Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Umair Haque is a dingbat

Umair Haque lives in the West but, going by his name, is of Pakistani origin. He also seems to see himself as a profound thinker, though he is in reality just another blinkered Leftist, repeating tired old Leftist tropes. As a good Leftist, he is lost in a mental world of his own with only occasional contact with the real world. He gets himself published a lot on the Leftist Medium and Eudaimonia sites, however, and is popular in Leftist circles, so some critique of his lucubrations is perhaps called for.

One of his most recent articles is titled "Why Winning a War for Capitalism Is Losing One to Fascism: The Lesson America Still Hasn’t Learned From Two World Wars"

There is an element of truth in that.  The modern-day Left has inherited Fascism's obsession with controlling everything but Umair seems to have missed the conservative pushback against that in the persons of Thatcher, Reagan and Trump.  No-one would claim that the pushback has been wholly successful but both Reagan and Trump won tax reductions and other reforms that led to big economic booms and rising prosperity generally

Umair's picture of the average American being ground down is a Leftist staple but it has no contact with the reality under Trump -- with a booming economy creating jobs for everyone, even for generally disadvantaged minorities such as blacks and Hispanics.  And while the historically low rates of unemployment are important, even more important is the employment rate.  The enthusiasm for business that is abroad in the land has created a huge demand for labor and that has drawn discouraged workers --people over 50, people with poor education etc. -- into the labor force.  Businessmen have such a big need for workers that they are hiring in previously neglected categories. When faced with the fact that their only job applicant is over 50, they just say, "Better an old guy than no guy"

And through the combination of big tax cuts and the need to entice workers to work for them, employers are offering higher wages, ending a long period of wage-rate stagnation. So the enthusiasm and dynamism of the Trump economy is a complete answer to Mr Haque's gloom. 

Mr Bezos and others might be doing well but so are millions of ordinary Americans.  And some of America's richest men -- such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffett -- are putting their money to work in charitable causes.  The big yachts are primarily a Russian folly.   Rich Americans tend to have better taste.  Even Bloomberg has just given a large slice of his fortune to Johns Hopkins university, his alma mater.  The situation is across the board not as Mr. Haque imagines it. 

I am well prepared to believe that the situation in Pakistan is dismal but America is not Pakistan.  Those great crowds cheering themselves hoarse at Mr Trump's rallies are not cheering oppression and poverty.  Even blacks are smiling at Mr Trump.  Mr Haque hasn't got a clue

A few excerpts below from Mr Haque's Jeremiad

World War II, it’s generally agreed, was brought about by a peace whose terms were poisonous. In the aftermath of World War I, the victors demanded reparations from the aggressors, who were the defeated, that were simply too steep to pay. A shattered Germany was therefore left unable to really recover, and as its frail, unstable institutions buckled, in the resultant failure, the chaos and decline, the flames of fascism rose — and soon enough, consumed the nation whole, and then set fire to the world.

The strange thing is all that’s different today is that the roles have been reversed. Peace didn’t cost the losers of the last war too much, and drive them into failure and ruin — oddly enough, victory did. But the result, strangely, is just the same: the flames of fascism rising, authoritarianism triumphant, in the void of chaos left by failure and degeneration.

Which country do I speak of, and which war? America — and the Cold War. Now, the overly simplistic story that Americans are told, by their own intellectuals and thinkers, is this: they won the Cold War, and defeated the evil empire, a nation of pure freedom and bravery and faith and so on. Of course, reality is subtler, grayer, more nuanced. America might have won the Cold War — but it lost a greater battle. The battle for its own soul, its own democracy, which, today, self-evidently, is on the ropes, being fought desperately to remedy and to rescue, with limited, if any real, success.

Capitalism winning also meant its own economy stagnating, as capitalists took all the gains, and poured them into useless, idle pleasures, yachts and mansions, exploiting people harder, better, faster — all of which meant that writing a social contract to cushion people from those very blows became impossible, because money was tied up in yachts wasn’t invested in say, healthcare or education or retirement — and all that meant that democracy was more or less doomed to implode.

Americans were told they were “liberating” people — when in fact, more often than not, they were denying them sovereignty and self-governance. They had confused capitalism with freedom — and still do — because the idea was that anything else was morally intolerable. If you’re on a crusade, you have to save people’s souls — even if they might not want to be saved.

