Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Facebook does not consider the 'Lee Rigby deserved it' page 'hate speech'
Twitter is abuzz today over an offensive Facebook page titled, "Lee Rigby deserved it." Lee Rigby, who had served in the British Army for seven years, was brutally killed on May 22 in south-east London by Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, who ran the soldier down on the street and butchered him with a meat cleaver, attempted to decapitate him, while screaming "Allahu Akbar."
Rigby left behind a wife and young son. Many on the extreme left, such as the group, Unite Against Fascism (UAF), have sickeningly justified the attack, or at least diminished it. Last month, UAF members threw flowers which had been placed at a memorial for the slain soldier.
The Facebook page certainly falls into this category. The author declares: "He [Rigby] killed many people as a soldier directly or indirectly by supporting the Royal British Army, he deserved it. Great Britain is racist."
In a post today, the author of the page says in part: "Go away with your backward ideology, the troops of Great Britain are nothing but scum, they are the TOOL of your racist fascist government, which are used to massacre innocent babies, women, and men, every day, for the past 10 years..."
After numerous members of Twitter reported the page as offensive hate speech, Facebook responded with a message saying in part,
"We reviewed the page you reported for containing hate speech or symbols and found it doesn't violate our community standards on hate speech."
By contrast, blocking a Christian movie is rapid. And don't dare use words like "chigger" and "niggardly".
British man faces jail for calling Hove MP Mike Weatherley 'coward'
A university lecturer could be sent to prison for calling a city MP a “coward”. Alex Cline faces a two-day trial after a court heard Hove MP Mike Weatherley complained to police about the name-calling in November.
The incident took place during a protest at the University of Sussex. At the time, Mr Weatherley complained he and his staff had been pelted with rocks by “anarchists” before a planned debate on anti-squatting laws.
But during yesterday's hearing, Brighton Magistrates Court heard the only person charged with any offence was Mr Cline, for calling the MP a “coward”.
The 25-year-old faces one count of 'using threatening/abusive/insulting words/behaviour to cause harassment/alarm/distress'. He could be handed a maximum penalty of six months imprisonment, a fine of £5,000 or both.
Mr Cline denies harassing the MP or causing him alarm and distress.
Speaking after the hearing, Mr Cline's solicitor Lydia Dagostino said: “Mr Weatherley has probably been called worse in the Houses of Parliament. “We'll be vigorously defending this case and the defendant's right to free speech.
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Democracy versus the ACLU
A Tennessee courthouse this week unveiled the first of four “In God We Trust” signs, and one local pastor isn’t worried about what atheists think because Christians “have a right to the democratic process and majority rule.”
Earlier this year, the Anderson County Commission voted to put the county’s motto, “In God We Trust,” on the outside of the county courthouse, even though the move have been criticized by the Tennessee chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
“People of all faiths, as well as non-believers, should feel welcome in their government buildings,” ACLU-Tennessee Executive Director Hedy Weinberg said in a statement at the time. “The County Commission should focus on doing real work that represents the interests of all residents, not sowing the seeds of religious divisiveness in the community by challenging the fundamental founding principle that government must remain neutral when it comes to matters of faith.”
But during a February commissioners meeting, Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank’s husband, Lee Frank, echoed the views of many who dismissed concerns about the signs, saying, “We don’t need to deal with that ACLU crap here.”
And on Tuesday, the first of four signs was unveiled on the exterior of the courthouse. Each granite plaque weighs 170 pounds and has the words “In God We Trust” in gold leaf lettering.
About 175 people were on hand to celebrate the unveiling.
“Whether you agree with this or disagree with this, the democratic process took place,” Clinton Baptist Association Director of Missions Tom Byrge told Oak Ridge Today in a report published on Wednesday. “The majority of the U.S. citizens will continue to believe, and will not be ashamed to say, ‘In God We Trust.’”
Must not tell illegals to go home?
British Liberals heart illegal immigrants. Vince Cable is a prominent British Liberal
Vince Cable today attacked Tory colleagues for launching a 'stupid and offensive' crackdown on illegal immigrants and accused them of being obsessed with migration figures.
The Business Secretary said Immigration Minister Mark Harper's decision to send vans bearing the message 'go home, or you'll be picked up and deported' round London was designed to create fear among the public.
He rubbished 'misleading' targets to reduce net migration and insisted Britain did not have a 'vast problem' with illegal immigrants.
Mr Cable told BBC One's Andrew Marr Show the Liberal Democrats had not been consulted about the van campaign. 'It was stupid and offensive. I think it is very unlikely it will continue,' he said.
He questioned whether illegal immigrants would have enough of a 'sophisticated grasp of English' to be able to read the posters on the vans at a distance.
'I think it is offensive. It is designed, apparently, to sort of create a sense of fear (in the) British population that we have a vast problem with illegal immigration.
'We have a problem but it's not a vast one. It's got to be dealt with in a measured way dealing with the underlying causes.'
Monday, July 29, 2013
Must not abbreviate "Pakistani" in Britain
STEVE Elkington became the latest Australian sports figure to be at the centre of a racism row when the golfer insisted Saturday he'd no idea 'Pakki' was an abusive term as he apologised for offensive Twitter messages.
The 1995 US PGA champion is competing at the Senior British Open at the Royal Birkdale course in Southport, a coastal town near Liverpool in north-west England.
But Southport, often considered 'posh' in relation to Liverpool, many of its inhabitants and indeed the local cuisine all failed to meet with the 50-year-old Elkington's approval.
"Couple caddies got rolled by some Pakkis (Pakistanis), bad night for them'', Elkington posted Saturday.
This followed a Twitter post on Friday in which Elkington said: "Things about Southport -- fat tattooed guy, fat tattooed girl, trash, Pakistani robber guy, shit food.''
A statement in Elkington's name was issued 20 minutes after he teed off in a third round where he shot a one-over par 71 on Saturday in which the golfer explained he had no idea 'Pakki', more commonly spelt as 'Paki' and long regarded in Britain as a highly offensive term, was an objectionable word.
Sexism storm as Lord Coe says women teachers can't do PE lessons because they lack confidence
Lord Coe is Sebastian Coe, a former British Olympic runner
Lord Coe was plunged into a sexism row last night after saying that most women teachers lack the confidence to take PE lessons in primary schools.
The former London 2012 chairman blamed their failings on training colleges that offer only six to ten hours of sports tuition over two years.
Although he was simply highlighting research carried out by a sports charity, his comments drew an angry backlash.
‘It is entirely unacceptable to be peddling such sexist nonsense,’ said Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers.
‘I’m sure Jessica Ennis and all those other female Olympians would be outraged by such views. To imply that female primary school teachers don’t have as much ability as men to teach sport isn’t right.’
But Lord Coe, the Government’s Olympic legacy ambassador, insisted it was not a question of ability, but one of training. ‘I was shocked by how little they get,’ he said.
‘Eight out of ten teachers in primary schools are women. And this is not remotely pejorative but I think that something like 80 per cent of them said they just did not feel confident taking physical education.
Expecting feminists to listen to what he actually said was obviously too much
Sunday, July 28, 2013
Feds tell Web firms to turn over user account passwords
The U.S. government has demanded that major Internet companies divulge users' stored passwords, according to two industry sources familiar with these orders, which represent an escalation in surveillance techniques that has not previously been disclosed.
If the government is able to determine a person's password, which is typically stored in encrypted form, the credential could be used to log in to an account to peruse confidential correspondence or even impersonate the user. Obtaining it also would aid in deciphering encrypted devices in situations where passwords are reused.
"I've certainly seen them ask for passwords," said one Internet industry source who spoke on condition of anonymity. "We push back."
A second person who has worked at a large Silicon Valley company confirmed that it received legal requests from the federal government for stored passwords. Companies "really heavily scrutinize" these requests, the person said. "There's a lot of 'over my dead body.'"
A Microsoft spokesperson would not say whether the company has received such requests from the government. But when asked whether Microsoft would divulge passwords, salts, or algorithms, the spokesperson replied: "No, we don't, and we can't see a circumstance in which we would provide it."
Apple, Facebook, AOL, Verizon, AT&T, Time Warner Cable, and Comcast did not respond to queries about whether they have received requests for users' passwords and how they would respond to them.
Some details remain unclear, including when the requests began and whether the government demands are always targeted at individuals or seek entire password database dumps. The Patriot Act has been used to demand entire database dumps of phone call logs, and critics have suggested its use is broader. "The authority of the government is essentially limitless" under that law, Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat who serves on the Senate Intelligence committee, said at a Washington event this week.
