Monday, April 30, 2018

Australia: Must not notice that Aborigines have dark skin

IT WAS supposed to be a nice way to bid farewell to their friends, family and followers on social media, but one comment in a video message has landed Married at First Sight’s Troy Delmege in trouble.

The reality TV star took the controversial clip with his lover Carly Bowyer before leaving Melbourne International Airport to jet off to Bali yesterday.

Uploaded to Instagram stories, the surprise couple known on the show for their goofy antics revealed how excited they were about their getaway.

However, giddy Delmege started talking about how tanned they planned on becoming when he made a strange comment about indigenous Australians.

“Couldn’t be more excited,” he said in the video. “Can’t wait to get the tan on, get some heat on me after being in Melbourne for a few weeks.” He then pointed at his Bowyer before adding: “I’m going to be dark, (but) she’ll be darker, like an Aborigine!”

The video then abruptly ends and it appears that Bowyer quickly cut the clip.

Indigenous activist Tarneen Onus-Williams, shared the video on Twitter and branded Delmege’s comments “disgusting”.


Australian TV network liable for $50,000 fine after using 'Anzac' as code word in Today Show cash giveaway

ANZAC day is Australia's day of remembrance for our war dead.  It is Australia's most solemn day of the year

Channel Nine has breached a law that protects the word 'ANZAC' from inappropriate commercial use when it used it in one of it's cash giveaways.

The Today show used the word ANZAC as a code in it's daily cash give away, which is a breach of the law and carries a penalty of up to $51,000.

The popular morning show runs daily $10,000 cash giveaways where audiences text in code words advertised on the previous day to enter.

For the commemorative public holiday, the code word was ANZAC.

The minister for veterans affairs administers the protection of the word and have said they were not approached by the show.

Their approval is needed for its use in connection with 'any trade, business, calling or profession or in connection with any entertainment or any lottery or art union or as the name or part of a name of any private residence, boat, vehicle of charitable or other institution, or other institution, or any building.'

Even the biscuits are monitored and can only have the word ANZAC attached to them if they are the traditional recipe and shape.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Veterans Affairs told Fairfax media that the use of the word was not approved by Minister Darren Chester.

'Even if they had approached us, we wouldn't normally grant them the use of the word Anzac in this manner,' she said.

While the spokesperson said 'no decision had been made' as to if they would escalate she stressed that there were significant penalties for breaching the law. Under the Crimes Act of 1914, a penalty of up to $51,000 may be imposed 

When deciding on the appropriateness of attaching the word to a commercial context the Minister considers the views of the ex-service community, the intent of the legislation and any commemorative links.

The controversy came just after the show's host Karl Stefanovic blasted cinemas for releasing the film Avengers: Infinity War on ANZAC day. In an impassioned speech he argued that it was 'a grubby cash grab' and questioned what it taught children.

'There might be some legitimate reason why the Avengers is opening on ANZAC day but I haven't seen on earth are our kids supposed to breathe in the significance of ANZAC day?' he said. 

Channel Nine acknowledged its use of a word in a giveaway was a poor choice


Sunday, April 29, 2018

The "Nazi" dog: Update

Markus Meecham trained his girlfriend’s dog to perform Nazi salutes. In a YouTube video, Meecham explained why: “My girlfriend is always ranting and raving about how cute her dog is so I thought I would turn her into the least cute thing you could think of which is a Nazi.”

Meecham, a UK citizen known online as Count Dankula, was subsequently arrested, spent a night in prison, lost his job and was this week fined £800.

Now, Meecham may not be everybody’s cup of Irn-Bru, but he’s on solid ground when he argues that an obvious joke should not result in a conviction and financial penalty (were similar rules enforced in 1967, Mel Brooks would be in prison to this day).

Declining to pay his fine, Meecham launched a crowd-funding bid to finance an appeal, aiming for an ambitious total of £100,000:

This is the amount that has been quoted by my lawyer, the reason it has been quoted so high is my lawyer wishes to bring in top legal representatives to ensure that we have the highest chance of reversing the standard that this case sets.

Little more than one day later, Meecham has raised more than £137,000 – the equivalent of $A252,000.

That’s the free market and free will rallying behind free speech. That’s people standing up to oppression.


Outrage as shoppers find a 'Terrorist Man' costume being sold to CHILDREN

A Melbourne shop has been caught selling a terrorist costume to outraged customers. The 'Terrorist man' costume sold for $34.99 at the JC Plaza in Clarinda, shows a man holding a gun with a long black beard, hat and jacket.

One angry customer said she left the shop in tears when she saw the outfit and told the Herald Sun she was horrified. 'I was shocked and terrified and could not believe my eyes,' she told the publication.

'I wanted to shout out, 'this is so wrong, this is shameful' and it took me a few minutes to calm down and take a photo.'  

Store owner Jin Cai apologised and told Daily Mail Australia the costumes were 'old stock' leftover from the previous owners.

Anti-Defamation Commission Chair Dr Dvir Abramovich said the costume was 'bad taste' and he called on the shop owners to immediately withdraw 'these disgusting outfits' from sale.

'There is nothing funny or cool about dressing up as a murderer responsible for horrific bloodshed and for tragic suffering that have affected so many people around the world,' he told Daily Mail Australia.

'Terrorism should never be glorified or celebrated in any way. I have no doubt that this insensitive costume will get the thumbs down from most Australians who will find this sickening and who will condemn it.'

The costume has previously appeared in shops in Brisbane and Melbourne. 


Friday, April 27, 2018

UK: She Posted Rap Lyrics to Remember a Dead Teen, So the U.K. Prosecuted Her for Hate Speech

Prosecutors in Liverpool decided they were unable to charge anybody in the death of Frankie Murphy when the 13-year-old boy was struck and killed by a car while riding his bike back in 2016.

But prosecutors did charge and convict a young woman who posted rap lyrics on Instagram in Murphy's memory, because they included the n-word.

Chelsea Russell, 19, posted lyrics to a song by the Detroit rapper Snap Dogg (no, not Snoop Dogg) on the bio of her Instagram account to pay tribute to Murphy. The song, "I'm Trippin'," released in 2016, is heavy on killing snitches and waving guns around and it has lots of use of the n-word. It's the type of song that people point to when they say they don't like rap music because it's too violent.

According to the Liverpool Echo, Russell's Instagram account was reported to a constable in a "hate crime unit" who found the lyrics "offensive and upsetting." Russell was charged with sending a grossly offensive message by means of a public electronic communications network.

At Russell's trial, her defense pointed out that Jay-Z had used these similarly offensive words at a music festival in Glastonbury. She had copied the lyrics off a friend's Instagram account—apparently thousands of others were using the lyrics to remember Murphy. Clearly it must have been a favorite song of his.

But the court and the magistrates didn't care. District Judge Jack McGarva said: "There is no place in civil society for language like that. Everyone with an Instagram account could view this content. The lyrics also encourage killing and robbing, so are grossly offensive."

Russell now has to submit to ankle monitoring for eight weeks and pay the equivalent of about $800 in fines.

This is what the enforcement of "hate speech" laws looks like. This woman was prosecuted entirely because a person in a position of power found her repetition of somebody else's song lyrics offensive. She does not stand accused even of using hate speech to actually encourage racial violence against others. People with the power to fine or lock up Russell merely found what she posted too offensive for their ears, and now she's going to pay for it.


'Real Indian' running against Sen. Elizabeth Warren sues after city tells him to stop calling her 'Fake Indian'

A self-described "real Indian" who is running against Mass. Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren is suing after city officials demanded he take down his signs calling her a "fake Indian."

The upstart independent Senate challenger, Shiva Ayyadurai, on Sunday filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the demand from the city of Cambridge violates his constitutional free speech rights, according to The Washington Times.

Since March 17, Ayyadurai's campaign bus has sported two identical signs picturing himself and a rendition of Warren wearing Indian attire. Emblazoned next to the images are the words: "Only a REAL INDIAN Can Defeat the Fake Indian."

The bus has reportedly been stationed in a parking lot in front of an office building owned by Ayyadurai, who faces exceptionally long odds, for more than a month -- just a mile from Warren's home.

Earlier this month, the campaign received a notice from Cambridge building inspector Branden Vigneault that the signs lacked the appropriate "approvals and permits," according to local reports and the Ayyadurai campaign.

Vigneault threatened fines of $300 per day plus additional legal penalties if the signs remain in place, according to Ayyadurai.

“We will not remove the slogan from our bus,” Ayyadurai told The Washington Times. “We will defend the First Amendment, and we will fight this egregious attack on the First Amendment, at any cost.”

Ayyadurai's campaign reportedly thinks the building code doesn't apply to the signs because they're on a bus, not a structure.


Thursday, April 26, 2018

Shania Twain apologizes after saying she would have voted for Donald Trump

Country singer Shania Twain has apologized after saying in an interview that she would have voted for Donald Trump for president if she could.

