Under Attack From Within

JUST as he chose the wrong day to quit smoking, News Corp chose a bad one to ride to the rescue of the anarchic “rules-based international order.” Two of Rupert Murdoch’s national dailies – The Australian and the Wall Street Journal – both sprang into action today to condemn Ron DeSantis in florid terms for saying America has no strategic interest in a Slavic tragedy that has so far killed as many as 200,000 soldiers. In France, meanwhile, Emmanuel Macron has bypassed parliament to raise the pensionable retirement age, unleashing a predictable nationwide protest. French prime minister Élisabeth Borne explained that the President invoked his power to cast democracy aside because there was “too much economic risk to the country if MPs voted against the bill.” A bigger protest in the Netherlands has been underway for weeks to stop Prime Minister Mark Rutte from proceeding with an insane scheme to cut nitrogen emissions by shutting down thousands of farms. When News Corp tries to dazzle opponents of a proxy war in Ukraine with legacy boilerplate about the “free world” and advises a possible presidential contender to overrule voters, it shows a French contempt for democracy and a Dutch detachment from reality. People are fed up after three years of being marched into no man’s land by sociopaths like this.

Posted in International, Media | 11 Comments

Editorial in The Australian: Democracy is a threat to democracy

It seems there’s a new gang of cancellers in town: woke neo-cons. DeSantis slips up on Ukraine.
If Florida Governor Ron DeSantis really does want the Republican Party’s nomination for next year’s US presidential election he will need to show a better understanding of America’s role as leader of the free world than he did in talking about Ukraine to Fox News. “While the US has many vital national interests,” Mr DeSantis said, “becoming further entangled in (what is) a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them.” Really? Ukraine, with almost the entire democratic world united in helping Kiev defeat Russian President Vladimir Putin’s monstrous assault on its sovereignty as part of his grand design to recreate the Soviet empire, is just “a territorial dispute”?

If Mr DeSantis were any other Republican governor, such an incomprehensible, ill-judged assertion might not matter. But despite Donald Trump’s rancorous attempt to regain the White House, Mr DeSantis, at 44, remains the hot tip among pundits to win the Republican nomination with a strong chance of winning the election next year and becoming the next president.

Given that context, Mr DeSantis’s statement (importantly, it was written and not something he said off the cuff) that the fight for Ukraine is not a vital US national interest could not be more wrong or more damaging, not only to America and its place in the world but also to America’s allies who look to it for global leadership.

Mr DeSantis’s assertion plays into not only Mr Putin’s hands but also Chinese ruler Xi Jinping’s by raising the prospect that a future Republican administration in the White House would be unwilling to stay the distance in Ukraine and, by implication, also would be reluctant to do much about a Chinese invasion of Taiwan.

As the New York Post, which previously has been a strong supporter of Mr DeSantis’s presidential ambitions, noted on Thursday: “If Putin succeeds in Ukraine, it’ll show other regimes (China, Iran, etc) that aggression works. And Russia itself will look to move on other nations, including NATO allies America’s obliged to defend. Beating Putin, or even just crippling his war machine, is defending America.”

Whatever happened to Mr DeSantis’s reputation as a strong leader and a fearless fighter for principle who has ignored the polls and done what’s right in Florida? Mr DeSantis, even before launching his campaign, appears to have fallen at the first hurdle of what The Wall Street Journal has termed “the Trumpian temptation of American retreat”. The suggestion is that he is cynically reading the political mood in the Republican Party fuelled by Mr Trump’s similarly ill-judged isolationist ballyhoo as the former president, too, seeks the nomination. Polls show 40 per cent of Republicans believe Joe Biden’s administration is doing too much to help Ukraine. Elected Republicans in the US congress have expressed alarm about what they see as a mood that potentially could do serious harm to US interests and those of its allies in the fight for democracy. The top Republican on the US Senate’s Armed Services Committee, Roger Wicker, has warned about those who would appease Mr Putin.

