"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press"
This document is part of an archive of postings on Tongue Tied, a blog hosted by Blogspot who are in turn owned by Google. The index to the archive is available here or here. Indexes to my other blogs can be located here or here. Archives do accompany my original postings but, given the animus towards conservative writing on Google and other internet institutions, their permanence is uncertain. These alternative archives help ensure a more permanent record of what I have written. My Home Page. My Recipes. My alternative Wikipedia. My Blogroll. Email me (John Ray) here. NOTE: The short comments that I have in the side column of the primary site for this blog are now given at the foot of this document.
30 April, 2019
New York Times apologises for ‘anti-Semitic’ portrayal of Trump, Netanyahu in cartoon
The American Jewish Committee has refused to accept an apology after a major US paper published an “anti-Semitic” cartoon.
The New York Times issued an apology over an offensive cartoon the publication ran in its international edition on April 25, which was later pulled because of its “anti-Semitic tropes”.
The cartoon, showing the Israeli prime minister personified as a sausage dog wearing a Star of David on its collar leading President Donald Trump wearing a black suit, black sunglasses and yarmulke on his head, has been slammed for its anti-Semitic undertones, reports Newsweek.
“Apology not accepted,” a spokesman for the American Jewish Committee said.
“How many New York Times editors looked at a cartoon that would not have looked out of place on a white supremacist website and thought it met the paper’s editorial standards?
“Disgusting. I have no words for flagrant anti-Semitism on display here,” the president’s son tweeted. “Imagine this was in something other than a leftist newspaper?”
Protesters attempt to shut down Jeff Sessions speech...while he talks free speech
While addressing the current state of free speech on college campuses, President Donald Trump’s former Attorney General Jeff Sessions was interrupted Wednesday on the campus of Amherst College in Massachusetts.
According to the Amherst Student newspaper, an unidentified instigator set off a stink bomb in the Johnson Chapel before Sessions even began his speech, while attendees were still taking their seats. The alleged stink bomb incident was followed by a walkout, a video of which was posted on Twitter. The video depicts roughly half of the attendees leaving the chapel during the speech, including one student carrying a gay pride flag.
Campus Reform could not independently confirm the use of a stink bomb during the protest. Neither Amherst College nor Amherst College Police returned a request for comment in time for publication.
During his speech, Sessions remarked that “American universities were once the center of academic freedom, where unpopular opinions could be had, argued and defended. But [they are] transforming now into echo chamber[s] of political correctness,” according to the Daily Hampshire Gazette.
After the event, the Amherst College Republicans chapter shared a post on its Facebook page, thanking Sessions for coming to campus.
29 April, 2019
US judge blocks enforcement of anti-Israel boycott law in Texas
Federal judge says boycotts are protected free speech, declaring the Texas law fails to serve compelling state interest.
A federal judge has blocked enforcement of a Texas law that requires contractors to certify that they don't boycott Israel.
In a 56-page opinion filed Thursday, US District Judge Robert Pitman of Austin said boycotts are protected free speech, declaring the law fails to serve a compelling state interest.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Texas filed the federal suit in December against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and others. It argued the law forces people to choose between their First Amendment rights and their livelihoods.
Texas is among 25 states that have enacted similar bans on participation in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel's treatment of Palestinians. He said the statute "threatens 'to suppress unpopular ideas" and "manipulate the public debate through coercion rather than persuasion".
Facebook Expects to Be Fined Up to $5 Billion by F.T.C. Over Privacy Issues
SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook said on Wednesday that it expected to be fined up to $5 billion by the Federal Trade Commission for privacy violations. The penalty would be a record by the agency against a technology company and a sign that the United States was willing to punish big tech companies.
The social network disclosed the amount in its quarterly financial results, saying it estimated a one-time charge of $3 billion to $5 billion in connection with an “ongoing inquiry” by the F.T.C. Facebook added that “the matter remains unresolved, and there can be no assurance as to the timing or the terms of any final outcome.”
Facebook has been in negotiations with the regulator for months over a financial penalty for claims that the company violated a 2011 privacy consent decree. That year, the social network promised a series of measures to protect its users’ privacy after an investigation found that its handling of data had harmed consumers.
The F.T.C. opened a new investigation last year after Facebook came under fire again. This time, the company was accused of not protecting its users’ data from being harvested without their consent by Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm that was building voter profiles for the Trump campaign. Facebook also suffered a data breach that exposed the personal information of nearly 50 million users.
For the Trump administration, penalizing Facebook would be a defining action. Although President Trump has rolled back scores of business regulations, he and others in Washington — including Democrats — have coalesced around calling for greater scrutiny and enforcement of tech companies. Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts and presidential candidate, has called for the breakup of Amazon, Google and Facebook. And Mr. Trump has sounded alarms over the dominance of the firms and their control over speech and the distribution of information.
But Facebook’s estimate of a fine signaled that a settlement with the F.T.C. was near. The Securities and Exchange Commission typically requires that a company notify investors of any significant financial hits.
For Facebook, a $5 billion fine would amount to a fraction of its $56 billion in annual revenue. Any resolution would also alleviate some of the regulatory pressure that has been intensifying against the company over the past two and a half years.
Even as the negotiations continue, Facebook’s business remains robust. The company said Wednesday that its revenue increased 26 percent in the first quarter to $15 billion from a year earlier. Net income dropped 51 percent from a year ago to $2.4 billion because of the expected one-time charge related to the F.T.C. investigation. The company has more than $40 billion in cash reserves.
New users continue flocking to Facebook. More than 2.7 billion people use one of the company’s so-called family of apps — Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp — each month. The company said about 1.56 billion people use Facebook every day, up 8 percent from a year ago.
28 April, 2019
Canada privacy watchdog rebukes Facebook
Canada’s privacy commissioner said Facebook broke the law when it harvested data from 600,000 citizens - and vowed to go to court to force reforms at the social networking giant.
Daniel Therrien’s findings were the result of an investigation into the California tech company’s role in a worldwide data scandal involving the now-defunct British consultancy Cambridge Analytica.
“Facebook’s refusal to act responsibly is deeply troubling given the vast amount of sensitive personal information users have entrusted to this company,” Mr Therrien said.
His investigation followed revelations that the personal details of tens of millions of Facebook users worldwide was hijacked by Cambridge Analytica as it worked for US President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.
The probe found that Facebook had violated federal statutes and provincial laws in British Columbia by giving unauthorised third-party access to 600,000 Canadians.
The company failed to obtain meaningful consent from “friends of friends” on the platform, he said, and took no responsibility for personal information.
Mr Therrien, who carried out his investigation with a provincial counterpart in British Columbia, said Facebook disputed his findings and has refused to heed his recommendations.
NRA Sues LA Over Free-Speech Violation
The National Rifle Association filed a lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles this week for a recent ordinance the city council unanimously passed. The ordinance, introduced by councilman Mitch O'Farrell, requires any city contractor to fully disclose any sponsorship of or contact with the NRA. O'Farrell, along with fellow anti-gun zealot Councilman Paul Krekorian, claimed that the law was needed to combat the NRA, which Krekorian described as "one of the most significant roadblocks to sensible gun safety reform at every level of government across the nation."
NRA attorney Chuck Michel argued that "politicians are free to disagree with the NRA's pro-freedom, firearm safety, and self-reliance message, but they aren't free to censor it — as this would do when NRA supporters drop their NRA affiliations for fear of losing work from the city because they get put on a blacklist." The lawsuit charges that the city's anti-NRA ordinance is an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment's protection of free speech and association as well as the 14th Amendment's right to equal protection under the law.
26 April, 2019
Former head of the Royal Navy says decision to scrap 'she' title for ships is 'an insult to generations of sailors'
A decision to scrap the "she" title for boats will "insult generations of sailors", the former head of the Navy says.
Admiral Lord Alan West, former First Sea Lord, has spoken out after a British maritime museum began referring to ships it exhibits as "it" in a bid to appear gender neutral.
In a rare move, BBC Radio 4's today programme took a call from a listener, Lord West, after he was so incensed by the news that he rang the show.
He said that the move is "stark staring bonkers" and "political correctness gone mad", adding: "It's a sort of insult to generations of sailors, the ships are seen almost as a mother to preserve us from the dangers of the sea and also from the violence of the enemy. To change it in this trite fashion is just absolutely stupid.
"We've done it for centuries as that's how we refer to them, we have to be very careful with little tiny pressure groups that make people change things. It's a very dangerous road we are going down.
"I don't think it's dated at all...sometimes things that are dated are there for very good reasons and I am very proud of some of those facts."
A spokesperson for the Royal Navy agreed that the tradition should not be changed, and added: “The Royal Navy has a long tradition of referring to its ships as ‘she’ and will continue to do so.”
The row began after the Scottish Maritime Museum near Troon changed its naming policy after vandals scratched out references to boats as "she" on information signs, forcing the charity’s director to scrap the gender-specific term altogether.
On social media, supporters of the museum expressed their dismay. "This isn’t how it works. You don't get to erase history, and like it or not ships have always been referred to as she," said Jennifer Sorbara.
"Political correctness is getting out of hand, the few are trying to bully the majority," said Harry Silvers. "There is room in this world for everyone."
‘Dehumanizing’ Speech Is Still Free Speech
Once again, Leftists are trying to change the meaning of words to support their goals
If you’re going to ask a conservative which predominantly leftist idea is the greatest threat to our nation’s culture of free speech, I’d expect that they’d immediately answer with “speech is violence.” It’s an understandable response. After all, “speech is violence” is not only the most dramatic claim, it’s a claim that has occasionally justified and rationalized actual violence — including on campus.
But there’s another claim, one that’s slightly less lurid and thus somewhat easier to justify. It applies in the most emotionally fraught debates about race, sexuality, and gender, and it goes something like this: No person should be required to “debate” his right to exist. Free speech is fine, but “dehumanizing” speech is something else entirely.
For example, if you argue that a man cannot get pregnant, you are “erasing” trans people. If you argue that marriage is a union of a man and a woman, then you are “dehumanizing” gay Americans. To take another example, as Jesse Singal points out in his invaluable newsletter, campus activists once tried to deny Heather Mac Donald a platform to critique Black Lives Matter by arguing that “if engaged, Heather Mac Donald would not be debating on mere difference of opinion, but the right of Black people to exist.”
It’s time to recognize the American culture war for what it is — a religious dispute — and incorporate it into America’s existing religious pluralism. A Christian no more “dehumanizes” a gay man when he believes in traditional sexual morality than a gay man “dehumanizes” a Christian for believing that the theology he’s based his entire life upon is nothing but an ancient fiction. A proposed limit to freedom of conscience is no more “dehumanizing” than a proposed limit to the reach of a public-accommodation statute.
25 April, 2019
Speech is about power
Jeannie Suk Gersen relates below some rather appalling stories of aggressive authoritarianism on the part of Leftist students. As a reflection of that, she says that the battle for free speech on campuses has become a battle about power.
In that she echoes what the Left-Fascist student "protesters" themselves say. They say that they are waging a power battle. They are as power-mad as any Nazi. Ms Suk however fails to deplore that. She thinks the students have a point. She thinks it is reasonable that Leftist students have made a battle for free speech into a battle about power
We conservatives however deplore the fact that the Left have made campus speech about power. A pox on power! What is wrong with a sober, respectful and balanced discussion of the issues? Is that not what universities are for?
I know what is wrong with it from a Leftist viewpoint. It's pretty obvious. A sober discussion of the issues that explores all sides of the argument generally results in a conclusion that clashes with dreamy Leftist fantasies. They cannot afford free speech. They are afraid of it. With free speech conservatives would win most of the arguments. Leftists display hysterical resistance to hearing conservative argumentation for good reason. It undermines them
So in the end, conservatives -- in the person of Mr Trump -- have to use power to combat the lawless and coercive power to censor that campus Leftists constantly exercise
Note: In case anyone thinks my use of the name Suk is satirical, I think I should note that Jeannie is Korean. Suk is a common Korean name. It is the surname of her father. She is married to Prof. Gersen
The version of her article that I have reproduced above is an abbreviated one, from which the invidious and tendentious comments about President Trump have been omitted
In September, 2017, a month after the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, student protesters at the College of William and Mary, in Williamsburg, shut down a speaker—Claire Guthrie Gastañaga, the executive director of the A.C.L.U. of Virginia. A student group had invited Gastañaga to campus to give a talk on the importance of free speech, but, because of the students’ persistent disruptions, she could not proceed. “Blood on your hands,” the protesters shouted, and “Shame! Shame! Shame!” and “You protect Hitler.”
