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31 December, 2014
"Straight" is an offensive word?
Jeremy Clarkson has once again become embroiled in controversy after appearing to poke fun at the 'slope' racism row on the Top Gear Christmas special.
The 54-year-old appeared to mock the decision by Ofcom earlier this year which ruled he had been 'deliberately offensive' after using the word 'slope' on an episode of the BBC show.
In Saturday's Christmas special, Clarkson told co-presenter Richard Hammond: 'That is a proud moment, Hammond, but... is it straight?' as they admired their makeshift bridge in Argentina.
Many took it to as a reference to his comments in a March episode of the show in which he said: 'That is a proud moment, but there's a slope on it', as a man walked towards them on their makeshift bridge over the River Kwai in Thailand.
At the time, viewers complained about the use of the word 'slope', which is considered a derogatory term for people of Asian descent.
Ofcom launched an investigation into the Burma TV special and ruled in July that the presenter had 'deliberately employed the offensive word to refer to the Asian person'.
Clarkson was of course cautiously mocking the pomposity of "slope" being declared a racial slur. Australia has a large East Asian minority so I have certainly heard it at times but all the reports about Clarkson's use of the term had to explain that it was derogatory. Clearly very few Brits had heard the term. It was not therefore derogatory in Britain. I believe the term originated among the troops in Vietnam. Britain did not take part in the Vietnam war.
English people must not refer to Scots as trash
Scots call the English worse than that
A teenager has been arrested after allegedly posting an offensive message on Twitter regarding the fatal bin lorry crash in Glasgow.
The 19-year-old, believed to be Ross Loraine, from Sunderland, handed himself in to police yesterday evening after a number of complaints were made about the tweet.
He is alleged to have written: So a bin lorry has crashed into 100 people in Glasgow eh, probably the most trash its ever picked up in one day that.
Northumbria Police said he was arrested on suspicion of making a malicious communication and had been bailed while they made further inquiries into the incident.
Six people were killed when the lorry careered out of control in Glasgow city centre yesterday afternoon, with three of them being from the same family.
30 December, 2014
Must not disrespect the metric system
A Fox News host has drawn the ire of the internet after speculating on air what could have caused the disappearance of AsiaAir Flight QZ8501.
Fox News co-host Anna Kooiman interviewed former FAA spokesperson Scott Brenner about the search for the missing flight Sunday morning, asking the airline industry insider whether foreign pilots were at a disadvantage since they were trained using the metric system.
'Even when we think about temperature, it's Fahrenheit or Celsius,' Kooiman said. 'It's kilometers or miles. You know, everything about their training could be similar, but different.'
While the Imperial System may provide a conversion challenge for metric users, it likely was not a problem since the vast majority of the world excluding the U.S. uses the metric system.
Brenner pointed out that the bigger difference was foreign pilots' reliance on auto-pilot, which he says they are often required to switch over to after take-off. This requirement is due to the fact that most crashes are due to pilot error.
This line of questioning earned Kooiman some flack on Twitter, where users critiqued her questioning the metric system's relevance in the disappearance.
'Most all media speculation right after an air crash is ludicrous but Anna Kooiman takes the cake,' one user wrote.
Australia: Chilli sauce label criticized for calling Prime Minister 'an idiot'
A chilli sauce company has been under attack on social media after labelling prime minister Tony Abbott an 'idiot' on their product.
Darwin Chilli Co has triggered an online storm after a photograph of a 'Darwin Hot Sauce' bottle label was shared across Twitter and Facebook, which also drove the company's Facebook page to 72,000 percent in traffic.
The label reads: 'Darwin hot sauce (sriracha style) is what it is. We are sorry that our Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, is an idiot. Heat level: Cat3.'
The company owner, who wished to not be named, told Daily Mail Australia the idea came to light from an 'old school labelling joke that started in France from the 1980s'. 'A french clothing company wrote under their washing instructions that they were sorry that their president was an idiot. It's funny and I've always remembered that.
He said the label is 'just a bit of a joke' and 'nearly everyone gets it' but it has offended a few over social media and has attracted a significant amount of 'internet trolls'. 'The negative comments don't bother us - it's just a sense of humour and we think it's hilarious.
Despite the negative backlash on social media, the owner said the company will continue to run their 'Tony Abbott' labels. 'By popular demand, our Tony Abbott labelled sauce will be available for backorder,' he said.
29 December, 2014
A town's attempt to restrict church advertising goes to SCOTUS
A small church relies on temporary signs to invite and direct worshipers to its services. However practical, the pastors goal ran up against a towns strict limitations on the size of signs, the number that can be posted and for how long.
The town officials of Gilbert, Ariz., however, dont impose those same restrictions on political and ideological messages or on signs put up by homeowner associations.
Good News Presbyterian Church rents space in various places for weekly services in Gilbert. Because the church changes locations regularly, Pastor Clyde Reed promotes his services with cardboard signs posted on the lawn of the latest site.
Reed must adhere to Gilberts sign regulations, which the town says were designed to promote optimum conditions for serving sign owners needs and respecting their rights to identification while balancing the aesthetic interests of the community.
The churchs signs, along with signs for other non-profit, event-related activities can be only six square feet in size, displayed for no more than 14 hours and are limited to four per property.
Reeds lawyer, David Cortman, is affiliated with Alliance Defending Freedom, an organization that seeks to protect the religious rights of individuals. Cortman says the towns sign code is a form of discrimination that allows the government to decide what speech is more valuable and thus granted greater protection under the First Amendment.
Speech discrimination is speech discrimination, Cortman says in a press release on the case.
In a phone interview with The Daily Signal, Michael Hamblin, a lawyer for the town of Gilbert, dismisses the accusation. Hamblin says the towns restrictions dont violate the First Amendment.
Hamblin says he is confident the Supreme Court will rule in favor of the town, as did the District Court of Arizona and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. But, he adds, even if it doesnt, the town will be happy to receive any guidance that the Supreme Court has.
Cortman will make oral arguments for Reed and his church before the Supreme Court, Jan. 12, in Washington, D.C.
Haven for Islamic terrorists is angry that they are described as a haven for Islamic terrorists
The Pakistani government has hit out at U.S. television series Homeland over its portrayal of the country as a safe haven for Islamic terrorists.
Diplomats condemned producers for depicting Islamabad, the setting of the show's fourth series, as a 'hellhole' refuge for the Taliban.
Complaining to Showtime which airs the Emmy-winning show, one official described it as a 'disservice to the people of the US'.
The fourth series of the popular show sees star Claire Danes acting as a member of the Central Intelligence Agency in Islamabad.
'Maligning a country that has been a close partner and ally of the US... is a disservice not only to the security interests of the US but also to the people of the US,' Pakistan Embassy spokesman Nadeem Hotiana told the New York Post.
The Pakistani directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence has been widely accused of hosting and assisting terrorist activity in the past.
Based in Islamabad, doubt was cast over the ISI in 2011 upon the news of Osama Bin Laden's execution by U.S. forces. How, it was asked, could the government not have known the world's most wanted terrorist was taking refuge in a rural compound some 30 miles from its headquarters?
Following his assassination, Adm Mike Mullen, then the most senior U.S. military officer, said Pakistan had a 'long-standing relationship' with Afghan insurgents.
28 December, 2014
Canada: It's 'Merry Christmas' again: Religious leaders, retail gurus say expression is making a comeback
Retailers large and small that had tossed Christmas and embraced the generic exhortation Happy Holidays in advertising and in-store promotion are becoming Christmas-friendly again.
The ability to tap into the massive increase in consumer spending during the pre-Christmas period can mean the difference between survival and bankruptcy for many retailers, so connecting with the Christmas gift-givers or at least not alienating them appears to have produced a shift in strategy.
Marketing specialist Robin Ritchie, an assistant professor at Carleton Universitys Sprott School of Business, says there is a renewed sense that its acceptable again to use Christmas.
Like a lot of these things, pendulums swing and then they swing back, he said. To some extent, this is a correction for a well-intentioned effort to try and be accommodating and respectful of other faiths and cultures. Canada has long prided itself on that.
Does "Merry Christmas" offend Jews?
