Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Must not say that suicide can be selfish

When it leaves behind a young family it can be -- though it is of course also an awful thing that someone could feel so despairing. Suicide counsellors do use reminders of the effect on family to deter the act
Footballer Joey Barton was at the centre of a controversy over comments he made on Twitter about Gary Speed's death, describing suicide as a 'selfish' act.

Welsh football legend Gary Speed was tragically found hanged at his home on Sunday morning in what is thought could have been a suicide. Like countless others, Barton took to Twitter to speak of his shock at Speed's death and paid tribute to him.

He posted: 'Just hearing about Gary Speed, to say am shocked is an understatement. 'My thoughts are with his family and friends. Really sad news.'

However, his tributes were then swiftly followed - with astonishingly tactless timing - by his views on suicide. The outspoken footballer added: 'Suicide is a mix of the most tragic, most selfish, most terrible (and I want to believe preventable) acts out there.'

As Twitter users bombarded Barton in an online backlash, the star - unrepentant - branded his critics as having 'half a brain' instead of apologising for his offensive comments.

White woman arrested for saying what many Brits think

She must have been really fed up to shout it in public. Maybe she was hormonal or hypermanic. But there is an element of truth in what she said. British living standards have been declining steadily for at least five years and that decline is very visible and highly regrettable to most Brits. And ever-increasing taxes are a large factor in the reduced disposable income

And there are at the same time a large number of welfare dependant blacks in Britain who exhibit the high level of criminality that one always gets from blacks. The thought that sending blacks back to their countries of origin would both reduce the welfare bill and reduce levels of crime is therefore hard to escape.

She got a good answer to her attack on the Poles though. Polish immigrants who come to Britain come to work -- generally doing work that the Brits are too lazy to do.
The 34-year-old from New Addington in Croydon, south London, was held on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence after a video came to light on YouTube.

The two-minute clip showed a woman insulting passengers while holding a toddler on her lap in a full tram carriage on the Croydon to Wimbledon service in South London.

She can be heard saying: "What has this country come to ... with loads of black people and a load of f------ Polish.

"Sort out your own countries, don't come and do mine, Britain is nothing now, Britain is f--- all, my Britain is f--- all now."

When a passenger points out there are children on board, she replies: "Yeah fine, I've got my little kid here."

Tension almost boils over when the incensed woman attempts to pronounce "Nicaragua" and a young black man has to be calmed down by others.

The passenger continued to try to stop the woman insulting commuters and said: "If we didn't come here you guys wouldn't have people to work. We have to come here and do the work for you."


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cheerleader Melissa Kellerman was barely into the middle part of her 15 minutes of fame when the Dallas Cowboys pulled the plug on her

Nasty sports administrators: Power freaks
"Kellerman, a 22-year-old student in her fourth year with the team, became a national sensation on Thanksgiving when she was accidentally tackled on the sideline by Cowboys tight end Jason Witten

CNBC's Darren Rovell reported that Kellerman was forced to delete her Twitter account after posting two messages on Friday morning about the incident. Her Tweets were good-natured and innocuous. Those were pretty much the perfect tweets: Clever, self-deprecating and a bit funny.

Why did she have to delete her Twitter account? Do the Cowboys believe cheerleaders are only to be seen, not heard? Hardly. The team allows cameras to record cheerleader auditions for a reality show on CMT.

It's alright when the team controls the message but not when a cheerleader begins to get a following and has the stage to herself?

This should have been a win-win for everyone involved. Witten looked chivalrous when he helped up Kellerman, she became endearing with her laughter and positive attitude. Both the franchise and the cheerleaders looked good after this.

Now, only Kellerman does.

Must not criticize Obama (again)

We read:
"Bill Looman is the owner of U.S. Cranes L.L.C., a Waco, Georgia-based company that sells and services cranes and hoists. He has apparently found it difficult to hire new workers because of the dramatic increase in governmental regulations placed upon small businesses in recent years, and the overall sluggishness of the economy.

Not being able to expand one’s business is an unfortunate thing. But being harassed because you dare to speak your mind about current economic conditions is something different. And it wasn’t until Bill the crane shop owner actually went public with his assessment that our government was impinging on his business, that things got really dicey.

Six months ago, Looman began posting signs on his company vehicles which read “New Company Policy: We are not hiring until Obama is gone.” This wasn’t a political statement from Looman, so much as it was a statement about the current business and economic climate, and his belief that things won’t improve until Barack Obama exits the presidency. "I've got people that I want to hire now, but I just can't afford it,” Looman noted in a recent television interview. “And I don't foresee that I'll be able to afford it unless some things change in D.C."

According to Looman, initial reaction to this message was mostly favorable – responses were positive by about a ’20 to 1” ratio, he claimed. But last week, a photo of one of these signs went viral on the internet. This led Bill the crane owner to temporarily shut-off his telephones, Facebook account, and company website, to protect himself from a barrage of threatening calls and web postings.

For far too many Americans Bill’s “right to free speech” (and yours and mine as well) ends, where Barack Obama’s agenda begins. The President has told small businesses to hire, so they should hire; the President has said that conditions are right for hiring, and one ought not to disagree with him.


Monday, November 28, 2011

High School Student’s Tweet About Kansas Governor Triggers Big Time Tempest

We read:
"An 18-year-old high school senior has been made to apologize to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback for writing a snarky tweet about him during a field trip.

“Just made mean comments at gov brownback and told him he sucked, in person #heblowsalot,” Emma Sullivan wrote Monday while the Republican governor was addressing her school group.

Even though Sullivan didn’t actually approach the Brownback to make any such comments to him, the tweet caught the eye of his communications director, and it was passed back to the school.

From there, things happened fast: Sullivan was sent to the principal’s office, she told the Kansas City Star, and reprimanded for nearly an hour for the “not so nice” comments. She said she was told she had embarrassed her school and the district, and needed to do “damage control” with the governor’s office.

That‘s how she ended up writing an apology to Brownback’s office, with her principal even giving her talking points.

Despite the dust-up, Sullivan — who describes herself as a liberal — maintains she didn’t do anything wrong. “I don’t regret sending the tweet,” she said. “It was harmless. It’s not like I was really fired up about anything he said.”

Her account had about 60 followers before the tweet, but now has more than 1,000. There’s also a Facebook page with the tagline, “Support the first amendment” that has garnered more than 50 “likes.” “I knew this day would come, but I didnt know itd be today #makingheadlines,” she tweeted Wednesday.


A smallminded school has made a heroine out of a nobody. Well done!

Screwball ADL Sponsors Israel Trip for Rick Sanchez

Rewarding antisemitism?
"Remember Rick Sanchez? He was the hotheaded television anchor who lost his job at CNN for comments he made last year that Daily Show Host Jon Stewart was a bigot, and that Jewish people like Stewart “run” all the news networks.

One year later, Sanchez was one of 17 Latino journalists in Israel last week on a trip sponsored by The Anti-Defamation League, one of the country’s most well known advocacy groups to fight anti-Semitism.

The Jerusalem Post reports that the trip was funded by the ADL as a way to reach out to the growing population of Latin Americans and US Hispanic communities, a group that the ADL perceives to have a less favorable view of Israel and a higher level of anti-Semitic views when compared to the population at large.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Soldier reacts to Leftist hate speech at a Boston university

We read:
"A local Army Reservist serving in Afghanistan resigned this week from his post as an adjunct professor at Suffolk University after a colleague at Suffolk sent an e-mail calling it "shameful" for students at the college to send care packages to soldiers who "have gone overseas to kill other human beings."

Maj. Robert Roughsedge wrote in his resignation letter that he considers comments made in an e-mail by Suffolk law professor Michael Avery to be "hate speech."

Roughsedge's letter was sent from his military post in Kabul, Afghanistan, to Camille Nelson, dean of the Suffolk Law School.

"I have a moral obligation to exercise my First Amendment right of freedom of association and choose not to associate with Suffolk University Law School anymore," Roughsedge wrote. "This is a sad moment for me, because I know that the students do not agree with Professor Avery, and I truly enjoy teaching. However, I must go, else I am tarnished by the association."

Roughsedge has taught a course called Terrorism and the Law at Suffolk.

Last year, Roughsedge was called up for a year of service in Afghanistan, where he is providing training to the Afghan army.

Suffolk University has also distanced itself from its employee's hate speech.

