Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Portland mayor aims to nix free-speech rally, fears 'hatred'

The mayor of Portland, Oregon, on Monday urged U.S. officials and organizers to cancel a "Trump Free Speech Rally"

It comes amid a wider debate in the U.S. about the First Amendment, often in liberal cities like Portland and Berkeley, California, and on college campuses, where violent protests between far-right and far-left protesters have derailed appearances by contentious figures.

The federal government has issued a permit for the free-speech rally Saturday and has yet to give a permit for an event June 10. The mayor says his main concern was participants "coming to peddle a message of hatred," saying hate speech is not protected by the Constitution.

A Facebook page for the event says there would be speakers and live music in "one of the most liberal areas on the West Coast." It says it will feature Kyle Chapman, who describes himself as an American nationalist and ardent supporter of President Donald Trump.

Chapman was arrested at a March 4 protest in Berkeley, the birthplace of the U.S. free speech movement in the 1960s that has become a flashpoint for the extreme left and right since Trump's election.


Liberals Launch Their Latest War On Free Speech

Whether it’s tagging legitimate news stories they disagree with as “fake news” or launching increasingly-violent protests to shut down opposing viewpoints, it’s clear: the left is gearing up their war on free speech.

Like most wars premised on indoctrination, young adults are the ones being overtly radicalized. Protected by tenure, radical leftists seemingly dominate most institutions of higher learning. Once a free marketplace of ideas, today’s academia seems increasingly a modern inquisition against any who challenge the increasingly cult-like radicalism being infused into the minds of college students. According to a recent Gallup survey, a whopping 72% of college students now think the government should ban all “offensive” speech. What they find offensive, of course, is any remark outside of politically-correct liberal orthodoxy.  And they protest – riot – for it.

These aren’t your father’s college protests. Today’s mob rule on campus is something new.

At California’s Claremont McKenna College, protesters blocked the entrance to a campus building to prevent conservative author Heather MacDonald from speaking. Despite being a well-respected commentator, left-wing radicals justified their anti-intellectual actions by claiming to be preventing “fascism” and “racism” from taking hold in America. Undeterred, MacDonald entered in secret through a back door. When she arrived on stage, however, she found the hall nearly empty–because the mob also refused to let anyone interested in hearing her ideas enter the building.

 At Middlebury College in Vermont, a protest against economist Charles Murray turned ugly. A self-righteous mob of 150 students violently attacked conservatives as they attempted to leave an auditorium, injuring the professor who was interviewing Murray. Students at Middlebury pay $60,000 a year to live in an enclave where totalitarian-style tactics are encouraged–so long as they toe the liberal line of thinking.

Most recently, students at Evergreen State College berated a biologist and demanded his resignation, after he objected to an event in which all white students were asked to leave campus for a day. When this liberal-but-not-enough professor tried to engage in thoughtful discussion, he was shouted down and a student screamed, “We don’t care what terms you want to speak on. This is not about you. We are not speaking on terms—on terms of white privilege. This is not a discussion. You have lost that one.” Encouraged by radical mentors, old liberal ideas of tolerance and free speech are being washed aside by young adults who deny even liberal-but-not-enough supporters a voice.

While colleges bend over backwards to cater to demands from the likes of Black Lives Matter in the name of politically-correct diversity, nothing has been done to protect conservatives who simply want to share such crazy ideas as personal freedom and responsibility. Neither Claremont, Middlebury, nor Evergreen have moved to suspend or expel a single student for silencing, and even violently attacking, conservatives. In the eyes of today’s collegiate faculty and administrators, conservative speech isn’t really worth protecting.

Some conservatives are beginning to fight back, however. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed a bill last month to restore free speech and equality by making it illegal for colleges to disinvite speakers based on their political beliefs and banned universities from charging conservative students more in fees to host speakers, under the pretense of needing increased security to protect them from mobs.

In California, a Republican-sponsored bill currently being debated would end the restrictive “free speech zones” at California’s public universities. This proposal would allow anyone to speak freely anywhere on campus – isn’t it shocking they can’t? Liberals administrators would no longer decide when and where students can speak their minds. Similar bills are slowly advancing in a handful of other states. But despite these signs of progress, it’s clear the left’s public war on free speech is only continuing to grow.

The overt leftwing war on the open mind isn’t just on campus. Major social media players are suppressing conservative speech while elevating liberal viewpoints.  Facebook and Twitter actively work to change how people receive information about the world. Twitter seems to constantly ban conservative celebrities, like Milo Yiannopolous, for attacking the left, but when high-profile liberals wish death to conservatives, like Kurt Eichenwald did last month, nothing happens.

Hypocrisy rules the day when the left-leaning judges and juries of online speech control what information regular Americans have available to them.

Facebook, in their quest to combat the “fake news” they think snatched the 2016 election from Hillary Clinton, has employed far-left “fact checkers” in order to determine what news is “correct.” Like “fact-checkers” at liberal newspapers, the results have been predictable: numerous legitimate conservative-leaning news sites have been deemed “fake news” because they don’t kowtow to the prevailing liberal media narrative. Even worse, small platforms for speech and the trading of ideas have been simply relegated to the bottom of Facebook’s algorithm, if allowed to exist at all. Despite Silicon Valley’s praise for “disruptors,” Facebook and their ilk appear hellbent to keep the liberal media complex as the status quo.

By attacking any outsider voice offering a new perspective as “fake news,” liberals are showing that they no longer want to debate. Today, the left—and, increasingly, some on the right—begin and end with anonymously-sourced denials and ad hominem attacks. They won’t debate ideas, or engage with those who espouse them, because, like the college radicals who claim people are racist fascists in order to justify shouting them down, they have predetermined what is and is not a legitimate discussion.

A free society is predicated on free speech and free association – democracy can only persevere if everyone can speak their mind, even if some find it offensive. If conservatives don’t start fighting back soon—at rallies, on social media, and at the ballot box—free speech as we know it may only apply to the liberal elites, their corporate allies, and their growing throng of mindless collegiate brown shirts.


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Woman punished for saying that an old lady looked unattractive

The old lady was not identified but the offender forgot that all women are equal

Former Playboy model Danielle Mathers has been sentenced to community service for secretly photographing a naked older woman in a Los Angeles gym and then posting the picture on social media, court documents and officials have said.

According to the criminal complaint Mathers, 30, was charged in Los Angeles Superior Court in November 2016 for using a "concealed" camera to take a photograph of the woman — who was 70 at the time — in July and then posting it online.

Mathers "uploaded the photograph to her Snapchat account, with comments about the woman's appearance and a picture of Mathers covering her mouth," Michael N. Feuer, the Los Angeles city attorney, said in a written statement last week.

Police investigated, acting on a tip from LA Fitness officials.

Feuer said that Mathers entered a plea of no contest to a misdemeanour invasion of privacy charge last week and will perform 30 days of community labour. She was also placed on probation for three years, according to the city attorney's office.

Tom Mesereau, co-counsel on her case, said in a telephone interview she will also pay $US60 ($80.57) restitution to the victim.

Mathers, who was the Playmate of the Year in 2015, is not working, he said, but she hopes to go to nursing school.

While Mathers' Snapchat posts were later deleted, the image of the woman in the shower area was published with the words: "If I can't unsee this then you can't either," in newspapers and online media organisations. It soon set off a backlash about "body shaming" and bullying online.


Reporter slammed for ‘racist’ tweet about Indy 500 winner

A SPORTSWRITER in the US is being slammed on social media after firing off a “racist” tweet about the winner of the Indy 500 being Japanese. “Nothing specifically personal, but I am very uncomfortable with a Japanese driver winning the Indianapolis 500 during Memorial Day weekend,” wrote Terry Frei, of the Denver Post.

His tweet came about an hour after former Formula One driver Takuma Sato made history Sunday by taking home the checkered flag and becoming the first Japanese winner in history.

It wound up sparking a wave of backlash, with countless Twitter users blasting him throughout the evening for being insensitive.

“SPECIFICALLY personal, I am very uncomfortable w your racism, xenophobia & lack of understanding of what the Indianapolis 500 is all about,” tweeted Megan Brown.

“Really just a monumentally stupid tweet,” wrote the band, The Mountain Goats. “Congrats.”

PFT Commenter added, “Your right. Much would of rather seen a Italian, British, or southern guy win it as opposed to someone the US has fought a war against [sic].”

Frei later deleted his tweet, and fired off another post that seemed to be directed at his haters.

“THIS is what Memorial Day is about. Dave Schreiner’s death in Battle of Okinawa. Not for squeamish or ‘sensitive,’” he wrote, prompting more responses.


