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.

This is a backup copy of the original blog

"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" -- 1st amendment

31 October, 2021

Must not approve of conservative policies on Australia's  ABC

ABC TV political reporter Jane Norman is once again in the firing line of social media critics for 'gushing' coverage of Scott Morrison's net zero climate plan.

On Tuesday, Ms Norman said the plan was 'practically achievable' while covering the announcement of Mr Morrison's plan to net zero emissions by 2050.

'There are a few heroic assumptions or statements made in this new plan,' she told the audience.  

'The fact that Scott Morrison got a deal on climate, the fact he's still the prime minister, is a significant achievement given Australia's long and tortuous history with climate policy.'  

Social media critics were quick to jump on Ms Norman's characterisation of the plan, focusing on use of the word 'heroic'.

'For the ABC to use the term "heroic" re the nonplan, it must have been in the [Prime Minister's Offce] media instructions,' one commenter on Twitter wrote.

'Jane Norman's relentless cheerleading for Scott Morrison is just embarrassing,' wrote another. 

Twitter account @medianalystoz said Ms Norman had 'gushed' about the plan. 'LNP spin from the ABC,' it concluded. 

Others noted, however, that an 'heroic' assumption in the sense in which Ms Norman used it generally means there is doubt about the accuracy of that assumption.  

Contacted by Daily Mail Australia, Ms Norman said she had no comment to make on the backlash but that trolling of her on social media was 'nothing new'.


PETA Urges MLB to Replace 'Bullpen' with 'Arm Barn'

Animal rights organization PETA  has called for Major League Baseball to "strike out" the word "bullpen" in favor of "arm barn" because, as the organization claims, the current term is a reference to a "holding area where terrified bulls are kept before slaughter."

"Words matter, and baseball ‘bullpens’ devalue talented players and mock the misery of sensitive animals," PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman said in a press release. "PETA encourages Major League Baseball coaches, announcers, players, and fans to changeup their language and embrace the ‘arm barn’ instead."




29 October, 2021

Twitter Suspended Republican Lawmaker over pronouns

Twitter is quite infamous for its notorious cherry-picking and one-sided political agenda, blocking tweets and suspending accounts of Republican lawmakers.

And Rep.Banks is their recent target, suspending his Twitter account for using the wrong ‘Pronouns.’

Indiana Republican Representative Jim Banks has been suspended from Twitter after he uses the wrong pronouns in a tweet about Assistant Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine, who is transgender.

After he wrote out a tweet stating “the title of first female four-star officer gets taken by a man”, Bank’s Twitter account was then suspended.

The leftist media praised Levine as the first “female” four-star admiral, prompting Banks’ post.


Australian University professor avoids jail after admitting sending threatening letters and underwear to HERSELF

Fake hate speech.  It happens in America too

A former university dean has been spared jail time over her 'bizarre' fake letter campaign and will serve her custodial sentence within the community. 

Judge Ian Bourke sentenced Diane Jolley on Friday in the District Court to serve an intensive corrections order of two years and six months for committing her 'somewhat bizarre offences,' he said. 

The judge said he was unable to arrive at a clear conclusion as to why the academic had gone 'to such extreme measures' as cutting up her own clothes and sending herself her own underwear. 

He could not find she had shown genuine remorse given she proclaimed to have only sent herself one of the fake letters, despite a recorded phone call of her admitting to being 'naughty twice'. 

The former University of Technology Sydney professor was found guilty in July of 10 charges of conveying information likely to make a person fear for their safety, knowing that it was misleading. 

The 51-year-old academic was also found guilty on one charge of causing financial disadvantage by deception to her work after UTS spent more than $127,000 in security measures protecting her. 

For months Jolley pretended to find alarming notes, one reading: 'Goodbye, cya and good luck,' with her photograph and a red line drawn through her face. Another read: 'Chop our future we chop yours'. 

The elaborate ploy between May and November 2019 included shredding nearly $2000 worth of her own clothing, and sending herself underwear. 

Her employer racked up an expensive bill providing CCTV cameras installed in her home and office, monitoring alarms, private security chaperoning her around the university, and hire cars driving between home and work.




28 October, 2021

Caitlyn Jenner says Dave Chappelle is '100% right' to face down angry transgender mob over his new Netflix special and says backlash against him is 'woke cancel culture run amok, trying to silence free speech'

Caitlyn Jenner has come to Dave Chappelle's defense amid controversy over his Netflix special The Closer, saying the comic is '100% right' to stand up to transgender protesters angered by his gags.

Jenner, the world's most famous transgender woman, tweeted Tuesday: 'Dave Chappelle is 100% right. 'This isn't about the LGBTQ movement. It's about woke cancel culture run amok, trying to silence free speech.' 

'We must never yield or bow to those who wish to stop us from speaking our minds,' the retired Olympic gold medal-winning decathlete wrote.   

She spoke as LGBTQ activists continue to bash the comic for his jokes about the transgender community in the special.

Jenner was also moved to speak-out after transgender employees at the streaming service's office staged a walkout in protest of the production last week, with Chappelle taking to Instagram Monday to clear the air.

In the video, which contained a clip from one the comedian's recent sets, Chappelle extinguished rumors that he turned down an invitation to speak with Netflix's trans employees, and urged fans to not blame the LGBTQ community for the backlash he is currently facing, saying 'this has nothing to do with them.'

The comic further clarified that 'even though the media frames it as me versus that community,' the controversy stems from 'corporate interests, and what I can say and cannot say.' Jenner issued her Twitter defense while reposting Chappelle's speech.


Australian regulator wants Facebook to censor a political party

Australia’s medical regulator has written to Google and Facebook to ask for the removal of “seriously misleading” posts from Clive Palmer’s political party.

In a letter, the boss of the Therapeutic Goods Administration asked the digital giants to remove the content from the United Australia Party, citing their selective use of the regulator’s data on adverse vaccine events.

“As you may be aware, the TGA has expressed concern about material promoted on social media, including YouTube by the United Australia Party which we believe provides a seriously misleading picture of the safety of Covid-19 vaccines and could discourage individuals and their families from becoming vaccinated,” Adjunct Professor John Skerritt wrote.

“Extracts of information have been selectively taken … and have been presented in such a way on social media that many could conclude that the vaccines have been responsible for several hundred deaths in Australia.

“Over the last couple of years the TGA has worked successfully with YouTube to remove advertising that allegedly was in breach of the Therapeutic Goods Act and Code, such as promotion of fraudulent products that claimed to treat Covid-19.

“While for the reasons described above, the communications from the UAP do not fit into the category of advertising, I would ask you to consider removing such communications as they undermine Australia‘s vaccination campaign and are not in the public interest.”




27 October, 2021

Social media executives will be prosecuted for hatred and abuse online, says Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson has pledged to introduce criminal sanctions for social media bosses who allow “foul content” to be posted on their platforms.

The prime minister was responding to criticism from Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, who said that the government should make senior managers of social media platforms criminally liable for extremist and hateful content on their sites.

Speaking during prime minister’s questions, Starmer pushed Johnson to take advantage of the “inescapable desire” of MPs, in the aftermath of the killing of the Conservative MP Sir David Amess, to “clamp down on the extremism, the hate and the abuse that festers online”.


Protection for controversial NZ ritual

Fresh calls to ban the All Blacks' haka have emerged after a special clause to protect the war dance's cultural tradition was included in last week's New Zealand-United Kingdom free-trade agreement.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her British counterpart Boris Johnson agreed terms on a deal designed to boost trade and relations between their two countries during a Zoom call on Thursday.

The free-trade agreement, which officials believe will be worth $1 billion to New Zealand's GDP, will eventually eliminate all tariffs on New Zealand exports to Britain.

But in what some in the UK are calling an unusual move, the deal also commits Britain to "co-operate with New Zealand to identify appropriate ways to advance recognition and protection of the haka, Ka Mate".

M?ori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi welcomed the clause, which is understood to be designed to stomp out inappropriate use of the haka.

"We must be looking at cultural appropriation - not misappropriation, treating it with a lot more respect," Waititi said. 




26 October, 2021

UK: Priti Patel considering removing right to anonymity on social media to stop ‘relentless’ abuse of MPs

Social media users could face a ban on anonymous accounts, as home secretary Priti Patel steps up action to tackle radicalisation in the wake of the murder of MP Sir David Amess.

Police questioning Ali Harbi Ali on suspicion of terrorism offences are understood to be investigating the possibility that the 25-year-old UK national of Somali background was radicalised by material found on the internet and social media networks during lockdown.

Ali had in the past come into contact with the government’s Prevent deradicalisation programme, but was not considered a significant enough risk to come to the notice of security services.

Investigations are believed so far to have found no evidence of extensive contact with terror groups abroad. His father Harbi Ali Kullane was a former media spokesman for the prime minister of Somalia and had been involved in campaigns against the extremist al-Shabaab group in the east African country.

Diane Abbott, who receives more online abuse than any other MP, gave her backing to legislation forcing tech giants to reveal the identity of those who peddle hate on their platforms.

She told The Independent that police investigations into racial abuse and threats against her had repeatedly foundered because of social media companies’ insistence on protecting anonymity. And she said: “Persons inciting violence and racial hatred online should know that they will no longer have this cover.”


Spooky? Theatre fears word has racist past

The National Theatre of Scotland has stopped using the word “spooky” to describe shows after it was flagged up as a racial slur.

The state-funded arts company has previously used the word to promote a production of A Christmas Carol in 2016.

The term has been dropped as part of its commitment to tackling discrimination and prejudicial language.

The Dutch word “spook” translates as ghost and has been used in English since the 19th century as well as being used as a synonym for a spy.

However, during the Second World War US military officers used it as a derogatory term to describe black pilots.




25 October, 2021

Popular Australian Cartoonist Michael Leunig axed from prime spot at The Age over ‘offensive’ vaccine toon

Newspaper cartoonist Michael Leunig has been axed from his prized position in The Age over an image comparing resistance to mandatory vaccination to the fight for democracy in Tiananmen Square.

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In an image posted to his Instagram account, Leunig — whose career has spanned five decades — drew a lone protester standing in front of a loaded syringe, mimicking the iconic “tank man” image of protest in China. An inset of the 1989 photo also appears in Leunig’s drawing.

The image was posted at the end of September and never made it to print in The Age, and speculation about Leunig’s job at the newspaper began after a cryptic 39-word statement on its letters page last Monday. The statement said the Melbourne newspaper was “trialling new cartoonists” on the page.

Now, Leunig has confirmed to The Australian columnist Nick Tabakoff he has been taken off the newspaper’s prized Monday editorial page position — not long after his Tiananmen Square cartoon emerged and stoked outrage from Daniel Andrews fans.


Cambridge University archive slaps 'trigger warnings' on classic children's books because of potentially 'harmful content'

Classic children’s books in a Cambridge University archive will in future be labelled with ‘trigger warnings’ for ‘harmful content relating to slavery, colonialism and racism’.

Researchers are reviewing more than 10,000 books and magazines to expose authors who have been ‘offensive to historically enslaved, colonised or denigrated people’.

