"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press"

This document is part of an archive of postings on Tongue Tied, a blog hosted by Blogspot who are in turn owned by Google. The index to the archive is available here or here. Indexes to my other blogs can be located here or here. Archives do accompany my original postings but, given the animus towards conservative writing on Google and other internet institutions, their permanence is uncertain. These alternative archives help ensure a more permanent record of what I have written. My Home Page. My Recipes. My alternative Wikipedia. My Blogroll. Email me (John Ray) here. NOTE: The short comments that I have in the side column of the primary site for this blog are now given at the foot of this document.


31 March, 2019

Facebook BANS white nationalism and white separatism from its platform and Instagram as it attempts to bring down the hammer on extremist content

It is disturbing that criticism of immigration will be included in the ban.  A great deal of perfectly reasonable discourse could fall under that

And what about "Make America great".  That would see to fall squarely within the range of banned expressions

Will posts expressing Muslim supremacy be banned too?  Claims that Islam will and should rule everywhere are very common in Muslim discourse.

And does the ban apply to Hindu nationalism?  "Hindutva" is the creed of India's current governing party.  Yogi Adityanath,  chief minister of India’s most populous state, has claimed that Hindus are “preparing for religious war” and has called Muslims “a crop of two-legged animals that has to be stopped.” There are actual anti-Muslim riots in India. Many Indians would take great offence at censorship of "Hindutva" expressions

Facebook has banned white nationalism and white separatist posts from its platform, in what likely constitutes its most aggressive action against extremist content yet.

The policy will be put in place starting next week and will affect all of Facebook's nearly 2 billion-wide user base, in addition to Instagram, the firm announced.

'It’s clear that these concepts are deeply linked to organized hate groups and have no place on our services,' Facebook wrote in a blog post. 

The social media giant has removed posts from extremist groups in the past for violating its policies around hate speech and abuse, but has historically fallen short of outright banning posts of this kind.

Previously, Facebook only banned posts promoting white supremacism. The firm decided today that it will now ban white nationalist and white separatist posts from its platform.

Civil rights groups argued that the three extremist ideologies were indistinguishable and should all be banned.

Posts that include statements like 'I am a proud white nationalist' and 'Immigration is tearing this country apart' will immediately be banned.

Prior to Wednesday's decision, Facebook had only prevented users from sharing messages that promoted white supremacy.

'Going forward, while people will still be able to demonstrate pride in their ethnic heritage, we will not tolerate praise or support for white nationalism and separatism.'

Highlighting the thorniness of policing extremist content, Facebook said implicit and coded white nationalism and white separatism will not be removed from the site immediately, as it's harder to detect and remove.

Facebook said it will also rely on machine learning and artificial intelligence to remove white nationalist, separatist and supremacist content.

The Muslim Public Affairs Council called the decision a 'win against white supremacy' and said it has met with the firm, including Sandberg, to urge them to take a harder stance against all forms of hate speech on Facebook.


Twitter plans to 'label' Donald Trump's tweets if they break its rules

Twitter is considering applying labels to tweets from public figures such as Donald Trump if they break the social network's rules, as an alternative to banning accounts.

The company has exempted tweets from world leaders from the rules it applies to most accounts, saying there is a public interest reason to keep them online, even if they share messages that incite violence or could be perceived as bullying.

“One of the things we’re working really closely on with our product and engineering folks is, ‘How can we label that?’ ” Vijaya Gadde, the company’s chief of legal, policy, and trust and safety said during a Washington Post Live event in San Francisco on Wednesday.

“How can we put some context around it so people are aware that that content is actually a violation of our rules and it is serving a particular purpose in remaining on the platform.”

Twitter has been accused of hypocrisy for allowing Trump to remain on the platform despite sharing videos or media that would cause another account holder to be banned.

Trump caused a storm in 2017 when he appeared to threaten North Korea leader Kim Jong-un, writing: “Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N.If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won't be around much longer!” Threats are against the company guidelines. At the time, Twitter’s spokesman said they would not remove the tweet despite it breaking its rules because it was deemed “newsworthy”.


29 March, 2019

New Zealand tradie sacked for Muslim comments

I gather he mentioned attacks by Jihadis. New Zealanders are a very righteous lot so having their huge virtue displays shown up as unbalanced would grate on them

A man lost his job after making comments about Muslims following the Christchurch terror attack. Thomas Knight-Wagener now says he regrets what he said and is gutted to have lost his job at Placemakers Albany after just four days in the role.

Mr Knight-Wagener, who got the job through labour hire organisation Tradestaff, said he and some colleagues were chatting about the terror attack the day after it happened when he decided to put his two cents in.

“Having an intellectual conversation about the comprehensive state of the Islamic movement on a global scale got me fired,” he said. “I didn’t talk much about the Christchurch shooting, but that’s how the conversation started.”

Mr Knight-Wagener said while talking about the shooting he digressed to mention what he had seen in news reports about the behaviour of Muslims living in the UK that “had been shown to be violent and destructive”.

“I elaborated on the current state of the UK in regards to the growing Islamic community and the crimes against the people in these communities,” he said. “I said no swear words and was not abusive or aggressive in my manner. I was simply stating facts ... which no one wanted to hear obviously.”

He then shut the conversation down and carried on with his work.

Mr Knight-Wagener, originally from Kaitaia [Northern NZ], said he returned to work on the Tuesday but when he went in on the Wednesday, he was told by the manager he had been assigned a new job by Tradestaff.

When he questioned why he had been moved on, he claimed the manager replied “something was said on Saturday about the Christchurch shooting”.

He claimed the manager said one of the team members were offended by his comments and that Mr Knight-Wagener didn’t fit in with the team. “Loose lips sink ships,” he said. “It is a fair reason for dismissing someone, in my opinion, but only if it is an ongoing issue.”

He said he knew as soon as the words came out of his mouth that he’d said the wrong thing. “I was just remarking on what I’d heard on the news,” he said.

“And as I said it, I thought it’s just appalling the way it sounds as it’s coming out of my mouth and I thought I’m gonna stop talking about it.”

When questioned whether he was a right-wing radical, Mr Knight-Wagener said he wasn’t sure what right or left wing was but he was a supporter of Milo Yiannopoulos — a far-right British speaker who was last week banned from Australia after he blamed the Christchurch terror attack on “extremist leftism and barbaric, alien religious cultures”.

He said he liked Yiannopoulos due to his opinion which created debates. However, he said he had no problem with Muslims, didn’t condone the attack and said people shouldn’t be dying.

Losing his job meant he was now having to move down to Bay of Plenty and pick fruit, a situation he says was not ideal given he was a qualified engineer. “It’s a shambles, to say the least,” he said.

He admitted he was known to be “a bit outspoken” and had decided to speak out to warn others about keeping their opinions on the issue to themselves.

“I’m just wondering how many other people this has happened to? It was just gossiping about what happened, and I lose my job,” he said.

A PlaceMakers spokeswoman said she couldn’t comment on specific employment cases within the business.

“But we have clear company values which include being respectful of our fellow employees, customers and the community,” she said. “Expressing or spreading prejudiced views against any religious or ethnic group does not fit with our culture.”


Experts call for the word 'cyclist' to be BANNED because it 'dehumanises' people who ride bikes

How about "biker"?

Experts have called for the word 'cyclist' to be banned because they believe the term 'dehumanises' people who ride bikes.

A new study, conducted by researchers at Queensland University of Technology and Monash University, found there was a link between the dehumanisation of cyclists and deliberate acts of aggression directed towards them on the road.

QUT professor Narelle Haworth said the study, which questioned 442 people in Victoria, NSW and Queensland, found 55 per cent of non-cyclists rated cyclists as 'not completely human'.

She is behind a push to scrap the word 'cyclist' and replace it with the term 'people who ride bikes'.

Professor Haworth, who is also the Director of the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety- Queensland, said it was important for drivers to view cyclists as real people.

'If we used the term people on bikes, instead of cyclists, we're giving a term that is more human-like and less like a species,' Professor Haworth told Daily Mail Australia.


28 March, 2019

British Police officer sacked for abusing staff at takeaway wins job back

If only all Brits were treated so leniently

A policewoman who was sacked after she racially abused takeaway staff has been allowed to return to the beat after claiming her remarks "were not the worst kind of racism".

Pc Katie Barratt was dismissed over racist comments she made following a Northumbria Police Christmas party in 2017. However, a panel overturned the "unreasonable" dismissal in a ruling on Monday.

It means Pc Barratt can return to the beat, while the force will have to hand her at least £15,000 in back pay.

Pc Barratt was waiting to be served in the Spice of Punjab, when she said in front of colleagues: "I wish these f------ p---- would hurry up with my pizza".

It was also claimed she had called them "n-----s, something Pc Barratt never denied.

The panel heard staff had been buying Pc Barratt drinks all night at the 2017 Christmas "jolly" but she had since addressed that.   "She's not touched a drop of drink after this incident," said Mr Landenburg.

And he said she felt that she shouldn't have been sacked "because it is not the worst kind of racism".

Instead he claimed it was a one-off for which she should be given a second chance rather than the "nuclear option" of dismissal.

She and her mother wept as she was given the green light to resume her career as an officer. The force had fought to block her return, claiming her slurs could "seriously damage" the police's reputation. "Sadly it confirms a stereotype that is unfortunately held in some communities about the police," said the force's barrister Steven Reid.

Questions will now also be asked over whether Pc Barratt can work well with Asian communities. The panel heard she would find that hard after her picture was widely used in national media. And even her own barrister admitted the slurs she used were an "abomination".

Mr Reid said  the force felt no racism from an officer - on or off-duty - was ever acceptable.

"The appellant didn't go out that night to deliberately racially abuse members of the public," he stated. "But the fact remains she did."

The three-person panel downgraded her punishment to a final warning after two hours of deliberations.


British University bans Free Speech Society from hosting talk on alleged extremists

Muslims rule

The author of a report into alleged extremist speakers on British campuses has been banned from an event at a university her study strongly criticises.

Bristol University cancelled a talk being given by the author of the University Extreme Speakers League Table, in which it was placed tenth.

Emma Fox, a research fellow at the Henry Jackson Society, was  informed hours before the event - hosted by the University of Bristol’s Free Speech Society - it was being cancelled on security grounds.

The university called off the talk after a threat of protests organised by its Islamic Society and the Student Union among other groups.


27 March, 2019

Facebook executives could face JAIL if they fail to remove extremist content in new laws touted by Australian PM

This is crazy.  Everybody sees things on Facebook that they find offensive or "extreme".  If they all were allowed to order deletion of what they dislike on Facebook, there would be no Facebook left.  And in the face of criminal penalties, Facebook execs would have to try to please everyone.  Even pictures of cats might go.  Vegans regard them as "carnivores" (which they certainly are) and that to Vegans is deeply offensive

Tech titans would be breaking Australian law if they didn't take down footage of terrorist acts as soon as they learned about it, under proposed changes the prime minister will put to their top brass.

Scott Morrison will discuss violent offences being broadcast on social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube during a meeting in Brisbane on Tuesday.

The meeting comes less than two weeks after the Christchurch mosques massacre, in which 50 people were killed.

A video of the terror attack, in which a lone gunman opened fire at two mosques during Friday prayers, was live-streamed on social media.

Mr Morrison and ministers will ask the tech executives what they're doing to prevent such footage festering online and stress the government will take action if it doesn't believe they are going far enough.

In that regard, the government is drafting laws that would make it illegal for the platforms to not remove footage of extreme violence as soon as they become aware of it.

'We cannot have a situation persist where a 10-year-old Australian, or any Australian for that matter, could log on to Facebook and witness mass murder,' Attorney-General Christian Porter told Nine's Today program on Tuesday.

'That is totally unacceptable.'

The proposed legislation would also allow the government to declare footage of an incident filmed by a perpetrator being hosted on such sites as 'abhorrent violent material'.

That would allow federal authorities to ask social media providers to remove the material, with the platforms receiving greater penalties the longer it is left up.

It is based on existing laws dealing with child exploitation material.

Mr Porter says the government's pressure on social media companies after the Christchurch massacre is akin to the Howard government ramping up gun control after the Port Arthur massacre in 1996.

'What we are doing as a government is what Howard did as a government and responding to the threats as they arise to make Australians safer.'

Facebook took down 1.5 million posts of the footage of the Christchurch shootings but says none of the 200 people who watched the live video of the massacre immediately reported it.

The first user report about the original video was made 29 minutes after it was posted - 12 minutes after the live broadcast ended - the company said last week.

The online giants are also being urged to ensure they protect the personal information of Australians who use their platforms, with the government planning far harsher penalties for privacy breaches.


'I'll go to jail for my beliefs' says devout Catholic mother set to be questioned by police for calling someone's transgender daughter 'he' in a tweet

A Catholic journalist has claimed that she will 'go to jail for her beliefs' after it was revealed that she is set to be questioned by police after calling someone's transgender daughter a 'he'.

Caroline Farrow is set to be questioned under caution for incorrectly labelling a transgender woman with the wrong gender.

