Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Facebook Deletes Hundreds Of `Hate Speech' Posts In Germany

Facebook deleted various "hate speech" posts under a German law banning offensive content online, or risked facing a multi-million dollar fine if it failed to comply.

The social media giant received 1,704 complaints and it removed 262 posts between January and June, Facebook's vice president for global policy solutions, Richard Allan, Reuters reported Friday.

Under Germany's law, which went into effect in January, Germany could have fined Facebook 50 million euros ($58 million). Facebook currently has a team of 65 staff reviewing complaints under Germany's law, called the NetzDG.

"Hate speech is not allowed on Facebook," Allan said. "We have taken a very careful look at the German law."

"That's why we are convinced that the overwhelming majority of content considered hate speech in Germany, would be removed if it were examined to see whether it violates our community standards," Allan added.

In the highly publicized congressional hearing in April wherein Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with lawmakers to answer questions ranging from user data abuse to censorship, Zuckerberg said he wanted to ban "hate speech" from the site, while struggling to define "hate speech."

Facebook has been cracking down on spam and fake accounts. As The Daily Caller News Foundation previously reported in May, Facebook removed 837 million examples of "spam" in the first quarter of 2018. The company also removed 583 million fake accounts, "most of which were disabled within minutes of registration."

Facebook removed 2.5 million pieces of content in the first quarter of 2018, 38 percent of which was flagged by its technology and much of which was considered "hate speech."


Facebook allows Holocaust denial

Facebook says that it does not allow antisemitic hate speech or incitement of violence of any kind and is committed to removing it when reported.

Material relating to Holocaust denial is considered more ambiguous by the platform and the community guidelines do not class it as hate speech.

Dave Rich, head of policy at the CST, said: "Holocaust denial by its definition is antisemitic. Even by Facebook's own rules many of the posts left on the site include extra text that incites hatred against Jews. Holocaust denial is not a wrong opinion or alternative history - the whole point of it is to incite hatred against Jews by claiming there is a conspiracy."

Other content flagged to the platform includes a fan page with more than 8,000 likes dedicated to David Irving, a British revisionist historian who served 13 months in prison in Austria for Holocaust denial in 2006. The page links to clips of his talks on YouTube, including a speech delivered at a meeting of the London Forum, which is said to be a neo-Nazi organisation.

Castle Hill Publishers, based in the US, produces Holocaust denial literature. It was founded by Germar Rudolf, a German chemist who was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for Holocaust denial in 2007. Its Facebook page has more than 200 likes and more than 200 followers.


Monday, July 30, 2018

Is there one rule for criticising Christianity and another for Islam?

When rugby player Israel Folau posted on Instagram in April that, in line with his Christian beliefs, gays who don’t repent are going to hell, he was widely pilloried. It was never clear from the ensuing media storm whether the defenders of gay rights thought Folau simply shouldn’t have said such things in public or whether he shouldn’t believe them in private either. Criticisms of his post included that he risked sparking suicidal feelings among young gays.

Yet, when Lauren Southern set up a stall in a public square in Britain in February with posters declaring: “Allah is gay, Allah is trans, Allah is lesbian…” to draw attention to Islam’s negative attitudes to the LGBT community, she was the one who was pilloried, especially by the political left. Her stall was shut down by the police because the constabulary feared violence might erupt. No word, then, about how Islam’s attitudes to gays might drive some of them to suicide.

Later, Southern was denied entry to Britain on the grounds that she had distributed “racist material” in Luton — even though Islam is not a race and she was targeting religious beliefs, not individuals.

Southern may indeed have racist views but it’s hard to see how her stall in Luton was an example of them. Perhaps the word “racist” is used because it is powerful in a way that “anti-religion” is not. Describing Southern as “a fierce critic of aspects of Islam” sounds eminently reasonable — perhaps even laudably brave — while “racist” is a comprehensive slur.

It is very hard to reconcile the reactions to these events — Folau’s post and Southern’s stunt — in any satisfactory way. We might conclude that it is simply a case of one rule for criticising Muslims and another for criticising Christianity — which, as it happens, was the point Southern was trying to make in Luton in what she described as a “social experiment”. She had observed that it seemed acceptable to ask if Jesus Christ was gay (as an article in Vice had done recently) but not Allah. So she set out to test her hypothesis — and was quickly proved right.

In New Zealand, the president of the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand, Hazim Arafeh, argued that Southern should not be allowed to enter the country because she “abuses her right of freedom of speech. She’s just going to give a talk in which she’s just going to insult all of us… I don’t think insulting Muslims comes under free speech, that’s an abuse of freedom of speech.”

Insult or criticism? And does it matter which? New Zealand is a secular state and — alongside the right of the religious to believe what they wish — we have wide latitude to insult or criticise them. We have done that for decades with respect to Christianity — from screenings of Monty Python’s The Life of Brian to the Virgin in a Condom artwork at Te Papa, despite protests agitating to have them banned.

Religious beliefs deserve no more protection from criticism, insult or mocking than any set of beliefs, whether political, scientific or any other kind. Islam is not a special case, despite its attempts to make it one. Southern was brave enough to point that out.

And it is deeply ironic that at a time when the Labour-led government is planning to remove blasphemous libel from the Crimes Act, Hazim Arafeh and many on the left want to effectively reinstitute a de facto version of the same law by deeming criticism and mocking of religion to be unacceptable, often under the wide umbrella of “hate speech”.


Anti-immigration Austrians cleared of hate speech

"Identitarians" are a European movement that expresses pride in their national traditions and opposes immigration.  They are often described as part of the Alt-Right, whatever that may be. People with a wide variety of views are described as Alt-right

An Austrian court on Thursday found 17 members of Austria's far-right 'Identitarian Movement' (IBÖ) not guilty of charges of criminal association and hate speech.

Ten prominent members of the group and seven other "active sympathizers" had gone on trial in the city of Graz earlier this month on charges connected to several of the group's stunts in recent years.

Being found guilty of criminal association would have posed a serious threat to the IBÖ's ability to continue operating.

Two of the accused were, however, found guilty on lesser charges.

One was convicted of bodily harm and coercion over an incident in June 2016 in which members stormed the stage during a talk on refugee policy at Klagenfurt University and unrolled banners reading "Stop Immigration" and "Integration is a lie".

The other was found guilty of criminal damage in a separate IBÖ stunt. Both were fined.

One of the IBÖ's leaders, Martin Sellner, was prevented from entering the UK in March, with authorities judging his presence would not have been "conducive to the public good".


Sunday, July 29, 2018

Alex Jones censored

Jones might be overly suspicious but when has he done anybody any harm?  He just has different opinions

US conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has been suspended from Facebook for bullying and hate speech and is close to having pages tied to him and his Infowars website removed from the platform, the social media network says.

The radio host's personal profile was banned for 30 days after it was found to have uploaded four videos published on pages maintained by Jones and Infowars that went against community standards, Facebook said.

The videos have been removed and Infowars and Jones' pages "are close to being unpublished given recent community standards violations," Facebook said in a statement.

Content removals count as "strikes" against individual pages. Pages maintained by Jones and Infowars have remained active because they have not crossed "a certain threshold of strikes" necessary for them to be unpublished, Facebook said.

YouTube removed four Alex Jones videos earlier this week and said Jones' Infowars website faced permanent removal if his content was given three community strikes within 90 days.

"Our Community Standards make it clear that we prohibit content that encourages physical harm, or attacks someone based on their religious affiliation or gender identity (hate speech)," Facebook said. "We remove content that violates our standards as soon as we're aware of it.

Infowars did not respond to a request for comment. Jones has defended the videos on Twitter as being "critical of liberalism."

Since founding Infowars in 1999, Jones has built a vast audience. Among theories he has promoted is that the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington were staged by the government.

The Facebook suspension means Jones cannot post on his personal profile or his pages and cannot message, comment or post anywhere else on Facebook.


'I pay taxes so dole-bludging, oxygen thieving pieces of s*** go from the cradle to the grave with your hand out'

Western Australia has a big problem with Aboriginal crime and the policeman quoted in the heading above has therefore seen a lot of it close up. One can understand his annoyance with Aborigines if not his language

An angry tirade about Aboriginal activists demanding the date of Australia Day be changed has been posted to a Facebook account linked to a police officer.

Western Australian police officer Terry Bodenham is being investigated for offensive comments recently posted to his Facebook account.

In response to an article about the date of Australia Day, a comment posted to the account said: 'I pay taxes so dole bludging, oxygen thieving pieces of s*** like you go from the cradle to the grave with your hand out'.

'You're never satisfied with anything, always wanting more and when you're told no, out pops the racist card.

'I don't know who's worse, the whining black fellas who think the world owes them a living, or the white trash that go along for the ride.'

The tirade continued, with the commenter saying: 'what a pity automatic weapons aren't legal in this state'. 'Oh well, there's always single shot rifles and sharp knives. Your days are numbered.'

