Friday, November 15, 2019

Survey: Only 2% of Hispanics Prefer the Politically Correct Term 'Latinx'

"Latinx," the progressive, gender-neutral alternative to Latino/Latina, is a favorite of campus activists and ethnic studies departments. But among the broader population of Hispanic people, it's wildly unpopular: Just 2 percent of respondents to a nationwide poll chose it as their preferred term.

So says Mario Carrasco of the market research agency Think Now. Although his group is "progressive on social issues," he writes, "as researchers, we have to put aside our personal biases and render advice based on the best available empirical evidence." And the evidence shows that practically nobody wants to be called Latinx:

"We went into it with the hypothesis that awareness was going to be lower than social media makes it seem," said Carrasco. "We didn't think it was going to be as low as it is. We also thought that it was going to be significantly more popular among young people, and it's not. There's no significant difference there."


UK: Tax expert who lost her job for 'transphobic' tweet takes case to employment tribunal

A tax expert who lost her job for tweeting that transgender women are not women yesterday took her case to an employment tribunal arguing that her dismissal amounted to discrimination against her beliefs.

Maya Forstater, 45, lost her job from the Centre for Global Development (CGD) in March this year after she was accused of publishing offensive tweets questioning government proposals to allow people to self-identify as the opposite sex.

The unprecedented legal dispute will act as an important test case in the UK on whether having ‘gender critical’ beliefs - the view that one’s sex is a biological fact which cannot be changed - is a protected belief under the Equality Act 2010.

“If we can establish this point in law it would help people who are currently afraid to speak up for fear of losing their jobs or being treated differently by their employer,” Ms Forstater wrote in a blog post.

“It would also help people facing discrimination outside of work. For example political parties and membership organisations that suspend people for expressing such beliefs, venues that refuse to host public meetings and social media platforms that discriminate against gender critical feminists would need to re-think their policies or they too would face claims for discrimination.

“I am perfectly happy to use preferred pronouns and accept everyone’s humanity and right to free expression. Transwomen are transwomen. That’s great. But enforcing the dogma that transwomen are women is totalitarian.”

Ms Forstater raised £66,000 through a crowdfunding campaign online to help pay for her legal fees for the case.

She is also backed by Index on Censorship, whose director, Jodie Ginsberg, said: “From what I have read of her writing, I cannot see that Maya has done anything wrong other than express an opinion that many feminists share — that there should be a public and open debate about the distinction between sex and gender.”


Thursday, November 14, 2019

Triggered: Users Ask Twitter to Remove Scott Walker Christmas Tree Tweet

On Saturday, former Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker announced that Twitter had sent him an official warning after users flagged one of his tweets sharing a Christmas tree.

"This morning I got an email from [Twitter] saying they received complaints from this tweet. Merry Christmas," Walker tweeted.

The tweet in question involved the image of a Christmas tree with the text, "This is a Christmas Tree that is used by people celebrating Christmas. This is not a holiday tree."

Twitter gives users the ability to "report" messages on Twitter, alerting the social media platform that the message in question is: "suspicious or spam," "abusive or harmful, "expressive of "intentions of self-harm or suicide," or simply not interesting to the user in question.

When Twitter sent Walker the email, the platform was likely notifying the former governor that users had marked his tweet to be spam or "abusive or harmful," a category that includes "hate speech."

It seems likely Twitter users accused Walker of "hate speech." A few users attacked his message as a way to justify hate.

Many non-Christians celebrate Christmas, including Muslims, non-Orthodox Jews, and those who do not affiliate with any particular religion.


ABC Spiked Epstein Story to Help Clinton

ABC News isn’t the first network to spike a story for political reasons, but this one’s a doozy. The network admitted sitting on a 2016 interview with Virginia Robert Giuffre, who had accused the late Jeffrey Epstein of sexual assault. But it was the connections to Bill Clinton, Great Britain’s Prince Andrew, and Epstein attorney Alan Dershowitz that sent the interview to the dustbin.

ABC anchor Amy Robach complained on a secretly recorded video that the network would not air her interview with the accuser:

I’ve had the story for three years. I’ve had this interview with Virginia Roberts. We would not put it on the air. First of all, I was told, “Who’s Jeffrey Epstein? No one knows who that is. This is a stupid story.” Then the [British royal] Palace found out that we had her whole allegations about Prince Andrew and threatened us a million different ways. We were so afraid we wouldn’t be able to interview Kate [Middleton] and [Prince] Will — that also quashed the story. And then Alan Dershowitz was also implicated in it because of [Epstein’s] planes. She told me everything. She had pictures; she had everything. She was in hiding for 12 years. We convinced her to come out. We convinced her to talk to us. It was unbelievable what we had. Clinton — we had everything.

According to National Review, “Roberts has alleged that she was forced to perform sex acts on Prince Andrew … when she was seventeen.” The same goes for Dershowitz, who vehemently denies the allegations. It’s unclear what ABC had on Clinton, though he flew on Epstein’s infamous plane 27 times, and there were underage girls on the flights most of the time.

Of course, ABC claimed in a statement, “At the time, not all of our reporting met our standards to air, but we have never stopped investigating the story. Ever since we’ve had a team on this investigation and substantial resources dedicated to it. That work has led to a two-hour documentary and 6-part podcast that will air in the new year.”

And Robach insists she was never told to stop investigating Epstein, explaining, “As the Epstein story continued to unfold last summer, I was caught in a private moment of frustration. I was upset that an important interview I had conducted with Virginia Roberts didn’t air because we could not obtain sufficient corroborating evidence to meet ABC’s editorial standards about her allegations.”

If only ABC had editorial standards for all its stories. When it came to ridiculous, uncorroborated, and ultimately disproven allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, ABC — along with every other Leftmedia propaganda outlet — ran nonstop coverage of his accusers in service to the Democrat agenda of destroying him. According to the Washington Examiner, “Some of the allegations published by ABC were so outlandish that the FBI and the Senate Judiciary Committee didn’t even consider them.”

But damage Bill Clinton with an Epstein story? Suddenly there are editorial standards.


Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The Unlikely Birth of Free Speech in America

For all the horrors that marked 1919 in America — the race riots, the terrorist attacks, the labor unrest — there was one unquestionably positive development. On Nov. 10, a hundred years ago Sunday, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes issued a remarkable opinion that gave birth to our modern understanding of free speech.

It was a complicated delivery. Despite its centrality to our culture today, the First Amendment in the early 20th century was largely a dead letter. The Supreme Court had never upheld a free speech claim, and lower courts had approved the censorship of books and films, the prohibition of street-corner speeches and bans on labor protests and profanity. Even criticism of the government could be punished, the courts had ruled, if it threatened public order and morality.

Federal prosecutors vigorously enforced these acts, bringing nearly 2,000 indictments, many on the thinnest of pretexts. One person was convicted for forwarding a chain letter that called for an immediate end to the war. Another was jailed for asserting that the war benefited capitalists. And the courts largely acquiesced, ruling that the First Amendment offered no protection for speech with a “bad tendency” — essentially, any speech the government disliked.

It was in the midst of this hysteria that Holmes breathed new life into the First Amendment. He was an unlikely midwife. Holmes, 78 at the time, was descended from one of the oldest families in America. He was a graduate of Harvard Law School, a veteran of the Civil War and a member of the intellectual aristocracy that his father, a famous author, had labeled the “Brahmin caste of New England.” More to the point, he had done as much as any judge to render free speech meaningless.

As a state court judge in Massachusetts, he had ruled that there is no right to speak on public property or while working as a public employee. And after joining the United States Supreme Court, in 1902, he had embraced the cramped English view that free speech protects only against prior censorship but places no limits on the government’s power to punish speakers after the fact.

But the events of 1919 changed Holmes. A contrarian with a love of books and a fondness for debate, he was troubled by the wave of persecution that swept the country once the dangers of war had passed. He was especially troubled when that wave threatened to engulf two of his own friends, a legal scholar named Felix Frankfurter and a British political theorist named Harold Laski.

So when the two men came under attack for their “radical” views — Frankfurter for his support of labor unions, Laski for his socialist leanings — Holmes sprang to their defense. He wrote to the president of Harvard, where both men taught, and sought help from the Harvard Law School alumni association.

He also began to rethink his stance on the First Amendment, an endeavor his young friends encouraged. For more than a year, they waged an intense behind-the-scenes campaign to strengthen Holmes’s appreciation for free speech. They fed him books on political liberalism, wrote him long letters on the value of tolerance and engaged him in impassioned debates. At one point, Laski even arranged a meeting at his summer bungalow between Holmes and Zechariah Chafee, a Harvard law professor who had written an article criticizing the justice’s views. “You won’t forget that you are coming down on Saturday for the week-end,” Laski wrote Chafee. “Holmes is coming to tea, and I want you to arrive in good time. For I have given him your article and we must fight on it.”

