Sunday, November 23, 2014
More incorrectness in sport
People in sport tend to be tough in more ways than one so caution about delicate sensitivities does not come naturally to them
The crisis engulfing Wigan Athletic over the appointment of Malky Mackay has deepened after owner Dave Whelan gave an interview in which he claimed "Jewish people chase money" and insisted using the word "chinks" is not racist.
Whelan is facing the full force of the Football Association's rules on discrimination barely 24 hours after choosing to give Mackay a job in defiance of its ongoing investigation into racist, sexist and homophobic text messages exchanged by the Scot during his period at Cardiff City.
Then came Whelan's interview with The Guardian in which the 77-year-old former Blackburn Rovers player attempted to defend some of the deeply offensive text messages exchanged by Mackay and former colleague Iain Moody.
Asked about a text being investigated by the FA which allegedly referred to "chinks", Whelan said: "If any Englishman said he has never called a Chinaman 'a chink' he is lying. There is nothing bad about doing that. It is like calling the British Brits, or the Irish paddies."
Whelan also sought to defend a message he said had been sent by Mackay which said of Phil Smith, a football agent who is Jewish: "Nothing like a Jew that sees money slipping through his fingers."
Whelan was quoted by The Guardian as saying: "I think Jewish people do chase money more than everybody else. I don't think that's offensive at all. It's telling the truth. Jewish people love money, English people love money; we all love money."
Whelan, when contacted by The Daily Telegraph, denied he had intended to infer Jewish people liked money "more than everybody else", as well as standing by his statement that "chink" was not an offensive term.
His remarks were condemned by Simon Johnson, the former FA executive who is now chief executive at the Jewish Leadership Council.
Labour MP Emily Thornberry apologises for white Transit van and England flags tweet
A little background is needed here: In England, "White van man" is a contemptuous term for a delivery driver, who is seen as representative of the working class. Class hatreds are ferocious in England but are usually denied. The other thing you need to know is that the St George flag has become a common emblem for English patriotism and opposition to immigration. And the party (UKIP) that was expected to win (and did win) the by-election is an anti-immigration party, so the picture in effect said: "Only the despised working class vote for UKIP". And for a Labour Party MP to show contempt for the workers is fatal. In only a matter of hours she had to resign from her front-bench job. She is a former barrister (Trial Lawyer), who sent her children to private schools -- so it is highly probable that her tweet did indeed reflect snobbish views
A Labour front bench MP has apologised after she tweeted a photo of a house in Rochester adorned with three England flags, which saw her accused of holding working class voters in “contempt”.
Emily Thornberry, Labour shadow attorney general and MP for Islington South and Finsbury in north London, was on the campaign train in Rochester today.
At around 3pm, she tweeted a photo of a two-storey house with a white Transit van parked outside and three St George flags hanging from its window, alongside the caption “image from #Rochester”.
Thornberry, who lives in a £3million home in London, later told The Telegraph she posted the photo because she thought it was "remarkable" as she had never seen a house "completely covered in flags before".
Users of the social media website were quick to point out that the image may have been ill-judged, and made her appear out-of-touch with voters at a time when Labour is attempting to battle against Ukip in the town. Others defended the MP, and said her post may have been misconstrued
Friday, November 21, 2014
Must not disrespect a terrorist organization?
The IRA is a murderous Irish Catholic organization with much blood on its hands. Roughly, Glasgow people are half Irish in ancestry and half Catholic in religion. Football in Glasgow is divided on ethnic/religious lines, with two major teams, one Catholic and one Protestant (Celtic and Rangers). The Protestant Orange Lodge has long memories and a big following in Glasgow. So when the Protestant fans chanted derision of the IRA, they were simply expressing the ingrained ethnic divisions of their city.
Getting the fans to be more polite is a bit of a laugh in Scotland, given traditional Scottish aggression. Glasgow has one of the world's highest murder rates -- mostly caused by the Jimmies sticking shivs (homemade stabbing knives) into one-another during drunken Saturday night fights
‘Stop banging the drum’ is a plea seldom heard in the hyperbolic world of English football, but the supporters’ band that hammered away to the chant of ‘F*** the IRA’ in Glasgow was asked to do just that as embarrassment turned to anger at the Football Association.
‘Ban the Band’ is an appealing headline, but this is more than just punning, with England due to play the Republic of Ireland in Dublin next year.
The Football Association sent a representative into the crowd at half-time in Glasgow to ask the drummers to cease and desist. In May the FA wrote to England fans asking them to stop singing ‘No Surrender’ but were ignored.
Against Scotland on Tuesday night, the problem escalated to the point where the band is effectively on a final warning from the governing body
The next step is for manager, players and the FA to sign a statement disowning the chants. Only then will a line be drawn between the nation itself and the songs sung in its name.
BBC Radio Norfolk host sparks rape outrage by claiming women should 'keep their knickers on' during debate on rapist footballer
Nick Conrad, a talk show host, has apologised following the live discussion about the future of rapist Evans - a former Sheffield United footballer, who was freed from jail last month.
Married father-of-one Mr Conrad, 29, said on his phone-in show that if women 'don't wish to give out the wrong signals, it's best probably to keep your knickers on and not get into bed' with a man.
He also said: 'It's the old adage about if you yank a dog's tail don't be surprised when it bites you.'
I don't particularly agree with his remarks but they represent a widely held view so should be debated, not penalized
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Must not quote anyone accused of rape
Officials working at London Underground were forced to apologise after a quote from alleged rapist Bill Cosby was posted at a tube station.
Cosby has been accused of sexually abusing 14 women and raping at least three - one more than 40 years ago.
A board placed at Tooting Bec tube station in south London, which staff use to post a 'thought of the day' to cheer up commuters, featured a quote from Cosby.
The whiteboard said: "'A word to the wise is not necessary. It's the stupid ones that need advice" - Bill Cosby.'
It was placed in such a position that everybody exiting through the barriers at the busy Northern Line Tube station, in south west London, saw it on Monday.
Transport for London has apologised for the 'misjudged' quote.
Cosby has faced historical allegations of sexual abuse.
In November 2006 he settled a civil lawsuit with Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee who claimed he had drugged and sexually assaulted her in his mansion two years earlier.
Her lawyers said they had the names of 13 other women who had come forward voluntarily with similar accounts of drugging or abuse at the hands of Cosby. But the settlement was reached before the women gave evidence.
Cosby has never been criminally charged in any of the cases.
During an interview at the weekend Cosby remained silent when asked about the allegations.
He's innocent until found guilty in a court of law but that doesn't matter now, apparently. We now have trial by accusation.
And even if he is guilty (which I think is probable) he may still have said wise or amusing things. And they don't become less wise or less amusing according to who said them. That is the "ad hominem" logical fallacy.
Students at Booker T. Washington High School walk out over racist tweet
ANGRY students in the US have staged a mass walkout over a racist tweet posted on their school’s official account referring to young black men as a white father’s worst nightmare.
