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31 October, 2011

Fla. school advised that faculty can participate in, communicate about community-led prayer event

We read:
"The Alliance Defense Fund sent a letter Friday to Clay County School District officials informing them that voluntary faculty participation in a community-led, before-school prayer event is protected by the First Amendment despite the objections of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. The letter also explains that a school principal’s internal newsletter, which mentioned the event, is also constitutionally protected.

“Christian faculty acting in their private capacities do not lose their constitutionally protected right to free speech,” said ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman. “The Constitution guards the right of staff to participate in the voluntary prayer event just as other community members can. The inclusion of the event in the newsletter that the principal circulated is also fully protected. Neither amount to an endorsement of religion by the school in any way, shape, or form.”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter to the School District of Clay County on Oct. 11 demanding cancellation of a weekly, community-led “Prayer Around the Flagpole” event at Clay Hill Elementary School that occurs before class time and is not sponsored by the school.

The letter also objected to Principal Larry Davis’s mention of the event in his internal newsletter. The newsletter, which he calls “The Bark,” also mentioned several other events and announcements of interest to school faculty and staff, the only recipients of the newsletter. The newsletter is not circulated to students.


Canadian case sparks constitutional challenge

Christian campaigner attacks the law under which he was wrongfully charged
"The Supreme Court of Canada will hear a case today that challenges the constitutionality of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code.

The case involves Bill Whatcott, who was found by a lower court to have violated the code by delivering hate-filled messages against gay people in flyers he distributed. However, that finding that was reversed by the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal in 2010.

Whatcott is questioning part of the code that allows the commission to charge people with hate speech. His lawyer has said human rights commissions have an obligation to protect freedom of religion.

Whatcott was found to have violated the code when he put pamphlets in mailboxes objecting to the teaching of same-sex relations in Saskatoon public schools.

Whatcott pulls no punches, as you can see here, so Canada must be learning the meaning of free speech to let him continue with his leafletting.

30 October, 2011

Ad for gun training bars Muslims and Obama voters, PC police go ballistic

No freedom to teach?
A radio ad for a handgun training class that bars Muslims and Obama voters has sparked an investigation in Texas.

"We will attempt to teach you all the necessary information you need to obtain your [Concealed Handgun License]," the ad says. Then towards the end, it adds: "If you are a socialist liberal and/or voted for the current campaigner in chief, please do not take this class. You have already proven that you cannot make a knowledgeable and prudent decision under the law."

And then: "If you are a non-Christian Arab or Muslim, I will not teach you the class with no shame; I am Crockett Keller, thank you, and God bless America."

The ad ran for six days on KHLB, Mason's local station. It's also been heard tens of thousands of times on Youtube.

The Department of Public Safety said in a statement that certified instructors of handgun training are required to comply with all applicable state and federal laws, and added: "Conduct by an instructor that denied service to individuals on the basis of race, ethnicity or religion would place that instructor's certification by the Department at risk of suspension or revocation."

It seems unlikely that Keller will back down, though. "I'm not going to do it," he told the local news. "I will give up my license to teach before I will teach them," he said, referring to Obama voters and Muslims.


South Africa bans deodorant advert showing angels falling from heaven... because it offends Christians

South Africa is a very Christian place in theory -- though not in practice
An advert which shows angels falling from heaven because they are attracted to a man's deodorant has been banned in South Africa after regulators ruled it could offend Christians.

The 60-second commercial depicts a group of provocatively-dressed young female angels descending to earth in what appears to be an Italian town.

Shocked locals then watch in amazement as the haloed women walk towards a young man who is preparing to ride his moped.

A final scene shows the women smashing their haloes on the floor as they advance towards the man, whom the viewers are informed is wearing Axe deodorant. A pay-off line at the end of the advert reads: 'Even angels will fall.'

However it became subject to a probe by the country's Advertising Standards Authority following a complaint from a Christian viewer. The male complainant told regulators he was angered by the suggestion that God's messengers could literally fall for a man on the basis of his shop-bought fragrance.

The ASA banned the advert earlier this month after ruling it was likely others would also be offended.

One would think that the South African authorities would be using their employees more productively by doing something to tackle the country's huge rate of violent crime, robbery and murder.

29 October, 2011

Muslims say crosses at Catholic University Violate “Human Rights”

We read:
"The Washington, D.C. Office of Human Rights confirmed that it is investigating allegations that Catholic University violated the human rights of Muslim students by not allowing them to form a Muslim student group and by not providing them rooms without Christian symbols for their daily prayers.

The investigation alleges that Muslim students “must perform their prayers surrounded by symbols of Catholicism – e.g., a wooden crucifix, paintings of Jesus, pictures of priests and theologians which many Muslim students find inappropriate.”

So why are they going to a private Catholic university? They will certainly find no crosses at a State university

No freedom to name your kids as you wish?

A name is evidence of child abuse? America is a very authoritarian place at times. The child welfare goons below sound like they are imitating Hitler rather than opposing him.
Parents who named two of their children "Adolf Hitler" and "Aryan Nation" lost custody of all three of their children Thursday, even though they say a New Jersey appeals court found no evidence of abuse, ruling the children have been taken away without cause

“Actually, the judge and DYFS told us that there was no evidence of abuse and that it was the names. They were taken over the children's names,” Heath Campbell told NBC 10 Tuesday.

However, the appeals court ruled last year that sufficient evidence of abuse or neglect existed because of domestic violence in the home, and removed the children from their Philipsburg, N.J.home.

In protest, Heath and Deborah Campbell picketed with three other people outside of child services offices in Flemington, N.J., Tuesday, saying that the state has no right to keep their children away from them now that the court allegedly ruled that the kids were taken away without cause, NBC 10 reports.

At the time both parents acknowledge the hate behind their children's names. But say that was not their intention. "This is America, they say it's free, you have the right to name your child whatever you want to name your child, no matter what," Heath Campbell said.


28 October, 2011

Another Leftist Jew hater

He's a pro-Castro Cuban who is employed to teach Latin American history!
"A Kent State history professor, who has allegedly been linked to elements of Muslim extremism, reportedly lashed out at a former Israeli diplomat speaking at the university Tuesday night.

The event was co-sponsored by the undergraduate student government and entitled “An Evening with Ishmael Khaldi.” Khaldi spoke in regards to his book, A Shepherd’s Journey, which details his life journey from a small tent in a Bedouin village to the inner-circles of the Israel Foreign Service.

When his speech ended, Khaldi opened the floor to a Q&A, where History Professor Julio Pino rushed to be the first to question Khaldi.

Pino began to question how Khaldi could justify speaking of foreign aid given from Israel to countries like Turkey, when that aid was financed by “blood money that came from the deaths of Palestinian children and babies.”

The exchange ended as Pino stormed out of the auditorium shouting ‘Death to Israel!’”

Following the altercation, Khaldi remained calm and continued to take questions, telling the crowd “Let’s respect each other; it starts from there.”

Joshua Burton, Chairman of the Ohio College Republican Federation, has urged that Kent State officials investigate the educational practices of “this dangerous professor, to ensure this hateful and violent rhetoric is not being instructed in the courses he teaches.”

He's a real nutcase. See here. Like old Karl Marx he seems to hate just about everybody. Another brilliant use of taxpayer dollars.

Atheist Group Sues Over Prayers at High School Football Games That Include ‘Jesus'

How does having a prayer said in your hearing hurt anyone? A real atheist would just think that the person praying was talking to himself. This is just Leftist hatred of Christianity.
"An Alabama school district has been accused of allowing prayers that invoke the name of Jesus during high school football games, according to a complaint filed by a national atheist organization.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation said the Lauderdale County school district has violated the First Amendment by allowing the prayers at Brooks High School.

The complaint was lodged by a single resident who objected to the student-led prayer before high school football games played on school property.

The Times Daily newspaper identified the complainant as Jeremy Green. In an email to the newspaper, Green said he was taking a stand for the so-called “separation of church and state in an effort to protect the constitutional rights of the non-religious.”

Valentine said that to his knowledge, no one has ever lodged a complaint with the school system about the prayers..... He said the complaint has generated lots of telephone calls – mostly in support of keeping the prayers.

