Tuesday 31 October 2023

Kowloon, Hong Kong | June 2015

“Proxy Americans” | Damien Green

Click above to enlarge. Online here
How Australians are "viewed" by Asia is irrelevant to our relations with them. Our defence ties, investments, trade, are all carried out with national interests in mind, not what some observers agonise over. People like Damien Green, above, obsess over how Australia is viewed, but no one else cares. 

Note the article makes no mention of the recent decision to continue the Darwin port contract, run by a China PLA affiliate, and which the US — and much of Australian opinion — had wanted cancelled. How does that fit into the "Proxy Americans" narrative?

Israelophobia. Two Israels: one of reality and one of the imagination

Click above for video
Jake Wallis Simons talks so well on his new book “Israelophobia”. 

Ironic that the real Russian disinformation is the successful disinformation against Israel. Not the “Hunter Biden Laptop” story, or collusion to change the 2016 election. But the Cold Wat disinformation effort. Working with the Left down to today. 

Monday 30 October 2023

“Hitch is needed now more than ever.” I’ve posted similar “history lessons” since my beginning 14 years ago! It’s in the Koran! It’s why 10/7

I first saw this clip from Christopher Hitchens years ago. Always worth a revisit.

Tolerance, Liberalism, Free Speech and the great Contradiction

“When will Israel launch a ground invasion?" Uzi Arad

Click above for video 
Uzi Arad was a National Security Adviser to Netanyahu 2009-2011, so he’s got cred. Very critical of Bibi. And many others. 

His piece starts here

Sunday 29 October 2023

Hamas tells us what the war is about

When good intentions go awry: Africa *needs* fossil fuels

Improving adaptive capacity and resilience would include public investments in sturdier housing, better urban drainage and sewage systems to avoid flooding and disease, improving clean water supplies, improving irrigation for climate-resilient agriculture, providing access to electricity and natural gas for cooking and heating homes to substitute away from using fuelwood and charcoal, and so on.
Climate activists want the bark huts fitted with induction coolers and electric heat pumps. The world and sub-Saharan Africans would be better off with simple solutions like gas stoves. Saying this is not “climate denialism”. Many African activists say it.

Johnny Depp’s recommendation: Under Milk Wood, read by Richard Burton


Click above for the video. Many people came to this recently
because of a recommendation by Johnny Depp. See comments


By Dylan Thomas

To begin at the beginning:

It is spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black, the cobblestreets silent and the hunched, courters'-and-rabbits' wood limping invisible down to the sloeblack, slow, black, crowblack, fishingboatbobbing sea.

The houses are blind as moles (though moles see fine to-night in the snouting, velvet dingles) or blind as Captain Cat there in the muffled middle by the pump and the town clock, the shops in mourning, the Welfare Hall in widows' weeds.

And all the people of the lulled and dumbfound town are sleeping now.

Hush, the babies are sleeping, the farmers, the fishers,the tradesmen and pensioners, cobbler, schoolteacher, postman and publican, the undertaker and the fancy woman, drunkard, dressmaker, preacher, policeman, the webfoot cocklewomen and the tidy wives. 

Young girls lie bedded soft or glide in their dreams, with rings and trousseaux, bridesmaided by glowworms down the aisles of the organplaying wood. The boys are dreaming wicked or of the bucking ranches of the night and the jollyrodgered sea. 

And the anthracite statues of the horses sleep in the fields, and the cows in the byres, and the dogs in the wetnosed yards; and the cats nap in the slant corners or lope sly, streaking and needling, on the one cloud of the roofs. More…

Saturday 28 October 2023

"There is no Disneyland Dreamtime, Aboriginal assimilation and its malcontents” | Rachael Kohn

Click above for the article. 

Talks with the parents of Jacinta Nampijimpa Price, reported by Rachael Kohn

CO2 impact of foods

Wow! Bus fire just up the road from us

In Discovery Bay

A single-decker bus caught fire in Hong Kong’s Discovery Bay on Friday, but all the passengers were evacuated safely before the blaze took hold.

