"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press"
This document is part of an archive of postings on Tongue Tied, a blog hosted by Blogspot who are in turn owned by Google. The index to the archive is available here or here. Indexes to my other blogs can be located here or here. Archives do accompany my original postings but, given the animus towards conservative writing on Google and other internet institutions, their permanence is uncertain. These alternative archives help ensure a more permanent record of what I have written. My Home Page. My Recipes. My alternative Wikipedia. My Blogroll. Email me (John Ray) here. NOTE: The short comments that I have in the side column of the primary site for this blog are now given at the foot of this document.
30 September, 2020
Joy Villa Destroys Diversity Propaganda at Congressional Hearing: ‘I Was Never Blacklisted Until I Became a Conservative’
Political affiliation should be a protected class under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, says Joy Villa, recording artist and actress. Villa held court at the House Judiciary Committee hearing on “diversity in media” on Friday and gave a passionate defense of a conservative’s right to work in a country that is hostile to them.
“I’m mixed race,” she said. “I’m black, Chocktaw Native American on my mother’s side. I’m Italian and Argentinian on my father’s side. Until I came out as a conservative wearing a fabulous Make America Great Again dress for the Grammys four years ago, I had never been blacklisted.”
Villa has faced discrimination in the workplace since.
I was blacklisted from industry events, I was not welcome on talk shows, I was not included in pop culture magazines or publications unless as the butt of a joke. Rolling Stone magazine told my publicist they would not write about me because of my politics. One casting director called me “that Trump bith.” I’ve been called a race-traitor, an Uncle Tom, Aunt Jemima, house n*er, slave; been told to go back to Africa, told to straighten my nappy hair; called a puta negra (black bith); that I should be deported and even worse. I’ve had threats against my life and my family’s lives. These remarks come only from the so-called tolerant left who preach that they want diversity. To be clear, this did not happen because I’m black or Latina, or because I’m a woman. It happened because I’m openly conservative.
Villa isn’t the only entertainer to face blacklists. Ricky Rebel has had radio stations refuse to play his music because of his Trump support. Sports journalist Jason Whitlock also testified at the hearing saying, “I wish we could talk about big tech’s takeover of free speech. Silicon Valley is in control of America…If you don’t agree with Silicon Valley and Northern California’s radical point of view, they will cancel you and silence you on their social media apps.”
Cancel culture is a real problem and it is invading the workplace. Employers know that because “political affiliation” is not a protected class they can discriminate at will. It’s time for that to change. America is not America when 62% of Americans feel they cannot express their political opinions for fear of being run out of their livelihoods.
Job Creators Network video wanted to show how small businesses are hurt by riots. YouTube restricted it
The Job Creators Network (JCN), a non-profit that is pro-small businesses, expressed its frustration with YouTube and criticised the platform after it ended up slapping an “inappropriate content” warning on a video uploaded by the NGO when they provided video footage of small businesses being destroyed by rioters.
“YouTube’s decision to slap an inappropriate content restriction on our video depicting news footage of rioting shows Google’s left-wing bias. It amounts to censorship of opposing political opinions. YouTube does not treat left-wing videos that depict violent protests with similar warnings that depress view count and reach,” said the president and CEO of JCN, Alfredo Ortiz.
JCN’s video that is now being labelled inappropriate by YouTube is titled “Keep America America: Is Your City Next?” and is 30 seconds long. It shows several instances of violence in the riots that have been taking place across the country.
While labelling a video “inappropriate” would not essentially kill it on the platform, it would just make it harder to promote or propagate to a wider set of audience. When videos are restricted from being promoted by YouTube, it becomes difficult to boost their reach and so an “inappropriate content” label does a great extent of damage to creators on the platform.
With the JCN wanting to spread awareness about the rioting and discourage people from destroying property, a restriction such as this makes that more difficult.
“An inappropriate content warning does not stop the video from being viewed, but users must log in and click that they ‘understand and wish to proceed’ before viewing. This warning prevents videos from being promoted, reducing their reach and view count. JCN notes how this censorship neither applies to left-wing videos that depict protest violence nor the original news videos from which the rioting clips are taken. JCN calls on YouTube to treat all political content fairly and without partisan bias,” said JCN.
Furthermore, the JCN also said that platforms such as YouTube should remain politically neutral and allow people from all political spectrums to express their viewpoints without the fear of censorship.
“They should uphold the values of free speech that are the basis of their revenue model and popularity. Social media’s widespread censorship of conservative views demonstrates society’s slide away from the values of free speech. President Trump should nominate a strong defender of the First Amendment to the Supreme Court to help reestablish this fundamental right of all Americans.”
29 September, 2020
‘Cancellers are cowards – their beliefs are built on sand’ Nick Buckley was sacked for criticising Black Lives Matter. He tells spiked how he got his job back.
The resurgence of Black Lives Matter over the summer has been accompanied by an intensification in cancel culture. Accusations of racism are being used to justify the silencing of BLM’s critics. It is often cancelled celebrities whose stories get coverage in the media, but cancel culture is particularly dangerous for ordinary people.
One of its victims was Nick Buckley, who has worked as a social campaigner in Manchester for nearly 20 years. Earlier this year, Nick was sacked from the charity he founded. A petition called for his removal in response to a blog post he had written criticising BLM. But he fought back, and has now been reinstated. spiked caught up with him to discuss his story and what it tells us about cancel culture and identity politics today.
spiked: Tell us about your work and the events that led to your sacking.
Nick Buckley: I have been working across Greater Manchester for nearly two decades, mainly trying to stop young people getting involved in crime and anti-social behaviour. In 2011, I set up a charity. We have gone from just me in my one-bedroom flat to employing over 20 people, running community centres and projects on the streets.
This summer was the first time I had heard of Black Lives Matter. I looked into it and found its website. I was completely shocked by what I found there. I felt BLM’s objectives would damage the very people it said it was trying to help. I’m a big believer in personal responsibility – we don’t need to be treating people like victims and telling them society is set up to make them fail. That is simply the wrong message to send.
I felt obliged to let people know what BLM is really about. I wrote a 600-word blog about it and posted it on LinkedIn. Some people disagreed with me but did so politely. A week later, somebody put a link to the blog on Twitter. That’s when things hit the fan. Almost straight away, somebody set up a petition to have me sacked from the charity. There were some direct complaints to the charity’s board inferring that I was a racist and a Nazi, and then the board panicked and terminated my position – via email.
spiked: What provoked you to speak out about Black Lives Matter?
Buckley: The first thing was the call to defund the police. I have never heard such a crazy idea. When I worked for the council, I spoke to countless people about their priorities. At the top of everyone’s list was wanting more police in their areas. The people who want the most police are always the people who live in the poorest areas, because they are the ones who are more likely to be victims of crime and anti-social behaviour. The very people BLM says it wants to help are those who would suffer most from this proposal.
I also noticed BLM wants to disrupt the Western nuclear family. But if there’s something we need to improve in our country, in the areas where I work, it’s families. We need fathers to stay in households. Having fathers involved in families is what’s going to improve the lives of young people.
If this is really all about black lives, why are we talking so much about an American cop thousands of miles away operating under a different system? He did something horrendous – nobody’s defending what happened. But we don’t need to import problems from other countries. We need to deal with our own.
spiked: What did it take for you to be reinstated to your role at the charity?
Buckley: For the first week, I was a beaten man. I talked to a friend who asked why I wasn’t answering anybody who was attacking me on social media. The next day, I decided to fight back. I have spoken to thousands of people, and I always tell them that life’s not fair, but you don’t need to make yourself a victim. It was time to take my own advice.
A journalist from the Mail on Sunday knocked on my door. It was perfect timing. I did a great interview and everything changed on the day it hit the shelves. I received hundreds of personal messages on social media from people telling me not to let the critics get to me. That really helped me psychologically.
A former trustee of the charity set up a petition to have me reinstated, which got 18,000 signatures. Around then, I joined the Free Speech Union. It was fantastic. It got me a pro-bono solicitor, who said it was an open-and-shut case. The charity thought it could just sack me, but there are laws about these things. Trade unions pushed for those laws to protect workers from unfair dismissal. It’s a shame that some unions are not sticking by that principle and fighting for people in the face of this new persecution.
The solicitor wrote to the board. He explained all their mistakes and said I was going to sue them unless they resigned. They did. A new board was appointed, and reinstated me.
Free speech group warns university after it allowed Black Lives Matter protest but banned other gatherings
A free speech advocacy group has sent two letters to East Carolina University after the public college banned gatherings of more than 50 students, but allowed a Black Lives Matter protest on campus.
Southeastern Legal Foundation sent a letter to the North Carolina public university on September 16 seeking information on its enforcement of its coronavirus policies. After receiving no response, the public interest law group sent a follow-up letter on September 24.
The September 16 letter warned the university that its coronavirus policies set a “dangerous, unconstitutional precedent” that “could be used to stifle free speech.”
Kimberly Hermann, the foundation’s counsel, told The College Fix via email it will “continue to monitor the situation.”
“We never rule out litigation, but as in cases across the nation, many universities have amended speech and privacy policies once constitutional concerns have been raised,” Hermann said.
The university had previously announced at the end of August restrictions on gatherings, including a ban on more than 50 people gathering outside. The school also banned inside gatherings of more than 25 people, following the guidelines set by the state. All classes are now online.
However, on August 31, “members of the campus community—including athletes, coaches, and administrators—protested in an outdoor area of campus” the foundation noted.
Students marched through campus and at least two coaches gave speeches unmasked and surrounded by activists, according to video footage from WITN
28 September, 2020
Language police impeding free speech
Earlier this year, a video surfaced in which John Hickenlooper once made an innocuous reference to galley slaves. “If I was to describe a scheduler, a political scheduler,” he said, “imagine an ancient slave ship with the guy with the whip, and you’re rowing — we elected officials are the ones that are rowing.”
This was too much for Denver school board member and grievance monger Tay Anderson, who instantly pounced. “[R]eferencing my ancestors pain of being brought over here in chains to a political scheduler is utterly disgusting,” he said, adding that Hickenlooper had “some explaining to do.”
Rather than explain himself, Hickenlooper chose to prostrate himself. He offered his “deepest apologies,” he said, because his comments had been “painful.”
No, they weren’t — and they weren’t a reference to Anderson’s ancestors, either. Hickenlooper’s use of the word “ancient” signaled he was thinking of the rowers (another clue) sometimes pressed into service in the Greek or Roman navies in the manner of the fictional Ben Hur — who by the way was a Jew from Jerusalem.
Or maybe Hickenlooper was thinking of the later Barbary pirates, whose galley slaves were often European. Whatever. His analogy was merely a riff on the familiar expression “slave driver” — a term of wild exaggeration that literally no one who isn’t on an ideological warpath takes as a serious comparison with historical slavery.
Or consider the experience of University of Colorado President Mark Kennedy, who recently provoked similar outrage when he warned the school’s faculty council that “on-campus is declining and online is growing. If we don’t get online right… we have a trail of tears in front of us.”
The historical Trail of Tears involved the forced relocation of perhaps 100,000 Indians from a variety of Eastern tribes to territory farther west, mostly in the 1830s. It was an exercise in cruel greed, and thousands died. A university president would be well advised to steer clear of a casual reference.
Still, the idea that his comment represented “ignorance of these atrocities at best, and willful verbal harm at worst,” as the school’s Center for Native American and Indigenous Studies proclaimed, is rubbish. As is the idea that they reveal the need for “systemic efforts at the University of Colorado to counter such damaging conceptions of Indigenous history and present issues.”
What damaging conceptions? Kennedy offered a lame analogy involving events of nearly 200 years ago. He no more undermined a proper understanding of indigenous history than Hickenlooper minimized the brutality of slavery.
