Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Trump is a toddler in a car

From this part of the world, Trump threats sound pretty scary until you realise, as North Korea has, that they mean nothing. He has cried wolf too often.
Ann Applebaum is a smart cookie...
https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/opinions/global-opinions/trumps-toothless-threats-endanger-us-all/2017/08/10/86785d04-7de3-11e7-83c7-5bd5460f0d7e_story.html


Sent from my iPad

Monday, 14 August 2017

What Obama Could Teach Trump About Charlottesville - The Atlantic


A very thoughtful article by the reliable Jeffrey Goldberg at The Atlantic pondering Trump's failure to name white supremacists in his condemnation of the violence in Charlottesville. 
/Snip
But the issue here is substantially larger than mere hypocrisy. Obama carefully measured his rhetoric in the war against Islamist terrorism because he hoped to avoid inserting the U.S. into the middle of an internecine struggle consuming another civilisation.

But the struggle in Charlottesville is a struggle within our own civilization, within Trump's own civilization. It is precisely at moments like this that an American president should speak up directly on behalf of the American creed, on behalf of Americans who reject tribalism and seek pluralism, on behalf of the idea that blood-and-soil nationalism is antithetical to the American idea itself. Trump's refusal to call out radical white terrorism for what it is, at precisely the moment America needs its leadership to take a unified stand against hatred, marks what might be the lowest moment of his presidency to date.
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/08/what-obama-could-teach-trump-about-charlottesville/536703/

Study: Terrorists do understand Islam


Yes ISIS really is Islamic whatever the BBC and others would have us believe: the "ISIS has nothing to do with Islam" crowd. 
This report linked below was done for the Austrian ministry of Foreign Affairs. 
A snip from the article quotes Dr Zuhdi Jasser, himself a reforming Muslim:
Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, a Muslim and leader of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, told Lifezette: "This study proves what any honest Muslim already knows or [has] been in major denial about. While our 'Islam' as we practice it here in the West is for reform-minded Muslims compatible with Western values, the reality is the 'Islam' practiced by large swaths of Muslims in Muslim-majority nations run by Shariah law is supremacist and theocratic in mindset."

He continued: "Our organization [AIFD] and other leaders in our Muslim reform movement have been screaming from the rooftops for over a decade that there is a direct connection between non-violent Islamism (the supremacism of Islamic states based in Shariah law) and the violent Islamism of militant jihadists. One naturally leads to the other, and this study is simply proving what has been painfully obvious to any honest Muslims.

"Islamists will blame the 'anti-Muslim bigotry' or aka 'Islamophobia' of the 'right' when in fact it is Islamist groups in the West (Muslim Brotherhood legacy groups) that exaggerate the extent of anti-Muslim bigotry, trying to impose anti-blasphemy behaviors by calling it 'Islamophobia,'" Jasser said. "The Islamist groups like CAIR, MPAC, MAS, ICNA, ISNA and others will do anything possible to blame everyone on the planet who is non-Muslim except their own ideologies and in essence the ideology spread across the planet by OIC [Organization of Islamic Cooperation] regimes of Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Pakistan, to name a few."

http://mobile.wnd.com/2017/08/study-terrorists-do-understand-islam/#fJ1Vopxzg090ih4J.99
http://mobile.wnd.com/2017/08/study-terrorists-do-understand-islam/

Saturday, 12 August 2017

BBC Newsnight on Damore's Google memo

To BBC: re your Nightline just now:
Caroline Criedo-Perez says the Damore Google memo had no evidence because "there were no references". She must have read Damore's memo on Gizmodo the first to publish it: which it did while stripping the memo every one of the 30 links to various scientific references. 
Criedo-Perez is plain wrong about the lack of evidence for male-female difference in traits. There's plenty. But as Damore points out there's huge overlap and the gender population differences say nothing about an individual man or woman
The head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, has noted that women are better than men at team building. This is likely true and her observations met general acclaim. She was not outed let alone fired for noting a male-female difference, an anti-male observation or anti-diversity statement.  That's all Damore was doing, pace Criedo-Perez. 
Someone at the BBC really ought to *read* the Damore Google memo before allowing more people on to voice their own prejudices and bigotries like those of Ms Criedo-Perez. 
Peter Forsythe
9 Siena One
Discovery Bay
Hong Kong 