Twain, who is Canadian, told The Guardian in an article published Sunday: “I would have voted for him because, even though he was offensive, he seemed honest.”

Twain added that she would have supported Trump because of his straightforward style, and said she thought he would be transparent.

“Do you want straight or polite? Not that you shouldn’t be able to have both,” she said in the article. “If I were voting, I just don’t want [expletive]. I would have voted for a feeling that it was transparent. And politics has a reputation of not being that, right?”

Almost immediately, the online backlash against the singer began.

“Shania Twain is canceled,” tweeted @SoSofieFatale. “When people say he’s ‘honest’ what they mean is that he makes them feel good about being racist trash because they feel the same way. He lies pathologically. If someone can’t understand that they’re either dumb, racists, or both.”

Twain, who is performing at TD Garden in July, swiftly issued an apology for her comments, saying she supports inclusion and was taken off-guard by the unexpected question.

“I would like to apologise to anybody I have offended in a recent interview with the Guardian relating to the American President. The question caught me off guard. As a Canadian, I regret answering this unexpected question without giving my response more context. My answer was awkward, but certainly should not be taken as representative of my values nor does it mean I endorse him. I make music to bring people together. My path will always be one of inclusivity, as my history shows.”


Australian government doing nothing to stop violent hate speech

Leading political commentator and columnist for The Australian Janet Albrechtsen is calling on the government to protect our values before it’s too late.

In recent years the government has turned its focus on prosecuting people for “offending or insulting” others but turns a blind eye to speech that actually incites violence.

Ms Albrechtsen gives Alan several recent examples across Queensland and New South Wales that cannot be put up with.

One poster says “legalise the execution of jews” another says “join your fellow faggots” alongside an image of a gay man committing suicide.

“These are words that incite violence and yet the NSW Government has done nothing, even though it’s promised on so many occasions to do something.

“They know that legislation doesn’t work. Because if it did work it would be used on so many occasions to shut down words that incite violence.

“This is not about hurt feelings, this is not about insulting someone, this is about inciting violence.”


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Mothers of Former Natick Students File Lawsuit to Defend Free Speech Rights

NATICK – The ACLU of Massachusetts and the law firm Todd & Weld today filed a lawsuit in Middlesex Superior Court against the Natick School Committee on behalf of Corey Spaulding and Karin Sutter, two mothers of former Natick Public School students.

The suit seeks to protect the free speech rights of the plaintiffs and others.

Spaulding and Sutter seek a court order that the School Committee may not silence members of the public who engage in protected speech based on the content of that speech, particularly at the very time and place the School Committee designated for free speech.

“The School Committee shut down Spaulding’s and Sutter’s attempts to express their deep-seated concerns about the operation of the Natick Public Schools, which they sought to express during the School Committee’s designated period for “any individual to voice an opinion or concern on any school-related issue that is not on the [School Committee] agenda,” called Public Speak. The School Committee did so in reliance upon an unconstitutionally overbroad policy that claims to allow the School Committee to regulate speech on the basis of the content of that speech, and for practically any reason at all. The School Committee has claimed it can silence speech, for example, because it finds the speech “improper,” not “appropriate,” or “sensitive”,” stated the court filing.

At the January 8 “Public Speak,” the School Committee silenced  Spaulding’s attempt to express her concerns about the emotional harm bullying at the Natick Public Schools caused her daughter (00:49), according to the court filing.

Members of the School Committee repeatedly interrupted her and then suspended the meeting, according to the court filing.

At the February 5 “Public Speak,” Sutter was instructed to stop speaking – including under the threat of being escorted out of the meeting – when she commented on the hostile environment in the Natick Public Schools (11:15), according to the court filing.

The School Committee again censored her second attempt on March 12 (1:29), according to the court filing.

“I was stunned and saddened that the School Committee did everything in their power, including calling the police, to stop me from speaking. I simply wanted to voice my concerns about the harm my daughter suffered, and then for my daughter to have the opportunity express herself to the School Committee,” said Spaulding, in a press release.

“I cannot understand why the School Committee would not let me speak about the hostile environment of the Natick Public Schools my children and I experienced,” said Sutter, in a press release. “I would hope that in the future the School Committee sticks to their own concept of ‘Public Speak’ as a place for any individual to voice concerns about the schools.”

“The School Committee’s policy on speech is just a collection of vague excuses for silencing unwanted voices. It is difficult to conceive of a speech policy that more directly violates the free speech rights of members of the public,” said Benjamin Wish of Todd & Weld LLP, who represents Spaulding and Sutter as cooperating counsel with the ACLU of Massachusetts, in a media release.

“In our free society, government officials may not silence speech in a public forum based on their disapproval of the content or views being expressed. Yet this is exactly what the Natick School Committee is doing,” said Ruth Bourquin, senior attorney for the ACLU of Massachusetts, in a media release.


Another "free speech zone" quashed

 A suburban Chicago community college has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by a student who alleged the school violated her free-speech rights by prohibiting her from handing out flyers that read, "Shut Down Capitalism."

Ivette Salazar claimed Joliet Junior College limited political expressions to a small campus "free speech zone."

Salazar saw other students distributing flyers outside the zone Nov. 28 advocating capitalism with a poster reading, "Socialism Sucks." When she began distributing her flyers, campus police allegedly stopped her. As a result of the settlement, the college is paying $30,000 to the Foundation of Individual Rights in Education, which brought the lawsuit.

The school has since updated its free speech and expression policy. It allows for expressive activity throughout the college.

The college says in a statement it has a long-standing commitment to free speech and its former policies "were consistent with the First Amendment."


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

California Moves to Ban Anti-LGBT Books

More sneaky than burning them, I guess.  It's contrary to both arms of the 1st Amendment so will not fly

The California State Assembly is expected to vote on a bill that would effectively muzzle orthodox Christian teaching on sexuality, banning books and counseling presenting the Christian views that gender identity should conform with biological sex and that sexual activity is reserved for marriage between a man and a woman.

Assembly Bill 2943 (A.B. 2943) would amend the Consumer Legal Remedies Act to ban as "unfair or deceptive acts or practices ... the sale or lease of goods or services" that promote "sexual orientation change efforts." If enacted, this law would enable any LGBT person to object to any good or service promising freedom from unwanted same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria (the persistent condition of identifying with a gender opposite your birth sex) as "fraudulent."

The Consumer Legal Remedies Act, passed in 1970, banned unfair commercial practices in order to protect consumers who had been duped or misled. As A.B. 2943 explains, "Existing law authorizes any consumer who suffers damages as a result of these unlawful practices to bring an action against that person to recover damages, among other things."

The new bill would add "sexual orientation change efforts" to the list of banned practices. A.B. 2943 defines these efforts as "any practices that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation. This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex."

This over-broad definition smuggles transgender identity into the "sexual orientation change efforts" by including "gender expressions."


Scotland: Man fined for hate crime after filming dog's 'Nazi salutes'

A man who filmed a pet dog giving Nazi salutes before putting the footage on YouTube has been fined £800.

Mark Meechan, 30, recorded his girlfriend's pug, Buddha, responding to statements such as "Sieg Heil" by raising its paw.

The clip was viewed more than three million times on YouTube.

Meechan, of Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, was sentenced at Airdrie Sheriff Court after being found guilty of committing a hate crime last month.

He had denied any wrong-doing and insisted he made the video, which was posted in April 2016, to annoy his girlfriend.

But Sheriff Derek O'Carroll found him guilty of a charge under the Communications Act that he posted a video on social media and YouTube which was grossly offensive because it was "anti-semitic and racist in nature" and was aggravated by religious prejudice.

There was a small demonstration outside court by protesters claiming the case went against the principle of freedom of speech.


Monday, April 23, 2018

England fans told to furl the flag at World Cup. With tensions raised, a police chief is warning that displays of loyalty, including provocative songs, could be dangerous

There are also various bans on Old Glory but this seems even more extreme

England football fans could be denied some of their greatest pleasures at this summer’s World Cup. Supporters who enjoy draping the St George’s Cross over public spaces in other people’s countries while singing Ten German Bombers are being told: “Don’t!”

Police chiefs have warned travelling fans not to sing provocative songs or display the national flag at this summer’s tournament in Russia.

Mark Roberts, the national lead for football policing, says the deterioration in relations between the West and Russia means risqué songs are more likely than usual to trigger violence.


American Army Chaplain Bombarded for Marriage View

Army Chaplain Scott Squires has been to battles all over the world — but he never imagined he’d be fighting his biggest one right here at home. For Squires, who’s spent 25 years serving his country, no one was more surprised than he was that the same military that hired him for his faith is now punishing him for exercising it. Turns out, some Obama-era habits are hard to break.

Like a lot of chaplains, Scott watched the military change under the last administration. He saw morale tank. He heard the unbelievable stories of airmen, sailors, and Marines who were targeted for their faith. And until Wes Modder nearly lost his job, he might have thought military chaplains were safe. Squires found out this year how wrong he was. The administration may have changed, but the intolerant attitudes of some have not.