It comes after anti-racist campaigners demanded teachers censor racial slurs when reading out the text of Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird.

The archive at Cambridge’s Homerton College is being reviewed as part of a move to upload texts to a digital library.

In online versions, words, phrases and images deemed harmful will be flagged and content warnings placed at the beginning of each text.

Offending authors include Laura Ingalls Wilder, who wrote Little House On The Prairie, for her ‘stereotypical depictions of Native Americans’.

Another is Dr Theodor Seuss Geisel, author of the Dr Seuss books, for ‘overt blackface’ and cultural insensitivities.

The Water Babies, Charles Kingsley’s 1863 children’s classic about a young chimney sweep, is described as having the potential to ‘harm readers without warning’ for comments about Irish and black people.

L Frank Baum, author of The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz, is also cited for ‘white supremacy’ in his Bandit Jim Crow, written under the pen name of Laura Bancroft.

The project, conducted jointly with the University of Florida, funded by the US National Endowment for the Humanities, will prioritise the online provision of children’s books by ‘people of colour’ and texts that ‘showcase diversity’.

Authors such as Enid Blyton, Peter Pan writer JM Barrie and Roald Dahl have been criticised for racist and insensitive portrayals in their novels and are likely to be among those attracting a warning.

But critics said content warnings were unnecessary and could lead to overt censorship.

Chris McGovern, of the Campaign for Real Education, said: ‘The whole point of much of children’s literature is to introduce them to alternative worlds. Fairy tales, for example, are saturated with scary characters and that is partly the point of them. Only woke-afflicted adults have such silly notions as trigger warnings.’




24 October, 2021

Devon Parish magazine faces backlash after publishing cartoon featuring a priest joking that killing a politician is 'community service'

A parish magazine is facing a backlash after publishing a cartoon about a woman and a priest joking about the murder of an MP.

Residents reacted with fury over the 'joke' cartoon published in Instow Parish News - a parish magazine covering the North Devon village and nearby Westleigh and West Yelland. 

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The cartoon features an elderly woman giving a confession to a priest, saying: 'Bless me, father, for I have sinned. Last night I killed a politician...'

The priest responds: 'My daughter, I'm here to listen to your sins, not your community service work.'

The cartoon was published in the magazine's August edition, two months before the killing of MP Sir David Amess. 

The Tory politician was stabbed to death at a constituency surgery held in a church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex earlier this month.

The cartoon has since been removed from the online edition of the publication, after a backlash from residents who wrote in to the publication saying it was in 'bad taste'.

And now one councillor from the area now called for an end of 'demonising our MPs' in the wake of Sir David's death.

The row over the carton began after it was first published in the Instow Parish News magazine in August. A number of residents wrote into the magazine, which is published in print and online, to complain about the joke, including the local Bishop Revd. Brenda Jacobs.


Voluntary Asisted Dying law in Queensland, Australia

Applegarth is  Labor’s golden-haired boy right now after successfully steering the assisted suicide laws into the Parliament via his role as the Chair of the Queensland Law Reform Commission.

However, I will not forgive nor forget how the architects of the VAD Bill avoided using the word “suicide” because of the stigma associated with it. And Applegarth and others who framed the laws ludicrously pretend that suicide is not suicide at all.

“The Bill provides that a person who dies as a result of self-administration or administration of a voluntary assisted dying substance does not die by suicide and is taken to have died from the disease, illness or medical condition from which they suffered,” says an explanatory note given to MPs.

To my mind that is intellectual dishonesty.




22 October, 2021

A battle of gender-identity pronouns

Culture wars latest: the campaign group Sex Matters has today launched a guide for employees and bosses on the law regarding the use of gender pronouns. The group was launched by Maya Forstater — a tax expert who in June scored a landmark appeal tribunal victory in an employment row over gender self-identification — and the guide warns employers that forcing workers to state their pronouns could be a breach of equality legislation.

The group points out that UK employers are “starting to ask staff to state their pronouns at work in email signatures, organisational and social-media bios, on name badges and application forms, and sometimes even at the start of meetings”. But it maintains that doing so “is a form of compelled speech


Boston Celtics games blocked in China after NBA player Enes Kanter's comments on Tibet

Chinese broadcaster and NBA partner Tencent has blocked Boston Celtics games on its platforms after comments from Celtics centre Enes Kanter advocating Tibetan independence.

Kanter, as part of a series of social media posts, also called Chinese President Xi Jinping a "dictator." Kanter did not play in Boston's season-opening 138-134 loss to New York on Wednesday night local time.

The game was not shown on the streaming services that typically broadcast most NBA games to millions in China.

The NBA had no immediate comment and the Celtics did not practice Thursday local time. It was also not immediately clear how long Tencent plans not to air the Celtics.

Kanter was wearing shoes emblazoned with the words "Free Tibet" during Wednesday night's game.




21 October, 2021

'You should be ashamed': MasterChef Australia judge Melissa Leong slams British radio host for calling Tilly Ramsay a 'chubby little thing'

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The fact that she is a chubby little thing does not count, of course

A MasterChef Australia judge has lashed out at a British commentator for fat-shaming Tilly Ramsay on his radio show this week.  Tilly, 19, who is the daughter of chef Gordon Ramsay, became the subject of criticism for UK radio announcer Steve Allen, 67, on Wednesday, after he made derogatory comments about her weight. 

Allen had referred to Tilly  as a 'chubby little thing' - a statement that sparked backlash among fans and celebrities alike. 

Hours later, Tilly wrote on Instagram that she was 'hurt' by the shocking remarks. 

Among those to publicly slam Allen was MasterChef Australia judge Melissa Leong, who met Tilly when she competed on the Celebrity spin-off of MasterChef Australia earlier this year. 

Posting to her Instagram Stories on Thursday, Melissa, 39, re-shared Tilly's online statement, while adding her own strongly-worded message.

'This is not cool. Steve, you should be ashamed at your behaviour... you're not exactly a supermodel mate,' Melissa wrote.


Democrats Propose a Federal Speech Czar

Tucked inside a supposedly ‘moderate’ voting bill is a provision that would empower a lone bureaucrat to wield outsized control over elections.

Deep inside the Democrats’ latest “compromise” proposal on elections and campaign finance is a new cup of poison for free speech and fair campaigns.

Of course, the sponsors bragged that they dropped some controversial provisions. One such provision altered the Federal Election Commission (FEC), which polices campaign-finance laws, from a bipartisan agency to one with a partisan majority appointed by the president.

The bill, now dubbed the Freedom to Vote Act, abandons that direct attempt to give the president a partisan majority at the FEC. But it still abolishes the principle of bipartisan approval of enforcement actions. Even worse, it rigs court review of FEC decisions against defendants.

In a sign of the bill’s hostility to free speech, the measure also proposes doubling the statute of limitations for most violations of federal campaign-finance laws to 10 years. That’s longer than the statute of limitations for the crime of attempted assassination of a member of Congress.

The FEC was created nearly 50 years ago, in the wake of Watergate, to prevent the president from weaponizing campaign-finance laws against political opponents. The most important feature is the Commission’s bipartisan makeup — six commissioners, with no more than three from any one party. At least four commissioners must approve initiating investigations or finding violations, thus assuring some measure of bipartisan agreement that a law may have been violated.

Under the Democrats’ proposal, the FEC would keep the same structure, but scrap the bipartisan requirement for enforcement action. Instead, the Commission’s general counsel would take control of actions such as starting an investigation and declaring a violation. The counsel’s decision would prevail unless, within 30 days, four commissioners voted to overrule it.

In other words, it would take a bipartisan coalition of four commissioners to stop an investigation rather than launch one. It would also take four votes to declare that no violation occurred. The bipartisan requirement for finding a violation is removed, just as it was in the earlier bill.

It’s hard to think of the measure that would do more to undermine confidence in the fairness of our campaign-finance laws.




20 October, 2021

BBC ‘gagged me after I blew whistle on bullying’

A former BBC public relations manager says that she has been gagged by the corporation after raising concerns about bullying and harassment.

Una Carlin, who was the chief spokeswoman in Northern Ireland for 15 years, reached a £100,000 settlement with the BBC in February after she had sued the corporation in 2014 over grievances dating back a decade.

Carlin, who left the BBC in 2015, said that she had been bullied and harassed for asking whether recruitment practices were in line with employment laws in Northern Ireland. She signed her settlement after appealing to Tim Davie, the director-general, to draw a line under the feud, which she said had left her in financial ruin and damaged her mental health.


Top Berkeley physicist RESIGNS in protest at colleagues who refused to invite acclaimed scientist to speak there after his MIT speech was canceled over his criticism of George Floyd riots and pro-meritocracy views

A leading scientist has dramatically resigned from his post at Berkeley University in protest at his colleagues' refusal to invite a physicist to give a speech previously canceled by another college at the behest of a woke mob.  

David Romps was the director of Berkeley Atmospheric Sciences Center (BASC), in California.

He resigned Monday after Berkeley refused his request to invite Dorian Abbot to speak on campus, and said he would stand down by the end of the year, or when a replacement candidate for his current role was found. 

In the first of a series of tweets explaining his decision, Romps said: 'I am resigning as Director of the Berkeley Atmospheric Sciences Center (BASC). To reduce the odds of being mischaracterized, I want to explain my decision here...' 

Abbot, an associate professor at the University of Chicago's department of geophysical sciences, was due to deliver the prestigious Carlson lecture at MIT on 'new results in climate science'. But he found out that the October 21 lecture had been called off after protest at his views.

Abbot posted several videos on YouTube last year denouncing the rioting in Chicago that erupted in the wake of George Floyd's murder at the hands of Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin.  

He also argued that students should be given the same opportunities and marked on their academic merit, rather than equity - equality of outcomes, a phrase whose use has become increasingly widespread. 

Romps, angered by Abbot being disinvited from MIT, suggested to his own university that they allow Abbot to deliver his lecture there instead.

Princeton University took the same step, and on Thursday Abbot will speak at the New Jersey institution's James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions.

But at Berkeley, Romps met resistance.

'I asked the BASC faculty if we might invite that scientist to speak to us in the coming months to hear the science talk he had prepared and, by extending the invitation now, reaffirm that BASC is a purely scientific organization, not a political one,' Romps explained on Twitter.

'In the ensuing discussion among the BASC faculty, it became unclear to me whether we could invite that scientist ever again, let alone now. 

'I was hoping we could agree that BASC does not consider an individual's political or social opinions when selecting speakers for its events, except for cases in which the opinions give a reasonable expectation that members of our community would be treated with disrespect.

'Unfortunately, it is unclear when or if we might reach agreement on this point.'

Romps said he felt strongly that Berkeley denying Abbot the right to speak about science because of his political views was disturbing, and harmful to their scientific work.




19 October, 2021

This Doctor Opposes COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate. Now His State Won't Let Him Practice Medicine

A Rhode Island dentist has been ordered to stop caring for patients after he publicly said he was going to defy the vaccine mandate that went into effect Friday.

Rhode Island Department of Health Director Dr. Nicole Alexander Scott issued the ordered against Dr. Stephen Skoly Friday.