Some free speech progress in Canada

We read:
"It appears Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act will be repealed now that we have a majority Conservative government in Ottawa. That’s a censorship law making it illegal to use the Internet to communicate hate speech.

While no reasonable person is in favour of hate speech, Section 13 has several fatal flaws. Its application is subjective — where do you draw the line between legitimate, albeit crude, opinion and intolerable hate speech?

There’s no defence of truth or fair comment.

Decisions are rendered by so-called human-rights experts, rather than judges, using very relaxed rules of evidence.

Anybody who feels offended by the communication may file a complaint and initiate proceedings.

Advocates of free speech have been pushing for the repeal of Section 13 for years and Professor Richard Moon, a human-rights expert, recommended its repeal in his 2008 Report to the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

But it’s no time for celebration by free-speech advocates. Not while Alberta, B.C., Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories each have a similar law in their human-rights codes.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Wrong to ask if someone well-known is Jewish or not

We read:
"French anti-racism groups dropped a lawsuit Thursday against Apple Inc. over an iPhone app called “Jew or not Jew?” after it was removed from circulation worldwide.

“Where is the anti-Semitism in this case?,” Apple’s lawyer, Catherine Muyl, said during a hearing for the LICRA case on November 17, insisting that “this is not a discrimination case.” “When Johann Levy conceived his application, he was worried that it would be perceived as too ‘pro-Jewish’,” Muyl explained.

For those unfamiliar with the app, it lets users consult a database of celebrities and public figures to see if they are Jewish or not.

SOS Racisme, MRAP, the Union of Jewish Students of France and a group called J’accuse joined in a lawsuit against Apple, arguing that the app violated France‘s strict laws banning the compiling of people’s personal details without their consent.

In an interview published in September, app developer Levy said he developed the app to be “recreational … as a Jew myself I know that in our community we often ask whether a such-and-such celebrity is Jewish or not,” Levy was quoted as saying in the daily Le Parisien.

More leftist hate speech

We read:
"NBC television has apologised to Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann after a band played a song entitled "Lyin' Ass B----" during her appearance on a late-night talkshow.

The show's band played part of the song as Mrs Bachmann walked on the set of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, which aired early Tuesday morning.

"The fact that someone did something so hateful and disrespectful is unfortunate," a campaign spokeswoman said.

A day after the appearance, Mrs Bachmann received a personal letter from NBC vice president of late night programming Dough Vaughan, who called the incident "not only unfortunate but also unacceptable".

Before the show aired, Roots drummer Ahmir Thompson, known as "Questlove" had tweeted a teaser, writing: "aight late night walkon song devotees: you love it when we snark: this next one takes the cake. ask around cause i aint tweeting title."

Questlove's Twitter profile picture shows him posing with President Barack Obama.

During an appearance on Fox News, Mrs Bachmann said she accepted Fallon's apology but was outraged over the incident. "This is clearly a form of bias on the part of the Hollywood entertainment elite," she said. "This wouldn't be tolerated if this was Michelle Obama. It shouldn't be tolerated if it's a conservative woman either."


Friday, November 25, 2011

Fiat ad under fire

We read:
"A raunchy new ad campaign from Italian car brand Fiat is unlikely to be used in Australia or in the US – but for very different reasons.

The campaign has been put together for the US launch of the 500 Abarth city car, and it features some risqué subject matter and some risky driving manoeuvres.

The racy ad, known as "Seduction", features an attractive Italian-speaking woman accosting a geeky looking man that she catches ogling her behind. The ad goes on to show the woman dip her finger in the foam on top of the man's coffee, splattering it on her cleavage and drawing the man closer to her suggestively.

US media commentators are speculating it will be too racy for US regulators. But while it's the sexual innuendo that will get the US hot under the collar, in Australia it's the glorification of speed that's expected to earn social - and eventually official - condemnation.

The 60 second ad winds up with a 500 Abarth performing some raucous driving and tyre-screeching stunts, including a handbrake turn through an intersection – and Fiat says it's the ending, rather than the hormone-charged antics of the actors, that will stop it being used in Australia.


Video at link

NE: Man wins right to pot-themed license plate

We read:
"Thanks to the ACLU of Nebraska, Frank Shoemaker, a resident of Holbrook, should be receiving his plate in short order. It will read “NE420,” according to The Omaha World-Herald.

Officials said they rejected his initial request based on a state law that prohibits “obscene or objectionable words or abbreviations.”

Despite their claim, Shoemaker insisted that denying his license plate order was tantamount to silencing political speech — an argument that held water with the attorney general.

April 20, or 4:20 p.m., while not obscene on its face, is viewed as something of a holiday for people who use marijuana regularly, or a time of day to light up. Since the mid-1970s, the numbers — always pronounced “four twenty” — have become something of a cultural meme.


A Confederate-themed plate next? Could be interesting.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Vodka Company Takes Heat Over ‘Christmas Quality, Hanukkah Pricing‘ ’Anti-Semitic’ Billboard

Hanukkah is not nearly as central to Jews as Christmas is to Christians. It has gained significance because it is close in time to Christmas and hence became something of a Jewish alternative to Christmas.

So the advertisement below seems to be saying that you spend less on a less important holiday. It is of course possible to see it as reference to Jews being tight with money but it doesn't actually say that.
Critics are up in arms over a vodka advertisement that has been widely regarded as offensive to Jews. The billboard, which advertises discounted Wódka vodka, reads, “Christmas Quality, Hanukkah Pricing,” a slogan that many believe is intended to invoke stereotypes about Jews.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), among others, has asked the company behind the ads to pull them, calling the aforementioned line “crude and offensive” and claiming that it “reinforces anti-Semitic stereotypes.”

“…The billboards evoke a Jewish holiday to imply something that is cheap and of lesser value when compared to the higher value of a Christian holiday,” explains Ron Meier, the ADL’s New York Regional Director.

The billboard in question was part of a larger campaign with similar, non-religious comparisons. Other ads reportedly read, “Movie Star Quality, Reality Star Pricing“ and ”Escort Quality, Hooker Pricing,” among others.

Sex appeal now incorrect in Britain

We read:
"Advertisements for Lynx deodorant featuring glamour model Lucy Pinder have been banned for degrading women and treating them as sex objects.

The lads mag model was seen wearing very little and flashing her cleavage in a series of provocative video ads that hark back to the 1970s.

Lynx is marketed using tongue in cheek humour that suggests the men who use it instantly become more attractive, with beautiful women falling at their feet.

[One ad.] featured an image of the model in her underwear and bending over an oven door. The text stated ‘Can she make you lose control?’.

In a ruling published today, the watchdog said: ‘We considered that the various activities that Ms Pinder carried out were presented in a sexually provocative way, and that alongside the focus on Ms Pinder's cleavage … were likely to be seen as gratuitous and to objectify women.

Criticising the poster, the ASA said the language was ‘clearly intended to imply that using the advertised product would lead to more uninhibited sexual behaviour’. [How AWFUL!!!]


Just the usual feminist hatred of attractive women

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

US Senate Judiciary Committee debates Internet censorship bill
Broadcasting & Cable

We read:
"The forces massed to push the Stop Online Piracy Act, and those looking to block or modify it met in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. ...

The debate is over what new powers the government, copyright owners and Internet service providers should be given to combat rogue web sites, both in the U.S. and abroad."


The thin end of a very dangerous wedge may be coming up

Atheists Launch ‘Naughty, Not Nice’ Holiday Campaign to Target Discrimination Against Non-Believers‏

We read:
"Non-believers are ready to cut through the cheer this holiday season with an in-your-face ad campaign aimed at stemming discrimination against those who don’t place credence in a higher power.

The American Humanist Association’s new campaign, which was announced today, features messages that highlight the fact that some atheists and non-believers feel mistreated by the masses.

Billboards and newspaper ads proudly proclaim, “Bias Against Atheists is Naughty, Not Nice.”

While atheists and the religious go back and forth in their debate over what God’s role in society should be, many non-believers contend that they, being such a small minority, are treated poorly as a result of their lack of faith.

While Speckhardt claims that atheists are unfairly encountering “hatred” for their urge to advocate for separation of church and state, many religious adherents believe that non-believers take their opposition to religion too far.

Additionally, some contend that atheist groups misread the First Amendment to mean that they must purge public forums of all references to faith.

The newspaper ads being placed by the group capture stories about atheists who have been called names and belittled as a result of their opposition to prayer and religion in the public square.


