Monday 30 April 2018

Quite the best summary of the inanities of religions

I came across this ages ago, clipped and filed it, and forgot about it.  Just came across it in some housekeeping.  I think it's a wonderful summary... [Click to enlarge]

Pope Francis in the Wilderness | The New York Times | Jason Horowitz

The pope stands up for a blinkered view of Islam, while igorning the
plight of his flock in the middle east

From the New York Times today:

Five years ago, Pope Francis was elected to be an agent of change within a church shaken by scandals and the historic resignation of Benedict XVI. He quickly became a global force in geopolitics, setting the agenda on climate change and care for migrants. World leaders wanted to be near him. Even non-Catholics adored him. [So says the NYT]
Not this non-Catholic.  I consider him a crypto-Marxist and Islamopologist.  A few years ago, in response to the latest murderous Islamic atrocity, one of his own vicars butchered by an Islamic lunatic, and shortly after the Charlie Hebdo islamic atrocities, the pope said something along the lines of "if someone hits my mother i will hit him back".  With this he effectively excused grievance murder and murder of christians.  He has spent far more time excising Islam, than speaking in defence of far-flung catholics in the middle east.
The Gatestone Institute gets it right, from A.Z. Mohamed ("A Muslim born and raised in the Middle East" (!))
Pope Francis seems determined to disseminate a blatant misunderstanding -- even possibly a denial of what is often clearly emphasized in Islam. One wishes that he understood that his belief in God (Jesus), expressed in his prayer -- that can save us from evil, from our "hatred, selfishness, pride, greed, revenge, idolatry" -- is absolutely denied by Islam and Muslims.
Read it all here.

Michelle Wolf White House routine ignites backlash and defence of Sanders | The Guardian

Sarah Sanders, in blue, listens to Michelle Wolf.
Photograph: Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters
This is about the WHCD held two nights ago in Washington.   There was furore over Michelle Wolf's set, especially her roasting of Sarah Sanders, WH Spokesperson. 
The furore is from both sides.  For e.g., I found this titbit  in the reliable leftie Guardian.
What caught my eye was this paragraph from Margaret Talev:
Margaret Talev, senior White House correspondent for Bloomberg, told CNN's Reliable Sources she "regretted" that the 15 minutes of Wolf's speech "are now defining four hours of what was a really wonderful, unifying night. And I don't want the cause of unity to be undercut. [my emphasis].
Now this is the nub of the problem with coverage of the White House.  It's not supposed to be "unity".  That means all reporters on the same side. Which they pretty much are: left to far left, and violently anti-Trump to TDS.  Whatever one's views of Trump — and mine are certainly not positive — there should surely be some voices from the conservative side.  We need diversity in views not just in race and gender.
Enough of media "unity"!  Leave that to the China's, the Russia's and the North Korea's of the world.
[Of course, the leftie Vulture loved it]

Grilling Adventures in Meatless Burgers | SCMP | Bernice Chan

Hong Kong chefs on challenge of selling vegan Impossible Burger to city's meat-lovers | South China Morning Post
This stuff tastes pretty much as awful as it looks.
Though I'm into it for my heart....(I'm a seven-stent man....)
If someone can work out how to make a meatless meat that really tastes like meat — as in, close your eyes, take a chomp, and, boy! that's a beaut burger! type of really-tastes-like-meat — they will change the world and make billions.
So far that's not the case. Having gone vegan for a couple of months (and still "basically" vegan) I can say there's nothing like meat.  Not Quorn, not Linda McCartney's line and seemingly not prof Pat Brown's Impossible Foods Co burger either... 
But he's trying, this ex Stanford professor, and he's worth a go. He's just opened up in Hong Kong with Impossible Foods' first restarurant outside the U.S.. 
Here is professor Brown with some scary news for carnivores:
He says the use of animals to produce food creates more greenhouse gas emissions than all the aeroplanes, boats, cars and trucks combined. Meat production uses more water and creates more water pollution than any other technology, and is the biggest driver of biodiversity loss: in the last five decades, 50 per cent of wild animals have disappeared.
Read it all here, free and no registration required. 

Thursday 26 April 2018

Sexism in Islam – Aysha Akter

Interesting thoughts from Aysha Akter, a secular Muslim (perhaps ex-Muslim; it's not clear), Bangladesh-born British, mother of three, rising 40.  Her blog "Sexism in Islam".

