Monday, March 31, 2008

New template are messing up some of the old templates so I had to upgrade to new blogger and a different template. All the old comments are lost unless I can figure out how to bring them back. Comments from now on will be in format.
Fitna lives

Post below recycled from Powerline

Death threats by proponents of the religion of peace have led to the removal of the Geert Wilders film "Fitna" from LiveLeak's servers that we linked to yesterday. In a kind of "I am Spartacus" response, numerous sites have reposted the video. Victor Trombettas, for example, has posted it here on his blog's YouTube account; Pat Dollard has posted it here on his site with the vow that he "will NEVER bow to your ******** yappity yapping"; Michelle Malkin has posted it here; Hot Air has posted it here; Rusty Shackleford has posted it here. As of this moment, it is still posted on Google here. Download your own copy here

Below are excerpts from two different reports of last week's events in a Canadian "Human Rights" tribunal

Gestapo methods

We read:

"This week, during final arguments at a CHRC hearing into hate-speech complaints against Marc Lemire (who is typically portrayed as a white supremacist, but who insists he is just a "certified computer expert who ran a website critical of immigration and the CHRC"), it was revealed that commission investigators are not above entrapment, telecommunications fraud and invasion of an innocent person's privacy to harass suspects into a conviction.

After years of investigating Lemire, CHRC investigators had too little proof that he was a hatemonger to proceed to a hearing. So they began logging onto his website under an assumed name, "Jadewarr," and posting provocative comments in hopes of obtaining racist replies they could then use in their case again Lemire.

To cover their activities, it appears commission employees logged onto the Internet through a wireless connection they detected in a woman's apartment near their offices, rather than using the commission's own server. They neither sought the woman's permission nor acquired a judicial warrant to tap into her computer. During this week's hearing, the woman's name, address and telephone number were also revealed in public testimony.

These are the actions of people who have become a law unto themselves. They have convinced themselves that their goal -- the eradication of hatred as they see it -- gives them licence to run roughshod over traditional legal protections against wrongful conviction. If they are convinced you are guilty, yet cannot gather enough evidence to prove it, they are not above manufacturing proof. There is no innocent until proven guilty. You are guilty once they decide you are and they will prove it no matter what.


Amazing arrogance: Free speech is un-Canadian

We read:

"Earlier this week, I argued that Canada's human-rights censors have managed a seemingly impossible task: They've found a way to rehabilitate the image of neo-Nazis, transforming them from odious dirtbags into principled free-speech martyrs. Case in point: At this week's much-anticipated human-rights hearing in Ottawa, a team of journalists and bloggers were campaigning openly in support of hatemonger Marc Lemire. The villains were Canadian Human Rights Commission (HRC) investigator Dean Steacy and the other apparatchik who've made a career out of parsing Lemire's phobic Web postings.

But even if the HRC nails Lemire, Tuesday's eight-hour hearing will still be remembered as a landmark disaster for the commission. Despite efforts by Steacy and others to stonewall on specific questions of HRC procedure, observers were nonetheless able to extract a fairly detailed picture of commission work practices. The impression that emerges is an overstaffed shop in which unionized desk jockeys sit around "investigating" obscure web sites in search of some scrap of actionable hatred. When they don't find anything, they log on and try stirring things up themselves -- a practice Lemire describes as entrapment. This amateurhour version of The Wire would be funny -- if the HRC weren't spending millions of taxpayer dollars in the process, and turning the lives of the accused upside down.

In fact, for an organization that is supposed to promote "human rights," the HRC's agents seem curiously oblivious to basic aspects of constitutional law. In one famous exchange during the Lemire case, Steacy was asked "What value do you give freedom of speech when you investigate?" -- to which he replied "Freedom of speech is an American concept, so I don't give it any value." (I guess Section 2 has been excised from his copy of the Canadian Charter of Rights.)


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Anti-Muslim film deleted

Summary below excerpted from Mark Steyn. There is now no free speech about Muslims

Geert Wilders' film is a hit - over 1.5 million views in English, over 2.5 million in Dutch last time I checked - but it's nevertheless been yanked by LiveLeak, with the following statement:
"Following threats to our staff of a very serious nature, and some ill informed reports from certain corners of the British media that could directly lead to the harm of some of our staff, has been left with no other choice but to remove Fitna from our servers. This is a sad day for freedom of speech on the net but we have to place the safety and well being of our staff above all else.

Indeed. The Internet will keep Fitna alive in odd corners hither and yon, but only to those who actively seek it out. In the wider world, it goes without saying that such a film is unacceptable, and that this time round the pre-emptive rage (as Diana West calls it) was so successful the next Fitna will have an even harder time: no movie theaters or broadcast networks or obscure cable channels would even consider showing it, and Google and YouTube and the other Internet biggies have grown increasingly comfortable with political speech-policing, and now one more small net operation has learned that, unless you want to be a 24/7 crusader on this issue, it's not a business worth being in. In effect, the Islamobullies have been rewarded yet again for threatening physical violence.
A black man who looks like King Kong?

It was of course some "racist" conservative who saw the black man in the picture above as looking like the ape King Kong? No. It was race-obsessed Leftists. They saw a "stereotype" where more reasonable people would have seen what was intended: A picture of a triumphant black man who gets the girl -- basketballer LeBron James. If you can be bothered to read about the nonsense, go here.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

You Cannot Say That. You Cannot Say That. You Cannot...

Quoting what the Rev. Wright says on DVDs that he himself has circulated is "poison", apparently. Post below recycled whole from The Corner:

On Laura Ingraham's program March 14, the day after the Rev. Jeremiah Wright story broke, I said that Obama supporters "are going to try to suggest to TV producers that playing [video of Wright's statements] over and over is a racially inflammatory act."

Cut to yesterday, when Hillary Clinton was asked about Wright and said "He would not have been my pastor." You would have thought she had used a racial epithet. Andrew Sullivan quickly labeled Clinton's statement "a new low." And later, on CNN, when Clinton defender Lanny Davis called Clinton's remarks "legitimate" and described the statements by Rev. Wright that are the basis of the whole controversy, he was quickly called to task by host Anderson Cooper and fellow guest Joe Klein:
"DAVIS: I think it's a legitimate way that she said it, which is that she personally would not put up with somebody who says that 9/11 are chickens who come home to roost, that Israel is a state-sponsored organization - nation, and that there are generic comments made about America.

KLEIN: Lanny, you're doing it right now.

COOPER: Lanny, it is amazing. Lanny, it is amazing. I'm not taking sides here, but we all know what the comments were. It's funny that you feel the need to repeat them over and over again.

DAVIS: It's appropriate.

KLEIN: You know, Lanny, Lanny, you're spreading the - you're spreading the poison right now.

As far as I can tell, Davis had not described Wright's comments on the program, so I'm not sure why Cooper said "over and over again." But it appears that in some quarters it is not only inappropriate to play the video of Wright's "God damn America," "chickens coming home to roost" and "U.S. of KKK A" comments, it is inappropriate to describe them as well. I think we'll be seeing a lot more of that in the future.
Brits host outspoken video about Islam

Dutch MP Geert Wilders has released his frank film about the Koran -- on a British website. Sad that it took a British site to stand up for freedom of speech after an American site backed out. No-one expected a European site to host it, of course. Excerpts from one report below:

"Mr Wilders, 44, who has built his political career campaigning against the alleged "Islamisation" of the West, argued that the film was a legitimate exercise in freedom of expression; however, many mainstream politicians and Muslims said that it was gratuitously insulting. Speaking just before the release of Fitna, an Arabic word meaning strife, Mr Wilders said that he understood that Muslims could be upset about the film but added: "It remains widely within the framework of the law . . . My film was not made to provoke violence."

Viewers had only a few minutes to see it on the Freedom Party website before it disappeared because of "technical difficulties". It then became available in Dutch and English on LiveLeak, a British-based video-sharing website, sparking fears that extremists could also target British interests.

The company that runs the website defended its decision to host the film last night, saying that there was no legal reason to censor it. " has a strict stance on remaining unbiased and allowing freedom of speech so far as the law and our rules allow," it said. "There was no legal reason to refuse Geert Wilders the right to post his film and it is not our place to censor people based on an emotive response." The website said that it did not endorse Mr Wilders or his views.

