Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Polar bear expert censored by Warmists

No dissent from the Warmist Gospel allowed: Mitchell Taylor, who has studied the bears for 30 years, was barred from a U.N. conference about them
"Over the coming days a curiously revealing event will be taking place in Copenhagen. Top of the agenda at a meeting of the Polar Bear Specialist Group (set up under the International Union for the Conservation of Nature/Species Survival Commission) will be the need to produce a suitably scary report on how polar bears are being threatened with extinction by man-made global warming.

Dr Mitchell Taylor has been researching the status and management of polar bears in Canada and around the Arctic Circle for 30 years, as both an academic and a government employee. More than once since 2006 he has made headlines by insisting that polar bear numbers, far from decreasing, are much higher than they were 30 years ago. Of the 19 different bear populations, almost all are increasing or at optimum levels, only two have for local reasons modestly declined.

Dr Taylor had obtained funding to attend this week's meeting of the PBSG, but this was voted down by its members because of his views on global warming. The chairman, Dr Andy Derocher, a former university pupil of Dr Taylor's, frankly explained in an email (which I was not sent by Dr Taylor) that his rejection had nothing to do with his undoubted expertise on polar bears: "it was the position you've taken on global warming that brought opposition".

So, as the great Copenhagen bandwagon rolls on, stand by this week for reports along the lines of "scientists say polar bears are threatened with extinction by vanishing Arctic ice". But also check out Anthony Watt's Watts Up With That website for the latest news of what is actually happening in the Arctic. The average temperature at midsummer is still below zero, the latest date that this has happened in 50 years of record-keeping. After last year's recovery from its September 2007 low, this year's ice melt is likely to be substantially less than for some time. The bears are doing fine.


To the Green/Left, truth is irrelevant. Destruction is all.

Wimbledon admits good-looking female tennis players get centre court

This was being furiously denied just days ago. I mentioned it on 22nd.
"Good looks count for more than tennis ability when it comes to choosing which women play on Wimbledon's centre court. A succession of easy-on-the-eye unknowns have appeared in Wimbledon's prime arena this year while some of the top women's seeds have been relegated to lesser courts.

The All England Club admitted that physical attractiveness is taken into consideration. Spokesman Johnny Perkins said: "Good looks are a factor."

A BBC source said: "It's the Wimbledon play committee, not us who decides on the order of play. "But obviously it's advantageous to us if there are good-looking women players on Centre Court. "Our preference would always be a Brit or a babe as this always delivers high viewing figures."


Monday, June 29, 2009

Canadian "Human Rights" boss exemplifies what she is denying

We read:
"Canadians are uninformed and deliberately misinformed about the hate speech provisions of human rights law, and are engaged in a debate that is "completely unbalanced," according to Jennifer Lynch, chief commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

"We welcome this debate. We want it to be an informed debate in the right forum, a place where people can have an informed dialogue. [That place is] Parliament, and parliamentary committees. This why we did a special report to Parliament [last week]. That's the appropriate forum," she said in an interview.

She criticized Conservative MP Russ Hiebert for relying on "one source that is full of misinformation," in his study of the CHRC in a parliamentary subcommittee. But she placed most of the blame on conservative author Ezra Levant and his blogging allies for spreading "misinformation" about the CHRC's mandate and practices.


The stupid b*tch can't even hide her biases when she tries. She wants to restrict all debate to Parliament: None of that nasty public speech stuff. Nobody interested in the topic is "misinformed" about her odious regime. We have all seen the shallow and biased grounds on which Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn were targeted. If she wants respect for her fief she should cease all harassment of political speech.

A new naughty word: "scuffer"

Whining Scottish cop complains about a word of dubious meaning
"David Cameron has ordered an investigation into a claim that a Tory MP manhandled and racially abused a Scottish policeman during a demonstration in Parliament Square. Mark Pritchard is accused of calling PC Ray McQuarrie a ‘scuffer’ – said to be slang for peasant – and of trying to push him out of the way when his route to the Commons was blocked.

PC McQuarrie complained to his superiors and wrote to Mr Cameron asking for an apology, claiming Mr Pritchard, 42, had been drinking when the alleged incident occurred before midnight. Mr Cameron asked Chief Whip Patrick McLoughlin to investigate....

PC McQuarrie obtained his definition of scuffer from the online Urban Dictionary. It calls them a ‘peasant underclass, known for wearing “prison white” training shoes and Burbery check,’ it adds they like ‘drinking cheap spirits/wines on the street and from a bottle, drink pints of lager until they cannot stand at which point they attempt to fight anybody within arms length’. They are also said to ‘chain smoke, write in pigeon English, constantly swear and spit and regard petty theft and violent crime as a game’.

However, Urban Dictionary also gives another definition as a ‘hegemonic power tool of the state, law enforcer’. Other dictionaries say ‘scuffer’ is merely Northern slang for a policeman.

Mr Pritchard last night said: ‘It is the case that when my route was blocked by police officers I objected. ‘I was, however, neither abusive towards them, nor did I push anyone. I did not use the words ‘Scottish scuffer’. ‘Until the complaint was drawn to my attention I had never heard of, let alone myself used, this expression


It sounds like rather a good word. I will try to remember it. It might come in handy.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Leftists being devious about "Hate Crimes" bill?

From the Leftist "Media Matters":
"CNN's Deborah Feyerick reported the charge from "some lawmakers and religious groups" that the hate crimes bill "could be used to criminalize conservative speech on abortion or homosexuality." But she did not note that the bill specifically states, "Nothing in this Act shall be construed to allow prosecution based solely upon an individual's expression of racial, religious, political, or other beliefs."


What the above appears to overlook is that the bill has undergone various changes during its now rather long life and I must confess that there might have been a recent change that has escaped me. As far as I can see, however, Media Matters is referring to an older version of the bill rather than the current one. What is apparently the current text of the bill is here. The definitions it refers to are from H.R.3355 (Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994) and can be found here. Earlier versions of the bill did explicitly include a statement that speech was not targeted but that has now gone. At the end of the bill there is simply a pointless assertion that the bill does not attack any constitutional protections (such as the 1st Amendment).

Free speech vs. surveillance in the digital age

A good post from a Leftist site:
"Tools of mass communication that were once the province of governments and corporations now fit in your pocket. Cell phones can capture video and send it wirelessly to the Internet. People can send eyewitness accounts, photos and videos, with a few keystrokes, to thousands or even millions via social networking sites. As these technologies have developed, so too has the ability to monitor, filter, censor and block them....

Josh Silver, executive director of Free Press, a media policy group, says the actions of Iran and China should alert us to domestic surveillance issues in the U.S. He told me: “This technology that monitors everything that goes through the Internet is something that works, it’s readily available, and there’s no legislation in the United States that prevents the U.S. government from employing it. ... It’s widely known that the major carriers, particularly AT&T and Verizon, were being asked by the NSA [National Security Agency], by the Bush administration ... to deploy off-the-shelf technology made by some of these companies like Cisco.” The equipment formed the backbone of the “warrantless wiretapping” program.

Thomas Tamm was the Justice Department lawyer who blew the whistle on that program. In 2004, he called The New York Times from a subway pay phone and told reporter Eric Lichtblau about the existence of a secret domestic surveillance program. In 2007, the FBI raided his home and seized three computers and personal files. He still faces possible prosecution. Tamm told me: “I think I put my country first ... our government is still violating the law. I’m convinced ... that a lot more Americans have been illegally wiretapped than we know.”

The warrantless wiretapping program was widely considered illegal. After abruptly switching his position in midcampaign, then-Sen. Barack Obama voted along with most in Congress to grant telecom companies like AT&T and Verizon retroactive immunity from prosecution. The New York Times recently reported that the NSA maintains a database called Pinwale, with millions of intercepted e-mail, including some from former President Bill Clinton.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder was recently asked by Sen. Russ Feingold if he felt that the original warrantless wiretap program was illegal:

Feingold: “[I]s there any doubt in your mind that the warrantless wiretapping program was illegal?”

Holder: “Well, I think that the warrantless wiretapping program, as it existed at that point, was certainly unwise, in that it was put together without the approval of Congress.”

Feingold: “But I asked you, Mr. Attorney General, not whether it was unwise, but whether you consider it to have been illegal.”

Holder: “The policy was an unwise one.”


