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Peter

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Reply with quote  #61 
Daniel Pipes seems a highly questionable figure, as extreme in his views as those he condemns. Geller is similar but perhaps more so, as is Spencer. I note that the latter two are such reasonable and moderate figures that they have been barred from entering Britain.  I presume the three, along with Horowitz, are categorised as Islamophobes. I actually disagree that there should even be such a category, but given that there is Geller, Spencer and especially Horowitz seem perfectly reasonable inclusions in it, Pipes perhaps a little less so though his inclusion still would not be entirely unreasonable.

The Center for Security Policy would appear to be conspiracy-theory nutcases. Not really sure about the Clarion Project, but the CSP founder Gaffney being involved with it is not encouraging. Again, you have failed to convince me of the evil of the SPLC. And I do mind the Family Research Council. I mind it quite a lot.
Windemere

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Reply with quote  #62 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wessexman
I doubt Manafort will trouble Trump much. As Andy McCarthy and others have pointed out, when prosecutors try to turn a member(s) of a criminal conspiracy against other members, giving the former leniency in return for testimony and evidence, the prosecutor almost always charges the flipped conspirator with crimes specifically relating to the conspiracy. That hasn't happened to Manafort, just as didn't happen to Flynn, for example. Manafort's charges and pleas are about conduct not related to the Trump campaign.

The allegation against Kavanaugh is serious, but I don't think it should stop his timely confirmation, unless new support or allegations come forward. The allegation is unsupported - and there are even inconsistencies in the case. It also seems that Feinstein acted in a despicable way, sitting on the allegation for months until the politically best time, and perhaps even working with the accuser. Certainly, not only did this hold up investigation of the claim (which was no doubt part of the reason for Feinstein's actions), but it seems that the digging Feinstein and her staff were no doubt doing in this time failed to dig up much extra evidence. Aside from this allegation, I think he has conducted himself very well considering the abused Democrat-media spectacle.

As far as I know American libel tends to be more burdensome for plaintiffs than British law. It is quite hard for any public organisation or figure to win a case claiming they have been libelled except in quite severe circumstances.


The accusations against Kavanaugh are indeed quite serious, and I think that the reasons Feinstein gave for delaying her revelations about the letter she'd received in July were reasonable. The letter-writer had requested anonymity, and wanted her identity kept private. Supreme Court justices serve for life, and so I think it's worth waiting for the allegations in the letter to be investigated. Feinstein is an experienced politician, and she's probably quite adept at political manoeuvering. I wouldn't put anything past her, and she's likely quite capable of using whatever she can to further her own agendas.  It's uncertain whether she delayed publicizing the letter for the reasons that she stated (the writer's privacy), or whether she had her own political motivations, or both. But nevertheless, the allegations are serious enough to  warrant an  investigation before Kavanaugh's nomination is voted upon. As for myself, at this point I neither believe nor disbelieve the allegations. But they deserve looking into, before Kavanaugh's nomination to a lifelong Supreme Court judgeship is voted upon.

Be that as it may, in the wake of the controversy it's generated, the letter-writer (a university psychology professor)  has now come forward herself, and was interviewed by the Washington Post. I think her explanation for her decision to come forward after originally requesting anonymity in her July letter, was plausible. Moreover, she'd seen a therapist  in 2012, in which she first revealled her story about her encounter with Kavanaugh, though she didn't refer to him by name at that time. And so her story isn't a new one.

Her story was that, as a 15 year old high school student in the 1980s, she'd been at a party, when she was accosted by 17 year old Kavanaugh, a student at an elite private academy, who was accompanied by a friend of his. She stated that Kavanaugh, who was "stumbling drunk",  took her into a bedroom and pushed her onto a bed,  groped her, grinded his body up against her, tried to remove her clothing, and put his hand over her mouth to keep her from screaming. She stated that Kavanaugh's friend jumped on them, knocking them off the bed,  which permitted her to escape. (The friend, whose identity is known, has apparently stated that he has no recollection of such an event). And Kavanaugh himself has denied that such an incident ever happened.

