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7 April, 2015
Even a member of the Green/Left must not criticize Islamic practices
On March 9, the country's Social Democratic Foreign Minister, Margot Wallström, was to address the foreign ministers of the Arab League assembled in Cairo.
Wallström had been invited by Arab League Secretary General Nabil el-Araby as a guest of honor. According to Egyptian sources, it is believed that the unusual offer to listen to a European foreign minister was made in light of Sweden's recent decision to recognize Palestine.
Wallström never got a chance to speak. According to her own explanation, she was blocked from addressing the meeting after protests by Saudi Arabia. "They have reacted strongly to what we have said about democracy and human rights," she told Swedish public radio. Secretary General el-Araby refused to comment, and spokespersons for the Swedish and Saudi embassies in Cairo were unavailable for comment.
It is unknown if the text of Wallström's address was distributed to the Arab foreign ministers before the meeting. They cannot, however, have been unaware that she had previously spoken out against the flogging of the Saudi blogger, Raif Badawi, who was convicted of "insulting Islam," and that she had criticized the status of women's rights in the Gulf kingdom.
How many layers of bureaucracy does it take to write a joke these days?
The joyless Left is the enemy of humor, as well as much else
Comics at the BBC must go through a lengthy process to get some jokes on air because the Corporation is extra-wary about causing offence, an editor at the company has claimed.
Chris Sussman, executive editor for comedy, revealed particular jokes have to go through 'quite a lot of layers' to be approved.
Some jokes even have to be looked over by director general Lord Hall - alongside editorial policy advisers, the channel and legal advisers - before they are aired, he said.
6 April, 2015
Another noose! What fun! I wonder which Leftist will be found to have put it up this time?
The discovery of a noose at Duke University is only the latest in a string of racially charged incidents on campuses nationwide. Colleges might be serving as a crucible for America's seismic racial shifts.
Less than a week after the United States Department of Justice indicted a Georgia man for putting a noose around a civil rights statue at the University of Mississippi, students in Durham, N.C., early Wednesday discovered a noose hanging from a tree at Duke University.
The noose is the latest in a series of high-profile incidents at colleges in the United States, including revelations of racist fraternity chants at the University of Oklahoma and other schools, including Duke.
Hysterical "justice". Part of a witch-hunt on fraternities?
North Carolina State University disbanded a fraternity chapter Wednesday following the discovery of a notebook filled with sexist and racially offensive entries in a restaurant off campus.
University Chancellor Randy Woodson announced that the Tau Chapter of the Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity was disbanded, effective immediately. The fraternity was ordered to immediately vacate its on-campus house.
Woodson's announcement comes one week after the notebook containing sexist and racist remarks attributed to Pi Kappa Phi fraternity members was found at a restaurant near campus. The book and its contents were then featured by a local television station.
The notebook was not found at or near the fraternity house nor was it linked to any particular fraternity member. Some people obviously supect that it was written by a fratertnity member but where is the proof? Is there any evidence at all? It could be just another Leftist provocation.
5 April, 2015
Fat is unmentionable
The left’s assault on speech and common sense has taken on the cause of banning offensive emoticons.
Emoticons, just to be clear, are those cute little cartoonish characters that are used in emails and social media to add a touch of “feeling” when words won’t suffice.
According to offended hipsters at “Endangered Bodies” a group that challenges the “current toxic culture that promotes negative body image,” Facebook’s “feeling fat” emoticon has got to go – ASAP.
The group had launched a campaign to enlist people to sign their multinational petitions, demanding that the social media giant remove their “body shaming” emoticons before any more feelings are hurt.
The U.S. version of the petition already has over 16,000 supporters and growing…
Must not suggest that white women are more attractive than black ones
Cosmopolitan magazine's website is facing heavy criticism over a beauty-focused trends feature which compared old, 'dead' looks with fresh and 'gorgeous' new ones - and used only white models to showcase the on-trend fashions, while the only women of color featured were all said to be off-trend.
The article, which is entitled '21 Beauty Trends That Need to Die in 2015' has sparked outrage among readers, many of whom have taken to social media to call for a boycott of the publication, which used only five black models in the feature, labeling their 'outdated' looks with 'RIP'.
'This is blatant racism. Stop letting random white women submit articles and get a real staff @Cosmopolitan (sic),' one person wrote on Twitter.
The article features a number of famous faces, from Kendall Jenner, who is applauded for her 'berry-colored lip color' while black model Joan Smalls is criticized for her 'black lipstick', to former Glee star Naya Rivera, who 'noticeable contouring' was given the magazine's 'RIP' stamp of disapproval, while a Calvin Klein catwalk model's more subtle attempt was given the thumbs up.