The post — retweeted by the high school’s assistant principal — showed seven white girls accompanied by seven black teenagers at what looked like a school formal.
The caption read, “Every white girl’s father’s worse nightmare or nah?”
Amy Strickland, assistant princial of Booker T. Washington High School in Norfolk, Virgina, retweeted the image in June but students only became aware of it recently.
The tweet was originally posted by the parody account “OrNahhTweets’’ but it is not clear where the picture originated.
ABC news channel 13 News Now reports that the tweet was deleted after the station contacted Norfolk Public Schools for comment. The entire Twitter account was eventually deleted.
The parents of Nicole Brown Simpson would be likely to agree with the tweet. There are frequent reports of black men murdering or attacking white women who get involved with them. I have posted quite a few of them on POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH. Not all black men are violent but it's a big risk.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Google has free speech right in search results, court confirms
A San Francisco court ruled last week that Google has the right to arrange its search results as it pleases, which confirms the company’s long-held position, while underscoring the stark difference in how U.S. and European authorities seek to regulate the search giant.
The new ruling, which is the first since 2007 to address Google’s rights under the First Amendment, came after a website called CoastNews argued that Google had unfairly pushed it far down in its search results – even though, CoastNews claimed, its site appeared at the top of results created by Bing and Yahoo. CoastNews suggested the poor rankings were because Google wanted to eliminate CoastNews as a potential competitor.
Google responded by filing an “anti-SLAPP” motion, a legal tactic used to quickly challenge lawsuits that seek to stifle free speech. In a one-paragraph ruling, Judge Ernest Goldsmith granted the request, saying CoastNews’ claims against Google related to “constitutionally protected activity.”
FCC Versus Free Speech
For centuries, our nation’s press has become accustomed to exercising its own news and editorial judgments largely free from government interference. It’s all part of the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of the press. But now, all of that could be about to change, if Obama administration officials have their way.
In May 2013, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced its intention to proceed with what it described as a “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs” that would probe into how members of the news media make editorial decisions on the stories they cover.
At the time, the FCC said the “pilot” study would enable the agency “to ascertain the process by which stories are selected… perceived station bias… and perceived responsiveness to underserved populations.” Government officials would, of course, determine what they perceive as “bias” and who they decide are “underserved populations.”
Here are some of the invasive—and, in fact, chilling—questions FCC Critical Information Needs (CIN) agents were to ask private news media companies, some of whose broadcast licenses could depend upon providing the FCC the “right” answers:
“What is the news philosophy of the station?
“Who decides which stories are covered?”
“How much does community input influence news coverage decisions?”
“What are the demographics of the news management staff?”
“What are the demographics of the news production staff?”
The FCC plans also called for government monitors “crawling” the Internet sites of newspapers, local governments, blogs, non-profits, and citizen journalists. All of which is an affront to the law and the First Amendment.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Ban elderly road signs
Road signs showing an old couple hunched over and struggling to cross the road should be banned because they make employers think older people are "frail and disabled".
Ros Altman, an advocate for pensioners, said the signs, which tells drivers to slow down for the elderly crossing the road, present old people as "stooped over and needing a walking stick" when the vast majority are fit and healthy.
Dr Altman wants the signs banned and plans to bring up the issue with the women and equalities minister Jo Swinson at a meeting next month.
She said: 'I would like to see the signs banned - just drop them. "I don't understand what purpose they serve - in this day and age, do we really need a say that says 'Warning: old people?' It's not very helpful to anybody. "It just feeds into the social stereotypes that suggest old people are disabled.
But many old people ARE slow and shaky
British cops confront granny who put ‘racially offensive’ gorilla in window
For years, knitting fanatic Anne Feast has entertained local children with quirky displays of handmade animals in her front window. But when she put a gorilla there, police went, well…bananas.
Two police community support officers knocked on her door and told the pensioner there had been a complaint about the ‘black body’, warning her that it was a ‘potentially racially offensive object’.
The grandmother-of-two said that even after she had pointed out that it was merely a knitted gorilla called Cilla, she was asked to take it down – a demand she ignored.
But now it appears the officers had invented the complaint, with their force insisting they acted on their own initiative after spotting the toy during a routine patrol.
Mrs Feast knits as a hobby and has two suitcases full of her creations. She always keeps one on display in the front window of the home in Ely, Cambridgeshire, that she has lived in with husband Philip, 71, for 14 years, and changes them regularly.
But a Cambridge police spokesman has now said: 'At no point was the woman asked to remove the gorilla from her window'
Monday, November 17, 2014
Black racism again -- and an attempted wriggle-out
New York Democratic Congressman Charlie Rangel sat down for a wide-ranging interview with Huffington Post Live, during which he defended his earlier use of the term ‘white crackers’ as a “term of endearment.”
Rangel began by standing by his earlier comments that the Southern GOP believes that “slavery isn’t over,” and that they won the Civil War. ”Take a look and see, what are the symbols that the majority of slave-holding states, if they identify with the tea party, and if they do, where are the warriors of the Civil War, the Confederates?” he said, “They’re all over these states and even today are denying it!”
But host Marc Lamont Hill then pushed Rangel on comments he made in 2013, calling the Tea Party “white crackers.” ”I thought that was a term of endearment,” he explained.
Even Hill laughed out loud at that. “You thought ‘cracker’ was a term of endearment?”
Rangel then preceded to give perhaps the most backhanded apology of all time: “They’re so proud of their heritage and all the things they believe in. I can tell you this: with all of the feelings I have against the people, that have been against justice, fair play and equality, and the freedoms as we know it. If I offended them for calling them a ‘white cracker,’ I apologize. For the rest of it, there’s a lot that has to be done here.”
“With the names I’ve been called, I never really put ‘cracker’ in that category,” he continued. “But I certainly would like to have dinner with some of the people I’ve offended…”
Watch your shirt!
A moment of triumph for humanity spoilt by small-minded feminists
The British scientist on the Rosetta Project who came under fire over wearing a shirt with semi-dressed cartoons while appearing on TV after the Philae landing, has apologised.
Dr Matt Taylor spoke about the European Space Agency's mission to land a robot on a comet for the first time in history, while dressed in a colourful bowling shirt featuring scantily clad women.
Soon afterwards, #shirtgate and slightly more humorous #shirtstorm, began trending on Twitter in response to the London-born father-of-two.
Today, during a Rosetta project briefing on the European Space Agency's YouTube channel, a visibly upset Dr Taylor addressed the internet furore and said sorry.
'I made a big mistake,' the 40-year-old, who has a PhD in space plasma physics from Imperial College London said. 'And I have offended many people. I'm very sorry about this.'
Even before the landing, the Rosetta Project scientist caused a stir on the social network because of his unorthodox appearance, involving bright shirts and an array of body art - including a tattoo on his leg of the space probe landing on the comet, which he got in January.
Many vented their anger on Twitter, claiming that Dr Taylor's choice of shirt was sexist and particularly inappropriate as science is a field long dominated by men.
