Saturday 30 September 2017

Trump’s Deadly Narcissism -

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'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 |

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 -

"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...

Saturday 23 September 2017

Re: Obama and Trump doctrines compared

P: thanks for the cartoon. Pretty much spot on!
Mind you: If I were American I would have voted for Obama. Certainly in his first term and very likely in his second as well (if only because Romney is a Mormon. All religions are crazy but Mormonism crazier than most).
By the end of Obama's presidency, I would have been disappointed —especially in his foreign policy. On the fairest analysis, it was pretty much of a train wreck. 
Early on I'd hated his Cairo Speech to the Muslim world. Full on mea culpa and nothing expected, let alone demanded, of the Muslim world. And for what? A big fat zero in return, from the OIC. *
Later I was shocked when Obama let the Syrian "Red Line" be crossed with no penalty. That one decision (really a non-decision) measurably added to the chaos in the Middle East. 
So I'm always a bit surprised when his supporters (of which, remember, I would've been one) talk of him in hushed and awed tones with nary a peep of reflection on his foreign policy record. That record may go down as one of the very worst of any American president. 
Stephen Colbert last night, for example. In his opening monologue Colbert looked into the camera — after a clip of Obama commenting on the latest efforts at "repeal and replace" Obamacare, the GOP's very own zombie policy — and said, almost with tears in his eyes, "We miss you, Sir!" 

* The concept of "zero": one of the alleged "inventions" of the Islamic world came instead from Indian mathematicians. Of the many inaccuracies in Obama's Cairo Speech: that Islam invented the compass! We all
know that was just another of mother China's many inventions. The Cairo speech was just another example of Obama bending over (forwards!) to osculate the Muslim world's collective bum. 

Sent from my iPhone

Friday 22 September 2017

How Terrorists Are Creating a New Language – AREO

How about Jihadese?
I'm interested in languages: Chinese, mainly. Also dabble in Italian. I've used Google Translate in Russia. And I follow jihadis and Islamists, right here on this blog.
But here's something I didn't know: the rise of "Jihadese".
Interesting article of yet something else in Islam we have to pay attention to, for our lives.

Thursday 21 September 2017

Poor old Ron and Pen were just trying to help refugees – and look how they’ve been rewarded | The Spectator

An armed British police officer walks through the carriage of a London
underground tube carriage at Parsons Green (image: Getty)
Love the felicitous Rod Liddle [Archive]

In the comments on that article, from me:

Just as well is was ISIS wot claimed "credit" for Parsons Green (screwup that it was 'n all), so then we can say for sure that the bombing had "nothing to do with Islam", because of course ISIS has "nothing to do with Islam". 

(Spoiler: see Graeme Wood on ISIS). 

Love you Rod! You write so insightfully and elegantly about something that should concern us all... but for some reason, doesn't....

"Let’s have a hi-tech solution to recycling" | Alex Lo. SCMP


I couldn't agree more with Alex Lo (Let's have a hi-tech solution to recycling, 19 February).
Instead of handing excess cash back to the public or giving relief on property taxes, why doesn't the government use (part of) its surplus to build recycling plants?
That would need subsidies to be sure. But putting trash in landfills is also subsidised -- and simply wasted. 
There's no need for yet another "consultation" or attempts at a "consensus". As Alex Lo points out, the public knows major recycling is needed, and that we badly lag other developed economies.  
So, "Just do it" Carrie!
Pf, etc...

Tuesday 19 September 2017

Mass-Migration: The Tiniest Dose of Reality Hits

Count the children.  The bulk of "refugees" are economic migrants: young
men, often claiming to be children, looking for jobs and jumping queues
Across the continent, poll after poll shows the European public continuously calling for migration into Europe to be slowed down. This plea is not due to some atavistic urge or distasteful racist instinct, but something that the public seems to intuit better than their politicians -- which is that if you do not have control of your borders, with a meaningful set of immigration laws and the right to keep people out of your country then you do not really have a country. [ref]
According to some reports, Europen officials do not even ask for proof if a "refugee" claims they are a child.  They simply accept the statement because not to do so would impinge on their human rights.

