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15 January, 2016
Fury over Charlie Hebdo cartoon suggesting Alan Kurdi - the drowned migrant boy whose body was found on Turkish beach - would have grown up to be a Cologne sex attacker
What's wrong with saying: "Like father, like son". It's often true. There is a lot of criminality among Muslim refugees in Germany so with that example before them it's perfectly likely that the children will emulate their fathers
French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was facing a furious backlash tonight after suggesting that a drowned immigrant toddler would have grown up to be a sex pest.
Images of the dead Alan Kurdi - originally reported as Aylan - shocked the world when they were broadcast and published last September.
Since then, Hebdo has published a number of cartoons focusing on the little Syrian boy, whose body was found on a Turkish beach.
The latest links Alan, who was a Muslim, with the gangs of migrants who allegedly carried out coordinated sexual assaults in the German city of Cologne on New Year's Eve.
Alan is shown as a grown-up, pig faced sex pest running after a terrified woman as he tries to grope her.
Twitter users called the image 'disgusting' and 'tasteless', and compared it to the Nazi magazine Der Sturmer, which mocked Jews in the run up to the Holocaust in the 1930s.
'All of the people who work at Charlie Hebdo are some of the most bigoted & racist people in the world, actually,' wrote Twitter user Chris Erion.
The controversial cartoon comes on the first anniversary of a terrorist attack on the magazine by al-Qaeda gunmen, which left 11, including cartoonists, dead.
The attackers had accused Hebdo of insulting the Prophet Mohamed, and having a vendetta against Muslims in general.
Must not blame migrant intake for traffic jams
Over a million immigrants have arrived in Britain in recent years. And in bureaucratically-strangled England the provision of new and improved infrastructure such as roads and bridges is very slow. So you have a lot more drivers using basically the same roads as before. And since British traffic was very prone to jams before, the result is predictable. The guy below expressed that thought a little clumsily but he was in fact perfectly logical
Deal or No Deal host Noel Edmonds has been criticised on Twitter after suggesting migrants were to blame for a traffic jams that caused him to abandon a journey.
The 67-year-old tweeted to his 11,000 followers this morning: 'Just tried to get somewhere. Allowed loads of time but abandoned journey. Am I alone in feeling Britain is full?'
He followed it up by saying: 'But just supposing, I know it's a ridiculous thought, crazy even, totally insane obviously, but supposing UKs full?'
14 January, 2016
Ricky Gervais reacts after being slammed for 'transphobic' Caitlyn Jenner jibe
Ricky Gervais has defended his decision to target Caitlyn Jenner in his Golden Globes opening monologue, after being accused of being 'transphobic'.
'Suggesting a joke about Caitlin [sic] Jenner is automatically transphobic is like suggesting a joke about Bill Cosby is automatically racist,' wrote the Globes host.
Gervais posted a series of tweets defending his work on Sunday, in which he set out to poke fun at a who's who of Hollywood, from Ben Affleck to Mel Gibson and Charlie Sheen.
Addressing the A-list audience he had said: 'I’m going to be nice tonight. I’ve changed. 'Not as much as Bruce Jenner, obviously… now Caitlyn Jenner. What a year she’s had.
'She became a role model for trans people everywhere, showing great bravery in breaking down barriers and destroying stereotypes. She didn’t do a lot for women drivers, but you can't have everything, can you?'
The attack on Caitlyn's driving was an obvious reference to the February 2015 collision in which the former Olympian, then identifying as Bruce Jenner, rear-ended a car, starting off a chain reaction in which a woman lost her life when her vehicle was forced into oncoming traffic.
Yet compared to the other A-listers on Ricky Gervais' hit list, Jenner got off lightly - with Gervais making a point of commending her decision to publicly transition.
Despite this the reaction was swift, with the comedian attacked for even mentioning the reality star.
Australian lamb ad dubbed violent towards vegans, racist
THE latest Australia Day lamb ad has come under fire for racial insensitivity and promoting violence towards vegans.
This year’s campaign, which brings together Lambassador Sam Kekovich and legendary SBS newsreader Lee Lin Chin, is based around a mission to save Aussies abroad from having to go without a lamb barbecue on Australia Day.
Chin leads an army, including Fitzy & Wippa, across the likes of Tokyo, London and Bali, on a journey to bring home a number of prominent Aussies.
One of the people Chin’s army brings home includes a vegan whose apartment is set on fire.
It is this scene that has sparked complaints, including on the Facebook page of Meat and Livestock Australia, which created the ad.
Others have complained about the use of the term “boomerang” arguing it is insensitive to indigenous Australians, especially leading into Australia Day.
A spokeswoman for the Advertising Standards Bureau said it had received close to 300 complaints since the ad was launched — the majority about discrimination against vegans.
