31 January 2014

Islamist censorship is appeased in Britain

So in the past week or so in the UK:

- The Liberal Democrats are debating whether to suspend a Muslim Parliamentary candidate who tweeted a Jesus and Mo cartoon image saying he was not offended by it (and, according to his opponents, using "colourful" language to describe his Islamists opponents).

- Channel 4 and the BBC, both state-owned broadcasters, have refused to broadcast images of the said cartoon, in reporting the story (specifically showing the image with the depiction of Jesus, but concealing the depiction of Mohammed).  The reason given by the BBC was that it would be "gratuitously offensive" to some viewers, yet it was central to understanding what the fuss was about.

This is it...

Meanwhile, George Galloway, fresh from spreading pro-north Korean propaganda on Russian propaganda channel, RT, is campaigning vehemently against the Liberal Democrat candidate.   There aren't words to describe the creature.

Even a few on the "liberal" left, which has shamefully appeased Islamist views for so long, is finally starting to wake up.

Free speech is under attack, and it is in the heart of the left liberal establishment that the challenge is happening, and they are shaking, shivering and fearful.

For there is no right to be protected from offence in a free society, and the fundamental problem is that the "liberal" left have pushed for laws to essentially do this.  To prohibit views that are offensive to many (and indeed to many libertarians and conservatives too), to seek to socially-engineer views, rather than confront them with debate, boycotts and voluntary action, but to use the state to shut them down.

The problem for them is that in creating this artificial construct, they have deemed it impossible for people of protected "oppressed" groups to be capable of committing the offences they created.  It is why it is politically impossible for many on the left to accept that people of non-European extraction can be racist, or that women can be sexist, or that the religious bigotry of non-Christians (or non-Jews) is a concern.  This doctrine is fed "protected oppressed group" identity students relentlessly, and is seen most recently in the "white privilege", "male privilege" slapdown, designed to shut down debate with a pejorative that implies you are not entitled to participate, because of your background.

Quite simply, until those of the "liberal" left eject this post-modernist collectivist identity politics fantasy, they cannot credibly take Islamists on.

So if those who proclaim opposition to racism, sexism, oppression of homosexuals and promotion of secularism cannot take on an ideology that is racist, sexist, oppresses homosexuality, oppresses any deviation from its religion, then their philosophical foundations are found wanting.

28 January 2014

Holocaust Memorial Day 2014

Whilst much of the Muslim world, and more than a few in the former Soviet bloc, and some in the West continue to want to deny the horrors of Nazism, it needs to be re-emphasised.  For a toxic coalition of the gutter-white racists and the Islamist totalitarians, are keen to revive anti-semitism, and more than a few so-called liberals, turn a blind eye to the latter group in particular.

Never forget.

For the Holocaust wasn't the angry lynching of a whole population in the rage of war, or the vile act of a small number of followers of some thug who went far too far, nor is it the act of a culture or civilisation that otherwise would be thought of as primitive.  

No, it was the act of a modern society, corrupted by the culture of virulent collectivist purging.   A technologically and artistically modern society, taken over by a totalitarian monster, that went from mere scapegoating through to a quiet, shameful, eliminationist policy, and did so with mechanical, mass-produced, efficiency - akin to the production lines invented by Henry Ford, who, of course, shared many of these views about the Jews.

"The utter complete dehumanisation of all those effectively declared "unpersons" by the Nazis remains a horror unparalleled in its comprehensive efficient single mindedness."

26 January 2014

Remembering Ahmadinejad

(From 2008..)

Ahmadinejad's speech (yeah you would figure he'd say something ridiculous) had little coverage in the media. Maybe they are all tired of the Iranian holocaust denier's comments, but they shouldn't be.

"As to the Holocaust, I just raised a few questions. And I didn't receive any answers to my questions. I said that during World War II, around 60 million were killed. All were human beings and had their own dignities. Why only 6 million? And if it had happened, then it is a historical event. Then why do they not allow independent research?

