Sunday, October 02, 2022

Why the left keeps smearing its political rivals as Hitlers or Mussolinis

Want to be Hitler? You don’t have to hate Jews, invade Poland or grow a silly mustache. There’s only one thing you have to do: Win an election against the left, or even look like you might.

We’ve seen that for years, of course. Democrats have likened every GOP presidential candidate back to Tom Dewey to the Austrian corporal.

When the Tea Party movement — best known for leaving the sites of its protests cleaner than it found them, in stark contrast to lefty groups like Occupy or BLM — appeared on the scene, they were immediately likened to Hitler’s brownshirts.

To listen to the Democrats and the media (I repeat myself), the Trump administration was a Nazi reign of terror over America, though none of those critics wound up targeted by the Gestapo. (That fell to pro-life activists and Trump supporters under the Biden administration.)

It’s not just in America. In France, farmers angry about government policies that were putting them out of business who protested by wearing yellow vests were quickly vilified as Nazi-like. “Immediately, the protesters were denounced as xenophobes, anti-Semites and homophobes,” observed French geographer Christophe Guilluy. “The elites present themselves as anti-fascist and anti-racist, but this is merely a way of defending their class interests.”

Yes, the story of recent politics is one of the West’s elites dividing people by race, fomenting antagonism to serve their own purposes, and posing as the only ones who can protect society from the bigotry and violence of . . . voters.

It happens over and over again (see President Donald Trump’s 2016 election or Brexit), and every time they run the same script.

They’re doing it again in response to this week’s election in Italy, which elevated Giorgia Meloni to be Italy’s first female prime minister. She identifies as a mother, a Catholic and an Italian and says she wants what’s best for the Italian people, not what serves the agenda of the Western gentry class.

This makes her . . . well, not Hitler exactly, but since it’s Italy, Mussolini.

At least, that’s what you’d think from the press coverage. Headlines call her the “most far-right” ruler since Mussolini and speak darkly of fascism and so on, according to the familiar script.

This time, at least, there has been some pushback from her liberal opponent, former PM Matteo Renzi, who said, “Personally I was against Giorgia Meloni. I’m not her best friend. We are rivals, but she is not a danger to democracy. The idea there is a risk of fascism in Italy is absolutely fake news.”

It always is.

Yet the question is why. Why does the liberal press constantly go out of its way to portray any threat to the status quo as a Nazi or fascist?

Well, you can’t call non-elite figures on the right communists, because 1) those people are on the left, and 2) the press generally thinks of communists as good guys.

So you go with the most loaded remaining terms, and that’s various accusations of bigotry and fascism. We’ve seen the same thing at home with Joe Biden standing in front of uniformed Marines on a blood-red stage calling Republicans fascists. (Or, “semi-fascists,” whatever that means.)

We used to teach kids in school that politics was a game of give and take. My own former US senator, Howard Baker, was famous for saying that you should listen to your opponents: “The other guy might be right.”

If you lost an election, that meant you weren’t doing what the people wanted. It was time to take stock, adjust your positions and try again next time while serving as the loyal opposition in the meantime.

Now any election the left loses is treated as an existential struggle, the equivalent of war. And all’s fair in war. Calling your opponents Nazis justifies whatever you want to do to them, and makes you the good guy when you do it.

Hurray for Matteo Renzi for showing that Italian politics isn’t as far-gone into this slough of hatred as our own. But then, the Italians have an advantage: Some of them still remember what real fascism looks like.


Opioids @ Work: The Hidden Scourge Sapping the Economy

Opioids are taking an immeasurable toll on the American workforce, James Varney reports for RealClearInvestigations, exploring a largely invisible crisis sustained by fentanyl smuggling from China and likely to haunt the nation's economic well-being for years if not decades to come. The only thing certain is that the costs are staggering, according to physicians, counselors, economists, workers, and public officials:

First, record fatal overdoses of workers in their prime years mean untold years of lost productivity from the economy.

Next, opioid addiction’s rise in the U.S. has exerted strong downward pressure on the workforce participation rate – although precise causality is difficult to establish.

It's similarly difficult to calculate just how much drug abuse has caused absenteeism and tardiness and swelled state disability rolls, but the connection is strong, experts say.

Opioids are a dirty secret that employers and workers are reluctant to talk about.

A neighborhood social media thread about opioids’ dire impact in the workforce unleashes a barrage of horror stories. Homeowners speak of an inability to find reliable handymen, painters, landscape workers, etc.

Tree service operator in suburban New Orleans: “If I’m lucky enough to have an employee that can pass a [urine analysis] the chances of them doing so after the first check is slim.”

