Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Churches defend their right to make political comments

We read:
"Dozens of pastors around the nation are challenging an Internal Revenue Service rule that anti-Christian activists often invoke when they want to silence the message of churches, according to the Alliance Defense Fund.

The organization has announced that more than 80 preachers are taking part in its second annual Pulpit Freedom Sunday this weekend. The pastors will preach Sunday sermons related to biblical perspectives on the positions of electoral candidates or current government officials, exercising their constitutional right to free religious expression, the ADF said.

They will do so despite a "problematic" IRS rule that activists use when they want to silence the message of Christians, the ADF said. "Pastors have a right to speak about biblical truths from the pulpit without fear of punishment. No one should be able to use the government to intimidate pastors into giving up their constitutional rights," ADF senior legal counsel Erik Stanley explained.

"ADF is not trying to get politics into the pulpit. On the contrary, the whole point is that churches should be allowed to decide for themselves what they want to talk about. The IRS should not be the one making the decision by threatening to revoke a church's tax-exempt status. We need the government to get out of the pulpit," he said.

The censorship for church pastors has been in place since the Johnson Amendment was added to the Federal Tax Code in 1954. However, enforcement has been spotty and the results have been vague, even though critics of Christian churches contend it limits what they can say from the pulpit.

The IRS has repeatedly launched investigations of churches based on allegations from organizations such as Americans United for Separation of Church and State, whose officials have taken advantage of the vagueness to report church "offenses."


Another perversion of the meaning of establishing a church

The constitutional prohibition was written to forbid the government endorsing one particular denomination as the true faith -- which was the status of the "established" Church of England in Britain at the time. Nothing like that has ever been contemplated in America
"It would be easy to miss among the yucca and Joshua trees of this vast place -- a small plywood box, set back from a gentle curve in a lonesome desert road. It looks like nothing so much as a miniature billboard without a message.

But inside the box is a 6 1/2 -foot white cross, built to honor the war dead of World War I. And because its perch on a prominent outcropping of rock is on federal land, it has been judged to be an unconstitutional display of government favoritism of one religion over another.

Whether the Mojave cross is ever unveiled again -- or taken down for good -- is up to the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. Next week, it will get its first major chance to divine the meaning of the First Amendment command that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."

If the court reaches the constitutional issues at hand, all sides agree it could provide clarity to the court's blurry rules on church-and-state separations. It could also carry important implications for the fate of war memorials around the country that feature religious imagery -- the Argonne Cross in Arlington National Cemetery, for instance, or the Memorial Peace Cross in Bladensburg.

The Mojave cross's protectors, which include veterans groups and the federal government, say the symbol is a historic, secular tribute; its original plaque from the 1930s said it was erected to honor "the dead of all wars." They argue that Congress has taken the steps to distance itself from any appearance of endorsing a religious display.

But the American Civil Liberties Union, Jewish and Muslim veterans, and others say government actions have only deepened the problem. In an effort to avoid the lower courts' rulings that it must come down, Congress has designated the site the country's only official national memorial to the dead of World War I, elevating it to an exclusive group of national treasures that includes the Washington Monument and Mount Rushmore.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fred Phelps wins one

We read:
"A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that a fundamentalist Kansas church's protest outside the funeral of a Westminster Marine killed in Iraq is protected speech and did not violate the privacy of the service member's family, reversing a lower court's $5 million award.

The ruling from the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., held that the signs and writings of the Westboro Baptist Church, which included anti-gay and anti-military messages, are protected by the First Amendment. The Topeka-based congregation has protested at military funerals across the country

"Notwithstanding the distasteful and repugnant nature of the words being challenged in these proceedings, we are constrained to conclude that the defendants' signs and [what it has on its Web sites] are constitutionally protected," Circuit Court Judge Robert B. King wrote in the majority opinion.


Like most people, I think Phelps is a nutcase but I am heartened to see that America's free speech protections are strong enough to protect even his crazy talk. I think it is only weak and fragile socities that have to fear speech. He would have been locked up years ago in Britain or Europe. One British guy got 4 and a half years in jail for denying the holocaust recently. Only Muslims are allowed to do that in Britain.

Silvio does it again

Politically-correct criticisms are like water off a duck's back to him. This latest lot of "gaffes" cracked me up but maybe that's just me. He's certainly very popular in Italy but the Italian Left hate him, of course.
"Premier Silvio Berlusconi is still talking about President Barack Obama's "tan", and this time the gaffe-prone Italian leader has made a wisecrack about Michelle Obama's skin colour as well.

Berlusconi told a Milan rally of conservative supporters on Sunday he was bringing greetings from the United States from "What's his name? Some tanned guy. Ah, Barack Obama!"

Shortly after Obama's election in November 2008, Berlusconi raised eyebrows by saying the victor was "young, handsome, and even has a good tan". This time, Berlusconi, a billionaire media mogul who began his career as a cruise ship entertainer, also took a jab at the First Lady. "You won't believe it," he said, "but two of them went to the beach because the wife is also tanned." ...

At Sunday's rally, Berlusconi delivered a kind of backhanded compliment to the US president. The premier, commenting on Obama's use of a teleprompter in public speeches, cracked: "He's not reckless like those of us who say what comes to mind." "We all asked ourselves, 'Does he know what he's doing, or is he just someone who knows how to read well?"'

Berlusconi's centre-right coalition has continued Italy's stance as a staunch US ally.


Monday, September 28, 2009

U. Wisconsin papers refuse Pro-Life ads

To say that the information does not provide a service is bizarre. That is exactly what it does provide. It's a very weak and transparent excuse for leftist bias
"Two University of Wisconsin System school newspapers are under fire for rejecting an advertisement offer from Pro-Life Wisconsin on the basis of avoiding controversy. Both the Advance-Titan of UW-Oshkosh and The Pointer of UW-Stevens Point decided not to run a 12-page insert created by the Human Life Alliance because both papers believed the insert would cause an unnecessary controversy while not providing a direct service.

“(The decision) actually had nothing to do with the content that was in there; I sat down with my advisor and advertising manager and we discussed it,” Andrew Munger, editor in chief of the Advance-Titan, said. “They don’t provide a service of any sort, just an ideology.” According to Munger, to call this decision censorship is ludicrous since the newspaper makes public their right to print and advertise as they see fit.

The Pointer also chose not to run the advertisement. Editor in Chief Jacob Mathias likewise said they did not run the advertisement because the content did not provide a service, yet the decision was also made to avoid controversy, he added.

Peggy Hamill, director of Wisconsin Right to Life, said she believes by not placing the advertisement, the two schools are showing a bias. “They obviously have that right to do so; however, if they consider themselves a non-biased newspaper of integrity, then common sense would tell them they should be accepting an advertising piece of such researched information,” Hamill said.

The insert contains information regarding topics such as abortion and its relation to breast cancer, types of abortions and how to cope with an unwanted pregnancy. “The main service we provide to the students and general public is information on the sanctity of human life, healthy choices for people, health risks and scientific facts surrounding humanity of the preborn,” Hamill said.


Bodies receiving government funding are bound by the 1st Amendment and the newspapers above presumably are funded by the taxpayer via the university so a 1st Amendment lawsuit could well be successful

An orgy of Leftist hate-speech

A man, Bill Sparkman, who was apparently a part-time census worker, was found tied to a tree and dead from asphyxiation. One source alleges that he had the word "fed" scrawled on his chest.

That has been enough to ignite a huge outpouring of hate speech directed at conservatives from the Left. They have built huge castles in the air over that one word "fed". Apparently every conservative radio host in America is directly responsible for the death and all other conservatives are guilty for listening to such hosts. Never mind that the police investigation is in its early stages and that even suicide has not been ruled out. Michelle Malkin has the details.

But when their little bubble pops, the Left will move on with no sign of guilt or contrition for their outpouring of unjustified hate. They will act as if nothing had happened. If conservatives had done anything similar, you would never stop hearing about it.

There are no doubt some murderers with conservative views but the Left is INHERENTLY murderous. The American Left has to pretend that conservatives are murderous in order to deflect attention from the direct involvement in mass murder by socialists worldwide from the French revolution on, including self-described socialists in Soviet Russia and Mao's China. And the American Left supported, condoned and excused the murderous Soviet regime right up until the end of that regime. They used to say that Communists "are just liberals in a hurry". The obvious corollary -- that "liberals" are slowed-down Communists -- never seemed to bother them. All the great mass murders of the 20th century were the work of "socialist" regimes under men like Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao and Pol Pot. And to this day, see if you can find a single American Leftist who will condemn the "socialist" tyranny in Cuba. When "Fidel" dies there will be mourning throughout the USA. That he came to power over the blood of tens of thousands of Cubans will be ignored. Killing doesn't bother Leftists at all -- for all that they pretend it does when it suits them.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Charming attitudes at NBC

(Larger image here)

Leftist hate speech at work again:
"Americans for Limited Government is appalled that an employee of the NBC news network apparently felt it was appropriate to send an email to an ALG employee, in response to a standard news release, saying, “Bite me, Jew Boy.”

