May 21, 2015

Paper on ‘Changing Minds’ on Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ Retracted, Media Outlet Retractions Abound

Examples of scientific fakery in matters relating to sexuality and especially homosexuality go back decades, all the way to Alfred Kinsey.

One of the more recent such underhanded episodes, involving a paper originally published in December 2014, was called “When contact changes minds: An experiment on transmission of support for gay equality.” It claimed that “a single conversation (can) change minds on divisive social issues, such as same-sex marriage.” That assertion made by a “layman” wouldn’t pass the smell test with most people. But because the paper was published in Science Magazine (“The World’s Leading Journal of Scientific Research, Global News and Commentary”), it gained a now-obviously clearly undeserved veneer of credibility.

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May 14, 2015

The ‘Hate Speech’ Canard: Ticket to Tyranny

Pamela Geller exposes the totalitarian “human rights” enterprise.

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This column went up at PJ Media Monday evening and was teased here at BizzyBlog on Tuesday.

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It’s impossible to overstate the importance of the ugliness Pamela Geller has exposed, and how grateful we should be to her.

Geller’s “Muhammad Art Exhibit & Contest” in Garland, Texas on May 3, sponsored by her American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) and Jihad Watch, featured “about 350 entries depicting Muhammad” — in drawings and cartoons.

For this — creating drawings and cartoons — radical Islamists have declared that she and others associated with the event must die.

After numerous online and other Islamist death threats during the preceding week, two ISIS-inspired jihadists drove 1,000 miles from Phoenix to Garland’s Curtis Culwell Center hoping to carry out the demanded executions. Fortunately, thanks to a heroic police officer’s aggressive action, they were killed before they could carry out their plan.

As will be seen shortly, it is no exaggeration to say that long-established organizations in the international “human rights” community opposed the exercise of free speech embodied in that event, and believe that its sponsors and attendees deserve to be punished.

Elite U.S. reactions to Geller’s and her attendees’ near-death experience demonstrate just how far their campaign against so-called “hate speech” has progressed. The answer is, “farther than almost anyone might have thought.”

 A much greater than expected swath of elite commentators and pundits on both the left and right clearly believes that Geller and event organizers — again, by exhibiting drawings and cartoons — provoked the attack. Many of them believe the event was an example of “hate speech,” and that it should not have taken place. Some have gone further, declaring that it should not have been allowed to take place. Those who truly believe in freedom should be thanking Pamela Geller for helping us identify genuine enemies who until now have cloaked themselves in respectability.

Sadly, the surface desirability of eliminating “hate,” especially in speech, is powerful.

After all, the great religions of the world – with the notable exception of certain far from minor strains of Islam — treat genuine hate as sinful. In Catholicism, hatred “(targeted) directly at the person … is always sinful.” Mahatma Gandhi, a Hindu, is credited with saying “Hate the sin, love the sinner.”

This nation’s Founders were religious too — and uncommonly brilliant. As they declared this nation’s independence from Great Britain, they, uniquely in human history, also declared that human beings’ rights, including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, were God-given and not conferred by men or their governments. The Founders’ First Amendment-confirmed definition of “liberty” clearly includes the right to say, write, draw, or produce whatever one wishes. Given the intensity of political discourse at the time, it’s clear that they did not intend to carve out any kind of exception for “hate.”

The creation of the “hate speech” construct is irrefutably communist in origin, and goes back to the afternath of World War II:

… the introduction of hate-speech prohibitions into international law was championed in its heyday by the Soviet Union and allies. Their motive was readily apparent. The communist countries sought to exploit such laws to limit free speech.

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The dominant force behind the attempt to adopt an obligation to restrict freedom of expression was the Soviet Union.

[...]

The states where criticism of totalitarian ideology was prohibited were the ones that internationalized hate-speech laws.

The initial Soviet-led efforts were too ham-handed and obvious for most of the rest of the then-free world to stomach. So, the definition of hate speech evolved:

… hate speech is any speech, gesture or conduct, writing, or display which is forbidden because it may incite violence or prejudicial action against or by a protected individual or group, or because it disparages or intimidates a protected individual or group.

