Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Break Up the Social Media Companies to Protect Free Speech

If they want to target conservatives, unleash antitrust until they're too small to censor.


Donald Trump is preparing to unleash the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission as antitrust warriors against the tech giants. And good on him. Breaking up the monopolies on speech might save us—particularly anyone right-of-center—from encroaching online deplatforming, and preserve our ability to hear ideas outside echo chambers of bullied consensus.

The First Amendment doesn’t restrain censorship by private social media companies. Thus have progressives today reveled in their newfound power to enforce their own opinions through deplatforming. That only works because the platforms matter as near-monopolies; no one cares who gets kicked off MySpace. If you end the monopolies, you defang deplatforming.

What to do? Efforts to extend the First Amendment to entities like Facebook, arguing that they are the new public squares (seven of 10 American adults use a social media site), have been unsuccessful.

Trying to classify social media companies as “publishers” has also been unsuccessful because they insist that they are “platforms.” They say they are like the phone company, which lets you talk to a friend but exercises zero control over what you say.

Being a platform is desirable for Facebook and the others, as it allows them to have no responsibility for the content they print, no need to create transparent rules or appeals processes for deplatforming, and users have no legal recourse. Publishers, on the other hand, are responsible for what they print, and can be taken to court if it’s libelous or maliciously false.

Social media’s claim to be a platform and not a publisher is based on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. That section, however, was predicated on social media companies being neutral public forums in return for legal protections against being sued over content they present. Now Twitter wants it both ways—they want the protection of being a platform but the power to ideologically manipulate their content as publishers do.

Breaking through the platform-publisher question will require years of court battles. The growth of much of the web has been driven by the lack of responsibility for the content third parties chuck online. It is a complex situation that applies to everything from knitting site hosts to Nazi forums, and across international borders.

Yet social media entities’ control over speech is so significant that a more immediate solution is demanded. Google owns 90 percent of the search market, three quarters of mobile browsing and 70 percent of desktop, and, along with Facebook, 50 percent of online ads. YouTube dominates video. Facebook makes up two thirds of all social media, with Twitter holding down most of the rest. Large enough on their own, the platforms also work in concert. One bans, say, Alex Jones, and most of the others follow. And then whomever is last is chided into action by the mob and threatened with advertiser boycotts. Eventually, even Venmo and Paypal cut Jones off.

With legal and legislative solutions ineffectual for preserving free speech online, enter the major antitrust enforcement agencies of the executive branch. The Department of Justice is preparing to investigate Google’s parent company, Alphabet, while the Federal Trade Commission is doing the same for Facebook. The goal may be to break the tech giants into multiple smaller companies, as was done at the dawn of mass electronic communication in America.

The end of social media mega-companies, with none big enough to effectively silence any significant amount of speech, would be a clumsy fix for a problem the Founders never imagined—citizens demanding corporate censorship because they don’t like the results of an election. It is nowhere near the comprehensive solution of an expanded First Amendment that a democracy should grant itself. But in a world where progressives fail to understand the value of free speech, it may provide enough of a dike to hold back the waters until reason again takes hold.


‘Harmful’ gender stereotypes are banned in British adverts

Adverts that perpetuate harmful gender stereotypes, such as men struggling with household chores or girls being less academic than boys, will be banned from today.

The advertising watchdog said that the new rules did not mean a ban on all gender stereotypes, only those likely to cause harm or serious or widespread offence.

Scenarios likely to be problematic would include a man with his feet up while a woman takes sole responsibility for cleaning up a family’s mess or a woman unable to park a car. However, adverts that depict women cleaning or men doing DIY will still be considered acceptable.


Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Trump Gives Full Support: ‘All In’ on Banning the Burning of US Flag

President Donald Trump threw his full support Saturday behind a Republican senator’s proposed constitutional amendment that allows Congress to ban the burning of the United States flag.

Trump praised the amendment on Twitter, saying he was “all in” on the proposal and calling it a “no brainer.”

“All in for Senator Steve Daines as he proposes an Amendment for a strong BAN on burning our American Flag. A no brainer!” Trump said.

Sen. Steve Daines of Montana and Rep. Steve Womack of Arkansas — both Republicans — introduced the amendment on Friday, which was Flag Day, as The Hill pointed out.

“The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States,” the proposed amendment reads.

Daines released a statement on Friday, saying, “Our United States flag is a timeless symbol of liberty that tells the story of America, the story of our enduring pursuit of freedom.”

“Remembering the sacrifices of all who carried its colors into battle, our nation should always render the flag the honor and dignity it is due,” Daines added.


This would be a popular amendment so could well pass

Australia: Campus bureaucrats prove timid friends of free speech

The government is mounting a campaign to resurrect freedom of expression in Australian universities. Throughout history, academics have been punished for questioning fashionable orthodoxy. In the 21st-century West, they enforce it by silencing dissent and ostracising dissenters.

The government is taking a fresh approach to liberating higher education from its orthodox rut. It commissioned an independent review into free speech on campus led by University of Western Australia chancellor Robert French. Major recommendations include that each higher education provider has “a policy that upholds freedom of speech and academic freedom”. A model code is recommended to extend the principle of freedom to all forms of expression, including art and music.

The government is emphasising the importance of freedom of expression and the case made by French across 300 pages is difficult to refute. Lest it be seen as meddling with university autonomy, the Coalition has made the model code voluntary. It is a leap of faith and, I believe, an error of judgment.

Tehan has started his campaign to resurrect freedom on campus by trying to reason with chancellors and vice-chancellors. He has assured sector leaders that the government will protect their autonomy while advocating for greater accountability in respect of core democratic freedoms.

However, there is no financial incentive for vice-chancellors to challenge faculty orthodoxy and no punishment for allowing it to continue. And some university executives have been involved in what many perceive as the punishment of dissenting speech.

After the Federal Court upheld physics professor Peter Ridd’s right to intellectual freedom, the management of James Cook University issued a statement. It claimed that Ridd had “engaged in serious misconduct, including denigrating the university and its employees and breaching confidentiality directions regarding the disciplinary processes”. On the face of it, Ridd’s major transgression was to call into question orthodox environmentalist beliefs. If the Federal Court cannot convince university leaders about the importance of protecting intellectual freedom, who can?

The government is facing a great challenge in trying to liberate free speech from the chains of PC orthodoxy on campus. There will be no lasting change to freedom of expression in Australian universities until it is legislated at a federal level with quantifiable targets that are tied to funding.

The principal reason to protect free speech on university campuses is to nourish democracy for generations to come. Freedom of speech is a means and an end. It is the foundation of public reason that makes human progress possible. We must defend it or we will lose the battle for democracy.


Monday, June 17, 2019

The Meghan Murphy situation proves that Twitter is not a free speech zone

In an unsurprising court decision, Twitter prevailed in another lawsuit from a permanently banned user. Meghan Murphy, an articulate and prominent feminist advocate, lost her account for violating “misgendering” policy which has changed what they deem to be “hate speech.”

Murphy opposes the compelled speech which would force her to refer to what she calls “trans-identified males” using their self identified pronouns.

The question of whether or not “hate” is in the eye of the beholder or the mind of the speaker is part of the current debate. Murphy’s position has sought to identify biological facts about the differences between genders and the danger of pretending those differences don’t exist.

Right now it is a social fact that, despite employing the logical fallacy of argumentum ad populum, Twitter will make choices based on which group of people causes them more fear. And it is a legal fact that they have the right to make that choice.

While Twitter’s right to choose who they allow on their website legally remains within their discretion, they lost the right to call themselves a venue for free speech. Advocates for free speech never prove their mettle until they are willing to protect speech they loathe.

The court decision, shutting down Meghan Murphy’s lawsuit against Twitter for breach of contract, did not determine whether or not Murphy was guilty of hate speech. It only determined that Twitter was permitted to ban her from their website.


Push for free speech in New Zealand

It's feared David Seymour's proposal to change parts of the Human Rights Act would do more harm than good.

The ACT leader wants to decriminalise language that is threatening, abusive or insulting.

"The idea you could be potentially punished for saying something that was offensive or insulting... is something that worries a lot of Kiwis," he told Newshub Nation on Saturday.

Seymour's solution is to repeal a part of the Human Rights Act which protect against "threatening, abusive or insulting" language "likely to excite hostility against or bring into contempt any group of persons... on the ground of the colour, race, or ethnic or national origins of that group of persons".

He also wants inciting racial disharmony to no longer be a crime, nor for it to be offensive in public.

Matthew Tukaki, head of the Māori Council, says "irrelevant" Seymour's views are dated.

"This inference that it's okay to give licence to people who would think it acceptable to call me the N-word, or 'black something something', it's not acceptable in today's New Zealand," he told Newshub.

"I am sick and tired, as a Māori, of having to put up with people suggesting that this is a debate that we need to have or should have - that we should somehow listen, and somehow find an excuse for why some people call me the N-word," said Tukaki, calling Seymour's Bill a "protection racket for those who think it's their right to call me a n****r".

"I say to David Seymour if you were black and someone called you a n****r, or a fat black bastard or a black c**t, you’d want to have some protection and right of legal challenge."


