Sunday, March 31, 2019

Facebook BANS white nationalism and white separatism from its platform and Instagram as it attempts to bring down the hammer on extremist content

It is disturbing that criticism of immigration will be included in the ban.  A great deal of perfectly reasonable discourse could fall under that

And what about "Make America great".  That would see to fall squarely within the range of banned expressions

Will posts expressing Muslim supremacy be banned too?  Claims that Islam will and should rule everywhere are very common in Muslim discourse.

And does the ban apply to Hindu nationalism?  "Hindutva" is the creed of India's current governing party.  Yogi Adityanath,  chief minister of India’s most populous state, has claimed that Hindus are “preparing for religious war” and has called Muslims “a crop of two-legged animals that has to be stopped.” There are actual anti-Muslim riots in India. Many Indians would take great offence at censorship of "Hindutva" expressions

Facebook has banned white nationalism and white separatist posts from its platform, in what likely constitutes its most aggressive action against extremist content yet.

The policy will be put in place starting next week and will affect all of Facebook's nearly 2 billion-wide user base, in addition to Instagram, the firm announced.

'It’s clear that these concepts are deeply linked to organized hate groups and have no place on our services,' Facebook wrote in a blog post. 

The social media giant has removed posts from extremist groups in the past for violating its policies around hate speech and abuse, but has historically fallen short of outright banning posts of this kind.

Previously, Facebook only banned posts promoting white supremacism. The firm decided today that it will now ban white nationalist and white separatist posts from its platform.

Civil rights groups argued that the three extremist ideologies were indistinguishable and should all be banned.

Posts that include statements like 'I am a proud white nationalist' and 'Immigration is tearing this country apart' will immediately be banned.

Prior to Wednesday's decision, Facebook had only prevented users from sharing messages that promoted white supremacy.

'Going forward, while people will still be able to demonstrate pride in their ethnic heritage, we will not tolerate praise or support for white nationalism and separatism.'

Highlighting the thorniness of policing extremist content, Facebook said implicit and coded white nationalism and white separatism will not be removed from the site immediately, as it's harder to detect and remove.

Facebook said it will also rely on machine learning and artificial intelligence to remove white nationalist, separatist and supremacist content.

The Muslim Public Affairs Council called the decision a 'win against white supremacy' and said it has met with the firm, including Sandberg, to urge them to take a harder stance against all forms of hate speech on Facebook.


Twitter plans to 'label' Donald Trump's tweets if they break its rules

Twitter is considering applying labels to tweets from public figures such as Donald Trump if they break the social network's rules, as an alternative to banning accounts.

The company has exempted tweets from world leaders from the rules it applies to most accounts, saying there is a public interest reason to keep them online, even if they share messages that incite violence or could be perceived as bullying.

“One of the things we’re working really closely on with our product and engineering folks is, ‘How can we label that?’ ” Vijaya Gadde, the company’s chief of legal, policy, and trust and safety said during a Washington Post Live event in San Francisco on Wednesday.

“How can we put some context around it so people are aware that that content is actually a violation of our rules and it is serving a particular purpose in remaining on the platform.”

Twitter has been accused of hypocrisy for allowing Trump to remain on the platform despite sharing videos or media that would cause another account holder to be banned.

Trump caused a storm in 2017 when he appeared to threaten North Korea leader Kim Jong-un, writing: “Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N.If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won't be around much longer!” Threats are against the company guidelines. At the time, Twitter’s spokesman said they would not remove the tweet despite it breaking its rules because it was deemed “newsworthy”.


Friday, March 29, 2019

New Zealand tradie sacked for Muslim comments

I gather he mentioned attacks by Jihadis. New Zealanders are a very righteous lot so having their huge virtue displays shown up as unbalanced would grate on them

A man lost his job after making comments about Muslims following the Christchurch terror attack. Thomas Knight-Wagener now says he regrets what he said and is gutted to have lost his job at Placemakers Albany after just four days in the role.

Mr Knight-Wagener, who got the job through labour hire organisation Tradestaff, said he and some colleagues were chatting about the terror attack the day after it happened when he decided to put his two cents in.

“Having an intellectual conversation about the comprehensive state of the Islamic movement on a global scale got me fired,” he said. “I didn’t talk much about the Christchurch shooting, but that’s how the conversation started.”

Mr Knight-Wagener said while talking about the shooting he digressed to mention what he had seen in news reports about the behaviour of Muslims living in the UK that “had been shown to be violent and destructive”.

“I elaborated on the current state of the UK in regards to the growing Islamic community and the crimes against the people in these communities,” he said. “I said no swear words and was not abusive or aggressive in my manner. I was simply stating facts ... which no one wanted to hear obviously.”

He then shut the conversation down and carried on with his work.

Mr Knight-Wagener, originally from Kaitaia [Northern NZ], said he returned to work on the Tuesday but when he went in on the Wednesday, he was told by the manager he had been assigned a new job by Tradestaff.

When he questioned why he had been moved on, he claimed the manager replied “something was said on Saturday about the Christchurch shooting”.

He claimed the manager said one of the team members were offended by his comments and that Mr Knight-Wagener didn’t fit in with the team. “Loose lips sink ships,” he said. “It is a fair reason for dismissing someone, in my opinion, but only if it is an ongoing issue.”

He said he knew as soon as the words came out of his mouth that he’d said the wrong thing. “I was just remarking on what I’d heard on the news,” he said.

“And as I said it, I thought it’s just appalling the way it sounds as it’s coming out of my mouth and I thought I’m gonna stop talking about it.”

When questioned whether he was a right-wing radical, Mr Knight-Wagener said he wasn’t sure what right or left wing was but he was a supporter of Milo Yiannopoulos — a far-right British speaker who was last week banned from Australia after he blamed the Christchurch terror attack on “extremist leftism and barbaric, alien religious cultures”.

He said he liked Yiannopoulos due to his opinion which created debates. However, he said he had no problem with Muslims, didn’t condone the attack and said people shouldn’t be dying.

Losing his job meant he was now having to move down to Bay of Plenty and pick fruit, a situation he says was not ideal given he was a qualified engineer. “It’s a shambles, to say the least,” he said.

He admitted he was known to be “a bit outspoken” and had decided to speak out to warn others about keeping their opinions on the issue to themselves.

“I’m just wondering how many other people this has happened to? It was just gossiping about what happened, and I lose my job,” he said.

A PlaceMakers spokeswoman said she couldn’t comment on specific employment cases within the business.

“But we have clear company values which include being respectful of our fellow employees, customers and the community,” she said. “Expressing or spreading prejudiced views against any religious or ethnic group does not fit with our culture.”


Experts call for the word 'cyclist' to be BANNED because it 'dehumanises' people who ride bikes

How about "biker"?

Experts have called for the word 'cyclist' to be banned because they believe the term 'dehumanises' people who ride bikes.

A new study, conducted by researchers at Queensland University of Technology and Monash University, found there was a link between the dehumanisation of cyclists and deliberate acts of aggression directed towards them on the road.

QUT professor Narelle Haworth said the study, which questioned 442 people in Victoria, NSW and Queensland, found 55 per cent of non-cyclists rated cyclists as 'not completely human'.

She is behind a push to scrap the word 'cyclist' and replace it with the term 'people who ride bikes'.

Professor Haworth, who is also the Director of the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety- Queensland, said it was important for drivers to view cyclists as real people.

'If we used the term people on bikes, instead of cyclists, we're giving a term that is more human-like and less like a species,' Professor Haworth told Daily Mail Australia.


Thursday, March 28, 2019

British Police officer sacked for abusing staff at takeaway wins job back

If only all Brits were treated so leniently

A policewoman who was sacked after she racially abused takeaway staff has been allowed to return to the beat after claiming her remarks "were not the worst kind of racism".

Pc Katie Barratt was dismissed over racist comments she made following a Northumbria Police Christmas party in 2017. However, a panel overturned the "unreasonable" dismissal in a ruling on Monday.

It means Pc Barratt can return to the beat, while the force will have to hand her at least £15,000 in back pay.

Pc Barratt was waiting to be served in the Spice of Punjab, when she said in front of colleagues: "I wish these f------ p---- would hurry up with my pizza".

It was also claimed she had called them "n-----s, something Pc Barratt never denied.

The panel heard staff had been buying Pc Barratt drinks all night at the 2017 Christmas "jolly" but she had since addressed that.   "She's not touched a drop of drink after this incident," said Mr Landenburg.

And he said she felt that she shouldn't have been sacked "because it is not the worst kind of racism".

Instead he claimed it was a one-off for which she should be given a second chance rather than the "nuclear option" of dismissal.

She and her mother wept as she was given the green light to resume her career as an officer. The force had fought to block her return, claiming her slurs could "seriously damage" the police's reputation. "Sadly it confirms a stereotype that is unfortunately held in some communities about the police," said the force's barrister Steven Reid.

