Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Hong Kong in the Great Game

USS Ronald Reagan in Hong Kong harbour, October 2017
Tall building: the International Commercial Centre in Kowloon
The USS aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, the largest in the US fleet, was in Hong Kong harbour 4-6 October, and I've just got around to posting the photo, cause I like it and I'd forgotten about it, and was about to delete it in housekeeping, but thought better to post it before deleting.
Now, I went by the RR on the way to town on our ferry from Discovery Bay, Hong Kong, to Central., while she was here. But no way we could be that close.  If only!  That photo above was by China's press agency Xinhua.
This is all part of the Great Game, as China wants to show Little Rocket Man, Kim Jong-un, that it's with the United States, so watch out.
Things since have got a bit more tense, but still neither side, neither the US, nor North Korea, is prepping its forces.
Fingers crossed, toes too.... a fight in this part of the world between US and NK would be a disaster, plain and simple.
The only way forward seems to be to treat it as we did the Soviet Union in the Cold War: contain and deter.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Sweden's Sexual Assault Crisis Presents a Feminist Paradox - Quillette

Wow!  United Nations figures.  From "Sweden is nowEurope's official rape capital"
More on the dire Swedes from the online magazine Quilette.
Note the police don't even keep statistics on ethnicity of rapists, because they would be damning -- and, of course (!) "Islamophobic". Showing the extent to which rapes and gang crimes are being done by Muslim immigrants. (How do we know this if stats are not kept? By careful inference and extrapolation, by people involved in trying to keep Swedish women safe from the scourge which the dear, well-meaning, naive Swedes have brought on themselves).
Sweden may never again be the lovely, open tolerant and safe place it was when I visited.

"How the teachings of Islam could help us prevent more sexual abuse scandals" | The Independent

Women, liberated under Islamic Sharia
Yeah, right!

This article in the Independent is complete nonsense, and highlights just how far down the previously independent Independent has fallen.

As the first commenter on the article says: “Next in the Independent: How Nazism can prevent anti-semitism”.

Another commenter, Badger1 makes the point I was going to make here: namely that the quoted verses don’t say anything like the writer Qasim Rashid claims.  And one quoted, 4.35, is preceded by 4.34 which enjoins the man to beat his wife if she is “disobedient”, a call which we know many a Muslim man has heeded, and is hardly likely to "prevent more sexual abuse scandals".  

Of course, of course, there’s domestic violence in the west; but in Muslim countries, it is far more prevalent, and there’s virtually no movement against it.  Indeed women are only just being allowed to drive a car in Saudi Arabia. 

Badger1 asks, reasonably, “does the Independent do any fact-checking at all, any more?”.  It’s super easy to do, and Rashid should not have been allowed to get away with simply outright false claims.

For more on women in Islam, have a look at my series here

German Towns Filled With Refugees Ask, ‘Who Is Integrating Whom?’ | WSJ

Nadine Langer's two daughters are the German-born in their class
in Lebenstedt
In the comments, to this article:
Douglas Murray reckons ("The Strange Death of Europe") that the reason Mad Mutti Merkel said "we can do it", and let them come in willy nilly, was that she -- and her fellow travellers -- were worried about what it would look like to have German soldiers at the borders turning back refugees.
Sounds about right to me....
I recall seeing her in a Town Hall, a few years ago, when this whole refugee disaster was unfolding, and a fellow shared his concern about the refugees, their uncontrolled numbers, their different culture, etc, and her response was to sneer about "who are we to say our culture is better than theirs" (or words very close to that effect).  She *sneered* at him.  No-one picked her up on that. So..... result: Germans were horrid to Jews 70 years ago, so now their children and grandchildren and great grandchildren have to put up with the results of Merkel's guilt feelings.
What a way to make policy!! Especially when it's so consequentia
The article is behind a paywall, but PDF is here.
LATER: text below the fold.....

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Citizen Warrior's Introduction - WikiIslam

The above is from a debate between British journalist Mehdi Hasan
and Prof Richard Dawkins, in 2012.
Of course, it should be "winged" not "wind" horse.
For the record and for study. Countering objections to criticism of an ideology.

LATER: When I had a close look at the suggestions for countering objections to one's criticism of Islam (objections like "but the Bible is also violent", or "I know Muslims who are very friendly" or "It's only a tiny minority", etc, etc, I find I do know most of the counters, as surely I ought, after so many years.  Though I did find some of them a bit long-winded and noone could surely be expected to recall them all.  Perhaps a super simple version would be useful.

PS: the Chinese also have a "winged horse" tradition, called "Tian Ma", but they don't make the mistake of believing it really really exists, as do pious Muslims, even the likes of the otherwise intelligent Mehdi Hasan. 

