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29 September, 2017
Australia: Is subjecting people to speech free speech?
One would think not -- quite the contrary -- but the Left have always used free speech as a justification of anything they say. In line with that, a plan to subject football fans to pro-homosexual propaganda is being defended as free speech.
The pro-homosexual song concerned has been very widely aired so has not in any way been restricted speech but should people who dislike the sentiments of the song be forced to listen to it? In their usual authoritarian way, the Left are answering "Yes" to that. They are having the song sung at half-time during a football match in spite of the fact that many fans there will find it objectionable.
Mere good manners would usually ensure that an objectionable song is not sung on such an occasion but Leftist propaganda is far more important than bad manners, of course. Interesting though that political correctness is often claimed to be just good manners and refraining from offending people. More evidence of Leftist hypocrisy
Former prime minister Tony Abbott has backed a call from same-sex marriage opponents to ban American rapper Macklemore from performing his pro-gay song Same Love at the NRL grand final.
Former player Tony Wall, who played first grade briefly in the mid 1990s, is petitioning NRL boss Todd Greenberg to halt the half-time performance and "take a neutral position on the question of same-sex marriage".
The Coalition for Marriage, the official "no" campaign vehicle, seized on the Change.org petition on Wednesday, demanding the NRL ban the song despite making "freedom of speech" one of its central campaign tenets.
Spokesman David Goodwin said the grand final was "not a PC lecture theatre" and it was "bizarre that the NRL would choose to use its half-time entertainment to push a message which it knows millions of Australians disagree with".
Mr Abbott backed that call, tweeting: "Footy fans shouldn't be subjected to a politicised grand final. Sport is sport!"
But the NRL stood firm on Wednesday, with Mr Greenberg telling 2GB radio the LGBTI anthem was just one of four songs Macklemore was scheduled to perform, and reiterating the code's support for same-sex marriage.
"He's playing four of his biggest hits, one of those will include that song and we're very comfortable with that," Mr Greenberg said.
He conceded the song could be seen as a political act but said "we're an inclusive game" and "it would be a little hypocritical for us to have inclusiveness as one of our values and not actually deliver on it".
The song Same Love, which reached No.1 in Australia in 2013, is critical of homophobia in rap music and includes the lyric: "No freedom 'til we're equal, damn right I support it."
Mr Wall said he and his family, and other NRL fans who did not support same-sex marriage, would feel uncomfortable watching the grand final if the song were to be performed. The petition had gathered 2100 online signatures as of Wednesday evening.
The NRL formally announced its support for same-sex marriage just over two weeks ago, saying the league had a duty to back up its policy of inclusion with action.
The AFL has also encountered blowback for its long-standing support for marriage equality, with commentators and some Coalition MPs upset over a decision to temporarily replace the logo outside its Melbourne headquarters with a "yes" sign.
Both codes have resisted attempts to shut down their advocacy, arguing they are entitled to a point of view but respect those who disagree.
The Coalition for Marriage and supporters have made "freedom of speech" a central tenet of its campaign, claiming free speech wold be under threat if same-sex marriage were to be legalised.
"Freedom of speech is a central issue in this campaign," the Coalition for Marriage said last week following the Abbott headbutt.
"It is absolutely crucial that people are able to speak up and participate in a national conversation about marriage in a respectful and peaceful manner."
In a 2GB interview on Wednesday, Mr Abbott continued his campaign for a "no" vote, saying it was "the best way of stopping political correctness in his tracks".
"We have seen political correctness run riot on a whole host of issues, but this is the first time that the Australian public have been asked to cast their verdict on all of these developments," he said.
Now you can't say 'MUM' at work: Politically correct activists warn employers referring to 'sexist' gender roles could offend staff
In Australia and Britain, people say "Mum" istead of "Mom"
Politically-correct activists are charging workplaces $1,800 an hour to teach employees about apparently harmful and sexist words - like 'mum'.
Former army chief David Morrison appears in a Diversity Council of Australia video where he confronts a memo next to dirty dishes in a work kitchen with a younger, female colleague.
'Clean up after yourself. Your mum doesn't work here,' it says.
With a stern expression, the retired lieutenant-general and 2016 Australian of the Year pulls out a highlighter and adds the word 'dad' to the poster.
The Diversity Council of Australia, which Mr Morrison chairs, charges workplaces $3,600 for two-hour sessions on 'inclusive leadership'.
Former Labor leader Mark Latham slammed the whole idea of workplaces paying to be lectured on politically-correct language. 'That's so pathetic it's laughable,' he said on his weekly Mark Latham's Outsiders program on Wednesday.
'Imagine being a corporation with so much money you can afford thousands of dollars to send your staff to learn about dirty coffee cups and a sign, "It's all wrong, it's all terrible, it's the end of the world".
'Your biggest corporate challenge is, "Your mum doesn't work here" and you've got to change it to, "Mum and dad".'
The Diversity Council of Australia declined to address Mr Latham's attack on its Words At Work program, launched last year.
But it referred Daily Mail Australia to its June 2016 media release which said 'non-inclusive language contributes to and continues stereotyping'. 'Non-inclusive language harms people who witness it as well as the intended targets,' it said.
28 September, 2017
Jeff Sessions says 'free speech' is under attack as he faces protests at Georgetown University
There was a puerile attempt to equate the deeds of the kneeling footballers with attacks on conservative speakers on various campuses. The difference is that nobody went out on to the field to force the footballers to stand up. They made their protest without interruption. If only conservative speakers were allowed to express themselves without interruption
Jeff Sessions, the US Attorney General, vowed on Tuesday to aggressively crack down on political correctness at American universities, saying free speech was "under attack”.
Mr Sessions indicated his Department of Justice would intervene on behalf of people who sue colleges claiming their constitutional rights to express their views were violated.
In a speech at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, Mr Sessions heavily criticised educational institutions that ban controversial speakers.
He said: "Freedom of thought and speech on the American campus are under attack. The American university was once the centre of academic freedom, a place of robust debate, a forum for the competition of ideas. But it is transforming into an echo chamber of political correctness and homogeneous thought, a shelter for fragile egos."
Mr Sessions added: "Protesters are now routinely shutting down speeches and debates across the country. This is not right. This is not in the great tradition of America. And, yet, school administrators bend to this behaviour. In effect, they coddle it and encourage it."
Batshit crazy: Two female Australian University lecturers BAN maths students from using the word 'marriage' as it might cause offence
Lecturers at a leading university have been telling students not to use the word 'marriage', as it might cause offence.
Associate professor Catherine Greenhill and Dr Diana Combe from the University of New South Wales were referring to Hall's marriage theorem, which dates back to 1935.
According to Sean Lynch, a 21-year-old honours student, his lecturer told students to leave 'marriage' out of the name of the theorem in an assignment.
'The reason why was because the canonical example has homophobic implications, at least in [Catherine Greenhill's] eyes,' Mr Lynch told Sky News.
Another student has come forward to confirm similar demands were made by Dr Combe in the past.
His thesis - which contained an example of male female matchmaking similar to Hall's - was returned and marked as 'offensive', The Daily Telegraph reported.
Mr Lynch, who founded UNSW student group Free Thinkers, said he was shocked when students were told the word marriage was offensive in a lecture.
'I've heard much about these issues in the humanities and to see it come into this discipline, which I pursued because of its objectivity, is amazing,' he said.
English mathematician Philip Hall proved the theory in 1935, and it uses the example of monogamous heterosexual couples in matchmaking with variable sets.
Senior lecturer and UNSW academic advisor Dr Thomas Britz called the actions of the staff members involved 'too forceful and inappropriate'.
Dr Britz said he would speak to the staff involved, but called on students to be respectful of their peers.
Mr Lynch claims gay marriage was not mentioned during the lectures in question, but believes the divisive issue is behind the lecturers' actions.
27 September, 2017
Australia: THE Hells Angels claim their feelings have been hurt, and they are “distressed” by their fearsome bikie logo appearing on hipster T-shirts and have called in the lawyers.
It is the seventh time the Browns Plains-based Hells Angels Motorcycle Corporation (Australia) — declared a criminal organisation by the Queensland Government in 2013 — has sued a retailer or manufacturer since 2008.
Six cases were launched in the past year by the club’s corporate entity, which is wholly owned by Brisbane president Mark Nelms.
On September 29 the gang sued a Melbourne company that sells T-shirts online emblazoned with their trademarked “death head” logo, or the phrase “Hells Angels”.
In its statement of claim lodged in the Federal Court in Brisbane, the Hells Angels claim three T-shirts and one poster they purchased from Redbubble last year are in breach of their intellectual property.
They point to a $31 T-shirt with the Hells Angels crest on it, a “Hells Angels Maths Club” T-shirt and a “Hells Angels Movie” T-shirt, and a poster of a bikie wearing his colours sitting with a young girl.
“Redbubble’s conduct has allowed non-members of the Club to wear indicia reserved for the members, thereby causing anger, hurt feelings and personal distress,” the club claims.
The way we were
26 September, 2017
Here is an e-mail sent to Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune after an article he published concerning a name change for the Washington Redskins
Dear Mr. Page: I agree with our Native American population. I am highly insulted by the racially charged name of the Washington Redskins. One might argue that to name a professional football team after Native Americans would exalt them as fine warriors, but nay, nay. We must be careful not to offend, and in the spirit of political correctness and courtesy, we must move forward.
Let's ditch the Kansas City Chiefs, the Atlanta Braves and the Cleveland Indians. If your shorts are in a wad because of the reference the name Redskins makes to skin color, then we need to get rid of the Cleveland Browns.
The Carolina Panthers obviously were named to keep the memory of militant Blacks from the 60's alive. Gone. It's offensive to white folks.
The New York Yankees offend the Southern population. Do you see a team named for the Confederacy? No! There is no room for any reference to that tragic war that cost this country so many young men's lives.
I am also offended by the blatant references to the Catholic religion among our sports team names. Totally inappropriate to have the New Orleans Saints, the Los Angeles Angels or the San Diego Padres.
Then there are the team names that glorify criminals who raped and pillaged. We are talking about the horrible Oakland Raiders, the Minnesota Vikings, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Pittsburgh Pirates!
Now, let us address those teams that clearly send the wrong message to our children. The San Diego Chargers promote irresponsible fighting or even spending habits. Wrong message to our children.
The New York Giants and the San Francisco Giants promote obesity, a growing childhood epidemic. Wrong message to our children.
The Cincinnati Reds promote downers/barbiturates. Wrong message to our children.
The Milwaukee Brewers. Well that goes without saying. Wrong message to our children.
So, there you go. We need to support any legislation that comes out to rectify this travesty, because the government will likely become involved with this issue, as they should. Just the kind of thing the do-nothing Congress loves.
As a diehard Oregon State fan, my wife and I, with all of this in mind suggest it might also make some sense to change the name of the Oregon State women's athletic teams to something other than "the Beavers (especially when they play Southern California). Do we really want the Trojans sticking it to the Beavers??? I'm afraid not!
I always love your articles and I generally agree with them. As for the Redskins name, I wonder what they should change their name to? I’m thinking the name should represent their community, paying tribute to the dick heads in Washington DC. I have a suggestion: Washington Peckers.
Must not portray blacks as having dark skin
IPI recently featured a political cartoon of a black child sitting against a wall on a city street. The child, wearing a school backpack and a Cubs cap, is holding a sign that says “Need Money 4 School.” An evil, rich white man with a cigar is walking past. The wealthy villain snidely says to the child, “Sorry, kid, I’m broke,” exposing his empty right pocket while hiding the fact that his left pocket is overflowing with cash earmarked “TIF” (“tax increment financing,” a public financing scheme very popular among Chicago’s corrupt politerati). The IPI’s point with the cartoon was that Chicago schools don’t need a government bailout because politicians are already sitting on a stash of TIF money.
