Tuesday 31 January 2017

Trump’s “Muslim Ban” -- Goal to Ban Sharia Supremacists, Not All Muslims | National Review

There's pretty much blanket denunciation of Trump's Executive Order (EO) banning US entry by refugees from various Middle Eastern countries, all of which are Muslim majority countries. 
Hence the EO has become known as the "Muslim Ban". 
I've been following the issue on BBC, CNN and Fox. 
They all -- even Fox; mostly -- rail against the EO as being in violation of the Constitution and "un-American".
But none of them talks of the main reason for the EO is as described by Andrew C. McCarthy
McCarthy argues that the main aim of the EO is not terrorism, but is to stop the immigration of Muslims who want to promote Islamic SHARIA law in the United States. It's not specifically aimed at jihadi terrorists. If that's the case then that's way more logical than trying to stop terrorism, because there have been no terrorist attacks on the US from any one of the Trump-named countries.
LATER (10 Feb): that's on "Half True", according to fact checkers Politifact:
I'm inclined to accept McCarthy's explanation because he was on the drafting committee of the EO and because I've read his excellent 2008 book "Willful Blindness". It was well written and well sourced. 
For example, he said that W Bush attacking Iraq was like the United States after Pearl Harbour attacking Mexico instead of Japan. So he's no war booster. 
Moreover I know from study of the issue that there are many Muslims who want to implement Sharia in the countries to which they emigrate. Look at he U.K. for example. There almost 100 SHARIA COURTS there.  They supersede U.K. Law.  That's slow-motion cultural suicide in my view. 
There's nothing to like about SHARIA.  Nothing.  Don't believe me? Read the "Reliance of the Traveler", the classic manual of Islamic jurisprudence, link at left. It's a shocker. Full of murderous hatred of we infidels, of gays, adulterers, women, minorities and apostates. Punishments include whipping, amputation, crucifixion and stoning to death. 
The wonders of the "religion of peace".  
Yet that's what the U.K. Government is complicit in allowing. The US wants to avoid that with this latest EO. 
Fair enough I reckon. 

Saturday 28 January 2017

"Please Vote for Me": a primary school election in China.


What a TERRIFIC show! Well done!

(By BBC "Storyville Global": about a Chinese Primary School election for Class Monitor, in China's mid west mega-city of Wuhan).

Bright, alive, happy, sometimes naughty, lovely, likable primary school kids in Wuhan (home of my in-laws) fighting an election to be Class Monitor. And their interaction with their teachers and parents. They even have a debate in front of their rowdy and engaged classmates.

Really moving and interesting. So different from what I guess most in the west would think of Chinese schooling: rigid, authoritarian, blindly obedient. None of that.

Of course when they're adults these kids can't vote for their country's leader. Bummer. But grass roots voting like this must -- one hopes-- work through the system in some way. We see in Russia what happens if shift to democracy is too quick. You end up losing it. The basis of civic society needs to be planted first. And that's what's happening in "Please Vote for Me". At least I hope so.

Anyway, my warmest congratulations to the BBC for making this show.

Peter Forsythe
Hong Kong
(Overseas student in China of the 70s)

Friday 27 January 2017

No, he didn’t: Obama’s legacy

"Jihad" really does mean warfare on the unbelievers

On the Left and among apologists for Islam, there's the meme that "Jihad" means "spiritual struggle". It's about improving yourself, lerning a language, going back to school; it's about being a good citizen.  There was even a Tw***er campaign a while ago on this theme, "My Jihad is...."
The reality is that Jihad does mean spiritual struggle, but it also means, and more often in the Islamic canon does mean, "to fight a holy war against unbelievers". To deny this is to deny reality.  It's to deny the motivating factor for Islamic terrorism. From somewhere, I forget where, but all true, believe me:...

The Shafi’i legal manual (the Shafi’is are a school of Islamic jurisprudence) ‘Umdat al-Salik (Reliance of the Traveller), which has been certified by al-Azhar, the foremost authority in Sunni Islam, as conforming to the “practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni community,” 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,
“We have returned from the lesser jihad to the greater jihad.”

ISIS Really IS Islamic

The concept on the Left and among apologists for Islam is that ISIS does not represent Islam, that they ISIS has "hijacked" and "twisted" or "warped" the "Religion of Peace".
This has been been soundly debunked many times by many experts, both Muslim and non-Muslim (eg, Muslim here, non-Muslims here and here).  ("Others are available" as the BBC says)

For the record:
The Islamic State’s beheadings (Qur'an 47:4), sex slavery (4:3, 4:24, 23:1-6, 33:50, 70:30), subjugation of Christians (9:29), global imperative (8:39) and more are all based upon the Qur’an. Indeed, everything the Islamic State does is scrupulously based on the Qur’an and Sunnah.