So Holder is leaving the way open to do just what the Left condemned GWB for doing. So if Obama wants to eavesdrop on the conversations of HIS version of "terrorists" -- such as ordinary American gun owners -- he can do so. Rather chilling to free speech!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Beware federal meddling with the Internet

We read:
"The Senate Commerce Committee on Tuesday urged President Barack Obama’s pick for chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Julius Genachowski, to “fix” what many in Congress see as a dysfunctional agency. And Genachowski’s vow at his confirmation hearing to make the FCC “a model for transparency, openness, and fairness” is encouraging—and likely will suffice for him to breeze on through the full Senate.

But Americans should be wary of allowing such a powerful federal agency to start defining what “openness” and “fairness” mean when it comes to regulating the Internet. Genachowski is a firm believer in “net neutrality,” a concept that would shift the management of Internet traffic out of the free market and into the hands of bureaucrats. Net neutrality is a policy in search of a problem to solve—and one that would put barriers in front of a vibrant market that is successfully and quickly meeting the needs of consumers. The market punishes Internet service providers who manage their networks poorly because consumers have a simple recourse: They can pick another ISP. When government starts regulating the flow of Internet traffic in ways that degrade the Web experience, consumers will find the FCC is not so responsive.


Wright State University agrees to recognize Christian student group

We read:
"Officials at Wright State University have agreed to reverse their decision to deny recognition of a Christian student group after receiving letters and public exposure from both the Alliance Defense Fund Center for Academic Freedom and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

WSU officials told Campus Bible Fellowship, which has existed as a registered student organization at the university for more than 30 years, that in order to obtain recognition for the 2009-2010 school year, they would likely need to abandon a requirement that its voting members and officers abide by faith-based principles.

“Christian student groups shouldn’t be discriminated against for their beliefs,” said ADF Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “Just as other student clubs should not be forced to abandon their beliefs to be recognized by the university, neither should this club. Requiring a Christian club to be run by non-Christians is like requiring a Young Democrats club to be run by Republicans. It makes no sense, and it is unconstitutional. We are pleased that WSU understands this and has demonstrated that it is willing to respect the constitutional rights of the members of Campus Bible Fellowship.”

WSU denied CBF official recognition during the 2009 winter quarter because it requires its voting members and officers to subscribe to the group’s Articles of Faith. CBF sought assistance from FIRE, which issued a letter to the university. WSU granted the group recognition during the 2009 spring quarter but told the group that, in order to retain it for the following academic year, it would likely need to abandon its faith-based principles. When the situation appeared to require litigation, FIRE referred the club to the ADF Center for Academic Freedom, which helped revise CBF’s constitution and provided assistance on other legal matters.

ADF attorneys sent a letter along with CBF’s recent 2009-2010 recognition application to WSU officials. After receiving the letter, WSU officials agreed to allow CBF to keep their faith-based requirements and still register as an official student organization for the upcoming school year.


Friday, June 26, 2009

"Secret Flirts" game teaches girls 'toxic' lessons

We read:
"FAMILY groups have attacked a video game that teaches young girls how to flirt, describing it as a dangerous sexualisation of youth culture.

Called Secret Flirts, the game for Nintendo DS claims to show girls how to "make everyone fall for you".

A promotional video providing a walk-through of Secret Flirts starts with a groovy young girl giving a sly wink and a Cupid's arrow piercing a pink heart.

The first "lessons" of the game teach girls to do their make-up and choose clothes and accessories.

The next lesson is to "improve your attraction" by going to a hairdresser, a beauty centre and a gym. Then players are ready to listen to advice from the "Love Coach".

"Become more irresistible day after day – then win the heart of the boy of your dreams," Secret Flirt promises.


Hard to see what's objectionable about it. There is no mention of sex in it as far as I can see. What is wrong with a girl wanting to be attractive? I suspect that it is only dried-out old uglies who are protesting.

Strange new experience: Freedom of speech upheld in Germany

We read:
"A popular website that lets students rate their teachers will remain online after a court ruled against a complaint. Germany's federal court of justice rejected the case of a woman who argued her rights had been infringed by pupils who gave her bad grades.

It found that the rights of the woman, a teacher of German and religion, had not been compromised by the ratings and that pupils had a right to offer an opinion as long as they did not hinder her professionally. "The opinions expressed are neither abusive nor insulting," the court said in a statement. "The plaintiff did not show that she had been harmed in any specific way."

The court said collection, storage, and transmission of ratings by online portal spickmich.de was therefore permissible without the assent of the plaintiff.

The website allows students to award teachers marks on a scale from one (very good) to six (unsatisfactory), the same scale on which German pupils are graded. Categories assessed include "cool and funny," "popular," "motivated," "human," and "good teaching."

The lawyers of the woman, who had been given a rating of 4.3 for her German teaching, argued that the site was unfair and inaccurate because users rate subjects anonymously. This could lead to multiple ratings by the same person, as well as ratings by people with no connection to the school or teacher in question, they argued.

But the court said in this case, the right of the individual to express an opinion outweighed these concerns.


Good that there are some such cases.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Jack Black risks fury with Bible rant

We read:
"Jack Black is as black and white as the furry animal he played in Kung Fu Panda when it comes to biblical discussions. His latest outburst may upset a number of religious groups after making jokes about the Bible - insisting the sacred text was written by "an idiot."

World Entertainment News says Black, who was raised as a Jew, dismissed the stories of the Old Testament and admitted he doesn't believe the Biblical writings.

He says, "Do you believe that God came down and went 'I have to make the Earth'? And then said, 'I'm going to invent nighttime and daytime'. You don't invent nighttime, it's just the Earth turning. It was written by kind of an idiot. "He didn't know basic stuff. I don't believe that God - and there may be a God, I'm not saying there isn't.


There have of course been riots in the streets over this and death threats from angry Christians. Sorry! Wrong religion.

Once again, the thoughts come out in a heated moment

I don't suppose it's big news but many homosexuals don't think very highly of one-another either:
"Police have charged the tour manager of the Black Eyed Peas with assault after he allegedly gave celebrity blogger Perez Hilton a black eye outside a Toronto nightclub.

Hilton said he got into an argument with band members Fergie and will.i.am at the Cobra nightclub early Monday morning and was punched outside by Polo Molina, the band's tour manager. They were at the club following a Sunday night video awards show.

Hilton, who is openly gay, said in interview with The Associated Press that he called will.i.am a "faggot," a gay slur, inside the club after the musician told the blogger not to write about his band on his Web site.


The homosexual "community" now seems intent on excommunicating their one-time hero over his use of such a naughty word. Details of the furore here.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

No free speech for tobacco companies?

We read:
"The marketing and advertising restrictions in the tobacco law that Congress passed last week are likely to be challenged in court on free-speech grounds. But supporters of the legislation say they drafted the law carefully to comply with the First Amendment. The law's ban on outdoor advertising within 1,000 feet of schools and playgrounds would effectively outlaw legal advertising in many cities, critics of the prohibition said. And restricting stores and many forms of print advertising to black-and-white text, as the law specifies, would interfere with legitimate communication to adults, tobacco companies and advertising groups said in letters to Congress and interviews over the last week, the NY Times reports.

The controversy, legal experts say, involves tension between the right of tobacco companies to communicate with adult smokers and the public interest in preventing young people from smoking. Opponents of the new strictures, including the Association of National Advertisers and the American Civil Liberties Union, predict that federal courts will throw out the new marketing restrictions. They say, for example, a 2001 Supreme Court decision struck down a Massachusetts rule that had imposed a similar ban on advertising within 1,000 feet of schools, reports Times writer Duff Wilson.


Israel jails journalists for Gaza invasion report

We read:
"An Israeli court has jailed two journalists for two months for reporting troop movements in Israel in the hour before Israeli forces entered the Gaza Strip at the start of an invasion in January. The two men, both Palestinian residents of Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem, were convicted on Sunday of breaching military censorship regulations in their reports on troop movements for Iranian media from the Israeli side of Gaza’s border on Jan. 3. Journalists working in Israel are, in principle, not legally allowed to report any military or security developments without first clearing their report with the military censor.”


They would have been shot as traitors in an earlier era. Military censorship has the very important aim of saving lives among the troops

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sometimes the thoughts come out

An Australian-born tennis star uses a derogatory South African term:
"[West Australian] teen tennis star Brydan Klein has been fined the maximum possible amount by the ATP for racially abusing a South African opponent during a tournament in the UK.

Klein was suspended by the Australian Institute of Sport after he was accused of calling Raven Klaasen a "f***ing kaffir" during the clash at a tournament in Eastbourne.

And despite issuing a public apology, the ATP handed down a $14,000 fine to Klein, saying further penalties could arise out of a full investigation. In a statement, Klein said he deeply regretted his actions.


