Interesting Bits

08/18/2017 10:00

Something of a Miracle

Christianity is Rapidly Growing in Iran

 

Islamic Clerics are warning against the spread of Christianity in the most Islamic City in Iran. 

House churches are hunted down and conversion to Christianity is viewed as an action against national security in Qom, Iran. 

Christianity has been growing at a fast rate in the last couple of decades in Iran, that has caused the Islamic government a lot of concern, according to Mohabat News, an Iranian Christian News Agency

A high profile Islamic seminary official, Ayatollah Alavi Boroujerdi, stated "accurate reports indicate that the youth are becoming Christians in Qom and attending house churches." 

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08/18/2017 9:46

The Left's Nostalgia For Nazism

So why -- beyond the traditional Trump bashing -- are such liberal-lefties, or whatever you want to call them at CNN and elsewhere, so determined to make such an equivalency?  Why do they want to magnify the existence and importance of neo-Nazis and Klan members in our society when their numbers are minuscule?

We could call this a kind of nostalgia for Naziism, the yearning for a simpler time when the source of all evil was so clearly evident and so directly confronted. Perhaps more importantly, it's a nostalgia for when all evil was supposedly on the right, even though the Nazis, so many conveniently forget, were the National Socialist Party. At least the right could be blamed. And is.

It is also a yearning for a time when the source of evil was not so treacherous and complicated.  No one knows how many Islamic radicals there are or where they are, although there are apparently a lot of them, probably vastly more than there ever were Nazis, possibly in the hundreds of millions if you add up the results of this Pew poll of eleven Muslim countries. (It may even be understated, given the reluctance to answer such incriminating questions.)

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Nevertheless, overwhelmed by this nostalgia that is, in truth, a masquerade for fear of a gruesome reality, the almost non-existent neo-Nazis are the boogeymen of the hour in the eyes of our friends on the left.  Again, what a convenience, because dealing with what happened in Barcelona is surpassingly difficult.  It isn't because of neo-Nazis or the KKK that it's been decades since any of us has walked onto an airplane or entered a concert or museum without being examined or x-rayed, that our daily lives have not been the same.  A vicious ideological war is obviously being waged against the West and its liberties with its end nowhere near in sight.  As ISIS wrote of the Spanish terror, "We will recover our land from the invaders." Like the Nazis of old, they mean it.

Will the left ever wake up?  Or will they still be talking about Charlottesville when a runaway truck barrels across Times Square and down Broadway?

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08/18/2017 9:36

Let's Don't Talk About Islam

What I heard was a hell of a lot of empty language. Language that you might use in the case of a natural disaster – a hurricane, an earthquake, a tsunami. The news people quoted tweets by politicians and celebrities from around the world – Donald Tusk, president of the European Council; London Mayor Sadiq Khan; the pope; Ellen DeGeneres – about how they were praying for Barcelona, about how their hearts were with Barcelona, about how the terrorists would never manage to...well, whatever. And, even before the bodies of the dead were cold, they talked about the city recovering, getting over it, going back to normal.

It was all utterly vapid nonsense. Context was virtually nowhere in evidence. Denial was everywhere. The cliché about not seeing the forest for the trees was never more apropos. The more these things happen, it seems, the more skilled the mainstream media have become in attending to the grisly details – and thus spiking their ratings – while doing their best to look away, as much as possible, from the atrocities' ideological roots. From, in short, that fount of violence known as Islam, which has only just begun its violent assault on the civilized world

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08/18/2017 7:26

"Lay It On the Line"

Judge in tea party case orders IRS to disclose employee names, reasons


A federal judge on Thursday ordered the IRS to name the specific employees the agency blames for targeting tea party groups for intrusive scrutiny and said the government must prove it has ceased the targeting.

Judge Reggie B. Walton also said the IRS must explain the reasons for the delays for 38 groups that are part of a lawsuit in the District of Columbia, where they are still looking for a full accounting of their treatment.

Judge Walton approved another round of limited discovery in the case and laid out six questions that the IRS must answer, including the employees’ names, why the groups were targeted and how the IRS has tried to prevent a repeat.

At a hearing earlier this week, Judge Walton said it was time to get everything on the table.

“Lay it on the line. Put it out there,” he told attorneys for the IRS, who are continuing to fight some tea party groups’ demands for full disclosure.


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08/18/2017 7:16

Measuring, and mismeasuring, the Trump conundrum

Perhaps the most astonishing thing about Donald Trump's victory last November was that, according to exit polls, 60 percent of the voters had an unfavorable impression of Trump on the day he was elected president of the United States.

Now, it's remarkable that after all that has happened, Trump's favorable and unfavorable rating -- not his job approval, but whether people hold a favorable or unfavorable view of him -- is virtually the same as it was on election day.

new Marist poll, released Wednesday, found that 60 percent of those surveyed have an unfavorable view of the president, versus 34 percent who have a favorable view and six percent who don't know.

In the RealClearPolitics average of all polls on the favorable/unfavorable question, Trump is now at 55.6 percent unfavorable versus 39.0 percent favorable. That is little changed from his average on Nov. 8: 58.5 percent unfavorable, versus 37.5 percent favorable. Among the unfavorables, that is just 1.5 points difference from then to now; among the favorables, 2.9 points.

Considering all that has gone on in the Trump presidency -- it's too much to recount in a sentence or two -- the stability of the Trump favorable/unfavorable rating is notable.

The other measure, Trump's job approval rating, has fallen since he took office; it was 43.8 percent in the RCP average in his first week in office and is 37.9 percentnow. Pollsters and strategists believe the job approval rating, which Trump of course didn't have before Jan. 20, is much more important than personal approval.

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08/18/2017 7:07

Fighting Nazis doesn’t make ‘antifa’ the good guys

Fighting Nazis is a good thing, but fighting Nazis doesn’t necessarily make you or your cause good. By my lights this is simply an obvious fact.