So people should be prevented from telling me what they think of me?  A dubious proposition.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Alabama’s Stand for Free Speech Sets an Example for the Nation

State mottos should be built to last, and Alabama’s lawmakers just applied theirs—Audemus jura nostra defendere or “We dare defend our rights”—to one of the most contentious and visible issues of debate today: free speech on college campuses.

Last week, Gov. Kay Ivey approved a proposal to protect the expressive rights of everyone who is part of a university community.

The proposal forbids so-called free speech zones, instructs university officials to be prepared to issue consequences to students who violate others’ right to listen and be heard, and assigns public university governing boards the task of writing an annual report on free speech-related incidents.

Alabama’s proposal is the latest in a string of actions by state lawmakers around the U.S. to resist the efforts by on- and off-campus protesters to intimidate and bully students, faculty, and administrators by disrupting campus activities. In the last three years, policymakers in Arizona, North Carolina, Georgia, and Wisconsin have enacted similar proposals.

These responses to campus censorship have key provisions in common that distinguish them from other attempts to restore the pursuit of truth in the academy.

The measures call for public colleges to adopt principles similar to what is known as the “Chicago Statement,”  which says schools must not act to protect students from ideas with which they may disagree. More than 60 colleges around the country have adopted this statement.

Second, all public areas of campus must be considered “free speech zones.” Universities around the country have been criticized for limiting expressive activity to small, isolated areas of campus.

Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., cited these zones in a resolution condemning campus speech codes that he introduced earlier this year.

The American Civil Liberties Union also opposes these zones and said, “While it may sound like these zones are designed to promote speech, they actually do the opposite by confining political expression to designated areas, often in out-of-the-way locations on campus.”

Third, public college officials must be prepared to issue consequences to individuals—including students—that block someone else’s attempt to be heard.

A group that staged a protest in opposition to a guest lecturer’s remarks at a University of Wisconsin event told reporters this portion of the Wisconsin Board of Regents’ operating policy prevented them from disrupting the event.

In Wisconsin, Arizona, North Carolina, and Georgia, students accused of violating someone else’s speech rights must be made aware of any hearings on their case and have the right to find representation.

Anyone lawfully present on a public college campus should be allowed to demonstrate there, as long as those activities do not interfere with others’ attempts to listen or be heard.

Students at Evergreen State College in Washington state occupied administrative buildings in the spring of 2017 and disrupted campus events for weeks without sanctions.

Student discipline came months later, after the school year ended, but by then, the damage was done. School officials had to temporarily close campus and delay graduation.

Mike Paros, professor at Evergreen, wrote in Quillette, “Marginalized students seeking justice for themselves and others will realize that they deserve a school where ideas can be exchanged freely.”

The new Alabama proposal is designed to protect learning environments and allow the free exchange of opinions. Evergreen’s example may be extreme, but not by much.

Two public colleges in Alabama made the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education’s list of worst colleges for free speech. Last November, the College Media Association censured the University of North Alabama after the school blocked the student newspaper’s access to information about a public employee.

Alabama lawmakers took the opportunity to defend free speech on campus and governed according to its state motto. Now, college governing boards and school officials must do the same.


Boss claims to have fired worker for calling transgender colleague ‘it’

A US man has revealed why he decided to fire an employee over the use of a single “disrespectful” word, which insulted a fellow colleague.

The boss, from Tallahassee in Florida, claimed one of his workers had referred to a transgender colleague as “it” — despite being warned against it.

The worker allegedly also underwent sensitivity training where it was explained why “misgendering” someone — or referring to them by the incorrect pronoun — was so insulting.

However, the man persisted — until his boss stepped in.

The man’s account is now private, and it is not known what industry the alleged incident occurred within, although the tweets have attracted an outpouring of support.


Friday, June 14, 2019

Je suis un hypocrite

Australian Leftists want freedom of the press for Leftists only

How pleasing and surprising it was to see so many of the commentariat suddenly in favour of freedom of the press. Some of us had been warning for the last few years it was being compromised by executive and legislative censorship, but our progressive betters were at best indifferent to or contemptuous of such protests. But last week's "raid" on the ABC by the Australian Federal Police led to a mass outcry among the intelligentsia. Aunty had been violated.

"An attack on the press for doing their job is an attack on our democracy," tweeted Greens leader senator Richard Di Natale.

How noble. I have been thinking of designing a hashtag for such converts - how does #JeSuisFullofIt sound, Senator? In March Di Natale revealed his inner tinpot when he told his admiring Melbourne inner-city audience of his plans to silence conservative journalists.

"We're going to call out the hate speech that's been going on," he said. "We're going to make sure that we've got laws that regulate our media so that people like Andrew Bolt and Alan Jones and Chris Kenny - and I could go on and on and on. If they want to use hate speech to divide the community then they're going to be held to account."

Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young labelled the AFP's actions "an attack on the press for doing their job" and "an attack on those who tell the truth".

Compare her purported principles to her reaction in 2011 when a Federal Court found Herald-Sun journalist Andrew Bolt had breached section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act in questioning the motives of light-skinned Australians who identified as indigenous. "Diddums Andrew Bolt," she tweeted, "Diddums". Proving this inanity was not a mere case of spontaneity, Hanson-Young repeated these puerile sentiments in a letter to this newspaper for good measure.

"Without a strong media that is fearless . our country will be weaker," lamented ABC broadcaster Patricia Karvelas. "It is in everyone's interests to know the truth". I agree entirely, but I was reminded of the reaction to Herald-Sun cartoonist Mark Knight's excellent depiction of tennis player Serena Williams's US Open tantrum last year.

Knight had spoken the truth in depicting Williams as a spoiled brat and a bully. It resulted in his suffering appalling online abuse. He was called a "white supremacist", he and his family received death threats, and he was forced to leave town for a week while he was protected by security guards. The Australian Press Council subsequently dismissed complaints about Knight's cartoon, finding that its publication was in the public interest.

So did Karvelas fiercely defend Knight's right (and obligation) to speak the truth? "Main lesson from today is that listening is always a good start to building a respectful and civilised community," she tweeted the day it was published. "If people of colour are telling you they find depictions of them hurtful and offensive that matters". So much for a "strong media".

The AFP's actions, claimed ABC broadcaster Wendy Harmer, amounted to a "chilling effect", and "one that goes beyond just media outlets". Welcome to the free press cause, Wendy, albeit it has taken you a few years to get here.

It was a very different Harmer who on 15 December 2014 tweeted "Andrew Bolt's blog is a forum for vile hate speech. A blight on this nation . Get rid of him!!" That was the same day the Lindt Caf‚ siege began at the hands of an Islamist terrorist. Two innocent hostages would later die. It says it all that Harmer was preoccupied with "hate speech" and silencing a conservative columnist.

Inexplicably journalists these days play a leading role in not only suppressing politically incorrect statements, but also in calling for retribution against those who perpetuate them. Take for example former Wallabies player Israel Folau, whose $4 million contract was terminated by Rugby Australia last month after he twice posted on Instagram that homosexuals were destined for hell unless they repented.

In the 13-month period between Folau's first Instagram indiscretion and his eventual sacking, Sydney Morning Herald columnist and sports journalist Peter FitzSimons wrote at least 11 columns about Folau. They are not what you would call reporting or objective analysis. Rather, they were shrill denunciations. "Israel Folau has to go, and will go," he wrote in April. "Quick. Clean. Gone. At least until such times as he repents." FitzSimons was also quick to dismiss Folau's right to free speech. "While he has broad freedom of speech, he has no freedom from consequences," he wrote.

You may recall former SBS sports journalist Scott McIntyre, whose employment in 2015 was terminated over a number of provocative tweets on Anzac Day that vilified the WWI and WWII diggers and those who commemorated them. "Wonder if the poorly-read, largely white, nationalist drinkers and gamblers pause today to consider the horror that all mankind suffered," he sneered.

So what was FitzSimons' reaction? "I disagree as passionately with those comments as I do with his ludicrous sacking for making them," he wrote. There's that hashtag again.


Australia: TV host Sam Armytage slams Kmart's apology after customers were banned from using Christian terms in its photo booths - but 'Islam' and 'Koran' had the all clear

Someone in Kodak's IT department will have been responsible for this -- knowing full-well that it would be a provocation

Sunrise host Samantha Armytage has slammed Kmart after photo printing kiosks at its stores appeared to ban Christian terms. Armytage directed criticism at the retail giant during the Thursday morning segment after the store blamed the error on a system glitch. 'Kmart has come out this morning and said it was a technical glitch, that is rubbish,' she said.

When customers tried to caption photos with the forbidden words, a message came up on screen saying 'profanity has been detected in text and substituted with ****'.

Words such as Jesus, church, Bible and Christian used in captions were deemed to be profanities and replaced with asterisks, The Daily Telegraph reported.

The words Jewish and Allah were also banned but mosque, Islam and Koran were not.

By Thursday morning the error had been fixed, though Armytage invited guests to her show such as social commentator Jane Caro to weigh in on the incident.

The kiosks are run by Kodak which recently installed software to detect profanities.

