Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Orlando killings, BBC reporting

From: fu.saisee@gmail.com
Date: 17 June 2016 at 3:51:45 PM HKT
To: "worldhaveyoursay@bbc.co.uk"
Subject: Orlando killings
At about 13:00 yesterday (GMT), on BBC World Service, a presenter had three guests to discuss issues around the Orlando mass murder. They were (something like) Patrick Blackland (sp?), Katie Kam (?) and Christen (?) Taylor.
It seemed clear that the presenter was rather alarmed when Taylor "went off the reservation" as it were, and talked of the Islamic motives for the killings. The other guests stuck more to the implicit line that "anything but Islam" was the cause. "Hate", "homophobia", "guns", "mental illness", "quotidian gun violence", and so on.
Yet the best and most persuasive analysis was Taylor's. It's Islam! (The ideas and ideology)
The BBC should not be concerned to air these views. For a start they're more consonant with the truth. And second you will find much of your audience will be relieved to hear some plain truth being spoken on the issue. So too will your moderate Muslim audience, given that it's Muslims who are most often the victims of Islamically inspired violence.
Two good articles to read this week. One by ex-Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali in the Wall Street Journal ("Islam's Jihad against homosexuals") and one by still-Muslim (just) Maajid Nawaz in the Daily Beast ("Admit it: these terrorists are Muslim")
Regards
Peter Forsythe
Hong Kong

Monday, 27 June 2016

Pahang Mufti says any who opposes Islam is ‘kafir harbi’ (and should be killed)

This is from the most "moderate" Islamic state that anyone can find, Malaysia.
And what's the message?  Death. Death to non-Muslims.
That's Islamic "moderation".
That's Islamic doctrine.
/Snip
"... those categorised as "kafir harbi" can be killed for being against the implementation of Islamic principles and going against God."
Read the rest.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

"In industry learn from Daqing".... For FIONNUALA McHUGH via John Lee

Hi John,
could you pass on the link below and this email to Fionnuala McHugh?
It relates to the SCMP Post Magazine of today, the caption to the picture, bottom right of p.12.
The caption says : "The Chinese characters read 'industrial learning and big celebration'". ("工业学大庆").
Well.... maybe.... if one translates along character by character.
But what the phrase actually says is "in Industry learn from Daqing".
Daqing was (and is) a major oil field up in Heilongjiang, which Mao quoted as an example of the selfless hard work it had taken to develop it.
"Daqing" does indeed mean "big celebration". But to translate it like that would be the equivalent of translating "Beijing" as "Northern capital", instead of, well, "Beijing".
There was, IIRC, one "Wang Tieren", literally "Iron man Wang" (the original Iron man!), who worked at Daqing and was held up as the model selfless socialist industrial worker that all Chinese were supposed to emulate. A bit like the famous (infamous?) Lei Feng.
The phrase "Gongye xue Daqing" is part of a longer slogan:
"In agriculture learn from Dazhai; in industry learn from Daqing; the people learn from the PLA".
Sometimes they added "and the PLA learns from the people", just to round it out.
These were some of the first slogans I learned when I studied in Peking in the mid seventies. They also took us along to visit Dazhai, which was kind of interesting in a Potemkin-village kind of way.
The link below is to a poster from the time, with translation.
By the way I did enjoy Fionnuala's article, as I always do. A great interview with Frank Dikotter.
And it may well be that the amusing translation was not Fionnuala's one of Post's editors, in which case you or she might also pass this on to them.
Best
Peter Forsythe
DB

http://chineseposters.net/posters/e12-604.php


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Saturday, 25 June 2016

MEMRI: Qatari Prof. Abd Al-Hamid Al-Ansari Analyzes the Ideological Roots of Terrorism: Something Is Wrong in Our Cultural Order

As Sam Harris says " will this Sheikh be accused of Islamophobia?"
Terrorism is based on religious ideology, not on poverty and oppression.

Friday, 24 June 2016

"UK votes to leave"

Just now. 05:00 GMT
52/48 for Leave/Remain
I have just watched history in the making

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Pound down, U.K. Futures, Nikkei crash...

