Thursday, April 30, 2009

US TV swearing policy 'correct'

We read:
"The US government's policy of fining broadcasters over the use of even a single swear word on live TV is justified, the Supreme Court has ruled. The "fleeting expletives" policy, introduced in 2004, was on hold after a legal challenge by TV company Fox. The Federal Communications Commission introduced the rule after Bono swore at the 2003 Golden Globes. It previously had a "one free expletive" rule.

Justice Antonin Scalia said the new policy had been "entirely rational".

Fox's legal challenge stemmed from a 2006 FCC ruling that the network had violated decency during its broadcast of the Billboard Music Awards at which celebrities had sworn.

The network, together with ABC, NBC and CBS, legally challenged the FCC policy by arguing that the decency standard was unclear and undermined free speech protections.


I can't see why the network should be punished for something someone else did during a live broadcast. Does this mean the end of live broadcasts?

South Korea: “Prophet of doom” blogger acquitted

We read:
"A South Korean court acquitted a blogger on Monday of spreading false information, in a case that triggered debate about freedom of speech in cyberspace and critics said was only launched because his economic doom postings angered authorities.

Defendant Park Dae-sung, who went by the pseudonym ‘Minerva’ after the Greek goddess of wisdom became a household name last year for his predictions of sharp falls in the won [Korean currency] and the local stock market and the collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers.”


Games must not be realistic??

We read:
"The publisher behind a video game based on one of the Iraq war's fiercest battles has pulled the plug on the title, called Six Days in Fallujah. A spokeswoman for Japanese game company Konami confirmed on Tuesday the company is no longer publishing the game, which was set to go on sale early next year.

The game, which was still in development, sought to re-create the November 2004 Fallujah battle from the perspective of a US Marine fighting against insurgents. Fallujah had been an insurgent holdout until US forces stormed it in one of the war's most intense ground battles. Six Days was developed by another company, Atomic Games, with input from more than three dozen Marines.

Before deciding not to publish the game, Konami had advertised it as a realistic shooting game "unlike any other," combining "authentic weaponry, missions and combat set against the gripping story of the US Marines on the ground."

But the game was criticised by some veterans, victims' families and others who called it inappropriate.


If the objection is that some people died in the events portrayed, I guess that's the end of Westerns and war movies.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Israeli official: Swine flu name offensive

We read:
"The outbreak of swine flu should be renamed "Mexican" influenza in deference to Muslim and Jewish sensitivities over pork, said an Israeli health official Monday. Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman said the reference to pigs is offensive to both religions and "we should call this Mexican flu and not swine flu," he told a news conference at a hospital in central Israel.

Scientists are unsure where the new swine flu virus originally emerged, though it was identifed first in the United States. They say there is nothing about the virus that makes it "Mexican" and worry such a label would be stigmatizing.


So you can't call it "swine" flu because that offends Jews and Muslims and you can't call it Mexican flu because that stigmatizes Mexicans. So what on earth can you call it? I know: "Christian flu". You can be as offensive as you like about Christians.

British "equality" law promotes inequality

The U.S. Democrats are pretty good at giving misleading names to their bills but the British are learning fast:
"Employers will be given legal powers to discriminate in favour of women and black job candidates under a controversial equality shake-up. Harriet Harman unveiled plans for firms to choose them ahead of equally-qualified white male applicants without risking being sued. Miss Harman, Labour's deputy leader, hopes to boost the proportion of female and ethnic minority staff, as well as pushing more of them into senior roles.

But the Equality Bill, which brings together nine major laws, yesterday prompted grave concern that white men could miss out unfairly on jobs. Business chiefs and opposition MPs reacted furiously to the plans, which have been described as 'socialism in one clause'. They warned it would burden firms struggling to cope with the worst recession in 60 years with more red tape and leave them open to 'costly and damaging' exployment tribunals.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Why can’t students say “guns” in school?

We read:
"Media snicker of the day: those crazy gun nuts, worried that the government is out to snatch their constitutional rights along with their AK-47s. 60 Minutes is the latest to have a chuckle, playing a commercial for a Washington, D.C.-area firearms show that that urges viewers to ‘Celebrate the Second Amendment and get your guns while you still can!’

My own hunch is that the sheer number of Americans who own guns (the low estimate is something over 40 million) will keep their Second Amendment rights off the endangered-species list for the foreseeable future. Their First Amendment rights, however, may be another matter. Those are taking a beating these days, right in the place that’s supposed to be America’s rowdiest free-speech zone: college campuses. A student who speaks up about the right to own or carry a gun stands a good chance of getting suspended or even arrested …”


Must not call nationalized healthcare nationalized healthcare

We read:
"As the Watchdog Politics Examiner, Martha Gore recently wrote a report on the President’s proposed nationalized healthcare plan, which she captioned, ‘Obama nationalized health care plans debated.’

Something called Media took utmost umbrage with Ms. Gore for having the audacity to refer to their Hero and Savior St. Obama’s plans for nationalized healthcare as nationalized healthcare and threw what is known in Texas as a hissy fit.

Their sensitivities were apparently piqued because the Christian Science Monitor, from which Ms. Gore quoted, never used the phrase ‘nationalized healthcare,’ nor did Sir Obama himself, nor did anyone else, nor is it ever politically correct to call nationalized healthcare nationalized healthcare in any case. Ms. Gore was therefore branded with ‘false reporting.’”


Monday, April 27, 2009

Fear of the truth

Leftism thrives on ignorance. The least well-informed members of society -- minorities and the poor -- are their voter base. But the Leftist elite are not stupid. They know that the policies they preach sound good but will in the end be destructive to society. Hatred of the status quo is their motivation and their policies regularly deliver destructive and impoverishing results, mostly in the form of high taxes and a myriad of rules and regulations that stop people and businesses from doing perfectly reasonable things that they want to do. "By their fruit ye shall know them".

But there is one place where maintaining the ignorance that is needed to get Democrat votes is hard: Universities and colleges. The kids there tend to have open minds and are well able to assimilate the full facts about what Leftist policies will result in. So what the kids are told has to be heavily censored -- and heavily censored it is. The faculty give very incomplete facts in what they teach and the small cadre of far-Left students also do their best to demonize conservatives. Between the Leftist students and the faculty it is almost impossible to get a conservative speaker onto campus. Even very occasional readers of Tongue Tied should recall many instances where far-Left students have violently prevented conservative speakers from giving talks on various campuses (e.g. here).

If students got to know even the simplest of historical facts their Leftist indoctrination could be seriously disrupted. What if students got to know that the full name of Adolf Hitler's political party was: "The National Socialist German Workers' Party"? That would be very dangerous knowledge indeed. Who has ever heard of a socialist workers' party that was anything but Leftist? Many students might rightly begin to doubt one of the central elements of their indoctrination: That Hitler was "Right-wing". Even the fact that Hitler led a political party would be news to many, I think. So you can see that the Left have much to fear from people gaining a knowledge of the whole truth.

The strategy of censorship is contemptible enough in the universities but it even extends to Congress itself. With the Democrats in charge there now, great efforts are made to see that speeches against Global Warmism are not made or not heard. Warmism is a huge opportunity to shackle the country with a myriad of new and impoverishing rules and regulations so the Democrat leadership just love Warmism and don't want people to know the full facts about climate.

And they showed that vividly very recently. Last Friday there was a Congressional hearing on global warming scheduled for the House Energy and Commerce committee. The Democrats had invited a "special guest" to appear so the GOP did the same. The Donk guest was Al Gore and the GOP invited Britain's Lord Monckton, an extremely knowledgeable man about climate, right down to the tiniest scientific details. He would of course have wiped the floor with Big Al. He would be able to follow up each and every one of Gore's misrepresentations with the actual scientific facts. So what did the Donks do? They refused to let Monckton appear. They were afraid of the facts that he would put before them. The truth is poison to them.

Fuller details of the censorship here. I have also put up a remedial lesson in 1930s German political history here.

Freedoms of Speech, Religion at Stake as Hate-Crimes Bill Passes House Committee

We read:
"In a post almost two years ago, I wrote about H.R. 1592, a piece of freedom-threatening hate-crimes legislation that was quietly making its way through Congress. Fortunately, after it passed the House, the Senate version of the bill (S. 1105) failed. Unfortunately, however, the legislation is back as H.R. 1913, the “Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009,” and it’s on the fast track to becoming law.

Once again being carried by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), the bill passed the House Judiciary Committee yesterday, backed by 95 co-sponsors, the vast majority of whom are Democrats.

While purportedly designed “to provide federal assistance to states, local jurisdictions and Indian tribes to prosecute hate crimes, and for other purposes,” the measure has implications far beyond race, including freedom of speech and religion.

Those implications were summed up by Rep. Mary Fallin (R-Okla.) in a short speech (see video above right) on the House floor two years ago. Below is a partial transcript of her summary:

“Violence produced by hate is already outlawed. Why would we as a nation want to divide our American citizens into various categories of ‘more worthy’ or ‘less worthy’ of whatever protection the law can give them? What happened to the great ideal this nation was founded on of equal protection under law?

“The hate-crimes bill will chill the First Amendment rights of religious groups. This hate-crimes bill will chill the First Amendment rights of religious groups, and the government will be required to prove the suspect’s thoughts as a category of the victim involved in the crime.

“Religious groups may become the subject of criminal investigations in order to determine the suspect’s religious beliefs, membership in religious organizations or past statements about person’s associated with specific categories. Religious leaders will be chilled from expressing their religious views for fear of involvement in the criminal justice system.

“This hate-crimes bill will result in unequal justice for all and the restriction of one of our ideals that has made our nation great, free speech.”


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Vets forbidden to speak of racism in the VA

We read:
"Canady's story -- allegations of racial discrimination and a claim that he was twice given an overdose of morphine by a nurse who continues to work at the hospital -- peaked the interest of a local radio reporter who, when he tried to interview Canady, was interrupted by a hospital official.

Gloria Hairston, a hospital public affairs officer, told reporter David Schultz he could not use the interview and told Canady he could not talk anymore. But when Canady insisted he would, Hairston returned with a pair of security guards and demanded Schultz turn over his recording equipment.

After a quick call to his editor back at WAMU 88.5, a local affiliate of National Public Radio, Schultz turned over the sound card to his recorder and left. It would be the next day before he got to complete his interview with Canady and two more days before he got his sound card back from the hospital.

