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31 July, 2018
Facebook Deletes Hundreds Of `Hate Speech' Posts In Germany
Facebook deleted various "hate speech" posts under a German law banning offensive content online, or risked facing a multi-million dollar fine if it failed to comply.
The social media giant received 1,704 complaints and it removed 262 posts between January and June, Facebook's vice president for global policy solutions, Richard Allan, Reuters reported Friday.
Under Germany's law, which went into effect in January, Germany could have fined Facebook 50 million euros ($58 million). Facebook currently has a team of 65 staff reviewing complaints under Germany's law, called the NetzDG.
"Hate speech is not allowed on Facebook," Allan said. "We have taken a very careful look at the German law."
"That's why we are convinced that the overwhelming majority of content considered hate speech in Germany, would be removed if it were examined to see whether it violates our community standards," Allan added.
In the highly publicized congressional hearing in April wherein Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with lawmakers to answer questions ranging from user data abuse to censorship, Zuckerberg said he wanted to ban "hate speech" from the site, while struggling to define "hate speech."
Facebook has been cracking down on spam and fake accounts. As The Daily Caller News Foundation previously reported in May, Facebook removed 837 million examples of "spam" in the first quarter of 2018. The company also removed 583 million fake accounts, "most of which were disabled within minutes of registration."
Facebook removed 2.5 million pieces of content in the first quarter of 2018, 38 percent of which was flagged by its technology and much of which was considered "hate speech."
Facebook allows Holocaust denial
Facebook says that it does not allow antisemitic hate speech or incitement of violence of any kind and is committed to removing it when reported.
Material relating to Holocaust denial is considered more ambiguous by the platform and the community guidelines do not class it as hate speech.
Dave Rich, head of policy at the CST, said: "Holocaust denial by its definition is antisemitic. Even by Facebook's own rules many of the posts left on the site include extra text that incites hatred against Jews. Holocaust denial is not a wrong opinion or alternative history - the whole point of it is to incite hatred against Jews by claiming there is a conspiracy."
Other content flagged to the platform includes a fan page with more than 8,000 likes dedicated to David Irving, a British revisionist historian who served 13 months in prison in Austria for Holocaust denial in 2006. The page links to clips of his talks on YouTube, including a speech delivered at a meeting of the London Forum, which is said to be a neo-Nazi organisation.
Castle Hill Publishers, based in the US, produces Holocaust denial literature. It was founded by Germar Rudolf, a German chemist who was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for Holocaust denial in 2007. Its Facebook page has more than 200 likes and more than 200 followers.
30 July, 2018
Is there one rule for criticising Christianity and another for Islam?
When rugby player Israel Folau posted on Instagram in April that, in line with his Christian beliefs, gays who don't repent are going to hell, he was widely pilloried. It was never clear from the ensuing media storm whether the defenders of gay rights thought Folau simply shouldn't have said such things in public or whether he shouldn't believe them in private either. Criticisms of his post included that he risked sparking suicidal feelings among young gays.
Yet, when Lauren Southern set up a stall in a public square in Britain in February with posters declaring: "Allah is gay, Allah is trans, Allah is lesbian." to draw attention to Islam's negative attitudes to the LGBT community, she was the one who was pilloried, especially by the political left. Her stall was shut down by the police because the constabulary feared violence might erupt. No word, then, about how Islam's attitudes to gays might drive some of them to suicide.
Later, Southern was denied entry to Britain on the grounds that she had distributed "racist material" in Luton - even though Islam is not a race and she was targeting religious beliefs, not individuals.
Southern may indeed have racist views but it's hard to see how her stall in Luton was an example of them. Perhaps the word "racist" is used because it is powerful in a way that "anti-religion" is not. Describing Southern as "a fierce critic of aspects of Islam" sounds eminently reasonable - perhaps even laudably brave - while "racist" is a comprehensive slur.
It is very hard to reconcile the reactions to these events - Folau's post and Southern's stunt - in any satisfactory way. We might conclude that it is simply a case of one rule for criticising Muslims and another for criticising Christianity - which, as it happens, was the point Southern was trying to make in Luton in what she described as a "social experiment". She had observed that it seemed acceptable to ask if Jesus Christ was gay (as an article in Vice had done recently) but not Allah. So she set out to test her hypothesis - and was quickly proved right.
In New Zealand, the president of the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand, Hazim Arafeh, argued that Southern should not be allowed to enter the country because she "abuses her right of freedom of speech. She's just going to give a talk in which she's just going to insult all of us. I don't think insulting Muslims comes under free speech, that's an abuse of freedom of speech."
Insult or criticism? And does it matter which? New Zealand is a secular state and - alongside the right of the religious to believe what they wish - we have wide latitude to insult or criticise them. We have done that for decades with respect to Christianity - from screenings of Monty Python's The Life of Brian to the Virgin in a Condom artwork at Te Papa, despite protests agitating to have them banned.
Religious beliefs deserve no more protection from criticism, insult or mocking than any set of beliefs, whether political, scientific or any other kind. Islam is not a special case, despite its attempts to make it one. Southern was brave enough to point that out.
And it is deeply ironic that at a time when the Labour-led government is planning to remove blasphemous libel from the Crimes Act, Hazim Arafeh and many on the left want to effectively reinstitute a de facto version of the same law by deeming criticism and mocking of religion to be unacceptable, often under the wide umbrella of "hate speech".
Anti-immigration Austrians cleared of hate speech
"Identitarians" are a European movement that expresses pride in their national traditions and opposes immigration. They are often described as part of the Alt-Right, whatever that may be. People with a wide variety of views are described as Alt-right
An Austrian court on Thursday found 17 members of Austria's far-right 'Identitarian Movement' (IB™) not guilty of charges of criminal association and hate speech.
Ten prominent members of the group and seven other "active sympathizers" had gone on trial in the city of Graz earlier this month on charges connected to several of the group's stunts in recent years.
Being found guilty of criminal association would have posed a serious threat to the IB™'s ability to continue operating.
Two of the accused were, however, found guilty on lesser charges.
One was convicted of bodily harm and coercion over an incident in June 2016 in which members stormed the stage during a talk on refugee policy at Klagenfurt University and unrolled banners reading "Stop Immigration" and "Integration is a lie".
The other was found guilty of criminal damage in a separate IB™ stunt. Both were fined.
One of the IB™'s leaders, Martin Sellner, was prevented from entering the UK in March, with authorities judging his presence would not have been "conducive to the public good".
28 July, 2018
Alex Jones censored
Jones might be overly suspicious but when has he done anybody any harm? He just has different opinions
US conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has been suspended from Facebook for bullying and hate speech and is close to having pages tied to him and his Infowars website removed from the platform, the social media network says.
The radio host's personal profile was banned for 30 days after it was found to have uploaded four videos published on pages maintained by Jones and Infowars that went against community standards, Facebook said.
The videos have been removed and Infowars and Jones' pages "are close to being unpublished given recent community standards violations," Facebook said in a statement.
Content removals count as "strikes" against individual pages. Pages maintained by Jones and Infowars have remained active because they have not crossed "a certain threshold of strikes" necessary for them to be unpublished, Facebook said.
YouTube removed four Alex Jones videos earlier this week and said Jones' Infowars website faced permanent removal if his content was given three community strikes within 90 days.
"Our Community Standards make it clear that we prohibit content that encourages physical harm, or attacks someone based on their religious affiliation or gender identity (hate speech)," Facebook said. "We remove content that violates our standards as soon as we're aware of it.
Infowars did not respond to a request for comment. Jones has defended the videos on Twitter as being "critical of liberalism."
Since founding Infowars in 1999, Jones has built a vast audience. Among theories he has promoted is that the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington were staged by the government.
The Facebook suspension means Jones cannot post on his personal profile or his pages and cannot message, comment or post anywhere else on Facebook.
'I pay taxes so dole-bludging, oxygen thieving pieces of s*** go from the cradle to the grave with your hand out'
Western Australia has a big problem with Aboriginal crime and the policeman quoted in the heading above has therefore seen a lot of it close up. One can understand his annoyance with Aborigines if not his language
An angry tirade about Aboriginal activists demanding the date of Australia Day be changed has been posted to a Facebook account linked to a police officer.
Western Australian police officer Terry Bodenham is being investigated for offensive comments recently posted to his Facebook account.
In response to an article about the date of Australia Day, a comment posted to the account said: 'I pay taxes so dole bludging, oxygen thieving pieces of s*** like you go from the cradle to the grave with your hand out'.
'You're never satisfied with anything, always wanting more and when you're told no, out pops the racist card.
'I don't know who's worse, the whining black fellas who think the world owes them a living, or the white trash that go along for the ride.'
The tirade continued, with the commenter saying: 'what a pity automatic weapons aren't legal in this state'. 'Oh well, there's always single shot rifles and sharp knives. Your days are numbered.'
An investigation was launched when a member of the public reported the comments to the Western Australian Police.
Comments posted to the same Facebook account also target the judicial system and Ben Cousins. 'Ben Cousins pleads guilty to a stack of charges, many of which carry penalties in excess of 10 years jail,' he said. 'His penalty - 12 f***ing months and he'll be out in five.
'Obviously if you're an ex footy star you've been kissed on the d*** by a fairy when it comes to criminal charges. 'This is absolutely f***ing pathetic.
'As for the morons who keep leaping to his defence and calling him a champion - f*** off you f***ing idiots need to be shot. He's nothing but a drug f***** waste of space, just like his supporters.'
The rant came after Cousins was jailed and handed a $2,400 fine for drug offences, stalking and breaching a restraining order. The rant was posted to Facebook on March 28, the same day the former footy player was sentenced at the Perth Magistrate's Court last year.
The comments, posted to Terry Bodenham's Facebook page, also called for laws to be changed so off-duty officers and gun owners could carry them freely.
'Do you think it's time the government admitted that the violence in WA is out of control and introduces legislation that allows police officers to carry firearms off duty and licenced handgun owners to covert carry?' the post said.
A WA Police spokesman confirmed a complaint was made and Mr Bodenham was being investigated.
'The officer in question was on extended leave at the time the post was written and the initial complaint was made,' the spokesman told Daily Mail Australia.
'The officer has only returned to duty in recent days, so investigators have not had the opportunity to ask him directly if this is his account and if he made the comments associated with this profile. 'The intent is to conduct these inquiries as soon as possible.'
WA Police said its social media policy instructed police employees to consider the WA Police Force Code of Conduct when using private accounts. 'Breaches of this policy may be subject to investigation and may result in managerial intervention and/or disciplinary action.'
27 July, 2018
Sessions Outlaws "Undocumented"
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has declared war on the government being forced to use politically correct words to describe illegal immigration, and his latest move will scale back an Obama-era measure that will undoubtedly result in liberals gnashing their teeth.
As noted by LifeZette, Sessions announced on Tuesday that the Department of Justice will no longer use the term “undocumented,” but rather go back to using the term “illegal alien.”
Many, many Americans will agree with this move, and think it is about time the DOJ took action against the Obama administration’s war on what words. The media and RINO’s are also not going to like the new “conformity” measure, but there’s nothing they can do about it.
In an email to all senior officials and lawyers at the department, Sessions said the term “undocumented” is not an accurate term according to the U.S. Penal Code, informing them that they should immediately begin using “illegal alien,” which is the correct and legal term.
A HIGH school student has scored a $34,000 payout and formal apology after being suspended for wearing controversial shirt
AN Oregon high school student who sued his school district after administrators said he couldn’t wear a pro-Trump border wall T-shirt will be given a written apology and $34,000 in a settlement.
