Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Cross not Even Safe in a Chapel

And the new Chancellor is not one to overturn that:

"Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is the new chancellor of the College of William & Mary, which has taken the unusual step of removing a cross from its chapel in an effort to ensure the area is seen as a "non-denominational area."

"In order to make the Wren Chapel less of a faith-specific space, and to make it more welcoming to students, faculty, staff and visitors of all faiths, the cross has been removed from the altar area," administrator Melissa Engimann announced in an email to the staff of the Williamsburg, Va., institution.

Are feathers 'hostile and abusive' to Indians?

NCAA bans them in college logo, while students plan protest:

"The William & Mary College Young Americans for Freedom chapter will be distributing 25,000 feathers during the homecoming football game tomorrow in protest of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's ruling that two feathers appearing in the athletic logo are "hostile and abusive" to American Indians.


Monday, October 30, 2006

Help Request

If there are any readers here who are willing to fire off an email in support of someone being badly treated by government, have a look here or here.
No Separation of Church and State in Australia

As well as being one of the world's most conservative countries, Australia is also one of the world's most secular countries so the announcement below is more about expanding Christian awareness in Australian life than anything else:

"Chaplains will be posted in schools across Australia under a federal Government plan to provide students with greater spiritual guidance. Prime Minister John Howard will today unveil details of the $90 million national chaplaincy program, which also aims to give support to students during times of grief. The initiative, which was immediately criticised for discriminating in favour of Christians, was approved by Cabinet earlier this month.


Australia has no first amendment to be perversely interpreted by its High Court so the only opposition to the above move will be political, not judicial. Given the still considerable Catholic connections of the Australian Labor Party, it is only minor parties such as the Greens who seem likely to kick up much of a fuss about the policy.
ACLU Finds Racism in Crack Cocaine Law

Blacks are big users of crack cocaine and blacks often get locked up for dealing it. And because black people get locked up a lot for breaking the law concerned, then the law must be racist? Right? The ACLU certainly thinks so.

The same sort of deliberately blind Leftists who once could not see that the old Soviet Union was a brutal and impoverishing tyranny are now determined not to see that blacks DO commit a lot more crime than whites so they SHOULD be locked up more. STACLU has the details.

Underlying the ACLU stance seems to be a complete disrespect for blacks. Blacks are treated as poor things who cannot help breaking the law rather than as responsible adults who know what choices they are making. It is the ACLU that is racist.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

"Captain Underpants" Incorrect

You can see him in kids' books but you cannot dress like him, apparently:

"Three 17-year-old girls were told to leave Long Beach High School when they showed up on the school's Superhero Day dressed as the subject of the bestselling children's books....

The girls, Chelsea Horowitz, Ashley Imhof and Eliana Levin, wore beige leotards and nude stockings under white briefs and red capes. They were completely covered.

Principal Nicholas Restivo said he knows they weren't naked, but it appeared that way, so he sent them home. He didn't like the way they looked.


The girls obviously have a good sense of humor but a sense of humor is increasingly discouraged by our minders these days.
"Jelly Belly" Incorrect

From Florida we read:

"The city's police chief abruptly resigned after employees complained about his tough fitness talk in an e-mail entitled "Are you a Jelly Belly?"

"If you are unfit, do yourself and everyone else a favor. See a professional about a proper diet and a fitness training program," Goward wrote in the e-mail. "We didn't hire you unfit and we don't want you working unfit. Don't mean to offend, this is just straight talk. I owe it to you."


How wimpy can a police force get? Political correctness is making whiners out of everyone.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

No Advertising for the "Dixie Chicks"?

Pop band "Dixie Chicks" became famous in 2003 for making disparaging remarks about GWB in London. They have now made a film about their subsequent experience and are trying to advertise that film.

Many TV networks have approved the ad for airing but two have refused it. The ad repeats the disparaging remarks about GWB and one network gave that as the reason for rejecting the ad. Representatives of the "Chicks" have said that the rejection was a breach of the free speech rights of the "Chicks" and have blamed the rejection on a "climate of fear".

They are probably right about the "climate of fear" but fear of what? Fear of falling foul of McCain/Feingold's political advertising restrictions before an election, I would think.

As private companies, the TV networks are not of course bound by the First Amendment. Details here.
"Sundance" an Indian Name

Conservative American Indian David Yeagley, is incensed that Robert Redford and George Soros are using the name "Sundance" for their film institute, which produces and distributes largely anti-American films. He says that the sundance is a significant American Indian ceremony and its name should not be used for something that has no Indian connections. See here.

It seems to me that if you cannot use Indian names for sporting teams then you should not be able to use such a name for a company either. What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. When will we hear from the ACLU about this?
A Libertarian Archbishop?

There is not much that I agree with the Archbishop of Canterbury about (though he did support the Iraq intervention) and I regularly mock the Church of England but I agree with the following words of His Grace:

"So the ideal of a society where no visible public signs of religion would be seen - no crosses around necks, no sidelocks, turbans or veils - is a politically dangerous one. It assumes that what comes first in society is the central political "licensing authority", which has all the resource it needs to create a workable public morality.


As a libertarian, I think that there should be complete freedom of religion for both Muslims and Christians, unlike the absurd situation in the USA and UK at the moment where there seems to be more freedom for Muslims than for Christians. It is only the advocacy and practice of violence that should be penalized.

And it seems that the chief prelate of the Church of England has similar views. He clearly thinks that the wearing of Muslim veils and Christian crosses should both be allowed. Both have of course recently been penalized in England.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Deport the Mufti?

A Muslim leader is in hot water in Australia. The Mufti of Australia has said that "immodestly" dressed women invite rape. He said women were "weapons" used by "Satan" to control men and called them "meat". Pretty standard Muslim stuff, of course, but Australians seem to be less tolerant of Muslim nonsense than most:

"A leading Muslim cleric, Sheik Taj Dim al-Hilali, should be sacked and deported for comments which essentially excused young Muslim men who committed rape, federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner Pru Goward said today.


