Sunday, November 30, 2008

British Gestapo defeated: Freedom of the press upheld in court

Apparently, British newspapers can report "leaks" from officials as part of a right to freedom of expression under article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights:
"The 1 million pound prosecution of a local newspaper journalist and the police source who "leaked" stories to her collapsed yesterday after evidence gathered against them in a police bugging operation was declared inadmissible.

The 18-month-long case and investigation - monitored at senior levels in Whitehall and described in court as "Orwellian" - was thrown out when a judge ruled that operations mounted to identify the reporter's sources were a violation of human rights....

Ms Murrer's defence team argued successfully that her right to freedom of expression under article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights had been violated.

Gavin Millar, QC, told the court: "The measures used by Thames Valley Police against Sally Murrer are familiar in authoritarian states where the police are used to discourage the media from reporting on issues of public interest using confidential sources. Thankfully because of article 10 they are almost unheard of here. This case is, sadly, a rare exception."


Amazing Japanese Prime Minister

This gives me new respect for Japan. I don't agree with what he said but am delighted that someone in his position felt free to say it.
"He has ridiculed doctors, mocked the mentally ill and made light of wartime atrocities, but this time Taro Aso may have taken things too far: the Prime Minister of the world's fastest-ageing nation has condemned Japan's elderly as a bunch of "hobbling malingerers".

Having shattered a sacred taboo, the nationalist Mr Aso, who is 68, added: "I pay my taxes, so why should I pay money for people who laze around eating and drinking and never do anything?"

Members of Mr Aso's own party told The Times that the attack on seniority and ill-health was "completely irresponsible" in a country where one in five voters is over 70 years old, where the healthcare system is in crisis and a general election is looming. "He seems to be saying that old people should feel guilty for visiting the doctor," said one ruling coalition MP. "He must have said it without realising how many people that would upset."

Others believe that the comments were entirely predictable, given Mr Aso's previous form. His attack on old people for their lack of exercise and for "always tottering off to the doctor" was blurted out during a ministerial meeting on the economic crisis and marks probably the most spectacular gaffe of a political career strewn with increasingly baffling clangers.

Doctors, he said recently, tended to lack common sense; Japan, he declared on another occasion, should make itself attractive to "rich Jews". He was once made to apologise for a joke about people suffering from Alzheimer's, and quipped to victims of a flood that it was lucky for everyone that the city nearby had not been hit.


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sometimes the real thoughts behind the correctness leak out

Contrast the impeccably correct first statement below with the one that follows it. The first statement is the first paragraph on the home page of Barnardo's -- a British children's charity
"Some might say that children who are troublesome or engage in anti-social behaviour can be difficult to believe in. Barnardo's argues that it is these children who need our support. Most children in trouble are trapped in a cycle of disadvantage. Children who start down a path of bad behaviour can be helped to change direction"

And the second paragraph below refers to the horribly tortured and killed British toddler known as "Baby P", pictured below before his maltreatment by his negligent mother's boyfriends:

"It saddens me that the probability is that, had Baby P survived, given his own deprivation, he might have been unruly by the time he had reached the age of 13 or 14. At which point he'd have become feral, a parasite, a yob, helping to infest our streets"

So who said that? The head of British Nazi Party? No. It was Martin Narey, the chief executive of Barnardo's

Australia: Must not express negative views about homosexuality

We read:
"Health Minister Nicola Roxon has dumped one of her new men's health ambassadors over his "abhorrent" views about homosexuals...

Warwick Marsh, who co-authored a paper that suggested gay men were more likely to be child molesters than heterosexuals, has been removed from the position today, after he told The Australian Online yesterday that lesbians were often sexually abused women rebelling against a "gender wound". "They're rebelling. They actually end up hating the gender that's hurt them," he said. "Ultimately the really sad thing is...have you talked to people with AIDS? I don't like to see people get AIDS and get abused and a trail of destruction. The bottom line is there's heightened levels of drug abuse and suicide. "(But) If you are asking me if I hate homosexuals I just think that's ridiculous."

Ms Roxon said today Mr Marsh has not repudiated ``extremely offensive'' statements he had made, including in a document on gender. "This makes his position as an ambassador untenable and I have made a decision to dismiss him from this role," she said in a statement.


Friday, November 28, 2008

Outrage over film's 'disabled theme' warning

Must pretend that disabled people are no different from anybody else:
"The British film classification board is in trouble after slapping a "disability theme" warning on a comedy starring disabled actors. When the British Board of Film Classification rated the low-budget film Special People, it tagged on a warning to viewers that the film contained disabled people, the Daily Mail reports.

The film's director, Justin Edgar, told the Mail the guidance that the film had a 'disability theme' unfairly singled out a section of society. "We have already had complaints from the actors and some disability groups in the audience who were angry about the advisory note warning people that disabled actors were used. "You don't get films with black people or women being categorised in this way, so why do it for films with disabled people in them?"

The 350,000 pound movie, part-funded by the UK Film Council, was shortlisted for the People's Choice award at the Edinburgh Film Festival and takes a wry look at life from the perspective of a group of disabled film students. The board has now withdrawn the disabled guidance but the filmmaker said it was too late to change publicity.


I imagine that the disability must have been pretty major to warrant a warning.

NC School Employee Fired Over Facebook Posting

We read:
"A school employee has been fired after posting an offensive message on the social networking site Facebook, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools officials say a teacher could be next. School system spokeswoman Nora Carr said the after-school staffer was an "at will" employee who couldn't appeal the firing. He was among seven employees investigated because of Facebook entries.

A kindergarten teacher at Thomasboro Elementary School also could face termination after writing on her Facebook page that she was "teaching in the most ghetto school in Charlotte." The teacher met Monday with Superintendent Peter Gorman, who recommended she be fired. The teacher's attorney, John Gresham, said his client didn't intend to offend her students and was telling the truth about the resegregated school, where only 3 percent of students are white and 93 percent qualify for lunch subsidies to low-income families.

Gresham said if the teacher is fired, she will be entitled to a hearing by a case manager and an appeal to the school board. He said the school system also cited photos of her at a bachelorette party.

Carr, the district spokeswoman, also said a high school special education teacher was suspended after writing on her site, "I hate my students." CMS is also recommending that teacher be fired. Carr said four other employees have received lesser punishments for photos or comments....

The Facebook issues have become a hot topic among many teachers. Mary McCrary, who heads the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Association of Educators, said teachers shouldn't be punished for what they write on private Web pages....

Carr said the issue isn't free speech but whether anything a teacher does damages their reputation. "Does it impede or impact your ability in a negative way to do your job?


I agree with the criterion ""Does it impede or impact your ability in a negative way to do your job?" but I see no sign that that was the actual criterion used above.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Here we go again: Terms of endearment are wrong

In the American South, "Honey" or "Hun" is a form of address often used by women, even to people they hardly know. In Australia "Love" is similarly used. In Britain the terms vary with the locality but "Love" and "Dearie" are common. North of Watford, one also hears poultry terms such as "M'Duck" and "Hen" when other women are addressed. But that is all wrong in Britain now. Apparently, a friendly gesture has become "offensive"!
"Nurses will be banned from calling the elderly 'dearie' or 'love' to avoid offending them under controversial new rules. Fresh guidance outlining how they should treat patients 'courteously and with respect', to be unveiled next week, says many elderly people find such terms patronising.

But critics lambasted the advice, saying the use of familiar terms could cheer up bedridden pensioners, and was far less important than ensuring nurses help patients eat their food or do not leave them lying in soiled bedclothes....