Kodak sales and marketing manager Gavin Wulfsohn said the list of profanities was wrong and would be fixed.

A spokesman for Kmart said: 'We would like to sincerely apologise for this system error, which has been rectified overnight. It in no way reflects our views as a business.

'At Kmart, we support diversity and inclusiveness irrespective of race, religion, age, gender, ethnicity, ability, appearance or attitude, and we want our teams and stores to reflect the communities in which we operate'.


Thursday, June 13, 2019

BBC’s New Policy: Reporters Banned From Calling A ‘Terror Attack’ A ‘Terror Attack’

In another example of how the world has gone nuts the BBC is about to ban reporters use of the words “terror attack” to describe…terror attacks.

The Federalist Papers reports:

Apparently the new policy will only allow reporters to describe the time, place and what happened without referring it to a terrorist attack, as the Daily Mail reports:

The controversial edict means that the BBC will no longer use the phrase ‘terror attack’ to describe the massacres at London Bridge or Manchester Arena, as the corporation did when the atrocities occurred.

Reporters would describe them as the London Bridge van attack or the Manchester Arena bomb attack instead.

But yesterday, MPs and experts accused the broadcaster of ‘failing in its public service duty’.

David Green, a former Home Office adviser and chief executive of the think tank Civitas, said: ‘If they don’t want to use that [the word terror] then they’re failing in their public service duty which is to be clear and accurate.

This has got to be one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard of, and that says a lot.


Now doctors are No Platforming people

Medical censors now. Julia Hartley-Brewer’s disinvitation is a new low for the culture wars.

RADIO host Julia Hartley-Brewer has been disinvited from the Royal College of General Practitioners’ (RCGP) annual conference. Just when you thought the culture war couldn’t permeate more areas of modern life, we now have doctors No Platforming journalists.

A petition, signed, at the time of writing, by 749 medical practitioners, accuses Hartley-Brewer of expressing ‘views that are highly controversial regarding immigration’, including that ‘she could not see anything in [Enoch Powell’s] “Rivers of Blood” speech that he had got wrong’. One doctor wrote that he would leave the RCGP if Hartley-Brewer spoke at the conference, as it would be ‘platforming someone who defends fascism’.

The RCGP caved. According to Hartley-Brewer, writing in the Spectator, RCGP chair Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard emailed her to rescind the invitation and trotted out the classic ‘free speech, but’ line: ‘We believe and uphold the principles of free speech… however, I cannot ignore the strength of feeling among my own membership.’

Hartley-Brewer, a vocal Brexit supporter, says this is a politically motivated smear job. And she’s clearly right. The people pushing the petition are a mix of Corbynistas and Stop Brexit zealots who like to sound off on Twitter about ‘racist’, ‘brownshirt’ Brexiteers. For her part, she points out that the tweet, from 2016, wasn’t defending Powell as such, but rather suggested that what he predicted came to pass.

But it is an act of tremendous, shameful bad faith to say that Hartley-Brewer is a racist because she takes the view on Powell that she does. Nothing she has ever uttered in public could even remotely be considered racist. Which is probably why her critics seem to be relying on one by-the-by Twitter discussion to smear her.


More on the speech that you must not say anything good about here

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

This isn’t anti-fascism – this is mental

One of the tragedies of modern political times is the degradation of the word anti-fascism.

This once proud tradition, encompassing the leftists who went to Spain to fight Franco and the activists who chased the National Front out of Asian neighbourhoods in the Seventies and Eighties, is now the butt of jokes.

It’s become a byword for hysterical left-wing intolerance, evoking images of scrawny students shouting at Jacob Rees-Mogg or chubby, bearded Corbynistas milkshaking Nigel Farage.

And the Trump protests in London yesterday proved this bad rep is now – sadly – thoroughly deserved.

In a viral video clip, a group of anti-Trump protesters and anti-fascist activists – all straight out of central casting – surround a Trump supporter and shout ‘Nazi scum’ at him.

One woman, in a ‘Fuck Trump’ t-shirt, screams right in his face. A man in sunglasses, hoody and medical mask – looking like he’s from the germaphobe division of black bloc – squares off to him. Someone throws a milkshake at the Trumper and a scuffle ensues.

He’s pushed away as someone with a cut-glass accent says ‘you’re behaving as badly as he is’ in the background.

No, not quite. And unless someone can show me that the Trump fan was sounding off about Jews or personally grabbing pussies before this incident ensued (I’m happy to recant if so), this looks like what it looks like: a bunch of idiots screaming at someone because he, along with millions of Americans, happens to like the US president.

Speaking to the Sun, the man, who didn’t want to be named, said Trump was the ‘democratically elected president of the free world’ and that he went down to the protests because he ‘just wanted a debate with the sensible left’. ‘I never wanted it to get violent, but I wasn’t going to be intimidated’, he added.

Now, it is worth saying that he did also accuse the protesters of being fascists. In a longer clip, posted by LBC, you can see him arguing with a white guy in dreadlocks – like I said, central casting – and calling him a fascist, before someone nicks his MAGA hat and things start to get physical.

But let’s not indulge in ‘both sides’-ism here. The ‘who’s the real fascist?’ defence, made by Trumpers against intolerant protesters, may be lame and inaccurate, and it undoubtedly contributes to the dangerous watering down of the meaning of that historically loaded word. But they didn’t start it, did they? Most of them probably don’t even mean it.

Meanwhile, one of the most striking things about the ‘Trump is Hitler’ argument is how thoroughly mainstream it is on the liberal-left. This is not just about idiots on the streets or flinging tweets. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan essentially made the same accusation in the pages of the Observer on Sunday.

We shouldn’t extrapolate too much from this one incident. Shit happens when protesters clash. People get a bit carried away, high on righteousness and lukewarm cans. The ‘Fuck Trump’ woman, in a since deleted tweet, even apologised for her part in it.

But it did all feel like the culture war made flesh. There was something unmistakably 2019 about it. And it wasn’t the only incident to come out of yesterday’s protesters, either.

At Trafalgar Square, a group of Trump supporters had to be barricaded in a Wetherspoons by police for their own safety. Elsewhere, another Trump supporter – an elderly man! – was pushed to the floor by a group of protesters, an antifa flag flying in the background.

Anti-fascism used to mean risking life and limb to fight and kill actual fascists, dodging blows and bullets to defend minorities and freedom. Now it means screaming in right-wingers’ faces and rugby tackling men old enough to be your grandfather.

This isn’t radical. It’s not even rational. And it undermines the historical specificity of European fascism. It does a disservice to the millions who perished at the hands of fascists in the 20th century, and it does a disservice to those who fought back so bravely.


Australia: CFMMEU’s John Setka set to be expelled from Labor party after attack on Rosie Batty (?)

John Setka is undoubtedly a bully and a thug.  In his union role he has been that for many years.  And nobody on the Left has ever complained about that.  So how come a single sentence spoken by him has suddenly brought him undone?  We don't even know the whole sentence that he spoke. Only a few words from it have ever been reported.  See below.

It's hard to judge in the face of such heavily edited information but the irony is that what Setka said is probably right.  Bettina Arndt has been tireless in pointing to evidence that "men" in general have been blamed for the misdeeds of the few domestic abusers that Rose Batty and others talk  about.  Ms Batty has definitelty cast a wide net in attributing blame for domestic violence. "Masculinity" itself now seems to be seen by many as a fault.

So a situation has arisen where men are automatically presumed guilty in response to an accusation by a woman. Men have gone to jail in response to entirely false and uncorroborated allegations by women. If that is not a reduction in men's rights, I do not know what would be. Men have largely lost the presumption of innocence, a most basic right.

So why is Setka under attack for what he said?  I think it is because of the close alliance betweeen Feminists and the Left.  Setka can say and do anything at all that will antagonize business and conservatives but he must not ding women.

Anthony Albanese has moved to have John Setka, Victorian secretary of the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union, expelled from the ALP after his derogatory remarks about anti-domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty.

Setka was reported as telling a meeting of the CFMMEU national executive Batty’s work had led to men having fewer rights. He later claimed his comments had been taken out of context.

Albanese told a news conference: “John Setka does not belong in our party, because of the views that he holds”.

The opposition leader said at the next meeting of the party’s national executive he would move for Setka’s expulsion. Meanwhile, he had asked the national executive committee to suspend Setka immediately.

Former opposition leader Bill Shorten was close to the CFMMEU, sometimes relying on it for numbers.

Albanese spoke with Batty on Monday. She had indicated she was disappointed Setka’s comments distracted from the AO she was awarded in the Queen’s Birthday honours.

“Rosie Batty is a great campaigner against family violence and the idea that she should be denigrated by someone like John Setka is completely unacceptable to me as leader of the Australian Labor Party and I don’t want him in our party. It’s that simple,” Albanese said.


Tuesday, June 11, 2019

YouTube vs free speech

Pro-homosexual voices have almost a monopoly on public comment so it is bordering on the totalitarian to shut down one of the few voices on the other side, which is what we see below.

And Crowder, the censored voice, actually said nothing about homosexuality in general at all.  He just referred to one person as "queer", which is only marginally "incorrect" these days. So the censorship has risen to a point of hysteria.