Holmes did not change his mind all at once. In March 1919, he wrote three opinions for the court upholding the convictions of socialists for criticizing the war. These opinions hinted at an internal struggle. Holmes retreated from his earlier belief that free speech protects only against prior restraints. And he rejected the “bad tendency” test, writing that speech can be punished only if it poses a “clear and present danger.” But he failed to explain how the defendants’ speech met that test, falling back instead on his commitment to majority rule and judicial restraint.

Eight months later, when the court heard another case under the Espionage and Sedition acts, Holmes’s conversion was complete. By this point, Laski was in serious trouble, having spoken out in support of a labor strike by Boston police officers. The strike was a disaster; with no officers on duty, the city descended into chaos, and the soldiers who were brought in to restore order killed eight people. Laski’s support for the strike thus won him the enmity of the entire New England establishment. The press denounced him as an “boudoir Bolshevist,” while the Harvard Board of Overseers opened an investigation to determine whether he was fit to teach.

It was against this backdrop that Holmes wrote his famous defense of free speech. A majority of the court voted to uphold the latest convictions under the Espionage and Sedition acts. But Holmes, joined by his close friend Justice Louis Brandeis, dissented. Acknowledging the appeal of persecution, which he had once himself embraced, he now offered a powerful rebuttal:

"But when men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe even more than they believe the very foundations of their own conduct that the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas — that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out."

With those words, Holmes provided a justification for free speech that fit with his conception of democracy. We should protect speech not to promote the liberty of the individual over the interests of the majority. We should protect speech because doing so promotes the collective interest — in other words, the interests of us all.

Although Holmes was in the minority, the power of his words and the force of his personality gave his opinion an authority beyond the usual judicial dissent. Civil libertarians soon embraced it as an article of faith, and ultimately the rest of the country did, too.

That didn’t happen overnight — the second Red Scare and McCarthyism were still to come. And Holmes was not the only person responsible for the development; Brandeis wrote several eloquent opinions defending free speech, and the contributions of lawyers and scholars such as Chafee were invaluable. But it was the figure of Holmes, the old soldier and enlightened aristocrat, who gave the movement its legitimacy and inspiration. And by the late 1960s, his tribute to “free trade in ideas,” along with his insistence that speech can be punished only if it poses a “clear and present danger,” had become not only cultural catchphrases but the law of the land.


Winning over Vassar

By Bill Jacobson, founder and publisher of "Legal Insurrection" as well as a clinical professor of law and director of the Securities Law Clinic at Cornell Law School

I was invited to speak at Vassar College on the issue of hate speech and free speech. I’d spoken there several years earlier against the academic boycott of Israel, and I was invited at that time by the Vassar Conservative Libertarian Union, which was like nine students on the campus. So a couple of them were either still there, and so I was invited to speak about free speech.

And Charlottesville had just happened, and I said, “My concern is that people are going to try to use that to clamp down on free speech on campuses.” People who want to clamp down on free speech anyway would do that. And so they schedule it and I said, “Why don’t we title it, ‘Hate Speech’ Is Still Free Speech Even After Charlottesville”? I felt that would get attention and would really focus the issue.

When they put up the posters, whatever it was, two weeks before, three weeks before, the campus completely melted down. When I say completely melted down, they had two campus-wide meetings attended, according to reports, by hundreds of students, faculty, and administrators about what to do with me coming to campus to talk about this.

The rumors were spread … not just rumors, emails, including from the student government that I was a white supremacist coming to campus with my white nationalist followers to target minorities.

The student government executive board sent a letter to the president demanding they terminate my appearance. And I’m sure you have many lawyers who listen. They had a great line in there which I loved. They said, “We demand that you breach the contract for him to appear.”

… I think she could have done better, but she didn’t. And so I appeared and they had me escorted onto campus. I had to meet at campus security off campus, very tight security, bags checked, all that sort of things. They had protesters show up dressed like Antifa in protest.

So we were in what I think is the largest classroom there, lecture hall. If it’s not the largest, it’s one of them. I think capacity was over 200. It was over capacity, students overflowing into the hallways. So we probably had close to 300 students, and as soon as I started speaking, they realized, I think, they’d been had, that I was not who I was portrayed to be.

I spent 45 minutes with a basic lecture about the First Amendment, the history, why it’s important, why historically it’s actually protected left-wing speech, that the anti-war movement and the other movements could not have developed if not for the protections.

And then I went through the rest of the Bill of Rights and I went through each of the rights of the Bill of Rights and I said, “While they may not technically apply here on campus, I’m sure you don’t want the college administration to take your stuff without some process by which you could contest it, some due process.” I said, “You don’t want to give up that right here.”

And I said, “Certainly you don’t want the dean … ” And the dean was sitting there. He’d been at my speech four years earlier. And I said, “I’m sure you don’t want the dean to come and just search you because he feels like it without some probable cause to believe that you’ve done something wrong.”

And I went through a bunch of other things. I went through my favorite one, which is the Third Amendment, which nobody seems to know, which is you cannot quarter a soldier in a private home in time of peace. I said, “You don’t want the administration quartering security to sleep in your room.”

I went through all of these and I said, “Why is it you want all of these rights in the Bill of Rights on this campus, even if it technically doesn’t apply, but the one right you’re so willing and eager to give up are your free speech rights?” I said, “Why is that?” I said, “Maybe it’s because on this campus, you have power and therefore your speech is not going to be stifled. But go outside those gates and guess what? That’s Trump country, and you wonder why the nation—or at least half the nation—voted that way even though you don’t know anybody who voted for him.”

I said, “So if you give up First Amendment rights on this campus and you are willing to suppress speech on this campus, you have no right to complain if somebody does it to you beyond the fence and beyond the gate.”

It was a great 45 minutes, no interruptions, although they came ready for a fight.

No interruptions, and then we had question-and-answer. [An] hour and 15 minutes, the students lined up to ask [questions], including someone dressed in black. There were mostly good questions. I mean, I think questions that reflected that they’d never really had to think about these things before, but they were, let’s say, good-faith questions.

One thing it taught me is that there is a hunger out there on behalf of students to learn about what you would think are basic civic lessons that they’ve never had. And they’ve never had anybody explain it to them, and why it’s important, and why even allowing speech you consider offensive is really important.


Tuesday, November 12, 2019

New Zealand University uses "mental harm" to block free speech

David Seymour is condemning Massey University's new free speech policy, saying it "protects feelings not speech".

On Monday, Vice-Chancellor Professor Jan Thomas released the University's new policy covering academic freedom, free speech and freedom of expression, as well as a code of practice for external speakers.

Writing in The Spinoff, Massey University provost Giselle Byrnes defended the policy as an attempt to balance free speech with the challenges of hate speech.

However the ACT Party leader calls it "lip service" to freedom of expression and academic freedom.

"Massey University's new free speech policy shows it is more concerned with protecting the feelings of a small number of students and creating safe spaces for them than it is with defending a central pillar of Western civilisation," Seymour said in a press release on Tuesday.

"Massey has been rightly condemned for its recent approach to freedom of expression. These new documents provide no reason to believe that approach will change."

Since 2018, Massey University has made headlines after staff ripped down posters supporting protesters in Hong Kong, Don Brash was banned from speaking, and a radical feminist event was cancelled.

Under the new policies, if people want to speak at a Massey University event, university officers will consider if they will cause "mental harm" to students and if the event will create "negative media coverage".

"Mental harm is deeply subjective and will allow small, vocal groups to block an event from taking place by claiming that they are likely to be psychologically hurt by the mere presence of a speaker on campus," Seymour says.

"Mental harm should never be used by an important public institution as a reason to prevent free exchange from taking place."


It sounds like those who are behind the policy are the mentally harmed ones

British students turn against free speech amid ‘culture of conformity’

Fewer than half of students consistently support freedom of speech and two fifths favour censorship and no-platforming of controversial speakers, research has shown.

A “culture of conformity” may also be having an effect on undergraduates, who are often too intimidated to espouse unpopular views on campus, according to a report by the centre-right think tank Policy Exchange.

Deep-rooted reform is needed at universities, which should establish academic freedom champions reporting directly to the vice-chancellor, it says.

The research exposes the extent to which a significant number of students value safe spaces for disadvantaged groups above freedom of speech.

A higher number of women were in favour of censorship and men were more likely to support academic freedom, polling found. Gender differences had a bigger impact on attitudes than whether respondents had backed Leave or Remain in the EU referendum.

However, Leave supporters were much less likely than Remainers to feel confident in voicing their view among classmates. Only two in ten said that they would be comfortable espousing their beliefs in tutorials, compared with nine in ten of those on the other side of the Brexit divide.

Policy Exchange polled more than 500 undergraduates aged between 18 and 25, weighted by gender to conform to the 57-43 female-male ratio of students. It found that the proportion of students consistently supportive of academic freedom ranged from three tenths to a half. The number could be skewed by narratives read before polling that emphasised the importance of protecting vulnerable students, or of protecting an exchange of ideas.