McKelvey said he’s attended football games when students deliver prayer and to his knowledge they have always been benign – mostly prayers for the players, the coaches, the referees and the fans.

“They are in the Christian context with the student ending the prayer in Jesus’ name,” he said.


27 October, 2011

Some more Leftist "civility"

The charming Mr Jones above

We read:
"Just when attacks — whether they are serious statements or jokes — against Sarah Palin and her family seem like they’ve reached an unprecedented climax, someone always seems to up the ante. On October 22, actor Orlando Jones (MADtv) tweeted the following message:

While Jones is a comedian and typically tweets jokes out from his social media account, some see this one as going a bit too far over the line. Following the tragic shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, negative political rhetoric has been on the chopping block (or, at the least, there‘s been a fair share of rhetoric about the nation’s political discourse).


A strange (female) Air Force veteran

We read:
"An Air Force veteran is outraged that her daughter’s school recently announced that students will be asked to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of each day, the Seattle Times reports.

Haley Sides, 26, moved to Seattle after four years in the Air Force so her 6-year-old daughter could attend John Stanford International School, which promotes the same multiculturalism that Sides says she has tried to instill in her half-Jamaican daughter, according to the paper.

But Sides became angry when the school’s new principal announced that students will be asked to recite the Pledge of Allegiance each day before the start of classes. The policy, which has long been mandated by district policy but not traditionally observed at John Stanford , will start Monday.

Students who don't want to participate will be allowed to sit or stand respectfully.

At John Stanford's weekly coffee hour Friday, the pledge was a hot topic of conversation among the dozen or so parents in attendance. Janet Robinson, the PTSA treasurer, argued that its recitation would be an opportunity to talk about an important representation of American freedom and liberty. "It's a symbol of our country," she said.


26 October, 2011

Texas Politicians Fight to Stop Confederate Flag License Plate

We read:
"A proposed Texas license plate created to honor Confederate veterans is under fire from elected officials who have vowed to protest the plate’s Confederate flag design, the Houston Chronicle reports.

"We cannot allow the state to issue a symbol of intimidation," U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, said to a crowd of community leaders outside the Civil Courthouse Saturday.

Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, said that allowing these license plates would be allowing the people who lost a war to write history. [So? Why not? Is there a specially privileged class who alone may write history?]

The controversial design was created to honor Confederate veterans on the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War.

According to the paper, the proposal is sponsored by Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson on behalf of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, a group that has won approval of the plates in nine other states, including Georgia, Maryland and Tennessee.

It has filed and won lawsuits in states where its requests were denied.

Some background on Sheila Jackson Lee here

Christian Club Sues School Over Media Restriction

We read:
"An Oklahoma school district is facing a lawsuit for allegedly forbidding organizers of a Christian club from promoting events on campus. “This is a simple matter of a school district targeting a Christian organization,” said Matt Sharp, an attorney representing the “Kids for Christ,” a community-led Christian group suing the Owasso Public Schools.

Sharp, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, said the school district told the club it could no longer publicize its events – including discouraging organizers from spreading the word in the community and local media.

“They have a specific policy on the books that targets religious expression by community organizations,” he told Fox News.

School officials confirmed Monday afternoon they had received the lawsuit – but said they have not had time to review the contents.

Other groups, including the Boy Scouts and YMCA, are allowed to promote activities at the school, but the Christian group is not.


25 October, 2011

Will Statue of Jesus Get Yanked From Federal Land on Montana Mountain?

We read:
"A statue of Jesus on U.S. Forest Service land in the mountains over a Montana ski resort could be evicted as out-of-state groups advocating for the separation of church and state have applied pressure on the Forest Service.

AP reports that the Forest Service gave supporters a small victory by withdrawing its initial decision to boot the Jesus statue from its perch above Whitefish Friday, but the agency warns that “court decisions are stacked against allowing a religious icon on federal land.”

Supporters tout the statue’s significance to the area since its placement in the 1950s, and popularity among skiers passing the statue on the mountain top

The Madison, Wisconsin-based, Freedom From Religion Foundation argues that the icon cannot be on public land, and is pushing the Forest Service to stand by its decision to remove the statue by next year.

The Billings Gazette writes that Flathead National Forest Supervisor Chip Weber announced that he had withdrawn an earlier decision to deny a special-use permit for the statue, based off new information that the statue may be eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The Gazette notes that overwhelming support has been shown for the statue from members of the public.

The special-use permit that originally allowed a local chapter of the Knights of Columbus to install the memorial was granted in 1953. The KOC installed the statue as a memorial to local veterans of World War II.


Demoted for not backing gay marriage: British Christian's pay slashed for criticising proposed new law on Facebook

We read:
"A housing manager has been demoted, and his salary slashed, after he criticised a controversial new gay rights law.

Adrian Smith, a Christian, was found guilty of gross misconduct by his publicly funded housing association for saying that allowing gay weddings in churches was ‘an equality too far’.

He posted the comment in his own time, on his personal page on the Facebook website, which could not be read by the general public.

But after a disciplinary hearing, he was downgraded from his £35,000-a-year managerial job to a much less senior £21,000 post – and avoided the sack only because of his long service.

Campaigners attacked the housing association’s decision – the latest in a series of cases in which Christians have clashed with employers – as a ‘complete over-reaction’ by an organisation ‘drenched in political correctness’.

Lawyers for Mr Smith, whom friends describe as affable and non-confrontational, say his comments were merely expressing an ‘honest belief’ based on his Christian faith.

He is now suing

24 October, 2011

Attempt to silence British anti-immigrant party

We read:
"A council has said it will cancel a village hall’s rate subsidy if it hosts a speech by British National Party leader Nick Griffin.

Mr Griffin is due to give a talk at Baldslow Memorial Hall in St Leonards, East Sussex, today. But Hastings Borough Council has told those who run the hall they will have to repay the £376 they received as a charity in rate relief if the speech goes ahead.

However the council has been accused of trying to 'blackmail' the village hall.

Hastings Borough Council leader Jeremy Birch said the local authority was 'committed to equality of opportunity and to community harmony. He added: 'We have no intention of providing financial subsidy to those who aim to undermine these principles.'

BNP party spokesman Simon Darby said: 'It's quite beyond belief what they are trying to do. 'They're basically seeking to tax people who don't agree with the Labour Party, which is not really the British way to do things.

'It's effectively blackmail, putting a gun to the people that run the hall by giving them a financial penalty if Nick is allowed to speak there. He's an MEP [Member of the European Parliament], he's not some person off the street.'


Ten Commandments battle: ACLU versus small Florida county

We read:
"Residents in thinly populated Dixie County on Florida’s Gulf Coast are battling the American Civil Liberties Union over a Ten Commandments monument at their county courthouse.

The ACLU of Florida has sued on behalf of an anonymous non-county resident who wants to remove the five-foot tall, six-ton monument, which was paid for and is being maintained by a local businessman.

Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU of Florida, says Dixie County commissioners violated the First Amendment when they allowed the monument’s placement outside the courthouse. The case, he said, “is about the Dixie County Commission essentially endorsing a sacred religious document on a monument on the steps of the county courthouse with nothing else around it.”

Horatio Mihet, an attorney for Liberty Counsel, a religious liberty law firm defending Dixie County, counters that the county did not endorse the Ten Commandments, but simply created a forum in which residents could exercise their First Amendment free speech rights.

He charges that the ACLU is not defending constitutional liberties, but is silencing free expression. "Instead of promoting free speech, instead of trying to have as inclusive a forum as possible, what the ACLU is trying to do is come down and squelch, censor, speech that they don’t agree with,” said Mihet.

A federal judge sided with the ACLU in July and ordered the monument removed. Dixie County appealed and the monument remains in place pending the outcome.


23 October, 2011

Federal Reserve Tries to Censor Infowars Video

I don't always agree with Alex Jones but this action seems to be censorship for censorship's sake and a probable breach of the 1st Amendment
"Alex Jones addresses the latest intimidation tactic from the private Federal Reserve bank, whose San Antonio branch has filed a privacy violation with You Tube demanding the removal of a video filmed at the location during an "occupy" rally.

