Masked gangs

Last week we had the misfortune to see a gang of thugs beat up a little queer in Portland, Ore. The victim, Andy Ngo, is a conservative journalist; the thugs, Antifa are ostensibly anti-fascist. 

Kerry Knudsen

But they aren’t anti-fascist, after all, are they? If they were, they would say so. Instead, they are Auntie Fuh. 

They are also cowards. There is something about a coward that has, throughout all history and all cultures, caused nausea in moral people. The Auntie Fuh-ers wear masks to hide their identities, use weapons against unarmed targets, prefer conflict on a 12-to-one ratio and refuse to account for their actions. There is no question that Ngo is 10 times the man that any one or combination of them is. 


In order to know a real anti-fascist, one would need to know what a real fascist is. That is not difficult. Throughout the rise of Nazism in the 1930s, the strong arm of the party was the Brown Shirts. These were people who either felt the world was unfair or said they did, and their stock-in-trade was to break up any show of free expression or peaceable assembly by any political party other than their own. They were known for wearing masks, using weapons against unarmed targets, preferring conflict on a 12-to-one ratio and refusing to account for their actions.  

For what it’s worth, they recruited heavily from the labour unions. This is significant because their prospective enemies were the old, established, monied classes, including the professional military – the bourgeois. The Brown Shirts were the self-professed progressives of the day, and the older classes were the conservatives. 

The conservatives of the time were sometimes fearful, sometimes bemused by the Brown Shirts, most of them thinking they would simply go away. But they did not. Not to oversimplify, but in a point of history very little taught in school, the Brown Shirts and Hitler in one fell swoop turned Germany from a democracy to a dictatorship overnight. 

Actually, three nights. The Night of the Long Knives, as it came to be known, or Operation Kolibri (Hummingbird), saw Hitler’s forces set out and massacre many hundreds of his highest profile detractors, including long-time ally Ernst Rohm. The numbers are not known, but estimates run into the thousands. Men were shot at dinner, at the theatre and at their desks. It was no secret, and anybody left alive after the purge knew one thing for certain: you can disagree with Hitler if you like, but the cost will be terminal and without process or appeal. Progressives expect to be taken seriously. 

My personal favourite anti-fascist was a little Lutheran preacher named Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Bonhoeffer was the son of Germany’s most preeminent psychiatrist at the time, and was truly born to the purple. He positively reeked of entitlement. He was also nauseated by Hitler and his fascists, and thought deeply on the ramifications for a devout Christian taking up arms against evil. Bonhoeffer answered his question for himself, and became a co-conspirator in several plans to assassinate Hitler, even though he came under Gestapo suspicion early in the war, was imprisoned and spent all of WWII incarcerated.  

In the end, Hitler came to believe that Bonhoeffer’s group was responsible for the downfall of the Third Reich and on Hitler’s orders, Bonhoeffer was garroted, naked and alone on a train platform at dawn, April 9, 1945, only three weeks before one of the world’s most nauseating cowards, Adolf Hitler, cried himself to death. Bonhoeffer was one man, no weapons, no allies and standing fully and unapologetically for his own actions. 

Is a picture starting to emerge? 

I would hate to imply that Auntie Fuh-ers are liars and fascists in addition to their cowardice, but it’s sort of inescapable, is it not? It’s not like they are similar to fascists or resemble fascists; they ARE fascistsand their stock-in-trade is labeling innocent people as fascists. 


Yet we let them blather on. What Bonhoeffer saw was the deterioration of the legal system of Germany, the seeding of discontent based on false claims of inequality and unfairness and the justification of using force against identifiable target groups. It started with conservatives, but, as Bonhoeffer’s friend, mentor and fellow German Lutheran pastor, Martin Niemöller, said, “First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me. 

There is much to be learned about the rise of fascism from pre-war insiders in Germany, and I highly recommend the Bonhoeffer biography Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas. 

Auntie Fuh and all its familiars are on a tear across all of western civilization. I think it’s clear they have no intention of slowing down, and we will either react decisively or pay the price. 

Somebody has to say this. Our fantasy of diversity and multiculturalism is failed. It cannot work. We need one culture with one set of laws for one people. That one culture needs have NOTHING to do with skin colour, sexual orientation, religion or even politics. It must have EVERYTHING to do with one Law, one economy, one educational system, all directed toward discipline, accuracy, truth and accountability. If a law is a law, it has to be enforceable, and it has to have consequences. There is no law that equates beating up gay Asian photographers to free expression or free assembly. Consequences are a form of economy, and if the costs of hurting people get high enough, it will stop. 

It seems we have lost track of reality. Take justice, for example. Justice does not exist for the perpetrator, and justice does not exist for the victim. Justice is for society. Irrespective of how little some of us want to see others bear the full consequences of their actions, there is something noble about just desserts. There is nothing noble about bed-wetting, mask-wearing, weapon-wielding gangs of criminals. There is even less noble about letting them get away with it. 