.... so what? A few hours ago they were up, believing that the Remainers would win. So what do they know?
Answer: nothing. And the markets will rebound.
If the pound sterling does not rebound, that's only a help to uk exporters

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BBC has just called it

Just now!
Leave : 52%
Remain: 48%

History made!


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The pound drops. So what?

Pound sterling is now down to levels "not seen since 1989".
But so what?
That helps British exporters and the workers they employ.
That harms the importers and the Bollinger they quaff.

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What's with Scotland? (Brexit)

Scotland is all for Remain. That's also the position of the government. Which fought Scotland's independence referendum. So I don't quite get that. And no one on BBC has told me why that is.

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Brexit vote

4:00 am in UK.
Leave 9.1 m Remain 8.7 m.
Where Leave win they're doing so by big margins, 10-30%. Where Remain win theyre doing so by smaller margins.
Seems Leave are lower class areas. Remain the elites areas.
Remain was the comfortable option for urban elites, no change no hassle.
The Leavers want less immigration (because it's their wages that are reduced), and want to bring back sovereignty.
In sum:
Economic effects: a wash. 1-2% this way or that, neither here nor there.
Sovereignty: bring it back by leaving.

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Brexit? Bremain?

Watching results flow in on BBC. Very exciting with the lead flowing back and forth.
Conspicuous that London and Scotland strongly Bremain and the rest of the country strongly Brexit.
Currently 6.4 m Leave and 6.1 m Remain

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Thursday, 23 June 2016

Out – and into the world: why The Spectator is for Leave

Shilly shally, willy wally, I finally opt for Out. Not because of the article below, though it does sum up the Leave argument admirably.
But because I see that it sums up to two things: one the economic argument; two the sovereignty argument.
On the economic argument: all the predictions I've seen give in/out pretty much a wash. 1/2% this way or that. That's neither here nor there.
Sovereignty: this is much clearer. For sure sovereignty is regained by Leave.
And as for the immigration issue, that's all wrapped into the sovereignty one. Control back to the uk. So that's the balance.
Today's the referendum.
Here's the Speccie giving vent:
http://www.spectator.co.uk/2016/06/out-and-into-the-world-why-the-spectator-is-for-leave/


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The Obama Doctrine: What the President Actually Thinks About Radical Islam - The Atlantic

Son and I, discussing Obama's reluctance to use the words "Islamic radicals" and the like, concluded that he was neither quite the fool nor the knave, but a queer combination of the two. That is, he knows about Islam and Islamism, but thinks it all too hard to face off.
That seems pretty much to be the gist of this insight into Obama's thinking by Daniel Greenfeld of The Atlantic.
Mind you, I don't recall Obama's 2009 Cairo speech to the Muslim world having quite the call for action to would-be Muslim reformers that Obama now says it was.
Must go back to that speech and check.
What I do recall of it was that it seemed to disproportionately blame the west for difficulties in west-Islam relations; and that it named a a number of alleged Islamic scientific inventions (eg the compass) that were nothing of the sort. Such factual errors gave me pause for the rest of the speech.
http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/06/obama-radical-islam/487079/


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Friday, 17 June 2016

Orlando killings

At about 13:00 yesterday (GMT), on BBC World Service, a presenter had three guests to discuss issues around the Orlando mass murder. They were (something like) Patrick Blackland (sp?), Katie Kam (?) and Christen (?) Taylor.
It seemed clear that the presenter was rather alarmed when Taylor "went off the reservation" as it were, and talked of the Islamic motives for the killings. The other guests stuck more to the implicit line that "anything but Islam" was the cause. "Hate", "homophobia", "guns", "mental illness", "quotidian gun violence", and so on.
Yet the best and most persuasive analysis was Taylor's. It's Islam! (The ideas and ideology)
The BBC should not be concerned to air these views. For a start they're more consonant with the truth. And second you will find much of your audience will be relieved to hear some plain truth being spoken on the issue. So too will your moderate Muslim audience, given that it's Muslims who are most often the victims of Islamically inspired violence.
Two good articles to read this week. One by ex-Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali in the Wall Street Journal ("Islam's Jihad against homosexuals") and one by still-Muslim (just) Maajid Nawaz in the Daily Beast ("Admit it: these terrorists are Muslim")
Regards
Peter Forsythe
Hong Kong

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"Killers' need for fear and control". NYT, June 17

