Aug 162020
 

When is “terrorism” not really terrorism? When it is a fake label attached to something lesser by those who want to condemn something without a strong argument against it.

Terrorism is using violence or threats of violence (“acts of terror”) to attempt to achieve political or religious goals. It isn’t all acts of violence and a certain level of (threatened) violence is required.

It certainly doesn’t apply to a group of protestors marching down a rich white suburban street at midnight shouting to wake people up. That’s annoying as hell, but hardly terrorism.

Acts of terror include (but are not limited to) :-

  1. Flying planes into buildings killing thousands.
  2. Blowing up shopping centres, business buildings, places of entertainment (pubs), etc.
  3. Shootings – in mass shootings, or individual cases. Or any other form of extra-judicial execution (i.e. lynching).

There is almost always a certain level of randomness in the attack, although it will tend to target certain subgroups of a society. There is also an element of propaganda to the act (the so-called propaganda of the deed). Threats of violence can also be classified as terrorism too – if the threat is associated with real violence in a way that elevates it above the “ordinary” threats – such as leaving a burning cross on someone’s lawn in an area where the KKK operates.

It is common to see non-terrorist acts labelled as such by two groups – ones who want to blacken the name of a protest group, and those who accidentally trivialise real terrorism by equating the individual’s terror at a relatively trivial incident with the kind of collective terror that real terrorist acts are supposed to cause.

For example, one of the events that triggered this post was a tweet claiming that BLM protestors were terrorists because they were marching through a rich suburban neighbourhood at midnight shouting to wake people up. Just because a particularly nervous suburbanite feels “terror” at being woken up by protestors doesn’t make that march terrorist. It may be a dickish move, but it’s not terrorism.

To claim such a trivial act is equivalent to a terrorist attack is an insult to those who have been in real terrorist attacks, have been in bomb scares, or just waited for the phone call letting us know whether a loved one was okay.

And protests that degenerate into vandalism and looting aren’t terrorist acts either. Whilst terrorist acts can involve property damage the main thrust of such acts is threats against life. And anyone who thinks property damage is anywhere near as bad as threats to life is someone who needs to re-examine their values.

Besides which there are a fair number who believe (and in some cases have the evidence to show) that the looters weren’t protestors · they just took advantage of the confusion.

And for officialdom to label protestors as “terrorists” is dangerous because all of a sudden you’re seeing legitimate protestors being criminalised with some rather draconian punishments that can be brought into play. If anything, it is a warning that your government is veering towards repressively authoritarian.

And yes that’s a reference to Trump’s shower of thugs.

Jun 272019
 

@AOC seems to have poured a dramatic amount of petrol onto the fiery discussion regarding Trump’s border concentration camps by simply calling them concentration camps.

No matter how many people assume that ‘concentration camp’ means a Nazi extermination camp, that is not what ‘concentration camp’ means. As one dictionary states :-

camp where persons are confined, usually without hearings and typically under harsh conditions, often as a result of their membership in a group the government has identified as suspect.

Although that is not from the full Oxford English Dictionary, I have checked with that definitive work and it’s definition agrees with the above. 

The relevant Twitter threads are filled with agreements and disagreements, and it is the later I’ll take a closer look at.

At least in some instances; more than a few consist of approximately “Well they’re illegal immigrants so they deserve it” which is so repulsively disgusting that the only appropriate response is a good slap.

The next objection is along the lines of: “You can’t call them concentration camps; that would be disrespectful to the 6 million Jews that the Nazis murdered”.

Funnily enough, it’s rarely mentioned that the Nazis also killed 11 million other people as well as the 6 million Jews. Almost as if there is a politically acceptable “holocaust denial” (strictly speaking the Holocaust is only the Jews; there isn’t an acceptable ‘cool’ name for the entirety of the Nazi crimes against humanity).

Let’s correct a few misconceptions about Nazi concentration camps (and there have been plenty of other concentration camps around the world) :-

  1. The concentration camps were first created in 1933 to hold political prisoners and union organisers. Those targeted for starvation rations, brutal treatment, and slave labour rapidly grew to include homosexuals, Romani, communists, socialists, the disabled, Poles, Slavs, Soviet POWs, and just about anyone who could be labelled “undesirable”.
  2. Jews were also targeted as soon as the Nazis came to power but weren’t sent en-mass to concentration camps until 1939 when they were forced to live in Jewish “ghettos” (effectively concentration camps).
  3. The extermination camps were set up in 1942 to speed up the “final solution”; approximately 90% of those killed at these extermination camps were Jewish.

There is also “But Obama did it first” (these camps were first instantiated in 2014 under the previous administration). This is distinctly reminiscent of the wailing child that gets caught with his or her hand in the cookie jar “But someone else did it first”. As I understand it, the scale of the previous administration’s camps was far less than now, but give me a time machine and I’ll still go back and tell off Obama.

