Wednesday 27 February 2019

”Millennials unfairly accused”

Beautiful Bondi
I was bemused to read the thoughts of various Millennials about we Baby Boomers. (Letters, 25 February).
We are accused of having instigated capitalism and then standing by as it wreaked "environmental destruction and growing inequality" (Michael Hinchey), while they, the Millennials, get on with "repairing the damage done by Boomers' greed" (Helen Lewin). 
I speak as an "early-stage" Boomer (1950). I worked in China of the 70s, a self-described socialist country. And I've seen it in the last forty years embrace capitalism to enrich its people. Fully 600 million have been raised from dire poverty. Ration coupons of the 70s have given way to plenitude. 
The environment under Chinese socialism was devastated (as was the Soviet's). It's only as they've become richer — through capitalism — that they have had the resources to spend on repairing the environment. China is now the world's biggest manufacturer and installer of renewables technology. 
As for inequality, the Gini index shows that the world has become a more equal place not less so. Perceptions by tender Millennials don't cut the ice here. Facts matter and facts don't care about their feelings. 
Though one sometimes wonders if the Millennials’ new creed isn't the reverse: "my feelings don't care about your facts". 

Pf, etc..

Thursday 21 February 2019


At last, having kept pretty shtum about it for the past few years, the virtue-signalling set has mustered up some sympathy for women caught up in the horrific Isis vortex. 
Unfortunately, though, their sympathy isn't for the Yazidi women who were burned alive after refusing to become sex slaves for Isis jihadists. Or the Kurdish women who found themselves living under the brutal misogynistic yoke of the Isis empire. Or the Syrian and Iraqi women whose husbands and sons were beheaded for adhering to the wrong branch of Islam. No, their sympathy is for a woman who supported the movement that did all those things. Who provided moral succour to the Isis barbarians. Who rejected her nation, her community and her family to throw her lot in with the Islamist death cult that gleefully slaughtered women and girls, including here in the UK.
Yes, they are sympathising with Shamima Begum. The 19-year-old Isis supporter. The woman who says the mass murder at the Manchester Arena, one of whose victims was an eight-year-old girl, was 'retaliation' for Western attacks on Isis and was justifiable on that basis. The woman who said she wasn't fazed by the sight of severed heads in dustbins because the people who those heads belonged to had sinned against Islam and therefore deserved to die. The woman who stayed in Raqqa, and said it was a good place to live, even as the rulers of Raqqa were enslaving Yazidi women, putting dissenters' heads on spikes, and executing barbaric attacks everywhere from Mosul to Nice to London Bridge. That woman — that's the one they feel compassion for.
Read on...

Wednesday 20 February 2019

‘Under cover of darkness' : “World Hijab Day is an insult to girls like me who were forced to wear one”. | Spectator

World Hijab Day is an insult to girls like me who were forced to wear one

It was World Hijab Day earlier this month. You probably missed it, but you can imagine the idea: 'global citizens' of all faiths and backgrounds were asked to cover their heads for a day 'in solidarity with Muslim women worldwide'. It is done in 'recognition of millions of Muslim women who choose to wear the hijab and live a life of modesty'.Wearing a hijab is not such an abstract cause for me: I used to wear one a few years ago when I was at school in Iran. And in the spirit of solidarity, I'd like to tell you a bit more about the world I left behind when I moved to Britain in 2011 when I was nine years old.I was six when I was first made to wear the hijab to school. 
When I was eight, I was forced to wear the hijab while walking around Arak, my hometown in north–western Iran. I did so in fear of the 'modesty' police, who patrolled the streets looking for anyone who’s o dared to remove their hijab.For one year we had a nice teacher who on rare occasions allowed us to take our hijabs off in class, provided the door was closed, the windows shut and the blinds completely pulled. Why? There was a male janitor who used to sweep the playground, and Allah forbade that he should lay his eyes on an underage girl's hair. She could go to hell for that.Under the hijab our hair had to be short or in a ponytail, so the style of hair didn't accentuate areas of the fabric.
My teachers deemed it appropriate to shove their hands into my hijab and push my hair back to prevent a single strand of hair being on show. The intrusion didn't stop there. Each week, we had physical checks of our hair and nails — and also, in case we were tempted to try jewellery, our ears, chests and wrists. Wearing large hairclips wasn't allowed, despite the fact that they were hidden by our hijabs. To this day I haven't figured out why a flower-shaped clip is provocative. 
Underneath the hijab, our hair had to be either short or in a firm ponytail, so that the style of hair didn't accentuate certain areas of the fabric.Schoolteachers weren't the only ones keeping a close eye on us. Iran's modesty police were a constant and stressful presence in our lives. I'd learned, out of habit, to avoid them as much as possible, though that certainly became difficult when they didn't want to avoid you. They used to park tactically in the road where the hair and makeup salons were ready to arrest anyone who they deemed 'immodest'. 
They even arrested someone I know who was at the airport about to board a flight to Australia, because her manteau (a loose jacket that is mandatory in Iran for modesty reasons) was 'too short'. And no, this wasn't another era: it was just a few years ago.I was taught that the hijab was intended to keep a girl pure and away from the eyes of men. This is why the hijab represents a form of victim-blaming. The premise is that men are expected to act like predators, and that girls should feel they are to blame should anything untoward happen.If the janitor were to think impure thoughts about one of the girls in my class, that would have been her fault. 
If a married man thinks about a woman inappropriately, it is deemed to be her fault. Then again, he could always take her as his second wife (a practice still common in Iran).