According to ALG records, the email came from the Blackberry and email address of Jane Stone, a producer for NBC’s Dateline. The email was sent to Alex Rosenwald, the ALG Director of Media Outreach. The news release to which Ms Stone apparently responded was one in which ALG called upon Congress to defund ACORN.

Americans for Limited Government does not contend that NBC or its parent company GE, are anti-Semitic. What is highly disturbing, however, is that there clearly is a culture at NBC that has allowed this person who clearly has issues to go unchecked.


British councillor cleared of witchcraft allegation

We read:
"A Liberal Democrat has been cleared of insulting a Conservative colleague by calling her a witch - after a taxpayer-funded investigation. Pat McCloud, who represents a ward in Forest Heath district in Suffolk, was initially found guilty of accusing Cllr Lisa Chambers, 39, of witchcraft by the council’s standards committee. But the decision was overturned on appeal by the Adjudication Panel for England after an investigative process costing more than £3,000.

The controversy centred on comments that Cllr McCloud, 77, made in an email to council staff following a dispute involving the pair in a council meeting. Cllr McCloud, who felt he had been prematurely interrupted at the meeting, wrote: "How could [Cllr Chambers] possibly know what I was about to say, how could anyone know until I finished, you know they used to burn witches at the stake for having such abilities.”

Chris Hughes, chairman of the Adjudication Panel for England, said that although the comments were inadvisable, they did not constitute personal abuse.


The local Wiccans also think it's no insult to call someone a witch, funnily enough.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The term "illegal immigrant" is hate speech?

Sounds like straight description to me but not to the loony Latina below. According to her, even Obama uses hate speech
"Knowing that words matter, and some more than others, it was disappointing to hear President Obama repeatedly use the term "illegal immigrant" in his recent healthcare speech to the joint session of Congress.

In the past, he has referred to this population by its more accurate description of "undocumented immigrants" and so the prevailing thought among immigrant advocates is that the President's use of the term was a subtle political olive branch to those like "Joe the Congressional Heckler" Wilson.

Yet, as we now know, the usage of the term didn't appease anyone but merely added to the antagonism already felt by some in the room -- not to mention that it elevated a term regarded by many as hate speech as now having White House approval.


The claim that "undocumented immigrants" is more accurate is a laugh. It's not documents they lack but permission to be in the country. And as CIS points out, about half of them do have documents anyway, just not legitimate ones.

Australia: Must not satirize blacks

The usual slang term for Aborigines in Australia is "boong" (with "oo" pronounced as in "look") but I gather that "noonga" must be a variant used in Western Australia. "Boong" is just as derogatory as "n*gger" in the USA but does not evoke the sort of hysteria often seen in the USA. Somebody seems to have pushed it a bit too far, however.
"A website set up by a Perth student about a fictional Aboriginal character has been shut down and is being investigated by police amid racism claims.

The website, which Radio 6PR reports was created by a 19-year-old Curtin University student, features audio excerpts of a character called "Nigel the crazy Noonga", who prank calls businesses and fast-food outlets with a fake Aboriginal accent.

The portrayal of negative Aboriginal stereotypes has sparked outrage from the Aboriginal community. Craig Somerville, lecturer at the Curtin University Centre for Aboriginal Studies, told 6PR he believed the material on the website had crossed the line between humour and racism.

Despite the website being shut down, the fictional Aboriginal character can still found on the internet with a dedicated YouTube channel and profiles on MySpace and Facebook.

The Facebook "Just for fun" group set up for "Nigel the crazy Noonga" has 317 members and describes "Nigel" as "your friendly neighbourhood Noonga". It also pokes fun at the character's fictional solvent abuse, describing it as his own personal "dreamtime".

Sergeant Greg Lambert said police were aware of the website and were investigating.


I doubt that any law was broken. The State of Victoria is the one with draconian speech laws.

Friday, September 25, 2009

No free speech for lawyers?

We read:
"According to a recent article in the New York Times, a private attorney has been reprimanded by the Florida Bar Association for describing a local judge as an “evil, unfair witch” on his blog. The lawyer was angry over the judge’s practice of giving criminal-defense lawyers only a week to prepare for trial rather than the customary month or more. According to the lawyer, Sean Conway, the judge’s motive was to pressure defense lawyers into seeking a delay, thereby waiving their client’s right to a speedy trial.

What about a principle called freedom of speech? After all, it’s not as if the lawyer was in the courtroom when he described the judge in such nasty terms. He was outside the courthouse, like at his private office or his home.

The rationale for punishing the lawyer arises from one of the most pernicious — and false — doctrines ever promulgated in the legal profession, one that most lawyers unfortunately have come to meekly accept. It’s a doctrine that claims that private lawyers are “officers of the court,” thereby subjecting their conduct, even outside the courtroom, to the control of the state.

Private lawyers are no more “officers of the court” than their clients or, for that matter, spectators in the courtroom. The “officers of the court” are those people who are on the court payroll — those who receive a paycheck from the government (i.e., the taxpayers). Court bailiffs are officers of the court. So are judges and prosecutors. These people work for the state as court personnel. That’s what makes them “officers of the court.”

Too bad Sean Conway decided not to fight the state’s punishment for his blog post about that judge all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. It would have given the Court the opportunity to clarify that the Constitution guarantees the fundamental rights of private attorneys as much as those of everyone else.


American Indians look to high court

We read:
"A group of American Indians who find the Washington Redskins' name offensive wants the Supreme Court to take up the matter. The group late Monday asked the justices to review a lower court decision that favored the NFL team on a legal technicality.

The seven Native Americans have been working through the court system since 1992 to have the Redskins trademarks declared invalid. A U.S. Patent and Trademark Office panel ruled in their favor in 1999, but they've since suffered a series of defeats from judges who ruled that the plaintiffs waited too long to bring their suit in the first place.

A lawyer for the group says he'd like to see the court decide once and for all whether the Redskins name defames Native Americans.


The "technicality" is that they should have complained many years before if they really found use of the name offensive. One could very easily see use of the name as complimentary

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Rev. Stephen Boissoin In Court Challenging "Hate Speech" Conviction

The report below is from 16th. I have been waiting for a verdict before I commented on it but there has been a deathly silence ever since. Courts do proceed at a very leisurely pace so who knows when we will hear more? Anyway, we are likely to end up seeing here another defeat for the Canadian speech police. They seem to have cracked every time that they have been forcefully challenged so far. On this occasion they are not even defending themselves!

The Court of the Queen's Bench is a fairly senior court in the Canadian system so all the protections of due process that are so spectacularly absent in the "Human Rights" tribunals will be available there.
"Last year Alberta pastor Stephen Boissoin was ordered by the Alberta Human Rights Commission to desist from expressing his views on homosexuality in any sort of public forum, and to pay complainant and homosexual activist Dr. Darren Lund $7,000 in damages.

Today, however, he is in Alberta Court of the Queen's Bench, appealing the conviction of hate speech that resulted in the above penalties. That conviction was based upon a letter to the editor in the Red Deer Advocate, in which Boissoin expressed his opinion that homosexuality is immoral and dangerous, and called into question new gay-rights curricula permeating the province's educational system.

Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) allied attorney Gerald Chipeur has submitted a full legal brief in the precedent-setting appeal. In that appeal Chipeur is seeking a full dismissal of the complaint and conviction on behalf of Boissoin, and the granting of costs incurred by Boissoin in his defense as well as repayment of the indemnity he paid to Lund.

"People of faith should not be fined or jailed for expressing their political or religious beliefs," said Chipeur in an ADF press release. "The ability to express one's conscience is a fundamental human right protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This pastor cannot be muzzled simply because someone else does not share his viewpoint, and a recent decision from the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in a national case confirms this."

On Sept. 2, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) ruled in a separate case that section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, Canada's human rights legislation against hate messages, unreasonably limits the Charter right to freedom of expression. Member Athanasios D. Hadjis issued the ruling in the case of Richard Warman and the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) against Marc Lemire, operator of the website, who was the subject of a complaint brought by serial complainant and former CHRC employee Richard Warman in November 2003.