Even before seeing the film, demonstrators took to the streets in several countries, including Afghanistan and Indonesia, to vent their fury at the Netherlands, and the governments of Pakistan and Iran have criticised the project. Mr Wilders seemed to have rushed putting the film out after an American server withdrew and a Muslim organisation said that it would seek a court injunction today.

The film opened with a Koran being opened and the text of a sura (a verse from the Koran) which it translated from Arabic as imploring the faithful to "terrorise the enemies of Allah". It was followed by images of aircraft flying into the World Trade Centre in New York on September 11, 2001, with extracts from phone calls to the emergency services on that day. Further images of bloodstained bodies in the aftermath of the Madrid train bombings in March 2004, in which 191 people were killed, followed.

It showed statistics of the growing Muslim population and images of female genital mutilation, a hanging of suspected gay men, beheadings and bloodied children, all following the words: "The Netherlands in future?"

More here

See the video here. No doubt various deep-thinking Muslims will use violence to protest a film which claims that they are violent.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Hillary gets it right!

Or is that "Wright"? She cries "Hate Speech" on a black man! I thought that was impossible -- unless a black insults homosexuals, of course. And even that unforgiveable crime gets a pass most of the time where blacks are concerned.

"After weeks of silence and a lot of questions answered with "you'll have to ask Senator Obama about that" Hillary Clinton has decided to speak up on the Rev Wright controversy - telling the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review "He would not have been my pastor."

In a wide ranging interview, Clinton told the paper's editors "You don't choose your family, but you choose what church you want to attend." She called anti-American remarks by Sen Barack Obama's pastor "hate speech," saying "I just think you have to speak out against that. You certainly have to do that, if not explicitly, then implicitly by getting up and moving."

British tea advert cleared of racism

OK to imply that blacks are highly sexed, apparently! I don't think that would pass muster in the good old U.S. of A.

"A light-hearted TV advert for Twinings tea in which three white women flirt with a young black American has been cleared of playing on negative racial stereotypes. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said it had decided not to uphold a lone complaint from a viewer who believed the ad suggested black men were sexually promiscuous and existed to provide sexual services for white women.

In the plug for Earl Grey, Stephen Fry is seen behind the counter of a tea shop as the black male, named Tyrone, writes a message on a blackboard informing customers that the drink "puts the zing in your ding-a-ling".

Dismissing the claims of racial bias, an ASA panel described the innuendo used to promote the aromatic beverages as unlikely to cause widespread offence. The panel observed: "Although we acknowledged the innuendo was mildly sexual, we did not consider that it was reliant on the young man's ethnic origins or a racial stereotype.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Conservatives' Hate-Based Campaign Against Obama

The heading above comes from an article by Paul Waldman in the Leftist American Prospect magazine. The article begins as follows:

"The right-wing smear campaign against Barack Obama has already begun. Conservatives intend, as they have so many times before, to appeal to Americans' ugliest prejudices and most craven fears

The article that follows is full of hate -- towards conservatives -- and is just one long accusatory diatribe about race. So who is the hater and who is obsessed by race?

As far as one can make out, the "campaign" Waldman refers to is the publicity about Obama's crackpot black racist Pastor. So objecting to black racism makes you a racist, apparently. That probably makes sense in the weird world of the Left. What is in no doubt, however, is that Waldman himself is filled with hate. Just read his article if you do doubt it.

For instance, he says that the GOP will "wage a campaign appealing to the ugliest prejudices, the most craven fears, the most vile hatreds". If that's not hate, I'd like to see him get wound up!
A way found to get at slanderous site?

We read:

"Internet rumor mill JuicyCampus is in hot water yet again. JuicyCampus, a web site that publishes anonymous, often malicious gossip about college students, has come under fire from student groups at several colleges and universities who say it is ruining reputations. Now, state prosecutors in New Jersey have subpoenaed records from JuicyCampus in an investigation into whether the site is committing consumer fraud.

Language on the site ranges from catty to hateful and offensive. One thread, for example, on the "most overrated Princeton student" quickly dissolves into name-calling, homophobia, and anti-Semitism.

JuicyCampus might be violating New Jersey's Consumer Fraud Act by suggesting that it doesn't allow offensive material but providing no enforcement of that rule-and no way for users to report or dispute the material, New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram said March 18.


I am not much concerned about the alleged "hate speech" as such. It's truth that primarily concerns me. And there has to be some recourse against UNTRUE defamatory statements.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Seeking a kinder word for failure

Another example of the stupid Leftist belief in verbal magic. They think that changing the word changes the reality:

"To soothe the bruised egos of educators and children in lackluster schools, Massachusetts officials are now pushing for kinder, gentler euphemisms for failure.

Instead of calling these schools "underperforming," the Board of Education is considering labeling them as "Commonwealth priority," to avoid poisoning teacher and student morale.

Schools in the direst straits, now known as "chronically underperforming," would get the more urgent but still vague label of "priority one."

Britain: Girls' computer game condemned

Shoot-em-up games are OK but encouraging weight loss is bad??

"A website that encourages girls as young as 9 to embrace plastic surgery and extreme dieting in the search for the perfect figure was condemned as lethal by parents' groups and healthcare experts yesterday. The Miss Bimbo internet game has attracted prepubescent girls who are told to buy their virtual characters breast enlargement surgery and to keep them "waif thin" with diet pills.

Healthcare professionals, a parents' group and an organisation representing people suffering anorexia and bulimia criticised the website for sending a dangerous message to impressionable children.

In the month since it opened the site, which is aimed at girls aged from 9 to 16, has attracted 200,000 members. Players keep a constant watch on the weight, wardrobe, wealth and happiness of their character to create "the coolest, richest and most famous bimbo in the world". Competing against other children they earn "bimbo dollars" to buy plastic surgery, diet pills, facelifts, lingerie and fashionable nightclub outfits. The website sparked controversy when it was introduced in France, where it attracted 1.2 million players.


And all the government propaganda attacking "obesity" is OK? Somebody is deeply confused here.

Anorexia is mainly an hereditary mental illness anyway, nothing to do with looking at slim actresses etc. It's a type of OCD (Obsessive-compulsive disorder).

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A FOUNTAIN of incorrectness

In case you have not seen it, here is the link to a blog post that lots of people are ostentatiously NOT linking to. He's an old guy like myself who has no fear of speaking the plain truth -- truth that has got mainly infantile reactions. Yes: He DOES mention the "N-word".

Instapundit has lots of links to the uproar.
"It is a very bad example to people to let him say whatever he wants"

Leftists and Muslims at work in The Netherlands:

"About one thousand people protested in central Amsterdam on Saturday against right-wing lawmaker Geert Wilders and the imminent release of his film expected to be critical of the Koran. Anti-racism protesters clad in winter clothing against the freezing cold and drizzling rain held placards that said "Enough is enough" and "Stop the witch-hunt against Muslims"....

There should be restrictions on what Wilders can say, said Rieke, a 61-year-old Amsterdam arts teacher who declined to give her last name. "I think it is embarrassing what Wilders says, for example about tearing up the Koran. It is a very bad example to people to let him say whatever he wants," she said.

Wilders' film has already triggered fury in the Muslim world. The Dutch government has distanced itself from his views, fearing a backlash against the country amongst Muslims similar to that against Denmark in 2006 after newspapers there published the Prophet Mohammad cartoons.

Wilders, who has given few details about his 15-minute film, has said he plans to release "Fitna" on the Internet before the end of the month after Dutch broadcasters declined to show it. Fitna is a Koranic term sometimes translated as "strife". "The film is not so much about Muslims as about the Koran and Islam. The Islamic ideology has as its utmost goal the destruction of what is most dear to us, our freedom," he wrote in a commentary in Dutch daily De Volkskrant on Saturday.


Monday, March 24, 2008

Say "Wetback" and you must be fired

We read:

"A Texas city council member is under pressure to resign from office after he published a racist comment in a public document, according to a report on Mustang Ridge City Council member Charles Laws referred to a proposed immigrant detention center as a "holding pen for wetbacks" on the March 12 meeting agenda, reports.