TIME: But massive research has been done.

AHMADINEJAD: They put in prison those who try to do research. About historical events everybody should be free to conduct research. Let's assume that it has taken place. Where did it take place?"

So Ahmadinejad continues his anti-semitic lunacy. His actual UN speech has some gems:

- the "passing of the era of agnostic philosophies".  In short, he believed the West is dominated by Christianity;

- he bemoans violence as a means of solving crises, he who led a regime that dished out violence in abundance;

- "Justice is about equal rights, the correct distribution of resources in the territories of different states". Chilling stuff, who decides what is correct?

- "The Islamic Revolution toppled a regime, which had been put in place through a coup, and supported by those who claim to be advocates of democracy and human rights, thwarted the aspirations of the nation for development and progress for 25 years through intimidation and torture of the populace and submission and subservience to outsiders." Irony no?  This regime that murders anyone who rejects the state religion, and flogs the victims of rape.

- "those who have actually used nuclear weapons, continue to produce, stockpile and extensively test such weapons, have used depleted uranium bombs and bullets against tens and perhaps hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, Kuwaitis, and even their own soldiers and those of their allies, afflicting them with incurable disease"  Extensively test nuclear weapons? Use bullets against tens of thousands of who?

- "After September 11, a particular radical group was accused of terrorist activities -- although it was never explained how such huge intelligence gathering and security organizations failed to prevent such an extensive and well planned operation."  9/11 conspiracist then?

- "In Palestine, a durable peace will be possible through justice, an end to discrimination and the occupation of Palestinian land, the return of all Palestinian refugees, and the establishment of a democratic Palestinian state with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital."  Sure it will.   Bound to be a durable peace, after you've wiped out the "Zionist entity".

The Islamic Republic of Iran is a throwback, to the dark ages and is the antithesis of democracy and justice, denying anyone in the country who wishes to reject Islam, fundamental rights.

It ought to be ostracised across the Western world, universally condemned by secularists and advocates of human rights.  It is a land where individual freedom is subordinated to a theocratic dictatorship.

It's an utter disgrace that so many on the left, who are only too fast to jump on Christian conservatives, (often quite correctly), appease the beastly regime - because it fits into their visceral hatred of the United States - when, if they were living in Iran, virtually none of them would have the tolerant liberal views they express, tolerated at all.

25 January 2014

World Economic Forum 2015 should be in Detroit

Instead of the "oh so nice" politeness towards the vile and the corrupt, and the pleasantries, and the parties and the delightful atmosphere of an expensive resort.

They should congregate in Detroit and actually talk economics.

Talk about how a wealthy city has decayed because of industries that got lazy and were hijacked by those who cared about "the workers" first, namely trade unions.

Talk about how a city completely dominated by one political party, became corrupt, bankrupt and fundamentally incapable of delivering the basic infrastructure it monopolised.

Talk about how a city maximised tax revenue to try to catch up with its declining population, and simply chased more business and more residents away, except those too poor and too dependent on welfare or crime to want to leave.

Talk about what happens when a city once known for being the centre of industry and entrepreneurial spirit, becomes dragged down by growing government.

and yes talk about how the same people with that political philosophy now think it is more important to build a tram line beside a half-empty road, rather than ensuring the emergency services can respond effectively.

Shifting the World Economic Forum away from the pristine location of Davos will avoid one criticism, that it is a party of the rich and famous, and just involves the self-styled "elite" talking to each other somewhere that is nice to visit anyway.

Then every year it should be in a city that needs economic transformation, that will teach lessons of economics, and will appreciate the massive injection of economic activity that such wealthy visitors bring.

Yangon for 2016, or Bangui, or Karachi?

20 January 2014

Where is the so-called peace movement now?

The Times reported that the US Administration is claiming that the Syrian target hit by Israeli airstrikes in September 2007 was a nuclear reactor supplied by North Korea.