If you don't want to be hated, don't behave hatefully, would seem the obvious lesson for atheists to draw.

What harm does it do them if other people pray? Let them practice the tolerance they preach. I am an atheist and I do.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Must not joke about rape

Certainly bad taste but is it any more than that? It WAS just satire, after all
"Two male university students have been driven into hiding after writing a sick newspaper column about the violent rape of women. The ‘Agony Uncles’ at The Beaver, the student journal for the London School of Economics, write a regular satirical problem page.

In response to an imaginary reader’s fears about the fidelity of his girlfriend, they suggested he subdue her by subjecting her to a vicious sex attack.

They recommended hitting women in the back of the head during sex – known as ‘donkey punching’ – to keep them in check.

And they listed a series of illegal sex acts, concluding: ‘It’s not rape if you shout “surprise”.’ The shocking column, which appeared in print and online, has caused outrage at the world-leading university.

Among the most vocal have been the university’s Woman’s Society and the Feminist Society, which has petitioned for the resignation of the paper’s executive editor, Nicola Alexander.

The strength of anger is so extreme the paper has refused to reveal the writers’ names over ‘concerns about their safety’. And the university has been criticised for refusing to discipline the students.

Miss Alexander has resisted calls for her resignation, despite a 229-signature petition against her on Facebook. She admitted the article was ‘distasteful at best’ and has published a front-page apology.

A spokesman for LSE defended the university’s decision not to discipline the students.

Pakistan Bans ‘Obscene’ Cell Phone Text Messages Including Words Like…‘Jesus’

We read:
"Texters in Pakistan better start watching their language. Pakistan’s telecommunications authority sent a letter ordering cell phone companies to block text messages containing what it perceives to be obscenities, Anjum Nida Rahman, a spokeswoman for Telenor Pakistan, said Friday.

It also sent a list of more than 1,500 English and Urdu words that were to be blocked. The order was part of the regulator’s attempt to block spam messages, said Rahman. The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority refused to comment on the initiative.

Many of the words to be blocked were sexually explicit terms or swear words, according to a copy of the list obtained by The Associated Press. It also included relatively mild terms like fart and idiot.

The reasons for blocking some words, including Jesus Christ, headlights and tampon, were less clear, raising questions about religious freedom and practicality. Any word could conceivably be part of a spam message.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Must not tell Muslims to clean up after themselves

"A Labour council was at the centre of a race row last night after printing a leaflet targeted at Muslims that invoked the name of Allah in urging them to stop littering the streets.

Bradford City Council was accused of inciting racial hatred by publishing leaflets that showed rubbish-strewn pavements – and appeared to place the blame on Muslims.

The pamphlet, titled ‘Be proud of your environment’, used the Koran to lecture them about breaking the law and making a ‘horrible’ mess of the city.

It said: ‘We should respect Allah’s creations and the environments they live in. We should not act with ungratefulness by treating our surroundings with disrespect and throwing litter.’

It was aimed at an area of the city boasting a high concentration of Muslims and which the council says has a problem with messy streets.

Last night, Ian Greenwood, the Labour leader of the council, admitted the idea had been insensitive and said that the leaflets had been withdrawn.

A 5th Grader Kicked Out of His Elementary School for Saying a Local Newscaster Resembles Barack Obama

We read:
"The guy dressed in the suit and tie, smiling and shaking a bevy of hands, caught Grayson Thomas’ eye. Grayson wasn’t alone. Teachers and other students at Stevenson Ranch Elementary School couldn’t take their eyes off the lunchtime visitor, either.

Grayson, a fifth-grader at the campus near Santa Clarita, Ca., noticed the gentleman’s outward characteristics: Tall and lean. Good looking. Charismatic. Charming. Energetic.

Then he made a fatal error: Grayson, 11, pulled a little “made you look” joke on a schoolmate seated next to him, saying something along the lines of “Obama’s visiting our school today,” referring to the magnetic figure holding court nearby.

It wasn’t Obama, of course. But from Grayson’s point of view, Chris Schauble—morning co-anchor of KTLA 5's TV news program in Los Angeles—did possess a demeanor and countenance similar to the president’s.

According to Grayson’s dad, Darren Thomas (who provided the previous details), what happened next was scary: Word of his son’s Obama-Schauble comparison spread to Schauble’s daughter, Shelbi, who was sharing lunch with her newsman father. And Shelbi was uncomfortable with Grayson’s statement, saying it felt racist.

Then a teacher was summoned, then the principal, Candace Fleece, then the Newhall School District superintendent, Marc Winger. And that very afternoon, Nov. 4, Grayson was kicked out of Stevenson Ranch for good, his father says, for implying that all black men look alike.

The kicker, Darren says, is that school officials had no basis for determining that Grayson’s comparison implied that all black men look alike.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

‘A Filthy Religion’: TSA Worker Fired for Anti-Muslim Facebook Posts

A pretty clear First Amendment violation by the TSA
"A Transportation Security Administration officer has been fired for posting a series of anti-Muslim messages on his Facebook page, including ones calling Islam “a filthy religion” and saying Muslims “need to be exterminated.”

Roy Egan had been a baggage screener at Chicago‘s O’Hare International Airport for nine years, nearly since the agency’s inception. He was terminated earlier this month after a ABC affiliate WLS-TV uncovered hundreds of derogatory comments on his Facebook page, which was open for anyone to see.

Egan, 46, identified himself on Facebook as a TSA employee, with the note, “I look for bad stuff going on airplanes.”

Among his postings were ones that read, “Islam, a cult that glorifies death“ and ”Does anything at all make you smile more than a Muslim burning by his own hateful hand?” WLS reported.

His comments also targeted gays, Hispanics and blacks, including “crude racial descriptions” of President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, whom he said should “die tasting your own blood.”

Despite the tenor of his posts, Egan said his views never interfered with his job, and called them “common stuff I picked off the web and made comments on.“ He said he was ”taken out of context“ and that he is ”in no way a racist,“ though he admitted to calling President Obama the ”Muslim-in-chief.“

He has continued to post other articles involving Muslims, including at least one from The Blaze. His most recent post Thursday is a blog post purportedly linking Muslim immigration to the “rape epidemic of Norweigian girls” with the comment, “but Im the Bad Guy for telling you this!!!!”

Columbia band banned from finale for truth telling

We read:
"The Columbia University Marching Band has been banned from its team's final home game against Brown for making fun of the school's winless football team. Chalk it up as another casualty of the truth.

After a 62-41 loss to Cornell — a game the Lions actually led by six points at the half — the marching band, which usually plays the team's fight song, "Roar, Lion, Roar" as the team walked past it to the locker room, decided to insert some of its own words.

Rather than singing the traditional lyrics to Columbia's century-old fight song, many members instead belted an original verse that reflected the losing ways of Lions football—one of a variety of alternative verses that, according to one band member, are meant only for the band bus and Orgo Night, one of the band's most notable traditions. The first two lines say it all: "We always lose, lose, lose; by a lot, and sometimes by a little."

On Tuesday, Delgado had to tell the band that it had been banned for its mockery, however accurate.


After an apology, the ban was lifted

Saturday, November 19, 2011

AZ: No need for a permit to hold political meetings

We read:
"On Nov. 3, U.S. District Court Judge James A. Teilborg, a Clinton appointee, granted plaintiff Dina Galassini’s motion for preliminary injunction, enjoining the town of Fountain Hills, its officers, agents and employees “from requiring plaintiff and others associating with her to register as a political committee and/or file an exemption form under A.R.S. §§ 16-902.01(A), and to comply with the requirements for political committees contained in A.R.S. 16-902, 904, 912.01(A) and (J), and 924, so that plaintiff may speak and associate with others and hold her protests between now and Nov. 8, 2011.”

Galassini, a community activist and Fountain Hills resident, sent an e-mail to 23 Fountain Hills residents, inviting them to join her at two protests, one on Oct. 10 at the corner of Palisades and Palomino, and one on Oct. 22, at the corner of Saguaro and Avenue of the Fountains, in opposition to the Fountain Hills Special Bond Election on Nov. 8 and asked them to bring signs protesting the bonds.

Galassini suggested slogans for signs such as “Bonds are Bondage,” “Keep Property Taxes Low,” “No to the Ball and Chain Bond,” “Vote NO on the Bond,” and “Vote No on Nov. 8.”

