Feminists have a new target: working-class women

Feminists have a new target: working-class women, by Brendan O’Neill.

This is the nature of feminism today: it has become a well-off women’s racket. It has become a means for educated women to secure their position in the media, business and politics.

Witness the new feminism’s myopic obsession with numbers of women on company boards, or the exact ratio of male-to-female guests on the Today programme, or how female MPs are addressed on Twitter.

The vast majority of women, and men, do not work in these fields, of course. Feminism, clearly, isn’t for them. In fact, feminism is very often against them, especially if they are those ‘bad women’ who take jobs or have points of view that mainstream feminists disapprove of. Those women will be raged against by the sisterhood.

The way feminists talk about certain working-class women is disgraceful. …

It increasingly seems that there is one kind of person who irritates the new feminists more than men do: women who don’t think or behave as feminists expect them to. Women who think for themselves. These women will be written off as suffering from ‘internalised misogyny’.

Whether they’re voting for Trump or Brexit, or doing jobs that involve wearing revealing clothes, or questioning the sexual-harassment panic, or doing something else that the feminist elite disapproves of, these women will be diagnosed as having had their brains warped by The Culture.

It is the most sexist idea of our times, this notion that certain women cannot think for themselves and thus must be corrected, saved or possibly condemned by rich, right-on women in the media and politics. Indeed, the feminist idea of ‘internalised misogyny’ rehabilitates the old, foul notion that women whose thinking diverges from the mainstream are mad somehow. The universe is barely large enough to contain the irony of this.

Shorten delivers last rites to the Hawke-Keating model

Shorten delivers last rites to the Hawke-Keating model, by Simon Benson.

What little was left of the traditional Labor model under the Keating and Hawke governments died with Bill Shorten’s speech to the press club yesterday.

The Labor leader delivered a hollow but unquestionably populist manifesto that sought to tap the rich vein of discontent in the community.

In defining Labor’s vision for the year ahead, Shorten borrowed from the playbook of the radical UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who used to great effect the concept of the “left-behind society” by exploiting class envy in an appeal to the disaffected. It almost won Corbyn an election. …

The speech was a vision of an empowered union movement and interventionist government based on a bombastic class-driven promise to carve up and redistribute Australia’s wealth by taxing high income workers more and everybody else less.

The rhetoric around the disenfranchised drew an obvious ring around low-income workers, welfare recipients, students and pensioners. These have become the Labor “dependants”.

Where Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan drew the income line between the haves and have nots at $150k, Shorten has lowered the bar to $87k. …

On energy policy, Shorten appeared to suggest the path to lowering energy prices was to build more wind farms.

Old Labor has been submerged under the new Labor of identity politics.

The Origins of the English

The Origins of the English, by Alistair Miller.

The story of the English people used to be straightforward. In the fifth and sixth centuries, following the departure of the Roman legions, successive waves of Angles, Saxons and Jutes crossed the North Sea to settle in Britain. … Initially pillaging invaders, they soon turned peaceful settlers and were converted to Christianity by Augustine, who landed in 597. Tempered by the Danes and Vikings, and forged into political shape by the Normans, the English people (as they had now become) were set fair for a glorious history …

Traditionally, the English character was regarded as having arisen from a mixture of Celt (or Briton) and Anglo-Saxon, with the emphasis squarely falling on the manly virtues of the latter. …

But modern archaeology, equipped with a dazzling panoply of new scientific techniques … has transformed the picture. In “The Origins of the British,” Stephen Oppenheimer reports that … although there has been a 30 per cent intrusion of founder gene types from northern Europe into England since the last Ice Age, less than 5 per cent of this was from the putative Anglo-Saxon homelands. It is possible that invading Anglo-Saxons formed an elite ruling class, but … there is no archaeological evidence for this. Nor is there evidence of a violent invasion, of burned towns or villages, or charred remains; only of continuity and peaceful evolution. Most telling of all is that isotopic analysis of the tooth enamel of bodies in early Saxon graves has revealed that none of the population sampled was born outside Britain.

