Wednesday, 15 August 2018

No, Trump Calling Omarosa A 'Dog' Doesn't Make Him A Racist. Here's Why. | Daily Wire

I'm no Trump fan and neither is Ben Shapiro. But Trump calling Omarosa a "dog" is just par for the course for him. He calls  *everyone* a dog, as Shapiro shows.  
Ditto "low IQ", a slur he slathers freely on people of colour and people of pallor alike. 
Yet you just had someone on your BBC news channel saying that it was all a "dog whistle" (heh) to racists. 
Trump's tweets and frequent nastiness to all and sundry makes him a "ridiculous practitioner of the English language" (Shapiro).  
It makes him an equal opportunity insulter. 
It doesn't make him a racist. 
I had to switch channels because I couldn't bear to watch the BBC creating "fake news" right in front of my eyes. 


Signs of discontent in China | SCMP

Interested in your takes on this. A story of Chinese bureaucratic inertia stemming from over centralised and out-of-touch leadership, Xi-style...
"... people are crying out for changes to the system", says Deng Yuwen, independent political commentator, writing in Chinese from the U.K. 
...2018 is shaping up to be a turning point for China. Today the country faces serious internal and external challenges, and is in the midst of a social transformation.
... an overall restlessness is appearing in society and people are crying out for changes to the system. 

“While China and Australia may bicker, they will never actually divorce” | SCMP

Let's hope John Power is right. In today's South China Morning Post
Australian-China relations are going through something of a rocky patch. Ever since Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull proposed new laws targeting foreign interference, the two countries have stumbled from one public spat to another. 

The Problem with 'Facts Not Feelings' - Quillette

John Wood, another eloquent young conservative black man.
(The other being Coleman Hughes, I linked to before).
Shapiro is the focus here and has taken positive note of this article in Quilette.
It's also worth listening to the vid talk with Larry Elder when Wood made his run for Congress (at 27 yo!) in 2014.
Wood and Hughes are going to go far, I'll wager.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Why Italy was right to refuse the Aquarius a port | The Independent

The original article in the Independent is here. Things haven't improved

The Aquarius is again in the news. The ship with its cargo of African immigrants, is being denied to land not just in Italy but also in Malta and Spain.
This is a ship run by a couple of NGOs. They hang our just off the coast of Libya. 
Note that: "just off the coast of Libya".  That means right near Libya.
That's where these would-be immigrants are setting off from. And we learn that the rubber boats they head off in are unseaworthy to begin with. And the reason they do head off despite their unseaworthiness is that Aquarius is hove-to just off the coast.  And how do the traffickers know this? Because they are in contact by VHF radio with Aquarius
There, right there you have the definition of cooperation in human trafficking.
No one in Europe has given Aquarius permission to do this. Indeed poll after poll shows that 75-80% of Europeans want to control the unrestricted and unchecked immigration to their shores.  They cannot accept anyone and everyone in the world who wants to land on their shores.
A rep on Aquarius said that Italy had an obligation to take people rescued at sea. No they don't.  The obligation is on the closest port to do so. That would be Libya or Turkey.
Yet to the Left to voice such concerns and objections  is to be xenophobic and racist.
But Aquarius is involved in human trafficking!

Sunday, 12 August 2018

"Bigots of the world, unite!” | Rod Liddle, Spectator

Here's a pdf of Rod Liddle's column in last week's Spectator (we get it a week late here in Hong Kong).
There really ought to be a way that someone who buys the print version (me!) can get a freebie to see it online, without having to go through the paywall.  Business idea?
Here is Rod, at his combative best.  You'll only hate it if you hate jews.  Or hate Israel....

“Don’t buy into Trumpian delusions on trade deficits” | SCMP letter

My letter as run in the print version of SCMP on 10 August 2018
Don’t buy into Trumpian delusions on trade deficits
In the world of business, one person’s gain is another’s loss, so you say in your editorial of August 6.

But that is simply not true. If I buy an apple from you I have gained an apple and you have gained some money. We have both gained. And that’s so for the vast majority of trade and commerce.

This may seem a trivial quibble, but it’s the sort of dangerously wrong thinking that informs Trump’s tariff and trade shenanigans. He believes that trade is a zero-sum game: that America “loses” when it has a trade deficit of, say, US$500 billion. It doesn’t. Its citizens have US$500 billion worth of goods.

Trump’s win-lose misconception leads him to think that tariffs are “good” and will lead to wealth. Again, false. Tariffs are a tax on Americans. There was a reason the world – at the urging of America, let’s recall – established the post-war General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade: to reduce tariffs, which increased world trade and world wealth.

I wouldn’t buy into the Trumpian delusion that trade is a bad thing unless you “win” with tariffs. That’s the same bunkum as “one person’s gain is another’s loss”.

