TONGUE TIED 2 ARCHIVE
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30 June, 2013
Fury over German supermarket's 'sexist' sausages
To this day, Germany is a very un-feminist place
A supermarket chain in Germany is under fire for promoting 'his n' hers' sausages that critics say promote sexual stereotyping.
The Edeka supermarket company advertises the men-only bangers as 'hearty, strongly-spiced,' while the ladies' sausages are 'lean' - and to add insult to injury, half the size of the manly wursts and much more expensive.
Then there's the packaging - the male meat morsels are wrapped in plastic featuring a scantily clad woman while the ladies are offered a Chippendales lookalike with his pecs flexing.
Feminists have complained of 'dull sexism' in letters to the company.
Edeka refused to discuss the sexism issue - only commenting to a website that the female sausages are dearer because of 'particularly lean meat, high-quality vegetables packed into an especially delicate skin.'
Men can be 'wives' and women 'husbands' as British Government overrules the dictionary
Civil servants have overruled the Oxford English Dictionary and hundreds years of common usage effectively abolishing the traditional meaning of the words for spouses.
The landmark change is contained in the fine print of new official legal guidance drawn up for MPs and peers as the Government’s same-sex marriage bill is debated.
It comes as part of a Government initiative to “clarify” what words will mean when gay marriage becomes law. But critics described it as the vocabulary of “cloud cuckoo land”.
It follows claims by opponents of the redefinition of marriage that universally understood terms such as father and mother might be simply deleted by bureaucrats on official forms. Instead officials have decided to allow the words for the spouses to be used interchangeably for people of either gender in some contexts.
The guidance gives the example of some early health and safety legislation drafted in 1963 which includes a range of exemptions for family businesses where the terms husbands and wives will mean people of either gender.
A spokesman for the Coalition for Marriage, which campaigns against the change, said: “We always knew the Government would tie itself in knots trying to redefine marriage, and this shows what a ridiculous mess they’ve created.
“This mangling of the English language shows what happens when politicians meddle with marriage. “They’re in cloud cuckoo land.”
28 June, 2013
Canada Takes a Baby Step Toward Free Speech -- only at the Federal level
Provincial laws still have versions of Section 13 alive and well in them
"It is a discriminatory practice for a person or a group of persons acting in concert to communicate telephonically or to cause to be so communicated, repeatedly, in whole or in part by means of the facilities of a telecommunication undertaking within the legislative authority of Parliament, any matter that is likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt by reason of the fact that person or those persons are identifiable on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination." -Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act
Now that Parliament has repealed Section 13 of the Canadian (federal) Human Rights Act-amended in 2001 to ban "hate speech" on the Internet, too-Canadians can speak a little more freely. But only a little.
Controversial since its inception in 1977, Section 13 has been used repeatedly to club Christians, conservatives, and non-political individuals who said or published anything objected to by homosexuals, Muslims, atheists, and other groups favored by the government. It has never been used to punish anyone for saying hateful things about Christians.
London Mayor sparks anger with joke at gay pride event
Boris Johnson has sparked outrage after making a crude joke about same-sex marriage at a gay rights event.
The London Mayor was giving a speech at a £250-a-head gala dinner ahead of the capital's Pride festival this weekend when he made the gaffe, which led to some guests walking out.
In reference to the same-sex marriage bill which is expected to be signed into law later this year, he said: 'I'm delighted that as of this autumn any young man will be able to take his chum up the Arcelor... and marry him.'
The tasteless gag was a reference to the ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture in London's Olympic Park which will reopen in the autumn and be licensed for marriage ceremonies.
I don't get why this was offensive. Some very thin skins around, it seems
27 June, 2013
Obama's Army command punishes conservative soldier
A member of the U.S. Army Band who said he was reprimanded for having anti-Obama bumper stickers on his personal car, serving Chick-fil-A sandwiches at a party and reading books written by conservative authors like Sean Hannity was found guilty of three Article 15 charges.
Sommers, a 25-year military veteran, received an oral reprimand and will not be reduced in rank.
Sommers’ troubles started last year when he was confronted about having pro-Republican and anti-Obama bumper stickers on his personal vehicle.
The stickers read: “Political Dissent is NOT Racism,” “NOBAMA,” NOPE2012” and “The Road to Bankruptcy is Paved with Ass-Fault.” That sticker included the image of a donkey.
His superior officer told the soldier that the bumper stickers were creating “unnecessary workplace tension.”
Sommers also came under fire for reading the works of Mark Levin, Sean Hannity and David Limbaugh. Last summer he was reading Limbaugh’s “The Great Destroyer” backstage at a concert when a superior officer told him that he was causing “unit disruption” and was offending other soldiers.
But the incident that led to an official investigation of Sommers came late last summer when he served Chick-fil-A sandwiches at his promotion party.
“My family likes Chick-fil-A and we like what they stand for,” he said. “I can make a statement and at least express a religious point of view at my promotion party – theoretically without any fear of reprisal.”
The soldier also tweeted about the party: “In honor of DADT repeal, and Obama/Holder’s refusal to enforce DOMA act, I’m serving Chick-fil-A at my MSG promo reception for Army today.”
The tweet came under fire from his superior officers, according to an official military document.
“As a Soldier you must be cognizant of the fact that your statements can be perceived by the general public and other service members to be of a nature bordering on disrespect to the President of the United States,” the document stated. [U.S. troops serve America, not Obama]
Speech in Canada is free unless it is "discriminatory"
That seems a very poor criterion. If I say that Democrats are full of hate that surely is discriminatory. Would that get me jailed in Canada? Could be. --JR
Guy Earle isn’t a famous comedian by any measure, but you may remember him from a few years back when he was dragged in front of the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal to face a complaint about some harsh homophobic remarks he tossed at a lesbian couple while hosting an open-mic night in Vancouver in 2007.
He claims Lorna Pardy was heckling him that night, but according to the tribunal, Earle actually began spitting venom when he saw her kiss her girlfriend. Here’s just a smattering of what he said:
“Do you have a strap-on? You can take your girlfriend home and f— her in the a–.”
“You’re a fat ugly c—. No man will f— you; that’s why you’re a dyke. You fat c—.”
“Somebody shut her up. Put a c— in her mouth and shut her the f— up.”
It was shocking, offensive and mean-spirited, no doubt about it. But being offensive can sometimes be an integral part of great comedy. People like George Carlin, Richard Pryor and Lenny Bruce all shocked mainstream audiences, and they’re remembered as comedic geniuses.
Guy Earle might like to place his behaviour that night in the company of those legendary acts, as a boundary-pushing piece of free speech. The tribunal didn’t see it that way, putting his “jokes” on the same level as Michael Richards’ n-word-laced rant instead.
Earle was ordered to pay Pardy $15,000 for discriminating against her and her partner and the restaurant hosting the event had to pony up another $7,500.
But Earle thought this wasn’t an example of unfair discrimination. He believed that his right to free speech had been trampled upon and filed a constitutional challenge with B.C. Supreme Court.
Earle argued that if that section of the code applies to a comedy act at a restaurant, then it amounts to censorship of the arts.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Jon Sigurdson, on the other hand, disagreed and issued a decision this week finding that section of the code to be absolutely in line with the constitution.