The Calgary Herald reports that the Alberta Human Rights Commission, which sanctioned and fined Mr. Boissoin, has declined to participate in the Court of Queen's Bench trial at which the constitutionality of its ruling will be debated, and that both the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the Canadian Constitution Foundation will appear as interveners on Boissoin's behalf.


Racist speech from an Obama "Czar"

And he doesn't like free speech either:
"President Obama's diversity czar at the Federal Communications Commission has spoken publicly of getting white media executives to "step down" in favor of minorities, prescribed policies to make liberal talk radio more successful, and described Hugo Chavez's rise to power in Venezuela "an incredible revolution."

Mark Lloyd's provocative comments - most made during a tenure at the liberal Center for American Progress think tank - are giving fodder to critics who say Mr. Obama has appointed too many "czars" to government positions that don't require congressional approval. They are also worrying to some conservatives who fear the FCC might use its powers to remove their competitive advantage on talk radio and television.

Mr. Lloyd spoke about the need to remove white people from powerful positions in the media to give minorities a fairer chance. "There's nothing more difficult than this because we have really truly, good, white people in important positions, and the fact of the matter is that there are a limited number of those positions," he said. "And unless we are conscious of the need to have more people of color, gays, other people in those positions, we will not change the problem. But we're in a position where you have to say who is going to step down so someone else can have power."

Other bloggers are questioning Mr. Lloyd's commitment to free speech based on a line in his 2006 book, "Prologue to a Farce: Communication and Democracy in America": "At the very least, blind references to freedom of speech or the press serve as a distraction from the critical examination of other communications policies," Mr. Lloyd wrote. "The purpose of free speech is warped to protect global corporations and block rules that would promote democratic governance."


How would it go down if we said that there are too many blacks making a fortune in some sports so we need to get rid of a lot of them to give whites a chance at getting all that money?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Health insurer not entitled to free political speech??

The Obama healthcare proposals are clearly a hot political issue so why should ANYONE be prevented from giving their opinion of what is proposed? It sounds to me like the insurer was warning of an attack on a program that IS under attack. Saying that the criticism is "misleading" is standard Democrat boilerplate at the moment. They call ALL criticism misleading. And if all misleading political speech were banned, a lot of Democrats would be struck dumb. It would not be worthwhile for Joe Biden even to get out of bed. Joe assured us that FDR went on TV to make his case -- even though there was no TV for him to go on in that early era! And who the heck is Joe Biden? He's only the Vice President of the United States.
"The government is investigating a major insurance company for allegedly trying to scare seniors with a mailer warning they could lose important benefits under health care legislation in Congress. The Health and Human Services Department launched its investigation of Humana after getting a complaint from Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., a senior lawmaker usually viewed as a reliable ally of the insurance industry.

"It is wholly unacceptable for insurance companies to mislead seniors regarding any subject — particularly on a subject as important to them, and to the nation, as health care reform," Baucus said Monday, disclosing the HHS investigation.

Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Ky., is cooperating with the investigation and stopped the mailer earlier this month, company spokesman Tom Noland said Monday.

Humana is one of the largest private carriers serving seniors under a program called Medicare Advantage. About one-fourth of the elderly and disabled people covered under Medicare participate in the Advantage program, which offers a choice of private plans that usually deliver added benefits. Humana has about 1.4 million Medicare Advantage enrollees, and the program accounts for about half the company's revenue, Noland said.

Government experts say the private plans are being paid too much — about 14 percent more than it costs to care for seniors in traditional Medicare. The Baucus plan — and other proposals — would reduce payments to the plans, and the health insurance industry is fighting back. The Humana mailer focused squarely on the Medicare Advantage program.


An Australian baby can be named Metallica, but not Ned Kelly

Both Ned and Kelly are common Irish names. So why is the name suspect to Australian authorities? Ned Kelly was a 19th century highway robber, who defied the police with some success -- something that is rather admired in Australia
"You can call your kid Metallica, Fully Hektik Sik or God Bless, but don't even think about giving him the name Ned Kelly - that would be offensive.

Christian names deemed acceptable and unacceptable by the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages provide interesting reading. The Registry can reject a name for a number of reasons under the Registration Act 1995. Reasons include that the name might be obscene or offensive, is too long or includes "symbols without phonetic significance."

The Act also bans official titles, ranks or names "contrary to the public interest for some other reason". Nor can names be a sentence.

Ned Kelly was rejected for public interest reasons, as was Jesus Christ. Post Master General and Chief Maximus were rejected because they are titles.

Other names knocked back included a blank space, the child's Medicare number and the number seven, a name suggested in the sitcom Seinfeld. Titles including Prince, Princess, Dame, Duke, King, Queens and Lady have all been rejected, but Prince, Queen, Lady and Sir are eligible used on their own.

Sweden recently ruled Metallica an acceptable name, along with Budweiser. France and Denmark give citizens a list of names to choose from

In 1980, prior to the Registry being tightened up in 1995, an Australian couple successfully registered their child with the name Monkey. [Now THAT'S a sensitive one. I hope the kid isn't dark-skinned!]


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Boss not allowed to fire employee who called him 'Son of a whore'

Left-run Spain at work:
"Calling your boss "son of a whore" - once the ultimate insult in Spain - is no longer a sacking offence because the term is so common. El Mundo newspaper said a Catalan employment tribunal ordered that an employee who was dismissed for insulting his manager should not only get his job back but also receive €6500 ($10,000) in compensation.

The panel also criticised the company for failing to take into account the charged workplace atmosphere and the changing trend in language which meant that such a phrase - traditionally regarded as the ultimate insult in Spanish - was now "common usage in conversations".


Must not call a Malay a monkey?

Retired footballer and Australian TV commentator in trouble over "monkey" comparison
"Sam Newman is embroiled in another race controversy after saying a Malaysian man was a "monkey" who's "not long out of the forest" on The Footy Show.

Newman made the remarks during his Sam's Mailbag segment, which featured an item about a 107-year-old Malaysian woman, Wook Kundor, marrying for the 23rd time. He held up a photo of Kundor and her husband Muhammad Noor Che Musa, 37, and described him as a "monkey".

Newman's comments clearly shocked Carlton forward Brendan Fevola, a panelist on Thursday night's show, who said, "you can't call him a monkey". Newman later said, "This isn't going to Malaysia, is it?"


Malays are East Asians with somewhat darker skin than more Northerly East Asians but I have never heard of them being referred to as monkeys. I think Newman was just referring to the appearance of that one particular Malay. I have known some monkey-like whites in my time. But the speech police have obviously made all references to monkeys risky -- though you can call GWB a "chimp", of course.

Monday, September 21, 2009

FEC restrictions on U.S. political speech nullified

You can now spend your money to fund any political speech you want
"A federal appeals court on Friday dramatically expanded the ability of politically oriented groups such as Emily's List or the National Rifle Association to raise and spend money to help candidates get elected to federal office. The opinion, issued by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, nullifies the $5,000 annual cap on individual giving to nonprofits. The Federal Election Commission enacted the rule after the 2004 presidential election that saw a flood of money from independent groups including Swift Boats Veterans for Truth and MoveOn.Org.

"The First Amendment, as interpreted by the Supreme Court, protects the right of individual citizens to spend unlimited amounts to express their views about policy issues and candidates for public office," the court ruling said. The First Amendment also "safeguards the right of citizens to band together and pool their resources as an unincorporated group or nonprofit organization in order to express their views about policy issues and candidates for public office."

Emily's List, which advocates for women candidates who support the legal right to an abortion, brought the case against the FEC. The group objected to the restrictions on "hard money" contributions for political activities....

The prospects for the FEC launching an appeal are bleak, Mr. Toner added.


Are you allowed to be rude to a cop?

"David Hackbart was mad, and he wanted to show it, but he didn't think he would end up in federal court protecting his right to a rude gesture and demanding that the city of Pittsburgh stop violating the First Amendment rights of its residents.

Hackbart, 34, was looking for a parking space on busy Murray Avenue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood on April 10, 2006. Spotting one, he attempted to back into it, but the driver of the car behind him refused to back up and give him sufficient room. Hackbart responded in the classic way. "I stuck my hand out the window and gave him the finger to say 'Hey, jerk, thanks,' " says Hackbart. "That's all I was trying to say — 'Thanks, thanks a lot.' "

At that moment, a voice rang out telling Hackbart not to make the rude gesture in public. "So I was like, How dare that person tell me? They obviously didn't see what happened. Who are they to tell me what to say?" he says. "So I flipped that person off. And then I looked, and it was a city of Pittsburgh cop in his car right next to me."

