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31 January, 2018
Kim Kardashian Slammed For Calling Her Cornrows 'Bo Derek Braids'
It’s Monday, the sun is shining (somewhere) and Kim Kardashian is under fire for cultural appropriation yet again.
The 37-year-old reality star recently posted a video on Snapchat that shows her hair in bead-adorned braids that resemble Fulani-style braids, which are inspired by the Fulani women of East and West Africa.
But Kardashian credited actress Bo Derek, who is white, for the traditionally black hairstyle.
"So guys I got Bo Derek braids, and I’m really into it," she says in the video, referencing the actresses’ look from the 1979 movie, "10."
Marijuana: is it time to stop using a word with racist roots?
As marijuana arrests disproportionately affect minorities, controversy grows over a term prohibitionists hoped would appeal to xenophobia
It’s been known as dope, grass, herb, gage, tea, reefer, chronic. But the most familiar name for the dried buds of the cannabis plant, and one of the few older terms still in use today, is "marijuana".
For the prohibitionists of nearly a century ago, the exotic-sounding word emphasized the drug’s foreignness to white Americans and appealed to the xenophobia of the time. As with other racist memes, a common refrain was that marijuana would lead to miscegenation.
Today "cannabis" and "marijuana" are terms used more or less interchangeably in the industry, but a vocal contingent prefers the less historically fraught "cannabis". At a time of intense interest in past injustices, some say "marijuana" is a racist word that should fall out of use.
Harborside, which is among the oldest and largest dispensaries in California, says on its website: "‘Marijuana’ has come to be associated with the idea that cannabis is a dangerous and addictive intoxicant, not a holistic, herbal medicine ... This stigma has played a big part in stymying cannabis legalization efforts throughout the US."
The word "marijuana" comes from Mexico, but its exact origins remain unknown. According to the book Cannabis: A History by Martin Booth, it may derive from an Aztec language or soldiers’ slang for "brothel" – Maria y Juana.
The practice of smoking it arrived in the US from the south during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Mexican laborers and soldiers carried it into the American south-west. Sailors brought it from Brazil and the Caribbean when they docked in New Orleans, where black jazz musicians adopted it.
30 January, 2018
UVA tries to criminalize free speech
The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression, which is located in Charlottesville and is dedicated to "the defense of free expression in all its forms," gives out annual awards called the "Jefferson Muzzles" to individuals and organizations responsible for "especially egregious or ridiculous affronts to free expression."
The center’s first such award this year should go to the Jefferson-founded University of Virginia (which has close ties to the center) and Patrick D. Hogan, the university’s executive vice president and chief operating officer.
Hogan might also benefit from sitting in as an observer at one of the University of Virginia School of Law’s classes explaining the basic tenets of the First Amendment.
On Jan. 19, Hogan sent out a "community advisory" in an email to all students, faculty, and staff, warning them that the university was "aware of reports of solicitations by national organizations to encourage distribution of offensive flyers and memes at colleges and universities across the country during the upcoming weekend."
Apparently, in Hogan’s mind, saying something "offensive" is the same as committing a heinous criminal act. How do we know that? Because his email tells students to call 911 if they see someone "posting offensive flyers or other material."
No, really. Posting such material violates the university’s "posting and chalking" policy and is included in Hogan’s definition of "suspicious activity."
Hogan was particularly concerned over any "offensive" material that might be distributed at "buildings and centers for under-represented groups, particularly Women’s Studies."
In other words, if you decide to exercise your First Amendment right to speak at UVA by, perhaps, calling the "Women’s Study" program a faux social science curriculum, or by pointing out that its graduates may have a very tough time finding a job in which they can actually support themselves, then law enforcement officers will be called to come after you—a total abuse of the 911 emergency response system.
US Department of Justice supports free speech lawsuit against UC Berkeley
The lawsuit filed against UC Berkeley by The Young America’s Foundation, or YAF, and the Berkeley College Republicans, or BCR, now has the official support of the U.S. Department of Justice, or DOJ, as of Thursday.
While the lawsuit was dismissed in October 2017, YAF and BCR amended their claims and resubmitted it in November. The lawsuit alleges that campus officials violated conservative students’ 1st Amendment right to free speech on campus.
"Plaintiffs’ amended complaint adequately pleads that the University’s speech restrictions violate the First Amendment, and therefore, at least to that extent, the Court should deny Defendants’ motion to dismiss," the DOJ Statement of Interest said.
In the original lawsuit, the alleged 1st Amendment violation was concerning the high-profile speaker policy due to the cancellation of Ann Coulter’s speech in April 2017.
The lawsuit was later amended to include alleged violations of the 1st Amendment and the campus’ major event policy in regards to Ben Shapiro’s event in September 2017, according to YAF spokesperson Spencer Brown.
29 January, 2018
Europe Comes Up With Perfectly Orwellian Responses to ‘Fake News’
In their zeal to stamp out "fake news," European governments are turning toward Orwellian solutions that are worse than the disease.
The European Commission recently created a 39-member panel to explore avenues to eliminate fake news. On Twitter, it announced that it seeks to find a "balanced approach" to protecting free speech and making sure citizens get "reliable information."
This follows in the footsteps of individual governments in Europe that have decided that the way to defeat fake news is to have the government decide what the truth is.
Germany recently enacted a law that allows the government to censor social media and fine related companies that won’t take down what government officials deem fake news or hate speech.
France isn’t far behind. French President Emmanuel Macron proposed a ban on fake news, especially around election time, "in order to protect democracy."
And on Tuesday, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May announced the creation of a commission to respond to fake news called the National Security Communications Unit.
A spokesperson for the May government said: "Digital communications is constantly evolving and we are looking at ways to meet the challenging media landscape by harnessing the power of new technology for good."
The key problem with these proposals is obvious, as the Washington Examiner highlighted in an editorial.
"One must ask who will decide which news is real and respectable, on the one hand, and which, on the other, is fake and must be censored?" the Examiner asked, before referring to George Orwell’s dystopian novel "1984":
Will it be bureaucrats in a censor’s office in a bigger agency? Or, will their work be so extensive and important that they will need a new agency of their own? Will they go the full Orwell and name it the Ministry of Truth?
Though Trump has proposed strengthening libel laws, a more traditional way of curbing intentional media falsehoods, his administration has made no widespread legal attack on the ability of Americans to disseminate news and views.
Saying mean things on Twitter isn’t an attack on free speech, but censorship by an unaccountable government board certainly is.
For all the hyperbole and hysteria following the coverage of the president, it has ultimately been our celebrated friends across the pond who’ve decided to take an ax to free speech, cloaked in the soothing rhetoric of protecting democracy.
Hate speech isn't a crime — on Facebook or anywhere else
In 2016 Mark Feigin posted five anti-Muslim statements on the Facebook page of the Islamic Center of Southern California. They included the Trumpian sentiment, "The more Muslims we allow into America, the more terror we will see," and the claim that "practicing Islam can slow or even reverse the process of human evolution."
Feigin was engaging in disgusting bigotry, which is why the center understandably blocked him from making further comments on its page. But was he also committing a crime?
Not if the 1st Amendment means anything. As the Supreme Court has stated repeatedly, "the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable."
Yet the California attorney general's office charged Feigin with violating a state law against making repeated contact electronically "with intent to annoy or harass." (In addition to this misdemeanor charge, Feigin is also charged with the felony of making a threatening phone call to the center, an accusation he denies. Threats aren't protected by the 1st Amendment, no matter how they're delivered.) Feigin's prosecutors focus on the opinions he uttered on Facebook, arguing that the "mere content and nature of the posts" establish that they "are meant to annoy and harass."
But speech is often viewed as annoying or harassing by those who disagree with it. Eugene Volokh, a 1st Amendment expert at UCLA Law School, has suggested that the attorney general's theory in this case is so broad that it could be used to criminalize critical comments posted on the Facebook pages of the National Rifle Assn. or a group supporting President Trump.
It's hard to imagine a more obnoxious group than the Westboro Baptist Church, the sect that holds demonstrations outside the funerals of U.S. service members who, in the church's demented worldview, have been punished by God for America's tolerance of homosexuality. Yet in setting aside a civil judgment against the church in 2011, the Supreme Court held that the protests were protected by the 1st Amendment because the church was expressing opinions on matters of "public concern." So, in his undeniably bigoted way, was Mark Feigin.
On Wednesday a judge is expected to decide whether to dismiss the charge arising from Feigin's Facebook posts. Those comments were hateful and repellent, but they were also protected by the 1st Amendment.
28 January, 2018
Man Wears ‘CNN Is Fake News’ Shirt Inside CNN Building. Guess What Happens Next…
CNN has become synonymous with fake news among Trump supporters
So much so that some wear t-shirts with the slogan popularized by President Donald Trump. This weekend, one man decided to wear a "CNN IS FAKE NEWS" shirt to an Atlanta boat show. For lunch, the man and his friends went to the CNN building.
What happened? He was kicked out of the building.
According to a video posted by Kari Leadingham on Facebook that has since gone viral:
Well we were enjoying the Atlanta Boat Show and went for a dinner break at the CNN building. Got kicked out for a T-shirt our friend wore. #scaredofthefirstamendment #freedomofspeech
Jewish Gold Medalist Confronts Her Muslim Abuser, Dr. Larry Nassar in Court
Notice something above? The M word. The above is the only news report I have seen that mentioned that word. I knew that Nassar was an Arab name so decided to do a little digging. Unlike its usual practice, Wikipedia glides over his origins. So I dug some more. It was only in the article below -- from what is apparently an Israeli publication -- that I found that naughty word. Muslims are heavily over-represented in sex crimes in Britain, Germany and Sweden so we must not be allowed to think that Muslims in America have similar proclivities, must we?
If there were Olympic medals for court testimony, Aly Raisman might have just won gold.
The Olympian gymnast testified in court today against Larry Nassar, the former U.S.A. gymnastics national team physician who’s been accused of sexual abuse by more than 140 women, including some of the star gymnasts from the past few Olympic Games. Nassar has pleaded guilty to charges of sexual assault, and Raisman was delivering a victim impact statement in court.
Raisman also called out USA gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee for turning a blind eye to the many allegations of abuse over the years. She said "talk is cheap" and called for an independent investigation of Nassar’s abuse and how it was allowed to continue for so long.
"If over these many years, just one adult listened and had the courage and character to act, this tragedy could have been avoided," she said. "I and so many others would have never, ever met you, Larry. You should have been locked up a long, long time ago."
Raisman said that she and her teammates would no longer be silent.
28 January, 2018
Libertarian Banned from Facebook for Tide Pod Joke That Mocked Liberals
Facebook doesn't seem to think Tide pods are a joking matter.