If the government can read what you say even in a private email, that would have an immensely chilling effect on speech. Orwellian.
Military Chaplain in Trouble for Offending Atheists
A chaplain at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska was ordered to remove a religious column he had written titled, “No Atheists in Foxholes: Chaplains Gave all in World War II,” because it allegedly offended atheists serving on the Air Force base.
Lt. Col. Kenneth Reyes confirmed to Fox News that he wrote the original essay that appeared in his “Chaplain’s Corner” column on the base website.
Reyes recounted the origin of the phrase “There is no such thing as an atheist in a foxhole.” Father William Cummings has largely been credited with uttering the phrase in Bataan during World War II.
President Eisenhower referenced the phrase during a speech to the American Legion in 1954, noting “I am delighted that our veterans are sponsoring a movement to increase our awareness of God in our daily lives. In battle, they learned a great truth that there are no atheists in the foxholes.”
Reyes ended his essay with a reflection on faith.
“Everyone expresses some form of faith every day, whether it is religious or secular,” he wrote. “Some express faith by believing when they get up in the morning they will arrive at work in one piece, thankful they have been given another opportunity to enjoy the majesty of the day, or express relief the doctor’s results were negative.”
Reyes did not attack or insult atheists or non-believers in his column.
However, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation accused Reyes of going on an “anti-secular diatribe” and publicly denigrating “those without religion.”
The Air Force agreed and approximately five hours after the MRFF complained, they removed the chaplain’s essay.
Duffy did not respond to an email requesting information on the specific Air Force policies that the chaplain's essay violated. Ironically, the Air Force left six complaints about the essay on their website.
Crews said the incident is yet another example of chaplains facing attacks for expressing their religious beliefs.
“Chaplains have religious liberty as well to speak to issues,” he told Fox News. “Mr. Weinstein appears to want to silence any speech of faith in the military. It is a sad day for the Air Force and for our country when officers obey every command from Weinstein to silence even chaplains from talking about their faith.”
Saturday, July 27, 2013
Is it a "shit-pile" to mention the high rate of crime among young black males?
"Gawker" is a Leftist gossip site but they run a variety of media commentary and seem to make a profit doing so. Leftist capitalism!
They got their knickers in a knot over a recent column by V.D. Hanson in which Hanson referred to the danger of being victimized by black crime. They excerpt what Hanson said and then give their sophisticated, intellectual evaluation of it [/sarcasm]:
Hanson writes that his Democrat father warned him to be cautious of "a group of black youths" in San Francisco because that demographic was more dangerous:
The advice was not about race per se, but instead about the tendency of males of one particular age and race to commit an inordinate amount of violent crime.
It was after some first-hand episodes with young African-American males that I offered a similar lecture to my own son. The advice was born out of experience rather than subjective stereotyping. When I was a graduate student living in East Palo Alto, two adult black males once tried to break through the door of my apartment — while I was in it. On a second occasion, four black males attempted to steal my bicycle — while I was on it. I could cite three more examples that more or less conform to the same apprehensions once expressed by a younger Jesse Jackson. Regrettably, I expect that my son already has his own warnings prepared to pass on to his own future children.
That may not even be the worst part of the column, though we won't spoil the patently offensive kicker.
All together, it's quite a shit-pile.
It would appear, however, that even Gawker were eventually embarrassed by their inability to rise above mere abuse. The last sentence above has now been deleted!
Australia: Woman charged over anti-Islam stickers
"One Nation" is an anti-immgrant political party
A 26-year-old Kingston woman will appear in court on Friday charged over an anti-Islam sticker scandal that has embroiled One Nation's Fairfax candidate and lead to scathing criticism from the state government.
Earlier this month, a jar of coffee with its seal broken was allegedly found at a Woolworths supermarket at Underwood, south of Brisbane, featuring a sticker stating "Beware! Halal food funds terrorists".
The stickers can be purchased from Restore Australia, whose chief executive officer is One Nation candidate Mike Holt.
The Queensland One Nation candidate remains unapologetic for selling the stickers.
But Queensland Multicultural Affairs Minister Glen Elmes on Thursday condemned the merchandise as “offensive, grotesque and designed to inflame hatred”.
Mr Elmes said the candidate ran a racist website through which people were encouraged to purchase the stickers carrying the slogan and put them on food products in supermarkets. Doing so wasn’t “just racial discrimination”, Mr Elmes said, it was also vandalism.
“The full force of the law should be brought down on anyone found to be vandalising supermarket property and promoting racial discrimination through using the stickers,” he said.
Mr Holt has been selling an array of merchandise through his website, Restore Australia, for two months. But the Sunshine Coast politician denies he is inflaming racist sentiments.
"I am not perpetuating anything, anti-Muslim sentiment is real," he said.
"I wanted to raise awareness that people buy all this food in good faith and they are not being told almost everything has a Halal tax which goes to Muslim organisations."
It emerged Mr Holt was selling the merchandise when a 26-year-old woman was charged on Wednesday.
Mr Holt said he knew of the woman, a follower of Restore Australia, but did not condone her alleged actions.
The One Nation candidate, who is married to a Thai woman, denied he was racist.
"Of course I’m not racist, how can you be racist against a religion," he said.
Putting the stickers on supermarket goods is clearly a step too far but other usages are just another form of speech
Friday, July 26, 2013
Adult student censured for being 'Hot for teacher'
A university student suspended for writing an essay called "Hot for Teacher" has no First Amendment right to express his sexual attraction to his instructor, a judge said.
Joseph Corlett's lawsuit was dismissed by US District Judge Patrick Duggan, who ruled in favour of Oakland University in suburban Detroit.
When Corlett referred to his teacher as "'stacked' and graphically compared her to a sitcom character he fetishised in a writing assignment, he brought a pig into the parlor," Judge Duggan said.
"Such expressions, while possibly appropriate in some settings, need not be tolerated by university officials," the Judge said.
Corlett, 57, was suspended in 2012 after writing about his writing instructor. He compared her to the sexy starlet Ginger from the 1960s TV series, Gilligan's Island and described her as "tall, blonde, stacked," among other things.
"Kee-Rist, I'll never learn a thing. … I'll search for something unattractive about her. No luck yet," Corlett wrote.
He titled his essay Hot for Teacher, the name of a Van Halen song. Corlett said students in the English 380 class were told to write honestly and that no topic was off limits.
I think the judge in the matter pulled his verdict out of his ass. Where in the 1st amendment did he find that the student had "no right to express his sexual attraction"?
Are Facebook just thick?
It started yesterday, when SF author Michael Z Williamson was blocked by Facebook for 12 hours for using the word “chigger” in a post. When his twelve hours were up — following massive derision against Facebook by all his friends — his block expired. He was promptly blocked again.
I wrote the FB press address asking the following:
[Press contact], it appears Williamson has been blocked *again* for using the word “chigger”. I continue to be interested in this and expect to go to press with it tomorrow. I’d very much like to have Facebook’s response. I’d also like to ask
1. Is saying “chigger” really more offensive than the “Kill Zimmerman” page that Facebook refuses to remove? See this facebook search: https://www.facebook.com/search/str/Kill%20Zimmerman/pages-named
2. Is “chigger” really more offensive than the multiple uses of the ”n-word”? https://www.facebook.com/search/str/nigger/pages-named
3. What is Facebook’s procedure for dealing with reports of abuse? Are the people responding to the reports fluent English speakers in the case of reported pages in English?
Facebook responded to me as follows:
Mr. Williamson’s post was removed in error and once we were alerted of the mistake we worked quickly to rectify the situation. As our team processes more than one million reports each week, we occasionally make a mistake. We worked to rectify the error as soon as we were notified. We apologize for the inconvenience caused due to the removal of this content, and we have already taken steps to prevent this from happening in the future. Additionally, we have removed any blocks on associated accounts.
I’m glad they were able to resolve it on review. They unbanned me two hours early.
But wait, there’s more. Erin Palette was also blocked this morning, after Facebook responded to me, for the following bit of doggerel (reconstructed by Palette from memory, since Facebook of course removed it):
“I was once niggardly with a jigger full of chiggers. Tigger wanted that jigger with a vigor, but I refused. A Tigger with a jigger full of chiggers is a digger with rigor.” Something like that. Basically, all the silly words I could think of that rhymed with chigger.