North Korea of course has developed nuclear weapons, in defiance of promises to the international community. It utters rhetoric constantly calling for death to the USA, Japan and south Korea. It has now been caught selling nuclear technology to Syria.

Syria is an enemy of Israel, sponsors terrorism, invaded and ran Lebanon as an extension of itself for years.

However, that doesn't matter.  

It isn't the United States, United Kingdom or any other Western liberal democratic state.  

It is basically a rule of thumb that if anti-Western autocracies engage in war-mongering, it doesn't get the so-called peace movement excited.  They excuse it because "well the USA has nuclear weapons", granting moral equivalency between a regime that brutally suppresses dissent and does not permit independent media or protests, and the relatively free West.


On Syria it is more palpable.  The so-called "peace" movement happily rallies thousands to march against Western intervention in Syria, but never protest against Russian arming and assisting the Syrian regime, or Qatar or Saudi doing the same to the rebels.

No, you see "imperialism" is just ok for Arab states, Iran, Russia or indeed any country that doesn't share the political or cultural background of the Western world.

As it was in the Cold War, when the so-called "peace" movement constantly rallied against Western military spending and activity, and never protested the Soviet bloc, or China, is how it is today.

So-called "peace" activists are blind to militarism and violence from dictatorships that aren't allied to the West.  They are simply reconstructed anti-capitalist fans of violent revolution, and their self-styled calls for morality and peace are transparently vacuous.

16 January 2014

Air NZ wins "airline rating" award, so what? UPDATED

It's simple fodder for New Zealand "reporters" - a company called Airline Ratings, which is self styled as "the world’s foremost safety and product rating website" awards Air NZ "airline of the year".

So what happens?  The company press release is substantively replicated on the NZ Herald, with little analysis, just an interview from Air NZ which of course is happy to use it as a marketing opportunity.

However, did anyone think to ask who the hell Airline Ratings is, and whether there is anything substantive about this rating?

I know my first reaction (and that of some people on frequent flyer forums) was "who the hell is this"?

15 January 2014

The (last) pope got something right...

(originally 2006)

Now I didn't have much time for Pope Benedict XVI, as I am an atheist and oppose the church's obsession with controlling people's bodies, its fundamental sexism and inability to adequately confront those of its employees who have violently and sexually abused many. 

However, the Pope is a powerful man, one of the most important in Christianity. For all of the flaws of Christianity, precious few Christians engage in violence to gain converts - while many may be offended by media and statements that attack the religion, very few engage in angry rampages of violence and there are precious few examples of modern day Christian militia out to do violence (though they are not unknown in Africa). The time for that is past.

His speech at the University of Regensburg in 2006 has upset Muslims across the world - they are, matching the stereotype that is hardening in the non-Muslim world, by protesting angrily, making anti-American and anti-Israeli statements, burning effigies of the Pope - in other words, acting like uncivilised, brutalised deranged thugs.  Criticism is not taken as a reason to offer rhetoric or reason in return, but anger and violence.

They have acted exactly the way that the Pope rejected. In his speech he said:

"Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats… To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death"

It is a lesson many Christians have taken, but which far too many Muslims have not.  They seek to enforce their religion with threats and violence, treating the mind as irrelevant, not seeking to convince with arguments based on merits, but on fear.

That is the fundamental difference today, that is oft-ignored by all too many, especially on the so-called progressive left.

In many Muslim countries, choosing to reject Islam (which you are assumed to have been born with) is a crime.  The last known execution for heresy of a Christian was in 1826 in Spain.  No non-Muslim majority countries have laws restricting religion.

So when Muslims wonder why their religion appears "singled out", then they need only look at the behaviour of their fellow believers. 

It isn't Christians, Jews or atheists that people fear waging violence int he name of religion. It isn't apparent in most Muslim countries that there is tolerance for those of other religions or no religion.

Anyone who thinks that the appropriate response to those who don't share their views is to threaten them with violence, is uncivilised and barbaric.  

