Friday, April 19, 2019

Student demonstrators charged at UA

The case comes from the University of Arizona where students disrupted a Career Day presentation by Border Patrol agents.

Normally in these cases, the students doing the disrupting get off with no punishment or, at most, a light slap on the wrist. But that’s not how it’s gone down so far at the University of Arizona.

Instead, the UA campus police filed criminal misdemeanor charges of “interference with the peaceful conduct of an educational institution” against three disruptors, and the leader of the shout-down was also charged with “threats and intimidation.”

Moreover, UA President Robert Robbins backed up the campus police. “Student protest is protected by our support for free speech,” said Robbins, “but disruption is not.”

Robbins’ stance should be understood in the context of the new legal landscape in Arizona. A year ago, as I reported here, the state enacted a campus free speech law that includes robust protections against shout-downs. That law is based on a model published by Arizona’s Goldwater Institute and co-written by Stanley Kurtz.

Unlike more limited laws passed in some states, the Arizona bill includes provisions for the discipline of those who engage in shout-downs. It also establishes an oversight system to ensure that administrators actually enforce the law’s provisions.


The term 'disabled' is insulting and should be replaced by 'Access Inclusion Seekers'

Mark Tonga is a tetraplegic as a result of a football accident

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore is considering a plan to normalise the term 'Access Inclusion Seekers' when referring to disabled people. 

The City Council is revamping their disability policies, with the council's inclusion expert advisory panel now claiming the 'd' word may soon be as offensive as the 'n' word.  

One on the panel, Mark Tonga, said using the term 'disabled' portrays people as having 'less capacity and less ability,' The Daily Telegraph reports. [Because they do]

'Disability is a subliminal pejorative for many. It's negative. Perhaps sooner than you think, the "d" work will be as offensive as the "n" word is now,' he said. 

But Dr Jeremy Sammut, Centre for Independent Studies research fellow, disagreed. He claimed that policing the language people used was unnecessary and argued issues about inclusion had been dealt with in the past.

'Social attitudes to disability have already changed and almost no one stigmatises and diminishes what people with disability can and should achieve,' Dr Sammut said.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Maryland Man in MAGA Hat Beaten and Robbed in Latest Politically Motivated Attack

Two Maryland men have been charged with assault and robbery after attacking a man who was wearing a red Make America Great Again (MAGA) hat.

Atsu Nable, a legal immigrant from Togo, was reportedly out enjoying the spring weather in Germantown, MD., when the suspects approached him and started harassing him about his MAGA hat.

According to a Montgomery County Police Department press release, Nable said he told them that he is entitled to his views and walked away.

But the suspects then began striking the victim and telling him to take the hat off. He told FOX5 he was "shocked" when one of the assailants hit him from behind.

Nable continued to be assaulted by the suspects until he fell to the ground, according to the press release.

"I was like, ‘Why are you doing this?’ They said, ‘No, the hat,’ and they started punching me on my head.” Nable told FOX5.

The thugs then tried to steal his phone, took some of his other belongings, and destroyed several items of value.

Witnesses called 911 and Montgomery County police officers canvassed the area, Fox5 reported.

They found the two suspects "at a nearby basketball court attempting to hide among the children playing."

Nable told ABC7 that he forgives his attackers, "but hopes they become more tolerant of opposing viewpoints."

The men charged are Jovan Crawford, 27, and Scott Duncan Robertson, 25. Both are charged with second degree assault, robbery, attempted theft, conspiracy to commit robbery and malicious destruction of property. They could face up to 10 years in prison on those charges.


Critical Australian academic’s firing was ‘unlawful’, court finds

No free speech about global warming.  Prof. Ridd dared ridicule the Global Warming messiahs in his university who said that climate change was devastating Australia's Great Barrier Reef.  He showed clear evidence that they were deceptive.  So his university was out to "get" him by hook or by crook, mostly crook.  They are now more furious  with him than ever

A Federal Court judge has ruled James Cook University acted unlawfully when it sacked physics professor Peter Ridd after he publicly criticised the institution and one of its star scientists over claims about the global warming impact on the Great Barrier Reef.

Professor Ridd last night welcomed the decision and called on the university’s council, its governing body, to make vice-chancellor Sandra Harding accountable for the legal defeat. “The university has broken the law. What is the university council going to do about this? The vice-chancellor has brought the university into disrepute,” he said.

In his verdict, judge Salvatore Vasta said the university’s grounds for dismissing Professor Ridd — that he breached the university’s code of conduct — were improper. He found that all 17 findings used by the university to justify the sacking were unlawful.

Judge Vasta found that a clause in the university’s enterprise agreement, which upholds academic freedom, justified Professor Ridd’s conduct. “This trial was purely and simply about the proper construction of a clause in an enterprise agreement,” he said.

Judge Vasta also said the university had misunderstood “the whole concept of intellectual freedom”. “In the search for truth, it is an unfortunate consequence that some people may feel denigrated, offended, hurt or upset,” he said.


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Australia's most famous comedian dishonoured because he was dismissive about transgenders

Comedians are split on the Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s move to dump the Barry Award from its honour roll following controversy over the prize’s namesake, iconic funnyman Barry Humphries.

Humphries made headlines last year over his comments to The Spectator, which were interpreted as transphobic.

Transgender comedian Cassie Workman is hot favourite to take out the award formerly known as the Barry.

“I don’t think the name of the Barry Award should be changed,” he said

“I don’t think what he said was right and I don’t think he was trying to be provocative, I honestly believe that’s what he thinks. It’s not a very now thing to say but he’s not very now.”

“Humphries has been doing pretty much the same thing since the ’70s. Think of the UK comedians, Benny Hill was out of control but he’s revered as an icon now. Barry Humphries has probably had more impact here and internationally than anybody else.”

But Drag Queen performer Dolly Diamond agreed with the Comedy Festival’s bold move. “It was time ... when you’re becoming far more known as a transphobic than a comedian, you’ve got to go.

“I’ve definitely modelled Dolly Diamond on (Dame) Edna to a degree and the way he pioneered the genre will never change. I haven’t lost all respect for the man, I just don’t agree with his views.”

“I’m playing a character and I’m respectful of everyone in the community. I treat people in the transgender community with the same respect as everyone else, maybe more so until there’s more acceptance.”

The Barry, which honoured the festival’s best show, will be renamed the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Award.

“Melbourne International Comedy Festival is one of the world’s greatest comedy festivals and it is time for the award for most outstanding show to be in our name to celebrate the city that inspired the growth of our festival and its outstanding artists,” festival director Susan Provan said.

Best known worldwide for his popular drag character Dame Edna Everage, Humphries said transgender issues, were a “fashion,” adding: “How many different kinds of lavatory can you have?”

He added: “And it’s pretty evil when it’s preached to children by crazy teachers.”

After his comments were published, former Barry Award winners Hannah Gadsby and Zoe Coombs-Marr said Barry’s name should be dumped from the MICF’s top award.

In 2016, Humphries described gender reassignment surgery as “self-mutilation”.

He also criticised Caitlyn Jenner as a “publicity-seeking ratbag for wanting to “steal the limelight” from the other famous women in her family.


I think Humphries made reasonable points

Christian Refugee from Iran, Arrested at Mall of America for Sharing Gospel with Muslims, Will Plead Not Guilty

On Thursday morning, Christian pastor Ramin Parsa, a former Muslim refugee from Iran who got arrested at the Mall of America for sharing his testimony with Somali Muslims in August 2018, will meet with the city attorney's office for a settlement conference. He will defend himself against charges of misdemeanor trespassing.

"Tomorrow morning on March 7th at 9:00 AM I will stand before a judge and plead NOT guilty on the charges a Muslim in Minnesota brought against me for sharing the Gospel in a private conversation," Parsa said in a Facebook post on Wednesday. "I was interrupted by that Somali woman who did not like the subject of my talk although she was not a part of the conversation."

In August 2018, Parsa was visiting the Mall of America when two Somali Muslim women came up to talk with him. They asked him if he was still a Muslim, and he said no, so they asked why. As he was speaking with them, a third Somali Muslim woman reported him to mall security. The other two women asked the third one not to interrupt.

Mall security told him to stop speaking with the women, and he did. Then, after he bought a coffee, security arrested him and held him in "mall jail" for hours, without giving him food or water or letting him use the restroom.

Mall security called the police, and the state charged Parsa with trespassing.

The pastor recalled facing persecution in Muslim countries and then finally coming to the United States, where he thought he would be free to practice his faith without fear.

The lawyer said the settlement conference will involve "further negotiations and legal proceedings regarding Pastor Parsa’s First Amendment rights and the charge." A jury trial has already been set for April 29, unless the state drops the charges.

Parsa has called on Christians to share the gospel and warn against the dangers of Islam. "As Christians, we must lay aside lukewarmness, and foolish arguments and shake the dust of religion and legalism and get on fire for Jesus and share the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ with boldness," he wrote. "The apostles of Jesus said: 'Shall we obey man or God?' If we don’t wake up, our cities, states, country will be lost."