Now, “hate speech” is a tool to be exploited by the perpetually aggrieved. Note the definition’s obvious implication that truly hateful speech directed at anyone who is not a “protected individual” or in a “protected group” cannot be considered “hate speech.” People not in protected groups are also apparently not worthy of federal protection when violently threatened.

Unbeknownst to most Americans, the “internationalization” to which the excerpt above refers has left this nation as one of a very few without oppressive “hate speech” laws favoring “protected individuals or groups” on the books. This intensely frustrates the so-called “human rights” community, many of whose members believe that the U.S. is a haven for “hate” and must be ostracized by the international community until it falls in line.

Most, but not all, of those who wish to impose their totalitarian regime on us have been circumspect about their ultimate goals. One such exception is Tanya Cohen, who claims to have worked with a number of “human rights” groups.

The headlines and content of Cohen’s recent columns will quickly disabuse those who still hold the quaint notion that banning “hate speech” is merely a project designed to ensure that everyone is civil to one another.

Her April 18 entry, “It’s Time To Put An End To Anti-Choice Speech” is a prime example. In Cohen’s version of a supposedly free society, lobbying for pro-life legislation, demonstrating at an abortion clinic, or even publishing a pro-life opinion on your Facebook page should be illegal. In Ms. Cohen’s ultra-scientific opinion, such people are “spreading lies,” and must be stopped.

Banning any discussion of abortion’s morality, which if logically extended would ban Catholicism and many of the world’s other major religions, is just a start. In that same column, Cohen clearly is on the side of a professor she quotes who wishes to similarly squelch speech “for climate denialists” and even “the tobacco industry.”

Separately, we find that Ms. Cohen has advocated an online command-and-control regime in Australia about which George Orwell’s Big Brother could only have dreamed:

What I propose is something called a Human Rights Online Act. This Act would not only make it a severe criminal offence on the federal level to publish, distribute, promote, or access hate speech online, but implement a federal Internet filtering system to protect Australians from being exposed to hate sites run out of the US. The Internet filter should block access to all hate sites, and anyone who tries to access any hate sites should be sent to gaol (i.e., prison — Ed.) … anyone accused of offending, insulting, humiliating, or intimidating other people should be required to prove their innocence or be declared guilty automatically …

Cohen has also celebrated how “attempting to link Islam with terrorism, saying that gay marriage isn’t really marriage, or saying that trans women aren’t really women would get you charged with discrimination and/or incitement to hatred” is “one of the most admirable things about Europe.”

Those with totalitarian impulses have created the idea of “hate speech” out of thin air and have turned the entire idea of “human rights” on its head, transforming it into the tyrant’s ultimate tool.

Now we know, and must react accordingly.

Thanks, Pamela.

May 10, 2015

WashPost Columnist: People Who Give Flowers ‘Are Terrible For Mother Earth’

Filed under: Activism,Economy,Environment,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:37 pm

On Thursday, Jennifer Grayson, who fancies herself as an “environmental journalist,” exposed herself as a truly annoying scold.

Grayson wrote in a Washington Post column that those of us who show our appreciation for others by giving them flowers as part of our overall enjoyment of life are really showing that we are either ignorant of or don’t “care about Mother Earth.” Grayson concocts her case by demonstrating that basic math must not be a prerequisite for becoming an “environmental journalist.”

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Oberlin Choir Ridicules School’s Feminist ‘Victims’ of ‘Microaggressions’

Filed under: Activism,Education,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:23 am

One of the more simultaneously annoying and alarming developments on college campuses these days is how the idea of “microagressions” has regained visibility after four decades of previously well-deserved obscurity, largely under the establishment press’s radar. Almost no one in “the real world” would know what microaggressions are if it weren’t for stories and critiques at center-right media outlets and campus watchdog groups.

