Thursday, October 02, 2014

Must not mention the sex life of politicians?

An interview with former prime minister Julia Gillard on Channel Ten's The Project has caused a backlash on social media.

Twitter has lit up with angry comments over an interview segment that featured former Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Channel Ten's The Project.

On Monday night, Gillard appeared on the show to speak about her new memoir, My Story, which details her time in the office as Australia's first female Prime Minister and the sexism she encountered.

After a brief introduction to Gillard's political legacy, the interview kicked off with birthday wishes from panelists Rove McManus and Carrie Bickmore, with the latter asking, "What has Tim [Mathieson] got you for your birthday, Juilia?”

When Gillard responded that she and Mathieson will be celebrating after she returns from her book tour on the weekend, McManus joked, "Is that a euphemism? Will he have a 'birthday suit'? Is that what you're suggesting?"

Despite visible discomfort at the inappropriate comment, the former PM responded good-humouredly, saying, “No, that was just a straight-up answer.”

Commenters on Twitter, however, weren't as forgiving, immediately calling out the disrespectful nature of the joke:


That flag again

Over the course of the past ten days, an incident involving two Bryn Mawr college students has developed into a multi-day campuswide movement against racial discrimination. The series of events began when the two Bryn Mawr students in question flew the Confederate “stars and bars” flag in Radnor Hall, a dormitory at the college sometime before September 15. In addition to flying the flag in a public space on the hall, the two students drew a line on the floor of the hallway that was intended to represent the Mason-Dixon line.

The flag, which served as a national symbol of the slaveholding South during the civil war, maintains a strong anti-Black connotation for many. The Mason-Dixon line is considered to demarcate the cultural boundary between the American north and south.

According to Michelle Lee ’15, a student at Bryn Mawr and a resident of Radnor Hall, two girls posted a confederate flag in a shared dormitory space during the middle of the week of September 7th. When other students in the dormitory asked the girls to remove the flag, they refused, arguing the flag was a token of their Southern pride and was not offensive or racist. After the dorm president asked the girls for the flag to be taken down, they created with tape a line on their floor meant to represent the Mason-Dixon line. Following a second request from the hall’s dorm team for the flag to be removed, the girls placed it inside their room, where it was clearly visible from outside their window. Following the event, there was a rapid response from the student body.


And everybody had a wonderful time condemning the two Southerners

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

People Magazine Under Fire For Racist Viola Davis Tweet By Ashley

Alluding to her past is not allowed?

The Twitterverse lashed out at People magazine on Thursday night after the publication posted some seemingly racist tweets about, Viola Davis.

Before the premiere of ABC’s How To Get Away With Murder, the magazine posted a questionable tweet that had social media users up in arms.

“Waiting for Viola to break into ‘You is kind. You is smart. You is important.’ #HowToGetAwayWithMurder,” the tweet read, drawing reference to Viola’s role in the 2011 drama, The Help.

The publication did some damage control and apologized for the post, writing:

“Apologies for the earlier tweet. We love HTGAWM & The Help, where that quote was from. But it was stupid & insensitive. Won’t happen again.”

The outlet should be way more apologetic because there wasn’t just one “insensitive” tweet. Earlier in the evening, the mag posted a tweet about Kerry Washington’s hair during the premiere of Scandal.

“Olivia’s back to straight hair so you KNOW she means business. #Scandal.”

Both tweets have since been deleted.


Must not refer to dark skin color

Take a good look at the above screen cap of a recent Vancouver Sun story. Notice anything unsavory? Like maybe an slightly insensitive, possibly racist photo caption?

Because yeah, the person responsible for captioning the photo pointed out which player was Jordan Subban, younger brother of P.K. Subban, by calling him “the dark guy in the middle.”

Now I personally wouldn’t label this a racist photo caption. But it is a very insensitive, incredibly stupid photo caption. They could have just not described who Subban was at all, allowing readers to make the inference on their own, given that P.K. Subban is very famous. Or, if they doubted the ability of their readers to make such an inference, they could have just said “(center)” or “(middle).” That would have done the trick.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Must not show interest in women's looks

A woman police chief has come under fire for defending a colleague who described a shooting victim’s fiancee as ‘some bit of skirt’.

Colette Paul, Bedfordshire’s chief constable, said the comment – made by a male officer during a fly-on-the-wall TV documentary about Luton Police Station – was ‘office banter’.

The first episode follows the arrest and questioning of a suspect in the shooting of accountant Atif Ali. Mr Ali, who was innocent of any wrongdoing, was blasted with a sawn-off shotgun by a hitman hired by a love rival.

In the Channel 4 programme, Detective Constable Gary Hales is shown referring to Mr Ali’s then fiancee as ‘some bit of skirt’.

He is later filmed saying to colleagues: ‘What’s this girl like then? Is she a bit of a looker? Why would you want to do 15 years in prison?’

Mrs Paul admitted ‘wincing’ when she watched the footage, but insisted: ‘It’s forgivable but not what I would want someone to say. It’s banter in a working environment.

Mr Ali, who needed surgery after being shot in the leg, told the Mail he felt ‘sick’ at the comments. He added: ‘If this is true, then I don’t accept it is banter. It is highly disrespectful from someone who is supposed to uphold the highest morals and ethics.’


On the freedom to sigh

As the new academic year gets underway, one suspended don, the professor Thomas Docherty from the University of Warwick, faces disciplinary action for ‘insubordination’. Docherty is a distinguished professor of English and comparative literature at Warwick, but he’s also a critic of the direction of what passes for university education today.

The charges against him are said to include an incident in which he is accused of ‘sighing’, inappropriate and negative body language and making ironic comments about a candidate who he was interviewing for a departmental role.

From the outside, it all looks like petty departmental politics – an internal issue outsiders shouldn’t be bothering themselves about. But putting Docherty on a charge sends out a message to everyone in the university sector: not just ‘shut up’, but ‘shut up and don’t even show, in any way, that you don’t like what’s going on’.