That turned out to be police sergeant Brian Elledge, who happened to be passing in the other direction in his cruiser. Elledge whipped around and pulled Hackbart over, citing him under the state's disorderly-conduct law, which bans obscene language and gestures. And here's where the problem lies, says state American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) legal director Witold (Vic) Walczak: the middle finger and equivalent swear words are not legally obscene. In fact, courts have consistently ruled that foul language is a constitutionally protected form of expression. A famous 1971 Supreme Court case upheld the right of a young man to enter the Los Angeles County Court House wearing a jacket emblazoned with the words "F___ the Draft." (Read about how disorderly conduct is often a cop's call.)

"The law is clear that people have the constitutional right to use profanity, especially when it comes to government officials, because that is a form of political speech," Walczak says. "But despite that, we have police officers regularly misapplying the law to punish people who offend them — that's really what it comes down to."

U.S. District Judge David Cercone ruled in March that the citation, along with the $119.75 court costs imposed by a city court, was clearly unconstitutional.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

NPR Hate speech

In trying to defend the crooked ACORN, they say minorities can't help being criminals; It's just the way those people are
"It's also important to keep in mind that ACORN's workers are coming from the same low-income neighborhoods the organization serves, with all that entails -- poor schools, high crime and the sorts of social problems that have been documented for decades.

So the flaws conservatives are pointing out about ACORN are not so much problems associated with that organization per se but more about the problems of being poor and minority in urban America.


If it's not hate speech it sure is bigotry and "stereotyping".

Danish tourism bosses lose the plot

We read:
"Danish tourism bosses have been forced to apologise over a campaign to lure men to the country with the promise that its women are easy. Marketing bosses posted a video on YouTube in which a beautiful blonde said she was looking for her child's father.

The fake yummy mummy claimed her little boy August was the result of boozy one-night stand with a stranger in the capital Copenhagen after she introduced him to the Danish custom of "cosiness". She then pleads with the mystery man whose name she can't remember to get in touch, with photos of the mum and her son also put up on the site.

The clip, which appeared to be shot on a video camera in the woman's living room, attracted more than a million hits. But it sparked nationwide fury after it emerged that it was all a set-up and was designed to attract more male tourists to Denmark.

The revelation the clip was a hoax caused outrage across the country, with one newspaper labelling the stunt "grotesque".

Visit Denmark tried to defend its actions, saying it was a "good and sweet story about a mature, responsible woman who lives in a free society and shoulders the responsibility of her actions". But the clip of actor Ditte Arnth Jorgensen was pulled.

"We deeply apologise that the film has offended a lot of people, that certainly wasn't the idea," CEO Dorte Kiilerich said.


Misleading advertising? I suspect so.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Facebook Five want right to bag the boss online

We read:
"The right of Australian workers to slag off their boss could become enshrined in law if a landmark case by a group of outspoken prison officers - dubbed the Facebook Five - is successful.

The officers were threatened with the sack after they posted disparaging comments about New South Wales Corrective Services Commissioner Ron Woodham and other top brass on a Facebook group called "Suggestions to help Big RON save a few clams".

In response, the Public Service Association filed an application asking the Industrial Relations Commission to hear an unfair dismissal application for the workers before they were formally fired, The Daily Telegraph reports.

The PSA also indicated to the IRC that it intends to seek a change in the award which will make workers exempt from dismissal for things they said or did in out-of-work hours.

"An employee shall not be the subject of any disciplinary action by reason of conduct that occurs outside working hours and which is intended by the employee to be private in nature," the claim stated.


British council bans Christian group from putting up notices about its meetings

And they are not backing down.
"A Christian campaign group has been banned from pinning up notices about its meetings in libraries or community centres. The activists were told their posters advertising talks about climate change could not be shown in public because they mentioned Christianity and God.

Officials declared that the flyers for a talk on 'climate change is a Christian issue' and and another by a spokesman for the Christian Ecology Link were in conflict with town hall policy against the promotion of religious ideas.

The ban in Camden in North London bemused campaigners from the Roman Catholic Our Lady Help of Christians parish church - not least because they were told they could display posters advertising green rallies so long as they did not refer to God.

There was also confusion among the greens that while borough officials insist they cannot lend a hand to a Christian group, it provides for inquirers details of no fewer than 13 mosques, Muslim study groups, and Islamic social groups.

Miss Siedlecka said she asked her local library to use its distribution service to put up flyers throughout the borough giving notice of the talks. 'A lady in a yashmak, a Muslim lady, told me that they could not advocate religions and that they could not promote religious ideas.

'Then I spoke to officials at the town hall who told me again that they could not promote a religion. They said they would be very happy if it was green, but it could not be Christian.'

Mike Judge of the Christian Institute said: 'This is another case of Christians being told to go to the back of the class. 'It is prejudice against Christianily. Christians run huge numbers of community projects and they pay council taxes. 'They are not promoting their religion at the expense of anyone else and they are entitled to put their posters up. It is time Camden got a grip.'


Friday, September 18, 2009

Top British official accused of saying: "Blow Israel off the face of the Earth"

What he said would probably not be illegal in America but it shows appalling judgement for someone in his position. He should lose his job for that reason, not because he was racist. Arab-lovers are however something of a tradition in the Foreign Office. Empathy with the secretive but widespread homosexuality among Arabs is alleged to be the cause.

The British establishment generally is very antisemitic (See here and here and here), so he will probably escape any serious penalty.
"A Foreign and Commonwealth Office civil servant told a Jew that the Israelis should be “blown off the face of the Earth” during an altercation at a gymnasium, a court was told yesterday. Gideon Falter claimed that Rowan Laxton, 48, was also heard to shout “f***ing Israelis, f***ing Jews” while watching a television news report about Israel bombing Gaza as he worked out on an exercise bicycle.

Giving evidence at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, Mr Falter said he arrived at the London Business School gym shortly after 8am in January and overheard the outburst. “I started to work out,” he said. “I heard someone shout, ‘F***ing Israelis, f***ing Jews’.

“I could hear that it came from above me. I wanted to see who shouted. I couldn’t see anyone who was particularly aggravated. Mr Laxton came downstairs to the lower part of the mezzanine and I spoke to him.”

Mr Falter claimed that Mr Laxton, head of the South Asia desk in the Foreign Office, admitted that it was him who had launched the tirade before allegedly adding: “It’s not racist. If I had my way, the international community would be sent in and if the Israelis got in the way, they would be blown off the face of the f***ing Earth.”...

The court was told that Mr Laxton had settled a “difficult” divorce with his Muslim wife on the same morning as the incident....

When interviewed by police after his arrest, Mr Laxton said: “I was horrified by what I saw and I said, ‘I’m sorry I said it’. I said ’f***ing Israelis’.”

Mr Laxton, who answers to David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, has been suspended from his £70,000-a-year job and could be dismissed if found guilty.


Soviet-style history in Britain

Margaret Thatcher omitted from British government history of women in politics while all sorts of nonentities get a mention:
"Harriet Harman has been accused of airbrushing Baroness Thatcher from an official government document saluting the role of women in politics in the last 100 years.

The paper, Women in Power: Milestones, listed 28 of the most significant events between 1907 and 2008 involving women on the political stage.

The milestones included the election of the first female Head of Government – Sirimavo Bandaranaike, the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka in 1960 and Britain's first woman councillor Reina Emily Lawrence in 1907.

The document, produced by the Equality Office which is run by Miss Harman, the deputy leader of the Labour Party, highlights the role of Nancy Astor who was the first woman to take her seat in parliament in 1919, the election of Dianne Abbott the first black woman MP in 1987, and victory in 1999 of Neena Gill the UK’s first Asian female MEP.

But there is no mention of Lady Thatcher becoming the first female leader of a British political party when she replaced Edward Heath in 1975, or the fact that she was the longest serving prime minister in the 20th century, and won three general election victories. The only reference to her is: “1979: UK’s first woman Prime Minister.” But her name is pointedly omitted. By contrast Shreela Flather is mentioned twice as the first Asian woman councillor and first Asian woman peer. Britain’s first black woman mayor Lydia Simmons is also given a name check.

Lady Thatcher’s office declined to comment but a friend of the former Prime Minister said: “Miss Harman cannot bear the fact it was the Conservatives who elected the first woman leader back in 1975 long before anyone had even heard of positive discrimination and all women shortlists. "Margaret got there on ability and went on to become one of the great Prime Ministers because of what she stood for not because she wore skirts. We also elected the first Jewish leader in Michael Howard but I imagine that will be airbrushed too when Harman's Equality Office does an ethnic history of political parties.”