Questions will now also be asked over whether Pc Barratt can work well with Asian communities. The panel heard she would find that hard after her picture was widely used in national media. And even her own barrister admitted the slurs she used were an "abomination".

Mr Reid said  the force felt no racism from an officer - on or off-duty - was ever acceptable.

"The appellant didn't go out that night to deliberately racially abuse members of the public," he stated. "But the fact remains she did."

The three-person panel downgraded her punishment to a final warning after two hours of deliberations.


British University bans Free Speech Society from hosting talk on alleged extremists

Muslims rule

The author of a report into alleged extremist speakers on British campuses has been banned from an event at a university her study strongly criticises.

Bristol University cancelled a talk being given by the author of the University Extreme Speakers League Table, in which it was placed tenth.

Emma Fox, a research fellow at the Henry Jackson Society, was  informed hours before the event - hosted by the University of Bristol’s Free Speech Society - it was being cancelled on security grounds.

The university called off the talk after a threat of protests organised by its Islamic Society and the Student Union among other groups.


Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Facebook executives could face JAIL if they fail to remove extremist content in new laws touted by Australian PM

This is crazy.  Everybody sees things on Facebook that they find offensive or "extreme".  If they all were allowed to order deletion of what they dislike on Facebook, there would be no Facebook left.  And in the face of criminal penalties, Facebook execs would have to try to please everyone.  Even pictures of cats might go.  Vegans regard them as "carnivores" (which they certainly are) and that to Vegans is deeply offensive

Tech titans would be breaking Australian law if they didn't take down footage of terrorist acts as soon as they learned about it, under proposed changes the prime minister will put to their top brass.

Scott Morrison will discuss violent offences being broadcast on social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube during a meeting in Brisbane on Tuesday.

The meeting comes less than two weeks after the Christchurch mosques massacre, in which 50 people were killed.

A video of the terror attack, in which a lone gunman opened fire at two mosques during Friday prayers, was live-streamed on social media.

Mr Morrison and ministers will ask the tech executives what they're doing to prevent such footage festering online and stress the government will take action if it doesn't believe they are going far enough.

In that regard, the government is drafting laws that would make it illegal for the platforms to not remove footage of extreme violence as soon as they become aware of it.

'We cannot have a situation persist where a 10-year-old Australian, or any Australian for that matter, could log on to Facebook and witness mass murder,' Attorney-General Christian Porter told Nine's Today program on Tuesday.

'That is totally unacceptable.'

The proposed legislation would also allow the government to declare footage of an incident filmed by a perpetrator being hosted on such sites as 'abhorrent violent material'.

That would allow federal authorities to ask social media providers to remove the material, with the platforms receiving greater penalties the longer it is left up.

It is based on existing laws dealing with child exploitation material.

Mr Porter says the government's pressure on social media companies after the Christchurch massacre is akin to the Howard government ramping up gun control after the Port Arthur massacre in 1996.

'What we are doing as a government is what Howard did as a government and responding to the threats as they arise to make Australians safer.'

Facebook took down 1.5 million posts of the footage of the Christchurch shootings but says none of the 200 people who watched the live video of the massacre immediately reported it.

The first user report about the original video was made 29 minutes after it was posted - 12 minutes after the live broadcast ended - the company said last week.

The online giants are also being urged to ensure they protect the personal information of Australians who use their platforms, with the government planning far harsher penalties for privacy breaches.


'I'll go to jail for my beliefs' says devout Catholic mother set to be questioned by police for calling someone's transgender daughter 'he' in a tweet

A Catholic journalist has claimed that she will 'go to jail for her beliefs' after it was revealed that she is set to be questioned by police after calling someone's transgender daughter a 'he'.

Caroline Farrow is set to be questioned under caution for incorrectly labelling a transgender woman with the wrong gender.

Mrs Farrow had appeared on the popular morning programme Good Morning Britain back in September. The 44-year-old had participated in a debate with transgender rights campaigner Susie Green. Susie Green is the mother of the youngest ever Briton to change her sex from male to female.

Jackie Green had the surgery when she was 16-years-old and had previously said that her mother had faced 'hostile remarks' from people who 'don't understand the issues surrounding transgender'.

Mrs Farrow and Mrs Green had been debating the Girl Guide's policy of not informing parents if a child who attends the club joins a transgender group. After the heated on-air debate, devoted Catholic Mrs Farrow took to social media to continue the row.

After announcing on Twitter that she had been contacted by police Mrs Farrow said she didn't care about the allegations and that she had done nothing wrong.

'I don't even remember said tweets. This was in September! But I really not got give a flying toss. I have done nothing wrong, nothing illegal and will happily do jail time for my right to say that people cannot change sex. '

Following the heated on-air debate, Mrs Farrow allegedly took to Twitter to continue the spat and during the exchange was accused of referring to Mrs Green's transgender daughter using the wrong pronoun.

Mrs Farrow said she couldn't remember sending the tweets but highlighted that she said 'he' or 'son'.

She is now being investigated for a possible hate crime under the malicious communication act. If found guilty, she could face a two-year prison sentence.


Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Banning of New Zealand gunman’s manifesto sparks debate about free speech

Typical Leftist authoritarianism.  Your betters will decide what you can read.  That the ignoramuses of the Left think they are our betters is the sickening part

New Zealanders are debating the limits of free speech after their chief censor banned a 74-page manifesto written by the man accused of slaughtering 50 people at two mosques in the city of Christchurch.

The ban, issued yesterday, means anybody caught with the document on their computer could face up to 10 years in prison, while anyone caught sending it could face 14 years.

Some say the ban goes too far and risks lending both the document and the gunman mystique.

At the same time, many local media organisations are debating whether to even name the Australian man charged with murder in the March 15 attacks, 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant, after New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern vowed she would never mention him by name.

In some ways, Tarrant’s manifesto provides the greatest insight into his character and thinking, with neighbours and those he met in a gym in the sleepy seaside town of Dunedin recalling nothing particularly remarkable about him.

Chief Censor David Shanks said the manifesto contained justifications for acts of tremendous cruelty like killing children and encourages acts of terrorism, even outlining specific places to target and methods to carry out attacks.

He said that in banning the document, he and his staff worried about drawing more attention to it. But in the end, he said, they decided they needed to treat it the same way as propaganda from groups like the ISIS, which they have also banned.

Mr Shanks had earlier placed a similar ban on the 17-minute lifestream video the killer filmed from a camera mounted on his helmet during the shootings.

He said researchers and journalists could apply for exemptions from both bans.

But while free speech advocates haven’t questioned banning the graphic video, they said banning the manifesto was a step too far.

“People are more confident of each other and their leaders when there is no room left for conspiracy theories, when nothing is hidden,” said Stephen Franks, a constitutional lawyer and spokesman for the Free Speech Coalition.

“The damage and risks are greater from suppressing these things than they are from trusting people to form their own conclusions and to see evil or madness for what it is.”

Mr Franks said he had no interest in reading the manifesto until it was banned, adding the ban made no sense as New Zealanders remained free to read Adolf Hitler’s autobiography, Mein Kampf.

He said he was now curious about Tarrant’s manifesto because it was “forbidden fruit,” and worried others may feel the same way.


The New Zealand massacre is no reason to stop critical discussion of Islam

By Ben Shapiro

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., has unleashed a barrage of openly anti-Semitic commentary. She suggested that Israel had "hypnotized the world." She recently suggested that Jewish money lay behind American support for Israel. Finally, she suggested that American Israel supporters are representatives of dual loyalty. Her fellow Democrats shielded her from blowback by subsuming a resolution that condemns her anti-Semitism within a broader resolution that condemns intolerance of all types. Many of them suggested that labeling Omar's anti-Semitism actually represents a type of censorship — an attempt to quash debate about Israel, though none of Omar's comments even critiqued the Israeli government, and though many on the left have made anti-Israel arguments without invoking anti-Semitism.

Now Omar's defenders have come out of the woodwork to suggest that criticism of her anti-Semitism was somehow responsible for the white supremacist shooting of 50 innocent people in a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand. Two protesters, New York University students and best friends Leen Dweik and Rose Asaf, confronted Chelsea Clinton, who had gently chided Omar for her Jew hatred. "After all that you have done, all the Islamophobia that you have stoked," Dweik screamed, "this, right here, is the result of a massacre stoked by people like you and the words you put out in the world. ... Forty-nine people died because of the rhetoric you put out there." Dweik, it should be noted, has called for the complete elimination of Israel.

Her message was parroted by terror supporter Linda Sarsour, who tweeted: "I am triggered by those who piled on Representative Ilhan Omar and incited a hate mob against her until she got assassination threats now giving condolences to our community. What we need you to do is reflect on how you contribute to islamophobia and stop doing that."