The NMC's guidance goes on to give other advice which seems so obvious it is shocking it needs to be pointed out at all. It says nurses should 'communicate with older people by not only talking with them, but listening to what they say', and points out: 'Eye contact is very important in establishing a link with an older person. Healthcare providers should never look at their watch when talking to people.' ...

However, the council accepts that in some parts of the country, such as Yorkshire or Lancashire, it may be normal to use the term 'love' - and is not considered at all patronising...


Must not say that poor people are polluters

Most Indians and Chinese are still poor farmers who cook their food by using such fuels as wood and animal dung. And a couple of billion people doing that gives off a LOT of smoke -- so much that you can see it from space. But you must not mention the origin of what you can see.
"A controversial United Nations report claiming "atmospheric brown clouds" generated by Asia are harming the world's climate, agriculture and health has created a storm of controversy in India, which has slammed it as part of Western pressure on Asia's efforts to counter global warming.

The brown cloud was more pointedly called the "Asian brown cloud" in an earlier United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) report in 2002, before protests from India and China led it to be changed to the politically-correct "atmospheric brown cloud".


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The next Attorney General has called in the past for "Reasonable Restrictions" on Internet Speech

Here is what US Deputy AG Eric Holder said on NPR Morning Edition on May 28, 1999:
""The court has really struck down every government effort to try to regulate... We tried with regard to pornography. It is going to be a difficult thing but it seems to me that if we come up with reasonable restrictions; reasonable regulations on how people interact on the internet, that is something the Supreme Court and the courts ought to favorably look at."


Has he changed his mind by now? Unlikely

Washington State regulators want to regulate bloggers

We read:
"Bloggers beware? State regulators are wondering whether online political activism amounts to lobbying, which could force Web-based activists to file public reports detailing their finances. In a collision of 21st century media and 1970s political reforms, the inquiry hints at a showdown over press freedoms for bloggers, whose self-published journals can shift between news reporting, opinion writing, political organizing and campaign fundraising.

State officials are downplaying any possible media rights conflict, pointing out that regulators have already exempted journalistic blogging from previous guidelines for online campaign activity.

But the blogosphere is taking the notion seriously. One prominent liberal blogger in Seattle is already issuing a dare - if the government wants David Goldstein to file papers as a lobbyist, it will have to take him to court. Goldstein, publisher of the widely read, wants to know how his political crusades could be subject to financial disclosures while newspaper writers, radio hosts and others in traditional media get a pass.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Silvio Berlusconi still 'envious' of Barack Obama's tan'

We read:
"Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has brushed aside outrage from earlier this month to refer once more to US president-elect Barack Obama's "tan". He told ANSA news agency his initial remark was intended as a "compliment", adding that he is equally "envious" of black supermodel Naomi Campbell.

"My compliment to Barack is a little envious," said Mr Berlusconi, who had what he described as a "long, cordial" telephone conversation with the new occupant of the White House - instigated by Obama - on November 7.

"We would all like to be tanned like Naomi Campbell and Obama," said the self-made billionaire, who sports a permanent tan, during a press conference in Pescara, Italy.


No apologies from Silvio!

Conversation cops at a Canadian university

We read:
"Your friend's new fuchsia fedora might be hideous. But don't call it gay, or you might get a language lesson from the conversation cops. Students at Queen's University who sprinkle their dialogue with an assortment of "homo" or "retarded" could find out the hard way that not everyone finds their remarks acceptable.

The Kingston university has hired student facilitators to step in when they overhear homophobic slurs, remarks bashing women or racially tinged insults, along with an array of other language that could be deemed offensive.

That means tete-a-tetes in the residence hallways may no longer be just between friends. "If people are having a conversation with offensive content and they're doing it loud enough for a third person to hear it ... it's not private," said Jason Laker, dean of student affairs at Queen's.

The initiative, believed to be the first of its kind in Canada, is part of a broader program begun at the school this fall to foster diversity and encourage students to think about their beliefs.

But the move is sparking fresh debate over the line between politically correct behaviour and freedom of expression. Some students fear the university's program borders on oppressive.


This is like something out of a dystopian novel -- but it is real.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Extroverted Australian radio announcer in trouble

We read:
"The Mix 102.3 brekky announcer made a rather blue bet yesterday morning while the microphone was still on.

"And if any f . . . er gets question number nine I will run around the studio naked. I will do it," Jodie announced in the lead up to the $1000 Minute quiz. "I'll hobble on my crutches - naked."

It follows a less-than-stellar debut last year, when Jodie said her daughter, Taylor, would play women's cricket "only if she's a flaming lesbian".

Jodie was contrite about the latest incident. "You know how it goes. I'm really sorry if I caused any offence," she said. "Obviously it's not something I would have said if I knew the mic was on, of course." Jodie said there's just a tiny orange light to indicate the microphone's on status.

And the question to inspire the nudie bet was: "What does IQ stand for?" The answer: Intelligence quotient.


Breast implants a touchy topic

We read:
"A Spanish nightclub has scrapped plans to stage a raffle for breast enlargement surgery after an uproar over the event. The Pacha nightclub in the Mediterranean city of Valencia said it "apologised to all people and institutions which may have felt offended by this initiative", adding that "at no moment did it intend to disrespect anyone".

Adverstisements for the event called "Pretty Woman" that had been set for December 5 featured a picture of a woman with firm breasts who appeared to be holding a scalpel. Tickets had been set at 20 euro ($30) with the prize said to be worth 4500 euro. "A tribute to women. Buy your ticket and take part in the raffle for breast enlargement," the club said on its website.

But Health Minister Bernat Soria said on Wednesday that he had launched an investigation into the planned event. The minister said cosmetic surgery was regulated by health authorities and he expressed concern that minors would be able to participate. The official in charge of health in the Valencia region, Lourdes Bernal, meanwhile voiced her "indignation as a woman and as a health official" at the raffle, "which is an affront to the dignity of women".


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Silvio still in good form

I have mentioned before that I am a great fan of the world's most "incorrect" head of government, Silvio Berlusconi, conservative Prime Minister of Italy. He is a man of immense good humor but is no fool. He is a billionaire as well as a very successful politician. So I always look forward to the next news item about him. And he does not disappoint. His latest caper is completely harmless but very much him so I am going to mention it.
"Silvio Berlusconi, the flamboyant Italian Prime Minister, played a practical joke on the German Chancellor today by jumping out at her from behind a lamppost when they met for an Italo-German summit in Trieste.

Slipping away from the welcoming committee, the Italian leader hid behind the lamppost and emerged with a cry of "Cucu!" when Angela Merkel stepped out of her official car to enter the regional council headquarters where they were to meet. Reports said the German leader, who appeared amused, opened her arms and replied "Silvio!".

Mr Berlusconi, noted for his unpredictable behaviour and often ill-judged jokes, raised eyebrows recently by describing Barack Obama, the US President-elect, as "suntanned"


What a guy! "Cucu" means "cuckoo". If only there were more politicians with his joy of life! Frau Merkel is also a conservative so it is no surprise that she too was obviously good humored about it. May Silvio continue to raise eyebrows!

And his approach seems to have paid off. Shortly thereafter Frau Merkel announced that Germany was joining Italy in opposing tough EU global warming regulations -- which was quite a U-turn for her. A pretty smart cuckoo somewhere there!

Another hate-crime hoax

We read:
"Safia Jilani is charged with fabricating a hate crime in which a man hit her on the head and scrawled a hate message against Muslims on a nearby bathroom mirror. The entire campus united behind her; Muslim students were offered escorts to and from classes; and all of Elmhurst College was afroth with righteous indignation against the haters. The only problem is that it looks as if Safia Jilani made it all up -- and now the poor thing is "in treatment."