The spokeswoman told News Corp Australia a meeting of the ASB board will be convened to review the ad — possibly prior to Australia Day.
“It will go to our next board meeting. The board will decide on whether to dismiss or uphold the ad. If it is dismissed it has to then be removed,” she said.
The ad is clearly a lark, not to be taken literally. So what's wrong with disrespecting Vegans? They're deluded. Human beings, like many higher mammals, are omnivores. Being Vegan is unnatural and risky to your health
13 January, 2016
Facebook's 'hate speech' double standard
In December 2015, the NGO Shurat Hadin – Israel Law Center started an experiment on Facebook to see if the social-media giant was indeed guilty of double standards when it comes to Israel and the Palestinians.
The group decided to create two similar Facebook pages called “Stop Israel” and “Stop Palestinians” and started posting similar articles, visuals and statements on each site. For instance, the anti-Israel page had a post that read “The Zionist bites Palestine part after part and the world is silent. We’ll stop them any way we can” – while the anti-Palestinian site posted “Greater land Israel should return soon from the hands of the Muslim enemy back to Jewish sovereignty! We’ll do it in any way we can.”
More posts purposely filled with hatred and incitement against both sides and from both pages continued to flow. The verbiage was almost similar on all posts except for the obvious targeting of one side by the other. The result? Facebook shut down the anti-Palestinian page while the anti-Israel page continued to run.
On British TV shows, even blacks are not allowed to be critical of homosexuals
It is normal for blacks worldwide to express dislike of homosexuality. In Jamaica they call male homosexuals "poopmen". But below we read that a black on a popular TV show was censured for it. That is mildly surprising because the all-purpose get-out card that Leftists use to excuse bad behaviour by minorities -- "It's his culture" -- literally applied in this case. So, clearly, protecting homosexuals trumps everything else -- probably because they are the most disgusting to normal people
Judgement day in the Celebrity Big Brother house came swiftly and unapologetically for UKIP candidate Winston McKenzie, who was booted out of the house Friday over his crippling homophobic views.
McKenzie’s homophobia caused a stir before he even entered the house this season, when he described how he’d handle living with a gay housemate in a pre-show interview.
It’s Day 1 In The “Celebrity Big Brother” House And We Already Have A Raging Homophobe
“I could cope with a homosexual in the house. I guess I’ll just have to and with my back against a brick wall all the time,” he said.
McKenzie had an opportunity to revise or clarify his disdain for LGBT people during a task in the house days later, which he failed dramatically.
Asked to match housemates with previous quotes they’d given to the press, Winston’s 16 housemates were stunned to learn he’d previously said he believed gay people adopting children is tantamount to “child abuse.”
Winston stood firm in his view, and was quickly shown the door by a 13-1 vote. He said in an exit interview that he was most shocked by being dropped by people he respected and had formed relationships with, including producer David Gest and Flavor of Love star Tiffany Pollard.
12 January, 2016
Twitter's new crusade against violent speech
The company has gone after a popular -- albeit controversial -- Twitter user. It revoked the "verified" status of Milo Yiannopoulos, a British journalist at Breitbart News, on Friday evening.
Yiannopoulos has over 140,000 Twitter followers and is known for his provocative, unapologetic commentary. He's been vocal in the contentious movement known as GamerGate, which claims to promote ethics in gaming journalism but has been condemned for its treatment of women.
On Twitter, Yiannopoulos, who is gay, has taken aim at women. Like this tweet from December: "Is it any wonder successful gay men hate feminists, when women, in tax terms as elsewhere, are so ... well, parasitical?"
On Friday evening, Yiannopoulos tweeted a screenshot of an email from Twitter stating that his verification had been revoked. "I've been sat at the naughty table!" he wrote.
The screenshot, which Twitter told CNNMoney is valid, states that additional violations on his part could result in being removed from the platform all together.
"I think this is the first step to getting me off the platform," he told CNNMoney on Sunday. "Ridicule and criticism are being re-branded abuse and harassment."
Germany springs to action over hate speech against migrants
Can the truth be hate speech?
Donald Trump may be testing the boundaries of tolerance on the U.S. campaign trail. But here in Germany, the government is effectively enforcing civility, taking aim at a surge of hate speech against refugees and Muslims.
As Western Europe’s most populous nation grapples with a historic wave of mostly-Muslim migrants, politicians and activists are decrying a rash of incendiary speech bubbling to the surface of German society. In a country whose Nazi past led to some of the strictest laws in the West protecting minorities from people inciting hatred, prosecutors are launching investigations into inflammatory comments as judges dole out fines, even probation time, to the worst offenders.
