Thursday, February 28, 2013
DEMOCRAT in trouble over blackface
You can dress up in pseudo-Irish garb on Pat's day and nobody takes offence -- even though the Irish see themselves as having had a grievous history of persecution at the hands of the British. So why no similar indifference about blacks? It is seen as akin to mocking the handicapped, it would seem. Which is an interesting insight into what politically correct minds really think about blacks
A prominent Brooklyn assemblyman defended himself on Monday after attracting attention for wearing blackface to a party he hosted this weekend to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim.
The assemblyman, Dov Hikind, a Democrat who has been a longtime power broker in the Orthodox Jewish community, wore an Afro wig, orange jersey, sunglasses and brown makeup or face paint as part of a costume that Mr. Hikind said represented a “black basketball player.”
“I was just, I think, I was trying to emulate, you know, maybe some of these basketball players,” Mr. Hikind told The New York Observer. “Someone gave me a uniform, someone gave me the hair of the actual, you know, sort of a black basketball player.” He added, “The fun for me is when people come in and don’t recognize me.”
Mr. Hikind, who has been in the Assembly since 1983, noted that it was common to dress up for Purim.
“I am intrigued that anyone who understands Purim — or, for that matter, understands me — would have a problem with this,” Mr. Hikind wrote. “This is political correctness to the absurd. There is not a prejudiced bone in my body.”
“I am deeply shocked and outraged by the insensitive actions of Assemblyman Hikind, to dress as a black basketball player complete with tanned skin and an Afro wig,” said Assemblyman Karim Camara, a Brooklyn Democrat and the chairman of the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus.
Mr. Camara said that “the history of the blackface minstrel show is something deeply painful in the African-American community” and that “the stereotypes embodied in blackface minstrels have played a significant role in cementing and proliferating racist images, attitudes and perceptions.”
Another Assembly Democrat, Deborah J. Glick of Manhattan, took to Twitter to state her concern, writing: “Assembly member Dov Hikind in blackface was beyond offensive. A Purim party shouldn’t be cover for insensitivity.”
Donuts are NOT fresh food (?)
Why can't a donut be fresh? "Fresh" seems to have a deeper meaning to some
A SUPERMARKET chain's billboard promoting "fresh food" with a photo of a doughnut has sparked a social media backlash.
But after a huge social media campaign, including more than 5300 likes of the original complaint on Facebook by Jason Maloo, and more than 4500 people sharing it across the site, Woolworths confirmed the billboard would be removed today.
"I'm appalled to think a large international company like Woolworths would promote donuts as 'fresh food'," Maloo wrote on Oliver's Facebook wall.
In response to the Facebook campaign, Woolworths announced just after 2.40pm Monday that the billboard would be removed.
"The billboard in Ipswich is being taken down today we value the feedback of our Ipswich customers and have always appreciated their support," a spokeswoman said.
"While our intention was to show one of the products that we bake fresh everyday in our in store bakeries, we appreciate that this may have been confusing for some people.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
President James Wagner of Emory University was trying to be positive and offered a perfectly correct example from history which shows that Americans can reach political compromises even in very polarized times. But any mention of the 3/5ths rule is of course gasoline on the fire to self-righteous Leftists so he has been roundly condemned for the words below. Demonstrators with placards included:
The language of the Constitution is itself the product of carefully negotiated compromise.
One instance of constitutional compromise was the agreement to count three-fifths of the slave population for purposes of state representation in Congress. Southern delegates wanted to count the whole slave population, which would have given the South greater influence over national policy. Northern delegates argued that slaves should not be counted at all, because they had no vote. As the price for achieving the ultimate aim of the Constitution—“to form a more perfect union”—the two sides compromised on this immediate issue of how to count slaves in the new nation. Pragmatic half-victories kept in view the higher aspiration of drawing the country more closely together.
Some might suggest that the constitutional compromise reached for the lowest common denominator—for the barest minimum value on which both sides could agree. I rather think something different happened. Both sides found a way to temper ideology and continue working toward the highest aspiration they both shared—the aspiration to form a more perfect union. They set their sights higher, not lower, in order to identify their common goal and keep moving toward it.
The NYT covers the aftermath
"The Onion" calls young black girl a c**t
There’s just one thing more shocking than The Onion’s crude tweet about Quvenzhané Wallis: Onion CEO Steve Hannah’s subsequent mea culpa.
“On behalf of The Onion, I offer my personal apology to Quvenzhané Wallis and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the tweet that was circulated last night during the Oscars,” he said in a statement today, following widespread outcry over a message on the microblogging site that referred called the nine-year-old Best Actress nominee a “c—.” Hannah went on to label the tweet “crude and offensive,” “senseless [and] humorless,” and “inconsistent with The Onion’s commitment to parody and satire, however biting.” Additionally, he said, the parties responsible for posting the joke will be “disciplined.”
Such a frank admission of remorse is unusual for The Onion, a publication that’s never shied away from controversial jokes or strong, vulgar language. In fact, this may be the first time the paper has actually apologized for something it’s written — even though plenty of its creations have stoked the public’s ire before.
What, then, made the Quvenzhané Wallis joke so different from every other offensive quip that’s been published by The Onion? Context seems to be the key. Although full-length stories and videos can flesh out a joke using narrative, a tweet’s 140-character limit makes that sort of development impossible. Whoever wrote that Wallis tweet may have been trying to comment on the way the media treats celebrities, or the difficulties child stars face, or even how Seth MacFarlane had sexualized Wallis with his joke about her and George Clooney. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough space for any of those ideas to be conveyed fully in the tweet — leaving The Onion with a personal attack that did nothing but attempt to shock by calling a child an ugly word.
A joke gone wrong I think.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Bikers are no longer hairy and dirty: Oxford dictionary revises definition to avoid offence
It certainly is silly to slur all motorbike riders but I wonder if that was what was going on? I think the original definition may still reflect common British usage. The term "biker" MAY mainly still be used to refer to scruffy gang members.
So are all motorbike riders "bikers"? Perhaps not. If you want to be expansive about it, pedal power people are also bikers.
The distinction is much clearer in Australia. In Australia a member of a motorcycle-based gang is referred to as a "bikie", not a "biker". And being a biker is quite respectable. I was once one myself
The lexicographers at the Oxford English Dictionary must have been worried when they were confronted by a group of angry bikers.
According to the OED definition of the breed, they turn up in gangs with ‘long hair’ and ‘dirty denims’.
And Britain’s two most famous bikers, TV cooks David Myers and Simon King, are so long-haired they frequently need ponytails.
However, the two-wheeled community has become fed up with the stereotype being perpetuated by the dictionary entry, which fell somewhere between the words ‘bijou’ and ‘bikini’.
They reasoned that the likes of Prince William, David Beckham and George Clooney also ride motorcycles and they could hardly be described as shaggy and unkempt. In fact, a survey had shown that only nine per cent of male bikers have long hair.
Faced with such evidence, the Oxford University Press, which publishes the OED, has decided to alter its definition.
The online version previously defined a biker as: ‘A motorcyclist, especially one who is a member of a gang: a long-haired biker in dirty denims.’ It now reads: ‘A motorcyclist, especially one who is a member of a gang or group: a biker was involved in a collision with a car.’
Almost three-quarters of 524 bikers polled over the old definition found it inaccurate. One in five were ‘outraged and offended’ by it.
Furthermore, 65 per cent said they spent most of their time riding alone – and were not in a gang.
The study, by insurance firm Bennetts, found today’s biker is most likely to be over 35, middle class, working in IT or telecoms and likely to ride a Honda. When the term ‘biker’ came into common usage 50 years ago, it often described gangs of leather-clad troublemakers.