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Fanatical Palo Alto Leftist abuses elderly Jew

I don’t want to take sides in the Make America Great Again debate, but a guy wearing a MAGA hat in a Palo Alto Starbucks shouldn’t be subjected to yelling by a woman who disagrees with his point of view.

The instigator, Rebecca Parker Mankey, went further than yelling and chasing the MAGA hat-wearing-man. She went on social media to call him names and asking people to “dox” him, Internet slang for publishing his contact information with malicious intent.

Mankey lost her job at a business in the California Avenue district and has resigned from a local Democratic Party club. She’s also been bombarded with threats online after conservative websites picked up the story.

To his credit, the victim of this attack — a 74-year-old Jewish man who only wants to go by his first name, Victor — feels Mankey shouldn’t have lost her job, and he doesn’t want anybody to threaten her.

One of the longstanding principles of our republic is that people have the right to free speech — and free speech means being able to wear a hat that represents your views. It’s an idea enshrined in the First Amendment of the Constitution.


Only Chinese People Get to Make Chinese Food, or Something

The "cultural appropriation" mania.  I would have thought that making Chinese food was "cultural appreciation"

I'm old enough to remember when racial segregation was a bad thing. Back in the beforetimes, we were encouraged to think of America as a melting pot, where people from many different backgrounds could commingle and learn from each other. Little did we know that what was really happening was something called cultural appropriation, which is very bad.

Do you like Chinese food? Are you Chinese? If your answer to the second question is "No," then your opinion doesn't matter anyway. Now shut up and educate yourself.

Amanda Prestigiacomo, Daily Wire:

A young mother in New York City has been targeted by left-wing social justice activists for daring to open a Chinese restaurant while being white.

Activists have accused Arielle Haspel of being culturally insensitive for naming her restaurant "Lucky Lee's" and for suggesting her food is conducive for those seeking so-called "clean eating."

So now lots of people are yelling at this woman for daring to prepare foods she's not supposed to touch. She's white, which means it's racist.

This sort of thing happens every so often. A couple of years ago, two women were forced to shut down their food cart in Portland, Ore., because they sold burritos even though they were white and people got angry. It's racist to enjoy foods that were created in places you've never lived, or your ancestors never lived.

But only if you're white, of course. Non-Caucasians are allowed to prepare recipes created by white people, because... why not? It would be silly to tell them to stop, wouldn't it? Downright racist.

Stay in your lane, whiteys. If you're Irish, limit yourself to potatoes and whiskey. If you're German, you only get to make strudel and foods ending in -wurst. If you're Danish, that's also the only thing you can eat. Italians, fuggetaboutit. You don't get to steal other people's food ideas anymore, racists. Keep your grubby pale paws, and your dirty green money, to yourself.

Being woke seems really fun.


Monday, April 15, 2019

UK:  Lawyer who warned trainees never to wear brown shoes with blue suits under fire

He was just trying to let newbies know what is "done" in London's financial district

The ‘no brown in town’ adage has been the subject of scorn, sneers and scandal in City pubs for more than 100 years. Yet despite an increasing awareness of social mobility and social taboos, one top city law firm appears to have shunned such progress.

An unnamed partner has reportedly passed on some controversial sartorial advice to aspiring young lawyers.

Speaking at Thomson Reuters’ ‘Transforming Women’s Leadership in the Law’ conference at London’s Hilton Tower Bridge hotel  last week, the unnamed partner was reported to have told juniors: “Don’t wear brown shoes with a blue suit”.

The comments were first reported by Legal Cheek, quoting legal affairs journalist Catherine Baksi, who attended the event.

Ms Baksi tweeted that the partner, who worked at a top international law firm, was passing on advice to “unsuitably dressed trainees”.

Ms Baksi told The Telegraph that the comments were made within the context of helping people from non-traditional backgrounds who would not know “unspoken dress code rules” about blue suits and brown shoes.

“But then as other people quite rightly said,” Ms Baksi added, “it’s time for the dress code law to change” and not the candidates.

The comments immediately sparked a backlash on social media, with lawyers saying that the comments were “a step too far”.

A 2016 study released by the Social Mobility Commission reported that investment banks are less likely to hire men who wear brown shoes to a job interview.


Israel Folau could SUE Rugby Australia for religious discrimination if they terminate his contract

A footballer is a Very Important Person so the attempt to punish him for his "incorrect" speech has got a lot of people coming out in his defence

Israel Folau could sue Rugby Australia on the grounds of religious discrimination if his current contract is terminated, an expert has claimed.

Yesterday it was revealed that the Wallabies player would fight the attempts of Rugby Australia and the New South Wales Waratahs to sack him over the contents of a social media post.

Folau made an Instagram post on Thursday which said gay people - and other perceived sinners - would go to hell unless they repented.

The 30-year-old, who holds strong Christian views, was warned last year for making similar comments on social media but escaped disciplinary action.

On this occasion, however, RA announced it would cancel the lucrative four-year deal he signed in January. 

 But one legal expert has said Folau could make a claim against the organisation on the basis of his religion under the Fair Work Act.

 Mark Fowler, an adjunct associate professor of law the University of Notre Dame, told  The Sydney Morning Herald that RA would have to prove they were not terminating Folau's contract because of his religion.

'On what is publicly reported, it would seem hard to say that the action Rugby Australia is proposing is not because of his religious belief.'  

If Folau successfully sued Rugby Australia for the millions of dollars remaining on his contract, it would be a serious blow for the already financially-stretched organisation.

On Friday a meeting was held at the union's headquarters in Moore Park and while the RA's position is unchanged, the Wallabies face the prospect of entering this autumn's World Cup without one of the game's most gifted players.

'As the meeting was held in confidence between the player and his employers, Rugby Australia and the NSW Rugby Union will not comment on the discussions at the meeting,' a statement read.

 The Rugby Union Players' Association accompanied Folau to the talks and revealed in a statement that he intends to honour his contract, adding that the RA's code of conduct must be followed during any disciplinary action.

There has been widespread condemnation of Folau's remarks, including from former Wallabies team-mate Drew Mitchell and New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern.

But former Wallabies coach and prominent media commentator Alan Jones defended Folau's controversial comments - saying the rugby star had a right to freedom of speech.

Jones said Rugby Australia was acting against Folau to shore up the continued support of major sponsor Qantas, whose chief executive Alan Joyce is gay.

Rugby Australia has reprimanded Folau in the past for targeting the LGBTQI community in his social media posts.

He came under fire in 2017 during the marriage equality vote, when he publicly announced he wouldn't be supporting gay marriage.


Sunday, April 14, 2019

UK: Allegedly Conservative government fires conservative Academic Sir Roger Scruton over frank speech

Conservative academic Sir Roger Scruton has been sacked as head of a government housing body following comments about Islam, China and George Soros.

The philosopher was appointed as the unpaid chair of the Building Beautiful architecture Commission in November.

He has now been dismissed after claiming Islamophobia was "a propaganda word" and "each Chinese person is a kind of replica of the next one".

Downing Street said the comments were "deeply offensive".

Sir Roger's appointment to head the new body was criticised at the time by Labour, who said his past comments on race and sexuality made him unsuitable to hold the post.

The author has now left his position "with immediate effect" after an interview with the New Statesman in which he questioned the definition of Islamophobia and speculated on the influence of Jewish financier, philanthropist and liberal political activist George Soros in his native Hungary.

He said he stood by comments he has made in the past that Islamophobia was a "propaganda word invented by the Muslim Brotherhood in order to stop discussion of a major issue".

He said "anybody who doesn't think that there's a Soros empire in Hungary has not observed the facts" - a statement that critics have condemned as a conspiracy theory and an anti-Semitic trope.

In a wide-ranging interview, he also said the Communist regime in China was "creating robots out of their own people" which he said was a "frightening thing".


More details here on what Scruton actually said

Broadcaster defends Israel Folau's free speech, attacks Rugby Australia’s decision to terminate $4m contract

In a contest between faith in sexual abnormality and faith in Christianity, Christianity is losing.  You must not even speak Bible teachings in public.  A top Rugby player is being fired for saying again in public that homosexuals are going to hell.  See Romans 1:27; Jude 1:7; 1 Timothy 1:8-11; Mark 10:6-9; Matthew 19: 4-16; 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11; 1 Corinthians 7:2; Leviticus 18:22; Leviticus 20:13; Genesis 19:4-8

Alan Jones has defended Israel Folau and says Rugby Australia has corrupted free speech in Australia.

Alan Jones has hit out at Rugby Australia’s decision to terminate high-profile rugby player Israel Folau’s contract saying the decision has “completely corrupted” free speech in Australia.

It comes as the sport star’s $4 million contract with Rugby Australia is set to be scrapped following a homophobic social media post condemning homosexuals, drunks and liars where Folau says “Hell awaits you”.

“It’s got nothing to do with Israel, or rugby, or religion, or homosexuals. Where are we in this country on free speech?” Jones said on his 2GB radio show this morning. “It has completely corrupted free speech in this country.