According to the order, Skoly did an interview with the Providence Journal and said he was knowingly unvaccinated and was still going to continue to see his patients.

Alexander Scott also noted he there were several other public recording echoing that message.

Skoly cannot continue rendering services until he complies with the order. He also has ten days to request a hearing, according to the order.


Home ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ is Banned by Canadian Government

“Let’s Go Brandon,” the popular anti-Biden meme that took off as a jab at fake news media, has been banned by the Canadian government.

The Canadian agency Shared Services, a department that is responsible for providing and consolidating IT services across the government, issued a stern warning to federal employees that referencing the phrase could lead to instant termination “without recourse or labor union participation.”

“This is a formal notification that all government correspondence must be professional in nature and approved by department heads,” the letter warns. “When applicable all correspondence must be vetted by the PMO for framing and message prior to public disclosure or internal distribution.”

The letter, dated October 14, then goes on to state that “Let’s Go Brandon” has been specifically “banned” by the Canadian Public Service.

“The uses of colloquialisms or sayings with intended double meaning or offense are strictly prohibited in all means of correspondence and/or communication,” the memo stated. “Specifically, the use of the wording ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ and any variation thereof under any circumstance is banned by the Canadian Public Service.”




18 October, 2021

Katie Couric’s RBG Coverup

The mainstream media’s credibility took another big hit this week. Katie Couric, the former co-host of NBC’s Today show, revealed in a new memoir that she chose not to air some controversial comments made to her five years ago by the sainted Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, involving RBG’s criticism of NFL players like Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem.

Couric says she was “conflicted” because she was a “big RBG fan,” so she only aired some of the harsh words RBG had for the football players refusing to stand for the national anthem. According to her story, after talking with New York Times columnist David Brooks, Couric concluded that Ginsburg—who was on the Supreme Court at the time—was “elderly and probably didn’t fully understand the question.” Couric confesses in her book that she “‘wanted to protect’ Ginsburg and felt that the issue of racial justice was a ‘blind spot’ for her.”

Couric’s revelation comes on the heels of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) being forced to apologize for altering a famous RBG quote. During her 1993 confirmation hearings, Ginsburg said, “The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a woman’s life, to her well-being and dignity.” In keeping with today’s gender-neutral nomenclature, the group changed “woman” to a bracketed “[person’s]” and swapped the word “her” with a bracketed “[their].”


Fury as Tory Nick Timothy attacks police for attending 'politically-correct' Pride

A former Downing Street adviser has been slammed for mocking senior police officers for attending Pride celebrations.

Nick Timothy, who was one of Theresa May's Joint Chiefs of Staff, used Twitter to criticise a senior West Midlands Police officer for taking part in the parade celebrating LGBT rights in Birmingham.

He retweeted a short video showing the force's Chief Constable Dave Thompson and West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster in attendance at the parade wishing people a 'happy Pride'.

Mr Timothy said: "In Birmingham I’m proud to report that the complete eradication of crime means the police now play a purely ceremonial role for politically correct causes."

His comments, first reported by Birmingham Live, attracted ire from across the political spectrum, and sparked calls for his role as a board member of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games to be reconsidered.

In response, the chief constable wrote: "Nick, I am disappointed at this response. I am proud to walk with my @WMPLGBTNetwork colleagues in @BirminghamPride on our day off work.




17 October, 2021

Corporate America has a censorship problem

Peter Rex

Tripwire Interactive CEO John Gibson just became another casualty of cancel culture, which threatens tremendous harm to our civil society and the American way of life.

Gibson’s sin? Expressing support for the Supreme Court’s decision not to block Texas’s recently enacted heartbeat law . For that, he lost his job.

It is a sin of which I am also guilty. As the founder and CEO of a tech, investment, and real-estate firm, I have likewise used my personal Twitter account to express pro-life views, as do millions of people every day.

No one should ever lose their job over such an intrinsically American act. Yet that was the result of Gibson’s tweet stating his opinion. Following his tweet, other companies announced they would no longer work with Tripwire, which led to Gibson’s inevitable exit.

While Gibson was singled out and removed for expressing an opinion that according to Tripwire “disregarded the values of the whole [Tripwire] team,” other companies have decided to take sides on the Texas law regardless of how their actions might conflict with the values of their employees.

More than 50 businesses have signed a letter in public opposition to the law. Bumble is setting up a relief fund for those seeking abortions in Texas. Lyft and Uber announced they would cover legal fees of drivers who might be sued under the new law.


Lithuania tells citizens to throw out Chinese phones over censorship concerns

Lithuania’s Defence Ministry has recommended that consumers avoid buying Chinese mobile phones and advised people to throw away the ones they have now, after a government report found the devices had built-in censorship capabilities.

Flagship phones sold in Europe by China’s smartphone giant Xiaomi Corp have a built-in ability to detect and censor terms such as “free Tibet”, “long live Taiwan independence” or “democracy movement”, Lithuania’s state-run cybersecurity body said on Tuesday.

The capability in Xiaomi’s Mi 10T 5G phone software had been turned off for the European Union region, but can be turned on remotely at any time, the ministry’s national cybersecurity centre said in the report.




15 October, 2021

LGBT activists get word ‘mother’ axed from Scottish government policies

The term “mother” was removed from Scottish government maternity policies after they were lobbied by a leading LGBT+ charity, it has emerged.

Stonewall urged ministers to remove gendered terms from policy documents and replace them with “gender neutral equivalents”.

Documents released under freedom of information (FoI) legislation confirm that the charity wrote to the Scottish government last year encouraging them to adopt terms featured in their inclusive policy toolkit. The word mother now no longer appears on documents outlining maternity leave.

The FOI requests were made by the broadcaster and journalist Stephen Nolan for his BBC podcast Nolan Investigates.

Since 2013 the Scottish government has been part of Stonewall’s Diversity Champions scheme


The Rolling Stones retired one of their most popular rock songs due to lyrics that depict the horrors of slavery

The Rolling Stones are doing a tour of the USA, which they have called The No Filter Tour.

Despite the name of their tour, the Stones have caved in to leftist bullying and stopped singing one of their hit songs, Brown Sugar.

Brown Sugar is a song about the horrors of slavery, so one might think that lefties would appreciate the song.
But lefties cannot think straight because they have no real principles.

Lefties just want to sound righteous while imposing bans and conditions on others.

Underneath their fake “caring/compassionate” persona, they really just love power and control over others.
And when we accept that, then everything that lefties say and do, makes sense. They are power lovers, nothing else.  /i>

The Stones have not played the 1971 hit “Brown Sugar” on their current tour and said the blues classic has been removed from their setlist.

“You picked up on that, huh?,” Keith Richards, 77, responded to the LA Times when asked if the Stones had cut the second-most-performed tune in their catalogue amid a climate of heightened cultural sensitivity.

“I don’t know. I’m trying to figure out with the sisters quite where the beef is. Didn’t they understand this was a song about the horrors of slavery? But they’re trying to bury it.”

The first verse of the hit song depicts slaves being sold and beaten in Louisiana, with references to a “slaver” who whips “women just around midnight.”

The famous chorus portrays a non-consensual sex encounter between the violent master and a young female slave, while possibly also alluding to heroin use.

In the next verse, the song describes the abuse suffered by slaves on a plantation. Lead singer Mick Jagger ends the tune by singing, “How come you taste so good … just like a black girl should.”

“We’ve played ‘Brown Sugar’ every night since 1970,” Richards told the newspaper.

“So sometimes you think, ‘We’ll take that one out for now and see how it goes.’ We might put it back in.”

The Stones have played the song live 1136 times, second to only “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” according to

“At the moment I don’t want to get into conflicts with all of this s***,” Richard said of criticism of the song. “But I’m hoping that we’ll be able to resurrect the babe in her glory somewhere along the track.”

The Stones were five shows into their “No Filter” tour Wednesday. The concerts marked the septuagenarians’ first gigs since 2019, and the first performances without drummer Charlie Watts, who died in August at the age of 80.

Jagger is clearly not singing the song in the first person, but the danceable tune has been slammed in recent years, with some critics dubbing it “stunningly crude and offensive.”

Other commentators have conceded it is “gross, sexist, and stunningly offensive,” but still rocking.

“I never would write that song now,” Jagger told Rolling Stone in 1995. “I would probably censor myself. I’d think, ‘Oh God, I can’t. I’ve got to stop. I can’t just write raw like that.’




14 October, 2021

Instagram censors evolutionary biologist for posting a chart from transgender study by prominent science journal that showed biological men are stronger than biological women in a range of Olympic sports

An evolutionary biologist was censored by Instagram after the woke social media giant removed his post about a transgender study by a prominent medical journal that said biological men were superior to biological women in a wide range of sports. 

The study - titled Transgender Women in the Female Category of Sport: Perspectives on Testosterone Suppression and Performance Advantage - was published in Medicine & Sports in Sports & Exercise, a peer-reviewed science journal founded in 1969. 

Colin Wright, who has been published in the Wall Street Journal and was in academia for 12 years, posted a chart from the study - conducted by researchers at University of Manchester and Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm -  showing that biological males have a performance advantage over biological females across many Olympics-contested sports. 

Similar scientific conclusions were reached in a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine called 'How does hormone transition in transgender women change body composition, muscle strength and haemoglobin? Systematic review with a focus on the implications for sport participation' - conducted by researchers at Loughborough University and Karolinska Institute, Stockholm. 

Both studies were published ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which saw many historic milestones for the transgender community, including the most transgender athletes competing and the first openly transgender athlete to ever take part in an individual event. 

They each concluded that even after three years of hormone therapy transgender women on average still retain strength advantages over biological women, which may not allow for an even playing field in sports competitions. 

The studies were conducted to test if the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) criteria for athletes to be eligible to compete in the women's category removes the performance advantage linked to male bodies. 

The IOC has established that an athlete's total serum testosterone levels to be suppressed below 10 nanomoles per liter for at least 12 months prior to and during competition. 

Both studies found that the reductions to strength, lean body mass, muscle size and bone density through the use of typical testosterone suppression regimes shows a minimal difference compared to the average difference between biological men and women, leaving them with a performance advantage.  

The chart that Wright shared displayed the male performance advantage that cisgendered men's bodies allowed them when compared to cisgendered women. 

The illustration shows that while men have a performance advantage it varies over different sporting events depending on the level and type of physical or physiological skill or measure of success each sport requires. 

The Sports Medicine study suggest that instead of a guideline for all transgender athletes, the individual sports federations should determine their own conditions for their events.  

Wright posted the image of the chart as part of his defense of 'the reality of the two sexes' and that children should 'compete in sports with their own sex.'  

Many of his posts comment on bills that are being introduced by more than 20 states across the country prohibiting transgender girls from competing on girls' sports teams - despite most sponsors' inability to cite an instance that has caused problems in their community. 

Wright avidly rejects ideas of gender and sex fluidity and often posts his stance on his social media accounts. 

He told that he is 'extremely careful' not to post anything 'mean-spirited' or target any individuals but said his views are criticized as being transphobic.

He took to Twitter to show that the post of the scientific chart was removed from Facebook-owned Instagram for violating Community Guidelines on hate speech or symbols. 