And yet, at this critical time for academia, in which debate and contestation needs to happen, the expectation is not only that academics will voice no ‘negative criticism’, but that they will also show no expression of disagreement whatsoever. It is a message to comply and conform, to be quiet and sit still.


Monday, September 29, 2014

Hardware firm penalized for using traditional description of lumber

A 2x4 is only 2" by 4" as rough timber.  When dressed, as it often is, it is smaller than that.  But it is still called a 2x4 in recognition that it is produced from a 2x4.  And there is no confusion.  The timber will always be described as rough or dressed in addition to the size description

Lowe’s has new rules regarding how it can label building products in California. A Superior Court judge laid out terms by which the retailer must advertise its 2x4s and other dimensional materials in a $1.6 million settlement order and final judgement filed on August 27. The order, brought on as part of a civil consumer protection action, lists three main rules for the retailer to follow going forward:

“Common descriptions” must be followed by actual dimensions and labeled as such. For instance, a 2×4 must be followed with a disclaimer that the wood is actually 1.5-inches by 3.5-inches and include a phrase equal or similar to “actual dimensions.”

The order, handed down by Judge Paul M. Haakenson, came as a response to a case involving claims by the Marin County, Calif., district attorney’s office that the retailer “unlawfully advertised structural dimensional building products for sale.”

Lowe’s spokesperson Amanda Manna said the company has begun to conform to the product description requirements in nearly 100 of its stores across California.


Outrage over T-Shirt slogan that promotes sexual violence

Condoning rape is certainly obnoxious

One of the Philippines' largest department stores had been forced to remove a dangerously violent T-Shirt from it's shelves after an international backlash.

SM Supermalls attracted worldwide attention when a shopper in one of it's stores posted a snap of the garment online two days ago.
Karen Kunawicz uploaded a picture of the T-shirt onto her Facebook page with the caption: 'Really? In the boy's section? 'It's Not Rape, It's A Snuggle With A Struggle?'

She continued: 'I count myself among those worked really hard especially in the 90's for the rights of girls and women so it really got me upset. 'I was shaking when I took it. I wanted to throw up.'

Since the photo was posted on September 22, it has now received 1,578 likes,  4,383 shares and 440 comments.

One user wrote: 'I just got out of bed to go to the bathroom but this one now woke me up. I don't even know what exactly to say -- this is just so wrong.'


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Must not joke about women

American commentator Eric Bolling used the ill-conceived pun on “boots on the ground” to describe Mariam Al Mansouri, who led UAE's air strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and the Levant (Isil).

Female Fox News presenter Kimberly Guilfoyle had just presented a segment praising the female pilot for her “incredible” role in fighting the extremist group. She said: “This is really incredible. Major Mariam Al Mansouri is who did this. Remarkable, very excited. I wish it was an American pilot. I'll take a woman doing this any day to them.”

But her male co-hosts chose to poke fun at UAE’s first female fighter pilot with sexist jokes.

“The problem is, after she bombed it she couldn’t park it,” quipped presenter Greg Gutfield.

Mr Bolling then asked: “Would that be considered boobs on the ground, or no?”


The female commentator was being sexist by singling out a woman for praise just because she was a woman --  but sexism is OK for some and not for others, apparently

'I'm no racist!' Hulk Hogan orders his new Florida beach restaurant to withdraw 'anti black' dress code that banned 'low hanging pants,' 'skull caps' and 'oversized jewelry'

He is famed for wearing bandanas as part of his everyday attire both in an out of the ring.

And wrestling legend Hulk Hogan has now ordered his new Florida restaurant to abandon what some claimed was a racist dress code that banned that very item of attire.

Other pieces of clothing that were not allowed at the Florida eatery Hogan's Beach, included 'low hanging pants,' 'skull caps' and 'oversized jewelry,' the latter again standing out as the WWE superstar is noted for wearing a large crucifix around his neck.

The Hulkster insisted to TMZ That he is not racist, and revealed he put in a personal call to the restaurant's managers insisting they took down the sign which listed the prohibited clothing, and which caused the ensuing media storm.

He said the dress code was modeled after ones used for pool parties in Las Vegas and Miami, though he conceded he understand why some people could have inferred it as targeting black people.


 Dress standards not allowed?

Friday, September 26, 2014

Here We Go Again: Students Prohibited From Passing Out Constitutions on Constitution Day

Once again, university officials have shown how progressive and tolerant they are by forcing Young Americans for Freedom at Pennsylvania State University to remove its table from a so-called “free speech zone.”

The YAF activists’ crime? Handing out copies of the Constitution on Constitution Day, Sept. 17.

Sound familiar? It should. Last year, Robert Van Tuinen, an Army vet and student at Modesto Junior College, was shut down passing out copies of The Heritage Foundation’s “Guide to the Constitution.” He sued his college and it eventually settled the lawsuit, paying him $50,000.

This year, it was Penn State’s turn to continue the tradition of violating the Constitution on Constitution Day. But why? Lawyers for public universities should know that shutting down speech exposes them to First Amendment lawsuits. Furthermore, passing out copies of the Constitution performs a valuable educational service that many universities don’t perform on their own. If anything, Penn State should be thanking Jolie Davis and the other PSU YAF student activists.

Penn State officials offered no justifiable reason for shutting down the activists. One university administrator suggested Penn State has a neutral policy on the books, prohibiting all tables in the free speech zone. Even if this were true, it still might fall afoul of the First Amendment. But the as one student noted: “We’ve seen people’s tables out here all the time!” In other words, whatever the formal policy on the Penn State books, the university traditionally allows student organizations to have tables.

In fact, the YAF chapter at Penn State had placed a table at this exact spot before without any reported harassment from school authorities, but this time they handed out more than Constitutions – they included information about Penn State’s restrictive speech code. This is probably the real reason for the targeting. But Penn State officials might want to do some work on that speech code. They also might want to avail themselves of one of the copies of the Constitution the activists were handing out—or, better yet, the newly revamped Heritage Guide to the Constitution.

