Tuesday, March 31, 2015

An amusing attempt at censorship

A business that writes students' essays for them wrote to Sean Gabb, a British libertarian, as follows:

I am emailing on behalf of http://www.essaywriter.co.uk/.

We have recently been reviewing all of the links to our site and have decided to try to remove any that could possibly be marked by Google as unnatural. Whilst this isn’t suggesting that your link to us isn’t natural we just want to be as cautious as possible.

Would you be able to help us by either removing or adding a nofollow to any links you have to us? This is what we found linking to us: –


Please let me know if you are able to help us with this and what we need to do to get the link removed.

Sean Gabb replied:

I have no idea how, if at all, you were linked to from my site. However, I do not see that it is your business to decide who links to your site. I will also point out that, where “unnaturalness” may be concerned, I run an educational charity recognised for tax purposes by HMRC, and your main business appears to be helping students to evade the proper consequences of their idleness or illiteracy or both.

In short, I find your request impertinent, and propose to give it no further attention.


Must not joke about gas and ovens

Katie Hopkins has sparked outrage once again after being accused of making a Holocaust joke aimed at the wife of Ed Miliband – whose Jewish parents fled from the Nazis.

The controversial TV pundit faced calls for her arrest after saying the Labour leader could 'gas' his wife Justine in a message on Friday.  She tweeted: 'Pollsters say Justine is the least popular of party wives. He might stick her head in the oven and turn on the gas.'

The outspoken star was then bombarded with hundreds of furious messages condemning her 'vile' tweet, with one saying: 'You really are a deplorable and scummy piece of excrement.'

Jay Niew tweeted: 'Katie Hopkins should be prosecuted for her vile gas oven and Jewish tweet. She is sub human both in intellect and character.'

David Price said: 'Is this in poor taste for shady reasons or are you as stupid as you seem? Check his background, look in the mirror and be ashamed.'

The Labour leader has previously spoken about how both his parents, Ralph Miliband and Marion Kozak, fled the Nazis in the 1940s.  He also revealed that a number of his relatives were killed including his grandfather who died in a labour camp.


Monday, March 30, 2015

Censorship row over app that takes swear words out of ebooks

This is just hysteria and has no legal standing.  Once you buy a book, it's yours.  You can burn it, pulp it or do whatever you like to it

As one person bluntly put, it is ‘f****** horrifying’. An app that blanks out swear words in e-books has prompted outrage among writers including Chocolat author Joanne Harris, who have accused it of censoring their work without permission.

Last night Mrs Harris, 50, took to her blog to write a scathing critique of the Clean Reader application which has been designed to help parents protect their children from explicit content.

It operates on a sliding scale from ‘clean’, which removes only the worst swear words, to ‘squeaky clean’ which even takes out ‘damn’.

Condemning the app on her blog, in a post titled ‘why I’m saying “f*** you” to Clean Reader’, Mrs Harris, whose book was turned into a Hollywood film starring Juliette Binoche, 51, and Johnny Depp, 51, likened the programme to examples of suppression from history.

She said: 'Anyone who works with words understands their power. Words, if used correctly, can achieve almost anything.

'To tamper with what is written – however much we may dislike certain words and phrases – is to embrace censorship.

‘We’ve been down this road before. We should know where it leads by now. It starts with blanking out a few words. It goes on to drape table legs and stick fig leaves onto statues.


Supreme Court considers Texas license plate case that could threaten free speech on campus

In Walker v. Sons of Confederate Veterans, due for oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court Monday, the respondent will argue that a private organization should be able to have a specialty license plate with the Confederate battle flag on it. On the other side, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles Board contends that license plates constitute government speech because the state government controls their production. The state, therefore, may choose not to approve a Confederate flag, which many Texans find offensive, as part of a specialty license plate design.

In spite of the emotional appeal of banning offensive symbols, it is important to consider the wider, unintended consequences of a decision allowing Texas to censor the image of the Confederate flag, however repugnant some may find it. Specifically, discourse on public colleges and universities is likely to suffer if the justices decide that specialty license plates are a form of government speech and that Texas may, therefore, censor license plate messages with which it does not want to associate.

The connection between specialty license plates and college campuses may not be readily apparent, but every day colleges and universities creatively abuse their authority over student and faculty activities to stifle speech they do not like. And restrictions on intellectual discourse on campus harm everyone. As the Supreme Court has often affirmed, “Scholarship cannot flourish in an atmosphere of suspicion and distrust. Teachers and students must always remain free to inquire, to study and to evaluate, to gain new maturity and understanding; otherwise our civilization will stagnate and die.”


Sunday, March 29, 2015

UK: Using technical terms makes you elitist

Alan Yentob has been mocked for denying that the BBC was elitist while using marketing speak of 'C2s and Ds' to describe working class people.

The broadcaster's creative director was appearing on Newsnight to defend the sacking of Jeremy Clarkson, whose contract is not being renewed after he attacked Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon.

He had denied that the corporation was elitist, but said it made programmes that attracted audiences who were 'C2, Ds' - marketing terms for working class consumers.

'The BBC is a place that, despite what people say, that does embrace diversity,' he told Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis.

He was then asked whether losing Clarkson meant the BBC were no longer catering to audiences who were not the 'metropolitan elite'.

'I don't know that I would buy that about the metropolitan elite,' he said.  'There are quite a lot of programmes that reach out to audiences who are C2, Ds, who aren't the metropolitan elite.

Mr Yentob's comments quickly attracted the attention of social media users, who criticised the way he had described viewers.

User Edward Oldfield wrote: 'I'm sorry but the moment that Alan Yentob starts using demographic terms when defending the metropolitan elite attacks he loses.'

Another, Robert MacDonald, tweeted: 'Did Alan Yentob really just say 'lots of our programmes reach out to C2 Ds' (in rejecting BBC is for 'metropolitan elite')?'

Twitter user Sacred Antinous wrote: 'Yentob describes all those who aren't 'metropolitan elite' as C2DEs. Our licence fee is so well spent on this man of the people"


Australian footballer mentions that a lot of taxis in Australia are driven by Indians -- immediate outrage

Indians are passionate followers of cricket so when their own national team is playing, it is likely that a lot of taxi drivers were at the cricket ground instead of driving. Taxi driving in Australia is casual work so they would be entitled to do that

Former Australian rugby union captain Tim Horan has joined Today Show host Karl Stefanovic at the centre of racism accusations after making comments about the World Cup Cricket that were deemed offensive to Indians.

Horan, who is now a commentator for Fox Sports, posted on social media before Thursday's semi-final between India and Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground: 'What are the chances of getting a taxi in Sydney later today #taxidrivers #india #worldcup #cricket'.

The tweet prompted an immediate backlash on social media with some labelling the joke 'atrocious' and 'offensive'.

Julie Cole asked: 'Can you clarify what you mean by this tweet? Because I'm thinking you're a racist idiot.'

Dean said: 'Joking about getting a taxi whilst India are playing cricket is a timeless joke. Lay off Tim Horan.'

Buffalochicken wrote: 'I assume you have a brain. If so, how did you think your comment was not offensive?'

However, many others have defended Horan's 'racist' joke, with Gavin tweeting: 'I saw your Tweet. Nothing in it. People need to settle down.'

Bari said: 'Oh... I just thought you meant it would be busy.'

The backlash prompted Horan to remove comment before tweeting an apology, saying: 'Hi all earlier tweet today was an innocent error... never meant to offend anyone.'


Friday, March 27, 2015

OK for Muslims to yell Nazi Slogans. Anybody else gets shot

Over at TheRebel.media, Ezra Levant continues to follow the ongoing saga of the cops in his hometown — Calgary, Alberta — and what seems like their weird double standard when it comes to troublemakers who shout Nazi slogans in public.

Last year, a bunch of Muslims yelled “Heil Hitler!” at a pro-Israel rally.

The cops stood by and did nothing, and I’d argue that that was the right response. Free speech, right?

But over the weekend, a decidedly Caucasian-looking dude shouted “White power!” at some “anti-racism” demonstrators.

A run-in with police followed — and he was shot.