Leftists can racially abuse anyone they like
A Left-leaning paper defending a Leftist eminence is very quick to make the case for free speech -- even admitting that "hate speech" is free speech. Not a usual Leftist position
Assume for the sake of argument that Alec Baldwin did indeed hurl racial epithets at a New York Post photographer. You still have to wonder why he is under investigation by the NYPD's Hate Crimes Task Force. He committed no crime. If the allegations under investigation are true, Baldwin is merely guilty of boorishly exercising his constitutional rights. Hate speech is constitutionally protected, as the Supreme Court recently confirmed in Snyder v Phelps.
Still, an investigation of protected speech is not a harmless PR exercise. Even if it has no appreciable chilling effect, it helps promote disrespect for speech rights and the nonsensical belief that hate speech isn't free speech -- that the First Amendment should only protect speech we like, or, at least, don't seriously dislike. Freedom of speech means the freedom to say what the law doesn't want people to hear, however hateful the speech may seem.
Monday, February 25, 2013
"His" and "her" incorrect
The writer below thinks "gender neutral" language still does not go far enough
A bill that aims to change the language of law to be completely gender-neutral passed out of the Washington state Senate Friday and will move on to the House of Representatives. Supporters of the bill expect it to pass. Gender neutrality in language — and in general — is an idea that does not receive much acknowledgement and I’m pleased that the Legislature has taken up the issue.
That said, the legislation fails to acknowledge people who do not identify within the gender binary — that is, those who do not identify as staunchly a “man” or a “woman.” For example, genderqueer is a non-normative expression of gender identity that varies depending on how individuals identify. It can serve as an umbrella term or an identity itself. Some genderqueer people do not identify as a man or a woman (they consider themselves agender), while others might consider themselves third-gendered, or other-gendered. These are just examples and do not fully illustrate the complexities of gender and the diversity of gender nonconforming people. For further reading, here is a website that discusses the term genderqueer.
The bill is riddled with references to “his or her” this, “he or she” that. Written law would be more inclusive if it simply used words like “individual” or “person” instead. I’m not suggesting gendered words in connection with identity be removed from culture entirely, as people often find it critical to their greater identities. I simply hope for a more inclusive approach to the law — and perhaps, a more thoughtful engagement with each other. We avoid conflict, unintended disrespect and exclusion when we don’t make assumptions about things like preferred gender pronouns.
It would be a lot simpler if everybody were referred to by their biological sex. They can tack on modifiers as they like: "Gay male" etc.
SS car badge criticised in Israeli newspaper story.
In Australia, GM is known as Holden. They often export small numbers of Australian-built cars to the USA -- selling them under other GM brand-names
Holden’s new US export program for the VF Commodore is still months away but the car is already gaining notoriety overseas for its naming.
The Times of Israel is reporting the Chevrolet SS, the US version of the Australian V8 Commodore, will not be welcome in Israel because it shares the same moniker as a Nazi paramilitary unit.
The report quotes a story in the Hebrew daily Yedioth Ahronoth, condemning the SS badging as “inappropriate” because of its reference with the Schutzstaffel (abbreviated SS), a powerful paramilitary unit headed by Heinrich Himmler under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party.
The story is headed "Chevy SS won’t storm Israel" and has been met with an array of different responses from its readers.
Holden is undertaking an ambitious export program to the US from the third quarter of 2013, re-badging the VF Commodore with a plan to sell 5000 examples annually.
The Chevrolet SS took its first race win at Florida’s Daytona International Speedway last weekend, with Kevin Harvick claiming the Nascar season-opening Sprint Unlimited.
Porsche also struck trouble in the United States in September 2011 when it released online ads with the tagline: "The next 911 is coming"
I imagine SS is supposed to imply Super Sport or something of that ilk
Sunday, February 24, 2013
Must pretend that guns don't exist
Earlier this week in Denton, Texas, the First Amendment seems to have been compromised by a few high school essays that mentioned the Second one.
High School seniors at Denton High School were given a simple assignment in their English class: Write a paragraph about something you did over the weekend. There was no additional direction on topics for the essay.
However, a few students who wrote about guns, including attending a gun show or going to shop for a gun, were told that they would be given a zero on the assignment if they did not change what they were writing about.
The teacher, Mr. Dewey Christian, reportedly told the students that the topic was unacceptable.
Classmates reportedly laughed at the students after their papers were rejected based solely on their subject matter.
Williams and his mother Kimberly visited the school on Monday and confronted Mr. Christian, recording the conversation with a cell phone camera:
After speaking with the teacher, Kimberly Williams and her son were not satisfied and demanded an apology. KDFW-TV that the school district and Dewey Christian sort of apologized.
We read elsewhere: "The Denton Independent School District said in a statement, "The teacher has accepted the paper and apologized to the student for misperceptions. The teacher's intent was for guns not to be trivialized in any school situation because of recent events."
VA: DMV says war vet’s vanity plate encourages violence
Must not be the slightest hint of mocking Muslims
A legal battle between the state and an Iraq war veteran over his personalized license plate is not over.
Sean Bujno's plate reads: "ICUHAJI," which can be read to state: "I See You, Haji." Some Arab-Americans object to that phrase.
The DMV revoked the license plate in 2011, saying it could be interpreted as socially, racially or ethically offensive or disparaging.
Chesapeake Circuit Court Judge John W. Brown ruled last November that the DMV couldn't deny the Chesapeake man's license plate on the basis that it denigrated individuals of a particular nationality. The judge ordered the DMV to either return the license plate to Bujno or find a permissible reason to keep it from him.
In a recent letter sent to Bujno, the DMV now says the license plate encourages violence and is vulgar.
Meyer said the use of the word "Haji" is not intended as a slur. He said it simply refers to someone who has made a pilgrimage to Mecca, or the hajj.
The plate was displayed on Bujno's car for more than four years before the DMV revoked it. Bujno was honorably discharged from the Army in 2009.
Friday, February 22, 2013
Canadian restaurant culls ‘Albino Rhino’ beer brand after human rights complaint
Earls Restaurants will take beer sold under the 25-year-old brand off the menu after a Vancouver woman with albinism filed a BC Human Rights Tribunal complaint against the chain in 2012. The same craft beer will still be sold, but just as “Rhino.”
Ikponwosa (I.K.) Ero, representing a group with the genetic condition that causes a lack of pigmentation in skin, hair and eyes and often blindness, accused the popular restaurant of discrimination based on physical disability and colour.
While Earls doesn’t agree with the complaint – the beer was named after the white rhinoceros and it didn’t occur to the restaurant that it would be associated with albinism or offend anyone – it will cull the “Albino” from the house brand by April 24.
Albinism may not be mentioned?
As a matter of interest, the white rhino is neither white nor albino. It varies in color between light brown and dark grey.
Indiana Teacher Suspended Over Remarks about homosexuals
Some opinions are not allowed
An Indiana school district reeling from the uproar over a teacher’s comments that she believes gays have no purpose in life suspended the woman Wednesday.
Superintendent Mark Baker of the Northeast School Corp. in western Indiana’s Sullivan County issued a statement saying the teacher has been placed on administrative leave out of concern “for the safety and security of everyone in our buildings.”
He added that “as a precaution” the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Department and Indiana State Police “have deemed it necessary to station an officer” at North Central Junior-Senior High School in Farmersburg, about 75 miles southwest of Indianapolis.
He said the “administration and one school employee in particular” at the school have received “aggressive email messages.” “We are turning over to law enforcement all such communications,” Baker said.