Tom Champlin, who owns the libertarian news aggregator The Liberty Review and runs its associated Facebook page, was slapped with a 30-day Facebook ban for posting a Tide pod meme. His post showed a screenshot of a teen who was stupid enough to bite into a Tide pod; the caption said, "This is why I can't pay for your health insurance."
Facebook sent Champlin a message telling him that his post had violated the site's community standards and he would be temporarily locked out of his profile as a punishment.
"I can't use it for anything," Champlin says. "I can't friend, message, post, or operate pages."
Facebook usually takes this step after another user reports content that violates the company's community standards. But it's not clear what Facebook policy was undermined by the meme, which is clearly using the Tide Pod Moment to make a political joke.
Facebook prohibits "content that promotes or encourages suicide or any other type of self-injury, including self-mutilation and eating disorders," but the post wasn't actually advocating self-harm of any sort.
As a private business, Facebook is within its rights to restrict content for any reason it wants. But the company claims to "allow humor, satire, [and] social commentary," and Champlin's post clearly fits the bill.
Maybe Facebook is just being extra-super-duper cautious about Tide-pod-related content, given all the recent attention being paid to the alleged craze. As with so many other internet memes, there's no logical origin story here. A bunch of social-media-using teens apparently decided that challenging each other to "drink bleach" was so 2017; in 2018, we should eat Tide pods instead.
It's sadly true that thousands of kids ages six and younger eat highly poisonous Tide pods each year, though only a handful of them die as a result. But those were accidents involving little kids who didn't know better.
Aside from a handful of yo-yos on YouTube, it simply isn't the case that a host of teenagers are deliberately eating Tide pods. It's a joke, akin to the faux public mourning of Harambe the gorilla.
No one should be freaked out about Tide pod jokes. That includes you, Facebook.
Famous feminist uses naughty language
Germaine Greer is facing a backlash over recent comments she made about the #MeToo movement, which saw her accuse female stars of "spreading" their legs for Harvey Weinstein and then "whingeing" about it.
Feminist icon Greer was named Australian of the Year in Britain during a gala event at Australia House in London on Saturday night (January 20).
In an interview before the event, Greer said: "I want, I’ve always wanted, to see women react immediately. In the old days, there were movies – the Carry On comedies, for example – which always had a man leering after women. And the women always outwitted him – he was a fool. We weren’t afraid of him and we weren’t afraid to slap him down."
She then added: "What makes it different is when the man has economic power, as Harvey Weinstein has. But if you spread your legs because he said ‘be nice to me and I’ll give you a job in a movie’ then I’m afraid that’s tantamount to consent, and it’s too late now to start whingeing about that."
"I want women to react here and now," Greer continued. "I want the woman on a train who feels a man’s hand where it shouldn’t be… to be able to say quite clearly, ‘Stop.’ It’s the same old, same old. What is there about ‘no’ that you don’t understand?"
Following the interview, Greer has been criticised on social media for her comments, with some accusing the writer of "insensitivity" and being "hideously disappointing and unkind to victims of sexual violence".
26 January, 2018
First hijab-wearing model to appear in a L'Oreal haircare campaign STEPS DOWN over a series of anti-Israel tweets in 2014 in which she compared the country to a 'child murderer'
Hate is intrinsic to Islam. Read the Koran if you doubt it. Start at Sura 9
The first hijab-wearing model to appear in a L'Oreal haircare campaign has been forced to step down over a series of anti-Israel tweets.
Amena Khan, from Leicester, said she 'deeply regrets' her remarks from 2014, and apologised for the 'upset and hurt that they have caused'.
She had been criticised for a series of posts, including one that described Israel as an 'illegal state' and another branding the country as a 'child murderer'.
The backdated tweets, which have now been deleted, came to light after Amena was cherry picked by L'Oreal to appear in the promo alongside the likes of pop star Cheryl.
The blogger said that with 'deep regret' she would be stepping down from the L'Oreal campaign, as the conversations surrounding her tweets were 'detracting' from the 'positive and inclusive sentiment' the campaign aimed to send out.
Must not mention the handicapped in comedy
Comedian Tom Segura's controversial joke has been criticised by organisations including the Canadian Down Syndrome Society
Netflix is facing calls to censor a new comedy special which features alleged "hate speech" against people with Down Syndrome.
In his Netflix special Disgraceful, US comedian Tom Segura delivers a riff on the use of the word "retarded".
After maligning the fact that it’s no longer socially acceptable to use the word "retarded" as a substitute for something stupid or foolish, Segura adds: "Now you’ve gotta be like, ‘That’s not… smart. Your idea has an extra 21st chromosome, if you ask me.’ It’s not the same."
Segura’s punchline mocks the fact that Down Syndrome often arises when a person is born with a partial or full third copy of their 21st chromosome.
The controversial riff has been criticised by organisations including the Canadian Down Syndrome Society, who branded Segura’s language "offensive and disrespectful". Meanwhile, Change.org petition called "Take it down, Netflix" has been launched.
Comedy is dangerous these days
25 January, 2018
The Left find all sorts of things offensive so how come they are allowed to be very offensive themselves?
We see an offensive young woman and a Royal airforce veteran remembering his comrades who did not come back from the fight against Nazism
Jordan Peterson is the man of the moment
He is a professor at a Canadian university and is well-known as a critic of political correctness. There was a recent interview with him on British TV which has attracted a lot of attention for the dishonest way the interview was conducted. He has a lot of troubles with censorship, as we see below
24 January, 2018
Must not dress as a disabled person
An Oxford University student has been disciplined for attending a college party dressed as Professor Stephen Hawking. The student completed his outfit with an office chair with wheels attached to mimic the world-famous physicist.
He wore the costume for the 'Dress as your degree' themed party at Lady Margaret Hall (LMH) on Saturday.
But he was reported to the college dean after angry responses from fellow students following the stunt.
Junior Common Room president Lana Purcell said: 'This behaviour breaches our clearly expressed expectations for bop costumes.We are angry and disappointed that this has happened and have referred the person to the dean.'
Oxford Students' Disability Community also criticised the student for their costume.
US nurse takes legal action after claiming she was sacked for supporting Donald Trump
A NURSE in the United States has launched legal action after claiming she was sacked for being a Trump supporter.
Earlier this month Lizzy Mathews, of Colorado, filed a civil suit in the US District Court against Denver Health Medical Centre nursing manager Kelly Torres and director of acute nursing Marc Fedo.
The 65-year-old alleges she was fired after a patient asked her who she thought would win the election during the throes of the 2016 presidential campaign.
According to Fox News, during the short conversation Ms Mathews said she wanted Donald Trump to win, adding she was "praying for him". The patient then replied, "Oh no, I don’t want him."
Ms Mathews claims her manager informed her a formal complaint had been made about the conversation several days later.
Ms Torres then fired Ms Mathews on the basis she did not work enough hours, and Mr Fedo approved the decision and ruled the nurse ineligible for rehiring.
Ms Mathews made a complaint to the Equal Employment Occupation Commission and also claimed to have been discriminated against based on her Asian-Indian background.
She is demanding her job back along with back pay and damages for emotional distress caused by losing her job, which she had held for 27 years.
"The Defendants’ act of terminating Ms Mathews from her employment without eligibility for rehire was motivated by Ms Mathews’ exercise of constitutionally protected conduct of association with her political views," the claim said.
"[These] actions caused Ms Mathews to suffer injuries that would chill a person of ordinary firmness from continuing to engage in such constitutionally protected activity.
"[Mathews’ supervisors] treated non-Asian/Indian employees more favourably, including but not limited to disparate discipline and with less scrutiny then that applied to Ms Mathews that led to termination of her employment without eligibility for rehire based on race and national origin."
23 January, 2018
Europe Moves Ahead With Internet Censorship Enforcement As More Platforms Join
The European Commission has announced that its efforts to censor the Internet and purge it of "illegal hate speech" have shown "improvement" as more social media platforms hop onboard.
In a press release this weekend, the organization, which dictates policies for countries within the European Union, announced increased adoption in these efforts. A new evaluation shows that IT companies removed on average 70 percent of illegal hate speech reported to them.
Since May 2016, several tech giants, including Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and YouTube committed to censoring "illegal hate speech" through a Code of Conduct established by the European Commission.
According to the European Commission, the Code of Conduct was established to complement "legislation fighting racism and xenophobia which requires authors of illegal hate speech offenses – whether online or offline – to be effectively prosecuted."
On average, one in five reported incidents are reported to the police.
On Friday, Google+ announced that it too is participating, and Facebook confirmed that its subsidiary company, Instagram, will also join efforts to censor the Internet of speech deemed illegal by the Code of Conduct.
Google Removes Fact-Check Feature Targeting Conservative Media
Google says it is discontinuing its fact-check feature because it proved to be too faulty for public use, directly attributing the decision to an investigation by The Daily Caller News Foundation. The company has no date set for when it will return, if ever.
"We launched the reviewed claims feature at the end of last year as an experiment with the aim of helping people quickly learn more about news publications," a spokeswoman for Google said, while also adding that The Daily Caller News Foundation was the catalyst for the recent move. "We said previously that we encountered challenges in our systems that maps fact checks to publishers, and on further examination it’s clear that we are unable to deliver the quality we’d like for users."
There were two main problems with the fact-check widget, which appeared on the sidebar of Google’s search results for very few sites and publications.
First, the legitimate outlets chosen were virtually all ones with conservative audiences. The Daily Caller, for example, was given such treatment, while sites like Vox, Slate, The Huffington Post, Mother Jones, and several others clearly on the left side of the political spectrum were not.
Second, and perhaps most importantly, many of the fact checks were wrong. One of the purported reviewed claims was for an article that straightforwardly reported that yet another member of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigative team was a donor for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama.
Google attributed the fact check to The Washington Post, something its vice president of communications took issue with.
"We went back and double-checked the story and the information submitted to Google, and The Daily Caller was not mentioned at all, even in links," The Washington Post’s Kristine Coratti said. "We clearly labeled the source, so I cannot speak to how The Daily Caller ended up being erroneously listed as the source of the fact-checked quote in this case."
After days of back-and-forth with representatives at Google, The Daily Caller News Foundation was told it was probably due to the algorithms, something the company doesn’t talk about as a matter of internal policy.
Google removed that single purported fact check at the time of The Daily Caller News Foundation’s initial inquiries, but there were several others that were also false, if not all of them.
For instance, a "claim" attributed to The Daily Caller by Google’s feature and its third-party fact-checking partner Snopes was "a transgender woman raped a young girl in a women’s bathroom because bills were passed … "
22 January, 2018
Does hate speech lead to hate crime?
That it does is a constant Leftist assumption. So it is no surprise that the authors below have tried to prove it. And they claim that they have proved it.
