Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Urgent Statement: Flogging of Raif Badawi will resume - Fondation Raif Badawi

Ref my earlier post in which I criticised Lyse Doucet of the BBC for all but excusing Saudi nastiness by her bogus moral equivalence, here we have the real Saudi Arabia: flogging people for their views.

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Aliou Toure and Saudi Arabia

Letter to BBC:
Interesting interview with Aliou Toure. Though I wonder why he wasn't queried about his statements of "so-called Sharia" and that the "prophet" never forced people to convert at the tip of the sword.
Both Islamic Sharia law and Muhammad's "swording" are well attested to in Islamic doctrine and practice.
Then you have Lyse Doucet talking about Saudi Arabia's concern over our criticism of their human rights record (they demand "respect") in terms that seemed to implicate the west as much as them. (Eg: The west also has countries with the death penalty).
In other words bogus cultural equivalence.
Saudi Arabia is a horrid outfit. They are second in the world for executions per capita and first for those for non-violent crimes. They execute gays and women who have been raped. For this they demand "respect"??
And no mention, not a word, by Lyse of Saudi's Wahhabist support of extremist Madrasas all over the world. Those that bred the likes of Mohamad Atta of 9/11 infamy.
Get a grip, BBC.
Islam is not Peace.
And Saudi is the worst of "allies ". We can and should do without their black oil. Black. Oily. Nasty.
Peter Forsythe.
Siena one
Hong Kong.

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Simon Schama's migration muddle>> The Spectator

I'd earlier watched Simon Schama sliming Rod Liddle on Question Time, it's good to see his response, which is pretty much summed up in the headline.
Note the reference to the charity Human Relief Foundation which found that 97% of the "refugees" at the camps in Calais are in fact economic migrants not refugees at all.
Trying to pin down the figures a bit more I've come across figures from the European Union's Eurostat that reveals: 80% of the "migrants" are not from Syria. And it's the escape from the Syrian war that's the prime rationale for Mad Merkel's open door policy.
If you've got the wrong data you get wrong answers.

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Thursday, 22 October 2015

Incitement: The Engine Driving Global Terrorism, Part II - Arutz Sheva

I remember many years ago a documentary on Israel and Palestine called something like "Mohammad and Moses". The concept was as simple as it was fascinating: filmmakers in Gaza and in Israel would film children, their families and their schooling. Each filmmaker was given free rein to make whatever film they wanted, but was not allowed to see what their opposite number had done. And there was a limit to each, 30 minutes IIRC, to make a one hour joint documentary.
What jumped out of the final merging of the two halves was this: that in the "Mohammad" half the children were constantly told to hate Jews and that their goal in life was to kill them. In the "Moses" half the children were taught things like the classic "3 Rs", and tolerance for other views.
This is what makes Israel a 21st century start-up economy. And what makes Gaza a 12th century blow-up economy.
The article below I just came across in wandering the Intertubes this morning and covers this education / indoctrination of Arab children in jihadism and death cultism. It shows that what happens in the "Mohammad " part of the above doco is still going on. Indeed, it's got worse and more pervasive. Indoctrination and incitement to murder Jews is now ubiquitous in the Arab world.
This is clear: Jews could give up the West Bank and Israel itself. They could vacate the Middle East entirely. And the terror would not stop. For it's holy war, against the Jews and infidels. Some may not wish to admit this for it seems a counsel of despair. But the fact that it's uncomfortable and tough to face doesn't make it not true.
The article below is longish. But it's authoritative and well researched. It repays careful reading.

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Wednesday, 21 October 2015

What the Great British Bake Off really says about Britain » The Spectator

Rod Liddle at his usual dry, sharp, puckish best.
"There is massive public opposition to more immigration -- and rightly so in my opinion. Nor does it [the win of a Muslima in "The Great British Bake Off] gainsay Theresa May's point that unlimited numbers of migrants will make a cohesive society problematic".