The shocking secret plan for a Muslim state in Australia | Daily Mail Online

Australian Imam Mohammad Tawhidi, warns Australians about
the dangers of his correligionists.  Does that make him an "Islamophobe"?
Imam Mohammad Tawhidi in Australia has been getting quite a bit of press recently as a Muslim moderate and reformer. He speaks out refreshingly on problems within Islam, on the link between doctrine and violence. "Ideas have consequences", as Sam Harris is fond of saying. And the key ideas of Islam are to impose sharia on the world, step by step and rule the infidel. 
Anyone like imam Tawhidi trying to tread a fine line in that doctrine to find support for a more peaceable Islam must be supported. 
Here Tawhidi makes troubling allegations about Islamists' plans to establish Islamic sharia areas in Australia, allegations which are reported in the Daily Mail. 
I wonder if it will be covered in the liberal media, the likes of The Age, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Canberra Times, or the ABC.
I doubt it somehow. The very fact that it's carried in the Daily Mail may consign the story to the untouchable corner. You know, "right wing rag", an' all. 
Instead, I expect there will be attacks on Tawhidi by Islamist Australian Muslims and the apologetic Left. And these attacks will be carried in the liberal media.  And the Daily Mail will be labelled "islamophobic" and "racist". In other words yet more killing of the messenger. 
And the shariafication of Australia will proceed, placidly, ploddingly perhaps, but perpetually, purposefully.

Is Southeast Asia going backwards when it comes to gender equality? | SCMP

There's a bit of a tendency in trendier areas of the west to normalise polygamy. Swedes especially.  It's cultural, doncha know, and who are we to say that one culture is inferior to another? Especially when it derives from Islam, which is immune from criticism of the western Left or western feminists. 
I read a book on polygamy by a Muslim woman who had been subjected to it before escaping to the west. I think it was Nonie Darwish. What I recall is her description of it as simply horrid for women. Something which western "feminists" simply ignore. 
Same thing happening with the hijab. It's "women's freedom of choice" doncha know? 
This article below is in today's South China Morning Post, and tackles polygamy much more honestly and head on. 
"Polygamy is a type of violence against women", says Yuniyanti Chuzaifah. 
There's more, much more. 
Good article!

Is Southeast Asia going backwards when it comes to gender equality?

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Dateline London. BBC World Service


This week not even a mite or a tittle of pretence at evenhandedness. 

Every single one of the panel today is Left wing. From the squishy Left (Poirier) to the Hard Left (Alibhi Brown). And in the Left-left, in the "middle", one might say if one were the BBC, Michael Goldfarb and Celia Maza de Pablo rounding out the "diversity" of opinion. (/sarc). 

The "diversity", such as it is, manifests in  "disputes" the likes of "is the United States simply bad or is it really really bad?". "Is Trump a horrid racist or a detestable misogynist?". (Both! Both!).

Please please — a plea from an an old style leftie and now a liberal centrist — some balance from at least the political centre or somewhat to the right of centre. 

Otherwise Dateline London is become a very tedious show. I'm increasingly taking the option of switching channels when I see the same old same old tired leftie voices on the show. 

(Mind you, Michael Goldfarb seems a decent bloke; my age, too!). 

Peter Forsythe
Siena One
Discovery Bay 
Hong Kong 

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Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Guns deaths vs Gun control

Source: my own calculations, which are here.
US States with one party in power for 4+ terms

I went looking for a chart of gun deaths vs gun control.  There are heaps which show gun deaths vs the number of guns, per US state.  But none -- that I could find -- that put gun deaths per state vs the strictness of gun laws in those states.  The reason I was looking is that the whole argument -- repeated every time there's a mass shooting in the US --  is whether gun control works or not.
So I made my own chart, as above.  The "deaths per 100,000 population" comes from Wikipedia.
The gun control comes from this site, which includes only those 26 states which have had one party in charge of that state for at least four election cycles, presumably on the rationale that it takes more than one term to set a pro/anti gun control policy in place.
[My poor Excel skills means I wasn't able to label all the dots (at least not easily) with the individual state name; but it doesn't really matter to the main point, which is the relationship between deaths and gun control].
I then did a correlation calculation which came to minus 0.78 (which I've converted to "78%" above).  That shows what you might expect as a gun control advocate: namely that the stricter the control, the fewer gun deaths.  In other words, a negative correlation. In this case a "very strong correlation".
Now, the anti-control folks will say "of course correlation is not causation".  Indeed that's correct.
But in this case, what could be the other factors that make the red states above have figures of gun deaths of up to seven times that of the blue states?
What is it? Demographics? Religiosity?  Distance from Washington DC?
Fact is, the logic behind the correlation also being causation is so commonsensical that the onus is on the anti-gun-control folks to come up with why that chart above is not showing any causation.
The "Brady score" comes from the Brady Campaign to prevent gun violence.   Jim Brady was with President Reagan over 30 years ago, when the assassination attempt was made on Reagan, and Brady was shot and paralysed. On the situation of gun control per state in the US, his Foundation has become the go-to source.
SUM:  just have a look at the cluster of Red States (Republican) in the top left!  This means simply this: those states all have very low gun control; and they all have average gun deaths way above the national average.  Up to seven times of the lowest of the Blue States (Democratic).

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Science in Islam: E03 - Ash'ari Predestination - IslamiCity

Not at all bad! A great summary of the rise and fall of Islamic science. How the Muslim mind closed.
See also "The closing of the Muslim mind", by Robert Reilly.

The rise of the west and western science, at the same time that so-called Islamic golden age of science declined, has driven modern Muslims mad.  They are always looking to brag about having invented this or that.... The number "zero" for example, or algebra, or medicine itself.  Most of these are bogus, but still they pursue this myth of the Islamic golden age. With some success: museums in the west will from time to time have exhibitions showing the "brilliance" of Islamic science.  Barack Obama included some "Islamic inventions" in his 4th June 2009 Cairo speech, including obviously incorrect ones such as the compass. (which everyone knows is from China, surely!).

