more similar than different: “The route to get there is where you may see differences. Part of that is just education and life experiences.”

So here there are 3 potential issues.

  1. Trump acted like he thought a black journalist would know members of the black cacus. Oh, the horror.
  2. His campaign was painted as “characterizing all African Americans in terms of helpless poverty and inner-city violence.” Except, that’s not what that means at all.
  3. The president asked what her non-black constituents were.

So point 1 is Trump expecting a black journalist to know the members of the black caucus. Point 2 is misstated to make Trump look bad and point 3 is Trump merely asking a question.

In other words, all 3 points are people injecting their interpretation into something. None involve particularly gross insults or overt offensive actions. At worst, we’ve got some ignorance and/or poor use of language.

Derogatory statements towards Haiti and Nigeria

In June 2017, Trump called together a staff meeting to complain about the number of immigrants who had entered the country since his inauguration. The New York Times reported that two officials at the meeting state that when Trump read off a sheet stating that 15,000 persons had visited from Haiti, he commented, “They all have AIDS,” and when reading that 40,000 persons had visited from Nigeria, he said that after seeing America the Nigerians would never “go back to their huts.” Both officials who heard Trump’s statements relayed them to other staff members at the time, but the White House has denied that Trump used those words and some of the other officials present claim not to remember them being used.

So we have some hearsay, which is not verified.

Assuming they’re true, people in Africa do live in huts. A lot of people who see the USA don’t want to go back to the poorer standard of living. I suppose that’s offensive to people in Nigeria who have a good quality of life, but again, it’s on the milder end of the insult scale.

Now, the comment re: AIDS is pretty nasty. Haiti is one of the poorest places on earth, and it is such partly thanks to the USA (and other western nations). If he did say that, it’s a pretty nasty thing to say, even as a joke. But it’s about immigrants from a particular country, it says nothing about their race. He could just as easily have said that about people from say, Romania, a poor country where white people live.

Hurricane Maria

In September 2017 after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico and decimated services across the island, the Mayor of San Juan Carmen Yulín Cruz went on television to plea for help and accused the federal response of fatal inefficiency. Trump responded with a series of tweets claiming that the Puerto Rican leadership were “not able to get their workers to help” …

And he was right. The Mayor grandstanded and blamed Trump instead of getting hold of local drivers to get the aid out. It was a disgusting act on her part, one of the nastier episodes of Trump hatred. But even in the Wikipedia article, there’ no suggestion of racial animosity. The Mayor did her stunt in front of the delivered aid. The federal government came through, it was her failure that hurt the people.

Pardon of Joe Arpaio

Joe Arpaio is a guy who makes a show of being tough on law and order. It’s quite clear that Trump pardoned him because his supporters saw his prosecution as going after a guy for enforcing the law.

Like with other instances here, if there’s any racism, it’s indirect and very much in the eye of the beholder, rather than overt actions.

NFL racial inequality protests

Trump sided with people (i.e. his voters) who were sick of politics (and slander against police) being injected into sport.

Charlottesville rally

Trump (correctly) pointed out that there were violent proters on both sides. This didn’t match the left’s view of the protests, ergo, racism. Scott Adams has a really good blog article here. It’s a pretty straightforward case.

The simple fact is, Trump rejected the racists, (and did so more clearly once people started reading things into what he said) but because he also recognised that there were people on that side who were not bad people, that’s been interpreted as him siding with racists. Which is crazy.

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren pretended to be Indian. Trump, and most of the right, mocked her for that. Not racism.

“Pretty Korean lady”

In an intelligence briefing on hostages held by a terrorist group in Pakistan, Trump repeatedly interrupted the briefing to ask an Asian-American intelligence analyst who specializes in hostage situations “where are you from?” After she told him she was from New York he asked again and she clarified that she was from Manhattan. He pressed with the question until she finally told him that her parents were Korean. Trump then asked one of his advisers why “the pretty Korean lady” was not negotiating for him with North Korea.[135][136][137] NBC News characterized this exchange as Trump having “seemed to suggest her ethnicity should determine her career path”.

TLDR: Trump said something dumb, media pounce and put on the spin.

People do see this sort of comment as racist, but (once again) it’s relatively minor stuff.

“Shithole countries”

a) “Trump reportedly said”

b) Well, they are. That’s why people leave.

This is another “it’s racist because Trump did it”. And of course it has nothing to do with race.

White Farmers in South Africa

Weirdly, Wikipedia pretends this is a conspiracy theory, not the open position of the South African government. They want to take farmer’s land, and they’re not going to pay for it. Trump’s against that, so should everyone else be.

And that’s it. That’s every supposed “racist” thing Trump’s done since he became president, according to Wikipedia.

Trump’s an ass, and he shouldn’t be president. But he’s not racist, if this is the evidence.

This video is making the rounds. Hat tip to Sonoran Conservative.

It’s a really through (and devastating) examination of what happened – i.e. what the media should have done, but chose not to.

Via Instapundit

[Trump is] a symptom of how rottenly dysfunctional our sorry political class is. Take away Trump and they’re just as awful and destructive. He just brings their awfulness to the fore, where it’s no longer ignorable. Now they’re willing to play with fire, risking the future of the polity over little more than hurt feelings, in a way that would have been unthinkable not long ago. [He is] not the cause of Washington’s decline. He’s a symptom, the wrecking ball that many Americans think was required.

lot of people don’t get this – the fact that Trump was very deliberately chosen because of, not in spite of, his disruptive nature.