“As many of you know and appreciate, our school corporation is continuing to manage as responsibly and respectfully as possible the fallout from comments made by an employee as she attended a meeting outside of school or a school activity,” Baker said.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
A federal jury holds a former public-university president liable for unfairly expelling a student critic of his policies
In a case that may help end the decades-long scandal of speech codes on college campuses, a federal jury in Georgia this month held the former president of a public university personally liable for violating the basic rights of one of his students.
In 2007, Valdosta State University President Ronald Zaccari expelled student Hayden Barnes after Mr. Barnes protested Mr. Zaccari's plan to construct two new parking garages on campus.
Mr. Barnes believed that the university should pursue more environmentally friendly alternatives, and he let the campus community know his opinion through a determined yet civil campaign, including posting flyers around campus, writing to the campus newspaper, and contacting fellow students and other members of the university community. One flyer pointed out that the estimated $30 million cost of the garages could provide 2,940 full scholarships for students at the school.
Mr. Zaccari apparently began looking for a reason to expel this meddlesome student. He settled upon a collage that Mr. Barnes had posted on Facebook FB +2.15% that referred to the construction project as a "memorial" parking garage, a joke on the president's belief that the garage would be part of his legacy.
Mr. Zaccari, alleging that the use of the word "memorial" constituted a threat on his life, threw Mr. Barnes out of school, despite objections by his own staff and statements from multiple psychologists that the student (a believer in nonviolence and a decorated emergency medical technician) wasn't a threat to anyone.
Mr. Barnes filed suit in 2008, enlisting the help of First Amendment attorney Robert Corn-Revere. This month a federal jury found against Mr. Zaccari and awarded $50,000 in compensatory damages to Mr. Barnes. Mr. Zaccari (who announced his retirement in the fall of 2007) may also be held liable for Mr. Barnes's legal fees.
Presidents of public universities would normally be protected from such a decision by "qualified immunity," a legal principle that shields state employees from personal liability for constitutional violations while carrying out their job duties. However, this immunity can be pierced when a state official is found to have abused his legal authority and done something he either knew or should have known violated clearly established constitutional rights. Here, Mr. Zaccari ignored Mr. Barnes's constitutional right to due process.
It would be nice to think Mr Zaccari is humiliated by this but he is probably too pumped up with self-righteousness for that.
British penis enlargement ad banned after 'inadequacy' complaint
An advert for a penis enhancement has been banned after a man complained it left him feeling "inadequate".
The man contacted advertising watchdogs after being bombarded with ads telling him his penis size was a "disappointment" and that his partner might be "turned off".
The ad boasted men could "have a penis that's inches longer and much thicker naturally, without surgery, pumps or exercise. Guaranteed or your money back!" with the help of Maximus penis enlargement capsules.
But for one man, the ads aimed at tackling his manhood came too thick and fast after he began receiving the Life Healthcare four page mailing on his doorstep on a monthly basis so he complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
The ASA banned the ad and said the company must suppress the complainant's personal data.
Sounds like he does have a small one. Such ads are as common as dirt on the internet. They have never bothered me.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Australia: Merchants of hate rally for another protest
Projection again: In the heading above and in the text beneath behold a sustained outpouring of hate from Leftist journalist Paul Syvret, drawing heavily on his imagination. Compare the respectful treatment given by the mainstream media to the Leftist "Occupy" movement.
From the placards you can see that the people Syvret hates are in fact principally anti-tax, similar to the U.S. Tea Partiers. The "Juliar" placard refers to the fact that Prime Minister Julia Gillard promised before the last election that she would not introduce a carbon tax. But she did anyway
MEMO to all readers who are not angry, self-righteous, middle-aged white people with deep wells of bile and resentment:
It is probably advisable that you avoid the lawns of Parliament House in Canberra a few weeks from now.
For on March 12, the malcontents and fringe-dwellers who brought us one of the great fizzers from 2011's political calendar, the Convoy of No Confidence (or No Consequence as Anthony Albanese dubbed it), are trying to get up an encore performance of sorts.
Rather than the stage-managed cavalcade of crackpots of 18 months ago, this looks like being more of a trickle towards the national capital - a Convoy of Incontinence, if you like.
This time around it is the "Rotten to the Core Rally", brought to you by the same bunch of climate-change deniers and ratbags who were bellowing about the carbon tax and waving "Ditch the Witch" and "Bob Brown's Bitch" placards.
The carbon pricing battle (what carbon tax?) having been lost, the focus has shifted to union corruption and, of course, the AWU.
This is all proof positive - although nothing has been proven unless you channel your news from the likes of Larry Pickering or former shock jock Michael Smith - that our Government is corrupt and democracy in Australia is dead.
Keynote speakers are to include Bob Kernohan, a former AWU Victorian vice-president.
At the time of the alleged fraud in the early '90s he was at war with the left faction of the union as part of a protracted internal power struggle and has made various allegations about Prime Minister Julia Gillard that have not been substantiated in the course of nearly 20 years. No axes to grind there.
Also on the soapbox list is David Flint, one time head of the Australian Broadcasting Authority, good mate of 2UE's Alan Jones and chair of Australians for a Constitutional Monarchy.
In between keeping Australians who don't believe in an Australian head of state informed with febrile updates on what Old Liz's corgis are up to, his Flintiness also heads CANdo - a far right group created by Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi that wants to become an "Australian Tea Party" and believes gay marriage could lead to Muslim polygamy.
He and the organisers of the Rotten rally, the grandly named Consumers and Taxpayers Association - with a whopping 461 Facebook "likes" (including one from yours truly, so I get the updates) - are clearly a meeting of minds.
Both seem to think the furore over Jones' "died of shame" comment regarding the Prime Minister's father were an over-reaction. CATA spokesman Jacques Laxale maintained last year that poor, hard-done-by Alan was a victim of cyber-bullying.
One of the principal organisers this time around appears to be one Anita Donlon, who writes: "This is our day to ALL gather in mass to show how we feel ... to turn the media around from being blinded by the truth ... we need the media around the globe to say 'CRIKEY!!!' there's an uprising in Australia against the government!!"
Yadda, yadda, yadda ... "Love peace and mungbeans. See you in Canberra!"
I've been in the media a long time and I can honestly say I have never been accused of being "blinded by the truth", mungbeans or no mungbeans, but never mind.
Donlon's a bit of a favourite of 2GB afternoon shock jock Chris Smith, who will broadcast his show live from the Rotten rally next month in an effort to whip up even more divisiveness and hate than he can normally manage from his Sydney studio.
The corrupt Prime Minister baloney aside, judging by the various web pages it is the usual shopping list of talk-back radio gripes that this Petri dish of intellects will be taking to Canberra for next month's world record whinge attempt.
"Illegal" immigrants, foreign workers, foreign aid, foreign investment, foreign imports and Muslims just about covers the White Australia element.
Poofters, dole bludgers, single mums, druggies, deliberately barren career women and lazy blackfellas ticks another box.
Then there's taxes, big government, government spending, government waste, government interference, government ...
And that's before we get to the real evils of corrupt union thugs and red raggin' commo greenie terrorists. And the United Nations.
What we obviously need - as the likes of the CATA people feel the need to constantly remind me via email - is an ELECTION NOW, because one that doesn't install their preferred version of government is obviously undemocratic and illegitimate and we need to keep voting until we get it right.
Another extreme outpouring of hate -- against a very popular Royal Princess
Ms Mantel. We would seem to have here a case of a fat old bag hating someone much more attractive and pleasant than herself. Mantel is very egotistical and a former member of the Young Communist League -- an unsurprising combination
She is a double Booker Prize winner, the darling of the literary establishment. And Hilary Mantel has used her position among the novel-writing elite to launch an astonishing and venomous attack on the Duchess of Cambridge.