The activities of universities and colleges would be worth little without some basic commitment to free thought, inquiry, and discourse among students, teachers, and researchers. But on many liberal campuses today students emphasize the downsides and limits to free speech. The William and Mary students’ refrains—which included “Your free speech hides beneath white sheets” and “Liberalism is white supremacy”—captured the notion that invocations of “free speech” most often enable domination, oppression, and hate. For some, the idea that free speech can be weaponized to harm the vulnerable not only justifies shutting down speech they hate but also makes free speech itself deeply suspect.
The more that free speech is denounced by the left, the more it is embraced by the right. Two years ago, the University of California, Berkeley, cancelled a lecture by the far-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, after protests of the event turned violent; President Trump then threatened, in a tweet, to withdraw federal funds from the school. At the time, the President’s suggestion appeared to lack a legal basis. Now he has created one, in the form of an executive order issued last month, in defense of free speech. The order, which warns colleges and universities to “avoid creating environments that stifle competing perspectives,” commands public institutions to comply with the First Amendment (which they are already required to do) and requires private institutions (which are not subject to the First Amendment) to comply with their own free-speech policies. It directs twelve federal agencies, including the Department of Education, to insure that schools that receive federal funding—virtually all colleges and universities—“promote free inquiry.”
But, with liberal and left politics dominant on most campuses, Trump can feel confident that his order serves as a partisan attack. The signing ceremony, which featured conservative students telling their stories of being censored on campus, was an opportunity to bash liberals for shutting down free speech. At first glance the order simply seems to reiterate existing legal requirements. But the instruction that agencies “take appropriate steps” to insure that institutions promote free inquiry contains an implied defunding threat. Even if no schools are ever actually defunded because of this order, it may induce them to stay in the government’s good graces on the issue.
The conscripting of the federal bureaucracy to monitor whether schools are sufficiently promoting free speech seems like unusual executive overreach, until we recall that the Obama Administration leveraged Title IX’s anti-sex-discrimination mandate to regulate schools’ handling of sexual assault. That federal executive strategy undoubtedly transformed student discipline, by threatening schools’ funding if they did not use discipline procedures to address allegations of assault. And so it may well be that schools are obligated to use their disciplinary powers against students who undermine others’ speech on campus . But that depends on whether the Trump Administration follows through as aggressively as the Obama Administration did in investigating and shaming schools for noncompliance.
Just this month, Harvard (where I am a professor of law) joined the ranks of schools where protesters have recently managed to shout down speakers, when students demanding divestment from fossil fuels and prisons successfully disrupted a forum at which the university’s president, Lawrence Bacow, was speaking. Bacow had said he would respond to reasons, not to pressure, and protesters were at the ready with a sign mocking him as “Larry ‘Reasons not demands’ Bacow.” “Who shut it down? We shut it down,” the students chanted.
Just before signing the order, Trump urged students to “get that point of view across. And listen to the other point of view. Maybe you can be changed and maybe not. I doubt it. But maybe. You never know.” He had a point. But his combatting of illiberal forces on campus also lent support to their central premise––that free speech is all about power.
Congress must act to protect campus free speech
Today, the National Association of Scholars (NAS) released a statement calling on Congress to include protections for campus free speech in the next reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. The NAS statement is signed by more than 100 prominent educators and public figures concerned with higher education.
The logic behind insisting on the inclusion of protection for campus free speech is straightforward. Congress needs to stop funneling money to colleges and universities that promulgate unconstitutional speech codes and establish so-called free-speech zones. If it fails to do so, Congress will be subsidizing the suppression of free speech by public colleges and universities.
President Trump is addressing the problem through the executive order he issued last month on campus free speech. But, as Stanley Kurtz explains, the president’s executive order conditions a different pot of federal money — research grants — on speech protections at public and private universities. That’s a large pot, to be sure. However, it pales in comparison to the many hundreds of millions of dollars at stake in federal student loans and grants.
Moreover, federal student loans reach schools that undertake little or no federally sponsored research and thus will be unaffected by the executive order. Finally, as Stanley also notes, “an executive order can be peeled back by a new president, whereas a law has staying power.”
Unfortunately, congressional Republicans seem disinclined to address the assault on free speech at America’s colleges and universities. According to Stanley, this is due in part to the unwillingness of congressional Democrats to join them on this issue.
But Republicans hold the better hand. Free speech is a core American value — the core American value, I would argue. Thus, a recent McLaughlin & Associates poll showed 73 percent approval for a presidential order to protect campus free speech.
If Democrats want to swim against that tide, let them. Republicans can make this a campaign issue in 2020, but only if they hold firm and refuse to reauthorize the Higher Education Act unless effective free speech provisions are included.
24 April, 2019
Obama, Clinton And Democrats Refuse To Call Sri Lanka Victims Christians: They Are #Easter Worshippers
Remember when Democrats booed God at their own convention? We suppose we shouldn’t be shocked that Obama, Hillary, and other prominent Democrats couldn’t bring themselves to call the hundreds of people who were killed in Sri Lanka FOR THEIR FAITH, Christians.
And instead, they coined a new phrase …
Barack Obama: The attacks on tourists and Easter worshippers in Sri Lanka are an attack on humanity
WTF is an Easter worshipper? People don’t worship Easter, they worship Christ on Easter making them Christians. Nobody worships the Easter Bunny, Barry.
Did the DNC send out a memo? We’re thinking so because Cankles McCankleface also used this disrespectful term.
"On this holy weekend for many faiths, we must stand united against hatred and violence. I'm praying for everyone affected by today's horrific attacks on Easter worshippers and travelers in Sri Lanka"
Democrats couldn’t bring themselves to say the word, Christians, even when hundreds of them had been killed because they WERE CHRISTIANS.
When a gunman massacres 49 Muslims in Christchurch, the world falls over itself to wear burkas and condemn hatred against Muslims.
When terrorists kill 290 people in Sri Lanka, the victims of the church bombings become #EasterWorshippers.
Why #EasterWorshippers doesn’t make sense?
1. Christians don’t worship Easter.
2. If Christians get killed on a different day, should politicians call them Sunday, Christmas, Thanksgiving, or Wednesday worshippers?
3. Nice try but Christians in Sri Lanka were worshipping Christ
'White males' should be BANNED from speaking during university classes so women and transgender students are more willing to contribute to discussions - seminar suggests
A workshop at one of Australia's top universities discussed banning white male students who look like Liberal Party voters from speaking in class.
The seminar titled How Privilege Manifests in Tutorials was held last week by the University of Melbourne Student Union.
Attendees discussed ways to make tutorials and lectures more inclusive by encouraging women, transgender, foreign and gay people to speak up more.
One proposal was to ban 'white, male students' and 'students resembling Liberal voters' from speaking.
This caused outrage among members of the student Liberal Club. Thomas Carlyle-James, 21, said it was unfair to paint this stereotype of Liberal voters. 'There's generally this sort of idea that Liberals are all racist, rich, white kids,' he told The Australian.
'I know plenty of Liberals and none of them are racists and they aren't as wealthy as people think and are also from all different nationalities.'
The workshop was one of many held last week during the Student Union's annual event titled Radical Education Week.
Other workshops were titled Feminist History of Capitalism; Burn the Prisons Down & Tear Apart the Walls; and Climate vs Capitalism: Eco-socialism as an Alternative.
Student Union president Molly Willmott defended the workshop. 'This is not about stopping people from speaking,' she said. 'We're a university that encourages free speech.
'It's about giving space to people who don't feel included on university campuses because of things like gender, language (and) queerness.'
A University of Melbourne spokeswoman said: 'This is a workshop run by UMSU.' 'What is discussed is not university policy.'
23 April, 2019
NHL Team Covers Statue, Will Stop Playing ‘God Bless America’ Recording over Alleged Racism
As dispiriting and jarring as it was for the New York Yankees to ditch Kate Smith’s historic rendition of “God Bless America” over, as the New York Daily News described it, “potential racism,” it wasn’t a huge surprise given the Yankees’ recent penchant for virtue signaling.
Something that is genuinely surprising?
The Philadelphia Flyers going to great lengths to scrub the iconic singer, given Smith’s historic ties to the franchise.
On top of that, “scrubs” might be an understatement.
The Flyers announced that not only will they cease using Smith’s rendition of “God Bless America,” but they haphazardly covered up the iconic statue of Smith that has stood outside the Wells Fargo Center and its predecessor, the Spectrum, since 1987.
Smith’s rendition was a notable salve given the enormous political and racial tensions in America at the time, as NBC Sports noted in 2016.
“The crowd’s indifference to the playing of the national anthem before games seemed an obvious backlash to Vietnam and what was happening on home soil, as well,” NBC’s Tim Panaccio wrote.
“It was a pretty tough, troubled time, and there was a lot of unhappiness in the United States,” Lou Scheinfeld, former Flyers vice president of business operations, said, per NBC. “People were angry and kind of unpatriotic at the time.”
Smith’s “God Bless America” was the fix that was needed, according to Scheinfeld.
And now, Smith, who died in 1986, won’t even have a chance to defend herself against these allegations of “potential racism.”
Smith’s legacy has come under fire after a report from the Daily News alleged that she had a history of racism based on her song “That’s Why Darkies Were Born,” from the satirical 1939 Broadway revue “George White’s Scandals.”
Never mind that the revue was satire, or that the song was also sung by legendary black performer Paul Robeson. The PC police saw a chance to judge 1939 by 2019’s standards and they couldn’t help themselves.
Philadelphia has always been closely entwined with its sports teams, and it’s genuinely perplexing that the Flyers would kowtow to these allegations of “potential racism” from 1939.
To be clear, racism is obviously terrible and should be condemned to the fullest extent. But if America is going to start posthumously excoriating people based on little more than “potential” and allegations, that is as slippery of a slope imaginable.
Facebook’s New ‘Click-Gap’ Is Anti-Free Speech
Equating the mainstream media with "quality" writing is a laugh
Facebook recently announced that it will introduce the “click-gap signal” into its newsfeed algorithm. According to Facebook, the click-gap signal will help protect its users from low-quality content.
But the new change may actually create a bigger problem for Americans who value the open marketplace of ideas the social media platform once provided.
While the change may cut down on what Facebook deems low-quality content, the more significant outcome will likely be to give the establishment media another step up in Facebook’s newsfeed.
If you are wondering what a click-gap is, then join the crowd. Facebook invented the term, so we are all trying to catch up. Put simply, Facebook is trying to demote domains in its news feed that are getting disproportionately more clicks from inside Facebook than outside of it.
For example, if a website gets a large portion of its pageview traffic from Facebook, but get a small amount from outside of Facebook, then the click-gap signal will now cause Facebook to penalize that website.
Facebook’s news feed algorithm sorts, promotes and demotes posts from users based on certain signals. There are numerous signals — some that we know about and some that we don’t. The click-gap is simply an additional signal that will now factor into the automated sorting that occurs before Facebook users see any posts in their feed.
Facebook explained it this way:
This new signal, Click-Gap, relies on the web graph, a conceptual “map” of the internet in which domains with a lot of inbound and outbound links are at the center of the graph and domains with fewer inbound and outbound links are at the edges. Click-Gap looks for domains with a disproportionate number of outbound Facebook clicks compared to their place in the web graph. This can be a sign that the domain is succeeding on News Feed in a way that doesn’t reflect the authority they’ve built outside it and is producing low-quality content.
Facebook’s stated purpose for forcing the click-gap signal on its users is that it will cut down on low-quality content. And it certainly may do that.
But the click-gap signal will cause far more serious problems than it solves.