The driver ordered passengers to disembark after he saw smoke coming from the bottom of the vehicle, which soon burst into flames. More…

“What Hamas promised to its electorate” | Rod Liddle

Things you do not hear very often, number one: a pro-Palestinian protestor denouncing Hamas for the barbarity of its incursion into Israel on 7 October, appalled at the savagery of those attacks upon children, grandmothers, etc. It may seem as if, in saying this, I am stating the obvious – because support for that pogrom was, I would suggest, strong among some of those carrying Palestinian flags on marches through London and elsewhere. Six Arab language journalists were suspended by the BBC when it was discovered that they retweeted messages glorifying in that day’s murder. They were not members of Hamas. Ordinary Palestinians interviewed, cowering in the rubble of Gaza, were not quoted condemning the attacks which led directly to their present misery. And so here we have a big problem, another non-sequitur to pile upon all the others which bedevil attempts to bring peace to a region of the world which shows very few signs of wanting peace at all.

The appropriate line to take right now, assuming you are not one of those out on the streets calling for jihad, is to insist that the hideousness of 7 October justifies Israel’s attempts to ‘root out Hamas’ from the Gaza Strip, while holding that it is only right to provide medical assistance, aid and power to ‘ordinary Palestinians’. But what if the problem is bigger than Hamas? Where does that leave us? We dutifully regurgitate the line that Hamas predates upon the Palestinians and in doing so make what is perhaps a false dichotomy, believing that the aspirations of Hamas are not shared by the people they govern. But is this true? My suspicion is that it is not quite true and that even if Israel were to destroy Hamas, some similarly genocidal and violent entity – Islamic Jihad? Isis? Campaign for a Free Galilee? – would spring up to take its place.

We cleave to that false dichotomy, though, because in our wish to be kindly we must exculpate ‘ordinary’ Palestinians. But where are these ordinary Palestinians, drowned out by more extreme voices, who are perhaps not riven with a racial and religious hatred of the state and people next door? The ones who condemn the attacks on Israel and want peace? When will we hear from them?

There is some evidence of opposition to Hamas in Gaza, but it seems small to the point of near invisibility these days. Perhaps that is because those who are opposed stay silent out of fear, sure. But still, there is no great evidence to suggest that this tiny proportion which opposes Hamas does so because of its genocidal wish to wipe Israel and Jews from the face of the Earth: the objections are to Hamas’s bullying and fascistic behaviour in its governance of Gaza.

It is certainly true, mind, that in the 2006 Palestinian elections, voters backed Hamas primarily because it was believed to be markedly less corrupt than Fatah and might also afford the enclave better security. Exit polls suggested that while Hamas won, some 75 per cent of voters wanted it to drop its insistence that Israel should cease to exist and a similar proportion wished for peace with Israel. On the face of it, this seems to refute directly my suggestion that the aspirations of Hamas are shared by those ‘ordinary Palestinians’.

But that was 17 years ago and at a time when a two-state solution seemed if not probable, then at least remotely possible: much has changed. The people of Gaza have since then been absorbing the Hamas mantras of intransigence and hatred on a daily basis. And it is also the case that even then, Palestinians were still willing to vote for a party which wished to kill all Jews and which proclaimed its intention to do so in that infamous 1988 charter which was drawn directly from Nazi propaganda:

‘With their money, they [the Jews] took control of the world media, news agencies, the press, publishing houses, broadcasting stations, and others. With their money they stirred revolutions in various parts of the world with the purpose of achieving their interests and reaping the fruit therein. They were behind the French Revolution, the communist revolution and most of the revolutions we heard and hear about, here and there. With their money, they formed secret societies, such as Freemason, Rotary Clubs, the Lions and others in different parts of the world for the purpose of sabotaging societies and achieving Zionist interests. With their money they were able to control imperialistic countries and instigate them to colonise many countries in order to enable them to exploit their resources and spread corruption there.’

Perhaps we might excuse these voters because they didn’t look at the small print. The trouble, though, is that Hamas is hardly unique in its rank anti-Semitism. Only a month ago, the Palestinian president, the grizzled old thug Mahmoud Abbas, rolled out the Jew-hating stuff in a speech to Fatah party members. He denied that anti-Semitism had anything to do with the Holocaust: that had been occasioned, he said, by the roles of Jews in society. He said: ‘They say that Hitler killed the Jews because they were Jews and that Europe hated the Jews because they were Jews. Not true,’ adding that the Europeans ‘fought against these people because of their role in society, which had to do with usury, money… In his [Adolf Hitler’s] view, they were engaged in sabotage, and this is why he hated them.’

