TONGUE TIED 2 ARCHIVE
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30 September, 2011
Report: Ford Pulls Anti-Bailout Ad After Pressure From Obama Admin.?
Must not criticize Obama:"Remember that clever little Ford ad that showed an actual buyer being led into a surprise news conference and answering impromptu questions? You know, the one where the buyer says, “I wasn’t going to buy another car that was bailed out by the government. I was going to buy from a manufacturer that’s standing on their own: win, lose, or draw. That’s what America is about is taking the chance to succeed and understanding when you fail that you gotta’ pick yourself up and go back to work.”
Well, the last time you saw it may have been the last time you saw it. What do I mean? According to a report from The Detroit News, the ad has now been pulled by Ford due to pressure from the Obama administration.
Columnist Daniel Howes explains:
[...] Ford pulled the ad after individuals inside the White House questioned whether the copy was publicly denigrating the controversial bailout policy CEO Alan Mulally repeatedly supported in the dark days of late 2008, in early ‘09 and again when the ad flap arose.
With President Barack Obama tuning his re-election campaign amid dismal economic conditions and simmering antipathy toward his stimulus spending and associated bailouts, the Ford ad carried the makings of a political liability when Team Obama can least afford yet another one. Can’t have that.
Michelle Malkin has been corresponding with representatives from Ford and the White House via Twitter. Both have denied any pressure. [But they would, of course]
Australian entrepreneur launches action in Supreme Court to force Google to release ID details behind abusive website
A libel is just grounds for legal pursuit in anyone's book but it would be a pity if this action closed down anonymity altogether. People sometimes have good and proper reasons for anonymity. A compromise arrangement whereby webhosts readily release ID info behind apparently libellous statements -- and only such libellous statements -- would probably be idealA legal showdown between Google and a Gold Coast entrepreneur could set a precedent that helps lift the veil from anonymous online commentators.
Self-help guru and motivational speaker Jamie McIntyre has launched action in the Supreme Court to force the internet giant to release details of those behind a website labelling him a "thieving scumbag", the Courier-Mail reported.
Mr McIntyre believes Google Australia is the only Australian company that knows who's behind jamiemcintyreexposed.com because of its paid advertising relationship with the website, the application says.
Leading communications law academic Professor Michael Fraser of the University of Technology, Sydney, said it would be an important test case on anonymous online commentators. "The internet is a mainstream channel of communication now so it can't just be like the wild west outside of the rule of law," said Prof Fraser. "People can't ... be allowed to hide behind a cloak of anonymity. It will be interesting to see how this one plays out.
"Google says it will always comply with the laws in a jurisdiction they operate in and so if the court requires them to provide the information, I expect that they will."
Prof Fraser said a successful case could open the floodgates of legal action against online entities. "I think there will be more and more litigation as people exercise their rights online so that we get a regulated legal framework there as we do in the bricks-and-mortar world.
29 September, 2011
Confederate Flag Still Flying in Black South Carolina Neighborhood Despite Protests
We read:"A year ago, dozens marched to protest the Confederate flag a white woman flew from her porch in a historically black Southern neighborhood. After someone threw a rock at her porch, she put up a wooden lattice. That was just the start of the building.
Earlier this year, two solid 8-foot high wooden fences were built on either side of Annie Chambers Caddell's modest brick house to shield the Southern banner from view.
Late this summer, Caddell raised a flagpole higher than the fences to display the flag. Then a similar pole with an American flag was placed across the fence in the yard of neighbor Patterson James, who is black.
One hundred and fifty years after the Civil War began about 20 miles away in Charleston Harbor, fights continue over the meaning of the Confederate flag. Some see it as a symbol of slavery and racism; others like Caddell say it's part of their Southern heritage.
"I'm here to stay. I didn't back down and because I didn't cower the neighbors say I'm the lady who loves her flag and loves her heritage," said the 51-year old Caddell who moved into the historically black Brownsville neighborhood in the summer of 2010. Her ancestors fought for the Confederacy.
Local officials have said she has the right to fly the flag, while her neighbors have the right to protest. And build fences.
Caddell isn't bothered by the fences and said they even seem to draw more attention to her house. "People driving by here because of the privacy fences, they tend to slow down," she said. "If the objective was to block my house from view, they didn't succeed very well."
Canadian politicians must not look sexy
We read:"She’s the first Canadian Tamil MP and the standard bearer for young women in a male dominated political culture.I have been to Canada a couple of times and I must say that in general they did seem rather uptight compared with Australians. We have had female politicians breastfeeding in Australian parliaments. I wonder how Canadians would deal with that? Would they all faint away?
But rising member of Parliament, Rathika Sitsabaiesan, 29, is at the centre of an embarrassing Photoshop controversy -- after authorities apparently deemed her cleavage (pictured left) too hot to handle.
According to political blog Contrarian, an enterprising reader performed an image search for Sitsabaiesan and came across the thumbnail. But when the reader clicked through to Sitsabaiesan’s official Parliamentary profile, he found a modified version of the headshot, which had been retouched to edit out her feminine curves.
Canada’s conservative politicos apparently decided that the photo was inappropriate for a workplace as formal as Parliament.
28 September, 2011
TN: Vanderbilt Prof. says Christian student groups oppressed
This is an issue that has repeatedly arisen at other universities but Vanderbilt is a private university so is not bound by the 1st Amendment -- and may therefore be able to maintain its absurd policy. The real agenda, of course, is to force acceptance of homosexuals onto Christian groups."Is Vanderbilt University flirting with the suppression of religion? Yes, according to Carol Swain, a professor at Vanderbilt’s Law School.A welcome for all students except Christian ones, apparently
Specifically, Swain is referring to four Christian student groups being placed on 'provisional status' after a university review found them to be in non-compliance with the school’s nondiscrimination policy.
Vanderbilt says the student organizations cannot require that leaders share the group’s beliefs, goals and values."
Carol Swain is CLS’s faculty advisor. She insists the university has gone way beyond political correctness with its actions and demands. “It seems reasonable”, she told me, “to require that leaders share the beliefs of the organizations that they seek to lead.” She sees this as part of a larger problem at liberal-leaning universities across the nation. She says, “I see it as part of a larger attack on religious freedom that’s taking place across the country – particularly when it comes to conservative groups.”
Vanderbilt officials refused to be interviewed, and instead released a statement saying in part "We are committed to making our campus a welcoming environment for all of our students."
The simple solution would of course be for Christian groups to meet off-campus. Any nearby church would probably oblige with a room for meetings.
That would put the university administration's nose out of joint too. A university with no Christian groups on campus would look odd and that might hamper their recruitment of students. It would certainly make their assertions about being "welcoming" look hollow. Putting up posters and placards at appropriate times saying: "Vanderbilt U does not welcome Christians" would really drive that nail home.
One very "incorrect" lady
We read:"Millionaire Matchmaker" Patti Stanger slams gay guys, smart women, and Jewish men. Online backlash?I don't think I would say any of the things she said but, putting my Voltaire's hat on, I am pleased that she was allowed to say them.
The host of Bravo's "Millionaire Matchmaker" is under fire. On Sunday night, Patti Stanger appeared on the network's call-in show, "Watch What Happens Live," and made disparaging comments about Jewish and gay men.
While speaking about open long-distance relationships, Stanger remarked, "In the gay world, it will always be open... There is no curbing the gay man." After that, she turned to the program's openly gay host, Andy Cohen, and said, "I have tried to curb you people." She also stated that "Jewish men lie."
Last week, Stanger spoke on the TV program "New York Live," where she shared her views on the women of the Big Apple. She called New York females "city snobs" and then suggested that women are better off hiding their intelligence in front of men. "You've got to dumb it down a little because men are not that bright," Stanger said.
27 September, 2011
CA: Couple fined $300 for holding home Bible studies
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"?"A southern California family has been fined for holding regular Bible studies at their home because it violates a city zoning code, The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday."Parking problems" are a very thin veil for a hatred of Christianity. This is California so the city officials could well be Leftists.
The city of San Juan Capistrano, in Orange County, fined Charles and Stephanie Fromm $300 for having as many as 50 people assembled at their home twice a week, the Times reported. City officials also warned the couple that subsequent fines could increase if they continued to host the Bible studies without obtaining a special permit.
A religious legal non-profit group, the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), has taken up the case saying the fine was a violation of religious freedom.
