Sunday, October 22, 2017


Federal court rules World War I memorial cross must be torn down

Back in 1925, the American Legion erected a memorial in Bladensburg, Md., to honor the memory of 49 men who perished during World War I. The 40-foot tall memorial became known as the "Peace Cross."

In 2014, the American Humanist Association -- a group that believes in "being good without a god" -- filed a lawsuit alleging the cross-shaped memorial is unconstitutional and demanding it be demolished, altered, or removed.

They alleged the cross carries "an inherently religious message and creates the unmistakable appearance of honoring only Christian servicemen."

On Wednesday, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed and ruled the historic memorial must be torn down -- all because the Bladensburg Memorial is in the shape of a cross.

The Fourth Circuit said the memorial excessively entangles the government in religion because the cross is the “core symbol of Christianity” and “breaches” the wall separating church and state.

The American Legion could appeal directly to the Supreme Court.

"Today's decision sets dangerous precedent by completely ignoring history, and it threatens removal and destruction of veterans memorials across America," First Liberty Institute attorney Hiram Sasser said.

“This memorial has stood in honor of local veterans for almost 100 years and is lawful under the First Amendment,” Jones Day attorney Michael Carvin said. “To remove it would be a tremendous dishonor to the local men who gave their lives during The Great War.”

SOURCE




Panel on ‘civil discourse’ shut down by uncivil protesters

A panel on “civil discourse” Tuesday at the University of California, Los Angeles was shut down by protesters who refused to vacate the auditorium, forcing the event to be relocated.

According to video of the protest obtained by Campus Reform, one unidentified female began shouting at the panel of speakers—which included such prominent figures as Professor Eugene Volokh and Los Angeles Times Deputy Editorial Page Editor Jon Healey—abruptly accusing them of “not dealing with the reality that we’re facing right now.”

“This is outrageous. You’re not dealing with the reality. You’re not dealing with the reality that we’re facing right now where people are being deported. Yes you can take me out of this room but I’m not going to shut up,” she hollered as a security guard attempted to remove her from the venue.

“The point of this panel is to talk about civil discourse,” one speaker stated in an effort to calm the protesters by pointing out the irony of their behavior, but the chants continued until the panelists were forced to move to a separate room to continue the event.

SOURCE


Friday, October 20, 2017



British Universities told they 'must commit to free speech' under new plans

Universities that use "no platforming" and "safe spaces" to shut down free speech could face action from the new higher education regulator, the Government has announced.

Jo Johnson, the universities minister, said young people and students need to "accept the legitimacy of healthy vigorous debate" as he outlined plans for the Office for Students (OfS).

According to the Times, this could include powers to fine, suspend or deregister universities if they do not meet a statutory duty to commit to free speech in their governance documents.

But any proposals will form part of a consultation to help establish how the OfS will operate in its regulation of English universities.

It will be able to hold universities to account on their duty to secure free speech, ensuring it is upheld by staff, student unions and student societies, the Department for Education (DfE) said.

In an interview, Mr Johnson told the Times: "No-platforming and safe spaces shouldn't be used to shut down legitimate free speech. "Our young people and students need to accept the legitimacy of healthy vigorous debate in which people can disagree with one another. "That's how ideas get tested, prejudices exposed and society advances.

"Universities mustn't be places in which free speech is stifled."

Launching the consultation, he added: "Free speech is one of the foundations on which our higher education tradition is built. It goes to the heart of our democratic values and is a principle I know universities hold dear.

"I know there is good practice out there, and am proud that some of our university leaders and academics have publicly defended free speech. But there are still examples of censorship where groups have sought to stifle those who do not agree with them.

"This is why I want the OfS to work with universities to encourage a culture of openness and debate and ensure that those with different backgrounds or perspectives can flourish in a higher education environment."

Sir Michael Barber, chairman of the OfS, which gets its legal powers in April, said: "Ensuring freedom of speech and learning how to disagree with diverse opinions and differing views of the world is a fundamental aspect of learning at university. The OfS will promote it vigorously."

Mr Johnson also criticised a campaign by Oxford University students to take down a statue of colonialist Cecil Rhodes, who founded Rhodesia, which became Zimbabwe after freeing itself from British rule in 1980.

"The mark of a civilisation is a knowledge and understanding of your own past," the minister said. "I don't think tearing down statues contributes to a proper understanding of how our societies and cultures have developed. It's a dishonest way of assessing your own society."

Sir Michael supported Mr Johnson, telling the newspaper: "If you start demolishing statues, where does it all stop? I can think of lots of terrible things that Oliver Cromwell did, but I'm glad he stands outside the House of Commons. "I can think of even worse things that Richard the Lionheart did, and he stands outside the House of Lords."

The consultation will also look at forcing universities to publish and justify high salaries for senior staff, improving transparency on how students can transfer between courses, and compulsory participation in the Teaching Excellence Framework for universities with more than 500 students.

SOURCE




Biden Is Right and Kasich Is Wrong on Campus Free Speech

Who wants to live in a country where the government gets to decide what kind of speech is and is not okay?

During a “Bridging the Divides” forum at the University of Delaware on Tuesday, former vice president Joe Biden and Ohio governor John Kasich were asked about free speech on college campuses — and Biden had the far better answer.

“Liberals have a short memory . . . we hurt ourselves badly when we don’t allow speech to take place,” Biden said, according to a tweet from former CNN reporter Peter Hamby. “You should be able to listen to another point of view, as virulent as it may be, and reject it or expose it.”

Kasich’s answer? That he wouldn’t “let one of these hate speech speakers come.”

That was the wrong answer. Sure, Kasich may have been trying to come off as Sensitive Moderate Republican Guy, but he really came off as someone who doesn’t understand the responsibility that we all have as people who live in a country where our speech is free.

On the one hand, Kasich just may not understand how many people college students have tried to silence because they considered their views to be “hate speech” for a whole host of reasons. For example: Just last month, students at Berkeley tried to silence conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, claiming that he’s a “white supremacist.” (Note: Ben Shapiro is an Orthodox Jew.)

On the other hand, though, is this: It doesn’t f&*%$#@ matter what a speaker says. As Biden said, students should be able to handle hearing all speech — even “virulent” speech — and know how to “reject it or expose it” if necessary.

After all, that’s how it works in the real world. Yep. Believe it or not, there actually are people out there in the real world who say hateful things. What’s more, they actually do have a constitutional right to say them, which means that anyone who gets offended cannot choose to deal with that offense by silencing it.

They have to know how to deal with it in other ways, and we should be allowing students to practice and develop these skills while in school rather than forcing them to live in a bubble that stunts that kind of growth.

 The truth is, we live in a place where hate speech is protected speech — and we’re very, very lucky that’s the case. The alternative, after all, is living in a country where the government gets to decide what kind of speech is and is not okay . . . and you don’t have to be a constitutional scholar to see how that would be a bad thing.

SOURCE

Thursday, October 19, 2017


Twitter becoming more restrictive

Twitter has been known for preaching free speech, but that's come to harm the company as trolls and abusers thrive across its network.

Now, in the wake of a movement for women to boycott Twitter, the company is making its biggest sweep of changes yet to address hate speech and abuse.

The details, leaked to Wired, were shared with members of Twitter's Trust and Safety Council Tuesday. In an email, Twitter's team outlines both its current and updated policies on several circumstances:

Non-consensual nudity

Unwanted sexual advances

Hate symbols and imagery

Violent groups

Tweets that glorify violence

Some of the most interesting changes include broadening Twitter's definition of non-consensual nudity to include upskirt imagery and other "creep shots," the email reads. Although that would technically violate a person's free speech, Twitter is taking a stance. The company is choosing a side that does not cater to those claims but rather airs on the side of protecting someone's privacy.

"We would rather error on the side of protecting victims and removing this type of content when we become aware of it," the email reads.

Twitter is also expanding the scope of violent groups and tweets that suggest violence.

"Although we planned on sharing these updates later this week, we hope our approach and upcoming changes, as well as our collaboration with the Trust and Safety Council, show how seriously we are rethinking our rules and how quickly we’re moving to update our policies and how we enforce them," a Twitter spokesperson wrote in a statement to Mashable.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said in a tweetstorm Friday changes would come after the #WomenBoycottTwitter movement unfolded. The email further elaborated on what these changes will be. According to Wired, Twitter is hosting daily meetings on the issue.

The Anti-Defamation League, an inaugural member of Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council, released a statement after news of the changes broke.

"ADL has been concerned about the hateful rhetoric and the extremists using many online platforms, including Twitter, to promote their dangerous ideologies, and we’ve been working with all the platforms to stop what ranges from harassment to acts that incite violence against minorities. We are pleased to see Twitter is responding with new concrete actions, including aggressive enforcement of their rules and hiding hate symbols," wrote ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt in a statement.

SOURCE








Apple executive sorry for saying white people can bring diversity: ‘I regret the choice of words’

Apple’s vice president of diversity and inclusion has apologized for telling a recent group in Bogota, Colombia, that “12 white blue-eyed blond men” may have an adequate amount of diversity depending on their backgrounds.