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Anger over 'all white' slogan for cricket match

We read:
"A New Zealand cricket association has apologised for using the line "It's all white here" in a marketing campaign for a Test match involving the West Indies. Otago cricket chief executive Ross Dykes said the slogan for the Dunedin Test was not intended to be racist but referred to the cricketers' clothing. "We just wanted a catchy phrase to help sell the game," he told the Otago Daily Times. "It was all based around the association of the colour with cricket."

Dykes emailed the West Indies team and board and said he would be "mortified" if anyone thought the slogan was intended to be a slur. "I respect the opinions of others who may well think that it is insensitive," he said. "To those people I apologise."


Attempted German attack on free speech defeated

The current version of the Gestapo wanted to prosecute a guy in Germany for things he quite legally wrote while at home in Australia. They seemed to think that they could extend their intolerant German law worldwide.
"Australian Holocaust denier Fredrik Toben has won his legal battle with the German Government after it ended its attempt to extradite him from Britain. German prosecutors have withdrawn their appeal against a British court's refusal last month to extradite the controversial historian, who was detained at Heathrow airport on a European arrest warrant for denying the extent of Adolf Hitler's crimes against the Jews.

Dr Toben had been expected to face a tough legal fight over his extradition early next year in the High Court in London. He was arrested while in transit at London's Heathrow airport on October1 under a warrant accusing him of racism and publishing anti-Semitic views. But Westminster Magistrates Court district judge Daphne Wickham ruled the extradition could not go ahead because the warrant contained only "sparse" details about Dr Toben's alleged offences, including exactly what they were, as well as where and when they took place.

Lawyers acting on Germany's behalf had said Dr Toben should be extradited so he could be put on trial for posting anti-Semitic and revisionist material on the internet between 2000 and 2004 in Australia, Germany and in other countries.

The case caused alarm in Britain about freedom of speech because, unlike in Australia and Britain, Holocaust denial is a crime in Germany and offenders can face up to five years in jail.


If they had gotten away with it, visiting any EU country would have been risky unless you checked that you were OK with German law first. Note that even homeschooling is illegal in Germany, under laws dating from the Nazi era. And FORGET about owning a gun! But hate-speech against America is just fine, of course.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Police in NY shrug off court order, deny religious free speech

We read:
"Alliance Defense Fund attorneys have filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Ithaca on behalf of a Christian man denied his free speech rights even after he showed police officers a court order prohibiting them from enforcing an unconstitutional "noise" ordinance. ADF attorneys also filed a motion asking the court to suspend the ordinance while the case moves forward. "Christians shouldn't be penalized for expressing their beliefs, especially when a court has expressly upheld their right to do so, as is the case here," said ADF Senior Counsel Nate Kellum. "Police officers cannot step beyond their authority and illegally suppress Christian speech in defiance of a court order."

In 2006, ADF attorneys secured a favorable ruling against the city of Ithaca on behalf of Kevin Deegan. The court's order prohibited officials from enforcing a municipal code that unreasonably restricts sounds on public streets, sidewalks, or paths that can be heard from 25 feet away.

Officers initially approached Deegan in 1999 for violating the code while he was sharing a gospel message in Ithaca Commons. In August 2008, officers prohibited his friend, Jim Deferio, from speaking in the same location. The following week, Deferio returned with Deegan, and officers again told them they were breaking the 25-foot "noise" ordinance. Deegan produced the court order, but the officers did not heed it, saying it didn't apply to them as new officers on the scene.


Victory for Freedom of Speech at Binghamton University Department of Social Work

We read:
"Binghamton University (formerly SUNY-Binghamton) has abandoned its attempt to suspend or expel a student who put up posters challenging the Department of Social Work. The department had ordered that social work master's student Andre Massena leave the program for one year with no guarantee of return, required him to apologize, and demanded that he publicly disavow his own views after his pseudonymous posters challenged the department for having hired the executive director of the Binghamton Housing Authority (BHA)-an agency Massena thought was responsible for social injustice.

When Massena appealed, the department's chair added entirely new allegations and recommended his expulsion. The department dropped the charges late Friday, one day after the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) took the case public.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

British radio presenter fired for calling a councillor a "Nazi"

British bureaucrats are very Gestapo-like but you must not say so:
"Jon Gaunt was dismissed following an internal investigation into the remarks he made during a discussion about Redbridge council's blanket ban on smokers becoming foster parents. During the interview, Cllr Michael Stark tried to justify the policy, which will come into force in January 2010, saying that the welfare of young children should be put ahead of the needs of foster families.

However, Mr Gaunt, who was in care as a child, accused his guest of being "a Nazi" and "an ignorant pig". Mr Gaunt was forced to make an on-air apology to Cllr Stark at the end of the show earlier this month, and was suspended pending a full investigation. However, the station said in a statement that they had terminated Mr Gaunt's contract.


The petty and not so petty authoritarianism of British bureaucrats (particularly local bureaucrats and councils) is portrayed almost daily on POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH

Trouble for that old-fashioned religion

Fire, brimstone and salvation are just SO uncool these days, apparently:
"A Baptist pastor has admitted telling Jewish leaders that Jews were "going to hell" and faced a fate "worse than the Holocaust" because they had not accepted Jesus as their saviour.

But despite Mr Harris's attempt to clarify his remarks, Mr Alhadeff said he was shocked to hear the leader of a Christian congregation speak so bluntly. "It was a chilling experience," he said.

Mr Harris said his comments were made in a private meeting "in my lounge room" and admitted using the word "holocaust" but said it was Biblical language. "I explained that I love the Jewish people very much and that some awful times were coming for them but I did not wish that upon them at all."


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Durham, NC, police probe allegations that officers made anti-Obama remarks in a private forum

Disparaging the sacred child! How awful!
"Derogatory remarks toward President-elect Barack Obama made on a social networking Web site are now the subject of an internal police investigation. A police department employee claims the statements were made on the MySpace pages of two Durham officers.

"There's no exact words that were said," said Police Chief Jose L. Lopez Sr. in a telephone interview Wednesday from San Diego, where he is attending the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference. ``It wasn't a racial slur, but we're still investigating it.''

The department's code of conduct, under the heading ``private life,'' states that an officer's ``character and conduct while off duty must always be exemplary, thus maintaining a position of respect in the community in which he or she lives and serves. The officer's personal behavior must be beyond reproach.''


So it's a sign of bad character to criticize Obama?

Cincinnati Radio host attacked by Leftist group

He tells the truth about the poor! Unforgiveable
"He is well known, outspoken and often the target of criticism, but now 700 WLW's Bill Cunningham is being called out by a Washington, D.C.-based media watchdog group. "What we're trying to call attention to is the real extremist rhetoric that really feeds on hate and poisons our democratic discourse," Media Matters representative Paul Waldman said.

The group said that they've zeroed in on Cunningham for comments such as, "people are poor because they don't work," and, "America is the only country in the world with poor fat people."

Cunningham, for his part, remains unconvinced. "I don't smear anybody. I speak the truth," Cunningham said. He's been named as one of the most influential people in the local media in the past.

Media Matters monitors conservative media and said that Cunningham is one of the most prolific purveyors of hate speech. "Is it a joke to compare Barack Obama to Hitler? To say he's going to gas the Jews? Is it a joke to say that Obama's father left him when he was two because that's what typical black fathers do," Waldman said.

Cunningham doesn't deny the things he says stir up strong emotions. But he said his listeners know where he's coming from. "I said that Barack Obama's father acted the way a black father normally acts, which is quickly have a baby and leave. Which is factually accurate, and it's rather sad," Cunningham said.