The click-gap signal is anti-free speech. One of the advantages of a platform like Facebook is that it provides a fertile ground for diverse voices to be heard. It is easier to post a link to Facebook than to be published in the Op-Ed section of The New York Times. Despite what it looks like, not just anyone can get an interview with CNN. Facebook gives — or rather gave — younger, smaller, less established voices a place where they could be heard.
Not so anymore. Or at least not with any hope of success. Facebook is telling websites that unless they already have a big audience outside of Facebook, they shouldn’t come to Facebook looking for help.
22 April, 2019
Irish Prime Minister Admits Exclusion Zones Undermine Pro-Life Free Speech
Responding to Sinn Féin TD Louise O’Reilly in the Dáil today on the issue of exclusion zones outside abortion facilities, the Taoiseach confirmed that the proposed new law was running into difficulties around issues to do with the curtailment of “free speech” and the right to “peacefully protest”.
Leo Varadkar told the Dáil: “We are running into real difficulties around restricting peaceful protest and restricting free speech.”
The Taoiseach also conceded that in placing a ban on peaceful protest, “we do enter a difficult space in a democracy when you decide that certain opinions can’t be held, certain types of protests can’t happen.”
The Taoiseach continued: “In a democracy, if you’re going to restrict free speech and if you’re going to restrict the right to protest, you need to be on very solid ground.”
Commenting on the Taoiseach’s remarks, Pro Life Campaign spokesperson, Maeve O’Hanlon said:
“I welcome the Taoiseach’s admission that peaceful protest and free speech would be undermined by the introduction of exclusion zone legislation. I hope his remarks are sincere and that he’s not turning into a civil libertarian until the local elections are out of the way"
New Online Portal to Teach Free Speech Is Launched
Columbia U teaching free speech is the joke of the week. But we must realize that for them free speech means free speech for Leftists only. You don't need to teach free speech. You just have to stop opposing it
Columbia Global Freedom of Expression has launched a new teaching portal Freedom of Expression Without Frontiers, in partnership with 10 universities and civil society organizations from around the world, to promote the adoption of a global approach to the teaching of free speech.
Freedom of Expression Without Frontiers grew out of meetings held at Columbia University, which concluded that the teaching of free speech, media law or communication remains heavily centered on one country and one discipline, and as such is badly out of alignment with the global reality, including the global information ecosystem of the 21st century.
“Universities have a special obligation to protect and promote freedom of expression and open debate, the life blood of all democratic societies,” said First Amendment scholar and Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger. “At a time when these rights are increasingly under threat around the world, Freedom of Expression Without Frontiers offers students, faculty, and members of the public a unique resource informed by an essential global perspective.”
Freedom of Expression Without Frontiers offers close to 300 academic and training resources on the laws, institutions and actors that have founded a global system of freedom of expression, information and media. Its target audiences include educators who wish to design and offer courses and trainings on this global information ecosystem, and students, journalists, legal practitioners who wish to engage and understand free speech issues from a global standpoint.
21 April, 2019
Meet a Canadian truth warrior
Bettina Arndt writes from Australia:
Well, I finally managed to interview Janice Fiamengo this week after various attempts in the past which floundered over internet problems. I’m sure she will need no introduction for many of you who are familiar with her YouTube channel, The Fiamengo Files.
But for those of you who haven’t come across this fabulous woman, I’ll just tell you a few of the reasons I was so keen on talking to her.
Janice is a professor of English at the University of Ottawa and for years now she has been speaking out about the appallingly anti-male culture developing on university campuses. This really hit home to her when she found herself on academic committees making decisions about jobs and promotions and noticed very able men were constantly being overlooked, with positions being offered to far less impressive women who had nothing like the same experience or qualifications. You will hear in our interview about the hostile reactions she encountered when she started to speak out about this.
This simply made her more determined to voice her concern about what was happening and she’s spent the last few years making YouTube videos exposing what is going on in Canadian Universities. Like the dreadful cases of eminent academics being targeted by #MeToo accusations and other males being hung out to dry in all sorts of ways. Then there’s the promotion of the campus rape scare campaign. Like me, Janice has been subjected to protests from feminist activists and has had some of her talks shut down. It’s pretty funny seeing the feminists chanting the same slogans at us both, two women on opposite sides of the world, taking on the same crazy nonsense.
Janice also hears constantly from men in trouble and some years ago decided to put together a book of personal stories from men about how they cope in this feminised world. Sons of Feminism is an amazing collection, including tales from young men about school years where they were constantly in strife for normal boyish behaviour, nerdy men who have never dared risk going near women, frightening stories from professionals in all sorts of work environments where men are being demonised and tales of men given unfair treatment in the courts. It really gives an overview of where we are now and why we must all get active to try to find ways to change the culture. Here’s links for ordering the book: paperback -
https://amzn.to/2UE1DJ3 and on kindle: https://amzn.to/2UJWorm
So here’s the complete video. It’s pretty long – we have so much in common it was very hard to stop talking! : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpVDpoK_4_E
But we have also done a shorter version of highlights, for those who’d like a taste of what we discussed : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KUuv5cSo48
It would be great if you could help promote both of these.
Meet us in Chicago next August at ICMI 19
I’ll be excited to meet Janice at the International Conference on Men’s Issues in Chicago next August and hope some of you might be able to join us. Many of the leading lights from the men’s rights movement will be speaking, including Karen Straughan, Diana Davison, Carl Benjamin (Sargon of Akkad), Paul Elam and Mike Buchanan. To buy a ticket use this link:
http://icmi2019.icmi.info/ (Use promo code: bettina sent me )
Email from Tina: email@example.com
Support for Terrorism, Not Ideas, Kept Omar Barghouti Out of the U.S.
The NYT has argued that keeping Omar Barghouti out of the USA was a breach of his free speech. The writer below says that it was specifically his support for terrorism that kept him out. It is generally argued that support for terrorism does not deserve free speech protections
Omar Barghouti, the Palestinian activist who played the leading role in founding the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel (BDS), recently had to cancel a visit to America when he was refused permission to enter the country. Contrary to what one might read in outraged columns in the media, the immigration authorities’ decision was prompted not by what Barghouti might say but by what he has done. Noah Pollak writes:
In 2007, Barghouti founded, and runs to this day, a Ramallah-based umbrella group called the BDS National Committee that serves as the leading group organizing and promoting BDS outside the United States. The reason Barghouti was barred from entering the U.S. is not because he advocates BDS or Israel’s destruction. There is no speech issue here at all.
The reason he was barred is because the group Barghouti runs includes five U.S.-designated terrorist organizations in its membership, [among them], Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, [and] the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine]. Not only does Barghouti run a group whose membership includes U.S.-designated terrorists, he himself promotes terrorism. [He] has stated his support for terrorism dozens of times, plainly, openly, publicly, proudly, without euphemism. . . .
The only good part of the BDS movement is how it is exposing so many progressives as wishful, gullible, or dishonest in their need to paint the anti-Israel cause as respectable.
19 April, 2019
Student demonstrators charged at UA
The case comes from the University of Arizona where students disrupted a Career Day presentation by Border Patrol agents.
Normally in these cases, the students doing the disrupting get off with no punishment or, at most, a light slap on the wrist. But that’s not how it’s gone down so far at the University of Arizona.
Instead, the UA campus police filed criminal misdemeanor charges of “interference with the peaceful conduct of an educational institution” against three disruptors, and the leader of the shout-down was also charged with “threats and intimidation.”
Moreover, UA President Robert Robbins backed up the campus police. “Student protest is protected by our support for free speech,” said Robbins, “but disruption is not.”
Robbins’ stance should be understood in the context of the new legal landscape in Arizona. A year ago, as I reported here, the state enacted a campus free speech law that includes robust protections against shout-downs. That law is based on a model published by Arizona’s Goldwater Institute and co-written by Stanley Kurtz.
Unlike more limited laws passed in some states, the Arizona bill includes provisions for the discipline of those who engage in shout-downs. It also establishes an oversight system to ensure that administrators actually enforce the law’s provisions.
The term 'disabled' is insulting and should be replaced by 'Access Inclusion Seekers'
Mark Tonga is a tetraplegic as a result of a football accident
Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore is considering a plan to normalise the term 'Access Inclusion Seekers' when referring to disabled people.
The City Council is revamping their disability policies, with the council's inclusion expert advisory panel now claiming the 'd' word may soon be as offensive as the 'n' word.
One on the panel, Mark Tonga, said using the term 'disabled' portrays people as having 'less capacity and less ability,' The Daily Telegraph reports. [Because they do]
'Disability is a subliminal pejorative for many. It's negative. Perhaps sooner than you think, the "d" work will be as offensive as the "n" word is now,' he said.
But Dr Jeremy Sammut, Centre for Independent Studies research fellow, disagreed. He claimed that policing the language people used was unnecessary and argued issues about inclusion had been dealt with in the past.
'Social attitudes to disability have already changed and almost no one stigmatises and diminishes what people with disability can and should achieve,' Dr Sammut said.
18 April, 2019
Maryland Man in MAGA Hat Beaten and Robbed in Latest Politically Motivated Attack
Two Maryland men have been charged with assault and robbery after attacking a man who was wearing a red Make America Great Again (MAGA) hat.
Atsu Nable, a legal immigrant from Togo, was reportedly out enjoying the spring weather in Germantown, MD., when the suspects approached him and started harassing him about his MAGA hat.
According to a Montgomery County Police Department press release, Nable said he told them that he is entitled to his views and walked away.
But the suspects then began striking the victim and telling him to take the hat off. He told FOX5 he was "shocked" when one of the assailants hit him from behind.
Nable continued to be assaulted by the suspects until he fell to the ground, according to the press release.
"I was like, ‘Why are you doing this?’ They said, ‘No, the hat,’ and they started punching me on my head.” Nable told FOX5.
The thugs then tried to steal his phone, took some of his other belongings, and destroyed several items of value.
Witnesses called 911 and Montgomery County police officers canvassed the area, Fox5 reported.
They found the two suspects "at a nearby basketball court attempting to hide among the children playing."
Nable told ABC7 that he forgives his attackers, "but hopes they become more tolerant of opposing viewpoints."
The men charged are Jovan Crawford, 27, and Scott Duncan Robertson, 25. Both are charged with second degree assault, robbery, attempted theft, conspiracy to commit robbery and malicious destruction of property. They could face up to 10 years in prison on those charges.
Critical Australian academic’s firing was ‘unlawful’, court finds
No free speech about global warming. Prof. Ridd dared ridicule the Global Warming messiahs in his university who said that climate change was devastating Australia's Great Barrier Reef. He showed clear evidence that they were deceptive. So his university was out to "get" him by hook or by crook, mostly crook. They are now more furious with him than ever
A Federal Court judge has ruled James Cook University acted unlawfully when it sacked physics professor Peter Ridd after he publicly criticised the institution and one of its star scientists over claims about the global warming impact on the Great Barrier Reef.
Professor Ridd last night welcomed the decision and called on the university’s council, its governing body, to make vice-chancellor Sandra Harding accountable for the legal defeat. “The university has broken the law. What is the university council going to do about this? The vice-chancellor has brought the university into disrepute,” he said.
In his verdict, judge Salvatore Vasta said the university’s grounds for dismissing Professor Ridd — that he breached the university’s code of conduct — were improper. He found that all 17 findings used by the university to justify the sacking were unlawful.
Judge Vasta found that a clause in the university’s enterprise agreement, which upholds academic freedom, justified Professor Ridd’s conduct. “This trial was purely and simply about the proper construction of a clause in an enterprise agreement,” he said.
Judge Vasta also said the university had misunderstood “the whole concept of intellectual freedom”. “In the search for truth, it is an unfortunate consequence that some people may feel denigrated, offended, hurt or upset,” he said.
17 April, 2019
Australia's most famous comedian dishonoured because he was dismissive about transgenders
Comedians are split on the Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s move to dump the Barry Award from its honour roll following controversy over the prize’s namesake, iconic funnyman Barry Humphries.
Humphries made headlines last year over his comments to The Spectator, which were interpreted as transphobic.