Denise Young Smith, who is black, attended the One Young World Summit Oct. 4-7 and told those in attendance that she tries to “focus on everyone” as a means of improving Apple’s work environment.

Online outrage over her message, however, prompted an apology memo, which Tech Crunch reported at the weekend.

“Last week, while attending a summit in Bogota, I made some comments as part of a conversation on the many factors that contribute to diversity and inclusion. I regret the choice of words I used to make this point,” the executive wrote. “I understand why some people took offense. My comments were not representative of how I think about diversity or how Apple sees it. For that, I’m sorry.”

Tech Crunch noted that while her apology was vague, negative feedback that prompted the memo pertained to a question on how much she prioritizes other black women while on the job.

“I focus on everyone,” Ms. Smith replied. “Diversity is the human experience. I get a little bit frustrated when diversity or the term diversity is tagged to the people of color or the women or the LGBT or whatever because that means they’re carrying that around … because that means that we are carrying that around on our foreheads.”

“And I’ve often told people a story — there can be 12 white blue-eyed blond men in a room and they are going to be diverse too because they’re going to bring a different life experience and life perspective to the conversation,” she added. “The issue is representation and mix and bringing all the voices into the room that can contribute to the outcome of any situation. So I focus on everyone, but I also focus on allies and alliances because to [Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson’s] point, there’s an incredible amount of power in those who have platforms or those who have the benefit of greater representation to tell the stories of those who do not. So whenever we can accomplish that, then that is a win for everyone.”

Tech Crunch also lamented Ms. Smith’s wording, saying that it was an indicator that she treats diversity of thought as her “primary importance.”

“‘Diversity of thought’ has long been a lever used by critics of the concept of [diversity and inclusion] work to push back against meaningful diversity efforts,” the website wrote.

“Already this week, some critics of the concept of inclusive diversity work (racists, men who believe they are inherently superior, etc.) were pointing at Smith’s comments with an air of smugness — likely not her intended effect.”

SOURCE



Wednesday, October 18, 2017



Company says sorry over ‘Anne Frank costume’ for Halloween

A company has withdrawn an “Anne Frank Halloween costume” after complaints from prominent figures in the Jewish community.   HalloweenCostumes.com said it apologised for any offence caused.

Other outlets are selling the same product, which includes a dress, a beret, a shoulder bag and a “destination tag”, but market it as a “child World War Two evacuee costume”.

Pictures of the “Anne Frank” costume circulated on social media, and were met with anger by representatives of UK Jewish charities.

“Why would anyone want to ‘dress up’ as Anne Frank, a young girl murdered by the Nazis, for Halloween,” said Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET).

“It is utterly inappropriate, offensive and quite simply beggars belief. The Holocaust is not a joke – this company needs to have a serious rethink.”

A spokesperson for the company released a statement on Twitter “apologising for any offence it has caused, as that’s never our intention.

“We sell costumes not only for Halloween season, such as school projects and plays. We offer several types of historically accurate costumes – from prominent figures to political figures, to television characters.

SOURCE




Student magazine warns against 'racist' Halloween costumes

And practices racism itself

The latest issue of a magazine run by Ohio State University students features a flow-chart designed to help students determine whether their Halloween costume is racist.

The flow-chart enthusiastically supports costumes that "make fun of Donald Trump," but warns white students to avoid dressing as Prince or wearing “traditional head wear from other cultures.”

The guide published in 1870 Magazine allows students to ask themselves a series of questions about their costume ideas, directing them to one of several determinations based on their responses.

"As long as you're a sexy vampire or along those lines, you should be good"

“Is it politically charged?” the chart asks of costume ideas that pertain to “something serious.” If yes, the magazine is interested only in whether makes fun of Donald Trump, in which case the chart advises the reader to “DO IT.”

If the costume is serious, but not politically charged, then the chart asks whether the student plans to dress as Prince, which it only considers acceptable if the wearer is not white.

The flow-chart takes a rather more charitable view towards “ironically sexy” costumes, welcoming students to dress up as a “sexy construction worker” or “animal of some sort,” but cautioning them against costumes featuring “traditional head wear from other cultures.”

Donning foreign headgear is fine for students who are not white, it elaborates, but those who are white should “try a new costume idea.”

SOURCE


Tuesday, October 17, 2017


The wrongness of pink for girls and blue for boys



TOY beauty and medical kits stocked by Target have been branded as ‘sexist crap’ by outraged online commentators.

Pictures of the blue and pink toys sparked a heated social media debate — with critics saying the toys reinforce gender stereotypes at a very young age.

The $12 Young Ones My First Carry Along Medical Centre and Beauty Studio are advertised online as being everything a little doctor or beautician needs.

However, concerned tweeters said the pink and blue colours specifically market the medical kit to boys and the beauty kit to girls.

“Make sure those girls know their place in the world asap heh @Targetaus?” asked one commenter. “What an absolute crock!”

Broadcaster Tracey Spicer, said: “WTF ...? Come on @Targetaus you can do better than stocking this sexist crap.”

Target did not respond to a request for comment from news.com.au, however the retailer did respond to individual tweets from concerned tweeters.

“We want to assure our customers that we absolutely agree that children of any gender can enjoy whatever toy they like!,” a response from Target’s Twitter account read.

SOURCE







Rapper Lil B banned from Facebook for 30 days over 'hate speech'

American rapper Lil B has been temporarily banned from Facebook after the social network ruled he violated its hate speech policies.

The 28-year-old received a 30-day ban from the social media platform after a post about white people and gun violence.

He wrote in one post: “White people are the only ones who really love they guns U can tell they are violent people! I don’t live in fear, I don’t need a gun [sic].”

Another post said: “White people so scared they the reason why guns are a problem if white people put down the gunze we all be safe but nope! They vilent.”

Speaking to Motherboard, Lil B denied spreading hate on the social network, claiming he wanted to spark a discussion.

SOURCE

He could also be censured for getting reality ass-backward.  All those people being shot to death in Chicago each weekend are not white


Monday, October 16, 2017


Free speech: It's not a hard concept

The reality surrounding free speech can be, and sometimes is, contentious. But the issue itself is relatively simple.

Let everyone speak. Let people decide on their own whether to listen or not to listen. Provide security, if necessary, to ensure the rules of decorum are followed. Impose disciplinary measures against those who would try to silence a speaker or take over a meeting where a lecture is being presented.

That seems to be pretty much what happened at a recent event, where audience members inside the Illini Union listened to a guest speaker while protesters outside denounced the speaker as, according to one sign, "a fascist alt-right sympathizer who looks like a mashed potato."

Some on campus seemed to be scandalized this particular speaker was a conservative who spoke enthusiastically about free-market capitalism as the best method of building wealth and reducing poverty.

Most people would find that type of event wholly ordinary on campus. At the same time, most people would be similarly undisturbed if a liberal gave a talk on why single-payer is the best approach on health care, a socialist asserted government should take over private enterprise or a libertarian advocated the legalization of illegal drugs.

These speakers advocate points of view, and people make of them what they will. No nannies are needed to ensure that dissenters' feelings not be hurt by being exposed to an opinion they do not share.

But that common-sense viewpoint seems alien to members of the campus community, which explains why University of Illinois President Timothy Killeen has decided to appoint a task force made up of faculty, administrators and students to develop permanent policies addressing speech issues.

SOURCE


Public broadcaster bias against Israel in Australia

Michael Danby is the federal Labor member for Melbourne Ports.  He is Jewish.  The ABC is Australia's main public broadcaster

Danby took two ads in The Australian Jewish News over a couple of weeks to complain about the treatment of Israel by the ABC’s Sophie McNeill.

The ABC’s Media Watch summarised one ad. It said: “The nub of Danby’s complaint is that two recent stories by McNeill received very different coverage. The eviction of a Palestinian family last month after a court returned their home to Jewish ownership scored a two-minute feature on the midday news.

“But the stabbing to death of three members of a Jewish family in July did not receive such personal treatment and was reported only in the context of a surge of violence in which four Palestinians were also killed. They did not get feature treatment either. So, is that bias? Or part of a pattern?”

It is honest of Media Watch to pose the question that way. Let me answer it: Yes, it is a pattern, and yes, it is bias.

The ABC is consistently biased against Israel in a similar way to the BBC and for similar reasons. The overwhelming majority of ABC reporters and general broadcast commentators share a fairly narrow spectrum of world view, ranging from the middle left of Labor to the green left.

Jewish Israeli civilians (even victims of terrorism) are almost never portrayed sympathetically on the ABC, unless they are abusing their government or society. Then they are moral heroes.

A word on McNeill. It is the case that she had a record, before her appointment as a correspondent, of pro-Palestinian activism. It is entirely legitimate for critics of her journalism to point to that history. It’s also entirely legitimate to criticise journalists.