It probably ought to be mentioned that following Feinstein's earlier revelation about the letter's contents (before the writer came forward), 65 female acquaintainces of Kavanaugh had provided a statement that, in their opinion, he'd always acted respectfully toward women.

This ought to be a cautionary warning to all teenage high-school students to always act in a decent and  respectable way, even when partying. And especially in these days (unlike the eighties), when smart-phones, with their built-in cameras, are ubiquitous. 



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Dis Aliter Visum "Beware of martyrs and those who would die for their beliefs; for they frequently make many others die with them, often before them, sometimes instead of them."
DavidV

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Reply with quote  #63 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter
Daniel Pipes seems a highly questionable figure, as extreme in his views as those he condemns. Geller is similar but perhaps more so, as is Spencer. I note that the latter two are such reasonable and moderate figures that they have been barred from entering Britain.  I presume the three, along with Horowitz, are categorised as Islamophobes. I actually disagree that there should even be such a category, but given that there is Geller, Spencer and especially Horowitz seem perfectly reasonable inclusions in it, Pipes perhaps a little less so though his inclusion still would not be entirely unreasonable.

The Center for Security Policy would appear to be conspiracy-theory nutcases. Not really sure about the Clarion Project, but the CSP founder Gaffney being involved with it is not encouraging. Again, you have failed to convince me of the evil of the SPLC. And I do mind the Family Research Council. I mind it quite a lot.


Do you really think it is credible to cite the fact that Geller and Spencer have been banned from Britain? Keep in mind that in Britain today, Communist, Islamist and Irish Republican sympathisers can walk freely, preach their poison and get away with it. It reeks of double standards.

There isn't a "conspiracy theory" the CSP promotes. What the CSP et al do is expose the fact that Islamists present a danger in our society that is not always understood by most people. That it isn't just terrorism which is a threat, it's the subversion through the activism of Muslim Brotherhood-connected figures which is arguably a much bigger danger to the freedom and peace of Western societies. Notice how the same Islamist figures latch onto any controversy relating to race that doesn't even involve Muslims. It's deliberate, as it's part of a documented strategy to accomplish their aims globally. It should not be a "conspiracy theory" to point this out.

"Islamophobia" was a term entirely made up as a smear term by Islamists and their Leftists allies who know that controlling the language is key to gain control of society. They've succeeded on that front and we need to push back. It isn't being "hateful" to discuss the negative aspects of certain communities and their cultures.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #64 
I don't think there can be any real defence of Feinstein. One, because she sent the letter to the FBI, knowing they have no jurisdiction. She seems to have justed want an excuse for saying she sent it to law enforcement (even the obviously wrong outfit) before making it public; two, because the committee process itself is surely where the investigation should take place, yet she didn't bring it up there until now, seemingly hoping to delay the whole process. Indeed, she still seems to be delaying when Grassley has been trying to interview and have hearings with Ford.

The allegation is not new, that is true, although it is also true that some of the details seem to differ from those Ford told her counsellor. Then she said four boys were present at the incident, now she says there were two at the incident and four at the party. The therapist's notes don't mention Kavanaugh's name, though her husband says she named Kavanaugh. None of this means that she is lying, as neither does the fact the other boy allegedly present has denied what took place or that Ford is a committed and outspoken left-liberal. But it does make it all the more hard to judge the allegation. So I don't see what the investigation would unearth, unless new witnesses or complaints come forward (the latter have had time already, and Feinstein no doubt did her best to dig up the latter). And let's not forget it's basically a heads I win, tails you lose situation. How does Kavanaugh clear his name? There's almost nothing that he can do that, short of the most outrageous inconsistencies or an outright admission of a false claim. Not entirely without justification, the assumption today is inconsistencies, short of extremes, don't actually disprove a claim or even make it less likely to be true. Seeing also as Feinstein seems to have sat on the allegation for months at least partly to delay the whole process, I therefore don't see why she should be rewarded nor what that would accommplish. But for better or worse it seems the committee will try to investigate further.

On Kavanaugh's record, to me he's shown what I expected: that he's an originalist, but no radical. If anything, some who want the judiciary to respect the constitution might be disappointed. He won't be a Justice Souter or Kennedy, but he won't be Justice Thomas or even perhaps Scalia either. He will generally bow to the other branches of government and to precedent, though, like Alito, he will guide this in a originalist, constitutionalist direction. He's certainly the kind of judge any Republican president could nominate.