“It wouldn’t be the first time, in my opinion, that Rugby Australia have got it completely wrong and I think if they have signed this contract or demanded of Israel certain matters outside the playing of the game … then that, I believe, is outside the ambit of what they are able to do,” he went on.

“We’ve got an issue here because we’re going down a very, very narrow road here. “This has gone on and on and on this crap. Out there, people now are terrified of saying anything, they don’t know what they can say.”

Former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce also condemned Rugby Australia’s decision. “He (Folau) is a rugby player with a well known very Christian conservative worldview. They employed him and they knew that how can they sack him?” he said on Twitter.

[PM] Scott Morrison criticised Folau for making a “terribly insensitive comment” about gay people. “It was a terribly insensitive comment and they have taken action as a result,” Mr Morrison told the ABC this morning.


Friday, April 12, 2019

Google’s Trust and Safety Council Blacklists Conservatives
According to leaked documents obtained by the Daily Caller, Google does act upon its bias against conservatives in the most pernicious ways possible.

Daily Caller reported on April 9, that Google described two different policies in those documents which, if broken, might lead the search engine to blacklist certain sites from search results. It found information about Google’s “XPA news blacklist” which is updated by Google employees on the Trust & Safety team as needed. That blacklist included Matt Walsh’s blog, Gary North’s blog, American Spectator, the Conservative Tribune, and the Gateway Pundit.

The policy document on Google’s “misrepresentation policy” and its “Good Neighbor policy” outlined the policy on “offending” websites: “The purpose of the blacklist will be to bar the sites from surfacing in any Search feature or news product. It will not cause a demotion in the organic search results or de-index them altogether.”

In previous leaked documents to Breitbart, Google employees and YouTube employees have admitted to manipulating search results on YouTube to filter out certain ideological messages. For example, pro-life material was removed and blacklisted on YouTube, in response to a complaint from a Slate blogger. Then, a member of the Trust & Safety Team, Daniel Aaronson, wrote that while most users preferred organic search results, Google and YouTube had “different expectations.”

Even before this allegation, research showed that Google’s algorithms were biased in favor of the left. An academic study from AllSides noted that Google was biased towards the left in its news searches 4 to 1. Tech expert and researcher Dr. Robert Epstein has argued that Google can use its algorithms to manipulate elections, from ranking results from a search bar to auto-suggesting responses in the bar itself.


Democrats Embrace Newspeak — But Talk Is Still Cheap

What they say and what they do tell very different stories -- on morality, education and civility

Three examples of leftists utterly changing meanings to suit their craven agenda:

We begin with Nancy Pelosi, who evoked God and morality to advance her party’s global warming agenda. “If you do believe, as I do, that this is God’s creation, this planet, we have a moral responsibility to be good stewards of it,” she stated. “But even if you don’t subscribe to that, you know we have a moral responsibility to future generations to pass on this planet in a responsible, responsible way.”

Perhaps the first moral responsibility we have to future generations is to permit their existence. Yet when the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act was introduced in the Senate, “to prohibit a health care practitioner from failing to exercise the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion,” 44 Democrats voted against the measure.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) also evoked morality as it pertains to education. “We can judge a society I think always by the way it treats its children,” Harris declared. “And one of the greatest expressions of love of our children is that we invest in their education.”

A devastating essay on the subject of education by former NYC teacher Mary Hudson further explodes the Democrat “truth” that money is the problem. Discipline is virtually nonexistent, and administrators embrace the “soft bigotry of low expectations,” convinced a large percentage of children are inherently incapable of learning. In addition, these same “educrats” have precipitated a complete devaluation of tried and true educational techniques, while embracing an unambiguous preference for social justice indoctrination over the development of critical — and independent — thinking skills.

This odious status quo has existed for 50 years, due in large part to school unions that overwhelmingly prioritize the needs of their members over those of students and their parents. That those same unions, American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the National Education Association (NEA), respectively contribute 100% and 98.6% of their campaign donations to Democrats reveals a great deal about how that party “loves” children: its members despise school choice, relegating millions of inner city kids to educational wastelands — even as many Democrats educate their own children in private schools.

What does de facto educational apartheid, and the deliberate dumbing down of students to create a reliable constituency of dependent Americans really say about Democrats commitment to education? As Orwell might say, the importance of some students is “more equal” than that of other students.

And then there’s Donald Trump. No Democrat expression of morality would be complete without the requisite bashing of the current president, whom 2020 hopeful Sen. Kirstin Gillibrand (D-NY) insists is “tearing the apart the moral fabric of this country.” And like many of her fellow Democrats who were for border security before they were against it, Gillibrand has asserted that a border wall is a “picture of division and hate and derision.”

Perhaps Gillbrand might explain how Trump is tearing apart our moral fabric, even as she votes against protecting newborns from being murdered. Or perhaps she might explain how her party wants to secure the border, while its House speaker is filing a lawsuit to prevent a wall from being built. Or why her party, when it had complete power for two years, including a filibuster-proof 60-seat Senate majority, never approved the “real immigration reform” and “path to citizenship” she claims her party favors.

The bigger picture is even more Orwellian. This is a party that embraces the pernicious concept of “my truth,” believes a viable political coalition consists of institutionalizing a hierarchy of intersectional victimization, and embraces “settled science” without realizing the term is an oxymoron — even as it applies it not only to global warming but to transgenderism, in complete defiance of chromosomal reality.

Yet the ultimate example of Democrat Party Newspeak occurs on a daily basis. This is the party that calls for unity and healing, even as it labels various factions of Americans who don’t march in lockstep with its agenda as privileged, toxic, racist, sexist, nativist, trans-, homo- and Islamophobic bitter-clinging deplorables.


Thursday, April 11, 2019

A UK grocery store has apologised over a “racist” Easter duckling product after customers complained the dark chocolate one was labelled “ugly”.

The $14.60 box set of milk, white and dark chocolate ducklings has upset some people after they were individually marked “fluffy”, “crispy” and “ugly”.

The Waitrose ducklings are named Crispy, Fluffy and Ugly.
The Waitrose ducklings are named Crispy, Fluffy and Ugly.Source:Supplied

The product was temporarily pulled from shelves by the high-end supermarket to allow time to redesign the packaging after a “small number” of customers were offended.

The Waitrose trio of chocolate Easter ducklings are now available to buy again in shops and online — minus the controversial labels.

Although not made explicitly clear by supermarket bosses, it’s thought the name “ugly” may have been chosen as a reference to the classic fairytale The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen.

The fairytale is about a “stubby and brown” duckling who is mocked and shamed by other ducklings but grows into a beautiful white swan.

One Twitter user shared a picture of the chocolate product and wrote: “Crispy, Fluffy and Ugly — trio of Easter ducklings at Waitrose.

“Ugly is the dark one on the right.

“Overheard women saying ‘this is not right’, I agree, doesn’t look good at all.”


Mass.: When ‘the n-word’ meets public education

In January, a teacher at the Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School, Kevin Dua, sponsored a research project titled “RECLAIMING: Nigger v. Cracker: Educating Racial Context In/for Cambridge.” The project sought to explore the history and effects of racial slurs.

Dua invited members of the committee to attend a discussion of the project in part because he wanted them to address an issue that surfaced when the students pursued their research: School computers blocked access to websites containing the n-word and other racial and ethnic slurs.

One member of the committee who attended, Emily Dexter, listened to the presentation, participated, and volunteered to assist the students in negotiating the problem of the computer filters. So far so good. The situation presented a positive instance of public high school education: an exercise aimed at sparking curiosity about an important, albeit controversial, subject in the context of an academic setting in which students, instructors, and others could engage, hopefully, in a memorable, fascinating, edifying exchange of information and views.

But then things went awry.

Apparently some students were upset that Dexter had pronounced the n-word in full. When Dexter heard that her remarks had created hurt feelings, she returned to the class to explain herself and apologize, actions that appear to have inflamed the anger. According to news reports, Dua and outraged students found Dexter’s apology to be “insincere” and inadequate.

Subsequent disquiet grew to such an extent that the committee authorized an “investigation” into Dexter’s conduct, though, just recently, apparently pursuant to some prodding from Dexter’s lawyer, the proceeding is now being referred to as a “fact-finding review.”

No, this is not parody. This is, alas, farce.

No one claims that Dexter “used” the n-word to demean, harass, or terrorize — the malevolent purposes that have made the word a justly hated slur. So what is the complaint ? The complaint is that she enunciated what The Boston Globe terms “the full version of the n-word.” But so, too, did Dua. Why was he not excoriated? Why was he not investigated?

One explanation: Dua is black while Dexter is white.


Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Former Miss Universe Australia DENIES 'appropriating' Aboriginal culture in advertisement

Olivia Molly Rogers, 27, has denied she was making fun of Aboriginal culture when she covered herself in clay and attempted to resemble an indigenous dancer. 

The former Miss Universe Australia faced intense backlash this week, when she posted a snap of herself trying out brand Swisse's new clay masks.