'Oh no! We've woken up too early and haven't missed Brexit!'

Some argue that the hijab is liberating for women. Having come from the inside, I can tell you: the hijab, and the kind of rule I lived under, isn't about feminism. It isn't an empowering rejection of being judged by your appearance. It is a form of submission: the chaining up of women to the mullahs who promulgate this nonsense. For women who have been forced to wear a hijab, World Hijab Day is an insult. It's an open attempt to portray oppressors as victims, and to overlook the feelings of women who have been taught to believe throughout their lives that they are second-class beings.
I have found my life in Britain to be a liberation, but it staggers me to see so much nonsense spoken about the hijab and the regime I escaped. There are brave women imprisoned in Iran for various infractions of the modesty code; there are women who have been treated appallingly for wearing a hijab that is too loose or transparent. More recently, there have been women punished for not wearing a hijab. And yet the hijab is now celebrated in the West. 'It's OK to be modest,' say the hijab's apologists. Well of course, but there is nothing modest about brushing over the suffering of the women and girls of Saudi Arabia and Iran.
I have tended to keep quiet about the fact that I used to wear a hijab. I was so wounded by the horrors of Islam that I wanted to pretend it never existed. But in Britain I realise I now have a voice, and that I am not a second-class citizen who should be scared of talking out of turn. I have also realised that I don't deserve to be scolded by religious women for ditching the hijab. In Britain, it is acceptable to be a free woman. You don't have to obey the restrictive demands of your father, husband or government.
I have changed a lot since I was six. I'm now 16, and while I can't say I have better hair, I have something even better: freedom. I now try to see World Hijab Day as a day to celebrate being free of the hijab. Women like me who have escaped the veil can use this day to rejoice in our newfound liberty.

Sunday 17 February 2019

”A Witch-Hunt on Instagram” - Quillette (Sending Some Support)

Hi Karen,
I'm not a knitter, but I read the article in Quilette, and I just wanted to say: ignore those pathetic, chiding pecksniffers !
There was absolutely nothing wrong with your post. In fact, it was fun, and lovely, and thoughtful.
People who attacked you are the ones who have something wrong. Their own moral compasses are clearly broken, or wildly deviated. Otherwise they wouldn't attack someone so obviously warm-hearted and world-curious as yourself.
Many of the comments at Quillette are that the likes of that Alex Klein are sanctimonious virtue-signalling bullies. Yes.
The first comment at Quillette sums up my feelings about such petty minds: "tell them to fuck off"!
I live in Asia (various, including China, India, 40+ years), married to an Asian, and we don't have this sort of nonsense in these parts. Seems to be a US thing.
Anyway, hang in there. No more apologies!

Best wishes,
Pf, etc

PS: I got to the Quillette article via the David Thompson blog where you will find even more support for you. Have a look. Good, funny, smart commenters there. (

PPS: stick to your knitting !

Sent from my iPad

Oxford City Council adopts APPG definition of Islamophobia | Oxford Mail

The sleazy gang restricting free speech in Britain 
Here is how it goes.
You migrate to the UK because you didn't like your life in your Islamic hell hole. Where are you from? Presumably one of the the 57 members of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation. All of which at the bottom end of United Nations Development Reports, at the very bottom of Arab Development Reports, at the very bottom of gender treatment reports of the World Economic Forum.
So it wasn't nice where you came from and you've arrived at nice welcoming Britain.
So now you're living in the UK. Then some of your coreligionists blow themselves up. They kill lots of innocents. They do this, they say, specifically because their prophet Mahmout, told them to do so. He told them back in the 7th Century and they know this because… Koran.
But instead of condemning your coreligionists, you claim victimhood yourself. You're just as much the victim. Nay, more! Because you're the victim of racism, of xenophobia.
Some Brits get a bit antsy about this. They start o study the doctrines or Islam and they say, hey what's going on here? This is a violent ideology.
So what do you do? You move to get a new thing — "Islamophobia" — made illegal.
And then you use this as a weapon against all those horrid people who have raised questions about the ideology of Islam.
You have made the host country, the country that took you in, turn against itself.
And in the process you've taken Britain another step along the au to being the very Islamic shithole you left.
Well done you!
Now have a read of the absolutely extraordinary terms in the Oxford City Council motion on "Islamophobia". Shocking.
Just to take one example. It is now not permitted in Oxford to claim that Muslims are a demographic threat to Europe and will in time take over Europe. But that’s what the Turkish President, Recip Erdogan and his senior ministers have repeatedly claimed. That Muslim wombs, by the grace of Allah, will overtake Europe. So Erdogan is an Islamophobe?
Can the APPG and Oxford City Council be ignorant of this? I have to presume they are. And so free speech is being constrained by Islamic blasphemy law, on the basis of ignorance.
Link to “Europe will be Muslim”:
Rod Liddle on same subject:

