Thursday, December 31, 2009

Not allowed to say food is "unhealthy"?

I am looking forward to the outcome of this one. Most of what is said about food being "healthy" or "unhealthy" is crap. See my FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC blog. If this case succeeds, most of the world's dietary advisers, epidemiologists and politicians will be in trouble.
"Reality TV star Kim Kardashian got a visit from the cookie monster this Christmas, thanks to her Twitter feed.

Dr Siegal’s Cookie Diet filed a defamation lawsuit against the reality starlet in Miami on Tuesday for unspecified damages after Kardashian reportedly tweeted on October 29 that the popular Hollywood diet was “unhealthy”.

According to the lawsuit filed by the Cookie Diet, Kardashian wrote: “Dr. Siegal’s cookie diet is falsely promoting that I’m on this diet. NOT TRUE! I would never do this unhealthy diet! I do QuickTrim!”


No government in the bedroom

We read:
"Three cheers for the judge in Los Angeles who dismissed the petition to mandate condom use in adult films. While the spread of sexually transmitted diseases is a serious concern, even more serious is the threat of letting the government into our bedrooms — even if those bedrooms have lights and cameras. Frankly, I’m surprised this petition came from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which runs the ‘Out of the Closet’ thrift stores and advocates for, among other things, understanding of the gay and lesbian communities.”


It's not surprising at all. AIDS in America is almost entirely a homosexual disease so this is just homsexuals trying to protect themselves at the expense of everybody else. They really want condoms in homosexual films but for "equality" they want to apply it to all films.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Another "hate speech" abuse

This time it is a Christian trying to deny free speech to atheists. Leftists are so vocal in claiming that "hate speech" should be stopped that I suppose it became inevitable that some non-Leftists would use the concept in support of THEIR values.
"In Illinois the person who tried to remove the Atheist exhibit in the rotunda of the capitol in Springfield was William Kelly from Chicago. He was stopped from doing so by the Capitol police and was escorted from the building. Kelly is a conservative Republican. He said the Atheist exhibit was "hate speech" and that's why he tried to take it down.

Kelly said, "I don't think the State of Illinois has any business denigrating or mocking any religion, and I think that's what the verbiage on the sign was doing."

The sign reads, "At the time of the winter solstice, let reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is just myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds."


The wording is undoubtedly offensive to Christians but there is no right not to be offended.

If the wording had been directed at an Islamic celebration, however, it would undoubtedly not have lasted 5 minutes. Should Christians start blowing atheists up? That seems to be the lesson from all this "hate speech" nonsense. What is hate speech against Muslims is not hate speech against Christians.

British Prayer Book Society angry as religious names dropped from Letts diaries

We read:
"Traditionalists are up in arms after a diary manufacturer dropped a series of historic names for the Sundays before Lent.

The Prayer Book Society, whose patron is the Prince of Wales, has called for a boycott of Letts’ diaries, which have replaced Septuagesima, Sexagesima, Quinquagesima and Quadragesima with the appropriate number of “Sundays before Lent”.

Like Ash Wednesday, these are moveable feasts in the Anglican year. The Roman Catholic Church eliminated the terms in the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s.

The society has accused Letts of throwing out centuries of tradition by dropping the names. Its members are also alarmed that the number of Sundays “after Easter” has been replaced with “of Easter”.


The Prayer Book Society should start issuing its own diaries. If the commerical firm then loses customers, it might change its policies. Latin is little understood these days, however, so I don't think Letts will need to lose much sleep over the issue.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

"Support for terrorism" too vague and sweeping

Is mere speech sufficient to warrant a criminal conviction?
"In February, the Supreme Court will hear on appeal what many consider to be among the most important cases that speaks to the constitutionality of political speech in recent times, Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project.

The plaintiff in the case, Humanitarian Law Project, is a human rights group that often consults with the United Nations, and that has in the past assisted the Kurdistan Workers' Party, as well as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eela. They, along with administrative law judges and others, have had their right to free association challenged under legislation that dates back to Newt Gingrich's Contract with America, and the mid-1990's, in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing; legislation that was signed into law by then President Bill Clinton.

The "Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act" was unmistakeably every inch a bipartisan effort, and is easily recognizable as the precursor to the USA Patriot Act. The objective of AEDPA was to cut off all sources of material assistance to any groups the State Department deems to be sources of international terror.

According to Free Expression Policy Project, the measure empowers the State Department to construct a list of "foreign terrorist organizations," and criminalize any "material support" to these groups. While parts of the law were struck down several times by federal courts, plaintiffs in Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project are taking legislation that has had the chilling effect of derailing the First Amendment all the way to the Supreme Court.

So, on February 23rd, the highest court in the land will get to decide whether any of the four provisions of AEDPA constitute criminal activity. The penalty for being convicted of providing material support to a State Department blacklisted group can be as much as fifteen years behind bars. The definition of terrorism is said to be simply "any actual or threatened use of a weapon against people or property."

Two years ago, an appeals court found much of the law to be "unconstitutionally vague," and it will soon be the Supreme's turn up at bat to hear a challenge to a measure that, in the words of attorney for the plaintiffs, is "so sweeping that it treats human rights advocates as criminal terrorists...and makes advocating human rights or other lawful, peaceable activity a crime simply because it is done for the benefit of, or in conjunction with, a group the Secretary of State has blacklisted."


Must not refer to Asian eyes

We read:
"While performing “Rappers Delight” at the Nobel Peace Prize party with Will Smith, Tobey Keith is seen making what many are calling an insensitive gesture that has Asian groups angered.

While Smith raps the lyrics to the legendary Sugarhill Gang song, "to the black, to the white, the red, and the brown, the purple and yellow," Keith can be viewed using his finger to make a slanting motion with his left eye.

TMZ reports that two groups, the Asian American Justice Center and the Media Action Network for Asians, found Keith’s gesture to be offensive and racist. A representative for Toby Keith told the celebrity gossip website, "No one at the concert thought Toby was out of line."


Monday, December 28, 2009

"Sissies" now a bad word

As far as I know, "sissies" is short for "sisters" and implies that the person is easily upset.
"The idea of there being an annual "big" Yale versus Harvard football game produces two thoughts in me: first, "Yale and Harvard have football teams?" and, once that is answered in the affirmative, "Right, I think I learned about that on The Simpsons."

But this year the most interesting thing to come out of this age-old, blue-blood anachronism-fest had nothing to do with Mr. Burns. It started before the Harvard and Yale teams flailed against each other on the football field last month; Yale's freshman class designed and voted to produce an anti-Harvard T-shirt that actually had some literary merit. According to the Yale Daily News,

The original design, which won out over five other entries, displayed an F. Scott Fitzgerald quote in the front -- "I think of all Harvard men as sissies" -- in bold white letters. The back of the long-sleeved, navy blue T-shirt said "WE AGREE" in capital letters, with "The Game 2009" scrawled in script underneath it.

Unfortunately--and is it any surprise these days?--a couple of Yale administrators decided that the word "sissies" was too offensive because some people interpreted it as a slur against gay men. This was news to the Yale freshmen who, like me, see "sissies" as being funny primarily because it is such a ridiculous, silly, old-fashioned put down, somewhere between "cad" and "toots" as far as insults go.

Besides, in context, Fitzgerald actually wrote, "I think of all Harvard men as sissies, like I used to be." Does anyone really think Fitzgerald was coming out as a success story of the ex-gay movement, or was he simply calling Harvard men, well, a bunch of sissies (modern translation: wusses, wimps, etc.)?

The administrators were gearing up to ban the T-shirt, but the students backed down and changed the design.


Don't say 'two fat ladies': Traditional British bingo calls scrapped for fear of offence

We read:
"A council which has banned the bingo phrases ‘two fat ladies’ and ‘legs eleven’ in case players are offended and take legal action was criticised for being politically correct yesterday.

Sudbury Town Council in Suffolk fears it could be sued by overweight players or women who find the terms sexist. It is has advised bingo caller John Sayers, 75, to revert to using the number ‘88’ instead of ‘two fat ladies’ and 11 for ‘legs eleven’.

But since the ban, numbers at the game in the town hall have fallen as players boycott the Monday sessions. Usually more than 100 play each week, raising £3,000 for charities annually. Many go instead to a Tuesday afternoon game in nearby Great Cornard, outside Sudbury, where traditional calls are still used.


Bingo calling traditionally has an element of humor and it is that which was being attacked by officialdom.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

ACLU gets one right

Nice to see that they do OCCASIONALLY stand up for free speech.
"A new group called “Stand For Marriage DC” has popped up now that the D.C. city council has passed and the mayor signed into law same-sex marriage. The group is a thinly veiled version of National Organization for Marriage that successfully defeated same-sex marriage in California and Maine. The organization has placed anti-same-sex advertising on D.C. Metro.