Shame on you all, editors and writers alike, for wriggling desperately to find any motive, any at all, to avoid the clearest and most obvious one: Islamic doctrine put to deadly effect.
Islam normalizes killing of gays in doctrine and practice. Mateen was pledged to this ideology. Who are we, or Taub, or anyone at the NYT, to ignore his repeatedly stated inspiration?
Read Maajid Nawaz and Ayaan Hirsi Ali's articles in recent days. Rather more insightful than Amanda Taub's tendentious nonsense.
Peter Forsythe
Hong Kong

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Thursday, 16 June 2016

Admit It: These Terrorists Are Muslims - The Daily Beast

A companion piece to Ayaan's article in the last post, this by still-Muslim (but only just!), the equally wonderful and brave Maajid Nawaz. In the Daily Beast.
We reckon he's not a Muslim any more but says he is so that his words carry more weight. Ex Muslims can be more easily dismissed by Muslims resistant to change. For that we commend him, for it is brave to be a reforming Muslim. Still, Maajid certainly cops the ire of many Muslims both mainstream and Islamist: he's been called an "Uncle Tom" and a "native informer" for his efforts.
He takes it all equably retaining his humour and eloquence.
We're lucky to have him and the world would be better with many more like him.
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/06/14/admit-it-these-terrorists-are-muslims.html


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Islam’s Jihad Against Homosexuals - WSJ

The wonderful Ayaan Hirsi Ali in the Wall Street Journal. Now an apostate (and under armed guard in the US for her apostasy) she was brought up a Muslim in Ethiopia, subjected to FGM, married off to an elderly uncle at age 12, before she fled to Holland and left Islam, the Religion of Peace. 
In her article:
Almost all Muslim majority countries criminalize homosexuality and in 12 of those the penalty is death. Many examples of senior Muslim authorities railing against gays and confirming the penalty of death. Example: the odious Al Qaradawi. 
Despite this, for some idiot commenters it's as if they didn't even read the article before regurgitating the usual apologia for Islam. 
Ayana's last para:
/Snip
Following the horrific attack in Orlando, people as usual have been rushing to judgment. President Obama blames lax gun laws. Donald Trump blames immigration. Neither is right. There has been comparable carnage in countries with strict gun laws. The perpetrator in this case was born in the United States. This is not primarily about guns or immigration. It is about a deeply dangerous ideology that is infiltrating American society in the guise of religion. Homophobia comes in many forms. But none is more dangerous in our time than the Islamic version.
http://www.wsj.com/articles/islams-jihad-against-homosexuals-1465859170


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Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Quilliam Foundation: You can believe homosexulity is not a sin and be Muslim

From "Fasdunkle", commenter on Harry's Place, the link below, in which the Islamist outfit 5Pillars criticises Maajid Nawaz's Quilliam Foundation for suggesting that Muslims can be Muslims and also tolerant of gays.
5Pillars claim that Quilliam is funded by "Islamophobes". Which leads Fasdunkle to observe wryly that he can now go with a new definition of Islamophobic: "an irrational fear that Islam is not completely shitty".
The 5Pillars article highlights the uphill struggle reforming Muslims have. Recalling that Quilliam founder and head, Maajid Nawaz, is an ex radical Islamist, now committed to bringing Islam into the 19th century (or even the 17th or 18th, given that's it's currently trying its best to remain in the 7th). The 21st century can come later.
Nawaz is a very knowledgeable and eloquent spokesman for a kinder gentler Islam. And he gets this sort of 5Pillars shit hurled at him for his efforts. And called an "Uncle Tom" or "Native informant", by other true Muslims.
One despairs for the reformation of Islam. Luckily for us Maajid doesn't.
http://5pillarsuk.com/2016/06/14/quilliam-foundation-you-can-be-gay-and-muslim/

PS: the 5Pillars view is of course normative Islam, and a corrective for those folks who imagine that the Orlando shooting of gays by a Muslim was somehow nothing to do with Islam, but rather the actions of a mentally ill, internally conflicted gay Muslim, an action of homophobic hate. Sure that hate is there, but instilled by everything that Islam has taught him, a pious Muslim.
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What's in a name: Islam, Islamist, Jihadist...