Monday, May 29, 2017

Insane British police swoop on garden party where song mocking the death of Osama Bin Laden was played

If your car gets stolen they don't give a stuff but if "hate speech" is suspected they go for broke

Police swooped on a garden party where a song mocking the death of terrorist Osama bin Laden was played.

The force helicopter and 10 officers were sent to a home in Highdene Road, Cherry Hinton after a complaint from members of the public the music was too loud and people were allegedly shouting anti-Islamic abuse.

Initially one officer was sent to the street at about 10pm on Thursday (May 25) but more arrived and the force helicopter was deployed when the officer called in for back up.

Party goers claim the officer “took offence” at a song mocking dead terrorist Osama Bin Laden being played and called in reinforcements after pressing her ‘panic button’.

The infamous 'Bin Laden Song' is a parody music video which uses the death of the terrorist as a reference for jokes about sex and the military.

Mark Donovan, who was at the party, was furious and denied anyone at the party had made racist comments.

He said: “We was having a summer’s evening in my neighbour’s garden as we don’t have one. We had our karaoke machine on playing music through our phones from YouTube which are all approved songs.

“It was about 10pm and the music may have been a little loud but it was before 11pm. Someone must have made a complaint, and a police officer attended our address, at which time a song from YouTube called the Bin Laden Song came on.

“This police officer said she took offence at the song and pressed her panic button on her body cam and that’s when about ten police turned up and the police helicopter.

“They are now investigating it as a racist crime. It is ridiculous."

A phone and a karaoke machine were seized. No arrests were made and the investigation is ongoing.

Mr Donovan sent the Cambridge News a video, taken by friend Jason Fox-Teese, after police arrived at the party.

Father-of-two Mr Donovan said: “This is music which is well known which was put on YouTube when Bin Laden was killed by the British and American army. In the music there is no reference to colour, race, or religion.

"The police then threatened to arrest everyone if we didn’t hand over our karaoke machine and mobile phone.

“At no point were we asked to turn it down or off, and not one member of the public complained about what we were playing, only the level of the volume. If we had been asked to turn it down, we would have. “In fact I turned it off on seeing the police officer.

“Our son is black, my brother and sister are black, my brother is in the American army.

“It just seems a bit extreme to have ten police officers and helicopter attend over a song which is approved by YouTube which we never actually put on. It came on by the shuffle list, and now being investigated as a racial offence, the only person who took offence was the female police officer and its not even a racist song.

“Is this not a waste of police resources and public money when no crime was reported?”

A Cambridgeshire police spokesman said: “Officers received a report of an alleged racial hatred incident at a property in Highdene Road. "We had a report from a member of the public that alleged racist comments were being made. Officers are investigating an alleged incident of incitement of racial hatred.”


"Hate speech" OK in Russia

A DEVOUTLY religious millionaire who owns a chain of Russian food stores has placed crude signs in shop windows banning gay customers from entering his business.

Russia decriminalised homosexuality in 1993, two years after the fall of the Soviet Union, and Russian law prohibits sexual discrimination. But prejudices still run deep and much of the gay community remains underground.

“No entry for f***ots,” read a wooden plate at the entrance to one of German Sterligov’s shops in central Moscow.

Sterligov, 50, became a millionaire by opening a mercantile exchange shortly before the Soviet Union’s demise.

Later in his career the nationalist businessman turned devoutly religious and retreated with his family to rural Russia to sell organic farm produce. The one-time boy wonder of Russia's young market economy dropped out of the business world and started raising sheep and other livestock on two farms.

“Our planet is full of filth and sick humans,” Sterligov told Reuters Television at a country fair outside Moscow.

“In front of our eyes is the historical experience of Sodom and Gomorrah when God burned these towns.”

Addressing the farm fair through a loudspeaker, Sterligov praised US President Donald Trump, who was swift to revoke his predecessor Barack Obama’s landmark guidance to public schools allowing transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice. “We thank him. May God give him health,” Sterligov said.

Alyona, a young assistant in one of Sterligov’s Moscow stores, said she shared the chain’s stance on homosexuals “as a true Christian”. “It’s our guarding talisman,” she said.


Sunday, May 28, 2017

U.K.: Must avoid Nazi-like language

Katie Hopkins is what we in Australia call a "stirrer".  She enjoys being controversial.  But it looks like she got a bit too close to the bone recently

Katie Hopkins, the controversial broadcaster, and LBC "have agreed" that she will  leave the radio station "immediately", LBC said.

They have parted company in the same week that she called for a "final solution" following the Manchester attack, which saw 22 people killed and dozens injured after a suicide bomber detonated a device as concert-goers left the Manchester Arena on Monday night.

Hopkins hosted a weekly show every Sunday on the station.

Hopkins, a former Apprentice contestant and now a columnist and broadcaster, caused outrage earlier this week with a tweet that appeared to reference the term used by the Nazis for the Holocaust.

The now-deleted tweet, made in the hours after the explosion, read: "22 dead - number rising. Schofield. Don't you even dare. Do not be a part of the problem. We need a final solution #Machester (sic)."

Complaints were made to the Metropolitan Police about Hopkins' tweet.

The 42-year-old is known for being an outspoken commentator on far-ranging topics from terrorism and Islam, to children's names and obesity.


Social Justice Grammar and 'Zir' Own Agenda

Social justice warriors are ransacking the English language because in doing so, they find power and the ability to manipulate the historical narrative. George Orwell, in his 1946 essay “Politics and the English Language,” observes, “One ought to recognise that the present political chaos is connected to the decay of language.”

Social justice grammar seeks to erase both objective meaning and gender specificity and then rebuild it in a subjective, gender-neutral way. Those who support this sort of language barbarism claim that for thousands of years (or for all time) language has been oppressive and gender-specific and unjust to minorities. Seeking “justice” thus means rewriting language to be effectively meaningless so that everyone can determine his or her own private interpretation. Orwell also describes how this sort of political writing has become both vague and dishonest. Citing words such as “justice” and “democracy,” he says, “The person who uses them has his own private definition, but allows his hearers to think he means something quite different.”

In a similar way, these language barbarians use vagueness as a form of political warfare. They co-opt academia to teach students the oppressiveness of language while presenting a neutral language as the solution. Rather than oppressive pronouns like he, him, she or her, we’re supposed to be “sensitive” by using made-up words (or “linguistic innovations”) like “ze, xe, xem, xyr, or zirs.” Our language is thus being plundered of its beauty and richness to fit “zir” own agenda.

Although this strategy works reasonably well with the English language, in which most words (besides pronouns) are neutral, it will not interface well with any of the Romance languages like Italian, French or Spanish. In these languages, the majority of words are either masculine or feminine. For example, in Spanish “la mesa,” which means “the table,” is feminine and is accompanied by the feminine article “la.” There is no such word as “el meso” for a masculine table. Nor is there a word for a neutral table. Even if they succeed in wrecking the English language, the revisionists will have a much tougher time making social justice grammar an international movement.

The See Thru Edu article goes on to praise the destruction of language: “It does not merely forbid the free exchange of complex and potentially offensive ideas. Rather, it erases the language necessary to create these ideas, rendering this free exchange impossible.”

This statement reveals the true motive of social justice grammar: ending the free-exchange of thoughts, ideas and intellectual inquiry. It compromises the freedom of speech and expression while empowering thought control and intellectual policing.

Just think about how liberals have turned the word “liberal” on its head. It used to mean someone who believed in liberty. Now it means a person so rigidly ideological that they try to control what other people think.

Language, in its truest sense, ought to unite a people by providing them with a means to speak freely, clearly and precisely. These language barbarians are attempting to do just the opposite.

To the extent that the language barbarians destroy the freedom of speech, expression and the free exchange of ideas, our culture will continue to fall into the melancholy of isolation, loneliness and social fragmentation. We will drift further and further apart for fear of offending one another or worse, disobeying the language police.

We must recognize this assault on the English language for what it truly is: a political tactic meant to cloak reality with euphemism, to stifle free speech and to silence those who resist conformity.


Friday, May 26, 2017

The European Union Wants to Censor Hate Speech on Social Media

The rules would apply only to videos—for now

In America, civil libertarians frequently have to remind citizens that there's no "hate speech" exemption to the First Amendment. But our First Amendment doesn't fly in Europe, and now the European Union (EU) may be about to mandate censorship rules for social media.

EU ministers today approved a plan that will require social media platforms and online video hosts to block and remove videos that contain "hate speech, incitement to hatred and content justifying terrorism from their platforms," according to Reuters. For now at least, this just covers videos, not text, images, or livestreaming.

It's not entirely clear whether Facebook or YouTube will have to censor videos posted by platform users in the United States to remain in compliance with the law. We do know that EU countries like Germany are just itching to levy huge fines—tens of millions of euros—on social media companies that haven't been quick to suppress hate speech. That kind of pressure would certainly encourage a very broad censorship regime on the part of the companies.