I am the last person to defend a barbaric religion but it seems to me that the sheik is entitled to express his views without punishment for doing so. I myself don't have the Mufti's hangups and greatly enjoy seeing skimpily-dressed young women about the place but, if I had a daughter who came into much contact with Muslims, I think the Mufti's comments would make instructive reading for her.
Blogger.com under attack

We read:

"Racist blogs targeting minority groups in Australia are springing up on the web, but Google's Blogger, the service some are hosted on, refuses to take them offline, says an anti racism lobby group.

"Blogger is absolutely insensitive to complaints about racist and neo-Nazi content," said Brian Stokes, co-founder of FightDemBack!, a group that monitors the activities of racists, fascists and other such offenders operating in Australia and New Zealand.


I think the article above was free publicity for the "hate speech" sites concerned.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Injun Time?

We would be quickly told by the holy ones of the Left that it was a racial slur implying that Indians cannot handle time well if a conservative had used the term "injun time" to excuse being late.

Democratic U.S. House candidate Steve Kagen apologized Monday for commenting that he was late for a meeting on an Indian reservation because "we're on Injun time."

Think his opponent would get the same kind of pass he is getting? Will the MSM give this the same incessant coverage as Senator Allen's "macaca" usage? Don't hold your breath. Details at STACLU.
Youth is Offensive in Britain

We read:

"A television advert for shower gel which featured a young-looking model has been banned after the industry watchdog ruled it "offensive". A naked woman sitting under a lemon tree is featured in the PZ Cussons advert for Original Source shower gel. Some 29 people complained because the model appeared to be under 16 and was depicted in a sexually provocative way.

Faked "Hate Speech" Incident?

There were "hate speech" incidents recently at the nominally Jesuit Boston College. Posters about the white race were plastered up in a couple of places by someone unknown and untraceable:

"But yet another occurence of "hateful speech" comes in the wake of the incident. Fliers were found on the main door of the CLFX lobby and connector lounge, Medeiros Hall, and Shaw House around midnight last night which read: "Join the White Alliance - 'Forge a Superior World.'" The fliers advertised a meeting tomorrow in Devlin Hall "to debate the merit of Martin Luther King, Jr., Day."


It sounded to me like another example of "racist" fakery from the Left themselves so I made no comment on it at the time.

I note now however that the political activists on the campus are having an absolute orgasm of self-righteousness over it all so I am getting an ever stronger impression that it was the Left themselves who organized the "racist" stunt in a very successful attempt to push themselves into the limelight -- the limelight being their Holy Grail, of course.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Threat to Free Speech on California Ballot

Proposition 89 will be voted on soon. It provides some public funding for election campaigns and places severe restrictions on election spending by businesses. It does not however restrict unions from spending. Get it? Unions can plug their agenda but business cannot do the same. And guess which side of politics the unions will be supporting? One-sided election campaigns, here we come! And, despite the First Amendment, it might even survive Supreme Court challenge. McCain-Feingold did.

Discussion here and here
"Naughty" Wrong

From the Unhinged Kingdom:

"Parents should not call their youngsters 'naughty' because it damages their self-confidence, a childcare expert controversially claimed.

Annette Mountford, chief executive of the parenting organisation, Family Links, said that children's self-esteem is run down by such branding, even if they are behaving badly.


To post relevant comments, click the squiggle to the left of where it says "COMMENTS". Open commenting here. My old posts on this blog can be found here or here. Email John Ray.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Terms of Endearment Forbidden in Scotland

In much of Britain and quite often in Australia, it is customary for women to address others and be addressed by others as "love" or some other form of endearment, even if the parties are hardly known to one another. For instance, if I order a sandwich in a sandwich shop, the lady making the sandwich will often ask me "do you want pepper and salt with that, love?"

I guess it is in one sense old-fashioned and silly but I personally think it makes life pleasanter for everyone. Though some of the terms used in the North of England are a bit amusing: "duck", "hen" etc. In much of the American South "Hun" and "Sugar" are used similarly, of course.

There have been attempts to limit such speech in England (See my post of August 17) and the poison has now spread to Scotland. The Glasgow City Council has instructed its employees as follows:

"Don't assume it is acceptable to address women by endearments such as 'dear', 'pet' and 'love' when you would not address men in such a way," the guide instructs. "Don't refer to women as 'girls', for example, 'the girls in the office'."

It adds: "The term 'ladies' should only be used in situations where the parallel term 'gentlemen' is used."


And there is much more idiocy of the same kind. Why it "oppresses" women to call them "Love" defies my imagination. Maybe it is felt to oppress lesbians and that leads to the objections from feminists, many of whom seem to be of the lesbian persuasion.
Strange Self-defeating Censorship In Belgium

With the demise of the Soviet Union, Belgium now appears to be the most Leftist country in Europe, which makes it a great enemy of free speech. Brussels Journal will tell you all about that from time to time. Belgium even shut down a major political party for "hate speech" a couple of years ago -- showing the usual Leftist respect for democracy. But the latest episode there appears to be wacky even by Belgian standards:

"Microsoft and Google have agreed to remove content managed by Copiepresse of Belgium from their indexes, with Google further being requested to pay nearly $43 million in fines.

Instead of battling with Copiepresse on its home turf in Belgium's Court of First Instance, Microsoft chose to comply with the firm's requests to remove German and French language articles managed by Copiepresse from its websites.


You don't want people to be able to find you via a Google search??? That's equivalent to being invisible these days. Lots of companies pay big money to boost their Google rankings but not in Belgium it seems. I guess it is just some sort of feverish anti-Americanism.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Defending Marriage is Harassment?

We read:

"A Virginia man claims he was fired from his job because a message on the window of his pickup truck supported a proposed state constitutional amendment on marriage.

Luis Padilla, who worked in the human resources office at Cargill, the international provider of food and agricultural products and services, wrote on his vehicle's rear window, "Please, vote for marriage on Nov. 7."