Wright tweeted that he was unable to appeal the social media company's decision claiming that they 'lied' when they wrote 'You can ask us to review our decision if you think we made a mistake.'  Instagram also warned that he risks 'losing access' to his account if he is violated their Community Guidelines again. 

Although his social media accounts are filled with his controversial commentary on sex and gender, he says he has never been told that he violated the platform's policy before and was given no warning.  

The evolutionary biologist is a managing editor for Quillette, an online magazine associated with the intellectual dark web - an informal group of renegade thinkers who oppose identity politics, political correctness, and cancel culture in academia and the media. 

Last year, he left academia after struggling to get hired, which he claims was due to 'ideological policing' and his position 'that biological sex is binary and not a spectrum,' according to the Daily Caller. 

According to the Instagram Community Guidelines, the platform will 'remove content that contains credible threats or hate speech' but notes that it may be allowed 'when hate speech is being shared to challenge it or raise awareness.' 

As Instagram and its parent company Facebook have come under fire for it's lack of censorship and unsafe practices, they recently announced their commitment to 'sharing more information about the nuts and bolts of Instagram.' 

One of the new features, Account Status, will 'give people more information' about post that they reported and to inform people if their post went against the Community Guidelines. 

The Request a Review feature, which Wright tried to use, allows users whose content has been deemed in violation to dispute the claim against them. 

Instagram did not respond to requests from about why they took down Wright's post.


Australian government minister flags further free speech measures as sacked climate sceptic loses High Court case

Universities face the prospect of further rules to protect academics’ free speech after Education Minister Alan Tudge raised concerns about a High Court decision upholding the sacking of marine physicist and climate change sceptic Peter Ridd by James Cook University.

The decision ends Dr Ridd’s four-year legal battle with JCU after he was censured and ultimately sacked for challenging his colleagues’ views on climate change and the Great Barrier Reef, along with the university’s attempts to discipline him.

Mr Tudge said on Wednesday he was “concerned that, in some places, there is a culture of closing down perceived ‘unwelcome thoughts’ rather than debating them” and was seeking advice on the case’s implications.

“While I respect the decision of the High Court, I am concerned that employment conditions should never be allowed to have a chilling effect on free speech or academic freedom at our universities,” he said. “University staff and students must have the freedom to challenge and question orthodoxies without fear of losing their job or offending others.”

Dr Ridd, a long-serving professor at the university, was fired in 2018 after forming the view that the scientific consensus on climate change overstated the risk it posed to the reef and vigorously arguing that position.

In a unanimous decision on Wednesday, five justices of the High Court dismissed Dr Ridd’s appeal, finding his early criticism of climate research and the reef was protected by academic freedom but that he later went much further, justifying his termination.

The university welcomed the outcome as confirmation “that the termination of Dr Ridd’s employment had nothing to do with academic freedom”, saying in a statement it strongly supported the freedom of staff to engage in academic and intellectual freedom.

Dr Ridd took a parting shot at the university as he informed his supporters of the outcome on Facebook. The university’s actions, he said, “were technically legal” but it was “never right, proper, decent, moral or in line with public expectations of how a university should behave”.

Dr Ridd said one of the worst consequences of the decision was it allowed universities to demand disciplinary processes stay confidential, undermining government legislation designed to support intellectual freedom.

“I know a couple of really egregious cases happening right now where freedom of speech has been curtailed, and the university is sitting on confidentiality,” Dr Ridd told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. “I can’t even tell you who they are because they would lose their job.”

Dr Ridd, who says he is only sceptical about “cataclysmic climate change”, wants the government to legislate to provide further protections to free speech directly in academics’ employment contracts.

Mr Tudge has previously used the threat of legislation to force universities to adopt free speech protections, warning earlier this year he would act if they did not fully implement a model code on free speech. All 41 Australian universities now have policies aligned with the code, proposed by former High Court chief justice Robert French, and will report against it annually.

Dr Ridd, the Institute of Public Affairs and the National Tertiary Education Union had argued that whatever the merits of Dr Ridd’s views, he was protected by a right to academic freedom in the university’s collective pay agreement with staff.

The university argued Dr Ridd was not sacked for his views but instead breached its code of conduct, which required staff to act in a courteous and respectful way, and confidentiality requirements about the disciplinary process.

The High Court found intellectual, or academic, freedom as contained in the university’s pay deal “is not qualified by a requirement to afford respect and courtesy in the manner of its exercise” and as a result, an initial censure in 2016 against Dr Ridd was not justified.

The justices quoted 19th-century philosopher John Stuart Mill in their reasoning.

“Whilst a prohibition upon disrespectful and discourteous conduct in intellectual expression might be a ‘convenient plan for having peace in the intellectual world’,” the justices held, “the ‘price paid for this sort of intellectual pacification, is the sacrifice of the entire moral courage of the human mind’.”

The union hailed that aspect of the judgment as a win. But that did not result in a win because the court found Dr Ridd’s conduct extended well beyond the expression of opinion within his area of academic expertise.

Had his conduct related only to his area of expertise or criticism of the JCU decisions through prescribed processes, it would have been protected by intellectual freedom. Because his case was run on an all-or-nothing basis, that meant Dr Ridd lost.

“This litigation concerned conduct by Dr Ridd far beyond that of the 2016 censure, almost none of which was protected by the intellectual freedom. That conduct culminated in the termination decision, a decision which itself was justified by 18 grounds of serious misconduct, none of which involved the exercise of intellectual freedom,” the judges found.

The Institute of Public Affairs, which had helped Dr Ridd run his case via crowdfunding and public relations support, said the decision showed Australia’s universities were mired in a crisis of censorship.

“Our institutions increasingly want to control what Australians are allowed to say and what they can read and hear,” executive director John Roskam said in a statement that also announced Dr Ridd would be joining the institute as an unpaid research fellow to work on “real science”.

The federal government in March legislated a definition of academic freedom into university funding laws – a push led by former education minister Dan Tehan, who said last year he’d received legal advice that Dr Ridd would not have been sacked had the definition been in place at the time.

The definition, which was also based on wording recommended by Mr French in his government-commissioned review of free speech at Australian universities, includes “the freedom of academic staff to teach, discuss, and research and to disseminate and publish the results of their research” and “to contribute to public debate, in relation to their subjects of study and research”.




13 October, 2021

Australia: Fired climate sceptic loses High Court case

The amazing thing about this verdict is that the court agreed it is wrong to criticize your colleagues. How could science progress without disagreements?  Criticisms are the springboard to new knowledge

A marine physicist sacked after challenging his colleague’s views on climate change and the Great Barrier Reef, along with the university’s attempts to discipline him, has lost his High Court battle against James Cook University in a mixed decision for academic freedom.

Peter Ridd had been a long-serving professor at the university when he was fired in 2018 after forming the view that the scientific consensus on climate change overstated the risk it posed to the reef and vigorously arguing that position.

He took a parting shot at the university as he informed his supporters “with a heavy heart” on Wednesday that the High Court had dismissed his appeal over his sacking.

“So JCU actions were technically legal. But it was, in my opinion, never right, proper, decent, moral or in line with public expectations of how a university should behave,” he said in a statement posted to Facebook.

“It has cost me my job, my career, over $300K in legal fees, and more than a few grey hairs. All I can say is that I hope I would do it again – because overall it was worth the battle, and having the battle is, in this case, more important than the result.”

Dr Ridd, the libertarian Institute of Public Affairs and the left-wing National Tertiary Education Union argued that whatever the merits of Dr Ridd’s views, he was protected by a right to academic freedom in the university’s collective pay agreement with staff.

The university argued that Ridd was not sacked for his views but instead breached its code of conduct which required staff to act in a courteous and respectful way, and then further breached confidentiality requirements about the disciplinary procedure.

On Wednesday five justices of the High Court unanimously found that intellectual, or academic, freedom as contained in the university’s pay deal “is not qualified by a requirement to afford respect and courtesy in the manner of its exercise”.

The justices said that, as a result, an initial censure in 2016 against Dr Ridd was not justified and quoted the famous 19th century philosopher John Stuart Mill in their reasoning.

“Whilst a prohibition upon disrespectful and discourteous conduct in intellectual expression might be a ‘convenient plan for having peace in the intellectual world’,” the justices held, “the ‘price paid for this sort of intellectual pacification, is the sacrifice of the entire moral courage of the human mind’.”

However, that did not result in an overall victory for Dr Ridd because the court found that his conduct extended well beyond the expression of opinion within his area of academic expertise. Had his conduct related only to his area of expertise or criticism of JCU decisions through proscribed processes it would have been protected by intellectual freedom. Because his case was run on an all or nothing basis, that meant Dr Ridd lost.

“This litigation concerned conduct by Dr Ridd far beyond that of the 2016 censure, almost none of which was protected by the intellectual freedom... That conduct culminated in the termination decision, a decision which itself was justified by 18 grounds of serious misconduct, none of which involved the exercise of intellectual freedom.”

The Institute of Public Affairs, which had helped Ridd run his case via crowdfunding and public relations support, said the decision showed Australia’s universities were mired in a crisis of censorship.

“Our institutions increasingly want to control what Australians are allowed to say and what they can read and hear,” executive director John Roskam said in a statement that also announced Dr Ridd would be joining the institute as an unpaid research fellow to work on “real science”.

Ahead of the decision on Wednesday, federal Education Minister Alan Tudge announced that all 41 Australian universities were now compliant with the French model code on free speech, proposed by former High Court chief justice Robert French.

“This has taken two years to get to this point, but each university now has policies which specifically protect free speech,” Mr Tudge said.

The federal government has also legislated a definition of academic freedom into university funding laws - a push led by former education minister Dan Tehan who said last year that he’d received legal advice that Mr Ridd would not have been sacked had the definition been in place at the time.

The definition, which was also based on wording recommended by Mr French in his government-commissioned review of free speech at Australian universities, includes “the freedom of academic staff to teach, discuss, and research and to disseminate and publish the results of their research” and “to contribute to public debate, in relation to their subjects of study and research.”


‘Transgender’ Experts Silenced by Rainbow Mafia

The New York Times refused an op-ed from experts who don’t toe the line on gender dysphoric children.

The paper’s selective and activist journalism now includes having recently chosen to reject an op-ed written by two “transgender” experts, both doctors, who warned against the growing reckless use of puberty blockers on children. Will anyone stand against this growing fad of child abuse? Not the intrepid “journalists” at the Times.

The two doctors contend that “transgender” activism has essentially silenced any genuine examination of often-promoted claims that it is completely safe for children to go on puberty blockers in part because doing so is “fully reversible” should they decided against “transitioning.” Thou shalt not question The Narrative™.

Indeed, the Times’s decision seems only to further underscore this new leftist-created alternate reality. Abigail Shrier’s 2020 book Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters was temporarily banned by Amazon due to opposition from “transgender” activists, so she knows about this sort of censorship. She interviewed the doctors and observed, “For nearly a decade, the vanguard of the transgender-rights movement — doctors, activists, celebrities and transgender influencers — has defined the boundaries of the new orthodoxy surrounding transgender medical care: What’s true, what’s false, which questions can and cannot be asked.”