The new rule has been in the works for a while—part of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive, a set of commercial media regulations. In addition to ordering the censorship of content, the EU wants to dabble in cultural protectionism: The proposal approved today mandates that 30 percent of the content of streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime be from member countries. The recommendation was originally 20 percent, but EU ministers jacked it up.

This will be the EU's first attempt to adopt this sort of platform censorship. If the European Parliament approves the regulations, don't be surprised to see more.


CA: East Bay student’s ‘terror’ video defended

A high school student who won his race for student body president after showing an inflammatory video depicting teens as armed “Muslim terrorists” will be able to keep the position after challenging the San Ramon Valley Unified School District in court.

The video, which the teen posted on his Twitter account in February, appeared to be a joke gone bad. When school officials later attempted to yank away the win, the student sought legal action.

The district backed off after the 17-year-old student claimed his free speech rights were being violated

Without offering details, the school district said Monday the matter has been resolved. But the district’s legal response offers disturbing details of the incident that created a public outcry at the district, which has been rocked this year by several racist incidents.

According to court documents, there is extensive imagery of students using fake firearms — and the video briefly shows what appears to be a real firearm —  ostensibly to assault, rob and kill each other. The video also suggests a student engaged in a sexual act when armed “terrorists” abduct him from his bedroom, according to a court document.

In the video, the “abductors” shove used tissues into the boy’s face while another begins slapping his naked stomach, according to a court document. Another scene portrays the “terrorists” torturing him.

“The video makes repeated racist and insensitive references to Middle Eastern people, stereotyping them based on their dress, accents and language, names, manner of praying and religious dietary restrictions,” the document states.

The school district attorneys contend the district was justified in preventing the teen from participating in extracurricular activities — in this case, the leadership role as student body president.

The teen said in his petition that the video was meant to be a parody of action movies, and contained no obscene, libelous or slanderous conduct.


Thursday, May 25, 2017

In Seattle, Police Can No Longer Report 'Suspects,' They Have To Say 'Community Members'

I wish this was a joke, but it’s not. In Seattle, police can no longer use the term “suspect” for use of force reports. Instead, they have to write “community member.” Alas, we have political correctness now infesting law enforcement. Also, this isn’t new. KIRO 7 reported that the Washington’s Department of Corrections no longer calls prisoners inmates; they call them students (via KIRO 7):

    Sources point to the suspect who shot three officers last month after a downtown Seattle armed robbery. When officers involved in that incident were writing their use of force reports they were required to refer to the shooter, Damarius Butts, as a “community member,” not a suspect, police sources said.

    Police fatally shot Butts after they said he shot the officers.

    Last fall, the Washington Department of Corrections stopped calling inmates “offenders” and instead use the term “student.”

    “The term ‘offender’ does have a negative connotation and significantly impacts a broad group of people and communities,” Acting DOC Secretary Dick Morgan wrote in an internal department memo, obtained by KIRO 7.

So, if you shoot people, you’re a community member on the run. If you’ve been tried, convicted of a crime, and sent to jail, you’re a student.

What in the fresh hell is this?


Police suspend employee for racist Facebook comment related to murder of Bowie State University student

On May 22, 2017, the Anne Arundel County Police Department was made aware of an inappropriate Facebook post regarding a homicide that recently occurred at the University of Maryland. The post was made by Welby Burgone, a former police academy recruit who is currently assigned as a civilian employee in our Communications Section. Within hours of being made aware of the comment, the Professional Standards Unit began an investigation which resulted in the suspension of Mr. Burgone.

The social media post made by Mr. Burgone about the murder of Bowie State University student Richard Wilbur Collins III by University of Maryland Student Sean Urbanski was extremely insensitive and appeared to be racially motivated.

“The actions of this employee are a betrayal of the values of the Anne Arundel County Police Department. Any employee who espouses or supports hateful or racist ideology will be held accountable and we will not allow the public’s trust in their police department to be eroded”, Chief Timothy Altomare.


The online conversation concerned was as follows:

Mr. Burgone did not use any naughty words himself.  His offence was in appearing to agree with someone who did.  Be careful about what you agree with!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Must not disrespect the Chinese

Apparently, the exam represented opinions common among old China hands

A Monash University lecturer has been suspended after an exam was posted online with an answer that said Chinese government officials 'only speak the truth when they are drunk or careless'.

University students were outraged at the exam, which was posted to students in the Melbourne institution's human resources management class,  reported CGTN.

The question read: 'There is a common saying in China that Government officials only speak the truth when...?'

To receive a mark, students must have answered: 'they are drunk or careless'.

A screenshot from the exam shows one student answering: 'they have had statements approved by the party', but is marked incorrect.

Under the explanation for the answer, the quiz reads: 'to speak the truth could upset a superior and destroy a bureaucrats career'.

Another question in the exam which earned the ire of international students asked: 'In China, what has been identified as a major barrier to modernisation and the introduction of new technology and industrial reform?'.

The correct answer on the test was: 'a lack of skilled workers, especially managers'.

Following a multitude of complaints, Robert Brooks, the Deputy Dean of Education, issued an 'immediate withdrawal' of the exam.

The University has 4400 undergraduate students from China, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. 


Not woke and never will be

By Alex Beam 

OUT IN THE world, it is hard not to stumble across the modish adjective “woke.” I heard comedians Sarah Silverman and Pete Holmes trying to out-woke each other in a recent “You Made It Weird” podcast. Holmes explained that “dating [current girlfriend] Valerie has helped me get woke to how I was raised by snobs.”

“Woke” is even cropping up in the pages of the august New York Times. Columnist Jim Rutenberg recently published a round-up of “woke,” “near-woke,” and totally “un-woke” TV shows. “The Handmaid’s Tale” is pretty woke, or socially aware. Jimmy Fallon isn’t — Stephen Colbert is. The flopola Pepsi ad that depicted Kendall Jenner animated by some nebulous street demonstration has been ruled so un-woke that it has been put to sleep.

What does “woke” mean, and where does it come from? Woke entered the lexicon alongside the Black Lives Matter movement, depicting “woke” people as those who had woken up to the system of oppression that envelops people of color. By the magic of cultural appropriation — this used to be called linguistic fluidity — woke entered the mainstream vocabulary, though wokeniks like Silverman and Holmes are always careful to acknowledge the word’s African-American roots.

In a prissy blog post, the Oxford Dictionaries notes that “woke has been racially sanitized for a mainstream audience. . . . As a result, woke itself can no longer perform the function of promoting and indexing black consciousness and liberation. The appropriation of woke has lulled it into a complacent, apolitical slumber where, ironically, it simply means ‘awake.’ ”

Of course you are wondering: Am I woke? If so, how woke? I have devised a simple question-and-answer test to determine your overall level of social awareness, and how readily you might be accepted at of-the-moment kombucha klatches in Cambridge.

1. Do you use the word “intersectionality” a lot, even if you aren’t exactly sure what it means? If yes, you are progressing well along your journey to wokefulness.

2. Did you throw the novel “Who Killed Piet Barol?” against the wall when you discovered that Eton-and-Oxford educated (white) author Richard Mason had created several black Xhosa protagonists and major subplots in his book? Congratulations! You are so woke!

(You are also an idiot for not having finished one of the best novels of the past year, but never mind that. Appearances above all.)

3. If you agree with some professors at the University of Virginia that president Teresa Sullivan should stop quoting UVA founder and slave owner Thomas Jefferson in her speeches, then you are so woke that you may never sleep again. Maybe we should get rid of the Bill of Rights while we’re at it — yet another Jeffersonian embarrassment.

The real purpose of woke is to divide the world into hyper-socially aware, self-appointed gatekeepers of language and behavior, and the rest of humanity. I’m so unwoke, it’s startling. I don’t like to be told whom to quote and what books to read.

I’d say wake me up when it’s over, but on second thought — don’t bother.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Final Confederate statue comes down in New Orleans

In whose interest is it to erase awareness of the past?

As many onlookers cheered Friday, a crane hoisted the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from the top of a monument in New Orleans. It is the fourth, and final, Civil War-era landmark the city has removed since late April.

The effort to remove New Orleans' monuments has been part of a nationwide debate over Confederate symbols, which some argue represent slavery and injustice and others say represent history and heritage.

"Na na na na, hey, hey, hey, goodbye!" some in the crowd cheered as the statue was lowered onto a flatbed trailer.

Earlier, with work underway, Mayor Mitch Landrieu explained the city's reasons for removing the statue and other monuments at a private address.

The historical markers "celebrate a fictional, sanitized Confederacy, ignoring the death, ignoring the enslavement, ignoring the terror that it actually stood for. And after the Civil War, these monuments were part of that terrorism as much as burning a cross on someone's lawn," Landrieu said.