Once again we see that it is unforgiveable to compare Obama to Hitler. Very strange after the million times Leftists have compared GWB to Hitler! Did Media Matters attack the Leftist accusations about GWB? We don't need to guess the answer.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Must not say India is a 'Third World country'

Even though it is:
"An off-the-cuff remark by Australian [cricket] batsman Matthew Hayden labelling India a "Third World" country appears to have dented national pride and provoked an angry response on the sub-continent. In response, Australia has been labelled "no more than a village" and described as being 100 years behind India.

On his return from India last week, where Australia lost 2-nil and was heavily criticised for slow over rates, Hayden told reporters that some of the blame rested with opposition batsmen and officials. "Often we find ourselves with hands on hips waiting for someone to either face up or someone in the sightboard to move away; all the little frustrations that happen in Third World countries and the heat as well."

The comment was widely picked up in the Indian press and on cable TV and triggered a furious response from proud Indians.


I myself am very pro-Indian. I even fly the Indian flag from the flagpole at the front of my house most days. But reality is reality and if you have ever been to India, you will know what "third world" means.

Australian blacks to sue over renaming Mt. Niggerhead

Offensiveness all round, it seems:
"An Aboriginal group plans to sue the Victorian Government for ignoring its heritage in the renaming of a mountain called Mt Niggerhead. For decades, the 1846-m Mt Niggerhead in the Alpine National Park in the state's north-east has been at the centre of a heated debate about its name.

Last week Victoria's Environment Minister Gavin Jennings pledged to rename the rocky outcrop Jaithmathangs, after one of the traditional languages of the Bogong High Plains. But another Aboriginal nation, the Dhudhuroas, says the peak is part of their country and the proposed new name is just as offensive to them as Mt Niggerhead.

Mr Murray said Dhudhuroa members met over the weekend to discuss their options, including possible legal action to force the minister to reconsider the new name.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Congressman sorry for likening Obama to Hitler

We read:
"Republican Paul Broun is sorry for calling President-elect Barack Obama a 'Marxist' and comparing him to Adolf Hitler, the Georgia Congressman said Tuesday. "I regret putting it that way," he told WGAC radio in Augusta, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. "I apologize to anyone who has taken offense at that."


Maybe my eyes and ears are blocked or something but I have yet to see or hear a Leftist apologize for calling Bush a Nazi

Must not mention nooses

We read:
"With two American flags flying high above his property, 67-year old Ken Germana is a Navy veteran and is proud of his country. Even though Germana lives in a very remote part of Bonner County a sign he posted on the front of his property a few weeks ago is getting a lot of attention.

He says it's a simple political statement. Others say its hateful. The statement is a handmade sign along with a noose. "Free public hanging for Pelosi, Obama, Sharpton and Kerry," Germana said.

"I don't like them ... because they are Democrats and they're liberals and I'm neither," he said, adding that his statement has nothing to do with race.

The Bonner County Human Rights Task Force was willing to comment, and in a local newspaper called the display "hateful" and violating the doctrine of human rights.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

The media double standard again

We read:
"L'Express, one of France's leading news weeklies, similar to Time Magazine or Newsweek, was ready for anything. Two separate editions were prepared, with two covers. At the top we see the winner with the headline: Barack Obama: The man who can change the world. Below we see the alternative with this ominous headline: McCain, Palin: The couple that arouses fear; their conservatism, their failings, their militarism.


There is a cartoon on the same theme below:

(Toon via The Anchoress)

Michigan Minister Sent to Prison for Warning Judge He Could be Tortured by God

How about that! The ACLU are actually defending free speech. It helps that the guy is a crook, I guess:
"The American Civil Liberties Union is taking up the case of a southwestern Michigan minister who was sent to prison for warning that a judge could be tortured by God. The ACLU said it asked the state appeals court Wednesday to release the Rev. Edward Pinkney on bail while he appeals a probation violation. Lawyers claim his free-speech rights were trampled in Berrien County.

In 2007, Pinkney, 60, was convicted of paying people to vote in a Benton Harbor election. Months later, he wrote an article in a Chicago newspaper, People's Tribune, saying the judge who handled his case, Alfred Butzbaugh, could be punished by God with curses, fever and "extreme burning" unless he changed his ways.

In June 2008, another Berrien County judge, Dennis Wiley, sent Pinkney to prison for three to 10 years after finding that he had violated his probation by making a threat against the judge. "Those are words that would ... put the fear of God into anybody, as a threat that this could happen to them if they do not do what Mr. Pinkney wants him to do, whatever that might be," Wiley said, according to a transcript.

"To our knowledge, this case marks the first time in modern history that a preacher has been imprisoned for predicting what God might do," said Michael Steinberg, legal director for the ACLU in Michigan.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

More verbal magic: Calling a thing by its opposite

A proposed law which Obama supports and which may now get through Congress is the "Employee Free Choice Act"
"Of course, this is anything but a "free choice" on the part of employees. This is the proposed legislation which will take away the secret ballot part of union votes. Whether or not to unionize are some of the most heated and dangerous elections ever held in our country, and to remove the sacred secret ballot from these elections would be disastrous. This should be called the union thug free intimidation act - or the "End of Many Businesses" act.


"Coolest" is now a bad word

The global temperature has been cooling for the last couple of years -- with record cold weather being reported incessantly from numerous places worldwide -- so how do global warmers deal with that? By substituting "less warm" for "cool"! So instead of saying that 2008 will be the coolest year of the last 10 years, they say that it is the "least warm"! I kid you not. See below:
"This year is on track to be about the 10th warmest globally since records began in 1850 but gaps in Arctic data mean the world may be slightly underestimating global warming, a leading scientist said on Tuesday. A natural cooling of the Pacific Ocean known as La Nina kept a lid on temperatures in 2008 despite an underlying warming trend, said Phil Jones, director of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in England. "This year is about 10th," he told Reuters in a telephone interview. "La Nina in the Pacific lasted longer than we envisaged."

Jones's unit is one of the main sources of global climate data for the United Nations. The warmest year on record was 1998, followed by 2005 and 2003, with other years this century closely bunched. Tenth place would make 2008 the least warm since 1999.


It takes a bit of seeing it through the propaganda but they are actually admitting that global warming stopped in 1998 -- which it did.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Do people have a right to place their words on monuments in public parks?

I guess that most people would say No. Under the First Amendment, you are entitled to say what you like but nobody is obliged to help you to get your message across.

But what if the speech is religious? Is it abridging the freedom of religion for a city to prohibit you from putting up a record of your beliefs in its parks? Again I think most people would say No. You can practice whatever wacky religion you like but it has to be on your own dime. You have to pay to locate your billboards etc. where people will see them.

But a wacky religion in Utah claims it does have the right to put up its teachings in public parks and the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed with them. So the matter is now going to SCOTUS. I am pretty sure SCOTUS will knock the idea on the head but if they don't, public parks will become very strange places, full of billboards with nutty messages. I might even insist on my right to put up a list of the five Australian commandments.

The religion behind the court case is called Summum and was founded by a guy whom I would diagnose as a paranoid schizophrenic. And I think that most of my fellow psychologists would agree. But judge for yourself. Below is the guff they eventually want to put up in the park nearest to you:
"The Seven Aphorisms of Summum

The Principle of Psychokinesis: Summum is mind, thought; the universe is a mental creation.

The Principle of Correspondence: As above, so below; as below, so above.

The Principle of Vibration: Nothing rests; everything moves; everything vibrates.

The Principle of Opposition: Everything is dual; everything has an opposing point; everything has its pair of opposites; like and unlike are the same; opposites are identical in nature, but different in degree; extremes bond; all truths are but partial truths; all paradoxes may be reconciled.

The Principle of Rhythm: Everything flows out and in; everything has its season; all things rise and fall; the pendulum swing expresses itself in everything; the measure of the swing to the right is the measure of the swing to the left; rhythm compensates.

