Monday, 29 May 2017

A Council America Shouldn't Keep (Anne Bayefsky) | WSJ

This appeared in the Wall Street Journal and Human Rights Voices (the latter the link below). 
It's truly a sick joke that Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Pakistan and China should be on the United Nations' Human Rights Council at all. But then to add insult to injury for this Council to bully Israel ceaselessly, and promote the disgusting BDS movement really does it for me. And should also for the United States as Anne Bayefsky argues. 
Please can the US pull out of this disgrace of an organisation. 

Here is the full text:

How Nationalism Can Solve the Crisis of Islam - WSJ

I found this article by Sohrab Ahmari terribly interesting and Pierre Manent's thesis convincing.
> More Nationalism, less multiculturalism/internationalism

A grand bargain with French Muslims:
> We lighten up on you (less laicite)

> And you accept us (less, well... you know)

> But understand: France is never to be an Islamic state [PF comment: this the toughest sell given Muslims think Islam must be a universal magisterium].

(The above simplifies it crudely. Mament's argument is much more nuanced).
I'm generally pretty pessimistic about Islam in Europe. I tend to think that's it's almost too late. The number of Muslims in Europe mean they affect voting outcomes and strengthen the push for sharia law. I almost think that that's inevitable. And that would be a dire outcome for Europe -- where do you see a state under sharia law that works well? (Think Saudi, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Aceh).
If there's any hope at all, any cause for optimism, then perhaps it's the ideas of the French intellectual Pierre Mament.
And for that they need careful attention.
(Article is subscription only).

"Nothing to do with Islam" -- the parental warmaking version.

I read somewhere this morning, perhaps in the International New York Times, that one of the motivators of Saman Amer, the Manchester Mass Murderer, may have been... that he witnessed his father in action in Libya, in the fight to overthrow Col. Gaddafi. Violence normalised violence for him. And that's why he killed 22 random young ones.
But... but.... In that case why wasn't there a mass outbreak of terrorism or random murders after WW2? Plenty of kids saw their parents, fathers mostly, waging violence during that war. And plenty more violent than the Libyan skirmishes, I'd wager.
So I'm going to add this excuse to the growing pantheon that makes up the glorious genre -- "Nothing To Do With Islam". 

Doctors dismiss Islam’s link to terrorism

Hee hee.. even doctors getting into the "nothing-to-do-with-islam" game.
Or, as they're described by one of the commenters -- which are running pretty much 100% against the good doctors - - calls this submission "Doctors Without Frontal Lobes". I know a number of doctors and most (all?) would not buy into this nonsense of Islam having "nothing to do" with Islam.

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Manchester attack: It is pious and inaccurate to say Salman Abedi's actions had 'nothing to do with Islam' | The Independent

As I've been saying for a long time; perhaps a touch too often. Terrorism by Muslims: It really is to do with Islam. 

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Amir Khan accuses terrorists of "twisting Islam" as he urges people to turn in would-be bombers - Mirror Online

When it comes to the latest jihadist atrocity, one of the variations of the "it's-nothing-to-do-with-Islam" crowd is that the murderous jihadis are "twisting Islam".
So says British boxer Amir Khan.
As usual with such apologists they never say in what way the murdering jihadis are "twisting", or "perverting" or "hijacking" their Religion of Peace™.
Amir Khan says killing of "innocents" is not allowed in the Koran. Problem is, that's not correct. First: if you're an unbeliever, that is not a Muslim I are by definition not innocent. You're fair game.
The one and only verse that mentions innocents (5.33) is qualified. And in any case has a monster loophole -- creating "mischief in the land", renders the innocent guilty, with "mischief" widely defined.
Khan may not know this. Or if he does, he hides it as do many Muslim apologists.
The plain fact of the matter is that the Koran is chock full of verses that tell Muslims to kill infidels. You don't have to cherry pick to find these verses. They are in every page. The cherry picking is to find the peaceable passages. They're few and far between and even then qualified, as is the one mentioned above.
Khan has another angle: that there are good and bad in every religion. Yes. But. Has he not noticed that it's virtually always it's Muslims?
Just today we hear that 38 Coptic Christians in Egypt were randomly gunned down on a bus. Murdered for being Christian. One guess the religion of the shooters.

[I should give Khan his due: asking fellow Muslims to turn in suspected bombers is good!]

LATER. I just heard the main Imam of Manchester say they the Manchester mass murderer had issues, psychological, familial and so forth. A twist on the "nothingtodowithislam" line.
Why not more self reflection from a religion that makes such claims for itself. Instead of reflexive defensiveness and deflection.