When first asked for comment, Laws told the TV station, "I'm 74 years old, and that's what we called them when I was growing up. I don't care about political crap." Laws later softened his stance, saying, "I wasn't thinking when I put it in there. I didn't mean to offend anybody, I was just passing on the information."

Mike Martinez, a city council member from nearby Austin, is leading the movement to remove Laws. "When I asked him to explain himself, his explanation was 'That's what it is, and that's what they are,'" Martinez told

"Terrorist" a forbidden word

Muslim kid presents himself like a terrorist but you are not allowed to say so:

"An Illinois high school senior is threatening to file a discrimination lawsuit against his school district after he says a teacher told him he fit the stereotype of a terrorist and humiliated him in front of his peers.

Maysam Amanishourbariki, 17, who was born in the United States and is of Iranian heritage, claims his Italian language teacher told him last semester that he fit the stereotype of a terrorist during an exchange in class over his clothing. He says two other students also called him a terrorist, which was reported to school officials. "Everyone started to laugh," Amanishourbariki told the Waukegan News-Sun. "I just sat there. I was confused. I didn't know what to do. I was angry and upset."

The teacher, who apologized to Amani, urged him to pull down his hoodie and take off his hat that he wore to school after a new haircut.


Other kids seemed to agree with the teacher but any idea that the Muslim kid himself might have got it wrong does not seem to have occurred to him.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

'Ho' most politically incorrect

I am reproducing the article below whole as it covers a lot of ground

"Nappy-headed hos," the phrase that cost US radio shock jock Don Imus his job and triggered a debate on how far free speech can go, was named as the most egregious politically incorrect turn of phrase in 2007.

Trailing behind that phrase in the annual survey by Global Language Monitor (, a word usage group, were "Ho-Ho-Ho" and "Carbon Footprint Stomping," said the group's president Paul JJ Payack.

"Ho-Ho-Ho" made the list after a staffing company in Sydney, Australia suggested to prospective Santas they drop their traditional greeting in favor of "Ha-Ha-Ha" so as not to invoke images of the derogatory US slang term for women.

"Carbon Footprint Stomping" is a phrase used to describe flouting environmentally "green" activities by doing things like driving gas-guzzling Hummers and flying private jets, which in these energy-conscious times might be considered the height of political incorrectness.

New York-based Imus was fired from his popular morning radio program by CBS in April 2007 after a national controversy erupted over his use of the "Nappy-headed" phrase to describe the Rutgers University women's basketball team. Imus later apologised and met with the team to ask for forgiveness. Last November, he was hired by a different network.

"It is no surprise that 'Nappy-headed hos' was selected as the top politically incorrect word or phrase for 2007," said Mr Payack. "A year later that phrase is still ricocheting about the Internet, even affecting Christmas-season Santas in Australia "

Among other examples on the list are:

"Fire-breathing Dragon" - Children's book author Lindsey Gardiner was asked to eliminate a fire-breathing dragon from her new book because publishers feared they could be sued under health and safety regulations.

"Wucha dun did now?" - The subtitle of a "Ghetto Handbook" distributed by a Houston school district police officer to enable readers to speak "as if you just came out of the 'hood."

"Gypsy skirt" - The colorful layered skirt was given a new name, "Traveler Skirt," since police in Cornwall, a county in southwest England, believed the term "Gypsy Skirt" might be considered offensive to Gypsies.

Free speech... even for Marines

We read:

"A U.S. Marine Corps reservist won't be charged for ignoring police requests and wading into a protest to rescue an American Flag. Ray Adam Modisette, 20, said he was reacting to a war protester who was stuffing an American flag down her pants.

Modisette of Shawnee was arrested Friday afternoon on a complaint of interfering with official police process. Modisette was leaving Tinker Air Force Base in his car Friday when he saw the protester with the flag. He said he turned around and headed for the crowd to get the flag. He was handcuffed after ignoring several requests by officers to move away from the small group of demonstrators from Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan.

If desecrating Old Glory is protected speech, then so is rescuing it.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

ACLU comes out in favor of the SECOND amendment!

But only as part of their campaign to defend illegal immigration:

"A federal judge has stopped enforcement of a Kentucky law barring non-citizens from carrying concealed deadly weapons. U.S. District Judge Thomas Russell said the law is written too broadly and violates the rights of attorney Alexander M. Say, a British national who has lived in Kentucky for 15 years. ...

The [ACLU] sued the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department and Kentucky State Police on behalf of Say. The ACLU challenged the citizenship requirement, saying Kentucky lawmakers should not have passed the law. ... Say argued that no federal law requires U.S. citizenship for people to be licensed to purchase, carry, transport or carry a concealed deadly weapon, and neither should state law."

OK to ask for English to be spoken

We read:

"This is America: WHEN ORDERING `PLEASE SPEAK ENGLISH.' And this is also America: If I want to ask customers to order in English, I can.

2 1/2 years after Joe Vento posted his order-in-English signs at his cheesesteak shop in Philadelphia, the city's Commission on Human Relations panel finally got around to saying that's OK. It's his shop.

And it is not like he is saying English only. He's making a simple request. I never, ever got how anyone could be offended. The sign is in English. If you can read the sign, you should be able to order in English. The guy makes cheesesteaks. He likely doesn't have a lot of time trying to decipher orders in 20 different languages.

The AP story said: "The case went to a public hearing, where an attorney for the commission argued that the sign was about intimidation, not political speech. Intimidation? It is a sign. Guess what? There are plenty of other cheesesteak joints in town. It's Philadelphia.


See also here. Previous story from 2006 here

Friday, March 21, 2008

A HUGE double standard

As Taranto and others are pointing out, Don Imus was fired just for using ordinary black vocabulary but the HUGE hate speech emanating from Obama's pastor is being given a pass by the Left.

This must be the most colossal double standard ever. That Obama was one of those calling for the firing of Imus shows that Obama is a man of no principles at all. How can he soak in a bath of hate while condemning it in others?
The penny drops in Saudi Arabia

We read:

"The Saudi Arabian Parliament Monday rejected a recommendation to adopt an international agreement that forbids insulting of religions, prophets and clerics, the Saudi daily Al-Watan reported. Seventy-seven members of parliament rejected the recommendation, claiming that if they adopted the agreement, they would have had to recognize the legitimacy of idolatrous religions, such as Buddhism.


These guys are a bit slow, though. Why not just adopt a double standard, as American Leftists do?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

SCOTUS to review harsh new FCC rules

We read:

"The justices agreed to give the Federal Communications Commission a chance to defend its decision to start punishing broadcasters for the isolated and fleeting on-air use of expletives, an abrupt change in the commission policy that a federal appeals court last year found procedurally improper.

It has been almost exactly 30 years since the Supreme Court ruled in the "seven dirty words" case that the First Amendment did not bar the government from regulating the broadcasting of speech that, while "indecent," was not actually obscene. The broadcast at issue then was a 12-minute monologue by the comedian George Carlin, titled "Filthy Words," that deliberately challenged federal regulators by highlighting "the words you couldn't say" on the public airwaves.

For years after that ruling, despite its victory, the F.C.C. exercised its power with a light hand, disclaiming the authority to punish fleeting words that did not reflect "deliberate and repetitive use in a patently offensive manner," as the commission said in a public notice in 1987.

The approach changed soon after that, when the NBC broadcast of the 2003 Golden Globe Awards drew complaints for the expletive that the singer Bono used as an adjective to express his delight at receiving an award for best original song.

A coalition of broadcasters challenged the new policy in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in New York, raising constitutional and statutory objections. In a 2-to-1 ruling last June, the appeals court did not address the First Amendment challenge directly. Rather, it held that the commission had violated ordinary principles of administrative law by making "a dramatic change in agency policy without adequate explanation." The appeals court vacated the commission's order, instructing the F.C.C. to "articulate a reasoned basis for this change in policy."

At the same time, the appeals court majority made it clear that any explanation would face a high hurdle. "We are skeptical" that any explanation "would pass constitutional muster," the court said in an opinion by Judge Rosemary Pooler.

