Saturday, 24 January 2015

Charts

https://www.facebook.com/stormforcemarine/posts/787443221341591

"Satire is dead and cartoonists killed it"

"Satire doesn't provoke people to kill.....
... but it can't stop killers either."
In which J.J. McCullough makes the valid point that the pen isn't mightier than the sword: "if the pen was truly mightier than the sword one imagines that we cartoonists would have done a lot more to quell the terrorism threat over the last decade".
And calls out the vastly more politically correct American cartooning community for not getting Charlie Hedbo.
And calls out those oh-so-many cartoons which were just so glibly obvious:
"... comics of broken pencils crying blood or fountain pens stabbing terrorists, or heaving things labelled 'Freedom of Speech" squishing ISIS or whatever".
Indeed. Like folk proudly holding "I am Charlie" signs. About as effective as those "#Bringbackourgirls" hashtag after Boko Haram kidnapped 300 girls in Nigeria.
Like, a hashtag is going to influence them?

European 'No-Go' Zones Remain Hotbeds of Radical Islam

The "no-go" zones in Europe that "don't exist", according to the New York Times. And for which even Fox News apologised for reporting.
Note how many of the reports of "no-go" (or "sensitive urban areas", if you will), are from the governments.
By the way, I wouldn't normally link to Breitbart as I'm a bit uncomfortable with how far to the right they are. But the article is calmly stated and links to a number of authoritative polls and reports.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Hitchens: Islam and the "contagion of fear"


An oldie but a goodie.  Hitchens in scintillating form, and relevant as ever to the agonies over free speech in light of the Hebdo massacres.
After his speech, he talks to Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses, for which Rushdie was fatwa'd to death by Khomeini in 1989. As Rushdie drily notes, Khomeini is dead and he's still alive....
Clearly the South China Morning Post online editor caught this contagion of fear yesterday, when they removed my letter on free speech, that they'd published in the print edition.
[LATER: the letters editor reckons it's just a "glitch" and he'll get it put back online.
LATERER: the letter is back online here, behind registration wall].

"Say it like it is". You can’t dance around the topic of radical Islam.

When you don’t call things by their real name, you always get in trouble. And this administration, so fearful of being accused of Islamophobia, is refusing to make any link to radical Islam from the recent explosions of violence against civilians (most of them Muslims) by Boko Haram in Nigeria, by the Taliban in Pakistan, by Al Qaeda in Paris and by jihadists in Yemen and Iraq. We’ve entered the theater of the absurd. [the rest here]
Tom Friedman is getting more and more spot on in his reporting matters Islamic....

Thursday, 22 January 2015

"By holding back from criticism of Islam, we give in to the extremists"

"By holding back from criticism of Islam, we give in to the extremists"

That was the headline from the South China Morning Post of 22nd January 2015, in the Letters section.  It referred to my letter to them, about free speech issues in the light of the Charlie Hedbo massacre, printed word-for-word.

It was the featured letter on the op-ed page of this well regarded and most independent newspaper in Asia, ex Australasia.

I thought, and said to various people who've commented on my letter today, that I was very impressed by the Post's commitment to free speech, both on this issue of Charlie Hebdo, and also because I had been critical, in my letter, of their very own columnists (specifically Frank Ching and Alex Lo).  Both of whom, by the way, I respect and read every day that they post.

So I got online this morning and downloaded my letter, as it was printed today.  It was the featured letter and the online version had a picture of the Pope, with a caption that was my criticism of him as having recently become a member of the "but brigade".

I wanted to put a link to the letter with that photo, and so went back to the site tonight.

And then!  And then...!

I find that my letter, online, has disappeared.  Together with the Pope's picture and caption.

Whaaat!  The South China Morning Post has given it to the "but brigade"?  The boss of the Letters editor has seen what the Letters editor has allowed though and said "are you crazy?!"

