Monday, June 30, 2008

Canada: Radio host's Nazi remark deemed fair comment

ANYTHING is OK if you are criticizing conservatives:

"The Supreme Court of Canada has unanimously ruled that an outspoken Vancouver radio host is not liable for defamatory statements. The court upheld a previous B. C. Supreme Court decision that the right to fair comment protected "shock jock" Rafe Mair's statements in an on-air editorial about Kari Simpson, a public figure whom Mr. Mair compared to Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members...

On a Vancouver talk show in 1999, Mr. Mair criticized Ms. Simpson for having anti-gay views and said she reminded him of Adolf Hitler and prominent Ku Klux Klan members. At the time, Ms. Simpson had a reputation as a leader "of those opposed to any positive portrayal of a gay lifestyle," wrote Justice Ian Binnie....

"We live in a free country where people have as much right to express outrageous and ridiculous opinions as moderate ones," the ruling says.


If the same criteria are applied, Mark Steyn should have an easy run once he gets his case into a real court.

Anti-Obama blogs being treated as spam by Google

Some are being blocked altogether and on others you have to go through an onerous process to post. Since none of the blogs concerned have any of the characteristics of spam blogs, it seems most likely that false spam notifications from Obama supporters are the reason behind all the blocks. Uppity Woman (who is a Democrat but a mocker of Obama) has a big coverage of it.

The problem is so pernicious that a lot of bloggers have moved their sites to Wordpress and other locations. I reproduce below Uppity Woman's notes on that:

Old location: has been unfairly locked up as spam thanks to false "reporting". New Location:

Old Location: has also been locked out and falsely reported as "spam". New location:

Old Location: has been locked out for false reports that she is a "spam" site. This blogger has moved to her own domain at Hillary Or The Hillary or Bust site also lists the following additional blogs have been unfairly locked out due to false "spammer" accusations: (Native Americans Against Obama) (no new site as yet) Locked out, new site is: Locked out: Locked out, new site is here. was blocked but was reinstated earlier this month

It might be an idea to visit some of the blocked people at their new sites and give them some encouragement.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

SCOTUS strikes down "millionaire's amendment"

I don't understand campaign finance laws very well at all. The McCain/Feingold law seems to have made it all very complex. But it sounds like a small victory for freer speech below:
"The US Supreme Court on Thursday struck down the so-called 'millionaire's amendment' of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, saying it violated free-speech protections. In a 5-to-4 ruling, the high court said Congress cannot use federal election laws to disadvantage candidates who choose to use their own money to run for a seat in Congress. The idea behind the law was to prevent a wealthy candidate from using massive personal spending in a campaign to drown out the voices of other candidates. It was also intended to counter the impression that seats in Congress can be purchased."


The WSJ has more. Having different speech rules for different people certainly does seem obnoxious in principle.

Colorado: Trustees back school in punishing students for "violent" parody

Laughing at lesbians is "violent". Looks like FIRE might have lost this one.
"The Chair of Colorado College's (CC's) Board of Trustees has affirmed the school's actions in finding that student Chris Robinson and another student wishing to remain anonymous violated CC's 'violence' policy for posting a flyer that parodied a flyer of the Feminist and Gender Studies program.

In a letter to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), Board of Trustees Chair David van Diest Skilling wrote that 'the College acted correctly in their handling of the students' behavior' and that 'there is no need for further action.' FIRE continues to call on CC to remove the guilty verdict from the students' files immediately and to stand by its own promises of freedom of expression."


Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Canadian double standard

As Mark Steyn has discovered, in Canada today you cannot say anything critical of Muslims without risking a summons to appear before a "human rights" tribunal. The same does not apply to Muslims, however. They can utter all the hate-speech they like:
"You know what is the really sobering thing about that ongoing terror trial in Brampton?

Clue: It's not that there was a plot to attack Canadian targets. And of course there was; the court has heard evidence up the ying-yang that there was just such an enterprise afoot. Was it the finest plot ever? Oh hardly. Were its members variously bumblers, what those who hang around courts call "yutes" or raving hotheads? Absolutely. But there was a plot.

It's not even the hate, chiefly for Jews and Americans, that one of the group leaders preached at the drop of a hat and the top of his lungs with almost magnificently ungrammatical, near-illiterate, Koran-ignorant hysteria. It's that he felt so free to preach it.

It's that he felt comfortable enough to hand out jihadist CDs outside at least one Toronto mosque and to occasionally turn up in combat fatigues at another. It's that he giddily talked to one of his alleged co-conspirators about the obligation to kill Jews whenever one finds them. It's that the leadership of the group regularly met at a half-dozen mosques in the GTA, usually on Fridays, the day of communal prayer. It's that within minutes of meeting Mubin Shaikh, a fellow Muslim-turned-CSIS informant-turned-paid-RCMP agent, he was openly verbally indulging his bloodlust and "recruiting" Mr. Shaikh: Their shared religion was enough.


Another naughty Canadian

The lesbians could dish it out but they couldn't take it. So they went crying to Momma:
"A Canadian stand-up comedian will face a human rights tribunal hearing after a woman complained she and her friends faced a "tirade of homophobic and sexist comments" while attending one of his shows.

In a decision released this week, the B. C. Human Rights Tribunal ruled there is enough evidence to hear the case of Vancouver woman Lorna Pardy against Toronto comedian Guy Earle. Zesty's Restaurant in Vancouver, where the May 22, 2007, show took place, has also been named in the complaint.

Ms. Pardy could not be reached yesterday for comment. However, the tribunal's decision says she alleges she was discriminated against over her sex and sexual orientation when Mr. Earle made public comments "intended to humiliate her."

The ruling says Mr. Earle and Ms. Pardy "have very different versions of who was to blame for the incidents, how it came about and how it escalated." There is also a dispute over what role alcohol played in the incident.

"Mr. Earle does, however, admit that he used comments which he now regrets," says the tribunal. "Those admitted comments may go to establish discrimination."

Reached yesterday, Mr. Earle said he was the show's emcee when Ms. Pardy and two of her friends walked in, sat in the booth closest to the stage and began heckling him and other comics. "Two of them started making out, flipping me the bird and saying I hated lesbians," he said.

Mr. Earle was reluctant to repeat the remarks that led to the human rights complaint. "Everybody wants to know what I said, and I invite people to come see me on stage because you can't take it out of context. And that's exactly what's happened here. "The reader or the listener or whatever has no feeling for the environment of the comedy show that is triple-X, edgiest-show-in-town, controversial and offensive, so when you walk in there you're making an agreement to be a party to this controversial show."

"They were drunk, they were being jerks and I was very rude and visceral to them because, like I said, if you have a heckler what you want to do is put them in their place by offending them, so I tried to hit them where it hurts and the only thing I had to key on was the fact that they were lesbians. "I don't care if they're lesbians, heterosexuals, homosexuals or giraffes."

Mr. Earle said the complaint is an attack on comedians' right to perform. "I would never have expected it would get escalated to a philosophical battle." He added it's been more than 40 years since controversial U.S. comic Lenny Bruce was jailed for obscenity over his comic material-- "and we're still fighting the same battle. I know it's a fight I can never win. But I've got to keep fighting."


Friday, June 27, 2008

Amazing: A black guy gets criticized for his speech!

And he wasn't even dissing homosexuals! A black is normally OK as long as he leaves homosexuals out of his talk. The race card trumps all else.
"Shaquille O'Neal will lose his special deputy's badge in Maricopa County because of language he used in a rap video that mocks former teammate Kobe Bryant. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said the Phoenix Suns center's use of a racially derogatory word and other foul language left him no choice.

Arpaio made Shaq a special deputy in 2006 and promoted him to colonel of his largely ceremonial posse later that year. "I want his two badges back," Arpaio told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "Because if any one of my deputies did something like this, they're fired. I don't condone this type of racial conduct."


