Friday, October 31, 2008

Obama dummy found hanging

Effigy of Democrat called 'disgusting,' but Palin's hailed as fun Halloween art
It's not just Sarah Palin hanging around for Halloween. Police are investigating the discovery of an effigy of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama dangling from a tree this morning at the University of Kentucky campus in Lexington. "I am personally offended and deeply embarrassed by this disgusting episode," said Lee Todd, president of the university in a campus-wide e-mail. "This is not reasonable political expression; it is just malicious. And it is unacceptable." ...

The effigy of Obama comes on the heels of a high-profile hanging depiction of Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin in West Hollywood, Calif. While some local residents are outraged, others, including display creator Chad Michael Morrissette, are defending it, calling it Halloween-related fun. "It should be seen as art, and it should be seen as, within the month of October, it is Halloween. It is time to be scary. It is time to be spooky," he told the CBS-TV affiliate in Los Angeles. Local authorities have said the Palin effigy is not a hate crime.


"Holocaust denier" wins first round

Germany is trying to prosecute an Australian citizen for things he said in Australia:
"CONTROVERSIAL Australian historian Frederick Toben has won the first round of his fight against extradition to Germany from Britain. A London judge ruled overnight that the European arrest warrant used to detain Dr Toben in Britain for extradition earlier this month was invalid because it did not provide enough detail.

However, the case appears far from over, with lawyers representing German prosecutors, who want to try Dr Toben for his alleged anti-Semitic views, preparing to appeal to Britain's High Court.

Dr Toben's solicitor Kevin Lowry-Mullins described today's ruling as a victory and said the academic, who has been granted bail, looked forward to the High Court hearing his case.

Dr Toben was arrested while in transit at London's Heathrow airport on October 1 under a warrant issued by Germany, which accuses him of racism and publishing anti-Semitic views.

Unlike in Britain, Holocaust denial is a crime in Germany and offenders can face up to five years in jail.... The High Court is expected to hear Dr Toben's case early next year.


Australia: People must not be told about help for a medical condition?

Although it is a subject of some mirth, erectile dysfunction is a real medical condition. But the purse-lipped puritans can think of no time on TV when a cure may appropriately be advertised -- "for the children", of course.
"The advertising watchdog is set to receive a new wave of complaints when a commercial for erectile dysfunction treatment, banned from billboards, launches on television today. In the Advanced Medical Institute ads a man's voice is heard asking phrases "Are you finishing too quickly?" and "Do you want to get up and stay up?" before a woman's voice cries out "yes". The commercials, which were trialled in regional NSW, will run in the M timeslot of midday to 3pm and after 9.30pm and will not be allowed during school holidays.

But child advocate Julie Gale, director of Kids Free 2B Kids, said there were a lot of children watching TV through the day. "Its naive to think otherwise," she said. "Lots of teens are still watching after 9.30pm. "Kids and young teens simply dont need to be exposed to blatant messages about erectile dysfunction before they've had time to really understand their own naturally emerging sexuality. "The advert gives a warped and limited view about sex - that an erect penis is all a man needs, and all a woman wants."

AMI chief executive officer Jack Vaisman said men have a right to know help was available.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

British Muslim doctor faces misconduct hearing over homosexual comments

What he said would have been normal just a few decades ago. But no worry: As a Muslim, he will be excused.
"A prominent Muslim doctor has appeared before a misconduct hearing after declaring that society needs "protecting from the ravages" of homosexuality. Dr Muhammad Siddiq, 65, president of the Islamic Medical Association, accused gay people of spreading disease and suggested they needed the "stick of the law to put them on the right path", the General Medical Council was told.

Dr Siddiq, who is currently suspended from practising, made the comments in a letter to Pulse, the medical magazine, which generated a stream of complaints when it was published last year. He later apologised for causing hurt and distress, but yesterday faced misconduct charges in front of a GMC fitness-to-practice panel in Manchester. If found guilty, he faces being struck off .

The panel was told that Dr Siddiq was working as a GP at the Walsall Teaching Primary Care Trust when he wrote the letter in July last year. It read: "There is punishment and fine if you throw rubbish or filth on the streets, the gays are worse than the ordinary careless citizen, they are causing the spread of illness and they are the root cause of many sexually-transmitted diseases. "They need neither sympathy nor help, what they need is the stick of law to put them on the right path and mend their ways and behaviour. "We need to protect society from their ravages."

Bernadette Baxter, prosecuting, said Dr Siddiq wrote to Walsall PCT to explain the letter after it was published in July last year. In this letter, he apologised unreservedly and said he had written it because of stress due to unrelated proceedings between himself and the GMC. He wrote: "I categorically and unreservedly apologise and retract the letter, and apologise for any hurt or offence that may have been caused to anybody reading the letter. "I have practised as a GP for over 30 years, and I have never discriminated against any patient on any grounds.


Australia to get internet censorship

Totally offensive. And where will it end? With a Leftist government in charge, you never know. The move is highly likely to be blocked either in the Senate or the High Court, however.
The Federal Government is planning to make internet censorship compulsory for all Australians and could ban controversial websites on euthanasia or anorexia. Australia's level of net censorship will put it in the same league as countries including China, Cuba, Iran and North Korea, and the Government will not let users opt out of the proposed national internet filter when it is introduced.

Broadband, Communications and Digital Economy Minister Stephen Conroy admitted the Federal Government's $44.2 million internet censorship plan would now include two tiers - one level of mandatory filtering for all Australians and an optional level that will provide a "clean feed", censoring adult material. Despite planning to hold "live trials" before the end of the year, Senator Conroy said it was not known what content the mandatory filter would bar, with euthanasia or pro-anorexia sites on the chopping block. "We are talking about mandatory blocking, where possible, of illegal material," he told a Senate Estimates Committee....


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Berkeley City rewrites trespassing law to stymie attacks on free speech by Berkeley U

We read:
"The Berkeley City Council has rewritten its trespassing law to stop UC-Berkeley police from using it to arrest demonstrators on campus. The move Tuesday night came after two demonstrators who were arrested in separate incidents sued the city, saying its trespassing law was being improperly applied by campus police.

Kortney Blythe of Riverside, a 25-year-old member of Survivors of the Holocaust Revolution who was cited by University of California-Berkeley police in 2007 and who sued the city, found it ironic that she was arrested at the home of the free-speech movement. "I was just appalled that a place like Berkeley, which is a mecca for free speech, would do that to us," Blythe said. "Now I'm happy they can't use that ordinance anymore to falsely arrest people and squelch free-speech rights."

Blythe said as an anti-abortion advocate, "part of our job includes defending free speech and everyone, whether they are pro-life or pro-abortion, should be protected."

The other plaintiff, Eric Baxter, is an anti-gay preacher from Oakland who was arrested, handcuffed and cited in 2007 for carrying a sign in front of Sather Gate that said in part "Warning: fornicators, drunkards, thieves, liars, God haters, homosexuals, Jesus' forgiveness is wonderful." Even though the city won Baxter's challenge in state court and won a first round in federal court in Blythe's suit, it decided to change the law in exchange for a promise from both plaintiffs to drop further challenges.

New language makes an arrest on trespassing invalid if the person is exercising "freedom of speech or assembly on outdoor property owned and controlled by a public entity." It also includes the right of labor groups to picket on public property without being arrested for trespassing. "The city's trespass law was never intended to impinge on the exercise of free speech on outdoor property owned by a public entity," said Matthew Orebic, a deputy city attorney with the city.


Political food

We read:
"A Belgian TV show about Adolf Hitler's favourite meal to be aired next week has come under fire from Jewish, resistance and political prisoner organisations.

For the episode of his TV series Favourite Dish, professional cook Jeroen Meus goes to Hitler's haunts in southern Germany to prepare trout with butter sauce, "a succulent festive meal" and said to be one of Hitler's favourite meals, the program's trailer announced.

Michael Freilich, the editor of Belgian Jewish magazine Joods Actueel, has criticised the show, saying it is worrying that it turns Hitler into a banal figure because it sends "the wrong signal" to the younger generation.

The VRT network will air the show on October 28 and said it will put Hitler "in the right context".


The broadcast was cancelled

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Calling users of prostitutes "Johns" is OK?

I happen to be one John who doesn't give a damn. I have never been with a prostitute and never will. But in this age of sensitivities everywhere, I predict trouble for that usage. Somebody else named John will probably make a lot of money out of it. There is an example of the usage here.

