Sunday, February 28, 2010

UC San Diego threatens to punish students for protected speech

More trouble from imitating blacks:
"The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and its student government have violated the First Amendment by freezing funds for 33 student media organizations, dissolving the student-run television station, and threatening to punish students involved in a controversy over a party invitation for an event called the "Compton Cookout."

Student government president Utsav Gupta has explained that his repressive actions were due to "fracturing of the student body on an issue" and "hateful speech." Further, under pressure from state legislators who seek to punish protected speech, UCSD has launched "aggressive investigations" into the party invitation. After many students came to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help, FIRE has written two letters to UCSD defending the First Amendment both on and off campus.

"UCSD is detracting from its message of moral outrage by committing so many violations of the First Amendment," said FIRE Vice President Robert Shibley. "UCSD now must undo the damage to free speech and resist the pressure to punish protected expression."

The invitation for the February 15 party, which first appeared on social networking site Facebook, celebrated racial stereotypes, asked female partygoers to dress as "ghetto chicks," and invited partygoers to "experience the various elements of life in the ghetto." The party reportedly was a DVD release party organized by "Jiggaboo Jones," an African-American "shock jock"-style performer whose persona relies on deliberately provocative and offensive expression. Members of UCSD fraternities reportedly were involved in organizing the event.

Last week, several members of the California State Legislature called for the investigation and punishment of those students involved. Among the elected officials urging punishment for protected speech were Speaker-elect John A. Pérez, Speaker Karen Bass, and most of all Assemblymember Isadore Hall, III, who "want[s] names" and suspensions or expulsions. UCSD did not rule out punishment and has announced "aggressive investigations" into possible disciplinary violations.

FIRE's letter today to UCSD Chancellor Marye Anne Fox points out that the investigation of protected speech is likely a violation of the First Amendment rights of those investigated and urges the school to announce that it will never investigate protected speech...


A Rare First Amendment Victory for a Public School Teacher Complaining About Restrictions on In-School Speech

Christian posters cannot be discriminated against:
"Generally a public school has broad authority over what teachers say in class. When they’re teaching, or counseling students, they are seen as speaking on behalf of the school, and the school has broad power to control its own speech. And schoolteachers generally have no constitutional right to put up materials of their own on the walls, since those are the school’s walls, for the school to dispose of as the administration pleases.

But Johnson v. Poway Unified School Dist., decided yesterday by the federal district court for the Southern District of California, is a rare exception: The judge concluded that the school district had created a designated public forum for teacher speech, by allowing teachers to put up pretty much any posters they please in their classrooms....

Therefore, the school district couldn’t constitutionally exclude from this forum Bradley Johnson’s 7′ x 2′ banners, “striped in red, white, and blue and set[ting] forth famous national phrases” — on one, “In God We Trust,” “One Nation Under God,” “God Bless America,” and “God Shed His Grace On Thee,’” and on the other, “All Men Are Created Equal, They Are Endowed By Their CREATOR.” The court concluded that such exclusion — especially in light of the school’s allowing the Imagine lyrics, the Tibetan prayer flags with images of the Buddha, and Gandhi’s “Hindu messages” (the court’s label) — was impermissible viewpoint discrimination, as well as impermissible religious preference. Moreover, the court said, allowing Johnson’s message wouldn’t violate the Establishment Clause, because “Any perceived endorsement of a single religion is dispelled by the fact that other teachers are also permitted to display other religious messages and anti-religious messages on classroom walls.”


A list of the many other permitted posters at the link given. I originally covered the matter on June 17, 2007. It would appear that the mention of God was what set the Leftist school board off on their outburst of bigotry. The school could possibly appeal the matter to the 9th Circus now but the teacher and his supporters are prepared to go to SCOTUS if need be

Saturday, February 27, 2010

"Damp rag" incorrect??

One of Britain's most outspoken conservative politicians criticized:
"Nigel Farage compounded a vitriolic attack on the EU’s new President yesterday by refusing a request by a “sweet and rather pretty” Belgian MEP that he apologise for his criticism of her country and its most senior statesman.

The former leader of the UK Independence Party came under widespread criticism for calling Herman Van Rompuy a “damp rag” and dismissing the EU President’s native Belgium as a non-country in a tirade in the European Parliament.

He has been summoned to see the European Parliament President, Jerzy Buzek, about his outburst on Tuesday and is reportedly considering wearing shorts and a schoolboy cap as if for a dressing-down from the headmaster. Asked whether he was trying to get himself banned, Mr Farage told The Times: “You make your own mind up, mate.”

The BBC was drawn into the row after it played the clip of Mr Farage’s attack repeatedly and was accused of using it to drum up viewing figures for Question Time, on which the UKIP MEP was due to appear last night.

Mr Van Rompuy said that he would not respond to the attack but the Belgian press was outraged and the Prime Minister, Yves Leterme, wrote a letter of complaint to Mr Buzek. Like others of Mr Farage’s proudest moments, it was placed on YouTube and has become an internet hit.

Véronique De Keyser, a Belgian Socialist MEP, demanded a formal apology for Mr Farage’s claim that Belgium was a non-country. Mr Farage said: “She is very sweet and rather pretty but I cannot apologise for the fact that Belgium is a completely artificial construction and a mistake.”


My favourite speech by Mr. Farage is here (Video).

The French-speaking and Dutch-speaking halves of Belgium are governed almost independently -- which is what Farage was referring to.

Defamatory internet commenter hunted down and sued

"Legal counsel Martin Bennett has a short message for those who allow themselves to attack reputations over the internet, imagining they are safe under the cloak of anonymity. "You can be hunted down and found," he said yesterday.

Mr Bennett has done just that for a Perth client, winning $30,000 in damages and costs, an apology, and undertakings from a Colac man that he won't post any more defamatory comments.

The hunt for the man's true identity proved the stuff of private detective novels updated into the age of blogs. The action against Graeme Gladman began after highly uncomplimentary comments appeared last November under pseudonyms on the HotCopper website, a stockmarket forum. The postings related to technology security company Datamotion Asia Pacific Ltd and its Perth-based chairman and managing director, Ronald Moir. One posting appeared under the pseudonym of "witch".

Datamotion and Mr Moir hired Mr Bennett to launch defamation proceedings. But first Mr Bennett had to track down "witch". He asked HotCopper to reveal the identity of the person registered under that pseudonym, plus two others under different pseudonyms, but HotCopper refused. Mr Bennett then took court action, forcing HotCopper to turn over its files. "Unfortunately, the registered membership name appeared to be false," he said. "It turned out to be attached to an escort service in Geelong."

But Mr Bennett was not prepared to concede the trail was cold. He told The Age he did not wish to reveal the details of his next detective steps, but the upshot was a defamation action against Mr Gladman alleging that, as a result of his postings, Datamotion and Mr Moir had been "brought into hatred, contempt and ridicule and thereby suffered damage".

It was resolved last week, with Mr Gladman agreeing to pay damages totalling $20,000, taxed legal costs of $10,000, and to provide apologies and undertakings not to publish further defamatory postings. Mr Bennett has launched two more cases. Both are pending before the WA Supreme Court.


A warning that all commenters would do well to heed. Unless you are posting from an internet coffee-lounge or the like, you can probably be traced by anyone who really wants to.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Google Italy ruling 'threat to internet freedom'

We read:
"Three Google executives were convicted on Wednesday of violating privacy laws by allowing disturbing footage of a disabled Italian boy being bullied to be posted on the internet. The ruling was the first of its kind in history and was condemned by critics as "the biggest threat to internet freedom we have seen".

America's ambassador to Italy, David Throne, condemned the decision, sayingthat freedom of the internet was vital for democracy. "This founding principle of internet freedom is vital for democracies which recognise freedom of expression and is safeguarded by all who take this value to heart. ”In January Secretary of State Hilary Clinton expressed clearly that freedom of the internet is a human right that is to be protected in free societies.

”In all countries it is important to keep a careful eye out for abuse, nevertheless offensive material should not become as excuse to violate this fundamental right.”

The trial centred on footage posted on Google Videos, of an autistic teenager and who was being bullied by four other boys, at a Turin school. The footage was posted in September 2006 and became the most viewed where it remained for two months before finally being removed....

The three executives found guilty by judge Oscar Magi were David Carl Drummond, former Google Italy and now senior vice president, George De Los Reyes, a retired financial executive and privacy director Peter Fleischer. The three were found guilty of violating privacy laws and given six month suspended sentences, while they were cleared of defamation. A fourth executive Arvind Desikan, an executive with Google video Europe was cleared....