In his statement to Fox News, Mr DeSantis did make one sensible point – that Mr Biden did not have “defined objectives” in Ukraine other than to provide arms, but not enough to drive Russia out of the country. That failure is obviously a recipe for extended conflict. But it does not follow that Ukraine is not of vital concern to the US and that it is a mere territorial dispute. Such assertions could hardly be further from the truth or more worrying for the free world that looks to the US for leadership. Mr DeSantis must beware the temptation to try to outdo Mr Trump’s isolationist MAGA fantasies.

Much has been expected of Mr DeSantis as the potential Republican nominee next year. He must waste no time in showing that he is better than perceptions of him, after his Ukraine faux pas, that he is just a younger version of Mr Trump. Mr DeSantis is surely better than that.

Posted in Foreign policy, Media | 31 Comments

What they want for you: microwaved insects in a 15-minute city

Posted in Climate hoax, Fake science, Left-wing extremism | 50 Comments

Not Much of A Mannix

IN 1965, Queen Elizabeth appointed Robert Menzies Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, an ancient and prestigious ceremonial office whose obsolete jurisdictional function, from the 1100s, centered on provisioning ships for coastal defence, well before the founding of the Royal Navy. Sir Robert succeeded Winston Churchill in the role. Those left of wing and Anglophobic of persuasion always delighted in ridiculing the sinecure and the sailor’s uniform that went with it. Yesterday, Anthony Albanese deplaned on arrival back in Australia wearing Aviators gifted to him by President Biden. Not quite the same cachet but this too was a gesture of gratitude to a subject pretending to defend a seafaring realm. It was a day of historical parallels, trite gratuities and illogical alliances thanks to a Press Club performance by Paul Keating that may outlive in folklore the AUKUS plan the PM had been in San Diego to unveil with his Ray-Ban bestie and Rishi Sunak. More halting in delivery in his 80th year, his patois, analytical skills and insults – the most brutal directed at Albanese and Foreign Minister Penny Wong – were still more compelling than the pansy tiptoeing on eggshells that is now the lingua franca of all political discussion in Australia. “Hopping into Penny” deserves to live on as an idiom for reluctant chastisement of an ally but, sadly, is unlikely to be understood by anyone within a generation. More importantly, he was right.

Right, I mean, about the foolishness of acquiring nuclear submarines from the United States in the 2030s before building our own Holden Specials from the 2040s (with assistance from the British). The chances of this coming to fruition on time and on budget, needless to say, are zero. A hallmark of contemporary propaganda is the elephantine irrationality people ignore out of pride, obtuseness or fear of being ostracised. The supposed consensus determinedly sold over the past 18 months by commentators is that subs we won’t have for decades are vital for next week’s conflict with China. The same tactic was used during the pandemic: brazenness backed up by abuse to ‘nudge’ a nation to see past the ridiculous lie and stay faithful to the cause. By the 2040s, the boats described by Mr Keating as “clunkers” will almost certainly be obsolete. They will cost a lot more than 368 billion dollars and – unless a future government makes a clean, let’s-just-be-friends break – will lock us into a military-industrial complex that will diminish our nationhood and embolden a generation of America-haters whose over-corrections will be ruinous.

He was right about several other things: China has no designs or capacity to invade Australia and/or America; it has no logical interest in blocking delivery of its own supplies; gigantic nuclear submarines are not suited to the continental defence of Australia but to forward projection; we will never go to war against China except as a tag-along to the United States; America will superintend the deployment of Australian submarines and control their maintenance; the insistence that Canberra will be perfectly free to choose sovereignty over loyal Musketeering is risible. The concern that AUKUS was rushed and – given the scale of the proposal – afforded only peremptory draftsmanship happens to be historically correct. Born in fear and scandal following the humiliation of Afghanistan, it had a ‘get back on the horse’ quality to it from the start.