This is an interesting exercise in onomastics (the study of names) for me. From the Dutch surname and brown skin, Klaasen is presumably what was once called a "Cape Coloured" (person of mixed race) and the epithet would have been very wounding to him -- as Cape Coloureds always hated being lumped in with the "Bantu" (an official term for wholly native Africans).

But the most interesting thing is where Klein got the term from. It is normally used in Africa only. Western Australia does have a large number of white refugees from South Africa so that may be it. A more remote possibility centres on the fact that "Klein" is often a Jewish surname and South Africa's once-large Jewish population has been moving out of what they rightly perceive as a dangerous place for a long time now. So maybe Klein's parents were South African Jews and he learnt the term from them. There seems to be nothing on the net to say where they come from. On the other hand, Klein does not look at all Jewish. But a "Jewish" look is far from universal among Jews so that tells us nothing.

Onomastics aside, the interesting thing is that Klein clearly thought of Klaasen as a "Kaffir" and it came out in a heated moment. You can suppress speech but you cannot suppress thought. I would think that it is surely best to have thoughts out in the open. Speech is often a poor predictor of behaviour but if thoughts were allowed to be freely expressed it might not be.

The term "Kaffir" is not always derogatory. British parliamentary enquiries into the welfare of the South African native blacks in the 19th century used that term for them (although spelled "Caffre") even though the whole purpose of the enquiry was broadly sympathetic to them. In Apartheid-era South Africa it was often used simply as a racial classifier, though it did also tend to imply a judgment of racial inferiority. It is very risky for a white to use the term at all in South Africa today, of course, though some of the older generation still do. I said a bit more about "Kaffir" on April 23.

German accent now incorrect

Not allowed to refer to the fact that the Nazis were German?
"The Conservative leader used a discussion about his opposition to ID cards to do what appeared to be an impression of a Nazi officer. Adopting an exaggerated German accent, he asked the crowd 'Where are your papers?'

The joke was supposed to be a comment on the draconian nature of the ID card scheme. But it drew gasps from listening voters at the question and answer session in Norwich, and did not quite yield the response he was going for. Critics fear it could even trigger an embarrassing diplomatic row between the would-be Prime Minister and Germany.

A woman in the audience raised her hand and asked him: 'I wonder about the wisdom of you adopting a German accent?'

Mr Cameron's patronising response was worthy of the notoriously offensive hotel boss in the 1970s sitcom Fawlty Towers - in the iconic scene where he addresses German guests - explaining to her: 'It was meant to be light-hearted.'


Monday, June 22, 2009

Britain: Must not mention that many female tennis players look attractive

We read:
"As a former Wimbledon champion, Michael Stich might be expected to have an expert appreciation for the skill and dedication required to play tennis at its highest level.

But on the eve of this year’s tournament, the BBC Radio 5 Live commentator has caused outrage among the sport’s female stars by claiming their role is as much about ‘selling sex’ on court as it is about their sporting prowess....

However, not everyone took offence. Two-time Wimbledon singles winner Serena Williams admitted: ‘Sex sells! It’s great for Angelina Jolie and it’s true


A small victory for political free speech

We read:
"A recent federal court decision has grassroots political activists briefly clinking their champagne glasses. Republicans should be taking notes. While the last decade’s campaign finance statutes have almost exclusively benefited unions and liberal causes, recent and pending litigation may finally turn the tide in favor of center-right constituencies.

On May 26, U.S. District Judge Stephan Mickle struck down Florida’s highly restrictive electioneering communications law. The ruling frees community groups to speak freely about candidates and issues without being bogged down in bureaucratic red tape.

Under the law, any group referencing a candidate or ballot issue on any public newsletter or website was required to register with the government and report all spending and donors, including those whose support was never intended to result in political speech. Individuals were required to register after spending just $100 on any political issue. Any failure to comply could have resulted in fines and jail time.

Mickle’s ruling chided Florida’s legislature for its brazenness. “While it is true that the legislature has the power to regulate elections, it does not have the power to regulate purely political discussions about elections,” he wrote.

Florida’s aggressive approach is far from isolated. Legislatures across the nation passed similar statutes in the aftermath of the 2003 U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in McConnell v. Federal Elections Commission, which upheld strict restrictions on electioneering communications and soft money.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Even homosexuals must not criticize Obama

Homosexuals have suddenly become "Far Left"!
"Now that gay activists are unhappy with Barack Obama, CBS has dusted off the “far left” label and applied it to the President’s critics. Co-host Harry Smith on Thursday: “President Obama gets some pressure from an unlikely source, the far left....On Wednesday, he signed an extension of health benefits for same sex couples who are federal employees, but that may not be enough for this increasingly frustrated community.”

The on-screen graphic throughout the segment championed: “Pressure from the Far-Left; Gay Community Frustrated with Obama.” A Nexis search reveals that was the first time a CBS correspondent used the “far left” term in nearly five months. On Inauguration Day, anchor Katie Couric mildly described unnamed “people on the far left or far right who don’t want Barack Obama to succeed.”


I thought that in our current era of oppressive "tolerance", homosexuality trumped everything -- but not when it is inconvenient to American liberals, apparently.

Invasion of privacy reaches new heights

This must be the work of some idiot who does not know what he is doing:
"If you're planning to apply for a job with the city of Bozeman, Montana, be prepared to hand over much more than your references and résumé. The Rocky Mountain city instructs all job applicants to divulge their usernames and passwords for "any Internet-based chat rooms, social clubs or forums, to include, but not limited to: Facebook, Google, Yahoo, YouTube.com, MySpace, etc."

"Before we offer people employment in a public trust position we have a responsibility to do a thorough background check," Chuck Winn, Bozeman's assistant city manager, told CBSNews.com in an interview on Thursday. "This is just a component of a thorough background check."

"Shame on us if there was information out there available about a person who applied for a job who was a child molester or had some sort of information out there on the Internet that kind of showed those propensities and we didn't look for it, we didn't ask, and we hired that person," Winn said. "In many ways we would have let the public down."

After CBS affiliate KBZK highlighted the requirement on Wednesday, a firestorm of sorts has erupted online: irate e-mail messages have jammed mailboxes in City Hall, snarky Twitter.com comments have poked fun at a place once awarded the sobriquet of "All-America City," and a poll indicates 98 percent of respondents believe the city's policy amounts to an "invasion of privacy." ...

Under the policy, which the city says has been in place for a few years, a police officer logs into and reviews the social networking sites of people applying for public safety (that is, police and fire) jobs. For other jobs, the city's human resources department will perform the investigation.

An attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights group based in San Francisco, questioned Bozeman's choice to ask for usernames and passwords. "I think its indefensibly invasive and likely illegal as a violation of the First Amendment rights of job applicants," said Kevin Bankston, an EFF attorney. "Essentially they're conditioning your application for employment on your waiving your First Amendment rights ... and risking the security of your information by requiring you to share your password with them... Where does it stop? How about a photocopy of your diary?"

Another possible hitch: Some social networking sites flatly prohibit disclosure of passwords, so a job seeker who complied with Bozeman's request could lose his account. Facebook's terms of service, for instance, say: "You will not share your password (or) let anyone else access your account."


Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Leftist hatred of Christianity again

We read:
"PBS board members have decided to enforce a rule barring religious broadcasts in a move that spells the beginning of the end for most spiritual shows like Catholic Masses and Mormon devotionals on public television.

PBS board members, who for 25 years have turned a blind eye to religious programming at some of their member stations' religious programing, have decided to enforce a rule banning the broadcasts -- a move that spells the beginning of the end for religious shows on public television.

Six PBS stations currently broadcast "sectarian" programs produced by local religious groups, including the morning "Mass for Shut-Ins," which is popular among elderly and ailing Catholics who cannot attend the daily service.

Under the terms of a decision reached by the PBS board Tuesday, those stations can retain their current shows. And all stations can air programs and documentaries that cover sacred topics -- even a newsworthy service, like a papal Mass. But no new religious shows can be offered, and none of the 350 other stations may air any purely spiritual content, a move some groups say is a quiet means of phasing out religion from their airwaves.

Federal law does not bar showing the services on public television, but PBS worries that the broadcasts have the appearance of an official endorsement from the network. Allowing such programming to air "would cause the public's trust in PBS to erode, along with the value of the brand," argued its Stations Services Committee, according to a report in the Current.

But some stations are actually owned are operated by religious groups that hold their sectarian programming sacred, such as KBYU in Utah, which is run by Brigham Young University and airs Mormon devotionals. An underlying tension surrounding the decision was whether such channels would have been forced to split from PBS had the ruling been different. They, too, are expressing relief at a crisis averted.


