Monday, March 04, 2019

Tony Abbott mocks ‘neurotic anxiety’ of Brexit opponents

The authoritarian element in British politics is very strong -- only marginally less so among the Conservatives -- so the popular wish for Britain to cast off the shackles of Europe has been heavily resisted by the political class.  The result has been no agreement about how to move forward with Brexit -- Britain's exit from the EU.  In the circumstances, I have mostly left their interminable debates about it without comment.  I totally agree with Tony Abbott's comments about it however.  Some excerpts below.

Because Abbott is still influential in conservative circles, there have been a couple of rejoinders to his remarks.  I have not reproduced those rejoinders because it seems to me that they prove Abbott's point. They are just ‘neurotic anxiety’, as Abbott calls them.  The link below does lead to them if you want to evaluate them yourself.

Britain in fact has nothing to fear from the EU.  Britain buys a lot more from Europe than vice versa so a trade war would rapidly lead to EU capitulation.  Mrs May hasn't got the stones to do it but Britain would just have to put a complete embargo on the importation into Britain of French and German motor vehicles for the EU to come begging, with M. Macron in the lead and Mrs Merkel not far behind.

Mr Trump is unhappy with the European motor vehicle manufacturers at the moment so a combined Anglo American embargo on them would not take much organizing.  It would be quite hilarious and devastating in its effects and would show France and Germany up as the petulant children that they currently are

Tony Abbott has waded into the contentious debate about Britain’s looming exit from the European Union.

The former prime minister of Australia wrote a piece for The Spectator, titled No deal? No problem, in which he mocked the “neurotic anxiety” of politicians worried about the possibility of implementing Brexit without an official deal with the EU.

“Britain, we’re led to believe, is heading for the worst catastrophe in its history,” Mr Abbott said.

“Apparently the country that saw off Hitler, the Kaiser, Napoleon and the Spanish Armada is now paralysed with fear at the very thought of leaving the EU.”

Britain is due to exit the EU in less than a month, on March 29.

Prime Minister Theresa May has spent the last two years trying to negotiate an agreement both sides can support, but when her proposed deal was put to the UK parliament in January, it was rejected by a huge margin.

She has promised MPs another vote on March 12. If they shoot down her deal again, she will call votes to determine whether they support a no deal Brexit, or whether they want to extend the deadline past March 29.

Mr Abbott believes Britain would be better off crashing out of the EU with no deal than procrastinating or agreeing to a “bad deal”.

He argued a disorderly Brexit would mean “at most a few months of inconvenience”.

“Perhaps some moderate transition costs. But these difficulties would quickly pass,” Mr Abbott wrote.

“By far the more serious threat comes from Britain caving in and agreeing to a bad deal that imposes most of the burdens of EU membership but with few of the benefits. Or, almost as bad, a Brexit delay that would keep the UK as a tethered goat — while the EU shows how it will humiliate any country with the temerity to leave.

“For Britain to lose its nerve now would represent failure on an epic scale.”

Mr Abbott said the EU, not Britain, would “clearly be the loser” in any sort of spiteful no deal scenario.

“As a former prime minister of a country that has a perfectly satisfactory ‘no deal’ relationship with the EU, let me assure you: no deal would be no problem. Or at least no problem that Britain couldn’t quickly take in its stride,” he said.

“A no deal relationship with the EU has not stopped Australia doing about $US70 billion worth of trade with the EU in goods and services.

“It must baffle pundits, but Australia trades with the EU (and with Britain) without being part of any customs union.

“Theresa May was quite correct two years ago when she said that no deal was better than a bad deal. What she should have known even then was that a bad deal was all that Britain was ever going to get from an EU with a vested interest in ensuring that no country ever leaves.”

He said the real difficulty with Brexit all along had not been negotiating an agreement, but dealing with “the neurotic anxiety of the official political class”, which he said sees the EU as a “civilising force”.

This is of course a highly charged debate — Britain has spent years arguing about practically nothing else


Wisconsin Man Sentenced for Threatening Jewish Community Center

Chadwick Grubbs, 33, was sentenced yesterday by United States District Judge Pamela Pepper to 36 months in prison for charges related to threatening letters he wrote on three separate dates in May 2018 to the Harry and Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center (JCC) in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin. Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband for the Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney Matthew D. Krueger for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, and Acting Special Agent in Charge Michelle Sutphin of the FBI’s Milwaukee Division made the announcement.

“All people have the right to practice their religious beliefs without fear of threats or violence,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband. “Mr. Grubbs’ anti-Semitic actions have no place in our society today and the Department of Justice will continue to prosecute anyone who threatens to harm a community because of their faith.”

“The Department of Justice’s commitment to civil rights includes protecting faith communities from threats of violence,” said United States Attorney Matthew D. Krueger for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. “This prosecution should send a clear message that hate crimes like Mr. Grubb’s vile threats will not be tolerated.”