“How China Brings Us Together” | NYT

Huawei 5G ad in Beijing
David Brooks' good article, though he slips:
We used to think China would democratize. Wrong. We used to think the regime would liberalize. Wrong. We used to think the Chinese people would rise up and join the free democratic world. Wrong. [my emphasis]
Speak for yourself David. "We" did not think these things. "We" were not so naive. Those of us who have studied, worked and lived in China; who have married China in various ways; who have advised companies and governments about China; these "we" did not believe "China would democratize", we did not think it would "join the free democratic world". 
And I'm not speaking with 20-20 hindsight. We have our writings at the time to attest to that.
We did however hope that China might "liberalize" and we did not predict a dictatorial brute like Xi Jinping. That wasn't a given. We might well have seen an enlightened autocrat, a liberal-minded authoritarian like, say Jiang Zemin (who I met in 1994 when he was President of China) or, better, someone like former premier Zhu Rongji (who I met when he was Mayor of Shanghai in 1987).
In other words, it didn't have to be Xi Jinping. But it was. And Woe China. At least, that's what I think; Chinese seem to love him. (Then again, many Chinese openly admire Hitler. It's all about being a "strong leader").
For all that Xi may be popular, I don't see how it's best for China. He makes the world suspicious of China, instead of steering it to valued strategic partnership in the comity of nations.
A while ago someone commented that the United States had a simple dream: Freedom. What was China's simple single-word dream?  they asked. Xi talks of the 中国梦, the China Dream.  But I've not seen it defined and certainly not in a single word. What is it? Shall we guess? Control? Communism? Harmony? Peace? Until we know that it has a single-word inspiring dream that benefits more than just China, we must remain wary of a world or region dominated by an Imperium Sinica
Take the South China Sea for example. The United States is here for a reason: freedom of navigation. There it again, that word "freedom". And we know that the US means it because it's been doing exactly that for seventy years, making sure shipping can flow freely through these seas, and indeed throughout the world. 
But China? What's it doing? Muscling out other countries with claims to various parts of the Sea, building bases on previously pristine reefs, destroying marine ecosystems in the process, challenging traditional fisheries, dangerous driving (nearly ramming US Navy vessels). in short it's exerting control for the benefit of … China.
For some time I thought that we ought to take China as a strategic partner. Be open eyed about its mercantilist practices , but take it as a partner in a world divided into two ("one divides into two", 一分为二, as Mao said). The two sides being: the Constructing (or building) world, made up of the West plus China and most of Asia. And the Destructing world, made up of the Islamic and ex-Soviet worlds. 
But now we can't count on China. It too is becoming destructive. Destructive to the world economic and geopolitical order, Destructive of peace, as it continues to cosy up to the world's dictators and thugs. 
Here endeth the rant.
Brooks' article is good.


“Gas Shortages Give New York an Early Taste of the Green New Deal | WSJ

Marcus Hook natural gas storage refinery, New York
The thing about natural gas is that it's not carbon FREE, but is carbon LOW. So, using natural gas in place of coal or oil reduces carbon dioxide emissions. It was the shift to use of natural gas that made the US the largest reducer of carbon emissions in the world in 2017. 
In other words, it's not perfect, but it's better
For New York governor Andrew Cuomo, though, better is not good enough. So some improvement is foregone in favour of no improvement. And consumers are being denied natural gas for their cooking, for the sake of a blinkered ideology. The insanity of the Green Left. 
It's another case of:
        Perfection is the enemy of action. 
Gas Shortages Give New York an Early Taste of the Green New Deal

Saturday 16 February 2019

7 Things to Consider Before Choosing Sides in the Middle East Conflict

They are here, in Huffpo, no less

There Is Nothing Green about Socialism - Foundation for Economic Education

BBC World Service Radio has been mulling the question: "Is capitalism killing our planet, or is it our only hope?".
No mention by the panelists of Socialist China and Soviet Russia.  I visited both and lived in the former.  
They were horrid for the environment.  Socialism is worse for the environment than is capitalism, by a long way.

As countries become richer, which they will best do if they follow capitalism, they tend to use less energy per unit of GNP.  See the Energy Intensity index.