Full Equality Now DC, a Washington-based LGBT rights group, wants the ads removed on the grounds that they insult gays and lesbians and violate Metro’s nondiscrimination policies.

Stand For Marriage DC wants to put marriage equality up for a vote.

The ACLU as well as representatives of LGBT groups have sided with the anti-marriage group on the basis of free-speech.


More details here. Another surprising thing is that the transit authority accepted the ads. Apparently the slogan is: "Let the People Vote on Marriage", so I guess it was hard to object to that.

British police drop the word Christmas from poster to avoid upsetting other faiths

We read:
"British Transport Police have dropped the word ‘Christmas’ from a national publicity poster to avoid upsetting people who do not ‘buy into’ the festival.

The word was proposed as part of a slogan on the poster, which is designed to alert people to the extra number of transport police on duty over the festive period. The slogan – devised by an advertising company commissioned by the Transport Police – read ‘Christmas presence’, a pun on the word ‘presents’.

But in a move branded ‘bonkers’ by Christian leaders, the police’s marketing department decided the word Christmas could anger non-believers or people from other faiths who disliked its Christian connotations. Instead of scrapping the poster, however, the department merely swapped ‘Christmas’ for ‘Holiday’, so the slogan now reads ‘Holiday presence’.

Critics said last night that the slogan was meaningless and accused the Transport Police of bowing to political correctness. Nick Baines, the Church of England Bishop of Croydon, said: ‘It is bonkers. To replace “Christmas” with “Holiday” not only makes nonsense of the phrase and the sentiment, it also shows that the advertisers have lost the plot.’


Saturday, December 26, 2009

In other words …

A good comment from Ann Coulter:
"Irritated at the bumps on the road to the Democrats' Thousand-Year Reich, liberals are now claiming that Republican Sen. Tom Coburn requested a prayer for the death of Sen. Bob Byrd during the health-care debate last Saturday night.

Here is what Coburn actually said: "What the American people ought to pray is that somebody can't make the vote tonight. That's what they ought to pray."

After reporting Coburn's remark, The Washington Post's Dana Milbank added: "It was difficult to escape the conclusion that Coburn was referring to the 92-year-old, wheelchair-bound Sen. Robert Byrd, (D-W.V.)."

Contrary to Milbank's claim, I find it extremely easy to get away from that conclusion. In fact, I'm a regular Houdini when it comes to that conclusion. That conclusion couldn't hold me for a second.

There are a million ways a senator could miss a vote, other than by dying. Ask Patrick Kennedy. At 1 a.m. on a Sunday night in the middle of a historic blizzard in the nation's capital, I don't think the first thing that came to anyone's mind was death. More likely it was: "Last call."

Milbank was employing the MSNBC motto, "In Other Words," which provides the formula for 90 percent of the political commentary on that network. The MSNBC host quotes a Republican, then says "in other words," translates the statement into something that would be stupid to say, and spends the next 10 minutes ridiculing the translated version. Which no one said. Except the host.


Boca Raton: Yes to Menorah, No to Manger

Boca Raton is the favorite Florida destination for retired NYC Jews
"Make room for the Jewish menorah, but not the Christian manger. In Boca Raton, Florida, Christians say that’s the message from city hall, after officials said ‘thanks, but no thanks’ to their offer to donate a Christian creche to display next to a menorah inside the public library.

On Wednesday, around noon, members from ‘The Pentacostal Assemblies of God’, gathered outside the Boca library, armed with nearly 25 creches of all sizes and shapes. Whites, Haitians, and Hispanics walked past the metal detectors, and quietly placed their mangers underneath the small Christmas tree, next to the copy machine.

Librarians looked on, most walked away behind a closed door, and one rushed to cover the camera. Some folks were upset, saying Christians were "pushing their faith" inside the library. But most said it was only fair to place a Christian manger right next to a Jewish menorah.


Friday, December 25, 2009

Was it free speech to use a racial description?

We read:
"If you denigrate someone's race with a common slur, is that freedom of speech, or a crime? A 14-year-old white youth who used a racial slur to taunt a 17-year-old African American girl was convicted of "disorderly conduct" in a North Dakota district juvenile court, but now the North Dakota Supreme Court is considering whether the boy's Constitutional First Amendment rights to free speech were violated.

The incident took place last February in Valley City, North Dakota. The girl was leaving a dance at a teen center when the 14-year-boy called her a "stupid (slur word)."

The assistant Barnes County attorney, Lee Grossman, argued that the boy's intent was to harass the girl, and thus the charge of disorderly conduct. A judge agreed. Under North Dakota law, it is a crime to use abusive language "With intent to harass, annoy or alarm another person."

The same 17-year-old-girl had been harassed with racial slurs by other youths on the same evening at the same dance. A 14-year-old girl confronted her in a bathroom, calling her a (racial slur) and also told her that she did not "own this town" and that she was "not wanted in this town."

A judge found both the 14-year-old boy and the 14-year-old girl guilty of disorderly conduct, for which they received sentences of probation, an order to perform community service, and an order to attend a racial sensitivity class.

An attorney for the boy is claiming his client's right to free speech is being violated. But Southeast District Judge John Paulson said the both the boy and the girl who committed the taunting would have been guilty of disorderly conduct if they had used a racial slur, or not.

It is up to the North Dakota Supreme Court to decide if a crime was committed, or if this was a violation of the right to free speech.


California Official Orders Removal of Christmas Angel After Complaint from one Leftist

We read:
"There's no place for angels atop Christmas trees, according to one California man who successfully lobbied for the removal of religious symbols at county buildings after spotting a yuletide decoration last week.

Stars and other religious emblems were ordered removed from Christmas trees in all government buildings in Sonoma County on Monday following a complaint by Irv Sutley, a disabled 65-year-old Marine veteran who said the symbols were "extremely offensive" and part of the "cult" of Christianity. "I just don't believe government has the right to intrude on anyone and force them into sectarian behavior," Sutley told "I've opposed Buddhist statues, the star of David — anything of a religious nature."

Sutley said he filed the complaint with acting County Administrator Chris Thomas on Dec. 18 after noticing an angel atop a six-foot tree in the lobby of the county recorder's office. Sutley, a lifelong atheist and chairman of the county's Peace and Freedom Party, said he visited the office last week for his re-election bid next June...

Jim Toomey, a public information officer for Sonoma County, confirmed the removal. "To avoid any controversy and to satisfy this gentleman's concerns, the ornaments were removed," said Toomey, adding that he knew of no prior complaints concerning the holiday display.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Jesus: An historical figure, too

We read:
"Another holiday season is upon us and, I can just see the lawsuits materializing against various towns, cities and municipalities over an improper display of a nativity scene.

Of course, they will be driven by various civil liberties organizations such as People for the American Way and the American Civil Liberties Union (both of them misnomers at all levels). The grounds for these lawsuits will be that they represent an unconstitutional endorsement of religion by government. The people behind them are evidently as ignorant of history as they are of the underlying spiritual assumptions behind the principles of this republic....

We enshrine the great figures of our history with statues, paintings, pictures and excerpts of their greatest sayings. Some had religious backgrounds, notably Martin Luther King, Jr., the legitimacy of whose work was enhanced due to his religious training. There have been many others. Across from the United Nations in New York City is the ’swords into plowshares’ quote from the bible carved into a marble edifice on an outside staircase. Religion is central to our entire culture.

Jesus was a religious figure but he was an historical figure as well. He permeates our heritage. Acknowledgment of him is not an endorsement of a religion but a testament to his importance to our society and no one was more important, not George Washington, not Thomas Jefferson, not James Madison. The influence of all the Founding Fathers combined, along with all of the other figures of history, pales next to that of Jesus Christ. He deserves recognition in our nation and our halls of government and perhaps, not limited to Christmas time.


Congressman wants critic jailed

I don't have to tell you which party he represents
"Congressman Alan Grayson, Democrat of Florida, is very angry with Angie Langley, private citizen of Lake County, Florida. Alan Grayson is so angry that he wants Attorney General Eric Holder to put Angie Langley in jail and fined.

Angie Langley's great sin is to put up a web site called MyCongressmanIsNuts.Com, which has raised 3,725 dollars to defeat Congressman Alan Grayson when she is not in fact one of Grayson's constituents. Furthermore, Grayson claims that the site is designed solely to attack him. It is unclear if putting up a website, even under those circumstances, is a federal offense under the part of the US Code that Alan Grayson cites in his complaint.

Alan Grayson did say that the name of the website was "tasteless and juvenile." These are concepts that Alan Grayson is indeed familiar with. My Fox TV station in Orlando recounts how.