“It is every American’s right to exercise the religion of their choice. The FBI will vigorously pursue those who target faith based communities with threats of violence and intimidation, violators will face justice,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Michelle Sutphin of the FBI’s Milwaukee Division.

Grubbs pleaded guilty in November 2018 to two counts of mailing threatening communications and one count of threatening to injure and destroy property by fire and an explosive.  Information presented during the plea hearing established that Grubbs sent three letters to the JCC in which he threatened to use firearms to cause “maximum carnage” and explosives to destroy the JCC.  Grubbs used numbers and symbols associated with white supremacist ideology in the letters.

The FBI led the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Gregory Haanstad of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin and Trial Attorney Kathryn Gilbert of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division prosecuted this case.

For more information about the Department of Justice’s work to combat and prevent hate crimes, visit a one-stop portal with links to hate crimes resources for law enforcement, media, researchers, victims, advocacy groups, and other organizations and individuals.


Feminism Seems Intent on Signing Its Own Suicide Note

Giddier than a child on Christmas morning, American progressives have been obnoxiously active in celebrating a handful of menial victories this past week.

From the supposedly damning testimony of convicted perjurer Michael Cohen before the House Oversight Committee to the House’s passage of a universal background check bill that would do tremendous damage to private firearm sale, the American left is getting comfortable again.

Another win for the progressive movement came out of Connecticut this past weekend when two transgender females, Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood, achieved 1st and 2nd place in the girl’s 55-meter dash with record-breaking finishes at the state’s high school indoor track and field championship.

Like trained seals, progressives took to the airwaves and their social media feeds to applaud and take aim at anyone with the gall to suggest that the increasing number of victories of trans-women over biological women may prove this direct competition to be a questionable idea.

Hardly surprising considering establishment media headlines like ABC News’ “Transgender teens outrun track and field competitors but critics close behind” were par for the course when the very same concerns arose last spring as Miller and Yearwood medaled in the girl’s 100-meter at the State Open Finals.

Just as they were when professional trans athlete Rachel McKinnon was crowned a women’s cycling World Champion last Fall. Or when trans female Mack Beggs won two consecutive women’s high school wrestling championships. Or when a top-ranked NCAA track and field athlete switched from male-identified to female-identified in the middle of his collegiate career and kept competing.

Or when… You get the point.

One Bad Social Experiment

Progressives are employing their typical empathy traps and cries of bigotry to force Americans, in nearly every facet of their lives, into participating in a series of experiments to test their latest baffling hypothesis: Gender is a social construct detached from biological sex. Men can be women and women can be men.

Make no mistake, the experiment is a gigantic disaster.

And it is being carried out almost entirely at the expense of women — a group American leftists frequently claim to support, empower and protect. All the while they use the other side of their mouths to advocate for biological men’s God-given right to use the women’s restroom and compete against already under-supported female athletes.

Far more concerning is the fact that progressives are receiving record buy-in on their transgender platform issues from biologically female citizens and activists — particularly women identifying with “intersectional feminism.”

What on Earth is Intersectionality?

If you pay attention to recent trends in politics, chances are you have seen signs at rallies like the Women’s March claiming that “The Future is Intersectional.”

Intersectionality, the creation of Kimberlé Crenshaw, is a sociological theory that augments the left’s oppressor-oppressed class-conflict model, as laid out by figures like Noam Chomsky, by focusing on the way victims of “oppression” struggle in America based on their membership in more than one victim group.

Crenshaw, a professor at UCLA and Columbia Law School and an African-American female that came of age in the late 1970s and early 1980s, began her formulations on intersectional theory as she attempted to bridge the gap between her efforts to “demarginalize” both women and blacks early in her career.

As defined by the Oxford Dictionary, intersectionality is “the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.”

The theory believes it to be manifest that white, cisgender males are the least oppressed class in American society — which must mean they are the oppressors — while people like homosexuals, women and those of non-Caucasian ethnicity are oppressed.

Thus, it stands to reason that if you hold membership in more than one oppressed group, you must be exponentially more disadvantaged.

Intersectional advocates ask that society’s marginalized communities recognize one another not for their differences, but for the idea that they are all victimized. Minority groups should meet at the intersection of their identities — where they are all marginalized — and come together to advocate as one large group.

Initially, the idea was to get first, and second-wave feminists, who were predominantly white and upper-class, to recognize that women of color were more disadvantaged than them and that they could achieve more by joining together as a larger force with one thing in common: their victimhood as females.

Feminism Goes the Way of Ophelia

Aside from the clunky academic jargon it employs, the theory is not devoid of merit. Obviously, at the time it was beneficial and right for women of all races to come together for their own common good.

Unfortunately, however, this theory has been carried out well past its logical ends — to the point of absolute insanity.