The ABC issued a kind of papal document beatifying McNeill and condemning Danby’s criticism as “highly inappropriate”. McNeill herself issued a bizarre statement demanding Danby be censored. She said: “If using taxpayer dollars to print false claims about a journalist is allowed within parliamentary guidelines, then clearly they need to change.”

Just take a step back and look at the larger picture. Danby, who almost never appears on the ABC, has paid for critical but not remotely abusive ads, the basic accuracy of which is attested by the ABC’s Media Watch, in small-circulation newspapers that might reach 20,000 readers. In response he is attacked, mocked, vilified and condemned in many ABC news programs and by numerous ABC commentators to a cumulative audience in the hundreds of thousands if not millions.

SOURCE



Sunday, October 15, 2017


The new free-speech wars within the ACLU

The ACLU’s own staff are attacking it for defending the alt-right’s rights.  Unusually for a mainly Leftist group, the ACLU was once a principled organization.  That may finally crumble  under a barrage of Leftist hate

America’s commitment to freedom of speech, embodied in the First Amendment to the US Constitution, is under increasing pressure everywhere from liberal university campuses to the White House.

Now even the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) appears torn over which side it should be on in the new free-speech wars.

The ACLU has long been a beacon of liberty in the Western world, whose commitment to free speech for all puts to shame pallid imitators such as the UK’s misnamed Liberty lobby group. If the ACLU joins the retreat from an absolute defence of free speech, then…

The trouble centres on the ACLU’s defence of free-speech rights for the ‘alt-right’ and neo-Nazis, most notably around the rally in Charlottesville, Virginia that ended with an anti-fascist protester being run down and killed.

This has sparked a serious backlash, notably among newer and younger members. ACLU membership has reportedly almost quadrupled since the election, with thousands seeing the organisation as a bulwark against President Trump’s attempts to trample on civil liberties.

After Charlottesville, many of them have recoiled from the ACLU’s defence of ‘hate speech’, effectively declaring that ‘we didn’t mean THOSE sorts of civil liberties!’. Or as one resigning member of the ACLU board in Virginia tweeted to his former colleagues: ‘Don’t defend Nazis to allow them to kill people.’

Protests focus on the alleged tension between the ACLU’s commitment to free speech for all on one hand, and to racial equality and justice on the other. When the lobby took on a lawsuit against the Washington Metro, contesting a ban on ads for a book by alt-right posterboy Milo Yiannopoulos, ACLU lawyer Chase Strangio was adamant that defending free speech for ‘white supremacists’ did nothing for the rights of black activists:

‘The idea that the speech of Black Lives Matter is being defended through the representation of someone like Milo is a farce in my view.’

Now some 200 of the ACLU’s 1,300 employees have signed an open letter protesting about the organisation’s ‘rigid stance’ in defence of the First Amendment and free speech for all.

SOURCE


Twitter backs down on anti-abortion ad   

Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn declared last week she’s in the running for Bob Corker’s Senate seat. Blackburn, like all political candidates, utilized Twitter’s paid ad feature to promote her campaign. But Twitter’s notorious PC police were insulted by Blackburn’s truth-telling when it comes to abortion and the despicable side business it engenders. As such, the social media platform censored the pro-life ad citing mind-numbing justification.

According to the Associated Press, “Blackburn … boasts in the ad that she ‘stopped the sale of baby body parts.’ A Twitter representative told the candidate’s vendors on Monday that the statement was ‘deemed an inflammatory statement that is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction.’ Twitter said the Blackburn campaign would be allowed to run the rest of the video if the flagged statement is omitted.”

Following backlash, Twitter is no longer censoring the ad. It has since announced that Blackburn’s entire video will be permitted as a paid ad. According to Blackburn, “I think what has happened, the American people rose up. They are sick and tired of the liberal elites and the liberal media telling them what they’re going to listen to, and what is going to be pushed forward and broadcast and what is not, and in this example it was Twitter.”

SOURCE



Friday, October 13, 2017


Far-Left Professor Placed on Leave

Amusing how Leftists always demand free-speech protections for Leftist extremists at the same time as they do their best to deny free speech to conservatives. I think George Ciccariello-Maher should have exactly the same level of free speech as Milo Yiannopoulos and Ben Shapiro got at UCB recently

Since Christmas Eve, the tweets of George Ciccariello-Maher, associate professor of politics and global studies at Drexel University, have been subjected to scrutiny and criticism.

On Dec. 24, his tweet saying "All I want for Christmas is white genocide" went viral, with many of those forwarding it saying that Drexel should fire him. Drexel condemned the tweet but didn't fire Ciccariello-Maher. Now, however, after the professor's tweets and comments about the mass shooting in Las Vegas, the university has placed him on administrative leave. The university says the issue is safety, but not everyone is buying that explanation.

Drexel's statement is as follows: "The safety of Drexel’s students, faculty, professional staff and police officers are of paramount concern to Drexel. Due to a growing number of threats directed at Professor George Ciccariello-Maher, and increased concerns about both his safety and the safety of Drexel’s community, after careful consideration the university has decided to place Professor Ciccariello-Maher on administrative leave. We believe this is a necessary step to ensure the safety of our campus."

Ciccariello-Maher posted a series of tweets after last week's Las Vegas mass shooting in which he noted that the shooter was a wealthy white man and said that he didn't think gun control, as advocated by liberals, would prevent such shootings. "To believe that someone who would shoot down 50 people wouldn't circumvent any gun law you pass is the height of delusion," he wrote.

But the attacks on the professor have focused on what he said was the cause of the tragedy in Las Vegas. Ciccariello-Maher made a series of tweets in which he blamed "Trumpism" and the entitlement of white men. "White people and men are told that they are entitled to everything. This is what happens when they don't get what they want." he wrote. And "the narrative of white victimization has been gradually built over the past 40 years."

As has happened periodically in the last year, the tweets were mocked and attacked on conservative websites, and then the professor and the university started to receive email messages (many vulgar and some threatening), along with calls for his dismissal.

Ciccariello-Maher has said that his ideas are regularly distorted by his critics -- and that the Las Vegas killings show that the real killers in the United States are not those imagined by President Trump and others.

In fact, he has said repeatedly that the reference to "white genocide" in his pre-Christmas tweet was understood by his academic colleagues as a joke, because he has said repeatedly that white genocide does not exist.

SOURCE





Shouldn’t pro-life students have the same free speech rights as millionaire athletes?

The uproar over Vice President Mike Pence’s decision to leave the Colts-49ers game after some NFL players took a knee during the national anthem again highlights the intense cultural debate over free speech that seems of utmost importance to the media and activists. Yet not all “speech” is treated as equal in coverage and attention.

Over the last few weeks, the free speech rights of students on college campuses have been violated as peaceful chalk messages from students have been destroyed, flyers pulled down and permits for new pro-life groups and speakers slow walked through the approval process to prevent voices from being heard. If you haven’t heard about the college blockade taking place even this week, perhaps it is because the students whose voices are being forcibly silenced favor life over abortion. And while they may not get the attention that millionaire athletes can garner, their points of view are no less valid.

Pro-life students represent a growing majority who want to have the same free speech rights as other groups.

For the past 11 years, Students for Life has been on the forefront of the campus free speech movement, witnessing a rising tide of opposition to those who do not agree with the dictates of a politically correct worldview. As national opinion on abortion has shifted toward the pro-life viewpoint over the past few years, I mistakenly thought that -- apart from some aging, hostile school administrators -- most of the drama was behind us.

But then the 2016 election happened. And now, pro-abortion forces, fearing the withdrawal of taxpayer dollars from Planned Parenthood, pro-life Supreme Court appointments, and a barrage of pro-life legislation and regulations, are doing everything they can to silence a growing pro-life majority and fight back against the voices of the very people they claim to represent.

As the New Yorker observed this week: “In the half century between the elections of Governor Reagan and President Trump, the left and the right would appear to have switched sides, the left fighting against free speech and the right fighting for it.”

And on college campuses, a polluted political environment is turning ugly. A recent poll even shows that 20 percent of students now support using violence to prevent controversial speakers from being heard on campus.

Just as heated debates over slavery, civil rights, and women’s rights swept through the culture as conversations and confrontations debated the value of all lives, no matter the race, creed, color or gender, so to a rigorous debate over the value of preborn life must be heard. Students on college campuses deserve the same respect as millionaire athletes in expressing and sharing their points of view, for without a right to life, no other debate can truly engaged.

SOURCE


Thursday, October 12, 2017



YouTube Restricts... Mike Rowe?

Last Thursday, Mike Rowe, the immensely likable host of “Dirty Jobs,” announced via a Facebook post that his YouTube channel had been restricted. Now anyone who has ever watched a Mike Rowe video would be shocked to hear this news, as his videos are often some of the most carefully worded, timely and poignant thoughts on a great variety of issues — hence his overall popularity. And one thing Rowe trumpets is respect for the value of hard work, no matter the job.