Must not address a senator as 'Ma'am'‏

A pathetic little Leftist ego again:
"In case you forgot, Barbara Boxer is a senator. The feisty California lawmaker felt the need to remind an Army brigadier general of that fact Tuesday during a hearing before her Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, where the military officer testifying had the apparent gall to call Boxer "ma'am."

Brig. Gen. Michael Walsh, with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, was testifying on the Louisiana coastal restoration process in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. He began to answer one of Boxer's questions with "ma'am" when Boxer immediately cut him off.

"You know, do me a favor," an irritated Boxer said. "Could say 'senator' instead of 'ma'am?'" "Yes, ma'am," Walsh interjected.

"It's just a thing, I worked so hard to get that title, so I'd appreciate it, yes, thank you," she said. "Yes, senator," he responded.

However, Walsh surely meant no disrespect, as military protocol advises that officers may use "sir" or "ma'am" when addressing anybody higher than them on the chain of command.

Tuesday's hearing was hardly the first time a military officer used those terms during sworn testimony. The same day at a Senate Armed Services subcommittee hearing, two Navy officials repeatedly referred to Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., with the title, "sir." "Yes, sir," Navy Vice Adm. Bernard McCullough said when answering questions. Wicker raised no objections.


Video of Boxer's tirade here

If you ask me, one Brigadier general is worth 50 senators. The respect should have flowed the other way. But we know what Leftists think of the military. Their various bans on the ROTC and military recruiting are evidence enough of that. Leftists are such egotists that they think anyone must be stupid who volunteers to risk his life for the safety of his country.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Blowing kisses incorrect in Maine?

We read:
"Justin Denney's family watched on as he ascended the Cumberland County Civic Center stage during graduation Friday night to accept his diploma, but the superintendent told him to return to his seat.

The Bonny Eagle High School senior's mother wants an apology, and her son wants his diploma. "It's all I can think of now," Justin Denney said. "Why did that happen. What just happened?"

Mary Denney said she can't believe how her son's taking a bow and blowing a kiss on stage was grounds for the superintendent to withhold his diploma. "I'm like, 'Did she not hand him his diploma?' I'm like, 'What's going on?'" Mary Denney said.

She said she and Justin both signed a code of conduct regarding the graduation when she picked up graduation tickets on Friday, but she doesn't think he violated it. "There was no misbehavior. Showboating is not misbehavior," Mary Denney said. "A bow, a kiss to your mom is not misbehavior. There was no need of my son not getting his diploma."

Before the school began handing out diplomas, some students pulled out beach balls. One student was forced to sit away from his classmates with staff while police escorted another student behind the stage. "No arrests were made. The individual that was escorted off the stage was asked to leave the civic center.

The deputy returned to the crowd and took another beach ball away from the students, but Mary Denney said School Area District 6 Superintendent Suzanne Lukas was still upset. "When she got up there and started speaking, they threw out a couple more balls and she turned around and said, 'More people may not be graduating today if this continues,'" Mary Denney said.

While in his seat or waiting in line for his diploma, Justin Denney never touched a beach ball. After his name was called, he took a bow, blew a kiss to and pointed to his family and he pulled out a necklace made for him after he won a state track final, but he didn't get his diploma, leaving a whole family in disbelief.

The crowd booed, but Justin Denney still doesn't have his diploma. Now, his mother wants her son to get what he's worked so hard for.


The misbehavior by other students was obviously stupid and wrong and was properly punished but to classify blowing kisses as misbehavior is surely strange. The lad was just thanking his parents. I am sure a lot of parents wish their children were more thankful. The superintendent was obviously under stress at the time but now that she has had time for reflection she should apologize for her wrong call and do her best to make amends.

Erbe the hater

Taranto has a good snark at the absurd Bonnie Erbe, whom I mentioned on 16th
"Yesterday's item on "hate speech" prompted several readers to write in with the observation that columnist Bonnie Erbe's comments on antiabortion extremist Randall Terry seem to fall under her own definition of hate speech, which she believes should be criminalized.

Terry called the late George Tiller, who performed late-term abortions, a "mass murderer," and Erbe in turn described Terry as "an accessory to murder" and accused him of "partaking in domestic terrorism." She also called for "reprisals" against Terry.

Now, don't get us wrong. We think that Erbe's statements, like Terry's, are fully protected by the First Amendment. If the government sought to prosecute her for them, we would be the first to speak out in her defense (assuming we could do so without running afoul of the law).

But if Erbe really believes such speech should be punished, she is quite capable of punishing herself. In lieu of a fine, she can make a "gift" to the U.S. government (we'd suggest $10,000) by following the instructions at this link. And in lieu of a prison term, she could place herself under house arrest for, say, a year.


Federal prosecutors buckle on pursuit of blog commenters

We read:
"Last Friday in my blog “Kahre’s Prosecutors Are Going Nutso,” I blogged about the abusive subpoena that federal prosecutors had served on the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The newspaper had published a news story about the trial of Robert Kahre, a Las Vegas businessman who is on trial in federal district court for paying his workers in gold and silver coins at their face value. The feds are prosecuting him for tax evasion notwithstanding the fact that federal law stipulates that the coins are legal tender.

After the article appeared on the newspaper’s website, dozens of people began posting critical comments about the prosecution, the Federal Reserve, inflation, and debasement of the currency.

Those comments obviously upset the prosecutors, who served the newspaper with a grand-jury subpoena demanding that the paper produce the “name, date of birth, physical address, gender, ZIP code, password prompts, security questions, telephone numbers and other identifiers ... the IP address” of the people who posted the comments. (It’s not clear whether the prosecutors secured the permission of the grand jury before issuing the subpoena or whether they simply filled out and issued the subpoena without approval from the grand jury.)

As I suggested in my blog post, somebody needed to get word to these prosecutors that they’re operating here in the United States, not in the Soviet Union or Burma. Here, the fundamental rights of freedom of speech are still recognized, as reflected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Well, somebody might have done that because the prosecutors buckled and issued a revised, much narrower subpoena.

What happened first is that the newspaper announced that it intended to fight the subpoena. Then the ACLU jumped into the fray by announcing that it would be willing to represent for free any of the people who posted the comments in an action to quash the subpoena.

According to a news article in today’s Review-Journal, the prosecutors then reduced the scope of their subpoena to encompass only two people who posted comments. According to the Associated Press, one commentator stated, “The sad thing is there are 12 dummies on the jury who will convict him. They should be hung along with the feds.” The other commentator wagered a bet that one of the federal prosecutors would not reach his next birthday.

Obviously, the prosecutors are feeling that such speech is subject to federal criminal prosecution.


On past precedents both comments would be protected. Expressions of opinion are not incitement to violence.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Holder stumps for new “hate crimes” law

This dummy seems to be unaware that this has all been thrashed out in the courts years ago
"Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday that recent killings show the need for a tougher U.S. hate crimes law to stop ‘violence masquerading as political activism.’ ‘Over the last several weeks, we have witnessed brazen acts of violence, committed in places that many would have considered unthinkable,’ Holder told the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs.”


How to produce more von Brunns

We read:
"Remarkably, columnists and playwrights are promoting censorship. That is, they want ‘hate speech’ laws. This position is so obviously juvenile, and counter-productive, it’s a shame that it has acceptance in the mainstream. It takes probably a minute’s reflection to realize censorship will only beget more violence. Instead of ’rounding up’ the von Brunns of the world before they act, such censorship will only motivate them to act because they’ll have little left to lose. If they don’t shoot hated minorities, they will shoot the very cops who come to arrest them.”


No blogger anonymity in Britain

We read:
"Thousands of bloggers who operate behind the cloak of anonymity have no right to keep their identities secret, the High Court ruled yesterday.

In a landmark decision, Mr Justice Eady refused to grant an order to protect the anonymity of a police officer who is the author of the NightJack blog. The officer, Richard Horton, 45, a detective constable with Lancashire Constabulary, had sought an injunction to stop The Times from revealing his name.

In April Mr Horton was awarded the Orwell Prize for political writing, but the judges were unaware that he was using information about cases, some involving sex offences against children, that could be traced back to genuine prosecutions.

His blog, which gave a behind-the-scenes insight into frontline policing, included strong views on social and political issues. The officer also criticised and ridiculed “a number of senior politicians” and advised members of the public under police investigation to “complain about every officer . . . show no respect to the legal system or anybody working in it”.

Some of the blog’s best-read sections, which on occasion attracted half a million readers a week, were anecdotes about cases on which Mr Horton had worked. The people and places were made anonymous and details changed, but they could still be traced back to real prosecutions.