Alex tells them cease and desist this action, which violates the First Amendment. Federal Reserve branches across the country have a long history of trying to stifle free speech and press coverage, from fraudulently claiming that filming its buildings is illegal to threatening arrest and more.


The video concerned

Alex Jones responds

"Occupiers" abuse a black man as a "N*gger"

If anybody else had used that word there would have been hell to pay. But Leftists can say anything they like, of course
A man who displayed a handgun at Occupy Portland’s downtown encampment after a dispute with protesters has been arrested, police said in a statement Thursday. The argument took place Wednesday afternoon when 32-year-old Jason C. Parker was challenged verbally by protesters after filming tents, police said. One of the protesters used a racial epithet against Parker, who is black, police said.

A witness said Parker was filming inside tents without permission and displayed the gun more than once after protesters at the camp displayed knives. “He pulled his shirt halfway up and showed me he had a piece,” said Jason Kersten, who works in the camp’s security group. “This is a peaceful protest. You don’t bring a gun.”

Kersten acknowledged that someone used a racial epithet. “The N-word was used by some people in the camp,” he said.

Parker had a license to carry the concealed handgun. He was charged with second-degree disorderly conduct.


22 October, 2011

Electric car maker runs out of charge

We read:
"US car maker Tesla has lost a crucial round of its high-profile libel case against the BBC's Top Gear motoring program.

The electric car specialist had launched legal action against Top Gear and lead presenter Jeremy Clarkson earlier this year after it alleged a 2009 episode of the show deliberately misled viewers regarding the battery range of its Roadster model.

The segment showed the film crew pushing the Tesla off the test track, with controversial host Clarkson claiming the Roadster had run out of charge after just 55 miles on its track. Tesla claims the Roadster can travel 200 miles on a full charge.

A British high court judge, however, this week dismissed Tesla's libel claim. "In my judgment, the words complained of are wholly incapable of conveying any meaning at all to the effect that the claimant [Tesla] misled anyone," Mr Justice Tugendhat is reported as ruling.

"This is because there is a contrast between the style of driving and the nature of the track as compared with the conditions on a public road [...] are so great that no reasonable person could understand that the performance on the [Top Gear] track is capable of a direct comparison with a public road."

This is a bit childish on the part of Tesla. Any car uses up more juice when driven fast but that effect is much greater with an electric car. Driving it fast drastically shortens the distance it can go. Apparently Tesla thought Jeremy Clarkson should have emphasized that -- but there was no reason for him to do their PR.

Driving cars fast is one of the things he does. He has a test track especially for that -- and it was good information for his viewers to show them the effect of that. There is no way what he did was libel. It was in fact just showing the truth: Electric cars don't go far if you drive them fast.

Electric cars are just expensive Greenie toys anyway. People who buy them are just trying to prove that they are better than everyone else. But all the buyers really prove is that they've got more money than sense.

9th Circus rules against Memorial Cross

We read:
"The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has decided not re-hear the case of a memorial cross located in a public park in San Diego, Calif., that was deemed unconstitutional.

However, supporters plan to appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Mount Soledad Memorial Cross was erected in 1954 to honor veterans of the Korean War and has been the center of a legal battle for the last 22 years. The 29-foot cross in the San Diego suburb of La Jolla sits on public land atop a mountain overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

The American Civil Liberties Union has fought to have the cross removed, saying a religious symbol should not be on public land.

Supporters of the memorial cross are hopeful about the final outcome of the case as the Supreme Court's conservative majority has shown a greater willingness to allow religious symbols on public land.

Just last year, the high court refused to remove a war memorial cross located in California's Mojave Desert.


21 October, 2011

Incitement to antisemitic violence

Should "be run out of this country". That was Hitler's original idea too
Patricia McAllister, a substitute teacher in Los Angeles was recently caught making the following anti-Semitic statement at the Occupy Los Angeles protest:

“Patricia McAllister, I’m here representing myself but I do work for the Los Angeles Unified School District. I think that the Zionist Jews who are running these big banks and our Federal Reserve — which is not run by the federal government — they need to be run out of this country.”

Los Angeles school officials say a substitute teacher has lost her job after making anti-Semitic comments during an interview. In a statement Tuesday, schools Superintendent John Deasy condemned remarks made by Patricia McAllister during a protest rally last week.

Incitement to violence is generally held not to be protected free speech. Whether her remarks rose to that level is however a judgment call. She was certainly unwise to mention her employer.

Had she said the same thing on Facebook rather than at a public rally and had she not associated her employer with her remarks she may have gotten away with it.

Navajo Nation Fights Urban Outfitters Over 'Disrespectful' Clothing Line

We read:
"Urban Outfitters' line of Navajo-branded clothing and accessories has set off a firestorm online and within the Navajo Nation government, with allegations of trademark violations and criticism of the products -- particularly underwear and a liquor flask -- that many tribal members consider disrespectful.

Native American-inspired prints have shown up on runways for years, and it's common for designers to borrow from other cultures.

But the Navajo government's issue with Urban Outfitters is the clothing chain's use of the name "Navajo" on its products and in marketing. The tribe holds at least 10 trademarks on the name that cover clothing, footwear, online retail sales, household products and textiles.

Urban Outfitters, which has stores across the country and overseas, said it has not heard from the Navajo Nation and has no plans to alter its products.

Urban Outfitters labels more than 20 products on its website with the word "Navajo," including jackets, earrings, scarves and sneakers. But the two items that have sparked possibly the most controversy online are the "Navajo Hipster Panty," and the "Navajo Print Fabric Wrapped Flask." Both have geometric designs common in Navajo arts and crafts.

A "Navajo" flask is "extremely insensitive" considering the long history of alcohol abuse among Native tribes, many of which ban the sale and consumption of alcohol on their reservations, he said. The Navajo Nation is among them. And branding underwear as "Navajo" goes against the tribe's spiritual beliefs of modesty and avoidance of indecency, Clauschee said.

Urban Outfitters isn't alone in its Navajo-branding. Fermin Navar and his business partner, Phil Brader, signed a 75-year licensing agreement with the Navajo Nation in 2007 that allows them to sell skin care products and clothing under the Navajo name in exchange for a share of the profits. Navar said they've come up with a list of nearly two dozen companies they believe are violating the trademark.

Urban Outfitters are certainly cheeky using a registered trademark without permission. The Navajos should sue.

Fashion houses often do strange things, however, serving the emptyheads who follow fashion. I can't imagine any woman walking down the street wearing the strange things you often see on fashion catwalks. It's just a little self-engrossed subculture as far as I can see.

20 October, 2011

"Mong": A dubious synonym for a stupid person in Britain

It is short for "Mongol", the original word for someone with Down's Syndrome. Such people generally have a very low IQ and a limited ability to look after themselves. It is the effect of a chromosomal abnormality and is common in the offspring of older mothers. The eyes of a sufferer look rather like the eyes of an East Asian. As the report below notes, the term "Mongol" has so dropped out of use that many young people would not know it as a description of Down's Syndrome -- so the claim that it is derogatory of such people is weak. But it is certainly cruel and in bad taste to mock the disabled.
Ricky Gervais has sparked fury among the disabled community with his repeated references to 'mongs' on Twitter.

People with disabilities and their families have been outraged by his persistent use of the word, which they say is a derogatory term for somebody with Down's Syndrome.

The comedian posted a series of tweets including phrases such as 'Good monging everyone' and 'two mongs don't make a right', along with pictures of himself making silly faces.

But the creator of The Office insisted that the meaning of the word had changed, and said the angry reaction was equivalent to being offended by the word 'idiot' as an insult for disabled people.

However, Down's Syndrome campaigners and disability rights groups attacked him for refusing to back down....

'His fanbase are now using the word to attack me and others who have criticised him on Twitter. A new generation who didn't even know this word are using it abusively, and that's bullying.'

Interestingly, there is an old Australian slang term also meaning a really stupid person: "Nong". I have no idea of its origin but I guess it could be a version of "Mong". Brits and Australians tend to know one another well so I wonder if the guy above had heard the Australian term and just got it a bit wrong.