Noting that all the words at issue were "fully protected by the First Amendment," Judge Pooler continued, "We are sympathetic to the networks' contention that the F.C.C.'s indecency test is undefined, indiscernible, inconsistent and, consequently, unconstitutionally vague."


Why not just shield kids from life and be done with it?

It does seem that the FCC has gone too far and that the court will not support it. By fining broadcasters huge amounts the FCC set themselves up for a court challenge.
Must not speak ill of Germans

We read:

"The captain of the Oceana had enough. "We don't want that kind of Germanic behavior," Christopher Wells joked to his mostly British passengers about the squabbling over deck chairs on his cruise ship. In today's politically ber-correct days, such staples of British humor are verboten. Mr. Wells now stands accused of racism.

The two-week Caribbean cruise almost ended in a brawl last month. Some holidaymakers infuriated other guests by using towels to reserve deck chairs, otherwise empty, for hours. Such behavior is, in the British holiday imagination, firmly associated with Germans, who are reputed (fairly or not) to have pioneered this use of the towel to hog prime suntanning spots....

The Oceana's captain must by now regret what he probably considered an innocent jest but for which he was forced to apologize. Some of the passengers reported the skipper (who has a German wife) to the U.K. Human Rights Commission.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"Racist" for British puppet to allude to the past

We read:

"A popular children's TV puppet show starring Basil Brush has been accused of racially abusing gypsies.

British police have launched an investigation into claims that an episode of the Basil Brush Show that screened on the BBC was racially offensive because it showed a gypsy woman trying to sell the puppet fox wooden pegs and a bunch of heather.

"This sort of thing happens quite regularly and we are fed up with making complaints about stereotypical comments about us in words that we find racist or offensive," Joseph Jones, vice-chairman of the Southern England Romany Gipsy and Irish Traveller Network, told the Mail on Sunday newspaper.

"Travellers have historically sold heather and pegs, but they don't do it anymore for a living.


I guess that all allusions to the past are suspect, then. Leftists would like that. History is a major inconvenience for them.
Britain tries to gag judges

Resorting to censorship is a kneejerk for Leftist officials: It's their first response to criticism:

"Des Browne, the Defence Secretary, is trying to prevent coroners from being highly criticical of the Ministry of Defence over the deaths of British troops killed in action. In a highly unusual move, Mr Browne began legal moves yesterday to prevent coroners from using language prejudicial to the MoD when issuing verdicts on the deaths of troops who die on active service.

Lawyers for Mr Browne went to the High Court to challenge comments made by a coroner in Oxfordshire after an inquest of a Territorial Army soldier in Iraq. Private Jason Smith, 32, died of heatstroke in 2003.

Andrew Walker, the assistant deputy coroner of Oxfordshire, recorded at his inquest in November 2006 that Private Smith’s death was caused “by a serious failure to recognise and take appropriate steps to address the difficulty that he had in adjusting to the climate”.


Must not criticize government failures? Whither democracy?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Finnish fanaticism

The Finnish government is trying to cover up the fact that it has a huge crime problem from black Muslim "refugees":

"Finnish government bureaucrat Mikko Puumalainen want to establish a Chinese-style governmental firewall on the internet to prevent all 5,000,000 (five million) people in Finland from reading websites that "strive to maintain an anti-immigrant political climate" by e.g. publishing facts such as official statistics on crime rates....

Quotes from official crime statistics published by the Ministry of Justice undoubtedly “help maintain an anti-immigrationist political climate” because they prove that e.g. the Somalis commit more than 100 times more (over one hundred times more, as in, over 10,000% more) robberies per capita than the Finns do.


Yes. Even facts must be censored in Finland. Stalin would understand.
Craigslist cleared over racist and sexist ads

We read:

"An online bulletin board used by more than 30 million people each month is not liable for users posting discriminatory advertisements, a US court has ruled. A group of Chicago lawyers sued bulletin board Craigslist in 2006 because some of the housing notices illegally discriminated on the basis of race, gender, religion and ethnicity. Various ads on Craigslist say "no minorities" or "no children". Declaring such preferences violates the US Fair Housing Act and would be illegal in a newspaper.

On Friday a three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit of the US Court of Appeals found that Craigslist was not the publisher of those ads, as a newspaper would be. The website was more like an intermediary carrying information from one person to another and was therefore not liable for its content, the panel said in a ruling that upheld a lower court decision.

Judge Frank Easterbrook said the Chicago lawyers could not "sue the messenger just because the message reveals a third party's plan to engage in unlawful discrimination". Judge Easterbrook suggested the lawyers could use Craigslist to find landlords who posted discriminatory ads and forward their names to relevant state authorities. Searches for housing listings on Craigslist currently appear with a warning: "Stating a discriminatory preference in a housing post is illegal. Please flag discriminatory posts as prohibited."

Craigslist spokeswoman Susan Best said she was pleased with the court's decision on the issue, which has been widely debated as courts seek to determine the responsibilities that internet websites assume for content they publish.


Monday, March 17, 2008

No free speech for blasphemy?

We read:

"The Muslim world has created a battle plan to defend its religion from political cartoonists and bigots. Concerned about what they see as a rise in the defamation of Islam, leaders of the world's Muslim nations are considering taking legal action against those that slight their religion or its sacred symbols. It was a key issue during a two-day summit that ended Friday in this western Africa capital.

The Muslim leaders are attempting to demand redress from nations like Denmark, which allowed the publication of cartoons portraying the Prophet Muhammad in 2006 and again last month, to the fury of the Muslim world.

"I don't think freedom of expression should mean freedom from blasphemy," said Senegal's President Abdoulaye Wade, the chairman of the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference. "There can be no freedom without limits."

"Muslims are being targeted by a campaign of defamation, denigration, stereotyping, intolerance and discrimination," charged Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu


I wonder why?
Some REAL hate speech

Newly released video of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Democrat presidential contender Sen. Barack Obama's controversial pastor, shows the preacher telling his congregation the United States knew of the attack on Pearl Harbor before the Japanese struck, the U.S. would plant weapons of mass destruction in Iraq "just like the LAPD," and those committing black-on-black crime are "fighting the wrong enemy." ... Here are excerpts from Wright's sermons revealed by Fox News:

"The government lied about Pearl Harbor. They knew the Japanese were going to attack. Government's lied."

"We've got a paranoid group of patriots in power that now, in the interest of homeland stupidity - I mean homeland security ..."

"The government lied about the Tuskegee experiment. They purposely infected African-American men with syphilis ..."

"Fighting for peace is like raping for virginity."

"... what's going on in white America, U.S. of KKKA ..."

"Black men turning on black men - that is fighting the wrong enemy. You both are the primary targets in an oppressive society that sees both of you as a dangerous threat."

"We cannot see how what we are doing is the same thing al-Qaida is doing under a different color flag ... And guess what else. If they don't find them some weapons of mass destruction, they going to do just like the LAPD and plant them some weapons of mass destruction."

"God damn America - that's in the Bible - for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating us citizens as less than human. God damn America ..."


The curious thing is that the venomous pastor is not himself very black. He could pass for white, maybe Italian. Perhaps venom substitutes for skin color. Very strange.

I suspect that he is just a hustler parasitizing blacks. I would be surprised if he even knew what the doctrine of the trinity says -- even though his church is named after it.

What Wright says about the Tuskegee study is as wrong as it is hateful. See here

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Row over sleeping minister

Some respect for humor among the Czechs

"Czech authorities have demanded an energy drink company take down a billboard ad campaign featuring a government minister asleep during a debate. The ads for the Kamikaze energy drink show foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg sleeping and the slogan: "Stay on your feet longer."

The 70-year-old minister who has not objected to the campaign admitted he had fallen asleep during a debate on the country's two-candidate presidential election in February.

The Czech Advertising Standards Council said the posters breached its ethical code that bars the use of public figures in commercials. The company though has refused to act. The sleeping minister meanwhile has not complained, saying only: "Let people have some fun."