The events in the footage took place shortly before Google bought YouTube in 2006 and all four men denied wrong doing. Lawyers for California based Google had argued they were not responsible for material uploaded onto the web and the sheer volume of material which would have to be previewed before being posted made it impossible to do so.

However Marco Pancini, a spokesman for Google Italy, said: "This verdict is an attack on the fundamental principles of liberty on which internet freedom is built. "We will be appealing against this verdict because the people in question had nothing to do with the uploading of the footage, they did not film it and they did not view it.


MI: Ole Miss to replace mascot

We read:
"Ole Miss students voted Tuesday to find a replacement for the Colonel Reb mascot. Nearly 75 percent of participating students (2,510 of 3,366 votes) voted in favor of beginning a student-led initiative to create a new representative for the Ole Miss Rebels, according to the Daily Mississippian.

Colonel Reb was cast off as the on-field mascot in 2003 as the school continued its move away from Old South symbolism. Since then, the teams have been without an on-field mascot.

The vote on Tuesday determined whether the process would begin to find a successor to Colonel Reb, an old Southern gent with a cane and floppy hat. Some of his diehard fans had been campaigning against the move.


There's something wrong with a Southern gent??

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wow! Free speech about homosexuals allowed -- officially anyway

We read:
"Former Miss California Carrie Prejean isn't the only beauty queen open to expressing her objection to same-sex marriage. Miss Beverly Hills 2010 Lauren Ashley is also speaking out in support of traditional nuptials.

"The Bible says that marriage is between a man and a woman. In Leviticus it says, 'If man lies with mankind as he would lie with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death and their blood shall be upon them.' The Bible is pretty black and white," Ashley told Pop Tarts.

"I feel like God himself created mankind and he loves everyone, and he has the best for everyone. If he says that having sex with someone of your same gender is going to bring death upon you, that's a pretty stern warning, and he knows more than we do about life."

Ashley, 23, will be representing Beverly Hills in the Miss California pageant in November. Her statements mirror former Miss California Carrie Prejean's answer to a question about same-sex marriage in last year's Miss USA pageant. At the time, Prejean said her answer opposing same sex marriage cost her the title.

And according to the Miss California's state director, Keith Lewis, a contestant's personal opinion should have no bearing on the result. "The Miss California USA system has always had a place for an individual's thoughts and opinions when it comes to all sides of political issues," Lewis told Pop Tarts. "It is an organization which empowers women, and everyone is entitled to their own beliefs."


The City of Beverly Hills has distanced itself from her, however

Must not criticize the clothing of TV hosts?

We read:
"ESPN has suspended former Monday Night Football analyst and host of Pardon The Interruption Tony Kornheiser for "a few days" after comments he made on the radio about the wardrobe of SportsCenter host Hannah Storm.

Last week, Kornheiser opened his Washington D.C. radio show by critiquing the clothing Storm was wearing while hosting one of the Tuesday morning editions of "SportsCenter". He said: "Hannah Storm in a horrifying, horrifying outfit today. She's got on red go-go boots and a catholic school plaid skirt. Way too short for somebody in her 40s or maybe early 50s by now. And she's got on her typically very, very tight shirt. So she looks like she's got sausage casing wrapping around her upper body. I mean, I know she's very good, and I'm not supposed to be critical of ESPN people, so I won't ... But, Hannah Storm, come on now! Stop! What are you doing? ... [She's] what I would call a Holden Caulfield fantasy at this point."

Kornheiser later apologized on air for the remarks and said he called Storm to apologize. But when he wasn't on PTI yesterday, suspicions grew that ESPN had suspended Kornheiser for having the audacity to criticize a fellow employee. On Tuesday morning, he confirmed that on the radio.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Denial of free speech at North Carolina’s universities

We read:
"The John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, based in Raleigh, North Carolina, announced yesterday the release of its report on the state of free speech on North Carolina's college campuses ....

Sadly, the report reveals that none of the 55 colleges and universities in North Carolina earns a green light for its speech regulations. FIRE awards a green light to those schools that do not maintain any policies seriously imperiling speech. Rather, of the 55 schools surveyed, a far-too-high 34 (or approximately 62 percent) earned a red-light rating and an additional 16 (approximately 29 percent) earned a yellow-light rating, while 5 private institutions were designated as "not rated."

Given this record, it is little wonder that the Pope Center's report concludes: "This report illustrates the unfortunate reality that North Carolina's institutions of higher education are, in many cases, failing to uphold their promises of free expression, assembly, and religion to students and faculty. In fact, no institutions in North Carolina have "green light" ratings."

The following are examples of policies in force at North Carolina's colleges and universities:

* Campbell University prohibits "obscene or indecorous language or conduct indicating his/her disapproval of any matter."

* UNC Greensboro "will not tolerate any harassment of, discrimination against, or disrespect for persons."

* Davidson College bans "innuendoes," "teasing," "jokes," and "comments or inquiries about dating."

* Livingstone College prohibits any conduct or expression that is "offensive or annoying to others."


American universities are mostly little Soviets.

Leftist hate speech again

We read:
"Brooke Fox of Seattle's MOVIN, 92.5 FM radio show "The Ladies Room" wants to know who would be worth risking jail just so you could punch them out. Such violence. Of course, the question is what would have happened if a conservative radio show host had made this Twitter post?

On her Twitter feed on February 17, Miss Fox asked the question "Fill in the blank 'I would be willing to go to jail for the opportunity to punch out ____!'" The next day she answered the question by posting a few names of celebs she apparently wouldn't mind punching out. That list included Zach Efron, Ann Coulter, Kanye West, Octomom, Kate Gosselin, and John Mayer.

I guess it's OK when a liberal radio talker wants to commit violence on people they don't like. But the whole of the media establishment would have raised up in righteous indignation if a conservative yacker had made such an idiotic Twitter post. Should it have been a conservative, that radio host would have been on every TV and in every newspaper in the country and would likely have been suspended or even fired. He'd have been said to be pushing a "hate crime."

But our Miss Fox is a left-winger, so she gets a pass. For her the Old Media is silent. Just more of the double standard the Old Media employs.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Imitating blacks is a tricky business

We read:
"The most Australian interest on the tenth day of the Winter Olympics looks like centring on two Russian figure skaters. Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin are expected to skate to their controversial Australian Aboriginal-themed dance when they do their original routine at the Pacific Coliseum on Sunday afternoon.

The pair have come under fire for choosing the dance which appears to be a misguided homage to indigenous culture. The routine has offended Aboriginal elders because of its random use of loincloths, bodypaint and eucalyptus leaves and there have also been question marks about the music and the use of the didgeridoo.

The Russians first came to prominence doing the routine at last month's European championships. Their coach, Natalia Linichuk, has been keen to make clear that no offence was intended and has taken to carrying a photo of traditionally attired Aborigines with her to show people that her skaters were wearing similar costumes.

"We didn't make this up," she said, showing journalists pictures of Aboriginal dancers wearing leaves around their knees, body paint and a red loincloth similar to their costumes. "They (Domnina and Shabalin) will wear the same costumes (as before), but a little less."


NY high school cancels Christian club, lets 60 others remain

Wherever possible, Christian views must be suppressed on campus, apparently
"Alliance Defense Fund attorneys filed a lawsuit Thursday against the Board of Education of Half Hollow Hills Central School District on behalf of a student who was told that school officials cancelled, without her knowledge, the Christian club she helps lead. School officials claimed that unspecified budget cuts and a lack of student popularity spurred their decision, even though the club had more than 55 student attendees last year and approximately 60 other student clubs, including the Gay-Straight Alliance and Amnesty International, were allowed to continue.

“Christian student groups in public schools shouldn’t be discriminated against simply because they are religious,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel David Cortman. “Singling out a religious student club while letting the vast majority of the others remain constitutes viewpoint discrimination and is unconstitutional. In addition, it’s simply false that this club is not popular with students. More than 90 students signed a petition in favor of allowing the club to continue meeting.

"At the beginning of her freshman year at Half Hollow Hills High School East, the student was told that the Ichthus Club, a student-led group where she was one of the leaders, had been cancelled without any advanced notification. Four years earlier, her older brother met strong resistance before the club was finally allowed to form. Once he graduated, the school cancelled the club, even though the existence of clubs is not dependent upon a particular person’s leadership.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Muslim Group: Speech Is Aggression; Disruption Is Speech

Inside Higher Ed reports this morning that the Muslim Public Affairs Council defends students and others who disrupt speakers they dislike. At the University of California at Irvine last week, for example, eleven students were arrested for disrupting a speech by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren.