Unfathomable Evil | Comment | The Times & The Sunday Times

Your recent leader suggests that "what drives suicide bombers to mass murder may forever be a mystery...". (Unfathomable Evil, 24 May). 
This is nonsense. 
What drives suicide bombers can only be an "unfathomable mystery" if one staunchly refuses to believe what they themselves say drives them. 
ISIS inspires most of this mass murder. It has made it crystal clear why it does so in an article Why We Hate You & Why We Fight You (Dabiq, Issue 15, p.30). Grievance over the west's allegedly anti-Islam foreign policy is one reason.  But even without grievance ISIS will still fight and kill us because we are "... disbelieving enemies of Allah". And if a Muslim is killed in a "martyrdom operation" they will go straight to heaven. 
Pace your claim that ISIS "... distorts religion beyond recognition", many Muslim and non-Muslim scholars admit the sound theological basis of ISIS' actions, brutal as they may be. 
We need to understand that people like Salman Abedi really do believe what they say they believe. Kill unbelievers and go to heaven. Thus is the "mystery" cleared up. 
By the same logic terrorists are not the "nihilists" you charge. Nihilism is defined as the rejection of all religious and moral principles. Clearly they do believe in religious and moral principles. To be sure not the same ones which we in the liberal west hew to; but they are sincerely held. They are thus clear motivators for the sort of carnage carried out last week in Manchester. 
Please let's not be wilfully ignorant of these facts or we shall never be able to overcome the ideology which wants to kill our young ones simply because they don't believe the same god the terrorists do. 
PF, etc...

Thursday, 25 May 2017

The Manchester Attack and the Myth of the ‘Lone Wolf’

This article is spot on. Enough of these sillies who say we just have to "get used" to being bombed by theocratic madmen. (Of course that's not how they put it, but that's what it amounts to). 
That attitude reminds me of the satirical beginning of the brilliant movie, Brazil, by Terry Gilliam. A couple with a baby in a pram are walking across the screen. Suddenly the shop behind them explodes. They're unhurt and just continue walking. The new normal. 
Trump was right in his call to Muslim countries in Riyadh the other day: "drive them out". Drive out the terrorists. 
That ought to be the call also to Muslims in western countries. Drive them out; drive the terrorists out of your societies. 
Maajid Nawaz's mate says it's not good enough to tackle the fire. Muslim communities must fight the sparks. Those sparks are the ideology of Islam. Islamic ideology: the brilliant destructive meme that Mohammad stole from half digested parts of Judaism and Christianity and crafted into a uniquely toxic and murderous ideology. 
That's what must be faced and driven out.

A Steady Diet of Anti-Israel Rhetoric

Barghouti the killer arrested.  Western lefties are as fascinated with him
as young women with serial killers.
This article --  A steady diet of Anti-Israel Rhetoric -- by Gilead Ini in the Jerusalem Post has been sitting on my desk since I arrived back from Israel.
While in Israel I saw Barghouti's wife on CNN. She was complaining about torture of her husband, lack of medical attention and illegal detention.  I know people in Israel who have worked in that system, and who deny all of those accusations. From what I've read and seen over the years, I'd give credence to the Israeli views on this, not the Palestinian.  While CNN gave plenty of time to her, it gave a nodding glance to the Israeli position only at the end, and in passing: that Barghouti is a convicted mass killer of innocent civilians.
See an earlier post of mine on how they speak with two tongues: how nice and peaceful they are to Trump and the west; how bloodthirsty to kill jews to their own audience.

Gilead says:
The idea that Marwan Barghouti is a political prisoner is no less a fantasy than the idea that Abbas accepts Israel’s Jewishness.

The New York Times' decision to publish an article by a convicted killer hasn’t been particularly well received. The author of the op-ed, Marwan Barghouti, is serving multiple life sentences in Israel for his involvement in terrorist attacks targeting Jews. But readers were given no indication that Barghouti has the blood of five innocent people on his hands. Instead, Times opinion editors characterized him merely as “a Palestinian leader and parliamentarian.”

This sanitized description, which fit rather too neatly with Barghouti’s attempt to cast himself as a political prisoner, prompted waves of criticism. Even the Times’ own public editor faulted the newspaper for withholding “details that help people make judgments about the opinions they’re reading.” (One such judgment readers might have made, if only they had been properly informed, is whether a man willing to murder Israelis might also be willing to lie about them in a newspaper column.)