TX High School Students Made to Recite Mexican National Anthem, Pledge of Allegiance

We read:
"Students in a Texas public high school were made to stand up and recite the Mexican national anthem and Mexican pledge of allegiance as part of a Spanish class assignment, but the school district maintains there was nothing wrong with the lesson.

It happened last month in an intermediate Spanish class at Achieve Early College High School in McAllen, Texas — a city located about 10 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border.

Wearing red, white and green, students had to memorize the Mexican anthem and pledge and stand up and recite them in individually in front of the class.

That didn’t go over well with sophomore Brenda Brinsdon. The 15-year-old sat down and refused to participate. She also caught it all on video: “I just thought it was out of hand, I didn’t think it was right,” she told The Blaze. “Reciting pledges to Mexico and being loyal to it has nothing to do with learning Spanish.”

When Brenda made clear she would not stand up and recite the pledge, she was given an alternative assignment: an essay on the history of the Mexican revolution.

School district spokesman Mark May defended the presentations, saying it’s a state requirement for upper-level language classes to teach about foreign culture.

According to the state’s Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills standards, students are expected to gain “knowledge and understanding” of other cultures and use the language to demonstrate understanding of different practices and perspectives. There are no specific requirements about learning to recite pledges or anthems.

There are certainly other ways of teaching Western Spanish and Mexican history

19 October, 2011

SCOTUS to hear dispute over “Stolen Valor” law

We read:
"The Supreme Court said Monday that it will hear an emotionally charged dispute over a federal law that makes it a crime to lie about being a war hero and earning military medals. The case, involving the Stolen Valor Act passed in 2006, tests the reach of First Amendment free-speech protection for false statements, including those about personal military feats."

How the Devil did this get into SCOTUS? Since when did the 1st Amendment protect lies?? Apparently some lower courts have ruled that it does. So libel is now protected too? American courts can be a sorry lot.

Homosexuals Petition to Have Teacher Fired After She Posted Anti-homosexual Messages on Facebook

We read:
"A Union Township, New Jersey, teacher is finding herself in hot water after she allegedly took to Facebook to criticize a school display (above) that recognizes Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender History Month.

The teacher, Viki Knox, purportedly posted comments on her personal page and referred to homosexuality as “a perverted spirit that has existed from the beginning of creation” and a “sin.“ Her comments also allegedly said that it ”breeds like cancer.”

John Paragano, a lawyer who formerly served as a township councilman, sent the district what he said was a copy of Knox’s Facebook commentary.

Over the weekend, Paragano, who claims he was initially contacted by a parent in the district, wrote to the district and called for the teacher to be fired.

Knox, 49, is also the faculty adviser to The Seekers Fellowship, which is the high school’s student prayer group (it’s the local chapter of a nationwide group). Considering that, the case could quickly evolve into a religious freedom dispute in which the teacher’s rights to post such commentary would be debated.

Currently, the district is looking into the incident, claiming that they are “taking the matter very seriously.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey is also throwing its hat into the mix. While the group claims that it does not stand by Knox’s comments, the organization is defending her right to make them. Ed Barocas, the group’s legal director, says that she is protected by the First Amendment.

I can't find anything in the 1st Amendment that says: "Except for teachers"

18 October, 2011

Fanatic Massachusetts School Principal Warns Teachers About Celebrating Halloween, Thanksgiving and Columbus Day

We read:
"One principal is bringing reform to Massachusetts schools. Well, at least in the way they celebrate holidays. NECN reports on Principal Ann Foley’s stand against celebrating Halloween, Columbus Day and Thanksgiving at John F. Kennedy Elementary School in Somerville, Massachusetts:

The Boston Herald reports that the Foley controversy emerged after an email she sent to teachers was revealed, outlining the principal‘s opposition to some of America’s most cherished holidays:

“’When we were young we might have been able to claim ignorance of the atrocities that Christopher Columbus committed against the indigenous peoples,’ wrote Kennedy School Principal Anne Foley. ‘We can no longer do so. For many of us and our students celebrating this particular person is an insult and a slight to the people he annihilated.

On the same lines, we need to be careful around the Thanksgiving Day time as well.’”

This section from the scathing email comes off of Foley’s ban on allowing children to come to school in costumes on Halloween.

“Many parents and grandparents were outraged. Parent Lisa Eicks said, ‘If you don’t want to celebrate it then don’t celebrate it, but I don’t think it’s right for the kids that do celebrate it to suffer.’

Foley would not elaborate on her “atrocities” comment, but told the Herald ““When I grew up, I was taught from a very European perspective of history and it was both embarrassing and enlightening to me when I learned other perspectives.”

The old bigoted fallacy of judging the past by the standards of the present. She is one of those who condemn George Washington because he was a slave owner and Abraham Lincoln because he wanted to send the blacks back to Africa. She could hardly be more narrow-minded.

Must not suggest that thieves could be brown

France does have a significant black population, particularly in Paris
Starbucks France has run into trouble with an anti-pickpocketing poster which some customers found racist. The poster by the American coffee company shows a man with dark skin surrounded by arrows pointing at a mobile phone, a laptop, a rucksack and a wallet.

The text on the poster reads: "Be on your guard against unusual behaviour from a stranger. Don't let pickpockets spoil your moment of relaxation at Starbucks. Keep an eye on your belongings."

A customer in a Paris branch of the store took offence when he saw the poster and alerted anti-racist group, SOS Racisme. The group demanded the withdrawal of the poster, saying it "targeted a minority" and attributed "delinquent behaviour" to them, reported newspaper Ouest-France.

Starbucks rushed to insist the man on the poster was supposed to represent a customer, not the thief.

Starbucks, which employs 1,000 people in France, has withdrawn the posters from its stores.


17 October, 2011

Weird assault on free speech in an Australian State

Australia's High Court would probably disallow it but getting into that court takes big bucks
The Victorian Parliament is set to pass new legislation making it a criminal offence to "insult" Gaming Minister Michael O'Brien. Fines of up to $11,945 will be given to anyone found guilty of upsetting the minister and his staff under the extraordinary new offence.

The Baillieu Government is seeking changes to the Gaming Regulation Act which it says are "reasonably necessary to respect the rights and reputation of the minister and authorised persons". If passed, the ruling will become law.

The amendment proposed to the Act will make it an offence to "assault, obstruct, hinder, threaten, abuse, insult or intimidate" the minister or authorised persons exercising "due diligence" in monitoring gambling systems such as pokies.

The bipartisan Scrutiny of Acts and Regulations Committee also raised concerns about the move last week, noting "the criminalisation of insults may capture behaviour that is unlikely to hinder the exercise of powers ... or impinge on anyone's rights or reputation".

The Bill passed the Lower House last week and is expected to be introduced to the Upper House when Parliament resumes on October 25. [Where it could get knocked back]

It's hard to understand their thinking on this. It does make them look ridiculous. The government concerned is a recently-installed conservative one. Victoria does a a reputation for being prim and proper.

It may have been just a lazy bit of drafting to include the minister in the amendments. The idea seems to be to get back at people who insult or hinder government inspectors of the gambling industry, who can be a rough lot, but government inspectors should be men enough to put up with occasional insults when they disrupt other people's lives.

Florida Hotel Fires Worker for Wearing American Flag Pin

We read:
"A Florida hotel fired its front desk supervisor after the man wore an American flag lapel pin, a violation of the hotel’s personal appearance policies that prohibit employees from wearing badges and pins.

Sean May told Jacksonville’s WJXT that his manager at St. Augustine’s Casa Monica Hotel told him Thursday to remove the pin or leave. He refused to take it off and was sent home. The following day, the hotel informed him he was fired.

May, 26, said he wore the pin everyday for two years and never had a problem with it until his manager approached him.

According to the station, a recent upper level management change has led to a reinforcement of certain policies that may have been allowed to lapse.

May said he never received complaints about the pins from hotel guests, many of whom he said seemed to like it. “I‘ve actually gotten more comments about it than any of the service I’ve actually done at the hotel,” he said.

The station said it received a massive community response to May’s story, which first aired Thursday. One Florida resident, Air Force veteran Bruce Whalen, said the lapel pin should be a dress code requirement for all residents and is calling for a boycott of the hotel.

I doubt that we have heard the last of this.