Oren’s invitation came from UCI’s law school and political science department. UCI, according to a recent column in the San Francisco Examiner,
has an active--some would say, aggressive (others would say, obnoxious)--chapter of the Muslim Student Union. The UCI MSU has a, shall we say, controversial history, ranging from allegedly fundraising for Hamas to hosting virulently anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic speakers.

Enter the double standard. The MSU feels perfectly free to bring to campus speakers that Jews, friends of Israel, and others consider absolutely repulsive. And it has the right to do so (aside from providing material support to terrorists, which is forbidden by federal law). But when the MSU considers a speaker not to be kosher (as it were), it seeks to disrupt his appearance.
Then comes the Muslim Public Affairs Council, which wrote a letter to the UCI chancellor. “Did the letter deplore the thuggish behavior of the Muslim students?” the Examiner columnist asked.
No, the letter asks Drake to investigate the arrests, because the hecklers were exercising their First Amendment rights:
These students had the courage and conscience to stand up against aggression, using peaceful means. We cannot allow our educational institutions to be used as a platform to threaten and discourage students who choose to practice their First Amendment right.
In short, to radical Muslims speech is aggression and aggressive disruption is speech.

If there are American Muslim leaders and organizations who reject this Orwellian view, now would be a good time for them to make their voices heard.

Post above recycled from "Discriminations"

Calif.'s Negrohead Mountain renamed

"Negro" has now become as incorrect as the original "n*gger"
"A peak previously known as Negrohead Mountain in Southern California's Santa Monica range was officially renamed Saturday in honor of a black pioneer who settled the area in the 19th Century. The 2,031-foot mountain near Malibu, the highest peak in the area, became Ballard Mountain after John Ballard, a blacksmith and former slave who bought land on the mountain in 1880.

The name originally contained a vulgar racial slur that even appeared on federal maps, but it was changed to "negro" in the 1960s.

The U.S. Geological Survey's Board on Geographic Names approved the change last year after a request from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.


I was going to call this a whitewash of the past but I guess it's a blackwash. To the pioneers, it would have simply been a resemblance they saw in the shape of the mountain.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Must not email judges?

We read:
"A federal judge sentenced Kevin Trudeau to 30 days in jail on Wednesday after scolding the TV pitchman for inciting his fans to flood the judge’s e-mail with testimonials in his favor. Trudeau has long battled federal regulators over his marketing of alternative “cures” for obesity, memory loss, disease and financial ruin. U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman chastised Trudeau last week when he learned the pitchman had urged buyers of his books to write to the judge’s e-mail address with letters of support. Gettleman saw it as a threat to his safety.”


An email is a threat to your safety? Sounds like the judge is either paranoid or pathologically insecure.

Leftist Australian Prime Minister silences critic

A typical Leftist modus operandi. Stalin would understand
"It was the night a young Lion roared but was seemingly silenced by the might of the public relations machine. A 19-year-old Lions service club volunteer who suggested the PM was "too stingy to buy a $2 scratchie ticket", was gagged within two hours of The Sunday Mail attempts to investigate her claims.

It all began with an email from the teenage fundraiser who was selling $2 footy doubles in the corporate dining area of last weekend's Indigenous All Stars game at Skilled Stadium. "We were going around the tables in the function room with most people buying tickets gladly to support the Lions Club," she said. "I then approached the table where the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, was sitting. Not only was he too stingy to buy a ticket, he wouldn't even look me in the eye and completely ignored me. His was the only table that didn't buy any tickets. I am upset that he would treat a volunteer this way and was disinterested in supporting the Lions club."

Two hours later, after the intervention of the PM's office, the NRL PR machine and the Lions club, the teen changed her mind, saying she'd been reprimanded for speaking out.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Australia: Must not say that someone looks homosexual

What happened to "gay pride"?
"Channel 9 commentators Eddie McGuire and Mick Molloy have come under fire over comments made about the men's ice skating. In their Winter Olympics wrap last night, the pair took aim at some of the costumes worn by the male competitors in the figure skating.

As the pair discussed the men's figure skating, Molloy said: "They don't leave anything in the locker room these blokes do they", before a sniggering McGuire interjected, adding "they don't leave anything in the closet either do they." Molloy was quick to jokily reprimand McGuire, warning him he could get into trouble.

The network then cut to an image of a skater wearing a tuxedo-style costume, which Molloy described as something even singer Prince would not wear. The footage then showed a skater wearing a costume of overalls and a flannelette shirt with McGuire suggesting it was "a bit of broke back".

Molloy agreed saying: "A bit of Brokeback Mountain exercises, you can't wear that." The pair was referring to the Heath Ledger film Brokeback Mountain about a pair of gay cowboys.

Channel 9 was believed to have received several complaints from viewers about the comments, the Herald Sun said. Social media networks were also awash with comments from viewers appalled at the comments.


Muslims use barratry to chill free speech

"Barratry" is bringing repeated legal actions solely to harass. It is an offence in some jurisdictions.
"A federal judge has dismissed an attempt by the Council on American-Islamic Relations to re-file a lawsuit against Air Force special agent P. David Gaubatz and his son Chris, the father-and-son team that investigated and exposed the group's terrorist ties.

Defense lawyers are hailing the decision as a victory over CAIR's alleged plan to "chill" free speech critical of the organization through an avalanche of court cases and legal costs. "We briefed, counter-briefed, we spent thousands of dollars on the case," said Daniel Horowitz, one of the three lawyers for the defense. "Only then did they file this new lawsuit, which would have effectively forced us to start all over."

"But the new lawsuit didn't have anything substantively new," Horowitz told WND. "And yet, that's their whole goal. They know they can't win the case, but they can chill the First Amendment by making it so expensive to speak against them that no one can challenge Saudi-funded CAIR. In the end, they can just keep getting more and more money from overseas and burn out opposition with lawsuits."

Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, however, "denied as moot" CAIR's request to re-file the case. CAIR now has until March 1 to re-file "an appropriate motion for leave to amend."

"The judge looked at papers and said, 'Look, you don't have a right to do this; everything was fully briefed; you had your opportunity,'" Horowitz explained. "In terms of the First Amendment, it's a powerful ruling," Horowitz continued, "because it recognizes that by chilling free speech, you undermine it, even if you lose the case in the end. CAIR was trying to exploit that to the max, and the judge said no."


Friday, February 19, 2010

Free speech about homosexuality upheld in Britain (for once)

We read:
"A complaint about Daily Mail columnist Jan Moir’s articles on the death of the Boyzone singer Stephen Gately has not been upheld by the Press Complaints Commission.

Mr Gately’s civil partner Andrew Cowles complained about an article headlined ‘A strange, lonely and troubling death’, and a second column headlined ‘The truth about my views on the tragic death of Stephen Gately’. Mr Cowles said the articles, which also attracted 25,000 third party complaints through social networks Facebook and Twitter to the PCC, were inaccurate, intrusive at a time of grief and had made a number of pejorative references to Mr Gately’s sexuality.

But, in a judgment released yesterday, the PCC said that, while it was legitimate for there to be criticism of the articles, Mr Cowles’s complaint was not upheld on any of the issues he had raised. The Commission said it should ‘be slow to prevent columnists from expressing their views, however controversial they might be’.

The PCC also said that, as a result of the huge public response to the article on social networking sites, and on the Mailonline website, both the newspaper and Ms Moir had been ‘confronted with the impact of what had been published’. The Commission said this showed a ‘healthy system’ for challenging a columnist’s opinions.


Previous coverage of the matter here

France moves closer to unprecedented Internet censorship

We read:
"The lower house of the French parliament has approved a draft bill that will allow the state unprecedented control over the Internet. Although the government says it will improve security for ordinary citizens, civil rights activists are warning of a ‘new level’ of censorship and surveillance. …

According to the draft legislation, the law ‘makes it the responsibility of each Internet service provider to ensure that users don’t have access to unsuitable content.’ The list of banned Web sites would be provided by the Interior Ministry. …

Under the new French legislation, police and security forces would be able to use clandestinely installed software, known in the jargon as a ‘Trojan horse,’ to spy on private computers. Remote access to private computers would be made possible under the supervision of a judge.”


