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DavidV

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Reply with quote  #1 
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/inquirer/rise-of-antifa-movement-points-to-activist-lefts-moral-decay/news-story/d5d1eb95d8e8e478f9943e8ceaa2766c#load-story-comments

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Originally Posted by Janet Albrechtsen
As a kid it was hard not to have a girl crush on Samantha, the blonde and sassy star of Bewitched who could so effortlessly confound her crabby neighbour Gladys Kravitz.

Then, last week, along came another blonde and cheeky Samantha who rocked it on television. The Seven Network’s Samantha Armytage interviewed American comedian Kathy Griffin, notorious for her image earlier this year holding up a fake severed head resembling Donald Trump.

Morning TV could have been an easy gig for Griffin to promote her upcoming Australian tour where she apparently explains why she’s no longer sorry for her behead-a-president schtick. Except that Sunrise’s Samantha effortlessly exposed a cranky, con­fused and unamusing comedian.

When Armytage asked Griffin whether she crossed a line with her attempt to mimic Islamic State terrorists, a peeved Griffin said: “You’re full of crap. Stop this. Stop acting like my little picture is more important than talking about the actual atrocities that the President of the United States is committing.”

Griffin then suggested she meet Armytage in an alley: “I got your number. You’re like a white Trump voter in America. I got your thing.” Responding to Army­tage’s questions with threats of violence cloaked as clumsy jokes, the comedian at least served one useful purpose as the poster girl for those on the left who have a messed-up relationship with words and violence.

The following night Griffin got her easy ride on Ten’s The Project, with no challenge to her daft and unamusing claim that America has an “insane, possibly Nazi, I’m going with Naziesque President in the White House”. Here again, Griffin is the useful idiot for those on the left who have redefined Nazi to mean anyone you don’t agree with, whether to justify jokey violent threats if comedy is your thing or carrying out real violence if you’re a street activist.

Writing in the latest edition of The Atlantic, Peter Beinart traces the rise of the violent left in recent months starting with this year’s Portland Rose Festival in Oregon. A fixture since 1907, the April festival was cancelled because a group called the Direct Action Alliance warned that “fascists plan to march through the streets”. In fact, the marchers were Republicans from Multnomah County. Beinart mentions an anonymous email sent to organisers warning that, in response to marching Trump supporters and those who promote “hateful rhetoric”, “we will have two hundred or more people rush into the parade … and drag and push there (sic) people out”. Portland police said they lacked resources to keep people safe from the protesters.

The Portland activists have ties to the deceptively named “antifa” movement, an Orwellian group that pretends to be anti-fascist but uses a plainly fascist code of violence. There is an obvious demand and supply problem here: there simply aren’t enough Nazis today to meet their demand so they invent new categories of Nazi to mean anyone they disagree with.

If you’re not a real Nazi, being Nazi-esque is enough to justify a vile photo of Griffin holding the severed head of a democratically elected president or real violence increasingly used by those on the left.

In February, antifa protesters violently disrupted a planned speech by former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of California, Berkeley.

In March, more violent antifa members caused Charles Murray, a conservative political scientist to flee an address at Middlebury College in Vermont. Caught in the violent melee of protesters, many in masks, left-liberal professor Allison Stanger (there to debate Murray) was injured and ended up in a neck brace. “I feared for my life,” Stanger wrote in The New York Times days later.

A free-speech rally in Boston two weeks ago by libertarians intending to protest against campus speech codes was forced to wrap up early after a mob of club-wielding antifa protesters confronted them. Wearing masks, they threw rocks and urine-filled bottles at police.

Last weekend, antifa-led violence erupted again at UC Berkeley. Police Chief Andrew Green­wood said officers were instructed not to actively confront the weapon-laden anarchists.

Here is the new normal, says Bret Weinstein, a left-liberal academic at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, forced off campus in May because campus security could not guarantee his safety against violent left-wing protesters.

Berkeley’s “unapologetic progressive” mayor Jesse Arreguin called for antifa to be classified as a street gang. But it’s complicated being a progressive; the mayor of the town, home to the 1960s free-speech movement, also wants the university to cancel the Free Speech Week event planned by conservative groups for September. A win for the Orwellian fascists parading as anti-fascists.

