Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Homeland Security is seizing internet sites without notice

We read:
"Feds have seized at least 70 websites for copyright and trademark violations. The 70+ domain names have been seized by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a department under Homeland Security. The shut downs were initiated through court-ordered warrants.

ICE’s notices includes copyright infringement and trafficking in counterfeit goods.

A spokesman of ICE told Torrent Freak: “ICE office of Homeland Security Investigations executed court-ordered seizure warrants against a number of domain names. As this is an ongoing investigation, there are no additional details available at this time.”

Most of the blocked domains are e-commerce site, or websites selling goods like clothes, bags etc.


The clothes and handbags are apparently suspected of being "knock-offs" (cheap copies of well-known brands) but how such goods are a threat to homeland security is not remotely obvious. It would be funny if it were not so ominous. Clearly they can block any internet content whenever they like.

And note that "copyright infringement" is one of their excuses. Most blogs reproduce at least some news content from elsewhere so Homeland Security could suddenly shut down 99% of conservative blogs on that ground if they chose. You don't even get a warning notice.

Rather sad when the chief danger to free speech is the U.S. government. Obama could shut down all conservative blogs 6 months before the 2012 elections and nobody could do anything about it. You could go to court but getting a result there could take years.

‘Celebrate Reason’: New Atheist Billboard Calls Christmas a Myth‏

We read:
"A group called the American Atheists has paid for a huge billboard on Route 495 outside the Lincoln Tunnel in North Bergen, N.J., that is raising some eyebrows.

The billboard shows a silhouette of the Three Wise Men approaching the Nativity, with the words: “You KNOW it’s a Myth / This Season, Celebrate REASON!”

The group says the billboard is not designed to convert Christians to atheism. Rather, Dave Silverman, a spokesman for the American Atheists, says the sign is designed to encourage existing atheists who are going through the motions of celebrating Christmas to stop.


These guys are of course entitled to state their beliefs but one wonders why they bother. I think they just want to upset Christians. They are probably just hate-filled Leftists.

I am as thoroughgoing an atheist as you will ever meet but I don't shove it down anybody's neck. I treat people who have the gift of Christian faith with respect. Is that too old-fashioned?

I usually go to church on Christmas day, as a matter of fact. I see it as a great day to celebrate the faith that has been instrumental in bringing our great modern Western civilization into being. But I am not an embittered Leftist.

Monday, November 29, 2010

No free speech for police in Western Australia

This is actually worse than America. On my GUN WATCH blog I put up crime reports from America daily -- and in a fair proportion of cases the race of the offender is indicated in some way, if only by way of a picture of the offender. There is usually a mugshot of the offender on file even if he has just been shot dead. Characteristic African names like "DeShawn" are of course also a dead giveaway.
"Police say a ban on using ethnic or religious words to describe offenders is obstructing investigations. The police union has labelled the policy, a direct order from Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan, as "political correctness gone mad". Officers can no longer use details such as a suspect's nationality, race or religion when seeking public help. Instead, they have been told to say if the person is light or dark skinned.

WA Police Union president Russell Armstrong wants the rule overturned.

Mr Armstrong said using "scant descriptions" made it harder to catch criminals. "If you just turn around and say we are looking for a 20-year-old male, 180cm, with black hair, how many people in the community does that description fit?" he said. "If somebody is Australian or if somebody is English or if somebody is Nigerian, wherever they are from, police should be allowed to say that in their description of offenders.

One police insider said the policy had prevented the capture of suspects. "These rules don't give a true indication of who police are looking for," the source said. "There is a big difference between a dark-skinned person being Aboriginal or African. And if we are looking for an Asian person-of-interest it's a bit narrow to describe them as simply having fair skin and dark hair."

But Equal Opportunity Commission state commissioner Yvonne Henderson said using ethnic descriptions reinforced negative stereotypes. "It can feed into prejudiced ideas in the community about which ethnicities are mainly responsible for criminal behaviour," she said. {Must not let the public know the truth!]

Police spokesman Insp Bill Munnee defended the rule. "The continued use of ethnic descriptors enforces stereotypes, does not promote understanding between cultures, damages police-community relationships and is not considered a sound investigatory practice," Insp Munnee said. [In other words, catching the crooks is bottom priority for the West Australian police and indoctrinating people with lies is top priority. It is all a coverup for the fact that Aborigines and Africans have a high rate of offending. But people must not be aware of that, apparently]

Britain: "Breeding" is a naughty word

We read:
"We have entered an era of heavy-handed policing. No, I don’t mean the kettling of schoolchildren, though I don’t like that much. I mean the policing of public discourse.

We must be shielded from the remarks of Tory peers and the online musings of a bishop. The law must be invoked to clamp down on silly jokes on Twitter. It is as if we are all sensitive little flowers that will wither away should we hear anything a little robust.

I defended Lord Young’s right to say what he thinks [see below] last week not because I agree with him, but because I believe in free speech. If the penalty for speaking your mind in politics is now to lose your job, then we end up with a lot of awful coded jargon.

This is exactly what happened on tough issues such as immigration. And this is exactly why the BNP and now the English Defence League can make headway, because they promise to tell it like it is. Censoring language never quells real disquiet.

Class, far from having ‘disappeared’, is now an equally combustible subject. Howard Flight has been immediately slapped down for his comments on child benefit. He said: ‘The middle classes are discouraged from breeding because it’s jolly expensive, but for those on benefits, there is every incentive.’

The word ‘breeding’, with its eugenicist undertones, is what has caused trouble.

Flight’s sentiment may be lamentable, but it is commonly heard everywhere: scroungers and immigrants are having loads of babies and living the life of luxury on heaps of benefits. This may be false, but it is what some feel is happening. Flight’s crime was to say what many Tories think.


Lord Young was removed from his position after pointing out that low mortgage interest rates meant most people had been insulated from the effects of the recession. He put it rather bluntly, however, by saying that "You've never had it so good". Only weeping and wailing and garnishing of teeth is allowed from British politicians at the moment (Yes. I know the word is "gnashing")

Sunday, November 28, 2010

CA: Tempest brewing over school district employees truck

We read:
"Many residents of and visitors to Quincy have seen it. It’s hard to miss when it’s parked on the street. “It” is an old Ford pickup with numerous racist images and slogans. Sometimes it flies a Confederate flag. The slogans range from the merely crude — “Liberals suck and blow at the same time” — to the disturbing.

The line “At lest (sic) you can eat the hog” appears on one bumper. It is an allusion to a line from the movie “Glory”: “I’d rather own a hog than a n-----; at least you can eat the hog.”

The truck is offensive enough that authorities report multiple complaints about it. Sheriff Greg Hagwood said he had discussed the truck with other law enforcement agencies. Unfortunately, he said, no matter how repulsive the messages, the truck owner is not doing anything illegal.

But one of the truck owners may have crossed the line when she took the truck onto school district property.

Yvonne Bales, business director for Plumas Unified School District, sometimes drives the truck to work and parks it in the district office parking lot.

Here is where things get really sticky: J.C. Eaglesmith, a Native American, teaches a multi-racial student population at PCCS. Eaglesmith is currently in the middle of a complaint process with the school district. He is alleging he was discriminated against because of his race during his tenure as coach of the Quincy High School basketball team.

Eaglesmith has made discrimination claims before. In the early and mid-90s he filed suits against Mendocino County schools and the Boy Scouts of America.

Eaglesmith said in an e-mail that Bales’ truck was parked within view of his classroom Nov. 3. He and several of his students took pictures of the truck.

Eaglesmith e-mailed the pictures to former Quincy High School teacher and teacher’s union representative Piers Strailey, who forwarded them to Feather Publishing.

Strailey brought the truck to the attention of PUSD board members during public comment at their Nov. 9 meeting. Board members did not respond — they couldn’t because the issue was not on the agenda. Strailey followed up with a formal complaint Nov. 12, alleging “racial hatred, discrimination and sexual harassment.”

He has asked the district to terminate Bales. He alleges the messages “constitute discrimination against and harassment of ” Eaglesmith.


The usual Leftist attempt to get someone fired for speech they disagree with

Canadian do-gooders PUBLICIZE "hate speech"

Rather good of them:
"The paradox is this: Groups across Canada are bent on silencing people whose views or feelings they don’t like, but their tactics ensure that lots and lots of Canadians become aware of those views or feelings.

Most recently, we saw this in Waterloo, where three protesters occupied the stage on which Globe and Mail columnist Christie Blatchford was to appear, causing the university to cancel Blatchford’s talk. Yet the book Blatchford meant to promote is available in bookstores everywhere. Soon it will be in libraries. Much of it is already available free on the web.