LATER: I wanted a photo for this post so I went to Mr Google.  Started to type in "sexism in Islam" which is the name of the post I'm linking to by Aysha. 
Here's the interesting thing: I get as far as typing "sexism in I ..." and Google suggests "Israel". Israel! The best place in the Middle East for women. Continue on and add the "S" and it suggests "Sexism in the Isle of Dogs"!  A movie, which I've just seen, much enjoyed, but confess I hadn't been struck by sexism, though I can imagine how the fragile SJWs might find it. After all the female lead is a sexy bitch...  
Carry on to add the "L" and it *still* doesn't suggest "Islam" but the following "Is there sexism in Islam?"  Curious, I clicked on that and found that the articles linked on the first page (which is not as far as the vast majority of searchers go) are apologias: that is, articles denying there is any sexism in Islam!  
For those that doubt there's a leftist agenda at the likes of Google and Facebook, this is proof positive that there is in fact such bias, in this case to hold Islam innocent of any nastiness,
for fear of being labelled Islamophobic, presumably. And I'm guessing this would have to be done by humans not algorithms. 
Anyhoo in the end got the photo.... 

Wednesday 25 April 2018

"Amy Chozick Exposes Hillary’s Groveling Press Corps" | National Review | Kyle Smith

I read an article by Amy Chozick in yesterday's International New York Times, the print edition, which I take daily.  I thought it a pretty amazing article, in that it was clear that the Times thought it would give a good insight, and sympathetic view, to the women covering Hillary's campaign, whereas it made me think how clearly biased they all were, all the press covering the campaign. More: the headline to her article yesterday, "They were never going to let me be president", reveals, yet again, how out of touch Hillary was and remains about the reasons for her loss.  It's everyone's fault but hers. In fact, Hill, you ran the worst campaign ever and should really have taken notice of those "deplorables" out there in the mid-west.
This article, by Kyle Smith in the National Review, takes apart Chozick's book, Chasing Hillary (on which Chozick's Times article yesterda was based).  He sums up the book as "might as well be called Worshipping Hillary".  

Tuesday 24 April 2018

Islam on Stornoway: Why the church should support Muslims' right to build mosques | Christian News on Christian Today

David Robertson, writing in Christian Today, sounds like a very lovely fellow and I'm sure he is.  He welcomes Muslims building a new mosque on his remote Island, which has to this day been dominated by the Free Church.
He ends his homily with these words:
The whole story is another reminder that the world is not as black and white as our soundbite culture portrays it. Thank the Lord that we live in a diverse and multi-coloured culture in which we still have freedom to preach the gospel to all.
That's all very fine and nice, and to be hoped for.  But what of this: in the US, five separate studies, including one by an imam, have revealed 80% of mosques to be infiltrated by extremists and extremist literature (here).  In the post immediately below, we have the Mayor of Brussels stating that every mosque in the European capital is controlled by Salafists (here).  
What's to stop the eventual takeover of the very nice mosque in Stornoway by the same radicals.  Why, nothing, for the radicals are the ones most motivated and relentless in their pursuit of Allah's order to spread Islam worldwide.  This is their religious passion and religious duty.  
Poor Father Robertson.  He may not live to see this happen in his lifetime, but likely his progeny will, and find they lose "the freedom to preach the gospel to all", for that's blasphemy in Sharia law.

Belgium: First Islamic State in Europe?

The Islam party of Belgium wants to introduce Sharia law

Well, Europe did this to itself. When the Muslim population is in the majority there will be nothing to stop the ISLAM party of Belgium doing what it wants, namely to install Sharia, to which all — Muslim and non-Muslims alike — will have to adhere.  This is not the Europe that we've known and not the Europe that most Europeans (still) want.  Just that their betters, the politicians and people on the Left, have brought it into Europe to show their openness and tolerance.
And when Sharia is installed, the Left will say "oh well, it's democracy, if the majority want it, so be it".  
I've worked in Sharia countries — Malaysia, Indonesia, Saudi and Iran — and it's not pretty.
By the way, this also gives the lie to the Left which says that conservatives are hyperventilating when they share concern about Islamisation of Europe. "Bigotry" and "Xenophobia" and "Islamophobia" they say. 
From the summary:

  • The leaders of Belgium's ISLAM Party apparently want to turn Belgium into an Islamic State. They call it "Islamist democracy" and have set a target date: 2030.
  • "The program is confusingly simple: replace all the civil and penal codes with sharia law. Period". — French magazine Causeur.
  • "The European capital [Brussels] will be Muslim in twenty years". — Le Figaro.
LATER: There's news of the ISLAM party in Belgium in this report in Euronews, Islam Party stirs controversy ahead of Belgium election,  26th April.