Monday 18 September 2017

Hello Refugees! |

Tuvia Tenenbom, Falstaffian scourge of Islamists and anti-semites
"The Germans are free to hate Jews again."
Melanie reporters that Tuvia Tenenbom (above) discovers anti-semitism more amongst native Germans than amongst Middle Eastern refugees.
Merkel's opening the doors to millions of refugees is revealed to be a cynical virtue signalling ploy... for which Germans and refugees are paying.

Sunday 17 September 2017

More troubles in ‘Londonistan’ | Boston Herald

Armed police officers and soldiers on duty outside Horse Guards on
Whitehall following the Muslim attack at Parsons Green Station
London, Saturday Sept. 16, 2017
Theresa May is cranky about President Trump's unhelpful tweets, but perhaps she should reserve her wrath for British politicians who have repeatedly refused to pass a counterterrorism bill May has been pushing since at least 2015. Some critics opposed elements of her approach, which focused in part on "extremist" speech and opinions by Muslim citizens. This is a legitimate concern.But it appears the reason there's been no forward motion on a policy is that some British politicians are still insisting that any discussion of terrorism that also includes a discussion of the civil war currently being waged in the Muslim community is unacceptable.Imagine someone arguing during "The Troubles" that every discussion about terrorism must avoid discussing the issue of Ireland. This is just that stupid.Melanie Phillips, who literally wrote the book on "Londonistan," says that even in the wake of repeated terror attacks from their own Muslim communities, "the intersection of an aggressive religious fanaticism with the multicultural ideology of victimhood has created a state of paralysis across British institutions."That paralysis is on display yet again, as are the horrifying images of bomb fragments and burned children.

"Elections in Germany": World Service

Do these look like "refugees"? Where are the women and children?
TO BBC World Service;
For goodness sake, can you stop referring to people who have concerns about unprecedented levels of mass immigration "far right" !
I would be concerned if in Europe or UK, yet I'm certainly not far right — having most of the views that would characterise me as a "leftie".
There are many such people and it was dismissal of that concern in the US that was partly the reason for Trump.
Please could you get some reasonable people on the show to reflect this reasonable concern. And don't call them "far right"!

Pf etc...

Wednesday 13 September 2017

Enough of fetishising the hijab, already!

The hijab as the Confederate Flag of headwear.  Good one!
Letter to South China Morning Post
Please, enough of fetishising the hijab.  Your "View Point" (September 12) shows a picture of former refugee Halima Aden, who, we are told, "is breaking boundaries as the first hijab-wearing fashion model gracing Western magazine covers".  So what? Are we supposed to believe it's some kind of achievement to model or to lift weights or to fence while wearing a head cover? These actions are neither brave nor transformative.
I would far rather see View Point honour the truly brave women such as Masih Alinead, an exiled Iranian journalist who founded the "My Stealthy Freedom" website which depicts Iranian women who uncover. It takes real bravery to protest against the theocratic dress code in place since the mullahs took over in 1979, under which the bareheaded are punished by caning and/or imprisonment.
One of the alleged reasons Muslim women wear the hijab is for "modesty", itself a calumny on men, who are thereby assumed to be unable to contain their passions if they see a woman's naked hair.  So what is Halima Aden doing modelling on the cover of a western magazine, if the aim of being covered is modesty?
Alishba Zarmeen has called the hijab the Confederate flag of headwear.  Spot on!  It's a symbol of slavery, whether worn under duress, or "freely" by the likes of Halima Aden, in an updated version of the Stockholm syndrome.
Yours etc...