Students were asked their opinions on blocking speeches by Jacob Rees-Mogg, leader of the House of Commons; the Canadian academic Jordan Peterson; and the feminist writer Germaine Greer.

The questions came after Cambridge University rescinded its offer of a visiting fellowship to Professor Peterson in March after a backlash from the faculty and students. The women’s officer at Cardiff University called for Greer to be no-platformed in 2015 for her “transphobic” views.

In the research more than half opposed a ban on [popular] Mr Rees-Mogg, with just over a quarter in favour and more than a fifth saying they did not know.

Support for freedom of speech dwindled in the other situations: more than two fifths said that Cambridge had been right to treat Professor Peterson as it did. Only a third agreed that Cardiff should have allowed Greer to speak. In each case at least three tenths backed free speech and at least a fifth supported censorship.

The report said: “The danger is that academic freedom is being significantly violated due, in particular, to forms of political discrimination.”


Monday, November 11, 2019

Irish academic calls for the term 'Anglo-Saxon' to be DROPPED from modern speech because it has 'links with white supremacists'

"Anglo-Saxon" is simply history. Post-Roman Britannia was successfully invaded in about 500AD by Germans from Jutland.

Most of Jutland is now Denmark.  It was originally German. The Danes came South from Norway, immediately North of Jutland.  They were early Vikings. They pressed hard on the Germans, forcing many of them to relocate to Britannia. 

Jutes came from North Jutland, Angles from central Jutland and Saxons from South Jutland.  Saxons were never overrun by the Danes but were busy pushing South in Germany so came to Britannia in only small numbers. So the invasion of Britannia was dominated by Angles -- who therefore gave the new domain their name -- England.  We still speak a derivative of their language.

Slightly later, the Danes also came to what was by then England.  The Danes never conquered the Saxons in Saxony and were also eventually driven out of England by Saxons.  The Saxons were the tough guys.

So the term "Anglo-Saxon" is accurate testimony to great historical events in the ancestry of many people reading this blog.  But Leftists hate history

There is a sense in which England is still ruled by Saxons.  The historic surname of the present British monarchy is
Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha, where "Sachsen" is the German spelling of Saxony

The term Anglo-Saxon is 'bound up with white supremacy' and should be replaced with 'early English', academics have argued.

Anglo-Saxon traditionally refers to groups from Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands who settled in Britain at the end of Roman rule.

However, early medieval England specialist Mary Rambaran-Olm, an independent scholar and author, claimed the term is used by white supremacists to refer to white British people and should be banned.

The academic – raised in Canada and now based in Ireland – says previous objections to the term Dark Ages sets a precedent.

She told The Times: 'Generally, white supremacists use the term to make some sort of connection to their heritage (which is inaccurate) or to make associations with 'whiteness' but they also habitually misuse it to try and connect themselves to a warrior past.'

Miss Rambaran-Olm said people in early England – or 'Englelond' – did not call themselves Anglo-Saxons but tended to refer to themselves as 'Englisc' or 'Anglecynn'.

The academic said the term became more popular in the 18th and 19th century and was used to link white people to their 'supposed origins'.

Hitler wrote of the 'Anglo-Saxon determination' to hold India, while imperialist Cecil Rhodes also regularly used the term.

John Overholt, curator of early books and manuscripts at Harvard's Houghton Library, backed a ban on the term.

'The term Anglo-Saxon is inextricably bound up with pseudohistorical accounts of white supremacy, and gives aid and comfort to contemporary white supremacists,' he wrote on Twitter. 'Scholars of medieval history must abandon it.'

Earlier this year the International Society of Anglo Saxonists took a poll of its 600 members, and 60 per cent of the group agreed to remove the reference to 'Anglo-Saxon' from its name.

But Tom Holland, author of books including Athelstan: The Making of England, said the term was 'inextricably bound up with the claim by Alfred ... to rule as a shared Anglian-Saxon identity'.  'Scholars must be free to use it,' he said.

In a tweet, he wrote of the idea to ditch the term Anglo-Saxon: 'Mad as a bag of ferrets, as they say in Deira [a former kingdom].'


Outraged customers call for a boycott of a politically correct cafe serving 'gender neutral' gingerbread 'people'

A cafe has sparked a heated debate by removing gingerbread men from its menu, replacing it with 'gingerbread gender neutral person' instead.

A gingerbread man biscuit is a Christmas staple around the globe and dates back to the 15th century.

However, a cafe named The Tannery, in Auckland, New Zealand, changed the name to be more inclusive.

Owner Andre Cettina told Stuff the name change after a number of customers questioned why they had been called gingerbread men in the first place.

'It started off a bit tongue-in-cheek, but it's actually become a focal point and started a bit of a discussion at the counter with a lot of people taking photos,' she said.

Since the name change, she said more adults have been reaching for the tasty treat.

'It used to be that 90 per cent of the time we sold [the gingerbread biscuits], it was to kids. There's a lot more people buying them now, which is quite funny,' she said.

Some customers were upset at removing the gender from the gingerbread snack.

'PC gone mad, always been ginger bread man, why change now. It's a biscuit, not a living creature. I find this all so sad,' one person wrote.

The New Zealand cafe is not the first to change the name of gingerbread men. In 2018, the coffee shop at the Scottish parliament changed the name of the biscuit as well. 


Sunday, November 10, 2019

Student suspended amid row over LGBTQ ‘rainbow poppy’

A Canadian high school student has been suspended after refusing to wear a “disrespectful” rainbow poppy for Remembrance Day.

The rainbow poppy is a variant of the traditional red poppy worn to commemorate fallen soldiers on November 11, intended to honour the LGBTQ community.

In a post on Twitter yesterday, Cyara Bird described the incident involving her cousin Natalie, 17, a student at Stonewall Collegiate Institute in Manitoba.

“My 17-year-old cousin was suspended today … want to know why?” wrote Ms Bird, who ran as a Conservative candidate in last month’s federal elections.

“Her choir teacher was demanding that the choir wear rainbow poppies during their performance in the Remembrance Day ceremony. She and another student rejected that idea, and both were suspended for ‘hate speech’.”

But a reporter from Global News later said the broadcaster had “looked into” the claim and found the student was “not suspended for refusing to wear the rainbow poppy, she was suspended for putting up a poster”.

The poster consisted of a series of quotes pulled from the internet criticising the rainbow poppy.

“Never seen something so disrespectful in all my days,” one of the quotes said.

“What does LGBTQ have to do with the war? Red represents blood, black represents widows and loved ones, green represents land the blood was spilled on. Never change the poppy.”

One quote accused the rainbow poppy proponents of undoing “centuries of blood, sweat and tears all because you needed to do the dishes”.

Another said, “Keep it in your pants, nobody needs or wants to see it.”

“You’ve got a whole month dedicated to the LGBTQ community, but the people who legitimately made a difference and died so that we could live decent lives have one day,” one quote said.

In a statement to The Post Millennial website, Natalie said it “all started when teachers, counsellors, and some students said we should wear the rainbow poppy”.

“I typed up papers on a computer, printed them off, and taped them up in the halls,” she said. “As I was putting them up, teachers were taking them down. I watched as they took them to the office and gave them to the secretary.”

She went to class but soon after was called to the principal’s office, where the principal and vice principal, Jason Calissis and Bryce Baldwin, were waiting.

She said they began to yell at her. “They accused me of hate speech and endangering the physical safety of the group of individuals (LGBT students),” she said.

“They asked me what I was thinking, and I told them everything. I said I was just voicing my beliefs and morals.”

The student said she was scared by the two male administrators.

“I got to the point of almost crying but I didn’t,” she said. “I had to be the voice for all those families who were greatly disrespected and offended.”


Woman whose patchwork quilt of 24 Golliwogs won top prize at a country show has no idea she's been slammed as a racist

The woman whose patchwork quilt of 24 Golliwogs won top prize at a country show has no idea she's been slammed as a racist, because she's off making more quilts.

The design by quilter Helen, which depicted golliwogs from 24 countries around the world, won first place in the Whittlesea Show's quilt category in northern Melbourne last weekend, and was widely criticised.

Helen's design was called 'offensive' by the chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission Dr Dvir Abramovich, but Helen's husband said she received 'only comments of praise of the work' at the show.

Some of the dressed up golliwogs on the quilt include a a Spanish matador, an English Beefeater, a golliwog doing the haka and an Egyptian pharaoh. 

Dr Abramovich suggested the quilt was celebrating racist images, but Michael said that wasn't the intention of the artist.

Michael said that Helen was over the moon to have won the top prize at the show, but hadn't been able to speak with his wife about the criticism of her work because she was busy with another piece. I haven't spoken to her 'cause she's quilting!' Michael said.

The golliwog was originally a character in an 1895 children's book but has since been associated with the racial stereotyping of black people. The word 'golliwog' has also increasingly been seen as racist due to the term 'wog' being used as a racial slur for foreigners.