When he was transferred to Fort Bragg last year, Squires picked up where he’d left off at other bases with the Army’s Strong Bonds program. For years, he’d been speaking at the event, trying to help soldiers develop healthier relationships in a stressful military life that’s led to some of the highest divorce rates in the country. When a lesbian couple wanted to join the marriage retreat, Scott realized he couldn’t, in good conscience, participate. So, he did what Army regulations demanded: He found another chaplain to oversee it.

Now, even though he followed Army policy, he could lose his job! To this couple, Scott’s actions weren’t an accommodation, they were “discrimination.” An official military investigation was launched — and Squires, despite his chaplain status, is being recommended for discipline! “The Army E.O. policy states that no service will be denied to any member of the Armed Service, regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, religious affiliation, or sexual orientation,” the report reads. “CH Squires should be reprimanded for his failure to include (name deleted) in the initial Strong Bonds Retreat.”

Asked how he was taking the news, Squires said he was “shocked.” After all, his attorneys at First Liberty point out, he was following the Army’s own policy! He couldn’t lead the session, so he found someone who could. If anything, this should be a lesson in the art of compromise. His solution accomplished the perfect balance of accommodating his faith and serving these women. Even so, he points out, “The investigator concluded that I should be reprimanded for doing something I’m required to do under Army regulations and my endorser’s rules. I hope the Army sees that I was simply following Army regulations and the tenets of my church.”

Remember when the Pentagon said religious liberty wouldn’t be a casualty of open homosexuality in the military? So do we. Unfortunately, it’s just another broken promise of the same-sex marriage movement. Now, because of the culture of hostility created in the military under Obama, the Army refuses to accept a compromise that should have satisfied everyone. But, as we should all know by now, the Left isn’t interested in coexistence. Instead, it wants to punish a father of three who served multiple tours in Afghanistan, Africa, and the Middle East.

And of course, there’s the other piece of this, which is Chaplain Squires’s sponsoring organization: the Southern Baptist Convention. As Fox News’s Todd Starnes explains, the SBC’s North American Mission Board (NAMB) doesn’t support same-sex marriage — and its 2013 memo reiterated as much. “NAMB endorsed chaplains will not conduct or attend a wedding ceremony for any same sex couple, bless such a union or perform counseling in support of such a union, assist or support paid contractors or volunteers leading same-sex relational events, nor offer any kind of relationship training or retreat, on or off a military installation, that would give the appearance of accepting the homosexual lifestyle or sexual wrongdoing.” He’s not only bound by his own conviction but the conviction of his military sponsors. And yet this investigator thinks Chaplain Squires should be punished just for explaining his beliefs to the offended soldier!

Mike Berry, Squires’s attorney at First Liberty, can’t believe the terrible precedent this would set. “That would mean a chaplain can’t even talk about their religious beliefs without being accused of discrimination. That would strip thousands of chaplains across our military of their most basic freedoms under the First Amendment.” Something this president, who’s fought to restore religious liberty, would never stand for.

As FRC’s own Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin has said, “If the military wants a chaplain corps, then they have to be prepared for chaplains to be chaplains. A chaplain isn’t worth anything if he isn’t allowed to minister and counsel according to his faith. If the Army won’t allow him to be a chaplain, then he becomes nothing more than a social worker.”

If anyone should be free to exercise his or her faith, shouldn’t it be chaplains? It’s time for the Army to refresh its memory on a little thing called the First Amendment and reread the president’s executive order on religious liberty. Both documents ought to be all the proof they need that Chaplain Squires is guilty of nothing but doing his job. And, by all accounts, doing it well.


Sunday, April 22, 2018

UK: The problem with Twitter’s ban on Tommy Robinson

Britain’s broadsheet press has recently gone into meltdown over the easily debunked Cambridge Analytica conspiracy theory, in which shady data-miners are alleged to have manipulated the political views of the masses via Facebook.

Yet a recent attempt to control political discussion by another social-media giant was met largely with a shrug. Yes, when it came to Twitter’s permanent ban on right-wing rabble-rouser and ex-English Defence League frontman Tommy Robinson, these worriers about the political power of Silicon Valley didn’t protest; if anything, they cheered.

Twitter once declared itself to be on ‘the free-speech wing of the free-speech party’. But it now decrees that tweets by certain individuals are so dangerous and ‘hateful’ that Twitter-users must be shielded from them. How’s that for social-media manipulation?

You don’t have to agree with a single word Tommy Robinson says, or buy into his attempts to rebrand himself as a journalist or an expert on the Koran, to defend his right to speak and tweet freely. It doesn’t matter that he is an ex-con, jailed for mortgage fraud and for attempting to enter the US with someone else’s passport. Nor does it matter that Robinson is himself not really a fan of unfettered speech – his branding of the Koran as inherently dangerous betrays his own censorious instincts. I can certainly think of more deserving free-speech martyrs. But free speech must be an indivisible right if it is to have any meaning. It must apply equally to Tommy Robinson as to the Islamists he has made his name railing against.

Yet those who are indifferent to, or who are celebrating, Robinson’s Twitter ban argue that free speech doesn’t apply in this case. Free speech relates only to government censorship, they say. Twitter, as a private enterprise, has every right to host or eject any tweeter it wishes, they say. The right to free speech, says anti-extremist charity Hope Not Hate, is not the same as ‘the right to voice one’s opinions on every social-media platform’. After all, even post-Twitter you can carry on speaking somewhere else. Writer and broadcaster Mike Stuchbery says Robinson’s Twitter ban is no different to him ‘getting bounced from his local [pub]’.

There are two problems with this argument, with this idea that when private companies silence people it is not a free-speech matter. The first is that these social-media bans don’t happen in a vacuum. It is clear that state censorship, particularly that directed at so-called hate speech and Islamophobia, informs the actions of platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Robinson has many times been censured by the British state for his views on Islam. Former counter-terrorism police chief Mark Rowley compared Robinson to Anjem Choudary, the Islamist who was jailed not for any violent act, but for declaring support for ISIS.

Recently, three right-wing activists, including one of Robinson’s former colleagues, Lauren Southern, were detained under anti-terror laws and denied entry to the UK on the basis that their political views are not ‘conducive to the public good’. When YouTuber Count Dankula was found guilty recently of being ‘grossly offensive’ for producing a video of a Nazi pug, some comedians defended the conviction on the grounds that Dankula has associated with Robinson. Just having links with Robinson apparently justifies state heavy-handedness.

The British state has made clear its intention to censor far-right content and to make it harder for people like Robinson to say certain things. In banning Robinson, Twitter is in essence doing the state’s bidding. This isn’t a simple private decision; it’s the outsourcing of state authoritarianism to a private company.

And secondly, there’s the fact that social-media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are now so large that they are central to public discussion and debate. In the US, the president regularly conducts state business on Twitter. Aside from hurling abuse at the media, Trump announces policies, appointments and sackings on social media. Twitter’s status as a de facto public forum is reflected in the fact that a Manhattan federal court is currently assessing whether Trump has the right to block Twitter users or whether that would be a violation of their First Amendment rights.


Nazi speech must be permitted.

“As much as I wouldn’t tolerate hate speech in my own personal life, it is protected,” said Sean J. Young, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia.

“There may be many kinds of speech that it seems everyone would agree is considered hate speech,” Young said. But deciding certain kinds of speech are no longer protected because you don’t like them can open the door to many types of speech being banned.

“If you allow the government to ban hate speech, you’ll give them the power to ban phrases like ‘black lives matter.’ I bet there are a few people who would consider that hate speech,” Young said. “I can think of many examples. You just cannot open that door for the government to determine what is hateful or not. That is a dangerous road to go down."

Ever since word broke that a neo-Nazi group, the Nationalist Socialist Movement, would be holding a rally in Newnan on April 21, many Cowetans have spoken out against the city granting a permit for the event, saying the permit should have been denied – or revoked after the fact. Some have said that NSM’s hate speech should not be protected as free speech.

The Newnan TImes-Herald asked two First Amendment experts to weigh in on the issues.

“The best response to bad speech is more speech,” Young said. “If you don’t agree with the things some people are saying then you should consider responding. “But using the government… to punish people you disagree with or to silence other people’s views is unconstitutional.” 

Local governments can put some minimal restrictions on speech, but most types of restriction on content are “almost always unconstitutional,” said Fred Smith, professor at the Emory University School of Law. “The safe thing for a government actor to do is not to engage in any kind of content regulation,” Smith said. “Even when people are going to say something most people in the community would find odious, our constitutional tradition is that people absolutely nonetheless have to be able to say those things."


Friday, April 20, 2018

ESPN going to court over announcer accused of calling Venus Williams a ‘gorilla’

At the 2017 Australian Open tennis tournament, ESPN commentator Doug Adler described Venus Williams’ game as having a “guerrilla effect.”

