Saturday, February 28, 2009

LA County urges name change for Negrohead Mountain

Maybe they should call it "Mt. Obama":
"County leaders on Tuesday approved a resolution asking a federal agency to rename Negrohead Mountain near Malibu in honor of a black pioneer who settled in the area in the 19th century. The peak would be known as Ballard Mountain, after John Ballard, if the U.S. Geological Survey's Board on Geographic Names grants the request by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

"Black history is all of our history ... and this an opportunity to celebrate that," Moorpark College history instructor Patty Colman told supervisors during a board meeting. The switch would "honor the man, as a man, for the contributions he made," said Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who made the name-change motion.

The name of the mountain, at 2,031 feet the tallest in the area, originally contained a racial slur [n*ggerhead?] that even was found on early government topographic maps. It was changed to "negro" in the 1960s. Other settlers are believed to have been thinking of Ballard when they named the mountain. "It really was slander of a courageous and remarkable guy," said Nicholas Noxon, a local resident who lobbied for the Ballard Mountain name change.


The Leftist version of free speech prevails in Israel too

We read:
"Freedom of speech in Israel just took another bullet. The Leftist First Amendment, under which anti-Israel leftists and Arabs are entitled to the protection of freedom of speech for everything they say but no one else is, made a comeback this week. The Israeli dual court system also struck back.

Neria Ofan was convicted this week of racism by a Jerusalem Magistrate's Court. He was convicted of driving with an insensitive bumper sticker on his car. This is not a spoof. It really happened. Ofan's felony? Ofan, who lives in the West Bank, had a bumper sticker on his car that reads, "Where there are No Arabs, there is No Terror." That, fatwa-ed the court's judge Shulamit Dotan, constitutes racism. Another Jew was similar convicted in criminal court six months back for wearing a Tee shirt containing the same slogan.

Now what does NOT constitute racism or incitement in post-democratic Israel? Arab students chanting "Death to the Jews" does not. Waving PLO and Hamas banners on campuses does not. We know that merely calling for Jews to be exterminated and for Israel to be annihilated also does not.

Dotan was one of the judges who had earlier "convicted" Moshe Feiglin of "sedition" because he had blocked a traffic intersection in the 1990s with a group of protesters against Oslo. Blocking traffic intersections for other things, such as for the demands of the Histadrut or when students want lower tuition, is democratic and permitted.

As for that slogan, "Where there are no Arabs, there is no Terror," it is very close to being an empirically verifiable statement, although one can, I suppose, find terror here and there in places where there are no Arabs, like in Sri Lanka. But racism? I mean, if the court had accused the driver of perpetrating a slight empirical exaggeration, perhaps it might have a case.


Friday, February 27, 2009

Censorship at Western Michigan University

Must not tell the truth about Islam
"A Speaking Event to be held at Western Michigan University on March 10th 2009, which includes two former terrorists Walid Shoebat and Kamal Saleem who speak regularly on University campuses about the threat of Islamic terrorism, has been threatened with cancellation due to the pulling of grants, which were allocated by the University.

The grant of $8311 was passed 4 to 1 by the appropriations committee of the WSA (student activities administration of Western Michigan University). The grant approval was also sent in writing and signed by the finance director of the WSA. On Thursday evening Feb 19, the organizers of the event on campus received an email from the WSA revoking the grant because of a technicality.

Based on the letter signed by the WSA committee of appropriations by default the University appears to be deliberately attempting to stifle the free speech both organizers - The International Conservatives, and the speakers.

Chris McCann Chairman of the International Conservatives said “ We believe this is cynical attempt by the University administration to quash free speech on the campus by default; because they know without the grant we will have no recourse but to cancel the event, as we do not have enough time to make up the shortfall in money. As an American student organization our right of free speech is threatened; the very fundamental right and one of the very basic tenets of our constitution.”


Political censorship in Australia

Abortion is of course a hot political issue
"The revelation in a Senate committee hearing came as questions were asked about why the Australian Communications and Media Authority blacklisted content from an anti-abortion website.

Opposition broadband spokesman Nick Minchin said a single complaint sparked the ban, which raised serious questions about how Labor's compulsory internet filter would operate.

A Senate hearing was told on Monday night that only one page of the website had been blacklisted for showing graphic pictures of dismembered fetuses and for not putting them into context.


More details here

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Free speech at Harvard

We read:
"One of the elections I'm fascinated with this year is for . . . Harvard's Board of Overseers. Why, you say, should we non-Harvard types care about an election for the lesser of Harvard's two governing boards? Because two outspoken candidates are trying to storm the gates, arguing that the storied university needs to embrace free speech unambiguously, reform its disciplinary procedures, and focus more on its students.

As co-founder of The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, Cambridge lawyer and writer Harvey Silverglate, a 1967 graduate of Harvard Law School, is a leading watchdog for free speech on college campuses. Well-respected Philadelphia attorney Robert Freedman, a 1962 graduate of Harvard College, sees himself as an ombudsman for the students, saying Harvard needs to do better by them - even if that means requiring more of the faculty.

Long an opponent of nebulous anti-harassment or civility codes that essentially let students be punished for comments if someone else takes offense, Silverglate is particularly concerned with reestablishing a robust climate of free speech and academic freedom at Harvard. "They have redefined harassment to include any speech that somebody doesn't want to hear," he says, adding that the overseers should declare unacceptable any restrictions that limit academic freedom or curtail speech that would be protected off campus.

Having represented numerous students who have run afoul of Harvard's Administrative (read: disciplinary) Board, he's scathing about the process. "It has become totally irrational, unfair, uninterested in seeking facts, and not geared to finding out the truth," he says, noting that the board has no student representatives and doesn't allow the accused to call witnesses. "And yet, you just never hear a word from the overseers about this utter outrage."


Must not mention black child neglect on TV

Reports of chronic failure by Australian Aborigines to look after their children are legion but you have to be "sensitive" about mentioning it, apparently. Background to the story is that the Australian government gives thousands of dollars to anyone who has a baby in Australia (the "baby bonus"). But do-gooders complain that many poorer parents spend the money "unwisely" on liquor, gambling, etc. That people might be entitled to spend their own money in their own way is not considered, apparently.
"A NINE Network news broadcast last year had racist overtones towards Aboriginal people in a news story, the media watchdog has found. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) says the news story, which dealt with changes to the baby bonus for parents with gambling and addiction problems, "gave undue emphasis to race in a number of ways".

ACMA investigated the segment, broadcast on March 19, 2008, after receiving a complaint that it exhibited racist overtones by using the term "deadbeat parents" directly followed by footage of Aboriginal communities.

The watchdog found that in giving undue emphasis to race Nine breached the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice. The racist overtones included "using words conveying that Aboriginal people have drinking and gambling problems and treating Aboriginal people in the footage less sensitively than other parents featured in the item".

There was no public-interest justification for the emphasis when discussing problems affecting Australian parents generally, the ACMA said.

Nine said the report was limited to a factual overview of the scheme together with an account of a new payment method similar to that operating in Aboriginal communities.


That Australian Aborigines (like American Indians) have HUGE alcohol problems is the simple truth, and a truth well-known to anybody who has the slightest knowledge of Aborigines. But there seem to be some invisible limits on when and where you can mention that.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

They finally got him off

Ahenakew found not guilty. A Canadian Indian can utter the most vile antisemitic rants to a reporter but that is OK. It is not what you say but what group you belong to in Canada. Forget any idea of equal justice for all. There is plenty of bigotry in Canada: official bigotry in favor of selected minorities.
"Just minutes earlier, a Saskatchewan judge had found Mr. Ahenakew not guilty of willfully promoting hatred, even as he scolded him for "revolting" comments. In court Monday, Mr. Ahenakew, 75, looked like a man at prayer. Freshly buzz-cut, he crossed his arms and closed his eyes as the judge read a 19-page decision. He didn't flinch when the judge used "disgusting" and "inhumane" to describe the former native leader's comments on December 13, 2002.

On that day, Mr. Ahenakew capped off a keynote speech to a native health conference with an incoherent stream of slurs against "goddamn immigrants." During the public speech, he alleged that Jews started the Second World War. Afterwards, a Saskatoon Star-Phoenix reporter pressed Mr. Ahenakew about the remarks, asking how he could say the Holocaust was justified. "How do you get rid of a disease like that, that's going to take over, that's going to dominate?" Mr. Ahenakew responded. He went on to say the world would "be owned by the Jews right now" if Hitler had not "cleaned up a hell of a lot of things."