Feminists always say that women should not be judged by their clothing -- but it's OK to judge men that way?
Sunday, November 16, 2014
Must not sell war memorabilia
There is quite a lively trade in war memorabilia, including Nazi memorabilia, but this one is out of line for some unknown reason
Original Nazi Christmas decorations used by the SS have sparked outrage after appearing on an online auction site.
The four Christmas Tree baubles which are described as 'fancy' are red with the Nazi Swastika painted in the centre of a white circle.
Appearing on the Czech Republic website Aukro, the seller who identifies himself as Anti95 says they are 'original decorations used by SS units over 70 years ago' and are being offered at a starting price of £59.
He wrote: 'I offer Christmas decorations of SS units. 'The decorations are authentic and not damaged. 'They are made of blown glass and they are in original colours and good condition. He added: 'The offer is for collecting purposes only.'
But the decorations have caused fury both online and across the Czech Republic which was annexed by Hitler in 1938 and not liberated until the end of the war.
Commenting on the auction website's Facebook page, disgusted Jana Bodinkova said: 'It makes me sick. 'My granddad would cry if he saw this. 'It is incredible that we have something like this here now.'
Vaclav Ceska, 59, from the capital Prague said: 'This is is absolutely disgraceful.
The owner of the baubles claimed he was 'not a member of any movement aimed at suppressing human rights and freedoms or the movement which support national, racial or class hatred to other group of people' 'I don't support movements like the SS either.'
Labour party woman condemns "joke" about lynching a Conservative female politician
A senior Labour frontbencher has broken ranks to condemn remarks made by a fellow MP about lynching a Tory minister. Women and equalities spokesman Gloria De Piero rounded on John McDonnell, calling his comments about Employment Minister Esther McVey at an anti-war comedy night on Remembrance Sunday ‘clearly unacceptable’.
Her criticism contrasted with Labour’s weaker response, which stopped short of admonishing the Left-wing MP. A Labour spokesman said his views ‘don’t represent the views of the party’, adding: ‘He speaks for himself.’
Mr McDonnell refused to apologise or withdraw his comments, and turned his fire on the Daily Mail for reporting them. He called the article revealing what he said ‘a badge of honour’.
He spoke about visiting Liverpool, where Miss McVey faces a campaign to oust her. To applause, he said: ‘I spoke at a packed public meeting... a group in the audience completely kicked off quite critical of the whole concept because they were arguing, “Why are we sacking her? Why aren’t we lynching the b******?”’
Female Tory MPs condemned his remarks. Education Secretary and Women and Equalities minister Nicky Morgan said they were ‘outrageous’, and asked why other women Labour MPs had failed to criticise the remarks, tweeting: ‘Is it OK when [it is] one of their MPs?’
Friday, November 14, 2014
More black racism
A [black] Texas teacher has been "suspended without pay pending discharge" after accusations that she sent racially charged tweets about the incidents in Ferguson, Missouri, a representative for the Duncanville Independent School District said at a press conference.
Vinita Hegwood, a high school English teacher at Duncanville High School near Dallas, allegedly sent the tweets from her personal Twitter account Friday.
"Who the (expletive) made you dumb (expletive) crackers think I give a squat (expletive) about your opinions. #Ferguson Kill yourselves," read one of the messages.
Later that evening another tweet appeared, saying, "You exhibit nigga behavior, I'm a call you a nigga. You acting crackerish, I'm a call you a cracker." Hegwood is African-American.
It's not clear exactly to what or whom she was referring, but the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, have often hinged on race, as Michael Brown was a black teen killed by Officer Darren Wilson, a white policeman.
Mexicans seem to be the latest group who must be shielded from imitators
Imitation is often said to be the sincerest form of flattery but Leftists don't seem able to consider that
It was to be a Mexican fiesta, complete with sombreros and ponchos. But Sydney University's annual staff Christmas party will be without a theme this year after students and academics complained it was racist.
The university's vice-chancellor, Michael Spence, has been forced to email all staff and tell them to ignore the suggested theme and dress code on the invite, which was sent to hundreds of staff.
"Some of you have since written to me or other senior members of the university to express concern about the theme of the party, particularly in light of recent tragic events in southwest Mexico that you may have seen reported in the media," Professor Spence wrote in his email.
"Our celebrations will proceed on 10 December, but I have today asked the event organisers to amend our plans so that the party has no particular theme."
Eden Caceda, an office-bearer with the university's Autonomous Collective Against Racism, told Fairfax Media that students were deeply offended by the invitation.
"We found it to be culturally insensitive, especially considering the horrible events that happened lately with the 43 children in Mexico," Mr Caceda said.
Mexican gang suspects have confessed to slaughtering 43 missing students and dumping their charcoaled remains in a river.
"We felt the vice-chancellor was perpetrating insidious stereotypes about Mexican people and its culture."
Mr Caceda, a second year arts student, said some people had suggested that the collective's stance was taking political correctness too far.
"I would say that is not the case. If you have any Mexican heritage in you, you would see this party as offensive and uninformed.
"I am Hispanic and I have some traditions from Mexican culture and the vice-chancellor's invite said 'bring your own sombreros and ponchos', which reduces Mexican culture to just a costume," Mr Caceda said.
"My family has a poncho and it is really important to us, and these people are treating it like a costume."
Mr Caceda said the collective managed to have a Day of the Dead party cancelled last year. The Day of the Dead remembers family and friends who have died.
"There is a push back on the idea that you can turn any culture into a dress-up," Mr Caceda said.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
"Girl" is a dodgy word
The president of the Professional Golfers Association of America, Ted Bishop, was fired for “insensitive gender-based” statements — codespeak for completely innocuous remarks — prompting the PGA to issue a nauseating response: “We must demand of ourselves that we make golf both welcoming and inclusive to all who want to experience it. ... We apologize to any individual or group that felt diminished, in any way, by this unacceptable incident.”
And what did Bishop say that was so heinous? He took issue with comments made by British golfer Ian Poulter criticizing Ryder Cup golf captains Nick Faldo and Tom Watson. Bishop tweeted that Poulter was a “Lil Girl,” while, on Facebook, Bishop wrote: “Tom Watson and Nick Faldo ... get bashed by Ian Poulter. Really? Sounds like a little schoolgirl squealing during recess.”
If you’re waiting for the bombshell language, sorry to disappoint, but there isn’t any. In other words, a top executive was canned for calling someone a squealing school girl in a tongue-in-cheek social media post.
Who in their right mind could possibly feel “diminished” by that? And what do Bishop’s comments have to do with being, or not being, “welcoming” or “inclusive?” What does that even mean? Have these people lost their minds from hanging out in the clubhouse bar too long?
A Lesson on Free Speech and Sharia in Knoxville
A recent legal victory by Freedom X upheld the right of private citizens to discuss openly sharia law at a Knoxville, Tennessee, high school. "This is a victory for free speech," Freedom X's President William J. Becker rightly explained, in yet another instructive example of Islamists seeking to subvert the United States Constitution's First Amendment.
