Friday 30 September 2016

Why CAGE Cannot Be Trusted On ‘Prevent’ & Anti-Extremism | Godless Spellchecker's Blog

More on how the left -- in this case UK Labor's Andy Burnham, and the ever-reliable Guardian -- is in step with Islamism, if not outright Jihadism.
This is from Phillip Knight's wonderful Godless Spellchecker blog....

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Thursday 29 September 2016

When the fear of racism trumps everything else » The Spectator Australia

Sadly Islam doesn't have a golden rule, hence the difficulty in achieving Mary Wakefield's belief. Right though that it is:
Final para>>>
"We believe, in this country, that we should love our neighbour whoever our neighbour is. This, surely, is what we should require of every other culture, faith, and community in Britain."

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The miracle of Hong Kong » The Spectator Australia

The miracle of Hong Kong, wot cured me of my seventies undergraduate socialism.
Plus, of course, the negative example at the time, of mother China. China was then floundering in socialism, all cabbages and China-chinos.
Delingpole loves Hong Kong too....

Monday 26 September 2016

How to Cover a Charlatan Like Trump -

Nicholas Kristof makes some decent points in this article. ("How to Cover a Charlatan Like Trump", 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 nor racist -- Kristof waded in to 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 F

Sunday 25 September 2016

Why I (sometimes) watch FOX

Many of my mates and rellies say the “never watch” FOX, because it’s so “biased” and “conservative”.
But if they don’t watch how do they know?
Here in Casa ForsytheLee we watch a bunch of shows.
Our default, in the morning, over breakfast is BBC World Service.  They’re pretty good.
Then, after a bit, we switch to CNBC.  That’s a business channel and tells us stuff we think we need to know about what’s going on in the financial world.
Then, it’s one channel down to FOX.  Then one other channel down to CNN.
Thing is, FOX gives a view on the news.  On what’s happening. And it’s not always crazy and unhinged.  The opposite in fact.  Often you learn new stuff, that you wouldn’t have from the other channels.
As for presidential debates, it carries them more fully. Obama’s speeches are covered more fully than they are on CNBC or even CNN.
In short, the reason we watch FOX (sometimes) is that by doing so we get a fuller picture of what’s going on.
And there’s no doubt that CNN is just as biased on the Left.
Then there’s this: for all the “I never watch FOX” folks, I wonder how do you know that FOX is saying if you don’t follow it?
Anyhoo, I’d suggest that all folks ought to watch all views, left right and middle.
Read: NYT, WSJ, Guardian, Times, Daily Mail, SMH and Telegraph.
Read like a catholic: left right and middle.
ADDED: FOX is not racist or sexist.  Its presenters are a wide range about 50/50 gender-wise and diverse. I’m guessing about 50% POC. Fox is not anti science. It often has science segments. It particularly likes space stories. And FOX is not a climate change denier.
So there. That’s why I (sometimes) watch FOX. I may even have convinced myself to watch it rather more often …

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.

Saturday 17 September 2016

xkcd: Earth Temperature Timeline

Global temperature change in cartoon form

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. ...

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!

‘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

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.

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.
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What Politicians Don’t Get About the Islamic State - POLITICO Magazine

Sunday 11 September 2016


(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


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

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. 
"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."

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

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"

Sunday 4 September 2016

Mother Teresa Canonisation

I'm watching the absurd spectacle of the Pope making the late Mother Teresa Saint. On the BBC, no less!  They are planting a very big kiss on the arse of Vatican.
Nary a counter word, certainly not the excoriating critique by the equally late Christopher Hitchens, himself a true Saint of secular humanism. Hitchen's Video, Mother Teresa, Hell's Angel
Professor Jerry Coyne has his own criticisms here: Re Tom Wolfe and Mother Teresa
Elsewhere Coyne notes that these "miracles" are always for a disease that has a history of natural remission. One miracles required for sainthood one was the remission of a woman's stomach tumour after she'd prayed to Teresa. Get real, Pope! Rumours can go away by themselves, even for atheists.  Professor Coyne wonders why the "miracles" are never for something impossible (a regrown amputated limb, for example) given that the very definition of miracle is to do something scientifically impossible.
[Coyne again: NPR touts Teresa's miracles]
What utter, pathetic, nonsense!
Shame on the BBC for slavering over Theresa. As Hitchens showed she was probably responsible for more suffering and pain than she cured, for her medieval beliefs.
The bit below is from one of the comments on Coyne's blog. As Coyne says, it's at once funny, sad and true. (I mean the quote at the end of the post)
[actually on a post of Coyne's re Tom Wolfe's latest book.  But it's spot on for religion]

World Leaders Make Unprecedented Call for the Legal Regulation of Drugs -

A link below to an article relating to a "big idea": poppies for medicine. Or "Afrogesics" I call it: that is analgesics for Africa.  Instead of trying to wipe out opium poppies, buy up the opium and manufacture it into morphine-- in the "Golden Triangle" to create jobs -- and then supply the morphine to Africa where it's in terribly short supply.
The main difficulties now are not at the supply end.  They're existing regulations, at the international level, including the UN, and at the national level -- with restrictions by most African states.
Anyway, wanting to work this up, then work on it, with NGOs that are involved.
World leaders want to change drug laws


Why doesn't Saudi Arabia take in more refugees?