A spokeswoman for the city of San Juan Capistrano stressed that local authorities were not trying to prohibit home Bible study. Instead, she said the city fined the Fromms for transforming a residential area into a place where people regularly assemble.
"The Fromm case further involves regular meetings on Sunday mornings and Thursday afternoons with up to 50 persons, with impacts on the residential neighborhood on street access and parking," spokeswoman Cathy Salcedo said in an email to The Los Angeles Times.
Brad Dacus, an attorney for the Public Justice Institute, said the Fromms live in a semi-rural area and have not caused any parking problems for neighbors.
He said the Fromms should have their money returned, adding that PJI intends to defend "this family's home Bible study all the way to the US Supreme Court, if necessary."
Must not be respectful of prayer?
I sometimes am in the position of being present where prayers are being said and, even though I am an atheist, I always bow my head to some extent as a mark of respect for the occasion and the feelings of the people around me. So bowing your head may or may not indicate what your beliefs are and it is an impertinence to be making any enquiry about it or making any criticism of it. It is an entirely personal matterSeveral public high school football coaches in Westmoreland, Tenn. are in trouble for bowing their heads during a student-led prayer before a recent game. According to local NBC affiliate WSMV, the coaches didn’t say anything aloud themselves, but bowed their heads in observance alongside the students.
Word got back to the principal and the school district, which found the coaches’ participation to be an uncomfortable mix of religion and public school. “We’ve been telling our principals to kind of be looking for those things, because that is kind of a shift in how things have been done,” district spokesman Jeremy Johnson told WSMV. “It can in no way appear like it’s endorsed by Sumner County Schools personnel.”
The coaches weren’t disciplined, but were made to sign letters indicating they understood the school’s policy, which prohibits staff from appearing to participate in a student prayer in any way, even if it takes place after hours.
But resident Tony Bentle, who has been refereeing football games in the town for years, said crackdown “blew [his] mind.” “We’re just respectful, God-fearing people up here,” he said. “Nobody in this town is offended if you pray. Nobody.”
26 September, 2011
German comedian dons Blackface in order to mock Obama
Doesn't he know that Obama is sacred?German comedian Martin Sonneborn is well-known for jokes bordering on the tasteless. But a satirical political billboard of him posing in blackface makeup as US President Barack Obama is sparking outrage.The characterization of black minstrel shows above is outrageous. It's just America-hatred from some supercilious German. Al Jolson often sang in blackface and there was nothing hateful about either him or his performances. He was in fact actively anti-racist.
“Ick bin ein Obama (I am an Obama),” reads the poster at Berlin’s central Ernst Reuter Platz square, in an apparent play on John F. Kennedy’s famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech. On the poster, a "black" Sonneborn smiles as he raises his arm in the air.
The billboard is the latest in Sonneborn’s campaign for his satirical political party Die Partei ahead of state elections in Berlin this Sunday. It’s meant to make fun of the entire German political establishment and go up to the edge of propriety – another poster is entitled “MILFS against Merkel” and the campaign has also mocked the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party.
But the latest one is upsetting to some because of the racial connotations of blackface theatre, which was widespread in America in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Based on ugly stereotypes, blackface consisted of white performers painting themselves black for degrading minstrel shows.
The comedian above is in any case only concerned with his local elections. His poster even uses Berliner dialect. "Ick" would be "Ich" in High German.
Victory for Bloggers: Illinois Blog Wins Lawsuit
Excerpt from a post by Warner Todd Huston:
In a good sign for blogger free speech, a lawsuit against a high profile conservative blog in Illinois has just been tossed out. A political contributor brought the lawsuit over a story about property tax reassessments and political contributions. This is a victory for free political speech as well as a victory for the status of blogs in the world of "journalism."
The lawsuit meant to silence the blog was a convoluted one, to be sure. Illinois Review had posted a story that revealed that former Ill. State Rep. Paul Froehlich (R, Schaumburg) had sought campaign contributions from property owners who had won property tax relief claims that the Representative had assisted in getting settled. But after the story went live, due to the notoriety the county assessors office reversed those tax relief decisions.
One of the property owners mentioned in the original story was Satkar Hospitality. Illinois Review reported the facts of the case, noted that Satkar got a favorable property tax reassessment, and speculated that Satkar made "in-kind contributions" to Rep. Froehlich.
Satkar sued the Illinois Review for defamation -- naming Fox News and others as coconspirators.
Fortunately, U.S. District Court Judge Matthew F. Kennelly dismissed the suit because Satkar "failed to show" that its claims against the blog were legitimate. Judge Kennelly also ruled that the bloggers have the right to seek reasonable attorney's fees and costs from Satkar.
In his decision, Judge Kennelly also affirmed that the blog was expressing its right to the "furtherance of their right of free speech." This means we have yet one more precedent that we bloggers can be protected in our rights to freely publish our political opinions without fear of being sued over our blog posts (legitimate slander laws aside).
25 September, 2011
Spectator throws banana peel at black sportsman; observers claim racism
This was an incident in Canada at an ice-hockey game. I am not entirely clear why a banana peel is racist. "Banana" as a racial slur is usually used against Asians. I guess the image is of monkeys eating bananas. In that case it seems to me that the racism is lodged in the heads of the moaners.The Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings played in a neutral site exhibition game Thursday night in London, Ontario. While the 4-3 win for the Red Wings was the result, the story was an apparent racist incident during the shootout.
Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds was in the middle of his shootout attempt when a fan inside the Labatt Centre threw a banana peel in his path. Simmonds, of African-Canadian decent, wasn't shaken by it and beat Red Wings goaltender Jordan Pearce.
Leftist "Media Mutters" objects to term "illegals"
See below. How about "paperless people" instead?
It is perfectly normal to abbreviate common expressions and "illegals" is an abbreviation of "illegal immigrant" -- which is exactly what the people concerned are. But in good Leftist style Media Mutters obviously believe that changing the word for something changes the reality somehow:At the Fox News-Google GOP presidential debate, co-moderator Chris Wallace used the pejorative term "illegals" to refer to undocumented immigrants and read a question from the public that used the term, as well. Journalists have called on the media to stop using the term "illegals," but Fox's "straight news" shows use it consistently nonetheless.
Wallace Tells Romney, "You Vetoed Legislation To Provide Interstate Tuition Rates To The Children Of Illegals." From the debate:
WALLACE: Governor Romney, I want to continue a conversation that you had with Governor Perry in the last debate. In Massachusetts, you vetoed legislation to provide in-state tuition rates to the children of illegals. Governor Perry, of course, signed the Texas DREAM Act to do exactly that."
24 September, 2011
‘Every Man a Wildcat’: Is Beloved College Slogan Really Sexist?
Feminist nonsense. They don't say a word about how women are treated in the Muslim world or in Africa but one word in a band performance is a huge issueA 1950s-era slogan meant to inspire Kansas State University fans is instead causing controversy. University officials asked the school’s marching band to remove a formation highlighting the slogan “Every Man a Wildcat” from its pregame routine on Saturday.That last sentence is pretty self-contradictory
Those who dislike the slogan say the word “man” is not gender inclusive. They prefer “Every Person a Wildcat.” Proponents say the phrase is a longtime tradition and “man” refers to all of mankind.
Although the EMAW formation was removed from the marching band, the slogan will remain part of the university’s licensed program, Jeff Morris, KSU’s vice president of communications and marketing, told the Collegian.
The phrase first surfaced during the 1950s and remained popular for about two decades, according to the Manhattan (Kan.) Mercury. But its use declined during the 1970s and it was forgotten until students resurrected it, using only the initials EMAW, about two years ago. The controversy began simmering shortly thereafter, and ignited again after the routine was removed from the band’s performance.
“As we strive for balance, we’re fine with student, alumni and the community using the phrase,” Morris said. “At the same time, we have to be sensitive that some people are bothered by it.”
High School Punishes Student for Saying Homosexuality is Wrong
The Fascist instinct to punish speech they dislike is never far beneath the surface among the Leftists who infest the education system:Dakota Ary, an honors student at Western Hills High School in Fort Worth, Texas, was in for a surprise after being sent to the principal’s office and punished for sharing his opinion. After telling another student that he believes homosexuality is wrong, Dakota was reprimanded and given in-school suspension.
Following the incident his mother, Holly Pope, received a call from an assistant principal at the school informing her of the punishment. In an interview with Fox News Radio, she says was “absolutely stunned“: "Dakota is a very well-grounded 14-year-old. He’s been in church his whole life and he’s been taught to stand up for what he believes. He was stating an opinion. He has a right to do that. They punished him for it.”