Thursday, September 17, 2009

"Most appalling" poster?

An English commentator with no apparent appreciation for wordplay has nominated the placard above as the most appalling among the many that were displayed at the recent anti-Obama protests.

Whether or not it is appalling is a value judgement that I will not go into but I note that truth is a defence so is Obama an African and did he lie?

People with genetics like Mr Obama's are commonly referred to in the USA as "Africans" or "African Americans" (though the simpler "black" now seems to be the dominant usage). Referring to someone of his ancestry as a "half-breed" or "mulatto" is long gone. You only need part-African ancestry to be described as an African. Nobody talks about Half-breed Americans.

And it is also true that Obama is a liar. In his recent speech to Congress he said that Republicans were not making any positive proposals about healthcare reform when they have in fact offered quite a few plans -- just not ones that Mr Obama likes. See here and here.

SCOTUS tackles restrictions on political speech

We read:
"September 9, 2009 was a historic day at the U.S. Supreme Court. Meeting in special session, the Court considered a legal challenge pitting Barack Obama’s top Supreme Court lawyer against a living legend in a major First Amendment case that will forever shape how elections are conducted in America...

This case over the Hillary and Obama movies will have far-reaching consequences. The FEC had ruled that it would be a federal felony, punishable by five years in prison, for Citizens United to have Video On Demand show either of those movies just before an election or primary. Those draconian penalties come from a provision in the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA), better known as McCain-Feingold. Citizens United (rightly) argued that this part of BCRA violates the First Amendment.

Representing the Obama administration was Solicitor General Elena Kagan, who might be President Obama’s next Supreme Court nominee if, as expected, Justice Stevens retires from the Court next year. Kagan’s opponent was former Bush Solicitor General Ted Olson, widely regarded as the best Supreme Court lawyer in the country.

Olson dominated the argument in the Citizens United hearing. The liberal justices came after him, with Justices Stevens and Breyer aggressively questioning Olson, who parried with humor while deflecting their arguments.

Kagan didn’t fare as well. She admitted abandoning the Obama administration’s earlier positions, instead arguing that government must be able to ban movies and other election-related communications to prevent organizations from promoting a message with which the shareholders disagree because they can’t monitor the corporations they own, or because of corruption arising from a quid pro quo.

Chief Justice John Roberts seemed incredulous, characterizing Kagan’s position as, “we the government, Big Brother, has to protect shareholders from themselves,” or that, “we the government have to protect you na├»ve shareholders.” He pointed out that the two Supreme Court precedents the FEC was seeking to preserve in this lawsuit to protect McCain-Feingold never even hinted at such things.

That’s unfortunate for the Obama administration, because the swing vote in this case is Chief Justice Roberts, not the usual Justice Kennedy. (Not that it makes any difference, because Kennedy also signaled that he wasn’t buying Kagan’s argument.)

But it’s fortunate for the American republic. Robust public debate is essential to democracy, and we’ll find out shortly if the Supreme Court is willing to restore Americans’ right to speak out during elections.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Another attack on free speech in Canada

We read:
"Here we go again: A Canadian court has ordered Google and Canada’s two largest ISPS to reveal the identity of anonymous emailers, The National Post reports.

After York president Mamdouh Shoukri announced the hiring of Martin Singer as the dean of the school’s new Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies - calling him a “renowned scholar of Chinese history” and “such a strong scholar and administrator” - a message from a Gmail account went out from a group called York Faculty Concerned About the Future of York University. The message accused Shoukri of “perpetrating an outrageous fraud” and added: "Lying about scholarly credentials is the gravest offence.

The universiity went to court, suing Google for the IP adresses associated with the Gmail account. Google turned over that information, identifying Bell Canada and Rogers Communications as the ISPs. Last month they sued the ISPs for the customer information, a motion the ISPs didn’t oppose.

Justice George R. Strathy of Ontario Superior Court released his reasons for granting the orders, saying it was a reasonable balance between protecting freedom of speech and protection from libel.

I was cautiouslly supportive of the judge’s move in the supermodel case, since (a) there was some argument that there was actual damage, (b) the public interest in the speech was modest and (c) the court appeared to consider the free speech right versus the right to litigate.

In this case, though, the public interest is quite substantial: the case involves not just the right to speak, but academic freedoom, fear of retaliation and the quality of a leading academic institution. The university has a much larger bully pulpit than the Concerned Faculty: they can issue press releases, do media interviews, release the CV of the professor. This is a debate properly held in the public square, not the courtroom.


NJ: Teens sue team over “God Bless America” ejection

We read:
"Three teenagers who say they were tossed from a New Jersey ballpark over their refusal to stand during the song ‘God Bless America’ are suing the minor league Newark Bears. The boys argue that their constitutional rights were violated when they were asked to leave Newark’s Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium on June 29 by Bears’ president and co-owner Thomas Cetnar. Cetnar acknowledged the boys were asked to leave but declined to say why. He also has denied making some statements attributed to him in the lawsuit.”


If it's no offense to burn the flag, then this should get a pass too. And enforced respect is no respect at all. I think we can leave coercion to the Muslims.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"Negatives" a bad word?

Maher seems to be satirizing the exaggerated sensitivities of the Obamaphiles in the video below. Since he is an Obama supporter he will probably get away with it -- maybe. Don Imus got into trouble for using "black" speech and he is a liberal too.

I guess that if Maher did get into trouble, he could say that he really did believe that "negatives" was "subliminally racist". Most Obamaophiles would buy that

Muslim hate speech ignored in the Netherlands

This is the country that is putting one of its leading politicians on trial because of his criticisms of the Koran
"CIDI says the volume of circulation of hate speech and mail was larger than in recent years. Most cases of physical harassment, intimidation and assault were the result of the actions of perpetrators of North African descent, said the report by CIDI, which has in the recent past been involved with dialogue between Jews and Muslims.

An analysis of hate-mails revealed most denied or downplayed the Holocaust by comparing it with Israel's attack in the Gaza Strip, which came in retaliation for the targeting of Israeli citizens by Palestinians.

The 43-page report also speaks of an increasing trend of anti-Semitic statements and incidents in schools. This included an incident in an Amsterdam school which suspended lessons after students chanted anti-Jewish slogans. A Rotterdam did the same, after pupils sang: "Hamas, Jews to the gas" and "Jews are murderers."

"Something must be done about the numerous holes in the processing of complaints by the police, states the report, which was compiled by Elise Friedmann and released last week. "The many current gaps in the system offer little prospect for effectiveness in the judicial approach to discrimination," she wrote.

The recommendations chapter of CIDI's report called for stricter implementation of limitations on hate speech. CIDI also said the police appear to be reluctant to process reports of anti-Semitism.


One law for all is a myth in the Netherlands too.

Monday, September 14, 2009

People who oppose Obamacare are “domestic terrorists"?

A post saying so went up on the MyBarackObama website about a week ago. It got too much attention, however, so has now been removed. It is even out of the Google cache by now. It's the sort of hate speech that conservatives are used to from the Left. Christians are regularly called "Taleban" etc. But apparently it was a bit too blatant to have it on the site of the "healer" himself.

That pesky Warner Todd Huston, one of my fellow bloggers at STACLU, however, caught a screenshot of it and I reproduce the relevant bit below

It appears that when Leftists protest and demonstrate, that is exercising their democratic rights. But when conservatives protest and demonstrate, that is subverting the democratic process.

What utter crooks and hatemongers the Left are!

Must not offend Communists in Canada

We read:
"A new monument in Ottawa to commemorate the victims of some sort of oppression was approved by the National Capital Commission’s board of directors Thursday, but the decision has left those proposing the monument confused as to what, exactly, was approved. “We don’t really understand the decision at this point,” said Tim Egan of High Park Group, which is representing one of the groups behind the proposal. “We really do need to talk to our board to assess the implications.”

The title — “monument to the victims of totalitarian communism” — has already been changed once. In the first proposals, one by a non-profit group called Tribute to Liberty, the other by Open Book Group, it was to be called “monument to the victims of communism.”

After beginning discussions with the NCC in March 2008, the groups had back-and-forth discussions with a committee of experts who suggested that the title be changed because it could be perceived as “unduly critical of Canadians who might associate themselves with communism,” Egan said. The group then changed the name to include the word “totalitarian.” The title still did not sit well with the board.

