Saturday, October 31, 2009

Must not mention that young people often enjoy taking risks

We read:
"The possibility of death is what makes the Duke of Edinburgh Award popular, Prince Edward said yesterday while commenting on an Australian schoolboy's agonising death while lost in the bush. Edward's comments have made him a target for the British press who are comparing him to his gaffe-prone father, Prince Philip.

In an interview with The Australian yesterday Prince Edward was asked about Sydney schoolboy David Iredale, who died in December 2006 in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. Iredale was on a bushwalk he undertook without supervision as part of his Duke of Edinburgh Award, a program that rewards young people for doing outdoor challenges.

The Queen's youngest son who is seventh in line to the British throne and chairman of the Duke of Edinburgh Award, said the scheme remains popular because it offers the possibility of deadly danger.

The Prince said he was not aware of the circumstances of the Iredale case, but recounted that when a young man died while participating in a Duke of Edinburgh activity in Britain in the program's early years, interest in the scheme soared. "All the trustees were convinced that (the boy's death) was the end of it, that it would never go any further," Prince Edward said. "And Lord Hunt, the man who masterminded the first successful ascent of Everest and was first director of the award, said: 'No, no, no, do nothing ... Just wait and see."'

The prince recalled that, in the days following the death, the number of inquiries from young people wanting to learn more about the award and how they could get involved skyrocketed. "And he (Lord Hunt) said, 'There you go, that's typical young people'," Prince Edward said.


The same thing happens when a tourist gets eaten by a crocodile in Northern Australia: Tourism enquiries soar.

MI: Man sues to restore family’s Nativity scene

We read:
" A Michigan man has filed a federal lawsuit claiming his constitutional rights were violated when he was ordered to remove a Nativity scene from the median of a public road — a creche that his family has displayed at the location for 63 years.

John Satawa, of Warren, Mich., filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court on Friday in an attempt to be allowed to put back the 8- by 8-foot Nativity scene his late father built in 1945.

After receiving a complaint by the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation last December, the Road Commission of Macomb County told Satawa to remove the holiday display, citing incomplete permits. Satawa's permit application was later denied because it "clearly displays a religious message" and violated "separation of church and state," Macomb County Highway Engineer Robert Hoepfner wrote....

The Thomas More Law Center filed the lawsuit on Satawa's behalf, alleging the Road Commission's restriction violates his First Amendment rights and equal protection guarantee under the Fourteenth Amendment. "We're very confident," Rooney said. "We believe the law of the Constitution is on our side."


Friday, October 30, 2009

BBC censors a joke

But lots of foul language is allowed
"Its irreverent take on the week's best political stories rarely raises an eyebrow outside the Westminster village. But BBC1 show This Week threw bosses into a panic yesterday after host Andrew Neil light-heartedly compared [black] MP Diane Abbott to a chocolate HobNob biscuit.

Corporation chiefs, terrified of a race backlash, immediately removed all trace of the episode from its websites and iPlayer on-demand service following 15 complaints from viewers.

But the move has infuriated licence fee payers, many of whom have flooded message boards demanding to know why the programme has been taken off the site earlier than usual.

Last night, politicians and lobby groups accused the BBC of being ' institutionally politically correct' and ' paranoid'. Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe said: 'The BBC are totally paranoid about some things and utterly dismissive of other incidents. 'I only wish that they would take such a hard line against swearing, rather than things like this.'

The episode - which was broadcast immediately after BNP leader Nick Griffin's controversial appearance on Question Time last Thursday - opened with Neil joking about Gordon Brown's favourite biscuit with co-hosts Miss Abbott and Michael Portillo.... Neil went on to compare the panelists as types of biscuit, saying: 'Here we have our very own chocolate HobNob and custard cream - Diane Abbott and Michael Portillo.'

MP John Whittingdale, chair of the media select committee, said the corporation had 'completely overreacted' and called for the missing show to be reinstated online. 'Nobody could seriously believe calling Diane Abbott a chocolate HobNob and Michael Portillo a custard cream to be racist,' he added.

Vivienne Pattison, director of lobby group Mediawatch, said: 'There was also the offensive remarks made about the Queen on Mock The Week recently, which was much worse but was allowed to go out.


FL: Home Depot fired him for wearing “religious” pin

We read:
"A Florida man says he was fired from his job at The Home Depot for wearing an American flag pin that said ‘One nation under God, indivisible.’ Trevor Keezer, 20, said he had worn the button ever since he started working at the home improvement retailer 19 months ago. He said it was his way of supporting U.S. troops, the Florida Sun-Sentinel reported. Keezer, whose brother Army Spc. Steven Keezer Jr. is set to return to Iraq in December, said none of his supervisors had anything negative to say about the pin until last month when he began bringing his Bible to work, the paper reported.”


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Must not suggest that Hispanics eat tacos

We read:
"ESPN broadcaster Bob Griese has been suspended one week for a remark he made about NASCAR driver Juan Pablo Montoya. ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz says Griese will not be working a game this week.

Krulewitz says ESPN has spoken to Griese and "he understands the comment was inappropriate." During ESPN's broadcast of the Minnesota-Ohio State game Saturday, a graphic was shown listing the top five drivers in NASCAR's points race. Fellow analyst Chris Spielman asked where was Montoya, who is Colombian. Griese replied he was "out having a taco."

He has twice apologized on air for the remark.


I am quite fond of a good taco so I don't see what is derogatory about it -- but I am obviously obtuse. I clearly don't have the fine-tuned sensibilities of a Leftist -- fine-tuned sensibilities that see no problem with horrors such as abortions or the mass slaughters by the Communists.

Prince Philip still likes a joke

We read:
"Britain's Prince Philip has reportedly made one of his notorious gaffes by joking with a British-Indian business leader about his name, a newspaper said.

During a reception at Buckingham Palace for some 400 influential British Indians, the husband of the Queen greeted Atul Patel by glancing at his name tag and saying: "There's a lot of your family in tonight."

According to The Sun newspaper, the comment appeared to suggest that all Patels are related. Patel is a common Indian surname, and there are an estimated 670,000 Patels living in Britain, the tabloid said.

A spokesman for Patel, who is chief executive of leading housing association the LHA-Asra group, said no offence was taken by the remark. "Absolutely no offence was taken at all by Atul. It was taken in a very light hearted way," the spokesman told the newspaper....

The prince's comment was condemned by Republic, a group campaigning to abolish the monarchy, as "deeply embarrassing"...

The 88-year-old prince is well known for undiplomatic off-hand remarks, which have included:

- "Still throwing spears?" (a question to an Australian Aborigine during a 2002 visit)

- "You managed not to get eaten, then?" (to a student who had been trekking in Papua New Guinea, 1998).


"Patel" means landlord, which is why it is common.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hillary gets it right

Rejects Muslim efforts to get criticism of their religion banned
"US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has come out strongly against laws around the world that make religious defamation a crime, saying freedom of speech and religion should be equally upheld. "Some claim that the best way to protect the freedom of religion is to implement so-called 'anti-defamation' policies that would restrict freedom of expression and the freedom of religion," she said on presenting a department report on religious freedom.

"I strongly disagree. The United States will always ... stand against discrimination and persecution ... But an individual's ability to practice his or her religion has no bearing on others' freedom of speech," Clinton said.

"The protection of speech about religion is particularly important since persons of different faith will inevitably hold divergent views on religious questions. These differences should be met with tolerance, not with the suppression of discourse," she added.

In a draft resolution adopted last month by the UN Human Rights Council, Egypt and the United States raised concerns over the rise of "negative racial and religious stereotyping of religions and racial groups" around the world. The resolution, which the European Union and Latin America criticized for touching on the thorny issue of religious defamation, "condemns ... any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence".


Australian supermarket chain backs down over 'racist' cookie

"Biscuit" is the British and Australian word for a cookie. What Americans call a biscuit is called a "scone" (pronounced skon)
"Supermarket giant Coles will change the name of an in-house brand of biscuits amid claims it is racist. Coles spokesman Jim Cooper said the name of the "You'll Love Coles" brand of chocolate and vanilla biscuits, called Creole Creams, will be changed as part of the company-wide rebranding of Coles products. The name change comes on the back of claims of racism. In one of its definitions, Oxford says Creole is "a person of mixed European and black descent".

Sam Watson, the deputy director of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit at the University of Queensland, told yesterday: "The word Creole comes from a period when people's humanity was measured by the amount of white blood they had in their bloodstream. This is the same kind of thought that underpinned horrific regimes like the Nazis."

But Mr Cooper today disputed the racist claims and said the name Creole Creams referred to the "well-known Creole cuisine style that originated in the US".


