Thursday, December 31, 2015
This is the Biggest Threat to Free Speech in America
Free speech is increasingly under attack in America. Ironically, it comes from a political movement that only a few months ago was fighting for “equality” and “freedom.”
The gay rights movement has become an opponent of free speech and freedom of association. The latest example of this comes from a Reason magazine write up of The Atlantic’s recent LGBT summit in Washington.
Besides the conviction that someone's right to shop for cake anywhere trumps someone else's freedom of conscience, here's some other conventional wisdom gleaned from the summit:
Being "safe" means not just freedom from actual or threatened physical violence but also avoiding offensive or hurtful language.
[...]The urge to police people's language at the summit was also strong—comically so, at times.
During one Q&A session, an aggrieved audience member suggested panelists watch their use of the word "states" when referring to American land, as it was exclusionary to those who live in U.S. territories.
Homosexual and transgender activists not only want you to bake the cake, but they want to restrict any speech that does not tell them how great they are and how wonderful homosexuality is. So much for “freedom” and “equality.”
Attendees of the summit was also concerned with the lack of “transgender representation” on a panel dealing with transgender rights. This is despite the fact that there are no transgender members of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, ACLU, or other groups represented at the event.
Finally, the summit attendees and those participating on social media showed a willingness to steamroll over religious freedom and freedom of conscience in the name of “equality.”
If you think that this cannot be legislated, you’re mistaken. The nation’s largest city has already adopted speech codes that requires employers to call transgender employees their preferred gender. The New York City Commission on Human Rights has issued a ruling that employers who do not call transgender people by their preferred pronouns and not allowing them to use their preferred gender’s bathroom is gender discrimination. Employers can be penalized even if the transgender employee does not change their name or undergo a sex change surgery. How much could an employer be fined? Up to $250,000 per violation.
What’s been hitting the college campuses for years is now finally coming into mainstream society. That’s bad news for anyone who values free speech and freedom of thought. Source: AAN
A symbolic attack on the past
Symbols of the British and French colonial pasts are being criticized, with a demand that reminders of the past be erased. Some comments below the following news report
The student who called for the removal of Cecil Rhodes' statue at an Oxford college previously said French flags should be taken down because they are a 'violent symbol' akin to the Nazi swastika.
South African student Ntokozo Qwabe, who is on the prestigious Bachelor of Civil Laws course at Oxford University, led the Rhodes Must Fall group which has demanded Oriel College remove the statue of the colonialist.
Now, it has emerged that Mr Qwabe has previously called for the French flag to be removed because he believes it is a symbol of violence much like the Nazi swastika.
Following the terrorist atrocities in the French capital last month, Mr Qwabe wrote on Facebook: 'You can miss me with the buffoonery of changing Facebook profile pictures to violent imperial flags & hashtaging [sic] 'prayers for Paris' I will silently pretend to but not kneel to carry out.'
'I refuse to be cornered by white supremacist hashtagism into believing that showing my disgust for the loss of lives in France mandates identifying with a state that has for years terrorised - and continues to terrorise - innocent lives in the name of imperialism, colonialism, and other violent barbarities.
'I do NOT stand with France. Not while it continues to terrorise and bomb Afrika [sic] & the Middle East for its imperial interests. We will not end terrorism by choosing the terrorist our subjective sensibilities and popular propaganda normalise.'
He later clarified in a post written on his open Facebook profile, which said: 'For those who were on the receiving end of French colonial and imperial crimes in the name of the French flag, the flag means the same to them as the Confederate flag does to those who were on the receiving end of the crimes committed in its name.
'It means the same to them as the flag/symbols of Stalin Russia do to those on the receiving end of the crimes of that establishment; it means the same to them as the Nazi flag does to those on the receiving end of Nazi crimes. I could go on and on.'
Then, speaking to the Sunday Times Qwabe described Cecil Rhodes as being a 'racist, genocidal maniac' who was 'as bad as Hitler.'
Supporting a campaign to remove the French flag from universities, Qwabe added: 'I would agree with that in the same way that the presence of a Nazi flag would have to be fought against.'
Mr Qwabe's student campaign, called Rhodes Must Fall Oxford, says Rhodes paved the path to apartheid by introducing discriminatory land ownership and voting rules.
It is inspired by the Rhodes Must Fall protest movement that began on in March, originally directed against a statue at the University of Cape Town which commemorates Cecil Rhodes.
The campaign for the statue's removal received global attention and led to a wider movement to 'decolonise' education across South Africa.
Rhodes was one of the era's most famous imperialists, with Rhodesia – now Zimbabwe and Zambia – named after him.
Mr Qwabe is one of 89 current Rhodes scholars who benefit from the colonialist's legacy, which brings foreign students to Oxford at a cost of £8 million a year.
After being accused of 'breath- taking hypocrisy' for accepting a scholarship, Qwabe argued that he was simply taking back a portion of what was originally looted by colonialists from Africa.
'It's completely, completely disingenuous to say I have somehow benefited from Rhodes,' he told Channel 4 News, going on to talk about pioneers such as Rhodes being 'able to murder a lot of people and make a lot of money from it'.
Most of the above is somewhere between exaggeration and outright lies. Cecil Rhodes looted nobody. He was a mine owner who paid his miners better money that they had ever had before. Most were originally subsistence farmers with no cash income. Without him and other businessmen like him, there would have been no mines.
It is true that he believed in white racial superiority but just about everybody in Britain and Europe did in those days. But he killed or injured no-one because of his racial beliefs. If he was a "genocidal maniac", how come he was buried with full native honours by the Ndebele chiefs in what is now Zimbabwe? For the first time ever, they gave a white man the Matabele royal salute "Bayete".
He negotiated with Africans via their chiefs. He did not go about killing them. He was basically just a very clever businessman
The objection to the French flag is part and parcel of Leftist "anti-colonial" rhetoric. The Left instinctively hate both the present and the past of the societies in which they live. But their objections to colonialism are quite pointless, as all the major colonies were given independence years ago. They are re-fighting old battles.
It is true that by modern standards, there were some things in the colonial era that were objectionable but there were benefits too. When the British left Africa, they left behind them well-organized countries with democratic institutions, a capable bureaucracy and an impartial judiciary. But after independence, that soon decayed into corruption, near anarchy and all sorts of bloodshed.
Generally speaking, the colonial era was a time of rapid civilizational and economic advance for most people involved in it. But you will never hear a Leftist saying that. If you look to the Left for a balanced account of anything political, you will not find it.
Wednesday, December 30, 2015
The Law Banning Sex Discrimination has Become a Tool for Censoring Speech
Free speech and academic freedom are endangered species on American college and university campuses. Speech codes, trigger warnings, the heckler’s veto and politically correct inquisitions have become the norm.
While there are many causes for this, the main culprit is Title IX, a federal statute enacted in 1972 that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity.
Title IX goes beyond merely prohibiting sex discrimination; it also requires that schools take proactive measures to eliminate any such discrimination.
Originally, the most visible effect of Title IX was a reduction in the number of scholarships given to participants in low-revenue men’s sports such as wrestling and baseball — or, in some cases, elimination of those sports altogether — and an increase in women’s athletic scholarships. The idea was to achieve parity, with the ratio of student-athletes in the school’s intercollegiate athletic programs mirroring the male-female ratio of the school’s undergraduate population as a whole.
In 2011, the Obama administration promulgated additional Title IX guidelines to eliminate “hostile environments” and defining sexual harassment as “any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature.” Schools were instructed to use a “preponderance of the evidence” standard in adjudicating sexual harassment complaints rather than more vigorous standards, such as “clear and convincing” evidence or establishing guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.” An epidemic of sexual harassment complaints was thus born.
The lunacy of the “investigations” and kangaroo courts that have resulted was exposed earlier this year when feminist Laura Kipnis, a Northwestern University film professor, wrote an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education criticizing Title IX regulations for creating an atmosphere of paranoia on campus. For her efforts, Ms. Kipnis was rewarded with a Title IX investigation, with student activists claiming that her complaints about Title IX amounted to a violation of Title IX. Ms. Kipnis was eventually acquitted by the school’s tribunal.
Broad speech codes banning free speech and anti-harassment policies are being enacted across the country, with proponents claiming that Title IX requires them.
These codes go far beyond sex discrimination. Southwest Minnesota State University, for example, bans “cultural intolerance,” which is defined as “any verbal or physical contact directed at an individual or group such as racial slurs, jokes, or other behaviors that demean or belittle a person’s race, color, gender preference, national origin, culture, history or disability.” Thus, a dirty joke, a lecture questioning the propriety of affirmative action, or criticism of the Supreme Court’s gay marriage decision are likely prohibited by the code.
Also troubling are the attitudes of America’s young adults to speech restrictions. A survey by the Pew Research Center, released last month, found that 40 percent of all young American adults said the government should censor “offensive” speech. I find that offensive.