Yes, it’s the worst thing ever. The black child’s skin is darker than the white guy’s skin, and his lips are fuller. This is the sole reason the cartoon was declared racist. This is the sole reason the story dominated Illinois politics for a week, and why it was picked up by the AP and The Washington Post. A black child in a political cartoon was depicted as looking black.
Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel blasted the drawing as a “disgrace” and “unambiguously racist” (the mayor’s definition of “unambiguous” might need a little fine-tuning). State rep Carol Ammons, who is black, tweeted “Imagine being a child of color and seeing this depiction of you as you return for a new school year” (you mean, a depiction of a cartoon black kid? The horror!). The entire Illinois House—Democrats and Republicans alike—spent an entire day making speeches denouncing the cartoon.
25 September, 2017
Yale Ditches ‘Freshman’ for Gender-Neutral Term
Yale University has taken another step to change the language there. Marvin Chun, the dean of Yale College, posted an official statement on the college’s website Sept. 7, explaining the board’s decision to drop “freshman” and “upperclassmen” in favor of terms more gender-neutral.
Chun said the words “first-year” and “upper-level students” have been used by students since he joined the Dean’s Office this summer.
“I want you to know that this terminology now appears in the Undergraduate Regulations and the First-Year Handbook,” he wrote. “And my hope is that by the start of the 2018-2019 academic year, it will appear in all Yale College’s publications and communications.”
Chun added that the college doesn’t plan to compel staff and students to comply with the new terminology.
“I recognize that the terms ‘freshman’ and ‘upperclassmen’ are deeply ingrained in our everyday language and in Yale’s history,” he said. “And I expect that the members of our community, ourselves included, will continue to use these terms as they or we see fit, without feeling that anyone is out of compliance with an official policy.”
Yale does have official policies for staff on how to properly communicate with transgender students and care for their needs. The handbook, “A Guide to Gender-Identity & Affirmation in the Workplace,” was last revised in the fall of 2016. The handbook references the college’s nondiscrimination policy, which states that in no way does “Yale discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.”
The handbook also asks staff to avoid “using language that makes light of, questions, belittles or stigmatizes anyone’s identity, including those in the gender-affirmation process.”
Laura Kipnis's second "Title IX Inquisition"
In May 2015, Laura Kipnis was famously the subject of a Title IX investigation by Northwestern University for an essay she wrote suggesting there are too many Title IX investigations.
Today, Jeannie Suk Gersen reports for The New Yorker that Kipnis was the subject of yet another Northwestern Title IX investigation earlier this year — this time for writing “Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus,” a book about being investigated for saying there are too many Title IX investigations.
The month-long investigation was sparked by complaints about “Unwanted Advances” from four Northwestern faculty members and six graduate students. As with her first investigation, Kipnis was ultimately found not responsible for violating university policy.
However, reviewing Gersen’s report, it’s easy to see how the investigations themselves function as punishment, to say nothing of the threat they pose to academic freedom: in the most recent investigation, Kipnis was asked to respond to at least 80 written questions about her book and to provide her source material. She was also urged to keep the investigation confidential.
News of Kipnis’ second investigation comes just weeks after Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ announcement that the department will launch a public “notice-and-comment” process to reform the government’s approach to enforcing Title IX, the 1972 federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in federally funded educational programs.
That approach has been criticized extensively by civil liberties groups (including FIRE) in recent years for imperiling due process rights and “twisting” the definition of sex discrimination to essentially bar any expression or commentary on sexual themes that someone might find subjectively offensive.
The amount of protected expression that is now being cast as unlawful under Title IX is staggering: law school test questions about Brazilian waxes, an anti-Donald Trump art exhibit, teaching art theory in art school, teaching rape law in law school — or even writing an essay or book critical of Title IX itself.
24 September, 2017
German government supports new definition of anti-Semitism
The new definition is downplayed below but it is in fact a considerable leap forward. By defining abuse of Israel as antisemitism it deprives Leftists of cover that they often use. They say that are not against Jews but only against the State of Israel. That is now illegal in Germany, though whether the illegality will be prosecuted remains to be seen
Some Leftists also claim to be "Anti-Zionist" and say that is not antisemitic. Zionism was however the foundation ideology of modern Israel so that was always a stretch. The new German definition would also seem to catch that claim. Criticism of the foundation ideology of Israel would seem to be caught by the ban on criticism of Israel
The German government has given its backing to a new definition of anti-Semitism intended to inform the work of schools, police, and courts.
During the last Cabinet meeting before Sunday’s national election, Chancellor Angela Merkel and her ministers expressed support for a definition of anti-Semitism that includes attacks against religious institutions, the state of Israel, and non-Jews attacked for anti-Semitic reasons.
Officials say the decision has no immediate legal implications but signals ‘‘that the German government strongly supports the fight against anti-Semitism at all levels.’’
The European Jewish Congress applauded Wednesday’s decision, which follows similar moves by Britain, Austria, and Romania.
The EU bans cartoons critical of the EU
In a move totally unsurprising to anyone who has been paying attention, the EU has shown its authoritarian colours by banning cartoons from one of its own exhibitions. British MEP Catherine Bearder has censored a dozen satirical cartoons intended for an exhibition celebrating 60 years of the EU. Reports show post-its marked with big crosses stuck on cartoons critical of Brussels.
The censored cartoons, drawn by French and Greek cartoonists, include one showing different EU countries at the starting line of a car race. Beneath the banner ‘Multy-speed Europe [sic]’, Germany is depicted by a giant Porsche, Italy is a tiny Fiat and Greece is a chariot pulled by a pensioner. A sharp and accurate observation of the status quo, if you ask me.
The exhibition titled ‘EU turns 60: A Cartoon Party’ is due to be displayed in the European Parliament for the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaty. Bearder, a Liberal Democrat, is the ‘quaestor’ (MEPs dealing with administrative issues) in charge of the exhibition. She and her fellow quaestors rejected 12 of the 28 cartoons because of their ‘controversial content’.
There were also reports Bearder was concerned that cartoons critical of Angela Merkel might affect the German election, despite the election taking place before the exhibition was due to open.
Organisers of the exhibition, European United Left-Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) MEPs Stelios Kouloglou and Patrick Le Hyaric, have written an open letter to the European Parliament president Antonio Tajani protesting against the censorship and demanding that Tajani ‘stand with democracy’. Kouloglou said: ‘Political humour and satire are an essential part of democracy since Aristophanes’ times. They censored our exhibition under the pretence of it violating European values, but freedom of speech is the fundamental value of the European Union…Therefore, Mr Tajani has to decide whether he stands with the quaestors’ decision or with democracy’.
The EU has turned into a parody of its illiberal itself. That some MEPs thought they could get away with criticising the Brussels bureaucrats is strange, since the EU has often made clear its disdain for criticism. Just look to the referendum re-runs in countries who dared to vote against it. And, more recently, EU technocrats have responded to Brexit with spite and thinly veiled threats. Michel Barnier wants to ‘teach’ the British a lesson. Jean-Claude Juncker said this month that the UK will ‘soon regret’ leaving the EU. The EU doesn’t allow criticism and opposition.
Most Brexiteers knew long before the EU referendum that the Brussels clique hold democracy in little regard. And those who weren’t aware can surely be in little doubt now. So, will Tajani ‘stand with democracy’ over censorship? Fat chance.
22 September, 2017
OH: Wright State U primes its students to expect that certain speech will be "offensive"
Wright State University found itself at the center of the ongoing debate about campus free speech Wednesday when questions emerged over how the school handled an anti-abortion demonstration.
Wright State sent out a campus-wide email Tuesday night, warning students of the demonstration. The email, sent by interim WSU vice president of student affairs Gary Dickstein, stated that that the public university “must allow” the activists on campus, even if they express views that some might find offensive.
The message prompted criticism from state Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Miami Twp.
“I’m saddened it seemed as if he were taking a position on this protest when he said it ‘must’ be allowed, that it might be ‘offensive,’ and that he will ensure the group ‘behaves,’” Antani said. “This is disturbing when university campuses already seem to be a bastion of liberal ideology.”
Wright State encouraged people uncomfortable with the event to avoid the quad where the demonstration was scheduled for. Dickstein also said people could seek support from the school’s counseling and wellness center, a statement Antani took aim at.
“Students do not need counseling services because of a protest,” Antani said.
Wright State spokesman Seth Bauguess declined to respond directly to Antani’s comments. But, from now on the university plans to notify students, staff and faculty every time an off-campus group plans to hold a demonstration on campus, he said.
“We had people in our community wanting to know when these types of things were happening,” Bauguess said. “We decided we’re going to be more committed going forward to telling our campus about these things.”
Twitter Suspends Libertarian Trans Woman Michelle Catlin
Catlin, who has criticized socialism, Antifa, Islam, and the alt-right, had just over 10,000 followers on her account before it was suspended, forcing her to use a backup with just over 1,000.
“My main account @CatlinNya got suspended. Twitter hasn’t given me any reason for it so I wouldn’t know why it happened,” Catlin claimed to Breitbart Tech. “I think its caused by a report system that is being abused for false reporting and it seems to target a lot of right-leaning accounts.”
“I’ve had my Twitter locked before after being harassed and mass reported by Saudi Muslims over a picture of Muhammad,” she continued, adding, “Twitter is the only place where I’ve had these issues so far.”
Social networks have previously suspended popular trans commentators for political reasons, including Theryn Meyer, who was suspended from Facebook for sharing a Breitbart News article one year ago.
Twitter has also repeatedly banned conservative and libertarian users, including former Breitbart Senior Editor Milo Yiannopoulos, Breitbart London Editor Raheem Kassam, free speech social network Gab, pro-Trump commentator Pizza Party Ben, DNC hacker Guccifer 2.0, political commentator Instapundit, former Muslim and anti-female genital mutilation activist Shazia Hobbs, pharmaceutical entrepreneur and Martin Shkreli.
21 September, 2017
"Net neutrality" will not protect free speech on the internet
Recent highly public moves by Facebook and Google to deactivate users or to otherwise censor or handicap certain speech the companies deem “hate speech” or “fake news” has reopened one of the oddest but most popular arguments for net neutrality — that somehow categorizing internet service providers (ISPs) as public utilities is necessary to protect citizens’ First Amendment rights.
The argument is that if Verizon, Comcast, or AT&T are not forced to act as “dumb pipes,” these companies will foreclose speech that they find distasteful. Even more convoluted is the assertion that if other companies (such as Netflix or Amazon) pay ISPs for faster service by private agreement, faster service in and of itself is a threat to free speech as it “prefers” some speech over other speech — even if anyone has the same opportunity to buy the prioritized service and some do not even need it.
These are odd arguments for various reasons, not least of which is that the First Amendment only limits Congress, not private actors (such as ISPs), from abridging speech. But most strikingly, net neutrality advocates’ focus on ISPs is odd as these companies do act as content conduits, not content platforms, unlike edge providers such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Twitter.
Consider the intellectual jiujitsu that net neutrality proponents perform to claim that ISPs are enemies of the First Amendment (or more accurately free speech) and platform and application companies that block content are not.
It is ironic that the progressive left attacked non-content platforms on free speech grounds but are relatively silent when favored companies such as Google and Facebook actually act on content. That silence puts the lie to the argument that free speech was ever a true motivator to the net neutrality argument.