Tuesday 12 September 2017

North Korean Nuclear Threat: Understanding Regime Key to Neutralizing It | National Review

"Fatty the Third" the Chinese call him.  Your average Chinese hates
the North Koreans.  But what the government does or can do is a
complex issue and not as simple as the US seems to think

The question(s) on North Korea seem to boil down to the TLA (Three Letter Acronym): TSW: Talk, Sanction or War.
I had business with North Korea in the early 80s.  We sold coking coal to them, and bought some fencing materials.  When asked to sum up what it was like: first, trading coking coal — as a tiny Aussie company, what the Chinese called “pibao gongsi ”, literally “briefcase company” or, more felicitously, “carpetbaggers”  — it was huge fun.  Chartering a bulk carrier from the Greek owners, buying the coal on the Australian market with just a phone call, going up to Newcastle (the Aussie one) to see it being loaded, going to Chongjin in North Korea to see it being unloaded, having banquets with our free-drinking and women-loving North Korean hosts, it was all, as I’ve often said, “the most fun you can have standing up”.  There’s also a second point: we came to understand that the North Koreans would simply lie and cheat.  
That’s a point Nicholas Eberstadt makes in "North Korean Nuclear Threat: Understanding Regime Key to Neutralizing It” in the National Review. They lie and cheat and you have to get used to it, if Talk is going to be one of the options.
And it is, according to him.
Basically he comes down to a combination of Talk and Sanctions, and a lot of tightening up on both, and being clear eyed about what North Korea is all about.  A strategy he summarises as “Threat Reduction”.
In broad outline, North Korean threat reduction requires progressive development of more effective defenses against the DPRK’s means of destruction while simultaneously weakening Pyongyang’s capabilities for supporting both conventional and strategic offense.
A more effective defense against the North Korean threat would consist mainly, though not entirely, of military measures. Restoring recently sacrificed U.S. capabilities would be essential. Likewise more and better missile defense: THAAD systems (and more) for South Korea and Japan, and moving forward on missile defense in earnest for the USA. It would be incumbent on South Korea to reduce its own population’s exposure to North Korean death from the skies through military modernization and civil defense.
The DPRK would be served notice that 60 years of zero-consequence rules of engagement for allied forces in the face of North Korean “provocations” on the peninsula had just come to an end. But diplomacy would count here as well: most importantly, alliance strengthening throughout Asia in general and repairing the currently frayed ROK–Japan relationship in particular. Today’s ongoing bickering between Seoul and Tokyo reeks of interwar politics at its worst; leaders who want to live in a postwar order need to rise above such petty grievances.  Read all of it....
BTW: Eberstadt uses a TLA that's not easy to find.  It's PSI, which is the "Proliferation Security Initiative"
Then there's a FLA, which has letters inverted, which makes it hard to look up.  Correctly, it's the MTCR, which is the "Missile Technology Control Regime".

Saturday 9 September 2017

Forget our misguided friendship with Saudi Arabia: Iran is our natural ally | The Spectator

Iraqi policemen stand guard as Sunni and Shiite tribal clerics
and leaders meet to discuss reconciliation (image: Getty)
From John R. Bradley:

The Saudi town of Awamiya — like so many countless cities across Iraq, Syria and Yemen that are witnessing an unleashing of the ancient hatred of Sunni for Shia — now exists in name only. Last month, days before an assault on its Shia inhabitants by the Saudi regime, the UN designated it a place of unique cultural and religious significance. But under the guise of fighting Iran-backed terror cells, the Saudis then subjected Awamiya's entire civilian population to the indiscriminate use of fighter jets, rocket-propelled grenades, snipers, heavy artillery, armoured assault vehicles and cold-blooded executions.

Friday 8 September 2017

Bad News, World: China Can’t Solve the North Korea Problem | The New York Times

Max Fisher, below, doesn't think China can solve the North Korean problem.
The Atlantic has some ideas, though
But... but....
Just a few days ago I posted a piece by Gordon Chang urging a tough line on China if they, in turn, didn't toughen up their sanctions against North Korea. 
Here's a piece by Max Fisher in the New York Times by Max Fisher arguing that even if China did strengthen sanctions they would probably have no effect on Kim's regime or even backfire. 
That's not the end of the story of course. Still, I should have thought of these objections; after all, there's no new information here just informed speculation. 
My bad for not thinking more deeply before accepting Chang's assertions. 
Full article below the fold thanks to the Times:

Wednesday 6 September 2017

Nothing so mystifying as the obvious

Europe staunchly marching towards a cliff led by Mad Mutti Merkel.
 And so we have "The strange death of Europe"

Great saying from via Jonah Goldberg's article "The Antifa and Alt-right idiot boys.." by Irving Kristol:
“When we lack the will to see things as they really are, there is nothing so mystifying as the obvious.” 
Applies to apologist views on the Left of Islamism and Islamisation in the west.   And to views on the Right which deny climate change.  And views on both sides which deny the violence in their own bovver boys.