Hate Speech to Mention the Bronx?

So U.S. Rep. Charles Bass was told after he dissed retiring Vermont socialist Bernie Sanders:

"Bernie Sanders and his Sandernistas can go back to taxi-driving in the Bronx of New York City where they came from," he said at a Republican event in Fairlee, Vt. The recorded comments have since spread far and wide via the Internet.

"This is a bigoted racial slur," Harold Judd, of Bow, wrote in a letter to the Concord Monitor. "Shame on Mr. Bass for his intolerant hate speech."


The reasoning above is pretty convoluted but since Sanders is white and the Bronx is mostly black and Latino, it seems that it is regarded as an insult to say someone is black or Latino. That itself seems hate-speech to me!

Sanders DOES originally come from the Bronx so maybe it is a slur to call someone a taxi-driver! I was a taxi-driver myself once in my youth and I never felt it to be a slur to be known as one.

Or was the reference to the Sandanistas the problem? From what I know of Bernie Sanders, I would expect that he DID defend the Sandanistas when they were ascendant in Nicaragua in the 1980s.
Gingerbread Persons?

An attempt was recently made in Britain to kill off the "Gingerbread man", a popular cookie:

"The gingerbread man biscuit has been stripped of his sexuality in the West Midlands and must instead be called a gingerbread person.

Parents and children who asked for the sweet treat were outraged to be told at branches of the Bakers Oven that the gingerbread man no longer existed. Instead they could only buy a gingerbread person.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Uncriticizable Leftist Religion: Government

We read:

"In early September, a Marquette University administrator removed a Barry quote about the federal government from Ph.D. student Stuart Ditsler's office door because the quote was "patently offensive." ....

In late August, Ditsler posted a quote by Dave Barry on his office door in the philosophy department. The quote read, "As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful, and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government."

On September 5, Philosophy Department Chair James South sent Ditsler an e-mail stating that he had received several complaints and therefore removed the quote. He wrote, "While I am a strong supporter of academic freedom, I'm afraid that hallways and office doors are not `free-speech zones.' If material is patently offensive and has no obvious academic import or university sanction, I have little choice but to take note."


So a perfectly respectable conservative view -- of a sort often expressed by Ronald Reagan -- "has no obvious academic import". That is itself a revealing statement about the intellectual limitations of the university concerned.
Which Pledge?

I guess we all know of the contant legal battles that have been waged to prevent American children saying the pledge of allegiance in school. There is some history of it all here for visitors recently arrived from Mars.

But it is OK for American children to recite the MEXICAN pledge of allegiance of course! Or so it would seem from what happened at this Texan school.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Free Speech for Leftist Abuse in Britain

We read:

"Ken Livingstone, the London mayor, won his High Court appeal yesterday against a finding that he had breached his authority's code of conduct by likening a Jewish reporter to a Nazi concentration camp guard....

Mr Justice Collins said that the mayor had been "indulging in offensive abuse of a journalist". But, "surprising as it may perhaps appear to some, the right of freedom of speech does extend to abuse". It was important, he added, that any individual "knows that he can say what he likes, provided it is not unlawful".


Free speech for abuse in Britain! A novel idea indeed! If a conservative had insulted a Jew there would have been hell to pay. "Red Ken" Livingstone is an extreme Leftist.
Tried for Linking Headscarf to Sex

No respect for the facts in Turkey:

"An eminent 92-year-old Turkish archeologist is to go on trial for inciting religious hatred because she angered Islamist circles with a scientific paper saying the use of headscarves by women dated back to pre-Islamic sexual rites.


Friday, October 20, 2006

Gypsies Trying to Censor Borat

We read:

"A German group representing Roma interests has filed a suit to try to stop British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen showing his Borat film in Germany....

"We are accusing (Cohen) of defamation and inciting violence against Sinti and Roma (gypsies)," Mr Knudsen said...

The group said it had filed a complaint to prosecutors over the film, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, saying it treated violence and discrimination against Roma peoples as acceptable behavior.


Surely this protest is itself defamatory to gypsies. Does it not show gypsies as having no sense of humor?
Censorship Attempt in Australia

We read:

"The Federal Government says it is examining ways to ban an online game glorifying a violent Sydney race riot, but the patchwork of laws regulating internet content is complicating the issue.

The object of Cronulla Monopoly - designed to be printed from the internet and played with a dice - is to buy property in the Sutherland Shire in order to donate money to right-wing groups to "win back Australia".


The game has however now been taken offline by the American web hosting company under its "hate speech" policy.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Promoting Jihad as Free Speech

There is a widespread view among supporters of free speech that advocacy of violence should be excluded from free speech protections. For that reason, support of Jihad -- which is in practice often very violent -- is not generally regarded as privileged in any way.

But guess who is arguing that it IS privileged under the First Amendment? "Moderate" Leftist Susan Estrich of Fox News fame and ACLU eminence Harvey Silvergate -- the sort of people who would DENY protection to something as harmless as school prayer -- though maybe a Muslim prayer might be OK, I guess. Details here. Lots of commentary at STACLU
Fox News Gets the Jitters

Do you believe that Fox News would refuse to show a political advertisement that was critical of Bill Clinton? They have just done just that. And it was an advertisement that CNN and other outlets have okayed! Details here. There is no end to the barriers against keeping people fully informed.
Must not Portray Blacks as Puppets

Apparently white people and conservatives can be puppets. In the days of the old Soviet empire, it was routine for Communist propaganda to refer to pro-American governments anywhere as "puppets" and I never once at that time heard any objection to such language from their fellow Leftists.

But everybody knows that blacks are not really full people, so you cannot portray them as puppets. People might believe it! That, at any rate, seems to be the logic behind the latest furore in New Mexico:

"Several African-American organizations on Sunday demanded an apology from a statewide candidate for an advertisement they contend exploits racial stereotypes.

