Sunday, November 15, 2015

Je Suis Parisien de nouveau

You all know what happened on Friday the 13th, for the second time this year, Islamofascists (a bit more descriptive than the "neutral" term Islamist) murdered their way across Paris.  This time instead of "just" being offended by cartoons or people being Jewish, they were "offended" by people at a concert, at a football match, at a restaurant. 

France has responded by bombing Raqqa, capital of "Islamic State", because as the Socialist President of France, Francois Hollande pointed out, France is at war.  The attacks were claimed by ISIS, and for now it appears they were at least incited by, if not funded and armed (and partly manned) by ISIS.   It is war, against Western civilisation, against the modern, tolerant, diverse society of people who simply LOVE LIFE.  For that is what Islamofascists (and indeed all totalitarians) despise for the people they enslave.

However, the West is fundamentally weakened in response.  Because the dominant philosophical influence in the West is one of self-hatred, guilt and identity politics driven cowardice of the left, and the opposition to this is dominated by "conservatives" who are so tied-up in philosophical contradictions and embrace of the guilt and self-loathing expounded by the left, that they are impotent, and the only other discourse that occasionally emerges is kneejerk racism - i.e. those who just want to deport all Muslims.

Brendan O'Neill in Spiked has written about the hand-wringing apologists.  The whole article is worth a read, he are excerpts:

It’s in the already emerging handwringing about a possible Islamophobic response to the attacks, with observers fretting that ‘there could be a backlash, largely driven by confusion and anxiety’. This has become routine after every terror attack: the first response of concerned observers is not with the actual victims of actual terrorism but with possible victims of a moronic mob uprising that exists entirely in their imaginations. This, too, speaks to a profound self-loathing in the West, where the media and political elite’s fear is always how their own societies, and what they see as their inscrutable fellow citizens, a ‘confused and anxious’ mass, will behave. They condemn the terrorism, yes — but they fundamentally fear and loathe the societies they live in, the people they live among.

it is precisely this response, this moral disarray in the modern West, which acts as a green light to terrorist groups or individuals to punish us. It’s an invitation to assault. The interplay between the self-loathing of the modern West and the nihilism of Islamist outfits is striking. They are a brutal, violent expression of a disgust for the modern world that has its origins in the universities, political circles and media elites of the West itself as much as in volatile, unstable territories in the Islamic world. Indeed, many of the attacks in the West over the past 15 years have been carried out by people either born in or educated in the West.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Remember Cultural Safety in nursing education?

This widely viewed Australian spoof about education isn't far from the mark:

This Ph.D thesis from Massey called "A Maori model of Primary Health Care Nursing" exemplifies this nonsense.  Take this gem:

Unfortunately, much of the present literature on which we rely to develop nursing curriculum, practice and health policies is presented, not only from a pakeha perspective but also with a strong
biomedical focus. This has proved to be of little use to Maori.

Post-modernist identity politics denies that modern medicine is of" little use" to people from a pre-modern culture.  Now I agree that being sensitive to the customs and beliefs of patients is entirely a sensible part of nursing, but this is simply treating people as individuals and customising providing services in ways that optimises their experience.  However, to treat medical science as being secondary or even almost dismiss it altogether is complete nonsense.

The insanity of not judging people's actions and capabilities as individuals, but as categorised groups, and the insanity of the denial of reality and objectivity are exactly what this little video identifies.  It's about time it was laughed at and challenged, because the philosophy and values behind it are not only irrational, but fundamentally corrosive to individual rights and freedoms to the point where, as in my previous post, those applying it become not only appeasers of fascism, but apply fascist techniques to their approach to any form of challenge.

The single biggest philosophical threat to our freedoms is not Islamism itself, nor a new generation of Marxism-Statism, but the entire edifice of post-modernist relativism and structuralism - for it is that which is hindering the policies and practices needed to confront the fascists from all sides.

So how far away from how things are is this?

Friday, November 06, 2015

Student Unions in the UK explicitly appeasing fascism

It's entirely logical.  The natural conclusion of the philosophy of post-modernist moral relativism, that refuses to apply moral judgment to those who engage in genocide, slavery and rape of women and children, incinerates prisoners of war, beheads those it simply dislikes (including children who do not submit to its religion) and kills men for being gay.  

For that is what University College London (student) Union has done, following on from the National Union of Students last year.  Brendan O'Neill in The Spectator writes more on what happened.  Basically, the Activities and Events Officer of UCLU (Asad Khan) said that a former student, who has fought with the Kurds in Syria to repel ISIS, could not talk about his experiences because "there are two sides and UCLU wants to avoid taking sides".

