‘PC’, Orwellian censorship, official lies and the perils of modern ‘democracy’

Many from the ‘Left’, progressives, Cultural Marxists and activists keep trying to stymie democracy with their shrill, often illogical, Orwellian and ideological views. The following articles provide evidence.

Kavanaugh case is darkest hour for #MeToo

Kavanaugh case is darkest hour for #MeToo  By Janet Albrechtsen, The Australian, 10 September 2018

What do you call a movement with no leader, no mission and a bandwagon as big as the internet? A mess. We have come to know it as #MeToo. A year on, and following the Brett Kavanaugh debacle, the #MeToo movement deserves a quiet burial. Its tombstone should read: The Presumption of Innocence Matters.

Remember that next time someone claims that Donald Trump is ushering in a Trumpocracy. With no evidence apart from an occasional blast at fake news, critics have long claimed that the US President is upturning “democratic norms”. If Trump is re-elected in 2020, “the savaging of liberal institutions will increase”, says Francis Fukuyama, the political scientist who famously — and wrongly — predicted that liberal democracy would mark the end of political history.

It turns out that progressives are doing far more to trash democratic principles than Trump. In the end, the failed attempt to keep Kavanaugh off the US Supreme Court bench was a sensational trial, not about allegations of sexual abuse or judicial character but of the Left’s commitment to democratic principles.

Progressives have been found guilty on all counts: trashing the presumption of innocence, disregarding the rule of law and turning their backs on due process.

Claims against the conservative judge never saw the inside of a courtroom for a reason. His accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, could not recall important details of that night when, she claimed, the judge attempted to undress her as a teenager. But progressives tried and convicted him on the basis of one vague testimony, minus a single corroborating witnesses.

Democrats cast aside the presumption of innocence as a disposable nuisance. During their daily television gabfests, CNN stars such as Jake Tapper and Anderson Cooper didn’t rate the presumption of innocence either.

Time magazine ran a cover story last week which read “How Christine Blasey Ford’s Testimony Changed America”. The cover art was immediately lauded by everyone from former ABC managing director Mark Scott to BBC correspondent Nick Bryant. Scott went further saying: “I hope she has a lasting impact.”

The lasting impact won’t be what Ford said about a drunken party she attended when she was 15. The lasting impact is best explained by the fact a lengthy article about the Ford v Kavanaugh face-off did not once mention the core principle of a civilised society: that a man accused of sexual assault is entitled to the presumption of innocence. The lasting impact is that this omission went unremarked by people who should know better. The enduring damage is that the #MeToo movement has removed the presumption of innocence as a legal and a moral norm.

In its Friday email, the National Organisation for Women said: “We. Will. Stop. Kavanaugh.” The biggest cheerleaders of #MeToo backed Ford all the way, tossing aside the presumption of innocence.

What a difference politics makes. In 1998 following allegations that Bill Clinton had sex with Monica Lewinsky, NOW president Patricia Ireland said: “None of us believes that a charge made is a charge proven.” Ireland said that Clinton’s policies were enough to stop them from rushing to judgment. She described Clinton as a “complex human being with strengths and flaws — I think (this) helps shore him up”. Back then, feminists were falling over themselves to excuse the US president’s foul behaviour towards a young intern barely two months out of college. The 1970s feminist Erica Jong said of Clinton: “I want a president to be alive from the waist down.” Trump must be waiting for a similar leave pass from the sisterhood.

The lasting impact of the Kavanaugh show trial is not the predictable hypocrisy of feminists. That is a mild irritant compared with their recent rejection of fundamental principles that a civilised people choose to govern themselves by.

On Saturday, while discussing Kavanaugh’s commitment to the constitution, a left-leaning lawyer and writer for The New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin, waved away the rule of law as some kind of “abstract” notion not worth discussing. He may as well have waved off that bit in article 40 of the Magna Carta that says “to none shall we deny justice”, a principle embedded in the US constitution.

