Saturday, January 31, 2009

Hispanic Group Alleges Hate Speech on Cable News

We read:
"In a petition to the FCC this week, the National Hispanic Media Coalition claims that hate speech is "prevalent" on national cable news networks and wants the government to do something about it.

That was one of the assertions made by the group in a formal request that the commission open a notice of inquiry into "the extent, the effect, and possible remedies" to what it said was a pervasive problem, and not just on conservative talk radio.

NHMC, a nonprofit LA based media advocacy group, cited a 2007 Media Matters study that concluded that "the alleged connection between illegal immigration and crime" was discussed on 94 episodes of CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, 66 times on Fox's Bill O'Reilly, and 29 times on Glenn Beck's Headline News show.


Media Matters is just a Leftist propaganda outfit but they are right that there is some airing in the media of the fact that immigrants have a high rate of crime. The Hispanic crime rate lies in between the black and white crime rates. See here. I think truth is still a defence in the USA.

Justice Served in YAF's Top Academic Abuse of 2008

We read:
"Last December, YAF rolled out its annual list of "Academia's Top 10 Abuses," and at the top of the list stood Yuba College in California. Yuba had threatened student Ryan Dozier with arrest and expulsion for peacefully handing out gospel tracts on a campus sidewalk.

But what rule did Ryan violate? Why, a policy that limited on-campus speech to one hour on Tuesdays and one hour on Thursdays, of course. Yes, that's correct-two hours of free speech per week (with permission required two weeks in advance). And that speech couldn't take place anywhere. The "speech zone," limited both the time and the place so that Ryan Dozier had minimal access to his own campus.

Nor was the school content with its draconian speech zone. It's anti-harassment policies were nothing more than a classic university speech code.

It should be remarkable that a school would maintain such policies in the presence of more than two decades of consistent and clear court precedent, but it is becoming increasingly apparent that speech codes and speech zones have to be sued into oblivion, school by school. Colleges and universities rarely make changes outside the white-hot glare of judicial (or public) scrutiny.

And so, with the help of the Alliance Defense Fund Center for Academic Freedom, Ryan challenged his school (I can hardly take credit for the case, since it mostly occurred while I was in Iraq), and yesterday he won a resounding victory. The university settled the case and agreed to a consent order that repealed the speech code, repealed the speech-zone policy, and provided for thousands of dollars of attorneys' fees.

Stories of academic abuses don't have to be tales of woe. They can also contain within them the seeds of real change. By standing against the university's censorship, Ryan has given the gift of liberty to each student at Yuba, and that is an academic record to be proud of.


Friday, January 30, 2009

Teeth incorrect??

Are models not supposed to have teeth?? The contant use of bony models is a big attack on the natural looks of most people and now this. Will a gummy skeleton become the ideal to which women are supposed to conform? There is a very heavy involvement of male homosexuals in fashion and the abnormal-looking women that they promote certainly are consistent with them not liking women generally. The "teeth" flap, however, is the work of a female editor.
"Notorious US Vogue editor Anna Wintour and her team superimposed a picture of Sienna Miller's face onto another one of her body after complaining she was too "toothy" for their front cover, a new film reveals. The decision is documented in The September Issue, an 89-minute fly-on-the-wall exploration of life behind the scenes at Vogue, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last week.

In it, director and producer RJ Cutler tracks the compilation of the magazine's biggest ever issue, which ended up weighing nearly two kilograms and selling 13 million copies.

According to British newspaper The Telegraph, editor-in-chief Wintour is shown complaining that actress Miller - their chosen cover girl - is too "toothy", while other magazine staff comment on the number of fillings she has.

Renowned Peruvian photographer Mario Testino took the shots but the magazine ending up using one shot of Miller's face and superimposing it on another taken of her body.


"Racist" to urge assimilation

Only a few decades ago, most governments worldwide expected immigrants to assimilate to the customs of the new country. There was even a proverb about it: "When in Rome do as the Romans do". People who still see such policies as reasonable are however "racist" these days. The following story is from Australia
"The daughter of swimming legend Dawn Fraser is investigating how a racist email urging immigrants to leave if they fail to assimilate was circulated from her address

The email begins with a rant that Sydney residents had failed to erect Christmas lights so as not to offend other cultures and has details of a Muslim woman being allowed to have her driver's licence photograph taken despite religious dress obscuring her face.

It said multiculturalism has "diluted" Australia's "national identity" and urges recipients to forward the chain email. "If the Southern Cross offends you, or you don't like 'A Fair Go,' then you should seriously consider a move to another part of this planet," it reads. "We are happy with our culture."


Being happy with your own culture and not wanting it disrupted is a terrible sin these days -- but only if you are white, of course.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

British watchdog bans Christian advert claiming that a vaccine leads to infertility

Again we have censorship arising from just one complainer
"A Christian advert which suggested the cervical cancer vaccine would make teenagers sterile has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority.

Christian Voice believes the HPV vaccine will increase teen sex and cause a surge in sexually-transmitted infections that cause infertility. It placed an advert in New Statesman magazine which claimed: `Now we have the disaster of teenage infertility. Every Government initiative, including the HPV vaccine, will increase it, but as all the targets revolve around pregnancy, no-one in power knows how many young people they are making sterile and nobody cares.'

The advertising watchdog began an investigation after one complaint. It found the advert breached codes on truthfulness, substantiation and principles.


Chlamydia is a very common sexually transmitted disease and it does cause infertility. So anything that makes women feel that it is safer to have indiscriminate sex DOES expose them to the risk of infertility. The Christian ad is perfectly factual.

Obama's problematical blackness

Sometimes we are allowed to notice it and sometimes not
"One of the employees was checking the tea and noted out loud that they were out of black tea. To the other server, she made a joke about ordering some more "Obama tea."

On this day, of all days, I could not turn away, pretend I didn't hear. My pulse raced a little. Butterflies fluttered in my stomach. In the larger scheme of things, calling her on it was a small act. A person of color might say, "that's nothing compared to the things people have said to me." But to pretend I hadn't heard, when indeed I had, as the televisions above the bar showed images of President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, walking the parade route, was unthinkable.

I did the uncomfortable thing and spoke to the server (the jokester had disappeared), and to the club manager. "What do you want me to do?" the manager asked, when I said I thought it was not a harmless joke but a racist statement. I suggested racial sensitivity training at the very least. He said he would "take it under advisement." I found out later he spoke to her about the incident.


It sounds to me like a small and harmless joke. But apparently you must only refer to Obama's blackness in order to praise it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

T-Shirt Hell Shuts Doors After One Too Many Hate Emails

We read:
"You'd think that someone who sells tshirts with slogans like "It's not gay if you beat them up afterwards" and "Arrest Black Babies Before They Become Criminals" would not only be prepared for a tidal wave of hate email, but would be able to handle it as well. Some people just won't find these shirts funny, or understand the social messaging behind it. That doesn't appear to be the case. After 8 years, the owner of T-Shirt Hell, Sunshine Megatron (formerly Aaron Landau Schwarz according to Wikipedia), says he is shutting down the site on February 10, 2009:
"I just don't feel like dealing with idiots anymore. I'll give you an example of the kind of misguided morons we deal with on a regular basis at T-Shirt Hell. We released a new shirt a couple weeks ago that says "It's not gay if you beat them up afterwards". I will not explain the irony or the social commentary of the slogan because anyone with half a brain should be able to handle that on their own. Problem is, we've been besieged with emails from angry people complaining about the "fact" that the shirt is hate speech or that we're promoting gay bashing and should take it down immediately.


I must say that I am surprised that he got away with it at all. It looks like the 1st amendment DOES often work -- except in schools and colleges, of course.

"Incorrect" T-shirts spark criticism

This story is from Australia's wild North -- rather reminiscent of Alaska in some ways (except in temperature). I imagine a few Americans would like to wear similar shirts if they felt that they could do so without being hounded by the enforcers of correctness.
"As the Territory was proudly celebrating our national day yesterday, a Darwin store was selling Australia Day shirts emblazoned with "racist" messages.... the Drunken Goat variety store in Casuarina was displaying a T-shirt in its front window proclaiming, "This is Australia. We eat meat, we drink beer, and we speak f#ckin English''. Another featured a picture of the Australian flag with the message "Support it or F#!K OFF''.