Then they need to read it and learn it and come to understand it. If they do, we won’t see them inhibiting Constitution Day events anymore.


Pat Condell's latest

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Religious signs misunderstood

Posters warning women they should only walk on one side of the road have been taken down after they sparked a backlash.

The notices, which were put up along streets in Stamford Hill, were removed after residents complained to Hackney Council.

Written in both English and Hebrew, they read: "Women should please walk along this side of the road only".

The Shomrim group, whose Jewish volunteers support policing in the area, said they were put up by an orthodox Jewish group for a religious parade this week.

People from the religious sect are prohibited from touching members of the opposite sex unless they are married or closely related to them.

More than 20,000 Haredi Jews live in the area - the third largest group in the world.


The group has advised that next year the signs will be in Hebrew letters only

Some questions must not be asked

 Actor Mark Ruffalo [Hulk Actor] declared certain questions off limits to the media today at the People’s Climate March in New York City.

During the media availability press event, Ruffalo was asked in a one-on-one interview with Climate Depot if celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, who boasts that he will fly around the world to fight global warming and former VP Al Gore,  are the best spokesmen for global warming given their huge carbon footprints.

“Oh brother. That is a question you shouldn’t be asking here today because that defies the spirit of what this is about,” Ruffalo told Climate Depot.

The interview was conducted for the upcoming climate documentary Climate Hustle.

Ruffalo starred in the Hulk film series and has been a climate activist.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Ninth Circus Says It's 'Reasonable' for School to Bar American Flag T-Shirts on Cinco de Mayo

On Constitution Day, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit declined to hear an appeal by students who were punished by their California high school for wearing American flag-themed shirts on Cinco de Mayo because they might incite Hispanic students to violence.

In its Sept. 17 order declining the student’s request for an en banc hearing, the federal appeals court stated that “given the history of prior events at the school, including an altercation on campus, it was reasonable for school officials to proceed as though the threat of a potentially violent disturbance was real.”

On May 5, 2010, the four Caucasian students from Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, CA were “asked to remove or turn inside out t-shirts bearing images of the American flag” on the Mexican holiday.

School administrators said that they feared the students would face violence from Latino students for wearing the American flag-themed clothing during the school-sanctioned celebration because there had been at least 30 fights between Caucasian and Hispanic students on campus during the preceding six years.

Give that history, the judges on the appellate panel ruled that school officials “acted properly to prevent a substantial and material disruption of school activities.”

However, in his dissenting opinion, Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain wrote that "the panel condones the suppression of the students’ speech for one reason: other students might have reacted violently against them. Such a rationale contravenes fundamental First Amendment principles.”

“The freedom of speech guaranteed by our Constitution is in greatest peril when the government may suppress speech simply because it is is a foundational tenet of First Amendment law that the government cannot silence a speaker because of how an audience might react to the speech,” he noted.

"It is truly a sad day when government officials are permitted to ban the American flag on a public high school campus for any reason," said Robert Muise, co-founder and senior counsel at the American Freedom Law Center, who argued on behalf of the students before the 9th Circuit.

"The liberal judges on the court were forced to do rhetorical backflips to come to this outrageous decision," said Freedom X CEO William Becker, who intends to take the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.


Canadian University Silences Dissent in the Name of Tolerance

Political issues often drive passion, and passion may cause vulgarity, but such is par for the course in a free and democratic society. “To many, the immediate consequence of this freedom may often appear to be only verbal tumult, discord, and even offensive utterance,” Justice Harlan observed. “These are … in truth necessary side effects of the broader enduring values which the process of open debate permits us to achieve. That the air may at times seem filled with verbal cacophony is, in this sense not a sign of weakness but of strength.”+

But weakness was on display at Carleton University in Ottawa this week, when university administrators agreed to lay sanctions against students who wore shirts bearing the words “F–k Safe Space” to an off-campus party. Students have claimed the intent of the shirts was to voice opposition to policies that prohibit swearing and drinking on campus.+

It appears the designers were not aware (or were perhaps misinformed) that at Carleton, “Safe Space” refers to efforts by Carleton’s Equity Services division to “reduce the impact of homophobia and heterosexism on campus.” Regardless, these students’ intent was to voice their opposition towards policies to which they are subject — a right which is, on and off-campus, the most sacred and protected form of expression in Canada.+

The proper functioning of the university demands a free exchange of ideas. Shutting down dissent sends a message to current and future students that at Carleton, you should hold your tongue or be reprimanded.

What is worse is that these students were bullied and intimidated into apologizing for wearing the shirts, and bullied into agreeing to perform community service throughout the year to repair Carleton’s “sullied space” after such “unsafe” remarks.+

This capitulation is no surprise, considering that a failure to apologize would mean a permanently tarnished record, even to the point of expulsion. In 2010, Carleton University charged its own students with trespassing for trying to set up a controversial pro-life display in a high-traffic area of campus.

In light of this, and considering the amount of taxpayer dollars universities have at their disposal to fight lengthy court battles, I understand where these students are coming from.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

AL: Judge repeals First Amendment

A state court judge sided with Alabama Gas Corp. and blocked the Montgomery Advertiser from publishing information about the utility's plan for gas line safety, which the Alabama Public Service Commission released through an open records request.

Jefferson County Circuit Judge Robert S. Vance granted a request by Alagasco to temporarily prevent the Montgomery Advertiser from publishing information from the plan. Court records show Vance ruled a week ago — on the same day Alagasco made the request to block publication — before the newspaper had a chance to respond.

The paper has since objected to the ban, and Vance issued an order Thursday saying he would hold a hearing Monday on whether his order should stand.

The newspaper argued in court documents that Vance's ban on publication is a case of unconstitutional prior restraint, in which the government blocks information from being published.


Another stretched interpretation of the 1st amendment

Faster than a new recruit can shout “Sir, yes sir!” the US Air Force has reversed its policy requiring new recruits and those reenlisting to conclude a swearing-in oath with “So help me God.”