But of course Kennedy apologized — and for good measure had the quote scrubbed from the university’s account of the meeting.
Censorship is the greatest ‘online harm’
The UK government is planning a shocking clampdown on free speech online.
As the prime minister this week extended his Covid powers, it was hard to recall the time, not even a year ago, when an election victory heralded the promise of our freedoms being renewed. But while attention has focused on lockdown, the government has been planning another authoritarian clampdown for next year. This will be a programme of internet censorship unequalled in any democracy.
The Online Harms White Paper was created largely by staff in the Home Office, and the government now plans an internet censorship bill of the same name next year. As our Free Speech Union briefing explains, the government’s plans are a profound threat to our freedom of speech.
There are, first, some very strange things about the White Paper. For one, it never defines the problem it claims to deal with: ‘harm’. The charitable explanation is lack of professionalism. Another is that the authors want to outsource the definition to a promised future regulator, meaning to the byzantine interest groups that will demand a wide and ever-expanding definition.
Indeed, the document hints at this, saying that ‘organisations suggested specific harms, for example misogyny’, while listing harmful content that is ‘neither exhaustive nor fixed’. This is a licence to define almost anything as harm. Although the plans also include action against genuine harms, like terrorist activity or child abuse, this could be achieved with a much simpler bill which would not need to infringe freedom of speech.
Elsewhere, its prohibited ‘harms’ include nebulous ‘unacceptable content and activity’, because ‘beyond illegal activity, other behaviour online also causes harm’ (which might even happen ‘indirectly’). White Papers typically address questions of law, but our government seeks to prevent ‘legal harms’, which a regulator will define. This means a quango will compel online companies to prevent users saying things that are legal, a grave infringement on free speech.
The government also wants companies to take ‘reasonable steps’ so that users ‘will not receive recommendations to hateful or inappropriate content’, but it never defines ‘hateful’ or ‘inappropriate’. This includes material promoting self-harm, but it will see lawful content removed.
Perhaps most troubling, the government’s plans contain similarities to aspects of China’s internet surveillance programme. China’s government pushes online influencers to counter ‘disinformation’ by promoting supposedly authoritative content: ours will urge ‘Adult [internet] users [to] act in an acceptable manner’ and force companies to promote ‘authoritative news sources’. China censors ‘rumours’ that might cause ‘social harms’; our government will tackle ‘harmful’ ‘disinformation’, making ‘content… disputed by reputable fact-checking services less visible to users’. This contradicts our government’s claim that ‘the regulator will not be responsible for policing truth and accuracy online’.
This year, the Free Speech Union will outline how a simpler bill can prevent genuine online harms without suppressing freedom of speech. This government is pushing a project created by a Theresa May-era bureaucracy which lost faith in the free exchange of ideas on which democratic society depends. It should drop its internet censorship bill.
27 September, 2020
Woke ‘cancel culture’ is a form of bullying and ‘no platforming’ an attack on free speech, pupils will be taught
British students will be told that ‘cancel culture’ is not part of a ‘tolerant and free society’
Students will learn that people with controversial opinions should be respected. It comes as some mainstream speakers have been blocked from speaking at unis
Pupils will be taught that ‘cancel culture’ is a form of bullying and ‘no platforming’ an attack on our freedoms.
As part of the Government’s drive to protect freedom of speech, secondary school students will learn that people with controversial opinions should be respected.
In Department for Education training manuals, teachers are instructed to tell pupils that the ‘cancel culture’ which has taken root at many universities – where individuals call for a boycott of a person or company whose views they don’t agree with, in the hope they lose their job or clients – is not part of a ‘tolerant and free society’.
The move appears to be a direct response to incidents where mainstream speakers, including former home secretary Amber Rudd, have been blocked from speaking at universities by political opponents.
The comments are part of a slide presentation in a module on ‘respectful relationships’, as part of the new relationships and sex education curriculum beginning this year.
Incorrect UFC fighter gets a pass
Because the whole UFC organization is pro-Trump (?)
Predictably, the aftermath of Covington’s victory has been about everything but his superlative performance inside the cage. In the post-fight interviews that followed the bout, the 32-year old deliberately sought to sow controversy by making a series of patently xenophobic and bigoted statements more suited to an alt-right rally than an ESPN studio.
On the post-fight ESPN show, he mocked Nigerian born Usman by asking if he had gotten a message from his “tribe” via “smoke signals” and then doubled down at the press conference on pre-fight comments he had made accusing Woodley of being a domestic terrorist sympathizer by supporting the Black Lives Matter organization. In between, he labeled NBA great and part-time progressive activist LeBron James a “spineless coward,” accused Woodley of “hating America” and took a short phone call from President Donald Trump, who effusively expressed his support for Covington.
UFC President Dana White said, when asked for comment on Covington’s extreme rhetoric.
“One of the things we’ve never done here at the UFC is stop people from expressing how they feel about certain things, inside or outside the Octagon, even if it’s me, if it’s about me,” White said at the post-fight press conference. “Who’s more about free speech than we are? We literally let our people do or say whatever it is they do. It’s normal.”
However, the UFC isn’t pro-free speech, and there’s a laundry list of case studies that attest to this. From the promotional guidelines which provide that fighters may face financial penalties for engaging in “inappropriate physical, verbal and online behavior” to the UFC’s sweeping liability waiver—it was rolled out earlier this year—that purported to prohibit fighters and other event attendees, including reporters, from criticizing its COVID-19 protocols under threat of financial sanctions, the promotion has always maintained and enforced its right to police what its athletes do and say outside the Octagon.
Indeed, the UFC is quite comfortable policing athlete’s speech, and it is more than capable of telling Covington to tone it down.
That it is choosing not to do this is likely a reflection of two things: an assessment that Covington’s rhetoric won’t endanger and may in fact enhance its commercial interests, and because he has framed his invective as a political promotion for Trump, an incumbent president White and, by extension, the UFC have thrown their full weight behind in the leadup to the 2020 election. It says everything that White feels the need to lie about that.
25 September, 2020
Uncle Ben’s Rice No Longer Has a Black Man on the Box Because That’s Racist
A black man is not good enough to appear on a rice packet?? So it would seem
The message was surely that uncle Ben was a good cook and that his methods were embodied in that packet of rice. So it was a message that praised a black man and his cookery. It is surely bigoted and racist to oppose such a message
Ever since a black man named George Floyd died in the custody of a multiracial group of Minneapolis police officers, America has learned a lot about what is and isn’t racist. Just to name a few examples: The phrase “master bedroom” is now racist, because it has the word “master” in it. Refusing to yell “Black lives matter” on command is now racist, because Jimmy Kimmel wants to keep working in Hollywood. Hiring a white person to do the voice of a black cartoon character is racist, because… I dunno, it just is. Rather than trying to list all the things that are now racist, you should just assume that every single thing you do and say is racist until you’re instructed otherwise.
For example, have you bought any rice lately? Did it have a picture of a black man on the box? Well, guess what?
Noah Manskar, NY Post:
Mars Inc. has renamed its Uncle Ben’s rice products “Ben’s Original,” making it the latest food producer to ditch a brand steeped in racist imagery.
The Virginia-based company is also scrapping the portrait of a white-haired black man that has adorned its rice boxes for decades — an image that’s long been criticized as a racist stereotype…
The Uncle Ben’s brand was established in the 1940s and originally named for a “legendary” Texas rice farmer, according to an archived page on its website. The portrait long used on the box was that of Frank Brown, the maitre d’ of a Chicago restaurant who agreed to pose for the brand, the page says.
That’s right: A rice company used for its logo a portrait of a living, breathing individual human being, a person who actually existed on this planet in real life, and now that’s racist because George Floyd is dead.
“Over the last several weeks, we have listened to thousands of consumers, our own Associates and other stakeholders from around the world. We understand the inequities that were associated with the name and face of the Uncle Ben’s brand and as we announced in June, we have committed to change.
We will change our name to Ben’s Original™ as well as remove the image on our packaging to create more equitable iconography. This change signals our ambition to create a more inclusive future while maintaining our commitment to producing the world’s best rice.”
If you know what “more equitable iconography” means, please let me know.
Look, I don’t even like rice, and I don’t spend much time worrying about what Uncle Ben’s — oh, sorry, Ben’s Original — puts on the box. But the idea that somehow the old packaging is evidence of “systemic racism” and “inequities” and other buzzwords is nonsense. They make rice, man. That’s it. They didn’t do anything to anybody. It’s rice. Okay, so there’s a picture of a black guy on the box. You eat the rice, you don’t eat the rice, whatever. How is it hurting you? The worst that can happen is you’ll get fat from all the carbs.
What happened to representation and diversity and all that stuff? What’s the point of demanding more black faces in movies and on TV, while erasing black faces from grocery stores and kitchens?
Why CPAC Chair Matt Schlapp Says ‘Being a Republican Is Going to Be Illegal Soon’
One of the things that has become clear while traveling throughout Michigan, especially in the central part of the state, is that the Silent Majority really is alive and well. They are afraid to show their support for President Donald Trump, whether that’s by displaying a yard sign or saying they plan to vote for him come November. Matt Schlapp, the Chairman of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), said part of that is because “they feel isolated” and that’s in large part due to the mainstream media.
According to the CPAC Chairman, there are portions of the Republican Party platform that Democrats would consider to be “hate speech.”
“What’s agitating everybody in our democracy is that fact that you used to be able to have these conversations” and now that is no longer the case.
Schlapp pointed to outlets like CNN, as “Pravada,” especially when it comes to selecting a Supreme Court nominee to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
24 September, 2020
Australian Trial Lawyer With ‘Offensive’ Number Plate In Legal Battle Over Free Speech
A high profile barrister has found himself caught in a legal battle because of his ‘offensive’ private number plate which reads ‘LGOPNR’.
Peter Lavac, from Palm Beach in Sydney, has managed to successfully challenge the order from Transport NSW, but it still wants them to be banned.
If you hadn’t already worked it out, the letters ‘LGOPNR’ mean ‘leg opener’ (vom) and Mr Lavac claims that he was ‘taking to p***’ out of himself by attaching them to his yellow Lamborghini.
He claims that 99 out of 100 people wouldn’t know what the letters actually stand for, adding that it’s ‘tough s***’.
Transport NSW gave him 18 days to change the number plate and in a letter, they wrote: “Transport for NSW determined that these number plates could be considered offensive and must be returned.”
But Mr Lavac, a defence barrister and former Hong Kong crown prosecutor, was having none of it and told The Sunday Telegraph: “I resent anyone who’s trying to violate my freedom of speech and expression.
“They [the number plates] are meant to be humorous, tongue-in-cheek, funny and entertaining. That is how most people find them when it’s explained to them.
‘Free speech isn’t free’ and Australians are ‘failing to defend it’: Credlin
Sky News host Peta Credlin says free speech is something which has been protected in blood by past Australian generations, but sadly the people of today take it for granted and fail to defend it.
“Even in my lifetime the change in what we can say, write, even read has been diminished,” Ms Credlin said. “And the threat just seems to be accelerating.
“Free speech isn’t free, it’s something that’s been protected in blood by Australians in generations past who have fought in our name.
“To give us the sort of liberty today – free speech today – that sadly I think many of us take for granted, and even worse are failing to defend.”
Ms Credlin spoke with Tasmanian Senator Claire Chandler, who was hauled in front of the Tasmanian Equal Opportunity Commission after publishing an article about what she labelled the “reality of biological sex”.
“I’m certainly not going to be backing down on my views around women’s sports and women’s sex-based rights,” Ms Chandler said. “Nor will I be apologising for holding a view and advocating a view that the majority of Australian’s agree with.
“This is a ridiculous situation we find ourselves in, where unelected bureaucrats … are able to put people through the legal ringer, such as myself … in an effort to shut down debate about genuine public policy matters.
