Sunday, June 17, 2018

Brit wearing "stab-proof" vest dies after stabbing himself

Darwin was right. It's the strongest and the smartest who will survive. I haven't checked the Darwin Awards website in some time, but Ed. had a look today and assures me that they haven't yet got this one, from a report in the Teesside Gazette, a rather obscure English newspapers. (That's "English" as in location, as well as language.)

The local coroner's court heard this week how, last summer, 22-year-old Jordan Easton bought himself what was advertised as a "stab-proof vest". Assistant Coroner Karin Welsh told the hearing that soon after getting it, while visiting with a friend, Mr Easton "took hold a knife to demonstrate [the vest] was stab-proof and sadly realized it wasn't the case."

Mr Easton was rushed to the hospital, where he died. Friends described him as a "one of a kind kid" with a "golden heart." His mother said in court that her son's stabbing himself was "out of character", and added she "can't absorb it."

The newspaper reported that while his injuries were self-inflicted, there was no evidence that Mr Easton purposely tried to harm himself. His death was ruled a "misadventure", which Ms Welsh said meant he died from consequences which were not intended. Indeed.

Encore en France - "Allahu akbar!"

Associated Press reports that the sleepy town of La Seyne-sur-Mer, in the rather lovely department of Var, in southeastern France, is the latest place to have its sleep disturbed by shouts of "Allahu akbar!".

A woman [not exactly as pictured. Ed.] shouted the slogan, in Arabic -- not in French or English, as reported by AP -- when she slashed at shoppers in a supermarket, wounding two of them with a box cutter.

The attacker has now been detained, AP sez, but the district prosecutor has been coy about the details of the "incident" and what charges, if any, the Muslim woman -- for such she was -- might face.

Lest you think that a boxcutter isn't much of a weapon, don't forget that the 9/11 terrorists -- every one a devout follower of the prophet -- were armed with boxcutters when they hijacked the airliners that they caused to crash into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

For reasons of political correctness -- and reluctance to admit that Islamic terrorists pose a threat to the people of France every day and everywhere -- the authorities are still reluctant to make the connection between such attacks and ISIS, but the similarity to previous Islamic terror attacks, in France and elsewhere, is painfully obvious.

Nigel Farage, former leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) criticized AP for erroneously reporting that the attacker shouted "God is great" (but in French, bien sûr), in quote marks no less, in a social media bulletin breaking the news, when in fact she shouted "Allahu Akbar". "This," he said "is why people don't trust mainstream media anymore."

Further reading
: "83% of French back expulsion of 'most dangerous' foreigners", WWW 2/4/18.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

VIDEO: 1000+ Europeans killed/maimed by asylum-seekers since 2014

An Eritrean asylum seeker and his British Muslim partner have been found guilty of plotting an ISIS-inspired terror attack over the 2017 Christmas holiday period.

According to the Derby Telegraph, Munir Mohammed, 37, a resident of Derby, met Rowaida El-Hassan, 33, from London, on a Muslim dating website. Mr Mohammed is a devout follower of the Prophet after whom he was named. So firm in his beliefs was he that he once chastised a neighbour for wearing shorts. When arrested by Inspector Knacker in December, he was days away from launching a "Mother of Satan" a bomb or poison attack. Click on the video to get the details.

That was six months ago. My point here is that, although Mr Mohammed and Ms El-Hassan were foiled, other "radicalised" Islamic asylum-seekers have murdered or injured more than 1000 people in terror attacks in Europe between January 2014 and December 2017. In that period, 32 Islamist plots involved those who had sought sanctuary. 44 "refugees" had either carried out atrocities or been thwarted before they could bring bloodshed to the streets.

The findings echo warnings by law enforcement chiefs that some ISIS fanatics bent on killing "infidels" -- not just non-Muslims but Muslims of the wrong sort! -- posed as "refugees" fleeing war and persecution in the shithole countries of the Middle East. They exploited the "migrant crisis" by pretending to be asylum seekers, in order to sneak into Europe and cause carnage.

In an article published by the Washington-based Heritage Foundation, terrorism expert Robin Simcox says it was "disturbingly simple" for jihadists to hide among genuine refugees because Europe's borders were under huge strain. European leaders, he explains, "inadvertently increased the terrorist threat" as a direct result of their catastrophic handling of controversial immigration and open-border policies. He singles out German Chancellor [for the time being! Walt] Angela Merkel, who sparked fury by throwing open the doors to Syrian refugees, leading to an influx of more than one million people in 2015.