Note at the end of this video: that YouTube has demonetized the channel because it's "too sensitive".  That's patently crazy.  The video is scholarly and ought to be allowed to discuss Islamic science, for goodness sake!  

Islam apologists

Some amusing comments at the site of this bingo...
Another example of nonsense apology for Islam. It's not because we know nothing about Islam that we criticise its ideology. It's exactly because we know something about it that we criticise it. For it does indeed call for the subjugation if we infidels and the imposition of sharia law across the whole of mankind. Then there will be peace....
Meet some Muslims and find they're nice people — which they will be — says nothing about Islam. Just as my meeting some very nice congenial Chinese while China was still communist said nothing about communism.
And who do they have running this campaign? None other than the oleaginous, the lying, the duplicitous apologist for Islam Reza Aslam.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Che Guevarra .... Cuban hero and ...

A totally fair summary of Che.  Yet, this was removed from
a Facebook page because it "violated standards"!

.... not a single mention of his mass murder of opponents?? Not a hint nor a tittle of his dark side?? Of his baleful influence on Cuba's future? His Marxism, his dictatorial nastiness?
Nothing?? Nothing but what a "hero" he is to the Cuban people.
And this is the BBC that advertises its commitment to the truth?!
How about googling Che and next time around giving us something more truly balanced than the fawning hagiography you just foisted in us?


Sunday, 8 October 2017

Mainland China’s ‘transformation’ nothing to shout about | Jake van Der Kamp | SCMP

Jake doesn't often trumpet Hong Kong so this article is an outlier for him. As always, he gives data to support his view. Which I share: that Hong Kong still beats the mainland. 
I see that every time I cross the border. Fun times to be had. Fun people to be met. But always a relief to get back home to Hong Kong. It works better, cleaner, faster, and more openly than the mainland. 
I don't normally bother much with this sort of China-good-Hong-Kong-bad talk, but its persistence does fool some people into thinking it might be true. Let's set things straight.
As the chart shows, over the past 30 years Hong Kong has made a huge economic transformation from a manufacturing into a services centre.
For the avoidance of doubt, I have excluded tourism from these figures on net services trade. I have only included those sectors in which Mr Tao says we failed to benefit. Some failure.
The mainland never made such a transformation. The hi-tech successes of which you hear so many boast are mostly anomalies. The huge majority of mainland economic production always was, and continues to be, based on low-tech drudgery.
This includes most digital devices, by the way. They are hi-tech in design but low-tech in assembly, which is what the mainland mostly does and one reason it has to pay the rest of the world a fast-rising US$27 billion a year in intellectual property royalties.
Nor do we in Hong Kong exploit 150 million or so of our own people with trifling wages and wretched living conditions because they do not have official registrations for the places they work.
Related: Beijing tries to win over entrepreneurs with praise and promises

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Re: Denmark put its foot down

"No more burka for me!" says Little Mermaid.
From: "Little Mermaid gets burqa cover-up"

It seems Denmark has been far more sensible in relation to the refugee issue than neighbour Sweden.  Norway has been robust as well: they deport asylum seekers that don't pass muster. (In Germany they just stay there).
Australia is not so sensible. Parliament talks of "religious freedom" as the reason we don't ban the burka. 
But we don't allow Mormons to marry multiple wives. We don't allow Hindus to commit suttee on widows.  We don't even allow Muslims to genitally mutilate young girls.
What is particularly crazy in Australia is that the burka issue has come up again recently: parliament is talking about having face recognition software for drivers' licences, for better security. But guess what... burkas don't work with that; of course. So members of the one group that are the most... shall we say... "problematic", in relation to terrorism, are exempt
And all for the bogus excuse of religious freedom in a secular country. "Bogus" because there's already precedent for secular laws having primacy over religious laws. In Australia it's alll about osculating the Religion of Peace. 
I remember when I was a motorcycle delivery boy in London (1972) you weren't allowed to wear your helmet into buildings — a security matter. And we bike boys all understood that.  I think it's the same in Australia. But wear a burka? Fine. It's "Religious freedom"! 
And we know of many cases where men have worn a burka to escape detection. 

On 7 Oct 2017, at 3:55 AM, P.... wrote:

Thursday, 5 October 2017

If Only Stephen Paddock Were a Muslim (i.e., it’s about “gun control”)

From WhyEvolutionIsTrue. I hope I'm not making the dumb mistake
FoxBusinss makes above....
LATER (7 Oct): I wrote the below on my iPhone in a bit of a rush and I realise it may seem like I'm some kind of gun nut, or gun apologist, and making the mistake as the tweet above.  But I've never owned a gun and never will. And I support gun control: eg as in Australia, as in Europe.  My main point is that all the gun control that Democrats want will not achieve what they seem to think it will: a major drop in gun crime and homicides by gun.  Any reduction is good, of course, but the feeling seems to be -- at least that's what I infer from all the palaver in the wake of the latest atrocity -- is that "gun control" would rid the country of mass shootings and jihadi attacks (and here I could be accused of a straw man argument).  Particularly in the case of jihadi murders, if they don't have guns, the can make do with trucks and knives.  In the case of mass shootings, these people are going to be able to get a hold of guns, no matter what the laws.
What I didn't know until recently about gun control in the US is that no one -- not Hillary, not Bernie, not Elizabeth Warren, even, are talking about control of HAND guns.  It's all about control of automatic rifles.  Of course, it was rifles in LA.  But most gun killings even mass shootings, are done with handguns.  This alone means that any realistic gun control measures in the US is going to have limited effect.
Anyhow: to repeat: I'm in favour of gun control.  Just against the reflexive call for "gun control" as some sort of panacea.  It's not, and never will be.