The academic grievance industry that Title IX spawned sends the wrong message about the values that should govern a free society—let alone our universities, which are supposed to be our most freewheeling marketplaces of ideas.
The sad truth is that too many university professors and administrators like Title IX and other questionable federal mandates because it creates grievance-based jobs and fiefdoms and gives them legal cover to pass speech codes and regulations that otherwise couldn’t be justified.
What is going on today on U.S. college campuses is inconsistent with the American tradition, academic freedom and the First Amendment.
In its 1989 decision in Texas v. Johnson, the Supreme Court declared that “if there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea offensive or disagreeable.” But that is exactly what is happening on campuses across the nation.
“Making Title IX as strong as possible is a no-brainer,” Vice President Joe Biden has said. But he’s wrong. What really should be a no-brainer is repeal of Title IX.
This would deprive campus activists of a tool to stifle debate and discussion. It would reinvigorate college campuses as marketplaces of ideas, rather than closed societies on the Stalinist model.
Prohibiting sex discrimination is one thing. Prohibiting free speech is quite another — and it shouldn’t be tolerated.
Free speech: Is the West any better than Communist China?
In Beijing the other week, camera crews and foreign diplomats were harrassed, pushed and punched by police outside a courtroom where the civil rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang stood accused of “inciting ethnic hatred”, and of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble.” His charges relate to posts he left on social media which were critical of the Chinese government, including one in which he questioned its “excessively violent” crackdown on Uighurs in Xinjiang province. Looking on, foreign powers tutted, then went back to not caring terribly much.
Earlier in December, a humanist group at Goldsmiths University in London welcomed the activist Maryam Namazie to speak at an event. An Iranian woman who fled that country after renouncing Islam, Namazie has nevertheless consistently challenged “the erroneous conflation between Islam, Islamism and Muslims” and lobbied for British Muslim women to be afforded proper protection in family courts. To the Goldsmiths Islamic Society however, she was persona non grata. Having previously hosted Hamza Tzortzis, a man who advocates the beheading of apostates, has likened homosexuality to cannibalism and regards free speech as un-Islamic, it declared Namazie’s presence on campus to be a “violation of [their] space”. Members showed up to intimidate her, turning off her projector and shouting her down.
The response of the university was to put the humanist group under investigation – almost as cowardly an action as the decision of the students’ union at the University of Warwick, which in the autumn blocked a visit from Namazie on the grounds that her presence might offend Muslim students, only to relent when academics protested. Meanwhile, the Feminist and LGBTQ+ Societies at Goldsmiths enacted their own astonishing feats of gutless intellectual timidity in voicing solidarity with those offended by Namazie. The latter organisation explained that: “If [the speakers felt] intimidated, we urge them to look at the underpinnings of their ideology. We find that personal and social harm enacted in the name of ‘free speech’ is foul, and detrimental to the wellbeing of students and staff on campus.”
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
PC Police in NYC Are Banning Free Speech
The PC Police in New York City are cracking down on free expression in a big way. The new law? If you should dare refer to a transgender person by the wrong pronoun, you could face a massive fine. Yes, really:
In another confirmation that political correctness means a draconian police state, updated so-called “transgender discrimination” laws in New York City will see landlords, employers and businesses fined and possibly jailed for refusing to say that biology does not exist.
That’s right, if property owners identify employees or tenants by their 23rd chromosomal pair by using “improper pronouns” in reference to those who “don’t identify with the gender they were assigned at birth,” they could now see fines of up to $250,000.
On Monday, the New York City Commission on Human Rights updated the city’s Transgender Rights Bill by releasing new guidance that makes clear what constitutes gender identity and gender expression discrimination.
According to NYC.gov, the guidance lists several ways employers, landlords, and business owners can violate the law:
Intentionally failing to use an individual’s preferred name, pronoun or title. For example, repeatedly calling a transgender woman “him” or “Mr.” when she has made it clear that she prefers female pronouns and a female title.
In the '60s, liberals demanded more free speech and less censorship. Now that they're in power, they're using that power to enforce conformity at gunpoint. This is an absolute outrage, and it's also what we should expect from Democrats going forward.
NM: Appeal Filed In Free Speech Case Over Anti-Gay Essay
A judge dismissed a former University of New Mexico student's lawsuit alleging she was ostracized by professors for anti-gay remarks made in a paper, federal court documents revealed.
Monica Pompeo and her attorney, Bob Gorence, filed an appeal to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver and a hearing on the matter is set for next month, according to court records.
Pompeo claims the university violated her First Amendment right to free speech and kicked her out of a class in 2012 for describing lesbianism as "perverse" in a critique of a lesbian romance film.
The Albuquerque Journal (http://bit.ly/1OeT0Jy ) reported that the lawsuit alleges the teacher violated her own syllabus, which called for "open minds" to examine "representations of a plethora of genders and sexualities." Instead, Pompeo says, she was accused of resorting to "hate speech," and the professor refused to grade her paper.
Pompeo alleges the professor also made it clear that it would be in Pompeo's best interests not to return to the class.
Apparently the university offered her the chance to revise her essay, but why should she? She's entitled to her opinions. And offer or no offer, it is still a case of censorship.
Monday, December 28, 2015
The year we forgot what free speech means
The free-speech wars of 2015 began in tragedy with the Charlie Hebdo massacre, when Islamist gunmen murdered eight cartoonists and journalists and four others at the Paris offices of that satirical weekly. The free-speech year in the UK is ending in farce, with a Belfast pastor facing a possible jail sentence for preaching the honest evangelical Christian view that Islam is ‘satanic’, and thousands demanding that the world heavyweight champion – of pugilism, not philosophy – be blacklisted by the BBC for making homophobic and sexist remarks.
Rows over free speech have hardly been out of the news all year, the battlegrounds ranging from the internet to the university campus. Wherever the issue arises, the dominant response has been to warn about the dangers of allowing ‘too much’ free speech and the need to restrict, rather than defend and extend our most precious liberty.
In 2015, free speech in Anglo-American society has been under constant siege from its three main enemies of the modern age.
There are the official censors, such as Tory prime minister David Cameron, who took a break from celebrating the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta to pledge that the government’s new anti-extremism laws would put an end to ‘too much tolerance’ of offensive speech; or the Scottish National Party (SNP) government up north, under whose Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Act a man was this year jailed for singing an unpleasant song in a Glasgow street.
Then there are the insidious unofficial censors, the witch-hunting Twittermobs and online petitioners pursuing and trying to silence everybody from Katie Hopkins to Germaine Greer, from Professor Tim Hunt to Tyson Fury. Often foremost among them have been the students’ union officials and activists seeking to No Platform anybody, feminist or funnyman, who might make a student feel ‘uncomfortable’ in the closed-minded, womb-like ‘safe spaces’ that our universities must apparently become.
The third enemy of free speech is self-censorship. Unsure of which opinions are now acceptable or even which words they are permitted to use, many people now fight shy of expressing any strong views. And those accused of talking out of turn are often quick to withdraw and apologise at the first sign of a wagging finger.
What of the other side in the new free-speech wars? There have been some important acts of defiance in 2015. Overall, however, the attitude of our renegade liberals has been to surrender to or even to join in the crusade against ‘offensive’ ideas and opinions.
It has become clearer that the true motto of our intolerant post-Charlie Hebdo age is not so much ‘Je Suis Charlie’, more ‘Vous Ne Pouvez Pas Dire Ca!’, which roughly translates as ‘You Can’t Say That!’. Those Islamist gunmen acted not only as the fundamentalist agents of an old Eastern religion, but also as the armed, extremist wing of a modern Western culture of enforced conformism.
The year’s end seems a good time to remind ourselves of a few things we appear to have forgotten about free speech.
The first thing that seems to have slipped Anglo-American society’s mind is that free speech is supposed to be Free. That’s free as in ‘free as a bird’, to soar as high as it can and swoop as low as it chooses. Not as in ‘free-range chicken’, at liberty to scratch in the dirt within a fenced-in pen and only an executive decision away from the chopping block.
Here is the terrible truth about free speech: it is an indivisible liberty that we defend for all or none at all. Not all of them will have the purity of soul of Jesus Christ or Joan Rivers, the wisdom of Socrates or Simon Cowell, or the good manners of Prince Harry or Piers Morgan. That’s tough. They still get the same access to free speech as the rest of us, whether we like it or not.
The second thing we have forgotten about free speech is that it is speech, simply words. Words can be powerful tools, but there are no magic words – not even abracadabra – that in themselves can change reality. Words are not deeds. It follows that offensive speech should not be policed as if it were a criminal offence.
‘Words can be weapons’ in a battle of ideas, or even just in a slanging match. But however sharp or pointed, words are not knives. However blunt, words are not baseball bats. No matter how loaded they are or how fast you fire them off, words are not guns. And an argument or opinion, however aggressive or offensive it might seem, is not a physical assault. The answer to bad words is not to end speech or lock up the speaker. It is more speech – to fight back.