The traditional view that Britain was invaded en masse by the Anglo-Saxons, who drove the Britons westward, or exterminated or enslaved them (the ‘wipe out’ or ‘genocide’ theory), then, is simply a myth.

But how do we explain the rise of the Saxon kingdoms and the birth of the English nation? Perhaps even more puzzling, how do we explain the origins of the English language? Nobody knows for certain. But there is a growing consensus among archaeologists, pre-historians and linguists that genetic, cultural and linguistic influences on eastern England from Scandinavia and north-west Europe date back as far as the late Neolithic and Bronze Ages. In other words, Old English was already spoken in England by the ancestral English when the Romans departed, its roots derived not from the languages of Dark Age invaders (Old Saxon, Norse and Frisian) but from an ‘ancestral common Germanic root’ spoken thousands of years before. …

That the English of 1927 were more than 90 per cent the descendants of the English of 927, the year Athelstan founded the English state (the Normans and Huguenots added relatively little to the gene pool), and that some 70 per cent of British DNA dates back more than 6000 years, explodes the fashionable myth that Britain has always been a multicultural society, a nation of migrants.

For today’s immigration debate:

The point is not that newcomers are undesirable; merely that a thousand years and more is ample time for a distinctive culture and pattern of life – for a strong sense of English identity – to have taken shape. Sir Arthur Bryant, the doyen of Anglocentric historians, put it in gloriously politically incorrect terms: although the English are formed of a succession of immigrants (if one goes far enough back), ‘this alien inflow has never been too rapid’ and England ‘has never suffered as other countries have from racial indigestion … Before the next inflow, the strong tradition of England has had time to mould the newcomers to the national pattern’.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Trump Jacks Up Tariffs On Solar Panels. Here’s How China Responded.

Trump Jacks Up Tariffs On Solar Panels. Here’s How China Responded. By Ryan Saavedra.

Just one week after the Trump administration announced a massive 30% tariff on imported solar panels, one of China’s largest solar panel manufacturers announced plans to open a manufacturing plant in the United States.

Regarding the huge hike in import tariffs, Trump said last week:

When we do this, a lot of manufacturers will be coming to the United States to build washing machines and also solar. For both solar and washing machines, these executive actions uphold the principle of fair trade and demonstrate to the world that the United States will not be taken advantage of anymore. Our companies will not be taken advantage of anymore.

You won’t hear about that in the PC media.

hat-tip Scott of the Pacific

Michael Moore: America Must be “Cleansed” of its “White Male Privilege”

Michael Moore: America Must be “Cleansed” of its “White Male Privilege”, by Paul Joseph Watson.

Far-left film maker Michael Moore called for America to be “cleansed” of its “white male privilege” during a speech in New York last night.

Moore was giving an address at the ‘People’s State of the Union’ event in Manhattan, which was derided by its critics as having nothing to do with “the people” and everything to do with mega-rich celebrities lecturing Americans about how to think and vote.

Michael Moore in 2004

Asserting that the removal of Donald Trump and Mike Pence from office, “Still won’t be enough,” Moore said, “We must remove and replace the system and the culture that gave us Trump in the first place.”

“He did not just fall out of the sky and land in Queens,” Moore continued.” He is a result….of us never correcting the three original sins of America – a nation founded on genocide, built on the backs of slaves and maintained through the subjugation of women to second class citizenship and economic disempowerment.”

“As we seek to rid ourselves of Trump, we must also cleanse our American soul of its white male privilege, its voracious greed,” he added. …

Back in August last year, he celebrated a future where white men were a minority because America’s demographic shift will make it easier for Democrats to win future presidential elections.

“The angry white guy is dying out, and the Census Bureau has already told us that by 2050, white people are going to be the minority, and I’m not sad to say I can’t wait for that day to happen. I hope I live long enough to see it because it will be a better country,” said Moore.