Mantel, whose latest books are set in the Tudor court, dismissed Kate as a ‘machine-made’ princess, ‘designed by committee’.
Mantel, 60, also scorned her as a personality-free ‘shop window mannequin’ with a ‘plastic smile’.
She compared Kate unfavourably to both Anne Boleyn – one of her historical heroines – and to Princess Diana, insisting both had more personality.
She said Kate had gone from being a ‘jointed doll on which certain rags are hung’ to a woman whose ‘only point and purpose’ was to give birth.
Mantel said Kate ‘appeared to have been designed by a committee and built by craftsmen, with a perfect plastic smile and the spindles of her limbs hand-turned and gloss-varnished’.
She said the Duchess was quite unlike Anne Boleyn, who was ‘a power player, a clever and determined woman.’
Mantel contrasted her appearance to Prince William’s mother, Diana, ‘whose human awkwardness and emotional incontinence showed in her every gesture’.
Mantel, the author of Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies, the acclaimed novels which detail the failure of Henry VIII’s wives to produce an heir, used a lecture to examine the prospects for the future queen consort.
Mantel said that when she first saw Kate Middleton, she struck her as ‘a shop-window mannequin, with no personality of her own, entirely defined by what she wore.’
Ms Mantel’s comments on the Duchess of Cambridge’s appearance comes shortly after she spoke about having body issues of her own.
Ms Mantel went from a size ten to a size 20 in nine months after she was diagnosed with severe endometrosis at the age of 27.
The treatment, which included surgery removing her womb leaving her infertile, caused her to gain four stone.
The 60-year-old author said she sometimes dream of being thin again.
Mantel went on to say that female Royals were ‘at the most basic... breeding stock, collections of organs.’
Although she is usually referred to simply as the Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine's full title and style is Her Royal Highness Princess William, Duchess of Cambridge, Countess of Strathearn, Lady Carrickfergus. No wonder Mantel hates her.
Mantel's quite explicit refusal to see the Duchess as as human being is very Communist. Leftists generally seem to see classes of people only, not individual people.
And as a monarchist happily living in a constitutional monarchy, I feel perfectly entitled to refer to Mantel as a "fat old bag" -- in response to much worse that she said about a member of the Royal family. The Royal family themselves will of course have no comment on the matter
The cartoonists have now had a go at Mantel here.
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
National Socialism: the clue’s in the name
A National Socialist badge. The German word for "Socialist" is clearly evident. Because of the similarities between German and English, the German words for both "national" and "socialist" are readily understood by English speakers. DAP stands for "Deutsche Arbeiter Partei", or "German Workers' Party"
How can [British] Conservatives ensure they always lose? A good place to start is to concede every lie of the left.
The Conservative Party appears to be doing what it can in this regard. Take their decision to strike Rachel Frosh from their candidates list for the great crime of… linking Nazism to socialism.
Frosh committed her thought crime on Twitter. Thanks to a left-wing stink being kicked up on the same medium, her career – including twenty years in the NHS – is now apparently nullified overnight. She has had to step down from her role as a Police and Crime Commissioner and now she cannot stand for the Conservatives at an election. A party spokesman has said: ‘these comments are completely unacceptable and it is right that she has stepped down’.
Clearly the Conservative party has taken the view that they do not want anyone involved in politics or policing who takes a view on history that is actually correct.
It is neither an insult to all of the left, nor an attempt to exonerate all of the right, but rather a statement of historical fact that National Socialism had its origins in socialism. If the Conservative party’s apparatchiks look hard enough they will even find a clue in the name. But evidently they are too busy giving in to left-wing twitter-mobs to have time for such a bland and useless thing as historical truth.
Rum named after porn star Ron Jeremy is BANNED in Canadian state after customers complain it's obscene
Strange Canadian puritanism. The only picture on the label was a picture of Jeremy's FACE
A rum named after famed porn star Ron Jeremy has been pulled from shelves in parts of Canada after customers complained it was obscene. The country's liquor authorities ordered stores in the province of Manitoba to remove bottles of the alcohol from shelves late last week.
The product is called Ron de Jeremy and features an image of Jeremy's face on its label above the slogan 'the adult liquor' and 'long smooth taste.'
Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries spokeswoman Andrea Kowal said they 'erred on the side of caution' after it received several complaints from rum-lovers.
But on Thursday the rum was back in stores, after the liquor authorities deemed the bottle unoffensive.
Monday, February 18, 2013
Must not portray poor people?
Sports Illustrated sparked a racial controversy this week over its latest swimsuit edition featuring bikini-clad models posing with African and Chinese natives dressed in traditional garb.
The overall theme of this year's issue, which is currently on sale, was the seven continents, with the models doing photo-shoots in countries like Spain, Chile and Australia.
However, the magazine landed in hot water over its decision to have the scantily-clad women photographed next to some local inhabitants in the places they visited as if they were ‘exotic props,’ according to some critics.
One of the images that has sparked the most outrage shows model Anne V, who is Caucasian and blonde, sitting on a traditional raft on a river in Guilin, Guangxi, being piloted by an elderly Chinese man sporting a typical cone hat.
The second image that has been deemed offensive depicts Emily DiDonato frolicking in a two-piece swimsuit in Namibia with a man wearing a loincloth and other tribal-looking accessories, and carrying a spear.
Writer Dodai Stewart scolded the magazine in the prominent feminist blog Jezebel, accusing Sports Illustrated of perpetuating age-old stereotypes harking back to colonial times and using natives as fashion accessories while emphasizing the ‘centrality’ of the white models.
It's hate speech to condemn hate speech on campus?
A realistic portrayal of Muslims in campus life is not permitted, apparently
Students at the University of California, Santa Cruz are circulating a petition calling on the office of the university president to condemn shocking, inciteful hate speech and virulently racist assumptions by a UCSC lecturer against students involved in Palestine solidarity activism on campus.
The lecturer, Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, is a well-known anti-Palestinian racist and inciter of accusations against students and professors who criticize Israeli policies. A video of a speech she gave at a synagogue on 20 June 2012 has surfaced, in which Rossman-Benjamin claims that students “have become poisoned by the rhetoric they hear on campus,” ostensibly referring to Palestine-related activism and criticism of Israel’s policies against Palestinians.
“And who are the primary sources of this?” she asks in the video. “Primarily the MSA [Muslim Student Association] and the SJP [Students for Justice in Palestine] students … they are generally motivated by very strong religious and political convictions, they have a fire in their belly, they come to the university, many of them are foreign students who come from countries and cultures where anti-Semitism is how they think about the world … These are not your ordinary student groups like College Republicans or Young Democrats. These are students who come with a serious agenda, who have ties to terrorist organizations.”
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Black Australian politician sparks race row after saying prison is good for Aborigines as 'it means they get to spend time with their families'
Rather sadly, the lady is right. Young Aborigines are very prone to extreme alcohol abuse. And they are often locked up for committing crimes whilst intoxicated
An Australian politician has sparked a race row after saying prison is good for Aboriginies as 'it means they get to spend time with their families.'
Bess Price, an MP for the sitting Country Liberal Party made the comments after the Legislative Assembly agreed to changes in mandatory sentencing for violent offenders.
Price, an Aboriginal Australian activist, was responding to the Labor Party's opposition to the law changes, which they said would see prison numbers increase significantly.
The member for Stuart argued that jail had benefits for young Aborigines. 'While they are being imprisoned, they don't get to drink, they don't get into trouble, they are fed three times a day,' she said.
'They are in there with their family members. 'They sleep in their language groups and they all come out of prison much healthier.'
