The Violence against Women Industry

The Violence against Women Industry 

by Ilana Mercer

Speaking recently to Fox News’ Arthel Neville, Andrew Napolitano repeated the feminist canards about sexual assault against women being an under-reported, ever-present crime in American society.

The violence-against-women industry in North America—you know, the one-in-four-women-are-assaulted rot—is propped up by the sub-science or pseudoscience of violence-against-women statistics.

In particular, violence-against-women surveys are based on inflated numbers nobody questions; numbers the advocates bandy about and the politicians rely on when drafting policy and plumping for resources.

I’m thinking of the original 1993 StatsCan Violence Against Women survey, and its preposterous statistical offshoots, which, in turn, were spinoffs of the American violence-against-women statistical sisterhood. Canada follows America’s lead.

Anyone who’s studied research methodology at a good school (check) knows that research is shaped by the researcher’s hypothesis. Duly, the corpus of violence-against-women statistics reflects an exclusive ideological focus on female victimization. It thus consists of single sex surveys—never two sex surveys—with no input from men, to the exclusion of violence females incur from other females, or acts of violence women commit against the man in the relationship.

Developed at the height of the “war against women” moral panic, these foundational questionnaires are the product of a collaboration with advocacy groups and feminist stakeholders, and are thus fraught with problems of unrepresentative samples, lack of corroboration, a reliance on anecdotes, a use of over inclusive survey questions and, to charitably understate the problem, the broadest definition of assault. There’s a lot that goes into skewing data.

The “statistical myths” that pervade the rape-is-rampant claims, states libertarian feminist Wendy McElroy, start with “deeply biased researchers,” who proceed invariably from a “false premise or assumption,” who then use biased and small samples whose selection, in turn, is further slanted by paying participants.

Surveys are, of course, inherently dodgy. The general pitfalls of survey methodology, such as asking leading questions, are legion.

In the realm of “never admit there is sound contradicting evidence,” this tidbit from McElroy is particularly interesting:

“The opening sentence of the [University of North Dakota] ‘study’ states that, ‘Federal data estimate that about one in five women becomes the victim of sexual assault while in college, most of which is committed by assailants known to the victim’ (National Center for Injury Prevention and Control 2012). [Yet] the 1-in-5 figure has been exhaustively debunked for many months and should be rendered unresurrectable by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) report (12/14) that found the actual rate of rape to be 0.61 percent per year – or 6.1 per 1,000 students.”

Shoring-up the promiscuous statistics yielded in the assorted surveys, moreover, is a reliance on prevalence figures. When claims-makers say a third of all women have been assaulted in their lifetime, they refer to the prevalence of assault over a lifetime, instead of the incidence of assault over, say, a 12-month period, that being approximately 3 percent.

Indeed, lifetime rates inflate outcomes considerably and make for good copy. One wonders, however, what existential meaning can be attached to a report that once in an entire lifetime someone a woman knew touched her knee without consent? There must be, on the other hand, some existential significance to the fact that women continue to live longer than men, that many more young men commit suicide, are more likely to be unemployed and less likely to get another job, and that men are infinitely more likely to suffer potentially life-destroying industrial accidents.

On a lighter note: one of the “intellectual” cornerstones of the violence-against-women industry is the faulty premise of a continuum of violence along which all male actions must be construed. Certainly, the gender feminist sees sexual innuendo as a form of violence against women, which is why she’ll get so exercised over the occasional caustic comment (or off-color joke) uttered by an otherwise mild-mannered man.

President Trump, of course, is no mild-mannered man. So, when he alluded to his svelte wife’s preference for salads—he was guilty of big-time sexism. (Or, something.) And you never know where a joke can go.

Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian column since 1999. She is the author of “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa” (2011) & “The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed” (June, 2016). She’s on Twitter, Facebook,Gab & YouTube

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La Traviata, 2019

Ermonela Jaho as Violetta, photo by Catherine Ashmore

La Traviata, 2019

La Traviata, opera in three acts, music by Giuseppe Verdi, libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, after La dame aux camélias by Alexander Dumas (fils), conducted by Antonello Manacorda, directed by Richard Eyre, Royal Opera, 14th January 2019, reviewed by LESLIE JONES

The gamin (street urchin), all alone in that “teeming desert called Paris”, depicted on the opening curtain of this production, is presumably la petite Plessis. Courtesan Marie Duplessis was the inspiration for the character Marguerite Gautier, in La dame aux camélias, by Alexander Dumas (fils). As Professor René Weis records, Duplessis eventually married Edouard, Vicomte de Perregaux, the precursor of the character Alfredo Germont. We were reminded of Michael White’s description of Arianna Stassinopoulous, to wit, “the most upwardly mobile Greek since Icarus”.

In this 16th revival, no less, of Richard Eyre’s production, first seen in 1994, Violetta is played by Albanian born soprano Ermonela Jaho. A svelte and striking figure, Ms Jaho has a commanding stage presence and looks perfect in the part. She confidently follows in the footsteps of previous distinguished performers of this demanding role. Her rendition of the poignant aria Dite alla giovine received warm applause. Jaho and soprano Charles Castronovo, as Alfredo Germont, make a handsome couple. But baritone Igor Golovatenko (Giorgio Germont) in his Royal Opera debut, was underwhelming, especially in the aria Di Provenza, usually a highlight of La Traviata. Continue reading

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ENDNOTES, January 2019

ENDNOTES, January 2019

In this edition: Revive– from Chandos Records; George Antheil’s American SymphonyNostalgia from Wim Henderickx, reviewed by STUART MILLSON

What better way to begin our 2019 musical journey than with a lively and completely refreshing compilation from Chandos of baroque and Elizabethan-era classics – Handel’s Water Music; Byrd, Pavan and Gigue; Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No. 3– arranged for saxophone quartet. The Ferrio Saxophone Quartet – Huw Wiggin, Ellie McMurray, Jose Banuls and Shevaughan Beere, is an ensemble of young players and has already undertaken critically-acclaimed international tours, despite the group only having been formed three years ago. On their new recording, Revive, they bring a glorious lightness of tone and touch to a well-chosen programme from the 17th and 18th-centuries; the works all transcribed for the saxophone by Iain Farrington, who comments in the CD booklet:

“Baroque music lends itself particularly well to small ensembles… the arrangements maintaining the essential material of the music. Transferred to the pure and haunting sound of  saxophones, the music comes to possess an added beauty (perhaps melancholy?)”

Handel’s Sarabande, from his 1733 D minor suite, first published in Amsterdam, is heard with exactly the impression which Mr. Farrington has envisaged, as is the William Byrd arrangement, taken from that extensive and hallowed collection of early English music, The Fitzwilliam Virginal Book. Although, perhaps we should also use the word – breathtaking – as it is remarkable that such a detailed three-movement work as Bach’s Third Brandenburg Concerto– usually heard on violins, violas, and basso continuo – now radiates its beauty and invention through four saxophones. Continue reading

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When the Fun Stops, Stop

Eva-Maria Westbroek as Liza, photo by Catherine Ashmore

When the Fun Stops, Stop

The Queen of Spades, opera in three acts, music by Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky, libretto by Modest and Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky, after Pushkin’s novella Pikovaya Dama, conducted by Antonio Pappano, directed by Stefan Herheim, Royal Opera, Sunday 13th January 2019, reviewed by LESLIE JONES

The Queen of Spades pays homage to Mozart, who as dramaturge Alexander Meier-Dörzenbach reminds us, was Tchaikovsky’s favourite composer (“Yearning Hearts in a Bird Cage”, Official Programme). There are several direct quotations from Mozart’s oeuvre in the opera. Moreover, Tchaikovsky once confided to his patroness Madame von Meck that “…as a child of my century, inwardly confused and morally frail, I am drawn to him [Mozart] for his healthy lust for life and on account of the purity of a nature that is not poisoned by brooding: he comforts and calms me”.