Friday, 11 August 2017

"File lawsuits to disrupt tech's sexism": take 2

LETTER TO NEW YORK TIMES, International Edition
[455 words]
Anita Hill was subject to unfair treatment in the Clarence Thomas affair, so you'd think she would try to avoid it in her treatment of others.   Instead she joins the braying mob in lynching the poor James Damore, author of the controversial "Google Memo".  ("File lawsuits to disrupt tech's sexism".  August 10). 
She does a hatchet job on what he didn't say, but ignores what he did say.
James Damore did not say he was "against Google's diversity initiatives".  The opposite is the case: his aim was to try to make these initiatives more effective, a point he made repeatedly throughout the memo.
He did not say that Google should "... abandon its efforts for gender diversity and replace them with a focus on 'ideological diversity'".  
He does not have "anti-equality attitudes".  Quite the opposite, as he repeatedly says and shows.
Against Hill's straw-persons, we have what Damore did say, which Hill simply ignores: "I value diversity and inclusion, am not denying that sexism exists, and don't endorse using stereotypes" [p1]. "I strongly believe in gender and race diversity, and I think we should strive for more" [p6].  "Viewpoint diversity is arguably the most important type of diversity…" [p8].  
Does that sound like a person who wants Google to abandon diversity?  He simply wants there to be more attention to what he calls "viewpoint diversity", which ought to be unarguable since that is the very reason we are told that the other diversities - gender and race - are so valuable.
He wonders if part of the disparity in the number of coders might be due to lack of interest by women in doing it.  (Different (not better or worse) traits).  That's an interesting question on which there is some data, and which ought to be a debatable issue, not a fireable offence.
The gist of his memo is on the folly of directing people into jobs for which they are not suited purely to meet diversity goals.  Google could rethink how jobs are structured if the goal is to make them more attractive to people with a different set of traits than they attract now.
In saying that Damore has challenged the prevailing orthodoxy.
That orthodoxy is incoherent.  It states that all people, no matter the gender or race, are equal. All inequalities in outcome must therefore be the result of some type of bias or oppression.  But if that were the case, why then insist on "diversity"?  Diversity is only a good thing to the extent that different viewpoints come from different genders and races. And in turn those different viewpoints must be because of "viewpoint diversity". 
In short, you can have equality, or you can have diversity.
But you can't have both. And it's a shame that Hill should smear Damore's efforst to discuss that.

Yours,
Peter Forsythe.
9 Siena One
Discovery Bay
Hong Kong
+852 9308 0799

PS: 
Anita Hill opens her article with the same wording as Gizmodo did on 5 August: a Google "engineer's screed against the company's diversity initiatives…", suggesting she may have taken her line from them. Gizmodo was the first to obtain Damore's memo and posted it, allegedly in "Full".  But it is without the only two graphs — both of which are crucial to understanding Damore's argument — and "several hyperlinks are also omitted".  Actually, all 30 of the hyperlinks are omitted. Why?  It has led to some of the commenters on your online version of Hill's article to say that Damore provided no evidence for his statements, whereas he did so extensively.  What's going on here? And why didn't Hill note that fact?

Other links
Peter Guy in the South China Morning Post Says Damore should not have been fired.  Right.
"Stop Equating 'Science' with Truth", by Prof Chanda Prescod-Weinstein.  Against Damore. Hammered in the comments. 

Socialism flow chart




Oh how true! What a wonderful little chart! 
Wherever socialism has been tried from Albania to Zimbabwe, via Cambodia, China, Cuba, North Korea, Soviet Union, Vietnam and most recently Venezuela, it has failed.  And failed dismally and spectacularly. And when it does so, the cry from socialists is "it wasn't real socialism!" 
The Socialist party of the UK is saying that socialism hasn't been tried anywhere
Chavez supporters are running for cover. Corbyn has blamed Venezuela's collapse on oil price drops (to which the obvious counter is that Norway, a country with a similar bounty of oil, has managed to remain vibrantly strong despite the oil price drop. It's all about management. And socialist management simply doesn't do the job). Michael Moore was challenged this morning on U.K. Channel 4, about his fawning over Chavez and Madura. All he could do, apart from looking like he had a cockroach in his undies, was to blame the US -- again! -- for interfering in elections!  He looked like he was going to cry. I wonder how Sean Penn, a BFF of Chavez, view the Venezuelan disaster. No doubt it will be the fault of the US. Or the Jews maybe.
Sent from my iPhone