Liberty High School senior Addison Barnes, 18, was suspended earlier this year after he refused to cover up his “Donald J. Trump Border Wall Construction Co.” shirt.
The shirt — which also features a 2016 Trump quote: “The wall just got 10 feet taller” — was worn by Mr Barnes in his People and Politics class on a day where immigration would be discussed.
Mr Barnes sued his school, the Hillsboro School District and Principal Greg Timmons, claiming his First Amendment rights had been violated.
On Tuesday, Mr Barnes’ lawyers announced they had reached a settlement with the district.
Mr Timmons will write a letter of apology, and the district will pay $34,000 ($US25,000) to Mr Barnes to cover his legal fees.
Mr Barnes said in a statement that he brought the case “to stand up for myself and other students who might be afraid to express their right-of-centre views”.
Mr Timmons also released a statement after the settlement. “As an educational institution, Hillsboro School District and each of our schools supports, encourages, and celebrates free speech and reasoned debate,” he said.
"Safety" garbage again. How does the shirt I wear threaten anybody's safety?
26 July, 2018
Looks Like Hollywood Is Suddenly Against People Getting Fired For Saying Offensive Stuff
Quite disgusting stuff in this instance: Not the minor pecadilloes that conservatives get slammed for
NBA hall-of-famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has issued a warning to fellow liberals against intolerant excesses in their politically correct purge of Hollywood.
The former basketball great wrote an article for the Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday headlined, “Hollywood’s New ‘Zero Tolerance’ on Offensive Speech Makes Zero Sense.”
He warned that zero tolerance of politically incorrect statements was a “Draconian” approach that created “an atmosphere of fear of sharing ideas and opinions.”
Abdul-Jabbar came to the defense of James Gunn, the “Guardians of the Galaxy” director fired by Disney last week after The Daily Caller News Foundation and others discovered a series of tweets he reportedly made six to 10 years ago on such subjects as rape and pedophilia.
“If we start going back through Disney movies in the past, how much blatant sexism, racism, and homophobia will we find?” wrote Abdul-Jabbar.
The NBA-great-turned-liberal-political-pundit concluded, “Companies quick to fire seem more interested in promoting a memorial to their virtue than attacking the systemic problems that would address putting more people of color, women, and LGBTQ people behind the cameras and in executive positions.”
On Sunday, actress Selma Blair urged people to sign a Change.org petition demanding Disney re-hire Gunn. The petition had more than 265,000 signatures as of Tuesday.
Gunn apologized for the tweets on Thursday, explaining, “Many people who have followed my career know when I started, I viewed myself as a provocateur, making movies and telling jokes that were outrageous and taboo.” He added, “Ive developed as a person, so has my work and my humor.”
Media outlets reported that the tweets that got Gunn fired included:
“I like when little boys touch me in my silly place.”
“I remember my first NAMBLA meeting. It was the first time I felt ok being who I am.”
“The best thing about being raped is when you’re done being raped and it’s like whew this feels great, not being raped!'”
“Laughter is the best medicine. That’s why I laugh at people with AIDS.”
“I want to go big game hunting but know it’s morally questionable. So I’m going to split the difference and go big game raping.”
Hundreds slam ABC for suggesting we stop using phrase 'It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings' because it's FAT-SHAMING
The ABC has been slammed for hypersensitivity after airing a segment which suggested Australians should stop using a popular phrase.
The saying 'It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings' refers to opera, as the final aria was often sung by a large female performer, but the taxpayer-funded media organisation said it could not be considered as offensive to larger people.
ABC's What is Music presenter Linda Marigliano questioned the 'relevance' of the phrase due to its political incorrectness.
'Considering the fat shaming nature of the phrase, I reckon we should be using the equally confusing but slightly more simple "it ain't over 'til it's over",' Ms Marigliano said.
The ABC video was viewed more than 75,000 times and slammed by hundreds of people who claimed it was 'entirely neutral'.
The phrase was first coined in 1976 during an intense basketball final. Sports information director Ralph Carpenter threw the saying into the commentary at the US game.
The phrase refers to a stereotypically overweight sopranos of the opera. In particular, it is said the term refers to a powerful female figure - valkyrie Brunnhilde - a character in German production Der Ring des Nibelungen by Richard Wagner from 1874.
'How is it fat shaming? If people said "it ain't over until the short lady sings" nobody's panties would be in a twist. Fat is just an adjective. If you're fat and you don't like being described as fat, you're a pain in the a***,' one person wrote online.
'It's not a fat shaming phrase, it has historical significance ... it isn't going anywhere. If she'd be thin and had red hair and most people didn't know her name it'd likely have been "until the redhead sings",' another shared.
'Shouldn't it be fat person ABC News? Don't assume one's gender,' someone said. 'These days it's hard to know if "fat" or "lady" is the more offensive,' another questioned.
25 July, 2018
'Shut up and retire!' Veteran comedian Barry Humphries, 84, faces backlash after saying transgenderism is a 'fashion' and 'evil when preached by crazy teachers'
Humphries is from a generation that has not been terrorized by Leftist dictators
Veteran comedian Barry Humphries is facing backlash for 'anti-trans' comments he has made in an interview with The Spectator.
The 84-year-old - who is known for dressing up in drag to portray his famous character Dame Edna Everage - told the British paper on Saturday that transgenderism is 'pretty evil when it's preached to children by crazy teachers'.
Following publication of his comments, the Australian star was hit with backlash on social media, with one writing: 'Shut up and retire'.
Barry was interviewed by The Spectator about his new stage show when his contentious views about transgenderism were brought up.
In 2016, the funnyman caused outrage after describing gender reassignment surgery as 'self-mutilation', and it appears he has now doubled down on his opinion.
'They had their genitalia chopped off and tucked in and whatever they had to do. And that aroused a lot of indignation — probably among the people who'd spent a lot of money having it done,' Barry told The Spectator on Saturday.
He further labelled transgenderism 'a fashion' and asked: 'How many different kinds of lavatory can you have?'
Many on Twitter criticised the icon for his views, with one writing: '@Barry_Humphries you are my idol. You broke ground, you broke rules, you p**sed off the establishment. You defined Australian culture. You have a lifetime of achievements. And now this will be your legacy. You've become the people you used to make fun of. Shut up and retire.'
However, a number of social media users defended the star, claiming that he has the right to express his opinions.
One claimed: 'Barry Humphries should be recognised for his artistic brilliance, NOT his personal views. You are then imposing your views on him, expecting him to bleat with the left leaning sheep. He will not do it, nor should he.'
Trevor Noah completely IGNORES firestorm over racist joke about Aboriginal women on the Daily Show and only vows to 'never to make that kind of joke again' in a sub-tweet
I agree with Mr. Noah. I have never seen a good-looking Aboriginal female either -- though there are some good-looking women of part-Aboriginal ancestry. The fine features that are seen as beautiful in European women are basically absent in Aborigines
Trevor Noah completely failed to mention the furor over his offensive joke about Indigenous Australians during Monday's The Daily Show.
The popular comedian poked fun at Trump and Putin's close relationship, R. Kelly and 3D printed weapons - yet failed to address the backlash over his comments about Aboriginals, made during his 2013 stand-up show.
Noah had joked he'd 'never seen a beautiful Aborigine' in the recently resurfaced footage.
He went onto joke that attraction was not all about looks, saying that they could 'do special things' before he began imitating the sound of a didgeridoo while inferring oral sex.
Social media erupted with calls for the comedian's upcoming Australian tour, which begins in Melbourne next month, to be boycotted.
The 34-year-old said on Twitter on Monday morning that he's since educated himself and 'vowed never to make a joke like that again'.
But it was too little, too late for many who were outraged that Noah, who has made a name for himself as a comedian willing to tackle institutionalized racism and misogyny, would make such a joke.
'He grossly sexualises and objectifies First Nations Australian women for a 'joke',' Katelyn Jones of the Feminism & Decolonisation Facebook page said.
'He perpetuated incredibly harmful stereotypes ... that Indigenous women aren't beautiful, that Indigenous women are only good for their bodies; and Indigenous women are over-sexualised sex starved beings,' Ms Jones said.
24 July, 2018
ABBA songs get a PC makeover to remove hints of inappropriate relationships between girls and men
Who is to say what's inappropriate? The President of France is married to Brigitte Trogneux, 24 years his senior, who was his teacher in High School. They first met when he was a 15-year-old student and she was a 39-year-old teacher, but they only became a couple once he was 18. Is that inappropriate?
Homosexuals tell us that Love can be anything that floats your boat. Are they wrong?
They are hardly the most controversial of bands, with their upbeat songs and wholesome Scandinavian image – but it appears that even Abba have fallen foul of modern sensibilities.
For the Swedish supergroup have changed the lyrics to some of their classic hits to make them more acceptable to today’s audiences.
Tracks rerecorded for this summer’s blockbuster movie, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, have been altered to remove any hint of inappropriate relationships between young girls and older men.
The biggest change comes in the 1976 song When I Kissed The Teacher, about a female student besotted with her male teacher.
Written by the male members of the band, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, it originally featured the line: ‘One of these days, Gonna tell him I dream of him every night. One of these days, Gonna show him I care. Gonna teach him a lesson alright.’
But the film version changes the teacher’s gender and the emphasis: ‘What a mad day, Now I see everything in a different light. What a mad day, I was up in the air. And she taught me a lesson alright.’
It is sung in the film by Lily James, who plays heroine Donna Sheridan, with Celia Imrie as the teacher.
But not every fan is happy. ‘Why the hell are they changing the words to this song!!!’ asked one on social media. ‘Seriously, trying to make a classic song PC.’
Another complained the change was ineffective: ‘I know they have changed the gender to not seem predatory but the lyrics still imply being infatuated with a teacher.’
In another change that may be seen as an effort to make a girl seem less vulnerable and lonely, the ‘bashful child’ in 1977’s The Name Of The Game has become a ‘curious’ one.
Ex-Radio 1 DJ Mike Read added: ‘Rock ’n’ roll was founded on young love and you can’t rewrite history. But you can see why people have started looking at songs and asked, “Should we still be playing that?” ’
Why tens of thousands of people want new Netflix series ‘Insatiable’ cancelled
Must not mention FAT
NETFLIX dropped the first trailer for teen comedy series Insatiable over the weekend — but the lead actor’s dramatic transformation has some viewers fuming.
Insatiable tells the story of Patty (Debby Ryan), an overweight high-schooler and social reject who’s dubbed “Fatty Patty” and teased mercilessly by her school mates.
Until, that is, Patty, has her jaw wired shut over her summer holidays, loses a lot of weight and returns to school conventionally “hot.” Suddenly popular, Patty uses her new-found social standing to seek revenge on the teens who used to make her life hell.
The trailer’s earliest scenes — showing Ryan shuffling around in a less-than-convincing fat suit, grimly shovelling food into her mouth — have sparked a backlash from viewers, many of whom have asked why Hollywood is still putting thin actors in fat suits, some 17 years after Gwyneth Paltrow got cheap laughs playing a morbidly obese woman in Shallow Hal.
Others have expressed disappointment at the series’ apparent depiction of drastic, enforced weight loss as a path to success and popularity.
There’s even a Change.org petition demanding Netflix cancel the series, which has already amassed over 83,000 signatures.