Jewish Power at 70 Years | New York Times | Bret Stephens

Israelis celebrate 70th anniversary of their independence.  New York Times
Much of the discussion of Israel's 70th anniversary is critical.  Roger Cohen in the New York Times, for example, who seems to be wandering off the reservation at regular intervals lately.  And Amos Oz, Israel's most famous living author, talking to The Economist.  All talk about the iniquity of the "occupation" of the West Bank, and the need for a two-state solution.  Agreed, but how does this work?  How does Israel give land back when it will only lead to attacks on Israel's homeland.  As Gaza withdrawal proved.
As Bret Stephens says in the article below:
The armchair corporals of Western punditry think this is excessive. It would be helpful if they could suggest alternative military tactics to an Israeli government dealing with an urgent crisis against an adversary sworn to its destruction. They don’t.
Read the whole article here or below the fold.

“Despairing on Earth Day? Read This” | New York Times | Richard Conniff

Opinion | Despairing on Earth Day? Read This - The New York Times
A view of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Asia is urbanising more quickly than
any other region in the world, and 64 per cent of Asia will be urban by 2050
Somewhere I'm sure I've written about the seemingly counter-intuitive fact that urbanisation is good for the environment. Mainly because city dwellers emit less carbon dioxide per capita (more concentrated transport). 
And, as described in this article, child mortality in cities is less than the country so people, in time, have fewer children. 
Mr. Walston sipped his beer and listed what he called "the four pillars" of conservation in the modern era — (1) a stabilized human population, (2) increasingly concentrated in urban areas, (3) able to escape extreme poverty, and (4) with a shared understanding of nature and the environment — "and all four are happening right now." He singled out the trend toward urbanization as the biggest driver of environmental progress, bigger perhaps than all the conservation efforts undertaken by governments and environmental groups alike.

Friday 20 April 2018

Elderly in Hong Kong need helpers on hand, everyone must realise that

A helping hand for the elderly is a win for all
My letter to the editor of South China Morning Post was published today, a bit to my surprise because I hadn't sent it as a "letter to ed" just as a comment meant to be passed to Peter Kammerer.  Oh well, they printed it anyway....
Here's the text, which in the printed version was headlined "We must realise that our elderly need assistance":

Good to see your senior writer, Peter Kammerer, admit that he was wrong (“I was wrong: Hong Kong does need domestic helpers for elderly care”, April 9). He now makes exactly the points I made in my letter published on December 7 (“Elderly need helpers as well as more clinics”).
But I do wonder: why does it take a personal experience – his elderly mother needing household care – to change his mind? Why could he not have empathised with others in the situation he now finds himself in, and done so before the fact? 
It seems that too many people are ready to denounce others without thinking. In his case, let’s not forget that he called it “laughable” that people should want to employ domestic helpers to help with elderly relatives. 
Still, it’s good that he has come around and had the integrity to publish in full the eating of his humble pie.
Peter Forsythe, Discovery Bay

Thursday 19 April 2018

Feminists don’t care about the gender gap in ballet. Why should we care about the one in tech?

Men just don’t dig ballet as much as doing nerdy stuff...
This relates to the efforts of tech companies to get more gender equality, being that men are about 70-90% of staff in most silicon valley companies.  And if you write about what it might be that stops women going into STEM careers, it must be discrimination and bigotry.  You’re not allowed to consider other possible causes, like maybe, women just don’t want to go into STEM as much as men do. What, if anything, do ballet and tech have in common? The obvious answer is that both fields show highly disproportionate gender distributions.  That you’re not allowed to even raise this possibility was proved by the James Damore case a while back, where he was fired for writing a thoughtful memo on the subject.  He was pilloried, slimed and fired.
Here is Madison Breshears writing on the subject, in the Washington Examiner:
Less acknowledged but no less relevant is this uncomfortable commonality: Both are industries where it pays to be in the sexual minority. I know, because I was a ballet dancer for 16 years.
Another thing: in countries with the most equal gender policies like Scandinavia, women choose STEM at a lower rate than in places like the US where they are agonising over the lack of women in STEM. And what about men in nursing? Or in ballet, as in this article linked below. 