Australia:  Must not mention that many small businesses are run by Indians

When India is playing, there is a huge stream of brown men to the cricket ground.  Cricket is a religion for Indians.  You do wonder how their businesses keep going at such times.  Wives take  over, I guess

KARL Stefanovic has done it again.The Today Show host, famous for his on-air gaffes, was interviewing a bunch of Indian cricket fans this morning ahead of today’s World Cup semi-final between Australia and India at the SCG [Sydney Cricket Ground].

“I was just gonna ask ... Who’s going to be manning 7-Elevens today?” asked Stefanovic.

One of the Indian fans being interviewed laughed off the comment before firing back with, “I’m not sure about who’s going to be manning 7-Elevens but you might have to look at Centrelink [welfare office] as well I think Karl”.

The witty retort amused Stefanovic, who cracked up laughing and said, “You beauty”.

In a statement to news.com.au, a Today Show spokesperson said: “It was all light hearted banter in the segment from both sides of the fence and in the context of the fierce rivalry which will be played out on the pitch of the SCG this afternoon. We can confirm that in post-show, private conversations between Karl and the guest, no offence was taken on either side.”


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Man jailed in Myanmar for using image of Buddha to promote cheap drinks

A MYANMAR court has sentenced a New Zealand bar manager and his business associates to two years and six months in prison for insulting Buddhism over a flyer that showed a psychedelic depiction of Buddha wearing headphones.

Blackwood, 32, Tun Thurein and Htut Ko Ko Lwin were given two years of hard labour for insulting religion and six months for disobeying an order from a public servant.

Blackwood’s lawyer Mya Thway had earlier told the court his client had not intended to insult religion and was simply promoting a cheap drinks night.

But Agence France-Presse reports that Judge Ye Lwin said on Tuesday that although Blackwood posted an apology, he had “intentionally plotted to insult religious belief” when he uploaded the mocked-up image on Facebook.


When in Rome ....

Photo of Baby Wrapped in U.S. Flag Sparks Outrage

A Virginia photographer, who is also a Navy veteran, has sparked outrage from some and praise from others for a photo that she took of military father Rodney Clevenger holding his newborn son wrapped up in an American flag, according to Fox News.

Dozens of social media users to accused the photographer of disrespecting the American flag. One person posted: “To use the American flag in such a way is disrespectful, rude, tacky, disgusting, and against the U.S. Flag Code… You have disgraced our fallen soldiers.”

Rather than take it down, Hicks decided to take a stand and leave it up, because she believed in the photo and as the mother of two young daughters, she wouldn’t want them to back down from “any type of bully.”

Despite the negative reaction from some, the overwhelming response – 98 percent – has been positive, she said. “I have had people call me all the way from Kansas City, a hundred percent disabled combat veterans, saying ‘this picture is what I served for,’” Hicks said.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Racist not to like Mexican food?

Former Tonight Show host Jay Leno has criticized college students for being too 'politically correct' and not knowing what racism actually means.

The retired talk show legend lambasted a former intern during an appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers on Thursday.

The 64-year-old comedian, who has been performing college shows around the country, described how the youngster told him he was 'racist' when he said he didn't like Mexican food.

He said: 'College kids now are so politically correct. I mean, to the point where — I'll give you an example, we had interns at the show, college interns.

'Like, the last year of the show, one of the interns comes and says, "Mr. Leno, I'm getting lunch. what do you want?' I said, 'I don't know, where are you going?'

'He said, "we're getting Mexican." I said, "I don't really like Mexican." He goes, "whoa, that's kind of racist".'

Leno then shouts: 'That's not racist.'  'No, being anti-guacamole is not racist, okay? You have no idea what racism is. That's not racist, you idiot, you moron.'


Fear silences people in today's academe

A lot like Mao's China

I’ve been in academe for about a decade now, and the only professors I’ve known who have slept with or dated students were female.

I’m sure plenty more shenanigans were happening out of public view. Absolutely. But I don’t pry. I don’t care, really. I trust my colleagues not to be rapists, and barring severe warning signs I’d never take any interest in their sex lives, even if those sex lives involved relationships of a sort that I’d personally never partake in.

But lately I’ve noticed a marked, very loud silence from these professors and instructors, the ones who dated students. See, there’s a big kerfuffle going on about a female Northwestern professor, Laura Kipnis, who made the mistake of speaking honestly on the internet. She said that blanket bans on teacher-student relationships were dumb and infantilizing. In response, students and colleagues have called for her to be formally censured. And out of the several female professors I’ve known to have engaged in relationships with students, not a one has lent Kipnis a single word of support.

This isn’t an issue of hypocrisy. This is a matter of real, palpable fear. Saying anything that goes against liberal orthodoxy is now grounds for a firin’. Even if you make a reasonable and respectful case, if you so much as cause your liberal students a second of complication or doubt you face the risk of demonstrations, public call-outs, and severe professional consequences. My friends and colleagues might well agree that the student-teacher relationship ban is misguided, but they’re not allowed to say as much in public.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

British government prescribes what thoughts are allowed

Well, almost. The British government has just produced the guidance for its “Prevent” scheme for education, which aims to stop young people from being drawn into “extremism”.

The elite at Oxford and Cambridge have been granted a specific exemption, allowing them to hear dangerous ideas that might corrupt the ordinary youth, and universities haven’t been given specific guidance on what they may teach.

Colleges of further education, on the other hand, have been told that “All relevant curriculum areas will need to be engaged, with a single contact point for delivery of Prevent-related activity.” This so that students are not exposed to arguments that involve

“active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and the mutual tolerance of different faiths and beliefs.”

I suppose it will be news to some that these are “British” values, particularly if they are Irish or live in the former colonies. But leaving that aside, it looks like Plato is off the menu and to make sure:

“Compliance with the duty will be monitored centrally via the Home Office and through appropriate inspection regimes in each sector.”

Well, that’s freedom for you.


Obama is now trying to silence Russians in Russia

On March 11, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) added Russian academic Alexander Dugin to its roster of “individuals and entities to be sanctioned over Russia’s interference in Ukraine.”

This decree means that any property belonging to Dugin that is within reach of the Soyuz (aka the country formerly known as the United States of America) is subject to forfeiture, and US citizens who do business with the professor will face criminal prosecution under the Trading with the Enemy Act.

What did Dugin – a so-called “mad professor” who will inevitably be portrayed on film by Russell Crowe -- do that merits this designation? He holds no government position, nor is he the chieftain of a private criminal syndicate. Dugin, an outspoken Russian nationalist, has been depicted as a species of terrorist – the intellectual leader of a “revisionist” movement in Russia.

It is his use of the written and spoken word that provoked the outrage of the Trotskyites controlling Washington’s war-making apparatus.

In other words, Dugin – a citizen of a country with which the United States is not formally at war – was targeted for economic punishment as a thought criminal. He should consider himself fortunate that he hasn’t yet been targeted for a drone strike.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Arabs do not come in "droves"


Obama also said he chided Netanyahu for his election day video posted to Facebook, in which he urged Likud backers to vote to counter “droves” of Arab voters he said were being bussed to the polls by foreign-backed organizations.

“We indicated that that kind of rhetoric was contrary to what is the best of Israel’s traditions,” Obama said.

“Israeli democracy had been premised on everybody in the country being treated equally and fairly, I think that is what it best about Israeli democracy,” he said. “If that is lost then I think that not only does it give ammunition to folks who don’t believe in a Jewish state.”


I was going to call "droves" a "colorful" expression but I guess that might be suspect too

Surprise, surprise!

It turns out that the person who has been posting “whites only” stickers around Austin, Texas is actually a liberal “social justice warrior” looking to bring attention to the racism of whites.

For days no one knew who had posted them and why could only be speculated.

The answer has been solved today: the stickers were posted by Austin lawyer Adam Reposa who did it to point out the “gentrification” of Austin and the displacement of minorities.

“They’re getting pushed out, and pretty quick. This area of town is turning into white’s only,” Reposa said in a video uploaded to YouTube. “Not by law like it used to be, and everyone’s going to jump on, ‘that’s racist!’ ‘that’s racist!’ Man, this town, the way shit works is racist!