The Waterloo disruption succeeded in its limited aim of shutting the event down. But likely enough it will also result in increased sales of Blatchford’s book. It certainly earned Blatchford media coverage across the country.

This is not the only instance in which activists wanting to shut someone up have won a battle only thereby to lose the war. A couple more examples are Ann Coulter’s talk at the University of Ottawa and Jose Ruba’s presentation at Saint Mary’s, in Halifax. In both cases, the event was disrupted and, yet, because of the disruption (not in spite of it), the speaker’s views gained wide circulation.

The clearest examples of this paradox involve the various human rights commissions and tribunals in this country. Though Stephen Boissoin himself was forbidden (for a time) to speak his views on homosexuality, his offending letter to the Red Deer Advocate was all over the Internet. It was even reprinted in a few respectable newspapers. Some bloggers posted Boissoin’s letter and begged the Alberta Human Rights Commission to come get them, too. They were told that since they were using the letter to discuss freedom of expression, they were not speaking hate, and were welcome to continue posting it.

Pearl Eliadis, a former director at the Ontario Human Rights Commission, appended to a defence of censorship she published in the magazine Maisonneuve, in 2008, a page of vile racist rants, the sort of thing that she argued in her article should be banned. If you check the Canadian Human Rights Commission’s report “Freedom of Expression and Freedom from Hate in the Internet Age,” you’ll find even more choice passages, helpfully introduced by “Warning: The language used in these examples will disturb and upset some readers.”


Their hatred of non-conforming ideas blinds them to the effect of what they are doing

Saturday, November 27, 2010

British council urges staff to ditch jargon

We read:
"It is the language that clutters council newsletters and documents like weeds strangling a flower bed, but one local authority wants to put a stop to jargon, and bring back plain, simple English.

Pompous words such as "facilitate" and "utilise" should be replaced by their shorter, more common versions "help" and "use", the council has said.

Meaningless phrases such as "close proximity" and "forward planning" should be shelved, while the phrase that has become ubiquitous over the last decade – "stakeholder engagement" – should be replaced with the far more straightforward "talking to people".

The guide, which Conwy Council in North Wales is considering adopting, said: "People need to understand what we are telling them. A whole language has been developed around council documents that the press refers to as council speak or ‘council-ese’. It doesn’t make our documents seem more important – just more confusing."

Dressing up policies and documents with long words and jargon frequently hides the fact that the local council officers do not understand what they are saying, it added.

The advice said: “Avoid old fashioned words and phrases. These can seem pompous and bureaucratic and set a cold, impersonal tone.” It urges active rather than passive sentences such as please tell us instead of you are requested.

Conwy is not the first council to attempt to cut a swathe through officialese, but many previous attempts have been thwarted by central Government legislation, which frequently introduces new terms, such as "sustainable communities". Studies have also suggested many council workers fear using simple English because they think they will be accused of "dumbing down".

The Local Government Association has published a list of more than 250 words that councils should never use in public documents, including "engagement", "embedded", "challenge", "low-hanging fruit", "top down", "step change" and "actioned" – words that many councils continue to use in their literature.

Despite the admirable suggestions about how its staff can use simpler English, the document itself is couched in the councilese Conwy urges its officers to avoid using. One sentence runs: "Many of the community involvement techniques set out in the matrix are research tools that can provide you with either reliable measurements and/or detailed qualitative information."

No "Monkey business" in Canadian football?

We read:
"After Subban scrummed with a Toronto Maple Leafs forward during a game Saturday, Hockey Night In Canada analyst Glenn Healy said Subban was having “none of this monkey business.” Subban is black, so Healy’s inadvertent words spoken in the hurly-burly of the game were, at best, unfortunate.

“The comment clearly referred only to the action taking place on the ice – nothing else was implied and no offence was intended,” Hockey Night executive producer Trevor Pilling told Usual Suspects in an e-mail. But the incident illustrates the new sensitivities of modern broadcast etiquette in Canada’s multiracial culture.


Friday, November 26, 2010

The SPLC again

Anything they disagree with is "hate". But is they who are the haters. They hate anything conservative. It would be more accurate to call them the Southern Hate Mongering Center. Both Poverty and the Law are low priorities for them. They get lots of liberals to give them donations through their lurid scares, however, (according to them there's a Nazi under every bed) so they've got a nice little racket there.
"The Southern Poverty Law Center this week labeled as "hate groups" several political and religious organizations that campaign against same-sex marriage and, the center says, engage in "repeated, groundless name-calling" against gays and lesbians.

Included on the list released by the civil rights organization is the Family Research Council, a prominent and politically influential group of social conservatives. The report by the law center, which has spent four decades tracking extremist groups and hate speech, accuses the council and a dozen other groups of putting out "demonizing propaganda aimed at homosexuals and other sexual minorities."

Council President Tony Perkins, who was also named in the report, called the hate-group designation a political attack by a "liberal organization."

"The left's smear campaign of conservatives is . . . being driven by the clear evidence that the American public is losing patience with their radical policy agenda as seen in the recent election and in the fact that every state . . . that has had the opportunity to defend the natural definition of marriage has done so," Perkins said in a statement.

"Earlier this month, voters in Iowa sent a powerful message when they removed three Supreme Court justices who imposed same-sex marriage on the state. Would the SPLC also smear the good people of Iowa?"

Free-Speech Clarity by California Courts (for once)

We read:
"If I own a home or a business, I have a right to decide who gets to visit me on that property. It’s a simple concept. Surprisingly, California’s courts—which seem to have specialized in eroding property rights—cut through the nonsense last July and ruled in a way that would make any parent of a kindergartner proud, even though the same court contradicted itself in a different ruling the next month. Still, it’s progress.

California’s Third District Court of Appeals “struck down a union-backed California law Monday that allows labor picketing on a store’s parking lots and private sidewalks, saying it unconstitutionally requires property owners to host speakers with whom they disagree,” reported the San Francisco Chronicle.

In this case the Sacramento local of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union began picketing a Foods Co. supermarket, owned by the Ralphs Grocery chain. Union protesters stood only a few feet from the door, handed out flyers to customers, and occasionally marched in front of the door.

When the company tried to evict the protesters the union invoked the 1975 Moscone Act. As the court of appeals explained in its decision, “The Moscone Act declares that conduct relating to a ‘labor dispute,’ such as peaceful picketing, ‘shall be legal,’ . . . .” The state’s labor code, the court stated, requires that before a court grants an injunction in a labor dispute, it must find that “unlawful acts have been threatened and will be committed unless restrained” and “That substantial and irreparable injury to complainant’s property will follow” and “That as to each item of relief granted greater injury will be inflicted upon complainant by the denial of relief than will be inflicted upon defendants by the granting of relief” and “That complainant has no adequate remedy at law” and “That the public officers charged with the duty to protect complainant’s property are unable or unwilling to furnish adequate protection.”

This is an absurdly hard-to-meet standard. Under the state law, then, protesters can swarm a property unless the owner can prove the protesters will destroy the property and meet all the other impossible-to-prove caveats stated above. In the name of protecting unions in labor disputes, the state code obliterated what one would normally consider the most basic tenet of property rights: the right to keep intruders off of one’s property.

In its 3-0 ruling in Ralphs Grocery Company v. United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 8, the court ruled: “This case presents the question of whether the state, based on the content of the speech, can force the owner or possessor of real property that is not a public forum to give an uninvited group access to the private property to engage in speech. We conclude that such legislation violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution and, therefore, is invalid.”

And more simple clarity from the court: “Forcing a speaker to host or accommodate another speaker’s message violates the host’s free speech rights.”


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Canada: Must not say that Chinese work hard?

We have recently seen that it is forbidden to say that blacks work hard. Now it seems that we can't say it of people who really do work hard either. What a crazy world! Working hard must be the new taboo. Have hard workers replaced homosexuals as objects of scorn?
"The Star received many emotional emails from Chinese Canadians, most particularly upset by the fact that our Page 1 story connected the concerns raised at that conference to a controversial article titled “ ‘Too Asian’?” published in the latest Maclean’s magazine university guide.

The magazine quoted some anonymous privileged white kids’ view that some Canadian universities have a large Asian student body, reporting that “some frosh don’t want to study at an ‘Asian’ university.” The article states that an “Asian” school “has come to mean one that is so academically focused that some students feel they can no longer compete or have fun.”


I would have hoped that Chinese people viewed their hard work as a badge of honor and if others don't like that too bad. After all, the Chinese will have the last laugh. Their kids will graduate and get good jobs while lazy white kids will drop out or get mediocre degrees that take them nowhere.

People need to realize that you can't win 'em all and in life it's not everybody who gets a gold star. Sadly, the schools teach the opposite lesson to that.

