Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Gap tries to appease Chinese regime over t-shirt map that omits other countries

The clothing retailer Gap has apologized to China for not recognizing its territorial claims on a T-shirt featuring a map of China sold in North America, The Washington Post reported.

The shirt featured a map of China that leaves out the self-governing nation of Taiwan and also a region China calls ‘Southern Tibet,’ in the region bordering India. …

The company also said it would work to avoid such mistakes [sic] in the future by strengthening its review of products.”


China demands that its myths be respected

Google now deindexing some web pages based on FDA’s administrative agency findings

This would be OK if there were no dud agencies but government bodies often get things wrong

“It takes a lot to get Google to deindex a page, and thus hide it from searchers (at least from U.S.-based searchers). Unlike with YouTube, where Google exercises considerable editorial discretion, Google Search is generally aimed at indexing the Web, good and bad.

Until recently, there have been only a few categories of content that Google would deindex based on someone’s request (setting aside Google deindexing things itself based on a perception that someone is gaming its search algorithms, or that some site contains malware, and focusing just on Google search within the U.S.):

1. Legal obligation (mostly copyright ….

2. Confidential personally identifying information ….

3. Court orders addressed to third parties (chiefly in libel cases) ….

It has just emerged, though, that Google has decided to deindex based on a fourth category:

4. Administrative agency findings that sites illegally distribute material that risks physical harm to consumers:

Right now, this category appears to include just warning letters from the U.S. Food and Drug Administrations, generally sent to off-shore online pharmacies that illegally sell prescription drugs to the U.S. A Google representative told me that this is supposed to be a narrow policy, limited to fact findings by "administrative agencies that are charged with protecting consumers' physical safety from harm by products or services that they consume.


Monday, May 21, 2018

UN Poses Danger to Free Speech, Parents’ Rights

A dangerous alliance between United Nations bureaucrats and LGBT activists poses a new danger to free speech, free exercise of religion, and parental rights—not just for Americans but for people around the world.

Under the leadership of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Ambassador Nikki Haley, the Trump administration should strengthen protections of the fundamental human rights of Americans that are guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution and international treaties.

That would mark a significant break from the approach of the Obama administration, which joined forces with a handful of Western nations, the U.N. bureaucracy, and progressive activists to push policies based on rapidly changing ideas about sexual orientation and gender identity.

They did so with zero authority: None of these concepts are contained in any of the international treaties that the U.N. is authorized to enforce.

Now these policies are threatening to cost our rights—and the U.S. could foot the bill. The U.S. is responsible for 22 percent of the United Nations’ total budget and contributed $10 billion to the U.N. in 2016 alone.

One of the most egregious examples of bureaucratic overreach occurred in the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Rather than focus on the U.N. General Assembly’s mandate to “promote and protect” the effective enjoyment of fundamental human rights that are in the texts of treaties, this U.N. office launched the Free and Equal campaign.

This highly visible and well-funded global campaign aims to socialize same-sex marriage, criminalize so-called “hate speech,” and normalize transgender ideology, even though these terms are not in the text of any U.N. treaties.

This campaign is not only a massive overreach by U.N. bureaucracy, but it threatens to silence public debate on controversial topics like marriage and sexuality throughout the world.

Unfortunately, this campaign is just the beginning. Charles Radcliffe, Free and Equal’s founding director, has stated that a dozen U.N. agencies have made public commitments to advance sexual orientation and gender identity policies in individual member states and that more than 100 countries have implemented changes in their domestic laws in response to U.N. sexual orientation and gender identity recommendations.


Glen Cove’s Proposed Code Of Conduct Sparks Debate Over Facebook & Free Speech

GLEN COVE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Lawmakers on Long Island are getting ready to vote on a controversial proposal, which involves whether the local government can dictate what its workers share on social media.

As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported, freedom of expression has never been freer than it is online, but what you post can pose a problem in the workplace.

Following the lead of private companies, Glen Cove is about to launch its own Facebook page. But first, the mayor is drafting a code of conduct that would restrict publicly posted comments from city workers.

“We don’t want them to put things up there that aren’t correct, that are inaccurate in some way, that will mislead the public,” Mayor Timothy Tenke said.

Nothing would be allowed that might “negatively affect the public perception of the city, office of the mayor or individual departments.” But that has some city council members concerned about free speech.

“We want to ensure that employees have their first amendment rights and do not feel that’s being trampled on,” City Councilman Joseph Capobianco said.

Capobianco argues municipalities are different from private companies and employees, as citizens, have the right to comment on their government.

“I think there should be no restrictions on their ability to comment on the job we are doing,” he said.


Sunday, May 20, 2018

Transgender Social Media Star Slammed for Appropriating Black Culture with Pink Wig

A popular transgender social media beauty expert is being accused of appropriating black culture by wearing a pink wig.

Nikita Dragun, popular for her stylish sexual appropriation of the female gender, is a social media star with 2.3 million Instagram followers and 1.2 million YouTube subscribers.

But, when he posed wearing a pink wig in an Instagram photo, Dragun sparked allegations of cultural appropriation, “Allure” magazine reports:

“Her latest Instagram photo is recalling those allegations of racial insensitivity after the wig Dragun is wearing prompted some commenters to accuse her of cultural appropriation.

“In the photo, Dragun is seen posing in Harajuku, wearing a wig in a cotton-candy-pink shade — an appropriate aesthetic choice since she's holding a huge cloud of candyfloss. What's not appropriate, some commenters are saying, is the style of the wig: long twists that many viewers felt too closely resembled locs [dreadlocks].”

Dragun has self-identified as being of Mexican-Asian descent.

“Allure” notes that the transgender icon has been accused of similar transgressions against black culture in the past:

“Some commenters spoke up when she posted a photo wearing a look that resembled cornrows; she also sparked arguments in the comments when she posted a photo of herself wearing a multicolored wig that many insisted are locs and, thus, appropriation.”


Seaside bakery is blasted over 'political correctness' for selling Gingerbread People rather than traditional Gingerbread Men

A bakery has sparked a debate on political correctness after re-branding its Gingerbread men 'Gingerbread people'.

The owners of High Street bakers JL Bean in the seaside town of Cleveleys near Blackpool decided to make their biscuits gender neutral last year.

But the decision has recently caused a backlash, with some customers claiming it is political correctness gone mad.

Jeff Dugdale was astonished when his wife told him about the new rule at the bakers, which was founded in 1933 and is the oldest in the town.

He told the Blackpool Gazette: 'Seemingly now you have to call gingerbread men 'gingerbread persons' when ordering. 'As far as I can see there is no law in place for this type of PC nonsense.'

His wife asked for a gingerbread man she was told it 'wasn't a gingerbread man' but a 'gingerbread person' and 'that was how they had to be advertised'.

Over 100 regular customers then took to social media to complain.

Bakery boss Paul Lewis told the newspaper: 'My wife just put this little 'gingerbread persons' label on them as a whim, and that was last year.

'It was never anything to do with political correctness and we've not really had any comeback until now.

'I noticed the comments on Facebook and most of them were quite jokey but I was surprised at how seriously some of the people were taking things. I think maybe there's been a bit of a misunderstanding.'

Wife Charmaine Lewis added: 'It was nothing meant by it. It was tongue in cheek.


Friday, May 18, 2018

Does it dehumanize middle-aged white men to refer to them as  "Gammon"?

Middle aged white men tend to go pink in complexion as they age.  Some English Leftists refer to such people as "Gammon" because Gammon (roasted ham) is also pink.  With age, most people move to the Right so it is also a political comment

Gammon is now being used to mock right-wing males over their supposed red faces and 'fleshy' builds

Labour supporters have been accused of mocking right-wing males by likening the colour of the meat to their supposed red-faces.