According to their Table 4, however, the correlations found between speech and incidents are quite low. A correlation of .236, for instance, indicates only 5.5% of common variance.
The biggest problem however is that they ignore the ancient statistical dictum that correlation is not causation. That dictum tells you that there might be somewhere a third variable that is causing the correlation between the two variables you are looking at.
And in this case there is a very obvious third variable: The incidence of refugee misbehavior. When refugess go on Jihad and kill people (etc.) you would expect that other people would both comment disapprovingly and in some cases retaliate. So it is not the speech causing attacks on refugees, it is the behaviour of the refugees themselves
The authors below were rather hard-working. They gathered data from both Germany and the USA in their attempt to prove their hypothesis. I have looked only at the German data but their methodology for their U.S. excursion seems to be the same as in Germany so the same criticisms apply. Americans are certainly not short of deplorable behaviour from immigrants to complain about.
So to be a bit Scottish about it, their claim is "not proven". Abstract follows:
Fanning the Flames of Hate: Social Media and Hate Crime
Karsten Müller et al.
This paper investigates the link between social media and hate crime using hand-collected data from Facebook and Twitter. We study the case of Germany, where the recently emerged right-wing party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) has developed a major social media presence. Using a difference-in-differences design, we show that right-wing anti-refugee sentiment on Facebook predicts violent crimes against refugees in otherwise similar municipalities with higher social media usage. Consistent with social media being the driving force, the effect decreases with internet outages; increases with user network interactions; is not driven by the news cycle; and does not hold for posts unrelated to refugees. We find similar evidence for the United States, where President Trump's twitter activity strongly predicts hate crimes against the minorities targeted in his tweets, but not other minorities. We find no effect for the period before Trump's presidential campaign or measures of general anti-minority sentiment.
Dems’ Trump bashing nothing more than hate speech
It’s called hypocrisy. The so-called enemies of "hate-speech," the Democrat left, have given themselves an exemption. "Trump bashing" is not only acceptable, but encouraged. As such, Robert De Niro and his potty-mouth may yet win another Academy Award. But any questionable off-the-cuff remark by Donald Trump is, as Nancy Pelosi would put it, "Armageddon."
As if Democrats never engage in rough language, let’s not forget Barack Obama. Defending his salty rhetoric, Rolling Stone declared: "It’s a dirty job, leading the free world. Sometimes it takes a few dirty words." You probably didn’t hear about that. Or Hillary Clinton’s infamous, and well-documented, four-letter-word outbursts.
Let’s face it, Democrats, especially media Democrats, are unhinged. CNN’s Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon sound like a couple of hysterical schoolgirl tattletales. Comedians Bill Maher and Stephen Colbert, obviously suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder, go to bat every single show to smackdown Trump. Jay Leno describes current late-night television as a "depressing" drumbeat of Trump bashing. Not surprising, Americans have had a belly full.
21 January, 2018
No one should be shamed over private texts
Having the freedom to express yourself privately is crucial to a free society. It is a totalitarian society otherwise
Few people had heard of Jo Marney before the Mail on Sunday splashed her views on race and royalty on its frontpage. Marney’s texts, in which she said black people were ugly and Prince Harry’s marriage to Meghan Markle would ‘taint’ the royal family, were clearly intended to be read only by the male friend she sent them to. Yet there has been no significant criticism of this breach of her privacy. On the contrary, the wrath of the political class was turned not on the newspaper, but on her and her now former boyfriend, UKIP leader Henry Bolton, who was expected to choose between her and his job.
Most people can take it for granted that their privately expressed views will remain private. In fact, even people in the public eye can expect their private correspondence to friends not to become frontpage news. In early December, when Marney sent a series of texts to a friend, she had no reason to think they would ever appear on the frontpage of a national newspaper several weeks later. She was not yet with Bolton, and when the comments were revealed their relationship was just days old. She had no reason to be either savvy or paranoid when she sent those texts. She had no reason to expect that her right to communicate privately with one individual would be breached.
Privacy is important. Private comments are made for a known audience and often, as in this case, for one person. That one person is likely to be somebody known and trusted, a person who knows both the context of the comments and the person making them. Private communication builds trust and understanding. It is an elementary building block of friendship and family life. She who fears that her private communication will be made public is unlikely to be able to build trust or understanding with others. Society as a whole will be impoverished if its members cannot rely on their private communication staying private.
Alveda King Says Facebook Censored Ads for Pro-Life 'Roe v. Wade' Movie
During a discussion about religious freedom in America, Dr. Alveda King, the niece of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., said that Facebook had "pulled down" ads for a movie about Roe v. Wade because the social media giant does not "want the message of the injustice of abortion broadcast," which, she added, is a "violation of religious freedom" and "very discriminatory."
Dr. King is one of the executive producers of the movie, which includes Hollywood actor Jon Voight. The fundraising website for the film can be viewed at Roevwademovie.com.
Dr. King made her remarks during a special edition of Washington Watch with Tony Perkins, who is the president of the Family Research Council (FRC). The live show on Tuesday was broadcast on the Facebook page of the FRC in honor of Religious Freedom Day. President Donald Trump proclaimed Jan. 16, 2018 as Religious Freedom Day on Tuesday.
While discussing religious liberty in America and abroad, both Tony Perkins and Dr. King praised the power of social media to spread information and especially the Gospel. However, as Dr. King explained, social media is not as freedom-loving as one might think.
"You are making the appeal to those on Facebook to be involved, and me included," said Dr. King. "Many of you know there’s a new movie coming out, Roe v. Wade. I’m one of the executive producers. Facebook has pulled down our ads, the paid ads and any mention of the non-paid ads."
"They do not want the message of the injustice of abortion broadcast, and they are trying to block that," she said. "That’s another violation of religious freedom. It’s very discriminatory."
The description for Roe v. Wade the Movie reads, "Roe v Wade the Movie is the real untold story of how people lied; how the media lied; and how the courts were manipulated to pass a law that has since killed over 60 million Americans.
19 January, 2018
CU regents consider new policies supporting freedom of speech, even if considered 'offensive' by some
The University of Colorado is discussing establishing new policies around freedom of speech on campus modeled after the University of Chicago's stance arguing colleges shouldn't ban speakers or censor speech, even if thought "offensive" or "disagreeable."
The proposal to craft CU's own free speech stance was brought during a CU regents' meeting Wednesday morning in Denver.
An excerpt of a draft proposal of CU's policy reads: "Speech related to political, academic, artistic, and social concern serve vital purposes, both in society and within the university itself. Speech related to these topics is within the boundaries of free expression, even when others construe that speech as wrong or insensitive. The proper response to ideas that members of the university community find offensive or unwarranted is to challenge those ideas through the exercise of reason and debate, rather than attempt to interfere with or suppress them."
The draft goes on to say free expression doesn't include speech that's "a true threat, fraudulent, harassing, obscene, defamatory, or otherwise unlawful."
Regents Heidi Ganahl, Republican at large, and John Carson, Highlands Ranch Republican, are spearheading the effort with Patrick O'Rourke, vice president of university counsel and secretary of the board, working on the language of the policy. Regents agreed, if moved forward, CU's policies would be more detailed and stronger than the University of Chicago's statement.
The motivation behind the push for stricter freedom of speech rules, Ganahl said, came from hundreds of conversations she had with students and faculty experiencing forms of political discrimination on campus.
"This would be giving voice to people who don't feel they have a voice," Ganahl said. "I am their voice now. I think this would send a very encouraging and strong message for them."
Free speech flared up on the Boulder campus last year when CU College Republicans and the CU chapter of Turning Point USA, a conservative activist group, organized a speaking event for conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos.
Many lobbied CU officials to cancel the speech, in which Yiannopoulos made provocative statements about Muslims, obese people, gender studies professors, Native Americans and sexual assault.
Events promoting diversity and inclusion, including a talk by transgender actress Laverne Cox, sprung up on the same day as Yiannopoulos' speech.
Trevecca Nazarene University blocks Mae Beavers event criticized as anti-Islam
Nobody must criticize Islam. How and when did Islam become the established church?
Amid criticism, Trevecca Nazarene University has withdrawn as a venue this month for a controversial event organized by Republican gubernatorial candidate Mae Beavers.
The Jan. 25 "Homeland Security Summit" will feature three speakers known by critics for espousing anti-Muslim views, including Bill French — listed on promotional materials under his pen name "Bill Warner" — Cathy Hinners and John Guandolo.
"It's kind of a who's who of Islamaphobes," said Ibrahim Hooper, communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, known as CAIR.
"The themes are always the same: Muslims are about to take over the country and install sharia in place of the Constitution, and mosques are hotbeds of extremism."
Beavers released a statement on Wednesday describing Trevecca's decision as "caving to Islamic pressure" and said the university had "abandoned Biblical principles in order embrace [sic] political correctness and promote the interests of those who deny Christ."
18 January, 2018
Trump for free speech
From the very moment Trump won the election, much of the mainstream media began spearheading the #Resistance effort against his presidency. Recall that much of the MSM believed it had helped Trump win the Republican primary, and in so doing presumed to have provided Hillary Clinton with the easiest opponent to beat. Trump has been feuding with the MSM ever since.
On Monday, retiring Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) announced that he would be giving a speech prior to Trump's Fake News awards. In released excerpts of his planned speech, Flake states, "It is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Josef Stalin to describe his enemies. It bears noting that so fraught with malice was the phrase 'enemy of the people,' that even Nikita Khrushchev forbade its use, telling the Soviet Communist Party that he phrase had been introduced by Stalin for the purpose of 'annihilating such individuals' who disagreed with the supreme leader."
Flake's assertion that Trump is essentially Stalinist due to using the phrase "enemy of the people" when referencing grossly biased news reporting is simply asinine. Even though this is the age of snowflakes, the fact still remains that hurting people's feelings is not equivalent to killing (millions of) them. Flake, of course, knows this, but he's after his 15 minutes of fame — ingratiating himself with the Leftmedia — on the way out the door.
Other than call out the press for dispensing fake news, when has Trump engaged in any real suppression of speech? The answer is never. In fact, when compared with his predecessor, Trump has been downright congenial.
Even though most of the MSM were sycophants of Barack Obama, with the exception of Fox News, they learned quickly his vindictive distain for bad press. Indeed, Obama was a far greater threat to freedom of the press than Trump has ever dreamed of being. As The New York Times noted in December 2016, "If Donald J. Trump decides as president to throw a whistle-blower in jail for trying to talk to a reporter, or gets the FBI to spy on a journalist, he will have one man to thank for bequeathing him such expansive power: Barack Obama."