I suppose an underlying issue is that the Chinese constantly make a mockery of the "all men are equal" false gospel. May they continue to do so! But I guess it's true that they will encounter discrimination because of that. Leftists will certainly hate them for it.

Canadian university presidents too weak-kneed to oppose Leftist thuggery

Much like most U.S. university presidents
"In the National Post, David Frum compares York University’s reception of right-wing academic Daniel Pipes (a briefing on hate speech, and an eventually cancelled appearance) to its reception of socialist former British MP George Galloway (a non-cancelled speech conducted under police protection paid for by students, with threats of legal action against protesters), and concludes there’s something rather wrong with this picture.

No kidding. Setting aside the fact the situations aren’t precisely analogous, and all the various allegations against Mr. Pipes and Mr. Galloway levelled by their ideological opponents, what we really don’t get is this: What kind of self-respecting university president wouldn’t bend over backwards, even if it costs him a few bucks, to ensure he presides over a bastion of absolute (or as absolute as possible) free speech?

As Sun Media’s Ezra Levant says, they’re supposed to be in charge of educating young people. What the hell kind of message are they sending?


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Are the Feds allowed to track you day and night -- using a GPS device secretly fitted to your car?

Appeals court says No; Decides tracking violates 4th Amendment ("unreasonable searches")
"A sharply-divided federal appeals court has rejected a Justice Department bid to overturn a ruling saying the government’s use of GPS technology to track a suspect violates the Fourth Amendment.

In a case closely watched by national civil liberties groups, the 5-4 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Friday came three months after a three-judge panel reversed the life sentence of man convicted of running a drug ring from a D.C. nightclub....

Judge Ginsburg also wrote that a "reasonable person does not expect anyone to monitor and retain a record of every time he drives his car, including his origin, route, destination and each place he stops and how long he stays there."


I don't usually follow 4th Amendment issues on this blog but where government snooping into private life is concerned, I'm interested. A lack of any privacy would certainly chill speech.

Must not describe blacks as hard working -- again

I noted on Oct 28th how a French Perfumier got into trouble over this. It looks like there is the same problem in Ireland.
"Evidence of racism, not simply in the form of direct violence, can be seen everywhere in Ireland. One UCD student, who did not wish to be identified, recalls how in her south Dublin school, racist phrases and slurs were commonplace among classmates on a regular basis while joking around with friends. These phrases were never corrected by anyone and were considered normal and funny.

Even members of our government have, on many occasions, been found to consider racist comments to be perfectly acceptable. For example, in January 2006 when Seanad leader Mary O’Rourke thanked her campaign helpers, describing them as having worked “like blacks”.


Blacks are not known as particularly hard working in America today so the figure of speech is simply old-fashioned.

I remember going into a KFC in NYC once, expecting the usual buzz of activity there. To my surprise I found that several of the (black) staff were sitting down and got to their feet to serve me with clear indications of reluctance. I have never seen the like before or since. The chicken wasn't up to the usual KFC standard either.

So just from that occasion (plus others) my impression of working like a black would be rather unlike the impression that the Irish lady appears to have.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

BBC accused of 'racial stereotyping' by Scots - for including drunk porridge-eater in broadcasts

We read:
"Radio 4 listeners have blasted the character Jazzer, played by Ryan Kelly, who is portrayed as a heavy-drinking, car-stealing Glaswegian

The BBC’s long-running Radio 4 soap The Archers has been accused of ‘racial stereotyping’ over the portrayal of its only Scottish character.

Listeners of the programme have objected to the behaviour of Jack ‘Jazzer’ McCreary, who is shown as a mean, heavy-drinking, car-stealing, drug-taking, womanising Glaswegian who likes to eat porridge.

But many listeners have seen the character with his strong Glasgow accent as a form of negative stereotyping about Scottish people.

They have accused the show of lazy writing and said the BBC has ‘stereotyped an entire race’. The character has been in the soap since 2000.

Mr Kelly, the actor who plays Jazzer, told Radio 4’s Feedback he enjoyed playing the part. When asked if he had met any Scottish people like the character, Mr Kelly said: ‘Some cousins I have are like that.’

He added: ‘Even Scottish people laugh at deep frying things, they tend to laugh at themselves and I think you have got to be able to laugh at yourselves.’ He said of the accent: ‘It is as authentic as I can make it.’

Scriptwriter Keri Davies said: ‘It’s important to realise that Jazzer, the one character, cannot possibly be expected to represent a whole nation. Jazzer rather represents a type of person - a lad who is fairly rough and ready, who likes a drink, likes the women, has a few redeeming features but still has a lot of rough edges to be knocked off. That’s what he represents, rather [than] Scotland as a whole.’


There's no doubt that Scots like a drink -- and porridge too. I like both myself -- and I'm an Australian!

Report: Wyden effectively kills Internet censorship bill

We read:
"It’s too early to say for sure, but Oregon Senator Ron Wyden could very well go down in the history books as the man who saved the Internet. A bill that critics say would have given the government power to censor the Internet will not pass this year thanks to the Oregon Democrat, who announced his opposition during a recent committee hearing. Individual Senators can place holds on pending legislation ….

The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) would have permitted a blanket takedown of any domain alleged to be assisting activities that violate copyright law, based upon the judgment of state attorneys general.”


Monday, November 22, 2010

Willow Palin Helps the Left Discover Parental Responsibility

by Rob Taylor

The Left is just livid over a Facebook exchange between 16-year-old Willow Palin and a couple of guys from her area. Willow called one of the kids “gay” and a “faggot” in response to his attack on her family. Being of delicate constitution and having refined sensibilities, the Left was horrified by teenage trash talk, especially of the “homophobic” variety.

After all, it’s not as if the Left would do the same. Why, I remember when former Pandagon writer “Ilyka” wrote a piece responding to something I wrote that claimed I was a rape-loving Christian “fag,” the noble liberals of Pandagon only left it up until someone told them I was half black. Then they removed it and the author apologized. After all, they would never promote intolerance.

But this incident is different, because unlike the hundreds of times some white lefty called me a “nigger” or a “race traitor,” this particular episode is actually wrong. And because it involves the child of Sarah Palin, the thoughtless mouthiness of Willow Palin is a reflection on the parents. The Palins, according to the new narrative of the Left, are blameworthy for all of their children’s behavior.

“Where Did Sarah Palin’s Daughter Willow Learn To Say ‘Faggot’ On Facebook?” asked a post on gay web site Queerty. Because it’s just impossible to imagine that teenagers are influenced by anything other than their parents. Other sites followed suit and implied that the Palins taught Willow to hate gays.

But the real story here isn’t the hypocrisy and hysterics of the Left, but the fact that this new position is actually an improvement in how the Left views parental responsibility. It wasn’t that long ago that the Left thought civilized people abandoned parental responsibility as soon as their daughters got their first sex ed class.

When pro-life activists exposed Planned Parenthood’s systematic policy of covering up statutory rape, the Left not only defended Planned Parenthood but did so by attacking the idea that a parent had a right to know if their 13-year-old daughter was being dropped off at an abortion clinic by the pedophile who was sexually exploiting her.

Leftist thugs running the show in Canadian universities

We read:
"It is time for universities to crack down on intolerance and send a message to those who would shut down speakers with whom they disagree.

In the latest assault on free speech at a university, three protesters chained themselves together with bike locks last week at the University of Waterloo, preventing author and Globe and Mail columnist Christie Blatchford from speaking.

They repeatedly chanted "racist" in response to views expressed by Blatchford in her new book Helpless: Caledonia's Nightmare of Fear and Anarchy and How the Law Failed All of Us. It deals with the 2006 incident at Caledonia, Ont. where protesters from the Six Nations reserve took over a nearby construction site.

Invoking a familiar cop-out, university security told Blatchford they could not ensure her safety, so she went home.

Alas, the thugs win again, just like they did earlier this year in keeping Ann Coulter away from the University of Ottawa.

The message is that anyone who wants to shut down a speaker on a Canadian campus simply has to stage a protest and a university will cave in. Increasingly, intolerance is winning.

The University of Waterloo should have called for backup, cut the bike locks and dragged away the three protesters, along with their negotiator and media spokesperson.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Some more politically correct hate speech

Report from Seattle:
"The setting was a session seeking "wicked questions" about the health care system, defined as the kind of questions that have no right answer. The goal was to get people thinking about larger social questions instead of focusing on individual problems, and it was a great brainstorming event. Brainstorming etiquette discourages judging contributions to the dialog, simply acknowledging statements and moving on, but hateful speech needs an immediate response.

These were one panelist's top four wicked questions:

1. Given that research shows the number and strength of friendships are the strongest factor in good health, can the health care system be structured to encourage friendship?