Antifa & Alt-Right Idiot Boys -- Young Men Pulling Stupid Crap | National Review

I enjoyed this article by the reliable, amusing and dog-loving Johah Goldberg in the National Review.
Youth and testosterone....

Proper English Grammar & Spelling Are Not ‘Elitist’ | National Review

Driving the pedant crazy

The other day I mentioned a New York Times article by Farhad Manjoo arguing that folks ought to lay off worrying about correct grammar and spelling ("So Trump Makes Spelling Errors. In the Twitter Age Whoo Doesn't?" ($)(Dropbox).
I think I said something like this was good for a "recovering pedant" like me.
Now Philip H. Devoe, in "Proper English Grammar and Spelling Are Not ‘Elitist’" challenges the Times op-ed.
I must say on balance I'm more on the side of the latter than the former as I'm not fully "recovered"!
One thing in the quote below: "the problem of Mandarin". That's wrong. The opposite is the case. Mandarin is the language that is now spoken all over China vs the plethora of dialects that existed before. "Mandarin" is said several ways in Mandarin, most commonly Putonghua, Guoyu or Hanyu which back-translate to "common language", "national language" or "country language". So all about being national, not dialect. I can go anywhere in China and speak Mandarin: increasingly even Hong Kong. And China most certainly teaches grammar and "spelling" (how to write characters, that is). So I'm not sure why he says "the problem with Mandarin".
Anyway, article for your interest.

Ultimately, the solution to the problem of poor grammar isn't abolishing objective standards. It's restoring traditional grammar classes to schools and ensuring everyone has the ability to speak the language the correct way. This protects against the problem of Mandarin — adjacent regional dialects becoming different languages entirely... 

Tuesday 5 September 2017

Mad Mutti Merkel sees sense: finally! | SCMP

Drink up Mutti! It's the right decision
It happens time and again. We islamophobes, xenophobes and racists call out some policy or other -- multiculturalism, cultural equivalence, the slaughter of Christians in the Middle East, Turkey joining the EU -- and the Left attacks us for being, well, all of the above. 
Then they realise that what we've been saying all along correct after all, so they pivot. With a straight face, unblushing, they then take up the issue we've been banging on about, with nary a hint of apology. 
And so with Turkey's joining the EU. We who are concerned about Islam have been warning about this for years, decades. And been called all manner of xenophobe and bigot for our efforts. 
And now hear Merkel:
Merkel said: "It is clear that Turkey should not become a member of the European Union."
NOW it's ok to say it because Mad Mutti Merkel has said it. 
Well, she may have taken a while to get to the right decision but at least she got there!