The Principle of Cause and Effect: Every cause has its effect; every effect has its cause; everything happens according to Law; Chance is just a name for Law not recognized; there are many fields of causation, but nothing escapes the Law of Destiny.

The Principle of Gender: Everything has its masculine and feminine principles; Gender manifests on all levels

That is what psychologists call "Thought disorder". There is another comment on the matter here

Fired: British mother who sought a white cab-driver to protect her child

We read:
"A BBC radio presenter was fired after making "completely unacceptable" comments about Asian taxi drivers, the broadcaster said today. Sam Mason, 40, asked a Bristol cab firm not to send an Asian driver to pick up her daughter because "a guy with a turban on is going to freak her out." The phone operator recorded the conversation and passed a copy of it to The Sun.

Today, the BBC confirmed it had fired Mason, but would not say which taxi firm made the complaint. A spokesman said: "Although Sam Mason's remarks were not made on-air, her comments were completely unacceptable and, for that reason, she has been informed that she will no longer be working for the BBC with immediate effect."


In Britain, all people from the Asian subcontinent (India) are commonly lumped together as "Asians" but that is misleading. Sikhs (who wear turbans) and Hindus are quite law-abiding but Muslims, particularly from Bangladesh, are disproportionately engaged in criminality, with some notorious cases of young white girls being targeted in various ways. It was undoubtedly the Muslims that the mother was fearful of. But in Britain that reasonable fear is forbidden.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Even The Lightbringer is now incorrect

Obama recently referred to mongrel dogs as "mutts like me". So is the term "mutt" a slur? I have no doubt that the old term "halfbreed" now is.

A Korean lady has protested:
"I've heard mixed-race people use that term to describe themselves before, usually in the same ha-ha way Obama did. I've also heard it thrown around as an insult, a pejorative, a slur. I've felt the slap of that word across my face" she wrote. "My fear, however, is that Obama, as the first mixed-race president, will shape the way most Americans view people of mixed race for at least a generation. And will Obama calling himself a 'mutt' - with humor, as if the word is nothing, nothing at all - make it socially acceptable for people to start calling me a mutt? My kids?"

I must say that I personally was rather pleased to see Obama calling himself a "mutt". It was definitely self-deprecating and I still adhere to the Christian view that humility is a virtue.

British city bans term 'British'

We read:
"The word `British' can be as offensive as `negro' and `half-caste', according to a race relations body. The publicly-funded organisation's views have been adopted by Caerphilly council in South Wales for a leaflet advising staff on how to deal with the public.

In a section on what words or phrases not to use to avoid causing offence, the leaflet solemnly informs the council's 9,000 workers: `The idea of "British" implies a false sense of unity - many Scots, Welsh and Irish resist being called British and the land denoted by the term contains a wide variety of cultures, languages and religions.'

The suggestion the word `British' should be avoided appears alongside similar sections which warn that `half-caste' implies `a person is not whole and so should be avoided' and that `negro' has `racist overtones and is linked with the slave trade'.

But Tory MP David Davies, MP for Monmouth said: `There's absolutely nothing offensive about describing people as British.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

British council bans staff from saying 'singing from the same hymn sheet'... in case it offends atheists

We read:
"A council is to launch a probe to find out how it banned its staff from using the phrase 'singing from the same hymn sheet' because it could offend atheists. Salisbury District Council instructed officials to stop using the centuries-old saying to avoid upsetting non-believers. The council also recently told employees to replace saying 'colour blind' with 'colour visual impairment'.

The advice read: 'Avoid office and council jargon wherever possible, including phrases such as "moving forward" and "singing from the same hymn sheet". 'Not everyone understands these phrases - some can actually cause offence (what would an atheist want with your hymn sheet?).'

Yesterday, Salisbury council leader Paul Sample vowed to investigate and put an end to the ban. 'I think whoever did it probably did not think of running it past elected politicians and if they had we would have helped them to see common sense.


Britain: Must not imply that blacks chuck spears

We read:
"Jim Rosenthal has been forced to apologise to black Olympic javelin star Tessa Sanderson after describing her as a 'spear chucker'.

The 60-year-old sports commentator was denounced as a 'racist' by critics. They bombarded internet forums with angry messages, claiming that the phrase was insulting to ethnic minorities because of its supposed associations with 'uncivilised' tribes.

But Sanderson's former rival, Fatima Whitbread, defended Rosenthal. She said that the phrase 'spear chucker' was common in athletic circles and did not carry any racist connotations.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

No free speech in Philadelphia

McCain T-shirt gets man arrested.
"A man wearing a McCain-Palin T-shirt during a Philadelphia celebration on election night was arrested, cuffed and stuffed into a police cruiser, and supporters said it was for no more than wearing the endorsement of the GOP nominees for president and vice-president. Although the man protested that he didn't want to cause any trouble, officers manhandled and arrested him, the video posted on YouTube shows.

Philadelphia Police Sgt. Ray Evers told WND the man, whose name was not released, was arrested for disorderly conduct and public drunkenness. "He was causing large crowds to form around him," Evers said, adding that he also "was not listening to police commands." "He was asked several times to leave the area," the sergeant said. "He refused several commands from police to leave the area."


Why should he leave the area? He was doing nothing wrong.

GA gun shop takes heat over Obama sign

We read:
"A local gun shop that used Barack Obama's name to hawk weapons has backed down, saying the message was meant to champion gun rights, not threaten violence. Georgia Outdoor Sports owner Carrie Mentel said she advertised an `OBAMA SALE!' - on `GUNS AMMO ARCHERY' - outside her Hull store Wednesday morning, hours after the election, because firearms enthusiasts are worried the new Democratic president soon will step all over their Second Amendment right to bear arms. But some passing motorists interpreted the sign as a call for violence against the country's first black president."


I have an idea that the sign might have been a bit of a tease -- deliberately ambiguous. I hope it sold a few guns anyway.

Monday, November 10, 2008

N-Word Hurled at Blacks During Westwood Prop 8 Protest

It is very common for blacks to despise homosexuals so a lot of blacks supported the Californian ballot measure to bar homosexual "marriage". In response the homosexuals did a passable imitation of the KKK. There's nothing like that Leftist "tolerance"!
"The recent passage of California's Proposition 8 has exposed some of the latent racism of many within the LGBT community-instigated in part by many in the e-telligentsia such as revisionist Andrew Sullivan and sex advisor turned sociologist Dan Savage. Unfortunately the "blame the blacks" meme is being commonly accepted by some so-called "progressive" gay activists. A number of Rod 2.0 and Jasmyne Cannick readers report being subjected to taunts, threats and racist abuse at last night's marriage equality rally in Los Angeles....

It was like being at a klan rally except the klansmen were wearing Abercrombie polos and Birkenstocks. YOU NIGGER, one man shouted at men. If your people want to call me a FAGGOT, I will call you a nigger. Someone else said same thing to me on the next block near the and my friend were walking, he is also gay but Korean, and a young WeHo clone said after last night the niggers better not come to West Hollywood if they knew what was BEST for them....

Jasmyne Cannick has a similar and unfortunate report. "I have received several phone calls from Blacks, both gay and straight, who were caught up in Westwood around the time of that march. From being called 'niggers' to being accosted in their cars and told that it was because of 'you people gays don't have equal rights and you better watch your back,' these gays have lost their damn minds."


A BBC eminence with no sense of humor

The Queen Mother was undoubtedly the most popular person in Britain for most of her life and now some nasty Leftist has tried to make himself look holier than holy by sliming her:
"Edward Stourton, the urbane presenter of the BBC's flagship radio programme Today, has admitted thinking that the late Queen Mother was "a ghastly old bigot". In a book on political correctness, he reveals the content of a private conversation with her in the early 1990s. After he told her he was back from a European summit, she said: "It will never work, you know . . . It will never work with all those Huns, wops and dagos."