And the third thing many have forgotten about free speech is that those two words together make the most powerful expression in the English language. Free speech is the historic key to progress, the single most important factor in creating and sustaining something approximating a civilised society. That has rarely been truer.
It might be hard to make a stand when unfettered free speech is so far out of fashion. But that is what makes it so important today. The fact that many feel there are now few principles or bold ideas worth fighting for in political life makes it imperative that we should all stand for free speech for all.
Because free speech is the indispensable midwife of new ideas. If our society is ever to find a way out of its current malaise, we need an open, no-holds-barred debate about everything from the real economy to the roots of Islamist terror. We need, in short, more free speech rather than less. The free-speech wars are far too important to lose without a battle to the bitter end, never mind surrendering without a fight.
In 2016, let’s take the fight to the campus censors
It’s time the silent majority made a stand for free speech
I smiled when I heard Senator Lindsey Graham’s response to the recent petition to ban US Presidential hopeful Donald Trump from the UK. ‘Don’t deny admission to Great Britain to Donald Trump. Invite him to London. Invite him to one of your universities. And let him get up in front of a bunch of young British students and they’ll rip the hide off of him.’ Has Graham been to a UK university recently? A quick look back over campus life this year, an experience akin to falling down some especially surreal rabbit hole, would quickly disabuse Graham of his optimism; higher education is now dominated by the language of ‘safe space’, ‘microaggression’ and ‘cultural appropriation’, not robust debate.
In February, spiked launched its groundbreaking Free Speech University Rankings. It showed that 80 per cent of institutions have restrictions on free speech, most of which emanate from students’ unions. The University of Bristol, for example, aims ‘to ensure an accessible environment in which every student feels comfortable, safe and able to get involved in all aspects of the organisation free from intimidation or judgement’. In 2015, this privileging of intellectual and emotional comfort has led to student petitions demanding the No Platforming of comedians, academics, Islamic preachers, feminists, journalists and politicians. If, by some bizarre administrative oversight, Trump were to be invited to a UK university, there would be howls of protest.
In 2015 universities redoubled their efforts to restrict thinking, speaking and dressing up on campus. Students at the University of East Anglia banned a Mexican restaurant from distributing sombreros because of cultural appropriation and stereotyping. Although, in this instance, the real risk was that some students might have had fun. This brings us neatly on to Halloween and the highly problematic issue of choosing a costume. Universities on both sides of the Atlantic went into overdrive producing posters, films and helplines offering advice on how to avoid offence with costume choice.
Throughout this year, many working in universities have looked on, some cheering, some despairing, as students curb debate. Just occasionally, one or two have raised their heads above the parapet and tried to tell students to grow up. At Yale University, lecturer Erika Christakis emailed students saying: ‘If you don’t like a costume someone is wearing, look away, or tell them you are offended. Talk to each other. Free speech and the ability to tolerate offence are the hallmarks of a free and open society.’
The ‘Yale snowflakes’, as they came to be known, responded to Christakis’s suggestion by bawling at her husband, college master Nicholas Christakis. The students argued the university was their home, and that they were not prepared to tolerate existential threats within it. Unfortunately, many academics find this idea of a university difficult to challenge because they perceive students as vulnerable and stressed-out customers whose views must be continually solicited and their feelings respected.
The purpose of higher education has been redefined; it is less about being intellectually challenged than it is about having one’s identity as a victim confirmed. Hence students are forced to seek out a continual stream of ‘microaggressions’ to affirm their victimhood. Anyone who calls this into question threatens this newly established status quo and has to go. Erika Christakis resigned her post at Yale.
Students have sought identity-confirmation through campaigns to ‘decolonise the curriculum’, have statues removed and buildings renamed. In the recent spate of US campus protests, the most high-profile of which has been at the University of Missouri, student demands have included anonymous reporting of microaggressions, compulsory anti-oppression training and one confession of racism by a faculty member each week. The upshot is a witch-hunt against those who refuse to conform and acknowledge the original sin of their gender and race or bestow the respect students consider to be their birthright. This has led to a series of high-profile resignations from US universities.
There are now rumours of a backlash against student protesters. Barack Obama pointed out the importance of debate to university life; a group of Princeton students stood up to the campus protesters; and brave individuals in the UK have also challenged the orthodoxy of consent classes and Safe Space policies. When the No Platforming of high-profile speakers has been publicly exposed it often gets overturned. Maryam Namazie, Germaine Greer, Julie Bindel and Milo Yiannopoulos all eventually got to speak at UK universities after being initially banned. This is to be welcomed, but it does not mean students are now more likely to engage in the rigours of debate. When Namazie spoke at Goldsmiths, members of the Islamic Society hijacked her presentation with an infantile display of coughing and heckling. Members of the LGBT and feminist societies have since offered their support to the Islamic Society and defended the union’s Safe Space policy.
In the US, a survey out this month suggests 51 per cent of college students are in favour of codes to restrict speech on campus and 72 per cent support disciplinary action against students or faculty who use offensive language. The belief that inclusivity and diversity are more important than free speech highlights generational as well as political differences in attitudes.
While students have even their most bizarre demands met, such as dropping the title ‘master’ from those who run colleges, there will be no end to the tyranny of identity politics on campus and all the restrictions on free speech it supports. A real fightback needs academics and institutional managers to say no to student censorship and ensure debates take place. It also needs students who disagree with protesters to stand up to those who would censor in their name – and make their higher education a less valuable experience as a result.
To do this requires more than just defending academic freedom; it calls for the posing of a more direct challenge to the culture of conformity that has come to dominate our universities. We need to make intellectual and political diversity as important to higher education as the prominence currently given to issues of gender, race and sexuality. Inviting Trump to speak at a British university would not be a bad place to start.
Sunday, December 27, 2015
British pub called the Blackcock Inn has its Facebook page suspended for 'racist or offensive language'
A pub called the Blackcock Inn has had its Facebook page banned for ‘racist or offensive language’ due to its name, according to its manager.
The watering hole has served customers in Llanfihangel Talyllyn in the Brecon Beacons, Wales, under the name since 1840 – but the social media giant banned its page after a complaint from a member of the public.
Manager Lee Garrett said he had tried to explain the situation to Facebook but had not had a reply and was not expecting the ban to be lifted.
‘In July I had this strange phone call from a woman who said she found our name offensive and her child had to cover their eyes to avoid seeing the name.
‘Then days after I put our Christmas menu on Facebook I tried to log back in and had a notice come up on the screen saying my account was suspended because of racist or offensive language.
‘I think someone has made this complaint and Facebook is just such an automated service that once this complaint goes in it goes to a computer and they just automatically banned us. There’s no one there to assess it properly and use some common sense.’
He added: ‘We live in a historically agricultural area and there are plenty of cockerel based names for pubs around here. We have the Three Cocks, the Cock Inn, the Cock Hotel; it’s just a name.’
Hate speech is allowed to Leftists only
Last night’s Miss America pageant won’t only be remembered for its unfortunate ending but also for its political correctness run amok. Miss Puerto Rico Destiny Velez missed out on the pageant entirely after being disqualified for taking filmmaker Michael Moore to task on the issue of Islamic sympathizing. Here are a few of the remarks via Twitter that landed her in hot water:
“All [that] Muslims have done is provided oil & terrorize this country & many others!”
“There’s NO comparison between Jews, Christians & Muslims. Jews nor Christians have terrorizing agendas in their sacred books.”
“[The] Islamic god is NOT the same God of the Christians & the Jews.”
“All they do is build their mosques, feel offended by American values and terrorize innocent Americans…”
You can read all of them here. To be clear, Ms. Velez is over-generalizing — not all Muslims disrespect Western values — but she has a point. And pageant officials levied an embargo before she had an opportunity to take her opinions to the main stage.
According to a statement: “[T]he Miss Puerto Rico Organization feels that her words do not represent the integrity and esteem of our program. Miss Velez’s actions were in contradiction to the organization, and therefore as a consequence of her actions, she has been suspended indefinitely.”