“It is deeply concerning in terms of the effects that this is going to have on free speech in this country.”
23 September, 2020
Proof the ‘Silent Majority’ Really Does Exist
SAGINAW, Mich. – For months we have heard about the “Silent Majority,” the idea that the majority of our nation are conservative, law-abiding citizens who support President Trump. These Americans care about issues like jobs and the economy. They support law enforcement, disagree with Black Lives Matter rioters and, by and large, want government to stay out of their lives.
In Central Michigan, the “Silent Majority” is alive and well. The problem, however, is they’re silent because they’re afraid of being retaliated against.
“They know they can be humiliated and, probably, a little bit afraid of these activists coming in and doing some damage to their house and they don’t want to make that statement,” a 60-year-old Bay City woman said, referencing Black Lives Matter rioters.
After spending a few days in Bay and Saginaw Counties – a place both Presidents Obama and Trump won – it became apparent that the fear is real. Trump supporters would quietly make comments under their breath, but only loud enough to where someone they felt agreed with their stance could hear. Trump supporters in the area are so cautious that most weren’t comfortable giving me a name or any identifying information. The ones that agreed to talk with me would only do so as long as I agreed to record audio, not video, and didn’t use their name, place of business or image.
“We’re very cautious on how we voice our opinions, who we voice it to, how we say it and what we say because of repercussions sustained in our employment, our friends and our friend network,” a government employee in Midland explained. “We have had friends who say if you stand for a particular candidate or political position they will defriend us, no longer talk to us, take us off Facebook. They’ll no longer be our friends.”
One of the biggest changes he said he’s seen lately is the lack of political tolerance. Instead of respecting other’s political positions, like how they did when they were younger, people are now resorting to violence.
“Now it’s different. They’re coming to people’s homes, coming to people’s neighborhoods. They’re doxxing people online,” he said.
It’s why he and his wife refuse to have signs in their front yard. They’re afraid of becoming targets. Both said they knew people who had their cars keyed or their personal property graffitied.
Australia: Senator says Tasmania’s anti-discrimination laws pave ‘road to tyranny’
Victorian Liberal Senator James Paterson has written an opinion piece for The Australian published today, entitled Silencing dissent – now that’s a road to tyranny.
The article is a response an anti-discrimination complaint made against his Tasmanian colleague, Senator Claire Chandler, who has been called before the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commission after complaints were filed over her recent article arguing against trans women’s inclusion in sports.
In the piece for the Hobart Mercury, Senator Chandler spoke against ‘cancel culture’, and shared her view that transgender women should not be allowed to participate in women’s sport, access change rooms or women’s toilets. Speaking in the Senate the politician said being called before the commission was an example of free speech being eroded in Australia.
Senator Paterson agreed with Senator Chandler’s sentiment in today’s opinion piece for The Australian.
“The anti-discrimination complaint against Tasmanian Liberal senator Claire Chandler is the latest example of the threat to free speech posed by Australia’s state and federal anti-discrimination laws, and the bodies tasked with enforcing them,” Senator Paterson wrote.
22 September, 2020
Trump’s WeChat Curbs Halted by Judge on Free Speech Concerns
The Trump administration’s curbs on WeChat were put on hold by a judge, upending an effort to halt use of the Chinese-owned app in the U.S.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler in San Francisco issued a preliminary injunction at the request of a group of U.S. WeChat users, who argued the prohibitions would violate the free-speech rights of millions of Chinese-speaking Americans who rely on it. The app, which was supposed to disappear from U.S. app stores on Sunday, has 19 million regular users in the U.S. and 1 billion worldwide.
The ruling means that neither WeChat nor TikTok, another Chinese-owned mobile app targeted by President Donald Trump’s executive order, will become immediately unavailable in the U.S. Trump cited national security concerns in banning the apps, but TikTok Inc. and the WeChat users’ group have said the president is trying to bolster his re-election chances by attacking China and Chinese companies.
WeChat “serves as a virtual public square for the Chinese-speaking and Chinese-American community in the United States and is (as a practical matter) their only means of communication,” the judge wrote in the ruling, dated Saturday and released early Sunday. Effectively banning it “forecloses meaningful access to communication in their community and thereby operates as a prior restraint on their right to free speech.”
UK: Emma Watson’s school in Oxford changes name from ‘racial slur’
A FAMOUS prep-school in Oxford, whose alumni include Hollywood stars Emma Watson and Tom Hiddleston, changed the name of one of its houses that is now being used as a racial slur.
The Dragon School on Bardwell Road decided to rename the senior boys’ boarding house from Gunga Din to Dragon House because it has become a derogatory term.
When the Oxford Mail contacted the Dragon School about this, a spokesperson refused to comment.
However, in an opinion piece for The Spectator alumnus Alexander Pelling-Bruce criticised the decision and argued it ‘sanitises the present by obliterating the past’.
The boarding house was named after a poem by Rudyard Kipling that tells the story of Gunga Din, an Indian water-carrier, almost 80 years ago by the then headmaster ‘Hum’ Lynam.
Mr Pelling-Bruce wrote that Dragon School’s governors justified the move in a letter sent to all alumni. It said: “Sadly the term ‘Gunga’ has now become derogatory, and even used as a racial slur. “Such potentially offensive language is against the Dragon’s ethos of inclusivity and diversity.
“Kipling’s poem was of its time and it is no longer appropriate to continue using the name Gunga Din.”
The former student , who said the move is ‘pure madness’, even suggested that people connected with the Dragon School should not pledge any donations to protest the renaming.
21 September, 2020
Ill: Police chief fired over Facebook post ‘in poor taste’
Longtime Orland Hills Chief Thomas Scully was fired Wednesday after a post on his personal Facebook page that village leaders said was could not be tolerated.
WBBM-TV reports the post is composed of a meme that reads, “Looting… when free housing, free food, and free education just aren’t enough.”
“We hold all of our public officials to the highest standards in their personal and professional lives in Orland Hills,” the village said. “This social media post is in incredibly poor taste. It does not reflect the values of the people of our community, and we will not tolerate such behavior from any of our public officials.”
Orland Hills’ deputy chief will take over until the village finds a permanent replacement for Scully.
Scully served as chief for 15 years.
The incorrectness of Ivana
Donald Trump’s ex-wife Ivana Trump has been branded a ‘bigoted embarrassment’ for her ‘disturbing’ comments on US immigration today.
Czech-born businesswoman Ivana, 71, who lives in New York, married Donald Trump in 1977, and while the pair divorced in 1990, the former model claims she is able to speak to the President at ‘any time’.
Appearing on morning show Loose Women, Ivana – who is herself a legal immigrant to the US – said she is ‘very proud’ of her former partner, particularly for ‘all he has achieved with immigration’, insisting that all who migrate to America should ‘enter legally’.
She then went on to rant about US immigrants ‘not dressing Americanly’ once in the country, while accusing some of ‘not having a job, stealing, and raping American women’.
During her interview, Ivana addressed her own emigration to the US, insisting that she ‘has no problem with immigrants’ if they enter the country legally, pay taxes, and ‘be a part of society’ – while suggesting that those who travel to the US illegally all become involved in criminal activities.
20 September, 2020
Facebook Censors Pro-Trump Ad After Fact-Checker Admits Claim May Be True
Amid pressure from left-wing activists and media outlets to clamp down on “misinformation” from the right, Facebook has begun censoring political ads that receive negative fact-checks — fact-checks that are produced by mostly left-leaning fact-checkers and that mostly target right-leaning ads. In at least two new cases, these fact-checks do not actually check facts — they instead merely state that factually true claims are “missing context,” then downgrade the ads.
The danger of this political speech-silencing policy by the social media giant — which nearly 70% of Americans use and where more than 40% read their news — is on full display in the case of the censoring of the pro-Trump 30-second political ad “Too Risky.”
The ad launched on Aug. 4 before getting slapped with a “mostly false” rating by PolitiFact and subsequently blocked by Facebook. The ad directly quotes Biden declaring, “If you elect me, your taxes are going to be raised, not cut,” and warns that his plan will raise taxes “on all income groups.”
The overarching problem of curbing political speech aside, was America First actually guilty of pushing a “mostly false” message in the ad? No. And to confirm this, we need look no further than the very fact check that resulted in the silencing of the pro-Trump organization.
The fact check actually reveals in its first few paragraphs that its own rating is wrong. First, it openly acknowledges that experts have concluded that Biden’s plan will result in higher taxes in all income groups. “[S]ome tax experts estimate that Biden’s plan would mean higher taxes on average for all income groups,” the fact-checker admits.
So how does PolitiFact rationalize its “mostly false” rating? The fact-checker subjectively accuses the PAC of not giving the audience for the 30-second ad enough “context” and giving the wrong “impression” about what Biden meant.
PolitiFact then assures the reader, the “biggest earners” will be harder hit by Biden’s plan than lower income groups, whose increases “would be relatively small.”
In other words, PolitiFact uses a Democratic talking point about the rich paying more in an attempt to distract from the fact that the ad’s claim is actually true.
Why Did Fox News Protect George Soros?
Did I just see that correctly on Wednesday? Fox News shut down former House Speaker Newt Gingrich because…he said something totally correct? Yeah, they did. Well, Melissa Francis and Fox News contributor Marie Harf did when Mr. Gingrich mentioned that a lot of these district attorneys who have been soft on crime in our cities were elected with money from George Soros.
The segment was about how the summer of leftist rioting has been the costliest in U.S. history, totaling over $1 billion in damages. And yet, we have thugs, some of whom are wanted for murder, being released days after they’re arrested by police. It doesn’t help that these progressive attorneys are not doing their job in putting these violent rioters away.
Gingrich brought this point up, as the rioting is virtually a Democratic problem given that the mayhem has mostly engulfed Democratic-run cities. It’s still raging, especially on the Left Coast.
Francis said that there was no reason to bring up the Soros connection for some reason, which Harf, a hardcore liberal, agreed. She even said that this wasn’t true. Well, we have the receipts.
And yes, Soros did pour millions into these local races. Robby Starbuck had an excellent thread teaching the Soros cash, where the left-winger poured some $800,000 into one small New York DA race alone. What’s even more embarrassing is that Fox News actually covered the Soros connection regarding these district attorneys in July:
It’s no wonder why Gingrich was shocked as to why he was being muzzled for telling a fact. I think he’s owed an apology.
18 September, 2020
YouTube Censors a Trump Adviser
Big Tech is fully invested in defeating Donald Trump in November.
What is surprising, though, are the depths to which Google and YouTube will stoop to silence those with whom they disagree. It’s one thing, for example, for Facebook to de-platform a provocative conspiracy theorist like Alex Jones. It’s another thing, however, for YouTube to remove a June 23 Hoover Institution interview with Dr. Scott Atlas, the noted author and former chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center and an official adviser to President Donald Trump.
As The Wall Street Journal’s James Freeman asks, “Does cancel culture now dictate that Americans must be denied sensible medical information? Google parent Alphabet’s YouTube division seems to have blocked a White House medical adviser’s analysis because it conflicts with the flawed pronouncements of a U.N. bureaucracy.”
But back to Dr. Atlas. What remarks of his did YouTube find so awful, so deeply disturbing, so terribly threatening to the health of the American people and their brothers and sisters around the globe? This: “Dr. Atlas has been making the case in print and in other media that we as a society have overreacted in imposing draconian restrictions on movement, gatherings, schools, sports, and other activities. He is not a COVID-19 denier — he believes the virus is a real threat and should be managed as such. But, as Dr. Atlas argues, there are some age groups and activities that are subject to very low risk. The one-size-fits-all approach we are currently using is overly authoritarian, inefficient, and not based in science.
