Elections

Australian Constitutional scalps?

IMG_0766.JPG

Most Australians have no idea of the contents of our constitution. Dennis Denuto is probably one of the more versed. In America we know the 1st Ammendment is all about freedom of speech, the 2nd about the right to bear arms and we know what pleading the 5th is about. This is a list of Australian politicians who were born in countries other than Australia. Section 44 (i) of the Australian Constitution states, “Any person who is under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or citizen of a foreign power…shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives.”

Two Greens senators (Scott Ludlum & Larissa Waters) have recently resigned after being in breach of this. One has to question how anyone (much less politicians) are unaware that they are dual citizens. My kids are well aware of their dual nationality. Now we will see many of the above confirm their Australian citizenship.

Rules are rules. Regardless of whether these people have served their constituents in good faith, there is a requirement to change the constitution.

When one thought Australia had maxed out its ability to display a fractured political system, the constitution may well clean house.

3 maps which explain a lot

IMG_0743The chart above shows the average % change in housing prices in the US by county today vs that in 2000 according to a Harvard study. The following maps show the results of the 2008 and 2016 election by county. Could this be yet another basic concept showing why the US voted the way they did last election?

2008 – a hope for change

IMG_0744

2016 – the last 8 years didn’t help – time to vote for wholesale change

IMG_0745.PNG

Feel free to draw your own conclusions. These three maps to me voice the disgruntled who remain destitute after all this time.

How badly has CNN suffered since Russiagate fake news?

IMG_0730.JPG

Reality is that CNN set a ratings record In Q2 2017: It had its most-watched second quarter in network history across the 6 a.m. – 6 a.m stat. The network also delivered its best Q2 performance in the 25-54 demographic since 2003, Russiagate was working for rankings as the Q2 2016 comparables were strong on the back of pre presidential election town halls.

Despite these records CNN was the #3 cable news network for Q2 behind Fox (1.465mn) and MSNBC (886k) during the day. That said, CNN still managed to beat MSNBC in the total day demographic for the 13th consecutive quarter.

CNN more than doubled MSNBC in the 25-54 demographic and ranked No. 2 in total viewers behind FNC.

CNN produced a 10% jump in total prime time viewers and 19% lift in the key 25-54 age bracket vs Q2 2016. Total day was even stronger, 25% hike in total viewers and 39% among 25-54s.

Below are CNN’s Q2 2017average live-plus-same-day stats according to Nielsen:

Prime time (Mon-Sun): 1,055,000 total viewers & 363,000 (25-54)
Total Day (Mon-Sun): 788,000 total viewers  & 262,000 (25-54)

As of June 27 post the “nothing burger” the following was seen

Prime time (Mon-Sun): 970,000 (-8.1%) total viewers & 363,000 (25-54) (-1.9%)
Total Day (Mon-Sun): 726,000 (-7.9%) total viewers & 236,000 (25-54) (-10.0%)

IMG_0731

IMG_0729

As of June 29 the stats were

Prime time (Mon-Sun): 1.239mn (+13.2%) total viewers & 424,000 (25-54) (+16.8%)
Total Day (Mon-Sun): 818,000 (+3.8%) total viewers & 254,000 (25-54) (-3.1%).

While a few days do not a trend make it is interesting to see that viewership hasn’t collapsed since the open resignations of CNN staff who openly admitted they had made up a lot of the Russiagate story.

Perhaps it runs deeper. If you want to get a daily fix of Trump-hating on TV that isn’t nearly enough in WaPo or NYTimes print form then CNN ir MSNBC is still a viable place to feed it. Perhaps many of their viewers don’t actually want to hear the truth. Only the stuff that feeds their Trump derangement syndrome. It is hard to conclude a different answer when the network openly admits it is spewing lies to get ratings. Seems to be a strategy that is working.

Abe’s LDP smashed in Tokyo Municipal Assembly election

IMG_9196.JPG

Has populism has found its way to Tokyo? Not really. PM Shinzo Abe’s LDP, which has ruled Japan at a national level for decades) bar a few periods was smashed in the Tokyo Municipal Assembly elections yesterday. Tokyo Gov Yuriko Koike had split from the LDP to form the Tomin First (Tokyo-ites First) Party. She won 49 seats (out of 50 contested) from 6 held before the election in the 127 seat Municipal Assembly. The LDP went from 57 to 23, 15 less that its worst ever showing to date. Even the Communist Party gained seats at the expense of the LDP.

Koike’s popularity (despite sliding from 74% to 59%  over the dithering around Tsukiji Fish Market redevelopment) has been driven by the idea of ‘transparency’ in government policy decision making, a clamp down on wasteful spending and accountable government.

