The way it works is like this:
First, a favoured or indulged representative of some not-quite-mainstream group or organisation says something offensive or, just as likely, irredeemably stupid.
Second, the first enablers and apologists poke their heads out of whichever university faculty, rights commission or assembly of scolds in which they have found a roost, usually a taxpayer-funded one, and insist that there is nothing wrong with whatever utterance has incited criticism. Most likely these first responders will assert the remarks were taken out of context and this happens because critics' are shamefully eager to parade their prejudice/racism/intolerance/whatever.
Third, the professional dissemblers -- those masters of the misleading analogy, the schleppers of advanced sophistry -- gird themselves in militant righteousness and go on the attack.
This very process notably began two weeks ago, when Yassmin Abdel-Magied swore blind on Q&A that there could be no creed more aligned with feminist sentiment than that of the mosque and minaret. How sharia is just, you know, a really, really beaut thing.
First out of the gate in Ms Abdel-Magied's defence was the Australian Islamic Mission, which raised a petition objecting to her treatment as a Muslim. She should never have been placed in such position, allowed to make a spectacle of herself, because it is offensive for Muslims to be called upon for explanation of themselves and their views.
Two weeks later, your more accomplished spinners and dissemblers are on the job, with former NSW premier Kristine Keneally setting the gold standard for dross. Here she is in the Guardian, putting Abdel-Magied's inanity into the preferred perspective (emphasis added):
...every Australian Muslim who pokes their head up in public is expected to own, explain and condemn any terrorist act carried out by any extremist Muslim anywhere in the world. The outrage machine demands it, and then that same machine judges if the words are sufficient.
Why isn’t this same outrage applied to Australian Catholics? If we are going on a body count the Catholic clergy has done more harm to more Australians than extremist Muslims.
At last count no Australian Catholic, a religion in which Ms Keneally lists herself a believer, had stabbed two policeman, schemed to blow up the Holsworthy army base and the MCG, held a coffee shop hostage, shot a computer programmer on a Parramatta street or ... [insert the next outrage here]
Keneally's departure point for this flight of fancy and fantasy is the evidence of priestly abuse laid before the ongoing royal commission. Well she would cite that, wouldn't she?
To appreciate the Guardian's place as Australia's intellectual S-bend -- the spot where grubby muck briefly settles -- follow the link below.
-- roger franklin
The Left blames Donald Trump for many things, so there is a definite irony in Mem Fox (above) accusing the US president of being responsible for her recent travails at Los Angeles airport. Having excited the interest of an immigration official upon arriving from Australia, she complains of being "treated like a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay" when taken aside for a two-hour grilling. The US does something many Australians would like to do -- deny entry to the ideologically sound, politically correct and forever cringe-worthy leftist baby-book author -- and, just for once, Trumpism has nothing to do with it.
"This is what happens when extremists take power,” snivelled Ms Fox, who knows a thing or two about extremists, having been a vocal and frequent speaker in support of Taliban fanboy David Hicks.
Ms Fox's ire is misplaced, as immigration officers at US airports might well be used to illustrate the dictionary definitions of "rude", "arrogant" and "officious".
It will spoil Ms Fox's special sense of victimhood to learn that Ian "Molly" Meldrum encountered the same grief in 2004, when he told the immigration that he was in America to conduct a celebrity interview. That's work, he was told, and bundled onto the next plane back to Australia.
One assumes Ms Fox announced she was en route to address a writers' conference, which prompted her interrogator to reach the same conclusion.
And just to set her mind at rest that it is not only leftists who run foul of the US immigration functionaries, here's what happened to a Quadrant Online editor: me.
It was 2008 and I was en route to cover the US presidential election for Melbourne's Herald Sun when I informed a Los Angeles immigration officer that I wished to surrender my green card, having moved home to Australia and no longer needing it. The immigration officer was so taken aback that anyone would not wish to retain the right to work in the US that he dragged me off to a side room, where I was quizzed, fingerprinted, quizzed some more and, finally, photographed before being turned loose.
The entire ordeal took some six hours and cost me a connecting flight. Ms Fox demanded and has received an apology, but I didn't expect one. Unlike your leftist icons, conservatives can accept that not all inconveniences are the consequences of vast right-wing conspiracies.
Ms Fox's account of her "humiliation" can be read in full via the link below.
-- roger franklin
Remaining readers of the Age and Sydney Morning Herald might have noticed a change in emphasis of late on the homepages of those publications' websites. All the oddities and bilge we have long come to expect of a news organisation captured long ago by the groupthink inner-city proclaimers of their own virtue are there -- Peter Hartcher's sonorous soporifics, Paul McGeough's spittle-flecked re-workings of the latest Trump-o-phobic rantings from the New York Times and Washington Post, and all those economists and business writers who believe nothing boosts the prospects of a company, or a nation for that matter, than higher taxes and yet more regulation. All to be expected, of course.
What's new, though, is the sites' peculiar taste for promoting themes and stories that might better belong in New Idea or any other of the celebrity-encrusted women's magazines -- allowing, of course, that those publications were edited and read only by ladies of the aggrieved and forever irritable variety. For example, today's Age homepage includes among its prime stories -- the above-the-fold offerings that garner the most eyeballs and clicks -- these gems:
What Helen Razer learnt going on 100 dates in a year
How penalty rates decision will hurt women.
I took a photo of myself every day after my marriage ended
The third-wave feminist sensibility that seems to determine the placement and prominence of stories manifests itself most clearly in this appalling exercise in misandry:
Why I won't let any male babysit my children
Authoress Kasey Edwards writes (emphasis added):
...group slumber parties are also out. When there is a group of excited children it is far too easy for one of them to be lured away by a father or older brother without being noticed.
When my daughter goes on play dates I make sure that she will be supervised by a woman at all times. So far she has only slept at one friend's house. Beforehand I spoke to my friend about our rule and clarified that if she's going to pop out to shops for example and intends to leave our daughter in the care of her husband or another man then the sleepover cannot happen.
Just imagine if a male writer had thundered his opposition to, say, allowing his children to travel in cars driven by women, as most seem not to know how to change a flat tyre and all might perish of thirst were that to happen on some sun-baked stretch of tarmac.
To demonstrate her case, Ms Edwards links to an Australian Institute of Family Srtudies summary of reports on the estimated incidence of child abuse. These numbers prompt her to observe
When I look at my daughter's class lining up on assembly and think that statistically between one and nine of them are going to be sexually abused before they reach adulthood
And here is another thing she might look at -- a note at the tail of the very same ABS webpage she cites:
Care should also be taken when attempting to ascertain an overall child maltreatment prevalence rate. Research has demonstrated that maltreatment sub-types seldom occur in isolation (e.g., sexual abuse is often accompanied by psychological maltreatment or physical abuse) (Higgins & McCabe, 2001). Given this high degree of co-occurrence, any attempt to calculate a single child maltreatment prevalence rate by simply adding together the prevalence figures of the individual sub-types will result in over-estimation.
While Ms Edwards devotes much energy to maligning men, she might every so often take a break from her loathing to celebrate the good things in her life. Like Fairfax, for instance. If such an addled company did not exist, where else might she find a paying outlet for such pea-brained prejudice and paranoia?
The column can be read in full via the link below. As there is no advice to the contrary, men are allowed to read it unsupervised.
-- roger franklin