In a speech about the removal of the monuments, the mayor said they were landmarks that were not a true reflection of the city.
"To literally put the Confederacy on a pedestal in our more prominent places -- in honor -- is an inaccurate recitation of our full past, is an affront to our present and it is a bad prescription for our future," said Landrieu, the city's first white mayor since 1978, who is in his final term presiding over a city that is 60% African-American.


Push to change names linked to Australia's past

There were different standards in the past but the achievements of our ancestors were great and are rightly honoured.  And who is to say that our current behaviour standards are in any sense "right"?  In future it may be that the history destroyers are the ones seen as ignorant

Wealthy grazier John Batman is remembered as one of the "founding fathers" of Melbourne. He famously declared the site of the modern day city to be "the place for a village," suggesting it be called "Batmania".

He also signed a so-called "treaty" with Aboriginal elders in 1835, believed to be the only such agreement of its kind in Australia. In exchange for items like knives, flour and blankets, Batman's treaty gave him access to around 60,000 acres of land.

But the treaty was soon annulled, with colonial powers saying Batman did not have the authority to make it.

"Rename Batman" organiser Emily De Rango said Batman essentially duped Aboriginal people into an unfair trade they didn't understand.

She said there were also historical records of Batman as a bounty hunter of Aboriginal people in Tasmania. "Batman was one of the people to found Melbourne as a colonial city, which makes him important in a way," Ms De Rango told SBS World News. "But he's also somebody who was responsible for the murder of, and dispossession of Indigenous peoples."

Batman's name is a constant presence in Melbourne, with an electorate, streets, parks and other landmarks named after him.

But that might be about to change. One local council, Darebin, is changing the name of Batman Park in the northern suburb of Northcote and they want the Batman electorate to be renamed as well. "This is just one small step in the broader reconciliation journey that all levels of government need to get on board with," Darebin Mayor Kim Le Cerf said.


Monday, May 22, 2017

When the homeowners association says you can't fly the American flag in your yard

Students: High School’s Rejection Of Pro-Life Club Violates Free Speech

A student group demanded Wednesday that a Pennsylvania high school approve a pro-life club after administration rejected the club, allegedly on the basis of it being too “controversial” and “political.”

Students for Life of America, which boasts chapters at schools nationwide, sent the letter requesting the decision reversal to Parkland High School, according to a press release obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation. While Parkland rejected the pro-life group, the school currently has a Multi-Cultural Leadership Club, Political Science Club, and Gay Straight Alliance.

Elizabeth Castro and Grace Schairer, co-founders of the proposed pro-life group, claim that Assistant Principal Jude Sandt rejected the formation of the club in March because pro-life messages are too “controversial” and “political.”

In April, Castro emailed Sandt to discover how the group could obtain approval, but she received no response.

Jocelyn Floyd, a Thomas More Society special counsel representing the pro-life students, said that U.S. law protects the establishment of the club.

“This administration’s denial of a pro-life club is especially surprising,” she elaborated, “because this district’s policy expressly allows students to form clubs with ‘any lawful objective.'”

The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to Parkland High School but received no comment in time for press.


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Must not dislike being around blacks

That could be a problem for a lot of Americans

Fox News announced on Friday it has terminated Bob Beckel, co-host of “The Five.”

The network released this statement to Variety: “Bob Beckel was terminated today for making an insensitive remark to an African-American employee.”

A black IT worker who came to work on Beckel’s computer reported the comment on Tuesday

Beckel allegedly told the employee he was leaving the office because the man was black


Must be careful what you celebrate on Cinco de Mayo

University of Chicago: Earlier this month, students heard about a Cinco de Mayo party planned at the Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) fraternity where brothers were allegedly asked to dress up as Mexican construction workers wearing fake mustaches and hard hats as part of their costume.

Students part of the multicultural UChicago United group reached out to the fraternity to ask them to change the theme, and at the time, were told that they would do so.

"They seemed very responsive...but then they still went through the party," said student Gloria Morales. "What that shows us is that the university has not created an environment in which the fraternities feel any accountability."

The fraternity however put out a statement explaining the situation surrounding the party was a misunderstanding.

In their statement, the fraternity said the construction themed party they held was a play on the renovation and construction occurring at their fraternity home for the past two years. The theme was intended to celebrate the near complete renovation of their home’s basement and just happened to fall on the weekend of Cinco De Mayo. In their statement, they said "they would like to reiterate that the intent of this event was not tied to the aforementioned holiday. The term Cinco de Mayo was never used to promote the party.”


Friday, May 19, 2017

Asian American elitism offends

Over the last year, Pierson College Dean June Chu published controversial reviews of local businesses on her personal Yelp account, on one occasion referring to clientele of a restaurant as “white trash” and “low class folks,” and on another praising a movie theater for its lack of “sketchy crowds” despite being located in New Haven.

Screenshots of the reviews, obtained by the News Saturday afternoon and accessible here, began circulating among Pierson students in recent months. Her account has since been deleted.
Chu sent an email to the residential college community on Saturday apologizing for her reviews, which have been been met with anger and disappointment by students.

“I have learned a lot this semester about the power of words and about the accountability that we owe one another,” Chu wrote. “My remarks were wrong. There are no two ways about it. Not only were they insensitive in matters related to class and race; they demean the values to which I hold myself and which I offer as a member of this community.”

Yale College Dean Jonathan Holloway told the News on Saturday that the incident was brought to his attention a few days ago by Dean of Student Affairs Camille Lizarribar. Holloway, who spoke with Pierson Head Stephen Davis after finding out about the incident, said he was only aware of the two reviews Chu mentioned in her Saturday email.

But other reviews obtained by the News featured provocative comments that were not referenced in Saturday’s email. Most of the posts were published after June 2016, after Chu had been appointed dean.

In a 2015 review of Entertainment Cinemas in nearby Seymour, Chu criticized “barely educated morons trying to manage snack orders for the obese” and lamented that she had to “remain in line with all the other idiots.”

“Everyone raves about the views but seriously — it’s New Haven,” Chu wrote in a review of the restaurant John Davenport’s. “Come on. There is no view.”

According to Holloway, Chu, Davis and other administrators together decided that Chu should email Pierson students about the incident on Saturday after “wrestling with how to do the right thing.” Holloway praised Chu’s email for being “very honest” and said he hopes students will be able to recognize that people make mistakes and can learn from them.


Must not laugh at blackface concerns

An Australian ice-cream store says it has taken disciplinary action against a staff member after the brand came under fire on social media for a post that made reference to blackface.

Mumbrella reports N2 Extreme Gelato made a post on both Instagram and Facebook on Friday, advertising a new flavour of ice-cream containing charcoal. The photo shows the ice-cream held in someone’s hand, which is smeared with charcoal.

The caption accompanying the post reads: “Is it still considered blackface if it’s just on your hand???”.

“Anyway it’s just split [sic] carbon so calm yo tits with our HONEY CHARCOAL VANILLA gelato!” the caption concludes.

It wasn’t long before customers took to the comments sections to slam the brand over its “inappropriate” caption and post, labelling it both racist and sexist.

“Wow @n2australia you should probably have a sit down with whoever is in charge of your social media and give them lesson on how not to trivialise racism,” wrote one commenter on Instagram.

“This is a heinous caption. It’s offensive and trivialises a serious issue. Take it down,” wrote another.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Must not say that food can cheer you up

Even though it commonly does

McDonald's has sparked outrage after releasing an advert about a young boy mourning his late father who cheers up when he tucks into a burger.

Angry mothers of children who have lost a father, as well as a children's bereavement charity, have spoken out in protest at the advert - accusing McDonald's of 'exploitation'.

The UK's advertising watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has received a number of complaints about the latest campaign and is contemplating whether to investigate further.

The advert, made by London agency Leo Burnett, follows a teenage boy on a walk with his mother as she fondly reminisces about his father, with the boy negatively comparing himself to the man he hardly knew.

It's only at the end that he finds a connection to his late dad when he tucks into a Filet-O-Fish at a branch of McDonald's as it's revealed that the fish burger was his father's favourite too.

But dozens of people have expressed outrage on social media at McDonald's using a bereavement storyline for its latest campaign, calling it 'bad taste'.


Must not even refer to the n-word (unless you are black, of course)

Author Dennis Lehane has apologized for using a racial slur during his commencement speech at Emerson College Sunday. Lehane, a Dorchester native best known for his novels “Mystic River” and “The Given Day,” used the N-word while talking about the protests in South Boston during the busing crisis of the 1970s.