Meanwhile, mainstream commentators attempted to use the New Zealand anti-Muslim terror attack to blame critics of radical Islam. Omer Aziz, writing for The New York Times, slammed Jordan Peterson for calling Islamophobia "a word created by fascists" and Sam Harris for calling it "intellectual blood libel." Bill Maher has come in for similar criticism; so have I, mostly for a video I cut in 2014 in which I read off poll statistics from various Muslim countries on a variety of topics, concluding that a huge percentage of Muslims believed radical things.

Here's the truth: Radical Islam is dangerous. The Islamic world has a serious problem with radical Islam. And large swaths of the Muslim world are, in fact, hostile to Western views on matters ranging from freedom of speech to women's rights. To conflate that obvious truth with the desire to murder innocents in Christchurch is intellectual dishonesty of the highest sort. If we want more Muslims living in liberty and freedom, we must certainly demolish white supremacism — and we must also demolish radical Islam, devotees of which were responsible for an estimated 84,000 deaths in 2017 alone, most of those victims Muslim.

And here's another truth: Anti-Semitism is ugly, whether it's coming from white supremacists or Ilhan Omar. Making that point has nothing to do with the killing of Muslims in Christchurch.

So long as the media continue to push the narrative that criticism of Islam is tantamount to incitement of murder, radical Islam will continue to flourish. So long as the media continue to cover for the dishonest argument that criticism of anti-Semitism forwards the goals of white supremacists, anti-Semitism will continue to flourish. Honest discussion about hard issues isn't incitement.


Monday, March 25, 2019

Devin Nunes sues Twitter.  Censorship?    

Below is an excerpt from  a very derisive article in the Leftist Boston Globe about the Devin Nunes lawsuit.  It's almost solid abuse, mostly in the form of poorly-founded mockery.  And in typical Leftist style ends in a non-sequitur.  It claims that Nunes is promoting political censorship when he compains about what is said of him.  But that is a crock.  Defamation and libel have never been protected speech.  So Nunes is changing precisely nothing in speech rules

California Representative Devin Nunes announced a $250 million defamation lawsuit he filed against Twitter as well as three users — Republican strategist Liz Mair, and two parody accounts: the now-suspended @DevinNunesMom and @DevinCow.

Nunes’s suit claims that Twitter is “shadow-banning” conservatives and conservative content, knowingly hosting abusive content (otherwise known as “Twitter”), ignoring complaints about abusive content, and failing to self-regulate and “thereby selectively amplifying the message of defamers such as Mair, Devin Nunes’ Mom and Devin Nunes’ cow.”

Whatever Nunes’s reasoning, the lawsuit recenters a dangerous notion of a state-side regulation of political critique, which, in the hands of this administration, I am going to guess would be handled less gently than migrant children.


New Zealand's Knee-Jerk Response Threatens Liberty

Less than a week after New Zealand suffered one of the worst crimes in its history, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared that she would act to ban "virtually all" types of semiautomatic rifles. Ardern sought to justify her knee-jerk decision by stating, "To owners who have legitimate uses for their guns, I want to reiterate that the actions being announced today are not because of you and are not directed at you. Our actions, on behalf of all New Zealanders, are directed at making sure this never happens again."

Meanwhile, authorities in New Zealand have been busy arresting several individuals for sharing a 17-minute video the perpetrator live-streamed as he engaged in his massacre. New Zealand's Chief Censor — yes, you read that right — David Shanks justified the arrests on "hate speech" grounds, stating, "It is a record of a terrorist atrocity, specifically produced for the purpose of promoting a hateful terrorist agenda." One of the individuals arrested has been charged with two counts of distributing objectionable material, with each offense carrying a possible 14-year prison sentence should he be found guilty.

The irony here is simply dumbfounding, and it should make all Americans thankful for our Constitution and Bill of Rights. First off, following the massacre, Ardern publicly vowed that she would not name the perpetrator so as to deny him notoriety and instead "give him nothing." Her desire not to give this criminal notoriety is certainly commendable, but the true irony lies in the fact that she has actually given in to his stated objective. She has acted to revoke the individual rights of innocent Kiwis by acting to ban semiautomatic rifles. In so doing, she unwittingly accepts and implements the murderer's goals, written down in his trolling manifesto. So much for not naming him.

Among the myriad of motives the perpetrator lists were attacks against individual rights and specifically America's Second Amendment. Speaking like a true neo-Nazi, he advocated for race-based collectivism over and against individual liberty.

The sad reality is that the New Zealand government's knee-jerk reactions to this horrific crime only further the impact of that crime. Officials have caved to the will of a madman by robbing the entire population of New Zealand of their individual rights, all in the name of providing the impossible — "safety" from evil. What will result is not greater safety, but rather a greater authoritarian governance where the rights and dignity of the individual will be regularly sacrificed for the desires of the political overlords.

And it comes as no surprise that the Leftmedia in our nation celebrates Ardern's Liberty-crushing actions. The Washington Post's editorial board sanctimoniously lectures, "New Zealand is showing America how to respond to mass shootings." Wrong. New Zealand is showing America how life and Liberty would suffer with no constitutional protections.


Sunday, March 24, 2019

New Zealand Retailer Pulls Jordan Peterson Book after Mosque Shootings

Whitcoulls, New Zealand’s largest bookstore franchise, pulled the work of Jordan Peterson from its shelves Wednesday in response to the mosque shootings that claimed 50 lives in Christchurch last week.

Peterson’s book 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, which contains a chapter addressing the particular strain of nihilism that gave rise to the Columbine and Sandy Hook school shootings, was removed after management learned of “extremely disturbing material being circulated prior, during and after the Christchurch attacks,” according to independent journalist Tim Pool’s correspondence with a Whitcoull’s spokesman.

“As a business which takes our responsibilities to our communities very seriously, we believe it would be wrong to support the author at this time,” the email continues.

While Peterson’s work has been banned, Whitcoulls continues to carry “Islam Unmasked,” a text that purports to reveal “the lies behind [Islamic] doctrines” and “the futility of [Islamic] practices.”

David Seymour, who leads New Zealand’s conservative ACT party, told Newshub that banning the book will have the opposite of its intended effect.

“You don’t fight neo-Nazism by suppressing reading and books. Anyone who knows any history knows that’s the opposite of how you fight these kind of ideas,” said Seymour. “A self-help book is an incredibly strange thing to suppress. I think Whitcoulls have made the wrong decision, but I respect they’re a private company, it’s their right.”


Trump Acts to Protect Free Speech at America's Universities

His EO threatens to withhold research grants to schools that don't promote and protect free speech.

“Under the policy I announced today, federal agencies will use their authority under various grant-making programs to ensure that public universities protect [and] cherish … the First Amendment rights of their students, or risk losing billions and billions of dollars in federal taxpayer dollars,” President Donald Trump stated on Thursday as he signed his executive order directing America’s colleges and universities to protect free speech. By signing the executive order, Trump made good on the promise he made at CPAC earlier this month.

Trump defended the need for his order by noting, “Under the guise of speech codes, safe spaces, trigger warnings, these universities tried to restrict free thought, impose total conformity, and shut down the voices of great young Americans. … Taxpayer dollars should not subsidize anti-First Amendment institutions — and that’s exactly what they are, anti-First Amendment. Universities that want taxpayer dollars should promote free speech, not silence free speech.”

Trump’s order is low on specifics, but it does note that only research grant money doled out by the federal government to colleges and universities every year would be affected and not aid programs for federal student loans. As Reason’s Robby Soave observes, Trump’s EO “mostly serves as a declaration of support for the First Amendment, and a sign that the Trump administration is looking at doing something to help graduates drowning in debt.”

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), a nonpartisan free-speech-promoting watchdog organization that rates America’s colleges and universities for their adherence to free speech, gave guarded support for the spirit of order while voicing a wariness to federal overreach. “FIRE will watch closely to see if today’s action furthers the meaningful, lasting policy changes that FIRE has secured over two decades — or results in unintended consequences that threaten free expression and academic freedom.”

When Trump first brought up issuing an executive order on protecting campus free speech, we too agreed with his sentiment but were concerned that it could run into the realm of executive overreach. Upon seeing the order, those concerns are somewhat alleviated, as the order appears to be more of a symbolic gesture designed to publicly highlight the growing problem of silencing speech on many of America’s college and university campuses. Trump is using the presidential bully pulpit to shine a national spotlight on the problem that much of the mainstream media has ignored and that many leftist university professors deny even exits. As he has constantly done in highlighting the leftist bias in the MSM, Trump is similarly seeking to expose the massive leftist bias that exists within the halls of America’s institutions of higher learning.


Friday, March 22, 2019

At the University of Florida squelching conservative speech is routine

Several weeks ago, UF's Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) chapter, of which I'm a member, created a “Build the Wall” banner to hang on campus. As a club, we had to get a permit from UF for the banner and our members spent a significant amount of time and money creating it. In a matter of hours, the banner was torn down and stolen by leftists. That evening, the club met to build a new one, only to have it stolen twice the next day.