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

British police banned from saying 'Evening all'

With the number of ordinary words that are banned, it would be no surprise if they felt it was too risky to open their mouths at all on many occasions
"Police officers in the UK have been told to avoid using the classic "Evenin' all" greeting because it may confuse ethnic minorities. Warwickshire Police's handbook 'Policing Our Communities', issued to every member of its staff, gives advice on communicating with people from different ethnic groups in a section entitled 'Communication, Some Do's & Don'ts'.

It states: 'Don't assume those words for the time of day, such as afternoon or evening have the same meaning.' A force spokesman said: 'Terms such as 'afternoon' and 'evening' are somewhat subjective in meaning and can vary according to a person's culture or nationality.

'The point is there is an element of subjectivity leading to a variation between cultures that we need to be aware of - taking steps as far as possible to ensure our communication is effective in serving the public.'

In another section entitled 'Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Communities' the force's handbook confusingly states that the phrase 'lesbians and gay men' is likely to be satisfactory for most situations when talking about sexual orientation.

But it says 'homosexual' is 'best avoided' as the word is 'interpreted differently by many, and relates to sexual practice as opposed to sexual orientation.'

Following a Freedom of Information request to police forces and fire services about the guidance they give their staff on their use of language, it has also emerged that a number of organisations, including Essex Police and Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, instruct staff to avoid the phrases 'child, youth or youngster.' This is because such phrases could have 'connotations of inexperience, impetuosity, and unreliability or even dishonesty'.

The same guide also warns against the phrases 'manning the phones', 'layman's terms' and 'the tax man', for 'making women invisible'. London Fire Brigade instructs its staff not to use the terms 'businessmen' or 'housewives' because they 'reinforce outdated stereotypes'.

Marie Clair of the Plain English Campaign said: 'Those writing these guides are over-analysing things. It's political correctness gone crazy. 'I feel sorry for the poor emergency service workers who have grown up in a country where the words they being told not to use are familiar and part of every day language. 'Is anyone really going to be confused by 'evening'? And if you can't say what a lovely afternoon it is, what are you meant to say - what a lovely 3pm?


Ole Miss takes “South” out of fight song

We read:
"The University of Mississippi has shortened one of its fight songs to discourage football fans from chanting "the South will rise again" during part of the tune, which critics say is an offensive reminder of the region's intolerant past.

However, some fans have continued to recite the chant at the end of the song, "From Dixie With Love," despite the change made last week at the chancellor's request. The Ole Miss band performs the medley before and after games.

Dan Jones, who became Ole Miss chancellor in July, said he asked the school's band director, David Wilson, to modify the song to support the efforts of the Associated Student Body. He said he has received complaints from alumni that the slogan is offensive.

The modified version of the song ends abruptly before the chanting phase starts. It was first played Saturday at Ole Miss's homecoming game against the University of Alabama at Birmingham, but that didn't stop some fans from chanting.

Brian Ferguson, 26, head of the Colonel Reb Foundation, said he views the university actions as an attempt to silence students.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Mascot apologizes for mocking prayer

We read:
"The University of Minnesota is apologizing after its Goldy Gopher mascot poked fun at a Penn State football player who was praying before last week's game.

A video made before Saturday's game at State College shows Penn State defensive end Jerome Hayes kneeling in prayer in the end zone. Goldy Gopher kneels in front of Hayes, according to the video posted on YouTube. When Hayes stands up, so does Goldy. The mascot tries to make some contact, but Hayes ignores him and trots back to the bench.

Minnesota spokesman Dan Wolter says the stunt was "plainly a mistake" and the mascot didn't intend to offend anyone or trivialize religion.


An apology to a Christian! Maybe they thought the player was a Muslim.

Swedish Pol Accused of “Hate Speech” Against Islam

We read:
"Swedish politician Jimmie Åkesson has been charged with “hate speech” for writing an opinion piece in which he calls Islam the biggest threat to his country since World War II. In piece published in Swedish daily Aftonbladet, the Sweden Democrats leader writes that his country has the most rapes per capita in Europe, and most of the perpetrators are Muslim. Åkesson also claims that ten Muslim terrorist groups have established cells in Sweden.

According to Åkesson, “today’s multicultural Swedish power-elite are totally blind to the dangers of Islam.” “As a Sweden Democrat, I see this as our greatest external threat since World War II and I promise to use all my power to change the trend during next year’s election,” he writes.

Many Left-wing political players have called for the prosecution of Åkesson on “hate speech” charges, including Jan Hjärpe, an emeritus professor of Islamic Studies at Lund University. “This is the same sort of propaganda as the Nazis’ anti-Semitism,” says Hjärpe. [Really?? Then it was true what Hitler said about the Jews??]


More details here. I have followed the Swedish situation for some time and, as far as I can see, everything Jimmie says is the plain truth -- but truth has never been of much interest to Leftists.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

ADL attacks reality

Defamatory to say Jews are good with money?
"In an opinion piece published Oct. 18 by The Times and Democrat newspaper, Bamberg County GOP Chairman Edwin Merwin and Orangeburg County Chairman James Ulmer defended the fiscal policies of U.S. Senator Jim DeMint, by saying he was "like Jews who are wealthy got that way not by watching dollars, but instead by taking care of the pennies and the dollars taking care of themselves."

"Their apology is a first step, but it doesn't go far enough," said Bill Nigut, ADL Southeast Regional Director. "Stereotypes about Jews' facility with money have survived through generations and have been inculcated into our culture. Mr. Merwin and Mr. Ulmer need to better understand the impact of their words, and how those words will resonate and reinforce anti-Semitism."


It's certainly true that not all Jews are good with money. Otherwise I would not be donating to Israeli charities that help poor Israelis. But Jews as a group are indeed overwhelmingly successful economically. But the ADL are just Leftists who grab any excuse to attack conservatives.

Muslims and Leftists can of course say genuinely abusive things about Jews and the ADL stands silent

A defeat in Obama's attempt to muzzle Fox News

We read:
"The Obama administration on Thursday failed in its attempt to exclude Fox News from participating in an interview of an administration official, as Republicans on Capitol Hill stepped up their criticism of the hardball tactics employed by the White House.

The Treasury Department on Thursday tried to make "pay czar" Kenneth Feinberg available for interviews to every member of the network pool except Fox News. The pool is the five-network rotation that for decades has shared the costs and duties of daily coverage of the presidency and other Washington institutions.

But the Washington bureau chiefs of the five TV networks consulted and decided that none of their reporters would interview Feinberg unless Fox News was included. The pool informed Treasury that Fox News, as a member of the network pool, could not be excluded from such interviews under the rules of the pool.

The administration relented, making Feinberg available for all five pool members and Bloomberg TV.

The pushback came after White House senior adviser David Axelrod told ABC News' "This Week" on Sunday that Fox News is not a real news organization and other news networks "ought not to treat them that way."

Media analysts cheered the decision to boycott the Feinberg interview unless Fox News was included, saying the administration's gambit was taking its feud with Fox News too far. President Obama has already declined to go on "Fox News Sunday," even while appearing on the other Sunday shows.

"I'm really cheered by the other members saying "No, if Fox can't be part of it, we won't be part of it,'" said Baltimore Sun TV critic David Zurawik, calling the move to limit Feinberg's availability "outrageous." "What it's really about to me is the Executive Branch of the government trying to tell the press how it should behave. I mean, this democracy -- we know this -- only works with a free and unfettered press to provide information," he said.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Breakout day

Just for today, I am departing from my usual format to cover a few matters not related to censorship but ones that I think might interest readers here.

1). For a start, I think that POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH is a must-read today for the coverage borrowed from a BRITISH newspaper of the subhuman black-on-white crimes in Tennessee that American newspapers have tried to ignore. The British report went up on 16th but there still seems to have been nothing like it in the U.S. mainstream media.

2). Retirees and Vets Allowed to Salute Flag

We read:
"Traditionally, members of the nation’s veterans service organizations have rendered the hand-salute during the national anthem and at events involving the national flag only while wearing their organization’s official head-gear.The National Defense Authorization Act of 2008 contained an amendment to allow un-uniformed servicemembers, military retirees, and veterans to render a hand salute during the hoisting, lowering, or passing of the U.S. flag. A later amendment further authorized hand-salutes during the national anthem by veterans and out-of-uniform military personnel. This was included in the Defense Authorization Act of 2009, which President Bush signed on Oct. 14, 2008.


Maybe I am just an old fogey but I am an ex-Army man so maybe I have a right to be bit grumpy about this. I think it is a decay of standards. One has to have approved headgear on to salute whilst in the army and I see no clear reason why that should be relaxed elsewhere. What is wrong with a hand on heart for unhatted civilians in such situations?

