Virtue signaling is really blame laying in disguise

Sri Lanka’s President has demanded the resignation of two top security officials after the Easter Sunday terrorr attack after it emerged key intelligence on attack targeting churches was withheld from ministers.

The perpetrators were educated in the UK and Australia. The question asks itself. What role did trendy Western fads play in unleashing this ISIS plague on the world?

Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene described the bombers as middle to upper class men whose families were financially stable and said many of them held degrees.
Some of them had studied abroad, with at least one gaining a bachelor’s degree in the UK before going to Australia for post-graduate studies, then settling in Sri Lanka, he said.
The group were united in their belief that Islam should be the only religion in Sri Lanka, and that was what motivated their attack on Sunday.

Daily Mail

The New Zealand PM said there was connection between the NZ mosque attacks and the Sri Lankan church bombings despite reports to the contrary.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Wednesday that her government was not aware of any intelligence suggesting that a devastating attack on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka was in retaliation for deadly shootings on a mosques in Christchurch.

Sri Lanka’s junior minister for defence, Ruwan Wijewardene, told parliament on Tuesday that an initial investigation had revealed the bombings on churches and hotels, which killed 321 people, had been carried out in revenge for deadly shootings in two New Zealand mosques on March 15.


But is that really so? The narrative all but proclaimed “we did it … we are guilty” even though the mosque perp was neither Kiwi nor Christian. Having admitted the sin was it not reasonable to expect someone would administer the penance upon the most defenseless?

As Marx said “every giant … presupposes a dwarf, every genius a hidebound philistine”. So then does every virtue signal presuppose a designated sinner. Virtue signaling is really another way of saying “blame them … blame them”.

This is why the Western virtuous wore hijabs, partly in solidarity but partly to say “I am not as these sinners”, meaning not the perp but what the virtuous believed the perp represented. Maybe Gaia forgives but ISIS does not.


We are getting a glimpse of hybrid warfare, American style

For the first time, the United States government is offering a multi-million dollar reward for those who provide accurate information about the finances and activities of the Hezbollah terrorist group; a tempting offer for some Venezuelans with classified information.
The amount offered by the State Department is up to USD $10 million for information that helps interrupt Hezbollah financing anywhere in the world. The Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said that Hezbollah has active cells in Venezuela and South America.

Panama Post

Offensive cyberwar

NEARLY THREE YEARS after the mysterious group called the Shadow Brokers began disemboweling the NSA’s hackers and leaking their hacking tools onto the open web, Iran’s hackers are getting their own taste of that unnerving experience. For the last month, a mystery person or group has been targeting a top Iranian hacker team, dumping their secret data, tools, and even identities onto a public Telegram channel—and the leak shows no signs of stopping.
Since March 25, a Telegram channel called Read My Lips or Lab Dookhtegan—which translates from Farsi as “sewn lips”—has been systematically spilling the secrets of a hacker group known as APT34 or OilRig, which researchers have long believed to be working in service of the Iranian government. So far, the leaker or leakers have published a collection of the hackers’ tools, evidence of their intrusion points for 66 victim organizations across the world, the IP addresses of servers used by Iranian intelligence, and even the identities and photographs of alleged hackers working with the OilRig group.


Secret baloney

The CIA thought the USSR would overtake the US as the world’s largest economy in 1992. The article tries to understand how such a tremendous intelligence failure could take place. Part of the reason was because the wrong estimates were ‘secret knowlege’ and therefore they must be true. It was secret baloney. Errors do not become truth by classifying them.

Secrecy: the American Experience

To be fair there was a lot of unclassified baloney as well. According to the predictions of 1970 Earth Day the world should have ended by now. Unlike classified baloney this sort of error derives its authority from virtue. We believe it not because it is secret but because it sounds high minded. However it can be wrong just the same.

Intelligence failures have not stopped. The world institutions want to forget how ISIS rose because it was yet another case where they didn’t — or wouldn’t — see it coming.
Watch the video. The scale of destruction. The multitudes of victims. It was quite a show and a reminder that “won’t see” has the same effect as “cannot see”.

We all move on because what else can you do but shamble toward our new certainties, secret forecasts, virtuous predictions. But the future is uncertain, full of marvels and terrors unforeseen but nobody wants to tell you that.

Designated target

The irony in the story that the Sri Lanka church attacks were a retaliation for NZ is the New Zealand attacker was neither a Christian nor a New Zealander. The ‘Easter Worshippers’ are just a designated target.

So what happens? The New Zealanders get their guns confiscated and the Sri Lankan Christians are bombed. Yet somehow this is supposed to make sense.

Sri Lanka minister says initial investigation shows Easter Sunday bombings were in retaliation for New Zealand mosque attack … two domestic Islamist organizations, including National Thawheed Jama’ut, are responsible for the attacks


The NZ killer said of himself:

The country he feels he has the “closest political and social values” to is China.
When it comes to religion, he says that whether he is a Christian “is complicated”.