After hearing the student’s explanation, the assistant principal reduced the punishment from two days to one, but Dakota and his mother aren’t satisfied, as they believe his free speech has been infringed upon.
While the district isn’t speaking out about the incident, on Wednesday, Dakota, his mother and attorney Matt Krause met with the school’s principal. Pope hopes that the school will remove the disciplinary blemish from the child’s record, while pledging that there won’t be any further retaliation.
23 September, 2011
City Councilman Defends Naming His Dog ‘Muhammad'
We read:"A city councilman in San Juan Capistrano, California, has come under fire by Muslims and local council members alike for naming his dog Muhammad and later announcing it during a city council meeting. Councilman Derek Reeve is not backing down, however, stating on Tuesday that the decision to name his dog Muhammad was not meant to be offensive but was rather abut his family exercising their freedom of speech.
According to the local SJC Patch, Reeve’s dog-naming came on the heels of the councilman explaining to his children that in some parts of the Islamic world, they could be sentenced to death for using the Muslim prophet Muhammad’s name in a fashion deemed inappropriate.
On Friday, the Los Angeles chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) asked Reeve to apologize for his remarks, stating he showed “disrespect toward Islam’s revered prophet Muhammad by making [the] derisive public comment.”
As a result, Reeve, during his subsequent explanation, referred to CAIR as a “terrorist organization” and was reportedly upset over the organization’s reprimand.
But CAIR and Kramer weren’t the only ones to voice disapproval. Citing a Muslim in the audience who was offended by Reeve’s comment, Mayor Sam Allevato weighed in, stating ”You have to be really careful about what you say.” He added that “these types of comments are not acceptable” and could lead to a hostile work environment for City Hall employees.
Racist Greenies in Australia
A coconut is brown on the outside but white on the inside. It is a classic slur on blacks who co-operate with whites. For similar reasons Chinese sometimes get called "bananas"
In Australia a lot of mining and mineral exploration is conducted on traditional Aboriginal lands and the miners need to get permission from the native blacks to explore for and develop a resource. The miners give the blacks quite a lot of money to get that permission but it is usually granted.
That infuriates the Greenies who loathe all mining from deep in their bones. So the racism that they normally suppress sometimes pops out.
The company concerned in this case is Woodside Petroleum, which produces large amounts of natural gas by way of offshore drilling. That gas needs to come ashore somewhere for loading onto ships but the Greenies want to stop it coming ashore anywhere reasonably practicable.Kimberley Aborigines who support Woodside's $30 billion gas hub are being racially abused as "money-hungry coconuts" in an intensifying campaign involving hateful newsletters and graffiti attacks.
A newsletter widely distributed in Broome labels Kimberley Land Council chief executive Nolan Hunter as Woodside's "chief coconut" for his role in securing a $1.5bn deal that will bring education, employment and social benefits to the region's indigenous population in return for their support for the gas hub project.
In an exclusive interview with The Australian yesterday, Mr Hunter told how the hate mail came so thick and fast he now instructed staff at the KLC office not to open letters with their bare hands.
Mr Hunter said green groups promised in 2007 to support a single site for a gas hub in the region, but now were campaigning hard against the project. "For them, the environment can stay pristine and the people in it can live in poverty and destitution," he said. "People who oppose the gas have housing, they have income and their kids have good educational opportunities. They want somewhere pristine to come and spend their money on holidays."
Protesters have been near the site of survey work since July. "The threatening, offensive and intimidating behaviour that some of our staff, contractors and traditional owners have been subjected to over recent months is unacceptable," a Woodside spokesman said last night.
The region's indigenous Labor MP, Carol Martin, is named along with nine others in the most recent newsletter as "black on the outside, white on the inside and full of the milk of white man's money". She said opponents of the development showed disrespect for Aborigines' rights to make decisions about their land. "I'm shocked at the level of vitriol that's come out . . . this is the worst I've seen it," she said.
22 September, 2011
Leftist "tolerance" on display again: Calif. Atheists Rip Up Bible Verses During Anti-Christian Beach Protest
Why not rip up the Koran? Like Jews, Muslims really do believe in a single supreme God. Christians just have a mixed-up "triune" God more reminiscent of ancient Egypt or modern India than the God of Israel
These atheists are almost certainly hard Leftists so I wonder what it would take for Leftists to be hostile to the Koran? After all, there are heaps of Muslim doctrines that contradict things that Leftists claim to believe in big-time -- the equality of women, the lovableness of homosexuals, the separation of church and State etc.
It's hard to avoid the conclusion that Leftist beliefs are pure hypocrisy and that Leftism is instead just one big hate-fest that picks on opportune targets. Obama has even gone back to that most primitive of Leftist hates: Blaming "the rich" for America's woes.Over the years, believers and atheists have had their fair share of spats. But, as time progresses, it seems that the tit for tat arguments that often season debates between the two parties are increasing in their ferocity.
Over the weekend, Backyard Skeptics, an atheist group out in Orange County, California, decided to rip apart photocopied pages of the Christian Bible in an effort to rail against the book’s “immoral” teachings. Beliefnet’s Rob Kerby has more:[The group] says the demonstration is based loosely on Thomas Jefferson’s Bible – an 86-page book that omits huge chunks of the New Testament, according the Religion News Service. Jefferson’s Bible, which the Smithsonian National Museum of American History is restoring, chronicles Jesus’ life but leaves out the Resurrection and all miracles the Bible says Jesus performed.Bruce Gleason, the group’s director, explained the Backyard Skeptics’ opposition to the holy book. “We’re not there to burn the Bible or desecrate,” he said. “But there are plenty verses in the Bible that if you did any of those things today, you’d be thrown in jail immediately.” He continued:“We want to make this a better world for secular and humanistic values. We don’t believe prayer works. We don’t believe religion adds anything except a sense of false hope.”In actions that the Washington Post’s Brad Hirschfield called “hypocritical” (after all, these are “free thinkers” who are purposely destroying something they disagree with), these non-believers decided to hold the very public demonstration to showcase their disrespect for Christian scriptures.
To make sure that people would see the event regardless of their location, Backyard Skeptics even aired it live on UStream.com. Hirschfield responds to all of this, writing:Fanatical atheism is no worse and no better than fanatical religion, though it may be more bitterly ironic. There is something pretty odd, dare I say hypocritical, about a bunch of people who call themselves “freethinkers” and “humanists” not only verbally abusing people of faith, but actually tearing up verses from the Bible as an act of protest…And in the Baptist Press, Kelly Boggs discusses the lack of media coverage the event has received:If the organization were Christian and ripping pages from the Quran or destroying the book “Heather Has Two Mommies,” it likely would have garnered media attention from sea to shining sea, with the Christians portrayed as insensitive bigots or intolerant censors.Considering the negative attention a Florida pastor brought upon himself over his Koran-burning exploits, it‘s a wonder this hasn’t warranted more media scrutiny.
British Internet troll jailed for posting abuse about dead teenagers
We read:"An internet troll who targeted the grieving families of dead teenagers has been jailed.He might have gotten away with it in America on free speech grounds but maybe not: It comes very close to libel.
Sean Duffy, 25, targeted Facebook tribute pages and posted videos on YouTube taunting the dead and their families. One of his targets was Natasha MacBryde, 15, who threw herself under a train after suffering bullying.
Duffy, who is unemployed and did not know any of his victims, posted an anonymous video on YouTube called Tasha the Tank Engine, which her family said left them feeling "shocked, outraged and physically sick".
He pleaded guilty to two counts of sending malicious communications relating to Natasha. He asked for three other cases of Facebook trolling to be taken into consideration when he appeared before magistrates in Reading, southern England.
Jailing Duffy for 18 weeks, the maximum possible sentence, the chair of the bench, Paul Warren, said: "You have caused untold distress to already grieving friends and family. "The offences are so serious only a custodial sentence could be justified."
Duffy was banned from social-networking sites for five years. He will also have to inform police of any phone he has or buys that comes with internet access.
21 September, 2011
Va. county school board sued over Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments are bad, but it is apparently OK to indoctrinate kids into believing that homosexuality is normal and the USA is evil! Leftism is a religion too."Civil-liberties groups are suing a southwest Virginia school board for posting the Ten Commandments, contending that the display violates the Constitution's guarantee of separation of church and state.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia filed the lawsuit Tuesday against Giles County School Board in U.S. District Court in Roanoke on behalf of an unidentified Narrows High School student and the student's parent.