It's a different approach from Italy but equally pernicious.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Leftist hate speech

Comments are enabled on all my blogs so almost every day I get a comment from a Leftist on one or another of them. I often think I should pass them for publication just to show what the Leftist minds out there are like but anger and abuse are so uninteresting that I always just delete them. Anger and abuse seems to be the limit of the talents of Leftist commenters.

The abuse can be amusing at times though. I am, for instance, often accused of being a Christian bigot. Seeing that I am an atheist, the lack of insight in such comments is remarkable.

Sometimes I am told that I am just an old man who cannot keep up with the modern world and resist change for that reason. I am now 66 but have been a conservative since my early teens so that is a bad guess too.

And it is amazing the number of organizations that I am "in the pay" of. That I am just a retired academic sitting in front of my computer in an upstairs room in a backstreet of a city that most people have never heard of doesn't seem to be envisaged. The last organization I was "in the pay" of was the University of New South Wales in Sydney in 1983, at which time I retired from academic employment. After that I just developed my business interests -- with a degree of success that would enrage leftists even more if they knew about it.

And, of course, the antisemites are often out, accusing me of being a dupe of the Jews etc. Since I have written at great length about Jews -- not all of it complimentary (See the sidebar of DISSECTING LEFTISM) -- and also about the history, psychology and sociology of antisemitism, I think I am at least not a "dupe". I read the "Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion" in my teens and even then thought they were rather bizarre. Yet "The Protocols" are the Bible of antisemites (hugely popular in the Middle East) and I am often told that I should read them.

And so it goes. What I have listed is just a tiny sample of the hate-filled comments that I receive. Hate is really what the Left is about. Other conservative bloggers also occasionally mention the unreasoning hate they get from Leftists. Michelle Malkin seems to get it in spades.

That people who are so brimming over with hate are always alert to find something in conservatives that they can characterize as hate is, I suppose, understandable. It deflects attention from what they are.

End near for Fighting Sioux mascot?

We read:
"The end of the Fighting Sioux could be near as the University of North Dakota appears ready to abandon its mascot over calls of racism despite a petition drive by local tribe members to preserve the school's nickname and logo.

Supporters from the Standing Rock Sioux want to collect at least 600 signatures before the next tribal council meeting in March. "We just want the people to have their say," said Archie D. Fool Bear, one of the petition organizers. "It's not up to 17 people on the [tribal] council, it's up to the entire reservation to decide. A whole lot of people have told us, 'Get that petition going, we'll sign it.'"

Time, however, is running out. The North Dakota University System board could rid itself of the controversy by retiring the nickname and logo as early as Thursday's February meeting. Last month, both UND's Chancellor Bill Goetz and UND President Robert Kelley abandoned their neutral stances on the issue by coming out against keeping the Fighting Sioux nickname.

Under NCAA rules, universities may keep their Indian mascots, nicknames and logos as long as they receive the permission of the namesake tribe, which in UND's case consists of two tribes — the Spirit Lake Sioux and Standing Rock Sioux. The Spirit Lake Sioux tribal council gave its blessing in September but Standing Rock Sioux leaders have long opposed the nickname. That changed in October, when the tribe elected a new chairman and several new council members who favor the nickname, but a formal granting of permission has been slow to come.

The limbo leaves the University of North Dakota as the last campus with an unresolved Indian nickname. In 2005, the NCAA issued its decision against Indian nicknames and since then the rest of the 19 schools on its list either switched mascots or received tribal permission, said NCAA officials.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Court: Facebook gripes are free speech

Excellent verdict:
"A former Florida high school student who was suspended by her principal after she set up a Facebook page to criticize her teacher is protected constitutionally under the First Amendment, a federal magistrate ruled.

U.S. Magistrate Barry Garber’s ruling, in a case viewed as important by Internet watchers, denied the principal’s motion to dismiss the case and allows a lawsuit by the student to move forward. …

Katherine Evans, now 19 and attending college, was suspended in 2007 from Pembroke Pines Charter High School after she used her home computer to create a Facebook page titled, ‘Ms. Sarah Phelps is the worst teacher I’ve ever met.’”


I hope this costs the school a motza. Let's hope the principal can be sued personally.

Italy: Government seeks control over online videos

Italian authorities do seem to be paranoid about the net. There are already some very strict regulations in place about other aspects. Fortunately in this instance, Italy is a nation of scofflaws and law enforcement is lackadaisical. This law in unlikely to be enforced except where somebody does something really egregious.
"Italy's government is drafting a decree that would give it control over online video content... Italy's right-wing government is going far beyond its European partners with the decree that would require Web sites with video content to request authorization and would mandate the vetting of copyrighted videos before they're uploaded. Such measures are unprecedented in the West.

The regulations are also seen as a challenge to Google's YouTube and other online video-sharing Web sites. Google's European public policy counsel, Marco Pancini, told the daily La Stampa last month that "it amounts to destroying the entire Internet system." Since then, Pancini has met with Romani to press for changes. "We want to be sure that in the final text," Pancini says, "these rules are not applicable to a broadcaster using YouTube only to show archive videos or short extracts from a TV show, because in this case this would make it almost impossible to provide YouTube services in Italy."

The decree mandates vetting of video content to ensure it isn't considered pornographic or harmful to national security. Violators face fines of up to more than $200,000. It would create an administrative authority that will decide what can go online and what can't.

Alessandro Gilioli, a journalist and blogger for the magazine L'Espresso, says the decree will lead to censorship by means of red tape. "The way Italian government strangles the Web is through bureaucracy, not like in China — through bureaucracy, permissions, bureaucratic obstructions."


The story above is from NPR so it blames Italy's conservative government but suspicion of the net seems to be widespread among Italian authorities. As ever, Italians go their own way. Italians are not big users of the net and the older generation who are in power probably fear what they don't understand.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

British hairdresser not allowed to advertise for "junior" employee

We read:
"As an experienced hairdresser, Michelle Hilling has employed scores of junior stylists at her busy high street salon. Their age has varied and the key quality required has been keenness to master the skills of the profession. But when Mrs Hilling tried to find another willing recruit, she ran into a problem in the form of jobcentre officials. They refused to place her advert for a new junior stylist - because the word 'junior' discriminated against older applicants. The salon owner was warned that she would have to drop the offending term if she wanted the vacancy to be displayed.

Yesterday she accused the Government of stifling small businesses with political correctness. 'This country has gone completely mad,' she said. 'Businesses are having to tread more and more carefully to avoid offending anyone. It is really quite offensive to suggest that someone older would be bothered by this. 'I have never come across anyone who was bothered about a job title like this. 'All I wanted was a junior stylist and even that proved to be wrapped in red tape. It doesn't matter what age they are. I've had a 45-year-old junior stylist before. The term has been used for years in hairdressing.'

Mrs Hilling, who has owned U Hairdressing in Newcastle's upmarket suburb of Gosforth for the last three years, phoned Jobcentre Plus last week to advertise the post. 'The lady told me I couldn't use that term because it discriminated against old people,' said Mrs Hilling who has 14 employees, all of different ages. 'I explained that within the hairdressing industry the term was widely used and known. People working in the industry would know you didn't have to be a teenager to be a junior stylist - it refers to your level of qualification.'


God gets on the ballot in Texas

We read:
"‘Ballot Proposition #4: Public Acknowledgement of God — The use of the word ‘God,’ prayers, and the Ten Commandments should be allowed at public gatherings and public educational institutions, as well as be permitted on government buildings and property.’

Even though it only appears on the Texas Republican Party Primary ballot, non-binding Prop 4 is causing a stir all across the state, including the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.”


Go Texas!

Monday, February 15, 2010

NY teen banned for flouting an UNWRITTEN rule??

I don't have much sympathy for this kid. Rosary beads are not normally used for personal adornment and some gangs do use beads as a gang sign. But how can he be punished for a rule that exists only in somebody's mind?
"The parents of a high school student from Rockland County are demanding answers after their ninth grader was suspended for wearing rosary beads to school. He was suspended even though the school doesn't even have a policy banning them.

Jason Laguna is a former altar boy and proud Catholic. He got his rosary beads as a gift, thinks they look cool and sometimes wears them under his shirt at school. But last Friday, right before dismissal, he pulled them out on his way out.

He was given a one-day suspension from Fieldstone Secondary School. His mother calls the punishment extreme, considering the 14-year-old is a member of student government and, according to his last report card, "is a pleasure to have in class."