In this vein, a few months back conservative commentator Dennis Prager invited Rowe to give the commencement speech for his virtual university, Prager University. Rowe gladly obliged with a video entitled “Don’t Follow Your Passion,” which has been viewed over six million times. Suddenly, without prior warning, Rowe received a message from YouTube notifying him that his video for Prager U was “determined” to be “inappropriate.” Rowe explains that he was shocked at the news as he had not run afoul of YouTube’s appropriate content policies, or so he thought. Rowe said that he then reread YouTube’s policy fine print and found the following sentence: “Some videos don’t violate our policies, but may not be appropriate for all audiences. In these cases, our review team may place an age restriction when we’re notified of the content.” In other words, YouTube’s censors are essentially saying they will restrict you if they don’t like your message.

After Rowe posted his message to Facebook it didn’t take long for YouTube to reverse course and lift the restriction imposed upon his content. Fortunately for Rowe he has a big enough audience that he was able to effectively call out YouTube for hypocrisy, but what about the lesser-known user who finds himself victim of a similar prejudice?

SOURCE



Twitter Blocks Marsha Blackburn’s Pro-Life Campaign Ad

Twitter has blocked a campaign ad by Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn — a current representative from Tennessee — asserting that it contained an “inflammatory statement” about abortion that could no longer be promoted on the site.

In the ad, Blackburn states that, during her time in Congress, she “fought Planned Parenthood, and we stopped the sale of baby body parts,” referencing her role as chair of the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives.

Under Blackburn’s leadership, the committee investigated the illegal fetal-tissue-trafficking industry, prompted by a series of undercover videos suggesting that Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics had cooperated with biotech firms to profit from the organs of aborted  babies.

According to the AP, a Twitter representative told Blackburn’s vendors that the candidate’s remark had been “deemed an inflammatory statement that is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction.”

The video can still be linked on YouTube and other video platforms, but Blackburn’s campaign can no longer pay for the ad to be promoted on Twitter.

The company said the campaign will be permitted to run the ad once more if the flagged statement is removed.

Twitter is likely correct that the statement will be found “inflammatory,” despite the fact that Blackburn was indeed correct about the abortion industry — her committee discovered evidence of pervasive illegal activity on the part of many abortion clinics and biotech firms.

To be sure, Twitter is a private company and can enact its preferred policies for promoted content, but it is abundantly clear that those policies are wielded unfairly to punish conservative users. Pro-abortion candidates and groups are consistently given free rein, while Blackburn and Live Action are subjected to the media’s radical and pervasive bias against the pro-life movement.

SOURCE

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


Golliwog dolls still for sale at Australian sweet shop



A BRISBANE lolly shop has come under fire after announcing they’re still selling Golliwog dolls despite complaints that they are racist and offensive.

Aboriginal man Ben Wilson, from the Jagera people, said he noticed the dolls on display at Candy Time at Westfield Carindale when visiting family in the area last week and was offended they were for sale.

He complained to the store attendant and Candy Time’s head office. “I was absolutely appalled to see these dolls on display,” he said.

“These dolls do not only offend Aboriginal people such as myself, but a number of different races from all over the globe.”

Candy Time owner Tanya Jones said the dolls, made by Australian company Elka, were faithful to the traditional doll.  “People buy them because they love them,” Mrs Jones said. “They think they are beautiful and why can’t they be beautiful?”

“A lot of people get misinformed about the dolls’ heritage and I think it is sad that people in society have turned something that is loving to something that has this stigma ... to something hateful.

“As a company, we stand by the sentiment that these dolls originated from love and people adore them for how beautiful they are.

“We have the occasional person who comes in and says they are about black slavery or American slavery and that’s not true. That has nothing to do with this doll.”

Mrs Jones said the store had carried the dolls for the past two years and were popular children’s gifts.

SOURCE


In the social justice world, it’s piranha eat piranha

In today’s hyper-sensitive world, a simple observation or sentence can get blown out of proportion and make worldwide news. The advent of social media has allowed the PC police to monitor and act twenty-four hours a day whenever someone’s feelings might be in jeopardy. But what happens one person with a victim card offends someone else with a victim card?

In a recent press conference, Carolina Panthers Quarterback Cam Newton was asked a question by Jourdan Rodrigue, a beat reporter for the Charlotte Observer, “Cam, I know you take a lot of pride in seeing your receivers play well. Devin Funchess has seemed to really embrace the physicality of his routes and getting those extra yards. Does that give you a little bit of enjoyment to see him kind of truck-sticking people out there?”

Newton’s response is what caused the PC police to have a heart attack, “That’s funny, to hear a female talk about routes like that. It’s funny.” The PC media pounced. Instantly Newton was branded as a sexist. They never asked him if a female reporter ever questioned him about routes before. They never researched to see if his statement was correct. They didn’t ask him if his comment was meant as an insult, the school of piranhas, known as the PC police, decided it was meant as an insult and they were going to feed.

What are the rules in a social justice world filled with these piranhas? Judging from what just happened to Cam Newton, the African American male is lower on the victimhood scale than a female reporter. What is the hierarchy of the social justice order?

If you didn’t know, Newton is one of the major stars in the NFL. He is often portrayed as one of the young faces of the league and has multiple local and national endorsements. One of the significant endorsements is with the Dannon yogurt company. You would be hard pressed to watch a game on Sunday and not see Newton espousing the taste and health benefits of Dannon products. However, that is getting ready to change.

Dannon yogurt issued the following the statement about Newton’s comments, “We are shocked and disheartened at the behavior and comments of Cam Newton towards Jourdan Rodrigue, which we perceive as sexist and disparaging to all women. It is entirely inconsistent with our commitment to fostering equality and inclusion in every workplace. It’s simply not ok to belittle anyone based on gender. We have shared our concerns with Cam and will no longer work with him.”

SOURCE

Tuesday, October 10, 2017




Australia: Liberal Party candidate apologises after posting Instagram photo of herself with a man in blackface who had dressed as a dead Aboriginal singer for a fancy dress party

Fancy dress party gives unintentional offence



A liberal party candidate has posted a photo of herself with a man in blackface who dressed as a dead Aboriginal singer for a fancy dress party.

Redcliffe candidate Kerri-Anne Dooley posted the photo to her Instagram page at the weekend with the caption: 'Got to meet the lead singer of Yothu Yindi yesterday'.

Ms Dooley told Daily Mail Australia she was at 'an Australian-themed house warming party where guests went as icons of prominent Australian identities' when the photo was taken.

The Redcliffe politician has since deleted the photo and apologised for her mistake.

'One person was a fan of the band Yothu Yindi and lead singer, the late Mandawuy Yunupingu,' she told Daily Mail Australia.

'On reflection it was a mistake to post this photo and unprompted, I deleted it.

Blackface came to prominence in the 19th century when non-black performers painted their faces to represent a black person.

The make-up has been widely condemned since.

SOURCE




Dove is SLAMMED on social media for advertisement of a black woman taking off her shirt and skin and becoming a white woman



I guess the idea was that using a Dove beauty bar to wash yourself will make you beautiful -- with beauty represented by whiteness.  But the worldwide beauty ideal IS white.  Musn't mention that, though

Soap Company Dove is facing a wave of criticism after an advert they posted of a black woman seemingly taking off her shirt and skin to become a white woman went viral.

In the now deleted picture, the four-panel shot shows a black woman in a chocolate brown shirt taking it off and revealing herself to be a white woman in a off-white shirt.

The add also features a third panel of another woman but in the now heavily circulated pic, that is not included.

After make-up artist Naomi Leann Blake first shared the now viral photo to which the company took to their social media to apologize.

'Dove is committed to representing the beauty of diversity,' the company said on Facebook.

'In an image we posted this week, we missed the mark in thoughtfully representing women of color and we deeply regret the offense that it has caused. The feedback that has been shared is important to us and we'll use it to guide us in the future.'

They also took to Twitter to try to ease the anger felt by many.

But social media wasn't having it and hated the apology, blasting the company for its insensitivity following a similar incident by hair care company Shea Moisture in April.

SOURCE


Monday, October 09, 2017


Backlash spreads against Black Lives Matter shutting down ACLU free speech event

A campus Black Lives Matter protest against an American Civil Liberties Union speaker has provoked an internal debate over free speech on the Left.

Students shouted down an ACLU leader visiting the College of William and Mary in Virginia last week, preventing a discussion about free speech by chanting "liberalism is white supremacy" and "ACLU, you protect Hitler too!" for a full hour.

Outrage spread as video of the college Black Lives Matter chapter's disruption circulated among shocked scholars, progressive leaders, and alumni.

The demonstration — motivated by the ACLU's litigation allowing for an August rally including white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va. — reignited progressive concern about students attacking freedoms that past generations of the Left struggled to establish and expand.

Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, wrote that suspensions would be appropriate. New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg called it "embarrassing."

Claire GastaƱaga, the shouted-down executive director of the Virginia ACLU, said "a public college like William and Mary has an obligation to protect the freedom of the speaker to speak," and college president Taylor Reveley wrote the action prevented "hard questions" and a "debate where the strength of ideas" prevails.