As for brooding, there is more than enough in Modest and Pyotr Il’yich’s libretto, notably from Gherman, played by tenor Alexandrs Antonenko, who tells us that “…all around is happiness, But not in my stricken heart”. And also from Liza, “…weary and worn out with suffering!” Like Tchaikovsky, Liza was evidently not cut out for marriage. Indeed, both characters are arguably projections of the composer himself. For according to Freud, compulsive gambling is a form of self-punishment, a “repetition of the compulsion to masturbate” (Sigmund Freud, “Dostoyevsky and Parricide“, 1928). Continue reading

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Vietnam: An Epic Tragedy

Captured French soldiers from Dien Bien Phu, escorted by Vietnamese troops, walk to a prisoner-of-war camp

Vietnam: An Epic Tragedy

Max Hastings, Vietnam: An Epic Tragedy 1945-1975, William Collins, London, 2018,  xix-xxx + pp. 1-652, Illustrations, Maps, Glossary, Bibliography and Index, ISBN 978-0-00-813298-9, reviewed by Frank Ellis

This thirty-year story of slaughter and misery begins with the French attempt to reimpose colonial rule after World War II. To this end, the French devoted much blood and treasure, theirs to begin with, and then American, losing some 93,000 soldiers. French resources would have been much better spent on rebuilding France, above all psychologically, after the war, rather than aspiring to play the role of some great imperial power, and trying to atone for the collapse of 1940. A point not picked up by Hastings is that the reasserted French claim to its colonies was a flagrant violation of the Atlantic Charter (1941) which guaranteed nations the right to choose their own government. Why should the Vietnamese, liberated from Japanese occupation, have to submit to the re-imposition of French colonial rule?

By arming the Vietnamese in the belief that they would fight the Japanese, the British and Americans also helped to instil the idea of national independence and armed struggle to achieve it. It did not occur to them, however, that these weapons would be used to fight the French. Such unintended consequences were repeated in Afghanistan in the 1980s. The CIA ensured that a liberal supply of weapons, including highly effective anti-aircraft missiles, was delivered to the mujahedeen, with disastrous consequences after the Soviet withdrawal. One lesson here is that when the interests that brought the supplier and recipient of weapons together in a common cause start to diverge, you cannot recall the weapons. Today’s ally in a common cause is potentially tomorrow’s enemy. Continue reading

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Death by Illegal Alien

Geraldo Rivera

Death by Illegal Alien

Ilana Mercer opines

The topic: American lives snuffed out by illegal aliens. The forum: the ubiquitous Fox News, dual-perspective panel that never fails to dim debate.

Arguing in favor of letting potential killers come: Geraldo Rivera, a former daytime talk-show, bosom buddy of Sean Hannity, and a permanent fixture on Fox. The Rivera “argument”: that some criminal aliens kill is incidental and immaterial to their status as uninvited, unvetted interlopers.  

Here are some of the stories Geraldo dismisses as sensationalized:

The latest in a string of bereaved parents to appear on TV are the parents of young Pierce Corcoran, 22, killed by Franco Cambrany Francisco-Eduardo (44), recipient of the U.S. Professional Drunk-Driver Immigration Visa. And in 2012, a man named Ramon Hernandez took the tiniest of victims. Dimitri Smith, of blessed memory, was killed in-utero by this recipient of the same visa. The deceased preemie was shown on CNN, in 2012, being held for the last time by young mother Aileen Smith, before being laid to rest. Continue reading

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Cuneiform Inscriptions

Darius the Great

Cuneiform Inscriptions

Old Babylonian Texts in the Schoyen Collection: Part One: Selected Letters by A.R. George, Pp. 328: xiii, 192 (221 plates), CDL Press 2018, $99.95

Literary Notes by Darrell Sutton

Two hundred years ago expeditions were the primary pathway to recovering antiquities because the rudimentary phase of the science of excavation persisted until the latter part of the 19thcentury. Explorers, foreign-service workers and missionaries supplied museums, university scholars and independent epigraphists with the raw material objects (i.e. inscriptions, sculptures, pottery) that were crucial to their material researches. At various times, curators and other individuals made the items available for study. The public took interest. Antiquarian pursuits intensified. George F. Grotefend’s (1775-1853) efforts to resolve the mysteries of Old Persian paved the way for studious men soon after to comprehend Assyrian and Babylonian script.