Recall that it was Obama who had his "Justice" Department spy on reporters. The DOJ went after Fox News' James Rosen, targeting and labeling him as a co-conspirator in a criminal case simply for doing his job. In a 2013 report, Leonard Downie, a former executive editor of The Washington Post, called Obama's war on journalism "the most aggressive I've seen since the Nixon administration, when I was one of the editors involved in The Washington Post's investigation of Watergate."
One of Obama's favored tools in his battle against the press was the Espionage Act of 1917. Between 1917 and 2009 only one person had ever been convicted under the act for leaking information to a news organization. Obama changed that by directing then-Attorney General Eric Holder to aggressively prosecute government employees who leaked information to the press. In so doing, the Espionage Act, originally designed to prosecute those acting against the United States, was regularly applied, resulting in a record number of reporters' sources being jailed.
As The Washington Post noted last June, "Trump rages about leakers. Obama quietly prosecuted them."
But Obama's war against the media really wasn't all that quiet. While it is obvious that Trump's favorite media whipping boy is CNN, and deservedly so, Obama aggressively and regularly derided Fox News. Starting back in the 2008 election, Obama said that if it wasn't for Fox he might be two or three points higher in the polls. Throughout his time in office, he regularly attacked the news organization, and even sought to have Fox excluded from the press pool coverage of interviews with key officials.
And just days ago, on a newly premiered David Letterman show on Netflix, Obama ripped Fox News and its viewers, saying, "If you watch Fox News, you are living on a different planet." Clearly, Obama's animosity for the news network hasn't abated, nor has his disdain for anyone who disagrees with his "right side of history" condescension.
What is actually ironic about Flake's faulty and childish comparison of Trump to Stalin is the fact that the mainstream media is far from being silenced; indeed, it is thriving. Trump has proven to be a windfall for the major news media outlets, and none more so than The New York Times, which has witnessed its digital subscriptions explode from fewer than a million before the election to 2.5 million since. And much of this new growth can be attributed to the MSM self-designated resistance to Trump. In other words, "democracy" in America is far from "dying in darkness."
Flake is doing nothing more than expressing sour grapes for a man he clearly doesn't like. This amounts to one last spiteful parting swing as he leaves office, and it's a far cry from any thoughtful contribution to the party or the conversation.
The Dangerous Supreme Court Case Nobody Is Talking About
NIFLA v. Becerra has huge implications for free speech, religious freedom, and the pro-life cause
For the second time this term, the Supreme Court is considering whether the government can compel Americans to express or support ideas they find repugnant. The first case, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, was the talk of the nation. This case, National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra, has almost entirely escaped public attention. That’s a mistake. If anything, the violation of the First Amendment in the NIFLA case is more egregious, and the implications potentially more far-reaching.
The NIFLA case is unquestionably about compelled speech. The state of California has enacted a law, the so-called FACT Act, that requires pro-life crisis-pregnancy centers to prominently place a notice informing clients that California offers low-cost and even free abortions to women who qualify and providing them a phone number that grants quick access to abortion clinics.
In other words, California is requiring pro-life professionals — people who’ve dedicated their lives to protecting the unborn by offering pregnant mothers alternatives to abortion — to advertise state-sponsored abortions.
California is making this demand even though it has ample opportunity to advertise state services without forcing pro-life citizens to do so.
And the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the FACT Act is constitutional. To validate California’s oppressive act, its decision carved out a dangerous First Amendment exception for what it deemed "professional speech" — "speech that occurs between professionals and their clients in the context of their professional relationship" — and ruled that the state had much greater leeway in regulating, for example, doctor/patient communication.
There are circumstances where such regulation is appropriate. Doctors typically must explain the risks of medical procedures, for example, and a patient must give "informed consent" before being subjected to any course of treatment. But there is a vast, yawning gulf between "informed consent" and a requirement that a pro-life professionals advertise the very procedure they’re trying to persuade people to avoid.
There’s nothing uniquely "professional" about the state’s mandated advertisement. It’s simply the state’s speech forced into a private professional setting.
If the Ninth Circuit’s reasoning holds, professionals who’ve dedicated their lives to particular religious, cultural, or political causes could see their offices commandeered by the state for alternative expression, their messages undermined by state-mandated "disclosures."
17 January, 2018
Must not speak ill of blacks -- even to your mother
A judge has dismissed a disorderly conduct charge against a University of Vermont student who was accused of using "explicitly racist and threatening language" in a phone call with his mother.
Three witnesses reportedly overheard the comments, but one declined to speak with investigators and another denied overhearing anything inflammatory.
University officials claimed in October that continuing education major Wesley Richter used "explicitly racist and threatening language" against black students and diversity initiatives on campus, reports Burlington CBS affiliate WCAX.
Judge David Fenster’s decision to dismiss the case on Tuesday for lack of probable cause ends two months of review after UVM police charged Richter with a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct.
According to the Burlington Free Press, Richter's lawyer, Ben Luna, said the conversation in the library multimedia room between Richter and his mother contained no threats, but prosecutors argued in October that Richter's comments specifically targeted black students, and as such, constituted a crime.
Notably, however, Seven Days reported shortly after the charges were filed that UVM police had issued a statement saying that after conducting "a thorough investigation and threat assessment," it had "found no information of an imminent threat to public safety."
Richter’s attorney, Ben Luna, however, offered a very different appraisal, saying the judge’s determination makes clear that the charges never should have been filed.
"This opinion is a victory for the First Amendment. This opinion is a victory for free speech on university campuses," Luna declared in a statement after the dismissal.
The exact nature of Richter’s controversial phone call is not known, as the ruling prevents the release of an affidavit containing specific alleged quotations, but Richter has insisted that he did not make any threats during the conversation
Rockers upset that You Tube banned their video
I personally don't believe in banning anything unless it threatens some specific person or persons with violence but youTube would seem to be well with their guidelines in banning a video which is obsessed with violence. The Leftist obsession with shutting people up was bound to hit bystanders and this rock group seems to be in that category
King 810’s 2014 music video for Killem All is banned by YouTube for violating their community guidelines due to "hate speech"
King 810’s music video for their 2014 track Killem All has been banned by YouTube for violating their community guidelines.
The song appeared on the Flint, Michigan, outfit’s debut album Memoirs Of A Murderer and has been on YouTube for years.
But it’s now been taken down due to it containing "hate speech" by the streaming giant.
Frontman David Gunn posted a picture of the message he received and says: "Logged into YouTube this morning to this tragedy.
"YouTube claiming to encourage free speech but removing content they arbitrarily pin as ‘hate speech.’
"This is music and artistic expression. The song and video are social commentary. YouTube, you would not even exist as a company if they removed all things anyone may consider ‘hate speech.’
"We as a people have made this a very large, very rich company. I understand this is a for profit company with a policy and an agenda, but it’s a bit dangerous when giants like YouTube and Google censor information and art only to expose us to cherry-picked pieces consistent with their own views. Especially when we rely on them from day to day.
"This is something people should be aware and concerned about."
The video is still available to watch on Vimeo.
16 January, 2018
Branson backs down
When Virgin Trains took the decision back in November to remove the Daily Mail from sale, it was not part of some grand campaign or at my behest – indeed Brian Souter and I were not aware of the decision until we read the media reports this week.
The decision was made in response to feedback from some of our Virgin Trains employees. Brian and I respect our people when they make decisions and we listen to their views. It is the way we have always run our companies.
But we must also listen to the concerns voiced widely this week – by those who agree with The Mail’s editorial stance and those who vehemently disagree with it – that this move has been seen as censorship.
Freedom of speech, freedom of choice and tolerance for differing views are the core principles of any free and open society. While Virgin Trains has always said that their passengers are free to read whatever newspaper they choose on board West Coast trains, it is clear that on this occasion the decision to no longer sell The Mail has not been seen to live up to these principles.
Brian and I agree that we must not ever be seen to be censoring what our customers read and influencing their freedom of choice. Nor must we be seen to be moralising on behalf of others. Instead we should stand up for the values we hold dear and defend them publicly, as I have done with The Mail on many issues over the years.
So Brian and I have instructed our team at Virgin Trains to reconsider this decision and re-stock the Daily Mail while they undertake a full review of their sales policy, making clear that this policy should not single out individual media titles.
Google Is A Threat To Freedom — Regardless Of What Mike Lee Says
Google has even bought a former critic
Google had a rough week. James Damore, a former Google engineer who was fired for writing a memo criticizing the tech giant’s "ideological echo chamber," filed a lawsuit against his old company over its ideological and anti-white male bias.
Damore’s lawsuit claims that Google has a problem with conservative white men and works hard to enforce ideological conformity among its employees. Damore provides damning examples of the left-wing bias of Google, including employees openly supporting violence against right-wingers, the company rewarding staffers who publicly condemned Damore’s views and Google promoting ridiculous "diversity" initiatives
In addition to the lawsuit, The Daily Caller News Foundation uncovered that Google’s "fact check" system pretty much only targets conservative outlets while leaving questionable left-leaning sites unscathed. (RELATED: Google’s New Fact-Check Feature Almost Exclusively Targets Conservative Sites)
This is an issue because when a person searches for a site, one of the first things he will see in the sidebar is Google claiming a site such as The Daily Caller publishes questionable content, thus hurting traffic and that outlet’s brand.
It’s not unreasonable to ask if Google uses its fact check system to suppress conservative content rather than to inform its users.
Last week provided more evidence that one of most influential corporations in the world uses its immense power to enforce an ideological bias among its employees and the millions of people who use its service. That should worry everyone, but apparently one person not concerned about it is Sen. Mike Lee, who chairs the Senate Antitrust subcommittee.
The Utah Republican joined Fox News’ Tucker Carlson last Wednesday to talk about Google’s abuses, and surprisingly brushed off The Daily Caller co-founder’s concerns about it.
"In no way is [Google] as much of a threat as the government is to your privacy," Lee told Carlson. To Tucker’s worries about Google’s ability to censor political speech, invade our privacy and insidiously promote its own political agenda, Lee confidently asserted that you can "use another search engine."
Using another search engine is a quaint response to Google having a virtual monopoly on the business. In America, nearly 89 percent of all internet searches go through Google. A few people deciding to use Bing over Google’s political bias will not change the fact that the internet search giant controls the flow of information for the vast majority of Americans.
If Google wants to bury an article or an entire outlet, like it has done for RT, it will do so and American citizens have little recourse to object to that decision.
Tucker brought up the fact that citizens have no power to change a powerful institution like Google, but do have that ability with a democratic government through elections and their representatives. Sen. Lee waved that point away by asserting the government can lock up people for their speech, but Google can’t.
While it is obviously true imprisonment is far worse than having your search results skewed, Lee’s flippant attitude doesn’t account for the reality of the situation. The U.S. government isn’t arresting people for their political views and is legally barred from discriminating against people in employment and other areas due to their politics.