A 2005 trial found him guilty of willfully promoting hatred and levied a $1,000 fine. The decision was overturned 11 months later and a new trial ordered. During the retrial last fall, Mr. Ahenakew insisted he did not "hate Jews but I hate what they do."

While the judge Monday called Mr. Ahenakew's initial comments "revolting, disgusting and untrue," he did not find that the former chief ever intended to espouse those views publicly. [Giving a speech at a conference and answering questions from a reporter is not "public"? What a crock!]


All we see here is totally dishonest judicial reasoning leading to a foreordained conclusion.

No New Fairness Doctrine by whatever name

We read:
"I believe, as former New York Governor Mario Cuomo said many years ago, that the Fairness Doctrine is basically antithetical to First Amendment principles. Once government attempts to control content over the airwaves, today it may be my side (liberal) that is helped - but tomorrow it may be the other side who complains about too many liberal talk show hosts. And then what is the position of those who want to restore the Fairness Doctrine? To rescind it all over again?

As much as the overwhelming dominance of conservative talk shows frustrates me (and the decision by all-too-many program managers' and owners' decisions to exclude or minimize talented liberal talk show hosts angers me), I still don't trust government to be involved in content decisions - whether over the air, on cable or the Internet."


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Irish jokes no longer funny

It had to come. British phone company BT is leading the way
"BT has suspended 30 of its call centre staff after they were caught forwarding an email joke poking fun at the Irish. Bosses at the telecoms firm did not see the funny side of the story, which involves four Irishmen, and an investigation is under way.

But the probe was today branded a waste of time and money, and a cynical ploy to axe staff during the recession. One worker said yesterday: 'Either BT have no sense of humour whatsoever or the bosses are deliberately trying to get shot of people without having to pay any redundancy money.

'The joke was sent around the office as a bit of fun. Everyone is worried about their jobs but we all try and cheer each other up.

The quip involves the death of three Irishmen. The first leaps with a budgie thinking he's budgie-jumping; the second kills a parrot thinking he's parrot-shooting and the third leaps off with a hen, believing he's hen-gliding.

Managers suspended every worker who had forwarded the joke to someone else and warned them they face disciplinary action.


Australia: Must not call Leftist politicians "ugly"

You can say that GWB looks like a "chimp" but ....
"An Opposition staffer has been given a dressing down after calling Premier Anna Bligh "ugly" on an anti-Labor blog. Katherine Smith, a media adviser for Deputy Opposition Leader Mark McArdle, posted the comment "Anna Bligh is ugly" during work time on a Facebook group blog called "Anna Bligh is a moron".

Deputy Premier Paul Lucas jumped to the Premier's defence yesterday describing the comment as "offensive". "What people want to do in their spare time is a matter for them," he said. "(But) surely people in his office have got better things to do with their time than actually indulge in personal abuse of the Premier."


Picture of Anna Bligh on the Left above. As you can see, she is positively a beauty queen compared to "veteran journalist" Helen Thomas

Monday, February 23, 2009

CA: Court strikes down video game law

We read:
"The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals today upheld a ruling by the U.S. District Court that struck down a California law preventing the sale and rental of ultra-violent video games to children. The law´s author, Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo), is urging Attorney General Jerry Brown (D-Oakland) to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.”


Censoring video games is nuts. Kids just get bootleg copies. It probably makes the game more popular.

Cartoonists treading lightly when drawing Obama

We read:
"Cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz was in front of a classroom full of black and Latino kids, drawing presidents. He sketched Bush, then Clinton. Next came his favorite, the man he voted for: Obama.

"Hey, those lips are big," Alcaraz heard a black girl say from the back of the room. Alcaraz was disturbed. "I try to bend over backwards not to make him look like a cartoon stereotype," and certainly not a racial stereotype, he said.

Editorial cartoonists are bending over backwards a lot these days, as they try to satirize the nation's first black president. And when they don't, the result is the kind of outcry that erupted this week after a New York Post cartoon featured a bloody chimpanzee-intentionally or unintentionally evoking racist images of the past.

The problem is, cartoonists make their living by making fun of people-especially presidents-and exaggerating their features and foibles.

The late Herblock often saddled Richard Nixon with an enormous cartoon nose. Liberals drew George W. Bush like a simpleton, or worse. There have been minor kerfluffles from the left about drawing Hillary Clinton as insufficiently feminine, and from the right about depicting Condoleeza Rice as servile to President Bush.

Drawings of President Barack Obama, however, must contend with America's history of degrading racial imagery, from ape comparisons to enormous "Sambo" lips. (Caricatures of the president's admittedly large ears have so far escaped scrutiny.) Michael Cavna, who blogs about comics for The Washington Post, wrote that "an unnerving number of North America's political cartoonists are bizarrely obsessed with President Obama's lips." He followed with a detailed analysis of several cartoons where Obama's lips were large, some shade of blue, or both.

Scott Statis, editorial cartoonist for The Birmingham (Ala.) News, said he received several complaints this week that his Obama drawings look "simian." As a conservative in a city that's 77 percent black, Statis has learned to consider the feelings of his audience. "Being the typical American editorial cartoonist-doughy, white, middle-aged-I'm more than willing to accept that I don't know what may or may not be offensive," he said. "But editorial cartoons are supposed to be offensive, and provocative. We're entering new waters here. What can you use or not use?"


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Stars must never be yellow

eBay's yellow star prompts 'Nazi' complaint
"EBAY has temporarily renamed the yellow stars it uses to evaluate sellers on its French site after a complaint that the symbol had anti-semitic connotations. The move came after French eBay user Dominique Bellamy wrote to the company earlier this month to point out that during World War II the Nazis made Jews wear a yellow star on their clothes as a discriminatory mark.

His wife Francoise Bellamy said that her husband "refused to be given a yellow star, even a virtual one. It brought back bad memories France's occupation by Germany during World War II, she said.

eBay's star system is used to show how many positive ratings a buyer or seller has received from the site's users. The yellow star is the lowest of the 12-point scale, and a silver shooting star is the top score.


Hitler liked German Shepherd dogs so every time I see a German Shepherd dog, I think of Hitler and his horrors. Therefore because of my reaction, all German Shepherd dogs should be put down. Similar logic?

Al Jolson musical is performed in Britain without 'blackface' make-up

We read:
"In an age long before the rise of the politically correct mafia he was the world's most celebrated entertainer. And, central to Al Jolson's remarkble success were the memorable jazz and blues songs he performed in 'blackface' make-up.

But a new musical based on the American superstar's life has air-brushed away this key facet of the Jolson story to avoid causing offence. The producer of the stage show, which opens in Edinburgh next week, feared that diversity-conscious 2009 audiences may object to watching a white actor wearing black make-up - even if it was for the sake of an accurate portrayal of a world famous performer.

The decision was not supported by Allan Stewart, the actor who has the starring role in Jolson & Co and sings 17 songs, including several, such as Swanee, which Jolson typically performed in blackface....

In Britain, blacking up survived in mainstream entertainment until much more recently. It was not until 1978 that the Black and White Minstrel show ended its 20 year run.

Ironically, Jewish immigrant Jolson was a champion of racial equality in America at a time when racism was endemic. Born in 1886, he was fighting black discrimination on the Broadway stage by 1911. His promotion of equality helped pave the way for artists such as Louis Armstrong and Fats Waller.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

How come this has slipped under the radar?

Black women in particular do seem to have somewhat different behinds. But below someone is mentioning it!
"February is Black History Month, and in that spirit, we're honing our search for fatass babies. If you have access to a camera and a Big Fat African-American Baby, take a picture and send it to us so we can enjoy it and maybe share it with the world...


It's part of a comedy show but we know that "racial stereotyping" is not funny in the USA any more.

Dangerous to criticize Obama

The police eventually realized that they were wrong but they put the guy through an undoubtedly stressful experience. Safer just to shut up in future?
"The police officers who stopped Oklahoma City motorist Chip Harrison and confiscated a sign from his car told him he has a right to his beliefs, but the U.S. Secret Service "could construe this as a threat against President Obama," according to the incident report released this morning.

