Monday, 26 September 2016

How to Cover a Charlatan Like Trump - NYTimes.com

LETTER TO NEW YORK TIMES
Nicholas Kristof makes some decent points in this article. ("How to cover a charlatan", September 26). 
He would do well to follow his own advice. He observes that a journalist's job "is not stenography, but truth telling". But has himself failed to tell the truth. 
Back in October 2014 he sided with Ben Affleck in the latter's ignorant and scandalous attack of Bill Maher's guest Sam Harris. The topic was Islam and Affleck had just labelled Harris "gross and racist". Rather than side with Sam -- who is neither gross not racist -- Kristof waded into say that Harris' views had the whiff of anti black racism. 
This is a calumny and provably false. Was Kristof afraid of Affleck? Or was he simply ignorant?  I can't believe he's the latter so I assume the former. 
In which case shame on Kristof for not having the guts of the journalists he quotes, Edward R. Murrow, Claude Sitton and Karl Fleming who fought McCarthyism and the brutality of Jim Crow. 
For all his good intent, Kristof has a ways to go before he demonstrates the courage to uncover charlatans. 
Peter Forsythe
9 Siena One
Discovery Bay
Hong Kong
9308 0799


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Friday, 23 September 2016

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Hillary’s Submission to Militant Muslims | The American Spectator

Another good article in today's Google Islam watch list.
More if Hillary's inanity over Islam.
http://spectator.org/hillarys-submission-to-militant-muslims/


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Islamic Terrorism Is Not a Narrative

Spot on brother Brown!
http://www.christianpost.com/news/islamic-terrorism-is-not-a-narrative-169880/


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Tuesday, 20 September 2016

New York bombings

I wonder what can have motivated Ahmad Khan Rahami, an Afghan Muslim, to try to kill random New Yorkers with home made bombs? The police don't know.
I'm going to stick my neck out and guess that it's the ideology of Islam. For it quite specifically says to "kill the unbelievers wherever you find them". That would make sense. Nothing else much does.

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Saturday, 17 September 2016

xkcd: Earth Temperature Timeline

Global,temperature change in cartoon form :
http://xkcd.com/1732/


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Canadian PM Justin Trudeau’s Pandering to Islamists | Clarion Project

Fair questions here.
Why do our political leaders -- in the US, Australia, the U.K. as well as, here, Canada -- talk to the Islamist organizations and not to the many more moderate and secular organizations and individuals? These latter do exist.
One answer to my own question is that if they were to do so they would be hounded by the Islamists who are of course the oldest voices. Maybe they also just don't know. ...
http://m.clarionproject.org/analysis/canadian-pm-justin-trudeau%E2%80%99s-pandering-islamists


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Thursday, 15 September 2016

Raymond Ibrahim: Impervious Hubris: How U.S. Intelligence Failures Led to ISIS

The ever-sound Raymond Ibrahim. My comment awaiting moderation. (LATER: now there. Check it out).
This guy Scheuer was and remains a real danger, adding yet more miasmic fog to Foggy Bottom.
Whereas Ibrahim is correct in his answer to "Why do they hate us?" It's in his book, "The Al Qaeda Reader", which is a pretty good read!
https://www.jihadwatch.org/2016/09/raymond-ibrahim-impervious-hubris-how-u-s-intelligence-failures-led-to-isis/comment-page-1#comment-1521796

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‘We Misled You’: How the Saudis Are Coming Clean on Funding Terrorism - POLITICO Magazine

Interesting. This guy was the ambassador to Saudi Arabia in the late 90s so one presumes he knows whereof he speaks.
Let's hope this is a genuine change. But, as the ambassador notes, there are powerful forces lined against the new honesty.
http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/09/saudi-arabia-terrorism-funding-214241#ixzz4KFX0mvv6


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How Bolivia Fights the Drug Scourge

Surely in 1,000 years we won't still be pursuing a "War on Drugs"?  It's a clearly failed policy, yet pursued with vigour, yet, by the United States, at least.
But between now and a thousand years from now we're going to change. Why not sooner rather than later?
Countries that try new methods to deal with drugs -- decriminalising, medical treatment of addicts, and so on -- are routinely demonised by the US.  I know this is the case for Portugal, that has forsaken the failed WOD. And also in Bolivia, which I did not know, until reading this article in the New York Times.
Bolivia's policies have led to less cocaine being produced.
Columbia's policies (slash, burn and war on coke) have led to more cocaine being produced.
Yet, it's Bolivia that's criticised by the US, and Columbia that's praised.
Crazy.