What happened next? Well, it wasn’t just that cost of all these wars for capitalism’s sake mounted — though they did, and inevitably, plunged America deep into debt. A subtler and stranger — yet perfectly predictable thing — happened. War after war was fought. Some hot, some hard, with bullets — some soft and quiet, with whispers. Which side would buckle first — run out of resources, money, ideas, stratagems? The capitalists, or the communists? One day, the game was over. The Soviet Union collapsed. America, it seemed, had won.

By this point — the 1990s — when the Cold War was done, capitalism was about to rule the world. What was the alternative, after all? So just a decade later, China and India were “integrated” into the global capitalist economy, which means they could trade with America at last. Bang! The global economy went into overdrive. It heated up so fast and so hard, awash with so much money in the hands of so many speculators and quick-buck-artists, that soon enough — whoosh!! — a huge, titanic bubble had inflated. And then, inevitably, of course, it popped. Wham! It melted down into the greatest “recession” since the Great Depression — one from which the world has never really recovered.

But what, again, about the average American? Let’s think about him. All these wars were fought to extend the borders of capitalism. Capitalists grew colossally, grotesquely rich — that much is true. Today, Bezos, Brin, and Buffett can buy entire cities without blinking. But that victory had a price. Winning a war for capitalism freed its invisible fist to deliver the average American a fatal blow.

The average American was now expected to be a “consumer” in this new world system — to buy the things that this new capitalist world could offer, cheaper and faster. To buy more of them, year after year, month after month — that is the only way capitalism could grow, after all. But now anyone, anywhere, could compete with Americans for jobs, for labour, for work to do and be done — and usually, they could do it faster and cheaper, if not better and truer. But to consume, one must either also produce — or be subsidized. The average American was running out of chances to produce, and earn that way — even the pension he’d worked for his whole life was made legal to “raid” so that capitalists could get richer. And nobody was subsidizing him, lending him a supporting hand.


PIERS MORGAN’S ADVICE ON INTERNATIONAL MEN’S DAY: Don’t let hypocritical radical feminists turn men into a bunch of neutered, grovelling, blubbering doormats, ladies – or we’ll ALL live to regret it

I have a confession to make. This isn’t easy, and I’ve taken a long time to summons up the strength to do it. I’m aware that just by admitting to what I’m about to admit, I will subject myself to all manner of global shame and ridicule. I’ll be taunted, abused, shunned and reviled.

But as Sir Winston Churchill once so rightly said: ‘You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.’

OK, here goes… I am a man. Yes, on International Men’s Day 2018, I am hereby identifying as the biological sex that I was born to.

This alone is enough to risk making me a social pariah these days, but that’s not even the worst of it. I’m a man who’s actually proud of being a man, and who also likes being MASCULINE.

Sorry. I realise this is a horrendous thing to say, and I can only offer my insincere apologies to all the radical feminists now exploding with rage as they read my shocking statement.

If there’s one thing they loathe even more than the M-word, it’s the longer M-word.

But why? Masculinity simply means ‘having qualities or appearances traditionally associated with men.’ That’s it, nothing more sinister.

Yet thanks to women of radical feminist persuasion who’ve gleefully hijacked the #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns to serve their own man-hating purpose, masculinity has become the most controversial, detestable word in the English lexicon.

And it’s now impossible to be ‘masculine’ without also being accused of ‘toxic masculinity’.

Even Prince Charming whisking Cinderella off from captive hell to a life of happiness is an evil that must be expunged from society – led by furious Keira Knightley and her ultra feminist knights in PC armour. ‘Cinderella waits for a rich guy to rescue her,’ she sneered. ‘Don’t. Rescue yourself! Obviously!’

Fine empowering words until you remember that the Prince gallantly saved Cinderella from abuse and slavery and they genuinely loved each other. Then it doesn’t seem quite so ‘obvious’, does it?

One of the very worst of the many terrible things about radical feminism is the scourge of pathetic male virtue-signallers that urge them on.

As an obvious (or so I thought..) tongue-in-cheek joke this morning, I tweeted: ‘Happy #InternationalMensDay! Stay strong lads, we’re not illegal – yet.’