The sign, which read "Abort Obama Not the Unborn," was returned to Harrison later that day, the report said.
Police spokesman Steve McCool said this morning that the sign was taken in error, and Oklahoma City residents should not be worried that their First Amendment rights will be violated. He said a supervisor "intervened and quickly returned the sign" after Harrison called the police department.


Friday, February 20, 2009

New York Post Cartoon: Is this 'Racially Offensive'?

"There's a political cartoon in today's New York Post that some social activists are questioning this morning. The Sean Delonas drawing morphs together two stories in the news this week -- the Obama administration's economic stimulus bill and the pet chimp that police shot to stop his attack on a Connecticut woman.

The cartoon, which shows police shooting a monkey, seems to imply that a monkey (who some are interpreting as President Obama) wrote the stimulus bill.

Civil rights activist Al Sharpton called the cartoon "racially offensive"


Personally, I feel that the "stimulus" bill might as well have been written by a chimp. There's not much in it that actually stimulates.


One of the commenters on this post made a comment I should have made: The Left called GWB a chimp more times than you could number. So if that was OK, why is just one indirect hint that Obaby might be a chimp out of bounds? Once again the Left can dish out massive abuse but believe they should not get any abuse back. They do clearly think that they are superior beings. Pumped-up ego is their hallmark. No wonder they don't like followers of the teacher who said: "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth"

What a clown!

The idiot says Americans avoid discussing race! What the heck does he expect? When even mentioning the word "race" can get you called a racist and maybe lose you your job! Even using words that sound racial but are not -- such as "niggardly", can lose you your job
"Attorney General Eric Holder described the United States Wednesday as a nation of cowards on matters of race, saying most Americans avoid discussing awkward racial issues. In a speech to Justice Department employees marking Black History Month, Holder said the workplace is largely integrated but Americans still self-segregate on the weekends and in their private lives."


And the same deal applies to socializing with blacks. With blacks, you have got to be on the alert all the time lest you say something that could be misinterpreted by someone -- so if you want to relax you need to avoid black company.

If anyone is the coward, Holder is -- for not acknowledging WHY Americans avoid discussing awkward racial issues. Speak up, Eric!

Isn't it great? Leftists enforce speech tyranny on people then blame people for being tyrannized!

OK. Let me make a start on not being tyrannized. Let me mention "awkward racial issues": Holder is a BLACK idiot! And if anybody thinks I should not say that, I refer them back to the instructions of Attorney General Holder himself!

But it's still lucky for me that I am a retired man who cannot therefore be fired and that I live in a more tolerant country than the USA, isn't it? 99% of all the intolerance and hate speech in America comes from America's brain-damaged Left (See, for example, the typical post immediately below). The Australian Left is much saner by comparison. Reforms of the Reagan/Thatcher type were introduced in Australia by our major party of the Left.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Some amusing Leftist hate-speech

Michael Steele is a black Republican who has had a distinguished career in that party, including being the Lieutenant Governor of Maryland on the GOP ticket. He has now been elected as chairman of the Republican National Committee, a very prominent and responsible position in the GOP and hence something of a rejoinder to the election of Obama. Listen to the screech below when the writer sees that the Democrats might have their near monopoly of the black vote threatened by Steele's election.
"Ouch. Just when you thought things could not POSSIBLY get any worse for the most diseased, corrupt, fraudulent, failed political party in US history, they have officially surrendered their only true core...the racist southern white vote.

First, they insulted these idiots by choosing a woman to run as VP candidate, and now, they've urinated in their faces with their decision to allow Michael Steele to try to pick up the shattered pieces of what remains of this national disease known as the republiCON party.

I personally think that Michael Steele is probably a very decent man, otherwise, and frankly, I haven't a clue in the world why he would want to publicly align himself with the most racist, divisive, intolerant organization known to man. BUT, it is what it is...I'm sure that republiCON leadership was equally as shocked to learn that they actually had a token black amongst them, that was actually willing to admit party affiliation in public.


Wicked eBay

We read:
"Unfortunately, racial and ethnic prejudice still permeates some sections of society and is tolerated by one of the largest corporations in the world. Twenty four hours a day, seven days a week on any computer around the world any individual regardless of age can go on and post or purchase racially and ethnically insensitive items.

Just days after the inauguration of America's first African American president, Barrack Obama and the first Catholic vice-president, Joseph Biden, eBay is hosting items offensive to both groups and most of the nation.

Items for sale include "coon" songs, a piece of piano music entitled "n-----" blues, anti-Catholic post cards and tracts from the Ku Klux Klan, and even the bones of Catholic saints.

Ebay has guidelines posted warning against these types of items but seems to be unable to police its own website and enforce its own policy.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Florida election law defies the First Amendment

We read:
"In 2006, Doug Guetzloe distributed a flyer about mayoral candidate David Strong to Winter Park, Florida, residents. It pertained to an embarrassing dustup Strong had with a neighbor. The police report Guetzloe quoted is publicly available. The alleged crime is not libel.

Lamar charged Guetzloe with violating Florida's election laws. One is supposed to include a disclaimer with any paid electioneering communication saying it's an electioneering communication. The flyer did not advocate voting for or against any candidate. Not that doing so should jeopardize anyone's liberty either.

Guetzloe pled no contest, thinking any penalty would be trivial. But he was sentenced to 60 days in jail and $8500 in fines. The easiest path might still have been to just do the time and pay the fine. But Guetzloe has been fighting back, spending a small fortune on legal fees.

Late in 2008, his attorneys filed a motion with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking it to declare Florida's Electioneering Communications law to be unconstitutional. A little earlier, a federal judge had restrained the State of Florida from enforcing that law.


Professor attacks Christian speech

We read:
"A student at Los Angeles City College has filed a lawsuit against the institution after a professor called him a "fascist b------" and told him to "Ask God what your grade is" following the student's speech about morality. The case has been filed by the Alliance Defense Fund on behalf of Jonathan Lopez after his encounter with Professor John Matteson in a speech class. The lawsuit alleges Lopez was participating in a class assignment to give a speech on "any topic" from six to eight minutes.

"During the November, 24, 2008 class, Mr. Lopez delivered an informative speech on God and the ways in which Mr. Lopez has seen God act both in his life and in the lives of others through miracles. In the middle of the speech, he addressed the issues of God and morality; thus, he referred to the dictionary definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman and also read a passage from the Bible discussing marriage," the ADF explained. At that point, the professor interrupted him and refused to allow him to finish his speech, ADF said. Matteson then called Lopez a 'fascist b------" and dismissed the class.

Later, the professor left an evaluation form on Lopez's backpack without a grade, instructing him to "Ask God what your grade is." The professor also warned on the evaluation form, "proselytizing is inappropriate in public school."

David French, a senior counsel with the ADF, however, was critical of the school's actions. "Public institutions of higher learning cannot selectively censor Christian speech," he said. "This student was speaking well within the confines of his professor's assignment when he was censored and ultimately threatened with expulsion." The threat reportedly came when Matteson saw Lopez talking to the college's dean of academic affairs and then said , "he would make sure he'd be expelled from school."


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

"Hate" to mock an old far-Left battleaxe?

As usual, Leftists can dish out the abuse wholesale but cannot take even mockery back. O'Reilly did a mocking imitation of Helen Thomas (above) as a crow and said she was like a wicked witch. Much indignation flowing from the Left:
"Bill O'Reilly can't deepen my low regard of him. I expect little that is fine, decent or humane from him. When he attacked Helen Thomas, a veteran journalist, on his Comedy Hate show that passes for news at mainstream media, I shook my head in disgust.


Thomas is a White House press correspondent and has been a journalist since 1943. I won't repeat any of the derogatory things she has said about GWB and Cheney. I think O'Reilly was right to mock rather than criticize or abuse her -- as her own behaviour is a mockery of any pretense at journalistic impartiality and objectivity. Respect has to be earned.

Amusing that the Leftist writer above describes Thomas as a "veteran journalist". Half truths are a common tactic from the Left. If a full description had been given (such as: "Veteran journalistic enemy of conservatives") a quite different impression of O'Reilly's actions might have emerged.

Indians must not tell the truth about Mohammed

The religion of peace at work in India:
"The editor and publisher of The Statesman, a highly respected Kolkata based English daily, have been arrested on charges of "hurting the religious feelings" of Muslims because they printed a piece written last month by Independent columnist Johann Hari.