Oh, the horror. To refresh your memory, here are some unflattering remarks Democrats have made — and gotten away with — talking about conservatives:
“Syed Farook joins long list of murderous psychos enabled by NRA’s sick gun jihad against America in the name of profit.” —NY Daily News
“You cannot negotiate when they take hostages and when they extort, period.” —Sen. Chuck Schumer
“What we’re not for is negotiating with people with a bomb strapped to their chest.” —Dan Pfeiffer
“I call them legislative arsonists. They’re there to burn down what we should be building up.” —Nancy Pelosi
“[T]he anarchists have taken over,. They’ve taken over the House and now they’ve taken over the Senate.” —Harry Reid
“We need to act like adults, not like squealing political pigs.” —Sen. Dick Durbin
“The only phrase that describes it is political terrorism.” —Al Gore
“Those people are guilty of murder in my opinion.” —Sen. Angus King
“What I will not do is to have that negotiation with a gun at the head of the American people.” —Barack Obama
“We have negotiated with terrorists. This small group of terrorists have made it impossible to spend any money.” —Rep. Mike Doyle
“It has become commonplace to call the tea party faction in the House ‘hostage takers.’ But they have now become full-blown terrorists.” —Politico’s William Yeomans
“You know what they say: Never negotiate with terrorists. It only encourages them. These last few months, much of the country has watched in horror as the Tea Party Republicans have waged jihad on the American people.” —New York Times' Joe Nocera
“Today’s Tea Party movement is merely the latest of a series of attacks on American democracy by the white Southern minority, which for more than two centuries has not hesitated to paralyze, sabotage or, in the case of the Civil War, destroy American democracy in order to get their way.” —Salon’s Michael Lind
And let’s not forget Mr. Moore himself (via Twitter):
“My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot u in the back. Snipers aren’t heroes. And invaders r worse.”
Thursday, December 24, 2015
Students sign ‘petition’ to ban song ‘White Christmas’ because it’s ‘insulting to people of color’
MRCTV’s Dan Joseph recently presented college students with a “petition” calling on radio stations to ban the song “White Christmas” because, according to the petition, it’s “insulting to people of color and perpetuates the idea that being white is automatically a positive attribute in our society.”
Here’s some of the comments Joseph made to students as he talked to them about the song.
“It perpetuates the idea that white is naturally good, and that other colors are bad, and we feel that that’s a micro-aggression,” he told one student.
“And we think that the song ‘White Christmas’ is insulting to people of color because it says snow is white and therefore it is good – but we know there are other kinds of snow,” Joseph told another student. “It’s dirty on the ground, sometimes it turns brown, sometimes it turns black.”
The effort, captured on video, infused humor as the signature gathering continued.
“What kind of Christmases do you like,” Joseph asked one student. “I like racially ambiguous Christmases to be honest with you.”
When one student told him the song wasn’t so bad, Joseph told him “check your privilege.” At another point, he told a student the song should be banned because “Black Lives Matter.”
He got 18 signatures from students in about an hour.
Joseph wasn’t serious – his satirical effort showcased just how over the top political correctness has become on college campuses.
Debate is not a form of abuse
The UK National Union of Students (NUS) has published the results of a survey claiming that 46 per cent of students have been ‘trolled’ on social media over their political views and appearance. A further 32 per cent said such experiences had forced them to lower their online profile, and the same proportion said that this ‘bullying’ had affected their mental health. NUS president Megan Dunn said she herself has received rape and death threats on social media, and has reported tweeters to the police no fewer than five times.
I would apologise for seeming unsympathetic, if it wasn’t for the fact that I am not sympathetic in the slightest. Rape and death threats are unpleasant and, where appropriate, should be prosecuted. But almost all of what people call ‘threats’ on social media today amount to little more than grotesque hyperbole. As for the 46 per cent who say they have been ‘trolled’, I’m pretty sure most of them will find they were in fact simply being disagreed with.
Disagreement is a fact of life, and an important one. It is the foundation of democracy, but too many of our students confuse it with abuse. Someone disagreeing with you over an issue, whether it be BDS or transgender rights, should spark a debate, not a complaint to the authorities. Crying about ‘bullying’ is now the natural reflex of so many students when they stumble upon someone outside their own political bubble.
Britain’s students need to grow up and stop wanting to be treated like children. Crying to mummy when someone calls you a nasty word is fine for kids, but at least when I was young the standard advice was to ignore the name-callers. Complaining because someone disagrees with you, or is just trying to wind you up, is quite simply pathetic.
University is meant to broaden your mind, not reinforce your preconceptions. If your views are challenged, defend them. Don’t throw your toys out of the pram and complain that you’re being bullied or ‘trolled’.
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Court Upholds Christian Views of Former Fire Chief
In a telling victory, a judge in U.S. District Court in Atlanta ruled that former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran can proceed in his lawsuit against the city after it fired him for publishing a book that criticized homosexuality and gay marriage.
The city tried to get the case dismissed. “The city was looking to say there’s no validity to this case — we were just in firing him, and the court doesn’t even have to let the case go forward — and the court rightly rejected that and said no, there’s enough evidence here to move forward,” said David Cortman, the senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing Cochran.
The former chief, who once held a position in the Obama administration, wrote a book explaining his faith and Christianity titled “Who Told You That You Were Naked?” In one section, Cochran asserted that homosexuality is a sexual perversion.
An openly homosexual member of the Atlanta City Council took issue with Cochran and complained. First, Cochran was suspended without pay. Then, on Jan. 6, he was fired and so Cochran responded with a wrongful termination suit.
After all, expressing your beliefs while holding a government job is not worthy of punishment, and no matter what the leftists may say Cochran should not be made to bake the cake or made to care.
There are extremely tight limits on what you can safely say about queers; Free speech be damned.
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Politically correct universities 'are killing free speech'
British universities have become too politically correct and are stifling free speech by banning anything that causes the least offence to anyone, a group of leading academics warns on Saturday.
A whole generation of students is being denied the “intellectual challenge of debating conflicting views” because self-censorship is turning campuses into over-sanitised “safe spaces”, they say.
Writing in The Telegraph, the academics, led by Frank Furedi, professor of sociology at the University of Canterbury, and Joanna Williams, education editor, Spiked, say it is part of a “long and growing” list of people and objects banned from British campuses, including pop songs, sombreros and atheists.
They say the “deeply worrying development” is curtailing freedom of speech “like never before” because few things are safe from student censors.
Because universities increasingly see fee-paying students as customers, they do not dare to stand up to the “small but vocal minority” of student activists who want to ban everything from the Sun newspaper to the historian David Starkey.
The letter says: “Few academics challenge censorship that emerges from students. It is important that more do, because a culture that restricts the free exchange of ideas encourages self-censorship and leaves people afraid to express their views in case they may be misinterpreted. This risks destroying the very fabric of democracy.
“An open and democratic society requires people to have the courage to argue against ideas they disagree with or even find offensive. At the moment there is a real risk that students are not given opportunities to engage in such debate.
“A generation of students is being denied the opportunity to test their opinions against the views of those they don’t agree with.”
In recent months, students at British universities have banned, cancelled or challenged a host of speakers and objects because some found them offensive. Maryam Namazie, a prominent human rights campaigner who is one of the signatories to the letter, was initially banned from speaking at Warwick University because she is an atheist who, it was feared, could incite hatred on campus. She spoke at Warwick in the end.
In September, the University of East Anglia banned students from wearing free sombreros they were given by a local Tex-Mex restaurant because the student union decided non-Mexicans wearing the wide-brimmed hats could be interpreted as racist.
Oxford University cancelled a debate on abortion after female students complained that they would be offended by the presence of “a person without a uterus”, in other words a man, on the panel.
Cardiff University students tried to ban the feminist icon Germaine Greer because she once wrote that a man who was castrated would not behave like a woman, which was construed as offensive to transsexuals.
Last month The Daily Telegraph revealed that students at Harvard had asked for rape law to be dropped from lectures in case any students were victims of sexual assault. And President Obama has said that “coddling” students is “not the way we learn”.
Must not represent Australian Aborigines as cute
An ‘Australian Aboriginal Lucky Doll’ has been pulled from stores after photos of the key-ring surfaced on social media and were widely condemned as racist.
The wooden dolls were spotted at a store at Brisbane International Airport by Aboriginal activist Robin Taubenfeld.
They were painted with red, white, black and yellow and were attached to a key-ring by a leather rope which some have said is reminiscent of a ‘noose’.
A photo of the ‘Lucky Dolls’ was posted to Ms Taubenfeld’s Facebook page on Thursday, which prompted their removal from shelves the following day. Her post has since been shared more than 400 times.
One person commented that the dolls were ‘disrespectful to The Dreaming’.
Another person said the reference to the key-chain as a ‘Lucky Doll’ was the source of people’s anger, given the conditions in Indigenous Communities regarding health, life expectancy and high imprisonment rates.
Others said it was an example of non-Aboriginal people misappropriating and profiting off stereotypes.
Many commented speculating that the dolls were likely not even made in Australia.
Some also left comments on Brisbane Airport Facebook page to express their dismay.
A spokesperson from Brisbane Airport confirmed to Daily Mail Australia that the key-chains were 'quickly' removed from shelves.
Monday, December 21, 2015
School District Casts Out Bible Verses From ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’
Elementary school students in Johnson County, Ky., performed a version of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” purged of Bible verses after the school district barred religious references in holiday programs.
School district officials censored the Thursday night performance of the play at W.R. Castle Elementary School, along with other Christmas productions, after receiving a lone complaint about mentions of religion in school programs, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.