At issue is an direct mail ad okayed by Republican Demesia Padilla who is running for state treasurer. It's a cartoon depicting her opponent, Democrat James Lewis, as a puppet being handled by Democratic Governor Bill Richardson. Lewis is black.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Violence is not Free Speech

A California court seems to have had a small attack of sanity:

"A state appeals court rejected an animal rights group's free-speech challenge Thursday to a lawsuit accusing the group of conspiring with protesters who harassed Chiron Corp. executives, vandalized their homes and bombed the company's Emeryville headquarters.

The organization, Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty USA, claimed Chiron's February 2004 suit for harassment and invasion of privacy was an attempt to stifle freedom of expression. But the First District Court of Appeals in San Francisco said state laws against suits that interfere with free speech do not apply to illegal conduct.

EU Tries to Censor Bloggers

We read:

"The [British] Government is seeking to prevent an EU directive that could extend broadcasting regulations to the internet, hitting popular video-sharing websites such as YouTube.

The European Commission proposal would require websites and mobile phone services that feature video images to conform to standards laid down in Brussels.

Ministers fear that the directive would hit not only successful sites such as YouTube but also amateur "video bloggers" who post material on their own sites. Personal websites would have to be licensed as a "television-like service".

Viviane Reding, the Media Commissioner, argues that the purpose is simply to set minimum standards on areas such as advertising, hate speech and the protection of children.


In classic Orwellian Newspeak, the draft rules are known as the "Television Without Frontiers" directive. Calling a thing by its opposite is an old Leftist scam going back at least as far as Hegel -- who described the totally unfree, ant-like existence he had planned for us all as "freedom".

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Conservative Lecture Creates a "Hostile Environment"

We read:

"Two African American teachers have filed a racial complaint against Lakeside School, claiming that the elite private institution created a hostile work environment and discriminated against them.

The suit, filed in King County Superior Court, which seeks unspecified monetary damages, describes a "culture of fear" at the North Seattle school that has "kept people from talking about racism and their personal experiences." ....

Among the plaintiffs' complaints was Lakeside's invitation to conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza to speak as part of a distinguished lecture series.

After Sims and other faculty members and parents complained, the school in January rescinded the invitation to D'Souza, who has argued that the underachievement of African Americans has more to do with cultural attitudes and behaviors than with white racism.


When alternative viewpoints create a hostile environment, the existing beliefs must be pretty fragile -- maybe even WRONG!
Must not Question "Queer Studies"

We read:

"A university curator is facing criticism from faculty and students at the University of Missouri-St. Louis over perceived anti-gay comments made at a recent board meeting.

University of Missouri system curator David Wasinger, a St. Louis attorney appointed to the board last year by Gov. Matt Blunt, questioned the relevance of "queer theory" studies at a curator committee meeting last week in Kansas City....

With money tight on the system's four campuses, Wasinger wondered if "our limited resources would be better spent on other programs such as math and sciences" or "chemistry labs that are in dire need of repair."


Monday, October 16, 2006

Suspended for Satire

A senior employee of an English phone company wrote a satirical "explanation" of the words and phrases that Leftist bureaucrats and academics use. He called it the "Lefty Lexicon". It included this "definition": "Islamophobic - anyone who objects to having their transport blown up on the way to work".

Naughty, naughty! The usual Islamic hysteria ensued and he was suspended from his job. Fortunately, however, a lot of conservative English bloggers rallied to his aid and the company got a flood of emails in support of him. He now has his job back.
Must not Speak Spanish Incorrectly -- Even in Jest

We read:

"Fox baseball broadcaster Steve Lyons has been fired for making a racially insensitive comment directed at colleague Lou Piniella's Hispanic heritage on the air during Game 3 of the American League Championship Series.

The network confirmed Saturday that Lyons was dismissed after Friday's game. He has been replaced for the remainder of the series by Los Angeles Angels announcer Jose Mota.

Piniella had made an analogy involving the luck of finding a wallet, then briefly used a couple of Spanish phrases during Friday's broadcast.

Lyons said that Piniella was "hablaing Espanol" -- butchering the conjugation for the word "to speak" -- and added, "I still can't find my wallet."


Sunday, October 15, 2006

Even the Most Obvious Racial Realities Must not be Mentioned

The Israeli ambassador to Australia is under fire for mentioning that most Australians and Israelis are not Asian:

"Israel and Australia are like sisters in Asia," Mr Tamir was quoted as saying. "We are in Asia without the characteristics of Asians. We don't have yellow skin and slanted eyes. Asia is basically the yellow race. Australia and Israel are not - we are basically the white race."

A Personal Attack

Well: It had to happen. I personally have been attacked over something I wrote. It was not about something I wrote on this blog, however. It was a reference to the second post down here -- in which I gently suggested that it was a dubious idea for a mentally ill person to become a "counsellor". I commented: "The blind leading the blind?". Below is the email I have now received (complete with semi-literate grammar):

"I quote your comment "the blind leading the blind"- I would like to challenge that comment. As it is discrimination, slander and completely disrespectful. What are you trying to say here? Just because Nellie has struggled with a mental illness that makes her incapable of helping others. I find that disappointing coming from a doctor it is our job as health professionals to help to minimize stigma. I work with Nellie at the Community Mental health centre and she is exceptionly good at her job! I can't believe that you teached and studied psychology. I assume you teached your students RESPECT, unconditional positive regard and not being JUDGEMENTAL. I request that you make adjustments to your story and post a personal apology or i will be taking this further and making your JUDGEMENTAL approach public.

Free speech is forever under attack, I am afraid. I do not of course intend to make any changes to my post.
The "Islamophobia" Card

It's getting to be quite a card game. We read:

"The Islamic activist group CAIR and local Democratic Party officials have been blasting former GOP state chairman Shawn Steel for an email he sent criticizing Belal "Bill" Dalati, a candidate for the Anaheim City Council race. Steel criticized Dalati's "extremist" views. Steel said Dalati supported a far-left rally titled "Rally Against U.S.-Israeli Terror in Palestine and Lebanon," that his Arab American Broadcasting Co. sponsored an event in 2000 that included a "prayer for the martyrs," and that Dalati stood up for controversial Islamic marriage contracts in the United States that would deny women alimony in a divorce.