Canady could not be reached for comment. But the hospital's strong-arm approach to halt the interview had a consequence it didn't intend -- it turned Canady's claims of racism and malpractice into a larger story and captured the interest of Paul Sullivan, a former VA project manager who monitored Gulf War, Afghanistan and Iraq War vets and who now heads up Veterans for Common Sense.

"I will tell you, under the surface there is some racism" within the VA, Sullivan told "Now, whether or not it impacts the delivery of care I don't know the answer. I wish we had an answer."


Is government preparing us for censorship?

We read:
"The idea that thought and speech are major obstacles to doing what is right isn’t new at all. As recently as the 1980s the one liberty that liberal statists could be counted on defending, at least in the United States of America, is the one spelled out in the First Amendment to the Constitution.

Alas, this was challenged some time ago by Professor Catharine A. MacKinnon of the University of Michigan school of law, in her short but prominently published book, Only Words (Harvard University Press, 1983). In it the good professor argued that words do not deserve the legal protection afforded them by the Constitution since insults and put downs, including jokes, can injure people good and hard. And such injuries should not be protected. The victims would have to pay too high a price for the fact that the law treats such injuries as ‘only words.’”


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Court to weigh free-speech issue of pit bull case

We read:
"The Supreme Court said Monday it will explore a dark corner of Americans' fascination with animals, whether the sale of videos depicting dog fights and violent deaths of small animals is protected by the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech.

The justices in the fall agreed to hear arguments in the government's appeal of a court ruling that struck down a federal law aimed at the sale of images of animal cruelty.

Lawmakers were especially interested in limiting the sale of tapes of fights between pit bulls and so-called crush videos that show women crushing to death small animals, often with their bare feet or high-heeled shoes.

The federal appeals court in Philadelphia said the law, enacted in 1999, illegally restricts speech, although it acknowledged that preventing cruelty to animals is a worthy goal.

Robert Stevens of Pittsville, Va., was convicted and sentenced to 37 months in prison for selling videos of pit bull fights. The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also reversed the conviction.


FL: Judge tosses saggy pants ordinance

Another case of the judiciary overriding the democratically expressed will of the people on the flimsiest of grounds:
"A Florida judge has tossed a town’s ordinance that made wearing pants below the waist an offense punishable with a fine. Palm Beach County Judge Laura Johnson ruled Riviera Beach’s ordinance against saggy pants — which was approved by 72 percent of city voters in a March 2008 referendum — is unconstitutional ….

Johnson ruled that wearing saggy pants — defined in the ordinance as wearing pants below the waist while exposing skin or underwear — is protected under the liberties guaranteed by the 14th Amendment, no matter how ‘tacky or distasteful’ the fashion choice may be.”


The 14th Amendement protects "privileges or immunities" of U.S. citizens. Who would have thought that saggy pants came under that? The writers of the 14th certainly did not have saggy pants in mind when they wrote it. So what would NOT be protected by the 14th? Do US citizens have the "privilege and immunity" to announce loudly in public "homosexuals are abhorrent to God"? If not, why not? I am sure Michael Marcavage would like to know.

Free speech for terrorists (but not for conservatives)

We read:
"Brandeis College in Boston has scheduled our favorite terrorist, Bill Ayers, for a speech. Brandeis is a typical liberal institution and -- apparently -- uses the term "College" loosely. And Brandeis takes its role as a bully pulpit for terrorists seriously.
"This is about freedom of educational opportunity," said Brandeis spokesman Dennis Nealon. "The university has made it clear that it is not going to bar the talk despite the controversial nature of the speaker."

What Ayers has to do with 'freedom' in any form is a mystery for anthropologists of the future to figure out, as Ayers and his wife are quite open about their Communist leanings.

Due to vocal opposition, Ayers' recent trips to speak at Naperville High School in Illinois, an indie bookstore in the same town and at Boston College have all been canceled.


No doubt the students will mount such a disruption that he will be unable to give his talk -- as happens to conservative speakers with no terrorist record such as Tom Tancredo. I'm not holding my breath waiting for it, though.

Friday, April 24, 2009

TN: Schools defend decision on “God” posters

We read:
"School officials accused of censoring religious speech on event posters at a Wilson County elementary school say they didn't order that words like "In God We Trust" be covered up before they were hung in the lobby.

After a judge found in 2006 that the Wilson County School Board wrongly promoted Christianity, the school system was faced with what it deemed a tough call: how to handle posters from a Christian parents group using Bible verses and religious phrases to promote an event.

So when the group, called Praying Parents, asked for permission to hang posters for the upcoming "See You At The Pole" prayer event last September, school officials told the group that the posters weren't acceptable. And the school board was sued, accused of violating the Constitutional rights of the group they were deemed to initially favor.

The Alliance Defense Fund, on behalf of four families, filed suit in U.S. District Court in March, claiming that the school board censored posters for a student-led prayer event. They asked a federal judge to stop the school board from dictating what words could be used on posters for future events, like the National Day of Prayer coming up in May. The signs they wanted to hang at the Mt. Juliet school in September had phrases like "In God We Trust," "God Bless America" and Bible verses. They also included a disclaimer, saying that the event was student led, not school endorsed.


Must not use facts to explain minority underachievement

We read:
"This year, Austrian economist and Loyola-New Orleans professor Walter Block was condemned by the school's diversity task force based on a second-hand report of allegedly gender-and racially-insensitive remarks he made in a speech and Q & A given at another school. Block's fighting back relentlessly.

Will the Task Force rescind their condemnation? Will the University apologize to Block? I doubt it.

And here's the reason: to use facts and logic to point to causes, besides chauvinism and bigotry in the free market, that explain wage gaps between males and females, or between blacks and whites, is often automatically interpreted as blaming females and blacks, or suggesting they are inferior. Also, university profs are generally quite egotistical (even those who serve on Diversity Task Forces), and generally will refuse to admit, to themselves or to others, that they're wrong.


LOL! Silvio defies the solemn souls again

Wotta guy! One of Italy's new politicians above.
"Silvio Berlusconi has an eye for pretty girls with a background in showbusiness and has brought some of them into parliament and even his Cabinet to brighten up politics. Even by his standards, though, the Italian Prime Minister has chosen a striking roster of candidates to give his party a new face for the European Parliament elections in June, including a Big Brother star and a Miss Italy contestant.

None has any known political experience although Angela Sozio, 36, a flame-haired former contestant of Grande Fratello, the Italian version of Big Brother, made the headlines two years ago when the paparazzi photographed her and other showgirls strolling hand-in-hand with Mr Berlusconi, 72, at Villa Certosa, his villa in Sardinia....

The future politicians also include Eleonora Gaggioli, an actress best known for her role in the popular television costume drama Elisa di Rivombosa; Camilla Ferranti, who appeared in Incantesimo, a soap opera set in a cosmetic surgery clinic, and Barbara Matera [above], who competed in the heats for the 2000 Miss Italy contest and went on to become an announcer on the state television channel Rai.


There are some pretty dumb politicians around -- Joe Biden anyone? -- so I doubt that these ladies will lower the already low standard of political debate.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

"Affirmative action" must not be admitted in Britain

People must be led to believe that blacks get there on their own merits
"The announcement of the Lions squad to tour South Africa was accompanied by a race row after a remark by former England coach Dick Best about Delon Armitage.

The black England back did not make the selection but was included in a Lions XV chosen by Best as part of the build-up coverage on satellite channel, Sky Sports News. Asked about his choice of Armitage, Best responded: "You've always got to have a coloured boy in the team."

Sky later apologised on air for the remark and said Best had thought he was off camera.

Piara Powar, the director of Kick It Out, an organisation which campaigns against racism in sport, commented: "Racial stereotyping affects us all, and for many of us it seems to affect the pattern of our lives from the day we are born until the day we die.


Britain sure is further down the path of Leftist deception and concealment than is the USA

Must not mention the word "Kaffir" in South Africa

We read:
"One of South Africa’s major kwaito hits, Kaffir, released 14 years ago and recently replayed on 5FM, has cost the station a R10000 [$1,000] fine, imposed by the broadcast watchdog.

But the DJ at the centre of the fuss has blamed the outcry on “white guilt”.

The Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) ruled this week that Arthur Mafokate’s controversial 1995 protest song has “no place” in a country where “political correctness and sensitivity need to be practised”.

The song, considered a classic, starts with the words: Kom hier, kaffer, kom hier! Hoekom het jy nie my kar skoongemaak nie. .. Bliksem! The reaction follows: Baas, don’t call me a kaffir...

The song goes on to say: I don’t come from the devil, don’t call me a kaffir, you won’t like it if I call you baboon.


"Kaffir" was once the normal word for a black in South Africa and there is no doubt that Afrikaners often used it contemptuously. But blacks these days don't seem to be bothered by the above usage of it. It is politically correct whites who think the word should no longer be mentioned at all

The word actually comes from the Arabic "kuffar", a non-Muslim. African whites got it off Arab slavers. Arabs thought African "kuffars" had no rights so could be enslaved. Many Arabs seem to have similar attitudes to this day.

I have never studied either Afrikaans or Dutch and Babelfish does not recognize Afrikaans but let me have a stab at translating the above bit anyway: "Come here, n*gger, come here! How come that you haven't cleaned my car. Hurry up!". Note that the black replied in English. They often did that in the Apartheid era, which did tend to annoy the Afrikaners (whites of Dutch origin). "Baas" is "boss".

I know I have some Dutch readers so I look forward to their comments on my translation.


I have had an email from a reader about my translation. I got only the word "bliksem" wrong. I thought that the literal meaning was "lightning" and I was right about that but I guessed wrongly about its idiomatic usage. It is actually used in quite a variety of ways but in the above context it is a term of abuse roughly equivalent to "bastard". And I also didn't give the full flavor of "Baas". As my reader says: "It does mean "boss" but it means much more. The use of the word by the black indicates a submissive attitude. No white ever used the word "baas" in reference to another person and a black was expected to use it to a white, regardless of whether or not that white was his "boss".

My reader also included a couple of quite funny South African jokes which I had better not repeat here or Google might come down on me like a ton of bricks. So, even though this blog is anti-censorship, I still have to censor some things! Pretty sad. Mourn for your lost liberties, O my readers.

Nutty Irish peacenik accuses Israel of "ethnic cleansing"

The usual Leftist abuse of words. "Ethnic cleansing" is a term from the old Yugoslavia -- where lots of people are killed so that their co-ethnics flee. Nobody is being killed in Israel nor does any Israeli Arab citizen have to flee Israel. You can be sure they won't, in fact. The big push is to get INTO Israel. Israel has a large illegal immigration problem too. Lots of Arabs prefer living in Israel to living under Arab rule, for both economic and safety reasons. They may not always say so but they "vote with their feet".