Principal Jeff Cochran rid the script–based on the classic 1965 “Peanuts” TV special–of the key scene where the character Linus recites a passage from the Bible detailing the birth of Jesus to explain to Charlie Brown “what Christmas is all about.”
Cochran did so after Johnson County Schools Superintendent Thomas Salyer notified him that Christmas programs had to “follow appropriate regulations.”
Another school reportedly replaced the hymn “Silent Night” with a Christmas rendition of the rap song “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae),” which is full of nonsensical rhymes.
Salyer said in a statement that the district’s holiday programs would comply with federal law, which he said prohibits teachers and faculty from promoting a specific religion at school
Protesters congregated outside Johnson County school district offices for three days following Salyer’s announcement, criticizing his decision to expunge religious references from all Christmas programs.
Lawyers from the Christian legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom sent a letter to Johnson County school officials Tuesday urging them to reinstate the deleted Bible verses (Luke 2:8-14) from the production of “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” It read in part:
"There is no violation of the so-called ‘separation of church and state’ by allowing children to learn about theater and the origins of Christmas through participating in a stage version of this beloved program that contains the same religious elements as the television version."
ADF’s lawyers said courts consistently have ruled that Christmas programs in schools can include religious references, concluding that “there is no basis” for a district’s censorship.
Black dolls used to represent the baby Jesus in two Australian nativity scenes
Just a Leftist stunt of course. The Dandenong hospital doll above. It is not literally black, of course, but it has the same colour as many people who are called black. It is essentially a representation of an African. As such, it is likely to be an inaccurate representation of the historical Jesus, who would have had the coloring of other Mediterranean people. He would have been a stocky little swarthy-skinned guy with dark eyes and dark hair like a modern-day Southern Italian. That is of no importance in itself as the traditional European representation of Jesus as tall and blond is also inaccurate.
What is of some concern, however, is that this stunt feeds into and encourages now-common misrepresentations of history. Some Amerrican blacks claim that all sorts of European inventions were in fact the work of Africans. And Muslims often deny any historical association of Jews with Israel. These are simply ego-salving lies but they do contribute to confusion about where the truth lies. And this is essentially another lie. We all wade through a sea of lies as we go through life so it is sometimes a major challenge to figure out what the truth is. Adding to the lies is therefore very unhelpful
Black achievements in many fields are much less than white achievements and Arab achievements are much less than Jewish achievements but the starting point for doing anything about those gaps is to accept their reality -- not lie about them
In the wake of the controversy surrounding a black doll representing baby Jesus at Pascoe Vale state Labor MP Lizzie Blandthorn’s office, Dandenong Hospital has also used a similar doll for its scene.
Ms Blandthorn said her staff members had fielded complaints, but Shane Butler, spokesman for hospital operator Monash Health, said feedback had been positive. "The nativity scene at Dandenong Hospital features a baby perhaps best described as being of Middle-Eastern ethnicity," Mr Butler said.
"We have had no negative feedback from passers-by, and, in fact, our staff have received a number of positive comments about the nativity scene."
The doll’s colour sparked fearsome online debate yesterday. Fired up readers were divided over the use of the black doll, with some arguing that Jesus could have been black or olive-skinned, due to his Middle Eastern roots, others saying history had always depicted him as a white man, while some wondered why it was an issue because they did not believe he existed.
Eddie had a simple message for those arguing over the colour of the doll. "Really, it’s Christmas, so all who believe in the birth of Christ, let’s just celebrate it and be grateful that someone has put up a nativity scene," Eddie wrote.
Some said Ms Blandthorn was "grandstanding" and questioned if MPs should be allowed to erect nativity scenes at all, considering the multicultural electorates they represent.
"What is relevant here is simply that a Labor MP has deliberately done this to get a negative reaction from people and I suspect to try and prove a point," Leslie wrote.
Jason wondered: "Should politicians be putting nativity scenes in their office windows? I think this might be a broader issue to talk about."
Paul thought Jesus had "blond hair and blue eyes". "You’re in good company Paul, so did Michelangelo and Da Vinci," John replied.
Guy said readers were creating an "incredible amount of fuss over the accuracy of a depiction of... a fictional character! Lol."
Yesterday, Ms Blandthorn told Leader she wanted to present a "multicultural" nativity scene in keeping with her diverse community it Pascoe Vale.
"Some people have suggested it wasn’t appropriate because it was dark-skinned, but my view is it’s more historically accurate given the part of the world in which the nativity happened," she said.
Ms Blandthorn said people were free to represent the nativity how they wished. "I’ve got a Mexican nativity set at home, which has dark-skinned llamas," she said. "Culturally, people represent the nativity in ways that mean something to them."
Maria, who didn’t want her surname published, said she felt using the black baby was "changing what Jesus was". "I’m not saying he would have been blue-eyed and blonde, but I don’t think he would have been that black either," she said.
"It sounds like I’m being racist but I’m not. I’m Italian, I was born here, and I used to get called a dago — I don’t like racism.
"All I can say is that he can’t have been black because that’s then going into Africa."
The Archdiocesan Vicar General Monsignor Greg Bennett said Jesus was Jewish, "and we can presume his appearance would have reflected the people of the Middle East".
"However, throughout the centuries, the images of the Holy Family in art, sculpture and windows have reflected the diverse cultures of the world and therefore the depictions of the Holy Family have reflected this reality," Monsignor Bennett said.
"Jesus was born for all people — all nations — in history for history."
Sunday, December 20, 2015
Australian bureaucrats say "Spooning Goats" is a bad name
A Sydney barman has for years been battling the city's liquor licensing bureaucrats who have deemed the name of his establishment "inappropriate" or "objectionable".
The case of "Spooning Goats" highlights, he says, the arbitrary powers of the NSW liquor authority.
Jason Newton first tried to register his York Street small bar under the offending name three years ago.
But the state government's liquor regulators stopped him from using it. Under section 95 of the Liquor Act authorities do not need to justify any decision to prohibit the use of a name.
Plainclothes agents from the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority have twice visited the bar to make sure he wasn't secretly using the offensive words.
("Spooning" for the uninitiated refers to a hug where two bodies interlock like utensils in a drawer.)
German Neo-Nazi charged over concentration camp tattoo
GERMAN prosecutors laid charges on Wednesday against a far-right local politician over a tattoo bearing a notorious Nazi concentration camp slogan and a picture of Auschwitz.
Marcel Zech, a 27-year-old council member of the National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD) in a town just north of Berlin, faces up to five years jail for inciting racial hatred, prosecutors told AFP.
Zech’s tattoo was photographed in November when he took his shirt off at a public swimming pool in Oranienburg, in the eastern state of Brandenburg which surrounds the capital. It features the German words “Jedem das Seine” (To Each His Own) -- the message at the front gate of the Buchenwald concentration camp — and a picture of the former Auschwitz death camp in occupied Poland with barbed wire fences.
Oranienburg is the site of Sachsenhausen, a Nazi concentration camp, where tens of thousands of inmates died.
Zech faces court next Tuesday, said the local newspaper Potsdamer Neueste Nachrichten.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has labelled his fringe party the NPD, which is most popular in the formerly communist East Germany, “an anti-democratic, xenophobic, anti-Semitic, anti-constitutional party”.
Its just a tattoo not hurting anyone but the more the Leftist policies are similar to Hitler the more the Leftists are frantic to distance themselves from him. And all the major parties in Germany are both socialist and Green, just like Hitler. Only his patriotism is missing among them.
Friday, December 18, 2015
Must not call a psychiatric hospital a "loony bin"
I suppose "madhouse" wouldn't do either. Some Leftist dialogue sounds to me like it's out of a madhouse -- postmodernism particularly. Am I allowed to say that?
A takeaway has been criticised for calling a mental health hospital a 'looney bin' on their delivery note.
The remark - written on the letter - was found by a member of staff at a unit run by the Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust.
Staff took a photo of the note and posted it on Facebook alongside the caption: 'Takeaway delivered to staff at one of our hospitals last week with this delivery note attached. 'Still a long way to go to end mental health stigma.'
The note showed the delivery date as December 10, 2015 at 18.08, with the words LOONEY BIN in capitals handwritten alongside the blanked-out address details.
The Trust says its staff were 'greatly distressed' at the phrase and it has now removed the takeaway from its list of approved suppliers. It says it will not be ordering food from them again until this matter is resolved.
Nativity Scene Removed and replaced with atheist display
Atheists like to tell us that they're not at war with organized religion. That it's the other way around, and they want to live and let live. What an absolute crock. What these extremist atheists did in Nebraska would make the Grinch blush.
An atheist group has forced Nebraska to remove a nativity from its state capitol and replace it with an atheist display.
The nativity is allowed to stay up until Dec. 18 when it must be taken down so that an atheist display can be put up. The atheist display will feature a small model church and model capitol building with a large wall between them to symbolize the separation of church and state, The Lincoln Journal Star reports. The atheist display will be up through Christmas, but not the nativity.
