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The Guardian publishes old fashioned anti-Jewish propaganda

August 14, 2017

(NOTE– The update at the end of this post shows that the offending journalist, Adam Reynolds, and the Guardian editors are even more hysterical and ignorant than the post initially implied.)

Jews have built bomb shelters because they’re scared. Let’s taunt them.

This is The Guardian’s latest attack on Israelis. Well actually not Israelis — that would include Arab Muslims, Christians, Druze and a host of other groups. So let’s call it what it is — the Guardian’s latest attack on Jews.

Doomsday dens: Inside Israel’s bombshelters

This propaganda piece is designed to promote the idea that Jews really don’t face any imminent or credible threat to their security. The authors portray military threats against Israel as the kind of vague hypothetical or prophetic prediction that leads to a “doomsday” cult and inspires the paranoid followers to build bunkers.

There are more than a million bomb shelters in Israel, reflecting the nation’s collective siege mentality.

Followed immediately by

This collective siege mentality manifests itself with over one million public and private bomb shelters, found throughout Israel and the Occupied Territories.

The authors assert that not only is there no threat to Israel, but that their bomb shelters are a sign of a “collective siege mentality”, that the hapless Jews have somehow picked up. Collectively. It’s not rockets flying in from Gaza or (increasingly) Syria, or terrorists climbing through a kitchen window and slaughtering a random family at their Sabbath meal, or nuclear threats from Iran. Nope, for the Guardian, it is a “collective siege mentality” that sends the nervous Jews scurrying into their bunkers.

This mirrors (or more likely simply repeats) the age old anti-Semitic stereotype of the cowardly Jew. In 2014 in Berlin on Al-Quds Day — the march that agitates for the expulsion of Jews from Jerusalem, a mob marched through the streets chanting something in German that had not been heard since the 1930s:

Jude, Jude, feiges Schwein; komm heraus und kämpf allein!

That is — “Jew, Jew, cowardly pig; come out and fight for yourself!” The police simply stood back and watched. (Link to You Tube of this.)

And now the Guardian has published a piece that springs from exactly the same propagandist  stereotype.

From its creation in 1948, Israel has felt isolated and under threat from its enemies.

In 1949, 1967, and 1973, of course, Israel was attacked, unprovoked, by its neighbors who declared  openly genocidal wars against the Jews. During the same time frame, Middle Eastern countries expelled more than half a million Jews. And the Guardian finds it fit to describe this as felt isolated and under threat”. Any other population would be described simply as “under threat”. But with the cowardly Jews, it’s their “collective siege mentality”.

Why do Guardian editors accept this double standard when it is applied to Jews?

…..felt under threat from its enemies.

This is an odd formulation. An “enemy” is by definition one who poses a threat. This contradicts the assertion that the Jews only “feel” under threat. So why didn’t an editor notice this glaring contradiction and correct it? Maybe they are so used to dismissing Israel’s enemies as not posing a threat it seems normal to them by now.

It is odd that the Guardian pretends to be unaware of Iran’s threats to Israel, or of the daily hate-filled Jihadist propaganda that routinely spews from Arabic televisions throughout the region, inciting Arabs to rise up and exterminate the Jews. Or the military camps that Hamas runs for small children, in their generational war of genocide against Jews. Or the bounty on Jews that the PA pays terrorists…. Well, actually it’s not odd at all. The Guardian rarely covers such such stories, just as it carefully avoids using the word “terrorism” for the the random knife attacks, car rammings and other acts which are immediately and correctly labelled terrorism when they are committed against non-Jews.

For the Guardian (and many other, especially liberal, news outlets), Jews are seen as valid collective targets for terrorism, because the actions of their government are supposedly so bad as to validate Jihadist attacks on Israeli citizens. No other people on the earth is degraded like this by the Guardian — only Jews.

The article then goes to a bunch of photos of institutions and private homes that Jews kindly granted the journalist access to. Were they informed that the journalist was not interested in life in Israel, but rather in the “collective siege mentality” of the Jews?