President Obama has refused to use the term "radical Islam,"
following a precedent set by his Republican predecessor George W. Bush,
who said after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, that "ours is not a campaign
against the Muslim faith."
In the wake of the Orlando shootings, a war of words.  The right criticise Obama for not saying it's "radical islamic terrorism".  Obama and the left answer that it doesn't matter what it's called, it makes no difference to the war.
This morning, Obama was arrogantly contemptuous of those calling for him to "name it what it is".
His line is that it gives legitimises ISIL (as he's wont to call what most others call ISIS).  It gives them what they want: to represent Islam, whereas they "don't represent Islam", he says, "they have perverted Islam".
Two points here:
First, whether or not Obama uses the words "radical Islamic/Islamist" terrorism, most of the rest of the world does.  So if indeed ISIS are looking for some sort of affirmation (a doubtful likelihood, in my view), they've got it from planty of others, including from many political leaders.
Second, in what way does ISIS "not represent" Islam, or "pervert" it?  He doesn't say.  Much as he might not wish to litigate theological issues, he's done so already by simply claiming that ISIS "do not represent Islam", and then leaving it at that.  He makes that statement; it's incumbent on him to say on what basis he makes that conclusion.
In fact, of course, there are many experts, both Muslim and non-Muslim, who claim most cogently that ISIS is indeed representative of Islam.  An ultra-strict  and violent representation, to be sure, but a representation nonetheless.  One of the best on this is Graeme Wood in his "What ISIS really wants".
And let's not forget that the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is a doctoral graduate of the Bagdad University, a scholar -- and therefore expert -- in Islam.  His writings and speeches, and the magazine Dubiq published monthly by ISIS, are replete with scholarly reflections on Islam.  It may all be terribly uncomfortable to recognise this, but ignoring it is dangerous. If Obama were to recognise it, and talk of "radical Islamic/Islamist" terrorism, that would be the start of a more robust reaction. Mosques could be challenged to clamp down on radical teachings.  Moderate Muslims more directly encouraged to face up to the clear and urgent challenges they have in their religion (and not just some "extremist" terrorism, the source of which is  profoundly mysterious).
Here's a little more on the linguistics of war: "Radical Islam, Or Radical Islamism?  It Depends Whom You Ask".  Though I would note that Hillary now saying that she would use either "Radical Islamism" or "Radical Jihadism" is a big departure from a year ago, when she was more along the Obama line on not using either term, which at least is a bit of an advance on the Obama position.
From which position he asks:
"What exactly would using this label accomplish?" President Obama asked Tuesday as he spoke about his administration's fight against ISIS. He spoke at length about the language debate. "Would it bring in more allies? Is there a military strategy that is served by this? The answer is none of the above. Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away. This is a political distraction."
But his administration, by purging the words "Islam" or "Islamism" from the bureaucracy has meant that they no longer learn the ideology of Islam or Islamism.  Learning about that, in the FBI, CIA, Homeland Security, DoD, etc, is verboten.  So there would indeed be something accomplished by "using this label", Mr Obama. "Calling a threat a different name", if that name is more correct (which it surely is) allows a clear-headed analysis of that it stands for, it allows us to "know the enemy" better.  
And that's no "distraction", Sir.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Mass Shooting in Florida: Anti-Gay Violence Rooted in Muslim Law | National Review

Orlando madness.
The madness of the shooter, sure.
And the madness of the reaction.
Media are still "waiting to learn the motivation of the shooter", when he's already made it quite clear: he rang 911 to tell them that what at he was going to do was inspired by ISIS.
The madness of LGBTI groups singing against Ilsamophobia and saying it was just a "hate crime".
Well sure hate of gays is one of those "necessary but not sufficient" factors. There are plenty who hate gays but don't kill them. For that you need the ideology of Islam. Which encourages and enables the killing of homosexuals. They do that in Iran -- hanging them from cranes. They machete them to death in Bangladesh. They behead them in Saudi Arabia. ISIS toss them from roofs.
The madness of CAIR in saying that we must fight homophobia AND Islamophobia. As if killing gays is the equivalent to the odd case of people saying nasty things to Muslims.
Enough of the madness of willful blindness.
Islam is front and centre in these killings. There's no need to wait to "make sense" of the killings, as the BBC and ABC are saying now.
Read the Koran and the Hadith.
All makes sense then.
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/436505/mass-shooting-florida-anti-gay-violence-rooted-muslim-law