A local Knoxville chapter of ACT! for America began the case by arranging an April 24 evening town hall at Farragut High School (FHS). The event featured Dr. Bill French, Center for the Study of Political Islam founder under the pen name Warner, and Matt Bonner, regional director of the Crescent Project, a Christian evangelization ministry for Muslims. They intended to address the encroachment in America of sharia, vaguely described in one online report as "Islamic laws governing worship and lifestyle." Becker correctly clarifies that "Sharia is incompatible with our constitutional and legal protections" in numerous ways.
Both local and national Muslims groups, however, greeted the event with harsh opposition. Abdel Rahman Murphy, a Muslim chaplain at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, emailed then FHS principal Mike F. Reynolds on April 8 requesting the event's cancellation. The town hall flyer had "kind of an aggressive tone," Murphy argued to reporters. "Feel free hosting" the event "anywhere else by renting out a banquet hall," Murphy added, "but to host it at a public place...is not comfortable for the rest of us."
A Knoxville school official was "happy to announce" ACT!'s uninviting. Hooper boasted of the school's decision, arguing that "this event in a public school would send an implicit message of endorsement for the bigoted views of the speakers." Knoxville schools must "remain a safe place for all students," concurred Remziya Suleyman from the Tennessee-based Muslim organization, American Center for Outreach.
The Knoxville ACT! chapter's president John Peach held the event in a church, not seeking other public venues for fear of another cancellation. "Sharia is not well-understood and we wanted to inform the public" as "concerned Americans," Peach said. An "American...should" not "be afraid to speak out on public matters in a public forum."
On August 4th, Peach and French with Becker as counsel sued the school district for violating his First Amendment constitutionally protected rights. "It is unfortunate we have to educate the educators," Becker stated in filing the lawsuit to coincide with the school year opening, but the First Amendment's "freedom of speech...distinguishes America from Muslim nations."
"CAIR and other terror-affiliated groups are exploiting our laws," Becker analyzed, "to erode...freedom of speech...part and parcel of a greater plan" for an "Islamic caliphate." "Unfortunately...as Muslim activists play the victim card," this trend will grow, even though blasphemy laws are unconstitutional.
Because "litigation would have been futile," Becker rejoiced, the school's attorneys settled just 21 days after his filing.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
BBC football commentator in own goal after branding Ipswich supporters 'the great unwashed' on air when he thought the mic was off
Must not say what you think
BBC radio football commentator Brenner Woolley branded Ipswich Town fans the 'great unwashed' in a live broadcast of the Blues' 2-1 win over Wolves
Brenner Woolley, who's reported on Ipswich games for more than 10 years at the station, scored his embarrassing own goal when he thought he was off air. He made the howler in the half-time break in the clubs' 2-1 win over Wolves at Portman Road on Tuesday night (Nov 4).
But Woolley's derogatory comment was picked up by supporters listening to the online worldwide live match commentary service provided by team's 'Player' service on the club's website. They were not broadcast over the normal airwaves.
Nick Gibbs, editor of The Ibiza Sun newspaper, said Woolley blundered as he discussed the post-match telephone call-in show with co-commentator and ex-England star Mick Mills.
Mr Gibbs, who was listening in, said Mr Woolley said: 'I'll give you these headphones at full-time so you can hear the great unwashed!'
He said their chat, supposed to be private, could be heard for about 10 minutes during the half-time interval.
Other angry fans, known as the Tractor Boys, have called for the broadcaster to apologise at the next game.
One, named Martyn wrote on Twitter: 'I think Brenner Woolley should be made to stand in the middle of the pitch, at halftime on Saturday, and apologise to the fans
Australia: Must not disrespect Vegans
What's a Vegan doing in a hamburger restaurant anyway?
A Hunter restaurant owner says he has received threats and is afraid for the safety of his workmates after comments on Facebook about a vegan customer.
Mark Clews, part-owner of Tuk Tuk – in the Tempus Two complex at Pokolbin – was deluged with online complaints and phone calls after he said a customer's clothing was probably made in a "sweat shop"
"Well we had our first ever vegan in yesterday. Wearing a tie dyed T-shirt, I'm serious, didn't matter that it was made in a Chinese sweat shop. Anyway it went as well as could be expected," he continued, adding the woman was told her felafel burger would be cooked on the same grill as meat but ate it anyway."
After the comment, Mr Clews was hit with a torrent of complaints on his page.
"To publicly shame a customer with special dietary requirements, comment on her attire and be so blatantly nasty is inexcusable. I will never step foot in this establishment," one reviewer said.
"Rude and disgusting," another added.
In screen-shots of posts, Mr Clews refuses to apologise and labels detractors "vegan Nazis".
Although he originally stood by his "flippant" comments on social media, Mr Clews later told the Newcastle Herald he would apologise to the customer if she came back.
Mr Clews said disgruntled social media users had tracked down his mobile number and made threatening calls up until midnight. He feared for his safety and that of his family: "What I have learnt is some people have thinner skins than I."
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Cover her up! Hotel gets dressing down over 'sexist' blonde builder hoarding that's been likened to 'soft porn'
A hotel has been forced to cover up a building site hoarding after complaints that it is sexist.
Malmaison, in Manchester, had put up a risque 7ft image of a scantily clad woman holding a power tool to hide ongoing construction work.
But author and Manchester University Professor Jeanette Winterson likened the image to 'soft porn'. She said: 'Plenty of women on business stay at the Malmaison. 'To get to their hotel room at the end of a long day they must take in, or blank out, the message that women at work are really soft-porn babes. 'The hard-hat babes send out a message that aligns with male fantasy not female reality. 'And that's a problem.
'Suppose you are a girl who wants to go into the manual trades. Does the image of a skinny model in a strapless frock, pouting with a drill, do anything for your self-confidence and ambition?'
In response, the hotel placed a tongue-in-cheek banner over the image saying 'we've been asked to cover up'
In response, the hotel placed a tongue-in-cheek banner over the image saying 'we've been asked to cover up'
Feminists hate attractive women
Rapper Nicki Minaj accused of 'glorifying Hitler' over alleged use of Nazi imagery in her latest video
All the people in the video have African features: A long way from blond-haired, blue-eyed Nazis
Rapper Nicki Minaj has been accused of blatantly using Nazi imagery and ‘glorifying Hitler’ in the newly released video for her song Only, which also features Chris Brown, Drake and Lil Wayne.
The animated video, which features Minaj as a dictator, is clearly inspired by the black and white Nazi-propaganda films of German director Leni Riefenstahl.
An army of soldiers wear red armbands reminiscent of those worn by the Nazis [or the Communists], while large red banner flags appear with an overlapping Y-M symbol in a design eerily similar to a swastika.