SOURCE


University of Wisconsin approves free speech policy that punishes student protesters

University of Wisconsin System leaders approved a policy Friday that calls for suspending and expelling students who disrupt campus speeches and presentations, saying students need to listen to all sides of issues and arguments.

The Board of Regents adopted the language on a voice vote during a meeting at the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie. The policy states that students found to have twice engaged in violence or other disorderly conduct that disrupts others' free speech would be suspended. Students found to have disrupted others' free expression three times would be expelled.

"Perhaps the most important thing we can do as a university is to teach students how to engage and listen to those with whom they differ," system President Ray Cross told the regents. "If we don't show students how to do this, who will? Without civil discourse and a willingness to listen and engage with different voices, all we are doing is reinforcing our existing values."

The policy comes amid complaints from conservatives across the U.S. that right-leaning speakers aren't afforded the same level of respect on campuses as liberal presenters. Students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2016 shouted down and traded obscene gestures with ex-Breitbart editor and conservative columnist Ben Shapiro.

The University of California-Berkeley canceled an appearance by right-wing firebrand Milo Yiannopoulus in September. Four protests have turned violent on that campus and in the nearby city in recent months.

SOURCE


Sunday, October 08, 2017



Dr. Seuss in trouble again

The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum in Springfield plans to remove a mural of a Chinese character after three authors said they would boycott a children’s book festival because the image reinforced racial stereotypes.

Mike Curato, Mo Willems, and Lisa Yee said the mural from Seuss’ first book, “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” features a “jarring racial stereotype of a Chinese man, who is depicted with chopsticks, a pointed hat, and slanted slit eyes.”

“We find this caricature of ‘the Chinaman’ deeply hurtful, and have concerns about children’s exposure to it,” the authors said in the letter posted Thursday on Twitter.

The book, published in 1937, was set on Mulberry Street in Springfield, the hometown of writer Theodor Geisel, better known as the children’s author and illustrator Dr. Seuss.

The museum, which opened in June, is located blocks from the actual street.

In a statement Thursday night, museum spokeswoman Karen Fisk said the museum “listened to the concerns voiced by the authors and fans” and plans to replace the mural “with a new image that reflects the wonderful characters and messages from Dr. Seuss’ later works.”

“This is what Dr. Seuss would have wanted us to do,” Fisk said in the statement.

The statement acknowledged that some of Dr. Seuss’ earlier works contained “hurtful stereotypes.”

“His later books, like ‘The Sneetches’ and ‘Horton Hears a Who,’ showed a great respect for fairness and diversity,” Fisk said in the statement.

SOURCE








ACLU faltering on free speech

They seem to have virtually given up on free speech at universities and colleges so defending only "nice" speech could well be their next retreat

Since the violence in Charlottesville, Va., set off by alt-right demonstrations, the American Civil Liberties Union has been weighing whether it should provide legal support to groups that engage in violence. Credit Edu Bayer for The New York Times
Howard Simon has been leading chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union longer than anyone else, a career that has spanned 43 years and countless controversies.

He has helped the Ku Klux Klan rally at a state capitol and defended the right of a Florida pastor to burn a Quran, an affront that led to a deadly riot halfway around the world. And in the late 1970s, he recalls appearing in just about “every synagogue in Michigan,” where he was then based, to explain why the A.C.L.U. was defending a planned neo-Nazi march in Skokie, in neighboring Illinois.

But he cannot recall any case that has provoked as much soul-searching within the A.C.L.U. as the organization’s decision in August to sue on behalf of a man organizing a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. That rally ended not in a memorable First Amendment victory, but a violent melee that left one woman dead and dozens injured, provoking horror around the country.

“I just think the emotion and depth of agonizing was deeper than I can remember,” said Mr. Simon late last month, after returning from an A.C.L.U. conference in Denver. Within the A.C.L.U., many people were taken aback by “this rise of the armed alt-right,” Mr. Simon said, referring to the size and aggressiveness of the white supremacist turnout in Charlottesville, as well as the presence of people openly carrying guns.

Since then, a question has hung over the organization: What will it do the next time the alt-right seeks the A.C.L.U.’s help?

That question that has cut fault lines though the A.C.L.U., with a group of staff members sending an open letter taking issue with the organization’s longstanding work of defending white supremacists in free speech cases. “Our broader mission — which includes advancing the racial justice guarantees in the Constitution and elsewhere, not just the First Amendment — continues to be undermined by our rigid stance,” says the letter, which a former member of the A.C.L.U.’s board, Michael Meyers, provided to The Times. About 200 staff members — the A.C.L.U. has about 1,300 full-time employees — signed onto the letter, according to a spokeswoman.

“This letter has to be seen for what it is — a repudiation of free-speech principles,” Mr. Meyers said.

The A.C.L.U.’s executive director, Anthony Romero, said in an interview that the organization was not, after Charlottesville, retreating from its longstanding defense of free speech, even hate speech — a tradition that goes back to the organization’s earliest years.

It is in the A.C.L.U.’s “DNA to defend speech from government censorship including, and especially, hateful speech in times when it is being shut down,” he said.

Still, after Charlottesville, the organization has been evaluating its criteria for accepting new free speech cases, Mr. Romero said.

One issue is how the A.C.L.U. should evaluate the potential for violence when representing groups seeking to hold demonstrations. “How do we balance a concern for public safety with freedom of speech?” Mr. Romero asked. Another question under consideration, he said, relates to how the A.C.L.U. should evaluate the credibility of organizers pledging a peaceful demonstration.

Mr. Romero also indicated that the organization is not inclined to represent groups seeking to hold armed rallies. This, he said, was not “a change in approach,” but a principle the A.C.L.U. espoused as far back as 1934.

An A.C.L.U. pamphlet issued that year defended the right of Nazis to hold meetings. But the pamphlet laid out the A.C.L.U.’s opposition to permitting Nazis to engage in “drilling with arms” — that is, wielding them in public.

SOURCE


Friday, October 06, 2017



'Anorexia' hoodie on sale on Amazon sparks fury for its 'offensive' slogan that 'trivialises eating disorders'



An 'anorexia' hoodie on sale on Amazon has sparked fury for its 'offensive' slogan that 'trivalises' eating disorders.

The sweatshirt, which is being sold by a seller on the US site, is printed with the words: 'Anorexia (an-uh-rek-see-uh) Like Bulimia, except with self control.'

The top's slogan has been slammed on social media, with many calling for the hoodie to be pulled from the website.

Some described the hoodie - which is on sale for $24.75 (£18) - as 'disgraceful' and 'inappropriate', adding that the illnesses were not something that should be joked about.

The garment is being sold by a third-party seller called ArturoBuch and is not currently available on the Amazon UK site.

SOURCE









America's cultural sewage

Hollywood continues to pump cultural sewage into our living rooms and town squares. We should start calling Dreamers what they are: Nightmares.

The Senate recently unanimously passed a resolution condemning white supremacy whatever that is. When you see the Senate do things like that do you think my God what we do without them? No. When is the last time you heard someone say, “I am white and I am supreme”?

We are constantly hearing how illegal aliens pay taxes when the fact of the matter is many of them are paid under the table. It makes sense that people who violate our immigration laws will also ignore our tax and employment laws.

Ever since Steve Bannon let the cat out of the open bag (Hillary is dumb) she has set about on a national tour to prove it. Lately she announced she believes the Electoral College should be abolished. That way a candidate could lose forty-nine states carry one by huge vote fraud and be elected President.

We are not a nation of immigrants we are a nation of citizens.

One way to get back at Hollywood is to go on Rotten Tomatoes web site and trash their product the same way their product trashes America.

If cheap labor led to a manufacturing boom Haiti would be the most industrialized nation in the world.

You know you are getting old when your favorite TV station runs mostly ads touting pharmaceuticals balanced by ads encouraging you to sue pharmaceutical companies.

Why does the legacy media label various events as demonstrations instead of what they are: riots?

Does the National Socialist Workers Party (Nazi) sound like a right-wing outfit to you?

That Jimmy Kimmel is sure a funny guy. Not.

All these Democrats on their knees kind of reminds you of Monica Lewinski.

Everything the left touches it destroys whether it be healthcare or football.

A fellow who sold dirty pictures for a living and lived a life of debauchery died recently. If you recognize who we are talking about then you agree.

Funny, whenever there is talk of a tax cut Washington types start wringing their hands and fretting over, “How is the government going to pay for this?” When taxes go up those same Washington types never fret over, “How is the taxpayer going to pay for this?”

The diehard never Trumpers are the true bitter clingers.

The core argument against Alabama Senate Candidate Roy Moore seems to be that he holds traditional Christian beliefs. Were he a Muslim challenging his religious beliefs would be unacceptable.

Former President Barack Obama doubled the national debt. That means he added more to the debt than all the Presidents before him from Washington on combined. What a guy! Is it any wonder that the Marxist Stream Media continually tells us how smart he is?