The Jewish guy below doesn't seem to be offended by it
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Christmas Greeting - 2014
For people with a strong Bible background, getting a Christmas greeting from Zion (Jerusalem) is emotionally powerful.
26 December, 2014
One in three Brits say Farage is RIGHT to claim using 'Chinky' and 'Poofter' is normal language for working class
'Poofter' is Australian/British slang for a male homosexual. I often used the word myself in less censorious times now well into the past. It was normal pretty well everywhere then and remains normal in some circles now
One in three people agree with Nigel Farage that using the words chinky and poofter is normal, a new polls has revealed.
But the Ukip leader is still in a minority with just under half of voters insisting the terms are racist and homophobic.
It comes after Mr Farage last week defended former Ukip candidate Kerry Smith as a council house boy who talks in a way a lot of people from that background do after he was caught on tape making a series of derogatory remarks.
But a YouGov poll for the Sun showed 49 per cent found chinky offensive while 36 per cent did not. Six out of 10 found poofter offensive compared to just over a quarter who did not.
The councillor made a string of comments, including a reference to a chinky bird, mocking poofters and making jokes about shooting peasants.
Mr Smith, a Ukip councillor on both Essex County Council and Basildon District Council, received a storm of criticism claiming he was racist and homophobic over the comments in a leaked phone call.
But Mr Farage insisted he had endured a tough time. I think we are very snobbish in London about condemning people, perhaps for the colloquial language they use, particularly if its not meant with really unpleasant intent, he told LBC Radio.
One Frenchman gets it
France is engulfed in a free speech row after a TV commentator was sacked for appearing to suggest all 5million of the country's Muslims should be deported to prevent civil war.
There's a low-level war being waged by Muslims there already -- JR
The comments by Éric Zemmour, who has previously been convicted of inciting racial hatred, prompted outrage and led to him being dropped from an 11-year stint on a chat show.
But many sprang to the best-selling author's defence including the far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen, who declared the move 'loathsome censorship'.
Mr Zemmour's interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera went largely unnoticed on the other side of the Alps for more than a month after it appeared in October.
It sparked a public debate, however, after the comments were picked up by former French education minister Jean-Luc Mélenchon.
Although the original interview has been deleted from Corriere della Sera's website, it was copied and translated several times by people on both sides of France's political divide.
In the interview Mr Zemmour said Muslims 'live among themselves' in suburbs which French people have been forced to leave, according to one of his supporters.
The interviewer then asked: 'Then what are you suggesting? To deport 5million French Muslims?'
Mr Zemmour is said to have replied: 'I know it's unrealistic, but history is often surprising. Who would have thought in 1940 that a million pieds-noirs [Europeans living in North Africa], twenty years later, would have left Algeria to return to France? 'Or that after the war five or six million Germans would leave Central-Eastern Europe where they had lived for centuries?'
The interviewer protested that Mr Zemmour was 'speaking of exoduses triggered by immense tragedies', to which he replied: 'I think we are heading for chaos.
'This situation of a people inside a people, of Muslims inside French people, will lead us to civil war. 'Millions of people live here in France and refuse to live in the French manner.'
The controversy sparked a Twitter campaign with the hashtag #ZemmourDeporteMoi - Zemmour would deport me - and outrage among leading French politicians.
France's population of 5million Muslims is the largest of any country in Europe, and France also has the largest Jewish diaspora on the continent.
Mr Zemmour's parents were Jewish Berbers who emigrated from Algeria in the 1950s.
25 December, 2014
Gun range sparks outrage over billboard of Santa with an assault rifle
A grim gun-toting Santa has been spotted advertising assault rifles on a billboard in California. Steve Dyke, the co-owner of Down Range Indoor Training Center in the city of Chico, commissioned the billboard to catch the attention of drivers travelling along Highway 99 - but some people are not happy about it.
The tooled-up Father Christmas has no jolly smile, is wearing sunglasses, and wields the AR-15 firearm next to the slogan: 'We build AR's for Santa.'
'You know, 'tis the season, so we thought it would be a good idea,' Mr Dyke told CBS. 'We actually got a kick out of it - thought it would be good and other people would think it was funny.'
However, teacher Sara Welday told the TV station she thinks the ad is 'kinda scary'. She said: 'As a teacher, I would not want my students to see that. I don't think you need to put out that as Santa has a gun.'
But Mr Dyke has no plans to take the ad down and says he has received support from customers.
Australian rural restaurant in trouble for anti-Islamic sign
A Longreach restaurant that placed a sign reading "Sorry No Muslims" outside its front doors has caused consternation on social media.
Local Helen Day posted pictures of the chalkboard outside the Eagle's Nest Bar and Grill on its Facebook review page last Friday.
"Just a bit surprised to see the sign up [reading] 'Sorry No Muslims' ... what's that about?" Ms Day wrote. "I certainly won't be going into a place where my Muslim friends are not welcome!"
The full handwritten message on the sign read "2000 years ago Jesus Christ made headlines turning water into wine...the tradition continues...We turn money into beer [Sorry No Muslims]."
Ms Day's pictures were reposted by Facebook group Boycott Halal in Australia? No Way, and a moderator for that group told Brisbane Times the image had since been shared widely. "Our page has only been going three weeks and we had a 'Total Reach' of up to 7,000 people," the moderator said. "We put the story up a day and a half ago and are now reaching almost 80,000 people and rising, because of that one post."
Anti-Islamic sentiment has risen in Australia since last week's Sydney cafe siege, with movements like #illridewithyou acting as a counter argument.
Comments on the Eagle's Nest Bar and Grill's Facebook page have ranged from outraged to unapologetic.
A Longreach Regional Council spokesman confirmed a verbal complaint had been received. He said they were seeking more information about the sign and would consider an investigation, or referring the matter to the appropriate body.
The spokesman said the operator of the Eagle's Nest had a history of writing quirky, tongue-in-cheek slogans on his chalkboard that changed daily.
24 December, 2014
Australia: Must not mention that women still do most of the household budgeting
Senior Liberals were privately aghast when the Prime Minister nominated repealing the carbon tax as his "biggest achievement" for women because they are "particularly focused on the household budget".
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop was forced to defend Tony Abbott's latest gender-related gaffe as Labor lashed the Prime Minister as "stuck in the past".
Mr Abbott was asked to name his biggest achievement as the Minister for Women during an appearance on the Nine Network's Today program. "Well, you know, it is very important to do the right thing by families and households. As many of us know, women are particularly focused on the household budget and the repeal of the carbon tax means a $550-a-year benefit for the average family," he said.
Don't say Merry Christmas! British civil servants urged to put Season's Greetings in emails and not use pictures of SKIN
Government staff sending festive emails have been urged to not to say Merry Christmas.
The extraordinary advice was sent this week to avoid offending people of other faiths and agnostics.
The email was sent to staff this week who wanted advice on what to send in festive e-cards
The ministry, led by Lib Dem Ed Davey, sends e-cards instead of traditional paper greetings to save money and paper.
An email sent to some officials this week gave advice on what the messages should and should not say, to avoid offending people who do not celebrate Christmas.
The message was sent on Monday to staff who wanted to know how to style festive greetings sent from the department, The Sun reported. It stated: When picking, think Seasons Greetings rather than Merry Christmas.
The email added: As an organisation of multiple faiths and agnostics serving a community of the same and in the interest of inclusion, Id avoid images with skin.
Tory MP Ian Liddell-Grainger said the advice was just pathetic.
They should grow up and get a grip. We live in 21st century Britain and we should be able to get on and celebrate Christmas and recognise people have different faiths without offending anyone.
23 December, 2014
British footballer sparks fury after 'blacking up'
An international rugby player is at the centre of a race storm after blacking up as an African football star for a photograph.
Wales full-back Liam Williams dressed as Premier League striker Wilfried Bony for the picture, which he then posted on Twitter. Williams, 23, wore the white strip of Bonys club, Swansea City, donned a black wig and painted his face black to impersonate the Ivory Coast footballer.
Yesterday he was accused of racism over the image, which was retweeted 160 times and favourited 345 times after he shared it with his 31,000 Twitter followers.