Meanwhile, Google, a powerful corporation, uses its internet search monopoly to suppress political views it disagrees with and discriminates against conservative employees.
If the U.S. government was actually doing all that Lee says it has the power to do, then it would be the greatest threat to free speech. However, the government is not doing such things to the extent Google that is, and Lee comes off as pointing to a non-existent problem to divert attention from the real issue.
State power is, theoretically, the bigger threat to freedom if it’s abused. But corporations like Google are the ones abusing their power to suppress free speech in the real world. Why shouldn’t lawmakers focus on that?
Lee appears to believe that the free market will magically take care of that problem and that lawmakers should just focus on the government. It is a bit weird for a man like Mike Lee, who fears the power of big government, to be so unfazed by big tech monopolies.
Interestingly enough, the Utah senator used to be a staunch critic of Google’s power. In 2011, he accused the company of "cooking the results" in its searches to favor their own products. That same year, he released a statement warning of Google’s ability to use its power to invade the privacy of average citizens.
"Google’s powerful position as an Internet gatekeeper reduces the company’s incentive to compete with other search engines by providing enhanced privacy protection for consumers," Lee said in his 2011 statement. "The combination of behavioral and personal information enables Google to generate consumer data that is unprecedented in scale and scope. These activities raise serious privacy concerns and may be indicative of an important market that is largely unconstrained by competition. Antitrust enforcement may unlock beneficial competition for the protection of user privacy and avert the need for additional privacy regulation."
Now the Utah Republican tells those concerned about Google’s power and politics to switch to another search engine, even though he acknowledged a few years ago the company has built such a strong monopoly that consumer boycotts don’t present a real threat to it.
Additionally, in 2015, Lee had sought a probe into why the Federal Trade Commission had let Google go off easy in 2012 in spite of finding that the tech giant’s "conduct has resulted—and will result—in real harm to consumers and to innovation in the online search and advertising markets."
Why Lee changed his stance is a question that remains to be determined, but Ann Coulter did point out a possible reason for his change of heart on Thursday.
"[I]n 2016, Google Fiber expanded into Salt Lake City," Coulter tweeted. "Now, @SenMikeLee has no complaints with Google."
Whatever Lee’s reason for changing his mind on Google, the American people should share the same skepticism of the tech giant that Lee used to have.
As Tucker Carlson rightly declares, "Tech giants are not just a threat to privacy, they are a threat to our basic American freedoms."
Hopefully, more lawmakers wake up to the fact that Google isn’t just some chain store with multiple competitors equal to its strength. Google is a monopoly that has the power to control how we view the world — and it desperately needs a higher power to keep it in check
15 January, 2018
Anti-history push comes to Canada
A pub in a building where Sir John A. Macdonald once had his law office is dropping a reference to Canada’s first prime minister from its name after receiving requests to do so from members of the Indigenous community.
The Scottish pub in Kingston, Ont., once known as "Sir John’s Public House," will now be called "The Public House," its owner said, noting that a new sign was being erected Tuesday.
The building housed Macdonald’s law office from 1849 to 1860, Fortier said.
"I bought this building about seven years ago, and at that time it was an Italian pizzeria. And I thought, ’what a wonderful opportunity to celebrate John A. Macdonald’s life,"’ he said. "We have a Scottish pub, and we all know that Sir John enjoyed a few drinks, and what a great idea to have his former law office as a pub."
I hope these communities will recognize that in the spirit of reconciliation, we are taking action to make them feel more welcome than they would otherwise have felt.
Fortier said the concept was successful — "lots of people interested in local history and Canadian history come by to pay homage to Canada’s first prime minister" — but sentiments started to change last year, when Macdonald’s role in establishing the country’s residential school program came under heightened scrutiny.
In August, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario called for the removal of Macdonald’s name from elementary schools in the province, referring to him as the "architect of genocide against Indigenous Peoples." That call was rejected by Ontario’s premier, who noted the need to understand all parts of the country’s history.
The following month, a group of people protested outside Fortier’s restaurant.
"Some of our customers and some of the native organizations in the Kingston area said that they could no longer do business with us. They said that it was no longer a safe place for them, and that the name ’Sir John’s’ just brought back too many unhappy memories for their communities," Fortier said.
After much consideration, Fortier said he and a group of managers decided to change the pub’s name.
"The name that we selected was just a truncated version of the original," he said.
Fortier noted, however, that there will still be exhibits and memorabilia related to the prime minister in the pub.
"We can’t deny the fact that John A. Macdonald occupied this building from 1849 to 1860. That’s a historical fact. I can’t erase that," he said. "I hope these communities will recognize that in the spirit of reconciliation, we are taking action to make them feel more welcome than they would otherwise have felt."
On twitter no-one sees your tweets
If you are conservative. I suspect mine are shadow banned as I never seem to get any replies
In the latest undercover Project Veritas video investigation, current and former Twitter employees are on camera explaining steps the social media giant is taking to censor political content that they don’t like.
This video release follows the first undercover Twitter exposé Project Veritas released on January 10th which showed Twitter Senior Network Security Engineer Clay Haynes saying that Twitter is "more than happy to help the Department of Justice with their little [President Donald Trump] investigation."
Twitter responded to the video with a statement shortly after that release, stating "the individual depicted in this video was speaking in a personal capacity and does not represent of speak for Twitter."
The video released by Project Veritas today features eight employees, and a Project Veritas spokesman said there are more videos featuring additional employees coming.
On January 3rd 2018 at a San Francisco restaurant, Abhinov Vadrevu, a former Twitter Software Engineer explains a strategy, called "shadow banning," that to his knowledge, Twitter has employed:
"One strategy is to shadow ban so you have ultimate control. The idea of a shadow ban is that you ban someone but they don’t know they’ve been banned, because they keep posting and no one sees their content. So they just think that no one is engaging with their content, when in reality, no one is seeing it."
Twitter is in the process of automating censorship and banning, says Twitter Software Engineer Steven Pierre on December 8th of 2017:
"Every single conversation is going to be rated by a machine and the machine is going to say whether or not it’s a positive thing or a negative thing. And whether it’s positive or negative doesn’t (inaudible), it’s more like if somebody’s being aggressive or not. Right? Somebody’s just cursing at somebody, whatever, whatever. They may have point, but it will just vanish… It’s not going to ban the mindset, it’s going to ban, like, a way of talking."
Olinda Hassan, a Policy Manager for Twitter’s Trust and Safety team explains on December 15th, 2017 at a Twitter holiday party that the development of a system of "down ranking" "shitty people" is in the works:
"Yeah. That’s something we’re working on. It’s something we’re working on. We’re trying to get the shitty people to not show up. It’s a product thing we’re working on right now."
Former Twitter Engineer Conrado Miranda confirms on December 1st, 2017 that tools are already in place to censor pro-Trump or conservative content on the platform. When asked whether or not these capabilities exist, Miranda says, "that’s a thing."
In a conversation with former Twitter Content Review Agent Mo Norai on May 16th, 2017, we learned that in the past Twitter would manually ban or censor Pro-Trump or conservative content. When asked about the process of banning accounts, Norai said, "On stuff like that it was more discretion on your view point, I guess how you felt about a particular matter…"
When asked to clarify if that process was automated Norai confirmed that it was not:
"Yeah, if they said this is: ‘Pro-Trump’ I don’t want it because it offends me, this, that. And I say I banned this whole thing, and it goes over here and they are like, ‘Oh you know what? I don’t like it too. You know what? Mo’s right, let’s go, let’s carry on, what’s next?'"
Norai also revealed that more left-leaning content would go through their selection process with less political scrutiny, "It would come through checked and then I would be like ‘Oh you know what? This is okay. Let it go.’"
Norai explains that this selection process wasn’t exactly Twitter policy, but rather they were following unwritten rules from the top:
"A lot of unwritten rules, and being that we’re in San Francisco, we’re in California, very liberal, a very blue state. You had to be… I mean as a company you can’t really say it because it would make you look bad, but behind closed doors are lots of rules."
"There was, I would say… Twitter was probably about 90% Anti-Trump, maybe 99% Anti-Trump."
At a San Francisco bar on January 5th, Pranay Singh details how the shadow-banning algorithms targeting right-leaning are engineered:
"Yeah you look for Trump, or America, and you have like five thousand keywords to describe a redneck. Then you look and parse all the messages, all the pictures, and then you look for stuff that matches that stuff."
When asked if the majority of the algorithms are targeted against conservative or liberal users of Twitter, Singh said, "I would say majority of it are for Republicans."
Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe believes the power over speech Silicon Valley tech giants has is unprecedented and dangerous:
"What kind of world do we live in where computer engineers are the gatekeepers of the ‘way people talk?’ This investigation brings forth information of profound public importance that educates people about how free they really are to express their views online."
Project Veritas plans to release more undercover video from within Twitter in the coming days.
14 January, 2018
Trump uses street language to describe undesirable countries
Countries like Haiti are notorious for high rates of poverty and high rates of crime but under political correctness you are supposed to be polite about that if you mention it at all. Trump, however is not good at euphemistic language and gained power by deploring political correctness
It has been suggested that this episode might GAIN Trump votes as many others would agree with what he said
I note that the word "shithole" has suddenly leapt into frequent use on Twitter and elsewhere
Washington: US President Donald Trump acknowledged on Friday that he used "tough" language during a meeting on efforts toward a bipartisan immigration deal, but appeared to deny using the term "shithole" to refer to some countries.
"The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used. What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made - a big setback for DACA!" Trump wrote on Twitter.
Democrat senator Dick Durbin confirms the US president did describe immigrants from Africa and Haiti as coming from 'shithole' countries.
However, moments after the tweet, Democract senator Dick Durbin, who was in the bipartisan meeting, confirmed that the president had used the word when the conversation turned to immigration from African nations.
He said Trump began "calling the nations they come from shitholes - the exact word used by the president, not just once, repeatedly. That was the nature of this conversation."
Spokespeople for the White House did not immediately respond to a request for clarification. The White House had not denied that Trump used the vulgarity when it was first reported by The Washington Post and later confirmed by numerous other news outlets.
The president had grown frustrated with legislators on Thursday in the Oval Office when they discussed protecting immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as part of a bipartisan immigration deal, according to several people briefed on the meeting.
"Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?" Trump had said, according to these people, referring to countries mentioned by the legislators.
A White House official said Trump had also suggested he would be open to more immigrants from Asian countries because he felt that they help the United States economically.
New Zealand restaurant imitates Chinese English
Joking becomes ever more risky
A New Zealand Asian fusion restaurant has been branded racist over its 'juvenile' and 'tone deaf' menu.