Alan Grayson first came to national attention when he asserted, on the floor of the Congress, that the Republican plan for health care reform was for sick people to "die quickly." This was followed by an demand that former Vice President Dick Cheney "STFU", which stands for an obscene suggestion. Alan Grayson also called Linda Robertson, an adviser to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, a "K Street Whore."

There would seem to be a little bit of method in Alan Grayson's madness. The sending of the letter to Eric Holder, even if ignored by the Attorney General, would seem to serve as a means to intimidate Angie Langley. However, if, as it seems, Angie Langley is not intimidated, the letter is almost certain the backfire and provide some free publicity for Angie Langley's website, allowing her to raise even more money for Alan Grayson's defeat next year.

Alan Grayson also seems to have proven Angie Langley's point. The Congressman is nuts.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The "R" word again

Forbidden even when there is some factual basis for it!
"An outspoken New Zealand television presenter has been forced to apologise for describing Susan Boyle as "retarded" during his morning show. In November Paul Henry, a breakfast show host on Television New Zealand, had laughed as he read a magazine article which mentioned that the Scottish singing star was starved of oxygen at birth and suffered a mild intellectual disability. "Here's the really interesting revelation — she is in fact retarded," he said. "And if you look at her carefully, you can make it out."

After his employer upheld complaints about his comments, Mr Henry said today: "It upsets me greatly that anyone would imagine I had intended to cause offence or hurt over this or any issue. "I am sorry that some people have taken what I said in a way that I never intended," he added in a statement.

His tasteless comments about Ms Boyle, whose debut album I Dreamed a Dream went straight to No 1 last month, provoked a flood of complaints to New Zealand's Human Rights Commission.

David Rutherford, the chairman of Special Olympics New Zealand said using "retard" to describe intellectually disabled people was as hurtful as racial slurs such as "n*gger" and "k*ke".


How political correctness has messed up people's heads

An email from a reader below:
The other morning I was listening to WBBM-AM radio (, in Chicago. The radio station has been playing "Holiday Greetings" from various persons in their management. But one in particular caught my attention.

The manager of whatever came on with "Happy Holidays and Season's Greetings. The management of WBBM wish all our listeners a Feliz Navidad and Propero Ano Nuevo, Happy Holidays and Season's Greetings to all." The (English) word "Christmas" was never mentioned.

Apparently saying Merry Christmas is only unacceptable if you say it in English. Saying it in Spanish is perfectly acceptable.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

New research: Speech correctness does not hide real attitudes

The Left have driven most verbal comment on group differences underground but they will have a job suppressing non-verbal cues. Simplified summary plus academic journal abstract below:
"A great deal of information can be communicated nonverbally. Weisbuch et al. have used experimental, archival, and survey studies to find that the nonverbal communication of racial bias in popular television shows perpetuates implicit racism in viewers. A subsequent field data analysis yielded a correlation between U.S. viewer ratings and a Federal Bureau of Investigation tally of anti-black hate crimes in the same localities.

The Subtle Transmission of Race Bias via Televised Nonverbal Behavior

Max Weisbuch et al.


Compared with more explicit racial slurs and statements, biased facial expressions and body language may resist conscious identification and thus produce a hidden social influence. In four studies, we show that race biases can be subtly transmitted via televised nonverbal behavior. Characters on 11 popular television shows exhibited more negative nonverbal behavior toward black than toward status-matched white characters. Critically, exposure to prowhite (versus problack) nonverbal bias increased viewers’ bias even though patterns of nonverbal behavior could not be consciously reported. These findings suggest that hidden patterns of televised nonverbal behavior influence bias among viewers.

Science 18 December 2009: Vol. 326. no. 5960, pp. 1711 - 1714

NH: Saying 'Merry Christmas' shouldn't be forbidden

We read:
"Last Saturday, I ventured into downtown Portsmouth, knowing the bustle of a small town, replete with Christmas lights and decorations, would supply an invigorating holiday tonic needed to complete my errands.

As I shopped from store to store, I began to experience a sudden, unexpected heaviness of heart. My joy waned as I began to take note of sales people who were literally discomfited by my joyful greeting of "Merry Christmas!"

While making purchases in more than 10 shops in downtown Portsmouth, I continued to offer a Merry Christmas to those who happily took my money and not once did I receive a return on that greeting. It was clearly awkward for many of the sales people who may have wanted to return the greeting, but the gag order of political correctness overruled any attempt to do so.

By the time I had completed my rounds, I was saddened by the veil of correctness that had dictated the joy of this amazing holiday not be pronounced or displayed anywhere, anytime. We, as a people, have allowed the minority of outspoken Scrooges to impress upon the nation the "offensiveness" of saying Merry Christmas. Perhaps employers prefer that their employees not be the first to offer the "forbidden greeting," but it is only common courtesy (and good business) to respond to a greeting when it is offered. I would joyfully return a Hanukkah greeting or any other greeting of the season, sharing in the joy of that individual's celebration. Wouldn't you?


Monday, December 21, 2009

Mary and Joseph post-sex billboard upsets Catholics

"Progressives" at work in new Zealand. Mary remained a virgin according to Catholic doctrine.
"An inner-city Auckland church, trying to promote debate over Christianity, has given up on a controversial billboard which made international headlines.

The billboard, featuring a dejected Joseph and a quizzical Mary in bed, with the message, "Poor Joseph. God was a hard act to follow", has been attacked four times since it was erected outside the Anglican church on Thursday. After the latest attack, by an elderly woman with a knife, the church said the billboard would not be replaced.

The vicar of St Matthew-in-the-City, Glynn Cardy, said: "[The billboard was] attacked by a knife-wielding Christian fanatic who was then apprehended by a group of homeless people who care about our church. Later in the evening, another group of fanatics ripped it down.

The church had no regrets about fuelling discussion about God: "We are glad that discussion about Santa, food, and present-buying was momentarily usurped by a discussion about Jesus."


A bit of direct action there. Must be learning from the Muslims

SCOTUS to review employer access to worker messages

We read:
"The Supreme Court said Monday it will decide how much privacy workers have when they send text messages from on their employers’ accounts. The justices intervened in a case from Ontario, Calif., where three police officers and another employee complained that the department improperly snooped on their electronic exchanges, including many that were said to be sexually explicit.

While the case involves government workers, the decision could have broader privacy implications. Many employers tell workers there is no guarantee of privacy in anything sent over their company- or government-provided computers, cell phones or pagers.”


Sunday, December 20, 2009

NJ Teacher Tells Girl to Put Away Bible

How filled with hate Leftists are! What if it had been a Koran? No problem, of course. The girl would probably have been praised in that case.
"A teacher at the Madison Park Elementary School in Old Bridge, N.J., told a 3rd grader that the Bible was not appropriate reading material for quiet time, and ordered the girl to put the book away, according to the girl's parents.

Now the principal is apologizing, saying that the teacher made a mistake and that school policy absolutely does allow children to read the Bible or any other religious book during quiet reading time.

Michelle Jordat says her daughter, Mariah, cried when the teacher told her to put away the Bible. Jordat says her daughter's feelings were hurt and she was confused. "This was injustice," Jordat says. "No other child has to go through this again." Jordat accepted the principal's apology, but wants something in writing stating that reading the Bible is OK during personal reading time. She also says she will speak to a lawyer.


The mother should sue the teacher personally.

Avoiding the "C-word" again

I am a lucky lad! Why? Because I received a Christmas card from Australia's Leftist Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd! I must admit that it is the first time I have received a Christmas card from a Prime Minister. I think it is because he is my local representative or something like that.

At least I think it is a Christmas card. The word "Christmas" does not appear anywhere on it -- in good Leftist style. See below. The major motif seems to be an abstract impression of one of Brisbane's splendid "CityCats" (municipal catamaran ferries on the Brisbane river) going under a bridge. The writing on the trees etc is simply a collection of names of Brisbane suburbs, misspelled in one case. I guess they are the suburbs that are covered by the CityCat service.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Is Google Censoring Racially Inopportune News?

Post below lifted from another blog:

We often wonder why the average man on the street doesn’t seem to have a clue as to the racial realities of crime. Perhaps its because the major search engines cover up for murderous minorities?

I was researching something earlier and while following up on an older story I found that the link I’d used in the story had gone dead. Nothing strange or suspicious about this, it happens all the time. However, here is where things did get strange, so I took the pull quote from my article and began searching for any other story that remained online, here are the results of the Google front page news search…

google news frontpage resized 600

Well, that’s a bit odd, so I searched the blogs next…

google blog search resized 600

Well this is extremely odd as I happen to know beyond a fact that if no where else in the virtual world this quote is on my blog, here.