Sky News

The saga of “Fort Trump”

Since 2014, NATO strategists have focused much of their attention on a forty-mile-wide stretch of border between Poland and Lithuania called the Suwalki Gap (pronounced ‘Soo-vow-kee’). The gap’s two highways are the only land corridor by which NATO troops could reinforce its Baltic member states in event of a conflict with Russia. …
To the west of the Gap is the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, which hosts over 15,000 Russian troops and bristles with heavy artillery and long-range ballistic and anti-aircraft missiles.
To the east of the gap is the authoritarian state of Belarus, which is nominally allied with Russia despite increasing tensions between its long-term dictator Alexander Lukashenko and Moscow. Russian forces are already deployed in Belarus and have been accorded passage from there to Kaliningrad. However, Belarus’s cooperation with Russia in a conflict with NATO is not guaranteed.
Thus the “gap” is a natural chokepoint Russia could potentially assail from multiple directions to pinch off columns of NATO troops attempting to reinforce the Baltics.


Poland’s government is interested in establishing a permanent U.S. military presence in their country and they’re willing to pay for it.
The Polish defense ministry said there is a “clear and present need for a permanent U.S. armored division deployed in Poland,” and is willing to provide financial backing to host the soldiers that could reach $2 billion, according to a copy of the proposal obtained by Polish news outlet Onet.

Army Times

The rises of fanaticism

“Secularism” is on the decline in the West too. It’s full of fanatics. Secularism requires not the absence of belief, but the absence of fanaticism. Odd that it should have reached its peak in the early 2000s when much that is now deemed anathema was prevalent.

“JAKARTA, Indonesia — The deadly attacks in Sri Lanka on Sunday highlighted how easily religious coexistence can be ripped apart in a region where secularism is weakening amid the growing appeal of a politics based on ethnic and sectarian identity.
In India, the country’s governing right-wing Hindu party is exploiting faith for votes, pushing an us-versus-them philosophy that has left Muslims fearing they will be lynched if they walk alone.
In Myanmar, the country’s Buddhist generals have orchestrated a terrifying campaign of ethnic cleansing against the country’s Rohingya Muslims.”

New York Times

Runaway train

If the investigation based on the Steele dossier represents a ‘coup attempt’ has it started a runaway train by provoking a backlash? Or is there some way of getting the locomotive back on track?

But they felt as an insurance policy that Donald Trump for a variety of reasons–culturally, politically, socially–was unacceptable as president. And the very thought that he could be president was so foreign and disruptive that they felt they had a higher duty, a higher loyalty to stop that. So what did they do? They started to surveil his campaign, and they put informants we know into his campaign.

Legal Insurrection

The locomotive may get back on track but the probability is it will be a different track. Things will settle, not in the old equilibrium but a new one.

The events since 2016 — Brexit, the new Cold War, the inability of Trump to become an ‘old consensus’ President — suggests the old world has hit a fork where the old code base diverges to produce different tracks.

The four possible outcomes of a fork based on competition are:

  1. The death of the fork.
  2. A re-merging of the fork
  3. The death of the original branch
  4. Successful branching, two systems emerge.

We are likely to be entering a period of competition both within countries and internationally. Trump’s plan to release illegal aliens into sanctuary cities is likely to be the opening salvo of differentiation.

Two systems, in fact n-systems can coexist provided there’s an interface that allows them to cooperate in nondestructive ways. We are likely to become members of subnational affinity groups separated from others by virtual walls.

We already know what that branching looks like. The homeless man and hipster live side by side in many Western cities. However they are separated by credentials. Ultimately all they will need is a palmprint or facial recognition.

Maybe the world belongs to not to those who stop dystopia but whoever can make a buck from it.

Open borders suck the lifeblood from poor countries

The solution to failing states is to fix them in situ. It’s not always compassionate to turn 3rd world doctors into taxidrivers. The open borders philosophy may designed for the elites more than the poor.

Across the region, governments are struggling to deal with the consequences of many of their most talented young people leaving and while many politicians in the region have played on fears of immigration to win support, research has shown that concern over emigration is more acute. 

An estimated 3.4 million Romanians left the country in the decade after EU accession, according to a study by Romanian business leaders, while the ministry of health estimates that 43,000 doctors departed during the period. A study by the US-based Population Reference Bureau, meanwhile, forecast Romania’s population will fall by 22% by 2050, the steepest projected global decline, due to a combination of emigration, high mortality and low birth rates. Neighbouring Bulgaria has a similarly worrying forecast.


UK Women Promote ‘BirthStrike’ Baby Ban to Prevent ‘Eco-Armageddon’

“It is basically a scientific consensus that the lives of our children are going to be very difficult, and it does lead young people to have a legitimate question: is it OK to still have children?” the Democrat representative wondered aloud.

Bristol-based eco-activist Alice Brown, who was one of the first to sign up to BirthStrike, joined Pepino on the UK media circuit this week to talk about their concerns for the future and urge other British women to think twice before bringing children into the world.


New at Belmont: So you don’t believe in the devil

But do you believe in memes?