16 October, 2011

Rhode Island Atheist Student, School Clash Over Prayer Mural Lawsuit

We read:
"A 16-year-old atheist said Thursday she is confident the law is on her side in her fight over a prayer mural that she wants removed from the auditorium of her high school. Jessica Ahlquist said her side is "very strong" after attorneys for her and the city of Cranston made their case to Senior Judge Ronald R. Lagueux in U.S. District Court in Providence. Ahlquist believes the mural should be taken down.

Ahlquist sued in federal court in April, saying the mural is offensive to non-Christians. Ahlquist has been an atheist since age 10. She is represented by the Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Attorney Joseph Cavanagh Jr., who is defending the city, says the mural is a historical artifact from the school's early days in the 1960s and serves no religious purpose.

He said the prayer is displayed in a secular, not a religious, setting. "It's not forced upon anyone. It's a historical document as a tradition of the school," Cavanagh said.

The prayer encourages students to strive academically and begins with the words "Our Heavenly Father" and ends with "Amen."

The school committee voted in March to keep the mural on display and fight litigation.


Cheerleaders Chastised for 'Inappropriate' Breast Cancer T-Shirts

We read:
"Cheerleaders at Gilbert High School in Gilbert, Ariz., can’t wear the pink t-shirts they bought to raise money for breast cancer research because the school’s administrators claim the slogan they bear is inappropriate.

According to a Thursday report in the Arizona Republic, the squad’s shirts say “Feel for lumps, save your bumps,” and the team planned to wear them during the school’s football games during their cheers on the field and while collecting money from the crowd.

Gaylee Skowronek, the cheer booster club president, told the Arizona Republic the administration approved the squad’s plan to raise money, but the school’s principal, J. Charles Santa Cruz, objected to the slogan on the shirts and banned the cheerleaders from wearing them.

This is not the first time breast cancer awareness campaigns have caused a stir for edgy messages. The Keep a Breast Foundation makes bracelets and t-shirts that say “I [heart] Boobies” and distributes them to young people with the goal of raising their breast cancer awareness. The bracelets have been banned by several school districts across the U.S., but in April, a federal judge in Pennsylvania upheld public school students’ rights to wear them.

J. Charles Santa Cruz sounds full of himself

15 October, 2011

Must not say deafness is bad

Deafies have been told that they are just "differently-abled" by the do-gooders so a lot of them actually believe it
A prominent educator on disabled children is under attack from the deaf community after she described deafness ''as a scourge in our world'' during an awards ceremony.

The remarks by Dr Dimity Dornan, director of Brisbane-based organisation Hear and Say, were made when she was named Telstra's Queensland Businesswoman of the Year on Tuesday.

Her acceptance speech has enraged several deaf and disability associations. Deaf Victoria and the Deaf Association of New South Wales have called on Dr Dornan to apologise, a FaceBook page called Stop Deaf Cultural Genocide was joined by 465 people in less than a day, and online petitions call for the doctor to be prosecuted for vilification.


Alabama restaurant backs down over rejection of the flag

We read:
"Controversy over an Alabama Olive Garden's refusal to allow a patron to enter the restaurant with an American flag reportedly has prompted the restaurant chain to issue a personal apology from its vice president.

The patron, 80-year-old Marti Warren, told she was outraged after being told she could not bring the flag into the restaurant to attend a Kiwanis Club award banquet.

Olive Garden has issued public statements apologizing, including on its Facebook page. "We are very sorry for any misunderstanding about this issue," the Facebook post reads. "We do not have a policy at Olive Garden concerning bringing the American flag into our restaurants. Some members of our team were misinformed about company policy by our corporate office. As a company, we take responsibility for that and we regret it. ..."

"Like all Americans we have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for the American flag and everything it symbolizes, and we welcome anyone who wishes to bring the flag into our restaurants.

Warren said the vice president of the company has contacted her to apologize and will travel to Oxford, Ala., to apologize to all the Golden K Kiwanis Club members


14 October, 2011

Restaurant says American Flag Display Would ‘Disrupt the Dining Experience’

We read:
"80-year-old Marti Warren thought she was doing a good thing a little over a month ago when she booked a local Olive Garden restaurant in Oxford, Alabama, to host a Kiwanis club awards banquet. The chapter president got a rude awakening the night of the gathering, however, when restaurant staff refused to allow her to bring an American flag inside the restaurant.

Warren, who lived through World War II and was later part of her local desegregation movement, said, “This is not my country. This is not my country I grew up with.” The justly outraged Warren told WBRC-TV, “I was so angry. I felt like I had been slapped in the face”

In response, Olive Garden’s parent company, Orlando-based Darden Restaurants, said in a statement:

"To be fair to everyone and avoid disrupting the dining experience for all other guests, they’re unable to accommodate flags or banners of any type in the dining room.”

It is probably worth noting that just last month, Darden Restaurants agreed to partner with Michelle Obama’s “Partnership for a Healthier America” by cutting the calorie and sodium levels of menu items by 10 percent within the next five years and 20 percent within the next 10 years.


'Legalise gay marriage? You may as well legalise marriage with animals'

That's one opinion you are not allowed to have in Britain, even if you are a Conservative
A senior Tory councillor is facing calls to be sacked after suggesting his party 'may as well legalise marriage with animals' because Prime Minister David Cameron supports gay marriage.

Conservative Party officials immediately took action against James Malliff, a cabinet member of Tory-controlled Wycombe District Council, Buckinghamshire, after he tweeted the remark to a former Tory MP.

Mr Malliff, who is in charge of big society and localism at the council, was immediately suspended by bosses for the ill-advised and 'completely unacceptable' Twitter post.

The London Evening Standard reported that Mr Malliff tweeted to former Conservative MP Paul Goodman, who had asked whether legalising gay marriage could lead to multiple Sharia marriages being made lawful.

Mr Malliff said: 'There is no doubt the PM is wrong on this issue. We may as well legalise marriage with animals, crude I concede but no apology.'

The man was raising a "where do uou draw the line" argument and I think there is little doubt that polygamy will be the next campaign. And after that "zoophilia"? I can't see how you can argue for homosexual marriage and oppose (say) marrying your dog. What arguments WOULD you raise? I can think of none. You could say that it is "unnatural" but that is precisely what homsexuals reject. Once you abandon standards, you are completely adrift. But Leftists like it that way, of course.

Marriage originated as a contract for reproduction and if there is no possibility of that it loses a large part of its meaning.

13 October, 2011

The inimitable Pat Condell again

Should Christian-hating American liberals migrate to Saudi Arabia?

It sounds like they'd be happy there
A soccer player from Colombia reportedly was detained in Saudi Arabia for walking through a mall wearing a sleeveless shirt that revealed his religious tattoos, including one of Jesus.

Juan Pablo Pino, 24, a member of Saudi Arabia’s Al Nasr soccer club, was taken into custody in Riyadh on Friday by Saudi moral police after mall customers complained about the tattoos. Pino was visiting the mall with his pregnant wife, the Catholic News Agency reports.

Pino later apologized for his actions and was released from custody after a team delegate discussed the matter with police.

Last year, Romanian soccer player Mirel Radoi of the Al Hilal team drew criticism when he kissed the tattoo of a cross he has on his arm after scoring a goal


12 October, 2011

Leftist hate speech directed at Herman Cain

Black conservatives just blow Leftist minds. They can't afford to lose the black vote
On Monday’s CNN Newsroom with Suzanne Malveaux, controversial Princeton professor Cornel West blasted Herman Cain’s comments that racism does not play a large role in unemployment among African Americans. To drive his point home, West, who asserts “black people have been working hard for decades,” said Cain should: “Get off the symbolic crack pipe and acknowledge the evidence is overwhelming.”

First, Sheila Jackson Lee called Cain an “Oreo” and a “race traitor” now, he is being accused of smoking a metaphorical “crack pipe” — and the verbal assaults are being waged by members of the African American community. What will come next?


Why is hate speech only the stuff from the Right?

We read:
"Roseanne: Rich (bankers) Should Be Beheaded If They Don't Give Up Wealth"

Serious question: why can someone of the Left be excused talk of beheading people she doesn’t like, when the media would froth at the same sentiments from a conservative, and warn darkly of “hate speech”?


