Wednesday, May 30, 2018

"Disappearing" Tommy Robinson

The UK government made a big mistake arresting Tommy Robinson over the weekend, then made it far worse by immediately ordering a media blackout. Within hours of his arrest, Robinson was sentenced to thirteen months in jail. That could well be a death sentence because Muslim inmates have threatened to kill him. They beat him within an inch of his life when he was serving an earlier sentence. Other Muslims have threatened to kill his family as well.

Robinson was arrested outside a British court for reporting on the trial of Muslim men for molesting hundreds of young girls. It’s a story mainstream media refused to cover for more than a decade until two women: Professor Alexis Jay and Dame Louise Casey investigated and reported on what the Yorkshire Post described as:

“[a] sexual exploitation scandal in which an estimated 1,400 victims were abused over a 16-year period in the town — largely by men of a Pakistani-heritage background… and the blatant failures by senior figures at Rotherham Council over the town’s child abuse scandal — and alleged attempts to cover up what was happening.”

Evidently social workers, police, and the highest officials in local Rotherham government chose not only to avert their eyes, but hide it all. Media cooperated by ignoring the story. Rotherham is only one example of what is happening across the UK and much of Europe as millions of Arab and African Muslims flood into EU countries. Rapes have skyrocketed, but EU governments continue to do what Rotherham officials have done: pretend it’s not happening, and when it is reported, cover up who the rapists are.
How could such a thing go on in Rotherham for so long? When asked why they refused to act, officials there said that, because of who the molesters were, they were afraid of being called “racist” if they brought attention to it. But people who live in working-class neighborhoods, however, knew what was going on. They also knew government and media were denying the problem and still are. How do they feel about it? To borrow a chant from an old movie, many are shouting: “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

One of them is Tommy Robinson who grew up in working-class Luton, an industrial town of 167,000 people with a large Muslim population. He’s been arrested and imprisoned numerous times for protesting radical Islam in the UK. Robinson isn’t afraid of being called “racist.” He knows the charge is ludicrous and has developed an immunity. So have other working class Europeans across the continent. Only elite, multicultural Euroweenies fear the word now. Radical Muslim sex traffickers hide behind it.

New Hampshire’s Mark Steyn, who published two books on the Islamization of Europe which were best sellers across the English-speaking world, describes the situation

“On Friday, Robinson was live-streaming (from his telephone) outside Leeds Crown Court where last week's Grooming Gang of the Week were on trial for ‘grooming' — the useless euphemism for industrial-scale child gang rape and sex slavery by large numbers of Muslim men with the active connivance of every organ of the state: social workers, police, politicians. Oh, and also the media.”

Steyn calls the proceedings in Leeds a “Grooming Gang of the Week” trial because there were several such sex slavery rings operating with impunity around the UK until Professor Alexis Jay and Dame Louise Casey exposed the coverup in Rotherham. Now the British government is trying to silence Robinson for covering trials using streaming video on his iPhone, but it’s already backfiring. On Tuesday, the Drudge Report published a link to a story: “Britons Rage Over Robinson Arrest As Mass Protests Break Out Worldwide.”

European government and media elites are learning that they cannot brush off ordinary citizens as the equivalent of Hillary’s “Deplorables” or Obama’s “Bitter Clingers.” They’ll continue to do so at their peril because muzzling free speech, jailing dissidents for “hate speech” and “breach of the peace” aren’t working. Such practices only shine a brighter light on results of failed, multicultural, European immigration policies.

Our founding fathers understood that one of the functions of our First Amendment right to freedom of speech is that of a safety valve. As people express dissatisfaction with government, debate ensues. There’s discussion. Policy changes can be proposed. That’s how democracy is supposed to work. Closing off public anger entirely the way multicultural elites have in the UK is dangerous.

Robinson never claimed all Muslim men are rapists. Neither did Donald Trump claim that all Mexican illegals were rapists, but media continue to claim they did. Trump would not be silenced and gained the White House. Neither will Robinson, but now he’s in danger of being killed by Muslim gangs in prison. If that happens, expect hell to break loose across Europe.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Left and Right May 23, 2018

Mark Guerringue, publisher of the Conway Daily Sun, Berlin Daily Sun, Laconia Daily Sun, and the Portland Phoenix, again fills in for Gino.