This speech, which received little or no attention over here, mined precisely the same Nazi tropes as those which form the core of Hamas’s belief. Abbas even went on to suggest that the Ashkenazi Jews of Europe who were murdered in the Holocaust were not actually Jews at all.

All of this accords with my many interviews with Palestinians, ‘ordinary’ and otherwise, in documentaries I have made over the past decade: give it a moment and the Jew-hatred stuff will often bubble up to the surface. The only place where I didn’t find this bitter and corrosive loathing was among Israeli Arabs.

In The Spectator 25 October 2023, here

Friday 27 October 2023

Why I don’t trust the BBC’s Trusted News Initiative

When it comes to pumping out genuinely dangerous lies, no one can hold a candle to the BBC and its 'trusted' allies. More …

The BBC has been outdoing itself lately in being clearly partisan and spreading misinformation. Despite which it lectures us via its “BBC Verify” initiative recently.  Oh dear, lovely old Beebs, what’s happened to you? Sniff... 

Gaza War and cognitive dissonance

Click above for video. I expected to be rather pro Israel, 
being German TV, but not so much
What do you do when you believe strongly in “A", and then see powerful evidence for “B” which is the opposite of “A”? 

Do you immediately give up A, and believe in B? Perhaps. But most often that will lead to cognitive dissonance and the way most humans deal with that is to rationalise. 

And so, when I see the video of the Marxist professor Ilan Pappè,The Israeli New History and its Relevance”, and the causes of Palestinian anger, I get cognitive dissonance. 

It’s not that I don’t know about the “new history” of Palestine, of which he is a major mover; I do. I’ve read about it years ago, have books on it. Benni Morris is something of a “new historian”, and I’ve got his books. No, the reason for the onrush of cognitive dissonance is just that it’s been a while since I’ve seen the “new history” of the Middle East, of Palestine, put so forcefully. And so it’s cognitive dissonance redux (not anew). 

So, how do I deal with it? Am I going to move from A to B? Am I going to support the Hamas-loving kids around the western world, calling for the death of Israel? Am I going to join in their blood lust for the death of Jews, and for a “Free Palestine”?

No I am not. Which is what most people do. Which is why it’s so hard to change people’s minds on fundamental beliefs. We will always default to finding a way to reconcile our dissonance. 

In my case, it’s simple. I just zoom out. I look at history from a more abstracted plane. Thus:

  • Should the Jews have been given a land, a place to stay, a place to call their home, a nation, in the aftermath of the holocaust? Answer, for me: Yes. 
  • Where should it be? Of the options, Uganda, the USS, Japan, Madagascar and Palestine, clearly the old historical land of the Jews, in what we now call Palestine, was the obvious one. 
  • Should the non-Jews living there have been expelled? No. Were they? Yes. To some extent. By whom? The “new historians” tell us it’s entirely by the Jews. But it was not. There is clear evidence that the surrounding Arab states planned to attack Israel when it was named, by the United Nations, as a new state, and that they told the Arabs living in the new state, that they should leave, to get out of there way, while they busied themselves with annihilating the Jews. 
  • 56 countries are members of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, many of them Arab states surrounding Israel, the one Jewish state in the world. That seems rather little to ask, even if some Arab families had to suffer, for that ask to become true. 
  • Muslim states surrounding Israel (the “Middle East”) own 99.6% of the land; Israel only 0.4%. Is that really too much to ask?
  • Other countries were created like Israel: Pakistan and Bangladesh, for example. We don’t obsess over their creation stories, even though even more people were displaced and killed, that were in Israel. 
  • There were some 60 million refugees in the wake of the second world war. There were about half a million Arabs displaced in the creation of Israel. Only the refugees displaced in Israel in 1948, only they, remain refugees. All the rest are now resident in other countries. Why is it that the surrounding Arab states have refused to take in any Palestinian Arabs? 

That’s my cognitive dissonance rationalisation for the fact that Jews Behaved Badly, at the birth of their nation. But they needed and still need a nation. And in the grand scheme of life, their crimes were both understandable and (relatively) minor. It’s time we called out the Palestinian Arab victimhood and said, enough, get on with it. And called out the surrounding Arab states for not taking them in. 