Peter Forsythe, Discovery Bay

I watched China being reborn: the Wang Gungwu memoir | SCMP

Professor Wang Gungwu
For "Interesting Times"?  From today's "This week in Asia" magazine of the SCMP

I met professor Wang Gungwu back in the eighties when I was working with his close friend, Ambassador Steve FitzGerald (or as Aus PM Gough Whitlam called him, "Comrade Ambassador").
They were both at the Australian National University together in the 60s-70s (iirc), before Gungwu, as Steve always called him, went to Hong Kong in 1986, while I was still with Steve (I left Steve's company in 1989 to go to the Australian Embassy in Beijing).
I must have met Gungwu in Hong Kong and I'm trying to recall that.... he and Steve were really pretty close; they had a big warm spot for each other.
I'm thinking I have to try to get each of them on the podcast before too long! Gungwu is 87 already, and Steve rising 80. To think I first met Steve in 1976 in Peking when he was Australia's Ambassador to China; he was 38. I was 26.
The article in "This Week in Asia", the SCMP Magazine:
"I watched China being reborn": the Wang Gungwu memoir.

Democratic Socialism is a Scam - Quillette

Democratic Socialism is a Scam - Quillette
The "future of the Democratic Party": Alexandria Ocasio Cortes
and Elizabeth "Pocohantes" Warren

A counter to Paul Krugman's ridiculous recent article on Denmark's "butter socialism".
In Quilette.
I was cured of socialism as a "solution" by my time in China in the mid-seventies when it was still a socialist-statist-communist society, where everything was in short supply; unlike now after a dose of capitalism for 30-odd years.

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Susan Rice: President Trump, the Autocrats’ Best Friend | NYT

Opinion | Susan Rice: President Trump, the Autocrats' Best Friend - The New York Times

This is indeed a pathetic response from Trump's administration (New York Times) and while I don't really have much time for Susan Rice, here she is spot on. Pathetic pandering to a nasty country which should never have been an "ally", vast oilfields notwithstanding. For which is no real payback, there is no explanation (save the pathetic moral equivalence of Foggy Bottom), no explanation, and certainly no strategy one can discern, not even "persuasion", as Scott Adams would have one believe. 
(Adams sees grand persuasion strategies in everything Trump does, having become a Trump lickspittle, despite his protestations to the contrary. His recent fawning description of a visit to the WH was a real low point for this once respected cartoonist and persuasion predictor). 
Strategy: grand Sunni alliance against Iran? Maybe, Saudi are in that camp anyway; they ain't goin' nowhere and would not go anywhere, even with some stern words from the US supportive of Canada's position. 
That is how, consistent with America's traditional global leadership in defense of human rights, we would reiterate longstanding objections to Saudi abuses. We would support Canada, a NATO ally and indispensable neighbor, whose statement was neither harsh nor ill-conceived. We would signal subtly to Saudi Arabia that if they have a problem with Canada over this, then they also have one with the United States, because neither of us will be cowed into curtailing our criticism of friend or foe, when warranted. 
Instead, after a shockingly weak initial response on Tuesday, the State Department spokeswoman, Heather Nauert, mustered the following: 
"We have a regular dialogue with the Government of Saudi Arabia on human rights and also other issues. This particular case regarding Canada, we have raised that with the Government of Saudi Arabia. They are friends, they are partners, as is Canada as well. Both sides need to diplomatically resolve this together. We can't do it for them."

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Dear New York Times: I have cancelled my subscription...

Sarah Jeong hates Whites, hates men, hates pretty much everyone but herself
for whom she has a high regard.  
... because if your handling of the Sarah Jeong case. 
Not because of her immature, racist and hate-filled tweets. I couldn't care less about them. 
I care about what her hiring says about your judgement. 
Either you knew her tweets were not jokes or reactions to right-wing trolling (Jeong's clearly duplicitous excuses), in which case your defence of her is hypocritical. 
Or you didn't know that they are what they are... which would reflect inexplicable ignorance. 
So it's a case of either knaves or fools. 

Yours sincerely,
Peter Forsythe 
Hong Kong 

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Boris Johnson and the liberal criticism of Islam | Coffee House

Boris has caused a furore with comments on the burka.  But he's spot on

Boris also said "Islam is the problem".  That's correct. It's the problem because Islamic leaders say "Islam is the solution", and when they say that they mean that it is a total ideology for the way to be and  to act in life, including a complete legal system, which it wishes — by their own proud admissions — to foist on the rest of society.  So, because "Islam is the solution" according to various mullahs and muftis, Islam is the problem.
It's also completely understandable to be "Islamophobic", as Boris says, in response to over 30,000 terrorist attacks on Muslims and non-Muslims alike since 9/11.  Islam is far and away the largest instigator of terrorism in the world.  
Mariam Namazie, ex Muslims of UK: The Burka is a flag of the Muslim far right
Brendan O'Neill in the Speccie:

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Kingdoms of Faith: A New History of Islamic Spain | Brian Catlos Kingdoms of Faith: A New History of Islamic Spain (9780465055876): Brian A. Catlos: Books

At last! Kingdoms of Faith: An account of Islam in Europe in the so-called "golden period" of Islam (c 700-1492), which is not rose-tinted hagiography. 
That golden view is so common it will take more than this book to shift perceptions. 
But it's a start. 
And worth it, as a counter to those that think the current wave of Muslim immigration to Europe will be as beneficent as that alleged in the Andalusia of the medieval Muslims, the Moors.