If a cashier at your local supermarket alienated sixty percent of the customers going through their line they would be summarily fired. The question is should millionaire football players be held to the same standard as grocery store cashiers?

SOURCE


Thursday, October 05, 2017



Outrage as UK post office separates boys’ and girls’ birthday cards by colour

“LET toys be toys.” That’s the message of UK shopper Rhian Davies after spotting a birthday card display at a Manchester post office offering blue options for boys and pink for girls.

“Pity that the @PostOffice feel the need to have male and female cards. Can’t we just #lettoysbetoys?” she wrote on Twitter, alongside a photo of the divided display.

She also tagged Let Toys Be Toys — a campaign against toy and publishing industries “limiting children’s interests by promoting some toys and books as only suitable for girls, and others only for boys”.

A Post Office spokesman told Manchester Evening News the colour separation was about convenience, not gender.

“We try to make it as easy as possible for customers to select cards for a wide of range of occasions and in with other retailers, our display sections include signage as a guide to help customers do so,” he said.

SOURCE







The new dark age of intolerance: You must believe in gay marriage, you can't question abortion and as for transgender rights...

The great French writer Voltaire famously said: 'I disapprove of what you say and would defend to the death your right to say it'. In this way, he encapsulated what it meant to be an enlightened human being — someone prepared to consider all points of view.

But in recent years the principle of freedom of speech, sacred since Voltaire's 18th century, has been lost, and this is surely one of the most sinister features of our times. It is as if we are entering a new Dark Age of Intolerance.

The irony is that this intolerance has come about as a result of what were initially good intentions. One of the things which makes me happy as I grow older is the thought that during my lifetime we have all tried to become a kinder society.

When I was a boy and a young man, for example, racist jokes were the norm on radio and TV. Now they would be unthinkable. Mockery of homosexuals, and the equation of being gay with being limp-wristed and camp, were absolute norms of comedy when I was growing up. Now no longer.

Such jokes have gone the way of boarding-houses which used to put 'NO BLACKS. NO DOGS. NO IRISH in the window'. Obviously, all civilised people feel pleased by this.

But somehow those initial good intentions — to be kinder to and more tolerant of others — have morphed into a political correctness that has had the very opposite effect.

Two notorious recent examples of this concerned the treatment of a Christian baker in Northern Ireland, and some Christian bed and breakfast owners in Berkshire. The baker had not wanted to make a wedding cake for a gay couple who were getting married. The B&B owners had refused to let a gay couple share the same room in their establishment. In each case they were successfully sued for unlawful discrimination.

Now, a gay activist would no doubt say this was a good thing, arguing that the baker and bed and breakfast owners' behaviour was comparable to the racism of the past. Yet this is surely getting things wholly out of proportion.

The baker was not persecuting homosexuals, as Hitler did. He was not saying they should be put in prison, as all Home Secretaries in Britain did until the Sixties. He was merely saying that, as a Christian, he thought marriage should be between a man and a woman, and that two chaps tying the knot were doing something rather different, which is contrary to traditional Christian teaching.

Whatever you think about this matter, the Northern Irish baker and the B&B couple were merely holding on to Christian beliefs.

I don't happen to share their views myself, and think that if two people are rash enough to promise to live together for the rest of their lives, good luck to them, whether they are gay, straight, trans or anything else. But surely you can understand both sides of this dilemma, can't you?

Well, the answer, more and more in our intolerant society, is 'No'. My concern here is not about the rights and wrongs of gay marriage, transgender rights, our colonial history, or any of the other emotive issues that are subject to endless debate in the modern age.

It is about freedom of thought and speech; freedom to disagree in a liberal society; freedom to have thoughts which are different from the current orthodoxy.

What began as our very decent desire not to be nasty to those of a different ethnicity, or sexual proclivity, from ourselves, has turned into a world as intolerant as monkish Christianity in the days of the Dark Ages, when any freedom of thought is questioned.

Tim Farron, leader of the Lib Dems during the General Election, was asked repeatedly about his views on gay marriage. As a fairly old-fashioned Christian, he did not believe it was possible — marriage should be between a man and a woman.

As the leader of a modern political party, he knew that it would be political death to admit this. He was finally forced to resign.

This was a signal to the world that if you want to succeed in modern politics, it is simply not allowed to hold views which, until a very short time ago, were the consensus among the great majority of people in the Western world.

I use the words 'not allowed' advisedly. What is sinister about living in the new Dark Ages, however, is that it is by no means clear who is doing the allowing and not allowing. In Mao's China, it was obvious: thought crimes were ideas which contradicted the supreme leader.

In Britain today, however, it seems an army of self-appointed censors — from internet trolls to angry students, lobby groups, town hall officials, craven politicians and lawyers and Establishment figures, as well as a host of other sanctimonious and often bilious busy-bodies — have taken it upon themselves to police what we can and cannot think or say.

Not believing in abortion, like not believing in gay marriage, is now, unquestionably, a thought crime. It was hardly surprising that the Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg recently said he did not believe in abortion, because he is a man of conviction as well as a Roman Catholic, and this is the teaching of his Church. Yet his view was treated with incredulity and disdain by everyone from trolls and women's groups to the higher echelons of the political Establishment.

As in the case of abortion, debate is no longer allowed on transgender issues. There was a BBC2 Horizon Programme last Tuesday night called Being Transgender. The close-up shots of transgender surgery in a Californian hospital will not easily leave the mind.

We met a number of nice people who had decided for one reason or another that they were not the gender which they had once supposed. They were all undergoing some form of transformative medical treatment, either taking hormones or having surgery.

What made the programme strange as a piece of journalism was the fact that it did not contain one dissenting voice. Not one psychiatrist or doctor who said they doubted the wisdom of some of these procedures, especially in the very young.

Still less was there anyone like the redoubtable feminist and academic Dr Germaine Greer who once expressed her view that a man did not become a woman just because he had undergone transgender surgery — and was, as a result, decried from the rooftops with everything from petitions launched to stop her from speaking at university campuses to death threats.

Dr Greer had also been bold enough to say 'a great many women' shared her view, which is obviously true — a great many women do not think that transgender people have really changed sex. What has changed is that it is no longer permitted to say so.

A friend of mine who likes bathing in the women's pond on Hampstead Heath in London says that at least one person now uses the female changing rooms who is obviously in a stage of transition from man to woman, and is simply a hairy man wearing lipstick.

However uncomfortable this makes the women feel, they know that they cannot say anything.

There was an ugly incident lately at Hyde Park's Speakers' Corner, which used to be the place where anyone could go and stand on a soap-box and hold any opinion they liked.

Speakers' Corner was a symbol of British Freedom of Speech. As a schoolboy, I had a Jewish friend whose grandfather used to take us there to listen to people proclaiming that the earth was flat, preachers praising Hitler, Stalin, and others saying whatever they liked. It was the freedom to do so, said the old man who had escaped Hitler's Germany, which made the very air of Britain so refreshing to him.

What would he have thought had he witnessed the scene earlier this month at Speakers' Corner when a 60-year-old woman called Maria was smacked in the face, allegedly by a transgender fanatic, while listening to a talk on planned reforms to the Gender Recognition Act. Reforms which would allow men to 'self-identify' as female, and enter women's changing rooms or refuges unchallenged.

For Maria, as for the intimidated women of Hampstead swimming pool, and for Germaine Greer, it is by no means clear that transgender people have changed their sex.

Transgender activists have labelled women like Maria TERFS — Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists. When news of the assault on her reached the internet — ie instantaneously — the trolls began baying, like the bloodthirsty mob during the guillotine-executions of the French Revolution. 'Burn in a fire, TERF'. 'I want to f*** some TERFS up, they are no better than fascists'.

The use of the word 'fascist' is commonplace in our new Dark Age for anyone with whom you happen to disagree. You hear it all the time in the Brexit arguments which rage all around us and which I dread. As it happens, I voted Remain. But I do not regard Brexiteers as 'fascists', and many of their arguments — wanting to reclaim the power to make our own laws and control our own borders — are evidently sensible.

Yet I have lost count of the number of times I have heard Remainers say that Brexiteers are fascists. As a matter of historical fact, many of the keenest supporters of a united European superstate were actual fascists.

The only British politician who campaigned on the ticket of Europe A Nation during the Fifties was Sir Oswald Mosley who was leader of the British Union of Fascists. But then, today's PC censors don't let facts get in their way of bigotry.

Branding anyone you disagree with a fascist; hitting people in the face; tweeting and blogging abuse behind the cowardly anonymity of the internet — these are the ugly weapons used to stifle any sort of debate. And it is often in the very places where ideas should be exchanged and examined that the bigotry is at its worst: our universities.

This week on the Radio 4's Today programme, we heard James Caspian, a quietly-spoken, kindly psychotherapist, describing what has become a cause celebre at Bath Spa University.

He has been working for some years with people who for one reason or another have begun the process of gender-transition, and then come to regret it.