Indeed, past net neutrality arguments that claim a lack of competition among ISPs necessitates regulation to protect speech are far more persuasive when applied to large content platforms. For example, many net neutrality arguments are based on the false premise that ISPs form a duopoly — cable in particular is characterized as a monolithic, powerful competitor with a choke hold on content. But this argument ignores competition, especially in mobile telecommunications, where Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint roughly divide the market. Contrast that to Google and Facebook, each of which has dominant, international market shares over search and content platforms — arguably, these platforms for speech are the perfect place to put a “dumb pipe” if free speech is really on the line.
Even high market shares in highly dynamic industries should not be overplayed. From his 2012 article on whether Google search should be declared a public utility, Mark Jamison wrote, “Even if there were no rivals [and there are], [Google’s] monopoly status would be fleeting because Internet-based markets are constantly evolving so that today’s innovative service is tomorrow’s relic.” Remember in the late 1990s, when Yahoo was the winner in internet search?
The delistings and self-appointed censorship role of these platforms are disconcerting. But the answer is not to incite a government takeover of the internet. Government regulation has not helped consumers of ISPs, and it won’t help consumers in the marketplace of ideas. It is time to restore internet freedom to help the internet grow and competition flourish. This way, consumers have more, not fewer, choices of where and how to express their ideas.
Any Obama legacy regulations can be counted on to be anti – freedom; anti – business and anti – American, so, lets trust the free markets to help make America great.
Cotton is racist (?)
Daniell Rider, a Hobby Lobby consumer, found a decoration at one of their stores so offensive, she shared the image on Facebook requesting that they remove the decor from their shelves. What was it?
Rider on Thursday shared a photo of a shelf with glass bottles containing what appear to be replicas of raw cotton plants.
She captioned the photo, “This decor is WRONG on SO many levels. There is nothing decorative about raw cotton… A commodity which was gained at the expense of African-American slaves.”
“A little sensitivity goes a long way,” she added. “PLEASE REMOVE THIS ‘decor.'”
At the time of this writing, the post has been “liked” 33k times, has received 76k comments, and has been shared nearly 7k times.
The reaction was split — some commenters supported Rider’s outrage and wrote things like, “What do you expect from HL!!!? NEVER shop there!” while others couldn’t find the offense in the innocuous-looking decoration.
One commenter wrote, “Ummm… it’s cotton… wtf…its 2017… do you know some slaves in 2017 that picked this cotton and didn’t get paid for it. Just… stop.”
20 September, 2017
This year's annual Constitution Day lecture at Princeton University was titled "F*** Free Speech"
The lecture was given by the chairwoman of the Department of Anthropology and director of the Program in African Studies, Carolyn Rouse, another hostile black
In the lecture, Rouse stated that we should "rethink academic freedom and academic values" and that "the way in which free speech is being celebrated in the media makes little to no sense anthropologically."
"Put simply, speech is costly," Rouse said. "So, contrary to the ACLU's statement on their website regarding the role of free speech on college campuses, the academy has never promoted free speech as its central value."
Rouse might want to rethink this. After all, in the wake of the election, Rouse has been seeking submissions for her "Trumplandia" project - "a virtual space for documenting the impact of Trump's presidency on the world" - something she says was inspired by her belief that "the changes promised by the president-elect to `make America great again' were authoritarian and racist."
The irony is as rich (and sickening) as a mayonnaise-covered chocolate truffle: This professor actually has the nerve to knock those who value free speech on campus, while using her position as a campus leader to spearhead a project that openly calls the president "racist" - an obvious example of the kind of speech that some might want to censor.
To be fair, it doesn't seem that Rouse actually went so far as to say that there was anything wrong with the First Amendment in itself. Rather, according to Campus Reform, she seemed to define "free-speech absolutism" as the idea that all opinions should be considered equally, without, as Campus Reform puts it, "reference to any peer review process or any system of credentials," e.g., a skeptic without any experience in climatology being free to call climate change a hoax. Rouse also argued that academia is a "semi-autonomous social field," and that all "semi-autonomous social fields" have the right to make their own rules for themselves.
Now, Rouse is right to say that all kinds of institutions have all kinds of rules. Where she's wrong, however, is the insinuation that the best way to counter incorrect or uninformed speech is to limit it. This is especially wrong when we're talking about academia, seeing as the entire purpose of something such as classroom discussion is to learn and grow from a free exchange of ideas. Someone is out there spreading falsities? Well, then counter it with truth. That is, after all, how the real world works.
A chilling study shows how hostile college students are toward free speech
Here's the problem with suggesting that upsetting speech warrants "safe spaces," or otherwise conflating mere words with physical assault: If speech is violence, then violence becomes a justifiable response to speech.
Just ask college students. A fifth of undergrads now say it's acceptable to use physical force to silence a speaker who makes "offensive and hurtful statements."
That's one finding from a disturbing new survey of students conducted by John Villasenor, a Brookings Institution senior fellow and University of California at Los Angeles professor.
In August, motivated by concerns about the "narrowing window of permissible topics" for discussion on campuses, Villasenor conducted a nationwide survey of 1,500 undergraduate students at four-year colleges. Financial support for the survey was provided by the Charles Koch Foundation, which Villasenor said had no involvement in designing, administering or analyzing the questionnaire; as of this writing, the foundation had also not seen his results.
Many of Villasenor's questions were designed to gauge students' understanding of the First Amendment. Colleges, after all, pay a lot of lip service to "freedom of speech," despite high-profile examples of civil-liberty-squelching on campus. The survey suggests that this might not be due to hypocrisy so much as a misunderstanding of what the First Amendment actually entails.
For example, when students were asked whether the First Amendment protects "hate speech," 4 in 10 said no. This is, of course, incorrect. Speech promoting hatred - or at least, speech perceived as promoting hatred - may be abhorrent, but it is nonetheless constitutionally protected.
19 September, 2017
No, Free Speech Is Not Threatened By The Right
Libellous speech from the Left is frequent but is always claimed as "free speech" by the Left. But libel and defamation have never been protected free speech. The Left have just got away with political defamation for so long that they expect no consequences from it.
It is about time that changed. Just the charge of "racism" is a grievous and very damaging accusation and innocent people are entitled to be protected from such accusations. And Mr Trump has a record with blacks and Jews that would give him an easy victory in court over such an accusation
And the now common accusation against almost any conservative that they are a "white supremacist" both really ups the stakes and exposes Leftists to a high burden of proof in court -- thus seriously exposing them to an adverse judgment.
When an addled black broadcaster made libellous and grossly untrue statements about the President, that should have been dealt with by a libel action only, not by any demands to fire her. But whether the matter went to court or not, the remarks were still not protected free speech
ESPN host Jemele Hill calling President Trump a “white supremacist” is the latest battle in America’s grueling cultural war.
After Hill received backlash from right-wing media and became a fixture of news coverage, the White House was asked to weigh in on the subject at Wednesday’s press briefing.
“That is one of the more outrageous comments that anyone could make and certainly something that is a fireable offense by ESPN,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders answered. (RELATED: White House Says ESPN Host’s Comments About Trump Are A ‘Fireable Offense’)
With that statement, the outrage over Hill was redirected towards the president. What Sanders said was interpreted by the media as the White House demanding a private company terminate one of its employees; an apparent sign of encroaching tyranny.
Soon thereafter, concerns of right-wing political correctness rose again to the fore of national discourse. And many of those railing against conservative “snowflakes” were respectable conservative pundits, such as National Review’s David French.
“Snowflake Republicans are no better than snowflake progressives. Respect free speech. It’s not that hard,” French angrily declared. The National Review writer admitted that ESPN has ridiculous double standards when it comes to the political views of its commentators, but he argued that that is no reason for conservatives to insist on hoisting the sports network by its own petard.
Instead, conservatives should just “rebut bad speech with better speech,” according to French.
In a perfect world, that’s all we would need to do. However, we don’t live in that utopia and ESPN is effectively saying that it will only punish conservative speech of its employees while allowing the most ridiculous left-wing comments to be aired.
In spite of that development, the result of this controversy is further reinforcing the faulty view of liberals and some conservatives that right-wing outrage is just as much of a threat, if not more so, than left-wing political correctness.
This idea is already ridiculous just taking ESPN as an example. The network has a very long record of punishing its talent who engage in right-leaning commentary or political incorrectness, but is fine with their stars comparing the tea party to ISIS.
Hill herself faced no consequences for her actions as she wasn’t even taken off the air during the uproar. Moreover, she became a martyr to the Left as numerous pundits and commentators rushed to claim that calling Trump a “white supremacist” is merely a statement of fact.
Powerful institutions in America such as media and universities are still overwhelmingly progressive, and conservative backlash against the ludicrous statements of their representatives only leads to awareness of the problem.
It is not stopping any liberal or leftist from continuing to share their opinion in the public sphere, a contrast to the situation for rightists who have to live with the knowledge that their views could cost them their job and physical safety.
After a week where it cost over $600,000 in security to ensure Ben Shapiro could talk about his relatively tame brand of conservatism at the University of California – Berkeley, only hacks and fools could believe free speech faces a serious threat from the Right.
Will Germany's new law kill free speech online?
In October a new law comes into force in Germany that will impose huge fines on social networks if they don't delete illegal content including hate speech. It's touched off a huge debate over freedom of expression and has attracted an unusual collection of opponents.
The law is called Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz - NetzDG for short. It obliges the biggest social networks - those with more than two million German users - to take down "blatantly illegal" hate speech within 24 hours of it being reported. For material that's less obviously violating the law, networks such as Facebook and Instagram will have seven days to consider and, if appropriate, delete posts. Failure to meet these deadlines could lead to fines of up to €50m.
Critics argue the short timeframes coupled with the potentially large fines will lead social networks to be overly cautious and delete huge amounts of content - even things that are perfectly legal. But the law's supporters, and the German government, argue that it will force social media companies to proactively deal with online incitement and hate speech.
The law has also been criticised for containing no legal mechanism for people whose posts are wrongly deleted to appeal to get them reinstated.
Opposition has come from a wide range of groups and politicians on both the left and right - and Facebook has also made its disagreement with the law clear.
The United Nations has also weighed in. David Kaye, the UN's Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, has written to the German government to warn about the potential consequences of the law.
A Facebook spokesperson admitted to the BBC that they can't rule out the possibility of legal content being deleted. "The law is not the right way to fight hate speech online," the spokesperson says. "It provides an incentive to delete content that is not clearly illegal and would have the effect of transferring responsibility for complex legal decisions from public authorities to private companies.
"Several legal experts have assessed the draft law as being against the German constitution and non-compliant with EU law. Facebook is committed to working in partnership with governments and civil society on solutions that would have made this law unnecessary."
18 September, 2017
Leftists want a right to disrupt others people's speech
Campus progressives and their allies in the media and ACLU have worked themselves into a lather over a perfectly reasonable new policy of Ohio University aimed at guaranteeing the rights of both protestors and those who are at the university to learn or accomplish work tasks. The essence of the new policy is that protestors have the right to use any outdoor space for their activities, unless that space already has been reserved and is in use for some university activity.
The unscheduled use of outdoor spaces for the purpose of engaging in constitutionally protected speech shall be permitted provided the space has not already been reserved by another user and that the unscheduled use does not result in disruption as defined below.
And even if the outdoor space is in use, non-disruptive speech is still permitted.
The rights of individuals authorized to attend an event in an outdoor space to engage in constitutionally protected speech shall not be limited, provided they do so in a manner that does not materially disrupt the event or prevent others from expressing their views. Attendance at an event is authorized if the event is open to the public or, in the case of limited admission events, the individual has a ticket or invitation or satisfies other appropriate admission criteria.