Hari, a liberal atheist, penned the comment piece, "Why should I respect oppressive religions?", at the end of January and it was later syndicated by The Statesman. In the article, Hari (somewhat prophetically) lamented how the right to criticise a religion is being steadily eroded around the world.

Muslim protestors in Kolkata, West Bengal, have been causing havoc outside The Statesman's offices since it ran the article on Feb 5th and police have even used baton charges to disperse them. Staff at The Statesman have had to barricade their front doors for much of the past three days and rely on police escorts to get them to their workplace, which is situated just opposite the Tipu Sultan Masjid, Kolkata's largest mosque.

In his piece Hari defends the right to criticise all religions, including Islam, Judaism and Christianity. But the Muslim protestors in Kolkata appear to have been particularly upset by a paragraph that talks about the sexual history of the prophet Muhammad. Hari writes: "All people deserve respect, but not all ideas do. I don't respect the idea that a man was born of a virgin, walked on water and rose from the dead. I don't respect the idea that we should follow a "Prophet" who at the age of 53 had sex with a nine-year old girl, and ordered the murder of whole villages of Jews because they wouldn't follow him."

Ravindra Kumar and Anand Sinha, The Statesman's editor and publisher, appeared in court today and were granted bail.

As the world's largest democracy freedom of speech is guaranteed in India's constitution but "outraging religious feelings" is technically illegal under section 295 A of the Indian Penal Code. In a country where inter-communal tensions can often spill over into horrendous violence, 295 A is seen as a way of heading off tension between religious communities and stopping firebrands from inciting violence. But it is often also used by religious hardliners, including both Hindus and Muslims, to stifle open criticism and discourse of religious matters in a country where religion plays an incredibly vital role.


Monday, February 16, 2009

The inimitable Pat Condell sums up Leftist Britain's latest attack on free speech in his usual merciless way

Pat Condell may be the only man in Britain who is game to speak the truth about Islam. If you have not seen his videos before, there are a couple of previous ones here and here

Interestingly, he is an atheist, so that seems to give him some protection. When one of his videos was taken down by Google, all the atheists and humanists piled on in his defense and Google promptly backed off.

The Wilders film is named "Fitna". You can find it on YouTube

When a picture is worth a lot less than 1,000 words

We read:
"A tourist board has come under fire for "tricking" travellers by using a picture of a picturesque tropical island to advertise Spanish beaches. The ad claims to show a woman on the sand of Spain's Costa Brava beach however it has been revealed as a photo of the Bahamas.

The tourist board has denied cheating in the campaign, which was launched last month, despite admitting that the photo came from a Getty Images series shot on a topical beach 8000 kilometres from Spain. The tourist board has also admitted that the picture, emblazoned with the slogan "Where does the Costa Brava start?", was digitally altered to dull the white sand in order to make it look more like Costa Brava's greyer beaches.

Dolors Batalle, the director of the Costa Brava Girona tourism board, told local media that it had simply failed to find pictures "of sufficient quality" of the real Costa Brava.


If you REALLY want to see deserted sandy beaches, book a ticket to Cairns in Northern Australia. And you don't have to press "1" for English there, either.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Blogs now monitored for "tone"?

We read:
"You won't believe this one. But, then again, you might. A blogsite called Newstin (is that short for tin news?) is now rating blog posts based on wording *tone,* not truth. This is right out of the novel Fahrenheit 451 or George Orwell's novel 1984. Apparently, any content that is negatively *toned* in content, regardless of whether the content is liberal or conservative, is labeled *negatively toned.* The web masters at Newstin call their monitoring program *Sentiment Analysis*

Excerpted from Newstin:
"Sentiment Analysis is a tool developed by Newstin to indicate the overall tone of an article i.e., whether it has a positive, negative or neutral feel to it. For example, an article about an oil spillage at sea would most likely contain negative wording due to the effects of the incident. Our Sentiment-o-Meter provides readers with an indication of the tone of an article without reading it. Red represents negative tone, green positive and grey is for neutral tone: The higher the scale of the colour (from bottom to top), the greater the degree of the given sentiment.


How to talk about old people

Some California "wisdom":
"'Codger' is out, and don't even think about using 'fogey', 'fossil' or 'elderly', ageism activists in the US have warned. In fact, 'senior' and 'of a certain age' are also no--nos on a list of dos and don'ts of reporting people of a certain age. The advice is included in a media guide on reporting issued by the International Longevity Centre and Ageing Services of California.

In it, the campaign groups attempt to help journalists and advertisers represent 'older people' - its preferred term - in a "fair contemporary and unbiased" manner. To redress the bias, the pressure groups have listed a lexicon of unacceptable terms for older adults. It includes 'biddy', 'old goat' and 'prune' - all of which should not be used. 'Old ladies' of both the 'little' and 'sweet' variety are also to be avoided. Gone too should be 'old fart' and 'miserly old man', the report states

Indeed the list of acceptable terms is far shorter than those that can't be used. Journalists are advised: "If you need to identify individuals over the age of 50, 'older adults' is preferred over "senior" and "elderly", which can be discriminatory in nature.

Euphemisms are also not the best way forward, according to the guide. So out goes 'golden years' as a description of an individual's period of life relating to the years after being deemed to be an older adult.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Anti-Stimulus petition offensive?

We read:
"Facebook, one of the Internet's top social networking sites, has kicked out a conservative group's Web site --"" -- from its paid advertising space., which is promoting a petition to stop President Obama's economic stimulus bill, is sponsored by the nonprofit conservative group Americans for Prosperity.

But Facebook, which confirmed that it took "" down, told that it did so because of user complaints: "At Facebook, we strive to create a trusted environment for our users and advertisers," Facebook spokeswoman Erin Zietler said in an e-mail. "We encourage users to report any advertisements they find offensive or misleading, and we offer the ability for them to provide immediate feedback on our ads. We have a team dedicated to investigating ads and user complaints.


Facebook ducked and weaved about why they banned the ad but soon unbanned it when their actions got a lot of publicity. Full story here

BBC in foul language trouble again

The organization that banned Carol Thatcher because of her off-air use of the word "Golliwog" churns out plenty of other words on-air that many people find offensive. So will the people who used the foul language also be banned from the BBC? Don't hold your breath.
"BBC presenter Simon Mayo was forced to apologise after two guests swore while talking about Mr Wilders yesterday. Writers Quintin Jardine and Dennis Lehane used offensive language on Radio 5 Live at about 4pm, when many children were listening on the drive home from school. Their discussion about books had been broken off to cut to to a live interview with the Dutch MP. When the station returned to the discussion Mayo apologised for the interruption.

Scottish author Jardine said it was fine as 'w*****s like him need to be given airtime so that people can hear what they are'. Mayo immediately apologised to listeners. But no sooner than he had finished than American writer Lehane blurted out: 'W***** is such a great word'.

The host said: 'It might be a great word in America, we can't use it, it's not an appropriate word and we apologise for it.'

It comes just days after BBC Breakfast was forced to issue a grovelling apology after it broadcast the F-word to millions as children got ready to go to school.


My impression is that the word "wank*r" is not widely known in America. It means a masturbator, though usually not literally.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Canadian Indian attacks Canada's public broadcaster!

CBC guilty of hate speech? Indian chief says so -- wants CBC to censor comments left on its blogs that ridicule indigenous people
"Media organizations are creating a forum for online racism by allowing readers and bloggers to comment on stories on news websites, Manitoba First Nations leaders said Wednesday. They're now calling on the Manitoba government to investigate the CBC, in particular, for violating Canada's hate laws. "I'm hoping for a public outcry, that people will say, `That's racist. That's enough,' " Southern Grand Chief Morris Swan Shannacappo said Wednesday at a news conference.

Swan Shannacappo and Chief Russell Beaulieu of the Sandy Bay First Nation called the media after university student leaders came to them with the results of monitoring news websites from April 2008 to this month. They say what they read shocked them.

The leaders are now asking for help to prevent racism either by public pressure or criminal deterrence. There are "persistent bloggers who pounce on almost any story dealing with First Nations or indigenous issues and use it as an excuse to rant against or ridicule indigenous people," Swan Shannacappo said.


The CBC does filter blog comments but not enough, apparently.