Tuesday 17 April 2018

The “no true Scotsman” fallacy, becomes in Islam....

The takfiri-in-chief
... the "no true Muslim" fallacy.  That is, to divorce Islam from terrorism, you simply state that any terrorist, by definition, is not a Muslim.  Islam even has a word for this ruse: takfir. 
And Erdogan is a practiced takfiri.
Here he is in action, in Turkey's oldest English language newspaper, Hurriyet Daily News.
Terrorist acts by herds of killers such as DEASH, Boko Haram, al-Shabbab, and the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization [FETÖ] have hurt Muslims and also give opportunities to anti-Islamic circles,” Erdoğan said.
“The innocence of Muslims slaughtered by those organizations is overlooked and our religion and the believers of Islam are held responsible for those atrocities,” he added 
Notice how he defines out of Islam any group that engages in terrorism.  By this ruse, Islam is cleared and anyone engaging in terrorism is by definition not a Muslim.  They may say they are, but they're not.  See the "no true Scotsman" fallacy.  These are "no true Muslims".
And in doing so, he certainly fools a lot of people in the west.  Many of whom wish to be fooled; for they wish, deeply desire, that Islam is indeed a "Religion of Peace".
But when you educate yourself about Islam -- when you read the Islamic Trinity of the Koran, the Hadith and the Sirah -- you quickly learn that it's not a religion of peace; quite the opposite, at its core it requires the actions of ISIS, Boko Haram, al-Shabab, and the rest of the dozens of terrorist groups acting in the name of Islam.  It requires that Muslims fight the infidel, the kaffir, to establish the rule of Allah in the world.
ISIS set it all out in their glossy magazine, Dabiq, in a famous/infamous article in their August 2016 issue: "Why we hate you and why we fight you".  Here's a summary in Huffpo.  And here is Sam Harris reading from the magazine.  And btw, ISIS really is Islamic.  Don't believe me?  Read Graeme Wood, an expert on Islam and Islamism, here in The Atlantic, in March 2015

Sunday 15 April 2018

China’s Ant Financial shows cashless is king

China's Ant Financial shows cashless is king
Check *that* out! From the FT

Ant Financial is a spin off from Alibaba, the world's largest online retailer (no, the largest is not Amazon...). Grafting the finance company to an online retail company is a uniquely Chinese thing and is set to make it the largest company in the world. 
Consider that in one 24-hour period last November Alibaba and Ant did $US 25 billion in turnover, over one billion U.S. dollars per hour, 17 million a minute....
This is one of the "becauses" in answer to the "whys": why is China burgeoning and why is it now one of the most interesting countries in the world. 
I've thought and said before that you can divide the world into two*: the builders and the destroyers. The builders broadly include the West and Asia - mainly China. And the destroyers are pretty much all the countries making up the OIC
Check out the chart above from the article below in the Financial Times. How freaking amazing is *that*!? Where China is compared to the rest of the world. It's China first, daylight second. 
*Mao Tse-tung said "yi fen wei er (一分为二)” One divides into two. His rip-off of Hegelian dialectics. But think of it: male and female, left and right, Liberal and Labour, Republican and Democrat. Those who divide the world into two and those that don't....
The article is here ($) or below the fold.

Abdel Bari Atwan | Dateline London

Abdel Atwan, boring and opinionated
Surely it's time to call time on Abdel Bari Atwan. This insufferable ranter has been granted a very generous run on your Dateline London
Is the U.K. so bereft of International media commenters that it has to fall back on this opinionated fool each week?
Please, replace this face!
Peter Forsythe

Saturday 14 April 2018

I was wrong: Hong Kong does need domestic helpers for elderly care | Peter Kammerer | SCMP | April 10


Good to see Peter Kammerer, senior writer at the South China Morning Post, admit that he was wrong.  He now makes exactly the points I made in my letter to the Post which was published on 7th December.
But I do wonder: why does it take a personal experience — his elderly mother needing household care — to change his mind?  Why could he not have empathised with others in the situation he now finds himself in, and done so before the fact?  It seems that too many people are ready to denounce others without thinking.  In his case, let's not forget that he called it "laughable" that people should want to employ domestic helpers to help with elderly relatives.  And that domestic helpers in Hong Kong were "slaves".  Yes, "slaves"!  Utter nonsense.
Still, it's good that he's come around and had the integrity to publish in full the eating of his humble pie.