It takes Sheriff Joe, America's most popular lawman.

Imus again

We read:
"U.S. radio personality Don Imus on Tuesday defended linking a football player's race to brushes with the police as Imus tried to dampen a brewing race controversy over remarks he made one day earlier.

During his breakfast show on Monday on Citadel Broadcasting Corp's ABC Radio Networks, Imus discussed Adam "Pacman" Jones, who was suspended by the National Football League in April 2007 because of his link to a Las Vegas triple shooting.

A colleague of Imus commented on how many times Jones had been arrested since he had been drafted by the Tennessee Titans in 2005, and Imus asked what color he was. Told that Jones is black, Imus responded: "Well, there you go. Now we know."


Imus is trying to wriggle out of it but why should he? Blacks DO have a huge crime-rate.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

English Council bans "brainstorming"

We read:
"A council has banned the term `brainstorming' - and replaced it with `thought showers.' Officials Tunbridge Wells Borough Council in Kent feared the phrase might offend epileptics or the mentally ill. Staff have been sent memos about the change and even sent on training courses, reports The Sun.

But Margaret Thomas, of the National Society for Epilepsy, said: `Brainstorming is a clear and descriptive phrase. Alternatives such as `thought shower' or `blue-sky thinking' are ambiguous to say the least. Any implication that the word `brainstorming' is offensive to epileptics takes political correctness too far."


Thuggish Censorship of Connecticut newspaper

We read:
"Mayor Eddie A. Perez ratcheted up his campaign against "racist comments and hate speech" posted by readers on Friday by holding a protest outside the newspaper's Broad Street headquarters.

Surrounded by a few dozen state and municipal elected officials, members of community organizations and city employees, Hartford's mayor stood in front of The Courant to take it to task.

"Let me begin by making it clear that this is not, this is not about free speech," Perez said. "This is about asking the corporate citizen in our community not to provide a platform for hate and racist material in our community." "Enough is enough," Perez said to applause. "Enough is enough."

The rally comes at the end of a week in which Perez issued two press releases targeting the reader comments, and wrote a letter to the newspaper's publisher demanding that The Courant stop the anonymous postings.


The usual ignorant Leftist claim that "hate speech is not free speech". It looks like the newspaper owner is going to bend to the pressure, though. And what a hero the Mayor must have felt himself to be! Lovely cheap applause.

I have not been able to find what the "hate speech" was but the following comment from a reader of the newspaper may give a clue:

"Don't you people know that you are only supposed to say nice things about Perez and the city of Hartford, anything else you say is racist, hate speech!"

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

McCain adviser sorry for 9/11 remark

We read:
"A top adviser to US Republican presidential candidate John McCain apologised today after he was quoted as saying a September 11-type attack before the November election would benefit Senator McCain. "I deeply regret the comments, they were inappropriate," Charlie Black said after Senator McCain said that if Mr Black had made such a comment, "I strenuously disagree" with it.

"I recognise that John McCain has devoted his entire adult life to protecting his country and placing its security before every other consideration," said Mr Black, one of Senator McCain's most trusted political advisers.

Fortune magazine said Mr Black, in discussing how national security was Senator McCain's strong suit, had said when asked about another terrorist attack on US soil that "certainly it would be a big advantage to him".


The guy was probably right, though. It's tricky to be honest in politics

Cartoon ruling may prompt 'Islamophobia'

We read:
"The Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), a league of 57 Muslim nations, said a Danish court's rejection of a suit against a paper for printing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad could provoke "Islamophobia".

Last Thursday the High Court for western Denmark rejected a suit against Jyllands-Posten, the newspaper that first published cartoons of Islam's prophet, leading to deadly protests in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

The court said the editors had not meant to depict Muslims as criminals or terrorists, the cartoons had not broken the law, and there was a relationship between acts of violence and Islam - comments that provoked outcry among Muslim groups in Denmark. "It is a known fact that acts of terror have been carried out in the name of Islam and it is not illegal to make satire out of this relationship," the court said.

The Saudi-based OIC, the largest grouping of Muslim countries, said the ruling could encourage "Islamophobia", a fear or dislike of Islam, which the group has identified as existing in the West.


It's the Muslim terrorists who encourage "Islamophobia"

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

"Dumb blonde" a no-no


"A primary school teacher accused of calling a pupil a "dumb blonde" is among those to be hit with discrimination complaints. A confidential payout and apology was made after the girl's furious mother consulted Victoria's discrimination watchdog, the Herald Sun has learned. The teacher, accused of repeatedly making demeaning comments in class about the girl being blonde, was counselled. The pupil was transferred to another class.

The case is among 488 education-related discrimination claims investigated by the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission in the past five years.


I am inclined to agree with that one. It sounds like it was the teacher who was dumb. I know of no correlation between hair colour and IQ. I think some people are jealous of blondes, however.

I myself rather admire red hair. The fact that my father was a redhead may have something to do with that. So I was quite horrified to read that redheads are discriminated against in Britain. I have never heard of such a thing in Australia or the USA.

You cannot be too careful in talking about blacks

We read:
"An Australian political adviser to London Lord Mayor Boris Johnson has been forced to resign over a racism scandal.

James McGrath was accused of suggesting black people should ``go home'' if they did not like the new Mayor.

Responding to claims Caribbean immigrants could leave the UK if Mr Johnson was elected, Mr McGrath said: ``Let them go if they don't like it here.''


If he had been talking about Americans instead of blacks he would have been applauded.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Obama flashes the race card

We read:
"Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama said on Friday he expects Republicans to highlight the fact that he is black as part of an effort to make voters afraid of him.

"It is going to be very difficult for Republicans to run on their stewardship of the economy or their outstanding foreign policy," Obama told a fundraiser in Jacksonville, Florida. "We know what kind of campaign they're going to run. They're going to try to make you afraid.

"They're going to try to make you afraid of me. He's young and inexperienced and he's got a funny name. And did I mention he's black?"

"We know the strategy because they've already shown their cards. Ultimately I think the American people recognize that old stuff hasn't moved us forward. That old stuff just divides us," he said.


There has been NO comment from the GOP about him being unfit because he is black. Nor will there be. You would never hear the end of it if they did so. So why is Obama making an obviously false statement? Because he is the one who wants to use race for his advantage -- by accusing anyone who does not support him of being a racist.

And As MacRanger says: "But all along it was Obama himself that said that race didn't matter, even while liberals called him "The Magic Negro" and wondered, "Is he black enough?" Yet all the race card playing has come from him and his minions since the race began."

Must not have Bible texts on your wall

We read:
"For eight years Daniel and Sharon Dixon, apartment managers in Lake City, Fla., displayed in the apartment complex's management office a stained glass depiction of flowers with the words "Consider the lilies . Matthew 6:28" written in the lower left corner - an act for which they were suddenly fired from their management jobs and evicted from their apartment.

Mathew D. Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom that is representing the Dixons, told WND that neither before nor after the incident were the Dixons charged with any wrongdoing other than protesting the removal of the artwork and loss of their jobs.

"They were suddenly terminated as a result of the religious bigotry of one supervisor," Staver said in a press release. "The Dixons lost their jobs and were booted out on the street, solely because artwork in their office made reference to the Bible."


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Must not criticize Sharia law

Not at the United Nations Human Rights Council anyway:

"David Littman, reading a joint declaration by two NGOs, the Association for World Education and the International Humanist and Ethical Union, had highlighted the plight of women in countries which apply Sharia law, including the death penalty by stoning for alleged adultery.

His words sparked a furious response from Arab and Islamic members of the council, with Egyptian ambassador Amr Roshdy declaring: "Islam won't be crucified before this Council".

The chair intervened to say that "this Council is not prepared to discuss religious matters in depth," and warned Littman he would be interrupted should he try to raise the issue again.


Mention of human rights for women is just too threatening, it would seem.