Larry Elder and Dave Rubin: Conservatives, Black Lives Matter, Racism (Full Interview) - YouTube

This video is just over a year old but well worth the hour's viewing.
You may know Larry Elder. I did not until Dave's latest video directed me to it as having had a major impact on Dave's thinking.
It had that impact for me too. I knew a lot of the stuff about black vs white crime levels and police shootings statistic. (E.g. Black suspects are shot at a *lower* rate than whites). As Elder says "where are Black Lives Matter on that"?).
But I didn't know about the connection between welfare state initiatives of the sixties and single parent households in the black community and in turn that connection with black crime levels. Welfare was offered, by well-meaning initiatives, to women if they were single moms. That led to unintended consequences -- moms *becoming single* deliberately. Growth of single parent families led to higher crime levels. And we know what a catastrophe that has been for the black community and black incarceration rates.
The sixties welfare initiatives -- all well meaning -- were a catastrophe for the black community with a rise in single parent households from 25% to 75% today.
Elder says black leaders -- Obama, Jackson, Sharpton, BLM -- should be talking about this. But not a one is.
He also talks of Black support for Trump -- higher then than it was for Romney. Working class blacks were displaced by immigrants, so Trump resonated with them on that issue, again not one covered in MSM.
Elder is most impressive. Eloquent and quick, with all facts at his fingertips.
Elder had not, at January 2016, decided if he was a Trump supporter. But he makes some interesting points about him.
Well worth the hour's viewing (there's a couple of edited versions on Dave's ChaNnel if you're pressed for time).
I'm sure you'd agree with pretty much all of that Elder says. Actually so do I. It's hard to argue with facts. Unless you want to replace them with "alternative facts"!
Meantime looking forward to the Trump - Theresa May meeting
Video here.

Thursday 26 January 2017

Donald Trump meant everything he said

Interesting article by Christopher Caldwell in the Financial Times yesterday. He makes the point that Trump means as president what he said as candidate.  His is a sympathetic reading of Trump's inauguration speech. I doubt that Caldwell is actually a Trumpisto, which makes his reading of Trump one that's outside the common "wisdom" on the Left: namely that Trump is a dangerous egoistic loony. 
I've liked Caldwell since reading his seminal 2009 book "Reflections on the Revolution in Europe". His warning then -- that a culturally self-doubting morally equivocating Europe will cede to a confident, assertive Islam, an Islam that has no intention of integrating, but to hew Europe to Islam -- has turned out to be truer than many acknowledged at the time. If anything, things are worse than Caldwell predicted -- and many thought him too apocalyptic in 2009. For example in the book he thought that France's republican history, its laicite traditions, might well deal better than other European nations with the challenge of assertive Muslim immigrants. That's hardly been the case, as we now know. 
Globalisation is sucking the lifeblood out of the American yeomanry, one decaf mocha extra-skim Frappuccino at a time: anyone surprised that US President Donald Trump feels this way did not pay much attention to last November's election. 
Yet Friday's inaugural address seems to have thrown Mr Trump's adversaries into a state of shock. It turns out he actually meant those things. He spoke of "America first" as his principle; "protection" as his policy and "buy American" as his motto. Millions gathered on Saturday in cities across the country and globally for "women's marches" to protest against his presidency. Mr Trump accepts the radical implications of his world view. In fact, he has a good chance of enacting it. More....

Trump’s Vainglorious Affront to the C.I.A. - The New Yorker

Worth reading.
Since this was written it's been revealed that the "laughter and applause" at the meeting was by 40 10 (thanks to PN) or so Trump cronies shipped in for the event. Trump's performance at this meeting with the CIA was toe-curlingly awful.

Sunday 22 January 2017

Trump’s Inauguration vs. Obama’s: Comparing the Crowds - The New York Times

Why on earth don't you challenge Trump's FALSE claim about the size of his crowds. And why let his spokesman get away with also clearly false assertions in the so-called "press conference"??
See article here proving his crowd was substantially smaller than Obama's.
Please don't be cowed already!!
Peter Forsythe

Donald Trump’s rhetoric is at odds with reality

I don't always agree with the editorial in the South China Morning Post, in fact most often don't. But I think this one today gets it pretty right on Trump's inauguration speech which I thought horrible. 
Interesting that this Editorial is so critical of Trump, given that he was recently schmoozing with Jack Ma, the owner of the SCMP. So, at least for now, the Post is maintaining its independence. Trump would cal the Post part of the "horrible, lying media"!
(Though, to be fair, I've yet to see the Post be critical of Xi Jinping, leader of our motherland....)

