Why the Scottish Vote Is Shaking Up Europe

From a leftwing article in Politico by Andrew Connelly entitled “Why the Scottish Vote Is Shaking Up Europe“:

Even within the UK’s own borders, some restive regions are using the Scottish drive to cough loudly at the back of the room and get the teacher’s attention. Teetering off England’s south coast, the impoverished region of Cornwall, famous for meat-filled pastries, ice cream and stunning landscape, has long vocalized its cultural and linguistic pride (Cornish is also a Celtic language) and even managed this year to gain national minority status.

Similarly, the northeast of England, a region still emerging from its post-industrial shadow, currently looks across the border and sees people in Scotland enjoy the fruits of free universities, free prescriptions and free care for the elderly—none of which they have—and wonders if a drive for more autonomy could bring more riches. And we haven’t even mentioned Wales or Northern Ireland yet.

The “woefully uninformed” Connelly really turns on the charm when discussing the phenom that is UKIP:

Traditionally the average British citizen has also been woefully uninformed about the workings of the supranational entity “on the continent” that partially governs them, although the meteoric rise of a euroskeptic populist party has harnessed this ignorance and transformed it into political action. In the most recent EU elections, the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) came out on top, gaining 24 seats, more than any other party. It was a stunning victory for a group most Britons considered to be a glorified band of disaffected golfing barflies with a romanticized image of a vanquished old Britain and some unenlightened views on foreigners; now it may soon even gain its first national MP. Its oleaginous leader, Nigel Farage, has managed to convince a sizeable chunk of British society that the country they hold dear is no longer in control of its own destiny but instead at the mercy of sinister EU bureaucrats in Brussels who wish to ban fun and flood the country with job-stealing immigrants.

On the wider implications for the E.U. of the dirty masses’ nativism:

Add to all this a continent increasingly running into the arms of the far right, and the stage is set for a bumpy ride across a far greater landscape than Scotland. More than ever, the European Parliament is populated by a dyspeptic rag-tag rabble of nationalists, populists and outright fascists. Following the EU parliamentary elections in May, Germany let the team down by electing a neo-Nazi candidate (who now cutely sits on the parliament’s “civil liberties” committee), Italy went dynastical and brought in Benito Mussolini’s great-grand daughter and France completely lost the plot by elevating the far-right Front National to be the country’s largest political party represented in Europe. These eruptions are frequent, the mutant marriage of an electorate generally uninformed on the workings of EU and populations that have suffered from years of post-crisis austerity measures and are thus willing to give incumbent governments a bloody nose. Nevertheless, it presents a worrying situation: A vote for Scottish independence could embolden other, less savory nationalist movements across Europe.

Posted in Europe, Secession, UK | Leave a comment

Secessionism is Ablaze

“Secessionism is ablaze all over the world,” notes Pat Buchanan in his recent column, “Scottish Independence: What Would Braveheart Do?“:

No matter how the vote turns out on Thursday in Scotland, either for independence or continued union with Britain, the disintegration of the Old Continent appears almost inevitable.

Already the British government has conceded that, even if the Scots vote for union, Edinburgh will receive greater powers to rule itself.

Cheering for the breakup of the U.K. are Catalans and Basques, Bretons and Corsicans, Tyroleans, Venetians, Flemish, all dreaming of nations of their own carved out of Spain, France, Italy and Belgium.

Europe’s secessionists have waxed ever stronger since the last decade of the 20th century when the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia splintered into 22 nations and Czechoslovakia broke in two.

Abkhazians and Ossetians then broke from Georgia as Transnistria fought free of Moldova. Chechnya went to war twice to escape from Russia. Secessionists now battle Russia in Ingushetsia and Dagestan.

The decomposition of the nations of Old Europe is the triumph of tribalism over transnationalism. The heart has reasons that the mind knows not, said Pascal. And the wild heart is winning.

The call of blood, history, faith, culture and memory is winning the struggle against Economism, the Western materialist ideology that holds that the desire for money and things is what ultimately motivates mankind.

Posted in International, Secession, White Identity | Leave a comment

Irving Kristol: On Jews and Judaism

Mosaic Books (“Advancing Jewish Thought”) has published a collection of essays by neoconservative icon Irving Kristol titled Irving Kristol: On Jews and Judaism.