Abe’s LDP on the other hand has been embroiled in scandal after scandal and citizens of the capitol were not prepared to be taken for mugs (although only 33% showed up to vote). Whether it be the out-of-control screaming of recently resigned LDP member Mayuko Toyoda to her staffer, the favouritism shown in the Kake Gakuen scandal to PM Abe’s long term friend, the sale of government land at a 90% discount to set up a nationalist school (Moritomo Gakuen) or even the PM being booed on the campaign trail, voters let the LDP know that they’re sick of old school establishment politics. A national election is still some 18 months off.

The bigger issue being debated is whether Koike’s party could make serious inroads into the LDP at a national level putting Abenomics and ultra loose monetary policy on the back burner. The LDP’s national junior coalition party (Komeito) had backed Koike’s Tomin First since last year after the LDP balked at salary cuts for Tokyo Municipal Assembly politicians.

Abe tried to hose down the talks of the rise of Tomin First arguing they were like the Japan New Party which floundered after success in the 1993 Tokyo Municipal Assembly elections. They promised much but ended up disbanding despite Koike being 2IC.

Abe will no doubt crank up public spending in the regional areas to support prefectures with rapidly aging populations. What many overlook is that Japan is still backed by an aging society. Despite all the wishes of the youth for reform, the elderly will continue to grow as a % of the voter base as the population decreases. This means policy will need to be serving the silver-haired.

Abe can’t dismiss these dreadful results out of hand. The citizens of Tokyo are livid at the LDP’s antics. Yet a 33% (+2%) turnout suggests voter apathy is still alive and kicking. Abe isn’t going to be finished by this but the party needs a long hard look at itself. The voters are suitably upset. Is this a wave of populism a la Trump or Brexit? Not really. Japan continues to suffer from lacking a credible opposition which means inexperienced parties often fail in their first term. Every now and again the LDP gets sent a warning shot before business as usual returns.

Egyptian TV host defends the West’s attitudes toward Islamic terror

IMG_0716.JPG

Not many will have seen this video because the mainstream media is loathe to publish anything remotely balanced these days. Egyptian TV host Youssef Al-Husseini launched a scathing attack on Islamic terrorism post the Finsbury Park mosque attack and said “The terror attack that unfortunately took place [in London] was a vehicular attack. This time, it was near a mosque, if you follow the news. How can anyone decide to carry out a terror attack near a place of worship – near a mosque, a church, or any temple where God is worshipped? In all the previous vehicular attacks, at least in 2016 and 2017, the “heroes” were, unfortunately, Muslims. And then people wonder why they hate us. Why do they hate us?! If they didn’t, there would be something mentally wrong with them. [We] use weapons all the time, slaughter people all the time, flay people all the time, burn people alive all the time, run people over all the time, and plant explosive devices and car bombs all the time. Why do you still expect them to love you?”

As written on the day of the London mosque attack, it was an unquestionably despicable act. This tit-for-tat terrorism serves no purpose other than to trigger further escalation on both sides. No sooner had a white terrorist run down a group of worshippers outside a mosque than another depraved individual tried to detonate a suicide vest in Brussels’ Central Station supposedly yelling “Allahu Akbar“. The sad aspect of terrorism in the West today is that it is happening on such a regular basis that many people are becoming numbed to it.

However the mosque attack was the such a bad turning point. The UK government is ill equipped to deal with it now. Should they mobilize the full compliment of 80,000 British Army soldiers and 27,000 reservists to guard the 2,000-odd mosques in the UK? Is putting barricades on footpaths a real solution? Do Brits want to see tanks parked outside Westminster or Trafalgar Square? Should x-ray machines be installed at every train or bus station? Is that a sustainable solution to the problem giving birth to vigilantes? People want action, not politically correct hand-wringing. They are sick of being told to suck it up and embrace ‘stronger together’ and ‘diversity is our strength’ or ‘terrorism is a fact of any big city’ style pandering. The majority of people are tolerant but there is a tipping point of common sense where they stop believing we win acceptance from jihadis by denying our own identities. Governments prefer to take the soft approach which only offers a safe haven to the activities that end up devastating even more innocent lives.

The idea peddled by limp wristed governments that Muslims need special protection only makes it worse. ALL citizens of any denomination, race or background deserve to feel safe. Yes, everyone knows it is a radical minority that is causing the problems. There is a paramount need to work with the Muslim community to root out those that only bring more distrust. No, it isn’t a license to condone bigotry either. However unless they feel we are ‘truly’ standing behind them rather than virtue signaling from the safety of a smartphone nothing will get better. That is an absolute. The further governments repress  the freedom of people to openly express their feelings the worse it will get.

