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Wed, 22 Jan 2020
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Sir Roger Scruton: A giant has passed

Roger Scruton
© TAC/DannyDelgado
Roger Scruton in 2019
I met Sir Roger Scruton for the first and only time last year at a banquet in Washington, D.C., where he was receiving a prestigious award. (It was an ordinary weekend outing for Sir Roger.) I happened to run into him at the cash bar.

"Sir Roger," I stammered, "I'm a huge admirer of your work." He asked what I did; I told him I went to school in Australia, and now worked for a venerable old British rag ("maybe you've heard of it?"), which was then launching an American edition. He listened politely, nodded, and said: "And yet you are Canadian?"

I'd never been accused of being Canadian before. That my boyhood hero should have been the first to do so — well, I think I mine was the greater honor that night.

We've not yet begun to realize the influence Sir Roger will have on my generation of conservatives: older Gen-Xers, Millennials, and older Zoomers. We were born too late to have any living memory of Russell Kirk or William F. Buckley or any of those extraordinary men who won a generation to the cause of conservatism. There's no one of that stature alive today, no one who could so possess the imagination or thrill the intellect of a young fogey, no one except Roger Scruton. And now he's gone.

Comment: Remembering Roger Scruton, R.I.P.

See also:

Stock Down

Devastating bushfires may cost Australia up to US$3.5bn & take toll on economic growth

Australian bushfire near Bairnsdale
FILE PHOTO: A bushfire near Bairnsdale in Victoria's East Gippsland region
Australia is expected to face up to AU$5 billion (US$3.5 billion) in losses as fires continue to rage across the continent, according to an Australian Westpac bank forecast.

The natural disaster could also cut 0.2 to 0.5 percent of the country's GDP, the bank said in its preliminary analysis released on Monday. The tourism and agricultural sectors have been hit hardest, while the most severely affected area accounts for around one percent of the nation's economy.


Blast rattles central Stockholm, another explosion reported in Uppsala shortly afterwards

Swedish police
© AFP / TT NEWS AGENCY / Christine Olsson
File photo
A posh district in central Stockholm was rocked by an explosion in the early hours of Monday morning. The blast was so intense it shattered windows and bathed the entire street in broken glass.

An explosive charge was reportedly placed on the gate outside a property in the area at roughly 1am local time in the Östermalm area. The blast, which completely destroyed one vehicle, damaged several others and blew the windows out of apartments along the entire street, could be heard several kilometers away.

No Entry

Texas governor to Pompeo: His state won't accept new refugees in 2020

Tex Gov Gregg Abbott
© unknown
Texas Governor Greg Abbott
Texas will not take part in the resettlement of refugees in 2020, according to Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R), who informed U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of his decision Friday in a letter.

The letter was written in response to President Trump's Executive Order 13888, which deals with enhancing state involvement in refugee resettlement. Gov. Abbott wrote in his letter:
"Since (2010), more refugees have been received in Texas than in any other state. In fact, over that decade, roughly 10% of all refugees resettled in the United States have been placed in Texas. Even today, the process of resettling continues for many of these refugees."
Abbott cites poor vetting as a reason for this decision.
"In June 2019, individuals from 52 different countries were apprehended here. And in (2018), the apprehensions included citizens from disparate countries like China, Iran, Kenya, Russia, and Tonga. Texas continues to have to deal with the consequences of an immigration system that Congress has failed to fix."


Facebook glitch reveals Greta Thunberg's social media posts are ghost-written by her father and a UN climate change delegate

Svante Thunberg posting as Greta Thunberg
A Thursday evening software update at Facebook accidentally allowed anyone to view exactly who is posting under the accounts of public figures, businesses and other entities, according to Wired.

The result? For starters, some 3 million followers of teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg have been reading posts written by her father, Svante Thunberg, and a climate activist in India who serves as a delegate at the UN's Climate Change organization, Adarsh Prathap. Thunberg, Inc. claims Greta is still the one writing the content.

Comment: Not exactly a shocker considering everything else about her that isn't as it seems:

Star of David

Ethnic cleansing: A means to target Palestinian memory

Palestinian women
© 1971 Tony Deed's Weblog/WordPress.com
The ethnic cleansing carried out by the Israeli occupation authorities in occupied Jerusalem continues and has affected all Palestinian institutions without exception. However, it focuses on the educational and cultural institutions and those with political activities, to remove the Palestinian presence and restrict it in the Holy City, the capital of the occupied Palestinian state.

Currently, the occupation campaign has taken the most dangerous turn to date, i.e. a comprehensive war on Palestinian educational institutions in occupied East Jerusalem and its suburbs, targeting UNRWA schools, Palestinian schools affiliated with the Palestinian Authority, and private schools. The ethnic cleansing began in the UNRWA schools to achieve two goals at the same time, first, to shut down the agency's institutions, which is a joint American-Israeli goal that seeks to get rid of all f the UNRWA institutions that provide services to Palestinian refugees.

