Month: November 2015 (Page 1 of 3)

Monday Reading List: Racial controversies on campus and terrorism

The Federalist: Campus Race Warriors’ Demands Will Hurt Asians

It may be coincidental that the photojournalist the University of Missouri social justice warriors attacked in public was Asian-American, but their reaction wasn’t. Concerned Student 1950 tweeted, “It’s typically white media who don’t understand the importance of respecting black spaces.”

Liberals have a long record of minimizing and ignoring Asians in such movements. At Claremont McKenna College, protesters shouted down a student of Asian heritage for saying people should be judged on the content of their character rather than their race.

Read full article.

China Travel Writer Blog: A Chinese Student’s View on #BlackLivesMatter

Indeed, the fate of African-Americans is linked with the fate of America. In America, they can legally claim their rights. They can even use “illegal protests” to seek their lawful rights and benefits. This can only be done in America. Racial discrimination will of course not end in America, but after an act of discrimination happens, there is only America and a few other democratic countries where you can use freedom of speech and the law to appeal. If you cannot believe, go ask how many black people immigrated to China. Those 100,000 blacks living in Guangzhou have no way to answer “yes.”

Read full article. Trump campaign becomes uglier

More than a few people have felt alarm bells go off when they heard Trump’s incendiary attacks on ethnicities. John Kasich’s campaign released an ad that featured a Vietnam veteran paraphrasing German Pastor Martin Niemoller’s poetic warning about the Nazis. (Trump has attacked Vietnam veteran John McCain for having been captured and taken POW.)

Read full article. Don’t cower in the face of terrorism

However, if you must risk dying, then what better way to go than drinking wine on the streets of Paris? The French used a nice motto during their revolution: Vivre Libre ou Mourir.

Americans used the phrase, too, in relation to their revolutionary war. General John Stark, asked to give a toast for the anniversary of a famous battle, sent his toast by letter: “Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils.”

I’ll drink to that.

Read full article.

B&D Editor’s exclusive: Britain shouldn’t rush to war in Syria

As Britain inches towards war again (A Realist Perspective)

One can almost hear the war drums beating again, as Britain prepares for a parliament vote to decide on war in Syria. David Cameron proceeded with his half-hearted case about war in Syria, and why Britain should join with US and France in bombing ISIS in Syria, an argument which was as logically incoherent as a kitchen sieve with water. The Labour party on the other hand in completely in disarray, and with civil war about to break out, and an incompetent and ideologically pacifist leader in Jeremy Corbyn. Such is the situation, that when Corbyn this time is actually raising extremely valuable points, no one is listening to him, as the atmosphere inside Labour is so vicious. Cameron leads a country from one Middle East misadventure to other, with the majority of the country remaining opposed to it, but there is no one to stop him.

Let’s first analyse the case for war. To be frank, there is none.

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Some of the media outlets that got fooled by Trump’s lie about winning black endorsements

Much of the media has egg on its face for buying Donald Trump’s lie about winning the endorsements of black pastors. Journalists and editors should think twice before running one of his press releases as news, considering how often they are flat-out wrong.

Here’s what Trump’s press release said:

“Mr. Trump will be joined by a coalition of 100 African-American evangelical pastors and religious leaders who will endorse the GOP front-runner after a private meeting at Trump Tower.”

Oh, but look:
Black Pastors to Trump: Our Meeting Is Not an Endorsement

“Let me be clear,” she [Bishop Corletta Vaughn] wrote. “I was invited to attend a gathering of clergy to listen to Mr. Trump on Monday November 30. I respectively (Sic.) declined as I do not support nor will endorse Donald Trump.”

Donald Trump Cancels Press Conference With Black Evangelical Leaders That He Thought Would Include Endorsement

That so many news outlets across the spectrum–mainstream and conservative, legitimate and unreliable–all published versions of the story “Trump to win black pastors’ endorsements” shows how easy it is to get lazy journalists to puff a press release into a story. Most of them are uncorrected.

The worst headlines reported it as fact, leaving the source unmentioned:
NY Times: Black Pastors Expected to Endorse Donald Trump
“Expected”? Expected by whom?

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Communications Insecurity: Time to Return to Messenger Pigeons?

As most of us now know, much of what we do on the Internet can be monitored by pretty much whoever decides we are of interest. Whether or not you agree with government surveillance, no one can really deny that we enjoy the security that our governments provide us with (if you are lucky enough to live in such a country). A growing issue with the Internet and communications technology, however, is that increasing surveillance is also resulting in decreased security, both overall and for the individual layperson (that’s you and I).