Dangers Rise as America Retreats - WSJ

Ok, so we all know Cheney, the prince of darkness, the malignant Rasputin to Czar W.
Bit still, there's a lot in the article below with his daughter Liz that's spot on.
I think history will judge very harshly Obama's foreign policy record.
Pulling out of Iraq too early, enabling ISIS; failing to enforce the Syria "Red Line against the use of chemical weapons, encouraging Assad. These are serious mistakes. Yet amazingly, on the Syria red line failure, he's actually proud!!  WTF?!
And what does he himself think? That his greatest foreign policy legacy will be reestablishing relations with Cuba. Really?

LATER: International New York Times on September 16 quotes a jacked Colin Powell email: "...Mr Powell calls Dick Cheney, the former Vice President, and his daughter Liz Cheney 'idiots and a spent force peddling a book that ain't going nowhere'l.
http://www.wsj.com/articles/dangers-rise-as-america-retreats-1473461151
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What Politicians Don’t Get About the Islamic State - POLITICO Magazine

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Vazectomy

LETTER TO BBC
(Concerning the resignation of British MP Keith Vaz for hiring rent boys. 
BBC did a review of Vaz's career without any mention of his infamous turn-around in the Satanic Verses affair.  Having first told Rushdie that he had his full support, just a few weeks later Vaz was at the head of thousands of barbate Muslims demanding Rushdie's head. This is reported by Rushdie himself in his autobiography Joseph Anton):

Subject: Vazectomy

Good riddance to Vaz.

But why no mention of his infamous support in 1989 of the masses braying for the head of Salman Rusdie whose death had been suborned by an Iranian theocrat?

Bad miss.

PF, HK. 

Thursday, 8 September 2016

The Only Syrian Solution | WSJ

Like the Balkan split up: Syrian partition will allow this mother and son
to start rebuilding this benighted country.
A while back I posted an article by Jonathan Spyer [1], which argued persuasively that the only realistic outcome for Syria would be a partition.  Talking Heads on the BBC seem to agree: only this morning one said: "Assad can't lose; he also can't win".  Kerry and co want to keep on bashing their heads against a brick wall trying to keep it all together.
One of many favourite commenters, Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal, writes an article along the Spyer lines.
To remind: the three states wold be: (1) Assad and the Alawites (2) the Kurds in the north (3) The Free Syrian Army in between and to the east.
Of course, it's not that easy. Stephens discusses some of the challenges. [2]
Two big ones: (1) get rid of ISIS.  At least on that front there's been some advance lately, with areas under their control being taken back. (2) How to handle the Kurds, given Turkey's hatred of them. US and Nato involvement in persuading them will be needed.
***********
[1] Who should rule Syria? Nobody Jonathan Spyer, The Spectator, 20 August 2016
[2] The Only Syrian Solution Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal, 7 September 2016

Comrades, Relax! - WSJ

China in the 70s. This is Australian Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, in
Beijing, October 1973.  Far left is Steve FitzGerald, Australian Ambassador.
A few years later I worked for him in the Embassy, then I was a partner in
his firm until 1989. Far right, the little guy? Deng Xiaoping!
You know what cured me of a susceptibility to socialism, a leaning to leftism?  What got me off an undergraduate flirtation with marxism, critiques of capitalism, contempt for Amerika's empire?  
It was when I went to live, work and study in China in 1976. That cured me. 
What I saw was a poor people, fed poorly, clothes uniformly poor, nothing to buy, unable to speak their minds. Food was rationed. Cotton cloth was rationed. Wages were low --  US$30 per month was good money.  Even a Vice Premier, like Deng Xiaoping, above, would have been earning only about a couple of hundred a month.
China was still under the influence of the "Gang of Four" then (remember them?). China was still undergoing the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution then. 
We didn't know that this would soon change. By the end of 1976 the G4 had been arrested and China began what would become the greatest turnaround in world history. Food, clothing, consumer goods are all plentiful and cheap. Average wages have gone up at a compound annual rate of 14%,  a staggering rate (recall Warren Buffet talking about the "magic of compunding interest"), bringing around 500 million people, that's right, half a Billion -- out of poverty, and creating a prosperous middle class that is the largest in the world -- and the most optimistic. All of this is simply staggering. And it's the difference between capitalism (or, as the Chinese insist, "socialism with Chinese characteristics") and socialism. 
I was cured. 
But so many in the west are not. They don't know the reality or are willfully blind to it. 
Let them live for a while in Venezuela and see what socialism does to a country. Right next door is Columbia, where Venezuelans now have to go just to get basics. 
Or live for a bit in the socialist paradise of North Korea. I've been there. Ugh!
A pox on socialists and Marxists. 
Anyway, the article below the fold is an amusing take on the continuing (and to me puzzling) academic enthusiasm for Marxism.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

"Hell’s angel? Saint Teresa of Calcutta just a holy woman doing God’s work", SCMP, 5 September

LETTER TO SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST (278 words):

Kevin Rafferty identifies the many critics of Mother Teresa's canonisation as "feminists, leftists, liberals and free-thinkers". This is curious and begs an obvious question: are Teresa's fans then "misogynists, rightists, conservatives and bigots"?  (Hell's angel? Saint Teresa of Calcutta just a holy woman doing God's work, 5 September)

Ad hominems aside, the criticisms of Albanian-born Mother Teresa's work are well-researched and serious. Her help of the poor may have been outweighed by the damage done in her name: children allowed to die rather than receiving treatment, her opposition to contraception, and much more. 