Williams, who plays for the Llanelli-based Scarlets rugby union team, insisted Bony had given him permission, through a friend, to wear the costume.
But Show Racism The Red Card criticised the player who featured in one of its campaigns last season saying his behaviour was unacceptable.
Campaign manager Sunil Patel said: I cant comment on whether Wilfried is fine with it, but I am sure many black people would not be fine with it. Its something we might have seen 30 or 40 years ago but it is not something we expect to see in a multicultural society.
And Weyman Bennett, secretary of Unite Against Fascism, added: This picture is absolutely not appropriate. It is racist to black up.
But yesterday he tweeted: I am very sorry for any offence caused by my actions. Im not a racist and there was no malice behind it.
Innocent fun under attack
North Korea and the Speech Police
A good essay by Ross Douthat -- token conservative at the NYT
OF course it had to escalate this way. We live in a time of consistent gutlessness on the part of institutions notionally committed to free speech and intellectual diversity, a time of canceled commencement invitations and C.E.O.s defenestrated for their political donations, a time of Twitter mobs, trigger warnings and cringing public apologies. A time when journalists and publishers tiptoe around Islamic fundamentalism, when free speech is under increasing pressure on both sides of the Atlantic, when a hypersensitive political correctness has the whip hand on many college campuses.
So why should anyone be remotely surprised that Kim Jong-un decided to get in on the dont offend me act?
Lets get some qualifiers out of the way. The North Korean regime is arguably more evil than any other present-day dictatorship, its apparent hack of Sony Pictures is a deadly serious act of cyberterrorism, and the response by Sony the outright withdrawal, after theater chains balked at showing it, of the offending comedy, The Interview, in which the North Korean dictator is blown to smithereens sets a uniquely terrible precedent.
Its terrible for cinema, since the film industry, already wary of any controversy that might make its blockbusters hard to sell in Asia, will no doubt retreat even further into the safety of superhero franchises. More important, its terrible for any future institution or individual hacked or blackmailed by groups seeking similar concessions.
So the Sony affair is more serious than many other debates about speech and power in the West right now. But the difference is still one of magnitude, not kind.
After all, the basic strategy employed by the apparently North Korean-backed hackers is the same one employed for years by Islamic extremists against novelists and newspapers and TV shows that dare to portray the Prophet Muhammad in a negative light (or in any light at all). And the weak response from Hollywood, where the towns movers and shakers proved unwilling to even sign a George Clooney-organized public petition pledging solidarity against the hackers, isnt so very different from the self-censorship by networks and publishers and even opera houses that have fallen afoul of Islamist sensitivities over the years.
Moreover, the demand that The Interview be withdrawn because it treats North Korea disrespectfully as it most certainly does isnt all that different from the arguments behind the various speech codes that have proliferated in Europe and Canada of late, exposing people to fines and prosecution for speaking too critically about the religions, cultures and sexual identities of others.
Nor is it all that different from the arguments used in the United States to justify canceling an increasing number of commencement speakers including Condoleezza Rice and Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Christine Lagarde when some hothouse-flower campus activists decided they couldnt bear to sit and hear them. Or the mentality that forced out the C.E.O. and co-founder of Mozilla, Brendan Eich, when it was revealed that he had once donated money to a ballot initiative that opposed same-sex marriage. Or the free-floating, shape-shifting outrage that now pervades the Internet, always looking for some offensive or un-P.C. remark to fasten on and furiously attack whether the perpetrator is a TV personality or some unlucky political staffer, hapless and heretofore obscure.
The common thread in all these cases, whether the angry parties are Hermit Kingdom satraps or random social-justice warriors on Twitter, is a belief that the most important power is the power to silence, and that the perfect community is one in which nothing uncongenial to your own worldview is ever tweeted, stated, supported or screened.
And the other common thread, of course, is the pathetic response from the cultural entities that are supposedly most invested in free speech in our culture universities, Internet companies, the press and the film industry, all of which seem disinclined to risk much on behalf of the ideals they officially cherish.
As a conservative, you take for granted that these institutions are often political monocultures that the average commencement speaker, like the average academic, will be several degrees left of center, that Silicon Valley isnt the most hospitable place to be a religious conservative, that when Hollywood gets edgy or controversial its usually a right-wing ox thats being gored.
But it would be far easier to live with this predictable liberalism if these institutions, so pious about their commitment to free expression, werent so quick to knuckle under to illiberalism in all its varied forms.
We cannot have a society, President Obama said on Friday, when asked about the Sony hack, where some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States.
In theory, thats absolutely right. But in practice, Kim Jong-un has our cultures number: Letting angry people impose a little censorship is just the way we live right now
22 December, 2014
Smothering Free Speech Via 'The Interview'
Should a North Korean tyrant be allowed to dictate what Americans can see?
Gone are the days when Hollywood released Charlie Chaplins The Great Dictator, a film lampooning Adolf Hitler. Although the film was released March 1941 months before the attack on Pearl Harbor it was the comedians most successful film.
Today, we have a studio poised to release another lampoon of another infamous dictator but essentially self-censoring the film at the threat of hackers, who appear to be connected to North Korea. The hackers broke into Sony Pictures computer network, released sensitive information, apparently because of The Interview.
After threatening 9/11-type terror on any theater that dared air the film, which is about the assassination of Kim Jong Un, the hackers forced Sony to bow to the rule of terror even though DHS thought the threat was not credible.
In light of the decision by the majority of our exhibitors not to show the film The Interview, Sony said in a statement, we have decided not to move forward with the planned December 25 theatrical release.
Those who attacked us stole our intellectual property, private emails, and sensitive and proprietary material, and sought to destroy our spirit and our morale all apparently to thwart the release of a movie they did not like.
The movie appeared to be a crass film dragged along by sex jokes. The product wasnt worth defending, but the ideal of free speech is.
Santorum: Separation of Church and State' Was in Soviet Constitution Not U.S. Constitution
In response to a question about how the agenda of the far left in America mirrors that as detailed in The Communist Manifesto, former Senator Rick Santorum (R-Penn.) said it is worth noting that the words separation of church and state do not appear in the U.S. Constitution but are cited in the constitution of the former Communist Soviet Union.
The word separation of church and state is not in the U.S. Constitution, but it was in the constitution of the former Soviet Union. Thats where it very, very comfortably sat, not in ours, said Sen. Santorum during a coalition telephone call sponsored by STAND and posted on Dec. 1.
This needs to be said more often
21 December, 2014
British anti-Europe politician defends use of word 'Chinky'
Nigel Farage has defended the use of the word "Chinky" after a UK Independence Party parliamentary candidate was sacked after using the term to refer to a Chinese woman.
The Ukip leader said Kerry Smith, who stepped down as Ukip's South Basildon and East Thurrock candidate, was a "rough diamond" from a council estate who "talks and speaks" like lots of Britons.
Mr Farage said on LBC Radio: "If you and your mates were going out for a Chinese, what do you say you're going for?"
He added that "a lot of people would" and railed against the "snobbish" London elite who sneer at such "colloquial" language, but made clear it was right Mr Smith was not standing to become an MP.
It comes after Mr Smith was forced to resign just days after being selected to run for one of the Ukip's top target seats when controversial comments on an old recording were leaked to a national newspaper.
Don't say 'illegal immigrants': British bureaucracy prefers 'clandestine entrants' or 'irregular migrants' to avoid 'connotations'
The Home Office risks accusations of political correctness after saying that foreigners sneaking into Britain should not be referred to as illegal immigrants.
The department said those trying to get into Britain unlawfully should be referred to as 'clandestine entrants'.
The debate about the correct term to use was ignited after John Vine, the independent immigration watchdog, described them as 'irregular migrants'.
The Home Office later said that the preferred term for 'illegal immigrants' was 'clandestine entrants'.
If you say 'illegal immigrants' there is a presumption and connotations that they have done something wrong said the Home Office spokesman
19 December, 2014
UK: Anti-Europe candidate quits after bigoted rant
Private jokes made public
One of the UK Independence Partys most prominent general election candidates has resigned after being forced to apologise for a series of offensive comments.