The manager of the store was unavailable to comment yesterday but community groups were outraged that the store would offer these shirts as part of their Australia Day window display....


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Good if it happens

We read:
"It has received the least attention of his first-day decisions, but President Barack Obama's memorandum on reviving the Freedom of Information Act stands as the clearest signal yet that his campaign talk about `a new era of open government' wasn't just rhetoric; it's for real. The key phrase comes right at the top: `The Freedom of Information Act should be administered with a clear presumption: In the face of doubt, openness prevails.'


Silvio does it again

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is one of my favorite people. He is constantly being accused of incorrectness but carries on regardless.
"Premier Silvio Berlusconi is being criticized for suggesting that Italy's women are so beautiful they need military escorts to avoid rape. Berlusconi made the comments Sunday, responding to questions about a proposal to deploy 300,000 soldiers in the streets to fight crime. A series of violent crimes, including a rape in Rome on New Year's Eve and another outside the capital this week, prompted the proposal.

But Berlusconi said even with added police, such crimes can happen, and that "We would need so many soldiers because our women are so beautiful."

Opposition lawmaker Giovanna Melandri said Berlusconi's comments were "profoundly offensive."

Berlusconi says he was complimenting women.


Italian men are great pursuers of women and Silvio is one of them. It escapes me what was offensive about his remarks. They sound complimentary to me too. But I guess it is the feminist cr*p about women's attractiveness being unimportant.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Tennessee "English only" requirement racist?

Even though people of many races speak English? The amendment says that all city business must be conducted in English.
"Too many have been quick to label anyone who supports the amendment as racist and xenophobic. At best, proponents are called ignorant and insensitive. To be sure, Nashville has its share of people who are hateful and cruel, judging by the ugly online comments to news stories related to immigration. But with their dismissive attitude toward anyone who has a different point of view, many opponents of English-Only can hardly claim the high road.

Yet, as an ESL teacher who promotes assimilation, I believe in encouraging a common language and culture. I have problems with driver's license tests being offered in other languages, and I want to know why students can take the GED in Spanish or French when they're required to know English to be eligible to take the test. I would welcome better thought out and more narrowly focused English policies that are more likely to have a practical impact and limit the number of unintended consequences.


Ban on Confederate flag shirts

We read:
"A full federal appeals court won't hear a lawsuit by three Tennessee students threatened with suspension if they wore Confederate flag T-shirts. A three-judge panel ruled in August that Blount County, just south of Knoxville, could ban the clothing. On Friday, the judges denied a request for a hearing by the full federal appeals court in Cincinnati.

Students Derek Barr and Craig and Chris White argued their free speech rights were violated by the ban on clothes with the flag, which is considered a symbol of racism and intolerance by some and an emblem of Southern heritage by others.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Old Dutch tradition comes under fire in Britain

It's a Dutch version of the "blackface" controversy except that the character in the Dutch tradition did not "black up" as an imitation of an African. It is part of a traditional Dutch Christmas. "Black Pete" is the companion of the Dutch Santa Claus (Sinterklaas), as you see above.
"A celebration held by Dutch students at University College has been condemned as "racially insensitive, and arguably racist" by prominent members of the MCR. Both the Vice-President and Treasurer of University College's MCR have condemned the celebration and attacked the "endemic apathy towards racism in the Oxford community."

Micaela Owusu, the MCR treasurer, wrote an open letter to the college, condemning the "Zwarte Piet" celebration which was held in the college at the end of last November. Owusu has stated that she saw two students in black face make-up sitting within a crowd of students to mark the Dutch holiday celebration.

Traditionally, the "Zwarte Piet" feast is held on the 5th of December in Holland and celebrates "Black Peter" as the companion of St. Nicholas. It has frequently involved "blacking up" in imitation of the character. Owusu stated that as "one of a literal handful of black students at University College" she felt "extremely isolated and targeted in such a scenario."


I believe Piet is black because he does the climbing down chimneys in Holland

Must not say a black person is bitter?

From what I can see there is a LOT of bitterness among blacks. If I had been contantly told by Leftists that my lack of success was due to "racism", I would be bitter too.
"Yesterday we picked out a shocking excerpt from the DOJ report on politicized hiring, in which then-Voting Rights chief John Tanner told Brad Schlozman over email in 2004 that he liked his coffee "Mary Frances Berry style -- black and bitter." Berry, an African-American, was at the time the chair of the US Commission on Civil Rights, which works, among other things, to protect Americans' right to vote.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Supreme Court deals death blow to antiporn law

We read:
"The U.S. Department of Justice has been trying since 1998 to convince courts that a federal antiporn law targeting sexually explicit Web sites was constitutional. No longer.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected prosecutors' last-ditch defense of the Child Online Protection Act, meaning that the law will not be enforced. COPA was enacted during the anti-Internet porn scares of the late 1990s, in part as a narrower answer to a previous Net censorship law that also met its demise in the courts."


Must not be silent

We read:
"A federal judge has ruled that a state law requiring a moment of silence in public schools across Illinois is unconstitutional, saying it crosses the line separating church and state. "The statute is a subtle effort to force students at impressionable ages to contemplate religion," U.S. District Judge Robert W. Gettleman said in his ruling yesterday.

The ruling came in a lawsuit designed to bar schools from enforcing the Illinois Silent Reflection and Student Prayer Act. It was filed by talk-show host Rob Sherman, an outspoken atheist, and his daughter, Dawn, a high school student.

Gettleman's ruling was not a surprise. He had already ruled in favor of Sherman in two previous decisions.

As passed by the Illinois General Assembly, the law allows students to reflect on the day's activities rather than pray if that is their choice and defenders have said it therefore doesn't force religion on anyone. But Gettleman backed critics such as the American Civil Liberties Union, who say the law is a thinly disguised effort to bring religion into the schools.


Friday, January 23, 2009

UK: Atheist ads "not breaking code"

All sorts of speech are restricted in Britain but atheist speech is OK apparently:
"An atheist UK bus campaign which uses the slogan `There's probably no God' does not breach the advertising code, a watchdog has ruled. The Advertising Standards Authority said it had assessed 326 complaints. Some claimed the wording was offensive to people who followed a religion.

But the body concluded the adverts were unlikely to mislead or cause widespread offence and closed the case. The 140,000 pound ad campaign was launched by the British Humanist Association."


At that rate it would be OK if I financed ads on British buses saying: "There's probably no such thing as healthy homosexuality". Ya think?


Why didn't I think of this? From one of the commenters on this post:

"If some can say there is no God, Can I say “There is no Allah and Mohammad wasn’t his messenger”?"

Now that WOULD be fun!

Dutch court to prosecute criticism of Islam

They won't prosecute Muslim antisemites but they will prosecute those who criticize Muslim antisemites. The Netherlands is sick to the core.
"A Dutch court has ordered prosecutors to put a right-wing politician on trial for making anti-Islamic statements. Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders made a controversial film last year equating Islam with violence and has likened the Koran to Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf.

"In a democratic system, hate speech is considered so serious that it is in the general interest to... draw a clear line," the court in Amsterdam said.

Mr Wilders said the judgement was an "attack on the freedom of expression". "Participation in the public debate has become a dangerous activity. If you give your opinion, you risk being prosecuted," he said. Not only he, but all Dutch citizens opposed to the "Islamisation" of their country would be on trial, Mr Wilders warned. "Who will stand up for our culture if I am silenced?" he added.

The three judges said that they had weighed Mr Wilders's "one-sided generalisations" against his right to free speech, and ruled that he had gone beyond the normal leeway granted to politicians.


If even a prominent politician is not free to speak out, what hope is there for the little guy?

There could however be a silver lining here. Everything Wilders said is true -- and proving that in court could be a real wake-up for the Dutch. Wilders may even have had that in mind from the beginning.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Dutch authorities dragging their feet

The incitement to violence seems plain enough:
"The Public Prosecutor's Office in the Netherlands is investigating whether to prosecute anti-Israel demonstrators for using hate speech. During various demonstrations last weekend against the conflict in the Gaza Strip some people shouted anti-Semitic slogans, such as 'Hamas, Hamas, Jews should be gassed'.