Because of Grotefend, King Darius was able to speak to future generations about the greatness of his reign through The Kerman Inscription, a tetra-angular pyramid of dark stone that has three inscriptions – each one etched on a different side: one in Persian, one in Elamitic and another in Babylonian.

Contemporary cuneiformists also owe a great debt to Edward Hincks (1792-1866), William H.F. Talbot (1800-1877), Henry C. Rawlinson (1810-1895) and Jules Oppert (1825-1905) for their labors in the decipherment of the writings of Mesopotamia. They made impenetrable worlds accessible and understandable. Continue reading

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Progressive Crazies

Progressive Crazies

Muslim men murder two European women backpacking across a Morocco mountain range, and right away pundits holler, “ISIS, jihad, extremism, terrorism.”

Likewise misleading are the leads from the intelligence authorities, who seem to confirm that, but for “ISIS, jihad, extremism, terrorism” – it would be perfectly safe to adopt the improvident habit embraced by the deceased and many young ladies like them:

Wander happily all over the world in the belief that the world is their oyster.

To be sure, jihad was likely part of the predatory behavior involved in the decapitation of the two young Scandinavian lovelies, in Morocco.

But while potent, jihad – and the Brownie points accrued for offing infidels – is not the main incentive in operation here. Freud’s Pleasure Principle is – that atavistic, sexual pleasure derived by predatory males, when stalking and subduing a woman. You adopt the argument of feminism when you willfully ignore sex, gender and the man-woman disparities in crimes involving these young, attractive women. Continue reading

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Cymbalta dilated pupils side effects

President Martin Vizcarra, con el primer Consejo de Ministros

No Shining Path

by Bill Hartley

In Peru, the latest accessory for a high profile police detainee is a bullet proof vest. A recent edition of El Comercio, the country’s main broadsheet newspaper, carried a front page photograph of David Cornejo Chinguel, mayor of Chiclayo, a city in the north of the country. Chinguel was flanked by two police officers, his vest bearing the word detenido. Predictably enough the mayor was being investigated for corruption which is endemic in this country among the political classes.

There is a bribery scandal brewing across the South American continent which has gone largely unreported in the British media. According to a recent Reuters report, the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht has struck a deal with Peruvian authorities to pay a multi-million dollar fine that will allow it to continue operating in the country in return for providing evidence on the officials it bribed. Odebrecht has been at the centre of Latin America’s largest graft scandal since admitting in a 2016 plea deal with US, Brazilian and Swiss authorities that it had bribed officials in a dozen countries, including $30 million distributed in Peru alone. Continue reading

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Interview with the Paleolibertarian

Artwork by Gerhard Richter

Interview with the Paleolibertarian

Big League Politics meets Ilana Mercer

BIG LEAGUE POLITICS: Being a preeminent paleolibertarian thinker today, how would you define paleolibertarianism and how does it differ from standard paleoconservatism?

ILANA MERCER: First, let’s define libertarianism. Libertarianism is concerned with the ethics of the use of force. Nothing more. This, and this alone, is the ambit of libertarian law. All libertarians must respect the non-aggression axiom. It means that libertarians don’t initiate aggression against non-aggressors, not even if it’s “for their own good,” as neoconservatives like to cast America’s recreational wars of choice. If someone claims to be a libertarianism and also supports the proxy bombing of Yemen, or supported the war in Iraq; he is not a libertarian, plain and simple.

As to paleolibertarianism, in particular, this is my take, so some will disagree. It’s how I’ve applied certain principles week-in, week-out, for almost two decades. In my definition, a paleolibertarian grasps that ordered liberty has a civilizational dimension, stripped of which the just-mentioned libertarian non-aggression principle, by which all decent people should live, won’t endure.

Ironically, paleoconservatives have no issue grasping the cultural and civilizational dimensions of ordered liberty—namely that the libertarian non-aggression principle is peculiar to the West and won’t survive once western civilization is no more. Which is why, for paleoconservatives, immigration restrictionism is a no-brainer. Continue reading

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