Kerry Smith, the candidate for the top target seat of South Basildon and East Thurrock, is said to have mocked gay party members as poofters, joked about shooting people from Chigwell in a peasant hunt" and referred to someone as a Chinky bird.
His rants were revealed in recordings of phone calls obtained by the Mail on Sunday
Sony emails reveal how racist Leftists are in private
FOX News contributor Juan Williams discusses his recent column where he addresses the racist emails traded between a Sony executive and a producer where they joke about what President Obama's taste in movies must be. They suggested he must love Django Unchained or The Butler, movies that have black characters as the leading role.
Scott Rudin, a movie producer, said, "I bet he likes Kevin Hart." Kevin Hart, a black comedian, has been in several recent box office hits.
JUAN WILLIAMS: I wrote about this for FOXNews.com because to me, the idea of white liberal hypocrisy of these Hollywood executives who are giving money to the Democrats and then go, "What do we talk to the president of the free world about?"
We don't have to talk about foreign affairs or what's going on in the world. No, you know what, this guy is just like any other 'black guy' even though he's a Harvard-educated constitutional lawyer. "I bet that Kevin Hart, you know the slapstick comedy, that's about his level. Then we can talk to him about the slave movie, that's about what we can talk about." Holy smokes.
LAURA INGRAHAM: But it's the most tolerant people are in many ways behind closed doors just as intolerant as the yahoos they have imagined in West Virginia sitting around their, you know, wood stove.
18 December, 2014
BBC are 'wrong' and insensitive to broadcast book about Margaret Thatcher's assassination, Tory MP says
Hilary Mantel is a bitter and barren Leftist blob. Will she also write a story about Tony Blair being assassinated? And would the BBC air it? I think we know those answers
BBC bosses are under fire over plans to broadcast a controversial story imagining the assassination of Margaret Thatcher.
Tory backbencher Nadine Dorries said the former prime minster's family are still "grieving" from her passing last year and said the Corporation should have "taken stock" of their pain.
It comes amid outrage that BBC Radio 4 has picked Hilary Mantel's controversial new novel for serialisation in its prestigious Book At Bedtime slot.
The Booker Prize winner's new book, titled The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher, has been criticised for insensitivity over imagining the former Tory leader's murder so recently after her death.
Mrs Dorries said that the BBC "has a responsibility to the people who pay its license fee", adding that she would think the same if a book about Tony Blair's death was broadcast by the Corporation.
She added: "I think because Margaret Thatcher's death is so recent and her family are still grieving, I think the BBC should just have taken stock of that. "I think they've made the wrong decision, they should have been a little bit more sensitive. She added: "Maybe in a few years time, but just not now."
Lady Jenkin: the unacceptable face of prole-bashing
Conservative peer Lady Jenkin, who this week helped launch a Church of England-funded report into the problem of hunger, certainly seems to know the solution. Teach the poor how to eat. Or as she herself put it: We have lost a lot of our cookery skills. Poor people do not know how to cook. She then said something about how much cheaper porridge is than Coco Pops.
Unfortunately for Lady Jenkin, the sight of a Tory posho denigrating and patronising the poor was too much for the tediously left-righteous. Twitter flowed with allusions to Marie Antoinette, and toff-baiting gags. And the press, like foodies in foie gras, have been rolling around in Jenkins cheap snobbery for the past 24 hours. Admittedly, she has since apologised, but her explanation - I was stupidly speaking unscripted was not the most sage.
Yet in a way, Jenkin has a point: she wasnt reading the script properly. That was the source of her faux pas, her gaffe, not her actual belief that the less well-off are too stupid to feed themselves. After all, the belief that the poor do not know how to cook is not anathema to Jenkins left-liberal knockers it is an article of faith. Jenkin just put it badly.
What she needed, of course, was the correct script. She needed one penned on the left, and, ideally, published in the Guardian.
She needed the script followed by Jamie Oliver, New Labours head cook, who, in 2006, could call parents who gave their children fizzy drinks arseholes, tossers and idiots, and be praised by broadsheets, and venerated by politicians. He could even complain, as he did in 2013, that the poorest families
choose the most expensive way to hydrate and feed their families
the ready meals, the convenience foods, and barely anyone cocked a snook.
Or better still, if Jenkin really wanted to find an acceptable way to articulate the poor-bashing heart of the politics of food, she could have checked out Jack Monroe, the modern face of poverty, as the Guardian called her (at about the same time it gave her a column). If she had, shed have found a multitude of ways to suggest that the poor eat badly and wrongly without incurring the wrath of the kneejerk anti-Tories. Take this statement: You can overhaul the education system but there is still a lost generation of people growing up without basic food knowledge. That sounds very much like something Jenkin might have said, if shed had the script. But this wasnt Jenkin, this was Monroe, the elphin face of poverty herself, at her most sermonising and patronising, lecturing a lost generation of people on their inability to feed themselves without a) spending a fortune, and b) eating non-basic food (Coco Pops, probably).
17 December, 2014
Christmas clanger: Lily Allen upsets Christians with 'tactless' nativity performance
English pop singer Lily Allen has upset conservative Christians by including a nativity scene parody in a concert performance.
Allen was performing on December 12 at London's O2 Arena when the lights came up at start of Sheezus to reveal the singer lying in a manger (yes, just like the baby Jesus) wearing a short skirt and golden halo, surrounded by three performers.
Allen hasn't responded to the criticism. Perhaps her views on it were already clear from her Twitter post which included a photo of herself with the words: "Just hopping out of my manger. As you do #littlebabySHEEZUS."
She may have considered it a bit of cheeky fun, but Christian and conservative groups were not amused. Stephen Green, from the group Christian Voice told Britain's Sunday Express: "It is tasteless, it is disrespectful and it is crass."
Conservative MP Martin Vickers joined in, adding: "This could be extremely offensive to many Christians. It is important that all religions are given the respect they deserve."
Would she have parodied Mohammed?
Australia: Must not mention the absence of Aborigines
Even though that is a major factor that people would want to know about
The developer who partnered with the Aboriginal Housing Company to redevelop The Block in Redfern has been forced to explain why an advertisement for a development completed in 2012 stated that Aborigines had "moved out" of the suburb.
The owner and director of DeiCorp Construction, Fouad Deiri, says that the statement on the website of Sydney-based Great Fortune Investments had "not been worded correctly". Great Fortune Investments was engaged by DeiCorp in 2010 to market Redfern's 19-storey Deicota Apartments to local and international Asian investors.
But Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda says that the developer is "guilty-by-association" and that the incident should lead to a rethink as to whether they're the right partners for The Block.
"I've been out and about in Redfern and they're pretty pissed off," says Mr Gooda. "They reckon there's got to be some sorting out of this."
The advertisement, which was removed from Great Fortune Investment's website earlier this week after being flagged by The Australian, said that: "'The aboriginals [sic] have already moved out, now Redfern as [sic] the last virgin suburb close to city, it will have great potential for the capital growth in the near future."
Mr Deiri points to their Chinese origins and says that it was grammatical failure. "The Block was being relocated at the time and it was a point about the relocation," he says.
That doesn't wash with Mr Gooda who says that he's both outraged and saddened by the comments in the advertisement. "What were they trying to say by referencing Aboriginal people?" he says. "What are we? Noxious weeds or something?" [No. Problem people who are often drunk and pestering in public]
16 December, 2014
Must not applaud a death
An anti-bloodsport campaigner and councillor has provoked fury by claiming that the suicide of a former soldier and game hunter was the best use of a gun I can think of.
Thomas Woodward is facing calls to quit over the outrageous remarks, which were posted on the Hunt Saboteurs Associations Facebook page.
The 48-year-old a Liberal councillor on Ryedale District and Pickering Town councils in North Yorkshire made the comments after reading reports about the death of Allan Ellis.
Mr Ellis, 50, a former Scots Guard from Bacup, Lancashire, shot himself in August after learning he was to be sued over a £40,000 debt. Mr Woodward wrote: We would all rather live in a world where no one kills for fun. However, if you choose to own a gun and kill for pleasure, then its best you kill yourself.