A social media user first used the term during BBC's Question Time debates on Brexit in 2016. He said he had grown tired because the "Great Wall of Gammon" have had their way long enough.

His tweet read: "Whatever happens, hopefully politicians will start listening to young ppl after this. "This Great Wall of gammon has had its way long enough."

The following year, social media users continued to share pictures of men who appeared red faced, all middle-aged, white and male, with the phrase "Great Wall of Gammon".

Matt Zarb-Cousin, Jeremy Corbyn's former spokesman also used the term to describe a man who was protecting Jacob Rees-Mogg, and had become red faced after protesters interrupted his speech.

Mr Zarb-Cousin said on Twitter: "So the full video of the Jacob Rees-Mogg incident shows a middle aged gammon in a white shirt violently attacking protesters as they start to leave after a non-violent disruption."

Is the insult racist?

Tweeters replying to Mr Zarb-Cousin's tweet reignited the row over the weekend.

Joining the furore, Northern Irish MP Emma Little-Pengelly said the term is racist because it singles out people with a certain "skin colour".

She said: "I'm appalled by the term 'gammon' now frequently entering the lexicon of so many (mainly on the left) & seemingly be accepted.

"This is a term based on skin colour & age - stereotyping by colour or age is wrong no matter what race, age or community. It is just wrong.”


Georgia Passes limited Campus Free-Speech Law

By Stanley Kurtz

On May 8, Georgia governor Nathan Deal signed into law a bill (SB 339) providing important protections for campus free speech at public universities in his state. The bill, skillfully moved through the legislature by its sponsor, Senator William Ligon, is based on model campus free-speech legislation published by Arizona’s Goldwater Institute. (I co-authored that model, along with Jim Manley and Jonathan Butcher.)

On the one hand, Georgia’s Campus Free Speech Act is a very important step forward. On the other hand, Georgia’s public universities worked overtime to remove some critical protections from the bill. That means we’re likely to see another round of legislative jousting over campus free speech in Georgia next year.

Let’s first count up the positives.

Georgia’s new campus free speech law discourages speaker disinvitations by guaranteeing that public universities are open to any speaker whom a student group or members of the faculty have invited. The law also instructs the Board of Regents to establish a range of sanctions for speaker shout-downs. The new law then sets up an annual oversight system under control of the Board of Regents (and therefore independent of the university administration) to ensure that administrative discipline for shout-downs, and for other violations of free expression, is properly carried out. The new law also instructs the Board of Regents to assess administrative successes or failures at maintaining a posture of institutional neutrality on matters of public controversy. The Regents are also instructed to suggest remedies for any failings on this point.

The annual oversight report on the administrative handling of free speech, discipline for shout-downs, and institutional neutrality, is to be submitted to the governor, the legislature, and the public. A bad report would give legislators reason to reconsider the universities’ annual appropriation. A report that whitewashed genuine problems would subject the Board of Regents and those responsible for appointing them to public criticism.

Despite these important advances, Georgia’s public universities managed to strip SB 339 of provisions that would have decisively banned so-called free-speech zones. Georgia’s public universities have a disturbing history of suppressing speech by restricting it to tiny “zones.” It is shameful that Georgia would pass a campus free-speech law that fails to definitively outlaw these zones.

This is especially so since Attorney General Sessions made news last fall by singling out the use of free-speech zones to prevent an Evangelical Christian student at Georgia Gwinnett from speaking to fellow students about his faith. The Justice Department has filed a “statement of interest” in that case. And I’ve written about the particular hostility shown by administrators at Georgia’s public colleges toward Christian speech.

SB 339 does contain some limited provisions that may make it more difficult for universities to construct such zones, but that outcome is highly ambiguous and far from assured. There is no doubt that Georgia still needs to act decisively to outlaw campus free-speech zones.


Thursday, May 17, 2018

Australia: Hardline feminist Clementine Ford's Lifeline speech is CANCELLED after thousands demanded the charity remove her as keynote speaker for tweeting 'all men must die'

Clemmie is a troubled soul.  On her own admission she had a mental health crisis recently. Definitely not someone to be advising others

Suicide prevention group Lifeline has cancelled an event featuring hardline feminist Clementine Ford after a petition against her appearance attracted almost 14,000 signatures.

A change.org petition, set up last month, argued her previous tweets saying 'kill all men' and 'all men must die' made her unsuitable to address the 'Recognise, Respond, Refer' event in Melbourne on May 29.

A Lifeline spokesman Alan Woodward said the event, which was to be moderated by former Ten newsreader and Australian #MeToo campaigner Tracey Spicer, was cancelled because they regarded it as 'divisive'.

'The decision was made following feedback we had received and our assessment the event had drawn strong views,' he told Daily Mail Australia on Tuesday morning. 'We felt we couldn't proceed in the spirit of open discussion as intended.'

One woman questioned how Lifeline could give her a platform, considering many men with mental health problems relied on the service.

'It's hard enough for men to call a helpline to talk about how they are feeling,' she said on the Facebook page of former Labor leader Mark Latham. 'Now I feel men may not utilise this important lifeline for them.'


Don't Mention Jesus or Bible, University Tells Graduation Speaker
A nursing graduate at Colorado Mesa University was told she could not mention Jesus or read a Bible verse during remarks she was supposed to deliver at a pinning ceremony.

The university made it clear that references to Jesus would not be tolerated. But it reconsidered after being threatened with a lawsuit by Alliance Defending Freedom.

Karissa Erickson was one of two students selected from the nursing class to deliver remarks at the ceremony. She was instructed to turn in her remarks before the event for an administrative review.

She concluded her remarks with these words:

“God has always has a purpose. I find comfort in Jesus’s words, and I pass them on to you. John 16:33: ‘These things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage, I have overcome the world.’”

Ms. Erickson was told by three university officials that they would have to “look into whether it was okay or not to mention religion.”

Two days later, she was instructed in an email to “take out the last section where you start (sic) that you find comfort in Jesus’ words and cite a Bible verse.”

“Speeches should be free of any one religious slant,” one university official told her. “We just have to be professional and careful in a public ceremony as some people don’t appreciate those references.”

Ms. Erickson was also told the university did not allow Bible verses or remarks about any specific religion because “someone might get offended,” Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Travis Barham wrote in a letter to the university.

“She (the university official) made it clear that Miss Erickson had to remove references to Jesus and the Bible verse from her speech or ‘there will be repercussions. This program will not tolerate it,’” Barham wrote.

Barham said the university has a fundamental misunderstanding of the First Amendment.

“America’s Founding Fathers regularly opened public ceremonies with prayer, and federal appeals courts have consistently ruled that universities can do the same at their graduation ceremonies,” Barham said in a prepared statement.

Colorado Mesa University came very close to what would have been a very costly and embarrassing legal battle.

“We applaud the university for quickly recognizing that the First Amendment protects a graduating student’s right to mention her faith in her own speech and has never required universities to purge ceremonies of all things religious,” Barham said


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Australia: It’s racist for white people to lodge complaints…

By Bernard Gaynor

About: "Offending White Men: Racial Vilification, Misrecognition and Epistemic Injustice"  by Louise Richardson-Self"

It ended with these words:

"As such, members of the culturally dominant group must commit to engaging with resistant imaginings with a critical openness to the other and their testimony, and they must develop their capacities as listeners and a propensity to epistemically esteem the other in recognition of their alterity, if we are to prevent such injustices in the future."

If you don’t understand any of that, don’t worry. I don’t really either. But let me attempt to unpack it for you anyway.

As far as I can tell, according to Louise Richardson-Self, a lecturer in philosophy and gender studies at the University of Tasmania, I am a racist because I lodged a complaint with the Australian Human Rights Commission regarding Linda Burney’s statement that opponents to 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act were ‘white men’.