Appearing to look like a dancer in a traditional corroboree, the photograph had written under it: 'Connecting to our indigenous roots.'

The questionable snap received an intense backlash, with Olivia hitting back at claims it was an act of cultural appropriation.

On Sunday, in a statement to Daily Mail Australia, Olivia claimed she did not write the 'indigenous roots' comment.

'While the comment about 'indigenous roots' was not my own, it was added to my social media upon another influencer re-sharing it,' she said. 

'I promise to learn and grow from the experience, and grow my understanding around cultural appropriation and cultural sensitivities,' she continued. 

'I owe as much to not only myself, but to my followers, and the Indigenous community more widely.'  

Earlier this week, Olivia hit back on Instagram writing she was just doing what she was 'instructed' to do by lathering herself up in the clay.

Despite referring to her 'indigenous roots', Olivia went on to claim that it was not meant to be an act of cultural appropriation.   

She went on to offer an apology, claiming it would have never been her intention hurt anybody.


Burger King slammed for ‘racist’ ad with chopsticks being used to eat burgers

Must not mention racial differences

Burger King is being called out for an advertisement for its new chicken sandwich, the Vietnamese Sweet Chilli Tendercrisp.

The ad, which aired in New Zealand, features several fast food customers attempting — and failing — to eat the chicken sandwich using giant chopsticks.

“Take your tastebuds all the way to Ho Chi Minh City with our Vietnamese Sweet Chilli Tendercrisp, part of our Tastes of the World range. Available for a limited time only,” a caption for the ad read on Instagram.

Mario Mo, a Korean New Zealander, posted a video of the ad to her Twitter slamming the brand’s use of chopsticks with a sarcastic, “So this is the new Burger King ad for a ‘Vietnamese’ burger ok coolcoolcoolcoolcool CHOPSTICKS R HILARIOUS right omg etc”.

Soon after Mo posted the video, it went viral pulling in over 2.1 million views as of Monday morning, and hundreds of comments from Twitter users expressing their own outrage at the company’s approval of the ad.

Mo told HuffPost she decided to post the video because she was shocked to see it in the first place.

“Because I couldn’t believe such blatantly ignorant ads are still happening in 2019, it honestly took me a second to work out what the heck I was looking at,” Mo told HuffPost in a message.


Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Extremism definition fails Clarkson test: British Government gave up on laws to fight ideology because it's 'too difficult'

Jeremy Clarkson is a British motoring reviewer who often says rather old-fashioned things

The Government has abandoned creating laws to tackle extremism because it is “too difficult” as their last attempt would have even criminalised Jeremy Clarkson, the former reviewer of terrorism laws has said.

Lord Anderson QC said previous attempts to tackle dangerous ideology before it develops into terrorist acts have been too broad and would have made legitimate political and religious activity illegal.

The definition of extremism adopted by the Government, he argues, is “broad and ill-defined” and inventing laws against it is “what they do in Russia and it is no model to follow”.


'Why is the mother portrayed as weak?' Australian bank is slammed for its 'sexist' ad featuring a 'struggling' single mother

Must not mention that being a single mother is difficult

A Westpac advertising campaign has come under fire by online critics who have labelled it sexist for its portrayal of a family in the midst of separation.

The ad, which was released last month as part of the company's 'help' series, is intended to advertise a source of support for families going through a split.

The commercial features a storyline from the point of view of a young boy as his parents go through a divorce.

The video shows the mother, a black woman, struggling with her separation looking downcast and relying on her son for support.

The young boy is seen being protective of his mum, helping her out with household duties, reading her a bedtime story, and at one point even shading her from the sun at the beach. 

The tune of the advert changes, however, when the boy's father comes into the picture and he is seen as the supportive figure for his son, reassuring him.

The seemingly poignant ad then concludes with a line from Westpac saying: 'If you're separating, there's help.' 

But critics have claimed the message behind the ad is sexist by portraying the mum as helpless while also 'reinforcing' negative stereotyping of black families.  

'Why does the ad show the little boy taking care of his mother - putting up fairy lights for her, shading her on the beach, catching a spider for her (he becomes 'the man of the house') - but the little boy doesn't have to look after the dad. Shameful stereotyping. This ad rates F for FAIL,' one user said in a Facebook comment.

The comment was met with support from another user who replied: 'Absolutely agree with what you've just said. Why is the mother portrayed as weak, requiring the son to care for her yet the father is portrayed as the carer. Fail Westpac Fail.'


Monday, April 08, 2019

Female Prof of Sociology Chastised Construction Workers Over ‘Men Working’ Sign: It Backfired

One feminist who thought she was doing goddess’s work harassed a group of construction workers in order to shame them for a nearby sign and thought she’d brag about her exploits on Twitter, only to find out that Twitter isn’t as impressed as she may have anticipated.

Asst. Prof of Sociology at the Washington University at St. Louis, Caitlyn Collins, posted a tweet that she had stumbled across a group of construction workers who were going about their business next to a sign that read “men at work.” Outraged that such a sign would exist, Collins targeted one of the workers and proceeded to berate him over it.

“What if there’s a woman on your crew?” Collins claimed to have asked.

The man responded that he didn’t know, and upon being asked if there were any women, told her that there were none. Collins immediately found her next move.

“Do you think maybe they’re related?” asked Collins.

She then claimed the man then had the “awkwardest face.”

The tweet was then exposed by multiple people. While Collins didn’t delete it, she soon found the need to take her account private after she was properly ratio’d on Twitter by internet denizens who found her entitled behavior disgusting.

Rest assured, the internet responded in droves.

This is peak privilege. This professor descended from her academic halls to chastise a working man & spread some intersectionality, and now she is proud of it. She totally exposes herself as a jerk and a joke. This is the Left

"Nailed it. It’s because of signs like this that women aren’t doing physical labor reliant on superior upper body strength in numbers sufficient to satisfy feminists.
 You popping in to nag is EXACTLY why you don’t want a woman on your crew. Otherwise the sign would say “People Gossiping

"Female privilege is sitting in a car lecturing men working outside in the dirt to support the city infrastructure on how they are harming hypothetical women by doing so next to a sign that she imagines must offend these hypothetical women as much as it does her

The truth is that women typically don’t enter fields of manual labor for many reasons, from it being too hard on the body to being less flexible.

Collins ideological kin tends not to raise any kind of alarms about the lack of women in fields that require you to get dirty, such as waste management or mining. They tend to raise the alarm in fields where power or high pay is involved such as political offices and tech jobs. Collins or many women who would cheer her chastizing of manual labor workers on, wouldn’t be caught dead on an oil rig.

In light of this fact, feminists like Collins aren’t concerned about the lack of sexual diversity on a construction site, but rather the optics of no women being there that disturbs them. That men might dominate anything is too much to allow, thus Collins is going to make an example of men on Twitter while simultaneously virtue signaling as loudly as possible.


`Shock, concern' at new Australian laws

Australian media and technology companies say they are shocked and concerned by the federal parliament's bipartisan backing for rushed new laws preventing violent footage appearing on social media platforms.

NewsMediaWorks chief executive, Peter Miller, told The Australian he was very surprised by the "risky" decision to pass the legislation, when the government had been advised by a number of media businesses to "take a deep breath".

"There was so much coverage in the press this morning saying settle down, and they haven't done so. It seems very risky. We'll be talking to our members to understand their position," Mr Miller said.

NewsMediaWorks is the industry body for news publishers, News Corp, Nine and Seven West Media.

The legislation has united small and large publishers in opposition after they were caught up in regulation aimed at the tech titans such as Facebook and Google that live streamed and enabled sharing of footage of the Christchurch massacre with a global audience.

This morning the Sharing of Abhorrent Violent Material bill passed through the House of Representatives with the support of Labor, despite the opposition's legal affairs spokesman Mark Dreyfus noting eight issues with the legislation. The Bill passed the Senate on Wednesday evening.

Free TV chief executive Bridget Fair, who represents commercial free-to-air television broadcasters, said the body remained concerned with the news legislation.

"We would welcome an opportunity to work with the Government to consider these issues in more detail," Ms Fair said.

"There is a fundamental difference between reporting the news and the streaming of unedited live terrorist footage with no editorial decision making process. FreeTV does not believe that criminal sanctions are an appropriate mechanism in relation to public interest news reports by legitimate Australian news providers."

"While we support the intention of the legislation and welcome the Government's measures to limit the exposure of news reporting, we remain concerned by any attempt to criminalise public interest journalism which serves an important role in a healthy democracy," a Nine spokeswoman added.

Chris Wirasinha, co-founder of Pedestrian Group, which runs Pedestrian TV, Business Insider and Gizmodo, said while the move to legislation was a step in the right direction, the rushed approach raised strong concerns.

"The ability for news organisations to publish often difficult or challenging material in the public interest is an important part of the news media's role in society. This effect will be felt particularly strongly by journalists from smaller and independent organisations without access to legal teams," Mr Wirasinha said.