Transgender comedian Cassie Workman is hot favourite to take out the award formerly known as the Barry.
“I don’t think the name of the Barry Award should be changed,” he said
“I don’t think what he said was right and I don’t think he was trying to be provocative, I honestly believe that’s what he thinks. It’s not a very now thing to say but he’s not very now.”
“Humphries has been doing pretty much the same thing since the ’70s. Think of the UK comedians, Benny Hill was out of control but he’s revered as an icon now. Barry Humphries has probably had more impact here and internationally than anybody else.”
But Drag Queen performer Dolly Diamond agreed with the Comedy Festival’s bold move. “It was time ... when you’re becoming far more known as a transphobic than a comedian, you’ve got to go.
“I’ve definitely modelled Dolly Diamond on (Dame) Edna to a degree and the way he pioneered the genre will never change. I haven’t lost all respect for the man, I just don’t agree with his views.”
“I’m playing a character and I’m respectful of everyone in the community. I treat people in the transgender community with the same respect as everyone else, maybe more so until there’s more acceptance.”
The Barry, which honoured the festival’s best show, will be renamed the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Award.
“Melbourne International Comedy Festival is one of the world’s greatest comedy festivals and it is time for the award for most outstanding show to be in our name to celebrate the city that inspired the growth of our festival and its outstanding artists,” festival director Susan Provan said.
Best known worldwide for his popular drag character Dame Edna Everage, Humphries said transgender issues, were a “fashion,” adding: “How many different kinds of lavatory can you have?”
He added: “And it’s pretty evil when it’s preached to children by crazy teachers.”
After his comments were published, former Barry Award winners Hannah Gadsby and Zoe Coombs-Marr said Barry’s name should be dumped from the MICF’s top award.
In 2016, Humphries described gender reassignment surgery as “self-mutilation”.
He also criticised Caitlyn Jenner as a “publicity-seeking ratbag for wanting to “steal the limelight” from the other famous women in her family.
I think Humphries made reasonable points
Christian Refugee from Iran, Arrested at Mall of America for Sharing Gospel with Muslims, Will Plead Not Guilty
On Thursday morning, Christian pastor Ramin Parsa, a former Muslim refugee from Iran who got arrested at the Mall of America for sharing his testimony with Somali Muslims in August 2018, will meet with the city attorney's office for a settlement conference. He will defend himself against charges of misdemeanor trespassing.
"Tomorrow morning on March 7th at 9:00 AM I will stand before a judge and plead NOT guilty on the charges a Muslim in Minnesota brought against me for sharing the Gospel in a private conversation," Parsa said in a Facebook post on Wednesday. "I was interrupted by that Somali woman who did not like the subject of my talk although she was not a part of the conversation."
In August 2018, Parsa was visiting the Mall of America when two Somali Muslim women came up to talk with him. They asked him if he was still a Muslim, and he said no, so they asked why. As he was speaking with them, a third Somali Muslim woman reported him to mall security. The other two women asked the third one not to interrupt.
Mall security told him to stop speaking with the women, and he did. Then, after he bought a coffee, security arrested him and held him in "mall jail" for hours, without giving him food or water or letting him use the restroom.
Mall security called the police, and the state charged Parsa with trespassing.
The pastor recalled facing persecution in Muslim countries and then finally coming to the United States, where he thought he would be free to practice his faith without fear.
The lawyer said the settlement conference will involve "further negotiations and legal proceedings regarding Pastor Parsa’s First Amendment rights and the charge." A jury trial has already been set for April 29, unless the state drops the charges.
Parsa has called on Christians to share the gospel and warn against the dangers of Islam. "As Christians, we must lay aside lukewarmness, and foolish arguments and shake the dust of religion and legalism and get on fire for Jesus and share the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ with boldness," he wrote. "The apostles of Jesus said: 'Shall we obey man or God?' If we don’t wake up, our cities, states, country will be lost."
16 April, 2019
Fanatical Palo Alto Leftist abuses elderly Jew
I don’t want to take sides in the Make America Great Again debate, but a guy wearing a MAGA hat in a Palo Alto Starbucks shouldn’t be subjected to yelling by a woman who disagrees with his point of view.
The instigator, Rebecca Parker Mankey, went further than yelling and chasing the MAGA hat-wearing-man. She went on social media to call him names and asking people to “dox” him, Internet slang for publishing his contact information with malicious intent.
Mankey lost her job at a business in the California Avenue district and has resigned from a local Democratic Party club. She’s also been bombarded with threats online after conservative websites picked up the story.
To his credit, the victim of this attack — a 74-year-old Jewish man who only wants to go by his first name, Victor — feels Mankey shouldn’t have lost her job, and he doesn’t want anybody to threaten her.
One of the longstanding principles of our republic is that people have the right to free speech — and free speech means being able to wear a hat that represents your views. It’s an idea enshrined in the First Amendment of the Constitution.
Only Chinese People Get to Make Chinese Food, or Something
The "cultural appropriation" mania. I would have thought that making Chinese food was "cultural appreciation"
I'm old enough to remember when racial segregation was a bad thing. Back in the beforetimes, we were encouraged to think of America as a melting pot, where people from many different backgrounds could commingle and learn from each other. Little did we know that what was really happening was something called cultural appropriation, which is very bad.
Do you like Chinese food? Are you Chinese? If your answer to the second question is "No," then your opinion doesn't matter anyway. Now shut up and educate yourself.
Amanda Prestigiacomo, Daily Wire:
A young mother in New York City has been targeted by left-wing social justice activists for daring to open a Chinese restaurant while being white.
Activists have accused Arielle Haspel of being culturally insensitive for naming her restaurant "Lucky Lee's" and for suggesting her food is conducive for those seeking so-called "clean eating."
So now lots of people are yelling at this woman for daring to prepare foods she's not supposed to touch. She's white, which means it's racist.
This sort of thing happens every so often. A couple of years ago, two women were forced to shut down their food cart in Portland, Ore., because they sold burritos even though they were white and people got angry. It's racist to enjoy foods that were created in places you've never lived, or your ancestors never lived.
But only if you're white, of course. Non-Caucasians are allowed to prepare recipes created by white people, because... why not? It would be silly to tell them to stop, wouldn't it? Downright racist.
Stay in your lane, whiteys. If you're Irish, limit yourself to potatoes and whiskey. If you're German, you only get to make strudel and foods ending in -wurst. If you're Danish, that's also the only thing you can eat. Italians, fuggetaboutit. You don't get to steal other people's food ideas anymore, racists. Keep your grubby pale paws, and your dirty green money, to yourself.
Being woke seems really fun.
15 April, 2019
UK: Lawyer who warned trainees never to wear brown shoes with blue suits under fire
He was just trying to let newbies know what is "done" in London's financial district
The ‘no brown in town’ adage has been the subject of scorn, sneers and scandal in City pubs for more than 100 years. Yet despite an increasing awareness of social mobility and social taboos, one top city law firm appears to have shunned such progress.
An unnamed partner has reportedly passed on some controversial sartorial advice to aspiring young lawyers.
Speaking at Thomson Reuters’ ‘Transforming Women’s Leadership in the Law’ conference at London’s Hilton Tower Bridge hotel last week, the unnamed partner was reported to have told juniors: “Don’t wear brown shoes with a blue suit”.
The comments were first reported by Legal Cheek, quoting legal affairs journalist Catherine Baksi, who attended the event.
Ms Baksi tweeted that the partner, who worked at a top international law firm, was passing on advice to “unsuitably dressed trainees”.
Ms Baksi told The Telegraph that the comments were made within the context of helping people from non-traditional backgrounds who would not know “unspoken dress code rules” about blue suits and brown shoes.
“But then as other people quite rightly said,” Ms Baksi added, “it’s time for the dress code law to change” and not the candidates.
The comments immediately sparked a backlash on social media, with lawyers saying that the comments were “a step too far”.
A 2016 study released by the Social Mobility Commission reported that investment banks are less likely to hire men who wear brown shoes to a job interview.
Israel Folau could SUE Rugby Australia for religious discrimination if they terminate his contract
A footballer is a Very Important Person so the attempt to punish him for his "incorrect" speech has got a lot of people coming out in his defence
Israel Folau could sue Rugby Australia on the grounds of religious discrimination if his current contract is terminated, an expert has claimed.
Yesterday it was revealed that the Wallabies player would fight the attempts of Rugby Australia and the New South Wales Waratahs to sack him over the contents of a social media post.
Folau made an Instagram post on Thursday which said gay people - and other perceived sinners - would go to hell unless they repented.
The 30-year-old, who holds strong Christian views, was warned last year for making similar comments on social media but escaped disciplinary action.
On this occasion, however, RA announced it would cancel the lucrative four-year deal he signed in January.
But one legal expert has said Folau could make a claim against the organisation on the basis of his religion under the Fair Work Act.
Mark Fowler, an adjunct associate professor of law the University of Notre Dame, told The Sydney Morning Herald that RA would have to prove they were not terminating Folau's contract because of his religion.
'On what is publicly reported, it would seem hard to say that the action Rugby Australia is proposing is not because of his religious belief.'
If Folau successfully sued Rugby Australia for the millions of dollars remaining on his contract, it would be a serious blow for the already financially-stretched organisation.
On Friday a meeting was held at the union's headquarters in Moore Park and while the RA's position is unchanged, the Wallabies face the prospect of entering this autumn's World Cup without one of the game's most gifted players.
'As the meeting was held in confidence between the player and his employers, Rugby Australia and the NSW Rugby Union will not comment on the discussions at the meeting,' a statement read.
The Rugby Union Players' Association accompanied Folau to the talks and revealed in a statement that he intends to honour his contract, adding that the RA's code of conduct must be followed during any disciplinary action.
There has been widespread condemnation of Folau's remarks, including from former Wallabies team-mate Drew Mitchell and New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern.
But former Wallabies coach and prominent media commentator Alan Jones defended Folau's controversial comments - saying the rugby star had a right to freedom of speech.
Jones said Rugby Australia was acting against Folau to shore up the continued support of major sponsor Qantas, whose chief executive Alan Joyce is gay.
Rugby Australia has reprimanded Folau in the past for targeting the LGBTQI community in his social media posts.
He came under fire in 2017 during the marriage equality vote, when he publicly announced he wouldn't be supporting gay marriage.
14 April, 2019
UK: Allegedly Conservative government fires conservative Academic Sir Roger Scruton over frank speech
Conservative academic Sir Roger Scruton has been sacked as head of a government housing body following comments about Islam, China and George Soros.
The philosopher was appointed as the unpaid chair of the Building Beautiful architecture Commission in November.
He has now been dismissed after claiming Islamophobia was "a propaganda word" and "each Chinese person is a kind of replica of the next one".
Downing Street said the comments were "deeply offensive".
Sir Roger's appointment to head the new body was criticised at the time by Labour, who said his past comments on race and sexuality made him unsuitable to hold the post.
The author has now left his position "with immediate effect" after an interview with the New Statesman in which he questioned the definition of Islamophobia and speculated on the influence of Jewish financier, philanthropist and liberal political activist George Soros in his native Hungary.
He said he stood by comments he has made in the past that Islamophobia was a "propaganda word invented by the Muslim Brotherhood in order to stop discussion of a major issue".
He said "anybody who doesn't think that there's a Soros empire in Hungary has not observed the facts" - a statement that critics have condemned as a conspiracy theory and an anti-Semitic trope.
In a wide-ranging interview, he also said the Communist regime in China was "creating robots out of their own people" which he said was a "frightening thing".
More details here on what Scruton actually said
Broadcaster defends Israel Folau's free speech, attacks Rugby Australia’s decision to terminate $4m contract
In a contest between faith in sexual abnormality and faith in Christianity, Christianity is losing. You must not even speak Bible teachings in public. A top Rugby player is being fired for saying again in public that homosexuals are going to hell. See Romans 1:27; Jude 1:7; 1 Timothy 1:8-11; Mark 10:6-9; Matthew 19: 4-16; 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11; 1 Corinthians 7:2; Leviticus 18:22; Leviticus 20:13; Genesis 19:4-8
Alan Jones has defended Israel Folau and says Rugby Australia has corrupted free speech in Australia.