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To the BBC, murdering apostates and CRITICISING the murder of apostates is the same thing

This is an interesting case of bogus moral equivalence, because it's so subtle.  One is tempted to think that the BBC is making a hard-hitting documentary on extremism in the UK.
But at the end they wimp out.  They say Anne Marie Waters, head of ShariaWatch, who wants (rightly) to shut down Sharia courts, feels she's been silenced because her cartoon contest was cancelled.  And at the same time Haitham Al Haddad feels he's been treated unfairly for his views.  So, all a wash, right?  Each has their grievance.
But Ms Waters was silenced.  And Al Haddad is being criticised for preaching that Sunnis shouldn't marry Shia (let alone infidels), that homosexuals and apostates should be killed.
There's no moral equivalence here, except to those that are blind to morals.
One weeps for the UK. That the bearded barbarians like Haddad, not only get a voice (fair enough), but that they're also treated with respect.  They ought to be laughed out of the country.  Or at least laughed out of the public square.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Sam Harris On Progressivism, Torture, Religion & Foreign Policy

I listened to this last night.  You have to be a bit of a nerd for these issues to stay through the two hours, though it does repay attention.
I wrote to Sam as follows:
Hi Sam, I enjoyed the above talk.  
Right at the end, Kyle [Kulinski] said something like US world wide actions since WW2 were "beyond disastrous".  You seemed to agree. (Though perhaps it was too late in the day to take him on)
In my view, Kulinski is plain wrong in that judgement. 
After WW2 (into which America was dragged), there was the Marshall Plan, extraordinary generous and beneficial to the rebuilding of Europe.  Then came GATT (later WTO), which hugely increased world wealth.  To protect this growth, the US became world policeman, something most countries welcomed.  When the Soviet Union allied with China and  Kruschev said "we will bury you" (the west), the US countered the growth of communism (surely a correct instinct), which led to Vietnam, sad and disastrous, to be sure, but not motivated by "colonialism" or "imperialism".
After Kissinger and Nixon opened up relations with China, that led to Deng Xiaoping and the subsequent extraordinary, unprecedented growth in wealth (or, if you will, reduction in poverty), which continues to this day. 
And throughout this time post-war, the US has been far and away the largest donor of aid to the world (remember, just one example, the Tsunami floods of Dec 2004.  The first and largest aid and assistance came from the US).
I'm guessing you were a bit tired by the end, otherwise you may have taken on Kulinski's views, which on this issue seemed to be Chomsky redux.
The counter, in sum, is: Marshall Plan, GATT/WTO, Aid, World Police.  (and haven't even mentioned the UN, which the US initiated and to which it remains the largest donor).

Indonesian authorities demolish churches in Aceh - BBC News

Indonesia is in one of only two Islam-majority countries in the world (Malaysia is the other) cited as being examples of tolerant Islam.
Yet in both Islamic Sharia law is spreading. And as it spreads, intolerance of other religions and of minorities spreads.
It is part of a pattern of growing religious intolerance across Indonesia where Christian and minority Muslim Shia and Ahmadi communities say they feel under threat.
The wonders of Islam.

Monday, 19 October 2015

They only watch Fox for the comments. Alex Lo, “My Take”, 19 October

My letter to the South China Morning Post:
Alex Lo should speak for himself when he says that most men only watch the Fox news channel to see the “foxy anchors” and for “that nano-second when they re-cross their legs and change their sitting position…”. (They only watch Fox for the comments.  Alex Lo, “My Take”, 19 October.).
He really gives himself away here.
The anchors on Fox that Lo mentions — Ainsley Earhardt, Heather Childers, Sandra Smith and Megyn Kelly — are all smart and educated women. Between them they have won many journalism awards.  Kelly, for one, was a senior partner at a law firm and since moving to Fox she has hit hard not just “hapless Democrats” (Lo’s term), but also at those on the right — her jousts with Karl Rove and Donald Trump being two famous examples.  Childers, sneers Lo, was a beauty queen.  For this she deserves to be derided?
I say this as someone more of the left than the right.  My default TV news setting is the BBC.  But I also turn to Fox from time to time.  They are indeed to the right and some have called them a mouthpiece for the Republican party. They’re not really that, but even if they were, so what?  We — including Lo, I assume — prefer two-party or multi-party systems of government.  So why should we expect that all TV news should be from one view only, those to the left, such as HLN, CNN, MSNBC?  I’ve never understood why people want to see only that which echoes their own views.
By the way, I note that Lo’s “leg-crossing” genre of political reporting is just as much alive and well on left of centre HLN network.  What about it, Alex?  How about slamming them too? Or are the Hotties at HLN to be given a free pass, unlike the Foxies at Fox?
The only “crime” of these female anchors at Fox, according to Lo, is that they also happen to be attractive.  Surely, for a man of the principled Left, it should be out of bounds to launch ad hominem attacks on women for their looks, good or bad.  
This column of Lo’s is arrogant, creepy, condescending, misogynist and hypocritical crap (and that’s not ad hominem!). He should be ashamed of it.
My suggestion to Lo comes from the title of his daily column, “My Take”. Open mouth. Take out foot.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Islam was 'never part of Europe': Hungary's Orban

