Monday, 19 March 2018

Anti-Semitism Is Rising. Why Aren’t American Jews Speaking Up? - The New York Times

Anti-Semitic hate crimes are on the rise, up 57 percent in 2017 from 2016, the largest single-year jump on record, according to the Anti-Defamation League. That increase came on top of the rise in incidents in 2016 that coincided with a brutal presidential campaign.
This is a useful article. 
Many people decry the rise of "islamophobia", but ignore or don't know that anti-Semitic hate crimes are more common (in total and per capita) and have been rising faster than so-called Islamophobic hate crimes. 
(That's in the US but likely elsewhere as well). 
Weisman doesn't note that the biggest rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes comes from the Islamic community. Weisman only notes that "alt-right", the traditional source of anti Semitism. 
And he mentions Southern Poverty Law Centre approvingly. But this outfit has morphed from a decent fighter against the racism of the likes of the KKK into a smearer of anyone to the right of their hard-left views. Outlandishly, last year, they named Aayan Hirsi Ali and Maajid Nawaz as anti Islam extremists. They have failed to correct this travesty despite wide ranging criticism from all spectra. 
Why on Earth is a clearly caring guy like Weisman so ignorant of key facts like these? I dunno. 

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Thursday, 15 March 2018

Faris on Twitter: "I'm going to translate some tweets in this hashtag #مرتد_حفرالباطن the world must see this."

Wondering if this will link through. To a number of translations of Arabic tweets calling for death of an apostate.

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Sadiq Khan’s Hate Speech Praise | National Review

More from the inimitable Douglas Murray and the insidiousness of "hate speech" laws.
In the U.K. you can now be banged up under "hate speech" laws for speaking the truth. About "certain communities", of course....

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Opinion | Some Things Are True Even if Trump Believes Them - The New York Times

This makes sense to me. Someone strong like the US does indeed need to get tough with China's flouting of the world trade rules, but in a smart way. Not by crude steel tariffs. Cohn knew this, but he's gone. Economic adviser Navarro is just a misinformed lickspittle. Larry Kudlow?*
Tom Friedman in the New York Times:
So what would a smart American president do? First, he'd sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade accord. TPP eliminated as many as 18,000 tariffs on U.S. exports with the most dynamic economies in the Pacific and created a 12-nation trading bloc headed by the U.S. and focused on protecting what we do best — high-value-added manufacturing and intellectual property. Alas, Trump tore it up without reading it — one of the stupidest foreign policy acts ever. We Brexited Asia! China was not in TPP. It was a coalition built, in part, to pressure Beijing into fairer market access, by our rules. Trump just gave it up for free.
Once a smart president restored participation in TPP, he'd start secret trade talks with the Chinese — no need for anyone to lose face — and tell Beijing: "Since you like your trade rules so much, we're going to copy them for your companies operating in America: 25 percent tariffs on your cars, and your tech companies that open here have to joint venture and share intellectual property with a U.S. partner — and store all their data on U.S. servers."
Having a really tough trade negotiation with China on manufacturing and high technology, but doing it in secret, makes sense to me. Starting a public trade war with our allies over aluminum and steel that raises the costs for our manufacturers, that doesn't protect our growth industries and that loses allies that we need to deal with China makes absolutely no sense.

* Larry the-always-wrong Kudlow:

Saturday, 10 March 2018

“Occupation of the American Mind” wants to occupy the western Left mind

A friend brought my attention to this video of 2016, produced by Al-Jazeera with voiceover by Roger Waters.  That provenance might itself be enough for some people, but not me who will even watch Fox, sometimes.
It's a pan of propaganda, though it's propaganda itself; and a complaint about not having its message heard, when its message is spread abroad, and the reviews are uniformly favaourable.
I didn't start with any bias about it, despite its provenance.
So lets just see what it's about and if there's anything wrong with it.
Bearing in mind that all the reviews I could see online were and are favourable.
Mine is going to be unfavourable, because I've watched it twice and find it wanting.
Now these below are my Notes, and I need to tidy them up.
At this point, I just want to get them down on paper, as it were, and give a gist of what I'm thinking on this vid.
Basic thesis is that Israel (government) gets a lot more coverage than does the Palestinian side. They are in a PR “war” and are winning that war. But the reaction to this very video puts lie to that. All the reactions positive and was widely disseminated. So.... at the very least there’s been no conspiracy to suppress Palestinian sides voices.

Note use of “war”. Suggesting ill will and aggression. Maybe they’re just better (AIPAC). There’s a quote about how much AIPAC spends vs how much Palestinians spend. Why don’t PNO spend more then?

Is Israel just better at what it does and the whole film is a paean to envy? Note malicious envy. Part of reason for holocaust. (Ref to Hidden Brain. Shankar Vidantam. There’s also Hitchens theory that Mo felt dissed by the Jews hence the genesis of Muslim Jew hatred).

Opening scenes: 1947 and war. Makes it look like was a Jewish invasion. One of the commenters talks about the fact that it was not - as zionists (ZNO) claimed at the time -“a land without people for a people without land”. No it wasn’t. But neither was it a land invaded by Jews who ruthlessly killed and drove out the Palestinians.