English, Facebook, do you speak it? “Niggardly” is not a racist word, as a brief Googleing would indicate. Kindly grow a sense of humor along with a larger vocabulary.
Chiggers are a tiny mite with an irritating bite.
Thursday, July 25, 2013
'Hitler did not kill enough' Gypsies
Mentioning Hitler was egregious but Gypsies are a plague on any community where they are found so the anger is understandable
France's interior minister has called for a lawmaker to be "severely punished" after a journalist recorded him allegedly saying that Hitler may not have killed enough Roma.
Gilles Bourdouleix, a lawmaker and mayor of the western town of Cholet, reportedly muttered the words on Sunday as he confronted members of the travelling community who had illegally set up camp, according to a recording posted on the site of regional daily Courrier de l'Ouest.
"Maybe Hitler did not kill enough," Mr Bourdouleix is heard saying after the Roma had reportedly given him the Nazi salute.
Confrontations between French authorities and Roma - nomadic people widely known as gypsies who were killed in their hundreds of thousands by the Nazis - erupt frequently.
FBI Counterterror Ads Censored in Seattle
The pro-Islamic Left are so powerful that they can censor even the FBI
The Rolling Stone cover photo of Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been the subject of countless news stories because people across the ideological spectrum have rightly objected to this magazine's glorification of the Islamist killer. But an even bigger scandal is unfolding in Seattle, Washington, as radical Muslims working with members of the Democratic Party and the ACLU have forced the FBI to take down bus ads depicting photos of 16 of the world's Most Wanted Terrorists because some people may perceive the jihadists to be Muslims.
These ads could save lives by leading to the capture of deadly and dangerous terrorists with ties to foreign terrorist organizations.
The FBI had pointed out that Seattle, the first city in the United States targeted for the campaign, had a population "that travels and has connections internationally, which makes it an effective area for the pilot program," according to a local story about the decision to drop the ads.
The dropping of the ads can only reduce the possibility of some of these global terrorists being brought to justice.
Never one to avoid a fight with the global jihad and its lackeys, Pamela Geller of the American Freedom Defense Initiative is calling attention to the FBI's decision to cancel the bus ads after radical Muslim groups and "the politicians in their pockets" objected. "Please help us stand against this politically correct madness," Geller said. Her American Freedom Defense Initiative is raising money to put the ads back up on the buses.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
In God We Trust, just don’t tell Holder’s Justice Department
A Young Marines program run by the Bossier Parish Sheriff in Louisiana was notified that they would be denied future federal support of their program due to the Sheriff’s refusal to sign a pledge to the federal government that he would bar prayer or mentions of God in the program.
The program which has been a local tool for helping at risk youth become successful, productive members of society will now have to replace the $30,000 grant through private donations.
One section of the program’s oath that offended the Holder Justice Department states, “From this day forward, I sincerely promise, I will set an example for all other youth to follow and I shall never do anything that would bring disgrace or dishonor upon God, my Country and its flag, my parents, myself or the Young Marines. These I will honor and respect in a manner that will reflect credit upon them and myself. Semper Fidelis.”
One can only imagine the reaction if the Bossier Parish Sheriff had shown the audacity of having Young Marines sing “God Bless America” or for that matter the fourth verse of the National Anthem which includes the following “offensive” words, “Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserv’d us a nation! Then conquer we must, when our cause is just, And this be our motto: In God is our trust.”
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal argues that the Obama Administration attack on programs that mention God by withholding money that has our nation’s devotion to God emblazoned on it, is a wrongheaded view of our Constitution’s First Amendment.
Speaking about the issue at a Bossier Parish rally, Jindal explained, “The First Amendment guarantees us freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. It was written to protect people of faith from government officials, and we are going to hold on to that freedom.”
Incredibly, the DOJ made a choice based upon what was clearly a new interpretation of what was an appropriate theistic expression to punish at risk kids in Louisiana by taking away program funding.
Perhaps Congress which opens every session with a prayer, and uses taxpayer funds to pay a Chaplain for both the House and Senate will weigh into the debate on whether DOJ should deny at risk youth money or not.
In a town full of double speak, the debate from those supporting the DOJ position just might reach new heights in Capitol Hill hypocrisy.
Femen Icon Sparks Twitter Outrage
Only two days after Femen movement leader Inna Shevchenko was chosen as one of the inspirations for France's new official stamp, the controversial Ukrainian activist, known for her topless protests has sparked an outcry on Twitter for a July 9 tweet where she slams the holy month of Ramadan and Islam.
On July 9, Shevchenko tweeted: "What can be more stupid than Ramadan? What can be more uglier than this religion?"
On July 16, as Shevchenko was being subjected to an onslaught of criticism from the Twitter community, the inflammatory tweet was deleted -- "by Mohamed or by mistake, that is the same," she joked on her Twitter account.
Pascal Boniface, director of the Institute of International Relations and Strategies, a French Think Tank, called the Femen's tweet racist and hypocritical.
Islam is not a race. French Think Tanks apparently not good at thinking.
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Indonesian café owner sparks outrage after opening Nazi-themed restaurant complete with waiters dressed as SS officers
Indonesia is a Muslim country and "Mein Kampf" (Hitler's book) is a big seller in Muslim countries so this should not be a surprise
A restaurant owner in Indonesia whose Nazi-themed cafe is covered with Hitler memorabilia and staffed by waiters in Waffen-SS military uniforms is to be questioned by authorities.
Soldatenkaffee in the West Java provincial capital of Bandung has sparked outrage amongst tourists and locals for its red wall of Nazi-related memorabilia, including a large flag with swastika and a giant picture of Adolf Hitler.
Despite being open since April 2011, a recent article about its German fascist theme in a local English-language newspaper has prompted angry criticisms on social networking sites.
Now the deputy mayor of the popular tourist town has written to cafe owner Henry Mulyana summoning him to discuss his motives for opening the cafe and whether his objective was to incite racial hatred.
Mr Mulyana says he simply intended to attract business to his restaurant, and denies wanting to breed hatred.
He said: 'I'm just a businessman, not a politician. 'I have a right to design my restaurant with anything that attracts people to come. I'm sure that I'm not violating any laws.'
If he were American, SCOTUS would probably judge the restaurateur as being within his rights
Why Did Facebook Block Christian Movie?
Attempts to block conservative and Christian messages are getting really chronic
It's something of a social networking mystery. Why did Facebook block Kirk Cameron's upcoming faith-based movie, "Unstoppable"?
Cameron announced on his fan page Thursday that Facebook had blocked fans from posting any links to the website promoting his film because the content was labeled "abusive and unsafe."
"We have been officially shut down by Facebook and unable to get any response from them," Cameron wrote on his personal Facebook fan page.
After Cameron alerted more than 500,000 Facebook fans of his predicament, the social networking site removed the block - without any explanation.
"Unstoppable," which is expected in theaters in the fall, aims to answer questions about suffering and recounts the personal experience of a Cameron friend whose son battled cancer.
The film's website does not contain any graphic photographs, video or profanity. However, Cameron said he received a message from Facebook telling him the website's content was labeled as "abuse" and "unsafe."
Cameron told Fox News he learned of the block several days ago when he tried to post a link to his website and Facebook denied the request. Thinking it was a mistake, he tried it again.
"My web technician along with Sony Provident Films were trying as well on their Facebook pages but nobody could post the website address for my film," he said.
Cameron said they tried calling Facebook to find out why their content had been banned - but no one returned their calls. As a measure of last resort, he alerted more than 500,000 fans on his personal Facebook page.
My guess is that to some people Cameron is known for only one thing: He once criticized homosexuality. That is now the unforgiveable sin and the sinner is automatically cast out from polite society. Cameron's movie was judged by who he is, not what it is.
Monday, July 22, 2013
Must not use "Ethiopian" to mean "fast running"
Even though Ethiopians have a history of winning foot races. Haile Gebrselassie, Abebe Bikila, Meskerem Legesse and Lelisa Desisa are some famed Ethiopian runners
The BBC was last night facing another sports commentary controversy after veteran golf commentator Ken Brown was accused of making a racist comment on the British Open.
As Tiger Woods and Lee Westwood prepared to start the 12th hole, Mr Brown – who represented Europe in the Ryder Cup five times during the 1970s and 1980s – said: ‘This fairway runs like an Ethiopian chicken... it just runs.’
Last night dozens of people took to Twitter to voice their disgust at the outburst.
The 56-year-old has worked for the BBC for 20 years since retiring from golf in his 30s. The BBC did not respond to a request for comment. A BBC spokesman said: 'Ken apologises for his comments and any offence caused.'