After removing them during the school year, school board members voted in June to rehang the biblical texts as part of displays that include other U.S. historical documents.
Headlight flashing faces test as free speech in Florida
We read:"When Erich Campbell passed two Florida Highway Patrol cruisers parked in the median near Tampa International Airport in December 2009, he flashed his headlights to warn oncoming drivers of the radar patrol.I was once ticketed for doing the same thing in Australia but when I wrote a letter of complaint to a top official about it, I was told that no offence had been committed and the ticket was withdrawn. The Florida cops would have been wise to do the same with the guy above but they were obviously too pigheaded.
Then, to his surprise, one of the troopers pulled over his silver Toyota Tundra and ticketed him for improper flashing of high beams. "Literally within one minute, they had me stopped on the side of the road," recalled Campbell, 38, a former electrician and full-time student.
In August, the Land O'Lakes, Fla., resident filed a class-action lawsuit in Tallahassee against the highway patrol and other state traffic-enforcement agencies. He seeks an injunction barring law enforcement from issuing headlight-flash tickets, plus refunds and civil damages for previously cited motorists.
Campbell's lawyer, J. Marc Jones, claims his client's First Amendment right to free speech was violated. "The flashing of lights to communicate with another driver is clearly speech," he said.
"The First Amendment protects all sorts of non-verbal conduct; it protects more than the spoken or printed word," Hudson said. "Courts have found that a wide variety of actions — such as honking one's horn or flashing one's headlights — are forms of communication under the First Amendment."
Five days after the lawsuit was filed, Welch said patrols stopped citing motorists for flashing headlights until the case is resolved.
20 September, 2011
FL: The Democrat hate speech never stops
All Republicans should be jailed?"So much for the “Dissent Is Patriotic” talk that was popular with Dems during the George W. Bush era.
Trying to fire up the crowd at Saturday night’s Palm Beach County Democratic Party fundraising dinner, County Commissioner Burt Aaronson suggested a new way of dealing with President Obama‘s foes:“You know, if a ballplayer threw a game and they get caught, they go to jail. Well, what are we going to do to the Republicans who are throwing the country?Source
“They’re throwing our country, and they all should be put in jail for what they’re doing, because they’re destroying our country, because they said at the beginning our one mission is to get rid of President Obama. That was their mission. They don’t care how much they destroy other people. They don’t care whether you go to work. They don’t care about anything.
“All they want to do is destroy the president. And in destroying the president of the United States, you destroy our country. They should be put in jail, each and every one of them, for throwing the country.”
Disrespect for Lord Ganesha?
I suspect that Lord Ganesha seems rather amusing to most Westerners but he is the object of great devotion in India so I personally would think it mere good manners to treat him with respect. Manners, not legality, is the issue here, I would think. He does no harm and obviously provides comfort to manyA Hindu leader says he's worried that the Hindu god Ganesh is being made a laughing stock on stage in a play about to premiere in Melbourne.
The publicity blurb for Ganesh versus the Third Reich, from Geelong-based company Back to Back Theatre, depicts the elephant-headed Hindu god of prophecy seeking to go one-on-one with Hitler over the swastika.
Rajan Zed, a Hindu statesman from the United States, said Hindus were concerned about the play, which will premiere at the Melbourne Festival. "The Lord Ganesh was meant to be worshipped in temples and home shrines and not to be made a laughing stock on theatre stages," Mr Zed said in a statement.
"Lord Ganesh was devine and theatre/film/art were welcome to create projects about/around him showing his true depiction as mentioned in the scriptures," said the president of the Universal Society of Hinduism.
"Creating irrelevant imaginary imagery, like reportedly depicting him being tortured and interrogated by Nazi SS, hurts the devotees."
19 September, 2011
Must not identify famous Jews??
We read:"Apple said today that an iPhone application called "Jew or Not Jew" which drew criticism from anti-racism and Jewish groups has been removed from the App Store in France.
The application, which went on sale on August 9 and cost 0.79 euros, was denounced in France by SOS Racisme, Jewish groups and other organisations. The app provided information about whether some 3500 people from various walks of life in 50 countries were Jewish or not.
The creator of the application, Johann Levy, told AFP in Paris that he is Jewish and the app was not intended to be offensive.
On the contrary, he said, it was designed to "make Jews proud" when they find out that a "particular celebrity is also Jewish".
Leftist hatred of the flag again
Using the weakest of excuses: "traffic concerns"!What started out as a patriotic gesture intended to remember the nearly 3,000 lives lost on September 11, 2001, ended up becoming a major verbal scuffle that one North Arizona University student calls “a free speech violation.”
The incident, which has likely evolved into something much larger than either side originally anticipated, occurred when students were passing out American flags on their public university campus last Friday.
In explaining her motivation for holding the initiative, student and Leadership Institute campus representative Stephanee Freer said, ”9/11 is very important to me. That’s why I do the event. Every year, I do something for 9/11 and it’s never been disrupted like this.“
The ”disruption” she mentions unfolded as follows: During the distribution, four university officials and a police officer approached the group and told the students that they would need to move their activities to a different locality. According to campus staff, the students were hindering foot traffic and they did not have a permit to be operating inside of the school. The students, feeling as though they were within their rights, didn’t react to this request very favorably.
Throughout the video, the dialogue between all parties is uncomfortable at best. Freer, a conservative who has been active on campus, believes that she was targeted over her political views. She explains: “I wasn’t waiting for an incident. I wasn’t looking for an incident. This was really about 9/11 and it turned into a free speech violation.”
College personnel, though, deny that this is a free speech issue. Tom Bauer, a spokesman for the university, says that the students were asked to move because of traffic concerns
18 September, 2011
British T-Shirts said to incite domestic violence
It's obviously an attempt at humour but some people have none"A LAUNDRY list of excuses and none of them cut it. Top clothing line Topman has pulled two T-shirts from production after being accused of promoting domestic abuse and sexism.
One of the offending tees, pictured above, was ripped apart on social networks after people perceived it to be a list of excuses for hitting women.
"Promoting the excuses that men use to get away with abusing women is clearly wrong, whether it's on a T-shirt or not," said one Facebook user. "Many woman and children flee for their lives every year from domestic violence. It's very poor taste to promote it," another wrote.
The Guardian's Bella Mackie sarcastically tweeted that another T-shirt - "Nice new girlfriend - what breed is she?" - was "classy" for comparing women to dogs.
Topman has heeded the complaints and pulled the offending garments from shelves. "We have received some negative feedback regarding two of our printed T-shirts," a statement read. "... we would like to stress that these T-shirts were meant to be light-hearted and carried no serious meaning."
Judge says Fla. docs can talk about guns
We read:"A federal judge has blocked enforcement of a first-in-the-nation law that restricted what Florida physicians can say about guns to their patients. U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke ruled Wednesday that the law violates the Constitution's free speech protections for doctors and patients.The law was passed because Leftist doctor organizations like the AMA were encouraging doctors to find out if there were any guns in the homes of patients. The idea was apparently to deny care or report such families to the police as suspicious. Whatever happened to medical confidentiality and medical ethics I don't know.
The law was pushed by gun rights supporters who claimed the doctors' questions are an invasion of privacy. The law took effect June 2. It was challenged by physicians' groups who said it violates longstanding preventative medical practices.
The measure was watered down by state lawmakers to allow exceptions. For example, a doctor could ask a person with mental problems about guns at home.
Still physicians were concerned a patient could file a complaint that might lead to loss of their medical licenses and fines up to $10,000."
The law was clearly a bad approach. Making funds available to prosecute any doctors violating medical confidentiality or medical ethics would have been smarter. Another approach would have been to make doctors display a sign advising people that they do not have to answer any questions about guns.
17 September, 2011
FBI must not tell its agents the truth about Islam
We read:"Leaked documents have revealed the FBI is teaching its counterterrorism agents that "main stream" Muslims are likely to be terrorist sympathisers.
Documents given to Wired magazine’s “Danger Room” by an FBI whistleblower show agents are instructed that the Islamic practice of giving charity is a “funding mechanism for combat”, the Prophet Mohammed was a “cult leader, and include a graph showing the more “devout” a Muslim is the more likely he is to engage in acts of violence.
One presentation explains that these tendencies towards violence: “may not be a 'radical' threat as much as it is simply a normal assertion of the orthodox ideology. “The strategic themes animating these Islamic values are not fringe; they are main stream.”