The SPLC is at it again

Despite being a loony Left outfit, they are always quoted most respectfully by the media. Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration studies comments:
"The most recent salvo on this side of the ocean is a report released last week by the Southern Poverty Law Center tarring the three leading groups working to limit immigration-including my own Center for Immigration Studies-as part of a racist conspiracy, supposedly orchestrated by a retired eye doctor in Michigan named John Tanton. The fact that they went after mainstream groups rather than fringe ones shows that the goal is not elevating the tone of public discourse but shutting it down altogether. Perhaps a more honest title for the report would have been "The Protocols of the Elders of Restrictionism."

A little background on the SPLC. The group is headed by Morris Dees, described even by left-wing writers as a "fraud" and a "millionaire huckster"-essentially a cross between Joseph McCarthy and Tammy Faye Bakker. Exposes on the group have run in the Montgomery Advertiser (which probably would have won a Pulitzer but for the SPLC's lobbying efforts against it), Harper's, and The Nation, but the money train continues-the SPLC's 2007 tax return shows net assets of $219 million.

The report's section on CIS is not just hackwork, but amateurish hackwork. Much of it dwells on letters written to (not by, but to) one of my board members, misidentified as having been executive director. Our research is described as having been debunked by "mainstream think tanks and organizations," oddly enough including two of the most strident open-borders advocacy groups in the nation. My tenure there, the majority of the center's existence, is dismissed briefly at the end as "The Later Years." And they didn't even mention my book, which knits together decades of CIS research on the many facets of immigration into a unified theoretical framework-something at least worth touching on when trying to show how naughty CIS is.

What's more, CIS is an unlikely source of "intolerance." The chairman is Peter Nunez, U.S. attorney for San Diego under Reagan; the board includes the president of the Greater Miami Urban League and a former executive director of the National Black Caucus Foundation; the staff includes the former national policy director for the American Jewish Committee; and I didn't even speak English until I got to kindergarten.

I don't know much about the details in the other sections (on FAIR and Numbers USA) but I can only assume they're up to the SPLC's usual standards.

Now, people call each other names all the time in politics, but this is different. The SPLC purports to play the role of arbiter of rectitude on racial issues, and as such it claims to take no other policy positions. This pose is utterly false; the report was jointly released with America's Voice, a hard-left open-borders group. And regardless of who's making it, the charge of racism is the gravest one in our society-not a political one, like an allegation that you failed to pay taxes on your chauffeured limousine, but a moral one, meant to delegitimize you altogether as a participant in civilized society.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Must not criticize Muslims, homosexuals and asylum seekers

You can lose your job by doing so in Britain:
"Protestors have gathered outside the hearing of a teacher and British National Party member accused of religious intolerance. Adam Walker, a former soldier and karate expert from Durham, could be the first teacher to be struck off the register for religious intolerance if found guilty by the General Teaching Council (GTC).

The 39-year-old technology teacher left Houghton Kepier Sports College in Houghton-le-Spring, near Sunderland in 2007 after it was alleged he used a school laptop to contribute racist and religiously intolerant views to online discussions during lessons. The alleged incident, in which he is said to have criticised Muslims, homosexuals and asylum seekers, is said to have happened between February and March 2007.


Anger over 'sexist' Virgin airline advertisement

Women must not look attractive!
"Virgin Atlantic has been accused of sexism over a steamy advertising campaign featuring crowds lusting over sexy female cabin crew. A string of complaints have been made to Britain's advertising watchdog arguing that the ad is insulting to women.

The 90-second television ad shows red-suited cabin crew walking through an airport for Virgin Atlantic's first flight in 1984. Onlookers turn their heads and men ogle the sexy hostesses with dreamy looks on their faces, enthralled with the progression. One man drops his mobile phone and another squirts sauce from his hamburger down his shirt.

The ending of the ad shows a scantily-dressed woman painted on the side of the Virgin plane winking as the plane takes off, with the line "still red hot".


Video of the ad at the link.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Must not mock atheists?

We read:
"My favourite moment of the show was cartoonist Martin Rowson recounting the fuss made by atheists when he lampooned Richard Dawkins in a cartoon for New Humanist magazine. After many abusive emails he attended a meeting of humanists and explained that he was making fun of Dawkins but wasn't suggesting the scientist was gay:
"After the meeting one of the atheists came to me and said "You mustn't mock Dawkins, he's the only saint we've got.


An atheist "saint"?

Sense of humor not allowed in British schools

Actually, it can be dangerous anywhere these days
"A headmaster is facing the sack after allegedly describing his female staff as his `harem', referring to one woman teacher as his `lover' and calling a school governor `posh pants'. Malcolm Beresford, 52, was suspended from his post in the village of Willoughton near Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, in November 2005 on the grounds of 'unacceptable professional misconduct'. He also called a woman staff member his 'lover' and referred to another governor as 'vindaloo', it has earlier been claimed at a hearing of the General Teaching Council.

Mr Beresford joined the school in 1996 and helped win praise from a 2002 Ofsted report for its 'significant improvement' and ' harmonious atmosphere'. The 51-pupil, three-class school was selected as a guinea pig to test Government education projects because of the high quality of its teaching.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Astrological discrimination OK

Nuttiness is OK. It is realism that gets you into trouble.
"A row has broken out in Austria after a company tried to recruit workers born under certain star signs. The Salzburg insurance company posted an advert in major newspapers seeking employees for sales and management that were born under certain constellations, claiming statistics indicated that they were the best workers. 'We are looking for people over 20 for part-time jobs in sales and management with the following star signs: Capricorn, Taurus, Aquarius, Aries and Leo,' read the ad that appeared over the weekend.

It was followed by a wave of protests from equality groups and led to an investigation by the country's anti-discrimination authorities. The company is, however, sticking to its guns and a spokesman explained that the move was based on statistical research rather than superstition. 'A statistical study indicated that almost all of our best employees across Austria have one of the five star signs. 'We only decided to continue with that system and hire the best workers,' the spokesman said.

An investigation by Austrian authorities showed that there was nothing illegal in choosing the employees according to their star signs, as there was no discrimination according to existing laws about gender, age, racial and other equality.


Petty local Hitlers defeated

We read:
"It could be seen as a battle over a sign. But perhaps more accurately, it's the story of one man's decade-long war with City Hall. And, it's been a beauty. Last week, Ogden's Landmarks Commission approved Bruce Edwards' proposal to restore a sign on his historic C.C. Keller Building on 25th Street -- a full 10 years after his original request. "I outlasted 'em," Edwards chortled Thursday. "And the bottom line is, I was right."

The original wording, dating back to about 1910 and painted on the north side of the two-story brick structure, is still barely visible: "Every hour upon the hour for about an hour Drink Becker's Beer -- Ogden's Famous Beer." But in 1998, the Landmarks Commission -- whose membership has now changed -- gave the sign restoration a big thumbs down. "One of the members said, 'We can't have beer on that sign; we want 25th Street to be family oriented," Edwards recalled.

Snubbed by the city, Edwards in 2000 put up a large sign in the window of his then-vacant building, saying, "Why would anybody do business in Ogden? It's the dope capital of Utah." "Dope" didn't refer to illicit drugs, Edwards explained. It was his description of the folks at City Hall.

That council responded with an ordinance forbidding such signs. Edwards called the American Civil Liberties Union and the feud moved to court where, in 2005, 2nd District Judge Parley Baldwin ruled in favor of Edwards, saying Ogden had usurped his First Amendment rights: "The sweeping ban understandably would dismay the average American . who would be surprised to learn he could not display flags, religious symbols, political placards, or even bumper stickers in the windows of his vacant building."

But after the court ruling, the Landmark Commission again denied Edwards' restoration request. It was back to court again. This time Edwards lost on a technicality: He had waited too long from the commission's 2000 denial. So, in 2008, he applied again. A new Landmarks Commission said OK.


Monday, February 09, 2009

Onward Christian Youth Groups

We read:
"Liberty Counsel filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Child Evangelism Fellowship of Georgia (CEF) against Cobb County School District, which has a discriminatory policy against religious groups. Liberty Counsel's lawsuit requests an immediate court hearing on the basis that the District policy is unconstitutional and is causing irreparable harm in violation of the First Amendment.

The District charges CEF a discriminatory fee for its Good News Clubs to use the school facilities after school, and its policy also discriminates in terms of the time the Christian group may use the facilities compared to similar secular groups.