Moral relativism has hit its epitome in this act by Asad Khan.  I wonder if Mr Khan takes the same approach when confronted with any crimes.  Would he stop women talking about rape because "there are two sides"? Would someone talking about racist abuse be told that she couldn't talk without the alleged abuser being there because "there are two sides"?  I doubt it.  Asad Khan is a selective moral relativist, he only wants to appease mass murdering fascist religious fundamentalists who are explicitly sexist, racist, homophobic and touters of violence as the solution to any infringement.

NUS last year refused to approve a motion condemning ISIS because that would be "Islamophobic" and offensive.   As if this doesn't feed the belief of some that all Muslims are deep down supporters of the ideology and tactics of ISIS.

What this tells you is that student unions in the UK, which long have had remarkably selective morality about foreign affairs.  It goes without saying that for decades it rightly condemned apartheid, but never had anything to say about the slaughters of opponents by African dictatorships such as Robert Mugabe.  It's always been a friend of the Palestinians and opponent of Israel, but not so much the friend of the Iranian opposition to the regime.   In short, it has always been vehement against dictatorships and perceived oppression caused by the UK Government, the US, NATO member states or other Western regimes, but curiously quiet over any regimes that take on any of the above.   Standard far-left moral relativism which fits in perfectly with the current leader of the UK Labour Party.

Yet now, it should be abundantly clear to any students with a conscience, libertarian or even those who identify themselves as left-liberal (with the beliefs in secularism, free speech, feminism, LGBT rights), that the student union movement in the UK has now aligned itself with a far-left movement that is, at its core, fascist.

It's not that the student unions are completely amoral and relativist, demanding equal weight and time be given to all opinions on everything.   Like I said above, they would never take a stance on anything at that point, as all opinions are equally valid and it would be "disempowering" to take a stand which explicitly repudiates the views of others.  

No, they have views, it's just that the perspective that wins out, over everything, is fundamentally illiberal, intolerant and appeasing of fascism.  

A man who fought to protect civilians from violence, including murder, enslavement and women and children from rape, was not allowed to speak because those who would murder, enslave and rape deserve a hearing too.  What's that if not appeasement of fascism?

For that's what ISIS is, it is what the more "moderate" forms of Islamism (as seen in Iran, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States) are.  Islamofascism.  This is what the mainstream of the British left now tolerates because it is what the Labour Party leader (and his acolytes) now express as their standard view

It is what journalist and former Labour Party member Nick Cohen described in The New Statesman:

the fact remains that the Labour party has just endorsed an apologist for Putin’s imperial aggression; a man who did not just appear on the propaganda channel of Russia, which invades its neighbours and persecutes gays, but also of Iran, whose hangmen actually execute gays. Labour’s new leader sees a moral equivalence between 9/11 and the assassination of bin Laden, and associates with every variety of women-hating, queer-bashing, Jew-baiting jihadi, holocaust denier and 9/11 truther. His supporters know it, but they don’t care.

For those of us who are libertarians, we are used to the far-left appeasing soft communist regimes like Venezuela, which harasses the opposition media, stacks the courts, wrecks the economy and blames it all on US imperialism.  We are used to the far-left demanding civil liberties, but seeking to take the majority of some people's income, and some of their assets, to control their entrepreneurial activities and even more lately, curtail their freedom of speech because it might cause "offence".

However, now the mainstream left appeases the very people who would impose a tyranny that would take all that it claims to care for back to the dark ages.

Even when some of them oppose ISIS, they are willing to appease a lesser tyranny (Bashar Assad) that drops chemical weapons and barrel bombs civilians, presumably because Assad is ideologically aligned to the left.  After all, the Assad hereditary dictatorship has long been aligned to the USSR (and now Russia), been anti-Western, has repeatedly occupied Lebanon, waged war against Israel and backed Hezbollah, and is now backed by the Islamic Republic of Iran.  

This video from the BBC programme Daily Politics below reveals how Syrian opposition activists claim the self-styled (far left) "Stop The War Coalition" (which Jeremy Corbyn has long belonged to) has rallies against war in Syria to back the Assad dictatorship.  With a meeting chaired by Shadow International Aid Secretary Diane Abbott (a long standing hard-left Labour MP), "Stop the War"  refused to let any Syrians talk at a public meeting about "opposing war in Syria".

In essence, "Stop the War" coalition isn't opposed to war in Syria at all, simply opposed to Western intervention in the war.  As far as it is concerned, it doesn't want to know about the Assad regime bombing civilians and using chemical weapons, killing over 100,000, for it backs that side against both the small liberal opposition, and the wide swathe of Islamist opposition groups, including ISIS (but it doesn't support Western bombing of ISIS because the West can't do any good anywhere).