So I searched the exact same quote on Yahoo…

yahoo resized 600

So at this point it certainly looks as if Google is making some stories that don’t reflect well on minorities just disappear into the virtual ether. And here’s the thing: how can we have the Attorney General mandated conversation about race that this blog is based on without access to honest stories about the realities of race and crime in this country? I submit we cannot, but perhaps the Pravdans at Google would care to explain their feelings on the subject? I won’t hold my breath.

More here

BBC slammed over gay execution debate

For once I think the BBC have a point. If something's happening out there in the real world, you should be free to discuss it from all angles. It's a bit amusing when the BBC get censored though -- seeing they do so much censoring themselves.
"British politicians today condemned the BBC for hosting an online debate asking: "Should homosexuals face execution?" The debate on the government-owned broadcaster's Have Your Say Web site has now closed, and the title was changed to "Should Uganda debate gay execution?" after it provoked uproar online. It was in response to a proposed bill in Uganda that could lead to the death penalty for gay people.

On his blog Labour Member of Parliament Eric Joyce said: "What's happened here, I think, is that the BBC has attempted to tap into the Ugandan zeitgeist, if you will, and reflect the sort of discussions going on in Kampala." He said: "Is the BBC really there to provide credibility to a vile discussion around a profoundly hideous and savage piece of legislation?"

The BBC, in its Editor's Blog, defended its decision to host the debate. "The editors of the BBC Africa Have Your Say program thought long and hard about using this question which prompted a lot of internal debate," the post said. "We agree that it is a stark and challenging question, but think that it accurately focuses on and illustrates the real issue at stake."


Friday, December 18, 2009

MA: Superintendent Defends Actions Over Jesus Drawing

With unbelievable mealy-mouthed hypocrisy: The crucifixion is "violent". Who knew? Will Catholic crucifixes be banned now too?
"Taunton's school superintendent defended actions by school administrators Tuesday amid demands from the mayor to apologize to the family of a second-grader who was sent home from school and required to undergo a psychological evaluation after drawing a stick-figure picture of Jesus Christ on the cross.

Chester Johnson, the boy's father, said he got a call on Dec. 2 from Maxham Elementary School telling him that his son had created a violent drawing depicting a crucified Jesus with Xs covering his eyes to signify that he had died on the cross.“He meant no harm. He believes in Jesus,” Johnson said.

After a public uproar when the incident became public, Mayor Charles Crowley said he wanted School Superintendent Julie Hackett to apologize to the Johnson family.

Hackett released a statement Tuesday evening, indicating that the boy was not suspended and that the drawing published is not the same drawing discovered by the teacher. "This incident occurred nearly two weeks ago, it was handled appropriately and the school staff and family had been working together in a cooperative and positive manner," the statement read.

The statement indicated that school administrators acted within protocol for the student's care and well-being."It is unfortunate that the actions of our district staff have been classified as 'religious' in nature, when, in fact, they were based solely on the well-being of the student," the statement read.

The boy's father, who released a drawing to the media, said his son made the drawing in class after his teacher asked the children to sketch something that reminded them of Christmas.

If we are going to analyze the drawings of an 8-year-old looking for violence, then we have a problem,” said Toni Saunders, an educational consultant who represents the family. “They weren’t looking at the fact that this is an 8-year-old child with special needs,” she said. “They made him leave school, and they recommended that a psychiatrist do an evaluation.


British ginger-bashing ad banned

A strange British prejudice in the limelight yet again:
"An ad for a TV dating show has been banned for suggesting that people with ginger hair were unattractive, Britain's advertising watchdog said. Virgin Media's newspaper advert for the program Dating in the Dark included the text: "How do you spot a ginger in the dark?"

Virgin said the premise of the show was to challenge people's perception of attractiveness and to encourage decisions based on personality as well as looks.

However the Advertising Standards Authority agreed with three complainants that the ad was likely to cause serious offence and should not be used again. "We considered the text was likely to be interpreted ... as a statement that reflected a choice between looks and personality ... being a suggestion that people with ginger hair were unattractive," the ASA said. "We considered the ad was unlikely to be interpreted to be light-hearted in tone and was instead likely to be seen as prejudicial against people with ginger hair."


There are all sorts of nicknames for red hair. "Ginger" is of course common, even though all the ginger I have ever seen is an off-white color. The oddest may be "carrot top", since carrot tops are green. And a nickname that seems to be used only in South Australia is "ranga", after Orang Utans, which do have red hair. Most Australian redheads are however addressed as "Blue" or "Bluey", with no offence being taken or intended. It's part of traditional Australian jocularity. In a similar spirit, German immigrants with the Christian name "Heinz" -- a common name in Germany -- are sometimes referred to as "57 varieties".

Thursday, December 17, 2009

British supermarket yanks Christmas card after redheads complain

This seems a bit nutty to Americans and Australians but it is a serious issue in England. In England only, to my knowledge, redheads do get picked on, and not only at school. It's probably a relic of hostility to Scots and the Irish, among whom red hair is fairly common. See here. Blacks and Muslims are protected but not redheads.
"Britain’s biggest retailer Tesco apologised on Tuesday after complaints that a Christmas card it sold was offensive to people with ginger hair. The card in question shows a child with red hair sitting on the lap of Santa Claus under the banner: ‘Santa loves all kids. Even ginger ones.’

Davinia Phillips, whose three children all have red hair, was enraged when she saw the card at one of Tesco’s stores in northern England. ‘It’s discrimination, pure and simple. I have shown it to a lot of friends and they are all disgusted by it,’ she was quoted by newspapers as saying. ‘I just don’t find it funny at all. If it had been about a black child or an overweight child the store would have been shut down by now.’

Tesco said the offending card had now been withdrawn from all its stores.”



I am probably being a bit maudlin but I want to post here a small memoir of my late father -- Frank Edward Ray -- who was a redhead. He was a lumberjack by trade in the days before chainsaws. So he was accustomed to cutting down huge forest trees with just an axe and a crosscut saw. As a result he developed huge biceps. He was a natural gentleman (far more so than I will ever be) but he did have a short temper. So if anyone "dissed" him they would be in great danger of getting flattened. And with the biceps he had behind his punch, they would stay flattened for some time. In Australian parlance he was a "king hitter". So that was one redhead who was treated with great respect by those with whom he came in contact.

The Leftist Australian government pushes forward with internet censorship

We read:
"The Federal Government is pushing ahead with its controversial plan to filter the internet, saying illegal material can be blocked "with 100 per cent accuracy and negligible impact on internet speed". It has just released results of its latest live filtering trials, used as proof that a national internet filter will work.

Labor will introduce legislation next year requiring all service providers to ban "refused classification" (RC) material hosted on overseas servers. Communications Minister Stephen Conroy says RC material includes "child sex abuse content, bestiality, sexual violence and the detailed instruction of crime and drug use". "Most Australians acknowledge there is some internet content which is not acceptable in any civilised society," Senator Conroy said. "It is important that all Australians, particularly young children, are protected from this material."

The ISP filter plan has attracted a chorus of criticism from industry and internet users, who claim its introduction will strangle internet speeds, curb free speech and be used by the government to ban content it deems "undesirable". Advocacy organisation GetUp's petition against the proposal has garnered more than 120,000 signatures....


A Leftist government getting concerned about naughty bits? Leftists normally think anything goes morally. It is obviously the opportunities for political censorship that attract them. Leftists just love political censorship. They need it. A preliminary list of the sites to be banned was circulated some time ago and many sites on it were not at all sexy or violent.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Students' right to be nasty on net upheld

Schools have no right to attack free speech unless they can show "disruption" to teaching
"A US District Court judge has sided with a student who posted an allegedly bullying video on YouTube, saying the school went too far in suspending her. Amid rising concerns over cyber bullying, and even calls for its criminalisation, some courts, parents and free speech advocates are fighting back: students, they say, have a right to be nasty in cyberspace.

One morning in May last year, a student walked crying into Janice Hart's office at a Beverly Hills school. She had been humiliated and couldn't face going to class, the girl told the counsellor. The night before, a classmate had posted a video on YouTube with a group of other students bad-mouthing her, calling her "spoiled", a "brat" and a "slut".

Text and instant messages had been flying ever since. Half the class must have seen the video by now, the girl said. The counsellor took the problem to the principal, who took it to a district administrator, who asked the school district's lawyers what they could do. In the end, citing "cyber bullying" concerns, school officials suspended the girl who posted the video for two days.

That student took the case to court, saying her right to free speech had been violated.

Judge Stephen Wilson wrote in his judgment: "To allow the school to cast this wide a net and suspend a student simply because another student takes offence to their speech, without any evidence that such speech caused a substantial disruption of the school's activities, runs afoul [of the law].