As Ben Shapiro said in a Prager University video last June, intersectionality is the reason one may now see feminists and homosexual activists at pro-Palestinian rallies or things of that nature.

“They’re so united by their victim status that it doesn’t matter that Islamists throw gays off buildings or murder female family members who defy their father’s wishes,” Shapiro said.

In its success, the left has made these “structurally disadvantaged” groups — particularly women — so hyper-focused on their collective victimhood that they are willing to throw in their lot with groups whose cause is not only antagonistic but downright antithetical to their own in order to fight some indefinable and impalpable “oppressor.”

Their effort to weaponize modern feminism has resulted in women linking themselves at the hip with Islamic or transgender activists regardless of the fact that these groups do nothing but incidentally, or in some cases purposefully, set back the cause of women. So pervasive is this new ideology that biologically female feminists even fear being ostracized by their fellow feminists should they dare speak out against the conception that biological men can suddenly be women.

Feminism has entirely lost its identity. In fact, it seems modern feminism is intent on going the way of William Shakespeare’s Ophelia.

But Ophelia had every intention of killing herself, where feminists seem to think they may just be going for a quick swim. And so long as the modern women’s movement signs on with the intersectional left, it may as well be signing its own suicide note.


Warrencare: A Brainwashing Babysitter

Were the United States of America transformed to conform to the vision that Sen. Elizabeth Warren embraces, many government agencies — such as those charged with enforcing the Green New Deal she co-sponsors — might resemble Big Brother.

But the most insidious element would be a brainwashing babysitter.

To Warren, parents who take care of their own preschool children are victims of a class war.

"Right now, high quality child care is a privilege for the rich," Warren said in a tweet last week. "I believe it should be a fundamental right for everyone."

"Child care should be a fundamental right. Period," she said in a follow-up tweet.

Do not be confused: Warren is not saying children have a right to parents who take care of them.

She is saying parents have a right to have someone else take care of their children for them.

Why should parents take care of their own children? To Warren, it is an outrage that some are forced to do that.

To illustrate her point, she has described the hardships she herself endured as a law school professor with children.

She makes clear: Caring for children interfered with her career.

"I had been teaching for just a few weeks when the babysitter quit, and from then on, I was just on a treadmill," Warren said in a 2017 speech to the National Women's Law Center. "We cycled through one child care arrangement after another and every transition sent me into a near-panic. Every time, it represented a failure."

"I was failing," said Warren. "I was failing my kids, I was failing my family, I was failing my teaching. I was doing laundry at 11 o'clock at night and class preps after midnight, and I felt like I was always behind."

Ironically, it was family — not government — that saved Warren.

Her Aunt Bee came and lived with her and took care of her children while she continued working as a law professor. "I'm a United States Senator today in part because my Aunt Bee rescued me on that Thursday in 1979," Warren said.

But Warren is not advocating that other families emulate her experience. Aunt Bee may have been her answer, but for the rest of America she is offering another answer: government.

Warren has proposed the Universal Child Care and Early Learning Act.

"My plan will guarantee high-quality child care and early education for every child in America from birth to school age," Warren wrote in a commentary posted at

Yes, she is proposing a guarantee for every child from birth.

Her Senate website includes a summary of the plan.

"This plan provides a mandatory federal investment to establish and support a network of locally-run Child Care and Early Learning Centers and Family Child Care Homes so that every family, regardless of their income or employment, can access high-quality, affordable child care options for their children from birth to school entry," it says.

According to Warren's summary, "the federal government would partner with sponsors — states, counties, cities, school districts, tribal organizations, or other nonprofit entities — to administer the program ..."

The federally funded centers and homes would be run by "child care workers" given "wages and benefits" that are "comparable to those of similarly-credentialed local public school teachers."

Parents making less than 200 percent of the poverty level could pay nothing to deposit their children there, the summary explains. No parents would be charged more than 7 percent of their income.

What would children do there? The facilities "would provide pre-K curriculum and educational services for children before they enter school," says the summary.

What would children be taught? "Providers would receive support and time to meet new requirements, which would focus on early learning and social-emotional development," says the summary.

The centers and homes, it says, would provide "a safe and nurturing environment that promotes children's holistic growth and development."

Is it reasonable to conclude that the "social-emotional development" and "holistic growth" future generations of Americans would experience in these federally funded, federally regulated, starting-from-birth child care centers would nurture the values and independent spirit needed to keep America a free and independent nation?

Where would you prefer to spend your preschool days: in a traditional family with a loving and attentive mom and dad? Or in an Elizabeth Warren Center under the watch of unionized workers "comparable" to "local public school teachers"?

Who would do a better job teaching you right and wrong? Faith and patriotism? Love and compassion?

Warren says she would not mandate that parents surrender their children to these centers. "Nobody would be required to enroll in this new program," she says.

In other words: If you like raising your own children, you can keep raising your own children.

This is not Obamacare. It is Warrencare.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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