The fact that homosexuality was illegal until a few decades ago tells us that there is a large and diverse body of opinion out there on the subject. There are undoubtedly many people out there who still find it distasteful.

I personally think that homosexuality has been glorified in recent years and that glorifying it is just as obnoxious as making it illegal

What I would like to see is tolerance of different opinions on the subject -- but homosexuals and their allies hardly seem to know the meaning of tolerance.  They preach it on occasions but it is only their own view that they in fact tolerate, which is no tolerance at all

I would be happiest of all if I never heard about homosexuality  again but that is not allowed it seems

As it is, homosexuals have become the royalty of social media, whom none dare criticize.  It's a situation just waiting for President Trump to exploit to his advantage.  He's pretty critical of social media already

A spat between two rival YouTubers on opposing sides of the Culture Wars is not normally news. But the clash between right-wing commentator Steven Crowder and Vox video journalist Carlos Maza has hit the headlines, because it has led to a tightening of YouTube’s content policies, adding further restrictions to what can and cannot be posted on that platform.

Last week, Maza edited together some of Crowder’s videos in which he makes fun of Maza’s ethnicity, sexuality and voice. Crowder refers to Maza as a ‘lispy queer from Vox’, a ‘gay Mexican’ and ‘Mr Gay Vox’. There’s no doubt that Crowder is obnoxious, bigoted and infantile. However, being insulted by your political opponents is par for the course in public life and should not be grounds for having them censored. Initially, YouTube appeared to recognise this.

When Maza tweeted the video as part of a Twitter thread, it went viral. YouTube responded by saying it had reviewed the videos in question and determined that ‘individually, the flagged videos did not violate our Community Guidelines’. In a tweet, it stated: ‘Opinions can be deeply offensive, but if they don’t violate our policies, they’ll remain on our site.’

With this refusal to censor Crowder’s videos, YouTube found itself accused of inaction and of enabling hatred towards gay people and ethnic minorities. Maza tweeted to his followers: ‘You have to raise hell. Use their platform against them. Hold them accountable for their neglect.’ And raise hell they did.

The next day, under considerable pressure from Twitter and the liberal press, YouTube reversed its stance. It demonetised Crowder’s channel – preventing the raising of money through advertising – and removed some of his older videos. But despite his successful scalp, Maza, a long-time proponent of censorship and de-platforming, was not satisfied. ‘Crowder’s revenue stream isn’t from YouTube ads. It’s from selling merch and “Socialism Is For Fags” shirts to millions of loyal customers, that YouTube continues to drive to his channel’, he tweeted. Only Crowder’s total expulsion from the internet or the removal of his means of making money would be enough to satisfy the new self-appointed censors.

In order to justify its volte face, YouTube pushed out a new hate-speech policy. Given the speed of its u-turn, the policy was presumably cobbled together on the hoof. In a blog post announcing the changes, YouTube vowed to tackle ‘extremist content’ and to remove any video which promotes or seeks to justify ‘discrimination, segregation or exclusion’.

As is to be expected with such a wide-ranging definition of ‘hate’, obnoxious shock jocks like Crowder were not the only ones caught up in it. For instance, Ford Fischer who runs the news channel News2Share, received an email from YouTube telling him that his channel had been demonetised under the new rules. He started his channel in 2014, uploading raw footage of the Black Lives Matter movement. But his channel was demonetised and his revenue was cut for hosting footage of the Charlottesville Unite the Right rally. Fischer told Newsweek that he had no intention of promoting the alt-right: ‘The work is meant as raw footage, so people can critique and analyse the tactics and things being said.’

Another account to be terminated was that of the award-winning history teacher, Scott Allsopp. Allsopp’s channel violated the new rules because his GCSE tutorials on the Second World War featured clips of Adolf Hitler’s speeches and other Nazi propaganda. YouTube has since reinstated Allsopp’s channel, but its initial action shows that in future it is likely to censor first and ask questions later.

YouTube’s response to the spat between Crowder and Maza illustrates how chaotic and opaque internet censorship has become. New, wide-ranging content rules are being devised and implemented at the behest of journalists and the Twittermob. The consequences can be far-reaching, with many innocent users being silenced. If Silicon Valley continues down this censorious path, the free, open internet will soon be a distant memory.


University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee is one of the latest schools with a free-speech imbroglio

Joel Berkowitz was outraged when a University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee student held a sign bearing a swastika and a hateful message directed at students celebrating Israel’s independence: “Gas,” the sign said.

But Berkowitz, who runs the school’s Sam and Helen Stahl Center for Jewish Studies, was also angered with the university’s response. He felt a statement from the school’s chancellor, Mark Mone, defending the student’s right to free speech failed to condemn strongly enough the hateful message.

“The University’s initial response was shockingly weak,” Berkowitz wrote on his campus blog.

And so began a conversation, in private and in public, with echoes on college campuses throughout the nation. College administrators are searching for ways to balance First Amendment rights with the right of students and faculty to feel secure. They’re not always finding the right mix.

“They weren’t even denouncing a swastika in the middle of campus,” Berkowitz said in an interview.

Yet Berkowitz, whose family includes Holocaust victims and survivors, acknowledged the difficulty of honoring the principles of open discourse and respecting dissent that pushes the limits of decency. Shouldn’t limits be placed on speech so repugnant — gas the Jews — that it implies a threat of violence, he wonders?

“No one that I’m talking to is saying that we should ride roughshod over the First Amendment,” Berkowitz said. “But there are discussions about what are the limits of free speech. They are not absolute.”

The university’s chancellor has issued two public statements since the May 6 protest, while more than 1,400 people have signed an online petition urging the school to expel the sign-holding student. Efforts to reach that student for comment through email and social media accounts were not successful.


Monday, June 10, 2019

Snowflake teachers in Britain

When I was a kid we had derogatory names for most of our teachers:  "Deadbeat", "Blood Pressure" etc.

A secondary school head teacher has demanded police investigate an Instagram account that was set up to abuse his staff. Jonathan Osborn called on Essex Police to probe whether the Instagram account mocking teachers at King Edmund School constitutes a hate crime.

The account had 300 followers before it was deleted and has been branded a 'personal attack' on staff at the Rochford academy.  

A source close to the school said: 'Students created an Instagram page dedicated to mocking staff through posts.

'More than 300 individuals were following the page before it was taken down.

'Some posts suggested inappropriate behaviour from teachers, while others were poking fun at the authoritative nature of others.

'The school has taken the view that this is a personal attack on the school and its staff.'

Essex Police confirmed they are investigating the allegations.


Can you REALLY say that at work? The common phrases deemed inappropriate for the office revealed - including 'love', 'mate' and 'darl'

This article refers to Australian customs but the American situation is similar in most cases.  For instance, where Australians and some English say "mate", Americans would say "bud" or "buddy". Where Australians say "Darl", some Americans say "Hun" and some English say "Hen".  Even such extremely common usages are coming under critical scrutiny

A psychologist has revealed some of the common words used in a workplace and why they are deemed inappropriate in most office spaces.

Jim Bright, who specialises in organisation psychology, spoke to the ABC's Phillip Clark about the ways we chat to our coworkers and why it's getting easier to offend people.

'I think people have always been offended by sexiest behaviour and camp jokes but we're now in more of a position to speak up about it,' a caller said on the Nightlife show.

So what is and isn't okay to be saying within the confines of your job? 

Men calling their female colleagues 'love'. While this is not 'wrong', particularly if the woman herself uses the phrase back, it should be said with caution. 'It can be patronising and belittling when used in certain contexts, namely if there is animosity between the two colleagues,' Mr Bright said.

The word is also very personal in nature and can be seen as more than just a friendly term of endearment. While some people will enjoy being called 'love' you should read the room before engaging with the word.

What else is inappropriate in the workplace?

* Touching the shoulders of a person, male or female

* Hugging someone as you enter a meeting room

* Calling women 'Sheilas' - unless of course that is someone's name

* Jokes of a sexual nature

Calling someone 'mate'. This is a term used most often when someone can't remember a name but ultimately should be avoided in a corporate setting. 'I've heard it used as quite a sledge on the cricket field so I think it can be said in a harsh and friendly manner,' Mr Bright said.

Instead of saying 'mate', try to talk to the person until they either mention their name, put on a name badge or are called using their official moniker. 

Talking to the elderly in like they're a child and using 'darl'  While some may see it as a term of respect, older people find it condescending and see it as though they are being labelled like a child. It might make you seem more intelligent than they are by using the word 'darl' but it has the potential to hurt their feelings. Instead avoid all manner of 'darl' or 'sweetie' options and call them by their first name.

Referring to a group of mixed-gender people 'guys'. Using 'guys' as a collective word to describe both men and women can be deemed a sexist remark in formal settings, although more colloquial places like the classroom can be suitable. Presuming everyone is okay with being called a 'guy', 'man' or 'bloke' is disrespectful and this type of language should be traded for 'can you all'.

To be safe, avoid any term that singles out one gender. 