Novelty ice-cube tray causes offence

Some people are easily offended. The pity is that they are so often taken seriously these days. Note: "one critic" makes the news.
"An ice cube tray has gone on sale in which drinkers can make a replica of the Titanic - complete with four icebergs. The product is called the Gin And Titonic Ice Tray.

The manufacturer says it allows drinkers to 're-create history' by making the two objects collide in the glass, but one critic has branded the idea 'sick and distasteful'. Titanic historian Brian Ticehurst has gone so far as to suggest the product is akin to making light of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Manufacturer Fred and Friends is renowned for its off-beat household items. The packaging for Gin and Titonic reads: 'Ice ahoy! Gin and Titonic is guaranteed to be an unsinkable addition to your next party. 'This reusable ice tray contains four icy Titanic ships and four menacing icebergs. Pair them up in your mixed drinks and re-create history. Go ahead...sink another round!'

Company spokesman Joe Edmundson said: 'We design housewares that are functional and fun. The Gin and Titonic is quite a good seller around the world. 'Somebody is always going to be offended by something, especially when it involves humour with a little edge.'


It may be in poor taste to some and they are entled to that view -- but wishing to impose your own taste on someone else shows an inflated view of your own wisdom and importance. De gustibus non disputandum est, as the Romans used to say

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Comment spam

One of the reasons this blog has a fairly active commenting community is that I make it as easy as I can to comment: No ID required; No moderation and no letter-copying task.

And that has worked surprisingly well for a couple of years. We have had no advertising masquerading as comments. Yesterday, however, there were a couple of examples of comment spam.

On the original site for this blog I was deleting around 500 examples of comment spam a day, which was no joke. So this could be a problem.

One way to discourage comment spam is to delete it promptly but I check the comments here only once a day -- when I post new content. So if anybody notices some comment spam, email me straight away on: and I will delete it promptly if I am online at the time


The Bukay Affair

The Israeli Left at work:
"The most outrageous assault by the Israeli authorities against academic freedom of speech took place in recent days in what is becoming known as the Bukay Affair. The affair combines leftist undermining of democracy, the attempt at thought control by governmental officials and the police, harassment of a university lecturer by an over-zealous anti-democratic prosecutor, and an attempt to create in Israel a political Inquisition against incorrect thinking.

The entire saga revolves around Dr. David Bukay, a lecturer in Middle East Studies at the University of Haifa... About five years ago, Bukay was the victim of a smear campaign of demonization at the University of Haifa. At the time, an Arab student who was active in the university branch of the communist party sat in on one of Bukay’s lectures without being registered in the class. The student then ran to the Arabic press in Israel and claimed that in his lecture Bukay had repeatedly made racist derogatory comments about Arabs. The student claimed that Bukay had said in class that all Arabs should be shot.

After the story ran in the Arabic press, it was also reported in the Hebrew press and web. It turned out that the story was planted there and spread by an Israeli “Trotskyite” named David Merhav, who later issued a retraction and apology to Bukay, admitting the entire story had been a tissue of lies. But the retraction did not help. Today anti-Semitic internet web sites carry the story of Bukay’s alleged racist statements against Arabs...

But in response to the media uproar, the Israel state Deputy Prosecutor, Shai Nitzan, decided to open a criminal investigation against Bukay for the “crime” of “incitement.” That is the catch-all anti-democratic nonsense charge that was used in a wholesale manner after the Rabin assassination to persecute and intimidate and indict numerous Rabbis, public figures, and protesters. Nitzan evidently believes that leftwing lawyers should be able to dictate the content of university lectures and the police should indict those who say things that Nitzan considers to be incorrect....

In a scene like something out of the dungeons of the KGB in the days of Stalin, Bukay was ordered to the Haifa police precinct by Nitzan. There he was ordered to sign a written confession that he had made anti-Arab statements in the classroom. He was ordered by police operating under Nitzan’s instructions to sign an apology for those statements, under threat of being prosecuted by Nitzan for “incitement” and “racism” if he does not do so. He was ordered to commit in writing and promise to make no such statements henceforth in his classroom. Bukay refused to sign.

One thing is certain. Israeli democracy is under attack by Shai Nitzan, and Israeli freedom of speech and academic freedom will not be safe until Nitzan has been summarily dismissed from his position.


Britain: Student play-acting deemed racist

Must not imitate black people or Muslims
"The Athletics Union (AU) of the London School of Economics (LSE) has been forced to apologise after members of the society dressed up as Guantanamo Bay inmates and drunkenly yelled ‘Oh Allah’ outside the college bar.

At least a dozen students attending the December 4th ‘Carol’, the annual fancy-dress Christmas party for all sports teams, chose to wear costumes deemed “racist, religiously insensitive and demeaning”. These included students who painted their faces brown and wore orange jump suits in imitation of Guantanamo Bay inmates, and others who claimed to be dressed as ‘Somalian pirates’.

After complaints from students, the AU President Charlie Glyn wrote a joint statement with Student Union General Secretary Aled Dilwyn Fisher in The Beaver, LSE’s student newspaper, which condemned the actions “of a minority of students” as “racist, religiously insensitive and demeaning”.


A sense of humor no longer allowed in Britain

Monday, December 14, 2009

Silvio treats an EU summit with appropriate (dis)respect

I love this guy:
"Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi shocked leaders at an EU summit on Friday by sending them doodles showing women’s underwear through the ages. He passed round his etchings of bloomers and thongs as the leaders discussed climate change at the meeting in Brussels. His vulgar prank caused titters among some, but indignation among others who passed them back to him.

European leaders present included Gordon Brown, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen and EU foreign envoy Baroness Cathy Ashton.

Mr Berlusconi, 73, started doodling as the leaders discussed giving more money to help poorer nations combat the effects of climate change.

At first, the other leaders thought he was making his own calculations with a view to taking part in the complex talks. Then they realised he was sketching women’s underwear. One source said the etchings were headed ‘Women’s knickers through the ages’. The doodles are said to have included loin cloths used by Egyptian women, Victorian bloomers, French satin knickers, thongs and G-strings.


"Knickers to you" is an old British expression of derision and rejection (See e.g. here). Maybe they have something similar in Italy. "Knickers" is a British word for underpants, most usually female ones.

Wilders to call Van Gogh killer as witness

This should put the cat among the pigeons:
"Dutch populist politician Geert Wilders is to call the murderer of Dutch film director and writer Theo van Gogh as a witness in his hate speech trial.

The PVV leader wants to call Mohammed Bouyeri to show that his criticism of Islam is justified. Wilders says the murder shows that Islam incites violence.

Wilders' trial starts on 20 January. He is accused of inciting hate, discrimination and collective insult.

Bouyeri has been found guilty of murdering Van Gogh in 2004 and was sentenced to life imprisonment.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Greenie thug "offended" by an accurate comparison

Behave like a 1930s German street thug and it is entirely just that you be compared to one
"A former Conservative peer has become embroiled in a row after he branded a Jewish climate change protester a member of the “Hitler Youth”. Lord Monckton, a global warming sceptic and former economic adviser to Margaret Thatcher, made the controversial comments during the Copenhagen climate change talks this week.

The Viscount was speaking at a fringe meeting held by lobby group Americans For Prosperity on Wednesday night when a group of youth delegates interrupted and started chanting.

The 57-year-old peer was said to be so outraged by the interruption from American sustainable development group SustainUS that he started calling the protesters the “Hitler Youth”. Lord Monckton continued to use the phrase during a lengthy exchange with the youngsters the following morning, when he confronted them at a separate event.

When Mr Wessel informed Lord Monckton he found the comment offensive and that his grandparents had “escaped the Nazis growing up in Germany”, Lord Monckton replied: “Because of the biofuel scam, world food prices have doubled. That it because of the global warming scare, which you won't look at the science of.

“As a result of that, millions are dying in third world countries because food prices have doubled because of the biofuel scam, because of the global warming scare.


Breaking up the meetings of other political groups was a prime activity of the Nazi street thugs of the 1920s and 1930s


Monckton's own powerful reply to the ecofascists is HERE. He clearly knows his stuff, including Nazi history, though he mentions that only in passing.

CBS “Frosty” ad riles critics

We read:
"A video advertisement on CBS’s Web site that ‘mashes’ material from the iconic Frosty the Snowman Christmastime cartoon with two of the network’s comedy series is offensive and should be pulled, media analysts told

The video ad, ‘Frosty the Inappropriate Snowman,’ takes authentic dialogue from CBS’ How I Met Your Mother and Two and a Half Men and dubs it on top of the cartoon classic, changing well-known ‘Frosty’ scenes to contain suggestions that the snowman and his friends visit a ’strip club.’