Since December 2007, the District has refused to grant CEF the same access it provides to Boy Scouts and similar organizations. The District policy allows free access for many types of secular community organizations including Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, PTA, Booster Clubs, advisory organizations, and many others. These secular groups are permitted access immediately after school.

The District not only charges a discriminatory fee to CEF, but its policy also does not permit CEF to meet until after 5:45 pm, which means that attendance is minimal because of the inconvenient time. As a result, CEF's Good News Club had to cease meeting on school campuses despite the fact that many parents wanted the club to continue for their children.

Christian groups or organizations must not be discriminated against because of their Christian viewpoint, as is being done by the District policy. Equal access applies not only to access, but also includes usage fees and time of meeting.

Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: "Equal access is the law, and equal access means equal treatment in every respect. Equal access applies to use of the facilities, usage fees, times of meetings and advertisements of the meetings.

The First Amendment prohibits all forms of viewpoint discrimination, whether such discrimination be overt or subtle. Good News Clubs are one of the most positive influences that public schools can offer to parents and their children. It is absurd that anyone would want to reject an organization that promotes patriotism, civic responsibility, and character development. These are qualities that young children need to learn about and develop. Instead of restricting Good News Clubs, public schools ought to embrace them."


A feminine female speaks out

Such a change from the man-hating rants we hear from feminists of ambiguous sexuality:
"Australian glamour girl Anna Rawson said she was trying to promote golf in a radio interview in which she referred to past female players as "dykes". Rawson, who spends time as a catwalk model, magazine cover girl and writer on top of her golfing career, is playing in this week's ANZ Ladies Masters at Royal Pines.

She came under fire for her poorly chosen comments aired by NOVA 5AA in Adelaide on Wednesday. "The tour has got so much better with so many young stars and great players,'' Rawson told the radio station in an interview arranged by her father Jim. "But the mentality unfortunately amongst the media and the industry hasn't changed. "They still think we're at 25 years ago when the tour was full of, you know, a lot of dykes and unattractive females nobody wanted to watch.''

Rawson, 27, who divides her time living in Adelaide and playing and modelling in Los Angeles, has a history of making controversial comments. Last year she told one of America's biggest selling men's health magazines that she had "penis envy''. "I could never be with a woman, because I'm just fascinated by what men can do with their bodies that we can't,'' she said before admitting: "This interview will definitely get me in trouble.'


Sunday, February 08, 2009

City of Los Angeles attacks both free speech and property rights

Property rights have largely vanished everywhere (thanks in part to the Kelo case) but free speech protections might yet stop the local Hitlers. The excuse that an electronic billboard is a fire hazard sounds very phony. If that were so why not pursue the matter under fire regulations? Advertising is part of business and I think that hatred of business is the real motive. Billboards may be unsightly but if people were allowed to ban everything they saw as unsightly, there would not be much left. Leftists talk big about tolerance but practicing it is only for others, apparently.
" The city of Los Angeles has opened a new front in its longstanding battle with billboard companies, ordering building owners to remove so-called super-graphic signs, enormous advertisements draped across multistory structures, after deeming them fire hazards. Los Angeles city officials said the signs, made mostly of vinyl, had proliferated since December, when the City Council passed a temporary ban on billboards and large signs. The stopgap move was an effort to give the city more time to close loopholes in a 2002 law intended to curtail billboard advertisements, the NY Times reports.

Jack Weiss, a city councilman who wrote the temporary ordinance, said the original legislation was supposed to put a stop to the super-graphic signs. "Instead, the super-graphic companies have plastered their signs up all over the city and are thumbing their noses at the law," he said, reports Times writer Rebecca Cathcart. "Many of these signs are dangerous," he added. "They prevent people from getting out in case of fire, or firefighters from getting in."

The Fire Department estimates that more than 100 buildings from downtown to the coast have illegal signs. Inspectors have ordered 20 building owners to remove large signs, Weiss said, and will continue to issue warnings. A violation of the billboard ordinance carries a maximum monthly fine of $2,500. But Weiss said the signs could bring in $100,000 in rent for building owners.

The city has been blocked from enforcing the 2002 law because of legal entanglements, including lawsuits by billboard companies over free-speech rights.


An amusing footnote: The new attention-getting advertising technology of yesteryear was neon signs, many of which people came to like. But a lot of the old ones have now been taken down in L.A. so, guess what? Los Angeles now has a museum for old neon signs where you can go and see them still working! Yet the busybodies of yesteryear probably wanted to ban them too.

Wicked Australian realtor mentions that most burglars and home invaders in the USA are black

On my Gun Watch blog I report countless incidents of burglary and home invasion in the U.S. and something like 90% of the perpetrators are blacks. The newspaper does not always report the race of the offender but they often supply a picture of him that fulfils the same function. And in other cases the Christian names are unmistakeably "black". Non-Americans would very rarely be aware of the districtive names that black mothers in the USA give to their children but few Americans would be unaware of it.

So I actually give the realtor some credit for being able to make a joke out of such an appalling crime situation.

The Leftist solution of denial and coverup is psychologically unwell and solves nothing. But it is for failing to participate in that foolish attempt at a coverup that the lady is being criticized.
"A Blackwood real estate agent has drawn fire over a newspaper column containing a racially offensive joke about a black man being elected to the White House. Jo Lemmer, of Century 21, is known for trying to inject wit into house descriptions and for her pursuit of a high profile. Her column about new US President Barack Obama, in this month's Blackwood Times, begins: "There's a black man in the White House and the good news is this one's not breaking in!" She calls him a "glam tanned man" with "6 fab abs" who is "smokin' in his boardies".

Equal Opportunity Commissioner Linda Matthews said it was a comment which she considered offensive but unlikely to attract legal penalties. "If you're black, you're a thief, is essentially the implication," she said yesterday. "The best way to deal with it is for people to point out how offensive it is. Even though she's trying to be funny, I appreciate that those comments aren't funny to the people who are the targets of them."

Reconciliation SA co-chairman Professor Peter Buckskin said the first sentence of the column was "offensive to people of colour". "It continues to seed in people's minds that, in the main, people of colour are deviants," he said. "It's not helpful in trying to appreciate diversity and that everyone needs to be treated respectfully."

The column praises Mr Obama and his family and says of the result of the presidential election: "The racial gap closed substantially from that moment on and history aside this is a giant step for mankind and one that like me I am sure you are happy to take."


"If you're black, you're a thief, is essentially the implication" is a deliberate misinterpretation. The implication is that home invaders are usually black. And that is simply the truth.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

BBC motoring commentator does it again

Jeremy Clarkson has a huge following among car lovers and delights in being "incorrect". His comment below is about the British Prime Minister
"Top Gear star Jeremy Clarkson is under fire after branding Gordon Brown a 'one-eyed Scottish idiot'. The BBC presenter also accused the Prime Minster of lying, in the comments reportedly made in Australia where he is hosting Top Gear Live, a stage version of the hit TV show, with fellow presenter Richard Hammond.

Mr Brown lost his sight in one eye after an accident playing rugby as a teenager.


His comments will rightly be taken as humor but a lot of Scots are still offended, apparently. Since Brown IS in fact a Scot, it is rather hard to see why. Is it supposed to be a secret? Do they think that Clarkson said that ALL Scots are one-eyed idiots?

The "D" word

More Leftist belief in the magical power of names to change reality
"British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said today that the world is in a full-blown economic "depression", but his office quickly scrambled to say it been a slip of the tongue. In his latest apparent gaffe - after mistakenly claiming to have "saved the world'' in December - Mr Brown said governments need to agree on coordinated stimulus measures to "take the world out of depression''.

"The biggest danger that the world faces is a retreat into protectionism,'' he told MPs at a weekly question session in the House of Commons dominated by the economic gloom. "It's all the more reason why first of all we should sign the Doha agreement... and secondly we should make sure that every country is analysed for what it is doing by the World Trade Organisation to prevent protectionism.

"It also is absolutely clear that we should agree as a world on a monetary and fiscal stimulus that will take the world out of depression,'' added the British leader, who more usually uses the words recession or slowdown.

But a short time later Mr Brown's Downing Street office said it had been a slip of the tongue. "It wasn't deliberate, it's not what he thinks,'' a spokesman said.