“I will never forget this for the rest of my life. We were trapped in the back of a car,” Lehane told graduates. “We couldn’t move. We could just be buffeted down the street. And they had hung effigies of Arthur Garrity, who was a judge at the time, of Teddy Kennedy, and they were lighting them on fire with torches. And they were screaming, ‘N—s out.’”

There were apparently complaints after the speech because Lehane issued a statement Monday morning apologizing for using the slur.

“The word is the most offensive word in the English language. To use it in the context of the times in which I was describing was to show exactly how ugly those times were and that particular night was,” Lehane said in a statement.

“If, in an attempt to convey that with absolute authenticity, I managed to offend, then I apologize to those who were offended. Hurting people with the use of that word, of all words, was about as far from my intention as one could get, but I take ownership of the result. I should have known better.”


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A racist boomerang?

Iconic French fashion label Chanel is celebrating the launch of its Spring-Summer pre-collection with the sale of a chic Chanel-branded boomerang.

Followers of high-fashion can now purchase the latest in vogue indigenous hunting weapons for only $1,930 each.

The luxury haute couture brand describes the boomerangs as 'black with wood and resin' and each have the distinctive Chanel symbol emblazoned in the middle.

The interesting choice for Chanel's luxury sport collection has sparked complaints from confused shoppers and the indigenous community who claim it is cultural appropriation.

'Cultural appropriation hits a new low - I sincerely hope that Chanel is donating all the profits to underprivileged Aboriginal communities,' one person wrote.


Jocular gambling ad in trouble

An Australian sports betting company is under fire for a TV ad starring former Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson, who was first across the line in the 100 metres sprint at the 1988 Seoul Olympics before testing positive for steroids and leaving the Games in disgrace.

Federal sports minister Greg Hunt has demanded the agency pull the ad, while the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) lodged a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority. It also issued a statement which in part said:

    "This advert makes light of the use of performance enhancing drugs in sport and sends the completely wrong message that the use of drugs in sport is normal.

    This advertising campaign belittles the achievements of clean athletes and denigrates those who work to protect clean sport across the world."

But betting agency Sportsbet has scoffed at all that.

"We make no apologies for injecting some humor into advertising," Sportsbet PR manager Christian Jantzen told HuffPost Australia.

"We wanted to express how fast our new unfairly fast Android app is and what better way than to use Ben Johnson?"

The ad promotes the new android app using a series of double entendres like "juiced up" and "performance enhancement" and "everyone's on it" and "tested positive for speed" and "extra gear", before culminating in the line "it puts the 'roid into android".


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Must not disparage gypsies

Gypsies are a great nuisance in most of Europe.  They largely live by petty crime.  But you are not allowed to mention that, of course.  Irish travellers are not true gypsies but their behaviour is similar

A Tory MP has been suspended after causing outrage after tweeting about Ireland and 'f****** gypsies' during the Eurovision Song Contest.

Nick Harrington, a Conservative Party councilor in Warwick District Council, stunned social media with the comments.

He added: 'Hard border coming folks!', referring to stricter controls between the Irish and British borders post Brexit.

Mr Harrington has been suspended from the Warwick District Council for six months, the Coventry Telegraph reported.

Andrew Mobbs, leader of the council, said: 'I find these comments completely unacceptable.

'I have had a number of people contact me by telephone and email this morning with concerns.

Mr Harrington was also suspended from the Conservative Party. His Twitter account was also taken down on Sunday.


High School Recalls All Its Yearbooks Because Of This Conservative Student

Must not quote President Trump

A North Carolina high school recalled its yearbooks after officials saw a senior’s quote which read “Build that wall” ascribed to President Donald Trump — but the move drew criticism online.

Yearbooks for Richmond Early College High School in Hamlet were recalled because some senior quotes were considered controversial, The News & Observer reported.

“Earlier this week, it was discovered by school administration that Richmond Early College yearbooks had errors and inappropriate comments,” the school district said on Facebook Tuesday. “The principal immediately collected the distributed yearbooks.”

The school district apologized and said it was working on making corrections with the yearbook publisher.


Monday, May 15, 2017

Simply tweeting video of a Muslim student characterizing his religion on an interfaith panel cost me my job

Andy Ngo

Last month, I attended an interfaith panel discussion, “Unpacking Misconceptions,” at Portland State University, where I’m a political-science graduate student. I ended up being fired as the multimedia editor of our student newspaper, the Vanguard, for tweeting about what was said there.

Much of the discussion was uncontroversial. The students on the panel mainly shared complaints of what they perceived as misconceptions about their religions. A Hindu student lampooned author Reza Aslan for his depiction of Hinduism on CNN’s Believer, which showed a minority sect’s practice of eating human flesh.

A Jewish student said most Jews don’t have payot, the side curls worn by some Orthodox Jewish men. An atheist student spoke on behalf of a secular-humanist worldview and challenged the audience to think about how we as a society can develop our own moral framework without religion.

At one point, a woman in the audience asked the Muslim student if a specific verse in the Koran actually permitted the killing of non-Muslims. “I can confidently tell you, when the Koran says an innocent life, it means an innocent life, regardless of the faith, the race, like, whatever you can think about as a characteristic,” he began.

At this point, I took out my mobile phone and began recording as he continued: And some, this, that you’re referring to, killing non-Muslims, that [to be a non-believer] is only considered a crime when the country’s law, the country is based on Koranic law — that means there is no other law than the Koran. In that case, you’re given the liberty to leave the country, you can go in a different country, I’m not gonna sugarcoat it. So you can go in a different country, but in a Muslim country, in a country based on the Koranic laws, disbelieving, or being an infidel, is not allowed so you will be given the choice [to leave].

Although I was not there officially as a reporter to cover the event, I shared a 40-second snippet of the video on my personal Twitter account, with a message that conveyed my understanding of the speaker’s meaning — namely, that non-Muslims would be killed or banished in a state governed by Koranic law

I later posted a longer version of the video in a follow-up tweet to provide more context.  This longer video includes a response by someone in the audience who disagreed with the speaker, saying it was “perfectly okay for non-Muslims to live in Muslim lands.” The audience member cited the existence of religious-minority communities in the Middle East as an example of Islamic tolerance.

Four days later, the editor-in-chief of my school newspaper called me into a meeting. The paper’s managing editor was also present. They asked me about a Breitbart piece describing the event. It was the first time I’d seen the piece, which included my tweets and a tweet from one of the panelists.

My editor, whom I deeply respected at the time, called me “predatory” and “reckless,” telling me I had put the life and well-being of the Muslim student and his family at risk. She said that my tweets implied the student advocated the killing of atheists. Another person in the meeting said I should have taken into account the plight of victimized groups in the “current political climate.” The editor claimed I had “violated the paper’s ethical standards” by not “minimizing harm” toward the speaker.

As far as I’m concerned, the job of any reporter is to report facts, and that’s what I was doing when I tweeted about the panel. All these accusations were shocking to me. Moments after publishing the original video, I shared the tweet with the editor and a Vanguard reporter who was at the event. Neither of them expressed any outrage in response back then.

The tweets apparently only became “predatory” and “reckless” when conservative sites picked up on them. In my defense, I told the two editors that I had simply been relating the speaker’s words.

While dozens of Muslim states do not consider apostasy or blasphemy a crime, 13 Muslim-majority countries punish these actions with death. The speaker was admitting as much, and as someone who has covered the persecution of atheists and apostates in Muslim countries, I considered that newsworthy.

Nevertheless, my editor turned to me and said, “We have to ask you to step aside.” She said I had “a history” of affiliation with conservative media, and argued that that history was toxic to the “reputation of the Vanguard.”

The Vanguard rejected my original idea for this piece when I pitched it to them, citing concerns that it would cause the unnamed Muslim panelist further distress.

For my own part, I remain baffled by my former editors’ reasoning. As far as I’m concerned, the job of any reporter is to report facts, and that’s what I was doing when I tweeted about the panel. I find it distressing that I could be fired for continuing to uphold that mission when the facts in question are liable to make people uncomfortable, as facts often are.

Much like the student I spoke to that evening at the panel, I was disinclined to sugarcoat the truth. I just couldn’t have imagined it would cost me so dearly.


Customer given 'racist' receipt in Australian restaurant

Waiters sometimes put notes on an order to help identify the customer when it comes time to bring the food out.  Such notes should be erased before the docket is printed but slipups do  occur

An African Australian man received a personal apology from chef Neil Perry this morning after finding a derogatory term on his receipt from a Melbourne burger restaurant.

Nicholas Muchinguri posted a photo of the Burger Project receipt, which labelled the order “#16: N----s”, to social media, slamming it as “totally disgusting in this day and age”.

The parent company Rockpool Dining Group issued an apology on its Facebook page last night, confirming the employee had been terminated and claiming the company had apologised.