Despite being published back in January of this year, the article's potentially discriminatory angle has only just been brought to light, after someone posted their views on the piece on Twitter.
Since then it has been shared thousands of times across several social media platforms, with many people demanding that the article be removed altogether - while others insist that Cosmopolitan issues a full apology for its actions.
Despite its apology however, it appears the magazine has made no effort to remove the offending article from its website - a fact which many of its critics have found incredibly insensitive.
Since a majority of Americans are white, it's a fair guess that they find whites more attractive. The magazine was just serving its audience
3 April, 2015
Why Offensive Speech Is Valuable
Offensive speech contributes to the marketplace of ideas by expanding its borders. If the marketplace of ideas is the area where “acceptable” ideas are freely exchanged, then outside is the “black” marketplace of ideas. There, people talk about things that are not allowed in the “official” marketplace. That sometimes includes conspiracy theories, racial hatemongering, and other pure lunacy, but it also includes things desperately needing a public airing.
For years, if not centuries, the field of sex research was hindered by taboo and puritanical censorship. Bigotry and prejudice towards homosexuality, divergent sexual desires of any sort, women’s sexual health, and sexual dysfunction caused researchers to be relegated to the black marketplace of ideas. In order to get out of the black market, they needed to offend.
By being offensive, comedians, authors, and artists helped bring sex research out of the darkness. By saying forbidden words in jokes and skits, by looking censors in the eyes and saying “cocksucker”—one of the words that famed comic Lenny Bruce was arrested for in 1961 in a San Francisco nightclub—the crass and the boorish opened up avenues of thought and discussion that were previously forbidden. Bruce said, “you break it down by talking about it.” Slowly, conversations about sex were freed from puritanical oversight, sex researchers illuminated a crucial part of human existence, and couples had more fun.
Those comics from the 60s who were “edgy” now seem quaint to our modern sensibilities. But there are always new innovators in the world of offensive speech, and no amount of government regulation will stop that.
People define themselves by being offensive. They express themselves through their willingness to stomp on prevailing sensitivities and, yes, even other’s feelings. Fostering self-expression and self-development is another important reason we have a strong and uncompromising First Amendment. As homosexuals who have “come out” know all too well, expressing something publicly is crucial to defining oneself.
Does this apply to those who hate other races, religions, and ethnicities? Yes. They have as much right to define themselves through speech as anyone. And those who abhor the hateful have a right to shun them, expose them, and call them out. Government prohibitions on hate speech drive the hateful underground, where they can proliferate freely and without pushback from those who dare not enter. Sunlight, not government, is the best disinfectant. I, for one, would like racists and bigots to speak freely. I want to know who not to invite to my parties.
Government is not as effective as civil society in properly squelching and shaming hateful speech. If the government defines the parameters of acceptable speech, then many people will break those boundaries just because the government told them not to do it. They will explore the hidden, underground world of hate speech just because it is a forbidden fruit. There they will find whole new ways to offend people because offensive people, like water, will always find a way.
In fact, there is no correlation between the strength of a country’s hate speech laws and the eradication of hateful views. Greece, for example, has passed laws that try to combat “certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law.” Yet according to the Anti-Defamation League, 69 percent of Greeks hold anti-semitic views, compared to just 9 percent of Americans. Just like drug laws, driving hate speech underground will do little to eliminate the habit, and could make the situation worse.
So go forth and offend and be offended. Do it for Lenny Bruce.
Confederate display okayed in Florida
A Confederate-themed Civil War display that includes a controversial battle flag will go up as scheduled Thursday at Brevard County's main library in Cocoa — just as it has for the past decade.
After hearing speakers on both sides of the issue, the Brevard County Commission voted Tuesday against changing its policy on displays by the public at its libraries.
Commissioner voted 4-1 not to change county policy, fearing a change could be interpreted as censorship. "I do not want to start censoring," Commissioner Trudie Infantini said.
Tuesday's County Commission discussion followed a citizens' request filed by the Central Brevard County branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The NAACP said it opposes the annual display by the Brevard County-based Confederate Sons Association of Florida Indian River Camp 47.
2 April, 2015
Supreme Court Refuses to Hear First Amendment Case Challenging School Ban on American Flag Shirts
In an order issued today without comment or explanation, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a high-profile First Amendment case challenging a California school district which banned several students from wearing shirts bearing the image of the American flag.