Which is weird, because it hasn’t exactly been a great secret.

Of course that’s not the only reason he was chosen – free publicity had an awful lot to do with it. But that publicity just demonstrated he was what people wanted. And they wanted disruption, now cooperation.

People are ignoring just how much of a liar Nathan Phillips is. I was going to do a post on his changing story, but this’ll do for now.

However, what’s being almost completely ignored even on the right (the NY Post is just about alone in mentioning it, and they don’t emphasize it much at all) are nathanphillipsPhillips’ most vicious lies, told quite early in the game (I’ll get to what they were in a minute). These particular lies probably had a big role in shaping people’s perceptions of the boys and helped to spur their widespread demonization.

It was Phillips himself who quite early on, during his Saturday interview with CNNthat set the original tone and was widely disseminated, gave the following description of the Covington boys:

It looked like these young men were going to attack [the Black Israelites]. They were going to hurt them. They were going to hurt them because they didn’t like the color of their skin. They didn’t like their religious views. They were just here in front of the Lincoln — Lincoln is not my hero, but at the same time, there was this understanding that he brought the (Emancipation Proclamation) or freed the slaves, and here are American youth who are ready to, look like, lynch these guys. To be honest, they looked like they were going to lynch them. They were in this mob mentality.

That is not some disagreement about who went up to whom, or whether the wall was mentioned by the boys, or what caps some of them wore. This is an extremely defamatory statement by a political agitator, designed to shape perceptions that the boys were vicious racists with a killer instinct. The language is purposefully inflammatory and of the harshest variety.

It is a lie, and unless Phillips is clinically insane and out of touch with reality (something I don’t believe is the case), it is a knowing and purposeful lie about a bunch of teenagers who were minding their own business. It is a lie so egregious, so foul, that I really lack words to describe the depth and depravity of that lie.

Can’t really add much to that. He made out these boys, who were actually being attacked verbally were baying for blood. They weren’t. They were acting… well, like you’d expect reasonably well-behaved boys on a school trip to behave. Laughing, joking, talking, not acting out much but also not acting like the adults they were not.

But going to lynch someone? Absurd.

But the media fell for it, because MAGA is racist, right?

There’s also this story from instapundit today.

But I want to add something, which is that this feels personal because it could so easily happen to any of us. The encounter was so mundane that you have to wonder what other non-events will be used to try to destroy you or me. It happened to be video-recorded not because it mattered, but because that’s just so easy with 2019 technology.

Emphasis mine. This is really important, and it’s insane how people ignore it.

Nothing particularly unusual happened here. It’s common at protests regarding any controversial topic for words to be exchanged, and for people to get in the faces of others, and for tempers to get heated. It’s not unusual for people with crackpot theories to turn up either, and it’s not unusual for those crackpots to try to engage with people they dislike in ways that are unpleasant. Actually, the most odd thing about what happened is that no one was actually successfully provoked violence from the targets of that provocation – but you’d easily think the opposite from the media coverage.

News is supposed to be about the unusual. What does it say when the media goes out and destroys the lives of people based on what is actually pretty normal (and pretty good) behaviour? What does it say about the media when they’re prepared to destroy the lives of children, and not even focus on the screaming rantings of a widely-recognised hate group?

I didn’t have to worry about that when I was 16, but I can’t help thinking: what would it have been like if this had happened to me when I was 16? Are some people not having that thought because they see him as the Other, and consequently lack empathy for him?

I also think about what will happen if I ever have a kid. Would my 16-year-old always stay on the right side of the face police? Or might he occasionally be awkward at that age? What if he had some kind of a mental or physical disability that caused him to have facial expressions or body movements that people took the wrong way? (I say “he” because so much of the vituperation that’s been directed at the Covington kids has been explicitly based on their gender.)

The media have filled the shoes of the bully here. They’re the ones going “I don’t like that look on your face”, looking for a flimsy half-excuse to start a fight.

In the past few days, I’ve been under the weather (getting better now, so don’t worry about me), and sometimes as I’ve stood around in a public place, I’ve stopped to think: hey, I might have had an inappropriate facial expression just now, because of a combination of feeling a little out of it and feeling physically uncomfortable. If someone were video-recording me, could they find one still that made it look like I was “disrespecting” the wrong person?

When I see a post saying the kid’s “smirk” (always that same exact word choice) is proof that there’s something bigoted or wicked about him, I wonder if the person saying that has gone through life always making an appropriate facial expression for every social situation. Presumably not, but let’s say that is the case — would you want to be someone who always makes what others consider just the right expression? That sounds like someone who’s very safe and inoffensive and well-scripted, not someone spontaneous and flawed and quirky.

I didn’t see a smirk. I saw a kid trying to put on a brave face in a really weird and awkward situation. But then, I’m not insane.

 

I’m loath to quote twichy. But they’re right on this one.

It seems that while plenty of journalists loved telling coal miners to “learn to code” when they were laid off, don’t dare tell the same journalists that they ought to if (when) they suffer the same fate.

And Twitter is threatening to suspend people who do.

Remember, this is the same twitter who refused to step in and stop a torrent of vile abuse towards children.

But more on that in my next post.

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