A rage-filled man.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Belgian foreign minister under fire for blacking up his face for fancy dress charity event with an African theme

The phobia against blackface is mainly American. The rest of the world is more relaxed about it

The Belgian Deputy Prime Minister has been accused of racism after blacking up his face during a charity event in Brussels.

Foreign Minister Didier Reynders painted his face and dressed up as an '19th century African nobleman' as he joined charity organisation Les Noirauds (The Blacks) for a fundraising rally.

The 56-year-old liberal politician later posted pictures of himself during the event on social media, captioned: 'The singing blacks'.

Reynders has since faced criticism from minority organisations and prominent Belgians of African descent, who have said the minister's behaviour was 'unacceptable'.

Wouter Van Bellingen, the director of Minority Forum, called the Deputy PM's actions 'deplorable', adding that Belgium still lacks a national anti-racism plan, despite making a commitment to devise one 14 years ago.

Les Noirauds is an organisation under royal patronage founded in 1876, which collects money for children's charities.

Members of Les Noirauds blacken their faces and dress in white top hats, ruffled collars, bright green trousers and stockings, emulating what they call #19th century African noblemen'.

The group, accompanied by Reynders, appeared during a charity rally in Brussels last Saturday accompanied by a band dubbed the 'Conservatoire Africain' (African conservatory).

Despite the criticism on Twitter, very little response has come from withing the Belgian political sphere, with even the left-leaning Green Party saying Les Noirauds were innocuous folklore.


Antisemitic French comedian Dieudonné guilty of condoning terrorism

French comedian Dieudonné has been given a two-month suspended jail sentence after being found guilty of condoning terrorism by a Paris court.

Days after the Paris terror attacks he wrote on Facebook that he “felt like Charlie Coulibaly”, the last name referring to one of the gunmen.

“I am Charlie” became a the slogan of solidarity following the attacks. Amedy Coulibaly killed a policewoman a day after the Charlie Hebdo attack and four Jews in a raid on a kosher supermarket two days later.

Dieudonné, who was not in court on Wednesday, has seven convictions for slander or anti-Semitic statements and his shows have been banned in some cities as a threat to public order.

The comic insists he is not anti-Semitic [Except when he is]


He "felt" like a terrorist

Friday, March 20, 2015

Just hang the flag, Chief Judge Morrison

It began innocently enough.  Portsmouth Sheriff Bill Watson received an American flag made from a fire hose as a gift from the Portsmouth Fire Department. The flag included a blue line in the middle in support of law enforcement and emergency personnel. Watson, whose office is on the first floor of the Portsmouth Judicial Building wanted to display the flag in the lobby of the building. The lobby is bare except for a photograph of members of the city bar association.

So, Watson asked the head of building maintenance if he could hang the flag, who had to clear this with Johnny Morrison, Chief Justice of the 3rd Circuit Court. City general services say that what may be hung in the judicial building falls under the purview of the Chief Justice.

While waiting for the answer, Watson simply hung the flag in the lobby. Then, it was removed by a court order, with the Chief Justice refusing to keep the flag in the lobby because he defined it as a work of art. He also has later argued that hanging the flag would show favoritism to the police force. The other three circuit judges also opposed the flag being hung.

Recounting the events to NewsChannel 3, Watson said he was told, “Not only do we not want it on the wall, we don’t want it in the courthouse.”

“I just can’t believe that they don’t want to display the American flag in a courthouse, I mean that’s the most asinine thing I’ve ever heard in my life,” Watson added.

The flag is currently hanging in the glass of Watson’s office facing the lobby.

So what if it was made out of hoses and was painted? So what if it could be considered a work of art? By such a standard, a Jasper Johns American flag painting or Emanuel Leutze’s 1851 oil on canvas, Washington Crossing the Delaware, would not be hung.

Why, because they were painted?

Or maybe, something else. Perhaps, the Chief Justice does not like the Portsmouth fire hose flag simply because it shows a love of country and an appreciation for law enforcement.

Of course, it has nothing to do with showing favoritism for the police, it’s about saying thank you to those who put their lives on the line every day to protect and defend the local Portsmouth community. There is no ideological or legal issue at stake, and yet the Chief Justice has seen fit to create one.

When you get down to it, the court’s refusal to display the flag and showing support for police and emergency personnel is just mean-spirited. They all work in the same building, for goodness’ sake.

As Watson noted, “They expect my deputies to put their life on the line for a judge. If somebody was going to come into a courtroom with a gun, the deputy is supposed to stand in front of the judge and take a bullet, but yet they won’t let us have our flag, saluting public safety? To me, that’s a slap in the face.”


Supercilious do-gooder gets backlash

Twitter has ruthlessly mocked Starbucks campaign for the company's new anti-racism campaign in which baristas talk to customers about race issues while serving their coffee.

One user tweeted, 'I don't have time to explain 400 years of oppression to you & still make my train', while another pointed out, 'y'all realize there are no coloured hands in the press photos right'.

A third speculated, 'maybe Starbucks actually wanted to get people of all races & ethnicities to join hands and make fun'.

Humiliation: Corey duBrowa, Starbucks' Senior Vice President of Global Communications was forced to delete his account due to 'a cascade of negativity'

Staff at the 4,700 cafés across America now have the option to write 'RaceTogether' on cardboard cups, which is the slogan of a Starbucks anti-racism campaign.

It was hoped that customers who encounter the slogan on their coffee cup would be inspired to discuss the deeper issues affecting America, in an attempt to 'create a more empathetic and inclusive society - one conversation at a time'.

But many customers found the campaign 'patronizing'.

'#RaceTogether is what happens when a 1%-er without any actual anti-racist education or training has a mid-life "white man's burden" crisis,' one user tweeted.

Another took a sarcastic approach, tweeting a picture of a white barista, with the message: 'Here's your macchiato! Let's discuss the historic disenfranchisement of your people that has allowed me to prosper.'

The campaign was the brainchild of Howard Schultz, 61, the company's boss, who has a track record of speaking out about contentious topics, from gay marriage to gun control.


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Sephora under fire from critics for selling a lipstick named 'Underage Red'

In their desperation to be creative, advertising agencies do go a bit over the top at times

Beauty giant Sephora has been slammed by its customers in the US for marketing a lipstick which is named 'Underage Red'.

The offensively-labeled item, which is part of a range of beauty products created by tattoo artist-turned-reality star Kat Von D, real name Katherine von Drachenberg, 33, has caused outrage among customers, many of whom have taken to social media to vent their anger at the store.

'Went shopping for some makeup. How on earth is this a lipstick color?' one person questioned on Twitter, after posting a picture of the lipstick name.

'JESUS do they have a whole sex offender line?' someone else tweeted. 'Lipstick named by creeps,' another person added. 


Why should "underage" girls not wear lipstick?

Must not mention Israel

An upmarket  British supermarket chain takes a hit

A Waitrose magazine showcasing the food of Israel has been hammered online for ignoring what activists regard to be the 'illegal occupation of Palestine'.

The supermarket chain's monthly food magazine 'Waitrose Kitchen' contained a 32-page brochure called Taste of Israel.

But the glossy advert, sponsored by Israel's Government Tourist Board, has sparked outrage among campaigners - with some claiming it ignores what they believe is an 'apartheid regime'.

Others have posted harrowing images taken during last year's Gaza conflict.

The travel and food pull-out, in the February edition, contains an 'A-Z food glossary' of Israeli ingredients and dishes as well as a guide of its 'Top 10 restaurants'.

Recipes in the insert include shakshuka, white fish on vegetable ragu, endive salad, and 'instructions for creating the perfect falafel and hummus'.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign called the insert 'disgraceful' adding: 'The booklet is a prime example of Israeli government propaganda, highlighting its efforts to distract the public abroad from its brutal military occupation of Palestinian land by replacing the image of an apartheid regime with that of a tourist-friendly, culture-loving country.'

Activisits took to Twitter with some vowing to boycott Waitrose - and encouraging others to follow suit.

However, some hit back at criticism of Waitrose, with one urging activists to 'leave war and politics out of cooking.'