The mauling of legal principles by progressives during the Kavanaugh saga shows that undemocratic behaviour begets more of the same. When a handful of judges invented a constitutional right to abortion in 1973 rather than leaving it to legislatures and the people to decide this issue, they cemented a precedent that goes beyond the judgment in Roe v Wade. They set in motion a precedent that core legal principles in a democracy can be trashed to serve political agendas.

When Trump nominated a conservative judge who many imagine will overturn Roe v Wade, progressives threw out the democracy rule book. Their deliberate ignorance of the presumption of innocence, the rule of law and due process is far more dangerous than anything Trump has done.

Some will say the presumption of innocence was never going to get an airing in a show trial conducted on TV talk shows, in newspapers, on radio, across social media, in a Senate Judicial Committee hearing, on the streets of Washington, DC, even in the corridors of Capitol Hill as screaming women accosted senators to deliver a No vote against Kavanaugh. But the presumption of innocence should have mattered regardless of the forum. If other institutions, be it the media or universities or congressional hearings, give up on a central tenet in a democracy, how can we expect jurors in court to stick with the same principle?

Trump was only partly right to say that it was a scary time for young men. The bigger danger is that a civilised society stops being civilised when the presumption of innocence is trashed by politics and a muddled hashtag campaign.

The sign of these dangerous times was told, unwittingly, when a recent cover story in The Economist said the #MeToo movement “could be the most powerful force for equality since women’s suffrage”.

Women’s suffrage confronted serious injustices and fought for equal rights for men and women. The #MeToo movement has displayed remarkable moral confusion, not just conflating a night of bad sex with rape but also casting aside young men who have alleged that older women have sexually abused them. That is not equality.

The #MeToo moment arrived with pitch-perfect timing into a world of identity politics and a broader social justice movement predicated on different rights and rules for different people. Identity politics up-ends the rule of law and the presumption of innocence using the blunt instrument of power. Those deemed to have power, especially white men such as Kavanaugh, are the first to lose their fundamental rights. But when one group loses rights, it is an inexorable lesson from history that others will too.

The Left has become so untethered from democratic norms that it has abandoned even Noam Chomsky, who once warned against the contraction and abandonment of the presumption of innocence.

While the Kavanaugh lynching ultimately failed, the enduring damage after a year of #MeToo is that progressives now believe in taking down 10 innocent men so they can catch one guilty man. If they haven’t noticed, that is what authoritarians do.

janeta@bigpond.net.au

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Free Speech in NZ, RIP

Free Speech in NZ, RIP  By Paul Collits, Quadrant Online, 5 September 2018

 Australians who gaze across the Pacific at America and its First Amendment can only feel short-changed, thoughts of Bill Leak and police charging promoters to protect free speech from thugs coming readily to mind. Look at New Zealand, however, and know that things there are even worse

 

Many Australians will by now know of the recent happenings in Auckland and the “un-platforming” of “far right” YouTubers Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux.  These scary Canadians had the gall to visit sleepy New Zealand, seeking to spread a little debate and, apparently, angst.

 

One can only guess at the back-of-house pressures brought to bear on the poor old venue manager in Auckland who flipped, having initially offered Southern and Molyneux a venue at which to speak, hat-tipping free speech as he went.  Then it was all off, as the now quivering venue manager succumbed to the forces of power in our society.  The non-elected celebrity who “governs” New Zealand had her say, naturally, presuming to speak for all of us here apparently when she said that “we New Zealanders” don’t like this sort of thing.

More recently, though, and perhaps less well known to Australians, has been the un-platforming of a former NZ National politician by a New Zealand university.  The politician is Don Brash, the university Massey, and its vice-chancellor (who made the decision to have Brash uninvited to speak on campus) is none other than an Australian mediocrity by the name of Jan Thomas — my old boss, in fact.  She another of those massively overpaid, glorified bureaucrats who now run bloated, over-funded, corporatised centres of non-learning and non-debate throughout the West.