Mrs Farrow had appeared on the popular morning programme Good Morning Britain back in September. The 44-year-old had participated in a debate with transgender rights campaigner Susie Green. Susie Green is the mother of the youngest ever Briton to change her sex from male to female.

Jackie Green had the surgery when she was 16-years-old and had previously said that her mother had faced 'hostile remarks' from people who 'don't understand the issues surrounding transgender'.

Mrs Farrow and Mrs Green had been debating the Girl Guide's policy of not informing parents if a child who attends the club joins a transgender group. After the heated on-air debate, devoted Catholic Mrs Farrow took to social media to continue the row.

After announcing on Twitter that she had been contacted by police Mrs Farrow said she didn't care about the allegations and that she had done nothing wrong.

'I don't even remember said tweets. This was in September! But I really not got give a flying toss. I have done nothing wrong, nothing illegal and will happily do jail time for my right to say that people cannot change sex. '

Following the heated on-air debate, Mrs Farrow allegedly took to Twitter to continue the spat and during the exchange was accused of referring to Mrs Green's transgender daughter using the wrong pronoun.

Mrs Farrow said she couldn't remember sending the tweets but highlighted that she said 'he' or 'son'.

She is now being investigated for a possible hate crime under the malicious communication act. If found guilty, she could face a two-year prison sentence.


26 March, 2019

Banning of New Zealand gunman’s manifesto sparks debate about free speech

Typical Leftist authoritarianism.  Your betters will decide what you can read.  That the ignoramuses of the Left think they are our betters is the sickening part

New Zealanders are debating the limits of free speech after their chief censor banned a 74-page manifesto written by the man accused of slaughtering 50 people at two mosques in the city of Christchurch.

The ban, issued yesterday, means anybody caught with the document on their computer could face up to 10 years in prison, while anyone caught sending it could face 14 years.

Some say the ban goes too far and risks lending both the document and the gunman mystique.

At the same time, many local media organisations are debating whether to even name the Australian man charged with murder in the March 15 attacks, 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant, after New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern vowed she would never mention him by name.

In some ways, Tarrant’s manifesto provides the greatest insight into his character and thinking, with neighbours and those he met in a gym in the sleepy seaside town of Dunedin recalling nothing particularly remarkable about him.

Chief Censor David Shanks said the manifesto contained justifications for acts of tremendous cruelty like killing children and encourages acts of terrorism, even outlining specific places to target and methods to carry out attacks.

He said that in banning the document, he and his staff worried about drawing more attention to it. But in the end, he said, they decided they needed to treat it the same way as propaganda from groups like the ISIS, which they have also banned.

Mr Shanks had earlier placed a similar ban on the 17-minute lifestream video the killer filmed from a camera mounted on his helmet during the shootings.

He said researchers and journalists could apply for exemptions from both bans.

But while free speech advocates haven’t questioned banning the graphic video, they said banning the manifesto was a step too far.

“People are more confident of each other and their leaders when there is no room left for conspiracy theories, when nothing is hidden,” said Stephen Franks, a constitutional lawyer and spokesman for the Free Speech Coalition.

“The damage and risks are greater from suppressing these things than they are from trusting people to form their own conclusions and to see evil or madness for what it is.”

Mr Franks said he had no interest in reading the manifesto until it was banned, adding the ban made no sense as New Zealanders remained free to read Adolf Hitler’s autobiography, Mein Kampf.

He said he was now curious about Tarrant’s manifesto because it was “forbidden fruit,” and worried others may feel the same way.


The New Zealand massacre is no reason to stop critical discussion of Islam

By Ben Shapiro

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., has unleashed a barrage of openly anti-Semitic commentary. She suggested that Israel had "hypnotized the world." She recently suggested that Jewish money lay behind American support for Israel. Finally, she suggested that American Israel supporters are representatives of dual loyalty. Her fellow Democrats shielded her from blowback by subsuming a resolution that condemns her anti-Semitism within a broader resolution that condemns intolerance of all types. Many of them suggested that labeling Omar's anti-Semitism actually represents a type of censorship — an attempt to quash debate about Israel, though none of Omar's comments even critiqued the Israeli government, and though many on the left have made anti-Israel arguments without invoking anti-Semitism.

Now Omar's defenders have come out of the woodwork to suggest that criticism of her anti-Semitism was somehow responsible for the white supremacist shooting of 50 innocent people in a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand. Two protesters, New York University students and best friends Leen Dweik and Rose Asaf, confronted Chelsea Clinton, who had gently chided Omar for her Jew hatred. "After all that you have done, all the Islamophobia that you have stoked," Dweik screamed, "this, right here, is the result of a massacre stoked by people like you and the words you put out in the world. ... Forty-nine people died because of the rhetoric you put out there." Dweik, it should be noted, has called for the complete elimination of Israel.

Her message was parroted by terror supporter Linda Sarsour, who tweeted: "I am triggered by those who piled on Representative Ilhan Omar and incited a hate mob against her until she got assassination threats now giving condolences to our community. What we need you to do is reflect on how you contribute to islamophobia and stop doing that."

Meanwhile, mainstream commentators attempted to use the New Zealand anti-Muslim terror attack to blame critics of radical Islam. Omer Aziz, writing for The New York Times, slammed Jordan Peterson for calling Islamophobia "a word created by fascists" and Sam Harris for calling it "intellectual blood libel." Bill Maher has come in for similar criticism; so have I, mostly for a video I cut in 2014 in which I read off poll statistics from various Muslim countries on a variety of topics, concluding that a huge percentage of Muslims believed radical things.

Here's the truth: Radical Islam is dangerous. The Islamic world has a serious problem with radical Islam. And large swaths of the Muslim world are, in fact, hostile to Western views on matters ranging from freedom of speech to women's rights. To conflate that obvious truth with the desire to murder innocents in Christchurch is intellectual dishonesty of the highest sort. If we want more Muslims living in liberty and freedom, we must certainly demolish white supremacism — and we must also demolish radical Islam, devotees of which were responsible for an estimated 84,000 deaths in 2017 alone, most of those victims Muslim.

And here's another truth: Anti-Semitism is ugly, whether it's coming from white supremacists or Ilhan Omar. Making that point has nothing to do with the killing of Muslims in Christchurch.

So long as the media continue to push the narrative that criticism of Islam is tantamount to incitement of murder, radical Islam will continue to flourish. So long as the media continue to cover for the dishonest argument that criticism of anti-Semitism forwards the goals of white supremacists, anti-Semitism will continue to flourish. Honest discussion about hard issues isn't incitement.


25 March, 2019

Devin Nunes sues Twitter.  Censorship?    

Below is an excerpt from  a very derisive article in the Leftist Boston Globe about the Devin Nunes lawsuit.  It's almost solid abuse, mostly in the form of poorly-founded mockery.  And in typical Leftist style ends in a non-sequitur.  It claims that Nunes is promoting political censorship when he compains about what is said of him.  But that is a crock.  Defamation and libel have never been protected speech.  So Nunes is changing precisely nothing in speech rules

California Representative Devin Nunes announced a $250?million defamation lawsuit he filed against Twitter as well as three users — Republican strategist Liz Mair, and two parody accounts: the now-suspended @DevinNunesMom and @DevinCow.

Nunes’s suit claims that Twitter is “shadow-banning” conservatives and conservative content, knowingly hosting abusive content (otherwise known as “Twitter”), ignoring complaints about abusive content, and failing to self-regulate and “thereby selectively amplifying the message of defamers such as Mair, Devin Nunes’ Mom and Devin Nunes’ cow.”

Whatever Nunes’s reasoning, the lawsuit recenters a dangerous notion of a state-side regulation of political critique, which, in the hands of this administration, I am going to guess would be handled less gently than migrant children.


New Zealand's Knee-Jerk Response Threatens Liberty

Less than a week after New Zealand suffered one of the worst crimes in its history, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared that she would act to ban "virtually all" types of semiautomatic rifles. Ardern sought to justify her knee-jerk decision by stating, "To owners who have legitimate uses for their guns, I want to reiterate that the actions being announced today are not because of you and are not directed at you. Our actions, on behalf of all New Zealanders, are directed at making sure this never happens again."

Meanwhile, authorities in New Zealand have been busy arresting several individuals for sharing a 17-minute video the perpetrator live-streamed as he engaged in his massacre. New Zealand's Chief Censor — yes, you read that right — David Shanks justified the arrests on "hate speech" grounds, stating, "It is a record of a terrorist atrocity, specifically produced for the purpose of promoting a hateful terrorist agenda." One of the individuals arrested has been charged with two counts of distributing objectionable material, with each offense carrying a possible 14-year prison sentence should he be found guilty.

The irony here is simply dumbfounding, and it should make all Americans thankful for our Constitution and Bill of Rights. First off, following the massacre, Ardern publicly vowed that she would not name the perpetrator so as to deny him notoriety and instead "give him nothing." Her desire not to give this criminal notoriety is certainly commendable, but the true irony lies in the fact that she has actually given in to his stated objective. She has acted to revoke the individual rights of innocent Kiwis by acting to ban semiautomatic rifles. In so doing, she unwittingly accepts and implements the murderer's goals, written down in his trolling manifesto. So much for not naming him.

Among the myriad of motives the perpetrator lists were attacks against individual rights and specifically America's Second Amendment. Speaking like a true neo-Nazi, he advocated for race-based collectivism over and against individual liberty.

The sad reality is that the New Zealand government's knee-jerk reactions to this horrific crime only further the impact of that crime. Officials have caved to the will of a madman by robbing the entire population of New Zealand of their individual rights, all in the name of providing the impossible — "safety" from evil. What will result is not greater safety, but rather a greater authoritarian governance where the rights and dignity of the individual will be regularly sacrificed for the desires of the political overlords.

And it comes as no surprise that the Leftmedia in our nation celebrates Ardern's Liberty-crushing actions. The Washington Post's editorial board sanctimoniously lectures, "New Zealand is showing America how to respond to mass shootings." Wrong. New Zealand is showing America how life and Liberty would suffer with no constitutional protections.


24 March, 2019

New Zealand Retailer Pulls Jordan Peterson Book after Mosque Shootings

Whitcoulls, New Zealand’s largest bookstore franchise, pulled the work of Jordan Peterson from its shelves Wednesday in response to the mosque shootings that claimed 50 lives in Christchurch last week.

Peterson’s book 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, which contains a chapter addressing the particular strain of nihilism that gave rise to the Columbine and Sandy Hook school shootings, was removed after management learned of “extremely disturbing material being circulated prior, during and after the Christchurch attacks,” according to independent journalist Tim Pool’s correspondence with a Whitcoull’s spokesman.

“As a business which takes our responsibilities to our communities very seriously, we believe it would be wrong to support the author at this time,” the email continues.

While Peterson’s work has been banned, Whitcoulls continues to carry “Islam Unmasked,” a text that purports to reveal “the lies behind [Islamic] doctrines” and “the futility of [Islamic] practices.”

David Seymour, who leads New Zealand’s conservative ACT party, told Newshub that banning the book will have the opposite of its intended effect.

“You don’t fight neo-Nazism by suppressing reading and books. Anyone who knows any history knows that’s the opposite of how you fight these kind of ideas,” said Seymour. “A self-help book is an incredibly strange thing to suppress. I think Whitcoulls have made the wrong decision, but I respect they’re a private company, it’s their right.”


Trump Acts to Protect Free Speech at America's Universities

His EO threatens to withhold research grants to schools that don't promote and protect free speech.

“Under the policy I announced today, federal agencies will use their authority under various grant-making programs to ensure that public universities protect [and] cherish … the First Amendment rights of their students, or risk losing billions and billions of dollars in federal taxpayer dollars,” President Donald Trump stated on Thursday as he signed his executive order directing America’s colleges and universities to protect free speech. By signing the executive order, Trump made good on the promise he made at CPAC earlier this month.

Trump defended the need for his order by noting, “Under the guise of speech codes, safe spaces, trigger warnings, these universities tried to restrict free thought, impose total conformity, and shut down the voices of great young Americans. … Taxpayer dollars should not subsidize anti-First Amendment institutions — and that’s exactly what they are, anti-First Amendment. Universities that want taxpayer dollars should promote free speech, not silence free speech.”

Trump’s order is low on specifics, but it does note that only research grant money doled out by the federal government to colleges and universities every year would be affected and not aid programs for federal student loans. As Reason’s Robby Soave observes, Trump’s EO “mostly serves as a declaration of support for the First Amendment, and a sign that the Trump administration is looking at doing something to help graduates drowning in debt.”

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), a nonpartisan free-speech-promoting watchdog organization that rates America’s colleges and universities for their adherence to free speech, gave guarded support for the spirit of order while voicing a wariness to federal overreach. “FIRE will watch closely to see if today’s action furthers the meaningful, lasting policy changes that FIRE has secured over two decades — or results in unintended consequences that threaten free expression and academic freedom.”