Friday 15 February 2019

Debunking: 33 Billion

$A 33 billion spent on indigenous Australians is a "myth".
Except it isn't.
An odd sort of an article, where the content proceeds to gainsay - “debunk”? - the headline. The point seems to be that only some of the $33 billion, about half, goes direct to indigenous organisations, the rest being channeled through organisations available to all Australians not just indigenous, but of which a proportion is identified as being acccessed by indigenous folks. I think…
So, as the article says:
“There is a truth to the $33 Billion.”

“An Enthralling and Terrifying History of the Nuclear Meltdown at Chernobyl” | NYT

Thomas Savery patented the first steam engine in 1698. He used it to pump water out of coal mines. 
Now, imagine that a few years later a steam engine exploded and killed some people. 
No need to imagine because it happened. Steam engines blew up and killed people on a regular basis. 
Now imagine something else. That as a result of steam engine accidents people stopped building them. "Too dangerous" said the imaginary Greens of the 18th century. Had that in fact happened there would have been no industrial revolution and no modern world. 
And did we stop building airplanes after the first major accident. Or building cars because they also cnrash and kill people.
We didn’t do any of that. 
But that is what we did with nuclear energy. Two accidents — Three Mile Island and Chernobyl — and it was all over (Fukushima was just cream on the Greens’ pudding).. No matter that in both cases the design and technology were woeful; outdated and slapdash. 
The Greenies fear-mongered and managed to shut down major nuclear programs around the world. 
Had we instead continued with nuclear energy development, new generations would have improved the design, the technology and the safety. No matter. We did away with the single safest and most reliable source of energy on planet earth. For an ideology of fear. And as a result are now dealing with the whole CO2 thing.
Well done, Greens! Not. 
The  book reviewed below highlights the design and control problems of Chernobyl in late-stage Soviet Russia.
In "Midnight in Chernobyl," the journalist Adam Higginbotham reconstructs the disaster from the ground up, recounting the prelude to it as well as its aftermath.

Thursday 14 February 2019

Fusion energy, Universal Basic Income, The Simulation, and much more....

Trusting experts and science Fusion power’s future Crypto, here to stay? Turn-around specialists for countries (like Venezuela) A retirement plan for the entire U.S. legal population What will the future of news look like? Who currently holds the most power in the U.S.? Who’s thumb is on the scale? Twitter will become an unbiased protocol or… …democracy won’t stand for its control and power Is Universal Basic Income and Socialism the future? What form will future educational systems have? What are life’s biggest illusions? Thoughts on The Simulation Old problems were about scarcity, now they’re about abundance Author recommendations

“China, India making the world a greener place” | SCMP

Wow. Who knew this? I certainly didn't. 
China and India have added the equivalent to an Amazon rainforest of green to the world, largely thanks to agriculture in India and afforestation in China. 
As someone said online in China "at last, some good news!"  
Nasa scientists recorded a 5 per cent increase in the planet's green leaf area since the early 2000s – the equivalent of an extra Amazon rainforest – and were surprised by the cause.
The Nasa study, which was published on February 11 in the journal Nature Sustainability, found some 2 million square miles (about 518 million hectares) of vegetation had been added to the surface of the earth, a quarter of which was contributed by China.
The study found that most of China's contribution was achieved through its initiatives to conserve and expand forests, while more than 80 per cent of India's increase was due to intensive agriculture.
"China and India account for one-third of the greening, but contain only 9 per cent of the planet's land area covered in vegetation – a surprising finding, considering the general notion of land degradation in populous countries from over-exploitation," Chi Chen, the study's lead author, said.
The study analysed data collected from two Nasa satellites between 2000 and 2017.
"When the greening of the Earth was first observed, we thought it was due to a warmer, wetter climate and fertilisation as a result of the added carbon dioxide in the atmosphere," Rama Nemani, a co-author of the study, said.
"Now, with the medium-resolution imaging spectrometer (MODIS) data, we see that humans are also contributing."

Wednesday 13 February 2019

Sarah Haider of EXMUSA, RT on UN anti-Israel bias

NYTimes: Nothing Can Prepare You for Life With Hyperinflation

Socialism = empty shelves
This article by Virginia Lopez-Glass in the New York Times gives a good feel for what it's like to live in the disaster of today's Venezuela. In a word: horrible
What it doesn't do is tell you the reason Venezuela is a horrible disaster. We're told that "mismanagement" and "corruption" have led to "hyperinflation". Sure. There's glancing mention of America being at least partly responsible via economic sanctions. Okay. 
But… but… what about the single main reason for this mismanagement and corruption and hyperinflation? What is the one word not mentioned once in these 2,000 words?
Not once is it mentioned. Yet Socialism the immediate, direct, unequivocal and proximate cause of today's horrors in Venezuela. 
President Maduro is a Chavista. Chavez was a Socialist. Socialism is what led Chávez to nationalise the oil industry (and others) and to put fellow socialists in charge, regardless of expertise. Enter: mismanagement. Mismanagement was handled — by Chavez, then Maduro —  by putting in place even more fellow travellers. Enter: corruption. Result: shortages. Enter: price controls. Result: more shortages. Enter: hyperinflation.
ADDED: Chavez called himself a Democratic Socialist. This is relevant because the Left in America is trying to counter the charge that they are Socialist by saying “oh, no, we’re not socialists! We’re Democratic socialists! Not at all the same”.  Chavez’s ghost begs to differ. 
But none of these connections is covered in the article. 
Not a one. 
I know about this by having lived in socialist China in the seventies when the only vegetable you could get was pak choi(白菜)and everything else needed ration cards.  And I've lived in China after capitalism where you can get everything you ever wanted. The difference is stunning and is due to the difference in ideologies. Socialism vs capitalism. And in short: Socialism: bad. Capitalism: good. It really is that simple. 
But they ignore all of that in this article. 
Shame on Lopez-Glass and shame on the New York Times.
Food shortages and an unrelenting surge in prices are overwhelming Venezuelans. They could prove to be the force that spurs Maduro's exit from power.