Richard Ali, of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, said: Mocking the suicide of anyone is absolutely unacceptable. Going further and stating that lawful gun owners should kill themselves is despicable behaviour. This man is not fit to hold a public office.
Tim Bonner, of the Countryside Alliance, called the remarks outrageous and added: Mr Woodward should consider his position and those in authority in his party and council should consider disciplinary action.
Outrage at Maryland sorority sister who celebrated birthday with racist cake and shared image on Instagram
Sounds like a joke gone wrong
A sorority girl at the University of Maryland is facing outrage after she posed for a photo with a racist birthday cake made of alcohol bottles that reads, 's*** a n**** d***' on her 21st birthday.
The photo from Delta Gamma Sorority was posted online to Instagram along with an offensive hashtag comment that featured the 'n-word.'
University of Maryland student Chandler Perry told Pulsefeedz that she saw the photo on her Instagram feed and was angered by what she saw. I was so baffled that 77 people liked it and none of those 77 people told her it was inappropriate,' Perry said.
The photo reached the eyes of the vice president of public relations for the University of Maryland's Black Student Union Samira Jackson who wasnt pleased. 'I didnt know it was okay for white people to say n**** now? Who knew?'
As soon as the University heard about the backlash surrounding the photo, The University of Maryland Department of Fraternity and Sorority Life posted a response to their Twitter and said, 'We are aware of an insensitive post from a community member and are addressing it with the chapter as it does not align with our Greek values.'
The sorority posted on their Facebook saying, 'We have become aware of an unacceptable Instagram post by a member of our chapter. The Fraternity volunteers and staff are working with our chapter at the University of Maryland at this time to hold this member accountable.'
15 December, 2014
Is this the rudest necklace ever? 'phallic' pendants spark fury
Controversial designer Tom Ford has sparked fury by launching a range of penis necklaces - just in time for Christmas. The phallic pendants - which resemble the shape of a cross - come in gold or silver and are available with small, medium and large charms.
Intended as the perfect holiday gifts for kinky fashionistas, size apparently doesn't matter as they are all priced $790.
But the latest offering from the designer provoked outrage on Twitter from users who said the necklaces were 'unbelievably offensive' to Christians and branded Ford 'sick' for combining a phallic image with a religious symbol.
Kevlyn Hall added: 'How dare you use a phallic symbol in the Christian cross! You insulting piece of trash! HOW DARE YOU!'
One user said on Twitter: 'This is unbelievably offensive to me. Is he insane?'
I have no doubt that these pendants were meant to offend and were probably seen by their creator as innovative and original. They are not however. The cross was originally a pagan sex symbol, meant to symbolize a male penetrating a female. With the encouragement of St. Paul, however, the early Christians adopted many pagan practices, such as Sunday observance, Easter etc. Use of the cross is another such borrowing.
In the original Greek of the New Testament there is no mention of Christ dying on a cross. The words usually translated as "cross" are either "xylon", which simply means "wood" or "stauros", which simply means "stake'. Christ was executed by nailing him to a stake with his hands both directly above his head. Why bother to add a crossbar when a simple stake could do all that was needed?
'Swastika' wrapping paper withdrawn after complaint
Shopper complains after finding wrapping paper with 'swastika' design in store's Hannukah display
You have to squint to see any swastikas there. And half of the arms are pointing the wrong way for a Nazi "Hakenkreuz" anyway. Their resemblance is to an Indian Swastik
Wrapping paper featuring a blue and silver design has been withdrawn from shops after a complaint that the gift wrap featured swastikas.
A shopper noticed the paper in a Hanukkah display at a branch of Walgreens in California, US, and complained.
Hallmark Cards has since apologised and said that any similarity to a swastika was unintentional, adding that the pattern has been in the company's reference archives for several years.
"As soon as we were made aware of the situation, we began taking steps to remove the gift wrap from all store shelves and we will ensure the pattern is not used on any product formats going forward," a company statement said. "We sincerely apologise for this oversight and for any unintended offense."
Roughly 6m Jews were murdered by the Nazis in Germany during the Second World War, and the swastika is seen by many as a symbol of support for the Nazis.
Hallmark, which is privately owned, has roughly $4bn in annual revenue from sales of greeting cards, gift wrap and other products sold in 100 countries.
In India, you see swastikas plastered over trucks and buses everywhere. I wonder how the sensitive souls go if they visit India?
14 December, 2014
Black dolls must cost the same as white doills
Target has been heavily criticized by customers after listing a black Barbie doll on its website for two times the price of the near-identical white alternative.
According to Buzzfeed, the glaring error was first brought to the attention of the retailer - and the public - by Cincinnati resident Warren Johnson, who noticed the bizarre price discrepancy when he logged onto the Target website to buy a Christmas present for his daughter.
After noticing the difference in cost between the Barbie Fashion Design Maker Doll, which was until recently priced at $23.49, and the Barbie Fashion Design Maker African-American Doll, which was priced at $49.99, the outraged 30-year-old contacted the store to ask why there was such a difference in price between the two toys.
The 30-year-old spoke to three different stores and while two told him the price difference was an error, a third admitted that the white doll was cheaper because it was more popular with customers.
An official spokesperson from Target's corporate office was quick to reject this theory however, but admitted that she could not give any real reason as to what could possibly make one doll so much more expensive than the other.
'[The Target saleswoman] was speechless and said she really didnt have an explanation and she was apologetic, and she told us that a change would be made,' Mr Johnson told Buzzfeed. 'Then she gave us the doll for the price that the white doll was.'
Target later released a statement blaming the shocking price discrepancy on a 'system error'.
Brad Badiuk, Winnipeg teacher, on leave after controversial Facebook posts on aboriginals
A Winnipeg high school teacher who posted controversial remarks on Facebook about First Nations people is now on paid administrative leave.
Some of the comments made by Brad Badiuk, an electronics teacher at Kelvin High School, concern aboriginal people generally. Others targeted Derek Nepinak, the grand chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC).
Kevin Hart, who works with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, lodged a formal complaint about Kelvin High School teacher Brad Badiuk's comments about aboriginal people.
The controversy started when another teacher posted an article on her Facebook page about John Ralston Saul's book, The Comeback, which contends that repairing the relationship between First Nations peoples and the rest of Canada is a pressing issue.
In response, Badiuk put these posts (taken verbatim) on Facebook, "Oh Goddd how long are aboriginal people going to use what happened as a crutch to suck more money out of Canadians?
"The benefits the aboriginals enjoy from the white man/europeans far outweigh any wrong doings that were done to a concured people."
Another line read, "Get to work, tear the treaties and shut the FK up already. My ancestor migrated here early 1900's they didn't do anything. Why am I on the hook for their cultural support?"
Kevin Hart, who works with the AMC, complained to the school board about the comments, calling them racist and hurtful, and demanding action be taken.
School officials could not say how long the investigation would take or whether Badiuk might face discipline.
"It's obviously really disheartening," said Mark Wasyliw, chair of the board of the Winnipeg School Division. "We are a very diverse school division. We have a huge population of aboriginal students and these types of allegations are always concerning and demoralizing for staff."
Interesting that no-one seems to be disputing the truth of what he said. Another case of truth that must not be mentioned, it seems.
12 December, 2014
Campaign launched to ban singing of Tom Jones' hit Delilah at Welsh rugby matches 'because it glorifies domestic violence'
A campaign has been launched to ban Sir Tom Jones' hit Delilah from being sung at Welsh rugby matches over claims it 'glorifies domestic violence'.
Senior politician Dafydd Iwan, 71, is leading a protest to ban the iconic ballad being sung by choirs at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, because he claims it depicts a brutal revenge killing of a woman.
The campaign over the song, which has become an unofficial anthem for Welsh rugby fans, comes more than 40 years after it was first recorded by Sir Tom.
Bosses at the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) have defended the hit by comparing its dark subject matter to the best of Shakespeare's works like Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet and Coriolanus.
A spokesman said: 'Within rugby, Delilah has gained prominence through its musicality rather than because of its lyrics.
'There is however plenty of precedent in art and literature, prominently in Shakespearean tragedies for instance, for negative aspects of life to be portrayed.'