Monday 4 September 2017

"The Spread of Islam Is a Worldwide Threat” | Dwight Schawb Jr

The greater the Muslim population the lower the freedom index.
Statistically significant correlation coefficient of 0.61.
X-axis: L to R: lower to higher % of Muslim population.
Y-axis: most freedom = 2 (top). Least freedom = 14 (bottom).
[For clearer graph see original post]
Dwight Schwab's headline above may seem a bit fraught.  But what caught my attention in the article  (Wayback) -- a review of a new book "Slavery, Terrorism and Islam: The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat"  by Dr Peter Hammond (not a name known to me) on NewsBlaze (a site also not known to me) --  is the setting out of the stages of Islamisation, based on the percentage population of Muslims in different countries.
This reminded me of an analysis I'd done over six years ago: Freedom and Islam: a statistical survey (Freedom House Index), 18 January 2011, in which I showed the strong inverse correlation between the percent of Muslim population in a particular country and the extent of that country's freedom, as defined in the Freedom House Index (which index, as far as I was able to find out, is well regarded).
The correlation is inverse: that is, the more Muslims in a country, the lower the score on the freedom index. I noted then that correlation is not necessarily causation.  I also noted that it very often is causation (cigarettes >> cancer, for example) and that there are good reasons to believe that in this case correlation is indeed causation.
Dr Hammond's study comes to exactly the same conclusion as I did with the chart above, with some more detail.
Other points he makes: Islam is neither a religion nor a cult. It is a whole way of life. In this he is completely correct, a point made often by Muslim scholars. What distinguishes it from other "whole life" ideologies, the Amish for example, is that in addition to setting out what a Muslim must do and how they must do it, every minute of every day, they are enjoined to press this "way of life" on every other member of the human race: all we kaffirs, we unbelievers.  Whereas the Amish keep to themselves.
Surely a pause for thought is needed?  But not for Merkel. "Islam belongs to [sic] Germany". (I presume that's a translation error, and what's mean is Islam belongs in Germany).  Whatever, Mad Merkel is going to screw up Germany and thereby screw up Europe.  Germany tried twice in the 20th Century.  Maybe they'll achieve it in the 21st. For no countries can survive with their culture intact with 2-5% of their resident populations arriving from a completely different culture, very many of whom harbour abiding hatred of the west and indeed seek to destroy it,
So fraught as it may be I do agree with the headline above. Islam is a worldwide threat.  Some people recognise it and speak out about it. Some people recognise it and counsel accommodation. And some don't recognise it at all -- or don't want to recognise it.

Is It Time to Nuke Kim's Economy?

Yalu river border between China (L) and North Korea
Gordon Chang again!  In the Daily Beast.

This time calling for severe American actions against China and Russia if they don't hit DPRK hard.

I didn't much like Chang's unfalsifiable "The Coming Collapse of China". He published that in 2001.  Sixteen years and counting.  When is it no longer "coming"?

This time I'm inclined to agree with him and his hawkish proposals.

The US says it "cannot accept" a North Korean capacity to launch a nuke-tipped ICBM at the US mainland.  Of course not! 

Well, North Korea is almost there. Talk is has done and is doing nothing. Neither have sanctions.  So what now?

Chang proposes a super hard line (see extract below).  What he doesn't do, at least in this article, is to address Chinese concerns, which are totally understandable: if the Kim regime falls China has two serious potential problems:
  1. a refugee influx, and 
  2. South Korean and US-backed forces right on its border, in a (presumably) unified Korea. That's unacceptable to Beijing and understandably so.
In my view, I'd guess point (1), the refugee issue is somewhat overblown.  The border is a river (I've been there!), easily defended. In any case, there's plenty of space up around Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang (I've been there too!).

As for point (2), that would depend on the outcome of a fall of the Kim regime.  It would not necessarily mean South Korea takes over and the US is on the border.  That's something the three parties can talk about behind closed doors, with the US holding the whip hand in that discussion (arguably).  The US would need to be sensitive to that valid concern.

So, here's the nub of Chang's aggressive line:
What the administration should do is demand that Beijing and Moscow accept a complete embargo on North Korea. If they do not comply, the administration should threaten to impose severe costs on them. For instance, Trump could hand down what are essentially death sentences on the largest Chinese banks, like Bank of China, for laundering money for the Kim regime. The president can do that by designating them "primary money laundering concerns" under Section 311 of the Patriot Act. Such designations would deny these institutions the ability to transact in dollars.
Sanctioning the largest Chinese banks in such a manner could throw the Chinese financial and political systems into turmoil, and Beijing knows it. Therefore, the White House has the means to persuade China's leaders to disarm the Kim regime.
Fortunately, Xi Jinping, the Chinese ruler, is particularly vulnerable at this moment. The 19th Communist Party Congress, which begins on October 18, is when Xi must consolidate his power if he is to continue strongman rule. He will be blamed by his many adversaries if relations with the U.S. are disrupted before the meeting.