Prior to the planned dates of her protests, Galassini received a letter from Fountain Hills Town Clerk Bevelyn Bender, indicating she had received a copy of Galassini’s e-mail. Bender told Galassini, “[A]lthough an individual acting alone is not a political committee under Arizona law and she need not file a statement of organization, if any individual person or persons join the effort begun by an individual, the association of persons has become a ‘political committee’ under Arizona law, and must file a statement of organization before accepting contributions, making expenditures, distributing literature or circulating petitions.”

Galassini alleged in her complaint that A.R.S. § 16-901(19), which defines “Political committee,” is an unconstitutional burden on her First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and freedom of association.

She also argued the registration, exemption, reporting and disclosure requirements for political committees in Arizona Revised Statutes impose a prior restraint on political speech and association and chill the rights to free speech and association.

More here
You never know what will offend

A business that sells baldness treatments trips up
The hair-loss clinic pulled its latest TV ad featuring the spin king after the logo on Scrawnie's T-shirt - "No Hair, No Life" - sparked the ire of cancer patients.

The Anti-Cancer Council and former cancer patients complained about the ad.

Complainant and former sufferer Kate Alexander said: "I couldn't bear the idea of someone just being told they were going to lose their hair and then being told that without hair they had no life."

Advanced Hair Studio CEO Stephen Jeffery yesterday confirmed the clinic had its agency remaster the clip, digitally blacking out the offending slogan. The new ad went to air on Wednesday night.


Friday, November 18, 2011

MO: Sugar Plum Fairy Fired for Using 'Naughty Words', while not on the job

We read:
"Laura Coppinger, 29, of St. Louis, is an actress who has portrayed the Sugar Plum Fairy for the past six years on historic Main Street in St. Charles during the annual Christmas Traditions festival. She was recently fired for cursing -- not on the job, but when she went to take a drug test required of all city employees.

Coppinger accidentally flushed the toilet during the drug test, which is prohibited. When told she would have to wait at the drug testing facility until she could provide another urine sample, she said she swore out of frustration because the delay meant she would miss a job interview.

A short time later, she was told to go home. The city's human resources department said she violated the code of conduct for a Christmas Traditions character by uttering "naughty words."

Coppinger said she has gotten an outpouring of support since she made her story public on Saturday. "It's very exciting to know that the Sugar Plum Fairy has inspired so many people and has made people's Christmases and that people are standing up for her and for me as the actress playing her," she said.

More here
Atheist Group to Sponsor Anti-Christmas Billboards Featuring Jesus, Santa & Satan

Not much "tolerance" here:
"American Atheists announced Monday on their “No God Blog” a new billboard campaign in their continued effort in “laboring for the civil liberties of atheists,” but in reality just upsetting those who disagree with their theological stance. A press release for the American Atheists’ new holiday season billboard campaign reads:
“American Atheists announced today that their new billboard is going up in several locations nationwide, including the New Jersey side of the Lincoln Tunnel: the same location as last year’s famous ‘You KNOW it’s a MYTH’ billboard. The new billboard will also be going up in Ohio and Florida.

This year’s holiday season billboard features pictures of Neptune, Jesus, Santa Claus, and the Devil and says, ‘37 Million Americans know MYTHS when they see them. What do you see?’”

Anticipating the inevitability that their billboard will offend others, Dave Silverman, the president of American Atheists, said, “When you question someone’s long-held beliefs and doctrine they are going to be immediately offended and be on the defensive: it’s a known psychological phenomenon.”

More here

Being offensive will always get you disliked. Is that what they aim at? I guess they are so hate-filled that it just bursts out.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Another comment on the flag and Cinco de Mayo

It's particularly obnoxious that the Mexican flag was NOT banned but old Glory was. If fear of clashes was the real reason for the ban then BOTH flags should have been banned. Leftist anti-Americanism that is so common in the education system is the obvious prime-mover in the matter
A California high school principal refused to allow a group of students to wear American flag designed t-shirts on Cinco de Mayo, a Mexican holiday, fearing that they would spark offense and perhaps even violence between Mexican American and Anglo students on the campus.

Such American flag designed clothing is perfectly permissible student attire at the school on every day of the year except Cinco de Mayo. Mexican American students, on the other hand, are permitted to wear Mexican flag designed clothing on Cinco de Mayo and any other day of the year.

When the “offending” students refused to remove their American flag shirts, or turn them inside out, the principal sent them home. Their parents filed suit in federal district court claiming violations of First Amendment freedom of speech and expression rights.

Surely this case is a no-brainer, right? The students’ First Amendment Constitutional rights were clearly violated.

Not so, declared a district judge who affirmed the principal’s action and dismissed the claims. Citing past clashes at the school over flag colors on the Mexican holiday, Chief U.S. District Judge James Ware of San Francisco said school officials "reasonably forecast that [the shirts] could cause a substantial disruption" and could therefore take steps to prevent it.

On the previous Cinco de Mayo, a group of Mexican-American students walked around with a Mexican flag, prompting a group of Anglo students to display an American flag and chant "USA" together with threats and profanities directed toward the Latinos.

That was apparently enough to persuade the judge to condone the principal’s First Amendment violations. In short, if a display of the American flag might offend and make someone angry; this judge thinks it’s perfectly alright to ban the expression.

If the U.S. Supreme Court affirms this nonsense, we might as well kiss the First Amendment goodbye.

Must not support normal marriage in Canada

We read:
"On May 9, 2011 Damian had it all: a loving wife, two small children, and a dream job he loved as a sportscaster, for the Canadian equivalent of ESPN.

What happened to him is an absolute outrage. As the battle in New York over same-sex marriage heated up, Damian wrote a note stating his views on his own personal twitter account — to just 175 or so followers: "I completely and whole-heartedly support Todd Reynolds and his support for the traditional and TRUE meaning of marriage."

The next day he was called in by his bosses. He expected a slap on the wrist, maybe a demand he apologize — "How can I apologize for something I don't want to apologize for?" he recalls wondering to himself. Instead he was summarily fired. "We're terminating your contract."

One of his bosses twisted the knife "Damian do you remember that conversation we had a while ago about the plans we had for you and these other shows at Sportsnet? Well that's not happening now, you're fired!"

More here

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

UFC Fighter Still Under Fire for ‘Rape’ Tweet… Even After Apology

It's clear where the hate is:
Forrest Griffin had been a favorite among Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fans but now cannot escape criticism from a recent tweet, even after a thorough apology. The UFC fighter’s tweet said: “Rape is the new missionary.” Griffin told Fox 13 that he was responding to the number of recent high-profile cases in the news involving rape, such as the Penn State scandal, and was commenting that rape has become commonplace.

“I feel bad, I want to apologize, I feel like a should be punished a little bit,” Griffin said Thursday after going to the local Rape Crisis Center in Las Vegas to apologize to the center’s Executive Director Hannah Brook. Fox 13 says Griffin also took a tour of the facilities and made a donation.

Apparently that’s not going to cut it. Fox 13 reports that Nevada survivors of sexual assault, concerned parents and Las Vegas casino workers met Saturday outside UFC’s headquarters to protest the incident:

Fox 13 reports that protesters demanded that advertisers and FOX Sports “drop the UFC” until the UFC makes it evident to the public that it no longer tolerates “violent, sexist and homophobic language.” Protesters demanded that the organization adopts and enforces a code of ethical conduct similar to those that exist in other professional sports.

Orgasms all round in response to a graffito

Such graffiti have in the past been found to be the work of blacks or Leftists trying to get a reaction. And whoever put up the graffito below certainly stimulated a huge outburst of righteousness.

Just a few excerpts below from the procession of hysterical responses. It obviously made everybody involved feel wonderful
At approximately 12:30 AM on the morning of Saturday, November 12, 2011, an undergraduate student at Williams College called the Campus Safety and Security after seeing written on the wall of an upperclass dormitory in permanent black marker, "All N*****s Must Die."

On Saturday evening, a group of approximately 70 student leaders met with Williams College President Adam Falk and Dean of Students Sarah Bolton to discuss the incident as well as to form a proper response to the incident. Following the meeting, students, faculty and staff marched to the Williamstown Police Department -- headquartered on the edge of campus -- to encourage the town's investigation of the hate crime.