Wrong to say ALL lives matter
Must concentrate on black lives
Smith College President Kathleen McCartney led a vigil attended by 130 people Monday afternoon three days after she apologized for her original wording in an email she sent to the campus community in reaction to the recent police killings of three blacks.
McCartney sent two emails Friday, which were obtained by the Gazette from a Smith faculty member. The first, with a subject line reading All Lives Matter, was sent by McCartney to Smith students, faculty and staff with a list of actions that would taken on campus to heal those in pain, to teach, learn and share what we know and to work for equity and justice.
Nearly six hours later Friday evening, McCartney sent a second email expressing regret that she was unaware the phrase all lives mater was used by some on social media as a counter to the #BlackLivesMatter movement protesting the grand jury decisions not to indict police officers in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.
McCartney closed her email acknowledging her mistakes, despite my best intentions, and thanking those who shared their wisdom and wise counsel with her.
Amusing that even liberals can get caught out as incorrect
11 December, 2014
Prophetic for our times
Im Dreaming of a Racially Ambiguous Holiday Season
Darius Rucker takes heat for singing White Christmas in the wake of the Eric Garner decision.
Quick: If you had to pick one classic Christmas song that the thought police would deem racist, which would it be? If you said, White Christmas, congratulations!
The 82nd Annual Rockefeller Christmas Tree lighting last Wednesday was interrupted by protesters in the wake of the grand-jury decision to not indict an NYPD officer in the death of Eric Garner. The lighting went forward as planned, and Hootie & the Blowfishs lead singer, Darius Rucker, sang Irving Berlins White Christmas.
Although Ruckers was a perfectly adequate performance, the song enraged some on social media. An African-American musician singing a song that had the word white in it, despite the words referring to snow and not skin color, so close to the Eric Garner decision was apparently offensive enough that many felt the need to sound off on Twitter.
10 December, 2014
Using the term "Strange Fruit" makes you a racist(!)
An Austin-based public relations firm is making headlines this week and not because of its talented clients. Strange Fruit PR, the local hospitality PR firm that represents many of Austin's most popular restaurants, is under fire for its racially insensitive name.
On Saturday, a slew of tweets called out the company for using a name associated with the lynching of blacks in the South. Based on a poem by Abel Meeropol, "Strange Fruit" was made famous after it was recorded as a song by Billie Holiday in 1939. The phrase "strange fruit" refers to the bodies of black men and women hanging from trees.
Strange Fruit PR shared its official statement with CultureMap via email:
"We were wrong. We extend our deepest & sincerest apologies for the offense caused by the name of our public relations firm. This is very troublesome to us & was most definitely never our intention to draw any parallels to Abel Meeropol's powerful poem & the song that holds the name. We thought the term "strange fruit" really could stand for someone who stood out in a crowd, a talent that was different and remarkable in a good way."
The pussification of students at the University of Iowa
Students at the University of Iowa occupied the Office of the Registrar on Friday after a controversial display was placed in the heart of campus.
The statue a 7-foot-tall Ku Klux Klan robe with a vinyl hood, an affixed camera and screen-printed newspaper articles chronicling more than 100 years of race riots and hate crimes was erected at 7 a.m. by Serhat Tanyolacar, a visiting art professor.
The artwork was removed around 10:30 a.m. after officers with the University of Iowa Police Department discovered that Tanyolacar failed to secure a permit for it.
After a gathering outside UI President Sally Masons office students moved to the Iowa Memorial Unions Bijou Cinema to share their emotions about the statue. Vice President for Student Life Tom Rocklin and Georgina Dodge, UIs chief diversity officer and associate vice president, were present for the discussion.
"Sharing emotions"! Is that what universiity students now do? How about having rational discussions?
9 December, 2014
Must not say that Indians in Britain work in shops
Patels were originally small landlords in the Indian State of Gujurat and many are still small businessmen, running shops, small hotels and motels etc. so the judge's guess was pretty good -- but he should have posed his thoughts as a question rather than as an assertion
A judge has quit after allegedly making a racist comment about an Asian crime victim in court. Peter Hollingworth had asked lawyers to fetch the harassment victim so he could finish sentencing her ex-boyfriend.
Prosecutor Rachel Parker said she was unsure whether the woman in question, Deepa Patel, could attend at short notice due to work commitments.
The district judge allegedly replied: It wont be a problem. She wont be working anywhere important where she cant get the time off. Shell only be working in a shop or an off-licence.
When Miss Parker asked the judge to clarify his comments, he added: With a name like Patel, and her ethnic background, she wont be working anywhere important where she cant get the time off. So thats what well do.
At this point Miss Parker withdrew from the case at Preston Magistrates Court and told the judge: I am professionally embarrassed. I cannot prosecute this case.
The Crown Prosecution Service made an official complaint after the incident on October 30, and Mr Hollingworth resigned four weeks later from his part-time job as a deputy district judge.
Miss Patel, a 22-year-old from Preston, is currently working in an office after completing a law degree. She told The Sun: I was born and bred in this country... its shocking and disgusting for anyone to say that, especially a judge.
Must not dress up as members of a black gang
Partygoers were satirizing the Crips gang based in California
A Clemson fraternity has suspended all activity after students and university President Jim Clements raised concerns about a themed party.
The "CRIPmas"-themed party Saturday night raised concerns about the campus climate, Clements said in a statement posted on the university website. Some students and faculty said on social media the party was racially insensitive.
The national office of the fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, apologized to the campus and community in a statement.
The party was not sanctioned by the university, said spokesman John Gouch. According to the fraternity statement, the party took place at a private, off-campus residence.
Many students said on social media the party's theme was racist, and some pointed out the Crips are a primarily black gang. Some faculty and staff expressed dismay on Twitter as well. Many called for Clements to take action.
Other students said the theme was insensitive, but race was not an issue. Lesley Smith said in a message that the party theme seemed insensitive toward anyone affected by gang violence, but that was not limited to people of one race.
8 December, 2014
Former England footballer Michael Owen is slammed on social media after comparing women to luxury cars
Former England footballer Michael Owen has been inundated with critical messages after starring in a 'sexist' new car ad.
In the ad, which was made on behalf of his local car dealership, Owen, who is married to childhood sweetheart Louise Bonsall, compares women to luxury cars and goes on to boast about the 'dozens' of Jaguars he owns.
'You've got to go for looks to start with,' said the star in the clip, before adding: 'Then you look inside. It's probably similar to girls isn't it?
'The look attracts you to start with and then you get to know them a bit more, I think it's the same with cars.'
Andrew North, a director at Alexanders Prestige, the dealership behind the ad, defended Owen's statement when contacted by MailOnline. 'I think it's a fair comparison,' said Mr North. 'You are attracted to the outside but ultimately, it's what's on the inside that counts and that's what he was trying to say.
Defending his star, Mr North added: 'Michael was a pleasure to work with. We have known him for years and he have previously worked with him and his family through the equestrian side of the business. 'He was very happy to take part in the advert and we will be working with him again.'
California college settles First Amendment suit with student
A California community college has settled a lawsuit with a student who claimed it violated his First Amendment rights when an administrator threatened him for collecting petition signatures outside of a small, designated "free speech zone."
Student Vincenzo Sinapi-Riddle, with help from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, sued Glendora, Calif., Citrus College after the incident, which occurred on Sept. 17, 2013 - the day designated as "Constitution Day." Sinapi-Riddle was collecting signatures for a petition condemning the federal National Security Agency's domestic surveillance activities.
When he left the area for a lunch break and headed to the student center, he and another student discussed the petition, prompting an administrator to intervene, according to FIRE. Claiming that a political discussion could not take place outside of the free speech zone, the unidentified school employee threatened to eject Sinapi-Riddle from campus for violating the policy.
After a suit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, the school agreed to pay Sinapi-Riddle $110,000 in damages and attorneys' fees, as well as to revise its free speech policies. In a statement, the school noted the settlement figure was far less than the anticipated cost of fighting the lawsuit and defended its policies as in compliance "with a long line of U.S. Supreme Court cases relating to speech activities in public places, including college campuses." But the school affirmed its support for free speech and agreed to change some campus regulations.