In the first case dealing with the privacy of internet bloggers, the judge ruled that Mr Horton had no “reasonable expectation” to anonymity because “blogging is essentially a public rather than a private activity”. The judge also said that even if the blogger could have claimed he had a right to anonymity, the judge would have ruled against him on public interest grounds.


This will place significant limits on what people are game to say on blogs. And since Britain's speech laws are so strict, it closes off just about the last avenue for non-conforming people to say what they think.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Lettercreep concedes defeat

Sarah the clear winner in a war of words
"US TALKSHOW host David Letterman has sought to draw a line under his feud with Sarah Palin, apologising for making a raunchy joke about the Republican politician's daughter. The 62-year-old funnyman's gag referred to Ms Palin's daughter being "knocked up" by baseball star Alex Rodriguez after the Alaskan governor and her family recently attended a New York Yankees game.

Ms Palin had accused Letterman of targeting her 14-year-old daughter Willow who had attended the game with her.

Letterman, however, said his joke had meant to target Ms Palin's 18-year-old daughter, Bristol - whose teenage pregnancy became a talking point during last year's presidential election campaign - but his intent was irrelevant. "I told a joke that was beyond flawed and my intent is completely meaningless compared to the perception," Letterman said. "And since it was a joke I told, I feel that I need to do the right thing here and apologise for having told that joke. It's not your fault that it was misunderstood, it's my fault.

"So I would like to apologise, especially to the two daughters involved, Bristol and Willow, and also to the governor and her family and everybody else who was outraged by the joke. "I'm sorry about it and I'll try to do better in the future."

Ms Palin had lambasted Letterman on Friday, telling NBC's Today program that the veteran chat show king had "crossed a line". "It was a degrading comment about a young woman and I would hope that people start really rising up in deciding it's not acceptable," Ms Palin said. "No wonder young girls especially have such low self-esteem in America when we think it's funny for a so-called comedian to make such a remark."

Ms Palin had earlier decried the joke as "inappropriate" and "sexually perverted," saying it contributed "to the atrociously high rate of sexual exploitation of minors by older men who use and abuse others".


I cannot imagine what sort of garbage mind would find the rape of a young girl funny.

Below is a picture of Sarah Palin's daughter Piper. Note the great look of defiance on her face. I hope Willow is just as feisty.

TN: Must not mock Obama

We read:
"Sherri Goforth, a legislative staffer working for Sen. Diane Black, a Gallatin Republican, confirmed to Nashville Is Talking that she sent around an email depicting portraits of all the U.S. presidents — but on the last slot, where Barack Obama should be, there is just an empty black spot with two eyes.

When asked whether she understood the controversial nature of sending the email on her state account, Goforth replied, “I went on the wrong email and I inadvertently hit the wrong button … I’m very sick about it, and it’s one of those things I can’t change or take back.” Goforth told NIT she received a letter of reprimand from Sen. Black.

Rep. John DeBerry, the chairman of the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators, said the incident reflects poorly on Tennessee and lawmakers. “It’s unfortunate, and it’s another in a series of unfortunate incidents that have happened across this country with this president,” he said. “It sends the wrong message from the state of Tennessee, and it sends the wrong message from the House and Senate. I wish it hadn’t happened.”


She obviously wished to claim that the only noteworthy thing about Obama is his blackness -- a view widely shared. His ideas are just ancient socialist claptrap.

I received today an email from a 90 year old farmer in Kansas which said (in part) "I was 13 when Roosevelt became President so watching the current international news is like watching a TV rerun or spinoff"

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Subpoena seeks names — and lots more — of Web posters

We read:
"Free speech should be practiced only by those who are ready to deal with the consequences, which just might include a knock on the door by a friendly federal investigator wanting to know if you posted an anonymous comment on a Web site. Were you advocating violence or confessing to breaking the federal tax laws?

This is not a hypothetical. … On May 26 the Review-Journal published an article about an ongoing federal tax evasion trial. … The story was posted on our Web site. When last I checked nearly 100 comments were appended to it, running the gamut from the lucid to the ludicrous.This past week the newspaper was served with a grand jury subpoena from the U.S. attorney’s office demanding that we turn over all records pertaining to those postings, including ‘full name, date of birth, physical address, gender, ZIP code, password prompts, security questions, telephone numbers and other identifiers … the IP address,’ et (kitchen sink) cetera.”


Round up “hate speech” promoters?

Jail Rev. Jeremiah Wright? Mass roundup of Muslim preachers? Methinks this lady has not heard of the 1st Amendment.
"If yesterday's Holocaust Museum slaying of security guard and national hero Stephen Tyrone Johns is not a clarion call for banning hate speech, I don't know what is. Playwright Janet Langhart Cohen appeared on CNN yesterday right after the shooting, as she wrote a play that was supposed to have been debuted at the Holocaust Museum last night. Her play is about Emmett Till, whose lynching helped launch the Civil Rights Movement, and Ann Frank, whose diary told the story of Holocaust victims in hiding in the Netherlands during World War II.

She said something must be done about ridding the Internet and the public dialogue of hate speech. I agree. Not only have we had three hate crime murders within the last two weeks (Mr. Johns, as noted above, Dr. George Tiller a week ago last Sunday, and Pvt. William Andrew Long by an American-born Muslim convert outside a recruiting station just before that.)

Now we have this quote from the so-called Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who used to be President Obama's pastor. Hate comes from among all peoples and all religions. He said this about his lack of communication with Barack Obama since he's been elected president, according to the AP:

"Them Jews ain't going to let him talk to me. I told my baby daughter that he'll talk to me in five years when he's a lame duck, or in eight years when he's out of office," Wright told the Daily Press of Newport News following a Tuesday night sermon at the 95th annual Hampton University Ministers' Conference.

It's not enough to prosecute these murders as murders. They are hate-motivated crimes and each of these men had been under some sort of police surveillance prior to their actions. Isn't it time we started rounding up promoters of hate before they kill?


Monday, June 15, 2009

ADF attorneys consider appeal of Ten Commandments ruling

We read:
"Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund are reviewing possible options for appeal after a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit Monday reversed a lower court decision that upheld the constitutionality of a Ten Commandments display at the Haskell County, Oklahoma, Courthouse. The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit to have the monument removed on behalf of a man who claims he was offended by it.

“Americans shouldn’t be forced to abandon their religious heritage simply to appease someone’s political agenda,” said ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot. “There is no difference between this Ten Commandments display and the one at the Texas state capitol that was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court nearly five years ago. This one, like that one, was donated and paid for by a private individual and displayed among numerous other monuments to veterans, pioneers, and others. The emotional response of a single, offended passerby does not amount to a violation of the Establishment Clause.”


Australia: Health, women's groups demand ban on "Skinny Blonde" beer

We read:
"A new beer that promises to leave drinkers holding a naked woman before they finish the last drop has been labelled dangerous and sexist. Health and women's groups called for Skinny Blonde beer to be banned. And they want the Advertising Standards Bureau to investigate the provocative ad campaign.

Using modern ink technology, the low-carb beer label features a 1950s-style pin-up called Daisy, whose red bikini disappears as the beer level drops and the bottle warms up. An internet advertising campaign on the Skinny Blonde website allows users to pick their favourite "skinny blonde" and watch her undress. The site, launched last week, has already received more than 60,000 hits.

Women's Forum Australia spokeswoman Melinda Tankard Reist slammed the beer and its advertising as degrading and inappropriate. "This is another blatant example of the alcohol industry objectifying women to move product," she said. Ms Tankard Reist said the product was not only socially irresponsible, but had the potential to harm women. "There is a huge body of research that shows the highly sexual use of women to sell products can cause a range of psychological issues among women," she said. "This is demeaning, inappropriate and troubling."


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Lettercreep and Sarah Palin

I never thought I would be quoting NOW about anything but I think that this time they are pretty right:
"Late night TV host David Letterman "joked" that during their recent trip to New York, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's daughter "was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez" during a Yankees baseball game. The next night Letterman said that the hardest part of Palin's trip was "keeping Eliot Spitzer away from her daughter."

After two nights of "jokes" at the expense of Palin and her family, Letterman tried to explain himself and offer something of an apology. On his June 10 show, Letterman said he was referring to Palin's 18-year-old daughter, Bristol -- not the 14-year-old daughter who actually accompanied Palin on her New York trip. Letterman said "I recognize that these are ugly" jokes.

NOW agrees. Comedians in search of a laugh should really know better than to snicker about men having sex with teenage girls (or young women) less than half their age. The sexualization of girls and women in the media is reaching new lows these days -- it is exploitative and has a negative effect on how all women and girls are perceived and how they view themselves.