Meanwhile, the Times had no qualms regarding running a recent op-ed by a “transgender” runner, nor another article fully affirming a “transgender” person and lamenting the “discrimination, delays and systemic hurdles [that] prevent young trans people from reaching the care they need.” On the other hand, the findings, data, and professional opinions espoused by longtime experts in the same field is no good if it dares question the “transgender” dogma.

Dr. Marci Bowers, one of the article’s writers, observed something that happens far too often these days: “When you have a female-assigned person and she’s feeling dysphoric … and then they see you for one visit, and then they recommend testosterone — red flag!”

These doctors come from the very heart of this movement. Bowers’s op-ed partner is, Shrier explains, “Erica Anderson, a clinical psychologist at the University of California San Francisco’s Child and Adolescent Gender Clinic.” Bowers herself is “a world-renowned vaginoplasty specialist who operated on reality-television star Jazz Jennings,” a young boy who’s spent many years flaunting his “transition to female” before the whole world.

The story Bowers tells regarding the horrific abuse perpetrated on Jennings will turn your stomach, break your heart, and blow your mind.

Anyone should know that getting a second opinion, especially regarding a serious health-related issue, is recommended. Not all doctors see everything the same way or have all the answers. The notion that daring to question a child or teenager struggling with identity issues is to somehow do them harm is nonsense, and yet the Rainbow Mafia has so thoroughly succeeded in scaring doctors, scientists, and journalists that even to question a child’s gender dysphoric claim is to supposedly engage in hate and malfeasance. The tragic result of such thinking and fear is growing numbers of youth being subjected to medical abuse, doing permanent damage to their bodies and minds.

Anderson put it far too mildly, saying: “It is my considered opinion that due to some of the — let’s see, how to say it? what word to choose? — due to some of the, I’ll call it just ‘sloppy,’ sloppy healthcare work, that we’re going to have more young adults who will regret having gone through this process. And that is going to earn me a lot of criticism from some colleagues, but given what I see — and I’m sorry, but it’s my actual experience as a psychologist treating gender variant youth — I’m worried that decisions will be made that will later be regretted by those making them.”




12 October, 2021

UK: Teachers are urged not to read out the N-word when teaching To Kill A Mockingbird and Of Mice And Men

Secondary school teachers are being urged not to use the N-word when reading from two classic novels. More than 100 academics, campaigners and parents have signed a letter sent challenging the reading out of the racial slur used in To Kill a Mockingbird and Of Mice and Men. 

Campaigners say reading the slur from the books 'adds nothing to the lesson'.

The open letter, organised by anti-racist educator Marsha Garratt, asks all the schools to stop teachers reading the racist slur out loud. It follows reports pupils at two Teesside schools challenged the use of the word during lessons on the two books. 

Ms Garrat said the two young pupils, both of African heritage, challenged teachers saying the word was racist.  

She told the BBC: 'In both cases the teachers said it wasn't racist because they were using it from a text and because of the situation.

Once a corner stone of the English GCSE syllabus, Of Mice and Men and To Kill a Mockingbird make reference to race and contain racial slurs including the N-word. 

To Kill a Mockingbird, written in 1960 by US author Harper Lee, is a fictional book set, set in the state of Alabama, about the trial of a black man, Tom Robinson, accused of raping a young white woman.

He is represented in court by a white lawyer, Atticus Finch, who agrees to defend Mr Robinson despite protestations from the local community. 

For agreeing to defend Mr Robinson, Mr Robinson is called a 'n****r lover'.

Race is as a key theme to the Pulitzer prize winning book, which has won plaudits for its portrayal of the topic.

US Historian Joseph Crespino described it as 'probably the most widely read book dealing with race in America, and its main character, Mr Finch, as 'the most enduring fictional image of racial heroism'.

However the book has been criticised by others for its use of the N-word and its 'white saviour motif'.

Of Mice and Men, a 1937 novella by US Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck, similarly features references to race.

It chronicles the lives of fictional characters George Milton and Lennie Small - displaced migrant ranch workers on the hunt for jobs in California.

The book features a character named Crooks, a black stable-hand who befriends Lennie.

Crooks, a relatable character who provides a sense of rational, is often regarded as Steinbeck's attempt to highlight discrimination in 1930s America.

But the book, which contains racial slurs and disparaging references to Crooks' skin colour, has faced regular criticism for its use of language. It even featured on the American Library Association's list of the Most Challenged Books of the 21st Century.

Both books were once a key part of the English GCSE curriculum. But they were replaced in 2014 by novels by British authors at the insistences of then education secretary Michael Gove.


UK: Don't call pupils' behaviour 'good' or 'bad': Headteacher tells staff

Teachers have been banned from calling pupils' behaviour 'good' or 'bad' by a school which is trying to avoid using 'emotional' phrases while managing discipline.

Julian Murphy, headmaster at the private Loughborough Amherst School in Leicestershire, has instead asked staff to describe behaviour as 'skilful' or 'unskilful'.

He is hoping to 'take the emotional heat out of language' at the independent school for children aged four to 18, which costs up to £13,545 a year to attend.

Dr Murphy said he had taken the idea of using the different terms from Buddhism, which teaches that there are skilful and unskilful ways of thinking and acting. 

The headmaster, who has 313 pupils at the school, told i: 'While I don't want teachers to be soft, I also don't want them to be shouty and make pupils feel guilty. 

'I think it's human psychology even when you're an adult. If people make you feel guilty, then you get angry.

'And then actually that's when you're likely to play the blame game and not to work that well. That's when things get into a bit of a vicious circle.'

He said the school teaches pupils that 'there's a set of rules that are there for practical reasons', adding: 'I'm not interested in making young people feel bad.'

However Dr Murphy also insisted that the school is 'quite strict' and will expel pupils for handing in homework late or dropping litter if they did either enough times.




11 October, 2021

Using woke phrases like 'people of colour' helps racists who say 'you're just obsessed with language not action' says comedian Phil Wang

A comedian has argued that 'woke' campaigners who argue over politically-correct terms for different ethnic groups are doing more harm than good by granting racists more ammunition. 

31-year-old Phil Wang, a British-Asian stand-up comic, criticised the usage of the term 'people of colour', arguing that it was simply a reversal of 'coloured people' which has long been seen as an offensive and outdated term.

Wang believes that arguing over the minutiae of closely-related terms does nothing to advance society's attitudes and treatment of different ethnic groups, and instead simply gives racists a target to aim for.

'For the woke, saying ''people of colour'' is the correct [phrase]. Saying ''coloured people'' is the worst thing you can say,' he said.

'It gives ammunition to [opponents of the left wing] because they can say: ''Oh, you're just obsessed by language, not action.''

He also mocked the idea that 'people of colour' implies a kind of brotherhood or community, describing the term as lumping every minority group in together for their 'non-whiteness', despite each group being different and having their own prejudices and biases. 

Wang, whose full name is Philip Nathaniel Wang Xing Gui, was born in Stoke-on-Trent to a British mother and a Chinese-Malaysian father, but after just three weeks was whisked away to Borneo and spent much of his childhood and teenage years in Malaysia. 

The comic has previously revealed how he experienced casual racism while working in various venues across the UK during his early years in the industry, but despite this has risen through the ranks to become one of Britain's best young comedians.

During a talk about his memoir Sidesplitter at The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, Wang also took aim at cancel culture, arguing that the very concept of cancel culture doesn't allow anyone to be held accountable for their words or actions; rather, it silences them.


Village named after Lord Nelson comes under fire over his support for slave owners

A village has been added to a dossier of sites connected to the slave trade because its name comes from a pub styled after Lord Nelson.

The inn at Nelson, near Caerphilly, was named after the naval hero following his visit to the area in 1803, two years before his death at the Battle of Trafalgar.

The village expanded around the pub because of coal mining and adopted the same name. 

Although the admiral never took part in slave activities, he expressed support for slave owners – believing that abolition would undermine the Royal Navy, which depended on merchant crew in wartime.

Officials at Labour-run Caerphilly council compiled the list of suspect places linked to slavery for a national audit. 

Tory Welsh parliament member Natasha Asghar branded the dossier ‘absolutely absurd’. ‘To slander an entire village in this way is outrageous,’ she told the Sunday Telegraph.

The controversy has led to calls for Nelson – population 4,600 – to go by its Welsh name, Ffos y Gerddinen. 

Labour first minister Mark Drakeford said of the audit: ‘It is about learning from the events of the past.’




10 October, 2021

Aston University tells students that it's sexist to say manmade, mastercopy and civilisation

A university is encouraging students to stop using the words manmade, mastercopy and civilisation because it believes they have sexist or racist connotations.

Sociology undergraduates at Aston University in Birmingham have been advised to find replacements for words that could be seen to reinforce prejudices.

Offending words include immigrants, third world, tribe, civilised and, in some contexts, native, all because of their colonialist or racist overtones.

Language deemed to be sexist includes one-man show, old masters, forefathers, seminal and masterful.

Instead the alternatives of one-person show, classical arts or artists, ancestors, classical or formative, and domineering should be used.

The document was leaked by a student who was too worried about reprisals to complain, said Toby Young, general secretary of the Free Speech Union.

A university spokesman told The Times: ‘Sociologists are trained to think critically about language, and about how language can reproduce effects of power and exclusion.’


Equality watchdog chief condemns 'disgraceful' attacks against Sussex University professor by trans rights mob as she calls on other institutions to 'stop these attacks on freedom of speech'

She's very "incorrect"

The head of the UK's Equality and Human Rights Commission has slammed the attacks on a Sussex University professor who was branded a 'transphobe', and demanded tougher regulation for social media companies to curb online abuse. 

In her public letter, the equality watchdog chief agreed that 'trans rights must be protected', but reiterated the importance of academic integrity and freedom of expression on university campuses across the UK. 

Professor Kathleen Stock, 48, an expert in gender and sexual orientation who works for the University of Sussex, was branded a 'transphobe' by outraged students, who erected posters denouncing her and called for her to be fired.  

Signs put up this week in the pedestrian tunnel connecting Falmer train station to the university's campus under the A27 said Ms Stock 'makes trans students unsafe' and 'we're not paying £9,250 a year for transphobia'.

It comes after Sussex Police launched an investigation into whether a university philosophy professor was a victim of harassment after she faced a campaign of 'bullying' over her views on trans rights - as students were warned they could be disciplined. 

Ms Stock has also spoken out, telling her 46,000 Twitter followers: 'If you work where I do, and you know what's happening to me at the moment (which I'll discuss at later date), this is the time to say something about it. Not for me, but for you. What kind of future does a university have where intimidation determines what is said or taught?'

The group leading the protests against her is an anonymous collective called 'Anti Terf Sussex', which describes itself as an 'unaffiliated network of queer and trans students'. 'Terf' means a 'trans-exclusionary radical feminist'. 

Ms Stock has repeatedly insisted in the past that she is not a transphobe, but attention on her views has intensified since her book Material Girls came out in May.

She has written and spoken extensively about sex and gender identity - arguing that womanhood and manhood reflect biological sex, not gender or gender identity.