One way of arriving at that conclusion was reading the abstract of her latest work, Offending White Men: Racial Vilification, Misrecognition and Epistemic Injustice:

"In this article I analyse two complaints of white vilification, which are increasingly occurring in Australia. I argue that, though the complainants (and white people generally) are not harmed by such racialized speech, the complainants in fact harm Australians of colour through these utterances. These complaints can both cause and constitute at least two forms of epistemic injustice (willful hermeneutical ignorance, and comparative credibility excess). Further, I argue that the complaints are grounded in a dual misrecognition: the complainants misrecognize themselves in their own privileged racial specificity, and they misrecognize others in their own marginal racial specificity. Such misrecognition preserves the cultural imperialism of Australia’s dominant social imaginary—a means of oppression that perpetuates epistemic insensitivity."

The second and perhaps easiest way to get there was the fact that my name is mentioned 21 times in the 25 misery-filled pages of feminist woe that make up this little ‘study’.

Louise also made a few other comments that caught my eye.

"For instance, in the very first sentences of her work she implied that the Racial Discrimination Act is flawed because it permits a person of any race to lodge a complaint. No doubt, that’s evidence of some kind of ‘imaginary’ yet all-too-real white privilege and, after all, she did go on to note that white people are lodging complaints because of the ‘ostensibly’ neutral language of the Act."

And she does have a point: what’s the bloody point of a Racial Discrimination Act if white people can complain?

Fortunately, the courts have interpreted the Act in such a way that labelling somebody a white so-and-so is not deemed to be racist because the majority of Australians are white.

That makes sense in a totally progressive way. It also explains, by the way, why the Australian Human Rights Commission did nothing with my complaint against Burney.

It is perfectly fine to claim that the only people who want to get rid of this Act are white but it is decidedly risky to make an assessment about the race of those who want to keep it.

And it’s also racist to ‘celebrate’ Australia Day, but it is hunky dory to get up on a stage on ‘Invasion Day’ and claim that white Australians are responsible for land theft, child stealing, state-sanctioned murder and that the nation as we know it should be burnt to the ground.

And the reason for this is simple: according to Louise, holding the view that all should be treated equally before the law is nothing more than white privilege and fails to understand that such concepts constitute ‘cultural imperialism’.

Louise even went out of her way to make this clear, stating:

Here I am assuming that the complainants genuinely believe that ‘white vilification’ and non-white vilification are qualitatively equivalent.

I’ll take her assumption away. Racism against a white person is exactly the same as racism against any other person.

Louise obviously disagrees and, instead, yearns for a world where people are treated differently as a result of their skin colour.

There is a word for that worldview. Unfortunately, it has lost all meaning today because it’s been completely high-jacked by feminist loonies intent on cultural suicide…


Twitter Censors Chevron Play

An email from Phelim McAleer


We are facing a backlash - just because we want to tell the truth.

Twitter is now trying to stop us from spreading the news about my new play. Yesterday my wife Ann, who is a producer on the The $18-Billion Prize, created a Twitter Moment to try and bring attention to the show.

But Twitter intervened and made sure no one could retweet the tweet, in fact they couldn't even view Ann's tweet because according to Twitter it contained "potentially sensitive content".

Yup - that's right - a play that is almost exclusively relying on court transcripts is not safe for sensitive eyes. They really do not want the truth out there.

This is disgraceful but unfortunately it's not surprising. Twitter and the left just don't want the truth to be known. The $18-Billion Prize has faced opposition from the moment I decided to bring it to San Francisco. No one would rent us a theater and not one publicist or lighting designer in the whole city would work with us. They want to shut down the truth but I'm not going to let them.

The show will go on. We are going to have our preview on Friday night and our grand opening on Saturday but we need your help to ensure this happens. Please go www.ChevronPlay.com and buy a ticket and if you can't make it to San Francisco give a donation - you can buy a poster or a script. Anything you give will be used to ensure the truth about how the world's biggest fraud was carried out by "environmentalists" and how the mainstream media supported them in their deception.

The mainstream media are trying to ignore the play - we haven't had one request for an interview even though they promoted the fraud all along. Now that I'm exposing the fraud they all want to look the other way. So let's make sure the coverup stops here. Please go to www.ChevronPlay.com and make sure the truth can get on stage in San Francisco.

Phelim McAleer

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Psychologists: ‘There is no alternative to free speech’

Colleges and universities across the country are struggling with the question of who decides what is acceptable speech on campus. When does a controversial topic become hate speech? When should it be allowed as free speech?

Two Cornell researchers say psychological science’s extensive study of bias offers an important lens through which to view these conflicts, as we strive to understand and reduce them.

There is no alternative to free speech, say co-authors Stephen Ceci and Wendy Williams in “Who Decides What Is Acceptable Speech on Campus? Why Restricting Free Speech Is Not the Answer.” Their analysis appeared May 2 in Perspectives in Psychological Science as the lead article in the issue.

“There is no alternative to free speech, because every controversial topic has a substantial group of people who view it as hate speech,” said Ceci, the Helen L. Carr Professor of Developmental Psychology. “If we define unacceptable speech in terms of topics students say should be banned because they make them feel marginalized or uncomfortable, then we remove all controversial topics from consideration.”

Added Williams, professor of human development: “Feeling discomfort and angst at hearing words is not a legal reason to shut down other people’s rights to say those things.”

Since the 1950s, psychological science has demonstrated that many types of bias can prevent opposing sides from accepting the validity of each other’s arguments, the authors say.

Selective perception makes opponents on an issue literally see things differently. In 1954, researchers showed a film of a 1951 football game – Princeton versus Dartmouth, well-known for its competitive, rough play – to two groups: one of Princeton fans and the other of Dartmouth boosters. Each team’s supporters saw the majority of flagrant violations as having been committed by opposing players.

For people with selective bias, “it’s not just that they interpret their perceptions differently; they actually see different things,” Ceci said.

In “myside” bias, people look for evidence that supports their opinions and ignore or downgrade evidence that contradicts them. “Blind-spot bias comes from deep identification with a cause. We believe we are especially enlightened, while our opponents’ affiliation with the opposite side leads them to be biased,” Ceci said. Similarly, na├»ve realism makes people feel their views are grounded in reality but their opponents’ are not.

These and many other biases explain why a sizable percentage of students favor banning nearly every controversial topic, the authors said.


NZ: Auckland politician Derek Battersby apologises to fellow board members

His comments on Asian drivers, women and police shootings were widely condemned by politicians and political commentators.  A Stuff poll showed nearly two thirds of the public thought he should resign.

Battersby apologised shortly after the posts came to light, and he later sent a formal apology to his fellow politicians that has now come to light.

Whau Local Board member David Whitley said Battersby's apology was enough as it humbled Battersby by turning around and saying he had made a mistake.

"He can be a grumpy old man."

Whitley said Battersby had made a lot of effort in the community and it was a bit over the top for someone who has done so much.

Whau Local Board member Catherine Farmer said Battersby's apology only came about because he was forced to recognise his own behaviour.

"Until then he believed his behaviour and words were completely acceptable which they weren't."


Monday, May 14, 2018

Laurier free speech advocate Lindsay Shepherd honoured in Ottawa

When graduate student Lindsay Shepherd stood up to her professors at Sir Wilfrid Laurier University last fall, she didn’t know she would become the focus of the fiery debate over free speech on campus.

She never expected she would end up being ostracized by her peers or that when she travelled to another university for a conference, the student union there would feel compelled to open a “healing space” for those upset by her presence.