I wonder how such a stupid usage came about? I think I might start calling them "Husseins". That should put the cat among the pigeons!

If any of my readers are named John, it might be fun to send fiery letters to the newspaper demanding an apology and a cessation of the practice. The replies could be amusing.

Strange flag ban

The world's most widely-followed football code is soccer but in Australia it is generally regarded as a game for "wogs and poms" (Europeans and Brits). The game does however have a considerable following in Melbourne and the biggest club there is Melbourne Victory. Melbourne Victory supporters at matches often wave the historic Eureka flag as a symbol of their club loyalty.

Why they do is a bit of a mystery as the Eureka flag in Australia is a symbol of rebellion and dissatisfaction, not the flag of the top dogs. But soccer's governing body has now banned them from displaying that flag "because it is considered a political symbol".

It is indeed a political symbol in that it is most often flown by extreme Leftists but that is clearly not the intent in this case. And there is no claim that the flag has caused any unusual disturbances. So I guess it is just the usual busybodies at work who like to dictate to everyone else.

Club supporters plan to defy the ban. So they will become the rebels that their flag symbolizes after all! Story here

Monday, October 27, 2008

Toilet abuser Dawn Herb gets $28,000 lawsuit payout

We read:
"A woman who was arrested on disorderly conduct charges for swearing at her overflowing toilet will be paid $28,000 in a lawsuit settlement. The city of Scranton, in Pennsylvania, is also paying Dawn Herb's legal fees.

Herb was arrested last year after a neighbour, an off-duty police officer, heard her cursing through an open window. A judge later found her not guilty, saying her language was constitutionally protected free speech.

The American Civil Liberties Union, a civil rights group, announced the settlement today.


Trust the ACLU to defend obscenity. Nonetheless, I think the ACLU were on the right side in this one. What a nasty cop! The cop should be made to pay the $28,000.

Australia: Climate language must be changed

First "global warming" became "climate change". Now we have ...
"Government experts say the word "drought" is making farmers feel bad and want people to use the word "dryness" instead. Farmers also needed to accept that drier weather was here to stay, said a report by the Government's hand-picked Drought Policy Review Expert Social Panel. "Words like drought ... have negative connotations for farm families," the report said. "There needs to be a new national approach to living with dryness, as we prefer to call it, rather than dealing with drought."


What makes farmers feel bad is lack of rain ... not what you call it.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

News Corp. Lashes Out at FCC for Its 'Over-Regulation': Government Must Stop 'Censoring' Speech

We read:
"It is time for the government to get out of the business of regulating indecent speech. That was the message from News Corp. president and COO Peter Chernin to media executives and others gathered in Washington for The Media Institute's annual awards dinner. Chernin argues that it is not too many steps from censoring unpopular entertainment to doing the same to unpopular political content, Broadcasting & Cable reports.

Chernin weighed in on the issue in a speech accepting the Freedom of Speech award from the institute, whose trustees include major media companies. Chernin was teeing up Fox's arguments before the Supreme Court, which is hearing the FCC's challenge to a lower-court smackdown of the FCC's fleeting profanity ruling against Fox's Billboard awards broadcast. That hearing will be Nov. 4, Election Day, reports B&C writer John Eggerton.

Chernin said the coincidence of the two events was appropriate. "The Fox case, if successful, is an affirmation of the First Amendment. The election is an affirmation of our democratic process. And the two are inextricably intertwined. The First Amendment is central to our democratic process because it ensures a full and open dialogue about the candidates for office. Without the First Amendment, our democracy could not be sustained," he said.

"While a case with Cher and Nicole Richie at its center is probably not one we would have chosen to argue before the Supreme Court," said Chernin, "we don't get to pick our cases. In fact, if anyone had told me that my company would be before the U.S. Supreme Court defending inane comments by Cher and Nicole Ritchie, I would have said, 'You're crazy.' But I would contend that the nature of this speech, and who said it, makes absolutely no difference."

That's because Chernin called the heart of the case "an absolute threat to the First Amendment. It hinges on utterances that were unscripted on live television. If we are found in violation, just think about the radical ramifications for live programming - from news, to politics, to sports. In fact, to every live broadcast television event. The effect would be appalling."

"As a media company," said Chernin, "we have not just a right but a responsibility to stand up to the government when it crosses that First Amendment line in the sand - even if the content we are defending is in bad taste. And in the indecency context, that line has not only been crossed, it has been obliterated," he said.

Chernin said controlling TV content is the province of parents in concert with technology like the V chip and ratings. Chernin pointed out that indecency laws do not apply to cable or satellite or DVD's or VOD or pay-per-view or "the mother of all content providers: the Internet....Does it really make sense to continue government censorship of the occasional bad word, brief nudity, or sexual innuendo on a handful of broadcast channels when we live in an environment of infinitely unregulated choices?," he asked.


Apparently, it is the f-word that is at issue.

South Australian government says Nazi flag is offensive but not illegal

And that's a distinction that seems to have been lost in lots of places. This episode is a pretty good test of the right to free expression in Australia. And Australia does not even have a First Amendment to fall back on:
"There is little the South Australian government can do to stop an Adelaide man flying a Nazi flag on his property. State Attorney-General Michael Atkinson said that while the flag was in very bad taste, the issue was one of freedom of expression.

"I assume that the tenants are that 1 per cent type people who just like to shock and disgust, like they've managed to do," he told ABC Radio. "Unless one can argue that it incites racial hatred, then I suspect it's a matter of free speech, free expression."

Yesterday, the suburban Croydon man forced a Nine Network crew off his property and gave no reason why he was flying the flag.

But the RSL [veterans' organization] has called it sickening, saying the flag was a symbol of a regime that took the world to war in 1939 costing millions of lives, including those of 40,000 Australian servicemen and women. "Australians will be rightly offended by this and most veterans are grossly offended by it," said RSL national president Bill Crews.


Australians have a right to be proud that even this is tolerated. Australia and the USA may be the only countries where it would be. The guy would not last 5 minutes in Canada, Britain or Germany.

He subsequently took the flag down and said it was just a drunken prank.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Feisty Bishop defends the unborn

We read:
"A church-state watchdog group has asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate whether the Roman Catholic bishop of Paterson, N.J., violated tax laws by denouncing Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama. In a letter sent to the IRS on Wednesday (Oct. 22), Americans United for Separation of Church and State accused Paterson Bishop Arthur Serratelli of illegal partisanship for lambasting Obama's support of abortion rights.

In a column posted on the Diocese of Paterson's website and published in its weekly newspaper, Serratelli also compared Obama to King Herod, the biblical monarch who ordered the death of John the Baptist. The bishop did not refer to Obama by name but only as "the present democratic (sic) candidate."

Under federal tax law, nonprofit groups - including religious organizations - are prohibited from intervening in campaigns for public office by endorsing or opposing candidates.

Serratelli wrote that Obama has pledged, if elected president, to sign the Freedom of Choice Act, abortion-rights legislation the Catholic Church vehemently opposes. "If this politician fulfills his promise, not only will many of our freedoms as Americans be taken from us, but the innocent and vulnerable will spill their blood," Serratelli wrote.


Defence of what they see as God-given life is a huge concern of the Catholic church so if a Catholic bishop cannot advocate in favor of that position there is no freedom of religion in America.

Various Protestant groups believe the IRS restriction is in violation of the 1st Amendment so we may have a test case on that soon.

A REAL attack on the double standard about Sarah Palin


Quite stunning. I've heard about black preaching but now I have experienced it!

Friday, October 24, 2008

OK to say anything about Palin's family but must not even speak the truth about Obama's

Less than 24 hours ago, I put up this post on a news site. It refers to the fact that there are nude pictures of Obama's mother on the net. I didn't put them there (Though I think I know who did). I just drew attention to the pictures and made them more accessible.

The hate-mail and outraged comments from Leftists you can imagine. When however I wrote back to one of the Leftists and said that I assumed that he also was outraged by the false claims about Sarah Palin's family (claims that Trig was really her daughter's baby etc., etc.) he didn't even know what I was talking about. But as a Leftist he was much more likely to hear of the Leftist attacks on Palin's family than he was to see my post. Clearly the scurrilous and totally false attacks on Palin were like water off a duck's back to him. It was only adverse mentions of Obama's family that provoked outrage.

Exactly what I expected, of course. You must not not even speak the truth about the anointed one if there is anything unpleasant about it. He is a second Mohammed.