Sunday, June 09, 2019

Stupid critics slam a mother over her eye preference

As you can see if you look, the mother has hazel eyes, due to what geneticists call incomplete dominance.  It arises because she has genes for both blue and brown eyes and both come out, giving eyes that are halfway between blue and brown.  It is rather rare and can be regarded as attractive. 

And the mother thinks they are attractive too. So the mother was hoping that her baby would have "pretty" eyes like hers. But that is actually rare.  More usual is for a parent with hazel eyes to have BOTH blue eyed and brown eyed children.

But when the baby was born with blue eyes the mother was a little disappointed and said so. She got a lot of flak for saying that.  It appears to have been taken as a "racist" utterance.

But that is absurd. Blue eyes are part of the Nordic look, which is the worldwide beauty ideal. So blue eyes would not normally be disappointing.  It is clear therefore that she was simply wishing for the baby to look like her -- not anything racial. And it is aways a great topic among parents to say which parent a child looks like -- so it is clear that the woman was just being a normal mother in commenting on her baby's looks

A mum who shared her birthing video has gone viral for all the wrong reasons after fans noticed something “weird” with the special moment she held her baby for the first time.

Biannca Prince, who shares a YouTube channel with her husband Damien called “The Prince Family”, has been slammed for making some rather unusual comments when she first held daughter Nova Grace.

Instead of declaring her bub to be beautiful, as arguably most new mums would, Biannca seemed to be more interested in the colour of little Nova’s eyes. “She’s going to have brown eyes for sure …” the 22-year-old said, just moments after her baby was placed into her arms.

But as Nova’s eyes opened for the first time, Biannca is surprised to see they’re a shade of blue. “I thought you were going to have pretty eyes,” she quips, as she takes the details of her newborn in.

Her husband quickly responds, defending their baby. “She do have pretty eyes,” he claps back. The nurses too quickly tell Biannca little Nova is “beautiful”.

But while it was just a tiny moment in the 37-minute video, it has gone viral after one of their 3.6 million subscribers shared it on Twitter. “Imagine being one hour old and your parents are obsessing over our skin/eye colour,” the tweet read.

Reasons for the outrage were different, with some pointing out the comment could be hurtful to women struggling to conceive and others describing the family as “ungrateful”. Regardless, everyone agreed it was a misguided remark to make.


NPR: Don't Call a Baby a Baby

Public radio seeks to obscure the fact that a human fetus is an unborn baby.   

National Public Radio is seeking to suppress the truth. That’s the only conclusion to be drawn after the publicly funded radio network recirculated longstanding instruction to its staff to avoid referring to unborn babies as “babies” or “the unborn” and rather only use the term “fetus.” Moreover, “fetal heartbeat” is “their term” — meaning, those pro-life yokels — so don’t refer to it that way when discussing laws like those in Georgia and Alabama. This is yet another example of the word games leftists play to obfuscate clear and objective reality, while at the same time claiming that it is conservatives who are guilty of engaging in a lie.

NPR editor and Science Desk correspondent Joe Neel gave the following instructions to staff:

The term “unborn” implies that there is a baby inside a pregnant woman, not a fetus. Babies are not babies until they are born. They’re fetuses. Incorrectly calling a fetus a “baby” or “the unborn” is part of the strategy used by antiabortion groups to shift language/legality/public opinion. Use “unborn” only when referring to the title of the bill (and after President Bush signs it, the Unborn Victims of Violence Law). Or qualify the use of “unborn” by saying “what anti-abortion groups call the ‘unborn’ victims of violence.” The most neutral language to refer to the death of a fetus during a crime is “fetal homicide.”

Talk about your classic straw man. When have pro-lifers ever claimed that an unborn baby was not a fetus? What pro-lifers have consistently pointed out is the scientific fact that a fetus is a baby. As The Federalist’s Joy Pullman notes, “The plain truth is, fetuses are babies. Pro-lifers saying so doesn’t make it false, even if NPR’s speech police don’t like to hear it or feel it’s a particularly effective pro-life argument.”


Friday, June 07, 2019

Students at one of Australia's top universities call to pull down a statue of a renowned Australian explorer because they claim he was a 'known racist'

This is just a patheic aping of the American extreme Left.  By modern definitions, EVERYBODY in the distant past was racist

Students at a top Australian University are fighting to have a statue of a renowned explorer removed as they claim he was a 'known racist'.

The students say they are trying to 'decolonise' the University of Sydney and have launched a campaign to pull down the 2.4m marble statue of Australian explorer William Wentworth.

Himath Siriniwasa and Georgia Mantle claim the campaign is a 'process of historical rediscovery'. 'We seek to decolonise at large, and platform the colonialism Wentworth represented,' they wrote in student newspaper Honi Soit. 'The immediate aims are symbolic – but there is power in symbolism.'

The 'Wentworth Must Fall' campaign also calls for the Wentworth building to be renamed after an Indigenous Warrior.

However, the campaign has been met with backlash by historians who have said that removing the statue would be 'whitewashing history'.

'Rewriting history is ignorance, if you try to whitewash out history how do you correct it?' Wentworth’s great-great-great-grandson Stephen Wentworth told The Daily Telegraph.

'It could be said, that if he hadn’t crossed the mountains when they did, the colony would have been abandoned and Australia would not be the country that it is today,' he said.  He said Mr Wentworth had done a lot for Australia.

Historian Geoffrey Blainey told the Daily Telegraph Mr Wentworth was one of the main founders of the university and was one of the crucial promoters of civil liberties in 19th century Australia.

'There is a chance of only one in 100 million that any of these Sydney University students will do as much as Wentworth did for Australia.'  


The song sucks': An Indigenous rapper insults the national anthem as he explains it why nine State of Origin stars refused to sing Advance Australia Fair before series opener

An Aborigine makes a case that the words in the Australian national anthem do not apply to Aborigines.  There is some point in what he says but many others could say the same thing.  I, for instance, am not "young and free" (in the words of the anthem).  Old and decrepit would be more like it!  An anthem is not a history lesson.  It is just a few highlights of our history

And by deliberately alienating themselves from the rest of Australia, Aborigines certainly do themselves no favours.  People are a mirror and disrespect tends to get disrespect in return.  So if aborigines want respect -- which they often say they do --  disrespecting Australian traditions is exactly the wrong way to go about it

An Indigenous rapper has explained why Advance Australia Fair is offensive to Aboriginals in response to the boycott of the anthem by a string of State of Origin stars.

Adam Briggs, who performed on stage at Suncorp Stadium in Queensland ahead of the Game One on Wednesday, revealed why he thinks the national song 'sucks'.

'I want to help you understand what the Australian anthem sounds like when black fellas listen to it,' he said on a video posted by The Weekly before the game.

Briggs played through the song until he got to 'For we are young and free'.

'Now, since all children in Northern Territory detention are Aboriginal and we are the most incarcerated people on Earth, we don't feel particularly free,' Briggs said.

'And as for young, we've been here for 80,000 years but I guess we don't look a day over 60,000.'

Playing on until he got to 'we've gold and soil and wealth for toil' in our anthem.

'We don't see much of that wealth. Only one in 10 of us are financially secure,' he said.

He continued on until he reached the line that mentioned 'our land' which he said is exclusionary. 'You see that just reminds us that our land was our land before our home was girt by you lot,' he said.

'We'll toil with hearts and hands,' the anthem continued.

'See, we're still fighting for half a billion dollars in stolen wages so we did the toil part, but we're still waiting for the pay cheque - I guess its in the mail, he said referencing a class action launched in 2016.

Briggs then continued until he stopped at the line: 'We've boundless plains to share.'

'Hold up there, sharing? We can't even share our opinion about a song without the whole country freaking out so that's when it's played, some of us don't feel like standing up or singing along,' Briggs said.

'The song sucks,' he said finally.

The explanation comes as the anthem continues to polarise.

Drawing attention to one of the same lines Briggs did, Labor frontbencher Tanya Plibersek and Liberal MP Craig Kelly recently called for the line 'young and free' to be removed from the anthem.

Instead the pair proposed the line be changed to 'strong and free' to acknowledge Indigenous history.

Nine players, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, chose not to sing at the State of Origin Game One in protest of the anthem they believe to be offensive.

Blues trio Cody Walker, Josh Addo-Carr and Latrell Mitchell vowed to abstain from singing the national anthem, along with Maroons rival Will Chambers, ahead of the first clash on Wednesday evening.

Indigenous player Justin Hodges gave his opinion before the game and said he chose to sing but respected those that didn't.

'I've never really had a problem singing with it because I always thought about the guys that have put their life on the line for us in terms of of the soldiers and all those people,' Hodges said. 'That's why I sung it, for those guys who give us the freedom to play rugby league.' 


Thursday, June 06, 2019

Australian brewery in hot water over "homophobic" Facebook post - before company issues grovelling apology

An Australian brewery has been forced to apologise after sparking fury over an 'incredibly offensive' Facebook post.

Southern Bay Brewery, in Victoria, posted the 'beer meme' on Monday night, but within an hour they were forced to remove it.

The post read: 'Non-alcoholic beer - you mean gay lemonade?'