Must not use Star of David as a symbol of Jewry
The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), an atheist-activist non-profit, is known for going after perceived violations of the separation of church and state. This in mind, the organization has a new target: a Holocaust memorial.
The group is combating the inclusion of a Star of David in a proposed statehouse monument that is being planned in Ohio. Its leaders’ opposition to the religious symbol is rooted in the belief that it would violate the separation of church and state.
A press release published on the organization’s website notes that architect Daniel Libeskind purposefully included the star, while other designs that almost made the cut did not have any religious sentiment included; the group noted that it was possible to select an entirely non-religious option.
The organization contends that non-Jewish groups, including homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, the disabled and others are left out by the inclusion of the star. In the end, though, the board approved the design on Thursday, despite the FFRF’s intense opposition.
Sunday, July 21, 2013
New Zealand cartoon accused of racism before Human Rights Commission
Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy has questioned the high threshold for a finding of racism after newspaper cartoons about the Government's breakfast in schools programme created a storm of controversy.
The cartoons, by award-winning cartoonist Al Nisbet, were printed in The Marlborough Express yesterday and The Press today.
The Marlborough Express cartoon featured a group of adults dressed in school uniforms heading to school with bowls in hands. Among them were a man and woman who looked to be Maori or Pasifika.
The man says to the woman, who has a cigarette hanging from her mouth: "Psst. If we can get away with this, the more cash left for booze, smokes and pokies."
Devoy told reporters she had seen The Marlborough Express cartoon and found it offensive and appalling.
"It continues to stereotype certain populations, and it continues to stigmatise people who live in poverty, particularly children," she said. The cartoons were stereotyping Polynesian people as spending their money on cigarettes and gambling, and "that is wrong".
The cartoons did not reach the level of racism within the commission's inquiries and complaints process. The threshold under the law was "very high" and was about inciting racial disharmony.
The Press editor Joanna Norris said the newspaper would not be apologising for a piece of comment that expressed a strong view.
The cartoon was offensive because it was broadly accurate. Maori do in general have poor delay of gratification and many (31%) depend on welfare payments. And they do have a lot of "parties" (drinking sessions). If the cartoon had portrayed Maori as rich bankers in top hats it would not have been offensive because it would not have been in any way accurate.
The cartoonist was actually using recognizable types in order to criticize a government program -- but the types were too recognizable, apparently
Mountain Dew Airs rather silly but allegedly Racist, Insensitive Ad
Mountain Dew has a bit of a publicity disaster on its hands after a highly controversial ad for the soft drink hit the internet this week. Many people are calling the commercial one of the most blatantly racist and insensitive commercials ever.
Mountain Dew, which is a PepsiCo. brand, hired hiphop star Tyler, The Creator to come up with an advertising idea for their campaign. The rapper is known for his off beat, highly provovative style, and it should come as no surprise that his foray into advertising would follow suit.
The commercial portrays a battered woman attempting to identify her assaulter (presumably her boyfriend) out of a lineup of stereotypically thuggish black men. A goat is in the middle of the lineup, and is threatening the woman not to snitch on him.
Some critics have already stepped forward to chastise the company for its blatant disregard for sensitive issues. Among other topics, the ad seems to make light over the serious issues of domestic abuse and racially biased incrimination.
Friday, July 19, 2013
"Sexist"? British politicians mock colleague's leopard-print outfit behind her back
Boisterous behaviour is traditional in the House of Commons
Senior Tory MPs mocked a former minister’s striking leopard-print outfit behind her back at Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday.
Cheryl Gillan, the former Welsh Secretary, was called to ask David Cameron about plans for the controversial HS2 high-speed rail line, which she bitterly opposes.
As she spoke, Keith Simpson, parliamentary aide to Foreign Secretary William Hague, was heard to make roaring noises while clawing the air like a big cat.
Former education minister Tim Loughton appeared to join in, prompting colleagues seated on adjacent benches to collapse in laughter.
Health Minister Anna Soubry was also seen scratching at the air, and Government whip Anne Milton joined in the merriment but then leant across to pat Mr Simpson on the arm and advise him to stop.
The joke appeared to be directed at Mrs Gillan’s choice of clothes, but also reflected colleagues’ boredom with her focus on the Government’s HS2 project. Since leaving the Cabinet in David Cameron’s last reshuffle, she has asked about little else.
Australia: Man kicked off NT bus because his Victoria's Secret model singlet was too sexy
A YOUNG man has been refused passage on a Darwin bus because the driver deemed his singlet to be too racy.
Twenty-two year old Daniel Willis attempted to board a bus with his girlfriend on Sunday afternoon but the driver told him he would not let him on "because you can't get on with that singlet".
Mr Willis' tank top depicts a Victoria's Secret model posing in her underwear, which he bought from a surf shop in NSW.
"It's not offensive - I'm a real beachy person and it's just a print on the front of a beachy singlet," he said. "No one has ever said anything bad about it before.
"Victoria's Secret models are on television and (billboards) all the time. Maybe (the bus driver) is living a bit in the past. It's the 21st century and times have moved on."
In the end Mr Willis and his girlfriend were forced to walk to their destination.
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Must not call a female stupid
Britain: William Hague was today forced to explain himself in the Commons after calling a Labour MP a ‘stupid woman’. The Foreign Secretary insisted he had never intended to cause any offence after mouthing the words during Prime Minister’s Questions.
As Labour MP Cathy Jamieson asked David Cameron about donations to the Tory party, Mr Hague was seen on the frontbench muttering 'stupid woman, stupid woman'.
Labour's Fiona O'Donnell later called on Speaker John Bercow to ensure ‘there are lines which [MPs] do not cross’ and urged Mr Hague to ‘apologise to ensure that his reputation, but also the reputation of this place, is not damaged by such behaviour.’
In response Mr Hague said: ‘I mutter many things in this House. Others shout them rather louder than I do but I mutter many things under my breath and I never intend any offence to any other honourable members.’
However, Labour tried to capitalise on the row, accusing Mr Hague of being sexist.
Doctors must use scientific language in talking to blacks
Too bad if blacks don't understand
A sports medicine doctor in Tennessee managed to be racist, sexist and condescending all at once, by giving a patient the diagnosis of 'ghetto booty.'
55-year-old Terry Ragland was experiencing some lower back pain, so she decided to get it checked out at Sports Orthopedics & Spine in Jackson, Tennessee - a clinic she had been to before when she had knee surgery.
After having x-rays taken, Dr. Timothy Sweo came in to tell Ragland his diagnosis. 'He said "I know what the problem is: It's ghetto booty"' Ragland told WREG.
He explained that he 'was trying to take a technical conversation regarding your lower back and make it less technical.'
But that comment only further enraged Ragland who felt that he was dumbing it down for her. 'It says to me that he doubts what type of intellect I have, how intelligent I am to be able to understand what he conveys to me in a medical term.'
He said he was trying to explain her condition - lumbar lordosis - which is the curve of the lower spine which makes the buttocks protrude more.
'In trying to explain that I said that she had ghetto booty and she didn't like that apparently. That was my attempt to explain why she had the back problem.'
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
British movie attracts first ever complaint after claim classic film encourages viewers to play on train lines
For more than 40 years, families have gathered to watch movie classic The Railway Children, with adults trying to hide their tears at the heart-warming tale.
Now ratings body the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has received its first complaint about the U-rated movie.
But the moment which got the viewer steamed up was not when Jenny Agutter gasps ‘Daddy, my Daddy!’, prompting uncontrolled sobbing – it was the fear that the movie could encourage youngsters to play on railway lines.
But the BBFC, which has classified movies for a century, says the film illustrates the dangers clearly and is set in a very different time.
The 1970 film, which stars Miss Agutter, Bernard Cribbins and Dinah Sheridan, has been a festive favourite for many years and is widely regarded as one of British cinema’s treasures.
Based on the E Nesbit novel, it was filmed on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway – masquerading as the Great Northern and Southern Railway – and chronicles the adventures of three children forced to move from London to Yorkshire when their father is imprisoned after being falsely accused of selling state secrets.
The complaint about the footage is revealed in the BBFC’s annual report, which notes: ‘The correspondent was concerned that children may be encouraged to play on railway tracks as a result of seeing the film.
‘While aware of the real dangers of such behaviour, the BBFC judged that it was very unlikely that The Railway Children would promote such dangerous activity.