We start with gun control, shootings in schools, other pathologies affecting young white men and boys. Australia gun buy-back program. Russia/Trump collusion investigation is unraveling, Tom claims. Mark claims Trump is squirming. Mark claims Hillary is old news and questions whether she ever committed any crimes.

Tom says white farmers fleeing South Africa as their lands are confiscated and given to black farmers. They're also being killed. Mark cites increasing violence throughout the country.

Mark reveals that the Conway Daily Sun purchased the Home and Flower Show at Fryeburg Fair and 20 of the 120 exhibitors were cannabis related. He said they were the most popular exhibitors by far.

Canada requires use of transgender-selected pronouns by law. "Cultural Appropriation" movement. Backlash against PC culture on campus. Will new "radicals" on campus be anti-PC?

Monday, May 21, 2018

I Love Maps

Maine has the second largest collection of globes in the country housed at the Osher Map Library on the campus of the University of Southern Maine in Portland. Only the Library of Congress has more. The Osher Library also contains more than 400,000 maps of all kinds and over 7000 have been digitized according to the Library’s web site.

Prior to computers, maps were the best way to organize many kinds of knowledge. As a teacher my classroom was full of them. Seven were pull-downs and I still miss being able to walk over and pull one down like a shade to study it when something happens in a remote part of the world. As things change politically, maps have to depict new national boundaries, especially after wars, but the old maps will always be valuable as historical references.

Topographic maps don’t change nearly as fast — only after a lot of volcanic and tectonic activity. Depending on how extensive the eruption in Hawaii becomes, local maps may need modification. Last month I toured Civita di Bagnoregio — a town perched on the head of a pin which is all that remains of once-thriving Italian town founded by Etruscans over 2500 years ago. In the 17th century it had 2500 people but now only ten live there year-round. Most of the town has fallen away due to earthquake activity and erosion and what remains is a small butte with medieval buildings atop and accessed by a long pedestrian bridge.

Civita di Bagnoregio last month
Maps depict what we know and older ones show what we didn’t know. The earliest printed map of what is now the state of Maine was done in 1793, decades after most towns around where I live in western Maine were established and it was part of Massachusetts. Mapmaker Osgood Carleton didn’t know much about interior Maine, nor the course of the St Croix River which became part of the boundary between the USA and Canada in 1842. There were few surveys and he had to rely on anecdotal data.

Subsequent Carleton maps indicate that Moosehead Lake still had not been surveyed by 1795 and he etched its eastern boundary as a vague dotted line. Nonetheless, there’s a lot of information on these early maps. When I visited the Osher Library with one of its benefactors eight years ago, I witnessed some of its efforts to digitize its extensive collection, a tedious process employing a 60-megapixel camera. Pulling up one of their thousands of digitized maps now, we can zoom in very close without losing resolution.

Astounded by the camera’s capabilities back then, I’ve since purchased a Nikon D850 which was introduced only last fall with 45 megapixels. I had to wait over a month to get it because it’s so popular all around the world. Mapping renders relatively small pictures of very large things, like the entire earth’s surface for one example. By contrast, my new camera enables me to shoot a faraway image with my zoom lens at its strongest, then put the image on my computer and zoom in further to see details I never would have been able to view with my former equipment, or with my naked eye.

Researching for this article, I came across a 1902, birds-eye view of Mount Washington on the Osher web site. If you’re reading this in a newspaper, go here: First published in a pamphlet, it was a piece of artwork as well as a guide, offering then-unique perspectives on our environs in the north country. People couldn’t fly over the mountain back then, but they could pull out their pamphlet and use a magnifying glass to see details only available to eagles.

Before Saco Valley Printing in Fryeburg went out of business, I purchased sets of old county maps of Maine and New Hampshire from both 1858 and 1880 as well as larger maps of Oxford County towns around where I live. They’re slices of history showing old roads and farms no longer in existence —  abandoned and reclaimed by wilderness. Now only stone walls and cellar holes remain, and occasionally dead hulks of what had been massive sugar maples behind which houses and barns once stood.