The trouble for the Air Force started when a Tech. Sgt. at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada with 10 years’ service wanted to reenlist. As an atheist, he didn’t see why he had to swear an oath to a deity he didn’t believe in. It seemed to violate the religious establishment clause of the US Constitution.


If the words are meaningless for an atheist, why be bothered by them?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Freedom to practice religion?

A Florida family is locked in an intense battle with a homeowners association over the demand that religious statues of Jesus and the Virgin Mary be removed from their lawn.

Enock and Ines Berluche claim that the Shingle Creek Reserve at the Oaks Homeowners Association, Inc. threatened legal action if the family refused to remove the 2-foot statues, which were recently rejected by the governing body for not being “harmonious with the surrounding properties.”

In a letter sent to the family by Martell & Ozim, P.A., a law firm retained by the association, Enock and Ines Berluche were told that they are in violation of the community’s “covenants and restrictions.” The demand was made clear: “Remove your unapproved statues from the front of your home.”

“Accordingly, demand is hereby made for you to immediately remove your unapproved statues from the front of your home,” read the letter, dated July 30, 2014. “Your failure to do so within seven (7) days of this letter will result in legal action.”

It should be noted that the family apparently first put the statues up without getting the association’s permission. But when the couple learned that they had violated the rules, they reportedly filed the proper paperwork, but the statues were subsequently rejected.

“Please provide the Association in writing the stated religion, the religious significance of the statues, and why these statues cannot be relocated to a different location on the Lot or enclosed behind a fence out of street view,” the letter continued.

Rather than comply with these demands, the Berluche family reached out to the Liberty Counsel, a conservative legal firm, to seek representation and assistance.

In a letter addressed to attorneys for the association, Liberty Counsel defended the family and questioned whether the rejection of the lawn statues might be rooted in religious discrimination.

Dubious humor

A ‘jokey’ comic strip book called Hipster Hitler which turns the murderous Nazi dictator into a trendy geek has sparked outrage among the Jewish community.

The widely available book shows the former German Chancellor wearing black-rimmed glasses, eating cashew nuts, playing Pac-Man and riding a bike with a basket on the handlebars.

A group of Jewish activists has pledged to shred all the copies of the comic strip, which it says is ‘anti-Semitic’ and ‘sick’.

Shania Angel, a member of London Stands with Israel - and whose grandmother died in the Holocaust - has said the group plans to boycott stores which sell the book.

Miss Angel, 23, told the Ham & High newspaper: ‘The book is a disgrace and should be banned.

‘T-shirts are now being sold of Hipster Hitler - it's turning Hitler into a cute and trendy character.

‘It's offensive to people like me who have had family members killed in the Holocaust.’

She added: ‘Anti-Semitism has skyrocketed recently and we shouldn't be selling books like this.

But the New York-based authors James Carr and Archana Kumar say the book is a ‘parody’ and is not intended to offend anyone.


Sunday, September 21, 2014

French government economy minister blunders by telling the truth

Apparently 20% of the workers at the place concerned ARE illiterate, probably because they are immigrants from Muslim lands

France's new economy minister is facing calls to quit after just two weeks in the job for calling female factory workers 'illiterate'. 

Former Rothschild banker Macron, 36, issued the insult on Europe 1 radio when asked about women workers at the bankrupt Gad abattoir near Paris.  He told listeners: 'In this company, there is a majority of women. Many of them are illiterate.

'Many of them have been told they have have no future in Gad or nearby, and they need to go and work 50 or 60 kilometres away.
'These people have no driving licences. What can one say to them?'

The new minister was swiftly attacked for his comments by left and right wing MPs.  Right wing member Marc Le Fur said: 'The prime minister should send Mr Macron back to Rothschild.'  The Force Ouvriere union leader Jean Marc Detivelle added: 'It's clear contempt for workers.'

Macron was forced to issue a grovelling recantation later on Wednesday, saying: 'My humblest apologies go to the workers who I may have hurt with this comment for which I can never be sorry enough.'


Woman called Isis starts campaign and petition for America to start calling terror group new name of ISIL so she can avoid being associated with them

A Miami woman called Isis Martinez posted a video on YouTube in which she pleads with the media to please stop using her name to refer to the 'shameless excuses for human beings' who have misappropriated her appellation.

The 38-year-old, who heads a non-profit in the Florida city, has created a petition urging the media and others to use the acronym 'ISIL' instead of 'ISIS' to describe the group formerly known as Islamic State of Iraq the Levant.

The petition, part of a campaign that began on August 23, has so far received 352 signatures.

Isis Martinez said she's tired of the 'awkward looks' and negative reactions of people when she introduces herself.  'I couldn't just sit back and let it happen,' she said in an interview with Newsweek.

She points out in the video that the United States government uses ISIL - including President Barack Obama - to refer to the group that now calls itself simply the Islamic State, as do the UN and the Associated Press.


Friday, September 19, 2014

A British nightclub has been condemned for tweeting a photo of a 'legless' semi-naked woman sprawled out next to empty bottles

Liquid Nightclub, in Windsor, Berkshire, posted the picture with the caption 'Want to end up like her? We're giving away a free booth to groups of girls this friday. DM [direct message] us #Mortal.'

The image shows a seemingly unconscious woman wearing just a thong and sprawled out on her front surrounded by drink bottles.

The nightclub, which says it removed the post within 40 minutes, has apologised 'unreservedly'. But the tweet has sparked anger among local councillors.

David Hilton, Conservative member for Ascot, who is chairman of the council's crime and disorder overview and scrutiny panel, said: 'This photograph is totally alien to what the council may argue is responsible advertising or promoting responsible drinking.

'Getting legless, as this young lady appears to be, is exactly what we want to prevent because it leads to the worst kinds of crime and disorder, and young ladies getting in this state puts them at enormous personal risk.'

A spokesman from Liquid said: 'We apologise unreservedly for any offence caused. Liquid Windsor is a responsible operator and does not condone or promote irresponsible drinking. 'The post was unauthorised and against company policy, and it was removed within 40 minutes.