Replace the captions with something in line with the way any other threatened population would be covered, and it would look something like this:

Israelis protect themselves:

There are more than a million bomb shelters in Israel, reflecting the nation’s collective desire to survive bomb attacks. (DUH.) From its creation in 1948, Israel been repeatedly attacked by its neighbors and is currently facing almost daily rocket attacks from Hamas and increasingly Hezbollah. Iran has been threatening nuclear annihilation against Israel for decades. We look at how Israelis protect themselves while managing to lead a normal life.

This would have turned the story into what it really is — a kind of “House & Garden” oddity, rather than the moronic piece of Jew-baiting that the Guardian decided to publish.

I have written to the Guardian and asked them to reconsider their position in society. I will note any response here.

UPDATE 15 Aug 2017: Still no response from the Guardian and still no retraction. But from me, free of charge, you can get this information — Israelis are required by law to build a safe room in every new building. Adam Reynolds, the dumbass journalist who wrote this, and the Guardian editorial board didn’t bother researching this at all.

The Times of Israel explains–

As the threat of chemical warfare grew over the next 20 years, the Home Front Command switched its preference from basement bomb shelters or sealed rooms to elevated protected spaces. Each new building was required to have a safe room, or mamad, the acronym for merhav mugan dirati, built from reinforced concrete with a heavy, sealed window and steel vault-like door that can protect those inside from the blast of rockets.

Posted by Yakaru

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A.N. Wilson’s Stupid Creationist History of Charles Darwin

August 6, 2017

Well known writer of serious biographies, A.N. Wilson, claims to have spent spent 5 years studying Darwin’s life. His summary of his resulting book suggests that he has taken 5 years to make the same unbelievably stupid and ignorant mistakes that the average Creationist needs only 5 minutes to make.

Unfortunately, the imminent devastating reviews by biologists will probably be overshadowed by breathless and triumphal accolades from clueless left wing academics, right wing religious fanatics, and left wing hack journalists.

I haven’t read his book, but here’s my take on his own atrocious summary of it in the UK’s Evening Standard. I’m no biologist, but neither is Wilson. I haven’t spent 5 years studying Darwin’s work, but have read a couple of his books, a string of popular and some fairly specialized books on evolution, and Janet Browne’s masterful two volume biography of Darwin.

The headline:

A.N. Wilson: It’s time Charles Darwin was exposed for the fraud he was

Ah, finally — after 160 years, someone is going to break the silence and criticize Darwin. No one ever thought of doing that before.

And the subheading:

Two of his theories about evolution are wrong — and one resulting ‘science’ inspired the Nazis

And he’s already off and running:

…I found both pride and prejudice in bucketloads among the ardent Darwinians, who would like us to believe that if you do not worship Darwin, you are some kind of nutter. He has become an object of veneration comparable to the old heroes of the Soviet Union, such as Lenin and Stalin, whose statues came tumbling down all over Eastern Europe 20 and more years ago…

Wilson carries on venting like this — like some kind of nutter — for another two long paragraphs. I will ignore them, beyond noting that equating Darwin with Lenin and Stalin is both ridiculous, and a sure sign that biology is about to be treated as an ideology and not a science — and therefore to be countered by rhetoric and not facts.

Darwinism is not science as Mendelian genetics are.

Bingo. Stupid Bingo. And of course he is completely and utterly and stupidly and embarrassingly wrong. The field of evolutionary biology is demonstrably a science. It makes testable predictions whose accuracy can be determined to a degree of certainty. As a science, unlike rhetoric or creationism, it progresses, according to an objective standard. Rather than link to a stack of text books, I will link to one page from a stack of text books, John Endler’s classic study of natural- and sexual selection in the wild. (See Footnote 1.)

It is a theory whose truth is NOT universally acknowledged.

Here he is right. Only about 99% of biologists accept it. Of those who don’t, none have come up with any better explanation. Those who have claimed to have done, (like Stephen Meyer in his Signature in the Cell) have produced no new discoveries and contributed nothing beyond the assertion that their idea must be valid.