German authorities, meanwhile, have reached a deal with Facebook, Google and Twitter to get tougher on offensive content, with the outlets agreeing to apply domestic laws, rather than their own corporate policies, to reviews of posts.
11 January, 2016
Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" on sale in Germany for the first time since World War II
What difference does it make? It is readily available online
A critical edition of Adolf Hitler's autobiography Mein Kampf will hit bookstores in Germany for the first time since World War II as the copyright of the racist political treatise expires.
For 70 years, the southern German state of Bavaria - who was handed the copyright of the book by the Allies in 1945 following Hitler's death - refused to publish the anti-Semitic manifesto out of respect for victim of the Nazis.
But Mein Kampf, which means My Struggle, fell into the public domain on January 1.
Ian Kershaw, a Briton who is a leading biographer of Hitler, joined Friday's book presentation and said it was 'high time for a rigorously academic edition of Mein Kampf' to be made available.
'For years, I have considered the lifting of the ban on publication long overdue,' Kershaw said.
'Censorship is almost always pointless in the long term in a free society, and only contributes to creating a negative myth, making a forbidden text more mysterious and awakening an inevitable fascination with the inaccessible.'
But the Jewish community in Germany criticised the decision to reprint the anti-Semitic book, questioning whether it was necessary to propagate the inflammatory text again.
Charlotte Knobloch, leader of the Jewish community in Munich, said she could not imagine seeing 'Mein Kampf' in shop windows.
Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, told AFP that not only would 'Holocaust survivors be offended by the sale of the anti-Semitic work in bookstores again', but that he also failed to see a need for a critical edition.
EU considers scrapping citizen petitions which force parliament to consider appeals with enough support after a million people call for gay marriage to be axed
There are some things you must not ask
The EU is backtracking over a proposal that allows citizen appeals to be heard in parliament after one million people signed a petition calling for gay marriage to be scrapped.
European leaders now want to review the scheme amid fears it is being hijacked by minority campaign groups pushing their agenda on controversial and 'emotionally charged' issues.
The legislation, called the European Citizens' Initiative, allows petitions that have gathered more than one million signatures to be heard before parliament.
But President Jean-Claude Juncker has signalled his desire to review the scheme after an anti-gay marriage group collected one million signatures.
The minutes of a meeting on December 9 revealed EU lawyers warned the group's petition met all the requirements of the legislation, and the organisation was legally-bound to allow it to be heard.
Members were concerned the proposed citizens' laws did not move the EU project forward, rather they involved 'highly controversial and emotionally charged issues of greater interest to minorities'.
10 January, 2016
'Being white makes you a winner': Thai beauty campaign 'showing dark skinned people as losers'
Thais tend to think Hitler was a pretty cool guy too. They have different sensitivities to Westerners
A Thai company has pulled an advert for skin-lightening pills following an outcry on social media over a product sold with the tagline 'white makes you a winner'.
The advertisement for Seoul Secret's supplement called Snowz featured a veteran Thai actress Cris Horwang, 35, attributing her professional success to her pale complexion.
'It's not easy to stay at this point for a long time,' she says in the video. 'If I stopped taking care of my body and white complexion, all that I have invested will be gone.'
As she speaks, a smiling, younger woman enters the picture and Cris' own image darkens to charcoal black.
She's seen casting an envious look at the other woman who stands by her side.
'A newcomer will replace me and turn me into a dark star,' she says in the video, using a Thai idiom to refer to her fame fading.
Whitening creams and pills are wildly popular in Thailand, where pale skin is upheld as the standard of beauty in the media and among many Thais, and is associated with a higher social status.
Before its removal, the Seoul Secret video received more than 100,000 views on YouTube, and a flood of inquiries on the company's Facebook page about how to order the product.
But other social media sites drew posts railing against the advert for being racially offensive and reinforcing the country's narrow beauty ideals.
'It indicates that dark skin people are losers, and this is clearly racist,' a Thai commentator named Tammaijang wrote on the web forum Pantip.
H&M sparks fury for selling 'offensive' striped scarf which looks like Jewish prayer shawl
Is anybody hurt by this?
High-street retailer H&M has come under fire for selling a striped scarf which looks remarkably similar to a traditional Jewish garment used for prayer.
The controversial striped accessory is currently on sale for £12.99 on the shop's UK website.
But Twitter users noticed the design was reminiscent of a tallit scarf, in the same cream colour with black stripes and knotted ends.
The tallit scarf is traditionally worn during prayer and led many to voice their outrage.
Twitter user Rav Ruttenberg wrote: 'Dear fashion, please step off other people's ritual items (or symbols of liberation really)' and posted a link to the H&M item.
Jason Rosenbaum posted: 'Wow. I'm not easily offended but that is one offensive scarf.'