Thursday, December 17, 2015
The Golliwog controversy surfaces again
I liked my Golliwog when I was a little kid -- and children still like them. They were a very common soft toy once. They ARE based on a caricature of Africans but there are plenty of odd-looking rag dolls with fair "skin". Have a look here. I think it is fair to say that all rag dolls are a caricature to some extent
Glasgow gift shops have come under fire from shoppers and campaigners for selling and displaying golliwog dolls in their windows.
The two shops, Cards and Gifts, and Party, which sit opposite each other on Sauchiehall Street, in Glasgow, both have window displays featuring the controversial dolls, dressed in minstrel clothing.
In both shops they are displayed next to other children's toys and Christmas decorations, and members of the public and anti-racism groups have slammed the shops for selling the items.
One angry shopper, who did not want to be named, said: 'It's ridiculous in 2015 that people are still selling these things. 'They're very offensive and I'm sure I'm not the only person to have noticed it.
'To not know they are a racist symbol is baffling, and I doubt anyone would buy one anyway.'
Nicola Hay, campaign manager at Show Racism the Red Card Scotland, said: 'We are deeply saddened to hear of this.
'Golliwogs are demeaning racist caricatures rendering black people as submissive and lesser.
'SRtRC are against the buying and selling of golliwogs as they hark back to a time when mockery and stereotyping of black people was considered acceptable. 'In today's more enlightened times such items really have no place.'
The manager of Cards and Gifts confirmed the two shops had the same owner. He said that he understood the dolls may be deemed offensive , but added the shops had the right to sell them.
The man, who would not give his name when asked, said: 'Now they are available in big warehouses, we have permission to sell them. They're sold in markets.
'I understand [why they might be offensive] but now they can be sold and that's why we have them.
He also said the dolls had been popular with visitors to the shops, and added: 'A lot of people buy them.'
Photographer criticised over image where females have their mouths taped up
On Sunday, Louisana woman Hannah Hawkes, who calls herself a “newly established, local photographer”, posted a series images from a family Christmas shoot on her Facebook page.
Most of the shots were lovely, showing a mother, father and their three children smiling. But in one of the images, the mother and two daughters wore bright green duct covering their mouths and the father held a sign saying ‘Peace on Earth’. Their son’s mouth was duct tape-free.
The image was shared on Reddit yesterday and was slammed on social media.
“I can’t believe this sort of offensive photography is tolerated in our society. Poorly composed, overexposed, uncreative. Your photography is bad, and you should feel bad,” wrote one user on Ms Hawkes’ Facebook page.
Another said: “I can’t believe a female photographer would take part in something so demeaning and damaging to women and girls. Women being deprived of their voices by men is no laughing matter. It wasn’t cute. It wasn’t humorous. It was horrifying.”
Ms Hawkes defended her photo on her Facebook page, after the image was removed by Facebook. “I have been called every name in the book, and have received some very hateful and vulgar comments and messages,” she wrote.
“I would like to say that as a female I do NOT and have never promoted violence to women! I do not support abuse, or the degradation of women.
“My controversial photo was taken by request by the family, and was in no way meant to promote abuse. This photo was taken with humour in mind, and was meant as a comical Christmas photo. I personally know this family, and have known them for many years.
“They are not abusive to their children in any shape or form. Also, I would like to add that no one was harmed during the process.”
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Evangelical Northern Irish preacher, 78, told worshippers ‘Islam is satanic’: Pastor is charged with spreading ‘grossly offensive’ message that was streamed online
When an expression of religious opinion is criminalized, Britain's entire tradition of religious tolerance and free religious speech is jeopardized
An evangelical preacher who branded Islam 'satanic' is standing trial after being charged with spreading a 'grossly offensive' message online.
James McConnell from County Antrim, Northern Ireland, was charged in connection with a controversial speech he made from the pulpit of the Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle in Belfast in March 2014.
The sermon was streamed online and now the 78-year-old is being prosecuted under the 2003 Communications Act, after saying: 'Islam is heathen. Islam is satanic.'
At Belfast Magistrates today, a DVD of the entire May 2014 service including prayers, scripture reading and hymn singing was played to the court.
Meanwhile, in his opening speech, prosecutor David Russell said the decision to proceed with the case was 'proportionate and necessary.'
Mr Russell said: 'He (McConnell) characterises the followers of an entire religion in a stereotypical way. And that's grossly offensive and that's not protected from saying it from a pulpit.
'It has nothing to do with religion or freedom of expression of his freedom to preach.' [How come?]
The court was told that in a prepared statement given to police during an interview, McConnell said he had not intended to cause offence, insult, arouse fear or stir up tension. He abhorred violence and apologised, the court heard.
Speech Police Attack Scalia
Must not suggest that affirmative action does blacks no favors
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was brutalized by the PC Police after he offered comments last week about a theory related to affirmative action utilized in academia. During arguments discussing a lawsuit filed by a white female student against the University of Texas, Scalia had the gall (in the race-baiters' estimation) to ask about the mismatch theory. This is usually known as exploring the merits of the case. Leading the charge against Scalia were both Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and the “Reverend” Al Sharpton, who, like a hammer looking for a nail, never misses a chance to hit someone as “racist.”
Let’s review the basic facts. The actual case before SCOTUS involves Abigail Fisher, a Texas student who was not admitted to the University of Texas, she alleges, because of racial discrimination. She did not rank in the top 10% of her graduating high school class, which is the first criteria for admission into the University of Texas. Some 81% of those admitted during the year of her application met that threshold, leaving 19% of admitted students needing to meet additional criteria that included but were not limited to race. Fisher was among those denied admission.
Scalia, the long-serving justice appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1986, referred to a theory labeled “mismatch” that places ill-prepared or ill-equipped students in rigorous academic programs that result in failure due to the criterion of race serving as the driving force.
In open court, Scalia offered comments on published assertions made by others regarding this “mismatch”: “There are those who contend that it does not benefit African-Americans to get them into the University of Texas where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school, a slower-track school where they do well. … One of the briefs pointed out that most of the black scientists in this country don’t come from schools like the University of Texas. They come from lesser schools where they do not feel that they’re being pushed ahead in classes that are too fast for them.”
In an Oct. 2, 2012, piece published in The Atlantic, these statements were made regarding the “Mismatch Theory”:
The single biggest problem in this system — a problem documented by a vast and growing array of research — is the tendency of large preferences to boomerang and harm their intended beneficiaries. Large preferences often place students in environments where they can neither learn nor compete effectively — even though these same students would thrive had they gone to less competitive but still quite good schools.
We refer to this problem as “mismatch,” a word that largely explains why, even though blacks are more likely to enter college than are whites with similar backgrounds, they will usually get much lower grades, rank toward the bottom of the class, and far more often drop out. Because of mismatch, racial preference policies often stigmatize minorities, reinforce pernicious stereotypes, and undermine the self-confidence of beneficiaries, rather than creating the diverse racial utopias so often advertised in college campus brochures.
No, Justice Antonin Scalia is not the author of that piece three years ago. Instead, the excerpt is from authors Richard Sander, UCLA professor and economist, and Stuart Taylor Jr., a legal journalist. The latter also penned the book, “Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It’s Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won’t Admit It.”
In summary, the overreaction to Scalia’s recitation of someone else’s research and writings while engaging in public discourse over an issue before the Court is just another example of the Left’s approach to speech: Either consent and speak in uniformity blessed by the Left or be silenced by insults and name-calling that generates a twisted narrative relayed as fact by the Leftmedia presstitutes.
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Google chairman wants to censor the internet for hate speech: ‘Spell check’ for terrorism is needed, says Eric Schmidt
Technology groups have a duty to combat terrorism using tools such as a hate speech 'spell checker', according to Google chairman, Eric Schmidt.
Schmidt claims a widespread system capable of doing this would 'de-escalate tensions on social media' and 'remove videos before they spread'.
It follows an announcement by the White House that it is engaged in conversations with the technology community about taking 'common sense' measures to prevent terrorism.
'It's our responsibility to demonstrate that stability and free expression go hand in hand,' wrote Schmidt in an opinion piece for the New York Times.
However, Schmidt did not give any specific details about his proposed 'spell-checkers' for hate.
Quartz points out that people can't agree on the definition of hate speech, so building algorithms to balance that fine line would be difficult.
Any such attempt in the USA would almost certainly be knocked on the head on 1st Amendment grounds. And anyone can access U.S. sites
UK: Devout Christian great-grandmother who sent a letter to the headmistress of a top Islamic girls school claiming 'all Muslims worship Satan' is ordered to do community service
I think it's not unreasonable to see Islam as the religion of the Devil. Any religion that loves death or leads to parents rejoicing when their children blow themselves up is surely of the Devil -- however you conceive of the Devil. Whether he is a man in a red suit with horns and a tail, a fallen spirit being, or simply the evil side of human nature hardly matters. In all cases Islam is clearly anti-life and only the Devil or his disciples could rejoice in that
An eccentric great-grandmother who sent a letter to the headmistress of a top Islamic girls school claiming 'all Muslims worship Satan' has landed herself with a criminal record for 'causing harm.'
