Native Americans not offended by Redskins

May 20th, 2016 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Washington Post reports:

Nine in 10 Native Americans say they are not offended by the Washington Redskins name, according to a new Washington Post poll that shows how few ordinary Indians have been persuaded by a national movement to change the football team’s moniker.

This shows how a small number of politically correct activists are so out of touch with the vast majority of the people they claim to speak for.

Among the Native Americans reached over a five-month period ending in April, more than 7 in 10 said they did not feel the word “Redskin” was disrespectful to Indians. An even higher number — 8 in 10 — said they would not be offended if a non-native called them that name.

And:

Since the nearly half-century-old debate regained national attention in 2013, opponents of the name have won a string of high-profile victories, garnering support from President Obama, 50 Democratic U.S. senators, dozens of sports broadcasters and columnists, several newspaper editorial boards (including The Post’s), a civil rights organization that works closely with the National Football League and tribal leaders throughout Indian Country.

So the political and media elites all decided what is offensive to Native Americans, without actually consulting them.

Across every demographic group, the vast majority of Native Americans say the team’s name does not offend them, including 80 percent who identify as politically liberal, 85 percent of college graduates, 90 percent of those enrolled in a tribe, 90 percent of non-football fans and 91 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 39.

That is an overwhelming result.

Opposing Maori seats is not racist

May 10th, 2016 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

If you want to know why Donald Trump is getting so much support,it is because of the politically correct who try to close down debate. We see this in NZ, where some people who don’t believe in free speech have complained that Mike Hosking expressed an opinion against Maori only wards on Council. They call him racist.

Stuff reports:

A “racist” editorial outburst from TVNZ personality Mike Hosking may have landed him in hot water. 

After TVNZ’s Seven Sharp aired a segment on the abuse New Plymouth mayor Andrew Judd received for proposing a Maori ward for local government councils, Hosking added his own two cents.

“Sad to say I’d never personally attack him obviously but he’s completely out of touch with middle New Zealand,” Hosking said. 

He went on to say: “There’s nothing wrong with Maori representation on councils cause any Maori that wants to stand for a council is more than welcome to do so and you can sell your message and if you’re good enough you’ll get voted on.”

In a statement Radio New Zealand received from TVNZ, a spokesperson for the broadcaster said a formal complaint had been laid against Hosking and a committee would review the complaint in the coming days. 

“In terms of the dialogue between colleagues, there has been some discussion about this piece as you’ve seen – robust conversation and differing viewpoints are not unusual in the current affairs environment,” the spokesperson said. 

One complaint on Seven Sharp Facebook page came from a medical student called Kera May. 

“Deeply offended by the racism exhibited by Mike Hosking on your show tonight. If anyone is “out of touch with Middle New Zealand” (which includes many Maori like myself thank you very much!) it’s you Mike.”

This is what people hate. Sell appointed guardians of speech who proclaim anyone who disagrees with them to be racist.

It is not racist to oppose Maori only seats on local bodies. It is absurd to suggest it is.

One can agree with all the sentiments about wanting Maori to get better outcomes than they do at present, but also be against Maori only seats because you think they are a bad solution. Being against a particular solution does not make you racist. It is called political debate.

For example the Government has a programme called Whanua Ora designed to help (mainly Maori) families. Now one might oppose this programme on the grounds some of the spending is low quality and it has high overheads. That doesn’t make you racist or not wanting to get better outcomes for Maori. It just means you disagree with that particular policy.

Ms May’s complaint is ridiculous. She is saying that anyone who disagrees with her is racist. This sort of politically correct attitude of trying to control what people can say is what leads to demagogues like Donald Trump.

What we need as a country is an intelligent discussion and debate on the pros and cons of things like Maori only seats – not just calling people who disagree with you racist – a term that is used so often now it has become near meaningless.

Leftist politician blames himself for deportation of his rapist

April 13th, 2016 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

The Daily Caller reports:

Leftist Norway politician Karsten Nordal Hauken was brutally raped by a Somali and felt so incredibly guilty in the aftermath he subsequently questioned whether authorities should even deport the man.