23 July, 2018
Hate speech not protected in Canada
In a ruling on whether or not an individual could claim that anti-Muslim statements are immunized from civil liability because they are protected political commentary, Justice Shaun Nakatsuru has provided one of the clearest decisions yet that the constitutional protection of free expression does not extend to hate speech. And in a Canadian twist, the court relied on a 30-year-old Supreme Court judgment on anti-Semitic hate speech to rule that the public is best served in the suppression of communications of racial, ethnic or religious hatred.
The case centres on a defamation suit brought by prominent restaurateur Mohamad Fakih against two notorious anti-Muslim advocates. Last summer, Ranendra “Ron” Banerjee and Kevin J. Johnston showed up at a Mississauga location of Paramount Fine Foods to purportedly “protest” during a fundraiser Paramount was hosting that day for the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Banerjee and Johnston filmed themselves harassing guests as they arrived and talking to the camera about the event, videos of which were later posted across dozens of websites and social media platforms. Banerjee is filmed saying that one would have to be a “jihadist” and “raped your wife a few times” to enter the restaurant. Johnston, who has already been charged with wilfully promoting hatred against the Peel Muslim community, was there providing his own comments.
Banerjee tried to stop the lawsuit from proceeding by claiming that he was expressing his viewpoint on a matter of public interest and invoking Ontario’s new anti-SLAPP (Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation) legislation passed in 2015. Banerjee claimed he was at the fundraiser to protest the government’s $10.5 million settlement with Omar Khadr and shouldn’t face civil liability for freely expressing his political views.
But the judge saw through the argument and provided analysis that not only allows the lawsuit to proceed (though Banerjee can still appeal), but also provides important clarity for others targeted by defamatory hate speech including racist stereotypes.
“This is a case about freedom of expression,” wrote Nakatsuru. “But it is also about the limits to that constitutionally protected right. Expressions of hatred and bigotry towards racial, ethnic, religious, or other identifiable groups have no value in the public discourse of our nation.”
This latest judgment reinforces what many of us instinctively know – hatred will never serve the public interest and to claim otherwise is out of step with the law.
Reddit CEO says it’s ‘impossible’ to consistently enforce hate speech rules
A private chat thread released this weekend reveals that banning hate speech on Reddit is apparently too difficult a job to even attempt.
The news, first spotted by the Huffington Post, comes from a leaked conversation between Reddit CEO Steve Huffman and Reddit user Zachary Swanson, known as “whatllmyusernamebe” on the site. Swanson asked Huffman to reconsider his permissive stance on hate speech on the site, pointing out that Reddit’s rules already ban “violent” speech, which the site defines as “content that encourages, glorifies, incites, or calls for violence or physical harm against an individual or a group of people.”
In response, Huffman argued that hate speech is “difficult to define,” adding that enforcing a total ban on hate speech is “a nearly impossible precedent to uphold,” and “impossible to enforce consistently.” After speaking with Huffman, Swanson posted screenshots of his conversation in a pair of subreddits, including r/stopadvertising, which is dedicated to curbing hate speech on the site. After he did, Swanson received an email saying he was suspended from the site for a week on charges of harassment.
This isn’t the first time Huffman has found himself in hot water over his stance on hate speech. Back in April, Huffman found himself embroiled in controversy for refusing to moderate any of the blatant racism happening on his site. At the time, he said that Reddit’s stance on speech is to “separate behavior from beliefs,” and that hate speech did not constitute a “behavior”. Users were specifically asking Huffman about this in relation to r/The_Donald, the subreddit dedicated to the US president that has often come under fire for housing racist or bigoted discussions.
Huffman later clarified that he felt racism was not “welcome” on Reddit, but that he believed “the best defense against racism and other repugnant views both on Reddit and in the world, is instead of trying to control what people can and cannot say through rules, is to repudiate these views in a free conversation.”
22 July, 2018
Superhero film director fired over tweets
Looks like some Trump fans did him in
James Gunn, the director of the Guardians of the Galaxy superhero film franchise, has been fired by Disney over a series of recently-emerged old tweets in which he made jokes about rape and paedophilia.
"The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James' Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio's values, and we have severed our business relationship with him," Disney chairman Alan Horn said in a statement on Friday.
In a statement, Gunn said in response that he regretted and took full responsibility for the tweets.
On Thursday, Gunn had said on Twitter about the old posts, saying that while he viewed himself as a "provocateur" who told "jokes that were outrageous and taboo".
"I have regretted them for many years since - not just because they were stupid, not at all funny, wildly insensitive, and certainly not provocative like I had hoped, but also because they don't reflect the person I am today or have been for some time," Gunn said in a statement.
"It's not to say I'm better, but I am very, very different than I was a few years ago," the 51-year-old American added.
The old tweets were unearthed and published by the conservative Daily Caller news website, prompting calls for Disney to sack Gunn.
Gunn has been an outspoken critic of US President Donald Trump and said in December that he did not care if his stance resulted in him losing fans.
Australia: Violent "protesters" try to shut down Lauren Southern speech
The violent Left again. Stalin lives in them
A protester yelling 'I love Muslims' has stormed the stage during alt-right provocateur Lauren Southern's speech.
Nita Habibi was tackled by security at the event after throwing herself at the speaker in front of the auditorium. Habibi shouted 'I love freedom of speech' and 'I love refugees' as she was dragged out of the event at La Mirage Reception and Convention Centre in Melbourne's north.
Dramatic footage shows security bundling the protester off the stage, with Miss Southern apparently unharmed.
As Habibi was dragged off stage, Miss Southern's supporters can be seen cheering and clapping.
'[Southern spouts an extremely Islamophobic rhetoric that is nothing short of hate speech. She is a dangerous individual whose false views on Muslims stir up polarisation and violence,' Habibi told The Australian after the event.
Violent protests erupted outside the event where Southern, 23, and co-speaker Stefan Molyneux kicked off their Australian tour on Friday night.
A number of protesters got violent and began to throw rocks at a bus arriving with ticket holders, the Herald Sun reported.
Miss Southern will be travelling across Australia for her speaking tour
Violence erupted between protesters and counter-protesters, with punches thrown and people being dragged over protective barriers.
Victoria police are on the ground in the area, including riot police and mounted police, who are working to keep the protests at bay.
The violent protesters could be heard shouting slogans, 'unite to fight the right' and 'Nazi scum'.
Victoria Police say they are "disappointed" after protesters clashed with riot and mounted police outside a Melbourne venue.
Police anticipated violent protests and earlier this week let event organisers know that it would cost them $68,000 for the police presence.
The young provocateur is known for her controversial views on multiculturalism, Islam and feminism and was banned in March from entering the UK.
The Campaign Against Racism and Fascism says Southern is 'a notorious racist and Islamophobe'.
'She is known for her involvement in the racist attempts to obstruct NGO search-and-rescue boats trying to help shipwrecked migrants in the Mediterranean," the group alleged in a Facebook statement.
Victoria police insisted on being present for crowd control and security after another right wing activist, Milo Yiannopoulos, visited Melbourne in December 2017, prompting violent protests from the far left.
More than a dozen men were sought by police after Milo Yiannopoulos' speaking show descended into chaos.
Police in riot gear intervened when verbal clashes turned physical between around 500 left-wing and 50 right-wing activists.
Several protesters were seen throwing punches and rocks, while others brandished make-shift weapons including wooden clubs and sticks.
Yiannopoulos, who held his first Australian tour last month, slammed the 'violent' left-wing protesters for causing the trouble outside the event.
'There was a lot of kerfuffle out front,' he told Alan Jones on 2GB Radio the day after the chaotic scenes.
'It was not as the newspapers reported ''a clash between the far left and far right'' it was the left, showing up, being violent to stop freedom of speech.'
Miss Southern and her speaking partner Stefan Molyneux are set to speak in Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane after Friday's talk in Melbourne.
20 July, 2018
The ‘Daily Show’ host took to his Twitter congratulating ‘Africa on winning the 2018 Men’s World Cup’
SOUTH African comedian and host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, Trevor Noah, has been labelled a racist after calling France’s winning World Cup side a team from Africa — because most of its players were black.
“Africa won the World Cup,” Noah said in a segment on Monday about France’s 4-2 victory against Croatia on Sunday in Moscow.
“I get it, they have to say it’s the French team,” Noah said. “But look at those guys. You don’t get that tan by hanging out in the south of France, my friends.
“Basically if you don’t understand, France is Africans’ backup team. Once Senegal and Nigeria got knocked out, that’s who we root for.”
The mostly French natives hit back on Twitter noting that nearly every team member, regardless of their race, was born and raised in France.
One user and Egyptian-French TV personality Nagui Fam directly criticised Noah. “So f***ing racist, you should be ashamed @Trevornoah.”
Kevin Razy, a French comedian, also shamed The Daily Show host for regurgitating a racist joke that has circulated in France.
“This is what racists say about our team here in France,” he wrote, though giving the benefit of the doubt. “You didn’t know, now you know.”
Another Twitter user, who claimed to be from France, also slammed Noah posting: “98% of the players were born in France. Only two players were born in Africa, but they came at the age of two. So they’ve grown up in France.
He did however have a point. Africans are on average better sprinters than whites and that advantages them in soccer. The blackness of the team was NOT an accident
Eatery apologises after ridiculing boy who paid for his friends’ meal with quarters
A US restaurant was slammed on Facebook after mocking a teen who paid his bill mostly with coins.
Beer 88 in Lynchburg, Virginia posted a photo on a now-deleted Facebook page recently with the caption: “’How NOT to pay at a restaurant,’” along with the hashtags “we are Beer 88 not a Coinstar,” and “no home training”.
The post came after Cohen Naulty, 17, paid his $60 bill and left a $10 tip with a $20 bill and quarters.
But the Facebook post did not go over well with Beer 88’s audience, sparking major backlash against the restaurant.
“It’s just US currency,” Mr Naulty told ABC News affiliate WEST in Lynchburg. “I’m allowed to use it. It’s not illegal. I’m not doing anything wrong.”
Mr Naulty told the outlet he was at the restaurant because he wanted to take the tips he earned as a server at Country Kitchen and treat his friends to a meal.
His friends were just as surprised as he was to learn their payment method had been put up on Facebook. “We couldn’t believe they posted it on Facebook,” one of his friends said to WEST.
Beer 88 responded to the criticism with the following statement, which has also been removed according to ABC News.
“In response to our earlier post, it was posted as a joke, intended as a joke and should be taken as a joke,” the statement read.
“It was posted as a lighthearted way of saying that something like this can be annoying to people that work in the restaurant/retail industry.
“In no way did we publicly shame ANYONE for paying OR tipping. We try to keep our page funny and relatable. And had no idea that this would be offensive to anyone.”
However, Mr Naulty and his family did not find the post funny.
“They said we didn’t have any home training,” another one of Mr Naulty’s friends told WEST. “That was dirty. One their hashtags was #nohometraining.”
Beer 88 owner Yao Liu told WEST she has been receiving many threats since the post went up and that she apologises for the post.
19 July, 2018
Criminalizing Online 'hate Speech' Worries Londoners
Media reports on the increasing number of people being indicted with “online crimes of speech” in London seemed to raise concerns among Londoners over the zero-tolerance policy imposed to tackle all forms of online hate speech in 2016 by the government.
A noticeable increase has been recorded in the number of people being arrested for online crimes of speech in London, raising the number arrests over the past five years to 2,500 for allegedly sending offensive messages via social media, according to the Register.
Meanwhile, the idea of criminalizing online hate speech fueled debates among Brits, as some might see it as curbing the freedom of speech or limiting it in a diverse country like the UK.