Devout Christian Rose White, 68, typed the three page note saying: 'I was saddened to see you enforce full Muslim dress and force pupils to accept the role of Satan' after seeing photos of pupils dressed in burkhas on the school's website.
Accompanying the letter was a 23-page cartoon-strip booklet titled, 'Is Allah Like You?' showing a Muslim family with a cruel father who then becomes kind after turning to Christianity.
Police were called in after Mona Mohammed, headteacher at the 232 pupil Manchester Islamic High School for Girls picked up the letter when pupils and staff returned after a half term break.
Ms Mohammed who has been head at the £5,000 a year school since 1991 was said to be 'deeply alarmed' by the contents of the letter and felt it was a personal attack on her and her school.
White, a retired mill worker from Greetland in Halifax, later claimed she became a Christian in 2014 following repeated callings from God and saw it as her 'duty' to tell Muslims to convert to her religion.
At Manchester magistrates court she denied wrongdoing but was convicted of sending an indecent or grossly offensive letter and was ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.
Passing sentence Judge Duncan Birrell told her: 'You are not allowed to conduct yourself in a way that causes other people harm. The court has already determined you have crossed the line between freedom to express your opinions and causing harm to others.' [What harm?]
'Ms White explained she had sent around 50 letters to various schools and organisations. She believes it will show they "have a nice future under Jesus and not Satan or Mohammed or whatever they call him".
After the case she said: 'The letter is not offensive - it just told the truth. As a Christian it's my duty to tell them to start worshipping Jesus.'
She was also sentenced to a 12-month community order with £510 in costs.
Monday, December 14, 2015
Cookies must not look like fighter planes
Norway has apologised after baking a batch of gingerbread biscuits which resembled F-35 fighter jets.
A picture of the festive cookies attracted criticism when it was shared on the country's official Instagram account reportedly by a member of staff in a government department.
But hours after the photograph was uploaded Norway apologised to thousands of followers - claiming they too had 'a heart'.
One comment following the post read: 'Personally I associate Christmas with peace and what one can do for others.' Another user branded the move as 'pathetic'.
Hours later the government apologised for the post.
However some people defended the picture and said they weren't offended by it. One post read: 'I, for one, did not get offended. And from what I read, the offended are just a tiny, tiny, tiny portion of people, most of us found this hilarious.'
Must not say that the poor mostly keep themselves poor
Why are these delicate flowers being shielded from this perfectly reasonable nuts-and-bolts theory of poverty? Even were the theory factually wrong, why are these nearly fully mature young minds in need of protection from its consideration?
Clearly, the problem was that Shapiro challenged the Leftist creed that poor people are helpless victims of our wicked society who need the Left to save them
Ben Shapiro was told he 'crossed a line' during a speech sponsored by Young America’s Foundation at Otay Ranch High School near San Diego.
Shapiro was talking about income mobility in the United States. “The reason people are permanently poor in the United States isn’t because they don’t have money, it’s because they suck with money. The reasons people are temporarily poor can vary,” he said to the crowd of 450 students.
“That’s not even controversial. If you’re permanently poor for your entire life, you’re not great with money by definition,” he continued before being interrupted by school administrator Dean Nafarrete.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Shapiro,” he began. “I’m at a point right now, where, quite frankly, I’m going to dismiss the students… With all due respect, Mr. Shapiro, Mr. Shapiro represents a narrative that he’s providing to all you guys based on his opinions, what he believes, what he wants to share with all of you. I know that the education was there for all of you to understand, the left side, right side, whatnot, but also the opportunity was allowed for him to impress some of his opinions on certain things… I think what this is getting into now, it’s starting to cross a line.”
Shapiro asked “what line would that be”, but Nafarrete continued to tell students they could leave. This received boos from the crowd to the school's administrator.
According to Breitbart half of the students stayed and Nafarrete told Shapiro that he dismissed the students to 'protect their feelings.'
“This is why young Americans are moving left,” said Shapiro. “The left has hijacked our educational system from the bottom up. It doesn’t start in college. It doesn’t even start in high school. Teaching American children that they are victims of a cruel and unjust system is a nasty lesson few Americans unlearn. And apparently, if you attempt to teach that they have every opportunity in the freest nation in the history of the world to succeed, you will ‘cross the line.’”
I know that Shapiro is right. In my early years, I lived on government dole payments a couple of times. And not only did I have a comfortable life then but I even saved money!
In our society these days, poverty is mostly caused by foolish behavior. All the poor people I have come across have plenty of money for beer and cigarettes. And I used to run a 22-room boarding house in a poor area so I do know the poor very well. I used to see the boxes of "goon" (cheap white wine) coming into the building every "payday" (the day when welfare payments arrived)
Sunday, December 13, 2015
ACLU: Shoot Trump Voters
The ACLU is supposed to be about civil liberties but according to the ACLU guy below your vote is apparently not one of your liberties. What he says is just blatant hate speech. Leftist hate never stops
Loring Wirbel, board member of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Colorado chapter and co-chair of the ACLU’s Colorado Springs chapter, called for supporters of GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump to be shot before they vote for the billionaire businessman.
Comparing Trump to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels, Wirbel wrote in his Facebook page:
The thing is, we have to really reach out to those who might consider voting for Trump and say, “This is Goebbels. This is the final solution. If you are voting for him I will have to shoot you before election day.” They’re not going to listen to reason, so when justice is gone, there’s always force, as Laurie would say.
Green/Left hate speech at Paris climate conference
Amid the light-hearted fanfare generated by environmental activists in the French capital, the climate summit has also been notable for a hardening of tone against perceived climate-change deniers — several of whom have been subject to highly personalised campaigns.
Fiona Wild, a representative of the mining group BHP Billiton at the talks, flew back to Australia on Thursday after becoming the focus of an aggressive campaign against individuals in Paris accused of trying to water down the final climate agreement.
Ms Wild and several others had their faces plastered on more than 1,000 large “wanted” posters, which were put up around luxury hotels in Paris. The targets were accused of being “climate criminals” trying to “keep fossil fuels at the centre of human development”.
A spokesperson for BHP Billiton said Ms Wild flew back to Australia before the end of the summit “following a very concerning campaign by French activists . . . which incorrectly claimed BHP Billiton [and Ms Wild] were climate-change deniers”.
One person close to Ms Wild said she had also been warned that more personal attacks against her were to come. The BHP Billiton spokesperson called the campaign “highly personalised and unfair”.
The crusade reflected the generally hostile attitude to climate sceptics in Paris, with senior policy figures making clear that this time they were not welcome and their point of view was no longer valid.
Others on the “wanted” list included Benjamin Sporton, head of the World Coal Association; Marc Morano, who runs the climate sceptic website ClimateDepot.com; Myron Ebell, director of the US think-tank Competitive Enterprise Institute; Bjorn Lomborg, Danish author of The Skeptical Environmentalist; and James Taylor, senior fellow at the Heartland Institute, another US libertarian think-tank.
Some were more relaxed than others about being branded “criminals”. Mr Morano, who premiered his new climate-sceptic documentary Climate Hustle, responded to a Financial Times request for comment by sending a photograph of himself posing by his “wanted” sign with an expression of mock-fear.
“You have to wonder how strong their scientific case really is if activists resort to accusing anyone who disagrees of being a wanted criminal,” he said.
Others took it more seriously. Mr Ebell said it was a concern in a “free society” that in a conference attended by thousands of environmental non-government organisations, activists would want to “exclude and silence” a small group of “climate realists”.
Friday, December 11, 2015
Must not mention homosexuals and pedophiles in the same breath
Or else people might think that some homosexuals fancy boys. The numerous accounts of boys being sexually abused in British boarding schools testify that some do. It wasn't Matron abusing the boys
Police are investigating comments made by Tyson Fury in which he appeared to link homosexuals to paedophiles.
The world heavyweight boxing champion linked abortion and homosexuality with paedophilia, in an interview with the Mail on Sunday's Chief Sports Writer Oliver Holt.
The self-proclaimed Gypsy King said: 'There are only three things that need to be accomplished before the devil comes home.
'One of them is homosexuality being legal in countries, one of them is abortion and the other is paedophilia. Who would have thought in the 50s and 60s that those first two would be legalised?
'When I say paedophiles could be made legal, it sounds crazy. But if I had said to you about the first two being made legal in the 50s, I would have been looked upon as a crazy man.
'If I would have told you 120 years ago that a 1,000-ton aeroplane is going to fly through the sky, a piece of steel, that would have been considered ludicrous.
'People can say, 'You are against abortions, you are against paedophilia, you are against homosexuality', but my faith and my culture is based on the Bible.'