Stourton writes: "The words were delivered with the eyes on maximum tiara-strength twinkle, but I am afraid I froze. The Nation's Favourite Grandmother was, I thought, in fact a ghastly old bigot, a prey to precisely the kind of prejudice which had driven the conflicts the European project had been designed to prevent . . . I thought that what she had said was nasty and ugly."


His comment about the "twinkle" shows that he knew she was joking but it was still too much for his refined sensibilities. I can believe that she did say it. She grew up into a more robust world than we have today and was as such more likely to find slang terms amusing rather than offensive.

In case British slang is not understood by some readers, by "Huns, wops and dagos" she probably meant Germans, Italians and Spaniards.

Stourton has subsequently backed down somewhat from his comments above.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Misunderstood banter?

This is about remarks on an Australian TV show but I am not quite sure what the problem is. The remarks were clearly a joke:
"Dancing With The Stars" presenter Sonia Kruger is in hot water after making derogatory comments about a "sweat shop of illegal immigrants" slaving away on her wardrobe for the Melbourne Cup Carnival. Kruger, 43, made the comments during the celebrity reality show last Sunday after co-host Daniel MacPherson asked about the bevy of outfits the star would require for her four day stint covering the racing carnival for Channel 7.

"Lets just say there is a sweat shop full of illegal immigrants working on them right now," Kruger said before referring to the show's Malaysian born musical director Chong Lim. "How is the family Chong? Alright?"

Disgusted fans of the show have lashed out at the personality on internet message boards, branding Kruger's comments as outrageous, racist and inappropriate....

Kruger offered no apology and said she had no regrets about the remarks. "I certainly didn't say anything with any intention for it to be racist," Kruger said.

"Chong and I are in a friendship that we poke fun at each other all the time. In all honesty political correctness does get up my nose ... I poke just as much fun at myself. I would never ever, ever want to seriously offend anyone."


As far as I can work out, it was thought derogatory to the Chinese to mention that some of them work in "sweatshops". But they do. Almost all clothing seems to be made in China these days. And the Chinese workers are poorly paid for it by our standards. But they are very glad to have the jobs, nonetheless.

And it is also true that Asian women living in Australia (mostly Vietnamese) do supplement the family income by making up garments for designers on their sewing machines at home. And they too tend to be poorly paid for it, but again they think it is better than earning nothing.

I think one problem here is with people who cannot handle reality. Another problem may be that some people do not understand banter. The remarks above were clearly banter. Banter in the sense that I am using it is mocking or derogatory statements made to and about another person that are not expected to be taken seriously by that person.

For instance, I have a couple of old friends whom I abuse roundly almost every time I communicate with them. And they do the same back. And what we say would just about get us shot if uttered on TV. Yet they are friendships of very long standing which we all enjoy. Saying abusive things to friends is in fact a statement of confidence in the goodwill of the other person and it strengthens friendships rather than weakens them. But I suppose there are some sad souls who have never taken part in that sort of thing.

Undoubtedly, however, it was risky for the lady to use banter on TV

Judge Bans Use Of "Illegal" and "Aliens"

This is very much in keeping with the usual Leftist fantasy that changing the word for a thing changes both the underlying reality and people's attitude towards it. In fact, the new term rapidly acquires all the associations of the old. Already, I am not the only one to use "undocumented" derisively, for instance.
"Arizona's Supreme Court Justice has agreed to enforce the Hispanic Bar Association's demands of banning the terms "illegal" and "aliens" in all of the state's courtrooms. Claiming that the terms are inflammatory, the president of Arizona's Hispanic Bar Association, (known as Los Abogados) has asked state Supreme Court Chief Justice Ruth McGregor to stop using them at trials or hearings because they create perceptions of judicial bias.
"The Webster's dictionary defines the adjective "alien" as "belonging or relating to another person, place, or thing" and the noun "differing in nature or character typically to the point of incompatibility". This is exactly what is intended. The denial of using this language is itself prejudicial. This goes to the core of the debate. They are "alien" and "different". "Illegal" is also not allowed"

In a strongly worded letter to the chief justice, Los Abogados' president says attaching an illegal status to a person establishes a brand of contemptibility, creates the appearance of anti-immigrant prejudice and tarnishes the image of courts as a place where disputes may be fairly resolved.

It further points out that no human being is illegal and that a national Hispanic journalism association has roundly criticized the reference for dehumanizing a segment of the population. The letter goes on to criticize the state's High Court for using the term "illegals" in at least two opinions and the term "illegal aliens" in dozens of others.

It concludes with a list of acceptable and unacceptable terms relating to illegal immigration. Among those the group wants banned are; immigration crisis, immigration epidemic, open borders advocates, anchor babies and invaders. Among the acceptable terms are foreign nationals, unauthorized workers and human rights advocates.


Saturday, November 08, 2008

Black British racing-car driver mocked by Spanish fans

Spanish sports fans are well known for mocking representatives of opposing teams in most sports. And they particularly dislike black sportsmen playing for predominantly white countries. They seem to see that as unfair or not properly representative so they abuse such sportsmen in various ways, shouting "monkey" at them etc.

Lewis Hamilton is a British champion racing car driver who looks a lot like Obama and is also of mixed parentage. So when Lewis Hamilton raced recently in Spain, some mockery was to be expected. Some fans wore blackface makeup and Afro wigs and some racist slurs were "clearly heard".

Bernard Ecclestone, an elderly British racing car boss, is a man from a more robust era when men were expected to take a fair bit of joshing without bursting into tears. He was apparently present during the race and was not offended by what went on. So we read:
"Bernie Ecclestone was accused of condoning the racist abuse of Lewis Hamilton last night as the controversy over the treatment of Britain's new world champion roared back to life... A leading anti-racist pressure group accused Ecclestone of setting a "shocking and disgraceful" example after the Formula One commercial rights holder said that he regarded the conduct of fans who taunted Hamilton in Barcelona this year as "a bit of a joke".

Hamilton, however, said that he did not consider funny the behaviour of Spanish fans - who hurled abuse at him, blacked up their faces and wore wigs plus T-shirts inscribed with the legend "Hamilton's family".


It sounds to me that some attention-seeking "activists" have revived what was seen as a fairly minor problem at the time.

The world's most "incorrect" national leader still in form

We read:
"Silvio Berlusconi, Italy's gaffe-prone Prime Minister, today found himself accused of racism after calling Barack Obama "suntanned". Speaking in Moscow at a joint news conference with President Medvedev, Mr Berlusconi said Mr Obama's election had been "hailed by world public opinion as the arrival of a Messiah".

He added: "I will try to help relations between Russia and the United States, where a new generation has come to power. I don't see problems for Medvedev in establishing good relations with Obama, who is also handsome, young and suntanned".

Mr Berlusconi said he had intended the remark as a compliment and those who failed to understand this were "imbeciles"....

Mr Berlusconi's previous gaffes include remarking to businessmen on a trip to the US that Italy was a great country to invest in "because we have fewer Communists nowadays and beautiful secretaries, superb girls".

Meeting the Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen in 2002, Mr Berlusconi described him as "the best-looking Prime Minister in Europe" and suggested he should have an affair with his wife, the former actress Veronica Lario.


I suspect that Silvio was just having fun again. He is a very good humored and jocular man. He is 72 so comes from an age when far fewer things were "offensive" -- and he obviously sees no need to change. He did very well in the last election so many Italians are obviously on his wavelength. I must say I always look forward to his latest "gaffe".