I guess he wasn't a Muslim.
Israeli pest discovers another unintentional swastika

Getting people to waste money on something that most people are completely unaware of is far more offensive than the building itself:

"From the ground, the Wesley Acres Methodist retirement home looks like any other building. But fly over in an airplane, and the outline is unmistakable: It's one big swastika.

Prompted by complaints from a Jewish activist, the agency that owns the government-funded building is planning to alter its shape to disguise the Nazi symbol. The move comes just a few years after a $1 million design modification meant to quiet similar complaints from a U.S. senator.

"The difficulty is there are a limited number of options for fixing a building that has been there for some time," said Mike Giles, counsel for the Methodist Homes Corp. of Alabama and Northwest Florida. "We have to come up with a way to fix an appearance that we want solved and not hurt our residents." Wesley Acres provides government-subsidized housing for 117 low-income people ages 62 and above. Most have no reason to suspect their hallways take on a sinister shape....

The latest push to rid the landscape of the broken cross shape follows complaints from Avrahaum Segol, the same Israeli-American researcher who last fall helped publicize a swastika-shaped barracks at Naval Base Coronado in San Diego. The Navy said it would spend about $600,000 to alter the building, which opened in the 1960s, but the work has not yet been done.

The shape of the retirement center is evident in satellite photos available on the Internet. But it is located in a residential section in a city with few tall buildings, and many in Decatur have no idea Wesley Acres resembles a swastika.


As you can see above, it is not even a real swastika. It's got too many arms. Given the widespread unjustified antisemitism these days, his Rabbi should tell this guy to back off. It just gives antisemites something real to hang their animosity on.

Photo above via Mungerphut

Saturday, March 15, 2008

No Free speech in Sweden

And truth is certainly not a defence

"A man who displayed a placard accusing immigrants of group rape at an anti-racism rally has been convicted of agitation against an ethnic group. A March 2007 rally organized in the south west coast town of Angelholm by SSU, the youth wing of the Social Democratic Party, the man was seen holding a sign reading, "While Swedish girls are being group raped by immigrant gangs the SSU is fighting racism."

The man was arrested and eventually indicted on charges of agitation against an ethnic group, according to the Helsingborgs Dagblad newspaper. During his trial, the man claimed he simply wanted to point out the absurdity of holding a demonstration against racism and hoped the sign would spark debate. He asserted he was simply expressing an opinion, which is a right afforded to him under the European Convention on Human Rights.

But District Prosecutor Lars Danielsson disagreed, arguing that the man "expressed disrespect for a group of people with reference to their national or ethnic background." The court agreed with Danielsson, fining the man 4000 kronor ($650)."

The U.N. version of free speech

The U.N. is good for just about nothing but it might be seen as hopeful that most countries are signatories to the United nations' International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. And in signing it, they make it part of their own law. It is a very "Canadian" document, however, giving with one hand and taking back with the other. Here are parts of it:

Article 19

1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.

2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.

3. The exercise of the rights provided for in paragraph 2 of this article carries with it special duties and responsibilities. It may therefore be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary:

(a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others;

(b) For the protection of national security or of public order (ordre public), or of public health or morals.

Article 20

1. Any propaganda for war shall be prohibited by law.

2. Any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.
So it ends up JUSTIFYING restrictions on speech: The good old familiar Leftist doublespeak that Orwell noted long ago. No wonder some of the world's most oppressive regimes have ratified it.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Anonymous free speech or just free speech?

More on the AutoAdmit case:

"The Web 2.0 revolution in self-published content is making the already tangled legal debate around anonymity even harder to unravel. Take the case of a couple of female Yale Law School students whose reputations have been sullied on an online bulletin board called AutoAdmit. The plaintiffs had to drop Anthony Ciolli, the law student in charge of AutoAdmit, from the suit. This is because the law treats websites differently from traditional publishers in terms of their liability for libelous content.

In Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, Congress granted websites and Internet service providers immunity from liability for content posted by third parties. So a paper-and-ink newspaper can be sued for publishing a libelous letter from a reader, but, under Section 230, Web bulletin boards such as AutoAdmit have no legal responsibility for the published content of their users. Thus the students are now pursuing the identities of their defamers independently of AutoAdmit - a near impossible task.

Such cases indicate that the Supreme Court soon might need to rethink the civic value of anonymous speech in the Digital Age. Today, when cowardly anonymity is souring Internet discourse, it really is hard to understand how anonymous speech is vital to a free society.


A right to free speech and a right to anonymous free speech certainly seem different to me. The first Amendment guarantees the first of the two but says nothing of the second.

Previous posts on the AutoAdmit case on Feb. 14, 2008 and June 18, 2007 and June 5th. 2007
Must not say that homosexuality is destructive

Oklahoma Republican State Rep. Sally Kern says homosexuality has destructive consequences:

"The homosexual agenda is destroying this nation; it's just a fact," Kern is heard saying on a YouTube audio segment. "I honestly think it's the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam." ...

Kern said she made the comments in January to a Republican club meeting away from the state Capitol. Kern, a former social studies teacher in the Oklahoma City School District, said she talked about efforts by gay rights groups to target conservatives in recent elections.

"I said nothing that was not true, I said nothing out of hate and I don't believe my colleagues will censure me," Kern said. "I was speaking about the homosexual activists who are aggressively funding pro-homosexual candidates against conservative Republicans. In 2006, they targeted conservatives across the nation, mostly at the state and local levels. They took out 50 of them."

On the audio clipping, Kern can be heard saying the homosexual lifestyle "has deadly consequences for those people involved in it." "It is not a lifestyle that is not good for this nation. No society that has totally embraced homosexuality has lasted more than, you know, a few decades," she said.

Roth said comparing a "homosexual agenda" to terrorism is especially offensive. "Her outlandish comparison to the pain that terrorists cause demonstrates how her focus is skewed by her own bias," Roth said.


Whether you agree with her or not, there is no particular difficulty in making a case that homosexuality is destructive. Homosexuals have fewer children and that could be seen as contributing to the current sub-replacement birthrate. And homosexuals themselves often die quite young as a consequence of AIDS. But you are not allowed to say any of that, apparently. Some arguments must not be heard.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Viewers damn beaver ad


"A tampon company may be forced to cancel TV ads that show an attractive, young woman going about her day with a beaver in tow.

The Kotex advertisement, rated M and broadcast only after 8.30pm, features a woman and her pet beaver eating lunch, having their nails done, at the hairdresser, and being gawked at by men on a beach.

The ad ends with a voice-over: "You've only got one. So for the ultimate care down there, make it U." The woman then hands a packet of Kotex tampons to the beaver as a gift.

The Advertising Standards Bureau in Canberra received a "large number" of complaints as soon as the ad aired on Sunday - the day after International Women's Day.


Rather amusing. There is a video at the link above
Britain: Christianity must not be erotic

Sad for Christians. "GHD" is a British company that makes hair-curling and straightening gadgets

"A series of hair-styler adverts has been banned after 'eroticising' religious symbols such as rosary beads and the Lord's Prayer. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said three adverts for GHD should not be shown again as they caused "serious offence" to Christians. The Archdeacon of Liverpool was among 23 people who complained after the ads were broadcast on television.

In one advert, a woman wearing lingerie was shown sitting on a bed holding what appeared to be rosary beads. Her inner monologue was heard in Italian while on-screen text provided a translation. "May my new curls make her feel choked with jealousy," the text read. "GHD IV thy Will Be Done," it continued, with the letter T appearing as a Christian cross.

"GHD. A new religion for hair," the text concluded. Complainants criticised the lifting of "thy will be done" from the Lord's Prayer and said the transposing of the letter T into a cross was offensive to the Christian faith.

In response, GHD owner Jemella said it "had not intended to cause offence". It claimed the use of the word 'thy' was to "add drama and weight to the intensity of the girls' wishes". The firm insisted "thy will be done" had been accepted into common usage in a similar way to other biblical phrases such as "turning the other cheek", "give us today our daily bread" and "lead me not into temptation".