Leftist students tear down conservative signs, posters, and flyers for speakers they disagree with. It shows a blatant disregard for our First Amendment rights and for the amount of resources our clubs put into activism.   

In all, three police reports were filed, and an officer indicated one student could be charged with theft. Thanks to the efforts of our club members, our speech was protected, but at a hefty price. Guarding a banner for 12 hours a day and having cameras present shouldn’t be a requirement to ensuring speech is protected. In many cases, it’s not even feasible.


Fans hit back after London Fire Brigade blasts Peppa Pig on Twitter using outdated term 'firemen' instead of fighters

Fire chiefs have accused Peppa Pig of sexism after referring to firefighters as 'firemen'

The London Fire Brigade ignited a Twitter storm after they posted the offending cartoon clip and slammed its use of outdated stereotypes.

In a furious rant, the LFB wrote: 'Come on @peppapig, we've not been firemen for 30 years.

However, the post may have been slightly premature - given the episode features Mummy Pig helping out at the fire station.

Despite the initial 'fireman' slip-up, the episode later sees the female character take control of the entire fire station.

The LFB has now been accused of overt political correctness, as many flocked to ridicule the post.

One tongue-in-cheek reply from chingfordjim read: 'It's a cartoon with a make believe pig.'

And said: 'While we're at it, why isn't peppa LGBTQIwhatever? We!'

Razor-sharp DubzLF joked: 'Pssst don't tell Postman Pat*'

While Zeebad replied: 'Is it Postfighter Pat now? I can't keep up.'


Thursday, March 21, 2019

Controversial photo of female footballer taken down then put back up

Of course a flattering photo of an attractive young woman is going to attract comments.  What is wrong with just deleting the ruder comments?  It's a very good image of an Australian sportswoman

Women's AFL star Tayla Harris has spoken out about the vile comments she received after a photo of her kicking a football was posted online.  

The photo, taken by Michael Wilson, shows Harris' athletic prowess as she drop punts the ball during a match.

Comments on the photo on the 7AFL site were filled vile sexual tones, forcing the image to be taken down - a decision that caused further backlash.

Harris appeared on breakfast radio on Wednesday morning and said some of the comments were 'sexual abuse'.

'I'm feeling empowered this morning. I think because of the reaction that's come, it's been a bit of a whirlwind,' Harris told RSN Radio's Breakfast Club.

'It is really amazing that the AFL community got around me,' the star said, while admitting the issue is now about what authorities can do to stop social media trolling ever being accepted.

The image was captured in a match against the Western Bulldogs, but 7AFL's Twitter post was quickly hijacked by trolls, leading them to replace it with a message about the post.

'The original purpose in publishing the image was to celebrate the power, athleticism and skills on show in Carlton's thrilling win over the Western Bulldogs,' the message read. 'The image attracted a number of comments, some of which were inappropriate and offensive. As a consequence we have removed the image and the comments.'

Fans immediately questioned why the image needed to be taken down and eventually 7AFL posted it again.

'It's with the misogynistic behaviour by the supporters in the comments. Try blocking these accounts from your social media. Take a stand.' one user said.

AFL stars and athletes criticised 7AFL for making the decision to remove the image.

Footballer Darcy Vesico posted: 'Deleting this post is giving into trolls. Also you're eliminating all the positive conversation. Also you're removing more content around women in sport.'


UPDATE:  This story seems to have got a lot of press.  So here is another photo of the lady:

She is about as good-looking as they come -- with a light dusting of freckles only adding to the effect.  Her athleticism is not limited to football.  She is quite advanced in boxing also.  If a man were to harass her, she  could quite likely deck him

NZ PM Jacinda Ardern vows to deny accused New Zealand mosque gunman recognition

What Ms Ardern requests is reasonable enough but I am allergic to censorship so when mentioning him henceforth I will name Brenton Tarrant, the Christchurch shooter

New Zealand's prime minister declared Tuesday she would do everything in her power to deny the accused mosque gunman a platform for elevating his white supremacist views, after the man dismissed his lawyer and opted to represent himself at his trial in the killings of 50 people.

"He obviously had a range of reasons for committing this atrocious terrorist attack. Lifting his profile was one of them. And that's something that we can absolutely deny him," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told reporters.

Ardern, who also promised to examine the role social media may have played in the attack, demurred about whether she wanted the trial to occur behind closed doors, saying that was not her decision to make.

"One thing I can assure you — you won't hear me speak his name," she said.

In a passionate speech to Parliament, she urged the public to follow her lead and to avoid giving the gunman the fame he so obviously craves.

"I implore you: Speak the names of those who were lost, rather than the name of the man who took them," she said. "He may have sought notoriety, but we in New Zealand will give him nothing, not even his name."


Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Whistleblower Chelsea Manning jailed for refusing to testify against Julian Assange

Whistleblowers are now being forced to testify against journalists. Troubling.  There is definitely too much secrecy in government

A federal judge ordered whistleblower Chelsea Manning to prison on Friday for refusing to answer questions from a grand jury convened to bring charges against WikiLeaks and its publisher Julian Assange.

Judge Claude H. Hilton of the Federal District Court in the Eastern District of Virginia ruled that Manning must stay in prison until she testifies, and ordered her to be confined in the women’s wing of the federal detention center in Alexandria, Va.

Manning has stood firm and refused to incriminate WikiLeaks and Assange—or any other media organization and individual—over her courageous 2010 disclosure of hundreds of thousands of documents that exposed US war crimes.

The jailing of Manning marks a further escalation of Washington’s drive to force Assange out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he was granted political asylum in 2012. The Trump administration is moving to publicly unveil charges against him and demand the Ecuadorian and British governments comply with a warrant to extradite him to the US on false allegations of espionage or conspiracy.

Although Manning was offered immunity in exchange for testimony—a device employed to entice witnesses to assist prosecutors—she refused to answer any of the Trump administration’s questions, citing her rights under the US Constitution.

Manning, in a press release issued after the hearing, stated:

“Yesterday, I appeared before a secret grand jury after being given immunity for my testimony. All of the substantive questions pertained to my disclosures of information to the public in 2010—answers I provided in extensive testimony, during my court-martial in 2013. I responded to each question with the following statement: ‘I object to the question and refuse to answer on the grounds that the question is in violation of my First, Fourth, and Sixth Amendment, and other statutory rights.’

“On Friday, I will return to federal court in Alexandria, Virginia for a closed contempt hearing. A judge will consider the legal grounds for my refusal to answer questions in front of a grand jury. The court may find me in contempt, and order me to jail.

Horrified by what she saw of US military and diplomatic crimes following her deployment to Baghdad in 2009, Manning leaked a vast array of “classified” documents to WikiLeaks. These included the "Collateral Murder" video showing US helicopter gunships shooting down civilians, including children and two Reuters journalists.

Manning was convicted by the military court under the US Espionage Act for leaking portions of 227 documents. With Barack Obama in the White House, Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison—more time than anyone has ever received for disclosing classified US government records.

In one of his last acts, Obama commuted Manning’s sentence in 2017, but refused to grant her a pardon, ensuring that her conviction remained on her record. A spokesman for Trump, who was about to take office, called the decision to release Manning “disappointing” and “troubling.”

The Obama administration apparently pulled back from charging Assange over Manning’s disclosures because some of the material was published in partnership with leading corporate media organs, including the New York Times, the Guardian, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, El Pais and the Sydney Morning Herald.

Under Trump, the US authorities are seeking to overcome that problem by coercing Manning into saying that WikiLeaks conspired in the leaking of the documents.


Transgender woman demands apology and £2,500 compensation over claims Southern Rail staff twice called her 'SIR'

A transgender woman is demanding an apology and £2,500 in compensation after claiming she was called 'sir' by Southern Rail staff.

Katie Yeomans, 66, said she needed pills to sleep after she was called 'sir' twice while talking to staff. Once when she was asking a question, and again two weeks later when she asked for a platform number.

She is demanding an apology, training for Southern Rail's staff, and compensation.

The train company said it has looked into the incident 'thoroughly' and disputes the claims.

Miss Yeomans told The Brighton Argus: 'It is diabolical. 'I care because I spent five years transitioning and I have all of my legal documentation. 'So whether people like it or not I am a woman and I expect to be treated as a woman. 'I don’t expect to be treated as a man.'

She is upset that despite having gender reassignment surgery almost two years ago, she says she was called 'sir' twice by Southern Rail staff.

On one occasion, she alleges that when trying to speak to a staff member she was told to 'take a seat, sir'.

On another occasion, about two weeks later, she claims that when asking a staff member what platform the Brighton train was on, she was told 'platform number one, sir'.

Miss Yeomans said: 'I find it insulting how people will call me sir and find that acceptable.

She said she believes it is her duty to stand up for other trans women.

'The resolution I’m looking for is an apology. 'I also want reassurance that their equality and diversity training is up to scratch.