Hungary's Orban is spot on -- that is, historically correct -- in this statement of facts.  Islam did indeed "come"  to Europe.  It came in invading waves, until driven back at the Gates of Vienna and at the Battle of Tours.
And in the latest wave, it's encouraged by Merkel's Madness...

The Cycle of Violence in Israel -

The New York Times, in its editorial on 17 October, makes the astonishing claim that "all Palestinians" acknowledge Israel's right to exist.
This is a patent falsehood. Hamas, for just one, seeks not only the obliteration of Israel, but also the genocidal hunting down and killing of Jews wherever they are.
Building on this falsehood, the Times goes on to call for the independent Palestinian state alongside Israel. But how can this happen when the handing over of Gaza to Palestinians led only to more attacks on Israel. Israel would have to be wildly, blindly suicidal to hand over the West Bank without rather more copper-bottomed guarantees than have ever been given by Palestinians, that the WB would not be a larger base to pincer-kill Israel.
Palestinians have had many chances to accept peace and coexistence with Israel since 1948 but have blown every one.
Here's the offending (to me) quote from the Times:
"... breaking these cycles of violence will require more than self-defense. It will require creating an independent Palestinian state alongside an Israel whose right to exist is fully acknowledged by all Palestinians."

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Friday, 16 October 2015

A note on Jeremy Corbyn

As J B Morton said of vegetarians (of which Corbyn is one):
"Vegetarians have wicked, shifty eyes, and laugh in a cold calculating manner. They pinch little children, steal stamps, drink water, favor beards."

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Survey: Atheists, Agnostics Know More About Religion Than Religious : The Two-Way : NPR

I kinda guessed that we atheists knew more about the "holy" books than the holy themselves. I've never met a Muslim, for example, who knew the Koran better than I, and I've read the bible, faithfully, even, more closely than all Christians I've known.
But it's nice to have the research prove that's the case, which I've only just come across:

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The Strangely Twinkling Star Offering Us Dreams of Vast Galactic Civilizations

Stay tuned for possible evidence of advanced extra-terrestrial civilisation. One that IF proven would be way more advanced than ours.
This is not crack-pottery but sound scientific speculation. Mind, it's still a real loooong shot.