A thoughtful reader might note that these remarks have aged remarkably well, especially given that Atlas made them nearly three months ago. That reader might also note that these remarks sound as if they might’ve been made by Donald Trump himself, albeit in a more combative way.
Controversial call to officially rename New Zealand
The name New Zealand could be no more, if a general election promise comes to fruition.
The cities of Wellington and Christchurch could also have their British derived names axed under the proposals.
But the suggestion has not gone down well with a rival political party.
Kiwis go to the polls on October 17 after the previous election date of September 23 was postponed due to a new outbreak of coronavirus in the country’s major city of Auckland last month.
The Jacinda Ardern-led Labor Party is aiming to retain power boosted by its pandemic response with the ultimate prize being able to govern in its own right and not in coalition. The opposition National Party is hoping to cause an upset with its focus on rebuilding the post-COVID economy.
However it’s another issue which has caused headlines this week – what the country is called.
The Maori Party has said if it won power it would change the country’s official name to Aotearoa within six years.
More than that, all towns and cities with “pakeha” (European) names would lose them by 2026. The capital of Wellington would become Te Whanganui-a-Tara with Christchurch known as ?tautahi.
However, the proposal has been rubbished by leader of the New Zealand First Party and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters who said it was “separatism” and politicians should be focusing on jobs and education in the wake of the pandemic.
NZ First governs in coalition with Labor.
“This is plain headline hunting without any regard to the cost to this country,” Mr Peters wrote on Twitter. “It will make our international marketing brand extraordinarily confusing when exports will be critical to our economic survival.”
17 September, 2020
Facebook bans conservative election ad attacking transgender girls in sport
A conservative political action committee has slammed an “absurd” decision by Facebook to ban an election ad that attacked transgender girls participating in school sports.
The ad from the American Principles Project takes aim at incumbent Michigan Democratic Senator Gary Peters and presidential nominee Joe Biden over their support for the Equality Act, a wide-ranging LGBTQ rights bill.
Republicans have focused on the fact that the bill would allow transgender students to compete on school sports teams based on their gender identity.
The controversial issue is currently the subject of several court battles in the US.
“All female athletes want is a fair shot at competition, at a scholarship, at a title, at victory,” the ad’s voiceover says.
“But what if that shot was taken away by a competitor who claims to be a girl but was born a boy? Senator Gary Peters and Joe Biden support legislation that would destroy girls’ sports. They call it equality. Really? That’s not fair. Not fair at all. Vote against Gary Peters and Joe Biden. They are too extreme for Michigan.”
According to the APP, which is spending $US4 million ($5.5 million) on the campaign, Facebook initially applied a “missing context” warning label before blocking the ad outright.
“Full-on censorship,” the group tweeted on Tuesday.
The notice from Facebook warned viewers that “independent fact-checkers at PolitiFact” had found information in the post “is missing context and could mislead people”.
Must not say a woman looks like a pornstar
Entercom Chicago’s Dan McNeil was let go on Wednesday after tweeting a screenshot of ESPN’s Maria Taylor during Tuesday’s broadcast of the New York Giants’ home opener against the Steelers.
McNeil accompanied the image of Taylor with the caption: “NFL sideline reporter or a host for the AVN (Adult Video News) annual awards presentation?”
The tweet, which had been captured by Awful Announcing, has since been deleted.
Taylor, 33, who had just wrapped the first NFL game of her career, fired back at McNeil, calling out his “sexist comments.”
“Well Danny Dearest if you would like to continue making sexist comments about me … please bring your misogyny with you to the NBA Countdown double-header I’ll be hosting tomorrow night. Hey ladies remember you can wear whatever you feel confident in!” Taylor tweeted, adding McNeil’s Twitter handle, as well as the handle of his radio show, Chicago’s 670 The Score.
She was backed by New Orleans Saints player Demario Davis. “100 per cent unacceptable! It’s time for men to stand up, respect and defend our women. 1st of all, put some respect on Maria Taylor’s name. 2nd of all, Maria Taylor is family … dude don’t want them problems,” Davis tweeted.
Taylor also received support from fellow media personalities, including former ESPN star Jemele Hill and Taylor Rooks.
“Just another example of what women have to go through in this business. Huge accomplishment for Maria to be part of the Monday Night Football team tonight and here comes an asshole trying to undermine a big moment in her career,” Hill tweeted.
16 September, 2020
JK Rowling’s career declared ‘dead’
J.K. Rowling fans are out for blood. The author, 55, has penned a book called Troubled Blood slated for release this week about a male serial killer who dresses as a woman while on violent killing sprees.
A day before the book’s release, fans and foes lambasted Rowling, who has previously made a slew of controversial comments about the transgender community, and declared her “dead” by sending #RIPJKRowling to the top of the Twitter trending charts.
Other fans were initially confused as to why the R.I.P. hashtag was trending while some even seemed to believe it. One Twitter user was amused that the social-media giant actually had to clarify Rowling was not dead in the trending section explanation.
Troubled Blood follows a private detective, Cormoran Strike, as he investigates a cisgender male serial killer who dons women’s clothing to kill female victims. Using the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, it’s the fifth book in Rowling’s Cormoran Strike series using the pen name.
“One wonders what critics of Rowling’s stance on trans issues will make of a book whose moral seems to be: never trust a man in a dress.”
In June, Rowling defended past controversial transphobic comments in a lengthy essay, which also revealed that she was sexually assaulted as a young woman.
“I’m concerned about the huge explosion in young women wishing to transition and also about the increasing numbers who seem to be detransitioning (returning to their original sex), because they regret taking steps that have, in some cases, altered their bodies irrevocably, and taken away their fertility,” she wrote.
She and 100 other writers and scholars also penned an essay calling for the end of cancel culture, citing an “intolerance of opposing views,” in July.
The case for cultural appropriation
In her book, Who Owns Culture?, the American lawyer Susan Scafidi argues that wearing a dress belonging to another culture without permission from a member of that group constitutes ‘appropriation’, but doing the same with permission – for instance, when an Indian family invites one to the Diwali festival and asks one to dress in a sari – is appreciation.
In contrast, in The Lies That Bind: Rethinking Identity, the cultural theorist Kwame Anthony Appiah argues that the idea of cultural essentialism is ripe for the waste bin. Not least because ‘all cultural practices and objects are mobile; they like to spread, and almost all are themselves creations of intermixture’. To speak of cultural ownership, therefore, is to invoke the tired language of intellectual property employed by large corporations; it stymies cultural interaction among peoples.
In my view, the Boasian view gets it right: the charge of cultural appropriation is an empty one since every culture is the product of other cultures. Consider language, one of the main components of culture. Every language has borrowed from other languages. What would Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, French and Italian languages be without Vulgar Latin, from which they evolved? As West Germanic languages, English, German, Dutch, Afrikaans, Yiddish and Luxembourgish share, to varying degrees, common terms, syntax and semantics.
By the same token, the pidgins, creoles and patois that exist in many former European colonies are derivatives of their European counterparts. These languages are the cumulative result of diffusion and modification; they all spring from processes of cultural borrowing.
The demarcation between ‘cultural insiders’ and ‘cultural outsiders’ is problematic, too. Determining ‘cultural membership’ risks creating racial divisions. People would be excluded from participating in a particular cultural practice simply because they do not satisfy a rigid cultural understanding of group membership.
To claim cultural authenticity, and thus make culture an intellectual property, is to bar humanity from borrowing the best practices and ideas from around the world. Yoga is of Indian origin but it has spread far and wide. It would make no sense for people to abandon Yoga just because of its ancient Indian origin.
To be blunt, we need more rather than less cultural appropriation in order to promote global understanding and make the world a better place. We must refuse to subscribe to a view of culture that depicts borrowing as antithetical to human progress. The Persian poet Rumi advised that we should ‘come to the root of the root of ourselves’. Surely, our cultural borrowings are our roots? Adele’s donning of Bantu knots should be celebrated as a sign of our interconnectedness, not demonised as sinful ‘appropriation’.
15 September, 2020
A note from America's Freedom Fighters
Facebook has just deleted all of our pages including Nation in Distress and Americas Freedom Fighters for absolutely no reason but for the fact that we are pro Trump, pro military, pro leo and we are not liberal/socialists.
They deleted 559 pages and 251 accounts right before the elections and this is just the beginning. Spread the news. This just happened and as a result they have put thousands of people and veterans out of work. spread the word! Thank you.
This is a direct and targeted attack by Facebook against conservative news outlets.
When you share to your friends, however, you greatly help distribute our content.
A good story on their site here
Lockdown critic gets censored
Professor Gupta came to prominence earlier this year when she questioned the government’s reliance on the Imperial College London modelling of the coronavirus epidemic. Professor Gupta and her team produced modelling that posited a greater number of Britons could have immunity to the virus than thought. She has been a longstanding critic of the wider impacts of lockdown on the poorest in society and across the world.
Praising the return of schoolchildren to the classroom, she said that while children might transmit the virus, trade offs have to be made and that “we can take strong measures” to still protect the vulnerable who need to shield.
But Professor Gupta also revealed the toll of her different approach. “We’ve found it difficult to publish our work in mainstream journals,” she said, adding “sadly anything that deviates from the consensus has been met with criticism – not simply of the science, but we’ve been labelled as saying things that are dangerous.
14 September, 2020
Pennsylvania professor is put on leave after he was caught telling students it was fine to use the N-word 'in a pedagogical sense'
A Pennsylvania professor has been put on leave after footage showed him saying the n-word in class and telling students it was fine to use the racial slur 'in a pedagogical sense'.
Duquesne University Professor Gary Shank was placed on paid leave pending an investigation over his alleged use of the racist language during a virtual class Thursday.
A video of the incident, posted on Twitter Friday, revealed the professor telling students he was 'giving them permission' to use the n-word in the lesson and telling them it 'was a very commonly used word' when he was young.
He is also heard telling the class people would throw around the term 'n****r rich' if they had some extra cash and asks students whether the term is still used today.
The shocking footage was shared on social media by someone thought to be a student in the professor's educational psychology class.
It shows a tablet screen with a slide presentation titled 'Race (from a cultural sense)' and reading: 'Based on perceived physical differences. Values assigned to race is cultural not physical.'
'I'm giving you permission to use the word okay,' a man believed to be Shank is heard saying.
'Because we're using the word in a pedagogical sense.'
He then asks: 'What's the one word about race that we're not allowed to use?'
When met with silence, he continues: 'I'll give you a hint - it begins with 'n'.
'It's even hard to say okay - I'll tell you the word.'
He then reinforces that he is only using the word to 'make a point'.
Duquesne University said in a statement to CBS News that an investigation was underway and Shank had been placed on paid leave in the meantime.
Another professor will take over the course, the private Catholic university in Pittsburgh added.
Shank's profile has also been taken down from the university's website.
Aussie missionary in England caught up in lgbt row
Josh Williamson is an Australian Baptist missionary, pastoring a small church in Newquay, Cornwall. He is also the subject of front-page news in his adopted town after a row erupted between him and local LGBT activists. As a result a local Labour councillor wants him deported back to Australia.
Williamson has been warned by police to keep his views in a “safe environment” after the row escalated on social media with suggestions or threats to burn down his church, hold sexual orgies there, and community boycotts. Devon and Cornwall police have told him he could be breaking the law if he offends the local LGBT community, according to Christian Concern, a UK Christian lobby group.
The dispute began when Williamson responded to a local news service report that a Cornwall pride event, Rainbow Fest, had been cancelled with a comment “wonderful news!” on the “Cornwall Live” facebook page.
“Asked by an online user why the news was wonderful, he responded saying ‘because I don’t think sin should be celebrated.’ Answering further questions on his views he quoted from the book of John, James, and 1 Corinthians 6:9-11,” Christian Concern reported.
13 September, 2020
Facebook suppresses speech, denies due process in Kyle Rittenhouse case
As we know, 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse attended the riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and fatally shot two people and wounded a third.