While I have GPS devices for my vehicles, I also have hard-copy maps in each. When navigating in unfamiliar places there’s nothing like those 21st century GPS devices to get where I’m going, but if I’m not in a hurry, I like to have a real map in my hands to get perspective on where I've ended up. A real map enables me to see what’s over the next hill because I might decide to explore it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

My Working Hypothesis

Shenanigans in our federal government are so numerous and they’re being exposed so rapidly that’s it’s very hard to keep up, much less to make sense of it all. Several months ago I developed a working hypothesis — a theoretical framework — to put new information into a plausible context. Here it is: Officials in the Obama Administration, together with their allies in mainstream media, the Clinton campaign, and “never Trumpers” in the Republican establishment, have been working to sabotage first Donald Trump’s campaign, and now his presidency.

I realize that to some I sound like a conspiracy nut who should be fitted for a tinfoil hat, but I haven’t had to change my hypothesis as new information emerges. It all fits. Six months ago I would have considered the above paragraph ridiculous. I never believed it could get this bad, but now I’m thinking it could be even worse. Did leftist Democrats in charge of our federal government weaponize our intelligence community to use against an opposing party candidate for president? Evidence is mounting and the question becomes: Who was involved? Many names we already know. Eventually we’ll be resurrecting the refrain from the Watergate investigation: “What did the [now former] president know and when did he know it?”

The latest datum is a plausible claim that Obama’s FBI planted a spy in the Trump campaign sometime around July, 2016. It could even have been even before Trump won the Republican nomination but neither the FBI nor the Department of Justice (DOJ) will reveal either the spy’s identity or the timing of his implantation. Both the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal reported on this last week but neither names him. Kim Strassel, who wrote the WSJ piece, said she believed she knew his identity but couldn’t completely verify it.

However, the anonymous source who calls himself “Sundance” at the Conservative Tree House web site does name him: Stefan Halper. So does The Daily Caller. A background article on Halper indicates he worked in three or four Republican Administrations from Nixon to Bush, including several campaigns but I had never heard of him. This is big, but you’d never know it if you get all your news from mainstream media (MSM). Except for the Washington Post, they’re giving it a good leaving alone.

When President Trump tweeted that President Obama was wiretapping Trump Tower, MSM outlets too numerous to list here ridiculed Trump and insisted it was an outrageous allegation for which there was no evidence. It was eventually proven true, however, when we learned about the “Trump Dossier” and its use to obtain a FISA warrant to surveil Trump’s campaign. We only know about that because of digging by Devin Nunes and his committee — and he only started investigating after Trumps wiretapping tweet March 4, 2017. He’s still at it.

Nunes has gathered lots of evidence but he’s still being stonewalled at FBI and DOJ. According to the Washington Post:

A subpoena that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) issued to the Justice Department last week made a broad request for all documents about an individual [the implanted spy] who people close to the matter say is a sensitive, longtime intelligence source for the CIA and FBI. The Justice Department has refused to provide the documents. Intelligence officials say the material could jeopardize the source, a U.S. citizen who has aided the special counsel investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 campaign.

President Trump, however, can force DOJ to declassify any DOJ documents or release them to Congress. So, why doesn’t he? Rush Limbaugh speculated on his program last Friday that Trump wants it all to play out on its own, that he wants his base to see him as the persecuted victim of a witch hunt by his opposition — the MSM and “The Swamp.” If Limbaugh is right, that wouldn’t necessarily negate my working hypothesis, but it’s troubling. Why not expose it all now? Is Trump playing “Rope-a-Dope” with his enemies? Is he timing the release for just before the mid-term elections? Is he waiting for a new John Dean character to emerge from the Deep State? For the “Why doesn’t he?” question, all I can do is speculate.

But for now, consider how MSM would react if there were evidence that George W. Bush’s FBI planted a spy in the Obama campaign, then used a bogus dossier for a warrant to wiretap his offices. What if the “national security” justification for all this turned out to be completely fabricated? That’s how this whole thing is shaping up, but you’d never know it if you got all your news from the New York Times and the alphabet networks.