Sent from my iPad

‘A Woman, Just Not That Woman’: How Sexism Plays Out on the Trail | NYT

Above: Harris, Klobuchar, Gillibrand, Warren. 

You mean, we can't comclude that this Gang of Four is a bunch of leftist loonies without being called "sexist"? 
And they are crazy leftist, by the way. They are way to the left of where the Democrats were just a few short years ago. 
So the headline is false on its face. Many folks are not going to vote for these women because of their politics not for their gender. 
Still, it's the New York Times.  The "paper of record". Yeah, sure. 
Critics called Hillary Clinton "shrill" and "unlikable." It's no coincidence that the same words are being used against Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand and Kamala Harris.

The optimist’s take on Muslims in Congress

A counter to my post just before this. Wishful thinking? Probably, and if so, the damage will have been done by the time we find out, which we will, inevitably. I put it here to show what a fair-minded person I am. 

America's Support for Israel Is a Matter of Morality, Not Money | National Review

When two Muslimas were elected to Congress in the mid terms I bit my tongue in case they turned out to be two of those rare creatures, secular Muslims. Give them a chance, I thought. 
But no.  They'd no sooner been sworn into office than they were breaking bad. Or should I say, they're proving to be what was always most likely, namely pious Jew-hating Muslims. No just critics of Israel, but out and out anti-semites.
Ilhan Omar is particularly hateful. Or rather more insistently vocal, because congresswoman Rashida Tlaib is no slouch either when it comes to genocidal Jew hatred. 
Here's a response to Omar's calumny that America only supports Israel because Jews pay them. 
America's long support for Israel — often in the face of fierce criticism from key allies and painful economic reprisal from the Arab world — represents an enduring, bipartisan commitment to moral clarity in the Middle East. For the quarter century following Israel's founding, it was subjected to repeated, genocidal threats to its existence. It has served as a homeland for the Jewish people even as Arab nations rendered life intolerable for more than 800,000 of their Jewish citizens, sometimes destroying communities that existed for centuries. Israel took in hundreds of thousands of refugees, receiving them as the world's only Jewish state.

Tuesday 12 February 2019

Bigger fines ‘not enough to crack down on Uber in Hong Kong’

Why is the government wasting time to crack down on Uber, "everyone's private driver"? Answer: because it is under the thumb of the taxi industry. Result: instead of the greatest good for the greatest number, the government panders to the greedy few. 
We are literally surrounded by countries that allow ride-hailing services like Uber. Yet somehow, alone in Asia, we cannot manage to do so. All we do is "crack down", bleating about the "rule of law", as if the law can't be changed to encourage innovation. 
Shame on the government. Shame on the legislators. Shame on the bureaucrats. They make "Asia's World City" a sick joke, a laughing stock.  

Pf, etc…
Bigger fines 'not enough to crack down on Uber in Hong Kong'

Public Education’s Dirty Secret - Quillette

Arbitrary pic: street scene village in Guizhou, China
Remember when Trump was excoriated for saying that people were dancing in the streets on 9/11?  Exultant at the destruction of the Twin Towers. Fact checkers gave that four Pinocchios. "Liar, liar, pants on fire".  
But it did happen, and in New York. 
Perhaps he'd heard this sort of thing, say via his adult children who had their own kids at schools and word would have got around. Then it's but a short step to a false memory that you actually saw it, or heard it, yourself.
I certainly remember seeing clips of people,dancing in the streets the Middle East, and thinking that I wouldn't have been surprised that people had done so in America as well. 
In one of her videos professor Janice Fiamenco tells of the open delight of some of her colleagues at the university of Otago. 
We watched in horror here in Hong Kong assuming everyone was as shocked and sad as we were. But no…
There's plenty of America haters out there. 
During first period on that awful day there was a horrendous split-second noise. A plane flew right overhead a mere moment before it blasted into the north tower of the World Trade Center. At break time word was spreading among the staff.  Both towers were hit and one had already come down. When I went to my next class I told the students what had happened. There was an eruption of rejoicing at the news. Many students clapped and whooped their approval, some getting out of their seats to do a sort of victory dance. It was an eye-opener, and indicative of what was to come.