Thursday 19 January 2017

Remembering Nixon, a Trump White House can only be bad for China-US ties | South China Morning Post

I was in China or nearby for all this change, from the opening to China by Nixon to Trump's challenge to China.  I share M. Lehmann's concern about Trump's adventurism.  It could lead to military conflict and it's hard to see anything positive in that.
Lehmann also mentions what seems to be some growing wishful thinking around the non-Trumpian intertubes: that Trump could be impeached.  We have to hope he'll do or say something so awful and dangerous to America's security that he will indeed be impeached. Or maybe he'll just resign, when he finds that it's a bit of a bore.
Nixon and Trump differ greatly in intellectual capability and policy orientation. The first opened up relations with China to the great benefit of China, the US and the world. The second seriously risks antagonising relations with China, which will be to the great detriment of the US, China and the world.

There is, however, one thing they may come to share in common. Two years after his historic visit to Beijing, in 1974, Nixon once more made history by becoming the first – and so far only – US president to have been forced to resign from office. On the basis of all the noise that his candidacy has generated and the many closets that may be opened, Trump may stand a chance of being the second. Beijing will no doubt be closely watching.

Remembering Nixon, a Trump White House can only be bad for China-US ties

Russia Gains When Donald Trump Trashes NATO - NYTimes.com

The big, nay, huge, worries about Trumpism: canning NATO and dissing Europe, while cosying up to thug Putin. All while presaging military conflict with China.
In the New York Times:
Many people in the United States and abroad have consoled themselves by assuming that Donald Trump's outrageous statements were just politically driven, and he'd temper them once he became president. That thinking seems more wishful than ever when the man chosen to lead the world's most powerful country keeps saying that two pillars of postwar security and prosperity — the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union — are obsolete.

Tuesday 17 January 2017

China should beware the trap set by ‘dumb Trump'

How odd: the reversal of roles between China and the US.
China as the spokescountry for free trade, for the Paris Climate deal, for nuclear curbs. And the Trumpian US for all the opposites.
I could not have imagined this when I arrived in the Maoist peasant empire 40 years ago.
Still, I'm rather optimistic that the resilience of the US will survive Trumpism.
The thoughtful Tom Plate writes from his eyrie in Los Angeles.
His basic line: Trump is not smart, like Bill Clinton smart. He's smart like the fox. Now he's in the henhouse and don't underestimate him.

The U.N. Can Find Balance in the Middle East - WSJ

To balance the viciously anti-Israel UN Resolution 2334:
> The United Nations Security Council last month passed Resolution 2334, which states that Israeli settlements have "no legal basis." The resolution made the mistake of only looking at one side of the map. To complete the job, the U.N. should pass a resolution that condemns Palestinian maximalist claims with the same sharp legal language it used for Israeli claims. In the absence of that, the U.N. resolution and the coming Paris peace conference will do more harm than good to the prospects of peace and justice.

Friday 13 January 2017

On Palestinian Statehood - WSJ

Spot on again, Bret!
The ongoing demonization of Israel and the imbalance of not holding Palestinians to any responsibility.

Friday 6 January 2017

Brexit, Trump: Whose fault? The Basket of Bigots says the Left (Flo and Joan on video)

Hi Sal,

Great to hear the doings of a happy and active Grannie…  I envy your grand-motherliness.  Happy New Year to you and your multitudinous family!

But, oh dear on the "Flo and Joan" bit of nonsense!  

To be clear: If I were British I would have voted Remain. if I were American I would have voted for Hillary.  But with the losses on both sides of the Atlantic, the Left is in denial.

As for the "world-is-going-to-hell-in-a-handcart" view of current events, I think I may have suggested before "The Better Angels of our Nature" by Stephen Pinker.  There's also "The Rational Optimist, by Matt Ridley. A couple of solid books. Which lead to this:

For all the doom-mongering, the world has never been happier, healthier, longer-lived, faster-developing, safer, richer or more at peace.  In the UK, the economy is strong, even post Brexit win. In the US there's been an economic bounce, even post-Trump win.  

Even global climate change is going to be fixed in our life times, or in that of our kids. Fixed by technology: that is to say, by capitalism.  The only real world danger is radical Islam: and this, this topic alone, is off-limits to criticism by the regressive left….. (Maajid Nawaz, explains the "regressive left").  

Those "desperate people" you mention?  Syria was an Obama own-goal. Obama's failure to punish Assad's crossing of the "Red Line", a line Obama himself had set, made Assad contemptuous of the US.  Obama's failure to be more robust in Iraq and then Syria, led to ISIS and now to Russia ruling this radical roost. Line them up these Obama errors: withdraw from Iraq (>> Al Qaeda, then ISIS), do nothing in Lybia and Syria (ditto), do nothing about Crimea or Ukraine (weaken Nato, embolden Putin), diss the EU (ditto), fold to China's South China Sea hegemony (embolden Xi Jinping)…. so much, so sadly much…. and then his valedictory stabbing of Israel: not in the back but in the chest.  An ally and the only democracy in that part of the world, frontally skewered by a dishonest, biased UN resolution supported by such bastions of probity as China, Russia, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Senega, Uruguay, Ethiopia and Egypt. A sick joke. 