Last month’s e-letter, Fathers’ Day, drew plenty of comments:

Roberta Bianchi said: That was the craziest article I have ever read. This is an industry magazine, right?
I know plenty of happy dads who are either happily married and happily divorced. Women are not out to keep their kids’ away from their fathers. This was such a woman hating article, and I can’t believe this man is on staff, and allowed to publish this.
I will unsubscribe from this publishing from now on.

Kerry Knudsen replied:

Hi, Roberta,

I think the truth is that there are different perspectives. I hope you perceived that you and I agree there are plenty of happy dads who are happily married or happily divorced. My perspective is more directed toward the kids. It is more rare to find kids that are happy their parents divorced.

For what it’s worth, I am certain that domestic problems are among the most frequent and difficult issues personnel departments have facing them, and those problems seem to be eternally unresolved. If not, I’d like to know more.

I continue to be perplexed at the numbers of people that want people dissolved or fired, simply because they don’t agree with some utterance or other. I have never done that, so cannot relate. People even want other people’s businesses barred, banned or boycotted because of a religious or political position. Here in Canada, we are guaranteed both freedom of religion and freedom of speech, both of which seem to indicate we should discuss and, if necessary, debate. It has been my hope that this area could be used for that debate.

Out of curiosity, do you think there is a Tender Years Doctrine in Canada? If so, do you think it affects visitation? I am having a hard time picking out exactly what you object to, and would like to hear more.  —kk

Ontario Tile said: That is the craziest article! I can’t believe this is published in an industry magazine. You are a woman hater and hate spreader.
I don’t know how you are allowed to stay on staff.
Those were the most ridiculous statements!
I think your own mother would be embarrassed by your statements.

Kerry Knudsen replied:

Hi, I apologize for the lateness of this response, but I took Lee Ann to see Billy Elliot in Stratford and your note got lost. I did, however, show her before we left, since it’s about woman hating. She remarked on how it’s strange that haters are always first to call other people haters. Not sure it applies in this case, since we have never exchanged ideas, but that’s what she said.

It is no puzzle how I stay on staff. I own the company. It is interesting to me how few magazines are left that reflect the independent work of a real person. Even the biggest names in media today are only employees and are subject to firing and bullying by special interests and advertisers. In fact, most trade magazine editors today are nothing more than stenographers for the top three advertisers.

Thanks for thinking of Mom. She has been gone for a long time, but I think of her every day. You may have a different take, but my opinion is that she would say something very similar to Lee Ann.

In my view, the column was an attempt to recognize that not all fathers have an easy go of it, and to provide some support and sources. I would be happy to hear your further views.

Have a great day. —kk

Phil Stewart said: Kerry. Just cause you and your friends are in a bad place…….Let’s not try to tell the whole world about your trials, tribulations, bad news bear stories!!!

Personally I love Father’s Day and share constantly with my 3 grown up children , their spouses and 6 unbelievable grand children between the ages of 3 and 12.

By the way, we are usually 14 for dinner Sunday nights.

Your slant is warped. Maybe put a smile on your face and feel the world and its beauty!!

Frankly I am astonished that the editor would allow this to be printed.

Kindly remove me from your email list

Phil Stewart
House of Broadloom Limited
Since 1966
Sudbury, ON

Kerry Knudsen replied:

Hi, Phil, Happy to remove you from the list, as you requested, but sorry to see you go, especially without reasoning out issues.

The reason the editor allowed this to be printed is because I would fire his ass if he didn’t. This comes from me owing the company.

I think your supposition that I come from a “bad place” is a bit presumptuous. Working for the welfare system had its downside, I guess, but it was a real and valid window into the lives of people that are less fortunate. I have also made a practice over the years of visiting men in prisons, both in Canada and in the U.S. One thing about inmates – they have already been deemed guilty, so they are not trying to cover up or defend. Many take responsibility for their situation, and this is especially true of men with children.

I own a nice little publishing company and the back property line of my home is the Credit River. I have a wife that loves me, and our Sunday dinner typically only hits six – me, Lee Ann, my daughter and her husband and their two kids, neither of which sees me in a bad place. My son and his family live in the States, but when they’re here the table rises to 11.

Unfortunately, trials, tribulations and bad-news stories are part of everybody’s reality – especially those of my readers that hire workers from the existing labour pool. Not to reflect on you or others, but I would consider myself smug to ignore those people and tell them to fend for themselves. In my judgment, it was high time that somebody took up a pen in defence of young, voiceless fathers.

I would be happy to hear a counterpoint, and would consider publishing one as a letter to the editor (who still has his job) in our print magazine.

Best,  —kk

Harvey Penner said: Kerry: I have always looked forward to your columns as they are so relevant to real life. This one hit me in the “feels”, as I too have been there done that. I am happy to say that you are absolutely correct in what you say about the whole divorce scenario. You must have had a front row seat on my life 25 years ago. I have just had a 22 year anniversary with a great gal, and life is what you make of it. Best form of revenge is to live successfully, and I am not talking money here.
Thank you for writing this, I am going to keep it handy.

Harvey Penner
Yorkton, Saskatchewan

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  1. Kerry; ..I always look forward to your articles …..they are very enriching…..there will always be a naysayer in everything we do ..the ying and yang of everyday life…..and as my mother use to say…everybody is entitled to their own opinion……it would be a sad world if we did not have critics….I like to think that I have the right to listen to all versions of a particular story then I have the privilege of forming my very own opinion….Keep up the good work !……Regards, Scott.