ESPN (and many on social media, who savaged Adler for his perceived insensitivity) heard it as “gorilla effect,” widely considered a racial slur when directed at black athletes.

Adler, for his part, apologized, saying he “simply and inadvertently chose the wrong word” and claiming that he meant no offense to Williams or black people in general.

ESPN, though, wasn’t satisfied and promptly let him go.

Now, Adler is getting his day in court. Adler is suing for wrongful termination on the grounds that ESPN’s reaction to the viral outcry led them to fire him for something he didn’t actually say.

“They didn’t have good cause and I didn’t do anything wrong,” Adler told NBC’s “Today“ last August. “They killed me, they made me unemployable. They ended my career, they killed my reputation, my good name. What else was I supposed to do?”


Family Farmers Face Prison for Calling Skim Milk by Its Name

Forget narcotics. Uncle Sam has a new substance to crack down on: all-natural skim milk.

Food and Drug Administration regulations make it a federal crime for dairy farmers to call all-natural skim milk exactly what it is—skim milk. Instead, the FDA demands that farmers label additive-free skim milk as “imitation milk product,” because, in the FDA’s mind, skim milk just isn’t the real thing.

The FDA’s finicky rules are not going unchallenged, however. Attorneys with the Institute for Justice are challenging those rules on behalf of a dairy farmer, Randy Sowers, who wants to sell all-natural products and label them honestly, without the threat of fines or imprisonment.

Randy Sowers wants to sell his milk in Pennsylvania, which is no problem under Pennsylvania law.

But under FDA regulations, in order for him to sell skim milk across state lines with an honest label (“skim milk”), it needs to have some dishonest additives: artificial vitamins A and D, in amounts set by federal regulation.

Without those additives, the FDA requires Sowers to call his product “imitation skim milk” or “imitation milk product.”

Who even knows what that is? And more importantly, who would buy it?


Thursday, April 19, 2018

Twitter CEO Endorses Silencing Republicans 

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey recently endorsed a controversial article that essentially called for the takedown of the Republican Party for a generation or two in order to save the country.

In an article entitled “The Great Lesson of California in America’s New Civil War,” authors Peter Leyden and Ruy Teixeira assert that the U.S. is in the midst of an ideological civil war, and that “the way forward is on the path California blazed about 15 years ago.”

Leyden and Teixeira point out that California’s Democrat Party so successfully marginalized the Republican Party in the state that it has essentially developed one-party rule, and thus it has been able to move the state more easily “forward.”

They ridiculously suggest that California “provides a model for America as a whole.” It appears these leftist writers have been living a little too long in Hollywood fantasy land, where facts have little weight.

Ironically, the Democrat Party’s stranglehold on California’s government seems to have produced enough frustration among the states’ citizens that an initiative to break the state up has garnered enough support to make the ballot.


Girl’s University Classifies “God Bless You” After a Sneeze as a Microaggression

Simmons College, an all-girls college in Boston, has an extensive list of microaggressions on their website with categories including: “anti-racism,” “anti-transmisia,” “anti-ableism,” among others. Curiously enough, though, one seemingly timeless display of politeness has been categorized as a microaggression that established one’s own religious status as the standard.

It seems parents who taught their children to say “God bless you” after someone sneezes are outdated bigoted Jesus-freaks, because, as the school would put it, saying the term is “[Assuming] of One’s Own Religious Identity as the Norm.” Now, let’s unwrap the fact that the word “god” is not a purely Christian or Catholic concept by any chance, nor is a blessing, and the term is not “Christian god bless you” or “my god bless you”, but simply “God bless you”. I suppose you could say the term is god-neutral?

This is a short story for a short-minded and clearly ill-conceived notion concept, but let’s make one thing clear; as a society we have many issues to deal with, including actual life-size aggression, and if people cannot deal with a very small version of the aforementioned aggression perhaps they should feel free to separate themselves from society altogether.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Video: The Left's War on Science


Many in the media say there’s a conservative war on science. Is this true? No, says John Tierney, contributing editor at the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal. Tierney says, “The real war on science is the one from the Left.”

Gender differences, IQ trends, genetically modified foods. Tierney says the Left stifled research into what could have been a second Green Revolution to feed Africa.

People who study gender difference have leaned to keep quiet, says Tierney: “You can’t say that there are more men are more aggressive, more risk-taking, that status matters and making money matters more to them.”

Finally, Tierney complains that Universities are utterly dominated by leftists. In the social sciences, Democrats outnumber Republicans by at least eight to one. In some fields like sociology it’s 44 to one. Students are more likely to be taught in sociology by a Marxist [25%] than by a Republican [2%].

Tierney says, “Once an academic department gets a majority of people who are on the Left, they start hiring people like themselves, and pretty soon the whole department is that way. They start to think that their opinions and that their interests are not only the norm but the truth.”

John Stossel says: Think about that, next time you hear about a “conservative war on science.”


Australia: Tongan footballer escapes sanction for what he said - but sponsors showdown looms

He said homosexuals would burn in Hell

Rugby Australia is set for an ugly showdown with its major sponsors after deciding to not take action against Israel Folau over his anti-gay comments in an Instagram post earlier this month.

Fairfax Media understands RA chief executive Raelene Castle is satisfied with the “respectful” way in which the Wallabies’ highest-paid player clarified his remarks in a first-person online column posted on Monday night.

In the column, Folau threatened to walk away from the game if RA officials wanted him to. He also took aim at Castle for misrepresenting his “position and comments” at a media conference following their meeting in Sydney early last week.

Despite this, Castle and RA are satisfied with his comments and will not take action against him. RA confirmed the news on Tuesday afternoon via a statement.

“In his article, Israel clearly articulated his religious beliefs and why his faith is important to him and has provided context behind his social media comment," Castle said. "In his own words, Israel said that he did not intend to upset people intentionally or bring hurt to the game. We accept Israel’s position.

“Rugby Australia will use this experience as an opportunity to remind all employees of their obligation to use social media in a respectful way.”

But the decision to bend for the renegade Wallabies and Waratahs player, who is off contract at the end of this season, is set to anger major sponsors who have been watching the issue fester over the past two weeks. In their eyes, there has been a major backflip.

Castle and RA have been under enormous pressure from Folau’s closest allies, not least influential broadcaster Alan Jones, to allow him to say what he wants because of his religious beliefs.


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

TV host who said he would sexually assault Parkland survivor resigns

He lost the plot

A conservative commentator who sent a tweet saying he would use “a hot poker” to sexually assault an outspoken 17-year-old survivor of the Florida high school shooting has resigned from a St Louis TV station and been taken off the radio after several advertisers withdrew from his shows.

KDNL-TV accepted Jamie Allman’s resignation and canceled The Allman Report, according to a brief statement from the Sinclair Broadcast Group, which operates the TV station. Before the show’s launch in January 2015, KDNL-TV touted it as a nontraditional newscast with a conservative spin.

Allman’s radio show on KFTK-FM has been taken off the air while the company “looks into the matter”, said Esther-Mireya Tejeda, a spokeswoman for Entercom, which began operating the station last month.

In the tweet, Allman wrote: “I’ve been hanging out getting ready to ram a hot poker up David Hogg’s ass tomorrow.”

Allman’s Twitter account was “locked” shortly after he sent the tweet, restricting access to his account, but a screenshot of it has been widely circulated on social media.

Hogg’s willingness to take on the gun-control cause has made him a target for some conservatives.


Facebook Bans German Historian for Saying 'Islam Is Not Part of German History'

Too much truth

Last month, Facebook censored a German historian who posted a message about Islam's historic impact on Germany. Facebook banned the historian for 30 days, even though 76 percent of Germans agree that Islam does not "belong to Germany."

Michael Hesemann, a journalist and Vatican historian with an honorary doctorate for his work in uncovering documents from the Armenian Genocide, posted a message that Facebook said did "not correspond to our community standards." The offensive message was an accurate — if overstated — historical statement.

"Islam always plays only one role in the 1700-year-old history of the Christian Occident: the role of the sword of Damocles which hung above us, the threat of barbarism against which one needed to unite and fight," Hesemann wrote, according to NRW Direkt. "In this sense, Islam is not part of German history, but the defense against Islam!"

Facebook argued that it would delete any comment that "attacks persons because of their race, ethnicity, national background, religious orientation, sexual orientation, sexual identity, or physical impairment," the Catholic site OnePeterFive reported.


Monday, April 16, 2018

Some racism is OK, it seems

I posted about the first advertisement yesterday -- and the vast outrage it provoked

Both advertisements are from Australia. The second advertisement is highly comparable to the first but provoked no outrage at all. Discriminating in favour of blacks is fine.

 We live in a world where there are no moral or behavior standards, only political expediency.

More Leftist hate
If you’re looking for the bad guy in the Avengers movie, check behind the camera. Director Joss Whedon may not be part of the cast, but based on his Twitter account, he’s a pretty convincing villain in real life. This week, after a year and a half of vile anti-Trump rants, the Hollywood liberal finally took it too far. “Die, Don,” he tweeted.