Intelligent Design Creationists have correctly identified exactly the kind of evidence that would be devastating to evolutionary biology if it were ever to be found. This is the idea of irreducible complexity — a characteristic that must have appeared fully developed, as any earlier stages would not have been viable.

No such case has ever been found, and dozens of purported cases have been shown to be erroneous. (See Footnote 2)

But when genetics got going there was also a revival, especially in Britain, of what came to be known as neo-Darwinism, a synthesis of old Darwinian ideas with the new genetics. Why look to Darwin, who made so many mistakes, rather than to Mendel?

Now this is just stupid.”Especially in Britain”? One of the central figures, Ernst Mayr, was a German who worked mostly in New Guinea, where evolution seemed to work just as effectively as at Oxford. And what on earth is Wilson talking about when he claims that the neo-Darwinian synthesis rejected Mendel? It was a “synthesis”, (note the definition), both of Darwinian ideas and Medelian genetics.

Genetics had advanced greatly since the rediscovery of Mendel’s work around 1900, and it was found that genetic mutation (unknown to Mendel) was the cause of the heritable variability that Darwin had correctly intuited from masses of evidence. I have no idea why Wilson thinks the modern synthesis — the link of Darwinian natural selection with population genetics — is not based on genetics.

Ah, here we get it:

There was a simple answer to that. Neo-Darwinism was part scientific and in part a religion, or anti-religion.

This is not stupid. It is flaming idiocy of the kind that does not deserve to published. Shame on Wilson’s pig ignorant editor, proof reader, publisher, and all of his friends, his family and children above the age of twelve, for not rescuing this stupid man from making a stupid idiot of himself in public.

Its most famous exponent alive, Richard Dawkins, said that Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually satisfied atheist. You could say that the apparently impersonal processes of genetics did the same. But the neo-Darwinians could hardly, without absurdity, make Mendel their hero since he was a Roman Catholic monk. So Darwin became the figurehead for a system of thought that (childishly) thought there was one catch-all explanation for How Things Are in nature.

You fucking stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid idiot, A.N. Wilson.

You flaming fucking idiot.

Go to the library and take out a biology text book right now, A. Stupid. N. Stupid. Wilson, and open it up. Now flip through the pages until you find Mendel and a bunch of fucking goddam motherfucking peas on a grid. Why do you think they are there?

Correct. They are there because that is normal, accepted biology, and Richard Dawkins did not order people to stop talking about Mendel. He likes Mendel. They all like Mendel, and they couldn’t care less if he was a monk or a Mormon or a freaking Martian.

It is you, Mr Wilson who is obsessed with personalities, not scientists. It’s only creationists like you who obsess about Darwin. “Darwinism” only looks like an ideology if you don’t know what it is, where it came from, or how it works. It only looks like an ideology if you have managed to remain pig ignorant of scientific progress.

Wilson continues:

The great fact of evolution was an idea that had been current for at least 50 years before Darwin began his work. His own grandfather pioneered it in England, but on the continent, Goethe, Cuvier, Lamarck and many others realised that life forms evolve through myriad mutations.

Wrong. There were speculations that used the term, but all lacked Darwin’s unique combination of natural selection acting on inherited variation.

Darwin wanted to be the Man Who Invented Evolution…

What? Where is your evidence for this stupid assertion?

And even if there was evidence (which there isn’t), so what if he did want to be that? Lots of great scientists were assholes, but it doesn’t mean their science can’t be built upon for further progress.

And all the evidence points to Darwin being a remarkably compassionate man. He was famously prepared to cede priority to Wallace for his life’s work. He opposed slavery. (There’s an entire book about that!) In his private dealings, he was probably one of the most decent scientists in history.

Wilson continues–

Darwin wanted to be the Man Who Invented Evolution, so he tried to airbrush all the predecessors out of the story. He even pretended that Erasmus Darwin, his grandfather, had had almost no influence on him.