I talked about this issue on KPCC and a Democratic Party official called in and portrayed Steel's comments as pure bigotry. But Steel did not criticize Dalati for being a Muslim, but for specific events he supported and stances that he has taken.


Saturday, October 14, 2006

Must Not Criticize Queer Parents

No matter how queer they get

A San Francisco lesbian and a San Francico male homosexual, Rebecca Goldfader and Bevan Dufty, are living together and have just produced a baby together but they are not committed to one-another and continue each to have same-sex relationships. Pretty San Francisco, Huh?

One San Francisco radio host could not take such a queer situation, however and referred to the Dufty-Goldfader baby as a "travesty". No matter how queer the situation is, however, you are not allowed to speak ill of it in SF and the ritual demands that the radio host "apologize" have been made. But why should he apologize for expressing a perfectly reasonable opinion -- an opinion that would be shared by millions?

Details here and here
ACLU Tax-Exempt?

Being a STACLU blogger myself these days, I think I should draw the attention of readers here to a post on STACLU which argues that the ACLU should lose its tax-exempt status. The ACLU have had an easy ride TRAMPLING over the liberties of Christians and others for too long and they are clearly anything but politically impartial.

STACLU does not confine itself to posting about the ACLU. The bloggers there post on anything that seems controversial -- so the site might be a good one to put on your "frequent visits" list.
Must Keep God off TV

We read:

"The emotions surrounding the murder of five girls at an Amish school in Pennsylvania were still raw Monday when the "CBS Evening News" put on a commentator [Rohrbough] who blamed such violence on abortion and "expelling God from the school."...

The decision to approach Rohrbough and air his views prompted a storm of criticism, some of it within the ranks of CBS News..."


If he had offered a secular explanation for the slaying -- "too many guns" or suchlike -- that would have been fine, of course. Only Leftist explanations are allowed.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Marvellous: Britain gets a "First Amendment"

Americans must find the ongoing role of the House of Lords in the government of Britain to be puzzling at best and a total anachronism at worst. Yet it is not so. In recent years, the Lords have been tenacious defenders of once-treasured English liberties. They resisted tooth and nail the ban on hunting with hounds, for instance.

They have just done it again. English libel law was some of the most insane and restricting in the world and greatly restricted the ability of the press to keep Brits informed about evils in their midst. But the Law Lords (the legal committee of the House of Lords) have just thrown all that into a cocked hat. They are the final court of appeal in Britain and they have just ruled that papers can print more or less what they like as long as it is in the public interest.

An inspiring last-ditch victory for free speech. Details here.

Interesting that it took an American firm to pursue the matter through all the courts until it got to the Law Lords. There are still lots of Americans who don't surrender their liberties without a struggle. A pity that there are not more Brits like that.
Outrage! Uncle Sam Blocks Conservative Blogs but not Major Leftist blogs!

"Gates of Vienna" reports:

"Yesterday the U.S. Department of the Interior installed blocking software on their entire network. Gates of Vienna is now blocked, as are all sites with a blogspot URL. Also blocked are other conservative blogs, such as Wizbang... Little Green Footballs is also being blocked, but DailyKos is not"


Mirror sites for my blogs (here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here) are unlikely to be affected and should always be readable anywhere.
More Criminalization of Speech Coming in France?

We read:

"France was on a collision course with Turkey and the European Union last night as MPs prepared to vote today on a Socialist Bill that would make it a criminal offence to deny that Turkish massacres of Armenians in 1915-17 constituted genocide.... The law would punish denial with a maximum one-year prison term and a fine of up to 45,000 Euros"


I put up a previous post on the Armenian genocide on May 17th.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Islam Yes. Christianity No

And that's in the good old U.S. of A.

Islamic teaching mandated by the state of Oregon and backed by SCOTUS:

"Another school has been "teaching" Islam by having students study and learn Muslim prayers and dress as Muslims, and a lawyer who argued a previous dispute over this issue to the U.S. Supreme Court said such methodologies wouldn't "last 10 seconds" if it were Christianity being taught.

"Would it have been 'just cultural education' if students were in simulated baptisms, wearing a crucifix, having taken the name of St. John and with praise banners saying 'Praise be to Jesus Christ' on classroom walls?" asked Edward White III, of the Thomas More Law Center.

Leftist Claims that Leftists Defend Free Speech!

We read:

"Just in time for the frenzied last month of an election season, the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday published an essay by University of Chicago law professor Geoffrey Stone entitled "What it means to be a liberal." In it, Stone, the author of Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime, posits 10 propositions that to him "define 'liberal' today."

Stone's essay would have been more convincing if it had been titled: "What it should mean to be a liberal." For example, Stone's first two propositions include such corkers as "Liberals are skeptical of censorship and celebrate free and open debate" and "Liberals believe individuals should be tolerant and respectful of difference." One wonders if Stone has in mind the same "liberals" who championed academic speech codes, cheered the flouting of the First Amendment under the rubric of "campaign-finance reform," and spent the last six years demonizing President Bush as a Nazi or worse.


Or tell it to conservatives trying to give speeches at Columbia University -- or anybody trying to defend Israel at Columbia! Leftists just cannot admit reality.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Friendly Ladies Must not be Seen in Egypt

We read:

"Tourist guides in Egypt called Sunday for a "licentious" Ramadan television series to be pulled because it shows one of their number, played by popular actress Leila Olwi, "wooing" a tourist.

"In this series, 'Nur Al Sabah' (Light of Day), we see licentious scenes such as when she woos this tourist by dancing," the head of the tourist guides' union, Mohammed Ghareeb, said.