The Norwegian Nobel "peace" prize is distinct from the Swedish Nobel prizes and is awarded by generally Leftist Norwegian politicians. That Arafat got one tells you all you need to know. You could call Arafat many things but a bringer of peace is about the last thing you would think of. He actually rejected all Israeli peace offers. It may also be noted that Maguire's "peace" efforts in Ireland soon petered out and had no apparent effect in the end
"Nobel peace laureate Mairead Maguire has accused Israel of "ethnic cleansing" policies in annexed east Jerusalem, where the municipality plans to tear down almost 90 Arab homes.

"I believe the Israeli Government is carrying out a policy of ethnic cleansing against Palestinians here in east Jerusalem," said Ms Maguire, who won the 1976 Nobel prize for her efforts at reaching a peaceful solution to the violence in Northern Ireland. "I believe the Israeli government policies are against international law, against human rights, against the dignity of the Palestinian people," she said.

The Israeli authorities say the houses were built or extended without the necessary construction permits. Palestinians say the planned demolitions aim at forcing them out of east Jerusalem. If the demolition orders are carried out 1500 people would be left homeless in one of the largest forced evictions since Israel occupied mostly Arab east Jerusalem in the 1967 war and later annexed it.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

'Eskimo' candy offends indigenous Canadian

We read:
"An Eskimo-shaped sweet eaten innocently by Kiwis for decades has raised the ire of native Canadians who claim it is offensive in both shape and name.

A young Canadian tourist travelling in New Zealand, Seeka Parsons, says she was appalled by the sale of Eskimo sweets, an iconic marshmallow treat sold widely in corner stores across New Zealand.

The native Canadian said the word 'Eskimo' itself was an insult in her country, carrying with it negative racial connotations, and has long since been replaced with 'Inuit'.

Not only has the name of the lolly aroused painful memories, she believes the shape is an unfair stereotype of her people, the Taranaki Daily News reported.


Beauty queens must not voice conservative opinions

We read:
"Miss North Carolina Kristen Dalton was crowned Miss USA on Sunday, but the big story to come out of the normally politics-free telecast was Miss California's comments regarding gay marriage. When asked by judge Perez Hilton, an openly gay gossip blogger, whether she believed in gay marriage, Miss California, Carrie Prejean, said "We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite. And you know what, I think in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that's how I was raised."

Keith Lewis, who runs the Miss California competition, tells that he was "saddened" by Prejean's statement. "As co-director of the Miss California USA, I am personally saddened and hurt that Miss California believes marriage rights belong only to a man and a woman," said Lewis in a statement. "I believe all religions should be able to ordain what unions they see fit. I do not believe our government should be able to discriminate against anyone and religious beliefs have no politics in the Miss California family."


A follow-up report:
"Miss California is not backing down from the answer regarding gay marriage she gave on Sunday night's Miss USA telecast. Carrie Prejean told that she had "no regrets" and was happy with the answer she gave when a Miss USA judge, the gossip blogger Perez Hilton, asked about her stance on same-sex marriage.....

Blogger Perez Hilton was also enraged, calling Prejean a "stuipd b***h" in a video tirade he aired on his blog.

But the backlash is having little affect on Prejean, 21, she says. "I wouldn't have had it any other way. I stated an opinion that was true to myself, and that's all I can do," she told Billy Bush, who hosted Miss USA, on his radio talk show on Monday.

"It did cost me my crown," Prejean continued. "It is a very touchy subject and [Hilton] is a homosexual, and I see where he was coming from and I see the audience would've wanted me to be more politically correct. But I was raised in a way that you can never compromise your beliefs and your opinions for anything." "I feel like I won," she said. "I feel like I'm the winner. I really do."


Her answer was very polite and given as her own view only but the Leftist media demand total submission to their agenda. But most of America will agree that she really is the winner.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Liberal closed-mindedness

A comment from a student majoring in journalism at Whitworth University, Spokane, WA, a Presbyterian liberal-arts college
"I hate being political. I hate the separation it causes between people of different ideologies. I hate the blind despising it causes towards those of a different political party than your own.

For four years at Whitworth I have remained apolitical for the sake of peacekeeping, my own sanity and conflict avoidance. I’ve sat amongst friends while they called members of my own ideology retarded, racist, Nazi, uneducated, uninformed, morally inferior, anti-feminist, elitist and many other less than pleasant names.

Since I am from Alaska, almost everyone I know pestered me about Sarah Palin and Ted Stevens during last year's elections. They would ask me where I'm from in Alaska, in the hopes that my answer would be Wasilla and that I would join them in the glee of bashing her. They would start a long-winded speech about how Palin loves shooting wolves from airplanes for sport, how she's ignorant because people claimed she said she could see Russia from her house and how Stevens is an ancient, corrupt politician who deserves to be hung out to dry.

After a while I just stopped responding to their questions. I stopped answering, not because I didn't have answers to their claims, but because they wouldn't ask me about Palin or Stevens for my insight or opinion. They asked me simply as a precursor to judging and bashing these people and issues.

The intolerance for any viewpoint other than their own was so impassioned that it was hard at times to be cordial while spending time with them. They were my friends, though, my closest friends. They spent hours loathing the intolerance of some fundamentalists, never stopping to think that being intolerant of those who are intolerant is still intolerance.

I am conservative. I am educated, I am not racist, I am not anti-feminist, nor am I any of the other things they claim that members of my ideology, and thus myself, are. The characterization of conservatives as mindless drones does nothing for this country except keep genuine debate from occurring between opposing views.


Below is the concluding sentence of Whitworth's "mission" statement:
"Through its history, Whitworth has held fast to its founding mission to provide an education of mind and heart through rigorous and open intellectual inquiry guided by dedicated Christian scholars".

Whitworth is obviously a failure at its own mission. Is anyone there concerned about that? Unlikely.

I might send a link to this post to the President of Whitworth. Want to bet that his response is to start criticizing me rather than taking the beam out of his own eye? (Matthew 7:5). Nothing that he could say to his students would shift Leftist bigotry anyway so I suppose he might as well abuse me.

I myself was born and bred a Presbyterian and attended the recent Easter service at my local Presbyterian church but I can recognize nothing about Whitworth that sounds Presbyterian. The least they could do is drop the hypocrisy and erase all mention of their alleged Presbyterian connections.

Must not mention that many illegals (Sorry! "Undocumented workers") speak Spanish and don't pay taxes?

We read:
"An email sent earlier this week from local hedge fund manager Austin Capital Management Ltd. has raised the eyebrows and ire of at least one Austin group... the email.. reads “Tax Reminder...April 15, 2009” and has a picture of four Hispanic males with a caption that reads “Muchas Gracias! 21 million illegal aliens are depending on you!” The email went out to a list of undisclosed recipients.

“The content of the beyond offensive to the Hispanic community,” Frank Fuentes, chairman of the U.S. Hispanic Contractors Association, said in the statement. “Messages, such as the one sent out by [the company] serves to do nothing more than propagate fear and fans the fires of ignorance and hatred toward a group that toils tirelessly, in oftentimes underappreciated crafts, for the good of themselves, their families and for ALL individuals who call America their home.”

A spokesman for Austin Capital Management released a statement saying "we sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by this email".


Hospital emergency rooms are full of illegals so are we not allowed to mention that other people pay the taxes that keep such emergency rooms open? Could it be that people are critical only of Hispanics who are illegally in the USA rather than Hispanics generally? Must every reference to illegals be taken as a reference to ALL Hispanics? The Hispanic Contractors Association certainly seems to assume that all Hispanics are illegals. How strange!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hate speech against Rushbo

We read:
"First, Letterman said Rush was too smart to believe what he says and should be the head of the Republican Party because he’s tubby. Second, Governor Paterson bashes Rush for announcing his intention to sell his Fifth Avenue condo because of high taxes and being audited ad nauseum. But, those incidents were mild compared to the idiotic rant by pseudo-comedian Jon Stewart who tells Rush to “get the fxxx out of here.”

Stewart didn’t stop at that: “For years, for years, for years, New Yorkers have done everything in our power to get this guy to leave town. We knew he was into drugs, so we cleaned up Times Square. We even opened up a Disney store in the very place he would normally go to buy drugs.” The reference was Rush’s dependence on pain killers which he openly admitted on his show facing his problem honestly and ultimately winning his battle. But Stewart let his anger get the best of him and the hate spewed forth declaring everyone who smokes a cigar is a “douchebag.” And, then….”We outlawed murder, figuring he was a guy with a taste for it.”

I wonder how many times Stewart has really listened to Limbaugh? For liberals, it’s much easier to not listen and engage in criticism. The odd thing here is that Rush’s ratings are #1 in New York City on WABC radio. In fact, his ratings are the envy of the left. They can’t figure it out. Why would anyone want to listen to a “douchebag?”...

It boils down to this. Jon Stewart is jealous of Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh makes more money and has a much more loyal audience. And, Rush has had 21 years of national success. Jon Stewart is a comparative lightweight who has to mock someone with hate to get noticed. Well, he did get noticed. We noticed his hate speech and won’t forget it next time the left accuses our side of it.

Can’t they rest it? They won! But, they won’t rest until they have destroyed conservative thought in America because they simply know best.


Comment from another conservative talk-show host

Phil Valentine in Nashville, Tennessee:
"I have detected a disturbing trend in the tenor of the debate now coming from the left. Blogs, phone calls to talk radio and letters to the editor all ring with the same theme. Anything that is remotely critical of our president or the Democrats in Congress is now being characterized as "hate speech." Liberals have even been emboldened to shout at me across busy floors of public commerce. The political dialogue in this country has taken a nasty turn...

A few weeks ago, the editor of a small-town newspaper very publicly banned my writings from his newspaper. Not over something I had written in his newspaper, mind you, but because of a position I had taken in The Tennessean. What could possibly be so distasteful as to warrant my lifetime ban from his publication? I dared ask the question, "What are we getting for our federal tax dollars?'' When George W. Bush was spending money on what people on the left claimed was an "endless, pointless, immoral war,'' then questioning the expenditures of the federal government was not only acceptable but mandatory.

Now that the liberals have taken over Washington, it seems that criticizing massive bailouts and so-called stimulus packages to the tune of trillions of dollars we don't have is suddenly repugnant if not downright unpatriotic...