Will continuing events prove it necessary to modify my hypothesis? We’ll see.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Left & Right May 9, 2018

Trump pulls out of Iran deal; Iran/Israel standoff; Gino defends the JCPOA. I trash it. Michael Avenati, attorney for Stormy Daniels raking up alleged evidence of Trump/Russia collusion. I claim the Deep State conspiring to bring down Trump. Obama, Clinton, et al involvement. Maine governor's race. Possible Trump impeachment if Dems take over the House.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

The Best And The Worst

Perhaps the most-quoted poem in the English language is “The Second Coming” by William Butler Yeats. For nearly a century different writers have cited one or more of its 22 lines written ninety-nine years ago which begins with:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

The second and third lines resonate most for me:

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

Maybe it was world-wide demonstrations last week on Mayday, which has for more than a century been a day for the left to rally against capitalism. Masked, black-clad, anarchist ANTIFA demonstrators rioted once again in Europe, Canada, and America. In Paris where they burned cars and businesses and clashed with police and over 200 masked thugs were arrested. The left and the right in America are increasingly polarized since the 2016 election prompting renewed fears that maybe “the centre cannot hold” here.

Begun by the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) sometime in the 1880s, Mayday demonstrations often turned into riots and became a worldwide phenomenon after the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. That event, among others, shook Yeats and catalyzed his famous poem. Others included the “Great War,” or what we now call World War I, and Ireland’s “Easter Rebellion” which, after many unsuccessful attempts to gain Irish independence from Great Britain, did eventually result in liberating most of the island, but only after a long, brutal struggle.

Despite the religious tone implied by the poem’s title, Yeats was for the most part agnostic. Though born into what Irish historians call the wealthy “Protestant Ascendancy” in 1865, Christianity meant little to Yeats. He dabbled in mysticism and the occult and worked against the influence of Catholic Church in his native Ireland. 

Despite the overwhelming prevalence of Catholic Irish peasantry in the independence movement, Yeats became a leader of sorts and a senator in the new Irish government around the time he won the Nobel Prize for literature. He wrote The Second Coming in 1919 when it seemed, as he described in the next four lines:

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned:
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity. 

Yeats grew up comfortably and could dabble in poetry without worrying about supporting himself, but he could see that, were anarchists to topple everything in their passionate intensity and things really did fall apart, his family money and his leisurely life could disappear also. But it didn’t; the centre held until his death in January, 1939, just before the blood-dimmed tide was loosed again across Europe and the world.

Literary analysts claim Yeats was referring to clergy when he claimed: “The best lack all conviction,” as if they didn’t really believe what they preached, “while the worst” — anarchists, socialists, and Bolsheviks — looked as if they might well take over western civilization.

Western pundits today call Europe “post Christian” as churches are abandoned across the continent — or converted into mosques for another religion “full of passionate intensity.” To end the poem, Yeats seems to describe the Sphinx:

A shape with lion body and the head of a man, 
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, 
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it 

Finally, he asks:

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, 
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
What rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?

Judge Robert Bork edited the last line as title for his 1998 book Slouching Toward Gomorrah which I’ve been reading for the past three months. At the same time I was reading Jordan Peterson’s 2018 book 12 Rules For Life; An Antidote for Chaos which has been a bestseller across the English-speaking world. Both authors analyze Yeats’ poem at some length.

The subtitle for Bork’s book is: Modern liberalism and American Decline. It’s more direct and hard-hitting than Peterson’s. Writing twenty years apart, both men perceived that: “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.” Bork’s nomination to the US Supreme Court was famously sabotaged with passionate intensity by leftist Democrats including Joe Biden and Ted Kennedy.

Today Peterson is pursued wherever he speaks by passionate (some would say crazy) leftists and anarchists who literally pound on the windows and doors outside venues to which he’s invited — and shout him down before being removed from the halls.

Some claim President Trump caused the increased polarization in today’s America. Others claim his victory was a result of pre-existing polarization. Trump’s blunt talk and scrappy style endear him to his base and enrage his opposition, but which side is the best and which is the worst depends on your perspective.