“Rockpool Dining Group is a caring and inclusive company. We have a clear policy of respect and care for our customers, staff and community… This is why the behaviour of one employee is so disappointing,” the statement said.

“As soon as we became aware of the matter this afternoon, when we were contacted on behalf the customer, we acted: we reached out and apologised and the employee’s position was terminated.

“The employee’s behaviour was in breach of our code of conduct and such behaviour won’t be tolerated. We apologise profusely for the upset and hurt this has caused,” the company said.


Sunday, May 14, 2017

‘Hate crime’ that sparked massive protest appears to be…you guessed it

On April 29, Samantha Wells, a black student at St. Olaf College in Minnesota, says she found a threatening, racist note on her car:

    “I am so glad that you are leaving soon,” said the typed note found by Wells. “One less n***** that this school has to deal with. You have spoken up too much. You will change nothing. Shut up or I will shut you up.”

Wells promptly sent out an email blast to the St. Olaf student body concerning the note, boasting the subject line, “TRACK DOWN RACIST BEHIND THREATS.”

However, contrary to that call to action, Wells strangely noted in the email chain that she doesn’t want authorities to investigate the incident:

    “[Wells] doesn’t want people tongo [sic] through computers to find the person who wrote the note to her,” said the other student, who claimed to be speaking with Wells, in correspondence obtained by The College Fix. “[Wells] does, however, want everything possible to be done for the others.”

    “I would like to echo Krysta and say that I do not want my case to be investigated,” responded Wells in the email chain. “Not because I do not want to let this person go but because I am very stressed and I think that efforts could be utilized elsewhere. That said, I do want them to investigate both previous and possible later cases.”

It hardly needs to be said that this makes no sense at all. Why Wells would want authorities to investigate “both previous and possible later cases” but ignore the threat made against her is counterintuitive. Unless, of course, it’s because she fabricated the threat herself.

Notably, unruly racially charged protests forced St. Olaf administrators to cancel classes May 1.

If Wells did fabricate the threat, it would hardly be the first time someone faked a hate crime. For an exhaustive list, check


Magazine editor out for challenging "cultural appropriation" nonsense

The editor of the Writers’ Union of Canada’s magazine has resigned after complaints over an article he wrote in which he said he doesn’t believe in cultural appropriation.

Hal Niedzviecki, editor of Write — a publication for the union’s members — published an opinion piece in the spring 2017 issue titled “Writer’s Prompt.” In the article, in an issue dedicated to indigenous writing, Niedzviecki wrote: “In my opinion, anyone, anywhere, should be encouraged to imagine other peoples, other cultures, other identities.

“I’d go so far as to say there should even be an award for doing so — the Appropriation Prize for best book by an author who writes about people who aren’t even remotely like her or him.”

He went on to argue that Canadian literature remains “exhaustingly white and middle class” because writers are discouraged from writing about people and places they don’t know.

A sociological term, cultural appropriation is used to describe the adoption of elements or practices of one cultural group by members of another.

On Wednesday, the Writer’s Union of Canada issued an apology for the piece, announcing Niedzviecki’s resignation and pledging to review the magazine’s policies.

“The Writer’s Prompt piece offended and hurt readers, contributors to the magazine and members of the editorial board,” said the statement. “We apologize unequivocally. We are in the process of contacting all contributors individually.


Friday, May 12, 2017

Must not laugh at Palestinians

Pizza Hut has apologised after being accused of mocking a Palestinian hunger striker with an advert that suggested he should have some pizza.

The company's Israeli franchise reportedly shared an image that appears to show prisoner Marwan Barghouti secretly breaking his fast by eating a candy bar in his jail cell.

The Facebook post - which was branded 'inhuman' by outraged Palestinians - shows a pizza box seemingly photoshopped onto the floor, as well as a slice of pizza in the sink.

'Barghouti, if you are going to break your strike, isn't pizza the better choice?' the caption read above the screenshot.

The image was a screengrab from a video released by Israeli police on Sunday reportedly showing Barghouti eating a candy bar and cookies in his prison cell.

The footage, two videos shot days apart from a camera mounted on the ceiling of the cell, do not conclusively show that the prisoner is Barghouti, 58, and it is not entirely clear what he is eating or whether he is doing so.

Barghouti's supporters say the video is a fabrication intended to break the prisoners' morale.

It was quickly removed from the Facebook page - though it was still found on the page of at least one local branch.

A spokeswoman for Pizza Hut International apologised for the post, saying: 'It was completely inappropriate and does not reflect the values of our brand.

More than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners have been on hunger strike since April 17 over their treatment in Israeli jails.


Japanese club disciplined over banner resembling Nazi symbol

The J-League fined first division side Gamba Osaka $17,500 on Thursday after a group of supporters displayed a banner with a logo resembling a Nazi symbol during a match last month.

The banner, which resembled a symbol derived from the SS of Nazi Germany, was displayed at the team's April 16 match away to crosstown rivals Cerezo Osaka.

After the incident, Gamba said that members of the group have been banned from games indefinitely.


The logo was simply a double "s", which could stand for many things.  How about socialism and solidarity? In Nazi use it stood for Schutzstaffel, protection staff.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Must not imitate Mexicans (again)

Baylor University in Texas is investigating a "Mexican-themed" party thrown by the Kappa Sigma fraternity where people showed up in sombreros, ponchos, and as construction workers, according to partygoers.

Skye Thomas, a freshman at Baylor who attended the party on Saturday, told BuzzFeed News that a majority of the people there "were dressed in sombreros, Mexican dresses, and flower crowns."

According to Thomas, some of the invites said the theme was 'Drinko de Mayo' or 'Cinco de Mayo,' while others advertised it as a 'fiesta.' She also said she didn't know the theme of the party until she arrived and was told by a guest that it was

Photos that appear to be from the party spread on social media, where many Baylor students expressed outrage.

"The reported behavior is deeply concerning," Kevin Jackson, vice president of student life, said in the statement. "We do not tolerate racism of any kind on our campus."


Mexico has a rather vibrant culture so adopting it occasionally is understandable

Must not dress like Indians

The red carpet of the  2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards was full of the usual sartorial hits and misses, but the biggest blunder of the night belongs to “Teen Mom” star Farrah Abraham. The former reality star showed up to the red carpet in full Bollywood regalia complete with headdress and bindi.

“I think this will inspire others to embrace new cultures and have good experiences,” Abraham told TooFab.

Abraham said that she wasn’t worried “at all” about being called out for being racist and she “wanted to bring culture to the red carpet.”


That's a skirt she is wearing, not a Sari.  See also here

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

“Border wall” drink promotion at bar slammed as insensitive, racist

Outside of Hennessey’s Tavern in Dana Point, a city south of Los Angeles, locals were surprised to hear about a Cinco de Mayo promotion-turned-controversy.

On Friday, the bar put up an inflatable climbing wall, and those who scaled it received a “green card” for a free drink.

On social media, the backlash was scathing. Comments blasted the promotion as insensitive, racist and catering to stereotypes.

Comments also demanded that patrons boycott the bar.

The tavern’s owner, Paul Hennessey, responded on Facebook, saying it was a misunderstanding.

“Our intentions were to create a dialogue and show how ridiculous that it is to spend tens of millions of dollars to build a wall and even infer that Mexico foot some or the entire bill and have their citizens build it,” the post said.

One customer said that it sounded like a good idea to bring some extra money in for the bar but “was in poor taste.”

One employee who asked not to be identified questioned the statement, saying that the bar handed out mustaches and some customers chanted “build the wall.”

The promotion does have some defenders. Some comments online called it funny and accused critics as lacking a sense of humor.


Student comes under fire for 'racially insensitive' Cinco de Mayo post

The 'spoiled' student who once tried to sue her own parents for child support has come under fire for her racially insensitive Cinco de Mayo post.

Rachel Canning – who made international headlines after she took her parents to court in 2014 to accuse them of abandoning her – posted a picture of herself and her grinning lacrosse teammates, one of whom was doing a keg stand, on Instagram on May 5.

'Dear Mr. Trump, glad you didn't build that wall JUST YET. Happy Mexican St. Paddy's from our honorary Amigos to yours,' the junior at Western New England University in Massachusetts, captioned the picture, along with an emoji of a man with a mustache.

One of Canning's teammates then posted a similar picture, captioning it, 'Build that wall #wnelax.'

Both posts, which gained hundreds of 'likes' on Instagram, have sparked outrage on the campus with many branding them 'racist'. Many also reported it to the private university with calls for disciplinary actions against the pair.

Jordan Mieko, shared both posts on her Facebook page, with the caption: 'Problematic racist yt ppl @ my school.'