An H&M spokesperson told FEMAIL: 'We are truly sorry if we have offended anyone with this piece.
'Everyone is welcome at H&M and we never take a religious or political stand. Stripes is one of the trends for this season and something we were inspired by. Our intention was never to upset anyone.'
The spokesperson added to i100: 'The quantities were small and the products are no longer available in some markets.'
8 January, 2016
Democrats Hate Free Speech
Not that it stands any chance of passing the Republican-controlled House, but several Democrats teamed up to lay their anti-free speech cards on the table. House Resolution 569 condemns “violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States,” and thanks to a few Democrats, it’s now before the House Judiciary Committee.
Robert Spencer writes for Front Page Magazine, “That’s right: ‘violence, bigotry and hateful rhetoric.’ The implications of those five words will fly by most people who read them, and the mainstream media, of course, will do nothing to elucidate them. But what H. Res. 569 does is conflate violence — attacks on innocent civilians, which have no justification under any circumstances — with ‘bigotry’ and ‘hateful rhetoric,’ which are identified on the basis of subjective judgments.
The inclusion of condemnations of ‘bigotry’ and ‘hateful rhetoric’ in this Resolution, while appearing to be high-minded, take on an ominous character when one recalls the fact that for years, [Muslim Congressmen Keith Ellison and Andre Carson], and his allies (including groups such as the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations, CAIR) have been smearing any and all honest examination of how Islamic jihadists use the texts and teachings of Islam to incite hatred and violence as ‘bigotry’ and ‘hateful rhetoric.’
This Resolution is using the specter of violence against Muslims to try to quash legitimate research into the motives and goals of those who have vowed to destroy us, which will have the effect of allowing the jihad to advance unimpeded and unopposed.”
Black British actress slams Starbucks over 'racist' statue of black boy in pith helmet and loin cloth in London coffee shop
The image is presumably meant to portray a coffee planation worker so may be broadly accurate
Thandie Newton has accused Starbucks of racism after spotting a statue of a black boy wearing a pith helmet and loin cloth in one of its London coffee shops.
The outraged actress posted a photograph to Twitter, showing the model - which was being used to hold Colombian coffee beans - on the counter of the chain's shop in Soho.
She then wrote: 'Seriously @Starbucks? At the counter — Loin cloth and Safari hat on a black child. Happy New Year circa 19th century.'
The chain replied saying: 'We are very concerned to learn of this incident & we can’t apologize enough. We have removed the figure & are investigating.'
7 January, 2016
US loves 'all-white' Downton Abbey, says Australian satirist. Barry Humphries claims show is popular because 'there are no black people in it'
Like all good satire, it probably has an element of truth in it
Some put its astonishing global popularity down to the gripping family dramas, others to its idyllic picture of an age gone by. But according to Dame Edna Everage, Downton Abbey has only found success in America ‘because there are no black people in it’.
Australian comic Barry Humphries, 81, most famous for his drag act as Dame Edna, quipped that the predominantly white cast made the programme more palatable for U.S. audiences.
However, he seemed to ignore the fact that Downton does have a black character - American jazz musician Jack Ross - who appeared in four episodes of series four. His remarks also go against the fact that Empire was the fifth most watched show in America last year, with more than 17million viewers, and has an almost entirely non-white cast.
Humphries made the comments in an interview with The Radio Times in which he lamented how the rise of political correctness and ‘puritanism’ is sterilising modern comedy.
He also claimed that the BBC blocked him from making jokes about Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn unless he also poked fun at David Cameron.
Humphries’ remarks about Downton are the latest in a long line of controversial jokes that have peppered his career.
In 2003, his agony aunt column in magazine Vanity Fair was axed after a reader asked if she should learn Spanish and he advised against it, adding: ‘Who speaks it that you are really desperate to talk to? The help? Your leaf blower?’
It caused outrage, with many taking the comments to be offensive to Mexicans. The remarks were defended as satirising rich Americans but the scandal led to a full page apology being printed.
Speaking of the incident in the Radio Times interview, Humphries said: ‘Now we would read it as Edna satirising snobbish people who think maids and Spanish-speaking people are inferior.
‘[Actress] Salma Hayek was on the cover and rallied a lot of Mexicans, and death threats were received by [editor] Graydon Carter. Unbelievable! And my column was suspended. You lose your job.’
He said it is ‘quite important’ to him that he causes offence, adding: ‘It’s very easy to become a safe figure and tempting, too, to want to be all things to all people.’
True to this form, he said of Downton Abbey: ‘Why do you think Downton Abbey is so popular in the States? Because there are no black people in it.’
The ITV programme is broadcast on channel PBS in America, and the final series – which concluded in the UK last year – began on Sunday night.