'A disciplinary investigation is now underway and we will be reviewing our social media procedures to ensure this doesn't happen again.'


British musical director impersonated Hitler in front of German choir

He acted defensively when people in a German choir chipped British choristers for their bad pronunciation of German words in choral music.  Many classical music people are rather unworldly so he probably had no idea of how incorrect his actions were

A respected English musical director who specialises in the works of Bach and Schumann outraged a visiting German choir when he impersonated Hitler and made a joke about the Holocaust.

The German choristers were taking part in the Three Choirs Festival at Worcester Cathedral as part of the commemoration of the outbreak of the First World War.

David Barclay, 42, was excluded from the festival and compelled to apologise to the visiting singers. He now faces a disciplinary hearing which will determine if he is to be expelled from the Worcester Cathedral choir permanently.

Mr Barclay, whose mastery of German classical music is internationally renowned, has since apologised for his comments. In a statement, he said: "I'm very sorry for any offence I caused during the Three Choirs Festival. I completely understand why what happened was inappropriate.

A row erupted between Mr Barclay and members of the Chemnitz Opera during a rehearsal of 'A Foreign Field' by German composer Torsten Rasch.

The argument followed comments made by the Chemnitz singers about their English counterparts' ability to sing in German.

A member of the Pershore Town Choir, which Mr Barclay also leads, said he may have "misjudged his audience".  He said: "What I have been told [by someone] who was there was that the German delegation of singers were becoming bolshy about the performances.

"David, who speaks German very well, said something to the effect of the German singers behaving like the Nazis.

"I am told he mocked them by pretending to be Hitler. He was making a point about them not to be too critical of the English singers but it got out of hand."


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Health chief steps down after crude 'e-cig' rant on Twitter

He probably believes in global warming too. It is amazing how angry some people get when you disagree with them

Professor John Ashton stepped down as president of the Faculty of Public Health yesterday following a venomous spat on the social media site.

The doctor, who is strongly opposed to e-cigarettes, called one supporter a ‘c***’.

In another tweet he said: ‘These abusive ecig people remind me of the lads who used to play with themselves behind the bike sheds at school. 'They are even more pathetic than that. 'Need ecigs to get aroused.’

He had been involved in a debate about the merits and dangers of e-cigarettes.

Advocates say they help smokers quit, while objectors such as Prof Ashton – who want tighter controls – are concerned about their long-term effects.


Complaint Against Steyn Dissmissed

 Mark Steyn was the subject of a spurious inquest from the government of British Columbia which shamelessly tried to deny him his freedom of speech. If you want more background, I wrote about the case here.

Well, the charges were dropped today. You can head on over to Steyn’s website for more details, including a PDF of the BC “Human Rights” tribunal’s decision.

The bottom line is that while it’s great Steyn is off the hook, free speech in Canada still does not exist in any meaningful way. It would be fair to say that Steyn and Maclean’s magazine were spared by the bureaucratic star chamber because they were well-known enough to fight back and attract considerable publicity. The next person in Canada who dares to excercise his freedom of speech in a way that attracts the government censors probably won’t be so lucky. And unfortunately, Canada is still rank with Human Rights tribunals acvtively looking for those that express politically incorrect opinions, reprint objectionable Bible verses etc. so they can go about their business of denying free expression.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Man posts song lyrics on Facebook, arrested for terrorist threats

Posting the lyrics of a song on Facebook could send you behind bars. That's what happened to a Kentucky man who has been jailed and accused of terrorist threats for posting the lyrics of a metal song to Facebook.

James Evans, a 31-year-old from Central City, Kentucky, posted the verses of the Exodus song "Class Dismissed (A Hate Primer)" on August 24 on his wall, including a verse that read "student bodies lying dead in the halls, a blood splattered treatise of hate / Class dismissed is my hypothesis, gun fire ends the debate."

After someone reported his post to the police, agents arrested him and brought him to jail on August 26. He was released a week later, on September 3, according to records at the Muhlenberg County Detention Center.

Police arrested him for threatening "to kill students and or staff at school," according to the arrest warrant seen by local TV station 14News. Evans counters saying he only posted the lyrics of a song he liked on his Facebook wall.

"It's surreal," Evans told Billboard. "I didn't think anything would come of it."

But something did come of it. Evans is now facing charges for "terrorist threatening," a crime that in Kentucky could potentially land him between 5 and 10 years in prison, according to Kentucky Law. Evans is due in court for a hearing on October 1.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Kentucky announced on Wednesday that it's taking his defense.

"At this point, we're looking to have him completely exonerated," Bill Sharp, an attorney with the ACLU, said.

The ACLU is presenting this as a First Amendment issue.

"The First Amendment exists to protect people from government censorship of unpopular, but otherwise lawful, speech. And there is no greater threat to our ability to exercise that right than to be thrown in jail for doing so," said ACLU's Executive Director Michael Aldridge in a statement.


Firemen Say They Were Sent Home for Refusing to Remove Patriotic Stickers

Four suburban Chicago firefighters say they were suspended after refusing to remove patriotic stickers posted on their helmets and lockers.  The Maywood firefighters say they were ordered to go home for refusing to remove stickers of American flags after their fire chief implemented a ban on all stickers.

"I'm floored that he would even consider this two days before 9/11," said firefighter Dan McDowell. "It's ridiculous."

Some said the stickers were sentimental.  "My dad served here for 26 years, an ex-Marine, ex-Vietnam vet," said Dave Flowers, Jr. "I took his locker."

Flowers said he was ordered to take a sticker off his locker or he would face discipline.  "We are the first African-American father and son on the Maywood Fire Department," Flowers said. "It has sentimental value."

Don Albanese agreed to remove several stickers, including a memorial flag from his helmet, but kept an American flag on his locker.  "I said, 'You know what? The one thing I won't do is I'm not going to remove the flag on my locker,'" he said. "No one sees it but us. We're all brothers here."