Jews were about half the population of what became Israel. (NOT 8% quoted by Rami Khouri That relates to earlier period. Before Jewish immigration. By which Jews bought land from absentee Turkish landlords. And what? Is migration to be declared wrong? What about demands that Europe take in refugees to a land they’ve never had any claim to. Cf the ancient claims of Jews to Judea and Samaria).

Resolution 181 did give more land to Jews 54%, compared to their population 32%, but over half was the Negev desert.

Israel plays the “defence” card. Indeed they do and it’s correct. Only disputable if you dispute the very existence of Israel. Which of course many do, openly or not. And if that’s your view then there’s nothing more to talk about. Because Israel was created by the United Nations. (Palestinians love to quote UN resolutions but not the one that created Israel).

Resolution 242: quoted but only the bit about Israel’s obligations. Not the bit about Palestinian and Arab states obligations. That is to recognise Israel. Israel said it would abide by 242. PNO said no.

Israel has repeatedly offered terms along lines of 242 and been repeated rebuffed. Oslo, Camp David, Clinton.

Sabra and Shatila massacres carried out by right wing Lebanese militias NOT IDF.

(1). ZNO = Zionists and others, Zionist supporters.
(2). PNO = Palestinians and others, especially surrounding Arab states, and Iran, awa western supporters, mostly of the Left.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Opinion | Can the German Left Save Itself? - The New York Times

> ....the far-right party Alternative for Germany, widely known by its German initials as AfD, has managed to combine its fierce anti-immigrant stance with a new rhetorical and policy focus on social welfare — calling for higher wages, safer pensions and extended unemployment benefits. These are the kinds of issues that should be offered by the left, untainted by the AfD's putrid nationalism. (Snip from article linked below).
In what sense is the AfD "far right". Its policies are classically of the Left. As the author himself points out.
The only way the AfD differs from the Left is to raise concerns about unchecked immigration to Germany by young men (> 70% of whom are not refugees, but economic migrants jumping the queue) from countries with cultural practices totally inimical to the values of the Left. A bitter irony.
Because of this one area differing from the Left the views of AfD are called "putrid nationalism".
Oh the Blindness. Oh the Hypocrisy.

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Friday, 23 February 2018

Althouse: "For the past year, Donald Trump has repeatedly denied the existence of a profound national security threat..."

Ann Althouse takes apart the NYT editorial about the Mueller indictments, which I also found less than dispositive.

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Tuesday, 20 February 2018

You’re Wrong! I’m Right! - The New York Times| Nickolas Kristof

What we were kind of talking about recently, cognitive dissonance, confirmation bias and all that and how we — youse and I — are free of all that nonsense. (Not!).
Nickolas Kristof here on the importance of seeing the other side. Though he infamously did not do so in a show with Sam Harris and Ben Affleck. (On YouTube).

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Thursday, 15 February 2018

Violent crime in Sweden is soaring. When will politicians act? | The Spectator

Another view, counter to the one I recently posted. This is by far the consensus on the issue. Namely: big problems for Sweden, the self styled "humanitarian superpower".

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Opinion | Do Israeli Students Need to Visit Auschwitz? - The New York Times

"Israel is not a compensation for Auschwitz."  
One of the interesting points made in this article by Shmuel Rosner in today's New York Times
Do you agree with his main point: Jewish visits to Auschwitz should end?

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Friday, 2 February 2018

World Hijab Day is an insult to Muslim women

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Saudi Ex-Muslim woman speaks up, <br><br>&quot;<a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WorldHijabDay</a> is a disgrace. It is an insult!&quot; <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Ex-Muslim TV 📺 (@XMuslimTV) <a href="">February 2, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

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Monday, 29 January 2018

Last Night in Malmö - Areo

I've written a few times about Sweden and the problems it's having with its Muslim immigrants.
Here is an interesting first-hand eye witness account with what seems to me a balanced view of daily life in Malmo, where the problems are said to be most acute.

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Bill Gates and Steven Pinker Discuss Enlightenment Now

I read Stephen Pinker's "Better Angels of Our Nature" some years ago. I think I bought it because Bill Gates had said it was his favourite book of all time.
I can't count the number of times I've quoted it to counter assertions that the world is going to hell in a handbasket. (Not that it's always had an effect, mind, as people hold to beliefs for emotional, not always rational or fact based reasons).
Pinker even has a YouTube on progressives denying progress. (And it's always progressives, especially of the regressive Left, who hew to such views.).
Here's Bill Gates' new favourite book: Stephen Pinkers follow up, "Enlightenment Now".

[Thanks to Jerry Coyn. ]

Muslims the biggest victims | The Age, Letters. 29 January 2018

Muslims the biggest victims 

The horrific terror attack in Kabul has killed over 95 innocent civilians and injured hundreds more. This attack again demonstrates that Muslims are in fact the biggest victims of terrorism. It is only when attacks such as these get as much media coverage as those in the West, that the public will begin to realise that these extremists are the enemies of humanity at large. 