Some advance praise for the book:

“Upon readers for whom Irving Kristol has been chiefly a political thinker, these newly culled essays will burst not altogether unexpectedly, yet surely as revelation. Not unexpectedly, because the Kristol mind is a magnetic unity, equal in powerful discernment wherever it lands; and revelatory, because many of their themes tend, remarkably, toward the innate structures of religious thought. Kristol takes the religious strain in human history seriously and respectfully, with characteristic moral generosity. There is a patient sweetness of temperament that does not preclude intellectual passion, or contradict the firm stance of a Jew at home in his heritage.”—Cynthia Ozick

“Irving Kristol is universally known as a brilliant social and political thinker. Less well known are his deep and subtle theological writings. Infused with a profound Jewish sensibility, this collection brilliantly illuminates the deepest layers of Kristol’s thinking about God and man. A revelation, and an education.”—Charles Krauthammer

“In his clear, elegant, and always amiable style, Irving Kristol approaches the mixed blessings of Judaism in America from the perspective of one experiencing changes as they occur and sharing with us his knowledge, his judgment, and his unfailing wisdom. This book is a blessing.”—Ruth R. Wisse

“These splendid essays, written over the course of six decades, display Irving Kristol’s penetrating wisdom and celebrated wit, here exercised on crucial and enduring issues of modern Jewish life—issues that are today even more serious than when the essays calling attention to them were written. They also reveal the profoundly Jewish and theological roots of Kristol’s view of the world, illuminating his own self-description that he was ‘born theotropic.’ Gertrude Himmelfarb’s elegant introduction offers a coherent and enlightening guide to the entire collection.”—Leon R. Kass

Posted in Culture, Jewish, Political Theory | Leave a comment

Sweden Democrats

John Fund writes about the nationalist, immigration-centric, unfortunately-named ‘Sweden Democrats’:

Jimmie Akesson, the leader of the Sweden Democrats, has a simple explanation for the lack of jobs. “If you allow more asylum seekers into the country than the number of jobs you can create, the result is obvious,” he said in a recent speech. Sweden expects more than 90,000 asylum seekers this year, a huge number in a county of only 10 million people. According to the United Nations, Sweden received the most asylum applications per person in the world from 2009 through 2013. The share of Swedes born abroad was 16 percent last year compared with 11 percent in 2000. Akesson calls for cutting back on asylum acceptances, requiring immigrants to pass language tests, and trimming immigrants’ welfare benefits.

“The Sweden Democrats is the only political party that wants to stop immigration,” Anders Sannerstedt, a political scientist at Lund University, told the French news agency AFP. “All the other political parties have a united stance, a generous immigration policy.”

Posted in Europe, Immigration, White Identity | Leave a comment

France: Jews Voting For National Front

From JTA, the ‘Global Jewish News Source':

The number of Jews who voted for the far-right National Front party soared in the most recent presidential election from the previous two votes, surveys showed.

In the surveys of French Jews, some 13.5 percent of 1,095 respondents who self-identified as Jews said they voted for National Front President Marine Le Pen in the 2012 presidential elections.

Asked about the two previous presidential elections, from 2002 and 2007, respectively only 6.1 percent and 4.3 percent of Jewish voters polled said they chose the National Front candidate — Le Pen’s father and predecessor as party leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen, who has a history of convictions for “inciting racial hatred” and Holocaust denial…

The National Front is a vociferous critic of what it describes as the government’s inaction to stop France’s “Islamization.”

Overall, National Front candidates received 19.2 percent of the vote in the first round in 2002 and 10.6 percent and 19 percent in the first rounds in the following two elections.

In a statement released Friday, National Front General Secretary Nicolas Bay blamed the government’s immigration policy for a 91 percent increase in the number of anti-Semitic attacks documented in France during the first seven months of 2014 over the corresponding period last year.

Muslims are the main perpetrators of anti-Semitic attacks on Jews, according to the Jewish watchdog BNVCA, or the National Bureau of Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism.