Board member Adel Ayad said the name was troubling for its “very tight definition” and for the presence of the word “communism” in the title, as Canada has a communist party.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Leftist double-standard again

I can't say it better so I am just going to quote Taranto on this. Both posts below are from his most recent column:
"As President Obama addressed a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night, the nation's rapidly deteriorating discourse hit yet another low," writes Dana Milbank of the Washington Post:
"It happened at 8:40 pm, just after the president vowed to lawmakers that his health-care reform proposals would not provide benefits to illegal immigrants. As millions of Americans watched from home, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) shouted at the president from his fifth-row seat: "You lie!" . . .

The national debate, already raw for years, had coarsened over the summer as town hall meetings across the country dissolved into protests about "death panels" and granny-killing. Guns were brought to Obama appearances. A pastor in Arizona said he was praying for Obama to die.

But even by that standard, there was something appalling about the display on the House floor for what was supposed to be a sacred ritual of American democracy: the nation watching while Cabinet members, lawmakers from both chambers and the diplomatic corps assembled.

Wilson was only the most flagrant. There was booing from House Republicans when the president caricatured a conservative argument by saying they would "leave individuals to buy health insurance on their own." They hissed when he protested their "scare tactics." They grumbled as they do in Britain's House of Commons when Obama spoke of the "blizzard of charges and countercharges."

To be sure, Milbank has a point about the disgraceful state of America's national discourse. Why just a few weeks ago, as noted, a prominent Beltway reporter claimed falsely that the secretary of state was "getting a bottle of Mad Bitch," a fictitious beer brand.

Milbank's reference to the Commons reminds us of something John Gibson of Fox News Channel once said:
" Maryanne Marsh, what did you think of those audible jeers, boos, for the president? It sounded a little like the House of Commons: that grumbling that comes from the back-benchers when they don't like something Tony Blair said. That isn't very common for state of the union speeches, is it?

The reference to Tony Blair may give away that this is an old quote--from 2005, after President Bush's State of the Union Address. We found it in a report titled "Pundits Called Dems' Reaction During Bush Address 'Unprecedented,' but Republicans Booed Clinton."

One certainly can't say that what Wilson said--"You lie!"--was anything unprecedented. Indeed, the president had just gotten done saying exactly the same thing about ObamaCare critics. And by the way, Wilson quickly apologized. Obama still hasn't.


It's amazing what adjectives can be racist

Again from Taranto:
"The Athens (Ga.) Banner-Herald accuses Sen. Saxby Chambliss of racism, or something approaching racism anyway:
"In a Tuesday interview on Fox News, Chambliss was talking about Republican expectations for the president's address when he said, "I think what you're looking at is folks on my side anxious to see what the president has to say (Wednesday) night. I think he's going to have to express some humility based on what we've seen around the country during August, and that's not his inclination."

Take a closer look at those two sentences. Sen. Chambliss states clearly that "to express some humility . . . is not (Obama's) inclination." It's not an unfair parsing of the senator's remarks to see them as coming uncomfortably close to suggesting the president is "uppity."

The word "uppity" is defined as "assuming airs beyond one's station," and--intended or not--that's a clear subtext of Chambliss' suggestion that the president is insufficiently humble.

Additionally, using the word "uppity" in connection with a black person is seen widely as something of a racial slur.

As a native Southerner, Chambliss should have understood the connotations of his suggestion that a black president should "express some humility" in delivering an address to the nation.

Chambliss' remarks were at least an artless articulation of his expectations for Obama's Wednesday address, and reasonably could be considered more troubling than his congressional colleague's far more vocal, but far less insidious, outburst.

The reference at the end is to Rep. Joe Wilson.

This is at least the third time we've witnessed the tactic of imputing racism by free association. In April 2008, a guy in the Los Angeles Times said it was racist to call Obama "elitist" because that means "arrogant," which means "uppity." He also suggested that if you call Obama "out of touch," it "plays harmoniously," whatever that means, with "the notion of blacks as 'others.' "

Then in August 2008, Slate's Tim Noah said that it's racist to say that Obama is "skinny," because Obama's slender build is a physical characteristic just like his skin color.

Now we have someone from a home-state newspaper (it's an unsigned editorial) chiding Chambliss for saying something that reminded the writer of the word "uppity."

We suppose we'll keep hearing this sort of thing even when Barack Obama is a lame duck--which is racist, by the way, because duck, like chicken, is a kind of poultry, and fried chicken is stereotypically associated with blacks. To our mind, it all portends racial progress. No one can possibly take this stuff seriously, which means that racism and racial stereotyping have lost much of their sting.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Naughty French politician

We read:
"The French Interior Minister faced calls for his resignation last night after he was caught on camera making apparently racist remarks directed at Arabs.

As outrage greeted the video clip on the internet Brice Hortefeux claimed that critics had misinterpreted his quip: “When there’s one that’s all right. It’s when there's a lot of them that there are problems.”

He insisted that he had not been talking about Arabs, as many had assumed, but about Auvergnats — people from the Auvergne region of central France.

The incident happened at a summer congress of the ruling centre-right Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) in Seignosse, southwest France, last weekend. Mr Hortefeux is seen in the video posing for a photograph alongside Amine Benalia-Brouch, a member of UMP whose father is Algerian and mother Portuguese.

An unidentified woman says, apparently in reference to Mr Benalia-Brouch’s Muslim background: “He eats pork and he drinks beer.” Mr Hortefeux, 51, cuts in amid laughter as a group of party activists look on: “He doesn’t fit the prototype at all. Not at all. We always need one. When there’s one, that’s all right. It’s when there's a lot of them that there are problems.”

The comment went unnoticed until the video was sent to Le Monde, the French daily newspaper, which posted it on its website last night.


It's all a bit unclear but I initially got the impression that the politician was saying that UNOBSERVANT Muslims were a problem if there were a lot of them. The politician handled it clumsily, though.

I suspect that the fuss arose because most French people DO think that Muslims are best in small doses. The elite immediately thought that the politician was giving voice to the general view, which you are not allowed to do.

Despite being a third-party candidate, the anti-immigration politician Jean Marie Le Pen got more votes than the socialists in the Presidential election before last so I don't think there is much doubt about what the average Frenchman thinks. Le Pen keeps getting fined for what he says but he goes right on saying it. The average Frenchman cannot afford to do that, though. He has to shut up.

California State University, Northridge: A mustache is hate speech?

We read:
"A picture of President Obama with a Hitler-style mustache adorned a booth on campus during Greek Week. When asked how Obama compared with Hitler, the response was, “Read the literature.” The young adults manning the booth could not articulate the problem in their own words, but relied heavily on their printed materials. Asked if they were CSUN students, they responded with pride, “Oh no, we are working for the Lyndon LaRouche Political Action Committee.”

After observing the distorted picture of President Obama, English professor, Elyce Wakerman said, “My first reaction to the poster was shock. Hitler is like the symbol of evil and to put his mustache on a face is to demonize the person. It’s demonizing Obama without any basis. It’s hate speech.”

Professor Wakerman went on to say, “I have relatives that were killed in the Holocaust, and for me the image was troubling. If I had to look at that poster every day, it would be very chilling to me.” Professor Wakerman asked the people in the booth how Obama compared with Hitler, and their response was, “He (Obama) wants to kill us if we get too expensive.”

When asked about the claim of hate speech, CSUN media law professor, Jens Koepke said, “It sounds like the speech doesn’t come close to constituting legal hate speech.” He asked, “Does this speech constitute ‘fighting words’ as the Supreme Court defined it? Does the speech pose an imminent threat of violence or an incitement to violence or an attempt to intimidate?”


The law Prof. got it right but if you read on, the writer still wants to ban such displays -- because of the "stress of having our president vilified"!

I wonder what she thought of all the "Bush=Hitler" speech of recent years. Did she want that banned because it might be stressful to Republicans? We don't need to guess the answer to that, I think.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Drug control becomes speech control

We read:
"When the government accuses a doctor of running a ‘pill mill,’ prosecutors portray every aspect of his practice in a sinister light. Prescribing painkillers becomes drug trafficking, applying for insurance reimbursement becomes fraud, making bank deposits becomes money laundering, and working with people at the office becomes conspiracy.

When Siobhan Reynolds thinks a doctor has been unfairly targeted for such a prosecution, she tries to counter the official narrative by highlighting the patients he has helped and dramatizing the conflict between drug control and pain control. But now the government has turned its reinterpretive powers on Reynolds, portraying the pain treatment activist’s advocacy as obstruction of justice and thereby threatening the freedom of anyone who dares to suggest there is more than one side to a criminal case.”