Unfortunately for Muslims, it is people of their religion who far too often undertake this behaviour.  

They have every right to hold uncivilised barbaric views of others, but when they cross the line to threaten violence against those they disagree with, they should reasonably expect the full force of the law.

The right to religion is a right to practice your own beliefs - it is not a right to force others to submit to them, or to protect you from being offended.

14 January 2014

Obesity - the Greens want to parent you

From 2006

The Green Party is supporting the Health Select Committee's inquiry into obesity and type 2 diabetes today. Of course MPs inquiring into obesity are the blind leading the blind, or as David Farrar puts it “like asking Black Power to inquire into gang violence”

Sue “ban or make it compulsory” Kedgley said “If we are serious about reducing the risks of obesity we have to find ways of reducing the overwhelming pressure on children to eat unhealthy food.”

We do have two ways, one is called PARENTS, increasingly incapable of deciding their children's diet, school and television viewing, the other is social pressure. What is more powerful that seeing how unpopular it is to be overweight, especially for girls? It can be cruel and soul destroying to be teased about your weight - and this in itself can have a profound effect (and also worsen it, by kids using food as a crutch).

The fundamental philosophical difference here is between:

1. Those who believe that obesity is a personal responsibility of people who eat too much and exercise insufficiently, and of parents of children who do the same; and
2. Those who believe that people are too stupid and incapable of choosing healthy food and exercise, and get seduced by big mean corporations “forcing” them to buy those things that they “can’t help but buy”.

Obesity in most cases is about making bad choices. Nobody makes you go to McDonalds instead of a fruit store. Nobody makes you buy ice cream instead of salad.

The Greens will want to tax what they see as bad choices, which are not bad if you eat them in moderation – this simply gives nanny state more of your money to spend on what the Greens want. The Greens also think that manufacturers of sweet or high fat foods are morally wrong – and should not be allowed to advertise their products when and where they wish (despite some reports from Sweden that have shown such bans to be ineffective).

I simply would say such moves increase the prevalent culture of not being responsible for your own life and choices, and treat people as children who the state needs to look after.

Who, other than a blithering idiot, thinks that eating large amounts of sugary sweets and deep fried food is good for you? Why the hell should we care if parents are too stupid to resist their children’s calls for bad food?


Well I DO care about parents who let their children become morbidly unhealthy.  It raises the difficult issue as to when the state should intervene against parents who are deliberately or recklessly harming their children, because I am instinctively uncomfortable with people defining what that is.

Without a welfare state, this may be easier, and it may be easier without legislation that protects people from alleged discrimination by private individuals. 

For adults, it should be left to them, but to parents of children that are obese (and who exacerbate or don't care about the situation), is it about other relatives, friends and family caring.  I tend to lean towards the state intervening only if the parents actively take steps that are risking the child's life or being wantonly negligent.  

Meanwhile, if other people are concerned they should act.

13 January 2014

After Helen (and Phil, and David)

From 2006

Whether it limps along to 2008 or not, Helen Clark will not be leader of the Labour Party within three years. Caucus must be looking at each other and considering who the successor could be... so I thought I'd go through some of them:

- Michael Cullen. Well he could, but he's part of the same tired generation, ex. Cabinet Ministers..


and that's where it ended.  Phil Goff of course succeeded and did an admirable job of ensuring Labour couldn't move beyond its core.  David Shearer has repeated this, despite being a rather decent chap, and now it is Silent T.

Labour's problem is quite fundamental.  Nowadays it touts class warfare and mild xenophobic rhetoric in the hope it can win support from the neo-Marxist Greens and the fear-mongering NZ First, but none of this is new.

Until it can be innovative, and seek to advocate more than just the usual formula of more government spending and regulation, it faces being outdone on that front by the Greens, and being seen as relatively uninteresting.   Meanwhile, the Nats can always say it is risky to vote for Labour because you'll get whacky Green policies with it - and despite the lack of serious scrutiny of the Greens, most voters run a mile from their politics.