3). Silvio prefers to party

The King of political incorrectness again:
"Silvio Berlusconi was accused of spurning a chance to help the Middle East peace process last night after apparently snubbing the King of Jordan in favour of a party with his old friend Vladimir Putin.

Opposition politicians in Rome demanded to know why the Prime Minister had cancelled a meeting with King Abdullah, choosing instead to fly to St Petersburg to discuss energy projects between Russia and the EU — and, it was alleged, to attend a private party in honour of Mr Putin’s 57th birthday on October 7. La Repubblica newspaper reported that Mr Berlusconi would “carry fine wines” as a gift for Mr Putin.


So Jordan is more important than Russia??

4). A Doubletalk Interpreter

I wonder can you recognize who uses such doubletalk?

* Action (as in "now is the time for action") — big government.

* Balanced and sustained (as in "chart a course for growth that is balanced and sustained") — involving more big government.

* Choice — the opportunity to select big government.

* Competition — we choose who wins.

* Compromise — accepting my position after I give a big speech.

* Cost savings — $900 billion in new spending.

* Create or save (as in "create or save 4 million jobs") — destroy or lose, as in 2 million jobs.

* Engagement — a combination of unilateral concessions and America-bashing abroad.

* Fact (as in, "these are the facts" or "to state a fact") — my opinion.

* Honest debate — agreeing with me.

* Incorporate (as in "incorporate ideas from Republicans") — include in the early stages of a proposal and then have Pelosi and Reid drop like a hot potato behind closed doors in the final version.

* Irresponsible (as in "irresponsible behavior") — constitutionally protected.

* Misinformation — facts, when presented by our opponents.

* Neutrality (as in "net neutrality") — favoring one side in a dispute, especially when that side has supported your campaign and provided a senior White House staff member.

* Necessary (as in "necessary war") — not really that necessary, at least when it comes to backing up your words with required manpower and funding and standing up to your liberal base.

* Negotiations without preconditions — the position I took vis-à-vis our enemies during the campaign, then denied taking, but am now trying to force on the Israelis.

* Nobody (as in "nobody disputes [these facts]") — no liberals or members of the mainstream media.

* Non-profit (as in proposals to establish tax-favored, non-profit status for failing newspapers) — making official a condition that has existed unofficially for years.

* Nothing (as in "nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have") — everything.

* Plan (as in, "the [health-care] plan I am announcing tonight") — a really good speech.

* Respect (as in, "respects the rights of the Israelis and Palestinians" or "the Iranians and North Koreans") — overrun (Israelis) or elevate beyond reason with no expectation of reciprocity (everyone else).

* Responsibility (as in the "responsibility" to buy health insurance or America's "responsibility" to confront global warming) — big government telling people or nations things they have to do. (See "Action" above.)

* Scare tactics — see "Misinformation" above.

* Security (as in "stability and security" in health care or "true security for all Israelis") — you're toast.

* Stand by our friends — desert our friends in order to "engage" with our enemies. (See "Engagement" above.)


Friday, October 23, 2009

Must not joke about Jews

We read:
"McGillion said Friday a woman sent an e-mail to a team official this week claiming Tynan made the remark while the woman was being shown an apartment in the building where he lives.

The real estate agent reportedly said to Tynan, "They are not Red Sox fans." He responded: "As long as they're not Jewish."

In an e-mail to the AP, Tynan said he'd previously spoken to the real estate agent about two Jewish women who had looked at the apartment and "how scary for them it would be for living next to me with my music and singing."

Tynan confirmed his remark to the team official but said he was joking, McGillion said, and the Yankees severed ties with him.

Tynan said Saturday the woman, Gabrielle Gold-von Simson, a doctor at New York University, accepted his apology and that he made a contribution to the charity, KiDs of NYU.


TX: "Wet vacs" = "Wetbacks"?

You can now get penalized not for what you say but for what people think you mean:
"Emmis Austin Radio has suspended Jason Alvarez and Deb O’Keefe, hosts of the 101x morning show on 101.5 FM. Alvarez and O'Keefe were suspended for one week after they used suggestive and insulting words on the air.

Alvarez and O'Keefe were remarking on ways that Zilker Park could be cleaned up after ACL festival. Heavy rains soaked the new grass at the park during the festival which led to mudpits. O'Keefe was heard over the air making a several comments about hiring "wet vacs" to clean up the mess. Listners called in to complain about the use of the word.

On Wednesday Emmis released the following statement about the suspension: "The Jason & Deb morning show, on 101X Tuesday morning, were discussing a news item about the problems at Zilker Park with the mud after ACL. During that discussion they did not use any slur, but they did make foolish and ugly comments for which we sincerely apologize. They suggested getting a big squeegee or a wet vac. They then repeated the wet vac suggestion in some suggestive and insulting ways. As a result, they were suspended immediately for one week..."


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Teflon Silvio again

Forza Italia!
"Silvio Berlusconi's cutting remark about a female rival's lack of beauty has stirred a rare public backlash from thousands of Italian women who had largely kept silent about the Prime Minister's womanising and sex scandals. About 97,000 Italian women have signed the "Women offended by the premier" appeal after Berlusconi told the matronly, bespectacled leftist Rosy Bindi [below] that she was "more beautiful than intelligent" in a swipe at both her looks and brains...

Still, pollsters say that without a credible political rival to challenge him, the feminist backlash will do little to lower Berlusconi's support among conservative women voters - even if they may be less enthusiastic about him than before.

"Berlusconi has not changed his approach to women and it's not the first time he has made such comments about women," said Maurizio Pessato of the SWG polling group. "It's likely that some of the women already against him were spurred into action since the remark was so harsh, but others are used to this. We're in the phase where those supporting him continue to do so, and those against him are markedly so."

Another pollster, Luigi Crespi, said some female Berlusconi supporters may be disillusioned, but not enough to switch sides. In a country where few batted an eyelid when former showgirl Mara Carfagna [below] became equality minister and scantily-clad women are the mainstay on TV, especially channels owned by Berlusconi, his comments on women have so far triggered little outrage...

A slightly different picture of Signorina Carfagna here worksafe

For his part, Berlusconi has offered a half-hearted apology and brushed it off as a "joke" in a "moment of disappointment", prompting Bindi to say he had only aggravated the situation.


I am somehow reminded of one of Winston Churchill's famous rejoinders: A female politician once called out to him in Parliament: "Winston! You're drunk"! Churchill replied: "And you, Madam, are ugly. But I shall be sober in the morning". It's probably lucky that there were no feminists around in those days.

A Facebook "poke" can put you in the pokey

We read:
"The Facebook poke is possibly one of the most pointless,facebook annoying features of any social network to date. And apparently, it can land you in jail for nearly 12 months with a possible fine of $2500.

Shannon Jackson, 36, of Tennessee learned that the hard way when she was arrested on September 25. Jackson allegedly broke an order of protection against another woman when she decided to poke her on Facebook. The order of protection stated that she wasn't to make any form of contact -- pokes included. The Tennessean reports that she was sent to county jail with a bond of $1500 and is scheduled to appear in court on October 28.

The real crime is that Jackson failed to read Christopher Null's Facebook Etiquette guide, which clearly states: "No pokes. If you are over the age of 16, don't ‘poke' people -- seriously."


A "poke" is just a way of saying "hello" or "I'm here" or "look at my site" but I guess it does breach a "no contact" order. Some of my best friends are pokers (just joking). I suppose it is a bit juvenile but it has never bothered me. I don't use it myself.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Must not admire attractive women

We read:
"Feminists have attacked a multimedia beauty pageant in which men cast votes on bikini-clad women. Sportsmodel.TV is using the lure of a career in modelling or as a television presenter to encourage hundreds of women to upload images of themselves posing in swimwear. Visitors to the competition's website - and from next month via iPhone - can vote on those they consider most attractive.

The managing director of advocacy group Women's Network Australia, Lynette Palmen, said she was appalled women were once again being put on display. "We see it every day ... whether it's a billboard or a magazine, the exploitation of women and judging people on their looks will always be a drawcard for attracting men to a product or service," she said.

Contestant Alana de Freitas said she had no qualms about men judging images of her frolicking in the surf. Criticism from women's groups was misplaced, she said. "A lot of the girls use their profiles to draw attention to charities and things," she said. "Just because you've got some photos of yourself in a bikini doesn't mean you're not a good person or you don't care about the world."


Just to help infuriate the feminist harpies, a picture of one of the contestants above. I suspect that there is a lot of jealousy involved. Women are notoriously bitchy to one-another.