Britain Turns to Chinese Textbooks to Improve Its Math Scores - Current News & Events - OneHallyu

Well this is interesting. Britain turning to Chinese maths textbooks. Specifically Shanghai's textbooks. 
A couple of years back Britain brought in 21 Chinese maths teachers to help out at English schools.
I wonder how that went. Presumably well enough for them to now move to introduce Chinese textbooks. 
There was also a BBC reality show some months back following the trials and tribulations of half a dozen Chinese teachers employed at an English high school to teach the kids along the Chinese lines.  Fascinating show but also plenty  of cultural misunderstandings!  In the end, IIRC, both sides thought it had been worthwhile. Tough but worthwhile. 


Thursday, 10 August 2017

File lawsuits to disrupt tech's sexism | Anita Hill, New York Times

LETTER TO NEW YORK TIMES, International Edition
[455 words]
Anita Hill was subject to unfair treatment in the Clarence Thomas affair, so you'd think she would try to avoid it in her treatment of others.   Instead she joins the braying mob in lynching the poor James Damore, author of the controversial "Google Memo".  ("File lawsuits to disrupt tech's sexism".  August 10). 
She does a hatchet job on what he didn't say, but ignores what he did say.
James Damore did not say he was "against Google's diversity initiatives".  The opposite is the case: his aim was to try to make these initiatives more effective, a point he made repeatedly throughout the memo.
He did not say that Google should "... abandon its efforts for gender diversity and replace them with a focus on 'ideological diversity'".  
He does not have "anti-equality attitudes".  Quite the opposite, as he repeatedly says and shows.
Against Hill's straw-persons, we have what Damore did say, which Hill simply ignores: "I value diversity and inclusion, am not denying that sexism exists, and don't endorse using stereotypes" [p1]. "I strongly believe in gender and race diversity, and I think we should strive for more" [p6].  "Viewpoint diversity is arguably the most important type of diversity…" [p8].  
Does that sound like a person who wants Google to abandon diversity?  He simply wants there to be more attention to what he calls "viewpoint diversity", which ought to be unarguable since that is the very reason we are told that the other diversities - gender and race - are so valuable.
He wonders if part of the disparity in the number of coders might be due to lack of interest by women in doing it.  (Different (not better or worse) traits).  That's an interesting question on which there is some data, and which ought to be a debatable issue, not a fireable offence.
The gist of his memo is on the folly of directing people into jobs for which they are not suited purely to meet diversity goals.  Google could rethink how jobs are structured if the goal is to make them more attractive to people with a different set of traits than they attract now.
In saying that Damore has challenged the prevailing orthodoxy.
That orthodoxy is incoherent.  It states that all people, no matter the gender or race, are equal. All inequalities in outcome must therefore be the result of some type of bias or oppression.  But if that were the case, why then insist on "diversity”?  Diversity is only a good thing to the extent that different viewpoints come from different genders and races. And in turn those different viewpoints must be because of "viewpoint diversity". 
In short, you can have equality, or you can have diversity.
Yours etc,
PF

PS: 
Anita Hill opens her article with the same wording as Gizmodo did on 5 August: a Google "engineer's screed against the company's diversity initiatives…", suggesting she may have taken her line from them. Gizmodo was the first to obtain Damore's memo and posted it, allegedly in "Full".  But it is without the only two graphs — both of which are crucial to understanding Damore's argument — and "several hyperlinks are also omitted".  Actually, all 30 of the hyperlinks are omitted. Why?  It has led to some of the commenters on your online version of Hill's article to say that Damore provided no evidence for his statements, whereas he did so extensively.  What's going on here? And why didn't Hill note that fact?