Sunday, April 07, 2019

Buttigieg Promises He Will No Longer Say ‘All Lives Matter’ Now That He Understands What It Means

Democratic presidential contender Pete Buttigieg said on Thursday that when he used the phrase “all lives matter” in a 2015 speech he did not understand it had been adopted by critics to devalue the Black Lives Matter movement.

Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and fast-rising 2020 White House candidate, told reporters he had not used the phrase again once he became aware it was sometimes used to undermine the Black Lives Matter movement to fight police violence and racism against African-Americans.

Wayne Messam, the mayor of Miramar, Florida, who last week declared his own bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, criticized Buttigieg on Thursday for his use of the “all lives matter” phrase.

“‘Black lives matter’ doesn’t mean that all lives do not matter, rather it is a cry for equal treatment in the greater circle of justice for all Americans,” said Messam, who is African-American.


Incorrect history in Massachusetts

It was a pretty idiotic exam question

After protests, state tosses out MCAS question on ‘Underground Railroad’

When 10th-graders sat down for the MCAS this spring, many confronted an essay question that struck them as inappropriate and insensitive: They were asked to write a journal entry from the perspective of a white woman who uses derogatory language toward a runaway slave and is conflicted about helping her.

The essay question — based on a passage from the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “The Underground Railroad” — sparked a range of questions among students, including whether using racist language would win them points for historical accuracy or deductions for inappropriateness. Some Boston school administrators, including interim Superintendent Laura Perille, contacted state education officials last Friday to voice their objections.

In response, the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education informed superintendents on Sunday that students would not be scored on the question and that students taking the makeup exam this week would be instructed not to answer it — a rare move by the department. Commissioner Jeffrey Riley did not reveal the specific question in his note.

Several teachers unions and other organizations blasted the state on Wednesday for the MCAS question and implored officials not to score any exam that included the controversial material.

“For all of the unconscionable aspects of standardized testing, [the state] has imposed a new layer of trauma — particularly on students of color — forcing students to read a tiny excerpt of the book, produce a quick answer about race relations embodying a racist perspective, and then stifle the complicated emotions that emerge,” said Merrie Najimy, president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, in a statement.


Friday, April 05, 2019

The word cops have a warrant for your arrest

By Anne Bernays (Jocular)

So is it OK to use the word “hopefully,” as in “Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day”? Regrettably, yes, it is. And that’s because the English language, like any other cultural trope, is fluid and changes with the swells and dips of time. Only “dead” languages, like Latin and ancient Greek, are immutable. The grammatical way to use the H word is in a sentence like this: “She went in to the exam hopefully, knowing that she had to get a passing grade.” Usage changes and we ought to go along it. “Lie” and “lay” have become interchangeable. Sentences with the “had” construction have largely disappeared, as in “If he had answered his phone, he would have been overjoyed.” Today, most people would say “If he answered his phone he would have been overjoyed.” It just sounds wrong, but language changes and we need to float with it.

By weight, saffron is the most expensive item. Diamonds are next. But to the finicky writer, words are priceless and must never be wasted.

We misuse and abuse language through ignorance, imprecision, impatience, and, worst of all, camouflage. For instance, consider the two-word phrase “going forward.” “I promise to be more fiscally responsible going forward.” Think a moment. Where else would next time exist?

The words “house” and “home” are not synonymous. A house is a hollow structure. It has doors, windows, a roof, and maybe some termites in the basement. “Home” is an abstraction, a constellation of feelings. But your home could be in an apartment house or a boat or even a cave. That’s why you don’t see pillows embroidered with the words “House Sweet House.” A house becomes a home only when it’s occupied by the people who live in it. To say “home for sale” — as many glossy brochures do — is merely wishful thinking.

When there’s a death, someone has died. They haven’t “passed on” or worse, “passed.” Those words serve only to disguise or soften an unpleasant truth. Today’s “senior citizens” are yesterday’s old men and old women. The “transfer station” is what we used to call the “garbage dump.” Your family doctor is now your primary care physician. Why do we insist that so many words and phrases wear camouflage? My language guru, George Orwell, would say moral cowardice.

“Issue” has largely replaced “problem.” A problem is something that needs solving: “The problem of economic inequality seems to be permanent.” An issue, was, until recently, an unresolved dispute between two or more people. Nowadays they are used interchangeably, as in “Tom has health issues.” No. “Tom realizes his fainting spells are a problem.”

Why is this seemingly minor matter of using the right words, of meaning what you say and saying what you mean, so important? Because as Orwell pointed out: “If thought corrupts language, language corrupts thought.” Why did Hitler order the destruction of so many books? Because he understood the extraordinary power of the word. He realized that in a struggle between sword and pen, the pen will ultimately own the sword.

Orwell also weighed in on word length. I realize some writers prefer to work with what’s known as purple prose and many readers respond to this with impatient appetite. Unless the palette is in the hands of a master like Vladimir Nabokov or Henry James, this orgy of adjectives, adverbs, and inside out sentences leaves me yearning for the simplicity of Ernest Hemingway (whose guru was a woman) and Graham Greene. A matter of taste, I suppose.

Orwell’s advice was never to use a three-syllable word when two would do or a two-syllable word when one would do. But recently we seem to have an urge to add on to an existing word syllables it doesn’t need — like a bushy tail. Thus “many” is rendered as “multiple”; “photo” as “photo-op”; a “man” or a “woman” is an “individual” — that’s five syllables where one or two would do.

As a writing teacher one of my jobs is to preach the gospel of clarity and precision. It’s astonishing how often someone will write one word when they mean something entirely different. In a famous interview in The Paris Review, Hemingway was asked if it were true that he rewrote the last paragraph of “A Farewell to Arms” 27 times and if true, what was the problem? (Not, thank God, the “issue.” ) Hemingway answered, “I had to find the right words.”

Finding the right word is hard work. Those who think writing a strong sentence is easy should try turning out an entire story that anyone other than your mother can read straight through. And the English language, I’m glad to say, is alive, well, and malleable in spite of its lapses and messy accidents. Where but in the English-speaking world would anyone come up with something as brilliant as two negatives combined to form the positive adjective "badass"?


Mixed Martial Art fighter Conor McGregor is slammed over ‘racist’ tweet branding Muslim UFC rival Khabib Nurmagomedov’s wife a ‘towel’

Conor McGregor has been slammed for a 'racist' Tweet directed at a UFC rival featuring a photo of the fighter's wife wearing an Islamic veil on their wedding day.

The message to Muslim Khabib Nurmagomedov included the image with the caption 'Your wife's a towel mate' and was met with a barrage of criticism on social media.

The post, which has now been deleted, was branded racist and Islamophobic and comes as the pair have been trading insults since Nurmagomedov defeated McGregor in October last year.

After uploading an image of  Nurmagomedov's wife in veil, one user posted: 'Conor mcgregor is a man with no dignity or honour..that's it..just look at the racist islamophobic comments.'


I am inclined to think that McGregor had a point

Thursday, April 04, 2019

Editor of New Zealand fishing magazine DEFENDS article calling Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern 'dumb as a plank'

Days after the Christchurch shooting which left 50 Muslim worshippers dead, Ms Ardern announced a blanket ban on semi-automatic assault rifles and a gun amnesty program involving a buyback scheme. 

An April issue of Fishing and Outdoors later published a scathing article on gun reform criticising the PM's gun control efforts while labelling her police minister a 'lapdog'.

The story, titled, 'Cops treat NZ gun owners as criminals: Firearm laws ignorantly fiddled with', claimed that the government had called for legislation that already exists.

'Our Dumb-as-a-Plank New Zealand Prime Minister and lapdog New Zealand Police Minister have announced a ban on assault rifles that are and have been banned for the last 'thirty-five years,'' reporter John McNab wrote, according to the NZ Herald.

McNab was referring to the law which makes 'full auto' guns illegal even as defence force weapons.

The writer went on to say the prime minister's comments were 'disingenuous and misleading the general public'.

'This is what happens when dumb people are put in charge of stuff they don't understand, and who are too dumb to either admit it, or to listen to facts from people who do understand the stuff in question.

'Then we have all the flower powder puffs coming out of the woodwork who know little if anything about the issues here,' he wrote. 

When contacted by the publication, editor Graham Carter defended the story and accused Ms Ardern and her associates of 'electioneering.'


Senator Fraser Anning is 'censured' by Australian politicians for linking the Christchurch terror attacks to Muslim immigration

What Anning initially tweeted which provoked the uproar was:

“Does anyone still dispute the link between Muslim immigration and violence?”

“As always, leftwing politicians and the media will rush to claim that the causes of today’s shootings lie with gun laws or those who hold nationalist views, but this is all cliched nonsense."

“The real cause of bloodshed on New Zealand streets today is the immigration program which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place.”

I am not sure what the Senator said that is wrong.  Without Muslim immigration to New Zealand there could have been no massacre of Muslims in New Zealand.  What is wrong with that logic? 