An investigation was launched when a member of the public reported the comments to the Western Australian Police. 

Comments posted to the same Facebook account also target the judicial system and Ben Cousins. 'Ben Cousins pleads guilty to a stack of charges, many of which carry penalties in excess of 10 years jail,' he said. 'His penalty - 12 f***ing months and he'll be out in five.

'Obviously if you're an ex footy star you've been kissed on the d*** by a fairy when it comes to criminal charges. 'This is absolutely f***ing pathetic.

'As for the morons who keep leaping to his defence and calling him a champion - f*** off you f***ing idiots need to be shot. He's nothing but a drug f***** waste of space, just like his supporters.'

The rant came after Cousins was jailed and handed a $2,400 fine for drug offences, stalking and breaching a restraining order. The rant was posted to Facebook on March 28, the same day the former footy player was sentenced at the Perth Magistrate's Court last year.

The comments, posted to Terry Bodenham's Facebook page, also called for laws to be changed so off-duty officers and gun owners could carry them freely.

'Do you think it's time the government admitted that the violence in WA is out of control and introduces legislation that allows police officers to carry firearms off duty and licenced handgun owners to covert carry?' the post said.

A WA Police spokesman confirmed a complaint was made and Mr Bodenham was being investigated.

'The officer in question was on extended leave at the time the post was written and the initial complaint was made,' the spokesman told Daily Mail Australia.

'The officer has only returned to duty in recent days, so investigators have not had the opportunity to ask him directly if this is his account and if he made the comments associated with this profile. 'The intent is to conduct these inquiries as soon as possible.' 

WA Police said its social media policy instructed police employees to consider the WA Police Force Code of Conduct when using private accounts. 'Breaches of this policy may be subject to investigation and may result in managerial intervention and/or disciplinary action.' 


Friday, July 27, 2018

Sessions Outlaws "Undocumented"

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has declared war on the government being forced to use politically correct words to describe illegal immigration, and his latest move will scale back an Obama-era measure that will undoubtedly result in liberals gnashing their teeth.

As noted by LifeZette, Sessions announced on Tuesday that the Department of Justice will no longer use the term “undocumented,” but rather go back to using the term “illegal alien.”

Many, many Americans will agree with this move, and think it is about time the DOJ took action against the Obama administration’s war on what words. The media and RINO’s are also not going to like the new “conformity” measure, but there’s nothing they can do about it.

In an email to all senior officials and lawyers at the department, Sessions said the term “undocumented” is not an accurate term according to the U.S. Penal Code, informing them that they should immediately begin using “illegal alien,” which is the correct and legal term.


A HIGH school student has scored a $34,000 payout and formal apology after being suspended for wearing controversial shirt

AN Oregon high school student who sued his school district after administrators said he couldn’t wear a pro-Trump border wall T-shirt will be given a written apology and $34,000 in a settlement.

Liberty High School senior Addison Barnes, 18, was suspended earlier this year after he refused to cover up his “Donald J. Trump Border Wall Construction Co.” shirt.

The shirt — which also features a 2016 Trump quote: “The wall just got 10 feet taller” — was worn by Mr Barnes in his People and Politics class on a day where immigration would be discussed.

Mr Barnes sued his school, the Hillsboro School District and Principal Greg Timmons, claiming his First Amendment rights had been violated.

On Tuesday, Mr Barnes’ lawyers announced they had reached a settlement with the district.

Mr Timmons will write a letter of apology, and the district will pay $34,000 ($US25,000) to Mr Barnes to cover his legal fees.

Mr Barnes said in a statement that he brought the case “to stand up for myself and other students who might be afraid to express their right-of-centre views”.

Mr Timmons also released a statement after the settlement. “As an educational institution, Hillsboro School District and each of our schools supports, encourages, and celebrates free speech and reasoned debate,” he said.


"Safety" garbage again.  How does the shirt I wear threaten anybody's safety?

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Looks Like Hollywood Is Suddenly Against People Getting Fired For Saying Offensive Stuff

Quite disgusting stuff in this instance:  Not the minor pecadilloes that conservatives get slammed for

NBA hall-of-famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has issued a warning to fellow liberals against intolerant excesses in their politically correct purge of Hollywood.

The former basketball great wrote an article for the Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday headlined, “Hollywood’s New ‘Zero Tolerance’ on Offensive Speech Makes Zero Sense.”

He warned that zero tolerance of politically incorrect statements was a “Draconian” approach that created “an atmosphere of fear of sharing ideas and opinions.”

Abdul-Jabbar came to the defense of James Gunn, the “Guardians of the Galaxy” director fired by Disney last week after The Daily Caller News Foundation and others discovered a series of tweets he reportedly made six to 10 years ago on such subjects as rape and pedophilia.

“If we start going back through Disney movies in the past, how much blatant sexism, racism, and homophobia will we find?” wrote Abdul-Jabbar.

The NBA-great-turned-liberal-political-pundit concluded, “Companies quick to fire seem more interested in promoting a memorial to their virtue than attacking the systemic problems that would address putting more people of color, women, and LGBTQ people behind the cameras and in executive positions.”

On Sunday, actress Selma Blair urged people to sign a Change.org petition demanding Disney re-hire Gunn. The petition had more than 265,000 signatures as of Tuesday.

Gunn apologized for the tweets on Thursday, explaining, “Many people who have followed my career know when I started, I viewed myself as a provocateur, making movies and telling jokes that were outrageous and taboo.” He added, “Ive developed as a person, so has my work and my humor.”

Media outlets reported that the tweets that got Gunn fired included:

“I like when little boys touch me in my silly place.”
“I remember my first NAMBLA meeting. It was the first time I felt ok being who I am.”
“The best thing about being raped is when you’re done being raped and it’s like whew this feels great, not being raped!'”
“Laughter is the best medicine. That’s why I laugh at people with AIDS.”
“I want to go big game hunting but know it’s morally questionable. So I’m going to split the difference and go big game raping.”


Hundreds slam ABC for suggesting we stop using phrase 'It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings' because it's FAT-SHAMING

The ABC has been slammed for hypersensitivity after airing a segment which suggested Australians should stop using a popular phrase.

The saying 'It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings' refers to opera, as the final aria was often sung by a large female performer, but the taxpayer-funded media organisation said it could not be considered as offensive to larger people.

ABC's What is Music presenter Linda Marigliano questioned the 'relevance' of the phrase due to its political incorrectness.

'Considering the fat shaming nature of the phrase, I reckon we should be using the equally confusing but slightly more simple "it ain't over 'til it's over",' Ms Marigliano said.

The ABC video was viewed more than 75,000 times and slammed by hundreds of people who claimed it was 'entirely neutral'.

The phrase was first coined in 1976 during an intense basketball final. Sports information director Ralph Carpenter threw the saying into the commentary at the US game.

The phrase refers to a stereotypically overweight sopranos of the opera. In particular, it is said the term refers to a powerful female figure - valkyrie Brunnhilde - a character in German production Der Ring des Nibelungen by Richard Wagner from 1874.

'How is it fat shaming? If people said "it ain't over until the short lady sings" nobody's panties would be in a twist. Fat is just an adjective. If you're fat and you don't like being described as fat, you're a pain in the a***,' one person wrote online.

'It's not a fat shaming phrase, it has historical significance ... it isn't going anywhere. If she'd be thin and had red hair and most people didn't know her name it'd likely have been "until the redhead sings",' another shared.

'Shouldn't it be fat person ABC News? Don't assume one's gender,' someone said. 'These days it's hard to know if "fat" or "lady" is the more offensive,' another questioned.


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

'Shut up and retire!' Veteran comedian Barry Humphries, 84, faces backlash after saying transgenderism is a 'fashion' and 'evil when preached by crazy teachers'

Humphries is from a generation that has not been terrorized  by Leftist dictators

Veteran comedian Barry Humphries is facing backlash for 'anti-trans' comments he has made in an interview with The Spectator.

The 84-year-old - who is known for dressing up in drag to portray his famous character Dame Edna Everage - told the British paper on Saturday that transgenderism is 'pretty evil when it's preached to children by crazy teachers'.

Following publication of his comments, the Australian star was hit with backlash on social media, with one writing: 'Shut up and retire'.

Barry was interviewed by The Spectator about his new stage show when his contentious views about transgenderism were brought up.

In 2016, the funnyman caused outrage after describing gender reassignment surgery as 'self-mutilation', and it appears he has now doubled down on his opinion.

'They had their genitalia chopped off and tucked in and whatever they had to do. And that aroused a lot of indignation — probably among the people who'd spent a lot of money having it done,' Barry told The Spectator on Saturday.

He further labelled transgenderism 'a fashion' and asked: 'How many different kinds of lavatory can you have?'