Posted in Europe, Jewish | Leave a comment

The Holocaust’s Forgotten Roma Victims

From an article on “The Holocaust’s Forgotten Roma Victims” in The Daily Beast:

More than 500,000 Roma and Sinti were exterminated in the Nazis’ death camps—and it’s time to include them in the official history of the Holocaust…

Between 500,000 to 1.5 million Roma and Sinti were victims of the Holocaust in various camps and in mass killings carried out across Europe. This year, August 2, International Roma Holocaust Remembrance Day marked the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the so-called zigeunerlager or Gypsy Camp, at Auschwitz-Birkenau…

It is important for the world to recognize that Romani people who were killed by the Nazis and their allies were part of the Holocaust—its logic and its aim of a so-called “final solution”—and not a separate instance of genocide. Generations of school children have learned to call the results of the Nazis’ attempts at race-based exterminations by that name, “Holocaust,” and to infer that the Roma were not part of the same horrible policy enactments is not only historically inaccurate, but also implies that there was a different experience for Roma.

I wonder why Roma (and other non-Jews, for that matter) would be excluded from the category of the historical event known as the “Holocaust”?

Removing Roma and Sinti from Holocaust history by creating a separate genocide and by denying their voice in the Holocaust ceremonies signal a disregard for the memory and the dignity of the Romani people. Yet, the United Nations continues to dither about whether Roma and Sinti should be included in their annual Holocaust Remembrance ceremony.

You’d almost think that some other ethnic group wanted a monopoly on Holocaust sentiment, one that would serve to sanctify that ethnic group and allow it be a cultural sledgehammer on Western Christian countries for centuries to come.

Oh, and there’s the money too:

Furthermore, being designated as a victim of a separate genocide and not a Holocaust victim is precedent-setting. For example, many Romani Holocaust survivors were unable to qualify for any type of compensation for the losses they endured, specifically because the German government failed to recognize them as part of the Holocaust for several decades after the War, long after many survivors had died. This is not an example that current governments and institutions should emulate.

Only 10 percent of the hundreds of millions of dollars made available by the United Nations for the survivors, and which the U.S. Government was given the responsibility of disbursing, was set aside for non-Jews, and none of that found its way to the Romani survivors. When the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council was established in 1980, no Roma were invited to participate, and as mentioned above, it has no Romani member today.

Clearly, the Roma need to work with bigger P.R. firms.

Posted in History, Jewish | Leave a comment

Roth’s Reads

From a profile of David Lee Roth last year:

“I’ve read all these,” he says, gesturing to the swollen bookshelves. The most important one he’s read recently is Christopher Hitchens’ memoir Hitch-22. He refers to the art books regularly, overseeing design needs for Van Halen. “I look forward to the longer flights because I’m actually able to read a full paperback uninterrupted. Here there’s a barrage of stimuli: the phone, email. Books shaped who I am early on — Jack London, Mark Twain. All those adventure magazines, like Argosy. Guys who went out into the territory and became merchant marines or opened up a bar somewhere in the South Pacific but then somehow came to own banana fields in Ecuador and then and then and then. And now I’m writing The Innocents Abroad in cyberspace.”

Posted in Culture, Music | Leave a comment

Is Artificial Intelligence a Threat?

In a Chronicle article (“Is Artificial Intelligence a Threat?“), the focus is on the thought experiments of Nick Bostrom, who directs the Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford.

When the world ends, it may not be by fire or ice or an evil robot overlord. Our demise may come at the hands of a superintelligence that just wants more paper clips.

So says Nick Bostrom, a philosopher who founded and directs the Future of Humanity Institute, in the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford. He created the “paper-clip maximizer” thought experiment to expose flaws in how we conceive of superintelligence. We anthropomorphize such machines as particularly clever math nerds, says Bostrom, whose book Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies was released in Britain in July and arrived stateside this month. Spurred by science fiction and pop culture, we assume that the main superintelligence-gone-wrong scenario features a hostile organization programming software to conquer the world. But those assumptions fundamentally misunderstand the nature of superintelligence: The dangers come not necessarily from evil motives, says Bostrom, but from a powerful, wholly nonhuman agent that lacks common sense.