He happily studied, was deeply influenced by, and referenced them all. He carefully catalogued items from thousands of correspondents. He even acknowledged Aristotle as a predecessor, even though he was quite mistaken to have done so.

He then brought two new ideas to the evolutionary debate, both of which are false.

As noted earlier, the two ideas that distinguish Darwin from his predecessors were (a) that inherited variation within a population is (b) acted upon by natural selection.

I assume Wilson is referring to these.

One is that evolution only proceeds little by little, that nature never makes leaps. The two most distinguished American palaeontologists of modern times, Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge, both demonstrated 30 years ago that this is not true. Palaeontology has come up with almost no missing links of the kind Darwinians believe in. The absence of such transitional forms is, Gould once said, the “trade secret of palaeontology”. Instead, the study of fossils and bones shows a series of jumps and leaps.

Sigh. Gould’s work was (like the work of every other evolutionary biologist), a confirmation of the central tenets of Darwin’s work. Given that Wilson thinks evolutionary biology is not a science, I have no idea why he suddenly thinks it *is* a science when Gould does it.

Hard-core Darwinians try to dispute this, and there are in fact some “missing links” — the Thrinaxodon, which is a mammal-like reptile, and the Panderichthys, a sort of fish-amphibian. But if the Darwinian theory of natural selection were true, fossils would by now have revealed hundreds of thousands of such examples. Species adapt themselves to their environment, but there are very few transmutations.

Even at this late point in Wilson’s atrocious summary of his obviously atrocious book, this is stunning. He thinks Gould’s ideas are not part of Darwinian evolutionary theory. This is just flat wrong. It’s like saying Newton wasn’t a mathematician because he invented calculus. Furthermore, the term “missing link” only means something to creationists. Depending on one’s frame of reference, every single species that ever existed is a transitional species.

And all this has absolutely nothing to do with Darwin’s ideas in history. So why is Wilson babbling about this? He doesn’t say it, but the person who Gould was squabbling with over this ultimately minor quibble in biology, was Richard The Beast 666 Dawkins. So of course Wilson picks a side in an argument he doesn’t understand, and doesn’t even know is utterly irrelevant to his own baseless claims.

Darwin’s second big idea was that Nature is always ruthless

Wrong. He noticed that nature is at times horrible and at times sweet and cutesy.

Look at his extraordinary and still relevant book, The Expression of Emotion in Man and Animals. Darwin argues, for example, that animals, including humans, signal submission/non-threatening behavior by exaggerating the opposite of what a species’ aggressive stance would be. He studied all kinds of behaviors, from the aggressive to the peaceful and subtle, in relation to how they may have evolved.

that the strong push out the weak, that compassion and compromise are for cissies whom Nature throws to the wall.

Wrong again, you ignoramus. You spent 5 years on this and didn’t come across any of Darwin’s work on the role of social cooperation in evolution? In fact There’s a wonderful book on how altruism can evolve: let me direct you to The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins.

Darwin borrowed the phrase “survival of the fittest” from the now forgotten and much discredited philosopher Herbert Spencer.

Darwin did indeed say he approved of the term as an alternative to “natural selection”, but as wikipedia notes, he used it to mean “better designed for an immediate, local environment”. — In other words, not objectively fitter”, as the stupid and ignorant Wilson is about to proclaim.

And just how “ruthless” and aggressive does Wilson think the barnacles and vegetable molds upon which Darwin based his studies were?

He invented a consolation myth for the selfish class to which he belonged, to persuade them that their neglect of the poor, and the colossal gulf between them and the poor, was the way Nature intended things.

Evidence for these assertions about Darwin’s character and motives? Competent biographers avoid speculating about such things. Wilson should know that. I don’t need to speculate that Darwin wasn’t like that. I can simply point to his trenchant opposition to slavery.