On the SPLC, the Nawaz case was particularly absurd. He's a liberal Muslim who campaigns against Islamism. To accuse him of hating Muslims is absurd. Whatever one thinks of the likes of the Family Research Council and the allegations against them, they aren't in the same league of absurdity. The real issue with the SPLC is that the mainstream media (left-liberal itself) takes its pronouncements as non-partisan, expert testimony, rather than as the claims of the partisan outfit, thrown at ideological opponents as often as not, they are. It is good Sessions, in the wake of the recent court case, has said the FBI and DOJ will be reviewing their contact with the SPLC.
DavidV

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Reply with quote  #65 
Well one reason why I argue strongly for constitutional monarchy is precisely because I believe that not only the Head of State but also the judiciary and other public institutions should be above partisan politics. As Melanie Phillips wrote earlier this year, it explains a lot about the instincts guiding American "gun culture" - namely the fear of tyranny which they believe (even if we don't) is very real due to the blatant partisanship and hence distrust of certain public bodies.

The SPLC's entire operation is sloppy in its lumping of normal conservatives with white nationalists and neo-Nazis, and while black nationalists are also given attention by them (along with a few Islamic groups) it reeks of pure tokenism on their part. Their definition of "extremist" is sloppy to the extent that even the Dalai Lama would be considered "far right", even most traditional Muslim clerics would be considered as such for opposing Islamist movements like the Muslim Brotherhood.

So advocating traditional values, questioning immigration, multiculturalism, moral relativism and the Leftist view of history, and highlighting the Islamist threat to democratic societies is all considered "far right" by the SPLC, and the media parrots this ad infinitum. The media are utterly irresponsible for doing so.
DavidV

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Reply with quote  #66 
The SPLC's lies about Christina Sommers have been parroted by the SMH:
https://twitter.com/clairlemon/status/1041902598922457088
Peter

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Reply with quote  #67 
The SPLC told no lies about Christina Sommers. What they said was this: 'Men’s rights issues also overlap with the rhetoric of equity feminists like Christina Hoff Sommers, who give a mainstream and respectable face to some MRA concerns.' And that's all they said. 'Equity feminist' is her own label for herself, and she has made public appearances with MRA figures.
DavidV

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Reply with quote  #68 
So, in effect, you actually think the SPLC are being truthful somehow about the conservative public figures they've relentlessly attacked and made targets for Antifa and Islamists?

Peter, with all due respect, you need to make clear which side is it you are on. You need to realise that the SPLC, Antifa, CAIR, Linda Sarsour, BLM and the rest of that crowd are not your friends and you have no common ground with them. They are not telling the truth in any way, their entire agenda is built on lies, lies and lies. Their common goal is the destruction of Western Civilisation and all its attendant freedoms and traditions we cherish. You cannot afford to be on the wrong side here. You may not get to be so picky with your allies and enemies when it comes to the crunch. If Douglas Murray, Dave Rubin, Milo Yiannopoulos and Bruce Bawer can see it, then you can too.

Consider what I have said above. A prominent politician needing a police escort to and from a monarchist event I attended because he's a target for hateful Leftist and anarchist thug. Right-wing Brazilian presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro being stabbed by a leftist thug. Events featuring Lauren Southern, Stefan Molyneaux and others such as Milo Yiannopoulos requiring security because those attending face the threat of violence from the Left. People being banned from the UK reeking of blatant double standards. Geert Wilders not being to go anywhere without security. All of these things are happening not under some authoritarian government, but in what are meant to be liberal democracies. Is any of this acceptable to you at all?

While our esteemed moderator Theodore hasn't commented on this thread, I'm pretty sure he'll take my side on this one.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #69 
I must say I found that SMH absurd, though not that surprising. They treated who to me is the obviously more sensible one, Hoff Sommers, as on trial, and the hard left feminist as the one whose opinions are normative.