Letterman also joked about what he called Palin's "slutty flight attendant look" -- yet another example of how the media love to focus on a woman politician's appearance, especially as it relates to her sexual appeal to men. Someone of Letterman's stature, who appears on what used to be known as "the Tiffany Network" (CBS), should be above wallowing in the juvenile, sexist mud that other comedians and broadcasters seem to prefer.


The thing that gets me is what would have happened if Lettercreep had said the same about Mrs Obama and her daughters?

And flight attendants are certainly not amused.

Good to see that Sarah is hitting back, though. That is how objectionable language SHOULD be dealt with: by critique and counterargument, not recourse to speech laws.

Another good comment on the matter here

Top French court rips heart out of Sarkozy's internet restrictions

Access to the internet is now "a basic human right" in France!
"France's highest court has inflicted an embarrassing blow to President Sarkozy by cutting the heart out of a law that was supposed to put France in the forefront of the fight against piracy on the internet. The Constitutional Council declared access to the internet to be a basic human right, directly opposing the key points of Mr Sarkozy's law, passed in April, which created the first internet police agency in the democratic world.

The strongly-worded decision means that Mr Sarkozy's scheme has backfired and inadvertently boosted those who defend the free-for-all culture of the web.

Mr Sarkozy and Christine Albanel, his Culture Minister, forced the law through parliament despite misgivings from many of the President's centre-right MPs. It was rejected in its first passage through Parliament.

The law innovated by creating an agency, known by its initials HADOPI, which would track abusers and cut off net access automatically to those who continued to download illicitly after two warnings.

The law was supported by the industry and many artists. They saw it as a model for the USA and Europe in the fight to keep earning a living from their music and film. Net libertarians saw it as the creation of a sinister Big Brother. Many called it technically unworkable. Some artists saw it as hostile to the young consumers who are their main customers.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

UCLA confirms student can thank Jesus in graduation statement

We read:
"On May 21, Dr. Pamela Hurley, student affairs advisor for the Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology Department at UCLA, e-mailed all graduating students to collect short personal statements from them that she would read as they crossed the stage to receive their degree at the June 13 department commencement ceremony. Hurley informed students that the statements, called “Words of Wisdom,” could contain “almost anything,” including expressions of gratitude, UCLA experiences, family acknowledgements, favorite quotes, etc. She added that some of the most memorable statements were “fanciful” or “outrageously wild,” but suggested that students bypass political, derogatory, or “specific religious expression.”

Popa opened her proposed statement with, “I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” before thanking her deceased father and other family members for their encouragement, and closed with her future career plans.

Hurley responded in an e-mail that UCLA observes the “separation of church and state,” and that instead of reading, ‘I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,’ Hurley would only allow, ‘First, I want to thank God.’” When Popa objected, Hurley said the only other option was to read none of Popa’s comments at the ceremony.

After ADF attorneys wrote to the school over the matter on Friday afternoon, Popa received a voice mail on Friday evening saying that she would be allowed to read her comments as originally written. The university confirmed this by letter Tuesday.


Kansas High School Teacher Fired for Being Conservative?

We read:
"Early in May, Lawrence High School of Lawrence, Kansas fired government and history teacher Tim Latham. Latham charges that District 912 fired him because he is a conservative and many of his students have since rallied to his defense. Some 200 of them joined a FaceBook page in support and four appeared at a school board meeting on June 8 to advocate for their favorite teacher.

One reason given for the firing is that Mr. Latham did not show Obama’s inauguration live in his class and another is that staff members disparaged him for supporting Republicans during the late presidential race, most especially then vice presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin.


A government school is obliged to abide by the 1st Amendment

Friday, June 12, 2009

Freddy is no longer blind

The Prime Minister of Australia is a very skilled Leftist politician but even he can get into speech trouble:
"The disabled have been insulted by federal politicians for the second time in a fortnight, with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd the latest offender.

Blind people took exception to his use of the term "Blind Freddy" yesterday, claiming it suggested they were stupid, The Daily Telegraph reports.

National Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes, who is blind, said: "I think it is a term that is an unfortunate one to use because it demeans blind people's capacity to think, not just their capacity to see. I find it quite an insulting term and I find it personally insulting."

It followed a complaint last week against Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce from The Spastic Centre after he accused Mr Rudd of having a "spac attack".

In a TV interview on Tuesday, Mr Rudd said: "You'd have to be Blind Freddy not to conclude that there have been historical problems most particularly in the Victoria and West Australian divisions of the construction division of the CFMEU."

Dr Innes said the colloquialism was more insulting than the phrase "blind as a bat", which was at least true.

It is not the first time the PM's fondness for Aussie slang has tripped him up. He referred to a "political s--- storm" on national television in March.

Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children's Dr Michael Steer, who was awarded an AM in the Queen's Birthday honours this week, said the Australianism was in the same category as racist and sexist comments."


Britain: Not allowed to laugh at incorrect jokes

Even if you are drunk:
"It is supposed to be a breeding ground for future Tory high-fliers. But current party leader David Cameron would be aghast to hear the comments made by members of the Oxford University Conservative Association. During a drunken hustings for the next president for the student body, candidates made a string of racist remarks. They were asked to repeat ‘the most inappropriate joke you have ever told’.

Nick Gallagher, the publications officer, said: ‘What do you say if you see a TV moving across your living room? “Drop it, n*****”.’

A high-level Tory source said: ‘People who behave in this disgusting and reprehensible way have no place in the Conservative Party.’

At the meeting, another student reportedly made a gag about a family of three black people being lynched.

Both jokes were clapped and cheered on by members of the association, which counts Margaret Thatcher as its patron and Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague as its honorary president.

The drink-fuelled hustings took place at midday in the Oxford Union on Sunday. A source said: ‘Each candidate gave a speech then they were asked to tell the most inappropriate joke they have ever told.

‘Nick Gallagher, the publications officer who is running for president, stood up and said: “What do you say if you see a TV moving across your living room? Drop it, n*****.”

‘Everybody laughed their heads off. When one person raised concerns he said it was OK because it was a joke made by Chris Rock, the American comedian, who is black, which obviously makes it fine. Another made a joke about a black family of three being lynched. Nobody booed.


The point seems to be missed that the students themselves accepted that the jokes were "inappropriate". They were actually showing an acceptance of political correctness.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

British judge attacked for using old-fashioned slang

We read:
"A judge has been accused of using a 'racial slur' against gipsies when sentencing a conman. Judge Christopher Elwen told the fraudster he had 'gypped' a student out of money on the eBay website. The slang verb 'to gyp' means to defraud or steal. Experts suggested there is 'scholarly consensus' that it is derived from the word gipsy.

Romany gipsies also claimed the word began life as 'gypsied' and is an insult. But the judge insisted there is 'no evidence to connect it to any racial group'.

Travellers Times editor Jake Bowers said: 'Gypped is an offensive word. 'It is derived from gipsy and it is being used in the same context as a person might once have said they "jewed" somebody if they did an underhand business transaction. 'Basically what Judge Elwen has done is ascribed thievery to an entire ethnic group.

A spokesman for the Judicial Communications Office defended the judge's choice of words, saying: 'Gyp is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as an act of cheating, nothing more.


It's a word I have not heard used for a long time but it was once common. I always understood it to refer to the experiences of visitors to Egypt in the first half of the 20th century, who were often cheated in various ways.

NHS trust apologises after photo of nurse making v-sign during operation posted on Facebook

I am anything but a fan of Britain's dismal nationalized health system but I think this is a bit of a storm in a teacup. I have been on the operating table more times than I can count but mostly under local anesthetic. And there is always plenty of chatter between those present -- with laughter from time to time but absolutely NO detriment to my treatment. But I do go to a top private clinic for my procedures so perhaps I should not generalize too much:
"A hospital visitor visited Facebook to thank nurses for their treatment of a patient - and was stunned to find pictures of staff pulling 'v-signs' and pointing their backsides at the camera.

The picture of a nurse flicking a 'v-sign' while inside an operating theatre - with a patient apparently lying on the bed - was branded 'humiliating' by fellow patients and Tory MP Ann Widdecombe.

Bosses of the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust today issued an apology, and had the pictures removed from the site while launching an investigation.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Evangelical Group Banned From Tulsa Housing Projects, Chapter Leader Says

We read:
"A Christian evangelical group that works to improve the lives of underprivileged children says it has been prohibited from conducting Bible study classes in public housing projects in Tulsa, Okla., potentially violating a Supreme Court ruling that upheld religious groups' right to the use of public institutions.