11 October, 2011

Should horn-tootling be protected "speech"?

We read:
"Seattle police are finding new ways to keep the latest “Occupy Wall Street” movement, and it’s sympathizers, in check. According to KOMO, police began pulling over cars Friday that honked in support while driving by Occupy Seattle demonstrators:

“Starting at 11 p.m. Friday, police started pulling over and ticketing drivers who honked as they drove past protesters."

Occupy Seattle has made their presence known at Westlake Park in the Emerald City for over a week. According to Seattle PI, the supervisor of a Westlake coffee shop “owned by a giant worldwide Seattle-based coffee chain” said business is booming during the protest.

Since the purpose of a horn is to warn other drivers of imminent danger, it seems not unreasonable to penalize improper use of it

Welsh Soccer star called a "sheepshagger"

It's an insult most usually applied to New Zealanders, where there are many more sheep than people. Many Australians consider it amusing to greet newly arrived New Zealanders (New Zealand is a significant source of immigrants to Australia) with sallies like: "I hear you have got some good-looking sheep over there". That may be one reason why New Zealanders tend to dislike Australians.
Football chiefs are investigating an official racism complaint about star Craig Bellamy after he was allegedly called a 'sheep-sh***er' during a match.

The Wales and Liverpool striker was allegedly the victim of 'inhuman, degrading and vile' taunts by rival fans.

Bellamy, who earns £80,000 a week, was targeted by fans of Brighton when Liverpool played them in the Carling Cup last month. Liverpool won the tie 2-1, with Bellamy scoring the opening goal for the Premiership side.

Notorious bad boy Bellamy, 31, is a proud Welshman and a former captain of the national side.

It is alleged that the calls of 'sheepsh***er' came from the terraces at Brighton and Hove Albion's ground during the crunch match on September 21.

The club could be fined if it is found not to have properly controlled the behaviour of fans.

No doubt it is unpleasant to be accused of having sex with sheep but abusing members of the other side has long been part and parcel of many sports and used not be be taken too seriously.

10 October, 2011

"Hate speech" from Pastor Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association?

The following quote has been condemned by Mitt Romney and just about everyone to the Left of him.
I believe we need a president who understands that just as Islam represents the greatest long term threat to our liberty so the homosexual agenda represents the greatest immediate threat to every freedom and right that is enshrined in the First Amendment, it's a particularly threat to religious liberty....

We need a president who understands that every advance of the homosexual agenda comes at the expense of religious liberty. We need a president who understands that we must choose as a nation between homosexuality and liberty, because we cannot have both. A president who understands that we must choose between homosexuality and liberty, and who will choose liberty every time.

It sounds to me like a reasonable summary of the way Christian views on homosexuality have been and are persecuted. The triumph of Leftist views about homosexuality has indeed led to a great loss of freedom for Christians.

And here is an example of Christian expression on homosexuality being attacked

We read:
"Dakota Ary, a 14-year-old high school freshman and honor student from Fort Worth, Texas, found himself in the national spotlight this week after he was given a three-day suspension from school for making an anti-homosexual comment in his German class.

With the help of a lawyer from Liberty Counsel, Ary's suspension was reduced to just one day of in-school suspension, and the school district has said no mark will be made on his permanent record, Reuters reports.

Ary's lawyer, Matthew Krause, said the suspension was unjustified and that Ary is entitled to express his opinion on homosexuality in school.

"Just because you walk through the schoolhouse doors does not mean you shed your 1st Amendment rights," Krause said in a statement. "Dakota wasn't disrupting class. He wasn't bullying or harassing anybody. He was just stating his personal opinion on a topic somebody brought up and in a civil and respectful manner."

It all began in Ary's German class, where the teacher was leading the students in a discussion about religion in Germany. According to a statement from Liberty Counsel, a conservative nonprofit group that provides pro-bono legal assistance, one student asked what Germans thought about homosexuality in relation to religion. Another student asked to hear the German translation of "lesbian."

That's when Ary turned to a friend and said, "I'm a Christian and, to me, being homosexual is wrong," the teenager said in a television interview on Fox News earlier this week. "It wasn't directed to anyone except my friend who was sitting behind me," he said. "I guess [the teacher] heard me and started to yell about it."

So you have to lawyer up if you want to express Christian beliefs these days. After all the attention the case attracted, the school finally did the right thing and suspended the teacher concerned

9 October, 2011

Australian Supreme Court orders Google Australia to release details of creators of website

This could lead to Google being less zealous to protect anonymity wordwide. Having a legal precedent will make it easier for others to get information out of Google -- and Google would be foolish to pile up its legal costs by resisting.
INTERNET giant Google has lost a landmark legal battle that is expected to open the floodgates to online litigation against anonymous online commentators.

The Supreme Court yesterday ordered Google Australia to release details of those behind a website that labelled Gold Coast entrepreneur and self-help guru Jamie McIntyre a "thieving scumbag", the Courier-Mail reported.

Private investigator Travis Burch, who was hired by Mr McIntyre to find out the website's author so he could sue for defamation, said yesterday that it was "a good day for people who don't frankly want to be defamed on the internet".

"We've done a lot of work in this area and identifying and pushing trying to expose people and tracking them down through records that they leave on the Internet," Mr Burch said. "Having a win in courts just means we're a couple of steps closer to bringing the person to a form of justice. "The content that appeared on that website and (has) been promoted through the website is blatantly defamatory."

Barrister John Bryson said he thought it was the first time legal action of this kind against Google had been successful in Australia. "People need to know that they can take on the big companies, the major players, and get a win," Mr Bryson said.


OK to mock the appearance of a Republican but not OK to mock the appearance of a Democrat

Scott Brown gives a witty response to criticism of his appearance in a magazine. But feminists of course have no sense of humor and no sense of fair play
Sen. Scott Brown has infuriated women’s groups by poking fun at rival Elizabeth Warren’s physical appearance in response to her put-down of his nude photo shoot when he was a law student, yet he also is being defended by two female Republican senators.

The controversy started Tuesday, when Warren, a Harvard professor and consumer activist, took a shot at Brown during a debate. She and five other Democratic candidates seeking to oust Brown from the seat once held by Ted Kennedy were asked how they paid for their college educations.

The questioner noted that while Brown was in law school, he posed nude for Cosmopolitan in a photo spread. Warren began her response by saying, “I kept my clothes on.”

“Thank God,” Brown replied with a laugh during a radio interview Thursday.

One group, the National Organization for Women, went as far as to suggest that Brown should not run for re-election – a suggestion that the female GOP senators batted down.


8 October, 2011

Local judge upholds firing of Ohio teacher in Bible case?

We read:
"A judge has upheld the firing of a central Ohio public school science teacher who was accused of preaching religious beliefs in class and of keeping a Bible on his desk.

Knox County Common Pleas Judge Otho Eyster said in his two-page ruling Wednesday that he found clear and convincing evidence that the Mount Vernon school board was right in dismissing John Freshwater early this year.

The school board in the community about 40 miles northeast of Columbus first tried to dismiss Freshwater in 2008 after investigators reported that he preached Christian beliefs in class when discussing topics such as evolution and homosexuality, and was insubordinate in failing to remove a Bible from his classroom.

Freshwater said Thursday that he's considering his next step. "At this time I am reviewing all of my options and speaking with (The) Rutherford Institute and my personal attorneys," he said in an email to The Associated Press.

The Rutherford Institute is a Charlottesville, Virginia-based civil liberties group which has been involved in the case. Attorney and institute president John Whitehead said Freshwater has 30 days to file an appeal and said his group is ready to move in that direction.


Southerners are "racist, confederate goons"?

Debate on ESPN show about the firing of Hank Williams (covered on this blog on 5th) gets heated
Zirin, for the most part, agreed with the others, saying that, “Really, one has nothing to do with the other.” Still, he couldn’t give Williams a free pass: “The NFL is always trying to be all things to all people, and to have as the spokesperson of their flagship show someone who would be viscerally offensive…then it becomes a different question all together.”