Brash is a former leader of the National Party and of the Act Party and, to boot, a former governor of the NZ Reserve Bank.  He was invited by the politics club at Massey to speak about the National Party. His crime is his more recent leadership of an organisation called Hobson’s Pledge, whose vision is, per its web site:

… a society in which all citizens have the same rights, irrespective of when we or our ancestors arrived.

This “far right” entity which basically refuses to bow and scrape before the gods of Waitangi (whose “principles”, incidentally, were actually created in the 1980s, not in 1840 as many believe) seeks to push back against the separatism — indeed, as might be argued, against the quasi apartheid that exists in quite a bit of New Zealand society, public life and governance.  Out among the Kiwi deplorables, many people would think like Brash on this topic, but would never, ever say it.  Think Pauline Hanson with even stranger vowels, only here is someone who also ran the Reserve Bank! A serious individual, one might think.

But of course Brash is persona non grata in polite, politically correct New Zealand circles.  And, trust me, this is indeed a politically correct country. For an indication of just how politically correct, spare a moment to watch TV talking head Paddy Gower’ s encounter with Southern and Molyneux.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCv1glJx5b4

The Massey vice-chancellor, in her wisdom and having listened to voices on campus, decided that Maori staff members in particular might not be up for Brash’s visit, even though it was not compulsory for anyone to attend his talk, which was not even about Maori rights and privileges.

There is a huge irony in this.  In view of the just-below-the-surface grumpiness of many Kiwis about many things Australian (see under “banks”, “flags”, “adopting famous Kiwis as Australians”, the “underarm incident”, and so on), one can only wonder how they feel about being told by an Australian import who they can and cannot hear.  Even New Zealand’s fearless leader has said – despite her own over-the-top comments on Southern and Molyneux – that Massey’s decision to un-platform Brash is not the New Zealand way!  Brash’s successor as Act Party leader has called on Thomas to resign as vice-chancellor.  For the record, I am no fan of the libertarian Act Party or of its current leader, who is driving the current push in New Zealand to create euthanasia rights).

And this has happened not a month after Thomas gave three cheers for free speech on campus. Universities, she said, were places of free speech and debate, just not hate speech. The term “hate speech”, like “alt right”, “Islamophobe” and “climate denier”, is a classic example of the use of the standard leftist meme, where certain terms only need to be stated in order to shut down the conversation and silence opponents.  Thomas’ take on Brash was that his views were “close to hate speech”, therefore verboten on her campus.  Adern showed the same attitude to Southern and Molyneux.

Certainly free speech gets trumped in these circumstances.  But what the left actually achieves through the routine use of memes and the support of goons (aka useful idiots) in the public media, government instrumentalities and universities is to create their own political space in the sensible, “liberal” centre and to cast those with “other” views on contentious subjects like mass migration, Islam, refugees and globalism out on the kooky fringe.  Again, let me cite alleged journalist Paddy Gower, who de-briefed fellow small-screen “news” people on his Southern/Molyneux encounter. Adhering to at least tenet of decent journalism, Gower concedes the truth that his guests are much smarter than he before basking in his fellow panelists’ admiration for his interruptions and refusal to let them make a point.

https://youtu.be/oTSSmLySzpc

Once these folks are so placed, then it becomes possible, even easy, to play the hate speech card and to be seen as reasonable in their curtailment of free speech.  Throw into the mix the implied threat of violence, generally created by initiating a whirlwind of social media blather, and hey presto, we have a cancellation.  This is, indeed, the new Alinsky playbook, updated in the age of instant mass communication and fake news.

The use of memes and goons is especially noteworthy in the New Zealand context, and in particular in relation to the recent non-platforming controversies.  Some background might be useful here.

There very few right-of-centre voices or nodes of activity in New Zealand, Brash and his organization notwithstanding. The National Party is a shadow of even the LINOs who run the Coalition in Australia.  John Key was, and is, a rich wet.  (Key replaced Brash as National leader in 2006).  The former’s very competent but far from ideological National-led Government owed more of its success to  Bill English and Stephen Joyce, rather than Key, who favoured vanity projects (the change-the-flag debacle) and virtue signalling (gay marriage, of course) over conservative values.  He loved schmoozing with Obama and Turnbull.  Still does.