Ms Stock also claims trans women are not women; and sexual orientation is determined by same-sex attraction, not attraction to gender identity.

And she wants a ban on transgender women in women's changing rooms, saying in 2018 that 'many trans women are still males with male genitalia'. 

But she has been blasted on Twitter as a 'Terf' amid a huge amount of criticism.

This morning, Professor Tickell told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: 'It's absolutely clear that all of our staff have an untrammelled right to say and believe what they think. So we take it very seriously if people try to prevent that right from being exercised.

'I have to say I am really concerned that we have masked protesters, putting up posters, calling for the sacking of somebody for exercising her rights to articulate her views, and it is a matter of real concern.'

Presenter Justin Webb then asked him: 'If they are students, will you get rid of them?'

And Professor Tickell replied: 'If they're students, and we can identify them, we will certainly take investigations and disciplinary action, as appropriate under our regulations, yes.'

He continued: 'I think we have to be really careful in universities and in society in general to ensure that we do everything to make sure that where we have very, very complicated and different views that we find the space to allow people to articulate those views.




8 October, 2021

Twitter allowed Taliban to tweet but censored me: Trump appeals to court

Former US President Donald Trump has appealed to a federal judge in Florida to force Twitter to restore his account, Reuters reported.

Donald Trump's Twitter account was permanently suspended in January this year after the Capitol Hill riots on January 6. Other social media companies followed suit and took action against him.

In July, Donald Trump sued Twitter, Facebook and Google, as well as their chief executives. He alleged that their action against him was unlawful. In Florida, Trump filed a request for a preliminary injunction against Twitter and argued that Twitter was coerced by US Congress members to suspend his account.

Twitter "exercises a degree of power and control over political discourse in this country that is immeasurable, historically unprecedented, and profoundly dangerous to open democratic debate," Trump's lawyers stated.

Importantly, Donald Trump argued in his filing that Twitter had allowed the Taliban to tweet regularly but censored him. He claimed that Twitter censored him even during his presidency by labelling his tweets as "misleading information" or indicating they violated the company's rules against "glorifying violence", Reuters reported.

On January 8, Twitter had said that after a close review of the recent tweets from Donald Trump's account, the company took the decision to permanently suspend the account due to the risk of further "incitement of violence".

"Due to the ongoing tensions in the United States, and an uptick in the global conversation in regards to the people who violently stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, these two Tweets must be read in the context of broader events in the country and the ways in which the President’s statements can be mobilized by different audiences, including to incite violence, as well as in the context of the pattern of behaviour from this account in recent weeks," Twitter had said.


Google is accused of authoritarian behavior after announcing it will ban climate change deniers from making money from their YouTube sites

Google was accused of authoritarian behavior after announcing YouTubers who deny climate change will be banned from making money on the tech giant's  platforms.   

In a controversial statement issued Thursday, Google, which owns YouTube, announced that advertisers and publishers, as well as YouTube creators, will be prohibited from making ad revenue off content that contradicts 'well-established scientific consensus around the existence and causes of climate change,' Axios reported.

'This includes content referring to climate change as a hoax or a scam, claims denying that long-term trends show the global climate is warming and claims denying that greenhouse gas emissions or human activity contribute to climate change.'

The company said it decided to ban climate change deniers from making money off its platforms in response to frustration from advertisers and content creators about their messages appearing alongside that of climate deniers.

The announcement came one day after CEO Sundar Pichai unveiled a new suite of tools that gives users more information about how they could cut their greenhouse gases +5
The announcement came one day after CEO Sundar Pichai unveiled a new suite of tools that gives users more information about how they could cut their greenhouse gases

'Advertisers simply don't want their ads to appear next to this content,' the company said in a statement. 'And publishers and creators don't want ads promoting these claims to appear on their pages or videos.' 

But the move was deemed authoritarian by anti-woke author Vivek Ramaswamy as  fears grow that tech giants are censoring non-progressive views.

He tweeted: 'Big Tech has spoken: It’s time to end the debate about climate change.'

Tech firms including Google, Facebook and Twitter have repeatedly been accused of censoring conservative voices online, many of whom take a more skeptical outlook on climate change.  

Google and YouTube will prevent anyone who denies climate change from monetizing their platforms with ads or creator payments under a new policy

To evaluate which content is deemed inappropriate, employees 'will look carefully at the context in which the claims are made, differentiating between content that states a false claim as a fact, versus content that reports on or discusses that claim.'

The company added that it has consulted with representatives of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment reports to create the policy, and will use a combination of automated tools and human review to enforce the new policy - which goes into effect next month.

The announcement comes just one day after the company unveiled a new suite of tools that give users more information about ways to cut their greenhouse gas emissions, with Google Maps now showing users the most eco-friendly route to get somewhere.

It will default to that route when the estimated travel time is comparable to other fuel-intensive options.

The program was developed in partnership with the United States Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado, and uses metrics like road congestion and incline.

'We believe this feature will have the same impact next year as taking over 200,000 cars off the road,' said Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai in a video announcement.

Additionally, he said, Google Flights is now displaying the carbon emissions of various flight options - taking into account the type of plane used, the route and the seating options, as first and business class seats have a higher greenhouse gas footprint than a coach seat because they take up more room.

And the company's hotel search feature now shows if a hotel has made sustainability commitments and whether they have eco certifications from independent organizations.

The company is also designing a new landing page for when people search for 'climate change' and other basic climate science and policy terms to show the 'most reliable' information from neutral organizations, according to Axios.

It is all part of the company's goal to enable a 'billion sustainable actions' by 2022.




7 October, 2021

UK: Controversial troupe of Morris dancers who were thrown out of a national body for refusing to stop BLACKING up their faces dance again as BAME charity BACKS them saying they're not racist

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A controversial dance troupe who were kicked out of the national dancing body for refusing to stop blacking up their faces have been backed by a BAME charity who say it is part of their 'rich cultural tradition'. 

Members of the Britannia Coconut Dancers in Bacup, Lancashire, split from The Joint Morris Organisation, the umbrella group which represents the country's 800 dancing teams, after being told to stop blacking up their faces last year. 

The dance body ruled that 'full face black or other skin tone make-up was a practice that had the potential to cause deep hurt' and members must stop in response to the Black Lives Matter campaign.  

But local ethnic minority charity, Lancashire BME Network, have now backed the dance troupe and said they had 'never seen it as a racial thing' within the context.

It comes as the all-male dance troupe returned to the streets for the first time on Sunday after they were kicked out of the national body over their refusal to stop using blackface make-up.

Last year the Coconut Dancers, also known as the 'Coconutters', insisted their blackened faces, a reference to the coal mining industry in the town they are based in, was part of a clog-dancing tradition dating back more than 100 years. 

The troupe voted to continue blacking their faces up as they said 'it has no connection with ethnicity nor any form of racial prejudice'.   

In a statement, they said: 'Our age-old tradition is embedded in the hearts and souls of the people of Bacup, Rossendale and overseas. 'We have discussed the use of black face make-up in great detail and have come to a unanimous decision that this will continue to be part of our unique mining tradition.'    

Their performance on Sunday, which saw them dance for about five hours as they made their way around businesses in the town, was their very first since the split. 

It came as Lancashire BME Network said they did not object to the troupe using black face as they 'recognise it's a rich cultural tradition linked to Lancashire' and had 'never seen it as a racial thing.'

Jonathon Prasad, project officer for Lancashire BME network, told Lancashire Live: 'From our point of view, as an organisation, we don't object to blackface in this context as we recognise it's a rich cultural tradition linked to Lancashire.'

He added: 'In the past when I've worked on similar topics, I've never seen them as a racial thing at all. 'We believe that communities should be going out and really asking questions about why people do blackface.'   

Meanwhile Gavin McNulty, secretary of the dance group, said: 'It was a very good day, the public turned out in their hundreds. The day was a great success.'  

The Coconut Dancers typically wear red tunics, white hats, black jerseys, white stockings, shiny black clogs and paint their faces black, while performing to the public.

While the exact origins of their costume is unclear, it is believed that their uniforms are influenced by the Moorish pirates who settled in Cornwall and soon entered the  local mining industry during the 18th and 19th centuries. 

The pirates became employed in tin mines, before moving to the coal mines of the North. 

Another theory is that underpaid mill workers would dance to to earn extra income and painted their face black so their employers would not know they were dancing for money.

Every Easter Saturday the group perform a dance in the Lancashire town raising thousands for good causes but were forced to cancel the annual procession due to the coronavirus pandemic last year.     

In 2014, a beer named after the troupe was banned by the bar in the House of Commons as the image on the pump was deemed offensive.

Rossendale MP Jake Berry put forward the pale ale for the Strangers bar in the Palace of Westminster. But parliamentary chiefs threw out the beverage, which had been specially crafted by the Irwell Works brewery in Ramsbottom, saying the imagery may have caused offence.      

Last year the Joint Morris Organisation (JMO) ruled that their members must stop blacking up their faces.

In a statement they acknowledged 'full face black or other skin tone make-up is a practice that has the potential to cause deep hurt'.

They said groups that continued to black up would no longer be covered by the JMO's insurance or invited to take part in events.

They added: 'Morris is a unique cultural tradition of which we should be rightly proud. We want people from all races and backgrounds to share in this pride and not be made to feel unwelcome or uncomfortable.'


Foxtel Australia launches review into Christian TV channel with anti-vax message

Censorship coming?

Foxtel Australia has launched a review into one of its offerings, an American Christian television channel, that has been accused of broadcasting COVID-19 disinformation.

Daystar TV — owned by ‘televangelists’ Marcus and Joni Lamb — has been available on Foxtel in Australia since 2015 through the broadcaster’s basic subscription package.

Foxtel says it has approximately 1.7 million subscribers around Australia.

Since the pandemic began, the Lambs have hosted interviews with controversial doctors and anti-vaccination advocates.

Some of the guests have promoted vaccine conspiracy theories and unproven treatments for COVID-19 that have been widely debunked by accredited experts, health professionals and governments around the world.

It’s unclear whether broadcasting the discredited claims breaks any rules in Australian Media and Communication Authority’s broadcasting codes.

Unlike the new Code of Practice on Disinformation and Misinformation for online platforms brought in by ACMA earlier this year, there is no equivalent code for television.

They are responsible for initial complaints before they are referred to the media regulator.

“If they receive a complaint that their broadcasts are in breach of the code and the complainant is not satisfied with the broadcaster’s response or the broadcaster has not responded within the required time, then the complainant may make their complaint to the ACMA,” an ACMA spokesperson said.

ACMA said it had not received any complaints about Daystar TV before The Drum’s inquiries, but has since asked Foxtel for copies of the broadcasts.




6 October, 2021

Leading geophysicist had prestigious lecture at MIT canceled after outraging ‘totalitarian’ Twitter mob by arguing that academic evaluations should be based on merit not racial ‘equity’

A prestigious lecture at MIT which was set to be delivered by a University of Chicago geophysicist was canceled due to pressure from ‘woke’ students because the professor argued for ‘academic freedom and merit-based evaluations’ rather than 'equity.'