Friday, November 07, 2008

Must not mention Obama's middle name while in uniform

We read:
"Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott’s now infamous appearance at Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s public rally has caught the attention of federal officials. Scott is under federal investigation for wearing his uniform during the campaign stump, a spokesman for the Office of Special Counsel said on Tuesday.

The investigation follows Scott’s use of presidential candidate Barack Obama’s middle name in his comments before the crowd, a moment that Scott later said he didn’t regret but that has caused an uproar in parts of Lee County.


Erectile dysfunction TV ad banned in Egypt

We read:
"A TV advertisement for erectile dysfunction medication has been banned in Egypt after viewers protested about its use of a popular song. Keep the Weapon Awake was penned in 1973 by Egyptian poet Ahmed Shafiq Kamel to rouse Egyptians during the Arab-Israeli 1973 war when the Israeli army reached the Suez Canal, Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Yom reported.

One Egyptian satellite television owner, who said his station had stopped airing the advertisement, described it as "annoying and not right", the newspaper reported.

Many Egyptians take great pride in the 1973 war, which eventually led to an Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty and Israel's withdrawal from Egyptian territories it captured in 1967.


Obama's blackness

There seemed to be a great taboo on mentioning Obama's blackness during the election campaign but at the moment you seem to hear almost nothing else -- what a great triumph is is for a black to become President etc.

It's just my impression. I have not bothered to document it it any way and maybe I have just been reading the wrong stuff but it is of course consistent with today's speech rules that you can only mention blackness to praise it.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Britain's most "incorrect" man off the hook

Jeremy Clarkson is a British motoring writer who also has a TV show. He is enormously popular for his "incorrect" but jocular comments and those who tune into his show know very well the sort of humorous exaggerations they are likely to hear. Note: "Lorry" is the British word for a truck.
"Ofcom, the broadcasting watchdog, is set to dismiss complaints about a joke by Jeremy Clarkson, the presenter of BBC's Top Gear, about lorry drivers killing prostitutes, The Times has learnt.

[Clarkson] said: "This is a hard job and I'm not just saying that to win favour with lorry drivers, it's a hard job. "Change gear, change gear, change gear, check mirror, murder a prostitute, change gear, change gear, murder. That's a lot of effort in a day."

Notorious prostitute killers Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper, and Steve Wright, also known as the Suffolk Strangler, were both lorry drivers. This morning the BBC said it had received 517 complaints about the joke, with Ofcom also confirming that it had received calls about the show. But it is understood that the industry regulator, which is thought to have received only a handful of complaints, is likely to rule that the comments did not fall foul of the broadcasting code.

A BBC spokeswoman said: "The vast majority of Top Gear viewers have clear expectations of Jeremy Clarkson's long-established and frequently provocative on-screen persona. "This particular reference was used to comically exaggerate and make ridiculous an unfair urban myth about the world of lorry driving, and was not intended to cause offence."


A narrow win for free speech in Wisconsin

Another Democrat attempt to suppress an election advertisement:
"In Wisconsin, the Coalition for America's Families has won its case against Mark Radcliffe, candidate for Wisconsin State Assembly in the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. Mr. Radcliffe had requested the court to forcibly remove an ad the Coalition had run because they claimed that it "falsely refers to the plaintiff as supporting plans to double taxes, supporting a 15 billion dollar health care plan that creates new taxes, and refers to the Wall Street Journal as reporting that the plaintiff's plan represents $510.00 per month increase in taxes for every Wisconsin work."

The Court of Appeals ruled that "there has not yet been a final adjudication as to whether the ad contains a false or defamatory statement." and, therefore, Mr. Radcliffe's demand to have the ads pulled from the air was not "an adequate basis for prior restraint in the context of a defamation claim." This overturned a prior ruling by the trial court that the Coalition had appealed. In other words, the court ruled that the ad could not be pulled because there had been no finding in court that the ad was defamatory, libelous, or otherwise.

And of course, there should certainly be a prohibition against courts applying a temporary injunction-which basically is prior restraint-against any political ad, news story, or any other form of speech or press. But there is a larger issue at stake. Ultimately, this is the end result of regulating political speech in the first place. Campaign committees, advocacy organizations, and political committees must abide by onerous regulations and reporting requirements that can have the effect of stifling other forms of citizen speech.

Mr. Radcliffe's case basically amounted to his claim that he had changed his mind on the issues in the ad, and that it was therefore misleading. If that is the direction campaign speech law takes, it will become impossible to hold politicians accountable for the stands that they take. Instead, citizens must be allowed to broadcast views critical of election officials and politicians. That, by definition, is political speech, protected by the First Amendment.


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

"Muslim Massacre" game

Update on a post of Sept. 14:
"The Australian Muslim community has accused the Federal Government and police of double standards over their treatment of a free online game in which the aim is to kill as many Muslims as possible. Keysar Trad, president of the Islamic Friendship Association, wrote to the Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, expressing outrage over the game, Muslim Massacre, saying it teaches young people to "further hate Muslims" and encourages them to carry out "acts of discrimination, vilification or outright violence against Australian Muslims".

The game, launched as a free download on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, invites players to take control of an American "hero" and "wipe out the Muslim race with an arsenal of the world's most destructive weapons". It was created by a 22-year-old programmer going by the online handle Sigvatr, who says on his website that he is from Brisbane and works part-time as a service station attendant....

But the response to Trad from the Attorney-General's department was little more than a two-page explanation of Australia's content classification and racial discrimination laws and the government bodies tasked with administering them.

Trad said he received a response from the federal police "telling me that I can complain to the Australian Communications and Media Authority if I wished". But it is unlikely ACMA can do anything to have the game removed from the net as it is not hosted on Australian servers.


So ACTUAL massacres by Muslims are OK but just playing at massacring Muslims is not?? Has Mr Trad condemned Osama bin Laden and his ilk? Have the hate-preaching Mullahs all been silenced?

Coca Cola must not defend itself from its critics

Update on a story of Oct 17:
"A controversial advertising campaign in which Australian actor Kerry Armstrong claims Coca-Cola is not unhealthy, is facing the axe. The future of the so-called "myth-busting" print advertisement will be decided by the Advertising Standards Bureau next month.

Health campaigners are also planning a formal complaint to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, alleging the ads are factually misleading. They are objecting to Armstrong's claims that Coca-Cola does not make you fat, rot your teeth or is it packed with caffeine.

"When I was asked to speak out in favour of one of the world's largest brands, Coca-Cola, it became clear that it was surrounded by all kinds of myths and conjecture," the Lantana and SeaChange star says in the full-page ad. "Now that I've found out what's myth and what isn't, it's good to know that our family can continue to enjoy one of our favourite drinks....


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

It isn't a crime to call the Irish leprechauns

British court clears teenager of racially harassing neighbour:
"Small and mischievous, they're the green-clad little people who are synonymous with the Emerald Isle. The question a court prepared to wrestle with was whether calling your Irish neighbour a '******* leprechaun' amounts to racial abuse. Andeliza Tucker,18, faced a trial costing thousands after the alleged remark led to police action. However common sense prevailed on Thursday when her lawyer, Louise McCloskey - herself of Irish ancestry - successfully argued that the prosecution was 'political correctness gone mad'.

Miss Tucker was arrested after her neighbour, mother of five Eleanor Vince, who is Irish, claimed the leprechaun comment was directed at her during the latest chapter in a long running feud. After being questioned, the teenager was charged with racially aggravated harassment, an offence which carries up to two years' imprisonment...

When the case came before a judge at Liverpool Crown Court, Miss McCloskey argued that her client should never have been prosecuted. Crown lawyer Michael Stephenson then conceded that describing someone as a 17th century mythical being was not a straightforward racial insult.