Other links
Peter Guy in the South China Morning Post:  Says Damore should not have been fired.  Right.
"Stop Equating 'Science' with Truth", by Prof Chanda Prescod-Weinstein.  Against Damore. Hammered in the comments. Slate = left of centre.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Ex-muslim talks about eating bacon for the first time

Sami loooves bacon!
What fun! Sami Shah, a Muslim apostate, describes first time tasting bacon after he renounced Islam. Something he could only do in Australia, by the way.  In his home of Pakistan, he would have been killed for exercising his right to freedom of belief.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

My letter on Muslim apologists, published today | South China Morning Post


I guess we all know of the non-apologetic apology: "I'm sorry if you feel offended". How about the non-condemnatory ­condemnation?
This is what we've been ­hearing from a phalanx of ­Islamic apologists in your pages recently. Syed Ridwan Elahi, of the Muslim Council of Hong Kong, is just the latest in this genre ("Muslim voices against terror drowned out", July 30).
They all claim that they have been condemning terrorism. So why do we "misguided" ­non-Muslims still complain?
Well, because these so-called condemnations are not really condemnations at all: terrorism is by people "with Muslim names" (that is, they're not real Muslims). Or the terrorists have "distorted" Islam's message (it has nothing to do with Islam). Or terrorism is the fault of the West (that is, because of "our wars of terror in the Middle East").
I would like to see some real honesty from these representatives of Islam, not obfuscation, ­obscurantism and deflection.
Some brave Muslims – but too few – have addressed this issue front on: selected Koranic doctrines mandate the ­terrorising and killing of infidels.
Many more Muslims, especially those in leadership ­positions, need to face up to these doctrines and neutralise them.
No one imagines this will be easy. But the process can't begin until it's acknowledged.
Until then no amount of non-condemnatory condemnation is going to cut the ice.
Peter Forsythe, Discovery Bay

What turns a Hong Kong maid towards Islamic State? | This Week In Asia | South China Morning Post

Well the Hong Kong press has finally got onto this story. The story of Maids to Murderers.  From Maids to Jihadi brides.
These are Indonesian Muslim women who come to Hong Kong as domestic helpers. They find themselves isolated and "empty" according to the story. So what else do you do if you feel isolated and empty? Why, go off to kill some infidels, of course!
The story doesn't look at the issue of why the Filipinas in Hong Kong, about the same in number as the Indonesian Muslimas, in the same conditions, entirely the same, in other words, don't head off to joint ISIS or contemplate suicide bombing of we unbelievers.  Instead, you find the Filipinas, on their days off, going to church, then gathering together in town and singing and dancing and playing and acting up and being funny….
It's only the muslimas, wanting to find a "purer form of Islam", who come upon Jihadi Islam, and find new meaning in life in becoming part of the Islamic killing machine.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Australia’s PM Slowly Realizes Trump Is a Complete Idiot | New York Magazine

This is an excoriating article
The para quoted below, about his talk with Aussie PM Malcolm Turnbull, really makes you shake your head in disbelief at how obtuse Trump is. Or maybe it was just a long day. 
Trump ended by hanging up most ungraciously. That's another defining feature: rudeness. 
In sum, he's a nasty, idiotic piece of shit (this latter reinforces by his shocking  treatment of AG Sessions and attempt banning of LGBTs in the armed forces via a tweet). [A tweet!]. 
/Snip

The transcript of Donald Trump's discussion with Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull obtained by the Washington Post reveals many things, but the most significant may be that Trump in his private negotiations is every bit as mentally limited as he appears to be in public.
At issue in the conversation is a deal to settle 1,250 refugees who have been detained by Australia in the United States. I did not pay any attention to the details of this agreement before reading the transcript. By the time I was halfway through it, my brain could not stop screaming at Trump for his failure to understand what Turnbull was telling him.