Minister of Justice Ernst Hirsch Ballin has refused to comment on specific cases but has confirmed that the public prosecutor is reviewing video tapes of the demonstrations. Prosecutions could still follow:

"Freedom of speech has a high value in our legal system, however freedom of speech has its limits and therefore the public prosecutor will investigate any situations in which speech, expressions have clearly offensive meaning."

But the foremost organisation representing Dutch Jews, the Centre for Information and Documentation [on] Israel (CIDI), says the police's reluctance to intervene sends a message that inciting hatred against Jews is acceptable.


Double-standard Canada

They leap to prosecute most people who make antisemitic utterances but turn a blind eye when Leftists or Muslims do it
"Prominent Canadian Jewish groups want organizations behind rallies that condemned Israel's military actions in Gaza to denounce comments they say may constitute hate speech.The Canadian Jewish Congress, along with a representative from the Canada-Israel Committee, held a news conference today to show video clips of the rallies that they say should "shock all Canadians."

They want organizations such as the Canadian Union of Public Employees Ontario and the Canadian Arab Federation to publicly apologize. They are also taking their photographic and video materials to the RCMP and local police forces, as they say laws may have been broken, such as hate provisions under the Criminal Code.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Naughty words that go over my head

When wicked words get so subtle that I cannot even see where the wickedness lies must mean that "incorrect" speech has reached new heights of absurdity. Or maybe Alzheimer's has got me and I don't know it yet.
"Britney Spears' attempts to come back as the clean-living pop princess have come seriously unstuck - she has reportedly been forced to change the title of her new single. US radio stations threatened to ban Britney's If U Seek Amy, her third single from the album.

There's no four-letter swear word but fairly obviously an unsubtle title. "But all of the boys and all of the girls are begging to if you seek Amy," is also the catchy hook to the song and another bone of contention for radio.

Britney also knows that her music's target is young women and schoolgirls. Mothers have written they don't want their daughters to be singing the song.

Fearing the backlash of releasing the song in the controversy and about to embark on a world tour, Britney has, according to The Sun newspaper, altered the title. The song is now called If You See Amy.


The most that I can make out of it is that "If U" could be seen as short for "F.U.", which means "f*ck you" but that is pretty indirect.

PA: Woman fights City Hall over right to petition

We read:
"Overlooking this 200-year-old city is a neighborhood called the Heights, where simple frame homes built for immigrant coal miners, brewery workers and railroad hands after the Civil War stand cheek by jowl along sharply inclined streets and alleyways. There's little open space among the singles, twins and rowhouses here. One consequence: If a house catches fire, adjacent structures are at risk, too. Seconds count when firefighters get a call. Generations of Heights dwellers have known this. So when the mayor decided to shutter the neighborhood's lone, dilapidated firehouse - saying it required costly repairs that Wilkes-Barre could ill afford - Denise Carey protested. Loudly...

Leighton, the suit claimed, retaliated against Carey for exercising her First Amendment freedoms of speech, association, and petition. He abused his power by using the legal system to silence dissent, "stifling her efforts to speak out against the mayor's administration"


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

D.C. cops ban pro-life messages

Is this the future of free speech and political dissent under President Obama?
"The Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department has forbidden a pro-life gathering and chalk display during Inauguration Week - and now the group is fighting back with a lawsuit against the District of Columbia.

Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition, said the department is banning the event because of its message. "For over 16 years, law enforcement officials have given permission to the Christian Defense Coalition to use public 'sidewalk chalking' as a part of their demonstrations and vigils in the nation's capitol. The City of Washington, D.C., has also allowed numerous public 'chalk art displays' throughout the city," he said in a statement. "It is therefore most troubling that for the first time the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department is banning this practice when it involves a pro-life display in front of the White House."

Thursday, Jan. 22, marks the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Since 1974, pro-life activists have gathered in Washington, D.C., each year to protest the decision and call attention to millions of lives lost. The Christian Defense Coalition and Generation Life and Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust asked for permission to meet and draw sidewalk chalk messages on the sidewalk near the White House, as many groups have often done during public assemblies.

However, Commander James Crane denied their request in a Jan. 7 letter. He also said applying chalk to Pennsylvania Avenue and adjacent sidewalks "would constitute defacing public property in violation of D.C. Official Code 22-3312.01."


Republicans can forget the 1st Amendment too

We read:
"Republican representatives Randy Truitt and Mark Messmer have proposed House Bill No. 1521 in the Indiana General Assembly that among other things, makes it a Class A misdemeanor to "intentionally participate in the preparation, dissemination or broadcast paid political advertising or campaign material, or in the drafting of a letter to the editor, that:

(1) concerns:
(A) the personal or political character or acts of a candidate for nomination or election to a public office; or
(B) the effect of a public question;

(2) is designed or tends:
(A) to elect, injure, promote, or defeat the candidate; or
(B) to promote or defeat the public question; and

(3) contains information or a statement that is false;"


Monday, January 19, 2009

'No God' advertisements banned from city buses in Italy

Italians are a pretty feisty lot:
"Italian atheists have lost a bid to run "no God" advertisements on city buses after strong opposition from conservative political parties. The ads reading "The bad news is that God doesn't exist. The good news is that you don't need him" were to have been put on buses in the northern city of Genoa, home to the Catholic cardinal who is head of the Italian Bishops Conference.

The mock-up was ready and the contract was sent to the group for signing but the publicity agency changed its mind and said the ad could not run it because it violated an ethics in advertising code, according to Giorgio Villella of The Italian Union of Atheists and Rationalist Agnostics (UAAR).

"Right-wing politicians criticised us ferociously," Villella said by telephone from the group's base, adding that at least one bus driver in Genoa said he would refuse to drive a "no God" bus. "It's strange that in a country where ads depicting near-naked women wearing skimpy lingerie is permitted on buses that we can't run ads about atheism," Villella said.

Villella said the group's lawyers would likely file an appeal to a court to overturn the decision and that the group would try to run the ads in other Italian cities.


I guess that there is no right to insult Christianity in Italy -- though there seems to be such a right in America. Christians are heavily attacked for criticizing homosexuality in North America but criticizing Christianity is just fine. Sounds like it is the other way around in Italy. The Pope certainly does not mince words about homosexuality.

I gather that, as with the USA, Italy has constitutional protections for free speech. Sad that there is no free speech on many issues in either country.

Must not mention suntans

A story from Australia. Australians might not be the big-time tanners that Californians are but it is close:
"A Brisbane radio station has pulled a promotional advertisement off the air after it was deemed to inadvertently glorify tanning. The advertisement, a summer promotion for B105.3FM, featured voiceovers with young females saying what they like about summer. One girl said she liked going to South Bank to ``check out cute boys'' and get a suntan; another said she liked jumping in the car and heading to the Gold Coast beaches to ''get a tan''.

The promotion has aired during the State Government's $1 million ``Dark Side of Tanning'' anti-skin cancer campaign. Cancer Council Queensland SunSmart co-ordinator Lisa Naumann said advertisements such as the B105 promotion ''certainly don't help our SunSmart message''. ''It is extremely frustrating that while we work tirelessly to promote a SunSmart message we have that negated by irresponsible advertisers.'' She said Queenslanders, who had more skin cancers than residents in any other state, did not need any more encouragement to flout the skin-cancer message.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Must not rub statues?

We read:
"The statues of "Buddha" at the Kansas City Zoo that are offensive to an Overland Park man are not images of Buddha at all, according to a local lama. "I have seen them," said Lama Chuck Stanford, executive and spiritual director of the Rime Buddhist Center & Monastery. "They are statues of Ho Tai, the patron saint of children in China and Japan. He is closer to Santa Claus."

David Engle, who said he and his family are Christians, was offended when he recently saw people rubbing the bellies and heads of the statues at the entrance to the Tiger Trail area of the zoo.

But Stanford said Engle was mistakenly comparing the statues to religious symbols like the cross or the menorah. "Buddhists do not worship or pray to the Buddha," he said.


South Carolina: Black Democrat Legislator Trying To Ban Vulgar Words in Public

We read:
"Here's the bill, which would make it a felony "for a person in a public forum or place of public accommodation wilfully and knowingly to publish orally or in writing, exhibit, or otherwise make available material containing words, language, or actions of a profane, vulgar, lewd, lascivious, or indecent nature." Likewise, it would be a felony "for a person to disseminate profanity to a minor if he wilfully and knowingly publishes orally or in writing, exhibits, or otherwise makes available material containing words, language, or actions of profane, vulgar, lewd, lascivious, or indecent nature."


