Links for 7-3-2017

  • Mark Steyn writes that bollards are proliferating as a response to terrorist attacks, both in the physical world and in people’s minds:

    So in what sense is Manchester “united”? Zamzam Ibrahim’s view of where she wants British society to wind up is no different in its essentials from the bomber’s. They’re both about the same age; the main difference is that Salman Abedi is in a zillion pieces being scraped off the pavement, and Zamzam Ibrahim will wind up in the House of Lords. And in a democratic age what matters is the disposition of the large number of people who stick around rather than the small number who self-detonate. If the issue is terrorism, Miss Ibrahaim is not a problem. If the issue is whether formerly cohesive societies can survive the mass importation of ever more people with a fundamentally different and incompatible vision of how that society should be run, she is in fact symptomatic of a much bigger problem than the occasional suicide-bomber or van-renter. As I put it the other day, after congratulating that Canadian sniper on his new world record for longest confirmed kill, what’s the point of picking off an ISIS barbarian at 3,450 meters halfway round the globe if back on the home front you keep importing thousands upon thousands who share his world view? Or at any rate incline more to his than to yours, at least when it comes to legal systems, the segregation of the sexes, etc.

  • Donald Trump’s Twitter feed is a lost opportunity to advance his agenda:

    In case you were distracted by something like the Senate health-care fight, the White House just finished a run of four policy-themed weeks (infrastructure, workforce development, tech and energy). This was designed to be the month the White House methodically forced the media and the public to reckon with its policy ideas, all focused on shaping the domestic policy of the future.

    Axios’ Shane Savitsky counted every tweet on @realDonaldTrump during that month and found that of 121 tweets by Trump himself, three related to these policy topics. If you include tweets on his feed that are clearly by aides (include video, pics, hashtags, etc.), it’s 14 for 195.

  • A federal district court judge issued an injunction blocking enforcement of California’s gun magazine confiscation law. California passed a law making it illegal to possess a gun magazine holding more than 10 rounds.

  • Google is donating $2 million to an anti-violence campaign that includes leading gun control organizations.

  • Illinois’ Department of Child and Family Services is requiring all people associated with the state’s child welfare system to enthusiastically buy into a kid’s self-proclaimed gender identity:

    Appendix K is extensive, but the upshot is simple: anybody who comes into contact with a self-identified transgender youth via the child welfare system must support and affirm the child’s chosen gender identity, at all times and without reserve. These kids must be protected from any kind of scrutiny or skepticism regarding their gender identity, or any situation that might cause them discomfort over their gender expression.

    Foster home or facility placements for children that don’t offer unconditional support for all gender identity claims shall be denied contracts. Any DCFS staff who are insufficiently enthusiastic about this approach must be re-educated and, if this is unsuccessful, dismissed.

  • Nolan Peterson’s latest dispatch from Ukraine:

    Prior to my arrival in 2014, I had watched a YouTube video of what had happened at this place during the revolution. The sky was gray in the video, and the trees were bare.

    Snipers hidden in the surrounding rooftops gunned down the protesters one by one as they ascended the street. Some dropped dead in a flash. Others folded to the ground like in slow motion. Eventually, the dead clustered where they had collectively sought shelter in their final moments.

    The protesters were unarmed. They wore motorcycle helmets and wielded shields fashioned out of the top of garbage bins and road signs for protection. As sniper fire cut down one wave of protesters at the top of the hill, their comrades would rush up to drag the dead and wounded away.

    After depositing the casualties in the nearby Hotel Ukraine lobby, the survivors did something amazing. They turned around and went back.

  • French President Emmanuel Macron summoned parliament to the Palace of Versailles and declared that he wants to reduce the number of seats in parliament by one-third. If parliament doesn’t quickly go along with his plan, Macron threatened a popular referendum.

  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party was clobbered in the Tokyo Metropolitan assembly election. The next election for the House of Representatives is scheduled for December 2018, so Abe and his party have time to stage a comeback, but they’re in a hole now.

  • There were 23 sexual assaults during a music festival in Norrkoping, Sweden, prompting organizers to cancel next year’s event.

  • A suicide bomber dressed as a veiled woman killed 14 people at a camp for displaced people west of Baghdad; thirteen people were injured. ISIS claimed responsibility.