When Trump first brought up issuing an executive order on protecting campus free speech, we too agreed with his sentiment but were concerned that it could run into the realm of executive overreach. Upon seeing the order, those concerns are somewhat alleviated, as the order appears to be more of a symbolic gesture designed to publicly highlight the growing problem of silencing speech on many of America’s college and university campuses. Trump is using the presidential bully pulpit to shine a national spotlight on the problem that much of the mainstream media has ignored and that many leftist university professors deny even exits. As he has constantly done in highlighting the leftist bias in the MSM, Trump is similarly seeking to expose the massive leftist bias that exists within the halls of America’s institutions of higher learning.


22 March, 2019

At the University of Florida squelching conservative speech is routine

Several weeks ago, UF's Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) chapter, of which I'm a member, created a “Build the Wall” banner to hang on campus. As a club, we had to get a permit from UF for the banner and our members spent a significant amount of time and money creating it. In a matter of hours, the banner was torn down and stolen by leftists. That evening, the club met to build a new one, only to have it stolen twice the next day.

Leftist students tear down conservative signs, posters, and flyers for speakers they disagree with. It shows a blatant disregard for our First Amendment rights and for the amount of resources our clubs put into activism.   

In all, three police reports were filed, and an officer indicated one student could be charged with theft. Thanks to the efforts of our club members, our speech was protected, but at a hefty price. Guarding a banner for 12 hours a day and having cameras present shouldn’t be a requirement to ensuring speech is protected. In many cases, it’s not even feasible.


Fans hit back after London Fire Brigade blasts Peppa Pig on Twitter using outdated term 'firemen' instead of fighters

Fire chiefs have accused Peppa Pig of sexism after referring to firefighters as 'firemen'

The London Fire Brigade ignited a Twitter storm after they posted the offending cartoon clip and slammed its use of outdated stereotypes.

In a furious rant, the LFB wrote: 'Come on @peppapig, we've not been firemen for 30 years.

However, the post may have been slightly premature - given the episode features Mummy Pig helping out at the fire station.

Despite the initial 'fireman' slip-up, the episode later sees the female character take control of the entire fire station.

The LFB has now been accused of overt political correctness, as many flocked to ridicule the post.

One tongue-in-cheek reply from chingfordjim read: 'It's a cartoon with a make believe pig.'

And mooremusic.biz said: 'While we're at it, why isn't peppa LGBTQIwhatever? We demanded...er...something!'

Razor-sharp DubzLF joked: 'Pssst don't tell Postman Pat*'

While Zeebad replied: 'Is it Postfighter Pat now? I can't keep up.'


21 March, 2019

Controversial photo of female footballer taken down then put back up

Of course a flattering photo of an attractive young woman is going to attract comments.  What is wrong with just deleting the ruder comments?  It's a very good image of an Australian sportswoman

Women's AFL star Tayla Harris has spoken out about the vile comments she received after a photo of her kicking a football was posted online.  

The photo, taken by Michael Wilson, shows Harris' athletic prowess as she drop punts the ball during a match.

Comments on the photo on the 7AFL site were filled vile sexual tones, forcing the image to be taken down - a decision that caused further backlash.

Harris appeared on breakfast radio on Wednesday morning and said some of the comments were 'sexual abuse'.

'I'm feeling empowered this morning. I think because of the reaction that's come, it's been a bit of a whirlwind,' Harris told RSN Radio's Breakfast Club.

'It is really amazing that the AFL community got around me,' the star said, while admitting the issue is now about what authorities can do to stop social media trolling ever being accepted.

The image was captured in a match against the Western Bulldogs, but 7AFL's Twitter post was quickly hijacked by trolls, leading them to replace it with a message about the post.

'The original purpose in publishing the image was to celebrate the power, athleticism and skills on show in Carlton's thrilling win over the Western Bulldogs,' the message read. 'The image attracted a number of comments, some of which were inappropriate and offensive. As a consequence we have removed the image and the comments.'

Fans immediately questioned why the image needed to be taken down and eventually 7AFL posted it again.

'It's with the misogynistic behaviour by the supporters in the comments. Try blocking these accounts from your social media. Take a stand.' one user said.

AFL stars and athletes criticised 7AFL for making the decision to remove the image.

Footballer Darcy Vesico posted: 'Deleting this post is giving into trolls. Also you're eliminating all the positive conversation. Also you're removing more content around women in sport.'


UPDATE:  This story seems to have got a lot of press.  So here is another photo of the lady:

She is about as good-looking as they come -- with a light dusting of freckles only adding to the effect. Her athleticism is not limited to football. She is quite advanced in boxing also. If a man were to harass her, she could quite likely deck him

NZ PM Jacinda Ardern vows to deny accused New Zealand mosque gunman recognition

What Ms Ardern requests is reasonable enough but I am allergic to censorship so when mentioning him henceforth I will name Brenton Tarrant, the Christchurch shooter

New Zealand's prime minister declared Tuesday she would do everything in her power to deny the accused mosque gunman a platform for elevating his white supremacist views, after the man dismissed his lawyer and opted to represent himself at his trial in the killings of 50 people.

"He obviously had a range of reasons for committing this atrocious terrorist attack. Lifting his profile was one of them. And that's something that we can absolutely deny him," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told reporters.

Ardern, who also promised to examine the role social media may have played in the attack, demurred about whether she wanted the trial to occur behind closed doors, saying that was not her decision to make.

"One thing I can assure you — you won't hear me speak his name," she said.

In a passionate speech to Parliament, she urged the public to follow her lead and to avoid giving the gunman the fame he so obviously craves.

"I implore you: Speak the names of those who were lost, rather than the name of the man who took them," she said. "He may have sought notoriety, but we in New Zealand will give him nothing, not even his name."


20 March, 2019

Whistleblower Chelsea Manning jailed for refusing to testify against Julian Assange

Whistleblowers are now being forced to testify against journalists. Troubling.  There is definitely too much secrecy in government

A federal judge ordered whistleblower Chelsea Manning to prison on Friday for refusing to answer questions from a grand jury convened to bring charges against WikiLeaks and its publisher Julian Assange.

Judge Claude H. Hilton of the Federal District Court in the Eastern District of Virginia ruled that Manning must stay in prison until she testifies, and ordered her to be confined in the women’s wing of the federal detention center in Alexandria, Va.

Manning has stood firm and refused to incriminate WikiLeaks and Assange—or any other media organization and individual—over her courageous 2010 disclosure of hundreds of thousands of documents that exposed US war crimes.

The jailing of Manning marks a further escalation of Washington’s drive to force Assange out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he was granted political asylum in 2012. The Trump administration is moving to publicly unveil charges against him and demand the Ecuadorian and British governments comply with a warrant to extradite him to the US on false allegations of espionage or conspiracy.

Although Manning was offered immunity in exchange for testimony—a device employed to entice witnesses to assist prosecutors—she refused to answer any of the Trump administration’s questions, citing her rights under the US Constitution.

Manning, in a press release issued after the hearing, stated:

“Yesterday, I appeared before a secret grand jury after being given immunity for my testimony. All of the substantive questions pertained to my disclosures of information to the public in 2010—answers I provided in extensive testimony, during my court-martial in 2013. I responded to each question with the following statement: ‘I object to the question and refuse to answer on the grounds that the question is in violation of my First, Fourth, and Sixth Amendment, and other statutory rights.’

“On Friday, I will return to federal court in Alexandria, Virginia for a closed contempt hearing. A judge will consider the legal grounds for my refusal to answer questions in front of a grand jury. The court may find me in contempt, and order me to jail.

Horrified by what she saw of US military and diplomatic crimes following her deployment to Baghdad in 2009, Manning leaked a vast array of “classified” documents to WikiLeaks. These included the "Collateral Murder" video showing US helicopter gunships shooting down civilians, including children and two Reuters journalists.

Manning was convicted by the military court under the US Espionage Act for leaking portions of 227 documents. With Barack Obama in the White House, Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison—more time than anyone has ever received for disclosing classified US government records.

In one of his last acts, Obama commuted Manning’s sentence in 2017, but refused to grant her a pardon, ensuring that her conviction remained on her record. A spokesman for Trump, who was about to take office, called the decision to release Manning “disappointing” and “troubling.”

The Obama administration apparently pulled back from charging Assange over Manning’s disclosures because some of the material was published in partnership with leading corporate media organs, including the New York Times, the Guardian, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, El Pais and the Sydney Morning Herald.

Under Trump, the US authorities are seeking to overcome that problem by coercing Manning into saying that WikiLeaks conspired in the leaking of the documents.


Transgender woman demands apology and £2,500 compensation over claims Southern Rail staff twice called her 'SIR'

A transgender woman is demanding an apology and £2,500 in compensation after claiming she was called 'sir' by Southern Rail staff.

Katie Yeomans, 66, said she needed pills to sleep after she was called 'sir' twice while talking to staff. Once when she was asking a question, and again two weeks later when she asked for a platform number.

She is demanding an apology, training for Southern Rail's staff, and compensation.

The train company said it has looked into the incident 'thoroughly' and disputes the claims.

Miss Yeomans told The Brighton Argus: 'It is diabolical. 'I care because I spent five years transitioning and I have all of my legal documentation. 'So whether people like it or not I am a woman and I expect to be treated as a woman. 'I don’t expect to be treated as a man.'

She is upset that despite having gender reassignment surgery almost two years ago, she says she was called 'sir' twice by Southern Rail staff.

On one occasion, she alleges that when trying to speak to a staff member she was told to 'take a seat, sir'.

On another occasion, about two weeks later, she claims that when asking a staff member what platform the Brighton train was on, she was told 'platform number one, sir'.

Miss Yeomans said: 'I find it insulting how people will call me sir and find that acceptable.

She said she believes it is her duty to stand up for other trans women.

'The resolution I’m looking for is an apology. 'I also want reassurance that their equality and diversity training is up to scratch.

'In view of stress and anxiety this case has caused me, I am seeking compensation.' The rail ombudsman can get up to £2,500 in damages.

A Southern Rail spokesman said: 'We have looked into this thoroughly and dispute what has been claimed.

'However with investigations ongoing it would be inappropriate to make any further comment on this particular case.

'We promote diversity within the organisation and across the rail industry.

'We have a popular, active LGBTQ+ community at Southern and Govia Thameslink Railway and are vocal champions of employees who identify as such, celebrating them both internally and in the media.'


19 March, 2019

The censored manifesto

I found it curious how thoroughly the NZ gunman's manifesto was censored.  He sent out many copies but most recipients announced proudly that they were not going to release their copy.  It was only with a fair bit of scouring that I was able to get hold of a copy.

So what motivated the censorship?  What ideas in it were so dangerous that they must be kept from us by our soi disant  betters? Let me offer a rough summary:

There WERE dangerous ideas in it:  But very ordinary ideas, the sort of ideas that are widespread in Western countries.  There are majorities in all Western countries which want the flood of Third world immigrants stopped.  And where those majorities are large enough, the governments of the countries concerned have taken measures that have largely stopped at least the illegal sources of such immigration:  Australia, Norway and most of Eastern Europe.  Even in those countries, however, there are substantial inflows of Third worlders who are accepted legally as "refugees", though many are clearly not true refugees.

Because disrupting the "complacent" societies they live in is the whole aim of most Leftists, however,  Leftists do their best to oppose immigration restrictions and brand immigration opponents with every derogatory name under the sun, of which "racist" is the mildest. Despite his record of support `for minorities, even Mr. Trump is routinely branded by the Left as a "racist" because of his efforts to protect America's borders from a Third world influx.

Given the Leftist role in supporting the undermining of Western societies, it is left to the conservative side of politics to  articulate the common desire to retain their existing social and national arrangements.  It is conservative writers who point to the adverse aspects of largely uncontrolled immigration.  They point to the frequency of immigrant crime and the serious stretching of public services (schools, hospitals, roads) that heavy inflows of low quality immigration causes.  They also point out where demographic projections lead: The much higher immigrant birthrates point to formerly Western countries becoming in time  predominantly Third World countries, with the crime, poverty and general disruption that entails

And the NZ gunman in his manifesto echoes those concerns.  There is nothing new in his manifesto.  It is largely just a compilation of the things that non-Leftists have been saying about Third world immigration.  He is particularly concerned about Muslim immigration because of Islam's aggressive contempt for Western civilization.  He sees Muslims becoming in time an intolerant majority in many Western countries, which will bring hard times for non-Muslims. And the fate of Christians in existing Muslim lands certainly bears out such concerns

So what is different about the NZ gunman?  Is he mentally ill?   Does he have a personality disorder?  There is no sign of it.  Reports from people who know him generally describe him as a normal pleasant person. 

So is he a white supremacist?  It is rather to the contrary. Far from seeing whites as supreme he sees them as vulnerable and threatened, which is roughly the opposite of supreme.  He is not even much of a racist. He speaks warmly of the Pakistanis he met on his visit there and names his chief inspiration as a prominent BLACK American conservative, Candice Owens. And he is certainly no nationalist, white or otherwise.  He is an internationalist concerned for the whole of Western society.

What appears to have set him off is his travels. He has travelled to a bewildering variety of countries and has taken particular note of the immigrant influence there.  And what he has seen and heard of the foul deeds of Jihadis has particularly disgusted and enraged him.  So under heavy pressure of Jihadi reality, he has decided that he should do something about it. For most of us, Jihadi deeds are something that happen somewhere else and have little personal impact on us -- so we put it all out of our minds.  His travels, by contrast, brought it all to the front of his mind. 

