fredag 29 augusti 2014

Comment is not so free

My comments in the Guardian's Comment is Free section, under the name Nazarene1563, are being pre-moderated ie censored. Here is why.

Q: When I post a comment, it says that my comments are being pre-moderated – what does that mean? Does that apply to everyone in the conversation? 

A: There is a further exception to the overall reactive-moderation approach adopted by the Guardian website: in isolated situations, a particular user may be identified as a risk, based on a pattern of behaviour (e.g. spam, trolling, repeated/frequent borderline abuse), so a temporary filter can be applied to anything they post, which means that their comments will need to be pre-moderated before appearing on the site.

This is a temporary measure applied by moderators to a very small handful of people based entirely on patterns of actual behaviour, and should result relatively quickly in either their posting ability being suspended completely if no improvement is shown, or the filter being removed. The decision to do either of these things would, again, be based on that user's behaviour and activity during the pre-moderation period.

I have been forthright, in particular in relation to Islam, though always polite and never offensive. Very few comments have actually been deleted, so someone has obviously taken a dislike to what I have been saying, and it does not take too much imagination to guess who that might be.

It doesn't bother me particularly but if there is much of this kind of thing it destroys effectiveness of the forum. It is significant that during the Gaza hostilities commentators were left free to say pretty much whatever they wanted about the evils of the Zionists. I suspect there has been a decision to have a crack-down on anyone critical of Islam. Fair enough but in the end the main damage is to the newspaper's credibility as it is no longer a place where comment is free.

torsdag 28 augusti 2014

Sex crime wave

Paedophilia has been in the news for about the past ten years. First it was the Catholic clergy, who were alleged to be paedophiles to a man, when in fact it turned out that 98% of them had not been involved in paedophilia. There were some places where the incidence was higher, and the cover-ups by the hierarchy were reprehensible, but on the whole this was not a major issue.

Then we have had scandals in care homes, and last year there was the case of Jimmy Saville case, and other well-known and popular entertainers.

But the really big scandals are only just emerging - those of predatory gangs of Muslim men. This is a widespread problem across Europe. If the authorities do not deal with it, then people will take matters into their own hands.

tisdag 19 augusti 2014

The ugliness of Islam

Why is so much of the strict end of Islam so ugly? Arabic script can be beautiful but the lettering on the ISIS flag looks as if it was done by someone sticking their finger in a bottle of ink. Then there is that rough white circle. Don't they have compasses to draw a proper circle? This is the sort of "artwork" that would be expected from Orcs.

This is part of a wider picture. Beyond abstract patterning, Islam has produced little in the way of art. Its architecture has been formulaic and has not evolved qualitatively in a millennium. What is there in Islamic architecture comparable to the evolution from Romanesque to Gothic and the classical revival of the Renaissance?

The Islamic world has produced no music comparable either to that of Renaissance composers, or the nineteenth century symphonists. Where is the Islamic equivalent of a Palestrina or a Mozart? Who were the Islamic world's Albertis, Michaelangelos, Berninis, Rembrandts and Vermeers?

Nor has the Islamic world has produced anything of significance in science or mathematics for the past thousand years. How many Nobel prizewinners can it claim?

It is almost as though the lack of creativity is an indication of its lack of contact with the creator. It seems as if Islam has the power to turn men into Orcs.

måndag 18 augusti 2014

Kids killed on Gaza beach

The report was that children playing on the beach were shelled by an Israeli vessel and killed. What really happened?

If you do a search on the incident, you will find conflicting reports. One account says that the boys were playing football, another that they were collecting scraps of metal. The photograph of the alleged site of the incident shows a beach but not the kind of beach where people would relax in deckchairs and play games. There was a container which was reportedly targetted by the Israeli gunners, and there seem to be various other bits of industrial debris lying around. There was a report that the Israelis would carry out an investigation but no report of the results of an investigation seems to turn up if you search for it.

The worst is indeed possible: that the boys were shot and killed for fun. Other possibilities are that they were in front of the actual target and the shells fell short - which happens constantly when firing from a vessel at sea. What else was on the beach or in the line of fire? The boys may have been carrying pieces of scrap metal and the Israelis assumed they were weapons. They may even have been using them as pretend weapons, and the Israelis may then have decided that they had hostile intentions; after all, it is not unknown for quite young boys to use substantial firearms, rocket launchers, etc.

Like so much in this wretched war, it will be a very long time, if ever, before the truth emerges. Hamas exploits the circumstances of the war to portray it as a genocide, which it obviously is not, whilst the IDF web site tells a story that it is fighting a perfectly clean war, which is just too good to be true.

You cannot believe anyone.

onsdag 13 augusti 2014

Whose human rights are being violated?

Life at the receiving end of the Hamas firework show...

Just to let you know......= the hamas broke the sease fire for the 7 time- just 1 Hour ago, and fire rockets at israely cities...!!!!!!!!! what would you do if it was on your home ????? at your family ??? for 14 years ????? no time to take a shower..(15 seconds to hit) , cant go to schol, cant sleep at night? can live regulary...??? and above all they are bilding yunnels to get inside people houses and kill children' and kidnapped some more....? what wold you do??? help humanity stop terror....!!!! ( 24:00 NOW, CANT SLEEP..!)

lördag 9 augusti 2014

If Israel vanished - would the Palestinians get what they want?

The Palestinian owners of the land are mostly long dead, so any possible rights would belong to their heirs, who will be the children or grandchildren. Imagine, for the sake of argument, that Israel were to evacuate the entire country. The putative rights of the successors to the original owners would have to be established. Documents would have to be provided, which would include not only land titles, but papers relating to the intended disposal of the estates of the deceased, all properly dated, witnessed and signed. Disputes over claims would take decades for the courts to deal with. Some people would resort to extra-legal means to make their claims.