For more than 70 years, the Missouri-based Child Evangelism Fellowship has worked with underprivileged kids, not only to convert them to Christianity, but to improve their lives through education and after-school activities. In one program, fellowship missionaries visit prisons and sign up inmates' children for Bible study programs in an effort to keep them from winding up in jail themselves.

And for more than two decades, the fellowship has hosted a religious-themed summer program in Tulsa's tough housing projects, designed to keep children from falling victim to the temptations of drugs and crime.

But recently, the fellowship was told that it was in violation of a long-standing policy prohibiting religious instruction on public housing property, said Larry Koehn, who heads the organization's chapter in the city. "They said they have a policy now whereby we can't come in and talk about God or Christ," Koehn said. "We can come in and play games and talk about moral things, but we can't mention the name of God."

Mathew Staver, founder of the Liberty Counsel, a Florida-based law firm specializing in religious cases, said he will file a lawsuit in federal court against the housing authority if the fellowship isn't allowed back in. "The rules are fairly straightforward," he said. "Some people dig their heels in and don't want to deal with it....

Koehn, 58, who has been working in Tulsa as a missionary with his wife since the mid-1980s, said he has encountered similar resistance before. "Last fall, one of our schools said we couldn't hold a club after school for the same reasons," he said. "I contacted the Liberty Counsel and they wrote a letter to the school board explaining equal access, and they let us in."


America next?

We read:
"China's government wants all PCs sold in the country from July 1 to be loaded with software that blocks certain websites, the Wall Street Journal reported. The paper cited the software's main developer as saying the primary target was pornography, and added that the government said it was to protect young people from "harmful" content.

The software, called Green Dam-Youth Escort, would block access to banned websites by connecting to a database, the Journal reported.

The software must either be preinstalled on the hard-drive or enclosed on a compact disc.

Jinhui Computer System Engineering Co developed the software with the help of Beijing Dazheng Human Language Technology Academy Co, it said.

China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology put the requirement in a notice on May 19 but it has not yet been publicised, the paper said.


A strong but ladylike response to lowdown scum

We read:
"TV host Tracy Grimshaw last night unleashed a stinging rebuke to celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. A seething Grimshaw branded the foul-mouthed Ramsay an arrogant bully.

Her blast came after the chef let fly with a series of gibes about her at cooking shows in the past three days. Grimshaw says she was hurt by Ramsay's slurs, which included calling her a pig woman and a lesbian. "I'm not going to sit meekly and let some arrogant narcissist bully me," she said on A Current Affair. "We've all seen how Gordon Ramsay treats his wife and he supposedly loves her. We're all just fodder to him."

Grimshaw maintained her composure but could not hide the pain: "I wonder how many people would laugh if they were effectively described as an old ugly pig. Obviously Gordon thinks any woman who doesn't find him attractive must be gay. "For the record, I don't and I'm not."

"I'm not going to pretend that his comments didn't hurt. I was absolutely miserable when I found out," Grimshaw said on air last night. "He says it was a joke - well not to me or to anyone who truly cares about me," she said.

An emotional Grimshaw took aim at Ramsay for commenting on her private life at his cooking shows after stipulating that he couldn't be interviewed about his private life on A Current Affair. "Last week his publicists stipulated incessantly the interviews on this trip not include questions about his marriage and private life. We all know why. I respected that request, but it appears with Ramsay that respect is a one-way street."

Grimshaw admitted she had spent most of Sunday debating whether to respond but had finally decided to air her feelings because "we all know bullies thrive when no one takes them on".


She could easily have had him prosecuted for defamation or lodged a complaint with one of Australia's anti-discrimination tribunals but she handled it personally -- an example to us all. Video at the link. Any TV station that employs Ramsay again puts themselves in his class.

As the abuse was broadcast nationwide, she could have hauled him before the Victorian Anti-discrimination Tribunal. They even penalize people for laughing at the Koran so one imagines that they would be pretty punitive about Ramsays's "jokes" about a much-respected woman.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

What extraordinarily offensive speech!

A foul-mouthed British chef presently in Australia unleashed an incredible tirade against a perfectly pleasant Australian TV hostess (above):
Gordon Ramsay has caused a storm after a foul-mouthed tirade against a popular television presenter. The outspoken chef shocked an audience in Melbourne when he launched a vicious attack against Tracy Grimshaw in front of an audience of thousands at a food and wine show.

He held up a doctored picture of a woman who appeared to be naked, posing on her hands and knees with the features of a pig and multiple breasts and as members of the audience gasped, he declared: ‘That’s Tracy Grimshaw.’ He then went on to attack Ms Grimshaw’s appearance saying: ‘I had an interview with her yesterday - holy c**p, she needs to see Simon Cowell’s Botox doctor.’

A source said Ramsay had been unwell recently after a bout of food poisoning. However, he seemed to be his usual boisterous self just days before the food show incident when he was interviewed by Ms Grimshaw on her show A Current Affair.

During the interview he brought up the subject of her appearance, commenting on Ms Grimshaw’s facial mole. He rudely asked her: ‘Is that a wart? It looks like your little sister is on your lip.’


Apparently it was a "joke". She should sue him for defamation.

Homosexuals as hatemongers

We read:
"Now that the California Supreme Court, in a 6-1 ruling, validated Proposition 8, last fall's voter-approved constitutional amendment forbidding same-sex marriage, it is interesting to examine the tactics and public conduct of the gay activist community.

Ironically, this powerful and well-funded gay lobby continues to use rhetoric to promote hate speech, encourage social protest and incite harassment of individuals or groups who oppose their agenda. The Californians Against Hate Web site, an archetype for gay activism continues to utilize false implication and exaggeration to impugn anyone who dares oppose them as hatemongers.

An example of this rhetoric is its "dishonor roll," a comprehensive listing of donors who supported Proposition 8. It includes a specific charge to "Boycott A-1 Self Storage Company" and maliciously targets well over 300 other individuals and organizations who made generous donations supporting Prop 8.

An orchestrated attack against those who support a ban on same-sex marriage has included protest, vandalism and aggressive defamation. This attempted demonization may elicit public attention, but is transparent and disingenuous.

Can you imagine the firestorm of outrage that would erupt if sincere individuals in the gay community were targeted and assailed in an analogous manner?


Monday, June 08, 2009

Another shallow pretext for Leftist hate-speech against Christians

Because one deranged murderer had some Christian beliefs, all Christians are suspect, apparently.
"Liberals like to accuse conservatives of resorting to "hate speech" when it comes to the controversial issues of today, usually because they don't have a valid argument to counter the other side. The irony is that they use the very hate speech they accuse others of employing, but they do so by using what I like to call "politically correct hate speech."

For instance, in the wake of the heinous murder committed against the Wichita, KS. abortionist, Dr. George Tiller, those who support abortion under any and all circumstances have used this tragedy as an excuse to play politics against those who believe in the sanctity of life. Take for instance the response by Colorado's own late-term abortionist, Dr. Warren Hern in a Denver Post interview when he referred to the pro-life movement as being equivalent to the Islamic Jihad:
"The only difference between the American anti-abortion movement and the Islamic Jihad is about 8,000 miles. It's the same outfit. These folks are fanatics. They talk to God, and they carry guns."

Talk about hyperbole. There's also something eerily familiar with his use of Islam for making his comparison. Just a few years ago, Rosie O'Donnell stated that "radical Christianity" is in the same league as "radical Islam." In both instances, discussing the issue is avoided and the use of politically correct hate speech is employed. Is it a coincidence that Christians were the target in both of these cases? I don't think so.

The liberal media is doing it's part in feeding this frenzy of left-wing bigotry. In the same issue of the Denver Post, they published an interview with the ex-wife of Dr. Tiller's murderer, where she was quoted as saying that Scott Roeder (the accused) reached this murderous state of mind by following a progression of events. It began with joining "anti-government," "anti-tax" groups, followed by finding religion. The clear implication of the story was that if you're opposed to government tax policies and you are religious, you're suspect.

Still, it's important to remember that talking to God, being a Christian, and carrying a gun doesn't make anyone a terrorist, any more than talking to God, being a Muslim and carrying a gun makes you a terrorist. There are people at both extremes who aren't representative of the vast majority of people.

Sadly, liberals are likely to continue using Dr. Tiller's murder as an excuse to spew their left-wing bigotry. But of course, hating people of faith, who believe in the sanctity of life, and maybe own a gun is just the type of politically correct hate speech we have come to expect.