"Fat" now an incorrect word

From Australia:

"Fat and black. Those are the words a police officer wrote to describe Rube Nixon on official court documents and she is furious. An indigenous health worker, Ms Nixon is the first to admit she is overweight. Tipping the scales at more than 100kg [220 lb.], she has recently lost 12kg and knows she needs to lose more. But to have a police officer choose the word fat, when asked to officially describe her build, was highly insulting and highlighted a backward attitude, she said...

Police initially declined to apologise, saying "the document was only intended for internal use" and no offence was meant. But yesterday Queensland Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson announced a review to ensure terms used by officers were appropriate. "I regret any embarrassment felt as a result of this matter, and I will be contacting the person as soon as possible to discuss our response," he said. He said both skin colour and build terms would be reviewed after the complaint.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

The often-quoted Latin question above translates as: "Who is guarding the guardians"? It is often asked of rogue police forces etc. It seems that Canadians should be asking that too. In response to all the recent criticism aimed at them, the Canadian Human Rights Commission has set up an enquiry into their functions. They are reviewing themselves, in other words! The editor of the Canadian National Post -- excerpt below -- does not seem very impressed
"We don't hold out much hope that a review of the Canadian Human Rights Commission's powers to investigate allegations of hate speech will come to much. For one thing, the commission handpicked its own investigator. But mostly we are skeptical because even when calling for the review, chief commissioner Jennifer Lynch demonstrated no clear understanding of free speech or the value of protecting it....

The only splinter of hope we hold out for the review is that the chief reviewer, University of Windsor law professor Richard Moon, appears to be a fairly impartial expert on the constitutionality of free expression. He has upbraided judges in obscenity trials for trying to impose their personal value judgments simply by "dressing them up in the objective garb of community standards." Yet at other times, he has appeared favourable to more collectivist notions, writing that speech has a "social character," with great "potential for harm." And that expression, if left unchecked, "can cause fear, it can harass and it can undermine self-esteem." We hope the "free speecher" Prof. Moon conducts the review and recommends that CHRC rein in its overzealous regulation of speech.

Yet even if that happens, the main problems with the federal commission - and its provincial counterparts - will not have been addressed. It is increasingly obvious these commissions were set up deliberately to lower the standard of proof and get around rules of natural justice, thereby ensuring people who would never be convicted in court are punished to the satisfaction of the activists and special interest groups that hover around the tribunals.


Must not link "change" with monkeys!

There is a Japanese commercial for a mobile phone featuring a rally with people in the crowd holding signs calling for "Change" and a monkey at a lectern, holding up the phone.

This black site says that the monkey is clearly meant to represent Obama. It's possible but the Japanese tend not to know much about the world. Many of the younger ones don't even know that Japan was in a war around 60 years ago.

The black site has a link to a video of the commercial. Am I allowed to refer to it as a "black site", I wonder?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Must not joke about race

We read:
"The Republican Party of Texas will donate proceeds from a vendor who sold a racist campaign badge at the state convention last weekend to mid-western flood victims, a party spokesman said today. A vendor called sold a badge that said "If Obama is president ... will we still call it The White House?" The badge was sold in a pavilion adjoining the convention hall in Houston."


When will they ever learn?

An email below from a reader of Dutch origin:

"I just came across a historical parallel to the creepy eagerness of today's power elites to placate Muslim bullies - by persecuting Pastor Boissoin or MacLean's in Canada, or Brigitte Bardot in France, or Gregorius Nekschot in the Netherlands, for their speech. I mean their "heresies".

In 1936 a Dutch Writer by the name of Maurits Dekker, of Jewish descent, published a pamphlet entitled Adolf Hitler: Een Poging tot Verklaring. (An Attempt at Elucidation). Although Hitler was not demonstrably insane, Dekker wrote, he exhibited enough mental oddities to pose a danger to the world. For his opinion Dekker found himself prosecuted under Articles 118 and 119 of the Dutch Law Code, which prohibit insulting a friendly Head of State. The perennially penniless Dekker was convicted and fined 100 guilders, which someone else paid for him. Remarkably, his sentence was pronounced on May 5, 1938, which seven years later became National Liberation Day, celebrated annually ever since the offended friendly head of state caused a spot of unpleasantness known as World War II.

Interestingly, while Dutch lawmakers have not been quite as accommodating to known unfriendly heads of state, articles 118 and 119 are still in force; in a country where murder rarely merits more than a few years in the slammer, a violation of articles 118 and 119 can bring two years in jail, plus a fine. So even these days any Dutchman who calls the White House to call George Bush a rat, or who burns an American flag in front of the US embassy, is liable to arrest and prosecution, an odd contrast since such acts are not punishable in the United States. It makes you wonder if the Dutch are hoping for an American subsidy, since that's how their entire government works.

Back in the 1930s, too, the Dutch government (along with Germany and a few Latin-American banana republics) prohibited showing the 1938 Warner Bros movie "Confessions of a Nazi Spy", the first anti-Nazi film made in America, which was based on real events. And even in the USA, as late as 1941, there was enough concern about relations with "friendly" Germany to see the Warner brothers summoned before a Congressional committee investigating "moving picture propaganda" which fostered "war mongering".

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose".

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Bloggers versus the AP

The big censorship issue among bloggers at the moment is the attempt by the Associated Press news organization to stop bloggers from using excerpts from AP stories. It is a fairly serious issue as many of the stories you see in newspapers and on web portals such as Yahoo are transcriptions of what AP supplies. Below is an excerpt from the NYT on the matter:
"Last week, The A.P. took an unusually strict position against quotation of its work, sending a letter to the Drudge Retort asking it to remove seven items that contained quotations from A.P. articles ranging from 39 to 79 words.

On Saturday, The A.P. retreated. Jim Kennedy, vice president and strategy director of The A.P., said in an interview that the news organization had decided that its letter to the Drudge Retort was "heavy-handed" and that The A.P. was going to rethink its policies toward bloggers. The quick about-face came, he said, because a number of well-known bloggers started criticizing its policy, claiming it would undercut the active discussion of the news that rages on sites, big and small, across the Internet.

The Drudge Retort was initially started as a left-leaning parody of the much larger Drudge Report, run by the conservative muckraker Matt Drudge. In recent years, the Drudge Retort has become more of a social news site, similar to sites like Digg, in which members post links to news articles for others to comment on. But Rogers Cadenhead, the owner of the Drudge Retort and several other Web sites, said the issue goes far beyond one site. "There are millions of people sharing links to news articles on blogs, message boards and sites like Digg. If The A.P. has concerns that go all the way down to one or two sentences of quoting, they need to tell people what they think is legal and where the boundaries are."


Amusing how the NYT gets in a shot at Matt Drudge. They hate it that he has a bigger readership than they do.

A comment from a conservative blogger:
"The fact is that under copyright law fair use is well defined and needs no further clarification. By and large blogs are non-commercial, hugely non-profit ventures that fall well within the guidelines of fair use. In short while people are cringing at the thought of AP going after them the fact is that you CAN beat them in court if you know what you're talking about. If you know the law. I did when this back in the early days of the internet and several times since".


Fausta has more

The latest is that the AP are going to levy a per-word charge on bloggers. They will find it hard to make that stick, though. One can certainly use excerpts without breaching copyright and, from memory, even a third of the whole article would pass as an allowable excerpt.

A lot of bloggers are saying that they will simply not use AP stories. If a lot of bloggers do that it would be fun. It would reduce the hits on AP sites and lead to a loss of advertising revenue for them!

I intend just to ignore the whole thing. Three of my blogs get around 1,000 hits per day but I am still way below the radar, I think. Not a bad place to be in this crazy age.

Another double standard

Post below recycled from Weekly Standard. See the original for links
"This morning, Barack Obama's spokesman Bill Burton attacked John McCain for not returning campaign contributions from Clayton Williams, a man who once joked about rape during his 1990 Texas gubernatorial race against Ann Richards.

