Sunday, September 03, 2017

Father's Day ad deemed 'too political' for TV

We must not show men, fathers, and normal heterosexual marriages in a positive or beneficial light. Such displays must be banned. But pro homosexuality messages are all over the place. The more we get of these attacks on normal life in the name of helping deviants, the more people will get angry at the deviants concerned.  It cannot end well

A NOT-FOR-PROFIT group behind a heartwarming Father’s Day ad pulled from TV for being too “political” in the lead-up to the same-sex marriage postal vote has taken its website and social media pages down for “security reasons”.

FreeTV Australia, the industry group which represents the commercial free-to-air networks, earlier this week informed Dads4Kids that its annual Father’s Day ad, this year featuring a father singing his daughter a lullaby, would not be broadcast as it “likely contained political matter”.

According to The Weekend Australian, which first reported the story, FreeTV’s lawyers told the group that the ad had been “brought to our attention by the networks as potentially containing political matter”, with legal advice recommending the ad be changed to include a political “authorisation tag”.

FreeTV’s lawyers also referred the group to guidelines issued by the Advertising Standards Bureau “in light of the same-sex marriage plebiscite”, defining political advertising as “comment upon a matter which is currently the subject of extensive political debate”.

Dads4Kids told The Weekend Australian it had inadequate resources to recut the commercial to include the “authorisation tag”.

In a statement posted online, the group said every year for the last 15 years the majority of free-to-air TV networks had “graciously run these ads for free as a Community Service Announcement up until now”.

“These television commercials are simply a gentle encouragement to Australian dads, and an affirmation that they are an important figure in the lives of their children,” spokesman Ben Pratt said.

“The adverts have been enthusiastically accepted and many TV stations play them all year long as a community service. They are always released in the lead up to Father’s Day. Unfortunately what is a simple Father’s Day message has now become a ‘political’ statement.

“It is extraordinary that this is where we have come to as a country; we can no longer celebrate Father­’s Day without being forced to look at it through the lens of the same-sex marriage debate. It’s a tragedy that a political motive is now implied in any mention of fatherhood. Not everything is about same-sex marriage.”

The website for the Fatherhood Foundation has been taken offline, as has the Dads4Kids Facebook page. Mr Pratt said the group had “taken the preventative step of restricting access to our website and social media channels in order to protect ourselves and our families from the expected response to our situation”.

“We expect that in speaking up about this that we and those connected to us will be attacked and intimidated, and subject to the same vilification in both mainstream and social media that has been meted out to those who have stuck their head above the parapet on same-sex marriage, despite this not being the purpose of our adverts,” he said.

“To be clear, it was and is not our intention to enter this debate at this time through these advertisements. And what, you might ask, is in these ‘political’ adverts? They feature a father singing a lullaby to his baby. It is that simple.”

Despite the ad’s lack of political content, gay news website Pink News has accused Dads4Kids of “years of aggressive lobbying against LGBT rights”, saying it had “taken its website offline in an apparent bid to conceal itself from scrutiny”.

The move sparked criticism from the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ camps, with former Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Liberal MP Tim Wilson both slamming the determination.

“This Father’s Day ad has been stopped from airing on TV because it’s too ‘political’,” Liberal MP Michael Sukkar wrote on Facebook. “It’s a scary world where the role of a father can be outlawed. What next?”

Nationals MP George Christensen said the ad had “fallen victim to the suppression of free speech that goes along with changing the definition of marriage”.

“So will it be too political to say the word father if same sex marriage is made legal? Will the terms husband and wife be done away with and replaced with the bland politically correct term partner?”

On Saturday, FreeTV hit back, claiming reports that it had “blocked or banned” the ad were incorrect. “The advertiser was requested, but declined, to add an identification tag to the commercial to comply with Schedule 2 of the Broadcasting Services Act,” the statement said.

“The Broadcasting Services Act requires broadcasters to ensure [that] commercials that contain ‘political matter’ identify the body responsible for the commercial, including the speakers in the commercial.

“Political matter is defined as ‘any matter that appears to comment on, encourage participation in or attempt to influence a certain outcome within a political process’.

“Recent decisions of the [Australian Communications and Media Authority] require broadcasters to consider the content of websites referred to in the commercial when deciding whether a commercial contains political matter.”


Rise of antifa movement points to activist left’s moral decay

An aggressive Leftist comedian tells us much about the hate-filled Left generally

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.


The Village School in Croydon North sparks controversy with Donald Trump parody production

A PRIMARY school has come under fire for a politically-charged play that converts a theatre classic into a production about US president Donald Trump, a wall and taco-making immigrants.

The play — a take on Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado — has sparked complaints to the Village School in Croydon North.

The Herald Sun understands parents have pulled their children from the production and the school altogether.

Principal Tanya Heine rewrote the opera classic to include a malevolent King Trumpet whose “attitude’s queer and quaint, his edicts will make you faint”.

It includes Elsewhegians, who wear ponchos and sombreros, work all day for little pay and sing about stimulating the economy by selling tacos.

They plot to blow up a wall that separates their country from the land of Trump Dee Doo.

The script, seen by the Herald Sun, also references America’s gun crime, a security guard named Agent Orange and characters Abbot Me-Too and Trumble-Dum.

A Poor Patrol roams the streets and threatens Elsewhegians that “if you don’t (work faster) I’ll use my blaster”.

One concerned parent said the whole-school play was completely inappropriate for children as young as five.

“It has crossed a few lines but the principal is not backing down,” the parent said.

“There’s even been talk of painting the Trump Dee Dooians — the Americans — in orange face paint.

“If we were doing Obama characters we wouldn’t do black face.”

The play ends with the bomb plot thwarted and the Trump Dee Dooians won over with taco diplomacy.