Friday, November 08, 2019

Blackface bonfire society updates its ‘Zulu’ image

A Bonfire Night society that has paraded in blackface through the streets of Lewes for 160 years dressed as Zulu warriors has changed to more colourful makeup after discussions with modern Zulus.

The Borough Bonfire Society has been wearing Zulu costumes with dark face paint since about 1860 and in recent years some locals have grown uneasy with the tradition.

Organisers said that there were some boos but it overall it received a “very positive” response from crowds who attended the annual parade in the East Sussex town.

Mick Symes, 69, a captain for Borough, said: “We had a very good response from the crowd. You had the odd person who wants to put their finger up but we had such a warm welcome. We have to look at the overall event not just the odd person who might boo or hiss — whether because they didn’t like the make-up I don’t know. Maybe they didn’t like my face.”

The decision to use colourful makeup was made in 2017 when the parade was joined by dancers from Zulu Tradition. Thandanani Gumede, a member of the Zulu people, told the Bonfire society that it was not offensive to pay tribute to Zulus but suggested that colourful makeup might replace black or brown.

Mr Gumede did not attend this year but his agent said that “he would be delighted” that members of the society had “coloured up” rather than blacked up.

Mr Symes said that the crowd were excited to see the society’s bonfire, which included a display of televisions being dropped onto a television licensing vehicle as a statement about changes to free licences for people over 75.


YouTube Won’t Let a Medical Doctor Say This Sentence

“See, if you want to cut off a leg or an arm, you’re mentally ill, but if you want to cut off healthy breasts or a penis, you’re transgender.”

Those are the words of Dr. Michelle Cretella, a pediatrician with many years’ experience and the executive director of the American College of Pediatricians, in a Daily Signal video published in 2017.

It’s a sentence YouTube will not allow the doctor to say about children and gender identity issues.

The Daily Signal recently learned that our video of Cretella had been removed from YouTube. In its place, YouTube displayed this message: “This video has been removed for violating YouTube’s policy on hate speech.”

Over the past few months, The Daily Signal worked with YouTube to try to reach a resolution. Ultimately, we were told the only way we could get the video back on YouTube was to delete the previously mentioned sentence.

In other words, we had two choices: censor the doctor’s words or have no video on the world’s biggest video platform.

This should horrify every YouTube user—and anyone who values the importance of a public square featuring a variety of perspectives.

Cretella is a doctor. She is making a point in that sentence that may not be popular but remains true: There is no society-wide push right now to allow patients suffering from Body Integrity Identity Disorder to amputate limbs.

But as of July, Cretella’s sentence—which did not even state transgenderism was a result of mental illness, but simply pointed out that our culture sees amputation of body parts differently depending on the body parts in question—is apparently so outrageous YouTube can’t fathom allowing it on its platform.

That is unbelievable.

We are especially disappointed with YouTube’s decision because other social media platforms have allowed the video on their platforms. In fact, the video has more than 70 million views on Facebook. It might have even more if Facebook hadn’t temporarily removed it in July 2018. After our appeal to Facebook, it was quickly restored and remains on The Daily Signal’s page today.


Thursday, November 07, 2019

Cantuar demands action on campus "intimidation" and "lack of free speech"

The Archbishop of Canterbury has called on the Government to put pressure on universities over reports of "no-platforming, intimidation and lack of free speech".

The Most Rev Justin Welby told ministers at Westminster that "mere exhortation" was not working.

The leading Anglican made the intervention as peers heard just five universities were known to have adopted an agreed definition of anti-Semitism.

The archbishop, who is President of the Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ), said: "We hear numerous reports of no-platforming, of intimidation and lack of free speech.

"I accept fully that the universities are autonomous but will the minister look for ways in which pressure can be applied to ensure these standards are kept? "Because mere exhortation, would she agree, is not really working."

Government frontbencher Baroness Berridge pointed out the Lords has legislated to ensure the independence of universities.

She said: "Although the secretary of state can issue guidance, that guidance has to take into account the autonomy of our academic institutions."


University of Minnesota threatens faculty for ‘repeated misuse of pronouns’ in new policy

Gender pronouns have flummoxed the University of Minnesota for more than a year.

A draft policy released in summer 2018 stated that “university members and units are expected to use the names, gender identities and pronouns specified to them by university members, except as legally required.” The Star Tribune said failure to comply could get a person punished, “up to firing or expulsion.”

Sanctions were removed from the proposal early this year, following massive negative feedback, and faculty approved the relaxed language.

The taxpayer-funded university is now on the cusp of approving the “Gender Identity, Gender Expression, Names and Pronouns” policy, and the language is … the same.

More worrisome for those who care about academic freedom and the First Amendment, the FAQ document for the policy makes clear that sanctions are on the table for conscientious objectors to the new regime.

University members and units are expected to use the names, gender identities, and pronouns specified to them by other University members, except as legally required. University members and units are also expected to use other gendered personal references, if any, that are consistent with the gender identities and pronouns specified by University members.

The FAQ document puts the onus of learning this information about “colleagues, classmates, and peers” on everyone, but it particularly focuses on administrative leaders and faculty:

The point of the policy is to make explicit “the University’s commitment to non-discriminatory programs, activities and facilities and promotes a respectful University community free from discrimination based on gender identity or expression.”

It dubiously claims: “This policy is designed, and will be implemented, to uphold free speech and academic freedom principles.”


Wednesday, November 06, 2019

In "No Safe Spaces", an Odd Couple Teams Up to Fight Free-Speech Bans

The pro-free-speech documentary No Safe Spaces doesn’t have its nationwide debut until November 15, but it’s already breaking box-office records in Phoenix and San Diego, where it rolled out early.

That’s because many Americans realize that efforts to muzzle free speech are spreading from college campuses into the wider world. In 2017, a national poll of 2,300 U.S. adults, conducted for the Cato Institute, found that 71 percent of Americans think political correctness has silenced important discussions our country needs to have. And an astonishing 58 percent of Americans say that the political climate prevents them from sharing their own political beliefs.

“Colleges don’t protect students from 90 percent of the professors who teach them the following: Your past was terrible, and your future is terrible. You are victims,” commentator Dennis Prager, who teamed up with comedian Adam Carolla to make the film, told me. The two make a bit of an odd couple. Prager is a highly trained Jewish religious scholar, and Carolla is a college dropout and atheist who was raised by a single mom on welfare. “Where we agree is that more debate is better, more diversity of opinion is helpful, and our First Amendment is a unique gift to America,” says Carolla.


JetBlue worker slammed for ‘racist’ homeless person Halloween costume

The spooky season has more than just scares, sometimes it has some extremely inappropriate costumes.

An airline worker in the United States who dressed as a homeless person “trying to get back to Puerto Rico or Cuba” is being slammed on social media for what some are calling a “racist and highly offensive” depiction.

The JetBlue employee dressed down as a homeless person wearing tattered and soiled clothing, with a homemade cardboard sign around her neck that read “Homeless. Need help trying to get back home to Puerto Rico or Cuba,” an image of the worker posted to Twitter shows.

“This was the costume of a JetBlue employee at the airport in Fort Lauderdale, FL,” Twitter user @nats2548 captioned a shot of the worker standing in the JetBlue terminal in the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. “I want to read your opinions.”

Criticism swelled quickly, with some calling for the worker to be fired.

“@JetBlue needs to fire her a – and issue a public apology for her costume because I find it highly offensive and … I personally won’t be flying JetBlue until they issue an apology … ” Twitter user @dominopr777 seethed.

Others said the costume was tone-deaf to survivors of Hurricane Maria, the worst natural disaster in Puerto Rican history. The 2017 storm left over 3,000 people dead and thousands more homeless.

JetBlue is the largest airline carrier in Puerto Rico, while Fort Lauderdale is nearly 20 per cent Latino, according to NBC News.


Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Police station is banned from displaying 'divisive thin blue line' flag after complaints it's 'dismissive' of the Black Lives Matter movement

It was an American flag, not specificaly a police flag so  I don't get this

Montgomery County 5th District tweeted thank you to resident James Shelton on Wednesday, who presented officers with a wooden American Flag.  Shelton had made it in recognition of National First Responders Day and police said the flag would be displayed in the 5th District Station in Maryland

On Wednesday, cops shared their intention to display the gift, with a tweet that included a picture of three cops, who appear to be white, accepting the flag from a resident and his son.

'Thank you to resident James Shelton, who presented Montgomery County 5th District officers with a wooden American Flag that he had made in recognition of National First Responders Day,' the picture was captioned. 'The flag will be displayed in the 5th District Station.'

However they were stopped in their tracks after many community members responded with negative reactions.

'This flag, the symbol of 'Blue Lives Matter,' excuses police violence against black residents, and mocks those who affirm that #BlackLivesMatter,' one person tweeted. 'That is not what @MontgomeryCoMD stands for. Take down this tweet, and do not hang up that flag!'

For another, it evoked memories of 2017's Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia where one person died and dozens of others were injured when a man deliberately rammed his car into the crowd of counter-protesters.