Philip Kraal, the owner of Bamboozle, in Christchurch, has come under fire for his choice of dish names, which include 'chirri garrik an prawn dumpring' and 'pang pang cori frower'.
But despite the angry backlash online Kraal, who is white, has defended his decision, saying: 'Pretty much every one of our customers enjoys the written menu.'
The menu was outed by Twitter user Alice Galletly who posted it to her feed along with the caption: 'Ho lee phuk, the menu for Bamboozle restaurant is some super juvenile racist trash!'
While her initial message was only met with a few dozen retweets it was subsequently picked up by New Zealand media and the outrage spread.
12 January, 2018
Google hates Trump
Below is a screen grab of the graphic that Google have at the moment beside their entry on hate speech. It clearly includes a caricature of President Trump and thus implies that he is guilty of hate speech.
This, plus Google’s New Fact-Check Feature, shows that Google has now swung hard-Left. Time to use Bing.com for searches?
Right-wing blogger arrested at 'It's OK to be white' speech at UConn
A woman grabbed his speech notes and he was arrested for trying to get them back
Lucian Wintrich, the White House correspondent for the right-wing Gateway Pundit website, was arrested Tuesday after a scuffle at the University of Connecticut.
Wintrich, who is also the Washington bureau chief for the Trump-boosting blog, was at the Storrs, Connecticut, school to deliver his "It's OK to be white" speech.
But many among the about 100 people who attended the event greeted him with chants of "Go home, Nazi!" and booed and interrupted Wintrich throughout his speech.
Chaos broke out when a woman approached the lectern and took a piece of paper from it, video shows.
As the woman walked away, Wintrich is seen following her, pulling at her backpack and grabbing her.
Police took Wintrich, 29, into custody shortly after the altercation and escorted him out of the room. He was charged with misdemeanor breach of peace and was released Tuesday night on a $1,000 bond, said Stephanie Reitz, a university spokeswoman.
Wintrich tweeted Wednesday that he would seek legal action against the university and the woman, who he says stole his property.
11 January, 2018
Virgin Trains stops selling Daily Mail, ‘concern over editorial position on immigration’
Look for retaliatory stories in the DM about Virgin service problems and stuff-ups, of which there are plenty
Virgin Trains has stopped selling the Daily Mail because it disagrees with its editorial line on immigration, LGBT rights and unemployment.
Virgin has now hopped aboard the bandwagon of attempting to censor the British press. A statement from the company reads: “Different viewpoints are often valuable, and it’s certainly true that we choose to take our news from different sources depending on our view of the world.
“Thousands of people choose to read the Daily Mail every day. But they will no longer be reading it courtesy of VT (Virgin Trains). There’s been considerable concern raised by colleagues about the Mail’s editorial position on issues such as immigration, LGBT rights, and unemployment. We’ve decided that this paper is not compatible with the VT brand and our beliefs. We won’t be stocking the Daily Mail for sale or as a giveaway.
“We regularly review the products we have on sale for customers onboard our trains, and after listening to feedback from our people we have decided that we will no longer stock copies of the Daily Mail on services on our west coast route.”
Obviously this has nothing at all to do with the fact the Mail supported Brexit and Virgin founder Richard Branson is a staunch Remoaner who wanted a second referendum.
What a sad state of affairs when a major company seeks to silence a publication it disagrees with and stifle the free press. What will Virgin’s customers make of this?
California Prosecutes Man for Anti-Muslim Posts
California is already flouting federal immigration law with its “sanctuary” status. Now it’s also ignoring the most American of laws — the First Amendment — prosecuting a man simply for posting five anti-Muslim messages to Facebook.
The hapless defendant is 41-year-old Mark Feigin, who expressed his opinions at the Islamic Center of Southern California’s (ICSC) Facebook page in 2016. Feigin is certainly an acerbic, acid-tongued, foul-mouthed fellow, and he admits to sending the messages. But while many may not like their substance and/or style, they’re clearly an example of constitutionally protected speech. They are as follows, as presented by the Daily Caller:
* “THE TERROR HIKE … SOUNDS LIKE FUN” (In reference to the center’s advertised “Sunset Hike”)
* “THE MORE MUSLIMS WE ALLOW INTO AMERICA THE MORE TERROR WE WILL SEE.”
* “PRACTICING ISLAM CAN SLOW OR EVEN REVERSE THE PROCESS OF HUMAN EVOLUTION.”
* “Islam is dangerous — fact: the more muslim savages we allow into america — the more terror we will see — this is a fact which is undeniable.”
* “Filthy muslim s[***] has no place in western civilization.”
The California Attorney General’s office is prosecuting Feigin under Cal. Penal Code § 653m(b), which states, “Every person who, with intent to annoy or harass, makes repeated telephone calls or makes repeated contact by means of an electronic communication device ... to another person is ... guilty of a misdemeanor.” Feigin’s trial began on Tuesday.
10 January, 2018
Laughing not allowed in Germany
German satirical news outlet Titanic has had its Twitter account reinstated after it was suspended for more than two days. Tweets parodying an AfD lawmaker were flagged and deleted under Germany's new "NetzDG" law.
In a press statement, Titanic's chief editor Tim Wolff said he was glad that Twitter had settled the issue "so bureaucratically and slowly," and that the paper would again have "the chance to take Twitter to task from our own account."
Titanic's account was suspended on Tuesday for a series of tweets by an imagined Beatrix von Storch, the deputy parliamentary group leader of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party — shortly after the politician was suspended from Twitter. "Her" tweets from Titanic included a joke about watching the world darts championship final on Monday night: "White men getting drunk and shooting stuff, a last bastion of our Germanic traditions."
However, "von Storch's" harsher tweets concerning Muslims were flagged as violating Twitter's terms and were swiftly deleted by the microblogging site, despite being clearly satire.
Wolff said the paper would defend itself against this and any future suspensions, adding that Germany's new laws and regulations for publishing online content risked undermining satire.
"Monkey" problems again
Fashion retailer H&M has been accused of racism over a children’s jumper that was modelled on their website.
The green hooded jumper bore the slogan “coolest monkey in the jungle” and was worn by a black child.
Social media users were outraged, branding the ad “racist” and “unacceptable”
“This is racist and insensitive. This beautiful boy doesn’t even know what H&M is making out of him. A whole team shooting and no one saw what’s wrong with this,” one Twitter user wrote.
But others disagreed with the accusations, saying the retail giant probably didn’t intentionally mean to offend anyone.
“I totally understand the racist connotations around the word ‘monkey’ but, seriously, I don’t *think* that was their intention at all,” another user wrote.
H & M has since removed the photo of the boy wearing the jumper from it’s online collection, telling The Independent that they “apologise to anyone this may have offended”.
9 January, 2018
Is Islam the new Canadian State religion?
Christine Douglass-Williams fired from Canadian Race Relations Foundation for writing for Jihad Watch:
I have been terminated from the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, four months after a threatening letter by Heritage Minister Melanie Joly about my writings on Islam at Jihad Watch.
Joly made good on her threats. The Privy Council has terminated my appointment, despite my years of dedicated commitment to the Foundation, on which I also served as Chair of the Investment Committee, and as a member of the Human Resource and Executive Committees. Why? Because I dared to criticize political Islam on Jihad Watch, and because of My Personal Warning to Icelanders, in which I warned about the deceptive works of Muslim Brotherhood operatives in their infiltration of the West. Their tactics are well documented.
I personally make a distinction between those who choose to practice Islam in peace and harmony with others, and those with an agenda to subvert democratic constitutions, demand special privileges over other creeds, and attack innocent people as a supremacist entitlement. It is odd to be removed from a race relations foundation for my private work in criticizing Islam, which is not a race.
Despite the many letters that were sent to the Heritage Department on my behalf and a petition attesting to my deep regard for human rights, the Liberal government decided that my criticism of human rights abuses committed in the name of Islam was “racist.”
A logical article was written in a Canadian National newspaper about the attack against me by John Robson, entitled: “If you want to accuse someone of prejudice, use the right word,” in which he writes:
"Consider Monday’s National Post story that, “A board member with the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, an arm’s-length federal government agency with a mandate to combat racial discrimination, is in jeopardy of losing her post over her writings on the controversial website Jihad Watch.” And her situation is far from unique. To raise questions about militant Islam, or the extent to which fundamentalism is inherent in Muslim scriptures and doctrines, is to invite accusations of racism"
And that I have done! I have raised the ire of the “anti-Islamophobia department,” once known as Canada’s Heritage Department for all Canadians.
Proponents of no other religion at this time have proliferated so forcefully into foreign countries, demanding special privileges, or have pursued calculated and organized efforts to shut down free speech and silence dissenting views about its religiously sanctioned abuses.
I fight against anti-Muslim bigotry as I do against all bigotry, but this was not enough to keep me serving with the Foundation. This assault upon my human rights and rights as a Canadian citizen by the current government because I write and warn about the worst kind of Muslims and promote equality for all is scary, as it represents an indictment against anyone who criticizes Islam, and is another victory for Islamic supremacists as they further their efforts to subvert our prized democracy.
Australia: Volunteers told to use gender-neutral words to avoid causing offence
VOLUNTEERS for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games have been told to use gender-neutral language to avoid causing offence.
The Games Shapers handbook, which has been handed to 15,000 volunteers and official staff and contractors instructs workers to avoid phrases like “ladies and gentlemen” and “boys and girls”.
It also includes instructions to use the term parents instead of mother or father and partners, rather than husbands or girlfriends.
However, the guidelines have been labelled “political correctness gone insane”.
“We can avoid words like guys, girls, ladies and gentlemen, and instead use words like students, everyone, folks and all,” the handbook states, according to the Gold Coast Bulletin.
It also reportedly tells volunteers to refrain from calling para-athletes “extraordinary or superhuman”.
“Some community members oppose the use of ‘able-bodied’ because it implies that people with accessibility requirements lack ‘able bodies’ or the ability to use their bodies well,” the guidebook said.
“(Also) it can be embarrassing for them to be referred to as ‘extraordinary’ or ‘superhuman’…. Para-athletes don’t consider themselves more unique or over achieving than any other athlete.”
The handbook also instructs volunteers to not take selfies with athletes in their uniforms.
Queensland opposition leader Deb Frecklington said the rules were “common sense gone mad” and urged Games organisers to rethink their instructions.
“We might be a bit folksy and we might use a bit of different language but, at the end of the day, let’s just be Queenslanders,” Ms Frecklington said yesterday. “As long as people are being respectful, let Queenslanders be Queenslanders.”
One of the games’ volunteers Liz McCleary, from Southport, also fears political correctness will kill the character of the Commonwealth Games. “It (volunteering) was something I was really looking forward to, but not anymore,” she said.