Outspoken Italian senator
A senator from Italy's anti-immigration Northern League has come under fire for saying Cecile Kyenge, the country's first black minister, resembles an orangutan.
Prime Minister Enrico Letta said the remark by Senator Roberto Calderoli on Saturday was "unacceptable".
"I love animals... but when I see pictures of Kyenge, I cannot help thinking of similarities with an orangutan," he was quoted as saying at a party meeting in the northern city of Treviglio.
The remark went viral in social media, sparking widespread denunciation.
Khalid Chaouki and Gianni Cuperlo, two lawmakers from the centre-left Democratic Party, demanded the resignation of Mr Calderoni, who is deputy speaker of the Senate.
Mr Calderoli is famous for his provocative comments and actions. In 2006, he was forced to resign from the government of then prime minister Silvio Berlusconi after wearing a T-shirt printed with cartoons mocking the prophet Mohammed.
He doesn't seem to be backing down, either. Political correctness does not seem to come easily to Italians so incorrectness is tolerated more there than elsewhere. His perception of Africans as similar to other primates was once common.
Monday, July 15, 2013
Must not compliment a woman on her figure
Britain: A grandfather and veteran councillor has been reprimanded by council bosses for making what was claimed to be a ‘sexist’ remark about a colleague’s figure.
Mel Winter, 71, was carrying a cup of coffee in each hand when Labour councillor Hailey Townsend, 29, asked if he wanted her to open the door for him at their council HQ.
Mr Winter replied: ‘With a figure like that, you can hold the door all day.’
Offended, Mrs Townsend reported the remark to senior council officials.
Mr Winter was summoned by council legal director Andrew Jolley and warned about his behaviour.
Mr Winter, who has been an independent councillor in Bridgend, South Wales, for 30 years, said: ‘It is a sad day when you can’t make a compliment to a lady.
‘I think of myself as a gentleman and I get on with most women, young and old. ‘I was passing her a compliment in good faith and in a light-hearted manner.
Outspoken British broadcaster not apologizing
She has infuriated the nation by saying that ginger babies are harder to love, that she wouldn’t hire fat people or let her children play with youngsters named Chardonnay or Tyler.
But outspoken Katie Hopkins maintains that she has done nothing wrong and that if she is the most hated woman in Britain, then it's everyone else's fault and that our country has lost perspective.
According to The Mirror the former Apprentice star says that she is acting as a mouthpiece for all women who secretly agree with her but are too afraid to speak out.
She believes that when people hate her, it’s simply because she has hit on something that relates to them and maintains that her approach is 'refreshing' and believes it's important for people to have their own point of view.
Katie found herself at the centre of a storm over her comments on ITV1's This Morning programme that she wouldn't want her children playing with children with names like Tyler and Charmaine as they were likely to be from a certain class.
Asked about popular baby names on ITV’s This Morning show on Wednesday, Miss Hopkins began to criticise ‘lower class’ children with names like Chantelle, Charmaine, Chardonnay and Tyler.
‘I think you can tell a great deal from a name,’ said mother-of-three Miss Hopkins, 38. ‘For me, there’s certain names that I hear and I think “urgh”. ‘For me, a name is a shortcut of finding out what class a child comes from and makes me ask: “Do I want my children to play with them?”
Katie sticks to her guns and says that you have to be honest with people or they will never do anything about it.
Stirring up even more controversy on Twitter last week, she wrote: 'Ginger babies. Like a baby. Just so much harder to love.'
Then she went even further with her thoughts on ginger-haired people in an interview with OK! magazine.
Asked if her two daughters India, nine, and Poppy, seven, were ginger, she said: 'Oh no, they're definitely brown. We don't have a ginger in the family.
'That was the first question I asked when I gave birth to Max (her son aged four): "Is he ginger?" 'There's nothing worse than a ginger boy especially in the young years.'
She concludes by saying that she doesn't regret any of her comments and will only apologise if she had said something that upset someone in a way that she didn’t intend.
Sunday, July 14, 2013
San Francisco plane crash: TV station apologises for broadcasting fake racially offensive pilot names
A San Francisco Bay Area TV station has apologised after reporting bogus names of the four pilots aboard Asiana Airlines flight 214, names that were crude and racially offensive.
KTVU-TV co-anchor Tori Campbell read the fake names on the air on Friday. The report was accompanied by a graphic with the made up names listed alongside a photo of the burned out plane. The prank names were: Captain Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk and Bang Ding Ow.
After a break, Campbell apologised for the error. She said a National Transportation Safety Board official confirmed the names to the station.
Paul Cheung, president of the Asian American Journalists Association, released a statement saying KTVU's reporting of the names was "not only wrong, but grossly offensive." The phoney names caricatured Asian names, said Cheung, who also is interactive and graphics editor for The Associated Press.
Jokey Asian names have been around for at least a century but all jokes are perilous these days. Nobody was personally insulted in the episode above.
Friday, July 12, 2013
Storm in a teacup (1)
The two reports below concern the Federal leader of Australia's Left (Rudd) and the Federal leader of Australia's conservatives (Abbott). In both cases, normal words and actions have been blown up as something outrageous.
The current tendency to seize on trivia as cause for criticism would seem to inhibit all spontaneity. No wonder politicians get a reputation for not saying what they really think or really intend to do. Anything but meaningless bromides could well "offend" someone
OPPOSITION leader Tony Abbott has come under fire after telling a female journalist to calm down when questioned on claims for travel expenses he was asked to repay following his Battlelines book tour.
Guardian Australia journalist Bridie Jabour was seeking a comment from Mr Abbott at a pie factory press conference this morning when the incident occurred.
Mr Abbott, who was accompanied by Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey, was more than happy to don a cap and white coat in one of his trademark shopfloor photo ops but he was less willing to answer questions on the expenses he was forced to repay that were incurred while promoting his book Battlelines.
Ms Jabour's response on Twitter later was short and sweet. All i have to say is: Calmer than you are. #biglebowski #calmdownbridie
The hashtag created by Ms Jabour in response, #calmdownbridie, was Tweeted almost 2000 times over the course of the day. The episode culminated in globally renowned ‘God’ account @TheTweetOfGod tweeting Abbott: “Attention @TonyAbbottMHR: this is God. Calm down, sweetie.”
The God user has 833,000 followers on Twitter while Abbott struggles along with 140,000 followers. Kevin Rudd? He has more followers than God, with almost 1.3 million.
Storm in a teacup (2)
FOOTAGE of Kevin Rudd patting the head of a disabled woman has left a disability advocate "shaking with rage".
Comedian Stella Young, who is also a disability campaigner, said the PM's behaviour showed Australians had a long way to go to change patronising and disrespectful attitudes.
The clip, part of a story on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) on ABC's 7.30 Report on Tuesday night, showed Mr Rudd posing for a photo with a woman in a wheelchair before patting or ruffling her hair.
Ms Young says disabled and short-statured people are considered cute or a novelty and aren't treated with the dignity and respect afforded to others. "When you face those attitudes on the bus or on the train or at the supermarket, it's pretty awful," Ms Young said. "But when you're faced with these attitudes by the prime minister of the nation, it's absolutely gobsmacking."
She said Mr Rudd's actions were probably unintentional, but was surprised he hadn't been briefed on how to interact with disabled people. "If you could show me video evidence of Kevin Rudd patting the head of an adult non-disabled woman, I'll eat my words," Ms Young said.
"(But) can you imagine him patting one of his female parliamentary colleagues on the head? Absolutely not. A woman in his local community? I don't think so."
Changing patronising and condescending attitudes is as important as improving physical access for disabled people, Ms Young says.
Thursday, July 11, 2013
Must not mention that blacks are dark or that Asians have slanty eyes
Reality is no excuse
CBS has folded to resounding public outcry over several Big Brother houseguests’ controversial and racist comments. Viewers and subscribers of the uncensored 24-hour live feeds on CBS.com pressured the network to address the cast’s comments, which caused two houseguests to be fired from their day jobs.
On the July 7 episode, CBS aired a segment spotlighting the derogatory remarks of the worst offenders, houseguests Aaryn Gries and GinaMarie Zimmerman.
Gries is seen speaking behind houseguest Helen Kim’s back, telling Kaitlin Barnaby that Kim, an Asian-American, should “go make some rice,” to which Barnaby responded, “That is rude.” Other Gries comments included: “I look, probably, like a squinty Asian right now.”
Zimmerman, who lost her job last week because of her offensive statements, was briefly exposed for making a racist comment about Candice Stewart, an African-American. She is shown telling Gries that Stewart is on the dark side ”because she’s already dark.”