In response to student reactions, the administration in conjunction with the faculty steering committee decided to cancel all classes, athletic practices and other extracurricular activities on Monday to host a college-wide meeting and lunch at 11 AM on the lawn outside the Paresky Student Center. In an email to Williams alumni, President Falk stated that the cancelled day of class would, "be an important day for us to unite to begin to heal from this terrible act and reaffirm that such harmful behavior has no place at Williams -- or anywhere."

During the meeting President Falk addressed the campus community and stated that "It was a terrible moment, and a terrible thing has happened," and called it a "horrible racist attack."


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Texas rejects Confederate flag license plate

But plate honoring black soldiers OK
"Texas lawmakers have officially rejected the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ proposal for a license plate depicting a logo that contains the Stars and Bars flag long associated with the Confederate States of America.

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles board vetoed the plate yesterday, citing the flag’s association with racism.

Opponents also included Texas governor Rick Perry, who said that the state doesn’t “need to be opening old wounds.”

The Sons of Confederate Veterans countered, saying that the battle flag honors Southern history and that members of the group don’t use it to promote racism.

Until three years ago, Texas banned all “political or controversial” license plates, but it now has several politically-tinged plates, including a new Buffalo Soldiers plate approved yesterday.

Davis said it was contradictory for the DMV to approve the Buffalo Soldiers plate, which is designed to honor the peacetime all-black Army regiments that helped settle the West, including most of Texas, after the Civil War. “Both plates honor the veteran, not the cause,” he said.

The group says that it plans to sue the Texas DMV over the rejection. Citing success with similar lawsuits in Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina, Givens is confident that his group will prevail.

CA: Court backs school in flag-tee dispute

We read:
"A Morgan Hill high school principal reasonably feared violence on campus when he saw a group of students wearing American flags on their shirts on Cinco de Mayo, and he did not violate their freedom of speech by telling them to turn the shirts inside out or go home, a federal judge has ruled.

Citing past clashes between Mexican American and Anglo students over their clothing on the Mexican holiday, Chief U.S. District Judge James Ware of San Francisco said school officials 'reasonably forecast that (the shirts) could cause a substantial disruption' and were entitled to take steps to prevent it"


This is a clear case of prior restraint, which was always improper under English law and is unconstitutional in the USA.

It is condemning or restraining people not for anything they have done but for something someone thinks they MIGHT do. Allowing such restraint would be a very slippery slope. The verdict of the San Francisco judge should clearly be appealed as unconstitutional. Prior restraint of free speech is particularly obnoxious as the 1st Amendment is violated too -- to say nothing about a patriotic display being banned.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Brit fired for telling the truth about crime

We read:
"A tourism boss who slated an area he was paid £60,000 a year to promote has been sacked after a three month probe into his comments.

Neil McCollum was head of tourism for the London borough of Greenwich and responsible for the area's Olympic welcome strategy when he branded a nearby district 'unsafe' in a Twitter rant earlier this year.

Mr McCollum tweeted: 'Guest appearance in Woolwich today. Wonder if it has changed. 'Mental note: Make sure wallet is not visible!'

The area is understood to have issues with low-level crime and has undergone several redevelopments.

Several residents backed the council's decision with messages posted on the internet. One wrote: 'Regardless of the truth that Woolwich has a crime problem, his job was to paint the whole borough in the best possible light and in that he failed.'

But others criticised the council. One message said: 'He's an idiot for posting every thought that pops into his head on Twitter but what he said is correct.'

Perfume too sexy for Britain

It's only a perfume:
"A perfume advertisement featuring teen actress Dakota Fanning has been banned on the basis it appeared to ‘sexualise a child’.

The actress is 17, but she looked younger in the magazine ad for ‘Oh Lola!’, where she was sitting on the floor with the perfume bottle between her thighs.

The scent is the creation of U.S fashion designer Marc Jacobs, who said he chose the young actress because she could be a ‘contemporary Lolita’.

The perfume was made by the global beauty brand Coty, which has previously come under fire for its use of sexual imagery.

The ASA said the ‘Oh, Lola!’ advertisement showed Dakota Fanning, sitting on the floor, alone, wearing a pale coloured thigh length dress. ‘We noted that the model was holding up the perfume bottle which rested in her lap between her legs and we considered that its position was sexually provocative,’ it said.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

NC: Why is this woman being "investigated"?

We read:
"City police have put a department employee under investigation following accusations she called Occupy Asheville protesters “nasty” in a Facebook post and complained they left “stinky belongings” on a sidewalk.

Police acknowledgment of the investigation Monday continued a string of developments tied to an Occupy Asheville demonstration last week.

An attorney with the movement was released after two days in jail on contempt-of-court charges filed when she demanded more information about weekend arrests.

Police also continued to use video from the demonstration at Pack Square Park to arrest Occupy protesters on trespassing charges.

The internal police investigation will focus on Lynn Fraser, a member of the department’s forensics team who helped shoot video of Occupy Asheville activities, police Lt. Wally Welch said.

In the post identified by police as being from Fraser, she writes that she is “glad to be off work and not dealing with (profanity) that want to preach their ‘Constitutional rights’ to me, then in the same breath tell me that videotaping them in a PUBLIC park (which none of them worked and contributed tax money to pay for) is an invasion of privacy.

“Hey (profanity), you gave up expectation of privacy when you flopped all your stinky belongings out on the sidewalk beside the Federal building. And by the way, stop pooping in public. You’re just nasty.”

Welch said he did not know how police would handle the issue. “It was off-duty, and it was something on her personal Facebook, but it will be reviewed internally,” he said.

Fraser is a department employee, but she is not an officer, he said.


Their Leftism protects the "Occupiers" from having the truth told about them??

Must not criticize Obama's various betrayals of Israel?

That's what Foxy and his buddies want. The safety of Israel comes second to having a Democrat in the White House, apparently. Too bad if Obama sits on his hands while Iran gets nukes and attacks Israel with them
The American Jewish Committee (AJC) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) have joined together to encourage other national organizations, elected officials, religious leaders, community groups and individuals to join them in signing the “National Pledge for Unity on Israel.” This initiative aims to rally bipartisan support for Israel while preventing the Jewish State from becoming a wedge issue in the upcoming campaign season.

“We want the discourse on U.S. support for Israel to avoid the sometimes polarizing debates and political attacks that have emerged in recent weeks, as candidates have challenged their opponents’ pro-Israel bone fides or questioned the current administration’s foreign policy approach vis-à-vis Israel,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Pig-tailed Pippi Longstocking books branded 'racist' by German theologian

To hell with German theologians! She probably is Christian in name only anyway. Other German theologians such as Rudolf Bultmann reject the Bible as just "stories". Her main preoccupations seem to be "whiteness" and feminism so faith would struggle to get a look-in there, I would think. The first result Google gives for her is a talk called "Am Ende der Weissheit?", which translates as "Towards the end of whiteness". Sounds charming. Being white is obviously very bad.
Sweden's much-loved Pippi Longstocking children books have been branded racist by a leading German theologian. Dr Eske Wollrad, from Germany's Federal Association of Evangelical Women, has called on parents to skip certain passages or else explain to their children that they contain outdated colonial stereotypes.

She hit out at the Pippi Longstocking trilogy, written by author Astrid Lindgren and first published in 1945, at an anti-discrimination state conference in Leipzig at the weekend.

Dr Wollrad told German newspaper The Local: 'It is not that the figure of Pippi Longstocking is racist, but that all three in the trilogy of books have colonial racist stereotypes.'

In the books, Pippi is an eight-year-old with superhuman strength who does not want to grow up and hates pompous adults.

Her father, once a king of a South Seas island, was originally known as Negro King before publishers changed it to South Seas King.

Dr Wollrad is demanding the book's publisher make additions in the books to guide readers when 'racist' content arises.

She said that in the third book, Pippi In The South Seas: 'The black children throw themselves into the sand in front of the white children in the book. When reading the book to my nephew, who is black, I simply left that passage out.'


And how come a woman is pronouncing on theology anyway? The Bible is pretty clear about that: 1 Corinthians 14:33-35 reads: “As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.”

But I guess that to her the words of the epistle are just that silly old story book again

Erotic auto window sticker stirs freedom of speech debate

We read:
"Every conceivable medium, including art and pornography, has been drawn into figuring out where art ends and pornography begins. Now a lowly rear window in Montana has become the battleground for this contentious debate.

Shanna Weaver of Great Falls has a sticker on the rear window of her SUV that depicts a woman's silhouette above the word "SKIN."