Pamela Anderson ad pulled from US airports

We read:
"An animal rights television commercial featuring former Playboy centrefold Pamela Anderson has been deemed too racy for US airports.

Senior officials from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said the CNN Airport Network had barred the advertisement because of concerns it could be seen by children.

The ad features former Baywatch star Anderson as a scantily clad airport security guard who strips passengers of leather, fur and other skins. The ad had been due to air from September 10 in New York airports, targeting attendees from the fashion industry descending on the city for New York Fashion Week, which gets under way today.

PETA said that CNN Airport Network had said in a letter it was "particularly sensitive because children make up part of the demographic in airports".

Source. Video here.

Probably a reasonable commercial decision. PETA seem to use nude or near-nude females a lot. It rather makes clear that their appeal is not to reason.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Must not mention concentration camps in a joke

Australia. Facetious reference to a fat comedienne (above) deemed incorrect
"Shock jock Kyle Sandilands has dismissed his concentration camp jibe as "just one of those things" amid renewed calls for him to be sacked.

The radio star insulted Holocaust survivors yesterday by saying comedian Magda Szubanski should be put into a concentration camp to lose weight.

But today he went on air saying he did not mean "to offend her (Szubanski) or anyone else with those comments".

Jewish leaders called last night for his sacking.


Concentration camps were in fact first used by the Spaniards in Cuba and later by the British in South Africa -- both over 100 years ago. They have never been the sole preserve of Hitler or Jews.

The radio host has now been suspended from his job.

Embarrassing British dessert

Britain's Spotted Dick becomes Spotted Richard
"For generations it has risen above all the schoolboy sniggers. But it appears the smirking has to stop as modern sensitivities struggle to cope with the jokes prompted by one of our most loved puddings - Spotted Dick. Now those sensitivities have seen a prudish council changing the name to Spotted Richard after canteen staff tired of the giggling.

The latest attempt to censor classic Victorian suet and raisin pudding has angered traditionalists, who have fought several battles in recent years over the name. The defenders of the old ways have been joined by Klaus Armstrong-Braun, a councillor who was taken aback when he saw the name change in the canteen at the headquarters of Flintshire council in North Wales. 'I couldn't believe it, it seemed ludicrous,' he said. 'Spotted Dick is part of our heritage. 'It just seemed political correctness gone mad. 'There was a sign in the dining room for things like rice pudding and then this Spotted Richard - I had to ask what it was.


Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Homosexual attack on free speech

They want to target those who sign petitions they don't like
"This Thursday in a federal court in Washington state, U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle will, ahem, settle an important question... Specifically, Judge Settle must resolve whether Washington state’s Public Disclosure Act, requiring the Secretary of State to publically disclose the signers of petitions, violates First Amendment protections for voters signing a petition. That is, does it violate the rights of those signers not wanting to be threatened or intimidated . . .

“There have been few precedents on whether the names and addresses of people who sign petitions should be considered a public record,” wrote Ballot Access News editor, Richard Winger, recently. “Some states provide by law that the records are not public, but most states do not.” Thus, in most states, any citizen could request (and pay for) copies of the actual petitions turned into the Secretary of State, containing all the names and addresses and often other personal information.

Enter Brian Murphy. He started a website — — in essence to “out” the signers of Referendum 71 petitions. He pledged to create a searchable database of all those people who had signed the referendum petition and he encouraged supporters of the domestic partnership legislation to have a “dialogue” with those who had signed the petition.

Unsurprisingly, some petition signers became more than a little concerned about the nature and tone such a dialogue might take. Larry Stickney, the head of Protect Marriage Washington, which sponsored Referendum 71, accused opponents of taking “the politics of personal destruction to new levels. I am a personal recipient of dozens of obscene and threatening e-mails and phone calls since we filed this.”


Criticizing Obama is "hate speech" (again)

We read:
"Inhofe’s comments were very unfavorable toward the president’s policies. “I have never seen so many things happening at one time so disheartening to America.” Inhofe said, according to the World.

That remark and others including his thoughts on global warming and his disappointment in that he thinks Obama “is obsessed with turning terrorists loose in America” inspired an angry Schultz to dedicate the opening segment of his Sept. 3 MSNBC show to attacking Inhofe.

Schultz called Inhofe’s dissent and concern over the president’s policies “hatemongering.” The MSNBC and liberal radio host launched into a tirade about Inhofe and questioned his exercise of freedom of speech.


It doesn't take much to wind the Leftist mouth frothers up, does it?

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Canada: Warman loses one. Internet hate speech ban unconstitutional

The aptly named Warman has been waging war on free speech in Canada for years and he has claimed quite a few victims. He is by far the most frequent "human rights" litigant in Canada
"A provision in the Human Rights Act that bans hate speech on the internet is unconstitutional, according to the Canadian Human Rights Commission. In a decision released Wednesday, the commission's tribunal dismissed a complaint filed against Marc Lemire, a webmaster who runs, a site that bills itself as "Canada's freedom resource center."

The complaint, which alleged that messages posted on the site were discriminatory and exposed minority groups to "hatred and contempt," was filed by Ottawa lawyer Richard Warman.

In rejecting the complaint, commissioner vice-chair Athanasios Hadjis ruled that Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act violates the Charter of Rights and Freedom, "which guarantees the freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression."

Hadjis said that it is not within the commission's ability to change the rules — that must be done by the courts — so he refused to impose penalties on Lemire or order him to take down his website.

Warman had asked the tribunal for a cease-and-desist order against Lemire, and a $7,500 fine. Warman accused Lemire of posting anti-Semitic and anti-gay material on the web.


It's looking like these Canadian human rights bodies have learnt a lesson from their effective defeats by Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant.

Must not hate Obama?

The Left sure hated George Bush. They must have run right through the English vocabulary in finding ways to express their loathing of him
"Nearly 100 demonstrators lined the streets outside a Tempe church Sunday to protest what they consider hate speech. Last month Pastor Steven Anderson delivered a sermon at the Faithful Word Baptist Church, near 48th Street and Southern Avenue, entitled "Why I hate Barack Obama."

In response to that sermon and several subsequent controversial comments by Anderson, the People Against Clergy Who Preach Hate held a Love Rally Sunday outside Anderson's church. "It's hard to believe we could have someone of a religious nature wishing our president was dead," said protester William Crumb.

Several of Anderson's parishioners, who declined to identify themselves, defended their pastor's sermons. "I hate people that hate God," said one Faithful Word parishioner. "As far as I know we live in America, we have freedom of religion, freedom to assemble and the freedom of speech," added another Faithful Word parishioner.

Protesters say they'll continue to picket Faithful Word Baptist Church so long as Anderson continues to preach what they consider hate.


True to form, the Left are trying to shut down speech they don't agree with.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Bad Supreme Court precedent can and should be ignored

We read:
"Next Wednesday the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a rare second round of oral arguments in the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. At issue is the documentary Hillary: The Movie, which was produced by the conservative group Citizens United and intended for distribution before the 2008 elections. As Justice Stephen Breyer noted during the first round of arguments back in March, the film "is not a musical comedy." It's a 90-minute political harangue attacking Clinton's ideas and character. In other words, it's exactly the sort of controversial political speech the First Amendment was written and ratified to protect.

Yet under the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (also known as the McCain-Feingold Act), which bars corporations and non-profit organizations from sponsoring "any broadcast, cable, or satellite communication" that mentions a candidate in a federal campaign within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of a general election, Citizens United was forbidden from using the film to express the political views of its members and supporters. So it's a welcome sign indeed that the Court wants to subject this noxious law to some additional scrutiny.


Religious actress fired by ABC over homosexual storyline

We read:
"If you tuned in to the soap "One Life to Live" this week, you may have noticed there's been a change of character. One character in particular. Actress Patricia Mauceri says she was fired and abruptly replaced for objecting to a gay storyline because of her religious beliefs.

Mauceri played the recurring role of Carlotta Vega on "OLTL" for the last 14 years. But when she objected to how the writers wanted her deeply religious character, a Latina mother, to handle a storyline involving homosexuality, she objected. And for that she claims she was fired.

Mauceri, 59, a devout Christian, told FOX News that character Vega's gay-friendly dialogue was not in line with the character she helped create by drawing on her own faith. "I did not object to being in a gay storyline. I objected to speaking the truth of what that person, how that person would live and breathe and act in that storyline," she said. "And this goes against everything I am, my belief system, and what I know the character's belief system is aligned to."