'This is unacceptable. This flag was carried by the white supremacists in Charlottesville and has a meaning far beyond what you intend. (I hope!) Please do not raise this in a public building,' one woman responded.


UK: Theatres will BAN the phrase 'ladies and gentlemen' under new guildelines from actors' union Equity

Audiences will no longer hear the words, 'ladies and gentlemen', while performers should not have 'backhanded compliments' or be described as 'brave', under new gender-neutral guidelines from actors' union, Equity.

Published last week, the advice is aimed at people and venues working with LGBT performers.

Campaigners for LGBT rights say that such phrases as 'ladies and gentlemen' exclude people who do not identify as male or female, but rather as non-binary, such as singer Sam Smith.

Equity's guide also advises against compliments on 'appearance, clothing, voice, quality, identity or the performer being brave', the Sunday Times reports.

Following the publication of the guide, the National Theatre pledged to phase out 'ladies and gentlemen', while the Royal Shakespeare Company said it would, 'strive to create environments which welcome and support trans people and people who identify their gender as fluid'.

Meanwhile Nica Burns, co-owner of Nimax Theatre, said: 'Coming to the theatre is a shared and communal experience in one single auditorium and we want to please our audience and give them a great evening. We wouldn't want anyone to feel offended or annoyed.'


Monday, November 04, 2019

'Little White Town' in Devon changes signposts over claims of racism

With rows of tiny houses bleached by the sea, Bideford in North Devon has been known as 'The Little White Town’ for more than 150 years.

Yet the longstanding nickname is now under threat over complaints it could be seen as a “racist slur”.

The original tagline was given by the author Charles Kingsley, who wrote of "the little white town of Bideford” in his swashbuckling 1855 novel Westward Ho!

The name stuck, and for decades has appeared on signposts outside the town.

At a council meeting earlier this month, however, a motion was heard to remove the tagline completely. Tabled by Conservative group leader Dermot McGeough, the motion read: “Following a number of complaints from parishioners, I propose that the words 'Little White Town' are removed from all signs within the town and at the town entrances.

"The wording 'Little White Town' can be perceived as causing a racist slur and not politically correct.  Therefore this issue should be rectified immediately. "If this wording is not removed, the town council could be classed as a racist white supremacist."

The idea provoked a lively discussion, with some members of Bideford Town Council describing it as “political correctness gone mad”, but eventually a compromise was agreed.

To clear up any confusion, every signpost will now read: “Charles Kingsley's Little White Town (1855)”.


Mark Zuckerberg attacks Twitter over ban on political adverts

Mark Zuckerberg  has stood by his company's decision to run political adverts after Twitter announced that it would block campaigning ads from its social network.

The Facebook chief executive, who in recent weeks has set out a defence of free expression on the social networking site, attacked calls to block or take down political adverts on the site.

Mr Zuckerberg said: “Right now, the content debate is about political ads. Should we block political ads with false statements? Should we block all political ads?

“In a democracy, I don't think it's right for private companies to censor politicians or the news.”

The Facebook boss’s statement during the company’s financial results came just minutes after rival boss Jack Dorsey, chief executive of Twitter, announced his website would be blocking adverts with political content in an effort to battle disinformation and election interference.


Sunday, November 03, 2019

Should a job application include a photo?

A Michelin-starred chef has stirred controversy by asking applicants to send a photo with their CV when applying for a job at his restaurant - but he insisted: 'I don't want to f*** them, just carry plates for me.'

Michael O'Hare sparked a backlash on Twitter when he announced he was looking to hire someone to join the front-of-house team at The Man Behind the Curtain in Leeds on a full-time contract for around £24,000 a year.

But he was accused of running a 'vanity project' after asking prospective candidates to send in a recent picture of themselves with their application.

O'Hare, who became prominent following his colourful appearances on The Great British Menu and MasterChef, rebutted the accusations and said it was a common practice in top European restaurants.

Explaining himself, he tweeted: 'For the record photos with a CV is a popular euro thing and it makes it easy to identify people afterwards.

'It's not a discrimination thing I don't care about colour gender or looks ..I'm not trying to f**k them I just want them to carry plates for me.'   

His response prompted further criticism and prompted a fresh debate over whether candidates should be asked to provide a photograph when applying for a job.

On Sunday evening O'Hare tweeted: 'I'm looking for a career driven person to join my front of house team. 45 hrs per week. Package circa 24k Xmas and New Years off... and an opportunity to do cool stuff with us .. email ... with CV, cover letter and recent photo pls rt.'

Twitter users were split over whether O'Hare was justified in his request.
Paul Main tweeted in response to O'Hare's defense of his advert, posting: 'I just want them to carry plates for me' that's worse.

'How about I want to teach them the finer art of hospitality. I want them to understand my philosophy of hard work to get where you want to go to. '

Many jumped to the defence of the chef, suggesting that the hours and wages were ideal for someone trying to break into the hospitality industry.

Lucinda Hardman tweeted: 'Jesus people! Leave the man alone! He's given valid reasons and is offering an amazing opportunity to someone who wants to thrive in the hospitality industry! The hours and salary are amazing too!'

Martha McKinley, an employment law expert at Stephensons LLP said: 'While there is no specific legislation preventing an employer requesting a picture of a candidate before an interview, it is heavily frowned upon.


Crime victim who called female police officer 'fatty' and 'useless' in emails is cleared by jury of sending offensive messages

A victim of crime, who was himself prosecuted by police for sending 'grossly offensive' emails in which he used four-letters words and called a female police constable 'fatty', has been cleared.

William Beswick, 50 was cleared of being offensive to PC Julia Acaster by a crown court jury in just 40 minutes.

Beswick branded the case a 'farce' and claimed that prosecuting him was a complete over-reaction and a waste of taxpayers' money - and that she should be more 'resilient' as a police officer of 20 years' service.

The Humberside Police officer's objections to the words were branded 'nonsense' and she was told that surely she had regularly heard far worse language at football matches and on rowdy Saturday nights.

Beswick, of Barrow-upon-Humber near Grimsby, pleaded not guilty to sending PC Acaster emails which were grossly offensive between March 4 and 30.

He was cleared by a jury of nine men and three women at Grimsby Crown Court after barely 40 minutes of deliberations.

The speedy decision to reject the officer's complaint came as no surprise to anyone in court, especially as some of the jury had been seen grinning and trying to suppress smiles during the case.

One court stalwart asked if it had really taken that long to reach a verdict and wondered if the jury had insisted on having a break and eating some sandwiches before returning to court.

Laura McBride, prosecuting, said that PC Acaster was asked to investigate claims from Beswick that he was the victim of harassment but he later became unhappy with the way the matter was progressing and blamed PC Acaster.

He sent what the prosecution claimed were abusive and grossly offensive emails calling her a 'fat fool' and a 'useless ****' as well as making veiled threats.

In one message, he asked her: 'Do you like being abused, fatty?'

The prosecution claimed that the purpose of the emails was to cause PC Acaster distress and anxiety but Beswick did not accept that they were grossly offensive.

Defence barrister Craig Lowe asked PC Acaster how long she had been in the police and whether she had ever had to attend football matches or disturbances in towns on Saturday nights when people were 'kicking off' when they were coming out of pubs.

She said she had been in the police for about 20 years and had experience of these situations.

After the jury's decision to clear him after only a short period of deliberation, Beswick told the jury: 'May God bless you all. Thank you very much.'


Friday, November 01, 2019

Amazon Deletes New Releases by Two Christian Authors

Amazon has deleted two books by two different Christian authors. Glorified, by Jon Del Arroz and Deus Vult, by Declan Finn were set to be released the first week in November. Both are strong traditional Christian science-fiction novels. According to the authors and publisher, Amazon has not been responsive to inquiries.

Not only are the new releases gone from the site, but all of their pre-orders have been deleted and they cannot be restored. The only communication Silver Empire publishing received from Amazon claimed they had not uploaded the manuscripts on time, Russell Newquist, publisher, told Bounding into Comics. "Amazon’s claiming I didn’t get the final files uploaded in time, but that’s total B.S.," he said. "I had the files for both uploaded weeks ago.” Unfortunately, he can't log into his account to screen-grab the evidence that the files are there.

Del Arroz posted on his website;

My publisher is getting a runaround right now. He’s lighting up the customer service phones and emails trying to get anything done. One employee told him if this gets resolved the pre-orderers will get a “link” to purchase new ones emailed to them — which we’ll see if that happens and if it gets the same amount we had before. We’ll see. There’s no clear answer right now nor commitment to any remedy.

Glorified has been up for pre-sale for two months. "I'll never get those back," Del Arroz told PJ Media. "Readers pre-order the book usually when they finish the last one. Many of these readers will not be back and will forget that they ordered it. There is also no way to tell them that their order was deleted and that it wasn't my fault." Amazon does not provide the authors with lists of customers. Del Arroz was expecting the first revenue from the pre-orders to be recorded on November 1, on All Saints Day.