At the end of the failed War on Terrorism, and in the middle of a pandemic in which governments had betrayed democracy and the rule of law, the West’s top priority should have been healing. Not a kumbaya ideas summit overseen by Kevin Rudd or a synod on synodality chaired by the pope but punitive accountability for politicians and officials, the re-building of economies and the complete recapitulation of liberty. What we got instead – from a US President mired in high crimes and two (now ex) prime ministers desperate to seem indispensable – was the harebrained heaping of Pelion upon Ossa: extravagant gallivanting into a European proxy war, more economic disaster for newly irrelevant citizens and an asinine panic about “imminent” war. Covid has ushered in a dark era of permanent imminence whose utility to leaders is forestalling liability and a firing squad. Dismally, conservatives fall for it every time. Sky News anchors and opinionists, for example, spend a goodly part of their time castigating Messrs Albanese and Biden as tendentious, intellectually fourth-rate, witless, demented and immoral. But the Dear Leaders are admirable and infallible when it comes to nuclear submarines and World War III. The China-like universality of anti-Keating reaction is more worrying than anything the former prime minister said.

What Keating got wrong is best discussed by the rational – which excludes all those who were too mawkish, inept or lazy to refute the actual arguments he made yesterday (in between excoriating journalists). Last month’s op-ed brawl between Keating and Greg Sheridan was a useful preview of how and where he goes terribly awry. Keating was right to dismiss Sheridan as a “little American” and Sheridan was right to describe Keating’s China policy as “eccentric.” Both men were right and wrong in equal measure and both are living in the past. The Foreign Editor of The Australian is in denial about the decline of an America that is no longer the arsenal of civilisation it was between Eisenhower and Reagan. If the curtains in Kabul haven’t convinced him to reassess the suzerainty of a post-moral hyperpower, nothing ever will. For his part, Keating’s delusions are older than Ike. He still loathes Britain, wants to avenge Jack Lang and believes that he personally discovered Asia. This largely explains his one-or-the-other view of hemispherical alliances, his pre-tech obsession with proximity as destiny and a tendency to trivialise Chinese espionage. The result is that he often sounds like a hybrid of Doc Evatt and the Duke of Windsor.

Today – both as a corollary of his own casualness and as an easy alternative to substantive rebuttal – his critics seized on Mr Keating’s indifference to the fate of the Uyghurs and other victims of the CCP. His Don Rickles victims at the Press Club didn’t ask about Chinese Catholics – which would have been a more pointed question to ask one of the latter’s co-religionists. Make of that what you will. I make of it that Australian journalists and Beijing aren’t miles apart on that subject. In fact, Australia is not buying submarines to rescue Uyghurs. We’re not even buying submarines because Taiwan is a sister democracy. The AUKUS trio refuses to even recognise it as a nation. Mr Keating’s biggest error was denouncing the subs deal as the worst decision by a Labor government since Billy Hughes’ 1916 conscription plebiscite without seeing the opportunity to emulate the man who sank it. As of yesterday, he and Archbishop Daniel Mannix have much in common: disciples who loved their mockeries; both accused of treachery; both opposed by the establishment and media; both insisted nations at enmity shared a portion of blame. The difference is that Mannix was a man of objective moral judgement. To him, however guilty all the begetters of the Great War, his side – however unworthily – possessed the larger share of righteousness. Defending that share abroad and the truth at home were not mutually exclusive.

Posted in Defence and national security, History, Media | 33 Comments

Have you noticed the AUKUS question reporters haven’t asked?

Were Aborigines consulted about acquiring nuclear subs and burying the waste? If not, why not?
Posted in Hypocrisy of the left, Politics | 18 Comments

Replacing the population, arresting Christians, razing families

Posted in Fake conservatism, International | 2 Comments

A lever and fulcrum didn’t cost $368 billion in Archimedes’ day

Ten years ago the old cartoons from Punch were seen as deplorable. Now they’re back on trend.

Posted in Defence and national security, History | 4 Comments

Aborigines conduct the ritual at the behest of enthroned whites

Posted in Culture, Left-wing extremism | 10 Comments

The New RFK

Donald Trump, now looking weary, is uncharacteristically telegraphing his fear of the competition.

While the US has many vital national interests – securing our borders, addressing the crisis of readiness within our military, achieving energy security and independence, and checking the economic, cultural, and military power of the Chinese Communist Party – becoming further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them. The Biden administration’s virtual ‘blank check’ funding of this conflict for ‘as long as it takes,’ without any defined objectives or accountability, distracts from our country’s most pressing challenges. Without question, peace should be the objective.”