Israel continues to be unfairly singled out by United Nations and world

Singer means the 2006 establishment of the “Human Rights Council”.
Of which -- scandalously -- Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iraq are members.
Catching up on a letter that covers the issue well...  Yonden Lhatoo is an apologist for Islamic and Palestinian terrorism.  Not sure if he’s a fool or a knave, though. 
Since this article and letter, 100% of US Senators have complained about the UN's unfair and unbalanced treatment of Israel.
Letter in full:
Yonden Lhatoo rhetorically asks in his column (“Israel’s perplexing hold over America allows it to treat global opinion with contempt”, December 29), what it is about Israel that entitles it to treat the collective will of the world with contempt and defy the UN.
The answer is that Israel continues to be unfairly singled out by the world and the UN in the most biased fashion.
While the Security Council reprimands Israel, two permanent members of that council, China and Russia, are themselves occupying powers. China occupies Tibet and Russia occupies, just most recently, Crimea.
These are just two of the most brazen examples of UN members that occupy territory.
There are literally 200 disputed territories in the world, including Cyprus, which Turkey partially occupies, and Western Sahara, which Morocco occupies. Yet, the UN singularly decries Israel’s so-called occupation of “Palestinian territories”.
Are these territories in fact “occupied”? The facts are clear. Israel took these lands in a defensive war in 1967 from Jordan, not from the Palestinians. The UN offered the Palestinians a country in 1947, but the Palestinians rejected it. Palestinian land was not taken, because there was not then, nor has there ever been, a sovereign country called Palestine.
Even conceding these lands as “occupied”, it has been Israel, time and time again, that has offered peaceful resolutions to the conflict, including painful territorial concessions. In 2000, Israel offered more than 90 per cent of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Yasser Arafat simply rejected the offer.
In 2008, Israel offered nearly 100 per cent of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, including east Jerusalem, but the Palestinians again rejected it. In 2005, Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza. The Palestinian response was to launch more than 10,000 rockets and missiles into Israel over the course of the last 10 years.
Israel deems the UN biased. The UN Human Rights Council is another prime example. Since its founding in 2006, it has condemned Israel more than 60 times, while condemning every country in the entire world collectively only a dozen times. No rational person could possibly believe that Israel is a greater violator of human rights than North Korea and Syria, but the UN seems to think so.
Lhatoo suggests that the US Congress is “Israel-occupied territory”, but it is not the US Congress that is occupied by Israel, it is the UN that is occupied by the Palestinians.
Alan Landau, Mid-Levels

22 Uber drivers arrested in undercover Hong Kong police operation | South China Morning Post

We don't want one. We don't want the other. We want both
Let's get one thing straight: the public loves Uber. 
That's my conclusion from friends and neighbours who have used the service. I'm sure a government consultation would confirm this. 
So why is the government sending the police to entrap Uber drivers?  ("22 Uber drivers arrested in undercover Hong Kong police operation", May 24). What a waste of police time and our public money. 
The civil service is there to serve we the public. Instead of harassing Uber they ought to be working with the company to regularise its popular service. 
Legco's latest workaround of a premium franchised taxi service seems aimed for the fat cats, given the minimum investment of 200 cars, at a cost of at least $HK 60 million. 
The Transport Department has a sorry history with new technologies. It has banned electric bicycles, for example, because it couldn't be bothered to update its antiquated regulations. 
If Hong Kong wants to retain what's left of our increasingly tattered reputation for efficiency and modernity, the government needs to call off the police and work with Uber. We would then join the other 800+ forward-thinking cities who have embraced modern technology. 
Yours, etc,

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Palestinian lies sink the “two state solution”.

This will do as well as any, as a summary of the duplicity on the Palestinian side.
Israel is always the one pressured to make "compromises" and to stop the "occupation".
If the Palestinian side had really embraced the "land for peace deal", there would have been a deal long ago: in 1948 or 1967 or 2000, for example, or at any time in between.
But the Palestinians speak with two tongues.  One in the west, to the likes of Trump. And one to their own people. This is known to observers, but not to those that don't want to know: lefties and fellow travellers in the west.
The thing is that the west and the lefties only know the Palestinians' western tongue.  The Israelis know the tongue to the Palestinians' own people.
How can you give "land", for a "peace" that will never be? Palestinians have made their children blood libellers. Made their children hate jews.  Made their children would-be suicide killers (their "martyrs").
And this is the Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, the so-called "moderates" in contrast to their Hamas brothers.  Hamas don't even bother hiding their jew hatred.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Hijab, Niqab: you say Vogue, I say mask....

Plenty of choice in ways to be subjugated

The normalisation of the hijab, in Why Evolution is True, by Jerry Coyn

Harsh treatment of women in Mosul, in the WSJ.

Hijab and niqab rooted in patriarchy, in the Toronto Sun

Why did they target women and children?...