But then he made the curious point that Williams’s music advances the idea that we should all be “racist, confederate goons,” which is a reference to Williams’s song, “If the South Woulda Won.”

And now we get to the fireworks. See, ESPN cycled out the first two guests and brought in Paul Finebaum, a radio host down in Alabama where Williams makes his home. He didn‘t take too kindly to Zirin’s remarks about “racist, Confederate goons.”

“What people down here don’t like are people like Dave Zirin making idiotic statements about country music songs that Hank Williams has written,” he said, later adding, “I think the statement he made today is the single stupidist I’ve ever heard in the history of this program.”

That led Zirin to talk about country music “stereotypes” and “oppressing people” and Finebaum to levy the charge that “you don‘t know what you’re talking about” to Zirin, and even a challenge for Zirin to come down to Alabama....

Finebaum eventually asked a poignant question: “What’s wrong with stating your political opinion? Just because you two guys don’t agree with it, and then you start hiding behind all these elitist attitudes, which people from the South are sick of.” ....

Whew. What a segment. And there is a lot that you could say about it. And I’m sure there will be a lot said about it. Many will certainly wonder where all the outrage was when George W. Bush was compared to Hitler incessantly in the early 2000s. Others will note (as I did) that referring to your opponents as your “enemies” is something Obama made famous last year. And still others will wonder how other stars such as Madonna can make a Hitler reference and still be rumored for a Super Bowl half time appearance.


7 October, 2011

Atheists’ Threats Lead Town to Remove Christian Cross From Water Tower

We read:
"The Freedom From Religion Foundation, America’s largest organization of atheists and agnostics, continues to use the legal system to purge the nation of references and symbols related to faith and religion

In one of the foundation’s latest assaults on faith, FFRF is demanding that the town of Whiteville, Tennessee, remove a cross that stands at the top of a local water tower. The atheist group first requested that the cross be taken down last December, citing a citizen who is uncomfortable with its presence.

Bellar harshly responded to the atheists‘ and agnostics’ claims, saying, “They’re the terrorists. It’s not us…It will be a shallow victory for them if they win.”

“Whiteville is a religious town. I’m just sorry we have one individual here who is offended by this. I just think it’s a sad day when people in a small rural Western Tennessee town like Whiteville have to be the object of attention for non-believers.”

Despite his opposition to FFRF, Bellar has decided that the cross will be taken down and moved, as the town cannot afford to battle the organization in the courts.

While this is certainly the downside for those who support its presence, the mayor has announced that the cross will be placed on private property on a local highway. It is here, he says, that the cross will actually be seen by an even larger audience.


Leftist hate speech against Jews again

We read:
"Following the story we posted yesterday about a Wall St. protester berating a Jewish man and making anti-Semitic remarks, another video has surfaced today of a man spewing more anti-Jewish hate.

In the video dated October 3, Monday, a grungy-looking man can be seen near the site of the Occupy Wall St. protests screaming to the crowd that “the Jews control Wall Street!”

When a man who claims to be Jewish challenges the alleged protester’s remarks, he screams back, “This is not Israel,“ ”Freedom of speech,“ ”Google Wall Street Jew,“ ”You greedy pig,“ and ”Go to Israel!”

As tensions rise, the crowd alleges that the protester has been paid by Fox News to stage a scene, one man even saying “Didn’t I see you getting out of a Fox News van earlier?” and a woman asking if he got paid $50 to utter his hate. His response? “F**k Fox News“ and ”A f***ing Jew made that up.”


6 October, 2011

WHY does Fred Phelps convey his message in such an obnoxious way?

I think I know. And to know you have to learn a little more about him than knowing him as the guy who upsets bereaved military families.

The key to Fred as I see it is that he is just about the last of a long line of preachers who go back thousands of years. He preaches a demanding God rather than a God who just goes around helping people. And the message of a demanding God was the norm within the memory of people still alive.

It's only in the second half of the 20th century that a drastic and sudden watering down of the old faith occurred. And it's not only in the mainstream churches that the old Gospel has been transformed. Even most evangelicals seem to have succumbed to the new message -- though it varies in degree of course. The old binary God who was both a God of love and a God of judgement has largely disappeared. And Fred is one of the few holdouts from the old religion.

And he knows that. And it makes him desperate to see how few people now hear what he regards as the true gospel. So he goes to extraordinary lengths to get attention to his message.

As an atheist I have no dog in the fight concerned but if you want to step into a time machine and hear the sort of preaching that your grandparents heard routinely in their youth, click on the video below. It's still pretty powerful preaching.

Footballers must not quote the Bible

Rugby Union is a football code mostly played in the Pacific Islands, Australia, New Zealand and England (where it originated). Many Pacific Islanders are devout Christians.
"The International Rugby Board, already accused of draw rigging, penny pinching and racism during the World Cup, has set its sights on a new target - the Bible.

The sport's ruling body has issued a directive to the tournament's eight remaining teams that any players wishing to write inspirational biblical passages on wrist strapping worn during matches must have the words approved in advance by the IRB.

Wallaby winger Digby Ioane, a devout Christian, said: "I don't write Bible passages on my strapping but I know a lot of guys from other teams who do.

"They are saying that you can draw a cross but any words you have to write down and take it to the manager who has to show it to the IRB. I'm just glad they haven't told me to take my tattoos off."

The IRB yesterday confirmed the directive, saying it would take a "commonsense approach" to the matter. "There is no blanket approach," a spokesperson said. "You find a lot of Fijians, Tongans and Samoans like to write Bible passages on their wrists. We just want to make sure there are no offensive or political statements."


5 October, 2011

Dangerous to joke these days

We read:
"The Yankees suspended a long-time beer vendor for "harassing" Boston Red Sox pitcher Alfredo Aceves(notes) between games of a recent doubleheader at Yankee Stadium. As a result, Lazarus missed the first two games of the ALDS against the Detroit Tigers, costing himself anywhere from $400 to 600, along with some of his dignity.

Lazarus was standing with co-workers near a freight elevator on the terrace level when they heard the clacketty clack of cleats on the floor. They knew a player was coming and Lazarus recognized Aceves, who used to pitch for the Yankees. This is what Lazarus told the New York Post happened:

[Lazarus] walked over and playfully called out, "Hey, you got ID?" Without missing a beat, Aceves grabbed his crotch and shot back, "I got your ID right here."

Everyone roared with laughter ... except for the team suits.

Lazarus, who has been vending since he was 19 — that's 35 years — was called to the carpet by a supervisor during the game. "He said, 'You were harassing the opposing team's player.'

"I said, 'Are you kidding?' "

Lazarus told the Post that his badge was taken and he was escorted from the stadium "like a common criminal."


ESPN pulls Hank Williams Jr. after he compares Obama to Hitler

Of course comparing Bush to Hitler is OK
"Hank Williams Jr., the singer whose various videos for the hit song "All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Monday Night" has served as the intro to "Monday Night Football" for 23 seasons, compared President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler during a Monday morning appearance on "Fox and Friends."

The statement led to ESPN pulling his popular intro segment, best known to fans for its "Are you ready for some football?" ending, for Monday night's game between the Indianapolis Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

During a discussion on the 2012 presidential race, Williams began discussing Obama's golf outing with Speaker of the House John Boehner. He said it was a political mistake, on par with "Hitler playing golf with [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu."

ESPN released a statement expressing disappointment in Williams' comments. The network said the intro will be pulled for one game and any further decision will be based on how contrite the singer-songwriter is in the immediate future.

He was clearly just trying to think of two opposites.

4 October, 2011

Leftist hate speech at University of Utah

And throwing things at Christian preachers. If they didn't like the preaching there was no need for them to stay.
The Union Free Speech Zone lived up to its name Thursday as two Christian men preached, sparking debates and drawing a crowd of more than 100 students. Starting at about 11 a.m., Don Karns, a resident of Virginia, and Shawn Holes, a resident of Idaho who refers to himself as “Shawn the Baptist,” set up camp on a grassy hill and began to preach, Bibles in hand.

Karns drew the most attention with his loud rhetoric and signs that read “evolution is a lie” and “repent now.” Part-way through the three-hour demonstration, U students stole a few of his posters, drawing their own inscriptions on the back in protest.