Many calls have been rising on London calling the mayor, Sadiq Khan to resign, as he is the one who revived the online crimes law in 2016.
The mayor’s office imposed in 2016 a law to criminalize any hate speech committed online. The law holds anyone who breaches Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 accountable in danger of facing jail for up to six months or being fined of up to £5,000.
The law defines illegal communication as “using public electronic communications network in order to cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety”. According to Vocativ, among many recently arrested was a Scottish citizen who had posted hate speech about Syrian refugees on his Facebook page.
The main aim behind the law is to reduce crime rates triggered by online hate speech, however, local reports in the UK indicated that the number of hate crimes that occur in London has soared noticeably in the pace of 2017.
London mayor’s two-faced free speech approach has been under fire in the last few days.
It comes after he approved an orange “Baby Trump” blimp to fly last week during Trump’s visit to the UK, while he is the one who imposed a law on criminalizing any act of hate speech.
Also, news on banning a pro-Trump protest in London during the last week had raised questions over Khan’s policy in tackling hate speech and freedoms. It should be noted that the pro-Trump demonstration did go ahead in the end.
'Sexist’ weight loss posters have been slammed by thousands of women
A SERIES of “disgusting” advertisements for an appetite suppressant on display in New York’s Times Square have been savaged by a leading TV star.
The Good Place actor Jameela Jamil tweeted a photo of the billboard campaign for the Flat Tummy Company products, which features a woman sucking a lollipop with the phrase: “Girl, tell them to suck it.”
The company, which sells a range of lollipops, tea and milkshakes which contain ingredients designed to curb the customer’s appetite, has been widely criticised for its “sexist” and “body shaming” advertising and for promoting an unhealthy body image through its clear targeting of young girls and women.
It’s a sentiment shared by Jamil, who posted: “EVEN TIMES SQUARE IS TELLING WOMEN TO EAT LESS NOW? Have we actually gone mad? Why aren’t there any boys in the ad? Why is it f***ing PINK? Because you feel men can look however they want? Their goals are to be successful. But ours are to just be smaller? F**k off @FlatTummyCo”.
Within a few days, her tweet had received almost 12,000 likes, 3000 retweets and hundreds of comments.
Jamil followed up her initial post with another, which described the posters as “maddening and heartbreaking, and daylight robbery and abuse of women’s self worth”.
Thousands of mostly female followers agreed with the actor’s tweet, with one Twitter user posting: “WHY is this campaign still going? I’m in disbelief,” while another added: “No, don’t tell women to #suckit. Tell them to be proud of who they are. That having a flat tummy, being thin or pretty is NOT what women should aspire towards. Focus on being a successful person that is unrelated to how you look.”
Some also took aim at the billboards’ prime location in one of the world’s most prominent tourist attractions.
“It’s disgusting that they even allow that kinda advert to be used in such an influential location! Women already have enough pressure to look and behave how society says we should without that kinda thing,” one person wrote, while others criticised the sexualised images used in the ads.
18 July, 2018
UK: Bath University under fire for barring these three words from lectures and tutorials
A UNIVERSITY has been slammed for pandering to the “snowflake generation” by banning one very common phrase.
Bath University, in Somerset, England, recently held an equality and diversity network meeting, where it was decided that the words “as you know” should be barred from classes.
The idea behind the controversial ban is that it can make certain students feel “inadequate” and stupid if they actually don’t know what the professor is talking about.
During the meeting, a video called Why Is My Curriculum White? was screened which explored ideas of race and belonging on campus.
The clip also showed an unnamed student complaining about the phrase. “Saying ‘as you know’ leads to self-doubt and makes things difficult to question,” the student can be heard saying in the clip.
In minutes of the meeting, the university’s student union race equality group co-chair Berenice Dalrymple is recorded as saying: “Some lecturers used commonly known references stating ‘as you know’, which could make students feel at fault for not knowing and make it difficult to engage with the course content.”
But while the decision was made in order to protect students, many have slammed the policy as an example of pandering to the “snowflake generation”.
According to The Sun, critics include prominent former university lecturer and author Joanna Williams, who said most students were “far more sensible and would not freak out” if they heard the phrase.
“The assumption that students can’t cope with the common expression ‘as you know’ is ridiculous,” the publication reported her as saying.
The latest policy follows comments from Oxford University vice-chancellor Professor Louise Richardson who said at a higher education summit in September last year that universities must stand up for free speech — and that “snowflake” students needed to toughen up.
Australia's ABC panned over Paul Bongiorno's Uncle Tom slur
This is a bit hard to sort out, but it seems that Bongiornio found an ABC panel show to be boring. He attributed that to the fact that the participants were all Leftists and "Uncle Toms". Whether that was true or not, his usage of the term "Uncle Tom" was greeted as politically incorrect. In the original novel about him, Uncle Tom was a good guy. But Leftists hate that
Warren Mundine [An Aborigine] has slammed a “hypocritical and disgraceful” response from the ABC after it distanced itself from commentator Paul Bongiorno and his reference to the indigenous businessman with the racial slur “Uncle Tom”.
In a statement provided to The Australian yesterday, the public broadcaster said: “Mr Bongiorno is not an ABC employee; his Twitter account is not an ABC account; any tweets are Mr Bongiorno’s own.”
It came a week after Bongiorno tweeted on July 8: “As many ‘righties’ on Dky (sic) after dark panels … and that includes ‘Uncle Tom’ lefties craving relevance.”
Mr Mundine told The Australian last night the tweet was written in clear reference to him, and described the ABC’s reaction as unacceptable. “Any organisation that reacted in this way would deserve to be pilloried for their pathetic, weak response,” he said.
Bongiorno apologised last night for causing offence and said he never intended to use a racist slur but he objected to Mr Mundine calling for the ABC to sack him.
“I am an independent commentator and journalist, currently on holidays; it is passing strange that the only reaction to some who take offence is to demand one of my employers sack me,” he tweeted.
“My tweet was in response to an attack on the ABC for only having ‘lefty’ panels. I made the point that there is plenty of evidence to show Sky has ‘rightie’ panels or acceptable ‘lefties’, which was my intention using the term ‘Uncle Tom.’ ”
17 July, 2018
Richard Moon, Distinguished University Professor, University of Windsor, wants to to limit free speech
He has written a long article in which he canvasses a variety of views about "hate speech". He clearly believes there is such a thing and deplores it. That one person's hate speech might be someone else's plain truth he does not consider. That does tend to display him as a bigot. He knows what is hate and feels no need to discuss it: Classic bigotry.
As an academic psychometrician, for instance, I think it is just the plain truth that African Americans on average have an IQ that is about one standard deviation lower than the white average. And that is in fact the majority view among psychometricans. The American Psychological Association has also accepted that as factual.
Yet in most public fora, anybody uttering that truth will be howled down and called a Nazi or the like. It's definitely "hate speech" to many.
Does the moony man see no problem there? What is hate speech can be very easily mistaken and any definition of it has, as far as I can see, insuperable difficulties. Moony may say that he can arrive at a definition but he clearly needs to argue for it -- which he does not do despite the length of his article. Even though he is an academic lawyer and should therefore be good at argumentation, I suspect that he just lacks the philosophical sophistication to consider the nature of truth and falsehood at any depth.
In the end, however he is sufficiently a product of his culture to allow that hate speech (however defined) should have free speech protections. But he ends up as follows:
"Free speech may protect speech that is offensive or hurtful, including some forms of bigoted speech, but we degrade this central right when we see it as simply the right to offend or the right to say whatever we feel like saying, regardless of the impact on others."
His muddled thought shows itself there again. We "degrade" a right if "we say whatever we feel like saying". But isn't saying whatever we feel like saying what the right is? Can a right exist if it can be "degraded? Surely we have a right or we do not.
And if a right can be degraded there must surely be some metric of degradation to determine when and where the degradation occurs -- but he suggests no such metric, nothing for us to use to tell us when the degradation occurs.
In typical bigoted Leftist style he "just knows" things with no need for rational argument. Emotion is all.
I sent a link to the above post to Prof. Moon and he replied as follows:
"Hate speech is unlawful in Canada. The article is not about that. Since you have not understood the argument, there is nothing for me to say in response. I wish you best if luck. Please no more trolling messages"
His reply is a complete evasion. I did not mention one word about the legality of hate speech in Canada or anywhere else. In typical Leftist style he turns to some side issue rather than deal with an actual issue. He invents something he can answer rather than what was actually said.
I replied as follows: "What is judged to be hate speech is the issue"
I doubt that he will answer.
I feel rather sorry for him. He is regarded as something of an expert on free speech but he has probably never encountered a philosophically competent argument from a conservative before. Like so many Leftists, he would seem to have lived in a safe little hermetically sealed intellectual bubble so far. They appear to be unable to handle the full light of day. John 3:20.
Even your own mother must not call you fat
Is there any room for the truth in politcal correctness? Guess not
With the finals rapidly drawing closer, MasterChef had a surprise twist for the remaining contestants on Sunday night's episode.
The aspiring chefs would still be trying to impress judges Matt Preston, George Calombaris and Gary Mehigan, but with one tiny difference - their loved ones would be watching on.
But the appearance of contestant Jess Liemantara's mother on the show caused outrage among some viewers, who took to Twitter to accuse her of 'fat-shaming' her daughter.
During the episode, Jess' mum was asked if she was proud of her daughter, to which she replied: ' Oh, I'm so proud of her. And she looks very healthy.'
'She called me chubby,' Jess said. 'I'm not sure what it means. I think a lot of mums always do that to their kids. "You look good. You look healthy."
But several fans of the show were less than impressed with the remarks, expressing their disgust online.
'Nothing like calling your daughter 'chubby' on national TV. Especially when she's tiny,' one Twitter user vented.
Another raged: 'Jess is 19 years old. Tender age for her mother to pile on the fat shaming. If Jess is chubby, I'm the Queen of Sheba. How insensitive of her to say that to her daughter.'
16 July, 2018
Another attempt to ban Peterson
A Leftist writer argues below that Peterson should be allowed to speak in a large sports arena in Hamilton, Ontario, in Peterson's native Canada. But the objections seem to have already been over-ruled, as the arena is already booked out
How about Shaun King, formerly the face and voice of Black Lives Matter, who faced a controversy about his own racial heritage and has said some extreme things about repression of right-wing views. Is he too controversial for, say, Hamilton's FirstOntario Concert Hall?
In the mind of city councillor Matthew Green, Jordan Peterson is too controversial for that venue. The controversial university professor, equally liked and reviled, is booked here as part of his lecture tour based on his bestselling book "Rules for Life".
Peterson came into the spotlight in part for his insistence on not respecting language about gender identification preference. There's nothing particularly special about his shtick. He's homophobic and misogynistic. He preaches about self-respect, discipline and a sense of superiority being a key to improving the lives of young people, especially young men. Not all of what he says is disgusting, but some of his rules for life are.
All this said, Peterson is popular. His YouTube channel has 800,000 followers and his classroom lectures are so popular some have been filmed for TV and the internet. His speaking tour has been quite successful. Most people who dislike or even hate his views wouldn't think of forking out money to see him. Others, though, would and do.
Should Peterson be banned from selling his snake oil at Hamilton's public entertainment venues? If so, who else should be? And who decides?
Facebook and conspiracy theories
The Leftist talent for seeing only one side of an argument -- their side -- is on full display below. There is no doubt that Alex Jones of "Infowars" puts the worst possible interpretation on many political events -- getting to the point where he could be called a "conspiracy theorist". And the Leftist writer claims that such speech is not entitled to free speech protection and should be banned from Facebook.
Facebook do have a reasonable argument against such banning but, be that as it may, the amusing thing is that a ban on conspiracy theories would hit the Left hardest. Leftists are great conspiracy theorists. In the aftermath of the attacks on the twin towers in 2001, no evidence could convince many Leftists that that attack was anything but a put-up job orchestrated by George Bush II. And on some surveys, about a third of Democrat voters believed that the whole thing was a conspiracy of some sort.
Now that we know about FBI attempts to derail Trump's election, it is clear how politically compromised and corrupt the FBI became over the years. It is therefore not unreasonable to suspect some FBI collusion with Osama bin Laden. They could simply have sat on warnings they had about him. But that is all wisdom after the event. It is certainly not what the 9/11 conspiracy theorists had in mind.
And what do we see today? I think I need to mention only one word: Russia. Despite a total lack of evidence almost all Leftists seem to think that Russia had a hand in electing Trump. The nearest we have come to evidence for that theory is that the man charged with investigating it -- prosecutor Mueller -- took over a year to come up with something and then charged 12 Russians -- all of whom live in Russia -- with conspiring with HILLARY, not with Trump. Mueller's writ doesn't run in Russia so even that is an empty gesture. The 12 Russians will never face trial.
So I would be quite pleased if Facebook banned conspiracy theories. I could bear hearing less from Jones and it would be amusing to have the chief Democrat talking point largely silenced
My view is one held by many conservatives -- that only incitement to violence should be banned
As Facebook doubles-down on thwarting the spread of disinformation on its website, recent tweets from the company’s official Twitter account belie its promise to be better at moderating specious content shared by Pages.
At a press event hosted by Facebook’s New York office this week, reporters questioned John Hegeman, the head of News Feed, and Sara Su, a product specialist for News Feed, about its plan to stop hoaxes and conspiracy theories from propagating on Facebook.
According a report on Wednesday from CNN’s Oliver Darcy:
"When asked by this reporter how the company could claim it was serious about tackling the problem of misinformation online while simultaneously allowing InfoWars to maintain a page with nearly one million followers on its website, Hegeman said that the company does not "take down false news."
To that, Hegeman said: “I guess just for being false that doesn't violate the community standards. [And InfoWars has] not violated something that would result in them being taken down.”
When Darcy later tweeted the story, Facebook was provoked to reply, citing a counterargument embraced by the right that moderating problematic content is a matter of free speech—taking down conspiracy theories, so the argument goes, would violate an ever-moving but also inviolable boundary of what is and isn’t protected by the First Amendment.
15 July, 2018
No, The Founder Of Papa John's Is Not Automatically Racist For Saying The N-Word
By MATT WALSH
The CEO of Papa John's, John Schnatter, was forced to resign this week after saying the N-word during a conference call a few months ago. He also resigned from the University of Louisville's board of trustees. Next he will be stuffed into a burlap sack and sent over a 100-foot waterfall. But even this will not be enough to expiate his sins.
It is being reported that Schnatter "used a racial slur." But he "used" the slur in the same sense that a prosecuting attorney "uses" a gun by presenting it as evidence during a trial. In a conversation with a marketing agency, Schnatter pointed out that the founder of KFC called black people "n***ers." Only he did not censor the word, as I just did. He simply quoted Colonel Sanders, and not in a positive or approving light. But that is apparently enough to make him racist. He is a secondhand racist. By quoting a racist, he became racist. Even though the intent and context were not racist, and were actually anti-racist, he still became racist by some supernatural sorcery that nobody can explain.
Traditionally, intent and context are important facets of human communication. If you say a bad thing, and I repeat the bad thing by way of informing others that the bad thing was said, I am not myself guilty of the bad thing. With "the N-word," however, it has been decided that the word itself transcends intent and context. It carries with it a certain mystical power to turn into racists all who utter its syllables. That is, provided the person issuing the utterance possesses a certain skin pigmentation. The skin pigmentation, combined with the syllables, creates racism. Those are the ingredients, apparently. Though nobody can quite describe how the process works beyond that.
This is all silliness, of course. And we all know that it is silliness. And when a person loses his livelihood and reputation, it becomes something much worse than silliness. We all realize that it cannot be racist to simply say a certain word. Words aren't magical spells. They don't work like that. Words are just words. Words themselves cannot be racist. Intentions can be racist.
Despite the fact that we all have this basic understanding, we have decided nonetheless to turn the English language into some kind of weird game. Certain words must be avoided by certain people, for reasons that nobody can really justify. If the word is said by the wrong person — or player, I guess — then they will face the prescribed penalty. Because why? Well, just because. If you roll doubles three times in Monopoly, you go to jail. If you're white and you say a certain word in any context at all for any reason, you lose your job. Those are just the rules. That's all.
I am not arguing that white people ought to say the "N-word." I think it is a nasty word that nobody ought to say. I also think it is plainly insane that, even in this very article, I must find ways to refer to the word without writing the word itself, for fear that my livelihood may be destroyed should I make the mistake of actually articulating the word that I am already conveying by using the accepted euphemisms for it. I have no deep desire to say or write it. But I do have a deep desire to live in a society that is not governed by the whims of the faux-outraged mob and the arbitrary social rules they invent for no discernible reason. As always, that desire will remain unfulfilled.
Some Doubts about Hate Speech
Would hate speech laws reduce discrimination, violence, and psychic injuries to vulnerable groups? Nadine Strossen says they would not in her new book, Hate Speech: Why We Should Resist It with Free Speech, Not Censorship. She believes we have insufficient evidence to conclude that “hate speech” in general harms others, and even less evidence that constitutionally protected “hate speech” does so.
Naturally, proponents of “hate speech” laws blame expression for anti-social attitudes and conduct. Strossen maintains that we should refrain from censorship on the basis of expected effect, “simply because it might have bad effects.” The perceived harmfulness of any given utterance is context contingent, depending largely on variables like location, tone of voice, relationship between speaker and listener, and personality characteristics.
Strossen draws attention to a study conducted by Laura Leets of Stanford University. Leets recruited Jewish and LGBT college students to read several anti-Semitic and homophobic slurs all drawn from real situations. The subjects then answered questions about how they would have responded if they themselves had been the targets of these messages. Interestingly, a common response by the students was that the “hate speech” would have had “no effect” upon them in either the short run or the long run. Many of the participants also expressed the belief that the speaker was motivated by ignorance, “and therefore should be the object of pity, not anger” (124).
A national survey of incoming first-year college students conducted by the UCLA Higher Education Research Institute found that “the entering freshman class of 2015 ranks among the most ambitious” in the areas of student activism, political and civic engagement. The study notes that this particular class of incoming first-years had witnessed “protests and outcries on college campuses and in communities” in response to “local incidents of bias and discrimination.” These students did not respond to “hate speech” and bias crimes with withdrawal and depression, but rather with engagement and dialogue. Such speech seems to foster political engagement within the larger community, a necessary component of a healthy democracy.
Although these studies focus on college students, Strossen notes that resources for developing one’s ability to resist the potentially negative effects of hateful speech are available to all.
13 July, 2018
South Australian gym under fire over controversial social media post
A SOUTH Australian gym has been slammed by Facebook users after posting a divisive ad for a new fitness program.
HTFU Fitness Adelaide — which stands for “Harden the Fat Up” — published the post on social media earlier this week, which featured a dramatic “before and after” shot of a woman in her underwear.
It was accompanied by a caption encouraging women to sign up for the company’s new “21-day transformation starter pack”.
“Let me guess ladies??? You feel unfit, unattractive, self conscious and worthless … especially when standing in front of the mirror naked,” the post began.
“You feel embarrassed and ashamed getting naked in front of your partner … You’re sick and tired of picking outfits that hide your fat.
“And you want to feel comfortable in your own skin, wear your favourite outfits, feel fit, confident, attractive and sexy.”
The post continued: “But there’s a problem. You’re too afraid to join a gym because you’re too embarrassed, ashamed, self conscious, worried about being judged and most of all, you’re just too nervous to commit.
“But that stops now. We understand you.”
But almost immediately, the comments began rolling in, with many woman accusing the business of “fat shaming” women.
“I do feel embarrassed, ashamed and self-conscious all the time. And having posts like this pop up in my feed definitely don’t make me feel better about myself,” one women commented, while another posted: “Have you googled internalised misogyny yet? Because that’s why women talk about worthlessness and shame about their body.”
Others took aim at the use of language in the ad.
“This is a horrible, horrible way of marketing to women. Worthless? FFS!!” one woman wrote, while another shared: “Worthless? Ashamed? Unattractive? What a disgusting way to advertise to women. You should be ashamed.”
One Facebook user described the “deplorable” and “gross” ad as “the most negative, off-putting marketing in Australia”, adding: “talk about reinforcing the WORST way of looking at a woman’s body”.
And another said: “Now I know where not to go! This gym is definitely not for anyone who wants to get fit while not being judged, fat shamed, boxed into the “unfit = unhappy” category and probably ridiculed for not being fit.”
However, there were also Facebook users who defended the ad, with one woman saying it was simply a reflection of how “many women feel”.
“I feel like women/anyone just quickly jump on the bandwagon to tell someone they’re fat shaming or being sexist these days. This post is just writing the truth about what many women feel”, while another posted: “People are so quick to jump and attack these days and try to publicly shame someone or a business … HTFU isn’t about changing the person you are HTFU helps you be a better version of yourself”.
The gym also responded to the negative backlash on social media, insisting it stands by the original post.
“If you read it properly with an open mind you will see we’re stating the truth on how ‘SOME’ women feel about themselves at the moment, how they want to feel and what they know they need to do to feel better,” the company posted, before revealing four women had signed up as a direct result of the post.
Owner Aaron Cartwright told news.com.au he only wanted to help people. “The only thing I would change is in the first paragraph, it should have said ‘some ladies’,” he said.
“But it’s the truth; it’s how a lot of females think about themselves, and it’s how they would like to feel about themselves. “It’s confronting probably, but it’s the reality. For people who are offended, I’d say go back and re-read it and try to understand it from my point of view.”
Mr Cartwright urged people to keep an “open mind”.
“I can understand where people who look at that post without an open mind are coming from, but if you’re offended, just relax and see my side because I’m actually trying to help people not feel bad about themselves,” he said.
“I can see how people can get offended if they look at it the wrong way and think I’m fat shaming and that kind of stuff but I’m far from a fat shamer — I’m a truth-seeker and I try and help people transform their lives whatever their size or race or if they’re male or female.
John Schnatter—the founder, chairman and public face of pizza chain Papa John’s—used the N-word on a conference call in May
He just commented on the word. He didn't "use" it. But he has now had to resign
The call was arranged between Papa John’s executives and marketing agency Laundry Service. It was designed as a role-playing exercise for Schnatter in an effort to prevent future public-relations snafus. Schnatter caused an uproar in November 2017 when he waded into the debate over national anthem protests in the NFL and partly blamed the league for slowing sales at Papa John’s.
On the May call, Schnatter was asked how he would distance himself from racist groups online. He responded by downplaying the significance of his NFL statement. “Colonel Sanders called blacks n-----s,” Schnatter said, before complaining that Sanders never faced public backlash.