Laguna says she was told the school has an unwritten policy regarding beads because they could be used to show gang affiliation. The principal claims it was insubordination, saying Laguna's actions, "endangered the safety, health, morals or welfare of himself or others."


I guess a warning to the kid might have been OK but anything beyond that is very poor judgment. Anyway, the principal now has the ACLU on his tail. Serve him right.

Control freaks want web licenses to end bloggers’ anonymity — be very afraid

We read:
"The American blogosphere is going increasingly ‘viral’ about a proposal advanced at the recent meeting of the Davos Economic Forum by Craig Mundie, chief research and strategy officer for Microsoft, that an equivalent of a ‘driver’s licence’ should be introduced for access to the web. This totalitarian call has been backed by articles and blogs in Time magazine and the New York Times. As bloggers have not been slow to point out, the system being proposed is very similar to one that the government of Red China reluctantly abandoned as too repressive.”


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Berlusconi: Italy's Doors Only Open to Pretty Immigrants

His sense of humor has got him criticized again:
"Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi landed in hot water again after joking that Italy's doors were only open to attractive immigrants, The Sun reported Saturday.

The gaffe-prone politician, 73, held immigration talks Friday with Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha. Berisha looked uncomfortable as Berlusconi joked at a press conference, "We will only accept pretty girls from Albania."

Opposition lawmaker Paola Pellegrini slammed the quip, calling Berlusconi "an indecorous old man."


The polls show that most Italians are not at all bothered by his constant natural good humor.

"Paddy" an offensive word in Britain?

We read:
"It began in December 2007, when Cllr Ken Bamber (Con) told an 'Irish' joke during a break in a meeting to discuss an appeal against dismissal. Union official Brian Kelly took offence at the use of the word "Paddy" and filed an official complaint.

Now agreement has finally been reached between the two and Medway Council has agreed to pay compensation to Mr Kelly, who was its full-time Unison official.

Details are being kept private, but it is thought the agreement was reached at the conciliation service, ACAS, after it was referred there by the Employment Tribunal.

Cllr Bamber was chairing the appeal hearing when the joke was told during a break in proceedings. The Irish-born union representative said he considered "Paddy" was an offensive word and racist in intent. Cllr Bamber scribbled a note saying he apologised, but it was alleged he would not sign it or say for what he was apologising.

The offending joke:

"A man walked into a Dublin bar and saw a friend sitting with an empy glass. 'Paddy can I buy you another', he asked, to which Paddy replied - 'now what would I be wanting with another empty glass?'"


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Singer gets big backlash over bad word

We read:
"Tearful John Mayer broke down on stage following a global backlash over race comments and revealing intimate details of his sex life with ex-lover Jessica Simpson.

Mayer stopped his track ‘Gravity’ halfway through a concert in Nashville, Tennesse last night as the backlash from his recent Playboy interview – in which he used the word “n****r” and described sleeping with Simpson as "sexual napalm" - and like “a drug” got to him.

Apologising to his bandmates and fans, he tearfully said: “I quit the media game. I’m out. I’m done. I just want to play my guitar. “I fell into a wormhole of selfishness, greediness and arrogance. In the quest to be clever, forgot about the people who love me and that I love." He then returned to playing the guitar solo for the song after a lengthy pause.

The outspoken star also took to his twitter page to apologise to fans for using the racial slur.


Details of the interview here

Must not joke about global warming

We read:
"Keith Olbermann Tuesday night named among his "worst persons in the world" four minor grandchildren of Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, along with their parents. Their "crime"? They built an igloo out of snow and posted near it a sign with a very innocent Al Gore joke ("Al Gore's new home. Honk if you [heart] global warming.").

Olbermann claims it was wrong for the family to make a snow joke, because the snowstorm killed people (though not, he should have noted, in or because of the Inhofe family's igloo). Up to now, weather-related jokes have not been considered beyond the pale, even for children.

GE should be ashamed of itself for allowing its personnel to attack children on the air. These kids probably are sophisticated enough to realize that Olbermann's just doing it for attention, but it's still pathetic to see a giant corporation going after kids.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Censorship in aid of Obamacare

Courtesy of the Obama administration, we're experiencing more and more Nixonian moments. Take medical reform. The health insurers started out in Obama's camp. But a shuffling of policies and a few insurance companies began making obvious points about how this or that feature would raise costs, not decrease them. And the Obama administration struck back.

I've talked about the Humana gag order, how our bureaucrats in Washington decided to tell insurance companies to shut up about reform proposals. Congress gagged the gaggers.

Then a health insurance association released a study suggesting that the cost of insurance would likely go up under legislation being proposed in Congress. The president retaliated by threatening to take away the industries' immunity from anti-trust laws.

What? An important policy change, and the president threatens it not to achieve a better outcome, or for constitutional reasons, but merely to punish and thereby silence opposition to his policies? How petty. How dangerous.

On the floor of the Senate, Lamar Alexander advised the Obama administration to play a little less hardball. Alexander warned that by creating an "enemies list," including people in the media, the White House is heading into Nixon territory. "An enemies list only denigrates the presidency, and the republic itself." An old Nixon aide, Senator Alexander should know.


Muslim hate speech to be prosecuted for once?

We read:
"Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister is considering pressing charges against a pro-Palestinian protester who allegedly hurled racist abuse at him during an address at the Oxford Union.

Danny Ayalon was addressing the student audience on Monday evening when protesters waving Palestinian flags began shouting in Arabic and English. One was alleged to have shouted the Arabic phrase “Idhbah al-yahud”, meaning “kill the Jews”, before being ejected by security.

The Israeli Embassy in London was examining video footage of the incident yesterday to determine whether the phrase was uttered. If so, it could lead to hate crimes charges. Mr Ayalon, a member of the right-wing nationalist party Yisrael Beitenu, said he had a moral duty to press charges against the protesters, believed to be a member of a pro-Palestinian student society at Oxford.


Because “kill the Jews” is an incitement to violence, it might not even be protected speech in the USA. And British law is much more restrictive than American law.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Asians upset by the color yellow

We read:
"There are seven colors in a rainbow and 64 in a box of crayons. So why, some people in Atlanta are asking, did the transit authority have to pick yellow?

"Hotlanta" is living up to its name this winter as Asian-Americans and the city's transit officials debate the decision to rename a train route into the heart of the city's Asian community. It used to be called "Doraville," now it's the "yellow line."

Activists say the name shows a lack of sensitivity by the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), which changed the line's name on Oct. 1. MARTA officials plan to meet on Friday with a group of Asian-Americans to discuss their concerns about the color-coded system.

Kim said the "offensive term" could be easily erased from the line's 18 stops by renaming it all over again. "They don't need to redo the maps, it could literally be a sticker that goes over the map," Kim said. "I'd like to see the numbers — what is the cost?"


Must not talk about God?

We read:
"Imagine getting arrested for just striking up a conversation about religion in public. That’s what happened to California resident Matthew Snatchko in 2006 when the youth pastor initiated a conversation about God with three shoppers at the Roseville Galleria mall.

The women gave Snatchko permission to broach the subject, but a nearby store employee said they "looked nervous," so he ordered the evangelist to leave. After Snatchko refused, mall security arrested him.

"He was put in handcuffs and hauled down to the mall’s security station and later booked at the local jail," said Snatchko’s attorney Matthew McReynolds of the Pacific Justice Institute, a legal defense organization specializing in the defense of religious freedom. Snatchko was later released and never charged with a crime, but he and the Justice Institute decided to challenge the constitutionality of Roseville Galleria's restrictions on conversations about topics such as religion and politics.

In 2008, a California superior court ruled that the mall's ban on controversial conversations with strangers didn’t violate freedom of speech. But late last month Snatchko and the Justice Institute appealed to the state’s 3rd Appellate District in Sacramento. All parties in the case are now waiting for the court to schedule a date for oral arguments or issue a ruling.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

You are REALLY privileged if you are a Leftist "comedian"

Go to this YouTube link and you will simply see:
"Stephen Colbert: Sarah Palin Is A F*cking Retard"

This video contains content from Viacom, who has decided to block it.

Such language would lose any conservative his job and ensure that he would never be heard from again. But don't expect Colbert to disappear any time soon.

My opinion of Obama is similar to what Colbert said of Palin but I know I can't take the risk of putting it into those words. Can I get away with calling Obama an "emptyhead"? Just barely, I think.