Leftists can dish it out but they can't take it back. If the Leftist comments about Palin had been even half civilized, I might have felt it inapproriate to mention Obama's mother but, as it was, I simply applied their rule that anything goes these days.

So let me make some more "outrageous" comments on the matter:

Astute Blogger has just put up a comparison of a known picture of Obama's mother with one of the pictures that I drew attention to. There is no doubt that both are of the same woman, even though the nude photo was of her when she was much younger. The long chin is particularly notable. Women normally (but not always) have receding chins. Very broadly, a strong chin in a woman indicates more testosterone and a strong sexual appetite.

Another thing to note: Frank Marshall Davis wrote an autobiography and "One chapter concerns the seduction by Mr Davis and his first wife of a 13-year-old girl called Anne".

So who did put up the pictures originally? I think they got onto the net via a bulletin board, one of the predecessors of the internet. Bulletin boards had LOTS of pictures of nude women. The photographer is the logical one to have uploaded them and Frank Marshall Davis died in 1987 -- well inside the lifetime of bulletin boards.

Barack Obama senior, on the other hand, died in Africa in 1982 and we read of his latter years: "Obama Sr.'s life then took a tailspin into drinking and poverty, from which he never recovered." So it seems unlikely that Barack Obama senior was the uploader.

Must not mention "honor killing"

Even if it is:
"The FBI removed all mention of the controversial term "honor killing" from the wanted poster of a double-murder suspect after ran a story announcing the use of the term.

Yasser Abdel Said, wanted for the murder of his two daughters, has eluded authorities for almost a year. The bodies of the young women - Sarah Said, 17, and Amina Said, 18 - were discovered in the back of a taxicab in Irving, Texas, on New Year's Day. According to family members, Said felt he was compelled to kill his daughters because they had disgraced the family by dating non-Muslims and acting too "Western."

The girls' great aunt, Gail Gartrell, has always called the case an "honor killing." And for a few days - until last Friday - the FBI publicly agreed. "The 17- and 18-year-old girls were dating American boys, which was contrary to their father's rules of not dating non-Muslim boys," The FBI "wanted" poster read early last week. "Reportedly, the girls were murdered due to an 'Honor Killing.'"

Some Muslims have objected to the term "honor killing" because they say it attaches a religious motive to a crime, which could lead to discrimination against Muslims. The FBI said Tuesday that it had deleted the term because the FBI never meant to attach a label to the case.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

TX: Students threatened by college over gun safety tips flyer

Must not mention guns!
"After distributing a jocular flyer listing 'Top Ten Gun Safety Tips' at the school's 'club rush,' a student group was threatened with probation and derecognition at Lone Star College-Tomball, a public college near Houston.

After college officials banned the Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) from distributing the flyer, the school's general counsel invoked the specter of the Virginia Tech shootings, suggesting that even a `mention of firearms and weapons' is inherently a 'material interference' with the school's operations.

The group has turned to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help."


Afghan student sentenced to 20 years for blasphemy

Must not raise questions about women's rights.
"An Afghan appeals court overturned a death sentence today for a journalism student accused of blasphemy and instead sentenced him to 20 years in prison. A three-judge panel sentenced 24-year old Parwez Kambakhsh to prison after a day of arguments between the student's defence lawyer and state witnesses.

Kambakhsh was studying journalism at Balkh University in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif and writing for a local newspaper when he was arrested in October 2007. Prosecutors alleged that Kambakhsh disrupted classes by asking questions about women's rights under Islam. They also said he illegally distributed an article he printed off the internet that asks why Islam does not modernise to give women equal rights. He also allegedly scribbled his own comments on the paper.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Computer game censored for quoting Koran

Apparently what they quoted was OK but setting it to music was not!
"It sounds almost inconceivable: Sony's highly visible, broadly-appealing, and probably most important video game release of 2008 has been globally recalled with less than four days to retail. LittleBigPlanet, UK-based indie developer Media Molecule's surprise water-cooler wonder about a black-button-eyed knitted and zippered creature named Sackboy who bounds and jounces through physically realistic environments was recalled by Sony after the publisher discovered one of the game's background music tracks employs two Arabic-language expressions found in the Qu'ran....

While the Koran doesn't explicitly forbid the marriage of transliterated Koranic text and music, some interpreters of the text apparently find such mingling "deeply offensive." Why is a bit of a mystery that's beyond the scope of a games blog, but suffice to say there's considerable debate over what the Koran does and doesn't say about music..


An interesting precedent

Will the defence of pornography lead to freer speech generally?
"In a unanimous decision last week, the Arizona Supreme Court determined that the state Constitution's guarantee of free speech furnishes even greater protection from government regulation than the First Amendment. The Court ruled in State v. Stummer that laws regulating the hours of speech-oriented businesses, like bookstores, cannot be implemented unless the government demonstrates that they are needed to prevent significant negative "secondary effects," such as crime. No prior decision articulates this principle as clearly.

This ruling could be signaling the Court's willingness to enforce the Arizona Constitution as the first line of defense against overreaching regulation. It might even help restore state federalism to its most fundamental purpose: preserving liberty. There's only one catch. Stummer dealt with a law that prohibited adult bookstores from operating after 1:00 a.m.

It is truly unfortunate that this decision was rendered in such a contentious context. History shows that when traditional values, sex and the law collide, strange things happen. The normal rule of law breaks down. The Court's decision may yet be relegated to this legal twilight zone, effectively creating special constitutional privileges for purveyors of adult content but no one else. It would be outrageous if that happened.

If the Court chooses to wade into controversial waters to establish groundbreaking legal precedent, the rule of law demands that such precedent be applied equally and uniformly. That means there must be renewed scrutiny of all speech regulations that supposedly exist to prevent negative secondary effects. This includes so-called "time, manner, place" regulations by which cities and counties restrict the size, number and location of signs and sandwich boards for businesses that offend no one. The Court must choose free speech for all, not just special privileges for purveyors of "adult literature."


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

With Election Weeks Away, Political Speech Under Attack on America's Campuses

We read:
"At the University of Oklahoma, students and faculty were notified last month that "the forwarding of political humor/commentary" using their university e-mail accounts was prohibited. In response to a letter from FIRE, the university has modified its stance, stating that the prohibition is only applicable "to the extent discussions are attributable to the University as endorsing or opposing a political candidate." However, the university has not communicated this change to the community at large, leaving many under the impression that such private e-mail forwards are forbidden.

At the University of Illinois, the university Ethics Office issued a newsletter warning faculty against engaging in political expression on campus, including attending political rallies, wearing buttons, and even placing bumper stickers on cars. After widespread criticism and a letter from FIRE, President B. Joseph White issued a clarification, assuring faculty members that the university would allow them to engage in such expression.

In addition to the situations at the University of Oklahoma and the University of Illinois, FIRE has monitored bans on political expression at several other institutions in the past few weeks. At the University of Texas at Austin (UT), two students were threatened with disciplinary action for refusing to remove political signs placed in their dormitory window. In the face of nationwide criticism, UT President William Powers Jr. waived that prohibition, pending a policy review.

Iowa Western Community College has banned individual students from distributing campaign handbills and has banned postings of campaign materials while other postings are allowed. FIRE has also received reports of censorship at Fresno Pacific University, Louisiana State University, and Cuyamaca College.


Australian official's call to kill free speech

We read:
"Western Australia's deputy coroner says police should be given powers to suppress news reports that may compromise their investigations. But media experts have attacked the proposal as an affront to free speech that would put WA in danger of becoming a police state.

The calls for new police powers follow a year of scrutiny of Perth media, including a raid on the Sunday Times newspaper by armed police in an attempt to find the source of a story that embarrassed the previous Carpenter government. The Corruption and Crime Commission has also used its extraordinary powers to grill six journalists in private hearings in the past two years in an effort to identify their sources.

Deputy coroner Evelyn Vicker made the recommendation while handing down her findings into the death of convicted murderer Simon Rochford, who committed suicide in his Albany Prison cell just hours after seeing a television news report in May 2006 naming him as the new suspect in a high-profile murder case.


The Leftist West Australian State government was particularly corrupt and greatly resented it when the media exposed that. So there really have been there attempts to muzzle the media. A new conservative administration has just taken over, however, so the threat to freedom of the press has probably now receded.