Must not say that homosexuality is a risky lifestyle

We read:
"Britain's press watchdog says it has received a record 21,000 complaints about a newspaper column on the death of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately after critics used Twitter to brand the article homophobic and insensitive.

Gately died on October 10, aged 33, while vacationing on the Spanish island of Majorca. An autopsy found he had died of natural causes from pulmonary oedema, or fluid in the lungs.

Daily Mail columnist Jan Moir wrote in a column on Friday that Gately's death was "not, by any yardstick, a natural one" and said he died in "sleazy" circumstances, She noted that Gately, who came out publicly as gay in 1999, he had been to a bar and invited a young Bulgarian man back to his apartment the night before he died.

Moir concluded that "under the carapace of glittering, hedonistic celebrity, the ooze of a very different and more dangerous lifestyle has seeped out for all to see".

Anger at the column swept social networking site Twitter soon after Moir's piece appeared on the paper's website. Actor Stephen Fry urged his 860,000 Twitter followers to contact the Press Complaints Commission. Other prominent Tweeters followed suit, and provided links to the commission's website.

Moir defended her article, claiming suggestions of homophobia were "mischievous" and suggesting the backlash was a "heavily orchestrated internet campaign".


The original article is here. "The Daily Mail" is conservative-leaning.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

NY: Kindergartner’s censored Jesus poster case goes to appeals court

We read:
"The case of a former kindergarten student whose art project with Jesus was censored by his New York school will be heard in an appeals court Friday.

Antonio Peck, the student, had drawn a poster with several religious figures with the words, “The only way to save the world,” for an art project that had to show understanding about the environment. Antonio meant to express his belief that God is the only way to save the environment, according to his legal representative Liberty Counsel.

The poster was rejected by his kindergarten teacher because of its religious content and he was told to create a second poster.

For the second poster, Antonio had children holding hands around the globe, people recycling trash, and children picking up garbage. On the left side of the poster was the figure of a bearded man wearing a robe that was kneeling on the ground with hands stretched toward the sky. Although the figure is not identified, Antonio said it was Jesus.

The second poster was allowed to be displayed on a cafeteria wall, along with 80 other student posters. But what made Antonio’s poster different was it was folded in half to hide the Jesus figure.

"Despite the federal guidelines on religion in public schools recognizing that students may include religious themes in assignments, school officials insisted on folding Antonio Peck's poster in half to hide the figure they interpreted to be Jesus,” said Mathew Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel. “What a terrible message to send to students that everything is permissible so long as it is not Christian. These educators need educating about the Constitution and American history."


Another Leftist nut: Says that the word 'socialist' is racist

Leftists are real one-trick ponies. Everything they disagree with is "racist". The accusation of racism is about the only argument they've got most of the time so I guess they have to keep grinding away with it, no matter how implausible the accusation is.
"In the context of American politics, socialism has seldom been about the economy or state power alone, despite its political-economic roots. Instead, it has been a slur, synonymous with the charge of communism, but with meaning extending beyond this term as well.

Black leaders in particular have faced this accusation. In 1964, amid the momentous occasion of congressional approval for the Civil Rights Act, Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina declared its passage the result of "Negro agitators, spurred on by Communist enticements to promote racial strife."

Martin Luther King Jr. was not an exception to this allegation, but a direct target. Indeed, he faced immediate pressure to distance himself from close aide, intellectual mentor, and key organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, Bayard Rustin, who once had ties with the Communist Party.

When Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms, among other Southern politicians, voiced criticism of Martin Luther King Jr. and other activists, they did so not on racist grounds, but on anticommunist grounds – a more publicly acceptable stance given the cold war climate of the time. But in hindsight we can easily connect the dots, if there were any doubts about their shared sense of white racial entitlement.

Understanding this history also informs the present. The passion surrounding the expression "socialism" has less to do with the actual meaning of the word, than its associations with foreignness, anti-Americanism, and racial difference. If its reemergence and use sound antiquated and anachronistic, the motivations for its revival become clearer when placed in a context of latent white anxiety toward a black president.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Must not mock illegal aliens

Halloween costume incorrect:
"A Southern California immigrant rights group on Friday asked the Target store chain and a costume company to stop selling an "illegal alien" Halloween costume it said is offensive to immigrants. The costume features the mask of an alien with a green card and an orange jumpsuit with "illegal alien" written across the front.

Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, wrote e-mails to Minneapolis-based Target and Wisconsin-based BuySeasons, Inc. calling the costume "distasteful, mean-spirited, and ignorant of social stigmas and current debate on immigration reform." The group said it also planned to send letters to other companies that are selling the costume.

Target is removing the costume from the site after receiving several complaints, company spokesman Joshua Thomas said Friday.


A reader writes: "So, so tired of this kind of stuff. Be polite to each other, sure! I agree with that. But this is over the edge! How does a fictional character hurt their feelings? So tired of the bunch of crybabies in this generation!!"

The group who got the costume pulled have of course shot themselves in the foot. Pictures of it have now gone worldwide via the internet.

More background here.

Leftist blames the victim

Rush Limbaugh was recently a huge victim of Leftist hate-speech, with all sorts of damaging lies told about evil things that he was supposed to have said in the past. The Left wanted to say that Rush was a hater but couldn't find anything to prove it so they just made stuff up. But according to the addled Leftist assertions below, Rush is still a practitioner of hate speech because of the WAY he speaks, not because of what he has said! It's eloquence which constitutes hate speech apparently.
"I think I’ve got it—the hate in America and where it’s coming from. Rush Limbaugh’s effort—aborted by his fellow investors, it seems—to buy the St. Louis Rams has given me the insight...

So the hate: I think people have a natural instinct to want to declaim, to inveigh, denounce, opine, and show-off to great rhetorical effect. It’s as natural as dreaming of playing major league baseball (it is, speech for speech’s sake, like baseball, a man’s thing). People (men) just want to hear themselves talk....

And the people who do it well, the only people who do it with any formality and structure, are conservatives. The art of this—the formal discipline of rhetoric taught in classrooms for generations—has fallen out of fashion in our era. Except, that is, on right-wing radio and on Fox News. It is the mesmerizing thing about all of these conservatives, not just the bile, but the cadence.. conservatives practice old-fashioned big-breath talking, long oom pa pa flights of castigation and censure and reproach and excoriation and threat and blame and denunciation in which meaning takes a back seat to verbal skill and style....

Losing out on the pure joy of owning an NFL team—as close as you get to being a true potentate in America—Rush may be facing a level of personal disappointment that few of us can truly appreciate, but he’s not weeping. Instead he’s blissfully self-dramatizing, channeling his pain into a great rhythmic flow which blocks out the sound of anybody else.

This, I think, is the root of hate speech: The conservatives talkers have shown many fragile people how to use rhetorical effect—repetitions, rising and falling pitch, tempo, structured breathing, metonymy, synecdoche, and a variety of tried-and-true tropes (“our country over 200 years old now”), combined with passionate enmity —to achieve a little place in the sun....


The writer above is Michael Wolff, a journalist. He is a former columnist for New York magazine and currently is the media columnist for Vanity Fair magazine as well as a television commentator on CNBC. As such he appears pretty eloquent. I guess that makes him a practitioner of hate speech too. He clearly hates Rush. From his argument above, it would seem that his hatred of Rush has quite deranged him. I wonder has he realized that his criticism of Rush would apply equally well to Obama!

The source of some of the the libels against Rush has now been tentatively identified. It is a super-"correct" NYC law firm -- Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP -- with far-Left connections and which has been a big donor to Obama. It has a specialty in sports-related matters. Lying is apparently part of that specialty. Being truthful is not part of "correctness", it would seem. Lets hope Rush takes them on in the courts.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Russia returns to normal (for Russia)

We read:
"A Russian historian investigating the fate of Germans imprisoned in the Soviet Union during the second world war has been arrested, in the latest apparent clampdown on historical research into the Stalin era by the Russian authorities. Mikhail Suprun was detained last month by officers from Russia's security services. They searched his apartment and carried off his entire personal archive. He has now been charged with violating privacy laws and, if convicted, faces up to four years in jail.

Suprun had been researching Germans sent to Russia's Arctic gulags. A professor of history at Arkhangelsk's Pomorskiy university, his study included German prisoners of war captured by the Red Army as well as Russian-speaking ethnic Germans, many from southern Russia, deported by Stalin. Both groups ended up in Arkhangelsk camps.

"I had been planning to write two books. I need another two or three years before I can finish them," Suprun told the Guardian today. The historian – who described his arrest as "absurd" – said he had signed an agreement with local officials not to talk further about his case.

But the arrest has provoked outrage in Germany and among leading historians. It comes amid Kremlin attempts to rehabilitate Stalin and to clamp down on independent historical research – with political repression during the Soviet era and victims of the gulag system now taboo topics.