Democrats do tend to forget the 1st Amendment. The full comments at the link above make it clear that the idea is pretty dumb.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

What's in a name?

Sorry for that facile heading on a deadly serious subject.

Most governments worldwide have given themselves the right to take children away from their parents -- one of the most horrible things anyone can do to a family. And the children concerned are often farmed out to people who do not take good care of them -- which is even worse.

But where children are being seriously injured, there is public support for such a grave deed. It is when the injury is mere speculation -- a common occurrence in Britain -- that there is a need for the actions of the State to be very closely scrutinized at the least. But scrutiny is exactly what many jurisdictions do not allow -- hence the many abuses in Britain -- abuses that eventually grew so bad that the courts concerned WERE opened up to the public at long last.

But that secrecy seems to be still well-entreched in New Jersey, where the children of a family who named a son "Adolf Hitler" were taken away last week. The father is due in court about now.

Secrecy prevents the reasons for the seizure of the children being made known but note that a representative of the "welfare" agency involved has said that: "I’ve dealt with the family for years and as far as the children are concerned, I have never had any reports of any abuse with the children," Harris said. "As far as I know, he’s always been very good with the children."

So it would seem that disapproval of an admittedly idiotic name is the sole reason for the attack on the family concerned. That is a VERY slim reason for breaking up a family and I doubt that it will be sustained through the courts. The seizure of Mormon chidren in Texas last year did not survive judicial scrutiny, either.

There is however a certain Fascistic element in the official action. They know that even if what they do is illegal they will not suffer for it but the family will.

Hijab ban gets some support

Australian retailers' organization backs radio jock over hijab ban
"A Brisbane radio announcer's controversial call for a ban on the wearing of Islamic hijabs has been backed by the Retailers Association. The peak national body has called for all hijabs, helmets and hoodies to be banned in shops and banks for security purposes.

Brisbane radio presenter Michael Smith angered listeners after calling for Muslim women who wear a hijab to be fined. The 4BC drive presenter, a former Victorian policeman, said on Wednesday that wearing the hijab or burka posed a security risk because it obscured the face, making it difficult to identify the wearer in the instance of a crime.

Smith said it should be made an offence.


Western women are not allowed to wear their normal Western dress in many Muslim countries so it is hard to see why it is unfair to ban Muslim dress in Western countries.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Must not criticize Muslim garb

From Australia:
"A Brisbane radio station may have to explain why it should keep its licence after an announcer was accused of making anti-Islamic comments. Former Victorian police officer, now 4BC drive-time announcer, Michael Smith called for Muslim women who wear an Islamic hijab in public to be fined for offensive behaviour. He made the remarks on-air and on the 4BC website, saying: "Any reasonable person would find this offensive."

Islamic Council of Queensland president Suliman Sabdia said Mr Smith's remarks amounted to "a clear case of intolerance".

Under the Commercial Radio Code of Practice, a licensee must not broadcast a program likely to incite hatred against or vilify any person or group on the basis of age, ethnicity, nationality, race, gender, sexual preference, religion, or disability. Christine Donnelly from the Australian Communications and Media Authority said Mr Smith's comments could be a breach of the Code of Practice. 4BC general manager David McDonald said Mr Smith's remarks were not intended to be anti-religion or anti-Muslim.


ADF attorneys successfully halt censorship of pro-life advocates in Ohio

We read:
"Court says Ohio town's defense of unconstitutional permit scheme is 'baseless,' 'borders on bad faith'

A federal court has ruled that an Ohio town violated the First Amendment rights of pro-life advocates when police officers threatened them with arrest for engaging in pro-life speech. Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Findlay on behalf of the pro-life advocates. "Christians shouldn't be penalized for expressing their beliefs," said ADF Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. "Exercising your First Amendment rights is not a crime. The government has no right to harass and threaten citizens for exercising their First Amendment rights in public."

On July 31, 2007, Pastor Matthew Trewhella, Michael Marcavage, and volunteers from Missionaries to the Preborn were peacefully holding up signs promoting a pro-life message at an intersection in Findlay. The chief of police and two officers demanded that the group leave or face arrest, claiming that they needed a permit to present their message. After leaving the area, Marcavage contacted the mayor's office and soon discovered that no ordinance actually covered their activity and that the mayor's permit scheme should not have been applied to sign-holding.

In the opinion declaring the city's policy unconstitutional, the court wrote, "This permit scheme grants the City virtually unchecked discretion to deny permits for content based reasons. There are no objective standards by which the City is bound when considering whether to issue a permit.... Defendants' arguments to the contrary are not only baseless, but, even worse, border on bad faith."

"The government can't require Christians to request permission before they exercise their First Amendment rights on a public sidewalk," said Bowman. "We hope that Pastor Trewhella and other pro-life advocates will now be free to express their views without fear of government intimidation and censorship."


Thursday, January 15, 2009

British Royal family set to gain new admirers

The many people who are sick and tired of the pursed-mouth reaction to any reference to race have had Prince Harry to applaud lately -- and now Prince Charles sets an example of harmless frankness too:
"Britain's royal family is embroiled in another race row after reports the Prince of Wales calls a friend "Sooty". Prince Charles used the "affectionate nickname" to address Kolin Dhillon, whose family come from the Indian subcontinent, at Cirencester Polo Club, Britain's The Daily Telegraph reported. "Charles, along with both of his boys, have called this chap Sooty because it is his nickname and he is perfectly comfortable with it," an un-named member of the club told the newspaper.


Leftist hatred of Christianity on British TV

We read:
"When millions of viewers tuned into Tyrone and Molly's wedding on Coronation Street this week, they probably did not notice anything amiss with the beautiful 14th-century church. The rector was not among them.

It was not the absurd storyline that so incensed the Rev James Milnes, of St Mary's Church, Nether Alderley, Cheshire. Nor was it the ornate horse-drawn carriage, the dry-ice machine used to create atmosphere or even the harpist in the nave.

The clergyman was furious that the show's producers had decided to hide the solid brass cross that formed the centrepiece of the altar for fear that it would cause offence to viewers. Denouncing the decision to hide the cross behind a garish candelabra and artificial flowers, Mr Milnes wrote in his monthly parish magazine that Granada Television had "emptied the church of the very thing that makes it a church".


If the sight of a cross is offensive, Britain must be boiling over with offended people. How do people ever manage to drive past a church in a calm state of mind these days?

Given the wishi-washiness of the Church of England, the most surprising thing may be that clergyman objected.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"Monkey" a dangerous word

Leftist desperate to find "racism" where there is none. Apparently, it's even racist to mention whites and monkeys in the same breath.
"In a column recently offering his treatise that liberals do not love America, DC Republican Examiner used an unfortunate racial code word: monkey. He said that liberals behave like "scalded monkeys" when accused by their opponents of lacking patriotism. While I am willing to accept that he is merely ignorant rather than racist, I can't simply make that assumption just on good faith.

So I did a little research for him and found this compelling and thorough essay about the term "monkey" and its history as a pejorative directed at African-Americans. In it the author Jackie Jones quotes David Pilgrim, a sociology professor and chief diversity officer at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan and curator of the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia, ".there are derivations, like porch monkey, and we have tons of images of African-American children being portrayed as if they were monkeys. It's part of a continuum from the past, and I ask myself how could any adult American not know this?"


The guy actually said "scorched monkeys" but we don't expect accuracy from a Leftist, of course. Hate is all that they are good at.

British black plays the race card on his former benefactor

We read:
"The head of Lewis Hamilton's Formula One team today described allegations that he was racist as "lies that have damaged my reputation". Ron Dennis, chairman of the McLaren team, denied claims made by a former steward that he was a racist and a bully. Peter Boland claimed last week that the tycoon had boarded his luxury executive jet in the Middle East and said that he must wash his hands because he had been "shaking hands with Arabs all day".

Mr Dennis, whose wealth is estimated at 100 million pounds, said that he had come to an employment tribunal in Southampton to rectify the accusations. The 61-year-old told the hearing that he had never made the racist remark and that he regularly washed his hands. "It's an absolute lie. It's the most ridiculous thing," he said, explaining that he washed his hands a lot for health reasons.