PF, etc

Don’t Blame Tips for Sexual Harassment - WSJ


Dawn Lafreeda argues against doing away with the system of tipping in US restaurants, to be balanced by higher base wages. She claims servers would be worse off and would object to the change. As an owner-operator of 81 restaurants her views certainly deserve respect.  

But I find them odd. I live here in Hong Kong where tipping is purely voluntary and in fact rare. Instead, restaurants usually add a 10% Service fee to the bill. This seems to work to everyone's satisfaction, servers, customers and owners alike. By contrast we find it discomforting to deal with America's tipping system. Judging by Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm, many Americans do as well!
Perhaps Ms Lafreeda ought to treat herself to a holiday in Hong Kong to check out how our FnB system works here — which is, in short, very well. 
Pf, etc

Anti Missile-Strike Voices on the Right

Some of the loudest voices against Trump's strikes on Syria are on the Right.
Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingram, Fox News Anchors, and Kat Timpf, sometime Fox News commenter, are all strident in their criticism of Trump's move to shoot at Syria — so far missile attacks on three airports in response to Assad's chlorine attacks on civilians.
Hardly the stance of a network often lambasted for being "the PR arm of the Trump Administration"

Tethered to a Raging Buffoon Called Trump

Roger Cohen in Full Monty.
Makes for fun reading ....
(Though he's been a bit crazy recently...)
Comes just as we're hearing of missile strikes in Syria — to three airports ...

Friday 13 April 2018

Harry's Place » What is the Israel Palestine Conflict Really about?

None of what she says will be news to many, but Einat Wilf does a rather nice tour d'horizon, I thought. In the end it's "power over time". 
From the comments at Harry's Place :
Very good. My only niggle is that she failed to say that there had always been Jews in the region - both pre Zionist (say,1890s) Palestine and in the Arab world itself more widely. While small in numbers Jews never "left" either Middle East generally or the Levant specifically.

The Jewish State Has a Special Duty to Defend Syrians | New York Times | Ronen Bergman

Syria is a sorry mess for which Obama has the major responsibility. 
To this day Obama says he's "proud" of what he "achieved" after Assad had crossed Obama's own Red Line. Obama claims Assad destroyed Syria's chemical stocks without the US having had to fire a single shot.  But as Obama knew then, and as John Kerry has admitted since, he was lying; Assad destroyed only those chemicals that he'd acknowledged having — not those that he'd hidden (and both Obama and Kerry knew this at the time!). AND Assad hadn't been required to destroy any chlorine at all because chlorine is used in many innocent industrial processes — and in your backyard pool.... And it's chlorine that's been used most recently to kill Syrian civilians. 
Chlorine used by an Assad emboldened by Obama's failure of nerve and his known duplicity. 
This is staggering when you think about it. Pure deception and duplicity by Obama. Yet he continues to prance around the world grinningly untouched, fawned upon by the good and mighty... and Hollywood celebs. 
Whether Trump can do any better is moot. As this article below points out, the situation is considerably more complex than it was before Obama's Red Line. Complexity is not a Trump strong suit.  
And so it falls to Israel....
Ronen Bergman argues that Israel has an historical and moral duty to help protect Syrians from Assad. And has the capacity to do so. 
I wonder if you agree with it. 

Thursday 12 April 2018

The migrant crisis could cost the German taxpayer 1,000,000,000,000 euros (That’s a TRILLION)

The accepted narrative, at least on the left, is that migrants are always and everywhere a net positive benefit. I've doubted that for some time, and the research shows very mixed outcomes. Key variables are the source of migrants and their education. In the case of recent surges to Europe there's the additional hypocrisy by refugee supporters that these waves are indeed refugees, whereas they are about 80% economic migrants. In short queue-jumpers. 
This piece, in the Voice of Europe estimates the lifetime cost to Germany alone of the migrants already arrived to be One Trillion euros. They are uneducated and from countries with cultural mindsets inimical to liberal western societies. 
In his autobiography, "In search of the truth", famous German economist Hans-Werner Sinn says the migrant crisis could cost the country almost one trillion euros, Focus reports. Sinn is a former advisor of Angela Merkel and retired president of the IFO Institute for Economic Research.Germany accepted 1.5 million migrants since 2015 and Sinn says they are not dentists, lawyers and nuclear scientists, but mostly underqualified immigrants. According to him, these people can never repay what they have received from the German welfare state during their lifetimes.

