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Mon, 18 Jun 2018
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Taliban members take selfies, hug soldiers during Eid ceasefire, just before the explosion

© Allauddin Khan/AP
Dozens of Taliban members entered the Afghan capital on Saturday. They were unarmed and were met with greetings and hugs by civilians and soldiers in a ceasefire attempt for the Eid holiday.

The militants, some wearing traditional headgear, went through the streets of Kabul carrying their flags and urging locals to come forward and take selfies with them.

Comment: See also:
17 or more dead as blast hits Taliban-Afghan forces meeting during landmark ceasefire


Aussie troops killed Afghan amputee, drank beer from fake limb, and other questionable moral judgements

Aussie Army Swastika flag
Nazi swastika flag flies over Australian Army vehicle in Afghanistan, 2007.
Australia's elite Special Air Service Regiment (SASR) team has been found to have committed a string of atrocities while on mission in Afghanistan nearly a decade ago; and the "Nazi flag" incident appears to be just the tip of the iceberg.

Artificial limb mounted
© Stuff.co.nz
Artificial limb mounted and used as drinking vessel by Australian SASR troops.
In one instance back in 2009, reported by Sydney-based Fairfax Media, which conducted a six-month investigation into alleged Australian military war crimes in Afghanistan, soldiers killed an Afghan amputee as they were raiding Urozgan province and took his artificial limb to their base to use it as a drinking vessel.

Comment: The prosthetic leg was then taken as a souvenir and brought back to Perth to be used as a novelty beer drinking vessel.

In another no less horrendous case, two senior soldiers first plotted and then forced a "rookie" troop to kill an unarmed elderly detainee, a Taliban suspect, thereby marking the young soldier's combat debut. According to Special Forces sources, cited by Fairfax, the victim posed no threat after being brutally knocked out.

The soldiers involved in the atrocities committed on Afghan soil have not been named by the media.

The hair-raising details came to light around the time when Australia's prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, blasted personnel of the same high-profile squadron who were caught on camera waving a swastika flag from their patrol vehicle.

Comment: Any sense of decency must have been left 'down under.'

Star of David

Israel ready to destroy Palestinian village - will Britain intervene?

Khan al-Ahmar
© Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Khan al-Ahmar
Israel is poised to demolish Khan al-Ahmar in the West Bank - an act that could be a war crime. But Britain could save it

Israel is intent on destroying the homes of the 173 Palestinians who live in the small shepherding community of Khan al-Ahmar, along with the school that serves 150 children from the area. Last month, Israel's high court of justice removed the last obstacle to this barbaric act of demolishing an entire community in order to forcibly transfer its residents and take over their land. Israel has announced that the land from which these Palestinians will be evicted will serve to expand the nearby settlement of Kfar Adumim.

The story of Khan al-Ahmar exemplifies Israel's policy of expelling dozens of Palestinian communities from areas it plans to formally annex. To keep international criticism to a minimum, Israel usually tries to evict residents slowly by creating unbearable living conditions that force them to leave their homes, allegedly of their own free will. To that end, the authorities refuse to connect these communities to running water and power grids, do not authorise construction of homes or other structures and restrict their pastureland.

Comment: "These assets give the British government enough leverage to save the people of Khan al-Ahmar. Does it possess the political will to use them?" In a word: Nope.

Star of David

Nablus: Israeli settlers poison Palestinian-owned sheep

Two guys two dead sheep
© Unknown
Settlers see to it 'that sheep unsafely graze'.
At least 10 sheep belonging to a Palestinian farmer in Salem town, east of Nablus in the occupied West Bank, reportedly died on Monday after Jewish settlers poisoned a plot of grazing land.

Local sources told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that these sheep belonged to farmer Mahyoub Ashtiya, who was grazing his sheep on Sunday on land a few meters away from the town, particularly near the military watchtower or the bypass in the area.
At first, the sources explained, that three sheep died directly and then seven others followed, while there are five more are in critical condition, adding that the farmer incurred losses amounting to over 3,000 Jordanian dinars.

Following the incident, tests conducted by a veterinarian and the competent authorities affirmed that the sheep were exposed to poisoning. Eyewitnesses had also reported seeing a car boarded by a horde of settlers in the same area a few days ago, believing that they could have poisoned the pasture.

Settlers from the illegal settlement of Elon Moreh, who also have cattle and take them to Palestinian agricultural lands for grazing, already threatened local shepherds that they would poison their sheep if they were seen in the area.

Comment: As the Israeli government demeans, threatens, persecutes and outright kills Palestinians, it sends a message to the settlers that this sort of treatment is condoned and encouraged.


On the smearing of Jordan Peterson and why feminists hate him

Jordan Peterson
© Getty Images
Jordan Peterson
"Tyranny is the deliberate removal of nuance."