The judge acknowledged that comedians — even really, really bad ones — deserve to have their freedom of expression protected.
But Sigurdson went on to say that the code “minimally impairs a person’s freedom of expression. It does not restrict speech generally, or artistic or comedic speech generally.”
The only time free speech is restricted by this section of the code is when the speech is discriminatory.
“I conclude that the benefit of prohibiting discrimination in the provision of a service customarily available to the public, including discrimination expressed in words such as those used by Mr. Earle, outweighs the detrimental effect of restricting expression in those circumstances,” Sigurdson wrote.
He also dismissed Earle’s petition for a judicial review of the tribunal’s decision and upheld the fines he was ordered to pay Pardy.
26 June, 2013
White women must not dress like Red Indians
On November 2, the second day of Native American Heritage Month, Gwen Stefani of No Doubt released her latest music video for “Lookin Hot” on YouTube. In the video Stefani wears a series of American Indian styled outfits while appearing in a series of situations such as being handcuffed and tied to a wall, dancing in and around teepees and fighting cowboys.
Soon after the video was released, a backlash on Twitter erupted and dislikes jumped from 60 to over 700 in a few hours. Several YouTube viewers made comments in frustration and support of the video.
One comment on YouTube stated: “This video is very insensitive and very discourteous. Stefani, you have disrespected and slighted the entire Native American people with your counterfeit portrayal of our heritage. The way you pranced and frolic around, dressed in so called Native American attire, is a mockery of our way of life and culture.
Even blacks must be super respectful of black martyrs
(Emmett Till was an African-American boy who was murdered in Mississippi at the age of 14 in 1955 after reportedly flirting with a white woman. Her husband Roy and his half-brother J. W. Milam arrived at Till's great-uncle's house where they took Till, transported him to a barn, beat him and gouged out one of his eyes, before shooting him through the head and disposing of his body in the Tallahatchie River, weighting it with a 70-pound (32 kg) cotton gin fan tied around his neck with barbed wire. His body was discovered and retrieved from the river three days later)
The rapper Lil Wayne has been getting a great deal of heat for many of his lyrics. The greatest heat from the black community came when the artist released a song “Karate Chop,” where he compares the beaten face of Emmett Till to a woman’s v@gina. This led to a coalition of activists standing up to both the artist and Mountain Dew, his corporate sponsor, demanding that Wayne apologize. Frustration built for weeks, as the artist refused to say a word, perhaps believing that the black community could be ignored without any significant consequence.
He had to apologize eventually, of course
25 June, 2013
Must not say drunkenness mitigates rape
Tennis player Serena Williams got into big trouble for saying the following:
We watch the news for a while, and the infamous Steubenville rape case flashes on the TV – two high school football players raped a drunk 16-year-old, while other students watched and texted details of the crime. Serena just shakes her head. "Do you think it was fair, what they got? They did something stupid, but I don't know. I'm not blaming the girl, but if you're a 16-year-old and you're drunk like that, your parents should teach you: Don't take drinks from other people. She's 16, why was she that drunk where she doesn't remember? It could have been much worse. She's lucky. Obviously, I don't know, maybe she wasn't a virgin, but she shouldn't have put herself in that position
I would have thought that they were fairly commensense observations but Williams was eventually forced into an apology. Why is she not allowed to express a common opinion about drunkenness and rape?
Must not hurt feelings
Anybody whose feelings are hurt by reality -- such as the guy below -- would seem to have a lot of unhappiness coming their way
"A burly Brooklyn man, 52, is suing his old boss at an art framing company who he claims refused to rehire him after seeing his massive weight gain.
Seth Bogdanove worked at Frame It In Brooklyn between 1994 and 2008, but when he went back in January, his employer Jerry Greenberg was shocked at his much larger frame. 'Oh my God, what happened to you? You got so fat!' Greenberg said, according to a lawsuit recently filed in the Kings County Supreme Court. 'There is no way you can work here at your size. 'You wouldn’t fit between the aisles.'
He said he weighed about 280 pounds when he left the frame shop, and now weighs 350 pounds because of medication he takes. But the portly salesman claims he was still fit for work, and was 'hurt' Greenberg had dismissed him.
'I decided to sue him because he told me I was too fat to work for him and it hurt my feelings and made me feel like less of a person,' Bogdanove told ABC News."
24 June, 2013
British Navy ditches toast to 'wives and sweethearts' for the first time in 200 years because there are now so many women at sea
Royal Navy sailors will never again make their traditional Saturday night toast and drink to ‘Our Wives and Sweethearts.’
The toast, which prompts the response, ‘May they never meet’, has been banned because there are so many women officers serving in the Navy.
The seafaring tradition – often made with a tot of rum – has stood for 200 years, but will now be changed so that servicemen and women toast ‘Our families’ instead.
The instruction was issued by the new Second Sea Lord, Vice Admiral David Steel.
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: ‘To reflect cultural changes and our modern and inclusive Navy, two of the naval toasts, used at mess dinners, have been updated.
‘The Royal Navy values the diversity and range of its personnel and it is only right that its traditional toasts should reflect the fact that women have been at sea for over 20 years.’
The other tradition which has changed is that the Tuesday night toast will be made to ‘Our Sailors’ rather than to ‘Our Men’.
The custom has been practised since Admiral Nelson’s era but after women first served in service vessels in 1990 it has become increasingly outdated. In 2012, Sarah West became the first female frontline ship’s captain in the frigate HMS Portland.
Other time-honoured toasts which follow the toasts to the Queen will remain unchanged.
On Mondays, a glass is raised to ‘Our ships at sea’, and on Wednesdays, sailors drink to ‘Ourselves (as no one else is likely to concern themselves with our welfare!)’.
On Thursdays they toast to ‘A bloody war or a sickly season’, referring to the better prospects of promotion in wartime in the 19th century and pestilence.
‘A willing enemy and sea room’ is toasted on Fridays, referring to the reluctance of other navies to face the British, and on Sundays they drink to ‘absent friends’.
The change to tradition was not well received by some former sailors.
Former Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Lord Boyce said: ‘In my view this is an unnecessary genuflection in the name of PC-manship and I have no intention of following it. ‘It’s broken with tradition unnecessarily.
He told The Times: ‘Are we to await new orders telling us to “person the ship” or “person the sides”?’
Paula Deen dropped by Food Network over use of N-word
Amazing hysteria over a word that is used daily by blacks
ONE of America's most famous chefs has been fired after becoming embroiled in a racism scandal. Paula Deen - dubbed the Queen of Southern cooking - was fired by the Food Network after admitting using the N-word.
Officials at the channel today confirmed they would not renew Deen's contract. "Food Network will not renew Paula Deen's contract when it expires at the end of this month," the statement said.
The Food Network made Deen a star with Paula's Home Cooking in 2002 and later Paula's Home Cooking in 2008.
Her axing follows a video statement in which she acknowledged using racial slurs, on the same day she backed out of a planned appearance on the Today show about the controversy.
The public scandal broke earlier in the week when the cooking star admitted during a discrimination trial that she had "of course" used the N-word in the past.
23 June, 2013
SCOTUS says you can say what you like about prostitution
"The US Supreme Court on Thursday struck down as a violation of free speech a portion of a 2003 federal law that required recipients of government money in an international anti-AIDS program to embrace and advocate a US policy explicitly opposing prostitution.
In a 6-to-2 decision the high court ruled that the government-imposed requirement violated the First Amendment by forcing US aid recipients to adopt a position that extended beyond the administration of the anti-AIDS program.
'The policy requirement goes beyond preventing recipients from using private funds in a way that would undermine the federal program. It requires them to pledge allegiance to the government’s policy of eradicating prostitution,' Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion."
Interesting how opposition to prostitution has become a feminist concern. They advocate sexual freedom but not if it helps MEN! (Spit!) Crazy.
Hagel Intended 'No Slight' By Asking Indian-American Prof if He Was 'Taliban'
I have no doubt that Hagel was guilty of no more than a bad joke but a conservative would have lost his job over such a joke
Speaking Wednesday in his home state of Nebraska, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel jokingly asked an Indian professor if he was a member of the Taliban.
A short time earlier, Hagel had praised Vice President Joe Biden as "one of the truly most informed people I've ever -- ever dealt with, and partly because he's smart."
After making remarks at the University of Nebraska, Omaha, Hagel took a few questions from the audience.
"Ok, so who has a (question) -- way up in the back there," Hagel said. "You're not a member of the Taliban, are you?"
The remark was greeted with silence and a long pause:
"Mr. Secretary, I'm Robin Gandhi. I'm an assistant professor at UNO." The professor then asked Hagel a question about using cyber capabilities as a deterrent to those who want to attack the U.S.
The Washington Free Beacon said the Pentagon later issued a statement saying, “Absolutely no slight toward any individual in the audience was intended. That’s the last thing the Secretary would do under any circumstance, in this or any other setting. He didn’t know who would be called next to pose a question.”
Shortly before calling on the Indian professor, Hagel had been talking about Afghanistan and the Taliban.
21 June, 2013
Must not mention that Parkinson's disease makes you shake?
Kanye West was accused of being 'ignorant' and 'distasteful' after referencing the involuntary shaking symptom of Parkinson's disease in a lyric on his new album.
The 36-year-old singer was criticized by the American Parkinson Disease Foundation over a lyric in the song On Sight on his new album Yeezus.
'A monster about to come alive again / Soon as I pull up and park the Benz / We get this b**** shaking like Parkinson's,' Kanye says in the song.
The reference to the Parkinson's symptom of involuntary shaking was met with strong criticism by Kathryn Whitford, vice president of the American Parkinson Disease Foundation, which serves the 1.5 million people in the United States afflicted with the disease.
Art is a 'Reflection of free speech'
You can see why others don't like his "art" but modern art generally is pretty ugly. Ban it all? I guess not
Chris Brown has invoked the U.S. Constitution in his spat with Los Angeles officials over graffiti art at his Hollywood Hills home.
The 24-year-old singer was ordered last month to remove the graffiti art depicting a series of cartoonish blob-shaped monsters with big eyes and mouths filled with sharp white teeth.
Chris was cited $376 for 'unpermitted and excessive signage' and ordered to remove the artwork under the threat of more fines.
Brown has filed an appeal with the city claiming he is being wrongly targeted since the graffiti is not a sign, but art that enhances 'the architectural and aesthetic features of the residential property,' according to a report on Wednesday by TMZ.
Chris cited the First Amendment's guarantees of freedom of speech and expression in his appeal.
'The murals are a reflection of [my] aesthetic taste and a reflection of free speech and expression protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution,' his appeal said.
20 June, 2013
Any criticism of Hispanics is hate?
An 11-year-old who performed the National Anthem in a mariachi suit at Wednesday's NBA Finals game received a raucous ovation for his rendition.
The Twittersphere, however, wasn't as supportive. Many tweets directed at Sebastian De La Cruz involved hate speech. One person wrote: "How you singing the national anthem looking like an illegal immigrant?" "Why is a foreigner singing the national anthem?" another wrote.
I personally think he is a great kid and would not make the criticisms noted above. But why is it "hate" to criticize his dress or question his nationalty?
Leftists are so keen to pin their own hate on others that even mild disapproval or any disagreement routinely becomes "hate"
Black bishop not backing down
Hurling the "hate speech" accusation at his traditional Christian views didn't work
The Republican nominee for lieutenant governor in Virginia says that he is a Christian and has no reason to apologize for his history of hate speech against LGBT people, liberals and abortion providers.
It was only after African-American minister E.W. Jackson won the nomination at the Virginia Republican Party Convention last week that many became aware of his history of saying gay people were “perverted” and “sick people psychologically.”
“Homosexuality is a horrible sin, it poisons culture, it destroys families, it destroys societies; it brings the judgment of God unlike very few things that we can think of,” he said last year.
He has also called Democrats “slave masters” and compared Planned Parenthood to the Ku Klux Klan.”
“Liberalism and their ideas have done more to kill black folks whom they claim so much to love than the Ku Klux Klan, lynching and slavery and Jim Crow ever did, now that’s a fact,” Jackson said in a 2012 interview.
On Tuesday, Jackson told reporters that he had no intention of apologizing.
“I say the things that I say because I’m a Christian, not because I hate anybody, but because I have religious values that matter to me,” Jackson told reporters during a campaign event in Fredericksburg, according to The Washington Post. “Attacking me because I hold to those principles is attacking every church-going person, every family that’s living a traditional family life, everybody who believes that we all deserve the right to live.”
“So I don’t have anything to rephrase or apologize for. I would just say people should not paint me as one-dimensional.”
19 June, 2013
Football commentators fired for unkind skit
Audio of the skit is here. Player with Lou Gehrig's disease portrayed as speaking badly. Certainly poor taste but rough humor is common among sportsmen. Should someone lose their job over it? America is becoming a namby pamby nation
The now-former hosts of Mayhem in the A.M. probably suspected that, at some point, the name of their show would have literal meaning.
790 The Zone in Atlanta has announced that the “three individuals” involved in a bizarre and unfunny bit involving former Saints defensive back Steve Gleason have been fired.
The station has announced the move without naming the (former) hosts of the show: Stephen “Steak” Shapiro, Nick Cellino, and Chris Dimino.
The audio of the gag, which featured a caller with a computerized voice pretending to be Gleason, has surfaced. It’s not humorous, under any reasonably stretch of the subjective concept of what is and isn’t funny.
Word 'retard' forbidden on British radio
Author used word to express her scorn of people who reject her scripts. She was accusing them of poor judgment
Radio 4’s flagship news show Today has been censured by Ofcom for breaching broadcasting rules after crime writer Lynda La Plante used the word ‘retard’ on the programme.
When asked if she got a lot of people writing to her ‘questioning’ her about her work, Miss La Plante said: ‘Not questioning. I get a tremendous amount of fans. I mean, I have a lot of questions that I’d like to ask myself, but the misquoting of me is a consistent and really irritating fact.
‘Today there’s a headline that apparently I call people at the BBC “retards” and its absolutely...’
She denied she had said this at a lecture she gave in Dubai, but did admit she had used the word during her speech.
She pointed out that ‘I said “You do not send a script, full script, anywhere, you learn how to do a treatment, because you don’t know if there’s a retard at the end of that envelope reading it”. Suddenly I’ve called everybody at the BBC a “retard”.’
18 June, 2013
Delaware: Making people pay for political speech
Some of you may remember that in last year's candidate debate for US House and US Senate at the University of Delaware that Ralph Begleiter demanded and got the arrest of several members of the Green Party who were protesting the exclusion of third-party candidates.
Yesterday, at the Court of Common Pleas in Wilmington, a couple Libertarians got to watch first-hand how the justice system in Delaware plays out.
A flurry of activity about 11:30. Lawyers conferring, people signing papers.
It turns out that the State, confronted with the presence of actual witnesses, was not so eager to put the Chief of the UD Police (who, it turns out, was the cop who forgot to identify himself before trying to strangle Mr. Kahn) on the stand, and was suddenly willing to talk about a plea bargain.
The best of a bad deal: Bernie August and Dez Kahn accepting "probation before judgment," which means they had to pay a fine and court costs, but left the building with no criminal conviction.
Each man had to fork over slightly below $300 for having exercised his freedom of speech.
Twitter: #FreeSpeech or #EthicalCleansing?
"There has been a storm of somewhat overblown hysteria about the US and UK authorities secretly spying on citizens’ private emails and postings on social-media websites.
Yet there is far less debate about a much more open attempt to police free speech online in the UK, through the public pursuit, arrest and prosecution of those deemed to have said something offensive or outrageous on Twitter or Facebook."
The latest bizarre episode in this campaign of ‘ethical cleansing’ on the web occurred at the end of last week, when a 21-year-old London student was sentenced to 250 hours of community service as punishment for a 16-word tweet, having been found guilty of sending a malicious electronic message at an earlier hearing.
Cases such as this demonstrate how the creeping culture of You Can’t Say That is now spreading across the supposedly free fringes of the internet. As other incidents listed below show, it can now be deemed a crime to post accusations, insults or just ‘naughty’ words that tweeters, the police and the courts consider ‘inappropriate’, ‘offensive’ or ‘insensitive’. And we thought that Thought Crime belonged in the realm of fiction.
There is a pressing need to defend freedom of expression across the media and the web, with no buts. True tolerance does not mean endorsing anything that is said. But it does mean accepting that there are more important principles at stake than public sensitivities. Nobody has to be a model of piety or a cracker of family-friendly gags in order to enjoy freedom of expression.
There is now so much crud and crap to take exception to online. We should all be free to read it, rubbish it, ridicule it – or, often the most sensible response, to ignore it entirely on the basis that life, both real and virtual, is too short to bother. There are far more important things to worry and argue about.
17 June, 2013
DC: Ban on protests in plaza struck down
"In a case that brings free speech protections literally to the very steps of the US Supreme Court, a federal judge in Washington has struck down as unconstitutional a statute that allowed police to arrest anyone attempting to deliver a message of protest on the wide marble plaza outside the high court’s elegant front entrance. US District Judge Beryl Howell declared the 60-year-old law in violation of free speech protections and thus void as applied to the court’s plaza."
The decision puts in doubt a long tradition at the high court of police forcing demonstrators to confine their picketing, chanting, and sign waving to the relatively narrow public sidewalk in front of the court.
Must not mention bacon sandwiches
Bacon sandwiches are very popular in Britain, particularly at breakfast
An IT contractor was accused of racism and refused a £1,000-a-week NHS job after innocently offering to buy an Asian recruitment consultant a bacon sandwich.
Clive Hunt, 58, had already been given the eight-month contract – worth £32,000 – and was invited to recruitment firm Reed’s office in Manchester to show his passport and provide bank details.
At the end of the 15-minute meeting earlier this month, recruitment consultant Sharika Sacranie, 29, shook Mr Hunt’s hand and said she would come and meet him for breakfast the following week, to which he replied: ‘I’ll get the bacon sandwiches in.’
Miss Sacranie – who is believed to be a Muslim – rang Mr Hunt half an hour later to confirm a few more details, making no mention of the incident. However, just ten minutes later Mr Hunt received another call from a senior manager at Reed accusing him of making a racist comment and saying the job offer had been withdrawn.
Last night, Mr Hunt told The Mail on Sunday: ‘I just can’t believe it. I’m not a racist and I only offered to buy her a bacon sandwich because she said she was coming for breakfast. It was an off-the-cuff comment.
‘There’s nothing racist about it. There was no slur at her because I’d already met all the contractors on site before and one of them had actually told me they had really good bacon sandwiches.
'I don’t even know whether Sharika is a Muslim or not. I’d never met her before that day but we got on fine.
Miss Sacranie could not be reached for comment yesterday. In a statement, Reed said: ‘Due to inappropriate comments made to members of our staff during the recruitment process before Mr Hunt started his new role, we do not feel we can represent this candidate further.’
An NHS spokesperson was unavailable for comment last night.
16 June, 2013
Parents who read their kids stories about happy, human-like animals like Franklin the Turtle or Arthur at bedtime are exposing their kids to racism, materialism, homophobia and patriarchal norms, according to a paper presented at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
Most animals portrayed in children’s books, songs and on clothing send a bad message, according to academics Nora Timmerman and Julia Ostertag: That animals only exist for human use, that humans are better than animals, that animals don’t have their own stories to tell, that it’s fine to “demean” them by cooing over their cuteness. Perhaps worst of all, they say, animals are anthropomorphized to reinforce “socially dominant norms” like nuclear families and gender stereotypes.
Australia: Must not probe Prime Minister Gillard's unusual living arrangements
Julia's live-in companion is a hairdresser who does seem rather effeminate at times. There is therefore a widespread presumption that he is bisexual. Apparently, you must not mention that, however
RADIO presenter Howard Sattler has been taken off air for being "disrespectful and irrelevant" in quizzing the PM over her partner's sexuality.
On Sattler’s Drive show yesterday, Ms Gillard was asked about the recent offensive menu saga, if she ever wanted to be a teacher, her lack of religious belief and the topic of same-sex marriage.
After discussing topics for 12 minutes, Sattler then asked Ms Gillard if he could address some of the rumours about her partner Tim Mathieson's sexuality.
“That’s absurd,” she said to Sattler.
Sattler prompted her further: "But you hear it, ‘he must be gay, he’s a hairdresser’."
Ms Gillard refused to be drawn on the controversial comments.
“I mean Howard, I don’t know if every silly thing that gets said is going to be repeated to me now,” Ms Gillard replied.
“To all the hairdressers out there, including the men who are listening, I don’t think in life one can actually look at a whole profession full of different human beings and say ‘gee we know something about every one of those human beings'.”
14 June, 2013
Must not speak the truth about black and Hispanic crime
A coalition of civil rights organizations has filed a misconduct complaint against a conservative judge on the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for allegedly discriminatory comments she made during a speech. Judge Edith Jones of Houston addressed the University of Pennsylvania law school on Feb. 20.
Jones, who is white, is accused of saying that certain "racial groups like African-Americans and Hispanics are predisposed to crime," and are "prone to commit acts of violence" and be involved in more violent and "heinous" crimes than people of other ethnicities.
The judge also allegedly said Mexicans would prefer to be on death row in the United States than serving prison terms in their native country, and that it's an insult for the U.S. to look to the laws of other countries such as Mexico.
Her comments were not recorded, but five students and one attorney who were in attendance signed affidavits on what was said.
Dr. Verenice Gutierrez, a principal with Oregon’s Portland Public Schools, has become convinced that America’s “white culture” negatively influences educators’ world view and the manner in which they teach their students.
For instance, last year a teacher in the district presented a lesson that included a reference to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Gutierrez says that by using sandwiches as an illustration, the teacher was engaged in a very subtle form of racism.
“What about Somali or Hispanic students, who might not eat sandwiches?” asked Gutierrez, according to Portland Tribune. “Another way would be to say: ‘Americans eat peanut butter and jelly, do you have anything like that?’ Let them tell you. Maybe they eat torta. Or pita.”
Gutierrez is not the only Portland administrator who has become obsessed with identifying such forms of alleged racism. Almost all Portland school leaders have gone through “Coaching for Educational Equity,” a week-long seminar on race that’s conducted by the Pacific Educational Group.
In addition to teaching that peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are racist, PEG trains educators to view “rugged individualism,” “adherence to rigid time schedules,” and the belief that “hard work is the key to success” as traits of the dominant white culture.
PEG teaches that minority cultures value “color group collectivism,” “interdependence,” group success, shared property, learning through social relationships, and making life choices based on “what will be best for the family or group.”
So how’s this new approach working for Gutierrez’s school?
The Tribune reports that “Oregon’s Department of Education just last month identified Harvey Scott School (where Gutierrez is principal) as a ‘focus school,’ which means it’s among the state’s lowest performing 15 percent.”
Perhaps if the staff spent more time on academic fundamentals, instead of obsessing about non-existent racial issues, the students would learn more.
We wonder how taxpayers will react when they discover Portland officials are wasting precious time and money to promote an ideology that may soon classify peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as a “hate food.”
13 June, 2013
Scapegoating Facebook over "hate speech"
It’s Facebook’s problem, right? Everyone says so. It’s all over the news. The New York Times editorial board thinks the problem is related to sexism in technology and Internet companies that are mostly run by men. GigaOM sees it as a slippery slope for free speech.
Whatever the opinion, the debate has focused entirely and singularly on Facebook. Nobody, and I mean nobody, is calling out the real perpetrators of the hate speech on Facebook: those who actually posted it.
Not only that, but if you Google “Facebook Hate Speech,” you get far more results (148 million, to be exact) than any other search term related to hate speech or violence against women, and that includes phrases related to India, Muslim nations, or Hip Hop music.
If everyone is so concerned about violence against women, there are far more egregious targets to go after than attacking Facebook for not taking down a page called “Kicking your Girlfriend in the Fanny because she won’t make you a Sandwich.”
Granted, there are more concerting posts on Facebook than that one, but nothing that even registers in comparison to what’s going on in India, some parts of the middle east, and rap lyrics and videos. So why is Facebook bearing the brunt of all this attention?
Because, we live in a very strange world. A politically correct world. A world where personal responsibility is no longer relevant. A world where everyone talks about blame 24/7 but nobody ever blames those actually responsible for wrongdoing.
The reason why nobody’s calling out the real perpetrators of all the hate speech and violence against women and others is that we live in a world where it’s only acceptable to blame five groups for anything: rich people, white men, CEOs, corporations, and the United States of America.
You can’t blame the morons who posted those idiotic Facebook pages or the barbaric treatment of women by entire cultures in other parts of the world because that wouldn’t be inclusive. After all, they’re minorities, members of some sort of protected class, victims of the man and American imperialism.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has described a menu distributed at an opposition party fundraiser that made crude and derogatory comments about her body as "grossly sexist".
The menu was presented at a dinner for former minister and Liberal National Party election candidate Mal Brough.
It offered up "Julia Gillard Kentucky Fried Quail - Small Breasts, Huge Thighs and a Big Red Box".
Opposition leader Tony Abbott condemned the incident, calling the menu "tacky". "I condemn it, as Mal Brough has. We should all be bigger and better than that," he said. "We should be appealing to every Australian's best self as we go into this election."
The fundraising dinner, in late March, was attended by about 20 people, with shadow treasurer Joe Hockey as the guest of honour.
The menu card in question also mocked former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and two other Labor party lawmakers, as well as the Greens.
Both Mr Hockey and Mr Brough have told local media they do not recall having seen the menu.
Mr Brough - who has apologised - said the text was drawn up by a non-party member who was "deeply apologetic", the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.
Risky humor again
12 June, 2013
Athletes’ remarks about homosexuality are often overstated
Following the Indiana Pacers’ Game 6 victory in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals on June 1, star center Roy Hibbert made comments that many people deemed offensive.
When asked about assisting teammate Paul George with guarding Miami Heat superstar LeBron James, according to Yahoo! Sports, Hibbert said, “I really felt that I let Paul down in terms of having his back when LeBron was scoring in the post or getting to the paint, because they stretched me out so much. No homo.”
“No homo” is a slang expression used prominently in mainstream rap music and by young American males as a way of distancing themselves from words or actions that could be viewed as homosexual.
After he released what appears to be a sincere apology, Hibbert was fined $75,000 and is receiving harsh criticism from members of the media, league officials and fans alike, according to Yahoo! Sports.
While I cannot begin to understand how hurtful homophobic slurs can be to members of the gay community, I believe categorizing Hibbert as a homophobic villain is overkill. The comments were certainly in poor taste and as someone in the spotlight, Hibbert should have known that joking about such a sensitive topic would not be warmly received.
But to me, Hibbert’s “no homo” statement was nothing more than an off-color joke and clearly does not reflect his genuine beliefs with regard to homosexual lifestyle. Sure, he should have to accept the consequences, but there is simply no reason to villainize someone for making an off-the-cuff joke after winning the biggest game of his life.
No free speech for conservatives
Not if the Left have their way. UKIP is a British conservative party, more conservative than the Conservatives
Following shortly on the heels of the disruption of UKIP leader Nigel Farage's visit to Scotland, a group of aggressive protestors sought on Monday night to shout down the eurosceptic party leader at a town hall event in Sussex.
Supporters packed over 400 people into Hove Town Hall on Monday night in order to hear Nigel Farage, but their plans were stalled by a few dozen protestors in the hall, part of a group about 100-strong outside believed to be part of the hard-Left "Unite Against Fascism" (UAF) organisation.
UAF has recently been in the news due to the fact that Woolwich terrorist Michael Adebalojo was filmed giving a hateful and intolerant speech at one of its marches in 2009.
Those who disrupted the event waved European flags and shouted "racist" and "scum" at Farage, who was, according to local reports, met with a large round of applause from the majority of the crowd inside.
Addressing protesters inside the hall, Farage asked: “Why can’t you stay and have a reasonable political debate? Isn’t this kind of behaviour, and the refusal to engage in a democratic process, the very thing you are shouting against?