The greatest Nazi-killer of the 20th century was Josef Stalin. He also killed millions of his own people and terrorized, oppressed, enslaved or brutalized tens of millions more.

Nazism was evil. Soviet Communism was evil. It’s fine to believe that Nazism was more evil than Communism. That doesn’t make Communism good.

This history is relevant today because of the depressingly idiotic argument about whether it’s OK to equate “antifa” — left-wing radicals — with the neo-Nazi and white supremacist rabble that recently descended on Charlottesville, Va. The president claims there were “very fine people” on both sides of the protest and that the “anti-fascist” radicals are equally blameworthy. He borrowed from Fox News’ Sean Hannity the bogus term “alt-left” to describe the antifa radicals.

The term is bogus because, unlike the alt-right, nobody calls themselves “the alt-left.” That’s too bad. One of the only nice things about the alt-right is that its leaders are honest about the fact that they want nothing to do with traditional American conservatism. Like the original Nazis, they seek to replace the traditional right with their racial hogwash.

The antifa crowd has a very similar agenda with regard to American liberalism. These goons and thugs oppose free speech, celebrate violence, despise dissent and have little use for anything else in the American political tradition. But many liberals, particularly in the media, are victims of the same kind of confusion that vexed so much of American liberalism in the 20th century. Because antifa suddenly has the (alt-)right enemies, they must be the good guys.

They’re not. And that’s why this debate is so toxically stupid. Fine, antifa isn’t as bad as the KKK. Who cares? Since when is being less bad than the Klan a major moral accomplishment?


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08/17/2017 3:53

Kind of a Bad Sign

Antidepressant use in U.S. soars by 65 percent in 15 years . (Guess the last few years have been depresssing._

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08/17/2017 6:55

More on the Death of Europe

A Labour MP has resigned from the shadow cabinet after saying Britain has "a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls".

Sarah Champion, shadow women and equalities minister, apologised for the "extremely poor choice of words" which appeared in a column in The Sun newspaper on Friday.

The MP for Rotherham's piece was headlined: "British Pakistani men ARE raping and exploiting white girls... and it's time we faced up to it."

Her remarks came just days after 18 people were convicted or admitted offences in a series of court hearings related to child sexual exploitation in Newcastle.

(Ms. Champion, of course, had nothing to apologize for. To use a hackneyed phrase she was speaking truth to power and exposing evil. As so often happens in Europe nowadays, evil and power won.)

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08/17/2017 6:48

NYT Edtorial Writers Are Liars and Lousy Writers

We now know who wrote the NY Times editorial that led Sarah Palin to sue the paper for defamation. A first draft was written by editorial writer Elizabeth Williamson. However, the offensive part connecting Palin to the 2011 Tucson shooting was added in a rewrite by editorial page editor James Bennet. Bennet testified Tuesday in a hearing the judge ordered to help him decide whether or not to dismiss the lawsuit as lawyers for the NY Times have requested. During the hearing, Bennet claimed he didn’t mean to draw a direct connection between Palin and mass murder.

...Again, his answer amounts to: I didn’t know. So, the best case scenario here is that the editor of the NY Times editorial page is both ignorant of the facts and incapable of crafting clear sentences. Hopefully, Judge Rakoff isn’t falling for his act. He said he will rule on the motion to dismiss before the end of the month.

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08/17/2017 6:40

Yes, There Were

Both NBC News and the BBC have put out videos offering fact-checks on some of President Trump’s claims about what took place in Charlottesville. Both agree there were violent anti-fascist protesters who came to the protest looking for a fight.   (This has been true in many far-right marches in the past but it's nice the BBC and NBC noticed Other networks and newspapers tried to pretend otherwise.)

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08/16/2017 7:30

Heh.

A federal appeals court on Tuesday said the New York Times Co must face a defamation lawsuit by a Louisiana economics professor who said it quoted him out of context by saying he described slavery as "not so bad."

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals revived claims by Walter Block, who teaches at Loyola University, over a January 26, 2014, front page article about libertarianism and a potential presidential candidacy of Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican who later ran for the White House.

"We are disappointed in the court's ruling but remain convinced that our story was accurate," Danielle Rhoades Ha, a spokeswoman for the newspaper, said in an email. "We will proceed to prove our case before the district court."

Block and his lawyers had no immediate comment.

The article, "Rand Paul's Mixed Inheritance," also quoted Block as saying the retailer Woolworth's had a right to exclude blacks from its lunch counters because "no one is compelled to associate with people against their will."

According to court papers, Block, a self-described libertarian, said that while he used the words attributed to him, the reporters Sam Tanenhaus and Jim Rutenberg distorted their meaning by omitting necessary context.

(Times having a lot of trouble with libel suits lately, and with accuracy)

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08/16/2017 7:03

Another Heretic That Must Be Condemne

Dr. Judith Curry Explains The Reality Of Bad Climate Science And Bad Politics


“On balance, I don’t see any particular dangers from greenhouse warming. {Humans do} influence climate to some extent, what we do with land-use changes and what we put into the atmosphere. But I don’t think it’s a large enough impact to dominate over natural climate variability.”

Regarding the politically contrived climate “consensus” arguments put forth by climate alarmists she concludes:

“The collapse of the consensus on cholesterol and heart disease – that one collapsed overnight. I can only hope that sanity will eventually prevail with the climate problem as well.”

Dr. Curry a world renowned and academically honored climatologist and former chair of the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology discussed political attacks she has been subjected to that started when she began to question the tactics of climate alarmist “consensus” following the revelations brought into the light by Climategate which clearly displayed the lack of transparency and openness present in mainstream climate science.


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George L. Duncan
George L. Duncan