He drove the 15 minutes from his home in Illinois to Kenosha in what he said was an effort to help defend the business of someone who had called them for help, amid widespread protests and arson after a white Kenosha police officer shot a Black man on Aug. 23.
During the incident, Rittenhouse, who brought a first-aid kit with him, was pursued by the crowd and ran away from rioters, fell to the ground and was then confronted by one man who tried to grab his AR 15 rifle, whom he shot. He killed a second person, who hit him with a skateboard and tried to take his gun. He then fired on a third person who was carrying a weapon, hitting that person in the arm. I believe there is evidence he acted in self-defense.
These facts are obviously going to be disputed and all of this will be worked out in court.
However, Facebook has decided to ban, in a blanket fashion, any expressions by its over 500 million users in “praise and support” of Rittenhouse, including any links to contribute to his legal defense. Most disappointing is that Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has previously stated the platform would protect free expression and not suppress speech.
Another Example of Big Tech's Censorship Double Standard
We have long noted the censorship practices of the Big Tech social media companies and their clear bias against conservative content creators — or, more accurately, their bias against anyone who doesn't conform to the Left's social and political ideology. Content creators have regularly criticized Google, Facebook, and Twitter for their censorship practices, often bringing up the fact that Big Tech's application of its own content standards is rife with hypocrisy.
Big Tech has once again practically flaunted that double standard, refusing to pull a political ad that engaged not only in overt misrepresentation but in outright deception. Now, this wouldn't be an issue if Facebook and Twitter hadn't declared that they would police and censor any political ads that promoted "misinformation." However, having created this policy, one would think they'd at least attempt to apply the rule fairly — especially if an obviously fake political ad is brought to their attention. Instead, both companies showed just how in the tank they are for Joe Biden.
And the excuse they used to justify not pulling the deceitful Biden-endorsing ad? It was obvious satire, so it can stay.
The original Trump campaign ad that circulated last month depicts a woman silently flipping through a serious of cue cards in which she notes several of Biden's leftist policies, concluding with the final two cards stating, "I'm afraid to say this out loud," and, "I won't risk my children's future with Biden."
Using the same exact ad, an anti-Trump group known as the Republican Voters Against Trump manipulated and modified the message on the cue cards the woman flips. Now, she appears to say that voting for Trump in 2016 "was the biggest mistake of my life." The final two cards read, "I'm not afraid to say it out loud anymore," followed by, "I'm voting for Joe Biden in November."
There is no obvious indication that the ad is intended as satire — because it's not satire. It's a clear instance of propaganda, and it's precisely the type of political disinformation that supposedly motivated Big Tech companies to set themselves up as the "facts" police. When organizations seek to control and limit speech rather than promote and protect it, they inevitably end up promoting disinformation while they claim to be protecting people from it.
11 September, 2020
Muslims Demand Church Remove “Bigoted” Signs, Pastor Has Good Reply…
The Belmont Drive Missionary Baptist Church has a bold message for the citizens in Hood River, Oregon and let’s just say that Muslims and liberals are losing their minds over it!
The churches outside reader boards display 2 messages. One says, “Wake up Christians. Allah is not our God. Muhammad not greater than Jesus.” The other says, “Only the bible is God’s word. “Holy book.” Koran is just another book.”
Of course the signs have brought out the bleeding heart liberals in droves. Eric Cohn is one of them who said, “I literally had to stop and back up and make sure I saw what I saw and I was profoundly offended and upset by it.” He said he couldn’t believe what he was reading.
What’s he so upset about?
And then there’s the Hood River Mayor, Paul Blackburn who said, “I was really annoyed and sad.”
Lol- sad. Sad about what? You should be MAD that we have to put messages out in the first place. It didn’t used to be like this but in case you haven’t noticed, we are being inundated with Muslims not to mention ISLAMIC TERRORISTS THAT ARE DETERMINED TO KILL EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US INFIDELS YOU MORON!
“I am annoyed that in this political season there’s a solid case of ugly going on. I think it norms up this kind of behavior like ‘oh it’s okay to be a bigot now,'” he said.
Wait a minute. Call me crazy but I see nothing bigoted about these signs. I will agree with him about “a solid case of ugly” this political season. Take a look below:
A solid case of ugly
Both men are concerned the sign sends the wrong message about their town. Cohn was so worried he even wrote a letter to the editor of the local paper, Stephen Mayer at KATU 2 reports.
“This one guy wrote in here that I’m a terrorists almost. You ought to see what he put in here!” Pastor Michael Harrington said as he read from the letter.
Harrington is defending the messages he put on the sign. He says everyone is over-reacting. That’s what liberals do.
He says, “I’m not politically correct. I’ve never been politically correct, but I think I’m Biblically correct and that’s what matters to me.”
He also insists that he doesn’t hate Muslims and he is trying to educate people about the real GOD.
“It isn’t against any particular denomination. It’s just the fact that I have taught and will continue to teach that I have one God, one way of salvation, and one Bible that’s holy,” he said.
Harrington says he won’t take down the messages until next month which is when his new messages go up. He also invited anyone that wants to discuss the matter with him to his church and talk about it over coffee and donuts!
Nice job my man. Stick your guns! We have your back.
Apple commits to freedom of speech after criticism of China censorship
Apple has for the first time published a human rights policy that commits to respecting “freedom of information and expression”, following years of criticism that it bows to demands from Beijing and carries out censorship in mainland China, Tibet, Xinjiang and Hong Kong.
Apple’s board of directors approved the policy and quietly published it ahead of a deadline of September 5 for shareholders to submit motions for next year’s investor meeting.
The four-page document, cited here for the first time, tries to walk a fine line between upholding human rights while conceding that Apple is “required to comply with local laws” in authoritarian countries.
The document said Apple is “committed to respecting the human rights of everyone whose lives we touch — including our employees, suppliers, contractors and customers”. Its approach is based on the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
But it does not mention any particular country, nor does it refer to high-profile dilemmas like what to do when China, the world’s largest smartphone market, asks it to ban apps that help users evade censorship and surveillance.
The Apple policy merely states: “Where national law and international human rights standards differ, we follow the higher standard. Where they are in conflict, we respect national law while seeking to respect the principles of internationally recognised human rights.”
But Sondhya Gupta, campaign manager at SumOfUs, a consumer advocacy group, called Apple’s move “a breakthrough moment” following shareholder pressure.
The iPhone maker’s commitment comes seven months after two-fifths of its shareholders defied management and supported a SumOfUs proposal that would have compelled it to uphold freedom of expression globally. Apple had tried to strike the proposal from the agenda but was denied by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
10 September, 2020
UK: University of Warwick rules Sociology professor’s alleged antisemitic comments as “free speech”
Leftist speech generally passes muster. It is conservative speech that gets condemned
The University of Warwick has ruled a Sociology professor’s alleged antisemitic comments to fall within “the principles and values of tolerance and free speech”, following an investigation.
The original investigation into Dr Osuri began following a lecture delivered on 12 November 2019, where she described claims of antisemitism in the Labour Party as “very much an Israeli lobby kind of idea, the idea that you want to discredit the Labour Party because there is support for Palestine among some members of the Labour Party”.
A formal complaint was made by Angus Taylor, President of the Warwick Jewish Israeli Society (JISoc) and was immediately escalated to Stage 2, which required an investigation led by the Head of the Sociology Department, Dr Virinder Kalra.
Following the allegations made against Dr Osuri, over 40 students from Warwick’s Sociology department signed an open letter in solidarity with her.
The investigation found that the “objective interpretation” of the comments made by Dr Osuri “holds within the principles and values of tolerance and free speech”.
Tedx London sparks fury over decision to replace 'woman' with 'womxn' to be 'more inclusive' - with critics saying it's 'nonsense' and 'trying to be fashionable'
Tedx London, a volunteer-led organisation that holds regular events with TED-style talks, is facing fierce criticism after replacing the word woman with 'womxn'.
The organisation used the term on social media posts announcing its forthcoming programme of autumn events, and later said the word had been used because its 'more inclusive and progressive'.
However, the decision has sparked a swathe of negative comments, with critics saying not using the term woman is 'misogynistic' and questioning how you might pronounce 'womxn'.
The phrase is thought to have been originally devised by radical feminists who wanted a term for women that wasn't defined by the word men. In more recent years, it's been used as a term that includes women who aren't cis-gender.
After the word began to trend on Twitter, Tedx London clarified its position, saying: 'That's not a typo: 'womxn' is a spelling of 'women' that’s more inclusive and progressive.
'The term sheds light on the prejudice, discrimination, and institutional barriers womxn have faced, and explicitly includes non-cisgender women.'
According to its website, Tedx London is a volunteer-led organisation with a mission to 'encourage dialogue and engagement, create inclusive spaces and foster debate and discussion that continues long after our events' in the UK capital.
It runs TED-style talks but its events are independently organised.
Recent speakers at Tedx London events include Havard sociology lecturer Dr Jonathan Mijs, intersex activist Susannah Temko and model and cultural commentator Jamie Windust.
However, many of the comments that followed the post were critical.
Transgender television presenter India Willoughby wrote: 'On behalf of every trans woman in history that has actually transitioned, please shut up. These people are nutters. Ignore them.'
@Opzoek99 wrote: 'I'm a woman. I have always been a woman. I have 'woman parts'. I am feminine. There are 7.8 billion people on this planet, over half of them are women. WOMEN!! Not womxn. Don't make up silly words.'
@MForstater added: 'Women is fine. Womxn sheds no light. It is neither inclusive nor progressive to use unpronounceable buzzwords and suggest that female people don't have a name already.'
9 September, 2020
State Bar of Texas attacking free speech
Lawyers have always been at the forefront, protecting freedom of speech. The Bill of Rights and much of our U.S. Constitution were written by lawyers. In Texas, our 1876 Constitution and guarantees of free speech were promulgated by attorney and former Gov. Richard Coke.
Today, however, I am dismayed and disgusted as The State Bar of Texas with the backing of some of our 106,000 lawyers, is trying to censure and remove State Bar President Larry McDougal for exercising his free speech. We have had several "emergency" meetings and another one is scheduled for Sept. 10.
In 2015, McDougal opined “Black Lives Matter” was a terrorist organization. He later authored a legal opinion, where he concluded that BLM T-shirts at a polling station were illegal. While I disagree, they have nothing to do with the State Bar. In 2015, he was not even considering a bar office.
Lawyers, all possessing graduate degrees, are screaming “racist” at anyone who defends McDougal. In several Facebook attorney-only discussion groups, anyone who supports him is muted or removed.
What is racist? State Bar Director Carra Miller representing Corpus Christi and Victoria, believes the definition is generational. Older people believe a statement must have bigoted intent to be racist. The younger generations are result-oriented and condemn statements with a racist effect.
Can someone attack an organization such as Black Lives Matter without being bigoted against Blacks? Those who actually know McDougal swear he is not racist. These are difficult issues, and in today’s heightened racial climate, there is little intelligent discourse as accusations of racist, especially if the recipient is white, are guaranteed social media “likes” and applause. Conservative-free speech attorneys stay hidden. When asked to speak out, they decline.
I’m a Democrat and generally liberal on social issues, however, the right to free speech, even for conservative viewpoints, is paramount to a democratic society. Those who demand McDougal’s censure and removal reluctantly concede the existence of a First Amendment but claim there are “consequences” and demand he must pay. “Consequences?" There is no free speech, if by exercising it, he is removed or censured from the office to which he was elected.
Australia: Kyle Sandilands 'overstepped the mark' with Virgin Mary comments, says watchdog
Commercial radio presenter Kyle Sandilands breached standards of decency with last year's on-air comments about the Virgin Mary, according to a ruling handed down this week by the Australian media watchdog.