I assume the Letter's editor will not again print a letter like mine. Very proof of what I'm talking about below.
[LATER: the Letter's editor said it was a "glitch" and it was put back online here, though behind a registration wall]

This was the letter, as printed in real-life (but scrubbed online), from the South China Morning Post, 22nd January 2015:
The usually reliable Frank Ching has joined the ranks of the "but brigade" in his column ("Drawing a line", January 14).
Salman Rushdie recently coined this phrase to describe those who say "I believe in free speech, BUT", followed by a choose-your-own bias, presented as a show of the "tolerance" and "respect" of its author.
When that "but" is done at the point of a gun, it is giving in to intimidation. And if the intimidation is successful, it will only lead to more intimidation. For, make no mistake, if the murderers of the  Charlie Hebdo journalists win, if the outcome is Western submission to Islamic blasphemy laws to outlaw any depictions of Mohammed - as sadly seems to be the trend - there will be more intimidation for further submission by the West, for further submission to Islamic laws.
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation is already pushing the UN to outlaw criticism of Islam.
That, surely, will be the next "red line" not be crossed by Western journalists, implemented by violent intimidation. And if that's successful, it will render us - Frank Ching included - mute in the battle of ideas against murderous jihadist violence.
It was even worse to see Pope Francis come out as a member of the "but brigade", when he said be believed in free speech, but "One cannot provoke, one cannot insult other people's faith, one cannot make fun of faith". But why not? Why should we be able to satirise and excoriate politicians, but leave religion alone? Marx noted that the free criticism of religion is the basis for all our other freedoms (I'm no Marxist, but he had this one right!). [LATERsee this!]
Rushdie says that nobody has the right "not to be offended". Flemming Rose, the man who published the Danish cartoons in 2005, has said, "Satire is a sound civilisation's answer to savagery". These are powerful observations, so much more than the pusillanimous posturing of the "but brigade".
So it's a shame to see that the likes of Ching, joined recently by his colleague Alex Lo ("Price of free speech is sometimes too high", January 17), are so casually trampling on a key victory of the enlightenment in bowing to violent theocrats.
PF, DB
LATER, one of many comments:
Hi P - your letter reads 'extremely' well in the SCMP.

I was at the FCC yesterday and read it out to a group of people sharing similar views - it went down well - excellent research and quotes within the letter added to its authority. 

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Why did Fox apologize? There ARE no-go areas for non-Muslims in Europe

"Sensitive urban area" in Paris, one of 715 on the French Government website.
Is this "no-go", or "go at your own peril", or a Muslim version of Chinatown?
You go, and see for yourself.  I've been and it was fine.  But that's for a man.
Try being a western woman, unveiled and go there...There are some shocking
YouTubes of how they're treated in these "sensitive areas".
On Saturday, Fox News apologized four times on the air for its reports about the no-go zones, acknowledging that there was no reason to believe that they existed. It called the reports an “error” and apologized to “any and all,” including “the people of France.” [New York Times]
But why would Fox apologise?  That there are such zones is proved by a French government website that details 715 such "sensitive" zones, where you enter at peril, especially if you are an unveiled woman. (See also here, and YouTube here, from the left-of-centre RT.com, which talks of the beating up of French police who went into one of these "sensitive zones").
I'm baffled, especially as Fox is usually quite robust in taking on its critics.  Do they not know of the government website?  Or do they think the euphemistic term "Zones urbanise sensibles" somehow means that it's not a "no-go" zone?
The New York Times article (linked above) claims the spread of sharia in Europe is "purported".  But western media are now hewing to a prohibition on cartoons or pictures of Muhammad, making them compliant with Islamic sharia blasphemy law.  In the UK there are nearly 100 Sharia courts, and Sharia principles are now to be enshrined in UK law.  What's "purported" about that?

The inside story of the Liaoning...


... how Xu Zengping sealed deal for China's first aircraft carrier.
This is a great story. Would make a fine film...