More details here

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Britain: Restaurant reviewers now allowed to say what they think (Maybe)

We read:

"Restaurant critics, and newspaper proprietors, were celebrating yesterday after a judge upheld their rights to publish unflattering reviews of bad food and lousy service. Sir Brian Kerr, the Northern Ireland Lord Chief Justice, overturned the award of 25,000 pounds to Goodfellas pizza restaurant in West Belfast against The Irish News. Ciarnan Convery, the pizzeria owner, sued the newspaper for libel over a highly critical review of his restaurant in August 2000.

Sir Brian's appeal court decision had been keenly awaited, with implications around the world for publishers of restaurant reviews. Sitting with two appeal court judges, he ruled that the jury that decided that the restaurant had been defamed had been misdirected by the trial judge. He ordered a retrial, adding that while he thought a properly directed jury would have found in favour of The Irish News he could not be certain. It will now be up to Mr Convery to decide whether he wishes to pursue the case farther.

New British restrictions on blogging

We read:

"Sir Gus O'Donnell, the Cabinet Secretary, is to set out new guidance to civil servants to cover blogging and online social networks following the demise of the "Civil Serf" blogger, The Times has learnt. Sir Gus will shortly issue guidelines to tell officials whether they can start up blogs or use social networking websites such as Facebook and YouTube, and even if they can change details on Wikipedia.

A Cabinet Office spokesman denied that the move was directly linked with the Civil Serf blogger, believed to work for the Department for Work and Pensions, who has embarrassed Westminster with her revelations about officials and ministers. The 33-year-old Londoner, who has yet be named, has ridiculed Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, and Alistair Darling, the Chancellor, as well as accusing the Government of recycling old policies and creating "cheap headlines"....

The new code is likely to restrict information disclosed on blogs or social networks and limit the individuals who can interact with them.


I suppose it was inevitable. Any control that they can exert, they will.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Controversial blog is axed


"A civil servant who wrote an anonymous blog about the inner workings of government has taken down the site after it attracted widespread publicity. The blog, Civil Serf, which was mentioned in newspapers and used by Tory politicians to criticise the Government, made frequent references to welfare policy and to Peter Hain, the former Work and Pensions Secretary. The Department of Work and Pensions declined to confirm whether the blogger had been identified. Her profile states that she is a 33-year-old fast-stream civil servant.


It seems to have been a great blog but they have done a very thorough job of taking it down. There is nothing in the Google cache and the Wayback Machine has nothing either. There are a few excerpts here and here and here and here. If anybody can find more of it, let me know and I will see about getting it posted somewhere. Below are some pretty good bits:
"- [Former minister] Peter Hain 'can't answer a question without looking confused (if you asked him for his name he'd have to really think about it)'

- 'Ministers only take decisions at the weekend [probably because they have their spouse and/or political adviser do it for them]'

- 'The civil service loves bright young graduates with poncy backgrounds and floppy, golden hair'

In case not everyone gets British slang, "poncy" translates as "pretentious"
Must not mock Feminism

The article below is short and to the point so I am posting it all:

"If you spend your days shuttling from one stop to the next in the op-ed blogosphere, you know all about the furor over a guest essay published in the Washington Post's Sunday Outlook section entitled "We scream, we swoon. How dumb can we get?" by conservative writer Charlotte Allen. Ms. Allen, whose raison d'etre often seems to be to poke a deflating stick at liberal feminism, opens with a reference to female fans reportedly fainting at Obama rallies; she goes on to write savagely about what she calls "women's foolishness:"

What is it about us women? Why do we always fall for the hysterical, the superficial and the gooily sentimental?

As examples, she cites feminine preferences for such cultural totems as Oprah Winfrey, "chick lit," and TV shows like Grey's Anatomy. Ms. Allen made a lot of sweeping generalizations, many of which I do not agree with, some of which I do. Generally, I took the piece as satire and, despite being a member of the disrespected class, did not take personal offense.

But, boy, did the effluent ever strike the whirling blades. Angry readers-posters-bloggers have responded with displeasure ranging from the merely huffy to the deeply, seriously enraged.

No surprise there: I took it as a given that the piece, like so much of our social and political discourse, was written in the full anticipation of the response it would provoke, and assume Ms. Allen was braced for the typhoon. More disturbing, however, is the outpouring of rage directed at the Post for publishing the piece at all. One reader posted:

If the WaPo publishes no apology as to the sexist content of this journalistic failure, I will visit the WaPo no longer ...

Others called the essay "impossibly horrible," "hate speech," "self loathing drivel" - and demanded an explanation of why the Post chose to publish it. Some are even demanding that the opinion section's editor be fired.

Never mind that stated and historical purpose of the opinion section is to provide a variety of views, many of which individual readers won't like. Has the chief fallout of the blogosphere been to bathe us so relentlessly in the soothing opinions of like-minded people that we have no more tolerance for opposition than willful babies? Is that the price of disagreement now? Somebody has to get fired?


I thought it was a great article, myself.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Denver Airport Takes Internet Policing Into Its Own Hands

We read:

"Travelers using Denver International Airport 's free Wi-Fi service cannot visit Internet sites that airport officials consider provocative. And what kinds of dubious sites are being restricted? The airport is blocking Vanity Fair magazine's website, the hipster site boingboing and others. Airport spokesman Chuck Cannon says officials decided to block access to potentially racy sites when the airport made its wireless Internet service free in November, the Denver Post reports.

Cannon says the airport would rather deal with infrequent complaints about access than handle angry parents whose children might see pornography. Airport officials say they're using prudent judgment in a public, family-friendly atmosphere. But others see it as cyber-censorship that taints Denver's self-portrayal as a progressive economy.

Critics, like boingboing editor Xeni Jardin and others, point out that DIA uses the same kinds of software filters employed by the repressive regimes of Sudan and Kuwait. Jardin is tired of her tech-update site getting blocked by private and government filters just because it occasionally posts respected artworks that might include nudity.


I guess it's their right if it's a private company that owns and runs the airport but that seems unlikely. It is in any case another instance of allowing the thin skin of one or two people to dictate to the majority.
Paper-towel noose, racist graffiti found at school

There seem to be three different episodes jammed together here:

"The Sumner County Sheriff's Department is investigating a possible hate crime after racist graffiti and a paper-towel noose were found in a boys restroom at Gallatin High School on Tuesday.

The graffiti defamed a black administrator at the school, said Sumner County Sheriff Bob Barker. A paper-towel noose was found draped over a stall.

Barker would not disclose the details of the graffiti but characterized it as derogatory and non-threatening. Investigators are trying to determine whether the act is a "copycat" crime of similar incidents last month at two schools in Williamson County.

On Feb. 1, the principal at Poplar Grove School in Franklin discovered a string tied in a loop and racist graffiti on a bathroom stall. Later that month, a janitor found racial epithets on a bathroom wall at Freedom Middle School.


Must not be "derogatory and non-threatening" about a black? I guess that IS the rule these days. Were the graffiti and the noose connected? Who knows?

I am not surprised at the prolifieration of nooses though. There has been such hysteria about even the mention of a noose that it must tempt mischievous kids to leave one or two lying around and observe the fevered reactions.

And since when did anyone take restroom graffiti seriously?

Sunday, March 09, 2008

New blackface uproar

We read:

"Actor Robert Downey Jr has in the past been applauded for his edgy roles. But his latest may be a step too far - as the actor dons make-up to play a rather convincing looking black man in a new Hollywood film starring comic actor Ben Stiller...

But the backlash has clearly begun as one comment on a showbiz blog Just Jared said: "I'm not black and I find it offensive; are there not any talented enough black actors out in the world that they feel the need to hire a white guy to do a black guy?" "They are infering ["implying"?] that there are no good enough black actors to play a black person.


The blackface complaints used to arise about stage shows but I suppose it is the turn of the movies.
Teen appeals vulgar Web speech punishment

We read:

"A teen who used [mildly] vulgar slang in an Internet blog to complain about school administrators shouldn't have been punished by the school, her lawyer told a federal appeals court.

But a lawyer for the Burlington, Conn., school told the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday that administrators should be allowed to act if such comments are made on the Web.

Avery Doninger, 17, claims officials at Lewis S. Mills High School violated her free speech rights when they barred her from serving on the student council because of what she wrote from her home computer."