Labor's Member for Nhulunbuy, Lynne Walker, said Price's comments were a 'sad indictment it is, of where our system is,' reported TNT magazine.
She told Parliament she was saddened by Ms Price's statement and said it painted a disturbing scenario.
Must not wear boots and black clothes?
And watch that haircut! The guards below don't seem to be accused of anything illegal
Internet shopping giant Amazon is tackling a spiralling security scandal in Germany after it is claimed the company employed security with neo-Nazi links to intimidate its foreign workers.
German documentary makers have filmed black-clad guards with military haircuts from the ominous-sounding HESS security, employed to keep Amazon’s over 5,000 foreign employees in check.
The film, broadcast on Germany’s ARD television channel, investigate the treatment of workers brought in as temporary staff at the company’s centres in Bad Hersfeld, Konstanz and Augsburg and unveiled a culture of threats and bullying.
The staff come from across Europe for temporary work at packing and distribution centres and stay in budget hotels and youth hostels where the HESS Security guards patrol.
The boot-wearing guards dress in uniforms from designer brand Thor Steinar, a label which carries strong neo-Nazi connotations, The Independent reports.
Nazis in fact mostly wore brown. It was only the SS who wore black -- and they were mostly front-line combat troops during WWII.
Friday, February 15, 2013
British Conservative councillor suspended for posting a Facebook picture which 'compared Muslim children in burkas to bin bags'
A pretty good comparison, as far as I can see
A local councillor has been suspended for posting a comment on Facebook comparing Muslim children wearing burkas to bin bags.
The Conservative councillor for Enfield, in north London, has denied being Islamophobic and defended his comments as 'blokeish banter'.
Mr Joannides posted a photo showing a woman and child dressed in burkas standing next to two bin bags.
He wrote underneath: 'I saw her standing there and I told her she had three beautiful children. She didn't have to get all p***ed off and threaten me. It was an honest mistake!'
Mr Joannides is of Greek Cypriot origins. Decades back, the Muslim Turks invaded and took over Northern Cyprus. And Greeks are passionate people so it would be a long search to find a Greek Cypriot who approves of Muslims
Australia: Must not mention that the poor have more children
A greeting card on sale at the WA Art Gallery that encourages stereotypes about women in Armadale has caused a stir with those who live in the area.
While the local member for Parliament said the card was an unfair portrayal of Armadale residents, a gallery representative said the card was a satirical artistic expression.
Armadale, south east of Perth, was ranked the third most disadvantaged local government area in Perth in Australian Bureau of Statistics figures from 2006.
A spokeswoman for the WA Art Gallery said the gallery shop allowed the gallery to showcase diverse works from some of the state's most talented artisans and designers.
"The Gallery Shop stocks a wide range of artistic, satirical and humorous cards to appeal to a broad range of audiences, including Tantamount Cards which are created by local comedian Alex Manfrin," she said.
"As with all of the products we stock, these satirical cards do not represent the Art Gallery of WA's views, and are simply part of the melting pot of different cultural and artistic expressions we offer for sale.
Mr Manfrin said the card was one of his best sellers from hundreds that he has produced. "I first published this one three and a half years ago and I still sell it because people find it funny and buy it," he said.
Thursday, February 14, 2013
NZ MP apologises for anti-Muslim comment
Targeted policing is the most effective way of using limited police resources but Muslims are exempt, of course
A New Zealand MP has apologised for anti-Muslim comments which sparked condemnation across the political spectrum.
In a magazine column, Richard Prosser said that young men who were Muslim, looked like Muslims, or came from Muslim countries, should be banned from flying on Western airlines because they posed a terrorist threat.
Today Mr Prosser said he had gone too far, and that the vast majority of Muslims were peaceful and law-abiding.
"I realise that's caused offence to those people unjustifiably and unnecessarily and I'm apologising to them unreservedly," he said.
But the New Zealand First MP says there needs to be a debate about the merits of targeted profiling of air passengers.
Bare shoulders too sexy for British TV?
Some people need to get a life
Children are being banned from seeing Keira Knightley in the role of sultry temptress in a TV perfume commercial.
The British actress has ridiculed her lack of curves, however it seems her bare shoulders are enough to confuse and upset some youngsters.
As a result, advertising watchdogs have banned showings of the commercial for Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle around children’s programmes and films.
The idea that children’s eyes need to be shielded from the British actress’s performance will surprise viewers. Chanel defended the commercial, insisting it was playful and sensual rather than overtly sexual.
However, the Advertising Standards Authority ASA) disagreed at a time when many parents, including the Prime Minister, are becoming increasingly concerned about the sexualisation of children.
At one stage the actress’s bare shoulders are seen, while she is assumed to be naked beneath some sheets.
The full film is here. It's mainly just "arty" -- i.e. without any real narrative. You can read into it what you like. I doubt that it even does a good job of selling perfume. I would explain it to a kid as "just silly stuff".
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Sex tourism comedy sketch angers Thais
Another example of resistance to reality
A US comedy skit that makes fun of Thailand's booming sex industry has angered the government and it is trying to block videos of the sketch on the Internet, the Thai culture minister said on Monday.
The skit on the Saturday Night Live programme is a parody of an advertisement for a Thai-language course by the Rosetta Stone company, which shows men surreptitiously learning phrases for use in Thailand's notorious night-life, such as: "Take your clothes off."
Culture Minister Sonthaya Kunploem was not amused. "The sketch misrepresents Thailand and its people," Sonthaya said. "We're working with the Foreign Ministry to let the US know it is offensive and we have asked our information ministry to remove the clip."
Predominantly Buddhist Thailand is deeply conservative despite its vibrant sex industry, and its censors often target nudity on television and in print. Prostitution is illegal though widespread.
In the comedy skit, men can use the language course to practise phrases such as "How much?" and "Is that for the whole night?"
One embarrassed character insists he's learning Thai for business, only to hide his head in shame.
Must not mention Auschwitz in a joke
A Tory-supporting peer has been forced to apologise after making a joke about Auschwitz at a glittering party function attended by David Cameron.
Lord Dalmeny, chairman of auctioneers Sotheby’s UK, has now admitted his comment about the concentration camp was ‘horrific’.
Guests at last week’s Black And White Party at the exclusive Hurlingham Club in London were said to be shocked by the ill-judged remark.
Lord Dalmeny last night apologised for his ‘horrific’ Auschwitz wisecrack. He said: ‘I’m sorry if anyone was offended. I meant to say “Colditz”. It was a horrific slip of the tongue.’
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
No limits after Bush emails hacked?
By the old rules of journalism, George W. Bush's private emails to his family might never have been published or broadcast - certainly not without his permission. Most news organisations would have thought twice about publishing personal messages that were, in essence, stolen goods.
But that was then. The former US president's private communications and photos sent to family members went far and wide over the internet on Friday after they were published by a website.
The Smoking Gun, an American website that specialises in unearthing material about criminal and legal matters, disclosed the Bush family's personal correspondence in a story based on material it said it received from a hacker identified only as "Guccifer". A predictable and near-instant tidal wave ensued, with the story and variations on it being linked, tweeted and otherwise disseminated quickly.
It raises the question, are there any standards left with regard to what can be published?
What an outcry there would be if Obama's private emails were published!
GWB would have a pretty good case if he sued under U.S. privacy law but he probably won't.
Must not mention that there are many gun-wielding Muslim terrorists who wear turbans
"A Michigan gun store will stop selling targets that depict a skeleton holding an AK-47 and wearing a turban after a Muslim civil liberties group voiced concern that the target may cause gun owners to have a negative view of all Muslims.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Dawud Walid, the executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, voiced his concerns to the owner of Target Sports, in Royal Oak. After Walid met with the owner, the paper reports, he promised to stop selling the item."