"What we are seeing is the rebirth of control over history," said Rauf Gabidullin, of Arkhangelsk's movement for human rights. "The majority of Russians don't have any idea of the scale of Stalin's repression. Those in power are from the KGB. They don't want people to know what their KGB predecessors were doing, or its huge scope."


Australian ad-man sparks race row with "dago" comment

We read:
"Outspoken advertising guru John Singleton has been labelled "obsolete" after he hit out at "dago camps" on live radio today, triggering a new race row. Singleton was discussing the demise of Australian tennis on sports station SEN when he remarked: “when we do pick out the good players we send them all to these dago camps and yankee camps and they are never heard of again".

Hosts Tim Watson and Andy Maher quickly apologised to listeners, describing the comments as out of line and a throw back to the 1940s. “Let's be honest ... that was poor form. I don't even know where a comment like that has come from,'' Maher said. “That's trapped in an era long, long gone in this country.''

Singleton appears to have been referring to the Florida training camp of famed American coach Nick Bollettieri, where some of the world's best young tennis talent have cut their teeth. Aussie young gun Bernard Tomic and Mark Philippoussis are among the Australian players to have trained at the camp.


The comment was just part of Singleton's usual shtick, in which he poses as an old-fashioned working class guy. And the usage of "dago" (from Diego) to refer to someone of Italian or Spanish origin is indeed old-fashioned in Australia -- not out of any political correctness but simply because Australia's large number of Italian immigrants have fitted in so well that just about nobody now thinks any ill of them. And for that reason, the local Italian community simply dismissed the remarks.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Australia: Golliwogs in trouble again

Golliwogs were originally an American invention but were never popular there. They WERE from the beginning based on the appearance of Africans. For generations, however, they have been a popular soft toy for children in Britain and in Australia, where American race tensions were absent. The "global village" of TV, films and the internet has however brought American sensitivites to the rest of the word and a treasured feature of British and Australian childhood is under threat. I had a golliwog myself when I was a little kid. All is not lost, however, Anne (the lady in my life) recently found what she sees as a "pretty" golliwog (one dressed as a little girl) in a shop somewhere in Brisbane and has bought one as a gift for an expected baby. So that baby will grow up with fond memories of her golliwog too
"They were popular toys for generations of children but now golliwogs have become casualties of the Hey, Hey It's Saturday blackface controversy - banished to the back of some shops to keep them out of the public eye. Melbourne toy store Dafel, which has sold dolls and bears for more than 70 years, relocated golliwogs from its window display to deeper inside the shop where the soft, cloth toys are less visible to passing shoppers.

Sources said the golliwogs were moved the morning after a singing troupe's controversial performance on the second Hey, Hey reunion show. The troupe's Red Faces send-up of Michael Jackson sparked international outrage when guest star Harry Connick Jr condemned their performance.

Some toy shop owners claimed that before the controversy golliwogs were enjoying a new popularity with children, the Herald Sun reports. "In multi-cultural Melbourne, our little customers should be allowed to walk in and select a doll of any colour or any race of their choice," said Diarne Revelle of Golliwog's Toy Store in Brighton. "Kids aren't racist and they don't relate to their dolls as being black or white, to them they are their little friends and that's it. "We are imposing adult sensibilities on childish desire and fancy. Kids aren't racists - golliwogs to them are bright, friendly toys, dolls, scallywags." ...

Staff at Dafel, a specialist doll store in Melbourne's The Block Arcade, declined to comment. The Block Arcade's centre manager Don Parsons yesterday denied telling Dafel to change its front display.


Travellers could be sued for hotel rants

We read:
"Travellers who post scathing reviews or comments about hotels or restaurants could be exposing themselves to long and costly legal battles. Media lawyer David Poulton, from MinterEllison Lawyers, said people making defamatory comments on sites such Tripadvisor and Twitter have little protection from the websites concerned.

He said there had been many cases where restaurant reviewers had been sued for harsh reviews in newspapers and magazines, and amateurs were also vulnerable. "There's plenty of cases where what's been published on the internet has led to defamation proceedings," Mr Poulton said.

"In cases involving defamation law in some ways the exposure to damages might be the least of their worries because they're often extremely expensive and time consuming. They can drag on for months, if not years.

Associate Professor Barbara McDonald, of the University of Sydney, said people could be subject to the defamation laws of any country where their comment was downloaded. "You could be subject to multiple defamation laws," she said. "Your comment must be based on true facts and it's often hard to prove truth so you have to be careful. "If you said a hotel was infested with cockroaches and it wasn't that could be defamatory."


Friday, October 16, 2009

Oregon apartment residents told to take down U.S. flags

We read:
"At the Oaks Apartments in Albany, the management can fly their own flag advertising one and two bedroom apartments - but residents have been told they can't fly any flags at all.

Jim Clausen flies the American flag from the back of his motorcycle. He has a son in the military heading back to Iraq, and the flag - he said - is his way of showing support. "This flag stands for all those people," said Clausen, an Oaks Apartment resident. "It stands for the people that can no longer stand - who died in wars. That's why I fly this flag."

But to Oaks Apartment management, Clausen said, the American flag symbolizes problems. He was told to remove the red, white and blue from both of his rides, or face eviction. "It floored me," he said. "I can't believe she was saying what she was saying."

Even long-time residents like Sharron White, who has flown a flag on her car for eight years, has been told to take it down. White said management told her that "someone might get offended." "I just said to her 'They'll just have to get over it,'" White said.

Residents we talked to who had been approached to take down their flags all told us the same thing: that management told them the flags could be offensive because they live in a diverse community.

Attempts to find out for ourselves why management would ban flags were unsuccessful. KATU wanted to talk to management at Oaks Apartments, but no one has returned our calls. The woman we were told had made the decision said she was "not going to answer any questions."


After media coverage, the ban was lifted.

Naughty pastor says ‘Islam is violent’. Horrors!

We read:
"More than a year after he was forced to disown his Chicago pastor, President Obama has begun to attend services led by a Christian chaplain who views Islam as a violent faith.

Mr Obama has been an irregular church attender since becoming President, but has expressed a fondness for Carey Cash, the navy chaplain at the Camp David presidential retreat who has been criticised for proselytising in the military and his mistrust of Islam.

The emergence of Mr Cash, 39, who was profiled on the front page of The Washington Post yesterday, will pose some tough questions for the White House — and for President Obama, whose father was Muslim. In a 2004 book describing his deployment to Iraq the year before, Mr Cash calls Islam violent, a faith that “from its very birth has used the edge of the sword as a means to convert or conquer those with different religious convictions”.

Mr Cash, a chaplain in one of the first units to reach Baghdad, believes that a “wall of angels” protected his troops when they fought their way to the Iraqi capital in March 2003. During his deployment he baptised more than 50 servicemen. In his book, A Table in the Presence: The Dramatic Account of How a US Marine Battalion Experienced God’s Presence Amidst the Chaos of the War in Iraq, Mr Cash said of the mission: “Yes, our men were lost and separated. But our God was not confused. Just as He had from the very beginning of the war, He was providentially working all things together for the good of a cause that was just and true.”

Since Mr Obama, who opposed the war in Iraq, disowned the Rev Jeremiah Wright for his incendiary sermons during the presidential campaign last year, he has been hesitant about choosing a new pastor and has declined to pick a church to attend regularly. He likes Mr Cash and the Evergreen Chapel at Camp David, which is 70 miles (113km) from Washington and closed to the public and press. He told reporters this summer that Mr Cash “delivers as powerful a sermon as I’ve heard in a while. I really think he’s excellent”.

Mr Cash has been criticised by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a watchdog that monitors proselytising in the military, for his work with Campus Crusade for Christ’s Military Ministry. According to the watchdog, the group’s goal is to transform the US military into a force of “government-paid missionaries for Christ”.


There's not much transforming needed. U.S. forces in the Middle East are probably the most Christian Army since Cromwell's New Model Army. But no-one forced them to be so. It was the experience of grace that made them so.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

U.K. Twitter Campaign Helps Curb Gag on Press

We read:
"A Twitter campaign that rippled through the U.K. Tuesday helped to induce an about-face on a legal injunction that was preventing the Guardian newspaper from reporting on a public parliamentary proceeding. Bloggers and Twitter users, led by Guardian Editor Alan Rusbridger, expressed indignation about a court injunction that called into question the British newspaper's right to report on a parliamentary debate.

The catalyst was an order filed against the Guardian on Sept. 11 by Carter-Ruck, the London-based law firm representing Trafigura Ltd., an oil-and-gas firm alleged to be responsible for dumping toxic waste in the Ivory Coast.