Other students who opposed the preachers’ views made their own, satirical signs to counter the preachers’ and mocked them by shouting, “hail Satan” and “sin will save us.”

The demonstration prompted clusters of conversations among students throughout the Plaza as well as heated displays of dissent, including heckling, shouting and a water bottle thrown at the preachers, which Karns said hit him in the forehead.

At one point, Karns asked the crowd, “Do you hate us being here?” Several members of the crowd shouted back, “No, we hate you.”

Annie Christensen, dean of students, confronted the crowd and reaffirmed the rules of the Free Speech Zone, including not to single anyone out with derogatory terms or violent threats.


Criticism of homosexuality not allowed in Canada

I gather that it's election time in Ontario soon. The ruling Ontario Liberal party of Dalton McGuinty has in place a policy of preaching homosexuality and assorted weirdness to kids at school -- in the guise of "anti-homophobia". You can read an actual school manual about that here, though it's so long-winded that few people probably bother.

A Christian group put out the advertisement above and had it printed in the "National Post" but the Left howled so loudly that the paper apologized for running the ad and refused to run it again

So much for tolerance, free speech and open debate in Canada. Some points of view just must not be expressed.

The real problem of course is that a majority of Ontario residents probably dislike the sexual free-for-all being promoted to kids there and that might get the Liberal government tossed out. So they must not be reminded about what their government does in its schools

3 October, 2011

Alabama pol apologizes for calling American blacks “aboriginals”

We read:
"A powerful Alabama politician apologized Tuesday evening for an inflammatory remark made about African-Americans. State Sen. Scott Beason (R) was caught on tape in June calling blacks in Green Country, Alabama 'aboriginal.'

The scene was filmed during an undercover FBI investigation on whether politicians were bribed by special interests to pass a bill legalizing poker video games.

Beason told the audience at a press conference that his words were 'inappropriate, careless, and unnecessary.'"

The remark was of course factually incorrect. "Aborigine" is straight Latin and means "from the beginning", as distinct from people whose ancestors were later arrivals. The aborigines of North America are the Red Indians.

I guess that the senator meant the word to be derogatory but as far as I know the place where the word is most widely used is Australia and nobody regards it as derogatory there.

Though according to some it becomes derogatory when you abbreviate it as "Abo", rather curiously. There is a similar idiocy in Britain, where it is OK to refer to someone as a "Pakistani" but it is considered a deadly insult if you abbreviate it as "Paki"! All very strange.

Australian journalist found guilty of hate speech by Leftist judge

We read:
"Sometimes it takes an injustice to beget justice. So it may be with Andrew Bolt’s infringement of the Commonwealth Racial Discrimination Act 1975, as a result of articles he wrote in 2009 suggesting that some people claim ‘aboriginality’ for personal gain (a logical certainty at the very least).

Probably not many Australians knew the extent to which courts and government curtail freedom of expression. They do now.

Snuck into the Act by the Keating government in 1995, Section 18C outlaws expressing views in public that encompass ‘race’ and offend people of a particular ‘race.’ Australian courts are now spending valuable public resources inquiring into whether and to what extent people have been offended.

If that is not gratuitous and silly enough, Judge Bromberg’s interpretation appears sorely wanting. Section 18D allows exemptions for ‘fair comment on any event or matter of public interest if the comment is an expression of a genuine belief held by the person making the comment.’

Judge Bromberg, a former Labor party pre-selection contender, ignored that part because ‘of the manner in which the articles were written [which included] inflammatory and provocative language’! It is not for the judge to pass judgment on the quality or tenor of a particular communication when such criteria are absent from the relevant law.

Moreover, he ignored the title of the relevant sections of the Act, which explicitly refer to ‘behaviour based on racial hatred.’

Bolt’s articles patently had nothing to do with racial hatred. Nevertheless, the judge believed the term had a ‘broader field of operation ... infused by the values of human dignity and equality.’ That’s a lovely sentiment, but it’s not what the law says.

It will be surprising if the High Court does not strike down this verdict.


2 October, 2011

‘Pure Racism’: Signs Depicting Obama as Crying Baby in Diaper Has Neighbors, Councilwoman Upset?

Must not insult the sacred Obama. Call GWB a chimp and a Nazi and that's OK, though
New Orleans residents protested in front of a local man’s house Wednesday after he put up several signs in his yard depicting President Barack Obama as a puppet and a crying baby in a diaper, with one city council member even trying to determine whether the signs can forcibly removed.

In one sign, under the words “It’s Not My Fault,“ Obama wears a diaper and has speech bubbles coming from his mouth that read ”change me“ and ”I stink.” Another depicts him as billionaire George Soros’ puppet, standing behind a podium that reads “Seal of the Teleprompter of the United States.”

City Council Member Susan Guidry told New Orleans’ WWL-TV she’s concerned about public safety and is trying to figure out if the signs are even legal. “We have to determine that there is a zoning law that prohibits perhaps the size of the sign, perhaps the way that it’s erected, that it is leaning over onto public property,” Guidry said.

“This is nothing put pure racism,” said Raymond Rock. “This is a disgrace.”

According to WWL-TV, the home is owned by Timothy Reily, who declined to speak to the station. Neighbors said he’s been putting up signs for months, but only received attention after a local radio station talked about them on the air Wednesday morning.


Update: Mexican prosecutor drops terrorism charges in Twitter case

Previously mentioned here on 10th.
"A Mexican man and woman who had been charged with terrorism for allegedly setting off a panic by tweeting rumors about nonexistent drug cartel attacks were freed Wednesday after prosecutors dropped the charges.

Criticism of the terrorism case led the Veracruz state legislature to pass a law Tuesday creating the charge of disturbing the peace to cover the situation purportedly created by the pair."


1 October, 2011

"The Court Security Improvement Act of 2007"

The identity of government thugs must be kept secret:
"This perfect example of typical police state legislation says that whoever knowingly makes restricted personal information available about a "covered official", or a member of his or her immediate family, supposedly "with the intent to threaten, intimidate, or incite the commission of a crime of violence" against him, her, or it will be fined, imprisoned for no more than 5 years, or both.

What it boils down to is that publishing names, addresses, phone numbers, or other information attached to (just to name a handful of examples) the federal thugs who murdered the Branch Davidians and destroyed their church, members of Randy Weaver’s family, or (had this law been in place then) the troops who assaulted the Warsaw Ghetto and the guards at the Nazi concentration camps, is now forbidden. In short, it has been made a felony to identify one’s criminal oppressors."

That the law contravenes several SCOTUS interpretations of the First Amendment is set out here

Cuckovich Defends Sneezing Policy

"Vich" in Slavic languages means "son of" so I think an interpretation of Cuckovich as "Son of a cuckoo" would pass muster. He does give the impression of being opposed to courtesies and politeness.
The common practice of saying "God bless you" after someone sneezes is a part of American culture. But it sparked a new controversy at a Bay Area high school this week.

Teacher Steve Cuckovich docked his students scores if after they said "bless you" in the middle of class. He says talking of any kind is disruptive and takes time away from class.

"The blessing doesn't make any sense anymore," Cuckovich told the Fox affiliate in Sacramento. "When you sneeze in the old days, they thought you were dispelling evil spirits out of your body. So they were saying, 'God bless you,' for getting rid of evil spirits. But today, what you're doing doesn't really make any sense."

Some parents were furious with the teacher claiming his rule was anti-religious.

Cuckovich apparently listened to the parents. He says he will no longer deduct points from assignments for the disruption, but he added he will continue to control his classroom.

On Thursday, the district made it first comments on the issue. Superintendent John Niederkorn said that Cuckovich thought the students were sneezing in dramatic fashion with the intent of disrupting class.

Of question is whether a series of these repeated remarks by several students constitutes freedom of speech or a classroom disruption and merits student discipline.

Certainly a blessing by one individual to another after a sneeze is a welcomed acknowledgement of a social norm.

I think the kids possibly were making a game out of it and using it to disrupt the class but the cuckoo was a fool to bring religion into it. Just sticking to it as a disciplinary matter would probably have gone unnoticed.

Posts from Brisbane, Australia by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

"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 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.

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.

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

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

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

"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."