Bible message illegal in London
As crowds swelled in the streets of Wimbledon, London, to watch the famed tennis tournament July 1, Tony Miano stood preaching out of his worn Bible to anyone who would listen. A former Los Angeles County deputy sheriff, Miano now spends his time evangelizing outside of abortion centers and on the street while carrying a cross. He worked for Ray Comfort’s street evangelism ministry until last year and writes for the blog Cross Encounters.
Last Monday afternoon, he preached on 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12, calling on people who have engaged in sexually immoral lifestyles—lust, premarital sex, and homosexuality—to repent.
After 25 minutes, local police cut Miano off and took him into custody. An offended woman had called to complain about the preaching and while street preaching is not illegal—Miano had been preaching for a week already—his offensive message was.
According to London law, anyone who engages in homophobic speech that offends others can be arrested. After questioning the woman, police arrested Miano for breaking Public Order Act Section 5, which prohibits anyone who “uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior … within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress thereby.”
The police finished by asking Miano if he thought he had done anything wrong—he said no—and whether he would continue preaching if released, to which Miano answered yes. The police then decided to press charges, telling Miano he likely would spend the night at the station, face a magistrate, and would need to plea for his case.
But an hour later, the inspector changed the decision and opted to release him without any further action. After seven hours, Miano walked free. He documented the experience later in a video: “By God’s grace, I was released with no further action”
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
News outlets reject pro-life ad for being “too controversial”
What’s so controversial about a baby? When Heroic Media wanted to place an ad in major newspapers like USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune to argue for a ban on late-term abortions, they didn’t include any graphic photos of aborted babies, or what abortion mills like Planned Parenthood call “products of conception” or “POCs.” Instead, it just shows a child at roughly 20 weeks gestation resting in the hand of an adult, which gives readers some badly-needed context about late-term abortions.
No problem, right? After all, our media has no trouble selling ad space for lots of pictures of babies, asleep and awake, for products from diapers to car tires to on-line investment firms. Suddenly, though, a baby to sell the concept of protecting human life is too controversial
“I am disturbed that these papers would run article after article promoting the notion that abortion is a victimless act without consequences,” Young said. “The fact remains, children who are unique individuals – never again to be duplicated – are being killed in the most violent way imaginable and they feel the excruciating pain of that death.”
“It seems as though it is okay to talk about the issue in general, but when you actually put a face to the discussion, then it becomes controversial,” Young said.
Democrat old bull wants to dilute freedom of the Press
Sen. Dick Durbin thinks it’s time for Congress to decide who’s a real reporter. In The Chicago Sun-Times last week, he wrote: “Everyone, regardless of the mode of expression, has a constitutionally protected right to free speech. But when it comes to freedom of the press, I believe we must define a journalist and the constitutional and statutory protections those journalists should receive.”
How do you decide who is a journalist? Essentially, he says, it’s someone who gets a paycheck from a media organization: “A journalist gathers information for a media outlet that disseminates the information through a broadly defined ‘medium’ — including newspaper, nonfiction book, wire service, magazine, news Web site, television, radio or motion picture — for public use. This broad definition covers every form of legitimate journalism.”
Does it really? Everyform? Because, as I write this, most of the information I’m getting from Egypt is being tweeted and blogged by Egyptians and American expats in Egypt. The media organizations are usually hours behind.
Personally, I think a journalist is someone who’s doing journalism, whether they get paid for it or not.
I wouldn’t trust Durbin (or most of his Senate colleagues) to baby-sit my kid. I certainly don’t trust them to decide who counts as a “real” journalist — and, more importantly, who doesn’t.
Tuesday, July 09, 2013
This weekend, tragedy struck. Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crashed in San Francisco. Over 180 people are injured, and two are dead. Nineteen passengers are still hospitalized, with six still in critical condition. Two thirds of the passengers were Asian, which is why the Chicago Sun-Times's headline is angering some online.
There is, of course, a long tradition of mocking Asians—especially Chinese as well as Japanese—by not differentiating between "L" and "R" sounds in English. Case in point: the "fried rice" scene in Lethal Weapon 4. For many, the headline appeared to perpetuate the stereotypical Asian accent.
"First, its pretty sick to use a play on words in a headline for a tragedy," wrote AsAmNews. "Secondly, this one’s pretty racist."
Some commenters on AsAmNews agreed that it was racist, with one even calling it a "sick joke". Others seemed to think it was simply in poor taste and unintentionally showed bad judgment while covering the crash. It felt oddly reminiscent of ESPN's "Chink in the Armor" headline.
Sun-Times Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Jim Kirk told the Asian American Journalist Association that his staff didn't even think about how the headline could be perceived as insensitive.
"There was nothing intentional on our part to play off any stereotypes. ...If anybody was offended by that, we are sorry," Kirk told AAJA. "We were trying to convey the obviously frightening situation of that landing."
All jokes are risky these days
French mayor facing five years in prison for saying he would rather 'go to the gallows' than marry two gay men
A French mayor could face five years in prison after saying today that he would rather 'go to the gallows' than marry two gay men. Jean-Michel Colo, who officiates near the south-western city of Bayonne has refused to wed Jean-Michel Martin and Guy Martineau-Espel.
The couple are now suing the mayor for discrimination, claiming that Mr Colo is breaching the same-sex marriage law which came into force across France last month.
The dispute is now set to provide a test case for the new marriage law which has proven divisive in France and has already seen thousands take to the streets to protest.
Mr Colo, 60, has been mayor of the small village of Arcangues, in the Pyrenees-Atlantiques department, for the past three decades. He now risks five years in prison and a fine of around £64,000 for his refusal to officiate at the wedding of Mr Martin and Mr Martineau-Espel, who are both in their 50s.
'For me, marriage is for a woman and man to have children,' said Mr Colo. 'I am not discriminating as a same-sex couple is sterile. It's a parody of equality, it's a big lie.'
Mr Colo added that he would rather 'go to the gallows' than back down on the vexed issue. He has argued there is a 'conscience clause' in the new legislation which allows public officials not to take part in gay marriages.
But Isabelle Duguet, the couple's lawyer, said she had filed a case against Mr Colo for discrimination and for refusing to carry out his official duties.
Monday, July 08, 2013
The sportswoman concerned is rather plain-looking so the broadcaster was probably echoing what many thought. Why is that wrong? Wouldn't it be better for everybody to accept reality?
BBC presenter John Inverdale provoked fury yesterday after making a disparaging remark about the physical appearance of Women’s singles champion Marion Bartoli.
Speaking on Radio 5 Live, he posed the question: ‘Do you think Bartoli’s dad told her when she was little, “You’re never going to be a looker?”’
Bartoli’s father immediately rushed to her defence and the BBC was forced to apologise.
Inverdale later tried to backtrack during the broadcast by saying: ‘We poked fun, in a nice way, about how she looks, but Marion Bartoli is an incredible role model.’
A BBC spokesman said: ‘We accept that this remark was insensitive and for that we apologise.’
So "gay" is now a term of abuse? I thought that "gay" was how homosexuals usually describe themselves! But Mr Gove is clearly doing a Canute. If people dislike the thing concerned, any word you use for it can become a term of contempt. You could start calling homosexuals sirophents and sirophent would soon become a term of contempt
Education Secretary Michael Gove yesterday declared war on the ‘utterly outrageous and medieval’ use of the word ‘gay’ as an insult.
He will study current laws to ensure they are ‘properly policed’ and could even ‘sharpen’ them in a bid to stamp out offensive homophobic language.
Mr Gove told a conference held by pressure group Stonewall that the Coalition was determined to protect gay pupils from being subjected to homophobic bullying at school.
He said that it was unacceptable to use the word ‘gay’ as abuse and named and shamed former Radio One Breakfast Show DJ Chris Moyles.
Mr Moyles was branded Stonewall’s ‘Bully of the Year’ at their annual awards ceremony in 2006 after he dismissed a ringtone, saying: ‘I don’t want that one, it’s gay.’
Hate speech laws in the UK are found in several statutes. Expressions of hatred towards someone on account of that person’s colour, race, nationality, religion or sexual orientation is forbidden.
Mr Gove said that the Coalition agreement had referred to the vital importance of tackling bullying , especially homophobic bullying, in schools.
He said this was a recognition that even as ‘prejudice in our society was in many ways receding there were some prejudices that remain remarkably and irrationally stubborn’.