This article  by New York Times columnist Tom Friedman seems like a sensible argument at first glance. And I've liked Friedman often what with his facile pen 'n all. 
But then consider this. What if the weapon you're talking about is not guns but cars? People kill vastly more innocent people with cars ("cars" = any motor vehicle) than they do with guns. And average people kill vastly more innocents than all the jihadis put together at the wheel of a car. Yet we go after the jihadi with a car more intensely than we do the average car driver. [*]
The same goes for guns. The jihadi is inspired by an ideology. The likes of a Sandy Hook or an Aurora or a Las Vegas are random acts of random gun madness. In some of these cases, tighter control may have had some effect. But in most cases, it would have made no difference. At least not any gun control that would realistically get through Congress: which will never, ever, cover handguns.
So the reflexive call for gun control may make the likes of Friedman feel better and may stoke liberal outrage.  It's beside the point. Which point in the LA mass shooting, granted, is rather hard to see. And we can also grant that a ban on assault rifles may have made it more difficult foe Paddock to obtain the arsenal he did. Then again most mass shootings are done with guns that would be available even with the tightest controls we can imagine an American Congress passing. 
Meantime with jihadists, it's easy to see what the motive is. Eg: Orlando.  It's an ideology which must be fought against with rigour and fortitude no matter what the weapon they have at hand. In sum, it's the ideology, not the weapon, stupid. 

[*]The obvious counter is that we've tackled car deaths by more safety in the vehicles, driver ed, and so on. Which, granted. But there are vastly more car deaths than gun deaths; even draconian gun controls are not going to save anything like the numbers that have been saved by improved car safety. Every life saved is precious, of course. But gun control is no panacea.

The future belongs to blasphemers

From the One Law for All people and the head of Ex Muslims Council, Maryam Namazie.
Liberals should surely be supporting the right to freedom of conscience. The freedom to decide if to follow Islam or if to leave it.  And the right to free speech: even when it is used to criticise an idea or ideology like Islam.
But they don't. That's the scandal of today's Left.
Some will ask why we must celebrate blasphemy when it is "hurtful" and "offends".
The answer is simple:
Because people can be killed for blaspheming and human life is more important than hurt sensibilities and offence.
As the Jordanian atheist, Mohammed Al Khadra said at the largest gathering of ex-Muslims in history, "Where are your priorities? While we die, you are all thinking about Islamophobia?"

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

In Interview, Top Indonesian Muslim Scholar Says Stop Pretending That Orthodox Islam and Violence Aren't Linked

Via Aayan Hirsi Ali who comments sardonically: "...and will this Muslim scholar be accused of Islamophobia".
What she means is that non-Muslims who criticise the doctrines of Islam -- which are ideas, after all, not people, and thus subject to scrutiny and criticism -- are routinely smeared as "Islamophobes" with the aim of shutting them up. For good measure, they'll toss in "racist"' "xenophobe"', " bigot" and most recently "white supremacist", even if you're not white (Ben Carson, for example).
And here is a Muslim scholar who makes the clear and simple point that the doctrines of Islam do indeed prescribe violence, just as we critics of Islam have been saying for a long time, to a chorus of raspberries and the above-mentioned contumely.
This is an honest scholar. What he says is irrefutable. Islam = violence.
You islamophobe!

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An Open Letter to Ta-Nehisi Coates | commentary

This is a great article written as an open letter to the famous, the infamous, the notorious Ta-Nehisi Coates. Coates has become a something of a darling of the Left, according to whom nothing has improved for people of colour in America since slave days.
This is the corrective.
Via Ayaan Hirsi Ali

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Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Fwd: Norway’s Immigration Minister: Norwegians are “experiencing now the fear that Israelis have experienced for decades”

Other countries in Europe should take their lead from Norway :
The conservative minister reduced the number of immigrants arriving to the shores of Norway from 30,000 in 2015 to 1,000 in 2017. Those who come are expected to adapt to the culture and norms of Norwegians: a people who drink alcohol, eat pork, and do not believe in veils.
Speaking to Ynet, Minister Listhaug stated that, in her view, the reason fewer people wish to come to Norway illegally is that Norway – unlike other countries in Europe – sends undocumented migrants back to their countries of origin.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Islam in Africa

Nigerian Muslims at prayer. Their ancestors were forced to convert.  Look
at them now, the most ardent of the faithful Muslims
This reads like a rant. But only because the dreary truth is so horrible. This anonymous Nigerian author of the post knows whereof they speak.
Islam is arguably the most bloodthirsty and conquest-driven ideology in history. It demands complete loyalty from its adherents and rarely wins converts by charm or persuasion. And nowhere has Islam belied its purported nature as a "religion of peace" more than in Africa.

Red Pill Black (Candace Owens) on her Political Journey from Left to Right

Listen to Red Pill Black (Candace Owens) on her Political Journey from Left to Right on The Rubin Report.
Interesting podcast (you can also see it on YouTube) I agree with pretty much everything she says apart from her love of Trump! (I still don't get that!)