Despite its story being so quintessentially British, the show is hugely popular in America, with episodes often attracting upwards of 10million viewers.
It has no shortage of celebrity fans across the Atlantic, with Katy Perry, George Clooney and Sarah Jessica Parker all known to be devotees.
First Lady Michelle Obama reportedly begged to have episodes sent to her in advance because she could not wait for them to reach American channels.
In his new interview, Humphries also lamented the state of modern comedy.
He said: ‘Imagine if the BBC tried to do Till Death Us Do Part again today, with Alf Garnett ranting against black people? It couldn’t be done. There is a new puritanism that we are experiencing, a nervousness.’
The comedian said this became particularly apparent to him during a recent BBC appearance when he found executives telling him which jokes he could and couldn’t tell.
He said: ‘I wanted to say something about Mr Corbyn and a faceless, nameless person at the BBC said, “Then you have also have to say something about Mr Cameron”. As if there wasn’t any bias at the BBC at all!’
He said this attitude has seeped through the entire Corporation, making it a shadow of itself compared to when he worked there during the 1960s. ‘It’s not such a free place any more. There’s a fear of treading on people’s toes and I don’t like it,’ he said.
Bazza backs Germaine
AUSTRALIAN comedian Barry Humphries has weighed into Germaine Greer’s row over Caitlyin Jenner, describing the former Olympian as “a mutilated man”.
Humphries — who is about to return to the stage as Dame Edna Everage — said he backed Australian feminist Greer, who caused an uproar with her claims last October that transgender women are “not real women”.
According to Greer, “trans” women such as Jenner are men “who believe that they are women and have themselves castrated.”
Humphries, who has made millions as arguably the world’s most famous female impersonator, told London’s Telegraph he agreed with his fellow Aussie expat.
“I agree with Germaine! You’re a mutilated man, that’s all,” he says. “Self-mutilation, what’s all this carry on? Caitlyn Jenner — what a publicity-seeking ratbag. It’s all given the stamp — not of respectability, but authenticity or something. If you criticise anything you’re racist or sexist or homophobic.”
Humphries, 81, is about to embark on Dame Edna’s final farewell tour in the US and Canada.
6 January, 2016
Black cricketer disrespects female interviewer on Australian TV
An experienced and dedicated female sports journalist, Mel McLaughlin, was trying to interview black cricketer Chris Gayle about sports matters but got only personal comments about herself from him. That has offended a lot of people as inappropriate and disrespectful to a woman but he has so far refused to apologize. It will hurt his career, however. Various sorts of retribution against him have been proposed or promised.
Black males are often very bold in approaching women so his behaviour should perhaps be seen in that context. From his point of view he probably sees nothing to apologize for. In Leftist terms, it's his "culture".
In anthropological terms it could be seen as part of a generally low level of self-restraint among people of sub-Saharan African origin, as seen in their very high rate of criminal offending wherever they are in the world.
Perhaps it should be mentioned that the lady has been publicly embarrassed on TV before -- by another black sportsman.
Also relevant is that Gayle has behaved similarly on past occasions but has learnt nothing from it. Another female journalist labels him as a "creep", which he no doubt is by general Australian standards
Gayle sent social media into meltdown when he openly flirted with McLaughlin in his on-field interview after he was dismissed for a brilliant 41 (15 balls).
“I wanted to have an interview with you as well, that’s why I’m here,” the Jamaican said live on national television.
“I get to see your eyes for the first time, it’s nice. Hopefully we can win and go for a drink after.
“Don’t blush baby.”
A clearly uncomfortable McLaughlin finished the interview with class, but Channel 10 Head of Sport David Barham, at home watching the match on television, said McLaughlin was angered by the experience.
Australia: A mature response to offensive speech
Veteran journalist Samantha Maiden
A journalist labelled a "mad f---ing witch" by Immigration Minister Peter Dutton hopes he doesn't find himself on the backbench for accidentally sending an offensive text message to her.
On Sunday night, Mr Dutton confirmed he had apologised to the journalist for the text, which was intended for his embattled colleague Jamie Briggs.
Mr Briggs stepped down from his position as cities minister after acting inappropriately towards a female colleague while on an overseas trip.
Samantha Maiden, the national political editor for News Corp's Sunday papers, published a column on Sunday morning highly critical of Mr Briggs' conduct.
Mr Dutton responded by sending a text intended for Mr Briggs in which he called Maiden a "mad f---ing witch". Instead, it was sent to Maiden's text message inbox.
On Monday, Maiden said there were "more substantial issues" to consider in the aftermath of Mr Briggs' resignation. "Peter Dutton has stuffed up, he's owned up and he's 'fessed up," Maiden told ABC radio on Monday morning.
"I would be lying if I was trying to manufacture outrage ... I'm not offended by it.