The mash-up also discusses Frosty’s ‘porn collection’ and contains repeated mentions of prior sexual conquests.”


Bad taste -- so stop watching CBS. If enough do stop, that will get better results than any form of censorship.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Forget about free speech. There's not even freedom of thought for prospective teachers at the University of Minnesota

We read:
"A branch of the University of Minnesota may require all education students at the school to understand and accept that they are either privileged or oppressed and that they be well-versed in issues like "white privilege," "institutional racism” and the "myth of meritocracy in the United States."

Critics are condemning the Race, Culture, Class and Gender Task Group at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, which proposes making race, class and gender issues the "overarching framework" of all teaching courses.

The task group, formed as part of the Teacher Education Redesign Initiative at the state university, aims to change how future teachers are trained, based on the assertion that the teachers' lack of "cultural competence" contributes to minority students' poor grades.

But the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) says the Race, Culture, Class and Gender group is going beyond addressing how teachers are educated and is trying instead to mandate their beliefs and values. "Unlike what many schools of education have in terms of cultural competence, this task group really wants to invade the minds of future teachers and demand that they hold the 'right' values attitudes and beliefs about society, about themselves, and about race, class, culture, and gender, to a degree to which it really violates the freedom of conscience of future teachers," Adam Kissel, Director of FIRE's Individual Rights Defense Program, told

Kissel wrote a letter last week urging the university to reject the group's proposal on the premise that "as a public university bound by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, the university is both legally and morally obligated to uphold this fundamental right."


Australian bank tries to explain supply and demand -- to much criticism

Their "wickedness" was to raise mortgage interest rates by less than one half of one percent
"Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has chastised Westpac for sending an email to customers justifying its recent interest rate rise by comparing the bank to a business selling banana smoothies.

In the email, the bank likens itself to businesses selling banana smoothies after storms have decimated banana plantations and forced the price of the fruit to rise dramatically. "In some ways a bank is really just like a company that sells banana smoothies. A bank is a business that buys and sells something ... only in this case that something is money," the company says in a video attachment to the email.

The bank said its decision to increase rates by 45 basis points, well above the 25 point rise delivered by the Reserve Bank last week, was vital to its business. However, Mr Rudd said the company was dealing in matters that affected peoples' lives. "I think Westpac should have a long, hard look at itself," Mr Rudd told ABC Radio in Townsville. "[They are] talking about peoples' most basic things in life - a mortgage, an affordable mortgage, to underpin things as basic as a home."

Source (Video at link)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Must not criticize homosexual marriage promoters in Maine

We read:
"A longtime newspaper reporter says he was unjustly fired after writing a personal e-mail to gay marriage supporters rebuking their tactics.

The Portland Newspaper Guild has filed a grievance on behalf of 58-year-old Larry Grard, who says he was fired Nov. 10 from the Morning Sentinel in Waterville. Grard sent an e-mail to the Human Rights Campaign the day after Maine voters repealed a law that would have allowed gay couples to wed.

Grard said he was offended that the organization claimed gay marriage opponents used hate and said it was supporters who were being hateful. A worker who saw the e-mail complained to the paper.

Grard said his lapse in judgment shouldn't warrant dismissal.


Lapse in judgment to state obvious facts?

So much for the First Amendment if you criticize Obama policy

We read:
"So much for the First Amendment. Morris Davis, the retired Air Force Colonel who served as the Chief Prosecutor of the Military Commissions at Guantanamo from September 2005 until his resignation in October 2007, has just lost his job at the Congressional Research Service (a branch of the Library of Congress) for writing, in his personal capacity, an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, in which he drew on his wealth of experience of the Commissions to criticize the Obama administration for its decision to prosecute some Guantanamo prisoners in federal courts, and others in Military Commissions, and a letter to the Washington Post, in which he criticized former Attorney General Michael Mukasey for scaremongering about the administration’s decision to try Guantanamo prisoners in federal courts.”


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Free speech has been hard won

We read:
"December 7, 1941 — Pearl Harbor — has since ‘lived in infamy.’ But December 7 had been infamous in America before. In 1683, Algernon Sydney, one of American colonists’ primary inspirations and sources of insight into political liberty, was executed for treason on that date, after a trial blatantly violating his rights (violations so egregious that Parliament overturned Sydney’s conviction in 1689), for opposing England’s King Charles II as overstepping his powers. The key evidence was nothing more than a private, unpublished manuscript arguing that the king was not above the law, which later was published as Discourses Concerning Government.”


Australia: Growers go bananas over gum ad

We read:
"The chewing gum maker Wrigley's has dug its heels in over an advertisement that portrays the humble banana as a junk food that rots teeth, triggering a threat of a nationwide boycott of its products by farmers.

The body representing 800 Australian banana growers is planning to stage the protest this month after the multinational company refused to remove the banana from a TV commercial promoting Wrigley's gum.

In the ad, a banana appears alongside a doughnut, popcorn and coffee in a rogue's gallery of the food and drinks most likely to lead to a build-up of plaque.

The marketing manager of Australian Bananas, David Chenu, said the ad ''denigrated the health and nutrition benefits'' of bananas, which Wrigley's denies.

Dentists, who are cited in the ad recommending Wrigley's sugar-free gum, have now weighed in to defend the banana.


Are banana growers the latest group that needs to be apologized to? What next?

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

British government Ministers told: Don't call Islamic extremists Islamic extremists

We read:
"Ministers have been BANNED from using words like Islamist and fundamentalist - in case they offend Muslims. An eight-page Whitehall guide lists words they should not use when talking about terrorism in public and gives politically correct alternatives. They are told not to refer to Muslim extremism as it links Islam to violence. Instead, they are urged to talk about terrorism or violent extremism.

Fundamentalist and Jihadi are also banned because they make an "explicit link" between Muslims and terror. Ministers should say criminals, murderers or thugs instead. Radicalisation must be called brainwashing and talking about moderate or radical Muslims is to be avoided as it "splits the community".

Islamophobia is also out as it is received as "a slur that singles out Muslims".

The guide, produced by the secretive Research, Information and Communications Unit in the Home Office, tell ministers to "avoid implying that specific communities are to blame" for terrorism. It says more than 2,000 people are engaged in terror plots.

The guidance was branded "daft" last night by a special adviser to ex-Communities Secretary Hazel Blears. Paul Richards said: "Unless you can describe what you're up against, you're never going to defeat it. Ministers need to be leading the debate on Islamic extremism and they can't do that if they have one hand tied behind their back."


Must not oppose taxes

Cornell professor writing in NYT says that opposition to taxes is like car stealing and vandalism:
"Anti-tax zealots denounce all taxation as theft, as depriving citizens of their right to spend their hard-earned incomes as they see fit. Yet nowhere does the Constitution grant us the right not to be taxed. Nor does it grant us the right to harm others with impunity. No one is permitted to steal our cars or vandalize our homes. Why should opponents of taxation be allowed to harm us in less direct ways?"


And the guy is supposed to be an expert in ethics! Sounds like he could use some ethics himself. Or is free speech not ethical?

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Connecticut School Official Defends Ban on Christmas

We read:
"Happy Winter" just doesn't have the same ring as Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah, but in one Connecticut elementary school, that's about all you'll see and hear this holiday season.

Erik Brown, principal of Walsh Elementary School in Waterbury, Conn., has reportedly banned all religious festivities and many decorations from the classroom since arriving at the school five years ago. Brown, who declined comment through a spokeswoman to on Friday, explained to The Republican-American newspaper that state law mandates that a public school cannot knowingly exclude children.

"This is not a church," Brown told the paper. "It's a school and it's a public school. I have to do things that include every child. So what we do is celebrate winter."

Board of Education member John Theriault told the paper that many of Waterbury's 20 elementary schools display Christmas ornaments and allow Christmas parties. "I felt there was inequity," Theriault said. "If one school has Christmas parties for the kids, then others should too."

Brown told the paper that songs celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa will be sung during Walsh's "Winter Celebration" on Dec. 21, and as in previous years, presents will be given to students.


It would establish a church if his school put up a Christmas tree? He has delusions of grandeur.

Christmas Trees would pollute U.N. Conference‏

We read:
"Participants at Copenhagen's global climate summit will be meeting during the holiday season, but they will not be surrounded by festive Christmas decor, according to Denmark's Foreign Ministry. Since Christmas is a religious holiday, it has no place at a United Nations event, said officials planning the event.

A sponsor providing fir trees for the conference's Christmas trees learned this the hard way when it was turned away by planners of the international event, the Copenhagen Post reported. The trees, commonly used as Christmas trees in Denmark, were originally to be placed outside the Bella Center, where the 11-day conference will be held from Dec. 7 — Dec. 18.