“This whole political correctness has gone too far. For us not to be able to say things like boys and girls, it’s just stupidity. “No one wants to belittle anybody, but who says this is belittling anyone? “I really feel for the next generation because they are going to be so confused.”
Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC) chief executive Mark Peters said the handbook guidelines were a response to concerns raised by some of the volunteers about interacting with athletes, officials and guests from different cultures and backgrounds.
He said the guidelines were not compulsory, but a suggestion on how to handle situations. “We’re saying be yourself, that’s why you’ve been selected,” Mr Peters told reporters.
“We’re just trying to give them guidelines without scaring them ... can you get it wrong? Not if you’ve got a smile, a friendly face and you’re genuinely trying to help people.”
8 January, 2018
Berlin forced to defend hate speech law
Germany’s government has defended a new law on online hate speech that puts the country at the forefront of global efforts to police the internet but critics say in effect censors social media.
The Network Enforcement Act, which came into force on January 1, requires platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to remove potentially illegal material within 24 hours of being notified or face fines of up to €50m.
The law is by far the toughest clampdown on hate speech by a western government. But opponents have argued that it gives too much power to the social networks to decide what constitutes illegal content — a role that should be the preserve of the courts.
There are also fears that platforms where billions of online messages are uploaded each day will err on the side of caution, deleting anything even mildly controversial to avoid fines.
Bernhard Rohleder, head of Bitkom, a digital trade body, said the “administration of justice is being privatised and handed over to the big US platforms”. “We’re going to see private court martials in the social media that will pass judgment and put to death chop-chop, within 24 hours,” he said.
So far the law’s noisiest detractors are politicians from the Alternative for Germany (AfD), a rightwing, anti-immigration party whose leader Alexander Gauland likened the law to the “Stasi methods” and warned it would kill off free speech.
But disapproval has come from across Germany’s political spectrum. “The law turns AfD politicians into opinion martyrs and appears to confirm their most dangerous slogan — that there are certain things (“truths”, according to the AfD) that you just can’t say in Germany any more,” wrote Julian Reichelt, editor of the mass circulation Bild Zeitung. He called for it to be abolished.
Known in Germany as NetzDG, the law was passed last year amid alarm in Berlin at the proliferation of racist abuse and fake news on social media and how this might shape public opinion before last September’s Bundestag elections.
That was combined with anger at the perceived failure of companies such as Facebook to crack down on posts, even when they clearly violated German laws, including prohibitions of incitement to racial hatred and Holocaust denial.
Heiko Maas, justice minister and proponent of the NetzDG, defended it on Friday in an interview with news magazine Spiegel. He said German media laws obliged operators of social networks to remove illegal content — but that they had failed to comply.
The measure ensured more effective enforcement of “laws that already exist”, Mr Maas said. “Whoever distributes illegal content in the Internet must be resolutely prosecuted and brought to justice.”
Social media platforms have argued the law is superfluous because they have intensified their efforts to police content. Facebook says last summer it was removing 3,500 posts reported as hate speech every week in Germany — or 15,000 a month. It says it employs 1,200 people to monitor German content for hate speech, one-sixth of its global “community operations team”.
Twitter says it significantly tightened its rules on hate speech in December, including a ban on the use of swastikas, SS runes and other Nazi paraphernalia in users’ profile photos.
The tougher rules have led to a flurry of Twitter bans. The highest-profile casualty was Beatrix von Storch, deputy leader of the AfD parliamentary group. She had taken exception to a New Year’s greeting in Arabic issued by the Cologne police, tweeting: “What the hell is wrong with this country??.?.?.?Is this your way of mollifying the barbarian, Muslim, gang-raping hordes of men?”
Twitter responded by suspending her account for 12 hours.
Another casualty was Titanic, a satirical news magazine, which had its Twitter account suspended after parodying Ms von Storch’s tweet — a clear example, critics say, of how easily the law can backfire. Twitter later unblocked the account on appeal.
Ms von Storch condemned Twitter’s move but others in the AfD are making hay with the tough new regime. “In this day and age, a charge of incitement is the new badge of honour,” tweeted another AfD MP, Jens Maier.
British police officers under fire for posting pictures of cooked breakfast to support farmers - because it's offensive to VEGANS
Police officers in rural Wales have been blasted for posting pictures of their cooked breakfasts online - because it's 'offensive' to vegans.
The North Wales Rural Crime Team has long been praised for its pioneering use of social media to raise awareness about rural offences.
But one Twitter user was not impressed when the force posted a picture of their fry ups.
Furious follower Diana commented: 'Speaking as a tax payer I'd prefer them to be less selective when answering questions and perhaps not post breakfast pics that offend vegetarian/vegan followers - pretty thoughtless considering the job title they have.'
Farmer Jono Dixon replied: It's pathetic...The vegans are ruling the roost. They are nothing more than a menace.
'We as carnivores or vegetarians don't dictate about there preferred diet so its time they stopped trolling and whingeing about everyone's daily diets #moveon.'
The picture of a large pile of sausages, bacon, eggs, beans and toast was posted by the crime team in support of the Farmers' Union of Wales (FUW)'s Farmhouse Breakfast campaign.
The initiative encourages agricultural workers to get together over a cooked breakfast to consider the pressures facing the food and drink industry.
Soon after the force's photo was posted, the team announced it would no longer be responding to comments on social media.
Rural Crime team leader Rob Taylor said the decision was nothing to do with the vegan backlash - but was instead the result of an 'overwhelming' number of replies. He said: 'We regularly get 1m interactions each month and in August alone we had 1.9m. 'We just can't answer (all inquiries) any more as it's a huge commitment.
'Over Christmas we had too much general interaction with people from various walks of life bombarding our feed with questions and we couldn't cope.'
7 January, 2018
The British Army has been taken over by PC dreamers who are putting lives at risk
COLONEL TIM COLLINS
The ludicrous and dangerous morass into which obsequious and PC-addled senior officers have led the British Army is a source of real concern to every citizen of the nation.
In the face of external threats and massive budget constraints, the latest very public direction from the Army is to drop the use of "sir" – or indeed "ma’m" when answering the telephone, for fear of giving some offence to the person at the far end. This comes alongside notices not to use language like "mankind", "chaps" or "gentleman's agreement" from the Joint Equality Diversity and Inclusion unit, nicknamed the “Jedi”.
It is merely the most obvious manifestation of a lack of leadership that time and effort are given to such trivia in the face of crisis.
Facebook has yet another strategy to influence what its users see and believe about the world
Leftists in this country really have a problem with the free flow of information, and they’ll do anything they can to control the exchange of ideas on the airwaves, in print, or on the Internet. What they couldn’t do through net neutrality regulations they’re doing via other means, but the goal is the same: to determine for all those brainwashed deplorables out there what is truth and what is fake news.
Good luck with that.
Facebook already suppressed conservative news in its feed and then tried to label fake news in order to tamp down the conservative message, but it backfired and actually resulted in more interest in the “fake” pieces. But there’s more to this, at least where Facebook executives are concerned. They’re worried that many Americans might actually favor all those really popular ideas like stopping illegal immigration, lowering corporate taxes, deciding whether to purchase health insurance, and keeping their own doctors. Believing that average Americans are too stupid to know any better, Facebook is now helpfully suggesting further reading along with news reports and articles via its “Related Articles” feature.
Facebook states that “academic research on correcting misinformation has shown that putting a strong image, like a red flag, next to an article may actually entrench deeply held beliefs — the opposite effect to what we intended.” It’s like a university marking The Federalist Papers as a suspicious book, but discovering that it caused a rush at the campus book store. (If only that would happen.)
Facebook’s Big Brotherly policy goes on to state that “Related Articles, by contrast, are simply designed to give more context, which our research has shown is a more effective way to help people get to the facts. Indeed, we’ve found that when we show Related Articles next to a false news story, it leads to fewer shares than when the Disputed Flag is shown.”
5 January, 2018
Michigan bowling alley is accused of targeting black men with their 'racist' dress code banning 'excessively baggy pants, hoodies and do-rags'
You can't blame them for wanting to keep the gang-bangers out
A Michigan bowling complex is reviewing its dress code after receiving complaints that the policy targets black men. A sign at Spare Time Entertainment Center in Lansing prohibited excessively baggy pants, hoodies and do-rags, the Lansing State Journal reported .
It also bars gang colors and insignia, and clothing with vulgar language or pictures.
The company has removed the signage and is reevaluating its policies, said Spare Time spokeswoman Meredith Assande.
Do-rags and other hats are now acceptable if they don't impede vision or have gang colors, she said.
Loose or baggy clothing isn't encouraged because it can be a safety hazard for patrons participating in activities, Assande said. Hoodies are allowed as long as they're lowered upon entering the facility as a security precaution, she said.
'We want to be able to see our guests' faces,' Assande said.
The dress code is meant to create a 'hospitable and pleasant environment,' Assande said.
The sign was added after the bowling alley saw an increase in fighting, crime and drug use among patrons over the past three months. Police have responded to situations at the bowling complex more than six times.
'These difficult situations are not isolated to one group,' Assande said. 'Safety for our families is our number one concern.'
British Vogue editor Edward Enninful accused of 'whiteness' on February cover
Celebraties and style icons are generally white and so are the people who buy the rag. He is just selling to his market
Two issues into his editorship and British Vogue chief Edward Enninful has already raised eyebrows over his third cover.
Promising to bring more diversity to the tome than his predecessor, Alexandra Shulman, Enninful, who is black, won praise for putting model and activist Adwoa Aboah on the cover of the December issue, his first in the editor's chair.
But preview photos of the February issue, which goes on sale on Friday, have led to comments on social media that the magazine had already dropped the ball on diversity.
Starring Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie, the photo is accompanied by the coverline, "Hollywood's new era", and lists underneath the names of four other actresses – Emma Stone, Gal Gadot, Saoirse Ronan and Hong Chau.
Despite the inclusion of Gadot, who is Israeli, and Chau, who was born in Thailand, the comments on Instagram were less than complimentary.
"Celebs once again, not surprising, I thought the new British Vogue team wanted to focus more on real models, what a big disappointment," wrote @fashionruntheuniverse.
"Everyone was hating on Alexandra [Shulman] for the lack of diversity, where's the diversity after she left, I don't see it," wrote @llinalluna.
On Twitter, the reaction was similarly downbeat.
4 January, 2018
Britain: Must not address a woman as "honey"
It is very common for working class people in Britain to address one another using endearing terms. 'Love', 'Pet' and 'Hen' are common, with 'Honey' less so. One of the oddest forms heard only in some areas is "m'dook" (my duck).
A BRITISH rail company has been forced to apologise after a staff member sent a shocking sexist tweet to a customer.