Was Burton aware that Obama's buddy Al Franken, the Democratic Senate candidate in Minnesota, has cracked a rape joke or two when he wasn't writing porn?

Al Franken and his "Midwest Values PAC" have made contributions to numerous Democrats, including senators Dick Durbin, Jim Webb, and Hillary Clinton. Will Obama call on Democrats to return Franken's filthy lucre? Will Obama refuse to campaign with Franken or call on Franken to end his bid for U.S. Senate? I asked Bill Burton these questions in an email this morning. He has not yet responded.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Conservative disgrace in Canada

An anti-Christian bigot sailing under the conservative flag in Alberta

"Social conservatives across Canada are up in arms over the recent ruling by the Alberta Human Rights Commission (AHRC) against Christian pastor Steve Boissoin, who was accused of propogating "hate speech" by writing a letter to the editor of the Red Deer Advocate outlining his disagreement with the homosexualist activist agenda....

However, many Canadian conservatives might be surprised to find out that Alberta's "Progressive Conservative" government, under Premier Ed Stelmach, played an key part in the Boissoin case - and not, as many might expect given the party's "conservative" nomenclature, to defend Boissoin's right to express his religious beliefs, but rather to seek his conviction for hate speech.

In the ruling by adjudicator Lori Andreachuk, under the list of "Interveners" is named the Attorney General of Alberta, who was represented by lawyer David Kamal. According to the ruling, Kamal argued before the human rights tribunal, on behalf of the Attorney General and the government of Alberta, "that Mr. Boissoin's letter is discriminatory" and that, for the purposes of conviction, "Mr. Boissoin's letter need only likely cause others to engage in prohibited practices." All that is needed for Boissoin's conviction, stated Kamal, is for the AHRC to deem that Boissoin's letter may cause others in the community to discriminate against homosexuals: "No link to actual discriminatory acts need be established in this regard." ....

Ezra Levant, one of the foremost experts on and opponents of the human rights commissions, claims to have read almost every ruling issued by the Alberta Human Rights Commission since the year 2000. In a blog post about the Boissoin case, Levant observed that government interference in HRC cases is practically unheard of, to the point where Levant states, "I can't recall seeing another case in which the Government of Alberta intervened." Obviously, then, writes Levant, it was a high priority for Alberta's conservative government to seek the conviction of pastor Boissoin for speaking his religious beliefs....

One particularly disturbing fact about the government's decision to ditch precedent and take the rare step of intervening in the Boissoin case, observes Levant, is that HRC adjudicators are not appointed for life, but can be removed or reappointed by the province's government. "So when the Progressive Conservative government that appointed her [adjudicator Andreachuk] came in and told her their view, you can be damned sure Andreachuk paid very close attention. "She did, of course. She convicted Rev. Boissoin - and then went on to humiliate him."


New law is yet another incentive to shut up in Sweden

We read:
"Sweeping new powers under which the Swedish security services can monitor private phone calls, e-mails and text messages are expected to come into force this week under legislation that has prompted outrage in the country. Politicians, businesses, privacy campaigners and individual citizens have lined up to criticise the proposed law, which the Swedish Parliament will vote on tomorrow.

The Bill would grant the country's intelligence agencies access to cross-border e-mails, phone calls, text messages and faxes, and empower them to monitor websites visited by Swedish citizens.

Since Scandinavia's telephone network often routes local phone calls through exchanges in neighbouring countries, internet data and calls passing through Sweden on its way between two other countries would also fall within the jurisdiction of the new law.

Press freedom and individual privacy have traditionally been sacrosanct in Sweden, but fears about international crime and terrorism have prompted the country's centre-right Government to extend the powers of the security services. Thousands of voters have contacted their MPs, urging them to vote against the proposals, but the law is expected to pass.

Dagens Nyheter, Sweden's leading quality newspaper, compared it with the powers of the Stasi secret police in the former East Germany, and Google said that it would stay out of Sweden if the law is passed. "We have made it clear to the Swedish authorities that we will never place any Google servers in Sweden if this proposition becomes reality," Peter Fleischer, a Google spokesman, said. "This proposal seems like something invented by Saudi Arabia and China. It has no place in a Western democracy."


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Leftist attack on Usenet

The usual "pornography" excuse:

"New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday that Verizon Communications, Time Warner Cable, and Sprint would "shut down major sources of online child pornography."

What Cuomo didn't say is that his agreement with broadband providers means that they will broadly curb customers' access to Usenet--the venerable pre-Web home of some 100,000 discussion groups, only a handful of which contain illegal material.

Time Warner Cable said it will cease to offer customers access to any Usenet newsgroups, a decision that will affect customers nationwide. Sprint said it would no longer offer any of the tens of thousands of alt.* Usenet newsgroups. Verizon's plan is to eliminate some "fairly broad newsgroup areas."
It's not quite the death of Usenet (which has been predicted, incorrectly, countless times). But if a politician can pressure three of the largest Internet providers into censorial acquiescence, it may only be a matter of time before smaller ones like Supernews, Giganews, and feel the squeeze.

Cuomo's office said it had "reviewed millions of pictures over several months" and found only "88 different newsgroups" containing child pornography. "We are attacking this problem by working with Internet service providers to ensure they do not play host to this immoral business," Cuomo said in a statement released after a press conference in New York. "I call on all Internet service providers to follow their example and help deter the spread of online child porn."

That amounts to an odd claim: stopping the spread of child porn on a total of 88 newsgroups necessarily means coercing broadband providers to pull the plug on thousands of innocuous ones. Usenet's sprawling set of hierarchically arranged discussion areas include ones that go by names like sci.math,, and comp.os.linux.admin. It has been partially succeeded by mailing lists, message boards, and blogs; AOL stopped carrying Usenet in 2005, but AT&T still does.

Many of Usenet's discussion groups are scarcely different from discussions you might find on the Web at, say, Yahoo Groups. Because there's no central authority, however--Usenet servers exchange messages in a cooperative, peer-to-peer manner--politicians are more likely to look askance at the concept. (For that matter, so is the Recording Industry Association of America.)


Sort of like burning down your house because you think there might be a mouse in it.

Stung by the word 'white'

We read:
"To observe that blacks are voting in mass for a black man, only because he is black, is considered acceptable conduct and even praiseworthy. Yet, to bring up the reality of race, when it's clear that many whites prefer to vote for white candidates, is a sign of "racism" and unmitigated bigotry. How could anything except outright racial bias account for Barack Obama getting 91% to 98% of the vote of a single ethnic bloc?

How have so many whites allowed themselves to be supportive of double standards that mock them, and represent nothing more than a strategy on the part of those who are determined to usurp power from those already in power? On the liberal Ed Schultz's radio show, a male caller, identifying himself as white and an "employee of the Pentagon," claimed that he supports Barack Obama for President. You could hear in his voice his pride in declaring Hillary Clinton wrong for her comments about the preferences of particular white voters for a white candidate. By golly, he isn't that kind of white bigot!

Similarly, a white woman caller to Bill O'Reilly's radio show expressed her indignation over Hillary Clinton's reference to whites. The very word "white," the caller confessed, "stung" her. In typical fashion, she seemed eager to show her intolerance of any sign of bigotry against minorities. As a good, card-carrying non-racist, she probably has no problem with speculations on the voting patterns of blacks or other colored ethnic groups. I suspect had Hillary used "white" in a pejorative manner, that is, to bash whites as a group, this good, white lady would have joined in the bashing.

These callers are typical of whites who are so happy to publicly remove themselves from the taint or even suspicion of bias for their own kind, while asserting their acceptance and even devotion to the coloreds. How, in one breath, can anyone declare how wonderful it would be to elect the "First!" BLACK President, yet in another breath proclaim as racists those who wish for a white President? Once race has been made the focus of intention by any side, it has to be accepted as a major factor on both sides. If you can say, I prefer black, why can't you say, I prefer white?