The remarks were made in September 2019, with Sandilands questioning whether the Virgin Mary was indeed a virgin and suggesting people who believe in the Bible's story of immaculate conception were "dumb as dog s---".
Australian Communications and Media Authority chair Nerida O'Loughlin said the broadcast offended religious listeners as well as the wider community. However, claims the broadcast incited hatred and ridicule towards Christians were not upheld.
ACMA examined 180 complaints as part of its investigation. In comparison, just over 125 complaints were scrutinised in regards to Alan Jones' comments in August last year about New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
"Australians are generally tolerant of irreverent humour and critical discussion about religion," Ms O'Loughlin said. "But they would not expect a host of a broadcast program to derisively criticise people's intelligence because of their religious beliefs.
"Mr Sandilands overstepped the mark in terms of the generally accepted standards of decency in this case."
A spokeswoman for ARN, the owner of radio stations KIIS, WSFM and Gold, said the broadcaster accepted the findings.
8 September, 2020
Anti-Islam protests in Sweden and Norway spark debate on free speech
Recent anti-Islam protests in Sweden and Norway have sparked debate over the limits on freedom of expression.
Last weekend saw a night of rioting in the Swedish city of Malmo after members of a far-right group set fire to a copy of the Quran.
Police in Sweden have tried to crack down on anti-Islam protests — not because they're illegal, but for public safety concerns.
Days later in Oslo, protesters outside the country's parliament tore up pages of the Muslim religious text and spat on them.
Norway's prime minister denounced the actions as "hurtful" to people living in the country but defended the group's right to express their views.
But what are the limits of free speech and freedom of expression? Our reporter Per Bergfors Nyberg in Stockholm says that's a question authorities are still trying to answer.
Australia: Safe spaces, pronouns in email signatures and don't say 'guys': Inside the PC training sessions where bureaucrats are told not to use the words 'husband' and 'wife'
Bureaucrats in NSW have been encouraged to adopt politically correct language and avoid using phrases such as 'husband and wife' and 'ladies and gentlemen'.
NSW treasury workers, who are amidst the state's worst economic crisis in almost a century, have also been urged to include their preferred pronouns in their email signatures.
But the focus on inclusive language has been slammed by One Nation MP Mark Latham, who believes there are greater issues to battle through during the coronavirus pandemic.
Staff received an official message from NSW Treasury's Economic Strategy Deputy Secretary Joann Wilkie following a training day in line with 'Wear It Purple', The Daily Telegraph reported.
The note detailed 'some of the things we can all do to help create a safe space' in the workplace.
'Things like adding a pronoun preference to your signature block,' she wrote.
'And not assuming when you're talking to a colleague that they are heterosexual/cisgendered/endosex, so use 'partner' rather than 'wife' or 'husband' and use an introduction like 'welcome folks' rather than 'hi guys' (I need to work on this one) or 'good morning ladies and gentlemen'.'
Mr Latham said treasury staff's priority should be on non-stop job creation as Australia struggles through a recession.
He said the notion of needing a safe space is 'ridiculous' and claimed Ms Wilkie would be on $250,000 a year while working in one of the 'safest' offices in the country.
'She should do her day job of 'economic strategy and productivity' instead of insulting the thousands of business owners who have closed down and the hundreds of thousands of workers who have lost their jobs with her work priority of safe spaces and PC-word training,' Mr Latham said.
IPA western civilisation program director Bella d'Abrera agreed with the One Nation MP's comments. Ms d'Abrera said treasury staff should focus on getting Australians back to work rather than whether they say 'wife' or 'husband'.
National accounts data released last week confirmed national GDP collapsed by seven per cent in the June quarter and around 6.3 per cent in the 12 months to June.
The 8.6 per cent decline in NSW for the June quarter was the worst of all states and territories and the worst in the state's history.
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet told the publication all large organisations have plans for inclusion as staff should be treated with respect and feel safe in the workplace.
Treasury has been instructed to focus on preparing the budget, creating jobs and supporting business, he added.
6 September, 2020
UK: It's time to fight back against the woke war on language
When I heard of the latest instalment in the Sussexes’ ongoing crusade to keep out of the public eye, this time through a multi-million pound Netflix deal, my mind immediately ran to George Orwell. Why him? Apart from attending the same boarding school as Prince Harry, these are not, perhaps, obvious bedfellows. No prizes for guessing what Orwell, a keen pricker of hypocrisy and lover of traditional British fare, would have made of the Sussexes’ performative worthiness and attempts to out-Goop Gwyneth Paltrow. But he would have shuddered with particular vigour at their choice of language.
Earlier in the week, the Sussexes spoke of a desire to broadcast “stories and issues that resonate with them personally... enabling a more compassionate and equitable world”. “Netflix’s unprecedented reach” they added, “will help us share impactful content that unlocks action” Impactful? Equitable? Unlocking action? We are all familiar with this kind of meaningless, self-serving jargon; and generally groan at it, but there is often deliberate intent involved; to obscure the speaker’s motives or fundamental lack of vision. In the Sussexes’ case, their Messianic language conceals a misplaced sense of victimhood.
The march of corporatese undermines public and private life. Much of what passes for activism today involves thinking or talking (sorry, “ideating” or “interfacing”) about abstract notions like empowerment, rather than any real empowering. It’s not just progressives either; Ivanka Trump is a repeat offender. Meanwhile, dry, bureaucratic language, drained of emotion and humanity, has rapidly infected HR departments, and LinkedIn lingo has become universal. Compared to some of the howlers we now endure, “going forward” seems inoffensive by comparison.
All this may grate, but its main role is to absolve responsibility; HR bods invariably talk of “off-boarding” and “streamlining” when they really mean “firing people”. Orwell cautioned against deliberate vagueness; such language, he warned, can never adequately explain what it describes. In the public sphere, it can be catastrophic. Politicians of course use it all the time; mostly to disguise their own failures, hence the preference for “challenges” over “problems” and “cost-savings” over “cuts”. Just last week, Matt Hancock gave a masterclass on the Today Programme, weaseling about the test and trace system’s “operational difficulties”.
We dwell on the most overt attempts to control language and redefine meaning, such as the BBC’s description of “largely peaceful protests” which left scores of policemen in hospital. These may enrage, but at least the intention is so clear, the execution so clumsy, that they rarely go unnoticed for long. Corporatese, however, is often so uninspiring that listeners simply zone out, letting the speaker get away with appalling logical leaps, their flawed ideas unchallenged.
Brexiteer praises PM for Abbott's appointment amid 'politically correct' row
BREXITEER Alex Phillips praised Boris Johnson for his decision to appoint former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to the role of adviser to the UK Board of Trade as she claimed political correctness could not get in the way of Brexit Britain's success.
Speaking to TalkRADIO, the former Brexit Party MEP claimed people should not be too "lily-livered" about Tony Abbott's controversial past statements and embrace the appointment of a man that has a lot of experience doing trade deals. Ms Phillips reminded her radio listeners the former Australian Prime Minister has always been a huge supporter of Brexit and of Britain's trading powers as an independent nation.
"I don't think we need to be too lily-livered about something that might be regarded as problematic because it's not politically correct that he might have said years ago."
Mr Abbott's appointment has sparked a heated reaction in some quarters, with critics saying he is well known for holding misogynistic and homophobic views, as well as drawing attention to his scepticism on climate change.
6 September, 2020
Vanderbilt professor docks student for not agreeing that the Constitution is white supremacist
A student at Vanderbilt University was docked points on a quiz Tuesday for rejecting the statement that “the Constitution [was] designed to perpetuate white supremacy and protect the institution of slavery,” according to screenshots of the quiz result.
According to Kara Zupkus of the Young America’s Foundation (YAF), the required quiz was part of a class on the 2020 U.S. elections taught by university professors Josh Clinton, Eunji Kim, Dean John Geer, and Jon Meacham, the same Jon Meacham who spoke on behalf of former Vice President Joe Biden at Democrats’ virtual convention just two weeks ago.
According to YAF, the class syllabus deems the course “the largest class that Vanderbilt has ever taught.”
Vanderbilt University did not immediately respond to The Federalist’s request for comment.
The idea that the U.S. Constitution was designed to perpetuate racial oppression is a core message of the left’s cultural revolution to re-write history, most notably embedded in The New York Times’ anti-American “1619 Project.” That project is now in thousands of U.S. public school classrooms.
USC Professor Placed on Leave after Black Students Complained His Pronunciation of a Chinese Word Affected Their Mental Health
What a lot of BS! Africans commonly use the word themselves
The University of Southern California has placed a communications professor on leave after a group of black MBA candidates threatened to drop his class rather than “endure the emotional exhaustion of carrying on with an instructor that disregards cultural diversity and sensitivities” following the instructor’s use, while teaching, of a Chinese word that sounds like a racial slur.
Greg Patton, a professor at the university’s Marshall School of Business, was giving a lecture about the use of “filler words” in speech during a recent online class when he used the word in question, saying, “If you have a lot of ‘ums and errs,’ this is culturally specific, so based on your native language. Like in China, the common word is ‘that, that, that.’ So in China it might be ‘nèi ge, nèi ge, nèi ge.’”
In an August 21 email to university administration obtained by National Review, students accused the professor of pronouncing the word like the N-word “approximately five times” during the lesson in each of his three communication classes and said he “offended all of the Black members of our Class.”
The students, who identified themselves as “Black MBA Candidates c/o 2022” wrote that they had reached out to Chinese classmates as they were “appalled” by what they had heard.
“It was confirmed that the pronunciation of this word is much different than what Professor Patton described in class,” the students wrote. “The word is most commonly used with a pause in between both syllables. In addition, we have lived abroad in China and have taken Chinese language courses at several colleges and this phrase, clearly and precisely before instruction is always identified as a phonetic homonym and a racial derogatory term, and should be carefully used, especially in the context of speaking Chinese within the social context of the United States.”
The students accused the professor of displaying “negligence and disregard” in using the word and said he “conveniently stop[ped] the zoom recording right before saying the word,” calling his actions calculated.
“Our mental health has been affected,” the group continued. “It is an uneasy feeling allowing him to have the power over our grades. We would rather not take his course than to endure the emotional exhaustion of carrying on with an instructor that disregards cultural diversity and sensitivities and by extension creates an unwelcome environment for us Black students.”
In response, Dean Geoff Garrett apologized for the professor’s use of a “Chinese word that sounds very similar to a vile racial slur in English,” in an email on August 24 obtained by National Review, saying “understandably, this caused great pain and upset among students.”
“I am deeply saddened by this disturbing episode that has caused such anguish and trauma,” he said.
The dean announced that a new instructor would immediately take over instruction for the remainder of the class.
“I have since learned there are regional differences, yet I have always heard and pronounced the word as ‘naaga’ rhyming with ‘dega,'” the professor wrote.
He added that the transcript of the session records his pronunciation as “naga” and that his pronunciation of the word comes from time spent in Shanghai.
[Shanghainese is different from Mandarin or Cantonese -- JR]
“Given the difference in sounds, accent, context and language, I did not connect this in the moment to any English words and certainly not any racial slur,” he wrote
4 September, 2020
BBC U-turn: Rule, Britannia! will be sung at Last Night of the Proms
The broadcaster has announced that a 'select group of BBC Singers' will sing the words to both Rule, Britannia! and Land of Hope and Glory
The BBC’s new director-general on Wednesday reversed the ban on the singing of Rule, Britannia! at The Last Night of the Proms ,and even encouraged the nation to sing along.
On just his second day in post, Tim Davie ordered the U-turn amid criticism of the corporation over claims that the lyrics to Rule Britannia! and Land of Hope and Glory had been ditched over their associations with slavery and British colonialism.