British government to 'name and shame' preachers of hate

Let's hope this really is applied impartially. A lot of "anti-Zionist" Leftists could get caught, but I suppose they won't. "Anti-Zionist" is such a thin excuse for antisemitism. Only a small minority of Israelis are Zionists
"Preachers of hate who have been banned from entering the UK face being "named and shamed" by the Government as part of the Prime Minister's promise to take stronger action against those accused of stirring up community tension. Jacqui Smith will tell MPs today that foreigners could be banned from the country forever unless they can persuade the Government they are no longer preaching hate. They will be expected to make a public renunciation saying they no longer preach hate or violent extremism. The move will affect Islamic exremists and others including neo-Nazis and animal rights activists.

A total of 230 people have been excluded from entering the country since August 2005 on suspicion that they are a threat to national security or foster and promote extremism. Among those barred from coming into the UK are 79 individuals, including preachers of hate, barred for "unacceptable" behaviours.


Monday, November 03, 2008

Student suspended for publishing conservative website

We read:
"Back in the USSR, they sent dissidents to psychiatric confinement; in ultra-blue Marin County, they suspend them from school and send them for "psychological evaluation." According to the Marin Independent-Journal:
"Although school officials declined to comment on his case, [Cyrus] Massoumi, 17, a senior [at Redwood High School], said he was suspended from school Wednesday for distributing flyers directing students to his online newspaper, which he previously stored on a school computer server.

He admits there are articles in The Deadwood Barf -- a parody of the school newspaper The Redwood Bark -- that many people might find offensive. But the Larkspur teen believes school administrators went too far in their response, sending a security guard to remove him from class and asking him to undergo a psychological evaluation.

"They asked me to sign a 'no violence' contract, saying that if I refused they would call the police and have me declared a physical threat," Massoumi said. "It's ridiculous."

If the student violated school policy by distributing leaflets on campus, is it appropriate to behave as the school did? When asked to do so, he removed his website from the school's server and published it elsewhere. He stopped distributing the pamphlets when asked.


Naughty British Muslim

We read:
"Muslim artist, Sarah Maple has been criticized in the past for how she depicts her religion in her work, but her latest exhibition in London has triggered a new wave of intimidation, death threats and even violence. Since putting the 23-year-old's exhibit on display on Oct. 16, SaLon gallery in Notting Hill has received a string of violent emails and phone calls about the artist and her family, according to the British Broadcasting Company.

Maple's exhibit is filled with controversial self-portraits of the artist wearing a headscarf posing in provocative ways, the BBC reported. In one painting she also bares a breast. But gallery owners believe it was a painting of the artist in a headscarf holding a pig that triggered the violence, according to the BBC. [LOL!]

The gallery itself was also targeted when woman wearing a burka threatened gallery workers earlier this week, and again when the glass front of the gallery was smashed on Tuesday, the London Telegraph reported. SaLon has since enlisted 24-hour police protection.


Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Church of England can safely be ignored

But Muslims are another matter
"Sony's decision this month to delay one of the most anticipated games in the history of PlayStation, LittleBigPlanet, to avoid offending Muslims, is the latest sign that videogame-makers are playing prudence when it comes to religion. LittleBigPlanet, which has received rave reviews, is finally being released next week after a fortnight-long delay because of concerns that a track in the background music might be found offensive.

In 2003, Microsoft cancelled the European release of its combat game Kakuto Chojin for its first Xbox for the same reasons - a music track containing quotes from the Koran. The game was also withdrawn from shelves in Japan and the United States and has since remained unavailable.

More recently, Japanese games editor Capcom modified the sound-track to adventure game Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure ahead of its 2008 release for Nintendo's Wii. This followed a complaint from the US Council on American-Islamic Relations over the use of a background sound featuring Islamic prayer "Allahu akbar" ("God is great") as tribal islanders in the game prayed around a totem.

And last year, the Anglican church kicked up a fuss over a building in a Sony game that it said looked like the Anglican cathedral in Manchester, northern England, even prompting then prime minister Tony Blair to kick in and comment. The church featured as the scene of a violent shootout in Resistance: Fall of Man. Sony apologised but refused to cave in to the church's demand to remove the game from store shelves.


Looks like you have to bomb and behead people to get taken seriously. A strange set of values we have these days.

College denies that it ever attacked Christian group

Even though one of its instrumentalities did:
"Shippensburg University and a religious student group have settled a lawsuit over alleged violations of free speech rights. The Christian Fellowship of Shippensburg University asserted in a federal lawsuit filed in May that it had been threatened with being shut down because it requires members to be Christians and its president to be a man. The group said the state-owned university violated a 2004 settlement of a separate lawsuit over the school's student code of conduct.

In the 2004 case, a civil liberties group sued the university over a student code barring "acts of intolerance" including racist, sexist and homophobic speech. University officials said they would revise the code after a federal judge granted a preliminary injunction barring the enforcement of that provision.

The Washington-based Alliance Defense Fund Center for Academic Freedom said the latest lawsuit stemmed from Christian Fellowship's expulsion from campus by the student senate in February in a dispute over its membership and leadership requirements.

The group, which has been recognized by the university since the early 1970s, was later told it could resume operations but said it feared the possibility of further sanctions.

The Alliance Defense Fund said Thursday that the university "has agreed to correct the policies and respect the constitutional rights of its students."

Shippensburg confirmed Thursday that the suit had been settled and said in a statement that it had not disciplined students for violating rules about speech, "nor has the university taken action against a student organization based on its membership criteria."


Leftist "denial" in full flight there, it seems: Black is white and white is black. I guess they are trying to say that the student senate had no authority from them. Unlikely to be true.

(The official bulldust: "Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania is a bachelor and masters degree granting institution with a rich history of teaching excellence").

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Must NOT laugh at minority group members

That viewers of the comedy were laughing at particular people rather than at groups was too simple for these know-alls.
"Hit British TV comedy Little Britain has been accused of promoting prejudice and hatred. A study by a London School of Economics academic says many of the show's characters - from teenage mum Vicky Pollard to proud gay Daffyd - are stereotypes based on people's dislike of others of a different class, sexuality, race or gender.

Researcher Deborah Finding branded the show as "the comedy equivalent of junk food''. "It is clear that when 'we', the audience, are invited to laugh at 'them', the characters - we are laughing not only at the figures on screen but at entire groups of people whom they come to represent,'' she said.

"Little Britain does far more to promote racism, sexism, homophobia, ageism and classism than it does to satirise them - though it does do that from time to time....

"Even Daffyd, the self-proclaimed only gay in the village, is a character who connects the idea of being homosexual with being ridiculous and therefore relies on mainstream fears about gayness, despite the fact that Daffyd is the creation of comedian Matt Lucas - who is himself gay,'' she said


For some more level-headed comments on the academic hate-mongers above, see Andrew Bolt.

The people of Kentucky get a right to know what their judges believe

We read:
"Judicial candidates in Kentucky may now identify themselves by party and can raise campaign cash after a federal judge threw out some of the regulations restricting such activities. U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell in Frankfort ruled Monday that the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission's rule against judicial candidates identifying themselves by party is unconstitutional. Caldwell also found unconstitutional the bar association's rule against judges and judicial candidates soliciting campaign funds.

Caldwell permanently barred the Judicial Conduct Commission from enforcing those parts of the rules. But, Caldwell noted, the rest of the regulations regarding the conduct of judges and judicial candidates may continue to be enforced.

The ruling came in a case brought by Marcus Carey, who ran an unsuccessful race for the state Supreme Court in 2006. Carey argued that rules barring him from declaring his views on such legal issues as abortion and gay marriage infringe on his free-speech rights.