'In view of stress and anxiety this case has caused me, I am seeking compensation.' The rail ombudsman can get up to £2,500 in damages.

A Southern Rail spokesman said: 'We have looked into this thoroughly and dispute what has been claimed.

'However with investigations ongoing it would be inappropriate to make any further comment on this particular case.

'We promote diversity within the organisation and across the rail industry.

'We have a popular, active LGBTQ+ community at Southern and Govia Thameslink Railway and are vocal champions of employees who identify as such, celebrating them both internally and in the media.'


Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The censored manifesto

I found it curious how thoroughly the NZ gunman's manifesto was censored.  He sent out many copies but most recipients announced proudly that they were not going to release their copy.  It was only with a fair bit of scouring that I was able to get hold of a copy.

So what motivated the censorship?  What ideas in it were so dangerous that they must be kept from us by our soi disant  betters? Let me offer a rough summary:

There WERE dangerous ideas in it:  But very ordinary ideas, the sort of ideas that are widespread in Western countries.  There are majorities in all Western countries which want the flood of Third world immigrants stopped.  And where those majorities are large enough, the governments of the countries concerned have taken measures that have largely stopped at least the illegal sources of such immigration:  Australia, Norway and most of Eastern Europe.  Even in those countries, however, there are substantial inflows of Third worlders who are accepted legally as "refugees", though many are clearly not true refugees.

Because disrupting the "complacent" societies they live in is the whole aim of most Leftists, however,  Leftists do their best to oppose immigration restrictions and brand immigration opponents with every derogatory name under the sun, of which "racist" is the mildest. Despite his record of support `for minorities, even Mr. Trump is routinely branded by the Left as a "racist" because of his efforts to protect America's borders from a Third world influx.

Given the Leftist role in supporting the undermining of Western societies, it is left to the conservative side of politics to  articulate the common desire to retain their existing social and national arrangements.  It is conservative writers who point to the adverse aspects of largely uncontrolled immigration.  They point to the frequency of immigrant crime and the serious stretching of public services (schools, hospitals, roads) that heavy inflows of low quality immigration causes.  They also point out where demographic projections lead: The much higher immigrant birthrates point to formerly Western countries becoming in time  predominantly Third World countries, with the crime, poverty and general disruption that entails

And the NZ gunman in his manifesto echoes those concerns.  There is nothing new in his manifesto.  It is largely just a compilation of the things that non-Leftists have been saying about Third world immigration.  He is particularly concerned about Muslim immigration because of Islam's aggressive contempt for Western civilization.  He sees Muslims becoming in time an intolerant majority in many Western countries, which will bring hard times for non-Muslims. And the fate of Christians in existing Muslim lands certainly bears out such concerns

So what is different about the NZ gunman?  Is he mentally ill?   Does he have a personality disorder?  There is no sign of it.  Reports from people who know him generally describe him as a normal pleasant person. 

So is he a white supremacist?  It is rather to the contrary. Far from seeing whites as supreme he sees them as vulnerable and threatened, which is roughly the opposite of supreme.  He is not even much of a racist. He speaks warmly of the Pakistanis he met on his visit there and names his chief inspiration as a prominent BLACK American conservative, Candice Owens. And he is certainly no nationalist, white or otherwise.  He is an internationalist concerned for the whole of Western society.

What appears to have set him off is his travels. He has travelled to a bewildering variety of countries and has taken particular note of the immigrant influence there.  And what he has seen and heard of the foul deeds of Jihadis has particularly disgusted and enraged him.  So under heavy pressure of Jihadi reality, he has decided that he should do something about it. For most of us, Jihadi deeds are something that happen somewhere else and have little personal impact on us -- so we put it all out of our minds.  His travels, by contrast, brought it all to the front of his mind. 

So it should be clear why the Left are having orgasms over the manifesto.  It shares with normal conservative writing a dislike  of  Muslim influences and a wish for immigration restrictions.  To the Left that brands all conservatives as potential terrorists and all-round bad eggs.  But that is guilt by association and a violation of natural justice.  And even the association is absurdly weak.  Who is typical of conservatives, the hundreds of millions of conservatives who do NOT become terrorists or the one man who does? 

With the Left, on the other hand the association is much clearer and more troubling.  When Leftists gain unrestricted power -- as with Leftists from Robespierre to Stalin to Mao -- we see where the real murderous potential lies.  Unless restrained by powerful other influences, Leftism always leads to tyranny and mass murder. The deeds of their philosophical allies in other countries ARE a realistic guide to the potential of Western Leftists.

In the unlikely event that they had any humility and balance, Leftists would be asking whether their repeated defence and coverup of Muslim hostility had any role in pushing the NZ gunman into his pushback against Muslim terrorism. On November 5, 2009, for instance, a mass shooting took place at Fort Hood, near Killeen, Texas when Muslim Nidal Hasan fatally shot 13 people and injured more than 30 others.  Rather than Muslim terrorism, the Obama administration insisted that the event had to be referred to as "workplace violence" -- an epic coverup.

To return to the shooter:  Vengeance is a normal human motivation.  It is probably always unwise and is definitely unChristian but it can be a powerful force.  It is perhaps forgiveable where the vengeance targets the original offender but it all too often spreads more widely than that.  And on this occasion it did. For the gunman the problem was a group of people so a group had to be the target.  It is deplorable that the people he targeted were as far as we know innocent men, women and children. But jihadis target innocent men, women and children too so he no doubt thought that they had set the relevant precedent.

I am not going to put up the manifesto on any of my sites.  The all-wise Leftist controllers of our social media would undoubtedly take it down if I did and they might even take down the whole site.  That is why I have offered this summary in lieu of the whole thing.  Even this summary and this site could be attacked however so I have taken the defensive measure of not naming the gunman.  It seems to me that the hostiles will use his surname as a search term for locating posts such as mine but,  because of my defensive measures will not pick this post up immediately.  Regular readers will thus get to see it first.

I am however prepared to email a copy of the manifesto to anyone who is otherwise unable to obtain it.

Controversial right-wing speaker Milo Yiannopoulos has been banned from Australia after calling Islam a 'barbaric, alien' religious culture

Since common Muslim practices such as polygamy and female circumcision are in fact illegal in Australia, why is Islam NOT reasonably described as barbaric and alien?

Controversial far-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos has been banned from entering Australia on tour after his remarks about the New Zealand terror attack.

Immigration Minister David Coleman released a statement on Saturday confirming the decision to cancel Mr Yiannopoulos' visa into the country.

Mr Yiannopoulos' had described Islam as a 'barbaric, alien' religious culture on social media overnight, hours after 50 people were killed and 42 injured in an attack at two mosques in Christchurch.

'Milo Yiannopoulos will not be allowed to enter Australia for his proposed tour this year,' Mr Coleman said.

Mr Coleman has flip-flopped over whether Mr Yiannopoulos should be allowed to enter Australia, having granted him a visa just a week ago.

The government had agreed to the visa after conservative MPs had put pressure on Mr Coleman to override the Department of Home Affairs' advice to ban Mr Yiannopoulos.

Conservative MPs, including One Nation leader Pauline Hanson and former human rights commissioner Tim Wilson, argued that banning the alt-right speaker would be a blow to freedom of speech.

'Mr Yiannopoulos' comments on social media regarding the Christchurch terror attack are appalling and foment hatred and division,' Mr Coleman said on Saturday.

'The terrorist attack in Christchurch was carried out on Muslims peacefully practising their religion. It was an act of pure evil.'

Mr Yiannopoulostook to social media after the announcement on Saturday, where he said: 'I'm banned from Australia, again, after a statement in which I said I abhor political violence'.  

Labor MP Tony Burke took to Twitter to praise the decision to ban the speaker.

'Milo banned. Good. His overnight comments weren't that different from how he has always behaved. There was already enough evidence to ban him which is why the department had already recommended he be banned. The Australian tours for the world's hate speakers must stop,' he urged.

The speaking tour had previously been given the green light despite Mr Yiannopoulos owing Victoria Police $50,000 to cover policing at a Melbourne event in December, 2017, during which up to 500 left-wing protesters clashed with about 50 right-wing activists.

The conservative provocateur's supporters clashed with protesters who chanted 'f*** off Nazi', which led to seven arrests during his 2017 Sydney tour.

The 33-year-old had initially organised a 'Deplorables' speaking tour with convicted criminal Tommy Robinson and self-described 'western chauvinist' Gavin McInnes in December.


Monday, March 18, 2019

Censorship: Sky New Zealand pulls Sky News Australia off air over Christchurch massacre coverage

Who does it hurt to have someone watching it?

Sky New Zealand has pulled fellow broadcaster Sky News Australia off air until the channel stops broadcasting clips from the Christchurch mosque shooter’s Facebook live stream.