Schnatter also reflected on his early life in Indiana, where, he said, people used to drag African-Americans from trucks until they died. He apparently intended for the remarks to convey his antipathy to racism, but multiple individuals on the call found them to be offensive, a source familiar with the matter said. After learning about the incident, Laundry Service owner Casey Wasserman moved to terminate the company’s contract with Papa John’s.
12 July, 2018
Now New Zealand is trying to block Lauren
Don Brash says Auckland Mayor Phil Goff's decision not to let far-right speakers use council venues was wrong, and is part of a group that's raised $50,000 to take the council to court.
Free Speech Coalition consists of 10 academics, lawyers and former politicians from "across the political spectrum".
The group was formed in response to Auckland Mayor Phil Goff's decision not to allow Canadian far-right figures Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern speak at council venues.
Speaking to Wendyl Nissen on RadioLIVE, Dr Brash says the issue is part of a wider argument around freedom of speech. "If free speech is only permission to say something nice about something no one much cares about, it's not really free speech at all," he said.
"I think Phil Goff was entirely wrong to say taxpayer or ratepayer funded facilities cannot be used by people whose views he disagrees with."
Must not ask people their religion
Australians have voiced their concerns about one of the most controversial questions on the 2016 Census - with calls for it to be banned from the next survey.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics took feedback from the public earlier this year, with the largest complaint being centred on the 'religion' section of the survey.
Consistent feedback gathered by the ABS said the question was leading and assumes that the participant actually has a religion.
The question itself, which was the only optional question in the entire survey, asked: 'What is the person's religion?'
ABS House in the Australian Capital Territory compiled feedback to make changes to the 2021 Census
In the 2016 Census, 30 per cent of people marked that they have no religion.
But National Secular Lobby ambassador and former senator Chris Schacht said he thinks a change in the wording would produce a more accurate result.
'There's only one reason Australia's 'No Religion' score is half that of other Western nations. We're not more religious; the Census question is simply wrong,'Mr Schacht told news.com.au.
'Evidence shows that many people just tick the religion they were taught as a child, even though those early beliefs have long since lapsed.'
Other Western countries recorded much higher rates of non-belief, with 52 per cent for New Zealand and 54 per cent for England.
The ABS' website says: 'Suggestions made and investigated for 2016 included using two-part filter questions, changes or additions to wording, and placing the 'no religion' response as first in the list of options.'
An example of a two-part filter question would be: 'Does the person practice a religion? If no proceed to the next question, if yes mark an option below.'
For 2016, the ABS moved ‘no religion’ to be the first response category in the question, which was the approach already taken in a number of other countries
This isn't the first time that the ABS has taken feedback on board regarding the religion question.
The 2016 Census saw the option 'no religion' move to the top of the choices.
The Census is taken every five years, with the next being in 2021.
11 July, 2018
Australia: TV commenter has failed to have racial vilification complaint against her dismissed
She told the truth about Islam!
SONIA Kruger will face a hearing next month over controversial remarks she made about Muslims two years ago.
The Today Extra and The Voice host failed to have a racial vilification complaint against her dismissed, after her 2016 suggestion that Muslim immigration should be temporarily halted sparked a firestorm of controversy.
The Civil and Administrative Tribunal refused an application by the Nine Network to have the complaint dismissed without a hearing.
In July 2016, Kruger endorsed a newspaper article by News Corp Australia columnist Andrew Bolt during a segment of the Today Show.
“I mean, personally, I think Andrew Bolt has a point here, that there is a correlation between the number of people who, you know, are Muslim in a country and the number of terrorist attacks,” she said on the show.
“Now I have a lot of very good friends who are Muslim, who are peace-loving who are beautiful people, but there are fanatics.
“Personally I would like to see it stopped now for Australia. Because I want to feel safe, as all of our citizens do, when they go out to celebrate Australia Day.”
In a subsequent appearance on the talk show, Kruger, 52, brought up an image of a baby covered in a plastic sheet after the July 14 terror attack in Nice, France, which she said, “rocked me to the very core”.
“I acknowledge that my views yesterday may have been extreme ... it is a hugely complex and sensitive issue,” she said.
Her comments ignited a storm of outrage on social media, and prompted an official complaint on July 18 by Australian Muslim Sam Ekermawi, from Moorebank in Sydney’s southwest, who said the Nine Network had vilified “ethnic Muslim Australians”.
“Kruger did target Ethnic-Muslims as a group; she believes that Muslim Australians are constructed as terrorist,” Mr Ekermawi wrote in an email to the Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW in March last year.
He said her comments highlighted an “uncomfortable reality” for ethnic Australian Muslims, adding that “Islamophobia is a world wide phenomena”.
Under the Anti-Discrimination Act it is unlawful for a person, by a public act, to incite hatred, serious contempt or severe ridicule of a person or people on the ground of race.
The matter is listed for a directions hearing on June 19.
Lauren Southern’s Australian visa approved after ‘unusually prolonged process’
A little birdie tells me that the approval came through after David Leyonhjelm had a word with Immigration Minister Peter Dutton
Lauren Southern’s Australian speaking tour will go ahead after her visa was approved following an “unusually prolonged application process”.
It comes after the 23-year-old Canadian’s application for a temporary Electronic Travel Authority was denied, leading to accusations the Australian government was attempting to prevent her from entering the country.
Ms Southern is scheduled to appear in Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland alongside commentator Stefan Molyneux in a series of events hosted by Axiomatic Media later this month.
“Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux were advised in writing this morning by their Australian immigration lawyers and migration agents that their applications for working visas subclass 408 have been formally approved,” Axiomatic Media founder Luke Izaak said in a statement on Tuesday.
“This has followed an unusually prolonged application process, due to which, as the dates of travel rapidly approached, the lawyers advised it would be advisable to apply to travel on an Electronic Travel Authority.
“Although many armchair experts on social media have expressed their opinion that Lauren and Stefan somehow did the wrong thing by following expert legal advice, it remains true that most reasonable people in the same situation would follow legal advice,” Mr Izaak said.
“The suggestions that they did not, from the very beginning, apply for the correct visas is categorically false and has been emphatically silenced by this morning’s final approval of the correct 408 visas, originally applied for months ago.
“On behalf of Lauren and Stefan, Axiomatic Events would like to publicly thank all the Australians who contacted their local members of parliament to urge the government to ensure no politics be allowed to play a part in deciding their applications, despite the petitions and political pressure organised to deny them.
“We additionally thank the Australian media for raising the issue of freedom of speech. We also appreciate the government processing the applications on their merits instead of personal politics, if belatedly.”
Ms Southern earlier told The Daily Telegraph she believed the “unprecedented” number of hurdles being put in her way were due to her criticism of radical Islam.
“There are so many people that are offended by debate and free speech that sometimes governments cower, it’s just way easier to play into the hands of people who are totalitarian,” she said.
10 July, 2018
Australian government declines visa for right-wing activist Lauren Southern ahead of speaking tour
An attractive conservative gives Leftists everywhere the complete horrors
CONTROVERSIAL conservative activist Lauren Southern has had her visa declined by the Australian government ahead of a speaking tour later this month.
The 23-year-old Canadian is scheduled to appear in Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland alongside commentator Stefan Molyneux in a series of events hosted by Axiomatic Media.
The far-right internet personalities are well known for their outspoken views on issues such as immigration, Islam and political correctness. Ms Southern is a supporter of the anti-immigrant group Defend Europe, which attempts to block migrant ships coming from North Africa.
“Australia declines visa for Canadian @Lauren_Southern,” Sky News host Ross Cameron wrote on Twitter, posting a photo of an email to Southern from visa website VisaBureau.com.
The email said Ms Southern had applied for an Australian ETA, or electronic travel authority. “The Australian High Commission have advised that you are not eligible for this service,” the website said. “You may wish to consider applying for a Visitor Visa (Subclass 600) with the Australian government.”
Axiomatic Media founder Luke Izaak tweeted: “Here you go Australia. Zero criminal record, zero history of incitement to violence, more defamation of her character by the hard left than I have seen on any Conservative speaker all year and still @Lauren_Southern is fighting to come visit #wakeupaustralia.”
According to the Home Affairs website, an Australian ETA is for “short-term stays for tourism or business visitor activities such as attending a conference, making business inquiries, or for contractual negotiations” and is “not a work visa”.
A Visitor Visa (Subclass 600), which costs between $140 and $1045, entitles the recipient to visit Australia “for business purposes” for up to 12 months. Axiomatic Media is charging $79 for a basic ticket and up to $749 for an “intimate dinner” with the pair.
Mr Izaak told news.com.au the pair had applied for Temporary Activity Visas (Subclass 408) — which would permit them to work and normally take 10 days to process — “months ago” but had been “stonewalled and stonewalled with no response”.
“One-and-a-half weeks ago they asked for a criminal record check. Neither of them have criminal records, they got those clean, and still no response,” he said.
“Her immigration lawyer advised them to get a temporary ETA so she and Stefan can at least be getting the lay of the land, having a look at Sydney Harbour Bridge, [go to] Cairns for a crocodile safari, to immerse themselves in the country before they speak about it, and hope the government comes through with the [408 visa].”
But Mr Izaak said even the ETA was denied.
Australia: Men must not be photographed with Bikini-clad women (??)
THE LNP [conservative] Member for Whitsunday has found himself at the centre of a national and international media storm after posting a video to social media last week of himself bookended by two young bikini-clad tourists at the Airlie Beach foreshore.
The Queensland Deputy Premier, Jackie Trad condemned the "celebrating" of World Bikini Day on Twitter and Facebook and called Jason Costigan a "sleazebag".
Buoyed by online support and a general perception the post was innocuous, Mr Costigan responded in an interview with the Whitsunday Times. "This whole concept of political correctness has to stop," he said. "It's on steroids and it needs to be called out, it's beyond a joke."
In the wake of widespread media attention and online criticism, Ms Trad posted on social media again on Sunday night stating: "I've copped it, but I stand by what I said, because if nothing changes, nothing changes".
"Unfortunately, too many of us know sleazebags who use their official titles and positions to objectify and prey on women. It needs to stop," Ms Trad wrote on Twitter.
The Member for Whitsunday appeared on Channel 10 show The Project on Sunday and was asked by host Hamish McDonald if he was a "sleazebag".
"We have a lot of creepy things in North Queensland, snakes and spiders...but I am not one of them," he said.
Mr Costigan then politicised the reaction to the Bikini Day stunt by saying he was not a "part of the loony left."
"Political correctness has one place for me and that is down the toilet," he said.
9 July, 2018
Another attack on free speech from California
As the Supreme Court strikes blows against compelled speech and restrictions on free speech, California is doing its best to resist.
One of the latest legislative proposals from California aims to make government the arbiter of truth.
Senate Bill 1424 would create an advisory group on “fake news” to work with social media companies to weed out what the government deems incorrect information on the internet.
This legislation, if passed, would require California’s attorney general to create the group, consisting of “social media providers, civil liberties advocates, and First Amendment scholars,” to study and mitigate the problem of spreading false information.
According to CBS Sacramento, even the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a left-leaning nonprofit civil liberties organization, called the legislation “flawed” and “misguided.”
This bill mirrors the trend in Europe, where government commissions to police speech and the news are becoming common.
California, emboldened by a stridently progressive Legislature, is trying to bring these Orwellian fake news panels to the United States.
Patriarchal names for women's body parts
From fallopian tubes to the Pouch of Douglas, women’s body parts have been named by – and after – men. But the masculine language of medicine doesn’t end there. Does it matter?