Monday, February 11, 2013
Conservatives Want Rove Aide Fired After He Smears Bozell as 'Hater'
It's pretty clear from his words that Mr. Collegio hates Bozell, who is a real conservative, not just a career "strategist"
It's notable that most of those who accuse others of hate can give no substantial examples of the alleged hate. Finding examples of hate from the accusers themselves is easy peasy, though. It's all projection on their part.
If I accuse anybody of hate speech, I do so by reproducing their own words. It is empty-headed abuse otherwise
Within a few hours of American Crossroads spokesman Jonathan Collegio smearing conservative Brent Bozell as a “hater” with a “sordid history” and “weird personal axes to grind,” at least 36 prominent conservative leaders had signed a letter demanding that Collegio be fired, stressing that an apology was not acceptable.
Collegio made his remarks on radio station WMAL in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, during an interview in which he defended American Crossroads, a political action committee, and its founder Karl Rove. They have been criticized lately by Bozell and other conservatives for their apparent plan to try to marginalize Tea Party candidates and financially back “establishment” Republican candidates through their newly launched spinoff PAC, the Conservative Victory Project.
In addressing the criticism, Collegio said, “Bozell is a hater and he also, like, has a long, sordid history, like, hating Karl Rove too. So he has, like, weird personal axes to grind.”
In response to Collegio’s smear, a letter signed by three dozen prominent conservatives was sent to American Crossroads President Steven Law, demanding that Collegio be fired.
“Mr. Collegio calling Mr. Bozell a ‘hater’ publicly on WMAL radio this morning reflects the language of the establishment Republicans,” reads the letter. “It is the divisive language of the Left. Rather than engaging in an intellectual debate, you, Mr. Collegio, Mr. Rove, and others in the consultant class attack good conservatives and Tea Party leaders and members.”
“On behalf of the conservative movement, we are demanding you terminate Mr. Collegio,” reads the letter. “An apology is not acceptable.”
The letter to Steven Law also states, “We, the free men and women of this great nation, affirm everyone’s natural right to speak their mind, but we cannot and will not abide the unjust, personal broadside your aide Jonathan Collegio leveled against a man whose family has dedicated itself to advancing the cause of liberty for over half a century.”
Bozell, who has been active in the conservative movement since the 1970s and runs the Media Research Center, NewsBusters, and is chairman of the grassroots group ForAmerica, is the nephew of the late William F. Buckley Jr., who founded National Review, and former U.S. Senator Jim Buckley.
Intense hate-speech tweeted by a Green/Left false prophet
From Paul Ehrlich [Professor of Population Studies in the department of Biological Sciences at Stanford University and president of Stanford's Center for Conservation Biology].
He is the author of the 1968 book The Population Bomb. In it he prophesied "The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate".
On the first Earth Day in 1970, he warned that "in ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish"
He is, in short, exactly the moron he accuses others of being. Leftist projection, again. But his hate commends him to the Left, of course.
Leftists write most of the history so he will probably be remembered as a great prophet
#Climate disruption. Remember this when denier morons claim snow proves no warming. Just the opposite. #greed. http://bit.ly/Xiwu7G
#Overpopulation and idiocy -- more on the WSJ's latest moron. Right wing struggling to find even dumber "analysts" http://bit.ly/WxTdva
#Climate disruption. Arizona pol gives more evidence we'll never run out of morons http://bit.ly/XfuVW9
Friends of Fraud -- #Republithugs on the rampage #plutocracy #greed http://nyti.ms/UkMJTb
Tricky Dick pioneering the techniques of todays #Republithug #plutocrats. Richard Nixon's Even-Darker Legacy http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/15846-richard-nixons-even-darker-legacy …
WSJ gibbing idiocy on #population http://on.wsj.com/Ytfg6p no accident. Part of Murdoch empire's attempt to murder our grandkids for profit.
#Population. Julian Simon proved by example long ago the ultimate resource, which will never be exhausted, is morons http://on.wsj.com/VBAmmd
Sunday, February 10, 2013
Freedom of speech is a human right - and it trumps copyright, European judges rule
Maybe there's hope for Europe yet
In a ruling from Strasbourg, judges declared that a conviction based on copyright law for illegally reproducing or publicly communicating copyright material can be regarded as interfering with the right of freedom of expression and information.
What this means is that someone violating copyright won't necessarily be convicted: courts will have to justify why a conviction is 'necessary in a democratic society'. So a prosecutor will have to prove that not only was copyright violated, but that a conviction is necessary.
In other words, the judgment raises the bar - and makes it harder for someone to be convicted.
The judgment comes after three photographers were convicted in France for copyright infringement when pictures taken by photographers Olivier Claisse, Robert Ashby Donald and Marcio Madeira Moraeso at a fashion show were published on a website that charged others to use them.
French fashion houses have since 1968 had control over images taken at their shows, so the publication of the pictures was in breach of their copyright.
The photos were taken without permission of the fashion houses, and so the Paris court of appeal found the three in breach of the fashion houses' copyright. The photographers were ordered to pay damages totalling Euros 255,000, plus costs.
The three appealed, which was rejected in 2008. They were told that they could not rely on the exception in French copyright law which allows the reproduction of works.
They then appealed to Strasbourg, saying that their rights to freedom of expression and information had been infringed.
The EHCR found last month that the fashion show was a completely commercial undertaking and didn't have an important democratic function that needed to be protected.
A polite way of saying: Get Lost
Below is the whole of the Facebook response to the linking problem I mentioned on 8th. Don't rely on Facebook in any way is my advice. There are all sorts of social networking sites around
Thanks for taking the time to submit this report. While we don't currently provide individual support for this issue, this information will help us identify bugs on our site.
To get answers to common questions and help from other people on Facebook, visit:
The Facebook Team
Friday, February 08, 2013
My home page blocked by Facebook
http://jonjayray.comuv.com is my home page. But a couple of hours ago, I tried to post on FB something using this link:
And the post was blocked together with a warning saying that comuv.com is "spammy".
The same content is however also available here:
You can see why they blocked it. It is a swingeing criticism of Leftism. No free speech on FB it seems
I rarely post anything on Facebook. I mainly use it to keep track of friends. But this is disquieting. The haters are being their busy little selves, it appears.
I would be interested to hear if anybody else has had trouble accessing any of my stuff.
Can abuse on Twitter cause Applebees to back down?
Apparently, identifying details of the customer who refused to leave the requested 18% tip became known at an early stage -- so Applebees seem to have been justified in firing the person principally responsible for the publicity, which is presumably why they are not backing down. No company wants to expose its customers to ridicule, even if the customer is a bit "insensitive"
I don't like the custom of adding a tip to the bill. I think it should be left to the customer. It seems that the customer in this case thought so too. She seems to have thought that the service was maybe worth 10% but not 18%
I remember the days when a 10% tip was acceptable. In some places now 20% seems to be expected. Can 25% be far away?
US restaurant Applebee's embarrassing Facebook fiasco has become a case study for how to ruin your reputation on social media.
Last month the restaurant fired one of its waitresses after posting the receipt she received from a pastor on which was written her excuse for failing to tip on Facebook: "I give God 10%," she wrote, "why do you get 18?"
Applebee's claimed that the waitress violated the privacy of a customer and violated one of the terms of her contract.
Naturally, social media users did not take kindly to this and many an hour was spent criticising the company, posting comments on its Facebook page and raging about it on Twitter. One lawyer even offered to represent the waitress pro bono for wrongful dismissal.
One user wrote: "What happens on the internet stays on the internet. This was deleted by Applebee's shortly after this disaster went viral."