Last week, University of Sydney student newspaper Honi Soit invited two views to the question “Should we punch Nazis?”. Kishor Napier-Raman said yes, arguing that when the far right advocates genocide “we must be prepared to fight fire with fire”. The fourth year student, whose university education seems woefully inadequate, failed to provide any evidence that the far right advocates genocide. The student seems to have been taught that it’s enough just to assert genocidal intent to rationalise violence against the far right.

The opposing view was put by Noa Zulman, whose “no” case ended with this: “Punching a Nazi is good; hanging one by the gallows is better.” Harking back to the Nuremberg trials and the 1945 public execution of Nazi war criminals, the student, a self-described “activist” and “history & philosophy nerd” also failed to provide any evidence of genocidal plans on the far right. Who among Sydney University’s most senior administrators have denounced these calls for violence in Honi Soit?

Like Griffin’s sick joke, none of this is amusing. While left and right may debate whether words that merely offend should be censored in a free society, we are in trouble when both sides cannot agree to draw the line at words that incite violence and at violence against people because they have different views. And given the moral depravity of Nazis murdering millions of Jews, and the historical evils of fascism, it’s wicked to redefine these labels to excuse violence against people with whom you disagree.

Alas, distorting words is essential to the left’s use of force, and violence is mounting precisely because of an industry premised on using feelings to censor words and views. Claiming that words should be censored because they offend has become so commonplace that it no longer carries the ideological punch it once did. It’s a small leap, then, to redefine words as a form of violence to justify actual violence by fascists masquerading as anti-fascists.

You don’t need to say anything to be labelled a fascist, either. Be­ing a policeman or attending a Trump rally is enough. An article at It’s Going Down, a website link­ed with antifa, described phy­sical attacks on people leaving a Trump rally in San Jose, California, last year as “righteous beatings”.

Responsible media outlets ought to draw the line right here. Yet the Huffington Post recently published pieces that called for violence or deliberately blurred the line of violent disruption.

“A Violent Response to Trump is as Logical as Any” was the Huff Post headline to a piece by Jesse Benn in June demanding that “violent resistance matters”. Queer activist Michelangelo Signorile wrote in Huff Post in May, “from here on, no elected official —―certainly those in the GOP defending and supporting Trump … — should be able to sit down for a nice, quiet lunch or dinner in a Washington, DC, eatery or even in their own homes”.

Signorile says he doesn’t advocate violence but that’s hardly convincing when you call for Republicans to be publicly hounded when they eat at a restaurant.

Left-wing media outlets in Australia are deplorably quiet about violence by activists on the left. Fairfax and the ABC repeatedly condemned Pauline Hanson for offending Muslims by wearing a burka in the Senate.

The same media outlets cannot muster the same outrage about violence and intimidation by same-sex marriage activists against the Australian Christian Lobby. ACL’s Canberra headquarters have been firebombed, staff have been threatened and white powder was recently stuffed in an envelope addressed to the ACL. Yet when interviewing ACL’s Lyle Shelton last week, the ABC’s Joe O’Brien was worked up about whether someone who believed in the traditional definition of marriage was entitled to cheer a gay athlete at the Olympics. Clamouring to expose hypocrisy from an opponent of same-sex marriage, O’Brien displayed his own, in spades.

Beinart makes the point that how the rest of the activist left responds to the rise of left-wing violence will define its moral character in the Trump age.

So far the signs point to deepening moral decay on the left unless more decide to call out violence, whether it’s by fascists hiding behind ski goggles orcomedians hiding behind sick jokes.

This week Armytage tweeted this after interviewing Griffin: “I just don’t find beheadings to be particularly funny. And I think I have a fairly decent sense of humour.” Slam-dunk, Sam.

DavidV

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Reply with quote  #2 

Much talk has been about the behaviour of "Antifa", who in general are a coalition of Communists (of various shades) and anarchists (nobody ever points out the contradiction between proponents of big government and proponents of no government at all) under the banner of "anti-fascism" - whatever that means since the word "fascist" (like the word "racist") is so overused today that it has lost any real meaning or impact.

