Wednesday, October 05, 2011
Living amid Hollywood hypocrisy
By: Janine Turner
I had to listen to it for years on sets, at dinners, in rehearsals, in the make-up chair, and at award ceremonies. The judgmental, hot, mostly uninformed rants of Hollywood liberals breathed down my neck and sucked all the air from the room. Usually, the rants were so hostile that I was afraid to speak up, or so ridiculous that I thought it futile to reply.
The liberal Hollywood elite, who stand firmly on their right to be heard, their right to express, their right to persuade through art, arrogantly deny that same freedom to anyone who may disagree with them. And like most liberals, they have a blind spot for their own intolerance.
I remember one Emmy ceremony in particular for its incessant anti-conservative, anti-Republican diatribes, one after another. I remember sitting, slumped in my chair, just counting the moments until I could be released from the lions' den. There I was -- a captive, a hostage to their narrow-minded and condescending point of view, expressed in a vacuum.
I couldn't wait to leave Hollywood. I always felt like I was in a bubble when I lived there -- in a stifling tropical snow globe. It was like that fabulous scene in "The Truman Show" where Jim Carrey leaps from his boat and beats his head against the sky on the set of the world, wanting to get out.
In Hollywood, they think America is inherently bad, a world embarrassment, even as they gorge themselves on the American dream.
Hollywood is a surreal and pretend world whose way of life is actually ruthless free enterprise -- it is called show business, after all. Hollywood is where stars, movie producers, writers and agents actively seek glamour, money, power and fame; where they covet fast cars and face-lifts and fly in private jets. They drink fine wines and insist on free spirits. They are the ultimate connoisseurs who insist on living liberty at large.
Yet somehow, the inhabitants gag at the very thought of capitalism going on elsewhere.
In Hollywood, they deplore censorship. Yet they embrace tyrants such as Hugo Chavez who use their power to censor opposition voices. They sneer at Wall Street even as they fall all over themselves running to see how many millions their movies have grossed. They think Obamacare works nicely for poor people in the "flyover states," yet they would never accept anything but the top doctors for themselves.
They think socialism is a novelty -- a nicety whose time has come. Yet how odd to imagine their lot under a Chavez or a Castro or a Stalin. Just picture the collapse of Hollywood's playground -- the redistribution of their wealth, the despotic squelching of their free speech, the strangling of their rights and riches.
They would howl like lone wolves do in Westerns. They would beg like Scarlett O'Hara. They would scream like the Wicked Witch of the West. But instead of screaming, "I'm melting! I'm melting!", they would scream, "Not me! Not me!"
A Call to Ban the Full-Face Veil in the U.S. and in Israel
Nancy Kobrin, PhD, Joan Lachkar, PhD
As psychoanalysts, we are addressing the psychological implications of wearing a full-face veil. It is well known from psychological research and infant and human developmental psychology that contact with the mother's face is of crucial importance. The importance of eye contact with the mother's gaze is substantiated by the research and writings of such famous researchers as Anna Freud, Melanie Klein, Margaret Mahler, Otto Kernberg, Mary Ainsworth, Beatrice Beebe, John Bowlby, Daniel Stern and others who have made major contributions to the study of attachment disorders. This is further confirmed by Ayaan Hirsi Ali that the full-face veil is terrifying to children.
Babies and children are in constant need to be able to read the nonverbal, covert body language messages of their mother's face. It goes without saying that the kind of message that the full-face veil communicates to the infant is that the mother's gaze is cut off and therefore uninvolved or concerned with the infant's well being. To the public too the mother has been erased, so to speak, from being part of civil society, an individual demanding and deserving recognition and respect. The full-face veil communicates hatred and terror of the female. This is not a good message to communicate to a baby.
Beatrice Beebe, Ph.D. cites an article entitled "Mother-Infant Research: Mother-Impact Treatment" (pdf) based on endless clinical researchers as mentioned above, noting the importance of the "dyadic view" or the face to face non-verbal communication between mother and her infant. The face to face interaction is most relevant for communication as well as for social development. A depressed or stressed mother runs the risk of insecure and dysfunctional attachment to her infant. One can imagine the relevance this has to a Muslim mother forced to hide her face with a full-face veil.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali has written about her experience seeing Saudi women fully veiled when she was a child:
And all the women in this country were covered in black. They were humanlike shapes. The front of them were black and the back of them was black too. You could see which way they were looking only by the direction their shoes pointed. We could tell they were women because the lady who was holding our hands tightly to prevent us from wandering off was covered in black, too. You could see her face, because she was Somali. Saudi women had no faces.