On Tuesday, Carter-Ruck agreed to change the stipulations of the injunction so that the Guardian could cover the parliamentary question without breaking the law, the newspaper said. "Thanks to Twitter/all tweeters for fantastic support over past 16 hours! Great victory for free speech," Mr. Rusbridger wrote on his Twitter feed. Words tied to the case were among the most mentioned on Twitter Tuesday.

On Sept. 23, Trafigura finalized a pretrial settlement that ended a class-action lawsuit in which 31,000 claimants in the Ivory Coast alleged that the oil-and-gas company was responsible the dumping of toxic waste by the firm it hired, Reuters reported. Trafigura denies any wrongdoing.


Blackface uproar over unpleasant pictures in a French magazine

The rest of the world just does not share America's race neurosis. See the model concerned in a pristine state here (Not safe for work)
"The fashion bible Vogue Paris has joined Hey Hey It's Saturday in sparking controversy and outrage in Europe and the US over the use of a famous, pale skinned model who was painted black for a shoot.

Known for its attention-seeking spreads – the magazine has also used tobacco puffing models made up and dressed to look pregnant – the October edition shows Dutch supermodel Lara Stone posing in dark paint and light lips.

Styled by the magazine's veteran editor-in-chief, Carine Roitfeld, and shot by photographer Steven Klein, the photo spread has sparked a ferocious debate, with bloggers and readers evenly split about the effect and meaning of the images.

In the United States, condemnation was led by blog site Jezebel that accused the magazine of cultural insensitivity. "What Klein and Roitfeld should know … is that painting white people black for the entertainment of other white people is offensive in ways that stand entirely apart from cultural context," Jezebel said.

But readers and bloggers were not all convinced. On The Guardian website, seanthorpe wrote: “The American cultural imperialists of the Anglosphere are out in force again. The same [idiots] tried to get a Nigerian production stopped in the west end because the actors were whiting up. Not everybody who attempts to portray somebody whose skin is a different colour than their own is Al Jolson.”


I think Al Jolson (Asa Yoelson) was brilliant myself -- and anyone disagreeing with that is an antisemite (Heh!). Very incorrect pic of him below:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Shock! Posters of Obama defaced!

Rollins College is a liberal arts college located in Winter Park, a suburb of Orlando, Florida.
"On Thursday, Oct. 1, over one hundred Rollins students and faculty members turned out for a town hall meeting in response to the vandalizing of posters featuring Barack Obama. These posters were defaced with images of swastikas, Hitler-like mustaches, and the number "666" on the posters. While one might argue that students have the right of freedom of speech to declare their opinions on politics and other aspects of society, the use of hate-speech or racial slurs on college property will not be tolerated by the faculty, staff and students of Rollins.


I wonder how many turned out to protest depictions of GWB as Hitler?

Must be VERY careful when talking about a "bisexual"

We read:
"Dannii Minogue [above] has apologised for poking fun at a bisexual contestant on the hit British television talent show, X Factor. Minogue, who is one of four judges on the show, rattled fans of bisexual teacher Danyl Johnson, 27, after commenting on his decision to change the lyrics of a song.

Johnson altered the words to And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going, Jennifer Hudson's love song to a man in the movie Dreamgirls, so he was singing to a woman instead.

After he performed the song on Saturday night's show, Minogue remarked: "If you're to believe everything you read in the papers, then you didn't need to change the gender references in the song."

Minogue's jibe sparked 2500 complaints from X Factor fans, many of whom called for her to be sacked.


I think she was saying that there are a lot of homosexuals about. What is wrong with that? Aren't we supposed to "accept" homosexuality?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

No free speech for opponents of ObamaCare

We read:
"When President Obama called for constructive suggestions for health care reform, John Mackey, CEO and founder of Whole Foods Market Inc., took him up on that offer by writing an op-ed on the issue. Little did he expect the outrage that targeted him for expressing an opinion.

"I honestly don't know why the article became such a lightning rod," he said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal this week. But he said he has no regrets for suggesting that common sense – and a program that has proven to work – be considered in place of the massive service cutbacks and tax hikes that appear to be involved in Obamacare.

"I think a lot of people who got angry haven't read what I actually wrote. I just wanted to get people to think about whether there was a better way to reform the system," Mackey said...

But after expressing an opinion that differed from Obama, left-wing consumers called for a nationwide boycott of the store.


The "offensive" article by Mackey is here.

Switzerland: Go-ahead for poster with 'racist image of Islam'

We read:
"Zurich city council said yesterday that a poster showing missile-like minarets on a Swiss flag can be displayed ahead of a national referendum on whether to ban the building of minarets at mosques in Switzerland. Zurich followed Lucerne and Geneva in arguing that the posters, which also feature a veiled woman with 'menacing eyes', were protected by free speech.

Basel and Lausanne have banned them saying they paint a 'racist, disrespectful and dangerous image' of Islam.

The posters, which urge a ban on the building of minarets, are part of a campaign by the nationalist Swiss People's Party.

Zurich city council said it disapproved of the posters - which also feature a veiled woman with what could be seen as menacing eyes - because they portrayed Islam as 'threatening, negative and dangerous'. But officials said the posters had to be accepted as part of political free speech in the run-up to the November 29 vote.

The posters argue that the construction of new minarets should be banned because they are a symbol of Islamic political conquest rather than religious freedom. So far, there are four minarets in Switzerland.

The Alpine country saw a large influx of Muslim refugees from former Yugoslavia during the 1990s, and now has over 310,000 Muslim residents, or about four per cent of the population - more than in Britain, where Muslims form 2.7 per cent of the population, according to a recent study by the Pew Forum on Religion.


Translation of the text on the poster: "Stop this. Yes to the ban on minarets"

Monday, October 12, 2009

Columbus day parade is "hate speech"?

We read:
"American Indian Movement of Colorado. Advisory for October 10 - Columbus Hate Speech Parade. Colorado AIM advises all Native elders and children to avoid downtown Denver, especially the area near the Columbus Hate Speech Parade, on Saturday, October 10, 2009.


That sure is a broad definition of "hate speech". It makes no sense to me at all. Further comment here

Why is a large modern house a "McMansion"?

And why is anybody who wants one "obsessed"? This hate-speech from America's Green/Left now seems to have arrived in Australia. See below. It is just a sneer at ordinary people who don't follow Green/Left fads. (NSW is the Australian State of New South Wales)
" NSW'S obsession with the McMansion is as strong as ever. While the rest of Australia opts for smaller, more efficient abodes, new homes being built in NSW are 22 per cent larger than the national average. Data from property research firm BIS Shrapnel has revealed the average size of new homes in NSW grew 3 per cent this year to about 308.3sq m, compared with a national reduction of 0.8 per cent to 253.1sq m, The Daily Telegraph reports.

AVJennings NSW general manager Rod Killick said the figures revealed NSW buyers still believed "bigger is better". "It has been clear for some time that Australians are starting to prefer homes which are more efficient with their use of space," Mr Killick said. "That means smaller homes in terms of square metres, but it doesn't mean less comfort or amenity. "NSW homebuilders are clearly bucking that trend. "In fact, while NSW's homes were exactly the same size as the national average in 1990, they are now more than 50s m larger - that's more than the size of a double garage."

According to BIS Shrapnel, while the national average house size had grown by almost 12 per cent over the past decade, the NSW average had almost doubled. "In the last 10 years, NSW homes have grown by 23.9 per cent. That's double the national growth average and shows that home builders in NSW still believe bigger is better," Mr Killick said. However he expected obsession with size to wane, with trends suggesting buyers were becoming focused on design and quality.

Mr Killick said he didn't expect the outlandish growth to continue. "AV Jennings is finding that customers are starting to prefer spending their money on smaller homes with better quality inclusions and combined living areas, rather than paying the same for a larger home," Mr Killick said.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sign in Georgia calls Obama-care 'N*gger Rigged'

We read:
"When you walk into the Georgia Peach Oyster Bar in Paulding County, you feel like you've walked into a different era. Behind the pool tables stands a mannequin in a Klu Klux Klan costume, but it's what's outside of the Patrick Lanzo's restaurant that has some people angry. Lanzo put up a sign that reads "Obama's plan for health-care: N*gger rig it".

CBS Atlanta's Michelle Marsh asked Lanzo why he put up the sign. "I've been putting up signs for 22 years and I've put up all kinds of political signs," said Lanzo. “Why did you use the N word?” Marsh asked. “Well, I’ve used it most of my life. There are different ways to put your opinion up, but that's just the words I choose,” Lanzo answered.

