Friday 30 March 2018

The Wrong Way for Germany to Debate Islam | Jochen Bittner | NYT

The money shot, with which I agree 100% snipped below  As in, when people ask, "ok so you're anti Islam / pointing out the issues in Islam.... so what do we do about it?" the answer is, at least: stand up for our own values.  And require that people who come to our countries abide by our values.
The money shot here:
So how do we move on? Instead of prolonging the mistakes of the past, the secular majority in Germany should make clear two things to their fellow Muslim citizens. Yes, Muslims belong here — but belonging brings with it expectations. Being a citizen means, first and foremost, upholding the values and laws that make this country so attractive. The secular majority must learn how to convey this expectation in a clear yet civil manner.Germans struggle with this because they are uncomfortable, for historical reasons, with making such demands of religious minorities. The problem, in other words, is not just politicians who wield stupid slogans. It is also the majority of nonpopulist Germans who are shy about expressing the terms of participation in a pluralist society.
The whole article, here online, but behind paywall, is below the fold.

Yasmine Mohammed on Twitter: "These Islamists are very honest. They are transparent about their plans...”....

... Yasmine Mohammed on Twitter: "These Islamists are very honest. They are transparent about their plans, but ppl in the West* just refuse to believe them because they think they're nothing but little brown dears incapable of actually being malicious. Meanwhile, they are succeeding at an alarming rate."

*She could have added, The Left...

Thursday 29 March 2018

Genocide in South Africa: now that’s a black-and-white issue

Probably only Rod could get away with an article like this on Orania...

Rod Liddle in The Spectator.

There are two ways of looking at this tragedy but only one of them can be expressed

Last time I was in South Africa I spent two weeks deep in the Karoo, that desiccated wasteland in the Northern Cape which is home only to a handful of jackals, the occasional springbok and supporters of the Afrikaaner Resistance Movement. I had been visiting Orania, a smallish town in which no black people are allowed. Set up by the son-in-law of Hendrik Verwoerd, its existence now is very grudgingly protected by the South African government under regulations which preserve minority cultures — ah, the irony.


How perverted that a religion should praise a father willing to gut his son, for the sake of voices in his head.  And this is supposed to be our moral guide?....
From here.
And Hitchens on the issue.

Opinion | The War on Drugs Breeds Crafty Traffickers - The New York Times

For every reasonable move Trump makes — like taking on China's predatory mercantilism — there's at least one other totally crazy thing he proposes. Here his proposal to kill drug traffickers. Yeah, like Duterte. 
I've long been against the war on drugs. What sane person hasn't?
Places that have tried decriminalisation and medication have proved they work. When will they learn? ("They" being those, mostly, on the right). 
Politicians often escalate drug war rhetoric to show voters that they are doing something. But it is rare to ignore generations of lessons as President Trump did earlier this month when he announced his support for the execution of drug traffickers.This idea is insane. But the war on drugs has never made any sense to begin with.Executing a few individual smugglers will do little to stop others because there is no high command of the international drug trade to target, no generals who can order a coordinated surrender of farmers, traffickers, money launderers, dealers or users. The drug trade is diffuse and can span thousands of miles from producer to consumer. People enter the drug economy for all sorts of reasons — poverty, greed, addiction — and because they believe they will get away with it. Most people do. The death penalty only hurts the small portion of people who are caught (often themselves minorities and low-level mules).Indeed, on the ground, the threat of execution will even help those who aren't caught because they can charge an increased risk premium to the next person in the smuggling chain. The risk of capture and punishment increases as drugs move from farm to processing lab, traversing jungles, through cities, across oceans, past borders, distributed by dealers and purchased by consumers. The greater the risk to smugglers in this chain, the more they can demand in payment.Without the drug war, substances like cocaine, heroin, marijuana and meth are minimally processed agricultural and chemical commodities that cost pennies per dose to manufacture. But lawmakers have invented a modern alchemy called drug prohibition, which transforms relatively worthless products into priceless commodities for which people are willing to kill or die.