Many on Twitter criticised the icon for his views, with one writing: '@Barry_Humphries you are my idol. You broke ground, you broke rules, you p**sed off the establishment. You defined Australian culture. You have a lifetime of achievements. And now this will be your legacy. You've become the people you used to make fun of. Shut up and retire.' 

However, a number of social media users defended the star, claiming that he has the right to express his opinions. 

One claimed: 'Barry Humphries should be recognised for his artistic brilliance, NOT his personal views. You are then imposing your views on him, expecting him to bleat with the left leaning sheep. He will not do it, nor should he.'


Trevor Noah completely IGNORES firestorm over racist joke about Aboriginal women on the Daily Show and only vows to 'never to make that kind of joke again' in a sub-tweet

I agree with Mr. Noah. I have never seen a good-looking Aboriginal female either -- though there are some good-looking women of part-Aboriginal ancestry.  The fine features that are seen as beautiful in European women are basically absent in Aborigines

Trevor Noah completely failed to mention the furor over his offensive joke about Indigenous Australians during Monday's The Daily Show.

The popular comedian poked fun at Trump and Putin's close relationship, R. Kelly and 3D printed weapons - yet failed to address the backlash over his comments about Aboriginals, made during his 2013 stand-up show.

Noah had joked he'd 'never seen a beautiful Aborigine' in the recently resurfaced footage.

He went onto joke that attraction was not all about looks, saying that they could 'do special things' before he began imitating the sound of a didgeridoo while inferring oral sex.

Social media erupted with calls for the comedian's upcoming Australian tour, which begins in Melbourne next month, to be boycotted.

The 34-year-old said on Twitter on Monday morning that he's since educated himself and 'vowed never to make a joke like that again'.

But it was too little, too late for many who were outraged that Noah, who has made a name for himself as a comedian willing to tackle institutionalized racism and misogyny, would make such a joke.

'He grossly sexualises and objectifies First Nations Australian women for a 'joke',' Katelyn Jones of the Feminism & Decolonisation Facebook page said. 

'He perpetuated incredibly harmful stereotypes ... that Indigenous women aren't beautiful, that Indigenous women are only good for their bodies; and Indigenous women are over-sexualised sex starved beings,' Ms Jones said.  


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

ABBA songs get a PC makeover to remove hints of inappropriate relationships between girls and men

Who is to say what's inappropriate?  The President of France is married to Brigitte Trogneux, 24 years his senior, who was his teacher in High School. They first met when he was a 15-year-old student and she was a 39-year-old teacher, but they only became a couple once he was 18. Is that inappropriate? 

Homosexuals tell us that Love can be anything that floats your boat.  Are they wrong?

They are hardly the most controversial of bands, with their upbeat songs and wholesome Scandinavian image – but it appears that even Abba have fallen foul of modern sensibilities.

For the Swedish supergroup have changed the lyrics to some of their classic hits to make them more acceptable to today’s audiences.

Tracks rerecorded for this summer’s blockbuster movie, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, have been altered to remove any hint of inappropriate relationships between young girls and older men.

The biggest change comes in the 1976 song When I Kissed The Teacher, about a female student besotted with her male teacher.

Written by the male members of the band, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, it originally featured the line: ‘One of these days, Gonna tell him I dream of him every night. One of these days, Gonna show him I care. Gonna teach him a lesson alright.’

But the film version changes the teacher’s gender and the emphasis: ‘What a mad day, Now I see everything in a different light. What a mad day, I was up in the air. And she taught me a lesson alright.’

It is sung in the film by Lily James, who plays heroine Donna Sheridan, with Celia Imrie as the teacher.

But not every fan is happy. ‘Why the hell are they changing the words to this song!!!’ asked one on social media. ‘Seriously, trying to make a classic song PC.’

Another complained the change was ineffective: ‘I know they have changed the gender to not seem predatory but the lyrics still imply being infatuated with a teacher.’

In another change that may be seen as an effort to make a girl seem less vulnerable and lonely, the ‘bashful child’ in 1977’s The Name Of The Game has become a ‘curious’ one.

Ex-Radio 1 DJ Mike Read added: ‘Rock ’n’ roll was founded on young love and you can’t rewrite history. But you can see why people have started looking at songs and asked, “Should we still be playing that?” ’


Why tens of thousands of people want new Netflix series ‘Insatiable’ cancelled

Must not mention FAT

NETFLIX dropped the first trailer for teen comedy series Insatiable over the weekend — but the lead actor’s dramatic transformation has some viewers fuming.

Insatiable tells the story of Patty (Debby Ryan), an overweight high-schooler and social reject who’s dubbed “Fatty Patty” and teased mercilessly by her school mates.

Until, that is, Patty, has her jaw wired shut over her summer holidays, loses a lot of weight and returns to school conventionally “hot.” Suddenly popular, Patty uses her new-found social standing to seek revenge on the teens who used to make her life hell.

The trailer’s earliest scenes — showing Ryan shuffling around in a less-than-convincing fat suit, grimly shovelling food into her mouth — have sparked a backlash from viewers, many of whom have asked why Hollywood is still putting thin actors in fat suits, some 17 years after Gwyneth Paltrow got cheap laughs playing a morbidly obese woman in Shallow Hal.

Others have expressed disappointment at the series’ apparent depiction of drastic, enforced weight loss as a path to success and popularity.

There’s even a Change.org petition demanding Netflix cancel the series, which has already amassed over 83,000 signatures.


Monday, July 23, 2018

Hate speech not protected in Canada

In a ruling on whether or not an individual could claim that anti-Muslim statements are immunized from civil liability because they are protected political commentary, Justice Shaun Nakatsuru has provided one of the clearest decisions yet that the constitutional protection of free expression does not extend to hate speech. And in a Canadian twist, the court relied on a 30-year-old Supreme Court judgment on anti-Semitic hate speech to rule that the public is best served in the suppression of communications of racial, ethnic or religious hatred.

The case centres on a defamation suit brought by prominent restaurateur Mohamad Fakih against two notorious anti-Muslim advocates. Last summer, Ranendra “Ron” Banerjee and Kevin J. Johnston showed up at a Mississauga location of Paramount Fine Foods to purportedly “protest” during a fundraiser Paramount was hosting that day for the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Banerjee and Johnston filmed themselves harassing guests as they arrived and talking to the camera about the event, videos of which were later posted across dozens of websites and social media platforms. Banerjee is filmed saying that one would have to be a “jihadist” and “raped your wife a few times” to enter the restaurant. Johnston, who has already been charged with wilfully promoting hatred against the Peel Muslim community, was there providing his own comments.

Banerjee tried to stop the lawsuit from proceeding by claiming that he was expressing his viewpoint on a matter of public interest and invoking Ontario’s new anti-SLAPP (Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation) legislation passed in 2015. Banerjee claimed he was at the fundraiser to protest the government’s $10.5 million settlement with Omar Khadr and shouldn’t face civil liability for freely expressing his political views.

But the judge saw through the argument and provided analysis that not only allows the lawsuit to proceed (though Banerjee can still appeal), but also provides important clarity for others targeted by defamatory hate speech including racist stereotypes.

“This is a case about freedom of expression,” wrote Nakatsuru. “But it is also about the limits to that constitutionally protected right. Expressions of hatred and bigotry towards racial, ethnic, religious, or other identifiable groups have no value in the public discourse of our nation.”

This latest judgment reinforces what many of us instinctively know – hatred will never serve the public interest and to claim otherwise is out of step with the law.


Reddit CEO says it’s ‘impossible’ to consistently enforce hate speech rules

A private chat thread released this weekend reveals that banning hate speech on Reddit is apparently too difficult a job to even attempt.

The news, first spotted by the Huffington Post, comes from a leaked conversation between Reddit CEO Steve Huffman and Reddit user Zachary Swanson, known as “whatllmyusernamebe” on the site. Swanson asked Huffman to reconsider his permissive stance on hate speech on the site, pointing out that Reddit’s rules already ban “violent” speech, which the site defines as “content that encourages, glorifies, incites, or calls for violence or physical harm against an individual or a group of people.”

In response, Huffman argued that hate speech is “difficult to define,” adding that enforcing a total ban on hate speech is “a nearly impossible precedent to uphold,” and “impossible to enforce consistently.” After speaking with Huffman, Swanson posted screenshots of his conversation in a pair of subreddits, including r/stopadvertising, which is dedicated to curbing hate speech on the site. After he did, Swanson received an email saying he was suspended from the site for a week on charges of harassment.

This isn’t the first time Huffman has found himself in hot water over his stance on hate speech. Back in April, Huffman found himself embroiled in controversy for refusing to moderate any of the blatant racism happening on his site. At the time, he said that Reddit’s stance on speech is to “separate behavior from beliefs,” and that hate speech did not constitute a “behavior”. Users were specifically asking Huffman about this in relation to r/The_Donald, the subreddit dedicated to the US president that has often come under fire for housing racist or bigoted discussions.