So it should be clear why the Left are having orgasms over the manifesto.  It shares with normal conservative writing a dislike  of  Muslim influences and a wish for immigration restrictions.  To the Left that brands all conservatives as potential terrorists and all-round bad eggs.  But that is guilt by association and a violation of natural justice.  And even the association is absurdly weak.  Who is typical of conservatives, the hundreds of millions of conservatives who do NOT become terrorists or the one man who does? 

With the Left, on the other hand the association is much clearer and more troubling.  When Leftists gain unrestricted power -- as with Leftists from Robespierre to Stalin to Mao -- we see where the real murderous potential lies.  Unless restrained by powerful other influences, Leftism always leads to tyranny and mass murder. The deeds of their philosophical allies in other countries ARE a realistic guide to the potential of Western Leftists.

In the unlikely event that they had any humility and balance, Leftists would be asking whether their repeated defence and coverup of Muslim hostility had any role in pushing the NZ gunman into his pushback against Muslim terrorism. On November 5, 2009, for instance, a mass shooting took place at Fort Hood, near Killeen, Texas when Muslim Nidal Hasan fatally shot 13 people and injured more than 30 others.  Rather than Muslim terrorism, the Obama administration insisted that the event had to be referred to as "workplace violence" -- an epic coverup.

To return to the shooter:  Vengeance is a normal human motivation.  It is probably always unwise and is definitely unChristian but it can be a powerful force.  It is perhaps forgiveable where the vengeance targets the original offender but it all too often spreads more widely than that.  And on this occasion it did. For the gunman the problem was a group of people so a group had to be the target.  It is deplorable that the people he targeted were as far as we know innocent men, women and children. But jihadis target innocent men, women and children too so he no doubt thought that they had set the relevant precedent.

I am not going to put up the manifesto on any of my sites.  The all-wise Leftist controllers of our social media would undoubtedly take it down if I did and they might even take down the whole site.  That is why I have offered this summary in lieu of the whole thing.  Even this summary and this site could be attacked however so I have taken the defensive measure of not naming the gunman.  It seems to me that the hostiles will use his surname as a search term for locating posts such as mine but,  because of my defensive measures will not pick this post up immediately.  Regular readers will thus get to see it first.

I am however prepared to email a copy of the manifesto to anyone who is otherwise unable to obtain it.

Controversial right-wing speaker Milo Yiannopoulos has been banned from Australia after calling Islam a 'barbaric, alien' religious culture

Since common Muslim practices such as polygamy and female circumcision are in fact illegal in Australia, why is Islam NOT reasonably described as barbaric and alien?

Controversial far-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos has been banned from entering Australia on tour after his remarks about the New Zealand terror attack.

Immigration Minister David Coleman released a statement on Saturday confirming the decision to cancel Mr Yiannopoulos' visa into the country.

Mr Yiannopoulos' had described Islam as a 'barbaric, alien' religious culture on social media overnight, hours after 50 people were killed and 42 injured in an attack at two mosques in Christchurch.

'Milo Yiannopoulos will not be allowed to enter Australia for his proposed tour this year,' Mr Coleman said.

Mr Coleman has flip-flopped over whether Mr Yiannopoulos should be allowed to enter Australia, having granted him a visa just a week ago.

The government had agreed to the visa after conservative MPs had put pressure on Mr Coleman to override the Department of Home Affairs' advice to ban Mr Yiannopoulos.

Conservative MPs, including One Nation leader Pauline Hanson and former human rights commissioner Tim Wilson, argued that banning the alt-right speaker would be a blow to freedom of speech.

'Mr Yiannopoulos' comments on social media regarding the Christchurch terror attack are appalling and foment hatred and division,' Mr Coleman said on Saturday.

'The terrorist attack in Christchurch was carried out on Muslims peacefully practising their religion. It was an act of pure evil.'

Mr Yiannopoulostook to social media after the announcement on Saturday, where he said: 'I'm banned from Australia, again, after a statement in which I said I abhor political violence'.  

Labor MP Tony Burke took to Twitter to praise the decision to ban the speaker.

'Milo banned. Good. His overnight comments weren't that different from how he has always behaved. There was already enough evidence to ban him which is why the department had already recommended he be banned. The Australian tours for the world's hate speakers must stop,' he urged.

The speaking tour had previously been given the green light despite Mr Yiannopoulos owing Victoria Police $50,000 to cover policing at a Melbourne event in December, 2017, during which up to 500 left-wing protesters clashed with about 50 right-wing activists.

The conservative provocateur's supporters clashed with protesters who chanted 'f*** off Nazi', which led to seven arrests during his 2017 Sydney tour.

The 33-year-old had initially organised a 'Deplorables' speaking tour with convicted criminal Tommy Robinson and self-described 'western chauvinist' Gavin McInnes in December.


18 March, 2019

Censorship: Sky New Zealand pulls Sky News Australia off air over Christchurch massacre coverage

Who does it hurt to have someone watching it?

Sky New Zealand has pulled fellow broadcaster Sky News Australia off air until the channel stops broadcasting clips from the Christchurch mosque shooter’s Facebook live stream.

In a tweet posted on Saturday morning, Sky New Zealand, an independently-owned broadcaster, said it had decided to remove the Australian 24-hour news channel from its platform because of the distressing footage.

“We stand in support of our fellow New Zealanders and have made the decision to remove Sky News Australia from our platform until we are confident that the distressing footage from yesterday’s events will not be shared.”

Despite a plea from New Zealand police, Rupert Murdoch’s Australian pay-TV channel was among the broadcasters that chose to screen Go Pro footage shot by a man who slaughtered 49 people at two mosques in Christchurch on Friday.

“Police are aware there is extremely distressing footage relating to the incident in Christchurch circulating online,” the police said in a statement. “We would strongly urge that the link not be shared. We are working to have any footage removed.”

Brenton Tarrant was alleged to have filmed a 17-minute Facebook video which included his drive to the mosque, his arsenal of weapons and graphic scenes of his murderous rampage. Media organisations that have used the film stopped the video as he entered the mosque.

Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have removed the footage but new copies are constantly being uploaded.

Sky News Australia has been broadcasting the footage repeatedly, sparking anger on social media. It was also shown via Sky News Australia on screens in Qantas airways lounges at airports. Qantas has been approached for comment.

A spokeswoman for Sky New Zealand told Guardian Australia the company was in negotiations with Sky News Australia as to when the channel would be restored to the platform.

“We stand in support of our fellow New Zealanders and do not wish to show the distressing footage that has been shared at this time. We will resume service when available,” a social media spokeswoman said on Twitter.

“All other news channels are still available. BBC World and CNN are available on SKY GO.”


Anger as VW chief executive plays on Nazi slogan at company event

It was clearly intended as a witticism bu he ran into the lack of humor on the sour Left

The chief executive of Volkswagen is facing calls to resign after an astonishing gaffe in which he appeared to riff on a Nazi death camp slogan.

Herbert Diess apologised on Thursday for a speech at a company event in which he repeatedly told VW employees: “EBIT macht frei”.

The phrase appears to be a play on “Arbeit macht frei” — work makes you free — a notorious Nazi slogan that was inscribed over the entrance to Auschwitz and other concentration camps.

EBIT is an acronym for Earnings Before Interest and Tax, a key indicator of a company’s profit.


17 March, 2019

Australian government urged to shut down Milo Yiannopoulos after Christchurch massacre

This is a typical despicable Leftist attempt to blame uninvolved others for the deeds of one man.  It all hinges on the Leftist inability to see people as individuals.  Leftists see people only as group members and reserve to themselves the right to say who belongs in which group.  It would not be stretching their logic too far to say that Tarrant was born in Australia so  therefore all Australians (including members of the Labor party!) bear a responsibility for his Christchurch attack. 

I wouldn't be surprised if some Leftists do assert that.  They might say (they do say) that Australia is racist and Tarrant was therefore simply expressing Australian racism

The claim below that what Leftists call "hate speech" leads to terrorist acts such as Tarrant's is an empty assertion untethered to any evidence.  David Hume pointed out a couple of hundred years ago that to identify a cause you have to have constant conjunction between the cause and the effect.  And there is no conjunction at all between what Leftists call "hate speech" and  acts of terrorism by whites.  Tens of millions of whites have heard words such as those by Yiannopoulos so where are are the acts of terrorism connected to them?  The usual reaction to Yiannopoloulos is no reaction other than, perhaps, a nod of the head. 

If there are ten million instances of a "cause" NOT leading to an alleged effect, that destroys the causal claim.  The effect needs something else to cause it.  In Tarrant's case, he seems to have seen a lot of the effects of Jihadi attacks during his extensive travels and that has enraged him.

The Australian government has been told it must cancel the visa for far-right speaker Milo Yiannopoulos following the Christchurch terrorist attack, with opposition frontbencher Tony Burke saying far-right extremism should be treated in the same way as other forms of terrorism.

The immigration minister, David Coleman, personally approved Yiannopoulos’s visa last week, against advice from the Department of Home Affairs, which earlier told Yiannopoulos he may fail the character test to enter Australia.

Burke, who is Labor’s spokesman for citizenship and multiculturalism, said rules around banning people who could be seen as supporting terrorism should be applied to all extremist ideologies.

“If someone wants to come to Australia and we know that they’ve been speaking in support of values that have given rise to other forms of terrorism, we don’t give them a visa,” Burke told ABC24.

“Only a few days ago, the government intervened against the department to provide a visa for someone to have a tour here in Australia to whip up hatred against Muslims. I would be stunned if the government goes ahead with that visa.”

The department has the ability to block a visa from a person on character grounds if it perceives there’s a risk they will commit a crime, harass people, vilify a segment of the Australian community or incite discord.

Recent speaking tours of US whistleblower Chelsea Manning and British conspiracy theorist and anti-semite David Icke were blocked after their visas were rejected on character grounds.

“We knock back people all the time with respect to other forms of hatred that have been consistent with what has resulted in terrorism actions,” Burke said. “We need to make sure the full force of the law treats this as the same as any other form of terrorism.”

Guardian Australia contacted Coleman’s office to ask if Yiannopoulos’s visa would be revoked after the Christchurch attack and did not receive an immediate response.

The prime minister, Scott Morrison, has called Friday’s massacre a “violent, extremist, right-wing terrorist attack” and also condemned comments from Queensland senator Fraser Anning, saying that “blaming the murderous attacks by a violent, right-wing, extremist terrorist in New Zealand on immigration are disgusting”.

“Those views have no place in Australia, let alone the Australian parliament,” Morrison said.

The Labor foreign affairs spokeswoman, Penny Wong, said Anning did not represent Australia.

Burke also criticised Anning’s comments but said: “the normalisation of bigotry is something that is not only confined to him.”

He said the use of hate speech was connected to violence and extremism and should be taken more seriously.

“There’s been an attempt in Australia by many people to normalise hate speech,” Burke said. “We get told, ‘Oh, it’s just freedom of speech’.”

He said that view had been pushed by “some [television] networks” and said the normalisation of hate speech was “not the whole story of what’s happened, but there is no doubt it is part of it”.

The Australian man charged with murder over the Christchurch attack was not on a terrorist watchlist, and Burke said it was possible that “up until now, many people would not have viewed this form of extremism as being as dangerous to people as every other form of extremism”.

“Anyone who had that doubt, that doubt finished yesterday,” he said.


Is it "womxn" now?

In late 2016, shortly after the election of Donald J. Trump, feminists in Seattle met to discuss their branch of the Women’s March.

The march’s name, which would be printed on all local promotion materials, soon came up as something that could be updated.

“Our organizing group is superdiverse, and one of the core organizers, who is a nonbinary person, proposed that we use the word ‘womxn’ to make sure that everyone felt included,” said Elizabeth Hunter-Keller, the communications chair for what became known as the Womxn’s March Seattle. Ebony Miranda, the organizer who proposed using “womxn,” said her understanding of the word was “women and those affected by misogyny, or women-related issues.”

Ms. Hunter-Keller said: “There were a lot of, for the most part, white women, who wondered why we had to use the ‘x’ and asked us about it. But when we talked to them online, most were totally understanding.”

According to Keridwen Luis, a professor of sociology at Harvard University, feminists have tinkered with “woman” and “women” for decades to address a recurring annoyance.

“Wimmin,” after the Old English original, was one of the first alternative words to show up in the 1900s. Then “womyn” popped up and gained steam in the 1970s along with the occasional “wombyn.” To some, “womyn” seemed to include everyone, and still does. To others, like the organizers of the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, the feminist answer to Woodstock, it was only for “womyn-born-womyn,” Ms.

Luis said. While hard to pronounce, “womxn” was perhaps the most inclusive word yet, using an “x” to tinker with the word’s literal approach to gender in a similar way as “Latinx,” which has become an ungendered alternative to Latino and Latina.