The firefighters said they were shocked to hear they couldn't keep their patriotic stickers.  "You'd be hard-pressed to find a firefighter who doesn't have strong feelings about 9/11," McDowell said.


The fired firemen have now been reinstated

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Video game journalists heavily politicized

As I wrote last week, gaming journalism, populated by well-meaning liberals, has forgotten what it is for and become consumed with social justice activism, at the expense of writing intelligently about games.

To give just one example of the hatred between gamers and the journalists who are supposed to serve them, Chris Grant, editor-in-chief of gaming news site Polygon, is blocking his own readers on Twitter by the thousand, together with journalists and academics whose opinions he doesn't like. It's unprecedented in an industry that ought to stick up for readers instead of sucking up to lobbyists and the powers that be.

It's also a remarkable display of political intolerance, not to mention a serious strategic error. Grant, and others like him, have given up any pretence of wanting to engage in dialogue with alternative opinions and instead hunkered down with a small but noisy minority readership of single-issue campaigners, feminist blowhards and perpetually angry "social justice warriors" to the exclusion of the backbone of his readership.


The Leftists are, however, rapidly losing their audience

Calls for British TV star to be fired after  tweet about  Dogs' Home fire

Jokes are VERY risky these days

Hundreds of Coronation Street fans have called for Jack P Shepherd to be sacked after he made jokes about the Manchester Dogs' Home fire which claimed the lives of 60 animals.

The actor, 26, who plays David Platt in the ITV soap, was forced into an apology after causing uproar on Twitter when he said: 'I have a million 'hot dog' jokes'.

When people responded with complaints and messages of disbelief he added: 'You guys need to lighten up. #GetItLightenUp.'

Hours later when it became known how many animals have perished in the fire on Thursday night, he issued a grovelling apology.

He said: 'I sincerely apologise for any offence I have caused. This was not intended to be a malicious tweet and I didn't consider the offence it would cause.

'At the time I didn't realise the scale of the tragedy but that doesn't excuse my behaviour. I now realise how insensitive I have been.

'I have made a donation to the MCR dogs home and I'm very sorry for my behaviour.'


Monday, September 15, 2014

Since when is speaking AT the same as speaking FOR?

The post below is from the far-Left "Daily Kos". They do not as yet know what Curry will say. But you must not even speak at some places. Just being in the company of conservatives discredits a person, apparently.  In Communist and Fascist regimes you could be executed for the company you keep, so it is nice to see what company the American Left keeps

Curry is actually a Warmist.  She just doubts that we know how severe the warming will be.  She allows that it could be trivial.  That is enough to get her cast into outer darkness however.  No debate permitted!  Science, data and facts no longer matter, only your politics.

Judith Curry, former Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology was, until now, one of the few skeptics with a veneer of credibility.

But that is slated to change, as she will be featured in a George C. Marshall Institute event at The National Press Club. For those who are unaware, the Marshall Institute is a conservative "think tank" that began lobbying to support Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative. Over time the Institute shifted from Cold War hype to the downplaying of environmental threats, including the dangers of secondhand smoke, CFCs' effect on the ozone, and now climate change.

The Institute's event is titled "State of the Climate Debate" and will focus on the (supposedly) weakening case for human caused climate change as well as the link between extreme weather events and climate change, and the challenges of "deep climate uncertainty" for policymakers.

Perhaps the bigger story, however, is this event may be the last straw for Curry's dwindling credibility in academia. It's one thing to question the consensus or otherwise indirectly assist anti-climate science arguments. But to speak on behalf of a group heavily funded by fossil fuel companies and conservative donors—a group with a well-known 30 year history of distorting science for political aims—well that may just be career suicide. At least, academic career suicide. Unfortunately, if Curry has given up on respectability, this may just be the first of many such events.


More on Levenson's self-immolation

Comment from a reader.  (See post here of 10th)

Hysteria over Levenson's E mail etc is NOT being taken in context.

Indeed, only person I knew who took on this issue head on was retiring talk show host Neal Boortz:

He laid it on thick why the Atlanta football team left "Turner Stadium" in CNN Peachtree district:

Fans were and are harassed by "Gang Bangers" - unruly Blacks. Move to suburbs was economic necessity.

Levenson is smarter than pundits give him credit for: he sees the same thing as Boortz does, for Basketball; civilized people don't like to go to games if harassed by Blacks. So Levenson is picking the right moment for some multi cult fool to pay big dollars for a franchise where fans don't want to go.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Scotland: Pro-independence posters organising 'short walk to freedom' marches trigger backlash

There are a lot of extremists among Scottish nationalists and many HATE the English.  So they are campaigning hard to win the coming  referendum in favour of complete Scottish independence from England

Pro-independence campaigners are facing a backlash over "grossly distasteful" posters organising "short walk to freedom" marches on polling day.

Adverts urging Nationalists to "be Bravehearts" on September 18 and quoting Nelson Mandela and Abraham Lincoln have recently appeared in south Edinburgh.

The tagline echoes Mr Mandela's famous "long walk to freedom" after spending years incarcerated in prison before South Africa's first democratic elections after apartheid.

The adverts appear to be produced by a local branch of the official Yes Scotland campaign, but a spokesman from the nationwide HQ said he was not aware of the events.

Kezia Dugdale, Labour MSP for Lothians, where the posters appeared, told The Telegraph the adverts were "offensive" and organisers should "rethink" the plans.

"The poster compares Scotland's democratic debate with Mandela's march for freedom. Now I find that distasteful and offensive, but other people might find that intimidating," Ms Dugdale said.

"I just think it's an appalling comparison and it does a huge disservice to everybody who fought against apartheid.

"To suggest that there are parallels between what happened in South Africa with what's happening in Edinburgh today is just grossly distasteful."


Another controversial restaurant receipt

The details are here but it's a bit long-winded so I will summarize:

The 20c tip was left by footballer LeSean McCoy.  The restaurant put the receipt online in an attempt to strike back at him.  McCoy says he left the tip as a comment on the bad service -- and other servers said he was normally a generous tipper.