Facebook censors critics of Australia's Leftist Prime Minister

The Labor Party and its friends really have a problem with free speech on the Internet:
"Today, we can reveal that online political speech has been dealt another blow with Facebook, the popular social networking site, being accused of political censorship after it removed the group “KEVIN RUDD = EPIC FAIL”.

Before it was removed the Facebook group is understood to have had over 3000 members and focused on building a list what it described as Kevin Rudd’s broken promises…

The group is believed to have been banned because it criticised an individual, the Prime Minister.


Really? Facebook normally isn’t so sensitive - well, not when the vitriolic abuse is heaped on conservatives instead.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Reuters: An Obama lapdog?

On 3rd., I wrote (scroll down) of "A Reuters journalist who will be looking for a new job soon". Guess what?
"Journalist Whose Article Was Retracted Leaves Reuters

The journalist who wrote an article on Monday that turned into an embarrassment for Reuters and a cause for some conservatives has left the wire service, the company said Friday. A Reuters spokeswoman declined to say whether the journalist, Terri Cullen, left voluntarily, or why. “I can’t really go into any detail,” said the spokeswoman, Courtney Dolan.

Ms. Cullen stepped down less than a month after being hired for the newly created position of wealth management editor. She had worked for more than a decade for The Wall Street Journal Online.

Her article said that President Obama’s budget amounted to a backdoor tax increase for middle-income and even lower-income people, based largely on the scheduled expiration of income tax cuts passed in 2001. But the president had actually proposed keeping those cuts in place for all but high-income families.

After a complaint from the White House, Reuters withdrew the article, stating that it was inaccurate.


Whether the article was inaccurate or not is not what interests me here. What I would like to know is how many articles Reuters withdrew in response to requests from the Bush White House? Should ANY White House be pressing news organizations to withdraw articles? What happened in this instance sounds to me very much like censorship, albeit censorship with a willing accomplice.

You can read the censored article here. A blogger caught it before it disappeared.

'Negro' Race Choice On Census Form Sparks Outrage

We read:
"A fiery blast from the past is conjuring controversy in the new millennium. The word "negro" is now featured on an official U.S. document and now many are questioning if the Census Bureau is being insensitive.

It's a word that many African Americans associate with segregation, so imagine how shocked many were to see it on the 2010 U.S. census form.

"The fact that it's 2010 and they're still putting 'negro,' I am a little offended," said Secaucus resident Dawud Ingram.

Question #9 on the this year's census asks about your race. One of the boxes you can choose is "black," "African American," or "negro," all placed next to the same box. Ingram said it's not a word he uses to identify neither himself nor anybody else.

"African Americans haven't been going by the term 'negro' for decades now. It's really confusing," he said.

But census officials disagree, saying they found some older African Americans identify themselves that way and they're trying to be inclusive. In a statement, they said: "Results from the census in 2000 showed that a number of respondents provided a write-in response of 'negro' when answering the question on race."

In fact, Congress approved the form more than a year ago. Newark resident Jabbar Ali can't believe it. "I thought it was something we left behind a long time ago – the word 'negro,'" said Ali.


Monday, February 08, 2010

The incomparable Pat Condell on the trial of Geert Wilders

No-one speaks the truth about Islam better than Pat Condell. Background: Conservative Dutch politician Geert Wilders is on trial in Amsterdam for inciting hatred against Muslims. The Dutch judges have refused to allow most of the defense witnesses Wilders wanted to call -- probably because they knew that the Muslim fanatics he wanted to call would confirm everything he has said. For more details of what is happening, see here

There's another fabulous Pat Condell video here

This is a loony one

A foolish Australian politician has involved himself in an ethnic squabble from the other side of the world
"Premier Mike Rann has sparked an international diplomatic furore by accusing Macedonia of stealing Greek culture and its leader, Gjorge Ivanov, of "stirring up trouble in the most dangerous way". A videotape of a speech given by the Premier at a the Dimitria Greek festival in the western suburbs in November has sparked outrage across the globe.

Washington-based United Macedonian Diaspora president Metodija Koloski flew to Adelaide for a confidential meeting with Multicultural Affairs Minister Michael Atkinson yesterday and delivered a protest letter addressed to Mr Rann.

In the controversial speech, Mr Rann affirms his commitment to Adelaide's Greek voters and promises his Government will "remain firm and unswerving in our support for your cause". "It is important because no one is entitled to steal another nation's history or culture," Mr Rann said. "We have a leader in Mr Ivanov who is stirring up trouble in the most dangerous way."

Mr Koloski yesterday told The Advertiser that his people had been "slandered" and demanded an unconditional apology. Yesterday, Mr Rann said he would not be "silenced or muzzled" and would "continue to speak out on issues I believe in".


In the ancient world, Macedonia was Greek. Alexander the Great came from there. But these days most of the population of historic Macedonia are Slavs and the Greeks hate that. Premier Rann was evidently trying to suck up to Australian voters of Greek origin. There are far more of them than there are voters of Macedonian Slav origin.


Maybe I should tell a little fun story about Macedonia and Greeks:

There is a Greek club near where I live that has quite a good dining room. I went there one day with a lady friend in search of some good Greek food. Half way up the escalator I said in a rather loud voice: "Of course, Macedonia isn't really Greek"

All conversation with earshot stopped. There was a stunned silence.

Then I laughed. So everybody knew it was just a tease. They all smiled and life went on undisturbed. If I hadn't laughed, I would have been thrown out bodily, I think.

The Greeks have made such a fuss about Slavic Macedonia that nobody these days is in fact allowed to refer to it as "Macedonia". They have to refer to it as "FYR Macedonia" -- where FYR is short for "Former Yugoslav Republic".

It doesn't sound like a good place to live, anyway. Lots of ethnic conflict etc. Its only redeeming feature may be that you can get kaimak there. And if you haven't had kaimak with your cevapi, you haven't lived.

I may be a bit biased though. The Croatian shop from which I used to get my kaimak has recently stopped stocking it -- so woe is me.

Cevapi are skinless sausages and kaimak is a sort of cream cheese -- but any Southern Slav will tell you what a poor comparison that is.

Hate organization (NIF) accuses critics of hate speech

Leftist Israelis hate Israel just as Leftist Americans hate America. The ludicrously biased Goldstone report accused Israel of improper behavior when it invaded Gaza to stop the rocket attacks coming from Gaza.
"A trip to Melbourne by the chair of the New Israel Foundation, Naomi Chazan, has been postponed because of a controversy about the fund's alleged role in helping the Goldstone inquiry into the Gaza war.

Several Israeli members of parliament are now attempting to have a parliamentary inquiry into claims by the Zionist student group Im Tirtzu, which released a report alleging that 92 per cent of the negative documents used by the Goldstone report came from Israeli non-government organisations funded by the NIF.

The controversy has become major news in Israel, with The Jerusalem Post quoting the chief executive of the NIF, Daniel Sokatch, saying the report made "baseless allegations" and was "the worst kind of vicious hate speech".

The President of the Zionist Council of Victoria, Danny Lamm, said his group was not involved in organising the visit but was asked to act as one of three co-sponsors for a public lecture. "We decided to withdraw our co-sponsorship because of Professor Chazan's chairmanship of the New Israel Fund, which funds groups whose activities are inimical to the interests of both Israel and the world Zionist movement," Dr Lamm said.

He said that the Im Tirtzu report was "quite detailed in its analysis of the connection between NIF and those NGOs which produced unfounded allegations and fuelled the Goldstone report." He also said it was "ludicrous" for the NIF to argue an attack on freedom of speech. "Im Tirtzu has analysed their actions and reported on it," Dr Lamm said.


No free speech for Israelis at British universities

But Muslims can say what they like
"The Israel Society at Cambridge University has succumbed to pressure and canceled a talk by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev historian Benny Morris after protesters accused him of “Islamophobia” and “racism.”

Morris was scheduled to speak to students at the university on Thursday, but following a campaign led by anti-Israel activist Ben White the Israel Society canceled the talk. Instead Morris was invited to speak at an event hosted by the university’s Department of Political and International Studies.

White, who graduated from the university in 2005 and authored the book Israeli Apartheid: A Beginners Guide, set up a protest page on Facebook in which he claimed that “on different occasions, Morris has expressed Islamophobic and racist sentiments towards Arabs and Muslims.” ...