One of these was the prejudice sometimes shown to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and to the young in particular.
Sunday, July 07, 2013
The Sydney Morning Herald ran an ad in today's racing section "The Form" promoting the radio station's sports program with the headline, "Another reason to let her go shopping this weekend".
You know, inferring that if the little woman goes shopping, her bloke'll be free to listen in peace, preferably in his shed, with a bottle of KB".
2UE's General Manager Chris Parker has apologised for the ad, saying, "we appreciate the advertisement has caused concern, and this was certainly not our intention".
Fried chicken takeaway called 'Hitler' opens in Thailand and comes complete with logo of Nazi leader in a bow tie
Do Thais have to care about a war that wasn't theirs? Do European affairs have to dominate the thinking of everybody else? I think it's up to them
Schoolchildren dressing up as Nazis and a billboard advert showing Hitler were just the start. Thailand's obsession with so-called 'Nazis chic' just won't go away - and now a fried chicken takeaway called Hitler - complete with a logo showing the Nazi leader in a bow tie - has opened its doors.
The bizarre restaurant opened last month in Thailand and images of it are doing the rounds on Twitter as shocked customers take photos of the offensive eatery.
The fascist dictator's head has been grafted onto the body of bow-tie wearing Colonel Sanders, the founder of KFC.
Londoner Andrew Spooner, who spotted the takeaway, tweeted: 'Very bizarre Hitler Fried Chicken shop in Thailand. I kid you not. Complete with pic of Hitler in bow tie.
Alan Robertson, 43, who lives in Bangkok, said: 'The place opened last month and nobody quite knows what to make of it.
'I went in for a bite last week and got some fried chicken, which was pretty good, and asked the guy behind the counter why it was called Hitler. 'He just shrugged his shoulders and said the owners had thought it was good image.'
Cartoon pandas, Teletubbies and Ronald McDonald have all been spotted on show around the capital Bangkok.
The craze has seen more and more teenagers strutting around in T-shirts bearing cartoonish images of the Nazi dictator.
In a particularly popular design, Hitler is transformed into a cartoon Ronald McDonald, the fast-food chain's clown mascot, sporting a bouffant cherry-red hairdo and a stern look.
On another T-shirt the Führer is shown in a lovely panda costume with a Nazi armband.
Friday, July 05, 2013
On Saturday I noted that a man who had written protests messages in sidewalk chalk outside a number of Bank of America branches faced up to a decade in prison for his actions. Thanks to a jury, though, that won’t be happening:
SAN DIEGO – A 40-year-old man was acquitted Monday of 13 misdemeanor vandalism charges that stemmed from protest messages written in chalk in front of three Bank of America branches in San Diego.
Jeffrey David Olson’s attorney argued during the trial — which garnered national attention — that his client was engaging in a legal protest and was not maliciously defacing of property.
Olson could have faced up to 13 years behind bars if convicted of all counts. Jurors began deliberating Friday.
Defense attorney Tom Tosdal argued that vandalism law required jurors to find something was “maliciously defaced.” “His purpose was not malicious. His purpose was to inform,” Tosdal said of his client.
Olson did not deny that he scrawled anti-bank messages and artwork outside the banks last year. His messages included “No thanks, big banks” and “Shame on Bank of America.”
Just days after multiple news outlets reported the story of a Texas teen jailed for making a sarcastic threat online, a Mississippi mother facing a nearly identical situation gave an exclusive interview to The Daily Caller News Foundation about her son’s lengthy incarceration.
Josh Pillault was arrested last October for threatening to kill people and destroy buildings. At the time of his arrest, he was 19-years-old, and an avid video game player.
The threats were made while he was playing “Runescape,” an online multiplayer fantasy game. Another player began antagonizing him, and eventually told him to kill himself.
Irritated, Pillault said he would kill not just himself, but also take out the local high school. He also mentioned Columbine — the name of an infamous school shooting — according to reports.
It was the response that the other player had been hoping for, according to Pillault’s mother.
“His gleeful last words to Josh were ‘Knock, knock!’ which is a reference to the feds he sent our way,” wrote Stacey Pillault in an email to TheDC News Foundation.
Federal authorities raided the Pillault home a few days later, arresting Josh. He has been in jail ever since.
His lawyer argued that the threat was “idle or careless talk, exaggeration or something said in a joking manner.”
Josh possessed none of the materials he would need to carry out such an attack, nor was there any good reason to believe he was serious, said his mother.
“His doctors have said he wouldn’t hurt himself or anyone else,” she wrote. “We actually have teachers who were willing to testify that they knew it wasn’t a true threat as soon as they found out it was Josh. Even his fellow inmates and guards have commented on how they can’t believe he is still in there.”
Josh turned 20 in December — behind bars. As of next week, his incarceration will have lasted 9 months.
Thursday, July 04, 2013
Would they have told a Jewish student to remove a yarmulke? Would a Muslim girl have been expected to remove her head scarf? Would that gay kid have been told to remove a rainbow pin on his shirt collar? No, no, and no. That makes the matter crystal clear.
A Sonoma State University student was ordered to remove a cross necklace by a supervisor who thought other students might find it offensive, in a case that prompted even one campus official to speculate that “political correctness got out of hand.”
Audrey Jarvis, 19, a liberal arts major at the northern California university, said she had no choice but to seek a “religious accommodation” in order to wear the cross. Her lawyer said she deserves an apology, and the school seems ready to oblige.
Jarvis was working for the university’s Associated Students Productions at a June 27 student orientation fair for incoming freshmen when her supervisor told her to remove the two-inch-long cross necklace, according to Sasser.
Sasser said the supervisor told her that the chancellor had a policy against wearing religious items and further explained “that she could not wear her cross necklace because it might offend others, it might make incoming students feel unwelcome, or it might cause incoming students to feel that ASP was not an organization they should join.”
Jarvis said she is a devout Catholic and she wears the cross as a symbol of her faith in Christ.
“I was offended because I believe as a Christian woman it is my prerogative to display my faith any way I like so long as it is not harming anyone else,” she said. “I was very hurt and felt as if the university’s mission statement – which includes tolerance and inclusivity to all – was violated.”
The university has apologized but will not disclose what they said to their intolerant employee
Comedian Steven Crowder is known for his comical — and, often times, edgy — viral videos. Keeping up with current events as he typically does, the performer posted a video on Facebook last week surrounding the George Zimmerman trial. Little did he know that the social media platform would inevitably ban the clip, citing a “hate speech” violation.
Before we get into the specifics of the removal, let’s first take a brief look at the video, which meshes media footage from Rachel Jeantel’s testimony in the much-covered court trial with Crowder’s perspective on her comments.
If you’ve been paying attention, you know that during questioning, Jeantel made some curious and noteworthy comments. When asked about whether Trayvon Martin might have lied to her, she said, “That’s real retarded, sir. That’s real retarded to do that, sir” — a response many found quite odd. Then there was Jeantel’s refusal to admit that the term “creepy a** cracker” was a racial statement.
Crowder took these moments and ran with them, poking fun in the viral video in question, which he titled, “‘Retarded’ Racist Zimmerman Trial Witness.” In assessing footage of Jeantel making these statements, the comedian made numerous quips that were laden with sarcasm about how “creepy a** cracker” obviously isn’t racist because white people use it all the time as a term of endearment.
Wednesday, July 03, 2013
In the state of Texas, a 19-year-old man named Justin Carter sits in prison, ruthlessly stripped of his freedom for making an offensive joke. After a Facebook friend with whom he played video games described him as “crazy” and “messed up in the head,” Carter replied — sarcastically, one imagines — “Oh yeah, I’m real messed up in the head, I’m going to go shoot up a school full of kids and eat their still, beating hearts.”
He added “lol” and “jk” for good measure. For this he was arrested by Austin police, charged with making a “terroristic threat,” and thrown into prison. He may languish there until the start of the next decade.
Tuesday, July 02, 2013
Anyone familiar with the work of Fox News Radio’s Todd Starnes would recognize the inspiration behind the thoughts that he recently posted on Facebook. They’re steeped in the events of recent weeks and express contempt for certain currents of opinion:
“I’m about as politically incorrect as you can get. I’m wearing an NRA ball cap, eating a Chick-fil-A sandwich, reading a Paula Deen cookbook and sipping a 20-ounce sweet tea while sitting in my Cracker Barrel rocking chair with the Gather Vocal Band singing ‘Jesus Saves’ on the stereo and a Gideon’s Bible in my pocket. Yes sir, I’m politically incorrect and happy as a June bug.”