The old VOLUNTARY "D-notice" system dealt with the sort of problem described in the article above but D-notices appear to have fallen into disuse.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Obama critic censored

Pro-Obama comment is ALWAYS welcome in the media. Anti-Obama comment not so much
A talk-radio host was reprimanded on air by his executive producer Wednesday after he received complaints about his coverage of Sen. Barack Obama. KDKA-AM 1020 host Kevin Miller was silenced when executive producer P.J. Kumanchik read a CBS statement accusing Miller of being unfairly biased against Obama. "We want to apologize to listeners who have found your show offensive," Kumanchik said to Miller on the air.

Kumanchik referenced phone calls and e-mails from listeners who criticized Miller for his statements about Obama. In a move considered by some to encourage "fairness," he also offered Obama a three-hour spot on the Pittsburgh, Penn., station in place of Miller's regularly scheduled noon to 3 p.m. program....

This week, after Kumanchik finished his statements condemning Miller's coverage, people began calling to criticize the station, suggesting it was censoring the talk-radio host. Others remain confused and wonder whether the broadcast was simply a publicity stunt. Some online rumors even suggest Miller could be taken off the air...

The on-air incident occurred in the wake of a campaign coverage study that revealed the "big three" networks - ABC, NBC and CBS - have routinely favored Obama in their election coverage. Findings released by the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University show 61 percent of the networks' reports aired between Aug. 23 and Sept. 30 cast the Democratic Party candidate in a favorable light - leaving Sen. John McCain with only 39 percent of positive coverage.

KDKA program director Marshall Adams declined to comment on circumstances surrounding the talk-show segment or indicate whether McCain had been offered a three-hour spot as well.



What do you think of the above heading? Do you think that 99% of Leftists would scream "racist" at it? I do. But the heading is in fact a fair summary of what was found in a perfectly respectable piece of academic research. It appeared in fact in a very prestigious psychology journal. And as a much published psychologist myself, I can get away with discussing it. See here, for instance.

I would however be looked at with great disapproval for mentioning the the findings to the "cattle" -- which is how most Leftist psychologists would in their own minds see the readers of this blog. And almost all academic psychologists are Leftist to some degree. I reproduce below the actual journal abstract:
Interracial Roommate Relationships: An Experimental Field Test of the Contact Hypothesis

By Natalie J. Shook and Russell H. Fazio

This study investigated how automatically activated racial attitudes are affected by relatively long-term interracial relationships. A natural field experiment was conducted in a college dormitory system. Participants were White freshmen who had been randomly assigned to either a White or an African American roommate. Students participated in two sessions during the first 2 and last 2 weeks of their first quarter on campus. During these sessions, they answered questions about their satisfaction and involvement with their roommates and completed an inventory of intergroup anxiety and an implicit measure of racial attitudes. Participants in interracial rooms reported less satisfaction and less involvement with their roommates than did participants in same-race rooms. However, automatically activated racial attitudes and intergroup anxiety improved over time among students in interracial rooms, but not among students in same-race rooms. Thus, the results suggest that interracial roommate relationships, although generally less satisfying and involving than same-race roommate relationships, do produce benefits.

Psychological Science, Volume 19 Issue 7, Pages 717 - 723, 2008

So you see that the privileged people can talk freely about some things that the general public may not.

The 'Wardrobe Malfunction' that Wouldn't Die

Appealed Case Reportedly May Get Supreme Court Review
"Government lawyers say they need more time to decide whether to seek Supreme Court review of the indecency fine against CBS stations over the fleeting nudity in the Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake Super Bowl half-time show, according to Media Access Project, which was served notice of the request. MAP was a party to the lower court challenge, Broadcasting & Cable reports.

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals last July threw out the fine, concluding the FCC's decision had been arbitrary and capricious and an unjustified departure from prior precedent. The deadline was Oct. 19 for filing a cert petition with the Supreme Court - essentially a request to hear an appeal of a lower court decision. The Solicitor General said it would need until Nov. 18, reports B&C writer John Eggerton.

In the request for the extension, which are routinely granted, Solicitor General Gregory Garre said he needed the time for "consultation with the FCC and to assess the legal and practical impact of the...ruling," then more time after that if it decides to seek cert.

But that extension would also allow the government to first gauge the court's reaction to its arguments Nov. 4 in the government's appeal of the Fox profanity decision. In that case, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals found the FCC's decision to find fleeting profanities indecent was also arbitrary and capricious as well.


The star over the nipple of her pumped-up breast makes clear that the "malfunction" was planned -- by her. There is no evidence that the broadcaster had anything to do with it. Women who have boob jobs are often keen to display the result. To me the broadcaster is more the patsy than anything else.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Obama Supporter Sues McCain for 'Hate Speech'

We read:
"Missouri voter Mary Kay Green has had enough. The supporter of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama filed a lawsuit this week over what she claims is dangerous "hate speech" coming from the rival campaign of Republican presidential nominee John McCain.

Green, a 66-year-old grandmother and "semi-retired" civil rights attorney, filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Kansas City this week accusing McCain, his running mate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and their campaign manager Rick Davis of "intentionally, recklessly and irresponsibly" portraying Obama "as un-American, a terrorist by association, and `not like us,' a non-white individual."

Palin, Green alleges in her lawsuit, has at her rallies used false statements to work supporters "into a frenzy causing them to make death threats" against Obama.

The lawsuit claims that Green "suffers terror of the heart, anxiety and grave fear for the life of Presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Barack Obama" because of the McCain campaign's efforts to invoke hatred against Obama.


All investigations have found that NO-ONE said "kill him" about Obama at a GOP rally. It is just a report that sprang from the fevered imagination of one reporter.

Judge approves ACLU lawsuit against ATF

We read:
"ACLU Director of Communications Brandon Hensler says the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida received an early victory today when Senior Federal Judge Lacey A. Collier denied the ATF's motions for summary judgment in Kilpatrick v. U.S.

The ACLU filed the case on April 18, 2006, on behalf of Karen J. Kilpatrick, who claimed that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) violated her Free Speech rights.

Kilpatrick was driving her blue van in Pensacola on April 19, 2004, with the slogans "Remember the Children of Waco" and "Boo ATF" written on some of the windows when she was pulled over by police for questioning by the ATF.

The ACLU argues in the lawsuit that her First Amendment Rights to Free Speech and her Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure were violated when officers detained her for an hour, searched her car without consent, and ordered her to remove the writing on the side of her van.


Rare though it is, I think the ACLU is on the right side in this one. Most gun owners see the BATF as tyrants and loathe them accordingly. And never forget Waco!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

That evil watermelon and fried chicken again

I like both myself -- and my color is pink!

"A local Republican group has distributed a newsletter picturing Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on a fake $10 bill adorned with a watermelon, ribs and a bucket of fried chicken.

The drawing harked back to racist images from decades ago in America that featured caricatures of blacks eating watermelon and other Southern foods, often suggesting they were lazy or unclean. Linking Obama, who is the first black presidential nominee of a major US political party, to such stereotypes drew denunciations from various Republican officials.

The illustration appeared in the October newsletter of the Chaffey Community Republican Women, Federated, the Riverside Press-Enterprise newspaper reported today.


Are we not allowed to notice that the Obamamessiah is black? It's pretty obvious that he is. Does anybody think that seeing him associated with "black" food will cause someone to say: "Wow! He's black. I hadn't noticed that before".

Speech code of the month: University of Northern Iowa

We read:
"We have written in the recent past about the explosion of overbroad "bias incident" policies on college campuses nationwide. Many schools maintain policies that define so-called "bias incidents" to include a great deal of constitutionally protected expression. But perhaps none does so as dramatically as the University of Northern Iowa (UNI), a public university, which defines a bias incident as "any inappropriate word or action directed toward an individual or group based upon actual or perceived identity characteristics or background of a group or person and that is contrary to law or policy."

This policy is fatally flawed in many ways. First, the prohibition on "inappropriate words" is laughably overbroad and vague. Who decides what is "inappropriate"? It can't be the listener; courts have held time and again that a finding of harassment, for instance, cannot be based solely on the subjective reaction of the listener, since that would place speakers at the mercy of the most sensitive members of their community. Rather, conduct must be both subjectively and objectively harassing (from the perspective of a "reasonable person" in the victim's position) before it can actually constitute harassment.

