Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Relax, Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers aren’t fascist

Only in Italy could the first female prime minister come from a party, which she herself founded, called Brothers, an allegedly far-right party that is, paradoxically, the most pro-American significant political grouping.

The apparent election to government of Giorgia Meloni at the head of Brothers of Italy is an earthquake in European politics but probably a minor earthquake. First, this label of far right. It’s increasingly meaningless.

As a young person, Meloni was a member of the Italian Social Movement, which was set up by people who had been fascists in World War II. It then gave birth to the National Alliance. Meloni, as part of that, was a capable minister in a Berlusconi government a decade ago. In 2012 she founded the Brothers of Italy, a name she took from the Italian anthem.

Ever since the second world war, Italy’s so-called post-fascists have behaved democratically and according to all the rules. The party Meloni now heads has been through several evolutions. She and her colleagues say the Italian centre right has “handed fascism over to history”. She condemns absolutely anti-Semitism and any breach of democratic rights.

That the most powerful European and American media continue to label parties such as Meloni’s as far right indicates double standards and an intensely illiberal desire to eliminate from public debate all the issues Meloni and her colleagues raise. The German Social Democrats emerged out of more extreme Marxists. Half the parties on the French left have communist roots but they are never labelled far left. Sinn Fein is the biggest party in Northern Ireland and will furnish the province’s chief minister. Only a few short decades ago it was directly supporting terrorism. Mind you, its opponents, the Democratic Unionist Party, a few decades before that, were in strong support of anti-Catholic persecution.

Democratic politics relies on accepting that extreme movements can become moderate and mainstream. If they obey all the rules for decades in a row then they should be evaluated on the basis of contemporary policies rather than historic associations.

Meloni’s program is a perfectly legitimate centre-right amalgam. She wants more police, less crime, cost-of-living relief, control over illegal immigration, lower taxes, reassertion of traditional Italian identity, support for moderate conservative social values and more independence from the dictates of the EU. She wants to address the energy crisis in part by increasing the supply of fossil fuels and nuclear energy.

Meloni looks a fascinating character. Certainly at times she makes populist statements. Like much populism, though, there is truth in much of what she says. In a famous 2019 speech she declared: “I’m Giorgia, I’m a woman, I’m Christian, I’m a mother, I’m Italian, they won’t take that away from me.”

That sounds, and is, a declaration of independence from woke ideology. Generally I don’t like identity politics, but if we’re going to be forced to endure it then there is nothing wrong with her declaring proudly that she is a woman, a mother, a Christian and an Italian.

On another occasion Meloni described the EU as “nihilistic global elites driven by international finance”.

Sometimes the words international finance can be code for anti-Semitic hang-ups. That doesn’t seem to be the case here.

She has endorsed the idea of the “Great Replacement”. This holds that Europe is being intentionally flooded with immigrants from North Africa and the Middle East to change its demographic and cultural identity forever.

That line of thinking also can be dangerous if it sees behind chaotic immigration mismanagement a sinister conspiracy by George Soros or international finance or the World Economic Forum. That sort of thinking is silly.

However, it is perfectly sensible for Europeans, and their political parties, to want their nations to reassert control of their borders and to implement coherent policies about who comes into their nations.

The EU has indeed been extremely foolish in attempting at times to force European countries to take immigrants they don’t want. European voters hate this. It has been an abject failure of European politics, in which the EU bears a huge portion of blame, that many European nations have been unable to control immigration from North Africa and the Middle East.

I have always believed a good immigration program benefits the recipient country as well as the immigrants who come to that country. But I’ve always also believed a national government has the right, and the obligation, to control its borders and make its immigration program orderly. John Howard is the standout example of this. Both his left-wing critics, and his right-wing supporters, however, tend to ignore the central fact that Howard re-established control of Australia’s borders and then increased the size of the immigration program.

Britain’s whole Brexit project was driven in part by a desire among British voters for their government to control the nation’s borders. European courts and bureaucracies, which under Brexit ought to have no influence on British law, are still interfering with Britain’s efforts to do this. But it’s fascinating that the new British Prime Minister, Liz Truss, wants to increase skilled migration. She can do this because, notwithstanding the interference of the EU, Britain has mostly re-established control of its borders.

Rich countries ought to be generous to refugees and host a sizeable refugee intake. But it is unrealistic, and at the level of the real world actually in my view immoral, to suggest that the whole of the population of Africa and the Middle East which would rather live in Europe is free to do so, provided they can physically get there. That is the practical outcome of an open-borders approach.

Meloni’s election slogan was: “God, homeland and family” and this probably was more acceptable coming from a younger woman rather than just another of the aged male suits that normally dominate Italian politics.

Meloni is sensible on geo-strategic issues. She’s a strong backer of the US, of NATO and of Ukraine. Unlike her coalition partners, Silvio Berlusconi and Matteo Salvini, she hasn’t fallen for the cheapjack nonsense of supporting Vladimir Putin, as though the neo-Stalinist Russian despot was a cham­pion of Western values.