Great Falls resident Brian Smith, meanwhile, parks across the street from Weaver's SUV and says he should not be forced to endure what he considers to be a sacrilegious display of the human body.

The logo itself appears to be from Skin Industries, an organization that dubs itself a "Sports Fashion" company. The sticker is akin to the famous mudflap girl silhouette that's often seen on big-rigs – it contains no shadowing but is more detailed than the famous mudflap girl.

Weaver and Smith have discussed it, with Weaver taking the opinion that her First Amendment rights condone the sticker, whereas Smith feels it's obscenity. Smith took his complaint to the police, but the officer sent to investigate the dispute decided the sticker wasn't obscene. So, for now at least, the sticker remains in plain sight.


Ladies must not appear to have implants, I guess

Friday, November 11, 2011

Name "Graham cracker" incorrect?

We read:
"When Graham McMillan decided to run for a student government office at Texas Christian University, he had no idea that he would land in trouble – all because of his campaign slogan – “Graham Cracker.”

A university official at the home of the Horned Frogs told the 20-year-old sophomore that his campaign signs were offensive and unless the offending word was blocked – the signs would have to come down.

“My advisor contacted me and informed me that it might be considered derogatory,” the political science major told Fox News. “I certainly didn’t mean it to be derogatory, but I didn’t want to offend anybody who may perceive it as such.”

University officials released a statement to Fox confirming that the offensive word is ‘cracker.’

“She recommended that he either remove the signs or cover the word ‘cracker’ with tape and he opted to cover the word,” a university spokesperson told Fox.

Cracker’ is sometimes used as a pejorative term for white people.

For as long as he can remember McMillan would introduce himself using the term. “I’d say, ‘Hi. My name’s Graham – like the cracker,’” he told Fox News. “So that’s why I decided to use it as my campaign slogan.”


Will Graham crackers be banned from campus now? In Australia we call a similar item "Wheatmeal biscuits" and I am rather fond of them. Maybe Americans might be forced to use the Australian term eventually.

Atheists Angry After Wis. Gov. Changes ‘Holiday’ Tree Back to ‘Christmas’ Tree

We read:
"Love him or hate him, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is a man who sticks by his convictions. He started by making Wisconsin more business-friendly, then took on the public sector unions. And now, the state lawmaker that has solidified a national name for himself is taking on atheists and non-believers — over the state’s “holiday” tree.

On Monday, Walker decided that he wanted to shake things up a bit. Rather than following recent tradition and referring to the (Christmas) tree that is placed in the Wisconsin’s Capitol Rotunda as a “holiday tree,” he’s changing course.

For the past 25 years, lawmakers have referred to the evergreen that is decorated with ornaments and a star with this benign, uncategorized reference. Now, Walker plans to, once again, call the tree what it is — a Christmas tree.

Rather than making a big deal out of the change, the governor simply put out a press release that referred to the holiday decoration as a Christmas tree. The release doesn’t note that any change in reference occurred.

The infamous Freedom From Religion Foundation, a group of atheists and “freethinkers,” doesn’t plan to let the change go unnoticed. Annie Laurie Gaylor, the group’s president, called the decision both rude and insensitive to non-Christians.

Considering the FFRF’s track record, it’s likely the group will be doing more than simply commenting on the matter. We’ll have to wait and see their next legal moves.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Vatican backs TinTin

They focus on his alleged deeds rather than on his low opinion of blacks
"The Vatican has dubbed comic book character turned silver screen action hero Tintin a 'Catholic hero' and ridiculed suggestions he may be racist.

In its official newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican published a picture of the children's hero beneath one of Pope Benedict XVI and then carried a double page article inside praising Tintin and his faithful dog Snowy.

L'Osservatore said that accusing the fearless journalist of racism was the 'imagining of an integralist political correctness' after some bookshops in the UK banished Tintin in the Congo to the top shelf and wrapped copies in plastic.

Key to the row is the fact that Africans in the book are portrayed as simple and ignorant but the Vatican described it as 'politically correct delirium in the shadow of Big Ben.'

The book was not published in English until six years ago and shows the indigenous natives bowing down to the boy reporter Tintin after he smashes a diamond smuggling racket involving Al Capone - with the natives depicted as stupid and with thick lips.

Describing further as to why he was a Catholic hero, the newspaper, which is seen by the Pope before going to press said Tintin was almost an angel saying:'...he seems to have come to earth to defend widows and orphans. 'He challenges the arrogance of the powerful, veniality of the colonizers, protects the weak and oppressed.'

Texas Won’t Punish Anti-Muslim Handgun Instructor

Backdown by gun instructor?
"The Texas Dept. of Public Safety will not revoke or suspend the license of a handgun instructor who ran a radio ad telling Muslims and non-Christian Arabs that he would not teach them how to handle a firearm.

The DPS statement said Crockett Keller affirmed that he would not refuse handgun instruction “to anyone based on national origin, race or religion.” The state agency declined to provide any further comment.

The Texas Council on American-Islamic Relations said the state’s decision “sounded funny.” “I thought he meant it,” Texas CAIR executive director Mustafaa Carroll told Fox News. “There’s a lot of hateful rhetoric in the atmosphere in America these days.”

He said many of the Muslims who contacted him just brushed off Keller’s statements. “We hear so much of it,” he said. “People find it distasteful. When they hear things like that they just write it off to another crack pot.”


Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Florida Judge backs antisemitism coverup

There is a considerable Jewish presence in the ACLU so that is presumably why they are the ones pursuing this. It is a disgrace that the schools seem to think that Brownshirt behavior is a yawn. That they refuse to reveal their records makes it worse. It shows that they are trying to shield their antisemitic students from court prosecution over the racist attacks.
"The ACLU’s battle to obtain school records surrounding a 2009 incident in Collier County, Florida, referred to as “Kick a Jew Day,” have failed. A judge has dismissed the group’s lawsuit, which sought to obtain records detailing 10 middle school students‘ discriminatory plans and behaviors as well the school district’s investigation of the incident.

Two years ago, on November 19, 2009, the children decided to imitate a “South Park” episode — with a twist. While the fictional cartoon characters in the show targeted red-heded individuals with a “Kick a Ginger Day,” the Collier County students apparently did something similar — an effort to target and kick Jews. In the end, they were punished with a one-day in-school suspension, which some critics believe wasn’t enough.

Since the incident, the ACLU has continued to seek the documents in an effort to look further into the incident. While the group cannot refile the case, it may be heard by the Second District Court of Appeal. Once the judge signs the final order, the appellate court may offer a different decision regarding the students’ education records.

“Kick a Jew Day” events have occurred in other middle and high schools across America as well. Last December, a similar incident unfolded at Vestal High School in Vestal, New York.


And what happened to the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, that was adopted and signed into law as part of the 2010 Department of Defense Appropriations Bill (H.R. 3326)? That gives the Feds power to prosecute hate crimes where local authorities are remiss. But that clearly has not been done in this case. Incautious words by conservatives get great attention but actual physical attacks on Jews and East Asians in the schools are ignored.

Now it's even attractive men who are incorrect!

Attractive women are regularly hated -- presumably by plainer women -- but this takes it a step further. This time it's maybe women with an unattractive husband who are envious
Foxtel’s Xbox commercial which depicted four women ogling a new male flatmate who walked in wearing only boardshorts attracted an official complaint to the Advertising Standards Bureau.
“One of the women makes a comment saying she 'wants one of those' clearly directed at the man. Completely inappropriate. Is she implying that she wants a topless man with no name personality or identity to walk around her house? I think that is called prostitution."


Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Can a school reach into your bedroom?

The 4th Circuit says that it can
This past summer, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled against student Kara Kowalski on her First Amendment claim. The case arose after Kowalski was suspended by her high school based on scurrilous remarks she had made about another student on a MySpace discussion page, while she was in her own home, on her home computer. Now, Kowalski is seeking Supreme Court review.

As with many First Amendment cases, the facts of Kowalski’s case aren’t pretty. First Amendment plaintiffs are typically a rogues’ gallery, and even courts that rule in their favor usually give their blessing to the principle, not the person. And surely, no one would defend what Kowalski said here—only her right to say it.

The MySpace webpage Kowalski created was called “S.A.S.H,” which, she testified in her deposition, stood for “Students Against Sluts Herpes.” However, a classmate who accessed the site said that “S.A.S.H” actually stood for “Students Against Shay’s Herpes”—with “Shay” referring to a fellow student who was discussed at length on the webpage.