Most readers sided with McCoy and said it was offensive to post the receipt.  Many said that they would boycott that restaurant in future.

The restaurant owner says, however, that he personally observed McCoy getting excellent service.  See here.  What the owner says has the ring of truth and McCoy refuses to go into details.

The restaurant was PYT —a burger joint in Philadelphia. I suspect that they were justified in posting the receipt.  It seems possible that McCoy and his buddies were drunk.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Must not tell people what happens in Muslim countries

When, this spring, Brandeis University reneged on its commencement invitation to human-rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, it revealed the cravenness that characterizes many of America’s leading institutions of higher education. The decision of Yale’s William F. Buckley Jr. Program to invite Hirsi Ali to New Haven as part of its speaker series has exposed the same quality in many of that school’s students.

In an open letter sent to Buckley Program student leaders, members of 35 campus groups say they feel “highly disrespected” by the September 15 lecture “Clash of Civilizations: Islam and the West.”

The letter, drafted by the Muslim Students Association, lays out their complaints. They are concerned that “Ms. Hirsi Ali is being invited to speak as an authority on Islam despite the fact that she does not hold the credentials to do so.” They accuse Hirsi Ali of “hate speech” and express outrage that she should “have such a platform in our home.” “We cannot overlook,” they write, “how marginalizing her presence will be to the Muslim community and how uncomfortable it will be for the community’s allies.”

Their remedy, of course, is censorship.


Bras Are Now Racist Because They Come in ‘Nude’

The editorial board of a college newspaper has declared that bras are racist because they come in colors named “nude,” since non-white people’s skin isn’t that color when they’re nude.

“How would it make you feel that the fashion industry and society at large has based its ideal of nude on Caucasian people? That the color of your skin doesn’t count as ‘nude’?” asks the staff editorial, published by the Oklahoma Daily, the official newspaper of the University of Oklahoma.

The board used the same reasoning to conclude that that “nude” makeup, “flesh-colored” clothing, and Band-Aids were also racist.

The piece referred to the bra color name as one of the “subtle examples of racism” — often referred to as a “microaggression” — that apparently runs rampant in our society today.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Arab magnifies encounter with mental ill man into "Islamophobia"

A recent incident between an Arab-American activist and a mentally ill homeless man is being distorted by the national media and left-wing activists, say residents of the Brooklyn community of Bay Ridge.

Last Wednesday afternoon, Palestinian-American Linda Sarsour allegedly had a run-in with a well-known local street person as she exited the Arab-American Association of New York’s headquarters on Fifth Avenue in Bay Ridge. According to the Huffington Post, activist Sarsour “noticed a man leaning up against its storefront.”

A more recent article in the Daily News says Sarsour’s alleged assailant, 45-year-old Brian Boshell, “was sleeping on the street in Bay Ridge, blocking their organization’s entryway.” Either way, an employee of the Association, of which Sarsour is the executive director, called 911; but before the NYPD arrived, the man became belligerent. He stood up and allegedly shouted, “you are cutting people’s heads off sharmoota. I’m going to cut off you head and see how your people will feel, you Arab b****.” He then threw a New York City garbage can into the street, according to a police report.

And who is Brian Boshell, the bigot so full of hatred towards Muslims and Arabs? This man.

Boshell is a mentally ill homeless man widely known in Bay Ridge for his public, incoherent outbursts, which resulted in 56 arrests and 34 minor convictions. Police are familiar with his flare-ups, which have been irksome but not dangerous. The picture above shows him sleeping in a bank on Fifth Avenue, a few blocks away from the Arab-American Association. He is known to “sleep where he falls,” as one resident put it.

The community isn’t buying the story the mainstream media and Sarsour are spinning. A 30-year resident of Bay Ridge, who requested anonymity, tells National Review Online, “Instead of an incident with a drunk man, [Sarsour] is using this as her final proof of Islamaphobia in America . . . 

Brian [Boshell] has a 25-year history of outbursts . . .  There is a lot that’s questionable about her not knowing who he was.”


Interesting that he knew the Arabic word for bitch (sharmoota).  Maybe it has become a common insult in parts of NYC

Must take abuse seriously

The head of the Professional Cricketers’ Association has said sorry for suggesting that England's Moeen Ali should take the abuse from India supporters at the weekend as a positive.

Angus Porter, the chief executive of the PCA, admitted that his attempt to play down the incident at Edgbaston on Sunday only inflamed it further.

In an interview on Tuesday with the Press Association, Porter said it was better for Moeen to be booed than ignored.

“There is an element of taking it as a compliment. You are more likely to boo someone when you think they are someone to be feared. Take it as as a positive, you’d rather be booed than ignored,” he said.

But Porter quickly apologised for causing any offence. “I made a mistake by suggesting racism does not matter and I do condemn it unreservedly. I started by saying that in the interview but I also tried to play down the situation because Moeen does not want it to become a major issue. But in trying to play it down I succeeded in doing the reverse and I am sorry.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Airline faces boycott for mocking celebrity victims of nude photo scandal in jokey advertisement

Florida-based Spirit Airlines is facing a backlash for its 'Our Bare Fare was hacked!' ad that features a drawing of a topless woman covering her breasts with her arms.

Twitter users have called the airline 'crude' and 'vile' for trying to take advantage of a photo hacking scandal that has exploited actress Jennifer Lawrence, model Kate Upton and other celebrity victims.

Spirit Airlines emailed the ad to its newsletter list and posted the image on Twitter, but it deleted the tweet after it was flooded with complaints.

The ad said: 'We feel naked; you were never supposed to see this Bare Fare! It was meant for someone special (who isn't you). 'Now it's all over the Internet for you to take advantage of as you see fit. Scandalous!


Political correctness slays another NBA business career

The insanity of liberal political correctness just claimed another victim. This time it is Bruce Levenson, owner of the Atlanta Hawks NBA team.