2. How can we live/create supportive communities to use the existing system less?

3. What if I as an individual just can't meet goals for living a healthy life?

4. Can we ever be truly well as a society as long as we remain so much under the influence of the homosexual agenda?

Three out of four are really good, tough questions that need to be considered. The first one was rather tongue in cheek, pointing out that "health" has little to do with the health care system. The second and third questions identify barriers to improving the overall health of society. His last question judged and marginalized a whole group of people, was not true in any objective sense, was not useful to the dialog and was certainly not kind. Later in the session, the speaker dismissively referred to the same group as child abusers - and the crowd turned the other cheek.

What he said was out of line, but he could get away with it because what he really said was:

4. Can we ever be truly well as a society as long as we remain so much under the influence of religion?

It's the one kind of hate speech you can get away with in this politically correct world. What would you have said? What I did was send a question to the moderator asking the panelist this:

Can we ever be truly well as a society as long as we reject religion's positive influence?

He backpedaled, then later went on to state that we just have to stop talking about spirituality because it's too vague, we need to focus on quality of life. Hmmm - you can find as many or more definitions of what constitutes quality of life as you can spirituality, but clearly he hates religion and feels free to say so in public.

The Canadian establishment is determined to "get" Ezra Levant

Levant published derisive comments about lawyer Vigna that reflected the publically known facts about Vigna's behaviour but the judge said Levant should have interviewed Vigna to get his side of the story before making any comment
"A judge has ordered free speech activist Ezra Levant to pay $25,000 to Giacomo Vigna, a Canadian Human Rights Commission lawyer, for libelling him with "reckless indifference" to the truth in blog posts about a major hate speech case.

By accusing Mr. Vigna -- who once represented the CHRC in the prosecution of Freedomsite.orgwebmaster Marc Lemire -- of lying to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, switching critical evidence, failing to honour a promise to the Tribunal chair, and being fired, Mr. Levant "spoke in reckless disregard of the truth and for an ulterior purpose of denormalizing the Human Rights Commission across Canada which makes his statements malicious in that sense." Mr. Justice Robert Smith also ordered Mr. Levant to remove the libellous materials from his website within 15 days. They remained there Friday night, and Mr. Levant said he is getting advice from his lawyers about an appeal.

Many of Mr. Levant's statements about Mr. Vigna were judged not to be libellous, in that they amounted to fair comment. These included Mr. Levant's assertions that Mr. Vigna is a "buffoon" who "be-clowned himself" in front of the Tribunal, that he is a "three time election loser" and the CHRC is a "dumping ground for extremist politicians," or that Mr. Vigna was a "bully" who sent "goons" to "harass" Mr. Levant's parents, when in fact it was a process server trying to serve the libel notice.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

NV: Righthaven will stop copyright lawsuits over news excerpts

These guys were shaping up to be a real threat to bloggers as bloggers often use news excerpts. But they have now beat a major retreat
"Copyright troll Righthaven this week promised to narrow its lawsuit campaign in the face of a courtroom defeat, when a judge ruled that a real estate website made “fair use” of a newspaper article from the Las Vegas-Review Journal.

Righthaven is the lawyer-heavy company based in Las Vegas that sprang to life last spring for the sole purpose of suing blogs and websites that repost, or even excerpt, Las Vegas-Review Journal articles without permission. It has filed about 150 lawsuits, and settled dozens of them in its favor.

But the company reached a snag when the Realty One Group fought back, winning a summary dismissal weeks ago. A Nevada judge agreed with the real estate firm’s argument that eight of 30 sentences from a Review Journal story about the real estate market qualified as fair use of the material.

With that precedent set, Righthaven no longer plans to sue websites for posting brief excerpts of newspaper articles, the company told a different federal judge in a separate case this week.

US Senate Judiciary Committee approves Internet censorship bill

We read:
"The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act took one step closer to becoming a reality today as the US Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the bill. This bill is still far from becoming law of course, but to make it to the halls of congress it needs committee approval - and today it got just that. There wasn't even any opposition, it just passed with flying colors - making the MPAA quite happy but others disappointed.

The MPAA, as we already read yesterday, is eagerly looking forward to this bill becoming law. It would give the Department of Justice the tools necessary to block foreign websites, or to shut down domestic ones. Bob Pisano did his cause few favors yesterday when he readily dismissed the free speech concerns over this bill. As we've all grown to love about the United States, there's no government authority that actively blocks websites. This bill, if it becomes law, would negate that tradition.


It's not law yet, of course

Friday, November 19, 2010

Should Hate Speech be Protected Under 1st Amendment?

By Eugene Volokh

Newsday reports:
A group of teens spotted Sunday evening slapping up stickers along a Bellmore street [including on a lamp post and a Chamber of Commerce sign] could be charged with felonies for posting white supremacist messages and images ....

One sticker, photographed and removed by police, reads “White Pride World Wide.” Another says “Don’t Blame Me, I Voted for Hitler.”

A third shows a hand making an obscene gesture over a Star of David....

Whoever posted it could be charged under a state law prohibiting the posting of images of swastikas or nooses. The first-degree harassment charge carries a maximum sentence of 1 year in jail....

Putting stickers on lampposts and other signs might well be illegal, and could be punished under content-neutral laws or city ordinances prohibiting such attachment of stickers to city property or to other people’s property. Likewise, targeting property owners for property crimes based on the owners’ race, religion, and the like might lead to enhanced punishments.

But the police theory here seems to be that the speech is punishable precisely because of the message that it conveys; the relevant statute is apparently N.Y. Penal Law § 240.31:
A person is guilty of aggravated harassment in the first degree [, a felony,] when with intent to harass, annoy, threaten or alarm another person, because of a belief or perception regarding such person’s race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation, regardless of whether the belief or perception is correct, he or she: ...

3. Etches, paints, draws upon or otherwise places a swastika, commonly exhibited as the emblem of Nazi Germany, on any building or other real property, public or private, owned by any person, firm or corporation or any public agency or instrumentality, without express permission of the owner or operator of such building or real property; [or]

5. Etches, paints, draws upon or otherwise places or displays a noose, commonly exhibited as a symbol of racism and intimidation, on any building or other real property, public or private, ... without express permission of the owner or operator of such building or real property.

Such a content-based speech restriction violates the First Amendment. There is no “hate speech” exception to the First Amendment, and while “true threats” may be legally punishable, the law is not limited to such threats. (The “true threats” exception covers a fairly narrow category of speech, and a good deal of menacing speech does not fall within that exception, especially when it isn’t individually targeted to a particular person.) Moreover, even when speech can be restricted because it is, for instance, a form of trespass on others’ property, it cannot be restricted because of its content and viewpoint.

The teenagers posting these messages are behaving evilly, but even evil people and evil ideas are protected by the First Amendment. I do hope that the New York prosecutors and police recognize the First Amendment barriers to prosecutions under this statute.

Source. (See the original for links)

Did Hoboken Zoning Board member's Nazi-parody blog post go too far?

We read:
"A controversial blog written by a member of the Hoboken Zoning Board has ignited a debate over hate speech and free speech.

Monday evening’s City Council meeting featured an emotional moment for some City Council members when Lane Bajardi, a frequent critic of the administration of Mayor Dawn Zimmer, displayed an image put forth on the personal blog of Zoning Board member Nancy Pincus, a Zimmer ally. Pincus, whose controversial blog often takes aim at Zimmer foes, posted an image of Councilwoman Beth Mason superimposed on an altered poster of the 1935 Nazi propaganda film Triumph des Willens, or Triumph of the Will. Mason is Jewish, and so is Pincus. The picture was altered to read: Triumph des Shillens, or "Triumph of the Shill." The post was related to a recent heated council election in the 4th Ward.

While the Hoboken blog scene during election season can be less than civil at times, some feel the image crossed a line.

“There are certain topics which should never be used for ammunition,” Bajardi said on Monday. “Nazi Germany and the Holocaust should be among them.”


But calling George Bush a Nazi was fine, of course.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

"Don’t Tread On Me" License Plate Coming to Virginia?

We read:
"In Virginia, Delegate John O’Bannon is sponsoring legislation that could bring a “Don’t Tread On Me” license plate to the roads in the Old Dominion. This seems like a pretty cool idea.

There is some irony in the license plate though. As Bearing Drift’s Brian Kirwin noted, “I don’t mind if the Tea Party gets their own license plates. I just never saw so many Tea Partiers so excited to write government a check before.”


Interesting to see what opposition this encounters. "Too political", probably

Unlimited free speech for all Leftists?