It's a pretty nasty school principal that is so thin-skinned. Students have said bad things about their teachers from time immemorial.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

OK for Blacks to Mention Nooses

We read:

"Today on Fox News, Clinton supporter Stephanie Tubbs-Jones was on talking about the election with Shepard Smith. Asked about whether or not she thought NAFTA would be a negative point for Hillary, Tubbs-Jones had this to say:

Well, you now what, the camp, the Obama campaign is trying to put that noose on her neck. But the reality is that Senator Clinton does not wear, uh, NAFTA.


See my post of Nov. 25, 2007 for the standard that whites have to follow.
San Francisco State University Settles Lawsuit with College Republicans in Favor of Free Speech

We read:

"Yesterday, San Francisco State University (SFSU) settled a lawsuit challenging its speech codes by agreeing to modify several unconstitutional policies to make them consistent with the First Amendment. The settlement also requires SFSU to pay damages to members of the university's College Republicans as well as to pay the College Republicans' attorney fees. The lawsuit-part of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education's (FIRE's) Speech Codes Litigation Project-was filed in July 2007 by attorneys from the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF).

"Unconstitutional speech codes have been dealt yet another blow," FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. "This lawsuit and settlement send a message to university administrators everywhere that there are real consequences for violating students' rights."

SFSU's speech codes had banned expression clearly protected by the United States Constitution. For example, the college's sexual harassment policy defined sexual harassment as "one person's distortion of a university relationship by unwelcome conduct which emphasizes another person's sexuality." A policy regulating student organizations had banned any conduct "inconsistent with SF State goals, principles, and policies." In addition, the SFSU College Republicans was unconstitutionally targeted for the content of the group's expression in 2006.

While SFSU denies any wrongdoing in the settlement, the university has nevertheless agreed to make significant changes to a number of policies to address constitutional concerns about free expression. For example, SFSU is changing its definition of sexual harassment to "conduct that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive as to substantially disrupt or undermine a person's ability to participate in or to receive the benefits, services, or opportunities of the university."

It is also removing the student organization policy prohibiting conduct "inconsistent with SF State goals, principles, and policies."

"Every time campus speech codes have been challenged in court, they have failed. Yet unconstitutional speech codes remain the rule-not the exception-at universities across the country," Lukianoff said.


Friday, March 07, 2008

Reporting what a Child says is "Racism"?

Just a desperate attempt to "get" Limbaugh from the Leftist MSM

"ABC News' Tahman Bradley Reports: Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh issued an on-air apology to Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., today after a caller said her daughter thought the Democratic presidential frontrunner looked like the cartoon character Curious George, a monkey.

Limbaugh, who laughed at the caller's comments, later apologized explaining he didn't know anything about Curious George. "I've got to do something here to open this hour of today's excursion into broadcast excellence. I need to apologize to both Sen. Obama and to Sen. McCain, " said Limbaugh. "I had never heard of Curious George. Only now have staffers sent me little pictures of Curious George," he continued.

USAF Blocks Blogs


"Apparently, the United States Air Force has decided that blogs are bad and has banned access to them on bases. Only officially recognized and reputable sources of information like the New York Times are authorized.

Mickey mouse horseflop like this is a reason I've been known to occasionally use well-chosen, salty language in times of stress and turmoil.


Links at source.


See Wired for full details
First spam felony conviction upheld: no free speech to spam

We read:

"Virginia's Supreme Court on Friday upheld the first US felony conviction for spamming. The spammer will serve nine years in prison for sending what authorities believe to be millions of messages over a two-month period in 2003.

Jeremy Jaynes is the man who will make history. A Raleigh, North Carolina, resident who made Spamhaus' top 10 list of spammers, Jaynes was arrested in 2003 even before the CAN SPAM act was passed by Congress. Jaynes was convicted in 2005, but his lawyers appealed the conviction. This past Friday, the Virginia Supreme Court upheld that conviction, but the vote was a narrow 4-3...

While defending Jaynes, his lawyers attempted to argue that a provision of the Virginia Computer Crimes Act violates constitutional First Amendment rights to "anonymous speech," as well as the interstate commerce clause of the US Constitution. The court rejected these claims due to Jaynes' use of fake e-mail addresses, which breaks the US CAN SPAM law's condition of giving recipients a means of contacting the sender. The court also stated that his peddling of scam products and services excludes him from First Amendment rights. In effect, the court said that you can't scam people and then cry "free speech!" when hooked by the law.


Thursday, March 06, 2008

Must not Read Books about Forbidden Subjects

Closed minds at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis:

"Keith John Sampson never thought he could get in trouble for reading a book, especially not on a college campus. But that's what happened. Sampson is a man in his early 50s. He does janitorial work for the campus facility services at IUPUI, where he's been gradually accumulating credits for a degree in communications studies.

At the time, Sampson was reading a book he had checked out from the public library: Notre Dame vs. the Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan. The book is about how for two days in May 1924, a group of Notre Dame students got into a street fight with members of the Ku Klux Klan.

Sampson recalls that his AFSCME shop steward told him that reading a book about the Klan was like bringing pornography to work. The shop steward wasn't interested in hearing what the book was actually about.

A few weeks passed. Then Sampson got a message ordering him to report to Marguerite Watkins at the IUPUI Affirmative Action Office. He was told a coworker had filed a racial harassment complaint against him for reading Notre Dame vs. the Klan in the break room. Sampson says he tried to explain to Watkins what the book was about. He says he tried to show her the book, but that Watkins showed no interest in seeing it.

Then Sampson received a letter, dated Nov. 25, 2007, from Lillian Charleston, also of IUPUI's Affirmative Action Office. The letter begins by saying that the AAO has completed its investigation of a coworker's allegation that Sampson "racially harassed her by repeatedly reading the book Notre Dame vs. the Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan by Todd Tucker in the presence of Black employees."

It goes on to say, "You demonstrated disdain and insensitivity to your coworkers who repeatedly requested that you refrain from reading the book which has such an inflammatory and offensive topic in their presence . you used extremely poor judgment by insisting on openly reading the book related to a historically and racially abhorrent subject in the presence of your Black coworkers." Charleston went on to say that according to "the legal `reasonable person standard,' a majority of adults are aware of and understand how repugnant the KKK is to African-Americans ."

Sampson was ordered to stop reading the book in the immediate presence of his coworkers and, when reading the book, to sit apart from them. "I feel like I've been caught up in a 21st century version of catch-22," says Sampson, who has never been given the opportunity to officially face any of his accusers.

When I tried calling the Affirmative Action Office, I was told their policy is to never speak to the media.


Maybe they are afraid that somebody will find out that the KKK were Democrats.
Wikileaks Back

We read:

"A website allowing people to leak sensitive information anonymously is back online after a US judge ruled that efforts to censor it violated rights to free speech. Wikileaks was shut down last month after Swiss bank Julius Baer accused the whistleblower website of publishing confidential information about its customers.

Judge White sided with the bank until a hearing last week where attorneys defending Wikileaks convinced him to lift his injunction in the name of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Google caves in again

We read:

"YouTube has agreed to scrub material critical of radical Islam after Pakistan's religious police crashed the popular site in protest. Score another one for the Islamofascists."


YouTube is of course these days owned by Google so this must have been an easy decision. Google has a track record of delisting sites that criticize Islam.

Because YouTube has so many users, however, this is a BIG move -- in a way even bigger than the time when they buckled under to the Chinese Communists. With Google pandering to both the Chinese Communists and the Islamists it is clear now that they are just another lot of practitioners of corporate evil.

This latest move will be good for alternatives to YouTube, though.
Must not mention middle names?

We read:

"Recently, conservative talk show host Bill Cunningham in Cincinnati was raked over the coals for using Barack Obama's middle name "Hussein" in a rally for John McCain. Even McCain himself publicly apologized for this act.

But last December, Maureen Dowd, in her New York Times column talking about Sen. Obama's visit to New York Times headquarters, reminded us that:
"In The Atlantic, Andrew Sullivan lays out what he sees as Obama's "indispensable" capacity to move the country past baby-boom feuds and the world past sectarian and racial divides. "It's November 2008," he imagines. "A young Pakistani Muslim is watching television and sees that this man - Barack Hussein Obama - is the new face of America. In one simple image, America's soft power has been ratcheted up not a notch, but a logarithm." '

Let me get this straight. When Andrew Sullivan and Maureen Dowd mention Sen. Obama's middle name, it is "kosher." When a conservatives mention it, it is slammed by liberal journalists.