The staying power of the crisis is suggested by other lasting national challenges, including the porous southern border – a major conduit for smuggled, Chinese-made fentanyl – and economic and social traumas set in motion by the pandemic.

Summary from:


NYC: A 17-year-old black girl was killed because politicians and activists care more about the gang members

A black author speaks:

I believe a society should be judged by how they treat their children. And by that benchmark, we are failing.

On September 28, 17-year-old Shayma Roman was shot twice and killed in a crossfire between two rival gangs. With the prospect of a prosperous future as a star student and basketball player at Brooklyn Democracy Academy, her life came to a tragic ending as her older sister, Tayma Roman, held her as she bled.

As violent crime rises in New York and innocent lives are lost, politicians in Albany like Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Carl Heastie push for more leniency through bail reform for criminals like the ones who murdered young Shayma. It’s evident that politicians like them empathize more with the people who are put in handcuffs than the ones who bleed in the streets.

The growing mentality to avoid appropriately disciplining our children when they’re young has now permeated the minds of politicians who stray away from applying responsibility for criminal behavior through justice.

Shayma’s death also is one of many recent indications of a nation that’s been battling sickness that we are in denial of: the broken family.

Gang violence is primarily committed by dysfunctional young men who come from homes that are plagued by family dysfunction, and even more pronounced, homes where there isn’t a healthy father figure to guide them. They are the lost boys of our society who wander around purposeless and vulnerable enough to carry out the objectives of their malicious street brethren.

The murderers of Shayma Roman likely never had a healthy fatherly authority figure to teach them appropriate boundaries as a child and have them understand that an essential attribute of manhood is to protect the innocent, not to harm them.

The United States has the highest rate of single-parent homes in the world and there are dire consequences to our country’s familial degradation. Socially, we’ve accepted this as being a new normal and minimized the impact that fatherless homes have on our children, especially our boys.

We’ve reduced fathers to being optional figures within the family and we’re unwilling to be critical of the women who choose undesirable men. We have parents who only care about themselves by constantly seeking to be empowered by means of independence and actively ignoring their responsibility to their children by not placing them in the best family structure possible: the nuclear family.

As a father, I understand that, fair or not, if my son succeeds it’s his success but if my son fails it’s my failure. We are fostering a culture of blameless parents as they place their children in structureless environments while lacking curiosity and accountability for their child’s destruction.

The gangs that torment communities across this great nation are the most pronounced and destructive sign of family decay and they’re angry enough to put other people’s lives at risk for self-gratification and group approval, including children like Shayma Roman.

We have to start seeing raising children as a potential life and death matter for other people as the children we neglect, and abuse today may find a reason to neglect our concerns and abuse our boundaries.

Our parental selfishness is always paid for by our children and it’s about time we alter our family planning methods, decisions, and outlook so children like Shayma Roman can have a future worth celebrating instead of a death that leaves loved ones grieving.


Trashing men in the movies

Bettina Arndt

It was never going to be my cup of tea. Here was a play proclaimed by a London reviewer as a ‘roll call of real lives shattered by despicable brutality perpetrated by men’.

But it was hard to resist the National Theatre’s screening of Jodie Comer’s much-acclaimed London performance in Prima Facie, even if it meant suffering through a propaganda session from the playwright informing us that one in three women have been sexually assaulted.

I sat surrounded by rows of earnest women who nodded seriously at this absurd statistic. They must have used a pretty broad definition of sexual assault to come up with that one, perhaps inflated by that old chestnut, ‘unwanted staring’.

Jodie Comer is riveting and the play most compelling. It is an utterly fascinating example of how far we have come from the days when female reviewers grumbled that men were winning all the star parts in movies and theatre whilst female characters were cardboard cut-out, one-dimensional props to hero males.

Now the female producers and playwrights churning out much of today’s entertainment are bent on lionising women whilst displaying total indifference to making male characters believable.

They see no problem in the fact that the rape that is at the heart of Prima Facie is not only utterly illogical but also appears to be anatomically impossible.

Warning: spoiler alert for anyone still keen to see this production or others mentioned below.

First, let’s consider the motive for the crime; the reason the rape takes place.

Jodie Comer plays Tess, a successful barrister who happily gets involved with her colleague Damien. She’s keen. ‘I find myself kissing Damo …’ she says, also describing their coupling on the sofa in his office. Is she falling for him? ‘Maybe,’ she says, clearly enjoying the thought of him as her boyfriend.

Then comes the night in question… It begins with dinner at the local Japanese place. Plenty of sake, followed by wine. Home to her place. Intimate talk, kissing, ‘It’s hot and sexy. We seem to fall into having sex,’ she says.

Later they end up in bed with more kissing and cuddling. But suddenly, presumably due to all that alcohol, she has an overwhelming desire to vomit. She makes it to the loo. He’s kind, holds her hair back while she vomits, and then carefully carries her back to bed.