Even for Whedon, who’s used to creating drama, it was a sinister turn. The man who shocked everyone last year by posting that he’s “grateful” his mom has “the gift” of death so that she doesn’t have to see what a “tub of [profanity] our country’s become” seemed even more unhinged than ever. “Donald trump is killing this country. Some of it quickly, some slowly, but he spoils and destroys everything he touches. He emboldens monsters, wielding guns, governmental power, or just smug doublespeak. Or Russia. My hate and sadness are exhausting. Die, Don. Just quietly die.”

And Hollywood says we’re the haters? A major motion picture director is openly calling for the death of the president. Imagine, PJ Media’s Jim Treacher wondered, if someone famous had said that to Obama. “Not just some Flyover Country bumpkin blogger like me, but a guy who directs blockbuster movies. He’d be run out of Hollywood on a rail. He’d never work again. His career would be deader than Kevin Spacey’s.” Instead, the mainstream media yawns and goes back to calling out conservative “intolerance,” as if believing in marriage is the same thing as wanting the leader of the free world dead.

Whedon, for his part, has no shame. The self-proclaimed “feminist” publicly called Ivanka Trump a dog — and industry peers said nothing. He told followers he wanted to see a rhino sexually assault House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) to death. Crickets. Only when he unleashed on a group of childhood cancer survivors, insisting they must be in DC for the “White House wife hunt” except they were “not a 10,” did he take any heat. Finally, liberals objected. He offered a faint apology, but the damage had already been done.


Sunday, April 15, 2018

Anti-abortion poster censored and removed in Rome

A huge anti-abortion poster featuring an 11-week-old foetus in the womb has been censored and removed today in Rome.

It appeared close to the Vatican City on Thursday. The message said: ““You were like this at 11 weeks. All your organs were present. Your heart was already beating from the third week after conception. You were already sucking your thumb. And now you’re here because your mother did not abort you.”  The initiative has been launched by the Pro Life association “Pro Vita Onlus“.

The pro-life initiative sparked outcry from pro-abortion group on social media and also a left-wing Member of the Parliament Monica Cirrinà attacked on Twitter: “It’s shameful that posters against a State law and the right of women to choose have been allowed to appear on the streets of Rome. It should be removed straightaway.”

To be noted that not the same outcry sparked when blasphemous posters have appeared in Rome illustrating a ‘pedophile’ Jesus Christ and Holy Mary pregnant thanks to ‘surrogacy’. The figures have appeared in the official bus stops managed by ATAC, the public transport company of the Municipality of Rome.


Why cannot a business advertise for the staff it most needs?

An Australian company wanted a salesmen to operate in a high-income, mostly white suburb.  It rightly thought that the salesman would be more successful, the more he was like the people he would be selling to.  But saying that was a big no-no, apparently

A job ad calling for applicants who are 'Anglo Saxon' and live near 'Neutral Bay' on Sydney's affluent North Shore has outraged politicians, lawyers and the public.

The advert for a retail consultant with telecommunications giant Optus, which has now been taken down - appeared on Seek on Thursday afternoon.

Lawyers, politicians and community leaders condemned the ad on Friday, with some commenting on its legality.

The median price for rent in Neutral Bay is $1,100 per week and it costs $2.2 million to buy in the exclusive suburb.

Optus labelled the job advert as 'completely unacceptable' and expressed its commitment to 'diversity and inclusion' in a post to social media.

'A job advert posted on a website today is a clear breach of Optus values and our commitment to equal opportunity employment,' the company stated.

'We've removed the advert and are investigating how this occurred and offer an unreserved apology.' '

Race Discrimination Commissioner Dr Tim Soutphommasane described the post as illegal in a post to twitter on Friday. 'Under the Racial Discrimination Act, it is unlawful to discriminate on the grounds of race in employment,' he said.

Social media users reacted with anger on twitter and Facebook, with some describing the ad as 'racist', while others threatened to switch phone companies.  

Anti-Defamation Commission chairman Dvir Abramovich said he was pleased Optus 'removed the hurtful and outrageous ad', which  he said 'clearly violates the Australian values of fair go, equal opportunity and inclusivity'.

'People should be employed based on their skills, merit and CV, not because of their background, culture or skin colour,' he said.


Friday, April 13, 2018

Facebook still discriminatory

Diamond and Silk, two pro-Trump commentators, have scored a significant concession from Facebook after the social media site labeled their videos “unsafe to the community.” The pair say their social media traffic was doing great but that suddenly it had been throttled in recent months, with many users no longer able see the pair’s content on their newsfeeds.

After months of attempting to reach out to the social media giant, they finally received a reply, stating that their content had been deemed “unsafe,” causing the video creators, Lynnette "Diamond" Hardaway and Rochelle "Silk" Richardson, to come forward. But Facebook may finally be changing its tune.

A Facebook spokesperson told Fox News, “We are aware of this issue. We are reaching out to the creators of Diamond & Silk to try and resolve this matter.” That was after the pair appeared on Fox to raise the alarm bell over the throttling.

The concession stands in stark contrast to how Facebook dealt with its labeling with a Wikipedia description that it is a “far-right” news outlet that is “intentionally misleading,” a description that now appears on every post Breitbart puts on Facebook like a scarlet letter.

It has no resemblance to reality. Breitbart is fairly mainstream publication where conservatives can go to get news. One might disagree with what they put out there, but they are accountable to facts and have a thorough editorial process. Yes, it publishes opinion pieces, but those are held to similar standards and there isn’t a newspaper that doesn’t have editorials. They have done nothing to be labeled political extremists by Facebook, but there it is.

In the meantime, Facebook hosts pages for Antifa groups all over the world, a group whose stated tactic is to commit political violence against its opponents. They bear no such moniker as “violent” or “unsafe” or even “far-left” even as the group is under active criminal investigation for its many attacks.

There is absolutely a double-standard at Facebook.


Governments twist language

Mostly under Leftist influence

Those who support the state ideologically tend to engage in chronic misrepresentation of what the state does and how it does it. So, not only war—the characteristic state action—but statism in general makes truth the first casualty of its claims, proposals, programs, and projects.

Consider some common examples. Foreign sellers don’t “dump” goods in U.S. markets; they sell them at prices American buyers find attractive. Immigrants and refugees don’t “invade” the USA; they cross the border and, unless obstructed by state agents, proceed into the country peacefully. After a hurricane or other natural emergency, local sellers don’t “price gouge”; they sell, as usual, at prices that reflect the currently prevailing conditions of demand and supply. Government make-work programs don’t “create jobs”; they hire people for politically determined activities while, owing to the programs’ financing by taxation, reducing the number of people hired for activities valued directly or indirectly by consumers. The Transportation Security Agency does not provide “security” for airline passengers; it provides security theater while greatly diminishing the passengers’ convenience and ease of travel—and probably their true security as well.

In sum, behind virtually every government claim, proposal, program, or project, we find a misuse of language. Government goes hand in hand with calling actions what they are not, often the opposite of what they really are


Thursday, April 12, 2018

Facebook’s Recent Algorithm Change Is Crushing Conservative Sites, Boosting Liberals

Facebook’s much-publicized demotion of publishers’ content in users’ news feeds has negatively impacted conservative-leaning publishers significantly more than liberal-leaning outlets, an analysis by The Western Journal has revealed.

Liberal publishers have gained about 2 percent more web traffic from Facebook than they were getting prior to the algorithm changes implemented in early February.

On the other hand, conservative publishers have lost an average of nearly 14 percent of their traffic from Facebook.

This algorithm change, intentional or not, has in effect censored conservative viewpoints on the largest social media platform in the world. This change has ramifications that, in the short-term, are causing conservative publishers to downsize or fold up completely, and in the long-term could swing elections in the United States and around the world toward liberal politicians and policies.


TX: West U councilwoman accused of yelling obscenities at teen wearing Trump shirt

Investigators at the Harris County Precinct One Constable's Office on Wednesday filed a disorderly conduct charge against West University Place Councilwoman Kellye Burke, after accusations that she berated a group of teenage girls over a Trump T-shirt.

The girls said they were in line at Tiny's Milk and Cookies in West U on Saturday, waiting to buy cookies for younger girls at their nearby church.

"A tall, short-haired blond woman came up to them and screamed, 'Grab em by the (expletive) girls!'" the father of one of the girls said. He did not want to be identified, fearing retaliation against his daughter.

The girls initially tried to laugh it off, the father said.

"Then, she yells it again!" the father said. "At that point the girls were getting kind of scared, and then the woman starts, you know, going, 'MAGA! MAGA! MAGA!' while shaking her fist."

One of the girls was wearing a shirt that read, "Trump: Make America Great Again," the father said.

The father said the girls left without responding to the woman. He said one of the girls said she noticed that Burke had taken a picture of her.

"They were scared," the father said. "They were absolutely scared. My little girl essentially wanted to know if this woman was going to hurt her."