Last year, Cambridge’s Palestine Society hosted Abd al-Bari Atwan, editor-in-chief of the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper. In 2008, Atwan said the terrorist attack on Jerusalem’s Mercaz Harav yeshiva, in which eight students were killed and 15 were wounded, was “justified”


Saturday, February 06, 2010

US Judge dismisses charges against William White for allegedly threatening Richard Warman

Mr. White made angry statements about what should happen to Canada's most famous enemy of free speech but that was held not to be a direct threat and hence protected speech in the USA. It would probably have been a very different story in Canada
"A federal judge today dismissed one of four charges that neo-Nazi leader William A. White was convicted of in December. "The court finds that there is no substantial evidence which would permit any rational trier of fact to find the defendant guilty," U.S. District Judge James Turk wrote in an opinion.

The jury verdict dismissed by Turk alleged that White had threatened Richard Warman, a human rights attorney from Canada who often brings civil actions against white supremacists.

White, the self-proclaimed commander of the Roanoke-based American National Socialist Workers Party, wrote on his Web site that Warman should be killed. But unlike the other threats for which White was convicted, most of White’s comments were not communicated directly to Warman, Turk wrote in his 32-page opinion.

The decision upholds the remaining three convictions against White — intimidating a group of apartment complex tenants in Virginia Beach and threatening a university administrator in Delaware and a bank employee in Missouri.


Canadian book burners

They don't actually burn the books but the effect is the same.
"Detective Sergeant Steve Irwin, a veteran Toronto police hate crime specialist (not to be confused with the late Crocodile Hunter of the same name) told the conference that his policy is to respond to reports of hate crimes "as if it were an incident of violence," but that it is rarely clear how to proceed. Having worked in homicide and sex assault, he said hate crimes are "probably the greatest challenge I've ever dealt with regarding the Criminal Code."

He recalled the single time he has used the law that allows for a warrant of seizure against hate propaganda when a large Toronto bookseller imported copies of the Turner Diaries, a popular white supremacist fantasy of race war, and book industy representatives lined up in defense of freedom of expression.

So Det.-Sgt. Irwin called a meeting of Customs officials and the industry representatives, and said any store that tried to sell the books would be raided and the books seized.

"Of course, no one volunteered to do it, the books never made it out of the warehouse, and in fact were returned to the States," he said.


Probably not a flashy enough procedure for Hitler but the mentality is the same. The prevailing ideology must be shielded from dissent.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Nutty Olympic Committee bans Australian sporting flag at Vancouver winter games

Is this flag "commercial"? If so, what is it selling?
"Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard slammed the International Olympic Committee's protest over the Aussies' giant green and gold flag, which has been draped over a balcony in the athletes' village.

The Olympic movement's ruling body has complained that the flag, which bears the image of the iconic Boxing Kangaroo, should be removed from the Vancouver athlete's village because it is "too commercial". Australian officials in Vancouver have vowed to ignore the order.

In what could be the first sign of a backdown, it is understood the IOC now plans to have one of its marketing expert view the flag. The Herald Sun has learned that IOC officials ordered its removal just 24 hours after it was unfurled.

The IOC complained it was "too commercial", a source said. "It's the first thing you see when you walk in the gate. "The village is already covered in national flags. "Someone from the IOC is objecting because it's our team mascot.

"They've said that it's too commercial because it's a registered trademark." The popular Aussie icon is a registered brand because it is used by Olympics officials in Australia to promote sport and fair play in schools.


Update: The IOC has backed down and has now okayed the flag

Some examples showing who the real haters are

We read:
"Recent criticisms of President Obama and his policies have been characterized as un-American. Suggestions that his policies should fail are equated with a suggestion that America should fail. This concern for American institutions may be something new, because it apparently was not a factor in the past. In 1986, Washington Post columnist William Raspberry commented on his view of the Reagan administration: "Ronald Reagan is in trouble, and [we might as well own up that] some of us are tempted to take a certain fiendish pleasure in the fact." Later, Michael Kinsley of the New Republic wrote in the Washington Post, "The fall of Reagan is a laughable matter. The only irritating aspect of the otherwise delightful collapse of the Reagan administration is the widespread insistence that we must all be poker-faced about it."

Liberals can demonize entire classes of people. One of the favorite targets of the liberal elite is the Christian right. According to Michael Weisskopf of the Washington Post, the followers of people like the late Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson "are largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command." These people are not only ignorant, but they are also a definite threat. Chris Matthews has declared, "The group in this country that most resembles the Taliban, ironically, is the religious right." Rosie O'Donnell asserted, "radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America." This demonization makes it permissible to say some pretty outlandish things. NPR commentator Andrei Codrescu on his "All Things Considered" segment stated, "The evaporation of four million [people] who believe in this [Christian] crap would leave this world a better place." Actress Megan Fox, admittedly not a representative of the elite intelligentsia, said that if given the chance, she'd urge the fictional character Megatron to murder only the "white trash, hillbilly, anti-gay, super Bible-beating people in Middle America."

Of course, Republicans and conservatives are the prime target of liberal spleen. Sen. Ted Kennedy gave this description of Republicans: "The Republican Party is basically anti-civil rights, anti-immigration, anti-women, and anti-worker." Howard Dean, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, stated, "I hate Republicans and everything they stand for." Jesse Jackson after the 1994 GOP victory claimed that "[h]ate and hurt are on a roll in America. If what was happening here was happening in South Africa, it'd be called racist apartheid. If it was happening in Germany, we'd call it Nazism. And in Italy, we'd call it fascism. Here we call it conservatism."

Liberals appear to get a pass when they attack conservative individuals. USA Today columnist and Pacifica Radio talk show host Julianne Malveaux expressed her opinion of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on PBS: "The man is on the Court. You know, I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early, like many black men do, of heart disease. Well, that's how I feel. He is an absolutely reprehensible person."

Nina Totenberg, National Public Radio and ABC News reporter, commenting on Senator Jesse Helms, said, "I think he ought to be worried about what's going on in the Good Lord's mind, because if there is retributive justice, he'll get AIDS from a transfusion, or one of his grandchildren will get it." Former Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill had a less than flattering opinion of Ronald Reagan: "The evil is in the White House at the present time. And that evil is a man who has no care and no concern for the working class of America and future generations of America and who likes to ride a horse. He's cold. He's mean. He's got icewater for blood." New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis claimed that President Reagan "spews out rage and hate, fear and falsehood." It would take volumes to chronicle the outrageous attacks on George Bush or Sarah Palin.

On "Late Night with David Letterman," Sam Donaldson said, "I think he's [Reagan] going to have to pass three tests. The first is, will he get there, stand in front of the podium, and not drool?" After the audience showed its disapproval, Donaldson responded, "Wait a minute, I don't mean that disrespectfully." Letterman replied, "Well, I think we all took that as flattery, Sam, we did." When Whoopi Goldberg drew a distinction between "rape" and "rape-rape," she possible provided an explanation for liberal "rants." They are not "hate-hate" -- simply "hate."


Thursday, February 04, 2010

Some liberals speak up for real choice

We read:
"After CBS agreed to run a Super Bowl commercial featuring Tim Tebow, several feminist and pro-choice groups rose up in protest against the ad, calling on the network to pull it.

Now, however, even some liberals are calling those attacks misguided, saying the choice to give birth to an unborn child is also part of pro-choice beliefs.

An unsigned New York Times editorial called the campaign to have CBS reject the Tebow spot "puzzling and dismaying." The paper, which takes a pro-choice stance on its editorial pages, called the protesting groups "would-be censors" and said they should use the ad to convey to America that their movement favors "protecting the right of women like Pam Tebow to make their private reproductive choices."


Rahm Emanuel apologizes -- sort of -- for 'retarded' remark

We read:
"A White House official emails that Rahm Emanuel has acknowledged calling liberal Democrats "retarded" and apologized for the remark.

"Rahm called Tim Shriver Wednesday to apologize and the apology was accepted," the official said.

Shriver is the Chairman and CEO of the Special Olympics, which has launched a campaign against what it calls "the R word."

The remark was first reported last week in the Wall Street Journal, and drew an extended attack from Sarah Palin.

Said the official, “The White House remains committed to addressing the concerns and needs of Americans living with disabilities and recognizes that derogatory remarks demean us all.”

UPDATE: A Democrat points out Rahm apologized to Shriver, but not to the liberals he called "retarded."


Marvellous what you can get away with when you are a Democrat

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Outrage as Australian TV station 'mocks mental patients'

Jocularity is very risky these days:
"Mental health advocates have lashed out at Channel 10's new station promotion, which features network stars mimicking patients in a support group, "suffering'' from their celebrity status.