“For the tacos are very yum yum, our anger we’ll bury and all will be merry,” they sing.

Ms Heine said she altered the original play because it was no longer politically correct and risked offending Japanese culture.

She claimed no “real cultures” were represented in the production.

“Our play this year is a lighthearted adaptation of Gilbert and Sullivan, which includes contemporary references that are not in any way political,” she said.

“Anyone who sees the play will agree.

“The play is not about Donald Trump, it is about the Mikado and I have just named the characters so they have a contemporary reference.”

But Dr Kevin Donnelly, from the Australian Catholic University, said the play appeared unsuitable for primary school.

“Young children don’t have the intellectual ability to follow these arguments and debates,” he said.

“I wouldn’t be dealing with controversial political issues where there are differing opinions in primary school.

“The danger is that, unless its done in a balance and fair way, it comes across as biased and ideological.”


The roaring 'silence'

The notion of a “Great Australian Silence” about Australian history and the treatment of Indigenous people might have been accurate when anthropologist W.E.H. Stanner coined the phrase in the 1960s. But in no way does it ring true with regards to current attitudes to Indigenous issues and awareness of the realities of our history. However, this hasn’t stopped ABC Indigenous editor Stan Grant from seizing on the American debate about removing Civil War statues to call for an end to what he claims is our own “great silence” about the inaccuracies in our understanding of Indigenous history. In an analysis published on the ABC News website, ‘America tears down its racist history, we ignore ours’, Grant argued that what Stanner described as “the cult of forgetting practiced on a national scale” persists today as “we find it all too easy to avoid” the racist legacies of Australia’s past.

You cannot write seriously about a silence when it is rare for a public gathering nowadays not to feature a ritual Welcome to Country acknowledgement of the traditional owners of these lands. The decision by a second Melbourne council to opt out of Australia Day also clearly shows there is no silence or avoidance of the subject. Melbourne’s inner north Darebin Council has followed the City of Yarra Council  in voting to move its citizenship ceremonies to a different more ‘“inclusive” date, because “January 26 is indelibly tied to dispossession and subsequent oppression of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.” The growing support among both indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians for the push to ‘change the date’ of Australia Day shows that Australians are indeed “grappling” with our history, and are anything but apathetic and oblivious to the tragedies of the history of ‘invasion’.

Nevertheless, Grant argues that we remain blind to our history because of supposed fictions such as the inscription on the Captain Cook statue in Sydney’s Hyde Park that credits Cook for discovering Australia. But as Keith Windschuttle has correctly pointed out, this example of so-called historical ‘inaccuracies’ is wrong on the facts. Australia’s existence as a continent was not known until the arrival of Europeans possessing the technological ability to map it. This is not the racist mythology of a ‘white’ nation: it is a cartographical and historical reality.

But this latest outbreak of in the history wars is about bigger issues than debating who did and didn’t discover Australia. There has been a long running campaign by Indigenous activists to use the nation’s history to claim the high moral ground in contemporary policy debates about indigenous disadvantage.  Grant’s 2015 book, Talking to My Country claimed that Indigenous Australians still suffer from gross under-privilege and appalling gaps in social outcomes because we have yet to address historic wrongs.

According to Grant, Australians, are yet to honestly confront the racist realities of dispossession and oppression from the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788 that robbed indigenous Australians of their traditional lands and smashed their traditional culture. Yet the book’s statement that non-Indigenous “Australians know so little about what has happened here” and tell themselves a different story about its darkest parts, is impossible to accept, given the broad community support for the High Court’s Native Title decisions, the Reconciliation movement, and, in recent times, for constitutional Recognition.

Not only have the truths of our history long been owned up to, but so also have earnest and extended efforts been undertaken to account for the historical record. Since at least the 1970s, the major thrust of indigenous policy has been focused on righting the historic wrongs of imperial dispossession and colonial oppression. First by granting Land Rights to Aboriginal peoples, and second through the policy of Aboriginal Self-Determination, which was specifically intended to allow Aborigines to return to live traditional lives and practice traditional culture ‘on country’.

Grant’s take on the nation’s history not only gets the recent history of Indigenous affairs wrong; his claim that the unaddressed racist legacies of our history remain the root cause of indigenous disadvantage is also terribly flawed and misguided. In reality, the real causes of the worst Indigenous deprivation in modern Australia are the long-running and well-meaning, but ultimately failed efforts that have been made to address the legacies of racism, imperialism and colonialism. The well-known and shameful social problems and dysfunction that blights remote ‘homeland’ Indigenous communities are a product of the ‘separatist’ policies of self-determination. They are not a product of the nation doing too little to address history’s sins, as Grant claims, but a product of the nation having tried and failed — disastrously — to make amends for history.

It is ironic that Grant is drawing attention to the ultimate ‘symbolic’ issue in indigenous affairs – the future of statues honouring explorers, governors and settlers – at a time when the Western Australian coroner is conducting an inquiry into the suicides of 13 young Aboriginal people (including five children aged between 10 and 13) in remote towns and communities in the Kimberley. If it stopped abused and neglected Aboriginal kids from killing themselves, I would tear down every statue of Captain Cook in the country. But this wouldn’t make any difference. The intractable disadvantage, dysfunction and despair in Indigenous communities like the Kimberley is not a product of Australia’s history of colonialism, but of the ‘anti-colonial’ Indigenous policies that have prevailed for past 40 years.

If we want to ponder the silences in our history, and promote a national debate about the inaccuracies in our history, we should start here. We should foster greater historical understanding of how the Indigenous policies designed with the best of intentions to make up for our history have ultimately made life worse for those Indigenous Australians who suffer appalling living conditions and tragically short, brutal, and nasty lives in rural and remote regions.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

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