My own pet peeve is the so-called "miracles". 

A tribal woman, Monica Besra, claims her stomach tumour disappeared because she had held a photo of Mother Teresa to her belly.  Miracle!

However Besra had earlier been treated at a hospital. Doctors say the tumour had responded to this treatment. Tumour remission happens with some regularity, even to we atheists.  It would have happened to Ms Besra whether or not she clutched her saintly photo.  Yet the Vatican claims their investigation was "exhaustive". Really?  Why are miracles never something truly miraculous: the regrowth of a severed limb, say? Even we "free-thinkers" would be forced to sit up and take notice at that!

I know I should have the good manners to "respect"  people of faith and Teresa, "a woman doing God's work".  And yet, as I watched the serried masses in St Peter's square and read Rafferty's Teresan encomium, my uncharitable thought was that this is a massive communal self-delusion. Rather than glory in the wonder of modern science, the faithful are enjoined to clutch photographs of dead Albanians.  

I guess I'm just a horrid "Cathophobe".


Peter Forsythe
9 Siena One
Discovery Bay
9308 0799

Criticisms:
Mother Teresa's legacy under a cloud.  AFP. South China Morning Post. 4 September 2016
Criticism of Mother Teresa: Too little and too late.  Professor Jerry A. Coyn.  Why Evolution is True. 4 September 2016
A Critic's Lonely Quest: Revealing the Whole Truth About Mother Teresa. Kay Schultz. International New York Times, 26 August 2016
Mother Teresa, Hell's Angel.  YouTube. Christopher Hitchens, 8 November 1984


Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Islamic State's 'Jizya tax' for Christians is pure propaganda | Coffee House

The ongoing willful blindness of the west to the suffering of Christians in the Middle East is here skewered. 
Willful blindness from Obama to the Pope, via every leftie in between. 
Some of those lefties are this very minute holding a pop concert in Berlin to promote tolerance: tolerance, that is, of Muslim immigrants to Germany. 
Nary a word, one hears, never a word, one hears, of the harried Christians in Syria, in Iran, in Iraq, brothers and sisters to Christians in Europe, about their killings, rape and torture in Arabia. 
/Snip
"Last weekend, several Middle Eastern Christian leaders met in Italy to beg Western politicians to acknowledge the depth of the suffering of their people. They complained that they had been forgotten, describing in detail the annihilation of their communities, the silence of human rights organisations and media, and the willingness of Western governments to seize upon the Jizya as an excuse to withhold certain interventions.
These leaders demolished Isis's Jizya claim, describing it as propaganda intended to add theological legitimacy to the group by linking it to the practices of historical caliphates, when, in fact, it is merely just another desperate attempt to fund their cult."

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Confronting Islam: Pope Francis vs. Saint Francis | Frontpage Mag

Francis ain't no Francis
More in the series of "the Pope is a hippy-dippy dunce".
Remember when he was asked his view of the Charlie Hebdo murders, and he said, along these lines: "if someone hit my mother I'd want to hit them back".  That was an outrage.  But he's lionised by the left, by greenies, and by those in thrall to the fake Saint, Teresa.
What's he on??

Monday, 5 September 2016

US Homeland Security Chief At Brotherhood-Linked Conference | Clarion Project

DHS Chief, Jeh Johnson, mixes with the Brotherhood

This is scandalous. The Muslim Brotherhood has inspired all the Sunni extremist groups, from Hamas and Al-Qaeda to ISIS.
What on earth is Johnson doing with them?  "Outreach"? "Interfaith dialogue"?
DHS ought to be ashamed of itself. There ought to be an internal investigation.
How could this happen?

Mother Teresa: Hell's Angel

LETTER TO BBC:
You report Teresa's sainthood with almost nauseating veneration. Not a whiff or whisper of the criticisms? Indifferent treatment of the dying, opposition to birth control and female choice, medical negligence and financial mismanagement? *
Reporting these: Aroup Chatterjee and the late Christopher Hitchens. (See his "Hell's Angel").
Surely some balance needed to the osculation of the Vatican's posterior.
Peter Forsythe
Hong Kong

* correction: have just noted a *whiff* of criticism, that she took money from dictators. But it's immediately discounted by your reporter. What happened to BBC neutrality and secularism?

LATER (6/9): Another article by Jerry Coyne, "Mother Teresa, Too little, too late"