Caspian is evidently not a judgmental man. He wanted to write a thesis on this subject from a sympathetic and dispassionate point of view.

What makes people feel so uncomfortable with their own apparent gender that they wish to undergo painful and invasive surgery to change it? What makes people then come to reassess their first idea? These are surely legitimate questions about a subject many of us can't quite comprehend.

I have two friends who started out as men, and decided in mid-life that they were really women, or wanted to become women, which is what they have done. I do not really understand what has happened to them, even though they have tried to explain it to me.

Surely a man like James Caspian, who has worked with transgender men and women, should be encouraged by a university to explain this area of medicine or psychology?

But no. The university, having initially approved of his idea for a thesis, then turned down his application. 'The fundamental reason given was that it might cause criticism of the research on social media, and criticism of the research would be criticism of the university,' he told Radio 4 listeners. 'They also added it's better not to offend people.'

This is all of a piece with students at Oxford wanting to pull down the statue of 19th century imperialist Cecil Rhodes from his old college, Oriel, on the grounds that he was racist.

Rather than having a reasoned debate weighing the evils of racist colonialism against Rhodes's benevolence, the student at the forefront of the movement — who had actually accepted a £40,000 Rhodes scholarship funded by the fortune the colonialist gave to Oxford — wanted to pull down the statue.

This is the same attitude of mind as that which led monks in the Dark Ages to destroy the statues of pagan gods and goddesses, or the Taliban to do the same to age-old Buddhist artefacts.

Reason, debate, seeing more than one side to an argument, surely these are the foundations of all that has fashioned the great values of the West since the Enlightenment started in the 18th century with an explosion of new ideas in science, philosophy, literature, and modern rational thought that ushered in the Age of Reason.

Realising that human actions and ideas are often mixtures of good and bad — isn't this what it means to have a grown-up mind? Surely we should be allowed to discuss matters without being accused of thought crime?

In universities, as at Speakers' Corner and in the public at large, there used to be the robust sense that sticks and stones may break our bones but words can never hurt us. Now, the 'hurt-feelings' card is regularly played to stifle any debate.

Little by little, we are allowing the Dark Ages of intolerance to come again. We should not be letting this happen.

We should be able to say: 'We disapprove of your views — on Europe, on Transgender Issues, on Islam, on absolutely anything, but we defend to the death your right to express them'.

SOURCE




Wednesday, October 04, 2017



Australia: 'Male and female' and 'penis and vagina' banned from being used in schools so transgender children feel more comfortable

What a lot of confused nonsense

Gender terms like 'male' and 'female' could be stripped from Australian classrooms as a way to make transgender children more comfortable.

In a move to make classrooms more gender neutral, body parts could be described by their function rather than their traditional names, according to The Australian.

Terms including 'penis and vagina' could be swapped for 'sperm and eggs' and 'erectile tissue' could be used to describe the penis and clitoris if schools were to begin teaching sex education classes with a focus on gender neutrality.

A report discussing sex education policies in New Zealand in the Journal of Sex Education has discussed how LGBQTI could influence sex education.

The report by Damien Riggs and Clare Bartholomaeus of Flinders University in South Australia calls for gender neutrality that looks further than a 'male with a penis and female with a vagina'.

It comes a month after two NSW catholic high school students, who identify as males, won the battle to wear boys' uniforms despite being born female.

The Trinity Catholic College allowed the students to use unisex toilets and change their names on the school roll.

The college is also reportedly considering a 'gender neutral uniform' for the entire school.

SOURCE





Top CBS lawyer is fired after writing that she has 'no sympathy' for Vegas victims because they were 'probably gun-toting Republicans'

Hate gets its just reward.  It was an extraordinary example of stereotyping, which Leftists say they oppose

A top lawyer for CBS was fired after writing that she isn't sympathetic for the victims of the most deadly mass shooting in Modern United States history.

Hayley Geftman-Gold, 41, took to Facebook last night to write that she was 'not even sympathetic' to those killed or wounded because 'country music fans often are Republican.' 

Geftman-Gold was promptly fired from her job as vice president and senior counsel at CBS. 

The network said Monday that Geftman-Gold had violated the company's standards by expressing deeply unacceptable views.

SOURCE





Tuesday, October 03, 2017



Must not say that men and women are different

Australia: Pidapipo Gelateria has deleted an Instagram post launching gendered ice-cream flavours after coming under fire on social media. The cult gelateria, which has stores in Carlton and Windsor, is owned by Lisa Valmorbida whose family also owns 130 year old grocery store King & Godfree in Carlton.

Pidapipo launched the gendered flavours in a collaboration with online fashion retailers Net-a-Porter and Mr Porter.

"Here are two gelato popsicles we've created. One for men and one for women. For men? Salted caramel with milk chocolate & malt crumb. For women? Strawberry rose with white choc & raspberry dust. Even better together."

The post was deleted after attracting negative comments on social media including "so tone deaf" and "OF COURSE the women get a pink fruity one. I'm shocked the men's isn't rum or some s---".

Melbourne University School of Social and Political Sciences lecturer, Dr Lauren Rosewarne, says the gendering of ice-cream is unnecessary. "[But], it's perfectly in line with a long history of the gendering of bizarre products like pens and razors which have been gendered purely for marketing reasons," she says. "In the context of cuisine, the rise of 'dude food' is probably the best example of this."

Rosewarne also questions the flavours chosen. "The linking of sweet and floral flavours to women and salty and dark flavours to men is harmless but is also reliant on old-fashioned stereotypes that really don't have a place in the world of ice-cream," she says. "The marketing strategy thus comes across as a little old hat, rather than modern or savvy."​

A spokesperson for Pidapipo told Fairfax Media the gelateria was engaged to design gelato that represented the Net-a-Porter and Mr Porter brands for a spring fashion event.

"We removed an Instagram post about the event because it was creating confusion as to the intent of the creative collaboration," the spokesperson said. "We love creating delicious gelato to be enjoyed by everyone and if the collaboration gave the wrong impression we are sorry."

SOURCE



Australian couple sue public broadcaster for defamation after broadcaster described their Colonial-themed restaurant as 'offensive' and profiteering from the Empire's 'bloody history'

Pure Leftist hate leading to clear defamation

The former owners of a British Empire-themed restaurant are suing SBS over a report calling their eatery 'offensive' and implying they were racist.

Mark and Angela Kennedy, whose British Colonial Co in Brisbane closed in January, filed a claim in the Southport District Court seeking aggravated damages.

The couple alleged the segment by SBS Viceland last September, which said the restaurant 'celebrated bad taste', caused them hurt, embarrassment and loss.

They alleged it implied they 'supported the bloody history of colonisation' and 'have sought financial gain at the expense of the suffering of others', according to the Gold Coast Bulletin.

British Colonial Co opened in June 2016, marketed as: 'Inspired by the stylish days of the empirical push into the developing cultures of the world, with the promise of adventure and modern refinement in a safari setting'.

It was later changed to: 'A refined and modern dining experience with the adventure of east meets west in a plantation style, club setting.'

The SBS report followed several days of social media backlash accusing it of 'gross racism' among other things, that was reported by other media outlets.

'The restaurant glorifies a colonial past as something beautiful, luxurious, exotic, when in fact colonisation was none of those things,' it said.

'If you ask any indigenous person what colonisation is they will say death, disease and genocide?'

The Kennedy's alleged the report implied they 'supported the bloody history of colonisation' and 'have sought financial gain at the expense of the suffering of others'.

They claimed it conveyed imputations they were racist, support racism, were bigots, bad people, unconscionable, culturally insensitive, stupid, ignorant, disreputable, disingenuous, and trivialised suffering.

The couple's claim also referenced two follow-up SBS online articles reporting on the backlash, and an opinion piece describing it as 'very much deserved'.

'Do I think the owners are racist monsters? No. Is it widely culturally insensitive and, additionally extremely strange? Yep, that one,' they claim it said.

They claimed the piece also accused them of 'having food and decor inspired by the bloody occupation of other cultures by the British Empire'.

Another article said: 'Trivialising suffering for frivolous reasons like making money or having a laugh is a fairly awful thing to do.'

A fourth alleged defamatory publication was posting it on the SBS Comedy Facebook page.

The Kennedys claimed SBS' reporting opened them to 'public ridicule, hatred and contempt', and gravely injured their character and reputation.

They demand aggravated damages because the reports were 'extravagant and sensational', and want a judge-only trial.

SBS has not yet lodged a defence. Daily Mail Australia attempted to contact the broadcaster for comment.

SOURCE


Monday, October 02, 2017



Hate speech is acceptable in Trump’s America – as long as it comes from Christian fundamentalists (?)

Just another desperate Leftist distortion.  Americans don't hate Iran or N.Korea but they do believe in self defense.  And self defense in the nuclear wars threatened by Iran and N.Korea would lead to near-genocides of those countries.

And conservative disparagement of Islam is also defensive.  We saw what Muslims do on 9/11/2001 and many times thereafter. Muslims repeatedly attack Americans.  It's a wonder that America has not sent them all back to the hellholes that generated them.