Obama's foreign policy, I'm convinced, will go down in history as a monstrous avoidable failure.  I think he may even be judged the uniquely awful foreign policy president in the pantheon of presidents.  The worst in 44.  It's hard to deny that his presidency has made the world more dangerous.  Yet that's the same Obama that won a Nobel Peace Prize. (And an Obama I would have voted for….). Obama Foreign Policy summary: a signal, unique, avoidable, disastrous, catastrophic, failure. 

As for those "refugees" from outside Syria, well, blame Mad Mutti Merkel.  The bulk are single young men, out for a better life. Young men who saw on social media her say "refugees welcome". Can we blame them?  No.  But they are not refugees. The are economic migrants. There's a process for economic migrants.  Unless you're Merkel. In which case you simply tear up the process, because you're still guilty over the Nazis (she is).

Anyway, I wrote a comment at YouTUBE video by the Dopey Duo, Flo and Joan, (about #445), as follows:

Arrant nonsense.
The Left needs to acknowledge why it lost to Trump. Which wasn't because of racism, or xenophobia, or bigotry, or islamophobia, or the FBI, or even the Russian hacking. It was mainly because Hillary and her team ignored the mid-west and the concern of white working class people about jobs. Bill C, had got it right, but they ignored him. Including his wife. But that's where it turned for them. The electoral college, remember? Not that popular vote. I put this failure down to Hillary and her team. Plus the fact of her own very flawed, disingenuous character. (Benghazi, e-mails)
And Brexit was not because of (or by a long way not *just* because of) racism, xenophobia bigotry and the rest of the dreary excuses that the Left reached for straight after the loss. It was mainly because of concern over sovereignty. (Flo and Joan may have to look that word up....). There was also concern over free flow of labour, of course, but then again, that impacted working class people (studies show that it did: in a negative way), but these are people and places -- the working class, middle England -- that the middle-class Left no longer seems to care about: and just sing dopey songs on YouTube about. The Left used to the party of the working class. No longer.
As for saying you're screwed if you're "female, Muslim, POC or LGBTQ" that's also arrant nonsense. They've never had it so good; at least in the West: just check history, and what things were like in the fifties. There's been huge advancement in the rights of POC, LGPBTQ, women. On the other hand, if you're a woman, a POC, or LGBTQ, in an Islamic country you're in line to be killed. Nothing of that in this nonsense of a video by these two brain-dead Straight White Females. For them, it's now and always has been OUR fault, the fault of the West, the fault of Cis-gendered White Men.... I don't' accept their critique at all. I've always voted Left: Labor in Australia, would have voted Remain, and would have voted for Obama. But if the Left takes this attitude, that nothing is their fault, that it's all the bigots and racists, then there's no hope for the Left to come back to political power.

Away w'yez Flo and Joan! You're yourselves as leftie-bigoted as were your near namesakes Flo and Jo right-bigoted (Qld in the 70s)…..

F xx

Thursday 5 January 2017

Israel continues to be unfairly singled out by Un and the world

Alan Landau takes the words right out of my mouth in his letter to the editor of the South China Morning Post on 3 January.  I'd been planning a letter of my own pretty much along the same lines, but had not got around to it.
Good on Mr Landau!
Yonden Lhatoo rhetorically asks in his column (“Israel’s perplexing hold over America allows it to treat global opinion with contempt”, December 29), what it is about Israel that entitles it to treat the collective will of the world with contempt and defy the UN.
The answer is that Israel continues to be unfairly singled out by the world and the UN in the most biased fashion.

Sunday 1 January 2017

Donald Trump & Radical Islam -- Israel Palestinian Conflict a Test Case of the New Administration | National Review

I like this from the National Review:
The new president should begin by renouncing Obama's Palestinian power-play: Revoke any state recognition Obama gives the Palestinians; defund them; clarify the disputed (not occupied) status of the territories; move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem; reaffirm the principle that the conflict may only be settled by direct negotiations between the parties; and make clear that the United States will consider the Palestinians pariahs until they acknowledge Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, stop indoctrinating their children in doctrinal Jew-hatred, and convincingly abandon terrorism.

The UN vs Israel

The great Jonah Goldberg on the perfidy of Obama-Kerry on Israel and on the United Nations.  Via concerns about "voting" being all that's needed for democracy.  As in: Not. There's a touch more to democracy than just voting.  And there's a touch more to justice than a UN vote by countries like Chile, Venezuela, North Korea and Saudi Arabia.
Really, really worth a read.