We read:
"In late September the FBI carried out a series of raids of homes and anti-war offices of public activists in Minneapolis and Chicago. Following the raids the Obama Justice Department subpoenaed 14 activists to a grand jury in Chicago and also subpoenaed the files of several anti-war and community organizations. In carrying out these repressive actions, the Justice department was taking its lead from the Supreme Court’s 6-3 opinion last June in Holder v. the Humanitarian Law Project which decided that non-violent First Amendment speech and advocacy “coordinated with” or “under the direction of” a foreign group listed by the Secretary of State as “terrorist” was a crime.

The search warrants and grand jury subpoenas make it quite clear that the federal prosecutors are intent on accusing public non-violent political organizers, many affiliated with Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO), of providing “material support,” through their public advocacy, for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The Secretary of State has determined that both the PLFP and the FARC “threaten US national security, foreign policy or economic interests,” a finding not reviewable by the Courts, and listed both groups as foreign terrorist organizations (FTO).


PFLP and FARC are vicious terrorist organizations who not only advocate violence but practice it so there is no doubt that SCOTUS was correct in outlawing any support for them. If the alleged peace-lovers above really were peace-lovers they would have nothing to do with such organizations. There have always been some types of speech that are not protected (e.g. libel, sedition) and support for terrorism is well within that tradition.

The complainants above say that they were just trying to convert FARC, PFLP etc. to peaceful behavior but nobody would seriously think that possible. It's just a front and they were correctly and properly targeted by the FBI

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

School's 'boobie' bracelet ban draws suit

This issue has been rumbling on for a while but most schools back down when the matter is explained to them. This one didn't.
"Two middle schoolers are suing a school district in Easton, Pennsylvania, after they were suspended for wearing the popular "I (heart) boobies!" bracelets. A non-profit sells the $4 rubber bracelets to raise money and awareness for breast cancer organisations.

Thirteen-year-old Brianna Hawk and 12-year-old Kayla Martinez say the Easton Area School District ban violates their First Amendment rights.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued the district on the girls' behalf today. School districts across the country have faced similar disputes, but the ACLU calls the lawsuit a first.

Miss Hawk and Miss Martinez received in-school suspensions for violating the ban. Easton school officials call the bracelets distracting and demeaning.

Idaho Couple Battles HOA for Right to Fly American Flag‏

We read:
"Steve and Robin’s last name may be Perfect, but their situation is anything but.

After seeing their son Sgt. Edward Nadler off to war this fall, the Hailey, Idaho couple bought an American flag to fly in support of “Eddie.” But when they got home to Copper Ranch Condominiums and placed the flag on a post they thought was their property, neighbors and condominium management told the Perfects they had remove their flag. The demands have sparked a debate over rules that directly or indirectly prevent tenants from flying flags, and now the Perfects are having to defend their right to fly an American flag on American soil.

But despite requests from the HOA, corporate management, and neighbors, the Perfects refused to move the flag. That prompted another call from the condominium’s national office on November 1.

“They said, ‘you have to take down the flag,’” Robin recalled, a command she said came with an ultimatum: either the flag moves or the Perfects will be forced out.

Robin responded to the request by quoting an e-mail she received from Idaho U.S. Senator Mike Crapo, which outlined the Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005. That law says “a condominium association … may not adopt or enforce any policy … that would restrict or prevent a member of the association from displaying the flag of the United States on residential property within the association with respect to which such member has a separate ownership interest or a right to exclusive possession or use.”

“She told me she didn’t care about the letter, we had to take our flag down,” Robin said of her conversation with the representative.

That doesn’t matter to the Perfects: they say they don’t plan on taking it down any time soon. “I believe in what I’m doing,” Robin said, “and I don‘t think it’s right that anybody make anybody take down an American flag.”


There's a lot of anti-Americanism in America -- and we know what side of politics it comes from. When Democrats huff and puff and say: "Are you questioning my patriotism?", the answer should be: "Sure am".

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Chicago High School decides to use 'Straight Pride' Shirts for Rights Education‏

After initially opposing them
"A Chicago high school has decided to allow a small group of students to wear "Straight Pride" T-shirts, despite resistance from other students who say they found the clothing offensive on a week that the school was bringing attention to the bullying of gays, lesbians and transgenders.

A spokesman for St. Charles North High School says the decision was intended to be an educational moment.

“Considering they’re teenagers and becoming more socially aware, we need to do our job as educators,” Director of School and Community Relations Jim Blaney told FoxNews.com. “We need to help students find their way through this new world.”

Humorless British police provoke backlash

We read:
"He missed the plane. Now thousands of annoyed internet users say authorities missed the joke.

When Paul Chambers was arrested and fined for posting a jocular message to micro-blogging site Twitter in which he threatened to blow up northern England's Robin Hood Airport if it didn't reopen in time for his flight, it caused a minor stir.

Now that a court has turned down his appeal, the internet has come alive with outrage, with thousands of online fans posting comic threats to the regional airport out of solidarity.

Many have added the tag "IAmSpartacus" to their posts - a reference to the Stanley Kubrick's 1960 epic Spartacus, in which the titular hero's fellow rebels all assume his identity in a gesture of solidarity.

The act of online revolt - the AP counted about 5000 posts carrying the "IAmSpartacus" tag within two hours - seems to have cowed authorities.

A spokeswoman for South Yorkshire Police, which originally arrested Chambers, scoffed and said "no" when asked if police planned on arresting any of Chambers's online fans.

But she refused to answer when asked why the thousands of jokey threats to blow Robin Hood Airport "sky high" would be treated any differently from Chambers's original tweet that resulted in his arrest.

The Spartacus reference was Twitter's top trending subject worldwide, while rights groups in Britain weighed the implications of Chambers's failed appeal, warning that the so-called "Twitter joke trial" had set an ugly precedent for free speech online.

Police and prosecutors "seem to have completely ignored the notion of context, which is a very dangerous thing," said Padraig Reidy of the London-based Index on Censorship. "If he genuinely intended to blow up the airport, he wouldn't have tweeted it. It's obviously a joke."

Chambers's lawyer, David Allen Green, said his client's case should never have gone to court.

According to accounts carried on Green's blog and in the British media, the 27-year-old was alarmed when heavy snow closed Robin Hood Airport, from which he was due to fly in order to see a friend he had met online.

In a message posted to dozens of followers on January 6, he stated: "Robin Hood Airport is closed. You've got a week and a bit to get [it] together, otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!!"

The tweet might have faded into the obscurity of internet had it not been discovered by an airport duty manager browsing the internet five days later. The manager forwarded the offending tweet to his station manager, and - even though the threat was deemed "non-credible" - it was passed on to police.

On January 13, a week after the post, Chambers was arrested and questioned. The case file notes that "there is no evidence at this stage that this is anything other than a foolish comment posted on Twitter as a joke for only his close friends to see", but he was charged and convicted in any case.

Rejecting Chambers's appeal on Thursday last week, Judge Jacqueline Davies at Doncaster Crown Court ordered him to pay £2000 ($3300) in prosecution costs, in addition to a £385 fine.

Writer and actor Stephen Fry - one of several celebrities backing Chambers's cause - offered financial help, tweeting "whatever they fine you, I'll pay".

Green said his client, who has since lost his job, was still considering his legal options.


He should appeal the verdict further but the costs of that would probably be prohibitive. Judge Jacqueline Davies is clearly a nickel-plated b*tch. Maybe she was hormonal at the time.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Feds upholding free speech!

Because it is anti-business, I guess
"A Connecticut woman who was fired after posting disparaging remarks about her boss on Facebook has prompted a first-of-its-kind case by federal authorities who say her comments are protected speech under labor laws.

The National Labor Relations Board alleges that American Medical Response of Connecticut illegally fired Dawnmarie Souza from her job as an emergency medical tech late last year after she criticized her supervisor on her personal Facebook page and then traded Facebook messages about the negative comments with other employees.

The complaint, filed Oct. 27 by the board's Hartford, Conn., regional office, could set a precedent for employers to heed as more workers use social-networking sites to share details about their jobs.

"It's the same as talking at the water cooler," said Lafe Solomon, the board's acting general counsel. "The point is that employees have protection under the law to talk to each other about conditions at work."

John Barr, an attorney representing the company, said the company stands by its policy against employees discussing the company on the Internet.


I think freedom to gripe is a pretty basic freedom

Amazon U-turn in face of pedophile guide fury

If we are going to have censorship at all, this is how it should be: Not government regulation but public disapproval bringing weight to bear
"The online retailer Amazon has bowed to threats of a mass boycott over its decision to sell a guide to pedophilia.

Amazon quietly stopped sales of the self-published electronic book The Paedophile's Guide to Love & Pleasure: A Child-Lover's Code Of Conduct yesterday, a day after defending it on the grounds of free speech.