A very disturbing article about the problems in American education

Monday 11 February 2019

The deal: murder a Jew and set your family up for life

And the United States gives the PA $250 million a year. When Trump threatens to halt this charity, until payments for murder stop, it’s like, "how very dare he, the racist Islamophobe?"


From Maajid, just now…

“A new trend in US politics that should inspire us all”, 10 February

Socialism = communism lite. Though not too lite
Read the fine print, Yonden.  ("A new trend in US politics that should inspire us all", 10 February).  
I've looked at the fine print, at what Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) actually believes. Result: I don't think for one minute that her campaign for punitive taxes and expropriation of the wealthy should "inspire us all".
AOC is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).  Despite its name, the DLA aim is to turn America our socialist, not just “democratic” socialist. Its strategy is to infiltrate political parties to bend their policies to the far left. So far so good with AOC. But the DSA does not envisage a fluffy-soft Scandinavian democratic socialism. It demands "control of the means of production… control over economic life", the very definition of socialism[*]. It was the control of the means of oil production that led directly to the disaster of Venezuela today. Hugo Chavez also "inspired us all" at the time, just as you say AOC should today. Thank you, but we're not all so naive and forgetful.
As for the Green New Deal, it reads rather like a jejune undergrad essay. Damning it with faint praise, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, called it "enthusiastic". To be fair, working towards a carbon-neutral economy is much to be welcomed. But abandoning air travel? In ten years? Retro-fitting every building in the US? In ten years? Doing away with nuclear? Clean and reliable nuclear? (While super brain Bill Gates promotes nuclear. And: "Sweden has risen to the challenge by building nuclear plants" ).
How to pay for this hundred trillion dollar boondoggle? AOC has no idea. It just…. will… happen.  Because.
Calm down, Yonden, take a deep breath, read the fine print.  Remember: if it seems too good to be true, it usually is. And in the meantime, please don't presume to speak for us  "all".  As Mao Zedong said: "one divides into two" (一分为二).
[Reading Lhatoo's article in today's "This Week in Asia", it's no wonder people get on his case. He's zany…]

Peter Forsythe
Discovery Bay
+852 9308 0799

[*]: "Control over fiscal, monetary, and trade policy", Para 5, here.

FOX Ramps Reparations!

Reparations "not radical"
How’s this, then? Conservative Cable, FOX News, is promoting the very Leftie idea of reparations to African Americans for the harm done by slavery, Jim Crow and the New Deal.
Steve Hilton, a Hungarian-born Brit now resident in California made the case on FOX this morning. 
A couple of Hilton's figures stuck in my mind: 
(i) Wealth: for every $100 of wealth owned by a white family, a black family has $7.73. 
(ii) Wages: for every $100 earned by a white, an African American earns just $70 to $80.
Economist figures. From here
Hilton traces this directly back to the legacy of slavery. And to post-war programs the GI bill which promoted home ownership, but for whites only. Thats true. I happened to see a doco on this just the other day. The policy was explicitly racist; blacks were not allowed to buy or rent in white neighbourhoods right up to the 60s! And this after black Americans had fought in WW2. 
Of course, there are issues about how the amount would be calculated and who would get them. At least Hilton is getting the convo going on the white side — before its only been black activists like Ta-Nahesi Coates who've pushed it, and those folks can be safely ignored as "too radical". 
Trump has kind of started on this with the recently-passed Prison reform bill. 
Where are the Dems on this?

Sunday 10 February 2019

Women's liberation, Islam style

“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s fight against the super rich should inspire us all” | SCMP

AOC is a member of the Dem Socialists of America.  i.e. a Socialist
My annotated take on the Post's chief news editor, Yonden Lhatoo's article today. His words indented italic
What a breath of fresh air and dose of extra energy Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is.
i.e. she's cute. 
It's been barely a month since she took up her new job as the representative for New York's 14th district, and the youngest woman in history to be elected to the US Congress is making waves – just waves right now, but hopefully a tsunami some day.
Tsunamis don't usually work out too well.

Saturday 9 February 2019

AOC and her solipsistic sisters need to check their privilege

If it looks like I’m out after successful women, no, no and no again. The reason for going after AOC is that she’s held up as a paragon by her own Democrats. So she’s fair game. Goose, gander, and all that. 
Fact is that AOC and her acolytes seem to think that they’re long-suffering pioneers sacrificing for womanhood and the opressed. Whereas they’re the beneficiaries of what their sisters suffered and sacrificed generations ago. 
There’s no awareness of that, let alone acknowledgement in the solipsistic sisterhood. Look at them at the SOTU applauding themselves, high-fiveing how awesome they are. 
That’s what Jeremy Boreing is going after in the tweet above. 