Her sentiments have been echoed by scores of other students who say they were 'disturbed' and 'saddened' by the post, which appears to welcome Trump's proposed wall, but not before the students were able to use the Mexican holiday as an excuse to party.


Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Censorship can hurt the censors

I take the libertarian view that there should in general be no censorship.  If you don't like it, don't watch it.  There are exceptions to every rule however so I think Muslim hate speech should be blocked.  It clearly does inspire bloodthirsty attacks on non-Muslims -- JR

Facebook announced Wednesday that it will hire an additional 3,000 “content moderators” around the world in a bid to keep the worst of the web off its social media platform. That’s on top of the existing 4,500 employees who already work to identify hate speech, pornography, child exploitation and other violent and disturbing acts.

The move follows a string of gruesome episodes that were lifestreamed on Facebook, including a father in Thailand who hanged his 11-month-old baby girl before killing himself. The video lingered on the site for roughly 24 hours before it was finally removed.

“This is important,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post announcing the move. “Just last week, we got a report that someone on Live was considering suicide. We immediately reached out to law enforcement, and they were able to prevent him from hurting himself. In other cases, we weren’t so fortunate.”

But in trying to keep the web’s underbelly at bay, Facebook and other social media companies are subjecting a growing group of workers to trauma and emotional distress. Critics say the job can be debilitating, leaving moderators with “permanent videos in their heads” and a need to stay away from everyday items-turned-potential triggers, like knives and computers.

“They’re exposed to the worst things you can imagine,” said Ben Wells, a lawyer who is representing two former Microsoft moderators who claim they developed post-traumatic stress disorder. “If you can imagine the worst person in the world and what they would want to watch, that’s what they’re exposed to, whether it’s on a daily basis or very frequently. And some of this stuff you just cannot un-see and there are things you can’t get rid of. It can be debilitating.”


Free speech webhost attracts ire

With Google and Facebook stepping up their censorship activities, a lot of us might end up glad of such a host. They could end up as the only channel for controversial ideas and information.

Since its launch in 2013, the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer has quickly become the go-to spot for racists on the internet. Women are whores, blacks are inferior and a shadowy Jewish cabal is organizing a genocide against white people. The site can count among its readers Dylann Roof, the white teenager who slaughtered nine African Americans in Charleston in 2015, and James Jackson, who fatally stabbed an elderly black man with a sword in the streets of New York earlier this year.

Traffic is up lately, too, at white supremacist sites like The Right Stuff, Iron March, American Renaissance and Stormfront, one of the oldest white nationalist sites on the internet.

The operations of such extreme sites are made possible, in part, by an otherwise very mainstream internet company—Cloudflare. Based in San Francisco, Cloudflare operates more than 100 data centers spread across the world, serving as a sort of middleman for websites—speeding up delivery of a site's content and protecting it from several kinds of attacks. Cloudflare says that some 10 percent of web requests flow through its network, and the company's mainstream clients range from the FBI to the dating site OKCupid.

The widespread use of Cloudflare's services by racist groups is not an accident. Cloudflare has said it is not in the business of censoring websites and will not deny its services to even the most offensive purveyors of hate.

"A website is speech. It is not a bomb," Cloudflare's CEO Matthew Prince wrote in a 2013 blog post defending his company's stance. "There is no imminent danger it creates and no provider has an affirmative obligation to monitor and make determinations about the theoretically harmful nature of speech a site may contain."

Cloudflare also has an added appeal to sites such as The Daily Stormer. It turns over to the hate sites the personal information of people who criticize their content. For instance, when a reader figures out that Cloudflare is the internet company serving sites like The Daily Stormer, they sometimes write to the company to protest. Cloudflare, per its policy, then relays the name and email address of the person complaining to the hate site, often to the surprise and regret of those complaining.

This has led to campaigns of harassment against those writing in to protest the offensive material. People have been threatened and harassed.

ProPublica asked Cloudflare's top lawyer about its policy of sharing information on those who complain about racist sites. The lawyer, Doug Kramer, Cloudflare's general counsel, defended the company's policies by saying it is "base constitutional law that people can face their accusers." Kramer suggested that some of the people attacking Cloudflare's customers had their own questionable motives.


UPDATE:  Cloudflare say:

Last Thursday, ProPublica published an article critiquing our handling of some abuse reports that we receive. Feedback from the article caused us to reevaluate how we handle abuse reports. As a result, we've decided to update our abuse reporting system to allow individuals reporting threats and child sexual abuse material to do so anonymously.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Must not defend the NRA

A conservative columnist who was suspended by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch after she defended the National Rifle Association from comparisons to ISIS fired back with her resignation and a series of targeted tweets. 

The newspaper on Friday suspended Stacy Washington after a column entitled "Guns and the Media" disputed an anti-NRA article that argued since more Americans die from guns than from ISIS, the Second Amendment advocacy group is the greater danger.

“[W]hen has a member of the NRA ever decapitated, set on fire, tossed from a rooftop or otherwise terrorized another American? The linkage is not only rife with improper context; it is false on its face,” Washington wrote in her column, which also decried the lack of conservatives in U.S. newsrooms. “This failure to represent the opposing, especially conservative, view is an increasingly apparent deficit in the news reporting apparatus in our country.”

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch asserts that Washington was not suspended for the views expressed in her column, but for failing to disclose her promotional work and professional affiliation with the NRA. Washington has appeared several times as a co-host and commentator on “Cam & Company” on NRA TV and contributed to an NRA documentary in August 2016. However, she has never been paid by the NRA.

“Her active promotional activities and professional association with the National Rifle Association represented an unacceptable conflict of interest in her most recent column, which resulted in our suspension of her work,” Tod Robberson, the Post-Dispatch’s editorial page editor, wrote in a response to Washington’s suspension and quitting.


Cultural Appropriation: A Modest Proposal
“Cultural appropriation” has become the latest evil denounced by soi-disant social justice warriors, on campus and off. Examples:

“I was taught that white people shouldn’t listen to rap music because it’s cultural appropriation and could be offensive to my classmates,” writes Pomona College student Steven Glick in The Washington Post.

Young women wearing bindis (Hindu forehead adornments) and feathered headdresses at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival should be ashamed, declares Teen Vogue, because that’s cultural appropriation.

Yoga, as you may be relieved to learn from The Huffington Post, is not necessarily cultural appropriation. “But it’s complicated,” the writer adds. “It is really important to honor and appreciate where a practice comes from, or we risk appropriating it.” Got that? Really important.

Sometimes individuals take it into their own hands to punish cultural appropriation — for example, when a Hampshire College student interrupted a women’s basketball game to insist that a Central Maine Community College player remove the braids from her hair.

Another transgressive bit of cultural appropriation, according to a Pitzer College assistant professor of Chicano-Latino studies: white students (presumably female) wearing hoop earrings.

A reasonably sane, decent adult might be puzzled by all this. But consult Google and you find 2.67 million hits for “cultural appropriation.” That’s not (to risk committing an offense) chopped liver. It’s defined by Wikipedia as “the adoption or use of the elements of one culture by members of another culture.”

Attentive readers will notice that “culture” is a euphemism. The objection is not to participating in a culture but to doing so when you’re not of the right genetic ancestry. Usually, it’s a group currently regarded as subject to discrimination or derogatory slurs. But there is a certain historical myopia at work here. Other groups have also suffered from discrimination and ridicule over long periods of American history — and still are in some quarters. Shouldn’t they be included?

Take one of which I am a member, Italian-Americans. The National Italian American Foundation estimates our numbers, based on census data and other information, to be about 16 million or 17 million, 5 percent of the nation’s population. NIAF celebrates our achievements and welcomes others to join in. The first time that all four major-party nominees for president and vice president appeared on the same stage was at NIAF’s 1984 annual dinner — even though only one of them had Italian ancestry.

But what if Italian-Americans started objecting to cultural appropriation? What if, for example, Italian-Americans began complaining that Americans of non-Italian descent are appropriating Italian culture by consuming pizza and pasta?

The logical corollary would be to stamp out this hijacking of cultural heritage. In school lunchrooms, pupils would be required to show proof of Italian ancestry before getting a pizza slice. Supermarket checkout counters would require similar proof from putative pasta purchasers. Similarly for paninis at Panera Bread, chicken Parmesan at Olive Garden, etc.

Fortunately, modern technology makes this possible. Schoolchildren and supermarket shoppers could display their profiles on their smartphones as readily as they already brandish student IDs or credit cards. Others, however stereotypically Italianate in appearance, would have to be politely but firmly informed that their ancestry bars them from partaking of cuisine their ancestors had no part in concocting.

Admittedly, this would be tough on proprietors of Italian restaurants, whose potential customer pool would be reduced by 95 percent. It would be tough on parents trying to raise children without serving the pizza and pasta they see their Italian-American playmates enjoying.