7 December, 2014
Australia: Eccentric parishioner denied right to pass out leaflets inside church he was criticizing
The Court of Appeal has refused a "free speech" bid by a Yepoon parishioner to permit pamphlet distribution criticising the theology being preached by the pastor of his local Wesleyan Methodist Church.
The parish considered his brochures that connected the 9/11 twin towers attacks to imperfect religious instruction and praised Russian president Vladimir Putin "as an exemplar of Christian values", to be objectionable.
Removed by police on two occasions after being denied entry, Ron Gallagher filed a claim against parish board members requiring he be permitted "to pass freely without let or hindrance into the sanctuary" of their premises and for an order disallowing their "edict of suppression made in disregard of the God-given privilege of freedom of speech".
Of historical interest was the court ruling that article 9 of the English Bill of Rights of 1688 on which Gallagher relied - that applies in Queensland by virtue of the Imperial Acts Application Act 1984 - contained no speech freedom guarantee as argued.
Such freedom and the limited "implied constitutional right to communicate on government and political matters" recognised by Australia's High Court were irrelevant, so ruled the court, to his ouster. No one had taken steps to prevent Gallagher's pamphlet distribution elsewhere, they objected only to him so doing on their own premises.
As a regular member of the church's congregation (but not a member of the church itself), he was merely a licensee whose right to enter could be revoked - at will - by the property owners or the parish board as the owner's representative.
And in the case of a place or worship, a person's right to enter was in any event subject to a legally recognised qualification that he or she must "behave in reasonable conformity with the requirements of the religion in which he was participating".
Gallagher simply had no legal or equitable right to be on the church's property for any purpose once informed he was no longer welcome.
The court also noted the somewhat obscure Criminal Code offence of engaging in conduct that "caused disquiet or disturbed" persons assembled for religious worship, was punishable by a $10 fine and in more serious cases, by imprisonment.
UK: Businesses must not seek to hire "good-looking girls"
A job advertisement by Pizza Hut which said it was looking for "decent, good-looking girls" has been removed after complaints it was sexist.
The advert for the chain's Leatherhead branch was posted on the website Gumtree but was removed after people reported it to Pizza Hut's head office.
It read: "Pizza Hut Leatherhead looking for full and part time drivers. Need to have your own car. "We are also looking for a decent good looking girls for Reception. That role is just part time."
Jackie Quinn, the president of Leatherhead's Chamber of Commerce president said the advert was sexist and claimed Pizza Hut had "let itself down". "It's not acceptable to be sexist, they could have put good-looking girls or boys but they didn't even do that," she said.
5 December, 2014
Twitter Mass Suspends Conservatives Who Posted NYT Address #Ferguson
What's OK for the NYT is not OK for conservatives, apparently
The People's Cube is reporting that their Twitter account with over 4000 followers has been suspended for retweeting a post with the addresses of New York Times reporters Julie Bosman and Campbell Robertson.
The Times reporters had posted the address of unindicted Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson and his wife shortly after the verdict.
The popular conservative art humor website is not alone among conservative Twitter accounts that have been targeted.
It has also been reported that the Cube is not alone, indicating that Twitter is targeting conservative reaction to the outing of Wilson. Wilson has received multiple death-threats and the FBI has arrested Jaleel Tarik Abdul-Jabbaar for plotting to kill Wilson.
GotNews Editor-in-Chief, Charles C. Johnson was suspended by Twitter for posting the reporters addresses on the GotNews website and merely mentioning it on Twitter. Bosman has complained to the Chicago police and demanded V.I.P. protection though the Chicago Police say there's no credible threat against her.
Conservative twitters have been emailing Johnson trying to reinstall their own accounts after they were mass suspended.
UPDATE: As of 11:40 December 3, 2014 Twitter has reinstated the The People's Cube Twitter account.
"Ghetto" is a naughty word
James Delingpole appeared on a BBC TV Programme ...
"I have experienced immense obtuseness from BBC audiences on two occasions recently. One was Free Speech - a youth debate programme redolent of that old Not The Nine O'Clock News sketch where Griff Rhys Jones tries unsuccessfully to get down with the kids on a show called Hey, Wow! - in which I made the H.M. Batemanesque mistake of pointing out that, thanks to the failed experiment of multiculturalism, there were now parts of inner-city Britain which were effectively Muslim ghettos.
Rather than dispute the premise - not an easy task, given the widespread evidence from Birmingham and Bradford to Luton - the young audience and most of my fellow panellists decided to attack me for my choice of terminology. `Ghetto' was a racist word, they told me. Islamophobic too.
The more they hissed and jeered and showed their disapproval of my vile bigotry, you could tell, the more warm and gooey they felt inside. See what good, sensitive, caring, non-judgmental people they all were: uniting as one against the language of hatred and intolerance! (But if you go to Birmingham and Bradford and Luton, I suspect the sectarian problem I've described won't have gone away)".
4 December, 2014
Must not mention racial details of Egyptians
A famous ancient Egyptian -- with hat
News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch has come under fire on social media after making a racially insensitive tweet.
Mr Murdoch struck a wrong note minutes ago after offering his opinion on the casting controversy surrounding the 2014 film 'Exodus: Gods and Kings'.
Under his authenticated Twitter handle @rupertmurdoch, the media mogul wrote: "Moses film attacked on Twitter for all white cast. Since when are Egyptians not white? All I know are."
Predictably, the tweet went down like a tonne of bricks, but still determined to get his point across Mr Murdoch followed the original tweet with: "Everybody-attacks last tweet. Of course Egyptians are Middle Eastern, but far from black. They treated blacks as slaves."
After a barrage of criticism, which included some users telling Mr Murdoch to "drop dead", the News Corp chairman relented, tweeting: "Okay, there are many shades of colour. Nothing racist about that, so calm down!"
Rupert was perfectly right. Arabs ARE white -- a little swarthy, like most Mediterranean people, but a long way from black.
I suppose the issue is whether the ANCIENT Egyptians were white but we have rather a lot of paintings from ancient Egyptian tombs which show Egyptians as light brown (suntanned?) and many of their slaves -- Nubians -- as black -- as black as modern Africans. So there definitely was a color divide and it was not favorable to blacks.
So the ancient Egyptians may have been a bit darker than modern-day Arab Egyptians but they were sun-worshippers in part so it may have been religiously correct to portray them with suntans. In which case what we see in the tomb paintings may simply be suntanned versions of a Mediterranean skin. Tanned skin does after all have a following to this day.
Note also that the ancient world seems to have been very little concerned about race. People from all over the empire became Roman emperors, for instance. There may therefore have been some occasions when the ancestors of African blacks rose to positions of influence in ancient Egyptian society. If Obama is good enough for modern-day America, why not another black for Pharaoh?
It was of course religion, not race, that mattered most to the ancient world and that was true up until fairly recently. The first set of writings that obsessed about race that I know of is the correspondence between Karl Marx and his disciple Friedrich Engels. And the obsession of America's Democrats with race also goes back to around the mid-19th century.
A 19th century election poster
Even Houston Stewart Chamberlain, writing in the late 19th century, who is sometimes claimed as the main theorist behind Nazism, in fact thought that it was only out of racial mixture that the gifted could be created. He considered that the evidence of this was provided by the Prussian, whom he saw as the superman, resulting from a cross between the German and the Slav. From this Chamberlain went on to argue that the sum of all these talented people would then form a "race," not of blood but of "affinity." Not very racist in the modern sense.
UK: Calling Ukip candidate by Turkish name seen as fanning prejudice
UKIP is an anti-immigration party. There can be little doubt that directing attention to the man's partly Turkish ancestry was intended to damage him in the eyes of potential voters
A controversial Tory leaflet referring to a Ukip candidate by his Turkish name is not racist and will probably "do him a favour", according to the Conservative MP who will fight him at the next election.
Jackie Doyle-Price told The Telegraph the flier calling Tim Aker "Timr" in an apparent attempt to remind voters of his foreign root would give him "credibility" with the electorate.
She admitted the move was "childish" but rejected the comment was racist, saying: "Frankly, I don't consider this a big deal at all."