YM stands for Young Money, the record label founded by rapper Lil Wayne, who appears in the video as industrialist Henry Ford, along with Drake who appears as the Pope, while Chris Brown appears as a military leader.
'Hey @NickiMinaj thanks for the blatant Nazi imagery in your new video! really great allusion to persecution & genocide' tweeted Melissa Morgan.
On Reddit, was video was discussion is length under the heading 'The new Nicki Minaj video Only is glorifying Nazism and Hitler'.
Minaj, who hosted the MTV Europe Music Awards in Glasgow, Scotland on Sunday evening, has yet to respond to the criticism.
Monday, November 10, 2014
Must not call Africans cave-men, even if they behave that way
Large numbers of Africans are violent and barely literate but we must not mention that
A member of parliament from Austria's far-right Freedom Party (FPO) called asylum seekers cave men on Facebook, triggering calls from other parties for his resignation.
Christian Hoebart's comments highlighted a febrile debate on immigration in the country, where recent polls have shown FPO neck and neck with traditional centrist parties, attracting about a quarter of votes.
His message, posted late on Friday, criticised a rally of mostly African asylum seekers held in the town of Traiskirchen near Vienna.
"I (could not) show understanding for yesterday's brouhaha of asylum seekers from Africa, so I called (them) emotionally ... 'soil and cave men', who cannot appreciate how good they've got it with us – their host country Austria," he wrote.
Other opposition politicians called for Hoebart, an FPO leader in the province of Lower Austria, to quit his political posts.
"To call humans that maybe fled from murder and rape of Isil (Islamic State)-murder gangs in Iraq and Syria 'soil and cave men' is open racism, which – similarly to the Nazis – would like to classify certain humans as Untermenschen (under-humans)," said Albert Steinhauser from the Austrian Greens.
"I was put in the limelight by our front of do-gooders and wannabe-world-improvers," Hoebart wrote on Facebook, defending his comments. He said that anyone who could think would know that cave men simply meant humans who are "many many years behind our culture".
No free speech in Australia?
When Immigration Minister Scott Morrison unexpectedly cancelled United States pick-up artist Julien Blanc's visa on Thursday it capped off a week that started with an online campaign and ended in a real-world protest.
Blanc was in Australia to host a series of seminars on how to attract women. His repertoire includes choking women, grabbing their heads and pushing them toward his groin and advising his followers how to destroy a woman's "bitch shield".
Critics were quick to condemn what they said was Blanc's promotion of abuse towards women. Social media lit up with the hashtag #takedownjulienblanc, which trended for the rest of the week. Thousands of people tweeted and posted comments on Facebook against Blanc; almost 35,000 signed an online petition.
"Julien Blanc is sexually assaulting women and then teaching rooms full of men to do the same. He should be arrested,"one Twitter user wrote.
The hashtag phenomena, spilled over into the real world, culminating in a protest on the banks of the Yarra River on Thursday night. The river cruise boat that was hosting him cancelled the event before it started and asked police to remove men who had come to hear Blanc speak after they refused to leave.
Although Blanc has left the country, in his wake he has left an argument over freedom of speech.
His advice may be deplorable, but Blanc's seminars are not illegal. Should he have been allowed take to the stage without disruption, let alone kicked out of the country?
Simon Breheny, director of the legal rights project at the Institute of Public Affairs, said it would have been better to let his seminar go ahead.
"The answer to bad speech is more speech. If someone says something I don't like, rather than calling in the police and saying this guy should be fined or sent to jail, we should explain to people why we think those ideas are bad and why we shouldn't listen to him," he said.
"Why is it that a government bureaucrat gets to decide what ideas you and I hear at forums we freely choose to attend? That's a very concerning idea."
Blanc has not commented, but one of his colleagues at dating company Real Social Dynamics has downplayed the incident, saying the controversy stems from one video being taken out of context.
"I think Julien's video was absolutely stupid," co-founder Owen Cook, who uses the name Tyler online, wrote on the company's web forums. "It was totally out of context and he posted it to get shock, not realising the full outcome. I'm sorry about the video."
Sunday, November 09, 2014
Illegal Pete’s owner says he won’t change the name of his restaurant
The owner of a Denver Mexican restaurant chain says he won’t change the name of his eatery despite calls from community members who charge its meaning is offensive to illegal immigrants.
"I will not change the name of our company," Illegal Pete’s owner Pete Turner wrote in a lengthy letter on the company’s blog detailing its 20-year history.
Although Turner writes that he “appreciates” those who took the time to voice their concerns, he stands by the name and goes on to discuss what the word illegal means to him.
“When it came to the name Illegal Pete’s, I settled on the name of a bar in a novel. The name resonated with me for the obvious reason that my name is Pete, but of equal importance, it was my father’s name.”
Turner says Illegal Pete’s refers to Turner’s father’s reputation as a “good-natured hell raiser” and was not meant to imply anything political.
U.S. Army says word 'Negro' OK to use when describing 'black or African American' personnel
The Army recently published regulations stating that 'Negro' is an acceptable term for describing black personnel.
The policy published as recently as October 22 said that Negro is an OK term for, 'a person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.'
CNN reported that the regulations also said that 'Haitian' is an acceptable term.
An Army spokesman named Lt. Col. S. Justin Platt came forward after CNN brought the terminology to light on Wednesday. He said, 'The racial definitions in AR600-20 para. 6-2 are outdated, currently under review, and will be updated shortly.'
'The Army takes pride in sustaining a culture where all personnel are treated with dignity and respect and not discriminated against based on race, color, religion, gender and national origin,' he added.
Friday, November 07, 2014
NY: Some more Leftist racism
During the recently concluded governor's race, Barovick was an avid supporter of the Democratic incumbent Andrew Cuomo. Moreover, he enjoyed eviscerating Cuomo's opponent, Rob Astorino. His weapon of choice was Twitter. All told, he has composed 20,500 tweets and has 3,119 followers.
Never funny, he was snarky at best. He was also vicious. At 9:12 p.m., Monday, election eve, Barovick tweeted: "In light of election, .@SheriffMoss mulling offer to be new spokesmodel for either Cream of Wheat, or Uncle Ben's Rice."
In case you weren't paying attention, Chemung County Sheriff Chris Moss is an African-American who ran for lieutenant governor on the Astorino ticket.
Barovick's ridicule was obvious and crude. By tying Moss to products whose packaging included stereotyped images of black men, he had finally crossed the line.
The blowback was instantaneous. Barovick was widely condemned by other Twitter users.
At 7:28 a.m., the next day, Astorino campaign spokesman Bill O'Reilly, tweeted: "I'll give you 'till noon to retract this racist tweet. After that, I'll assume you really meant it. "
Barovick should've cut his losses right there. Instead he threw gasoline on the fire with another snotty tweet at 9:20 a.m., telling O'Reilly, "Let me save you the trouble of waiting, Mr. O'Reilly. I meant it. Oh, and sorry about your campaign's loss."