If you’ve read @War by Shane Harris (and you should), you’ll know that certain agencies have been stockpiling zero days and building backdoors into commerical tech and software for years. You may or may not know that banks, commercial giants, and, you know, hackers of the black-hatted variety have been and are doing this as well.

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Weekly Reading List: Two important questions and a happy thanksgiving note

Apologies, as I was occupied with a lecture, by Dr Bettina Renz, on Hybrid warfare conducted by Russia. I am not allowed to discuss every detail, but suffice to say that I remain skeptical, as Dr Renz, as well as Dr Mark Galeotti, on the definition, effectiveness and scope of Russian capabilities. Hybrid Renz Talk

However, that’s not the major issue.

After Turkey shot down a Russian jet, I was asked, if there will be a third world war between NATO and Russia. Going by Russian response (bombing food aid convoy, blocking import, deporting Turkish businessmen) I say with extreme sarcasm, the carnage of the ongoing third world war are truly shocking to behold.

So, no…there won’t be a third world war, and you guys can carry on with your thanksgiving plans. There is too much at stake, for both Russia and NATO and neither side would want to escalate further. Let’s just say, this was a test, Putin has been testing NATO resolve, and Turkey was also waiting for an opportunity to show claws. This incident proved that NATO resolve is quite strong, and there is a risk of being burned if someone keeps playing with fire. My first weekly column explains that further.

Also, for those who think China would join an anti-ISIS coalition, good luck, it is not going to happen, as far as one beheading is concerned. China is more than happy to let other powers carry the security burden of middle east, as long as it can continue her mercantile policies in Africa, and focus on South China sea. Also, China has a homegrown Islamist problem, and I don’t think the Chinese leadership is dumb enough to add on to that. My second weekly column.

Before ending, I must say,

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Monday Reading List: Don’t Overreact to Paris Attacks

It’s Monday, and that means I’m sharing my recent writings at other outlets.

First, re the Paris attacks and the U.S. domestic response:
US politicians misguided on anti-terror policies –

A candidate for state legislative office in Minnesota, Dan Kimmel of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, tweeted in response to the attacks: “ISIS isn’t necessarily evil. It is made up of people doing what they think is best for their community.”

Well, the Nazis were also “doing what they think is best for their community.” That such people have twisted, bigoted, and yes, evil, views of the world doesn’t make their judgment right. I made a point of using the word “evil” because someone who thinks that intentionally murdering civilians in cold blood is right deserves nothing better.

Donald Trump can be called nothing other than ignorant, narcissistic, and ethnocentric. But he, for all his defects, is not evil. He is just terribly misguided and a bad choice for Americans. It is worth keeping that in mind after seeing real evil unfold.

Read full article.

Freedom Can’t Coexist With Campus Political Correctness – The Federalist

When feelings are given primacy over facts, there’s no way to evaluate the truth, which is necessary for making sound policy. How can one say Donald Trump is wrong that Mexico is “sending” the United States illegal immigrants if the truth doesn’t matter now? And didn’t he “feel” offended when Rich Lowry said Carly Fiorina emasculated him? Why not call for Lowry’s firing or a Federal Communications Commission fine?

When “safe spaces” are places where pushing and verbal abuse take place, when reality is based on the race, gender, or sexuality of a speaker, when words like “rich,” “poor,” “senior,” and “American” are considered “problematic,” reality ceases to exist and words have no meanings.

Read full article.

European left gather to promise anti-austerity fight. Ironically organised by Syriza.

Athens saw International conference of Youth left organised by Youth of Syriza, political organization of dominant Greek party Syriza, this past weekend. Several members of other European Network of Democratic Young Left (ENDYL) also attended the meeting.

T talks to youth

International conference of Youth left organised by Youth of Syriza

Among foreigners, there were speakers from Turkey, Finland, Italy, Ireland and Spain. Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras briefly had a cameo.

talk to youth

Aleksis Tsipras during his speech on Friday

“We were blackmailed and forced to sign a deal with which we did not agree. It’s us still fighting together with European left movements for the changes in European society. Our place is well known from heroic fights but this is not enough. We also need heroic victories,” he said to young supporters: “The hope didn’t disappear,” referring to his earlier election motto from January: “The hope is coming.”

From elections day 20.9.

The pre-election slogan of Syriza “The hope is coming” was eight months later replaced with “We win tomorrow.” Photo: Supporters of Syriza waiting for election results, Athens, 20.9.2015


After that, Tsipras stayed to listen only a representative of Turkish HDP Cihan Erdal and then left. Erdal however in his speech focused on terrorist attack and fight against ISIS.