Monday, June 16, 2008

Conservatives can't say anything right

I can do no better than to reproduce below a post from The Weekly standard:

When Does "Diplomacy" Mean War?

When you are Jennifer Loven of the Associated Press. George W. Bush yesterday went out of his way yesterday to emphasize his preference for a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear crisis. But in this hilarious dispatch Loven explains that when Bush says "diplomacy" he's using code words for military action.
"Within the coded language of the U.S. attitude toward Iran, several small changes in Bush's rhetoric Wednesday added up to a difference. Three times, he called a diplomatic solution `my first choice,' implying there are others. He said `we'll give diplomacy a chance to work,' meaning it might not. He also offered, without even being asked a question about Iran, that `all options are on the table' -- a longtime standard refrain, not heard as much lately, that neither confirms nor denies an intention to use military force."

Remind me again why Americans don't trust journalists. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Patrick McIlheran (a conservative on the paper's editorial board) treats us to some appropriate mocking here. Money quote:
"So, the guy says diplomacy is his first choice. How sinister. He wants to give diplomats time to work, the warmonger. He says all options are on the table, and isn't that closed-minded?

Maybe if Bush declares his intention to take out Iran's nuclear facilities Loven will explain that he's ready to talk. Nah.

An interesting cartoon

Is it Obama or is it GWB?

If it is GWB it is highly amusing. If it is Obama it is grossly offensive.

How do I know that? Because it is in fact meant to be GWB, so there has been no media outrage. And we have already seen the ire when Obama and chimps are mentioned together.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Flag-burning editorial helps kill school paper in Redding, Calif.

We read:
"The adviser calls it sabotage, the principal finds it embarrassing and the superintendent is offended. The students see it all as a matter of freedom of speech. Shasta High School, in Redding, Calif., published its last issue of the Volcano, the student newspaper, before the end of classes last week with an image on the front page of a student burning the American flag and an editorial inside defending the practice.

"The paper's done," said Milan Woollard, Shasta High principal. "There is not going to be a school newspaper next year." Shasta had been looking at cutting the paper already -- funds are tight as the school anticipates receiving fewer state dollars from Sacramento this fall, Woollard said. "This cements that decision," he said.


The First Amendment does not require that you PAY FOR speech you disagree with.

Biblical message now criminalized

We read:
"A new Colorado law is helping homosexual activists achieve their goal of forcing Christians to teach biblical condemnation of homosexuality only behind the closed doors of their sanctuaries. The as-yet untested state law promotes sexual identity "perception" to the level of skin color under state discrimination laws.

Some opponents are calling it a "bona fide censorship law," and top analysts for Focus on the Family, the Christian publishing and broadcast powerhouse, are expressing concern over the "mischief" they expect to follow the signing by Gov. Bill Ritter....

"The law exempts churches, but that's not good, that's an insult. i.e., bigotry is allowed only in churches. Whereas every other place of public accommodation including bookstores, retail & wholesale businesses, etc. cannot sell or even 'give away' anything that would advocate discrimination [against] gay adoption, homosexual marriage, etc.," Enyart said.


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Free speech to be further curtailed in France

Under the convenient pretext of blocking "porn". It is surprising how often conservative political sites suddenly become "porn" when censors are given free rein

"The French state and internet service providers have struck a deal to block sites carrying child pornography or content linked to terrorism or racial hatred, Interior Minister Michel Alliot-Marie announced on Tuesday. The plan, part of a larger effort to fight cybercriminality, is to go into effect in September when a "black list" will be built up based on input from internet users who signal sites dealing with the offensive material, the minister said.

Under the French plan, internet users, via a platform, will be able to signal inappropriate sites and the state, receiving the complaints in real time, will then decide whether the sites are to go on a so-called black list to be passed on to internet service providers to enforce site blocks.

As for offending sites hosted in other countries, France will pass on the information via Interpol or Europol, the two police agencies, or seize judicial authorities there, Alliot-Marie said. She insisted that the plan would not "create a Big Brother of the internet" and pledged her support for the "fundamental liberty that is internet access."


Must not mention terrorists while talking about Obama

Fox's News Network anchor E.D. Hill has been fired for a perceived slight to the Obamas. She asked what a particular Obama gesture implied
"Before a commercial break on her America's Pulse show, she asked: "A fist bump? A pound? A terrorist fist jab? The gesture everyone seems to interpret differently. We'll show you some interesting body communication and find out what it really says."


But you can call Bush a Nazi, of course.

Fox News puts a foot wrong

We read:
"During an interview with conservative commentator Michelle Malkin on a Republican video attacking Michelle Obama, the network repeatedly flashed up a graphic describing the prospective first lady as "Obama's baby mama".

Politico cites a Fox staffer as saying that others internally were bothered by the use of the offensive epithet - derogatory hip-hop slang for "the mother of your child, whom you did not marry and with whom you are not currently involved", according to the Urban Dictionary.


That does sound a pretty foolish accusation.

Friday, June 13, 2008

No freedom to cheer

We read:
"When school officials in Rock Hill, South Carolina, tell graduation ceremony crowds to hold their applause until the end, they mean it - Police arrested seven people after they were accused of loud cheering during the ceremonies.

Six people at Fort Mill High School's graduation were charged Saturday and a seventh at the graduation for York Comprehensive High School was charged Friday with disorderly conduct, authorities said. Police said the seven yelled after students' names were called.

"I just thought they were going to escort me out," Jonathan Orr told The Herald of Rock Hill. "I had no idea they were going to put andcuffs on me and take me to jail."

Orr, 21, spent two hours in jail after he was arrested when he yelled for his cousin at York's commencement at the Winthrop University Coliseum.


Now we see what moves the notorious 9th Circuit

We read:
"A long-awaited obscenity trial opened in the US overnight amid controversy after revelations that the top federal judge hearing the case posted sexually explicit material on the internet.

Judge Kozinski, 57, was reported to have posted a photograph of nude women on all fours painted to look like cows, while a video on the site showed a semi-naked man cavorting with a sexually aroused farm animal.

He was quoted by the Times as saying he did not believe any of the images on the site qualified as obscene. "Is it prurient? I don't know what to tell you," he said. "I think it's odd and interesting. It's part of life."

Judge Kozinski, who is chief judge of the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, is widely viewed as a champion of free speech who once led a successful legal bid to remove filters that blocked access to internet pornography on computers used by 9th Circuit staff.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

A prediction

I am no Delphic oracle but I am inclined to think that the huge negative publicity surrounding the "human rights" trial of Mark Steyn in Canada might cause the tribunal concerned to back off and find Steyn not guilty.

Steyn himself has said that he hopes they find him guilty so he can appeal the matter to a proper court and thus restore free speech to Canada. If that happens and the court overturns the tribunal, the continued existence of the tribunal would have to be doubtful -- as it is already under heavy attack.

Bureaucrats have a great instinct for self-preservation so they might do an historic first and make Steyn the first man they have found not guilty.

VP Favorite Jim Webb Outed As Confederate Sympathizer

We read:
"What goes around comes around. The Webb Campaign dug up confederate stories on Senator George Allen in the 2006 Virginia senatorial race. Liberal Webb supporters even created T-shirts to attack Senator George "Felix" Allen on his supposed confederate leanings. But, today it came back to haunt him. The Politico reported on Senator Webb's rebel roots:

"Barack Obama's vice presidential vetting team will undoubtedly run across some quirky and potentially troublesome issues as it goes about the business of scouring the backgrounds of possible running mates. But it's unlikely they'll find one so curious as Virginia Democratic Sen. Jim Webb's affinity for the cause of the Confederacy.

Webb is no mere student of the Civil War era. He's an author, too, and he's left a trail of writings and statements about one of the rawest and most sensitive topics in American history.