Milo Yiannopoulos wrote an ironic endorsement for the first book in the series, Justified, that said, "Could be the most dangerous sci-fi novel of my lifetime. Read it before they ban it." Strangely, Justified is still available for purchase on Amazon. The description for Del Arroz's banned book is hardly what anyone could call objectionable.

"A devastating superweapon…
…in the hands of galactic tyrants.

The Sekaran fleet is gathering, and they’ve got a weapon that can destroy worlds. Drin and his Templar brothers on the Justicar must face their deadliest battles yet, as the entire Elorian fleet is called into action to meet this threat. But more than one planet killer awaits them. Deadly secrets from ancient races are hidden amongst the stars, and Drin must uncover the power of the mysteries of faith before it’s too late."

Del Arroz believes that he is being censored by big-tech leftists. "My resolve is not shaken. I will not silence or quiet myself. I will continue to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ through my fiction in order to change the world for His divine kingdom," said Del Arroz.

Declan Finn smells a rat too. "I'm usually not paranoid, but in this case, the timing is too suspicious," he told PJ Media. Del Arroz and Finn share the same publisher, Silver Empire. Finn's book, Deus Vult is described as a thriller.

"God wills it. A Saint must find a way.

All Tommy Nolan wants is some peace to enjoy his family. He’s been to hell and back, and now he needs a break. But evil doesn’t need to take a breather, and now the Vatican is back on his doorstep asking for help. A nearby monastery has been desecrated and the exorcist monks murdered in the most brutal ways imaginable. A legion of demons is gathering for something big, and Tommy’s the saint they need to help. An old enemy is the ally he needs, but can Tommy trust him? Can they track down all of the demons in time? And what does the Necronomicon have to do with it all? Read Deus Vult today and find out!"

Newquist, founder of Silver Empire publishing, told PJ Media, "It’s bad enough that Amazon throws its monopolistic weight around against the little guys all the time. But when the 800-pound gorilla brings the hammer down on religious speech, we should all be up in arms.”

Amazon requires that authors settle disputes through arbitration. Del Arroz has filed to start the process. "I'm demanding they restore my book and pay me the pre-order sales they owe me," he said.

Both books are for sale through the publisher's website. PJ Media reached out to Amazon and was told to expect a response by 2:30 p.m., which never came. If they do respond, we will update. We have specifically asked for evidence that Newquist did not upload the files, which is the only excuse made by Amazon so far. A pre-order customer called customer service to ask what happened to his book and was told that it was removed by the publisher. Newquist denies that unequivocally.

Update 5:26 p.m.: Amazon has now allowed the ebooks to be re-uploaded, but the pre-sales are lost permanently. The deletion did not affect the paperback or hardcover books, however, most Amazon authors including Del Arroz and Finn rely on e-book sales for more than 90% of their revenue. The deletion of the e-book has hampered the launch of these books significantly. To date, Amazon has not responded to PJ Media's inquiry


PayPal De-Platforms Conservative Street Artist Sabo, Holds His Funds for Six Months

On Monday evening, Sabo, the conservative street artist who is mostly known for his street posters that randomly pop up in California, reported on his Facebook page that he has now been kicked off of PayPal. "Today Paypal canceled my account with all of my money in it," he announced. "They are holding my funds for the next 6 months."

PayPal is the money exchanging platform Sabo used to earn income, and this de-platforming hits him hard financially. "I explained to them that I live in a city with 60,000 homeless people and that they are about to make me and my wife join their ranks."

Last year, Sabo was also de-platformed from Twitter without being given a reason. He gave an exclusive interview to PJMedia's Megan Fox when it happened.

"My wife had warned me about doing business with PayPal," the artist told PJM. "I'd constantly tell her that they provided a great service which makes starting an online store easy."

"I trusted them," he explained. "I worked in the start-ups for many years and it sucks to see what they've become. The people of PayPal obviously haven't taken note of how many once-giants are less than memories now. Their time will come soon as well. When it comes to the transfer of money, trust is paramount."

"They've lost that trust with me," he added. "We are living in Orwellian times."

Sabo insists in his Facebook post that he will keep fighting to be able to earn a living. "We'll find an alternative way to generate income and I'm sure they will work to hit that as well. And then we'll find another." He also said he expected this would happen. "2020 is right around the corner and they are doing everything they can to silence our side. At least they finally did it so now I can move on."


Thursday, October 31, 2019

Former Obama Official, Journalist Calls for 'Guardrails' on Free Speech
Richard Stengel, a former editor of Time and Obama State Department undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs, used free speech and the press... to attack free speech and the press in a truly pathetic op-ed published in the Washington Post Tuesday.

Stengel wrote he noticed in his travels that the U.S. is an "outlier" and other countries don’t have our First Amendment freedoms but, instead of thinking they should, he wants us to lower ourselves to their standards. He cited “the most sophisticated Arab diplomats” not understanding why it’s legal for someone to burn the Koran and he apparently wasn’t unable to articulate an explanation. I’d be interested to hear more of these Arab diplomats’ thoughts on our laws allowing gay marriage, abortion, and women going out in skimpy outfits.

He, of course, brought up the Russia boogeyman, as if dank memes that only a handful of people saw or retweets on social media are what turned the election, and blamed the U.S. media for repeating Putin’s lies in their reports. Little does he know, weakening our free speech laws would only make our media more Pravda-like.

I never thought I’d see the day when the same arguments for getting rid of the Second Amendment – the Founders lived in a different time, they never could have imagined the powerful, modern technology in our country today – were used to overturn the First. Stengel said: “[T]he intellectual underpinning of the First Amendment was engineered for a simpler era” and “in the age of social media, that landscape is neither level nor fair.”

He thinks because teens can’t distinguish between real stories, ads, and fake sites, we need to protect everyone from the latter two. Where does this leave comedy and sarcasm? The satirical conservative site The Babylon Bee has already been caught up in fact-checkers’ attempts to police articles numerous times. I suppose he wants to ban the tabloids in the supermarkets as well. How else are we supposed to know that Bigfoot isn’t real and Elvis isn’t still alive?

He claimed hate speech is “nearly as damaging” as violence:

It diminishes tolerance. It enables discrimination. Isn’t that, by definition, speech that undermines the values that the First Amendment was designed to protect: fairness, due process, equality before the law? Why shouldn’t the states experiment with their own version of hate speech statutes to penalize speech that deliberately insults people based on religion, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation?

Suddenly federalism and allowing states to be “laboratories of democracy” is popular on the left! But I’m not sure Hollywood would be so happy to be punished for all the hatred they espouse towards Christians. And how would this apply to historical works, like speeches by Adolf Hitler or even Louis Farrakhan?

“[W]here truth cannot drive out lies, we must add new guardrails,” Stengel proposed. But who decides what is “the truth” and who decides what counts as “guardrails?” If it’s the government, then it’s Trump’s Administration, is Stengel really ok with that?


Speech First and University settle lawsuit over free speech

The University of Michigan and Speech First, an organization dedicated to promoting and upholding freedom of speech on college campuses, agreed to settle an ongoing lawsuit related to freedom of speech and the University’s Bias Response Team. The agreement to settle, which effectively dismissed the lawsuit, was reached between Oct. 24 and 25.

Since May 8, 2018, the University and Speech First have been engaged in a dispute over whether the University’s Bias Response Team stifled freedom of speech on campus and violated the First Amendment. The University created the Bias Response Team during the 2010-2011 academic year to investigate claims of racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination put forth anonymously by students, faculty and staff. Speech First declared the team unconstitutional.

According to the settlement agreement, the University replaced the Bias Response Team with Campus Climate Support beginning in the 2019-2020 school year with no plans to reinstate the Bias Response Team in the future.


Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The False Hope of the Transgender Language Police

Always, a brand of period pads, recently announced it will take the Venus symbol off its products. Always is “committed to diversity and inclusion and are on a continual journey to understand the needs of all of our consumers,” the brand noted in a statement.

Because in 2019, it’s apparently controversial to say that only women get periods.

For years, woke activists have been pushing for language to shift on the issues of periods and pregnancy. Thinx, a brand of underwear designed to be worn during periods, apologized during “Transgender Awareness Week” in 2015 for focusing too much on women.

“We feel it is our responsibility to send a reminder that menstruation is not a trait of, nor a defining factor of, a specific gender. It is something that can occur amongst all people,” the brand wrote at the time. 

Two years later, Glamour magazine approvingly covered the open-mindedness of new menstruation products company Aunt Flow: “There’s also the recognition that it’s not just cisgender women who get periods: Trans men and people who don’t identify as one gender get them too, so the company has eliminated the gendered pronouns of her and she from their materials.”

In 2016, the Twitter hashtag #IfMenHadPeriods was controversial—for suggesting that men didn’t have periods.

So now if you wear a kimono or don a Native American headdress—no matter how respectfully—that’s cultural appropriation and inappropriate if you are not Japanese or Native American.