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, 19 January 2015

Charlie Hebdo Reaction: Part 2, Know Your Enemy | The Gerasites

The ongoing march of the "but brigade". The Charlie Hebdo killings must be condemned, but, but, but, but....
(This from a leftie site, by the way)
https://thegerasites.wordpress.com/2015/01/17/charlie-hebdo-reaction-part-2-know-your-enemy/
Sent from my iPad

Bowled out: How'zat!

From the Spectator Letters. Nice catch!
Bowled out
Sir: The recent correspondence on the subject of the fatal cricket accident which in 1751 prevented Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales, from succeeding his father George II as king in 1760, has failed to mention that this was the first known instance in cricket history of play stopping reign.
Tim RiceLondon SW13

Guess who U.S. Muslims are voting for: Poll

40% of American Muslims think the U.S. should be governed by Islamic sharia law....

What about the claim that extremists are only a "tiny minority" of Muslims?  Or that those promoting Sharia are "hijacking" the true Islam, the Religion of Peace?
Isn't support of Sharia law extremist?  Especially when you study it: see the "Reliance of the Traveller" on the left of this blog.
It's truly a horrid system of "jurisprudence"....
Sent from my iPad

Sunday, 18 January 2015

The charge of the "but brigade": They're NOT Charlie Hebdo

Letter to South China Morning Post:

Oh dear. The usually reliable Frank Ching has joined the ranks of the “but brigade” (Drawing a line, Jan 14). Salman Rushdie recently coined this phrase to describe those who say “I believe in free speech, BUT….”, followed by a choose-your-own bias, presented as a show of the “tolerance" and “respect” of its author.

When that “but”, is done at the point of a gun it is giving in to intimidation. And if the intimidation is successful it will only lead to more intimidation. For, make no mistake: if the murderers of Charlie Hebdo journalists win, if the outcome is western submission to Islamic blasphemy laws to outlaw any depictions of Muhammad — as sadly seems to be the trend -- there will be more intimidation for further submission by the west, for further submission to Islamic laws. The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation is already pushing the UN to outlaw all criticism of Islam. That surely, will be the next “red line” not be crossed by western journalists, implemented by violent intimidation. And if that’s successful, it will render us — Frank Ching included -- mute in the battle of ideas against murderous jihadist violence.

It was even worse to see the Pope come out as a member of the “but brigade”, when he said he believed in free speech, “but”… “one cannot provoke, one cannot insult other people’s faith, one cannot make fun of faith.” But why not? Why should we be able to satirize and excoriate politicians, but leave religion alone? Marx noted that the free criticism of religion is the basis for all our other freedoms. (I’m no Marxist, but he had this one right!). [LATER: see this!]

Rushdie says “Nobody has the right not to be offended”. Flemming Rose, the man who published the Danish cartoons in 2005, has said “Satire is a sound civilisation’s answer to savagery”. These are powerful observations, so much more than the pusillanimous posturings of the “but brigade”.

So It’s a shame to see that the likes of Ching, joined recently by his colleague Alex Ho (Price of free speech is sometimes too high, My Take,17 January), are so casually trampling on a key victory of the enlightenment in bowing to violent theocrats.

Yours, etc...

Xi's Selective Punishment - The New York Times

Interesting article.
Clip:
In my [Murong Xuecun] view, the anticorruption push is more of a Stalinist purge than a genuine attempt to clean up the government. Charges are framed with reference to party regulations, not the law. Investigations are run by K.G.B.-type cadres, not the regular judicial system. China's media does not report on cases until they are made public, after which there is a barrage of almost identically worded reports used to incriminate the suspect. Most telling of all, the purge has mainly targeted specific party factions, while those groups that support and pledge loyalty to Mr. Xi appear untouched.