High-profile presenters including Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Paul McDermott and Shaun Micallef parody those in crisis, appearing dishevelled, catatonic and highly emotional. Bassingthwaighte cries hysterically, comic Mikey Robbins rocks in his chair, mumbling, while Neighbours starlet Margot Robbie mindlessly strums the show's theme song on a toy guitar.

Talkin Bout My Generation's Amanda Keller sums up the stars' complaints, telling the group they are feeling "the pressure of making 2010 even better than last year.''

However, counsellors have attacked the station I.D as "insensitive'' and "distasteful.'' Lifeline's Chris Wagner said the latest "Seriously'' sketch, which leaked on YouTube but will air this Sunday, ran the risk of discouraging those in need. "They make a joke of what can be a really important process for those dealing with a mental health crisis and if it discourages even one person from seeking out this sort of help or support that is not on.''

(Video at link)

Must not use curly patterns

We read:
"First they were lambasted for making Kiwi air hostesses look like drag queens. Now Air New Zealand's new uniforms are under fire for disrespecting Maori culture with their "misuse" of curly patterns.

The country's national carrier has hit heavy turbulence with its latest set of hot pink, lime green and aqua blue outfits to be donned by staff next year. The risque concept range, which includes a garish pink and black dress, have Kiwis reaching for the barf bag, with comments on websites branding them "absolutely hideous", "vile" and "an embarrassing and tragic disaster of epic proportions".

The stylists were no more impressed, likening them to drag-queen-meets-barbie and questioning the "over excited" colour palette.

Now the country's indigenous academics have weighed into the debate, adding that they believe the patterns on the uniforms, designed by famed Kiwi Trelise Cooper, were "disrespectful".


Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Anonymous internet comments made illegal

So far only in South Australia but I expect the Democrats will seize on this idea within 12 months -- ready for the mid-terms?
"South Australia has become one of the few states in the world to censor the internet. The new law, which came into force on January 6, requires anyone making an online comment about next month's state election to publish their real name and postcode. The law will affect anyone posting a comment on an election story on The Advertiser's AdelaideNow website, as well as other Australian news sites. It could also apply to election comment made on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

The law, which was pushed through last year as part of a raft of amendments to the Electoral Act and supported by the Liberal Party, also requires media organisations to keep a person's real name and full address on file for six months, and they face fines of $5000 if they do not hand over this information to the Electoral Commissioner.

Attorney-General Michael Atkinson denied that the new law was an attack on free speech. "The AdelaideNow website is not just a sewer of criminal defamation, it is a sewer of identity theft and fraud," Mr Atkinson said. "There is no impinging on freedom of speech, people are free to say what they wish as themselves, not as somebody else."

The Advertiser's editor, Melvin Mansell, said: "Clearly this is censorship being implemented by a government facing an election. "The effect of that is that many South Australians are going to be robbed of their right of freedom of speech during this election campaign. "The sad part is that this widespread suppression is supported by the Opposition. "Neither of these parties are representing the people for whom they have been elected to govern."


People often have good reasons for anonymity. For instance: Known supporters of California's successful Proposition 8 (banning homosexual marriage) were subsequently harassed and attacked by homosexuals. A ban on anonymity could therefore have a VERY chilling effect on free speech.


Public outcry has caused a complete backdown

School says it can punish students for what they write at home

We read:
"Students from Roxboro Road Middle School will begin the last of their three-day after school detention Monday, after administrators in the school district punished them for being part of a Facebook group. The page, which has now been removed, criticized a teacher at the school to the point where the superintendent said the comments were libelous.

But by disciplining the students, communication law specialists say the school violated students’ free speech rights.

“Maybe it's offensive, maybe there are bad words, but they are ideas that students have a right to have , especially if they're doing it in their spare time at home,” Syracuse University Professor of Communications Law Roy Gutterman said.


The "libel" claim sounds hysterical. If the content was in fact libelous that should have been tested in court. Truth is a defense.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Britain: Must not speak the truth about Islam

We read:
"A Tory MP was plunged into a race row after he accused some ethnic communities of importing 'barbaric and medieval' views about women into Britain. David Davies, a member of the Home Affairs select committee, was accused of a 'crass misunderstanding' of the issues after his comments over a rape by 14-year-old Asian Balal Khan.

The MP for Monmouth told BBC Radio 5 Live: 'What is it about this young man's upbringing... his community or his parental upbringing, that led him to think that women are second-class people whose rights can be trampled over like this?

'There are some sensitive issues here, but there do seem to be some people in some communities who don't respect women's rights at all and who - if I may say, without necessarily saying that this is the case on this occasion - who have imported into this country barbaric and medieval views about women.'

But critics described the remarks as 'dangerous' and the Conservative Party said they 'do not reflect the views of the party in any way'.


History must be suppressed

We read:
"A US-based group of Holocaust survivors has condemned an Apple iPhone application featuring speeches by Benito Mussolini, calling it "an insult to the memory of all victims of Nazism and Fascism." "It is a disgrace and a surrender to crass commercialism that the Apple computing company has approved the release of this 'app' through their online iTunes store," Elan Steinberg, vice president of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants, said in a statement on Friday.

According to the creator of the application, Luigi Marino, Italians are downloading "iMussolini," which features audio, text and video of his speeches, at a rate of around 1000 a day. Marino launched the app last week and it is already reportedly the best-selling application on Italy's online Apple store.


Musso was not an antisemite and Italy was one of the safest places in Europe for Jews during WWII. Jews were in fact prominent members of Musso's Fascist party until Hitler pushed Musso to put a stop to that. So why are Jews protesting?

Jews are mostly Left-wing so they may well fear that listeners will recognize how similar Musso sounds to the Leftists of today -- with his raving against "plutocracy" and calling Hitler a "pederast" etc.

Don't believe me about Musso not being an antisemite? See Herzer, I. et al. (1989) The Italian refuge: Rescue of Jews during the holocaust Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press for starters. Some realistic Jews praise Musso but most close their eyes to the facts.

See also my monograph on Mussolini

Sexy British game for kids in trouble

We read:
"A new web craze where young girls make their virtual characters adopt children as fashion accessories has outraged parents' groups. The controversial My Minx game also sees girls as young as seven giving their characters contraceptives and morning-after pills.

Players clothe their virtual minxes in sexy lingerie and other revealing outfits and buy 'trophy orphans' - named after children already adopted by celebrities.

The adoption clinic in a virtual Style City features girls called Pax and Maddox and a boy named Zahara after Angelina Jolie's children. The virtual youngsters have the same nationalities as Jolie's with Maddox, three, said to be Cambodian and a fan of eating cockroaches.

The controversial game, by a North London firm, sees players take their minxes binge drinking and clubbing as they try to pull men. Once they have paid the adoption fees, players style their new children in over-the-top designer gear and can then try to sell image rights for them to celebrity magazines.

For minxes that succeed in one night stands, there are virtual condoms and morning after pills....

My Minx was launched shortly before Christmas and has already attracted 20,000 members – with some as young as seven. But parents' groups are horrified to see the game taking off and have accused the game's creators of ‘exploiting children for profit’.

But the game's creator, Blighty Arts director Christopher Evans, insisted that the game was ‘harmless, tongue-in-cheek entertainment’. Mr Evans, 30, said: ‘It is nonsense to suggest our game is a bad influence on young children. ‘We try to protect children too much from the real world for too long in this day and age. They cannot be wrapped up in cotton wool. ‘We should let them grow up making their own decisions about the games they play. ‘The game teaches children about the world while poking fun at celebrity adoptions.

‘Every time they turn on the TV they will see the likes of Madonna adopting African children anyway.


Dislike of "poopmen" is widespread in Jamaica

So what happened to multicultural tolerance here?
"Gay rights groups angry about a Grammy nomination for jailed Jamaican reggae singer Buju Banton took out a full page advert on Friday, protesting the honouring of an artist they said had "promoted the murder of gay people throughout his career".

Banton, 36, is up for a best reggae album award for his Rasta Got Soul release at the Grammys on Sunday. He is currently in jail in Florida awaiting trial on a cocaine charge and will not be attending the awards show.

In an advert in Hollywood show business paper Daily Variety, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center urged Grammy organisers to use Sunday's televised ceremony to denounce music "that promotes or celebrates violence against any group of people".

The lyrics of Banton's most controversial song Boom, Bye Bye in 1988, promote the murder of gay men by shooting or burning.


"Poopman" is Jamaican slang for a homosexual.