Then Moss, himself, joined the fray with a series of tweets. He called Barovick's comments "a blatant racist smear" and blamed the Cuomo campaign for attempting "to gin up racial disharmony."
Fans Blast Ellie Goulding For Allegedly Racist, Insensitive Costume
Like many people across the globe, pop star Ellie Goulding took to social media on Halloween to show off her costume. Her getup, a Native American ensemble featuring an elaborate headpiece, was a hit with many fans. But for every “like” Goulding elicited on Instagram, there was a comment bashing her costume as racially insensitive and offensive.
“Oh Ellie,” one commenter wrote. “I’m so disappointed. No different than wearing blackface.”
Other fans shared similarly harsh words. “Next time don’t mock a dying race you insensitive and ignorant excuse of a person,” the fan said.
Goulding’s response was brief and unaggressive: “I only wore that beautiful and unauthentic headpiece for about five minutes,” she wrote on Twitter. She also said she’ll be donating money to Running Strong, an organization that gives grants to young Native Americans.
Crystal Speer, a representative from the Native American Heritage Association, says her organization has no official response to the controversy. She did offer a personal opinion, though. “I do think the reaction is a bit much,” she told MailOnline. “People these days will jump at anything to get offended at.”
Conservative parliament member Philip Davies had some much more pointed words for Goulding’s critics.
“I never cease to be amazed at how easily people will take offence – and usually this is white, middle-class, Guardian-reading, sandal-wearing, politically correct do-gooders who are offended on someone else’s behalf,” Davies said. “The people concerned are never usually offended themselves.”
Thursday, November 06, 2014
"Colored" is a bad word
I wonder what the NAACP think of that?
A middle school teacher in Guntown, Mississippi, allegedly referred to two of the students as “colored” back in October while threatening to send them to the office for making jokes in class.
It’s just the latest in a long list of racist remarks or actions directed at Black students in American classrooms. At a time when academics and educational experts are studying the most effective ways to lift the academic success of Black students, these incidents highlight the precarious position Black students are in when their educational success depends on a classroom leader who may actually despise them.
Dominique Witherspoon and Paris Howell were the two girls targeted by the teacher’s comments and the worst part is that they will still be facing that same teacher every day during the school year.
Despite both girls saying the teacher’s comments were hurtful and make them feel uncomfortable, the girls’ parents say the instructor has not been fired.
It all started when the two girls were joking around in class.
The teacher told the girls to quiet down, but the jokes continued on.
According to Witherspoon, that’s when the teacher said, “Be quiet before I send your colored selves to the office.”
How Ted Cruz Exposed the Free-Speech Haters
[2009 in the "Citizens United" case:] In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of freedom of speech and against the We-Can-Ban-Books Administration.
The court's defense of freedom of speech outraged certain members of the United States Senate. They offered an amendment to amend the First Amendment, which in its final form was advanced by Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois.
This proposed constitutional amendment said in part: "Congress and the States may regulate and set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money by candidates and others to influence elections."
This means: If you happen to be one of the "others" and Congress deems that you have raised and spent beyond what is "reasonable" in order to tell people Barack Obama seeks to curtail American liberty, the government can shut you up.
The proposed amendment also said: "Congress and the states shall have the power to ... distinguish between natural persons and corporations or other artificial entities created by law, including by prohibiting such entities from spending money to influence elections."
This means the government can prohibit a family-owned grocery store chain from speaking about an election.
On June 18, when this proposed constitutional amendment came up in the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Sen. Ted Cruz did a simple thing: He offered an amendment to replace this amendment with the exact words of the First Amendment.
The subcommittee defeated the First Amendment. Every Democrat on the panel voting against it.
On July 10, when the proposed constitutional amendment came up in the full Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Cruz again offered the First Amendment as a substitute. Every Democrat on the full committee voted against it.
There are politicians in America today who do not like your First Amendment rights -- and will vote against them when given the chance.
Wednesday, November 05, 2014
Atheist bullies strike again: Delaware high school coaches cave on post-game prayer
If something happens once you can dismiss it as an anomaly. If something happens twice you pay attention and examine for trends. However, when it happens repeatedly you've got more than a trend, you have a deliberate strategy and plan.
And so it is with the incessant and relentless attack of atheist groups against prayer and religious activity involving football. We've reported here about the attack levied against my own Alma Mater, the University of Tennessee - and mentioned the attack against Clemson University Coach Dabo Sweeney - and also the case brought against Georgia's Madison County High School for their donated monument which has two New Testament biblical verses inscribed. Well, the atheist bullies from FRFF are at it again!
As reported by Fox News, "An atheist group succeeded in sidelining football coaches at a Delaware high school from post-game prayers, but the holy huddle will continue as a players-only affair, according to a report. The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a letter to Cape Henlopen School District Superintendent Robert Fulton earlier this month to allege a "serious constitutional violation" occurring at Cape Henlopen High School: Coaches participating in postgame prayers with players.
One photograph in a local newspaper showed head coach Bill Collick in a prayer circle with his team on Oct. 3, The News Journal reports. "He's got his hands on players and he's bowing his head and he's participating in a prayer circle with students," said Elizabeth Cavell, an FFRF staff attorney who drafted the letter to Fulton. "Our objection to that is it violates the Establishment Clause of the Constitution, which has been interpreted to say that public school districts and their employees cannot advance or endorse religion while acting in their official capacity."
That interpretation is severely flawed if applied to this case, as well as most of the cases FFRF has lobbied.
What FFRF is strategically doing is advancing a secular humanist agenda to eradicate the Judeo-Christian faith heritage in America - and they've decided to attack sporting events, specifically football at public institutions to make their point. Their cohort in this insanity, Mikey Weinstein, at the oxymoronic Military Religious Freedom Foundation, has embarked upon the same crusade against our armed forces.
Separation of church and state was a concept - a principle - written in a letter by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury (CT) Baptist Convention articulating that America would not have an established state religion or a Head of State who was also a Head of Church - there would be a separation.
So a coach kneeling with his players during a post-game prayer circle is in keeping with the First Amendment of freedom of religion and the free exercise thereof!
British comedian in misogyny row as students demand cancellation of university gig over 'laddish' rape jokes
Students today backed a petition calling on their university union to cancel a ‘sexist’ comedian’s gig.
Self-described ‘proper lad’ Dapper Laughs - real name Daniel O’Reilly - is due to bring his Socially Unacceptable tour to the Cardiff University Students’ Union, Y Plas (The Place), in February.
However, a petition demanding the union cancel the Londoner’s gig because of his ‘trivialisation of rape, unprotected sex and dehumanising of women’ has amassed almost 500 signatures in two days.
It states ‘misogynistic humour should not be supported by an organisation that stands for equality’.
Petition organiser Vicky Chandler, 21, a final-year journalism student, said: ‘Dapper Laughs is that bloke that every woman knows who dresses up sexism as banter.’
‘His jokes are so disrespectful to women and giving him a TV show and letting him perform at the university is normalising inappropriate behaviour.’