John McDonnell’s excuses for Venezuela just don’t stack up

John McDonnell’s excuses for Venezuela just don’t stack up, by Kristian Niemietz.

At last, we’ve learned what went wrong in Venezuela: it wasn’t real socialism. At the World Economic Forum summit in Davos, [UK] Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell explained:

“It’s not that the issue is socialism vs capitalism. … All the objectives of Chavez… would have been successful if they had mobilised the oil resources to actually invest in the long term. … I think in Venezuela they took a wrong turn, a not particularly effective path, not a socialist path.”

McDonnell is in good company. Quite a few prominent figures on the Left, such as Noam Chomsky and Slavoj Žižek, are now explicitly disputing Venezuela’s socialist credentials.

With this, Venezuela joins a long list of countries that were once held up as role models of socialism by Western intellectuals, until their failures became so obvious and undeniable that they became an embarrassment for the socialist cause. At this point, those countries’ version of socialism retroactively ceases to be “real” socialism.

This has been going on for a long time. Thirty years ago, Friedrich Hayek wrote about, “the intellectuals’ vain search for a truly socialist community, which results in the idealisation of, and then disillusionment with, a seemingly endless string of ‘utopias’ – the Soviet Union, then Cuba, China, Yugoslavia, Vietnam, Tanzania, Nicaragua.” …

Whenever a heavily state-controlled economy fails, socialists think that now would be a good time to embark on a semantic discussion about what socialism “really” means. But this is neither here nor there. It wasn’t socialism’s critics who attached that label to the Chavista programme. It was the regime itself, and its many Western admirers.

In Australia many left wing media personalities and celebrities lauded Chavez and publicly advocated his policies for Australia — including Natasha Stott-Despoja, Phillip Adams, and John Pliger. See The Suicide of Venezuela.

hat-tip Matthew

‘Islamophobia’ Hoaxes and the Rush to Judgment

‘Islamophobia’ Hoaxes and the Rush to Judgment, by Andy Ngo.

Two weeks ago, Canadians responded in horror to a disturbing news story in Toronto: before a bank of cameras, a tearful 11-year-old girl said that a man had repeatedly cut her headscarf with scissors as she walked to school. …

Khawlah Noman … told the roomful of reporters that the brazen attack had left her terrified and screaming. She was flanked by a Muslim activist, her mother, and younger brother Mohammad. Mohammad confirmed his sister’s story, stating that he had witnessed the attack while walking with her to school. …

Politicians … rushed to express outrage at the incident, even though details remained scant. “My heart goes out to the young girl who was attacked, seemingly for her religion,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during a televised speech. …

Passionate reactions to the incident were swift on social media. Echoing a common belief, Twitter user @Sakira_writes said: “A no doubt white male monster did this.” … Al Jazeera splashed with the following headline: “Toronto Muslim girl ‘scared’ after attacker cuts hijab.” …

But then, three days after the family’s emotional press conference and the collective rush to judgment, Toronto Police released a terse statement: “After a detailed investigation, police have determined that the events described in the original news release did not happen. The investigation is concluded.” Khawlah Noman and her brother, it turned out, had fabricated the attack. They will not face legal consequences for falsely reporting it. …

Khawlah Noman’s elaborate tale is unfortunately not a one-off incident on the continent. A series of hijab-related attack stories marred the American media landscape shortly after the election of Donald Trump.

  • In November 2016, a University of Louisiana at Lafayette student claimed she was violently attacked and had her hijab torn off by two white men, one of whom she said was wearing a Trump hat. She later admitted to making the whole thing up.
  • The same week, a student at the University of Michigan said a man threatened to set her hijab on fire. A Michigan police investigation subsequently determined that the incident did not happen.
  • The following month, Yasmin Seweid, a college student in New York City, claimed she was assaulted by white men who tried to pull off her headscarf during a subway ride. CCTV footage later confirmed that the incident never happened.