In a tweet posted on Saturday morning, Sky New Zealand, an independently-owned broadcaster, said it had decided to remove the Australian 24-hour news channel from its platform because of the distressing footage.

“We stand in support of our fellow New Zealanders and have made the decision to remove Sky News Australia from our platform until we are confident that the distressing footage from yesterday’s events will not be shared.”

Despite a plea from New Zealand police, Rupert Murdoch’s Australian pay-TV channel was among the broadcasters that chose to screen Go Pro footage shot by a man who slaughtered 49 people at two mosques in Christchurch on Friday.

“Police are aware there is extremely distressing footage relating to the incident in Christchurch circulating online,” the police said in a statement. “We would strongly urge that the link not be shared. We are working to have any footage removed.”

Brenton Tarrant was alleged to have filmed a 17-minute Facebook video which included his drive to the mosque, his arsenal of weapons and graphic scenes of his murderous rampage. Media organisations that have used the film stopped the video as he entered the mosque.

Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have removed the footage but new copies are constantly being uploaded.

Sky News Australia has been broadcasting the footage repeatedly, sparking anger on social media. It was also shown via Sky News Australia on screens in Qantas airways lounges at airports. Qantas has been approached for comment.

A spokeswoman for Sky New Zealand told Guardian Australia the company was in negotiations with Sky News Australia as to when the channel would be restored to the platform.

“We stand in support of our fellow New Zealanders and do not wish to show the distressing footage that has been shared at this time. We will resume service when available,” a social media spokeswoman said on Twitter.

“All other news channels are still available. BBC World and CNN are available on SKY GO.”


Anger as VW chief executive plays on Nazi slogan at company event

It was clearly intended as a witticism bu he ran into the lack of humor on the sour Left

The chief executive of Volkswagen is facing calls to resign after an astonishing gaffe in which he appeared to riff on a Nazi death camp slogan.

Herbert Diess apologised on Thursday for a speech at a company event in which he repeatedly told VW employees: “EBIT macht frei”.

The phrase appears to be a play on “Arbeit macht frei” — work makes you free — a notorious Nazi slogan that was inscribed over the entrance to Auschwitz and other concentration camps.

EBIT is an acronym for Earnings Before Interest and Tax, a key indicator of a company’s profit.


Sunday, March 17, 2019

Australian government urged to shut down Milo Yiannopoulos after Christchurch massacre

This is a typical despicable Leftist attempt to blame uninvolved others for the deeds of one man.  It all hinges on the Leftist inability to see people as individuals.  Leftists see people only as group members and reserve to themselves the right to say who belongs in which group.  It would not be stretching their logic too far to say that Tarrant was born in Australia so  therefore all Australians (including members of the Labor party!) bear a responsibility for his Christchurch attack. 

I wouldn't be surprised if some Leftists do assert that.  They might say (they do say) that Australia is racist and Tarrant was therefore simply expressing Australian racism

The claim below that what Leftists call "hate speech" leads to terrorist acts such as Tarrant's is an empty assertion untethered to any evidence.  David Hume pointed out a couple of hundred years ago that to identify a cause you have to have constant conjunction between the cause and the effect.  And there is no conjunction at all between what Leftists call "hate speech" and  acts of terrorism by whites.  Tens of millions of whites have heard words such as those by Yiannopoulos so where are are the acts of terrorism connected to them?  The usual reaction to Yiannopoloulos is no reaction other than, perhaps, a nod of the head. 

If there are ten million instances of a "cause" NOT leading to an alleged effect, that destroys the causal claim.  The effect needs something else to cause it.  In Tarrant's case, he seems to have seen a lot of the effects of Jihadi attacks during his extensive travels and that has enraged him.

The Australian government has been told it must cancel the visa for far-right speaker Milo Yiannopoulos following the Christchurch terrorist attack, with opposition frontbencher Tony Burke saying far-right extremism should be treated in the same way as other forms of terrorism.

The immigration minister, David Coleman, personally approved Yiannopoulos’s visa last week, against advice from the Department of Home Affairs, which earlier told Yiannopoulos he may fail the character test to enter Australia.

Burke, who is Labor’s spokesman for citizenship and multiculturalism, said rules around banning people who could be seen as supporting terrorism should be applied to all extremist ideologies.

“If someone wants to come to Australia and we know that they’ve been speaking in support of values that have given rise to other forms of terrorism, we don’t give them a visa,” Burke told ABC24.

“Only a few days ago, the government intervened against the department to provide a visa for someone to have a tour here in Australia to whip up hatred against Muslims. I would be stunned if the government goes ahead with that visa.”

The department has the ability to block a visa from a person on character grounds if it perceives there’s a risk they will commit a crime, harass people, vilify a segment of the Australian community or incite discord.

Recent speaking tours of US whistleblower Chelsea Manning and British conspiracy theorist and anti-semite David Icke were blocked after their visas were rejected on character grounds.

“We knock back people all the time with respect to other forms of hatred that have been consistent with what has resulted in terrorism actions,” Burke said. “We need to make sure the full force of the law treats this as the same as any other form of terrorism.”

Guardian Australia contacted Coleman’s office to ask if Yiannopoulos’s visa would be revoked after the Christchurch attack and did not receive an immediate response.

The prime minister, Scott Morrison, has called Friday’s massacre a “violent, extremist, right-wing terrorist attack” and also condemned comments from Queensland senator Fraser Anning, saying that “blaming the murderous attacks by a violent, right-wing, extremist terrorist in New Zealand on immigration are disgusting”.

“Those views have no place in Australia, let alone the Australian parliament,” Morrison said.

The Labor foreign affairs spokeswoman, Penny Wong, said Anning did not represent Australia.

Burke also criticised Anning’s comments but said: “the normalisation of bigotry is something that is not only confined to him.”

He said the use of hate speech was connected to violence and extremism and should be taken more seriously.

“There’s been an attempt in Australia by many people to normalise hate speech,” Burke said. “We get told, ‘Oh, it’s just freedom of speech’.”

He said that view had been pushed by “some [television] networks” and said the normalisation of hate speech was “not the whole story of what’s happened, but there is no doubt it is part of it”.

The Australian man charged with murder over the Christchurch attack was not on a terrorist watchlist, and Burke said it was possible that “up until now, many people would not have viewed this form of extremism as being as dangerous to people as every other form of extremism”.

“Anyone who had that doubt, that doubt finished yesterday,” he said.


Is it "womxn" now?

In late 2016, shortly after the election of Donald J. Trump, feminists in Seattle met to discuss their branch of the Women’s March.

The march’s name, which would be printed on all local promotion materials, soon came up as something that could be updated.

“Our organizing group is superdiverse, and one of the core organizers, who is a nonbinary person, proposed that we use the word ‘womxn’ to make sure that everyone felt included,” said Elizabeth Hunter-Keller, the communications chair for what became known as the Womxn’s March Seattle. Ebony Miranda, the organizer who proposed using “womxn,” said her understanding of the word was “women and those affected by misogyny, or women-related issues.”

Ms. Hunter-Keller said: “There were a lot of, for the most part, white women, who wondered why we had to use the ‘x’ and asked us about it. But when we talked to them online, most were totally understanding.”

According to Keridwen Luis, a professor of sociology at Harvard University, feminists have tinkered with “woman” and “women” for decades to address a recurring annoyance.

“Wimmin,” after the Old English original, was one of the first alternative words to show up in the 1900s. Then “womyn” popped up and gained steam in the 1970s along with the occasional “wombyn.” To some, “womyn” seemed to include everyone, and still does. To others, like the organizers of the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, the feminist answer to Woodstock, it was only for “womyn-born-womyn,” Ms.

Luis said. While hard to pronounce, “womxn” was perhaps the most inclusive word yet, using an “x” to tinker with the word’s literal approach to gender in a similar way as “Latinx,” which has become an ungendered alternative to Latino and Latina.

But even “womxn” has its haters. In October, a London museum and library called Wellcome Collection sent out a tweet that included the word. In response, hundreds of followers, including many women, tweeted back with complaints. “I’ll be a womxn when men become mxn,” one user tweeted angrily. The Wellcome Collection said at first that it had used the word to show that its space welcomes diverse perspectives, but subsequently issued an apology.


Friday, March 15, 2019

No more boyfriends and girlfriends

According to a piece in the Daily O, people should stop using the words “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” to refer to their significant others and use the word “partner” instead — because that’s “politically correct.”

“The term ‘partner’ — with its gender-neutral connotation — is politically correct and socially appropriate,” Saonli Hazra writes in a piece titled “Why it is time to move from the conventional ‘boyfriend’ or ‘girlfriend’ and switch to ‘partner’ instead.”

“With the growth of the Internet, and a transformation in the social order where casual dating, open relationships, delayed marriages and other such practices are finding favour, terms like ‘boyfriend’ or ‘girlfriend’ have a certain undesirable vibe,” she continues. “Mostly, these set limitations of gender roles — of what each partner ought to bring at the relationship table.”