Cut through the clutter, and it’s quite easy to see that “microaggression” is really a tool used by so-called “victim classes” to allege unconscious discrimination or “marginalization” in virtually anything people they don’t like might say. The idea has taken particular hold at Oberlin College, where iconoclastic feminist Christina Hoff Sommers appeared last month. Fortunately, there are still sane people with a sense of humor about all of this. That cadre includes the “Oberlin College choir.”

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May 6, 2015

More Blame the Target at WashPost: ‘Almost Gleeful’ Geller ‘Offers No Apology’

The headline at Sandhya Somashekhar’s Washington Post column on Pamela Geller, whose Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest was the target of a failed terrorist attack, acts as if that attack is her fault: “Event organizer offers no apology after thwarted attack in Texas.”

Somashekhar’s work reeks of contempt for Geller and her efforts, going beyond the media malfeasance cited in the Brent Bozell-Tim Graham column posted at NewsBusters Tuesday evening.

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April 29, 2015

Not News: Obama Admin Admits Tax-Exempt Status of Non-Complying Churches at Stake in Supremes’ Same-Sex ‘Marriage Case

Add the following to the “you will be made to care” stories Erick Erickson at RedState began to recognize several years ago.

Those who think that legalizing same-sex “marriage” won’t affect them should have received a wake-up call on Tuesday during arguments at the Supreme Court over whether inventing a constitutional right for two people of the same sex to have such an arrangement. Most of them didn’t get it, because, with only one exception I could find, the establishment press covering the proceedings perfectly understood the gravity of the discussion and its implications — and refused to report it, because it gave away the Obama administration’s, and the left’s, ultimate game plan.

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April 27, 2015

Inadvertent Truth? Short-Lived AP Headline: ‘Obama Pledges Help to Riot’

The headline is already gone from the Associated Press’s national site, but it’s still present elsewhere.

In the context of events in Ferguson and elsewhere since August of last year, one could argue that it contains more truth than the wire service and the headline’s accidental creators will ever admit.

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April 25, 2015

LA Times Reporter and ‘Ferguson’ Actors Won’t Concede That ‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!’ Is a Myth

At a March 4 press conference, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder grudgingly bowed to the truth relating to the events surrounding the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri in August of last year: “Michael Brown’s death, though a tragedy, did not involve prosecutable conduct on the part of Officer (Darren) Wilson.”

In doing so, Holder effectively acknowledged the falsity of the claim, repeated hundreds of times in broadcast, online, and print media reports, that Brown cried “hands up, don’t shoot!” before he was killed. The Attorney General also (cough, cough) wondered “how the department’s findings can differ so sharply from some of the initial, widely reported accounts of what transpired” and “how such a strong alternative version of events was able to take hold so swiftly, and be accepted so readily.” A current dispute between actors and a director in Los Angeles involved in producing a play about Brown’s death, disingenuously covered by Matt Pearce at the Los Angeles Times (HT to longtime NewsBusters commenter Gary Hall), indicates that many people will not accept the truth Holder was forced to acknowledge, even when they directly confront it.

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April 21, 2015

Press Ignores Gold Star Mom Demanding, and Getting, an Apology from Gen. Dempsey

A decade ago, a Gold Star Mom who had lost her son in Iraq gained national attention when she staged a protest against the Iraq War near George W. Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas. Leftist PR flaks took control of Cindy Sheehan’s every move, keeping her in the headlines for months on end as a symbol of supposedly strong opposition to the war which toppled Saddam Hussein. In August 2005, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote that “the moral authority of parents who bury children killed in Iraq is absolute.”

Yet Dowd and the rest of her fellow travelers in the establishment press have almost completely ignored, by their definition, the “absolute moral authority” of Gold Star Mom Debbie Lee, whose son Marc “was the first Navy SEAL who sacrificed his life in Ramadi, Iraq (on) Aug 2, 2006.” Lee wrote a scathing letter to Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Martin Dempsey after the general’s insensitve contention that, in essence, the fact that Ramadi is in danger of falling to the Islamic State is not particularly important.