Now back to our original topic. Is it fair to call the border camps ‘concentration camps’? They certainly meet the dictionary definition, and there are genuine reasons why the comparison with the Nazi concentration camps is entirely appropriate.

That is not to say that the border concentration camps are comparable to the Nazi concentration camps in 1944, but there are many disturbing parallels to the Nazi concentration camps in 1934. The time to stop these camps potentially evolving into something similar to the Nazi concentration camps of 1944 is now.

Spume on the Beach
Jul 142018
 

Liam Fox has claimed that Trump protesters have “embarassed” themselves by protesting Trump’s visit to the UK. He claims that we have a tradition of being polite to guests (at least until they throw up on the carpet, piss in the wine, and try to have sex with the host).

Well, I didn’t invite that jumped up rancid little toad who is Putin’s lickspittle and quite possibly the closest thing we’ve seen to a major free world leader being a Nazi. So I am under no obligation to be polite to the bankrupt crook.

Besides which, with his unreasonable and unhinged attack on NATO, Trump has been pissing in the wine, so it would not be unreasonable to slam the door in his face. Of course I’m not being “diplomatic” but I’m not a politician so I’m not being paid to be polite to the kind of person resembling that which you instinctively scrape off your shoe.

To USians who might feel a bit insulted by how their president is being treated; well if you did your job properly and didn’t elect someone with the brains of a pea-sized petrified panda turd who separates children and puts them in concentration camps then we might treat them with a bit more respect.

Jul 112018
 

Well that was an interesting day in politics!

Trump has arrived in Europe and immediately tried to insert both feet into his mouth – he insults the other members of NATO by openly criticising them for not meeting their commitment to military spending, and claims that NATO owes money to the USA for protection.

Now there used to be some grounds for criticising the European members of NATO for not spending enough on their military, but the spending has been going up in recent years (despite austerity). You don’t criticise someone for being overweight when they’re on a diet and have lost half their flab!

And Trump claimed that Germany is under the control of Russia because of Germany buying natural gas from Russia! First of all, the figures he were using were wrong, and when you boil it down Germany’s energy needs are very rapidly being switched to renewable energy sources – on some days all of Germany’s energy is supplied by renewable energy sources.

Trump exhibits the diplomatic skills of a rabid dog.

European nations aren’t dumb – we watched Russia blackmail Ukraine over gas supplies in winter and know that we need to wean ourselves off Russian gas. And we know that the US has sent us a self-destructive idiot to deal with; those meeting with Trump will be gritting their teeth and putting on their most diplomatic face.

The other interesting thing is the effect Trump’s attack on NATO has had on the US Senate; they’ve basically passed a resolution (passed 97-2) saying in a long-winded way: “Ignore that idiot Trump, we’re fully behind NATO”.

There are those in the US media saying that Trump is Putin’s biggest ally on all of this – he apparently would rather do a deal with the Russians than with the traditional allies of the US. Is Trump actually an FSB agent?

No. The Russians might well make use of Trump and drop him an advantage or two, but they’re not so dumb as to employ an idiot like Trump.

Trump is a clear and present danger to the interests of the US; not the stuff like treating immigrants like criminals (although that is bad enough) but the big stuff; stuff that will encourage Republicans to turn on Trump – National Security and the economy.

 

Jun 142018
 

Trump is outdoing himself in stupidity by starting a trade war with the strongest allies of the US. He imposed unilateral tariffs on steel and aluminium (supposedly to protect US workers although it won’t do that), and acts surprised when allies respond with tariffs of their own.

Which is a bit like a child being surprised when they throw a ball in the air and it falls back on their head.

So what effect will the tariffs on steel and aluminium have? For a start, the US producers of steel and aluminium are not going to suddenly pick up the slack – the US imports in the region of $2 billion worth of steel products per month, and whilst US steel manufacturers can increase production it won’t be able to increase it that quickly.

So the US will continue to import foreign steel, but importers will pay more for it. That means the goods produced by imported steel will cost more. Consumers will pay more for those goods or switch to foreign producers who produce it cheaper (the later will cost US jobs).

So Trump has chosen to implement tariffs that will harm the US.

And assumed that those countries Trump has imposed tariffs on will meekly accept their punishment; which obviously hasn’t happened..

The EU has imposed retaliatory tariffs on motorcycles, cranberry juice, denim, peanut butter, and cigarettes. Notice something interesting about those products? They are all finished products with easily sourced alternative suppliers, or luxury goods that aren’t necessary.

In other words the EU tariffs are going to have a minimal impact on the EU economy.

So Trump will blame the damage to the US economy on his own trade war, and point to the lack of damage to the EU’s economy as ‘evidence’.

Expect more temper tantrum Trump ‘policies’ shortly.

 

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