The material claims that "any war against non-believers is justified” under Muslim law.
The revelations have been slammed by former FBI members as both discriminatory and ineffective.
Recently retired US Navy “al-Qaida-hunter” Robert McFadden told Wired that “teaching counter-terrorism operatives about obscure aspects of Islam without context, without objectivity, and without covering other non-religious drivers of dangerous behavior is no way to stop actual terrorists.”
Must not hint at the fact that most of the London rioters were black
Boris Johnson is the Mayor of London"One of Boris Johnson’s closest political aides was tonight facing calls to resign after he was accused of making a racist joke about the London riots.Persil is an old-fashioned laundry detergent, apparently marketed as good for washing colored clothes, which can sometimes "run" (i.e. lose some of their dye)
Tory Richard Barnes, who is Johnson’s deputy mayor, was apparently overheard making the offensive comments by colleagues.
Barnes, who is openly gay, is reported to have said: ‘Why did police put Persil in the water cannons? To stop the colours running?’
Today his comments have been described as 'disgusting' and there are calls for him to resign as Equality Advisor.
Linda Perks, UNISON’s Regional Secretary for London, said: 'It beggars belief that the Equality Advisor to the Mayor should make racist jokes.
16 September, 2011
Rowdy football crowd are "terrorists"?
Words are continually being degradedNRL chief executive David Gallop has fired an extraordinary salvo at Melbourne Storm fans, likening their behaviour on Sunday to that of terrorists.
On the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Gallop attacked those among a 14,000-strong crowd at AAMI Park who booed him.
"I never really go for that whole passion line. I mean, terrorists are passionate about what they do and, you know, that doesn't make it right," Gallop said. "I obviously didn't enjoy it, but I'm absolutely confident we made the right decision."
When questioned about the use of the term terrorist Gallop did not back down. "Well, it's a topical one at the moment," he said.
"Passion is a bad excuse and it gets used too much in sport ... Passion isn't something that is an excuse for poor behaviour."
Have The Constitutional Protections For Public Prayer Changed?
We read:"In a remarkable 2-1 split decision, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (which presides over the four states of the Carolina's and the Virginias) invalidated the policy of Forsyth County, NC that allowed prayers to be offered before meetings of the County Council. The court acknowledged that the county policy was "neutral and proactively inclusive." However, the court's view of the Constitution places new limits on how a private citizen can pray finding that public invocations cannot have "sectarian references" that are too "frequent."
The decision is troubling on many fronts. It is out of step with many other federal courts that have considered the validity of public invocations, including the United States Supreme Court. It ignores the religious heritage and history of our nation. But more troubling is the impact of the court's decision on prayer itself. The court decision ignores a key purpose of a public invocation. It requires the government to censor private prayers and engage in comparative theology. The majority opinion punishes a county for the demographic make-up of the community and signals to people from many faith traditions that their prayers are not welcome.
America's founders opened public meetings with prayer that included express references to the Christian faith, and the County Commissioners of Forsyth County should be able to do the same.
The words of the First Amendment have not changed. If the Constitution protects prayer, then it protects the rights of people to pray consistently with the dictates of their own conscience, even when praying at a public meeting. Nothing gives the government more power to establish religion than to have the government tell people how and to whom they should pray.
In the past four years, five different federal court cases have upheld public invocation policies like the one adopted Forsyth County. The decision of the 4th Circuit is out of step with these other federal courts and out of step with the U.S. Constitution.
15 September, 2011
Australian public broadcaster censored for "racism" by Apple
The censored show is a comedy competition run by a very "proper" organization. It is just the title of the show that is "offensive" apparently"The ABC has pleaded with Apple to reconsider its censoring of its top-selling Spicks and Specks app after it was deemed too racist by iTunes."Spick" was once used to some extent in Australia as a derogatory term for Italians but it is many years since I have heard it. The young guns at the ABC were probably genuinely unaware of its derogatory use.
The ABC show - hosted by Adam Hills - is named after a Bee Gees song but the word "spick" is often used as a derogatory term in the US for people of Latin American descent.
The broadcaster has asked iTunes to reconsider its decision to amend it to S***ks and Specks, after it surged to No.1 on the local entertainment app chart.
"iTunes is a US-based platform and it automatically censors words which are considered accidentally offensive in America," an ABC spokesman said. "We've asked Apple to review it for the Australian audience."
So even a Left-leaning organization can become unglued by political correctness. This business of people having to watch their mouth all the time is getting almost Stalinist. It's certainly very oppressive.
Update: Christian Cross Now Allowed on Man’s Lawn After NJ Town Amends Ordinance
We read:"New Jersey officials who mandated that a man remove a Christian cross from his private property have taken decisive action to avoid a contentious — not to mention expensive — First Amendment legal battle.
The initial drama, which we first reported on The Blaze back in July, unfolded after neighbors who didn’t like the cross complained. As a result, officials upheld a littering ordinance that prohibits citizens from posting anything on structures, including trees. The regulation is breached if posted items are “calculated to attract the attention of the public.”
The cross, posted by Patrick Racaniello, initially violated these standards. When the town asked him to remove it, he complied. Then, when he created another version of it and placed it on his lawn, he was again found to be in violation of yet another township regulation.
At this point, Racaniello decided to take his case to the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund, a group of Christian lawyers who typically involve themselves in such matters.
Knowing full-well that a major battle would unfold if the issue made its way into the courts, township officials buckled. In an effort to quell the debate that was quickly boiling over, they amended the township code.
14 September, 2011
Peaceniks say to Ban Pledge of Allegiance at Massachusetts Schools, Citing No Educational Value
In the days of the Soviet empire, peaceniks opposed American military preparedness. They are just America haters."Days before the 10th anniversary of 9/11 a leader from a group in Massachusetts is calling on public schools in one town to ban students from reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, saying it has no educational value and the pressure it places on children to participate makes his “skin crawl,”
Martin Rosenthal, the co-chair of Brookline Political Action for Peace, or Brookline Pax, told the paper the pledge puts “kids in an uncomfortable situation” and doesn’t belong in schools.
The pledge is recited once a week in Brookline public schools. It is said during morning announcements and children are afforded the opportunity to not participate.
Christie Coombs, a mother whose husband died on American Airlines Flight 11 during the attacks of Sept. 11, told The Boston Herald that the idea makes her “sick to her stomach.” "America has been through a lot with the bad economy and soldiers dying in Afghanistan on a weekly basis, but we’ve pulled back together. A majority of Americans are proud to pay tribute to the flag,” she told the Herald.
Stone said she doesn’t anticipate the school committee reconsidering its current policy, The Globe reported.
British "comedian" jokes about 9/11
Tries to minimize it by comparing it with an earlier plane crashControversial comedian Jimmy Carr sparked outrage on the anniversary of 9/11 - by making a joke about air disasters.
The 38-year-old stand-up tweeted: 'Sept 11th Date of terrible air disaster. When Eastern Airlines Flt 212 crashed in 1974. Killing 69. No one will forget that in a hurry.'
But his followers, including Crimewatch presenter Rav Wilding, 33, blasted him for having a sick sense of humour. Wilding tweeted: '@jimmycarr why would you even attempt to make a joke about 09/11? Seriously bad taste.'
And other users were quick to blast the stand-up with scores of his 1.25million followers unfollowing him in protest.
13 September, 2011
Another brain-dead European
No wonder Hitler conned them so well. There was a large Dutch Nazi party. One of their posters below:
Translation: "With Germany against capitalism"On September 11, Wouter Mijland a Dutch artist living in Dresden, Germany, plans to create a monument — not for the innocent victims or heroes who perished on that fateful day — but for fallen Taliban fighters. According to an interview in a German-language blog, Mijland alleges his monument will look like a large jelly can with a heart in the middle.
Mijland, who allegedly claims the Islamic threat “is a product of Western propaganda,” calls his monument a “cheap provocation.” He also said that “some people think differently about the 11 September 2001 and its consequences on the polarization and stigmatization of people of Muslim religion.”
No logic, just hate speech
Below is what far-Left economist Paul Krugman recently wrote on the NYT. I frankly can't make head or tail of what he is driving at. Only the hate of conservatives comes throughIs it just me, or are the 9/11 commemorations oddly subdued? Actually, I don’t think it’s me, and it’s not really that odd.What did Krugman think Americans should have done in response to 9/11? Shout "Allah Akhbar"? A writer here thinks Krugman is insane. Insane with hate, I would say.