Social media users flooded the Facebook page, calling the brewery a 'disgrace' for the homophobic image.

The company then issued a grovelling apology, where they begged for forgiveness.

'This was posted without any thought whatsoever and no offence was intended. I apologise unreservedly,' the post read.


Free speech on campus — discourage donations to schools that refuse to implement it

Four avenues have been proposed to protect free speech on campus. Only one will work: discourage donations to schools that refuse to implement the First Amendment.

Avenue one: mandate free speech on campus. Most faculty would pay attention to this edict, but many students wouldn’t. Their continuing disruptions in auditoriums would impede or stop lectures. These student disruptors could be expelled from school for the semester, but I don’t see administrators now doing this.

Avenue two: inform students that so-called hate and even racist speech on public campuses is protected by the First Amendment. Most students, we learn from polls, do not believe that hate speech is protected. But if a public school takes government money, it is required to comply with the First Amendment. The U.S. Supreme Court has said this often.

The late Justice Antonin Scalia stated, “If you stop speech that hurts other peoples’ feelings, the First Amendment will become a dead letter.” Similarly, when Samuel Alito was an appellate judge, he opined: “There is no ‘harassment exception’ in the First Amendment’s free speech clause.”

The Supreme Court decision in Matal v. Tam held that “viewpoint discrimination” — against insensitive viewpoints — is unconstitutional. And in Terminiello v. Chicago, Justice William O. Douglas wrote in the majority opinion, “The function of free speech under our system of government is to invite dispute.... Speech is often provocative.”

But most college students — and even some faculty members and administrators — don’t know about these Supreme Court decisions and still believe that hate speech can be suppressed. Even the “N”-word is protected. But it is a moral, not legal, matter for these protestors.

Avenue three: to have wider intellectual diversity, require universities to hire more center-right professors. Professors, we know from endless polls, are predominantly left-leaning. But more right-leaning professors can’t be hired because administrators can’t ask applicants, “What is your political persuasion?” That would be inappropriate and probably illegal. Professors are hired to be professors, not politicians. Nevertheless, I still subscribe to John Stuart Mill’s position that “he who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that.” Open, honest debate on campus is intellectually and morally healthy.

Avenue four: Take or keep some money from universities. This, to be sure, would get their attention. President Trump is considering denying federal research funds to universities that fail to protect free speech. I personally believe this is too punitive. Similarly, withholding Pell grants would be too punitive to both students and universities.

So what funds could be kept from universities for not enforcing free speech? The following proposal would force many, if not most, universities to do something about student protestors: deny federal tax exemption for donations to schools that don’t protect free speech. Such donations are now generally untaxed. If schools did not enforce the First Amendment, they would do so at their own peril because donors might give less if they get no tax deduction. But there would be an easy way for them to keep their full donations: follow the law.


Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Realism not allowed in terrorism drill

NSW Police has apologised for using headscarves on two officers playing the part of terrorists during a training exercise after it was found it racially vilified Palestinians and Arabs.

The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal in May said it was unreasonable and unnecessary to wear the scarves during the drill at Sydney's Central station in October 2017.

The exercise involved about 200 people - including police and other emergency services - to test the co-ordination and response to a terrorist or high-risk incident.

The drill included two "active armed offenders" using what looked like semi-automatic firearms holding "hostages" and wounding some with knives.

The tribunal said balaclavas or masks could have been used on the officers acting as the perpetrators instead of clothing identified with particular cultural communities in Australia.

"We find that NSW Police Force, by allowing the two police officers portraying the armed offenders to wear keffiyehs associated with Palestinian and Arabic people, racially vilified Palestinians and Arabs," the tribunal found.

The tribunal said that using the headscarves in the drill had the "capacity" to incite hate or serious contempt of Palestinians or Arabs but acknowledged NSW Police didn't intend to vilify any racial group.

NSW Police on Tuesday issued a statement, as ordered by the tribunal, acknowledging the decision.

"NSW Police Force apologises for the use of these headscarves in the exercise," it said.


About Those 'Racist' Navy Call Signs...

In yet more leftovers from the Obama years, the military is fighting the "real" battles.

Even two-and-a-half years removed from the previous administration, our Patriot Armed Forces personnel are still contending with more Barack Obama effluent. The latest comes from the Navy, which is dealing with the truly pressing concern over … how pilots choose their call signs.

The Navy Times reports:

The head of naval aviation has directed the creation of a new process for approving and reviewing pilots’ call signs after two African-American aviators at an F/A-18 Hornet training squadron in Virginia filed complaints alleging racial bias in the unit, from which they said they were unfairly dismissed.

In a formal endorsement letter signed May 13, Vice Adm. DeWolfe Miller, commander of Naval Air Forces, said he found the two aviators, a Navy lieutenant and a Marine Corps captain, were correctly removed from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106 out of Naval Air Station Oceana due to “substandard performance,” despite errors and inconsistencies discovered in the grading and ranking process.

However, Miller said he did find inappropriate conduct by instructor pilots who did not treat the pilots-in-training “with appropriate dignity and respect,” using discriminatory call signs and having inappropriate and unprofessional discussions about them on social media.

He directed the Chief of Naval Air Training to have all training command and fleet replacement squadrons in the Navy formalize a call sign assignment and review process within 90 days, including appropriate peer board representation for minority and female aviators. And he recommended that multiple officers, including a Navy captain, receive rebukes, counseling or administrative punishment for their role in events substantiated by the investigation.

Military pilots rarely choose their own call signs. If they do, it will typically be replaced with one given by fellow squadron pilots. A pilot’s call sign can originate from a plethora of sources. It may be in reference to a physical characteristic or personality trait. It may be a riff or play on the pilot’s name. Or it may be based on something silly or stupid that the pilot did.

Call signs are spontaneous and “organic” in that they can originate from just about anything and may be changed at any time. They are not, and have never been the purview of flag officer-mandated review boards, nor should they ever be.

A former Marine fighter pilot and member of our National Advisory Committee offered his assessment: “It is a truly sad state of affairs when the ‘Air Boss’ needs to engage in an issue that should have been handled and resolved at the squadron commander level, if not lower. It is an even sadder state of affairs when the ‘solution’ to this ‘problem’ is the implementation of a formal call sign assignment and review process, to include appropriate peer board representation for minorities and females. The saddest thing of all is how thoroughly the cancer of ‘political correctness’ has metastasized in the body of our military fighting force, and how little is done by senior military leadership to fight that cancer.”


Tuesday, June 04, 2019

News from the Princeton Soviet

On Friday, May 10, University-appointed “Open Expression Monitors” denied students involved in Princeton IX Now, which organized the recent Title IX-reform protests, the right to enter a reception to which “staff, faculty and community members” had been invited. At the same time, other students entered the building freely.

Open Expression Monitors — namely, staff from the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students (ODUS) — also supervised the Title IX-reform sit-in in front of Nassau Hall, which occurred for over a week, beginning on May 7.

For an institution that claims to protect open discourse and selected “Speak Freely” as its 2018 Pre-read, the fact that administrators double as “Open Expression Monitors” should alarm every member of our community. In theory, Open Expression Monitors protect free speech and allow controversial speakers to safely visit campus. Although instated only months ago, they now impede student expression against the administration. Open Expression Monitors betray a deceptive form of institutional-speech regulation.

Open Expression Monitors, employed by the institution whose policies fall under student scrutiny, are far from neutral supervisors. University policy prohibits students from “prevent[ing], or willfully attempt[ing] to prevent, the orderly conduct of a University function or activity.” Despite their inherent conflict of interest, Open Expression Monitors are tasked with determining whether students have violated that policy — a decision that carries punitive consequences.

The Editorial Board refrains from ideologically endorsing Princeton IX Now and neither condones nor condemns the methods employed by student protesters. Certainly, University representatives should be present at student demonstrations, not least to register and relay their concerns.

Nonetheless, we find the title of “Open Expression Monitor” to be as oxymoronic as it is Orwellian. During the May 10 confrontation, Open Expression Monitors prevented students from expressing themselves. Yet, in the University’s own words, “debate or deliberation may not be suppressed because the ideas put forth are thought by some or even by most members of the University community to be offensive, unwise, immoral, or wrong-headed.”


Time For Conservatives To Get Ruthless Fighting For Free Speech

Liberals, having lost the battle of ideas because their crummy, corrupt collectivist ideas suck, want to ban our ideas because people are naturally going to choose our ideas over theirs. Well, normal people are, because we know we would pick up the tab for their Utopia. The thing about leftists is that their ideas about the need for command and control over every aspect of human life always presume they will be the ones personally commanding and controlling. You will never meet a young socialist who looks forward to a proletarian career picking up garbage or cleaning toilets.

Here’s the undeniable fact: Liberals are actively pro-censorship. They scoff at this fact because everyone knows that it’s the liberals who are open-minded and us conservatives who seek to muzzle the yearning voices of the masses. But, as you should presume about absolutely everything a liberal says is, this too is a lie.

Liberals love censorship.

They already practice it in Europe. In Britain, you can be arrested for tweeting things, which is yet another cautionary example of why we citizens should never, ever give up our guns.