There is no Abbott, no Hanson, no Bernardi in New Zealand. Nor are there voices and strategic nodes on the right in the New Zealand media, which is very thin in ability and narrow in worldview.  There is no Alan Jones.  No Andrew Bolt.  No Michael Smith.  New Zealand’s public broadcaster is a joke, consisting of mostly talk radio (no television, mercifully) and goons stringing together memes they have acquired and learned from international leftist sisters and brothers or from easily accessible overseas mainstream media outlets and feeds (often the ABC).  There is certainly no Bill Leak here to tar and feather leftist canards through cartoon humour, only tedious and unfunny jibers at what they perceive as a “right wing world”.  All the expected targets are there – Australian racism, climate change denial, xenophobia and (of course) Trump!

New Zealanders, or at least their audible voices in politics and the media, simply do not “get” Trump.  Having little understanding of the nuances and drivers of American politics beyond the standard MSM talking points, they are led to perceive some far right nutter on the verge of destroying the planet.  New Zealand’s liberalerati are simply appalled by Trump.  (Of course, Kiwis are not alone here, but they seem especially dumbfounded).

A peaceful little country at the end of the earth consumed by its own affairs, achievements and virtue as a liberal, open, welcoming society perhaps might not be expected to be greatly engaged with the world — a world of trouble indeed.  Nor might one expect Kiwis to be actively engaged with the world of ideas, for the same reasons of general contentment with their lot.

But in view of the narrow, very thinly based and stifled media and intelligentsia here, where memes go unargued, even undetected, and where the goons control what gets said and not said and where the examined life is often not chosen, one does feel quite depressed.  Especially when a highly respected figure holding quite sane and defensible views that are shared by many in his country cannot even traipse onto a university campus to give a talk. And all because an imported university bureaucrat spouted a meme about hate speech. In New Zealand, alas, that was enough to see the further scuttling of free speech.

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Social-media censorship—here are the basics

Social-media censorship, here are the basics  By Jon Rappoport, 21 August 2018

Orchestrated un-creation of the fabric of free speech—this is what we’re seeing.

Several of the biggest “conservative/libertarian” figures on the Net—Alex Jones, Dennis Prager, Stefan Molyneux, among others—have recently been banned/censored by Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media companies.

When you ask why this is happening, one obvious answer pops up right away:

These social media corporations are fulfilling desperate pleas from major news outlets, who have been losing audience, in massive chunks, to the likes of Jones, Prager, and Molyneaux.

The newspapers and TV news networks came to end of their rope. They had no solutions to their problem—so they went to Google, Facebook, and others, and said, HELP US. Meaning: Censor our competition.

 

On one level, understanding censorship is that simple.

But then you have to ask yourself this question: Why would Google, Facebook, and other social media giants bend to the needs of mainstream news outlets?

These social media operations are richer and bigger than mainstream news. They could easily have said: “No, we like open forums and a wide variety of opinion, and we think people should be able to deal with ideas they don’t like. We stand for an open society, and we vigorously defend the 1st Amendment.”

But they didn’t say that. Instead, they’re enacting bans and censorship. Why?

The obvious answer staring us in the face is: Google and Facebook and You Tube, for example, the largest social media corporations, are not “free companies.”

They’ve been in bed with the intelligence community for a long time, and they favour wall to wall surveillance of the population. They favour the “liberal” version of a policed State, where correct opinions are let in the door and incorrect opinions are shut down.

Let’s quickly review a bit of Facebook history:

The big infusion of cash that sent Mark Zuckerberg and his fledgling college enterprise on their way came from Accel Partners, in 2004.

 

Jim Breyer, head of Accel, attached a $13 million rocket to Facebook, and nothing has ever been the same.

Earlier that same year, a man named Gilman Louie joined the board of the National Venture Capital Association of America (NVCA). The chairman of NVCA? Jim Breyer. Gilman Louie happened to be the first CEO of the important CIA start-up, In-Q-Tel.