Alan Jones has hit out at Rugby Australia’s decision to terminate high-profile rugby player Israel Folau’s contract saying the decision has “completely corrupted” free speech in Australia.
It comes as the sport star’s $4 million contract with Rugby Australia is set to be scrapped following a homophobic social media post condemning homosexuals, drunks and liars where Folau says “Hell awaits you”.
“It’s got nothing to do with Israel, or rugby, or religion, or homosexuals. Where are we in this country on free speech?” Jones said on his 2GB radio show this morning. “It has completely corrupted free speech in this country.
“It wouldn’t be the first time, in my opinion, that Rugby Australia have got it completely wrong and I think if they have signed this contract or demanded of Israel certain matters outside the playing of the game … then that, I believe, is outside the ambit of what they are able to do,” he went on.
“We’ve got an issue here because we’re going down a very, very narrow road here. “This has gone on and on and on this crap. Out there, people now are terrified of saying anything, they don’t know what they can say.”
Former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce also condemned Rugby Australia’s decision. “He (Folau) is a rugby player with a well known very Christian conservative worldview. They employed him and they knew that how can they sack him?” he said on Twitter.
[PM] Scott Morrison criticised Folau for making a “terribly insensitive comment” about gay people. “It was a terribly insensitive comment and they have taken action as a result,” Mr Morrison told the ABC this morning.
12 April, 2019
Google’s Trust and Safety Council Blacklists Conservatives
According to leaked documents obtained by the Daily Caller, Google does act upon its bias against conservatives in the most pernicious ways possible.
Daily Caller reported on April 9, that Google described two different policies in those documents which, if broken, might lead the search engine to blacklist certain sites from search results. It found information about Google’s “XPA news blacklist” which is updated by Google employees on the Trust & Safety team as needed. That blacklist included Matt Walsh’s blog, Gary North’s blog, American Spectator, the Conservative Tribune, and the Gateway Pundit.
The policy document on Google’s “misrepresentation policy” and its “Good Neighbor policy” outlined the policy on “offending” websites: “The purpose of the blacklist will be to bar the sites from surfacing in any Search feature or news product. It will not cause a demotion in the organic search results or de-index them altogether.”
In previous leaked documents to Breitbart, Google employees and YouTube employees have admitted to manipulating search results on YouTube to filter out certain ideological messages. For example, pro-life material was removed and blacklisted on YouTube, in response to a complaint from a Slate blogger. Then, a member of the Trust & Safety Team, Daniel Aaronson, wrote that while most users preferred organic search results, Google and YouTube had “different expectations.”
Even before this allegation, research showed that Google’s algorithms were biased in favor of the left. An academic study from AllSides noted that Google was biased towards the left in its news searches 4 to 1. Tech expert and researcher Dr. Robert Epstein has argued that Google can use its algorithms to manipulate elections, from ranking results from a search bar to auto-suggesting responses in the bar itself.
Democrats Embrace Newspeak — But Talk Is Still Cheap
What they say and what they do tell very different stories -- on morality, education and civility
Three examples of leftists utterly changing meanings to suit their craven agenda:
We begin with Nancy Pelosi, who evoked God and morality to advance her party’s global warming agenda. “If you do believe, as I do, that this is God’s creation, this planet, we have a moral responsibility to be good stewards of it,” she stated. “But even if you don’t subscribe to that, you know we have a moral responsibility to future generations to pass on this planet in a responsible, responsible way.”
Perhaps the first moral responsibility we have to future generations is to permit their existence. Yet when the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act was introduced in the Senate, “to prohibit a health care practitioner from failing to exercise the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion,” 44 Democrats voted against the measure.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) also evoked morality as it pertains to education. “We can judge a society I think always by the way it treats its children,” Harris declared. “And one of the greatest expressions of love of our children is that we invest in their education.”
A devastating essay on the subject of education by former NYC teacher Mary Hudson further explodes the Democrat “truth” that money is the problem. Discipline is virtually nonexistent, and administrators embrace the “soft bigotry of low expectations,” convinced a large percentage of children are inherently incapable of learning. In addition, these same “educrats” have precipitated a complete devaluation of tried and true educational techniques, while embracing an unambiguous preference for social justice indoctrination over the development of critical — and independent — thinking skills.
This odious status quo has existed for 50 years, due in large part to school unions that overwhelmingly prioritize the needs of their members over those of students and their parents. That those same unions, American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the National Education Association (NEA), respectively contribute 100% and 98.6% of their campaign donations to Democrats reveals a great deal about how that party “loves” children: its members despise school choice, relegating millions of inner city kids to educational wastelands — even as many Democrats educate their own children in private schools.
What does de facto educational apartheid, and the deliberate dumbing down of students to create a reliable constituency of dependent Americans really say about Democrats commitment to education? As Orwell might say, the importance of some students is “more equal” than that of other students.
And then there’s Donald Trump. No Democrat expression of morality would be complete without the requisite bashing of the current president, whom 2020 hopeful Sen. Kirstin Gillibrand (D-NY) insists is “tearing the apart the moral fabric of this country.” And like many of her fellow Democrats who were for border security before they were against it, Gillibrand has asserted that a border wall is a “picture of division and hate and derision.”
Perhaps Gillbrand might explain how Trump is tearing apart our moral fabric, even as she votes against protecting newborns from being murdered. Or perhaps she might explain how her party wants to secure the border, while its House speaker is filing a lawsuit to prevent a wall from being built. Or why her party, when it had complete power for two years, including a filibuster-proof 60-seat Senate majority, never approved the “real immigration reform” and “path to citizenship” she claims her party favors.
The bigger picture is even more Orwellian. This is a party that embraces the pernicious concept of “my truth,” believes a viable political coalition consists of institutionalizing a hierarchy of intersectional victimization, and embraces “settled science” without realizing the term is an oxymoron — even as it applies it not only to global warming but to transgenderism, in complete defiance of chromosomal reality.
Yet the ultimate example of Democrat Party Newspeak occurs on a daily basis. This is the party that calls for unity and healing, even as it labels various factions of Americans who don’t march in lockstep with its agenda as privileged, toxic, racist, sexist, nativist, trans-, homo- and Islamophobic bitter-clinging deplorables.
11 April, 2019
A UK grocery store has apologised over a “racist” Easter duckling product after customers complained the dark chocolate one was labelled “ugly”.
The $14.60 box set of milk, white and dark chocolate ducklings has upset some people after they were individually marked “fluffy”, “crispy” and “ugly”.
The Waitrose ducklings are named Crispy, Fluffy and Ugly.
The Waitrose ducklings are named Crispy, Fluffy and Ugly.Source:Supplied
The product was temporarily pulled from shelves by the high-end supermarket to allow time to redesign the packaging after a “small number” of customers were offended.
The Waitrose trio of chocolate Easter ducklings are now available to buy again in shops and online — minus the controversial labels.
Although not made explicitly clear by supermarket bosses, it’s thought the name “ugly” may have been chosen as a reference to the classic fairytale The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen.
The fairytale is about a “stubby and brown” duckling who is mocked and shamed by other ducklings but grows into a beautiful white swan.
One Twitter user shared a picture of the chocolate product and wrote: “Crispy, Fluffy and Ugly — trio of Easter ducklings at Waitrose.
“Ugly is the dark one on the right.
“Overheard women saying ‘this is not right’, I agree, doesn’t look good at all.”
Mass.: When ‘the n-word’ meets public education
In January, a teacher at the Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School, Kevin Dua, sponsored a research project titled “RECLAIMING: Nigger v. Cracker: Educating Racial Context In/for Cambridge.” The project sought to explore the history and effects of racial slurs.
Dua invited members of the committee to attend a discussion of the project in part because he wanted them to address an issue that surfaced when the students pursued their research: School computers blocked access to websites containing the n-word and other racial and ethnic slurs.
One member of the committee who attended, Emily Dexter, listened to the presentation, participated, and volunteered to assist the students in negotiating the problem of the computer filters. So far so good. The situation presented a positive instance of public high school education: an exercise aimed at sparking curiosity about an important, albeit controversial, subject in the context of an academic setting in which students, instructors, and others could engage, hopefully, in a memorable, fascinating, edifying exchange of information and views.
But then things went awry.
Apparently some students were upset that Dexter had pronounced the n-word in full. When Dexter heard that her remarks had created hurt feelings, she returned to the class to explain herself and apologize, actions that appear to have inflamed the anger. According to news reports, Dua and outraged students found Dexter’s apology to be “insincere” and inadequate.
Subsequent disquiet grew to such an extent that the committee authorized an “investigation” into Dexter’s conduct, though, just recently, apparently pursuant to some prodding from Dexter’s lawyer, the proceeding is now being referred to as a “fact-finding review.”
No, this is not parody. This is, alas, farce.
No one claims that Dexter “used” the n-word to demean, harass, or terrorize — the malevolent purposes that have made the word a justly hated slur. So what is the complaint ? The complaint is that she enunciated what The Boston Globe terms “the full version of the n-word.” But so, too, did Dua. Why was he not excoriated? Why was he not investigated?
One explanation: Dua is black while Dexter is white.
10 April, 2019
Former Miss Universe Australia DENIES 'appropriating' Aboriginal culture in advertisement
Olivia Molly Rogers, 27, has denied she was making fun of Aboriginal culture when she covered herself in clay and attempted to resemble an indigenous dancer.
The former Miss Universe Australia faced intense backlash this week, when she posted a snap of herself trying out brand Swisse's new clay masks.
Appearing to look like a dancer in a traditional corroboree, the photograph had written under it: 'Connecting to our indigenous roots.'
The questionable snap received an intense backlash, with Olivia hitting back at claims it was an act of cultural appropriation.
On Sunday, in a statement to Daily Mail Australia, Olivia claimed she did not write the 'indigenous roots' comment.
'While the comment about 'indigenous roots' was not my own, it was added to my social media upon another influencer re-sharing it,' she said.
'I promise to learn and grow from the experience, and grow my understanding around cultural appropriation and cultural sensitivities,' she continued.
'I owe as much to not only myself, but to my followers, and the Indigenous community more widely.'
Earlier this week, Olivia hit back on Instagram writing she was just doing what she was 'instructed' to do by lathering herself up in the clay.
Despite referring to her 'indigenous roots', Olivia went on to claim that it was not meant to be an act of cultural appropriation.
She went on to offer an apology, claiming it would have never been her intention hurt anybody.
Burger King slammed for ‘racist’ ad with chopsticks being used to eat burgers
Must not mention racial differences
Burger King is being called out for an advertisement for its new chicken sandwich, the Vietnamese Sweet Chilli Tendercrisp.
The ad, which aired in New Zealand, features several fast food customers attempting — and failing — to eat the chicken sandwich using giant chopsticks.
“Take your tastebuds all the way to Ho Chi Minh City with our Vietnamese Sweet Chilli Tendercrisp, part of our Tastes of the World range. Available for a limited time only,” a caption for the ad read on Instagram.
Mario Mo, a Korean New Zealander, posted a video of the ad to her Twitter slamming the brand’s use of chopsticks with a sarcastic, “So this is the new Burger King ad for a ‘Vietnamese’ burger ok coolcoolcoolcoolcool CHOPSTICKS R HILARIOUS right omg etc”.
Soon after Mo posted the video, it went viral pulling in over 2.1 million views as of Monday morning, and hundreds of comments from Twitter users expressing their own outrage at the company’s approval of the ad.
Mo told HuffPost she decided to post the video because she was shocked to see it in the first place.
“Because I couldn’t believe such blatantly ignorant ads are still happening in 2019, it honestly took me a second to work out what the heck I was looking at,” Mo told HuffPost in a message.
9 April, 2019
Extremism definition fails Clarkson test: British Government gave up on laws to fight ideology because it's 'too difficult'
Jeremy Clarkson is a British motoring reviewer who often says rather old-fashioned things
The Government has abandoned creating laws to tackle extremism because it is “too difficult” as their last attempt would have even criminalised Jeremy Clarkson, the former reviewer of terrorism laws has said.