Another user wrote: "The internet has already recorded that you have no qualms posting the exact same customer information when it is good feedback and not a snide comment by a horrible person. When a lawyer gets wind of this, I would get ready to grab my ankles."
Had Applebee's been wise and kept its mouth shut that's where this may have ended. Well, probably not, but they might have escaped with their reputation not entirely in ruins.
Because on Saturday night it decided to respond to the continuing outrage by commenting on its own Facebook post at 2.53am: "We wish this situation didn't happen… Our franchisee has apologised to the Guest and has taken disciplinary action with the Team Member for violating their Guest's right to privacy".
Much more here
There is a rather passionate letter here which says Applebee's got it wrong. It appears that the customer concerned was responsible for identifying herself. That does put a somewhat different slant on it.
Thursday, February 07, 2013
Google claims victory in court battle with Australian watchdog over how its results are presented
This was a stupid prosecution from the beginning that has cost the Australian taxpayer a lot of money for no apparent reason. But the ACCC is something of a bully organization. Most businesses settle with them rather that wear the expense of court proceedings. Getting into the High Court was no strain on Google's funds, however
Internet search giant Google has won its legal battle with the consumer watchdog, after the High Court overturned a ruling that the company had engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission had taken legal action against Google over sponsored links its search engine delivered in response to searches for particular companies. The sponsored links took the user to the websites of rival companies.
The full court of the Federal Court found Google had engaged misleading and deceptive conduct by publishing these links.
Google appealed to the High Court which today unanimously found in its favour.
The High Court found that Google did not create the sponsored links and ordinary reasonable users of Google would have understood that the sponsored links conveyed the representation of advertisers, and Google's conduct was not misleading or deceptive.
John Swinson, technology partner with law firm King & Wood Mallesons, said the 5-0 judgment in Google’s favour, after it had previously lost 3-0 on an earlier appeal, would be welcomed by tech companies as it limits their liability for actions by users of their technology.
Google accused of racism after black names are 25% more likely to bring up adverts for criminal records checks
Black mothers DO often give their children fancy names and blacks ARE far more likely than whites to commit crimes of violence so the Google results are simply reflecting reality
Google has been accused of racism after allegedly linking names usually associated with black people to adverts related to criminality.
A Harvard University professor found 'significant discrimination' after comparing the adverts which appear when searching a typically black name compared with those for typically white names.
Findings showed that names typically associated with black people were 25 per cent more likely to bring up adverts related to criminality.
The study by Latanya Sweeney contrasted online searches using names such as 'Ebony' and 'DeShawn,' with those such as 'Jill' and 'Geoffrey.'
She found that adverts posted alongside search results for names likely to belong to black people were more likely to offer services like background checks for arrests and criminal records.
Searches using white-sounding names were less likely to result in advert results which suggested criminality, Professor Sweeney's research indicated.
While most names brought back adverts for public records, typically black names were much more likely to bring back those that included the word 'arrest'.
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
"Racist" to compare Ahmadinejad to a monkey?
I can see a definite resemblance, myself
Arizona Sen. John McCain is under fire as social media users are accusing him of racism after comparing the president of Iran to a monkey on Twitter.
'So Ahmadinejad wants to be first Iranian in space – wasn’t he just there last week?' wrote the one-time Republican presidential candidate before linking to a story about Iran launching a monkey into orbit.
McCain immediately went on the defensive when users accused him of being racially insensitive, posting: 'Re: Iran space tweet – lighten up folks, can’t everyone take a joke?'
It wasn't only liberals that were upset. Even Rep. Justin Amash, a Republican from Michigan, thought McCain had crossed the line.
'Maybe you should wisen up & not make racist jokes,' Amash tweeted at McCain.
The word 'monkey' could trigger readers to see the comment as racists because of its historical use to degrade people of color.
Australia: Conservative retracts Hitler comparison
But with regrettable self-righteouness, a Jewish Leftist politician refuses to retract a similar accusation. You can insult conservatives any way you like, you see
Liberal frontbencher Christopher Pyne has retracted comments he made over the weekend in which he compared the Government with a movie scene about the demise of Adolf Hitler.
Following the resignation of two senior ministers, Mr Pyne declared: "This Government is starting to resemble a scene from Downfall and the Prime Minister is presiding over a divided and dysfunctional Government."
His comments prompted demands for an apology from Labor frontbencher Mark Dreyfus, who described the remarks as deeply offensive.
"It is deeply hurtful to Holocaust survivors, it should be deeply offensive to any right-thinking Australian," he said.
"Certainly anyone who knows anything about Hitler's Third Reich, because that's what he's referring to, would know this is a disgraceful comment to make. "I call on him to withdraw it and apologise for it."
This morning, Mr Pyne said he was not suggesting the Prime Minister bore any resemblance to Hitler, but that the chaos in the Government was similar to a scene from Downfall.
"I'm not necessarily apologising to Mark Dreyfus - because his is confected outrage designed to get a headline," Mr Pyne told Sky News. "But if anybody else has taken offence at that, well of course I retract the statement."
He has called on Mr Dreyfus, who is Jewish, to apologise for comments he made in 2011 in which he likened Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's campaign against the carbon tax to Nazi propaganda.
"To call Tony Abbott Joseph Goebbels two years ago and not to apologise was an outrageous and sick thing to do and he should apologise for that," Mr Pyne said.
"I'm bigger than Mark Dreyfus, he can't apologise.
"Two years later he's still clinging to the idea that he was right and I'm quite happy to retract that statement if it clears the air. Mark Dreyfus should do the same."
But Mr Dreyfus says his comment was quite different because it was "very specific and targeted" to the propaganda techniques.
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
British Catholics going down the Muslim road
Being quick to take offence over mere symbols. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, apparently. Maybe they are on to something
Coffee and sandwich chain Pret A Manger has withdrawn its 'Virgin Mary' brand of crisps after a flurry of religious complaints.
The coffee-shop made the costly decision to pull the brand after campaigners on the Protect the Pope website pointed out the offensive crisps branding to its members.
Responding to the complaints, the religious website says Pret a Manger has 'apologised for any unintentional offence they have caused and have indicted that they will give any unsold crisps to the homeless'.
Keith Beech, a spokesman for Pret, confirmed to the mailonline that CEO Clive Schlee spoke with an organiser of the the Catholic charity group, apologised for any offence, and agreed to withdraw the brand of spicy tomato crisps.
Although he could not put a figure on the number of complaints received, Mr Beech said the launch and subsequent withdrawal of the brand happened all within a week..’
The catholic website was set up in the run up to Pope Benedict’s state visit to the UK in September 2010 'as a direct response to the unprecedented level of hostility, ridicule and ill-will from certain public figures, sections of the press and blogs against the Holy Father and the Catholic Church,' it says on the site.
The comment goes on to question what this incident says about how they defend their faith in the future. 'We’ve been passive for too long in the face of mockery of our faith and discrimination against us as Catholics. We can change things!'
Wash. state considers gender-neutral language bill
The old Leftist belief in verbal magic. They think that changing the word changes your attitude to what it represents: Childish and wrong
In Washington state, dairymen, freshmen and even penmanship could soon be things of the past. Over the past six years, state officials have engaged in the onerous task of changing the language used in the state's copious laws, including thousands of words and phrases, many written more than a century ago when the idea of women working on police forces or on fishing boats wasn't a consideration.
That process is slated to draw to a close this year. So while the state has already welcomed "firefighters," ''clergy" and "police officers" into its lexicon, "ombuds" (in place of ombudsman) and "security guards" (previously "watchmen,") appear to be next, along with "dairy farmers," ''first-year students" and "handwriting."