Wrapping up the Golliwog story

It has been a big story in Britain so here is one last report on it
"As the BBC announced that it had received more than 2,200 complaints about its decision to sack Thatcher as a contributor to The One Show, it was alleged that she had also used the terms "golliwog frog" and "halfgolliwog" to refer to the player, who is of French-African origin.

The former Prime Minister's daughter was dropped as a roving reporter for the BBC's early-evening programme after The Times disclosed that she had caused consternation by using the word "golliwog" at the informal get-together, a week yesterday.

Thatcher's spokeswoman has said that she used the word as a joke in what she saw as a private conversation, and offered a "fulsome apology" when challenged by the corporation.

Last night, however, sources said that the journalist, who is understood to be leaving the country today for a month-long speaking tour, repeatedly referred to the player as a golliwog. It is claimed that at the gathering of 12 people in the green room, Thatcher, along with Adrian Chiles, the show's host, and Jo Brand, who had appeared as a guest, talked about the Australian Open tennis tournament.

Thatcher, who had been drinking, her spokeswoman admitted, is alleged to have referred to "the golliwog frog", thought to be a reference to the French player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who has a white French mother and a black Congolese father.

As some rolled their eyes and others challenged Thatcher about her use of the word, she is said to have responded, "well, he's half-golliwog", prompting Brand to leave the room in disgust. It is understood that Thatcher then said: "Now I'm in trouble, just like Prince Harry." The prince apologised after referring to an Asian colleague as "our little Paki friend" on a video.


There is also a history of the Golliwog here. It was in fact an American invention. Excerpt: Childhood toy, lovable rascal, cheeky jam mascot; how can anything that innocent be regarded as racist? That is certainly the view of many who were brought up with golliwogs.

A black writer criticizes the BBC here

Friday, February 06, 2009

Students must not criticize their school

Teachers are holy beings, apparently. Lazy government employees who rightly fear exposure might be another description.
"Across the country, students in public high schools have discovered, to their dismay, that the First Amendment that's supposed to restrict government action apparently doesn't protect comments they make on the Internet while at home from punishment by school officials. Suspended, detained, or otherwise punished, students say their right to free speech beyond school officials' jurisdiction is being violated. A Connecticut legislator agrees and wants to ensure that students' right to speak their minds online is protected.

Avery Doninger, a high school student in Burlington, Connecticut, was barred from serving on the student council after referring to school administrators as "douchebags" on her personal blog. Robert Afnani, of Langley High School, in Virginia, was told to shut down his home-based proxy server or face suspension (public pressure forced school officials to back off). Justin Layshock, a Pennsylvania high school student, was suspended and transferred to an alternative education program for parodying a school official on Myspace. Wesley Juhl, a Nevada high school student, was suspended for making blog comments about a classmate and a teacher from his home computer. At least one school district, Libertyville-Vernon Hills Area High School District 128 in northern Illinois, has formally adopted a policy threatening students with consequences for material they post on the Internet during their own time.

Punishment of students for material they post online on their own time, off school grounds, is so common that the Electronic Frontier Foundation maintains a section of its Website devoted to the problem. The Student Press Law Center has also addressed the issue.

Courts are split on the issue. Working from a line of reasoning established by Tinker, a landmark decision regarding students' First Amendment protections, some courts have held that off-campus speech is beyond the reach (PDF) of public school officials unless it's threatening or otherwise disruptive to the school.

But in the case involving Avery Doninger, mentioned above, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit gave school officials wide discretion to punish vulgar, but non-threatening speech by a student even though it took place after school hours and off school grounds. The court's reasoning was that Doninger's blog should be treated as on-campus speech because "the blog was related to school issues, and it was reasonably foreseeable that other LMHS students would view the blog and that school administrators would become aware of it." They further reasoned that her choice of words could cause "foreseeable risk of substantial disruption" -- as a result of hurt feelings, apparently. That decision, issued just last year, would seem to empower at least one set of government employees to punish expression critical of those officials.


Horrors! The Queen sells Golliwogs

Kids like them. I had one myself as a little kid. Whenever they go on sale in Australia, grandmothers snap them up for their grandchildren.
"Buckingham Palace has issued an extraordinary apology after the Queen's shop at Sandringham was found to be selling golliwogs. It followed the furore over Carol Thatcher's use of the word golliwog during a private conversation after the BBC's One Show. There were claims last night that she had been sacked by the BBC over the incident in revenge for the bad blood between her mother Lady Thatcher and the corporation.

The male and female dolls have been available at the gift shop on the Norfolk estate for more than a year at 9.99 pounds each. They are made by Trendle International, a family business based in Somerset, who describe their line of 'gollies' as one of their most popular 'speciality' products. In the wake of the row over Carol Thatcher's comments, senior aides said the toys would be immediately removed from sale.

A source at the shop said: 'They are quite popular.' The character of the golliwog was invented by a Florence Upton in the 19th century, inspired by the black-and-white minstrel shows she grew up with as a child in the U.S.

It became one of the most popular dolls of the 20th century and was identified in many households as the mascot for British jam manufacturer James Robertson & Sons.


Thursday, February 05, 2009

Strange BBC standards: Be obscene and offensive on air and that is fine. But comment in private on a coloured person's appearance and you are dead

The BBC has fired Carol Thatcher over her tennis golliwog 'joke' (though, unlike Jonathan Ross, it wasn't said on air). Background: The Ross segment was pre-approved by the BBC before broadcast and it took huge pressure on them before they took any action against him.
"Carol Thatcher has been axed from the BBC after she referred to a tennis player as a 'golliwog'. The daughter of Baroness Thatcher was dropped from her role as 'roving reporter' for The One Show on BBC1 yesterday. Corporation chiefs told her that unless she acknowledged that using the word golliwog was unacceptable, she could not work on the show again.

Those close to Miss Thatcher, who has worked on the One Show for three years, claimed she had 'bent over backwards' to say sorry for comments made in jest - and in private. But last night the BBC issued a statement confirming she had been dropped after she refused to admit that her comments had been 'completely unacceptable'. The corporation was accused of 'double-standards'.

Critics compared Miss Thatcher's rapid dismissal with the treatment of Jonathan Ross after he left obscene messages on the answerphone of Fawlty Towers star Andrew Sachs. The former prime minister's daughter, 55, who is believed to earn a few thousand year for her One Show role, was dealt with quickly and sternly. However Ross, 48, who earns 6 million pounds a year, was given a three-month suspension without pay and has since returned to work. In addition, the BBC took 11 days to suspend him.

Miss Thatcher used the word golliwog while in the green room with comedian Jo Brand and One Show presenter Adrian Chiles last Thursday. The green room is TV jargon for the lounge where guests and presenters relax before and after they go in front of the cameras. Chiles and Brand are understood to have been the only two others in the room. They are said to have challenged her about the comment which then filtered out to the rest of the production team.

The three were talking about the Australian Open tennis tournament, which ended in Melbourne at the weekend. Miss Thatcher is said to have referred to a black tennis player, understood to be Jo-Wilfried Tsonga [pic above], noted for his physical resemblance to Muhammed Ali, as a 'golliwog'


Leftists see evil everywhere (except where it really is)

Why was the action below not seen as a gesture of solidarity with their Asian friend?
"Disney teen idol Miley Cyrus has been accused of taunting and mocking Asians by making slant-eye poses in a personal photograph with her friends.

A snapshot of Cyrus, 16, best known as the star of the Disney Channel show Hannah Montana, and friends posing with an Asian friend and pulling their eyes sideways surfaced on the Internet this week.

The OCA, a national organization in the United States dedicated to advancing the social and political welfare of Asian Pacific Americans, called on the singer-actress to apologise. The group said the image "falls within a long and unfortunate history of people mocking and denigrating individuals of Asian descent."


It was probably just a sense of humor at work but humor is dangerous with Leftists around

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

"Crusaders" a VERY bad word in Britain

The fact that the original Crusaders were just trying to push back a Muslim invasion of formerly Christian territory must not be mentioned, of course. Muslim invasion = Good; Western invasion = Bad
"A cricket team has been forced to change its name after angry complaints from Muslims and Jews. The Middlesex Crusaders, who have played under the name for almost 10 years, will play next season as The Panthers. Bosses at the county club acted after protests about the name from Jewish and Muslim communities, who said they felt it was a reference to the religious wars waged by Christians in Europe against other faiths.