We pulled away and ran over to the black shapes. We stared up at them, trying to make out where their eyes could be. One raised her hand, gloved in black, and we shrikes, "They have hands!" We pulled faces at her. We were truly awful, but what we were seeing was so alien, so sinister, that we were trying to tame it, make it less awful. (Infidel, p. 40)
The second point we wish to make about the full-face veil concerns the security risk. The full-face veil is not only terrorizing to little children but it becomes a gross security risk. In our analysis the full-face veil is an insidious form of Islamic extremism's seemingly benign behavior which hides under the guise of "religious freedom." The full-face veil is a passive aggressive tactic predicated on the submission of the devalued female, and is also an affront to Western women.
What follows are other implications regarding the ability to form healthy attachments which are prerequisites for developing empathy for others. The lack of empathy characterizes the extremist Islamic ideologies such as Hamas or Hizbollah, that is killing the kufar, the nonbeliever. Beginning in utero to age three, the growth of the baby's brain doubles if not quadruples in size. This is the time when the motherboard of the baby's mind is made, when mirror neurons are put in place to develop empathy. If the maternal attachment is not healthy the baby will falter.
This is not to blame the mother but to understand the serious nature of her task and the daunting conditions under which she lives. The abuse of the female in any culture has horrific ramifications for which society ultimately pays the price in violence. The need to hate and the need to have an enemy is in place by age three. The full-face veil runs counter to the serious task of developing empathy and giving up violence as a solution to one's problems. It is unfortunate that the most influential of all Muslim countries, Saudi Arabia, fails to comprehend how the full-face veil is damaging to its very own citizens and the next generations.
The full-face veil is becoming omnipresent, more and more we encounter this in the U.S. and even in Israel. It is about time that America and Israel follow the path of France and Holland by banning the full-face veil. Muslim women in black full-face veils and burqas down to the black gloves with infants and little children in tow, is not only a growing occurrence but unacceptable to our way of life and the way we wish to raise our children. Just imagine what would happen to the macho male Muslim if the burqa were taken away, they would be subject to the power of the women, her sexuality as well as her motherhood and her maternal capacities.
Make no doubt about it, the Muslim men hiding behind these women do not have good intentions, more a way of domination for their own self serving purposes and even worse the sacrifice of their own children -- abuse, trauma, deprivation and suffering.
It is time to ban the full-face veil in America and Israel.
Study: father’s presence makes children happier, more intelligent
Research at Montreal’s Concordia University has shown that fathers who actively engage in raising their children make important contributions to their children’s cognitive abilities and behavioral functioning.
The study carried out by Erin Pougnet, a PhD candidate in the Concordia University Department of Psychology, and associates, used data from the Concordia Longitudinal Risk Project, an intergenerational longitudinal data set collected in inner city areas of Montreal. “This topic is particularly relevant in Québec, a demographically and culturally unique province in which female lone parenthood is relatively common,” Pougnet explains in the preface to the report.
According to recent Statistics Canada figures, 22 per cent of Quebec families are comprised of households where biological fathers are absent, compared to a national average of 13 per cent.
“This pattern is related to socioeconomic disadvantages that predict negative cognitive and behavioural outcomes in youth,” the researchers state.
One hundred and thirty-eight children and their parents from lower to middle income backgrounds participated in two waves of data collection: at ages 3 to 5, and again at 9 to 13 years old. The children were given IQ tests, while their mothers completed questionnaires on spousal conflict and the home environment. The children’s teachers contributed to the research by observing and reporting the child’s behavior at school.
“Teachers were a somewhat more independent source of information than mothers, fathers or children themselves,” Pougnet said in a press release from Concordia University, “because a father’s absence can result in home conflict, maternal distress and child distress.”
The study found that, “Compared with other children with absentee dads, kids whose fathers were active parents in early and middle childhood had fewer behaviour problems and higher intellectual abilities as they grew older — even among socio-economically at-risk families.”
“Regardless of whether fathers lived with their children, their ability to set appropriate limits and structure their children’s behaviour positively influenced problem-solving and decreased emotional problems, such as sadness, social withdrawal and anxiety,” said Pougnet.
The study also found that girls were more affected by absent fathers than boys. “Girls whose fathers were absent during their middle childhood had significantly higher levels of emotional problems at school than girls whose fathers were present,” said Pougnet.
The research team suggests that the findings of their study not only contribute to the body of research connecting fathers and childhood development, but should also be used by governments to establish policies that support the role of fathers in their families and society.