Shortly before the sentence was over, Hauken learned the man was about to be deported from Norway and sent back to Somalia.

“I got a strong feeling of guilt and responsibility,” Hauken wrote. “I was the reason he wouldn’t be in Norway, and instead be sent to an unknown future in Somalia. He had already done his time in prison. Would he get punished again, and this time much harder?”

 

Amazing – he doesn’t think the criminal bares any responsibility – even when he is the victim.

“I don’t feel anger against my rapist, because I look at him as a product of an unjust world. A product of an upbringing full of war,” Hauken said.

It’s not his fault – it’s society’s!

The insanity on some campuses

April 7th, 2016 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Read this and weep:

A university student was threatened with being thrown out of a meeting after being accused of violating “safe space” rules – by raising her hand.

Imogen Wilson, the vice-president for academic affairs at Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA), spoke out against safe space rules becoming “a tool for the hard left to use when they disagree with people”, following the incident last week.

Ms Wilson, 22, was subject to a “safe space complaint” over her supposedly “inappropriate hand gestures” during a student council meeting.

According to the association’s rules, student council meetings should be held in a “safe space environment”, defined as “a space which is welcoming and safe and includes the prohibition of discriminatory language and actions”.

This includes “refraining from hand gestures which denote disagreement”, or “in any other way indicating disagreement with a point or points being made”.

Utter madness. How about head gestures? Shaking your head to disagree must be banned also!

British Police lost the plot again

March 30th, 2016 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

The Spectator reports:

After terrorist outrages like the one in Brussels, our leaders always say the same thing: ‘We must defend European values against these evil killers.’ It seems the Metropolitan Police didn’t get the memo. For they have just arrested someone — actually arrested someone — for tweeting something unpleasant about the Brussels attack, in the process trampling their coppers’ boots all over what is surely, or at least ought to be, the most important European value of all: freedom of speech.

The arrested man is one Matthew Doyle. He went viral after tweeting about a run-in he had on the day of the Brussels attacks: ‘I confronted a Muslim woman yesterday in Croydon. I asked her to explain Brussels. She said “Nothing to do with me”. A mealy mouthed reply.’

Now, if this encounter really did happen — and many have their doubts — it was a rude and ugly thing for him to have done. But to bearrested for tweeting about the incident, on suspicion of ‘inciting racial hatred’? To be locked up for hours, as Doyle has been, for saying something silly to a woman in the street and then tweeting about it? That is outrageous. The awfulness of his tweet pales into insignificance in comparison with the awfulness of his having been arrested for it. If you’re still shocked by his tweet rather than by the fact that 21st-century Britain arrests people for what they say, then your moral priorities need urgent rearranging.

Mr Doyle is a pillock for going up to a Muslim woman and demanding she explains Croydon. It’s like going up to a random Catholic and demanding they explain what a paedophile priest has done.

He’s a bigger pillock for tweeting about it. His stupidity is near legendary.

But the response to his stupidity should be to mock him, to point out how stupid he is, to even reason with him.

The response should not be to arrest him. That is appalling.

He has now been released as the Police broke the law in arresting him. The section he was arrested under, needs the permission of the Crown Prosecution Service. But regardless it was shameful judgment on their part that they arrested someone for being a pillock on Twitter. Sure if he had made actual threats against people, that would be different. But what he said was nowhere near that.

A daft idea

March 29th, 2016 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Louisa Wall writes:

Last week in New York at the 60th Commission on the Status of Women I attended a session titled “Advancing Gender Equality through Sports: 2030 Agenda – the contribution of sport to achieve gender equality and end violence against women and girls”, organised by Mission of Brazil, United Nations Women, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

One idea proposed was for all international sporting organisations – and therefore national sporting organisations – to have 50 per cent of women on their boards to qualify for their sport to be at the Olympics. 

What a daft idea.

Some sports are male dominated and some are female dominated. So rugby union would not be eligible to be an Olympic sport unless half the board were women.

Does this apply in reverse? Netball is a female dominated sport. Would netball be banned if half the board are not men?

Now the left are trying to censor research

March 16th, 2016 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

MPs are calling for TVNZ to pull “racist” questions from its KiwiMeter survey.

Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis said parts of the survey – designed to find out how “Kiwi” we are – aimed at inciting racial intolerance.

The KiwiMeter survey asks New Zealanders questions about nationhood and, in the values section, touches on Māori culture.

One of the questions asks whether Māori should not have special treatment. 

Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis said the question was “out and out racism” and it needed to be removed from the survey.

“It just evokes images of Don Brash 2004:  implying that Maori have special treatment, I’d like to know what special treatment they’re talking about.

He’s an MP for an electorate where eligibility is dependent on your blood ancestry and he doesn’t know what they’re talking about?

What is especially worrying about this, is they are trying to censor and control research. They’re saying that because they have a view that there is no special treatment, you shouldn’t even be allowed to ask if people have that view. It is profoundly dangerous.

Now one can critique the wording of the question. I’d personally would have asked a question along the lines of “Do you think programmes that target Maori are justified” but nevertheless the way the question is phrased is designed to see if people agree with a sentiment.

No question should be off limits. If you want to ask “Do you think people of Race X are inferior” you are allowed to. For how else can you find out how many people have that view (which is repugnant).

TVNZ head of news and current affairs John Gillespie said he would not apologise for the question.

“We think that in the survey it is important to be robust and to have questions in it that reflect all parts of society so we won’t be taking out questions where we thought long and hard about why they’re in there.”

Clifton van der Linden, the chief executive of Canadian company Vox Pop Labs which was in charge of the survey, said Davis’ claims were “categorically false”.

The survey reflected views that already existed, he said.

“Asking the question doesn’t imply Māori received special treatment….

“We can learn more about the mechanisms through which racism and prejudices operate and find ways to combat these prejudices.

“If you don’t ask the question, how do you hope to find the answer?”

Good on TVNZ for not backing down. This political correctness must be resisted.

Cleese now avoiding campuses

February 16th, 2016 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Telegraph reports:

John Cleese said he will no longer perform or give talks at university campuses because political correctness has taken over.

The Monty Python star revealed that he has been advised not to perform to students as the fear of offending has expanded so far that any kind of criticism is now seen as “cruel”.

Mr Cleese said it is down to people who cannot control their emotions, so seek to control others, and worries that it could lead to a society like that in the iconic dystopian Orwell Novel.

In a video for The Big Think, he explained: “I’ve been warned recently not to go to university campuses because political correctness has been taken from being a good idea, from ‘let us not be mean particularly to people who are not able to look after themselves very well’, to the point where any kind of criticism of any kind of individual or group can be labelled cruel.

“The whole point about comedy is that all comedy is critical.”

We have a growing group of people who think they have a right not to be offended. All comedy has a degree of offensiveness

Rhodes stays

February 2nd, 2016 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Dan Hannan writes in The Telegraph:

With some embarrassed throat-clearing, Oriel College has announced that it won’t, after all, be tearing down the statue of its controversial Victorian benefactor, Cecil Rhodes. A small knot of angry students had been demanding that the offending stonework be removed, because they suffered “violence” every time they had to walk past it. Rhodes, they said, was a racist, an imperialist and a symbol of colonial oppression.

Unbelievably, instead telling them to mind their own business, the authorities at my former college launched a consultation exercise about what to do with the statue. The wholly unsurprising answer came back, from students and former students of all ethnic backgrounds, that the statue should stay. Most Orielenses understood, even if the protesters didn’t, that accepting a bequest in 1902, and honouring the benefactor, doesn’t mean endorsing his opinions today.

Exactly. Should we tear down the statues of George Washington because he owned slaves?

James Delingpole also writes:

The #RhodesMustFall campaign by loony entitled race hustlers to topple a statue of Cecil Rhodes at Oriel College, Oxford,  of one of the university’s most generous benefactors has failed.
Donors were so furious at Oriel College’s cowardice in the face of this student activism that they threatened to withdraw millions of pounds in bequests.

Right decision; wrong reason.

The Oriel College authorities could have said no to #RhodesMustFall because it was orchestrated by a bunch of chippy, ungrateful, politically correct, spoilt, vexatious, posturing bullies with connections to some of the most viciously unpleasant elements in the cess pool of South African politics.