“If these people believed in democracy they would sit down, listen and have an opportunity to make a counter argument.”
But his presence fuelled tension and fierce opposition outside the building, which was evident when police had to be called to help the UKIP leader leave.
11 June, 2013
CO: Marijuana magazines not porn
Colorado Attorney General John Suthers wrote yesterday that marijuana-related magazines like High Times are not the same as pornography. The statement is a major blow to a law that would have forced cannabis periodicals off newsstands in the state.
Recently passed Colorado law HB 13-1317 would have placed High Times next to Penthouse and Hustler, behind the counter in liquor stores. High Times and the American Civil Liberties Union sued, saying the bill violated the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
GA: State approves “GAYPWR” license plate
This will be a good precedent when conservative and Christian plates are challenged
A gay man will be allowed to order a vanity license plate that describes his sexual orientation, but Georgians’ car tags must not refer to sex acts, weapons, drugs and much else under new rules issued by the state.
The regulations are part of a settlement on Wednesday between the state and Atlanta resident James Cyrus Gilbert, who sued Georgia after officials denied his request for a personalized plate that would read GAYGUY, 4GAYLIB or GAYPWR.
All three phrases sought by Gilbert were on the state’s “bad tag” list, said the lawsuit, which claimed Georgia had violated his First Amendment right to free speech.
In settling the suit, the state allowed Gilbert to pick any of the three choices that were refused in January, said his attorney, Cynthia Counts. He has chosen GAYPWR, she said.
10 June, 2013
"Allah" too? No. That would be freedom of religion
The U.S. Air Force directed a military base to remove a video tribute to First Sergeants because it mentioned the word ‘God’ and might be offensive to atheists or Muslims.
The tribute was created by a chaplain at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. The chaplain wrote a poem titled, “God Created A First Sergeant.” It was later adapted into a video with a narration.
The video was modeled after the Dodge Ram Super Bowl commercial titled, “God Created A Farmer.”
“On the eighth day, God looked down on His creation and said, ‘I need someone who will take care of the Airmen,’” the tribute read. “So God created a First Sergeant.”
Chaplain leadership at the base signed off on the project as well as other base officials and earlier this week the video was posted on YouTube. But it was soon taken down after other officers objected.
“Proliferation of religion is not allowed in the Air Force or military,” wrote the chief of the Air Force News Service Division in an email I obtained. “How would an Agnostic, Atheist or Muslim serving in the military take this video?”
An Air Force spokesperson told Fox News the video was removed for a legal review.
A source with knowledge of the incident tells me that the video was made to simply honor First Sergeants. The chaplain had written the poem several months ago and it was recently turned into a multimedia presentation.
A victory for free speech in Australia
It was unpleasant and foolish speech but clearly within the realm of political comment
IF THE internet put a bunch of cowboys in the saddle, some recent court decisions might have opened the stable doors.
Hero of the hooting and hollering posse is Brett David Starkey, a spammer who is not unrepresentative of a whole bunch of people for whom moderation and manners seem alien concepts.
Starkey sent 88 emails to more than 100 recipients over 46 days calling for the extermination of "left-leaning politicians and their associates".
Directly or through forwarded messages, his emails included assertions that "Australians need to arm themselves against the Labor and Greens parties who are puppets of the trillionaire, criminal global banking families who are conspiring to World Ownership/World Government run by the United Nations".
And: "The Australian Government, elected and staff, are riddled with Rothschild Globalist/Zionists" and that "Humanity has to declare war on all of them and deal with this treasonous filth appropriately".
More seriously in my view, he said former prime minister Kevin Rudd was "a treasonous criminal" who needed to be "jailed or shot" and called for "Labor and Green parties" to be "eliminated from existence".
Such pleasantries earned him 12 months' probation when he appeared in Brisbane Magistrate's Court in December and was convicted of using a carriage service to menace when he sent the emails to 107 people between February and April last year.
However, this week District Court judge Kiernan Dorney overturned the conviction because he was not satisfied the emails were "menacing, harassing or offensive" when applied to the objective "reasonable person" test.
As for "menace" the objective test would imply the receipt of the email would cause apprehension, if not a fear, for the recipient's own safety.
He suggested that the main concern of the recipient might be whether to consign the emails to the "deleted" or the "spam" folder.
Large among the precedents Dorney cited was the split High Court ruling that upheld an appeal by Sheik Man Hafron Monis after he had been charged with using a postal or similar service in a menacing, harassing and offensive way when he sent horrible letters to the families of dead Australian soldiers.
That appeal was upheld because three of the judges agreed that a section of the Criminal Code was inconsistent with the implied constitutional freedom of political communication.
9 June, 2013
Must not mock or disparage women
Facebook has promised to review how it handles gender-based hate speech. The social networking giant made the promise after several feminist groups called the company out.
One group, Women, Action and the Media, published a letter that asks Facebook to take three actions: Recognize speech that trivializes or glorifies violence against girls and women as hate speech and make a commitment that the company will not tolerate this content; effectively train moderators to recognize and remove gender-based hate speech; and effectively train moderators to understand how online harassment differently affects women and men, in part due to the real-world pandemic of violence against women.
"In a world in which hundreds of thousands of women are assaulted daily and where intimate partner violence remains one of the leading causes of death for women around the world, it is not possible to sit on the fence," the open letter said. "We call on Facebook to make the only responsible decision and take swift, clear action on this issue, to bring your policy on rape and domestic violence into line with your own moderation goals and guidelines."
Facebook Admits Shortcomings
Marne Levine, vice president of Global Public Policy at Facebook, responded in a blog post. Levine pointed out that Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities prohibits hate speech -- but also admitted that there are instances of offensive content, including distasteful humor, that are not hate speech according to its definition.
"In recent days, it has become clear that our systems to identify and remove hate speech have failed to work as effectively as we would like, particularly around issues of gender-based hate," Levine said.
"In some cases, content is not being removed as quickly as we want. In other cases, content that should be removed has not been or has been evaluated using outdated criteria....We need to do better -- and we will."
Couple arrested for handing out `End the Fed' fliers
On May 18, activist Mark Passio and his wife, Barb Marinelli, were arrested and handcuffed for distributing "End the Fed" literature near Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Penn. by federal park rangers. The shocking incident was caught on video.
According to Passio's description of events, "I was walking with my wife Barb in Philadelphia from Market Street to Chestnut Street between 5th and 6th Streets, and handed out a few fliers about how the Federal Reserve Bank is de-valuing our nation's currency to people standing in the line at the Liberty Bell location - something I have done almost 20 times in the past. I briefly spoke to a couple of them who asked me for more information."
But then they were stopped by park rangers: "We then proceeded to continue to walk to Chestnut Street when we were stopped by two Park Police who said that I could not hand out fliers without a permit (I had already finished handing them out actually; I had a few left in my hand, and was in the process of leaving the area). They began citing some obscure federal regulation that I had never heard of."
After explaining his rights to the ranger to hand out literature protected by the First Amendment, Passio explained, "I then proceeded to attempt to walk away toward Fifth Street on Chestnut Street, when these Park Police told me that I was not free to walk away from them, even though I had long since finished handing anyone any fliers and had done absolutely nothing to harm anyone or violate anyone else's rights."