When asked if Mr Dutton should resign for the "witch" text, Maiden told Nine's Today program she "would hope not". "I think that Mr Dutton is a good minister; he's a hard worker, he's made a strong contribution to the government," she said.
5 January, 2016
Students protest Sig Ep, Alpha Phi raid, call on UCLA to address racism
The events described below happened last October. I put the matter aside at the time to await further developments. But there seem to have been none. The whole matter has slipped off the radar. Google reveals nothing except reports of the original occurrence. Was the suspension of the accused students lifted? Probably. There is a defence of the "offensive" students here which may have taken the heat off them. The bottom line seems to be that they WERE mocking the erratic singer Kanye West, not Africans generally. That is still pretty risky, however
Students dressed in black marched to Chancellor Gene Block’s office Thursday afternoon to protest the “Kanye Western” themed raid held Tuesday night, which was organized by the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and Alpha Phi sorority.
About 200 protesters held signs with messages such as “Black culture is not a theme,” and chanted “Black Bruins Matter,” among other messages.
At the raid, which many students described as racist, partygoers dressed in baggy clothes, plumped lips and padded bottoms. Some students were also seen with brown paint and black soot on their faces.
Jerry Kang, vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion, said both Alpha Phi and Sigma Phi Epsilon have been placed on immediate interim suspension of all social activities pending the outcome of an investigation.
Turkey's Erdogan uses Hitler's Germany as an example in his push for a stronger presidency
Outside Europe and the Anglosphere countries Hitler is not seen as very bad and may even be admired as "strong". And in Muslim countries he is a hero. So Erdogan, a Muslim, was just forgetful of Western sensitivities when he used a Hitler comparison
Turkey's president caused a storm yesterday when he used Adolf Hitler's ruling system to defend a controversial plan to expand the powers of the presidency.
President Erdogan, the strongman of Turkish politics for more than a decade, is seeking a new constitution to transform his post into a powerful 'super-presidency'.
Asked on his return from a state visit to Saudi Arabia whether an executive presidency was possible in Turkey while maintaining the unitary structure of the state, Erdogan said: 'There are already examples in the world. You can see it when you look at Hitler's Germany.
'There are later examples in various other countries,' he told reporters.
Erdogan wants to change the Turkish constitution to turn the ceremonial role of president into that of a chief executive, a Turkish version of the system in the United States, France or Russia.
Emboldened by his Justice and Development Party's (AKP) landslide election win in November, Erdogan has suggested holding a referendum on the proposed constitutional reforms.
However the Turkish president's office last night said he was not advocating a Hitler-style government when he called for a state system with a strong executive.
A statement from Erdogan's office said the Turkish president has declared the Holocaust, anti-semitism and Islamophobia as crimes against humanity and that it was out of the question for him to cite Hitler's Germany as a good example.
'Erdogan's 'Hitler's Germany' metaphor has been distorted by some news sources and has been used in the opposite sense,' the presidency said in a statement.
4 January, 2016
'Bikini Body' is a bad phrase
Women's Health magazine is saying goodbye to the phrases 'Bikini Body' and 'Drop Two Dress Sizes' in 2016.
Editor-in-chief, Amy Keller Laird, penned a thoughtful essay on Tuesday announcing the retirement of the 'shaming' cover lines as part of the fitness magazine's New Year resolutions, explaining that the decision was inspired by Women's Health readers.
'Since our goal is always to pump you up, and never to make you feel bad, here’s our pledge: They’re gone,' she wrote of the phrases. 'They’ll no longer appear on Women’s Health covers.'
The editor noted that the magazine had stopped using words such as 'shrink' and 'diet' in 2015 at readers' request, but a recent survey showed that Women's Health fan's also weren't thrilled with taglines about achieving 'bikini bodies' or shrinking in size during unreasonable amounts of time.
It appears that Women's Health has been slowly removing the unwanted phrases and replacing them with words such as 'strong' and 'sexy' over the past year, particularly in the last few months.
The last time 'Bikini Body' was splashed across the magazine's cover was for the June 2015 issue starring Gwyneth Paltrow.
Confederate flag is the 'American Swastika'?
I call it a symbol of justice denied. In his famous letter to Horace Greeley, Abraham Lincoln admitted that the war was nothing to do with slavery. It was about central government power -- "the union" in Lincoln's terms. Kids are taught to recite a pack of sententious lies called the Gettysburg address -- in which he claimed to stand for "goverment of the people by the people for the people" -- exactly what he had just denied to the South
Quentin Tarantino considers the Confederate flag the 'American swastika' - and feels it is 'about damn time' that people questioned its place in the American South.
Tarantino's comment was made during an interview to promote his latest film, The Hateful Eight, which is due to hit the big screen on January 8 in the UK.