The final installment of Washington state's bill already has sailed through the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee with unanimous approval. The nearly 500-page bill has one more committee stop scheduled before full Senate debate.
Words like "manhole" and "manlock" aren't so easily replaced, he said. Substitutes have been suggested — "utility hole" and "air lock serving as a decompression chamber for workers." But Thiessen said those references will be left alone to avoid confusion.
Monday, February 04, 2013
Conservative’s Anti-Muhammad Ad Rejected by Detroit Transit System — But Can You Guess Which Ad Was Accepted?
Religious advertisements have been known to spark intense debate. Consider the anti-God billboards that are regularly posted by non-theist groups like the Freedom From Religion Foundation and American Atheists. But it isn’t only non-believers who invoke controversy with their messaging.
Pamela Geller and her American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) have also come under intense scrutiny for subway and bus ads that target Islamic extremism. Now, the AFDI is embroiled in a new battle over a proposed anti-Muhammad ad that was rejected this week by Detroit’s Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) bus system.
In an e-mail to TheBlaze on Tuesday evening, the AFDI president noted that, while SMART previously accepted an “anti-God” atheist ad from the Detroit Coalition for Reason (DCOR), the public transit company has rejected her organization’s ad. This is particularly interesting, seeing as the AFDI modeled its design almost entirely after the DCOR’s banner. “Our ad, same ad, with one word flipped, was rejected,” Geller told TheBlaze.
As you can see below, AFDI ad looks almost entirely similar to the aforementioned description. The only difference between the designs is that the word “God” is swapped out for “Muhammad,” the holy prophet in the Islamic faith.
In a letter that Geller forwarded to TheBlaze, CBS Outdoor’s Howard Marcus rejected the ad, citing a past legal battle that AFDI waged against SMART over a previous rejection.
Geller noted that her latest ad attempt was an effort to point out SMART’s “hypocrisy,” as the two parties are slated to head back to court. She said that the latest rejection does, indeed, showcase inconsistencies in how messaging is treated and pledged to “fight on.”
The AFDI is no stranger to legal battles, with the AFDI v. SMART case serving as only one example. Last year, New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority lost a separate legal battle over another ad and was forced to allow Geller’s group to post it following a judge’s ruling
Must not call Democrats Democrats
Deliberately misusing the noun form of a group’s name as an adjective is another too-cute way of giving offense while pretending to do nothing of the kind. Jewish food and Jewish doctor mean the same thing as Jew food and Jew doctor, but one version is intended to sting. This is the same schoolyard device many members of the GOP continue to use, with their endless variations on the term “Democrat party” instead of Democratic party, including George W. Bush‘s reference to the “Democrat majority,” and Bob Dole’s deathless “Democrat wars.”
Just why such a construction should be offensive at all is unclear—aside from the fact that it fails to honor the right any group should have to determine what it’s called. Zimmer thinks it may have something to do with the way the terms clang against the ear. “There’s a stress clash,” he says. “If you have two stressed syllables next to each other instead of having a non-stressed one between them it’s just harsher.” The -ish and -ic suffixes in effect serve as shock absorbers.
Sunday, February 03, 2013
Arab-American groups claim Coke Super Bowl ad is 'racist'
Must not suggest that Arabs are mostly losers. In fact, Arab countries would be nothing without oil money. They produce very little else
Arab-American groups have sharply criticized a Coca-Cola Super Bowl ad depicting an Arab walking through the desert with a camel, and one group said it would ask the beverage giant to change it before CBS airs the game on Sunday before an expected audience of more than 100 million U.S. viewers.
Coca-Cola released an online teaser of the commercial last week, showing the Arab walking through a desert. He soon sees cowboys, Las Vegas showgirls and a motley crew fashioned after the marauders of the apocalyptic 'Mad Max' film race by him to reach a gigantic bottle of Coke.
'Why is it that Arabs are always shown as either oil-rich sheiks, terrorists, or belly dancers?' said Warren David, president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, or ADC.
In its ad, Coke asks viewers to vote online on which characters should win the race. The online site does not allow a vote for the Arab character.
'The Coke commercial for the Super Ball is racist, portraying Arabs as backward and foolish Camel Jockeys, and they have no chance to win in the world,' Imam Ali Siddiqui, president of the Muslim Institute for Interfaith Studies, said in an email.
CBS declined comment. Coca-Cola spokeswoman Lauren Thompson said Coke took a 'cinematic' approach with the ad, employing the characters as a nod to movies of the past.
Must not diss veggies
Wootan says advertisements probably play a big part in America’s sports-fueled junk food obsession. This year, Taco Bell, promoter of the Taco 12-pack, even panned veggies in a Super Bowl ad, sneering that bringing “veggies on game day is like punting on fourth and one—it’s a cop out—and secretly, people kind of hate you for it.”
The fast food chain later pulled the ad and apologized after the CSPI and hundreds of people on Twitter protested that the last thing healthy fruits and vegetables need is to be the subject of attack ads.
“We love vegetables,” said Rob Poetsch, a spokesman, in a statement issued by Taco Bell. “In fact, each year we serve our customers more than 45 million pounds of tomatoes, 122 millions of pounds of lettuce, seven million pounds of onions and 412 thousand pounds of cilantro. When we realized the ad was misconstrued, we sided with the vegetables and pulled it.”
Eskimos living on a traditional diet eat practically no veggies. Why? Veggies don't grow well at the North Pole. Yet at any given age Eskimos have less heart disease (etc.) than do most others. So the importance of veggies is basically an
Incidentally, the people who are called Inuit in Canada are called Eskimos in Alaska
Friday, February 01, 2013
Murdoch sorry for Israel cartoon
RUPERT Murdoch has apologised for a “grotesque” cartoon carried in one of his British newspapers showing the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, building a wall with Palestinian bodies.
The acting editor of the Sunday Times, Martin Ivens, was due to meet members of the Jewish community in Britain on Tuesday to apologise after they made a formal complaint to media regulators.
The cartoon by Gerald Scarfe shows a scowling Mr Netanyahu waving a blood-covered trowel, laying bricks in a wall in which Palestinian men, women and children are trapped. Underneath are the words, ‘‘Israeli elections – will cementing peace continue?’’
Mr Murdoch said on Twitter Scarfe had “never reflected the opinions of the Sunday Times. Nevertheless, we owe major apology for grotesque, offensive cartoon.”
In a statement, Ivens said: “The last thing I or anyone connected with the Sunday Times would countenance would be insulting the memory of the Shoah or invoking the blood libel. The paper has long written strongly in defence of Israel and its security concerns, as have I as a columnist.
Hate speech from MSNBC: ‘Hateful Language’ Will ‘Kill’ the ‘Crazy Crackers on the Right’
Democratic strategist and MSNBC political analyst Karen Finney said Tuesday that the “hateful language” of the “crazy crackers on the right” will pose a huge thorn in the side of Republicans when it comes to courting Latino voters. She weighed in on an MSNBC panel:
"As in ’05 and ’06, the death knell for Republicans is the tone of this conversation. We had evangelical Latinos wanting to meet with Howard Dean at the DNC because — I’m just saying, that’s a shift! Point being, we saw in droves the Latino community moving over to the Democratic Party, largely because of the tone. And you even had Republicans [who were] Latino just disgusted with the tone.
So these guys have to be very, very careful. And the other thing these guys know is, those crazy crackers on the right, if they start with their very hateful language, that it’s going to kill them in the same way that they learned at their little retreat that let’s not talk about rape."
No one on the panel pointed out the irony of lamenting the “hateful language” of Republicans right before calling them “crazy crackers.”