And without the frequent incidence of Muslim immigrants going on Jihad and massacring Westerners, the Christchurch gunman would have had no motivation for his attack.  Tarrant certainly did fear the way Musim immigration was going and said that he was hitting back at them. He felt that if Muslims can  massacre innocent Western men, women and children then it was only fair for him to massacre innocent Muslim men, women and children.  It's an Old Testament conception of justice but still a common one

It seems to me that Senator Anning was simply stating the facts.  But, as we know, stating facts these days can be "incorrect".

Independent senator Fraser Anning has been censured by parliament for his 'shameful and pathetic' comments which linked the Christchurch terror attacks to Muslim immigration.

The Queenslander was rebuked by his colleagues on Wednesday for blaming Muslim migrants for the horrific attack in which a white supremacist killed 50 worshippers at mosques last month.

'Senator Anning's comments were ugly and divisive. They were dangerous and unacceptable from anyone, let alone a member of this place,' government Senate leader Mathias Cormann told parliament.

Labor's Senate leader Penny Wong said while scores of injured people were being treated for gunshot wounds, Senator Anning fanned the flames of division.

The censure motion, moved by Mr Cormann and Ms Wong, was passed unanimously after Mr Anning left the chamber.

Mr Anning denied blaming victims for the attack and described reasoning's of the motion as attack 'barely coherent', SBS reported.

'This censure motion against me is a blatant attack on free speech,' he said. 'The claim that this someone blames the victims is absurd, my real crime is that I simply told the truth. '

Senator Anning then took to social media, writing: 'The left wing outrage was on show today!' 'But no matter how many times they tried to condemn me, they could not refute that what I said is 100 per cent true.'

Following the Christchurch terror attack on March 15, Senator Anning released a statement linking Muslim migration to the shooting. 

He said while any form of violence could never be justified, the growing fear of the 'increasing Muslim presence' was behind the massacre.

'The real cause of bloodshed on New Zealand streets today is the immigration program that allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place.'

In a follow-up statement, he said he opposed to any form of violence within our community and totally condemned the actions of the gunman.

'What it highlights is the growing fear within our community, both in Australia and New Zealand, of the increasing Muslim presence,' he said.


Wednesday, April 03, 2019

The Left Doesn’t Want Free Speech. They Want Their Speech

Although leftists like to use words like “tolerance” and “openness,” their preferred tactics are censorship and bans. The left consistently attempts to silence their opposition’s words rather than debate the merit of their ideas.

But in order to keep their self-given title as the protectors of diversity and to avoid detection of their anti-First Amendment philosophies, leftists have learned to camouflage their attack by claiming the language in question is dangerous, unsafe or may lead to violence.

In a recent interview with Salon, Ben Shapiro said, “We have to acknowledge that attempting to shut each other down or treat speech as violent is a dangerous thing.”

Any idea worth having is an idea that can withstand, or at least engage with, a robust attack. (Another smart person said that recently. You should follow that person immediately on Twitter).

Brandon Straka, founder of the #WalkAway movement, is learning firsthand the dark depths of the left’s anti-free speech hypocrisy. I had the opportunity to speak with Straka about recent circumstances.

Straka, an openly gay political activist, fits the stereotype you might think would be welcomed by the left. But you would be wrong. Although it is simply a campaign chronicling a diverse group of individuals deciding to abandon liberalism, Straka’s #WalkAway movement has been viciously — and incorrectly — lied about, including being labeled a “Kremlin operation” by Bob Cesca at Salon.

Referring to the growth of Straka’s movement, Cesca wrote “This isn’t being circulated by earnest yet misguided voters who formerly identified as Democrats. This is clearly being circulated by trolls connected to the Russian influence operations.“

Even though Cesca’s lies were both obvious and easily disproved, the attacks didn’t stop there.

Straka recently planned two town hall events in New York City —  both scheduled for this week. The two #WalkAway events are geared toward the black community in an effort to present why some in the minority and LGBT community have joined the conservative movement.

The first event is Wednesday. Straka intends to show a video compilation of testimonials from people who have decided to leave the liberal plantation. He has raised outside money to rent the theater so those from the surrounding minority community can attend for free. Straka calls the film “Documonial.” The showing will be followed by a diverse panel who will take questions from the audience about liberalism, conservatism and the stories they just heard.

The second event was scheduled for Thursday at a center that focuses on LGBT issues in the community. Again, Straka lined up a diverse panel to discuss the #WalkAway movement. The center accepted Straka’s signed contract and took his money. Additionally, the center promoted the event in its magazine.

But then a mighty triggering began.

Groups ostensibly for diversity and acceptance began their war against the event and Straka personally. They created a petition. They created a dossier. They organized a boycott. They threatened a protest.

The protesters and petitioners claimed Straka’s campaign was a white nationalist movement. However, they apparently didn’t take the simple step of looking at diverse faces of the storytellers on the #WalkAway YouTube channel.

In an act of pure cowardice, deceit, or both, the center canceled the town hall. They did so without notice. They did so without talking to Straka or a representative of the #WalkAway movement. “To this day, they have not called or emailed. I found out on Twitter about their public statement,” said Straka.

Just the thought that an idea they don’t agree with might be spoken in a room they are not forced to be in was too traumatic for the protesters


Students demand a censor to stop 'insensitive' articles appearing in their university newspaper

Student union bosses at the University of Manchester have demanded articles by their student-run newspaper be vetted by a 'sensitivity reader'.

Sara Khan, the University of Manchester's student union's liberation and access officer, said that such an appointment would ensure funding for the publication in the future.

During the Students' Union Senate meeting on Thursday, she said the publication should ask people for their permission to be written about.

She explained that being written about could 'result in psychological distress, and puts people at risk of being harassed, especially women, who are particularly targeted with death and rape threats through social media,' The Tab reported.

There were many opposed to Ms Khan's view, including the paper's deputy editor Amy Wei who told The Sun: 'The introduction of a sensitivity reader infringes on The Mancunion’s independence, which is protected in the Student Union's by-laws.'

Ms Khan also called for the student newspaper to implement a 45 per cent quota of journalists and staff to come from black, Asian and minority ethnic background to reflect the student population.

'We don't believe that this is malicious or intentional, but that it stems from a lack of diversity in the team, and a lack of training and education,' she said.

Her amendments were voted down, ensuring The Mancunian will continue to funded and run independently for the next three years.

Ms Khan made headlines last year when she lead a vote that banned clapping at the university. Instead it would be replaced with jazz hands, the British Sign Language for clapping and cheers.

She told the BBC that loud noises like clapping could cause issues with to those with autism, sensory issues or deafness.

'I've seen that clapping, whooping, talking over each other, loud noises, encourages an atmosphere that is not as respectful as it could be,' she said.


Tuesday, April 02, 2019

This Professor Was Demoted and Later Effectively Fired for Expressing His Views

Dr. Allan Josephson served as the Division Chief of Pediatric Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Louisville for almost fifteen years. He had an exemplary record of impeccable leadership.

Yet in November 2017, the university demoted Dr. Josephson to the role of a junior faculty member.

What changed?

A few years ago, Dr. Josephson was alarmed by the rapid growth of transgenderism. He was particularly worried about the life-changing effects of giving children hormones and surgeries to treat gender dysphoria. And why wouldn’t he be? Such drastic measures result in the sterilization of children with no proven effectiveness. So, Dr. Josephson wisely advocates that, when treating children with gender dysphoria, medical professionals should first seek to understand and treat the psychological issues that often cause this confusion before pursuing more radical, aggressive treatments.

He knew he needed to lend his expertise to the cultural conversation in order to stand up for the wellbeing of children. And thankfully, that’s exactly what he’s done.

Dr. Josephson has provided expert testimony in cases involving gender dysphoria. But it all came to a head in October 2017 when he spoke on a panel at the Heritage Foundation entitled “Gender Dysphoria in Children: Understanding the Science and Medicine.”

When the members of Dr. Josephson’s division at the University of Louisville learned about this speech, a few became angry and called for the university to remove him as Division Chief.

Less than seven weeks later, the university did just that. It demoted a distinguished professor and leader who had earned perfect marks on his 2014, 2015, and 2016 annual reviews.

That’s why Alliance Defending Freedom is representing Dr. Josephson in a lawsuit against the University of Louisville.

In explaining this demotion, the university acknowledged that Dr. Josephson was an excellent employee but that he was being removed simply because of his colleagues’ disagreement with his views on the treatment of children with gender dysphoria. For the next year, Dr. Josephson endured assignments typically given to much younger, less experienced faculty. Then in February 2019, the university announced that it would not renew his contract, a highly unusual decision that basically means the university is firing him.

This is not only unconstitutional but also completely counter to the values that the University of Louisville claims to hold.


So should we retire “openly gay?”

I put the question to Tracy Baim, the publisher of the Chicago Reader. She also founded and co-owns the LGBTQ newspaper Windy City Times.

“It absolutely depends on the context,” she said. “I totally agree it’s not something you would use as frequently as in the past. There are so many other ways to say the same thing without making it feel like it’s a secret or has some kind of negative connotation. But there are some times when that’s the best phrase.”