Inside university buildings – a place of business where students pay for the privilege of attending classes, and the taxpayers of Ohio pay for demonstrators and support staff to carry out their professional activities – demonstrations are permitted, if a reservation in advance is made, and if the activities will not disrupt other business.
In other words, the freedom of expression is only limited by the freedom of others to go about their business, carrying out the activities for which they are being paid, or for which they are paying.
Seems pretty reasonable to me, but not to the progs.
FCC gets censorship demands
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said that “free speech in practice seems to be under siege in this country,” pointing to protests to silence speakers on college campuses and to messages that the commission receives to try to shut down news channels.
“Fewer today seem to be willing to defend to the death others’ right to say things with which they might disagree,” Pai said in a speech on Friday before the Future of Speech Online forum. He called the attempt to shut down speeches and free expression on college campuses “especially distressing,” and cited incidents at Evergreen State, Yale, and Berkeley. Conservative writer Ben Shapiro spoke at Berkeley on Thursday, amid heavy security given threats of protest and even violence.
Pai said that he also sees “worrying signs” at the FCC, pointing to Twitter messages in which “people regularly demand that the FCC yank licenses from cable news channels like Fox News, MSNBC, or CNN because they disagree with the opinions expressed on those networks.”
“Setting aside the fact that the FCC doesn’t license cable channels, these demands are fundamentally at odds with our legal and cultural traditions,” Pai said.
17 September, 2017
California Legislature Passes Bill To Punish Elder-Care Workers Who Don’t Use Trans Pronouns
There was a time when I thought no rule of grammar could possibly inspire more ardent debate than the Oxford comma. But California once again proves me wrong.
State representatives elected by the special, especially tan snowflakes of the Golden State have just passed the nation’s first state laws governing pronoun usage.
SB 219, which passed the State Assembly on September 12 and has already passed the Senate, proposes to fine or jail employees of long-term or intermediate care facilities who repeatedly and willfully refuse to use a preferred gender pronoun:
This bill would enact the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Long-Term-Care Facility Resident’s Bill of Rights. Among other things, the bill would make it unlawful, except as specified, for any long-term care facility to take specified actions wholly or partially on the basis of a person’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) status, including, among others, willfully and repeatedly failing to use a resident’s preferred name or pronouns after being clearly informed of the preferred name or pronouns.
There Are No Religious Exemptions In SB 219
Although this technically wouldn’t criminalize using the wrong pronoun, violating this item in the patient’s “bill of rights” for Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly would carry a fine of up to $1000 or a year in jail. As Amy Swearer noted in the Daily Signal, in true California style, SB 219 carries no religious exemptions—not for nursing homes run by religious institutions, nor even individual doctors. The only exception it makes is for “professionally reasonable clinical judgment.”
Additionally, facility staff may not “Prohibit a resident from using, or harass a resident who seeks to use or does use, a restroom available to other persons of the same gender identity, regardless of whether the resident is making a gender transition or appears to be gender-nonconforming. Harassment includes, but is not limited to, requiring a resident to show identity documents in order to gain entrance to a restroom available to other persons of the same gender identity.”
In other words, a provider concerned about protecting vulnerable residents could be fined for stopping a man, who may very well fit “stereotypical expectations of how a man… should appear or act” from entering the women’s restroom. The bill also would make it unlawful to refuse to move a person who identifies as a woman into a room with other women, or vice versa.
Police union wants professor fired over cop-hate tweets
He's entitled to insult his customers but he also has to allow that they might retaliate
The hate-filled weed himself
The head of the city’s largest police union is calling for the firing of a John Jay College professor after he tweeted “it’s a privilege to teach future dead cops.”
Professor Michael Isaacson, a self-proclaimed member of the Antifa movement who works in the economics department at the CUNY Manhattan college, tweeted from the account @VulgarEconomics: “Some of ya’ll might think it sucks being an anti-fascist teaching at John Jay College but I think it’s a privilege to teach future dead cops” on Aug. 23.
Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association boss Pat Lynch wrote a letter saying Isaacson “harbors total disdain for the active and future police officers that he teaches at John Jay College.”
In a Friday letter to Karol Mason, president of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Lynch demanded the “immediate dismissal” of Isaacson “on behalf of nearly 50,000 active and retired New York City police officers who are members of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association of the City of New York.”
“Recent media reports have revealed Mr. Isaacson’s disgusting anti-police attitudes and his gleeful embrace of political violence, including violence against police officers, as expressed in his own social media postings,” Lynch wrote.
Lynch continued: “It is absolutely outrageous that an individual who holds and expresses these views could be employed by any academic institution, much less one that counts an overwhelming number of New York City police officers as among its students, alumni and faculty members.”
15 September, 2017
UC Berkeley faculty members call for boycott of classes during ‘Free Speech Week’
Their fear of conservative ideas is palpable
In a letter addressed to the UC Berkeley campus and the Berkeley community, 76 campus faculty members from various departments have called for a complete boycott of classes and campus activities during “Free Speech Week,” which will be held on campus from Sept. 24-27.
The letter was co-written by seven faculty members, including campus associate teaching professor of African American studies Michael Cohen. It calls upon faculty to take three steps: cancel classes and tell students to stay home; close buildings and departments and allow staff to stay home; and not penalize students who are afraid of coming to campus.
“This is a clear threat to public higher education,” Cohen said. “People are coming to humiliate others and incite violence. … The boycott is a refusal to allow this to happen on our campus.”
According to Cohen, most of the students in his African American Studies 27AC class are students of color. Cohen said he believed that for him to ask his students to be on campus during Free Speech Week was unethical and discriminatory.
Free Speech Week is being hosted by the Berkeley Patriot, a conservative student newspaper. The four-day event includes themes such as “Feminism Awareness Day” and “Mario Savio is Dead.” Speakers scheduled to be on campus include Milo Yiannopoulos and Steve Bannon.
“We’re not afraid of Milo, Ann (Coulter) or Bannon’s words. We have a deep anxiety over the violence that their followers bring in response,” Cohen said. “Chancellor Christ’s idea that we can have these people on campus is a fantasy and a dangerous one.”
Poll: Over half of Calif. Democrats in favor of free speech restrictions
A recent poll conducted by UC Berkeley reveals that over half of California Democrats are in favor of free speech restrictions for white nationalists and other "hate groups."
According to the poll, 53 percent of the state's Democrats believe that white nationalists should not have the right to demonstrate, compared to 42 percent of the state's Republicans and 39 percent of independent voters.
Statewide, 46 percent of voters support free speech restrictions, 43 percent believe that there should be no restrictions, and 11 percent have no opinion.
The poll was conducted by Berkeley's Institute of Government Studies from Aug. 27 to Sept. 5, and included 1,200 registered California voters.
"I would have thought the liberals would be defending the right to demonstrate in general," the poll's director, Mark DiCamillo, told the San Jose Mercury News.
Sixty-six percent of the participants also believe that race relations have worsened in the past year, and 67 percent have "little to no confidence" in President Donald Trump's "ability to handle the country's race relations."
Forty percent of white participants were in favor of restricting the free speech of white nationalists, compared to 51 percent of Latino participants, 58 percent of African American participants and 59 percent of Asian American participants.
UC Berkeley will be hosting conservative speaker Ben Shapiro on Thursday night, and Milo Yiannopoulos, Ann Coulter and Steve Bannon will give on-campus speeches later this month as part of the currently unsanctioned "Free Speech Week."
14 September, 2017
Bannon, Yiannopoulos plan to speak at ‘Free Speech Week’ at UC-Berkeley
But the university is looking at excuses to ban them
Former White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon, writer Milo Yiannopoulos and other provocative figures are expected to speak at the University of California at Berkeley later this month at a “Free Speech Week” planned by a conservative student group.
The Berkeley Patriot, a student group, invited Yiannopoulos and the others in a bid to ensure that a wide range of viewpoints could be heard after controversial speakers sparked protests and cancellations on campus last semester.
But a university official warned that administrators do not have the information they need to guarantee security for the events.
In February, about 150 masked extremists threaded into a large, peaceful protest of a planned speech by Yiannopoulos, smashing windows, starting fires and throwing rocks. University police shut down the event, leading President Trump to lash out at the school on social media. “If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view — NO FEDERAL FUNDS?” he tweeted.
It was a sign of things to come, as protesters from the far right and far left confronted one another at events in Berkeley and on campus and as the university worked to provide security and faced criticism from some that the school was censoring its speakers.
The school, emblematic as both a left-leaning campus and the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement of the 1960s, provides a symbolic and literal backdrop for fights about political correctness, hate speech, academic freedom, the First Amendment and the Trump administration.
A leader with the Berkeley Patriot did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday afternoon.
University spokesman Dan Mogulof said in a statement Tuesday that both Bannon and Yiannopoulos have announced they will speak but the university does not yet have a complete list of confirmed speakers.
He noted that “some of the proposed events are being planned for indoor venues that have specific security and procedural requirements. We have asked the student group to meet those requirements and have informed them in writing that critical deadlines are fast approaching.
Free speech in Australia under heavy threat over homosexuality
Free speech is under siege. Everywhere we look, there’s a new attack on the rights and liberties of Australian citizens. In the same-sex marriage postal vote, gay-left militants are showing their true colours.
For them, “marriage equality” is not about love and tolerance. It’s part of a spiteful obsession to get their own way in life, wiping out contrary points of view. Instead of debating the issue, freely and openly, their preferred tactic is authoritarianism: vilifying, bullying and boycotting anyone who disagrees with them.
If a doctor like Pansy Lai says she believes in traditional man-woman marriage, they try to have her thrown out of the medical profession. If two parliamentarians have a civil debate about the Marriage Act, hosted by a beer manufacturer like Coopers, the militant tendency tries to close down the company. If parents organise a meeting at their local church to discuss the education of their children and Safe Schools program, as they did in Brisbane last Thursday night, gay-left protesters try to block them from entering the building.
Is this a forerunner to the type of division and intimidation that will dominate Australian politics if the Yes vote succeeds?
A nation where anyone who chooses not to worship at the altar of homosexuality and gender fluidity will be run out of town?
I fear for the Christian cake-makers and tailors who chose not to be involved in gay and transgender marriage ceremonies. In the United States, with the passage of “marriage equality”, these small businesspeople have been attacked and demonised — fighting all the way to the Supreme Court to defend their rights.
The only way to stop a similar reign of terror in Australia is to vote down the postal ballot.
The Turnbull government is not proposing to legislate to protect the religious freedoms of these people.
The only practical freedom for Christians and conservatives is the freedom of gay marriage never coming into law.
If gay-left militancy and legal inconsistency weren’t bad enough, last month there was a third strike against free speech in Australia.
The High Court refused to hear Major Bernard Gaynor’s appeal against his unfair dismissal from the Australian Army.
In June 2013, Gaynor received a notice from the Chief of the Defence Force David Hurley, confirming his sacking on the grounds of “intolerance of homosexuals, transgender persons and women” that were “contrary to (Defence’s) policies and cultural change program”.
As a political activist, in his private time, Gaynor had made a series of contentious statements — most notably, that he would not allow gays to teach his children at school. This is not something with which I agree, but so what. They are Gaynor’s children, not mine or anyone else’s.
As a father he has the right to decide what’s best for his family. Having outlined his views publicly, they should have been seen as an exercise in parental belief and free speech.
Hurley acknowledged that Gaynor “was not on duty, in uniform or performing any service for the Army at the time of the comments”.