In-Q-Tel was founded in 1999, with the express purpose of funding companies that could develop technology the CIA would use to “gather data.”

That’s not the only connection between Jim Breyer and the CIA’s man, Gilman Louie. In 2004, Louie went to work for BBN Technologies, headed up by Breyer. Dr. Anita Jones also joined BBN at that time. Jones had worked for In-Q-Tel and was an adviser to DARPA, the Pentagon’s technology department that helped develop the Internet.

 

With these CIA/Darpa connections, it’s no surprise that Jim Breyer’s jackpot investment in Facebook is not part of the popular mythology of Mark Zuckerberg. Better to omit it. Who could fail to realize that Facebook, with its endless stream of personal data, and its tracking capability, is an ideal CIA asset?

What about Google?

Read Nafeez Ahmed’s excellent multi-part series at medium.com, “How the CIA made Google”:

 

“INSURGE INTELLIGENCE can now reveal the vast extent to which the US intelligence community is implicated in nurturing the web platforms we know today…The lynchpin of this story is the corporation that in many ways defines the 21st century with its unobtrusive omnipresence: Google.”

“Google styles itself as a friendly, funky, user-friendly tech firm that rose to prominence through a combination of skill, luck, and genuine innovation. This is true. But it is a mere fragment of the story. In reality, Google is a smokescreen behind which lurks the US military-industrial complex.”

“The inside story of Google’s rise, revealed here for the first time, opens a can of worms that goes far beyond Google, unexpectedly shining a light on the existence of a parasitical network driving the evolution of the US national security apparatus, and profiting obscenely from its operation…”

 

In other words, social media aren’t banning and censoring “conservatives/libertarians” merely as a favour to their kissing cousins who run major news outlets—no, this goes much deeper.

This is the intelligence and Pentagon communities, with their attendant neo-cons and military contractors, defending their version of the “new world.”

Anyone with a large online audience, who has strong opinions which resist and run counter to this new world vision, is considered an obstacle, and a target for censorship.

 

The intelligence/Pentagon vision? Endless wars; endless waves of migration engendering chaos; multinational corporations free to roam the planet, set up shop in hellholes, produce their goods for relative pennies, sell those goods anywhere with no tariffs, thus undermining local economies and centralizing economic power in fewer hands; the vast expansion of surveillance and censorship (which go hand in hand); widening poverty, which makes more and more people dependent on government…

Social media censorship isn’t merely a bunch of knee-jerk liberals trying to stop ideas they don’t like. It is that, but it’s much, much, much more.

Google and Facebook are nurtured creatures of the national security state.

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About Peter Senior

I'm a very experienced and pragmatic management consultant. I've reviewed and led the restructuring of many organisations - large and small corporations and Government Departments, much of the time as President of the New Zealand Institute of Management Consultants. Before that I was General Manager of a major NZ newspaper; earlier, an analyst for IBM UK. I gained an honours degree in engineering at London University, and studied management at Cambridge University. This wide range of experience has left me frustrated: I continue to see too many examples of really bad management. Sometimes small easily fixed issues; sometimes fundamental faults; and sometimes really tricky problems. Mostly these issues can be fixed using a mixture of common sense, 'management 101' and applying lessons from years of management experience. Unfortunately, all too often, politics, bureaucracy and daft government regulations get in the way; internal factors such as poor culture and out-of-date strategies are often evident. So what's gone wrong, and why, and most importantly, how to fix 'it'? I hope there are like-minded people 'out there' who will share their thoughts enabling 'us' to improve some significant management failures that affect the general public. If you just accept bad management, you don't have the right to complain! If you'd like to share thoughts on any aspects of management, send me an email to petersenior42@gmail.com . My latest project has the interim title 'You’ve been conned. Much of what you were taught and read is largely irrelevant, misleading or plain wrong – this is the REAL story of life: past, present and our possible future.' The working paper so far comprises 105 pages, many listing references and interim conclusions. The main problem is finding sufficient credible evidence, and realising the more Iearn, the more I realise I don't know!
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