The cult of anti-fascism is an insidious cult based on lies and distortions of history. It reflects in the fact that White Nationalists or neo-Nazis are not the sole or even primary targets of these people. The ultimate targets of these people is anyone to their Right who is conservative and patriotic, who adheres to democratic principles, and who dares to hold out against what they want to do. Witness the attacks on Donald Trump supporters at his campaign rallies last year, or the ransacking of Senator Cory Bernardi's office by these Leftist thugs last year.

Ironically in their version of history, these Antifa and the broader radical Left concur with the Far Right that the only real opponents of the Radical Left are "fascists". And worst of all, this is a lie that has been made much easier to believe given the Left's control of culture, education and media.

That these violent thugs imagine themselves to be heroic fighters against some sort of "fascism" is an obscenity. It is in fact grossly disrespectful to actual examples of anti-fascist resistance that was not in any way led by Communists: the Polish patriots of AK who resisted occupation by Nazi Germany (and also the Soviet Union, who were equally barbaric in their treatment of the Polish people), and the resistance to the occupation of Ethiopia by Fascist Italy (a liberation accomplished with support of the British Empire).

The "anti-fascist" cult has a mythology cultivated in Western nations as well as in Russia. Part of this mythology includes the Spanish Civil War where Nationalists fought Republicans. Far from being a struggle to "defend democracy", the Republican side was ever more dominated by Communists and anarchists intent on imposing their will - which is why liberal politicians were assassinated by them in 1936, as they did with countless others.

For decades, part of Soviet propaganda still perpetuated by Putin's Russia today was the mythology that the Soviet Union "liberated" Eastern Europe from "fascism" when in fact it imposed Communist tyranny for over 40 years. Russians still believe these lies today and they feel no shame in doing so. That there were and still are actual fascists in Eastern Europe is besides the point: they did not/do not make up the majority of anti-Communists and nationalists that Soviet propaganda portrayed as "fascist".

The myth even manifests itself in Ukraine today, which is why Spanish Leftists volunteered recently to fight on the pro-Russian side. Why? Because they are living out the fantasy of the anti-fascist cult, living out the lie that they and Moscow still believe in.

The same underpins almost every anti-Western or anti-Imperialist mythology in which Western civilisation and "imperialism" is equated to "fascism", even as "heroic freedom fighters" are often Communists and/or terrorists. The "anti-fascist" lie is even used as cover by apologists for Islamism and Irish Republicanism despite all available evidence to the contrary.

Most disturbing is that people who are not at all on the Far Left have come to believe some of this mythology. Someone on a forum, discussing Brexit with me, went on about "violent nationalists" on the Leave side. In some FB discussions, someone even parroted the Russian-produced lie that "fascism" was on the march in Eastern Europe.

Enough is enough. Let's debunk these lies here and now.

Peter

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Reply with quote  #3 
Just on a small point of fact arising from your first post above, the Nuremberg executions were not of course public. They were held inside Nuremberg Prison, and while there were invited witnesses that is normal and indeed required, so that justice can be seen to have been done. 'Public' would mean that anyone who cared to could come along and watch, which was not at all the case. As for fascism being on the march in Eastern Europe, that may not be so but authoritarian and oppressive government certainly appears to be on the rise.

Moving on, much as I detest Trump and all his works I would not support any kind of violence against his supporters, misguided as they may be, or any attempt to suppress their freedom of speech. They have as much right to their opinions, and to express them, as anyone else does. And though I am a bit on the politically correct side myself I find what you report from Australia, that any statement that might conceivably cause offence to any minority member is prohibited and actually subject to penalties of law, very troubling and dangerous. 'Offence' is so subjective that it really ought not to appear in either a criminal or civil code. Incitement to violence and actual, provable discrimination on the other hand are appropriate for the law to deal with.

Finally, this opposition of equal marriage proponents to a referendum they would almost certainly win, seemingly on the grounds that someone might dare to argue against, is quite bewildering and bemusing. Of course there would be opposition to the proposal. Let those against have their say, then you have yours, and after that the people will decide. Simple. So why not get on with it?
DavidV

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Reply with quote  #4 
Our civil liberties and due process come from English common law. Many of the rights protected in the US Bill of Rights also come from the same common law tradition. The problem with "hate crimes" and "hate speech" laws is that they actually come straight out of the continental Civil Law tradition with presumption of the accused's offence the foundation for the law.