Levenson “self-reported” to the NBA that because he “wrote an email two years ago that was inappropriate and offensive,” he has decided to sell his interest in the basketball team. Are you kidding me? If this politically correct foolishness continues, pretty soon almost every American will have to “self-report” for saying or writing something inappropriate and offensive at one point in their lives and then resign.

While Levenson only referred to his email as “inappropriate and offensive,” the media instantly labeled it “racist.” Well, there you go. All of this, of course, follows in the wake of former NBA owner Donald Sterling’s “racist” phone call with his mistress.

Levenson’s entire email is online for all to read. As he says, it’s rambling. To Abdul-Jabbar’s point, parts of it are business-related, parts are cringe-worthy, parts are ignorant, parts are contradictory, and parts are, if anything, assigning a racist motive to Southern whites for being uncomfortable in an arena that is “70 percent black.”

Is Levenson a racist? I doubt it. Should he resign because he wrote an email that was “inappropriate and offensive?” No. Again, almost all of us are guilty of such conduct at least once in our lives, and most deserve a second chance.


The full email is here

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Australia: Mock violence towards women causes uproar

It appears to have been in jest but joking is dangerous these days

 Bliss N Eso could face being banned by radio stations after Max 'Eso' MacKinnon from the rap outfit made recent offensive Instagram posts which have sparked a social media maelstrom.

Leading the charge against the artist are Australian rappers themselves, principally Xannon 'The Tongue' Shirley who are angry at his comments which appear to trivialize domestic violence.

He penned an open letter to Eso on The Vine, which started scathingly: 'imagine being 33 years old and thinking domestic violence is hilarious.'

'We now know how your mind works and, for someone with so much influence over Australian youth, it's truly disturbing,' Xannon continued. 

The controversy is over the Australian rapper's numerous Instagram posts on Monday of him at Madame Tussaud's wax museum in Los Angeles, which can only be described as misogynistic.

Causing the most backlash was a picture that saw him cock his fist at a statue of Rhianna alongside hashtags 'smackbyb****' and 'lovethewayithurts,' in reference to her song Love The Way You Lie with Eminem.

Xannon challenged Eso to go to a women's shelter 'to see how funny it is,' before questioning how Triple J, a radio station that's supported Biss N Eso, would react to the uproar.

And on Thursday the station reacted, with management stating: 'We haven't played any Bliss N Eso on Triple J. since Monday when this incident happened.'

'We appreciate that Eso has apologised and believe his sincerity. We'll wait on the audience sentiment before playing the band again.'


No free speech in Scotland

An anti-English racist group linked to Scotland’s Yes campaign is behind some of the organised intimidation which drove a prominent No supporter off the streets.

Siol nan Gaidheal, or “Seed of the Gaels,” coordinated abuse and attacks during at least four street-corner meetings held by Jim Murphy, Labour’s former Scottish secretary, immediately before the growing threats forced him to suspend the events.

The group describes itself as an “ultra-nationalist organisation” and attacks English people in Scotland as “white settlers” imposing the “Lebensraum of rapacious Anglo-Saxonry” on “colonised” Scots. It says that “Scottish ethnicity” should “form the basis for Scottish citizenship”.

The Telegraph has established that Siol nan Gaidheal has links to the Yes campaign. It provided stewarding and first aid at the last major Yes independence march and rally last year, according to its website.

Bruce Ogilvie, one of Siol nan Gaidheal’s leading activists, stated in online postings last week that “we have been following Murphy” for “in-your-face confrontations”, adding: “They hurt us, we hurt them. This is turning bad. We have had Yes supporters’ cars and property damaged. The gloves are now off. We will fight fire with fire.”

Wearing an SnG top, he was filmed at Mr Murphy’s meeting on August 27 in Montrose shouting abuse at the politician and members of the audience, one of whom he called a “conceited Tory cow”.

Mr Ogilvie, a self-confessed racist, is the former leader of the now-defunct “Settler Watch” group which attacked English-owned property in Scotland and made death threats to English residents in the 1990s.

Siol nan Gaidheal was officially expelled from the Scottish National Party in 1982, and described as “proto-fascist” by the party’s then leader, Gordon Wilson.

However, Mr Ogilvie appears to have been involved in the SNP until much later. He was active in its Bannockburn branch in 2005 and was pictured with Alex Salmond, the First Minister, and local SNP election candidates in 2009.

Mr Murphy said that his speaking tour, involving impromptu open-air meetings in 100 Scottish towns and cities, had suffered no major difficulties until the victory by Alistair Darling, leader of the Better Together campaign, over Mr Salmond in the first televised debate last month.

After that, many of his meetings were disrupted by abusive mobs, often waving Yes placards, trying to shout him down and intimidate his supporters. Typical chants included: “Go back to London, go back to your nest of paedophiles.”


Monday, September 08, 2014

Australian radio host Eoin Cameron under fire for anti-cyclist comment

Breakfast radio host Eoin Cameron has copped a tongue lashing from Perth cyclists over a flippant remark he made on air last Friday morning.

The popular ABC presenter was discussing repairs to the Fremantle rail bridge when the conversation briefly turned to cyclists.

"I'm going to get a roo bar on my car to sort out the cyclists, they're proving to be a bit like mozzies in my area," he said.

Cameron appeared to regret his comment and immediately admitted it was "extremely naughty... I shouldn't have said it and I could bite my tongue off".

Perth cyclists then took aim at Cameron on social media to express their dismay, with a Facebook post by the Bicycle Transport Alliance shared more than 100 times.


Google censorship again

The following appeared recently on Strange Justice:

On 9th June this year I received a note from Google advising me that they had taken a post on this blog down.  The post originally appeared on 8 September, 2012. The post reported that Pc Kyle Webber resigned from Central Scotland Police in May following allegations that he had sex with Sarah Mitchell, 23, described at the time as a former escort girl. The offence was committed on June 6, 2011 at Alloa Police Office.

Google did not say why the post was "infringing" but in any case I have no intention of reviving the post.  You can however read more about the matter here

Also see here