The "Squaw" Nonsense Rumbles on

We read:

"Members of the Coeur d'Alene Tribe refer to it as the S-word. But some 93 creeks, canyons, peaks and springs in Idaho that include the name squaw are not censored like that on any maps. And the tribe wants the word squaw removed.


An earlier episode in this "controversy" is recorded here.
Another Challenge to Columbia Coming up

After they failed to protect free speech very recently, it will be interesting to see how the university administration acts this time:

"One week after protestors interrupted a speech by Minutemen founder Jim Gilchrest at Columbia University, student organizers are asking their colleagues to allow two former terrorists and a former Nazi soldier to speak freely.

The university's College Republicans on Wednesday will host former PLO terrorist Walid Shoebat, former Lebanese terrorist Zachariah Anani and former Nazi soldier Hilmar von Campe..."


With a red rag like that being waved at them, the Leftists will be unable to contain themselves.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

How to Fix the First Amendment (and Shaft the ACLU)

Lawyer Ray Kraft writes:

"But there is a Third Way here - and that is for Congress to debate and define, by legislation, the controversial and undefined terms in the Constitution, such as "an establishment of religion." I cannot find or think of any reason why it would not be within the power of Congress to do so, and it would not require an amendment of the Constitution, so long as the legislated definition was consistent with a plausible and reasonable reading of the Constitution. Congress would not remove or change the phrase, "an establishment of religion." It would simply define the phrase - deciding what "an establishment of religion" means - something that the courts have been grappling with for decades. This might be a long and controversial debate in Congress, but it would be a good debate for us to have.

And this would not be unconstitutional, as long as the legislative definition of "an establishment of religion" was consistent with the apparent intent of the First Amendment - which is, obviously, to protect the broadest possible scope of religious freedom, and to prohibit an official or State religion.

Most importantly, by defining these controversial clauses and phrases in the Constitution, Congress could dramatically limit the ability of the ACLU and its ilk to challenge the free exercise of religion in public places, and other liberties that the ACLU and others do not think Americans should have. So long as the legislation was not vague and ambiguous, and was not clearly unconstitutional, the Court would be bound by the definitions adopted by Congress, since, unless the law is vague and ambiguous, or clearly unconstitutional, the Court must defer to the legislative power of Congress. Congress writes the laws, the courts interpret and enforce them. If the law is clear there is little room for interpretation, and the courts can only enforce it.


Read the whole thing
Harbhajan a Sorry Sikh

We read:

"India off spinner [cricketer] Harbhajan Singh has apologised for offending his Sikh community by appearing in an alcohol advertisement with his hair down.

Slogan-shouting protesters marched through the Sikh holy city of Amritsar, in the northern state of Punjab, and burnt Harbhajan's effigy after he appeared in the advertisement with teammates Mahendra Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh. Uncut hair covered by a turban is an article of faith of the Sikh religion.

A Welcoming King is Demeaning?

In Hawaii it seems to be. A tourism company used a picture of the former King of Hawaii with flowers around his neck and a glass of champagne in his hand to indicate that visitors would be warmly welcomed in Hawaii. The advertisement was not warmly welcomed, however:

"There's plenty of bad advertising that goes out, but nothing that I have seen that in any way attacks or belittles or demeans the host culture, not in the overt fashion that this particular ad does," he said.


I am myself a monarchist happily living in a monarchy (Australia) and I can assure you that I have seen plenty of DELIBERATELY unflattering portrayals of the Royal family. But nobody endeavours to censor such portrayals and I treat them with the contempt they deserve. So to me Hawaiians seem to be lacking something in such matters.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Mexicans don't Drink Tequila??

If they do, you are apparently not supposed to mention it:

"During oral arguments Tuesday in an immigrants' rights case, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia made a reference to one of the parties, a Mexican man who has been deported back to his country, as someone unlikely to keep from drinking tequila on the chance he could return to the United States.

The comment raised eyebrows in the audience and offended some who were told about the remark afterward on the grounds that it perpetuates stereotypes about Mexicans


I wonder would Scalia be offended if told that his ancestors drank Chianti? I suspect not. I certainly would not be offended to be told that Australians drink a lot of beer. They do.
"Mongols" now Incorrect

At least as a description of an intellectually retarded person:

"A Queensland disability advocacy group yesterday demanded controversial "Australian Idol" judge Kyle Sandilands be sacked unless he apologised publicly for referring to a contestant as a "mong".

The Down Syndrome Association of Queensland said the use of the term by the shock jock during Sunday's show was offensive and deplorable.

Sandilands referred to Brisbane singer/songwriter Bobby Flynn as a "full mong" while commenting on his performance.

DSAQ president Anna Magnus yesterday said Sandilands had a responsibility to educate the mainly young and impressionable Idol audience and he had failed in this duty."


Entertainers have "a responsibility to educate"?
Racist Democrat Boss

We read:

"Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean yesterday said that Maryland's Democratic ticket should have had a black or other minority at the top, but added that the national party isn't to blame for the lack of diversity.


Judging people by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin is not a Democrat policy, obviously. But it never was, of course. Martin Luther King was a Republican and George Wallace was a Democrat.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Another Leftist Attack on Free Speech

We read:

"Hundreds of thousands of pro-life people participated in life chain events around the nation on Sunday afternoon and the events were a respectful way to share the message that abortion destroys the lives of babies before birth. But, in Wilmington, North Carolina, pro-abortion activists disrupted the event and harassed participants.... some abortion advocates pelted participants with eggs and some activists took the signs away from the people holding them.

Leftists Hack Dissident Teacher to Death

From Mexico:

"A teacher was hacked to death in this historic Mexican city that has been paralyzed for months by protests and violence, police said late Thursday. A colleague claimed the man was killed for opposing a teachers' strike.


No free speech for conservatives in Mexico either.
Incorrect Arnie

We read:

"No stranger to sensitive ethnic remarks, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger drew criticism Thursday for saying Mexican Americans have acculturation problems "because they are so close to their country here" while collectively praising Asian Americans for "assimilating into the American way of living."