The film is set a few years after the American Civil War and it puts the spotlight on strained race relations in the country.
3 January, 2016
Is Twitter shooting itself in the foot?
It will now censor discussions of "sensitive topics". So far, the draconian restrictions below only apply to PAID ads, not to general tweets. I can see it encouraging more general tweets but I can't see it making much money.
This policy evokes a strong "negative reaction" in me. How can anyone figure out how one of the permanently offended class will react to anything? Hello, White Christmas??
Donor disclosure as a brake on free speech
Leftists will corrupt anything
Not content with using the IRS to harass conservative organizations, the Democrats have turned to using the court system to demand that conservative organizations divulge their donor list. As Breitbart reports:
The San Francisco Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overruled a U.S. District Court judge to give authority to California Attorney General Kamala Harris to obtain the donor list from the Koch Brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity Foundation.
The ‘Americans for Prosperity Foundation’ was founded by Charles and David Koch as a national foundation in 2004 and registered in all states, including California, as a nonprofit organization promoting limited government and free markets by educating individuals around the country about practical ways to improve their circumstances.
It became one of the most influential American conservative political advocacy organizations after the 2009 inauguration of President Barack Obama, when AFP helped transform the Tea Party movement into a potent political force to oppose the Obama agenda, such as the stimulus, Obamacare, and cap-and-trade.
AFP is especially loathed by unions for supporting limits on the collective bargaining rights of public-sector trade unions, right-to-work laws, and raising the federal minimum wage.
But AFP became the number one target of elected Democrat officials and their constituencies for the role the organization played in breaking Democrat majority control of the House of Representatives in 2010 and the U.S. Senate in 2014.
AFP has complied with the filing requirements with the Internal Revenue Service each year for over a decade and disclosed its nationwide list of major donors’ names and addresses on tax form “Schedule B” for a nonprofit charity. Federal criminal statutes protect the constitutional right to privacy by forbidding the IRS to make any unauthorized disclosure of charity donors to a 501(c)4 non-profit.
This is the left's subtle way of enforcing conformity with their socially extreme views and stifling dissent. It's for this reason that even some voices who once suggested a compromise on campaign donations: unlimited giving, but full disclosure- are now reconsidering. As Charles Krauthammer noted in a column for the Washington Post:
"Open the floodgates, and let the monies, big and small, check and balance each other. And let transparency be the safeguard against corruption. As long as you know who is giving what to whom, you can look for, find and, if necessary, prosecute corrupt connections between donor and receiver."
This used to be my position. No longer. I had not foreseen how donor lists would be used not to ferret out corruption but to pursue and persecute citizens with contrary views. Which corrupts the very idea of full disclosure.
It is now an invitation to the creation of enemies lists. Containing, for example, Brendan Eich, forced to resign as Mozilla CEO when it was disclosed that six years earlier he’d given $1,000 to support a referendum banning gay marriage. He was hardly the first. Activists compiled blacklists of donors to Proposition 8 and went after them. Indeed, shortly after the referendum passed, both the artistic director of the California Musical Theatre in Sacramento and the president of the Los Angeles Film Festival were hounded out of office.
Referendums produce the purest example of transparency misused because corrupt favoritism is not an issue. There’s no one to corrupt. Supporting a referendum is a pure expression of one’s beliefs. Full disclosure in that context becomes a cudgel, an invitation to harassment.
This isn't about ferretting out corruption- it's about naming and shaming. That's the only explanation for investigation of a group that's been in full compliance with the law. This just serves as another reminder: liberals aren't interested in winning the debate, they're interested in ending it.
2 January, 2016
Again: Must not dress up as Native Americans
This stupid "cultural appropriation" idea again. A demolition of it here
[Actor] Chris Hemsworth and wife Elsa Pataky have come under fire for dressing up as Native Americans at a New Year's Eve fancy dress party.
Taking to Instagram on Thursday night, 39-year-old Spanish actress Elsa shared a snap of the couple with family and friends at the event.
Posing behind a 'Wanted' sign, the couple pose in their Native American costumes alongside fellow guests while Luke Hemsworth appears to stand guard in a Sheriff suit and cowboy hat.
Fans were quick to condemn the pair for their choice of attire, with one Instagram user commenting: 'This is so disappointing to see. Native Americans are real, their culture is real.'
Meanwhile, another suggested the couple's costumes were an example of cultural appropriation, writing: 'Can't put into words how wrong this is.' [Do try]
Meanwhile other fans took the liberty to defend the couple on social media, insisting the fancy dress party was just a light-hearted social occasion with no nasty intent. [Which is surely true]
Must not disrespect artists
As far as I can see, most modern art is crap. So if I had a young kid at the moment, I would buy him one of these shirts. Why should I not? A lot of people share my view of modern art.