In a nuanced feature story, Baim said, it may make more sense to skip the description and mention, say, that the female candidate has a wife. In a brief news story, on the other hand, the term is acceptable shorthand.

“Sometimes ‘openly gay’ or ‘openly queer’ or ‘openly LGBTQ’ makes sense,’ ” she said, “especially if there are other closeted folks running. It’s also an important qualifier because you don’t always know who the first gay person was in a position — but you would know who the first openly gay person is.”

Sexual orientation is only one way people define themselves, and in many contexts it doesn’t matter. But it’s a piece of an identity, one that only recently has been safe to claim.

In Chicago’s mayoral race — which pits two African-American women, one of them gay, against each other — it’s not frivolous to note that Chicago will soon have its first African-American female mayor and possibly it’s first openly gay mayor.

“All of those are historic,” Baim said. “All of these identities are extremely relevant. In this case, people who would be criticizing the use of any identity are simplifying our society when we’re just not there yet.”

That’s a key phrase: We’re just not there yet.


Monday, April 01, 2019

Why New Zealand shouldn’t ban the shooter’s manifesto

Are we really so frightened not just of a terrorist’s weapons, but of his words?

The New Zealand government’s ‘chief censor’ has outlawed the alleged Christchurch mosque murderer’s manifesto as officially ‘objectionable’ under New Zealand law. Possessing a printed copy of the document, or having it on your computer, could earn you a 10-year prison sentence. Sending it to somebody else via the internet could get you up to 14 years in jail.

Understandably, this ban has not attracted as much criticism as other acts of state censorship, since few want to start a campaign demanding free speech for self-confessed ‘eco-fascist’ terrorists accused of mass murder.

But the ban is still a bad thing. In trying to prevent people from reading the alleged gunman’s ‘message’, the authorities have sent out a worrying message of their own. Their message is that we should be frightened, not only of the terrorist’s deadly weapons, but also of his words; that Western society is now so enfeebled and lacking in self-belief that it cannot take on and defeat the rambling rhetoric of a mad gunman.

The underlying message of the ban is also that the authorities do not trust the New Zealand people, and that those people should not trust one another. After all, what does it say about your neighbours if the government believes they could be turned into racist terrorists by a glimpse of a ranting webpage?

New Zealand’s Bill of Rights Act (1990) declares that, ‘Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form’. However, as the New York Times’ report of the ban observed, ‘the parameters are more restrictive than the First Amendment guarantees in the US’. In other words, the New Zealand authorities have more scope to override that apparent legal right and restrict free speech. As in this case, they can even impose a pre-emptive ban. And it is up to the state’s ‘chief censor’ to decide what is allowed.

David Shanks, the current incumbent of that century-old post, took the extraordinary step of outlawing the manifesto using the definition of ‘objectionable’ under the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act (1993). This can cover any publication which the censor decides ‘deals with matters such as sex, horror, crime, cruelty or violence in such a manner that the availability of the publication is likely to be injurious to the public good.’

That ‘objectionable’ law seems a remarkably sweeping power for a modern state apparently committed to ‘freedom of expression’, and gives the official censor plenty of scope to wield the blue pencil.

Banning the alleged mosque shooter’s manifesto and warning New Zealanders to ‘destroy any copies’ and report any sightings, Shanks observed that it ‘promotes, encourages and justifies acts of murder and terrorist violence against identified groups of people’, identifies targets for other attacks and potential ways of carrying them out. This brought him to the crux of his case.

‘There is an important distinction to be made’, said Shanks, ‘between “hate speech”, which may be rejected by many right-thinking people but which is legal to express, and this type of publication, which is deliberately constructed to inspire further murder and terrorism. It crosses the line.’

Any debate about free speech today tends to focus on exactly where ‘the line’ should be, and which types of speech cross it. The fashion across Western societies is to make that line easier to cross and seek to outlaw more and more types of ‘hate speech’ or ‘offensive’ words. Shanks makes the welcome concession that ‘hate speech’, while objectionable, is not illegal. Nor should it be. However, he then shifts the line again in order to justify his ban.

The NZ state’s argument is that the alleged shooter’s manifesto should not be protected by free-speech law because it seeks ‘to inspire further murder and terrorism’. In other words, it is an incitement to racist violence.

‘Incitement’ is arguably the most oft-used and abused method of restricting free speech. We should be clear what we mean by it. There ought to be a line between words that are an expression of an opinion, however hateful, and words that become part of the execution of an illegal action. But that line should be drawn very firmly to define incitement narrowly and broadly to favour freedom of speech. Instead the tendency today is to broaden the definition of incitement to include any ‘inflammatory’ words. The New Zealand ban is a case in point.

More here

Australia: 'If he can say it, why can't I?' Principal sparks outrage after using the N-word three times during a school speech

A school principal has been criticised after he used the N-word during a school assembly to highlight racism following the Christchurch terror attack.

Principal Richard Minack at Brighton Secondary College, Melbourne, said 'n*****' three times during the assembly as he tried to explain changing values.

The racial slur has since been used frequently in the playground, with one student claiming: 'I think their theory behind it is if the principal can say it, why can't we?'

In front of the school, Mr Minack said: 'Mission brown paint was originally called n***** brown paint.'

'So mission brown paint is only a tiny step in language away from n***** brown paint.'

There were 1400 students at the assembly, including the teenager who become an internet sensation after he egged Senator Fraser Anning.

According to Yahoo7, one student said: 'You can't say that in front of a school, especially one as multicultural as ours.'

Mr Minack emailed the students, apologising for using the term and explaining why he felt it was necessary. 

'I hope you understand that I used it to call out and criticise racism and bigotry,' he said.

'Sometimes we have to use offensive words to explain why they are offensive.' 


Sunday, March 31, 2019

Facebook BANS white nationalism and white separatism from its platform and Instagram as it attempts to bring down the hammer on extremist content

It is disturbing that criticism of immigration will be included in the ban.  A great deal of perfectly reasonable discourse could fall under that

And what about "Make America great".  That would see to fall squarely within the range of banned expressions

Will posts expressing Muslim supremacy be banned too?  Claims that Islam will and should rule everywhere are very common in Muslim discourse.

And does the ban apply to Hindu nationalism?  "Hindutva" is the creed of India's current governing party.  Yogi Adityanath,  chief minister of India’s most populous state, has claimed that Hindus are “preparing for religious war” and has called Muslims “a crop of two-legged animals that has to be stopped.” There are actual anti-Muslim riots in India. Many Indians would take great offence at censorship of "Hindutva" expressions

Facebook has banned white nationalism and white separatist posts from its platform, in what likely constitutes its most aggressive action against extremist content yet.

The policy will be put in place starting next week and will affect all of Facebook's nearly 2 billion-wide user base, in addition to Instagram, the firm announced.

'It’s clear that these concepts are deeply linked to organized hate groups and have no place on our services,' Facebook wrote in a blog post. 

The social media giant has removed posts from extremist groups in the past for violating its policies around hate speech and abuse, but has historically fallen short of outright banning posts of this kind.

Previously, Facebook only banned posts promoting white supremacism. The firm decided today that it will now ban white nationalist and white separatist posts from its platform.

Civil rights groups argued that the three extremist ideologies were indistinguishable and should all be banned.

Posts that include statements like 'I am a proud white nationalist' and 'Immigration is tearing this country apart' will immediately be banned.

Prior to Wednesday's decision, Facebook had only prevented users from sharing messages that promoted white supremacy.

'Going forward, while people will still be able to demonstrate pride in their ethnic heritage, we will not tolerate praise or support for white nationalism and separatism.'

Highlighting the thorniness of policing extremist content, Facebook said implicit and coded white nationalism and white separatism will not be removed from the site immediately, as it's harder to detect and remove.

Facebook said it will also rely on machine learning and artificial intelligence to remove white nationalist, separatist and supremacist content.

The Muslim Public Affairs Council called the decision a 'win against white supremacy' and said it has met with the firm, including Sandberg, to urge them to take a harder stance against all forms of hate speech on Facebook.


Twitter plans to 'label' Donald Trump's tweets if they break its rules

Twitter is considering applying labels to tweets from public figures such as Donald Trump if they break the social network's rules, as an alternative to banning accounts.

The company has exempted tweets from world leaders from the rules it applies to most accounts, saying there is a public interest reason to keep them online, even if they share messages that incite violence or could be perceived as bullying.

“One of the things we’re working really closely on with our product and engineering folks is, ‘How can we label that?’ ” Vijaya Gadde, the company’s chief of legal, policy, and trust and safety said during a Washington Post Live event in San Francisco on Wednesday.

“How can we put some context around it so people are aware that that content is actually a violation of our rules and it is serving a particular purpose in remaining on the platform.”

Twitter has been accused of hypocrisy for allowing Trump to remain on the platform despite sharing videos or media that would cause another account holder to be banned.