Moreover, most speech that a reasonable person would find "inappropriate" is still protected by the First Amendment, since to be harassment speech must be so severe and pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with the victim's ability to pursue his or her education. It also can't be the university that decides what is "inappropriate"; it would be -for lack of a better word -entirely inappropriate for university administrators to have unfettered discretion to decide what UNI students can and cannot say. This policy is an invitation to abuse of discretion and arbitrary enforcement.


Friday, October 17, 2008

'Choose life' license plate case has win

The 9th Circus are the good guys for once!
"An anti-abortion group has won its long legal fight to force Arizona to issue "choose life" license plates, after the Supreme Court declined to take the case. The justices, without comment Monday, left in place an appeals court ruling in favor of the Arizona Life Coalition, which has sought the special plates for six years. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in San Francisco, said the state commission on license plates violated the group's constitutional right to free speech by turning down its application.


Drinks firm must not tell its side of the story

"Coca-Cola has been forced to defend advertisements starring the actress Kerry Armstrong after a chorus of protest from pressure groups. The Australian Dental Association has called on the company to withdraw the full-page ad - which busts myths that fizzy drinks are unhealthy - saying the information was either ambiguous or wrong.

The association took exception to the claim that the ad busted the "myth" that Coke rots teeth. Its president, Dr John Matthews, said: "We shouldn't rely upon Coca-Cola for giving us dental health advice. They have underestimated the problem and put a spin on it. Most people know Coke is bad for them but they continue to do it so I don't know why Coca-Cola feels the need to do this."

The ad claims saliva quickly washes away the drink, minimising decay, but Mr Matthews said this would not be the case for many people who sip and "constantly bathe" their mouth in soft drinks throughout their day. "And to say tooth decay isn't a major problem is suggesting [the problem is receding]. It is in countries with access to fluoride but it's still a big health problem," he said. The association is weighing up whether to complain to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for false and misleading claims.....

A Coca-Cola spokeswoman said it stuck by its ads. "We wanted to bust the myth that you can't consume Coca-Cola and have healthy teeth. This is simply not true."


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Even the foulest hate speech is just fine if it comes from the Left

And they shriek horror at any negativity coming from McCain supporters!

Background here. The people pictured are staff of "World of Wonder" TV.

Taxpayers' organization muzzled by Florida law

Nation's Largest Taxpayer Group Challenges Florida Campaign Law as Violation of First Amendment Rights:
"The 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU) today announced it has taken legal action to suspend Florida election laws that would require disclosure of private information about all of its nationwide members -- including more than 24,000 in the state -- simply for communicating with citizens about ballot measures. The Institute for Justice, a well-respected nonprofit public interest law center, is NTU's counsel.

"One of the National Taxpayers Union's core missions is to provide the public with nonpartisan information on important fiscal policy issues," said NTU President Duane Parde, who, along with NTU, is a plaintiff in the case. "Unfortunately, because of the state's harsh and arbitrary statutes, we're unable to share details about amendments to the state constitution affecting fiscal policy that will appear on Florida's ballot next month. These laws not only violate freedom of speech, they also rob Florida voters of information they deserve to see. That's the exact opposite of the principles behind the First Amendment, which is supposed to protect open and robust public debate."

Each year, NTU releases a national guide that provides background information on fiscal measures -- such as income tax reductions or spending increases -- that will appear on state ballots. The guide does not ask voters to support or oppose the measures, but rather informs them how taxpayers could be affected by each initiative. The 2008 guide does not contain information about any of several Florida measures due to the onerous regulations that would violate the privacy of NTU's members.

Under the laws, NTU -- and any entity that even refers to a ballot measure in any publication that goes to the general public -- would have to register as an electioneering communication organization. NTU would have to file itemized disclosure forms listing the name, occupation, and contribution amount, type, and date of every member. NTU first and foremost respects the privacy of its members and donors; however, numerous other problems abound with these burdensome regulations, including that NTU does not request occupation information from its donors and receives many anonymous contributions. Simply gathering and reporting the data for all members would deplete the group's limited staff resources.
"Floridians should be empowered to make an informed decision at the ballot box on all measures," Parde concluded. "They won't be able to do so, however, unless the court steps in to protect the free exchange of ideas that has been significantly jeopardized by the state."


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

EU wants Australian in jail for opinions expressed in Australia

We read:
"In my view people ought to be free to say things that others find offensive. Many people think you ought to be free to say only the things they agree with and forbidden to express opinions contrary to their own. There is a large contingent of people who want to shackle the mind and padlock the lips. And those authoritarians are found on both the Right and the Left.

But some go further than others. Let us consider the case of a man that many would find odious, Gerald Toben. Toben is a citizen of Australia. He runs an outfit called the Adelaide Institute which many people consider anti-Semitic. I agree with their analysis. Toben is, by all indications, an anti-Semite and travels in those circles.

In Germany the government has passed laws making it illegal to "question" the Holocaust. The law is quite vague. It says one may not "play down" the Holocaust or "defame" the dead. Numerous Jewish historians, however, have played down the numbers of dead during the Holocaust. They said previous estimates were too high. They are not bothered by the law as it is applied selectively. Toben, and others like him, are considered bad people by German law. And perhaps they are. But expressing an opinion doesn't violate any natural right of an individual. As Thomas Jefferson expressed it, opinions neither pick one's pocket or break one's leg. They are not crimes, by which I mean, they violate the rights of no one.

Good thing for Toben that he doesn't live in German, right? Wrong. Mr. Toben lives in Australia where freedom of speech still prevails on the matters he harps about. And he recently was flying through London. But his opinions are not illegal there either. And he never committed the offence of expressing an illegal opinion within Germany itself.

But the EU. issued an arrest warrant anyway. And the British government, under that warrant, arrested Toben on behalf of the German authorities. Germany asserts that Toben expressed his opinions on the internet and since Germans can read the internet they have the right to put Toben on trial in Germany. Note that Germany is claiming world-wide jurisdiction over what opinions one may express on the internet. And it appears the Labour government in the UK is willing to arrest people on behalf of Germany even if the offence is not a offence in England, or in the jurisdiction where the person physically resided when he expressed this opinion.


Religious Group Protests Jail Policy on Hair

We read:
"A Duval County Jail policy that requires inmates' hair to be cut has sparked outrage among Sikhs, who say the policy violates their freedom to practice religion. Protesting outside the Duval County Jail Sunday, men and women carried signs alleging discrimination and violations of religious freedom. The group protests on behalf of Jagmohan Ahuja, an inmate in the jail who is a practicing Sikh.....

Jaspreet Singh, a lawyer for United Sikhs, says it is against Sikh religious practice to cut one's hair. Hair covered by a turban is one of the five articles of faith which a Sikh must keep at all times.

Singh spoke on behalf of protestors, along with a local representative of the ACLU. "We would like the jail to change the policy on the issue. We would like the jail to stop shaving prisoners where it violates their constitutionally guaranteed religious rights," Singh said.

His supporters in the community say Ahuja has been forced to have his haircut twice since his incarceration, and that the policy violates the religious rights of other religious peoples as well, including Orthodox Jews, Rastafarians, Muslims and Native Americans.


Sounds to me that he has the 1st Amendment on his side. I suppose long hair COULD be a security risk but so could almost anything.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

McCain responsible for what people in his audience say?

They could well be Democrat "plants". Planting their supporters in a rival meeting is an old tactic for them. Read here, for instance.
"After inflammatory speech at events for Republican presidential candidate John McCain made headlines this weekend, Democratic lawmaker John Lewis compared McCain to 1960s segregationist George Wallace.

Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday asked Davis if McCain and Palin bear any responsibility for their supporters calls of violence when attack ads and stump speeches call Obama a "liar" and a "terrorist."

This is how Davis responded: "Barack Obama should apologize to John McCain directly for the kinds of comments made by Joe Lewis yesterday and that should be the end of this sordid affair."

Lewis had criticized the "atmosphere of hate" he said McCain is creating in the election, referencing an infamous Alabama church bombing in 1963 that was blamed on Wallace's fiery rhetoric.


Comparing McCain to Wallace is hate speech, if you ask me. Claims that Obama is a liar and an associate of terrorists are true so are not hate speech in my book. Calls to "kill" Obama are, however, a different matter but such calls have only come from audience members and the speakers have never been identified. And McCain himself has bent over backwards to avoid negativity.

Some Australian slang in trouble

We read:
"Adelaide Zoo yesterday hastily dropped plans to photograph ginger-haired people to promote the plight of orangutans, after patrons saw red. "We seem to be getting quite a bit of a negative reaction to that request," Zoos SA's director of conservation programs, Kevin Evans, said. "People are possibly more sensitive about it than we thought."