At Kowalski’s invitation, about two dozen students from her high school joined the MySpace group associated with the webpage and thus accessed the webpage. Further discussion on the webpage then seemed to confirm that “S.A.S.H.,” and thus the herpes claim, in fact referred to the student known as Shay N., and not to “Sluts.” (Last names of juveniles are typically not used in judicial opinions in order to protect their privacy.) Shay N. was also called a “slut” on the webpage.

When Shay N.’s parents learned about the webpage, they filed a harassment complaint on their daughter’s behalf with the school. Kowalski was then suspended for violating the school’s rule against creating a “hate website” and its policy against harassment, bullying, and intimidation.

Thus, the core question the Fourth Circuit addressed was whether the policy could, consistent with the First Amendment, reach outside the school and into Kowalski’s home.

The Fourth Circuit held that it could. More specifically, it held that Kowalski’s suspension was constitutional because she “used the Internet to orchestrate a targeted attack on a classmate, and did so in a manner that was sufficiently connected to the school environment as to implicate the School District’s recognized authority to discipline speech which ‘materially and substantially interfere[s] with the requirements of appropriate discipline in the operation of the school and collid[es] with the rights of others.’”


It seems to me that this case should have been handled under defamation law without the school stepping in. And if the accusation was true, it should have been protected as free speech. Another interest is where does the school get the authority it assumed? Is it enshrined in State or Federal law?

Feds defeated in censorship issue

We read:
"An appeals court threw out on Wednesday a federal agency's decision to fine CBS Corp television stations $550,000 for airing singer Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" during the 2004 Super Bowl broadcast.

A divided 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia said that in imposing the fine, the Federal Communications Commission "arbitrarily and capriciously" departed from prior policy that exempted "fleeting" indecency from sanctions.

In a statement, the FCC said it is disappointed by the decision, but plans to use "all the authority at its disposal" to ensure that broadcasters serve the public interest when they use the public airwaves.

CBS spokeswoman Shannon Jacobs said the New York-based company is gratified by the decision, and hopes the FCC will "return to the policy of restrained indecency enforcement it followed for decades."

Jackson's right breast was briefly exposed to almost 90 million TV viewers after the singer Justin Timberlake accidentally ripped off part of her bustier during a halftime show performance. CBS was fined $27,500 for each of the 20 stations it owned.

The 3rd Circuit in 2008 voided the fine, but that decision was vacated when the Supreme Court in 2009 upheld the FCC policy as rational, in an opinion involving News Corp's Fox TV stations. It did not decide whether the policy was constitutional, and returned the CBS case to the 3rd Circuit.

Writing for a 2-1 majority, 3rd Circuit Judge Marjorie Rendell said that the FCC had for three decades maintained a "consistent refusal" to treat fleeting nude images as indecent, and that there was no justification to change policy for CBS.

The Supreme Court is expected in its current term to decide whether the FCC policy is constitutional.


Monday, November 07, 2011

Tin Tin in trouble again

We read:
"Fears that the book Tintin in the Congo could warp young minds have led publishers to market it with protective packaging with warning labels similar to those on explicit top-shelf magazines

The new film may be good clean family fun, but one of Tintin’s classic adventures has been banished to the adult shelves of bookshops because it is overtly racist.

With a new generation of fans enjoying Steven Spielberg’s movie, The adventures of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn, enthusiasm for collecting all 24 of Herge’s original comic books has never been higher.

Unfortunately, Tintin In The Congo was written in 1930 and depicts African natives as ignorant, simple and backward people, who are far less intelligent than their white visitors.

Leading booksellers such as Waterstones have taken the book out of the children’s section, fearing it ‘could get into the wrong hands’.

Mention of fairies now incorrect?

It's true that homosexuals are sometimes derisively referrred to as fairies but the guy below could equally well have been referring to the feebleness of the "Little People" (as they call them in Ireland)
A Premier League manager has been accused of homophobia after he criticised his team for playing 'like fairies'.

Furious viewers said the comment from QPR boss Neil Warnock on BBC sports show Match of the Day Live was a stereotype and should not have been screened.

The BBC's complaints department agreed the remark was unwelcome and apologised that it had not been redressed while the programme had been on air. It said it would not take any further action because programme-makers had already 'expressed regret'.

Warnock's comments came in a TV interview broadcast on April 23, after his team's 2-2 draw with Cardiff City. He said: 'We defended like fairies in the first half but the first two goals could have come straight out of the Premier League.'


Sunday, November 06, 2011

TX BBQ Owner Under Fire for Sign Depicting Iranian Man Being hanged

Since the Iranian government regularly hangs Iranians (particularly homosexual ones), one would think that this poster is fair comment
A Texas restaurant owner is under fire for his refusal to remove a poster that depicts a group of armed men posing underneath a Middle Eastern man being hanged. The black-and-white sign features the caption, “Let’s play cowboys and Iranians!”

John Nonmacher, owner of Nonmacher’s Bar-B-Q in Katy, Texas, said he’s been flooded with angry calls since a customer took a photo of the sign and put it on Facebook earlier this week. Still, he’s not taking it down.

“It’s my choice to have it up. It’s your choice to go where you want to go. But I’m not going to take it down,” Nonmacher told Houston ABC affiliate KTRK-TV.

Nonmacher said he put the poster up 30 years ago during the Iranian hostage crisis and has never had a complaint until now. He said a customer gave it to him and he put it next to several others that were meant to be humorous.

Ayman Wafai didn’t find it funny. He told the station he came in to eat and was disturbed by the poster. “You know it’s 2011, looking at it now, I see nothing really more than a display of racism and bigotry,” he said. “I don’t think something like this should really be accepted by any community.”

Navy Vet Gets Eviction Notice After Hanging American Flag on Navy Day

We read:
"A Navy veteran says he’s being evicted from his Oregon apartment complex for displaying an American flag on Navy Day.

The apartment management company delivered the eviction notice to Edward Zivica after he hung the Old Glory in a common area at the Springfield, Ore., complex, reported. If he doesn't agree to refrain from any more such flag displays, the complex told him, it's anchors aweigh by midnight Nov. 29.

Zivica said he's been displaying the flag for at least a year on holidays such as Veteran's Day and Memorial Day.

Terry McDonald, the CEO of St. Vincent de Paul, the management company, told the station that the notice was for “hanging something outside the building without permission.”

“If you're going to live in a situation where there's lots of other tenants, you need to follow the rules that are set up,” McDonald said.


It's a sick society where patriotism is against the rules and very sad when a veteran is not respected

Saturday, November 05, 2011

America's Judeo/Christian traditions reaffirmed

If you don't know where you are coming from, you probably don't know where you are going either -- and America's origins were Christian.
The House on Tuesday passed a non-binding resolution reaffirming "In God We Trust" as the national motto.

The measure sponsored by Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., supports and encourages the motto's display in all public schools and government buildings. It was approved 396-9, with 2 abstentions.

Forbes said the resolution was needed because President Obama had once called "E pluribus unum" the national motto, and the Latin phrase meaning "from many one" was engraved in the new Capitol Visitors Center until Congress ordered that it be corrected.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., called the resolution a meaningless distraction from the nation's real problems. "Nobody is threatening the national motto," he said.

President Obama responded Wednesday by trying to shame the Republican-controlled House by accusing its leaders of wasting time during a jobs crisis with debates over commemorative baseball coins and reaffirming "In God We Trust" as the country's motto.


Christians take a bit of a battering in the USA these days so this may encourage more outreach from them and delay the delegitimization of them that seems to be in train

Florida Pastor to Defy Prayer Ban

We read:
"A standoff over prayers at a school flagpole is looming between a longtime Baptist preacher and a Florida public school system. Ron Baker, the pastor of Russell Baptist Church in Green Cove Springs, said he plans to keep on praying, regardless of what happens.

Baker was referring to a legal opinion submitted by the Clay County School Board’s attorney and published in The attorney determined that a series of prayers on the grounds of four schools was a violation of the U.S. Constitution.