“Partner,” she argues “has a nice, positive ring to it, and neither party feels the suffocating or debilitating pressure of trying to live up to certain preset notions.”

“‘Wife’ or ‘girlfriend’ usually come with patriarchal riders, and therefore, a women’s status within the marriage is often unequal,” she explains.


Corporate cowards who collude with silencing debate

Andrew Bolt

Do not give your business to companies that are bad corporate citizens. And a business that helps the mob to shut down debate is a very bad corporate citizen.

Janet Albrechtsen names and shame the companies helping the mobs to silence Sky and ... er, me:

Last week Alan Beasley fought back. This ordinary bloke is as mad as hell and he is not going to take it any more. He saw another company that advertises on Sky News succumb to intimidation.

Beasley stepped up because the choices people like him make determine the health and ultimate survival of our democracy...

The Sydney businessman, who grew up in country NSW, ... wrote to the NIB board, disgusted that the health insurer pulled its adverts from Andrew Bolt’s program on Sky after Bolt raised questions about the verdict against George Pell.

As an NIB member through Qantas’s health insurance arm Qantas Assure, Beasley denounced NIB for giving into “bullies and intimidation”, entering into a “PC debate”, putting “activists before customers” and “playing politics” instead of focusing on its business.

Beasley asked NIB to admit error and return its advertising to the Bolt show. If not, the Sydney businessman promised NIB he would lobby Qantas to end its association with NIB. He ended his March 6 email to the board with this: “I regard NIB corporate behaviour as gutless.”

Explaining why he took action last week, Beasley tells The Australian: “We don’t as a community stand up for the right thing. If we walk past intimidation and corporate cowardice we are endorsing that behaviour.”

Beasley is not alone. Albrechtsen cites other customers and companies.

I have heard from many other Australians who are also alarmed that companies are siding with a few activists - and against the wishes of their own customers - to shut down debates the activists don't like.


Thursday, March 14, 2019

'The sexism on their backs is NOT cute': Seemingly-innocent image of a little boy and girl in medical outfits sparks a firestorm on Twitter

Male nurses are still relativelty rare so this is just realistic

An image of two children walking hand in hand at the hospital that's circulating social media is leaving users divided over whether it's cute — or sexist.

The photo in question show what appears to be a little boy and a little girl walking together down a hospital hallway wearing similar colorful scrubs.

But while the blonde ponytailed little girl's scrubs are pink and say 'Nurse in Training' on the back, the little boy's are green and read 'Doctor in Training.'

The picture was shared on Twitter by @TheMedicalShots this weekend and quickly went viral.

It appears to show a little boy and a little girl who like each other and are holding hands at the hospital, walking away from the camera.

'This is cute, isn't it?' the account tweeted, adding a heart eyes emoji.

The tweet has been ‏liked over 15,000 times so far, indicating that quite a few people agreed that the image was adorable — but the comments told a different story.

In fact, thousands of people chimed in to say plainly that no, the image isn't cute at all — it's sexist.

'No it’s not. Why isn’t she a Dr as well? Or why is the boy not a nurse?' asked one.


Conservative university students seek debate on immigration but just get screamed at

University students boasting a politically incorrect sign at a controversial 'change my mind' event on campus have caused an uproar. Members of University of New South Wales' Conservatives set up a desk at the Kensington campus, in Sydney's Eastern suburbs, with a sign reading 'our immigration level is too high' on Tuesday.

The club encouraged fellow students to approach the desk to debate the provocative issue and change their minds.

The UNSW Education Collective, a campus collective that fights for progressive issues, denounced the message both on campus and on social media.

'We had a good go at them but it seemed like they weren't willing to change their mind?' the collective wrote with a picture of the event.

The collective called the conservatives 'campus incels' and apologised for making their 'small brains hurt'.

The conservatives re-shared the collectives' Facebook post and said their stance on immigration was not linked to their views on race.

'It was a pleasure to be visited by members of the UNSW education collective at our 'Change my mind' event today,' the conservatives said. 'Granted, their screaming in our faces was not as effective at changing our minds as a little calm discussion might have been.'

'We would also like to politely clarify that our position on immigration has absolutely nothing to do with race.'

The group signed off their post by welcoming more 'interesting' discussion at other events later in the year.  

The event has been met with a number of responses on social media, with some questioning how the UNSW Education Collective handled the situation.

'Why do you think it's cool to personally attack people for their political affiliations and opinions, how is it at all useful to anyone to call theses guys 'incles' and collectively mock them online,' responded one person.

'Reasonable political discussion is healthy but all I saw were people attacking them, pretty sure I heard someone get called a racist and now incels,' commented another.

One social media user said: 'It's not conservative to say our immigration level is too high. It's not about race it's about population.'

UNSW, one of Australia's top universities, encourages diversity and inclusion on campus.

'UNSW will be recognised as an international exemplar in equity, diversity and inclusion. Our success will have been built upon embracing the diversity and cultural richness of our communities and ensuring that our staff and students can achieve their full potential regardless of background,' UNSW 2025 vision says.


Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Australian Council apologises after branding an Aboriginal worker with a racist slur in his funeral notice and insisting it was his nickname

It probably WAS his nickname in certain circles

A regional council has issued a formal apology after publishing a racial slur in a funeral notice and insisting it was a nickname.

Aboriginal man and father John Hagan was a dedicated employee of Paroo Shire Council in south-west Queensland before he died.

However, his 20 years of service seemed to have been belittled when the council published a funeral notice saying Mr Hagan was 'known to all as 'N****r Rat','  The Australian reported.

'Relatives and Friends of the late John Hagan known to all as 'N****r Rat' are respectfully invited to attend his funeral service,' said the post made on November 8.

Paroo Shire Council took down the notice from its Facebook page after severe backlash and the threat of legal action from Mr Hagan's family.


Trevor Noah: when words are worse than war

His joke about India and Pakistan caused more online outrage than the conflict itself.

Over the past month, long-standing tension between India and Pakistan over Kashmir has reared its ugly head again. First Pakistani Islamists bombed Indian paramilitaries, the deadliest attack in three decades. Then, for the first time in 50 years, India launched air strikes on Pakistan’s territory. Pakistan then shot down an Indian plane and captured its pilot. Until prime minister Imran Khan released the pilot as a peace gesture, winding down tensions, observers feared a full-blown war between the two nuclear states.

But in New York, 7,000 miles west of Kashmir, something far worse, far more dangerous, or at least far more tweetable, happened. Comedian Trevor Noah made a joke about the conflict on the The Daily Show. A war between India and Pakistan would be the ‘most entertaining’ and ‘longest war of all time’, he joked, as the Indian soldiers would rush on to the battlefield and break out into a Bollywood-style song-and-dance number.

Tweeters across the globe denounced the joke as racist, insensitive, ‘vile and despicable’. By Noah’s own admission, he has not shied away from tackling difficult subjects in the past, including the death of his mother, who was shot in the head by his abusive stepfather. It is a shame, then, that he has since apologised for causing offence. Often the best comedy results from comedians finding the line and pushing it further.

But whatever you think of Noah’s India-Pakistan joke – funny, racist or just clich├ęd – he later made an important observation. He tweeted that his joke ‘trended’ more on social media, in the West at least, than the actual India-Pakistan crisis. For Noah, this showed that ‘people are more offended by the jokes comedians make about an issue than the issue itself’.

On this, Noah could not be more right. In our age of political correctness, often the most ferocious and unhinged outrage is directed at those who use the ‘wrong’ words, make ‘offensive’ jokes or produce ‘degenerate’ artworks.


Tuesday, March 12, 2019

British conservative politician apologises after calling Diane Abbott a 'coloured woman'

How about "fugly" as a description?

Amber Rudd has apologised for using “clumsy language” after she described Diane Abbott as a “coloured woman”.

The Work and Pensions Secretary sparked outcry after she used the term - widely regarded as a racist slur - during a radio interview in which she discussed abuse and racism in British politics.

Ms Abbott, the shadow home secretary, said the term was “offensive” and a “revealing choice of words”.


"Coloured" is actually a more accurate description than black.  In the weird world we inhabit, most blacks are brown.

Hotel patron, 72, is banned for a month from his local for 'offensive behaviour' after telling a female bartender 'nice to see you are in shorts' on a 42C day

A man has been banned from his local pub after telling a woman who worked there 'nice to see you in shorts'.

Leonard Lee, 72, made the comment when picking up a bottle of wine from a drive-through BWS attached the Royal Oak in north Adelaide last month.

The temperature was 42C and Mr Lee told the woman, whom he had spoken to before on friendly terms, 'nice to see you in shorts.'

'She went a bit huffy and said "well it's hot",' Mr Lee told The Advertiser. The former screenwriter claimed 'the comment didn't mean anything'.

But when he went back the next day an employee told him he made the woman feel uncomfortable and she had complained.