Khizar Rana, Walkerville, SA

A weekly occurrence 

 As an Ahmadi Muslim, I strongly condemn the terrorist attacks in Kabul in recent weeks and my prayers are with the families of the victims. Most people don't realise that most victims of terrorism are Muslims themselves. The number of attacks that happen in Western countries during a year occurs every week in Muslim countries. Two attacks in two weeks in Kabul have seen hundreds massacred but I don't expect Islamophobes to highlight the religious affinity of victims because then they can't blame Islam if such an atrocity occurs in a Western country.

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Friday, 26 January 2018

Why I burned my 'Proof of Aboriginality' - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Link to Kerryn Pholi's fascinating article below. 
Kerryn also has interesting views on today's Australia Day, aka "invasion day" ~ the British  "invasion" was a loss for aboriginal men; but not so much for aboriginal women who were given opportunities, with settlers, to get away from a patriarchal and violent (to women) male aboriginal culture. They were liberated, she says. 
She's of aboriginal descent herself. But not a "victim". Rather she thanks her ancestral grand/mothers for running away from their stone age males. 
Interesting woman, and worth reading her other articles via Google News. 

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“Some inequality needed” | The Age

Your readers, and indeed leader writers, seem uniformly to believe: income inequality, bad; income equality, good. Allow me to dissent. China of the 1970s cured me of this absolutist view. When I first went to live there (1975), it was a very equal economy. From top leaders to factory workers, all earned pretty much the same – about $50 per month. This gave it a low (that is, "good") Gini index of 0.24.
Since then, China has opened up its economy and boomed. According to the World Bank, more than 500million people were lifted out of extreme poverty as its poverty rate fell from 88per cent in 1981 to 6.5per cent in 2012. But as this happened, inequality increased to give China a higher (that is, a "bad") Gini index of 0.46.
Someone has noted that inequality in an economy is much like water for plants. Water is needed, but too much and the plant drowns. And so for our economy. Unless we want the stultification of communism, some inequality is needed. Just not too much. Therein is the rub. But what seems certain is that it is not an absolute all or nothing.
Peter Forsythe, (former general manager for Austrade East Asia), Hong Kong

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Thursday, 25 January 2018

Inequality, like water for a plant


Your readers - and indeed your leader writers - seem uniformly to believe income inequality, bad; income equality, good. 
Allow me to dissent. 
China of the seventies cured me of this absolutist view. 
When I first went to live there (1975) it was a very equal economy. From top leaders to factory workers all earned pretty much the same - about $50 per month. This gave it a low (ie "good") Gini index 0.24. 
Since then it has opened up its economy and boomed. 
According to the World Bank, more than 500 million people were lifted out of extreme poverty as China's poverty rate fell from 88 percent in 1981 to 6.5 percent in 2012. 
But as this happened inequality increased to give China a higher (ie "bad") Gini index of 0.46. 
Someone has noted that inequality in an economy is much like water for plants. Water is needed, but too much and the plant drowns. 
And so for our economy. Unless we want the stultification of communism, some inequality is needed. Just not too much. Therein is the rub. But what seems certain is that it's not an absolute all or nothing. 


Thursday, 18 January 2018

Climate sensitivity study suggests narrower range of potential outcomes | Science | The Guardian

Interesting article all the more so because in The Guardian...

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“Joining China’s New Silk Road Will Help Fast Track Australia” |Stephen Loosley, The Australian

[NOTE to Letters editor: this is not a letter to the editor so much as a comment to pass on to Mr Loosley, if you would. But by all means publish it if you wish]:
Mr Loosley, I found your article today well argued and persuasive. A good summary of how Australia ought to play its multilateral ties to best advantage in this increasingly complex world. 
The figures on Chinese vs US economy projections can't be correct.
For the Chinese economy to be worth $42 Trillion by 2030 it would need to grow at 8% pa*. That used to be the case but is no longer.  Growing at the more likely 6% pa would give it a nominal GDP of about $30 T by then. (And even that may be a stretch)..
The US economy is worth today some $24 T. So for it to be the same in 2030 means zero growth, again unlikely.
If the US grows instead about 2% pa, its economy would be some $ 35 T, still larger than China's, not 43% smaller as implied by the Treasury figures quoted. 
This doesn't invalidate the point you make about the importance of our relationship with China and of its with the US. But still, lies, damned lies... and all that. Best to get the figures as correct as possible in these days of "fake news", what?


* Figures I use are from the World Bank. 

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Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Of Leftism and Racism. (And shitholes and hypocrisy).

Those of the US left argue that the Salvadorans on temporary protected status visas should not be sent home because El Salvador is still a corrupt, dangerous country, ripe with crime and under the control of criminal gangs; riven by unspeakable violence and endemic poverty.
Yet when Donald Trump argues that countries like El Salvador, Haiti and other similarly lawless countries are shitholes for the very same reasons put forward by the Left, he is described at racist.
He might use colourful language, he might even be racist, but it cannot be because he agrees with the Left about El Salvador and the like. He is described as racist because that is the extent of the left's arguments.

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