Dorian Abbot was denied the opportunity to give the Carlson Lecture, which is devoted to ‘new results in climate science’ and hosted by MIT’s Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences.

The lecture was scheduled to be delivered on October 21, but Abbot learned over the weekend that EAPS would be canceling his talk.

'I am a professor who just had a prestigious public science lecture at MIT cancelled because of an outrage mob on Twitter,' Abbot writes on Bari Weiss' Substack newsletter that was published on Tuesday.

'My crime? Arguing for academic evaluations based on academic merit.' Many progressives now argue that equity - equality of outcomes - is more important that equality - giving everyone the same opportunity. 

Abbot writes that he has been a target of ‘woke’ students since last year when he posted several videos on YouTube denouncing the rioting in Chicago that erupted in the wake of the police-involved killing of George Floyd.

The professor writes that he was normally averse to speaking out about politics, ‘but the street violence of the summer of 2020, some of which I witnessed personally in Chicago, and the justifications and dishonesty that accompanied it, convinced me that I could no longer remain silent in good conscience.’ 

Abbot posted clips on YouTube in which he ‘argued for the importance ‘of treating each person as an individual worthy of dignity and respect’ and ‘giving everyone a fair and equal opportunity when they apply for a position as well as allowing them to express their opinions openly, even if you disagree with them.’

According to Abbot, this did not sit well with a group of graduate students at the University of Chicago’s Department of the Geophysical Sciences, where he worked.

Abbot writes that he was ‘immediately targeted for cancellation.’ One grad student organized a letter that was posted to the Ford Foundation Fellowship Program listserv, which makes it easier for an organization to send an email to a group of people.

The Ford Foundation Fellowship Program is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that touts as its mission its commitment to ‘creativity and free expression.’

The program also claims a nonprofit status that enables it to claim tax advantages from the Internal Revenue Service on condition that it does not engage in ‘political and legislative (lobbying) activities.’ 

The letter that was organized by the students alleged that Abbot 'threatened the "safety and belonging of all underrepresented groups within the department".'

A copy of the letter was included in Abbott's op-ed. The students' named as been redacted, but their pronouns were included at the end of their signatures.  

They demanded that Abbot's teaching and research 'be restricted in a way that would cripple my ability to function as a scientist,' the professor writes.  

But the letter failed as UC President Robert Zimmer released a statement avowing the school's support for the right of faculty to enjoy free expression. 

In August, things took a turn when Abbot co-wrote an opinion piece for Newsweek in which he argued that the 'Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion' (DEI) initiative embraced on many college campuses nationwide 'violates the ethical and legal principle of equal treatment.'

DEI, according to Abbot and co-author Professor Ivan Marinovic, 'treats persons as merely means to an end, giving primacy to a statistic over the individuality of a human being.'

Abbot and Marinovic instead proposed 'an alternative framework called Merit, Fairness, and Equality (MFE) whereby university applicants are treated as individuals and evaluated through a rigorous and unbiased process based on their merit and qualifications alone.'

The two academics believe that MFE would 'mean an end to legacy and athletic admission advantages, which significantly favor white applicants.'

In response to the Newsweek op-ed, critics on Twitter demanded that Abbot be denied a chance to offer science seminars and that other speakers be picked in his place.

The online campaign against Abbot escalated last month as students lobbied MIT to disinvite him from delivering the Carlson Lecture, a 'major honor in my field,' according to the professor.

Abbot, who was invited to give the lecture in January of last year, writes that a 'Twitter mob' started demanding that MIT disinvite him from giving the lecture.  'It worked. And quickly,' according to Abbot. 

He writes that the chair of the EAPS at MIT called him on Thursday to inform him that they would be cancelling the annual lecture 'in order to avoid controversy.' 

Abbot laments the fact that 'a small group of ideologues mounted a Twitter campaign to cancel a distinguished science lecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology because they disagreed with some of the political positions the speaker had taken. 

'I view this episode as an example as well as a striking illustration of the threat woke ideology poses to our culture, our institutions and to our freedoms,' Abbot writes.

'I have consistently maintained that woke ideology is essentially totalitarian in nature: it attempts to corral the entirety of human existence into one narrow ideological viewpoint and to silence anyone who disagrees.'

Abbot will deliver the lecture he had planned to give at MIT via Zoom on October 21 at 4:30pm - the same date and time that was originally scheduled for the talk on the campus at Cambridge. 

An MIT spokesperson told 'This public outreach lecture will not be held this year at the discretion of the department. 

'At the same time, Prof. Abbot was invited by the department to present his scientific work on MIT’s campus to students and faculty. 'This was conveyed by the department head in a conversation with Prof. Abbot last week. 'Prof. Abbot embraced this offer, and the department has been working with him on setting a date.'

The head of EAPS, Professor Robert van der Hilst, told 'The Carlson Lecture isn't a scientific talk for fellow scientists. It has a very specific format and public outreach component, seeking to build public understanding of climate science and to inspire and engage with area high school students. 

'We felt that with the current distractions we would not be in a position to hold an effective outreach event.

'I made this decision at my discretion, after consulting with faculty and students in the department, and knowing that some might mistake it as an affront on academic freedom – a characterization I do not agree with.'


Australia: High-profile real estate agent is SACKED after posting a 'racist' comment about China

A Melbourne real estate agent has been given the sack after a 'racist' comment he posted online sparked public outcry. Matthew Scafidi has been permanently stood down from his position as franchisee director of real estate agency Jellis Craig in the inner-city suburb Mitcham. 

The self-confessed 'home gym enthusiast' questioned the origins of a piece of workout equipment in a post to his personal Facebook page on Monday. 'No Australia Made logo on this one, can I assume on this and price that it's a Chinese import? Wanting to avoid Chinese imports if I can,' he asked. 

The since-deleted post quickly caused a stir on social media with other Facebook users claiming Mr Scafidi's sentiments were 'racist'. 

One woman re-uploaded a screenshot of the offending post and claimed the real estate agent was making the following points.  

'1. Chinese imports are cheap and shoddy and 2. People with Chinese origins are not part of Australian community,' she wrote. 

'It is disturbing to see this comment from an individual like Matthew who runs business in Mitcham where the three largest ancestries in 2016 were English, Australian and Chinese.'

Several members of the wider community also took offence to the post and  expressed their grievances in the Google reviews for Jellis Craig.




5 October, 2021

LinkedIn Bans Geologist for Climate Change Posts: ‘This Type of Content Is Not Allowed’

Greg Wrightstone, a geologist and expert reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has posted content on LinkedIn for years. It would often spark discussions and debates among his followers—and the occasional trolls.

That changed last month. Wrightstone, who serves as executive director of the CO2 Coalition, says he was banned from LinkedIn for posting factual information related to climate change. His appeal was denied, leaving him without a voice on a platform where he had cultivated a significant following.

Having been stripped of his ability to communicate on LinkedIn, he’s now speaking out and sharing his story publicly with The Daily Signal. Wrightstone warns others about social media censorship and the consequences of limiting discussion and debate.


'Racist' short story about Chinese boy 'Brian Wong' is axed from new edition of David Walliams' children's book

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A story about a Chinese boy in David Walliams's book 'The World's Worst Children' is set to be removed and updated by next year, after drawing criticism for containing 'harmful stereotypes'. 

HarperCollins confirmed they will be removing the story of 'Brian Wong Who Was Never, Ever Wrong' from the next edition of the book, which will be released in March 2022, following a meeting with campaigner and podcaster Georgie Ma.

The book, which was illustrated by Tony Ross, was from Walliams' first short story collection 'The World's Worst Children' and published back in May 2016.

Speaking to The Bookseller, Georgie Ma said: 'Wong' and 'wrong' are two words that are commonly used in playgrounds to pick on someone if their surname is Wong. 

'Even just the way Brian has been illustrated. He wears glasses, he looks like a nerd, he's got small eyes… they're all harmful stereotypes.

'The overall character plays on the model minority myth where Chinese people are nerdy, swotty and good at maths, we're not confrontational and we're high achievers. 

'It was just really disappointing to read about that. Personally for me, because I have a toddler, I don't want her being absorbed in these stories where Chinese culture is misrepresented.'




4 October, 2021

NASA Rejects Petition to Rename James Webb Telescope that Leftist Call ‘The Homophobic Telescope’

For the last several years wokesters have been attacking the James Webb Space Telescope, calling it the “Homophobic Telescope” because its namesake, NASA administrator James Webb was outed as having spoken against homosexuality back in the 1950s.

NASA, though, has rejected a new petition that had demanded that the space agency delete James Webb’s name from the device.

The petition attacked Webb as a homophobe:

The historical record is already clear: under Webb’s leadership, queer people were persecuted. Those who would excuse Webb’s failure of leadership cannot simultaneously award him credit for his management of Apollo. Leaders are responsible not only for the actions of those they lead, but the climate they create within their spheres of influence. As we have noted previously, Webb’s legacy of leadership is complicated at best, and at worst, complicit with persecution.

The time has come to choose a future that is inspiring to all of us. We demand that NASA immediately rename JWST, and bestow this honor on someone whose legacy befits a telescope whose data will be used in discoveries that will inspire future generations of astronomers, discoveries that we the undersigned will make.

The controversy has swirled around the name of the telescope at least since 2015 when woke activist Dan Savage published an article smearing Webb and pushing the idea of renaming the telescope.

According to the wokesters, during Webb’s leadership of NASA, gay employee Clifford Norton was fired in 1963 because he was outed as gay. He was also reportedly interrogated by NASA’s head of security over “gay activities.”

No proof has ever been presented that Webb had a hand in the firing or even knew about this incident. But since it happened when he headed the agency, people feel that is reason enough to dump him from the agency’s history.

There is some speculation that NASA has ignored the petition because the Webb telescope project — which is set to replace the aging Hubble telescope — is already 14 years behind schedule and the agency just wants it finished without controversies. The telescope is supposed to launch into space in December.


UK: Shouldn’t progressives be in favour of people wanting to speak their mind?

Where once the left fought the bosses in the workers’ name, today its loudest voices lobby bosses to police workers. If you are trying to understand why this section of the left is hated, its authoritarianism is a large part of the answer. In the popular imagination, “progressives” are people who tell you what to say and how to say it and will demand your employer fires you if you refuse. The bossy left has become the bosses’ left.

Their predecessors had a trade unionist mentality. They instinctively sided with the employee against the employer whether they agreed with the employee’s politics or not. The new left understands that real power lies with management in societies such as the UK and US, where unions barely exist in the private sector. Their emblematic radical is not a strike leader or a feminist agitator but a diversity consultant who convinces HR to pay her or him to berate staff who cannot argue back.

It’s a cliche to say that modern institutions live in fear of the “woke mob”. I’m sure the fear exists, but it is hardly debilitating. Progressives pay the corporate elite a compliment by acknowledging that power lies with CEOs. Indeed, they heighten corporate control by giving managers a new right to regulate political beliefs and minor linguistic failings.