Now what do you mean authoritarian and oppressive government in Eastern Europe? The governments there are carrying out what they were elected to do, which is to uphold national identity, tradition and defend national interest. That's democratic, not authoritarian.
DavidV

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Reply with quote  #5 
And voila, Homeland Security concurs that Antifa have terrorist potential:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4844296/Homeland-Security-deem-antifa-domestic-terrorists.html
Peter

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Reply with quote  #6 
I can't pretend to a profound knowledge of legal and constitutional history, but I think the question is more complex than you portray in your first paragraph above. The presumption of innocence, for example, is found in Roman law, which surely was the foundation of much of the Continental civil law tradition. The rights of the English people (with the entitlement to due process prominent among them) were encapsulated in Magna Carta, extracted from an unwilling King John as long ago as 1215 and put into statute (where parts of it remain enshrined today) by his grandson Edward I. The US Bill of Rights is largely derived from the English legislation of the same name, enacted in 1689 following the Glorious Revolution, which obviously was statutory not common law.

Certainly Magna Carta in particular was much developed and amplified by the courts in succeeding centuries, and certainly it, as the Bill of Rights, was itself a development of what were seen as existing rights and privileges, but it is an intricately interwoven story rather than a straightforward matter of common law versus civil code. As for Eastern European governments, most notably those of Hungary and Poland, no one denies that they were lawfully elected with a particular mandate. That does not prevent concern at their attempts to limit press freedoms and to enforce an arbitrary, irrational and harmful traditional morality, or the growth of xenophobia and anti-Semitism in those countries, the former at least seemingly encouraged by their governments. I'm not suggesting they are tyrannies or even heading that way, that would be ridiculous. Just that the trends in these countries are worrying, and their present governments appear to be behind those trends and pushing.

Presumption of guilt is not a necessary feature of hate crime and hate speech laws. While the motivations of a particular crime are a matter for judgement, only the accused (if in fact guilty) knowing for certain what caused him to commit that crime, it is possible for evidence to be obtained and weighed by a court and a fair and reasonable decision made as to whether a crime should be subject to the additional penalties mandated by such laws. Similarly with hate speech, and generally speaking easier to accomplish. Again, though, the Australian law you have reported on seems to go against any kind of justice, with the verdict depending on whether the victim felt offended, rather than the accused intending or carelessly causing offence. There I agree with you, this law is completely wrong, should never have been enacted, and having been should be repealed forthwith and replaced by something more reasonable.
DutchMonarchist

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Reply with quote  #7 
I'm opposed to any hate speech laws. Inciting crime may be forbidden under certain circumstances, but encouraging a negative emotion in others should never be a reason for the state to violate someone's right to say what he wants. I also agree with DavidV that authoritarian government is going much too far as a description for the governments of Hungary and Poland: these countries are definitely democracies.

However, I still feel that a double standard is applied by those who defend these countries all the time. Especially in the case of Hungary, which if I am correctly informed has enacted laws that limit freedom of speech by making it a crime to offend Hungarian dignity (whatever that means). If you make the case that these governments are allowed to do so because they are democratic, you would have to apply the same standard to Australia, and any elected left-wing government of that country would then also have the right to enforce such hate speech laws. The whole idea of civil rights is that a majority of people can't just violate the freedom of the individual, so in my opinion being democratic is a non-argument there. For those who really care about free speech, whether the threat comes from nationalists or socialists should not matter.


DavidV

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Reply with quote  #8 
But the reality on the ground is that threats to free speech are precisely threats to speech that doesn't suit certain (mainly left-liberal) views. Part of the problem is that the greater the ideological zeal of people with these views - and left-liberal and multiculturalist ideologies invariably create powerful bureaucracies employing many people - there is a much greater danger of arbitrary behaviour on part of those enforcing these policies, thus undermining political freedom and rule of law.
VasilyBloksin17

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Reply with quote  #9 
David, shut up.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #10 

Well, that was unnecessary. 