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Internet gaffe by US government as UK extremist's sharia law photo used in free speech ad

The US government has made a bizarre internet gaffe by posting a British Muslim extremist’s photograph of veiled women calling for sharia law, citing it as an inspirational example of free speech in the West.

The American State Department’s ‘Think Again Turn Away’ campaign is designed to dissuade Muslims from joining IS – also known as ISIS – and other extreme groups.

The campaign posted the picture on its Twitter account last week, adding: ‘In open societies, all faiths enjoy freedom of speech; under ISIS rule, no such thing as freedom of expression.’

The photograph shows Muslim women, all in black burkas, running a stall in Dalston, East London. They are standing behind a trestle table covered in leaflets and a banner reading: ‘Shariah law or man made law. Which is better for mankind?’

The photo was given the caption ‘Muslims coming out inviting society to Islam’ – which was copied by the US State Department – by a man calling himself Abdulrahman Muhajir, whose Twitter account is suspended.

The Mail on Sunday can reveal he is Moshiur Rahman, a 33-year-old from Luton, who last year was one of 12 Islamists given Asbos banning them from taking part in demonstrations over a violent protest rally on Oxford Street. At least two of the gang are believed to be fighting for IS in Syria.

The photo appropriated by the US State Department was first placed on Twitter last week by a woman calling herself Umm Usmaan, who is a leading figure in the anti-democracy campaign.

She described it as an ‘Islamic roadshow’ and included the slogan ‘stay Muslim, don’t vote’ when she put the photo on Twitter.

Last night, terror expert Douglas Murray, associate director of the Henry Jackson Society think-tank, said: ‘It’s an incredibly weak “fail”,’ he said. ‘They should be putting a bit more thought into their sourcing. With all of our resources, it’s not even as accomplished as the crudest IS propaganda.’

US Twitter users were also quick to ridicule the State Department, with one calling it an ‘epic fail’.

Conservative US commentator Mark Steyn added: ‘Why is the State Department promoting sharia for the United Kingdom? Aren’t they supposed to uphold the Constitution of the United States? Sharia’s incompatible with that constitution, as it is with the legal inheritance of Western civilisation.’


Must not mention the Irish liking for booze

Ireland's Prime Minister has taken offence to a St Patrick's Day video message from [Australian] Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has told an Irish newspaper he had watched Mr Abbott's video and rejected the perception that Ireland was synonymous with alcohol.

Mr Abbott prompted criticism last week for the video message, in which he awkwardly describes St Patrick's Day as the one day when "it's good to be green".  He proclaims Ireland's most famous day "a great day for the Irish, and the English, the Vietnamese, the Cambodians and everyone who cares to come to a party".

Mr Abbott signs off his message with an apology that "I can't be there to share a Guinness or two or maybe even three".

Mr Kenny said he had heard Mr Abbott's comments and he didn't agree with them.  "I've heard the Prime Minister's comments. He made them. I don't agree with that," he was reported as saying in the Irish Independent.

Defence Minister Kevin Andrews also drew a link between St Patrick's Day and alcohol consumption, tweeting a picture of himself holding a can of Guinness.

After the video was released last week, two St Patrick's Day events decided not to screen the message after it made headlines in Ireland, with critics describing it as "patronising".


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

After Speaking Honestly About His Religious Views, Baseball Player Instructed to Only Talk Sports

Baseball player Daniel Murphy thinks it’s wrong to practice a gay “lifestyle.”  Now he’s no longer allowed to talk about his religious beliefs.

Why is the nation even discussing what Murphy, a second baseman for the New York Mets, thinks about gays and lesbians?  Well, because after Billy Bean, a gay former Major League Baseball player who now serves as the League’s Ambassador for Inclusion, visited the Mets, a reporter talked to Murphy.

According to the NJ Advance Media report, Murphy “is ready for a gay teammate, “ and “Murphy, a devout Christian, said he would embrace Bean despite a divergence in their beliefs.”

Murphy took pains to clarify that while he opposed Bean’s choices, he was open to getting to know Bean.  “I disagree with his lifestyle,” Murphy said of Bean. “I do disagree with the fact that Billy is a homosexual. That doesn’t mean I can’t still invest in him and get to know him.”

And that’s the last we’re going to hear from Murphy on the subject.  On Wednesday, an ESPN story headlined “Murphy now to talk baseball only” appeared. The story’s first line was “New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy will no longer address his religious beliefs and will stick to baseball, a team spokesman said Wednesday.”

Where’s the tolerance?

Americans are divided on a host of controversial issues—from abortion to wars to vaccines to, yes, same-sex marriage. The way to work together and live in harmony isn’t to pretend we all agree. It isn’t to silence those who have controversial positions.

Instead, we need to keep having honest and genuine conversations about these matters, as awkward and painful and frustrating as those conversations can be.


British football’s thought police need to man up

If you find football fans singing ‘get your tits out’ shocking, then you really need to get out more.

I suppose it had to happen eventually. We’ve had clampdowns on racist, anti-Semitic, sectarian and homophobic chanting at football. Now sexist chanting is in the dock. The Football Association (FA) is urging fans to report sexist abuse at games after the BBC revealed ‘disturbing’ footage of fans chanting ‘get your tits out for the lads’ at Chelsea physio Eva Carneiro.

The appeal to report sexist abuse marks the launch of the She Belongs campaign by advocacy group Women in Football. Is this new initiative against terrace sexism a sign of progress? Don’t be daft. It’s just another nauseating exercise in middle-class self-flattery; another stick with which to beat the knuckle-dragging proles.

Of course there is sexist chanting at football matches. If you find the video of football fans singing ‘get your tits out’ shocking, then you really ought to get out more. Football chants are often abusive, inappropriate, tasteless and obscene. Whatever your decency threshold, it’s highly likely you’ll find a terrace chant that crosses it. If you go looking for offence – and offence-seeking is fast becoming our national pastime – then you’re bound to find it at football. In short, a football match is probably not the ideal team-building activity for an easily-offended campus women’s group.

Personally, I don’t like the ‘get your tits out’ chant. It’s not clever or funny. In fact, it’s downright puerile. But would I report fellow football fans for singing it? Never. As I wrote last week on spiked, Kick It Out’s efforts to encourage fans to report abuse should be steadfastly resisted. There’s no place for Stasi-style snitching in a free society. If you don’t like so-called ‘discriminatory’ chants, then don’t join in. Or have an argument with the pillocks who chant this stuff. Or, better still, stay away from football altogether.


Monday, March 16, 2015

Univision sacks Emmy-winning host after he says Michelle Obama 'looks like she's part of the cast of Planet Of The Apes'

She does.  But don't forget that the apes ruled the roost in the original movie

An Emmy-winning talk show host has been fired by Spanish-language TV station Univision after he compared the First Lady to a character from Planet Of The Apes on live television.

Rodner Figueroa, who's known for his biting fashion commentary, made the racially insensitive remark on the entertainment news show El Gordo Y La Flaca on Wednesday.

Venezuelan-born Figueroa made the remark in a segment discussing the work of make-up artist Paolo Ballesteros who posts photos of himself transformed into female celebrities.

Figueroa, 42, was talking about how Ballesteros had transformed himself into the First Lady when said: 'Well, watch out, you know that Michelle Obama looks like she's from the cast of Planet Of The Apes, the movie.'

When hostess Lili Estefan countered with 'What are you saying?' and host Raul de Molina said Obama was very attractive, Figueroa defended his remark, saying 'but it is true.'

In a statement on Thursday, Univision called Figueroa's comments 'completely reprehensible' and said they 'in no way reflect the values or opinions of Univision.'  'As a result, Mr. Figueroa was fired immediately,' read the statement.

On Thursday he issued an open letter apology to Michelle Obama. In it he claimed his comments were taken out of context and that as a member of a 'bi-racial Latin family' he isn't a racist, reports Latin Times.

'I can't accept that I am being called a racist and being fired for that reason and being humiliated by Univision after working there for 17 years,' he said.

'I come from a bi-racial Latin family, with family members, like my father, who is Afro-Latino. I am the first presenter on Hispanic TV that is openly gay and I am an activist for causes that favor minorities, that have been discriminated against just like me.'