Most people reacted in the way I would react if someone else had tweeted that – by laughing. Others weren’t so amused, bombarding me with hateful abuse about my supposed ‘toxic masculinity’.

A man named Box Brown, who has a verified Twitter account and claims to be a New York Times best-selling cartoonist, replied simply: ‘Die.’

How laughably hypocritical; this angry little clown races to attack what he presumably perceives to be my aggressive maleness, yet does so by saying he wants me dead.

Hypocrisy is sadly a prevalent theme with much of modern feminism.

The likes of Kim Kardashian and Emily Ratajkowski have both built hugely lucrative careers out of stripping off in the supposed name of ‘feminist empowerment’.

When in fact what they’re really doing is selling nudity and sex.

I have no problem with that - just don’t pretend it benefits any other woman or is anything that Emmeline Pankhurst and her Suffragettes would have ever done.

They were too busy risking their lives to win women the right to vote, than to have time to writhe naked in spaghetti and ludicrously claim they were doing so to liberate womankind.

When I say this kind of thing, women ask me to cite an example of what I consider real feminist empowerment.

So let me give you one from yesterday, when a 17-year old German girl driver named Sophia Flörsch was competing in her first Formula 3 World Cup race at the Macau Grand Prix. The race featured male and female drivers, and she qualified purely on merit.

On the fourth lap, she struck another driver’s car as she approached a bend at 175mph. The collision caused Sophia’s car to spin out of control and catapult several hundred yards through the air into a wall.

It’s the most horrifying car crash I have ever seen, and everyone who watches it would presume she must have died. But Sophia lived, despite fracturing her spine.

And within a few hours, she tweeted: ‘Just wanted to let everybody know that I am fine but will be going into surgery tomorrow morning. Thanks to everybody for the supporting messages. Update soon.’

No fuss, no playing the victim.

Can you even imagine the scale of self-pitying hell that would be unleashed on the unsuspecting public if any of the Kardashians had a minor 25mph car prang today in which they broke a diamond-encrusted toenail?

Sophia has an incredible talent for driving a car, and incredible courage too. She is a rising star in a male-dominated sport determined to prove she can mix it with the men and I applaud her for it.

THAT is true feminist empowerment – not flipping the bird in topless selfies to millions of impressionable young girls.

While I joke about International Men’s Day, of course I understand and appreciate there is a very serious side to it too.

The stats tell the grim story: 76% of suicides are men, 85% of homeless people are men, 70% of homicide victims are men, men serve 64% longer in prison and are 3.4x more likely to be imprisoned than women when both committed the same crime.

So it’s not all a patriarchal bed of roses being a man.

But I fully accept that women have historically been treated unfairly in terms of equality, and that many women continue to be treated unfairly. I also fully accept that women have been subjected to far more harassment, sexual abuse and domestic violence than men.

That is where the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have performed a valuable public service in highlighting and exposing genuinely bad, unacceptable and in some cases criminal behaviour. In fact, I don’t know any of my male friends who wouldn’t agree with that.

However, what I refuse to accept is that all masculinity is therefore now automatically a bad thing or that being a man is suddenly something to be ashamed about.

Nor do I believe that most women actually want the kind of neutered, emasculated, papoose-clad, permanently apologising doormats that radical feminists are trying to make us become.

Let me therefore offer some friendly advice from a man who loves women: Men like me don’t want to hear that universities (and one in Wales, UK actually did this) have banned the word ‘mankind’ because it’s offensive to women, not least because ‘women’ itself contains the word ‘men’.

We don’t want to be told we can’t appreciate a female star’s beauty because it’s offensive to feminists, then see feminists like Ellen de Generes openly objectifying famous men’s bodies at awards shows - to no complaint.

We don’t want to be informed that James Bond has to stop hitting on women because it’s now deemed politically incorrect, especially as none of the women he ever hits on seem to be anything but ecstatically thrilled about it.

We don’t want to be disapprovingly frowned at for opening doors for women or standing up for them on trains or when they walk into a room, or paying the bill for dinner if we want to. Chivalry is a good, not oppressive thing.

We want to pride ourselves on being a protective modern day hunter and provider, in whatever capacity that manifests itself to the benefit of a woman or family - without promptly being labelled a ‘dinosaur’ or ‘caveman’.