Sam Harris is Triggered

Hi P,
A while back you asked what I thought of “Triggered”, the podcast of Sam Harris talking to Scott Adams.
First up, by the way, I do get Sam’s podcast notifications direct as I’m a supporter (financially!). I support a couple of other podcasts, like Dave Rubin. I value them; they rely on users, not advertisers; they’re doing a great job of speaking to a wide variety of people in a free and open way (no identity politics for these guys).
I enjoyed the talk Sam had with Scott. It was a very polite exchange, which might have, in other hands, descended into acrimony. You could feel themselves at times hauling in their frustration with each others’ views. They managed. Good on them, in these days of instant insult.
Sam said that the person his Trump-supporting listeners (“Trumpkins”) most wanted Sam to interview was Scott Adams. Having heard the podcast I wonder why.
After all, Scott didn’t really say anything supportive of Trump, let alone his policies, such as they are or may be. Instead, what it amounted to was Scott saying that Trump was a great “persuader”. Perhaps the greatest he’d seen. Another term for “persuasion” is “deception". Whether persuading or deceiving or conning, it seems odd to me that Trump supporters would want this to be the thing that is talked about. After all, is it good to be seen as someone persuadable, let alone someone who will swallow a con, allow oneself to be deceived?
I listened to the podcast early on, and read some of the comments early on. Here are some of the ones I noted. Last I saw there were over 1,000 comments, mostly, interestingly, on Sam’s side. Very few Trumpkins seem to have joined in the discussion. Wandering around the comments for a bit may be worthwhile.
I thought Sam won the debate, even though it wasn’t strictly speaking a debate. But some of the commenters thought the other way. Some also faulted Sam for missing some opportunities to make a point, and I agree, though I can’t recall specific instances.
Note an inconsistency in Scott: he picks on Sam for using analogies. But his main point is an analogy: people were in the same movie theatre, but watching different movies. Another note: Scott talks of “pacing and leading”, as the technique of persuasion. It appears this is a part of Neuro Linguistic Programming, which is a controversial subject, some saying that it’s been disavowed by scientists. Here’s an interesting take on NLP.
I remember my main impression when I first heard the podcast was to thing: “ok, he may be a great persuader; but so was Mao, so was Stalin, so is Derren Brown”. (I didn’t want to mention —even in my mind — that most infamous mustachio’d persuader, as I didn’t want to invoke Godwin’s law).
Final point: some while ago I stopped reading Dilbert, Scott’s cartoon. I used to like it, for a bit. Then I got tired of its incessant cynicism. That’s pretty much Adams, I think. A cynic. And doing anything, saying anything, to win power is ok. And that’s what Trump did. The man who is not just a con-man (oh… sorry, “persuader”…), but also, kinda crazy.

My Detention in Malaysia (print) | A proposal for Islam (online)

Moderate Malaysia? Sharia is spreading, and it ain't the good sort
Mustafa Akyol is a commenter I’ve mentioned before. I’ve never been quite sure if he’s a true Muslim reformer, or a crafty Islamist, usually leaning on giving him the benefit of the doubt.
In “My detention in Malaysia”, in the New York Times, he reports on his arrest while on a scholarly visit to Malaysia, a country often sited as a “moderate Muslim country”.  It’s not and never was, an indication of how hard it is to find a place which synthesises democracy and Islam.
For example, there was the case recently of a bunch of Malaysia atheists, who’d posted a picture of their get-together, which led to a witch hunt from the authorities to find and “re-educate” them.
Akyol plays with us here.  In his last para he comes within a whisker of saying “blow it, it’s a crazy religion, I’m done with it”.  If he had, he’d not be the first, as apostasy from Islam is increasingly common, despite the dangers.
But no, he doesn’t.  He wiggles back in: “I hear you and I trust in you, God”, he says, a symptom of evidence-free faith.
Still, interesting story of his detention in Malaysia, that “moderate Muslim country”, where they don’t like what he says.
What he says, in the headline of the online version is:
By policing religion, the authorities are not really protecting it. They are only enfeebling their societies, raising hypocrites and causing many people to lose their faith in or respect for Islam.
Well, good luck with that, Mustafa.
The full article is below the fold, as it’s subscription only on the Times site.

"Trump's belligerent stand not the best way to rein in North Korea" | Letters, 2 October

That's the North. Note the bright lights of Seoul, near the border, hence concerns 
about a unilateral attack on the North.  Seoul would be hammered. NASA photo

LETTER TO SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST: [Attention: John LEE: the bits in [square brackets] are side-comments, easily cut if you wish)

A. W. Jayawardena says that had the US not intervened in 1950, Korea would have been unified under the North. ("Trump's belligerent stand not the best way to rein in North Korea" | Letters, 2 October).

That is almost certainly true. [Though to be precise, it was the U.N. and not the U.S. which "intervened"]

What is most assuredly not true is that this would have been a good thing. 

I visited North Korea six times on business during the 1980s. I can confirm from personal observation that it was (and remains) a severely poor country, pathetically so in contrast to its southern neighbour. 

Had the North controlled the whole peninsula, that famous satellite night photo of the Korea — in which the North is pitch black, while the South blazes in capitalist glory — would have been all black. The population of the whole peninsula would have suffered the malnutrition and stunted growth than affects the North today. 