But even “womxn” has its haters. In October, a London museum and library called Wellcome Collection sent out a tweet that included the word. In response, hundreds of followers, including many women, tweeted back with complaints. “I’ll be a womxn when men become mxn,” one user tweeted angrily. The Wellcome Collection said at first that it had used the word to show that its space welcomes diverse perspectives, but subsequently issued an apology.


15 March, 2019

No more boyfriends and girlfriends

According to a piece in the Daily O, people should stop using the words “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” to refer to their significant others and use the word “partner” instead — because that’s “politically correct.”

“The term ‘partner’ — with its gender-neutral connotation — is politically correct and socially appropriate,” Saonli Hazra writes in a piece titled “Why it is time to move from the conventional ‘boyfriend’ or ‘girlfriend’ and switch to ‘partner’ instead.”

“With the growth of the Internet, and a transformation in the social order where casual dating, open relationships, delayed marriages and other such practices are finding favour, terms like ‘boyfriend’ or ‘girlfriend’ have a certain undesirable vibe,” she continues. “Mostly, these set limitations of gender roles — of what each partner ought to bring at the relationship table.”

“Partner,” she argues “has a nice, positive ring to it, and neither party feels the suffocating or debilitating pressure of trying to live up to certain preset notions.”

“‘Wife’ or ‘girlfriend’ usually come with patriarchal riders, and therefore, a women’s status within the marriage is often unequal,” she explains.


Corporate cowards who collude with silencing debate

Andrew Bolt

Do not give your business to companies that are bad corporate citizens. And a business that helps the mob to shut down debate is a very bad corporate citizen.

Janet Albrechtsen names and shame the companies helping the mobs to silence Sky and ... er, me:

Last week Alan Beasley fought back. This ordinary bloke is as mad as hell and he is not going to take it any more. He saw another company that advertises on Sky News succumb to intimidation.

Beasley stepped up because the choices people like him make determine the health and ultimate survival of our democracy...

The Sydney businessman, who grew up in country NSW, ... wrote to the NIB board, disgusted that the health insurer pulled its adverts from Andrew Bolt’s program on Sky after Bolt raised questions about the verdict against George Pell.

As an NIB member through Qantas’s health insurance arm Qantas Assure, Beasley denounced NIB for giving into “bullies and intimidation”, entering into a “PC debate”, putting “activists before customers” and “playing politics” instead of focusing on its business.

Beasley asked NIB to admit error and return its advertising to the Bolt show. If not, the Sydney businessman promised NIB he would lobby Qantas to end its association with NIB. He ended his March 6 email to the board with this: “I regard NIB corporate behaviour as gutless.”

Explaining why he took action last week, Beasley tells The Australian: “We don’t as a community stand up for the right thing. If we walk past intimidation and corporate cowardice we are endorsing that behaviour.”

Beasley is not alone. Albrechtsen cites other customers and companies.

I have heard from many other Australians who are also alarmed that companies are siding with a few activists - and against the wishes of their own customers - to shut down debates the activists don't like.


14 March, 2019

'The sexism on their backs is NOT cute': Seemingly-innocent image of a little boy and girl in medical outfits sparks a firestorm on Twitter

Male nurses are still relativelty rare so this is just realistic

An image of two children walking hand in hand at the hospital that's circulating social media is leaving users divided over whether it's cute — or sexist.

The photo in question show what appears to be a little boy and a little girl walking together down a hospital hallway wearing similar colorful scrubs.

But while the blonde ponytailed little girl's scrubs are pink and say 'Nurse in Training' on the back, the little boy's are green and read 'Doctor in Training.'

The picture was shared on Twitter by @TheMedicalShots this weekend and quickly went viral.

It appears to show a little boy and a little girl who like each other and are holding hands at the hospital, walking away from the camera.

'This is cute, isn't it?' the account tweeted, adding a heart eyes emoji.

The tweet has been ?liked over 15,000 times so far, indicating that quite a few people agreed that the image was adorable — but the comments told a different story.

In fact, thousands of people chimed in to say plainly that no, the image isn't cute at all — it's sexist.

'No it’s not. Why isn’t she a Dr as well? Or why is the boy not a nurse?' asked one.


Conservative university students seek debate on immigration but just get screamed at

University students boasting a politically incorrect sign at a controversial 'change my mind' event on campus have caused an uproar. Members of University of New South Wales' Conservatives set up a desk at the Kensington campus, in Sydney's Eastern suburbs, with a sign reading 'our immigration level is too high' on Tuesday.

The club encouraged fellow students to approach the desk to debate the provocative issue and change their minds.

The UNSW Education Collective, a campus collective that fights for progressive issues, denounced the message both on campus and on social media.

'We had a good go at them but it seemed like they weren't willing to change their mind?' the collective wrote with a picture of the event.

The collective called the conservatives 'campus incels' and apologised for making their 'small brains hurt'.

The conservatives re-shared the collectives' Facebook post and said their stance on immigration was not linked to their views on race.

'It was a pleasure to be visited by members of the UNSW education collective at our 'Change my mind' event today,' the conservatives said. 'Granted, their screaming in our faces was not as effective at changing our minds as a little calm discussion might have been.'

'We would also like to politely clarify that our position on immigration has absolutely nothing to do with race.'

The group signed off their post by welcoming more 'interesting' discussion at other events later in the year.  

The event has been met with a number of responses on social media, with some questioning how the UNSW Education Collective handled the situation.

'Why do you think it's cool to personally attack people for their political affiliations and opinions, how is it at all useful to anyone to call theses guys 'incles' and collectively mock them online,' responded one person.

'Reasonable political discussion is healthy but all I saw were people attacking them, pretty sure I heard someone get called a racist and now incels,' commented another.

One social media user said: 'It's not conservative to say our immigration level is too high. It's not about race it's about population.'

UNSW, one of Australia's top universities, encourages diversity and inclusion on campus.

'UNSW will be recognised as an international exemplar in equity, diversity and inclusion. Our success will have been built upon embracing the diversity and cultural richness of our communities and ensuring that our staff and students can achieve their full potential regardless of background,' UNSW 2025 vision says.


13 March, 2019

Australian Council apologises after branding an Aboriginal worker with a racist slur in his funeral notice and insisting it was his nickname

It probably WAS his nickname in certain circles

A regional council has issued a formal apology after publishing a racial slur in a funeral notice and insisting it was a nickname.

Aboriginal man and father John Hagan was a dedicated employee of Paroo Shire Council in south-west Queensland before he died.

However, his 20 years of service seemed to have been belittled when the council published a funeral notice saying Mr Hagan was 'known to all as 'N****r Rat','  The Australian reported.

'Relatives and Friends of the late John Hagan known to all as 'N****r Rat' are respectfully invited to attend his funeral service,' said the post made on November 8.

Paroo Shire Council took down the notice from its Facebook page after severe backlash and the threat of legal action from Mr Hagan's family.


Trevor Noah: when words are worse than war

His joke about India and Pakistan caused more online outrage than the conflict itself.

Over the past month, long-standing tension between India and Pakistan over Kashmir has reared its ugly head again. First Pakistani Islamists bombed Indian paramilitaries, the deadliest attack in three decades. Then, for the first time in 50 years, India launched air strikes on Pakistan’s territory. Pakistan then shot down an Indian plane and captured its pilot. Until prime minister Imran Khan released the pilot as a peace gesture, winding down tensions, observers feared a full-blown war between the two nuclear states.

But in New York, 7,000 miles west of Kashmir, something far worse, far more dangerous, or at least far more tweetable, happened. Comedian Trevor Noah made a joke about the conflict on the The Daily Show. A war between India and Pakistan would be the ‘most entertaining’ and ‘longest war of all time’, he joked, as the Indian soldiers would rush on to the battlefield and break out into a Bollywood-style song-and-dance number.

Tweeters across the globe denounced the joke as racist, insensitive, ‘vile and despicable’. By Noah’s own admission, he has not shied away from tackling difficult subjects in the past, including the death of his mother, who was shot in the head by his abusive stepfather. It is a shame, then, that he has since apologised for causing offence. Often the best comedy results from comedians finding the line and pushing it further.

But whatever you think of Noah’s India-Pakistan joke – funny, racist or just clichéd – he later made an important observation. He tweeted that his joke ‘trended’ more on social media, in the West at least, than the actual India-Pakistan crisis. For Noah, this showed that ‘people are more offended by the jokes comedians make about an issue than the issue itself’.

On this, Noah could not be more right. In our age of political correctness, often the most ferocious and unhinged outrage is directed at those who use the ‘wrong’ words, make ‘offensive’ jokes or produce ‘degenerate’ artworks.


12 March, 2019

British conservative politician apologises after calling Diane Abbott a 'coloured woman'

How about "fugly" as a description?

Amber Rudd has apologised for using “clumsy language” after she described Diane Abbott as a “coloured woman”.

The Work and Pensions Secretary sparked outcry after she used the term - widely regarded as a racist slur - during a radio interview in which she discussed abuse and racism in British politics.

Ms Abbott, the shadow home secretary, said the term was “offensive” and a “revealing choice of words”.


"Coloured" is actually a more accurate description than black.  In the weird world we inhabit, most blacks are brown.

Hotel patron, 72, is banned for a month from his local for 'offensive behaviour' after telling a female bartender 'nice to see you are in shorts' on a 42C day

A man has been banned from his local pub after telling a woman who worked there 'nice to see you in shorts'.

Leonard Lee, 72, made the comment when picking up a bottle of wine from a drive-through BWS attached the Royal Oak in north Adelaide last month.

The temperature was 42C and Mr Lee told the woman, whom he had spoken to before on friendly terms, 'nice to see you in shorts.'

'She went a bit huffy and said "well it's hot",' Mr Lee told The Advertiser. The former screenwriter claimed 'the comment didn't mean anything'.

But when he went back the next day an employee told him he made the woman feel uncomfortable and she had complained.

A few days later, Mr Lee returned and had a verbal confrontation with the woman which ended with her throwing his credit card back into his car, he said.

He said he was called in for a meeting with pub management and told he was banned for a month for 'offensive behaviour towards a staff member'.

'I was seriously flabbergasted.' Mr Lee said. 'I don't like sleazebags, I don't like drunks abusing staff and I do not indulge in conversations which objectify women - but the world has gone mad.'


11 March, 2019

Who are you calling senior? For older folks, some terms are fast becoming radioactive

Jill Tapper knew she’d made a mistake at the annual meeting of condo owners in Salisbury when she referred to their 55-plus complex as an “aging community.” She may as well have invoked rocking chairs and shuffleboard.

“Some of the other members were furious,” recalled Tapper, a longtime social worker. She quickly backed off and tried again. “Now I just call it the Windgate community.”

Tapper had stumbled onto the third rail of life-stage nomenclature. Words once commonly used to describe older folks and their lives — “elderly,” “geriatric,” “in their golden years” — are now scorned by some as patronizing. Even durable terms like “aging” and “seniors,” still in widespread use and part of the names of countless organizations, are fast becoming radioactive.

“Words like ‘elderly’ and ‘senior,’ with their negative associations, need to be put away,” said Mike Festa, director of AARP Massachusetts, who said many of the traditional labels connote physical or cognitive decline. “We’re avoiding those descriptions that convey the negative aspects of growing old.”

The backlash — which some liken to previous quarrels over what to call women, people of color, or sexual minorities — is gaining momentum and causing many in government, business, and academia to rethink their language choices. But efforts to redress perceived slights can create confusion even as they assuage the sensitivities of those miffed by past labels.

Nationally, the American Medical Association is modifying its stylebook to expunge offending words and phrases such as “aged,” “elders,” and “seniors.” It’s following the lead of the American Geriatrics Society and its scientific journals, which adopted the less objectionable “older adults.”


A popular Melbourne cafe has been forced to apologise after customers were left disgusted by a “vile” joke displayed outside the shop

A popular Melbourne cafe has drawn outrage from the community and been forced to apologise after it displayed a joke outside the shop making fun of disabled people.

Seddon Deadly Sins cafe is known for writing puns and jokes on a sign outside the store and uploading them to Facebook.

But a joke they posted yesterday didn’t go down very well, resulting in serious backlash and forcing the owner of the cafe to apologise.

“My girlfriend broke up with me, so I stole her wheelchair,” the sign read.

“Guess who came crawling back.”

A picture of the sign was uploaded to the cafe’s Facebook page with the hashtags “#hahaha”, “#seddendeadlyfunnies” and “#haveyoulaughedlately”.

People were quick to call out the cafe, with many saying they should be ashamed of themselves and slamming the joke as “vile” and “pathetic”.


10 March, 2019

Facebook does something useful

By destroying herd immunity, anti-vaxxers kill babies.  That surely deserves some sanction.  There's a lot more than free speech involved

Facebook declares war on anti-vaxxers and vows to stop the spread of ‘misinformation’

Facebook has vowed to clamp down on anti-vaccination groups and reduce the audience available to pages that ‘spread misinformation’ on the subject. The social network said it will also reject any adverts it finds include false information on the topic and will not show or recommend any content from Facebook and Instagram it deems to be spreading misinformation.