Despite the sign, Lanzo said he's not a racist. He said he's just against what he calls a "sub standard healthcare plan," which he said President Obama is trying to push through.


In case anyone is not aware of it, "n*gger rigged" is slang for fixing something in a very cheap and imperfect way, using wire, duct tape etc. I must say that during one of my stays in Los Angeles I did see a rather amazing example of "n*gger rigging" done with wire. Yes. It was done by a black man. I saw him do it. He was a very cheerful and pleasant person but with an attitude to repairs rather different from mine.

Be careful: "Cautious" is a sexist term

Color me sexist in that case. There are several Democrats pursuing the Senate seat formerly held by Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts. One is Martha Coakley and another is Michael Capuano. And they are all bitter rivals trying to put one another down:
"It was Coakley supporter Therese Murray who finally broke down and played the sexist trump card. She accused Capuano of being sexist for calling Coakley "cautious." ‘‘You all have these little code words; now it’s cautious,’’ Murray charged...

In a follow-up Globe article, "Capuano attacks front-runner Coakley," Capuano seemed as surprised as anyone about the change in status of the "cautious" word: “I don’t think the average person thinks the use of the word cautious to describe generic candidates is a sexist term."


Saturday, October 10, 2009

N.Y. School District shells out $2,500 for Refusing to Allow Bible Club

Lots of educators just can't read the 1st Amendment, it seems.
"A New York school district will pay a student a paltry $1 in damages after he accused officials of prohibiting him from forming a Bible club. The Lindenhurst School District on Long Island denies it violated the unidentified student's civil rights, but agreed to settle the lawsuit. It also paid his $2,500 legal expenses.

The Central Islip, N.Y., district says that in March — a month after the suit was filed — Lindenhurst High School recognized the Bible club. The district already shelled out $2,500 to the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund, which represented the student.


Depictions of dogfighting illegal?

We read:
"Does "Conan the Barbarian" have serious artistic value? That's one of the intriguing questions raised by a case the U.S. Supreme Court will hear next Tuesday. Because "Conan" includes footage of horses tripped by wires, it is arguably covered by a federal ban on depictions of animal cruelty.

If so, Amazon is committing a felony by selling it, unless it could convince a jury that the 1982 epic -- in which a bare-chested, codpiece-wearing future governor of California declares that the best thing in life is "to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women" -- has "serious religious, political, scientific, educational, journalistic, historical or artistic value."

By inviting jurors to be film critics, with the consequences of a bad review including up to five years in federal prison, Congress has turned the First Amendment on its head. That lamentation you hear is the dismayed cry of the Framers at the blitheness with which the people's representatives seek to crush expression that offends them and drive politically incorrect thoughts from the realm of tolerable discourse.

Back in 1999, outraged by videos aimed at people who get a sexual thrill from watching women stomp on little animals, Congress made it a felony to create, sell or possess with intent to distribute a "depiction of animal cruelty." It defined the forbidden material as any visual or audio record of conduct that hurts an animal when the conduct is prohibited by federal law or the law of the state where the depiction is created, sold or possessed.

Although President Clinton said when he signed the law that it should be used to prosecute people only for material akin to the "crush videos" that provoked it, all three cases brought so far have involved footage of dogfights. In the case before the Supreme Court, Robert Stevens, a Virginia pit bull enthusiast, received a three-year prison sentence for selling two videos showing pit bulls fighting and one showing them hunting wild boar.

Stevens' conviction demonstrates how the ban on depictions of animal cruelty can send people to prison based on jurors' subjective reactions to a film. Stevens says he does not endorse dogfighting but used footage of it -- shot in Japan, where the sport is legal, and in the United States more than three decades ago -- to illuminate the history and behavior of pit bulls. Defense experts testified that the videos, which are far tamer than images routinely used by animal rights activists to rally support for their cause, have substantial educational, historical and scientific value.

The prosecution's experts disagreed, quibbling over matters such as the length of certain scenes and Stevens' decision to illustrate poor training by showing a dog attacking a domestic pig. In 2006, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit overturned Stevens' conviction, ruling that Congress had violated the First Amendment by making a man's liberty hinge on such unpredictable, arbitrary judgments about the value of his speech.


Banning dogfighting and banning depictions of it are two different things.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Blackface row over Australian TV show

Must not use black faces to portray Michael Jackson's backing singers apparently. I kinda thought they WERE black. Shows how much I know!
"An embarrassing row has erupted during the second Hey Hey Its Saturday reunion special, after a a Red Faces skit featuring singers in blackface performing a Michael Jackson tribute.

American singer Harry Connick Jr, who was appearing on the segment as a guest judge, led a chorus of criticism over the Jackson Jive skit, prompting an apology from red-faced host Daryl Somers, the Herald Sun reports.

The singer gave the troupe a score of zero and said the act would not have gone down well in the US. He said he needed to "speak up as an American" to say the skit was in bad taste.

But the man who dressed as Jackson in the segment, which was an encore of the skit first performed on Red Faces 20 years ago, said the group had checked with the show's producers on whether it should go ahead. Dr Anand Deva said the act was meant to be a tribute to Michael Jackson and if Hey Hey staff had expressed concern, it would have been axed. "It certainly was not meant to be racist in any way at all," Dr Deva said. "I think he (Connick Jr) is taking it the wrong way."

Dr Deva, whose face was painted white in the skit to portray Jackson, said he and his friends came from ethnic backgrounds and were all too aware of racism. "Two of us come from India and one of us comes from Lebanon so we can't afford to be racist to be honest," he said. "If we did offend him (Connick Jr) we truly didn't mean to."

Source (See also the video there)

Conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG is not much impressed by the role of Harry Connick Jr, in the matter.


The skit has made it big on American TV news and other media. Americans find it hard to accept that their neurosis about race is not universally shared. Even Australia's Leftist Deputy Prime Minister has defended the skit as being innocuous and most Australians have said likewise in online polls.

The un-American Obama administration backs Muslim speech restrictions at the U.N.

We read:
"The Obama administration has marked its first foray into the UN human rights establishment by backing calls for limits on freedom of expression. The newly-minted American policy was rolled out at the latest session of the UN Human Rights Council, which ended in Geneva on Friday. American diplomats were there for the first time as full Council members and intent on making friends.

President Obama chose to join the Council despite the fact that the Organization of the Islamic Conference holds the balance of power and human rights abusers are among its lead actors, including China, Cuba, and Saudi Arabia. Islamic states quickly interpreted the president's penchant for "engagement" as meaning fundamental rights were now up for grabs. Few would have predicted, however, that the shift would begin with America's most treasured freedom.

The Obama administration decided that a revamped freedom of expression resolution, extracted from Canadian hands, would be an ideal emblem for its new engagement policy. So it cosponsored a resolution on the subject with none other than Egypt--a country characterized by an absence of freedom of expression.

The new resolution, championed by the Obama administration, has a number of disturbing elements. It emphasizes that "the exercise of the right to freedom of expression carries with it special duties and responsibilities . . ." which include taking action against anything meeting the description of "negative racial and religious stereotyping." It also purports to "recognize . . . the moral and social responsibilities of the media" and supports "the media's elaboration of voluntary codes of professional ethical conduct" in relation to "combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance."

Pakistan's Ambassador Zamir Akram, speaking on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, made it clear that they understand the resolution and its protection against religious stereotyping as allowing free speech to be trumped by anything that defames or negatively stereotypes religion. The idea of protecting the human rights "of religions" instead of individuals is a favorite of those countries that do not protect free speech and which use religion--as defined by government--to curtail it.


Thursday, October 08, 2009

Must not call a white person a Pakistani?

So who exactly is being racist here if it is an insult to call someone a Pakistani? What is wrong with being a Pakistani? Nobody seems to be answering that. I certainly wouldn't say that some of my best friends are Pakistani but I have eaten in many Pakistani restaurants and have always found the people perfectly pleasant and competent. Muslim fundamentalist Pakistanis are however a different kettle of fish, of course. But as a TV dancer the lady above is obviously no fundamentalist
"The BBC are holding crisis talks to discuss the future of shamed Strictly Come Dancing professional Anton Du Beke after complaints to the BBC over his 'Paki' remark quadrupled today.

Du Beke's future on the show is said to be in the balance after the 43 year-old called his dance partner a 'Paki' during an exchange witnessed by 15 other people on the show.

Today complaints to the BBC rose to 261 and pressure is now mounting on the corporation to axe the dancer for his racist comments to Footballer's Wives star Laila Rouass, 38, with one BBC source claiming Du Beke is a 'dead man dancing'.