A "Progressive" forgets that his hate must be camouflaged

He calls for "global warming deniers" to be killed. The full text of the post on Talking Points Memo is reproduced below. The entry was posted under the anonymous but appropriate byline "The Insolent Braggart". Talking Points Memo is often cited as a website that helps set the agenda for the political Left in the U.S.
At what point do we jail or execute global warming deniers?

What is so frustrating about these fools is that they are the politicians and greedy bastards who don't want a cut in their profits who use bogus science or the lowest scientists in the gene pool who will distort data for a few bucks. The vast majority of the scientific minds in the World agree and understand it's a very serious problem that can do an untold amount of damage to life on Earth.

So when the right wing f*cktards have caused it to be too late to fix the problem, and we start seeing the devastating consequences and we start seeing end of the World type events - how will we punish those responsible. It will be too late. So shouldn't we start punishing them now?

There was a big outcry about this naked Stalinism so TPM have now taken the entry down but many conservative bloggers copied it before that. The author concerned has now apologized and retracted, perhaps realizing that incitement to violence is a prosecutable offence. So he did eventually get around to putting his camouflage on.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

California court rejects 1st amendment protections for fleeing Brits

We read:
"Stephen Whittle and Simon Sheppard flew to Los Angeles in July 2008 before they could be sentenced for writing anti-Jewish articles on a website. Hoping they would be protected by America's free speech laws, they immediately asked for asylum, claiming they had been harassed by the British government over their views. However, the pair were taken into custody at the airport and have remained in jail in Santa Ana ever since.

Sheppard, 52, from Selby, North Yorks, told the Los Angeles Times: "We thought they'd hold us for a day or so. We couldn't see how they wouldn't grant us asylum. The things we supposedly had done in Britain aren't illegal in America. "We came to the beacon of free speech in the Western world, which turned out to be a complete fantasy," he said.

US officials have made clear that the pair were not detained for their views but because their visa waivers became invalid as soon as they told immigration officers they intended to remain in America. An official also admitted that the men's legal status in Britain had been a factor in their lengthy detention. "All they had to do was get off the plane in LAX and walk off into the free world," said Bruce Leichty, their former lawyer.

On top of any punishment for skipping bail, Sheppard and Whittle, 42, of Preston, Lancs, face possible jail terms for a string of racist essays attacking Jews, blacks and Asians. The pair, dubbed the Heretical Two by supporters in reference to the website's name, were believed to be the first British citizens to be convicted of publishing racist material online.

The pair had argued that they were protected because the articles were posted on an internet server in California, supposedly beyond the reach of British law. In March, a US immigration judge ordered that the men be deported to Britain.

Mr Leichty told the LA Times the case had "very wide ramifications", adding: "I don't share their views or the way they communicate their views, but I certainly don't think we should be incarcerating people for what they did."


Leftists hate ANY coverage of viewpoints other than their own

Left-leaning WaPo columnist Dionne is outraged that the media sometimes cover statements by Limbaugh and Gingrich. Taranto has some good remarks about that:
"E.J. Dionne, a liberal columnist for the Washington Post, makes a surprising acknowledgment: The news media are politically biased. This is both more and less surprising than you'd think, however, because of the direction in which he thinks they're biased:
"A media environment that tilts to the right is obscuring what President Obama stands for and closing off political options that should be part of the public discussion.

Yes, you read that correctly: If you doubt that there is a conservative inclination in the media, consider which arguments you hear regularly and which you don't. When Rush Limbaugh sneezes or Newt Gingrich tweets, their views ricochet from the Internet to cable television and into the traditional media. It is remarkable how successful they are in setting what passes for the news agenda.

Just how risible this is, Dionne himself makes clear in the fourth paragraph, when he observes: "Democrats are complicit in building up Gingrich and Limbaugh as the main spokesmen for the Republican Party, since Obama polls so much better than either of them." Does this mean Democrats tilt to the right? Dionne doesn't say, but it seems clear to us that reporters largely see Gingrich and Limbaugh the same way Democrats do: as figures of contempt or even hatred.

Reader Greg Lindenberg observes of Dionne's argument: "This is like saying the Union controlled the Confederate media because all it talked about was the Yankees." It's reminiscent, too, of the old joke about the German Jew explaining to his friend why he prefers Der Stürmer over the local Yiddish paper: "This paper says we Jews control the media, the economy, the banks, the whole world. Your paper has nothing but bad news."


Saturday, June 06, 2009

CT: Radio host arrested, charged for blog entry

There is no doubt that incitement to violence is prosecutable and will not be protected by the 1st Amendment so this guy was clearly asking for trouble
"Reactionary radio host and white supremacist Hal Turner was taken into custody Wednesday after remarks urging Catholics to "take up arms" against two Connecticut lawmakers and a state ethics official over legislation being considered in the state legislature regarding the church. Connecticut Capitol police got a warrant for Turner's arrest. The Hartford Courant fills in the details:
Turner, who has been identified as a white supremacist and anti-Semite by several anti-racism groups, hosts an Internet radio program with an associated blog. On Tuesday, the blog included a post that promised to release the home addresses of state Rep. Michael Lawlor, state Sen. Andrew McDonald and Thomas Jones of the State Ethics Office.

"Mr. Turner's comments are above and beyond the threshold of free speech," Capitol Police Chief Michael J. Fallon said in an e-mail announcing the warrant. "He is inciting others through his website to commit acts of violence and has created fear and alarm. He should be held accountable for his conduct."

The remarks on the blog were a reaction to the recent controversy over a bill that would have changed the way the Roman Catholic Church is governed, taking power away from church officials and turning it over to lay members. It was pulled in mid-March following an outcry from Catholics across the state and questions about its constitutionality.

Liberal blogger John Amato at CrooksandLiars highlights Turner's blog posting in which he suggested that the lawmakers be made "an example of as a warning."
"It is our intent to foment direct action against these individuals personally," the blog stated. "These beastly government officials should be made an example of as a warning to others in government: Obey the Constitution or die."

And, the post continued, "If any state attorney, police department or court thinks they're going to get uppity with us about this; I suspect we have enough bullets to put them down too."


British farmer branded racist for telling the truth about travellers

"Travellers" in Britain can mean either gypsies or Irish itinerants. Both live in trailers which are usually parked illegally in parkland etc.
"Having lived next to a community of travellers for 30 years, Bryan Lee thought he had valuable insight into plans to give them a permanent home. But when he objected to transforming a field into a new settlement, his input was ignored - and he was even branded a racist. Mr Lee, 65, was warned he could face legal action from the police and equality watchdogs if he dared to continue with his 'racist representations'.

Yesterday, the retired dairy farmer spoke of his outrage at being labelled a bigot by officials at Mid Devon District Council. Their response came after he wrote in March to disagree with plans to turn a field half a mile from his home in Silverton, Devon, into two pitches for travellers.

The father of two outlined the problems he had faced with another travellers' site and said the application was 'inappropriate for the area'. He wrote: 'The number of families at any one time on the permanent site was an ongoing problem for the local authority, as was the nature of business carried out on the site. 'This included vehicle wrecking and various small-scale livestock ventures.' He continued: 'Horses were turned into my fields regularly. The police were regular visitors, usually to trace stolen property but also to break up fights with traveller families from other sites.'

When staff eventually responded, Mid Devon District Council said it would take 'no account' of his letter and warned he may be investigated under race laws. Officials wrote: 'It is policy on planning and building proposals to take no account of representations of a racist nature. 'If the council receives any more racist representations from you, this matter will be referred to the Commission for Racial Equality or the police.'

Yesterday Mr Lee, who lived next to a camp in Broadclyst, Devon, before moving to Silverton, said: 'This extreme reaction would be laughable if it wasn't so tragic and damaging to my character. It is absolutely outrageous. I am not a racist.' He insisted his letter over the proposal was 'a factual report of my own first-hand experience'. He continued: 'I spent 30 years living next to a travellers' site and it was hell. ' I had lots of my farming equipment stolen. If my property wasn't bolted down, it would disappear overnight.

'The place was a complete tip with rubbish everywhere. I also witnessed some very aggressive and unpleasant behaviour. I wasn't suggesting all travellers acted in this way - of course they don't. 'I was simply pointing out what happened in my personal experience. I was within my rights to oppose the application, especially after what I've been through, without being accused of racism by some jumped-up official.' He added that the council withdrew the plan after being flooded with 50 complaints from residents.

A spokesman for Mid Devon District Council said: 'I appreciate that planning applications for gipsy and traveller sites can be quite sensitive.' She added that the authority had a 'clear policy' meaning that officials would not take into account comments 'where they could reasonably be considered to be racist'.