The stoush began when 27-year-old passenger Emily Lucinda Cole complained about a mix-up to a male ticket inspector on board a crowded Virgin Trains service bound from Edinburgh to London.
Ms Cole told the BBC staff had said to passengers on the platform before boarding that they were welcome to sit in the virtually empty first class section of the train provided they paid for a weekend upgrade.
Once on board, staff told passengers this wasn’t the case and forced them to move seats with luggage in tow.
When Ms Cole complained to the male employee, she claimed he patronised her by referring to her as “honey”.
“The first person to check my ticket was very abrasive. His response to my explaining the situation, politely and honestly, and that I wanted to complain, was ‘you go ahead honey’. In the context and given his aggressive tone I can only assume he didn’t like being challenged by a woman,” she told the BBC.
“I wouldn’t have complained if he’d used the term in a familial or affectionate way. It definitely wasn’t that.”
However, the original gaffe snowballed after Ms Cole sent a public tweet regarding the incident to the Virgin Trains East Coast Twitter account.
Ms Cole said she was “stunned” by the company’s response, after they posted: “Sorry for the mess up Emily, would you prefer ‘pet’ or ‘love’ next time?”
The company was immediately inundated with accusations of sexism, and the tweet has been deleted.
While some Twitter users accused Ms Cole of overreacting, many offered their support.
Student Protesters: Defending the First Amendment Is ‘Violent'
Do they understand that they’re asking for the government to police our speech? A group of students at Western Washington University used their own right to free speech to disrupt a pro–free-speech lecture — calling the idea of complete free speech “violent” — and apparently, they don’t understand the irony.
According to an article in the school’s official student newspaper, the Western Front, Professor Jonathan Zimmerman was about to begin his “Censorship and Free Speech in the Age of Trump” lecture when he was disrupted by a group of students carrying signs reading “Advocating for the right to racist, sexist and transphobic speech is violent” and “Your safe space is violent.”
Now, at first glance, the messages on these signs might seem perfectly reasonable — or even kind. What decent person, after all, would defend sexist, racist, or transphobic speech? I certainly wouldn’t.
Here’s the thing, though: These signs aren’t slamming those who advocate for hateful speech, they’re slamming those who advocate “the right” to this kind of speech. In other words: They’re slamming those who defend the First Amendment. The First Amendment protects all kinds of speech. Yes, even hate speech, and it should. Why?
Well, because if it didn’t, then the government would have the power to decide what did and did not qualify as “hate speech” — and the corresponding power to silence any speech that it deemed unacceptable.
It’s tempting to think that laws that would silence only, say, “sexist” speech would be good for society, but it becomes a lot more complicated when you consider how subjective the term “sexist” can be. In recent years, we’ve seen people in the social-justice crowd declare everything from hating pumpkin-spice lattes to the word “too” to be “sexist.”
Of course, those student protesters might agree with some of that leftist ideology, but there’s a zero percent chance that they’d agree with everyone’s idea of sexism.
Think about it: There’s an entire Men’s Rights movement out there right now that believes society is sexist against men. If there were a law against “sexist” speech, anyone in power who subscribed to the Men’s Rights platform could easily use it to disallow statements as innocuous as “It’s harder to be a woman than a man,” or even a joke like “Men are pigs.”
The most puzzling thing about all of this is: If you were to ask these student protesters, they’d probably say that they don’t want Donald Trump and the Republican-majority Congress to have the power to limit what they can and cannot say — and yet, that’s exactly what the words on their signs are demanding.
I’d really encourage them to rethink it. It’s certainly admirable to use your voice to speak out against hateful speech, but calling for the government to silence it is taking the risk that one day you’ll be silenced, too.
3 January, 2018
Nationalist politician 'censored' under new German hate speech law for anti-Muslim tweet
A top lawmaker from the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party was blocked from Twitter and Facebook on Monday after slamming the Cologne police for sending a New Year's tweet in Arabic.
The incident caused the AfD to lash out further and criticize censorship as a controversial new German social media law known as NetzDG went into effect January 1 in a bid to clamp down on online hate speech.
The Cologne police tweeted New Year's greetings and linked to information on celebrating safely in a series of messages in German and other languages, including Arabic. Cologne was the scene two years ago of mass sexual assaults on New Year's Eve in which most of the suspects were described as young men of North African and Arab origin.
"What the hell is happening in this country? Why is an official police site tweeting in Arabic? Do you think it is to appease the barbaric, gang-raping hordes of Muslim men?" wrote Beatrix von Storch, the deputy leader of the AfD's parliamentary group.
The tweet was later deleted after Twitter froze von Storch's account and informed her she had violated hate speech rules. Her account was shut down for 12 hours. The Cologne police said on Monday that they had filed a criminal complaint against von Storch for hate speech.
The lawmaker then upped the ante, writing a sarcastic post once her account was reopened. She also announced that her Facebook account had been "censored" due to a hate speech complaint.
"Facebook has also censored me. That is the end of the constitutional state," she wrote, showing the message she received from the social media giant.
Facebook apologises for its moderation 'mistakes' after investigation reveals it makes the wrong call on nearly HALF of posts reported as offensive
Facebook has apologised after an investigation revealed moderators make the wrong call on almost half of posts deemed offensive.
The site admitted it left up offensive posts that violate community guidelines despite being armed with 7,500 content reviewers.
One such post was a picture of a corpse with the words 'the only good Muslim is a f****** dead one' which was left up by moderators despite being flagged to them.
Another showed a woman passed out on a bed, with the caption 'what would you do?'.
According to the investigation, content reviewers do not always abide by the company's guidelines and interpret similar content in different ways.
Users can provide feedback on decisions but there are no formal appeals
In the case of the woman passed out, Facebook defended its choice to leave it on the site as the caption by a feminist and activist, condemned sexual violence.
However, another anti-Muslim comment - 'Death to the Muslims' - was deemed offensive after users repeatedly reported it.
All comments on the reported posts were violations of Facebook's policies but only one was caught, according to the full investigation by independent, nonprofit newsroom ProPublica.
The non-profit sent Facebook a sample of 49 items containing hate speech, and a few with legitimate expression from its pool of 900 crowdsourced posts.
The social network admitted its reviewers made mistakes in 22 of the cases.
'We're sorry for the mistakes we have made,' said Facebook VP Justin Osofsky in a statement. 'We must do better.'
2 January, 2018
Alt-right utilizes bitcoin after crackdown on hate speech
Don't ask me how this works
Various alt-right groups have taken to using bitcoin after a slew of technology companies cracked down on online hate speech after the racially charged clashes in Charlottesville, Va., earlier this year.
The cryptocurrency has made it possible for members of alt-right extremist groups to skirt government rules in order to communicate with members of their community and organize events, according to an analysis by The Washington Post.
Mic reported on the use of the currency among alt-right extremists earlier this month.
The digital currency is not issued by the government and is solely used online, so it has no physical trace.
The currency's popularity with the alt-right community reportedly skyrocketed after the deadly white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville in August.
Online services such as GoDaddy, PayPal and Google were quick to ban various members of the alt-right, saying they had violated the service's rules against hate speech.
Alt-right leader Richard Spencer has dubbed bitcoin the “the currency of the alt-right."
“We have faced enormous problems from being de-platformed,” Spencer told the Post.
“Bitcoin at least, from what I can tell, is not something from which we can be de-platformed," he continued.
While it is not known exactly how much members of the alt-right are benefitting from the currency, the Southern Poverty Law Center has tracked about 200 bitcoin wallets belonging to extremists, according to the Post.
The editor of the neo-Nazi publication The Daily Stormer, Andrew Anglin, is also known to use the currency.
“Bitcoin has helped out a lot,” Anglin told the Post.
Some real hate speech from a Palestinian
A student who made highly outrageous claims about the Jewish state at a recent anti-Israel rally has been reported to the Toronto police hate crimes unit by the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center.
According to a YouTube video of her remarks, obtained by the Toronto Sun, Nour Alideeb, the current chairperson of the Ontario branch of the Canadian Federation of Students contends that tuition money from the 350,000 university and college students she purports to represent is “going to pay for military resources in Israel to kill children” like her.
The student leader was one of the many guest speakers at a Dec. 9 anti-Israel rally in front of the U.S. Consulate called after U.S. President Donald Trump announced he was prepared to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Alideeb, introduced by rally organizers as a “sister” who fights for Palestine in her role as student leader, also contends this is not a Jewish vs. Muslim “thing” but it is all about Zionism (clearly not understanding that Zionism is in fact a Jewish “thing” and Israel is the Jewish state).
“This is about Zionism and Zionism is rooted in white supremacy…it is rooted in racism, it is rooted in anti-blackness… this is colonialism and we cannot allow them to divide us,” she told those assembled at the rally.
1 January, 2018
Catholic school to change Crusader mascot so as not to offend Muslims
College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts is considering changing its "Crusader" moniker and mascot for fear of offending Muslims.
On February 6, 48 members of the Holy Cross faculty co-signed a letter to the editors of The Crusader, the school newspaper, asking them, along with the student body, to begin discussions about changing the name of the paper in response to the growing anti-Muslim tensions in the United States and the fact that the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) official newspaper has the same name as the school paper.
"In response to the growing anti-Muslim tensions in our country, and to the fact that the Ku Klux Klan official newspaper shares the same name as our own," the letter begins, "we the undersigned faculty members encourage the Editorial Board, and the Holy Cross student body in general, to initiate a discussion about changing the name of the Holy Cross student newspaper 'The Crusader.'"
The Crusader replied to the faculty letter with a response, in which it expressed "solidarity" with the faculty's concerns, and encouraged dialogue on the issue.
"Over the remainder of the semester, we will be publishing a series of editorials on the topic of The Crusader’s name from students, faculty, and staff alike," they said.
After the editor's response to the letter, College president Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J. assembled a committee of students, alumni, faculty and staff to hold discussions this fall concerning the appropriateness of the Crusader moniker and mascot.
The group is to weigh in on the following question: "In what ways do you think the Crusader moniker and mascot are appropriate, or inappropriate, representations of the College, given our mission, values and identity?"
The Crusader mascot depicts a warrior, "an armored sword-wielding, cross-bearing icon of the Christian knights of the Crusades," a centuries-long struggle to reclaim the Holy Land from the Muslim invaders.
The crusading Christians of the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries fought to more than defend their homeland from the invading infidels; they sought also to preserve their Christian heritage. The crimes committed in the name of the Crusades were the fault of individual soldiers, and never an official part of the Crusades; in fact, such crimes ran directly contrary to the Catholic virtues expected among medieval knights and soldiers and were punished severely.
This is Tongue-Tied 3
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The war on "cultural appropriation" is straightforward racism
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
"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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