But Middlesex members condemned the decision to change the team's name and described the move as "batty". "The world really has gone mad," one said. "It's a real kick in the teeth and is bound to upset a lot of fans."


In my first year of High School (about 50 years ago), I joined a small and very harmless Christian Bible study group called the Crusaders. If only I had realized how offensive I was being!

Another Golliwog uproar

Mention of a popular British children's soft toy of yesteryear is now "racist"
"Carol Thatcher, the daughter of the former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, is facing a possible ban from the BBC after referring to a tennis player as "a golliwog". The BBC told The Times last night that it had held urgent talks with Thatcher, 55, and was seeking a formal apology before it agreed to allow her to reappear on the network as either a contributor or presenter.

The incident occurred on Thursday night after The One Show when Thatcher, a roving reporter on the programme, was in the green room with its presenter, Adrian Chiles, and other members of the production team. During a conversation about the Australian Open tennis tournament Thatcher used the word "golliwog" in what is understood to have been a reference to a player in the men's competition.

But friends of the journalist and author said that the remarks were made jokingly during a private conversation that took place after several drinks in the green room. They said that there had been no complaint at the time and that Thatcher only became aware of having caused potential offence 48 hours later when the BBC contacted her agent.

A BBC spokesman said: "The BBC considers any language of a racist nature wholly unacceptable. We have raised the issue with the individual concerned and are discussing it as a matter of urgency."

A spokesman for Thatcher, who has been a regular contributor to The One Show for three years, said that the comment had been "an off-the-cuff remark made in jest". Her spokesman added: "Carol never intended any racist comment. She made a light aside about this tennis player and his similarity to the golliwog on the jampot when she was growing up. There's no way, obviously, that she would condone any racist comment - we would refute that entirely. It would not be in her nature to do anything like that."

Thatcher had apologised to the programme's producer for any offence but was said to be "mortified" that the content of an off-air conversation had been disclosed by a BBC employee. Her spokesman added: "This was a conversation between Adrian and Carol in the green room and the comment was meant as a joke. It is disgusting that we've had a leak of private conversations in the green room - the BBC has more leaks than Thames Water.

Neither the BBC nor representatives of Chiles and Thatcher were prepared to name the tennis player who was under discussion. Her friends said that she had been referring to the player's hairstyle and was not making a racist comment. [I'm guessing it was Spanish player Fernando Verdasco. See pic above]


Incidentally, Derek Laud is a black British political speechwriter who is quite happy with his nickname as "Golly" (The usual abbreviation of "Golliwog") . But Mr Laud and his friends are conservatives. Unlike the Left, they have a sense of humor.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Oklahoma Three Are Free

We read:
"We're happy to report that Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson has dismissed criminal charges against three political activists and finally ended his assault on popular democracy in the Sooner State.

In 2007, Mr. Edmondson accused Paul Jacob, Susan Johnson and Rick Carpenter of trying to defraud the state. The Oklahoma Three, as they came to be known, faced 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine if convicted. Their alleged crime? Working to get a Taxpayer Bill of Rights initiative on the ballot that would limit increases in government spending. The political class despises spending caps, and Mr. Edmondson wants to curry favor with unions and other groups that oppose tax and spending limits.

The AG claimed the organizers hired people from outside of Oklahoma to gather signatures, which violated a state law that banned nonresidents from circulating petitions. But Mr. Jacob maintained that he and his codefendants sought the advice of state officials before hiring anyone and were acting in good faith. Last month the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the Oklahoma law as unconstitutional, noting that the circulation of ballot petitions is "core political speech" protected by the First Amendment.


Ugly slug advocates sending excreta to British anti-immigrant group -- but that's OK, apparently

Substitute "Muslim" for "BNP" in her remarks and guess what the response would be:
"The offending remarks by Brand have been posted online on YouTube. She is seen telling the audience: `Let's start with some important political news. Did you hear this, right, that BNP members and supporters have had their names and addresses published on the internet, hurrah! Now we know who to send the poo to!' ...

But a senior police source said: `It is an absurd case and very unlikely to get to court.


Is it offensive of me to call her an ugly slug? Probably. But if she can make offensive remarks about other people, surely others are entitled to make offensive comments about her.

You can get prosecuted for all sorts of innocent remarks in Britain but if the target-group is disliked by the Left, you can do no wrong.

Monday, February 02, 2009

"Boys" a bad word in Britain

We read:
"A sports club in Bristol has been forced to remove the word "boys" from its name after councillors ruled that it was sexist. Broad Plain Boys' Club, which has gone under the name since 1894, faced the loss of funding unless it could show it was inclusive, so submitted an alteration. The sports club, which does now have girl members, has changed the name to Broad Plain Working With Young People Group.

Club leader Dennis Stinchcombe MBE, 53, who ran the group for 33 years, said the rebranding was "a tragedy". He told the Western Daily Press: "There was a lot of history in that name and we are all very disappointed we've been forced to change it, especially the older lads. "We need the funding so we have to back down. We haven't even had any additional girls coming down - it seems another case of political correctness gone mad." The club says it has helped thousands of youngsters since it began and relies on its 11,600 pounds of authority funding. In 2004 Mr Stinchcombe was honoured for his efforts in helping the community.

The Labour-controlled council does fund single sex clubs including the Bristol and Avon Chinese Women's Group.


Australia: Homosexual flag on city hall

We read:
"Australia's national flag on the St Kilda town hall has been replaced with gay colours, infuriating council workers who say they are not all gay. Angry Port Phillip council workers say the multi-coloured gay flag replaced Australia's official flag on Australia Day, leaving the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags flying. One worker, who fears retribution if he is named, says staff at the council are "insulted'' because it infers everyone who works there is gay. "It's not right that they replace the Australian flag," he said today. "Why not take down one of the others?''

The rainbow flag was flying high above the St Kilda Rd council building when the Sunday Herald Sun visited. Port Phillip council mayor Frank O'Connor said they were following protocol and flying the flag in preparation for tomorrow's Gay Pride March. He denied the Australian flag was replaced on Australia Day.

He said most of the staff supported the rainbow flag replacing the Australian flag this week. "The staff at the City of Port Phillip are strongly supportive. the city supports diversity,'' Cr O'Connor said. [Well, if diversity is the aim, why not a Swastika flag? That would be even more diverse. There are probably at least as many people with racist sympathies as there are homosexuals. Or am I missing something?]


Sunday, February 01, 2009

Unlike Bush's 'Google Bomb,' Google Quickly Defuses Obama's

We read:
"It took four years for Google to address the "Google bomb" that was lobbed at former President Bush. But it took the Internet behemoth only a few days to defuse the same attack on President Obama.

In 2003, President Bush's detractors successfully gamed the Google search engine by arranging to have countless Web sites link the words "miserable failure" to Bush's official biography on the White House Web site. The result was that when someone typed the search term "miserable failure" into the Google search box, Bush's bio rose to the top of the search results.

Unfortunately for Obama, "miserable failure" reverted back to his bio when he moved into the White House. The new president was also Google-bombed with the phrase "cheerful achievement." But this time, Google stepped in quickly, rectifying the situation in a few days, instead of four years.


Must not mention God if you work in Canada Post

We read:
"Along-standing tradition at the Cornwall Post Office has been pulverized by the out-of-control political correctness steamroller. For years, before leaving for their appointed rounds, local letter carriers and their inside colleagues would exchange an expression -- "Merci Seigneur pour la belle journee (Thank you Lord for the beautiful day)." Nice harmless touch to the start of the day.

Not any more. It's been torpedoed by the weak-kneed wimps at Canada Post, apparently in concert with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. The expression has been banned. Employees at the Cornwall office have been warned that anyone who uses the expression will be suspended (without pay).

According to sources inside the post office, Canada Post brought down the heavy-handed hammer after one employee, a recent arrival, complained that the expression trampled their rights. A complaint was filed with the Human Rights Commission and an investigation was launched. That's when the Nervous Nellies' knees started knocking inside the Canada Post executive suites. Let's be crystal clear here. It isn't the expression that has Canada Post's knickers in a knot, it's the use of Lord.

If the expression was, "Thank you George or whoever for the beautiful day," there wouldn't be a problem. Just don't mention Lord or God. It could get you fired. At least at the Cornwall Canada Post depot.