Last week, advertisements ran offering "free Zoo entry for all rangas" during the school holidays. "Ranga" - an abbreviation of orangutan - is a common nickname for redheads.

"We have a campaign over the school holidays because of orangutans being an endangered species - and so are human redheads," Mr Evans said. Less than 2 per cent of the human race has red hair.


South Australia does have its own slang to some extent. I have never heard "Ranga" as slang for redheads -- though "gingernut" and "coppertop" are common. And redheads are often perversely addressed as "blue" or "bluey". My father was a redhead and he was always addressed that way. I doubt that many people even knew his Christian name.

Monday, October 13, 2008

British city promises to ban jargon

What a rarity!
"Their meaning has become one of the most perplexing riddles of modern life, but soon "stakeholder engagements" and "multi-agency approaches" could be a thing of the past, in part of the country at least.

A council has banned seven of the most bewildering jargon phrases when speaking to members of the public. Civil enforcement officers, school crossing patrollers and civic amenity sites will become traffic wardens, lollipop ladies and rubbish tips, under new guidelines from Harrow Council. The list of banned phrases was drawn up after Harrow councillors asked a panel of local people about their experiences of dealing with council staff.

Councillor Paul Osborn said: "Our residents want to hear plain speaking and that is what we'll deliver. Every organisation uses jargon to some degree, but councils have been among the worst offenders." The council has also promised to answer phone calls within 30 seconds, acknowledge e-mails within 24 hours and make sure visitors are seen within 15 minutes.


UTexas ends fight over Obama signs

We read:
""Facing a free-speech uproar, the University of Texas backed down Thursday from punishing two students who refused to remove political signs from their dormitory window. Connor Kincaid and his cousin and roommate, Blake Kincaid, said they were barred from registering for spring classes after refusing Wednesday to take down their signs supporting Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama."


The interesting thing here is how quickly the Obanuts got their free-speech rights. They got that in one day; It often takes conservatives years.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Must not speak ill of Leftist politicians????

Maybe I am missing something because I am not American but I cannot understand Taranto's current column at all. Taranto is much given to subtle humor so maybe I am simply missing the satire but to me he sounds completely serious in saying that GOP voters must not mention Obama's middle name or call him a "socialist", a "terrorist" or a "liar". To do so is "hate" and makes one a member of the "Angry Right" -- according to Taranto -- and damages McCain's chances of being elected.

I am quite dumbfounded. There is practically NO accusation that the Left of American politics do not routinely hurl at conservatives. Why must conservatives be held to an enormously higher standard of behavior? And that Obama's second name is "Hussein", that he is a socialist and a liar are simply the plain truth. Is even the truth banned if it is "negative"?

Not long ago Australia had a Leftist Prime Minister (Keating) who would often describe opponents as a "piece of slime" and the like so maybe Australan politics are simply more robust than American politics but when I think of the encyclopedia of abuse and accusation that has been hurled at the mild and moderate G.W. Bush by just about everyone to the Left of him, I find that hard to believe.

My take is that conservatives have been too polite for too long and that the Left are overdue for a taste of their own medicine. And I don't believe the Leftist claims that they are "shocked" or "scared" by the hostility to Obama. Such claims are just another attempt to suppress criticism.

Trying to muzzle criticism is of course routine for the Left but for someone like Taranto to assist in that is truly deplorable.

Rick Moran has some thoughts similar to mine.

Mark Steyn wins again

The Canadian "human rights" commissars in BC have wimped out. Mark's comment:
"Mark Hemingway is right to say that free speech in Canada "does not exist in any meaningful way". As the British Columbia "Human Rights" Tribunal's rambling and incoherent decision makes plain, Maclean's and I were acquitted of "flagrant Islamophobia" for essentially political reasons - because neither the court nor its travesty of a "human rights" code could withstand the heat of a guilty verdict. Jay Currie puts it well:
"The way I read this decision is that it imposes a two part test: a) are your words offensive and hurtful? b) are you a major media organization with deep pockets represented by serious lawyers. If “a” and not “b” you are a hate monger; if “a” and “b” you are engaged in political debate.

Just so. Because we spent a ton of money and had a bigshot Queen's Counsel and exposed the joke jurisprudence and (at the federal "human rights" commission) systemic corruption, the kangaroo courts decided that discretion was the better part of valor. The Ontario "Human Rights" Commission ruled they weren't able to prosecute the case because of a technicality - I offered to waive the technicality, but the wimps still bailed out. If you have the wherewithal to stand up to these totalitarian bullies, they stampede for the exits. But, if you're just an obscure Alberta pastor or a guy with a widely unread website or a fellow who writes a letter to his local newspaper, they'll destroy your life.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Update: Big response to "ugly women" call

There were shrieks from feminists and such fowl when this Australian story first became public. "Ugly" is apparently a VERY bad word. See my previous post of August 24. We now read:
"A plea for "ugly ducklings" to move to Mount Isa to help address a woman shortage has paid dividends, with resumes and letters flowing in. And some of them were "very attractive", mayor John Molony said today.

Cr Molony said he had been contacted by more than 50 women wanting to know more about the outback mining town and its men. "While the media were beating me over the head with a stick, girls were sending me emails from all around world and a surprising number from across Australia," he said.

Cr Molony sparked widespread outrage and grabbed international headlines in mid-August when he suggested "beauty-disadvantaged women" come to the town, where men outnumbered women five to one and "happiness awaits".

Today, Mr Molony said the women who contacted him wanted to know more about Mt Isa, the men and the employment opportunities - though he could not say if any had actually moved into the area. Interested parties included an Italian journalist, professionals from the United States, customer service and administration staff, and others from Spain, South Africa, the Philippines and across Australia. Mr Molony said at the peak of interest, he would receive about five letters a day - some of which included photos. "It's getting a bit embarrassing, because some of these girls are beautiful," he said.

"One girl said she'd lived all her life in Brisbane, she's 26, and she's never smelt sweat on a man. "Well, there's plenty (of sweaty men) up here. "I think she liked the idea of being in Mt Isa and meeting miners, men who actually work."


Must not even mention guns

We read:
"A performance by cheerleaders at a Texas high school pep rally last month has sparked a battle between some students and the administration over whether skits depicting gun violence are appropriate for school, according to the Daily Sentinel.

Cheerleaders at Nacogdoches High School in Nacogdoches, Tex., performed a skit wearing cowboy hats and carrying toy guns while they shot down cheerleaders dressed as the opposing team - the Center High School Roughriders - who had come to steal the NHS mascot, the newspaper reported....

More than 120 students have signed a petition protesting "gun promotion" at pep rallies, but the school principal, Nathan Chaddick, called the skit "simple, innocent satire" to boost school spirit, according to the Sentinel.


Friday, October 10, 2008

Judge: Teen can't wear gun T-shirt to school

We read:
"A federal judge sided with a southcentral Pennsylvania school district in a dispute over whether a high school student should have been barred from wearing a T-shirt with images of guns on it. "Students have no constitutional right to promote violence in our public schools," U.S. District Judge James Knoll Gardner in Allentown wrote in an opinion issued Tuesday.

Donald Miller III, now a 15-year-old sophomore at Penn Manor High School in Millersville, was given detention in December after he defied an assistant principal's order to turn the shirt inside-out. Images of two guns were printed on the shirt, along with phrases including, "United States Terrorist Hunting Permit No Bag Limit."

Miller's parents sued the school district earlier this year, arguing that his freedom of speech was violated. The shirt, a gift from an uncle who is stationed in Iraq, was intended to be a patriotic show of support for the troops, they argued.


Just a picture of a gun "promotes violence"? Very shaky reasoning. Could it just possibly promote self-defense and thus DETER violence? I would have thought that stomping Old Glory was more likely to promote violence. And we all know that THAT is protected speech.

Wanna guess that the judge is just a doctrinaire gun-hater? (Though he probably owns one himself, on past precedents. There's one law for "the little people" and another for the Leftist superior beings).

Australian city orders 'offensive' Australian flag down

We read:
"A Brisbane council has ordered an ex-soldier to take down the Australian flag which flies outside his house because it has been deemed "offensive" by a neighbour. Aaron Wilson erected the 5m high flagpole eight weeks ago, in honour of his friends who served in Iraq, The Courier-Mail reports. But on Tuesday, Logan City Council called to tell him a neighbour had made a complaint, labelling it "offensive". He was told to remove the pole or risk legal action....