In a statement, the BBC said the initial decision not to sing the patriotic anthems had been taken because of coronavirus restrictions but that after “looking hard at what else might be possible we have a solution”.
In place of a full choir, the BBC had now decided to put in place a “select group of singers” who will sing the pieces inside the Royal Albert Hall with “audiences free to sing along at home”.
The broadcaster will provide subtitles for viewers so they can join in and is also planning to light up the Royal Albert Hall in red, white and blue in a further outward demonstration of its patriotic intent.
Some of the lyrics deemed controversial in the songs include the Rule, Britannia! line: "Britons never, never, never shall be slaves”.
How long will we citizens who love our country neglect to hold the media accountable for its deliberate malfeasance? Understand that I firmly support First Amendment rights. We need a FREE press, which is supposed to hold government in check. It's doing that, but only if the elected officials are Republican. Democrats apparently don't need to be held accountable because they're the good guys.
The malfeasance I'm talking about is when the media deliberately and willfully distorts a story to accomplish a political end. There's a long list of examples. Let me just start with two very recent incidents.
Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, is a good example. The public saw a short cellphone video of police shooting a black man in the back. End of story? Once again, evil policemen hunt down and murder an innocent black man. Get the story out there, watch the city burn, and blame President Donald Trump.
The WHOLE story is much different. From further accounts, police were responding to a call from a woman who had been sexually assaulted by Blake, and he was violating a protective order. Blake fought with the officers, had one in a chokehold, and, after being tased unsuccessfully twice, continued fighting while holding or reaching for a knife. But you didn't see that part of the incident.
Kenosha burns, minority businesses are destroyed, and people are dead. Why? Because the media had to propagate a narrative to show America that the police and, by association, Trump are racist. The destruction and deaths are acceptable collateral damage.
George Floyd is another example. The entire Black Lives Matter and antifa riots are allegedly because of his death. We saw video of Floyd on the ground saying "I can't breathe" for eight minutes. Why the officer had his knee on Floyd is unclear. But the resulting firestorm has led to dozens of deaths, over 1,500 police officers injured, and when all is said and done, billions of dollars in damage.
The country did NOT see the video of the initial confrontation and Floyd's refusal to comply, but according to reports, before he was even taken into custody, he was struggling to breathe. You probably didn't hear the results of Floyd's autopsy. Fentanyl is a deadly drug and, according to the coroner's report, Floyd had excessive amounts in his body. According to the autopsy, he was dying before the police even arrived. Unfortunately, the police officer gave the media the sound bite it needed by his stupidity. But from the autopsy, it's at least questionable whether he killed Floyd.
How long will the media be allowed to lie, distort truth, and fan the flames of outrage and hatred? It's costing innocent people their lives and destroying the economies of mostly minority communities. I guess it'll continue until the media gets Trump out of office.
3 September, 2020
The Left Admits It Cannot Win a Fair Fight
It relies on silencing people
If there's one thing to be said about the attempt by New York Attorney General Letitia James to dissolve the National Rifle Association, it's this: It's a concession about the Left's lack of arguments in favor of restricting our right to keep and bear arms. Don't get us wrong — this attack on the NRA is a frightening abuse of government power, and if it succeeds, the precedent could be used against other gun-rights groups at first, then expanded to just about any conservative group. But the big message is that the Left has given up on ideas in favor of sheer power to scream "shut up!"
That expansion could be what James and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo intended all along. But does anyone really think James would be trying to dissolve the NRA if she had winning arguments in favor of gun control? Would Cuomo have waged his campaign, using Parkland as a pretext, if he were successfully persuading Americans to support his anti-Second Amendment agenda?
Let's look back over the past decade and that pattern can be seen elsewhere. When the Tea Party was raising concerns about the reach of government and how much was being spent, did Barack Obama have counterarguments? If he did, he must have not been confident in their ability to carry the day. Why? The IRS instead targeted the Tea Party for harassment.
When Obama couldn't pass gun control after the horrific Sandy Hook massacre, mostly because grassroots Patriots stood up and refused to let millions of law-abiding Americans be punished for a crime they didn't commit, he didn't try to persuade Americans to rethink things, nor did he want other solutions. Instead, Operation Chokepoint was used, and a newer version, wherein companies are threatened with boycotts unless they go along with anti-Second Amendment extremists' demands, is currently being wielded. Obama, by most accounts, is a talented speaker. But why wasn't he using that rhetoric to persuade?
When conservative groups had success in Wisconsin, instead of their free speech being met with more free speech, they instead faced abusive investigations from rogue prosecutors. And while the Wisconsin Supreme Court halted the witch hunt, justice for those affected during the "John Doe" scandal remains elusive.
The arguments in opposition to radical environmental legislation were met not with counterarguments but with RICO investigations from left-wing state attorneys general. Then, of course, there is Cuomo's use of bank regulations to try to bankrupt the NRA.
When David Daleiden used typical techniques undercover journalists use (see shows like "60 Minutes" or "What Would You Do?"), the response from Planned Parenthood wasn't to use its First Amendment rights. Instead, the abortion mill sicced California's attorney general at the time, one Kamala Harris, on Daleiden.
Again, we see a pattern where counterarguments, debate, and the normal back and forth that sets our republic's course were not used. Instead, government power was brought to bear to attack one side of the debate on a hot-button issue.
We, finally, of course, get to Spygate. Again, rather than an attempt to persuade Americans, we see a resort to government power to take people out of the arena of ideas. Just last week, Judicial Watch reported that the FBI investigated Donald Trump's tweets criticizing the investigation. Can you say "retaliation"? Silly us for thinking the First Amendment protected criticism of government actions.
This pattern leads to some serious questions: Would people who had confidence in the strength of their arguments or in their powers of persuasion resort to wielding the power of government against those who dissent through the means protected by the First Amendment? Or is the pattern instead an abusive way of admitting that leftists have no defense of their agenda and no interest in the normal way of addressing good-faith disagreements over policy and principle, leading them to resort to coercion?
The cold, hard truth of the matter is that the First Amendment rights of grassroots Patriots are on the ballot this November.
Free speech wins out in OKC anti-panhandling case
Oklahoma City argued that safety was the goal of an ordinance that banned anyone from being in traffic medians at busy intersections. A federal appeals court didn’t buy it, in a victory for those who argued the First Amendment should prevail for people of all stripes.
In a ruling Monday declaring the city ordinance unconstitutional, a three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver said the rule showed "troubling evidence of animus against panhandlers." The city council approved the ordinance in December 2015. It originally prohibited standing on traffic medians near busy intersections, and later was revised to apply to about 400 medians located within city streets with speed limits of 40 miles per hour or greater.
2 September, 2020
Big Tech needs to embrace freedom of speech
The social responsibility of Big Tech in political discourse and information dissemination is considerable. Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Apple are among the titans of Silicon Valley who have built the technological infrastructure through which we view and interpret global events.
In a time which is often characterised by political polarisation, ideological tension and rampant misinformation, these platforms are tasked with finding a balance between upholding freedom of speech and protecting their users.
They are a lens through which we view the world. And during the pandemic, with billions under lockdown across the world, for many they were the only lens through which we could view the world. So their potential to warp our perceptions of the world should be concerning for all those who value truth and democracy.
It is no secret that Silicon Valley is strongly tilted to the left. Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, was shown in a leaked video from 2016 discussing the election of Donald Trump and concluding that ‘so many people apparently don’t share the values that we have’. Jack Dorsey, co-founder and CEO of Twitter, has said that ‘Twitter, like most tech companies in Silicon Valley, has a lot more left-leaning employees than right-leaners’. Conservative voices at Google have criticised an environment in which they feel ‘silenced’. Facebook’s oversight board is stacked with members of the left-wing establishment and had to shut down an internal group of Trump supporters due to frictions it exposed within the company.
Despite this obvious political bias, corporate leadership at these companies has tried to argue that, while their employees might be subject to political bias, this does not affect their products. Yet the premise that institutions which suppress conservative voices while amplifying liberal ones are able to remove political sentiment from their products seems improbable.
The façade of political impartiality has been further undermined by the submission of these organisations to identitarian ideology and leftist cultural narratives.
James Damore was sacked by Google after sending a memo which suggested that gender disparity in the company’s composition could be partly explained by innate differences between the sexes. He also criticised the corporation’s ‘politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence’.
Twitter, which formerly branded itself the ‘free speech wing of the free-speech party’, has become emboldened to start a fight with the White House, flagging tweets from an incumbent president as ‘misleading’ and ‘glorifying violence’ during an election year.
It is difficult to accept that challenging democratically elected leaders is an entirely apolitical act. These companies have insidiously shifted from neutral platforms to content moderators. Their choices increasingly shape the debate and delineate the Overton window.
Furthermore, there is an uncomfortable acceptance of malicious and hateful content on social media when it is produced by those who belong to the left’s congregation. Particularly on Twitter, where leftists make up the majority of political accounts.
It was several days before Twitter took decisive action against the grime artist and Corbynite Wiley following his series of anti-Semitic tweets. And even then it only took action after a Twitter boycott by politicians and public figures from across the aisle.
A backlog of racist tweets from Sarah Jeong, which were circulated following her appointment to the New York Times editorial board, remains online. It seems ‘hateful content’ must be of a particular political alignment to provoke the wrath of the moderators.
It is perfectly legitimate for corporations to hold political positions. But tech and social media are different from most corporations. First, they serve as a key avenue for public debate, so in order for them to function effectively, users need to be able to speak freely. Secondly, the scale of these tech companies means they form natural monopolies. Each occupies a distinct niche within our social system. The different platforms are imperfect substitutes of each other – one cannot simply switch to Instagram if booted from Twitter.
These giants have the necessary name recognition and data infrastructure to control the flow of information in much the same way that industrial titans historically controlled the flow of natural resources. They wield enormous power over the lives of citizens while enjoying high barriers to market entry for would-be rivals. In terms of their influence on our daily lives, they are more like public utilities.
Twitter is again a good example. It has grown to a point where it is a key medium through which politicians engage with the public, journalists and activists. Even if the Twittersphere is not really representative of the broader electorate, messages are disseminated broadly through the platform. Twitter’s decision to modify that engagement thus warps political discourse.
It follows that we should hold Big Tech to a different standard. Principles like political neutrality and free speech should be protected more fiercely given the danger of warping our perceptions. Yet there has been a decline in the protection of political neutrality and free speech. And this has coincided with, and has been accelerated by, the culture wars that we see playing out in our universities and public squares and the mainstream media.
Free speech is generally considered a nice idea but a less important one than the preservation of ‘safe spaces’ in which victims of oppression must be protected from ‘harmful’ or ‘hateful’ conduct. Belief in free speech as an absolute and fundamental right has become increasingly conditional on the content of that speech, and deplatforming has emerged as a natural consequence.
To those on the left who subscribe to these ideals, deplatforming is now seen as an effective means of silencing critics. The underlying assumption is that those who are banished from one platform for airing their politically unpalatable views will retreat from public discussion and into internal reflection. In fact, those pushed out will generally just move to new platforms with less restrictive practices, like Parler, Gab and Telegram. The net result is political siloing, not repentance.
Furthermore, the judgements made by Big Tech are generally opaque and their reasoning unclear. Where we have been able to peek inside their internal processes, the findings are concerning. Facebook’s ever-growing rules for content-policing run to 1,400 pages. The incoherent sprawl of rules has the feel of an ideology desperately scrambling to build consistency on an internally contradictory set of principles. They are playing a game of linguistic whack-a-mole as they try to decide what can and cannot be said.
Given the global reach of these corporations, the attempt to find a one-size-fits-all approach to questions that are essentially moral is impossible. Networks that spread across nations, ideologies, religions and cultures are inevitably forced into internal contradictions as they attempt to satisfy all. Utopian visions of universal content standards do not mix well with reality.