The case originated in 2010 when the Morgan Hill Unified School District forbid several students from wearing American flag-themed shirts on Cinco de Mayo over fears that their attire would spark racial violence between white and Hispanic students. School officials told the offending students to either turn their shirts inside out or go home. The students went home and subsequently filed a legal challenge alleging that the First Amendment had been violated because the school allowed a "heckler's veto" to trump their rights to peaceful free expression.
In February 2014, those students lost at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. "School officials anticipated violence or substantial disruption of or material interference with school activities, and their response was tailored to the circumstances," the 9th Circuit declared in Dariano v. Morgan Hill Unified School District. "As a consequence, we conclude that school officials did not violate the students' rights to freedom of expression."
Notably, the 9th Circuit claimed that its ruling should be distinguished from the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark 1976 precedent in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, in which the Court invalidated the suspension of three public school students for wearing black armbands in silent protest of the Vietnam War. According to the Supreme Court in Tinker, while school officials may have based their actions "upon their fear of a disturbance from the wearing of the armband... in our system, undifferentiated fears or apprehension of disturbance is not enough to overcome the right to freedom of expression."
To say the least, the 9th Circuit's judgement in Dariano would appear to be in conflict with the central free speech holding of Tinker. In fact, none other than Mary Beth Tinker and John Tinker, two of the original plaintiffs from that 1976 case, filed a friend of the court brief supporting the students against the Morgan Hill Unified School District in their appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
"If students learn that threatening speakers is an effective way to suppress speech," the Tinkers told SCOTUS, "this will produce more threats, and more suppression of a wide range of other speech. And beyond this, even peaceful students will learn that free speech must yield whenever its opponents are willing to threaten violence—a message antithetical to all things this Court has tried to convey about the First Amendment."
Yet despite these strong free speech arguments, and despite the 9th Circuit's questionable adherence to First Amendment precedent, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case. Today's order leaves the 9th Circuit's decision in place.
The ACLU’s Hypocritical Defense of Laws That Violate Religious Liberty
One of the great ironies of our politics is that the American Civil Liberties Union is now actually hostile to traditional American civil liberties.
This is the conclusion one must draw from a letter the organization has sent to the House of Representatives, seeking to defend two District of Columbia laws that, under the guise of enforcing non-discrimination, undermine the First Amendment rights of private organizations.
Essentially, the ACLU seeks to defend regulations that require religious universities to provide their facilities for the use of student LGBT advocacy groups and that forbid religious organizations from firing employees whose personal conduct violates the morality to which the organizations are dedicated.
As I explain at greater length at Public Discourse, the ACLU’s zeal for “non-discrimination” here directly infringes on not just one but two fundamental constitutional freedoms—freedoms that the ACLU was originally founded to protect.
Under the First Amendment, Americans enjoy the freedom of speech. The Supreme Court has long held that this freedom includes as well a freedom of association. Since individuals have a right to free speech, they also have a right to band together and form organizations that exist to promote their views. This is precisely the constitutional freedom that is being exercised by organizations that are constituted to promote a particular moral and religious worldview, and that in pursuit of that aim must choose to employ and support only those who will assist them in this undertaking.
This principle should be precious to any freedom-loving American, regardless of partisanship or ideology. Without it, no Americans of any point of view could reliably cooperate in order to promote their shared ideas. Discarding this principle would permit the government to frustrate their efforts by making them employ or otherwise cooperate with people bent on undermining rather than advancing the organization’s cause. Since individuals usually are not powerful enough to make themselves heard without joining in associations with others, freedom of association is necessary to any effective form of freedom of speech.
There is, however, an additional problem. The organizations whose liberties the ACLU seeks to curtail are religious organizations, which means that their freedom to operate is protected not only by the First Amendment’s protection for freedom of speech and freedom of association, but also by its explicit protection for the “free exercise” of “religion.”
It is impossible for individuals to freely exercise their religion without permitting them to join into associations for that purpose. And such associations are rendered effectively useless if they must employ and otherwise work with people hostile to their purposes.
Again, these freedoms should be defended by all Americans. The ACLU is organized with a view to the defense of certain principles. In its mission it has often been aided by liberal religious organizations.
Neither the ACLU nor its allies could carry on their political and legal activism if the law could require them to employ people opposed to their purposes. To the extent that the ACLU wants this freedom for itself, it should respect it in others as well. This is the American way.
1 April, 2015
Germanwings: can we no longer call mad people mad?