Mr Simcox makes clear that the fault for 11 successful attacks involving asylum-seekers, which killed 182 people and injured 814, lay with the terrorists, but "Ill-conceived immigration policies have made it easier for them to strike. European leaders were either naïve about the risks or failed to communicate honestly with the public the impact that accepting such large amounts of people would have on security.... The fall-out from the decision to take in such a large amount of unvetted people in such a short time will continue for decades to come."

Here are the key takeaways from Mr Simcox's article:

  1. Islamism poses a clear and present national security threat to Europe. This threat has mainly converged on France, Germany, and the U.K.
  2. Over time, the plots have increased in frequency. Defeating ISIS militarily is clearly vital. Yet such a defeat alone would not mean the danger has passed.
  3. The US can and should help its friends in Europe [assuming it has any left] face these challenges. Nonetheless, a robust response to Islamism in Europe must be led from within Europe.

According to Mr Simcox, "Europe has faced a severe threat from Islamist terrorism for years. Yet Chancellor Merkel's decision to open Germany's borders in 2015 unfortunately increased that threat.... While only a minority of asylum seekers pose a security risk, the plots carried out by those exploiting migrant routes – in Paris, London, Berlin, Stockholm and elsewhere across Europe – demonstrate that even a low number of extremists can still cause huge amounts of damage."

Walt would like to be a little more specific. Let's make that "low number of extremists" one percent (1%) -- one crazy Muslim fanatic out of 100. Angela Merkel permitted the entry of a million "refugees" and asylum-seekers into Germany in just one year. 1% of 1,000,000 is... wait for it... 10,000.

10,000 potential Islamic terrorists on the loose right now. If 44 "radicalized" Muslims were responsible for murdering or injuring 1000 innocents, 10,000 jihadis could potentially kill or maim... let's see... 230,000. Does it make sense to keep letting these people into our countries? Please direct your answer to Angela Merkel, Theresa May, Justin Trudeau and all the other Islamophile "leaders" we foolishly expect to protect us.

Further reading: "European Islamist Plots and Attacks Since 2014 — and How the U.S. Can Help Prevent Them", by Robin Simcox, The Heritage Foundation.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Adam Smith says POTUS is wrong on tariffs and trade

Who dares to take issue with President Trump's desire to raise tariffs on steel, aluminum and a wide range of goods America imports from its friends and allies, and thus provoke a trade war? Adam Smith, that's who!

Mr Smith was a Scottish economist, philosopher and author as well as a moral philosopher, a pioneer of political economy and a key figure during the Scottish Enlightenment era. He is best known for two classic works: An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776) and The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759). The former, usually abbreviated to The Wealth of Nations, is considered his magnum opus and the first modern work of economics.

Adam Smith was a classical liberal -- the good kind -- and a firm believer in free trade. In The Wealth of Nations, he argues for three foundations of modern economics, viz.:
  1. pursuit of self-interest - It's OK to look out for Number One
  2. division of labour - It's folly to have everyone build his own house when different people can be employed to dig the foundation, do the framing and put the roof on
  3. freedom of trade - I give you something you want, and I get something I want, which goes back to the first principle. 
The Wealth of Nations is a huge book -- huge in its impact on political thought and, unfortunately, huge in size -- over 900 pages even in an abridged edition. Everyone who fancies himself [or herself! Ed.] a thinker refers to Adam Smith, but few actually quote him because few have read this literally magnum opus. P.J. O'Rourke has done so, or skimmed through it at least, and has produced a remarkably slim "Best of Adam Smith" book called On the Wealth of Nations (Douglas & McIntyre, 2007), from which I've drawn this passage (from Book 4 of the original work). The words of Adam Smith, himself, are shown in italics.

Smith disdained trade retaliation: "Those workmen...who suffered by our neighbours' prohibition will not be benefited by ours. On the contrary, they and almost all the other classes of our citizens will thereby be obliged to pay dearer than before for certain goods."

And Smith gave the lie to claims that tariffs protect working stiffs: "To lay a new tax upon them...and because they already pay too dear for the necessaries of life, to make them likewise pay too dear for the greater part of other commodities, is certainly a most absurd way of making amends."

As for all our money going overseas, Smith had shown in book 2 of Wealth why this doesn't harm an economy: "we must not imagine that it is sent abroad for nothing." And Smith was referring to gold bullion. Gold always has some value.... The American money that the Chinese are getting is fiat currency that could turn into wastepaper at any time.

By holding dollars and dollar-denominated securities, China is buying our debt. Smith had declared, "A man must be perfectly crazy who...does not employ all the stock which he commands, whether it be his own or borrowed." If Americans think they're using all the capital they can get their hands on "in the way that they judge most advantageous to themselves," they'd be crazy not to be in debt.