Dapper Laughs, who hails from Clapham, south-west London, came to fame for his online videos where he gives ‘lad advice on romancing the ladies and being a geezer’.
In his videos, which are peppered with very explicit language, he can be seen yelling sexual comments at women on the street or from his car as he drives past.
However, defenders saying that Dapper Laughs is nothing more than a comic persona for Daniel O'Reilly, claiming that any sexism in his jokes is intended to be ironic.
Students’ Union president Elliot Howells said Dapper Laughs had been booked to play their Y Plas venue by an external promoter and had not been vetted by the organisation.
Tuesday, November 04, 2014
Lingerie campaign by Victoria's Secret sparks outrage on Twitter over use of the phrase 'perfect body'
Lingerie brand Victoria's Secret has come under fire for an 'irresponsible' advert for their new 'push up denim range of bras.
Featuring Angels Behati Prinsloo, Lily Aldridge and the face of the brands new perfume Jasmine Tookes, the ad looks much like the many others released by the brand over the years, with the three sculpted abs, gazelle like legs and perfect white teeth smiling out at us.
But what has upset many is the wording used across the poster, which states simply 'The Perfect Body'.
It is this implication that the nigh un-achievable figures of the models, who often tower over 5ft 10in, is the ultimate shape for women that has prompted outrage.
So strong in fact is the strength of feeling about the wording of the advert that a petition has been launched urging the lingerie brand to take it down.
I would have thought that the ad was a weapon in the war on obesity. It gives the message that slim is beautiful -- which it is. Fat certainly isn't
Social media users criticise Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson for tweeting about legally driving with 'beer in cup holder'
There is no speed limit on major roads in Australia's Northern Territory. I myself rather enjoyed driving at 100 mph there. And my little Japanese car never missed a beat
He described hitting the road in Australia’s Northern Territory as ‘one of the best drives of my life’.
But a tweet by Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson also included a comment that stirred some of his followers.
The British star posted a photo from the dashboard of a car he was driving on a gravel road in Australia’s 'top end' where he and his crew have been filming a special episode of the show, and captioned it: ‘One of the best drives of my life. Gravel road. M6. Sun going down. iPod playing Blind Faith. Beer in cup holder.'
A couple of social media users were quick to respond to the 54-year-old’s mention of an alcoholic drink in the vehicle, despite it being perfectly legal.
‘If you drink and drive, you're a bloody idiot’ wrote Twitter user @JustJimWillDo.
The post, shared on Twitter and Instagram, doesn’t provide detail about whether Jeremy drank the beer while driving, something he is legally entitled to do.
The show’s executive producer said that the hosts were ‘neither drunk nor out of control at any point during the making of the programme’.
Monday, November 03, 2014
Defiant Babies 'R' Us refuses to remove 'sexualized' Kardashian Kids clothing from its stores
Childrenswear retailer Babies 'R' Us is refusing to remove a range of Kardashian Kids clothing from its stores - despite an intensive campaign from a group of mothers who insist the designs are too 'sexualized' for their children.
Kansas-based mother Amie Logan started an online petition earlier this week asking the retailer to remove the 'damaging' garments after seeing the new collection, which is designed for baby girls aged zero to 24 months, on shelves and online.
But despite the overwhelming amount of support that the petition has received - it currently has more than 2,500 signatures - the retailer revealed to MailOnline that it will not be removing any of the offending clothing from any of its stores.
A spokesperson for Babies 'R' Us said: 'We have no plans to stop selling this collection.'
The collection, which is an extension of Kim, Khloe and Kourtney's globally-successful Kardashian Kollection for adults, includes a $25 leatherette mini skirt - with 'attached diaper cover' - a $33 fur faux animal print vest and a $23 leatherette skirt.
Some hysterical mothers by the sound of it.
South Dakota city refuses to remove birthday wishes for Jesus from its snowplows
Snow plows in Sioux Falls, South Dakota will be keeping their explicitly Christian theme, WRAL reports. Mayor Mike Huether said that "unless…I get some Supreme Court case that says I have to" remove the explicitly religious messages that are painted on the city's snow plows, he would not remove them. The plows were paid for by the taxpayers of the city.
The messages were painted by students at Lutheran High School and Sioux Falls Lutheran School. One of them contains the words "Jesus Christ" painted in the style of the Coca-Cola label, with the biblical quotation, "Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst."
The other simply says, "Happy Birthday, Jesus."
The head of the ACLU of South Dakota, Heather Smith, said that "when the speech is displayed on public equipment that will be in use and could be viewed by the public as a state-sponsored message, the speech then becomes very problematic."
Jesus sure seems to be threatening to a lot of people.
Sunday, November 02, 2014
The huge advantage of having "correct" opinions
Today, in an article for Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Apple CEO Tim Cook makes an announcement: "I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me."
"The company I am so fortunate to lead has ... taken a strong stand in support of a workplace equality bill before Congress, just as we stood for marriage equality in our home state of California."
While he "doesn't consider himself an activist," Cook has personally lobbied on gay rights issues in his home state of Alabama and at the United Nations.
All of this sounds familiar—haven’t we heard this story before?
A southern-born CEO invoking religion regarding his views on homosexuality, lobbying for what he believes in, and using his company to financially and publicly support those views?
Indeed, we have a heard a story like this before.
Before Tim Cook, this perfectly described another CEO and son of the south: Daniel Truett Cathy of Chick-fil-A.
Walmart pulls "Pashtun Papa" Halloween costume after being accused of racism
The giant American retailer Walmart has been forced to withdraw its "Pashtun Papa" Halloween costume after being accused of peddling racist stereotypes.
The outfit sold for $39.95 and featured the loose-fitting shalwar kameez, of the sort favoured by Muslims living in Afghanistan and Pakistan, along with a shaggy grey beard.
"Whether you're making a serious political statement or staging a political parody," said the online description, "this authentic-looking outfit is sure to fit the bill!" "Nothing is sacred this Halloween. Shock your friends with this Islamic costume."
The Pashtun tribe live predominantly in north-west Pakistan and across Afghanistan, and make up the bulk of the Taliban.
The image sparked outrage - particularly in Muslim countries where thousands of people took to Twitter to condemn the outfit.
"This is offensive and discriminatory," said one user. "Will you even think of having a KKK costume."
As the criticism mounted throughout the day, Walmart was forced on to the defensive.
A spokeswoman told Buzzfeed that the costume had been sold by a third-party vendor and that it would be removed from the company's website immediately.
It's not racist if I wear a Scottish kilt but it is racist if I dress as a Pashtun?
Friday, October 31, 2014
Australian Cafe called out for sexist ads
The Bavarian Bier Cafe in Sydney has been slammed on social media for a sexist marketing campaign that compares women to meat while attempting to raise money for a breast cancer charity.
Collective Shout, a group that targets marketers which objectify women, says the ad which places the words "we've got the best racks" next to a sexualised image of two women is "flat out exploitation."