Mr Boland, 27, from Stowmarket in Suffolk, is alleging discrimination and victimisation due to sexual orientation after his sacking in May 2007. He has accused three companies controlled by Mr Dennis - McLaren Group Limited, Absolute Taste and Greyscape - of the offences.

Mr Dennis discovered Hamilton as a 13-year-old go cart racer and supported him until he became the first black driver to win the Formula One championship last season. The businessman said that Mr Boland had been sacked because he was not doing his job properly, had fallen asleep while working on his private jet and had been rude to important guests.


No good deed goes unpunished. If the boss was a racist, how come he did so much for the black guy? Do I get the impression that the black guy might have been a bit -- shall we say -- lazy?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Another Southern tradition is incorrect (But of course!)

We read:
"State NAACP President Edward Vaughn objects to having Mobile's Azalea Trail Maids as Alabama's only group in the upcoming presidential inaugural parade, saying they remind him of slavery days - a characterization that Trail Maids supporters decry. Vaughn said he thinks that Alabama will be a "laughingstock" at the Jan. 20 inauguration. He made his comments in a front-page Montgomery Advertiser story published Thursday.

Vaughn suggested that the Trail Maids' costumes - hoop dresses with matching bonnets and parasols - reflect the state's slavery past and have no place at the inauguration of the first African-American president, Barack Obama.

This year's Trail Maids include eight black members, two maids of Indian descent, one Asian and 39 whites, said Andy Marasca, president of the group. Marasca said he learned of Vaughn's concerns from local media.

"The Trail Maids do not represent the Confederacy or antebellum times but reflect the beauty of Mobile and its 300-plus years of fascinating history," commissioners said in a statement. The first Trail Maid court was formed in 1949, according to the group's Web site.


I must say that they look a bit over the top to me but I am a long way away from Alabama.

Yet another attack on displaying the Australian flag in Australia

Again with an absurd "safety" excuse:
"A Gateway Bridge crane operator was ordered to remove the Australian flag by a project manager worried it could distract motorists or fall on the highway. Leighton Abigroup Joint Venture project director Hugh Boyd said the flag needed to go for safety reasons.

Australian Manufacturing Workers Union Queensland secretary Andrew Dettmer said he was "a bit gobsmacked". Mr Dettmer said he was aware of crane operators being ordered to remove union flags, but "I've never heard of it being done against the Australian flag".

Leighton Abigroup has no policies on the flying of flags and doesn't intend to investigate ways for the Australian flag to be flown safely above the bridge. But that would change if their client - the Queensland Government - requested them to fly the flag. "In that case, we would follow their wishes," Mr Boyd said.

Some motorists were getting used to seeing the flag on their daily commute and at least one fumed over seeing the banner come down. "How many times must Australians endure this crap?" he said, pointing out the flag was acting as a wind indicator to aid the crane operator. The project director said the main safety concern was the potential for a high wind to cause the flag to fall on to vehicles.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Are abbreviations offensive?

In the story below they seem to be. "Paki" is a common British abbreviation for a Pakistani. In Australia "Aborigine" is commonly abbreviated to "Abo" and that is held by some to be offensive too
"Britain's Prince Harry apologised today after reports he filmed himself calling an Asian army colleague a "Paki." The News of the World said the recording was made in 2006, a year after the prince was pilloried for wearing a Nazi uniform at a costume party, a gaffe that sparked international outcry. The paper said Harry, 24, and third in line to the British throne, could be heard saying: "Anyone else here ... ah, our little Paki friend ... Ahmed" as he zoomed onto the face of an Asian cadet while waiting at an airport to fly to Cyprus.

A royal spokesman said there had been no racist intent in Harry's words. "Prince Harry fully understands how offensive this term (Paki) can be, and is extremely sorry for any offence his words might cause," the spokesman said. "However, on this occasion three years ago, Prince Harry used the term without any malice and as a nickname about a highly popular member of his platoon.
"There is no question that Prince Harry was in any way seeking to insult his friend."


Rough Road for the Gospel: New York Tries to Censor Evangelist's Truck

We read:
"It's Daniel Burritt's truck. It's his land. It's his personal religious belief. It's just not his legal right, says the New York Department of Transportation, to share that belief on that property, using that truck.

For the last 17 months, Burritt has stored supplies for his company, Acts II Construction, Inc., in a strategically parked trailer - on his private business property - facing traffic from both directions along U.S. Route 11. On that trailer, in large capital letters, is a message:


Not long after he posted that message, officials from the nearby town of Gouverneur tried to force him to remove it but backed off after Alliance Defense Fund allied attorneys contacted them. Then, in May of last year, Burritt received a letter from the New York State Department of Transportation accusing him of violating state law by posting his message without a permit. More than that, they said, the message-bedecked trailer was a "public nuisance." Either Burritt could remove the message, or they would.

ADF attorneys quickly pointed out that NYDOT doesn't require permits for similar displays of commercial messages and filed suit in federal court to protect Burritt's First Amendment rights. ADF also persuaded NYDOT to leave the trailer alone until the court ruled on the case, one way or another.

Well, last month, the court ruled in favor of Burritt. On December 22, a federal judge declined NYDOT's request to drop the case and issued a preliminary injunction preventing the state from disturbing Burritt's trailer until the rest of his case is settled.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Liberty on campus in 2008: FIRE's year in review

We read:
"FIRE won many victories for freedom of speech, religious liberty, freedom of association, and freedom of conscience throughout 2008, including key legal victories for student rights on campus. These successes included:

* Reversing the finding of racial harassment against a student-employee at Indiana University -Purdue University Indianapolis, whose "offense" consisted of reading a book in an employee break room about the 1924 defeat of the Ku Klux Klan in a street fight with Notre Dame students. The case has been made into a documentary.

* Reversing the expulsion of a student at Valdosta State University who had peacefully protested against new parking garages via, and persuading Valdosta State to eliminate its tiny, restrictive free speech zone. This case is the subject of a short film.

* Convincing the University of Delaware to revise its formerly unconstitutional distribution policy and to keep mandatory ideological reeducation out of its dormitories.

* Intervening to protect funding for student groups at Montclair State University and Central Washington University, where student governments threatened to de-fund the groups because of their constitutionally protected expression.

* Persuading Temple College in Texas to reverse its censorship of a professor for posting a quotation from Nietszche ("God is dead") on his office door.

* Fighting attempts by the Department of Social Work at Binghamton University (formerly SUNY-Binghamton) to expel a student for posting flyers criticizing a recent hiring decision by the department. FIRE succeeded in ending the farcical disciplinary hearing against student Andr‚ Massena, but he now faces reported retaliation from the department that would fail him out of school.

Free speech on campus also gained a major legal victory when the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled in DeJohn v. Temple University that Temple University's former speech code was unconstitutional. FIRE, which wrote an amicus brief in the case, now has alerted hundreds of schools that they maintain similar speech codes at their legal peril. Between this decision and the legal victory against the speech codes of the California State University System last year, practically no college administrator can claim ignorance of the law.

In addition, under legal pressure, Shippensburg University agreed for the second time to dismantle an unconstitutional speech code that was originally eliminated four years ago in a suit brought by FIRE Legal Network attorneys.


See the original for links.

EU email laws breach privacy

We read:
"From March, ISPs will have to keep data about emails sent and received in the UK for a year in an EU-wide bid to tackle terrorism. They would have to be able to provide the timing and number of communications from individuals, but not their content. It follows a ruling last October that telecoms companies should keep records of phone calls and text messages for 12 months About 57 billion text messages were sent in Britain last year, while an estimated three billion emails are sent every day.

Parliament approved the powers, described as a vital tool against terrorism, last July under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. The law is being implemented as part an EC directive, and the Government will reportedly have to pay the ISPs more than o25 million to ensure it is obeyed.

Dr Richard Clayton, a security researcher at the University of Cambridge's computer lab said the costs of the regulation could have been better spent. He told the BBC: "There's going to be a record of every single email which arrived addressed to you and all the emails you sent out via your ISP. "That of course includes all the spam. "There are much better things to do to spend our billions on than snooping on everybody in the country just on the off chance that they're a criminal."