What happened after 9/11 — and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not — was deeply shameful. The atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neocons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons.
A lot of other people behaved badly. How many of our professional pundits — people who should have understood very well what was happening — took the easy way out, turning a blind eye to the corruption and lending their support to the hijacking of the atrocity?
The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it.
12 September, 2011
College Threatens to Cancel 9/11 Tribute Unless Flags From Other Countries Are Included
It is a private college, so they have the right to be America-hating Leftists, but what this episode will do to their reputation is another matter. A few emails to them might improve their perspective. Their President is Jean Scott at email@example.com Their phone is (740) 376-4555An Ohio college reportedly threatened to cancel a Sept. 11 American flag memorial unless student organizers included flags from other countries that suffered losses in the attacks as well.
Sarah Snow, president of the Marietta College Republicans, told Human Events her organization planned to observe the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks by putting up 2,977 small flags on the school’s grounds, one to commemorate each person who died.
After receiving initial permission from the college to hold the memorial, Snow, a junior, said she received a second email saying the vigil would not be allowed unless it also included flags from the other countries too.
In a post on the Young America’s Foundation website, an organization for conservative students, Snow said her “jaw dropped” when she read the email.
“Why should we place the extra flags anyways? It was an attack on AMERICANS, AMERICAN ideals, AMERICAN capitalism, defense, and freedom,” she wrote. “The World Trade Center wasn’t hit because a Chinese accountant was working that morning; it was hit because American capitalists were there.”
The school ultimately said they would provide the additional flags themselves, one per country, and both sides agreed to the compromise of including them along with the 2,977 American ones. Snow said it was either include the other countries or not hold display at all.
Snow said although the school itself is fairly liberal, the surrounding community tends to be more conservative. She said she’s been flooded with supportive calls from local churches, 9-12 groups and Marietta alumni.
NFL Nixes Rumors of Fines, Will Allow Players to Wear Special 9/11 Gear
We read:"After reports circulated that NFL players could be hit with fines this weekend for wearing “unauthorized” patriotic gear to honor the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the league confirmed that players will be allowed to wear special red, white and blue shoes and gloves.
“NFL confirmed to clubs this morning that players may wear special shoes & gloves from NFL licensees for Week 1 games,” NFL Vice President of Football Communications Michael Signora wrote on Twitter Friday afternoon.
The NFL has strict rules about game-day attire, and any unauthorized uniform alteration can lead to steep fines. Rumors of possible fines lit up on Twitter Thursday, after players including Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs posted about receiving “Never Forget” gloves and shoes from Reebok
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, several Chargers players received the gear but were warned by Reebok officials that it was not authorized by the NFL. The paper reported at least one Chargers player said he would risk the fine and wear the cleats.
The NFL provides pink apparel, including shoes, for players to wear to support breast cancer awareness in October.
11 September, 2011
Another French charade
We read:"A French court has found fashion designer John Galliano guilty of anti-Semitic behavior in two complaints.Even the fines were suspended so he got off with no penalty. So in France you have free speech by default: Racist speech is illegal but the penalties are so light that they are no deterrent.
He could have been sentenced to a maximum of six months in jail. Instead, Galliano was fined 6,000 euros ($8,400), though the fines were suspended.
The former Dior designer was charged in connection with incidents in October, where he was accused of verbally abusing an English language teacher at Cafe La Perle in Paris, and in March where he ranted at a couple at the same restaurant.
Galliano swiftly fell from fashion’s highest ranks after a video of a third tirade at La Perle appeared on the website of the British tabloid The Sun in February. In the video, Galliano – apparently intoxicated – declares to the bar’s patrons, “I love Hitler,” says that “people like you would be dead,” and “your mothers, your forefathers” would all be “gassed.”
Both Brigitte Bardot and Jean-Marie Le Pen have taken advantage of that. They have been repeatedly taken to court for criticizing Muslims but the small fines they get do nothing to stop them doing the same thing all over again.
In Britain and America, if you get caught out in some "incorrect" action the penalties can be severe (a Brit holocaust-denier got 4 years jail, for instance) so the French system has something to be said for it.
Tory councillor sacked from teaching job at grammar school after calling rioters 'jungle bunnies' on Facebook
We read:"A grammar school teacher and Tory councillor has lost his job after calling rioters who brought havoc to the country last month ‘jungle bunnies’.You lose your job if you criticize black thieves?? Their behavior certainly owed more to the jungle than to civilization.
Bob Frost, a maths teacher at the prestigious Sir Roger Manwood’s grammar and boarding school, made the comment on the social networking site Facebook on August 7.
Soon afterwards the 49-year-old was suspended from his position as a Tory councillor on Dover District Council in Kent after fellow councillors spotted his offensive comments on the social networking site.
Then on Monday this week Mr Frost lost his job at the highly-regarded 912-pupil grammar school, the 96th oldest school in the UK, which was founded in 1563 by barrister Sir Roger Manwood.
Mr Frost wrote on August 10 - three days after writing ‘jungle bunnies’ in reference to the rioters on his Facebook wall - that he had been phoned up by a fellow councillor and accused of racism.
‘Needless to say I did not mean to use any offensive racist term and was referring to the urban jungle.’
He added: ‘As for the bunny bit it was originally ‘animals’, but I thought people might object to me calling fellow humans this so I chose something I thought was innocent and also cuddly.’
10 September, 2011
False Tweets Result in Possible 30-year Prison Sentence in Mexico
We read:"Think before you tweet. A former teacher turned radio commentator and a math tutor who lives with his mother sit in a prison in southern Mexico, facing possible 30-year sentences for terrorism and sabotage in what may be the most serious charges ever brought against anyone using a Twitter social network account.I can't say I blame the Mexican authorities for taking a dim view of this. False alarms can be very destructive and people should check the truth of what they say. I don't believe in free speech for lies. The proposed penalties in this case however seem excessive.
Prosecutors say the defendants helped cause a chaos of car crashes and panic as parents in the Gulf Coast city of Veracruz rushed to save their children because of false reports that gunmen were attacking schools.
Gerardo Buganza, interior secretary for Veracruz state, compared the panic to that caused by Orson Welles' 1938 radio broadcast of "The War of the Worlds." But he said the fear roused by that account of a Martian invasion of New Jersey "was small compared to what happened here."
In violence-wracked cities in the northern state of Tamaulipas, citizens and even authorities have used Twitter and Facebook to warn one another about shootouts.
But the real problem appears to be that governments cannot prevent drug cartel violence or even accurately inform citizens about it. Local news media are often so battered by kidnappings and killings of reporters that, in many states, they are loath to report about it.
Black Civil Rights Leader Defends Flying Confederate Flag
We read:"H.K. Edgerton is a former NAACP chapter president who considers himself both a dyed-in-the-wool southerner and a staunch supporter of the Confederate flag
The former civil rights activist is set to speak tonight in support of the Son's of Confederate Veterans in Lexington, Virginia. He has agreed to speak because he wants to ensure Confederate flags will be allowed to fly on Lexington city poles.
Lexington outlawed the display of anything other than state or federal flags on city poles after outrage this past January when Confederate Flags were raised to celebrate Lee Jackson day.
Despite the fact that he is the former Asheville, North Carolina NAACP president, Edgerton argues that the flag is not a symbol of hatred, but rather represents the South and Christianity. Other, negative uses of the flag are the result of it being "hijacked," according to Edgerton.
In defense of his past activism supporting the Confederate flag and his planned appearances today in Lexington, Edgerton said to WSLS-10 News: "What is it that you people keep trying to make our flag out to be, this evil thing, this evil symbol, this evil presence."
9 September, 2011
America now has official hate speech
We read:"Will Barack Obama condemn Joe Biden and Jimmy Hoffa for calling Republicans 'barbarians' and 'son of a bitches'
I enjoy political hardball as much as the next reporter. It's barely concealed truth that campaign journalists, like the operatives we cover, love negative campaigning and revel in OTT insults and martial rhetoric. Even candidates often lapse into the language of "rip his throat out", "tear his eyes out" or "drive a stake through her heart".
But the statements today by Jimmy Hoffa Jr and Vice President Joe Biden demean the presidency and, tactically speaking, are stupid own goals.
Hoffa, the Teamsters president, was warming up a Detroit crowd when he said: "President Obama, this is your army, and we are ready to march. Everybody here’s got a vote. If we go back, and we keep the eye on the prize, let’s take these son of a bitches out and give America back to America where we belong.”