But does that mean conservatives can turn the tables on and now call Maureen Down and Andrew Sullivan racists for mentioning his middle name?


Just one Minute says: "Let's just call the Senator from Illinois "He Who Must Not Be Middle-Named".

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The total emptiness of Leftist brains

As readers here will mostly know, I post daily on STACLU

JS moderates the comments on STACLU with considerable care -- deleting trash comments that will enlighten no-one. Occasionally, however, one of the comments from Leftists that he has deleted amuses me sufficiently to say something about it. I reproduce just such a comment (on one of my posts) below:

"Fellas, If the generation of mounds and mounds of bullshit can stop the ACLU then I guess you'll do it. For this must be the stupidist blog I have ever seen, completely packed with the most mindless crap ever generated. If your plan is to beat the ACLU into submission by flogging them with your idiotic "ideas" then perhaps that will work. You certainly seem to have enough of them, you bunch of douchebags. Have a nice weekend, and good luck!

It's just 100% abuse with not one shred of rational argument. It is just a bubbling up of hate. One can only feel sorry for the emotional wreck that the author must be.

The author is He is apparently Phil Quinlan, who graduated in 1979 from Mason County Central, Michigan. His address in 2001 was 1869 N. Amber Rd., Scottville and may still be. He was in 2001 a married grade-school teacher at MCC with three daughters
Is "Ordinary people" Derogatory?

Black conservative Bob Parks thinks it is.

Obama recently said: "ordinary people can do extraordinary things when they're given an opportunity."

Parks thinks Obama was putting himself in a superior class by saying that.

It goes against the grain for me to defend the empty-headed one but to me Parks is being over-sensitive there.

Yikes! I have now on different occasions defended Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton and now Obama on this blog. Maybe I need to go to the doctor for a checkup!
Are you not Allowed to Mock antisemitism?

The cartoon above (larger version here) clearly mocks antisemitism -- portraying it as stupid and associating it with Hitler. Yet some goose of a woman thinks that the cartoon PROMOTES antisemitism:

"I am writing to express my astonishment after reading a comic in The Badger Herald ("BD Presents," Feb. 13) that blatantly perpetuated anti-Semitic stereotypes. While I recognize everyone's freedom of the press, I think it is inappropriate and hurtful to publish a comic with such deep-rooted and offensive stereotypes. As a Jewish student, and one of thousands at this university, I find that many students on this campus throw around stereotypes nonchalantly and without thinking... etc. etc.

Another case of oversensitivity at best. Certainly a case of thinking that not mentioning a thing makes it go away. She probably thinks that Islam is a religion of peace too.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Subliminal Message about Antisemitism from Hillary?

Jewish Odysseus thinks that a current TV spot from Hillary contains lots of subtle hints to Jews about Obama -- implying that Jews will be safe with Hillary but not with Obama.

I am not Jewish so I am not in a position to judge but readers might like to click the link and judge for themselves.

The post refers to a "tallit". See here for details of that.
Must not mention Antisemitism and Obama together?

Doug Ross notes that the Tennessee GOP caught hell for listing Obama's antisemitic endorsers.

It's true that being endorsed by an antisemite does not make you an antisemite but it is surely all part of the information that people might want to know in evaluating a candidate. But good old politically correct censorship descends again, of course. The peasants are not allowed to decide for themselves what they should know or not know.

Atlas has more on Obama and Islam. She sees a coverup.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

This Looks Like a Muslim Backdown

I am going to put a whole article up again as a bit of reading between the lines seems needed:

"The government-affairs chief of a Muslim group and a civil-liberties attorney said Wednesday they were satisfied that Attorney General Bill McCollum is not spreading religious bias by showing state employees a film about terrorism.

McCollum met Tuesday with a group of citizens concerned about the film "Obsession," which was shown to employees in his department last month. Employees were not required to see it, but McCollum's staff arranged three screenings on state property during working hours.

Representatives of the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Los Angeles and the Florida chapter of the Council of American-Islamic Relations asked McCollum to discuss the film with them. Jamila Baraka, governmental relations director for CAIR-Florida, and Larry Spalding, a Tallahassee attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, said they were concerned that the film presented a biased view of Islamic faith and culture.

"We were happy that he accepted our invitation," said Baraka. "He didn't disassociate himself with the film but was open to distinguishing between terrorists and mainstream Muslims."

She said McCollum agreed to include other information, such as panel discussions on issues, if it is used again for any training purpose. The attorney general was not available for comment, but department spokeswoman Sandi Copes said a fair presentation would be used in law-enforcement training and other programs through McCollum's civil-rights office.


Read that in conjunction with a description of the film concerned:
"Obsession: Radical Islam's War against the West" uses images from Arab TV, rarely seen in the West, to reveal an 'insider's view' of the hatred the Radicals are teaching, their incitement of global jihad, and their goal of world domination. With the help of experts, including first-hand accounts from a former PLO terrorist, a Nazi youth commander, and the daughter of a martyred guerilla leader, the film shows, clearly, that the threat is real.

From where I sit, the film is simply a statement of fact. But I am rather surprised that CAIR see it that way. Yet by agreeing that McCollum is "not spreading religious bias" by showing the film, they must be admitting that what the film shows is accurate!
Britain: Naughty beer label passes close scrutiny

We read:

"Alcohol advertising watchdogs rejected a complaint against the Wye Valley Brewery in Herefordshire after investigating whether a character on one of its labels was wearing knickers.

Alcohol Concern contacted the Portman Group over a cartoon on Dorothy Goodbody stout, claiming that it "hinted at a lack of undergarments" and was sexually suggestive.

Investigators concluded, however, that the "complainant's imagination had got the better of them" and there was no reason to assume that "Dorothy" was not wearing underwear. The "slightly saucy" label was intended to capture the "spirit of fun and innocence of 1950s rural Herefordshire", they added.


More details here

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Germany: Exhibit closed after threats over Mecca photo

We read:

"An exhibition by Danish artists in Berlin has been closed due to threats received over a photo deemed to be offensive to Muslims, organisers said.

The exhibition, which opened in central Berlin on February 22, has been closed to ensure the safety of staff and visitors, Ralf Hartmann from the artists' collective Kunstverein Tiergarten said today.

The show by Danish collective Surrend is aimed at depicting what they say is the absurdity of extremism in all religions. One of the 21 photos is of the Kaaba - the cube-shaped building inside the Grande Mosque in Mecca - with the inscription describing the stone as "stupid".


The Kaaba is a cube-shaped building (hence our word "cube"), not a stone -- but the inscription on the artwork is "Dummer Stein", which means "stupid stone". The Kaaba is the holiest part of Mecca, although it was originally a pagan (pre-Islamic) building. It originally housed a collection of idols.

Note that the antisemitic picture -- implying that America is controlled by Jews -- seems to have got a pass.

I am slightly amused that a German site called Freunde der offnen Gesellschaft ("Friends of the open society") that discusses this issue manages to do so without reproducing the picture concerned. They just have a stick-man drawing instead. It seems that they are not TOO friendly to the open society. "Open society" is a George Soros catchword, of course. It would be nice if he believed in it.

(Yes. I know Soros borrowed the term off Karl Popper)
Even Euphemisms are Risky these Days

"A billboard campaign for "Crispy Frickin' Chicken" is ruffling the feathers of a Pennsylvania couple who believe the word "frickin'" is a "euphemism for fornication." Michael and Shari Sucec of Harrisburg, Pa., have asked supervisors in Derry Township to join their fight against the placard promoting a Sheetz Made To Order sandwich. "It really is profanity," Michael Sucec said, according to the Lebanon Daily News.

The couple received a letter from Louie Sheetz, executive vice president of marketing for the fast-food chain. In the letter, Sucec said, Sheetz wrote that the use of the commonly used word was intended as a humorous twist to attract customers.