The Earl of Northesk, a Conservative peer on the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee, said it meant anyone's movements could be traced 24 hours a day. He told the broadcaster: "This degree of storage is equivalent to having access to every second, every minute, every hour of your life. "People have to worry about the scale, the virtuality of your life being exposed to round about 500 public authorities. "Under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, privacy is a fundamental right, it is important to protect the principle of privacy because once you've lost it it's very difficult to recover."

The Home Office said the data would be useful for combating crime. A spokesman said: "Communications data is crucial for the police to be able to investigate and identify criminal suspects by examining their contacts, establish relationships between conspirators and place them in a specific location at a certain time. "The data retained is not the content of emails but only the email addresses and times they were sent. "Implementing the EC Directive will enable UK law enforcement agencies to benefit fully from historical communications data in increasingly complex criminal and terrorist investigations and will enhance our national security."


Forget freedom of speech in your own home. I have no real idea why, but I get heaps of email from Muslim sources. I delete them all immediately but the Brits would no doubt have me fingered as a terrorist sympathizer on the basis of what is described above. That could give me a torrid time if ever I landed at a British airport.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Australian atheists banned from bus blitz

We read:
"Atheists in Australia wishing to follow the lead of their British counterparts have been refused permission to launch advertising slogans on local buses. British atheists campaigners launched their campaign - proclaiming, "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life" - on 800 buses this week. But a similar campaign by the Atheist Foundation of Australia has been rejected by the largest outdoor advertising company in the country, APN Outdoor. APN Outdoor gave no reason for barring the $16,000 Tasmanian campaign, which was set to feature slogans such as "Sleep in on Sunday mornings" and "Celebrate reason".

David Nicholls, president of the Atheist Foundation of Australia, told the Sydney Morning Herald the rejection amounted to a breach of freedom of speech. "Australia is in desperate need of a human rights and equal opportunities act," Mr Nicholls said. "It's clear that western Europe, the US and Britain have better laws than we do when it comes to respecting freedom of speech. "The intention was to demonstrate to the public that there is an alternative to religion that is rational, reasonable and worthy of thought.

"It took three weeks for APN Outdoor to come to a decision, after they initially told me there'd be no problem. The final discussion by phone to an executive ended with an abrupt message that they were not going to take our business." Mr Nicholls said the Foundation would take the case to the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Board.


This should be a private matter between the parties concerned but once "Anti-Discrimination" laws get involved, any outcome is possible.

British atheist adverts reported to industry watchdog

We read:
"An atheist advertising campaign with the slogan "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life" has been reported to the Advertising Standards Authority. The advert is to be carried on 800 buses in England, Scotland and Wales, and on the London Underground, in a four-week campaign costing 140,000 pounds that has been supported by the British Humanist Association and the atheist scientist Richard Dawkins.

Stephen Green, the national director of Christian Voice, said that the advertisements broke the ASA's codes on substantiation and truthfulness. "It is given as a statement of fact and that means it must be capable of substantiation if it is not to break the rules. There is plenty of evidence for God, from people's personal experience, to the complexity, interdependence, beauty and design of the natural world."

The authority's code states that "marketers must hold documentary evidence to prove all claims, whether direct or implied, that are capable of objective substantiation".


It seems that the atheists are being asked to prove a negative, which you can't do. I doubt that the ASA will require that.

Rather sad that both Christians (in Britain) and atheists (in Australia) go to various tribunals to force their viewpoints on others.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Barbs from Neb. police officer ruled protected speech

We read:
"The Nebraska Supreme Court has upheld a ruling that inflammatory remarks an Omaha police officer made against city and police bosses in a union newspaper shouldn't have led to his firing.

In 2005, police officer Kevin Housh was fired for writing an opinion piece that was sharply critical of city and police officials. Housh was later reinstated, but the police union said the city had interfered with the rights of union members to engage in protected labor speech.

The high court's ruling only applies to speech made in the course of union business.


Christian fliers no longer banned, Maricopa School District settles suit

We read:
"Maricopa Unified School District officials have changed the district's literature distribution policy and now allows equal treatment of Christian groups on campus. Alliance Defense Fund attorneys filed suit in July after a church and its pastor were told that they would not be permitted to distribute their fliers to students. The previous district policy had allowed a wide array of nonprofit organizations to distribute literature, but targeted religious material for exclusion.

"Christians shouldn't be discriminated against for expressing their beliefs," said ADF Senior Legal Counsel David Cortman. "We appreciate the school district's decision to do the right thing. The district recognized that the First Amendment is clear and that federal court precedent is overwhelmingly in favor of equal treatment for religious speech."

School officials told Pastor Jim Johnson that his church, First Baptist Church of Maricopa, would not be allowed to distribute fliers for its Awana Journey 24 Club, a weekly Bible study program for high school students, because the fliers' religious content and viewpoint were prohibited in the district's flier distribution program. Shortly after ADF filed suit, the district reversed course, allowing the Awana fliers to be distributed.


Thursday, January 08, 2009

New research has found playful teasing develops social skills

We read:
"If your child is being teased in the playground - don't worry, it's good for building character. New research has found playful teasing, and being called names such as "ranga" [short for Orangutan. South Australian slang for a redhead], could be good for young people because it helps them bond and develop social skills. It may even make "victims" more likely to take on leadership roles in the long term.

Dr Erin Heerey, of the University of Bangor in North Wales, studied a group of university students in California and found that their "playful humiliations" led to them becoming better friends, The Daily Telegraph reports. [Any army man could have told him that]

Dr Heerey said playground teasing was a normal part of school life and should not be stopped by politically correct teachers. She said: "Teasing helps children to discover how to use their bodies, voices and faces to communicate nuances of meaning."

The findings are echoed by child psychologist Kimberley O'Brien, from Sydney's Quirky Kids Clinic, who said teasing helped kids learn not to take themselves too seriously. "They learn how to respond to playful criticism ... that can be useful in later life," she said, adding that teased kids could end up in leadership roles - and became strong enough to come back with witty comments.

National Centre Against Bullying manager Sandra Craig said teasing was part of the everyday currency of linguistic exchanges. But she said there was a boundary (between teasing and bullying) and part of growing up was discovering it.


British district council bans the 'rude' street names that might offend

We read:
"For some, the road signs mean one thing - home. For others they may simply raise a smile. But one council is failing to see the funny side of names such as Hoare Road and Cracknuts Lane.

In a bid to avoid double entendres and unflattering place names, Lewes District Council, in East Sussex, has drawn up guidelines for new street names. The council's cabinet is expected to agree its first street naming and numbering policy on Tuesday which will ban potentially rude sounding names. Cockshut Lane is among the innuendo-laden road names to be outlawed by Lewes District Council

They say that 'aesthetically unsuitable' names, such as Gaswork Road, Tip House and Coalpit Lane, should be avoided. Also banned are 'names capable of deliberate misinterpretation like Hoare Road, Typple Avenue, Quare Street, Corfe Close (4 Corfe Close) etc'.

It adds: 'Street names which could give offence are not used, nor are names which encourage defacing name plates.' Under the scheme, Lewes's present day Juggs Road and Cockshut Road may have been rejected.


Nobody must be offended by anything these days

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

SD: High Court rules cursing at cop was free speech

We read:
"A man who cursed at police officers in Brookings, S.D., engaged in protected free speech, the state high court has ruled. The court voted 4-1 to reverse a lower court decision that had found Marcus Suhn used unprotected fighting words - defined by the U.S. Supreme Court more than 60 years ago as words `which by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace.'

The majority, in an opinion written by Justice Judith Meierhenry, examined the origins and development of the `fighting words' doctrine articulated by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1942 decision Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire... Meierhenry wrote that `the United States Supreme Court has made it clear that in order for speech to fall within the `fighting words' exception, the words by their very utterance have `to tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace' under the circumstances of the case.'

According to Meierhenry, Suhn's profanity about the police did not `tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace,' as the other people standing on Main Street did not react with any type of violence."


Economist Krugman calls small government philosophies "racist"

We read:
"Paul Krugman of the New York Times made a claim today that should have many both outraged and confused. Through twists of logic that only a recent Nobel Prize winner could muster, Mr. Krugman tries to make us believe that advocates of small government are racist.

How does Krugman attempt to do this? First, he points to the G.O.P., as though Republicans are the vanguard of small government. He claims that, `Forty years ago the G.O.P. decided, in effect, to make itself the party of racial backlash.'"


Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Ever Inconsistent Left

Post below recycled from Riehl World:
"Michael Calderone has the unedited Kathy Griffin CNN video at Politico. Griffin says something at the end that suggests to me maybe she didn't think it was going out over the air at that point. But it's what Griffin, somewhat of a heroine to the Left for her "Suck it," Jesus-related remark actually accomplishes in this latest episode that I find interesting. She says, "I don't go to your job and knock the dicks out of your mouth" to a male heckler.

The main point of the joke is to demean a man for engaging in male homosexual activity, whether promiscuously, or for pay, or not. That is the real cut of the joke, after all. You're a guy and you literally "suck." Ha Ha! Only it isn't gay bashing because I'm a liberal.

Also, could someone say that to a female heckler on national television and ever work anywhere, again? It's doubtful. Somehow I don't think Anderson Cooper would be laughing then. He'd probably be calling the network heads to apologize before the cameras even went off.

It's the moral inconsistency of the Left that often annoys me the most when one or another of the usual groups climbs up on the soapbox of the day. Their rhetoric just doesn't track to the reality.


Philadelphia: Immigrant skit upsets sensitive souls

Joe Vento is known for the "Speak English" sign in the window of his cheesesteak shop:
"Geno's Steaks owner Joey Vento might make a delicious Philly cheesesteak, but he's not exactly the poster boy for good taste. So it's not surprising that a few people who watched this year's Mummers Parade took offense to Vento's starring role in a performance by Comics brigade B. Love Strutters titled "Aliens of an Illegal Kind." The skit featured Vento popping out of the top of a float labeled "Gewizno's Steaks" with a "When ordering, speak English" sign. Vento waved a poster reading, "What?" and tossed fake cheesesteaks into the crowd.

Then an announcer for B. Love Strutters cried out, "Uh-oh, here comes the Border Patrol!" Club members wearing Texas-sized cowboy hats and brandishing wooden rifles pretended to hold back a rioting crowd of "immigrants" from storming the border "fences." As the immigrants burst forth, they traded in their country's flag for an American flag, and a Mummer dressed as President-elect Barack Obama handed out Green Cards....

As the performance unfolded, Channel 17 anchor/parade host Steve Highsmith said, "Oh look, it's Joey Vento standing behind that very controversial sign." Highsmith added, "By the way, [Geno's staff] never turned anyone away who didn't [speak English]." A female commentator on air with Highsmith remarked, "This looks like a celebration of diversity."

When asked about that characterization yesterday, the 69-year-old Vento said, "Diversity? It's a celebration to get a message across that we love immigrants here, we just want you here legally and we want you to speak English."...

The majority of the crowd seemed to love the act; most cheered wildly when Vento popped out. "Maybe the [B. Love Strutters] were saying that Joey Vento is wrong and now Obama is going to come and save everybody," Dignam mused. "Some people, unfortunately, are just looking for a way to be offended." *


The skit shows the illegals eventually getting work permits so one might have thought that the sensitive souls would have seen it as a "happy" ending.

Monday, January 05, 2009

British police set to step up hacking of home PCs

No free speech even in your own home?
"The Home Office has quietly adopted a new plan to allow police across Britain routinely to hack into people's personal computers without a warrant. The move, which follows a decision by the European Union's council of ministers in Brussels, has angered civil liberties groups and opposition MPs. They described it as a sinister extension of the surveillance state which drives "a coach and horses" through privacy laws.

The hacking is known as "remote searching". It allows police or MI5 officers who may be hundreds of miles away to examine covertly the hard drive of someone's PC at his home, office or hotel room. Material gathered in this way includes the content of all e-mails, web-browsing habits and instant messaging.

Under the Brussels edict, police across the EU have been given the green light to expand the implementation of a rarely used power involving warrantless intrusive surveillance of private property. The strategy will allow French, German and other EU forces to ask British officers to hack into someone's UK computer and pass over any material gleaned.....

Police say that such methods are necessary to investigate suspects who use cyberspace to carry out crimes. These include paedophiles, internet fraudsters, identity thieves and terrorists. The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) said such intrusive surveillance was closely regulated under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act. A spokesman said police were already carrying out a small number of these operations which were among 194 clandestine searches last year of people's homes, offices and hotel bedrooms.


Ban on Australian flags in Australia

In the name of "safety"!

"Have a ball at today's start to the Brisbane International tennis tournament, but just make sure you leave your Australian flag tucked away at home. That was the message from organisers as international tennis returns to Brisbane for the first time in 15 years at the new Queensland Tennis Centre at Tennyson. National flags, beach balls and oversized placards may be confiscated under plans to preserve a safe, family atmosphere, organisers said.

Tournament director Steve Ayles said flares were banned and people waving flags could be a problem if they interfered with others' enjoyment at the $82 million arena. "Anything that can be dangerous or could get in the way of spectators enjoying a great day out will be restricted," he said.

The crackdown comes after ugly scenes at the past two Australian Opens in Melbourne. Last year police used capsicum spray to subdue fans during a match between Greece's Konstantinos Economidis and Chile's Fernando Gonzalez, and more than 150 people were ejected in 2007 after violence between Serbian and Croatian supporters. "We're certainly not expecting anything like that. This is a very family-orientated event," Mr Ayles said. "Having said that, we'll make sure we have everything in place if anything like that does happen."

High security was evident at the venue's official opening on Friday when police sniffer dogs were used to check the centre. Bags were checked at all gates and police were on hand throughout the day. Mr Ayles said such scrutiny was normal whenever Premier Anna Bligh, a guest at the opening, was in attendance. "We've got all the appropriate security measures in place for this," he said.


Sunday, January 04, 2009

Game site in trouble

They have caused offence in trying to ban offensive speech!
"Sony's Home has had a rocky start. Server issues, lack of compelling content, and a somewhat hostile environment have all added up to make the online service more of a PR problem than Sony likely expected. The latest issue? Sony has banned words such as "gay," "bi-sexual," and "Jew" from the service. If you've played a game online... well, ever... you know why such words would go on the black list. But supporters of gay rights, or gamers who practice the Jewish faith, have taken issue with these words becoming negative labels.

"I can understand if they're filtering out profanity, but if feel like it's discrimination," Michael Marsh, a gamer who wanted to set up a gay/straight alliance in Home, told the San Francisco Chronicle. "By blocking a word like 'gay,' which is a preferred term by the gay community, you're encouraging it as a bad word." Even more ludicrous is the blocking of the word "Hello," which contains the word "Hell."


LOL: A school in Britain has banned the word "school" because it thinks that the word may have negative connotations

We read:
When is a school not a school? When it is "a place for learning". Watercliffe Meadow Primary in Sheffield has adopted the new phraseology because it thinks that the word school may have negative connotations for pupils and parents. Linda Kingdon, the head teacher, said that the change would bring the school (or place of learning) closer to real life. But critics condemned it as laughable political correctness.

Watercliffe Meadow is among scores of schools that are dropping the "S-word" from their titles to reflect their changing uses and trends in education. Ms Kingdon said that Watercliffe Meadow, which was formed from the merger of three schools, decided from an early stage not to use the word "school".

"This is Watercliffe Meadow, a place for learning. One reason was many of the parents of the children here had very negative connotations of school. Instead, we want this to a be a place for family learning, where anyone can come. We were able to start from scratch and create a new type of learning experience. There are no whistles or bells or locked doors. We wanted to deinstitutionalise the place and bring the school closer to real life," she said.

Richard Caborn, the local MP, is unimpressed. "I'm always open to new ideas, but the reality is education is about preparing young people to live in the real world," he said. "I just don't think the case has been made to drop the word school to a place of learning. I don't know why they have done it."

A spokeswoman for the Campaign for Plain English said that it was laughable. "This is the whole political correctness agenda. Using unfamiliar words instead of a simple one like `school', will get in the way of children's ability to learn," she said.

Andrew Sangar, Sheffield City Council's Cabinet member for children's services and lifelong learning, said that as far as he was concerned Watercliffe Meadow was a school and that was how the council would continue to refer to it....

Professor Alan Smithers, from the University of Buckingham, said that dropping the word school was symptomatic of a reluctance to face up to hard truths. "Frankly, calling something a learning centre is likely to confuse parents and it rather diminishes the institution," he said.