Lord Anderson QC said previous attempts to tackle dangerous ideology before it develops into terrorist acts have been too broad and would have made legitimate political and religious activity illegal.
The definition of extremism adopted by the Government, he argues, is “broad and ill-defined” and inventing laws against it is “what they do in Russia and it is no model to follow”.
'Why is the mother portrayed as weak?' Australian bank is slammed for its 'sexist' ad featuring a 'struggling' single mother
Must not mention that being a single mother is difficult
A Westpac advertising campaign has come under fire by online critics who have labelled it sexist for its portrayal of a family in the midst of separation.
The ad, which was released last month as part of the company's 'help' series, is intended to advertise a source of support for families going through a split.
The commercial features a storyline from the point of view of a young boy as his parents go through a divorce.
The video shows the mother, a black woman, struggling with her separation looking downcast and relying on her son for support.
The young boy is seen being protective of his mum, helping her out with household duties, reading her a bedtime story, and at one point even shading her from the sun at the beach.
The tune of the advert changes, however, when the boy's father comes into the picture and he is seen as the supportive figure for his son, reassuring him.
The seemingly poignant ad then concludes with a line from Westpac saying: 'If you're separating, there's help.'
But critics have claimed the message behind the ad is sexist by portraying the mum as helpless while also 'reinforcing' negative stereotyping of black families.
'Why does the ad show the little boy taking care of his mother - putting up fairy lights for her, shading her on the beach, catching a spider for her (he becomes 'the man of the house') - but the little boy doesn't have to look after the dad. Shameful stereotyping. This ad rates F for FAIL,' one user said in a Facebook comment.
The comment was met with support from another user who replied: 'Absolutely agree with what you've just said. Why is the mother portrayed as weak, requiring the son to care for her yet the father is portrayed as the carer. Fail Westpac Fail.'
8 April, 2019
Female Prof of Sociology Chastised Construction Workers Over ‘Men Working’ Sign: It Backfired
One feminist who thought she was doing goddess’s work harassed a group of construction workers in order to shame them for a nearby sign and thought she’d brag about her exploits on Twitter, only to find out that Twitter isn’t as impressed as she may have anticipated.
Asst. Prof of Sociology at the Washington University at St. Louis, Caitlyn Collins, posted a tweet that she had stumbled across a group of construction workers who were going about their business next to a sign that read “men at work.” Outraged that such a sign would exist, Collins targeted one of the workers and proceeded to berate him over it.
“What if there’s a woman on your crew?” Collins claimed to have asked.
The man responded that he didn’t know, and upon being asked if there were any women, told her that there were none. Collins immediately found her next move.
“Do you think maybe they’re related?” asked Collins.
She then claimed the man then had the “awkwardest face.”
The tweet was then exposed by multiple people. While Collins didn’t delete it, she soon found the need to take her account private after she was properly ratio’d on Twitter by internet denizens who found her entitled behavior disgusting.
Rest assured, the internet responded in droves.
This is peak privilege. This professor descended from her academic halls to chastise a working man & spread some intersectionality, and now she is proud of it. She totally exposes herself as a jerk and a joke. This is the Left
"Nailed it. It’s because of signs like this that women aren’t doing physical labor reliant on superior upper body strength in numbers sufficient to satisfy feminists.
You popping in to nag is EXACTLY why you don’t want a woman on your crew. Otherwise the sign would say “People Gossiping
"Female privilege is sitting in a car lecturing men working outside in the dirt to support the city infrastructure on how they are harming hypothetical women by doing so next to a sign that she imagines must offend these hypothetical women as much as it does her
The truth is that women typically don’t enter fields of manual labor for many reasons, from it being too hard on the body to being less flexible.
Collins ideological kin tends not to raise any kind of alarms about the lack of women in fields that require you to get dirty, such as waste management or mining. They tend to raise the alarm in fields where power or high pay is involved such as political offices and tech jobs. Collins or many women who would cheer her chastizing of manual labor workers on, wouldn’t be caught dead on an oil rig.
In light of this fact, feminists like Collins aren’t concerned about the lack of sexual diversity on a construction site, but rather the optics of no women being there that disturbs them. That men might dominate anything is too much to allow, thus Collins is going to make an example of men on Twitter while simultaneously virtue signaling as loudly as possible.
`Shock, concern' at new Australian laws
Australian media and technology companies say they are shocked and concerned by the federal parliament's bipartisan backing for rushed new laws preventing violent footage appearing on social media platforms.
NewsMediaWorks chief executive, Peter Miller, told The Australian he was very surprised by the "risky" decision to pass the legislation, when the government had been advised by a number of media businesses to "take a deep breath".
"There was so much coverage in the press this morning saying settle down, and they haven't done so. It seems very risky. We'll be talking to our members to understand their position," Mr Miller said.
NewsMediaWorks is the industry body for news publishers, News Corp, Nine and Seven West Media.
The legislation has united small and large publishers in opposition after they were caught up in regulation aimed at the tech titans such as Facebook and Google that live streamed and enabled sharing of footage of the Christchurch massacre with a global audience.
This morning the Sharing of Abhorrent Violent Material bill passed through the House of Representatives with the support of Labor, despite the opposition's legal affairs spokesman Mark Dreyfus noting eight issues with the legislation. The Bill passed the Senate on Wednesday evening.
Free TV chief executive Bridget Fair, who represents commercial free-to-air television broadcasters, said the body remained concerned with the news legislation.
"We would welcome an opportunity to work with the Government to consider these issues in more detail," Ms Fair said.
"There is a fundamental difference between reporting the news and the streaming of unedited live terrorist footage with no editorial decision making process. FreeTV does not believe that criminal sanctions are an appropriate mechanism in relation to public interest news reports by legitimate Australian news providers."
"While we support the intention of the legislation and welcome the Government's measures to limit the exposure of news reporting, we remain concerned by any attempt to criminalise public interest journalism which serves an important role in a healthy democracy," a Nine spokeswoman added.
Chris Wirasinha, co-founder of Pedestrian Group, which runs Pedestrian TV, Business Insider and Gizmodo, said while the move to legislation was a step in the right direction, the rushed approach raised strong concerns.
"The ability for news organisations to publish often difficult or challenging material in the public interest is an important part of the news media's role in society. This effect will be felt particularly strongly by journalists from smaller and independent organisations without access to legal teams," Mr Wirasinha said.
7 April, 2019
Buttigieg Promises He Will No Longer Say ‘All Lives Matter’ Now That He Understands What It Means
Democratic presidential contender Pete Buttigieg said on Thursday that when he used the phrase “all lives matter” in a 2015 speech he did not understand it had been adopted by critics to devalue the Black Lives Matter movement.
Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and fast-rising 2020 White House candidate, told reporters he had not used the phrase again once he became aware it was sometimes used to undermine the Black Lives Matter movement to fight police violence and racism against African-Americans.
Wayne Messam, the mayor of Miramar, Florida, who last week declared his own bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, criticized Buttigieg on Thursday for his use of the “all lives matter” phrase.
“‘Black lives matter’ doesn’t mean that all lives do not matter, rather it is a cry for equal treatment in the greater circle of justice for all Americans,” said Messam, who is African-American.
Incorrect history in Massachusetts
It was a pretty idiotic exam question
After protests, state tosses out MCAS question on ‘Underground Railroad’
When 10th-graders sat down for the MCAS this spring, many confronted an essay question that struck them as inappropriate and insensitive: They were asked to write a journal entry from the perspective of a white woman who uses derogatory language toward a runaway slave and is conflicted about helping her.
The essay question — based on a passage from the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “The Underground Railroad” — sparked a range of questions among students, including whether using racist language would win them points for historical accuracy or deductions for inappropriateness. Some Boston school administrators, including interim Superintendent Laura Perille, contacted state education officials last Friday to voice their objections.
In response, the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education informed superintendents on Sunday that students would not be scored on the question and that students taking the makeup exam this week would be instructed not to answer it — a rare move by the department. Commissioner Jeffrey Riley did not reveal the specific question in his note.
Several teachers unions and other organizations blasted the state on Wednesday for the MCAS question and implored officials not to score any exam that included the controversial material.
“For all of the unconscionable aspects of standardized testing, [the state] has imposed a new layer of trauma — particularly on students of color — forcing students to read a tiny excerpt of the book, produce a quick answer about race relations embodying a racist perspective, and then stifle the complicated emotions that emerge,” said Merrie Najimy, president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, in a statement.
5 April, 2019
The word cops have a warrant for your arrest
By Anne Bernays (Jocular)
So is it OK to use the word “hopefully,” as in “Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day”? Regrettably, yes, it is. And that’s because the English language, like any other cultural trope, is fluid and changes with the swells and dips of time. Only “dead” languages, like Latin and ancient Greek, are immutable. The grammatical way to use the H word is in a sentence like this: “She went in to the exam hopefully, knowing that she had to get a passing grade.” Usage changes and we ought to go along it. “Lie” and “lay” have become interchangeable. Sentences with the “had” construction have largely disappeared, as in “If he had answered his phone, he would have been overjoyed.” Today, most people would say “If he answered his phone he would have been overjoyed.” It just sounds wrong, but language changes and we need to float with it.
By weight, saffron is the most expensive item. Diamonds are next. But to the finicky writer, words are priceless and must never be wasted.
We misuse and abuse language through ignorance, imprecision, impatience, and, worst of all, camouflage. For instance, consider the two-word phrase “going forward.” “I promise to be more fiscally responsible going forward.” Think a moment. Where else would next time exist?
The words “house” and “home” are not synonymous. A house is a hollow structure. It has doors, windows, a roof, and maybe some termites in the basement. “Home” is an abstraction, a constellation of feelings. But your home could be in an apartment house or a boat or even a cave. That’s why you don’t see pillows embroidered with the words “House Sweet House.” A house becomes a home only when it’s occupied by the people who live in it. To say “home for sale” — as many glossy brochures do — is merely wishful thinking.
When there’s a death, someone has died. They haven’t “passed on” or worse, “passed.” Those words serve only to disguise or soften an unpleasant truth. Today’s “senior citizens” are yesterday’s old men and old women. The “transfer station” is what we used to call the “garbage dump.” Your family doctor is now your primary care physician. Why do we insist that so many words and phrases wear camouflage? My language guru, George Orwell, would say moral cowardice.
“Issue” has largely replaced “problem.” A problem is something that needs solving: “The problem of economic inequality seems to be permanent.” An issue, was, until recently, an unresolved dispute between two or more people. Nowadays they are used interchangeably, as in “Tom has health issues.” No. “Tom realizes his fainting spells are a problem.”
Why is this seemingly minor matter of using the right words, of meaning what you say and saying what you mean, so important? Because as Orwell pointed out: “If thought corrupts language, language corrupts thought.” Why did Hitler order the destruction of so many books? Because he understood the extraordinary power of the word. He realized that in a struggle between sword and pen, the pen will ultimately own the sword.
Orwell also weighed in on word length. I realize some writers prefer to work with what’s known as purple prose and many readers respond to this with impatient appetite. Unless the palette is in the hands of a master like Vladimir Nabokov or Henry James, this orgy of adjectives, adverbs, and inside out sentences leaves me yearning for the simplicity of Ernest Hemingway (whose guru was a woman) and Graham Greene. A matter of taste, I suppose.
Orwell’s advice was never to use a three-syllable word when two would do or a two-syllable word when one would do. But recently we seem to have an urge to add on to an existing word syllables it doesn’t need — like a bushy tail. Thus “many” is rendered as “multiple”; “photo” as “photo-op”; a “man” or a “woman” is an “individual” — that’s five syllables where one or two would do.
As a writing teacher one of my jobs is to preach the gospel of clarity and precision. It’s astonishing how often someone will write one word when they mean something entirely different. In a famous interview in The Paris Review, Hemingway was asked if it were true that he rewrote the last paragraph of “A Farewell to Arms” 27 times and if true, what was the problem? (Not, thank God, the “issue.” ) Hemingway answered, “I had to find the right words.”