Biden, whose mouth has long been a liability for Obama, was at an AFL-CIO rally when he told union members: "You are the only folks keeping the barbarians from the gates…the other side has declared war on labour's house."
The difference, of course, is that they were uttered publicly by someone chosen by the White House to introduce Obama and by the sitting vice-president at a time when Obama is calling for a bipartisan coming together to tackle the economy. To add to their foolishness, they follow on from Obama's sensible call in January for "civility" in public discourse and for people to talk "in a way that heals, not a way that wounds".
But will Obama have the political and moral courage to repudiate a powerful union boss and his own vice-president?
Extraordinary: Australian private phone companies agree not to criticize a new government-owned phone company
What sort of government business must not be criticized? Easy answer: A useless one. People must not be told of the alternatives if the government company is to get much business. It's actually a major confession by the government about how foolish their offering is.
What's happening is that the Leftist government has decided to build a phone network that would have been cutting-edge 5 years ago: A fibre-optic network that will service both phones and internet access.
But it is obsolete even before it is built. All the movement in the market these days is away from fixed services to mobile services -- and 4th generation wireless internet is in fact being rolled out in some parts of Australia in just a few month's time. So the Leftist government is desperately trying to defend its white elephant. The whole project should instead be abandoned before any more money is wasted on it.Optus has promised not to criticise the National Broadband Network in key regions for 15 years under a deal that raises new warnings the $36 billion project will stifle competition.
Just a week after the competition regulator warned that parts of an $11bn deal with Telstra could prove detrimental to competition and consumers, official documents reveal that an $800 million deal with Optus includes an "anti-disparagement" provision.
The provision, designed to help shore up the number of customers using the NBN, stops Optus from being "expressly critical of" or making "any express adverse statement" about the performance of the network.
The ban would apply in the areas where the No 2 telco has agreed to shut down its cable network, which presently passes 2.4 million premises, and is also likely to affect the 504,000 Optus customers who would be migrated to the NBN.
The deal also stops Optus from marketing its wireless data services to target those households in a way that criticises the NBN. But Optus is still "free to compete in the market for the supply of wireless services".
Telstra has promised not to promote its wireless internet services as a direct substitute for the NBN for the next 20 years.
8 September, 2011
Wrong to describe a woman as attractive?
"Good sort" is old-fashioned Australian slang for "attractive woman". It is entirely complimentary and in no way derogatory. But the manager of an Australian football team has been penalized for using the expression!Manly Sea Eagles media manager Peter "Zorba" Peters was stood down last week for telling Sky News journalist Megan Barnard she was "a good sort" not once, but twice, on camera outside the NRL judiciary.
While some have leapt to his defence, calling it political correctness gone mad, others have seen the incident as indicative not only of entrenched negative attitudes towards women in a male-dominated environment, but a sign that for all our focus on educating the community about inappropriate comments, little is getting through.
Jesus thumbs-up ad gets thumbs down
We read:"Britain's advertising watchdog has banned a mobile phone company commercial which featured a cartoon Jesus who winked and gave a thumbs-up gesture.Are Christians that thin-skinned? I guess some may be. But compared to the abuse that gets hurled at American Christians, it's pretty trivial.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that the Phones 4 U campaign, which carried the slogan: "Miraculous deals on Samsung Galaxy Android phones", appeared to be mocking the Christian faith.
"We considered that, although the ads were intended to be light-hearted and humorous, their depiction of Jesus winking and holding a thumbs-up sign, with the text "miraculous" deals during Easter, the Christian Holy Week which celebrated Christ's resurrection, gave the impression that they were mocking and belittling core Christian beliefs," the ASA said today.
"We therefore concluded that the ads were disrespectful to the Christian faith and were likely to cause serious offence, particularly to Christians."
Anyway, Christians are heavily discriminated against in Britain so I suppose it's good to see them getting a bit of recognition.
7 September, 2011
Racist German-American broadcaster says Hispanic Senator is not a true American
"Schultz" is a German surname so I guess that prejudice against racially different people is "kind of in Ed Schultz's makeup". Or so we would conclude if we apply Ed's logic to himself.Host of MSNBC's "The Ed Show," Ed Schultz, ranted about Sen. Marco Rubio's criticism of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, going so far as to say that Rubio is "not a true American" for his criticism of the social welfare programs and his refusal to appear on Schultz's show.Video at link
After an impassioned defense of "big three" government programs, Schultz concluded with a shot at Rubio and the Tea Party: "You're a Tea Partier, and you don't give a damn about any of the Americans because, you see, it's kind of in your makeup, Senator".
And with that, Schultz engages in exactly the kind of rhetoric which, applied to President Obama, he would denounce as racist. Especially that bit about how Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, isn't a "true American."
Colorado School Comes Under Fire for Hanging Saudi Flag Higher Than American Flag
We read:"An elementary school in Colorado has come under criticism after they lowered the American flag and elevated a Saudi Arabian flag.How Leftist educators hate their own country! No patriot would have done such a thing.
The principal at Bauder Elementary School in Fort Collins said they did not mean to disrespect the American flag, according to a report in the Greeley Gazzette. Principal Brian Carpenter told the newspaper that the American flag was immediately returned to its proper and prominent position at the school.
He explained that other flags are posted around the school to recognize the nationalities of students from other countries. A photograph showing the raised Saudi flag alongside the lowered American flag was first posted on the Greeley Report, a local blog. It generated lots of local debate.
6 September, 2011
Is support for terrorism free speech?
A Leftist writer below argues that it is and he actually has a fairly good case in terms of existing legal precedents. SCOTUS has drawn a rather fine line over what sort of advocacy of violence is permissible and I think they have got it pretty right. They say that advocating violence in general terms is OK but not in specific terms.
So: "The capitalist system must be crushed by armed revolution" is OK -- being essentially an expression of opinion or belief -- but "Meet at my place at 10am tomorrow with hammers and we will go downtown and smash the windows of all the banks" is not OK.
And the sort of Islamic advocacy that our Leftist defends below would seem to fall into the protected "general" category rather than the banned "specific" category.
On the other hand, the terrorists by their own admission are at war with us and speech restrictions during wartime are generally defended in the name of protecting the population. "Loose lips sink ships" was a famous government slogan in WWII. So safety trumps free speech. And I think that could be argued in respect of the cases belowOver the past several years, the Justice Department has increasingly attempted to criminalize what is clearly protected political speech by prosecuting numerous individuals (Muslims, needless to say) for disseminating political views the government dislikes or considers threatening. The latest episode emerged on Friday, when the FBI announced the arrest and indictment of Jubair Ahmad, a 24-year-old Pakistani legal resident living in Virginia, charged with "providing material support" to a designated Terrorist organization (Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT)).
What is the "material support" he allegedly gave? He produced and uploaded a 5-minute video to YouTube featuring photographs of U.S. abuses in Abu Ghraib, video of armored trucks exploding after being hit by IEDs, prayer messages about "jihad" from LeT's leader, and -- according to the FBI's Affidavit -- "a number of terrorist logos." That, in turn, led the FBI agent who signed the affidavit to assert that "based on [his] training and experience, it is evident that the video . . . is designed as propaganda to develop support for LeT and to recruit jihadists to LeT."
Thoroughly reprehensible speech
The fashion industry has a lot to answer forA size eight teenage model said being bullied for being too fat on Australia's Next Top Model sent a dangerous message to vulnerable young viewers. Alissandra Moone, 18, who at 57kg [125lb] is considered underweight on the Australian body mass index, was "stunned" when her size became an issue on Foxtel's top-rating show.I know very little about the fashion industry but I understand that homosexuals are prominent in it and I have often heard the comment that they want women to look like boys. The effect however is to disparage normal women so I think what we should all do is to disparage the fashion industry to all who will listen
Judge Alex Perry has openly criticised Moone's body, likening it to "overstuffed luggage", [I'd like to smash that guy in his insulting mouth and I would be pleased if somebody did] and the clash is set to reach a head on tonight's episode.
"It's a very bad message to be sending to young girls who watch the show," Moone said yesterday. "It's harsh. It's stupid. And it's out of touch. I understand it's a reality of the (modelling) industry but this is a TV show and they should have a responsibility to censor that kind of thing.
The average dress size for most Aussie women is a 12 to 14, while the most recent Mission Australia youth survey showed body image was the most serious concern facing young people between 11 and 24 -- above bullying, drugs and family conflict.