Liberals still pretend to be for free speech here, but whenever some conservative gets silenced, there’s always a reason why, at the end of the day, it’s okay.

“Oh, it makes the weird, sexually-confused freaks with daddy issues that are the loudest segment of our fourth-tier college’s student body feel unsafe.”

“Oh, it’s okay to ban this because we need to get whatever dark money is out of politics unless it is donated by leftists.”

“Oh, it’s okay because it’s a private company so it can do whatever it wants as long as it’s to our conservative opponents. After all, it’s not like we’re trying to amuse ourselves by forcing some Jesus guy with a bakery to blaspheme.”

The result is always the same, every single time. The liberals will always support a result where the conservative is silenced. Every. Single. Time. Only their lame excuse changes.

Remember: Controlling all speech – and therefore all thought – is not a sideshow; it is the show.

We need to fight back ruthlessly, because if they get their way they are going to ball-gag us for eternity and, as Pulp Fiction teaches, it never ends well for dudes who get involuntarily ball-gagged.

The free speech issue is huge, but let’s focus here on the tech dictators in Silicon Valley. The great Instapundit, Professor Glenn Reynolds, has a new book on this struggle, The Social Media Upheaval, that you need to read. Social media – the Facetwitstagrams – is today’s public square. More accurately, it is the battleground where the direction of our society will be decided unless and until we get kicked out of it, at which point the battlefield will shift from figurative to literal since perpetual serfdom to our leftist tech overlords is not an option.

These elitists and their minions are on a quest to banish us from our own society. Except there’s no reason why we should become second class subjects just because a bunch of Prius-driving jerks in Scat Francisco are mad at us for knowing which bathroom to use.

The social media folks need to understand that there are only two potential outcomes, and they can choose. Outcome A, our preferred outcome, is that they voluntarily provide open, free forums that everyone can partake of. Option B is that they provide open, free forums that everyone can partake of because we make them do it with litigation, boycotts and crushing regulation imposed via the political actors we control, like red state governments and the federal bureaucracy under President Trump.

Notice that Option C, that they allow us to speak only what is approved by the 23-year old SJW scolds in Twitter’s Department of Thought Policing, is not on the list of options. We should be absolutely willing to utterly destroy Silicon Valley and everything these people have built using every element of our power if they screw with us.

Now, a lot of True Conservatives™ will stand on the Lido Deck and whine about us militant Normals and our unseemly desire to remain free. But if you ask me, any purported “conservative principle” that results in us becoming less free is a pretty crappy principle, and I vote that we not do it.


Monday, June 03, 2019

Online store is forced to pull a white t-shirt from sale because it has the slogan 'It's ok to be white'

Sounds like It's NOT ok to be white

An online store has been forced to stop selling t-shirts printed with the slogan 'It's okay to white' after the public slammed the item as 'inherently racist'.

Trade Me had been selling the shirts manufactured by VJM Publishing who marketed the item as a way to troll 'anti-white bigots' and 'local communists'.

The New Zealand auction website previously said they would continue to sell the shirts despite backlash because they didn't breach rules.

But after being inundated with complaints, the online shop took down the listing on Thursday night.

The phrase 'it's okay to be white' has been adopted by white supremacists across the globe.

VJM Publishing's listing read: 'An ''It's okay to be white'' T-shirt will let people know that you are not a racist who thinks that a child can be born into sin if others with the same skin colour have acted badly in the past.

'Wear this shirt as a white person to troll your local Communists, or wear this shirt as a brown person to troll stuck-up middle-class urbanites. Either way it's funny!'

The company's head of trust and safety George Hiotakis said 'items which marginalise individuals or promote one race at the cost of another cannot be sold'.

The white t-shirts are now being sold by another online store,

The new listing says: 'The infamous 'It's Okay To Be White' t-shirts that caused problems on TradeMe!'

'Resist the Orwellian thought police with this t-shirt! The Human Rights Commission thinks that we shouldn't be allowed to sell these shirts - help up stand up for free speech by telling them where to stick it!

'It is in no way racist, hateful or divisive to say that it's okay to be white!'


Alabama legislators passed a bill that set expectations and restrictions for how college campuses handle free speech

The passing of the bill came about two months after President Donald Trump invited several students who claimed they were censored at their campuses to the White House. After hearing their stories, Trump signed an executive order requiring colleges to promote free speech or risk losing federal research funds.

Alabama’s bill didn’t list specific consequences for not complying, although, it stated the attorney general and those whose rights were allegedly violated could pursue legal action against higher education institutions.

“HB498 will go a long way to reestablishing fairness and encouraging a diversity of views on campus,” Representative Matt Fridy, the bill’s sponsor posted on Facebook. “I'm honored to have led this effort and excited for our success!”

HB 498 called freedom of expression “critically important” to students’ educational experiences and said public higher education institutions should “ensure free, robust, 20 and uninhibited debate and deliberation by students.” It added that higher education providing safeguards for the First Amendment was a matter of statewide concern.

The bill identified a number of provisions that colleges needed to adhere to in order to protect free speech, including allowing students, administrators, faculty and staff to assemble, speak, distribute literature and take positions on public controversies in outdoor areas of the campus.

Some colleges and universities created designated areas on campuses for people to protest, speak about possibly controversial issues and gather signatures for certain causes. Known as “free speech zones,” they’ve been criticized for doing the opposite of their intended purpose. Instead of fostering free speech, critics, including the ACLU, argued they squelch the First Amendment by confining it to certain areas.

HB 498 prohibits public higher education institutions in Alabama from creating free speech zones. Instead, all outdoor areas of campus would be considered a forum for community members.


Sunday, June 02, 2019

Dutch anti-imigration politician Geert Wilders is blocked from Twitter after branding opposition party D-66 'suckers... who import ever more Islam'

Dutch far-right politician and anti-Islam campaigner Geert Wilders said Twitter has temporarily blocked his account following remarks he made about a political rival.

Wilders, who faces threats against him by Islamists, relies heavily on Twitter to communicate with his supporters.

He has 811,000 followers, second only to Prime Minister Mark Rutte among Dutch politicians.

He said in a statement today: 'Twitter often tolerates death threats against me, but not a factual tweet by me about a colleague. Madness!'

A spokesman for Wilders' Freedom Party sent a screenshot of his account showing the ban, which was due to expire in about eight hours.

The tweet that led to Wilders' block referred to D-66, a progressive centre-left party as 'suckers ...who import ever more Islam and then weep crocodile tears over the consequences, such as honour killings'.

A Twitter spokesman said: 'We don't comment on accounts for privacy and security reasons.

'Our Hateful Conduct policy expressly prohibits the promotion of violence, direct attacks or threats towards people in certain protected categories.'


Navy Reviewing Aircrew Wearing MAGA Inspired ‘Make Aircrew Great Again’ Patches

Navy leaders are reviewing whether red patches featuring an image of President Donald Trump and a riff on his “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan are in violation of Defense Department policy.

Photos taken of sailors wearing patches that say “Make Aircrew Great Again” on their flight suit sleeves were circulating on social media after the commander in chief made a stop aboard the amphibious assault ship Wasp on Monday. The photos of the patches, which feature a likeness of Trump, were taken by reporters covering the president’s speech to sailors and Marines aboard the amphib in Yokosuka, Japan.

Military Reports:

It’s not the first time the patches have appeared on social media, but now they’re under scrutiny.

“Navy leadership is currently reviewing this instance to ensure that the wearing of the patch does not violate DoD policy or regulations,” Lt. Samuel Boyle, a Navy spokesman, told

Active-duty troops are barred from any political activities that imply or appear to imply sponsorship, approval or endorsement of a political candidate, campaign or cause, according to Defense Department Directive 1344.10.

Some on social media said the patch is a clear violation of that directive. Others argued that humorous deployment patches are common, and that the uniform devices are often cleared by command.


Friday, May 31, 2019

CrossFit Dumps Facebook After Deplatforming

The popular lifestyle and exercise company CrossFit permanently pulled its Facebook and Instagram accounts last week following the social-media giant’s deletion of a user group that posted testimonials and information about its low-carb, high-fat diet.

In an official statement, CrossFit explained its reasoning: “Facebook’s action should give any serious person reason to pause, especially those of us engaged in activities contrary to prevailing opinion.”

The statement further noted, “Facebook … serves as a de facto authority over the public square, arbitrating a worldwide exchange of information as well as overseeing the security of the individuals and communities who entrust their ideas, work, and private data to this platform. This mandates a certain responsibility and assurance of good faith, transparency, and due process.”

CrossFit is by no means a politically conservative company, but the fact that its promotion of a unique dieting regimen that may have run counter to popular opinions got it flagged by Facebook’s censors serves to once again highlight the social-media giant’s issue with free speech.

Facebook aims to control the very speech that allowed it to become the world’s largest social-media platform.


Media Deploying Language Gymnastics to Serve Left-Wing Goals on Abortion

“Pregnancy Kills. Abortion Saves Lives.”

That was the headline on an absurd opinion article in The New York Times, deploying Orwellian language to turn the abortion debate on pro-lifers and comfort those who support abortion on demand.