Saturday, January 03, 2009

Prison inmates should not be called 'inmates', says British government

We read:
"Prison officers have been told not to refer to their charges as "inmates" because it might offend them. Ministers claim the age-old term is not appropriate if criminals are to be treated with "respect and dignity". One prison officer leader attacked the move and warned jails have already become too soft as he called for a return to tough prisons in 2009. Opposition MPs said it was "politically correct nonsense".

In a scathing outburst, Brian Caton, general secretary of the Prison Officers Association, called for an end to the "namby pamby attitude" that has led to soft prisons. "It never ceases to amaze me, the hypocrisy of politicians and senior civil servants," he said. "On the one hand they say we are not going to have soft prisons but on the other phraseology that has been around for a long, long time suddenly becomes offensive to our dear charges. "As far as I am concerned they are convicts, they are prisoners, they are inmates. "We should treat them fair and properly but prison should be tough. As we come to 2009, prisons should move away from being seen and actually being soft options to be challenging and demanding places of punishment. "Without that we will continue to slide down in the views of the general public and will send people out of prison more likely to reoffend."

Prisons minister David Hanson revealed the Ministry of Justice stance in a letter to an inmate in HMP Wakefield, in which he said: "Prison staff are expected to treat prisoners with dignity and respect and for this reason the term 'prisoner' should be used in preference to the term 'inmate'." He went on to say the term "offender" was not inappropriate.

Earlier this year prison inspectors at Bullingdon jail in Oxfordshire, said prisoners should be addressed by their first names, given free condoms and be served evening meals later time to stop them feeling hungry in the night. In 2006, the Chief Inspector of Prisons, Anne Owers, criticised jail staff for calling prisoners "cons". [Short for "convict" or "convicted person". Must not call a convicted person a convicted person, apparently]


Man sues after "POLICE" t-shirt arrest

We read:
"A Belleville Police officer arrested a St. Charles man for wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the word "POLICE." Now, Adam C. Weinstein, of St. Charles, has sued the department for what he calls a violation of his constitutional rights.

According to police documents, Weinstein was arrested in 2006 outside a bar in Belleville for "impersonating officers." He was wearing a black t-shirt with the word police striped across the front and back under a sweater. The t-shirt became exposed when he removed the sweater because he was hot....

Weinstein was ticketed for impersonating a police officer, but it was later dismissed. The ticket only alleges Weinstein wore the t-shirt.

Weinstein said he bought two of the shirts--one for him, one for his wife--at Leon's Uniform Company in St. Louis while buying supplies for firefighting. The lawsuit was filed last week in St. Clair County. Vernatti and the city of Bellevile are named as defendents.

Steven Beckett, professor and director of trial advocacy at the University of Illinois' law school, said the arrest may be a violation of Weinstein's First Amendment rights. "A t-shirt alone isn't enough to arrest someone," Beckett said. "There must be some overt act." Beckett added: "The police complaint on its face is inconsistent with the First Amendment."


If the shirt was likely to mislead, it would certainly not have free speech protection.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Must not criticize the church?

We read:
"The leader of Roman Catholics in the northeastern state of Maine has taken the unusual step of threatening to punish an outspoken advocate for people who were sexually abused by priests, possibly by denying him communion. Paul Kendrick of Freeport has been banned from the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland, and warned in a letter that if he tries again to contact Portland Bishop Richard Malone he risks losing any right `to participate fully in the sacramental life of the church.'

Kendrick, a co-founder of the Maine chapter of the lay reform group Voice of the Faithful, has been a vocal critic of how church leaders have responded to abuse claims and treated victims."

Sue Bernard, a spokeswoman for the Diocese of Portland, said the bishop doesn't object to criticism but that Kendrick's actions have gone far beyond that. Kendrick has protested outside churches, inundated the diocese with mail and e-mail, participated in a public confrontation with Malone and even showed up at an out-of-state meeting the bishop attended, Bernard said. She called it a campaign of harassment that ultimately could undermine Malone's ministry.


This ban seems very unwise on the face of it but if the critic has been making a constant nuisance of himself it may be understandable. Other church members have a right to worship undisturbed.

"So help me God" wrong?

We read:
"A press release from the American Humanist Association reports that a lawsuit was filed on Dec. 30 in Washington, D.C. federal district court challenging two elements of the upcoming inauguration ceremony planned for Barack Obama. The complaint in Newdow v. Roberts, (D DC, filed 12/29/2008) asks the court to enjoin the Chief Justice-- who will administer the oath of office-- from adding "so help me God" to the constitutionally prescribed presidential oath (Art. II, Sec. 1). It also asks the court to declare unconstitutional the use of clergy to deliver an invocation and benediction. Plaintiffs allege that both of these practices violate the Establishment Clause, Free Exercise Clause and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.


Eugene Volokh thinks that past verdicts in similar matters leave the petition with little chance. Newdow is of course a serial pest.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Swastikas illegal?

We read:
"A Stevensville man who painted swastikas alongside a senator's name on his own car can continue with his federal lawsuit against the deputy sheriff who had his car tagged and towed, a federal judge has ruled. Charles E. "Pete" Richter raises a sufficient First Amendment claim to proceed with his suit against Queen Anne's County Deputy Sheriff J. Beatty, Judge Andre M. Davis ruled last week in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

"Here, Beatty ticketed Richter's car as ostensibly abandoned and put a repair order on the car the same day that Richter parked it, legally, on a public street, as an act of political protest," Davis wrote. Such an action would likely chill "car speech" by "people of ordinary firmness," the judge said.

According to Richter's lawsuit, he parked his car in a public parking lot on Pier One Road, near Route 8, on Oct. 8, 2004. The spot, within eyeshot of the William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial Bridge - more commonly called the Chesapeake Bay Bridge - was often used by state Sen. E.J. Pipkin during his campaign to unseat U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski, Richter alleged. The car was tagged the same day and towed two days later. It was crushed months later after Richter refused to claim it from the impound lot.

As a political statement against Maryland politician E. J. Pikpkin's run for national office, Charles Richter painted a swastika on his car next to the words "Vote Pipken" and parked it legally on a public street. The same day it was parked, a sheriff's deputy ticketed the car as abandoned. Two days later, the car was towed from the same spot. When Richter refused to pay the impound lot to get his car back, it was crushed. Richter has brought suit against the deputy, and a federal judge has just ruled that the lawsuit can go forward.

Richter, explaining another swastika-adorned vehicle that was also a protest against Pipken, wrote in one forum, "Painted on my Van was... The American Indian Peace sign which happens to be the Swastika printed back wards." The decorative swastika, also used by Native Americans, is literally thousands of years old, has positive meanings, and is still used in certain Eastern cultures. It is often depicted in mirror image to the Nazi swastika, but it can be drawn with its arms going either way, right or left. The Nazi swastika is only rendered one way, with its arms to the right. We don't know if the van swastika was different than the car swastika, but the one on the car matches the Nazi swastika, and, of course, the Native American swastika, as well.

The lawsuit verdict is evidently based on the weight of free speech and political objection. According to the judge, Richter has First Amendment rights during "an act of political protest." The deputy sheriff who ticketed the car, parked legally on public property, violated those rights. It could also be taken into account, however, that E. J. Pipken is Jewish, which would open the door to considerations of hate speech. We don't know if the judge had anything to say on that issue, but for now, the case can proceed.


Breastfeeding censored

How sick this nonsense is! How can babies feeding in a perfectly natural and healthy way be obscene?
"Facebook is under fire after removing pictures of breastfeeding mothers from members' pages. A Facebook group entitled "Hey, Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene!'' has already attracted nearly 85,000 members and a handful of activists held a rally outside its California headquarters over the weekend.

The organisers of the page, which is hosting a lively debate with more than 10,000 comments, said they launched their "Official Petition to Facebook'' after Facebook pulled profile pictures showing women nursing their babies. "The pictures have been reported as 'obscene' and have been removed - their posters warned not to repost or fear being kicked off of Facebook,'' the group's organisers said. "We're wondering: what about a baby breastfeeding is obscene? Especially in comparison to MANY other pictures posted all over Facebook that really are obscene.''

Facebook, which has more than 120 million members, said there was no ban on breastfeeding pictures but it did have a policy on how much of a woman's breast could be revealed, similar to that of US newspapers and other media outlets.


Anyone who is upset by a baby feeding needs to get a life.