The grotesque hedonism of Islam's heaven.  Blessed be the children
Why did the mass murderer choose to kill teens, tweens and their parents, waiting to get home after Arian Grande's concert?
The talking heads on BBC and CNN are saying that it's because they specifically want to instill terror, they want to make people shocked at the barbarity, they want to show up the police as incompetent.  And I'm sure all that's true. But there's more.
What's not noted is this: that the Islamic terrorists consider their targets either innocent or guilty.  And either way is ok.  Innocent go to heaven. Guilty deserve the death that will take them to hell.
The children are innocent. So they will go to heaven, meet Allah and spend eternity in Muhammad's Willy Wonka chocolate factory heaven. And if it's their mums meeting them, well, they are guilty because they're unbelievers -- the very fact of allowing their young'uns to go to a Grande concert is proof.
So, either way, what you're doing is fine by Allah.
ADD: BBC took five hours to mention Islam as the possible source of the terror.  Much earlier were Fox (of course) and CNN.  On Fox, we had the loopy Hannity, but as I've said, he's knowledgeable on Islam.

Breaking: 19 killed in Manchester concert explosion

The Religion of Peace strikes again
Confirmed: the explosion at the end of a concert in Manchester has killed 19, so far, with 50 wounded. A concert attended mainly by young kids, many UM's -- unaccompanied minors. (young infidels, that is). LATER: it was a concert by Ariana Grande, part of her world tour called, with now bitter irony, "Dangerous Woman". (I just looked her up on Wikipedia, and the explosion is *already* there).
A second device found at the scene has just been controlled-exploded. [Later: was maybe just a bundle of clothes].
Confirmed also: by Manchester police that they consider it a terrorist incident.
Not confirmed yet: that it was carried out by adherents of the Religion of Peace™
When it is confirmed as Islamic terrorism (what are the odds?), Idris our Muslim taxi driver will no doubt say that they "misunderstood Islam", that are "not true Muslims". (The "no true Scotsman" fallacy).
He will say that. Because that's what he said in relation to every Islamist attack we asked him about: "Nothing to do with Islam"..
But deep down does he wonder, maybe? Does he wonder why it is that all these "misunderstanders" misunderstand just the one same religion? Does he wonder why there aren't misunderstanding Amish? Or Jains? Or Jews? Or atheists?
Meantime there's news coming that there's been a suicide bomber in the US. Awaiting more on that.
The "nothing to do with Islam" crowd will be clearing their throats just in case.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Saudis and Extremism: ‘Both the Arsonists and the Firefighters’ - The New York Times

Another flip-flop.  Trump said anyone bowing in Saudi would be sent home...
Trump was wrong to praise Saudi and cane Iran.
They're both pretty horrible theocracies.  Both responsible for terrorism.
Iran by its hardware: guns and funds. For Hamas and Hezbollah.
Saudi by its software: money, mosques and madrassas. Across the world including in our own dear west.
As Trump spoke, the Iranians were just coming out of an election where they'd overwhelmingly voted for a "moderate", or what passes for a moderate in the Muslim world.
So, why cane only Iran, and why praise only Saudi.
Why not a bit of grief for Saudi?  Sure, it's hard to criticise a host. But still...
Both of them -- Saudi and Iran -- need carrots and sticks.  They need the US, and the west, more than we need them.

Are there more American atheists than we thought? « Why Evolution Is True

I also like his: "I'm glad god made me an atheist".
Why Evolution is True, reports a recent survey which suggests as many as 30% of Americans may be atheist, in contrast to the more common estimate of 5-10%.
The proposition is that many atheists may "under-report" themselves, because of the hostile anti-atheist culture in the US. The authors of the study use various statistical methodologies to derive their estimate (which they acknowledge may still be out).
Article here.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

“I just choose to not listen”: why Trump supporters are tuning out the scandals - Vox

Who of us wants to listen to stuff that contradicts our fixed notions
This is Vox's take.
Yesterday's New York Times also had an article about how Trump supporters are getting little information -- if they stick to their favourite news sites and news channels -- about the whole Russia / Comey "things".
Mind: both sides are guilty here.  Cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias appear to be ingrained in homo sapiens... (ie, homo not so sapiens).  For various good evolutionary reasons.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Any Half-Decent Hacker Could Break Into Mar-a-Lago - ProPublica

The hackers bobbed in this dinghy, right outside the "southern white house"
Hmmmm.... and it's not just his "southern White House" that is vulnerable. Everywhere else Trump hangs out is vulnerable. To me, it seems to be way worse than Hillary's email issues.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

What Happens When Intelligence Agencies Lose Faith in the President? - The Atlantic

Like so much Trumpism: say something (anything) now, get others to fill
in the details later.  Same as with his "secret plan" to get rid of ISIS....
"... Donald Trump promised to shake up Washington. And what is being shaken is the trust of those who must carry out his orders..."