– Governor Ron DeSantis flags an intention to shut down the war if elected President
Posted in US politics, War and peace | 54 Comments

He was, in fact, the My Sharona of Prime Ministers in the 1990s

Troy Bramston lionises a personal hero lately criticised: Keating still frames big picture of politics.
When Paul Keating led Labor to victory 30 years ago this week, he achieved an accolade denied to every other prime minister in the past 65 years: a fifth election win in a row.
Keating only won the 1993 poll as PM – with assistance from Mike Willesee and a birthday cake.
Posted in History, Politics | 16 Comments

Nord Stream bombers criticise “unsafe and unprofessional” act

Posted in Fake news, War and peace | 8 Comments

The climate hoax is a bigger threat to our way of life than China

Posted in Climate hoax, Fake science, Left-wing extremism | 8 Comments

The Godwin Protocol

A brief history of the rise, purpose and institutionalisation of phony “right-wing extremism”

THE stories that aren’t afforded a news cycle are now the ones that matter most. If you follow their faint trail, what you find is usually far more important than a canned “issue” or the “current thing.” It wasn’t surprising that an important near-admission by ASIO Director-General Mike Burgess was ignored by the media after his appearance at a Senate Estimates hearing on 13 February. Asked by South Australian Liberal senator Alex Antic if ASIO had – like the sinister British army intelligence unit whose actions were exposed in January – spied on critics of mandates, lockdowns and mask-wearing during the course of the pandemic, Burgess pleaded the fifth. “That sounds like a ‘yes’ to me,” Antic replied. ABC reporter Jessica Riga’s blog on this hearing didn’t mention the exchange – though it was obviously the most newsworthy. Riga did, however, post what the Director-General said on “right wing extremism.” It “grew rapidly” after Covid-19 hit – “fuelled in part by conspiracy theorists” – but the “threat” had since “moderated.” To put it another way, “conspiracy theorists” were right about many things, harmed nobody and quit the agitprop when governments gave in to reality. It isn’t a mystery why the ABC – the nation’s worst purveyor of Covid-related calumnies – didn’t see an angle in the abused liberties of the vindicated.

Since 1945, there has never been a dearth of fascist hooligans in Australia. Many have been violent, most were unclubbable cranks grouped into screwball parties and cells of backyard Braunhemden. While they never endangered democracy itself – as the Communist Party and its labour movement allies once did – they remain on the radar of the intelligence services. That said, the quantification of supposed right-wing extremism by ASIO over the past four years has been pointless: a third of counter-terrorism cases in 2020; increasing to 40 per cent in March 2021; up to 50 per cent by the end of 2022. And now? “Religiously motivated extremism” – the new name for Islamic extremism – again accounts for most of ASIO’s counter-terrorism workload (70 per cent). So what happened to all the Nazis in “suburbs around Australia”? Nobody knows. Maybe ASIO was obliged to look at every locked-down lummox with a Red Ensign who tweeted a desire to push Daniel Andrews down another staircase but a statutory wild goose chase isn’t a “growing threat.” Everyone with common sense knows that Islamic fanatics are the top predators in the domestic national security ecosystem but that lone actors like the ACL gay rights bomber and the Christchurch shooter are dangerous spectres too. This is nothing more than the status quo ante covid.

But don’t think the Albanese government and the media will be deterred by the disappearance of a little bell curve. The pandemic might be over but leftists live in a vortex of disdain wherein facts no longer matter. They truly believe this is their moment and that their dogma – the disestablishment of religion and the family, bureaucratised race wars, the censorship of history, glorifying abortion, euthanising the elderly and sick, compulsorily esteemed homosexuality, transgender mania and the psychological grooming of children – must be seen as normative but also besieged. When then Liberal senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells challenged Director-General Burgess on his use of the term “right-wing” in March 2021 – on the grounds it was being used to serve the political interests of Labor and the Greens – the media reaction proved her point. When, two weeks later, Burgess announced that ASIO would no longer classify terrorist possibles and probables as “Islamic” or “right-wing” (in line with Five-Eyes policy), it was a victory of sorts for everyone. The bourgeois left – embarrassed and vulnerable every time an unassimilated Muslim went berserk – had been trying to airbrush away jihadic motive for a decade. The senator was pleased – notwithstanding that she too had given ground – and ASIO looked like the disinterested overseer it is supposed to be. To her immense credit, Fierravanti-Wells recognised the issue in play wasn’t about security. It was a strategy to imperceptibly but inexorably ostracise conservatives. The Morrison government’s listing of the Sonnenkrieg Division soon after – a neo-Nazi group the ABC admitted had no Australian members – was an artfully thrown bone.