As I pointed out in "MAGA to MAAA - Walt explains President Trump's 'trade war' strategy", WWW 1/6/18, Making America Great Again doesn't necessarily involve Making America Alone Again. Reverting to the protectionism of a hundred years ago will almost certainly be counter-productive. If POTUS persists in making war on America's allies (no matter how irritating their leaders may be), it will not end well. Lifetime pct .986.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The infamous G7 photo

We haven't received any entries yet in our contest to find the best caption for the infamous G7 photo of POTUS staring down (or being stared down by) Angela Merkel, but here's one posted today on Blazing Cat Fur.

Think you can do better? Send your submissions to Walt at the usual address.

Could MH370 have been hacked? It's possible!

To no-one's great surprise -- certainly not mine -- the latest search for the remains of the Malaysian Airlines B-777 used on flight MH370, which disappeared on 8 March 2014, has come up with nothing. Nada. Zero. Zilch. How could it be otherwise, when (as I've said repeatedly, as in "New search for MH370 - Walt's advice on how to get answers", WWW 6/1/18), the searchers are almost certainly looking in the wrong place! reported last week
that although they lost out on the multimillion-dollar finder's fee, the underwater exploration company Ocean Infinity is showing no sign of giving up on the lost plane. Even though the search has been officially called off (again), the Norwegian research vessel MV Seabed Constructor is continuing the hunt on its own, and is now looking in "previously uncharted areas".

Today, instead of talking about where MH370 wound up, let's talk about why it dove into the Indian Ocean (if indeed it did). The leading theory at the moment is that the pilot was suicidal, and flew the aircraft into the briny deep, after depressurizing the cabin to kill all the pax. Plausible, but not the only possibility.

Think about this. Almost anything that's connected to the internet can be hacked. (Look up "internet of things" on Google.) Things connected to the internet include airline operatins and... wait for it... flight controls. That's why airline ops occasionally grind to a halt "because the computer's down."

Thus the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reported in government documents, obtained by Motherboard, that it's "only a matter of time" before cyber criminals are able to hack and remotely control an airplane.

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), a Department of Energy government lab, warned in a recent presentation that the "potential of catastrophic disaster is inherently greater in an airborne vehicle." The presentation, about methods used to identify vulnerabilities in commercial aircraft, expanded on research done by the DHS last year, in which they successfully hacked a Boeing 737 by remote means.

Greg Phillips, head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Royal Military College of Canada, told Global News that the cybersecurity of commercial aircraft is indeed a major concern for the industry. "Any significant systems that involve human life are potentially targets for hacking," he said, "and that’s everything from the power grid to the water supply to the sewer to any kind of transportation, so aircraft, rail, etc. They’re all potentially vulnerable because they’re all controlled by computers, so yeah, we do need to worry about them."

A spokesthingy for Airbus Industries commented, "This is an industry issue, and one that we take seriously. However, we do not see any way for this to happen today, and we are constantly reviewing our systems and security procedures to continue to protect against potential cyber-attacks."

Is it possible, then, for cyber criminals to remotely control airplanes today? Probably not, but, Mr Phillips said, it can't be ruled out entirely. "You’d have to be able to communicate with the aircraft either on the ground or while it's in flight, and ideally what you'd want to be able to do is communicate with it in real time so you could tell it to do something like go into a power dive right now and kill everybody."

Say wut?! Isn't that the latest theory on what happened to MH370, which numbered among its passengers scores of Chinese IT professionals? Errr, yes... but of course we're only speculating here. It's equally possible (IMHO) that MH370 was shot down, accidentally or on purpose, by a missile launched by Indian or American armed forces, the latter operating out of the US base at Diego Garcia. Who knows....

Monday, June 11, 2018

VIDEO: Starbucks sensitivity training

No matter what Donald Trump says, the truth is that Canadians are always playing catch-up, trying to keep up with their American cousins, not just in trade but in entertainment, culture [There's "culture" in America? Ed.], politics (e.g. Doug Ford's win in Ontario a year and a half after the Trump Triumph), and, sure enough, political correctness.

Earlier this year, after two black men got arrested for loitering in one of its Philthydelphia stores, Starbucks discovered that it had a problem with cultural insensitivity. (Loitering comes naturally to black dudes, see, and you're not allowed to call them on it.) So they decided to close all the stores in the Paranoid States of America on May 29th to give the baristas a Special High Intensity Training course in sensitivity.

A bit later, somebody at HQ said to somebody else, "Hey, we forgot about Canada!" The response likely was, "We have stores there? Oh geez, better put them down for some of that SHIT too!" And so, Agent 3 informs me, SHIT happened in Canada today, from sea to sea to sea. Agent 3 donned a green apron and snuck into one of the sessions, from which he sent this spycam video.