The critique of Moone's size is in stark contrast to Melbourne Spring Fashion Week organisers' decision this year to only use models with a healthy BMI. Models will be vetted by casting agents to ensure they are not too thin before they are signed up.
The insulting mouth above is not homosexual though he gives the impression that he is. He is also known for rough language. I actually applaud rough language under some circumstance but not when it is so cruelly and inaccurately addressed.
5 September, 2011
Virginia City Weighs Confederate Flag-Flying Limits
We read:"Officials in this city where Robert E. Lee and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson are buried are considering limits on downtown flag-flying, including the Confederate flag, angering defenders of the divisive Southern symbol.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans organized a rally ahead of a scheduled public hearing Thursday night and an expected vote.
Officials in this college town of 7,000 insist the flag limits are not aimed at the Confederate flag. The proposal would limit the use of downtown poles to the flying of the U.S., Virginia and Lexington flags. It would not restrict the display of the Confederate flag elsewhere in the city.
"They can carry their flags anywhere they want," City Manager T. Jon Ellestad. The city received hundreds of complaints the last time Confederate flags were planted in holders on lights poles, in January to mark Lee-Jackson Day, a state holiday.
The NAACP launched an economic boycott of South Carolina in 1999 about the Confederate flag that flew atop the Statehouse dome and in the chambers of the House and Senate. A compromise in 2000 moved the flag to a monument outside the Statehouse.
This is not the first time Lexington, is at the southern end of the Shenandoah Valley, has clashed with the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The city attempted nearly 20 years ago to ban the display of the Confederate flag during a parade honoring Jackson. The American Civil Liberties Union, which successfully defended the group's bid to carry the flag, is closely watching this dispute from afar.
"City council could live to regret this ordinance, as it imposes unusually restrictive limits on the use of the light poles," said Kent Willis, the ACLU's executive director in Virginia. "Sometime in the future when city officials want to use those light poles to promote a special event they may find themselves handcuffed by their own lawmaking.”
Players penalized for religious tribute to recently departed friend
We read:"Touchdown celebrations are as much a part of high school football as wing-T formations and unexpected upsets. Yet, just as they do in the NFL and NCAA, some celebrations do occasionally cross the line into insult, rightfully earning excessive celebration penalties as a result.
That certainly didn't seem to be the case on Friday, when two Louisville (Ohio) High football players celebrated what appeared to be a game-winning touchdown against Cleveland (Ohio) Walsh Jesuit High with just 1:15 remaining in the game with a testament to a late friend who had passed away just days before the season-opening game.
Unfortunately, referees felt differently and penalized Louisville for excessive celebration, setting the stage for a game-winning field goal for Walsh Jesuit as time ran out.
As reported by the Associated Press and a variety of Ohio sources, the "excessive celebration" came as Louisville wide receiver Alex Schooley and teammate Gavin Lovejoy met each other in the end zone after Schooley's late touchdown reception, which gave Louisville a 26-24 lead. Instinctively, the two Louisville players pointed at the sky, a motion intended to pay tribute to a close friend (whose name has not been released) who had died in an accident just days before.
Less than a minute-and-a-half of official time later, Walsh Jesuit was celebrating a come-from-behind, season-opening 27-26 win while Louisville was bemoaning a misinterpreted honor for a friend.
"[It was just] a simple gesture to heaven," Ann Miller, the grandmother of a Louisville player, told the AP.
4 September, 2011
There are SOME things that can get a good blogger down
Try blindness for instance. A complication of my recent surgery meant that I went nearly blind. So I had to go to hospital for a couple of days to put that in reverse. I am now just back from there and seem to be as good as ever. So I will be doing a bit of reading now and should be back to full-strength blogging tomorrow.
2 September, 2011
A very stupid joke
It's funny to accuse a married woman (above) of being an adulteress? An Australian "funnyman" has just cost his TV network a bundle for saying so:Comedian Mick Molloy and Network Ten will be forced to pay the Supreme Court legal costs for Nicole Cornes, after earlier being found to have defamed the political aspirant.Maybe it was the comedian's way of saying she turned him on
Cornes, who is married to South Australian football commentator Graham Cornes and is step-mother of his two AFL star sons Chad and Kane, sued Molloy after he joked that she had slept with former Port Power and Hawthorn player Stuart Dew, while live on Before the Game in June, 2008.
Justice David Peek this morning ruled that Molloy and Network Ten must pay Mrs Cornes' legal costs of $85,000 plus $8000 in interest.
The finding came after the court last month ruled that the defendants must pay Mrs Cornes $85,000 in damages. Mrs Cornes had initially sought $120,000 and received a counter offer of $20,000 before eventually increasing the claim to $150,000.
Another stupid "anti-discrimination" law coming up?
Anti-discrimnation laws mostly give false hope to the hopeless and make it more troublesome to hire people. If an employer is not allowed to say that blacks, women, cripples and the currently unemployed (for instance) are not wanted, that is not going to alter whom he will hire. It just makes blacks, women, cripples and the unemployed waste their time sending in applications that will simply be trashedWhile you hear a lot about the powerlessness of the unemployed, movements like the one Wiedemer has organized against Monster.com are gaining traction. The petition calls on Monster to reject advertisements that prohibit currently unemployed job seekers from applying. New Jersey politicians are not waiting for this type of moral suasion to work and recently outlawed job ads that bar unemployed applicants. Similar bills—which have deep implications for free expression, anti-discrimination law, and freedom of contract—are pending in other states as well as in the U.S. Congress.
It’s hard to feel sympathy for an employer who won’t even take a résumé from an unemployed person. But it’s harder to imagine how inveighing against a job search site will help jobless applicants or hurt those discriminating employers.
1 September, 2011
Israeli Columnist Is Fired for supporting Palestinian Terrorism
We read:"In a brief “Note to Readers” published Tuesday on the front page of The Jerusalem Post, the newspaper announced that it had parted ways with a columnist who wrote last week on his blog that terrorist attacks on Israelis were “justified” because Palestinians living under Israeli occupation since 1967 “have a right to resist.”Derfner is an old extreme Leftist from way back and the paper was under no obligation to give him a platform
The note from the English-language daily read in full: “Due to a professional disagreement with Larry Derfner connected to his personal blog, he will no longer be working at The Jerusalem Post.”
According to Mr. Derfner, he was fired by the newspaper even after he had published a lengthy apology on his personal Web site for what he described as a poorly worded attempt to shock Israelis into considering the possibility that the continued occupation of Palestinian land seized by Israel provokes terror attacks.
CA: Phone cutoff stirs free speech uproar
We read:"Police in riot gear. Masked demonstrators ready for a confrontation. And then government forces shut down the wireless network to try to thwart plans for the 'flash mob' protest coordinated by cellphones and Twitter.I have mentioned this matter before but it does not seem to be going away.
It’s not a scene from the Arab Spring, but one from America’s beautiful city on the bay, San Francisco. It developed with a backdrop not of tanks and fires but of thousands of annoyed commuters trying to get to their trains.
Worried about a plan to disrupt service, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police this month decided to pull the plug on the system that allows underground cellphone service. It lasted only a few hours, but the decision continues to resonate."
Protests continue, this time about the decision to shut down the cellphones. Civil libertarians are alarmed. And First Amendment scholars are intrigued.
The BART decision may become “a historical marker of sorts as we navigate the intersection, with its occasional collisions, of new technology, public safety, and our First Amendment freedoms,’’ wrote Gene Policinski, senior vice president and executive director of the First Amendment Center.
Michael Risher, an attorney for the ACLU of Northern California, called it “the first time in the United States that a government entity has shut down a communications network to stop a protest against that very government entity.’’
Posts from Brisbane, Australia by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).
"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 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.
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.
Whatever your definition of racism, however, a statement that simply mentions race is not thereby racist -- though one would think otherwise from American Presidential election campaigns. Is a statement that mentions dogs, "doggist" or a statement that mentions cats, "cattist"?
Was Abraham Lincoln a racist? "You and we are different races. We have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other two races. Whether it is right or wrong I need not discuss, but this physical difference is a great disadvantage to us both, as I think your race suffer very greatly, many of them by living among us, while ours suffer from your presence. In a word, we suffer on each side. If this be admitted, it affords a reason at least why we should be separated. It is better for both, therefore, to be separated." -- Spoken at the White House to a group of black community leaders, August 14th, 1862
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
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
"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."