Talk radio seems to be the last remaining bastion of conservative thought -- dare I say, common sense -- and the liberals have set their sights on closing it down. Liberals who, no doubt, read from talking points hand-crafted by back-bench strategists, call my show with accusations of "hate speech." When asked to provide specifics, they fumble and mumble and accuse me of hating the president. I don't hate the president. I rather like him, on a personal level. What's not to like? He's personable. He's charming. He's intelligent.

What I hate is what he's attempting to do to this country. He sincerely believes that the government can spend its way out of debt. As I've said, that's akin to believing one can drink his way to sobriety. It defies logic but logic is not the currency of liberalism; emotion is...

What's so disturbing about this trend is the damage it does to our fundamental right to freedom of speech, to freedom of the press, to the free exchange of ideas. It is not I who hate; rather, it is those who disagree with me who hate me for holding an opinion contrary to their own. These supposedly open-minded liberals seem to be all about diversity except when it comes to diversity of thought.


Background on Phil Valentine here.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Free speech takes a hit at UNC

We read:
"At Chapel Hill, the glow of winning the 2009 NCAA basketball championship still radiates, and the university can understandably puff with pride. Until Tuesday, that is, when UNC’s reputation was badly tarnished. That’s when a bunch of student rabble-rousers muzzled a controversial speaker and thus trampled the principle of free speech.

Here’s what happened: Tom Tancredo, a former Republican presidential candidate and former congressman from Colorado, was scheduled to speak at UNC’s Bingham Hall. Tancredo is a fierce opponent of illegal immigration... That fit the agenda of a right-wing UNC group called Youth for Western Civilization, which invited Tancredo to speak on campus. The group opposes immigration, affirmative action and multiculturalism.

Tancredo’s appearance was acceptable, because universities are supposed to be forums for the free exchange of ideas — including repugnant and unpopular ideas. But on Tuesday afternoon, several hundred protesters marched into Bingham Hall. Screaming profanities, the protesters were determined to prevent the speech. Tancredo’s speech, which barely got started, focused on his opposition to in-state tuition for illegal immigrants.

Then things got violent. One protester shattered a window, two others marched across the stage with a huge banner thrust in front of Tancredo. The banner said: “No dialogue with hate.” (One wonders who the real haters were.)

Police stopped the speech and escorted Tancredo away. Police then used pepper spray to quell the protests and empty a hallway. Police also threatened to use a Taser against the demonstrators. (Police are now investigating these methods.)


Here we go again: Disagreeing with Obama is "racist"

We read:
"Liberal actress and political activist Janeane Garofalo, in all seriousness, said activists who attended tea parties are racists with dysfunctional brains in a recent prime-time television appearance. "Let's be very honest about what this is about. This is not about bashing Democrats. It's not about taxes. They have no idea what the Boston Tea party was about. They don't know their history at all.

It's about hating a black man in the White House," she said on MSNBC's "The Countdown" with Keith Olbermann Thursday evening. "This is racism straight up and is nothing but a bunch of teabagging rednecks. There is no way around that." Olbermann did not once try to challenge her on those assertions.


Saturday, April 18, 2009

British police make a plea for return to plain-speaking ways

We read:
"It was once a case of “Hello, hello, hello, what have we here then?” Now, after decades of speaking a different language from the rest of us, police officers have made a plea to be allowed to speak plain English.

Constables in Dumfries & Galloway have submitted proposals to the Scottish Police Federation conference next week, saying that they and their colleagues everywhere are mocked for using traditional “police-speak”. This includes many “confusing and irritating” phrases when speaking to the public, along with a host of bewildering acronyms. Simply put, it seems that after years of proceeding in a northwesterly direction to investigate the party exiting a vehicle, the police would rather just say that they turned left to see the man getting out of a car.

Rank-and-file officers hope that the move will help to distance themselves from what has become known as “ploddledygook”. The report to the conference reads: “The mover of the motion feels strongly that for too long the Police Service has chosen verbosity over accuracy and clarity and that in 2009 there should be a return to plain English. Too many documents are crowded with management terminology and buzz phrases which wax and wane in popularity. “A return to plain English would avoid confusion and doubt about exactly what we are saying and meaning and would benefit not only the police service but the communities we serve.”


Holocaust denial now illegal in Australia

We read:
"A HOLOCAUST revisionist has been found guilty of contempt and faces a possible jail term after he deliberately flouted court orders not to publish information which vilified the Jewish race on his website.

It is the first time an Australian court has found somebody guilty of contempt for breaching the Racial Discrimination Act in relation to Holocaust denial.

Frederick Toben, the director of the Adelaide Institute, published material on his website referring to Anne Frank as one of "those self-serving Holocaust frauds", described the Holocaust as the "Holohoax" and said Holocaust museums were "just a gimmick to collect money".

He had been ordered in 2002 to delete material from the website which offended, insulted or humiliated Jewish people on the basis of their race and not to publish any further material which questioned the Holocaust or the existence of gas chambers at Auschwitz.

Jeremy Jones, who was then president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, started contempt of court proceedings against Toben in 2006 for publishing material that failed to comply with the court orders, and the academic originally apologised to the court and promised to take the material down. But shortly after that hearing, Toben advised Mr Jones and the court that he had changed his mind and would not remove the offending material from his website.


The authorities are certainly doing their best to help Mr Toben make his views known. A story like the above in all the papers amounts to maybe a million dollars worth of advertising and will no doubt encourage rebellious spirits to seek out details of Mr Toben's arguments. I do hope that the Executive Council of Australian Jewry is pleased with their work.

The High Court of Australia recognizes a right to free speech so it would be amusing if Mr Toben appealed the verdict against him. That would not only get him lots more publicity but could well see him exonerated. It could be a great downfall for those short-sighted people who attack free speech.


Silvio Berlusconi likes his joke about blacks being "sun tanned". So much so that he has used it again -- despite all the criticism it has attracted from pursed-mouth Leftists outside Italy:
"As he visited survivors of the April 6 earthquake, which left 295 people dead and 30,000 homeless, Mr Berlusconi met an African priest and said: "You have a nice tan." Turning to an African Red Cross worker, he repeated the gaffe, saying: "You've got a tan as well - I wish I could stay here and get some sun".


He would be DEAD in American politics but in Italy his popularity just keeps rising. People appreciate his good humor, even if it does not conform to the narrow puritanism of the American Left. "Gaffe" my foot! Forza Italia!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Must not mention that Mexicans tend to be short

We read:
"Mexico is protesting what it says is a whopper of an insult after Burger King has run an advertisement featuring a spicy little Mexican wrestler.

An advertisement for Burger King's Texican Whopper burger that has run in Europe shows a small wrestler dressed in a cape resembling a Mexican flag. The wrestler teams up with a lanky American cowboy almost twice his height to illustrate the cross-border blend of flavours. "The taste of Texas with a little spicy Mexican," a narrator's voice says. The taller cowboy boosts the wrestler up to reach high shelves and helps clean tall windows, while the Mexican helps the cowboy open a jar.

Mexico's ambassador to Spain said on Monday he has written a letter to Burger King's offices in that nation objecting to the ad and asking that it be removed. Jorge Zermeno told Radio Formula that the ads "improperly use the stereotyped image of a Mexican".


TX: Colleges criticized over free speech issues

Must not mention guns:
"Some Tarrant County College students wanted to wear empty gun holsters to school because they wanted the right to carry concealed handguns on campus - with a license. A Young Conservatives student group at Lone Star College's Tomball campus wanted to hand out a tongue-in-cheek `Top-Ten Gun Safety Tips.'

At both schools, administrators told the groups to stop or risk campus sanctions. `They're unusual in several respects. But most especially because they involve attempts to discuss in a perhaps insensitive, but basically humorous fashion the issue of guns on campus.' That's Bob O'Neil, the director of the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression. The Center gave annual `Muzzle Awards' to both schools."


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Must not tell a woman that she has a big bottom

Seriously! In Britain, of course, referring to a beer brand called "Courage":
"For more than 50 years beer drinkers have been urged to "Take Courage" at their local pub, but now the brewers of the famous ale may have to find a new slogan after the advertising watchdog banned posters promoting the brand. The Advertising Standards Authority acted after complaints that the posters - part of a œ2 million campaign - implied that the beer could live up to its name.

One poster depicts a man looking nervous as his full-bottomed partner parades in front of him in a figure-hugging dress. A speech bubble emanating from a large glass of beer states: "Take Courage my friend," suggesting that he should give a truthful answer to the implied question about how the garment reflected the size of the woman's derriŠre.

The advertising authority said in its ruling: "Three members of the public believed the poster implied that the beer would give the man confidence to either make negative comments on the woman's appearance or take advantage of her. "We considered that the combination of the text and the image of the man with an open beer can and half-empty glass of beer was likely to be understood by consumers to carry the clear implication that the beer would give the man enough confidence to tell the woman that the dress was unflattering.


Alcohol does tend to loosen tongues so the advertisement is actually fairly realistic. Apparently that is the problem.

They're slowly giving up on criticizing Silvio

He just ignores his critics anyway. They are now calling his "incorrect" comments "apparent" gaffes.
"Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has reportedly told a female doctor working in the country's earthquake zone: "I wouldn't mind being resuscitated by you". But the comment was defended by the aid worker, Dr Fabiola Carrieri, who said Mr Berlusconi was simply being "gallant" and trying to take the "drama" out of the situation.

It's the latest apparent gaffe by Mr Berlusconi, who last week suggested the tens of thousands left homeless by the Abruzzo earthquake should imagine they were on a camping trip.

Mr Berlusconi met Dr Carrieri, an intensive care specialist from Milan, during another visit to the tent sites. According to The Times, Dr Carrieri responded to Mr Berlusconi's comments by saying she hoped she would never have to resuscitate him. Dr Carrieri said that Mr Berlusconi had shown similar gallantry with another female patient whose husband was sitting at her bedside, saying he hoped she got better soon "so I can ask you to dance with me". "[He was] trying to raise a smile in the middle of all the sorrow we have all around us," she said.

Despite the off-key attempts at humour, Mr Berlusconi has won praise for his handling of Italy's deadliest earthquake in three decades, most notably his enduring presence in the tent camps.



I should have mentioned something that people who speak English only might have missed. The doctor had a label on saying in large letters rianimatore. That means "resuscitator" (literally "reanimator") and what Silvio said would have been his spontaneous response to seeing that.