Huffman later clarified that he felt racism was not “welcome” on Reddit, but that he believed “the best defense against racism and other repugnant views both on Reddit and in the world, is instead of trying to control what people can and cannot say through rules, is to repudiate these views in a free conversation.”


Sunday, July 22, 2018

Superhero film director fired over tweets

Looks like some Trump fans did him in

James Gunn, the director of the Guardians of the Galaxy superhero film franchise, has been fired by Disney over a series of recently-emerged old tweets in which he made jokes about rape and paedophilia.

"The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James' Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio's values, and we have severed our business relationship with him," Disney chairman Alan Horn said in a statement on Friday.

In a statement, Gunn said in response that he regretted and took full responsibility for the tweets.

On Thursday, Gunn had said on Twitter about the old posts, saying that while he viewed himself as a "provocateur" who told "jokes that were outrageous and taboo".

"I have regretted them for many years since - not just because they were stupid, not at all funny, wildly insensitive, and certainly not provocative like I had hoped, but also because they don't reflect the person I am today or have been for some time," Gunn said in a statement.

"It's not to say I'm better, but I am very, very different than I was a few years ago," the 51-year-old American added.

The old tweets were unearthed and published by the conservative Daily Caller news website, prompting calls for Disney to sack Gunn.

Gunn has been an outspoken critic of US President Donald Trump and said in December that he did not care if his stance resulted in him losing fans.


Australia: Violent "protesters" try to shut down Lauren Southern speech

The violent Left again.  Stalin lives in them

A protester yelling 'I love Muslims' has stormed the stage during alt-right provocateur Lauren Southern's speech.

Nita Habibi was tackled by security at the event after throwing herself at the speaker in front of the auditorium. Habibi shouted 'I love freedom of speech' and 'I love refugees' as she was dragged out of the event at La Mirage Reception and Convention Centre in Melbourne's north.

Dramatic footage shows security bundling the protester off the stage, with Miss Southern apparently unharmed.

As Habibi was dragged off stage, Miss Southern's supporters can be seen cheering and clapping.

'[Southern spouts an extremely Islamophobic rhetoric that is nothing short of hate speech. She is a dangerous individual whose false views on Muslims stir up polarisation and violence,' Habibi told The Australian after the event. 

Violent protests erupted outside the event where Southern, 23, and co-speaker Stefan Molyneux kicked off their Australian tour on Friday night. 

A number of protesters got violent and began to throw rocks at a bus arriving with ticket holders, the Herald Sun reported.

Miss Southern will be travelling across Australia for her speaking tour

Violence erupted between protesters and counter-protesters, with punches thrown and people being dragged over protective barriers.

Victoria police are on the ground in the area, including riot police and mounted police, who are working to keep the protests at bay.

The violent protesters could be heard shouting slogans, 'unite to fight the right' and 'Nazi scum'.

Victoria Police say they are "disappointed" after protesters clashed with riot and mounted police outside a Melbourne venue.

Police anticipated violent protests and earlier this week let event organisers know that it would cost them $68,000 for the police presence.

The young provocateur is known for her controversial views on multiculturalism, Islam and feminism and was banned in March from entering the UK.

The Campaign Against Racism and Fascism says Southern is 'a notorious racist and Islamophobe'.

'She is known for her involvement in the racist attempts to obstruct NGO search-and-rescue boats trying to help shipwrecked migrants in the Mediterranean," the group alleged in a Facebook statement.

Victoria police insisted on being present for crowd control and security after another right wing activist, Milo Yiannopoulos, visited Melbourne in December 2017, prompting violent protests from the far left.

More than a dozen men were sought by police after Milo Yiannopoulos' speaking show descended into chaos.

Police in riot gear intervened when verbal clashes turned physical between around 500 left-wing and 50 right-wing activists.

Several protesters were seen throwing punches and rocks, while others brandished make-shift weapons including wooden clubs and sticks. 

Yiannopoulos, who held his first Australian tour last month, slammed the 'violent' left-wing protesters for causing the trouble outside the event.

'There was a lot of kerfuffle out front,' he told Alan Jones on 2GB Radio the day after the chaotic scenes.

'It was not as the newspapers reported ''a clash between the far left and far right'' it was the left, showing up, being violent to stop freedom of speech.'

Miss Southern and her speaking partner Stefan Molyneux are set to speak in Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane after Friday's talk in Melbourne. 


Friday, July 20, 2018

The ‘Daily Show’ host took to his Twitter congratulating ‘Africa on winning the 2018 Men’s World Cup’

SOUTH African comedian and host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, Trevor Noah, has been labelled a racist after calling France’s winning World Cup side a team from Africa — because most of its players were black.

“Africa won the World Cup,” Noah said in a segment on Monday about France’s 4-2 victory against Croatia on Sunday in Moscow.

“I get it, they have to say it’s the French team,” Noah said. “But look at those guys. You don’t get that tan by hanging out in the south of France, my friends.

“Basically if you don’t understand, France is Africans’ backup team. Once Senegal and Nigeria got knocked out, that’s who we root for.”

The mostly French natives hit back on Twitter noting that nearly every team member, regardless of their race, was born and raised in France.

One user and Egyptian-French TV personality Nagui Fam directly criticised Noah.  “So f***ing racist, you should be ashamed @Trevornoah.”

Kevin Razy, a French comedian, also shamed The Daily Show host for regurgitating a racist joke that has circulated in France.

“This is what racists say about our team here in France,” he wrote, though giving the benefit of the doubt. “You didn’t know, now you know.”

Another Twitter user, who claimed to be from France, also slammed Noah posting: “98% of the players were born in France. Only two players were born in Africa, but they came at the age of two. So they’ve grown up in France.


He did however have a point.  Africans are on average better sprinters than whites and that advantages them in soccer.  The blackness of the team was NOT an accident

Eatery apologises after ridiculing boy who paid for his friends’ meal with quarters

A US restaurant was slammed on Facebook after mocking a teen who paid his bill mostly with coins.

Beer 88 in Lynchburg, Virginia posted a photo on a now-deleted Facebook page recently with the caption: “’How NOT to pay at a restaurant,’” along with the hashtags “we are Beer 88 not a Coinstar,” and “no home training”.

The post came after Cohen Naulty, 17, paid his $60 bill and left a $10 tip with a $20 bill and quarters.

But the Facebook post did not go over well with Beer 88’s audience, sparking major backlash against the restaurant.

“It’s just US currency,” Mr Naulty told ABC News affiliate WEST in Lynchburg. “I’m allowed to use it. It’s not illegal. I’m not doing anything wrong.”

Mr Naulty told the outlet he was at the restaurant because he wanted to take the tips he earned as a server at Country Kitchen and treat his friends to a meal.

His friends were just as surprised as he was to learn their payment method had been put up on Facebook. “We couldn’t believe they posted it on Facebook,” one of his friends said to WEST.

Beer 88 responded to the criticism with the following statement, which has also been removed according to ABC News.

“In response to our earlier post, it was posted as a joke, intended as a joke and should be taken as a joke,” the statement read.

“It was posted as a lighthearted way of saying that something like this can be annoying to people that work in the restaurant/retail industry.

“In no way did we publicly shame ANYONE for paying OR tipping. We try to keep our page funny and relatable. And had no idea that this would be offensive to anyone.”

However, Mr Naulty and his family did not find the post funny.

“They said we didn’t have any home training,” another one of Mr Naulty’s friends told WEST. “That was dirty. One their hashtags was #nohometraining.”

Beer 88 owner Yao Liu told WEST she has been receiving many threats since the post went up and that she apologises for the post.


Thursday, July 19, 2018

Criminalizing Online 'hate Speech' Worries Londoners

Media reports on the increasing number of people being indicted with “online crimes of speech” in London seemed to raise concerns among Londoners over the zero-tolerance policy imposed to tackle all forms of online hate speech in 2016 by the government.

A noticeable increase has been recorded in the number of people being arrested for online crimes of speech in London, raising the number arrests over the past five years to 2,500 for allegedly sending offensive messages via social media, according to the Register.

Meanwhile, the idea of criminalizing online hate speech fueled debates among Brits, as some might see it as curbing the freedom of speech or limiting it in a diverse country like the UK.

Many calls have been rising on London calling the mayor, Sadiq Khan to resign, as he is the one who revived the online crimes law in 2016.

The mayor’s office imposed in 2016 a law to criminalize any hate speech committed online. The law holds anyone who breaches Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 accountable in danger of facing jail for up to six months or being fined of up to £5,000.

The law defines illegal communication as “using public electronic communications network in order to cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety”. According to Vocativ, among many recently arrested was a Scottish citizen who had posted hate speech about Syrian refugees on his Facebook page.

The main aim behind the law is to reduce crime rates triggered by online hate speech, however, local reports in the UK indicated that the number of hate crimes that occur in London has soared noticeably in the pace of 2017.

London mayor’s two-faced free speech approach has been under fire in the last few days.