National meanwhile is playing the semi-Muldoonist "safe pair of hands" approach, so that a plurality of voters are happy not to rock the boat.

So Labour looks like getting relatively nowhere in the 2014 general election, hoping only that the Nats might have to get into bed with Winston Peters, which ought to poison the Nats enough to give Labour a reasonable run at power in 2017 or sooner.

It's hardly an inspiring strategy.

12 January 2014

Egypt's problems wont be solved by elections

You see in Egypt the problem comes from the politicians and they arise from the culture.

Unfortunately Egypt has a culture of  kleptocracy, corruption and favouritism. 

When he was President, Hosni Mubarak enriched himself to the tune of US$42 billion.  This is scandalous but hardly unexpected, because politicians in absolute power will both use violence to retain power and will be thieving bastards one and all.  Yet this is what politics does.  By granting unlimited power to people elected or otherwise, they do violence to others, they collect money through violence and can use it to corrupt, and can be corrupted to change laws, grant contracts and the like. 

It is what politics can do and does, and liberal democracy doesn't contain it, culture does.  In the US, politics is corrupted because people seek favours from politicians in the forms of money or privileges granted by the state.  However, there is an independent judiciary and free press, so there are institutions in place that can contain this.

In Egypt this doesn't exist.  It is stuck between the kleptocratic authoritarian culture of the army, which has deep roots in business and the economy well beyond what should be its core role.  

However, Islam also has deep roots that mean that a significant plurality of Egyptians are quite happy for the state and religion to be as one, meaning non-Muslims in Egypt face serious risks of oppression and discrimination by the state.

So when foreign observers call for free and fair elections, that's all very well, but what is the reason for this?  What do they want for Egyptians?

11 January 2014

Iranians start to stand up

Following Egypt, Iranians protest against their gerrymandered theocratic "democracy", that allows any point of view as long as it supports the status quo.

Good for them.  Iran's theocratic dictatorship brutally suppresses political dissent, it executes more people than any country other than China, including rape victims and children.


OK so I didn't say much then.  However,  Iranians appear to have released their urge for reform by voting for the most reformist candidate they were allowed, who may - at best - ease the absurd economic policies that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had inflicted upon them all.  Hassan Rouhani has proven himself to be at least amenable to diplomacy over confrontation and has reduced internal pressure for major reform.

However, let's not get too excited.  Iran still imprisons political dissidents.  Iran still executes apostates. Iran is still intervening in the Syrian Civil War on the side of the Assad dictatorship (primarily on sectarian grounds) and in Iraq.  However, its imperialism gets nary a peep of criticism from the so-called peace movement.

There is a long way to go, and Hassani wouldn't be President if the regime thought he might seriously undermine this theocracy.

Yet it is also clear that he has been brought in to save the regime from the ineptness of past leadership bankrupting the economy and sabre-rattling.  This does not include abandoning its nuclear programme or the capability to develop a nuclear weapon, but it might mean stalling it or containing it, and drastically curtailing Iran's long standing policy of extending support to the likes of Hizbollah and other Islamists (but not Al Qaeda) in other parts of the world.

The key point being that Iran wants the end to economic sanctions so it can grow, although this wont be enough for the largely cosmopolitan population of Tehran, aching for more personal freedom, it will remove pressure for reform elsewhere.

So at best there is hope that Iran will threaten the outside world less, especially Israel, but it will still imprison and murder its own people for blasphemy against Islam and seeking a government that isn't theocratic.  For all of that, it will and should remain a pariah.

10 January 2014

New Zealanders for Gaddafi?

As Muammar Gaddafi engaged in slaughter against the Libyan people, it may be timely to note those with a high profile in New Zealand who thought he had a lot going for him.

The leftwing blogosphere has plenty wishing for his overthrow, even calling for military intervention of some kind.  The Greens are even supporting a revolution.