We are taught from the earliest age that two wrongs don’t make a right. The rise of vigilantism is a natural reaction to governments that stick to the politically correct dialogue and skirt around the issues by trying to gag people whether by law (Canada’s M-103) or threat. Politicians cannot win the will of the people by shutting them up. They have to listen. Because the government isn’t listening militia will spawn and do what they deem necessary for the public interest, The last thing government needs is the widespread growth of people taking the law into their own hands. There are two things that ran through the mind of truck attacker Darren Osborne – he’d either be killed or be locked up for a long time after committing his terror. That is a pretty big price to pay but one he obviously thought worth paying.

To quote Al-Husseini again,

What have the Muslims shown [the West] other than the bombing of their capital cities? What have the Muslims shown them other than vehicular attacks? What have the Muslims shown them other than shooting at them? What have the Muslims shown them other than burning them alive in cages? They burn other Muslims alive as well. They all claim to have a monopoly over Islam. What have the Muslims shown [the Westerners] to make them love them, and welcome them in their countries?…

…The Muslims are constantly whining, lamenting, and wailing: The West is conspiring against us. Fine, let’s assume that the West is conspiring against you and only sees your negative image. Where is your positive image? The Muslims of the Abbasid state presented a positive image. They exported scientific research through the so-called “Muslim” scholars, most of whom, by the way, were not from the Arabian Peninsula. None of them were from the Arabian Peninsula. They were all from North Africa, and from what are now called the former Soviet Islamic republics of central Asia…

…What have the Arab countries contributed to the world? Nothing. What have the Islamic countries contributed to the world? Nothing. What have they contributed in the field of scientific research? Two, three, four, or ten scientists in the course of 1,435 years? C’mon, man! Let’s forget about 435 years and keep just one millennium. Ten important scientists in 1,000 years?! Who invented the airplane? The missile? The space shuttle? Centrifuges? Quantum mechanics? The Theory of Relativity? Who? Where did the most important philosophers come from? Not from here. And you still expect them to love us?! And then you say: “Terror-sponsoring countries like Britain deserve…” Nonsense! People do not deserve to be killed, slaughtered, or run over by a car.”

Al-Husseini makes some very valid points yet why does the media not choose to highlight his stance? The irony of those who have seen his video clip is the social media comment section. Even those who take quite a strong stance on diversity and tolerance joked along the lines of  “is he still alive?” Doesn’t that sort of truly reveal the inner feelings of people rather than the public perception they seek to portray openly for fear of recrimination? We should applaud Al-Husseini’s bravery to speak out like this. His comments are exactly the type of bold response that throws the West’s constant rolling over into the dustbin. We can be sure Al-Husseini’s comments are heartfelt and a wish for all to climb out from behind the protection of identity politics and embrace ‘reality’.

Since Osborne’s truck attack, Tommy Robinson’s book ‘Enemy of the State’ is now the number one selling book on Kindle and paperback. So UK government, are you sure you understand the mood of the nation? They are more than likely to back Mr Al-Husseini’s views than yours.

Trump thump in 2018 Mid-terms?

IMG_0715

In what was largely seen as a referendum on the first months of Trump’s presidency, voters dispelled the myth that Democrats would make much easier work in coming elections due to his constant outbursts, tweets and negative media coverage. As the glum faces of the CNN panel show, the Democrats need to wake up to the fact that Trump’s poll ratings aren’t causing the desired effect at the voting booth as Republican Karen Handel won. Director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics Larry Sabato stated,

For Democrats, obviously, it’s pretty depressing. … I think, if Democrats learn a lesson from this election, it’s that the euphoria that they’ve felt for the last several months as Donald Trump has fallen in the polls and they began to believe that this would be — not easy, but doable to take over the House of Representatives and eventually replace Donald Trump, that euphoria is gone, and it’s replaced with reality. And the reality is, it’s going to be a long, twilight struggle, day in and day out, if they’re going to be able to re-take the House and eventually defeat Donald Trump. It won’t be easy. It may not be possible.”

Once again the mainstream media conveniently forgets its ‘trust’ rating is lower than the Donald’s. That’s not a badge of honour for either. Objectively his style is far from statesmanlike. Yet other world leaders do not exactly treat the leader of the world’s largest economy and military with the cordiality due. Two events spring to mind – Australian Prime Minister Turnbull’s Midwinter ball speech mocking a wounded ally and Macron’s snub at the G-7 followed by his arrogant invite for conditional US citizens to leave America for France. Of course such discourse was lapped up by the liberal mainstream media.

Instead of convincing Trump to come to reason, they kick him out of the geopolitical sandpit and then cry foul when he acts out in his own interest. Don’t expect all the 2018 mid-terms to be a complete pushover for the Democrats. The Hillary Clinton campaign imploded on this very strategy. Theresa May fell for the same negligent attitude which cost her so dearly two weeks ago. Voters want to be heard, not taken for mugs. Once again, celebrities who bent over backwards to help Democrat candidate Jon Ossoff, had the same effect on voters – NONE

Is Tommy Robinson in the minority with a #2 rank book on Amazon?