Democratic lawmakers supporting gubernatorial challenger Phil Angelides charged that the Republican governor was once again engaging in "divisive" racial stereotyping

Asked his views on assimilation, Schwarzenegger said being a successful American requires immigrants to learn English and U.S. history in addition to fully engaging in the nation's culture.


I thought it was only Australian politicians who are that blunt.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

SCOTUS Won't Hear Free Speech Case

We read:

"The U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to hear an Alaska anti-abortion group's challenge that state campaign finance laws violate its constitutional right to free speech. That means the Alaska Right to Life Committee will have to register with the state and disclose its income and expenditures if it wants to conduct telephone campaigns within 30 days of elections....

Must Everybody have the Same Sense of Humor?

From Arizona we read of a naughty advertisement:

"Specifically, it's a teddy bear with a hidden sound device that when activated by a remote control mimics the noise of flatulence.

The product uses in its name a colloquial term for passing gas, a word that rhymes with "parting." That name was featured in the headline of the ad for the bear and appeared in last Sunday's Arizona Republic.

"I was furious when I saw this," wrote Judy Gordon, who happens to be the mother of Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon. "My parents never said that word to me growing up in Chicago and believe me, my children growing up here in Phoenix, including the mayor, never heard it from their mother and dad."


Friday, October 06, 2006

Leftist Hatred of Free Speech Demonstrated for the 9,834th Time

We read:

"Students stormed the stage at Columbia University's Roone auditorium yesterday, knocking over chairs and tables and attacking Jim Gilchrist, the founder of the Minutemen, a group that patrols the border between America and Mexico....

A number of campus groups, including the Chicano caucus, the African-American student organization, and the International Socialist organization, began planning their protests early this week when they heard that the Minutemen would be arriving on campus.....

The student protesters "rush to vindicate themselves with monikers like 'liberal' and 'open-minded,' but their actions, their attempt to condemn the Minutemen without even hearing what they have to say, speak otherwise," the president of the Columbia College Republicans, Chris Kulawik, said. On campus, the Republicans' flyers advertising the event were defaced and torn down..."


They can't afford to allow free speech. People might learn the whole truth instead of hearing the Leftist slant only.
More European Cowardice

We read:

"Spanish villages are abandoning the centuries-old tradition of burning effigies of the Prophet Muhammad for fear of offending Muslims....

The fiestas celebrate events in 1492, when the Catholic kings of northern Spain defeated and expelled Islamic forces, ending more than 800 years of Moorish rule in the Iberian Peninsula.."

S.C. Governor Wimps Out

We read:

"Gov. Mark Sanford is apologizing for using the phrase "dancing with a tar baby" last month to describe a government debate over how to sell excess property.

Britain: Must not Joke about Political Correctness

We read:

"It was supposed to be a joke, but colleagues in a politically correct town hall failed to see the funny side when a Tory councillor suggested that nowadays Noah would have been unable to insist on taking only animals of the opposite sex in his Ark.

David Clutterbuck, 72, is facing calls to be sent on "compulsory equality training" after his quip was added to a group e-mail about the bureaucratic obstacles Noah would have to overcome in the modern world.


The councillor is not apologizing.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Anti-Censorship Book to be Censored?

From Texas we read:

"Alton Verm filed a "Request for Reconsideration of Instructional Materials" Thursday with the district regarding "Fahrenheit 451," written by Ray Bradbury and published in 1953. He wants the district to remove the book from the curriculum.

"It's just all kinds of filth," said Alton Verm, adding that he had not read "Fahrenheit 451."


Maybe he should read the book. If he had, he might know that substance abuse and violence are portrayed as negative ideas in it. The main character of the book has objections to the culture of hedonism and violence he is finding himself immersed in. Although the divine name is used in vain, our religious heritage is seen as precious and the one book the main character is able to preserve from the bookburners is Ecclesiastes, from the Bible.
University of North Dakota Fights Back

We read:

"The planned lawsuit against the NCAA over a mandate barring UND's use of the Fighting Sioux nickname in NCAA playoffs or home tournaments will filed in a matter of days, rather than weeks or months, said Phil Harmeson, UND senior associate to the president.

Attack on Harry Potter

We read:

"In Harry Potter's world, the Ministry of Magic governs things. In Georgia, the state Board of Education rules over public schools.

These two worlds come together Tuesday when the state board has a public hearing on a parent's request to remove the popular series from Gwinnett County public school libraries. The hearing officer presiding over the appeal will make a recommendation to the state board, which is scheduled to rule on the case during its December meeting.


Apparently the problem is that the stories promote witchcraft. I guess they do. But so what? The Koran promotes Islam, which kills a lot more people. Ban the Koran? The Old Testament says that you should put homosexuals to death (Leviticus 20:13). Ban the Old Testament?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

"Dangerous" Information

We read:

"Sophisticated ultrasound scans that show foetuses as early as 12 weeks appearing to "walk" in the womb have had a dangerous impact on the public debate over abortion, leading doctors and scientists said yesterday.

Ireland no longer "British"

We read:

"It may be 57 years too late for many an Irish republican, but yesterday Folens, the publishers, said it was introducing a more "correct" version of its school atlas that would no longer include Ireland as part of the British Isles....

John O'Connor, managing director of Folens, said that no final decision had yet been taken as to what would replace the British Isles title in the relevant section, but it might be simply Ireland and England - although that would risk the wrath of the Scots and the Welsh.

Britain: Must not Call Political Opponents "Autistic"

Even if they do seem that way

We read:

"The Shadow Chancellor was accused of mocking hundreds of thousands of people with learning difficulties after he joked that Gordon Brown was autistic.