The e-book went on sale two weeks ago but hit the headlines only after news of its publication spread among users of Facebook and Twitter, prompting widespread fury and calls for it to be pulled. The outrage was further fuelled when Amazon said that, while they "do not support or promote hatred or criminal acts, we do support the rights of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions. Amazon.com believes it is censorship not to sell certain titles because we believe their message is objectionable".


Sunday, November 14, 2010

California school Reverses Course After Ordering Student to Remove American Flag From Bike

We read:
"A California school has done a U-turn after it forced a student to remove an American flag attached to his bike, saying the Stars and Stripes could spur racial tensions on campus.

Cody Alicea,13, had been flying the flag on the back of his bicycle for almost two months to show support for veterans like his grandfather, Robert Alicea.

But just in time for Veterans Day, school officials at Denair Middle School told Cody he would no longer be allowed to display the flag, citing complaints from other students. Now, after a public outcry, the school has decided that the grand old flag can come back.

Superintendent Edward Parraz says the school was trying to avoid racial tensions that stemmed from a "little issue" that arose when Hispanic students brought Mexican flags to school on Cinco De Mayo.

Parraz says the school got flooded with so many complaints from upset parents both inside and outside of Denair that he was called into to "handle the situation."

Parraz says the school decided on Friday to allow Cody to display his flag again, and now it will be shifting its focus to the students who complained.

AZ: “Guns save lives, educate your kids” officially censored

We read:
"After rounds of meetings and phone calls, the city of Phoenix, perhaps prophetically on Election Day, Tue., Nov. 2, passed final judgment and decided that censorship of our bus-stop advertisements would remain final.

‘Educate Your Kids’ with the big red ‘Guns Save Lives’ heart, which they tore down more than a week ago, were deemed unacceptable and would stay down.

They blamed CBS Outdoor with the ‘error’ for having put them up.”


How the Left hate self-defense!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Leftist British Muslim says it is OK to stone women to death -- as long as it's not her

We read:
"A British newspaper columnist says she is "incredibly upset" by a Twitter message allegedly calling for her to be stoned to death.

Conservative Party councillor Gareth Compton was arrested over the posting on his account on the micro-blogging site, police said.

The post on Compton's profile, which has since been removed, reportedly read: "Can someone please stone Yasmin Alibhai-Brown to death? I shan't tell Amnesty if you don't. It would be a blessing, really."

In a message posted on the site, Compton, councillor for Erdington, Birmingham, apologised: "I did not 'call' for the stoning of anybody. "I made an ill-conceived attempt at humour in response to Yasmin Alibhai-Brown saying on Radio 5 Live ... that no politician had the right to comment on human rights abuses, even the stoning of women in Iran.

Liberal Radio Host to Tea Party: ‘You Animals Are Gonna Get It’

Crazed Libtalker Mike Malloy Does His Level Best To Incite Race War


The Leftist hate speech never stops

Friday, November 12, 2010

Even do-gooders must not mention some history

We read:
"The mother of a former student at Warren Consolidated Schools has sued the district, claiming that her African-American daughter was the victim of racial bias and harassment by the teacher reading aloud of passages from a book about slavery.

Jamey Petree, representing Jala Petree, says that excerpts from “From Slave Ship to Freedom Road” were read last January by Jala’s fifth-grade teacher at Margaret Black Elementary School in Sterling Heights.

Two excerpts each two paragraphs long that were read include N-word references and compares African-Americans’ skin color to “Satan’s thoughts” and night darkness. The excerpts talk about the buying and selling of slaves.

The book, by Julius Lester, is designed for children aged 10 to 15 and uses essays to interpret 24 paintings by artist Rod Brown that depict scenes of slavery.

“Together, images and words reenact the 250-year journey from the first slave ships taking Africans forcibly from their homes, to the Civil War and emancipation,” says a review by www.scholastic .com. “What makes this book such a valuable learning tool, however, and such a unique response to a common subject of study, is Lester's inclusion of personal commentary, direct questions and ‘imagination exercises’ in his text. … ‘From Slave Ship to Freedom Road’ insists that students think about history, rather than simply learn the facts.”


Leftists love to demonize America's past and mentioning that African skin was once said by somebody to be as black as Satan's thoughts was no doubt seen as a cool way of doing such demonization. It backfired this time, though.

VicRoads under fire after refusing to observe Remembrance Day (Veteran's day) silence

VicRoads is the DMV in the Australian State of Victoria. If they really WERE concerned to avoid offending people, they would surely have realized that this will REALLY cause offence. It is an insult to all our troops, past and present -- and an insult to families who lost loved ones in Australia's many wars abroad -- and there are few families not affected by that. This is just some anti-military Leftist bureaucrat at work. Who the hell would the observance offend anyway? All nations honour their war dead
"VicRoads has come under fire after confirming it will not observe a minute's silence for Remembrance Day for fear of offending people.

The Victorian Government agency told 3AW radio it has not observed the tradition for a number of years as it is “conscious of possible different cultural issues and don’t wish to cause offence to anyone”.

VicRoads did not specify whether they feared upsetting employees, customers, or both.

The statement drew a furious reaction from listeners, many of whom described the stance as “offensive”. Roads Minister Tim Pallas said he was “aghast” when he heard of the policy this morning, and that steps would be taken to stop the practice, which he described as "wrong".

Remembrance Day is observed in Commonwealth countries on 11 November, to remember the sacrifices of members of the armed forces and civilians in times of war. Most workplaces and events such as the Australian Masters golf tournament will pause to observe a minute’s silence at 11am.


They eventually backed down under political pressure, of course

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Partial Pledge arouses anger at New York School‏

We read:
"A controversy over the Pledge of Allegiance at an elementary school has divided a small New York town and resulted in the resignation of a school board member.

Rosemarie Troidl told Fox News Radio she resigned as a member of the North Collins School Board after her fellow board members refused to order students to recite the entire Pledge of Allegiance together -- not just the opening line.

“We were raised to respect the flag,” Troidl said, suggesting it was an issue of patriotism. “There's no excuse for the board to have allowed this.”

She said around 250 people have signed a petition asking the school board to change the policy and direct children at North Collins Elementary School to recite the Pledge in unison. Residents angered by the policy plan to speak at a school board meeting planned Tuesday night at the North Collins High School library.

The morning starts with the entire student body reciting a “character pledge” in unison. Then, someone recites the opening line of the Pledge before the intercom is turned off. “If the school can say in unison a character pledge, why can they not recite as a group the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag?”


Individual students should be allowed to remain silent as the pledge is said if that is their wish but having the school make that decision for them seems arrogant. Perhaps the school does not wish to "offend" Hispanics and Muslims.

Now that corporations AND unions are allowed to fund advertising that supports or criticizes political candidates ...

(As a consequence of the "Citizens United" decision by SCOTUS)
"President Obama managed to outdo them all, declaring that he “can’t think of anything more devastating to the public interest.” To Obama, apparently, the prospect of a less restricted political debate was more horrifying than an economic collapse, a military coup, or a nuclear war. Although it’s too early to predict exactly what will happen as a result of Citizens United, it seems safe to say that plenty of things are more harmful to the public interest. Among them are laws that seek to silence some so that others may be heard.

The over-the-top reactions to Citizens United reflect a view of corporations as giant, soulless automatons that are fine for producing goods and services in a regulated environment but bound to wreak havoc if let loose in the halls of political power. That view obscures the fact that corporations, no matter how large or profit-driven, are by definition associations of individuals who have joined together for a common purpose. It also misleadingly suggests that behemoths such as Wal-Mart and Exxon Mobil are typical corporations, when in fact the vast majority of the 6 million or so corporations registered in the United States are small businesses or nonprofits.

For an illustration, one need look no further than the case the Supreme Court decided. Citizens United, founded by the conservative activist Floyd Brown in 1988, is not a huge corporation seeking subsidies or permission to pollute. It is a nonprofit, ideological organization with an annual budget of $12 million that wanted to run a documentary about Hillary Clinton on pay-per-view TV. It was forbidden to do so, under threat of fine and imprisonment, because a) Clinton was running for the Democratic presidential nomination, and b) the documentary made her look bad. The movie therefore violated the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, a.k.a. McCain-Feingold, which banned “electioneering communications,” defined as TV or radio ads sponsored by unions or corporations that mention a candidate for federal office within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of a general election.

Contrary to all the rhetoric about corporations drowning out the voice of the people, corporations are the voice of the people—people who pool their resources because they hate Hillary Clinton, love the rainforest, worry about the national debt, support gay marriage, think abortion is murder, oppose gun control, or even believe that corporations have too much influence on politics. McCain-Feingold told these groups they were not allowed to talk about their issues close to an election if the discussion happened to mention any politicians running for federal office.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fat speech?