It comes after he approved an orange “Baby Trump” blimp to fly last week during Trump’s visit to the UK, while he is the one who imposed a law on criminalizing any act of hate speech.

Also, news on banning a pro-Trump protest in London during the last week had raised questions over Khan’s policy in tackling hate speech and freedoms. It should be noted that the pro-Trump demonstration did go ahead in the end.


'Sexist’ weight loss posters have been slammed by thousands of women

A SERIES of “disgusting” advertisements for an appetite suppressant on display in New York’s Times Square have been savaged by a leading TV star.

The Good Place actor Jameela Jamil tweeted a photo of the billboard campaign for the Flat Tummy Company products, which features a woman sucking a lollipop with the phrase: “Girl, tell them to suck it.”

The company, which sells a range of lollipops, tea and milkshakes which contain ingredients designed to curb the customer’s appetite, has been widely criticised for its “sexist” and “body shaming” advertising and for promoting an unhealthy body image through its clear targeting of young girls and women.

It’s a sentiment shared by Jamil, who posted: “EVEN TIMES SQUARE IS TELLING WOMEN TO EAT LESS NOW? Have we actually gone mad? Why aren’t there any boys in the ad? Why is it f***ing PINK? Because you feel men can look however they want? Their goals are to be successful. But ours are to just be smaller? F**k off @FlatTummyCo”.

Within a few days, her tweet had received almost 12,000 likes, 3000 retweets and hundreds of comments.

Jamil followed up her initial post with another, which described the posters as “maddening and heartbreaking, and daylight robbery and abuse of women’s self worth”.

Thousands of mostly female followers agreed with the actor’s tweet, with one Twitter user posting: “WHY is this campaign still going? I’m in disbelief,” while another added: “No, don’t tell women to #suckit. Tell them to be proud of who they are. That having a flat tummy, being thin or pretty is NOT what women should aspire towards. Focus on being a successful person that is unrelated to how you look.”

Some also took aim at the billboards’ prime location in one of the world’s most prominent tourist attractions.

“It’s disgusting that they even allow that kinda advert to be used in such an influential location! Women already have enough pressure to look and behave how society says we should without that kinda thing,” one person wrote, while others criticised the sexualised images used in the ads.


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

UK: Bath University under fire for barring these three words from lectures and tutorials

A UNIVERSITY has been slammed for pandering to the “snowflake generation” by banning one very common phrase.

Bath University, in Somerset, England, recently held an equality and diversity network meeting, where it was decided that the words “as you know” should be barred from classes.

The idea behind the controversial ban is that it can make certain students feel “inadequate” and stupid if they actually don’t know what the professor is talking about.

During the meeting, a video called Why Is My Curriculum White? was screened which explored ideas of race and belonging on campus.

The clip also showed an unnamed student complaining about the phrase. “Saying ‘as you know’ leads to self-doubt and makes things difficult to question,” the student can be heard saying in the clip.

In minutes of the meeting, the university’s student union race equality group co-chair Berenice Dalrymple is recorded as saying: “Some lecturers used commonly known references stating ‘as you know’, which could make students feel at fault for not knowing and make it difficult to engage with the course content.”

But while the decision was made in order to protect students, many have slammed the policy as an example of pandering to the “snowflake generation”.

According to The Sun, critics include prominent former university lecturer and author Joanna Williams, who said most students were “far more sensible and would not freak out” if they heard the phrase.

“The assumption that students can’t cope with the common expression ‘as you know’ is ridiculous,” the publication reported her as saying.

The latest policy follows comments from Oxford University vice-chancellor Professor Louise Richardson who said at a higher education summit in September last year that universities must stand up for free speech — and that “snowflake” students needed to toughen up.


Australia's ABC panned over Paul Bongiorno's Uncle Tom slur

This is a bit hard to sort out, but it seems that Bongiornio found an ABC panel show to be boring.  He attributed that to the fact that the participants were all Leftists and "Uncle Toms".  Whether that was true or not, his usage of the term "Uncle Tom" was greeted as politically incorrect.  In the original novel about him, Uncle Tom was a good guy.  But Leftists hate that

Warren Mundine [An Aborigine] has slammed a “hypocritical and disgraceful” response from the ABC after it distanced itself from commentator Paul Bongiorno and his reference to the indigenous businessman with the racial slur “Uncle Tom”.

In a statement provided to The Australian yesterday, the public broadcaster said: “Mr Bongiorno is not an ABC employee; his Twitter account is not an ABC ­account; any tweets are Mr Bongiorno’s own.”

It came a week after Bongiorno tweeted on July 8: “As many ‘righties’ on Dky (sic) after dark panels … and that includes ‘Uncle Tom’ lefties craving relevance.”

Mr Mundine told The Australian last night the tweet was written in clear reference to him, and described the ABC’s reaction as unacceptable. “Any organisation that reacted in this way would deserve to be pilloried for their pathetic, weak response,” he said.

Bongiorno apologised last night for causing offence and said he never intended to use a racist slur but he objected to Mr Mundine calling for the ABC to sack him.

“I am an independent commentator and journalist, currently on holidays; it is passing strange that the only reaction to some who take offence is to demand one of my employers sack me,” he tweeted.

“My tweet was in response to an attack on the ABC for only having ‘lefty’ panels. I made the point that there is plenty of evidence to show Sky has ‘rightie’ panels or acceptable ‘lefties’, which was my intention using the term ‘Uncle Tom.’ ”


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Richard Moon, Distinguished University Professor, University of Windsor, wants to to limit free speech

He has written a long article in which he canvasses a variety of views about "hate speech".  He clearly believes there is such a thing and deplores it.  That one person's hate speech might be someone else's plain truth he does not consider.  That does tend to display him as a bigot.  He knows what is hate and feels no need to discuss it:  Classic bigotry.

As an academic psychometrician, for instance, I think it is just the plain truth that African Americans on average have an IQ that is about one standard deviation lower than the white average.  And that is in fact the majority view among psychometricans.  The American Psychological Association has also accepted that as factual. 

Yet in most public fora, anybody uttering that truth will be howled down and called a Nazi or the like.  It's definitely "hate speech" to many.

Does the moony man see no problem there?  What is hate speech can be very easily mistaken and any definition of it has, as far as I can see, insuperable difficulties.  Moony may say that he can arrive at a definition but he clearly needs to argue for it -- which he does not do despite the length of his article.  Even though he is an academic lawyer and should therefore be good at argumentation, I suspect that he just lacks the philosophical sophistication to consider the nature of truth and falsehood at any depth.

In the end, however he is sufficiently a product of his culture to allow that hate speech (however defined) should have free speech protections.  But he ends up as follows:

"Free speech may protect speech that is offensive or hurtful, including some forms of bigoted speech, but we degrade this central right when we see it as simply the right to offend or the right to say whatever we feel like saying, regardless of the impact on others."

His muddled thought shows itself there again.  We "degrade" a right if "we say whatever we feel like saying". But isn't saying  whatever we feel like saying what the right is?  Can a right exist if it can be "degraded?  Surely we have a right or we do not. 

And if a right can be degraded there must surely be some metric of degradation to determine when and where the degradation occurs -- but he suggests no such metric, nothing for us to use to tell us when the degradation occurs. 

In typical bigoted Leftist style he "just knows" things with no need for rational argument. Emotion is all.


I sent a link to the above post to Prof.  Moon and he replied as follows:

"Hate speech is unlawful in Canada.  The article is not about that.  Since you have not understood the argument, there is nothing for me to say in response.  I wish you best if luck.  Please no more trolling messages"

His reply is a complete evasion.  I did not mention one word about the legality of hate speech in Canada or anywhere else.  In typical Leftist style he turns to some side issue rather than deal with an actual issue.  He invents something he can answer rather than what was actually said.

I replied as follows: "What is judged to be hate speech is the issue"

I doubt that he will answer.

I feel rather sorry for him.  He is regarded as something of an expert on free speech but he has probably never encountered a philosophically competent argument from a conservative before.  Like so many Leftists, he would seem to have lived in a safe little hermetically sealed intellectual bubble so far. They appear to be unable to handle the full light of day. John 3:20.

Even your own mother must not call you fat

Is there any room for the truth in politcal correctness?  Guess not

With the finals rapidly drawing closer, MasterChef had a surprise twist for the remaining contestants on Sunday night's episode.

The aspiring chefs would still be trying to impress judges Matt Preston, George Calombaris and Gary Mehigan, but with one tiny difference - their loved ones would be watching on. 

But the appearance of contestant Jess Liemantara's mother on the show caused outrage among some viewers, who took to Twitter to accuse her of 'fat-shaming' her daughter.

During the episode, Jess' mum was asked if she was proud of her daughter, to which she replied: ' Oh, I'm so proud of her. And she looks very healthy.'

'She called me chubby,'  Jess said. 'I'm not sure what it means. I think a lot of mums always do that to their kids. "You look good. You look healthy."