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Wednesday, 7 October 2015

China shows the world it can lead the battle against climate change

As I've pointed out from time to time: China is a major polluter, but also now a leader in green technologies. That included being largest maker and user of wind and solar.
Kamilia Lahrichi
Kamilia Lahrichi says now China has made environmental concerns a priority, it has quickly become a trendsetter in the global warming fight
Amid all the discussions at the UN about climate change efforts, Beijing has emerged as a trendsetter that has made great strides towards sustainability. The Asian giant is still the planet's largest carbon emitter, but it now stands out among its peers by offering a blueprint for environmentally friendly urbanisation and low-carbon growth. In particular, its sustainable cities - like Tianjin Eco-city, the world's largest - are innovative solutions to rapid industrialisation.
Beijing was congratulated at the UN for its groundbreaking efforts. Werner Obermeyer, deputy executive director of the World Health Organisation, acknowledged China's significant efforts to redesign transport routes, relocate polluting industries and set up more green spaces.
The reality is that the catastrophic consequences of global warming have stirred a greater environmental consciousness in the Chinese leadership
China's determination to cut air pollution seems to be paying off: a 2015 London School of Economics report found that Beijing was close to meeting its climate goals five years ahead of schedule. While the US is grappling with meeting its commitment to curb greenhouse gases, China's carbon emissions will peak by 2025 instead of 2030, as initially agreed. Its emissions will then decrease, the study found.
The reality is that the catastrophic consequences of global warming have stirred a greater environmental consciousness in the Chinese leadership. President Xi Jinping's speeches about his country's efforts to combat climate change were a leitmotiv during his first tour of the US as well as during his first speech as head of state to the UN General Assembly last month.
Air pollution is still a problem in China, but Beijing's efforts are beginning to pay off. Photo: AFPXi announced he would launch a cap-and-trade programme to lower carbon emissions by 2017. This national limit forces companies to buy credits to pollute. He also gave away US$3.1 billion to help developing nations tackle climate change. In addition, Xi declared, along with US President Barack Obama, specific plans to cut the number of coal-fired power plants
China's strategy is more than just a longing for an environmentally friendly planet: authorities have taken practical steps to contribute to global climate security.
Beijing has cut the number of cars in several cities to ease congestion while offering discounts on electric and hybrid vehicles to encourage the use of renewable and sustainable transport, and to show that a country of 1.3 billion people can be environmentally sustainable. This way, China is proving it can play by international rules and make a significant difference to global warming.
Kamilia Lahrichi is a foreign correspondent and recipient of the 2014 United Nations Foundation's "Global Issues" Journalism Fellowship. [1]

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Saturday, 3 October 2015

Islam Versus Islamism: Inside the Mind of an Anti-Anti-Jihadist | PJ Media

I've done the analysis myself and came up with a figure of 7% - this being the maximum percentage of Muslims in a society beyond which there is no nation on earth which rates at the top of the Human Freedom index. Here the figure is ten percent. Not much difference. And figures that many countries in the west are bumping up against.
This also covers the vexed issue of the difference between Islam and Islamism.

What is th@ thing?

Courtesy Sam Borden in the New York Times I learn that the thing we call "at", the @, is called different things in other languages.
In Danish it's "elephant's trunk", in Polish it's "monkey", in Dutch it's "monkey's tail", in Czech it's "rolled up fish fillet" in Greek it's "duckling".
In Hungarian it's a "worm", in Italian it's a "snail", in Ukrainian it's a "dog", in Taiwanese it's a "mouse".
Interesting, what?
I wonder why our word for @ in English is far the most prosaic of this lot.

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Friday, 2 October 2015

Never Stop Lying : How to Pass as a 'Moderate Muslim' in the Media : Sam Harris

My hero, Sam Harris. Much maligned right now. But spot on, on so much about religion and Islam in particular.

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The Helper

A sweet story of the domestic helpers in Hong Kong, focused on those here in Discovery Bay. The choir master of the "Unsung Heroes", Jane Engleman, I know from about 20 years ago, when we were both in a play at the Arts Centre, produced by the American Community Theatre.

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Europe's asylum seekers: Who they are, where they want to be | Pew Research Center

I've been wondering who would do an analysis of the immigrant waves to Europe. Who are they? Where do they come from?
At least PEW makes a start.
What we still don't know is the likely percent who are Islamist or supportive of extremist Islamism. Hard to figure, to be sure. But a start must be made on that. For it's not a moot point. The answer to that question is going to affect the very nature, the very future, of Europe -- at least as the open and tolerant societies they have been for going on a century.
Is this the century in which all that changes? For the worst?

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$10 Million Saudi Yale Gift the Tip of a $100 Billion Iceberg | Clarion Project

Yet more evidence of the horrid Saudi Arabia at work, subverting it so-called "allies", the US and other western countries. When will we ditch this perversion of a country. Be done with them.

12 Hair-Raising Facts from Congressional Terror Report | Clarion Project