It comes after criticism of the platform over the way its algorithm highlighted content that promotes anti-vaccination ideas. Last week the head of NHS England warned ‘vaccination deniers’ were gaining traction on social media as part of a ‘fake news’ movement.

In an official blog post, Facebook’s vice president of global policy management Monika Bickert said: ‘We are working to tackle vaccine misinformation on Facebook by reducing its distribution and providing people with authoritative information on the topic.

‘Leading global health organisations, such as the World Health Organisation and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have publicly identified verifiable vaccine hoaxes. If these vaccine hoaxes appear on Facebook, we will take action against them.’

The social network previously said it was looking into how it approached the issue in a way that enabled freedom of expression but also supported the safety of users.

Other platforms have also taken action on the subject – YouTube has removed adverts from anti-vaccination videos and Pinterest has taken action to block vaccination searches.


'Most uptight people in the world'


In Demmin, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, CDU party chief and likely future conservative candidate for the chancellery, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, defended her carnival joke that mocked the idea of gender-neutral bathrooms, saying she couldn't understand the reaction it got.

"If we're so uptight, as has been the case in the past few days, then a piece of tradition and culture in Germany will be ruined, and we shouldn't allow that," Kramp-Karrenbauer, known as AKK, said. "Right now it's as if we're the most uptight people in the world. This cannot go on."

Kramp-Karrenbauer had triggered outraged reactions as she attempted to poke fun at politically progressive Berlin in the Lake Constance town of Stockach in southern Germany last week. She said newly introduced toilets for intersex people were "for those men who don't know whether to pee standing up or sitting down".

The comment was greeted with jeers, fanfare and laughter, but fewer people were laughing when it was shared on the website queer.de and Twitter.


8 March, 2019

A controversial hat

My daughter in law is a great traveller and when she was last in NYC she bought me a hat.  Above is an image of it.  She even bought it from Trump Tower.  It is not actually a true Trump hat. A Trump hat says: "Make America great again".  The one above says something slightly different.  But very few people would notice the difference.

I wore it on my morning shopping trip a couple of days ago in suburban Brisbane.  Brisbane is a long way from the USA so I wondered if it would get a reaction.  Consistent with their aggressive nature, American Leftists do sometimes attack the wearers of such hats.  Would that hatred spread to Brisbane?

It did, sort of.  When I had finished my shopping around about 10am, I stopped off where I usually do for a morning cup of coffee.  The girl on the counter took my money for it but then went out the back.  She came back and told me they had run out of coffee! 

I didn't argue. In the best libertarian style, I just left for another place a few doors down that had plenty of coffee!  What do you think?  Do you think a coffee joint would really run out of coffee?

There's a famous Australian Country and Western song called "The pub with no beer".  So I did one better. I encountered a coffee joint with no coffee!  I am not going to name the shop concerned as the people there are usually pleasant and I like their coffee.  They served me as usual yesterday.  We conservastives are forgiving people.  We have a lot to forgive -- JR

Amazon Bans Tommy Robinson’s Completely Factual Book, ‘Mohammed’s Koran’


It’s the British government and the BBC, rather than CAIR, that are likely behind this, but Amazon has just dropped the book Mohammed’s Koran by the renowned British activist Tommy Robinson and Peter McLoughlin -- and apparently only because its censors dislike Robinson. In the last two weeks, Robinson spectacularly embarrassed the BBC by exposing the bias and dishonesty of its reporter John Sweeney. The retaliation has been swift and severe: Robinson has been banned from YouTube and Facebook, and now his book has been withdrawn from sale.

Coauthor Peter McLoughlin states:

"[T]his is the twenty-first century equivalent of the Nazis taking out the books from university libraries and burning them. Can you think of another scholarly book on Islam that has been banned by Amazon? Mein Kampf is for sale on Amazon. As are books like the terrorist manual called The Anarchist Cookbook.
McLoughlin is correct that Amazon’s behavior has been wildly inconsistent. He adds that Amazon officials are steadfastly mum on why the book was banned:

[They] refuse to reinstate the book and refuse to explain why it has been banned. So they have banned the No.1 best-selling exegesis of the Koran. I can’t get my head round it. Every few weeks for the past 18 months they had emailed me asking to put it into special sales programmes, as it was selling so well. For 18 months they sought to profit even more from the sales.
“As dark as my vision is,” McLoughlin concludes, “I thought we were 10 to 20 years away from dissenting books from being banned.”

Indeed. Those who object to my labeling Leftist totalitarians “fascists” should take careful note of this story. What group is most famous for burning books? That’s right. And what group is doing it now? Right again. I predicted this, but like Peter McLoughlin, I didn’t think it would come so soon.

This is an extremely ominous development. Amazon and Barnes and Noble -- which is also not carrying this book -- have a virtual monopoly on book sales. When these two giants refuse to carry a book, that book effectively does not exist. If they are now going to ban books that are critical of Islam and opposed to jihad terror and Sharia oppression of women, gays, and others, then an Islam-critical perspective will be almost impossible to find anywhere.

Whatever anyone thinks of Tommy Robinson or the Qur’an, this is a serious matter that anyone who cares about the freedom of speech should be extremely concerned about.

Anyone who has written a book that is critical of anything should read the writing on the wall and realize that once this censorship begins, it won’t end with Tommy Robinson or Qur’an-critical books. But they won’t. PEN, the international organization that is supposedly dedicated to defending the freedom of speech, is made up of hard-Leftists who won’t utter a whisper in defense of Tommy Robinson’s book, or a murmur of protest that it is not allowed to be sold.

They don’t realize that what is being done to him can be done to them. But it will be.


7 March, 2019

Facebook has serious concerns about the competition watchdog's proposed news and advertising regulator, fearing it could disrupt Australians' newsfeeds

Facebook are afraid that instead of being the censor, they may become censored.  But they are going off half-cocked.  All that is proposed so far is information gathering.  They must be afraid of what people will find.  As we learn from John 3: 19-20, the children of the light love the light and the children of the darkness love the darkness.

Libertarians regularly propose information as an alternative to regulation so this step may well be on the right track towards bringing some accountability to what is undoubtedly a bigoted  organization.  With the Australian government watching, Australin conservatives may be less likely to be obliterated by this rogue organization

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in December released a preliminary report into the impact digital platforms are having on competition in local media and advertising.

The ACCC recommended a regulatory authority be given the power to "monitor, investigate and report" on how news and advertising is ranked on digital platforms.

Facebook executives insist they want to work with the federal government on policy but took issue with a number of the watchdog's recommendations during a Sydney briefing with reporters.

Facebook argues a number of the recommendations - such as the government-regulated ranking system - could cause "significant harm".

"The proposed level of regulatory intervention for the news regulator and ad regulator is unprecedented as far as I've seen," Facebook competition spokeswoman Samantha Knox said on Wednesday.

"Our view is that people, and not regulators, should decide what you see on (your) newsfeed. "The point of Facebook is to connect you with friends and family and content that you care about. It is not to be primarily a channel of news distribution."

The social media giant's Australia and New Zealand public policy director, Mia Garlick, said the regulations would favour certain publishers.

She argued users should control what they see on Facebook. "We genuinely have concerns about the impact on consumer benefit here," Ms Garlick told reporters.

"If suddenly it's decided by this regulator 'Oh actually people should see more of this type of content' that's a very new space to get into where the regulator is suddenly deciding what Australians should be seeing on their newsfeed."

Facebook could be more transparent and better educate consumers regarding tools to tailor their newsfeeds, such as advertising preferences, Ms Garlick admitted.

Facebook competition spokesman Matt Perault says any additional regulation should aim to solve a specific problem.

Rules that restrict hate speech could also impact free expression, he said, noting: "Those are considerations that need to be balanced."

Facebook insisted it wasn't solely responsible for the decline in mainstream media. "The proposed 'news ranking regulator' will not solve the problem of how to support sustainable journalism in Australia," Facebook's formal response to the ACCC report states.  "The monetisation challenges facing some publishers began long before Facebook."

The ACCC's preliminary report said while digital platforms had revolutionised communication and offered many benefits, they were also "gateways" to information.

"Organisations like Google and Facebook are more than mere distributors or pure intermediaries in the supply of news in Australia; they increasingly perform similar functions as media businesses like selecting, curating and ranking content," watchdog chairman Rod Sims said in late 2018. "Yet, digital platforms face less regulation than many media businesses."

The ACCC is due to provide its final report to the government in early June.


Arizona High School illegally curbs MAGA displays

Perry High School students dressed in their MAGA gear and carried a Trump banner during Friday’s spirit day at the suburban Gilbert school.

The parents told reporters their kids were ordered to remove their MAGA clothing at lunch. The Chandler Unified School District on Monday said no one was asked to remove their MAGA shirts and hats but only to put away a Trump banner.

“The Administration only asked that the banner be put away when the students engaged in a verbal altercation and the administration was concerned that it would escalate,” the district’s statement said.

Twenty-six Republican legislators have asked Attorney General Mark Brnovich to investigate whether the students’ First Amendment rights were violated.

It seems to me their rights were violated, if the school district’s above response is accurate. That is, unless the courts are now ready to curb the broad freedoms afforded students to express their political views in school.

In Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, issued 50 years ago last week, the Supreme Court said students had a right to wear black armbands to school to protest the Vietnam War.

Justice Abe Fortas, in writing the Tinker decision, said administrators can’t interfere with a student’s right to speech unless there is evidence to show that speech will interfere “with the schools' work or of collision with the rights of other students to be secure and to be let alone.”

In the case of the kids wearing black armbands, Fortas wrote, “there is no indication that the work of the schools or any class was disrupted. Outside the classrooms, a few students made hostile remarks to the children wearing armbands, but there were no threats or acts of violence on school premises.”

The justices rejected a lower court's reasoning that the school could shut down speech "based upon their fear of a disturbance."


6 March, 2019

'Hawaiian Day' incorrect?

South Dakota legislature was concerned that students were pressured to change an 'Hawaiian Day' party to "Beach Day"

the Student Bar Association at the University of South Dakota School of Law changed the name of a Hawaiian Day themed party to Beach Day amid concerns from a fellow student that “Hawaiian Day” was not “inclusive.” The students had planned to serve punch and hand out flower garlands known as leis ahead of spring break, but they were told by administrators not to hand out leis.

University officials moved quickly to determine if the incident violated the Regents’ new policy on speech when USD president Sheila Gestring announced Saturday that the incident was under investigation. On Monday, Regents President Kevin V. Schieffer commended Gestring for looking into the incident.

“The board has made it very clear in policy that neither professors nor administrators can block or unduly interfere with free speech simply because some might find it offensive,” Schieffer said in a release Monday.


A philosopher makes the case against free speech -- And I push back

As you can see from my blog about him Brian Leiter is not as clever as he thinks he is. So his critique of free speech below goes nowhere.  He gets stuck on the rock of how to decide who is competent to censor speech. 

His reasoning behind that is however amusing.  He says that we get saturated by so much conservative propaganda that we cannot decide what the truth is.  I would have thought that it was the overwhelmingly Leftist slant of the mainstream media that made the truth hard to discern.  Just count up the number of adverse mentions of Trump to see which way the media lean. 

Leiter's words are a typical example of an unrelenting Leftist strategy -- what Freud called projection -- seeing your own faults in others.

But the discussion below does cover the main points at issue in free speech so it has some interest -- JR

By Sean Illing

I don’t consider myself an absolutist about anything — except for free speech.

The value of free expression seems so fundamental to me that it hardly needs a defense. It is, after all, enshrined in the First Amendment of the US Constitution. But like any dogma, there is utility in occasionally challenging the assumptions that undergird it.

Which brings me to a paper I recently read in the Sydney Law Review, titled “The Case Against Free Speech.” The author is Brian Leiter, a political philosopher at the University of Chicago. Leiter argues that we shouldn’t think of free speech as an inherently good thing and that there are negative consequences for pretending that it is.

The sort of speech he’s talking about is public, the kind of stuff we hear on television or read in newspapers. He’s not suggesting we should even think about regulating private or interpersonal speech. And in fact, he doesn’t think we can even regulate public speech, mostly because we just don’t have a reliable way to do it.

But he does raise some interesting objections against what’s often called the “autonomy” defense of free speech, which holds that people are only free to the extent that they’re allowed to say what they want, read what they want, and determine for themselves what is true and what is false.

According to Leiter, this is a bogus argument because people are not actually free in the way we suppose. We’re all conditioned by our environment, and what we want and think are really just products of social, economic, and psychological forces beyond our control. If he’s right, then the “autonomy” defenses of free speech are just wrong, and probably dangerous.

I spoke to Leiter about what he thinks we get wrong about free speech, and why most of the arguments people make in defense of it fall apart when you examine them closely. A lightly edited transcript of our conversation follows.

Sean Illing
Let me start by summing up your argument as simply as I can, and then we can go from there. I take you to be saying that most of our public speech, the kind of speech we consider morally and politically serious, is not only useless but actually hinders our collective effort to get at the truth, and therefore we shouldn’t permit its expression without considering the social costs.