These Uygurs fled to Australia but China’s crackdown followed | SCMP

Hot on the heels of the previous post about China's leaning over backwards to appease Islamic porcine sensitivities, we have this article about China pressuring Uygur Muslims in Australia to snitch on their relatives in China, who are then promptly chased down and sent to labour "education camps", in and around Xinjiang, in its far west. 
The United Nations has reported that one million Uighur Muslims have been detained. Arbitrarily and with no charges. 
But neither the UN nor any country has got on China's case. China is just too big and important— second largest economy, member of the UN Security Council. 
Next month the UN Human Rights Commission will meet in Geneva. On the agenda? Seven resolutions condemning Israel for various acts, real or imagined. Seven. Not one resolution, zero, about any other country. Not Venezuela, not North Korea, not Syria. And certainly not China, even as Beijing continues to imprison more of its citizens, to add to the one million already banged up for the crime of being Muslim. 
My view on the perfidy of Islam is clear. But this China anti Uighur Muslim policy is just so egregious it's got even me in a tizzy. Even as I think we need to resist Islam's "pan-halal islamisation" (post below).
Though I gotta admit that Xinjiang's Muslims calling themselves "East Turkistan" doesn't help. China’s paranoid, dudes!

These Uygurs fled to Australia but China's crackdown followed

How Chinese vigilantes want to ‘take back the Year of the Pig from Islam’ | SCMP

Images of pigs are a sensitive topic in China for its Muslim minority. So?
To: Phoebe Zhang, SCMP
Good article Phoebe!
I must say I wasn't aware that the halal food issue had become such a concern in China and that "creeping Islamisation" was a thing. I support people fighting against "religious fundamentalism eroding Chinese secular mainstream culture". I know "pan-halal tendencies" are a growing problem countries like Britain and France; even in my own native Australia.  But it's a worry that it's now affecting China, the ultimate secular nation. 
If Muslims are "offended" by CNY TV shows that feature pigs, surely they can turn off the TV. Simple. No need for the vast majority, secular Chinese, to be denied their beloved porcine pals, for the sake of a small minority of over-sensitive souls. What next? Muslims hate dogs, too; are we to have canine censorship to appease the hyper-sensitive?
So, yes — as the People's Daily says — "Butcher the pig and save some pork!"
Added: Jews too don’t eat pork and have kosher food practices (it’s where Islam took this inanity from). But they don’t make an issue out of it and demand the rest of the world hew to them. 
One small thing. The capital of Shaanxi is Xi'an not "Xian".  The apostrophe makes sure it's two characters (西安) and not one character (e.g. 现).
The apostrophe is important,  like the difference between "its" and "it's".
It's particularly important to get this right for the Post, which prides itself on being the newspaper of record for China-related issues. You've got all the rest of the Hanyu Pinyin correct, why not this small, but important thing?
I've written numerous times to your Letters Editor about this (yes, it's bit of a bee in my pedantic bonnet), but they have ignored it. I don't know why. It's easy to fix. 

Pf, etc…

How Chinese vigilantes want to 'take back the Year of the Pig from Islam'

Friday 8 February 2019

US inequality DOWN. Facts don’t care about your feelings

Every day there’s some new report about how inequality in the US is getting worse, it’s a “crisis”, oh woe, oh horror. 
Only thing is, it’s not true. 
The figures above show the factual reality. The lower GINI index the better.
The US has got better by 5/35 = 15% improvement. A steady improvement of just over 1% per year. 
Ben Shapiro is fond of saying “facts don’t care about your feelings”. 
The Left turns that around: “my feelings don’t care about your facts”. 
Facts don’t persuade when people are firmly invested in a “narrative”. In this case that the US is a terrible country oppressing the poor and minorities and it’s getting worse. 
And the only way to fix things is.... socialism and 70% taxes. 
Still. Facts.

Thursday 7 February 2019

Spectator - ‘Old flame'

My lovely new cooktop. Gas and induction 

It doesn't have to be "either or". Either gas or induction for your new hob. 
Here's my near-new cooktop made up of three elements, both gas and induction. 
Left to right: (a) High-powered wok-style gas burner. (b) Induction hob with two "zones". (c) Two-burner gas hob. 
Dimensions of each is 20"x 12". 
You can mix and match. All major brands make modular cook tops. 
I've used ours for six months and very happy!
Mostly I use the gas, but it's nice to have the induction; one of its main benefits is that you can set the time to cook and walk away. Set and forget. And you can set very precise heat. And very low "keep it warm" heat.  
So while I agree with the article that going induction-only could cause regret, you don't have to go gas or induction. You can have both!

Pf, etc...

SOTU: “Divisive” or “Unifying”?