James Forsyth, a political commentator, accused the Tories in the Mail on Sunday of "diving headfirst into the gutter" with the "attempt to remind voters of his Turkish roots" in the leaflet.
While Mr Aker was born "Timr", he refers to himself as Tim and appears on the ballot paper in the council by-election under that name.
3 December, 2014
Must not criticize Obama's daughters
The Republican spin doctor who scolded Barack Obama's teenage daughters for lacking "class" in their attitude and dress sense has resigned amid a fierce backlash.
Elizabeth Lauten, the communications director for a Tennessee congressman, said that she was quitting after earlier apologising for her "hurtful words".
The firestorm of controversy reflected a long-standing consensus that the children of presidents should be spared from the partisan and often highly personal invective that characterises US politics.
For a senior political operative whose role was to spread the message of her boss Stephen Fincher, Ms Lauten's taunt that the girls should "try showing a little class" is also being touted as a case study in how not to do the job.
She launched her tirade in a Facebook posting about the appearance of 13-year-old Sasha and her sister Malia, 16, at the annual White House turkey pardoning - normally an uncontroversial event even in the partisan world of Washington.
Several media outlets noted that the girls looked distinctly underwhelmed and were casually dressed as their father spoke on the eve of Thanksgiving. But Ms Lauten went much further.
"Dear Sasha and Malia, I get you're both in those awful teen years, but you're a part of the First Family, try showing a little class," she wrote. "Rise to the occasion. Act like being in the White House matters to you. Dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at a bar."
Black British footballer faces investigation over 'racist and anti-Semitic' Instagram post
His blackness will protect him, of course
Mario Balotelli, the Liverpool striker, faces a Football Association investigation and possible five-match ban for an inflammatory social media message that has earned him a public rebuke from his club and an angry response from the Jewish Leadership Council.
Balotelli posted and then swiftly deleted an image on his Instagram page depicting the computer game character `Super Mario' alongside a racial stereotype and anti-Semitic remark - "jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew".
Simon Johnson, the former FA executive and now chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council reacted angrily to post on Monday night.
"We abhor all forms of racism, wherever it is found," Johnson said. "We call upon the FA to investigate this offensive social media post and to take action if appropriate if we are to succeed in kicking racism out of football."
The provocative language in Balotelli's post, even if he claims it to be an ironic anti-racist message, leaves the Italian open to a breach of the FA's social media guidelines. If charged, the minimum ban on race-related breaches is five games.
At the very least, the striker has had to explain his intentions to his club and the swiftness with which it was removed demonstrated Liverpool concerns. The FA is sure to explore it further.
2 December, 2014
I've lost my lawsuit. But I'm going to appeal. Here's why
Today I lost the lawsuit against me brought by Khurrum Awan, the former youth president of the Canadian Islamic Congress.
You can read the full ruling here. The judge awarded Awan a whopping $80,000 plus legal costs.
I am reviewing the technical aspects of the ruling with my lawyer. But there is something terrifying, buried in this ruling, that I already know I simply must appeal - all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.
On paragraph 166 of the decision, the judge ruled that calling Awan an anti-Semite is defamatory, and that's one of the reasons I lost, and have to pay him so much money.
But Awan was, at one time, the youth president of the Canadian Islamic Congress, an anti-Semitic organization. At the time Awan was its youth president, the CIC was led by a notorious anti-Semite, Mohamed Elmasry. Elmasry famously went on national TV to state that any adult in Israel is a legitimate target for terrorism. The CIC has publicly called for the legalization of anti-Semitic terrorist groups.
And yet the judge ruled that it is defamatory to call the former youth president of an anti-Semitic organization, anti-Semitic. Because he denied it in court, and said he never knew about his organization's infamous misconduct.
This should concern anyone who is worried about radical Islam, the right to criticize it, and the right to call out anti-Semitism in the public square.
If this judgment stands, anyone who dares to challenge members of Muslim extremist groups on the basis of their affiliation with such groups is at risk of costly lawsuits - and all the member of the anti-Semitic group needs to do is to deny that they share the beliefs of their organizations that they work hard to promote, or say they had no clue their anti-Semitic group was anti-Semitic.
If this ruling is allowed to stand, it will hinder anyone who campaigns against anti-Semitism - any Jewish group, any pro-Israel group, even anyone who criticizes radical Islam.
This ruling doesn't just affect my rights. It's a setback for freedom for everyone.
The comments in question were written on my personal blog six years ago, and so I'm footing the legal bills for this fight myself.
SCOTUS verdict on threatening speech due soon
Anthony Elonis claimed he was just kidding when he posted a series of graphically violent rap lyrics on Facebook about killing his estranged wife, shooting up a kindergarten class and attacking an FBI agent.
But his wife didn't see it that way. Neither did a federal jury.
Elonis, who's from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, was convicted of violating a federal law that makes it a crime to threaten another person.
In a far-reaching case that probes the limits of free speech over the Internet, the Supreme Court on Monday was to consider whether Elonis' Facebook posts, and others like it, deserve protection under the First Amendment.
Elonis argues that his lyrics were simply a crude and spontaneous form of expression that should not be considered threatening if he did not really mean it. The government says it does not matter what Elonis intended, and that the true test of a threat is whether his words make a reasonable person feel threatened.
1 December, 2014
Did the Department of Defense Just Go All Politically Correct in Describing Captured Enemies?
The Department of Defense just changed the wording of their categories for detainees. It's a subtle adjustment with real implications.
This is a screen shot from the May 30, 2008 version of their Joint Publication 3-63 on Detainee Operations:
Note that of the three categories, the ones actively involved in fighting are referred to as "enemy combatants."
Now this is a screen shot from the November 13, 2014 version:
Note the change from "enemy combatant" to "privileged belligerent and unprivileged belligerent."
Apparently, the word "combatant" was no longer acceptable and was replaced with "belligerent."
To give some context, the words "privileged" and "unprivileged" basically mean people who are members of regular armed forces and fight under traditional rules of combat, versus those who fight with non-traditional groups or in non-traditional manners.
Even so, the wording seems soft. Is this an example of finely-tuned language, or a submission to the politically correct notions that would rather avoid negative labels?
Kids must not see a Christmas tree
It's a Christmas miracle! An elementary school in a Boston suburb that was going to cancel its annual trip to see The Nutcracker has decided allowing kids to see a Christmas tree on stage will not destroy the non-Christians in the audience. According to whdh.com:
"The trip to see the famous ballet has been a tradition at the school for years, but apparently some felt the trip was improper because there is a Christmas tree on the stage.
The issue came to a head at a [Butler Elementary School] PTA meeting Tuesday night. A source said some people were told they were being discriminatory if they supported their kids going to "The Nutcracker."
The controversy was so white-hot, the PTA apparently worked in secret to cancel the field trip:
Some parents of the second graders, who didn't want to appear on camera, told 7News that they're also upset because PTA leaders secretly cancelled the field trip without telling anyone, but word spread.
PTA Co-President Barbara Bulfoni said, "In the past years there were parents complaints as 'The Nutcracker' has a religious content."
You know what? The Nutcracker does indeed have religious content. Everyone in the ballet is celebrating Christmas, a Christian holiday commemorating Christ. Same thing happens in A Christmas Carol, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, A Christmas Story, A Charlie Brown Christmas, White Christmas, Black Christmas (a slasher movie) and-heck-Handel's Messiah.
Are these a terrible influence, one and all? How about all those Renaissance paintings of Mary and Jesus? Should the PTA ban trips to the art museum?
Kids can be exposed to ideas and cultures different from their own and not immediately feel offended. In fact, I'm betting Christian kids could probably survive seeing Adam Sandler's Eight Crazy Nights without insisting afterward that mom burn the tree and leave Santa a bowl of liver and onions.
The Nutcracker is a ballet, not fundamentalist propaganda. I'm glad the Butler School PTA figured that out.
This is Tongue-Tied 2
Posts by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.)
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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"
"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 arent 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.
Thomas Jefferson on free speech: It does me no injury for my neighbors to say there are 20 gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my legs.
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"?
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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