The journalist to whom the remark was made explains it here. The "incorrect" politician was of course a Conservative.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I Sure am Confused

This blog has reported an endless stream of outrage from Leftists about any adverse mention of homosexuality. We are constantly told that there is nothing wrong about it. Yet when Congressman Foley is revealed as a homosexual, the outrage vanishes and there seems to be no defence of him at all! What am I missing?

All that I am missing, it seems to me, is that Foley is a Republican. The good old double standard again.

Sure. The kid was technically a minor at age 16 but would that matter if anyone other than a GOP Congressman were involved -- particularly since it was apparently only talk, not actual sex? If it had been a Donk Congressman, we would have been told that he was just exercising his free speech.
Lebanon may halt Gideons giveaways

Tennessee catches up with Australia:

"A longtime practice at a Lebanon public school that allows fifth-graders to pick up Bibles delivered by a faith group may be scrapped.

Lebanon Special School District is reviewing the custom after a mom complained that a public school is no place for religion. Jessica Katz was outraged, she said, when her son came home last week with a red-covered New Testament in tow.


Previous report here
Media Censorship Attempt

Steve Frank reports:

"I received the following information from my friends in San Diego--looks like the MoveOn crowd is upset that a network put a show on TV they didn't like--so now they are complaining and want the license of any station that aired the show (Pathways to 9/11 on ABC). Isn't this what totalitarians do? Isn't this how the terrorists operate in the Middle East? Didn't the Soviets do this, don't the Cubans do this?

The Leftists are gathering at the FCC public hearing in Los Angeles on October 3rd to complain about all of these things to the federal government, in order to convince the government to play the role of "big brother" by controlling the media.

Go Kinky!

There is a British summary here of the campaign for Texas governor by Kinky Friedman. The writer obviously likes him and wishes him well. I like him too. He seems to be about as politically incorrect as it is possible to be in current American politics. One amused comment from the article:

"Mr Friedman has been pumping out adverts sprinkled with cowboy philosophy. In one he is seen patting a dog and reflecting sagely: "Ask any cowboy and he'll tell ya, money may buy you a fine dawg but only love can make her wag her tail." In Texas this apparently means something."

I mentioned Kinky previously on Sept. 19th.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Muslims Once Again Proving a Critic Right

We read:

"A philosophy teacher today described how he was forced into hiding after a newspaper article in which he attacked Islam provoked death threats against himself and his family.

Robert Redeker, 52, from Toulouse in south-west France, is receiving round-the-clock police protection and changing addresses every two days, after publishing an article describing the Koran as a "book of extraordinary violence" and Islam as "a religion which ... exalts violence and hate".

He told French media today that he had no regrets about writing the article and that it was part of his job as a philosophy teacher to ask difficult questions."

G*ogle Again

We read:

"Go*gle, the popular search engine and web services company, recently notified R.A.G.E. Media that its advertisement for Dr. William Lile's pro-life DVD "God's Miracle of Life" was being pulled for violating a new content policy prohibiting ads related to "abortion and religion." However, a search on Google for the term abortion will show numerous sponsored ads for abortion facilities and pro-abortion information.

Florida: The Usual Attack on Christmas has Begun

We read:

"For more than a week, Mary Anne Bender helped her 10-year-old daughter learn her Christmas pageant lines and daydream about what costume she'd sew for the after-school play at Windmill Point Elementary.

But on the second day of practice, fifth-grader Kayla Vance was told she can't play Mrs. Claus in A Penguin Christmas because the principal has axed any mention of the word "Christmas" in holiday festivals.


Sunday, October 01, 2006

Good ol' Allybammy?

As far as I can see, Masonic lodges are a bit of an anachronism these days -- mostly populated by old guys -- but I guess it depends on where you live. But they still have lots of lodges in Alabama -- separate ones for blacks and whites. And why not? They are private fraternities so membership is by invitation from existing members. And maybe I am not supposed to mention it but there is a tendency for blacks and whites to feel most at home in the company of others of their own race. So it is no mystery how a private "band of brothers" tends to voluntarily self-segregate.

But Alabama Gov. Bob Riley is being criticized for belonging to the "white" lodge. So far he is defending his membership. It seems a sad day to me that preferring the social company of others like yourself is seen as wrong.
Lawyers Attempt to Pull Minuteman Ads off the Air

We read:

"Lawyers supporting Liberal Congressional candidate Gabrielle Giffords, stung by Minuteman PAC ads exposing her left-wing record on border security issues, are now attempting to have the ads taken off the air, according to documents the PAC received yesterday afternoon.

Cox Cable representatives forwarded a letter they received from Phoenix lawyer Rhonda Barnes complaining about the commercials attacking Giffords' liberal record and urging them to remove the ads from the airwaves.

"The truth hurts," said Minuteman PAC spokesman Rick Shaftan. "Every word in our ads is true and Giffords knows it."


The site linked above goes into detail to show that it is truth which is being objected to. The TV channels could still cave in, however.
Free speech for Leftist academics

But not for ones who mention racial differences

The latest academic hypocrisy from Australia:

"An extraordinary intervention by a senior federal minister has forced Sydney's Macquarie University to publicly defend the academic freedom of its staff. Defence Minister Brendan Nelson has written to Macquarie vice-chancellor Steven Schwartz after one of his constituents complained of "left-wing" bias in a history subject....

Professor Schwartz would not comment on the Nelson incident but moved to quell growing fears in universities about the erosion of academic freedom in the post-September 11 environment. "It's absolutely fundamental ... that we safeguard academic freedom ... if we're going to have a lively and effective university sector and if we're going to have a fair and lively society as well," he said. There were few instances, if any, where "we would want to stifle an academic's freedom to teach whatever they felt was fair".

Last year, the issue of academic freedom came to a head at Macquarie when law lecturer Andrew Fraser created uproar with his comments about African migrants in Australia. [And the university banned him from teaching as a result] Since then, the university's academic senate has scrutinised the issue and devised a statement, which was being finalised yesterday. It says that academics must be able to teach and research without undue interference from government, university administration, the media, private corporations and other organisations.