Bosses must be grateful for the escape progressives offer them from their responsibilities. If an organisation is dominated by white people, or underpays women, its managers must be to blame. When the Centre for Social Investigation at Oxford University found that applicants with names that marked them as members of an ethnic minority were far less likely to receive a positive response from employers than applicants with traditional white British names, it concluded the unconscious bias and micro-aggressions the diversity consultants are determined to stamp out were irrelevant. What held ethnic minorities back was the “overt and conscious racism” of people at the top, with the power to hire and fire.

As it is a familiar experience for contacts to tell me in confidence that they are frightened of speaking their minds, while pretending in public that nothing is wrong, the canard that cancel culture does not exist needs to be tackled.

Last week, an inquiry for the UK’s sports councils described how athletes and administrators had been reduced to “swearing, shouting, crying and anxiety” by the demand that they admit trans competitors with the physical advantages that male puberty confers to women’s sports.

They thought that fair and safe competition would be impossible but “were afraid to say in public what they privately believed”. The researchers spoke of athletes who “had been threatened with sanction or disciplinary action if they spoke out”. Many were with sporting agencies that adopted leftish positions and “felt they had no option but to remain silent in order to keep their job”. What kind of twisted progressive politics leaves tearful sportswomen frightened of speaking their minds? And what kind of delusional progressive politician believes the public will vote for it?

The Cambridge philosopher Arif Ahmed was honoured last month by Index on Censorship for taking on his university authorities when he insisted on a clear and liberal definition of free speech. In a secret ballot, dons gave overwhelming support to his proposals that academics and students should be free to disagree in the most robust terms as long as they “tolerated” each other and did not seek to ban or intimidate opponents. Before his motion could be debated, however, Ahmed had to persuade 25 academics to second it. He told me it took six weeks to find colleagues willing to face the career risks an open endorsement of intellectual freedom would bring.

Fear works. You normalise an idea by making opponents afraid to contradict you. If all that were being attempted were the co-option of private companies, state bureaucracies, academia, publishing, the arts and the liberal media into a serious campaign against racism and misogyny, most progressives would say the ends justify the means and move on. But – and surely I do not need to spell this out – when the means include the suppression of debate you open the door to every variety of grifter and fanatic. Employees and children are forced to take scientifically worthless implicit bias tests. Progressive institutions are too scared to defend the material reality of biological sex difference, without which the theory of evolution, with its emphasis on sexual selection, could not exist. Like creationists, they have locked themselves into anti-Darwinian obscurantism. But unlike the religious right, they cannot claim that God made them do it.

Institutions and activists feed off each other. Institutions fear denunciations from activists if they do not censor or sack. Activists fear denunciation from more radical activists if they do not push their demands to the extreme. Institutions have no incentive to resist because the organisations that might once have tempered their power have fallen silent or switched sides.

The University and College Union advised academics to vote against defending their own intellectual freedom at Cambridge. Its leaders did not worry that they had lost touch with their members when they ignored their recommendations. The Society of Authors’ mission statement says it will “oppose in the strongest terms any attempt to stifle or control the author’s voice whether by censorship, imprisonment, execution, hate speech or trolling”. Yet when JK Rowling faced waves of murder and rape threats, its chair, Joanne Harris, said that, although she did not approve, we should shed few tears for Rowling. “People with power, money and influence do not experience the same effect from online abuse as those with less power,” she opined as she diminished the threats of violence routine for women in public life.

The maintenance of the progressive consensus overcomes all other principles. As I said, fear works but only if all institutions play along. Anyone who wishes the Conservatives gone must worry that the Tory party will soon say that it at least does not think “women” is a dirty word and it will not allow workers to be punished for speaking out of turn.

No Twitter mob or HR exec can monitor voters. In the privacy of the polling booth, no one can hear them scream.




3 October, 2021

Washington Post Changes Style Guide to Erase Pregnant Women

The Washington Post's Instagram editor Travis Lyles announced on Friday the newspaper has changed its style guide to be more "inclusive" on how they will refer to those who are pregnant in stories.

While the term "pregnant woman" and "pregnant women" will still be used in cases where the person's gender identity is known, but the Post noted "we exclude those who are transgender and nonbinary. However, we must take care that our efforts to be more inclusive do not come at the expense of other marginalized groups, such as women, and add to feelings of exclusion."

. @washingtonpost officially updated its stylebook guidance on how we reference pregnancy and pregnant individuals in our writing to be more inclusive ????

— Travis Lyles (@travislylesnews) October 1, 2021
The note adds, "In other situations, to be more inclusive, use pregnant women and other pregnant individuals. Yes, this is a bit of a mouthful, but it has the benefit of being the most inclusive way to phrase it in a story."

Other terms that are now acceptable at the Post include, but are not limited to: pregnant patients, the pregnant population, those who are pregnant, and pregnant individuals.


Now "wilderness" is a wrong word

What image does the word "wilderness" conjure in your mind?

Maybe it's damp moss encircling a giant myrtle-beech in takayna/Tarkine, or dry red earth and rocky outcrops deep in the centre of the continent. Or it might conjure nothing at all. 

We don't all perceive wilderness the same way, and for Wardandi and Bibbulmun woman Chontarle Bellottie, it's a totally foreign concept. "Wilderness is not in my language. It's not in the way that I communicate," she says.

"Because for me, my interpretation of [wilderness] is untouched, whereas we know as traditional owners that we've cultivated and gathered and hunted for so many thousands of years ... in a way where we've been able to live off the land in a very sustainable way."

While some people might not associate wilderness with a complete absence of people, many do, and that's a problem, according to Wiradjuri scientist Michael Fletcher.

Dr Fletcher, a palaeoecologist and geographer at the University of Melbourne, started exploring the idea when investigating the formation of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area landscape. "I found it was people who were responsible for its present form and its form over the past 40,000 years," Dr Fletcher says.

His analysis of sediment layers suggest that the lush temperate rainforest that we see today was, until colonisation, eucalypt savannah and grassland actively managed by Aboriginal people.

"So the term wilderness is not only inaccurate, the notion that wilderness carries, which is the absence of people, is dehumanising really to Aboriginal people."

It's time to strike terms like "wilderness" from our lexicon, he adds. "While they're just words, they're actually very powerful."

The prevalence of the wilderness concept means global conservation policy and public perception still often overlook how biodiverse landscapes have been shaped by Indigenous people, Dr Fletcher argues in a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week.

"Globally, many places that are called 'wilderness' are either current home to Indigenous people who actively manage the landscape, or are former landscapes which Indigenous people were the managers of, and are still trying to get recognition and agency back into their territories," he says.

"And they're being inhibited by this notion of wilderness, which underpins many conservation efforts."

Dr Fletcher says excluding Indigenous people from places, whether under the guise of wilderness protection or not, has degraded the health of those ecosystems — especially in Australia.

But there is disagreement over use of the term "wilderness" in conservation science, and it comes down to how you define it, according to James Watson, a conservation biologist at the University of Queensland, who was not involved in the study.

Although Dr Watson agrees with most of what the paper suggests about the need to include Indigenous people in conservation efforts, he says the idea that scientists still use the term wilderness to imply an absence of people was "nonsense".




1 October, 2021

Australia: Real estate agent sends warning letter to 300 homes saying new housing block for the homeless and 'disadvantaged' will hurt their property values

Must not tell the truth

A real estate agent has spammed 300 households with a letter warning them their property values would plunge when a public housing block was built nearby.

Harcourts salesman Chris Parsons claimed many of his clients in Mandurah, south of Perth, planned to sell up rather than have 100 'socially disadvantaged' new neighbours.

Mr Parsons said he and other residents were concerned about the $28.1 million development's 'obvious effect on property values'. 

The document, bearing the Harcourts Mandurah letterhead, asked if the home owner had been informed of the new building in their suburb.

'I am writing to you directly due to your close proximity to the upcoming development of a 50-apartment complex that will house up to 100 homeless and 'socially disadvantaged' residents,' the letter sent on Monday began.

'Many of my previous clients have already come to me with intentions to move out of the area after hearing of what is coming.

'I personally live in and own a home close to this planned development and have my own concerns, including the obvious effect on property values.' 

Mr Parsons wrote that he met with the developers and discovered that due to council zoning rules, 'little to no' community consultation was required.

He told residents to call or email him to find out more about 'what this could mean for the future value of your home'.

Outraged recipients posted the letter on local social media groups, speculating that the letter was really a ploy to drive sales.

'To me it looks like a scare tactics letter for him to get you to sell your house. Do your homework. Plus this if it is true is a great project that will help so many less fortunate have a safe, warm place to live,' one local wrote. 

After recipients complained, Mr Parsons wrote a grovelling apology and handed it out to the same 300 homes on Wednesday.

'I would like to apologise for any concerns this has caused, as a resident of this neighbourhood and a local real estate agent I have had discussions with members of the public around this topic and I was looking to gather further information, so that I could be in a better position to assist home owners where I can,' he wrote.

'It was not my intention to generate negativity around this development but instead to get a better understanding of the community sentiment in a small sample area within close proximity to the site.'

Mr Parsons added that he was confident the facility 'will be of benefit to the community' and be well run and maintained by local and state governments.

He wrote that Harcourts Mandurah had collected donations for a homeless support group in the area for more than 10 years.

The company said the initial letter was a case of Mr Parsons 'flying solo' and that it did not believe he was acting with any malice towards homeless people.


Hate Crime Hoax: Racist Graffiti that Caused Outrage at Missouri School Made by Black Student

Another hate crime hoax has been discovered in Missouri after the “racist graffiti” was found to have been made by a “non-white student.”

When the supposed racist graffiti was discovered at Parkway Central High School in St. Louis County early in September, outraged woke students organized a walkout to protest the so-called racism.

But an investigation has proven the whole thing to be a massive hoax, district Supt. Keith Marty said.

According to the Washington Examiner:

“The student responsible is not white,” Marty wrote. “This does not diminish the hurt it caused or the negative impact it has had on our entire community.”

The student admitted to writing the messages, and the graffiti constituted a violation of the district’s policies, Marty said.

“The student is facing severe disciplinary consequences and referral to law enforcement for investigation,” the letter read. “Parkway will continue to hold students responsible for any behavior that threatens or degrades others in our school community.”

Even though the student was not white, the school condemned the action and praised the student -led walkout efforts.

“Students proactively led walkouts at multiple Parkway high schools and in these moments, many students shared personal experiences of racism throughout their lives and at school,” Marty wrote.

Once again, we see that a so-called “outrageous hate crime” is all a fake attempt to gin up woke politics. When these cretinous leftists can’t find real racism, they invent it to push their agenda.




For the notes appearing at the side of the original blog see here

Pictures put up on a blog sometimes do not last long. They stay up only as long as the original host keeps them up. I therefore keep archives of all the pictures that I use. The recent archives are online and are in two parts:

Archive of side pictures here

Most pictures that I use in the body of the blog should stay up throughout the year. But how long they stay up after that is uncertain. At the end of every year therefore I intend to put up a collection of all pictures used on the blog in that year. That should enable missing pictures to be replaced. The archive of last year's pictures on this blog is therefore now up. Note that the filename of the picture is clickable and reflects the date on which the picture was posted. See here

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Email me (John Ray) here.