Idiot pols propose to let president "shut down" Internet

We read:
"A recently proposed but little-noticed Senate bill would allow the federal government to shut down the Internet in times of declared emergency, and enables unprecedented federal oversight of private network administration. The bill's draft states that `the president may order a cybersecurity emergency and order the limitation or shutdown of Internet traffic' and would give the government ongoing access to `all relevant data concerning (critical infrastructure) networks without regard to any provision of law, regulation, rule, or policy restricting such access.'

Authored by Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia and Republican Olympia Snowe of Maine, the Cybersecurity Act of 2009 seeks to create a Cybersecurity Czar to centralize power now held by the Pentagon, National Security Agency, Department of Commerce and the Department of Homeland Security."


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Must not speak ill of Muslims in Britain

But Muslims can speak ill of "kuffars" all they like:
"Kevin Quinn, the leader of a right wing party convicted of a religiously aggravated public order offence after a racist speech in South Oxhey, has received a six-month suspended prison sentence. Quinn launched a tirade of abuse at a British First Party rally after setting up a stall with Union flags in the shopping precinct on Saturday, December 1, 2007.

The 44-year-old was arrested after he was heard to shout all Muslims are b******s, while referring to the plight of British school teacher Gillian Gibbons, accused of blasphemy in Sudan after allowing children to name a Teddy Bear Muhammad.

Quinn was found guilty after a second trial at St Albans Crown Court in March and sentence was adjourned for reports until Monday. The jury in the first trial was discharged when they could not reach a verdict on Quinn of Ousland Road, Queens Park, Bedford....

Before sentencing, Judge Stephen Warner said: “The jury found you used abusive or insulting words directed towards those of the Muslim faith. “There is a right of freedom of speech in this country, which extends to those such as yourself who seek to express in public views such as yours however offensive many may find them to be. “That right, however, does not include the right to insult or abuse such members of the public that are exposed to that behaviour. “A [Muslim] member of the public felt sufficiently strongly to contact police because you had abused that freedom of expression.


So if a Muslim happens to hear you, your free speech rights go out the window! The guy did not abuse any Muslim personally. One just happened to be nearby.

Immigration control attacked again

Comment by Mark Krikorian of CIS:
"The most recent salvo on this side of the ocean is a report released last week by the Southern Poverty Law Center tarring the three leading groups working to limit immigration-including my own Center for Immigration Studies-as part of a racist conspiracy, supposedly orchestrated by a retired eye doctor in Michigan named John Tanton. The fact that they went after mainstream groups rather than fringe ones shows that the goal is not elevating the tone of public discourse but shutting it down altogether. Perhaps a more honest title for the report would have been "The Protocols of the Elders of Restrictionism."

A little background on the SPLC. The group is headed by Morris Dees, described even by left-wing writers as a "fraud" and a "millionaire huckster"-essentially a cross between Joseph McCarthy and Tammy Faye Bakker. Exposés on the group have run in the Montgomery Advertiser (which probably would have won a Pulitzer but for the SPLC's lobbying efforts against it), Harper's, and The Nation, but the money train continues-the SPLC's 2007 tax return shows net assets of $219 million.

The report's section on CIS is not just hackwork, but amateurish hackwork. Much of it dwells on letters written to (not by, but to) one of my board members, misidentified as having been executive director. Our research is described as having been debunked by "mainstream think tanks and organizations," oddly enough including two of the most strident open-borders advocacy groups in the nation. My tenure there, the majority of the center's existence, is dismissed briefly at the end as "The Later Years." And they didn't even mention my book, which knits together decades of CIS research on the many facets of immigration into a unified theoretical framework-something at least worth touching on when trying to show how naughty CIS is.

What's more, CIS is an unlikely source of "intolerance." The chairman is Peter Nunez, U.S. attorney for San Diego under Reagan; the board includes the president of the Greater Miami Urban League and a former executive director of the National Black Caucus Foundation; the staff includes the former national policy director for the American Jewish Committee; and I didn't even speak English until I got to kindergarten.

Now, people call each other names all the time in politics, but this is different. The SPLC purports to play the role of arbiter of rectitude on racial issues, and as such it claims to take no other policy positions. This pose is utterly false; the report was jointly released with America's Voice, a hard-left open-borders group. And regardless of who's making it, the charge of racism is the gravest one in our society-not a political one, like an allegation that you failed to pay taxes on your chauffeured limousine, but a moral one, meant to delegitimize you altogether as a participant in civilized society.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Libertarian cops Leftist hate speech

We read:
"As readers of this blog may be aware, I was the guest on C-SPAN’s “In Depth” program on Sunday, April 5. Afterward, the volume of my e-mail messages rose substantially as people wrote to me to express their opinion of my performance or to ask me questions. Although many of these messages sent approbation, for which I am grateful, others, like most of the people who called in during the program, were less than complimentary.

I had a foreboding that one of these messages might contain, shall we say, a bit of denunciation when I saw that its subject line read “You’re a fucking STUPID and VAPID.” In the body of the message, the sentence continues:
"little insect.

“Everything deregulated…”

Please shoot yourself now and by chance, you haven’t bred have you?

Scum sucking maggot, get the f*ck off my CSPAN channel and get out of my society.

Although this foul-mouthed lingo is not the kind of language that my mother taught me to use, I understood it well enough to file it under the rubric of “strong disapproval.”

Over the past decade or so, my popular articles on the Web have frequently elicited similar expressions of personal contempt and hatred. Had I not been a student of ideology, I might have been somewhat perplexed by such malevolent missives. After all, what do my writings endorse? As a rule, they uphold peace, voluntary cooperation, tolerance, and friendship toward all who do not proclaim themselves to be my sworn enemies. How can such inoffensive views touch a reader’s nerves so painfully that he responds by assaulting my character and demanding that I evacuate the country in which my ancestors and I were born?


2 Students Sue California College District for Threatening to Suspend Them for Praying

We read:
"Two California students can sue their community college district after their school threatened to suspend them for praying on campus, a federal judge ruled. Kandy Kyriacou and Ojoma Omaga said the College of Alameda accused them of "disruptive behavior" after they had prayed with an ailing teacher in a faculty office in December of 2007, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The students said the school issued suspension notices to them.

Although public colleges are prohibited from endorsing religion, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston ruled that the women can proceed with a lawsuit against Peralta Community College District. Illston said college students have the right to pray in private outside the classroom, according to the Chronicle.

The lawsuit seeks an acknowledgment of that right and an apology, and wants all disciplinary action be rescinded, said one of the pair's lawyers, Steven Wood. The women want no damages apart from attorneys' fees, the paper reported.

The district's attorneys argued that faculty offices were "places for teaching and learning and working" not "protests, demonstrations, prayer" or other disruptive activities. [But Leftist or Muslim activities are fine, of course]


Monday, April 13, 2009

Asian-Americans Blast Texas Congressman's Call for 'Easier to Deal With' Names

We read:
"Asian-Americans say they are outraged that a Texas lawmaker suggested in a hearing that Asian-American voters should adopt names that are "easier for Americans to deal with" at the polls. Texas Rep. Betty Brown, a Republican, made the comments on Tuesday as Ramey Ko, an associate member of the Organization of Chinese Americans, testified before the Texas House Elections Committee on voter identification legislation.

Ko testified that people of Asian descent frequently have difficulties voting due to differences in their legal transliterated names and the English name shown on their driver's licenses. Brown asked Ko: "Rather than everyone here having to learn Chinese -- I understand it's a rather difficult language -- do you think that it would behoove you and your citizens to adopt a name that we could deal with more readily here?"

Brown later said, "Can't you see that this is something that would make it a lot easier for you and the people who are poll workers if you could adopt a name just for identification purposes that's easier for Americans to deal with?"

The Texas Democratic Party called on Brown to apologize on Wednesday. The exchange, which has appeared on YouTube, has angered many Asian-Americans.

Jordan Berry, a spokesman for Brown, defended the lawmaker and said her comments were not racially motivated. "It had nothing to do with race," Berry told "What she was talking about was the Chinese name, just transposing it from Chinese to English."

Berry said Democrats were "looking for an issue" and took Brown's comments out of context.

Officials from the Asian American Institute said Brown's comments were "outrageous, offensive and hurtful."


Since many people from non-English-speaking backgrounds, including Asians, DO already adopt names that are easier for the majority to remember and pronounce, it would seem that they agree with Rep. Brown. Are they racist too? Are their actions "outrageous, offensive and hurtful"?

It is certainly true that foreign names often do give English-speakers a lot of trouble. "Nguyen" (the Vietnamese equivalent of "Jones") is an example. People make a real mess of it. It's actually very easy to say. Pretend that it is spelled as "naWIN" and you will get it right. But getting the right pronunciation of ALL the foreign names around is an impossible ask.

I think Polish names are the hardest. I have a Polish friend whose surname to this day I can neither spell nor pronounce. I just address him by his first name.

Turks can't face the truth about their brutal past

Shameful for a conservative senator to defend Turkish barbarism and kudos to the Left for condemning it:
"TURKEY has officially complained to Canberra that a state Labor minister tried to lever one of the most sensitive episodes in that country's modern history into votes for the ALP. What began as a seemingly unremarkable speech by South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson to 40 people at a Greek community function has so angered Ankara that its ambassador to Australia, Murat Ersavci, protested to Foreign Minister Stephen Smith about the "defamation" of his country.

"I feel our relations are too important to be used in these self-serving, petty local politics," Mr Ersavci told The Weekend Australian. The Turks are seething over remarks Mr Atkinson made about the role of one of the country's towering figures, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, in the tragedy that engulfed its Pontian or Black Sea Greek minority between 1915 and 1922.

After doing the honours at the launch of a plaque commemorating what he called the "genocide" of Pontian Greeks by Turkish nationalists led by Kemal's forces -- a contention flatly rejected by Ankara -- Mr Atkinson poured petrol on the flames by declaring that anyone who disputed this version of history was practising a form of "holocaust denial".

When his account was challenged in federal parliament last month by the [conservative] Deputy President of the Senate, Alan Ferguson, it was the expatriate Greek community's turn to be outraged.

Mr Atkinson, seizing on this, had Senator Ferguson's speech to parliament translated into Greek and mailed out to thousands of voters from Greek, Assyrian, Syrian Orthodox and Armenian backgrounds in eight state seats in Adelaide. Other state Labor MPs followed up with letters urging them to remember Senator Ferguson's speech "supporting the Turkish version of history" at next year's state election...

Mr Atkinson said he backed independent research findings, contested by Turkey, that 1.5million ethnic Armenians and 350,000 Pontian Greeks were massacred during and after World War I.