Wednesday 28 March 2018

Trump’s flaws should not distract from the greater imperfections of US-China trade relations | South China Morning Post

Another in the line of articles labelled "Trump may be an idiot, but...". 
In this case he's right about China's predatory trade and economic policies. Even if his solutions — tariffs — are misguided. What he should be doing is applying reciprocity. Strict reciprocity. 
Trump didn't start the trade war; Beijing did. That he seems flawed in ways no other American president has been, including a questionable affinity for Moscow, doesn't reduce the necessity of changing the current condition with Beijing. Americans, ever resilient, will adapt. It may be a long and economically painful road, but another decade or two without change is likely to result in something more painful, in a darker world. Because the trade war, after all, is about much more than just trade.

Thursday 22 March 2018

100 French Intellectuals Issue A Warning About Islamic Totalitarianism

This is significant
A group of 100 French intellectuals has just published in the newspaper Le Figaro (March 19, 2018), its denunciation of Islamic totalitarianism. Among the signatories are some of the most distinguished historians, philosophers, professors, jurists, and journalists, in France, known to all, and representing political leanings from Left to Right. Among them are some ex-Muslims. Not a group easy to dismiss

Monday 19 March 2018

Anti-Semitism Is Rising. Why Aren’t American Jews Speaking Up? - The New York Times

Anti-Semitic hate crimes are on the rise, up 57 percent in 2017 from 2016, the largest single-year jump on record, according to the Anti-Defamation League. That increase came on top of the rise in incidents in 2016 that coincided with a brutal presidential campaign.
This is a useful article
Many people decry the rise of "islamophobia", but ignore or don't know that anti-Semitic hate crimes are more common (in total and per capita) and have been rising faster than so-called Islamophobic hate crimes. 
(That's in the US but likely elsewhere as well). 
Weisman doesn't note that the biggest rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes comes from the Islamic community. Weisman only notes that "alt-right", the traditional source of anti Semitism. 
And he mentions Southern Poverty Law Centre approvingly. But this outfit has morphed from a decent fighter against the racism of the likes of the KKK into a smearer of anyone to the right of their hard-left views. Outlandishly, last year, they named Aayan Hirsi Ali and Maajid Nawaz as anti Islam extremists. They have failed to correct this travesty despite wide ranging criticism from all spectra. 
Why on Earth is a clearly caring guy like Weisman so ignorant of key facts like these? I dunno. 

Thursday 15 March 2018

Faris on Twitter: "I'm going to translate some tweets in this hashtag #مرتد_حفرالباطن the world must see this."

Wondering if this will link through. To a number of translations of Arabic tweets calling for death of an apostate. (It does link through)

Sadiq Khan’s Hate Speech Praise | National Review

More from the inimitable Douglas Murray and the insidiousness of "hate speech" laws.
In the U.K. you can now be banged up under "hate speech" laws for speaking the truth. About "certain communities", of course....

Opinion | Some Things Are True Even if Trump Believes Them - The New York Times

This makes sense to me. Someone strong like the US does indeed need to get tough with China's flouting of the world trade rules, but in a smart way. Not by crude steel tariffs. Cohn knew this, but he's gone. Economic adviser Navarro is just a misinformed lickspittle. Larry Kudlow?*
Tom Friedman in the New York Times:
So what would a smart American president do? First, he'd sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade accord. TPP eliminated as many as 18,000 tariffs on U.S. exports with the most dynamic economies in the Pacific and created a 12-nation trading bloc headed by the U.S. and focused on protecting what we do best — high-value-added manufacturing and intellectual property. Alas, Trump tore it up without reading it — one of the stupidest foreign policy acts ever. We Brexited Asia! China was not in TPP. It was a coalition built, in part, to pressure Beijing into fairer market access, by our rules. Trump just gave it up for free.
Once a smart president restored participation in TPP, he'd start secret trade talks with the Chinese — no need for anyone to lose face — and tell Beijing: "Since you like your trade rules so much, we're going to copy them for your companies operating in America: 25 percent tariffs on your cars, and your tech companies that open here have to joint venture and share intellectual property with a U.S. partner — and store all their data on U.S. servers."
Having a really tough trade negotiation with China on manufacturing and high technology, but doing it in secret, makes sense to me. Starting a public trade war with our allies over aluminum and steel that raises the costs for our manufacturers, that doesn't protect our growth industries and that loses allies that we need to deal with China makes absolutely no sense.
* Larry the-always-wrong Kudlow