But if you want to label a female experience—one that is dependent on having female body parts at birth—as being gender-neutral, that’s A-OK.

So at least for today, ethnic appropriation gets you hurled into cancel culture. But gender appropriation gets you celebrated.

How is that fair?

Transgender people should be treated with respect and love, just like everyone else. But that does not mean all of society—from companies to individuals—should be forced to kowtow and affirm their preferred version of reality.

There are differences between men and women, and menstruating is one of them.


Word police roundup

The word police strike in the US, Poppy Noor, The Guardian Australia website, Thursday:

Imagine if the word bitch was banned … Could this become reality? Perhaps in Massachusetts where … a Democratic state representative is trying to ban the word. Many are denouncing the “bitch bill” as a sincere example of the left gone too far in its bid to curtail free speech.

Disorderly wordage, Mary Markoc, Boston Herald, October 21:

A bill to criminalise the B-word — the term for a female dog that is commonly used to slander women — is up for a hearing on Beacon Hill in what one critic calls “patently unconstitutional” and the latest political correctness push from the “word police”. The legislation states: “A person who uses the word bitch directed at another person to accost, annoy, degrade or demean the other person shall be considered to be a disorderly person.”

Ellise Shafer, Billboard, June 26:

Lizzo’s Truth Hurts is an anthem for female empowerment. Its danceable beat and no-bullshit lyricism (“I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100 per cent that bitch”) turned Lizzo into a star, and her debut album, Cuz I Love You, met critical acclaim.

Mind your language, Josh Barrie iNews website, October 21:

A British drill rapper has been banned (by a court) from using specific slang words in songs … Rico Racks will no longer be able to rap the words bandoe, trapping, booj, connect, shotting, whipping, and Kitty. All are colloquial words relating to drug dealing.

Ellen Peirson-Hagger, The New Statesman, October 22:

It’s hard to imagine that — had the law been in place at the time — the Beatles would have been banned from singing Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, which glamorises the use of hallucinogenic drugs, or Bob Dylan from sharing his incantation of injecting heroin in From a Buick 6: “Well, when the pipeline gets broken and I’m lost on the river bridge / I’m cracked up on the highway and on the water’s edge / She comes down the thruway ready to sew me up with thread.”

Man-made laws, Madeline Holcombe, CNN, July 18:

Soon, there will be no more manholes in Berkeley, California. There will also be no chairmen, no manpower, no ­policemen or policewomen … Words that imply a gender preference will be removed from the city’s codes and replaced with gender-neutral terms … manhole and manpower (become) maintenance hole and human effort.”

No more mere et pere? Ally Foster,, February 19:

A change to a law in France will see schools unable to refer to a child’s parents as their mother or father on school documents, instead the titles will be replaced with “parent 1” and “parent 2”. The amendment was passed as part of the country’s law and aims to reduce the discrimination faced by same-sex parents.

Ricky Zipp, Vox website, February 27, 2018:

Days after the Chinese Communist Party announced that presidential term limits could be abolished, opening the door for President Xi Jinping to continue his rule indefinitely, censors issued an extensive list of newly banned words … My emperor and lifelong control were banned along with references to George Orwell’s Animal Farm and 1984, which describe worlds where authoritarian leaders control the population … And in perhaps the most blatant example of curbing free speech, the word disagree is now illegal to post on Weibo.


Tuesday, October 29, 2019

When a terrorist butcher became an ‘austere religious scholar’

The Left are sometimes so extreme as to make of themselves a laughing stock. In apparent mourning over the execution of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Washington Post (sister publication of the NYT) described him as an “austere religious scholar” in one of its headlines:

The obituary, written by The Post’s National Security reporter Joby Warrick, followed confirmation of al-Baghdadi’s death in a US military operation in Syria on Saturday night.

It detailed al-Baghdadi’s rise to the terrorist group’s shadow leader from what the paper described as his origins as a “religious scholar with wireframe glasses”.

The headline read, “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, austere religious scholar at helm of Islamic State, dies at 48”.

The story first appeared to run under a headline that referred to al-Baghdadi as the “Islamic State’s ‘terrorist-in-chief’”. It was unclear why or who decided to change the “terrorist” label to “austere religious scholar”.

The Post then changed the headline again, settling on “extremist leader of Islamic State”.

The Washington Post vice president of communications Kristine Coratti Kelly told Fox News, “Regarding our al-Baghdadi obituary, the headline should never have read that way and we changed it quickly.”

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham tweeted that she had “no words” regarding the Post headline.

Former press secretary Sean Spicer also responded, writing, “Stop, read this & think about it: last night a ruthless, brutal terrorist who threatened our country & is responsible for the death of American citizens was killed in a successful operation by US military & @washingtonpost described #Albagdadi as an ‘austere religious scholar’.”


There is no doubt this will become a source of mockery.  All sorts of bad guys will in future be decribed as "austere religious scholars".

The whole thing reminded me of the way Leftists tried to save bloodthirsty gangster Tookie Williams from execution in 2005.  They were all concerned about Tookie, with no apparent concern about the innocents he killed.  They even had the muscleman photographed wearing spectacles. Are spectacles a sign of holiness to Leftists?

Sydney University academics free to criticise under free speech charter

Sydney University intends to protect the right of staff to criticise the institution as part of its response to a national review of free speech in higher education.

The university's academic board will next month consider reforms to the Charter of Academic Freedom that would bring it into line with a free speech code proposed by former chief justice Robert French.

The reforms include clarifying that professional staff were free to express their "lawful opinions" about the university, and there were no restrictions on staff making public comment on any issue in their personal capacity.

It also recommends free protest should be permitted on university land, but should not be exercised in a way that prevents the free speech of others, causes property damage or physical risk to others.

The univeristy's report, written by academics in consultation with staff and student unions, also recommends the charter be renamed the Charter of Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom.

Sydney University was the stage for one of the controversies that prompted the Morrison government to launch the review, when protesters tried to stop commentator Bettina Arndt from speaking at a campus event.

Another was a furore over James Cook University's decision to sack marine physicist Peter Ridd after he criticised colleagues, including a coral researcher at his own university, who he described as having no "clue about the weather".


Monday, October 28, 2019

UK: 'Snowflake' police can opt out of training sessions with swearing and offensive language because it might upset them

For most police officers, facing a barrage of four-letter words from abusive suspects is an everyday occurrence.

But chiefs at one force are warning officers that they may be upset by ‘swearing’ and ‘offensive language’ in training exercises – and that they should contact their supervisor if they find it all too much.

The move – part of a trend for so-called trigger warnings normally associated with ‘snowflake’ university students – has been met with derision from hard- bitten cops.

One officer joked on Twitter: ‘If this language is not acceptable to you please go directly to the safe space where the duty inspector will bring you a nice snuggle blanket and a cup of tea ... after that hand in your warrant card as you’re no ******* good to us.’

The language warning comes as part of an online exercise devised by Hampshire Police and aimed at both officers and civilian staff. Before a section on hate crime begins, an alert flashes up on screen saying: ‘Warning!’ in large letters.

It then says: ‘Please be aware that this package uses real life examples and, as a result, has offensive language and views in it. ‘Swear words are spelt out in full. Swear words are spoken in full in the audio files.

‘If you feel that this language is not acceptable to you, please close the package down and speak with your supervisor about how to proceed with completing the training.’

It is understood the warning was issued following a complaint by a distressed junior officer.

Boris Johnson has pledged to introduce an extra 20,000 officers over the next three years, but a recent Home Office report suggested forces were struggling to recruit because so many young people are ‘wrapped in cotton wool’ and unprepared for the harsh realities of the world.

Frank Furedi, emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Kent, said: ‘This is very worrying. It is one thing for fragile 19-year-old sociology students to be easily offended, but when you have policemen and women maintaining law and order getting distressed by harsh language then you have a big problem.’


LGBT Activists Demand Businesses Cut Ties With Church After Sermon on Transgender Issues

The Crossing Church from Columbia, Missouri, has been in the news recently—and for all the right reasons.

Just last month, the church garnered national attention when it helped members of its community pay off unpaid medical bills. Through partnership with RIP Medical Debt, a nonprofit organization that helps people pay off outstanding medical debt, church members donated more than $430,000, which was used to pay off more than $43 million of medical debt by negotiating with debt collectors.

Today, the Missouri church is in the news for something else: Its pastor preached a sermon on Oct. 13 titled “Male and Female. Ancient Text. Modern Debate.”

Using Genesis 1:27 as his text, Simon preached on God’s design for sexuality and transgenderism. Displaying pastoral sensitivity, Simon walked through the Bible’s teaching on gender and reflected on how Christians can minister to those who identify as transgender.

With love and compassion, the pastor explained how men and women are created in God’s image and how the transgender movement does not align with the Bible’s teaching on sex and gender complementarity.