Take a tour of the female pelvis, and you’ll encounter a few incongruous people along the way. How did James Douglas end up tucked behind the uterus? What is Gabriel Fallopian doing hanging around the ovaries? Why is Caspar Bartholin the Younger attached to the labia? And can we trust Ernst Grafenberg’s claim that he actually found the G-spot? Whether you know it or not, each of these dudes have ended up immortalised in the female pelvis – as the Pouch of Douglas, Bartholin’s glands, fallopian tubes, and that elusive Grafenberg spot.
The truth is, men are all over women’s bodies – dead, white male anatomists, that is. Their names live on eponymously, immortalised like audacious explorers for conquering the geography of the female pelvis as if it were terra nullius.
The gods are engraved on women too. The masculine Greek god of marriage, Hymen, who died on his wedding night, has lent his name to a uniquely female anatomical structure. Hymen is derived from the Greek word ‘hyalos’, or membrane. But it was the father of modern anatomy, Vesalius, who in the 16th Century first used the term specifically for the covering of the vaginal orifice.
After all, until the last century, women were almost excluded from academic medicine. But the continued use of these mostly male eponyms not only reflects the gender bias in our medical knowledge base. It may continue to perpetuate it.
The controversial question of whether language shapes thought has long been debated. Still, plenty of examples exist where describing something in a certain way changes our perception of it. Ghil’ad Zuckermann, professor of linguistics and endangered languages at the University of Adelaide, points out that in languages where the word for ‘bridge’ has a feminine gender, people describe bridges as elegant. But in languages where the word for ‘bridge’ has a masculine gender, people refer to bridges as sturdy.
It raises the question of whether our perceptions of the body, and its conditions, are also skewed by gender biases without us realising.
8 July, 2018
Fired Conservative Professor Wins Free speech Lawsuit
The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Friday that Marquette University shouldn’t have fired a conservative professor over his blog post criticizing a student instructor he believed shut down discussion about opposition to gay marriage.
The ruling sides with former professor John McAdams and concludes that the Catholic school breached its contract with him guaranteeing academic freedom. The court said McAdams should immediately be reinstated.
McAdams sued the university in 2016, arguing that he lost his job for exercising freedom of speech. Marquette claimed that he wasn’t fired for the content of his 2014 post, but because he named the instructor and linked to her personal website that had personal identifying information.
The instructor later received a flood of hateful messages and threats.
Friday’s ruling has been eagerly awaited by conservatives who see universities as liberal havens.
In the November 2014 blog post, McAdams described an interaction between a conservative student and a graduate student instructor of philosophy.
The student claimed the instructor refused to allow discussion about opposition to gay marriage during a class and provided McAdams with a recording he secretly made of a conversation with the teacher after the class.
That formed the basis for McAdams’ post, in which he argued that the students’ experience was another example of liberals silencing people whose opinions they disagree with or find offensive.
McAdams was given the chance to return to work after his suspension, provided he write a letter apologizing for his conduct. The letter was to be shared confidentially with the student instructor, but McAdams refused to write it.
Facebook Blocks the Declaration of Independence as "Hate Speech"
In its ongoing attempts to crack down on “fake news,” Facebook has only proved what many conservatives have repeatedly warned: It’s catering to leftist bias in order to limit conservative content. Some recent incidents expose this reality.
In a buildup to our nation’s annual celebration of Independence Day, a community newspaper, The Liberty County Vindicator, had been posting on Facebook portions of the Declaration of Independence for eight straight days. On the ninth day, the Vindicator’s scheduled excerpt was not posted by the social media site because it had been flagged as “racist” “hate speech.” The Vindicator received an automated notice stating that the scheduled post “goes against our standards on hate speech.”
The excerpt in question from the Declaration’s “Bill of Particulars” against King George III reads, “He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.” It was Thomas Jefferson’s reference to “Indian Savages” that triggered the “hate speech” designation.
Casey Stinnett, the Vindicator’s managing editor, responded to the absurd censorship in a subsequent post and noted that his newspaper wanted “a means of contacting Facebook for an explanation or an opportunity to appeal the post’s removal, but it does not appear the folks at Facebook want anyone contacting them. Or, at least, they do not make it easy.” Fortunately, following his post, Facebook apologized to the Vindicator and posted the Declaration’s excerpt.
But Facebook’s facepalm-worthy behavior on patriotism didn’t end with the Vindicator fiasco. On Monday, the Wes Cook band released a video for its song “I Stand for the Flag.” The band planned to use Facebook’s paid promotion tools to promote its video, which was initially accepted by Facebook only to later be rejected with the excuse given that the video was “political content.” But late Tuesday, Facebook changed its decision again, stating, “We recently announced anyone running ads about political or other major national issues must include a ‘paid for’ label. After looking again, we determined that this ad doesn’t need that label. While this is a new policy, and while we won’t ever be perfect, we think knowing who is behind an ad is important, and we’ll continue to work on improving as we roll it out.” Another “oops” statement from Facebook that once again smacks of leftist bias.
6 July, 2018
Italy Wikipedia shuts down in protest at EU copyright law
Italian Wikipedia blocked readers from its pages on Tuesday in protest over the future of EU online copyright law.
Critics say the rules, due to be voted on this week, could put an end to memes and remixes, and require platforms to pay for linking to news.
Instead of an encyclopaedia entry, visitors to any page on the Italian language Wikipedia were greeted with a statement about the upcoming vote.
The editors wrote that "Wikipedia itself would be at risk of closing".
"If the proposal is approved, it may be impossible to share a newspaper article on social networks or find it on a search engine," it said.
English-language users of the site were not cut off from its articles - but instead saw a large banner advert urging readers to contact their European representatives, or MEPs, ahead of the vote.
Wikipedia is one of the most visited sites on the internet, currently ranked fifth in the world by traffic ranking site Alexa.
The organisation has been a fierce opponent of the EU's proposed directive on copyright in the digital single market, calling it "a serious threat to our mission".
Wyoming Supreme Court upholds right to criticize in politics
The Wyoming Supreme Court on Monday upheld a lower court's decision to dismiss a defamation lawsuit filed by former state schools superintendent Cindy Hill over comments a U.S. House candidate made about her during a campaign in 2016.
Hill had contended in her lawsuit that Tim Stubson made malicious and false statements about her. Stubson lost in the Republican primary that year to Liz Cheney, who eventually won the seat in the general election.
The unanimous Supreme Court decision, written by Justice Michael Davis, said Hill did not present sufficient arguments to back up her case.
Stubson, of Casper, welcomed the decision for upholding First Amendment rights to free speech.
"I think it's important, not just obviously for me, but it's important for the state that there's a clear decision out there that you can criticize public officials for the way they do their jobs and not be punished for it through the courts," Stubson said in a telephone interview.
5 July, 2018
Walmart pulls controversial 'Impeach 45' clothing from website after harsh feedback
Walmart has pulled the the controversial anti-Trump “Impeach 45” apparel from its website after receiving harsh feedback online.
The outcry sparked a #BoycottWalmart trend on Twitter as users expressed their distaste for the chain promoting the impeachment of President Trump, echoing some Congressional Democrats.
Ryan Fournier, chairman of the group Students for Trump, was one of the first to discover Walmart was selling the clothing item, according to the International Business Times. He asked the company in a tweet, “What kind of message are you trying to send?”
"These items were sold by third party sellers on our open marketplace, and were not offered directly by Walmart. We’re removing these types of items pending review of our marketplace policies," a Walmart spokesperson told Fox News.
Must not mention that a lot of servants in Hollywood are illegals
“Just heard there’s an ICE checkpoint in Hollywood, a few blocks from where I live. Everyone better give their housekeepers, nannies and landscapers a ride home tonight…,” she wrote in a since-deleted tweet.
Twitter users were quick to call her out. “Damn Amber you think this sounds woke, huh,” tweeted one user.
“Hi, Amber. I love you so much so I’m gonna say this to you: not all immigrants are housekeepers, nannies and landscapers (not that there’s anything wrong with being one) but this stereotype should have long been eradicated,” posted another.
Heard didn’t apologise for her original tweet but instead followed up with another one about immigration checkpoints.
4 July, 2018
Judge Awards $5 to 'Free Speech' Rally Organizer Because a Woman Cursed at Him
An award of trivial damages vindicates the complaint while rejecting its importance
Last summer’s infamous neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia was supposedly about “free speech.” But that claim was always ridiculous. The latest evidence? Jason Kessler, one of the organizers of the rally, sued a woman for swearing at him. And a judge in Charlottesville has now awarded Kessler $5.
Kessler sued Donna Gasapo for $500 because she said things like “Fuck you, asshole,” and called Kessler a “crybaby.” Gasapo never denied saying the words, but her attorney argued that what she said was protected under the First Amendment. Kessler said that her words were in violation of Virginia’s anti-dueling laws. And on Friday, a judge decided in favor of Kessler.
The incident between Kessler and Gasapo took place on March 16, 2018 at the DeAndre Harris assault trial. Harris, a black man, was beaten up by six white men at the neo-Nazi rally, formally known as the Unite the Right rally. Two white supremacists were found guilty of “malicious wounding.”
Australian University students who dressed as the Ku Klux Klan, cotton pickers in blackface and Nazis for a 'politically incorrect party' are suspended
The fact that three different costumes were used shows that this was a deliberate "stir" -- just another of the many provocations students do for entertainment. It's a traditional part of university life and has nothing to do with racism
University students who dressed up as the Ku Klux Klan and Hitler before posting an image to social media have been punished.
The students sparked outrage when they dressed up in the hooded costumes at a party held at the Black Swan pub in New South Wales on June 14.
Charles Sturt University has handed out misconduct penalties, including suspension, following an investigation into the 'racist' images.
The University would not reveal how many students have been suspended when contacted by Daily Mail Australia because of privacy considerations.
The offensive photos, which were posted to Facebook and Instagram, were condemned world-wide.
One image showed five students dressed in white Ku Klux Klan robes and hoods, while a sixth man is painted in blackface while holding a bowl of cotton.
'Very very politically incorrect. Cotton pieces are unreal thought so it's a great time to be pickin', the group posted on social media.
The second image showed a student dressed as Hitler in a Nazi uniform, together with students dressed up as Jewish Holocaust prisoners.
3 July, 2018
Antifa Punk’s Baton Is No Match for ‘Patriot Prayer’ Guy’s Self-Defense Training
If Democrats really want to fight it out in the streets, they’re going to have to get better at it than this.
Yet another turnout by a progressive mob brought violence to the streets of Portland, Oregon, on Saturday, when a Patriot Prayer group’s permitted march and “freedom rally” was attacked by so-called “antifa” thugs hurling bottles and brawling in the streets, according to CBS News.
But as at least one video from the fighting makes clear, the Patriot Prayer side wasn’t turning the other cheek.
In a short video posted to YouTube Saturday, a masked antifa foot soldier is shown attacking one of the Patriot Prayer supporters with a baton. Check it out here.
Let’s just say the baton didn’t do the antifa thug much good when it was ripped out of his hand. It did even less when the guy he attacked put a fist in his face, fast enough and hard enough to stretch him out on the street.
As gratifying as it might be to watch one of these leftist stormtroopers having to be carried off by his comrades, there’s something truly horrible happening in a country where an attack like this can come off and it gets little or extremely slanted coverage in the national media.
At NPR – home of exactly the kind of liberals who have no problem using their taxpayer-subsidized jobs to shade the truth for the American public – the coverage explicitly admitted that the Patriot Prayer group had a legal permit for its demonstration, yet failed to make clear how that put the “antifa” thugs clearly in the wrong.