Finding the right word is hard work. Those who think writing a strong sentence is easy should try turning out an entire story that anyone other than your mother can read straight through. And the English language, I’m glad to say, is alive, well, and malleable in spite of its lapses and messy accidents. Where but in the English-speaking world would anyone come up with something as brilliant as two negatives combined to form the positive adjective "badass"?
Mixed Martial Art fighter Conor McGregor is slammed over ‘racist’ tweet branding Muslim UFC rival Khabib Nurmagomedov’s wife a ‘towel’
Conor McGregor has been slammed for a 'racist' Tweet directed at a UFC rival featuring a photo of the fighter's wife wearing an Islamic veil on their wedding day.
The message to Muslim Khabib Nurmagomedov included the image with the caption 'Your wife's a towel mate' and was met with a barrage of criticism on social media.
The post, which has now been deleted, was branded racist and Islamophobic and comes as the pair have been trading insults since Nurmagomedov defeated McGregor in October last year.
After uploading an image of Nurmagomedov's wife in veil, one user posted: 'Conor mcgregor is a man with no dignity or honour..that's it..just look at the racist islamophobic comments.'
I am inclined to think that McGregor had a point
4 April, 2019
Editor of New Zealand fishing magazine DEFENDS article calling Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern 'dumb as a plank'
Days after the Christchurch shooting which left 50 Muslim worshippers dead, Ms Ardern announced a blanket ban on semi-automatic assault rifles and a gun amnesty program involving a buyback scheme.
An April issue of Fishing and Outdoors later published a scathing article on gun reform criticising the PM's gun control efforts while labelling her police minister a 'lapdog'.
The story, titled, 'Cops treat NZ gun owners as criminals: Firearm laws ignorantly fiddled with', claimed that the government had called for legislation that already exists.
'Our Dumb-as-a-Plank New Zealand Prime Minister and lapdog New Zealand Police Minister have announced a ban on assault rifles that are and have been banned for the last 'thirty-five years,'' reporter John McNab wrote, according to the NZ Herald.
McNab was referring to the law which makes 'full auto' guns illegal even as defence force weapons.
The writer went on to say the prime minister's comments were 'disingenuous and misleading the general public'.
'This is what happens when dumb people are put in charge of stuff they don't understand, and who are too dumb to either admit it, or to listen to facts from people who do understand the stuff in question.
'Then we have all the flower powder puffs coming out of the woodwork who know little if anything about the issues here,' he wrote.
When contacted by the publication, editor Graham Carter defended the story and accused Ms Ardern and her associates of 'electioneering.'
Senator Fraser Anning is 'censured' by Australian politicians for linking the Christchurch terror attacks to Muslim immigration
What Anning initially tweeted which provoked the uproar was:
“Does anyone still dispute the link between Muslim immigration and violence?”
“As always, leftwing politicians and the media will rush to claim that the causes of today’s shootings lie with gun laws or those who hold nationalist views, but this is all cliched nonsense."
“The real cause of bloodshed on New Zealand streets today is the immigration program which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place.”
I am not sure what the Senator said that is wrong. Without Muslim immigration to New Zealand there could have been no massacre of Muslims in New Zealand. What is wrong with that logic?
And without the frequent incidence of Muslim immigrants going on Jihad and massacring Westerners, the Christchurch gunman would have had no motivation for his attack. Tarrant certainly did fear the way Musim immigration was going and said that he was hitting back at them. He felt that if Muslims can massacre innocent Western men, women and children then it was only fair for him to massacre innocent Muslim men, women and children. It's an Old Testament conception of justice but still a common one
It seems to me that Senator Anning was simply stating the facts. But, as we know, stating facts these days can be "incorrect".
Independent senator Fraser Anning has been censured by parliament for his 'shameful and pathetic' comments which linked the Christchurch terror attacks to Muslim immigration.
The Queenslander was rebuked by his colleagues on Wednesday for blaming Muslim migrants for the horrific attack in which a white supremacist killed 50 worshippers at mosques last month.
'Senator Anning's comments were ugly and divisive. They were dangerous and unacceptable from anyone, let alone a member of this place,' government Senate leader Mathias Cormann told parliament.
Labor's Senate leader Penny Wong said while scores of injured people were being treated for gunshot wounds, Senator Anning fanned the flames of division.
The censure motion, moved by Mr Cormann and Ms Wong, was passed unanimously after Mr Anning left the chamber.
Mr Anning denied blaming victims for the attack and described reasoning's of the motion as attack 'barely coherent', SBS reported.
'This censure motion against me is a blatant attack on free speech,' he said. 'The claim that this someone blames the victims is absurd, my real crime is that I simply told the truth. '
Senator Anning then took to social media, writing: 'The left wing outrage was on show today!' 'But no matter how many times they tried to condemn me, they could not refute that what I said is 100 per cent true.'
Following the Christchurch terror attack on March 15, Senator Anning released a statement linking Muslim migration to the shooting.
He said while any form of violence could never be justified, the growing fear of the 'increasing Muslim presence' was behind the massacre.
'The real cause of bloodshed on New Zealand streets today is the immigration program that allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place.'
In a follow-up statement, he said he opposed to any form of violence within our community and totally condemned the actions of the gunman.
'What it highlights is the growing fear within our community, both in Australia and New Zealand, of the increasing Muslim presence,' he said.
3 April, 2019
The Left Doesn’t Want Free Speech. They Want Their Speech
Although leftists like to use words like “tolerance” and “openness,” their preferred tactics are censorship and bans. The left consistently attempts to silence their opposition’s words rather than debate the merit of their ideas.
But in order to keep their self-given title as the protectors of diversity and to avoid detection of their anti-First Amendment philosophies, leftists have learned to camouflage their attack by claiming the language in question is dangerous, unsafe or may lead to violence.
In a recent interview with Salon, Ben Shapiro said, “We have to acknowledge that attempting to shut each other down or treat speech as violent is a dangerous thing.”
Any idea worth having is an idea that can withstand, or at least engage with, a robust attack. (Another smart person said that recently. You should follow that person immediately on Twitter).
Brandon Straka, founder of the #WalkAway movement, is learning firsthand the dark depths of the left’s anti-free speech hypocrisy. I had the opportunity to speak with Straka about recent circumstances.
Straka, an openly gay political activist, fits the stereotype you might think would be welcomed by the left. But you would be wrong. Although it is simply a campaign chronicling a diverse group of individuals deciding to abandon liberalism, Straka’s #WalkAway movement has been viciously — and incorrectly — lied about, including being labeled a “Kremlin operation” by Bob Cesca at Salon.
Referring to the growth of Straka’s movement, Cesca wrote “This isn’t being circulated by earnest yet misguided voters who formerly identified as Democrats. This is clearly being circulated by trolls connected to the Russian influence operations.“
Even though Cesca’s lies were both obvious and easily disproved, the attacks didn’t stop there.
Straka recently planned two town hall events in New York City — both scheduled for this week. The two #WalkAway events are geared toward the black community in an effort to present why some in the minority and LGBT community have joined the conservative movement.
The first event is Wednesday. Straka intends to show a video compilation of testimonials from people who have decided to leave the liberal plantation. He has raised outside money to rent the theater so those from the surrounding minority community can attend for free. Straka calls the film “Documonial.” The showing will be followed by a diverse panel who will take questions from the audience about liberalism, conservatism and the stories they just heard.
The second event was scheduled for Thursday at a center that focuses on LGBT issues in the community. Again, Straka lined up a diverse panel to discuss the #WalkAway movement. The center accepted Straka’s signed contract and took his money. Additionally, the center promoted the event in its magazine.
But then a mighty triggering began.
Groups ostensibly for diversity and acceptance began their war against the event and Straka personally. They created a petition. They created a dossier. They organized a boycott. They threatened a protest.
The protesters and petitioners claimed Straka’s campaign was a white nationalist movement. However, they apparently didn’t take the simple step of looking at diverse faces of the storytellers on the #WalkAway YouTube channel.
In an act of pure cowardice, deceit, or both, the center canceled the town hall. They did so without notice. They did so without talking to Straka or a representative of the #WalkAway movement. “To this day, they have not called or emailed. I found out on Twitter about their public statement,” said Straka.
Just the thought that an idea they don’t agree with might be spoken in a room they are not forced to be in was too traumatic for the protesters
Students demand a censor to stop 'insensitive' articles appearing in their university newspaper
Student union bosses at the University of Manchester have demanded articles by their student-run newspaper be vetted by a 'sensitivity reader'.
Sara Khan, the University of Manchester's student union's liberation and access officer, said that such an appointment would ensure funding for the publication in the future.
During the Students' Union Senate meeting on Thursday, she said the publication should ask people for their permission to be written about.
She explained that being written about could 'result in psychological distress, and puts people at risk of being harassed, especially women, who are particularly targeted with death and rape threats through social media,' The Tab reported.
There were many opposed to Ms Khan's view, including the paper's deputy editor Amy Wei who told The Sun: 'The introduction of a sensitivity reader infringes on The Mancunion’s independence, which is protected in the Student Union's by-laws.'
Ms Khan also called for the student newspaper to implement a 45 per cent quota of journalists and staff to come from black, Asian and minority ethnic background to reflect the student population.
'We don't believe that this is malicious or intentional, but that it stems from a lack of diversity in the team, and a lack of training and education,' she said.
Her amendments were voted down, ensuring The Mancunian will continue to funded and run independently for the next three years.
Ms Khan made headlines last year when she lead a vote that banned clapping at the university. Instead it would be replaced with jazz hands, the British Sign Language for clapping and cheers.
She told the BBC that loud noises like clapping could cause issues with to those with autism, sensory issues or deafness.
'I've seen that clapping, whooping, talking over each other, loud noises, encourages an atmosphere that is not as respectful as it could be,' she said.
2 April, 2019
This Professor Was Demoted and Later Effectively Fired for Expressing His Views
Dr. Allan Josephson served as the Division Chief of Pediatric Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Louisville for almost fifteen years. He had an exemplary record of impeccable leadership.
Yet in November 2017, the university demoted Dr. Josephson to the role of a junior faculty member.
A few years ago, Dr. Josephson was alarmed by the rapid growth of transgenderism. He was particularly worried about the life-changing effects of giving children hormones and surgeries to treat gender dysphoria. And why wouldn’t he be? Such drastic measures result in the sterilization of children with no proven effectiveness. So, Dr. Josephson wisely advocates that, when treating children with gender dysphoria, medical professionals should first seek to understand and treat the psychological issues that often cause this confusion before pursuing more radical, aggressive treatments.
He knew he needed to lend his expertise to the cultural conversation in order to stand up for the wellbeing of children. And thankfully, that’s exactly what he’s done.
Dr. Josephson has provided expert testimony in cases involving gender dysphoria. But it all came to a head in October 2017 when he spoke on a panel at the Heritage Foundation entitled “Gender Dysphoria in Children: Understanding the Science and Medicine.”
When the members of Dr. Josephson’s division at the University of Louisville learned about this speech, a few became angry and called for the university to remove him as Division Chief.
Less than seven weeks later, the university did just that. It demoted a distinguished professor and leader who had earned perfect marks on his 2014, 2015, and 2016 annual reviews.
That’s why Alliance Defending Freedom is representing Dr. Josephson in a lawsuit against the University of Louisville.
In explaining this demotion, the university acknowledged that Dr. Josephson was an excellent employee but that he was being removed simply because of his colleagues’ disagreement with his views on the treatment of children with gender dysphoria. For the next year, Dr. Josephson endured assignments typically given to much younger, less experienced faculty. Then in February 2019, the university announced that it would not renew his contract, a highly unusual decision that basically means the university is firing him.
This is not only unconstitutional but also completely counter to the values that the University of Louisville claims to hold.
So should we retire “openly gay?”
I put the question to Tracy Baim, the publisher of the Chicago Reader. She also founded and co-owns the LGBTQ newspaper Windy City Times.
“It absolutely depends on the context,” she said. “I totally agree it’s not something you would use as frequently as in the past. There are so many other ways to say the same thing without making it feel like it’s a secret or has some kind of negative connotation. But there are some times when that’s the best phrase.”