But despite Simon’s efforts to discuss the topic from a loving, biblically informed perspective, local LGBT activists immediately cried foul, launching a petition and demanding local businesses cut ties with the church.

Last Thursday, Sager Braudis Gallery, a local art gallery, was the first to cave to activist pressure. Although the church had financially sponsored the gallery for five years, the gallery said it was severing ties to show “solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community” and to register its protest “against institutions who perpetuate and use their powerful platforms for content of this nature.”

While skirmishes over marriage and human sexuality have become commonplace, this latest incident reveals an alarming level of intolerance among progressive activists.

An honest observer would be hard pressed to find anything in the sermon that could be construed as vindictive or hateful. In fact, Pastor Simon went out of his way to avoid politics, at one point saying, “We’re not talking about partisan politics or the culture wars.” Instead, Simon wanted to show what Jesus taught on these contentious issues, regardless of the current cultural moment.


Sunday, October 27, 2019

'We sincerely apologise': Kmart REMOVES a $6 bridal costume for children from shelves after angry mums accuse the store of 'promoting child marriage'

Little girls LOVE dressing up. This would have been an indulgence for one

Kmart Australia has pulled a $6 wedding dress costume for children from the shelves after public outcry over the 'inappropriate' Halloween costume.

The retailer was bombarded with angry messages on Tuesday when Melbourne mother Shannon Barbone pointed out how distasteful she found the ensemble and started an online petition to have it banned.

As a result Kmart has 'sincerely apologised' and will no longer be stocking the dress.

'Kmart Australia regrets the decision to range the bride costume (ages 4-6 years), it was not intended to cause offence and we sincerely apologise,' a spokesperson told FEMAIL.

'We have made the decision to withdraw this product and we encourage customers who have product concerns or feedback, to please get in contact with our Kmart Customer Service team.'  

Shannon was shopping for a Halloween outfit for her young daughter when she came across the white gown nestled between the fairy and unicorn costumes.

Outraged by what she saw as a promotion of 'child marriage', Shannon started a petition on to see the dress removed completely from stores. 'A child bride costume currently exists on Kmart shelves in children's sizes,' she wrote on the petition, which has been signed by 179 people.

'Tell Kmart this is beyond inappropriate and offensive and that they have a social responsibility to pull this item off their shelves immediately.'

The dress, which has a hemline down to the knees and includes a veil and sweetheart neckline, is targeted for girls aged between four and six.

But others found her anger over the costume ridiculous and said this doesn't equate to actual child brides.


Must not defend Trump admin at Harvard

The leaders of Harvard University’s student newspaper defended a basic tenet of journalism Tuesday amid a swirl of controversy on campus.

After reporters for The Crimson attended a Sept. 12 protest on campus that called for the abolition of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, they reached out to ICE to allow the government agency to respond to the criticism.

ICE didn’t respond to the inquiry, and the reporters included a sentence noting that in their report published the next day.

In the weeks since, members of the student-led immigration advocacy group that organized the protest, Act on a Dream, have expressed their disagreement with the student journalists’ decision to seek comment from ICE and have started a petition to demand The Crimson not contact ICE for comment in its future reporting.

“We are extremely disappointed in the cultural insensitivity displayed by The Crimson’s policy to reach out to ICE, a government agency with a long history of surveilling and retaliating against those who speak out against them,” says the petition, which had collected more than 670 signatures by Wednesday morning. “In this political climate, a request for comment is virtually the same as tipping them off, regardless of how they are contacted.”

The petition calls for a policy change, an apology, and a declaration of The Crimson’s “commitment to protecting undocumented students on campus.”

Kristine E. Guillaume, The Crimson’s president, and Angela N. Fu, its managing editor, responded with a note to readers Tuesday defending the reporters’ request for comment from ICE and explaining that it is standard practice across the journalism profession to allow people and organizations that are criticized a chance to respond.

Guillaume and Fu defended the right of journalists to seek comment from any relevant party and said The Crimson’s practices have been reviewed and affirmed by the Student Press Law Center and the Society of Professional Journalists.


Friday, October 25, 2019

Outrage over ‘condescending’ Michael Leunig cartoon

One of Australia’s most loved cartoonists Michael Leunig has been slammed for a mummy-shaming drawing published on Wednesday.

The cartoon, published in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age newspapers, showed a woman pushing a pram while looking at her mobile phone. Behind her a baby lies on the ground. It was accompanied by a poem that read:

“Mummy was busy on Instagram

When beautiful bubby fell out of the pram

And lay on the path unseen and alone

Wishing that he was loved like a phone.”

The cartoon has attracted criticism and anger on social media, with some describing it as “sad” and an example of “trite egoism and male frailty rolled into one”.

Feminist witer Clementine Ford slammed Leunig as a “f***ing gronk” on Twitter.

“I bet you never spent hours walking babies around in a pram, feeling isolated and alone and terrified. F*** you and your condescending judgement”.

Another Twitter user commented: “young parents have enough anxiety without this boomer bull***t”.

Some also retailated with their own poems.


Blackface pumpkins!

In a bold move which will forever remove from mankind the stain of racism -- and probably also cure poverty, disease, and war -- home retailer Bed Bath & Beyond has pulled certain jack-o'-lanterns off its store shelves. Reports don't make it quite clear whether the move was nationwide or just at the one particular location, but your Friendly Neighborhood VodkaPundit was unable to find them for sale on the company's website.

See, these particular jack-o'-lanterns are painted black on the outside, in order to better contrast and show off a very cool orange glow from the inside when lit. And since we live in a deeply stupid age, someone decided that the glowing fake pumpkin carvings must be racist. This is an easy mistake to make if you happen to be brain damaged, or are a perennially pissed-off progressive permanently on the lookout for something to be peeved about. But I repeat myself.

The whole ball of stupid got rolling in Nyack, New York, where someone from a local law firm picked up a few of the nasty-evil-vile-racist-hater plastic pumpkins for office Halloween decorations. Local Westchester News 12 reported that "the jack-o'-lanterns upset some community members," and so the law firm of Feerick, Nugent, MacCartney got rid of them. Then, following a vital news investigation into this horrific act of pure ... [checks notes] holiday charm... Bed Bath & Beyond decided to stop selling them.

News 12 also reports, "Though they have been removed, both attorneys say they wonder why the decorations didn’t raise flags at Bed Bath & Beyond." I dunno, because there's nothing possibly racist about pretend light-up gourds?

Local NAACP Director Wilbur Aldridge, apparently never one to let a crisis go to waste, claimed that the brightly lit pumpkins showed an "extreme lack of sensitivity." To what, law firms that didn't try and cheer up the place during the depths of autumn?


Thursday, October 24, 2019

Australia's top academics call for Murdoch University to drop case against whistleblower
An investigation earlier this year by ABC’s Four Corners (Australia's leading investigative journalism program), found Murdoch University was one of a number of Australian universities lowering academic standards for lucrative international students.

An Associate Professor in Mathematics and Statistics, Gerd Schroeder-Turk, was one of three Murdoch University academics who spoke on Four Corners, having previously raised their concerns through internal channels. Murdoch University’s response was to deny the allegations.

This is an old, old issue.  The University of Newcastle in 2003 was doing the same thing:  Giving Asian students degrees even though they had not mastered the work -- and refusing to "fess up".  Very short-sighted.  Sending incompetents back to Asia just ruins your reputation

An open letter published today from 57 professors to Murdoch University vice-chancellor Professor Eeva Leinonen stated they believe the court action sets a "dangerous precedent for all Australian universities".

The signatories are all recipients of the prestigious Australian Research Council's Laureate Fellowship, and come from 15 universities across the sector in disciplines including arts, humanities, science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Quotes from the letter:

"It is a long-established principle of academic freedom that academics must be able to criticise university governance. This right is especially important where aspects of university governance might compromise the integrity of teaching and research."

"The claim for damages is highly intimidatory to all Australian academics and therefore risks the capacity of Murdoch University and all Australian universities to pursue excellence in research and teaching."

"We urge you to withdraw the claim, to settle any dispute without punitive measures, and to affirm the commitment of Murdoch University to academic freedom as an essential university value."

The letter comes after the Australian Institute of Physics and a coalition of 23 international academics issued public statements condemning the university's actions.

One of the letter's signatories, distinguished Professor Michael Bird from James Cook University, told the ABC that academics have been disturbed by the case against Dr Schroder-Turk.

"It appears to be more intimidatory than anything else. I'm a humble scientist. I don't ordinarily feel I should be doing this sort of thing, this was an exceptional case and and we felt that it required an exceptional response," he said.

Professor Bird said the group of academics don't know Dr Schroder-Turk personally but felt compelled to act after reading about the case. "I do not understand how a university could think this was an appropriate action to take," he said

"Academic freedom gives people the right to query decisions that have been made and that's for the good of democracy in the same way that press freedom is there for the good of democracy ultimately.

"If that is eroded, that is not conducive to a healthy democracy and it really needs to be called out whenever it happens."