Joe Hildebrand is struck by the gulf between Martin Place's bloody reality and the usual suspects' snivel-by-numbers response:
The reality: A gunman wearing a jihadist bandanna seizes hostages in Martin Place and forces them to display a jihadist flag.
The police response: Immediately launch a counter-terrorism operation.
The idiot’s response: Immediately launch a debate about whether it should be referred to as “terrorism”.
The reality: The gunman employs a method and symbolism identical to that employed and advocated by Islamic State.
The Telegraph’s response: A special edition of the newspaper saying an Islamic State operative had launched an attack in Sydney.
The idiot’s response: Abuse the newspaper for linking the gunman to Islamic State.
The reality: The gunman is found to have declared himself a follower of Islamic State and demands an official Islamic State flag.
The authorities’ response: Prepare for a potentially deadly outcome.
The idiot’s response: Start a hashtag.
The reality: The gunman executes two hostages.
The community’s response: A massive outpouring of shock and grief.
The idiot’s response: Accuse the media of overreacting.
The reality: The gunman has a history of violent, abusive and delusional behaviour.
The Prime Minister’s response: To say he was mentally unstable.
The idiot’s response: To say the PM is unfairly stigmatising mentally ill people.
One could link to many sources supporting the above observations, but a single segment on Radio National captures them all. Listen as compere Richard Aedy and guest Mel Campbell, a specialist in the relationship between diet and fashion, dissect what is wrong with the popular press as observed from Ultimo, Southbank and other inner-urban sanctuaries of the terminally precious.
Historian and man of the left Peter Stanley has published a riposte to Hal Colebatch in the ongoing campaign to denigrate the Quadrant contributor's prize-winning book, Australia's Secret War, and demonstrate that strikes on the wharves and in the mines during World War II weren't anything to fuss about and, when they were, must always be viewed in context.
Perhaps this means that when T. Dougherty, AWU General Secretary, was summing up 1945 in his annual report to members and accused fellow unions of deliberately sabotaging the war effort, he was not actually accusing of them of sabotage. Stanley's essay, which includes tantalising digressions into the circumstances of his parting company with the Australian War Museum and views on the essence of literary merit, can be found here. Expect a return salvo from Colebatch in due course.
Meanwhile, this exchange:
STANLEY: "[Colebatch] does not seem to confront the awkward fact that while the union was dominated by 'Communists', between 1941 and 1945 the Communist Party of Australia was 'the leading war party', whose officials strove to reduce industrial action and who supported more than most Australians the most vigorous prosecution of the war). While individual members of the union may well have lacked the ideological purity of their officials and may well have pilfered, struck and vandalised cargos, they were doing so in defiance of 'the union'. Colebatch never grapples with this fundamental conundrum.”
COLEBATCH: This argument is simplistic and simply false. I devote a chapter to dealing with “this awkward conundrum” and come up with several possible explanations, while suggesting none is complete in itself (Why scare-quotes around “Communists”, incidentally?).
First, the strikes did occur, whether led by communists or members of the left-wing lumpenproletariat, between whom the difference was quite negligible. The official Commonwealth Year Book lists the number of working days lost – and in some industries these actually increased after Stalin changed sides in 1941.
Second, it does not take a very profound knowledge of World War II to know Stalin was not at war with Japan until the very end, and had nothing to lose by Australian Communists damaging the Pacific war effort. An important and scholarly US book, Stalin’s Secret Agents by M. Stanton Evans and Herbert Romerstein, reminds us that Stalinist Russia was not at war with Japan until the very last few days of the conflict (after Hiroshima). Japanese ships came and went out of Vladivostok through nearly all the war. Most importantly, as Evans and Romerstein point out, Stalin did not want a quick and overwhelming allied victory in the Pacific until he had moved troops from Europe and was positioned to take a share of the spoils.
To order your copy of Australia's Secret War: How Unions Sabotaged Our Troops in World War II click the link below.
The Trades Union Royal Commission may not quite have made an honest woman of Julia Gillard, but it does seem her power of recall is not again to be tested under oath, no charges against the former Prime Minister being recommended. This will disappoint blue-tied misogynists everywhere, who might have organised some splendid drinking games along the lines of one skol per every 'I don't recall'.
And it seems there is something else the public is not to see. From page 29 of the Interim Report's Volume 1 (emphasis added):
99. There is a recommendation that one volume of this Interim Report be kept confidential.
On 12 December 2014 an order was made directing that any information in the Confidential Report that might enable a person named in that report who has given evidence before the Commission to be identified not be published.
That recommendation and that order were made because the confidential volume deals with threats to witnesses.
It is necessary for that volume to be confidential in order to protect the physical well-being of those witnesses and their families.
This is unfortunate, because the confidential volume reveals grave threats to the power and authority of the Australian state.
The entire report -- volumes 1 and 2 -- can be downloaded from the link below.
John O'Sullivan in National Review on the Martin Place siege:
"His was a terrorist version of a 'happening,' or what the Russian anarchists in the late 19th century called 'the propaganda of the deed.' Capturing innocent people, menacing them, making them help with his propaganda, maybe trying to kill them ... and then perishing himself when the police intervened to stop what threatened to be a massacre — these were intended to excite the admiration of other Islamists and young men tempted by the Islamist ideology.
In a narrow sense he may have briefly succeeded. Throughout the Islamic world there are likely to be terror groupies sending tweets out to celebrate his name. Let us help them. His name is Herostratus: He burned down the Temple of Diana at Ephesus so that his name would live in history. And so it has — as the man who burned down a beautiful building for a stupid pointless reason. Herostratus is not remembered with admiration or with fondness but merely with shrugging contempt. And so it will be with Whatshisname."
For the full column follow the link below
Nick Cohn notes the selective bravery of the left, which descends in a shrieking mass on a scientist who dares to wear a tasteless shirt but can't bring itself to utter a critical word about Islam:
"On Twitter and in the universities there are constant demands to ban and punish those who show the smallest disrespect to women — scientists who wear racy shirts, men who argue against abortion, pop singers who promote a rape culture, and pick-up artists who instruct men on seduction techniques. But with honourable exceptions, leftists will not argue against armed misogyny. On the contrary, they will ban those who try to take it on."
There is much more via the link below.
From the Washington Examiner:
"...if To Kill A Mockingbird were taught in women’s studies classes today, Finch would have to be labeled the villain of the book for not accepting at face value an accuser’s tale of rape and for posing difficult, painful questions to her on the witness stand..."
Writer Ashe Schow's column will bring a smile -- until you remember the tongue-in-cheek exposition of Finch's gendered oppression would score top marks on many a modern campus for insight, intent and sincerity.