Since the beginning of the Trump presidency, progressives, Democrats and other congenital liars had been warning ominously of a growing “fascism” in the country, and mainstream media – like the comic-book slogan of The Washington Post – have been making noises about how “democracy dies in darkness.”
But the reality, as usual, is almost the exact polar opposite of the liberal spin. The fascists threatening American freedoms are not in the Trump White House or in the Republican majorities in the House and Senate, they’re in the cadres of thugs in America’s most liberal cities, trying to literally beat their political opponents into submission.
‘Philosophy of Tolerance’: Restaurant Manager Canned After Attacking Man in MAGA Hat
How far down the tubes is civility? Well, even Canadians have stopped being nice. And no, not just Justin Trudeau, either.
According to Canada’s Global News, Darin Hodge — manager of the Teahouse Restaurant in Vancouver, a popular spot for tourists — is currently jobless after getting himself in a snit on Tuesday aboot a man in a MAGA cap (it can happen in the U.S., too, you might have heard).
“A gentleman came in wearing a hat that was a Make America Great Again hat, and our manager went up to the gentleman and asked him to take off his hat, that he wouldn’t serve him with that hat on,” Eva Gates, vice president of human resources for the Sequoia Group of Restaurants, which owns the Teahouse, told Global.
“And the gentleman said that he had a right to wear that hat. And (the manager) refused to serve him if he wouldn’t take off his hat, and so the customer had to leave.”
While the restaurant called Hodge “a good person with a big heart and a right to his personal beliefs,” its official statement added that what he did violated its “philosophy of tolerance.”
“Sequoia does not support intolerance of any kind, and it is because of these principles that we cannot discriminate against someone based on their support for the current administration in the United States or any other bona fide political party,” the statement reads.
2 July, 2018
"Racist" facts in New Zealand
Real estate ads that highlighted statistics on the ethnicity of the neighborhoods they were selling in have been slammed as racist.
The adverts used statistics on ethnicity as a clear selling point, causing a backlash and leaving agents and vendors appalled.
One ad, for a $1.2million house in northern New Zealand, said: '71 per cent of the people in Kerikeri are European'.
Another ad for a property in Auckland was listed by Ray White Damerell Group and stated: '56 per cent of the people living in Kingsland are European'.
The real estate agent in charge of the Kerikeri listing, Irene Bremner, said she had 'no part of it' and added that it was 'appalling', Stuff reported.
Robyn Ellson, the real estate agent managing the Ray White Damerell Group, also said that she did not 'write or proof' the Kingsland property ad.
'On the whole I am pretty upset that my name has been associated with racism,' She tweeted. She also added that she called the New Zealand Herald's Homes OneRoof supplement regarding the matter.
Robyn Ellson, the real estate agent managing the Ray White Damerell Group, also said that she did not 'write or proof' the Kingsland property ad
OneRoof Editor Owen Vaughan responded to the backlash and told Stuff: 'The choice of statistic added to the property listings today, in isolation of all the other data about a neighbourhood, puts a focus on one element of a suburb only'.
'We apologise if this has caused any offence and have taken internal measures to ensure that the data selected to highlight a suburb is centred around other factors that home buyers consider when making purchasing decisions'.
Horrible Trotskyite, Lee Rhiannon, moves to scrap 'archaic' Lord's prayer in Australian Senate sittings
The Lord’s prayer would be abolished from the start of Senate sittings and replaced by a statement that includes religious and non-religious beliefs, under a push instigated by the Greens.
On Wednesday the Greens senator Lee Rhiannon will move a motion for a Senate inquiry into the proposed alternative: “Senators, let us in silence pray or reflect upon our responsibilities to all people of Australia and to future generations.”
The move is supported in a letter signed by progressive religious leaders including Fr Rod Bower, of the Anglican parish of Gosford, the reverend Margaret Mayman, of Pitt St Uniting church, and rabbi Jeffrey Kamins of the Temple Emanuel at Woollahra.
Guardian Australia understands the Greens believe they have enough support to set up an inquiry. Senators Stirling Griff and Rex Patrick confirmed Centre Alliance will support the motion, although Patrick noted this is “not the same thing as supporting replacing the prayer”.
Griff suggested the alternative prayer “ensures the moment is more relevant and personal for the individual”.
Senate sittings begin with the Lord’s prayer, a Christian prayer including the words “our father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name”.
Rhiannon said the statement that opens parliament “should be inclusive of people of all beliefs and faiths”.
“The Greens are suggesting the proposed new opening statement be referred to the Senate’s procedure committee for a public inquiry that better reflects the secular nature of our country and our parliament,” she said.
“A secular nation like Australia should be free from religious bias and not impose religious influence on citizens or parliamentarians.
1 July, 2018
Canadian Bus Driver Arrested For Criticizing Homosexuality, Faces Up To 2 Years In Prison
Last week a nationwide criminal arrest warrant was put out on a 51-year-old Canadian named Bill Whatcott. Whatcott was in the Canadian oil sands at the time, driving a bus to support his family. It was a rough job—temporary work in remote, far-north Canada—but the only employment he could find just then to support his family of four.
Whatcott was wanted in Toronto to be charged with “Wilful Promotion of Hatred against an identifiable group, namely the gay community.” The basis for this charge? In 2016 Whatcott had distributed “safe sex” pamphlets at a gay pride parade.
These pamphlets stated homosexuality is associated with sexually transmitted diseases, including HPV of the rectum, which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control says is true. The pamphlets also made negative comments about the Liberal party, and stated accusations and facts about several left-wing politicians accused or convicted of various sexual crimes.
For instance, the pamphlets noted that Toronto’s former deputy education minister, who pled guilty to making and distributing child pornography in 2015, had a hand in designing Ontario’s “perverted sex education curriculum.” Government documents show he at the very least oversaw that curriculum’s design, although whether it is “perverted” may be open to debate.
The pamphlets also included Christian statements indicating that unrepentant support for homosexual acts will lead to “eternal peril” but repentance to “the free gift of eternal life.” The pamphlets were illustrated with graphic medical photos similar to those sometimes required on cigarette labels, which are, of course, shocking. They did not call on anyone to hate homosexuals, or advocate violence, or claim that all homosexuals are pedophiles.
Whatcott was arrested last week for distributing these pamphlets, and held until Monday afternoon of this week, when he was released on bail on the condition that he remove the offending fliers from his website immediately. Photocopies of the pamphlets could formerly be found here, but were taken down Tuesday. They have popped up (warning: graphic images) on American-based websites since then.
Handing Out Pamphlets Compares to Bank Robbery?
Whatcott has a long history of political activism, so is no stranger to Canadian hate speech laws. But the criminal charges, coming without warning nearly two full years after his alleged “hate speech” and enforced by a nationwide arrest warrant, left him “shocked.”
“When they’re looking for you in three provinces, you’re pretty much, you know, bank robbery or murder…. So I knew it was serious,” Whatcott said. Whatcott called “a Christian lawyer friend” from his job site in northern Alberta. “When Dr. Lugosi told me it was the parade, I was shocked. I thought, ‘This is insane.’ But I also figured the best thing to do was to turn myself in.”
Whatcott drove south to Calgary where he turned himself into the police last Friday. While he was in custody, he says, “It might have been on purpose, because it didn’t happen, like—some inmates did go half a day without food—but they actually made me go a full 24 hours” without eating.
Whatcott says he was also denied medical treatment during his stay. “I had a leg infection, and it was bad enough that I was brought to the hospital, but they simply refused to fill the prescriptions. So for four days I had no medications,” Whatcott stated Tuesday morning. “The infection was actually going up my leg. I was a little concerned it was gonna go systemic.”
Whatcott’s suspicions that he was singled out for rough treatment may have been unduly stoked by a Calgary police officer who Whatcott says took pains to inform his nurses that Whatcott was a dangerous “hate criminal” and that they ought to “be careful around [him].”
The law under which Whatcott has been charged is considered an “indictable offense” punishable by imprisonment for up to two years and forfeitures. Whatcott expects to return to Toronto court on July 23 to set a trial date.
Australia: Kathleen Clubb defends right to challenge abortion
Clubb, who last year became the first person to be convicted under abortion protest laws in Victoria, will play in what may become one of the most important free speech cases heard by the High Court.
She wants Australians to know that it’s not about abortion. It’s about the right to protest.
Clubb can anticipate all your questions: yes, she is opposed to abortion in cases of rape; yes, in the case of profound disability; yes, in the case of incest.
She also believes that Australians have been denied a national debate about abortion.
“In some states, it’s now legal all through nine months for any reason, and we have not had a debate about that,” she says — and plenty of readers will no doubt think: good.
Those people who stand outside abortion clinics with gory signs and, in some cases, with blood-splattered dolls in prams, they’re pests — and also, it’s none of their business.
Clubb says she has never done that. She prays and she offers pamphlets.
“But the point is, if parliament can ban this kind of protest, what other kind of protests can they ban?” she says. “I am fighting for all Australians.”
Legislation creating 150m “safe zones” around the Victorian clinics came into effect on May 2, 2016. This was always going to be a problem for Christian groups that hold their vigils outside the doors.
Court documents show that Inspector Gerard Cartwright of Victoria Police met a group he called “the Helpers” (the full name is Helpers of God’s Precious Infants, and Clubb is a member) several times in an effort to impress on them the importance of the law, telling the court: “These were law-abiding people and I did not want them coming before the courts.” He asked them to steer clear of the 150m zone. In July, “the Helpers” contacted him to let him know that “a man in his 70s and a woman in her 50s” would breach the zone on August 4, 2016, outside the Fertility Control Clinic in Wellington Parade, East Melbourne.
Twenty officers were briefed to attend, “to ensure calm”.
Clubb says she had a friend drop her off near the clinic. En route to the safe zone, she saw two detectives at a nearby cafe and stopped to say hello. As arrests go, it was all very civilised. She walked into the exclusion zone. Video of the event, shown to the court, shows her attempting to engage a couple as they approach the clinic, by speaking to them and handing over a pamphlet. The male of the couple declines the offer and the young woman moves away.
A police officer steps up and tells Clubb she is breaking the law. Was she prepared to leave? She was not.
From there on, events felt to Clubb like something from NYPD Blue. She was not cuffed but put in the back seat of a squad car. She had a mugshot taken at the station, which her delighted kids are now trying to get her to use as her Facebook profile picture.
There was a confusing moment in the cop shop bathroom: everything was stainless steel and she couldn’t find a tap, just a button to press to wash her hands. She had to hand over personal items but was allowed to keep her rosary beads, although one officer said: “Don’t harm yourself with them.”
“They weren’t jovial,” she says, thinking back. “More businesslike.”
It took some time for the case to make its way to the Magistrates Court but ultimately, on October 11 last year, with magistrate Luisa Bazzani presiding, Clubb was told she had been charged with breaching section 185D of Victoria’s Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008; that she had insisted on “communicating about abortions” within a safe access zone in a manner “reasonably likely to cause anxiety or distress”; and that she had done so despite two warnings, “defiantly and deliberately”.
Of course she had. That was always the point.
Clubb’s legal team appealed her conviction to the Supreme Court of Victoria, with grounds one and two concerning the constitutional validity of the law in question. A short time later, Victoria’s Attorney-General Martin Pakula also applied to have the case transferred to the High Court, which is due to hear the matter later this year.
This is Tongue-Tied 3
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press"
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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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