We’d like to preserve the right not to be seen blubbing in public every five minutes just to prove we’re in touch with our emotional side. In short, we’d just like to still enjoy being men if that’s OK?

Just as we’d like women to enjoy being women.. and yes, for gender-fluids to enjoy being men AND women if that makes them happy.

The best conversation I’ve had about all this was with the singer Annie Lennox who said it was ‘important to bring men with you’ on the feminist journey. ‘But,’ she cautioned, ‘the debate has to be less hostile to men for that to happen.’



Chipotle manager is fired after telling African American customers they must pay BEFORE ordering their food

She was protecting her restaurant from  Dine & Dash Crooks but you must not do that if they are black

A Chipotle manager has been fired after she was filmed telling customers that they had to pay before being served. [So paying is optional for blacks at Chipotle?]

The video, which was posted to Twitter on Friday morning, features a group of young black men who are told they cannot order until they prove they have money to pay.

In the video, the manager of the restaurant in St Paul, Minnesota tells the customers 'you gotta pay because you never have money when you come in here.'

Masaud Ali, 21, recorded the incident and posted it on social media, captioning the video: 'Can a group of young well established African American get a bite to eat after a long workout session. @ChipotleTweets??'

As of Sunday afternoon, the video had been viewed 4.32 million times and liked more than 71,000 times.

'It sounded really racist - the way she said it was racist,' Ali told the Star Tribune on Friday. 'She asked for proof of income as if I'm getting a loan.'

He said he was also disappointed that none of the other employees who were on duty spoke up.

Chipotle replied to the video stating 'what happened here is not how our employees should treat our customer'.

The company also said the manager has since been terminated and that the staff has undergone training to prevent a similar situation from occurring.

Chipotle later clarified that the manager had mistaken the guests for another group of men who had come in and not been able to pay for their food.

'We don't ask customers to pay for their meals prior to making them in our restaurants. The manager should have made their food and withheld giving it to them until they paid for it,' Chipotle told the Star Tribune in a statement, explaining its policy. 

'Regardless, this is not how we treat our customers and as a result, the manager has been terminated and the restaurant is being retrained to ensure something like this doesn't happen again.'

However, not everyone is as convinced of the men's innocence. Previous tweets seemed to imply that he had eaten at establishments before without paying.

'Dine and dash is forever interesting,' Ali wrote in a since-deleted tweet from July 2015.

Another post from March 2015 read: 'if you a real ass n***a we [gonna go to] Applebees [sic] and eat as much a we can and tip the nice lady 20cents and walk the f**k out.'

Ali, who records show is on probation for theft, did not reply to a request from the Miami Herald. 

Chipotle said it is aware of the old tweets and is currently investigating the incident.


'Enough, enough, enough': Australian PM Morrison vows to cut migrant numbers and says pressure needs to be taken off Sydney, Melbourne, with new state-based policy

This could win him the next election if he really makes it happen

Scott Morrison has vowed to cut the number of immigrants coming into Australia - saying population growth needs to be managed.

'Australians in our biggest cities are concerned about population. They are saying enough, enough, enough,' the Prime Minister said in a speech in Sydney on Monday.

'The roads are clogged, the buses and trains are full. The schools are taking no more enrollments.'

'We have become, especially in Sydney and Melbourne, a victim of our success.'

Over the last decade migration has accounted for over half of the population growth in the nation at 58 per cent.   

The Prime Minister predicted his changes would cause a shift in direction of immigration policy and lower the annual immigration target from the national cap of 190,000.

His new direction would involve talking to State leaders and forming immigration targets on a regional basis, rather than having a national immigration cap.

The PM defended immigration in general, saying the benefits include a growing workforce, increased opportunities for Australian businesses and workers, and that immigrants contribute to the economy rather than draw from welfare.

'I believe that we need a new discussion with the States and territories and local governments about how we manage and plan for our changing population,' Mr Morrison said.

'The old model of a single national number determine by Canberra is no longer fit for purpose.'

'Further to this I am writing to the Premiers and chief ministers inviting them to contribute to a national strategy and framework on population and putting this on the table for out next COAG meeting on 12 December.'



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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