He has suggested many times that while the Confederacy is a symbol to many of the racist legacy of slavery and segregation, for others it simply reflects Southern pride. In a June 1990 speech in front of the Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, posted on his personal website, he lauded the rebels' "gallantry," which he said "is still misunderstood by most Americans."

Webb, a descendant of Confederate officers, also voiced sympathy for the notion of state sovereignty as it was understood in the early 1860s, and seemed to suggest that states were justified in trying to secede.


Typical Leftist hypocrisy. What's hate speech for you is OK for me.

Partial Victory for Free Speech at Florida Gulf Coast University

We read:
"What In a victory for free speech on campus, Florida Gulf Coast University has completely revised its "Personal Abuse" policy, which FIRE named its April 2007 Speech Code of the Month. That policy previously prohibited "lewd, indecent, racist, prejudice [sic], obscene, or expressions deemed inappropriate." As we wrote in April 2007:
"This policy is unconstitutional on so many levels that it is almost hard to know where to begin. Let's start with what is perhaps the most obvious problem: "expressions deemed inappropriate." Who gets to do the deeming? Is it university administrators? If so, that's an awful lot of discretion just waiting to be abused. Is it the listener, such that the university is willing to punish anything that a particularly sensitive listener deems inappropriate? You get the point. This policy is so vague and so broad that it cannot be enforced across the board, so it will necessarily be enforced arbitrarily. Moreover, even most speech that a reasonable person would deem "inappropriate" is nonetheless constitutionally protected, and cannot be prohibited by a public university like FGCU.

The updated version of the "Personal Abuse" policy now prohibits only "Violence, threat of violence or disregard of potential harm to others or against oneself or actions which endanger any member or guest of the University community, including physical, verbal, or sexual assault and relationship/domestic violence." While "verbal assault" is still somewhat vague, there is no question that this policy is a vast improvement over its predecessor.

Though these revisions mark a step in the right direction, this victory for free speech is not yet complete, as there are other policies in place at FGCU that still unlawfully restrict students' right to free speech. (Remember, FGCU is a public university, legally bound to uphold the First Amendment.)

For example, the university's nondiscrimination policy prohibits, as harassment, "offensive or demeaning language or treatment of an individual, where such language or treatment is based typically on prejudicial stereotypes of a group to which an individual may belong, such as, objectionable epithets, threatened or actual physical harm or abuse, or other intimidating or insulting conduct directed against the individual." This definition of harassment is far too overbroad and vague to pass constitutional muster.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Canadian pastor appealing order to apologize for anti-homosexual letter

We read:
"A former pastor will appeal a human rights ruling that orders an apology and the payment of thousands of dollars in fines for an anti-gay letter published in a central Alberta newspaper. The Alberta Human Rights Commission issued a written order on May 30 stating that Stephen Boissoin and the Concerned Christian Coalition must pay former Red Deer school teacher Darren Lund $5,000 in damages.

"We will be filing our appeal this month and then it will be heard before a Court of Queen's Bench judge sometime over the next 12 months,'' said Boissoin's lawyer, Gerald Chipeur. Chipeur said Boissoin will appeal both the commission's ruling last November that the letter violated human rights law, and its most recent order which stipulates restitution.....


I Chose Against University of California Irvine Because of Hate Speech

What this guy did -- choose Vassar instead of UCI for his studies -- is the proper response to hate speech: Personally boycott it.
"I was accepted to University California Irvine, but decided against it. I heard Allyson Rowen Taylor speak at a Chabad event and she discussed the issues on the campus to a room filled with parents who had no idea what was going on in the public arena.

After reading about UCI online, and speaking with others who have seen the campus antics, I decided to go elsewhere, not only for reasons of the intense hatred of Jews at UCI, but because I wanted to be free of the "apartheid walls" and the vitriol of speakers who create hate with my fellow students.

I searched for a campus with high academics where study was a priority, and the influence of the MSU was minimal if not absent. While there are issues at my campus, they are tiny compared to the issues of the UCI campus.


Chabad is an orthodox Jewish movement (Lubavitchers). A bit sad that he had to go from one side of the country to the other for his studies. Probably he had relatives in New York, though.

UCI is well-known for a very active Jew-hating Muslim Students' Union, which the university supports in the name of free speech. "Free speech for me but not for thee" is the usual Leftist policy, of course. And the Left recognize in Muslims fellow-haters of the rest of us.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

NE: Trial judge bans the word "rape"

We read:
"It's the only way Tory Bowen knows to honestly describe what happened to her. She was raped. But a judge prohibited her from uttering the word `rape' in front of a jury. The term 'sexual assault' also was taboo, and Bowen could not refer to herself as a victim or use the word `assailant' to describe the man who allegedly raped her. The defendant's presumption of innocence and right to a fair trial trumps Bowen's right of free speech, said the Lincoln, Neb., judge who issued the order.

`It shouldn't be up to a judge to tell me whether or not I was raped,' Bowen said. `I should be able to tell the jury in my own words what happened to me.' Bowen's case is part of what some prosecutors and victim advocates see as a national trend in sexual assault cases."


"Jihad" redefined

We read:
"A new report issued by the American Textbook Council says books approved for use in local school districts for teaching middle and high school students about Islam caved in to political correctness and dumbed down the topic at a critical moment in its history.

"Textbook editors try to avoid any subject that could turn into a political grenade," wrote Gilbert Sewall, director of the council, who railed against five popular history texts for "adjust[ing] the definition of jihad or sharia or remov[ing] these words from lessons to avoid inconvenient truths."

Sewall complains the word jihad has gone through an "amazing cultural reorchestration" in textbooks, losing any connotation of violence. He cites Houghton Mifflin's popular middle school text, "Across the Centuries," which has been approved for use in Montgomery County Schools. It defines "jihad" as a struggle "to do one's best to resist temptation and overcome evil."


Osama bin Laden obviously uses a very different textbook.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Amazing doings in Canada

A Christian pastor who conveyed the Biblical view of homosexuality has just been found guilty of hate speech by one of Canada's notorious "human rights" kangaroo courts. He has been ordered never again to say anything negative about homosexuals, has been fined $5,000 and ordered to publicly recant his views. The latter order is straight out of the old Soviet legal system, of course. I know of no court anywhere else in the world where people can be ordered to avow a belief that they do not hold. Details here

German Newspaper Slammed for Racist Cover

We read:
"The German newspaper Die Tageszeitung has a reputation for leftist social sensitivity. All the more bizarre then was its choice of a cover to mark Obama's victory in the race for the Democratic Party nomination: a photo of the White House under the headline "Uncle Barack's Cabin."


I can see why offense was taken: They seem to be calling BO an uncle Tom, which is certainly derogatory. But I think I have to side with the Leftists on this one nevertheless. I think it is clear that the intent was to say how high blacks have risen since the days of the original uncle Tom.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Swedish bed maker denounced for 'objectifying women'

We read:
"Bed maker Hastens has been criticized by Sweden's main advertising trade association for objectifying women in its latest global marketing campaign. "In the advertisement they clearly use a naked woman in an objectified way. It's unfortunate," said Pia Grahn Brikell, head of the Swedish Advertising Association, to the magazine Resume.

Hastens spokesperson Emma Sandsjo doesn't share Grahn Brikell's opinion of the advertisements, but admitted the company was ready for adverse reaction. "I think they are beautiful and artistic images. We've done tests ahead of time and know that the campaign will succeed internationally," she told Resume.

Belgian Bishop Hauled before Court for Church Teaching on Homosexuality: Now Cleared of Charges

We read:
"A Belgian bishop has been cleared of charges laid against him by a homosexual activist group. Monsignor Andre-Mutien Leonard, Bishop of Namur, was charged with homophobia under the pretext of the country's 2003 Anti-Discrimination Act. The accusations against Bishop Leonard pertained to his comments in an interview that appeared earlier this year in TeleMoustique, a weekly magazine in Belgium.