Apparently it is now forbidden to refer to someone who killed 149 people in a pointless act of mountainside barbarism as a ‘madman’. Seriously. The Sun found this out today after it dared to run with the headline ‘Madman in cockpit’ in relation to the Germanwings air disaster, which is now thought to have been a conscious and suicidal act of mass murder on the part of the co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz.
Academics, tweeters and tabloid-loathers have, well, gone mad over the Sun’s headline, ironically frothing like loonies over the Sun’s use of loony-like language. I’m sorry, but if you can’t call someone who is suspected of killing 149 innocent souls in the most horrible and calculated fashion a ‘madman’, then who can be branded with the m-word? Anyone? No one?
It has been discovered that Lubitz was suffering from a mental illness, and officials now believe that this could have been a factor in his seeming decision to coolly crash his airplane into the side of the Alps. But according to the Guardian we must be super-careful in how we talk about Lubitz. It accuses the Sun of ‘stigmatising depression’ by referring to Lubitz as a ‘madman’.
This is bonkers (I have lots more of these madness-related adjectives): the Sun was describing Lubitz as a madman because he killed himself and 149 people in a bizarre way (allegedly), not because he was depressed. He behaved madly, hence the madman tag. What’s the problem?
British TV personality reported to police for 'inciting racial hatred' over tweets linking Pakistani men to Rochdale child sex abuse
The fact that courts and official enquiries have also linked Pakistani men to Rochdale child sex abuse doesn't matter, of course
Hopkins sent the tweets after Mr Danczuk attended the raising of a Pakistani flag over the town hall for half an hour on March 23 to mark Pakistan's National Day.
She wrote: 'Raising a Pakistani flag in Rochdale is not helping community cohesion. it is inflammatory. @SimonDanczuk you & your party disgust me.'
Outspoken Hopkins posted a series of messages to her account after the MP tweeted a picture of himself at the event.
In response the controversial columnist sent a picture of eight men convicted of child exploitation offences, asking Mr Danczuk if they were his friends too.
She wrote: 'Are these your friends too ?@SimonDanczuk? Is this why you are raising the Pakistani flag in Rochdale? 77 years inside.'
'Your Pakistani friends saw young white girls as fair game when they abused them,' she wrote in a separate post. 'Do NOT lecture me on community cohesion fool.'
Explaining his decision to make the complaint, the MP said it was about the businesswoman 'inciting racial hatred'.
He said: 'The letter is me asking the Police Commissioner to investigate whether a crime has been committed in relation to Katie Hopkins.'
He continued: 'It is not right that somebody who has little to do with Rochdale incited hatred of this kind.
This is Tongue-Tied 2
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Is the American national anthem politically incorrect? From the 4th verse:
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
"HATE SPEECH" is free speech: The U.S. Supreme Court stated the general rule regarding protected speech in Texas v. Johnson (109 S.Ct. at 2544), when it held: "The government may not prohibit the verbal or nonverbal expression of an idea merely because society finds the idea offensive or disagreeable." Federal courts have consistently followed this. Said Virginia federal district judge Claude Hilton: "The First Amendment does not recognize exceptions for bigotry, racism, and religious intolerance or ideas or matters some may deem trivial, vulgar or profane."
Even some advocacy of violence is protected by the 1st Amendment. In Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969), the U.S. Supreme Court held unanimously that speech advocating violent illegal actions to bring about social change is protected by the First Amendment "except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action."
The double standard: Atheists can put up signs and billboards saying that Christianity is wrong and that is hunky dory. But if a Christian says that homosexuality is wrong, that is attacked as "hate speech"
One for the militant atheists to consider: "...it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg" -- Thomas Jefferson
"I think no subject should be off-limits, and I regard the laws in many Continental countries criminalizing Holocaust denial as philosophically repugnant and practically useless – in that they confirm to Jew-haters that the Jews control everything (otherwise why aren’t we allowed to talk about it?)" -- Mark Steyn
A prophetic comment on Norwegian hate speech laws: As Justice Brandeis once noted, repressive censorship “breeds hate” and “that hate menaces stable government,” rather than promoting safety; “the path of safety lies in the opportunity to discuss freely supposed grievances and proposed remedies.”
Voltaire's most famous saying was actually a summary of Voltaire's thinking by one of his biographers rather than something Voltaire said himself. Nonetheless it is a wholly admirable sentiment: "I disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it". I am of a similar mind.
The traditional advice about derogatory speech: "Sticks and stones will break your bones but names will never hurt you". Apparently people today are not as emotionally robust as their ancestors were.