HDP turkey

Cihan Erdal during his speech on Friday

The member of Left youth of Finland Pinja Vuorinen was talking about austerity measures implemented in her country and emphasized the importance of people “to stay angry”. There were representative of Irish Sinn Fein, without any hint of irony in his voice, thundered: “We are nationalist and republicans, fighting for socialism.”


Representative of Left youth of Finland


senn fein

Representative of Irish Sinn Fein

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SCOOP: Anti- migrant performance on football match in Ljubljana

Last evening in Athens there was a football derby match between Panathinaikos and Olympiakos. On the other part of Balkans another big derby match was going at the same time between two biggest Slovenian football clubs: Olimpija Ljubljana and Maribor.

Sometime around midnight, I received a text from a good friend of mine, who’s a Slovenian researcher and blogger: “You should check on this!” There was a photo from a football match showing supporters of Maribor also called “Viole” with banners and flags.

Dejan, Viole

Maribor fans wrote on a huge banners following: “The most precious thing that can be taken from us is our own nation. If we will not fight for it we will lose it forever. Stop migrants!”








Supporters lift with banners also national flags of Slovenia and there was a flag with the Celtic Cross mainly used by ultra-right, fascist and nazis groups.

team derby

Source: Facebook page of NK Maribor

Let’s just mention some facts on football club Maribor. The coach of the club is Krunoslav Jurčić, Croatian. Here is for the illustration the team that started yesterday’s match:
In Athens the match between Olympiakos and Panathinaikos was canceled. But supporters of Panathinaikos still came with this banner:

For years I have already been dealing with research on right-wing ideologies. Obviously I am aware of links between football supporters and neo-naziism or neo-fascism. “In the 80’s and 90’s, Nazis were still the dominant forces in our group. But sure, we kicked those mother fuckers out,” supporters of Athens based Panathinaikos told me once. “In our group they are minority now,” they claimed.

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“ISIS isn’t doing anything important”

Apparently a quote by Obama. As paraphrased by CNN’s Michelle Kosinski:

What? It will be interesting to see the full quote. It looks pretty bad. But it sounds like other language some have thrown around to downplay ISIS. Obama, too, with his language like, “What I’m not interested in doing is posing or pursuing some notion of ‘American leadership’ or ‘America winning”,” seems like he doesn’t give any fucks.

We shouldn’t be scared all the time. We should keep in mind that the chances of getting killed in a terrorist attack are very low. We should keep things in perspective. Still, that’s not the same as saying ISIS, having taken over vast swaths of land, massacred minorities, persecuted locals, and murdered civilians across the world, is not “doing anything important.” They have changed the direction of major foreign policy decisions.

Let me put things in perspective:

Other people:

Some valid arguments against refugee program

Yesterday I wrote about the anti-refugee protests held by Overpasses for America and how their rhetoric and arguments were crazy. “No refugees illegals,” said a sign.

However, I don’t want to imply that there are no rational arguments in favor of curtailing or slowing down the admittance of refugees from certain countries. Just that people who call for the arrest of the president, or who post images of the Statue of Liberty in flames and the text, “They are here for your children. … Arm yourself, get training,” are typically not making the best arguments, are fueled by fear and paranoia.

In the interest of fairness, I should link to a few people who are making more civil and convincing arguments against refugees.

Megan McArdle points out some bad arguments come from the pro-refugee side, too.

The Gulf states are not taking refugees. Not really an argument for us not taking refugees as much as it is one that the Saudi Arabia and others aren’t doing their part. It is an argument that those states are Islamic and are a bigger cause of the problem in that they are funding the campaign against Assad.

But even if they are Islamic, they might not be the most welcoming to foreigners, which is why they so far haven’t been welcoming, and America is the welcoming immigrant country. One could argue that to cite Saudi Arabia’s inaction as justification is to deny America’s exceptionalism. No one would cite Saudi Arabia’s human rights record as something America should aim for.

We should settle Christians who are being murdered by a theocratic terrorist group that kills non-believers. According to a New York Times Magazine article, Christians are leaving Syria in droves. So far 3 percent of the Syrian refugees America has accepted have been Christian, compared to a Syrian population of 10 percent Christian. Does those numbers indicate the U.S. should be accepting more Christians? Hard to say without knowing more information, such as the local population demographics, the extent of violence in different places, and the demographic composition of those who have applied for refugee status.

One of the people who attacked in France snuck into Europe with a group of refugees. Ensuring who is allowed in when they step off boats with fake documents is hard, but that is more of a problem for Europe, where 100’s of thousands are coming on boats, than America.

So there are some issues to consider with regards to refugees, but they should be considered logically.

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