Artists are questioning the creativity (and biases) of Old Navy's design team.
Mother and professional artist Kelly McKernan posted a photo of two Old Navy toddler shirts to Facebook on Tuesday. The shirts were each emblazoned with the slogan, "Young Aspiring Artist," but the word "Artist" was crossed out and replaced with "Astronaut" or "President."
McKernan asserted that the shirts promoted an anti-art mentality in children, and chastised Old Navy for approving the design.
"This is deeply disappointing," McKernan wrote in the photo caption. "As a mother and a career artist, I'm astounded that a company as large and influential as you are could approve of a design that encourages toddlers to stifle their creativity."
Other commenters agreed, noting how the shirt seemingly looks down upon artistic professions.
1 January, 2016
Another moan from the easily offended
From these moaners, you would never guess that alcohol is a normal part of life in the Western world
A Frozen-themed non-alcoholic 'champagne' has been pulled from shelves following a wave of protest from alcohol awareness groups.
The sparkling grape fruit juice - sold as a 'party drink' and packaged in a corked wine bottle for as little as £1.69 - left some parents scratching their heads.
However not everybody was up in arms about the product. One woman posted a picture on Twitter of her two children clinking champagne glasses, with the caption: 'Happy birthday to our girl #birthdaymorning #frozenchampagne'.
The animated fantasy film is one of the highest-grossing movies in box office history, and its popularity has spawned a wave of merchandise - from Elsa dresses, wigs and dolls to even furniture.
But some felt that Frozen-themed 'champagne' was taking things a step too far.
Discount site HomeBargains.co.uk, who have since pulled the product from their site, described the drink as a 'grown-up alternative to juice and pop at parties' for 'little princes and princesses across the land who want to be more sophisticated'.
It was described as 'perfect at birthdays, family events, BBQs or after a long day building snowmen with Olaf' and sold for £1.69 a bottle.
However, drink awareness campaigners were furious, claiming the product 'normalised' alcohol consumption.
Dr Sarah Jarvis, medical advisor for DrinkAware said: 'The Chief Medical Officer recommends an alcohol-free childhood for good reason. 'Young people's bodies are still developing and their brains may be more susceptible to the effects of alcohol than those of adults, even at levels within the government's recommended upper limits for adults.'
Jackie Ballard, Chief Executive of Alcohol Concern, told Mashable.'Too often alcohol is sold as if it was a normal commodity and alcohol-like products are used to entice people into the world of alcohol.
Must not speak the truth about bad attitudes among blacks
That there ARE a lot of bad attitudes among blacks is shown by their high rate of criminal offending
Oliver Letwin's words in a secret memo blaming 'bad moral attitudes' among black people for the 1980s riots 'border on criminality', equality campaigners said today.
The Tory MP has been accused of racism after he warned Margaret Thatcher in 1985 not to back a black entrepreneur scheme, saying they would just 'set up in the disco and drug trade'.
Mr Letwin, who is David Cameron's policy chief, also argued that social unrest could not be caused by deprivation because poor white people had lived in slums for years without rioting.
Civil rights campaigner Darcus Howe said today: 'If a black man had said something quite like that he’d have been called into Scotland Yard and he might be charged with incitement to riot. It is bordering on criminality'.
Mr Letwin's comments were discovered in files released yesterday under the former 30-year rule by the National Archives at Kew, west London.
He was a member of Mrs Thatcher's policy unit and wrote the memo in the wake of the Broadwater Farm riot in Tottenham, north London, in 1985. The country had been rocked by social unrest after riots erupted in mostly black urban areas.
After the document emerged last night Mr Letwin later apologised 'unreservedly' and admitted he was 'wrong' and his controversial memo, initialled and probably underlined by Lady Thatcher, was 'badly worded'.
Oliver Letwin and co-author Hartley Booth wrote a memo for Mrs Thatcher after major rioting in Tottenham. They commented on government policy and what they thought were the root causes of unrest.
They wrote: 'The root of social malaise is not poor housing, or youth "alienation", or the lack of a middle class.
'Lower-class, unemployed white people lived for years in appalling slums without a breakdown of public order on anything like the present scale; in the midst of the depression, people in Brixton went out, leaving their grocery money in a bag at the front door, and expecting to see groceries there when they got back.
'Riots, criminality and social disintegration are caused solely by individual characters and attitudes. So long as bad moral attitudes remain, all efforts to improve the inner cities will founder.
'David Young's new entrepreneurs will set up in the disco and drug trade; Kenneth Baker's refurbished council blocks will decay through vandalism combined with neglect; and people will graduate from temporary training or employment programmes into unemployment or crime'.
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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