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April 11, 2015

NY Times Editorial Botches NRA Convention Gun Rules, Fails to Properly Correct

A Friday editorial at the Second Amendment-despising New York Times thought it had caught blatant hypocrisy at the NRA relating to gun-carrying rules at its national convention in Nashville, Tennessee. What was really blatant was the editorial’s ignorance and the writers’ failure to fact-check.

After getting caught, the Times should have decided to retract the editorial. Of course, that didn’t happen. Then, in a pathetic “correction,” the Times threw yet another error into the pile.

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April 2, 2015

At Memories Pizza, New Threats Arise; Press’s Determination to Ignore Them Continues (See Update)

Update, April 3: The Indiana man who claims to have been hacked now admits that he wasn’t, but says he was “joking” about robbing Memories Pizza, and is threatening to sue those who exposed his (ahem) public comments.

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Those of us following the Memories Pizza story won’t have trouble remembering it as the years go by, thanks only partially to the Walkerton, Indiana store’s fairly unusual name for a pizzeria.

What will also easy to recall are the “memories” of the unhinged and threatening leftist behavior that accompanied its owner’s simple statement that, if the request ever arose, they would have to turn down catering a same-sex “marriage” because participating in or supporting such a ceremony violates their firm Christian religious beliefs — and the press’s attempts to cover up what their journalistic malfeasance unleashed.

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Selective: AP Cribs Paper’s Report on Memories Pizza — Except For GoFundMe Effort

A short unbylined Associated Press report at its national site on the situation at Memories Pizza in Walkerton, Indiana this afternoon made sure to mention that the pizzeria “won’t cater gay weddings” (in the headline).

It also misstated the owner’s statement to a South Bend TV station, claiming, using its own words, that she “said the state’s new religious objections law backs their right to deny catering to a same-sex wedding.” (Sorry, the statement that they wouldn’t cater a same wedding was independent of any legal opinion.) The report also forced readers to infer that the store has never been asked to cater in such circumstances. Finally, as of late this afternoon, the South Bend Tribune article to which the AP linked, which was about how the town’s cops have increased their patrols in the area in the wake of online and other threats, mentioned “an online fundraising site established to support Memories Pizza.” Of course, the AP didn’t.

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April 1, 2015

Local Indiana Station Ambushes Memories Pizza to Gin Up an RFRA Story

Something hasn’t seemed right about the Memories Pizza story from the get-go. Now I know why.

In a Tuesday report, TV Station ABC 57 cited the Walkerton, Indiana business’s Crystal O’Connor as saying that, in the station’s words, they “don’t agree with gay marriages and wouldn’t cater them if asked to.” In other words, they’ve never been asked to. The non-story which ignited a national firestorm is the result of a dangerously irresponsible ambush. The reporter involved admitted as much in a tweet late this morning:

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March 31, 2015

Not News: Black Church Group Cuts Ties With PCUSA Over Same-Sex ‘Marriage’; Membership Decline Continues

Filed under: Activism,MSM Biz/Other Bias,MSM Biz/Other Ignorance — Tom @ 11:02 pm

On March 18, Associated Press Religion Writer Rachel Zoll covered the decision by the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) “recognizing gay marriage as Christian in the church constitution after decades of debate over same-sex relationships.”

A search at the AP’s national site indicates that the wire service hasn’t done a story on the U.S. congregation since then. This means that it has ignored a development going at least back to Friday indicating that there has been significant external blowback:

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February 26, 2015

MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry: I Hope Trayvon ‘Whooped the Sh**’ Out of Zimmerman

While it’s performing a long overdue housecleaning, MSNBC should point its broom in Melissa Harris-Perry’s direction and sweep her off the network for her anti-democratic, violence-advocating rant earlier this week at Cornell University.

Among other things, Harris-Perry told her audience that George Zimmerman deserved whatever injuries he received at the hands of Trayvon Martin in the violent February 2012 confrontation which began with Martin pommeling Zimmerman and ended in Martin’s death.

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