“It is a violation of the United States Constitution for a teacher, school administrator or other school district employee to join in a prayer session during their work time,” wrote J. Bruce Bickner


Joining in a prayer session is nothing like establishing a church so the legal opinion is absurd

Friday, November 04, 2011

Politically correct speech can kill

We read:
"It is all too easy to dehumanize the sick, the weak, and the disabled. A few days after the White Mass, Pulitzer Prize–winning commentator Paul Greenberg, addressing a crowd in Manhattan, said, “Verbicide must precede homicide.” To justify killing an unborn baby — whether it be a Down Syndrome baby, or one with a physical deformity, or the child of a mother who is desperate for one reason or another — one has to “speak of a fetus, not an unborn child,” Greenberg said. “Vocabulary remains the decisive turning point.”

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist was speaking to an audience gathered together by the folks at The Human Life Review to hail him as a “Great Defender of Life.”

He had, you see, changed his mind. “When Roe v. Wade was first pronounced from on high,” he told the assembly, “I welcomed it.” But over the years, he recalled, it took “more and more effort to justify” his position. To stay steady, it was imperative not to “look too closely at those sonograms.”

Holy Moly! The Swedes are even more politically correct than the English

"Massage" is a naughty word???
The Football Association has pulled an advert for an upcoming England match after it was branded racist. Sweden was outraged by the 'racial stereotypes' used in the ad for their friendly at Wembley.

It featured a fake Swede using sexual innuendo over an Abba-style backing track to promote the game on November 15.

A voice says: 'And now a massage from the Swedish football team: Listen up, English football fans...'

The Football Association removed the talkSPORT commercial after England's upcoming opponents reacted angrily to the advert

A similar method was used to promote a friendly with Spain last month.


Thursday, November 03, 2011

How the Patriot Act stripped me of my free-speech rights

Secrecy is always an invitation to corrupt practices
"Sometime in 2012, I will begin the ninth year of my life under an FBI gag order, which began when I received what is known as a national security letter at the small Internet service provider I owned. On that day in 2004 (the exact date is redacted from court papers, so I can’t reveal it), an FBI agent came to my office and handed me a letter. It demanded that I turn over information about one of my clients and forbade me from telling “any person” that the government had approached me.

National security letters are issued by the FBI, not a judge, to obtain phone, computer, and banking information. Instead of complying, I spoke with a lawyer at the American Civil Liberties Union and filed a constitutional challenge against the NSL provision of the Patriot Act, which was signed into law 10 years ago Wednesday.

In 2004, it wasn’t at all clear whether the FBI would charge me with a crime for telling the ACLU about the letter, or for telling the court clerk about it when I filed my lawsuit as “John Doe.”

For years, the government implausibly claimed that if I were able to identify myself as the plaintiff in the case, irreparable damage to national security would result. But I did not believe then, nor do I believe now, that the FBI’s gag order was motivated by legitimate national security concerns. It was motivated by a desire to insulate the FBI from public criticism and oversight.

In August 2010, the government agreed to a settlement, and I was finally allowed to reveal my name to the public in connection with my case, but I am still prevented — under the threat of imprisonment — from discussing any fact that was redacted in the thousands of pages of court documents, including the target of the investigation or what information was sought.

I don’t believe that it’s right for Americans’ free speech rights to be bound by perpetual gag orders that can’t be meaningfully challenged in a court of law. The courts agreed, but the NSLs and the gag orders live on.

Model Vanessa Hessler fired for praising Gaddafis

We read:
"A German company has cancelled a major advertising contract with an Italian-American model after she described her passionate relationship with Muammar Gaddafi's son, Muatassim, and praised his family.

Telecommunications firm Telefonica Germany and its subsidiary, Alice, will stop working with 23-year-old model Vanessa Hessler and remove her face from its website within hours, spokesman Albert Fetsch said today.

"Vanessa Hessler has failed to distance herself from her comments on the conflict in Libya," Mr Fetsch said.

Hessler had been the company's advertising face for years, and giant posters featuring the model were a fixture in many German cities.

Talks between Telefonica and Hessler's agency did not yield a solution because Hessler stood by her comments, said Fetsch. "We and our clients have no comprehension for what she said."


She's free to say what she likes but there is no obligation on anyone to employ her. She's probably a bit of a nit who thinks that the good treatment she got is the way everybody was treated by Gaddafi and his family

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Satirical French magazine names Prophet Mohammed as editor-in-chief

The same magazine got into big hot water by republishing the Danish Mohammed cartoons a few years ago -- so this will probably be treated as an insult too. But it is more a compliment as far as I can see. The magazine is a generally Leftist one but with anarchist tendencies too
A French satirical weekly says it has named the Prophet Mohammed as "editor-in-chief" for its next issue to celebrate the election win of Tunisia's Islamist party.

The publication Charlie Hedbo also said the issue that comes out on Wednesday will be re-named "Sharia Hedbo" after senior transitional Libyan leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil said that Islamic sharia law will be the basis of legislation under the country's new regime.

"To fittingly celebrate the victory of the Islamist Ennahda party in Tunisia ... Charlie Hedbo has asked Mohammed to be the special editor-in-chief of its next issue", the magazine said in a statement.

"The prophet of Islam didn't have to be asked twice and we thank him for it," the statement said.

The publication's editor in chief and cartoonist Charb told AFP that "We don't feel like causing further provocation. We simply feel like doing our job as usual. The only difference this week is that Mohammed is on the cover and it's pretty rare to put him on the cover."


UPDATE: As I expected, the magazine's premises have now been attacked

TN: Occupy Nashville arrests draw ACLU, legal flak

We read:
"The American Civil Liberties Union is working on a legal strategy to stop nightly arrests of Occupy Nashville protesters on the grounds that the state is violating their First Amendment rights.

The Tennessee chapter of the ACLU will ask the courts to bar enforcement of a newly imposed curfew on Legislative Plaza, where Occupy Nashville protesters have gathered for more than three weeks. A request for an injunction could be filed as soon as Monday.

While the legal teams maneuvered, protesters returned to Legislative Plaza to defy the state’s new curfew, which has led to nearly 50 arrests over two nights and countless man-hours for the Tennessee Highway Patrol. Both nights, a magistrate refused to approve troopers’ warrants and ordered the protesters released.

The arrests began after Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration announced Thursday that it had imposed a 10 p.m. curfew on Legislative Plaza for safety and sanitation reasons. State officials also announced all groups would have to purchase liability insurance and take out a $65 permit for each day they want to assemble on the plaza, making official what had been an informal policy.


Since they are allowed to protest all they like until 10pm it would seem to be an issue not of free speech but rather whether they are free to camp overnight anywhere they like.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

U.S. Marines: No Spitting Toward Mecca

We read:
"And who is Shafiq Mubarak? All I can find out is that he is a Pro Sol contractor (?) hired by the Marine Corps Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learningto help implement "the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, the winning of hearts and minds."At least that's how Col. Furness puts it.

According to the North County Times, Mubarak didn't come to the US until 2008 -- from where the story doesn't say -- but has been working with US troops in A-stan "for much of the past decade."

How is that? Why is that? Dunno. What the story does report is that Mubarak teaches the do's and don't's of sharia -- kind of, Islam for Leathernecks.

Mubarak teaches US Marines:

* Don't spit toward Mecca.

* Don't urinate toward Mecaa.

* Don't sleep with your boots toward Mecca.

In other words, Mubarak teaches US Marines to become intensely sensitized to the whereabouts of Mecca, and to be guided by that magnetic North for Muslims as a matter of the most personal habits and hygiene -- in accordance with sharia (Islamic law). This goes well, of course, with ISAF's guidance to all troops to revere the Koran and its teachings.

What next, prayer rugs?


If only Christians got similar respect for their beliefs

Must not joke about breasts

The NSW Government has confirmed action has been taken against a senior legal officer who gave a "boob-apron" to a colleague as a birthday joke.

The scandal in a D-cup was first revealed by The Sunday Telegraph after Nigel Hadgkiss, executive director of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, gave a novelty apron featuring a pair of fake breasts to a workmate who had described himself as a "big girl at heart".

The gift was an on-going joke between the pair, but one guest at the work function party took offence and complained. Mr Hadgkiss is a former federal policeman and holds one of the highest positions in the DPP.

It is only now that Attorney-General Greg Smith has confirmed a complaint had been received about Mr Hadgkiss, after it was raised in parliament by Shadow Attorney-General Paul Lynch after The Sunday Telegraph article.

Asked to elaborate on the matter during an Estimates Hearing on Wednesday, Mr Smith confirmed that Mr Hadgkiss was cautioned about the matter. "My understanding is that the director counselled him," Mr Smith said.