“On the one hand, you had the general public who were completely supportive of my position and its implications, and then there were my fellow grad students … who all of a sudden thought I was a transphobic, white supremacist Nazi and completely flipped,” Shepherd told a gathering in Ottawa on Saturday as she accepted the 2018 Harry Weldon Canadian Values Award from the public policy group POGG Canada.

Shepherd was hauled before a discipline committee at Laurier last October after she chose for a seminar on grammar to use a video of controversial University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson being interviewed on TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin. Shepherd, who recorded the discipline hearing and later shared it with the media, won an apology from the university for her treatment.

Since then, Shepherd has been targeted by leftist activists and Antifa protesters. Downtown Waterloo was plastered with stickers urging the university to “(expletive) expel Lindsay Shepherd already.”

The experience has hardened Shepherd, who said she used to lean to the left politically but is now frightened by the left and “political correctness.”

“This is the culture and times that we’re living in,” she said. “It’s a culture of victimhood. It’s a culture, really, of losers.”

The remark drew cheers from the audience, which was overwhelmingly white and older. One man sported a red “Trump is my President” T-shirt and a “Make Canada Great Again” cap.

The talk also featured University of Ottawa professor Janice Fiamengo, whose planned lecture in March at the Ottawa Public Library was met by protesters who blocked access to the library and eventually scuttled the talk by pulling the fire alarm.

There were no protests at Saturday’s gathering, which was held in a meeting room at the Best Western Hotel on Carling Avenue.

Edgar Simpson, president of POGG Canada (It stands from Peace, Order and Good Government), said it’s important that free speech advocates like Shepherd be heard.

“We bring up the issues that are not being talked about,” Simpson said. “Unfortunately, today, as soon as the  politically correct side is stated, that’s the end of the discussion.

“Well, we beg to differ.”


Lawsuit claims UM disciplinary code curbs free speech

A new free speech advocacy group, Speech First, has filed a federal lawsuit against the University of Michigan, alleging the U of M's disciplinary code is unconstitutional.

Specifically, the lawsuit claims the U of M's speech code and its bias response system chills free speech and expression and violates the First Amendment.

"We believe that the school maintains policies and has taken action that have the purpose and effect of limiting speech that certain students may find offensive," said Nicole Neily, president of Speech First.

"Terms like 'bullying', 'harassment' and 'bias-related misconduct' are very vague so it's very difficult for students to know what they can be in trouble for," said Neily.

The lawsuit says U of M defines harassment as "unwanted negative attention perceived as intimidating, demeaning, or bothersome to an individual."

According to the lawsuit, the U of M Bias Response Team, which receives complaints of bias and is charged with investigating and possibly punishing them, says bias "can be a hurtful action based on who someone is as a person. The most important indication of bias is your own feelings."

The lawsuit said that  because the U of M definition of bias is highly subjective, "any student who offers an opinion that may be deemed by another student to be 'hurtful' to his or her 'feelings' risks an investigation from the university’s disciplinary apparatus and the potential for punishment ranging from 'restorative justice' and 'individual education' to formal disciplinary action."

"They're not just going with what's objectively offensive. It's what somebody perceives," said Neily. "So under that regime, the most sensitive student effectively dictates the terms under which others may speak."

Neily said even if a student isn't punished, just the prospect of an investigation may deter some from expressing unpopular or controversial views.


Sunday, May 13, 2018

Male Professor Faces Discipline for Telling a Female Professor a Joke

Jokes are very risky these days

Last month, a King’s College professor told a harmless joke on an elevator during an International Studies Association conference — and now, he’s facing disciplinary charges.

According to an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Professor Richard Ned Lebow was on a crowded elevator when Simona Sharoni, a professor of gender studies at Merrimack College, asked him what floor he needed, and Lebow jokingly answered, “ladies’ lingerie.”

Seems harmless, right? At the very least, nothing to write home about, right? Apparently not. Sharoni got so offended by the joke that she filed a complaint with the International Studies Association. “I am still trying to come to terms with the fact that we froze and didn’t confront him,” she wrote in the complaint.

It gets worse: ISA actually determined that Lebow’s joke had violated the group’s code of conduct.

After finding out he was under investigation, Lebow attempted to resolve the matter himself — adult-to-adult and bureaucracy-free — by writing to Sharoni. He didn’t exactly apologize but he did insist that he “certainly had no desire to insult women or to make you feel uncomfortable,” adding that what he had said was simply a “standard gag line” that he’d heard often when he was young in the 1950s.


Free Speech Or A Threat? Vermont Supreme Court Decision Highlights Continuing Tension

Last week, the court overturned the conviction of a man who put Ku Klux Klan flyers on the Burlington homes of two women of color. The court said the state didn’t prove the action met the threshold of ‘threatening behavior.’

The decision highlights the on-going tension around protecting speech even when it's potentially threatening or hateful.

In 2015, two women found KKK flyers at their homes. None of their neighbors had gotten them.  The flyers show a robed Klansman, holding a burning cross and the phrase “join the Klan and save our land.”

Police arrested and charged William Schenk with two counts of disorderly conduct. He pleaded guilty, but the supreme court later overturned his conviction.

In its decision, the court said prosecutors didn't prove that Schenk's actions went far under Vermont's disorderly conduct statue to be threat.

Jared Carter, an assistant professor at Vermont Law School, said the state had to prove that Schenk’s actions — leaving the flyers — constituted an immediate threat to the two women.

“And that since the activities here were primarily speech — the delivery of some fliers, heinous fliers but speech nonetheless — the state, as a matter of fact, and a matter of law could not meet its burden of proof,” Carter said.


Friday, May 11, 2018

“People are muzzled”: why Australia isn’t discussing unsustainable immigration

Many Australians are reluctant to publicly criticise our unsustainable immigration intake due to fears they will be labelled a racist or white supremacist, a new study has found.

The paper by The Australian Population Research Institute  found that 65% of participants think that those who publicly question mass migration are seen as xenophobic. It seems debate is being suppressed as a result, with freedom of speech falling by the wayside.

“What’s interesting is a large chunk of people want immigration reduced,” explains Catharine Betts, who wrote the report.

“But when asked do you feel uncomfortable talking about this, a lot of them say they are. They’re worried people will get the wrong idea. People are muzzled.”

The study also exposed an increasing chasm between how the political elite and the general public conceptualise population policy. Though 54% of those surveyed want an immigration cut and 74% think Australia is full, only 4% of politicians publicly favour migration restrictions.


Sent to jail for a minority opinion

Authorities in western Germany arrested serial Holocaust denier Ursula Haverbeck on Monday after the 89-year-old failed to show up at prison last week to start her sentence.

"After the convict failed to report to the relevant penal institution within the deadline, prosecutors in Verden on May 4, 2018 issued an order to execute the sentence and have charged police with its implementation," prosecutors said. Police found Haverbeck at her home on Monday and transferred her to prison to begin her two-year term.

Haverbeck was sentenced for incitement by denying the mass murder of millions of Jews during the Nazi era in Germany.

Haverbeck, who  German media often refers to as the "Nazi Grandma," has never spent time in prison despite several previous convictions for denying the Holocaust, in which six million Jews were murdered by the Nazis between 1941 and 1945.

She was supposed to start her prison sentence in the town of Bielefeld last Wednesday.


Thursday, May 10, 2018

Must not praise marriage

The judge chairing the public inquiry into undercover police who had sex with their activist targets has caused an outcry by saying that officers were less likely to enter illicit relationships if they were happily married.

Sir John Mitting’s “old-fashioned” views angered those who were duped into relationships, marriage and even having children with police officers who infiltrated the environmental and animal rights protest movements. His comments, and wider unease over his handling of the inquiry, are likely to lead to a boycott of proceedings by victims.