West U police referred the case to Harris County Precinct One Constable's office, which filed a class C misdemeanor charge against Burke.

"How dare anyone attack children," Kathryn Faherty said.

"We need to be tolerant of other people's views," added Ana Garcia.


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

'Listen here chocolate lips': A bad thing to say

A Victorian Councillor has been suspended after making a racist comment on his social media account. City of Hume Councillor, Steve 'Jack' Medcraft posted a link to his Facebook page  mocking an example of police brutality in Victoria.

He referred to the victim, who is of African appearance as 'chocolate lips'.

'Now listen here chocolate lips if you are going to rob someone there are consequences,' the Facebook post read. 

The man he was referring to was having a psychotic episode and assaulted several people before attempting to hold up a pharmacy in Preston.

CCTV footage showed the man was beaten, kicked and stomped on by Victorian Police Officers in 2016.

The representative later removed the post from social media and apologised for making the comment.

'I never intended any hurt or malice towards others, nor did I appreciate that my comments did not reflect well in my role as a Councillor or a community representative,' he said. 

The Councillor was pulled aside by the Hume Mayor, Geoff Porter and has since been stripped of the Indigenous Support portfolio, suspended for two council meetings and agreed to take cultural diversity training


Big free speech debate in Australia after a footballer dared to express traditional Christian beliefs about homosexuality

Who knew that Rugby Australia was a religious organisation with doctrine, dogma and decrees about the existence of hell? It looks that way.

Footballer Folau was brought up as a Mormon.  He is of Tongan origin and the Mormons are strong on Tonga.  Mormons are very family-oriented so are traditionally hostile to homosexuality

In response to an Instagram question last Tuesday in which he was asked what he thought was “God’s plan for gay people”, Israel Folau, Australian rugby’s highest- paid player and a devout Christian, was unequivocal: “HELL. Unless they repent of their sins and turn to God.”

What has followed has been a fevered week of urgent backroom meetings involving Folau, Rugby Australia and the sport’s two biggest sponsors, Qantas and ASICS.

Alan Jones writes: Folau is entitled to his opinion on gay people. The code has bigger concerns than keeping him silent

It was the worst possible moment for the story to break. Both sponsors had just endured a public relations “hell” of their own because of their Cricket Australia sponsorships and, in the case of ASICS, personal partnerships with two of the three disgraced cricketers, Warner and Cameron Bancroft.

It is understood both companies moved quickly to express their unhappiness about Folau’s comments directly to rugby’s most senior executives. What followed was a crisis management strategy by Rugby Australia and the sponsors that was straight out of the cricket scandal playbook, as they all tried to shield their brands from Folau’s views.

Rugby Australia stated: ‘‘Folau’s personal beliefs do not reflect the views of Rugby Australia … Rugby supports all forms of inclusion, whether it’s sexuality, race, or gender, which is set out in our Inclusion Policy (2014).”

Qantas said simply: “We’ve made it clear to Rugby Australia that we find the comments very disappointing.”

It is understood Qantas has told Rugby Australia that continued social media comments by Folau or any other players along these lines would cause it to re-evaluate its support of the sport.

But beyond the predictable backpedalling from Folau’s comments by the immediate stakeholders, opinions are much more divided in the broader community about whether Folau should be allowed to express such views.

Even the generally socially progressive readership of The Sydney Morning Herald showed some sympathy in yesterday’s letters section, which was headlined: “Folau has every right to express his opinions”. Several letters actively defended his right to express his beliefs.

Former human rights commissioner and federal Liberal MP Tim Wilson told The Australian he believes companies and individuals lashing out at Folau should “take a chill pill”.

“Respecting diversity includes diversity of opinion, including on questions of morality,” Wilson says. “Targeting Folau falsely feeds a mindset that he is persecuted for his opinions. Everyone needs to take a chill pill, respect Folau’s authority on the rugby field, and also recognise that he is employed in a profession that values brawn over brains.”

Wilson, one of the Liberal Party’s most vocal advocates in favour of same-sex marriage during the recent national debate, has also taken aim at the hand-wringing in the sponsorship arena over Folau’s comments.

“It is ridiculous for sponsors to walk away from Rugby Australia because of Folau’s opinions,” he says. “Companies have the freedom to sponsor organisations that share their values, but it would be absurd to make a collective sponsorship decision based on an individual player who isn’t hired based on his opinions. If Qantas and other sponsors punish Rugby Australia they’d be saying Australians can’t associate with them if they have religious or moral views.”

A source at one Australian rugby sponsor said it was unfair to judge sponsors simply for being cautious about brand damage from comments like those of Folau. “When you’re investing to have your brand associated with a team, and the values don’t line up repeatedly, then it begs the question: is it worth it?”

The source said that the problem was even more marked for Rugby Australia, which has had its own well-chronicled battles to attract sponsors in recent years amid the patchy performances of the Wallabies.

“The problem is really Rugby Australia’s,” the source said. “Comments like Folau’s are not aligned with their values when they’re trying to attract sponsors.”

Crisis management specialist Greg Baxter, partner of Newgate Australia, understands the point of view of Rugby Australia and the sponsors to some degree.

“I don’t think I’ve heard anyone say he can’t have an opinion, but it’s not the sort of attitude that modern rugby wants,” he says.

“Rugby is saying: ‘We’re all about inclusivity, and we want all sorts of people playing our game.’ There’s no question his views are at odds with that.

“It’s no different from any employee having to exercise care in using social media platforms. In this instance, he needed to think more carefully about how offensive his statement was: not just to people in rugby, but the consequences to a major sponsor.”

Baxter believes players need to become much more aware of the impact of their comments.

“You have to be highly sensitised to the fact your comments can be interpreted a certain way, not only on behalf of yourself but a sporting code or a political party,” he says. “It’s easy to say it’s a handbrake on free speech — I don’t personally think it is — but they have to understand there will be consequences if they upset people. To me, it’s common sense.

“In the absence of common sense, sporting codes will have to think of social media policies and training that goes with that for people. The higher your profile, the more sensitive you have to be. If you have a public profile, your so-called private capacity is diminished. The audience doesn’t differentiate between public profile and private comments.”

However, Sharon Williams, chief executive of prominent social media consultancy Taurus Marketing, believes companies need to avoid becoming hyper-sensitive to the views of individual athletes in the social media age.

She argues that corporates are “overplaying their hand”. “I think there is sometimes a juvenile approach by corporates and organisations to understanding the limitations of how much they can impose on the players,” she says.

“Everyone gets hung up about social media. But nothing has changed in how the world should operate if you have a commercial relationship that needs to be honoured with mutual integrity and respect.

“If you’ve got a commercial relationship with an organisation, you respect your differences and your likenesses. You have to be aware of people’s beliefs. If the sponsors don’t want players to put some of their beliefs on social media, they need to make sure they cover that off in their sponsorship agreements.”

On the flip side, she believes that the prevailing environment where there is an abundance of caution among corporates about causing offence requires athletes to be given more formal coaching.

“I have no doubt that Israel Folau is sincere in his religious beliefs,” she says. “Maybe there can be more education and mentoring of athletes on the consequences and implications of their actions on social media. ‘‘We’re in an environment where political correctness is going mad, and the athletes need to be aware of that on social media.”

Williams contrasts Folau’s post with Stephanie Rice’s infamous homophobic 2010 tweet “Suck on that faggots”, which also had a rugby union connection, after the Wallabies beat South Africa in a Test she was watching. Rice ended up losing personal sponsorships based on the tweet.

“Folau was answering a direct question, based on his religious beliefs, but Rice was deemed to be derogatory,” she says.

Folau’s comments have emerged at a time when protections for religious freedoms are being examined by a panel headed up by former federal immigration minister Philip Ruddock, in the wake of last year’s same-sex marriage plebiscite result.

There were suggestions at the time the process was set up by the government largely as a way of keeping conservative interests in the Coalition onside, amid their concerns about the effect legalising same-sex marriage could have on religious freedom.

Ruddock said yesterday there had been 16,500 submissions to the panel, which would commence “formal sessions” by the end of next week. “We’ve been embarking on the program to identify how we can effectively secure our international obligations on freedom of religion, with regard to broader human rights obligations.”

One key advocate of religious freedoms, in discussing Folau’s social media comments, cites the adage: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

Peter Kurti, an Anglican priest who runs the religion and civil society program for the Centre for Independent Studies, says: “My own personal view is that Israel Folau is wrong. I don’t believe that being gay is incompatible with being Christian.”

Despite disagreeing with Folau’s view, Kurti says the vilification of him is “troubling”.

He is also concerned about the possibility of sponsor departures over the opinion. He believes major sponsors of rugby such as Qantas could turn the matter into a public relations win by showing tolerance on the matter.

“In a sense, if their response is heavy-handed, it ratchets the whole controversy up,” he says. “I’d like to see Qantas and Rugby Australia defuse the tension in this. If Qantas were to come back and say along the lines: ‘This is an individual’s point of view. We continue to support rugby in Australia’, it would defuse the situation.