Why do Leftists always get so nasty? This will not get much media attention -- a black Leftist insulting a popular Republican governor -- he will be protected
"Dr. Marc Lamont Hill is a professor at a Columbia University affiliate. For several years he was a Fox News contributor until a much publicized firing over his support for the notorious Assata Shakur. He is still a frequent guest on numerous cable news programs.

He acknowledges his comments about Christie will be controversial, but he is firm in his conclusion: “He does not have the body type to win a national election.”

“He can’t win, let’s be honest,” Hill said. “I’m going to say this and don’t get mad – he’s fat.”

“He’s fat for a politician. He doesn’t have the body type to win. There are other issues – look at that,” Hill said as he looked at an image of Christie.


Video at link.

For some strange reason it is not hate speech to insult overweight people. Just substitute "queer" or "Jewish" for "fat" in the comments above and imagine the uproar

Lost freedom of speech about religion in Europe

We read:
"Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders was threatened with criminal punishment for hate speech from the moment his anti-Koran film Fitna hit the internet in March 2008. Last month, a Dutch judicial oversight body ordered that he be tried anew after finding that judges in the first round of court proceedings appeared to be biased. Even if Mr. Wilders is ultimately acquitted, as his prosecutors themselves urge, he will have already been punished by years of costly and tiring legal wrangling.

But the greatest threat posed by this case is not to a lone Dutch firebrand, but to Europeans at large, whose fundamental freedoms of speech and religion are being steadily undermined. Those trying to repress these individual rights in the name of sensitivity are gaining ground with each case that upholds the state's power to regulate the content of speech on Islam. Since Mr. Wilders' defense does not challenge the legitimacy of hate-speech laws per se, but instead points to the specific facts of his case, even his acquittal would not alter this encroachment on core Western rights.

Religious hate-speech is not clearly defined in the Netherlands or elsewhere in Europe. Council of Europe standards emphasize the subjectivity of the offense, stating that, with respect to religion, "there is no right to offend," that "gratuitously offensive" speech is not protected, and that there exists a new "right of citizens not to be insulted in their religious feelings." In an attempt to carve out protections for political speech and social commentary, the Council distinguishes between speech that insults Muslims, which it forbids, and that which insults Islam or would be considered blasphemous, which it permits.

Mr. Wilders argues that his film and his other criticisms entail only the latter. As his case drags on, with prosecutors and judges in open disagreement over whether he was within the bounds of acceptable speech, the confusion created by this legal dichotomy becomes apparent. Though the European Court of Human Rights, which Dutch courts follow, tries to distinguish between commentary on socially relevant religious issues and that on "intimate personal convictions," believers often view one as the necessary extension of the other. Hence, as Council advisers themselves have admitted, the boundaries "are easily blurred."

In fact, this legal test between the religious and the personal is untenable. In contrast to other hate-speech categories—such as racism and Holocaust denial—even a tendentious or hyperbolic treatment of religion and society is often linked to real debate over beliefs and values. Since religions have practices and doctrines as well as adherents, efforts to restrict criticism of religious groups involves a perilous effort to disentangle practice from practitioner, and social commentary from insult.


Tuesday, November 09, 2010

EU proposes “right to be forgotten” online

We read:
"As a bunch of folks have sent in, there's a proposal making the rounds in the EU for a "right to be forgotten," which would require websites to delete all information about a person at their request. We've actually seen something like this in the past, in Germany, where last year we noted that a convicted German murderer, was using such a law to demand details of his conviction be removed from various websites. It's not difficult to recognize how problematic this concept can be. As Adam Thierer notes, a "right to be forgotten," is a clear restriction on free speech.

Now, some might claim that this is a point where free speech and privacy rights clash, but I'm not sure I actually agree with that. In fact, I'd argue that a "right to be forgotten" is not really a "privacy" right in the first place. A privacy right should only concern information that is actually private. What a "right to be forgotten" does is try to take information that is, by default, public information, and pretend that it's private. That's a very different situation, and one that clearly conflicts with free speech concepts.

Defeating the new Internet filtering threat

We read:
"Just when it seemed the grid of State power was maxing out; along came the internet to short circuit everything. It’s too late now, the cat’s out of the bag and I doubt there is a way the internet can be completely turned off — or if they try, it will be a last dying act of desperation, because governments themselves and their big corporate friends depend so much on it.

Instead, the game plan is to regulate and to filter — to choose and approve the thoughts we have access to — partly by creating dependencies and alliances with mega-business gatekeepers like ISPs and search engines, and partly by legislation.”


Monday, November 08, 2010

Louisiana: Man gets prison time for noose

We read:
"A Ruston man has been sentenced to 12 months in federal prison for placing a hangman's noose underneath the carport of a Honduran immigrant and Hurricane Katrina evacuee.

Robert Jackson, 37, pleaded guilty June 24 on a charge of violating the Fair Housing Act by intimidating and interfering with another's housing rights because of race. He was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court by U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen L. Hayes.

According to court testimony, the victim and her children arrived home June 13, 2008, and found a hangman's noose suspended from a bird-feeder underneath the carport of their home. The victim and her family relocated to Ruston from New Orleans following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

Jackson later admitted placing the noose there in order "to send a message" to African-American males who visited the home.

"A noose is an unmistakable symbol of hate in our country, and using this symbol to intimidate a family will not be tolerated," said Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general of the civil rights division. "The Justice Department will vigorously prosecute those who resort to violent acts motivated by hate."


Hanging a noose is a "violent act"?? It isn't. It would only be a violent act if it was around someone's neck. It certainly can be seen as a form of hate speech but hate speech is protected free speech.

Attorney Perez got carried away with himself. The fact that he used such an fanciful description of the act suggests to me that he knew had a weak case in law from the beginning.

Government has Internet policing in sights

We read:
"Congress is considering two legislative proposals that would restructure the Internet in the wake of last July’s Wikileaks disclosure of 77,000 classified Afghan war documents and its release of 15,000 more in October.

First, in the name of preventing copyright infringement, the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA, also known as the Recording Industry Association of America, or RIAA, Act) would grant blacklist authority to the Attorney General for Internet domains whose “central” purpose is identified as infringing copyrights The Act is currently before Congress.

Second, in the name of preventing terrorism, an “e-wiretap” bill in the works is aimed at establishing government-mandated “back doors” in all communications systems. That bill is currently being drafted.

“This is an Internet censorship bill dressed up to look like a copyright enforcement bill,” said Peter Eckersley, senior staff technologist for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco-based civil liberties group. “Despite changes that were made at the end of the last Congressional session, this remains a bill that could cause law-abiding U.S. and foreign Web sites to just disappear off the Net. It threatens innovative startup businesses in several market sectors, including one-click hosting and media discovery.”


Sunday, November 07, 2010

School Employee Sends Out hate speech email about Tea Party

If this had been a conservative teacher bashing Leftists you know there would have been Hell to pay for it
"An e-mail called Tea Party members “dangerous, radical hate mongers” who want to take the nation back to the days of the Ku Klux Klan -- and it was sent by an employee of the Duval County School District in Jacksonville, Fla.

“These people hate Blacks,” the email stated. “They hate Latinos. They hate Gays. They hate Muslims and have made many anti-Semitic statements.”

The writer also urged people to vote Democratic stating, “The
Republican Party has been hijacked by dangerous, radical hate mongers called the ‘Tea Party.’”

A spokeswoman for the Duval County School District confirmed to Fox News Radio that the email was sent by Cynthia Jones-Humphrey, a school employee. The spokeswoman said Jones-Humphrey was not the author of the email, but did forward it to individuals on her distribution list. She also confirmed the email was sent from a school computer.

The school district said the email violated its acceptable-use policy and the employee made an error in judgment.

Local reports claim that the school district has handled the issue internally and "disciplined" the teacher. The district did not disclose details to Fox News Radio saying only that Jones-Humphrey is still employed with the system.

“The employee should be fired,” said Jacksonville resident Linda Masci. “You should never be allowed to use a taxpayer’s email account to send out such vile and hate.”

YouTube bows to pressure, pulls Jihad videos

There is near-universal agreement that incitement to violence should not be protected as free speech so the wonder is that these videos stayed up so long. But Muslims are especially privileged, of course
"Under pressure from US and British officials, YouTube yesterday removed from its site some of the hundreds of videos featuring calls to jihad by Anwar al-Awlaki, a US-born, Yemen-based cleric who has played an increasingly public role in inspiring violence directed at the West. …

The requests took on greater urgency after two powerful bombs hidden in air cargo planes were intercepted en route from Yemen to Chicago on Friday, with the prime suspect being the Yemen-based group with which Awlaki is affiliated, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.”