The inquiry has already cost more than £9 million but is not expected to hear any evidence until next year. It was ordered in 2014 by Theresa May as home secretary, but has been beset by delays.


People with disabilities are not disabled people -- go figure

AN ADELAIDE television host who offered to organise a charity event for children with disabilities has been criticised for the language he used in his Facebook post.

Andrew ‘Cosi’ Costello is the host of Channel 9’s South Aussie With Cosi travel show and is a former breakfast radio host.

He was a contestant on the 2008 season of The Biggest Loser and has won several awards for his documentary reporting on homelessness.

On Monday, Costello posted a message to his 100,000 Facebook followers, offering parents of children with disabilities a free day out at the movies.

“I’m looking for 50 South Aussie families living with a child with a disability. I want to shout you all a free day out at the movies! If you have a disabled child or even better, tag anyone you know in this position that deserves a free day out,” he wrote.

“I’m lucky enough to have healthy kids so I want to help those that find life a bit harder with their kids. Life’s tough for these SA families so I’m pumped to be able to ease the burden for a few hours.”

The post was accompanied by a photo of Costello with one of his daughters.

But the radio host has been criticised for using the term “disabled child”.

He was contacted by a parent of a child with a disability, who recommended he amend his post to use the phrase “children with a disability”.

“I know you mean well, but can you please at least consider using appropriate language,” the woman wrote.


Wednesday, May 09, 2018

"Colonial" is a bad word

Here we go again: The 92-year-old George Washington University mascot known as the “Colonial” should be removed, a student petition says, because it is “offensive.”

“The use of ‘Colonials,’ no matter how innocent the intention, is received as extremely offensive by not only students of the University, but the nation and world at large,” the petition reads. “The historically, negatively-charged figure of Colonials has too deep a connection to colonization and glorifies the act of systemic oppression.”

If the petition gets 500 signatures, the Student Association will have to respond, according to The Hatchet. It currently is just two signatures shy of that figure.


Syracuse University expels fraternity involved in racist video

It was intended for private viewing only.  It was so extreme that it should have been obvious that it was satirical.  It was ridiculing racism.  But satire is often lost on the Left.  They are too full of rage to have much of a sense of humor.  Extreme abuse -- as at the White House correspondents' dinner -- is their idea of funny

Syracuse University has permanently expelled the Theta Tau fraternity after footage emerged earlier this week of its members participating in a racist and anti-Semitic skit, Chancellor Kent Syverud said in a video statement Saturday.

Theta Tau leadership was informed of the university's decision earlier Saturday, Syverud said, noting the school had suspended the fraternity soon after being made aware of the footage, which he called "racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, ableist and sexist."

Students on the Syracuse campus this week were outraged after The Daily Orange, an independent student newspaper, obtained and posted a video in which a fraternity member makes another one swear to hold onto hatred for African-Americans, Hispanics and Jews, using racial slurs for those groups.

Later, another student, using a derogatory word for Jews, makes a veiled reference to gas chambers in Nazi Germany


Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Chinese Commenters Push Back Against Claims That Chinese Prom Dress Is 'Cultural Appropriation'

Last Saturday, a random 18-year-old named Keziah tweeted out a picture of herself wearing a Chinese dress with the caption “PROM.” A random man named Jeremy Lam retweeted her photo with the caption “My culture is NOT your goddamn prom dress.” Lam’s tweet went viral and has made Keziah the recipient of thousands of hateful messages accusing her of “cultural appropriation” of Chinese culture.

We’ve come to expect that kind of thing from the Twitterverse. The hatred and oppression of the left is nothing new. But here’s what happened next:

Mixed in with the bullying and the negativity were countless comments from Chinese people coming to Keziah’s defense — and pushing back against the idea of “cultural appropriation.” People from different cultures appreciating one another, these commenters were saying, is a good and necessary thing.

Popular video game designer Mark Kern tweeted, “I am Chinese, thank you for wearing this. Please enjoy.” Chinese Twitter user @thekawaiicrew tweeted, “What good is our culture if we can't share it with others?” @will_morris117 wrote, “You should probably learn about your own culture then. Because no one from China would have a problem with her wearing a cheongsam to a formal event.”

Keziah — showing amazing strength for an 18-year-old suddenly subjected to the bullying of thousands — fought back, echoing the sentiments of the Chinese commenters. “To everyone causing so much negativity,” she wrote on Twitter, “I mean no disrespect to the Chinese culture. I’m simply showing my appreciation to their culture. I’m not deleting my post because I’ve done nothing but show my love for the culture. It’s a f***ing dress. And it’s beautiful.”


I am so glad the girl was not crushed by the abuse.  The Left are so full of hate that they don't care whom they hurt -- JR

Monday, May 07, 2018

'Day for Freedom' protest in London: Milo Yiannopoulos and Tommy Robinson to speak at controversial far-right rally

A band of far-right speakers including Tommy Robinson and Milo Yiannopoulos are expected to speak at a 'Day for Freedom' rally in Whitehall today.

Thousands have registered their interest in an online Facebook event, which suggests controversial YouTubers Count Dankula and Sargon of Akkad will also appear at the event near Downing Street.

Mr Robinson - real name Stephen Yaxley - is the former leader of the English Defence League and a correspondent for Canadian right-wing vlog channel The Rebel Media. 

The rally, which organisers say is to "defend free speech", will begin at Whitehall in central London at 3pm.

Mr Yiannopoulos, often referred to as a leading member of the 'alt right' movement, is a Trump-supporting anti-feminist, recently disgraced for describing victims of child sexual abuse as "whinging selfish brats".

YouTuber Mark Meechan - best known as Count Dankula - is expected to appear. Meechan became an outspoken free speech advocate after he was fined £800 for teaching his girlfriend's pet dog to perform a Nazi salute.

Sargon of Akkad - real name Carl Benjamin - is known for his criticism of feminism, Islam, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the notion of "straight white male privilege".

In March, Mr Benjamin was forced to end a talk at King's College London prematurely when a group of masked "anti-fascist" protesters stormed the building, setting off fire alarms and smoke bombs.

In a statement, Mr Robinson said: "This is bigger than me or any of us as individuals so we have to stand up together to defend our freedom of speech.


No enthusiasm for university free speech code in Britain

The UK’s complex tangle of regulations governing free speech on university campuses should be replaced by one clear set of guidelines for both students and institutions, according to the universities minister.

In a speech at a closed-door seminar on free speech on campus, the minister, Sam Gyimah, will suggest the Department for Education oversees the creation of the first new set of guidelines – since the free speech duty was first introduced in 1986 – to “provide clarity”.

Gyimah’s idea would bind both students and universities to a common code of practice on free speech, although there appears to be little enthusiasm for this among either university or student leaders.

Alistair Jarvis, chief executive of Universities UK, will also attend the seminar. He said a recent parliamentary inquiry had found no systemic problems with free speech at British universities.

He said: “Universities are committed to promoting and protecting free speech within the law. Tens of thousands of speaking events are put on every year across the country, the majority pass without incident. [Only the non-conservative ones]


Sunday, May 06, 2018

College Shuts Down Professor over Speech on Science, Free Expression

Adam Perkins, King’s College London lecturer in Neurobiology of Personality, was scheduled to deliver a talk at his institution. But King’s College cancelled the event because they considered it too “high risk.” What was he going to say that was so “risky” that he needed to be shut down?

A version of the speech appears as a new article on Quillette. His theme? “The Scientific Importance of Free Speech.” Whoa, now that’s radioactive.

He starts off with a bang. “We need free speech in science because science is not really about microscopes, or pipettes, or test tubes or even Large Hadron Colliders. These are merely tools that help us to accomplish a far greater mission, which is to choose between rival narratives, in the vicious, no-holds-barred battle of ideas that we call ‘science’.”