But several fans of the show were less than impressed with the remarks, expressing their disgust online.

'Nothing like calling your daughter 'chubby' on national TV. Especially when she's tiny,' one Twitter user vented.

Another raged: 'Jess is 19 years old. Tender age for her mother to pile on the fat shaming. If Jess is chubby, I'm the Queen of Sheba. How insensitive of her to say that to her daughter.' 


Monday, July 16, 2018

Another attempt to ban Peterson

A Leftist writer argues below that Peterson should be allowed to speak in a large sports arena in Hamilton, Ontario, in Peterson's native Canada.  But the objections seem to have already been over-ruled, as the arena is already booked out

How about Shaun King, formerly the face and voice of Black Lives Matter, who faced a controversy about his own racial heritage and has said some extreme things about repression of right-wing views. Is he too controversial for, say, Hamilton's FirstOntario Concert Hall?

In the mind of city councillor Matthew Green, Jordan Peterson is too controversial for that venue. The controversial university professor, equally liked and reviled, is booked here as part of his lecture tour based on his bestselling book "Rules for Life".

Peterson came into the spotlight in part for his insistence on not respecting language about gender identification preference. There's nothing particularly special about his shtick. He's homophobic and misogynistic. He preaches about self-respect, discipline and a sense of superiority being a key to improving the lives of young people, especially young men. Not all of what he says is disgusting, but some of his rules for life are.

All this said, Peterson is popular. His YouTube channel has 800,000 followers and his classroom lectures are so popular some have been filmed for TV and the internet. His speaking tour has been quite successful. Most people who dislike or even hate his views wouldn't think of forking out money to see him. Others, though, would and do.

Should Peterson be banned from selling his snake oil at Hamilton's public entertainment venues? If so, who else should be? And who decides?


Facebook and conspiracy theories

The Leftist talent for seeing only one side of an argument -- their side -- is on full display below.  There is no doubt that Alex Jones of "Infowars" puts the worst possible interpretation on many political events -- getting to the point where he could be called a "conspiracy theorist".  And the Leftist writer claims that such speech is not entitled to free speech protection and should be banned from Facebook. 

Facebook do have a reasonable argument against such banning but, be that as it may, the amusing thing is that a ban on conspiracy theories would hit the Left hardest.  Leftists are great conspiracy theorists.  In the aftermath of the attacks on the twin towers in 2001, no evidence could convince many Leftists that that attack was anything but a put-up job orchestrated by George Bush II.  And on some surveys, about a third of Democrat voters believed that the whole thing was a conspiracy of some sort.

Now that we know about FBI attempts to derail Trump's election, it is clear how politically compromised and corrupt the FBI became over the years. It is therefore not unreasonable to suspect some FBI collusion with Osama bin Laden. They could simply have sat on warnings they had about him.  But that is all wisdom after the event. It is certainly not what the 9/11 conspiracy theorists had in mind.

And what do we see today?  I think I need to mention only one word:  Russia.  Despite a total lack of evidence almost all Leftists seem to think that Russia had a hand in electing Trump.  The nearest we have come to evidence for that theory is that the man charged with investigating it -- prosecutor Mueller -- took over a year to come up with something and then charged 12 Russians -- all of whom live in Russia -- with conspiring with HILLARY, not with Trump.  Mueller's writ doesn't run in Russia so even that is an empty gesture. The 12 Russians will never face trial.

So I would be quite pleased if Facebook banned conspiracy theories.  I could bear hearing less from Jones and it would be amusing to have the chief Democrat talking point largely silenced

My view is one held by many conservatives -- that only incitement to violence should be banned

As Facebook doubles-down on thwarting the spread of disinformation on its website, recent tweets from the company’s official Twitter account belie its promise to be better at moderating specious content shared by Pages.

At a press event hosted by Facebook’s New York office this week, reporters questioned John Hegeman, the head of News Feed, and Sara Su, a product specialist for News Feed, about its plan to stop hoaxes and conspiracy theories from propagating on Facebook.

According a report on Wednesday from CNN’s Oliver Darcy:

"When asked by this reporter how the company could claim it was serious about tackling the problem of misinformation online while simultaneously allowing InfoWars to maintain a page with nearly one million followers on its website, Hegeman said that the company does not "take down false news."

To that, Hegeman said: “I guess just for being false that doesn't violate the community standards. [And InfoWars has] not violated something that would result in them being taken down.”

When Darcy later tweeted the story, Facebook was provoked to reply, citing a counterargument embraced by the right that moderating problematic content is a matter of free speech—taking down conspiracy theories, so the argument goes, would violate an ever-moving but also inviolable boundary of what is and isn’t protected by the First Amendment.


Sunday, July 15, 2018

No, The Founder Of Papa John's Is Not Automatically Racist For Saying The N-Word


The CEO of Papa John's, John Schnatter, was forced to resign this week after saying the N-word during a conference call a few months ago. He also resigned from the University of Louisville's board of trustees. Next he will be stuffed into a burlap sack and sent over a 100-foot waterfall. But even this will not be enough to expiate his sins.

It is being reported that Schnatter "used a racial slur." But he "used" the slur in the same sense that a prosecuting attorney "uses" a gun by presenting it as evidence during a trial. In a conversation with a marketing agency, Schnatter pointed out that the founder of KFC called black people "n***ers." Only he did not censor the word, as I just did. He simply quoted Colonel Sanders, and not in a positive or approving light. But that is apparently enough to make him racist. He is a secondhand racist. By quoting a racist, he became racist. Even though the intent and context were not racist, and were actually anti-racist, he still became racist by some supernatural sorcery that nobody can explain.

Traditionally, intent and context are important facets of human communication. If you say a bad thing, and I repeat the bad thing by way of informing others that the bad thing was said, I am not myself guilty of the bad thing. With "the N-word," however, it has been decided that the word itself transcends intent and context. It carries with it a certain mystical power to turn into racists all who utter its syllables. That is, provided the person issuing the utterance possesses a certain skin pigmentation. The skin pigmentation, combined with the syllables, creates racism. Those are the ingredients, apparently. Though nobody can quite describe how the process works beyond that.

This is all silliness, of course. And we all know that it is silliness. And when a person loses his livelihood and reputation, it becomes something much worse than silliness. We all realize that it cannot be racist to simply say a certain word. Words aren't magical spells. They don't work like that. Words are just words. Words themselves cannot be racist. Intentions can be racist.

Despite the fact that we all have this basic understanding, we have decided nonetheless to turn the English language into some kind of weird game. Certain words must be avoided by certain people, for reasons that nobody can really justify. If the word is said by the wrong person — or player, I guess — then they will face the prescribed penalty. Because why? Well, just because. If you roll doubles three times in Monopoly, you go to jail. If you're white and you say a certain word in any context at all for any reason, you lose your job. Those are just the rules. That's all.

I am not arguing that white people ought to say the "N-word." I think it is a nasty word that nobody ought to say. I also think it is plainly insane that, even in this very article, I must find ways to refer to the word without writing the word itself, for fear that my livelihood may be destroyed should I make the mistake of actually articulating the word that I am already conveying by using the accepted euphemisms for it. I have no deep desire to say or write it. But I do have a deep desire to live in a society that is not governed by the whims of the faux-outraged mob and the arbitrary social rules they invent for no discernible reason. As always, that desire will remain unfulfilled.


Some Doubts about Hate Speech

Would hate speech laws reduce discrimination, violence, and psychic injuries to vulnerable groups? Nadine Strossen says they would not in her new book, Hate Speech: Why We Should Resist It with Free Speech, Not Censorship. She believes we have insufficient evidence to conclude that “hate speech” in general harms others, and even less evidence that constitutionally protected “hate speech” does so. 

Naturally, proponents of “hate speech” laws blame expression for anti-social attitudes and conduct. Strossen maintains that we should refrain from censorship on the basis of expected effect, “simply because it might have bad effects.”  The perceived harmfulness of any given utterance is context contingent, depending largely on variables like location, tone of voice, relationship between speaker and listener, and personality characteristics.

Strossen draws attention to a study conducted by Laura Leets of Stanford University. Leets recruited Jewish and LGBT college students to read several anti-Semitic and homophobic slurs all drawn from real situations. The subjects then answered questions about how they would have responded if they themselves had been the targets of these messages. Interestingly, a common response by the students was that the “hate speech” would have had “no effect” upon them in either the short run or the long run. Many of the participants also expressed the belief that the speaker was motivated by ignorance, “and therefore should be the object of pity, not anger” (124).

A national survey of incoming first-year college students conducted by the UCLA Higher Education Research Institute found that “the entering freshman class of 2015 ranks among the most ambitious” in the areas of student activism, political and civic engagement. The study notes that this particular class of incoming first-years had witnessed “protests and outcries on college campuses and in communities” in response to “local incidents of bias and discrimination.” These students did not respond to “hate speech” and bias crimes with withdrawal and depression, but rather with engagement and dialogue. Such speech seems to foster political engagement within the larger community, a necessary component of a healthy democracy.