Brian Leiter
That’s really close, but I think it’s not quite right in one important respect. Because at the end, I actually argue for a pretty strong libertarian approach to free speech, but not on the grounds that the speech necessarily has value. A lot of it has no value, as you correctly said in your summary.

But basically I don’t think we can be confident that the regulation of speech, or the regulators of speech, would make the right choices in discerning what is good and bad speech, or what is helpful or unhelpful speech. But this says more about the pathologies of the American system than it does about the value of freedom of speech.

Sean Illing
We’ll come back to the regulator problem, because I think it ultimately undercuts any effort we could ever make to control speech. Maybe it’ll help if you first explain why you want to take a sledgehammer to this assumption that free speech is an inherently good thing for society.

Brian Leiter
My paper is about running through all the arguments people make in defense of this assumption and showing why they don’t hold up. I’ll start with the simplest one, which is this idea that a free marketplace of ideas is likely to help promote discovery of the truth. This is probably the most famous defense of free speech associated with the British philosopher John Stuart Mill.

But what people often don’t stop and notice is that even Mill thought certain background conditions had to be established for it to really be true that a marketplace of ideas would lead to the discovery of the truth. Mill said, “People have to be educated, and they have to be mature.” Those are pretty thin conditions, and you might worry that a lot more is required for a real marketplace of ideas to be conducive to the truth.

As I point out, we have an important institution in American society that aims to discover the truth, namely the court system. And the striking thing about the court system is that it completely rejects the marketplace of ideas view. It says, “It’s crazy to think we’ll discover the truth by just permitting people to express any view they want, make any claim they want.” In the court system, we impose massive restrictions on speech to facilitate the discovery of truth.

Sean Illing
Okay, I’m glad you brought up your court analogy. Here’s my problem: A courtroom and a political community are wildly different contexts, which even you acknowledge in the article. To take just one difference: A court’s job is to establish the facts so that jurists can decide accordingly. But politics is about values as much as facts. Is there any way for a community to decide how to live and what’s worth pursuing without allowing the free exchange of ideas?

Brian Leiter
Fair question. I would disagree a bit with the assumption that politics is mainly about values rather than facts. An awful lot of politics is about facts and their relationship to the values that can be realized in concrete policies.

So take one of the examples I use: the Bush administration’s efforts to justify the illegal war of aggression against Iraq in 2003. That turned heavily on the misrepresentation of the facts. It turned heavily on Fox News, in particular, indoctrinating a large part of the population into thinking there was some connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda when there was none.

And then take something like climate change, where there’s a constant disagreement about the facts with so-called skeptics who insist, in the public sphere, that the science doesn’t really establish this. These are fact disputes, not value disputes.

I certainly agree with you that there are value disputes, but the establishment of facts is hugely important.

Sean Illing
Just to be clear, I’m not saying facts don’t matter. I’m saying politics is about deciding what we ought to do in light of what is. And in order to have that kind of conservation, we need the free exchange of ideas.

Brian Leiter
Again, I’d resist that a little bit. I think most of our disputes are about factual questions. I mean, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren aren’t saying, “In order to promote the values of equality and well-being, we need higher taxes on the rich.” And the other side isn’t saying, “We’re not interested in equality or freedom.” They say, “We don’t think that’s the way to realize those values.”

Sean Illing
I disagree about that, but I don’t want tumble down a rabbit hole here, so let’s stay on topic. Is there any way to maintain a free society without simply accepting that most opinions on serious topics are bad and ill informed, and yet that’s the price we pay for allowing citizens to express their political identity?

Brian Leiter
There is clearly a lot of value to people in letting them express their political identity, their moral views, and so on. It’s important to people’s well-being to be able to speak their mind. I don’t want to discount the value of that. I just think that’s one value that should go into a broader calculation that takes into account all the harms that are related to the expression of certain kinds of views.

Sean Illing
Do you think people are free in any meaningful sense if what they’re allowed to hear, or see, or read, is controlled or constrained in any way?

Brian Leiter
It depends on what kind of control and regulation is involved. So I’ll give you another analogy. I control what the students in my class read and discuss. I actually think this enhances their freedom and their autonomy by bringing to their attention substantive materials, helping them frame thinking about these particular issues, and so on. So regulation isn’t necessarily incompatible with free thinking.

But that brings us back to the question I touched on at the very beginning. The best argument for broad freedom of expression is skepticism about whether those who would regulate expression would do so in a way that was productive and constructive, rather than simply making things worse.

Sean Illing
Although you keep expressing skepticism, you still seem to think we’d be better off with gatekeepers — some institution or body of institutions that decides what should or shouldn’t be expressed in the public sphere.

Brian Leiter
That would seem to be the conclusion following from the arguments in the first part of the paper. But my conclusion is that even if there isn’t enough positive value to speech to justify its unfettered expression, there are certainly reasons to be worried about whether capitalist democracies will regulate speech in ways that aren’t simply pernicious.

But this has more to do with the pathologies of our political system than it does to do with the intrinsic value of speech. That’s one of the main points I’m pressing on in this article.

Sean Illing
As I read your paper, I kept thinking about the media critic Walter Lippmann (whom I wrote about for Vox), who struggled with these same questions. He didn’t think most people could be trusted to decide intelligently what ought to be done, so he wanted technocrats and experts to act as mediators of sorts. But the problem is always, who are the arbiters of worthy speech in this imagined order? And how will we stop them from abusing their power?

Brian Leiter
Under the current circumstances, I think that’s exactly right. But I’ll also quote the German philosopher Herbert Marcuse, who, when asked, “Who will make these decisions,” said, “Who makes them now?” And that’s worth bearing in mind.

These decisions are, in fact, being made now. They just aren’t being made by bureaucrats. They’re being made by Rupert Murdoch, by editors behind the scenes, by producers on TV programs, who themselves are responsive to all kinds of interested parties.

Sean Illing
What’s the alternative? We either live in a free society, or we don’t. There does not seem to be much room for compromise here. I mean, there’s no marketplace of ideas that isn’t saturated with bad ideas, right?

Brian Leiter
I guess it’s a matter of degree. Again, I think the big problem now has to do with the pathologies of our political and economic system. Maybe what we need is for the political and economic system to change if we’re ever going to adopt a more sensible approach to the regulation of expression.

I also think most people fail to understand what’s meant by “free society.” No one thinks we don’t live in a free society because there are restrictions on public masturbation or public sex, right? There are always limits. We countenance all kinds of restrictions on freedom. It’s always about trade-offs, and what we’re ultimately willing to live with.

Sean Illing
Well, I’d say free speech is crucial to individual liberty in a way that, say, public masturbation isn’t, but that’s another argument. It’s still not clear to me what you’d have us do? What is the solution here?

Brian Leiter
It’s important to recognize that most of what any of us believe about the world depends on intermediaries, people who guide us as to what we ought to believe because it’s true. I believe in evolution by natural selection, but not because I did all the experiments in the lab.

The big crisis of the internet era is that it has eliminated a lot of the traditional intermediaries, such as the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal or PBS or the BBC and so on. Those old intermediaries weren’t perfect, but they were better than what we have now. So I think we need better intermediaries that help people to sort out the world.

But again, I don’t anticipate a law being passed that shuts down Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh — we’re stuck with them. Which means we’re stuck with a public sphere filled with nonsense. So the short answer is that we’re screwed.

Sean Illing
Look, the ideal political system is one in which everyone is wise and discerning and cares very deeply about the truth. But such a system is not possible, has never been possible, and so we must live in the least imperfect and most just society possible. Has liberal democracy not proven to be just that?

Brian Leiter
I’m not sure it’s that simple. Liberal democratic societies have certain values, and they’re mostly good. But the problem is having a capitalist economic system that pollutes the public domain and presents all sorts of obstacles to the intelligent expression and regulation of speech.

Under capitalism, at least the sort of capitalism we have now, the ruling class completely distorts our political process and the laws that get enacted. Until we do something about that, we’re not going to be in any position to hope that regulation of speech, let alone other aspects of law, will actually be conducive to human well-being.

Sean Illing
This is ultimately why I don’t know what to do with your paper. I agree with your general diagnosis here, and yet we end up in a dead end.

Brian Leiter
Well, if I may reference one of my favorite philosophers, whom I know you like as well, Nietzsche said, “Sometimes the truth is terrible.” And I think there’s value in recognizing the truth of our situation, even if it’s terrible.

We have massive amounts of worthless, dangerous speech in the public sphere right now, and at the same time I can’t see any legal remedy that isn’t likely to be used for even more pernicious ends. But the situation we’re currently in is quite dire, and the fact that we have a monster child as our president is proof of that fact.

Sean Illing
Given everything you’ve said, given the paucity of realistic solutions, what’s the point of an article like this? Why make the case against free speech if there aren’t any viable means of improving speech?

Brian Leiter
The fact that there aren’t solutions now isn’t a reason not to identify a problem. And of course, one point of the article is to challenge what I think is a slightly unthinking popular consensus. Free speech isn’t an inherently good thing; it can be good or it can be bad, and normally we think of the law as something that can step in when things can be both good or bad, like operating a motor vehicle, for example, which is why we have rules about it.

But in the case of speech, we have good reason to be worried about whether we’ll make the right rules. And therefore, the real question that we need to talk about isn’t about assuming the intrinsic value of speech. It’s about why we have a political and economic order that makes it impossible for us to regulate all the bad things about speech in a reliable way.


5 March, 2019

Freedom to ERASE speech at Kentucky U?

When Thomas Smith decided to call UKPD, the damage had already been done.

An outraged student had poured water on anti-abortion chalk drawings written on a sidewalk leading up to the Gatton Student Center. Smith, a member of the Pro-Life Wildcats, the group that made the anti-abortion chalk drawings, felt that the student was violating their right to free expression on campus.

Lidya Azad, the student later identified as the one tossing water, felt that she was expressing her right to free speech by pouring water on the chalked sidewalk.

In a video provided to the Kernel, Azad poured more water on the chalk drawings.

“If it’s your free speech to do this,” Azad said in the video, referring to the chalk, “then it’s also my free speech to do this,” she said as she poured more water onto the politically tinged sidewalk.

According to the UK Student Code of Conduct, students have “the right to engage in discussion, to exchange thought and opinion, to speak, write, or print freely on any subject…”

UKPD officers were present on the scene after the Pro-Life Wildcats called them. They also filed a report with police, but the outcome of that report is not known.

Azad sent a statement to the Kernel after the event, saying she feels it is her duty to defend her freedom and fight for marginalized groups.

The group applied for and received a permit for chalking from John Herbst, Executive Director of the Gatton Student Center, said UK spokesperson Jay Blanton.

Most university areas are open for the use of free speech areas with the exception of areas that impede traffic to classrooms or high-traffic walkways, he said. “Generally speaking, most areas of campus are open with respect to free speech,” Blanton said.


Antisemitic Muslim bigot objects to being called a terrorist

A fight broke out in the West Virginia statehouse after Republicans displayed a poster that tied Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) to the 9/11 terror attacks. Omar is one of two female Muslim members of Congress in the U.S. House of Representatives.

A Democratic delegate shared an image of the poster on his Twitter account.

“This poster is in your Capitol on a booth sponsored by @WVGOP,” tweeted Delegate Mike Pushkin (D-Kanawha). “When someone shows you who they are, believe them,” he added in quotes.

“I expressed my disgust about something like that, that really, I believe, points out a hatred and a mistrust of somebody because of their religious background, because of their religion,” Pushkin said in the statehouse.

“While I may not agree with everything that is out there, I do agree that freedom of speech is something that we have to protect,” said Delegate Dianna Graves (R-Kanawha).

Rep. Omar denounced the poster in a tweet that connected the poster to a report of a man who was caught allegedly planning attacks on media figures and politicians.

“No wonder why I am on the ‘Hitlist’ of a domestic terrorist and ‘Assassinate Ilhan Omar’ is written on my local gas stations,” she commented. “Look no further, the GOP’s anti-Muslim display likening me to a terrorist rocks in state capitols and no one is condemning them!”


4 March, 2019

Free speech executive order


Trump invited on stage Hayden Williams, a conservative activist punched on the University of California at Berkeley’s campus last month.

Praising Williams for "taking a hard punch in the face for all of us," Trump urged Williams to sue his attacker, the college and possibly the state of California. “He’s going to be a very wealthy young man,” Trump said. “Go get ‘em, Hayden.”

He also announced he will be signing “very soon” an executive order requiring schools to “support free speech” if they want to receive federal research dollars. “If they want our dollars, and we give it to them by the billions, they’ve got to allow people like Hayden...to speak,” Trump said.

The crowd responded with chants of "USA! USA! USA!"

In addition to the many students attending the CPAC conference in Maryland, others were listening at satellite locations on campuses in Virginia, Colorado and California.

The White House has not announced any details about the executive order.


Black hot air balloon known as 'Golly' is banned from flying in festival after organisers took issue with its 'racist and offensive' name

A black hot air balloon has been banned from flying in a Canberra festival after event organisers deemed it racist.

The balloon, dubbed 'Black Magic' but also known as 'Golly', will no longer be featured in Canberra's Balloon Spectacular as part of the city's eight-day Enlighten festival next month.