“Tolerance means we tolerate views we don’t agree with, allowing people with whom we don’t agree to say things that may be offensive.

“We all know Qantas has a strong position on many social issues such as same-sex marriage. And it’s driven from the top by Alan Joyce. The worry is if they decide as a major sponsor they don’t like the points of view of any member of the organisation they are sponsoring.”

He believes that rather than shut Folau down, corporate organisations should simply “debate” him. “What he’s doing is embarking on a theological debate about what will happen to a certain section of community after death. What we have to do is debate him on those terms. But we don’t vilify him for holding a point of view.”

However, Baxter says the problem for Folau is that with an Instagram following of more than 338,000, he is a large-scale media outlet in his own right. “The higher the profile, the more the scrutiny,” he says.

“A comment is much less likely to be made in a private capacity and stay private — particularly if you’ve got hundreds of thousands of followers. The point at which you press the button to publish those comments on any platform, you make them public and you have to be answerable.”

Baxter argues there is a critical lack of awareness among sports stars and others about their reach through social media. “There’s a naivety among a lot of people. Some people can write whatever they want on these platforms behind a cloak of anonymity, and not face any consequences. But people like him, who earn a living from sponsorship and from having a public profile, need to understand that it carries with it more responsibility than another private citizen who has no public profile.”

Kurti, on the other hand, argues the Folau affair and the pressure for him to bite his tongue show that the balance is in danger of tipping in favour of censorship.

“It shows that we are forgetting just how important freedom of speech is in our society,” he says.

“We only want people to say the things we agree with. That seems to be the prevalent mood on social media. But in a society where freedom is truly valued, people have to be free to say things with which we don’t agree.”


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

MasterChef UK judges cause a stir with chicken curry comments

JUDGES on a popular British cooking show are being ridiculed for ignorance of Asian food after insisting a Malaysian contestant’s chicken rendang curry should have been crispy.

Foodies in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia have taken to social media to vent at the critique of the Malaysian-born cook’s traditional and standard method for preparing chicken rendang.

“The skin isn’t crispy. It can’t be eaten but all the sauce is on the skin I can’t eat,” one of the MasterChef UK judges complained in a recent episode of the show.

Online, Southeast Asians pointed out that the chicken is cooked in curry sauce, not fried, and is never crispy. Some accused the judges of neo-colonial attitudes and racism.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak also chipped in, posting a photo of chicken rendang on Twitter and lightheartedly asking whether anyone has ever eaten a crispy chicken curry.

Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said the judges were guilty of “whitesplaining.”


Australian Olympic legend Kerri Pottharst apologises for calling Caribbean beach volleyball players 'human lamingtons covered in sand'

A Lamington is a popular Australian small cake.  It is a cube of sponge cake coated with chocolate icing and sprinkled with dessicated coconut

A volleyball Olympic champion has apologised for making a racial slur while commentating at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Kerri Pottharst was pulled up after she said the Saint Kitts beach volleyball players looked like 'lamingtons' when the sand stuck to their sweaty bodies.

They look like 'human lamingtons covered in sand,' the 52-year-old said on the live broadcast of the games.

Pottharst has since apologised and said didn't intend for the comment to be racist.

'I made a comment I unreservedly apologise for and sincerely regret,' she said. 'It was 100 per cent not meant to offend.'

The remark caused outrage on social media calling for the 2000 Olympic gold medalist to get the sack from the Channel Seven coverage.


Monday, April 09, 2018

After 9 Years, HOA Revokes Veteran’s Right to Fly American Flag in Front Yard

Nine years after he was given permission to flag an American flag in his yard, and began doing so, a veteran is now being told he must remove it, he says.

Wayne Marchant, who served four years active duty and four years in the Air Force reserves, says his Home Owners Association (HOA) has suddenly rescinded permission to flag in front of his Franklin, Ohio home.

According to the HOA, flying the American flag a home’s yard “does not comply with the communities standards,” Local station WLWT reports:

"As a veteran, I wouldn't think to erect a flagpole and fly the American flag would be something that I would have to get permission to do," Marchant said.

Marchant moved into Franklin's Renaissance subdivision nine years ago. He said then, the homeowners association gave him verbal permission to install the pole and fly the flag.

Omni Community Association, the HOA, says its board will consider Marchant’s complaint and issue a final decision.


The Atlantic Fires Conservative Writer Over Abortion Views

The Atlantic fired Kevin Williamson on Thursday over past comments he made on abortion, ending the conservative columnist's time at the magazine only two weeks after the publication hired him.

The Atlantic‘s editor in chief, Jeffrey Goldberg, informed the publication's staff of Williamson's departure via email, according to multiple press reports.

Goldberg's initial decision to hire Williamson as a columnist last month drew rebuke from liberals, who argued that previous columns Williamson wrote for National Review, where he worked before The Atlantic, showcased racist sentiments. They specifically cited a 2014 column in which Williamson "described an encounter with a young black boy using racially loaded terms like ‘three-fifths-scale Snoop Dogg' and describing the boy as a ‘primate,'" the Daily Beast reported.

Critics of the hire also cited a tweet in which Williamson wrote that "the law should treat abortion like any other homicide." The writer added that hanging would be an appropriate punishment.


Sunday, April 08, 2018

DNC member who called blacks "colored people" resigns — National Association for the Advancement of Colored People had no comment

Florida Democratic National Committee member John Parker is facing calls to resign from African-American activists and other party members, including his own wife, after he referred to blacks as "colored people."

Parker, a Florida state committeeman, told Politico that he simply mangled the phrase "people of color" and didn't mean to say "colored people" at a January party meeting at the Burrito Gallery in Jacksonville.

But not everybody believes that explanation, and some argue it wasn't an isolated incident.

Diallo-Sekou Seabrooks, who attended the meeting, said Parker "freely used" the phrase "colored people" and that he expressed concern Jacksonville would become more like Atlanta, a city with a majority-black government, First Coast News reports.

"Why would you still think that ‘colored' was cool? Because to me it's a Jim Crow terminology and it's unacceptable," Seabrooks said.


Roseanne Barr slammed for offensive Hitler photo shoot, producer urges audiences to ignore it

COMEDIAN Roseanne Barr has been slammed for controversial photo shoot in which she dressed like Hitler holding a tray of gingerbread men in front of an oven.

The pictures, which were taken in 2009 for a satricial Jewish magazine called Heeb, have garnered attention online after the star returned to the public eye last week with the reboot of the sitcom Roseanne.

Entertainment Weekly reports that the concept was Barr’s idea, and the images were criticised when they first came out.

Barr, who is Jewish, addressed the issue in 2011 during an interview on The Green Room with Paul Provenza, saying she didn’t know why people were so upset over the images.

When Paul Provenza said, “Jews went crazy over this. Understandably,” Barr said she didn’t think the reaction was understandable.

“I don’t think understandably. It really pissed me off. Because they were like ‘you’re making fun of the people in the ovens’, but I’m not making fun of people in the ovens.”

She said the message she was trying to send, was about how many holocausts have occurred since Hitler was in power.

“Moving off this Holocaust. There’s been about fifty of them since then. That’s what I’m kind of trying to say. Is like, Jesus Christ it’s so fucking every day now, holocausts, it’s like baking cookies,” she said.

Some Twitter users don’t agree, however, saying despite its satirical nature, the photos are “offensive and obscene”, while others threatened to boycott the TV station that airs the show.


Friday, April 06, 2018

NCAA title hero under fire for scrambling to cover up controversial comments

The internet never forgets, and DiVincenzo’s championship celebration was marred by some online sleuths sifting through his social media activity. Two posts in particular caught the eye of intrepid investigators.

First, per TMZ, DiVincenzo deleted a tweet in which he had used the n-word.

“Ballin on these n—-s like I’m (former NBA MVP Derrick Rose),” DiVincenzo posted to Twitter in 2011. Despite him seemingly quoting a rap song, people were still upset about his use of the racial epithet.

In another instance, DiVincenzo used more online vulgarity while talking about his father, according to Larry Brown Sports.

“To my dad I’m a p—- now?” DiVincenzo directed at his father. “(Because) I don’t want to play f—ing soccer?”

In fairness to the DiVincenzo family, whatever issues father and son may have had over a potential soccer career seem to have been smoothed over. Both of his parents were seen in the crowd on Monday, cheering on their son.

So despite the thrilling championship win, DiVincenzo spent part of his post-game activities explaining his tweets.

“It’s my account, yes … but I never remember doing that,” DiVincenzo said when asked about the vulgar comments posted on his Twitter account.

More eyebrows were raised when Villanova reportedly released and retracted a statement claiming that DiVincenzo’s Twitter account had been hacked. Considering his comments were from 2011, it’s hardly a surprise Villanova went back on its claim.

In fairness to DiVincenzo, he was barely 14 or 15 years old when he posted some of his more graphic tweets. It’s also fair to wonder if any of this criticism directed at comments DiVincenzo made nearly seven years ago are valid today.