Perkins makes an interesting reference to Darwinian evolution. Although one cannot deduce whether or not he’s a critic, and it would be safe to assume not, it is nonetheless interesting that he chose to include natural selection as a subject where scientific “argument” and “debate” are “allowed.”

    "But scientific domains in which a single experiment can provide a definitive answer are rare. For example, Charles Darwin’s principle of evolution by natural selection concerns slow, large-scale processes that are unsuited to testing in a laboratory. In these cases, we take a bird’s eye view of the facts of the matter and attempt to form an opinion about what they mean.

    This allows a lot of room for argument, but as long as both sides are able to speak up, we can at least have a debate: when a researcher disagrees with the findings of an opponent’s study, they traditionally write an open letter to the journal editor critiquing the paper in question and setting out their counter evidence."

Perkins also writes:

    "When one side of a scientific debate is allowed to silence the other side, this is an impediment to scientific progress because it prevents bad theories being replaced by better theories. Or, even worse, it causes civilization to go backward, such as when a good theory is replaced by a bad theory that it previously displaced."

He goes on to discuss socialist rejection of Mendelian genetics, Lysenko’s advocacy of the idea that acquired characteristics can be heritable, as well as the 1986 catastrophe of the Space Shuttle Challenger. Perkins’s conclusion seems to be that society must allow scientific debate on evidence because if it does not, we create an unhealthy scientific environment that will cause harmful real-world impacts.


Amazon protects Third World censors

On Tuesday, Moxie Marlinspike, founder of the secure messaging app Signal, posted a letter sent to him from Amazon threatening to suspend the company’s AWS account for using a technique called domain-fronting on its network. The technique is used to protect messages sent via the Signal’s messaging app from being tracked or censored in countries such as Egypt, Oman, Qatar and UAE, where the service is banned.

The move was admonished by anti-censorship and free speech advocates at the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

“Amazon is acquiescing to their business interests by banning the ability to do domain-fronting on their infrastructure,” said Daniel Kahn Gillmor, senior staff technologist at the ACLU. “What Amazon is effectively doing, by barring domain-fronting, is sending a message that nobody can rely on Amazon to help them enjoy freedom of speech. That’s a sad outcome. Amazon had the opportunity to stand up for the right thing here and they don’t appear to be taking it.”

The action by Amazon follows a similar move by Google, who earlier this year also threatened to push Signal off its platform if it continued to use the domain-fronting technique on its servers.

Domain-fronting, akin to hiding in plain sight, is  used to obscure the true endpoint of a connection. The networking technique, first detailed in a paper (.PDF) by academics at the University of California Berkeley in 2015, uses HTTPS to communicate with a censored host while appearing, on the outside, to be communicating with a completely different, permitted host — in this case, Amazon and Google.

According to the Amazon letter sent to Signal and posted by Marlinspike, Amazon chastised him for using the Souq.com domain as part of Signal’s domain-fronting routine.

“You do not have permission from Amazon to use Souq.com for any purpose. Any use of Souq.com or any other domain to masquerade as another entity without express permission of the domain owner is in clear violation of the AWS Service Terms,” the letter read. “We will immediately suspend your use of CloudFront if you use third-party domains without their permission to masquerade as that third party.”

Marlinspike wrote, “With Google Cloud and AWS out of the picture, it seems that domain-fronting as a censorship circumvention technique is now largely non-viable in the countries where Signal had enabled this feature.


Friday, May 04, 2018

Backlash against high school student who wore a Chinese dress to her prom

I feel sorry for the young lady.  She no doubt thought she looked nice -- only to cop abuse.  Bad for her confidence

A HIGH school student has come under fire after posting pictures of herself in her prom dress.

Keziah Daum, from Utah in the United States, posted a series of photos of herself with her friends on the way to her high school prom.

But her decision to wear a qipao — a traditional Chinese outfit dating back to the 17th century — has prompted a wave of criticism online.

The post began making the rounds after another user — Jeremy Lam — retweeted it with the caption “My culture is NOT your goddamn prom dress.”

In a series of subsequent tweets, Lam explained that the dress represented “extreme barriers marginalized people within (Chinese) culture have had to overcome”.

“For it to simply be subject to American consumerism and cater to a white audience, is parallel to colonial ideology,” he tweeted.

While his tweets criticising Duam’s decision to wear the dress went viral, users were divided on whether it was an issue.

Some agreed, arguing that it constituted cultural appropriation and was inappropriate.

But others argued that it wasn’t a big deal, saying her choice to wear it was an act of admiration for the culture.


Meghan McCain SLAMS Jim Acosta For hate speech towards Trump Supporters

On Tuesday, ABC’s “The View” co-host Meghan McCain slammed CNN’s Jim Acosta for disgusting comments he made recently, where he insulted Trump supporters and basically called them stupid.

While discussing the White House Correspondents’ Dinner that took place last Saturday, McCain mentioned Acosta’s recent comments about Trump supporters.

She was explaining that the vile language and comments from the WHCD as well as from Acosta was exactly why so many loathe the media.

“When you hear people like Jim Acosta say Trump supporters’ elevators ‘don’t go to the top floor,’ there’s this idea that the media -especially people in DC- hate the Trump administration, hate Republicans, hate people in the middle of the country.”

“A lot of Republicans I know were very angry about this. I thought it was distasteful. The dinner should be in the spirit of celebration.”

At the WHCD, the comedian, Michelle Wolf, attacked Sarah Sanders personal appearance, criticized Kellyanne Conway’s appearance and said she wants a tree to fall on her, and “joked” about the practice of killing an innocent, unborn child.

McCain was also referring to comments made by Acosta last month during an interview with Variety, where he not only trashed the intellect of Americans, he also said they “don’t have all of their faculties.”

Here’s what Acosta said:

“The problem is that people around the country don’t know it’s an act. They’re not in on the act and they take what he says very seriously and they take attacks from Sean Spicer and Sarah Sanders and what they do to us on a daily basis very seriously.”

“They don’t have all their faculties in some cases — their elevator might not hit all floors.”

This is how the media describes regular Americans in the era of Trump.


Thursday, May 03, 2018

French President Emmanuel Macron Called Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's Wife 'Delicious'

An odd word for an old lady -- but he does like old ladies -- being married to one. Lucy Turnbull (age 60 years) will be on cloud nine however -- to be called that by none less than the President of France

Was it a Freudian slip by French President Emmanuel Macron? A joke linked to French gastronomy? Or even, a week after his visit to Washington, a parody of President Donald Trump’s infamous comments about Macron’s wife?

Whatever the case, Macron raised eyebrows in Sydney on Wednesday by calling Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s wife “delicious.”

Wrapping up a joint news conference during his brief Australian visit, Macron moved to thank the Turnbulls for their hospitality.

“I want to thank you for your welcome, thank you and your delicious wife for your warm welcome,” he said.

The comment quickly sparked some lighthearted reaction on social media and in the Australian press amid lively conjecture about the French leader’s intent.

“Macron just said he wanted to thank Malcolm Turnbull and his ‘delicious wife’. You can take the man out of France but …,” tweeted Alice Workman, a journalist.


Black College sends stern message to person sending hate speech to transgender students

Probably fabricated hate speech -- notes actually sent by the alleged target.  Blacks have been implicated in a number of such episodes

ATLANTA — Nearly a week after students at Spelman College say messages of hate were left at their door because one of them is transgender, another note surfaced on April 30.

After discovering the note, Spelman College sent a letter to students and staff denouncing it.

Last week, 11Alive's Natisha Lance spoke to two students who were the targets of the hate speech.

"We don’t want you. F*** you freaks. Keep Spelman safe. No queers."