Alex Malarkey: author of The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven says he made up story | smh.com.au

Perfect name!
"Malarkey" (from Dictionary.com:
noun Informal.
  1. speech or writing designed to obscure, mislead, or impress; bunkum: The claims were just a lot of malarkey.
http://m.smh.com.au/world/alex-malarkey-author-of-the-boy-who-came-back-from-heaven-says-he-made-up-story-20150116-12sa3j.html

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, 16 January 2015

When will the safety of innocent civilians - of all faiths and none - be put before the human rights of maniacs? - Telegraph

So this is where we are in 2015. One of the best-assimilated minorities in the UK, a group which makes a contribution to the arts, science, business, black-cab driving, laughter, you name it – and one that is out of all proportion to its size – is getting ready to pack its bags while the group that has been worst at integration demands ever more shrilly that we bow to its world view.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/11345828/Charlie-Hebdo-When-will-the-safety-of-innocent-civilians-of-all-faiths-and-none-be-put-before-the-human-rights-of-maniacs.html


Sent from my iPad

Christopher Hitchens vs. Shashi Tharoor FREEDOM OF SPEECH

Worth the full hour's time. The late, the great, Christopher Hitchens.
So relevant to today's agonies over Charlie Hebdo and free speech.
Around 35:00 he quotes Marx on religion. That the right to criticise religion is the bedrock of all free speech.
http://youtu.be/jw3dDbc1BHE

Sent from my iPad

An Islamic Reformer, Lashed - NYTimes.com

Nicholas Kristof makes some decent points , particularly the hypocrisy of allies who are really "allies", as in Not. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia support the terrorists while we and they pretend we're on the same side.
But why does Kristof have to make the following bogus piece of moral relativism? IRA terrorism is historical, geographically limited and was in any case denounced by many at the time. Ditto the "genocide by Christian Serbs"... Islamic terror meantime is today and world-wide. Moreover on a vastly greater scale than either the IRA or the Serbs.
Hmm. When Bill O'Reilly apologizes for I.R.A. bombings and the genocide by Christian Serbs, then Muslims will no doubt apologize for Paris.
They would "no doubt apologise? In your dreams, Nicholas!

Sent from my iPad

“How Can Any Man With Good Sense” Overlook the Koran’s Violence?

He [Bruce Thornton] then quotes Alexis de Tocqueville, “one of our most brilliant political philosophers,” who wrote the following in 1838:
Jihad, Holy war, is an obligation for all believers. … The state of war is the natural state with regard to infidels … [T]hese doctrines of which the practical outcome is obvious are found on every page and in almost every word of the Koran … The violent tendencies of the Koran are so striking that I cannot understand how any man with good sense could miss them (emphasis added).
Even Egypt’s Muslim president recently said that the Islamic “corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the centuries” are terrorizing the entire world.
I well recall my own first reading of the Koran.  The hair on the back of my neck stood up.  I thought "if this is what Muslims are reading, we're in trouble".  
I then re-read it with two highlighting pencils in hand, marking the violent passages in yellow, the peaceful ones in green.  By the end, my yellow pencil was worn to a stub, the green one nearly pristine. We can now do textual analysis of online versions of the Koran, the quantify that.  Over 20% of the verses are specifically anti-infidel, and over half are violent.  It is not cherry-picking to quote violent verses.  It's at the guts of the "Noble" Koran.  
Even those verses that are peaceable in the Koran are found to be abrogated (Islamic naskh) by later violent ones.  That is, the opposite of what happened to Christianity, where the Love and Peace New Testament abrogates the often-violent OT.  I am an atheist, but reading the Bible after the Koran is like chalk and cheese, a wonderful relief to read of tolerance and love, after the violence in the Koran. Don't believe me?  Read the Koran.  Then read the NT.

Similarly in the Hadith, records of the sayings and deeds of Muhammad, I've done the textual analysis of the word "jihad".  I found that in over 90% of its mentions, it referred to "holy war".  Only in less that 10% of cases did it mean what the apologists claim is it main meaning: "spiritual struggle" to better oneself.  It does indeed mean that, as well.  But mostly it means to war against the infidel.

'Religion of peace' is not a harmless platitude » The Spectator