Why don't your esteemed Op-Ed columnists hold Saudi Arabia's collective feet to the fire over their failure to take in refugees? Most Syrian refugees are Sunni, the same as most Saudis.
I understand Saudis are concerned that some of them may be members of ISIS. To which one might reasonably respond: "gee, d'ya think?" That's one of the legitimate concerns of Europeans who are currently doing the heavy lifting on refugees, though critics who bring up such concerns are often labelled "Islamophobes".
Saudis Arabia has permanent camps ready for the millions of Haj tourists to Mecca each year. They are perfect for short-term Muslim refugees accommodation
Yet we rarely see any pressure on this so-called "ally" of the west.
At the very least it would be worth seeing Saudi reaction to demands to accept refugees. I suspect it would be just more duplicity and hypocrisy from this most tawdry of "allies".
Peter F

Friday 2 September 2016

"Jihad: A word which doesn't mean war against non-Muslims". SBS 28 August


Why do you promote Islamist lies about jihad. Jihad is indeed war against we unbelievers.
The classic manual of Islamic jurisprudence, the 'Umdat al-Salik (Reliance of the Traveller), which has been certified by al-Azhar University in Cairo, the oldest and most authoritative university in the Islamic world, devotes one paragraph to jihad as spiritual struggle and seven pages to jihad as warfare. It makes it quite clear that jihad is warfare against non-Muslims:
Jihad means to war against non-Muslims, and is etymologically derived from the word 'mujahada', signifying warfare to establish the religion. And it is the lesser jihad. As for the greater jihad, it is spiritual warfare against the lower self (nafs), which is why the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said as he was returning from jihad. (Umdat al-Salik, O9.0. p599)
"Jihad" in the Hadith:
Of the 199 references to jihad in perhaps the most standard collection of hadith—Bukhari—all assume that jihad means warfare. [Ref]
Please, SBS, stop carrying water for Islamist apologists.


Hard Talk. Sarah Montague interviews Sara Khan


Interesting interview  by Sarah Montague, with Sara Khan, director and co-founder of Inspire,  who appears to have her head screwed on correctly.

But… she still claims that groups like ISIS are "hijacking" the religion, that Islam is benign, etc… These are, to say the least, contestable views — indeed they are arguably flat-out wrong wrong.

ISIS really is Islamic. Listen to Sam Harris talk about Dabiq, the ISIS glossy magazine. And Islam is not benign.  It's not Jainism, it's not Buddhism, it's not Mormonism or even Southern Baptist.  It's a warrior religion.  (There's also the carefully argued "What ISIS Really Wants", by Graeme Wood, in The Atlantic, March 2015)

When talking of allies for her efforts to promote a more moderate Islam in the UK, how could Sara (or Sarah) not mention Maajid Nawaz?  He's the really poster boy for moderating Islam.  He has death threats and horrid calumny for it.  He doesn't honey-coat the issues within Islam.  It's a real shame he wasn't mentioned.

Why are your Hard Talk interviewers not better read on Islam, so that can contest, and add to, points such as these?  After all, Islam(ism)-jihadism, really is a defining issue of our times.

Overall, though, it was great to see people like Sara Khan doing some heavy lifting to try to shift Islamist attitudes. There really is a huge problem with radicalising Muslim populations in the west, not just in the UK.  The more reforming Muslims the better.  

These are hard questions, but they're not made less hard by ignoring the hard truths about militarism within core-Islam, and claiming that Islam has been "hijacked".  No, it hasn't.  That's what it is.  That's the Hard Talk. And that's the talk that needs be had when we say what's needed is "an honest conversation"!

Peter Forsythe.
Discovery Bay
Hong Kong
9308 0799

Pariahs for Donald Trump -

This from Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times is kind of funny, but also kind of scary. Barbaric Islamists and dodgy dictator states want Trump to win. With friends like these 'n all...
Just one more reason that, much as I hate Hillary, I'd hold my nose and vote for her. (If I were American and had the vote, that is). 
/Snip summary:
That's quite a list of influential backers — ISIS supporters, North Korea, Russia and China. And it's matched at home by an array of strong endorsements that also, perhaps, don't receive adequate attention.
More >>

LATER (12/9/16): Yesterday Clinton said that ISIS types were rooting for Trump. Fox hopped on that statement  and said it was nonsense. But it's not. ISIS and fellow travellers are openly hoping for a Trump victory because they think his craziness will bring America down. Here's some evidence, in the journal Foreign Affairs:

Thursday 1 September 2016

Islam and Anti-Semitism in Malaysia

  • Wahhabi doctrines spread by Saudi-financed imams are redefining the way Islam is practiced in Malaysia. Politicians are now competing with each other to show off their Islamist credentials. These practices are eroding the tolerance for which the country was previously known.
  • Young Malaysians are being radicalized as a result of the Islamism and anti-Semitism that their leaders espouse. According to Malaysian police, there are at least 50,000 Islamic State sympathizers in the country.
  • Recently, an influential opposition party introduced a bill that would implement harsher hudud laws (brutal physical punishments for transgressions like adultery and theft) in the state of Kelantan.

UK Christian clergy told not to wear clerical collars in public for fear of ISIS jihad attack

The wonder of science; the idiocy of faith

Professor James W. Cronin won a Nobel Prize for "repudiating a fundamental law of physics".
Isn't that wonderful! For *repudiating* a long-held idea he gets the world's highest scientific prize. 
That's the way science advances. That's how humankind advances. By disproving old ideas, leading to new and better ideas.  Theories, we call them. They are alway falsifiable, and the longer they can't be falsified, the sounder they are.  But scientists welcome the falsification of dearly held views, because they know that this offers rich veins for new and better Theories.
Imagine, by contrast, if you tried to repudiate a fundamental belief of any religion: say, that Jesus was resurrected from the dead. Or that Muhammad didn't hear the Angel Gabriel, but instead was a schizophrenic who heard voices. In the first case calumny heaped on your head. In the second case, off with your head!
That's the wonder of science. And the perniciousness of faith. 
James W. Cronin, a physicist who shared a Nobel Prize for repudiating a fundamental principle of physics and explaining why the universe survived the Big Bang with anything in it, died on Thursday in St. Paul. He was 84.
The rest:

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