“These findings add to the increasing body of literature suggesting that fathers make important contributions to their children’s cognitive and behavioural functioning,” the report concludes, “and point to the benefits of developing policies that encourage fathers to spend time with their children (i.e., parental leave for men) and promote positive fathering and involvement through parenting courses.”
A former Australian conservative Prime Minister succumbs to the anti-Israel virus
The former PM's defence of the Palestinians and Hamas is offensive. It's probably Stockholm syndrome. He used to be savagely mocked and hated by the Left so he has apparently decided to join them. Perhaps that is also why he has attempted to re-wite history
by Isi Leibler
I RETAIN fond memories of my genuinely warm association with Malcolm Fraser when he was prime minister and I headed the Australian Jewish community. Our relationship was based on shared values and my appreciation for his inestimable assistance on behalf of Soviet Jewry, ensuring that, while I was in Moscow, the Australian embassy provided support for my efforts on behalf of Jewish dissidents.
I also recollect that in those days he was enthralled with Israel and he would spend hours discussing and enthusiastically lauding the achievements of the Jewish state.
In Jewish mystical folklore we relate to a dybbuk - a malevolent spirit capable of dramatically transforming a person's entire outlook. I am tempted to attribute Malcolm Fraser's dramatic reversal of attitude to a dybbuk.
In his recent Age column, Fraser repeated his now standard portrayal of Israelis as villains and Palestinians as noble underdogs. But on this occasion, the numerous demonstrable falsehoods he expresses impel me to respond from my vantage here in Jerusalem.
For example, he says that in 1948 the Israelis "pushed out" the Palestinians, omitting to mention that Israel had accepted the UN partition plan but that it was the Palestinians, supported by five Arab armies, who invaded the new Jewish state with the objective of destroying it. He repeats the mantra that settlements over the green line are at the core of the Arab-Israeli problem. But he conveniently omits to mention that the PLO indulged in terrorism before 1967 when the first settlements were established, and that even today they represent less than 5 per cent of territory beyond the 1949 armistice lines.
Fraser also repeats the canard that "Israel refuses to talk substantially about realistic boundaries", ignoring the fact that two Israeli prime ministers, Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert, had offered the Palestinians 95 per cent of the territories formerly occupied by Jordan. But they were rebuffed. What I regard as even more offensive and perhaps pathetic is the praise that Fraser extends to Hamas, the evil Islamic fundamentalists who share much in common with al-Qaeda. He says that Israel should be negotiating with them. Is Fraser aware that the Hamas charter calls explicitly on the faithful to murder all Jews and that their Islamic faith prohibits them from engaging in any form of compromise because the Jewish state must be utterly destroyed?
He even makes a bizarre observation that the thousands of rockets and missiles launched by Hamas terrorists against Israeli civilians "caused little damage" and did not justify Israel's response. I wonder how Fraser, as a prime minister, would have responded if residents in his neighbourhood were forced to live with their children in shelters for extended periods of time because their neighbours were lobbing missiles at them. Not to mention dispatching suicide bombers to target them in shopping malls.
He enthusiastically supports Palestinian efforts to bypass UN resolution 242, endorsed in 1967, which called for direct negotiations to resolve the territorial conflict. But even after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in an unprecedented move, froze all construction in the settlements for 10 months, the Palestinians refused to negotiate. Furthermore, in his recent speech at the UN General Assembly, the intransigent Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas rejected compromise on any issue, reiterated his determination never to recognise Israel as a Jewish state and even denied the historical association of the Jewish people with the Holy Land. He hypocritically accused Israel of "ethnic cleansing", employing terms against them such as "racist" and "apartheid" without retracting his earlier proclamations that not a single Jew would be permitted to li ve in a new Palestinian state.
Netanyahu has made clear he is willing to compromise and make major sacrifices for peace by ceding land, but will not endanger the security of his citizens. If the Palestinians had accepted this 10 years ago, they would already have a state. They can have one tomorrow if they display a willingness to accept Israel as a Jewish state and are willing to peacefully coexist with it.
Netanyahu accepted the latest Quartet call to negotiate without any preconditions. Abbas refused. Many believe that he is not seeking a settlement and even if he were, he would not have the political power to implement it, especially having reiterated his determination to reunite with the genocidal Hamas.
I am truly saddened that the Jewish community has lost the friendship of Malcolm Fraser and hope that, in the course of time, he will adopt a more rational and open-minded approach.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.