In the April 2008 interview, Bishop Leonard, when asked his stance on homosexuality, stated that his position was that of the famous early psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud's - that homosexuality is the result of hindered sexual development. "Homosexuals have encountered a blockage in normal psychological development, rendering them abnormal. I know very well that in a few years, I could be imprisoned for holding this position, but this could mean a bit of a vacation for me", said Bishop Leonard.

Last week, after the reading of the interview in question, the Belgian courts ruled that, though the Bishop's comments may have been hurtful to homosexuals, they were not severe enough to be considered slander or discrimination.


Saturday, June 07, 2008

STACLU blocked by filtering company

A reader writes:
"Within the past month, my employer has subscribed to SonicWALL, and as you can see from the screenshot below, Stop the ACLU is blocked because it is “Adult/Mature Content.” Offhand, I checked the ACLU’s website which we are allowed to access. I just wanted to bring this to your attention.

See the screenshot here

Strange but not unexpected. The SonicWall homepage is here. They have a "Contact us" facility.
Minnesota High School seniors kept from their graduation after bringing Confederate flags to school

We read:
"Three high school seniors were barred from Bloomington Kennedy High School's graduation ceremony Wednesday night at Target Center because of what the school district called a prank involving Confederate flags. Rick Kaufman, a spokesman for the Bloomington School District, said three male students brought the flags onto school property Tuesday morning. Kaufman said they were suspended after "carrying and waving" the flags in the parking lot as parents and students arrived at the school.

Rezac said the flags were on the boys' cars and that her friends aren't racists. She said they've flown the Confederate flag before and simply admire the "Southern lifestyle" and TV shows such as "The Dukes of Hazzard." A male character from the popular 1980s show would slide across the hood of a now iconic two-door muscle car featuring a Confederate flag decal.

Fredin said teachers and security guards told the boys to get rid of the flags. One of them complied and another drove the truck home and returned to school without it.


More here -- where we hear that the students showed the flag as a sign of rebellion, not racism. And where we also see that the ACLU will not defend free speech on this occasion (surprise!). If the kids had trampled Old Glory, however ....
A forbidden gun image again

"As a doctoral student in social and political thought, Marnina Norys has often pondered the pitfalls of favouring rules over judgment, though the topic was far from her mind as she stood in the security line at the Kelowna, B.C., airport on Monday. That all changed when a security officer spied Ms. Norys's necklace and piped up.

"That's a replica," the officer said with a look of disapproval, referring to the four-centimetre-long, sterling silver pendant, shaped like an antique Colt .45 Peacemaker revolver, dangling from Ms. Norys's neck. With that, the 39-year-old Toronto academic with a self-confessed flair for sassy Wild West accessories was told she would have to stow the offending item before boarding her homeward flight. She put it into her carry-on bag, but was then told it would have to travel in her checked luggage instead.

"I was sort of stunned, and I just indicated there's no way I could cause damage with this thing," Ms. Norys said, recounting the incident in an interview yesterday. "And when I said, 'It can't be any danger, what are you talking about,' the agent said, 'Well, it's what it represents.' "

The duel was on and Ms. Norys fired back, telling the agent, "That's censorship, not security." In the end, though, she put the little gun down and returned to the airline counter to check her erstwhile carry-on bag, with the contraband trinket stowed discreetly inside....

Back home, Ms. Norys channelled her frustration into a tongue-in-cheek news release and posted it on an Internet blog site. A Kelowna newspaper picked up the story, which led the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority to issue a swift apology to Ms. Norys, conveyed by e-mail and in a phone call from CATSA spokeswoman Anna-Karina Tabunar....

As it turns out, a perusal of CATSA's list of permitted and non-permitted items shows that in any event the officer had the rules wrong. "Small objects shaped like guns or handcuffs (e.g., pendants, charms)" are approved as both carry-on and checked items, but "items that look like weapons but are not weapons (e.g., a perfume bottle shaped like a hand grenade)" must be checked.


A win of sorts, I suppose.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Politically Correct Plaque Attack

We read:
"As one might expect in today's virulently aggressive politically correct culture, a movement is afoot to rewrite history, which includes "amending the plaques, statues, and memorials of historical figures to reflect their racist sentiments."

One movement afoot is to footnote a bust of Supreme Court Justice Roger Taney as a racist because he wrote the majority opinion in the Dred Scott case which, to simplify for today's Attention Deficit devotees, was a ruling that a slave entering a non-slave state could not become a non-slave since that would deprive his master of his property.

For another example, some South Carolinians want to tack a plaque on the base of the big bronze likeness of Reconstruction-era Governor and US Senator Ben Tillman who, according to the Charleston City Paper, had a hand in rewriting the state constitution that "disenfranchised blacks and established the segregation laws which stood for 70 years" and, incidentally, advocated lynching Negroes.

And folks in Lee County, Florida, want to rename their county because its namesake is General Robert E. Lee, even though Lee himself once penned, "...slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil."

Unfortunately, as some sane observers warn, rewriting bronze statuary markers "threatens to turn historical interpretation into a politically driven free-for-all." So, to prevent a lefty-righty rewriting culture war, the anti-South history-twisters should consider putting on a show of "diversity" by whacking a plaque on a Northern racist.

That, according to many, would be our nation's sixteenth president. In spite of his copyrighted catchphrase "The Great Emancipator," Abraham Lincoln's famous wartime Emancipation Proclamation failed to free a single slave and didn't even apply to the slaves held by Yankees in Yankee-held holdings. Then there was that business of Lincoln voting to keep all Negroes out of Illinois because, well, they were Negroes....

Lincoln not only supported the Fugitive Slave Act (a law that required escaped slaves to be forcibly repatriated to their masters) but even took the case of one Robert Matson, whose slaves had run away. Fighting for their forcible return in court was Matson's mouthpiece, Abraham Lincoln, Esq....

The whole point being that history-rewriters eager to excoriate Southerners like Taney and Tillman and Lee as racists need to look northward as well if they wish to avoid this plaque flack of their own: "Hypocrite."

The A-word

We read:
"This morning, a Boston-born performance artist, Yazmany Arboleda, tried to set up a provocative art exhibition in a vacant storefront on West 40th Street in Midtown Manhattan with the title, "The Assassination of Hillary Clinton/The Assassination of Barack Obama," in neatly stenciled letters on the plate glass windows at street level.

By 9:30 a.m., New York City police detectives and Secret Service agents had shut down the exhibition, and building workers had quickly covered over the inflammatory title with large sheets of brown paper and blue masking tape...

Later, Mr. Arboleda, who is 27, said in an interview: "It's art. It's not supposed to be harmful. It's about character assassination - about how Obama and Hillary have been portrayed by the media." He added, "It's about the media."....

"The Secret Service had to do a whole questionnaire with me," he said. "It was about an hour of questioning. They asked if I owned guns, if I was a violent person, if I had ever been institutionalized." Mr. Arboleda answered no. Nonetheless, he said the Secret Service asked him if he would voluntarily take down the exhibition title from the window.

"I'm renting that space; the space was allocated for an exhibition and it's my right to put those words up," he said. "They said it could incite someone to do something crazy, like break the window. It's terrible, because they're violating my rights. If someone breaks a window, they're committing a crime."


Thursday, June 05, 2008


As readers here know well, I put up a fair few images to illustrate my posts. Some image hosting services are however a bit slow to download and that can result in the dreaded red x appearing instead of the intended image.

I plan to start using a new image host shortly but in the meanwhile a useful hint both for this site and for others is to click "Refresh" on your browser if no pic appears. That will often bring up the tardy image.
Bardot guilty of free speech again

We read:
"France's 1960s screen icon Brigitte Bardot was fined 15,000 euro ($20,000) on Tuesday for inciting hatred against Muslims by attacking the ritual slaughter of animals in Islamic culture.