Saturday, November 06, 2010

OK: Mom upset over son’s Pledge assignment

We read:
"Melissa Taggart says she was delighted that her son was learning a foreign language in the eighth grade — until she learned he was expected to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in Spanish. And that he’d receive a zero if he didn’t. …

She said she couldn’t begin to understand why her son’s teacher would choose the Pledge for her class. And she was upset that her son was told he would receive a zero if he did not complete the assignment.”

HUD Dismisses Complaint Against Woman for Ad Seeking 'Christian Roommate'‏

We read:
"The U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department has dismissed a civil rights complaint against against a woman in Grand Rapids, Mich., who posted an advertisement at her church last July seeking a Christian roommate.

The complaint filed by the Fair Housing Center of West Michigan had accused the unidentified 31-year-old woman of posting an ad that "expresses an illegal preference for a Christian roommate, thus excluding people of other faiths."

Joel Oster, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, which represented the woman free of charge, had described the case as "outrageous."

"Clearly this woman has a right to pick and choose who she wants to live with," he said. "Christians shouldn't live in fear of being punished by the government for being Christians. It is completely absurd to try to penalize a single Christian woman for privately seeking a Christian roommate at church -- an obviously legal and constitutionally protected activity."


Friday, November 05, 2010

Students block university's Free Expression Tunnel

Young Fascists at work. Fascists have always found it easy to recruit youth.
"Students have vowed to block North Carolina State University's Free Expression Tunnel until the university's chancellor gives guarantees that no hate speech will be allowed there.

About 40 students painted the tunnel black overnight to protest racist and homophobic graffiti involving President Barack Obama painted there earlier this week. Slurs and the name "Obama" were painted over the picture of a black man.

"It's about the N-word. It's not about Obama. It's about racism, period," N.C. State sophomore Monique Bonds said.

The protesters also stood locked arm-in-arm, sang and prevented anyone from passing through the tunnel.

N.C. State students are allowed to paint the Free Expression Tunnel with images and words commenting on any issue. The tunnel is also a major thoroughfare through campus.


Graffiti defaming Christians and conservatives would be OK of course

The Terminator vs. the Constitution

We read:
"Does a zombie count as ‘an image of a human being?’ What about an android or a shape-shifting alien? If his arm regenerates when you hack it off, does that still amount to ‘maiming?’ Are you ‘killing’ him if he comes back to life after you incinerate him with a flamethrower?

These are a few of the questions raised by California’s law against selling ‘offensively violent’ video games to minors.

But the most important question is this: Should the Supreme Court, which considered arguments for and against the law on Tuesday, create an exception to the First Amendment at the behest of moral crusaders who, like critics of dime novels, motion pictures, and comic books in earlier generations, see a newly popular medium as an intolerable threat to the youth of America?”

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who starred in violent movies that have inspired several violent video games, nevertheless argues that the Court should uphold the law (which he proudly signed) by extending the logic of a 1968 decision that allowed states to impose age restrictions on sales of pornography. But that ruling was based on the obscenity doctrine, which holds that certain kinds of sexual material are beyond the scope of the First Amendment even for adults. The Court has never taken that position with respect to violence.


Thursday, November 04, 2010

More insane Leftist hate-speech

We read:
"If you thought negative campaign ads were a problem in this election, perhaps you haven’t spent enough time in Virginia’s 5th district. This video depicts two men unleashing a string of racial epithets at members of Americans for Prosperity, who took the video. While flailing arms and shouting, the two also start yanking signs off of private property and throwing them aside, while saying, “This is public space. I pay taxpayer dollars while y’all to spread racism and bigotry.” See for yourself:


As Michelle Malkin comments:
"Especially love how he screams “You f**king House nigger white-black bitch!” at a black GOP woman and then turns around and screams “RAAAAACIST!” at her and the rest of the conservative activists peacefully sitting together in their yard.
Silvio does it again

We read:
"Silvio Berlusconi's attempt to laugh off a sex scandal with a homophobic joke has backfired, causing widespread offence amid a deepening political crisis.

“I'm always working flat out and sometimes I look at beautiful women ... It's better to be passionate about beautiful women than to be gay,” Mr Berlusconi said in a speech at the opening of a motorcycle show in Milan.

Prosecutors have opened an inquiry into allegations by a girl that she was paid to attend raunchy parties hosted by the prime minister at his villa last year when she was under 18, Italian newspapers reported in recent days.

But his “gay” comment has stirred up more controversy, with Donatella Ferranti, a leader of the main opposition Democratic Party, saying it was “not just homophobic but also a miserable attempt to distract attention away from the latest scandal involving an underage girl”.

The gay rights group Arcigay said that Mr Berlusconi's remarks were “gratuitous and vulgar and offensive not just to homosexuals but also to women.”

Former anti-corruption judge Antonio Di Pietro, who heads the Italy of Values opposition party, said Mr Berlusconi “still lives in the Stone Age”.


Not exactly the stone age. Homosexuality was illegal in most places just a few decades ago.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Must not hug redheads?

We read:
"New Zealand's broadcasting watchdog has warned against picking on redheads, saying a radio station's "Hug-a-Ginga Day" caused distress among flame-haired children.

The Broadcasting Standards Authority examined the promotion on Edge radio in May after members of the public complained its use of terms such as "ginga", "fanta pants" and "ranga" were insulting.

In a majority finding published yesterday, the authority found the station's promotion appeared to be singling out a group because of its physical characteristics.

"It seems clear from the complainants' submissions that the promotion has resulted in people feeling unfairly singled out, unwanted physical attention, and some distress among red-haired children who fear teasing and bullying," it said.


"fanta pants" refers to the popular reddish fizzy drink of that name and "ranga" is short for "Orang Utan". Orangs have reddish hair.

My father had red hair and was invariably addressed by those who knew him as "Bluey". No offense was intended or taken.

British Government plans Net censor service

Just having a "minister responsible for internet regulation" is pretty appalling
"The minister responsible for internet regulation is planning a new mediation service to encourage ISPs and websites to censor material in response to public complaints.

Ed Vaizey said internet users could use the service to ask for material that is "inaccurate" or infringes their privacy to be removed. It would offer a low cost alternative to court action, he suggested, and be modelled on Nominet's mediation service for domain disputes.

Vaizey, who is communications minister, revealed the plan yesterday. He said he will soon write to ISPs and major websites including Facebook and Google to discuss the initiative.

He conceded that industry is likely to resist any attempt at greater regulation, but he is keen to set up a system of "redress" for the public.


Tuesday, November 02, 2010

A bigoted bishop

I used to be rather impressed by bishop Spong when I heard him reject some of the sillier and more superficial aspects of Christianity but then I realized that he was really rejecting it all. He is hollow to the core -- and but for his ecclesiastical purple and pectoral cross, there is no way you would identify him as a bishop or even as a Christian. He is not above bigotry, however. He is bigoted AGAINST Christianity as we know it from the Bible. Note the following excerpt:
"I have made a decision. I will no longer debate the issue of homosexuality in the church with anyone.

I will no longer engage the biblical ignorance that emanates from so many right-wing Christians about how the Bible condemns homosexuality, as if that point of view still has any credibility.

I will no longer discuss with them or listen to them tell me how homosexuality is "an abomination to God," about how homosexuality is a "chosen lifestyle," or about how through prayer and "spiritual counseling" homosexual persons can be "cured." Those arguments are no longer worthy of my time or energy.

I will no longer listen to that pious sentimentality that certain Christian leaders continue to employ, which suggests some version of that strange and overtly dishonest phrase that "we love the sinner but hate the sin." That statement is, I have concluded, nothing more than a self-serving lie designed to cover the fact that these people hate homosexual persons and fear homosexuality itself, but somehow know that hatred is incompatible with the Christ they claim to profess, so they adopt this face-saving and absolutely false statement.

The day for that mentality has quite simply come to an end for me. I will personally neither tolerate it nor listen to it any longer. The world has moved on, leaving these elements of the Christian Church that cannot adjust to new knowledge or a new consciousness lost in a sea of their own irrelevance.


As far as I can see, that is not only bigotry, it's hate speech -- but hate speech against Christians is routine from the Left, of course.

If Spong regards Bible-believing Christians as reprehensible, he should do as Christ did with Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10). -- but Spong is obviously no follower of Christ. I rather doubt that he is religious at all, in fact. His mission is to sell books to people who want to justify their contempt for conventional Christianity. And I believe that he does well out of that. His "new consciousness" is certainly not a Christian consciousness, whatever else it may be.