In a nuanced feature story, Baim said, it may make more sense to skip the description and mention, say, that the female candidate has a wife. In a brief news story, on the other hand, the term is acceptable shorthand.
“Sometimes ‘openly gay’ or ‘openly queer’ or ‘openly LGBTQ’ makes sense,’ ” she said, “especially if there are other closeted folks running. It’s also an important qualifier because you don’t always know who the first gay person was in a position — but you would know who the first openly gay person is.”
Sexual orientation is only one way people define themselves, and in many contexts it doesn’t matter. But it’s a piece of an identity, one that only recently has been safe to claim.
In Chicago’s mayoral race — which pits two African-American women, one of them gay, against each other — it’s not frivolous to note that Chicago will soon have its first African-American female mayor and possibly it’s first openly gay mayor.
“All of those are historic,” Baim said. “All of these identities are extremely relevant. In this case, people who would be criticizing the use of any identity are simplifying our society when we’re just not there yet.”
That’s a key phrase: We’re just not there yet.
1 April, 2019
Why New Zealand shouldn’t ban the shooter’s manifesto
Are we really so frightened not just of a terrorist’s weapons, but of his words?
The New Zealand government’s ‘chief censor’ has outlawed the alleged Christchurch mosque murderer’s manifesto as officially ‘objectionable’ under New Zealand law. Possessing a printed copy of the document, or having it on your computer, could earn you a 10-year prison sentence. Sending it to somebody else via the internet could get you up to 14 years in jail.
Understandably, this ban has not attracted as much criticism as other acts of state censorship, since few want to start a campaign demanding free speech for self-confessed ‘eco-fascist’ terrorists accused of mass murder.
But the ban is still a bad thing. In trying to prevent people from reading the alleged gunman’s ‘message’, the authorities have sent out a worrying message of their own. Their message is that we should be frightened, not only of the terrorist’s deadly weapons, but also of his words; that Western society is now so enfeebled and lacking in self-belief that it cannot take on and defeat the rambling rhetoric of a mad gunman.
The underlying message of the ban is also that the authorities do not trust the New Zealand people, and that those people should not trust one another. After all, what does it say about your neighbours if the government believes they could be turned into racist terrorists by a glimpse of a ranting webpage?
New Zealand’s Bill of Rights Act (1990) declares that, ‘Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form’. However, as the New York Times’ report of the ban observed, ‘the parameters are more restrictive than the First Amendment guarantees in the US’. In other words, the New Zealand authorities have more scope to override that apparent legal right and restrict free speech. As in this case, they can even impose a pre-emptive ban. And it is up to the state’s ‘chief censor’ to decide what is allowed.
David Shanks, the current incumbent of that century-old post, took the extraordinary step of outlawing the manifesto using the definition of ‘objectionable’ under the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act (1993). This can cover any publication which the censor decides ‘deals with matters such as sex, horror, crime, cruelty or violence in such a manner that the availability of the publication is likely to be injurious to the public good.’
That ‘objectionable’ law seems a remarkably sweeping power for a modern state apparently committed to ‘freedom of expression’, and gives the official censor plenty of scope to wield the blue pencil.
Banning the alleged mosque shooter’s manifesto and warning New Zealanders to ‘destroy any copies’ and report any sightings, Shanks observed that it ‘promotes, encourages and justifies acts of murder and terrorist violence against identified groups of people’, identifies targets for other attacks and potential ways of carrying them out. This brought him to the crux of his case.
‘There is an important distinction to be made’, said Shanks, ‘between “hate speech”, which may be rejected by many right-thinking people but which is legal to express, and this type of publication, which is deliberately constructed to inspire further murder and terrorism. It crosses the line.’
Any debate about free speech today tends to focus on exactly where ‘the line’ should be, and which types of speech cross it. The fashion across Western societies is to make that line easier to cross and seek to outlaw more and more types of ‘hate speech’ or ‘offensive’ words. Shanks makes the welcome concession that ‘hate speech’, while objectionable, is not illegal. Nor should it be. However, he then shifts the line again in order to justify his ban.
The NZ state’s argument is that the alleged shooter’s manifesto should not be protected by free-speech law because it seeks ‘to inspire further murder and terrorism’. In other words, it is an incitement to racist violence.
‘Incitement’ is arguably the most oft-used and abused method of restricting free speech. We should be clear what we mean by it. There ought to be a line between words that are an expression of an opinion, however hateful, and words that become part of the execution of an illegal action. But that line should be drawn very firmly to define incitement narrowly and broadly to favour freedom of speech. Instead the tendency today is to broaden the definition of incitement to include any ‘inflammatory’ words. The New Zealand ban is a case in point.
Australia: 'If he can say it, why can't I?' Principal sparks outrage after using the N-word three times during a school speech
A school principal has been criticised after he used the N-word during a school assembly to highlight racism following the Christchurch terror attack.
Principal Richard Minack at Brighton Secondary College, Melbourne, said 'n*****' three times during the assembly as he tried to explain changing values.
The racial slur has since been used frequently in the playground, with one student claiming: 'I think their theory behind it is if the principal can say it, why can't we?'
In front of the school, Mr Minack said: 'Mission brown paint was originally called n***** brown paint.'
'So mission brown paint is only a tiny step in language away from n***** brown paint.'
There were 1400 students at the assembly, including the teenager who become an internet sensation after he egged Senator Fraser Anning.
According to Yahoo7, one student said: 'You can't say that in front of a school, especially one as multicultural as ours.'
Mr Minack emailed the students, apologising for using the term and explaining why he felt it was necessary.
'I hope you understand that I used it to call out and criticise racism and bigotry,' he said.
'Sometimes we have to use offensive words to explain why they are offensive.'
This is Tongue-Tied 3. Posts by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.)
HOME (Index page)
Is the American national anthem politically incorrect? From the 4th verse:
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
The truth can be offensive to some but it must be said
The war on "cultural appropriation" is straightforward racism
"HATE SPEECH" is free speech: The U.S. Supreme Court stated the general rule regarding protected speech in Texas v. Johnson (109 S.Ct. at 2544), when it held: "The government may not prohibit the verbal or nonverbal expression of an idea merely because society finds the idea offensive or disagreeable." Federal courts have consistently followed this. Said Virginia federal district judge Claude Hilton: "The First Amendment does not recognize exceptions for bigotry, racism, and religious intolerance or ideas or matters some may deem trivial, vulgar or profane."
Even some advocacy of violence is protected by the 1st Amendment. In Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969), the U.S. Supreme Court held unanimously that speech advocating violent illegal actions to bring about social change is protected by the First Amendment "except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action."
The double standard: Atheists can put up signs and billboards saying that Christianity is wrong and that is hunky dory. But if a Christian says that homosexuality is wrong, that is attacked as "hate speech"
One for the militant atheists to consider: "...it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg" -- Thomas Jefferson
"I think no subject should be off-limits, and I regard the laws in many Continental countries criminalizing Holocaust denial as philosophically repugnant and practically useless – in that they confirm to Jew-haters that the Jews control everything (otherwise why aren’t we allowed to talk about it?)" -- Mark Steyn
A prophetic comment on Norwegian hate speech laws: As Justice Brandeis once noted, repressive censorship “breeds hate” and “that hate menaces stable government,” rather than promoting safety; “the path of safety lies in the opportunity to discuss freely supposed grievances and proposed remedies.”
Voltaire's most famous saying was actually a summary of Voltaire's thinking by one of his biographers rather than something Voltaire said himself. Nonetheless it is a wholly admirable sentiment: "I disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it". I am of a similar mind.
The traditional advice about derogatory speech: "Sticks and stones will break your bones but names will never hurt you". Apparently people today are not as emotionally robust as their ancestors were.
The KKK were members of the DEMOCRATIC party. Google "Klanbake" if you doubt it
A phobia is an irrational fear, so the terms "Islamophobic" and "homophobic" embody a claim that the people so described are mentally ill. There is no evidence for either claim. Both terms are simply abuse masquerading as diagnoses and suggest that the person using them is engaged in propaganda rather than in any form of rational or objective discourse.
Leftists often pretend that any mention of race is "racist" -- unless they mention it, of course. But leaving such irrational propaganda aside, which statements really are racist? Can statements of fact about race be "racist"? Such statements are simply either true or false. The most sweeping possible definition of racism is that a racist statement is a statement that includes a negative value judgment of some race. Absent that, a statement is not racist, for all that Leftists might howl that it is. Facts cannot be racist so nor is the simple statement of them racist. Here is a statement that cannot therefore be racist by itself, though it could be false: "Blacks are on average much less intelligent than whites". If it is false and someone utters it, he could simply be mistaken or misinformed.
Categorization is a basic human survival skill so racism as the Left define it (i.e. any awareness of race) is in fact neither right nor wrong. It is simply human
Whatever your definition of racism, however, a statement that simply mentions race is not thereby racist -- though one would think otherwise from American Presidential election campaigns. Is a statement that mentions dogs, "doggist" or a statement that mentions cats, "cattist"?
If any mention of racial differences is racist then all Leftists are racist too -- as "affirmative action" is an explicit reference to racial differences
Was Abraham Lincoln a racist? "You and we are different races. We have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other two races. Whether it is right or wrong I need not discuss, but this physical difference is a great disadvantage to us both, as I think your race suffer very greatly, many of them by living among us, while ours suffer from your presence. In a word, we suffer on each side. If this be admitted, it affords a reason at least why we should be separated. It is better for both, therefore, to be separated." -- Spoken at the White House to a group of black community leaders, August 14th, 1862
Gimlet-eyed Leftist haters sometimes pounce on the word "white" as racist. Will the time come when we have to refer to the White House as the "Full spectrum of light" House?
The spirit of liberty is "the spirit which is not too sure that it is right." and "Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it. While it lies there it needs no constitution, no law, no court to save it." -- Judge Learned Hand
Mostly, a gaffe is just truth slipping out
Two lines below of a famous hymn that would be incomprehensible to Leftists today ("honor"? "right"? "freedom?" Freedom to agree with them is the only freedom they believe in)
First to fight for right and freedom,
And to keep our honor clean
It is of course the hymn of the USMC -- still today the relentless warriors that they always were.
It seems a pity that the wisdom of the ancient Greek philosopher Epictetus is now little known. Remember, wrote the Stoic thinker, "that foul words or blows in themselves are no outrage, but your judgment that they are so. So when any one makes you angry, know that it is your own thought that has angered you. Wherefore make it your endeavour not to let your impressions carry you away."
"Since therefore the knowledge and survey of vice is in this world so necessary to the constituting of human virtue, and the scanning of error to the confirmation of truth, how can we more safely, and with less danger, scout into the regions of sin and falsity than by reading all manner of tractates, and hearing all manner of reason?" -- English poet John Milton (1608-1674) in Areopagitica
Hate speech is verbal communication that induces anger due to the listener's inability to offer an intelligent response
Leftists can try to get you fired from your job over something that you said and that's not an attack on free speech. But if you just criticize something that they say, then that IS an attack on free speech
"Negro" is a forbidden word -- unless a Democrat uses it
"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper
Why are Leftists always talking about hate? Because it fills their own hearts
Leftists don't have principles. How can they when "there is no such thing as right and wrong"? All they have is postures, pretend-principles that can be changed as easily as one changes one's shirt
When you have an argument with a Leftist, you are not really discussing the facts. You are threatening his self esteem. Which is why the normal Leftist response to challenge is mere abuse.
The naive scholar who searches for a consistent Leftist program will not find it. What there is consists only in the negation of the present.
The intellectual Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180) could have been speaking of much that goes on today when he said: "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane."
I despair of the ADL. Jews have enough problems already and yet in the ADL one has a prominent Jewish organization that does its best to make itself offensive to Christians. Their Leftism is more important to them than the welfare of Jewry -- which is the exact opposite of what they ostensibly stand for! Jewish cleverness seems to vanish when politics are involved. Fortunately, Christians are true to their saviour and have loving hearts. Jewish dissatisfaction with the myopia of the ADL is outlined here. Note that Foxy was too grand to reply to it.
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