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Orlando shootings: typical Muslim response

Just watching BBC's coverage of the latest Muslim shooting outrage: the killing of 50 at a gay club in Orlando.
The BBC reporter on the spot speaks to camera about the response of some Muslims. They are concerned about rising "Islamophobia" and now want to "change perceptions" of we infidels, to show that Islam is actually a "religion of peace" and that the shootings have "nothing to do with Islam". So that's the first reaction of Muslims. Not to express sadness at the shootings, sympathy for survivors or empathy for families and friends. Or even to call to their coreligionists to cease this random slaughter, let alone, heaven help us, to call for reform of the nastier aspects of Islam that encourage mass murder. No, none of this.  The reaction instead is "how does it affect me", how does this affect brand Islam?  How do I get the infidel to believe that it really, really is a "religion of peace".
Disgusting.
Yet the young BBC lady reports all this approvingly. Of course the real victims are Muslims! she seems to think.
Meantime Obama has vowed to "follow the facts wherever they take us".  But he won't do that, will he?  For when it's clear, as it pretty much already is, that the shooter was inspired by ISIS, that is to say by a strict if severe form of Islam, nowhere will he allow the religion of peace to be put in the frame as a motivator for this atrocity.
Disgusting. 

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Renan Revisited > Theodore Dalrymple. On moderate Muslims and the likelihood of Islamic reformation

The ever insightful Dalrymple. 
/Snip
.... The moderates [Muslims] want, in effect, to reduce Islam to a private confession whose ethical standards are more or less those of, say, a fairly liberal Canadian. In other words, they want to preserve Islam in the modern world by liberalising it and making it compatible with Twenty-First century values. From my personal standpoint, this is laudable and even brave in the circumstances; but there is one enormous flaw in the whole scheme. If the ethics of Islam become those of any reasonably decent person in a liberal democracy, what need of Islam at all? It will become merely a collection of rituals whose irrationality and therefore needlessness will soon become clear under the withering fire of rationalist criticism. Its holy book will be shown to be a literary artefact, a compilation, like any other such book (and by no means the best of the genre, either). Soon nothing of Islam will remain.
In this sense, the extremists seem to me to have the better of the argument. They have understood that, where the survival of their religion is concerned, it is all or none. They have seen what happened to religious faith in England and France once such faith was treated as a merely private matter, freely subject to criticism either serious or mocking. And since they are instilled with the notion that there is in Islam an essence that is uniquely precious, they cannot accede to the scheme of the moderates, which will lead to its de facto extinction. The extremists, then, are more consistent, far-seeing and realistic than the moderates, though morally grossly their inferiors.
Islam is uniquely precious to them because they have nothing else to be proud of or to hang on to. Whatever its glorious past, Islam has had a bad past few centuries; it has contributed nothing to the stock of universal advancement. This would not matter but for its claims to unique truth. How is it that a doctrine, or family of doctrines, claiming all-sufficiency, has actually been so barren of contribution to progress? It is Islam, then, or nothing.
Moderate Moslems and moderate leftists share a similar problem. Both believe that their world outlook has something uniquely precious about it, but perceive that in fact the world can get on perfectly well without it. What, then, remains of the precious contribution of their worldview? It is not uncommon in France to see articles about the future of the left now that radically egalitarian transformation of society has been ruled out. What can it argue for now? Recognition of polygamy, incestuous marriage or the rights of necrophiliacs? Whatever it is, it will not be sufficient to justify or support a whole worldview; rather, the left will be reduced to a state of permanent querulousness about this or that supposed injustice, one succeeding another. For underlying the self-conceit of the left is a belief in oppositionism as such: and as it is more blessed to give than to receive, so it is more blessed to oppose what exists than to support or sustain it. The left starts out from a belief in original virtue, especially its own; therefore it must preserve itself and its world outlook, however difficult this may be.
http://www.newenglishreview.org/Theodore_Dalrymple/Renan_Revisited/


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Friday, 10 June 2016

Mass sexual assault reported at Germany music festival | Europe | News | The Independent