Of course, Meloni’s party won only a quarter of the votes but her three-party coalition looks as though it will have a parliamentary majority. All Italian governments tend to be short-lived. Nonetheless, there are lessons for conservative politics in her victory.

Conservatives don’t prosper by surrendering to woke. They can actually lead a counter-reformation against the zeitgeist. All political victories are temporary. But they are still victories.


FBI Agents Raid Home, Arrest Pro-Life Advocate in Front of Wife and Children

Very Soviet

Mark Houck, a pro-life advocate and father of seven, woke up Friday morning to a team of FBI agents raiding his home in Kintnersville, Pennsylvania. Houck’s wife, Ryan-Marie, told Life Site News that 25-30 FBI agents entered their home around 7 a.m.

“The kids were all just screaming. It was all just very scary and traumatic,” Ryan-Marie Houck told Life Site News about her husband’s arrest, which she and her children witnessed. She says her husband pleaded with the FBI agents to be calm, referencing the couple’s seven children.

“They had big, huge rifles pointed at Mark and pointed at me and kind of pointed throughout the house,” Ryan-Marie Houck told the pro-life news outlet.

Catholic News Agency reports that the FBI confirmed that Mark Houck was arrested outside his home “without incident” Friday morning.

According to federal court documents, Houck was arrested on the charge that he assaulted a 72-year-old volunteer, whose name is not provided, at the Planned Parenthood Elizabeth Blackwell Health Center abortion clinic in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, twice on Oct. 13, 2021.

The District Court in Philadelphia investigated and dismissed the charge earlier this summer, Houck’s wife, Ryan-Marie, told Life Site News. She said that her husband sometimes brought their eldest son with him. She added that on multiple occasions that a “pro-abortion protester” would say “crude … inappropriate and disgusting things” to their 12-year-old son, such as “your dad’s a fag” and other vulgar slurs.

Her husband repeatedly told the man to stop verbally harassing his son, Ryan-Marie Houck explained. But the man didn’t stop. On one occasion, the man “kind of came into [the son’s] personal space,” Ryan-Marie Houck said. “Mark shoved him away from his child, and the guy fell back… He didn’t have any injuries or anything, but he tried to sue Mark.”

Brian Middleton, a friend of the Houck family, told The Daily Signal that “[Mark] was defending his son from a man who was verbally abusing his son. He stepped between them and asked him to stop. The man continued to lean in and verbally abuse. Mark extended his arms to get the assailant away from his son.” Middleton added: “Mark will not be available until further notice under advice of counsel.”

State Sen. Doug Mastriano, who is the Republican candidate for governor in Pennsylvania, released a statement following Houck’s arrest. “The continued weaponization of the FBI and persecution by Joe Biden’s DOJ against ordinary Americans is an outrage,” Mastriano wrote, adding:

This morning, a heavily armed SWAT team of dozens of FBI agents raided the home of Mark Houck of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, with his wife and terrified children inside over a case that was long thrown out by the District Court in Philadelphia. Mark and Ryan-Marie Houck’s seven children were traumatized and in tears as they witnessed their parents held at gunpoint and their father hauled away in handcuffs.

After his Friday arrest, Houck appeared before the U.S. Eastern District Court in Pennsylvania. He was indicted for violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, which “makes it a federal crime to use force with the intent to injure, intimidate, and interfere with anyone because that person is a provider of reproductive health care,” the Eastern District of Pennsylvania U.S. Attorney’s Office wrote in a Friday press release.

Authorities released Houck later that day, but he now faces felony charges. If convicted, Houck could have up to an 11-year prison sentence, and fines of up to $350,000.

Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts tweeted Saturday: “As I’ve said, the Mar-a-Lago raid isn’t just about President Trump—it’s about all of us.”

“Saying that doesn’t make someone an insurrectionist—if anything, it’s the DOJ that’s ‘threatening democracy,’” he added.,


Is America too Christian?

To say the founding of the United States reflects biblical Christianity is to state the obvious.

The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution incorporated many fundamental precepts of the Reformation, and these precepts long have been recognized by American statesmen and jurists.

From overt assertions that people are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights” and are entitled to the liberties of “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” to the more subtle acknowledgement of the birth of Jesus Christ in Article VII of the Constitution, biblical Christianity was absolutely central to the American founding.

What’s more, 46 states explicitly mention God in their own constitutions, according to a report from Pew Research Center.

Clearly, Christianity remains central to our national character today.

Such observations ought not be controversial, but saying what is true can get you in big trouble these days. In this instance, the media outlet Politico is sounding alarms over some Republicans self-describing as Christian nationalists, while others are talking about formally declaring the United States to be a Christian nation.

Calling America a Christian nation today might be debatable; a 2021 poll by Pew found that the number of Americans who describe themselves as Christian fell to 63%, down from 78% in 2007.

But our national founding and ongoing civic philosophy are unquestionably Christian. President Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, said it most succinctly in observing, “America was born a Christian nation.”