He thought his class would outbreed the “savages” (ie the brown peoples of the globe) and the feckless, drunken Irish. Stubbornly, the unfittest survived. Brown, Jewish and Irish people had more babies than the Darwin class. The Darwinians then had to devise the hateful pseudo-science of eugenics, which was a scheme to prevent the poor from breeding.

Darwin used the terminology of his day, both when opposing slavery for “savages” and when speculating that “savages” would become “civilized” if they were raised in a society such as Darwin’s own.

We all know where that led, and the uses to which the National Socialists put Darwin’s dangerous ideas.

No, Mr Wilson, we don’t “all know”. And especially you don’t know. There was a thing called Social Darwinism, and it’s a fairly complex topic. But despite containing the name “Darwin”, social Darwinism was no more Darwinian than it was social.

As noted earlier, Darwin measured “fitness” purely in the context of specific local habitat, not according to some invented ideal standard as the Nazis did.

Secondly, Social Darwinism is the polar opposite of Darwinian evolution. Eugenics tried to use artificial selection (the kind of selective breeding that farmers use), not the kind of natural selection that occurs in nature. This should be obvious to someone who has spent 5 years studying Darwin’s ideas.

Furthermore, eugenics is in fact based on Wilson’s beloved Mendelian genetics — which Wilson claims the evil Nazi evolutionary biologists have rejected.

Same old targets — Darwin (check). Dawkins (check). Nazis (check). Really, why can’t miserable deranged hacks like Wilson come up with a few new targets for their ignorant bile?

In case you still want to buy it, I should say that Wilson’s book is unironically titled Charles Darwin: Victorian Mythmaker. It costs £25.

Footnotes:

1 Briefly, Endler found colorful fish in one pond in a forest, and dull colored ones in another. He found they were same species, and postulated that there was a predator in the dull colored ones’ pond, meaning less noticeable fish are more likely to survive; and that predators were absent from the other pond, meaning that color meant a reproductive advantage, being more noticeable to mates. He took specimens and switched them in the lab — put colored fish in a pond where the predator had some access, and the dull fish in a predator free pond. After numerous generations, the dull population had become colorful, and the colorful one dull. This illustrates the action of genetic mutation leading to variation; which is then acted upon by natural selection (here, predation and sexual selection)

2 For example, in the Dover case (involving the argument that Creationism is a science and should be taught in schools), the extraordinarily complex cascade of chemical reactions involved in blood clotting was asserted as a case of irreducible complexity. In testimony, biologist Ken Miller describes of how each step of the cascade can be found in isolation in nature. So while we don’t know the exact process by which it evolved in humans or other mammals, we do know that the steps are not irreducibly complex.

More to be added — I will follow reviews by proper biologists and post links here, and note any errors I may have made.

Posted by Yakaru

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Keep Your Children Out of Your Politics

April 24, 2017

The US is trying to come to terms with the fact that it has been taken over by a mediocre crime family, which is currently in the messy process of grafting an oligarchic rulership clan onto the organs of state.

While I applaud those who have campaigned to prevent this from happening, I must also say that I find some aspects of political activism in general quite disturbing.

For example, Senator Elizabeth Warren (with whom I would probably broadly agree on most issues), proclaimed how inspired she felt recently, when she saw a man at the Women’s Rally, carrying his little daughter on his shoulders:

…And she was holding this carefully hand-lettered sign, and it said: I fight like a girl….

This little girl was clearly of no age to be actively involved in such a horrid political fight as this. Children are certainly capable of figuring out what they think is right and wrong, and certainly capable of recognizing a creepy, disgusting or absurd adult when they see one, but they should not be roped into a political fight against such an adult. Even if the child doesn’t immediately experience it so, this is far too much of an emotional strain for a small child. Elizabeth Warren should not be celebrating such (ab)use of children for (her) political purposes.

There might be understandable reasons for taking a child to a political rally — no babysitter, or maybe as an educational experience, if you have good reason to think your child might find it interesting to see a crowd of people marching about holding sticks in the air. But it is unethical to use your child as a political prop for your political purposes.