It was in the bloggosphere that I first read news about the most recent "mass sexual assault" by Muslim migrants in Germany. As is the case with most issues Islamic, the first one reads about them is on the blogs.  Then I searched Mr Google and found one reference in mainstream media, in The Independent of the U.K.  But nothing on BBC, CNN, CNBC, The Times, Guardian, Telegraph, The New York Times or our own South China Morning Post. Not even on Fox or in the Wall Street Journal. Not a skerrick.
In short, the news was virtually non existent in the MSM.
I wonder why.
After all, you'd think a "mass sexual assault" in the heart of Europe would be newsworthy. Can't think that it used to happen at all in the past, let alone twice in a year -- recalling that ONE THOUSAND women were sexually assaulted in Cologne over New Year's Eve. Again by Muslim asylum seekers.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/germany-sexual-assault-music-festival-cologne-darmstadt-a7057416.html

Later: there's an article on this in USA Today. An article which notes no arrests have been made in the earlier Cologne debacle.
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2016/06/01/germany-music-festival-police-attacks/85237492/

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Muhammad Ali, China, Europe and the hypocrisy of the Left

By Ali's measure, many of my friends have wasted thirty years of their lives
The late great(est) Muhammad Ali coined some wonderfully quotable quotes. One of my favourites above. One I didn't quite like, about Vietnam I wrote about the other day.
Our local paper, the South China Morning Post quoted Ali about China:
"Now that you [China] are open to the world, never lose your culture, because others will try to give you their culture. It will be a great fight."
---- Muhammad Ali writing in the China Youth News, during his first visit to China 1979. (I was in Beijing at the time)
A fine sentiment. Right?  Well, that's why the Post quoted it.
But it got me thinking about Europe. Let's say someone today said the equivalent, in response to the flood of immigrants, Europe is facing.  "Europe must never lose its culture because others will try to give you their culture...."
Those "others" will immediately be understood to refer to migrants, most of them Muslim.  So the statement would lead to charges of racism, islamophobia, xenophobia, racism, from the Left.
A case in point, in the Washington Post.
To which a commenter said:
If you said Africa for Africans, the left would cheer. 
If you said Asia for Asians, the left would cheer. 
If you said Europe for Europeans, the left would call you a racist and xenophobe.

Whereas  back in '79 Ali was lauded for his sensitivity to the vibrant culture of China.
Oh, the hypocrisy.... The hypocrisy of the Left.

Islam is Europe’s ‘new fascism,’ and other things European politicians say about Muslims

This is another case of what I'm noting more and more: that is, an apologist article about Islam in the ATL (above the line) article, which is then excoriated in the BTL comments.
This in the left-of-centre Washington Post. The ATL invites us to conclude that all the European politicians are Islamophobic bigots. But the commenters will have none of it. They know that what these politicians are saying is the spot-on truth.
We see that same trend even in the deliciously trendy-left The Guardian.  And that's even more amazing.
That's one, at least, consoling trend. That more and more people are coming to the common-sense conclusion, that Islam is not a "Religion of Peace", that it's inimical to democracy and enlightenment values.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Crackdown in China: Worse and Worse

Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping, right, with Wang Qishan, who has been a major force in the recent crackdown as secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), at the National People’s Congress, Beijing, March 2015
Orville Schell is a renowned scholar of China and this is a fascinating article on China's scary security apparatus.
I didn't know about the similarity of current campaigns to those of the Ming dynasty. And here's me, having been in China, on and off, since 1976.  Shame on me....
Worth a careful read, to acquaint oneself with the depredations, the horrors of today's despots. Chief despot: Xi Jinping (pic above, with Wang Qishan, a truly nasty character).
/Snip (from around the middle of the article):
“The CCDI’s anticorruption campaign is chillingly evocative of the draconian repressions launched by the Eastern Depot during the Ming dynasty,” one historically minded corporate consultant told me[Schell]. She was referring to a period in imperial history that represented a high tide of Chinese despotism. As most Chinese know from histories, popular novels, and TV dramas, the Ming dynasty was characterized by factionalism, intrigue, paranoia, intimidation, fratricide, and extrajudicial ruthlessness. Trusting no one and fearing treason everywhere, the Yongle Emperor (reigning 1402–1424) sought to protect the throne with an elaborate network of internal surveillance and espionage.