A few days later, Mr Lee returned and had a verbal confrontation with the woman which ended with her throwing his credit card back into his car, he said.

He said he was called in for a meeting with pub management and told he was banned for a month for 'offensive behaviour towards a staff member'.

'I was seriously flabbergasted.' Mr Lee said. 'I don't like sleazebags, I don't like drunks abusing staff and I do not indulge in conversations which objectify women - but the world has gone mad.'


Monday, March 11, 2019

Who are you calling senior? For older folks, some terms are fast becoming radioactive

Jill Tapper knew she’d made a mistake at the annual meeting of condo owners in Salisbury when she referred to their 55-plus complex as an “aging community.” She may as well have invoked rocking chairs and shuffleboard.

“Some of the other members were furious,” recalled Tapper, a longtime social worker. She quickly backed off and tried again. “Now I just call it the Windgate community.”

Tapper had stumbled onto the third rail of life-stage nomenclature. Words once commonly used to describe older folks and their lives — “elderly,” “geriatric,” “in their golden years” — are now scorned by some as patronizing. Even durable terms like “aging” and “seniors,” still in widespread use and part of the names of countless organizations, are fast becoming radioactive.

“Words like ‘elderly’ and ‘senior,’ with their negative associations, need to be put away,” said Mike Festa, director of AARP Massachusetts, who said many of the traditional labels connote physical or cognitive decline. “We’re avoiding those descriptions that convey the negative aspects of growing old.”

The backlash — which some liken to previous quarrels over what to call women, people of color, or sexual minorities — is gaining momentum and causing many in government, business, and academia to rethink their language choices. But efforts to redress perceived slights can create confusion even as they assuage the sensitivities of those miffed by past labels.

Nationally, the American Medical Association is modifying its stylebook to expunge offending words and phrases such as “aged,” “elders,” and “seniors.” It’s following the lead of the American Geriatrics Society and its scientific journals, which adopted the less objectionable “older adults.”


A popular Melbourne cafe has been forced to apologise after customers were left disgusted by a “vile” joke displayed outside the shop

A popular Melbourne cafe has drawn outrage from the community and been forced to apologise after it displayed a joke outside the shop making fun of disabled people.

Seddon Deadly Sins cafe is known for writing puns and jokes on a sign outside the store and uploading them to Facebook.

But a joke they posted yesterday didn’t go down very well, resulting in serious backlash and forcing the owner of the cafe to apologise.

“My girlfriend broke up with me, so I stole her wheelchair,” the sign read.

“Guess who came crawling back.”

A picture of the sign was uploaded to the cafe’s Facebook page with the hashtags “#hahaha”, “#seddendeadlyfunnies” and “#haveyoulaughedlately”.

People were quick to call out the cafe, with many saying they should be ashamed of themselves and slamming the joke as “vile” and “pathetic”.


Sunday, March 10, 2019

Facebook does something useful

By destroying herd immunity, anti-vaxxers kill babies.  That surely deserves some sanction.  There's a lot more than free speech involved

Facebook declares war on anti-vaxxers and vows to stop the spread of ‘misinformation’

Facebook has vowed to clamp down on anti-vaccination groups and reduce the audience available to pages that ‘spread misinformation’ on the subject. The social network said it will also reject any adverts it finds include false information on the topic and will not show or recommend any content from Facebook and Instagram it deems to be spreading misinformation.

It comes after criticism of the platform over the way its algorithm highlighted content that promotes anti-vaccination ideas. Last week the head of NHS England warned ‘vaccination deniers’ were gaining traction on social media as part of a ‘fake news’ movement.

In an official blog post, Facebook’s vice president of global policy management Monika Bickert said: ‘We are working to tackle vaccine misinformation on Facebook by reducing its distribution and providing people with authoritative information on the topic.

‘Leading global health organisations, such as the World Health Organisation and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have publicly identified verifiable vaccine hoaxes. If these vaccine hoaxes appear on Facebook, we will take action against them.’

The social network previously said it was looking into how it approached the issue in a way that enabled freedom of expression but also supported the safety of users.

Other platforms have also taken action on the subject – YouTube has removed adverts from anti-vaccination videos and Pinterest has taken action to block vaccination searches.


'Most uptight people in the world'


In Demmin, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, CDU party chief and likely future conservative candidate for the chancellery, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, defended her carnival joke that mocked the idea of gender-neutral bathrooms, saying she couldn't understand the reaction it got.

"If we're so uptight, as has been the case in the past few days, then a piece of tradition and culture in Germany will be ruined, and we shouldn't allow that," Kramp-Karrenbauer, known as AKK, said. "Right now it's as if we're the most uptight people in the world. This cannot go on."

Kramp-Karrenbauer had triggered outraged reactions as she attempted to poke fun at politically progressive Berlin in the Lake Constance town of Stockach in southern Germany last week. She said newly introduced toilets for intersex people were "for those men who don't know whether to pee standing up or sitting down".

The comment was greeted with jeers, fanfare and laughter, but fewer people were laughing when it was shared on the website and Twitter.


Friday, March 08, 2019

A controversial hat

My daughter in law is a great traveller and when she was last in NYC she bought me a hat.  Above is an image of it.  She even bought it from Trump Tower.  It is not actually a true Trump hat. A Trump hat says: "Make America great again".  The one above says something slightly different.  But very few people would notice the difference.

I wore it on my morning shopping trip a couple of days ago in suburban Brisbane.  Brisbane is a long way from the USA so I wondered if it would get a reaction.  Consistent with their aggressive nature, American Leftists do sometimes attack the wearers of such hats.  Would that hatred spread to Brisbane?

It did, sort of.  When I had finished my shopping around about 10am, I stopped off where I usually do for a morning cup of coffee.  The girl on the counter took my money for it but then went out the back.  She came back and told me they had run out of coffee! 

I didn't argue. In the best libertarian style, I just left for another place a few doors down that had plenty of coffee!  What do you think?  Do you think a coffee joint would really run out of coffee?

There's a famous Australian Country and Western song called "The pub with no beer".  So I did one better. I encountered a coffee joint with no coffee!  I am not going to name the shop concerned as the people there are usually pleasant and I like their coffee.  They served me as usual yesterday.  We conservastives are forgiving people.  We have a lot to forgive -- JR

Amazon Bans Tommy Robinson’s Completely Factual Book, ‘Mohammed’s Koran’


It’s the British government and the BBC, rather than CAIR, that are likely behind this, but Amazon has just dropped the book Mohammed’s Koran by the renowned British activist Tommy Robinson and Peter McLoughlin -- and apparently only because its censors dislike Robinson. In the last two weeks, Robinson spectacularly embarrassed the BBC by exposing the bias and dishonesty of its reporter John Sweeney. The retaliation has been swift and severe: Robinson has been banned from YouTube and Facebook, and now his book has been withdrawn from sale.

Coauthor Peter McLoughlin states:

"[T]his is the twenty-first century equivalent of the Nazis taking out the books from university libraries and burning them. Can you think of another scholarly book on Islam that has been banned by Amazon? Mein Kampf is for sale on Amazon. As are books like the terrorist manual called The Anarchist Cookbook.
McLoughlin is correct that Amazon’s behavior has been wildly inconsistent. He adds that Amazon officials are steadfastly mum on why the book was banned:

[They] refuse to reinstate the book and refuse to explain why it has been banned. So they have banned the No.1 best-selling exegesis of the Koran. I can’t get my head round it. Every few weeks for the past 18 months they had emailed me asking to put it into special sales programmes, as it was selling so well. For 18 months they sought to profit even more from the sales.
“As dark as my vision is,” McLoughlin concludes, “I thought we were 10 to 20 years away from dissenting books from being banned.”

Indeed. Those who object to my labeling Leftist totalitarians “fascists” should take careful note of this story. What group is most famous for burning books? That’s right. And what group is doing it now? Right again. I predicted this, but like Peter McLoughlin, I didn’t think it would come so soon.

This is an extremely ominous development. Amazon and Barnes and Noble -- which is also not carrying this book -- have a virtual monopoly on book sales. When these two giants refuse to carry a book, that book effectively does not exist. If they are now going to ban books that are critical of Islam and opposed to jihad terror and Sharia oppression of women, gays, and others, then an Islam-critical perspective will be almost impossible to find anywhere.

Whatever anyone thinks of Tommy Robinson or the Qur’an, this is a serious matter that anyone who cares about the freedom of speech should be extremely concerned about.

Anyone who has written a book that is critical of anything should read the writing on the wall and realize that once this censorship begins, it won’t end with Tommy Robinson or Qur’an-critical books. But they won’t. PEN, the international organization that is supposedly dedicated to defending the freedom of speech, is made up of hard-Leftists who won’t utter a whisper in defense of Tommy Robinson’s book, or a murmur of protest that it is not allowed to be sold.

They don’t realize that what is being done to him can be done to them. But it will be.