"We have to remember that this is a U.N. conference and, as the center then becomes U.N. territory, there can be no Christmas trees in the decor, because the U.N. wishes to maintain neutrality," said Denmark Foreign Ministry official Svend Olling.

Fir trees otherwise reach the climate-friendly standards of the conference planners. Firs bind carbon dioxide and prevent its release into the atmosphere.


When in Denmark, do as the Danes do? Apparently not.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Must not agree with Glenn Beck

Certain opinions may not be held: In the twisted minds of the Left, it is racist to say that Obama is racist, apparently. No attempt to mount a rational argument about the matter: Just abuse. And if someone does try to look at it analytically ...
" has successfully urged over 80 advertisers to cut ties with Glenn Beck's show after he called President Obama "racist." Murdoch is now backpedaling to keep advertisers from dropping FOX altogether.

Last week, Murdoch said, "if you actually assess what he was talking about, [Beck] was right" to say Obama is racist. When heads turned, Murdoch's spokesman insisted, "He does not at all, for a minute, think the president is a racist."[4]

But the meaning of Murdoch's words was clear. And he hasn't agreed to stop FOX's race-baiting.
FOX's top hosts are using racism to whip up opposition to President Obama:


More details here. Glenn Beck claimed to see racism in some of Obama's decisions and words but you are not allowed to think that nor are others allowed think that, apparently. Obama CANNOT be racist and that is that. And don't you dare think otherwise!

Must not see bad motives in Obama

We read:
"Arlington Mayor Russell Wiseman discovered the power of the Internet on Friday when comments he made on Facebook about President Obama generated both heated criticism and hearty support from coast to coast.

By afternoon, Wiseman had deleted his own Facebook account, but two new pages had been put up -- "Support Russell Wiseman" and "Tell Russell Wiseman To Respect Charlie Brown And Our President."

The firestorm started after the national media and bloggers picked up an article in The Commercial Appeal about Wiseman complaining that Obama purposefully scheduled his speech about the war in Afghanistan at the same time as the annual "Peanuts" Christmas television special.

In Wiseman's first Facebook post, he wrote "Ok, so, this is total crap, we sit the kids down to watch 'The Charlie Brown Christmas Special' and our muslim president is there, what a load.....try to convince me that wasn't done on purpose. Ask the man if he believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and he will give you a 10 minute disertation (sic) about it....when the answer should simply be 'yes'...."

In another post to his more than 1,600 Facebook friends, he also attacked the President, his supporters and Muslims, by saying " Obama people need to move to a muslim country...oh wait, that's America....pitiful."


The one politician who may not be criticized. You can say that a Christian gentleman like George Bush is a Nazi and people will smile indulgently but say that Obama (who was brought up as a Muslim in his early years) is a Muslim and Leftists start to foam and rage and shriek.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Canada: Boissoin exonerated at last

In the Canadian system, a Court of Queen's Bench is the top court of the Province:
"A Court of Queen's Bench judge has ruled an anti-gay letter written by a former Alberta pastor in 2002 was not a hate crime and is allowed under freedom of speech.

Justice E.C. Wilson overturned a 2008 ruling by the Alberta Human Rights Commission that the letter by Stephen Boissoin that was published in the Red Deer Advocate broke provincial law. At the time, the commission said it may even have played a role in the beating of a gay teenager two weeks after it was published. The commission had ordered Boissoin to refrain from making disparaging remarks about homosexuals and to pay the complainant, former Red Deer high school teacher Darren Lund, $5,000 in damages.

Neither order can now be enforced, as Wilson declared them "unlawful or unconstitutional."

The letter carried the headline "Homosexual agenda wicked" and suggested gays were as immoral as pedophiles, drug dealers and pimps. Boissoin had argued he was simply commenting on government policy by criticizing homosexuality being portrayed positively in the public school curriculum....

The Canadian Constitution Foundation, a free-speech advocacy group, issued a news release saying it was pleased with Thursday's ruling. "Unfortunately, the law that was used against Reverend Boissoin to subject him to a expensive and stressful legal proceedings for more than seven years is still on the books," said executive director John Carpay.

That law, the Alberta Human Rights, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Act, says no one shall publish a statement that is likely "to expose a person or a class of persons to hatred or contempt" because of their sexual orientation.

"In spite of today's court ruling, Albertans need to continue to exercise extreme caution when speaking about public policy issues, lest they offend someone who then files a human rights complaint," said Carpay. "No citizen is safe from being subjected to a taxpayer-funded prosecution for having spoken or written something that a fellow citizen finds offensive."


CA: Must not quote the Bible

What the Mayor said is all in Romans chapter 1 -- and elsewhere:
"Hundreds of people crowded the steps of Vallejo City Hall on Tuesday to protest a published comments by Mayor Osby Davis that gay people would not go to heaven. The protesters waved rainbow flags, held signs demanding the separation of church and state and some called for Davis' resignation.

And then there was a roar. From inside City Hall came the sounds of more than 100 people clapping and cheering, praising God. "Lord, we're not against anybody. We're for our children," prayed New Hope Church Community Senior Pastor Terrence Nichols. "No matter what outside forces may stir up the pot, it is the inside residents who will work together to bring solutions to Vallejo. "Thank you God for the peace of this city."

The city has been anything but peaceful, however, since a New York Times column on Nov. 20 quoted Davis as saying of gay people, "They're committing sin and that sin will keep them out of heaven. ... But you don't hate the person. You hate the sin that they commit." Davis later apologized for offending anyone, said his remarks were taken out of context, but did not expand on his religious beliefs.

Shortly before the protest began, the New York Times released an audio version of the interview on its web site that expanded on Davis' remarks. In the interview Davis said that as a Christian he disagrees with homosexuality, but "loves" and "prays" for gays to see the "error in their ways."

The protest before Tuesday's City Council meeting, organized by former Vallejo City Council and school board candidate Lou Bordisso, brought out hundreds of the mayor's supporters and detractors....

Jones also called for those who oppose Davis' beliefs to stop with "perfectly understandable" but harmful tactics like threats that have reportedly been levied against the mayor. "All those tactics do is legitimize in the minds of the haters that the people they vilify deserve it," Jones said.


Saturday, December 05, 2009

Hate speech against the military from a Leftist babbler

Reaction forces backdown:
"MSNBC's Chris Matthews apologized on Wednesday for saying that President Barack Obama had traveled to an "enemy camp" at West Point to address the nation on the war in Afghanistan.

The pundit had made the remark Tuesday during on-air analysis of Obama's speech, noting that he saw skepticism and little enthusiasm in the faces of cadets and officers at the U.S. military academy, a place where former President Bush made a hawkish speech in 2002 before the Iraq War started. "I didn't see a lot of warmth in the crowd out there," he said. "He went to maybe the enemy camp ... to make his case."

Matthews said on his show Wednesday that he had gotten "some very tough calls" from former cadets and parents of cadets, who told him the audience of military officers and officers-in-training are trained not to show the kind of emotion that he thought was lacking. He said he had no reason to assume that those in Obama's audience were more hawkish on the war than the president.

"I've heard too many politicians say, `Oh, that was taken out of context,' to explain something they wish they hadn't sent," he said. "Let me just say to the cadets and their parents, former cadets and everyone who cares about this country and those who defend it, I used the wrong words and, worse than that, I said something that is just not right and for that I deeply apologize."


Must not fly Old Glory??

We read:
"A veteran of three wars who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor is now facing an unlikely enemy — his neighbors. Col. Van T. Barfoot, 90, has raised the Stars and Stripes every day at sunrise and lowered them every day at sunset since he served in the U.S. Army. But on Tuesday he received a letter from the law firm that represents his homeowners' association, ordering him to remove the flagpole from his Richmond, Va. yard by 5 p.m. on Friday or face "legal action."

The homeowners' association at Sussex Square community told Barfoot that the freestanding, 21-foot flagpole that he put up in September violates the neighborhood's aesthetic guidelines. Barfoot had sought permission to install the pole shortly after he moved into the community — a complex of townhouses where the grounds are community property — last June. The board denied his request in July.

But Barfoot and his family say there is no provision in Sussex Square's rules that forbids erecting flagpoles. And for Barfoot, that's a cause worth fighting for. "There's never been a day in my life or a place I've lived in my life that you couldn't fly the American flag," Barfoot said in an interview with the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

In a statement released last night, the association sought to defend its position against a growing chorus of outrage. "This is not about the American flag. This is about a flagpole," reads the statement from the association..


Friday, December 04, 2009

Italy: Council defies court ruling and displays crucifix

We read:
"The council in the Sicilian city of Catania has defied a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights and endorsed a proposal to display a Christian crucifix from Wednesday. The move is a direct response to a decision by the court which last month ruled that the symbol could not be displayed in public premises, in particular state schools.