How to identify a genuinely progressive Muslim « Why Evolution Is True

Maajid Nawaz, one of my favourites of the Muslim reformers.
Ever eloquent, principled and brave

For a while now, I've been meaning to put together a list of Muslims and ex-Muslims who are what I call "sound" on Islam.  Ones you can trust to be telling the full picture of Islam and trying to reform it.  I've procrastinated and the result is like the Chinese philosophy says — "Wu Wei", which means do nothing…. and things will solve themselves and often that really is the wisest course of action (or inaction).
And it is here.  Jerry Coyne has put together such a list, though without the ex-Muslims.
Here it is a his "Why Evolution is True" website.
The Muslims that you can trust, or as Jerry has it, you can "pay attention to".  I agree with it, knowing, as I do, virtually all of these folk. (well…. I don't quite know if Malala should be on the list….)
Reza Aslan
Linda Sarsour
Tariq Ramadan
Hatem Bazin
Keith Ellison (the only a Muslim member of the U.S. Congress)
Mehdi Hasan

To which I would add Mustafa Akyol, who's like an even smoother Tariq Ramadan. Slickly suave, but an apologist for Islam despite appearing like a reformer
Note that many in the West and on the Left lionise these folk.  They've been deluded by them (is the most charitable explanation).

Thursday, 3 August 2017

ABC's Julia Baird tells falsehoods about Islam | Herald Sun

Love him or hate him, Andrew Bolt surely wins the debate here. And the ABC should be ashamed of itself.  And Baird of herself.
Her line was this: Christianity encourages men to beat their women. And Islam doesn't.
But the opposite is the case. 
And that's attested to by various studies, including ones quoted by Ms Baird (!), and by the Koran and Hadiths.



How Brexit Britain Can Reset the Immigration Debate | Rachel Shabi | New York Times

LETTER TO NEW YORK TIMES
I'm always surprised when seemingly sane and sensible people call for socialism. Even more so when they call it "progressive"  ("How Brexit Britain Can Reset the Immigration Debate", August 1)
Global worker solidarity? Nationalising transport and energy? "Collectivist sympathies? How very seventies and hardly progressive. Been there. Tried that. Didn't work. 
I have spent my career engaged with China, in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. I first worked there in the mid seventies while it was still officially in the throes of the so-called "Cultural Revolution"; that is to say, as a socialist polity.  There was virtually nothing to buy: no consumer goods and food was rationed. I've watched in awe what has happened since. China may call it "socialism with Chinese characteristics", but make no mistake: it's capitalism with Chinese characteristics. 
Further: in Ms Shabi's clear admiration for Mr Corbin's socialism she conspicuously fails to mention his admiration for terrorists. Hamas and Hezbollah are "my friends". He welcomes Islamists to Westminster. He praises the Islamic Declaration of Human rights which has Sharia as its supreme law. 
Does today's Britain really want to be led by a man so compromised?
Finally, Ms Shabi notes with approval Mr Corbyn's manifesto promise that Labour "will not scapegoat migrants nor blame them for economic failures". But how else can this be read than as putting the very discussion immigration beyond the pale?
Put it all together and you have a return to seventies style socialist inefficiencies wedded to unbridled, unquestionable immigration. 
Who, with memory of Britain's three-day work week, would want to return to that?
Not progressive, Ms Shabi, but regressive. 
Peter Forsythe, etc....

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

From the Taliban to ISIS, journalist faces jihadist leaders to understand their cause - Home | The Current with Anna Maria Tremonti | CBC Radio

This is the sort of nonsense you get from some on the left. Particularly prevalent in Trudeau's Canada - he gives the lead by saying Canada "has no core values".
"We have those, unfortunately, in all kinds of religions and different fields of society. It's not Islam that is radicalizing people. Those people are radicalizing Islam."
Memo to Ms Tremonti: Islam doesn't need any radicalising. Read the doctrines of Islam - the Koran will do - and see that it's the very playbook, the instruction manual complete with justifications, of terrorism...

Monday, 31 July 2017

Two reasons why the Greenies have ruined our planet....