Anyway, I thought that ABC's Q&A outdid itself in its bias and stupidity last night:

http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/txt/s4708044.htm

This time the panel seemed to be all leftists, including the host. Their discussion of antifa was idiotic in my opinion. 

Firstly, to paraphrase, Jonah Goldberg, even if we grant that, on a scale of one to a hundred, the Nazi regime/ideology is one hundred - the worst ever - Stalin and Mao and hardcore Marxist-Leninism must be at least a ninety. It seems just asinine to split too many hairs about who is worse, white supremacists or the far-left. Besides, they often used the term fascism. This is a vague term, but Mussolini's regime, although authoritarian, corrupt, and dubious was actually not on the worst end of the twentieth century spectrum of authoritarian dictatorships - all communist regimes were worse, for example. If one really wanted to play that game, one might admit that the Nazis are the worst, but then it would take a lot of back and forth to give an exact rating of badness to various far-right and far-left ideologies. But the whole attempt would just be foolish.

Secondly, what is more important is the implied context, at least,  in which confrontation between fascists and antifascists was spoken of, and how we must always side with the antifascists because of the nature if fascism, is it took no account of who was starting violence. In many, if not most, cases, it is the antifascists. In the US, at least, Nazis and the KKK have a right to hold their ideologies, and even hold public events and rallies. If they are peaceful, and they are attacked by hard-leftists, then, as much as we should deplore the ideologies of the Nazis and the KKK, it is the leftists who are most in the wrong. Having a slightly (or even much) better ideology doesn't give you a right to violence, and, in some ways at least, peaceful Nazis are preferable to even violent moderates (for example), in my opinion, though in other ways of course in which they aren't. It isn't just a matter of ideology and beliefs. It is more complex than that. Actions do matter for a start.. 

Lastly, there was, predictably, no mention of the fact the hard left radicals do not limit themselves to attacking white supremacists. In the recent violence in Berkeley, almost all committed by leftists, it was mainstream conservatives, libertarians, and Trump supporters who were attacked. Wearing a Make America Great Again hat is, to many antifa, a provocation worthy of a beating. This is the number one issue with antifa. People who think they have a right to political violence are always a problem, but there is a limit to the damage to the polity done by beating up actual Nazis and KKK. The much bigger danger is when it isn't only such people who are targeted. The antifa have been getting bolder and taking it upon themselves to attack far more than the white supremacist fringe.Up to now st least, they have been shielded by the mainstream left and the media they dominate. 

Ponocrates

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Reply with quote  #11 
LOL!  Vasily is a funny chap!

Screen Shot 2017-09-05 at 1.05.00 AM.png 


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DavidV

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Reply with quote  #12 
The point is that the Far Left (and others like Islamists) are far more tolerated and indulged by the mainstream Left than the Far Right ever have been by the mainstream Right, and more influential too.

Real anti-fascism was resisting the Nazi occupation of Poland (although the Soviets were equally if not more barbaric) and the Fascist occupation of Ethiopia. Today's Antifa makes a mockery of that.
Queenslander

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Reply with quote  #13 
They are a mockery of civilization as we have come to know it. It just leaves in my mind that their long awaited ''revolution'' might just be of the counter-variety in order to react against this constant bullying and thuggery that types like antifa espouse.
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DutchMonarchist

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Reply with quote  #14 
That reference to Battleship Potemkin did put a smile on my face. If you want to start a communist profile here I guess you might as well go all the way, but I wonder if Royalcello will be equally amused.
Ethiomonarchist

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Reply with quote  #15 
Antifa are as crazed as the far right marchers were in Charlotte.  The fact is, the world is becoming more and more polarized into far right and far left, leaving the stabilizing middle depressingly empty.  These two groups feed off each other and tear at each other,  but are actually on a mission to tear down society and rebuild it to their twisted image.  Antifa, the Neo-Nazis, the KKK, the "alt-Right", neo-Anarchists, all of them are determined to engineer society to fit their ideological "political correctness" even though they both preach against it.  They don't really want to do away with it, only replace it with their own versions.  A plague on both their houses.
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