Hardly surprising, since mourner for the USSR and sycophant of multiple dictatorships, George Galloway, praised Bashar Assad:

I wouldn't be surprised if Galloway didn't seek to rejoin the Labour Party and become a candidate, presuming he loses his bid to be Mayor of London next year under his Islamofascist appeasing/Marxist RESPECT Party banner.

You'll find the same appeasement of Islamofascism in universities and increasingly the mainstream left all over the Western world, including the USA, Australia and New Zealand.  It is the banal end-result of combining identity politics (which deems all Muslims as "victims" deserving of special kid gloves treatment and tolerance, regardless of their own views) with the vacuous moral relativism of post-modernists philosophy (there being no such thing as objective reality or morality rooted in reason and values, just different cultural/identity perspectives).

In this environment, actual Islamofascists can shield themselves as being protected by those whose other values they despise.  Meanwhile, Muslims who seek to move towards more liberal values or apostate Muslims (who have converted to other religions or rejected religion) are largely ignored.  After all if you reject Islam, you're no longer a member of the oppressed identity.

In the 1930s, the far-left ignored and appeased Stalin, in the 1960s and 1970s it appeased Mao, today it appeases Islamofascism.  However today, the far-left IS the mainstream left.  In between patrolling language it considers racist, sexist and homophobic, it is providing succour for the most racist, sexist, homophobic band of terrorists seen in modern history.

It's time to call them out for what they are - appeasers and facilitators of fascism.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Wellington Airport Runway Extension: Definition of a Cargo Cult: Part One

For those unfamiliar with the term "cargo cult" it is a description of what might best be called as a naive practice of some cultures with low levels of scientific understanding and a high belief in animist religions that certain rituals will result in untold riches arriving from the skies.  Nowadays it is often shortened into "built it and they will come".

Such is the hype around the planned extension to the runway of Wellington Airport - a proposal that completely lacks pure commercial merit and has no net wider economic benefit - but is being promoted by the opportunistic, encouraged by the naive and to be paid for, largely, by those will get no benefit from it at all.

I say this as someone who grew up 1.5kms from the airport and knows a bit about the aviation sector, having recently been part of the team that reviewed over 50 proposals for expanding airport capacity in London.  I know Wellington Airport very well, and the likelihood that there will be long haul flights into that airport that will generate net benefits to Wellington ratepayers to recover the costs of subsidising the runway extension is very low indeed.

Let's remember the airport is a commercial concern, two-thirds owned by Infratil, which itself is not willing to contribute two-thirds of the capital costs of the project.  It's the owner of the other third - Wellington City Council - that is the problem, because it is willing to force ratepayers (along with other Wellington councils) to cough up half of the liability to boost the value of Infratil's investment. This in itself should cause both believers in the free market and socialists to baulk at public subsidy for a predominantly private entity, but no - they have cargo cult syndrome.

They believe that magically if an airport extension is built, there will be long haul flights from Wellington to Asia and the Middle East, making the city more attractive for business.  However, it is far from clear exactly:

- Why airlines will fly long haul to Wellington;
- Are the assumptions about the the benefits claimed valid?

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Abandoning foreign policy now means Pax Rus - is it what you wanted?

Whether it be left-wing activists of the so-called "peace" movement or libertarians who think that foreign policy should mean immediate withdrawal from the world, the recent events in Syria have demonstrated that when the USA, and with it the Western world, decides to withdraw from being involved in other countries, that others will fill the vacuum.

So it is that President Obama, who ridiculed Mick Romney's claim that Russia was a rising threat, has left the opponents of the Marxist/militarist hereditary dictatorship of Bashar Assad wide open to being attacked, by the air, by Vladimir Putin's unashamedly expansionist military.  

Dad and son, and their personality cult
Had Obama been true to the neutrality that the Nobel Peace Prize Committee had presumably rewarded him for "ex.ante", he would have said that there is no Western interest in what happens to Syria.  For indeed, his pitiful actions (a few airstrikes against Islamic State) have demonstrated not much above it.  In fact, I would have respected, if disagreed, with a position that replicates that of the nihilist libertarian isolationists who want the USA to withdraw from the world, and let Islamism grow, tyrants take over its friends and do nothing, until the first missile, bomber or terrorist controlled airliner strikes US soil (actually scrub that, for when the latter happens, even they think the response is NOT to attack those who harboured them).

If the so-called "land of the free" wants to withdraw from the world, then those of us who bear the consequences of that withdrawal better be prepared for the cost of this, but let's not pretend that the USA gives a damn about other peoples wanting to be lands of the free or escape tyranny.  That's their battle, and if others want to join in their oppression, don't pretend that it matters.

So to Syria.