According to Fox News Insider, that message got Starnes banned from Facebook. The site sent him this message: “We removed this from Facebook because it violates our Community Standards. So you’re temporarily blocked from using this feature.” A Facebook spokeswoman confirmed the blocking.
Those “Community Standards” are found right here. They outline 10 no-no areas for Facebook users: violence and threats, self-harm, bullying and harassment, hate speech, graphic content, nudity and pornography, identity and privacy, intellectual property, phishing and spam and security.
Unless Facebook covertly added another category — say, “conservative defiance” — The Erik Wemple Blog cannot ascertain which particular rule Starnes’s post defied. After all, the commentator didn’t say that he was sitting “naked in my Cracker Barrel rocking chair,” complete with photograph of the scene. That would have violated the “nudity and pornography” prohibition. Nor did Starnes publish secret Chick-fil-A recipes, which could have put him in contravention of the “intellectual property” provision. And hey, if his post looked like “hate speech,” well then our national dialogue is far less courteous than we thought.
And later, after further review, Facebook realized it overstepped. From a Facebook spokeswoman:
“As our team processes hundreds of thousands of reports each week, we occasionally make a mistake. In this case, we mistakenly removed content from the Todd Starnes Page, and worked to rectify the mistake as soon as we were notified. We apologize for the inconvenience caused due to the removal of this content, and we have already taken steps to prevent this from happening in the future. Additionally, we have removed any blocks on associated accounts.”
The whole convoluted story is here and here but it is rather hard to follow so I will summarize:
The head of department store chain Myer, Bernie Brookes, said a new levy to support the national disability scheme would be bad for business and bad for the workers.
Even the HRC couldn't see how they could brand that criticism as "discrimination" but they are deeply in love with "disability" so they had to stick their oar in. So in response, disability commissioner Graeme Innes -- an employee of the HRC -- started a campaign against Myer and Mr Brookes, accusing Myer of not hiring enough disabled people. They had no reply to what he said about the tax but they wanted to get at him so they picked on another issue in an attempt to embarrass him.
Brookes and Myer have asked for the HRC to disown the Innes campaign but the HRC is not backing down. It is pure abuse of bureaucratic power in furtherance of a political cause.
Myer have now asked the political boss of the HRC to intervene but that won't happen. They are just trying to put the HRC on the spot and neuter the Innes campaign as pure politics and they have done that. There is only so much that a business under attack from a predatory bureaucracy can do -- particularly when that bureaucracy is the one entrusted with enforcing high standards of speech and behaviour!
The old bag who runs the HRC, Gillian Triggs, (Pic below) should be ashamed of herself. She may object to me calling her an old bag but if she is happy with the standards displayed by her organization, I am happy with my standards.
Monday, July 01, 2013
Must not question Leftist journalists?
I have put up below a bigger excerpt of an article than I normally would because the argument it presents does depend on detail. The author, Paul McGeough, a senior journalist on a major Left-leaning paper, is defending Glenn Greenwald.
Greenwald is a Leftist journalist with whom I sometimes agree. He does defend the individual rather well on some occasions. He has become particularly prominent for his revelations about domestic spying by Uncle Sam. Conservative opinion is split over whether those revelations are a good thing or not.
Some people who disapprove of Greenwald have "dug dirt" on him -- published revelations about Greenwald's past that are a bit dubious. In my view Greenwald has replied to that "dirt" effectively, but McGeough wants to add to that defence.
But his argument is ludicrous. He portrays the oppression practiced by the Islamist regime in Turkey as being the same as the attacks on Greenwald. A few journalists questioning the past of another journalist is equivalent to riot suppression by an authoritarian government? McGeough is in fact attacking freedom of speech about other journalists. He is the one attempting to suppress speech, not Uncle Sam
What we have seen by way of press freedom in Turkey is what separates the unenlightened from the civilised. Sad to report, what we've seen by way of press freedom in the US this week is not so far removed - save perhaps for the manner of execution. In the States, shooting the messenger is more Wall Street-esque than it is Mafia-like.
First, Turkey. Proof that the Turkish media is cowed is obvious in a collective decision to virtually ignore anti-government protests raging for the past month — and the savagery of their dispersal by security forces. As Taksim Square erupted in the most fierce challenge to Erdogan in his 10 years in office, CNNTurk pressed on, fearlessly staying with its scheduled program — a penguin documentary.
Now, the US. The objective is the same, but the manner of delivery is, ah, somewhat finessed.
Take the treatment of The Guardian's Glenn Greenwald, the journalist behind sensational leaks on Washington's classified domestic and international phone and internet surveillance.
Greenwald figured they'd come after him. And then he got the email from the New York Daily News and a call from The New York Times — clearly, someone had been going through the trashcan of his life.
Never mind the enormity of the issues thrown up by the release of the most sensitive classified documents held by the National Security Agency or the drama of Washington's flailing efforts to have foreign governments detain the super leaker Edward Snowden and to return him to the US.
No, the New York papers just had to talk to him about a company in which Greenwald had sold out to his partners all of nine years ago. Among other things, it distributed adult videos. Get that down, now. Key words — "adult videos"; connotations — deviant, kinky, not one of us.
Then there was an unpaid tax liability from the winding up of Greenwald's legal practice, still the subject of negotiations between his lawyers and the IRS. Connotations — tax evasion; perhaps fraud. Oh, and more than a decade back Greenwald defaulted on a student loan — now covered by a payment plan agreement. Connotation — irresponsible, rides on coattails of law-abiding citizens.
Greenwald writes: "I'm 46 years old and, like most people, have lived a complicated and varied life. I didn't manage my life from the age of 18 onwards with the intention of being a Family Values US senator. My personal life, like pretty much everyone's, is complex and somewhat messy."
Proud and all as Americans are of the first amendment, at times like this it can be reduced to a decorative nuisance.
In Turkey, you see Erdogan and his bovver boys coming — they come through the front door. But when it comes to shooting the messenger in the US, they use the backdoor and a silencer … and they find a grubby colleague of the targeted journalist to pull the trigger. Saddest of all is how there's always a media volunteer to act as would-be character and career assassin.
In the end, McGeough is just another anti-American Leftist whiner but a lot of people read his stuff so it would seem to deserve a reply. And it is always amusing how consistently the Left believe in free speech for Leftists only.
DOJ Bans ‘Unwelcome Speech’ on Montana Campus -- and Wants to go Nationwide
In May, the Obama administration reached an agreement with the University of Montana after the Department of Justice investigated it for improperly handling “sexual harassment” cases.
Yet it appears the measures put forward in the agreement may make matters worse instead of better. And this is chiefly because the agreement includes a vague ban on “unwelcome speech” as a way to properly handle “sexual harassment.”
“Unwelcome speech” is hard to define. Someone could label even the most innocent of comments from someone else as “unwelcome” on any given day. Someone in a bad mood or with ill intent could charge someone else with using “unwelcome speech” with very little trouble at all.
Because of this, a ban on “unwelcome speech” can quickly become a de facto ban on unwanted speech, and this puts the First Amendment on the chopping block.
Alliance Defending Freedom sent a letter to the Departments of Justice and Education on June 13, on behalf of a coalition of groups concerned that the policy agreement may become commonplace on campuses throughout the country—this is because of the administration’s stated intent to make it a “blueprint” for colleges and universities nationwide. Young America’s Foundation, the National Association of Scholars, Students for Life of America, Ratio Christi, Campus Bible Fellowship International, Collegians for a Constructive Tomorrow, and Beta Upsilon Chi all signed the letter.
In the letter, Alliance Defending Freedom and the coalition of signatories make it clear this ban on “unwelcome speech” is so vague that students, let alone administrators charged with its enforcement, will differ as to what constitutes a violation. In turn, this will leave universities with the enormous administrative burden of policing what is and is not actionable harassment—almost certainly stifling, if not ending, free speech in the process.
Alliance Defending Freedom also sent a similar coalition letter to the University of Montana to remind it that the Supreme Court has historically ruled that broad restrictions on speech, like the one mandated by the agreement, violate the Constitution.
The Supreme Court’s opposition to undue limitations of free speech on campus is in keeping with the spirit of a college education. Free and spontaneous discourse on college campuses is supposed to be a hallmark of higher education rather than the exception to the rule.
The policies of the Department of Justice and the Department of Education—and the policies of universities themselves—should always allow students to exercise their constitutionally protected freedoms.