But you can’t make a frittata without breaking eggs. If appropriation of one culture is wrong, then appropriation of any culture is wrong.

I will leave readers to imagine all the possible extensions of this principle. Irish pubs, franchised worldwide by the Guinness folks, would find their clientele shrinking. St. Patrick’s Day celebrations would be smaller — and possibly quieter. Greektown festivals would disappear.

Today’s stern enforcers of the ukase against cultural appropriation will not, I suppose, be amused by this modest proposal. (Oops, I forgot that “ukase” is a Russian word.) They miss the irony that many of the folks who assure us that race is just a social construct, with no genetic significance, also insist that your genetic ancestry should determine what you can eat and wear, how you can exercise and style your hair.

Actually, American history is the story of one cultural appropriation after another, from English law to Thai cuisine, to our great mutual benefit. You shouldn’t have to submit a DNA sample to partake.


Sunday, May 07, 2017

Major TV networks block Trump ad

This is a disgrace.  They are censoring a politically important message.  Fortunately, they no longer control the message.  There are many other ways for people to communicate

The major US television networks have all decided not to run Donald Trump's so-called "Fake News" ad, according to a statement released by his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump. Lara, an adviser on Trump's 2020 campaign, called the rejection a "chilling precedent against free speech rights."

"All of the mainstream media television networks have decided to block the paid placement of a campaign ad that celebrates the achievements of President Trump in his first 100 days in office," Lara wrote in a post on Friday on, which is not an official government website.

"Apparently, the mainstream media are champions of the First Amendment only when it serves their own political views, she wrote. Faced with an ad that doesn't fit their biased narrative, CNN, ABC, CBS, and NBC have now all chosen to block our ad. This is an unprecedented act of censorship in America that should concern every freedom-loving citizen," the post continued.

Lara Trump appeared on Fox News' "Hannity" on Thursday night to promote the campaign. "There are certain networks, the majority of the mainstream media throughout the country that refuse to report the facts," she told host Sean Hannity.

"It's a great ad and it highlights all the wonderful things that have happened that you don't hear about everyday because some people don't watch Fox News. If you don't watch Fox, you probably aren't hearing all the great things the president has done," she added.

President Trump regularly retweets Fox News and praises the network, while labelling others - notably CNN - as "fake news." The term "fake news" appears briefly in the paid ad that the other networks have refused to air.


Must not prefer to date white men

LILY Macapinlac, an Asian Instagram model with more than 3 million followers, is under fire for old tweets about refusing to date Asian men. “If another short old Asian dude tries buying me a drink, I’m going to puke on them,” Macapinlac, who goes by Lily May Mac, wrote on Twitter in 2013, the New York Post reports.

The 22-year-old beauty, who is Filipina and based in Sydney, has bashed Asian men in several tweets during the past five years and professed her preference for “cute white boys.” “Definitely going to marry a white boy, [and] I want a half-cast [sic] baby,” she wrote in one tweet.

In another post, she added, “My dad is cheering me on. He said ‘If he’s white then it’s okay.’”

Social media users dug up the tweets this week. One, on Imgur, accused the model of having “white fever.”

Many of the tweets have since been deleted but one Imgur user has posted a string of racist tweets from the model.

The 5-foot-tall model, who often posts heavily filtered selfies on social media, has faced backlash for her comments.


Friday, May 05, 2017

Trump Campaign Accuses CNN of ‘Censorship’

The Donald J. Trump for President campaign accused CNN of engaging in “censorship” and “epitomiz[ing] the meaning of fake news” Tuesday by refusing to air a Trump campaign ad on its network.

The ad, titled “First 100 Days,” began airing on networks across the country Monday. It touts President Donald Trump’s “bold actions” taken in his first 100 days “to restore prosperity, keep Americans safe and secure, and hold the government accountable.” In particular, the ad’s narrator noted, “you wouldn’t know” about the president’s accomplishments “from watching the news.”

“The mainstream media mislead, misguide, deceive, and distract. CNN epitomizes the meaning of fake news and has proven it by rejecting our paid campaign ad.”

“The mainstream media lies. Don’t let fake news dominate the truth,” the ad says. “President Trump promised to make America great again, and he is fulfilling his promise to you.”

CNN declined to air the ad, citing objections to the depiction of the “fake news” media.

“CNN requested the advertiser remove the false graphic that says mainstream media is ‘fake news,'” the network’s communications department tweeted Tuesday. “The mainstream media is not fake news, and therefore the ad is false. Per our policy, it will be accepted only if that graphic is deleted. Those are the facts.”


Conservatives Fight for Free Speech at a Far-Left College

There seems to be a serious disconnect nowadays between what conservatives are, and what they are accused of being.

Campus leftists thoughtlessly dub conservatives “racists” and “homophobes,” and regularly fling those epithets on both conservative students and right-leaning speakers who come to campus.

One campus conservative group, the Hood College Republicans, decided to push back on the trend and to re-engage their campus.

In an attempt to reopen dialogue and clearly convey their beliefs, the group’s members created a display on campus with various quotes and graphics describing conservative values.

The display admittedly hit on some controversial issues. Students and faculty were particularly concerned over a quote from conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, which stated of transgender people, “Biology is biology; men can’t magically become women and women can’t magically become men.”

Students and faculty members called the display “hateful” and “propaganda.” The president of Hood College wrote in an email that a review will take place to see if the display violates college rules, citing that it is possible for the Hood College Republicans to receive sanctions.

In a statement released by Hood College Republicans, the group expressed deep concern over the administration’s response to its display:

The handling of the situation by the school has demonstrated the extreme bias against free speech and diversity of thought for conservative views on campus, saying that the espousing of such views was offensive and dangerous. The administration has also tried to claim that we have been committing harassment and discrimination simply by expressing such views on paper. Our members have personally received violent threats from members of the Hood Community and have been regularly targeted online, with many on and off campus citing us as a hate group.

This story, like so many others we hear from college campuses today, underscores the true extent to which the First Amendment is under attack at American universities.

It should go without saying that students at Hood College, and at every college, must have their First Amendment rights protected. This basic freedom guaranteed by our Constitution should be respected in all areas of American life.


Thursday, May 04, 2017

Two Alt-right Members Accused of Flashing White Power Sign at White House

Two members associated with the alt-right movement have stirred controversy online after flashing a hand symbol in the White House press room that some have claimed is a white supremacist symbol, the Independent reported Sunday.

Cassandra Fairbanks, a reporter for state-owned Russian news agency Sputnik, and freelance journalist and conspiracy enthusiast Mike Cernovich, were snapped making the controversial symbol in the White House media room in May.

Journalist Cassandra Fairbanks however refuted the claim, citing her Peurto Rican heritage. “White power!!!!!!! Except I'm Puerto Rican. Can it be PR power?!” she tweeted.

While for many the symbol means nothing more than an "a-okay," since a meme depicting the allegedly anti-Semitic Pepe the Frog  flashing the symbol began being circulated on alt-right channels on social media in 2015, the symbol has taken on more sinister undertones. Apparently, the three raised fingers form a "W" and the "P" is formed by the index finger and thumb, standing for "white power."


Disgusting "comedian"

Leftists have no principles or standards

COMEDIAN Stephen Colbert has been accused of homophobia after remarking that Donald Trump’s mouth was a “c*** holster” for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Colbert made the comments during Monday night’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, at the end of a 12-minute monologue on the US President’s first 100 days.

“You’re turning into a real prick-tator,” Colbert said. “You attract more skinheads than free Rogaine. You have more people marching against you than cancer. You talk like a sign language gorilla who got hit in the head. In fact, the only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin’s c*** holster.”

Commentators on both sides were quick to condemn the joke. “The audience loved it, but ... hard to ignore it’s a seriously homophobic punchline,” wrote celebrity gossip website TMZ. “The kind of thing that usually gets celebs in hot water.”

Left-wing news site Vox also weighed in, saying Colbert “tried to insult Donald Trump” but “made a homophobic comment instead”.

“This is a kind of insult that has been used against Trump again and again,” wrote Vox’s German Lopez. “From murals of Trump and Putin making out to late night show gags, it’s now pretty popular among progressives to paint the US and Russian presidents as being gay for each other.

“But the only way this works as a joke is by demeaning gay people. The underlying implication here is that gay relationships are somehow extra funny — that Trump engaging in sexual acts with Putin is hilarious because it’s gay.

“In a setting in which Colbert is deliberately trying to find a way to insult Trump, it’s telling that he resorts to suggesting that Trump is engaging in sexual acts with another man. The suggestion is that the worst thing that could happen for these men is if they engaged in homosexual acts together, as if that devalues them as men, makes them submissive, or emasculates them.”