The North's attack on the South in 1950 was unilateral and unprovoked. It was enabled by a dubious Stalin giving in to the vainglorious wishes of the [then Chinese-speaking] "Great Leader" Kim Il-sung to unify Korea under a Workers' dictatorship. [Kim's grandson Jong-un continues the family tradition of vainglorious dictatorship]. 

The US involvement in 1950 was the result of a United Nations Security Council resolution. The US provided most of the forces, but a total of 16 countries participated including my own, Australia. 

Thus the counterattack to avoid a dictatorship in Korea was morally [1], legally [2] and geo-strategically [3] justified. 

To claim otherwise, as does A.W. Jayawardena, is to indulge in revisionism and gratuitous America bashing.

Pf etc
[1] Morally: the morality of not leaving what were then 20 million people in the South to the depredations of a murderous communist dictatorship.
[2] LegallyUnited Nations Resolution 82, et seq.
[3] Geo-strategically: A counter to unilateral moves by the Soviet Union and China to expand their influence via a proxy.  The Cold War, remember.
PS:  A curiously confused comment from North Korea, defending its Black Nights: "The essence of society is not on flashy lights" (i.e., darkness is good).  But then goes on to predict that the US would be "meeting its sunset" and "… can't avoid its dark fate." (i.e. darkness is bad).  So: living with candles…. good or bad??

The future of Europe

A friend sends the above image. Apparently the winner of a cartoon contest on the theme of "Multicultural Europe". 
The tree metaphor may be too slow. Perhaps a crane... 
We wonder whether it really was a cartoon contest because the political and media elites would never, ever admit that such a cartoon fairly depicted the future of Europe not even as a joke! 
Instead they smear anyone — and that would be the large majority of European citizens, according to poll after poll —who dares to raise concerns about the unregulated, unvetted and unprecedentedly large inflow of migrants from Islamic countries. 
Anyone who has studied Islam knows that its core tenets are not compatible with liberal democratic values. And we know that many of Islam's adherents act on those tenets. And they do so in a generous Europe that has given them succour. 
Most recently an example of their gratitude: just last night at a French railway station, a Muslim shouting "Allahu Akhbar!" knifed a couple to death. For being non Muslims. 

Recommended: Douglas Murray "The strange death of Europe"

Says a friend:
BBC talked about mosques building “two sides views” but biased in favor of Islam as usual. The multicultural ideology is certainly problematic in dealing with the reality of growing concerns in the Western society about this social, cultural and economical issues; and the “main stream” politics have not addressed the problem in any meaningful way...

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Dateline London: hopelessly biased

One from the Guardian, one Der Spiegel, one the Independent.....
That's balance according to the Beebs
I wrote below and sent off to BBC in a fit of pique. Since then I've been stewing even more about it. I've watched and enjoyed many Dateline London shows. It's on Saturday morning Hong Kong time so very convenient for me as I fix breakfast for all who want. I know it's got the usual BBC bias and I allow for that. 
But this week was more biased than most. Not a single one of the panelists could bring themselves to say that they understood concern amongst Europeans about unprecedented levels of unregulated immigration. All with no veering. Well over half the population say they want it controlled according to numerous polls. 
Yet these bien pensants blather on about the "extreme right", "xenophobes" and "racists" and how this rightward shift is a threat to European liberalism and must be stopped. It is they, with their unthinking "open minds" (so open their brains fall out, according to a wit), who risk losing the Europe we all -- including them -- love. 
Revolting to see them in full flight on BBC this morning. 
See Douglas Murray's best-selling "The Strange Death of Europe". 

Yet again a panel that leans heavily Left!
When, oh when, will you have a more balanced panel with some representation of the views of at least half of Europeans? 
There are many "decent people, non extremists, non racist" (to quote Polly Toynbee) who are nonetheless concerned about unprecedentedly high levels of immigration, largely from Islamic countries. 
This needs some representation without smearing their concerns as "far right". 
Oh Dear, and now here's Polly now banging on how Corbyn's socialist agenda is wonderful and dreaming of a renationalised country. 
Please: some sanity in the centre or leaning conservative!  Today's panel is worse than usual and ought t be embarrassing for its blatant leftist bias (even for the BBC). 

Pf etc

Sent from my iPhone

"Use surplus to build more recycling units" | SCMP. 1 Oct 2027

My letter ran in today's South China Morning Post:
I couldn't agree more with Alex Lo ("Let's have a hi-tech solution to recycling", September 19).
Instead of handing excess cash back to the public or declaring relief on property taxes, why doesn't the government use at least part of its surplus to build recycling plants?
That would require subsidies to be sure. But putting trash in landfills is also subsidised – and simply wasted.
There is no need for yet ­another "consultation" or ­attempts at a "consensus". As Mr Lo points out, the public knows major recycling is needed, and that we badly lag behind other developed economies. I urge Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor to Just Do It!
          Peter Forsythe, Discovery Bay

PS, Today's news: the government's surplus is currently running at $HK 185 Billion per year ($US 25 Billion) the highest per capita in the world. So high that the Carrie Lam is considering reducing tax rates to below 10%.  
The government's Fiscal savings are close to $HK 2 Trillion ($US 260 Billion).