ADDED: Pappè is a Marxist. Marxists have a particular way of analysing. That all history is down to a battle between oppressed and oppressor. I don’t trust them. I know of none whose views I find useful. Sometimes I’m asked about China. How is it that China, a self-avowed Marxist-Leninist state, has done so well in the last forty years? And the answer is simple: they have done well exactly and precisely to the extent that they have given up, not followed, Marxism-Leninism. As soon as they veer back to M/L, they lose their zip. As is happening now. There’s nothing good about Marxism-Leninism. Not time. No where. And I’m seeking here as a guy that lived in China when it was way more hewing to the M/L playbook, back in the 1970s. It was that that made me hate socialism. 

Thursday 26 October 2023

Proportionality in Gaza war

The west left view is: Hamas can attack Israel, because [Choose one: 75 years/56 years] of oppression. Israel has "the right to self-defence" BUT must "follow international law", AND call an immediate cease fire and lay down arms.

International law not like we've been told. Does not include proportionality in terms of body count, as we've been told. Does not count provision of water and electricity as we've been told.

Wednesday 25 October 2023

We Shouldn’t Have to Deal with This

The classics-educated Lotus Eaters have a whinge 

More China Pabulum | Gaza war unicorns

Note the “but” highlighted above (“every country has the right to self-defence, but…”). Genius FM Wang Yi warns us.

As if Israel has not been ensuring exactly that — operating according to international law — before the invasion of northern Gaza. 

By the way, “abiding by international law” does not mean a country at war is obliged to supply the water and electricity to an enemy bent on its slaughter. Not to mention that Israel supplies only 10% of Gaza water. And that there is water and electricity in the south to which northern Gazans have been directed — with guaranteed safety by the IDF —  but which Hamas is stopping happening because to them the more civilians killed the better.

Hamas “health authorities” still being trusted for figures above, despite their outright lies on the hospital “bombing”.

Oh… and the “two state resolution”! Gee! Hadn’t thought of that!

Only that it’s been offered to the Palestinians and rebuffed by the Palestinians in 1938, 1947, 1967, 1990, 2000, 2005 and 2008. 

What, please tell us, China, is different now? 

The answer is: Precisely nothing. Indeed Hamas is more dug in than ever on the “Three Nos” — no negotiations, no recognition, no peace. And now even the PA on the West Bank, allegedly the moderates, are for “Palestine, free from the river to the sea”, iow, for One State and the consequent liquidation of all Jews. The PA continue to pay lifetime pensions to families of Palestinians who have murdered a Jew in Israel. 

These are people Wang thinks Israel can have a “lasting and just peace” with? “Tell him he’s dreamin’…”.

The west must have the guts to put the torch where it must be. On Hamas, AND the Palestinian Authority, to change the “3 Nos”. Until then, no more money to UNWRA, the world’s most deeply corrupt NGO.
The difficulty is obvious: in western countries the pro Palestinian forces are so strong governments will have a hard time resisting them. It’s now fine in London to fly a Palestinian flag, but not the Union Jack. Go figure.

ADDED: By the way, can China name one war in which no actions have “harmed civilians”? 

No, I thought not.

Brief history of Israel

Click for the video 
Alan Dershowitz wrote a best seller in the history of the middle-east war.

Asks for viewers to tell him where he’s got facts wrong. One is that he forgot to mention in 1967 the Israel deal with Egypt included Israel handing back The Sinai to Egypt. And offered to hand back lads taken in the Six Day War in return for recognition. But was met with the “Three Nos”. Which exist to this day.

Two State Solution was offered in 1938, 1948, 1968, 1990, 2000, 2005 and 2008. EVERY TIME the offer was rebuffed by the Palestinians. 

Dershowitz was there for many of the key moments, in this grim never ending battle.

By the way, Netanyahu did NOT support and enhance Hamas. What he did is play them off against the Palestinians government in the West Bank. Which any politician would do. Especially one who is openly against the Two State Solution, as should anyone be who is still connected to reality. 

Tuesday 24 October 2023

Shanghai Pudong, October 2013

Ted talks | Gaza war

I’ve been following Coleman Hughes for many years, since he was a young postgrad, and he’s come such a long way as a philosopher, podcaster, writer.