Try as they might, these companies are further undermined by their hypocrisy. Google, like many other tech companies, preaches diversity and yet has built an employee base that is largely unrepresentative. These organisations are attempting a top-down restructuring of society and yet they are unable to get their own houses in order.
These corporations have also been remarkably willing to bend their principles to the wishes of authoritarian states. We have social networks that will ban users for saying ‘men aren’t women’ while being entirely comfortable catering to the requests of repressive regimes.
The enormous power of tech giants to shape public discourse has so far presupposed political neutrality. There is increasing evidence that these platforms are happy to reshape their processes according to political ideology. Free speech has taken the back seat as content is policed for ill-defined ‘hateful content’.
With their growing influence over political processes, they will face two options. As societies recognise the threat posed to democracy by tech giants, they will likely face more calls for regulation and government intervention. Or they can themselves take responsibility for encouraging an open, liberal approach. The only morally coherent, politically acceptable and practically achievable solution is for platforms to embrace freedom of speech, however difficult that might be.
Adele’s tribute to Notting Hill Carnival sparks culture row
It just looks weird to me. But she has done wonders in getting slim
Adele has been accused of cultural appropriation after sharing a photo of herself with her hair in a traditional African hairstyle to mark Notting Hill Carnival.
The singer wore a bikini printed with the Jamaican flag, a feathered collar and headpiece, and her blonde hair in bantu knots, a traditional African hairstyle.
She posted the picture on Instagram with he caption: “Happy what would be Notting Hill Carnival, my beloved London”.
The image sparked complaints on social media. One user wrote: “Black women are discriminated against for wearing cultural hairstyles like bantu knots and locs but white people are not, that’s not fair and that’s why people are pissed off.”
1 September, 2020
University Shouldn’t Punish Me for Not Addressing Male Student as ‘Ms.’
Returning from a sabbatical in my 21st year at Ohio’s Shawnee State University, I resumed teaching my regular political philosophy course.
Taking questions in one such class at the end of my first day back, I acknowledged a male student with a “Yes, sir?” (It’s my practice to address my students in this way and to call them Miss, Mrs., or Mr. to foster an atmosphere of seriousness and mutual respect.)
After class, the student approached me to explain that he identifies as a woman and hereafter expected me to refer to him with feminine titles and pronouns.
“I’m not sure I can do that,” I told him.
He didn’t like that. He began to pace in circles around me, his voice rising and taking on an edge. He suggested an unprintable name he might feel free to call me if I declined to indulge his demands. Moreover, he said, he would see to it that I lost my job.
So far, that hasn’t happened, but I do have a letter of discipline in my file now that says I treated this particular student differently than other students by referring to him by his given name rather than as “Ms.” and “she.”
That’s all. No other allegations of hostile conduct or even of an unfair grade for the student were ever filed.
Consequently, I found it necessary to file a grievance against the university for violating my First Amendment protections of speech and religious freedom. My objections to the student’s request were based on my own philosophical and religious convictions, which the university blithely ignored.
I also believe I should have a certain amount of freedom, within my own classroom, to determine the exact language I do and do not use when teaching my class. The university denied me that freedom, as well. And it also denied my grievance.
That left me with no choice but to file suit through my Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys. Contrary to claims, such as those recently made by law professor Andrew Koppelman of Northwestern University, that I was simply “spoiling for a fight” and that my “arguments are so extravagant that they shouldn’t be worthy of notice,” all professors should be free to respectfully exercise their First Amendment rights.
They should not be compelled to say and teach things they don’t believe or risk being fired or disciplined. And everyone should be free to stand thoughtfully for the truth.
My letter of discipline notwithstanding, the school’s problem with me—and, for that matter, the student’s problem with me—is not really that I treated him differently, but that I did not. I treated this student exactly like I treat others, when in fact he wanted to be treated differently.
He demanded to be referred to as a woman. Though I could not in good conscience do that, I did offer to make an exception and refer to him by his given name, rather than either “Mr.” or “Ms.,” but, again, that wasn’t what he wanted. Nor was it, once his preference was stated, what the university administrators wanted for him.
“But,” many would say, “he has the right to identify as a woman if he wants to.” Perhaps, but I also have a right not to identify him as something I do not believe he is.
He has his beliefs, and I have mine. I can’t compel him to speak like me, and neither he nor the university should be trying to compel me to speak like him.
Ben Shapiro loses free speech lawsuit against UMN over venue change
A U.S. district judge ruled that the University had legitimate safety concerns when it moved the venue of Shapiro's July 2018 campus speech to St. Paul.
A judge determined Friday that University of Minnesota officials were driven by safety concerns in conservative speaker Ben Shapiro’s freedom of speech lawsuit, according to the Pioneer Press.
Shapiro and the groups that sponsored his campus visit – Young America's Foundation and Students for a Conservative Voice – filed a lawsuit in July 2018, alleging that the University held the event on a smaller venue on the St. Paul campus instead of a larger venue on the Minneapolis campus due to political bias.
“As a result of the forced relocation to the [North Star] Ballroom, many students were prevented from attending and participating in the speaking event, and Shapiro was forced to speak to less than half the number of students that desired to attend,” read the lawsuit.
U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson ruled the University had legitimate safety concerns after Shapiro events at other universities inspired hundreds of people to protest, the Pioneer Press reported.
“Consistent with the law that governs ‘limited public forums,’ University officials put reasonable restrictions in place to insure the event was secure,” Nelson wrote.
This is Tongue-Tied 3. Posts by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.)
HOME (Index page)
Is the American national anthem politically incorrect From the 4th verse:
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
The truth can be offensive to some but it must be said
The war on "cultural appropriation" is straightforward racism
"HATE SPEECH" is free speech: The U.S. Supreme Court stated the general rule regarding protected speech in Texas v. Johnson (109 S.Ct. at 2544), when it held: "The government may not prohibit the verbal or nonverbal expression of an idea merely because society finds the idea offensive or disagreeable." Federal courts have consistently followed this. Said Virginia federal district judge Claude Hilton: "The First Amendment does not recognize exceptions for bigotry, racism, and religious intolerance or ideas or matters some may deem trivial, vulgar or profane."
Even some advocacy of violence is protected by the 1st Amendment. In Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969), the U.S. Supreme Court held unanimously that speech advocating violent illegal actions to bring about social change is protected by the First Amendment "except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action."
The double standard: Atheists can put up signs and billboards saying that Christianity is wrong and that is hunky dory. But if a Christian says that homosexuality is wrong, that is attacked as "hate speech"
One for the militant atheists to consider: "...it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg" -- Thomas Jefferson
"I think no subject should be off-limits, and I regard the laws in many Continental countries criminalizing Holocaust denial as philosophically repugnant and practically useless – in that they confirm to Jew-haters that the Jews control everything (otherwise why aren’t we allowed to talk about it)" -- Mark Steyn
A prophetic comment on Norwegian hate speech laws: As Justice Brandeis once noted, repressive censorship “breeds hate” and “that hate menaces stable government,” rather than promoting safety; “the path of safety lies in the opportunity to discuss freely supposed grievances and proposed remedies.”
Voltaire's most famous saying was actually a summary of Voltaire's thinking by one of his biographers rather than something Voltaire said himself. Nonetheless it is a wholly admirable sentiment: "I disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it". I am of a similar mind.
The traditional advice about derogatory speech: "Sticks and stones will break your bones but names will never hurt you". Apparently people today are not as emotionally robust as their ancestors were.
The KKK were members of the DEMOCRATIC party. Google "Klanbake" if you doubt it
A phobia is an irrational fear, so the terms "Islamophobic" and "homophobic" embody a claim that the people so described are mentally ill. There is no evidence for either claim. Both terms are simply abuse masquerading as diagnoses and suggest that the person using them is engaged in propaganda rather than in any form of rational or objective discourse.
Leftists often pretend that any mention of race is "racist" -- unless they mention it, of course. But leaving such irrational propaganda aside, which statements really are racist Can statements of fact about race be "racist" Such statements are simply either true or false. The most sweeping possible definition of racism is that a racist statement is a statement that includes a negative value judgment of some race. Absent that, a statement is not racist, for all that Leftists might howl that it is. Facts cannot be racist so nor is the simple statement of them racist. Here is a statement that cannot therefore be racist by itself, though it could be false: "Blacks are on average much less intelligent than whites". If it is false and someone utters it, he could simply be mistaken or misinformed.
Categorization is a basic human survival skill so racism as the Left define it (i.e. any awareness of race) is in fact neither right nor wrong. It is simply human
Whatever your definition of racism, however, a statement that simply mentions race is not thereby racist -- though one would think otherwise from American Presidential election campaigns. Is a statement that mentions dogs, "doggist" or a statement that mentions cats, "cattist"
If any mention of racial differences is racist then all Leftists are racist too -- as "affirmative action" is an explicit reference to racial differences
Was Abraham Lincoln a racist "You and we are different races. We have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other two races. Whether it is right or wrong I need not discuss, but this physical difference is a great disadvantage to us both, as I think your race suffer very greatly, many of them by living among us, while ours suffer from your presence. In a word, we suffer on each side. If this be admitted, it affords a reason at least why we should be separated. It is better for both, therefore, to be separated." -- Spoken at the White House to a group of black community leaders, August 14th, 1862
Gimlet-eyed Leftist haters sometimes pounce on the word "white" as racist. Will the time come when we have to refer to the White House as the "Full spectrum of light" House
The spirit of liberty is "the spirit which is not too sure that it is right." and "Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it. While it lies there it needs no constitution, no law, no court to save it." -- Judge Learned Hand
Mostly, a gaffe is just truth slipping out
Two lines below of a famous hymn that would be incomprehensible to Leftists today ("honor" "right" "freedom" Freedom to agree with them is the only freedom they believe in)
First to fight for right and freedom,
And to keep our honor clean
It is of course the hymn of the USMC -- still today the relentless warriors that they always were.
It seems a pity that the wisdom of the ancient Greek philosopher Epictetus is now little known. Remember, wrote the Stoic thinker, "that foul words or blows in themselves are no outrage, but your judgment that they are so. So when any one makes you angry, know that it is your own thought that has angered you. Wherefore make it your endeavour not to let your impressions carry you away."
"Since therefore the knowledge and survey of vice is in this world so necessary to the constituting of human virtue, and the scanning of error to the confirmation of truth, how can we more safely, and with less danger, scout into the regions of sin and falsity than by reading all manner of tractates, and hearing all manner of reason" -- English poet John Milton (1608-1674) in Areopagitica
Hate speech is verbal communication that induces anger due to the listener's inability to offer an intelligent response
Leftists can try to get you fired from your job over something that you said and that's not an attack on free speech. But if you just criticize something that they say, then that IS an attack on free speech
"Negro" is a forbidden word -- unless a Democrat uses it
"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper
Why are Leftists always talking about hate Because it fills their own hearts
Leftists don't have principles. How can they when "there is no such thing as right and wrong" All they have is postures, pretend-principles that can be changed as easily as one changes one's shirt
When you have an argument with a Leftist, you are not really discussing the facts. You are threatening his self esteem. Which is why the normal Leftist response to challenge is mere abuse.
The naive scholar who searches for a consistent Leftist program will not find it. What there is consists only in the negation of the present.
The intellectual Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180) could have been speaking of much that goes on today when he said: "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane."
I despair of the ADL. Jews have enough problems already and yet in the ADL one has a prominent Jewish organization that does its best to make itself offensive to Christians. Their Leftism is more important to them than the welfare of Jewry -- which is the exact opposite of what they ostensibly stand for! Jewish cleverness seems to vanish when politics are involved. Fortunately, Christians are true to their saviour and have loving hearts. Jewish dissatisfaction with the myopia of the ADL is outlined here. Note that Foxy was too grand to reply to it.
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