He also said Gaynor had “interacted with male and female Defence members in a cordial and respectful manner in the workplace”. Gaynor was a decorated war hero, having served in Iraq. He hadn’t done anything other than articulate political opinions consistent with his Christian faith and parental responsibilities.
Yet he was out on his ear.
After two years of court action and huge personal expense, the High Court ended Gaynor’s matter by not even hearing it.
It’s like the old line about homosexuality: I don’t care what they do, as long as they don’t make it compulsory.
In today’s ADF, it is compulsory, even in one’s private life, to gushingly support same-sex and transgender relationships. How is this relevant to national security? It’s another politically correct distraction from the core responsibilities of government.
Australia urgently needs a Free Speech Act. Twenty years ago, in the Lange case, the High Court declared that Australians enjoyed the “implied rights” of freedom of political speech. As our constitution is based on a vigorous parliamentary democracy, we need to be able to debate issues without censorship or punishment.
Yet in Gaynor’s case the High Court ignored this principle. If it won’t defend its own precedents for free speech, Parliament must legislate instead.
13 September, 2017
UC Berkeley 'Braces' as Cat 3 Free Speech Nears
School beefs up security to prevent violence and offers counseling for "triggered" students
“Berkeley braces for right-wing talk show host Ben Shapiro’s visit,” blares the headline at the Los Angeles Times. What the story is about, of course, is the left-wing antifa hoodlums at the University of California-Berkeley who will raise Cain over Shapiro exercising his free speech rights to discuss politics from a conservative point of view. So why is the LA Times characterizing it as the school “bracing” for Shapiro’s Sept. 14 speech? Because the leftist rag is sympathetic to the leftist mob.
Given Berkeley’s ignominious history of campus brownshirts rioting over conservative speakers, the Times notes the school will have an “increased and highly visible police presence” and a “closed perimeter” around the building — access granted only to those with tickets for the speech. At least initially, the school limited ticket sales to half the venue’s capacity, including closing the balcony over safety concerns.
Somewhat humorously, the Times reports, “The university also is offering counseling to students and faculty worried about the event.” A speech by a mainstream conservative at a major university requires counseling for “triggered” students? And without any sense of irony, the school says, “No one should be made to feel threatened or harassed simply because of who they are or for what they believe.” Except conservative speakers, we suppose. Heck, Shapiro left Breitbart News in 2016 over the site’s deep support for Donald Trump, and still students are too fragile to hear what he has to say. Not only fragile, but violent. Let the irony sink in for a minute that these self-styled “Nazi hunters” are targeting a Jew.
Berkeley students were spared facing a hurricane, but heaven help them as they endure proximity to a speech. Oops — we used the word “heaven”…
BBC under fire for 'airbrushing Rule Britannia! from Last Night of the Proms concerts to avoid offending nationalists'
The BBC’s Last Night of the Proms is meant to be the moment that Britons unite in a moment of patriotic singing of standards like Rule, Britannia! and Land Of Hope And Glory.
The corporation organises live “Proms in the Park” open air concerts in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland every year to coincide with the Last Night’s broadcasts from the Royal Albert Hall in London.
However the broadcaster has been caught up in a political row after it prevented fans at the live concerts in Scotland and Wales from singing along to the songs with audience members at the hall in London.
On Saturday night all four concerts featured a live feed of the BBC concert orchestra playing Sir Henry Wood’s sea shanties from his Fantasia on British Sea Songs live from the Royal Albert Hall.
12 September, 2017
British conductor is sacked by US university for 'being racist' - even though the black singer friend who was butt of his joke says he thought it was funny
A British conductor has been fired from his job directing a prestigious American music festival after being branded racist over a joke, his friend says.
Matthew Halls, who was educated and taught at Oxford, was hired in 2014 as artistic director at the Oregon Bach Festival which is run by the University of Oregon.
But he has now been fired after a joke he made with African American friend and singer Reginald Mobley was overheard by a white woman and reported as racist.
Mr Mobley, who is from Florida, has since spoken out to defend his friend, saying Mr Halls was 'victimised' and the jibe had nothing to do with race.
He told The Sunday Telegraph: 'It was an innocent joke that has been entirely taken out of context.'
Mr Mobley told the paper that the incident took place back in July while the pair were talking following this year's Bach Festival.
They began discussing a concert Mr Mobley had recently performed at in London, when the countertenor said he thought it had presented a rose-tinted vision of the pre-Civil War South.
Mr Halls had jokingly 'apologised on behalf of England' for the miscalculation, before asking 'do you want some grits?' in an exaggerated southern accent.
'I'm from the deep south and Matthew often makes fun of the southern accent just as I often make fun of his British accent,' Mr Mobley said.
'Race was not an issue. He was imitating a southern accent, not putting on a black accent, and there was nothing racist or malicious about it.'
Twitter Bans Activist Mommy for Tweeting Her Dislike of Teen Vogue's Anal Sex Guide
This one falls under "too stupid to believe," but it's actually true. Twitter has banned writer Elizabeth Johnston, who writes at "The Activist Mommy," for her war of words with Teen Vogue editor Phillip Picardi
Not only has Twitter banned her, but YouTube will not allow her video commentaries to be monetized. While Johnston's posts and views are controversial to some, none of what she has to say is new. Her views on homosexuality come from the best-selling book in the world — the Bible. The tweet that got her booted was a little salty and perhaps not the best tactic to use for persuasion, but it wasn't any more obscene than the Teen Vogue article.
After Picardi okayed a guide to anal sex for teen girls in a recent issue, parents everywhere were understandably upset and tweeted their concerns. Picardi's response was to give them the middle finger while kissing a man.
If Phillip Picardi doesn't like the word "sodomy," then why is he publishing articles encouraging young girls to practice it? And why is a gay magazine handing him awards for doing it? That does seem rather strange, doesn't it? I can only guess that Johnston got suspended for using the words "sodomite" and "sodomy" instead of "gay" and "anal sex" and thus angering the gaystappo who appear to run social media.
But who knows? Does anyone have access to the list of words we aren't allowed to use anymore? Someone should keep a running tally for reference.
11 September, 2017
An extreme black racist
Being both black and transgender would appear to be not good for the mind. "She" is a black male who was born in England to a financially successful white mother
TRANSGENDER model Munroe Bergdorf made history earlier this week when it was announced that she would be the face of a L’Oréal UK campaign.
But after attention was called to her Facebook post on racism following the events in Charlottesville, the cosmetics giant decided to let her go.
The beauty brand said on Twitter that the comments made by Munroe Bergdorf were “at odds” with its values and had decided to end the campaign with her.
The Daily Mail published Bergdorf’s Facebook post in which the model said white people must “admit their race is the most violent and oppressive force of nature on Earth.”
“Honestly I don’t have energy to talk about the racial violence of white people any more. Yes ALL white people,” she reportedly said. “Because most of ya’ll don’t even realise or refuse to acknowledge that your existence, privilege and success as a race is built on the backs, blood and death of people of colour. Your entire existence is drenched in racism ...
Come see me when you realise that racism isn’t learned, it’s inherited and consciously or unconsciously passed down through privilege.”
85 percent of Americans support free speech for all, even the unpopular, 63 percent oppose political violence by Antifa
Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement in response to a poll by Center for Security Policy/Eagle Forum/McLaughlin & Associates showing overwhelming support for the First Amendment and free speech rights:
“At a time when the First Amendment is under unprecedented assault by the institutional left, the American people have proven once again that they are not willing to trade their essential liberty to avoid being potentially offended, with 85 percent unequivocally supporting free speech rights for everyone, including those they disagree with. Particularly telling is the result that nearly two-thirds of Americans are opposed to the radical Antifa movement, which supports and engages in violence against those they disagree with.
“The fact that the First Amendment maintains broad suppport across America clearly shows that freedom runs through the very DNA of the American people, and those who seek to undermine basic freedoms or provide aid and comfort in that effort, do so at their own political peril.
“Private companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter and Paypal need to proceed cautiously as they consider becoming arbiters of appropriate speech on the Internet, because if Americans believe that they have relinquished their neutrality, they will lose their dominance to market alternatives.”
10 September, 2017
A terrifying banana peel
A Greek Life retreat at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) was promptly cancelled this weekend after a banana peel was found hanging in a tree.
“To be clear, many members of our community were hurt, frightened, and upset by what occurred at IMPACT,” Interim Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life Alexa Lee Arndt remarked in an email between Greek leaders, according to The Daily Mississippian. “Because of the underlying reality many students of color endure on a daily basis, the conversation manifested into a larger conversation about race relations today at the University of Mississippi.”
"To be clear, many members of our community were hurt, frightened, and upset by what occurred." Tweet This
Apparently, student Ryan Swanson admitted to discarding the banana peel in a tree after he was unable to locate a garbage can, and it was later spotted by Alpha Kappa Alpha President Makala McNeil, who leads one of the campuses historically black sororities.
“The overall tone was heavy. I mean, we were talking about race in Mississippi and in the Greek community so there’s a lot involved,” McNeil recalled, later adding that she and her friend were “all just sort of paranoid for a second” after spotting the banana.
After word of the banana spread throughout the retreat, leaders decided to end the event early. Arndt explained that she “felt it was imperative to provide space immediately to students affected by this incident.”
According to The DM, some students left the retreat in tears, with McNeil noting that they “didn’t feel welcome” and “didn’t feel safe.”
Swanson apologized for the incident, writing in a statement that he wants to “sincerely apologize for the events that took place this past weekend.”
Andrea Mitchell Is Wrong About the Term 'Illegal Aliens'
In her “reporting" on the ending of the DACA program, Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC asserted that Attorney General Jeff Sessions was wrong to use the term "illegal alien,” which she deemed both “offensive” and “not correct.” But “illegal alien” is in fact the correct legal term.
In footnote two of federal Judge Andrew Hanen’s February 16, 2015, opinion in which he enjoined the implementation of President Obama’s DAPA program, Hanen explained that he would be using the phrases “illegal immigrant” and “illegal alien” interchangeably in his order. While “a certain segment of the population” might find that phrase offensive, “the Court uses this term because it is the term used by the Supreme Court in its latest pronouncement pertaining to this area of the law.”
The U.S. Supreme Court pronouncement that Hanen was referring to was Arizona v. United States, 567 U.S. 387 (2012). That case dealt with an Arizona law that, among other things, required state and local law enforcement to check the immigration status of individuals they stop, detain, or arrest if they have a reasonable suspicion the individual is in the country illegally. In an opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy that was joined by the liberal justices (except for Elena Kagan, who was recused from the case), that particular provision of the Arizona law was upheld, although other provisions were thrown out.
As Judge Hanen says, the Arizona opinion is replete with the term “illegal alien.” It is used close to a dozen times in the main opinion and the concurring (and partial dissents) by Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito. In fact, the main opinion cites an official report on “Immigration Enforcement Action: 2010” published by the Department of Homeland Security that discusses the “identification, apprehension, and removal of illegal aliens from the United States” (emphasis added).
The correct legal term is “illegal alien,” despite Andrea Mitchell’s protestations to the contrary. The politically correct term “undocumented immigrant” that she and others insist on using is a made-up term used by progressive groups and media sources to extinguish the line between legal immigrants and illegal aliens. That makes it easier for them to claim that anyone who wants our immigration laws enforced is “anti-immigrant.”
As civil-rights icon Barbara Jordan (who chaired Bill Clinton’s Commission on Immigration Reform) aptly said, “We disagree with those who would label efforts to control immigration as being inherently anti-immigrant. It is both a right and responsibility for a democratic society to manage immigration so it serves the national interest…. Unless this country does a better job in curbing illegal immigration, we risk irreparably undermining our commitment to legal immigration.”