His Ted talk in colour blindness is well worth watching. And then wonder at the contortions of Ted leadership in response to delicate staff sensitivities.

Here he is above talking to two titans of the philosopher class, Glenn Loury and John McWhorter.

On Gaza their conclusions are pretty grim.

Monday 23 October 2023

International Law expert owns the BBC, re Gaza War

The BBC "journalist" can't wait to close out the interview when she's been hammered by Natasha Hausdorff.

Shame on the BBC!

Sent from my iPad

A classic piece of “at-the-same-time-ism” from Mike Rowse. Israel-Gaza war

Click above for larger. Online here
This is a revolting piece by Mike Rowse. He claims to be "neutral" while being pro-Hamas and anti-Israel. Hamas is bad, but “at the same time”.... so is Israel.
Hamas "behaviour is unforgivable"… but must be forgiven, by Israel, by not responding!?
Thus, and at the same time Israel stopping water and electricity to Gaza is "a war crime". 
Never mind that that's not the case: Israel supplies only 10% of Gaza's water while water supplies to South Gaza continue, an area to which Gazans have been urged, by Israel, to move, to ensure their safety, while Hamas stops them moving there! Because — we must mark this well — Hamas wants its own people killed and wounded by the IDF. To show the world how horrid the Jews are. The more children dead, in the rubble, the better! Hamas say openly that they use their own people, women and children among them, as human shields. They say it openly. 
"Neutral" people like Rowse (!) find it impossible to point this out.
No, no mention of all these thing in Rowse's horrid piece of moral equivalence. No mention of these big, big differences in moral treatments of the other.
Again: Rowse claims the hospital bombing might be Hamas or might be Israel. No, it can't. We know to a moral certainty that it was a failed rocket from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. We know this from evidence of video, radar and voice. 
Yet to Rowse it "doesn't really matter who did it". Oh, yes it does! 
The false belief that it was Israel led to attacks on Jews and Israeli properties around the world including a fire-bombing of the Israeli embassy in London.
Lies have consequences, Mike!
Smoothly sinuous at the start of his piece, Rowse soon lapses into "both sides-ism", aka "at the same time-ism".
We all agree: children being killed in both sides is a tragedy. At the same time, do you stop it by laying down your arms, in a ceasefire, when you are the only moral side?

Real truths that should be told after the Indigenous voice to parliament referendum

Geoffrey Blainey The Australian October 21, 2023

History Professor Laureate

It must be hard for a prime minister to admit that he has been crushingly defeated in an electoral contest that he originally expected to win with ease. In one segment of his speech last Saturday night, Anthony Albanese praised himself as a bold man of conviction – as if he had actually won the referendum.
Many viewers who at first sympathised with the Prime Minister on television regretted that he did not directly congratulate the two Aboriginal leaders who especially defeated him.
Only one sentence was needed. He failed to speak that sentence. Yet in our long political history this probably was the most significant public victory yet achieved by Aboriginal campaigners. Moreover, they had fully digested and then condemned the controversial Uluru Statement from the Heart, but Albanese had not even digested it. As a political leader he has his merits, but command of crucial detail is not yet one of them. Alongside him on election night was Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney. She offered no congratulations to Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, the talented senator by whom she had been overshadowed and outgunned this year.

In the past 60 years there were notable victories in achieving Aboriginal goals but they owed more to mainstream or white Australian political leaders The victories also owed as much to High Court judges. Here was a unique event – a national triumph for two true-blue Aboriginal leaders, Nyunggai Warren Mundine and Price.

Crucial to the national debate is the health of Indigenous people. It is often proclaimed to be a matter of urgency, almost of shame, that they have a “life expectancy eight years shorter than non-Indigenous Australians”.

Sunday 22 October 2023

Hamas Luvvie thoughts on Gaza

WhatsApp this morning, from old chums, now full-on Hamas Luvvies

What on earth? 

“... west back of gaza.” Maybe means West Bank and Gaza, though West Bank not currently in the war. 

Note: no “crying” for the dead Israeli children, deliberately targeted, tortured, raped and killed by Hamas. Nothing. No tears for them. Well done, ladies!