Then, he rapes her. Go figure. Why on earth would he? He’s just had loving sex with her and is apparently enjoying their lusty new relationship.

But according to feminist lawyer turned playwright, this must be just what men do. Patriarchal bullies get their kicks out of asserting their power over vomit-splattered women. No need for any further explanation.

Then there’s the vital question of how it happens. During Act II, which features Tess’s cross-examination, details come out of the attack. Tess describes how she was pinned down. Using one of his hands Damo grips both her hands ‘pulled high above my head’ whilst his other hand is over her mouth, so she can’t cry out. ‘He was squashing me,’ she says, which presumably means he was lying flat on top of her.

My question is how then does he get in? Suffice to say, under the described circumstances it would be tricky without the use of hands and harder still to get traction for what Germaine Greer called the ‘piston mechanics’ necessary for successful rooting.

Recently I found myself discussing all this with a group at dinner and we ended up with guests on the floor trying to work out if the Prima Facie rape scenario was physically achievable – with hilarious results. But no doubt I was the only one in that rapt movie audience remotely concerned about whether this rape was possible.

When it comes to painting men as villains such details don’t matter. Flawed male characters, whether they be dangerous creeps or merely pathetic losers, simply act as foils to the virtuous, scintillating creature that is today’s woman.

One of my favourite movie performances is Bill Murray in Lost in Translation, where he plays a fading movie star stuck filming in a Japanese hotel who befriends a young woman, played by Scarlett Johansson, who is portraying an equally lost soul. He’s in a troubled marriage, she clearly has the hots for him, yet he resists temptation, valuing their growing friendship. It’s a complex, touching story celebrating male restraint and kindness.

That was in 2003, before the rot really set in. Over the next couple of decades, men were pushed ruthlessly from their pedestals. By 2020, Sofia Coppola, the producer of Lost in Translation, again called upon the talented Bill Murray, this time for her comedy On The Rocks, where he portrays a philandering father whose daughter fears her husband is having an affair. In this supposedly jolly romp dad drags his daughter around town spying on the husband, indulging her paranoia with crass comments about ‘that’s the way men are’. No moral complexity here – just degrading stereotypes about men who can’t keep their trousers zipped. Yawn.

Many commentators have picked up on the male heroes’ fall from grace in the movies. There’s a funny rant by Scottish YouTuber, Critical Drinker. It’s called Why modern movies suck – they’re destroying our heroes.

He’s acerbic about the latest Star Wars sequel and talks about Han Solo whom he points out, ‘Started out as a selfish smuggler who only cared about Number 1 but over the first three movies transformed into a smart, resourceful, brave fighter and protector for Princess Leia, ready to risk everything for the sake of his friends. Pretty cool, right?’

The YouTuber then describes the sequel set thirty years later, where Solo is, ‘A cynical, self-absorbed smuggler who’s lost track of his own shit, a dead-beat dad who’s abandoned his wife and son, and an incompetent criminal who’s made enemies across the galaxy.’ Naturally Solo now has to be constantly rescued by a ‘non-diverse female space Jesus’.

Solo is supposed to be in his sixties yet he is ‘somehow less experienced, competent, and mature than when we first met him. All his experiences, his character development and achievements have been rendered completely moot’.

A fitting epitaph, perhaps, to the fate of generations of once competent men in this feminist world?

What bugs me is even when movies try to portray admirable, sensitive male characters, they still can’t get them right. I recently enjoyed Emma Thompson’s outstanding performance in Good Luck to You, Leo Grande. Thompson plays Nancy, an uptight widow who, having never experienced an orgasm, decides to find someone who can show her what she was missing. She lucks out with gorgeous Leo, a sex worker of rare charm and sensitivity.

It’s a clever production, as Leo gradually coaxes the tense, brittle Nancy through her insecurities. He’s quite believable as a complex, intelligent young man who sees his job as a vocation. Yet one scene grated. There’s a critical moment when Nancy pushes too hard in her yearning to play social worker to the young man. Leo reacts with fierce anger and distress to her probing.

Then, without skipping a beat, he’s back on the job, willing and able to tick off the next item on Nancy’s wish list, her desire to perform fellatio. Hmm, the essence of his character is his sensitivity, a soft, sincere man whose emotional accessibility is critical to his craft. Yet the movie’s female playwright Katy Brand glibly assumes his male appendage would snap to attention even as he is still reeling from that emotional upset.

The truth is that the spirit may be willing but this particular flesh is weak and capricious and rarely responds to commands – as any man could tell you. The problem is no one bothers to ask them anymore.