8 September, 2017
Sarcasm doesn't pay
A police lieutenant in Cobb County, Georgia, has been moved to administrative duty for making what the department deemed were “inappropriate racial comments” during a traffic stop last year.
WSB-TV reported that its request for body camera footage of the incident prompted an internal investigation of Lt. Greg Abbott.
The footage shows a white female driver pulled over during a DUI traffic stop telling Abbott that she was scared to move her hands in order to get her cellphone because “I’ve just seen way too many videos of cops ... ”
At that point, she is cut off by Abbott: “But you’re not black. Remember, we only shoot black people,” the police veteran of nearly three decades can be heard saying. “Yeah. We only kill black people, right? All the videos you’ve seen, have you seen the black people get killed?”
The footage is from July 2016, before Mike Register took over as chief of Cobb police.
He said that Abbott will remain on administrative duty pending the outcome of the investigation, for which he didn’t give a timeline.
A statement Wednesday from the department said Register just found out about the recording Friday.
“No matter what context it was said, it shouldn’t have been said,” Register told WSB-TV.
Suri Chadha Jimenez, who is representing the driver in the case, said he thinks the officer was being sarcastic after the woman “gave him some lip.”
“It makes you cringe when you hear it. It’s unacceptable,” Jimenez said.
Lance LoRusso, Abbott’s attorney, gave the station this statement:
“Lt. Greg Abbott is a highly respected 28-year veteran of the Cobb County Police Department. He is cooperating with the department's internal investigation and will continue to do so. His comments must be observed in their totality to understand their context. He was attempting to de-escalate a situation involving an uncooperative passenger. In context, his comments were clearly aimed at attempting to gain compliance by using the passenger’s own statements and reasoning to avoid making an arrest.”
Children's book on puberty is PULPED after sparking outrage by telling boys that girls have breasts to make them 'look grown-up and attractive'
A children's publisher has bowed to pressure and pulped remaining copies of a puberty guide for boys that claimed girls have breasts for 'feeding babies and looking grown-up and attractive'.
Growing Up for Boys by Alex Frith, published in 2013, promises to 'prepare boys for what to expect from puberty.'
But it sparked outrage among social media users after a blogger posted a page on Facebook which reads: 'Girls have breasts for two reasons. One is to make milk for babies.
'The other is to make the girl look grown-up and attractive. Virtually all breasts, no matter what size or shape they end up when a girl finishes puberty, can do both things.'
The extract was posted by Simon Ragoonanan who blogs at Man vs. Pink, 'chronicling the fun and games of a geek father, his fangirl daughter, and their ongoing struggle against pinkification'.
He wrote on Facebook: 'The problem is that the book is saying that looking attractive and grown up is a key purpose of the breast.
'It's like saying the same about a woman's legs. Nothing wrong with finding them attractive - and I do - but it's not their 'purpose' to make a girl/woman look attractive or grown up.
'We have legs to stand, walk and run on. We (probably) have 2 legs so our hands are freed up for whatever our ancestors used them for. Their perception in any sexual desire is secondary and certainly not their purpose.'
His followers were quick to comment, labelling the book 'Outdated sexist rubbish'.
Nadia Elhaggagi wrote: 'Usborne are serial offenders for girls v boys products. But never seen anything as bad as this.
'Breasts are not there for boys' pleasure. And how awful for early developer girls if this is what their male schoolmates are being taught.'
7 September, 2017
Rider is ‘gutted and disappointed’ after Cycling Weekly publishes her photograph with the caption ‘token attractive woman’
A female cyclist said she was 'absolutely gutted and disappointed' after Cycling Weekly captioned a picture of her 'token attractive woman'.
The magazine was forced to apologise today after the 'idiotic' wording appeared underneath a picture of Hannah Noel, a member of the Hinckley Cycling Race Club in Leicester.
Ms Noel wrote on Facebook: 'So today I made it into Cycling Weekly, it seems not for my ability as a female cyclist but as a "Token attractive woman". 'I'm absolutely gutted and disappointed in the magazine.'
The farce sparked fury on social media, with many demanding an apology and some even claiming to have cancelled their subscriptions.
The magazine's editor Simon Richardson apologised for the 'idiotic' farce, which was blamed on a sub-editor.
It sounded like a compliment to me
Must not mention reality at Edinburgh university
The victim in today’s example is an Edinburgh university law student, Robbie Travers. He is being accused of committing a “hate crime” by posting on social media, after the US Air Force dropped a “massive ordnance air bomb” on an Isis stronghold in Afghanistan last April: “Excellent news that the US administration and Trump ordered an accurate strike on an IS network of tunnels in Afghanistan. I’m glad we could bring these barbarians a step closer to collecting their 72 virgins.”
This provoked history student Esme Allman, the former black and ethnic minority convenor of the university’s students’ association, to file a complaint to the university, saying: “Not only do I believe this behaviour to be in breach of the student code of conduct, but his decision to target the BME Liberation Group at the University of Edinburgh, and how he has chosen to do so, puts minority students at risk and in a state of panic and fear while attending the University of Edinburgh.”
In another Facebook post, Mr Travers wrote: “I won’t give elements of Islam or Muslims who hold regressive beliefs a free pass for their assorted poisonous bigotries and regressive values because they face bigotry. If you have terrible, oppressive views that seek to attack the rights of others, expect to be called out for those views, regardless of being oppressed yourself… ”
Mr Travers has also aroused controversy for his comments on gender issues. In a Facebook post he wrote: “If I die from a stress-induced heart attack, you will all know it is from dealing with criminally moronic intersectional nonsense. Having a preference of what genitals your sexual partner has is now declared ‘transphobic’.”
Ms Allman, who describes herself as a feminist and “womanist”, says: “While I have not met him personally, given my matriculation at the University of Edinburgh, my membership of the Black and Minority Ethnic Liberation Group at the university, and how I identify personally, I take issue with this clear and persistent denigration and disparagement of protected characteristics and blatant Islamophobia.”
Mr Travers has given voice to views shared by countless millions of decent, rational people around the world. He is standing up against the bullying and intimidation, inversion of truth reason and victimhood, and brazen hijacking of language itself that characterise today’s totalitarian leftists. For this they are punishing him, thus demonstrating once again just what a menace they are.
And they are aided in this by the pusillanimity of those in authority. Edinburgh University says it is investigating the complaints of misconduct against Mr Travers. It should have dismissed them and instead be disciplining Ms Allman for harassment and her assault on the cardinal principle of a university: the unthreatened dissemination of ideas.
6 September, 2017
Supermarket cross removal angers shoppers
Lidl has digitally removed crosses on top of an iconic Greek church from its food packaging, causing a stir among some shoppers.
The German supermarket giant erased the symbols on the roof of the Greek Orthodox building in Santorini from products in its own-label Greek food range.
In a statement, Lidl UK told Premier: "We are extremely sorry for any offence caused by the most recent artwork and would like to reassure our customers that this is not an intentional statement."
Research by Premier has revealed the distorted image has appeared on products available in the UK, including Eirdanous Halloumi with Basil. The image was additionally found on a three-litre Lidl container of olive oil in Germany.
One Twitter user reacted: "I find the removal of the cross offensive", while another asked: "Why use churches if you take away the cross? Idiotic!"
A third Twitter user asked: "Lidl, since when is a picture of a Greek church provocative or disturbing? It only becomes that if you erase the cross!"
The firm signalled a willingness to bow to customer concerns, saying: "We will ensure that all feedback is taken into consideration when redesigning future packaging."
One of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea, Santorini's blue-domed churches are among the key factors behind its popularity among tourists. Hundreds of thousands of people visit each year.
Free speech site threatened by its domain provider
Link for Gab: https://gab.ai/popular
This is the story of Gab’s most difficult and most controversial decision to date. On September 1st I opened my email to see a note from the compliance department of our domain registrar, AsianRegistry.com. Instantly I knew something was up. They asked that we update our contact information on the gab.ai domain within one week or it “may result in the suspension of the domain.” To be fair: the address was outdated. The last time we tried to update it on the AsianRegistry website it failed. We promptly provided the requested information and updated to our new address.
A few days later we heard back, only this time it was from AsianRegistry’s legal team. They noted that they had received a “formal complaint” about content posted on Gab. They cited the individual link in question and told us that we had 48 hours to remove “any images that are in violation of their policies.”
We then proceeded to read their guidelines to determine what violation could have occurred with the post they cited. We have followed up with their legal team to get some clarity and specifics about which clause was violated. The only thing that stuck out to us was the following vague and ambiguous clause:
Instra Corporation prohibits unlawful use of a registered domain name or product/service we supply, in a manner that is harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, or hateful against another party. This includes, but is not limited to, hate speech, discrimination or harassment on the basis of gender, religion, sexuality or race. Instra Corporation reserves the right to suspend or delete any product or service that, after reasonable investigation, is deemed to be in breach of this clause.
You’ll also note in their guidelines that they “typically give 15 days,” in our case we were given 48 hours to act.
Instra generally provides registrants with 15 days notice of a pending domain action due to a violation of our Terms of Service in order to provide them with the opportunity to remedy the alleged violation. If the registrant is not in violation of our Terms of Service at the end of the 15 day notice period, we may cancel any pending action and consider the matter resolved. This notice period may change depending on the circumstances.
Upon looking at their guidelines, we reviewed the post in question to determine if it had broken our own Community Guidelines. Our guidelines are very clear about properly tagging content that is Not Safe For Work.
Gab follows the Stewart Standard Jacobellis v. Ohio, 378 U.S. 184 (1964) on what constitutes pornography and obscene content.
We believe the post in question was indeed obscene. It should have been marked #NSFW and it was not, therefore it is in violation of our Community Guidelines.
This is not the first time we have enforced our guidelines. Gab has banned users for spamming, making death threats to the President, posting revenge porn, and doxing among others. We’ve been transparent and incredibly fair about this on many occasions.
We believe this effort was coordinated and planned. We knew this day would come and now we have entered a crossroads with a very binary decision: remove one post or lose our domain and thus the entire website.
Our choice was very clear to me. The post needs to come down. If it does not, we lose our domain. To my knowledge there are no pro-free speech domain registrars and that is a massive problem.
Our only other option now would be to play a cat and mouse game by transferring our domain to another registrar. Others who have attempted to play this game have failed and even had their domain seized completely from under them. We will not play these games. We have little choice, for now.
The free and open internet as we know it is under attack. It is centralized and controlled by no more than a handful of companies who provide these services:
Mobile device hardware and software distribution
Without any of these things an individual website can not possibly compete and operate at scale. If left unchecked, these centralized platforms will continue their dominance and control the means of all information, personal data, and communication on the internet.
It’s not too late to save the free and open internet.
Decentralized platforms built on the blockchain (including Gab in the near future) will inevitably give the power and control to The People and make the internet censorship-proof.
Gab wants to lead the creation of the next level of the internet. If Web 2.0 was about centralized, social, and mobile networks: Web 3.0 will be a decentralized, blockchain-based, radically transparent, people-powered internet infrastructure.
We are actively looking for a new registrar. This post will hopefully inspire other teams to start building or attract talented engineers to Gab who want to help us protect the free and open web. Until then, we will continue to build and fight for the freedoms we cherish.
5 September, 2017
Traditional British dancers black their faces to 'prevent being recognised by evil spirits' in historic procession
Traditional dancers from a 150-year-old troupe took to the streets with blackened faces in a historic procession.