Another nakba”. No it isn’t. And the first one, the first so-called “nakba” also wasn’t, as the name suggests, another holocaust. A Holocaust is a holocaust. Meaning the systematic killing of one people. That’s not what happened in 1948. And it’s not what’s happening today. Away with your moral equivalence, it doesn’t work here. 

and the world watches. and does nothing.” No it doesn’t. Paragons of morality and freedom like China, Russia and the Arab League are calling for a “ceasefire”. Biden has visited and called for “ceasefire”. Like that’s the first thing you do in a war. Lay down your arms. 

The war was started by Hamas’ murderous attack -- against all international legal norms -- killing children, women, non-combatants and the elderly. And the war was formally declared by Israel. So they are at WAR. And they, the IDF, are warning people in Gaza to move to safety before they move in. To try to kill Hamas. And Hamas is stopping their own people from moving to safety. But who’s the villain? According to the jew-hating numbskulls above? The Jews of course. 

This is a truly revolting WhatsApp from well-meaning but deluded Australians. Calling, essentially, for the victory of Hamas. And the death of Jews. I call them out: they are more than anti-semitic. Being on Hamas’ side, they are on the side of Jew killers. That’s it. Sorry to say it, but it is. 


ADDED: please note that they above are in Egypt. Which has a border with Gaza and that border is closed. Has been since Gaza was handed back to the Palestinians by Israel in 2005. 

Because Egypt don’t want Palestinian refugees in Egypt. Because they don’t want Hamas to come in with them. Because everything Hamas touches turns to dust. But no apparent realisation of that from the numbskulls above. 

And neither do the other neighbouring states: Lebanon, Jordan, Syria. None of them want to take Palestinian refugees. 

Also: note the the major demos happening around the world, the “pro-Palestinian” demos, which are actually pro-Hamas, are all in western countries, New York, London, Sydney, Paris. Not a single one in a Muslim state. Consider that. 

ADDED (ii): I’ve done that part of the world in a classic car, a 1962 Mustang, in 2011. Blog here. I’m thinking: should I suggest to these two that they could make the trip to Rafeh, on the border of Egypt with Gaza. It’s 10km, so not narrow. And yet closed. They could ask why is it closed? Why has it been closed since Gaza became Hamas? And then ask Gaza people: why don’t you let your own people come to safety in the South of Gaza?

Attack on Free Speech: Australia’s Misinformation Bill explained

click above for the video
I worried about this when I first heard about it, and made my own submission: namely that it ought be scrapped (“Bin the Bill”). As this video concludes. 

Thing is: the Albanese government is so convinced (wrongly!) that they lost the Voice referendum because of “misinformation” that they’re going to go all out for this ACMA bill. 

If passed, and I really fear it will, this will be the gravest threat to free speech in Australia in my lifetime. 

Coleman Hughes on Colour blindness

Click above for video 
A top young philosopher, Coleman Hughes.

Australia: MPs have lost their Voice when it comes to protecting Indigenous kids from abuse

Ocarina Jones
MPs have lost their Voice when it comes to protecting Indigenous kids from abuse
Vikki Campion Herald Sun October 20, 2023
You can drape the nation in red, black and yellow flags, and open every meeting with a Welcome to Country, but until you stop vulnerable children from being… pic.twitter.com/Oyd3AsPG06
21/10/2023, 8:50 am

The Labor Party in Australia are smearing Jacinta Nampijimpa Price -- the driving force behind the No campaign -- by denying her call for a Royal Commission into Indigenous Child Sexual Abuse. Something she knows a lot about and needs addressing. But in a fit of pique at losing the referendum, the Labor Party are saying that she’s “weaponising” the issue. She’s the one weaponising! Gross.

... no one is living on the lands of their ancestors

"There shall be no hierarchy of descent" — Bob Hawke, PM, 1988

Our own family was kicked out of Scotland in the 19th Century. Lost all our land. Should we go back for reparations? The whole issue is absurd when you consider not a single person in Australia today was here when the British landed. Not a one. And the oldest person in the land, today, is pretty close to being our mother, Mutti, at rising 103...

Oh... and how is it that we all genuflect before First Nations, in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States, etc... but there is no concept of First Nations in Israel? 

Try being LGBTQ+ in GAZA+