The trouble with bones for ravenous dogs, of course, is they only whet their appetites. The curated hysteria about right-wing extremism reached a crescendo in the summer of 2020-21 as the federal Labor Opposition and its media servants sought to accomplish two things: associate the Morrison government with the engineered chaos of Donald Trump’s final weeks in office and draw attention away from the savagery and moonbeam militarism being practiced by state governments. At the centre of the propaganda operation was Opposition home affairs spokeswoman Kristina Keneally. “Right-wing extremists are hiding in plain sight,” the ex-Mean Girl and lapsed American – known for aping Democrat melodrama – told the ASPI in September 2020. They were even using “certain words and phrases” to “convey coded content,” she claimed. Sounding like young John Nash in ‘A Beautiful Mind’ and enlivened by the drumbeat of the Growing Threat, she demanded an inquiry whose theme would have been some variation of Liberals = Hitler. Amongst those now denounced as “far right” are pro-lifers, devoted Catholics, ‘climate change’ dissenters, opponents of mutilating minors and sex shows for toddlers, free speech advocates and peace campaigners. Tellingly, all the caricaturists are fervid boosters of Ukraine, a nation that regarded Nazism as fondly as Australians regard pies 15 minutes ago. Consistency only matters to the accountable.

Ironically, when the First Lady of Scotland Island parachuted into the southwestern Sydney seat of Fowler in last years’s election, Asian and brown migrants read Labor’s own coded content as white supremacism and brought her political career to an end. Before that reckoning, however, there was the Grampians yowie SS scare (dismissed by police), the risible Proud Boys polo shirts panic and a deranged race assailant with a swastika painted on his forehead (he suffered from schizophrenia). Hysterical “calls” for bans, investigations and legislation followed. Even Premier Andrews – whose Camicie Nere had become internationally infamous for rigging prosecutions, shooting protesters and assaulting pregnant women – pretended to fret. On antisemitism, he declared Victoria – if not Labor’s teeming anti-Zionist wing – had “no place for that sort of bigotry and hatred.” (The Garden State was booked out by anti-Catholic bigotry and hatred). So frustratingly non-existent was actual right-wing violence that by 2022 new Labor home affairs minister Clare O’Neil began flagging the likelihood of criminalising even more “groups” to “better capture” it. Writing at The Conversation, lawyer Keiran Hardy argued that changing the definition of terrorism would “capture right-wing extremist groups that are dangerous to society but do not obviously engage in or support terrorist acts.” Ergo: the state could go after anyone for espousing anything. In February of this year, David Shoebridge asked why ASIO wasn’t rounding up more rightists. The absence of Stormtroopers was frustrating but is sure to make left-wing ‘hearts’ grow fonder.

Posted in Defence and national security, Rule of law | 11 Comments

Dick Fosbury

The creator of the Flop dead at 76. His innovation must have prevented a lot of testicular injuries.
Posted in History, Sport | 18 Comments

Damian Thompson’s devastating anniversary critique of Francis

To thank him for the votes.”
Cardinal George Pell on why the Pope rehabilitated Godfried Danneels
Posted in History, Religion and faith | 5 Comments

I thought poisoning the vulnerable is now legal in Queensland

At the moment they don’t know what they are inhaling. They can contain toxic chemicals, like nail polish, nicotine, ingredients that are in bug sprays. It is not clearly labelled on these vapes.”

Posted in Hypocrisy of the left, State politics | 21 Comments

Australians Told

Posted in Defence and national security, Freedom | 7 Comments

Nothing is more reassuring than a leftist who wants to free me

Posted in Climate hoax, Left-wing extremism | 21 Comments