"Before being a testimony of faith, the cross is a symbol of civilisation for Europe and the West," said a statement approved and signed by the city's municipal council. The proposal was approved by the council and only one councillor opposed the move.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled on 3 November that placing the crucifix in classrooms infringed parents' right to educate their children "in conformity with their convictions".

The court ruling has sparked fierce debate in overwhelmingly Catholic Italy where the Vatican earlier this month strongly rejected the ruling, saying it was "wrong and myopic" to exclude a symbol of charity from education.


I prophesied on Nov. 5 that Italians would defy the EU court ruling.

'Allahu Akbar' can be hate speech

We read:
"In his Nov. 25 letter ["Warning constitutes 'hate speech'"], Tom Panarese chastised the editors for publishing a Nov. 20 letter titled "Everyone, take cover at these words." This earlier letter's author stated, "I have instructed my family and friends to take cover when they hear the phrase, 'Allahu Akbar.'"

Mr. Panarese, a journalism educator, accused The Free Lance-Star of irresponsibly printing "hate speech" by publishing the earlier letter.

Sir, wake up. For tens of thousands of innocent people, "Allahu Akbar" have been the last words in the air prior to their violent, sudden, and senseless deaths. That isn't hateful; it is a fact. Recently, 13 of our brave and dedicated soldier-citizens died and dozens more were injured in a hail of gunfire as these words were shouted out by Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan.

While the phrase can be used in peaceful settings, Islamist terrorists have appropriated the words to deliberately strike fear in the hearts of the "infidel non-believers," this according to written directions provided to the 9/11 hijackers.

Through his critique of the FLS and the earlier letter, Mr. Panarese identifies himself as a poster child for passively complicit, misdirected PC behavior. Hopefully none of his journalism students is part of the Fort Hood massacre investigation team.


Thursday, December 03, 2009

An amusing post from a man whose surname means "anger" (Zorn)

(In German/Yiddish)

We read:
"Hate speech straight from Bible to bumpers: There’s a new slogan making its way onto car bumpers and across the Internet. It reads simply: “Pray for Obama: Psalm 109:8”....

Here's the verse you find when you consult scripture: "Let his days be few; and let another take his office".

And here's the verse that immediately follows: "Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow" ...

As though Biblical context is irrelevant. As though "let his days be short" is anything other than a prayer for death.


So he accuses Christians of hate speech on the basis of a verse that they did NOT quote. The quote from verse 8 is in no way improper. It is simply asking for Obama's time in office as President to be short. It is verse 9 that talks of death and which our zornig (angry) man is fuming about. But I guess that a zornig man can be expected to fume. He probably says things akin to Psalms 109:9 at times too. He certainly sounds pretty zornig about the bumper sticker concerned.

Whether it is right to pray for someone's death is a theological question that I will not venture to address in any comprehensive way but it surely depends on whose death is concerned. Praying for the death of a tyrant or oppressor (for instance) sounds pretty reasonable to me -- and that seems to be what the scripture is about. Amusing that our angry Leftist seems to think he is an authority on theology, though. I wonder what he thinks of Leviticus 20:13 or Romans 6:23? He should probably leave Biblical exegesis to those who know something about it.

From memory there is something in the Orthodox Haggadah in which Jews call down death on Christians too -- so wishing death on your enemies is probably pretty human. Don't I remember a Leftist movie in which the killing of George Bush was portrayed?

No free speech allowed in free speech tunnel?

Confused thinking from the very "correct" campus at UNC-CH
"Last week, we received several pictures via e-mail of offensive, sexist and hateful attacks on UNC-CH women taken in the Free Expression Tunnel. The content of the photos is too misogynistic to reprint here. The tunnel writings target UNC women, but in the process reveal a disturbing mindset that attacks all women. Here are the thoughts of one individual who wrote to us expressing his concern:

“HUNDREDS of students are being exposed to and getting a message that this is OK behavior. Why would someone write this versus positive things about N.C. State football? Why wouldn’t someone cover it up during the roast and say that’s not acceptable as a Wolfpack family? Why isn’t it repainted over by other students yet? We don’t tolerate racial hatred on this campus but we DO tolerate a lot of sexism. Until we address that and take a stand, we will always be writing letters and having discussion about ‘isolated’ incidents.”


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Must not question Obama

We read:
"A controversial billboard in a small Colorado town portrays President Barack Obama as a terrorist and questions his citizenship. "Since Fort Hood, I've had it," owner Phil Wolf (the creator of the billboard) told FOX 31 News on Friday. "You can't suggest things. You can't profile. You gotta call a spade a spade."

Naturally, others disagree: columnist David Sirota, “This conservative hatred of Barack Obama is out of control, and this brings together all those strands of it: the racism, the anti-Muslim fervor. It's one thing to criticize the president on health care, or Wall Street reform, or immigration. But this is outrageous."


Must not sing about a unified Germany

"The song of the Germans" ("Das Lied der Deutschen") was written in 1841 long before Germany became a nation in 1891. It expressed the common wish at that time that the many German Kingdoms and other entities should come together as a single nation. One of the verses of the song is Germany's national anthem to this day. The first verse, however, speaks of "Germany above all" ("Deutschland ├╝ber alles") and that is politically incorrect these days -- although it originally meant that a single German identity should supersede regional identities. All the verses were part of the national anthem before Hitler so he cannot be blamed for it. Historical awareness is very shallow everywhere these days, however and the guy who sang the song (below) was probably being mocking
"British rocker Pete Doherty was hauled off stage at a weekend music festival in Germany after he began singing the Nazi anthem Deutschland, Deutschland ueber alles during his set, reports say.

Revellers at the on3 festival in Munich booed and shouted at Doherty, but he carried on singing until organisers removed him from the stage, Bavaria's TZ newspaper reported.

Doherty's tirade was broadcast live on Bavarian public radio, the festival's organisers said. "We decided to stop Peter Doherty's appearance on stage as quickly as possible,'' organisers Bayerischer Rundfunk said in a statement.

The lines come from the first verse of the Song of Germany and this verse was used as the national anthem under the Nazis. While the verse is not banned in Germany, it has not been sung since World War II because of its close links with Adolf Hitler.


More background on the song here. Since Germany has in fact only recently been reunified, the song would in fact be highly relevant today except for current "sensitivities".

The first verse of the song quite clearly specifies that it about German lands only:

Von der Maas bis an die Memel,
Von der Etsch bis an den Belt

That described the geographical limits of the German lands at the time when the song was written.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

"Retard" a bad word

Story from New Zealand:
"I have to say that Paul Henry has reached a new low. Last week, he again made another infamous outburst on Breakfast when he used the 'r' word to describe new music sensation Susan Boyle.

I will not use the full word that Henry uttered due to the fact I find it offensive. As a member of the disability community, I stand in solidarity with my comrades from the learning disability community on this issue. Therefore, I fully support IHC's statement condemning Henry's outburst and asking people to complain to TVNZ, the Human Rights Commission and the Broadcasting Standards Authority over it.


It is certainly a term of abuse and a common one in lots of places these days. So should all terms of abuse be banned? We seem to be heading in that direction. Calling someone a "bastard" is a common term of abuse in Australia but that no doubt could be held as a slur on "ex-nuptial children". And very stern rebukes from feminists can no doubt be expected whenever the traditional American expletive "Son of ..." is used. And I don't mean "son of a gun".

Fla. school district agrees to end ban on fliers for children’s event at church

We read:
"Alliance Defense Fund attorneys have reached a favorable settlement with the Collier County School Board on behalf of a local church barred from participating in a flier distribution program open to other community groups. In June, ADF attorneys filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Cypress Wood Presbyterian Church after school officials rejected its request to include fliers promoting an upcoming Vacation Bible School for children in the flier program.

“Churches shouldn’t be discriminated against for their beliefs,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel David Cortman. “We commend the district for its quick actions to end the unconstitutional exclusion of religious materials and allow all community groups to participate equally in the flier distribution program. Far from barring schools from including religious fliers in such programs, the First Amendment actually prohibits schools from favoring certain viewpoints over others.”

Cypress Wood Presbyterian Church contacted the district’s Community Request Office to inquire about participating in the flier distribution program, which allows non-profit community groups to send written materials home with students. The church was advised that the district “did not allow religious events to be promoted” but that the church should submit its proposed materials anyway.

After submitting its materials, the church received no response. The assistant superintendent later informed the principal that the fliers would not be distributed. As part of the settlement, however, the school board agreed to revise its policies prohibiting religious organizations from distributing materials through the school flier forum.