Turkey was locked in a losing war with Russia at the time and if one looks at the total context of the events, the word "genocide" is not strictly accurate. The actions of the Turks would seem to be more comparable with the Japanese atrocities of WWII than with the German deeds. The mass slaughter carried out by the Turks is nonetheless thoroughly reprehensible and deserves an apology from Turkey. Germany's condemnation of its past rulers has restored respect for Germany within the community of nations. But expecting any apology from a Muslim state really would be pissing into the wind.

I can however see the difficulty for Turkey. Their hero of WWI was Kemal Ataturk -- and his ideas and followers are still dominant in Turkey. And Kemal has much Armenian blood on his hands. So an apology for the Greek and Armenian deaths would be a repudiation of Kemal, which is essentially unthinkable for today's Turkish state.

A little bit of fun

I have just put up an addendum to a recent post on my personal blog which contains a word that would make an American Leftist shriek "racism"! It would be rather fun if a Leftist writer did discover the post but that is unlikely.

They would not know that what is offensive speech in America may not be so elsewhere. As Silvio Berlusconi has shown, Italy is a good example of that.

But Australia is different too. The High court of Australia ruled a few years ago that even the unspeakable "N-word" is not offensive in Australia.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Brown University Kills 'Columbus Day' for 'Fall Weekend'

We read:
"Fall Weekend" will be taking the place of the holiday formerly known as "Columbus Day" at Brown University this fall.

The faculty of the Ivy League university voted at a meeting Tuesday to establish a new academic and administrative holiday in October called "Fall Weekend" that coincides with Columbus Day, but that doesn't bear the name of the explorer.

Hundreds of Brown students had asked the Providence, R.I. school to stop observing Columbus Day, saying Christopher Columbus's violent treatment of Native Americans he encountered was inconsistent with Brown's values.

"I'm very pleased," Reiko Koyama, a sophomore who led the effort, told the student newspaper, the Brown Daily Herald. "It's been a long time coming."

The change will take effect this fall.

Although the students had asked the school to take another day off instead, Brown will remain closed on Columbus Day, in part to avoid inconveniencing staff whose children might have the holiday off, the Daily Herald reported.

Many other colleges are open on Columbus Day but give students short breaks later in the semester.

Last month a Brown Daily Herald poll found two-thirds of the students supported changing the holiday's name to Fall Weekend, the newspaper reported.


University of Maryland on Free Speech: Porn In, Prayer Out

The use and abuse of freedom of expression on a state school campus.
"The University of Maryland recently decided that prayer is not allowed during commencement addresses, but pornographic films are allowed on campus. University officials cited “academic free speech” as the reason to allow the film. Occurring nearly simultaneously, both incidents have garnered extensive media coverage. The question is, will the media question the University’s inconsistency in applying First Amendment principles?

In an arbitrary sweep of political power, the University of Maryland Senate voted to eradicate the practice of prayer at graduation ceremonies. According to the university paper The Diamondback, “The senate approved a proposal that eliminates a prayer invocation at the university's annual commencement ceremony in a 32-14 vote after a lengthy debate that touched on the controversial issue of the separation of church and state.”

The university has a tradition of allowing an “all-inclusive” invocation to be given at the beginning of each commencement address by any one of the fourteen university chaplains.

This decision came just days after another controversy erupted on campus involving a hardcore pornographic film. After learning of the decision to allow students to show sexually explicit excerpts of the film on campus, Maryland state legislators threatened to withdraw funding from the university unless the decision was reversed. The University did ban the screening but did not interfere with the students’ “academic freedom” when an independent student group took matters into its own hands by securing a lecture hall to show the triple-X film.

One half hour of the film, “Pirates II: Stagnetti’s Revenge” was screened on campus on April 6 along with a panel discussion about safe sex, featuring a representative from Planned Parenthood.

The Washington Post obtained a statement from State Senator Andrew P. Harris, one of the more vocal opponents of the film and one who threatened to block funding. “I know some students would like to portray this as a free speech issue,” Harris said. “It is not. This is about the use of taxpayer dollars, and the Maryland General Assembly acts every day on issues concerning the use of taxpayer dollars.”

Taxpayer dollars or “academic” free speech … it doesn’t really matter. In College Park, porn is protected speech. Prayer is not.


Risky to mention tofu

It's those last two letters that are the problem:
"A woman's love for tofu has been judged X-rated by bureaucrats who denied her permission to express her desires in public.

Denver woman Kelly Coffman-Lee wanted to tell the world about her fondness for bean curd by picking certain letters for her 4WD's number plate. Her suggestion for the plate: "ILVTOFU." But Colorado's Division of Motor Vehicles blocked her plan because they thought the combination of letters could be interpreted as profane.

Department of Revenue spokesman Mark Couch said: "We don't allow 'FU' because some people could read that as street language for sex." Officials meet periodically to ensure state plates stay free of letters that abbreviate gang slang, drug terms or obscene phrases.

Coffman-Lee, 38, says tofu is a staple of her family's diet because they are vegan and that the DMV misinterpreted her message.


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Must not show Obama with green hair

Isn't he a Greenie? Chia pets are ceramic figurines on which you can grow a plant called Chia
"The creator of the Chia Pet is ch-ch-cheesed off after Walgreens pulled a special-edition Chia Obama from its shelves -- apparently over concerns that it might offend customers. A representative for Walgreens said the company dropped the product because they didn't want it to be misinterpreted. But Chia Pet creator Joseph Pedott told he was "shocked" when he found out the mega-pharmacy was pulling his merchandise.

The Chia Obama, a bust of the 44th president with sprouting grass-like "hair" in the tradition of the classic Chia Pet, was stocked at the Tampa and Chicago Walgreens stores as a test run. Pedott said company executives approved the product ahead of time, but it was on the shelves for less than a week when he got an e-mail Friday from Walgreens saying "it's not our image."

Walgreens spokesman Robert Elfinger would not comment on whether the company was concerned about the product being seen as racially insensitive.

"We decided to pull the product because we didn't want it to be subject to any misinterpretation," he said. "People could interpret it through a political viewpoint or other viewpoints, and we wanted to avoid that situation."


There WAS an animated version of the Obama graphic here but it was not working last time I tried it.

Silvio's latest "gaffe" OK with Italians

We read:
"Visiting one of the many tented encampments that have sprung up around the devastated city of L'Aquila since Monday's catastrophic advice, the Italian prime minister offered this cheery assurance to traumatised survivors. "They have everything they need, they have medical care, hot food... of course, their current lodgings are a bit temporary. But they should see it like a weekend of camping," he said.

While the foreign press leapt on the comment as yet another faux pas, it went virtually ignored by the Italian media...

But even among the victims of the earthquake, who have lost their homes and businesses and seen the dust-covered corpses of family and friends pulled from the tangled debris of collapsed buildings, there were many who said "Il Cavaliere" was simply trying to take some of the trauma out of their situation.

So far from being a Hurricane Katrina-style embarrassment, the premier's handling of the earthquake may instead come to be seen as his 9-11 moment... Italians have praised the speed with which he swung into action after the quake reduced the medieval city of L'Aquila, and more than a dozen surrounding villages of timber and stone, to rubble. They were impressed when the 72-year-old media mogul claimed this week that, after visiting the mangled epicentre of the quake three times in three days, he had not slept for 44 hours – "not bad for a 35-year-old man like me."

Again, the backslapping bonhomie and cheeky display of vanity. This time it did not backfire – the prime minister exchanged high fives with cheering onlookers. "Even in a tragedy like this, you need to know how to smile," he said, and the Italian press loved it.

"Berlusconi is very popular," said an Italian pollster, Renato Mannheimer. "He has an ability to create a direct rapport with the population. This is an ongoing process and is triumphing at the moment." With his embracing of quake victims and I-feel-your-pain display of empathy, Mr Berlusconi seems to have successfully cast himself as the benevolent father of the nation.

So the earthquake will only boost Mr Berlusconi's already healthy popularity ratings – independent polls put him at over 50 per cent, way ahead of the divided and demoralised centre-left.

The outside world may regard Mr Berlusconi as a figure of fun, an unwitting clown who brightens up the grey world of international statesmanship, but to foreigners' consternation he keeps getting elected.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Leftist haters block lawful meeting

Free speech only for those whom Leftists approve of is no free speech at all
"A conference of white supremacist groups from across the nation, scheduled to convene in a Veterans of Foreign Wars hall in South Boston Saturday, has been canceled, a Boston "antihate" group said last night.

The event, entitled Patriot Action, organized by the East Coast White Unity group and Volksfront, was to have been held at the VFW hall on Ellery Street at 2 p.m., but hall organizers pulled the plug on the gathering.

The Boston Anti-Racist Coalition, a loosely organized group of activists that was organized around the beginning of the year in response to the scheduled VFW event, claimed credit yesterday for the cancellation, said Ian Curtis, a member of the group...

Billy Roper, who leads the White Revolution, a white nationalist organization based in Arkansas, was scheduled to speak at the meeting. Roper said the event could draw as many as 150 supporters, and he said the meeting will go on, regardless of the cancellation, at an undisclosed location.


The new threat to freedom of expression

We read:
"On Friday, the UN Human Rights Council approved a resolution that calls on states to limit criticism of religions - specifically Islam. This is the tenth time such a resolution has passed at the UN's primary human rights body. Pakistan, on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, began introducing similar resolutions in 1999 arguing that Islam - the only religion specifically cited in the text - must be shielded from unfair associations with terrorism and human rights abuses...

In reality they are calling for laws and actions that prohibit dialogue by declaring certain topics off limits for discussion, leading to intolerance of any view that some Muslims may find offensive. For instance, criticizing the practice of polygamy or the greater weight given to the testimony of men over women in sharia law would be forbidden. Such laws that prohibit blasphemy, defamation, or the defiling of Islam already exist in many of the countries that support the defamation of religions resolutions....

Of course, the very idea that you can defame a religion at all flies in the face of both fundamental rights of expression and belief. A religion, like all ideas and beliefs, must be open to debate, discussion, and even criticism. For this reason, religions themselves do not have rights. Rights belong exclusively to people....

Salmon Rushdie, Flemming Rose, and Theo Van Gogh are just some of the better known individuals who have been attacked - and, in the case of Mr. Van Gogh, killed - for expressing views deemed defamatory. Thousands of lesser-known human rights activists, bloggers, academics, and journalists have been threatened, imprisoned, beaten, or killed for expressing their beliefs. Countless Muslims have been persecuted for voicing a brand of faith deemed unorthodox and therefore blasphemous or defamatory. It is impossible to know how many have not dared to raise their voices out of fear of retribution.