Only a Leftist would be unable to distinguish defensive speech and hate speech



Christian fundamentalists are among Trump's most rabid supporters. It doesn’t matter how 'unchristian' a more mainstream follower of that religion might find his behaviour

“Putting the Caliphate first may mean eliminating the US and UK from the map. If it comes down to the Caliphate or them, I vote the Caliphate all the way!”

Just imagine if that had been tweeted out by a Muslim cleric here or in America.

Such an incitement to genocide would spark outrage. There might be calls for the arrest of the person responsible, and for their deportation, depending upon their immigration status.

Now at this point I should come clean. What I quoted is a doctored version of an actual cleric’s tweet.

What it actually said was this: Putting America first may mean eliminating N Korea or Iran from the map. If it comes down to the US or them, I vote US all the way.

You’ve probably guessed by now that it wasn’t written by an Isis apologist. It was, in point of fact, penned by a preacher claiming to follow Christianity.

So there was no fulminating on Twitter from the President. Nor did any tabloid newspapers or rent-a-gob MPs shout and scream.

It seems it’s ok if a Christian endorses genocide if it's only North Koreans and Iranians that stand to be killed.

SOURCE

My Alma Mater American University Cancelled My Title IX 'Hate Speech' Panel

Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Last night I was supposed to participate in a panel at my alma mater, American University, on feminism, free speech, and Title IX. My co-panelists were to include a former president of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the current head of a group that fights for students' rights, and two staffers from the British website spiked—not what you might think would be a controversial lineup.

But in the days leading up to the event, the AU chapter of American Association of University Women organized a campaign to "Keep Our Campus Safe," describing the panel as "hate speech" and "violence" designed to undermine "decades of work... to make campuses safer for victims of sexual violence."

The panel was put together by spiked as part of its "Unsafe Space" tour, which will visit several U.S. campuses and include such figures as Laura Kipnis and Jonathan Haidt (along with Reason's Robby Soave). The event on American's D.C. campus was to kick off the tour, with me, spiked's Ella Whelan, former ACLU chief Nadine Strossen, and Foundation for Individual Rights in Education director Robert Shibley on a panel moderated by spiked Deputy Editor Tom Slater.

Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) was the student group hosting the event, and was in charge of making arrangements with the campus. An auditorium had been secured since summer, but a few days before the event AU administrators told YAL that the space was no longer available and then that the panel had to be canceled altogether.

The event went on, albeit in a smaller and much less collegiate location: Reason's D.C. office. Luckily we were able to open our space to the event at the last minute

Overall, it's a thoroughly tame event, albeit one that fostered some good discussion with students who had trekked from AU's campus to the Reason office. We talked about how Title IX proceedings are often assumed to only involve sexual assault, though they encompass a range of other areas that can have nothing to do with sexual activity or violence, and that can seriously jeopardize academic freedom and (often liberal) professors' livelihoods. Whelan talked about how Title IX proceedings and the general sexual climate on campus can infantilize female students and take women's progress a step backward.

I talked about how it's the feds, much more than any minority of illiberal students, who are forcing campuses into absurd "safe spaces." The media spend too much time blaming "campus feminists" or leftist student groups for Title IX's worst excesses when the real culprits are government bureaucrats and schools scared to cross them. Colleges would rather crack down on any potential liabilities—i.e., anything anyone complains about—rather than face steep fines or lose the ability to participate in federal student-loan programs.

It was especially disappointing to learn today that this may have been provoked by a women's student group severely misrepresenting the event and then urging students to be angry about it.

SOURCE


Sunday, October 01, 2017



Don't call pregnant women 'expectant mothers' as it might offend transgender people, BMA says

The British Medical Association has said pregnant women should not be called "expectant mothers" as it could offend transgender people.

Instead, they should call them "pregnant people" so as not to upset intersex and transgender men, the union has said.

The advice comes in an internal document to staff outlining a raft of common phrases that should be avoided for fear of causing offence.

A large majority of people that have been pregnant or have given birth identify as women. We can include intersex men and transmen who may get pregnant by saying 'pregnant people' instead of 'expectant mothers'.

"The elderly" should be referred to as "older people", "disabled lifts" called "accessible lifts" and someone who is "biologically male or female" should be called "assigned male or female".

The BMA said the document was purely guidance for its staff on effective communication within the workplace, not advice to its 156,000 doctor members on how to deal with patients.

SOURCE





Campus free speech: The real challenge is civil discourse, says one college president

Kenyon College, a small liberal arts college in central Ohio, has adopted a new "freedom of expression" policy to underscore the premise that the college should welcome the broadest possible range of viewpoints, even ones that most on campus consider "mistaken, dangerous or even despicable."

But Kenyon President Sean Decatur told USA TODAY's Cup of Politics that the free speech issue is in some ways the easier part.

"The real challenge and heart of the conversation we are having on campus now is: How do you balance the concept of free speech with the concept of civil discourse," Decatur said. "Free speech is in some ways the easy part of that to define. Civil discourse is hard in part because civility is subjective, and that's the piece that is important for us to grapple with."

Decatur said, for example, that he would not be troubled by a debate on campus about white nationalism, as long as it could be conducted as a true dialogue of ideas, not a platform for propaganda or intimidation.

"How do you have a respectful conversation on something that you find abhorrent and  repulsive? I think its actually possible to do," Decatur said, but "it probably doesn't come with torches."

SOURCE



Friday, September 29, 2017


Australia: Is subjecting people to speech free speech?

One would think not -- quite the contrary -- but the Left have always used free speech as a justification of anything they say.  In line with that, a plan to subject football fans to pro-homosexual propaganda is being defended as free speech. 

The pro-homosexual song concerned has been very widely aired so has not in any way been restricted speech but should people who dislike the sentiments of the song be forced to listen to it?  In their usual authoritarian way, the Left are answering "Yes" to that. They are having the song sung at half-time during a football match in spite of the fact that many fans there will find it objectionable. 

Mere good manners would usually ensure that an objectionable song is not sung on such an occasion but Leftist propaganda is far more important than bad manners, of course.  Interesting though that political correctness is often claimed to be just good manners and refraining from offending people.  More evidence of Leftist hypocrisy



Former prime minister Tony Abbott has backed a call from same-sex marriage opponents to ban American rapper Macklemore from performing his pro-gay song Same Love at the NRL grand final.

Former player Tony Wall, who played first grade briefly in the mid 1990s, is petitioning NRL boss Todd Greenberg to halt the half-time performance and "take a neutral position on the question of same-sex marriage".

The Coalition for Marriage, the official "no" campaign vehicle, seized on the Change.org petition on Wednesday, demanding the NRL ban the song despite making "freedom of speech" one of its central campaign tenets.

Spokesman David Goodwin said the grand final was "not a PC lecture theatre" and it was "bizarre that the NRL would choose to use its half-time entertainment to push a message which it knows millions of Australians disagree with".

Mr Abbott backed that call, tweeting: "Footy fans shouldn't be subjected to a politicised grand final. Sport is sport!"

But the NRL stood firm on Wednesday, with Mr Greenberg telling 2GB radio the LGBTI anthem was just one of four songs Macklemore was scheduled to perform, and reiterating the code's support for same-sex marriage.

"He's playing four of his biggest hits, one of those will include that song and we're very comfortable with that," Mr Greenberg said.

He conceded the song could be seen as a political act but said "we're an inclusive game" and "it would be a little hypocritical for us to have inclusiveness as one of our values and not actually deliver on it".

The song Same Love, which reached No.1 in Australia in 2013, is critical of homophobia in rap music and includes the lyric: "No freedom 'til we're equal, damn right I support it."

Mr Wall said he and his family, and other NRL fans who did not support same-sex marriage, would feel uncomfortable watching the grand final if the song were to be performed. The petition had gathered 2100 online signatures as of Wednesday evening.

The NRL formally announced its support for same-sex marriage just over two weeks ago, saying the league had a duty to back up its policy of inclusion with action.

The AFL has also encountered blowback for its long-standing support for marriage equality, with commentators and some Coalition MPs upset over a decision to temporarily replace the logo outside its Melbourne headquarters with a "yes" sign.

Both codes have resisted attempts to shut down their advocacy, arguing they are entitled to a point of view but respect those who disagree.

The Coalition for Marriage and supporters have made "freedom of speech" a central tenet of its campaign, claiming free speech wold be under threat if same-sex marriage were to be legalised.

"Freedom of speech is a central issue in this campaign," the Coalition for Marriage said last week following the Abbott headbutt.

"It is absolutely crucial that people are able to speak up and participate in a national conversation about marriage in a respectful and peaceful manner."

In a 2GB interview on Wednesday, Mr Abbott continued his campaign for a "no" vote, saying it was "the best way of stopping political correctness in his tracks".

"We have seen political correctness run riot on a whole host of issues, but this is the first time that the Australian public have been asked to cast their verdict on all of these developments," he said.

SOURCE