I watched the State of the Union speech live yesterday. I’d noted earlier that the immediate reaction perfectly reflected media bias. The Guardian and a large swathe of the MSM called it "divisive".  A few others, like the Telegraph, called it "unifying".
Overall, the media coverage was pretty crap. MSM is majority left-of-centre and Trump-hating, and rather than take a balanced look at the speech — the "facts", we're endlessly assured the media is driven by — they have gone full-on partisan. Full on TDS. Full on petty and petulant.The pettiness is sometimes breathtaking:  one of the fact checkers claimed Trump's statement that "one third" of the women in the migrant caravans had been sexually assaulted, was only "partly true". Why? The "real figure" is 31%!  Omigod…
Another tried a "gotcha", on Jews' belief in heaven, in a quote Trump attributed to a Dachau survivor, sitting right there in the House. "Jews don't believe in heaven" this paragon of investigative journalism tells us. "Oh yes, we do", shot back many Jews, quoting the Torah. How grossly, how horribly, petty. It's no wonder Trump talks of the "fake media", and he didn't make them like this.
So I read the SOTU transcript.
And what I find is that not only is it unfair to call it "divisive" overall , it's actually difficult to find any parts that are divisive. Have a read yourself to fact check me. He keeps talking of cooperation and compromise. Of unity. Giving due t his most hostile critics. "Divisive"?  Not.
But what about when he called out socialism? Well, socialism should be called out.  It was not too long ago that no one in America would have ended to make the point, but it's become a matter of pride amongst the far left of the Democratic Party, while the great majority of Americans don't support socialism at all. Venezuela hasn't helped here, though the likes of "the Bern", and AOC, are immune to reality of a socialist state crumbling before our eyes.
The mention of border security, is that divisive? Well, the Democrats have repeatedly committed to border security and to talks after the shutdown was over, but have reneged. Who's divisive?
Meantime, the applause lines. Look at what the Democrats did not applaud:
They did not applaud lowest unemployment rate in 50 years; or the lowest ever unemployment for African Americans, for Hispanics, for Asians and for disabled; they didn't applaud a proposed bill to stop sex trafficking; they didn't applaud a bill to lower the cost of prescription drugs; they didn't applaud a bill to wipe out HIV; they didn't applaud prison reform that's already passed into legislation; and they didn't applaud bill to stop infanticide. So what will they applaud??
What did they cheer? Trump's statement that 58% of the new jobs went to women was cheered by a gaggle of white-suited women in the House. This, sadly revealing their high self regard.
I've just seen MSNBC. They called the speech "an angry, racist, xenophobic platform". Huh? Which speech did you watch? Were you somewhere else? Read the transcript.
To repeat for the N-th time, I'm no fan of Trump. But the egregious treatment of his SOTU speech shows just how horribly biased the media is, and how hypocritical they are in claiming the high moral ground: the NYT ads boasting of their relentless search for "the facts", or the Washington Post's sanctimonious Super Bowl ad.
Note to media: remove the monster plank in your eye, before demanding the speck be removed from Trump's: quibbling over "31%" vs "one-third", as a part lie.…Heaven help us! (The heaven Jews believe in).
By the way, polls gave the SOTU high marks, around 76% approval. I'm watching with interest how the indefatigable "unbiased" media are going to spin that one.

Wednesday 6 February 2019

“Trump attacks Democrats and Mueller in divisive speech” says the Guardian. Then again…

Trump's State of the Union speech was "divisive", according to The Guardian.
Then again, it was "a call for bipartisan unity", according to the National Review.
So which is it? "Divisive"? Or "a call for bipartisan unity"?
Two movies viewed on the same screen. 
I watched the SOTU speech. 
It was a bit of both, but mainly the latter. Mainly talking unity. You'd have to be hatin' on Trump with a really big hate, to view the totality of the speech as "divisive". 

Expats find lure of Hong Kong hard to resist despite liveability rankings | SCMP

108th Floor of International Commerce Centre
I live here so I'm biased, but it makes sense that expats want to move and live here despite the high costs (highest in the world according to this article). 
As one of the expats says in the article: you're surrounded by keen and driven people. It's a place of great energy. Outside of work there's plenty to do, from hiking in the many country parks right in our doorstep, to sailing, tennis, swimming, at one of the many clubs in the city. 
For me it was first a place where I learned Mandarin, at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, then in the Australian government in the seventies and eighties. I was with a multinational company (DFS) then government again (Austrade), in the nineties before setting up our company in the oughts (Wall Street Institute). Selling that company gave us our permanent stake in Hong Kong. 
Thing is: if you have your accommodation, HK is not that expensive. Local public transport is the best in the world and is very cheap; food is cheap if you're not after cheese and fois gras; clothes are cheap if you're not after Gucci. In short you can eat, dress and get around cheaply, as long as you have your accommodation. Granted that's tough: the highest real estate prices in the world. (Despite a 15% drop second half '18).
We've done a bit of everything here — government, private sector and our own company; swimming, sailing, scuba… — and have come to love Hong Kong and call it home. 
So it's pleasing to see it still has its international allure, despite being 46 places below Singapore according to one "liveability" survey. 
Give me Hongkers any day…