Members of the Britannia Coconut Dancers of Bacup took part in the Whitworth Rushcart parade, in Lancashire, accompanied by a hand-drawn cart decorated with flowers and a brass band.
The troupe performs 'folk dances', with their blackened faces reflecting a 'pagan tradition as a disguise from the evil spirits'.
Their parade includes rush-bearing, where rushes, herbs and grasses are collected and transported to the local church to be laid on the floor.
The custom is supposed to symbol providing a new surface for the forthcoming year and is believed to go back to the middle ages.
Their choreography, which looks similar to Morris dancing, is believed to originate from Moorish pirates, with the outfits worn by the group - kilts, turbans and clogs - similar to pirates' dress.
Critics have previously slammed the tradition as offensive, with white men wearing black face paint prompting memories of the Black and White Minstrel Show - which was pulled from the air in 1978.
Sometimes you can't win
Bowing down to political correctness backfired in Australia
SHOPPERS are outraged over a Woolworths mud cake that hit shelves on Father’s Day with icing that read “Special Person’s Day”.
The photograph of the cake was uploaded to the Woolworths Facebook page by a Queensland father on Sunday. It was quickly reshared by dozens of others who called the supermarket giant out on failing to recognise Aussie dads.
One man commented: “This is a disgrace and total disrespect to all fathers in Australia today ... How dare you Woolworths?”
Another wrote: “Please keep Father’s Day to celebrate Dads, and don’t disappoint Australia with your political “special person” cakes.”
One woman said the cake was a “slap in the face to all the wonderful dads”. “If you want to support a “Special Persons Day”, do it on any other day! So disappointed that you would make this divisive political statement,” she added.
However, others said they disagreed with the backlash against “Special Person’s Day”, saying not all Australians had fathers in their lives.
“There may be other people in their life that may have to take that role on. I truly celebrate that you have created a cake saying “Special person’s Day” because for every family that does not have a mother or father around and someone else to fill that massive role, they are 100% a very special person. Well done Woolies!” A woman wrote.
Another congratulated Woolworths on “taking into consideration other people’s circumstances”.
“My son doesn’t have his father around a very sad day for him in fact but you turned it into a positive by providing a cake acknowledging a special person so he gave that to his uncle to say thank you for being a special part of his life, all round a happy day instead of a sad one,” the woman said.
A Woolworths spokesman responded to customers over Facebook, saying the contentious photograph had been cropped out not to show other cakes that contained “Happy Father’s Day” messages.
“We’re currently looking into this display with our store teams. We want to reassure you that we’re helping all customers across Australia celebrate Father’s Day as seen from our store displays, products and recipe ideas. Cropped out of this image are a range of decorative cakes that have different messages on them, including ‘Dad’ and ‘Happy Father’s Day’. Thanks again for sharing.”
4 September, 2017
'It Ain't Coming Down': Joe Piscopo Fires Back at Columbus Circle Statue Protesters
Radio host and "Saturday Night Live" alum Joe Piscopo fired back at those who see New York's Christopher Columbus statue as a symbol of oppression and want it taken down.
Piscopo, a Passaic, N.J. native who often played fellow Italian-American New Jerseyan Frank Sinatra on "SNL", said he and many people he knows are "proud Italian-Americans."
He recalled how his grandparents came over from Italy and instilled in him a love for their new country.
"This is America. Learn it, live it," he said. "They worked so hard - they've been prejudiced against.
Innocent Words (and Names) Are Under Attack
“The Bard,” William Shakespeare, had a healthy distrust of the sort of mob hysteria typified by our current epidemics of statue-busting and name-changing.
In Shakespeare’s tragedy “Julius Caesar” — a story adopted from Plutarch’s “Parallel Lives” — a frenzied Roman mob, in furor over the assassination of Julius Caesar, encounters on the street a poet named Cinna. The innocent poet was not the conspiratorial assassin Cinna, but unfortunately shared a name with the killer.
The terrified poet points out to the mob this case of mistaken identity: “I am Cinna the poet.”
The mob answers: “Tear him for his bad verses, tear him for his bad verses! … It is no matter, his name’s Cinna!”
Shakespeare certainly would recognize that, like the playwright’s Roman mob, we have launched a war against words in our frenzy to find targets for our politically correct madness.
Recently, there were progressive calls at the University of Southern California to rename the school’s mascot, the white Andalusian horse “Traveler.” Members of the Left thought that the mute animal’s name too closely resembled the name “Traveller,” the favorite horse of Confederate general and sudden demon of 2017 Robert E. Lee.
But the mob was not finished there. An Asian-American sportscaster named Robert Lee was recently yanked by the sports channel ESPN from broadcasting a University of Virginia football game. Apparently, Lee’s name was too close to that of Robert E. Lee.
Nearly a century and a half after his death, General Lee has gone from tragic figure to Public Enemy No. 1 of the Left.
Lee the sportscaster, like Cinna the poet, was found guilty on the basis of ignorant association with his name. If the politically correct herd could not get its hands on the long-dead Robert E. Lee, it would apparently settle for anyone in the present who shared nearly the same name.
Why would a supposedly civilized country descend into such linguistic fascism?
Part of the problem is the presumption by elites that a supposedly illiterate public must be protected from itself. But does anyone really believe that average people will confuse an Asian-American sportscaster who has the common Chinese surname “Lee” and the all-American first name “Robert” with a Confederate general — or that the sportscaster could thus be somehow tangentially connected with the recent violence in Charlottesville?
ESPN, however, does not bet on the intelligence of the average American. It prefers to virtue-signal that it is above all suspicion of sympathy for the Confederacy. In its search for cosmic justice, it cares little about the injustice it metes out to real live people.
ESPN has long politicized sports and continues to lose viewers over its adolescent political correctness. Not long ago, the network fired tennis commentator Doug Adler. He had characterized the aggressive play of tennis star Venus Williams as employing the “guerrilla effect.” (“And you’ll see Venus move in and put the guerrilla effect on, charging,” Adler had said.) Adler’s reference was drawn from the once-popular term “guerrilla tennis” that denoted a tough, brawling, take-no-prisoners style from the 1990s.
The word “guerilla,” remember, is a diminutive of the Spanish word “guerra,” (“war”). In Spanish, “guerrilla” means “little war.” In English, “guerilla” is commonly used to describe a type of unconventional fighting.
But Adler forgot that “guerilla” is pronounced the same as its English homophone “gorilla.” Some ESPN viewers did not understand the guerilla reference and charged that Adler was using “gorilla” as a racist smear. Adler tried to explain the reference, but he was fired and his career was ruined, making him a modern-day Cinna the poet, torn apart by the mob.
Why the linguistic McCarthyism?
When a cowardly and self-righteous ESPN assumes the worst in people, it hopes to find protection for itself from the thought police.
When chronic inner-city problems — epidemic levels of murder, drug use and out-of-wedlock births — cannot be solved, frustrated progressives start looking for extraneous targets to blame. And so attention turns to, for example, an Andalusian horse — as if changing the animal’s name is at least proof that they care.
Most revolutions eat their own. Monday’s most fanatical revolutionary becomes a counterrevolutionary sellout by Tuesday.
Once left-wing activists forced cities and states to pull down their politically incorrect statues in the dead of night, and once they got off scot-free in defacing and destroying publicly owned monuments, it was an easy step up to the next level: waging war against words themselves.
In totalitarian societies, cities change their names regularly. Statues go up and are torn down. Words, as the historian Thucydides warned 2,400 years ago, habitually change their meanings to reflect passing political orthodoxy — and thugs, commissars and brownshirts oversee the charade.
For an antidote to these statue-smashers and name-changers, Americans seek just one honest public official who dares to say “no more” — and arrests rather than appeases those who destroy public property, or shames those who ruin people through guilt by association.
3 September, 2017
Liberals Outraged After DOJ Starts Calling Illegal Immigrants 'Aliens'
The Justice Department began calling illegal immigrants "illegal aliens," breaking from the Obama-era language of "undocumented," "unauthorized," or "migrants."
The change came last month in a press release announcing Attorney General Jeff Sessions' meeting with the families of victims of crimes by illegal immigrants. This week an official statement heralding tougher rules for sanctuary cities also used the term.
"So-called 'sanctuary' policies make all of us less safe because they intentionally undermine our laws and protect illegal aliens who have committed crimes," the document read.
Some were outraged at the language switch, noting that "word choice is important," as Chicago Tribune writer Todd Slowik wrote.
"The phrase “illegal alien” plays into assumptions that immigrants living in this country without proper documentation are criminals," Slowik wrote.
Google Issues Ultimatum To Conservative website: Censor Your Content Or Lose All Ad Revenue!
Yesterday morning, we received a very bizarre letter from Google issuing us an ultimatum. Either we were to remove a particular article or see all of our ad revenues choked off in an instant. This is the newest method that Big Brother is using to enforce thought control.
Former Liberty Conservative contributor James Allsup was involved in the Charlottesville, VA “Unite the Right” rally-turned-riot that served as the catalyst for this drive for Orwellian censorship. Although the article itself contained no offensive content (it was merely distinguishing the many differences between the alt-right and literal Nazis), just the fact that it was authored by a man deemed to be an “unperson” by the corporate elite was enough for Google to target it for censorship.
The entirety of Google’s letter addressed to us is as follows. Notice how the descriptors for what violates the terms of service are deliberately vague and open for interpretation, giving Google an excuse to target any website or individual they so choose for any reason:
“Additionally, please be aware that the URL above is just an example and that the same violations may exist on other pages of this website or other sites that you own. To reduce the likelihood of future warnings from us, we suggest that you review all your sites for compliance,” the letter says.
This is not the first time we have been censored. In the past, Facebook banned users from sharing content immediately after they posted our controversial article criticizing a “libertarian” Washington D.C. thinktank official who denigrated Ron Paul. This is, however, the first time we have been directly threatened that we would be cut off if we refused to censor our content. An incredibly dangerous precedent is obviously being set here, and if you think that it won’t impact you directly at some point, think again.
Due to financial constraints, we had to comply with Google’s strong-arming tactics for the time being. An independent publisher such as The Liberty Conservative needs revenue from the Google ad platform in order to survive. We look forward to the day where rival ad platforms who respect the intellectual freedom of their customers can outcompete Google, but those days have not arrived yet. These tech companies have us all by the short hairs, and post-Charlottesville, they are all working in unison to enforce the Orwellian nightmare. Nobody is safe.
All conservatives and libertarians must realize that the Orwellian nightmare enforced by private hands is just as harmful to human freedom as if the dystopia was enforced by the hands of government commissars. The results will be the same, as freedom of expression will be sacrificed to the God of political correctness. After they destroy free speech, the rest of our rights won’t be far behind. A world where digital lynch mobs can ruin people’s entire lives–harming their reputations, making it impossible to feed their families, and potentially subjecting them to retaliatory violence–for merely expressing an honest opinion would amount to a dark age for liberty.
Mainstream conservative provocateurs such as Lauren Southern, Paul Joseph Watson, and Milo Yiannopoulos have been targeted as well. This situation is much bigger than just a few fringe political figures being humiliated. If they can censor us and target people like Allsup to be digitally scrubbed from the internet, it will happen to you next. A world where Big Brother is judge, jury and executioner is right on the horizon, and that does not bode well for anyone except a small handful of oligarchs and elites. We all must band together, eschewing mindless partisanship, to defeat the burgeoning Orwellian surveillance state before our rights are lost forever.
1 September, 2017
What role do governments and private companies play in allowing people to say what they want?