While activists and politicians are keen to move on when these stories unravel, I wonder if anyone bothers to consider how much damage is left in their wake and who stands to benefit from “Islamophobia” hysteria.

The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life

The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life, by Samuel Hammond.

“The elephant in the room” is any important and obvious fact that, for whatever reason, no one is willing to talk about.

In their new book, The Elephant in the Brain, authors Kevin Simler and Robin Hanson extend the concept to one the most important and obvious, yet unspoken, facts about the human mind: that we are masters of self-deception, equipped by evolution with an “introspective blind spot” that hides our deeper, selfish motives, even when the same motives are easy to spot in others. …

Our introspective blind spot is not unlike the literal blind spot in our eye, located where the optic nerve connects with our eye’s disc of photoreceptor cells. … Our brain automatically fills in the hole using information from the surrounding context, creating the illusion of a continuous field of vision. We can easily verify that the deception is taking place with imaging techniques or simple optical illusions, and yet knowledge of its existence cannot make us any less blind to our own blindness.

Unconscious self-deception in the social domain works similarly: easy to demonstrate but impossible to switch-off. Thus for any action with a mix of sacred and profane motives — as much Good Samaritan as quid pro quo — we are willfully blind to the latter, not as conscious manipulators, but because strategic ignorance of our Machiavellian side had survival value for our ancestors. As the renown evolutionary psychologist Robert Trivers once put it, “We deceive ourselves the better to deceive others.”

The core thesis of The Elephant in the Brain is that this has major implications for public policy that we are loathe to admit. Thus spending on health care, we learn, isn’t merely about improving our health; it’s also a wasteful way to signal our caring for others. Admitting this, we could conceivably cut medical expenditure in half and be no worse off. Likewise, charitable giving isn’t just, or even mainly, about doing good in the world; it’s also a way to flex one’s wealth and generosity while bathing in the “warm glow” of peer approval. …

Take cheating. “Everybody cheats,” declare Simler and Hanson. “There’s no use in denying it … Most of us honor the big, important rules, like those prohibiting robbery, arson, rape, and murder. But we routinely violate small and middling norms.” Even our ancestors were incorrigible cheaters, as shown by “the fact that our brains have special-purpose adaptations for detecting cheats,” manifested in the elusive search for sincerity in the eyes of a suspected liar. The best liars are therefore the ones who believe their own lies, and “drink their own kool-aid.” It’s a feat humans accomplish with the aid of self-serving excuses, what Simler and Hanson call “pretexts” (“I didn’t steal it. I borrowed it.”), that help us construe our misbehavior in a better light. …

Like our visual blind spot, our cheating natures are impossible to excise. Hypocrisy is our evolutionary original sin.

After Building New African Union Headquarters, China Spies on Its Inhabitants

After Building New African Union Headquarters, China Spies on Its Inhabitants, by Amira El Masalti.

In 2012, the Chinese government “graciously offered” African States a gift and constructed the African Union’s headquarters in Addis Ababa. The act of soft diplomacy proved to be a rather self-serving maneuver to spy on the activities and discussions being conducted by leaders of the exclusive continental group.

In Addis Ababa, ministers and heads of states meet twice a year to discuss major continental issues. While strict security measures give the impression that that building is closely monitored and secured, an unseen security threat was present from 2012 until 2017. …

An investigation conducted by “Le Monde Afrique” exposed Chinese espionage efforts. According to the report, for five years, between midnight and 2 a.m., computer servers were reaching a peak in data transfer activity. A computer scientist noticed the oddity of the situation. The organization’s technical staff later discovered that the AU servers were all connected to servers located in Shanghai. …

The glass tower $200 million complex was gifted to the African Union in 2012. The computer systems were fully equipped by the Chinese. … Cybersecurity experts inspected the building’s rooms and disposed of microphones placed under the desks and in walls by the Chinese workers.

Beware of Greeks Chinese bearing gifts.