The group is asking consumers to complain directly to the restaurant on their Facebook page.
The campaign was launched several months ago and the image was shared on Daily Life's Facebook page on September 27 where it unanimously offended readers.
"While we continue to see women [being] treated as sex objects, equality will never happen. It's not harmless, it's offensive. Think of it this way, is this what we want for our daughters [and] granddaughters of future generations? No!" said reader, Michelle Groeneveld.
In what we can only imagine was a way to "make good" on bad publicity, the cafe recently added a caveat that for every serving of the ribs sold, the company would donate $1 to Treasure Chest Charity, a group which raises money for breast reconstruction for women who have survived breast cancer.
No sense of humor
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Australian man jailed over abusive text messages
It would be good if everybody could just shrug off verbal attacks but many people are clearly quite upset by them. It seems reasonable to me therefore that -- in extreme cases -- the attackers should be penalized. This was certainly an extreme case
Dan Shearin "promised the world" to dancer Breeana Robinson. Instead, he sent her 1439 text messages in the weeks leading up to her death including ones calling her a "complete f***ing moron" and a "stupid bitch".
The former cruise ship entertainer and author was jailed on Monday for at least two months over a barrage of abusive text messages he sent to Breeana Robinson, who fell to her death from a Gold Coast apartment balcony on January 29, 2013.
Ten minutes before Ms Robinson, 21, plunged from the balcony she received a text which read: "You're more interested in TV, food and everything else but your partner. That's why everything's ruined. Your priorities are f***ed up".
The pair had known each other for a year, but only lived together for 38 days.
During the court case, police said they couldn't prove Shearin messages directly caused Ms Robinson's death but argued the messages caused her great distress
"She only just turned 21. She had the world at her feet and was just starting to blossom. She was sweet-natured and kind. She'd never argue back to anyone. She was just a sweet soul."
Only Mexicans allowed to celebrate Mexican festival
The words “dressing up is most definitely encouraged” are generally music to my ears. Except in the case of the Australian Museum's planned Day Of The Dead party on November 1st in Sydney.
The event, a one-off return of the Museum's popular after-hours party Jurassic Lounge, will see traditional Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) elements - including an ofrenda (altar) and Mariachi music - rub rather uncomfortably up against Day Of The Dead-themed burlesque routines, bodypainting, and a silent disco.
It's not a stretch to suggest that they are setting the stage for a whole mess of cultural appropriation as a bunch of white people turn up with their best “sugar skull” face-paint on, or worse, "Mexican" costumes.
Día de Muertos is a holiday that originated in Mexico but is celebrated throughout Latin America, which focuses on gathering family and friends together to pray for and remember loved ones who have passed away. Traditions connected with the holiday include honouring the deceased using sugar skulls and marigolds, and visiting the graves of the departed with their favorite foods and drinks.
This is lost on the growing number of people who throw "Day Of The Dead" parties with scant knowledge of the holiday's true meaning. And yet despite the fact that we now know that grabbing a Native American headdress as an accessory for a magazine cover shoot or cute festival outfit is not appropriate, apparently such cultural sensitivity has not yet filtered down to sugar-skull-crazy partygoers keen to smash a few Tecates.
An institution that you think would have a good handle on protecting the integrity of other cultures is the Australian Museum. But given the organisers’ suggestion that attendees (the event is sold out) dress up, chances are there’ll be plenty of “Mexican” costumes on show.
Increasingly, Día de los Muertos is treated as "Mexcian Halloween" by people who are less keen to understand the significance of the holiday than they are to smash tacos and party on. This is inevitably defended as "celebration" or "appreciation", as opposed to appropriation, but as This Is Not Our Día puts it, "When white people use a sacred tradition (that historically, was suppressed by whites) simply as an excuse to throw a party, it's disrespectful [...] It's obnoxious when white people are lauded and admired for appropriating a tradition that's still regarded as "savage" by some Anglo eyes."
This "culture appropriation" idea is weird. My culture is North-Western European Protestant and most of the world appropriates at least part of that. How am I harmed by that? Should I be up in arms when a Chinese pianist gives a brilliant rendition of a Bach fugue? Hardly. I just applaud.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
"FAT" is a forbidden word
If you're trying to win over customers this Halloween, this is certainly not the way to go about it. Walmart apologised on Monday after sparking outrage for labeling plus-sized Halloween costumes as "fat girl costumes" on its website.
"This never should have been on our site," a spokesperson from Walmart said. "It is unacceptable, and we apologise. We are working to remove it as soon as possible and ensure this never happens again."
The issue was first reported by Jezebel on Monday, who called the company's costume section "truly the hottest of messes."
People expressed outrage the most public way they knew how: on Twitter.
The company later removed the all plus-sized items from the category, leaving the "Fat Girl Costumes" page empty — though the category remained on Walmart's website.
Robul Hoque: sentenced for a thought crime
Since when has possessing weird cartoons been a criminal offence? Stuff that is common and normal in Japan now earns jail-time in Britain
Until this week, Amazon’s decision to put racism warnings on old episodes of Tom and Jerry looked like it would be the frontrunner for the most absurd cartoon-related overreaction of the year. Not anymore. That position has been stolen by the UK courts’ decision to give a nine-month suspended prison sentence to Robul Hoque, a 39-year-old man from Middlesbrough, for possession of Japanese-style manga images and anime cartoons. Several of these images depicted young girls exposing themselves and engaging in sexual acts.
During the trial, Hoque’s barrister, Richard Bennett, insisted that the material was available on legal pornographic websites and the presiding judge, Tony Biggs, emphasised that ‘no actual children or perpetrators [were] involved’. Even so, the judge believed that the possession of the ‘repulsive’ comics and cartoons were worthy of a prison sentence, because, he said, anything that may encourage child abuse should be ‘actively discouraged’.
This is the second time that Hoque has been prosecuted. In 2008, he was prosecuted for possessing Tomb Raider-style computer graphics depicting nude children. On that occasion, he was convicted of the made-up-sounding crime of producing ‘indecent pseudo-photographs’ – that is, the images were so realistic that they were almost indistinguishable from real photos. That’s right, he was convicted on the basis that the digital drawings he possessed were quite good, even though, yet again, no actual children were involved.
However, apart from Hoque’s two prosecutions for possession of erotic art depicting children, he has no convictions for child abuse, possession of actual child pornography, or convictions for anything else, for that matter. In other words, there is no reason to believe he is a threat to children.
This is what makes the case so chilling. Hoque was convicted of a thought crime, not a sex crime. That’s because a sex crime needs a victim. But not only was what Hoque did a victimless crime, it was also one that everyone else would have been oblivious to had the police not actively sought Hoque out.
Hoque’s conviction sets a shocking precedent. It empowers the state to police one’s fantasies, to voyage inside a person’s head and monitor its contents. It seems that what was once the stuff of sci-fi dystopias, is now normal in twenty-first century Britain. And that really is disturbing.