Spelman senior Amber Warren said she found that hateful note directed at her scribbled on a piece of ripped lined notebook paper.

"I’m just hurt because I feel like I worked so hard to create safe spaces for everybody," she told 11Alive. "Even though I did all this work, it’s not about individuals, it’s really about unity."

Warren is the president of Afrikete, the historically black women’s college LGBTQ organization. She said it was not the first message of hate directed toward her. Warren said the first message came at the announcement of pride week.

"Keep your (transgender slur) out of our bathrooms thanks," she remembers the message saying.


Wednesday, May 02, 2018

A tourist becomes the first person to be punished under Malaysia's 'fake news' law with a one-week jail term for criticising ‘slow’ paramedics

A Malaysian court has today handed a Danish citizen a one-week jail term for breaking a law against 'fake news', the first person to be punished under controversial legislation.

The law, passed in early April, makes the deliberate dissemination of false information punishable by up to six years in jail and a hefty fine. It has sparked outrage from rights groups, which believe it is aimed at cracking down on dissent.

Salah Salem Saleh Sulaiman, a 46-year-old of Yemeni descent, admitted making and posting on YouTube a video accusing emergency services of responding slowly after a Palestinian Hamas member was gunned down in Kuala Lumpur.

Fadi al-Batsh, said to be a rocket-making expert, was on his way to dawn prayers on April 21 when he was assassinated by motorbike-riding gunmen, a killing his family have blamed on Israel's spy agency. The Jewish state has denied it was behind the murder.

The Yemeni, who did not have a lawyer and was wearing white robes and a green skullcap during a court appearance in Kuala Lumpur, said he was not aware of Malaysia's laws.


Australian comedian is banned from Facebook for 'hate speech' and 'racism' - for bagging New Zealanders' ACCENTS

The Kiwi accent is certainly unusual.  They have lost an entire vowel.  They say "fush n chups" instead of "fish n chips".  Losing a consonant is not uncommon.  Outside Scotland all English speakers have lost the guttural "ach laut", as in the Scottish "loch".  We still have it in our spelling -- as in "night" but we no longer pronounce the "gh".  And Cockneys have lost Theta.  They say "wif" instead of "with".  The Kiwis however seem to be the only group to have lost a vowel.

But the big issue is that the comments were just jocular.  There is no hate involved. Australians and Kiwis are of the same stock so hate would be absurd. There are small cultural differences but they evoke only humour.  Though Kiwis are undoubtedly tired of Australian jokes about sheep.  And Australians in New Zealand must never mention underarm bowling in cricket

An Australian comedian has taken to social media to share his thoughts on the age old rivalry between Australia and New Zealand.

It's one of those classic questions - like Ali or Frazier, Lennon or McCartney, and Ford or Holden - that anyone who has set foot in this corner of the globe will be more than happy to share their opinion on.

In the video, which has more than 324,000 views on YouTube, Mr Butterfield takes aim at what he sees as the many differences between the countries.

In the video titled 'The Actual Difference Between Australia and New Zealand,' posted in response to video by YouTuber 'How to DAD,' Mr Butterfield says the NZ national icon, the kiwi, is 'small, hairy and boring,' and that at least the koala 'has a little bit of personality'.

He says the country is known for 'some small budget movie ten years ago' and is also not a fan of the Haka, saying that Australia has its own version - quality players, but did concede that the All Blacks were 'very, very good at rugby.' 

Referring to the many adventure activities available across the ditch, Mr Butterfield said if he had a choice between jumping off a bridge with a rope or trying to understand NZ locals at the pub, he would choose the bridge minus the rope.

The video has incurred the wrath of not just New Zealanders but also of Facebook's powers-that-be.

Mr Butterfield said in a Twitter post the video was 'removed by Facebook for Hate Speech and 'Racism which is the most ridiculous response that I could ever imagine.'

The touring stand-up comedian in his early twenties also revealed that he was suspended from Facebook for seven days following the video removal.

'I understand Facebook is a private company and they can do whatever they want but… this is a humungous public forum and they are censoring it,' he said in a follow up YouTube video.

Youtube comments to the original video appeared to be free of any seriously offended remarks with one commenter stating, 'I'm from New Zealand but I found this video hilarious.'

Another commenter to Mr Butterfield's Twitter post revealing the ban said that, 'the video was comedy not hate speech… FB just doesn't understand kiwis and strayans.'

During Mark Zuckerberg's testimony before the US Congress on April 10, the Facebook CEO said that he could see artificial intelligence taking a front line role in automatically detecting hate speech on Facebook in five to 10 years.

'Until we get it automated, there's a higher error rate than I'm happy with,' he said.


Tuesday, May 01, 2018

France deports radical Islamist preacher accused of hate speech

France on Friday deported an influential Islamic preacher whose mosque in the southern city of Marseille was shut down last year over accusations of hate speech.

The expulsion of Algeria-born El Hadi Doudi back to his home country came after his appeal with the European Court of Human Rights was rejected earlier
this week.
Doudi, 63, had long been on the radar of Marseille police, who considered him an "authority" on Salafist interpretations of Islam, a Sunni branch which demands a strict conservative lifestyle.
While a majority of Salafists disdain violence, some followers embrace the use of force to promote their beliefs.
France has been wrestling with how to counter the influence of extremists after a string of deadly jihadist attacks by people later found to have moved in Salafist circles.

Several members of Doudi's mosque -- one of Marseille's largest before its closure in late 2017 -- are suspected of having gone to fight alongside jihadists in Iraq and Syria in recent years.


Duke university admin refuses to react against two naughty words

Larry Moneta, vice president of student affairs, issued a statement via Twitter on Thursday in response to a student's use of a racial epithet in a Snapchat.

His tweet early Friday morning about the idea of prohibiting free speech on college campuses, however, sparked a firestorm of responses on social media from students and alumni alike in the wake of a second racially charged incident coming to light later that morning.

Moneta went on to say that those that want to ban hate speech should read "Free Speech on Campus," a book by Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of UC Berkeley Law, and Howard Gillman, chancellors and professor of law at UC Irvine.

The Friday tweet by Moneta was posted before an email was sent to Central Campus residents at approximately 11:18 a.m. about the second incident, which consisted of a racial epithet being written on a student's door in the 300 Swift apartment complex.

Responding to the racial epithet left on the student's door at 300 Swift, Moneta told The Chronicle Friday that he doesn't plan for a major initiative following the pair of incidents.

“I don’t have a plan for a major initiative,” Moneta said. “You want to be careful—you want to react appropriately and not just run around to do things that have no meaning. I think we need to just sit back and think about what is going on that a few people would feel like that was a good way to behave.”


Monday, April 30, 2018

Australia: Must not notice that Aborigines have dark skin

IT WAS supposed to be a nice way to bid farewell to their friends, family and followers on social media, but one comment in a video message has landed Married at First Sight’s Troy Delmege in trouble.

The reality TV star took the controversial clip with his lover Carly Bowyer before leaving Melbourne International Airport to jet off to Bali yesterday.

Uploaded to Instagram stories, the surprise couple known on the show for their goofy antics revealed how excited they were about their getaway.

However, giddy Delmege started talking about how tanned they planned on becoming when he made a strange comment about indigenous Australians.

“Couldn’t be more excited,” he said in the video. “Can’t wait to get the tan on, get some heat on me after being in Melbourne for a few weeks.” He then pointed at his Bowyer before adding: “I’m going to be dark, (but) she’ll be darker, like an Aborigine!”

The video then abruptly ends and it appears that Bowyer quickly cut the clip.

Indigenous activist Tarneen Onus-Williams, shared the video on Twitter and branded Delmege’s comments “disgusting”.