The KKK were members of the DEMOCRATIC party. Google "Klanbake" if you doubt it
A phobia is an irrational fear, so the terms "Islamophobic" and "homophobic" embody a claim that the people so described are mentally ill. There is no evidence for either claim. Both terms are simply abuse masquerading as diagnoses and suggest that the person using them is engaged in propaganda rather than in any form of rational or objective discourse.
Leftists often pretend that any mention of race is "racist" -- unless they mention it, of course. But leaving such irrational propaganda aside, which statements really are racist? Can statements of fact about race be "racist"? Such statements are simply either true or false. The most sweeping possible definition of racism is that a racist statement is a statement that includes a negative value judgment of some race. Absent that, a statement is not racist, for all that Leftists might howl that it is. Facts cannot be racist so nor is the simple statement of them racist. Here is a statement that cannot therefore be racist by itself, though it could be false: "Blacks are on average much less intelligent than whites". If it is false and someone utters it, he could simply be mistaken or misinformed.
Categorization is a basic human survival skill so racism as the Left define it (i.e. any awareness of race) is in fact neither right nor wrong. It is simply human
Whatever your definition of racism, however, a statement that simply mentions race is not thereby racist -- though one would think otherwise from American Presidential election campaigns. Is a statement that mentions dogs, "doggist" or a statement that mentions cats, "cattist"?
If any mention of racial differences is racist then all Leftists are racist too -- as "affirmative action" is an explicit reference to racial differences
Was Abraham Lincoln a racist? "You and we are different races. We have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other two races. Whether it is right or wrong I need not discuss, but this physical difference is a great disadvantage to us both, as I think your race suffer very greatly, many of them by living among us, while ours suffer from your presence. In a word, we suffer on each side. If this be admitted, it affords a reason at least why we should be separated. It is better for both, therefore, to be separated." -- Spoken at the White House to a group of black community leaders, August 14th, 1862
Gimlet-eyed Leftist haters sometimes pounce on the word "white" as racist. Will the time come when we have to refer to the White House as the "Full spectrum of light" House?
The spirit of liberty is "the spirit which is not too sure that it is right." and "Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it. While it lies there it needs no constitution, no law, no court to save it." -- Judge Learned Hand
Mostly, a gaffe is just truth slipping out
Two lines below of a famous hymn that would be incomprehensible to Leftists today ("honor"? "right"? "freedom?" Freedom to agree with them is the only freedom they believe in)
First to fight for right and freedom,
And to keep our honor clean
It is of course the hymn of the USMC -- still today the relentless warriors that they always were.
It seems a pity that the wisdom of the ancient Greek philosopher Epictetus is now little known. Remember, wrote the Stoic thinker, "that foul words or blows in themselves are no outrage, but your judgment that they are so. So when any one makes you angry, know that it is your own thought that has angered you. Wherefore make it your endeavour not to let your impressions carry you away."
"Since therefore the knowledge and survey of vice is in this world so necessary to the constituting of human virtue, and the scanning of error to the confirmation of truth, how can we more safely, and with less danger, scout into the regions of sin and falsity than by reading all manner of tractates, and hearing all manner of reason?" -- English poet John Milton (1608-1674) in Areopagitica
Hate speech is verbal communication that induces anger due to the listener's inability to offer an intelligent response
Leftists can try to get you fired from your job over something that you said and that's not an attack on free speech. But if you just criticize something that they say, then that IS an attack on free speech
"Negro" is a forbidden word -- unless a Democrat uses it
"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper
Why are Leftists always talking about hate? Because it fills their own hearts
Leftists don't have principles. How can they when "there is no such thing as right and wrong"? All they have is postures, pretend-principles that can be changed as easily as one changes one's shirt
When you have an argument with a Leftist, you are not really discussing the facts. You are threatening his self esteem. Which is why the normal Leftist response to challenge is mere abuse.
The naive scholar who searches for a consistent Leftist program will not find it. What there is consists only in the negation of the present.
The intellectual Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180) could have been speaking of much that goes on today when he said: "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane."
I despair of the ADL. Jews have enough problems already and yet in the ADL one has a prominent Jewish organization that does its best to make itself offensive to Christians. Their Leftism is more important to them than the welfare of Jewry -- which is the exact opposite of what they ostensibly stand for! Jewish cleverness seems to vanish when politics are involved. Fortunately, Christians are true to their saviour and have loving hearts. Jewish dissatisfaction with the myopia of the ADL is outlined here. Note that Foxy was too grand to reply to it.
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