Trump caused a storm in 2017 when he appeared to threaten North Korea leader Kim Jong-un, writing: “Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N.If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won't be around much longer!” Threats are against the company guidelines. At the time, Twitter’s spokesman said they would not remove the tweet despite it breaking its rules because it was deemed “newsworthy”.


Friday, March 29, 2019

New Zealand tradie sacked for Muslim comments

I gather he mentioned attacks by Jihadis. New Zealanders are a very righteous lot so having their huge virtue displays shown up as unbalanced would grate on them

A man lost his job after making comments about Muslims following the Christchurch terror attack. Thomas Knight-Wagener now says he regrets what he said and is gutted to have lost his job at Placemakers Albany after just four days in the role.

Mr Knight-Wagener, who got the job through labour hire organisation Tradestaff, said he and some colleagues were chatting about the terror attack the day after it happened when he decided to put his two cents in.

“Having an intellectual conversation about the comprehensive state of the Islamic movement on a global scale got me fired,” he said. “I didn’t talk much about the Christchurch shooting, but that’s how the conversation started.”

Mr Knight-Wagener said while talking about the shooting he digressed to mention what he had seen in news reports about the behaviour of Muslims living in the UK that “had been shown to be violent and destructive”.

“I elaborated on the current state of the UK in regards to the growing Islamic community and the crimes against the people in these communities,” he said. “I said no swear words and was not abusive or aggressive in my manner. I was simply stating facts ... which no one wanted to hear obviously.”

He then shut the conversation down and carried on with his work.

Mr Knight-Wagener, originally from Kaitaia [Northern NZ], said he returned to work on the Tuesday but when he went in on the Wednesday, he was told by the manager he had been assigned a new job by Tradestaff.

When he questioned why he had been moved on, he claimed the manager replied “something was said on Saturday about the Christchurch shooting”.

He claimed the manager said one of the team members were offended by his comments and that Mr Knight-Wagener didn’t fit in with the team. “Loose lips sink ships,” he said. “It is a fair reason for dismissing someone, in my opinion, but only if it is an ongoing issue.”

He said he knew as soon as the words came out of his mouth that he’d said the wrong thing. “I was just remarking on what I’d heard on the news,” he said.

“And as I said it, I thought it’s just appalling the way it sounds as it’s coming out of my mouth and I thought I’m gonna stop talking about it.”

When questioned whether he was a right-wing radical, Mr Knight-Wagener said he wasn’t sure what right or left wing was but he was a supporter of Milo Yiannopoulos — a far-right British speaker who was last week banned from Australia after he blamed the Christchurch terror attack on “extremist leftism and barbaric, alien religious cultures”.

He said he liked Yiannopoulos due to his opinion which created debates. However, he said he had no problem with Muslims, didn’t condone the attack and said people shouldn’t be dying.

Losing his job meant he was now having to move down to Bay of Plenty and pick fruit, a situation he says was not ideal given he was a qualified engineer. “It’s a shambles, to say the least,” he said.

He admitted he was known to be “a bit outspoken” and had decided to speak out to warn others about keeping their opinions on the issue to themselves.

“I’m just wondering how many other people this has happened to? It was just gossiping about what happened, and I lose my job,” he said.

A PlaceMakers spokeswoman said she couldn’t comment on specific employment cases within the business.

“But we have clear company values which include being respectful of our fellow employees, customers and the community,” she said. “Expressing or spreading prejudiced views against any religious or ethnic group does not fit with our culture.”


Experts call for the word 'cyclist' to be BANNED because it 'dehumanises' people who ride bikes

How about "biker"?

Experts have called for the word 'cyclist' to be banned because they believe the term 'dehumanises' people who ride bikes.

A new study, conducted by researchers at Queensland University of Technology and Monash University, found there was a link between the dehumanisation of cyclists and deliberate acts of aggression directed towards them on the road.

QUT professor Narelle Haworth said the study, which questioned 442 people in Victoria, NSW and Queensland, found 55 per cent of non-cyclists rated cyclists as 'not completely human'.

She is behind a push to scrap the word 'cyclist' and replace it with the term 'people who ride bikes'.

Professor Haworth, who is also the Director of the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety- Queensland, said it was important for drivers to view cyclists as real people.

'If we used the term people on bikes, instead of cyclists, we're giving a term that is more human-like and less like a species,' Professor Haworth told Daily Mail Australia.


Thursday, March 28, 2019

British Police officer sacked for abusing staff at takeaway wins job back

If only all Brits were treated so leniently

A policewoman who was sacked after she racially abused takeaway staff has been allowed to return to the beat after claiming her remarks "were not the worst kind of racism".

Pc Katie Barratt was dismissed over racist comments she made following a Northumbria Police Christmas party in 2017. However, a panel overturned the "unreasonable" dismissal in a ruling on Monday.

It means Pc Barratt can return to the beat, while the force will have to hand her at least £15,000 in back pay.

Pc Barratt was waiting to be served in the Spice of Punjab, when she said in front of colleagues: "I wish these f------ p---- would hurry up with my pizza".

It was also claimed she had called them "n-----s, something Pc Barratt never denied.

The panel heard staff had been buying Pc Barratt drinks all night at the 2017 Christmas "jolly" but she had since addressed that.   "She's not touched a drop of drink after this incident," said Mr Landenburg.

And he said she felt that she shouldn't have been sacked "because it is not the worst kind of racism".

Instead he claimed it was a one-off for which she should be given a second chance rather than the "nuclear option" of dismissal.

She and her mother wept as she was given the green light to resume her career as an officer. The force had fought to block her return, claiming her slurs could "seriously damage" the police's reputation. "Sadly it confirms a stereotype that is unfortunately held in some communities about the police," said the force's barrister Steven Reid.

Questions will now also be asked over whether Pc Barratt can work well with Asian communities. The panel heard she would find that hard after her picture was widely used in national media. And even her own barrister admitted the slurs she used were an "abomination".

Mr Reid said  the force felt no racism from an officer - on or off-duty - was ever acceptable.

"The appellant didn't go out that night to deliberately racially abuse members of the public," he stated. "But the fact remains she did."

The three-person panel downgraded her punishment to a final warning after two hours of deliberations.


British University bans Free Speech Society from hosting talk on alleged extremists

Muslims rule

The author of a report into alleged extremist speakers on British campuses has been banned from an event at a university her study strongly criticises.

Bristol University cancelled a talk being given by the author of the University Extreme Speakers League Table, in which it was placed tenth.

Emma Fox, a research fellow at the Henry Jackson Society, was  informed hours before the event - hosted by the University of Bristol’s Free Speech Society - it was being cancelled on security grounds.

The university called off the talk after a threat of protests organised by its Islamic Society and the Student Union among other groups.


Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Facebook executives could face JAIL if they fail to remove extremist content in new laws touted by Australian PM

This is crazy.  Everybody sees things on Facebook that they find offensive or "extreme".  If they all were allowed to order deletion of what they dislike on Facebook, there would be no Facebook left.  And in the face of criminal penalties, Facebook execs would have to try to please everyone.  Even pictures of cats might go.  Vegans regard them as "carnivores" (which they certainly are) and that to Vegans is deeply offensive

Tech titans would be breaking Australian law if they didn't take down footage of terrorist acts as soon as they learned about it, under proposed changes the prime minister will put to their top brass.

Scott Morrison will discuss violent offences being broadcast on social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube during a meeting in Brisbane on Tuesday.

The meeting comes less than two weeks after the Christchurch mosques massacre, in which 50 people were killed.

A video of the terror attack, in which a lone gunman opened fire at two mosques during Friday prayers, was live-streamed on social media.

Mr Morrison and ministers will ask the tech executives what they're doing to prevent such footage festering online and stress the government will take action if it doesn't believe they are going far enough.

In that regard, the government is drafting laws that would make it illegal for the platforms to not remove footage of extreme violence as soon as they become aware of it.

'We cannot have a situation persist where a 10-year-old Australian, or any Australian for that matter, could log on to Facebook and witness mass murder,' Attorney-General Christian Porter told Nine's Today program on Tuesday.

'That is totally unacceptable.'

The proposed legislation would also allow the government to declare footage of an incident filmed by a perpetrator being hosted on such sites as 'abhorrent violent material'.

That would allow federal authorities to ask social media providers to remove the material, with the platforms receiving greater penalties the longer it is left up.

It is based on existing laws dealing with child exploitation material.

Mr Porter says the government's pressure on social media companies after the Christchurch massacre is akin to the Howard government ramping up gun control after the Port Arthur massacre in 1996.

'What we are doing as a government is what Howard did as a government and responding to the threats as they arise to make Australians safer.'

Facebook took down 1.5 million posts of the footage of the Christchurch shootings but says none of the 200 people who watched the live video of the massacre immediately reported it.

The first user report about the original video was made 29 minutes after it was posted - 12 minutes after the live broadcast ended - the company said last week.

The online giants are also being urged to ensure they protect the personal information of Australians who use their platforms, with the government planning far harsher penalties for privacy breaches.