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Trump’s Deadly Narcissism - NYTimes.com

Paul Krugman is a bona fide leftist and Trump-hater. 
But you gotta agree with him on the Puerto Rico fiasco. Trump tweeting about the NFL while PR was going underwater. 
On the Obamacare stuff I don't really know and don't want to.....it's one of Krugman's pet peeves. 
But Puerto Rico? Come on!...

Friday, 29 September 2017

Muslim Democrats, Inshallah | The Economist

This Economist article is self-contradictory. Islamists like the Muslim Brotherhood act differently depending on the country and circumstances. Yet Tunisia is held up as a model of how Islamism can coexist with democracy. But by their own argument, it's not transferable.
I'd always be wary of the Brotherhood. There's no mention in the article of how it operates in the west, through various proxies.
Also: recall that Turkey was held up as recently as five years ago, as the poster child of how Islam and democracy can work together. Look at it now….

On 24 Sep, 2017, at 3:33 pm, J wrote:

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Scott Adams tells you how President Trump will come out ahead on the anthem protests

Scott Adams is always amusing. Check out his little Rockettes dance just after 5'30". Hilarious!  (He reprises it later on in the podcast).  Click above or here.
Adams always has an interesting perspective, whether you agree with him or not. 
I often don't, but suspect he's correct on this issue. Surely the football players are going to get tired of this nonsense. 
Ben Shapiro was rather more academic in his podcast (388), pointing out the dangers to the fabric of American society as a whole by the posturing on both sides:
The Right posture: it's all about respecting the military, the flag and the anthem. 
The Left posture: it's all about the freedom to peacefully protest. 
Shapiro reckons the two postures ("bubbles") are or should be reconcilable. Except for the "of course... but maybe..." phenom: Louis CK's creation! (Around 30' in).

BTW, in case the above seems biased to the conservative side: there are about a million pieces on the Left in Mainstream Media, showing how Trump on the NFL "kneelgate" is wrong, racist, divisive, etc, etc... (Google "Trump NFL" will do it for ya).
Also: Shapiro is no Trump supporter -- he voted Libertarian, and in his podcast above repeatedly makes a point of criticising Trump for suggesting how a business should be run ("You're fired!"). Meantime Adams is more of a Trump explainer, than a Trump supporter, in my reading of his position: and I've listened to the whole of his long (2 hours +) talk with Sam Harris ("Triggered").

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Ignorance, Taking a Knee, and Islam | PewSitter.com

These millionaires, (average salary $US 2 million p.a.)
know not wherefore they kneel

This is a post by a Christian pastor, Father George Rutler in the Pewesitter blog, so not my cup of tea, as an atheist.  
But Father Rutler gives some useful history of the "Star Spangled Banner" for which so many pro-footballers are "taking a knee".  And also of the Muslim slave traders.  "Jefferson's Koran", which apologists claim Thomas Jefferson bought because of his admiration of Islam, he actually bought so he could study his enemies, the barbary pirates of Tripoli.  
It's a curiosity and slight irony that the US Navy was established because the new United States needed to fight the Muslim Barbary Pirates who had been preying on their merchant shipping.
The current mania for tearing down statues and stifling free speech by cultural ingénues ignorant of history and logic, has reached a stellar absurdity in demands to censure "The Star Spangled Banner" on lame claims that it is racist. If ignorance is bliss, then those who indulge their revisionism must be in Nirvana.
Key's poem "The Defence of Fort McHenry"—which, re-named "The Star-Spangled Banner," became the national anthem in 1931—was based on verses he composed in 1805 to celebrate the victory over the Muslim slave-trading pirates on the Barbary coast ("the shores of Tripoli"). "And pale beam'd the Crescent, its splendor obscured / By the light of the Star-Spangled flag of our nation. . . . And the turban'd heads bow'd to its terrible glare . . ." John Langdon was a Founding Father who, as the first President pro tempore of the Senate, administered the vice-presidential oath of office to John Adams. In 1805 as governor of New Hampshire, he set aside a day in thanksgiving "for the termination of our contest with one of the African powers; the liberation of our fellow-citizens from bondage…"
   Islam, which means "submission," has never had abolitionists like the Christians Bartolomé de las Casas and William Wilberforce. Muhammed was a slave trader, and the Qur'an devotes five times as much space to regulating labor slavery and sex slavery as it does to prayer. Nearly 200 million slaves, white and black, were sold by Muslim traders over fourteen centuries, and almost all the Africans sold to European traders for export to America were enslaved by Muslims. Muslim slavers even raided Ireland in 1631. So many Eastern Europeans were enslaved that the word "slave" itself comes from "Slav." While lip service is given to abolition in Islamic lands, slavery today is blatant in Sudan, Niger and Mauritania and was not abolished in Saudi Arabia and Yemen until 1962 under Western pressure. Where is the indignation of protestors here?

Re: Sweden descending

Votaries of the Religion of Peace are not getting their Swedish welfare
cheques quickly enough; burn the Swedish flag!
Hi P,
Yes I've read a lot about the dire situation in Sweden [e.g.  and e.g.] And the unwillingness to even talk about it amongst the Swedish elite.(*) 
And no, I didn't read the article cause I can't read Danish (or whatever...)
The Swedes seem to be ashamed of their culture which used to be very fine (still is, just) but is is becoming brutalised by highest per capita Muslim immigration in the world. They now have rapidly increasing cases of rape and violent crime. All due to ... guess what!?
One Swedish politician even said something like, sneeringly, "Swedish culture? What Swedish culture?"  Another said that "it is likely" that non-Muslim Swedish women will have to wear the hijab one day. And he was ok with that, just the assimilation of a new culture or some such nonsense. 
It's crazy! Why? I don't get it. 
Remember in 2015 when Fox News was made to apologise last year for saying there were "no-go zones" in Europe? I don't know why Fox apologised. They are clearly there. And their documentation is clear. Not just in Sweden. Also in France, Germany, the U.K.  In France it's the government that keeps a list of them, les Zones Urbaines Sensibles. 