His comments sparked outrage and Greater Manchester Police has today confirmed they are investigating his comments after receiving a complaint, accusing Fury of a hate crime.
Most American journalists just can't do objectivity -- even when they try
Apparently, Trump's comments about Muslims make him a racist. Has anybody told them that Muslims are not a race? There are Muslims of all races. Islam is a religion. You can change your religion but not your race. And why is it OK to criticize Christians but not Islam?
BuzzFeed journalists have been told they can call Donald Trump a “mendacious racist” on social media as a matter of fact.
In a memo to staff, BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith said that describing the Republican presidential candidate as a liar and a racist would not violate BuzzFeed rules about avoiding political partisanship on social media.
“It is, for instance, entirely fair to call him a mendacious racist, as the politics team and others here have reported clearly and aggressively,” wrote Smith. “He’s out there saying things that are false and running an overtly anti-Muslim campaign. BuzzFeed News’s reporting is rooted in facts, not opinion; these are facts.”
Figures from NBC released last week showed that Trump has managed to build a lead despite spending just £217,000 on broadcast advertising, the lowest figure among the leading candidates. In contrast, Jeb Bush has spent more than £28m but has failed to make a significant impact on the race.
Thursday, December 10, 2015
Dem Rep Schakowsky: GOP Words ‘Are Terrorizing’ American Muslims
But nothing like the way Muslims are terrorizing Christians in the Middle East
Sunday on MSNBC’s “Politics Nation with Al Sharpton,” Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) said Republicans “words are terrorizing” Muslim-Americans.
I have a lot of people who believe in Islam in my district. They are scared. People are afraid to send their children to school. They’re afraid to cover themselves, and are being attacked right now. It’s really frightening for law-abiding american Muslims in this country.”
She added, “You know, words matter, so when you have people who want to be president of the United States saying they want to have all Muslims register in the United States, when people who talk about Planned Parenthood and clinics and talk about baby body parts and then the killer repeated those words, echoed those words, when he shot the people at the clinic, words really matter, and right now those words are terrorizing Americans.”
Must not call Obama a feline
But OK to call George Bush a Nazi, of course
Fox contributors former U.S. Army Lt. Col. Ralph Peters and actress Stacey Dash were each ordered off the air for two weeks
Both appeared on air while discussing President Barack Obama's speech on terrorism
Peters was appearing on a Fox Business Network program when he said: 'This guy is such a total p****'
Dash who appeared in Fox's program Outnumbered said Obama's speech was an epic fail said 'I felt like he could give a s***'
Senior executive vice president of programming at Fox said in both cases language 'was completely inappropriate for our air'
Peters was appearing on a Fox Business Network program hosted by Stuart Varney when he was asked his reaction to the president's speech and said he didn't like it. His comments were not bleeped out, according to CNN.
'Well, first of all he keeps speaking about "we can't give in to our fears." You know, "don't be afraid,' he said.
'Look, Mr. President we're not afraid we're angry, we're pissed off, we're furious.
'We want you to react, we want you to do something. You're afraid. I mean this guy is such a total p****, it's stunning.'
After he finished his response, Varney said that while he could tell Peters was 'super angry,' he should not use such language which Peters responded with 'I'm sorry.'
Wednesday, December 09, 2015
Loretta Lynch Vows to Prosecute Those Who Use 'Anti-Muslim' Speech That 'Edges Toward Violence'
The day after a horrific shooting spree by a radicalized Muslim man and his partner in San Bernardino, California, Attorney General Loretta Lynch pledged to a Muslim advocacy and lobbying group that she would take aggressive action against anyone who used "anti-Muslim rhetoric" that "edges toward violence."
Speaking to the audience at the Muslim Advocates' 10th anniversary dinner Thursday, Lynch said her "greatest fear" is the "incredibly disturbing rise of anti-Muslim rhetoric" in America and vowed to prosecute any guilty of what she deemed violence-inspiring speech.
"Now obviously this is a country that is based on free speech, but when it edges towards violence, when we see the potential for someone lifting that mantle of anti-Muslim rhetoric—or, as we saw after 9/11, violence directed at individuals who may not even be Muslims but perceived to be Muslims, and they will suffer just as much—when we see that we will take action," said Lynch.
It is painfully clear that, like her predecessor Eric Holder, Lynch is far more concerned with promoting the social justice agenda than protecting the Constitutional rights of American citizens. What exactly is speech that "edges toward violence"? What exactly are "actions predicated on violent talk"? In the end, it is whatever she decides it to mean.
UPDATE: After strong backlash against her comments on speech that "edges toward violence," Lynch seemed to, as Politico puts it, "recalibrate" her language in a press conference Monday, underscoring that her department would only prosecute "deeds not words."
Gasp! Football Players Pray — In Public!
No, this is not from The Onion. The Huffington Post is protesting the fact that some USAFA “football team members knelt and prayed — ostentatiously, publicly — in the end zone prior to the game,” Ret. U.S. Army Col. Lawrence Wilkerson wrote. “They did not, as Christ’s disciple Matthew advises, put themselves in a closet; they prayed in front of the world.”
And then HuffPo compared this to … religious oppression in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. Apparently, Wilkerson thinks a pre-game prayer is akin to the crucifixions, beheadings and stonings radical Islamists perform in the pursuit of Sharia Law.
As a result of a complaint by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, the USAFA is investigating the team. But if the Air Force recived a complaint about a Muslim praying, the person speaking up would probably be the one under scrutiny for a hate crime.
This is the same Academy that struck the phrase “so help me God” from the USAFA Cadet Handbook of oaths, as Mark Alexander noted in an essay in September. The Left may try to make an end run on religion in the ranks of the U.S. military, but the individual soldiers are keeping the flame of Liberty and faith burning bright.
Tuesday, December 08, 2015
Facebook shuts down "Britain First"’s page under ‘hate speech’ rules
Facebook has shut down the page of far-right political group Britain First under rules prohibiting hate speech.
The page was followed by more than 1.1million people, which was the largest following of any political social media page in the United Kingdom.
Facebook has now closed the page, citing its rules banning ‘hate speech’. ‘While people can use Facebook to challenge ideas, institutions and practices, Facebook removes hate speech,’ the notification read.
‘Hate speech includes content that directly attacks people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender or gender identity, or serious disabilities or diseases.’
Britain First members responded angrily to the closure. Its leader, Paul Golding, called it ‘a fascist attack’. ‘Facebook has launched a fascist attack on a registered, legal British political party on the verge of a major election campaign,’ he said.
The group said in a statement that Facebook had denied its 1.1million supporters ‘freedom of speech and expression’.
‘Facebook resisted attempts by political opponents hostile to Britain First to get our page closed down, but now it seems they have “unpublished” it,’ it said.
Britain First also said it had launched ‘an immediate legal fund to drag Facebook into court.’
The page has since been reinstated.
Some hate-speech from a Leftist columnist
Take heart, fellow citizens. In a few months, we’ll see that polls are just fleeting snapshots and that we will not be electing a narcissist, racist, lying, spewer of hate (Donald Trump) or a science-denying, foreign-affairs-know-nothing (Ben Carson) or the scion of a famous family who hasn’t been able to convince anyone he wants to be president (Jeb Bush).
Of course, we’ll still be left with a loudmouth bully (Chris Christie); a clever but insufferable tea-party showoff (Ted Cruz); an unproven, young upstart who has no respect for process (Marco Rubio); a guy who lost his Senate seat and once likened homosexuality to bestiality, which he now regrets (Rick Santorum); a former Fox News host, preacher and ex-governor whose statements have been 41 percent false or mostly false (Mike Huckabee); a sitting governor who alienates the base of his party (John Kasich); a fired CEO who loves attacking but hasn’t enough money (Carly Fiorina); a retired former governor whose name people can’t remember (George, uh, Pataki); a hawkish senator from the South who has no base (Lindsey Graham); a libertarian senator who touts isolationism (Rand Paul); and a former governor who can’t get on the debate stage (John Gilmore).
She will be shocked to be told her words are hate speech but they clearly ooze hate. Leftists have no self-insight.
Monday, December 07, 2015
Crazy mixed up gal in Norway
You can have free speech as long as you don't offend anybody, it seems
The Prime Minister and Minister of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion Minister Solveig Horne unveiled the government’s policy statement against hate speech.
- In a democracy, freedom of speech is inalienable. In Norway, we will defend free speech. At the same time the individual’s right not to be subjected to offensive and hurtful speech should be protected, says Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
Solberg notes that hate speech which limits the individual’s participation in the public sphere is a loss for the public debate and for democracy. With this political declaration, we undertake efforts to combat expressions that spread hatred, says she.
- I encourage as many as possible to join the political declaration and sign it online. We have seen that the price for participating in the public debate is high for many. We must have a debate climate where everyone can participate, without being afraid of being harassed, says Horne.