Belmont Club

There’s something on the loose

As Christians in Sri Lanka gathered on Sunday morning to celebrate Easter Mass, powerful explosions ripped through three churches packed with worshipers, leaving hundreds of victims amid a havoc of splintered and blood-spattered pews.New York Times.

Convincing the world he doesn’t exist is only the 2nd greatest trick the ever Devil pulled. Persuading you that you and all you believe in don’t deserve to exist is the far more impressive achievement.

“Deniers” win in Alberta

Alberta’s new premier plans to abolish the carbon tax. Jason Kenney, the newly elected premier, is set to clash with Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister


Canada’s opposition conservatives won a clear victory in provincial elections in oil-rich Alberta Tuesday, in a setback for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his environmental policies just six months ahead of national polls.
The United Conservative Party won a large majority in the legislature, with its Jason Kenney set to become Alberta premier, according to Canadian television projections.
Kenny, a minister in the government of Trudeau’s predecessor Stephen Harper, will unseat the leftist New Democrats led by Alberta premier Rachel Notley.
In contrast to 2015 when Trudeau came to power and most of Canada’s provinces were led by fellow Liberals, he now faces the prospect of a phalanx of conservative premiers lining up against him.

France 24

Trump reverses Obama era Cuba policies

From the new basing plans in Poland, to the rebuild of the US military, to a hardline vs Cuba it’s getting harder to see Trump as Putin’s stooge.

The Trump administration on Wednesday rescinded several Obama-era policies toward Cuba, while imposing tough sanctions against Venezuela and Nicaragua – as part of a new crackdown on what National Security Adviser John Bolton dubbed the “three stooges of socialism.”


Regulatory capture

A Florida man was convicted Friday of running an 18-year, $1.3 billion health-care fraud that prosecutors called the largest such scheme ever charged by the Justice Department.
Philip Esformes, a 50-year-old Miami Beach resident, used a network of nursing homes and assisted-living facilities in South Florida to defraud U.S. government health-care programs while providing inadequate and unnecessary care to patients, prosecutors said. …

Prosecutors said Esformes bribed doctors to admit patients to the facilities he operated. The patients didn’t get appropriate care and sometimes received unnecessary services for which Esformes then billed the U.S. government. Esformes also bribed a Florida state regulator to learn about surprise inspections of company facilities ahead of time, prosecutors said.


Former Peruvian president kills self while being arrested

Caught up in Operation Car Wash, which has rocked leaders in Latin America.

Peru’s former president Alan Garcia, 69, died in hospital after taking his life as police were about to arrest him at his home in a sprawling corruption case.
The health ministry said Garcia died at 1.05am Thursday of “a massive cerebral haemorrhage from a gunshot wound and cardiorespiratory arrest”.

ABC Australia

You can be equally slaves

The fundamental challenge that Tocqueville’s book poses to American dogma arises from his refusal to assume that equality and freedom are always mutually reinforcing. The American creed since the Declaration of Independence and especially since Lincoln has linked the two values, assuming that an increase in one naturally accompanies an increase in the other. Tocqueville suggested that we tend to ignore the threats that equality poses to freedom. Freedom was not, like equality, a naturally expanding feature of society. Nor was it a necessary consequence of equality of conditions.
It is too simple to say that Tocqueville presented equality and freedom as principles sometimes in tension with one another. His point was different. Equality was not merely a moral principle. Nor was it merely a material fact. More fundamentally, equality was a passion that gave rise to a certain dynamic in politics. Freedom, on the other hand, he portrayed as a set of skills and habits that required practice, an art that could be learned but also forgotten. The danger of democratic life, Tocqueville thought, was that the passion for equality would lead us to stop practicing the art of freedom.

Tablet Magazine

Equality can be the byproduct of freedom only when it arises out of free association. Mandatory equality is not equality at all, for those who govern the system will be more equal than others.

Meme extinction

The definition of a meme

Dilbert walks into a meeting and asks, “Who called this meeting?” The male coworker replies, “We thought you did.” The coworker continues, “I think we should discuss issues and assign tasks so it’s not a complete waste of time.” Dilbert responds, “Maybe meetings have become a lifeform capable of calling themselves and thus reproducing via human hosts.”


Can memes go extinct? If they spread by natural selection why doesn’t socialism go extinct? Or perhaps socialists would prefer this question: why doesn’t religion go extinct?

Perhaps nothing goes extinct, the dinosaurs included. They simply change form — into birds — in this case. The Tower of Babel may be with us still in the form of the GND. The Tower didn’t fall, it’s simply hidden information.

Someone else wrote: “Ideas can be spontaneously generated which is why the cannot go extinct. A lineage could die out; if the last person who believed in it and all records of it were destroyed so it couldn’t infect new hosts. But then another human could independently come up with the same idea.”
That is like the Boltzmann Brain scenario. Given enough time everything will happen again and again. And thus, even if the Greenies succeed in killing off conscious life to let Gaia live, nature will try again and eventually the Greenies lose.