(*) I had an encounter with a Swedish neighbour recently, as I was walking the dogs. I raised the issue of problems with immigrants in Sweden. Just what I'd read, I said.  His response was to look away, say nothing, then change the subject!
I think Denmark is a bit more sane on this issue. 

Sent from my iPhone

On 27 Sep 2017, at 7:11 AM, P wrote
Hi Forse:

I don't expect you to read this link, but it is stark reading. An article in a Norwegian newspaper describing several 'no go zones' in Sweden where alternative Muslim communities rife with crime have been established. The police has been trying regain control, but the situation has just worsened and they are no closer.


Monday, 25 September 2017

Why no one dared challenge the Parsons Green bomber | The Specta

Read the full article below the fold, courtesy of The Spectator:

Professors get their dates a bit muddled..

Hmmmm, when was WW2 again??

Report from a mate in the U.S.:
On the 15th anniversary of 9/11, I heard one of those weekly radios show while driving in to work. On it, they had a panel a numerous professors, who uniformly blamed 9/11 on Bush, the Republicans, and the American government in general. 
Of course, there was zero discussion of why the attackers (described only in the vaguest terms) had bothered to attack; it was treated as an act of nature. This went somewhat off the rails when a caller asked why the learned panel wasn't interested in discussing the attacker's motives, only the US response, and the panel pointed out that was because the reason for the attack was clear. Obviously, the 9/11 attackers were responding to Bush's unprovoked war on Afghanistan.
When the caller tried to point out that it was the other way around, the professors all became very excited, and dismissively told the caller to shut up. When the host pointed out (referencing NYT stories on the timeline) that yes, 9/11 had preceded the invasion of Afghanistan, the panel was utterly bewildered. They were convinced that the host must be mistaken. The sainted NYT was beyond reproach, of course, but... no, that couldn't be right.
You could hear their cerebellums fusing in real time. 
Although that was gratifying, it was astounding that several university professors shared the common belief that was not only completely wrong, but easily disproved, and this was in their field of supposed expertise. An 11 year old kid with access to Wikipedia and a search engine could find the timeline of 9/11, but an history department worth of political science professors couldn't.
Why? Because they didn't want to. They were all wrong, and they were al insufferably smug about it, of course. The word pathological isn't sufficient to describe that level of idiocy.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

The West’s Schism Over Liberal Values - NYTimes.com

"To save the Enlightenment, we had to destroy it" (apologies to Ben Tre)


Sylvie Kauffmann hammers the leaders of Hungary and Poland for the "offence"' of undermining multiculturalism and betraying the Enlightenment. (The West's schism over liberal values. September 23-24). [Archive].

But wasn't it Merkel who said in 2010 that attempts to build a multicultural society had been "a complete failure"?

And wasn't it Merkel who in 2015, in a spectacular display of cognitive dissonance, opened the doors to millions of Muslim migrants (all illegal, by the way), whose progenitors had become the failed multicultural experiment she had excoriated five years prior?

And isn't it now also Merkel, who in her latest "pivot" is trying to stem the tide she herself had unleashed? 

This is the paragon Kauffmann claims now has donned the mantle of "leader of the free world"?

Meantime Macron. Surely there is no better example of hubris and hypocrisy than this grandiloquent statement of his, quoted by Ms Kauffmann: 
"Is there any other continent with such a commitment to freedom, democracy and the social balances that hold us together, to this reconciliation of justice and freedom which are at last combined.... In Europe today, sovereignty, democracy and trust are in danger". 
Yes, but who are they in danger from?  Surely as much from the likes of Merkel and Macron who see no problems in opening the doors to millions who have no interest in "freedom, democracy and social balances". Whose core ideology is in direct opposition to those values.

Thus it is that very many concerned citizens, not of the Alt-right, believe it is the precisely the likes of Merkel and Macron who are imperilling "sovereignty, democracy and trust". They are not saving us and the Enlightenment. They are imperilling us by imperilling it.

It is very unlikely that allowing unprecedented millions into Europe who despise the West and its Enlightenment will contribute to its lustre. 

Pf, etc

Undercover With the Alt-Right

Jesse Singal's article ("Undercover With the Alt-Right", NYT, 19 September) [Archive] is one long ploy to mock the concerns that sane and sensible and middle-of-the-road people (upwards of 70% of the EU population) have about Islamisation of Europe. To make his readers believe that if they think like that they're one small step away from becoming neo-Nazis.
See his penultimate para. You may find yourself speaking more "frankly" about Muslims with some of those shady alt-right types. Next thing you're donning a hood and lynching blacks, or Muslims, or something.
In short: beware criticism of the doctrines of Islam. It can lead to Klanism, or nazism, or both.
What a nasty and disingenuous piece of Islam-apologia from this Jesse Singal character.
Pf, etc...