Mauceri said she was replaced despite offering changes to the script and hoping for a compromise.


There is no doubt that ABC were within their rights. And its also within their rights for Christians not to watch crap ABC propaganda.

An interesting thought experiment though: What if she were a Muslim and her objections stemmed from her Muslim faith? Islam is at least as condemnatory of homosexuality as Christianity is. Can there be any doubt that ABC would have negotiated in that case? Christians can be treated with contempt. Muslims cannot.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Reynolds, Lorillard challenge tobacco law on free speech grounds

I suppose logos count as "speech":
"Tobacco legislation signed by President Barack Obama in June violates the First Amendment protections for free speech, according to a lawsuit joined by Reynolds American Inc.’s R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.

The legislation “imposes unprecedented restrictions” on companies by “limiting their ability to disseminate truthful information about tobacco products to adult consumers,” according to the lawsuit, filed today in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Reynolds, the second-largest U.S. cigarette maker, and third-biggest Lorillard Tobacco Co. sued after opposing the legislation that gives the U.S. Food and Drug Administration oversight over tobacco products. The law goes beyond discouraging youth smoking and limits the use of colors and logos in most advertising and packaging so severely that the producers have “virtually no means” to communicate with adult tobacco users, the suit said."


They probably have a point but I doubt that they'll get much sympathy -- so either way this will probably end up before SCOTUS

Harvard censorship under attack

We read:
"Harvard Medical School is backing off a new student policy that would have restricted interaction with the news media after students complained it would chill their ability to talk about current issues in medicine, school officials said this week. "We need to be very careful," said Dr. Nancy E. Oriol, the dean of students, who helped develop the policy. Promising it would be revised, she said the policy was intended to help students, rather than limit speech or control what they say on controversial topics.

But several students said the policy was an attempt to keep them quiet about issues like medical conflicts of interest. "This is one of many ways that medical education implicitly teaches behaviors that differ significantly from the values that we hope physicians will uphold," Nate Favini, a Harvard medical student and chairman of the Student Council Advisory Board, said. "Instead of limiting students, we should encourage bold thinking and allow them to advocate for the reforms that our health care system so badly needs," he added in an email to the paper, reports Times writer Duff Wilson.

Favini and some Harvard Medical faculty said they were encouraged by the decision Tuesday to retract the policy. "The policy was extremely ill advised," Dr. Marcia Angell, a Harvard lecturer and former editor in chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, told the Times Tuesday.

The policy says: "All interactions between students and the media should be coordinated with the Office of the Dean of Students and the Office of Public Affairs. This applies to situations in which students are contacted by the media as well as instances in which students may be seeking publicity about a student-related project or program."


Saturday, September 05, 2009

Google Censors Illegal Immigration Information On Web

I suppose I am taking a risk in putting this up on a Google-hosted site. They have blocked four of my blogs recently for no obvious reason so this site might well be next. It might be an idea to bookmark now the mirror site for this blog:
"WARNING! Google is now blocking the worlds largest archive of information about the negative impact of illegal immigration on American citizens from view via false warnings of Malware. The ALIPAC site is not infected and is safe for use.

Public access to the extensive information archived by ALIPAC over the last five years has been blocked on Google, by Firefox web browsers, and on Twitter! "Google's own software admits we have no viruses or malware on our site," said William Gheen of ALIPAC. "The readings indicate that Google scanned our site on the 19th and we were clean and now they are arbitrarily blocking us for the second time this week. Our technicians tell us our site is clean and Google will not offer us any explanation or assistance despite mulitple attemps to reach out to them."

ALIPAC is now declaring an emergency and making the claim that the blocking of is politically motivated and involves wrongful acts by Google employees or the broader influences within the Google corporation. All other major online virus protection services are declaring that is not infected including Norton Antivirus, McAfee, and AVAST....


The above warning is from a couple of weeks back and was widely disseminated so Google caved in at some stage and now appear to have lifted their blocks. They do much the same with me. They block you for various periods of time and then lift the blocks. It is just a way of harassing conservatives. That they do eventually lift the blocks shows that there was no justification for the blocks in the first place.

Understandable but inappropriate

St. Charles (MO) teacher faces suspension after playing rude song in class
" A classroom lesson with an anti-police theme and repeated foul language is stirring up some controversy in St. Charles, Missouri. The trouble started after a song was played in a class at St. Charles West High School.

Apparently, an AP English teacher played a song that some of the students and parents found questionable and offensive. The song in question is called "F*** the Police" by the group NWA. The song stirred up controversy when it was released back in 1988.

News 4 is told that the song was being played in the class to try to teach the advanced 12th graders how views on offensive speech can change over time. It was supposed to be a lesson on cultural norms.

Superintendent Randal Charles says that some undisclosed disciplinary action has been taken against the teacher. Students tell News 4 that the teacher is facing a one week suspension. The teacher's name has not been released, but News 4 has learned that she has been teaching at St. Charles West for three years.


I am no fan of the police myself. See here. And I think that use of foul language is a personal decision. But for a teacher to teach in class language that is widely disapproved of seems irresponsible and deserving of some disciplinary measures.

Friday, September 04, 2009

How Awful! French Canadians joke about the sacred Obama

We read:
"Canada's French-language broadcaster broke television regulations by airing a comedy sketch suggesting Barack Obama would be easy to assassinate because the first black American president would stand out against the White House.

Broadcast regulator, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), said on Monday it received more than 250 complaints about a popular New Year's Eve show that featured cracks about the US president.

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council issued a public reprimand of Radio-Canada in May and the CRTC agreed. Radio-Canada is the French-language broadcasting arm of the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

In one segment of the "Bye Bye 2008" comedy program, two hosts discussed Obama's election in November 2008. Obama, who took office in January, is the first black US President. "We're not racists. It will be good to have a Negro in the White House. It will be practical. Black on white, it will be easier to shoot him," one of the show's hosts remarked.


But talk about shooting George Bush was great fun, of course

Wicked "blonde" comment in an Australian parliament

Conservative politician refers to a young Leftist politician in an "offensive" manner:
"Opposition Leader John-Paul Langbroek has been accused of offending women in [Queensland] State Parliament after referring to a female Minister as "illegally blonde". Speaking in Parliament this morning, Mr Langbroek was criticising a speech made by Climate Change Minister Kate Jones and then referred to her as "the Minister for illegally blonde''.

Legally Blonde, starred Hollywood siren Reese Witherspoon, as a supposedly dumb blonde sorority queen who went to law school.

An angry Ms Jones immediately demanded he withdraw the comment. "If that is what you said I find it offensive and I find it offensive for every woman who sits in this house,'' she said.

Amid calls from the Opposition MPs that she "can't take it", Mr Langbroek withdrew the comment.


This is all a bit hard to follow but I think the lady has let her side down. If "legally blonde" or just "blonde" implies stupidity, surely "illegally blonde" implies the opposite? The lady seems not to be deep thinker: A kneejerk reaction instead, the familiar Leftist rage. Or is any reference to blondeness "offensive"? Rather strange in the light of how many women dye their hair blonde.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

International bureaucrats gag free-market speech

To maximize tax revenues, the OECD wants one set of financial rules and tax rates for the whole world and they are determined not to hear arguments against that:
"The bureaucrats at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) are trying to suppress dissenting voices according to free-market activists who have traveled to Mexico City to defend tax competition, fiscal sovereignty, and financial privacy at the Global Tax Forum.

The harassment began in Cabo, the original venue for the conference. Center for Freedom and Prosperity President Andy Quinlan and Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute made reservations at the hotel where the conference was scheduled to take place. But last Friday, the reservations were canceled, supposedly because the OECD had reserved the entire hotel. Mitchell remarked that, "This was an extraordinary step for the OECD to take in hopes of insulating delegates from free market views." That issue became moot, however, when the conference was suddenly moved to a hotel in Mexico City to avoid a hurricane.

Today's episode was far more disturbing. OECD officials this afternoon tried to have Quinlan and Mitchell (who are guests at the Mexico City hotel) removed from a public lobby outside the meeting venue. An OECD security official came up to Dan Mitchell and asserted that CF&P officials had to leave the lobby – even though it also serves as entrance to a restaurant and business center. Mitchell refused and the OECD official backed down, perhaps because the ejection attempt was witnessed by a member of the press who was covering the event. "For a group that ostensibly has transparency as one of its goals, the OECD's hypocrisy is remarkable," said Quinlan. "Not only do they refuse to allow taxpayers to observe their events, they don't even want them anywhere in the immediate vicinity."