Australian TV network liable for $50,000 fine after using 'Anzac' as code word in Today Show cash giveaway

ANZAC day is Australia's day of remembrance for our war dead.  It is Australia's most solemn day of the year

Channel Nine has breached a law that protects the word 'ANZAC' from inappropriate commercial use when it used it in one of it's cash giveaways.

The Today show used the word ANZAC as a code in it's daily cash give away, which is a breach of the law and carries a penalty of up to $51,000.

The popular morning show runs daily $10,000 cash giveaways where audiences text in code words advertised on the previous day to enter.

For the commemorative public holiday, the code word was ANZAC.

The minister for veterans affairs administers the protection of the word and have said they were not approached by the show.

Their approval is needed for its use in connection with 'any trade, business, calling or profession or in connection with any entertainment or any lottery or art union or as the name or part of a name of any private residence, boat, vehicle of charitable or other institution, or other institution, or any building.'

Even the biscuits are monitored and can only have the word ANZAC attached to them if they are the traditional recipe and shape.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Veterans Affairs told Fairfax media that the use of the word was not approved by Minister Darren Chester.

'Even if they had approached us, we wouldn't normally grant them the use of the word Anzac in this manner,' she said.

While the spokesperson said 'no decision had been made' as to if they would escalate she stressed that there were significant penalties for breaching the law. Under the Crimes Act of 1914, a penalty of up to $51,000 may be imposed 

When deciding on the appropriateness of attaching the word to a commercial context the Minister considers the views of the ex-service community, the intent of the legislation and any commemorative links.

The controversy came just after the show's host Karl Stefanovic blasted cinemas for releasing the film Avengers: Infinity War on ANZAC day. In an impassioned speech he argued that it was 'a grubby cash grab' and questioned what it taught children.

'There might be some legitimate reason why the Avengers is opening on ANZAC day but I haven't seen it...how on earth are our kids supposed to breathe in the significance of ANZAC day?' he said. 

Channel Nine acknowledged its use of a word in a giveaway was a poor choice


Sunday, April 29, 2018

The "Nazi" dog: Update

Markus Meecham trained his girlfriend’s dog to perform Nazi salutes. In a YouTube video, Meecham explained why: “My girlfriend is always ranting and raving about how cute her dog is so I thought I would turn her into the least cute thing you could think of which is a Nazi.”

Meecham, a UK citizen known online as Count Dankula, was subsequently arrested, spent a night in prison, lost his job and was this week fined £800.

Now, Meecham may not be everybody’s cup of Irn-Bru, but he’s on solid ground when he argues that an obvious joke should not result in a conviction and financial penalty (were similar rules enforced in 1967, Mel Brooks would be in prison to this day).

Declining to pay his fine, Meecham launched a crowd-funding bid to finance an appeal, aiming for an ambitious total of £100,000:

This is the amount that has been quoted by my lawyer, the reason it has been quoted so high is my lawyer wishes to bring in top legal representatives to ensure that we have the highest chance of reversing the standard that this case sets.

Little more than one day later, Meecham has raised more than £137,000 – the equivalent of $A252,000.

That’s the free market and free will rallying behind free speech. That’s people standing up to oppression.


Outrage as shoppers find a 'Terrorist Man' costume being sold to CHILDREN

A Melbourne shop has been caught selling a terrorist costume to outraged customers. The 'Terrorist man' costume sold for $34.99 at the JC Plaza in Clarinda, shows a man holding a gun with a long black beard, hat and jacket.

One angry customer said she left the shop in tears when she saw the outfit and told the Herald Sun she was horrified. 'I was shocked and terrified and could not believe my eyes,' she told the publication.

'I wanted to shout out, 'this is so wrong, this is shameful' and it took me a few minutes to calm down and take a photo.'  

Store owner Jin Cai apologised and told Daily Mail Australia the costumes were 'old stock' leftover from the previous owners.

Anti-Defamation Commission Chair Dr Dvir Abramovich said the costume was 'bad taste' and he called on the shop owners to immediately withdraw 'these disgusting outfits' from sale.

'There is nothing funny or cool about dressing up as a murderer responsible for horrific bloodshed and for tragic suffering that have affected so many people around the world,' he told Daily Mail Australia.

'Terrorism should never be glorified or celebrated in any way. I have no doubt that this insensitive costume will get the thumbs down from most Australians who will find this sickening and who will condemn it.'

The costume has previously appeared in shops in Brisbane and Melbourne. 


Friday, April 27, 2018

UK: She Posted Rap Lyrics to Remember a Dead Teen, So the U.K. Prosecuted Her for Hate Speech

Prosecutors in Liverpool decided they were unable to charge anybody in the death of Frankie Murphy when the 13-year-old boy was struck and killed by a car while riding his bike back in 2016.

But prosecutors did charge and convict a young woman who posted rap lyrics on Instagram in Murphy's memory, because they included the n-word.

Chelsea Russell, 19, posted lyrics to a song by the Detroit rapper Snap Dogg (no, not Snoop Dogg) on the bio of her Instagram account to pay tribute to Murphy. The song, "I'm Trippin'," released in 2016, is heavy on killing snitches and waving guns around and it has lots of use of the n-word. It's the type of song that people point to when they say they don't like rap music because it's too violent.

According to the Liverpool Echo, Russell's Instagram account was reported to a constable in a "hate crime unit" who found the lyrics "offensive and upsetting." Russell was charged with sending a grossly offensive message by means of a public electronic communications network.

At Russell's trial, her defense pointed out that Jay-Z had used these similarly offensive words at a music festival in Glastonbury. She had copied the lyrics off a friend's Instagram account—apparently thousands of others were using the lyrics to remember Murphy. Clearly it must have been a favorite song of his.

But the court and the magistrates didn't care. District Judge Jack McGarva said: "There is no place in civil society for language like that. Everyone with an Instagram account could view this content. The lyrics also encourage killing and robbing, so are grossly offensive."

Russell now has to submit to ankle monitoring for eight weeks and pay the equivalent of about $800 in fines.

This is what the enforcement of "hate speech" laws looks like. This woman was prosecuted entirely because a person in a position of power found her repetition of somebody else's song lyrics offensive. She does not stand accused even of using hate speech to actually encourage racial violence against others. People with the power to fine or lock up Russell merely found what she posted too offensive for their ears, and now she's going to pay for it.


'Real Indian' running against Sen. Elizabeth Warren sues after city tells him to stop calling her 'Fake Indian'

A self-described "real Indian" who is running against Mass. Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren is suing after city officials demanded he take down his signs calling her a "fake Indian."

The upstart independent Senate challenger, Shiva Ayyadurai, on Sunday filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the demand from the city of Cambridge violates his constitutional free speech rights, according to The Washington Times.

Since March 17, Ayyadurai's campaign bus has sported two identical signs picturing himself and a rendition of Warren wearing Indian attire. Emblazoned next to the images are the words: "Only a REAL INDIAN Can Defeat the Fake Indian."

The bus has reportedly been stationed in a parking lot in front of an office building owned by Ayyadurai, who faces exceptionally long odds, for more than a month -- just a mile from Warren's home.

Earlier this month, the campaign received a notice from Cambridge building inspector Branden Vigneault that the signs lacked the appropriate "approvals and permits," according to local reports and the Ayyadurai campaign.

Vigneault threatened fines of $300 per day plus additional legal penalties if the signs remain in place, according to Ayyadurai.

“We will not remove the slogan from our bus,” Ayyadurai told The Washington Times. “We will defend the First Amendment, and we will fight this egregious attack on the First Amendment, at any cost.”

Ayyadurai's campaign reportedly thinks the building code doesn't apply to the signs because they're on a bus, not a structure.