Laila, whose mother is Indian and father Moroccan is said to have been left distraught after the 43-year-old dancer said: 'Oh my God, you look like a Paki!'. Du Beke made the offensive remark after seeing the celebrity contestant emerge after a spray tan in preparation for her first appearance on the BBC1 show.

It is understood the BBC is not intending to take any action against Du Beke and wants to 'draw a line' under the incident.


I think the Beeb are for once being smart about this. As you can see from the photo above, the lady is in fact white. The "offensive" remark was uttered after a spray tan had made her look darker. As far as I can see, it was just a way of saying that the spray tan was overdone.

PA: First Amendment victory

We read:
"After months of national media attention, a student threatened with punishment for attempting to form a gun-rights group at Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) is finally allowed to distribute pamphlets about the group on campus. The college has also rescinded its unconstitutional policy demanding ‘prior written approval’ for ‘personal contact with individuals or groups related to non-sponsored college material or events.’

After Christine Brashier, who wanted to form a chapter of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus (SCCC), was told that her pamphlets were unacceptable ’solicitation’ and that any further efforts would be considered ‘academic misconduct,’ she turned to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help.”


Wednesday, October 07, 2009

"Breakfast at Tiffany's" is racist?

These comments by a lady of apparent Indian origin appeared in "The Times" of London:
"Decades after its release, Breakfast at Tiffany’s is still adored, being celebrated in fashion magazine spreads, inspiring songs (Deep Blue Something had a No 1 hit with Breakfast at Tiffany’s in 1995), and receiving mentions on telly and being revived this month as a play in the West End. I don’t think I’ve ever known a woman who hasn’t at some stage named it as one of her favourite films.

Having watched the film three times now, I still can’t buy the idea that her Holly is a native Texan, and I was not in the least bit surprised to read that Truman Capote wanted Marilyn Monroe in the role, and that Hepburn herself didn’t rate the performance, remarking after its release that “I should have been a little more outrageous”.

Then again Hepburn’s efforts were positively Oscar-worthy compared with George Peppard’s feeble turn opposite her in the role of a struggling author. He doesn’t so much act as just stand around shuffling, and it says everything about his talents that after Breakfast at Tiffany’s Peppard’s most famous role was playing Hannibal in The A-Team. Frankly, Mr T would have done a better job in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Then again, in turn, his performance doesn’t seem quite so bad when compared with Mickey Rooney in the role of Mr Yunioshi, Holly’s bucktoothed, yellowface Japanese neighbour. Though the problem here is less with the acting than with the stereotypical nature of the role. “O me so sorry! Me love you long time!” It makes The Black and White Minstrel Show look like a government ethnic minority recruitment campaign. Apparently, director Blake Edwards subsequently expressed regret, saying “looking back, I wish I had never done it”, but this doesn’t change the fact that one of the most acclaimed films of our times, which gets shown more than some new releases, and has become a byword for romance viewing, is racist.


FTC to Regulate Blogging‏

This sounds very much like the thin end of the wedge. What will they try to regulate next?
"The Federal Trade Commission will try to regulate blogging for the first time, requiring writers on the Web to clearly disclose any freebies or payments they get from companies for reviewing their products. The FTC said Monday its commissioners voted 4-0 to approve the final Web guidelines, which had been expected. Violating the rules, which take effect Dec. 1, could bring fines up to $11,000 per violation. Bloggers or advertisers also could face injunctions and be ordered to reimburse consumers for financial losses stemming from inappropriate product reviews.

The commission stopped short of specifying how bloggers must disclose conflicts of interest. Rich Cleland, assistant director of the FTC's advertising practices division, said the disclosure must be "clear and conspicuous," no matter what form it will take...

The FTC's proposal made many bloggers anxious. They said the scrutiny would make them nervous about posting even innocent comments. To placate such fears, Cleland said the FTC will more likely go after an advertiser instead of a blogger for violations. The exception would be a blogger who runs a "substantial" operation that violates FTC rules and already received a warning, he said.


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Once again: It's OK for blacks to be racist

We read:
"Can you imagine the uproar if a Republican uttered a racial slur such as this? All hell would break loose, the offender would be drummed out of office and left for dead in a smoldering pile, quivering and trembling, begging the NAACP and any other outraged group for forgiveness. But in this case, the offender is a vile, nasty NAACP honcho, a woman with a long track record of bigoted, incendiary comments, so it's OK, I guess.
A top civil rights leader called Democratic controller nominee John Liu "the little Asian boy" who's been "running around" with the NAACP for years, as Liu poked a bit of fun at his own heritage on Saturday.

Speaking before the Rev. Al Sharpton's birthday party, Hazel Dukes noted that Liu - elected the city's first Asian-American councilman in 2001 - was on hand for the festivities.

"I see John Liu here - he's been the little Asian boy running around with us a long time [in] the NAACP," Dukes, president of the NAACP New York State Conference, warmly said to laughter during Sharpton's weekly radio broadcast. "But Rev. [Sharpton], he was a good guy, so we said, 'Come on, come on, come on - we can make you what you want to be,'" Dukes continued to more chuckles and applause as Liu, 42, sat on the stage with a bemused smile.

The Taiwan-born, Queens-bred Liu, who came to the United States with his family at age 5, won the Sept. 15 primary and later defeated rival Councilman David Yassky (D-Brooklyn) in the Sept. 29 runoff. Liu enjoyed strong support from the Asian-American community and other ethnic minority voters.


FBI says: Shut your mouth

We read:
"A federal appeals court may have slapped the Federal Bureau of Investigation last year for its misuse of gag orders to prevent discussion of government investigations conducted under the authority of National Security Letters, but that hasn't slowed the feds very much. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, despite a court's finding that such gag orders are constitutionally suspect and should be subject to judicial review, the FBI continues to muzzle recipients of the controversial letters, preventing them from participating in public debate over the Patriot Act and the security state.

National Security Letters are powerful tools that allow federal agents to obtain information about investigation targets from third parties, such as telephone companies, financial institutions, Internet service providers, and consumer credit agencies on their own say-so, without judicial review. Some 47,000 such letters were issued in 2005 alone, according to the Department of Justice's Office of the Inspector General (PDF). The letters don't receive much public discussion, probably because many of the recipients are also issued gag orders, forbidding them to discuss the experience.

Those gag orders were found to be constitutionally suspect exercises of "prior restraint" in a decision issued last year by the Second District U.S. Court of Appeals.

But, says the ACLU, the FBI is "continuing to unconstitutionally enforce its five-year-old gag order on a John Doe NSL recipient and his ACLU attorneys."

Worse, the ACLU maintains that the gag order on its John Doe client is being used to suppress the revelation that an NSL was used in a search for records it was not legally entitled to obtain.


Secrecy is often used to cover up government abuses of power and, given the many low-lifes Obama has appointed, that is a real concern. And it seems here that the FBI is behaving illegally by breaching a court order. This is an attack on the law by those who are supposed to be enforcing it. When governments start ignoring court orders, the rule of law is dead.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Free speech under attack in "progressive" California

Must not say anything bad about illegals
"While the state continues to flounder in an economic quagmire, unemployment creeps deeper into double digits and residents continue to pay some of the highest taxes in the country; Sacramento lawmakers think it’s time to move on to shutting up the voters in a clear attack on freedom of speech.

The mentality of the overwhelming Democratic elitists in Sacramento should be ashamed of themselves. The state Senate passed along party line SCR 58 a resolution that would hinder free speech, in particular, my free speech. Under the guise of ‘hate speech’ this resolution would implement new government tactics to draw up guide lines as to what journalists, talk radio, media and Internet content is deemed appropriate.

The resolution states, “Hate speech has been defined as speech which threatens imminent unlawful action,” this seems amiable enough, however the resolution doesn’t stop there; “but also, as speech which creates a climate of hate and prejudice, which in turn MAY foster the commission of hate crimes.”

Here in lies the problem. What will be deemed hate speech and who will decide whether a word is taken out of context or not? ...

SCR 58 was the brainchild of Gil Cedillo-D. The one page resolution targets negative speech in regard to Latinos who remain undocumented in California. Rather than leave this Constitutional Amendment to the Supreme Court, Cedillo undermines Californians to further his withering political clout.


On all precedents, SCOTUS would knock this one over but it could be very expensive for anyone targeted so lots of plea deals could be expected before it got to court.

British motoring authority forced to pull 'anti-gay' private numberplates from auction

We read:
"The controversial Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency has been forced to withdraw personalised numberplates from an auction after complaints they were offensive to the gay community.

The two registrations – F4 GOT and D1 KES – were to have been among 1,600 auctioned at a sale this week.

But Stonewall, the gay rights charity, objected to the DVLA profiting from the sale of the insulting numberplates and they were dropped from the auction, which is expected to raise £3.5million.