“Greater Bay Area offers a chance for tourism success” | SCMP

Published on 10 August. See above. 
In the world of business, one person's gain is another's loss. 

So you say in your editorial of August 6. 
But that is simply not true. If I buy an apple from you I have gained an apple and you have gained some money. We have both gained. And that's so for the vast majority of trade and commerce. 
This may seem a trivial quibble, but it's the sort of dangerously wrong thinking that informs Trump's tariff and trade shenanigans. He believes, that trade is a zero-sum game: that America "loses" when it has a trade deficit of, say, $500 billion. It doesn't. Its citizens have $500 billion worth of goods. 
Trump's win-lose misconception leads him to think that tariffs are "good" and will lead to wealth. Again, false. Tariffs are a tax on Americans. There was a reason the world — at the urging of America, let's recall — established the post-war General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. To reduce tariffs which increased world trade and world wealth. 
I wouldn't buy into the Trumpian delusion that trade is a bad thing unless you "win" with tariffs.  That's the same bunkum as "one person's gain is another's loss". 

Peter Forsythe 
Discovery Bay
Hong Kong

Greater Bay Area offers a chance for tourism success

Sunday, 5 August 2018


Trump has some fixed, wrong, and dangerous ideas. Today's Twitter....

What Chinese call each other informally

"Wang Laoban" or "Lao Wang", the restaurant
proprietor at Fanjingshan, Guizhou, where I was
last week.
This is interesting and fun!  What the Chinese call each other informally.  I know, having been in China since 1976, and now married to a Chinese, that it can be a bit of a fraught affair.... With my age now, I can pretty well get away with calling people of a certain age, like Mr Wang above, "Lao Wang" or "Old Wang", and sometimes, again because of my own advanced age, they say to me, "oh call me xiao", as in "small" or "junior", as did the car driver when I was in Guizhou last week.

One story two spins

Above photo in the Guardian article, not my scary photo !
This is the Guardian headline:
Spain's right whips up fear as migration surge hits Andalucian shores | World news | The Guardian
And here's one that could be written and I'd argue is more accurate:
Large increase in economic migrants leads to concerns amongst many citizens 
Why is it always the "right" that is "whipping up” fear? What about all those independents (me) and lefties that are also concerned. Those on the left concerned, as they should be, at the impact of economic migrants on the wages of the working class. 
Then we have this: 
....some rightwing politicians have begun to talk of identity papers, more border controls and "millions of Africans" wanting to come to Europe.
"Identify papers"? So what. We have them here in Hong Kong and no one thinks that's a right wing thing. It's an efficiency and extent useful thing. 
"... more border controls"? Try *some* border controls. For now there are none. 
"millions of Africans", in scare quotes. Why? There aren't millions of africans planning their illegal journeys to Europe? Of course there are. 

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Harry's Place » Michael White on antisemitism and Islamophobia (II)

Harry's Place » Michael White on antisemitism and Islamophobia

The above screenshot from the comments (BTL) which in Harry's Place ( aren't kept forever. 
I find nothing to quibble about in mirax's comment. Spot on. 
By the way, Harry's Place is not at all an "Islamophobic" site. It's a place for considered  debate. Pro-Israel to be sure, but not without criticism of Israel, criticism which can be trenchant indeed.  
The site has no time for anti-Muslim bigotry (the preferred and more correct term, rather than "Islamophobia", a term invented by Muslim Brotherhood operatives, to shut down debate of Islam the ideology). 
The above comment by mirax was in response to the question: if there's so much criticism of anti-semitism in the Labour Party, how come there's none of "Islamophobia" in the Conservative Party? 
Well, apart from that being classic  tu quoque argument, and apart from the bogus term "Islamophobia", there's mirax's points above. Which seem to me patently  obvious. But not, apparently, to many. Who won't get this either, I guess. 


A Chinese typewriter, circa 1980


("I just want to see how quickly I can write"). 

it's nonsense to say that it's slower to type Chinese in a phone message App, as someone was "knowledgeably" saying last night on BBC radio: explaining why it was that so many Chinese use "voicies" — the voice message on WhatsApp or WeChat.  (yes, that's "voicies", with an "i")
I just typed that above and did it quickly, about as quickly as I'm typing this and I'm a foreigner who doesn't do it every day. 
For input you can use the Pinyin method, and its good predictive character program, or just write the characters direct. In the hands of a Chinese it's going to be just as quick as I type this English. Most would use the latter, I'm guessing. 
I think the reason they use "voicies"  more — if indeed they do — is just because they like it more. Or something. In any case not because Chinese is slower to input. It's not.
PS: I remember back in the early 80s when we had our China consulting company in Canberra, we had a Chinese typewriter, about the size of a large carry-on bag and which needed an expert to use it. (That's it, in the pic above). 
Basically, it was a mini printing press with moveable type. We had one young lady in the office, Bai Lu, a mainland Chinese, who had been trained to use it. Without Bai Lu we were lost. So in those days Chinese really was difficult to type. 
No longer. Anyone can do it. Even me. 
Sent from my iPhone