Wilson is by no means alone in his recognition of the Christian roots of America and the absolute necessity of biblical Christianity in the United States.

President Theodore Roosevelt, a Republican, said: “The teachings of the Bible are so interwoven and entwined with our whole civic and social life that it would be literally impossible for us to figure to ourselves what that life would be if these teachings were removed.”

President Herbert Hoover, a fellow Republican, echoed Roosevelt by saying: “The whole inspiration of our civilization springs from the teachings of Christ and the lessons of the prophets. To read the Bible for these fundamentals is a necessity of American life.”

President Harry Truman’s observations of the importance of the Bible to America stretch back to the Old Testament.

“The fundamental basis of this nation’s law was given to Moses on the Mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings which we get from Exodus and St. Matthew, from Isaiah and St. Paul,” Truman, a Democrat, said.

The House of Representatives was clear in its declaration of the American character. A House Resolution from May 1854 stated: “The belief of our people in the pure doctrines and divine truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ” was vital to the American system of government.

Presidents, members of Congress, Supreme Court justices, and many others long have recognized the role of the Bible and Christianity in the United States, both in terms of the nation’s founding and its continuation as a global beacon of liberty.

So why is it that in 2022, some are denying history and encouraging their fellow Americans to forsake our national legacy?

It’s no secret that a lot of people want an American future that is radically different from its past and present. The 1619 Project, critical race theory, and other vehicles that are built from the ground up to revile the United States and its founding are symptomatic of a deep enmity toward our nation. But these attacks also validate the truth of Christianity’s powerful influence on society, both here and across the world.

Biblical Christianity enshrines liberty and informs good government. Adherents of Marxism, socialism, communism, and other authoritarian structures know this too. They are well aware that the imposition of tyranny is far more difficult when the society they seek to subjugate believes in the truths of biblical Christianity.

That is why the political Left and its acolytes are so focused in their slander of the faith. The marginalization and destruction of Christianity is the necessary precursor to forcing despotism on Americans.

To claim that declaring America a Christian nation amounts to the establishment of a state religion is silly. If people of other faiths wish to live here in peace, they are and always have been welcomed and protected in the practice of their faith; the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of religion is an outgrowth of the Reformation.

But America and its founding don’t cease to be Christian just because a small number of political and cultural elites cast themselves as deniers of history.

Today’s attacks on Christianity are not new. They’ve been going on since the first century and will continue apace, just as Jesus Christ told his disciples. Today, these assaults are being propelled into our political discourse and only will increase.

Christians, indeed Americans of all faiths, must not permit the whitewashing of our history and the continued erosion of the liberties articulated in biblical Christianity.


Facebook reverses permanent ban on ads from conservative children's book publisher

Facebook opted to reverse a 'permanent' ban on ads from conservative book publishing company Brave Books after Fox News reached out to the Big-Tech conglomerate to see why the ban was imposed in the first place.

Brave Books is a Christian children's publisher that produces 'pro-God, pro-America and anti-woke values.'

Trent Talbot, the founder of Brave Books, called the suspension an 'existential threat' to the company, which, like many small and mid-size businesses, relies on Facebook and Google ads for a significant amount of its traction.

The initial message from Facebook to Brave on Thursday said the platform was banning the company's ad accounts without explanation, and called the decision 'final.'

However, when Fox News inquired about the ban, the company confirmed that the ad account remains active.

'This is a prime example of big tech today. They shut down small companies who say anything contrary to their woke agendas. They may reinstate accounts only when they are hit with bad PR, only to throttle those same accounts to make them ineffective,' said Talbot

Talbot says a similar suspension from Google was also lifted earlier this year after Fox News reported on it.

The most recent ad run by the account was promoting Fox News anchor Julie Banderas' contribution to the Brave arsenal: Fiona's Fantastical Fort, a book about a girl named Fiona who exemplifies the trait of perseverance as she struggles to build a fort for her friends.

Banderas, who said her enthusiasm for working with Brave Books stems from the Christian values of the company and the lessons that Brave Books puts into their lessons, tweeted that Facebook's attempt to shut down Brave's ad account was 'another attempt to cancel conservatives.'

'The lessons Brave Books is putting into their Freedom Island Series are what I want my kids to embody. The lessons include a sanctity for life, unconditional love within the home, the harmfulness of critical race theory — and more,' Banderas said during an interview with her employer about the book.


My other blogs. Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For someone they charged with a crime and released back the same day it's patently obvious they went "overkill" sending at least 20 heavily armed and armored agents to arrest.

The "crime"? He pushed another person who was deliberately invading the personal space of his twelve year old son after that man had already been spewing vile threats and things to that child for weeks. A man who was too cowardly to face the father, he was the kind of coward who directed his vileness toward a child.

The real travesty here is that they sent the FBI after the wrong party in this situation though it's obvious they'd only need a pair of agents dressed in their regular clothing to arrest either party from this altercation.