Yes, obviously DiVincenzo’s choice of language left a bit to be desired. But, and this can’t be stressed enough, DiVincenzo was literally a child when he made those comments.

Let him enjoy his national championship without having to defend something he tweeted long ago


Anti-Islam leader who staged a mock beheading outside council offices to protest the building of a new mosque appeals 'hate speech' charges in court

No free speech in Australia

An anti-Islamic leader has launched an appeal in court against his conviction as the first person to be charged with 'hate speech' in Australia.

Blair Cottrell was found guilty after staging a mock beheading outside council offices in Bendigo in protest to permission being granted for a new mosque.

The carpenter from Melbourne says he is determined to carry on sharing his far-right views until 'they lock me up or kill me' as he kicked off his appeal on Wednesday.

He launched an appeal against the conviction which carries a maximum sentence of six months in prison and appeared at court on Wednesday.

He and two others, Neil Erikson and Christopher Shortis, carried out what Cottrell described as 'an Islamic-style beheading' of a dummy.

Cottrell told Daily Mail Australia he was 'confident' he could overturn his conviction. 'We have a very fair justice system in this country, unfortunately some judges are making some bad decisions, especially in recent years,' he said. 'But the majority of judges are very fair and professional.

'Even if I'm found guilty again I'll never stop speaking, they'll have to lock me up or kill me.'

Earlier, he posted a video appealing for donations to fund his legal challenge in which he denies being an extremist. He said: 'I've never done anything violent yet I'm called extremist simply because I speak.

'I chose to appeal the conviction to a higher level of court and that's what I'm doing today.

'If you're a white person in a Western country and you speak your opinion, you're regarded extremist so long as your opinion isn't left wing. 'What have I done that's extremist? I've given speeches. I've never called for violence.'


Thursday, April 05, 2018

YouTube gets some pushback for its censorship

Regrettable that users have so little recourse against YouTube high-handedness that someone was pushed to this extent

Nasim Aghdam, 39, of Southern California, was identified by US media as the woman who approached the Silicon Valley campus around lunchtime on Tuesday and began to fire before entering the building of the Google-owned video sharing service.

One man and two women were shot in the incident before the female shooter apparently committed suicide.

Aghdam was angry at YouTube because it had stopped paying her for videos she posted on the platform, her father told the Bay Area News Group .

People who post on YouTube can receive money from advertisements that accompany their videos, but the company "de-monetizes" some channels for reasons including inappropriate material or having fewer than 1,000 subscribers.

YouTube had "stopped everything," and "she was angry," Ismail Aghdam told the Associated Press in a telephone interview from his San Diego home.

Sources told NBC that Aghdam appeared to have a YouTube channel and had posted videos criticising the video-sharing service for censorship.

According to the broadcaster, she says in a video posted in January 2017 that YouTube “discriminated and filtered” her content. In the video, Aghdam reportedly says her channel used to get lots of views but that after being “filtered” by the company, it received far fewer views.

Aghdam was also a prominent animal rights protester. She was quoted in a 2009 story in the San Diego Union-Tribune about a protest by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals against the use of pigs in military trauma training.

"For me, animal rights equal human rights," Aghdam told the Union-Tribune at the time.


Security ordered to eject fans at the Masters who say this popular phrase

If you are fortunate enough to attend the Masters, you’ll want to deftly avoid using Anheuser-Busch-inspired lexicon.

According to golf reporter Bryce Ritchie, decision-makers at Augusta National Golf Club are cracking down on unruly fans this year.

Just been told security staff at Augusta National have been handed a sheet with a list of sayings that are prohibited. I'm told "dilly dilly" is one of them. Patrons who shout out these phrases will be "removed" immediately

Yes, the viral Budweiser commercials that featured the phrase “dilly dilly” have now become a top target for Masters officials.

It's truly is remarkable that in today’s social media age, something as simple as “dilly dilly” has picked up so much cultural momentum and heft.

But Masters officials seem to be over the phrase, and are reportedly telling the security there to remove any patrons that dare yell “dilly dilly.”

That’s not a small punishment, either. Aside from the indignation of getting kicked out of a very public event, a cursory glance at StubHub reveals that the “cheap” tickets for the major golf event start around $1,600. That’s a good chunk of change to lose out on simply for reciting your favorite tagline from a beer commercial.


Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Obama Judges Rule Cross Monument Must Go, Showing Elections Do Have Consequences

When Republican congressional leaders went to the White House on Jan. 23, 2009—just three days into Barack Obama’s presidency—to discuss legislation, he helpfully reminded them that his policy preferences necessarily had to prevail because “elections have consequences, and at the end of the day, I won.”

Obama is out of office now, but the regrettable consequences of his election remain strewn across the political landscape. Perhaps nowhere is that more consequential than in the makeup of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The 4th Circuit handles cases originating from the states of Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Obama appointed six of the eight judges who, on March 1, refused to reconsider a wrongheaded 2-1 ruling of a 4th Circuit panel last fall. That ruling found the World War I memorial Peace Cross in Bladensburg, Maryland, suddenly “unconstitutional” after more than 90 years without controversy.

Erected with funding from the American Legion and local families in 1925, at what is now the intersection of U.S. Route 1 and Maryland state Route 450, the 40-foot cross features a plaque listing the names of 49 Prince George’s County men who gave their lives in what H.G. Wells dubbed—wrongly, as it turned out—“the war that will end war.”

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission took control of the land on which the memorial sits in 1961 because of its location.

According to the October ruling, the commission’s paying for the upkeep and repairs of the monument “has the primary effect of endorsing religion and excessively entangles the government in religion”—supposedly in violation of the First Amendment’s establishment clause.

That plaque at the base of the memorial also includes the words “valor, endurance, courage, devotion.” But the only thing the secularists at the American Humanist Association (which filed the suit) is “devoted” to is anti-Christian intolerance.

To the humanists, the decision was “a big win … for the separation of church and state.” Never mind that that’s a phrase and a concept nowhere to be found in the Constitution, the left’s assertions to the contrary notwithstanding.

“We cannot allow it to be the final word,” said Hiram Sasser, deputy chief counsel for First Liberty Institute, the Plano, Texas-based nonprofit public interest law firm representing the American Legion, warning of the slippery slope the 4th Circuit’s ruling will create if it’s not repudiated by the Supreme Court.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, called the 4th Circuit’s ruling “an affront to all veterans,” and a spokesman for Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, a Democrat, said his office would file a brief in support of the veterans memorial monument when the case is appealed to the Supreme Court, as it will—and should—be.

A reversal by the justices would send a much-needed shot across the bow of an out-of-control 4th Circuit.


Libs are boycotting a D.C. steakhouse over a Patagonia hat

Great publicity for Patagonia.  They make caps for climbers and other outdoors folk but their main market is no doubt poseurs who would like to be thought of as outdoorsy. So perhaps it was poseurs who were objected to.  That would include a lot of Democrats

Adrienne Elrod, former director of strategic communications for Hillary for America, is angry at the Del Frisco’s Grille in D.C., apparently over the establishment’s dress code which didn’t approve of her Patagonia hat. And now there’s a boycott of the restaurant brewing:

What’s even funnier is that @DelFriscosResto — the target of the angry boycott tweets  — is in Canada, not D.C. Maybe Hillary avoiding Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania makes more sense now that her supporters can’t even find the right restaurant to boycott?

Complaining about the wrong restaurant on Twitter while complaining that a restaurant has a dress code you CHOSE to not obey. Let me guess...blame a #Deplorable? This is WHY we know Dems are out of touch with the guy in back cooking, washing dishes, etc.

Thankfully, they have since figured out which restaurant to boycott:

 Yea girl! Though to note, it is @dfgrille in dc that is terrible. I look forward to visiting the friendlier @DelFriscosResto in Quebec!

Exit question: Why not just take off the hat?


Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Even "Playboy" is ditching Facebook

Facebook will be stripped of its “Playboy” magazine pages because the social media giant contradicts the publication’s “values,” a “Playboy” executive has announced.

“Playboy” is also offended by Facebook’s “sexually repressive” stance, the son of the magazine’s founder said, “Variety” reports:

In a tweet Tuesday evening, Playboy chief creative officer Cooper Hefner — son of the late Hugh Hefner, the mag’s famed founder — said, “We are stepping away from Facebook.”

“Facebook’s content guidelines and corporate policies continue contradicting our values,” the exec wrote. “We’ve tried to craft our voice for the platform, which in our opinion continues to be sexually repressive.”

Hefner added, “Learning of the recent meddling in a free U.S. election further demonstrates another concern we have of how they handle users’ data.”

“Playboy” had briefly decided to go nudity-free in 2014, but, ultimately, returned to its previous values:

Playboy in 2014 removed nude photos from its websites and said the print mag would no longer include nudity starting in early 2016. However, last year, Cooper Hefner reversed that decision.