"Kerrey’s Vietnam Dilemma"

Roger Cohen [mis]quotes Muhammad Ali (see above, the proper quote), saying "I ain't got nothing against them Vietcong", in his "Kerrey’s Vietnam Dilemma", in today's International New York Times.
If Ali had said "Vietnamese" instead  of "Vietcong", I'd also have had nothing against them, and no quarrel with Ali's statement.
But the Vietcong were (and are) communist. Vietnam was an ally of the Soviet Union. And Kruschev had recently boasted / threatened that communism would "bury the west". We didn't want that then and we don't want it now. That's why we fought in Vietnam. It was against the "domino theory" of state after state falling to communism, a theory much mocked on the left, but not so silly when facing the might and thrust of the Soviets and their clients.
I've lived in China under communism in the 70s and it cured me of my romance with the far left.
No quarrel with the Vietnamese, then or now? Sure.
But no quarrel with communism?
Sure had. Sure have.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

What's *right* about China?

Agree with these comments in Quora. We read a lot about what's wrong with China. Less about what's right and impressive.
It's the leaders of China who are shits. The average bloke or Sheila on the street is fine and unopressed. And there's plenty to see in the diversity of a vast country.

Dave Rubin interviews Bill Warner on political Islam


Great stuff! Above is part 1 of 2. Part 2 is here.
Bill Warner knows his stuff and has a fine way with words, putting even issues that are well known into a new perspective.
Example: towards the end, his description of the difference between Sunni and Shia Muslims.  We all know that, right?  He says, in the end, for him and other infidels like us, the difference is immaterial. They share the same view of jihad, martyrdom in the service of Islam and the imposition of Sharia law.
He talks in an arresting and worrying way about the spread of Islam: the long game they play.  Pakistan used to be Hindu, Malaysia and Indonesia Buddhist, Turkey Christian, Iran Zoroastrian, and so on.  All are now Islamic countries. And it happened slowly, bit by bit, unnoticed almost.  The fable of the frog in the water comes to mind.
Each video half an hour and well worth the listen.

Friday, 3 June 2016

"Competition red hot for food trucks with 192 bids for licence" June 3


[Letter to South China Morning Post]

Greg So, our Commerce and Economic Development Secretary, recently made a "duty visit" to London, to look at the operations of their food trucks, in preparation for the Hong Kong roll-out.

It would seem he learnt nothing while in there.

London food trucks are already operating very successfully based on clear and simple guidelines. Meantime Hong Kong's nascent scheme is already mired in a bureaucratic bog. ("Competition red hot for food trucks with 192 bids for licence" June 3).

Why are only 16 licenses available? Even as a trial number this is ridiculously too few. One street block in Mongkok could accommodate that many.

Yet these 16 will be spread amongst eight districts. That will make them as rare as hen's teeth, hardly the "good tourism project" that Secretary So claims.

Why the complex selection process? First a committee will shortlist applicants then "10 veteran professionals" will make the final choices. The mind boggles.

What's wrong with letting customers decide whose food is delicious and whose is crap?

Allow more truck licenses then it's sink or swim based on what customers want.

Because of all this "central planning" it will take until next year for our very own food trucks to hit the streets. This is insane. The food truck industry is hardly cutting edge rocket science. It is well understood. If the government simply set out the clear guidelines and let 'em at it, (as in London) there would be trucks on the streets next week.

Simon Wong of the Restaurant Federation says this is "Too many monks, too little gruel". And why is that? Because "too many cooks spoil the gruel", to adapt the English saying.

Our government once prided itself on a can-do attitude based on positive non-interventionism. It is sad that it has now sunk to such bathetic bureaucratic bungling.

Peter F
etc...

#TryBeatingMeLightly: Wife Beating from Toronto to Pakistan

Ironically, the Islamic law that allows a husband to 'lightly beat' his wife is being 'sold on the streets' of Toronto but protested by women in Pakistan.

Read about this insanity, of western Islamopologists, and he treatment of women in Islam, here.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Straight Talk about Religion: Reza Aslan Peddles False Wares to Influential Dupes | Quillette

Brilliant ....
Reza Aslan really is an odious oleaginous creep.  He's fooled many "intelligent idiots", like most recently Oprah.