I guess if a high profile New Zealander talked favourably about Gaddafi now, it would not be seen in a positive light.  Though I can't be so sure of that.

Yet when it comes to those who have been to Libya, spoken favourably of it and were friendly to the Gaddafi regime, it's "ok".  Those people are forgiven.  Yet John Key when asked by a journalist whether he would tell Mubarak (a clearly far less brutal dictator, and no war-mongerer) to resign, he said no - and got excoriated for it.

The hard left community has long been soft towards Libya, because for years Libya was anti-American, it supported revolutionaries all over the world, including Maori nationalist thugs who wanted armed rebellion in New Zealand.  Gaddafi always felt a soft spot for anyone wanting to take on the liberal democratic West.

The late Syd Jackson being one of those thugs. 

He went to Libya to see Gaddafi's theories in practice and met him, and discussed Libya imposing trade sanctions on New Zealand.   Idiot Savant preferred to just consider him a union leader and broadcaster, brushing over his Gaddafi-philia.  However, the left is remarkably forgiving of its own kind being friendly with known mass murderers, typically dismissing accusations by claiming its opponents are the same - it's the plea of the man who beats up his wife who points out that the man over the road is beating up his wife too, why don't you harass him?

It is hardly a robust defence.

Hone Harawira spoke fondly of him, but only Dr. Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia - both Ministers in the current government said this on his passing:

"He had the keen intellect to grasp complex issues, a quality which you would see coming through in campaigns such as encouraging Libya to boycott trade with New Zealand".

None of those current MPs can really be said to be particularly negative towards Gaddafi.

I'm not exactly trusting of Sharples and Turia to be keen identifiers of intellect.

It is not just Syd though.  Keith Locke was once sympathetic, as can be seen in this "Just Peace" newsletter penned by him on the Green Party website where he calls for:

"if you wish to take part as one of the walking wounded representing countries bombed and oppressed by the US government" listing Libya as one of them.

The fact Gaddafi's regime was sponsoring terrorism across the world, including the UK and Germany and had been waging war against Chad didn't matter.

Keith has only just started protesting against Libya.  You see he saw Libya as a "victim" as well, with the "see no evil" hands over his eyes when Libya killed people in other countries.

Apparently ruthless military/socialist dictatorships can't be imperialist.

However, New Zealand is always so forgiving of those who cuddle up to thugs, with the mass media largely willing to give them a free pass.

and now

Gaddafi is gone, and there was nary a peep of concern expressed by those who might be thought to have been his friends.  Those who once gave succour to his regime (and gained it) will forever keep a low profile.

The posts that didn't make it

I have over 100 blog posts that I didn't finish, that got interrupted, so given my other commitments at this time, I've decided to tidy some of them up and send them out.   The main reason I didn't post them was timing, and I wasn't happy with the content, so they may be shorter than usual (some of you will be pleased). 

Given I have enough for two a week for a whole year and I'll probably cull half of them for good, I expect to send out that many over the next few months, and include a postscript that updates my thinking on the specific issue.

08 January 2014

Happy New Year 2014, and why I haven't been blogging

Well readers, for those who have stuck with me, you'll have noticed a paucity in posts, as I have been a combination of uninspired and very busy in the past few months.

Quite simply I can put it down to real life consuming my time and energy to an extent that meant that, beyond outing Gareth Morgan for his naivete over North Korea, my attention has been elsewhere.

In part it has been work, which from May till early December kept me mostly consumed for a good bit over 40 hours a week.

In part it has been the drawn out process of jumping onto the London property bubble (which still isn't over).

However, it has also been time and energy taken by four trips in under six months to New Zealand to help and be with my terminally ill father, and help my stressed and regularly distraught mother.

So for now, I'd like to talk about my Dad, as he remains with us, albeit not as active or as cheerful as he usually is.

I'd advise you to not read any further if you are squeamish or easily upset.  What comes includes some graphic descriptions of his condition.