Saturday 10 March 2018

“Occupation of the American Mind” wants to occupy the western Left mind

A friend brought my attention to this video of 2016, produced by Al-Jazeera with voiceover by Roger Waters.  That provenance might itself be enough for some people, but not me who will even watch Fox, sometimes.
It's a pan of propaganda, though it's propaganda itself; and a complaint about not having its message heard, when its message is spread abroad, and the reviews are uniformly favaourable.
I didn't start with any bias about it, despite its provenance.
So lets just see what it's about and if there's anything wrong with it.
Bearing in mind that all the reviews I could see online were and are favourable.
Mine is going to be unfavourable, because I've watched it twice and find it wanting.
Now these below are my Notes, and I need to tidy them up.
At this point, I just want to get them down on paper, as it were, and give a gist of what I'm thinking on this vid.
Basic thesis is that Israel (government) gets a lot more coverage than does the Palestinian side. They are in a PR “war” and are winning that war. But the reaction to this very video puts lie to that. All the reactions positive and was widely disseminated. So.... at the very least there’s been no conspiracy to suppress Palestinian sides voices.

Note use of “war”. Suggesting ill will and aggression. Maybe they’re just better (AIPAC). There’s a quote about how much AIPAC spends vs how much Palestinians spend. Why don’t PNO spend more then?

Is Israel just better at what it does and the whole film is a paean to envy? Note malicious envy. Part of reason for holocaust. (Ref to Hidden Brain. Shankar Vidantam. There’s also Hitchens theory that Mo felt dissed by the Jews hence the genesis of Muslim Jew hatred).

Opening scenes: 1947 and war. Makes it look like was a Jewish invasion. One of the commenters talks about the fact that it was not - as zionists (ZNO) claimed at the time -“a land without people for a people without land”. No it wasn’t. But neither was it a land invaded by Jews who ruthlessly killed and drove out the Palestinians.

Jews were about half the population of what became Israel. (NOT 8% quoted by Rami Khouri That relates to earlier period. Before Jewish immigration. By which Jews bought land from absentee Turkish landlords. And what? Is migration to be declared wrong? What about demands that Europe take in refugees to a land they’ve never had any claim to. Cf the ancient claims of Jews to Judea and Samaria).

Resolution 181 did give more land to Jews 54%, compared to their population 32%, but over half was the Negev desert.

Israel plays the “defence” card. Indeed they do and it’s correct. Only disputable if you dispute the very existence of Israel. Which of course many do, openly or not. And if that’s your view then there’s nothing more to talk about. Because Israel was created by the United Nations. (Palestinians love to quote UN resolutions but not the one that created Israel).

Resolution 242: quoted but only the bit about Israel’s obligations. Not the bit about Palestinian and Arab states obligations. That is to recognise Israel. Israel said it would abide by 242. PNO said no.

Israel has repeatedly offered terms along lines of 242 and been repeated rebuffed. Oslo, Camp David, Clinton.

Sabra and Shatila massacres carried out by right wing Lebanese militias NOT IDF.

(1). ZNO = Zionists and others, Zionist supporters.
(2). PNO = Palestinians and others, especially surrounding Arab states, and Iran, awa western supporters, mostly of the Left.