Logan City mayor Pam Parker said she backed Mr Wilson. "I am offended that somebody should complain to the council about the Australian flag, and whoever they are should hang their head in shame," she said on ABC radio. But she could not rule out his having to move the flagpole. A council spokeswoman said there was a concern the flagpole could fall down in high winds. She said Mr Wilson, who is a salesman, needed a building permit, because the pole was only 4.5m from the kerb and, under the Queensland Development Code, it should be at least 6m from the front.

But Mr Wilson, 30, said other residents in the area had similar flagpoles that were closer to the boundary than his. He said he would not be moving the flag. "You can't have rules for some people and not for others," he said. "I can't see how moving the flag back a bit is going to stop it being offensive."


As soon as I heard of this nonsense I promptly flew an Australian flag from the flagpole out front of my house. I fly different flags for different occasions but there was no doubt what this was an occasion for.


I am pleased to report that there has been huge public support for the patriotic Australian -- and he is NOT going to move his flag.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Filipina sex not funny

As I read it, the skit is actually mocking Northerners. There is prejudice against Northerners in Britain the way there is prejudice against Southerners in the USA.
"One of Britiain's top comedians has got himself involved in a diplomatic incident in Manila today after Filipino officials failed to see the funny side of a sketch that mocked domestic workers living in Britain.

The Philippines' Foreign Secretary summoned the British Ambassador to explain why the BBC had broadcast a comedy skit involving Harry Enfield, in which a Filipina housemaid was cajoled into having sex with a British suburbanite.

Raul Gonzalez, the country's justice minister, also spoke out pledging to sign a petition that demanded an apology from the national broadcaster. "I don't like our fellow Filipinos to be insulted," he said.

The petition has been set up by a group called the Philippine Foundation, which is calling for the re-education of the BBC after the episode of Harry and Paul was broadcast last month. It says: "This particular sketch is completely disgraceful, distasteful and a great example of gutter humour."


Some opinions may not be expressed

Even if they are widely held:
"Hispanic advocates have been asking Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell to resign for weeks. On Sunday, they took their request to the steps of the county courthouse.

A multiracial throng numbering more than 100 gathered to pray for an end to racism and voice their outrage over comments that they say denigrated Hispanic immigrants.

In a Sept. 7 story in The News & Observer, Bizzell referred to Mexicans as "trashy" and said Hispanics were "breeding like rabbits." He said a growing Hispanic population was committing crimes, sapping social services and threatening traditional culture. Many of his statements encompassed both legal and illegal immigrants.


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Naughty, naughty!

Gasp! British clergyman attacks the holy of holies:
"A Church of England priest has been ordered to remove comments from his blog calling for gay men to have their backsides tattooed with a warning about sodomy.

Reverend Peter Mullen wrote: "Let us make it obligatory for homosexuals to have their backsides tattooed with the slogan SODOMY CAN SERIOUSLY DAMAGE YOUR HEALTH and their chins with FELLATIO KILLS."

The clergyman, who ministers to parishes in the City of London financial district, was yesterday ordered to remove the comments by the Diocese of London, which said his comments were "highly offensive" and did not reflect its views.

But Mullen, 66, insisted his remarks were "light-hearted jokes" and "satirical".


Censoring accidents?

They used to do this in the old Soviet Union but I think the motivation is different here. There seems to be a common view nowadays that people need to be shielded from anything that might upset them. Story from an Australian rural publication:
"I just received an email from MLA (Meat & Livestock Australia) requesting that I remove an article from the site. What it demonstrates is how powerful forces dictate what ordinary Australians read and see in the media.

The email is polite and no doubt in the MLA's mind well meaning. However I won't be removing the pictures unless of course an overwhelming number of our readers ask me too. You see unlike the mainstream media, MLA does not pay us 100,000's of thousands of dollars for advertising each year.

As a result we are totally independent and publish what we think is appropriate. Yes the accident was terrible. Terrible for the driver, terrible for the Truck owner, terrible for the farmers who lost all of their cattle and terrible for the cattle. But thats life in the bush. No body in the bush feels anything but sympathy for all those involved including the cattle.


One of the pictures concerned is reproduced above. The rest are here. The driver must have fallen asleep at the wheel. There is a big problem with truck drivers not taking enough rest breaks.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Atheists and agnostics suing over the federal law designating a National Day of Prayer.

We read:
"The Freedom From Religion Foundation sued Friday in U.S. district court, arguing that the president's mandated proclamations calling on Americans to pray violates a constitutional ban on government officials endorsing religion. The day of prayer, held each year on the first Thursday of May, creates a "hostile environment for nonbelievers, who are made to feel as if they are political outsiders," the lawsuit said. The national proclamation issued this year asked God's blessings on our country and called for Americans to observe the day with appropriate programs, ceremonies and activities.

Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle is named in the suit because he is one of 50 governors who issued proclamations calling for the prayer day. The foundation is based in Madison. Shirley Dobson, chairwoman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, and White House press secretary Dana Perino also are named.

The foundation has filed numerous lawsuits in recent years, including one rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court last year that attacked President Bush's faith-based initiative.

The White House and Doyle spokesman Lee Sensenbrenner had no comment on the lawsuit. A message seeking comment from the task force was not returned Friday.


Amazing assault on a hyperlink

We read:
"Last year, Jennifer Reisinger, a Web developer from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, received a letter from the city. It demanded that she cease and desist the publication of a hyperlink on her web site pointing to the home page for the Sheboygan Police Department.

Reisinger used the website in question - Brat City Web Design, so named in honor of the Bratwurst sausage that has brought Sheboygan fame - for her web design business, and it contained links to several other public agencies besides the police department. The cease-and-desist letter did not mention any of the other links besides the one for the police department, and Reisinger promptly removed the link from her site.

After she received a call from the Sheboygan Police informing her of a police investigation into the link's presence on her site, however, Reisinger retained an attorney, who advised her to reinstate the link immediately. The lawyer, Paul Bucher, also fired off letters to the city's mayor, police chief, and city attorney requesting documentation related to the affair, and a description of the legal basis the city felt it had in demanding the removal of the link.

The following day, the city informed Reisinger that it would refrain from pursuing any legal action against her, and the mayor apologized for the whole affair in a letter to the editor of the town's newspaper.

But that wasn't the end of the story. Last month, Reisinger filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the city, particularly the mayor, Juan Perez, sent the cease-and-desist letter in retaliation for her participation in a mayoral recall campaign. Her complaint requests a judicial declaration that the city violated her First Amendment rights, as well as $250,000 and punitive damages to be determined by a jury.


Come to think of it, treating the police website as equivalent to a porno site might have some merit

British TV program scraps script after footballers' complaints

"There is intense rivalry in Scotland between the two major football (soccer) teams: Rangers and Celtics. Protestants support the one and Catholics the other.

"Television bosses in Britain have been forced to change an episode of a staple daytime soap opera after dozens of complaints over a jibe directed at Scottish football side Rangers. Britain's biggest commercial broadcaster ITV said the script for a forthcoming episode of Coronation Street, a Manchester-based program and the country's longest-running television soap, was altered after several fans of the Glasgow club voiced displeasure at the joke.

Character Tony Gordon, played by Scottish actor Gray O'Brien, said on the show that he "could no more be interested in Rosie Webster than I could support Glasgow Rangers''. According to an ITV spokesman, the dialogue seemed "to have caused some upset''.

As such, one of the character's lines in an upcoming episode - that he was allergic to "warm beer, the English national anthem and Glasgow Rangers'' - has now been dropped.


Monday, October 06, 2008

Another blackface uproar -- only this time it's brownface!

We read:
"The mayor of a Kansas town issued an apology Thursday for appearing as a drag-queen in blackface last weekend as part of a fundraising event, according to the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Arkansas City Mayor Mel Kuhn participated in and won a drag queen contest held as part of an annual fund raiser sponsored by Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), an agency that supports foster children in the court system.

Kuhn appeared dressed as a character which he called "Smellishis Poon," with his face painted dark for the event. But Kuhn told that he was not in blackface, but in "tanface," and did not intend to offend anyone. "Blackface is shoepolish," he said. "That's not what I did. I dressed up to win and because it was so hilarious."

According to the NAACP, he also had suggestive back-up dancers for the talent portion of his performance, which he called the "Red Hot Puntangs." "We danced to black music. The Weather Girls and Aretha Franklin," Kuhn told .....