He is not quite dark enough to be given the priviilege of saying what he thinks.

UK: Commons Speaker in hot water after comparing top Tory Esther McVey to a WASHING MACHINE that never stops

House of Commons Speaker John Bercow has been accused of sexism after likening a female minister to a kitchen appliance. Mr Bercow said the Conservative Employment Minister Esther McVey was like 'washing machine' that keeps going just when it appears to have stopped.

He intervened as the former GMTV presenter was giving her fourteenth response to questions in the Commons.

Miss McVey was answering a question on mental health, Mr Bercow interjected to ask her to hurry up.  He said: 'I am reminded of the feeling when one thinks the washing machine will stop — but it does not!'

Ealing North Labour MP Stephen Pound said: 'A washing machine metaphor for a woman minister is seldom a good idea. Let's see how he spins his way out of this one!'

Angie Bray, Conservative MP for Ealing Central and Acton, said it was an 'unnecessarily rude' put-down.  She said: 'I'm not sure it's for him to criticise the style in which she chooses to answer her questions.'


Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Federal Communications Commission needs grammar lessons

The latest burst of "wisdom":

Among its many determinations, the FCC stated that broadband providers do not enjoy First Amendment protections because they do not have a right to free speech.

“The rules we adopt today do not curtail broadband providers’ free speech rights,” the commission said on page 268 of its decision, noting that because they merely serve as a means for others to express themselves, broadband providers are not entitled to free speech rights themselves.

“When engaged in broadband Internet access services, broadband providers are not speakers, but rather serve as conduits for the speech of others," the FCC stated.

“Claiming free speech protections under the First Amendment necessarily involves demonstrating status as a speaker,” the decision stated. “Absent speech, such rights do not attach.”


They have clearly not read the Constitution recently (if at all).  The First Amendment provision concerned is a type of sentence which specifies what will or will not happen but does not specify any doer or actor.  Here's the Amendment:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.  Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press"

So the FCC claim that "free speech protections under the First Amendment necessarily involves demonstrating status as a speaker" is plainly false.  The Amendment says nothing about who speaks or does not speak.  Its applicability is general.  ALL speech is protected, not just the speech of some specified class of speakers

Australian PM Seeks to Douse Furore Over "Outback" Comments

Must not criticize blacks

Prime Minister Tony Abbott sought to douse a furor over comments suggesting people living in remote Outback communities are making a “lifestyle choice” shutting them of jobs and economic opportunity, telling indigenous critics to consider his record of trying to improve the lives of aboriginal Australians.

Mr. Abbott, who promised to make his country’s checkered record of treatment of its indigenous population a priority after winning elections 18 months ago, this week backed a decision by conservative allies in Western Australia state to abandon up to 150 remote communities on the grounds they were too costly and difficult to maintain.

“What we can’t do is endlessly subsidize lifestyle choices if those lifestyle choices are not conducive to the kind of full participation in Australian society that everyone should have,” Mr. Abbott told a radio station in the remote town of Kalgoorlie on Tuesday.

“If people choose to live miles away from where there’s a school, if people choose not to access the (radio broadcast) school of the air, if people choose to live where there’s no jobs, obviously it’s very, very difficult to close the gap,” he said.

Indigenous Australians make up around 2.5% of the 24-million population and suffer lower life expectancy and higher rates of joblessness than other Australians, as well as greater levels of domestic violence and substance abuse. In 2007, then-Prime Minister John Howard sent police and troops into remote communities to curb widespread child sex abuse.

Mr. Abbott promised to govern as “a prime minister for aboriginal affairs” and told parliament last year that failures toward Australia’s indigenous people were “a stain on our soul.” He promised to “sweat blood” to secure recognition for indigenous Australians in the constitution, backing a national vote on the issue.

But his comments this week prompted a storm of protest from indigenous leaders, with aboriginal lawyers and land rights campaigner Noel Pearson calling them “disappointing and hopeless.” The chairman of Mr. Abbott’s own Indigenous Advisory Council, Warren Mundine, said as many as 12,000 people could be affected or forced to move from their homes.

“It’s about their life, it’s about their very essence, it’s about their very culture,” Mr. Mundine told state radio.

Around 12,000 people live in 274 indigenous communities in Western Australia and the state’s conservative government wants to close around half of those. WA Premier Colin Barnett has said some have as few as five residents.

The conservative leader of the neighboring Northern Territory, Adam Giles, whose government overseas a far-flung and largely indigenous population, said he didn’t believe lawmakers should be telling people where to live, particularly indigenous communities with strong ties to traditional lands.

Mr. Abbott, who last month survived a challenge to his leadership brought on by slumping polls and policy gaffes, said people should look at his record on indigenous rights, including a week spent last year running the country from a remote aboriginal community in the Northern Territory made famous by the Crocodile Dundee films.

“I’m very comfortable with my credentials when it comes to doing the right thing by the aboriginal people of Australia,” he said.


Friday, March 13, 2015

A most incorrect opera

I guess I am old-fashioned.  Since I am in my 8th decade of life, maybe I am entitled to be old-fashioned.  But, then again, I was called old-fashioned even in my childhood.

Anyway, when it comes to stage performances (plays, operettas, opera) I like some attempt at authenticity to be made.  Both the sets and the costumes should show some attempt to represent the time and place in which the play is set.  Once upon a time, one could automatically expect that  -- but no more.  Minimalist sets and costumes -- and even anachronistic set and costumes -- seem to be "in".

I can abide minimalism.  It cuts costs and opera is expensive to stage.  But anachronism gets my goat. A recent performance of Handel's Giulio Cesare at Glyndebourne, for instance, had revolvers and steamships in ancient Egypt!  A malediction upon the producer!  I imagine that anachronism is supposed to be clever or entertaining but to me it is just incompetent.

So I greatly appreciate the Metropolitan opera in New York.  They must be the most lavishly funded opera house in the world. When the script requires dancing, they even have their own ballet company to do the honours.  It makes for very high quality staging. And they do a lot of authentic staging.  I don't go there but I buy their DVDs. Buying their stuff helps with their stratospheric costs, of course. And you see a lot more with a DVD than you would see as part of a live audience anyway.

So I was keen to see their production of a famous opera -- Verdi's "Aida".  And I was not disappointed.  The sets were magnificent and very evocative of ancient Egypt. And the costumes were elaborate. There was even a passable representation of the double crown of upper and lower Egypt on the Pharaoh in some scenes.

But I am glad I bought the DVD.  If the performance is  available now via YouTube, I predict that it will soon be taken down.  Why?  Because the performance took place in 1989 and it uses -- horror of horrors -- BLACKFACE.  Both the alleged Ethiopian princess and her alleged Ethiopian father were clearly Caucasian beneath the blacking. The princess was in fact played by Aprile Millo, an American operatic soprano of Italian and Irish ancestry.  I am putting up below an image of her as she appeared in the Met's "Aida".  But it was an excellent performance all round with the famed Placido Domingo as Radames, the Egyptian hero.

And why shouldn't the Met use Millo in their opera?  She is a regular there with a magnificent voice -- and a bit of blacking obviously seemed to them enough to give authenticity to the performance.

How odd it is that something that was normal and unquestioned just a quarter of a century ago is now routinely denounced.  The world is in a fit of hysteria about proper use of language and how the world is represented in general.  Will it ever end?  I can't see it.  My son is routinely a very polite man so he is unlikely to fall victim to the nonsense but I am glad that I was born into a saner era.

Some real Ethiopians below

Congratulations, University of Oklahoma, In Your Outrage You Just Violated the Law

This week several University of Oklahoma frat boys were caught on tape singing a vile, racist song (and, no, it wasn’t “unconscious” racism or “coded” racism — it was straight up segregation-era hate).

The video triggered a tidal wave of outrage on and off campus. A top football recruit “de-committed” to OU and committed to Alabama, the national fraternity expelled the local OU chapter, and students, coaches, professors, and administrators marched in protest. 

To this point, the matter is rather simple. The SAE students engaged in racist expression, and private citizens countered with expression of their own — doing what the marketplace of ideas does best, countering bad speech with better speech.