  • Leaders of Afghanistan’s three largest ethnic minority political parties met in Turkey and issued a demand for reforms that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani must implement — if he doesn’t, they’re threatening mass protests. All of the leaders issuing these demands hold senior positions in Ghani’s government.

    The group, calling itself the Coalition for the Salvation of Afghanistan, said their aim was to “prevent the collapse of the government, avoid chaos and restore public trust.” They demanded that Ghani devolve power to cabinet ministries and provinces, stop “overreaching” his authority for personal motives, schedule long-promised elections, and obey the constitution and the law. It also called for Dostom’s full authority to be restored and a government attack against him to be investigated.


    A variety of political figures and observers reacted skeptically to the news, suggesting that the ethnic minority leaders, all of whom have had differences with Ghani while in office, may be less interested in government reforms than in using a period of public anger and unhappiness to press for political advantage. They also noted that Ghani, an ethnic Pashtun, has been criticized for concentrating power in the hands of his ethnic and tribal allies and marginalizing other ethnic groups.

Links for 6-24-2017

Links for 6-14-2017

Links for 6-5-2017

Links for 6-4-2017

  • Mark Steyn writing on yesterday’s terror attack in London:

    As I write, six [now seven] members of the public are dead, and three attackers. I’m wary of weighing in as the situation is unfolding, but, though the details are always different, in the end the story is always the same. And, as I said only the other day, the reality of what is happening in Britain and Europe is that this problem was imported and that, until you stop importing it, you’re going to have more of it.

    No one likely to end up as Prime Minister or Home Secretary after this Thursday’s election seems minded to say that, never mind act on it. Instead, we have the usual post-terrorist theatre: Congratulations for the speed of the emergency services, and sober anchormen announcing that Theresa May will be chairing a meeting of COBRA – as though a bunch of bureaucrats with a butch-sounding acronym has any clue about how to stop the corpse count from mounting. The cynical strategy of British and Continental leaders is to get their citizens used to this.

  • Sumantra Maitra writing on yesterday’s terror attack in London:

    What might take place on a random summer Saturday night in a European capital city? It might be full of armed police rushing to a pub, barking at patrons to lie down immediately, because there’s a possibility of a bomb that might go off. There will be texting to colleagues who work in an area, to ask if they are okay. Friends will call each other advising them to avoid certain “no-go” areas. There will be a constant refreshing of one’s Twitter feed or the feeling of being glued to a news channel if you’re at home. It is BBC writing there’s a “Van incident at a bridge”, a euphemism, of course. But everyone will know what it means, what just happened, and who might be responsible. No one talks about it in civilised circles anymore, and certainly not on the BBC. It is watching a high trust society behave like a war zone. It is police tweeting and asking public to “run, hide and tell”. It is police making hundreds of late night revellers walk in a straight line with hands up palms open, in a scene that is more familiar in Kashmir or Xinjiang. The same country, which saw off the Spanish Armada, Napoleon and Hitler. It is the feeling of abject, ignominious surrender.


    You of course won’t see any mention of these in the media, because that would mean accepting hard politically incorrect facts. That would mean accepting that the “winning hearts and minds” strategy has failed. That would mean, no we are not united in the West and yes, a fellow country-man might be plotting to bomb the local nightclub your daughter visits on a Friday night. Hashtags have failed. Candle light vigils have failed. Accepting that this is an insurgency would mean accepting that the only option is to have classic counter insurgency strategy, with eyes and ears within the community, deep penetration and surveillance. In short, the debate between liberty and security will need to be decided in favour of security—at least temporarily. That would mean less taxpayer money being spent on dropping KAB500s on White Toyotas in Syria, and less British troops stationed in Lithuania, and more spent on armed beat cops patrolling our neighbourhoods. It would mean more cash spent on community penetration not seen since The Troubles, more Royal Navy patrolling and disrupting people smugglers and the NGOs that collude with people smugglers.

  • The Trump administration is considering imposing sanctions on Venezuela’s state oil company, PDVSA.

  • The Syrian Democratic Forces seized control of a hydroelectric dam on the Euphrates river from ISIS. The dam is about 14 miles upstream of Raqqa. The SDF now controls all three major dams on the Euphrates.

  • An Iranian-backed Shiite militia captured the city of Baaj, Iraq from ISIS.

Links for 5-31-2017

Links for 5-30-2017