Now, to the law, First Amendment jurisprudence does allow government rules to allot certain time and place restrictions for where public assemblies, leafleting and the like may take place.
Further, federal regulations require that public parks allot certain areas for use of public assembly, demonstrations, leafleting, etc.: "Demonstrations are allowed within park areas designated as available" by the park superintendent "on a map, which must be available in the office of the superintendent and by public notice under 1.7 of this chapter, the locations designated as available for demonstrations and the sale or distribution of printed matter."
Per the regulation, the park superintendent does indeed provide such a map, and sure enough, it turns out Passio and his wife were actually within one of the designated areas where assembly and distribution of materials was permitted according to Independence Hall's 2013 compendium: "The following park areas are designated as areas for public assemblies [include the] first block of Independence Mall: bounded north by Market St., east by 5th St., and south by Chestnut St. and west by 6th St."
Exactly where Passio writes he was walking.
7 June, 2013
Lindsey Graham Hates Blogs, Free Speech
Are we starting to get under the skin of U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (RINO-S.C.)? At first glance it would appear that way …
Graham, a frequent target of this website’s criticism (due to his frequent awfulness), suggested this week that bloggers don’t deserve one of the most basic freedoms guaranteed to all Americans under the U.S. Bill of Rights.
“Who is a journalist is a question we need to ask ourselves,” Graham said earlier this week. “Is any blogger out there saying anything – do they deserve First Amendment protection? These are the issues of our times.”
Wait … what? Did this guy just imply that bloggers don’t deserve First Amendment protection? Because last time we checked that was a right guaranteed to everybody.
Librarians getting scared off free speech
When publishers sue librarians over legitimate critiques, we can all agree that's a threat to our academic freedom. It's another thing when the federal government refers to a vague "blueprint" for controlling sex-related speech on campus. Campus information experts may be able to help.
Consequences of a sexual harassment claim are so damaging that any reasonably sensible academic librarian would avoid sexual references, innuendos, humor, or contact in almost any campus interaction. That includes both what happens in the classroom and office. Given the almost infinite number of research examples that a librarian educator could employ, intentionally selecting any sex-related topic, even a legitimate topic such as sex trafficking, presents a questionable choice.
One never knows for sure how any student might respond. Is proving your freedom to choose any topic worth the hassle of being accused of subjecting a student to language or images that made him or her feel harassed?
Unless an instructor specifically asks a librarian to use a topic that is sexual in nature, then it might be wise to avoid it entirely. While that may strike us as extremely unfortunate, and perhaps even cowardly, avoiding sexual topics may simply be smart educating in an environment where the federal government seeks to enforce speech code rules so broad and vague in nature that almost any sexual reference could lead to trouble.
6 June, 2013
Controversial food claim in the Middle East
I can't remember the first time I ate za'atar, but I know I've been eating it my whole life.
It's a tasty spice blend, deep green in color, and until this week, I had never given it much thought. For me, an Israeli-American, born in the U.S. and now living in Tel Aviv, 20 minutes from the town where my father was born, za'atar was just what you sprinkle on your salad for an added pop of flavor. It's a mix of dried herbs -- usually oregano, thyme and marjoram -- and it makes a great dusting on top of hummus or labaneh, the thick, super-strained yogurt I routinely enjoy for breakfast. It often has sesame seeds and some chunky crystals of salt blended in, making za'atar a handy spice rub for lamb or other grilled meats. It's just food: harmless, delicious, and totally benign. It's certainly not political.
But then last week I wrote a short, simple, 200-word piece on the herb blend for an Israeli newspaper, explaining the spice to tourists who visit the country and might be curious about it. And suddenly, faster than you can say "retweet," I realized that in this part of the world, it's not just land that's contentious. It's the very contents of your lunch.
I filed the text, describing the spice blend as a Middle Eastern favorite enjoyed by Israelis. An anonymous web editor was left in charge of selecting a photo and writing a headline. The piece ran with a title calling za'atar "The Spice of Israel" and a picture of an Arab, headscarf-wearing woman hand-sorting the mix.
Within moments, the armchair outrage of online commentators began clogging up my Twitter feed. "In the latest step of its ongoing psychological war with Hezbollah, Israelis claim za'atar," tweeted Foreign Policy's David Kenner.
"Za'atar, the spice of Israel. Oh dear, this could start a war," wrote the Guardian's Brian Whitaker.
And from Muhammad Karim, a marketing manager for the BBC: "WTF?!? -à 'Za'atar, the spice of Israel,' this could spark some violence. They're stealing the whole culture now..."
U.S. Air Force Says Painting that References Bible Verse Violates Rules
Freedom of religion for Muslims only?
An inspirational painting that referenced a Bible verse has been removed from a dining hall at Mountain Home Air Force Base after an anti-religion group filed a complaint.
The painting featured a medieval crusader and referenced Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation called the painting “repugnant” and an “overt display of Christian nationalism.”
They allegedly received a complaint from someone at the base who said the picture made “me feel terribly uncomfortable, disheartened and disappointed.”
“I have been extremely disturbed and shocked by a clearly Christian picture of religious supremacy very prominently hanging in the dining facility of our Air Force Base, the unidentified complainant states in an email. “I and countless other Airmen were forced to look at this ‘Crusader/USAF’ painting while we ate.”
Col. Christopher Short, the commander of the 366th Fighter Wing told me the art work was removed as soon as he was made aware.
5 June, 2013
British Christian awarded compension after 'racist' letter from halal meat farm
A Christian has been awarded £2,500 compensation after complaining he was targeted by a “racist” email while working at a Birmingham halal meat firm.
Christopher Turton was one of only two white workers at the National Halal Food group in Harborne Road, Edgbaston, and worked alongside up to 300 Muslims.
He had been promoted to National Concessional Manager for the company when the email was sent between fellow employees.
It questioned if Mr Turton had been favoured in landing his new role, asking: "Is it because he is white?" and also pointed out he was not a ‘Muslim brother’.
The tribunal was told that Mr Turton found the email “extremely offensive” and was made to feel alienated. He was off work with stress and eventually resigned.
He took the company to tribunal, seeking compensation for race and religious discrimination.
Tribunal judge Miss Victoria Dean said Mr Turton had found the email racist and offensive and said there had been an injury to his feelings.
She initially awarded him £3,000 but this was reduced by 15 per cent to £2,550 because he had failed to lodge an official grievance to the firm.
A bit unfair to have the company pay for what was said by some of their employees.
Australia: Brown people cannot be boys
"Boy" can simply be an accusation that the other person is juvenile. The following controversy is about members of a football club
Allegations of racism at a recent Manly board meeting may be heard by an independent tribunal after the NRL initiated a disputes process following an official complaint by Sea Eagles director Darrell Williams.
NRL chief executive Dave Smith made it clear the accusation by Williams against fellow director Rick Penn was being taken seriously when he announced on Sunday that an independent conciliator would be appointed.
If Williams, who claims Penn referred to him by the racially derogatory term "boy" during a board meeting on April 4, is not satisfied after the arbitration process, he can then ask to have the matter heard by a tribunal.