~ Albert Maysles

Two weeks ago, we learned that BBC historian, Dan Snow, lied to his daughters when he told them that the Spitfires were piloted by women flying combat missions during WWII in order to encourage them to "follow their dreams." We were also told that Jordan Peterson is apparently a flaming "misogynist," according to two writers who have chopped up quite a bit of Peterson's words, conveniently situating his ideas into a landscape where they take pot shots at a caricature that they alone have fabricated.

While Snow was the subject of light media speculation, Peterson has been held to the fire in recent months from the social justice warrior left to the feminists of all flavors, with most coming at him with rather incoherent critiques. Two men, two different approaches to sexual inequality, and this story unfolds through how their actions are differently interpreted. But I will return to this later.


Supreme Court backs Ohio anti-voter fraud measures

supreme court
Democrats have long relied on inaccurate election rolls to aid their candidates. They want to count every vote, legal or not. So, after Ohio's government cleaned up its registration lists it was hit with the usual claims of left-wing bias. Now the Supreme Court has ruled for the state.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said the "decision is a victory for election integrity" and Ohio's system could "serve as a model for other states to use." Playing an important supporting role was the Trump Justice Department, which shifted to defend Ohio-the Obama administration naturally attacked the state's effort. The president deserves credit for appointing Justice Neil Gorsuch, who provided the deciding vote.

In Husted v. Randolph Institute the state had dropped a voter who failed to cast a ballot in several elections and respond to a notice requesting that he affirm his eligibility. There was no evidence of racism, prejudice, unfairness, or malice. Nevertheless, liberal groups sued, claiming that relying on the failure to vote violated federal law. Ohio prevailed in the District Court but lost at the appellate level.

Comment: The US is rife with voter fraud, so any steps to reduce it would likely be a step in the right direction. See more:

2 + 2 = 4

Diversity and inclusion of identity group politics often means uniformity and exclusion of ideas

"'Diversity and inclusion' is the moral benchmark of our time... Every corporation, college, and government agency, along with a growing number of bowling leagues and bait-and-tackle shops, has an Office of Diversity and Inclusion." So says William Voegeli in a recent article. And so says the University of California at Los Angeles, whose campus-wide Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion earned (or at least, was paid) some $444,000 in 2016. UCLA is not alone in assigning overwhelming importance to "diversity and inclusion."

Bias in favor of or against an individual simply because of his or her race or ethnicity is morally wrong. When bias is government policy, the outcome is also invariably bad. Neither morality nor Machiavelli favors group preferences, as distinguished black economist Thomas Sowell argued in an 18,000-word 1989 article.


The liberal media's Father's Day

Self-mutilated female LARPing
© CNN screenshot
Self-mutilated female LARPing as a man plays with the son to whom she gave birth; LARPing male in background in the June Cleaver role
Happy Father's Day from CNN:
Like many new dads, Sabastion Sparks knew parenting would come with serious challenges.

But most new dads didn't give birth to their child. They didn't breastfeed them. And they don't endure glares from strangers when they go shopping with their wife and their toddler son.

Sabastion, 24, is a transgender man who lives with his wife Angel in suburban Atlanta. Assigned the female gender at birth, he began transitioning five years ago . It's a process that felt more complete last month when he had surgery to remove his breasts.

Comment: Perhaps the last statement is a bit harsh. A better thing to do may be to gain knowledge of how ideological possession affects people and the world around us.


The direct approach to reducing poverty isn't always best

school children in India
© Hemant Mishra/Mint
Sometimes in life, it is clear that the direct approach isn't the best one. This is true in many areas, even when it comes to policymaking. Take, as an example, the area of extreme poverty. It seems logical, at first, that the most effective response should be head-on: giving money and assets to protect people from income shocks.

In recent times, microcredit schemes have been presented as a panacea, attracting a lot of money around the world. However, a series of trials have shown that microcredit doesn't do much good-often not even increasing average incomes, and burying the poor in debt.

Subsidized crop insurance is another direct approach designed to help generate more income for the poorest of farmers by making agriculture less risky. But how useful is this approach? New research by Munshi Sulaiman, research director of Save the Children International, with Michael Murigi of the University of Sydney, analytically weighs the costs and benefits of this along with other direct approaches to poverty alleviation.

Comment: Giving people free money rarely solves any problems, so an approach of aiding in bootstrapping them to be economically productive would likely produce better and longer term results.

Light Sabers

Twitter loses case against right-winger suing for banning his account

clipping Twitter's tail feathers
On Thursday, a California superior court judge ruled in favor of "white advocate" Jared Taylor of American Renaissance, who is suing Twitter for banning his account over his political views.

From Bloomberg, "Twitter to Face Claims by 'White Advocate' Over Banned Accounts":

Comment: Will Twitter think twice before censoring and manipulating content for its Deep State-aligned ends? See more: