Sunday, January 31, 2016

And Then A Human Being Showed Up

I’m making an educated guess at the following events. A few weeks ago I recorded and posted a video pointing out something about hate speech on Facebook. The video, posted to YouTube was then flagged as hate speech and taken down.

I appealed and, just before shabbat, I got the following in my email:

Here’s how this works.  I post a video that the other side doesn’t like. They have a few dozen people with probably a few fake accounts each all lined up to click and report my video as hate speech.

YouTube, without human intervention, takes it down and marks ME as a hater.

When I appeal, a human being (because in the end this kind of thing can only be decided by a human) reviews it, understands what happened and clearly reverses the perverse decision.

The bit I’d like to know, and I don’t know anyone at YouTube who can tell me, is whether all those accounts who spuriously reported me are then penalised. Clearly this is a coordinated attack. Does it carry consequences for the other side? Are they able to use the same accounts over and over to report more spurious “hate” speech that is just truth they don’t like?

This is my question for YouTube: does spurious reporting carry consequences for the other side?


MLK quote not "inclusive" enough

Since 1986, the University of Oregon has housed a quote by Martin Luther King Jr. in the lobby of the Erb Memorial Union. “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. I have a dream…”

However, this hasn’t always been the quote that filled the entrance of the EMU and there was talk of the quote changing again. The quote is not going to change, but that decision was not made without some hard thought by the Student Union Board.

Laurie Woodward, the Director of the Student Union said that when she approached the union with the question of if they wanted to keep the current MLK quote or supplement a new one, one of the students asked, “Does the MLK quote represent us today?”

“Diversity is so much more than race. Obviously race still plays a big role. But there are people who identify differently in gender and all sorts of things like that,” sophomore architecture major, Mia Ashley said.


Friday, January 29, 2016

British PM under fire after calling Calais refugees 'a bunch of migrants'

I really have no idea what this is about.  Why is it wrong to refer to migrants as migrants?  Maybe someone can enlighten me.  Was what he said not sorrowful enough or something?  -- JR

David Cameron was branded 'shameful' and 'callous' today after he described people in the Calais refugee camp as 'a bunch of migrants' during Prime Minister's Questions.

Mr Cameron is facing calls to apologise for using 'inflammatory language' as he ridiculed Jeremy Corbyn's visit to the makeshift French camp known as the Jungle last weekend.

The Prime Minister lost his temper with the Labour leader and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell after they criticised Google's controversial £130million tax deal.

He said: 'They met with a bunch of migrants in Calais and said they could come to Britain - the only people they never stand up for are hardworking British families.'

Junior ministers immediately defended Mr Cameron insisting he was making clear his opposition to handing migrants in Calais a 'free pass' to enter the UK and Speaker John Bercow later ruled his language had not been 'unparliamentary'.

Mr Cameron's words have been branded 'disgusting' by opposition MPs while refugee rights campaigners said he was being 'flippant to score political points'.


"Survive" is a dangerous word

Australian advertising for a sports drink attracts ire

Frucor brand Maximus Australia is facing a growing public outrage over their new outdoor campaign. The posters, rolled out on Australia day to three outdoor locations, feature the words “I Survived Australia Day” with a picture of their energy drink. Critics are claiming that the banner that was put up to advertise Maximus sports drink on Wednesday trivialises “the suffering of Australia’s First Peoples” for appropriating the term Survival Day.

For context, one of the alternate names for January 26 is ‘Survival Day’; Indigenous media outlet NITV used the term throughout their coverage. The term emphasises that “despite colonisation, discrimination and comprehensive inequalities, we continue to practise our traditions, look after the land and make our voices heard in the public sphere. We survive.”


Thursday, January 28, 2016

Julie Delpy apologizes for saying African Americans have it easier than women in Hollywood because 'people don't bash them'

What she said sounds realistic to me  -- but realism is no excuse, apparently

Julie Delpy is the latest actor to issue a statement apologizing for her response to a question about the lack of diversity at this year's Academy Awards.

'I’m very sorry for how I expressed myself,' Delpy told Entertainment Weekly about comments she made last week.

'It was never meant to diminish the injustice done to African American artists or to any other people that struggle for equal opportunities and rights, on the contrary.

'All I was trying to do is to address the issues of inequality of opportunity in the industry for women as well (as I am a woman).'

Appearing at the Sundance Film Festival for the premiere of her film Weiner-Dog on Friday, Delpy said that African Americans have it easier in Hollywood than women because 'people don't bash them.'

Delpy told The Wrap; 'Two years ago, I said something about the Academy being very white male, which is the reality, and I was slashed to pieces by the media.'

She then added; 'It’s funny - women can’t talk. I sometimes wish I were African American because people don’t bash them afterward.'

Delpy also said on Friday; 'It’s the hardest to be a woman. Feminists is something people hate above all. Nothing worse than being a woman in this business. I really believe that.'

In her apology Delpy also said; 'I never intended to underestimate anyone else’s struggle! We should stay alert and united and support each other to change this unfair reality and don’t let anyone sabotage our common efforts by distorting the truth.'

She then closed out the statement by saying; 'Again I’m so sorry for this unfortunate misunderstanding, people who know me, know very well that I can’t stand inequality and injustice of any kind.'


Anti-patriotic sign in Australian resort town

The response was a mature one:  Abuse them back. No attempt to shut them down etc.

Bega District News reports a blackboard sign was put up in the Mister Jones Open Studio and Espresso Bar in Bermagui, on NSW's south coast, on January 25 and it read: "Yes, we're open on national dickhead day" – a reference to the venue being open for business on Australia Day.

On the night of January 25 it was posted on the Meanwhile in Australia Facebook page, which is "liked" by about 700,000 people. By mid-afternoon on Australia Day, it had more than 3000 shares, almost 6700 likes and 1770 comments with many deriding the sign.

While most of those who shared the post were individuals, some were pages such as Truthophobes - Exposing the Truth about Islam, Aussies against Islam and Sharia law, Reclaim Australia Rally - Canberra and Australians United Against Sharia Law.

It appears the official Mister Jones Facebook page has been taken down, but a new page called the Mister Jones Coffee Shop has been set up, possibly by a Facebook group called Aussie Infidels early on the morning of January 26.

This new page published a photo of two of the coffee shop's staff under the line "here are two good reasons for birth control", the phone number of the shop's owner and has encouraged people to contact the shop and leave feedback.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Must not portray refugees as poorly dressed

Carnival costumes for children to dress up as wartime refugees have been taken off the German edition of Amazon's website over fears they offend refugees.

Although the outfits have now been removed from other amazon stores including Italy, they are still available in the UK.

Pictured holding a suitcase, the child models are pictured wearing old fashioned clothing, intimidating wartime civilian wear which some people have said mocks the plight of migrants.

The subject of refugees is extremely sensitive in Germany, especially in the wake of New Year sex attacks allegedly carried out by foreigners who entered the country as asylum seekers.

Instances of suspected racism quickly attract attention by those keen to prevent right-wing groups using them to stoke further hatred of foreigners.

As a result, when the Amazon's offering of refugee costumes was posted online it quickly attracted massive amounts of criticism from online commentators who branded the costumes 'inhuman and distasteful'.


Baby names beginning with K are suspect

Proud father Wayne Rooney has welcomed his new baby boy into the world but has already faced criticism for naming his son Kit with followers pointing out the initials of his three children are KKK.

Showing off his new bundle of joy on Instagram this morning, the footballer posted a picture of Kit at just a few minutes old alongside the caption: 'Meeting Kit for the first time. Home time now.'

The 30-year-old and his wife Coleen announced the arrival of their third son - naming him Kit Joseph Rooney - on Sunday.

However, just hours after revealing the first photograph of their new arrival, Wayne's Twitter followers started trolling him – pointing out that all three of his children's initials are KKK.

Their eldest son Kai, who is now six, was born in November 2009, while second son Klay, arrived in May 2013.

Dozens of people pointed out on social media that the initials for all three children stood at KKK and drew comparison to the 'Ku Klux Klan' – the white supremacist organisation.

Darren Taylor wrote: 'Has Rooney really called his kids the KKK?'  While Anthony Tierney wrote: 'Wayne & Colleen Rooney do know there are 25 other letters in the alphabet right? Calling your kids KKK not the cleverest idea ever #Rooney'


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Hate speech and intolerance deserve regulation by colleges (?)

I have reproduced below a student editorial from Penn State.  I have given it in full because it does have a superficial reasonableness about it and in some circumstances I might even agree with it.  As the saying goes, however, the Devil is in the detail and what college speech codes end up doing is banning criticism.  Not all criticism is banned.  You can criticize Christians and conservatives all you like.  But that is about it.  Criticize anybody or anything else and you are guilty of "hate speech".

So college speech codes are fundamentally anti-intellectual. Criticism should be the lifeblood of higher education.  All orthodoxies should come under fierce scrutiny there.  And if not there, where? Disrespect of everybody and everything should be permissible there.  As it is, speech in many colleges is as restricted as it was in Stalin's Russia or Mao's China:  Not exactly an inspiring model, is it?  Has the land of the free become a land of stifling orthodoxy?  In America's seats of higher learning it has.  And the orthodoxy concerned is in fact rather similar to Mao Tse Tung thought.  An outbreak of Little Red Books would be no surprise

The pretext of speech codes is that they aim to protect the feelings of minorities.  But that is creating a fool's paradise.  The world outside the academy is a cold, hard place and everybody, minorities included, needs to be prepared for that -- not sheltered in some sort of adult kindergarten.

And people tend to like others who are like themselves so minorities will always be discriminated against in one way or another -- mostly covertly these days.  So minorities need to learn to deal with that, not break down in a crying heap every time someone criticizes them.

And, as it happens, some minorities are in any case not at all inclined to break down in a crying heap every time someone criticizes them.  As all the research shows, blacks tend to have very high self-confidence and self-esteem.  Their feelings are not easily dented.  And Muslims of course think they have the right religion and feel quite superior about it.  So they too are not easily ground down.  Most minorities could actually do with more humility in my observation.  It would get them further in life

UPDATE:  As a good academic, I avoid empty assertions and would not like to be accused of them.  So below are some thoughts from Chapter 4 of Mao's Little Red Book that do, I think, remind us of college speech codes:

(1) Words and actions should help to unite, and not divide, the people of our various nationalities.

(2) They should be beneficial, and not harmful, to socialist transformation and socialist construction.

(3) They should help to consolidate, and not undermine or weaken, the people's democratic dictatorship.

(4) They should help to consolidate, and not undermine or weaken, democratic centralism.

(5) They should help to strengthen, and not discard or weaken, the leadership of the Communist Party.

(6) They should be beneficial, and not harmful, to international socialist unity and the unity of the peace-loving people of the world.

At a medium sized college in the southwest of Minnesota, freedom of speech has come under fire on a national scale.

Southwest Minnesota State University recently garnered national attention for a provision, and then revision, within their student code of conduct. Previously, the university specifically prohibited any jokes, comments, or public talks that exhibited what they deemed “cultural intolerance.”

Any insults, slurs, or phrases that discriminated against or belittled a larger group of people could be punishable by the school. The university faced harsh criticism from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which monitors schools levels of freedom of speech on campus. Before the revision, SMSU received a “red light” rating.

While this may have been done in the name of free speech, such a revision essentially allows and facilitates hate speech on campus. Universities and academic places should be inherently inclusive of all cultures, and the rule in its original form had intentions in the proper place.

Punishing students who outwardly slander races, religions, or other cultural groups should be within the rights of a university.

A college’s main priority ought to be the support and facilitation of a civil, respectful education for all its students. and students who create hostile environments for others at the university do nothing to benefit the academic culture.

Harassment is just that; it has no place in a scholastic setting. Providing a safe, conducive learning environment for all students is the duty of universities, and that should not be sacrificed in the name of respecting intolerance.


Students in San Francisco region call for ‘hate speech’ limits to silence preachers

The dear little petals don't want to hear anything that might make them angry.  They should get angry about the pap that passes for education these days

De Anza College students have gathered more than 550 signatures on an online petition urging administrators to regulate “hate speech/discrimination,” following recent campus visits by loud Christian preachers.

The petition calls for the college and district administrations to disallow speech that leaves students feeling verbally abused on the basis of their ethnicity, gender, religion or sexuality.

Elias Kamal, a political science major who started the petition, wrote “free speech is a vital part of society,” but added that harmful speech that angers students should not be permitted.

FHDA Chancellor Judy Miner took questions from DASB senators and spoke about the issue for 10 minutes at the Wednesday meeting.
“We will never be able to prevent people from saying things that are hurtful, that are offensive,” Miner said. “Unless someone is blocking an entrance or doing something that is unsafe, they have a right to hand out their leaflets or to approach people and ask them to think about what they’re doing.”


Monday, January 25, 2016

Canada: After a legal battle that dragged on for three years, Gregory Alan Elliott has been found not guilty of harassing lesbians

Feminist Guthrie: The judge noted a lack of “reasonableness” in Guthrie’s assertion she could expect to use Twitter to make negative comments about Elliott and not be exposed to his response or self defence

In 2012, Elliott was charged with criminal harassment after arguing with feminist activists on Twitter. He’s suffered through a tortuous court case that has cost him nearly one hundred thousand dollars.

Anyone following this case knows that Greg is only guilty of the crime of wrongthink. He was arrested for critically engaging with people who disagreed with him. It wasn’t any different from what people do on social media platforms every day.

Greg’s tweets were far milder than some of the vile garbage I’ve seen come through my notifications. He never threatened anyone, and he never gave anyone reason to fear for their safety.

All he did was argue with people that hated him so much they demanded he be shut down.

I don’t believe Stephanie Guthrie or her cronies felt victimized for a second. We’re talking about people who have posted images of themselves drinking from mugs with “male tears” written on them, after all.  They wanted Elliott to pay for having challenged them, nothing more.

The charges in Elliott’s protracted legal case have prohibited him from using the Internet, forced him to quit his job, and left him bankrupt.

The last three years of Greg’s life have been hell, and he won’t ever get them back.

Despite all this, I am joyful, Greg is joyful, and his sons are joyful. Free speech has won the day, and Greg won’t have to deal with the prospect of months of jail time or heavy fines.

People opposed to speech rights won’t get the satisfaction of seeing Greg behind bars.

Most importantly, legal precedent has been established to defend free expression.

Canada is infamous for its ineffectual provisions for freedom of speech. Establishing the legal default to favour allowing offensive speech is a boon for speech rights in Canada.


How Twitter quietly banned "hate speech" last year

Seven years ago, Twitter began its rise to prominence by billing itself as a space where people could speak freely because nobody was censored. The company's rules enshrined this ideal, promising "we do not actively monitor and will not censor user content, except in limited circumstances." But in 2015 all of that changed.

There were changes in Twitter's rules here and there before 2015, usually to make it easier for the company to ban people engaging in spam and fraud. But as more high-profile Twitter users began to experience abuse and harassment firsthand, the company began to reverse its earlier policies.

At last, in December, the company quit embroidering its rules page with links and simply re-wrote its rules from top to bottom. Now, as Jeong points out, the company no longer promises an uncensored service.

Here's how the company puts it:

    "We believe in freedom of expression and in speaking truth to power, but that means little as an underlying philosophy if voices are silenced because people are afraid to speak up. In order to ensure that people feel safe expressing diverse opinions and beliefs, we do not tolerate behavior that crosses the line into abuse, including behavior that harasses, intimidates, or uses fear to silence another user’s voice".

Call it what you want, but this is a ban on hate speech


Not a lot of logic there.  When they criticize "behavior", do they mean speech?  An important distinction seems to be lost there.  Are they just afraid to mention "speech"?

Further, they do not want voices to be silenced but they are going to silence some voices.  But banning abuse seems reasonable.  That will strike a lot of Leftists dumb if Twitter really does do that. And threats have never been protected free speech.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Facebook's new plan to CENSOR "right wing hate speech" -- but not ISIS recruiters

Ironically, Facebook's new "Online Civil Courage Initiative" was announced by liberal Jews, in Germany. How historically illiterate can they be?

Facebook says this new initiative is about "combating extremism and hate speech on the Internet.”

Oh, do they mean ISIS using social media to recruit terrorists?

Of course not! One Civil Courage spokesperson said:  "This is necessary because right-wing extremism, racism and antisemitism are present in all walks of life in Germany.”

Really?  Did a thousand white pride skinheads in Cologne, Germany go on a mass sexual assault spree?

Are you worried about more Muslim rape sprees taking place?  From now on, when you try to type about it, Facebook will block you.

They won't censor the Islamic State, though. Just "right wing extremists." Which they define as people who disagree with them...


Must not warn against men named Mohammed

The headline on a poster showing four convicted Hamilton rapists could incite hate speech against Muslim people.

The headline on a poster showing four convicted Hamilton rapists could incite hate speech against Muslim people.

A poster with photos and details of four rapists with the heading "Beware Mohammed" has been plastered on a transformer at a busy Hamilton intersection.

The poster is not illegal, because the details are factually correct.

However, Canterbury University dean of law Ursula Cheer said there may be grounds to lay a complaint to the Human Rights Commission on the possibility of inciting hate speech.

The poster, which is glued to a transformer near the corner of Alexandra and Collingwood streets in the CBD shows the pictures of convicted men Abdirahim Sheik Mohamed Guled (Mohamed Guled), Keyse Aiwi Abdi, Mohamed Essa and Mohammed Sahib.

All but Essa were working for taxi companies at the time of the offending. Essa posed as a taxi driver.


Friday, January 22, 2016

Must not criticize anti-Israel bias

The story so far: Shurat Ha’din makes a simple video showing how Facebook tolerates hate speech toward Jews and Israel more than toward Palestinians.

I make a simple video showing that features of Facebook allow hate speech about Jews to be hidden (by page administrators often) from the largest population of Jews, in Israel. My video gets shared by Shurat Ha’din and even Channel 10 news starts talking to me. I uploaded my video to YouTube because YouTube videos are easier to share on Israellycool.

And then this happened:

Yup, that’s right, my video highlighting hate has been classified as hate and removed and I get a "Community Guidelines" strike against my name for hate speech!

Clearly this is the usual scheme of a team of Jew haters ganging up to report my video as hate speech. Perhaps a human reviewed the title, even that’s doubtful and bang it’s gone and I stand convicted of disseminating "hate speech".

I have appealed the decision: I’m given a single line of text box to mount my "appeal":

"I produced a video highlighting the hate speech of OTHERS on Facebook; I didn’t even mention specifics of the hate speech. This video is still live on Facebook (of which I’m highly critical)"

Had I been given a little more space I would have written:

"I produced a video highlighting the hate speech of OTHERS on Facebook; I didn’t even mention specifics of the hate speech. This video is still live on Facebook (of which I’m highly critical) yet YouTube has allowed itself to be "gamed" by people who would silence those who draw attention to real hate speech. Israeli Channel 10 TV News have recorded an interview with me about this video and your take down of it"


First amendment is racist?

If this is what America's top universities have to offer, we may be in for a steep decline. Take this gem from Duke University

    "According to a columnist for the Duke University student newspaper, America’s “obsession with the First Amendment” is really just “an expression of white supremacy.”

    “I am thinking about how an urgent and overdue conversation about racism—on our campus and across our country — has been derailed by a diversionary and duplicitous obsession with the First Amendment,” graduate student Bennett Carpenter wrote in university newspaper The Chronicle. “I am thinking about how quickly the conversation has shifted from white supremacy to white fragility — and how this shift is itself an expression of white supremacy.”

Apparently unaware of the irony of using a newspaper column to call for restrictions on free speech, Carpenter argued that Americans give too much deference to the First Amendment and should focus more on censoring violent speech.

The good news is, if you happened to go to college before this millennial nightmare set in, you have nothing to fear from those that came after you. Today, America's best and brightest go to our top universities and are trained to be outraged into a catatonic state by anything that might moderately reinforce a stereotype.


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Now it is 'offensive' to say  how 'grateful' you are for MLK!

Or you've got to say it in the right way, or something

Zac Efron's somewhat short-sighted way of celebrating Martin Luther King Jr Day has landed him in a lot of hot water on social media.

The Dirty Grandpa star has become the target of an onslaught of online anger after posting a photo of himself cruising down a California street in a convertible accompanied by a message saying he is 'grateful' for the civil rights activist and also for his own huge online following.

'I'm grateful for a couple things today: Martin Luther King Jr & 10 million followers on IG #MLKDay [sic],' he wrote on Monday.

Social media users didn't appreciate Zac celebrating MLK Day and his own on popularity in the same posting

To top off the strange contrasting subjects in the post, Zac also ended it with a pair of dark brown hand emojis, with one in a raised fist and another pointing a finger upwards.

His followers on Twitter and Instagram immediately responded with disgust, with one summing up the situation with a post reading: 'How did Zac Efron attempt to make MLK day about himself I am so baffled'.

'This is one of the most offensive/diminishing/disrespectful things anyone has said in relation to MLK today.


Robert E. Lee

The freedom-fighters of the Confederacy are so often subjected to hate speech from the Left that I am putting up the note below as a small corrective

Today we take a moment to remember the birth anniversary of Robert E. Lee (1807-1870), one of the greatest military commanders in American history. He was also a great man of faith who gave his all for the cause of Liberty and states' rights.

There were many honorable men of the Confederate States of America, whose objective was, first and foremost, the protection of states rights, and decidedly not the continuation of abhorrent institution of slavery. For a better understanding on the issues of the day, read this perspective on Abraham Lincoln, which was not included in your grade-school civics class. The honor we give these men has its roots in the founding of this great nation.

Mark Alexander notes in his essay, “Lincoln’s Legacy at 200,” that “the causal case for states' rights is most aptly demonstrated by the words and actions of Gen. Lee, who detested slavery and opposed secession. In 1860, however, Gen. Lee declined President Abraham Lincoln’s request that he take command of the Army of the Potomac, saying that his first allegiance was to his home state of Virginia: ‘I have, therefore, resigned my commission in the army, and save in defense of my native state … I hope I may never be called on to draw my sword.’ He would, soon thereafter, take command of the Army of Northern Virginia, rallying his officers with these words: ‘Let each man resolve to be victorious, and that the right of self-government, liberty, and peace shall find him a defender.’”


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Leftist racism

Why does the race of a fashion model matter?  All that should matter is whether she effectively sells clothes

Fans of model Kendall Jenner were delighted when it was announced last week that she was lending her good looks to Mango's new Tribal Spirit collection - one of her first campaigns of 2016.

But critics have taken to social media to question why a white model was chosen to represent a collection said to be inspired by the African Savannah, which will include a tribal print dress.

The reality TV star-turned-supermodel is modelling the first of four trends to be showcased in advertising campaigns for Spring/Summer 2016, and the Spanish retailer said each would be represented by 'the face that best defines it'.

But on social media many couldn't have disagreed more, and Ldndxv was one of many who took to Twitter to share her comments with the retailer.  'Seriously Mango,' she wrote. 'You should know better. Leave cultural appropriation in 2015.'

Pablo Godoy Estel agreed, saying the company's 'cultural appropriation' was a shame. Sharpay Evans added sarcastically: 'Mango's new campaign Tribal Spirit is inspired by the African Savannah and Kendall Jenner, a white girl, is the model?' 


Publisher pulls kids' book over slave cake controversy

Simplifying things for young children is not allowed

Scholastic is pulling a controversial new picture book about George Washington and his slaves, the publisher said on Sunday.

A Birthday Cake for George Washington was released on 5 January and had been strongly criticized for its upbeat images and story of Washington’s cook, the slave Hercules, and his daughter, Delia.

"While we have great respect for the integrity and scholarship of the author, illustrator and editor, we believe that, without more historical background on the evils of slavery than this book for younger children can provide, the book may give a false impression of the reality of the lives of slaves and therefore should be withdrawn," the publisher said in a statement.

The book, which depicts Hercules and Delia preparing a cake for Washington, has received more than 100 one-star reviews on As of Sunday evening, only 12 reviews were positive. The book also set off discussions on Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media.

While notes in A Birthday Cake for George Washington from author Ramin Ganeshram and illustrator Vanessa Brantley-Newton pointed out the historical context of the 18th-century story and that Hercules eventually escaped, some critics faulted Ganeshram and Brantley-Newton for leaving out those details from the main narrative.


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

An incorrect Robert E. Lee day

Below is the first part of an editorial in the Boston Globe which says that Robert E. Lee day should give way to Martin Luther King day.  How disgusting it is to see Leftists declaring admiration for  King -- a Republican whose vision of a race-blind America they subvert every day with their racist "affirmative action" policies. 

Leftism is pervasively simplistic and classifying people by race has long been one of their favoured simplifications.  They had to let go of their old anti-black simplifications so now put out anti-white simplifications.  When it comes to public policy, they just can't think in any other way than in simplifications

IT TOOK A ghastly church massacre in Charleston, S.C., last summer — a massacre perpetrated by a young racist who flaunted emblems of racial hatred and subjugation — to finally bring down the Confederate battle flag from the grounds of the South Carolina statehouse. That should be reason enough to finally end as well the insulting practice of linking the holiday that honors Martin Luther King Jr. with a commemoration of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

In three Southern states — Alabama, Mississippi, and Arkansas — the day set aside nationally to pay tribute to the martyred civil rights leader is simultaneously designated for celebrating the life of the Confederacy’s most famous military leader. In most of the country, it would be unthinkable to honor with a holiday the general who led the war to rupture the United States and perpetuate African slavery. Yet Lee has long been revered in the South, and the red-letter day bearing his name is defended in the name of Southern heritage and as homage to a worthy man.

But “Southern heritage” is no excuse for piggy-backing Lee’s celebration onto the third Monday in January, a day reserved nationwide for remembering King and his extraordinary story. It is true that Lee’s life was being celebrated in the South long before MLK, let alone the civil rights movement, was born. Today, however, it is hard to see the dual holiday as anything but an ongoing affront to King’s legacy and the reverence it inspires.


Prof, grad students say college response to Paris attacks an ‘implicit bias towards white life’

It is a bit hard to follow what is being said below but it seems to have given offence when emails about the terrorist attacks in Paris did not mention minorities.  What the emails should have said is left unclear

A professor and two graduate students in the University of Denver’s Department of Communications Studies today assert in an op-ed for college’s newspaper, The Clarion, that university emails regarding the November terrorist attacks in Paris were “biased towards white life.”

“It is our opinion that, despite these emails, DU participates in making its ‘marginalized communities’ feel unwelcomed because of an implicit bias toward white life not extended to the lives of nonwhite people. Our discussion of Paris is not meant to ignore the loss of life there, but to point out the valorization of white life assumed by DU,” they write.

Professor Armond R. Towns and graduate students Raisa Alvarado and Jamie Guzm├ín say the university shows “no concern with life returning to ‘normal’ when ‘terrorists’ attack Muslims,” and that “the assumption is that DU is most impacted by events that occur in Western countries,” not in, for example, “Mexico, Kenya, Baltimore, Palestine, or Baghdad.”


Monday, January 18, 2016

Debate in UK Parliament today to ban Trump for Hate Speech

Donald Trump is an unpopular man, and nearly 573,000 Britons at last counting dislike him so much that they petitioned to have him banned from the United Kingdom under the terms of the nation’s immigration policy, which permits the country to block the entry of people who engage in “unacceptable behavior.” Like, for example, hate speech, which is what many Trump critics say is a hallmark of his campaign.

The government responded to the petition to indicate that: “For good reasons the Government does not routinely comment on individual immigration and exclusion decisions. The Home Secretary may exclude a non-European Economic Area national from the U.K. if she considers their presence in the U.K. to be non-conducive to the public good.”

However, now that the number of petitioners has crossed the 100,000 threshold, it’s tripped a trigger that can’t be taken back: The petition must be considered for parliamentary discussion, and it will in fact be debated in parliament, alongside a rival petition to oppose the ban. Audiences can even watch the proceedings live online on January 18.

Britain and the European Union have laws about free speech that are very different from those in the United States. While freedom of expression is valued, not all speech is protected, and hate speech can be (and is) banned or otherwise regulated.

The Home Secretary is the one with final authority to make any such determination, though the Prime Minister has spoken out on the issue, clearly indicating that he condemns Trump’s comments.

Chairwoman Helen Jones, who will be overseeing the debate, stresses that the Members of Parliament cannot reach a final decision or cast a binding vote, as these powers lie in the hands of the Home Secretary.

If he is banned, it could raise some interesting issues, aside from potential problems with his real estate interests in regions like Scotland. Barring people on the grounds of hate speech might sound quaint — and for some U.S. liberals perhaps even an example of just desserts — but it could also set a dangerous precedent.

Other countries have refused entry to people on the grounds that they’re too liberal, or are promoting anti-government thinking that might take down totalitarian dictatorships or cause people to question abusive leaders. Immigration bans like these go both ways, preventing haters and hated alike, and for that reason, it may be best to let sleeping Trumps lie.


Hate speech hysteria at Western Washington University

Western Washington University classes resume Tuesday, more than a month after anonymous hate speech directed at students of color led to a campus shutdown and the arrest of a student on malicious-harassment charges.

After he suspended classes for a day and launched an investigation into anonymous hate speech directed at Western Washington University’s students of color, WWU President Bruce Shepard got an earful from critics.

While many people on campus supported his decision, others told him he’d overreacted, or said the threatened students should have brushed off the anonymous comments.

“I think that’s the wrong way to think about this stuff,” Shepard said Monday. “I think that really misses the point.” The point, he believes, is that racism is widespread, and that it’s wrong to ask people of color to deal with it by growing a thicker skin.

Tuesday marks WWU’s first regular day since Shepard suspended classes Nov. 24, a day after anonymous hate speech directed at Western students spread on social-media sites.

And while Shepard says it was “absolutely the right call, given what we knew,” he has asked an outside consultant to review the decision and the events leading up to it.

One student was arrested, and the investigation is now closed, Shepard said.

The November hate-speech incident occurred shortly after student-government leaders talked about opening a discussion on whether the school’s mascot, a Viking, was inclusive.

Soon afterward, profanity-laced hate speech directed at students of color began appearing on social media. One of the posts, on the anonymous social messaging application Yik Yak, said: “Let’s lynch her.”

Those words, investigators believe, referred to student-body President Belina Seare, who is black.

On Nov. 30, Bellingham police arrested WWU sophomore Tysen Campbell, who is white, and charged him with malicious harassment for the online threat. A court date has not yet been set.

Campbell also remains suspended from WWU, and his case is being reviewed as part of the student conduct process.


Sunday, January 17, 2016

AussieBum chief reacts to claims Australia Day undies are offensive to Indigenous culture

The "cultural appropriation" nonsense again

AussieBum's chief executive says he was naive to the fact its Australia Day underwear featuring dot paintings, boomerangs and a cartoon depiction of a traditional Aboriginal person could cause upset.

The company has received criticism for its festive undies on social media, kicked off by National Indigenous Television host Nathan Appo who tweeted: "I think it's disrespectful to indigenous people of this county on so many levels."

AussieBum CEO Sean Ashby said the company had received three formal complaints via email, the first of which he acted on, recalling an original design which featured the Australian flag on top of what looked like Uluru.

"It wasn't even Uluru, it was a mountain, however, I can also see it could be interpreted that way," Mr Ashby told the ABC.

"I saw [the design] as inclusive but then when I had one person email me and point out some really obvious issues, which quite frankly I was naive to ... the penny dropped and that product was taken straight off the line."

    "I find the 'Ausday' hipster and brief designs very offensive to myself and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Australians (many on social media already), and to all Australians, given there is a stylised, stereotypical and offensive version of an Aboriginal person standing on one leg," the complaint email read.

    "Along with the imagery of Uluru and boomerangs accompanying this image in the promotional material for this design, this amounts to cultural appropriation and racism, rather than celebration or respect for Aboriginal peoples and their cultures."


More Leftist superficiality

It's not talk about abortion that conservatives object to.  It the reality of it.  You can say what you like about it but it's still killing babies.  If it's hate speech to object to the killing of babies, let's have more hate speech

Public discourse around abortion rights has for too long shrouded the common medical procedure in euphemisms and shame. That's the message of a new ad campaign from the nascent direct action group Reproaction.

With ads in the Hill-focused news site Politico, the organization aims to counter a tide of hate speech vilifying a procedure that the Guttmacher Institute has said about one in three U.S. women undergo.

"For so long, folks have talked about abortion . with shame or with euphemisms or as if there's something wrong with it," Erin Matson, co-director of Reproaction, told RH Reality Check. "We're excited to have a campaign that is affirmative and focuses on the positive value in people's lives."

Ads intended to destigmatize abortion care could roll out as soon as Thursday and are expected to run throughout the month, Matson said. Timed to coincide with the anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, the digital-only ads follow a December campaign by the group that sought to hold anti-choice leaders accountable for hate speech and violence surrounding reproductive health.


Friday, January 15, 2016

Fury over Charlie Hebdo cartoon suggesting Alan Kurdi - the drowned migrant boy whose body was found on Turkish beach - would have grown up to be a Cologne sex attacker

What's wrong with saying:  "Like father, like son".  It's often true.  There is a lot of criminality among Muslim  refugees in Germany so with that example before them it's perfectly likely that the children will emulate their fathers

French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was facing a furious backlash tonight after suggesting that a drowned immigrant toddler would have grown up to be a sex pest.

Images of the dead Alan Kurdi - originally reported as Aylan - shocked the world when they were broadcast and published last September.

Since then, Hebdo has published a number of cartoons focusing on the little Syrian boy, whose body was found on a Turkish beach.

The latest links Alan, who was a Muslim, with the gangs of migrants who allegedly carried out coordinated sexual assaults in the German city of Cologne on New Year's Eve.

Alan is shown as a grown-up, pig faced sex pest running after a terrified woman as he tries to grope her.

Twitter users called the image 'disgusting' and 'tasteless', and compared it to the Nazi magazine Der Sturmer, which mocked Jews in the run up to the Holocaust in the 1930s.

'All of the people who work at Charlie Hebdo are some of the most bigoted & racist people in the world, actually,' wrote Twitter user Chris Erion.

The controversial cartoon comes on the first anniversary of a terrorist attack on the magazine by al-Qaeda gunmen, which left 11, including cartoonists, dead.

The attackers had accused Hebdo of insulting the Prophet Mohamed, and having a vendetta against Muslims in general.


Must not blame migrant intake for traffic jams

Over a million immigrants have arrived in BritAin in recent years.  And in bureaucratically-strangled England the provision of new and improved infrastructure such as roads and bridges is very slow.  So you have a lot more drivers using basically the same roads as before.  And since British traffic was very prone to jams before, the result is predictable.  They guy below  expressed that thought a little clumsily but he was in fact perfectly logical

Deal or No Deal host Noel Edmonds has been criticised on Twitter after suggesting migrants were to blame for a traffic jams that caused him to abandon a journey.

The 67-year-old tweeted to his 11,000 followers this morning: 'Just tried to get somewhere. Allowed loads of time but abandoned journey. Am I alone in feeling Britain is full?'

He followed it up by saying: 'But just supposing, I know it's a ridiculous thought, crazy even, totally insane obviously, but supposing UKs full?'


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Ricky Gervais reacts after being slammed for 'transphobic' Caitlyn Jenner jibe

Ricky Gervais has defended his decision to target Caitlyn Jenner in his Golden Globes opening monologue, after being accused of being 'transphobic'.

'Suggesting a joke about Caitlin [sic] Jenner is automatically transphobic is like suggesting a joke about Bill Cosby is automatically racist,' wrote the Globes host.

Gervais posted a series of tweets defending his work on Sunday, in which he set out to poke fun at a who's who of Hollywood, from Ben Affleck to Mel Gibson and Charlie Sheen.

Addressing the A-list audience he had said: 'I’m going to be nice tonight. I’ve changed.  'Not as much as Bruce Jenner, obviously… now Caitlyn Jenner. What a year she’s had.

'She became a role model for trans people everywhere, showing great bravery in breaking down barriers and destroying stereotypes. She didn’t do a lot for women drivers, but you can't have everything, can you?'

The attack on Caitlyn's driving was an obvious reference to the February 2015 collision in which the former Olympian, then identifying as Bruce Jenner, rear-ended a car, starting off a chain reaction in which a woman lost her life when her vehicle was forced into oncoming traffic.

Yet compared to the other A-listers on Ricky Gervais' hit list, Jenner got off lightly - with Gervais making a point of commending her decision to publicly transition.

Despite this the reaction was swift, with the comedian attacked for even mentioning the reality star.


Australian lamb ad dubbed violent towards vegans, racist

THE latest Australia Day lamb ad has come under fire for racial insensitivity and promoting violence towards vegans.

This year’s campaign, which brings together Lambassador Sam Kekovich and legendary SBS newsreader Lee Lin Chin, is based around a mission to save Aussies abroad from having to go without a lamb barbecue on Australia Day.

Chin leads an army, including Fitzy & Wippa, across the likes of Tokyo, London and Bali, on a journey to bring home a number of prominent Aussies.

One of the people Chin’s army brings home includes a vegan whose apartment is set on fire.

It is this scene that has sparked complaints, including on the Facebook page of Meat and Livestock Australia, which created the ad.

Others have complained about the use of the term “boomerang” arguing it is insensitive to indigenous Australians, especially leading into Australia Day.

A spokeswoman for the Advertising Standards Bureau said it had received close to 300 complaints since the ad was launched — the majority about discrimination against vegans.

The spokeswoman told News Corp Australia a meeting of the ASB board will be convened to review the ad — possibly prior to Australia Day.

“It will go to our next board meeting. The board will decide on whether to dismiss or uphold the ad. If it is dismissed it has to then be removed,” she said.


The ad is clearly a lark, not to be taken literally. So what's wrong with disrespecting Vegans?  They're deluded.  Human beings, like many higher mammals, are omnivores.  Being Vegan is unnatural and risky to your health

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Facebook's 'hate speech' double standard

In December 2015, the NGO Shurat Hadin – Israel Law Center started an experiment on Facebook to see if the social-media giant was indeed guilty of double standards when it comes to Israel and the Palestinians.

The group decided to create two similar Facebook pages called “Stop Israel” and “Stop Palestinians” and started posting similar articles, visuals and statements on each site. For instance, the anti-Israel page had a post that read “The Zionist bites Palestine part after part and the world is silent. We’ll stop them any way we can” – while the anti-Palestinian site posted “Greater land Israel should return soon from the hands of the Muslim enemy back to Jewish sovereignty! We’ll do it in any way we can.”

More posts purposely filled with hatred and incitement against both sides and from both pages continued to flow. The verbiage was almost similar on all posts except for the obvious targeting of one side by the other. The result? Facebook shut down the anti-Palestinian page while the anti-Israel page continued to run.


On British TV shows, even blacks are not allowed to be critical of homosexuals

It is normal for blacks worldwide to express dislike of homosexuality.  In Jamaica they call male homosexuals "poopmen".  But below we read that a black on a popular TV show was censured for it.  That is mildly surprising because the all-purpose get-out card that Leftists use to excuse bad behaviour by minorities  -- "It's his culture" -- literally applied in this case.  So, clearly, protecting homosexuals trumps everything else  -- probably because they are the most disgusting to normal people

Judgement day in the Celebrity Big Brother house came swiftly and unapologetically for UKIP candidate Winston McKenzie, who was booted out of the house Friday over his crippling homophobic views.

McKenzie’s homophobia caused a stir before he even entered the house this season, when he described how he’d handle living with a gay housemate in a pre-show interview.

It’s Day 1 In The “Celebrity Big Brother” House And We Already Have A Raging Homophobe

“I could cope with a homosexual in the house. I guess I’ll just have to and with my back against a brick wall all the time,” he said.

McKenzie had an opportunity to revise or clarify his disdain for LGBT people during a task in the house days later, which he failed dramatically.

Asked to match housemates with previous quotes they’d given to the press, Winston’s 16 housemates were stunned to learn he’d previously said he believed gay people adopting children is tantamount to “child abuse.”

Winston stood firm in his view, and was quickly shown the door by a 13-1 vote. He said in an exit interview that he was most shocked by being dropped by people he respected and had formed relationships with, including producer David Gest and Flavor of Love star Tiffany Pollard.


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Twitter's new crusade against violent speech

The company has gone after a popular -- albeit controversial -- Twitter user. It revoked the "verified" status of Milo Yiannopoulos, a British journalist at Breitbart News, on Friday evening.

Yiannopoulos has over 140,000 Twitter followers and is known for his provocative, unapologetic commentary. He's been vocal in the contentious movement known as GamerGate, which claims to promote ethics in gaming journalism but has been condemned for its treatment of women.

On Twitter, Yiannopoulos, who is gay, has taken aim at women. Like this tweet from December: "Is it any wonder successful gay men hate feminists, when women, in tax terms as elsewhere, are so ... well, parasitical?"

On Friday evening, Yiannopoulos tweeted a screenshot of an email from Twitter stating that his verification had been revoked. "I've been sat at the naughty table!" he wrote.

The screenshot, which Twitter told CNNMoney is valid, states that additional violations on his part could result in being removed from the platform all together.

"I think this is the first step to getting me off the platform," he told CNNMoney on Sunday. "Ridicule and criticism are being re-branded abuse and harassment."


Germany springs to action over hate speech against migrants

Can the truth be hate speech?

Donald Trump may be testing the boundaries of tolerance on the U.S. campaign trail. But here in Germany, the government is effectively enforcing civility, taking aim at a surge of hate speech against refugees and Muslims.

As Western Europe’s most populous nation grapples with a historic wave of mostly-Muslim migrants, politicians and activists are decrying a rash of incendiary speech bubbling to the surface of German society. In a country whose Nazi past led to some of the strictest laws in the West protecting minorities from people inciting hatred, prosecutors are launching investigations into inflammatory comments as judges dole out fines, even probation time, to the worst offenders.

German authorities, meanwhile, have reached a deal with Facebook, Google and Twitter to get tougher on offensive content, with the outlets agreeing to apply domestic laws, rather than their own corporate policies, to reviews of posts.


Monday, January 11, 2016

Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" on sale in Germany for the first time since World War II

What difference does it make?  It is readily available online

A critical edition of Adolf Hitler's autobiography Mein Kampf will hit bookstores in Germany for the first time since World War II as the copyright of the racist political treatise expires.

For 70 years, the southern German state of Bavaria - who was handed the copyright of the book by the Allies in 1945 following Hitler's death - refused to publish the anti-Semitic manifesto out of respect for victim of the Nazis.

But Mein Kampf, which means My Struggle, fell into the public domain on January 1.

Ian Kershaw, a Briton who is a leading biographer of Hitler, joined Friday's book presentation and said it was 'high time for a rigorously academic edition of Mein Kampf' to be made available.

'For years, I have considered the lifting of the ban on publication long overdue,' Kershaw said.

'Censorship is almost always pointless in the long term in a free society, and only contributes to creating a negative myth, making a forbidden text more mysterious and awakening an inevitable fascination with the inaccessible.'

But the Jewish community in Germany criticised the decision to reprint the anti-Semitic book, questioning whether it was necessary to propagate the inflammatory text again.

Charlotte Knobloch, leader of the Jewish community in Munich, said she could not imagine seeing 'Mein Kampf' in shop windows.

Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, told AFP that not only would 'Holocaust survivors be offended by the sale of the anti-Semitic work in bookstores again', but that he also failed to see a need for a critical edition.


EU considers scrapping citizen petitions which force parliament to consider appeals with enough support after a million people call for gay marriage to be axed

There are some things you must not ask

The EU is backtracking over a proposal that allows citizen appeals to be heard in parliament after one million people signed a petition calling for gay marriage to be scrapped.

European leaders now want to review the scheme amid fears it is being hijacked by minority campaign groups pushing their agenda on controversial and 'emotionally charged' issues.

The legislation, called the European Citizens' Initiative, allows petitions that have gathered more than one million signatures to be heard before parliament.

But President Jean-Claude Juncker has signalled his desire to review the scheme after an anti-gay marriage group collected one million signatures.

The minutes of a meeting on December 9 revealed EU lawyers warned the group's petition met all the requirements of the legislation, and the organisation was legally-bound to allow it to be heard.

Members were concerned the proposed citizens' laws did not move the EU project forward, rather they involved 'highly controversial and emotionally charged issues of greater interest to minorities'.


Sunday, January 10, 2016

'Being white makes you a winner': Thai beauty campaign 'showing dark skinned people as losers'

Thais tend to think Hitler was a pretty cool guy too.  They have different sensitivities to Westerners

A Thai company has pulled an advert for skin-lightening pills following an outcry on social media over a product sold with the tagline 'white makes you a winner'.

The advertisement for Seoul Secret's supplement called Snowz featured a veteran Thai actress Cris Horwang, 35, attributing her professional success to her pale complexion.

'It's not easy to stay at this point for a long time,' she says in the video. 'If I stopped taking care of my body and white complexion, all that I have invested will be gone.'

As she speaks, a smiling, younger woman enters the picture and Cris' own image darkens to charcoal black.

She's seen casting an envious look at the other woman who stands by her side.

'A newcomer will replace me and turn me into a dark star,' she says in the video, using a Thai idiom to refer to her fame fading.

Whitening creams and pills are wildly popular in Thailand, where pale skin is upheld as the standard of beauty in the media and among many Thais, and is associated with a higher social status.

Before its removal, the Seoul Secret video received more than 100,000 views on YouTube, and a flood of inquiries on the company's Facebook page about how to order the product.

But other social media sites drew posts railing against the advert for being racially offensive and reinforcing the country's narrow beauty ideals.

'It indicates that dark skin people are losers, and this is clearly racist,' a Thai commentator named Tammaijang wrote on the web forum Pantip.


H&M sparks fury for selling 'offensive' striped scarf which looks like Jewish prayer shawl

Is anybody hurt by this?

High-street retailer H&M has come under fire for selling a striped scarf which looks remarkably similar to a traditional Jewish garment used for prayer.

The controversial striped accessory is currently on sale for £12.99 on the shop's UK website.

But Twitter users noticed the design was reminiscent of a tallit scarf, in the same cream colour with black stripes and knotted ends.

The tallit scarf is traditionally worn during prayer and led many to voice their outrage.

Twitter user Rav Ruttenberg wrote: 'Dear fashion, please step off other people's ritual items (or symbols of liberation really)' and posted a link to the H&M item.

Jason Rosenbaum posted: 'Wow. I'm not easily offended but that is one offensive scarf.'

An H&M spokesperson told FEMAIL: 'We are truly sorry if we have offended anyone with this piece.

'Everyone is welcome at H&M and we never take a religious or political stand. Stripes is one of the trends for this season and something we were inspired by. Our intention was never to upset anyone.'

The spokesperson added to i100: 'The quantities were small and the products are no longer available in some markets.'


Friday, January 08, 2016

Democrats Hate Free Speech

Not that it stands any chance of passing the Republican-controlled House, but several Democrats teamed up to lay their anti-free speech cards on the table. House Resolution 569 condemns “violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States,” and thanks to a few Democrats, it’s now before the House Judiciary Committee.

Robert Spencer writes for Front Page Magazine, “That’s right: ‘violence, bigotry and hateful rhetoric.’ The implications of those five words will fly by most people who read them, and the mainstream media, of course, will do nothing to elucidate them. But what H. Res. 569 does is conflate violence — attacks on innocent civilians, which have no justification under any circumstances — with ‘bigotry’ and ‘hateful rhetoric,’ which are identified on the basis of subjective judgments.

The inclusion of condemnations of ‘bigotry’ and ‘hateful rhetoric’ in this Resolution, while appearing to be high-minded, take on an ominous character when one recalls the fact that for years, [Muslim Congressmen Keith Ellison and Andre Carson], and his allies (including groups such as the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations, CAIR) have been smearing any and all honest examination of how Islamic jihadists use the texts and teachings of Islam to incite hatred and violence as ‘bigotry’ and ‘hateful rhetoric.’

This Resolution is using the specter of violence against Muslims to try to quash legitimate research into the motives and goals of those who have vowed to destroy us, which will have the effect of allowing the jihad to advance unimpeded and unopposed.”


Black British actress slams Starbucks over 'racist' statue of black boy in pith helmet and loin cloth in London coffee shop

The image is presumably meant to portray a coffee planation worker so may be broadly accurate

Thandie Newton has accused Starbucks of racism after spotting a statue of a black boy wearing a pith helmet and loin cloth in one of its London coffee shops.

The outraged actress posted a photograph to Twitter, showing the model - which was being used to hold Colombian coffee beans - on the counter of the chain's shop in Soho.

She then wrote: 'Seriously @Starbucks? At the counter — Loin cloth and Safari hat on a black child. Happy New Year circa 19th century.'

The chain replied saying: 'We are very concerned to learn of this incident & we can’t apologize enough. We have removed the figure & are investigating.'


Thursday, January 07, 2016

US loves 'all-white' Downton Abbey, says Australian satirist. Barry Humphries claims show is popular because 'there are no black people in it'

Like all good satire, it probably has an element of truth in it

Some put its astonishing global popularity down to the gripping family dramas, others to its idyllic picture of an age gone by.  But according to Dame Edna Everage, Downton Abbey has only found success in America ‘because there are no black people in it’.

Australian comic Barry Humphries, 81, most famous for his drag act as Dame Edna, quipped that the predominantly white cast made the programme more palatable for U.S. audiences.

However, he seemed to ignore the fact that Downton does have a black character - American jazz musician Jack Ross - who appeared in four episodes of series four. His remarks also go against the fact that Empire was the fifth most watched show in America last year, with more than 17million viewers, and has an almost entirely non-white cast.

Humphries made the comments in an interview with The Radio Times in which he lamented how the rise of political correctness and ‘puritanism’ is sterilising modern comedy.

He also claimed that the BBC blocked him from making jokes about Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn unless he also poked fun at David Cameron.

Humphries’ remarks about Downton are the latest in a long line of controversial jokes that have peppered his career.

In 2003, his agony aunt column in magazine Vanity Fair was axed after a reader asked if she should learn Spanish and he advised against it, adding: ‘Who speaks it that you are really desperate to talk to? The help? Your leaf blower?’

It caused outrage, with many taking the comments to be offensive to Mexicans. The remarks were defended as satirising rich Americans but the scandal led to a full page apology being printed.

Speaking of the incident in the Radio Times interview, Humphries said: ‘Now we would read it as Edna satirising snobbish people who think maids and Spanish-speaking people are inferior.

‘[Actress] Salma Hayek was on the cover and rallied a lot of Mexicans, and death threats were received by [editor] Graydon Carter. Unbelievable! And my column was suspended. You lose your job.’

He said it is ‘quite important’ to him that he causes offence, adding: ‘It’s very easy to become a safe figure and tempting, too, to want to be all things to all people.’

True to this form, he said of Downton Abbey: ‘Why do you think Downton Abbey is so popular in the States? Because there are no black people in it.’

The ITV programme is broadcast on channel PBS in America, and the final series – which concluded in the UK last year – began on Sunday night.

Despite its story being so quintessentially British, the show is hugely popular in America, with episodes often attracting upwards of 10million viewers.

It has no shortage of celebrity fans across the Atlantic, with Katy Perry, George Clooney and Sarah Jessica Parker all known to be devotees.

First Lady Michelle Obama reportedly begged to have episodes sent to her in advance because she could not wait for them to reach American channels.

In his new interview, Humphries also lamented the state of modern comedy.

He said: ‘Imagine if the BBC tried to do Till Death Us Do Part again today, with Alf Garnett ranting against black people? It couldn’t be done. There is a new puritanism that we are experiencing, a nervousness.’

The comedian said this became particularly apparent to him during a recent BBC appearance when he found executives telling him which jokes he could and couldn’t tell.

He said: ‘I wanted to say something about Mr Corbyn and a faceless, nameless person at the BBC said, “Then you have also have to say something about Mr Cameron”. As if there wasn’t any bias at the BBC at all!’

He said this attitude has seeped through the entire Corporation, making it a shadow of itself compared to when he worked there during the 1960s.  ‘It’s not such a free place any more. There’s a fear of treading on people’s toes and I don’t like it,’ he said.


Bazza backs Germaine

AUSTRALIAN comedian Barry Humphries has weighed into Germaine Greer’s row over Caitlyin Jenner, describing the former Olympian as “a mutilated man”.

Humphries — who is about to return to the stage as Dame Edna Everage — said he backed Australian feminist Greer, who caused an uproar with her claims last October that transgender women are “not real women”.

According to Greer, “trans” women such as Jenner are men “who believe that they are women and have themselves castrated.”

Humphries, who has made millions as arguably the world’s most famous female impersonator, told London’s Telegraph he agreed with his fellow Aussie expat.

“I agree with Germaine! You’re a mutilated man, that’s all,” he says. “Self-mutilation, what’s all this carry on? Caitlyn Jenner — what a publicity-seeking ratbag. It’s all given the stamp — not of respectability, but authenticity or something. If you criticise anything you’re racist or sexist or homophobic.”

Humphries, 81, is about to embark on Dame Edna’s final farewell tour in the US and Canada.


Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Black cricketer disrespects female interviewer on Australian TV

An experienced and dedicated female sports journalist, Mel McLaughlin, was trying to interview black cricketer Chris Gayle about sports matters but got only personal comments about herself from him.  That has offended a lot of people as inappropriate and disrespectful to a woman but he has so far refused to apologize. It will hurt his career, however.  Various sorts of retribution against him have been proposed or promised.

Black males are often very bold in approaching women so his behaviour should perhaps be seen in that context.  From his point of view he probably sees nothing to apologize for.  In Leftist terms, it's his "culture".

In anthropological terms it could be seen as part of a generally low level of self-restraint among people of sub-Saharan African origin, as seen in their very high rate of criminal offending wherever they are in the world. 

Perhaps it should be mentioned that the lady has been publicly embarrassed on TV before -- by another black sportsman

Also relevant is that Gayle has behaved similarly on past occasions but has learnt nothing from it.  Another female journalist labels him as a "creep", which he no doubt is by general Australian standards

Gayle sent social media into meltdown when he openly flirted with McLaughlin in his on-field interview after he was dismissed for a brilliant 41 (15 balls).

“I wanted to have an interview with you as well, that’s why I’m here,” the Jamaican said live on national television.

“I get to see your eyes for the first time, it’s nice. Hopefully we can win and go for a drink after.

“Don’t blush baby.”

A clearly uncomfortable McLaughlin finished the interview with class, but Channel 10 Head of Sport David Barham, at home watching the match on television, said McLaughlin was angered by the experience.


Australia:  A mature response to offensive speech

Veteran journalist Samantha Maiden

A journalist labelled a "mad f---ing witch" by Immigration Minister Peter Dutton hopes he doesn't find himself on the backbench for accidentally sending an offensive text message to her.

On Sunday night, Mr Dutton confirmed he had apologised to the journalist for the text, which was intended for his embattled colleague Jamie Briggs.

Mr Briggs stepped down from his position as cities minister after acting inappropriately towards a female colleague while on an overseas trip.

Samantha Maiden, the national political editor for News Corp's Sunday papers, published a column on Sunday morning highly critical of Mr Briggs' conduct.

Mr Dutton responded by sending a text intended for Mr Briggs in which he called Maiden a "mad f---ing witch". Instead, it was sent to Maiden's text message inbox.

On Monday, Maiden said there were "more substantial issues" to consider in the aftermath of Mr Briggs' resignation.  "Peter Dutton has stuffed up, he's owned up and he's 'fessed up," Maiden told ABC radio on Monday morning.

"I would be lying if I was trying to manufacture outrage ... I'm not offended by it.

When asked if Mr Dutton should resign for the "witch" text, Maiden told Nine's Today program she "would hope not".  "I think that Mr Dutton is a good minister; he's a hard worker, he's made a strong contribution to the government," she said.


Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Students protest Sig Ep, Alpha Phi raid, call on UCLA to address racism

The events described below happened last October.  I put the matter aside at the time to await further developments.  But there seem to have been none.  The whole matter has slipped off the radar.  Google reveals nothing except reports of the original occurrence.  Was the suspension of the accused students lifted?  Probably.  There is a defence of the "offensive" students here which may have taken the heat off them.  The bottom line seems to be that they WERE mocking the erratic singer Kanye West, not Africans generally.  That is still pretty risky, however

Students dressed in black marched to Chancellor Gene Block’s office Thursday afternoon to protest the “Kanye Western” themed raid held Tuesday night, which was organized by the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and Alpha Phi sorority.

About 200 protesters held signs with messages such as “Black culture is not a theme,” and chanted “Black Bruins Matter,” among other messages.

At the raid, which many students described as racist, partygoers dressed in baggy clothes, plumped lips and padded bottoms. Some students were also seen with brown paint and black soot on their faces.

Jerry Kang, vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion, said both Alpha Phi and Sigma Phi Epsilon have been placed on immediate interim suspension of all social activities pending the outcome of an investigation.


Turkey's Erdogan uses Hitler's Germany as an example in his push for a stronger presidency

Outside Europe and the Anglosphere countries Hitler is not seen as very bad and may even be admired as "strong".  And in Muslim countries he is a hero.  So Erdogan, a Muslim, was just forgetful of Western sensitivities when he used a Hitler comparison

Turkey's president caused a storm yesterday when he used Adolf Hitler's ruling system to defend a controversial plan to expand the powers of the presidency.

President Erdogan, the strongman of Turkish politics for more than a decade, is seeking a new constitution to transform his post into a powerful 'super-presidency'.

Asked on his return from a state visit to Saudi Arabia whether an executive presidency was possible in Turkey while maintaining the unitary structure of the state, Erdogan said: 'There are already examples in the world. You can see it when you look at Hitler's Germany.

'There are later examples in various other countries,' he told reporters.

Erdogan wants to change the Turkish constitution to turn the ceremonial role of president into that of a chief executive, a Turkish version of the system in the United States, France or Russia.

Emboldened by his Justice and Development Party's (AKP) landslide election win in November, Erdogan has suggested holding a referendum on the proposed constitutional reforms.

However the Turkish president's office last night said he was not advocating a Hitler-style government when he called for a state system with a strong executive.

A statement from Erdogan's office said the Turkish president has declared the Holocaust, anti-semitism and Islamophobia as crimes against humanity and that it was out of the question for him to cite Hitler's Germany as a good example.

'Erdogan's 'Hitler's Germany' metaphor has been distorted by some news sources and has been used in the opposite sense,' the presidency said in a statement.


Monday, January 04, 2016

'Bikini Body' is a bad phrase

Women's Health magazine is saying goodbye to the phrases 'Bikini Body' and 'Drop Two Dress Sizes' in 2016.

Editor-in-chief, Amy Keller Laird, penned a thoughtful essay on Tuesday announcing the retirement of the 'shaming' cover lines as part of the fitness magazine's New Year resolutions, explaining that the decision was inspired by Women's Health readers.

'Since our goal is always to pump you up, and never to make you feel bad, here’s our pledge: They’re gone,' she wrote of the phrases. 'They’ll no longer appear on Women’s Health covers.'

The editor noted that the magazine had stopped using words such as 'shrink' and 'diet' in 2015 at readers' request, but a recent survey showed that Women's Health fan's also weren't thrilled with taglines about achieving 'bikini bodies' or shrinking in size during unreasonable amounts of time.

It appears that Women's Health has been slowly removing the unwanted phrases and replacing them with words such as 'strong' and 'sexy' over the past year, particularly in the last few months.

The last time 'Bikini Body' was splashed across the magazine's cover was for the June 2015 issue starring Gwyneth Paltrow.


Confederate flag is the 'American Swastika'?

I call it a symbol of justice denied. In his famous letter to Horace Greeley, Abraham Lincoln admitted that the war was nothing to do with slavery. It was about central government power -- "the union" in Lincoln's terms.  Kids are taught to recite a pack of sententious lies called the Gettysburg address -- in which he claimed to stand for "goverment of the people by the people for the people" -- exactly what he had just denied to the South

Quentin Tarantino considers the Confederate flag the 'American swastika' - and feels it is 'about damn time' that people questioned its place in the American South.

Tarantino's comment was made during an interview to promote his latest film, The Hateful Eight, which is due to hit the big screen on January 8 in the UK.

The film is set a few years after the American Civil War and it puts the spotlight on strained race relations in the country.


Sunday, January 03, 2016

Is Twitter shooting itself in the foot?

It will now censor discussions of "sensitive topics".  So far, the draconian restrictions below only apply to PAID ads, not to  general tweets.  I can see it encouraging more general tweets but I can't see it making much money.

This policy evokes a strong "negative reaction" in me. How can anyone figure out how one of the permanently offended class will react to anything? Hello, White Christmas??

Donor disclosure as a brake on free speech

Leftists will corrupt anything

Not content with using the IRS to harass conservative organizations, the Democrats have turned to using the court system to demand that conservative organizations divulge their donor list. As Breitbart reports:

The San Francisco Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overruled a U.S. District Court judge to give authority to California Attorney General Kamala Harris to obtain the donor list from the Koch Brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity Foundation.

The ‘Americans for Prosperity Foundation’ was founded by Charles and David Koch as a national foundation in 2004 and registered in all states, including California, as a nonprofit organization promoting limited government and free markets by educating individuals around the country about practical ways to improve their circumstances.

It became one of the most influential American conservative political advocacy organizations after the 2009 inauguration of President Barack Obama, when AFP helped transform the Tea Party movement into a potent political force to oppose the Obama agenda, such as the stimulus, Obamacare, and cap-and-trade.

AFP is especially loathed by unions for supporting limits on the collective bargaining rights of public-sector trade unions, right-to-work laws, and raising the federal minimum wage.

But AFP became the number one target of elected Democrat officials and their constituencies for the role the organization played in breaking Democrat majority control of the House of Representatives in 2010 and the U.S. Senate in 2014.

AFP has complied with the filing requirements with the Internal Revenue Service each year for over a decade and disclosed its nationwide list of major donors’ names and addresses on tax form “Schedule B” for a nonprofit charity. Federal criminal statutes protect the constitutional right to privacy by forbidding the IRS to make any unauthorized disclosure of charity donors to a 501(c)4 non-profit.

This is the left's subtle way of enforcing conformity with their socially extreme views and stifling dissent. It's for this reason that even some voices who once suggested a compromise on campaign donations: unlimited giving, but full disclosure- are now reconsidering. As Charles Krauthammer noted in a column for the Washington Post:

"Open the floodgates, and let the monies, big and small, check and balance each other. And let transparency be the safeguard against corruption. As long as you know who is giving what to whom, you can look for, find and, if necessary, prosecute corrupt connections between donor and receiver."

This used to be my position. No longer. I had not foreseen how donor lists would be used not to ferret out corruption but to pursue and persecute citizens with contrary views. Which corrupts the very idea of full disclosure.

It is now an invitation to the creation of enemies lists. Containing, for example, Brendan Eich, forced to resign as Mozilla CEO when it was disclosed that six years earlier he’d given $1,000 to support a referendum banning gay marriage. He was hardly the first. Activists compiled blacklists of donors to Proposition 8 and went after them. Indeed, shortly after the referendum passed, both the artistic director of the California Musical Theatre in Sacramento and the president of the Los Angeles Film Festival were hounded out of office.

Referendums produce the purest example of transparency misused because corrupt favoritism is not an issue. There’s no one to corrupt. Supporting a referendum is a pure expression of one’s beliefs. Full disclosure in that context becomes a cudgel, an invitation to harassment.

This isn't about ferretting out corruption- it's about naming and shaming. That's the only explanation for investigation of a group that's been in full compliance with the law. This just serves as another reminder: liberals aren't interested in winning the debate, they're interested in ending it.


Saturday, January 02, 2016

Again:  Must not  dress up as Native Americans

This stupid "cultural appropriation" idea again.  A demolition of it here

[Actor] Chris Hemsworth and wife Elsa Pataky have come under fire for dressing up as Native Americans at a New Year's Eve fancy dress party.

Taking to Instagram on Thursday night, 39-year-old Spanish actress Elsa shared a snap of the couple with family and friends at the event.

Posing behind a 'Wanted' sign, the couple pose in their Native American costumes alongside fellow guests while Luke Hemsworth appears to stand guard in a Sheriff suit and cowboy hat.

Fans were quick to condemn the pair for their choice of attire, with one Instagram user commenting: 'This is so disappointing to see. Native Americans are real, their culture is real.'

Meanwhile, another suggested the couple's costumes were an example of cultural appropriation, writing: 'Can't put into words how wrong this is.' [Do try]

Meanwhile other fans took the liberty to defend the couple on social media, insisting the fancy dress party was just a light-hearted social occasion with no nasty intent. [Which is surely true]


Must not disrespect artists

As far as I can see, most modern art is crap.  So if I had a young kid at the moment, I would buy him one of these shirts.  Why should I not?  A lot of people share my view of modern art.

Artists are questioning the creativity (and biases) of Old Navy's design team.

Mother and professional artist Kelly McKernan posted a photo of two Old Navy toddler shirts to Facebook on Tuesday. The shirts were each emblazoned with the slogan, "Young Aspiring Artist," but the word "Artist" was crossed out and replaced with "Astronaut" or "President."

McKernan asserted that the shirts promoted an anti-art mentality in children, and chastised Old Navy for approving the design.

"This is deeply disappointing," McKernan wrote in the photo caption. "As a mother and a career artist, I'm astounded that a company as large and influential as you are could approve of a design that encourages toddlers to stifle their creativity."

Other commenters agreed, noting how the shirt seemingly looks down upon artistic professions.


Friday, January 01, 2016

Another moan from the easily offended

From these moaners, you would never guess that alcohol is a normal part of life in the Western world

A Frozen-themed non-alcoholic 'champagne' has been pulled from shelves following a wave of protest from alcohol awareness groups.

The sparkling grape fruit juice - sold as a 'party drink' and packaged in a corked wine bottle for as little as £1.69 - left some parents scratching their heads.

However not everybody was up in arms about the product. One woman posted a picture on Twitter of her two children clinking champagne glasses, with the caption: 'Happy birthday to our girl #birthdaymorning #frozenchampagne'.

The animated fantasy film is one of the highest-grossing movies in box office history, and its popularity has spawned a wave of merchandise - from Elsa dresses, wigs and dolls to even furniture.

But some felt that Frozen-themed 'champagne' was taking things a step too far.

Discount site, who have since pulled the product from their site, described the drink as a 'grown-up alternative to juice and pop at parties' for 'little princes and princesses across the land who want to be more sophisticated'.

It was described as 'perfect at birthdays, family events, BBQs or after a long day building snowmen with Olaf' and sold for £1.69 a bottle.

However, drink awareness campaigners were furious, claiming the product 'normalised' alcohol consumption.

Dr Sarah Jarvis, medical advisor for DrinkAware said: 'The Chief Medical Officer recommends an alcohol-free childhood for good reason.  'Young people's bodies are still developing and their brains may be more susceptible to the effects of alcohol than those of adults, even at levels within the government's recommended upper limits for adults.'

Jackie Ballard, Chief Executive of Alcohol Concern, told Mashable.'Too often alcohol is sold as if it was a normal commodity and alcohol-like products are used to entice people into the world of alcohol.