In December 2006, the film star-turned-animal rights activist wrote to France's then interior minister, now President Nicolas Sarkozy, arguing Muslims should stun animals before slaughtering them during the Eid al-Adha holiday. She outraged anti-racist groups by saying: "I've had enough of being led by the nose by this whole population which is destroying us, (and) destroying our country by imposing their ways."

"The court ruled that the comments in question clearly referred to the Muslim community and constituted a legal offence," said judge Nicolas Bonnal.

Bardot's lawyer said he did not know whether the actress would appeal the sentence -- which fell short of the two-month suspended jail term sought by the prosecution -- but that she "will not be silenced in her defence of animals."

Bardot's previous convictions, dating back to 1997, were for writings attacking the "Islamisation" of France, calling for a halt to mosque-building and describing Muslims as "invaders."

Minnesota School Harasses Sixth Grader for Wearing Pro-Life T-shirts

They singled him out for ridicule in front of his classmates, removed him from class, threatened him with suspension:

"A pro-life sixth grader has been "ridiculed and threatened" on numerous occasions by his school's administration for wearing t-shirts expressing his pro-life beliefs. The Thomas More Law Center, a national public-interest law firm, announced today that it has filed a federal lawsuit defending the Constitutional rights of the boy.

The sixth grader, referred to in the lawsuit as "K. B." because of his age, is a Christian who believes that abortion is the wrongful taking of an innocent life and a grave offense to the Law of God.

School officials, including the principal and several teachers, on over a dozen occasions during April 2008, told "K. B." not to wear the t-shirts, publicly singled him out for ridicule in front of his classmates, removed him from class, sent him to the principal's office, forced him to turn his pro-life t-shirt inside out, and threatened him with suspension if he did not stop wearing the offending pro-life t-shirts....

Brandon Bolling, the Law Center attorney assigned as lead counsel stated, "The Supreme Court has held it permissible for public schools to limit student speech only when there is an actual and substantial disruption of school activity. That is not the case here. The only people who took issue with the Pro-Life t-shirts were the school's employees - in fact, if any one caused any disruption, it was the school's employees, by their constant public harassment of our client because they disagreed with his pro-life message."


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

A dangerous picture

A guy was flying out of London Heathrow airport:
"Go through security, get pulled to the side. I'm wearing a French Connection Transformers t-shirt. Bloke starts joking with me is that Megatron. Then he explains that since Megatron is holding a gun, I'm not allowed to fly. WTF? It's a 40 foot tall cartoon robot with a gun as an arm. There is no way this shirt is offensive in any way, and what I'm going to use the shirt to pretend I have a gun?

Now here's the stupid part. I was only taking carry on luggage, so my clothes were in my bag, so I said I'd get changed. So I stripped off at security and changed t-shirts, putting the "offensive" t-shirt in my bag.

Councillor slammed for 'outrageous' Ku Klux Klan costume

"A New Zealand councillor took National Hoodie Day to the extreme by donning a Ku Klux Klan costume at a council meeting, in a move that stunned district councillors and the public. Paraparaumu-Raumati Community Board deputy chairman Dale Evans walked into the Kapiti District Council's monthly meeting during public speaking time, dressed in the white outfit with a sign around his neck that said "its wotz under da hood dat counts" - mimicking the slogan used in a current national hoodie campaign.

Mr Evans said hoodies, which have been banned by some shopping malls who say groups of young people wearing them intimidate customers, were not an appropriate article of clothing to celebrate.

He wore the costume as a publicity stunt to draw attention to problems with Kapiti region bore water. But after the meeting, deputy mayor Ann Chapman said it was appalling to use a serious episode of racism in American history as an analogy to the hoodie campaign.


Some things may not be alluded to even in far-away New Zealand.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Preaching the Gospel in Britain can be a "hate crime"

According to some British police:

"The evangelists say they were threatened with arrest for committing a "hate crime" and were told they risked being beaten up if they returned. The incident will fuel fears that "no-go areas" for Christians are emerging in British towns and cities, as the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester, claimed in The Sunday Telegraph this year.

Arthur Cunningham, 48, and Joseph Abraham, 65, both full-time evangelical ministers, have launched legal action against West Midlands Police, claiming the officer infringed their right to profess their religion.

Mr Abraham said: "I couldn't believe this was happening in Britain. The Bishop of Rochester was criticised by the Church of England recently when he said there were no-go areas in Britain but he was right; there are certainly no-go areas for Christians who want to share the gospel."


The police bosses have now backed off -- but have refused to apologize. Marvellous what a bit of publicity does. Pity for you if you can't mobilize publicity, though.
More student bigotry in Canada

We read:
"In response to a series of controversies over abortion debates on Canadian campuses, the student government of York University in Toronto has tabled an outright ban on student clubs that are opposed to abortion.

Gilary Massa, vice-president external of the York Federation of Students, said student clubs will be free to discuss abortion in student space, as long as they do it "within a pro-choice realm," and that all clubs will be investigated to ensure compliance.


That's what Stalin said: "There is complete free speech in Russia -- as long as you agree with me".

Monday, June 02, 2008

"Terror" is now a bad word

We read:
"During his commencement address to Air Force Academy graduates on Wednesday, President Bush made a fairly uncontroversial declaration. "The war on terror," he said, "will dominate your military careers." But will it always have the same name?

This morning in Financial Times, the Homeland Security Department's top intelligence official became the latest prominent leader to say that the phrase should be dropped. "It is interpreted in the Muslim world as a war on Islam and we don't need this," Under Secretary Charles E. Allen said, adding that it spreads "animus" far beyond the enemy.


It looks like we have now got a war on the un-nameable. Muslims or Jihad can CERTAINLY not be mentioned.
The hater gets hated

After an outburst of pure hatred towards Hillary in particular and whites in general, this dope seems to be surprised he is getting some blowback:
"The Rev. Michael Pfleger, who helped reignite Barack Obama's pastor problems by mocking Hillary Clinton, said this evening he's received "thousands of hate threats" since his videotaped pulpit rant. "They want to kill me," Pfleger told parishioners during a service in a St. Sabina Church chapel on Chicago's South Side this evening. "It's been very ugly."

Pfleger mocked Clinton for crying on the campaign trail, and suggested it was "white entitlement" leading Clinton to believe the Democratic nomination should go to her -- not Obama.


The guy is really no surprise. All Leftists seem to think: My hatred is good; your hatred is bad. They just pretend that it is hatred in general that they oppose.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Subway caves in -- but tells lies in the process

Their announcement below:

"We at SUBWAY restaurants place a high value on education, regardless of the setting, and have initiated a number of programs and promotions aimed at educating our youth in the areas of health and fitness.

We sincerely apologize to anyone who feels excluded by our current essay contest. Our intention was to award the grand prize of $5000 in athletic equipment to a traditional school with the unfortunate knowledge that many schools are removing physical education from their curriculum. Knowing this, we would be able to impact as many children as possible with this prize.

To address the inadvertent limitation of our current contest and provide an opportunity for even more kids to have the benefit from prizing that encourages physical activity, we are creating an additional contest in which home schooled students will be encouraged to participate. When the kids win, everyone wins!


"Inadvertent"???? A whole sentence crept into their promo without them being aware of it?? They sure know how to insult the intelligence of their customers!

My previous comment on this matter was on May 27
Must not speak ill of the Chappaquiddick hero

We read:
"An afternoon sports talk show host in Pittsburgh, Mark Madden, was fired because of on-air remarks he made on Wednesday, May 21.

"I'm very disappointed to hear that Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts is near death because of a brain tumor," Madden said, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I always hoped Senator Kennedy would live long enough to be assassinated. "I wonder if he got a card from the Kopechnes."