New York Times has problems with people being against Jihad

The way of the apologist for Islam: ignore Islam's bigotries
It's an odd feeling when you read an article in which the author does this: sets out a number of propositions that you're clearly supposed to find wrong and horrifying; to which you're supposed to mutter to yourself "how terrible!", but which in reality you think (or at least I do) "well those observations are spot on!".
One such recently in the New York Times an article by Laurie Goodstein, Pompeo and Bolton Appointments Raise Alarm Over Ties to Anti-Islam Groups.

Here's a few of the statements that Goodstein clearly thinks -- with no evidence -- are beyond the pale, but which are in fact true:
Mr. Bolton and Mr. Pompeo both have ties to individuals and groups promoting a worldview that regards Islam not so much as a religion, but as a political ideology that is infiltrating the United States and other Western countries with the goal of imposing Shariah law, the Muslim legal code. These groups believe that the vehicle for this takeover is the Muslim Brotherhood, and they allege that American mosques, civic organizations and leaders and even government officials who are Muslims are suspected of being Muslim Brotherhood operatives.
But it's true that some Muslims are trying to impose Sharia in the United States. The Muslim Brotherhood has been explicit about this:
[Supporters] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions (From “ An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Brotherhood in North America,” by Mohamed Akram, May 19, 1991.)  Via Jihad Watch

The founder of ACT, Brigitte Gabriel, has written that “the purest form of Islam” is behind the terrorist attacks: “It’s not radical Islam. It’s what Islam is at its core.”

Brigitte Gabriel is a brave woman who has suffered at the hands of Islamists who attacked her family when they lived in Lebanon.   She is 100% correct that "It's not radical Islam.  It's what Islam is at its core".  Just read the foundation documents of Islam.  The Islamic Trinity: The Koran, the Hadith and the Sirah.

Also have a look at Gabriel in action here; she's spot on, and powerful:

Both Mr. Pompeo and Mr. Bolton have appeared frequently on the radio show of Frank Gaffney Jr., the president and founder of the Center for Security Policy, a think tank that argues that mosques and Muslims across America are engaged in a “stealth jihad” to “Islamize” the country by taking advantage of American pluralism and democracy.

But it's true that 80% of mosques in the United States are radical. That's the result of four separate studies, including one by an Imam.

There's more, which I'll leave to Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch to finish off.  Taking the opportunity to say that Spencer is by no means a bigot, or Islamophobe, or xenophobe or racist.  His site does what it says: records the daily examples of Jihad around the world.  He's been doing that for many years.  I've watched him in innumerable videos and read most of his books.  He is hugely knowledgeable about Islam, and careful, always to specify that his criticisms are of Islam, the ideology, not of individual Muslims...

"Reviewing the record of 21st Century Islam” | MercatorNet

Some of Islam in Europe. Straight talking from a Jesuit
This is a rather good review of Islam in the 21st century, by the Jesuit James Schall. Balanced, sane and unhysterical, but concerning for all that, given the reality of the Islamic threat to the west.
Islam is unabashedly a religion that affirms that everyone should be Muslim. Indeed, it assumes that everyone is born Muslim. It does not hesitate, when it sees the opportunities, to expand by what are considered the best means available to achieve this purpose wherever it is not successfully resisted. Many minor "wars" and skirmishes on Islamic world frontiers have this increase of influence as their cause. [The rest here]

Wednesday 11 April 2018

The Failures of Anti-Trumpism | New York Times | David Brooks

President Trump has defied never-Trumpers’ best efforts.
Good article by David Brooks that appears spot on to me. Especially his comment
 "Part of the problem is that anti-Trumpism has a tendency to be insufferably condescending”. 
He then mentions a recent academic analysis and could have added Hillary. She was shockingly condescending in her recent outing in India.

Tuesday 10 April 2018

Viktor Orban’s Hungary Victory: Country Embraces His National Conservatism | National Review

This is quite the best analysis I've seen of the Hungarian elections and of Viktor Orban's place and influence in Europe and its bureaucracy. (He above).
Better, yes, than anything I've seen or read in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the BBC, Fox, CNBC or CNN.
Go on then, find fault with it.