Imagine a machine programmed with the seemingly harmless, and ethically neutral, goal of getting as many paper clips as possible. First it collects them. Then. realizing that it could get more clips if it were smarter, it tries to improve its own algorithm to maximize computing power and collecting abilities. Unrestrained, its power grows by leaps and bounds, until it will do anything to reach its goal: collect paper clips, yes, but also buy paper clips, steal paper clips, perhaps transform all of earth into a paper-clip factory. “Harmless” goal, bad programming, end of the human race…

Bostrom has surveyed his peers:

According to Bostrom, combined results from four surveys show that experts believe human-level machine intelligence will almost certainly be achieved within the next century. Although his own predictions are more cautious, some surveys predict a 50-percent chance of machines with human-level intelligence by 2040, and a 10-percent chance within the next decade. From that milestone, it’s not a far leap to superintelligence.

“Once you reach a certain level of machine intelligence, and the machine becomes clever enough, it can start to apply its intelligence to itself and improve itself,” says Bostrom, who calls the phenomenon “seed AI” or “recursively self-improving AI.”

If that intelligence happens within a matter of hours or days, in what is called a “hard takeoff,” people will be helpless in its wake, unable to anticipate what might happen next. It’s like the story of the genie who grants three wishes, but never quite in the way the wisher intends, says Russell, the computer scientist from Berkeley. “If what you have is a system that carries out your instructions to the letter, you’ve got to be extremely careful on what you state. Humans come with all kinds of common sense, but a superintelligence has none.”

As I’ve noted previously, what we’re talking about is the possibility of something like a nanotechnological weapon of mass destruction. Unfortunately, I fear that such a possibility in some variant form will happen. It could take on a myriad of forms: a deliberate, synthetic contamination of livestock or some other food supply chain; the creation of an immune-resistant bacteria or virus that wipes out plant, animal, or human life; etc. All that is required is:

  1. Sufficient Applied Science: Is it physically possible to create the grey goo? If yes, then check off this box.
  2. Availability of Knowledge Base: Is the know-how to build the grey goo widely available? The ill-founded decision to publish the genome of the 1918 flu virus is a harbinger. If the objective science allows it, and the Anarchist Cookbook is now available to on every muslim’s cellphone, we’re on our way…
  3. Economies of Scale: The production costs are a limiting parameter. But with the arc of capitalism one that lowers costs, and with Arabs sitting on sperm banks of oil, providing a medieval religious mindset with billions of dollars it’s culture would otherwise never possess, this is increasingly possible. 50 years from now, imagine a Kickstarter-type mechanism for eschatologically-oriented Muslims to fund the nanotechnological destruction of the West.
  4. Sufficient Will: Are there individuals, and even groups, with the will to initiate this destruction? Are there sufficient actors willing to intentionally destroy the world (or just the West for that matter?) What do you think?
Posted in Nanotechnology, Science | Leave a comment

Murder, My Sweet (1944)

murder_my_sweet_reflection

Posted in Film, Film Noir | Leave a comment

Yale Chaplain Who Wrote Controversial NYT Letter Resigns

Another white guy is purged, this time for upsetting The Tribe:

Rev. Bruce Shipman, the Episcopal chaplain at Yale, has resigned in the wake of controversy over a New York Times letter he wrote suggesting Jews were collectively culpable for Israel’s actions and for subsequent rises in global anti-Semitism. “The Rev. Bruce M. Shipman, on his own initiative, has resigned as Priest-in-Charge of the Episcopal Church at Yale, effective immediately,” said a statement released by the Episcopal Church at Yale. “It is our belief that the dynamics between the Board of Governors and the Priest-in-Charge occasioned the resignation of the Rev. Shipman.”

In his letter to the Times, written in response to Deborah Lipstadt’s op-ed about rising European anti-Semitism, Shipman claimed that “the best antidote to anti-Semitism would be for Israel’s patrons abroad to press the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for final-status resolution to the Palestinian question.” Many readers expressed outrage at what they deemed Shipman’s exercise in victim-blaming, and an attempt to hold all Jews across the globe responsible for the actions of the Israeli state.

Who will be next?

Posted in Academia, Jewish, Political Correctness | Leave a comment