The ACT Government made the decision to reject the balloon application after a staff member raised concerns about the name.

'The use of words and/or visual depictions that may be considered racist and offensive by many in our community including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Canberran is not supported,' Events ACT director Jo Verden said. 

The name Golly appears to be in reference to a golliwog doll - a black fictional children's book character that was popular in the UK and Australia in the 1970s. The doll is now perceived as a symbol of racism. 

Owner Kay Turnbull, who has flown the balloon in the festival since 1996, insisted the design is not intended to be offensive and said she only refers to it by its official name, Black Magic.

'Magic is part of the names of our balloons. We used to have a yellow and green one called Aussie Magic,' Turnbull told Yahoo 7News. 


3 March, 2019

UK: Must not joke about breasts -- again

A lingerie shop has been accused of body shaming over a sign that appears to mock breast sizes.

Independent store Fit To Bust Too in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, was criticised online after a Twitter user shared a photo of the sign which lists bra sizes alongside statements like 'A-cup = almost boobs', 'E-cup = Enormous!!' and 'H= Help me I've fallen and can't get up!'

Dozens of women claimed the sign was offensive and would make them feel insecure if they were to shop there.

Twitter user @Musneyeliner tweeted the list, saying:'Wtf, is this shop trying to sell me a bra or make me hate myself?' Others weren't inspired, suggesting the list was 'body shaming' for it's lack of positive comments'.

'I'm stunned that they managed to insult literally every person with breasts,' one user wrote,' Also, I think I saw this as an email joke sometime in the mid-90s. It wasn't funny then, it doesn't get funnier since.' 

Another slammed the list, saying:'That's horrendous! I would have really taken that to heart as a teen. And also kind of worrying that a bra shop seems to have no concept that how big your boobs are is determined by band size AND cup size!'

However others defended the list, writing that it was clearly a joke. One wrote:'Get a life, it's a joke... some people seem to have forgotten what that is.'


Government bans conspiracy theorist David Icke ahead of planned Australian tour

I was not going to say anything about this but it is a free speech issue so I suppose I should.  Let me say from the outset that I do NOT in any way support the ban.  There are plenty of mentally ill people in Australia already so one more or less would make no difference. 

He is clearly a paranoid schizophrenic and is an excellent example showing that paranoids can sound sane and be persuasive.  Cardinal Pell probably owes his incarceration to the plausibility of one such. If you doubt that Icke is mentally ill, just read any account of what he preaches.  If you find it plausible that we are all ruled by lizards you have bigger problems than I can help you with

Note his claim that his crusade began when a psychic told him he had been placed on earth for a purpose and would begin to receive messages from the spirit world.  So that alone would encourage a  diagnosis of schizophrenia

The Australian government has banned notorious English conspiracy theorist David Icke from entering the country next month for a planned speaking tour.

Among the bizarre claims made by Icke, a former footballer and BBC sports presenter, are that the world is controlled by a cabal of giant shape-shifting reptiles, many of them Jewish, and that a group of elite Jews bankrolled Adolf Hitler and started several wars.

He also tells audiences the September 11 attacks were an inside job organised by "a network that works through government agencies, through organisations like the CIA".

Icke, 66, was due to tour Australia in March, but the government has now cancelled his visa, banning him from entry. It is understood the decision was made within the past 24 hours.

Immigration Minister David Coleman declined to comment.

In a statement, Icke said he was "shocked and appalled to have received the news earlier today that my visa had been revoked just hours before boarding a flight to Australia".

"I have been a victim of a smear campaign from politicians who have been listening to special interest groups attempting to discredit my beliefs, my views and my character by spreading lies," Icke said.

"This knee-jerk reaction to accommodate the people behind this smear campaign has left a sinister mark on Australians, compromising freedom of speech and ideas. This goes further than just me today, but sets a dangerous precedent for citizens who have differing views and are willing to openly express these."

The government has banned a number of controversial people from entering the country in recent years, including WikiLeaks whistleblower Chelsea Manning and Gavin McInnes, the leader of the far right Proud Boys group.

Jewish groups such as the Anti-Defamation Commission had lobbied Mr Coleman to cancel Icke's visa. The organisation's chairman, Dvir Abramovich, congratulated the minister "for heeding our call and declaring in a loud voice that anti-semites and Holocaust deniers will never find a home in Australia". He called it a "defining moment for who we are as a nation".

Icke was due to speak to audiences in Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart and Sydney next month in a presentation billed as "four hours that will change your life".

In his statement, Icke said Mr Coleman had cited his views on vaccinations and climate change among the reasons his visa had been revoked. He also accused Mr Coleman of caving to pressure from a "libellous" article in The Australian newspaper published on Wednesday.

"This is the creation of a blatantly Orwellian totalitarian state," Icke said.

Josh Burns, Labor's candidate for the federal seat of Macnamara, also lobbied Mr Coleman and said the minister had finally "made the right call and succumbed to pressure".


1 March, 2019

'The most revolting form of living creatures I've ever seen': Edward VIII's racist letters comparing Australian Aboriginal people to 'monkeys'

King Edward VIII penned racist letters about Aboriginals, calling them 'revolting' and comparing them to monkeys, a new documentary will reveal.

The Crown and Us: The Story of The Royals in Australia, which will air on the ABC on Sunday night, will also shed new light on a torrid affair between a married woman and George VI, the Queen's father.

In letters obtained by the documentary makers, the future King Edward, who was known as David, expressed his disdain for Indigenous people during a 1920 visit to Australia, The Australian reported.

'They showed us some of the native Aborigines at a wayside station in the great plain yesterday afternoon, though they are the most revolting form of living creatures I've ever seen,' he wrote to English socialite Freda Dudley Ward.


Australian Aborigines often present very badly to this day so the Prince's judgment was understandable.  The Holocaust has however caused us not to say such things these days unless it causes another Hitler-like event.  But the Holocaust was in the future when the Prince wrote so people were at that time free to say what they thought.  Interesting that there was more free speech in the past.

Two Fat Indians restaurant is forced to apologise after their 'Suicide Curry' challenge offends mental health workers

An Indian restaurant has been forced to apologise for the 'Suicide Curry' competition they are hosting, as suicide prevention workers say it is offensive and insensitive.

Two Fat Indians in Christchurch, New Zealand, will be hosting the competition tonight in which diners compete to eat the hottest curry and be named the 2019 champion.

However the booked out contest has angered suicide prevention workers and has received backlash on social media.

Graeme Russell, a former worker at Young New Zealanders Foundation told the NZ Herald this is a serious issue as the country has one of the highest youth suicide rates worldwide.

'We have too many suicides in New Zealand for somebody to essentially be making a joke of it. One of our placards says: "Use your brain, not our pain,"' he said.


No joking allowed


This is Tongue-Tied 3. Posts by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.)

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Is the American national anthem politically incorrect? From the 4th verse:
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."


The truth can be offensive to some but it must be said

The war on "cultural appropriation" is straightforward racism

"HATE SPEECH" is free speech: The U.S. Supreme Court stated the general rule regarding protected speech in Texas v. Johnson (109 S.Ct. at 2544), when it held: "The government may not prohibit the verbal or nonverbal expression of an idea merely because society finds the idea offensive or disagreeable." Federal courts have consistently followed this. Said Virginia federal district judge Claude Hilton: "The First Amendment does not recognize exceptions for bigotry, racism, and religious intolerance or ideas or matters some may deem trivial, vulgar or profane."

Even some advocacy of violence is protected by the 1st Amendment. In Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969), the U.S. Supreme Court held unanimously that speech advocating violent illegal actions to bring about social change is protected by the First Amendment "except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action."

The double standard: Atheists can put up signs and billboards saying that Christianity is wrong and that is hunky dory. But if a Christian says that homosexuality is wrong, that is attacked as "hate speech"

One for the militant atheists to consider: "...it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg" -- Thomas Jefferson

"I think no subject should be off-limits, and I regard the laws in many Continental countries criminalizing Holocaust denial as philosophically repugnant and practically useless – in that they confirm to Jew-haters that the Jews control everything (otherwise why aren’t we allowed to talk about it?)" -- Mark Steyn

A prophetic comment on Norwegian hate speech laws: As Justice Brandeis once noted, repressive censorship “breeds hate” and “that hate menaces stable government,” rather than promoting safety; “the path of safety lies in the opportunity to discuss freely supposed grievances and proposed remedies.”

Voltaire's most famous saying was actually a summary of Voltaire's thinking by one of his biographers rather than something Voltaire said himself. Nonetheless it is a wholly admirable sentiment: "I disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it". I am of a similar mind.

The traditional advice about derogatory speech: "Sticks and stones will break your bones but names will never hurt you". Apparently people today are not as emotionally robust as their ancestors were.

The KKK were members of the DEMOCRATIC party. Google "Klanbake" if you doubt it

A phobia is an irrational fear, so the terms "Islamophobic" and "homophobic" embody a claim that the people so described are mentally ill. There is no evidence for either claim. Both terms are simply abuse masquerading as diagnoses and suggest that the person using them is engaged in propaganda rather than in any form of rational or objective discourse.

Leftists often pretend that any mention of race is "racist" -- unless they mention it, of course. But leaving such irrational propaganda aside, which statements really are racist? Can statements of fact about race be "racist"? Such statements are simply either true or false. The most sweeping possible definition of racism is that a racist statement is a statement that includes a negative value judgment of some race. Absent that, a statement is not racist, for all that Leftists might howl that it is. Facts cannot be racist so nor is the simple statement of them racist. Here is a statement that cannot therefore be racist by itself, though it could be false: "Blacks are on average much less intelligent than whites". If it is false and someone utters it, he could simply be mistaken or misinformed.

Categorization is a basic human survival skill so racism as the Left define it (i.e. any awareness of race) is in fact neither right nor wrong. It is simply human

Whatever your definition of racism, however, a statement that simply mentions race is not thereby racist -- though one would think otherwise from American Presidential election campaigns. Is a statement that mentions dogs, "doggist" or a statement that mentions cats, "cattist"?

If any mention of racial differences is racist then all Leftists are racist too -- as "affirmative action" is an explicit reference to racial differences

Was Abraham Lincoln a racist? "You and we are different races. We have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other two races. Whether it is right or wrong I need not discuss, but this physical difference is a great disadvantage to us both, as I think your race suffer very greatly, many of them by living among us, while ours suffer from your presence. In a word, we suffer on each side. If this be admitted, it affords a reason at least why we should be separated. It is better for both, therefore, to be separated." -- Spoken at the White House to a group of black community leaders, August 14th, 1862

Gimlet-eyed Leftist haters sometimes pounce on the word "white" as racist. Will the time come when we have to refer to the White House as the "Full spectrum of light" House?

The spirit of liberty is "the spirit which is not too sure that it is right." and "Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it. While it lies there it needs no constitution, no law, no court to save it." -- Judge Learned Hand

Mostly, a gaffe is just truth slipping out

Two lines below of a famous hymn that would be incomprehensible to Leftists today ("honor"? "right"? "freedom?" Freedom to agree with them is the only freedom they believe in)

First to fight for right and freedom,
And to keep our honor clean

It is of course the hymn of the USMC -- still today the relentless warriors that they always were.

It seems a pity that the wisdom of the ancient Greek philosopher Epictetus is now little known. Remember, wrote the Stoic thinker, "that foul words or blows in themselves are no outrage, but your judgment that they are so. So when any one makes you angry, know that it is your own thought that has angered you. Wherefore make it your endeavour not to let your impressions carry you away."

"Since therefore the knowledge and survey of vice is in this world so necessary to the constituting of human virtue, and the scanning of error to the confirmation of truth, how can we more safely, and with less danger, scout into the regions of sin and falsity than by reading all manner of tractates, and hearing all manner of reason?" -- English poet John Milton (1608-1674) in Areopagitica

Hate speech is verbal communication that induces anger due to the listener's inability to offer an intelligent response

Leftists can try to get you fired from your job over something that you said and that's not an attack on free speech. But if you just criticize something that they say, then that IS an attack on free speech

"Negro" is a forbidden word -- unless a Democrat uses it

"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper

Why are Leftists always talking about hate? Because it fills their own hearts

Leftists don't have principles. How can they when "there is no such thing as right and wrong"? All they have is postures, pretend-principles that can be changed as easily as one changes one's shirt

When you have an argument with a Leftist, you are not really discussing the facts. You are threatening his self esteem. Which is why the normal Leftist response to challenge is mere abuse.

The naive scholar who searches for a consistent Leftist program will not find it. What there is consists only in the negation of the present.

The intellectual Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180) could have been speaking of much that goes on today when he said: "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane."

I despair of the ADL. Jews have enough problems already and yet in the ADL one has a prominent Jewish organization that does its best to make itself offensive to Christians. Their Leftism is more important to them than the welfare of Jewry -- which is the exact opposite of what they ostensibly stand for! Jewish cleverness seems to vanish when politics are involved. Fortunately, Christians are true to their saviour and have loving hearts. Jewish dissatisfaction with the myopia of the ADL is outlined here. Note that Foxy was too grand to reply to it.


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