While the conversation over Alabama’s new abortion law has drawn out some wild arguments from the left, it’s easy to miss the less obvious ways the media reinforce the pro-abortion side.

The media, cleverly and often subtly, use rhetorical adjustments to reinforce left-wing ideas under the guise of objectivity.

It’s not just on the abortion issue that the media kowtow to the left in the terminology they use in charged public debates.

For instance, The Guardian, a British outlet, recently updated its style guide to reinforce the idea that challenging prevailing left-wing ideas about man-made climate change is fundamentally illegitimate.

From now, house style guide recommends terms such as ‘climate crisis’ and ‘global heating’

Few topics, however, draw out media bias like abortion, where the concerns of pro-life Americans are left on the back page or uncovered, and a magnifying glass is put on anyone who challenges pro-abortion orthodoxy.

Not only is coverage of abortion highly skewed, but it’s clear that the language used to describe it is made to soften the reality of what the practice is, while diminishing the concerns of those who believe fundamental rights are being violated.

NPR, which is of course publicly funded, recently updated its language guidelines for reporters. Here are some of the terms now off-limits for NPR journalists: pro-life, late-term abortion, fetal heartbeat, partial birth.

Instead they are to use terms such as “intact dilation and extraction” (to describe a partial-birth abortion) and “medical or health clinics that perform abortions” (instead of simply “abortion clinics”).

The phrase “abortion doctor” also would drop off the list of acceptable phrases. Instead, NPR reporters are instructed to list the doctor’s name and write that he “operated a clinic where abortions are performed.”

If anything, the attempt to use more scientific language to describe abortions, such as “intact dilation and extraction” in the place of “partial birth abortion,” at best merely confuses readers as to what actually is being performed.


Thursday, May 30, 2019

Supreme Court limits free speech claim in arrests

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said an individual cannot make a claim that he was arrested in retaliation for exercising his free speech if police had probable cause for his arrest.

The ruling is a victory for law enforcement, which argued in favor of a bright line rule that officers could follow that would also defeat possible frivolous claims from defendants objecting to their arrest.

The case concerned a man in Alaska who says he was arrested in retaliation for speech that is protected under the First Amendment. At issue before the court was a question that has divided lower courts: if police have probable cause to make an arrest, does that defeat a claim of retaliatory arrest?

The man, Russell Bartlett, was arrested in 2014 in Alaska while attending the Arctic Man festival, an extreme ski and snowmobile event held annually in the Hoodoo Mountains.

Although police and Bartlett maintain different accounts of what happened before the arrest, there is no dispute that after an altercation, Bartlett was arrested for disorderly conduct.

Charges against him were later dropped, but he sued, arguing that he was arrested because he spoke out against the officers.

Bartlett's lawyer points to video that captured part of the event and says the trooper's account of the arrest is dishonest.

The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals had previously ruled in favor of Bartlett, holding that probable cause didn't preclude a claim of retaliatory arrest.

The ruling was 7-2, with Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissenting. Justices Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas did not join all aspects of the majority opinion.

During oral arguments last year, Chief Justice John Roberts at one point suggested sympathy for the officers that day, referring to the event as being "10,000 mostly drunken people" in the middle of nowhere. Roberts wrote the majority opinion Tuesday.

Justice Samuel Alito, on the other hand, worried during arguments about finding a line that would toss out frivolous claims but protect claims with merit, such as a journalist who wrote something critical of a police department and then later is given a "citation for driving 30 miles an hour in a 20-25 mile an hour zone."


Penalizing truth

Teresa Seeberger rented rooms in a house she owned in Davenport, Iowa. When Seeberger learned that her tenant’s fifteen-year-old daughter had become pregnant, she told the tenant that she and her daughter would have to leave. When the tenant asked why, Seeberger said: “You don’t even pay rent on time the way it is . . . now you’re going to bring another person into the mix.”

The eviction was legal because the local ordinance banning housing discrimination does not extend to landlords who operate on a scale as small as Seeberger did.

However, the Davenport Civil Rights Commission determined that providing the truthful reason for the eviction violated a ban on statements that reflect discrimination on the basis of familial status (the applicable language of the Davenport ordinance mirrors the federal fair housing law). An Administrative Law Judge initially recommended nearly $50,000 in damages and fines against Seeberger.

The Iowa courts, including the state Supreme Court, agreed that Seeberger’s speech alone violated the law. However, the damages and fines were set aside because they were assessed on the basis of the eviction (legal) rather than the speech (deemed to be illegal).

Earlier this month, the Center for Individual Rights (CIR) filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court. It asks the Court to review the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision upholding the finding against Seeberger.

It strikes me as outrageous that a landlord, or anyone else, could be punished for truthfully stating the reasons why she took a legal action. Indeed, I don’t believe the First Amendment permits the state to punish truthful statements of the reasons for illegal actions.

If an employer fires someone because of his race, the action is unlawful. If that employer says the discharge was due to race, it has made a statement against interest. However, it can’t be punished for its speech — only for its conduct.


Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Muslim-friendly Leftists horrified that they too can be censored

A Muslim murderer was "graceful and humble". Yuk!  But the censorship was quickly lifted

Canada’s most popular television show’s Twitter account was suspended some time in the early morning of Friday, May 24. While most English Canadians might not know it, Radio-Canada’s Tout le monde en parle has more than one million regular viewers every Sunday night.

Twitter user Timothée Forest (@TimRForest) posted the notice he received from Twitter while bragging in French that he reported TLMEP’s account for “apologizing for terrorism” by featuring an interview with Omar Khadr.

TLMEP’s Guy Lepage tweeted early Saturday afternoon that the account was restored. He quoted Twitter’s comment: "Unfortunately, it looks like your account got caught up in one of these spam groups by mistake.”

"If TLMEP can be suspended over a tweet that simply promoted an interview that many far-right tolls disagreed with, the implications for those of us who have opinions that challenge right-wing rhetoric are enormous"

On April 21, TLMEP had Omar Khadr for an interview that was challenging and critical. Lepage didn’t shy away from difficult questions, including asking Khadr to react to footage of a young Khadr crying as he was being interrogated in his role of the death of U.S. medic Christopher Speer.

Khadr smiled. He was graceful, humble and explained how he endured his many years in detention at Guantanamo Bay, including two years in solidarity confinement, and how it impacted him.

The reaction from the far-right was swift. Far-right media personality Ezra Levant accused Radio-Canada of insulting Quebecers for choosing to air the interview on Easter Sunday. Hundreds of far-right trolls flooded my own feed when I shared the interview with a positive tweet.

The pressure that they exerted to report TLMEP was enough to convince the social media platform to temporarily suspend TLMEP’s account. Even if Twitter ultimately decided it was an error, it’s a sound victory for the trolls and a deeply distressing example of the limits of free speech on a private social network


UK: The Oxford Union can invite who it likes

Audiences can be trusted to hear even the most unpleasant views.

The Oxford Union, Oxford University’s famous debating society, time-honoured seat of free debate and political argument, is now ‘appeasing fascism’, apparently. The Boycott the Oxford Union campaign has condemned the Union for giving a platform to ‘fascists’.

Considering the historical implications of the word ‘fascist’, we should probably be careful when deploying it. Unfortunately, the Oxford Union boycotters are taking a different approach. The ‘fascist’ figures who have been invited to the Union include Katie Hopkins, Steve Bannon and Tommy Robinson.

For all their many faults, I’m not aware that any of these speakers have called for the overthrow of democracy, a fairly integral aspect of fascist ideology. To my knowledge, they are not concerned with limiting free speech, either – another thing fascists tend to do.

If anything, the people who want to limit free speech here are the Boycott the Union campaigners. At the Steve Bannon event in November 2018, they attempted to block the public from entering the debating hall. They said Bannon’s views are so dangerous that people should be prevented from even hearing them. Apparently, the attendees didn’t have the capacity to evaluate Bannon’s ideas for themselves and should be told what to think by the student activist mob.

More than a century before the rise of the Nazis, the German-Jewish poet Heinrich Heine prophetically wrote, ‘Where they burn books, they will also burn people’. Earlier this month, when Katie Hopkins took part in a debate on free speech at the Oxford Union, activists were chanting, ‘Build a bonfire, build a bonfire, put the Union on the top, put the Nazis in the middle and we’ll burn the fucking lot’.

Now, these students are not literally burning books or trying to burn down the Oxford Union. They are not fascists. But they share the book-burning mentality. There is nothing remotely progressive about this. They seem to view everything they believe as inherently progressive and everything they oppose as fascistic. They seem to think that their own position must win out at all costs. It is unsurprising that this should lead to calls for violence and destruction.

In the end, these boycotters are driven by a low view of humanity. If a genuinely fascist movement were to emerge, I think the British people can be trusted to recognise its dangers, and reject it. They rejected fascism emphatically in the Second World War, when huge sacrifices were made to destroy German and Japanese totalitarianism. They would most likely do so again.

These boycotters should cut it out. Let the Union invite who it wants. If some speakers’ opinions are obviously wrong and hateful, then audiences should be trusted to hold them to account.