Fantastic lies about white settlement of Australia

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has thrown his support behind truth-telling as a softener for the emotional campaign for the Voice to Parliament referendum. Let’s hope he’s not relying on the SBS series "The Australian Wars" billed as ‘the documentary that reveals the truth of Australia’s history’.

The first episode of the show, produced by Rachel Perkins, daughter of the late Charles Perkins, made a number of claims which cannot be verified but serve to vilify the nation’s European colonisers.

In the introductory episode the staggering claim is made that 100,000 Aboriginals were murdered by troops or settlers in wars which lasted a century.

There is no evidence presented to justify this statement and even the final findings of the eight-year long Colonial Frontier Massacres Digital Map Project (elements of which have been successfully challenged) conducted by University of Newcastle emeritus professor Lyndall Ryan do not support this figure. The Guardian, which supported Professor Ryan’s flawed project, analysed the data and found that between 11,000 and 14,000 Aboriginal people died.

Which leaves a credibility gap into which Perkins’ 89,000 to 86,000 alleged deaths have fallen.

War is usually defined as a state of armed conflict between two countries or different groups within a country but it clear that there was never a state of war between Great Britain and an Aboriginal nation as there were no Aboriginal nations, no matter how nation is defined.

Further, the groups of Aboriginals who resisted European settlement did not constitute a coherent body.

Wars is too strong a term for what were at best deadly skirmishes between soldiers and a handful of Aboriginal clan leaders initially and later between small Aboriginal bands and police or settlers.

The claim is also made that children were taken as ‘slaves’ and that women and children were the most valuable commodities in the nascent colony though there is no evidence that slavery was ever practised by the colonisers and certainly no evidence that women and children were traded as commodities.

The wars, according to the documentary, were brought about because Governor Arthur Phillip bypassed an ancient legal system on his arrival.

This is Bruce Pascoe humbug on steroids. There was no Aboriginal legal system covering the continent. It was very much different strokes for different folks depending upon which clan or tribe they belonged to. In much the same way as some Aboriginal oligarchs today sequester all the royalties arising from mining in their areas and deny funding to those who aren’t part of their clan or kinship group.

Another of the many demands the Voice makes is for a treaty with Australia, which not only supposes that there is an actual cohesive Aboriginal nation and that such a nation could have a treaty with the nation that it exists within, which is patently nonsensical, but it also begs the question why didn’t any Aboriginal seek a treaty as the Maori had done when the tide of European settlement reached New Zealand?

I put this question to Sir Tipene O’Regan (now Ta Tipene O’Regan) twenty-three years ago at his Auckland home during the 1999 APEC conference.

O’Regan, who was named 2022 New Zealander of the Year in March, is the son of an Irish surgeon and activist Rolland O’Regan and Rena Ruiha, who was a member of Ngai Tahu tribe.

As the driving force behind a number of successful land and sea fisheries claims for the Ngai Tahu with legendary negotiating skills, his views on indigenous claims are worth listening to.

He told me that there were vast cultural differences between the Maori and the Aboriginals. All indigenous people are not the same. He said he had attended international meetings of indigenous groups and felt closer to Native Americans from the Pacific Northwest (in particular the Kwakiutl), than the Australian Aboriginal representatives.

‘We are both seafaring people, when Europeans arrived we understood trade and treaties, culturally we are similar, we carve, we had complex oral histories detailing our heritage.’

The Maori nobility, he said, were able to recite their family lineage and this oral recitation of genealogy (whakapapa in Maori) was essential to define who was privileged and who was a slave.

‘Because knowledge of your whakapapa was essential, the Maori embraced writing to set down their family trees so they would not lose their identities and within the first century of the arrival of Europeans, the level of literacy was higher among Maori than among the settlers.’

The Maori, he said, were pressed for space and resources and each tribe or iwi had clearly defined boundaries which required the development of a diplomatic code if there was not to be perpetual war.

When Europeans landed, the shore dwellers could not retreat as they would be encroaching on the tribe up the hill. They had to negotiate a settlement with the new arrivals and arrangements for them to collect wood and water. They could not retreat.

Aboriginals, on the other hand, in his view, had almost unlimited opportunities to withdraw and they did.

I was unfortunately unable to contact Ta Tipene through the University of Auckland to seek his view on the Voice but as we don’t yet know in what form the Labor government proposal will be presented, the questions would be hypothetical.

Perkins and her crew are in no doubt about the need for a Voice, treaty and truth-telling.

Perhaps they could just start by telling the truth and letting the nation decide whether the rest is necessary.




1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Trashing men in movies"? I saw this coming in the 1970s when I realized that the Flintstone cartoons were trashing men even back then. This is not a new phenomena but instead one that has very deep roots.