I'm no expert on her, but from what I know, Hoff Sommers seems to be just a classical liberal feminist. That seems a much more sensible variety than the usual third wave, hard left variety. Furthermore, I'm not a huge fan of MRAs. They tend to mirror the tedious partisan silliness of much contemporary feminism. But from what I know, most MRAs don't seem particularly sinister to me, and they do point out some of the hypocrisy and stupidity of third wave feminism. And at least they don't suffer from the same effects of Marxism and post-modernism as much contemporary feminism. In short, give me Hoff Summers over a third wave feminist anyday!
DavidV

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Reply with quote  #70 
Well the MRAs is simply for me a reaction against decades of extreme feminism. It's the same as the hard-Right reaction against identity politics in general - the fringes of it may be unsavoury, but the vast majority of it is perfectly legitimate in its grounding.
Peter

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Reply with quote  #71 
Responding to your #68, David, I hold no particular brief for the SPLC. I just defended them from what seemed to me an unjust accusation. As I would anyone, even Donald the Destestable. You specifically said they had lied, I pointed out that they had not. I don't know how many times I need to condemn left-wing violence and attacks on free speech to show that I get it, but if another time is needed then so be it. I do condemn them. But I will, thank you, continue to form my own opinions on these questions, and am not interested in subscribing to any cause, being a bit past it for that sort of thing.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #72 
I agree with Jonah Goldberg that one thing about the Kavanaugh allegation is certain, Senator Feinstein acted disgracefully:

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/09/dianne-feinstein-brett-kavanaugh-accusation-confirmation-hearings/

On the SPLC, I have no idea if they are lying in this particular case. However, they do often operate not just by sinisterly labelling their ideological opponents at the drop of a hat, but trying to associate them with extremists that happen to have certain things in common with them. I recall they do this to MRAs and other critics of hard left, third wave feminism. So, relatively innocuous groups and figures, like Hoff Sommers and men's groups that spend most of their time talking about things like the lack of evidence for a significant sex wage gap or sex differences in domestic violence, or about family law court reforms, are lumped in with what are vaguely referred to as hate groups and the alt-right. The latter association obviously makes one think of white nationalists and the like, who have next to nothing in common with Fathers4Justice. Such figures and groups are also, at least by implication, associated with a febrile, aggressive atmosphere that leads to violence; and violent extremists are sometimes mentioned as products of such an atmosphere, as if moderate figures like Hoff Sommers in some way bear responsibility for the likes Elliot Rodger.

This is really just a particularly galling and obvious example of a common media-left-liberal tactic. I think it needs to be addressed rigorously and forcefully, though it is important conservatives don't use the same tactics.
DavidV

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Reply with quote  #73 
Yes but it is precisely the point that the aim of the SPLC and the wider Left is to smear conservatives by associating us with white nationalists and neo-Nazis. They throw terms like "fascist" and "far right" carelessly to anyone who contradicts their worldview. Criticisms about Islam, multiculturalism, highlighting gang-rape cases in Sydney and in various British cities, or the murder of farmers in South Africa are all seen as "far right" causes. The reason being that it deconstructs mythology surrounding the Left's chosen "victim" groups.
Peter

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Reply with quote  #74 
To me it is perfectly clear that the SPLC did not lie about Sommers. They have published one (1) sentence about her, containing two statements, the first of which is both true and entirely inoffensive, it is precisely the term she uses for herself. The second is admittedly a value judgement but based on inarguable fact, even if others might form a different opinion from the same facts. Where is the lie? Do tell. I too wish people didn't casually throw around incendiary labels like Nazi and Fascist, but I don't think baseless accusations of lying advance a cause either.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #75 
I think it pretty telling that, firstly, advocates at the SPLC, according to that story, went out of their way to send the hard left feminist material about Sommers, presumably as some kind of warning about her. Given Sommers is a classical liberal feminist, to my mind far more moderate and sensible than this other feminist, Roxane Gay, or any other third wave, hard left feminist I have come across, it does rather illustrate the SPLC is not simply the non-partisan investigators of genuine hate groups they and their (often media) supporters claim. Secondly, the very fact they have material on Sommers, whereas I doubt they compile such for radical feminists (except perhaps the so called TERFs, but that would be the exception that proves the rule), gives a similar impression of the group.
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