It should also be remembered that large areas of agricultural land were owned by absentee landlords who rack-rented their tenants. Their successors would also lose no time in asserting their claims; thus the majority of the descendants of those who departed in 1947 would end up as impoverished tenant peasants scratching a bare livelihood, just like their grandparents. Is that what they want?

fredag 8 augusti 2014

British did not give same land to two people.

A Jewish state west of the Jordan was part of the deal for helping to get rid of the Ottomans. The Arabs got Transjordan as part of the same deal. Nobody would have been forced to move. Arabs who did not move but stayed in Israel have a better life than Arabs anywhere else in the Middle East, with democratic rights limited only because of their potential as a security threat, so we are not talking about some evil, oppressive alien regime. Whether there ever would be enough Jews to constitute a Jewish state was in doubt until the rise of the Nazis.

The Balfour Declaration was only part of the picture. The British did not give away the same land to two different people.

Hamas planned Israel attack 25 September

An Israeli perspective on the action in Gaza

"I appreciate how it might have been better from a public perspective point-of-view to have waited, although I have my doubts. It seems no matter how clear-cut the case, no matter how Israel tries to act ethically, no matter that other areas in the region and the world have far more deaths and the like, the world condemns Israel and spends an inordinate amount of time on it.

"Be it because of oil, Jew-hatred, anti-this or that, it just seems to be the case. In any event, we could not wait. The people in the South had been living with missile fire for years, as I am sure you know. It kept increasing and increasing. People demand that their government protect them. Otherwise, they will lose hope and abandon the area. Then, once the tunnels were discovered, we had to act.

"The government and the people have a social contract: we will live there, build it up, but the government must take action to protect us. For years people in the South thought they heard digging, but were told it was their imagination. You can only imagine the stark fear when they discovered how close those tunnels were to them, how well-equipped they were, and how the plan was to kill and maim hundreds if not thousands of people on Rosh Hoshana (ie 25 September.)

"No government, propaganda considerations or not, could delay taking action and still hold the confidence of its people. As I am sure you know, Israelis across the political spectrum, in the high 80, low 90's percent, backed this war. That is unheard of in Israel and in most societies. So, while I appreciate your concerns, and I think they are valid, Israel had to act and could not delay."

måndag 4 augusti 2014

A dispute with a very long tail

In all the discussion about the business in Gaza, it is almost never pointed out that this dispute has a very long tail. You can call it karma. Israel has not always fought as clean as Zionists would have us believe, but when Zionism was little more than an idealistic fantasy, there were attacks by Muslim Arabs on the handful of Jews in the area that became Palestine after WW1. These include anti Jewish riots in 1919, 1920, 1921, 1924, 1929, 1933 and 1936.

At that time Zionism had no traction at all amongst the majority of Jews - it was considered a cranky minority interest, so the Arabs had no reason to fear a mass immigration of Jews. This did not occur until after the Holocaust, when Jews moved into Israel for lack of any other options. Most Jews in Israel are descendants of refugees. When most of these people arrived, it was a place where nobody in their right mind would go if they had any better options.

It is not generally realised that the Palestinian leader, Haj-Amin-el Husseini played an important role in propelling the Nazis towards deciding on the Final Solution (link to video); he travelled to Berlin in 1941 met Hitler and the other Nazi leaders and encouraged them in the policy of total extermination, which had not previously been a firm Nazi intention.

In the light of the experience after 1918, and the involvement of the Palestinian leader in the Holocaust, it is not altogether surprising, though still reprehensible, that the Jews didn't always fight clean, but they declared independence on the basis of the UN boundaries (which were indefensible) and were promptly attacked by the surrounding countries with professional armies. There was no peace treaty and the war led to the 1949 armistice boundary

That lasted until the 1967 war, which was not of Israel's making but was started pre-emptively when Egypt dismissed the UN buffer force, filled Gaza up with troops and then blockaded the Straits of Tiran. Jordan then attacked and that started a new front, stretching the Israeli army, and that led to the occupation of the West Bank. Since there was no peace treaty, and in the early years the Palestinian leader refused to talk to the Israelis, the Israelis were obviously not going to withdraw without a peace treaty, nobody would.

So the wretched situation continued and in the meantime the mild social democrats who had run Israel since 1948 were replaced by hard-liners. The Palestinians had missed the bus.

I have met Palestinians through CAABU. If asked what they see as a solution, they will reply that Israel is a European problem. Actually that is not even true as at least one-third of Israeli Jews are descendants of immigrants from Arab countries, but the statement is code for saying that Israel should not be there AT ALL.That is no basis for any settlement. The Palestinians in general regard the WHOLE of Israel as occupied land. It is part of the Umma ie once a Muslim land, always a Muslim land, and that applies to Spain too. Short of disappearing themselves, there is NOTHING the Israelis could do to satisfy Palestinians.

The irony is that with three times as many Palestinians as departed in 1947, they would end up fighting over the inheritance if the Israelis were to vanish. Much of it would be claimed by descendants of the absentee landlords who owned Palestine previously, leaving the majority to become impoverished rack-rented tenant farmers like they were before.

lördag 2 augusti 2014

The new Christian symbol

The new Christian symbol, courtesy of ISIS. It is the Arabic letter "N" for Nazarene. It has been painted on the doors of Christian houses in areas they have occupied. Christians are being given the options "pay", "convert" or "be killed".

So far the Christians have been leaving quietly but I don't think this passivity will continue for much longer. Then the Jihadi thugs will get a nasty shock.

Gissa vart spårvagnar går?

Göteborgs spårvagnar rullar i tjänst utan linjeskyltar. Problemet uppståd i början av förre sommar. Förklaringen är att skyltar använder ett...