IMG_0711.PNG

There is no moral equivalence to be drawn here with this latest attack outside Finsbury mosque in London. Innocent people were mown down by a van driven by someone filled with rage and hate. Social media is already screaming “bigot, racist, terrorist, anti-Muslim, radical” but there is a much bigger point not being addressed. The social boiling point is being reached much more rapidly than the media will admit.  Tommy Robinson was accused across social media for inspiring anti-Muslim rhetoric and fueling this person to commit the crime. His tweets matched his long standing convictions and predictions. Perhaps everyone who has bought Tommy’s book “Enemy of the State”  (ranked #2 book on Amazon UK, #131 in Canada and #2375 in America & now $350 on paperback) could be a risk of commiting such acts if that is the generalization. Of course it is nonsense. By the measure of the sales success perhaps his views maybe more mainstream than the negative ‘extreme’ moniker that is often hurled at him.

Could it be argued that a growing number of people are growing sick and tired of random jihadi attacks and see this book as a guide on how the government isn’t  handling the problem? That was not a intended to be a fact checking laced comment rather pointing out that many people potentially share his supposed ‘patriotic’ view as demonstrated by the commerciality of his writing. This is no longer a pure jihadi problem but one that is now likely to become tit-for-tat terrorism which carries far more negative connotations.

Think beyond the all too common propensity to push prejudices by lashing out on social media with little thought to trying to understand the full arguments of alternative views. Do we take a book review from apologists as fact when most of those have probably never read his book cover to cover? I am reading it because I want to form my own judgement rather than rely on others’ bias. He has strong views but no better way than self vetting. I’ve read Mein Kampf in what must be the most appalling book ever written – grammatically and content-wise. For one whose family escaped the deaths camps of Poland, trying to understand the ravings of Hitler brought added perspective to the horror although some might conclude reading it is an endorsement. It is not.

Innocents are dead or injured in this attack on Fisnbury Park Mosque. If indeed Tommy has a minority view, most people wouldn’t buy his book. Are all the people that buy it racist? Even if one thinks they are then even more reason to say that the government’s current pandering to political correctness won’t solve these hate fueled events whether radical jihadis or right (left?) wing nutters. Do violent video games incite massacres? Are all ‘Brexiters’ a carbon copy of the man who murdered Labour politician Jo Cox days before the referendum?  Do we need to bring in Islamophobic legislation like Canada (Bill M-103) to shut down people expressing concern? No, No and No. Current policy approaches are having the opposite effect as this attack proves.

At the time of the Manchester bombing I warned that vigilantism would be an ugly side effect of endless political correctness. Coincidentally Robinson suggested similar views about the rise of vigilantes after that post in a vlog. Wasting a lot of time on what  motivated the driver to commit such a terrible crime is not necessary. It is obvious. It is a revenge attack. This is highly likely to be a person screaming out for something to be done about a problem he obviously doesn’t think is being handled properly by elected officials. He probably viewed himself as a vigilante even if that title might be an overreach in this instance.  This in no way defends his despicable actions. One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter was often used by IRA sympathisers. Still it doesn’t in anyway condone killing or maiming innocents, no matter what ideology, faith, race or background they come from. It is plain awful. The majority of people would agree with that view.

Revenge attacks and reprisals only exacerbate a rapidly deteriorating relationship. However trying to say the perpetrator proves that not all such attacks are driven by radical Islam doesn’t address the core of the problem. The majority of good people (note a deliberate statement not to go down the identity politics line) want an end to innocent deaths at the hands of extremists but if free speech and the ability to tackle radicalism (wherever it lies) aren’t openly addressed these events will sadly continue. It should be totally in the interests of the majority of ‘good’ Muslims (I detest that phraseology) to want to stop radicals from collectivising their faith with what they perceive is the wrong interpretation. Common sense would say they are the most important link in the chain to weed out those who want to kill in the name of Allah. They need to be front and centre of the debate.

What the UK government (and other governments) have created is a monster of their own making. Candles, flowers, lit monuments, avatars, expressions of sympathy and ‘love conquers hate’ posts dodge the need to have a serious debate on the problem. Now we have seen first hand a real openly targeted revenge attack in the UK, people need less sanctimonious posturing on social media and focus their energies on truly understanding what is at stake. That is to ditch the liberal hand-wringing and have an open debate on the problem. Robinson’s book isn’t selling in the volumes it is by chance. Politicians should pay attention to this trend. It is not about arguing about whether he is right or wrong but noting the simmering underbelly of a growing number of people fed up with inaction. This is the end of the beginning not the beginning of the end.