Jeremy Corbyn’s Jewish Problem | City Journal | Theodore Dalrymple

Corbyn gives succour to the worst elements of pro-Palestine
and  the anti-semitism of the British Left
Maybe the best, at least most insightful, comment on the U.K. Labour party's current "problems with anti-semitism". From the always reliable Theodore Dalrymple who should be more widely read.
He ties the bent to anti-semitism with the socialist bent to hate the wealth creators....
A few years ago, a survey appeared breaking down household wealth in Britain by religious affiliation, and Jews came first. For someone as suspicious of and hostile to wealth and the wealthy as Corbyn, whose fundamental economic idea is that money is the product of exploitation, and that equality of outcome is desirable, attainable, and just, it is only natural to suppose that both wealthy individuals and groups must have been up to no good, grabbing by illicit means a larger slice of the economic cake than is theirs, according to his own conception of justice. It is therefore perfectly reasonable, or at least in keeping, for him to be anti-Semitic: he hates none more than the independently successful.

Monday 9 April 2018

We're Not the Thought Police | Frontpage Mag

Report from Bruce Bawer who is an award-winning author and knowledgeable critic of Islam. The Plod recently did over a fellow in England.  The land of George Orwell, who coined the term “Thought Police” in his 1984.

Bawer recollects when the same had happened to him in Norway. 
The initial report is in Jihad Watch, run by Robert Spencer who is NOT Richard Spencer, the notorious neo-Nazi and is not the extremist "Muslim hater" the Left would have you believe. He too is a knowledgeable critic of Islam. Of Islam the idea, Islam the concept, Islam the ideology, Islam the way of life. Not of Muslims, the people - who he sees as being *victims* of Islam, more even than we infidels. 
A new twist: the Left will now claim that conservatives who speak up for Free Speech are only doing so so that they can spout awful Nazi propaganda.  You can’t win...

Risotto From Sri Lanka Is Just as Good | New York Times | Roger Cohen. April 9.

Let’s not base our immigration policy on an Italian rice dish
Oh dear. Roger Cohen off the reservation again after his shocker yesterday.
This time he tells the story of a Sri Lankan immigrant chef in Italy, in case "you're tired of reading terrible things about immigrants". He tells us a success story and reckons "I'd say there are millions of such stories across Europe".
I'd say not. If there were, we wouldn't have 75% of Europeans against ongoing mass immigration.
Not content to ignore the fact that anecdote is not data, Cohen picks Sri Lankan immigrants! He doesn't tell us their religion but it's most likely Buddhist or Hindu. These folk don't have issues with integrating. Unlike the votaries of Islam whose doctrine of "Loyalty and Enmity" enjoins illegal immigrants not to become part of the host country culture.
Come on now Me Cohen! What's happened to you? You used to have a realistic and nuanced position on the great challenge of mass immigration facing Europe.
Now you slime anyone with concerns about illegal immigration and tell us anecdotes about people who are irrelevant to the concerns of the vast majority of Europeans.
P F etc

Sunday 8 April 2018

How Democracy Became the Enemy | New York Times | Roger Cohen. April 7-8

And annoy #MeToo
Letter to New York Times
What's with Roger Cohen? It's possible to be against unlimited immigration without being a Viktor Orbanite. 
Indeed three quarters of European residents are reliably against unfettered immigration. Yet they are mocked by Cohen as nativist "racial and religious purists".
But why should this majority be forced to enable the social problems that Islamic immigration has brought elsewhere to Europe. Should this majority do so because "kale-eating western liberals racked by colonial or war guilt" (as Cohen straw-mans them for Orban) try to shame them to do so?
I think not. 
Europe is not the kale-eaters to give away. 
P F etc

Saturday 7 April 2018

A Historic Step in Austria? :: Daniel Pipes

This ought to be a statement that any political party, anywhere, ought to be able to get behind. It's from the new Austrian coalition government. I find nothing wrong with it and a lot right. Especially the fight against political Islam, which is spot on because that ideology is explicitly out to replace western liberal democracy. 
But I'd bet that those in the Left will find fault: it's xenophobic, or racist, or islamophobic, or whatever. 
Austria guarantees freedom of belief and religion but fights political Islam. By political Islam we mean groups and organizations whose ideological foundation is Islam, and which seek to change the basic political and social order by rejecting our constitution and Islamizing society. Political Islam, which can lead to radicalization, antisemitism, violence and terrorism, has no place in our society.