Then, the government got involved. OU president David Boren has summarily expelled two students allegedly responsible for the chant.  I agree with Eugene Volokh. This action is almost certainly unconstitutional. I’m not going to repeat his entire analysis, but his first point should be sufficient:

"[R]acist speech is constitutionally protected, just as is expression of other contemptible ideas; and universities may not discipline students based on their speech. That has been the unanimous view of courts that have considered campus speech codes and other campus speech restrictions — see here for some citations. The same, of course, is true for fraternity speech, racist or otherwise; see Iota Xi Chapter of Sigma Chi Fraternity v. George Mason University (4th Cir. 1993)." 

Our public universities are becoming national leaders in trampling the Constitution to legislate their brand of “inclusive” morality. FIRE’s Robert Shibley gets the issue exactly right:

"Censorship isn’t necessary for those who are confident in the truth of their views. It’s a signal of insecurity and displays a fear that if an idea is allowed to be expressed, people will find that idea too attractive to resist."

Somehow, college administrators are convinced that if they don’t officially punish racism, their students will be drawn to it like moths to a flame. But there’s simply no reason to expect that. Given the history of campus activism in our nation from the civil rights movement onward, there are myriad reasons to expect the opposite.

I hope these students find the courage to sue — not because anyone agrees with their words but because the First Amendment needs a defense. They said terrible things, but they did not violate the law. Ironically, the only lawbreaker here is a university so incompetent that it created First Amendment martyrs out of students who redefine the word “crass.”


The students concerned are certainly facing a lifetime of public obloquy. There was no need for official punishment as well.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

UK: Eccentric old man avoids jail for racist rant at police officer

Ross Vodden, 53, kissed a woman who he did not know in the street, and then swore at a policeman, calling him ‘n*****’ and ‘black c***' when the officer confronted him about the incident, Westminster Magistrates’ Court was told.

The court heard that on 14 September 2014 Vodden had caused alarm after he planted a kiss on a stranger in Brook Street, Westminster.

Malachy Packenham, prosecuting, said: ‘Police were made aware that the woman had been kissed on the lips by another member of the public as he passed her on the street.

‘An officer went to speak to the male, who immediately became aggressive and confrontational.’

In his rage Vodden called the police officer a ‘f***ing black c***,’ a ‘n*****,’ and a ‘black b******’, as around 20 people stood nearby.

Following his conviction Vodden, who appeared at court today wearing a black bomber jacket emblazoned with colourful symbols and multi-coloured leg warmers, was handed a suspended prison sentence for the incident.

District Judge Richard Blake warned he would be sent to prison if convicted of another outburst.


He probably got off lightly because he is so decrepit and probably mentally ill

Youthful high spirits collide with political correctness

Singing "naughty" words to well-known songs was a feature of student life in my day but all forms of naughty words appear risky today.  I am glad I am not a student in today's censorious environment

The ringleader of a sickening racist chant sung by a University of Oklahoma fraternity has described the outraged reaction to his slurs 'a devastating lesson'.

He wrote: 'I am deeply sorry for what I did Saturday night. It was wrong and reckless. I made a horrible mistake by joining into the singing and encouraging others to do the same.'

'On Monday, I withdrew from the university... I admit it likely was fueled by alcohol consumed at the house before the bus trip, but that’s not an excuse.

Rice is featured the most prominently in the video, as he pumps his fist and encourages others aboard the chartered bus to sing along with the lyrics: 'There will never be a n***** SAE. You can hang him from a tree, but he'll never sign with me. There will never be a n***** SAE.'

The video, taken aboard a party bus Saturday night en route from the campus in Norman to the Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club, caused immediate outrage on Sunday when it was posed on social media.

University officials responded by banning the fraternity from campus and demanding that members move out by midnight tonight.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Pat Condell on University censorshop

"Buffalo" is a racist word

A Native American group is calling on “Buffalo, New York” to change its racist, insensitive name.

Pundit Press reported:

Mark Beasley, a member of the Navajo Nation, has started a petition for Buffalo, NY to change its “racist and offensive” name. According to Beasley, he speaks for his “Native American colleagues.”

Beasley writes in his petition that “Buffalo is the name of the animal that was driven almost to extinction by the non-Native forces in order to annihilate and drive out my ancestors from the American landscape.”

Further, “Within only a few years from the beginning of the campaign, all Native nations were driven off their lands and into reservations, where we have prior and since been unduly subjugated and exposed to genocidal horrors unimaginable to the rest of the world and throughout history.”

For these reasons, Beasley writes, Buffalo “should change their offensive and racist names containing the word “Buffalo.””


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Must not mention the homeless

Vogue's style editor-at-large Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis came under fire on Saturday after posting a photo on Instagram of what appears to be a homeless woman in Paris reading the famed magazine.

'Paris is full of surprises....and @voguemagazine readers even in unexpected corners!' the caption of  the German princess's photo, which has since been deleted, read.

Von Thurn und Taxis, who has been with the magazine since 2012, received a slew of criticism from followers claiming the photo was 'cruel' and 'tasteless'.

The editor, who was in Paris for fashion week, responded to the commenters, asking 'Why cruel? The person to me is as dignified as anyone else!'

The German princess is the daughter of Countess Gloria von Schönburg-Glauchau, known as 'Princess TNT, the dynamite socialite' and Johannes, 11th Prince of Thurn and Taxis.

Her brother Albert, 31, who succeeded their father in 1990 as Albert II, Prince of Thurn and Taxis, has a net worth of more than £1billion and races in a German auto-racing league.

The princess was educated at Sevenoaks in Kent and has a bachelor's degree from the American University of Paris.

A member of the family is believed to have invented the taximeter, which is why taxicabs came to bear his name.  The House of Thurn and Taxis held the rank of royalty in the German Empire until 1918.


Fury as Leftist MP calls Scots Nationalist leader 'wee lass in tin helmet'

A Labour MP has received a dressing down from his own party after he described Nicola Sturgeon as ‘the wee lass with the tin helmet on’. Party whip David Hamilton was accused of sexism after he made the ‘disgraceful slur’ about the First Minister in a speech at Scottish Labour’s spring conference.

The remark, which is thought to be a reference to the SNP leader’s height and haircut, was greeted with laughter by party members in the audience.

Mr Hamilton, who is a whip at Westminster, was later ‘pulled up’ about his comments by deputy Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale at a women’s event.

During an address to the meeting in Edinburgh on Saturday, Mr Hamilton said the party ‘has got to change’ in Scotland.

Speaking about the General Election campaign, he said: ‘We’ve got to go out there and not just be negative about the SNP because that’s very easy to do when you see the wee lass with the tin helmet on.’

He finished the speech, which he said would be his last to the party’s conference as an MP, by saying: ‘Let’s stick it to the SNP.’

SNP politicians immediately demanded that Mr Hamilton be disciplined. Scottish health secretary Shona Robison wrote to Miss Dugdale on Twitter: ‘Not impressed with David Hamilton MPs sexist comments today, were you?’

Miss Dugdale replied: ‘No and he was pulled up about it at the women’s reception’. She added that Mr Hamilton had attended the event to ‘hear the feedback’.

Owen Thompson, the SNP candidate who is hoping to become the MP in Mr Hamilton’s Midlothian seat, said: ‘This sexist comment - and the reaction in the hall at Labour Conference - proves that the dinosaurs are sadly still roaming the Labour Party in Scotland.’

Miss Sturgeon, who is thought to be around 5ft 4in, became Scottish First Minister last year after Alex Salmond stepped down following the independence referendum

Last night a Scottish Labour spokesman said: ‘David Hamilton acknowledged his comment was inappropriate immediately after he made it.


Monday, March 09, 2015

Court Bans Military From Referring to Manning as 'He'

Chelsea Manning , the U.S. Army soldier serving 35 years in prison for leaking a huge stash of state secrets, has won a small but significant victory in her bid to transition to living as a woman.

Manning challenged the military's ongoing refusal to refer to her as a woman, and won. A court order from the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals instructs the military to refer to the soldier in all future official correspondence either using the gender neutral "Private First Class Manning" or employing the feminine pronoun.

As a result, the military is henceforth forbidden from referring to Manning as a man.


Australia: Must not criticise homosexuality

[Public] Broadcaster SBS has pulled the Australian Marriage Forum's anti same-sex marriage television advertisement from their Sunday night telecast of the 37th Sydney Mardi Gras.

The 43-second TV ad aired on Channel 7 and 9 on Saturday while the parade was underway and shows a mother sitting at a playground table with her young daughter while her husband and son play on a slide in the background.  "We hear a lot about marriage equality, but what about equality for kids?" the woman says.

The advertisement also features David van Gend, the president of the Australian Marriage Forum and a family doctor, who is described on-screen only as a "family doctor".  "So-called marriage equality forces a child to miss out on a mother or a father," Dr van Gend says. "That's not equality for the kids who miss out. That's not marriage."

The ad was part of the Forum's campaign opposing same-sex marriage, called "Think of the Child".

Dr van Gend said the ad was booked and paid for but he received an email from SBS on Friday saying they had pulled it.

"Our review board has instructed that SBS has the right to choose what ads we run, and I've unfortunately been instructed to advise you that we choose not to run this TVC for the Marriage Forum during the Mardi Gras telecast," the email from SBS sales manager for Queensland, Nick Belof, said.  An SBS spokesperson told Fairfax Media that it reserved the right "to determine what advertisements it broadcasts".

Dr van Gend said the pulling of the ad was a "suppression of free speech".  "It is outrageous for a taxpayer funded broadcaster like SBS to apply censorship to one side of the debate on same-sex marriage," he said.

"SBS gives free airtime for them to make their political point on 'marriage equality', but refuses to show even one minute of a paid ad presenting an opposing view."


Sunday, March 08, 2015

Court rules that defamation of Leftist Ottawa blogger was 'fair comment'

A Superior Court judge has ruled that although Ottawa blogger Dr. Dawg was defamed on a conservative message board, the hurtful words fell within the bounds of fair comment in the rough and tumble blogosphere.

“Political debate in the Internet blogosphere can be, and often is, rude, aggressive, sarcastic, hyperbolic, insulting caustic and/or vulgar. It is not for the faint of heart,” Madam Justice Heidi Polowin noted in dismissing the legal claim.

In her ruling, Polowin found that John Baglow, an Ottawa blogger known as Dr. Dawg, had been defamed by an August 2010 chat room post that referred to him as “one of the Taliban’s more vocal supporters.”

The statement was made on the Free Dominion website by Roger Smith, of Burnaby, B.C., in the course of an acrimonious debate about federal politics and the treatment of Canadian Omar Khadr, then a Guantanamo inmate.

Polowin concluded that Baglow’s reputation was damaged by the suggestion that he was a Taliban supporter. The judge, however, accepted the Fourniers’ argument that the defamatory words could be defended as fair comment in the blogosphere.

Fair comment can be used as a defence when the words at issue are based on fact and honestly expressed on a matter of public interest.

The judge said Smith was commenting on a matter of public interest — the Khadr case — and honestly held the belief that anyone who supported the teenager, an enemy combatant in Afghanistan, supported the Taliban.

Polowin decided against awarding costs to either side in the bitterly fought case.

Baglow, a left-wing political blogger and former executive with the Public Service Alliance of Canada, called the ruling a split decision. “If one has to lose a lawsuit, this is probably the way to lose it,” he said.


London Underground bans poster for acclaimed Jewish play titled 'Bad Jews' because it 'could cause offence'

Adverts for a Jewish play which received five-star reviews in one of the religion's newspapers have been banned from the London Underground because they 'could cause offence'.

Transport for London (TfL) decided that posters of Joshua Harmon's acclaimed production, Bad Jews, contravened its policy following an investigation by an advertising regulator.

The poster for the comedy, which is about a family brought together after the death of their Holocaust-survivor grandfather, shows four characters in a quarrel on the floor.

One complaint was made to the the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) during the play's first campaign, but the regulator concluded that the poster did not breach rules.

However, TfL disagreed with the ASA's ruling and told the Evening Standard it would not clarify the precise reason for the rejection.

Producer Danny Moar has blasted TfL's decision, saying it seemed like 'censorship', despite the play winning a five-star review for the Jewish Chronicle.

He told the paper: 'Half the cast are Jewish, I'm Jewish, the writer is Jewish and the word "bad" in the title, in so far as it matters, doesn't mean "evil" — it means "non-observant". [i.e. not religious]


Friday, March 06, 2015

Antisemitic Senior BBC journalist

No great surprise there

BBC journalist Jeremy Bowen has come under fire after accusing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of 'playing the Holocaust card'.

The Middle East editor posted his comments on Twitter during the politician's speech at the U.S. Congress.

His tweet sparked outrage, with critics labelling the veteran journalist a 'slime bag' and calling his statement 'deplorable'.

But the senior journalist has responded to his attackers and said claims he is anti-Semitic are 'untrue and offensive'.

Mr Bowen made his claim after highlighting how Prime Minister Netanyahu had referenced U.S. professor Elie Wisel, a survivor the Auschwitz, Buna and Buchenwald Nazi concentration camps.

He wrote: '#NetanyahuSpeech He acknowledged Elie Wiesel in audience. Once again Netanyahu plays the holocaust card. don't repeat mistakes of the past'.

The UK-based campaign group, North West Friends of Israel, also expressed anger.

It tweeted: 'err-'Holocaust card'? The holocaust wasn't a game, Jeremy. Maybe take a trip to Europe again to see how world treated Jews.'

Mr Bowen has been the BBC's Middle East editor since 2005, having previously been based in Israel's capital Jerusalem as a correspondent.


'Squaw' is a racist term?

Silly me! I just thought it meant a female American Indian

On Monday, the fashion label Dsquared2 showcased a Native-themed line at its Fall/Winter 2015 Women’s Show in Milan, Italy. The show streamed live on the company's website, and was followed up by a series of Instagram and Twitter posts of photos from the event.

Dsquared2's designers, twin brothers Dean and Dan Caten, dubbed their collection "Dsquaw" and used the racial-slur pun as a hashtag.

The posts and tweets prompted angry comments from Instagram and Twitter users, who called out the term as racist, offensive and insensitive. Many added that the clothing itself was yet another display of cultural appropriation.

Hours later, the #Dsquaw hashtags were removed from Dsquared2's Instagram page but can still be seen on the auto-Tweets posted to the @Dsquared2 feed.


This "cultural appropriation" bit gets me.   Are we not allowed to learn from other cultures?  My Anglospheric culture has been appropriated by half the world.  How am I disadvantaged by that?  I am rather pleased about it in fact.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

TX:  Must not mention lynching

It would appear that the guy below was sympathetic to blacks and was trying to makes excuses for them -- but you are not allowed to mention lynching for any reason, apparently

The superintendent of the Smithville Independent School District plans to fire a teacher because of a racially insensitive remark made to a classroom full of students last week.

Parents say a handful of black students were dismissed from class on Feb. 26 to help put together a Black History Month celebration at the school. When the students left the classroom, parents say a white student asked why they couldn't be dismissed as well. That's when the teacher responded by asking if that student's realtives were "hanging from trees in the front yard."

The school district placed the teacher on administrative leave Friday. District officials say the teacher will remain on administrative leave until the legal termination process is completed.


TN: Must not criticise privileged treatment of blacks and Muslims

Butt, R-Columbia, continues to face criticism for a January post to Facebook. In response to a post about a letter from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, one of the largest Muslim advocacy organizations in the country, Butt said it's "time for a Council on Christian Relations and an NAAWP in the Country."

Since the post, Butt has said she didn't know the "NAAWP" was associated with any hate groups -- former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke founded a white supremacist organization by the same name -- and clarified that she meant for the "W" to mean "western" and not "white."

She's said there's a difference between western and white, and that she meant the statement to be inclusive. Butt hasn't issued an apology. Like House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville, and Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, Haslam didn't say Butt needed to apologize.

The House Black Caucus called her comments racist and insensitive. They've asked for an apology and for Butt to lose her position as floor leader


Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Obnoxious rant by customer at hamburger joint in Australia

A 19-year-old man from Gawler has been captured on camera racially attacking innocent Hungry Jacks staff and refusing their service at an Adelaide store.

The incident was filmed by a customer in the Rundle St. store on Friday at 5.10 pm and shows a man dressed in jeans and a black T-shirt attempting to place an order at the counter.

The man tells staff, 'I want it made by a white person,' and then refuses service.

Another Hungry Jacks customer can be heard asking the man 'what's wrong with a Chinese guy making your burger?', to which the man says 'everything, you don't belong here'.

The man then abuses a female staff member after she asks him to leave. He can be heard saying 'at least I'm born here c---, where do you come from, f---ing Africa or Asia? Disgusting.'

The tirade is brought to an end when another customer grabs the man and physically removes him from the shop whilst saying 'We are all f---ing Australian.'

Police were called shortly after the incident took place and given a description of the man by other customers.  The man was arrested a short distance away and charged with disorderly behaviour.


He is entitled to ask for what he wants but is not entitled to get it.  And there is no excuse for rudeness to servers  -- unless they are rude first.

Lesbian, Jewish, Muslim… and orangutan: The bizarre list of words Nutella has banned from jars in France

A French marketing campaign by Nutella has backfired after banning the word 'lesbian'.

The 'Say it with Nutella' campaign allowed customers to have a name or message written on a jar of the chocolate spread, which they could then share with friends on social media.

But the words 'lesbian', 'Jewish' and 'orangutan' are all banned from being emblazoned on the pots, it has been discovered.

But users realised that there is a long list of words banned, which bizarrely does not allow 'lesbian' but permits the word 'gay'.

The word 'Christian' can also be written on the jars, but other religious terms such as 'Jewish' and 'Muslim' have been banned by Nutella, Pink News reported.

Health-related terms, presumably in case any one tried to blame the hazelnut spread on obesity, have also been banned, including the words 'cancer' and 'diabetes'.

Ferrero said in a statement: 'By giving customers the opportunity to personalise their Nutella jar we want to create a way for them to share enthusiasm for the brand.

'Negative or insulting terms were directly removed from the options field. Similarly, terms of communities that are often subject to attacks by malicious people were removed from the possibilities.'


Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Monkeys and bananas can NEVER be mentioned safely

Basketball fans on their home courts often go to great lengths to distract opposing players who take free throws.

Fans of teams in the NBA and at the collegiate level typically get the word out that everybody should wear the same color clothing — the more distracting the color, the better — so that when the poor player bounces the ball all alone at the foul line and gets ready to shoot, the explosions of color and sound will help a few shots get missed.

But students from New Jersey’s Holy Spirit High School in Absecon had a more elaborate idea during a tournament game Friday. They dreamed up a full-on skit, with makeshift curtains opening up to show actors dressed in costumes.

There was a guy outfitted like a cowgirl, a kid dressed up like a bee — and then a pair who got some people upset.

Not because they made an opposing player miss a free throw (which one did on his first attempt) but because the costumes in question — one student was dressed as a monkey and the other as a banana — were considered racially offensive by some.

The players from opposing Atlantic City High School are predominately black, WCAU-TV in Philadelphia reported, adding that they were told the skit went on during the first half of the game.

“I absolutely think it was offensive,” Ricardo Belgrave told WCAU after the Friday night’s game, noting that because it happened during Black History Month the gesture was more significant. “You should know when you’re putting that costume on, it should come in your mind that this might offend African-American people.”

In response the Cape Atlantic League’s board of referees told WCAU that the game officials were reprimanded — and while the students won’t face punishment, WCAU said they entire student body received a warning not to do it again.


Monday, March 02, 2015

JetBlue under fire for tasteless 'Oh, the Bluemanity' tweet about the Hindenburg

JetBlue have been fiercely criticised after Tweeting an ill-advised pun referencing the Hindenburg disaster.  To its 1.9 million followers on Twitter, the no-frills US airline wrote 'Oh, the Bluemanity' as it showed of the designs on its aircraft tail.

The phrase was a take on when radio announcer Herbert Morrison exclaimed 'Oh, the humanity!' in 1937 when he reported on the terrible disaster that left 36 people dead.

Almost immediately after the poorly thought-out Tweet went live, users rounded on the company expressing their shock at the reference.

Twitter user Joey White was quick to point out that while JetBlue were quick to delete, the internet 'never forgets' while most described the Tweet as 'the ultimate faux pas.'

JetBlue spokesman Morgan Johnston told the Daily News: 'We recognized it was an error. It was not well thought out, and we removed it.'

The company then proceeded to reply back to users who had seriously questioned the logic of posting such a message.


Canadian court upholds requiring oath to Queen for citizenship
Queen Elizabeth II

Canada's Supreme Court has rejected an appeal to remove the country's citizenship oath, which requires applicants to swear allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II .

The appeal was launched by three permanent residents who wanted to obtain citizenship but not want to pledge allegiance to the royal family. Native-born Canadians do not have to take any oath.

The plaintiffs say the vow violates religious and conscientious beliefs. Simone Topey, a Rastafarian from Jamaica, and Dror Bar-Natan, an Israeli Jew, say their religion forbids them from taking an oath to any person.

"I can't do something that I don't believe in," Topey, told reporters outside a Toronto court on Tuesday according to Canadian TV News. "I want to be real to Canada, I want to be loyal to the country. I'm trying to become a citizen not a subject."

Michael McAteer, a staunch republican from Ireland, says he believes the oath is unnecessary and would violate his conscience.

The trio's lawyer Peter Rosenthal told the Court of Appeal on Tuesday that allowing would-be citizens to opt out of the oath doesn't cause any harm.

Australia, also a constitutional monarchy, scrapped its pledge to the monarchy 20 years ago.

Government lawyer Kristina Dragaitis argued the monarchy symbolizes the Constitution, the rule of law and the right to dissent. She said, the appellants are taking a "literal approach" to the oath.

The Supreme Court, as is customary, gave no reasons for refusing to hear the appeal.


The big appeal of the monarchy for Canadians is that it is not American -- so they're going to cling onto it

Sunday, March 01, 2015

The way we were: Ronald Reagan on church and state

Ronald Reagan's church put this together to commemorate the birthday of Ronald Reagan. The conservative Christians are strong at Bel Air Presbyterian.

UK: Kick Anti-Racism out of Football!

I’m personally sick of football being used to promote the politics of racial and national dispossession.

Football fans should not be subject to political propaganda of any type. There should be no link between attending a football match and espousing right-on views on racial relations.

UEFA and any other football association should have no policies on race and racism, and no footballer should be investigated by kangaroo courts held to establish his political views.

I should add that I regard football as a low-brow interest, and I’m not a supporter of any team, and I know nothing about the off-side rule. My only focus in this article is on the politicisation of football.

We read today that Chelsea fans excluded a black man from an Underground train in Paris. Apparently, they were recorded on a mobile phone as chanting about “racism”. Chelsea football club has agreed to act as an arm of the state by supporting criminal prosecution of its own supporters (???).

Yet I was pleased to see that Mitchell McCoy, a Chelsea fan, has denied the man was excluded from the train for being “black”, and it was probably, if anything, because he was a Paris St. Germain fan. Moreover, the carriage was full and there was no room for anyone else. He also claimed that the chant was about club captain, John Terry (banned for four matches and fined after an Orwellian inquest into his political views).

It’s nice to see someone stand up and be counted — and McCoy will probably now face an attempt to link him to the incident and even remove his season ticket.

For the avoidance of all doubt here, I don’t think altercations with members of the ethnic minorities are productive, given that they are a protected political class; but I do support the right of Englishmen to express themselves in insulting language to people who have arrived en masse in countries like England and France.

The police should be required by law to concentrate on real crime. The football clubs and the Football Association should be banned from promoting anti-racism to club members.

The worst thing about this is that English people do not rally round their own. Mitchell McCoy is a 17-year-old young man, and if he faces any action in connection with his comments, a healthy English society would see millions of people defend him.