Although these studies focus on college students, Strossen notes that resources for developing one’s ability to resist the potentially negative effects of hateful speech are available to all.


Friday, July 13, 2018

South Australian gym under fire over controversial social media post

A SOUTH Australian gym has been slammed by Facebook users after posting a divisive ad for a new fitness program.

HTFU Fitness Adelaide — which stands for “Harden the Fat Up” — published the post on social media earlier this week, which featured a dramatic “before and after” shot of a woman in her underwear.

It was accompanied by a caption encouraging women to sign up for the company’s new “21-day transformation starter pack”.

“Let me guess ladies??? You feel unfit, unattractive, self conscious and worthless … especially when standing in front of the mirror naked,” the post began.

“You feel embarrassed and ashamed getting naked in front of your partner … You’re sick and tired of picking outfits that hide your fat.

“And you want to feel comfortable in your own skin, wear your favourite outfits, feel fit, confident, attractive and sexy.”

The post continued: “But there’s a problem. You’re too afraid to join a gym because you’re too embarrassed, ashamed, self conscious, worried about being judged and most of all, you’re just too nervous to commit.

“But that stops now. We understand you.”

But almost immediately, the comments began rolling in, with many woman accusing the business of “fat shaming” women.

“I do feel embarrassed, ashamed and self-conscious all the time. And having posts like this pop up in my feed definitely don’t make me feel better about myself,” one women commented, while another posted: “Have you googled internalised misogyny yet? Because that’s why women talk about worthlessness and shame about their body.”

Others took aim at the use of language in the ad.

“This is a horrible, horrible way of marketing to women. Worthless? FFS!!” one woman wrote, while another shared: “Worthless? Ashamed? Unattractive? What a disgusting way to advertise to women. You should be ashamed.”

One Facebook user described the “deplorable” and “gross” ad as “the most negative, off-putting marketing in Australia”, adding: “talk about reinforcing the WORST way of looking at a woman’s body”.

And another said: “Now I know where not to go! This gym is definitely not for anyone who wants to get fit while not being judged, fat shamed, boxed into the “unfit = unhappy” category and probably ridiculed for not being fit.”

However, there were also Facebook users who defended the ad, with one woman saying it was simply a reflection of how “many women feel”.

“I feel like women/anyone just quickly jump on the bandwagon to tell someone they’re fat shaming or being sexist these days. This post is just writing the truth about what many women feel”, while another posted: “People are so quick to jump and attack these days and try to publicly shame someone or a business … HTFU isn’t about changing the person you are HTFU helps you be a better version of yourself”.

The gym also responded to the negative backlash on social media, insisting it stands by the original post.

“If you read it properly with an open mind you will see we’re stating the truth on how ‘SOME’ women feel about themselves at the moment, how they want to feel and what they know they need to do to feel better,” the company posted, before revealing four women had signed up as a direct result of the post.

Owner Aaron Cartwright told news.com.au he only wanted to help people. “The only thing I would change is in the first paragraph, it should have said ‘some ladies’,” he said.

“But it’s the truth; it’s how a lot of females think about themselves, and it’s how they would like to feel about themselves. “It’s confronting probably, but it’s the reality. For people who are offended, I’d say go back and re-read it and try to understand it from my point of view.”

Mr Cartwright urged people to keep an “open mind”.

“I can understand where people who look at that post without an open mind are coming from, but if you’re offended, just relax and see my side because I’m actually trying to help people not feel bad about themselves,” he said.

“I can see how people can get offended if they look at it the wrong way and think I’m fat shaming and that kind of stuff but I’m far from a fat shamer — I’m a truth-seeker and I try and help people transform their lives whatever their size or race or if they’re male or female.


John Schnatter—the founder, chairman and public face of pizza chain Papa John’s—used the N-word on a conference call in May

He just commented on the word. He didn't "use" it.  But he has now had to resign

The call was arranged between Papa John’s executives and marketing agency Laundry Service. It was designed as a role-playing exercise for Schnatter in an effort to prevent future public-relations snafus. Schnatter caused an uproar in November 2017 when he waded into the debate over national anthem protests in the NFL and partly blamed the league for slowing sales at Papa John’s.

On the May call, Schnatter was asked how he would distance himself from racist groups online. He responded by downplaying the significance of his NFL statement. “Colonel Sanders called blacks n-----s,” Schnatter said, before complaining that Sanders never faced public backlash.

Schnatter also reflected on his early life in Indiana, where, he said, people used to drag African-Americans from trucks until they died. He apparently intended for the remarks to convey his antipathy to racism, but multiple individuals on the call found them to be offensive, a source familiar with the matter said. After learning about the incident, Laundry Service owner Casey Wasserman moved to terminate the company’s contract with Papa John’s.


Thursday, July 12, 2018

Now New Zealand is trying to block Lauren

Don Brash says Auckland Mayor Phil Goff's decision not to let far-right speakers use council venues was wrong, and is part of a group that's raised $50,000 to take the council to court.

Free Speech Coalition consists of 10 academics, lawyers and former politicians from "across the political spectrum".

The group was formed in response to Auckland Mayor Phil Goff's decision not to allow Canadian far-right figures Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern speak at council venues.

Speaking to Wendyl Nissen on RadioLIVE, Dr Brash says the issue is part of a wider argument around freedom of speech. "If free speech is only permission to say something nice about something no one much cares about, it's not really free speech at all," he said.

"I think Phil Goff was entirely wrong to say taxpayer or ratepayer funded facilities cannot be used by people whose views he disagrees with."


Must not ask people their religion

Australians have voiced their concerns about one of the most controversial questions on the 2016 Census - with calls for it to be banned from the next survey.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics took feedback from the public earlier this year, with the largest complaint being centred on the 'religion' section of the survey.

Consistent feedback gathered by the ABS said the question was leading and assumes that the participant actually has a religion.

The question itself, which was the only optional question in the entire survey, asked: 'What is the person's religion?'

ABS House in the Australian Capital Territory compiled feedback to make changes to the 2021 Census

In the 2016 Census, 30 per cent of people marked that they have no religion.

But National Secular Lobby ambassador and former senator Chris Schacht said he thinks a change in the wording would produce a more accurate result.

'There's only one reason Australia's 'No Religion' score is half that of other Western nations. We're not more religious; the Census question is simply wrong,'Mr Schacht told news.com.au.

'Evidence shows that many people just tick the religion they were taught as a child, even though those early beliefs have long since lapsed.'

Other Western countries recorded much higher rates of non-belief, with 52 per cent for New Zealand and 54 per cent for England.

The ABS' website says: 'Suggestions made and investigated for 2016 included using two-part filter questions, changes or additions to wording, and placing the 'no religion' response as first in the list of options.'

An example of a two-part filter question would be: 'Does the person practice a religion? If no proceed to the next question, if yes mark an option below.'

For 2016, the ABS moved ‘no religion’ to be the first response category in the question, which was the approach already taken in a number of other countries

This isn't the first time that the ABS has taken feedback on board regarding the religion question.

The 2016 Census saw the option 'no religion' move to the top of the choices.

The Census is taken every five years, with the next being in 2021.


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Australia: TV commenter has failed to have racial vilification complaint against her dismissed

She told the truth about Islam!

SONIA Kruger will face a hearing next month over controversial remarks she made about Muslims two years ago.

The Today Extra and The Voice host failed to have a racial vilification complaint against her dismissed, after her 2016 suggestion that Muslim immigration should be temporarily halted sparked a firestorm of controversy.

The Civil and Administrative Tribunal refused an application by the Nine Network to have the complaint dismissed without a hearing.

In July 2016, Kruger endorsed a newspaper article by News Corp Australia columnist Andrew Bolt during a segment of the Today Show.

“I mean, personally, I think Andrew Bolt has a point here, that there is a correlation between the number of people who, you know, are Muslim in a country and the number of terrorist attacks,” she said on the show.

“Now I have a lot of very good friends who are Muslim, who are peace-loving who are beautiful people, but there are fanatics.

“Personally I would like to see it stopped now for Australia. Because I want to feel safe, as all of our citizens do, when they go out to celebrate Australia Day.”

In a subsequent appearance on the talk show, Kruger, 52, brought up an image of a baby covered in a plastic sheet after the July 14 terror attack in Nice, France, which she said, “rocked me to the very core”.

“I acknowledge that my views yesterday may have been extreme ... it is a hugely complex and sensitive issue,” she said.

Her comments ignited a storm of outrage on social media, and prompted an official complaint on July 18 by Australian Muslim Sam Ekermawi, from Moorebank in Sydney’s southwest, who said the Nine Network had vilified “ethnic Muslim Australians”.

“Kruger did target Ethnic-Muslims as a group; she believes that Muslim Australians are constructed as terrorist,” Mr Ekermawi wrote in an email to the Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW in March last year.