"We have advised both parties that any suggestion of racism has to be treated seriously," Smith said.
4 June, 2013
U.S. Attorney: Anti-Muslim Speech Could Be a Civil Rights Violation
Does civil rights law trump the 1st Amendment? Simple answer: NO
A U.S. attorney in Tennessee is reportedly suggesting that anti-Islam postings on social media could actually be considered civil rights violations.
Bill Killian, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, told the Tullahoma News that inflammatory or hateful posts could potentially run afoul of the law. He will speak next week alongside the head of the FBI’s Knoxville office at a meeting sponsored by a local American Muslim advisory group.
He pointed to a Tennessee county commissioner who posted an image of a man aiming a double-barreled shotgun to Facebook with the caption, “How to wink at a Muslim.”
The Justice Department did not respond to a request from Politico about what it considers offensive speech about Islam, or about using civil rights law to prohibit it.
Australia: Must not suggest that dealing with Sudanese is difficult
Considering the primitive and violent background of the Sudanese, it would be surprising if they were not difficult -- but reality must be ignored, of course
POLICE in Melbourne's west have been caught mocking African migrants and their local community on racist stubby holders.
Chief Commissioner Ken Lay has vowed to act against those responsible, and senior officers have slammed them as "offensive".
About 50 of the drink coolers are believed to have been made up for, and distributed among, officers in Sunshine, which has a large refugee community.
On one side of the stubby holders is a cartoon image of a mudfish and the words: "Sunshine police. Whoever says Sunshine brings happiness has never worked here."
"Mudfish" or "muddie" is derogatory slang for Africans, referencing the bottom-feeder species that is a common food source in Sudan and other countries.
The other side takes a further dig at the many refugees from Sudan and other war-torn nations who do not know their date of birth, proclaiming: "My date of birth is 01/01/?"
The items were produced last year and have been used regularly at the station's "mongrel" drinking nights.
"It's extremely disturbing," said Tamar Hopkins, principal solicitor at Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre. "It's about ghettoising a whole area. It's appalling. This is really shocking."
3 June, 2013
Anti-Muslim speech disallowed in Australia
After what Muslims have done and keep doing, people must be expected to be angry about it. Australia has even had it's own "9/11", when 88 Australians were killed in Bali by Muslim bombers. But any anger about such things is "bigotry" according to the Leftist elite who run most of the Western world
Australian Defence Force personnel, paramedics and a NSW rural firefighter have been caught posting racist and religious slurs on social media pages despite the furore over the racist insults directed at AFL star Adam Goodes.
All three organisations have launched investigations after receiving a stream of complaints that their employees and volunteers have been posting the comments on known race-hate and Facebook pages over the past week. All of the people involved clearly identified themselves on social media pages, some posting pictures of ambulances, firetrucks and themselves in uniform, as well as identifying their work position or organisation.
One message on a hate page, understood to be from a serving soldier, said: "My mates wife ripped the scarf of a muzzos head, after she run up the arse of their Porsche, it was so she could see where she was going next time."
Another serving officer, who had been the subject of a complaint to Defence in the past two weeks, was again posting comments on Friday about Muslims, saying, "Kill em all."
The ambulance officer contributed to a group post about a Muslim person the group wanted to "kill or deport".
One of the hate messages put up just a few days ago by the rural firefighter said: "We as Australians have a 'CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT' to freedom of speech. But you go ahead and voice your opinion and the government say it is wrong. SO I sayd [sic] F--- the government Send all the f---ing Muslims back to their own country and then nuke the place. No more problems with the c---s."
A Defence spokeswoman confirmed the Office of the Inspector-General of Defence was investigating the fresh allegations of inappropriate comments made by Defence members on social media sites. "If any investigation determines that inappropriate behaviour has occurred, the matter will be referred to the relevant service for action."
In 2011 Facebook and YouTube postings by a small number of Australian soldiers in Afghanistan sparked controversy. Videos showed soldiers referring to Afghans as "sand coons", "dune coons", "niggers", "smelly locals" and a "raghead".
Last year the ABC uncovered a Facebook group where serving and ex-military personnel were swapping bawdy comments about women and offensive remarks about Muslims.
ADF investigations will also examine comments, such as "Death to Islam", which were posted by a man wearing what appeared to be an Australian army uniform.
Free speech enemies still driven by their hate
Just when a group of Texas high school cheerleaders thought their fight for free speech was over, their school district has decided to go on offense. Kountze Independent School District has decided to appeal a state judge’s ruling that allowed the girls to paint Bible verses on run-through banners.
Earlier this month, State District Judge Steve Thomas determined that no law “prohibits cheerleaders from using religious-themed banners at school sporting events.”
Before that, the district, in response to a letter of complaint from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, forbade the squad from further use of scripture—like “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”—on its banners. The squad fought back, with help from The Liberty Institute, and won its case in court.
Hiram Sasser, director of litigation for Liberty Institute, criticized the district for continuing to spend taxpayer money on unnecessary litigation.
“I do not understand why the school district cannot simply accept that it lost and move on instead of continuing to fight against these cheerleaders who simply wanted to encourage the players with uplifting messages,” he said.
2 June, 2013
"Hate speech" in Britain
A comment from Ireland
Let's put it this way, how fair is it that you can be arrested for using the word 'n*gger' in a tweet while Anjem Choudary openly boasts of sending hundreds of young men to kill British soldiers in Afghanistan and his followers carry placards with such cheery sentiments as 'behead those who insult Islam'?
And it's not just Britain he has his eye on – I remember debating Choudary in Dublin a few years back when he declared Ireland a worthy target for jihad because we let the Americans use Shannon as a stopover.
He also said that Irish gays and 'perverts' and atheists should all be subject to the punishments of that lovely Sharia law.
I remember being dismissed at the time as a racist and a bigot – I was genuinely shocked at just how patheticially accomodating the organisers were towards Choudray and his rabble. At the pre-debate meal, non-Muslims were expected to eat halal food and out of respect for the Muslim guests no wine was served, meaning that everyone else was expected to conform to Muslim dietary commands – under pain of being seen as 'intolerant' if they objected. I left and ate elsewhere.
In fact, when I said him and his followers were worthless savages who wanted to drag us back to the Stone Age, this was dismissed as hate speech which only 'demonised' Islam. In fact, one person there threatened to report me to the gardaí [police] for incitement to hatred.
Excerpt from a review of the Andrew Breitbart documentary
Marcus said what motivated Breitbart was a desire to expose the political left as a “hate machine.”
“Breitbart’s message was that if you don’t go along with the politically correct message of the radical left, then the leftist activists and media turn on you and try to destroy you,” Marcus said.
“Breitbart very much wanted to confront and expose that tactic for what it is – intolerant and hateful. His point was the radical left hates anyone who doesn’t agree with them. ‘Hating Breitbart’ was not only the title of the documentary, it was what Breitbart wanted to explain the radical left was all about.”
"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"
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"?
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.
DETAILS OF REGULARLY UPDATED BLOGS BY JOHN RAY:
"Dissecting Leftism" (Backup here)
"Education Watch International"
"Political Correctness Watch"
"Food & Health Skeptic"
"Immigration Watch International" blog.