The purpose of this is to stop all services and end the UNRWA's role. The closure of schools will be followed by stopping operations in the health and other humanitarian services institutions to liquidate the Palestinian refugee issue. This cannot be achieved until after the UNRWA is eliminated.

The second goal, which is also dangerous, is to erase the Palestinian memory, along with the convictions, public information, and national archive, as well as the commitment to the cause, homeland, struggle and fight against the occupying enemy. This would be followed by planting misleading and false information contrary to facts and reality to change the authentic Israeli and Palestinian narratives.

Star of David

Israel refuses to recognize murdered Palestinian woman as a 'victim of terrorism'

Aisha Muhammed talal Al-Rabi
© Twitter
Aisha Muhammad Talal Al-Rabi killed after illegal Israeli settlers attack in the West Bank.
The murder of a Palestinian mother by illegal Israeli settlers was recognised as a terror attack yesterday by the Israeli authorities, but bizarrely they are denying to acknowledge her as a victim of terrorism.

The 47-year-old mother of eight, Aisha Al-Rabi, was killed in 2018 after being hit on the side of her head by a rock which was hurled by Jewish settlers through the windshield of the car in which she was travelling. The attack took place at Tapuah Junction (Za'atara), south of Nablus in the occupied West Bank, as Aisha and her husband Yaqoub Al-Rabi were driving past an illegal settlement, causing Mr Al-Rabi to lose control of their car.

Only the Israeli who threw the rock has been imprisoned in a juvenile detention facility, as he was 16 years old at the time of the incident and a student at the Pri Haaretz yeshiva in the northern West Bank settlement of Rehelim. Despite being charged with manslaughter, aggravated stone throwing at a moving vehicle, and intentional sabotage of a vehicle, he was released under house arrest after just four months.

The Israeli Defence Ministry's criteria require individuals targeted in attacks either to be Israeli citizens or have an Israeli residence permit in order to be recognised as victims of terrorism and receive compensation from the National Insurance Institute. Aisha Al-Rabi did not meet any of these criteria.

Stock Up

Russia takes its place among Europe's top performing stock markets in 2019

dancing polar  bears russia
© Sputnik / Pavel Lisitsyn
While last year was marked by political and economic uncertainty across the world, Greece, Russia and Italy have been Europe's top performing stock markets.

Some investors dismissed these markets as "too dangerous, too politically unstable, too reliant on commodities, too weak economically or a combination of all four," Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, a UK investment platform, said in a note to clients seen by CNBC."But this just goes to show that buying what is comfortable is rarely the route to big profits," he added.

Comment: What's even better, is that Russia's renaissance is built on reality. The U.S.-imposed sanctions have forced Russia to revitalize its domestic industries in nearly every sector. Russia is one of the few countries in the world who are within reach of being able to supply nearly all of the needs of its population on its own. This sort of economic stability is highly attractive to investors.

Shopping Bag

Walmart fires 56 executives in India as part of restructuring scheme

© Reuters / Mukesh Gupta 4
A Walmart India's Best Price Modern Wholesale store
The world's largest retailer, Walmart, has laid off about a third of the executives at its Indian headquarters in Gurgaon as it struggles to boost its business in the country.

The company fired a total of 56 people, including eight with senior management positions and others in middle and lower management, Krish Iyer, the president and CEO of Walmart India, said in a statement released to the media on Monday. The cuts reportedly amount to around one percent of the total staff working for the company in India.

"We are also looking for ways to operate more efficiently, which requires us to review our corporate structure to ensure that we are organized in the right way," he said, adding that all the dismissed employees will be offered enhanced severance benefits and outplacement services.


12 shot, five dead, in a single day of shootings in Baltimore, MD

Authorities say 12 people were shot, five of them fatally, in eight separate weekend shootings in Baltimore.

The first of Saturday's shootings was reported at about 2:30 a.m. and involved three female victims, all found with apparent gunshot wounds in a car in a northeastern section of the city. One victim, a 28-year-old woman, died shortly after arriving at a hospital.

A few hours later, police responding to a shooting in southeast Baltimore found a 46-year-old man with a gunshot wound to the leg. Then, a second shooting victim, a 40-year-old man, walked into a hospital seeking treatment for a gunshot wound to his leg.

Shortly after 2:30 p.m. Saturday, police found a man fatally shot in southeast Baltimore. That was followed less than half an hour later by a shooting in central Baltimore that left a 37-year-old man wounded.

Comment: See also: Baltimore on track for record homicides as city descends into chaos