He said her comments highlighted an “uncomfortable reality” for ethnic Australian Muslims, adding that “Islamophobia is a world wide phenomena”.

Under the Anti-Discrimination Act it is unlawful for a person, by a public act, to incite hatred, serious contempt or severe ridicule of a person or people on the ground of race.

The matter is listed for a directions hearing on June 19.


Lauren Southern’s Australian visa approved after ‘unusually prolonged process’

A little birdie tells me that the approval came through after David Leyonhjelm had a word with Immigration Minister Peter Dutton

Lauren Southern’s Australian speaking tour will go ahead after her visa was approved following an “unusually prolonged application process”.

It comes after the 23-year-old Canadian’s application for a temporary Electronic Travel Authority was denied, leading to accusations the Australian government was attempting to prevent her from entering the country.

Ms Southern is scheduled to appear in Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland alongside commentator Stefan Molyneux in a series of events hosted by Axiomatic Media later this month.

“Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux were advised in writing this morning by their Australian immigration lawyers and migration agents that their applications for working visas subclass 408 have been formally approved,” Axiomatic Media founder Luke Izaak said in a statement on Tuesday.

“This has followed an unusually prolonged application process, due to which, as the dates of travel rapidly approached, the lawyers advised it would be advisable to apply to travel on an Electronic Travel Authority.

“Although many armchair experts on social media have expressed their opinion that Lauren and Stefan somehow did the wrong thing by following expert legal advice, it remains true that most reasonable people in the same situation would follow legal advice,” Mr Izaak said.

“The suggestions that they did not, from the very beginning, apply for the correct visas is categorically false and has been emphatically silenced by this morning’s final approval of the correct 408 visas, originally applied for months ago.

“On behalf of Lauren and Stefan, Axiomatic Events would like to publicly thank all the Australians who contacted their local members of parliament to urge the government to ensure no politics be allowed to play a part in deciding their applications, despite the petitions and political pressure organised to deny them.

“We additionally thank the Australian media for raising the issue of freedom of speech. We also appreciate the government processing the applications on their merits instead of personal politics, if belatedly.”

Ms Southern earlier told The Daily Telegraph she believed the “unprecedented” number of hurdles being put in her way were due to her criticism of radical Islam.

“There are so many people that are offended by debate and free speech that sometimes governments cower, it’s just way easier to play into the hands of people who are totalitarian,” she said.


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Australian government declines visa for right-wing activist Lauren Southern ahead of speaking tour

An attractive conservative gives Leftists everywhere the complete horrors

CONTROVERSIAL conservative activist Lauren Southern has had her visa declined by the Australian government ahead of a speaking tour later this month.

The 23-year-old Canadian is scheduled to appear in Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland alongside commentator Stefan Molyneux in a series of events hosted by Axiomatic Media.

The far-right internet personalities are well known for their outspoken views on issues such as immigration, Islam and political correctness. Ms Southern is a supporter of the anti-immigrant group Defend Europe, which attempts to block migrant ships coming from North Africa.

“Australia declines visa for Canadian @Lauren_Southern,” Sky News host Ross Cameron wrote on Twitter, posting a photo of an email to Southern from visa website VisaBureau.com.

The email said Ms Southern had applied for an Australian ETA, or electronic travel authority. “The Australian High Commission have advised that you are not eligible for this service,” the website said. “You may wish to consider applying for a Visitor Visa (Subclass 600) with the Australian government.”

Axiomatic Media founder Luke Izaak tweeted: “Here you go Australia. Zero criminal record, zero history of incitement to violence, more defamation of her character by the hard left than I have seen on any Conservative speaker all year and still @Lauren_Southern is fighting to come visit #wakeupaustralia.”

According to the Home Affairs website, an Australian ETA is for “short-term stays for tourism or business visitor activities such as attending a conference, making business inquiries, or for contractual negotiations” and is “not a work visa”.

A Visitor Visa (Subclass 600), which costs between $140 and $1045, entitles the recipient to visit Australia “for business purposes” for up to 12 months. Axiomatic Media is charging $79 for a basic ticket and up to $749 for an “intimate dinner” with the pair.

Mr Izaak told news.com.au the pair had applied for Temporary Activity Visas (Subclass 408) — which would permit them to work and normally take 10 days to process — “months ago” but had been “stonewalled and stonewalled with no response”.

“One-and-a-half weeks ago they asked for a criminal record check. Neither of them have criminal records, they got those clean, and still no response,” he said.

“Her immigration lawyer advised them to get a temporary ETA so she and Stefan can at least be getting the lay of the land, having a look at Sydney Harbour Bridge, [go to] Cairns for a crocodile safari, to immerse themselves in the country before they speak about it, and hope the government comes through with the [408 visa].”

But Mr Izaak said even the ETA was denied.


Australia: Men must not be photographed with Bikini-clad women (??)

THE LNP [conservative] Member for Whitsunday has found himself at the centre of a national and international media storm after posting a video to social media last week of himself bookended by two young bikini-clad tourists at the Airlie Beach foreshore.

The Queensland Deputy Premier, Jackie Trad condemned the "celebrating" of World Bikini Day on Twitter and Facebook and called Jason Costigan a "sleazebag".

Buoyed by online support and a general perception the post was innocuous, Mr Costigan responded in an interview with the Whitsunday Times. "This whole concept of political correctness has to stop," he said. "It's on steroids and it needs to be called out, it's beyond a joke."

In the wake of widespread media attention and online criticism, Ms Trad posted on social media again on Sunday night stating: "I've copped it, but I stand by what I said, because if nothing changes, nothing changes".

"Unfortunately, too many of us know sleazebags who use their official titles and positions to objectify and prey on women. It needs to stop," Ms Trad wrote on Twitter.

The Member for Whitsunday appeared on Channel 10 show The Project on Sunday and was asked by host Hamish McDonald if he was a "sleazebag".

"We have a lot of creepy things in North Queensland, snakes and spiders...but I am not one of them," he said.

Mr Costigan then politicised the reaction to the Bikini Day stunt by saying he was not a "part of the loony left."

"Political correctness has one place for me and that is down the toilet," he said.


Monday, July 09, 2018

Another attack on free speech from California

As the Supreme Court strikes blows against compelled speech and restrictions on free speech, California is doing its best to resist.

One of the latest legislative proposals from California aims to make government the arbiter of truth.

Senate Bill 1424 would create an advisory group on “fake news” to work with social media companies to weed out what the government deems incorrect information on the internet.

This legislation, if passed, would require California’s attorney general to create the  group, consisting of “social media providers, civil liberties advocates, and First Amendment scholars,” to study and mitigate the problem of spreading false information.

According to CBS Sacramento, even the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a left-leaning nonprofit civil liberties organization, called the legislation “flawed” and “misguided.”

This bill mirrors the trend in Europe, where government commissions to police speech and the news are becoming common.

California, emboldened by a stridently progressive Legislature, is trying to bring these Orwellian fake news panels to the United States.


Patriarchal names for women's body parts

From fallopian tubes to the Pouch of Douglas, women’s body parts have been named by – and after – men. But the masculine language of medicine doesn’t end there. Does it matter?

Take a tour of the female pelvis, and you’ll encounter a few incongruous people along the way. How did James Douglas end up tucked behind the uterus? What is Gabriel Fallopian doing hanging around the ovaries? Why is Caspar Bartholin the Younger attached to the labia? And can we trust Ernst Grafenberg’s claim that he actually found the G-spot? Whether you know it or not, each of these dudes have ended up immortalised in the female pelvis – as the Pouch of Douglas, Bartholin’s glands, fallopian tubes, and that elusive Grafenberg spot.

The truth is, men are all over women’s bodies – dead, white male anatomists, that is. Their names live on eponymously, immortalised like audacious explorers for conquering the geography of the female pelvis as if it were terra nullius.

The gods are engraved on women too. The masculine Greek god of marriage, Hymen, who died on his wedding night, has lent his name to a uniquely female anatomical structure. Hymen is derived from the Greek word ‘hyalos’, or membrane. But it was the father of modern anatomy, Vesalius, who in the 16th Century first used the term specifically for the covering of the vaginal orifice.

After all, until the last century, women were almost excluded from academic medicine. But the continued use of these mostly male eponyms not only reflects the gender bias in our medical knowledge base. It may continue to perpetuate it.

The controversial question of whether language shapes thought has long been debated. Still, plenty of examples exist where describing something in a certain way changes our perception of it. Ghil’ad Zuckermann, professor of linguistics and endangered languages at the University of Adelaide, points out that in languages where the word for ‘bridge’ has a feminine gender, people describe bridges as elegant. But in languages where the word for ‘bridge’ has a masculine gender, people refer to bridges as sturdy.

It raises the question of whether our perceptions of the body, and its conditions, are also skewed by gender biases without us realising.