... NADER and NUCLEAR

(1) Ralph Nader
Nader was the third party candidate in the 2000 US election.  He took part even though many Democrats warned that he could take votes from Al Gore.  He denied that he did. But he did.  It's undeniable that the votes he won took the election from Gore.  (Here is the link to the spreadsheet that I did on the election results)
George W won by 271 to 266 electoral votes.
In Florida, W won by 537 votes (2,912,792 vs 2,912 253), which gave him Florida's 25 Electoral Votes.  (put aside the whole drama of hanging chads, etc).  Nader took 97,488 votes in Florida.  Now there's not dispute that the majority of these would have gone to Gore, had not Nader been there.  Not all who voted for Nader would have bothered to turn up for Gore, but most guesses are in the high 80s% would have done so, and would have voted for Gore.
It actually needed 538 of Nader voters to turn up and vote for Gore, or 0.55% of Nader voters.
There's simply no doubt that many otherwise-Nader voters would have turned up to vote for Gore, had Nader not been there. The result would have been a win to Gore of 295 vs 242, or an Electoral Vote win by 53.
So: Nader's claim (to this day), that his vote didn't spoil Gore's chance at the presidency, is simply nonsense.
So what if Gore had won the presidency?  Well, then there's 9/11.  Gore said at the time that he would have sent Special Forces into Pakistan and Afghanistan to search for Osama bin-Ladin. I can remember his saying that, at the time.  And this would have been a far wiser thing to have done. Not the attack on Iraq and then the attack on Afghanistan.  Let the Special Forces handle it, as they did in the end anyway. That may well have meant less chaos in the Middle East than we have now. (though I don't blame all the chaos on the US. They bear plenty of responsibility themselves -- eg, Tunisia and the beginning of the "Arab Spring", Syria made chaos on its own, etc)
So, there's part one of the Greenies' responsibility for their part in the destruction of the world: for Nader, let's recall, ran as a Green Party member.
Because Nader >> Bush.  Because Bush >> Iraq war.  Because Iraq war >> middle east chaos
(2) Nuclear
I can remember back in the sixties when we were going to build a whole bunch of nuclear power stations around the world. My, even Australia, my country, may have got in on the act.  But that didn't happen, and it didn't happen largely because of Greenpeace's war of scaremongering about nuclear. (Nader was complicity here too).
Nuclear was then, and remains to this day the most economic, the most reliable and the most clean way to generate the sorts of power the earth needs.
Instead, because of Greenpeace, we don't have anyhthing like the number of plants we need (maybe 10,000 vs the 440 we have).  As a result we've relied much more on fossil fuels which we all hate -- yes, we agree with Greenpeace there. And as a result we've blown right past the 395 ppm of CO2 which is said to be some kind of red line which we should not have passed.
All due to Greenies.
Thus: GREENIES HAVE RUINED THE WORLD

The ex-Muslim and Muslim LGBTs at the Pride march


To: PRIDE in London:

I'm following this issue from Hong Kong and find your position not valid.

You really ought to support Muslim and ex-Muslims LGBTs.  If they say that certain mosques in London are homophobic, it's because they are (and murderously so).  If they say that Islam hates gays, it's because it does. (and here . Read up on Islam, if you don't believe me. 

Anti LGBT views need to be called out and faced everywhere, not just in our comfortable secular christian society (where "Jesus is gay" posters go unremarked).

You can have your Pride, by all means.  But how about your Spine?

Show it, by announcing that they will be welcome at the next Pride march, and saying so, right now.

Pf, etc

Romaissaa the hijabi moaner

I first came across this young triggered Muslima , Romaissaa Benzizoune, in the New York Times, in this article:
The Muslim Prom Queen and Me.  Just the usual muslim victimhood story, I thought. O woe is me, being oppressed by the horrid west.
It turns out she has form:
Romaissaa Benzizoune is the worst roommate in America — by guest blogger Lulu
And even earlier she was moaning, when she went into the sea in a "burkini".  Note that the good folks, the readers of the NYT, mostly tolerant urban lefties, tear her apart. She didn't need to wear such a ridiculous piece of swimwear, and if she did, then don't moan about how uncomfortable it is, and how people look at you.
At Sea in My Burkini  
Just more Muslim victimhood.

China’s ageing solar panels are going to be a big environmental problem | South China Morning Post

I didn't know this about solar panels.
That they have a useful life of only about 20 years and that the costs of trashing them has not been factored into solar power costings.
By contrast a nuclear power station has a useful life around 80 years and the handling of waste is something that's mentioned every time we talk of nuclear power and, moreover - despite the scaremongering by greenies - has been solved.
The commenters on this article suggest that in time the waste solar panel issue will be solved. Which it may well be. It's still a cost that I've not seen commonly factored in to solar power costings.