It seems that in America we have reached a whole new level of absurdity. There are so many unimaginable things occurring in our country that it should cause each one of us to ponder what our nation will be like in the years ahead — and fight to make it better. The freedoms that Americans have enjoyed since our founding have been tremendously eroded, and it appears that, for the foreseeable future, more freedom will be lost unless we stop those who would take it.
Free speech is under vicious attack yet again, this time from both the private sector and government. Before we elaborate, however, we should note that the First Amendment protection of free speech applies to government, not business or private entities. In other words, while the government may not quash free speech, a company or individual has no such obligation to allow it, much less provide the platform for it.
That said, last week, Matthew Prince, co-founder and CEO of Cloudflare, a global network that makes internet applications faster and protects them from cyberattacks, pulled the plug on one of the company’s customers. In the aftermath of the violence in Charlottesville, a website called the Daily Stormer made some extremely vile and hateful comments about Heather Heyer, the woman murdered by the sociopath with a car.
The Daily Stormer website is a favorite for white supremacists and neo-Nazis. Cloudflare’s main purpose is to protect websites, including the Daily Stormer, from being hacked, regardless of the viewpoints that are expressed on those websites. In short, Cloudflare prided itself in remaining neutral on political stances and, up until this point, speech was of no concern as to whether they would provide services. Go Daddy and Google likewise shut down The Daily Stormer, and other such vile websites have lost their web hosts or domain names.
Since then the CEO of Cloudflare has had second thoughts about his decision to stop providing his company’s services to the Daily Stormer. His reasoned that his company is in business to prevent cyberattacks, not to deny people the freedom to say what they want. Granted the Daily Stormer website had numerous vile comments and content within, but Prince believes that what he did may have set a dangerous precedent. He aptly noted, “The First Amendment doesn’t compel private companies to let anyone broadcast on their platforms.” While this is true, looking at it another way, should one individual or group of individuals be allowed to deny someone from saying what they want to? The Internet is a particularly unique platform, after all.
One might say Prince must be losing a lot of business and that he’s now trying to sit on both sides of the fence.
By contrast, the state of California — the government — has gone the extra mile with its efforts to limit free speech. A bill punishing speech recently passed the state senate and is now under consideration in the general assembly. This bill would make it a crime to call someone by a pronoun with which they don’t identify. Yes, you read that right — if this bill passes it would be a crime to refer to a woman as a “she” if she “identifies” as a “he,” or vice versa. If the bill becomes law, the penalty for observing such hateful and offensive things as the gender assigned at birth would be a fine of up to $1,000 and up to one year in jail.
This is, of course, beyond absurd, and California lawmakers have reached the death of reason with this one. Common sense is a thing of the past. It should be quite interesting to see what kind of court cases will be heard in the months ahead, and we can only surmise that this will exacerbate the exodus from California.
Ironically, this same state that wants to ban people from calling a transgender person the “wrong” pronoun has few qualms about the fascists laughably calling themselves anti-fascists (antifa, for short) and other Marxist groups physically attacking Trump supporters because of their speech. To be clear, antifa, Black Lives Matter, Nazis, and all other groups for that matter have the right to peacefully protest whatever they wish. But when the protest turns from speaking freely into violent assaults against an opposing group, then it is no longer free speech and it is not protected by the First Amendment. They are committing a crime and should be jailed. That includes those defacing and destroying historical monuments.
Yet no less than the mayor of Berkeley, Jesse Arreguin, essentially threatened that if the fascists can’t silence speech they don’t like, there may be trouble.
Have we really reached the point that people cannot argue or protest another person for fear of being offended or assaulted? And have we reached the point where a state government or a private industry can control what one says? George Orwell’s book “1984” was supposed to be fantasy, but it seems that this classic fiction has now become reality.
Antifa is a result of speech tyranny
Antifa is not you're friend, they are not liberals, they are not conservatives, they are off-season black block anarchists and communists. As fast as they'd beat a "nazi"(and they certainly aren't always right in picking them out) they will assault anyone filming them, journalists they feel aren't covering them right, anyone they deem as "counter-revolutionary". You're either with us or against us, and we will NEVER be on your side, only attempt to convince you and the people in your movement violent revolution is inevitable.
They don't have the interests of "liberty" in mind in any way, especially the communists. This isn't a group that should be idolized or praised.
On the other hand some people are shocked by images of antifa activists beating up normal, peaceful right-wing protesters in Berkeley or physically shoving right-wing people off Boston Common.
Why? This is what happens when you tell an entire generation that other people's ideas are dangerous, that their speech is toxic, that their words can wound you and traumatise you: you invite that generation to shut people down, to use any means necessary to ensure "dangerous" ideas are not expressed and do not cause injury to people's self-esteem or sense of safety.
We are starting to see what happens when speech is talked about as a form of violence: it green-lights actual violence against certain forms of speech. If speech is violence, shouldn't it be met with violence? Antifa looks increasingly like the militant wing of Safe Space fanaticism, the bastard offspring of a culture that elevates mental safety over intellectual liberty, and people's feelings over public freedom.
That's what we should really be at war with, people on the right and left that want to take away people's freedoms. Anyone that celebrate's antifa's actions is effectively willing to trade freedom and liberty for a VERY false and very fleeting sense of safety. Anyone that would celebrate facism, racism or white supremacy is doing the same.
This is Tongue-Tied 3
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press"
Posts by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.)
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The war on "cultural appropriation" is straightforward racism
Is the American national anthem politically incorrect? From the 4th verse:
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
The truth can be offensive to some but it must be said
"HATE SPEECH" is free speech: The U.S. Supreme Court stated the general rule regarding protected speech in Texas v. Johnson (109 S.Ct. at 2544), when it held: "The government may not prohibit the verbal or nonverbal expression of an idea merely because society finds the idea offensive or disagreeable." Federal courts have consistently followed this. Said Virginia federal district judge Claude Hilton: "The First Amendment does not recognize exceptions for bigotry, racism, and religious intolerance or ideas or matters some may deem trivial, vulgar or profane."
Even some advocacy of violence is protected by the 1st Amendment. In Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969), the U.S. Supreme Court held unanimously that speech advocating violent illegal actions to bring about social change is protected by the First Amendment "except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action."
The double standard: Atheists can put up signs and billboards saying that Christianity is wrong and that is hunky dory. But if a Christian says that homosexuality is wrong, that is attacked as "hate speech"
One for the militant atheists to consider: "...it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg" -- Thomas Jefferson
"I think no subject should be off-limits, and I regard the laws in many Continental countries criminalizing Holocaust denial as philosophically repugnant and practically useless – in that they confirm to Jew-haters that the Jews control everything (otherwise why aren’t we allowed to talk about it?)" -- Mark Steyn
A prophetic comment on Norwegian hate speech laws: As Justice Brandeis once noted, repressive censorship “breeds hate” and “that hate menaces stable government,” rather than promoting safety; “the path of safety lies in the opportunity to discuss freely supposed grievances and proposed remedies.”
Voltaire's most famous saying was actually a summary of Voltaire's thinking by one of his biographers rather than something Voltaire said himself. Nonetheless it is a wholly admirable sentiment: "I disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it". I am of a similar mind.
The traditional advice about derogatory speech: "Sticks and stones will break your bones but names will never hurt you". Apparently people today are not as emotionally robust as their ancestors were.
The KKK were members of the DEMOCRATIC party. Google "Klanbake" if you doubt it
A phobia is an irrational fear, so the terms "Islamophobic" and "homophobic" embody a claim that the people so described are mentally ill. There is no evidence for either claim. Both terms are simply abuse masquerading as diagnoses and suggest that the person using them is engaged in propaganda rather than in any form of rational or objective discourse.
Leftists often pretend that any mention of race is "racist" -- unless they mention it, of course. But leaving such irrational propaganda aside, which statements really are racist? Can statements of fact about race be "racist"? Such statements are simply either true or false. The most sweeping possible definition of racism is that a racist statement is a statement that includes a negative value judgment of some race. Absent that, a statement is not racist, for all that Leftists might howl that it is. Facts cannot be racist so nor is the simple statement of them racist. Here is a statement that cannot therefore be racist by itself, though it could be false: "Blacks are on average much less intelligent than whites". If it is false and someone utters it, he could simply be mistaken or misinformed.
Categorization is a basic human survival skill so racism as the Left define it (i.e. any awareness of race) is in fact neither right nor wrong. It is simply human
Whatever your definition of racism, however, a statement that simply mentions race is not thereby racist -- though one would think otherwise from American Presidential election campaigns. Is a statement that mentions dogs, "doggist" or a statement that mentions cats, "cattist"?
If any mention of racial differences is racist then all Leftists are racist too -- as "affirmative action" is an explicit reference to racial differences
Was Abraham Lincoln a racist? "You and we are different races. We have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other two races. Whether it is right or wrong I need not discuss, but this physical difference is a great disadvantage to us both, as I think your race suffer very greatly, many of them by living among us, while ours suffer from your presence. In a word, we suffer on each side. If this be admitted, it affords a reason at least why we should be separated. It is better for both, therefore, to be separated." -- Spoken at the White House to a group of black community leaders, August 14th, 1862
Gimlet-eyed Leftist haters sometimes pounce on the word "white" as racist. Will the time come when we have to refer to the White House as the "Full spectrum of light" House?
The spirit of liberty is "the spirit which is not too sure that it is right." and "Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it. While it lies there it needs no constitution, no law, no court to save it." -- Judge Learned Hand
Mostly, a gaffe is just truth slipping out
Two lines below of a famous hymn that would be incomprehensible to Leftists today ("honor"? "right"? "freedom?" Freedom to agree with them is the only freedom they believe in)
First to fight for right and freedom,
And to keep our honor clean
It is of course the hymn of the USMC -- still today the relentless warriors that they always were.
It seems a pity that the wisdom of the ancient Greek philosopher Epictetus is now little known. Remember, wrote the Stoic thinker, "that foul words or blows in themselves are no outrage, but your judgment that they are so. So when any one makes you angry, know that it is your own thought that has angered you. Wherefore make it your endeavour not to let your impressions carry you away."
"Since therefore the knowledge and survey of vice is in this world so necessary to the constituting of human virtue, and the scanning of error to the confirmation of truth, how can we more safely, and with less danger, scout into the regions of sin and falsity than by reading all manner of tractates, and hearing all manner of reason?" -- English poet John Milton (1608-1674) in Areopagitica
Hate speech is verbal communication that induces anger due to the listener's inability to offer an intelligent response
Leftists can try to get you fired from your job over something that you said and that's not an attack on free speech. But if you just criticize something that they say, then that IS an attack on free speech
"Negro" is a forbidden word -- unless a Democrat uses it
"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper
Why are Leftists always talking about hate? Because it fills their own hearts
Leftists don't have principles. How can they when "there is no such thing as right and wrong"? All they have is postures, pretend-principles that can be changed as easily as one changes one's shirt
When you have an argument with a Leftist, you are not really discussing the facts. You are threatening his self esteem. Which is why the normal Leftist response to challenge is mere abuse.
The naive scholar who searches for a consistent Leftist program will not find it. What there is consists only in the negation of the present.
The intellectual Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180) could have been speaking of much that goes on today when he said: "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane."
I despair of the ADL. Jews have enough problems already and yet in the ADL one has a prominent Jewish organization that does its best to make itself offensive to Christians. Their Leftism is more important to them than the welfare of Jewry -- which is the exact opposite of what they ostensibly stand for! Jewish cleverness seems to vanish when politics are involved. Fortunately, Christians are true to their saviour and have loving hearts. Jewish dissatisfaction with the myopia of the ADL is outlined here. Note that Foxy was too grand to reply to it.
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