One now rarely hears the term "defamation of religions" without the assertion that it leads to "incitement to hatred and violence," which is viewed as a legitimate restriction on freedom of expression under the ICCPR. Never mind that it isn't possible to defame an idea or belief. Never mind that human rights law was set up to protect the rights of human beings and not beliefs.


Thursday, April 09, 2009

Conservatives being blamed for the actions of a neo-Nazi psychopath

Police got shot while trying to apprehend him in response to a complaint from his mother. Much hate speech from the Left has followed.
"An insidious new meme is being propagated following the Pittsburgh slayings--that rhetoric from conservatives, gun rights activists, the "right wing"-- is responsible for Richard Poplawski's alleged fear that Obama was going to take away guns. The first thing we need acknowledge is this is but one more case of the media rushing to judgment before the facts are in.

As we've noted before, Obama's own words taken from the official White House website reveal his goal of banning an entire class of semiautomatic firearms. His attorney general has revived the call. And he's based a large part of his rationale on a demonstrable lie. We're not allowed to point that out? And reporting on their own words is now verboten?

An important component of the meme is that conservative/libertarian speech is hate speech. In the Orwellian Newspeak off the political left, the words of the framers of the Constitution are treasonous...

Still, there is one more point that needs to be made: Emerging evidence is connecting Poplawski to the white supremacist/neo-Nazi movement. Naturally, the left is trying to connect that to Constitutionalists, and paint us as "homegrown terrorists," as crooks and liars will.


Full news report here. The "coldness" of the killer after the event is typically psychopathic.

Some background on the website which Poplawski frequented is here.

If people knew that Hitler was a socialist the Left might be less inclined to mouth off about the actions of one of his followers.

If I were asked about Poplawski's motivations, I would have a much more plausible tale to tell than the far-out claim that he is a friend of liberty. For a start, Nazis are the epitome of all that libertarians oppose. If I put my sociologist's hat on (I taught sociology for 12 years at a major Australian university) it is tragically different from that. I would draw attention to Poplawski's apparently Polish surname.

I have the greatest admiration for the heroic Polish people. To have survived so well and so long being the ham in the sandwich between Germany and Russia is no mean achievement. Have a look at a map of Europe if you don't know what I mean. But even the most sane and decent Poles generally seem to have some bug in their brains about Jews. Even though there are virtually no Jews left in Poland they still hate Jews and blame Jews for all the woes of the world. And that is often true even of people of Polish ancestry who have never lived in Poland. So that is almost certainly what got Poplawski associated with extreme antisemites in America. And such people do generally believe that America is run by Jews and are hence hostile to all arms of the American State.

But most Poles live perfectly normal and harmless lives so it needed the multiplying factor of a psychopathic personality to bring about the tragic events we have been discussing.

Why Card Check Is Unconstitutional

Only secret ballots are consistent with the First Amendment.
"The Employee Free Choice Act of 2009 -- otherwise known as "card check" -- is organized labor's dream. As a practical matter, this legislation, pursued by both the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress, would do away with the secret ballot in the unionization process. Although card check's advocates and critics have spilled much ink arguing about the bill's fundamental fairness to labor and management, so far the debate has not focused on the other compelling interest at stake: the constitutionally protected right of employees to keep their opinions on controversial issues like unionization to themselves. This is card check's Achilles' heel.

The Supreme Court has interpreted the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech, along with the Fifth and 14th Amendment due process clauses, to protect a variety of expressive and associational rights. The right to speak and associate anonymously is among those rights. Indeed, anonymous speech has a long and honored tradition in American politics. Much of the political agitation leading up to the American Revolution was necessarily anonymous in order to avoid British sedition charges. And three of the Constitution's Framers -- James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay -- wrote the Federalist Papers supporting its ratification under the anonymous pen name "Publius."


Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Australian woman persecuted because of privately-expressed opinions

The opinions were neo-Nazi but there is no law against having such opinions in Australia. Nor should there be. "Die Gendanken sind frei" (thoughts are free) said the old anti-Nazi song and what's good for the goose should be good for the gander. Even the ACLU has on occasions supported the right of Neo-Nazis to express their views.
"One of Australia's largest Defence Department-linked companies has suspended a contractor over her alleged links to an international neo-Nazi group. Nicole Hanley, a bid support manager for Thales - which has hundreds of millions of dollars in Department of Defence contracts - is alleged to have been involved as an administrator of the neo-Nazi web forum Blood & Honour.

The claims have been made by whistleblower site Wikileaks, which has published a hacked database containing private messages between the group's members.

According to the Wikileaks private message trail it is claimed that Hanley has published a detailed online diary of her travels to Europe last year, which included attending several neo-Nazi skinhead gatherings, visiting Adolf Hitler's birthplace, placing flowers on his parents' grave and collecting Nazi memorabilia. "Hearing/joining in with so many hundreds of people chanting Sieg Heil together is something that will stay with me forever," she allegedly wrote.


A most unwise Gag Order

The usual official confidence that they know best:
"Before today's deadly earthquake in central Italy, authorities muzzled a scientist who warned of impending disaster. Seismologist Gioacchino Giuliani based his fears on large pockets of radon gas in seismically active areas.

He drove around the region in a van with loudspeakers last month telling people to evacuate. He was reported to police for spreading alarm, and forced to remove his findings from the Internet.

Italy's Civil Protection Agency dismissed the warnings, saying the tremors were: "part of a typical sequence... (which is) absolutely normal."

Giuliani now tells our sister network Sky News: "These people will have these deaths on their conscience."


Tuesday, April 07, 2009

British politicians allowed to censor details of their claims for expenses

The farcical British Labour Party reaction to revelations about illegitimate use of expense accounts by their members of parliament:
"Members will this week be shown copies of thousands of receipts and other documents due to be published under the Freedom of Information Act. They will be invited to redact the documents, blacking out information they do not want to disclose.

The Commons is spending thousands of pounds paying security-cleared specialist contractors to remove any sensitive information like bank details from receipts.

But even after the contractors have vetted the documents, MPs will review their claims and make further changes of their own. Harriet Harman, the Leader of the Commons, says the redaction process is harmless and necessary to preserve the privacy of MPs.

But the editing process has raised fears that MPs will use the opportunity to keep some information secret and even to delay the whole publication, which is supposed to take place this summer.


Congressman Reprimands Father of Teen Killed by Drunk-Driving Illegal Alien for Calling Criminal Aliens 'Banditos'

I thought Mexico was full of bandidos. There's certainly a huge amount of drug-related killing there
"In emotional testimony before a House joint panel this week, a Virginia man recalled the death of his teenage daughter in 2007 – a death caused by an illegal immigrant who was driving drunk and who had been arrested twice before the crime, but was not deported.

“Two years ago this week, my 16-year-old daughter, Tessa, and her best friend Allison were killed as they were sitting at in intersection waiting for a red light to change,” Ray Tranchant said, as friends placed a photograph of Tessa Tranchant on an easel behind him.

Since his daughter’s death, Tranchant, a professor from Virginia Beach, has become an advocate for the enforcement of immigration law.

On Thursday, as Tranchant applauded local law enforcement in Virginia for its increased efforts to work with federal immigration authorities since his daughter’s death, he referred to individuals listed on the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s database of illegal aliens with criminal backgrounds as “banditos.”

That comment drew a rebuff from Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.). “Mr. Tranchant, can I share with you as the father of two daughters, I thank you for bringing your testimony here, but I suggest to you that if we refer to people as banditos, as you referred to them in your testimony, it does not help to solve the problem,” Gutierrez said.


In the Spanish of Spain, a "bandido" is an outlaw. So where "bandito" comes from I am not sure. I assume that it is a Western Spanish pronunciation of "bandido". If so, it seems a fair description of chronic criminals to me.

Must not criticize teeth

We read:
"The BBC has apologised to Grand National winner Liam Treadwell after presenter Clare Balding made fun of his teeth. In a post-race interview, Balding urged the jockey to show his teeth and told him he could afford to "get them done" after winning the biggest race of his life.

Balding urged Treadwell "just give us a big grin to the camera". When he smiled, keeping his lips firmly closed, she told him: "No, no, let's see your teeth. "He hasn't got the best teeth in the world, but you can afford to go and get them done now if you like."

Treadwell, who looked embarrassed, replied: "Well I could do, but I ain't complaining. It might be bringing on bad luck if I do that, though."


It was a bit crass but we have come to expect that of the BBC these days

Monday, April 06, 2009

Truth hurts

If you are a Muslim
"The nation's leading Islamic civil rights group today issued a call for San Francisco-based KSFO 560 AM to reprimand two local talk show hosts -- and has asked the station's listeners to contact advertisers -- following a segment that it says "mocked Islam, misstated Muslim beliefs and cast suspicion on political participation by American Muslims."

The Council on American-Islamic Relations -- known as CAIR -- sent out the letter Thursday after The Chronicle Spin Cycle Political blog this week reported on a morning comedy segment by KSFO 560-AM hosts Brian Sussman and his radio sidekick "Officer Vic."

The pair, during the Monday program, did a comedic segment about Islam and its tenets, and joked that "Islamic finance is about living within your means and helping the needy -- unless they're Jews," the blog reported. Additionally, they observed that "the great honorable qualities of that good old time religion: honor killings, female circumcision, not allowing women to drive ... Jews are monkeys, pigs.''

Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for CAIR, told The Chronicle the Washington D.C.-based advocacy organization is asking American Muslims and consumers to contact KSFO officials and advertisers to express their concerns about what he called the "smears" on the Muslim religion...


UK: Dancing Pope flyer banned

We read:
"A nightclub leaflet showing the late Pope John Paul II holding a bottle of beer and dancing with a blonde woman has been banned. The leaflet shows Pope John Paul II with a bottle of beer dancing with a blonde woman wearing a short dress.

The Advertising Standards Authority branded the flyer offensive and ordered it to be removed after a complaint by the Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality (ISCRE) on behalf of angry Poles and Catholics.

It was distributed to promote a night called Berserk at Club Fire nightclub in Ipswich. Sheila Soltysik, secretary of Ipswich Polish Club, said a local Polish girl had complained to her. She said: "It was hugely offensive. The sheer volume of the reaction is what made us take the matter to ISCRE.

"It is unfortunate that the thoughtless actions of a marketing idea has created dismay amongst the Polish community and Catholic religion by depicting figures of high moral standards amongst ideas of inappropriate behaviour and surroundings.