Friday 6 April 2018

How to Make Trade Peace With China | WSJ | Martin Feldstein

How to Make Trade Peace With China
This is a good article ($).
The guts of it is:
 .... the U.S. has several straightforward goals and negotiations are not necessary. What is needed is a change in Chinese behavior to conform to the rules Beijing accepted when it joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.
There it is. Stop whining and obfuscating and prevaricating and dissembling, Beijing. Mr Xi? Just do what you said you'd do when the US was generous enough to usher you into the WTO...
This behind a paywall, so here it is in full. It's too good to embargo! Below the fold...

Trump’s Irrelevant Tariffs | WSJ | Daniel Henninger

Daniel Henninger praises Trump  ($) for creating jobs (deregulation and tax cuts) and criticises him for getting involved in "irrelevant" trade wars ...

Thursday 5 April 2018

Mick Hartley: Anti-Semitism is the precise form that unreason takes in modern politics

The ultimate obscenity; which many anti-semites now accept 
In the wake of the hullabaloo over anti-semitism in Corbyn's Labour Party. Justified, I might add. 

While Hitler comparisons are rarely advisable, MBS's analogy underscores the fact that he sees the nature of the Iranian region very differently than another world leader Jeffrey Goldberg interviewed, several times in fact—former President Barack Obama. Shortly after the Obama White House struck the nuclear agreement with Iran in July 2015, Goldberg pressed Obama on the Iranian regime's anti-Semitism. Obama saw it as functional.
"The fact that you are anti-Semitic, or racist, doesn't preclude you from being interested in survival," said Obama. "It doesn't preclude you from being rational about the need to keep your economy afloat; it doesn't preclude you from making strategic decisions about how you stay in power; and so the fact that the supreme leader is anti-Semitic doesn't mean that this overrides all of his other considerations."
It didn't take impoverished Iranians protesting against the economy their leaders had pillaged to show that Obama was fundamentally wrong about the nature of the regime — and about one of the chief ideological weapons that it cultivates. Anti-Semitism and reason cannot exist side by side because anti-Semitism is the precise form that unreason takes in modern politics.

Wednesday 4 April 2018

A Tale of Two Trumps

Re the post just before this.

Cui Tiankai is hopeless

Unusually incompetent. China's ambassadors usually much more effective
Cui Tiankai is China's ambassador to the United States. I just saw him live on CNBC, allegedly presenting China's case in the current trade disputes with the US.
I was mightily disappointed. China has improved its diplomatic corps in the decades I've known it and promoted more PR-savvy representatives.
But not Cui.
He harks back to the boring bureaucrats of yore: a combination of boilerplate, obscurantism and deflection.
We learn nothing of China's stance except duplicitous statements like: China doesn't force technology transfer (it most assuredly does; I've been personally subject to it with joint ventures I did there). Which also begs criticism of CNBC for not being better briefed to counter Cui's lies and obfuscation.

Donald Trump & Amazon| National Review

What kind of man says dopey things like "only fools or worse..."  when it is he who is the fool? And worse. 
Look in the mirror Mr President!
The clip below from the National Review (you have to scroll down) is the fact of the postal rates matter, in the calumny that Trump is hurling at Amazon. (Amazon allegedly getting below market postal rates hence "cheating" the tax payer). 
Given Trump's additional claims that Amazon is tax dodging (it's not), and that it's affecting Main Street retail (it's not), his Twitter storm amounts to an unprecedented and disgusting display of personal spleen...
Package-delivery rates are set by the U.S. Postal Service in negotiation with Amazon, the service's biggest customer. Despite the president's claims, the postal service does not lose money on every package delivery for Amazon. The 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act made it illegal for the postal service to charge a price for package delivery that is lower than the cost of making the delivery. All changes to delivery prices have to be approved by the federal Postal Regulatory Commission, which has five members; no more than three members can be of the same party. The commission currently has four members; three are Republicans. All members of the PRC must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
If Trump wanted to raise rates for Amazon, he could contact the PRC's current members and articulately effectively persuade, with evidence, figures, and reason, that they undercharged the service's biggest customer to the detriment of the American taxpayer. (Stop laughing.) Tweeting things like "only fools, or worse, are saying that our money losing Post Office makes money with Amazon!" probably isn't going to change their minds.