  2. I didn’t get through the whole editorial. Sorry. At work, but I am in partial agreement with you. The problem really is we are becoming polarized like the states. When we stop listening to the other side and not also critically thing about what my side is suggesting out team does nothing but trouble will occur.

    So your pieces starts off just pointing out the radicals lefties. This furthers the divide. The violence/agressiviness is it not also a by product of the “government/police/military” using their macho aggressiveness in previous engagements that is ALSO responsible for creating the Antifa and then wing nuts that if further. Just like the right in the states.

    I would recommend pointing out both sides of the story if we want to calmly work toward coming together or we can insight like Trump or like the left demonising him.

    I do like that you talk politics and not afraid to. Its worrying the loss of news and diversity of opinion.

  3. Shelley Campbell says

    What?! Scheming women and little queers??? . I am shocked and dismayed that in civilized society your “utterances” (as you’ve labeled them) have made it all the way to the printed page. You have a right to your opinion, but to use a trade magazine as your soapbox? We are owners of flooring stores in the west and we have circulated your past two editorials among our network, all of whom are gobsmacked. Your advertisers will be made aware the industry finds your magazine “out of scope” and that their advertising dollars would be better spent elsewhere. We are their clientele, not you.
    Anywhere else you would be fired very quickly for these “drunken uncle” ramblings if you didn’t own the publication.

    • Hi, Shelley,

      I am sincerely happy that you took the time to write. There are very few publications left that care what their readers say, but we take it seriously and we always post verified responses, good or bad. To be fair, we very rarely get unapproving comments, and this one qualifies as the “most” in terms of its range and depth, and it deserves attention.

      First, using magazines as a soapbox. If you check the history of magazines, you will find that is exactly what they are for. Recently, independent ownership of magazines has faded, being replaced by corporate amalgamators that care nothing about the audience or the information, as long as it’s paid. This has led to such monstrosities as most of the remaining magazines in North America, where every inch of editorial is to, by, for or about a major advertiser or potential advertiser, and the editors are nothing but stenographers for the accounting department. This has led to public disdain for the media (well-deserved, I must say) and the demise of publications that cannot keep up the brown-nosing.

      A magazine with nothing but advertiser-approved content is not a magazine, by definition, but a catalog, and the majority of contemporary magazines would not pass a review of normal postal requirements regarding independent content. You can verify this by looking up the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards and Canada Post’s regulations.

      Of course, it is not possible to create independent content that engages people without saying something engaging, so we supply important stories about such business matters as labour, safety, environment, costs of compliance, international trade, economics, etc. We also supply a comment section that we see as a virtual water cooler – a place to chat about current matters from sports to law enforcement to politics to culture.

      Our objective is not to convince people to think the way we do, as is so common with advertiser-controlled content. We simply have a place where people can either come or not come, read or not read, comment or not comment.

      I am pleased that, despite your displeasure, you have decided to return at least twice and share the “drunken uncle ramblings” with your network. This proves that our efforts are being read. More importantly, there is a publication metric called pass-along, which some publishers use unethically to enhance the perceived reach of their magazines. The way it works is that the publisher may have 10,000 audited recipients, but then they say that each recipient passes along his or her copy to X-number of others, so maybe they pass along to two people, and the claimed circulation expands from 10,000 to 30,000. Since you have shared your copy with a whole network, we would like to know how many that means. If it is, for example, 20, then it’s reasonable to assume that others in the industry have done the same and our humble circulation of 8,000 may actually be closer to a quarter-million.

      But I jest. Of more serious note is that you say you are taking action to ensure that my wife will lose her livelihood, and my daughter and granddaughters will lose their inheritance, all because of the way you say you perceive me. Yet it is ironic that your two main areas of outrage are in what you perceived as articles on “scheming women” and cowards that hide their identity to try and kill people anonymously. I say “ironic” because the e-address you use is not on any of our databases and a Google search does not reveal any hits. You don’t exist. Therefore, while I am trying to craft a serious response to a serious objection from a real reader, you may really be a 24-year-old, pot-addled, antifa general living with your partner in your mother’s basement, irked at the world because you borrowed money and claimed you were in school. Of course, I am not saying that, just pointing out how identifying oneself affects the way others perceive you. My name, address and phone number are on everything I write.

      Actually, we have a policy of not publishing comments in which the author is running a scam. I am making an exception in this case because your position is worth illuminating, and it should reassure our advertisers that our real readers read of every issue, print or digital, and take our care of their industry and success very seriously.

      I invite you to respond with any additions or corrections you may feel are warranted.

      At minimum, I am pleased to note that you did not ask to unsubscribe.

      Of critical importance, you will note from the other responses that others in the community find the commentary useful, entertaining or both. This is the essence of independent discourse. Each side should have an opportunity to read or not, respond or not, without the threat of devastation. Further, even as we speak, Nike is learning the effects of a backlash against its decision to make the sale of shoes a political endeavour.

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