Despite what Elizabeth Warren thinks, a small child is too young to have developed a reasoned position about how the country should be run. What’s more, it is impossible for a child to grasp how complicated politics is. Worse, a child will almost inevitably become emotionally attached to the idea of your side “winning”.
Read the rest of this entry »

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James Ray Attacks His Victims — Kirby Brown “was estranged from her family”

December 8, 2016

The reason I started this blog, nearly seven years ago, was to speak out against the deadly failed self-help teacher James Arthur Ray. At that time, Ray was under investigation by Arizona police for his role in the “sweat lodge” deaths, but he was still running events and claiming that his “mission” was too important to the world for him to stop.

Today, seven years, three homicide convictions and one jail term later, Ray still hasn’t realized that he is a failure at this “self-help” stuff, and again needs other people to tell him to stop.

inmate2Ray, convicted of 3 counts of negligent homicide

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Lying for Death Ray Pt 4 – James Ray’s obsession with death continues

May 8, 2016

As we saw in the previous posts, duped journalist Lizzie Crocker has allowed the convicted killer James Arthur Ray to use her spot on the Daily Beast as a platform not only to advertise his deadly scam, but also to lie about the acts for which he was convicted. Crocker refused to interview the families of his victims and plays dumb about the facts of his conviction. Ray is well connected in the media, so sucking up to him is obviously a good career move. Either that or Ms Crocker is even dumber than Ray is, which I doubt.

But on with the final few sentences of this disgraceful piece of fraudulent journalism. For the climax of the article, Crocker recounts how James Ray gave her a sample of his profound wisdom.

Ray then told me a story from the Baghavad [sic] Gita, the ancient Hindu text which he read several times in prison, about Arduna [sic] and Krishna.

As with everything else in the article, that single sentence is riddled with lies and stupid errors. To start with, there is no one in Hindu mythology called “Arduna”. There is an “Arjuna”, and maybe Ray said it correctly and Crocker misheard him and didn’t bother checking before embarrassing herself. Or maybe Ray confused Arjuna with Iduna from Norse mythology and misspoke. Or maybe Ray misheard it from whoever mentioned it to him, because the one thing which can be excluded is the hilarious idea of Ray reading the Bhagavad Gita (note the spelling, Ms Crocker!) even once, to say nothing of “several times”.

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Information Pack for Journalists: James Ray’s 26 Favorite Excuses

April 25, 2016

Journalists are often confused by the James Ray “sweat lodge deaths” case. This doesn’t surprise me so much — the case is harder to believe than it is to understand. 

Ray, a failed self-help teacher, cooked three people to death in a bogus sweat lodge. He was trying to merely cook them to within an inch of their lives — hoping to induce the onset of heat stroke with its hallucinatory mental state which might equate with a “spiritual experience”. He went too far and left three people dead. He was later charged with three counts of manslaughter. The jury, missing a great deal of shocking and damning evidence, generously decided to convict him of the lesser charge of homicide.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Lying For Death Ray Pt 3 – New lies: now a doctor is responsible for Ray’s crimes!

April 24, 2016

I really don’t expect journalists to understand complicated details of difficult court cases. But I do expect them to exercise caution when interviewing convicted criminals about the crimes they committed. This is especially important in Ray’s case, as it was the media who gave him a platform for softball, self promotional interviews. Four deaths later, and they are still queuing up for round five. Three homicide convictions hasn’t convinced any of them that maybe they should be a little more careful before jumping into bed with him.

The previous post dealt with so new lies about the death of Colleen Conaway. Lizzie Crocker interviewed Ray and asked him about it — good move for a journalist… but didn’t consider the possibility that his might be a lie — really, a bit dumb, given she already knows about the multiple homicide convictions.

I am going through her article in detail, partly demonstrate how quickly this crook can send a journalist off the rails. If you simply take dictation from this fellow like Lizzie Crocker has done, he will play you for a fool, and use you to blame the victims and insult the dead.

Crocker’s article continues:

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