Pope John Paul II is revered by many Poles so one can understand their hurt feelings -- and hurt feelings are not allowed these days, it seems.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Do you know what "overseas contingency operations" are?

Could be just about anything, couldn't it? It's the new Obama-speak:
"When George W. Bush was President, not everyone cared for his assertions that America was engaged in a "global war on terror." Among the critics was the bipartisan 9/11 Commission, whose 2004 report argued that "the enemy is not just 'terrorism,' some generic evil. This vagueness blurs the strategy. The catastrophic threat at this moment in history is more specific. It is the threat posed by Islamist terrorism -- especially the al Qaeda network, its affiliates, and its ideology."

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday made explicit what some observers had already noticed: Her boss has scrapped his predecessor's formulation. "The Administration has stopped using the phrase, and I think that speaks for itself," Mrs. Clinton told reporters en route to an international conference on Afghanistan. "I have not heard it used. I have not gotten any directive about using it or not using it. It is just not being used."

But whereas the 9/11 Commission counseled clarity, the new Administration is emitting a haze of obfuscation. The Pentagon's preferred term is "overseas contingency operations," a bit of military jargon of which "overseas" is the only part recognizable in plain English, and which obscures the key point that the war -- sorry, the "operations" -- began in earnest only after terrorists attacked American cities.


Sounds like what we really need is a war on vagueness.

Silvio does it again

My favourite head of government. I always look forward to his constant ignoring of political correctness. The man is a treasure.
"Italian newspapers have ribbed Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi for startling Queen Elizabeth by shouting out to the US president after a group photo with G20 leaders. Television footage shows Berlusconi at the edge of the group calling out loudly "Mr Obama! It's Berlusconi"....

Mr Berlusconi, a 72-year-old media magnate in his third term in office with a high rating in opinion polls, has a history of diplomatic gaffes, twice recently referring to Mr Obama's skin colour - or "sun tan", as the Italian leader called it.

The press had a field day. Among the cartoons, one in La Stampa said Mr Berlusconi had an "unrivalled ability to make a fool of himself" which "we in Italy call charisma". Il Giornale, owned by Berlusconi's brother, also reported the event, but put a positive spin on it, saying the Italian premier had helped make a stiff occasion more relaxed.

Photographs of the G20 also showed Mr Berlusconi popping up behind Mr Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and clapping his hands on their shoulders to smile for the cameras.


Italians shout. If you know anything about Italians, you know that. Not all do of course but they do shout much more than we Anglos do.

I grew up in a small Australian country town where the population was about half Italian. And in the waiting room of the local hospital, there was a large sign saying Silenzo (silence). It was the first Italian word I learnt. Where we Anglos tend to be hushed in the presence of illness, Italians tend to emote loudly. I sometimes think that their way is better but I don't have it in me personally. To anyone with the genes of England in them, emoting is always at least a bit embarrassing.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Don't say 'blind as a bat', British diversity guide warns police

Offensive to bats??
"Thousands of police officers have been issued with a 140-page 'diversity handbook' containing tips such as 'Don't lean on a disabled person's wheelchair'.

The guide points out that it is unhelpful for officers to cover their mouths when talking to somebody who is lip-reading, and suggests the phrase 'blind as a bat' may cause offence.

The Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland spent almost £5,000 on the project, consulting 75 different groups before handing out 7,000 copies of the booklet to all Scottish police forces. But frontline officers dismissed the book as patronising and pointless, claiming money was being wasted on stating the obvious in the name of political correctness.

The book also points out that cheery traditional greetings such as 'hen', 'pet', 'love' and 'my dear' should never be addressed to a woman.

And officers are reminded that a woman who is provocatively dressed and 'paying attention to passing vehicles' may not necessarily be a prostitute.


Most bats can actually see quite well, as it happens. Their eyes are primarily adapted to night vision, however.

Grumpy old woman dislikes affectionate term of address

In some places in Australia and Britain, older women are at times greeted by younger women with the affectionate term "Darl" (short for "Darling"). In an era when the elderly are given much less respect than was once the case, one would think that such expressions of respect were wholly to be welcomed. But not by the old bag below who probably has not yet come to terms with her age.
"I spend a big part of my life shopping (don't we all?), some of which is mundane but necessary. Buying food, for instance. But why does it come with unnecessary irritations?

When I go to the supermarket the checkout chick barks, "How are you today darl?" and then, when she has checked my items through, it's "That'll be $XX, darl". As I pay her, she hands me my receipt and mutters, "Thanks darl." At the greengrocer a similar thing happens: "Hello, darl", followed by "Have a nice day, darl" as I depart.

This darl obsession is not restricted to shop assistants, though. It appears to be general within the female population. Does anyone know who pioneered it? More to the point, does anyone know how to bring it to a close..?

There is some light in the tunnel, though - the male population isn't afflicted with this urge to refer to me as darl. Take a leaf out of their book, girls, and don't call me darl.


Friday, April 03, 2009

British ban on Dutch politician backfires

We read:
"The hasty ban on Wilders, which was obviously adopted by Gordon Brown's government as a gesture of appeasement to the very active Muslim fundamentalist wing in British politics, thereupon made it almost inevitable that the same government's decision to invite some representatives of Hezbollah to London would itself have to be reversed. The plan had been to get some civilian spokesman of the party's Lebanese wing to meet with officials and academics to discuss possible areas of common interest—this was in line with the British government's recent decision to resume contacts with Hezbollah in Beirut, on the assumption that a distinction can be made between its elected parliamentary wing and its military one. Even if you think that this is based on a naive assumption, the British are at least entitled to try it.

But now they find that one ban leads to another, for the sake of appearances and "even-handedness," so that having refused hospitality to one Dutchman, they are compelled to deny themselves the pleasure of sitting down with one or two Lebanese.


Logical reply "homophobic"

A British councillor's gender joke led to a dressing down by police
"The question-and-answer session had started in unremarkable fashion. As the 50 members of the public at the police liaison meeting were handed their electronic handsets to take part in a survey, an official told them: 'Let's start with an easy question to get us going. 'Press A if you're male or B if you're female.'

But it seems nothing is ever that simple. Someone asked: 'What if you're transgendered?' 'You could press A and B together,' quipped Conservative councillor Jonathan Yardley.

And that's where the problems started. Unbeknown to Mr Yardley, the person who had asked the question was partner to a transgendered individual, also at the meeting. And although Mr Yardley believes others found his quip amusing, this couple certainly did not.

A complaint was made - and as a result, he was spoken to by police for his ' homophobic' remark. Yesterday, the 48-year-old councillor said: 'I went to meet a sergeant and an inspector who told me what I said could be homophobic and started giving me advice on what sort of humour I should engage in. 'They put me through the mill and asked me to confirm what I'd said and told me that a complaint had been made and I could be prosecuted.

'I find it ridiculous you can get in trouble over an off-the-cuff remark, with no malice intended. I didn't even know there was a transgender person there.

The married father of one, who was not arrested, added: 'I've been trying to get more police into my ward, Tettenhall Regis, where there are the usual problems of anti-social youths, burglary and car crime. It just adds to my frustration that the police have to deal with petty complaints like jokes.


Thursday, April 02, 2009

TV actress: I'm Not Racist Because I Disagree With Obama

We read:
"Angie Harmon is not afraid to come out and say she doesn't like how President Obama is handling the job - but she's sick of having to defend herself from being deemed a racist.

"Here's my problem with this, I'm just going to come out and say it. If I have anything to say against Obama it's not because I'm a racist, it's because I don't like what he's doing as President and anybody should be able to feel that way, but what I find now is that if you say anything against him you're called a racist," Harmon told Tarts at Thursday's Los Angeles launch of the new eyelash-growing formula, Latisse.

"But it has nothing to do with it, I don't care what color he is. I'm just not crazy about what he's doing and I heard all about this, and he's gonna do that and change and change, so okay . I'm still dressing for a recession over here buddy and we've got unemployment at an all-time high and that was his number one thing and that's the thing I really don't appreciate.

If I'm going to disagree with my President, that doesn't make me a racist. If I was to disagree with W, that doesn't make me racist. It has nothing to do with it, it is ridiculous."

And in spite of the scornful opinions most of her Tinseltown counterparts have shared on Gov. Sarah Palin, Harmon remains a true fan. "I admire any kind of woman like her. My whole motto is to know what I stand for and know what I don't stand for and have the courage to live my life accordingly and she does exactly that. The fact that this woman has made the decisions she's made and literally lived her life according to that and takes heat for it is absolutely disgusting to me," she added.

"People cannot look at this woman. I really think they're afraid of her and her morals, ethics and values and the fact that she hangs on them. Is she the most experienced person in the world? But she was running to be the Vice President, so we then put the most inexperienced person as the President. That didn't make any sense to me."


A politically correct version of the truth from Canada

Compare the two headlines below:

Victoria musician gets 10 years in HIV sex-assault


Both headlines refer to the same facts and the same piece of scum. The first is from a major newspaper and the second is from the site of a talkshow host. Which do you think is most informative and most likely to be read? Hiding the truth seems to be a major objective of newspapers these days. May they all go bankrupt! Thank goodness that some of them are already bankrupt in a monetary sense. The vast majority of them have been bankrupt as reliable conveyors of information for a long time.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Wisconsin school says 'fellow' is a bad word: Too sexist

We read:
"The principal at Waupun High School has had the school's fight song rewritten because he feared its use of the word "fellow" could be construed as sexist.

Principal Jeff Finstad says most people didn't know the lyrics to the song, so students wanted to paint them on the gymnasium wall. That's when he read the words, which included the line, "Fight fellows, fight, fight, fight." He told students he wouldn't allow those words on the wall.

Finstad asked junior Bridget Nickel to rewrite the words. She came up with a version that removed gender-specific terms.

The school has dealt previously with an issue of political correctness. The school logo used to be a "W" for "Warriors" but it's been replaced by a character that looks like a knight.


Federal judge blocks charges in Pa. ’sexting’ case

We read:
"A federal judge on Monday temporarily blocked a prosecutor from filing child pornography charges against three northeastern Pennsylvania teenagers who appeared in racy photos that turned up on classmates’ cell phones. U.S. District Judge James Munley ruled against Wyoming County District Attorney George Skumanick Jr., who has threatened to pursue felony charges against the girls unless they agree to participate in a five-week after-school program.”


This Skumanick guy seems to be a sick puppy. All that the photos showed was a bit of tit. Maybe one sight of a teenage tit is all it takes to get Skumanick off.