For many Americans, blackface minstrelsy has a long and painful history dating back to the Jim Crow era, when white actors would paint their faces with grease or tar and exaggerate their lips and hair to mock African Americans. While changes in racial attitudes have effectively eliminated its use in comedy, films and theater, it is still occasionally seen. Actor Robert Downey Jr. recently appeared in blackface in the hit film "Tropic Thunder."


Blogs now illegal in Italy

We read:
"Italian bloggers are up in arms at a court ruling early this year that suggests almost all Italian blogs are illegal. This month, a senior Italian politician went one step further, warning that most web activity is likely to be against the law.

The story begins back in May, when a judge in Modica (in Sicily) found local historian and author Carlo Ruta guilty of the crime of "stampa clandestina" - or publishing a "clandestine" newspaper - in respect of his blog. The judge ruled that since the blog had a headline, that made it an online newspaper, and brought it within the law's remit.

The penalties for this crime are not onerous: A fine of 250 Euros or a prison sentence of up to two years. Carlo Ruta was fined and ordered to take down his site, which has now been replaced by a blank page, headed "Site under construction", and a link directing surfers to his new site. Hardly serious stuff - except that he now has a criminal record, and his original site has disappeared.

The offence has its origins in 1948, when in apparent contradiction of Article 21 of the Italian Constitution guaranteeing the right to free expression, a law was passed requiring publishers to register officially before setting up a new publication. The intention, in the immediate aftermath of Fascism, may have been to regulate partisan and extremist publications. The effect was to introduce into Italian society a highly centrist and bureaucratic approach to freedom of the Press.

So is this just a storm in a teacup? After all, if this law potentially affects some 5 million Italian websites, there are at least 4,999,999 that have not yet been taken down. Why was Carlo Ruta singled out? One clue lies in the location of the court that found him guilty (Sicily). Another, in the fact that his blog contained much detailed research of links between politics and the mafia - always a sensitive subject in Italy.

Since May, a Calabrian journalist and blogger, Antonino Monteleone, has also fallen foul of local magistrates, suggesting that the genie is now well and truly out of the bottle. Failing a reversal of the Ruta ruling in a higher court, it is going to need action at the parliamentary level to guarantee an Italian freedom to blog and to return the law to what most Italians believed it to be.


British politician who spoke the truth about Muslims is put in charge of immigration policy

Is Britain toughening up?
"Muslim groups expressed anger last night after a Labour politician who has been at the centre of a series of race controversies was made Immigration Minister. Phil Woolas, previously an Environment Minister, was handed the brief despite infuriating the Pakistani community earlier this year by warning they were fuelling birth defects by inter-marrying. He also caused anger following the Oldham race riots by calling for 'the reality of anti-white racism' to be acknowledged.

Last night, the Muslim Public Affairs Committee condemned his appointment. A spokesman said: 'Phil Woolas has a track record of insensitive, inappropriate outbursts that have verged on Islamophobia. 'He is a Minister clearly out of his depth. We will monitor his work for any more signs of his all too obvious antipathy towards British Muslims.'

Mr Woolas, the Labour MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, embarrassed Downing Street in February by arguing that marriages between first cousins are a factor in birth defects and inherited conditions. 'Part of the risk, I am told by the health service, is first-cousin marriages,' he said. 'If you are supportive of the Asian community then you have a duty to raise this issue.' It is estimated that 55 per cent of British Pakistanis are married to first cousins. The likelihood of unrelated couples having children with genetic disorders is about 100-1, but it rises to one in eight for first cousins. British Pakistani children account for as many as one-third of birth defects, despite making up only three per cent of all UK births.

Last year, in an article for The Mail on Sunday, he said: 'Among the groups who are missing out and who suffer genuine discrimination is the white teenage underclass. 'Such people are fashionably dismissed as "chav scum" or "trailer trash". 'But to say such things is to be as guilty of stereotyping as those who say that all Muslims support terrorists.'


Sunday, October 05, 2008

TN: White woman claims racial harassment at Jack In The Box

We read:
"A woman claiming she was discriminated against because she is white is suing the fast-food chain Jack In The Box in a lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in federal court. Francis Griffith was called `white trash' and `"stupid white b--' among the many insults hurled at her by co-workers, according to the lawsuit filed on Tuesday.

Griffith, who started working at the Dickerson Pike location in 2006, complained to management about the racial harassment from black co-workers and was ignored, according to the suit. A co-worker, a black female, allegedly told her to kill her unborn baby because it was mixed, according to the lawsuit."


Hasn't someone explained to this lady that "black folks can't be racists"?

Judge kicks out ladies night lawsuit

We read:
"It's closing time for a lawsuit alleging ladies nights at nightclubs discriminate against men. Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum tossed the lawsuit out of federal court in Manhattan on Monday. She said nightclubs may price their products as they wish because they're not acting as representatives of the state."


Movie offensive to the blind

If they can't see it, how can they be offended by it?
"Hundreds of supporters of the U.S. National Federation of the Blind are planning to protest the theatrical release tomorrow in the United States of the Canadian co-produced apocalyptic thriller Blindness, a film it has deemed "offensive" to the sight-challenged.

However, a spokesperson for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind said yesterday there are no plans to picket it here. "CNIB is not planning any protest around the movie, Blindness," CNIB spokesperson Cathy Moore said yesterday. "In fact, we haven't even seen the film."

The American organization plans to protest the movie at 75 theatres, in 21 states. Blind people and their allies plan to hand out flyers and carry signs. The federation told The Associated Press one of the slogans will read: "I'm not an actor. But I play a blind person in real life."


Saturday, October 04, 2008

Shock! British Ambassador called Obama 'liberal'

Definitely a nasty word:
"Sir Nigel Sheinwald, Britain's Ambassador in Washington, was last night thrust into political controversy after the leak to a newspaper of a seven-page candid assessment he delivered on Barack Obama.

His letter to Downing Street, written earlier this summer ahead of the Democratic nominee's trip to Europe, contains a level of criticism that will be deeply embarrassing to the Government.

He describes Mr Obama's "decidedly liberal" voting record in the Senate where "the main impression is of someone who was finding his feet, and then got diverted by his presidential ambitions".


Dead Islamic terrorist not funny

We read:
"Funnyman ventriloquist Jeff Dunham is fuming after a ringtone advertisement based on his popular comedy skit, "Achmed the Dead Terrorist," was scrubbed from South African TV because it mocks Islam. The ringtone was taken from a puppet routine performed by Dunham, a native Texan, in a TV special on Comedy Central. A 10-minute clip of the comedian's routine that was posted on YouTube has been viewed more than 66 million times since April.

But the government of South Africa doesn't think it's funny. According to, South Africa's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that a GloMobile ringtone commercial featuring Dunham and his puppet was offensive to Muslims. The commercial depicts Dunham holding his skeletal puppet, Achmed, dressed with a white cloth around his head and demanding that the audience keep quiet, uttering, "Silence! I will kill you!"

ASA officials said a South African man, Moegamat Khan, had filed a complaint that the commercial was offensive to the Islamic religion and created an impression that all Muslims were terrorists.


NYC teachers allowed to show political bias?

We read:
"The teachers union has been handing out thousands of Barack Obama campaign buttons to its members, sparking a clampdown by education brass. The Department of Education - which has a long-standing policy barring teachers from wearing campaign buttons in schools - is set to send out an e-mail this week from Schools Chancellor Joel Klein laying down the law. "Schools are not a place for politics and not a place for staff to wear political buttons," said department spokeswoman Ann Forte. "We don't want a school or school staff advocating for any political position or candidate to students and we don't want students feeling intimidated because they might hold a different belief or support a different candidate than their teachers."

United Federation of Teachers official LeRoy Barr told his members in a recent e-mail that union chief Randi Weingarten is fighting the DOE decision. Officials of the union - which has endorsed Obama - said they didn't know of any schools where button-wearing teachers were told to zip it, but they said they were exploring the matter "to ensure members' rights to free speech and expression."

While department officials said the courts are on their side in the matter, many city teachers say their right to wear partisan buttons is a matter of free speech. Several cited a landmark 1969 Supreme Court ruling involving students who planned to wear black armbands in protest of the Vietnam War. It affirmed that constitutional rights don't get dropped "at the schoolhouse gate."....


An employer can set conditions for employment but when the employer is a government body it gets murky.