How young Chinese-Americans are embracing their identity | South China Morning Post

The Steinharts: she from Shanghai, he from Ohio
And their two "Third Culture" sons
Extract from towards the end of the article in the South China Morning Post, below: 
This online version has a lot more than in the print version which I've just read in today's print paper. 
The same holds true, one assumes -- about "reaping the benefit" -- for Asian-Australians/Brits/etc... For we have one: Chinese/Australian.
As China expands its international influence while America's dominance wanes, young Chinese-Americans – rather than struggling to fit in – are reaping the benefits of their backgrounds.
"There are more advantages than disadvantages to being of mixed-race," Metters said. "It's definitely become more popular to engage in Asian culture for Americans with Asian heritage. I find it an enriching part of my life. I can't imagine not being like this – just living in New York like a regular American but also being able to go to Taiwan and mainland China and interact with people in Mandarin."

The Google Memo: The Economist On Nothing | Quillette, Patrick Lee Miller

My favourite Google doodle. This one is not by Google!
I thought I'd done with James Damore's "Google memo", but no. I've just read an outstanding piece of analysis by the philosopher Patrick Lee Miller in the online journal Quilette: The Google Memo: The Economist On Nothing.
He takes on a recent Economist pretension in which its editors pretend to be Google founder Larry Page ("Larry Page") writing a stern note to Damore on why he deserved to be fired.
In fact the opposite is the case as professor Miller shows -- and as plenty of other comment has made clear.
I was shocked and depressed by Google CEO Sundar Pichai's decision to fire Damore. Shocked because it seemed a precipitate move; surely Pichai could have waited a bit for more measured consideration.  And depressed because he had so quickly given in to the anti-science bullies of the SJW crowd. And Google is supposed to be about science, analysis, careful consideration of facts not opinion.  Absent some legal issue we don't know about that forced the firing, Pichai's firing of Damore was gutless. Gutless.
Oh, and there's another reason I was shocked and depressed: we own Google stock. I didn't like to think that one of our prime holdings was breaking bad.  Has Pichai forgotten their original mission: "Don't be evil"?
Miller's is a long post, but is well worth the time. It's elegantly written and so tight in its logic, as one would expect, I expect, from a philosopher.

Sunday 3 September 2017

"The SPLC Defends Its Hate-Group Labeling” | Wall Street Journal

Morris Dees, the founder of SPLC, milks his registered
charity as does his CEO, Richard Cohen. (Source)


Richard Cohen, CEO of the SPLC, defends the Center for listing as "hate" groups various anti gay marriage organizations. ("The SPLC Defends Its Hate-Group Labeling"  ($) September 1-3). 
What about the much more dubious labeling of the individuals Maajid Nawaz and Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Wayback). Both are knowledgable critics of Islam. Nawaz is still a Muslim, Ali an ex Muslim. They are vastly experienced with the theory and practice of Islam. Today they are important voices trying to develop and amplify the voices of moderation in the Islamic world. To list them as "haters" does immeasurable harm to these endeavors. 
Many people from across the political spectrum have criticised their inclusion on SPLC's self-defined hate list. SPLC's defense of the listings reveals half-understandings of their views and arbitrary acceptance of out-of-context statements by them. 
On Hirsi-Ali, for example, Cohen has said that she called Islam a "death cult". Never mind that such a statement is defensible and at least debatable, there are Muslims themselves who make the claim ("we love death more than you love life").  In any case, it's certainly not "hate speech" no matter Cohen's blathering. 
Hirsi Ali already travels with armed security at all times. Nawaz has regular threats against his life. The bogus SPLC hate listing has made things worse for them both, these brave warriors trying to defang violent Islamism. 
Shame on Cohen and shame on the SPLC!
(230 words)
Yours, etc

PS: what about dubious dealings of the SPLC.  Documented by Chicago University Professor Jerry Coyne (a left-liberal!) at "More on the sleazy behavior of the SPLC", on 2 September 2017. Some of SPLC's financial shenanigans are breathtaking.

Roland does Donald

Trump Tweets Bureau Chief, Fox News, 
early adopter to bespoke news. 
Featured in NYT bestseller, "Yuge!"..
I love, in the fifth panel:
To kick off "Made in America" Week Ivanka Trump Collection announces all "Made in China" tags to be printed in U.S.! #LeadingbyExample