They could have argued that Cecil Rhodes was a man of his time and that it’s quite ludicrous to judge a hero of the Great Imperial Age by the standards of the age of safe spaces, “Islamophobia” and Caitlyn Jenner.

They could have stood up for the principle that students may come and go but the fabric of the University and the generosity of its benefactors must remain inviolate from wanky posturing by early twentysomethings whose frontal lobes haven’t been properly formed.

Instead, though, Oriel College’s decision was motivated not by high principle but by terror and desperation at losing so much money.

Oxford University is no the institution it once was. They should have just ignored the radical activists, rather than give them legitimacy. The end result is Oriel College looks silly.

 

Trump vs political correctness

January 6th, 2016 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Washington Post reports:

Cathy Cuthbertson once worked at what might be thought of as a command post of political correctness — the campus of a prestigious liberal arts college in Ohio.

“You know, I couldn’t say ‘Merry Christmas.’ And when we wrote things, we couldn’t even say ‘he’ or ‘she,’ because we had transgender. People of color. I mean, we had to watch every word that came out of our mouth, because we were afraid of offending someone, but nobody’s afraid of offending me,” the former administrator said.

All of which helps explain why the 63-year-old grandmother showed up at a recent Donald Trump rally in Hilton Head Island, S.C., where she moved when she retired a year ago.

The Republican front-runner is “saying what a lot of Americans are thinking but are afraid to say because they don’t think that it’s politically correct,” she said. “But we’re tired of just standing back and letting everyone else dictate what we’re supposed to think and do.”

This is the years and decades of resentment that Trump has tapped.

In an October poll by Fairleigh Dickinson University, 68 percent agreed with the proposition that “a big problem this country has is being politically correct.”

It was a sentiment felt strongly across the political spectrum, by 62 percent of Democrats, 68 percent of independents and 81 percent of Republicans. Among whites, 72 percent said they felt that way, but so did 61 percent of nonwhites.

And what does political correctness mean:

‘Political correctness’ are the two words that best respond to everything that a conservative feels put upon,” added pollster Frank Luntz, who has advised Republicans. The label is, he said, a validation that what many on the right see as legitimate policy and cultural differences are not the same as racism, sexism or heartlessness.

“Allegations of racism and sexism have turned into powerful silencing devices,” Galston agreed. “You can be opposed to affirmative action without being a racist.”

I recall being shouted at and abused at the press gallery party once because I had written that I thought the Maori seats should be abolished. I was told this meant I was racist.

Creative New Zealand censorship?

December 3rd, 2015 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald interviews author Peter Wells:

2. In your blog you accuse Creative New Zealand of interfering with your latest book, Journey to a Hanging, through political correctness.

What do you mean by that?

I feel that I wasn’t allowed to tell the story I wanted to tell, which was a work of creative non-fiction about Kereopa Te Rau when he was in Napier prison for the murder of the Rev Carl Volkner. Creative NZ made it clear I would have to consult his iwi if I was to win the $100,000 Michael King Fellowship. I felt I had to write a much less imaginative book because I was paranoid about getting the facts right and not offending tribal sensibilities.

3. What do you think this says about New Zealand?

I feel like New Zealanders have turned their back on their colonial history. Political correctness has made the whole area taboo because we don’t want to offend anyone. Instead we’ve consigned this fraught territory to the Waitangi Tribunal to divvy up money, land and – importantly – guilt. I think this actually distances us from our past when it’s vital we have the intellectual freedom to explore it.

So a government agency effectively imposes a right of veto on the telling of NZ history. Sad.

Garner on Devoy

November 29th, 2015 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Duncan Garner writes:

I’d almost forgotten about the ludicrous decision to appoint a squash player as the country’s race relations commissioner – till Susan Devoy dropped another clanger.

And what a howler it was,  throwing her (insignificant) weight behind Auckland Regional Migrants Services’ plan to ditch the word Christmas and refer instead to  “happy holidays” and “season’s greetings”.  

Apparently Devoy, the service’s patron, wants to save the majority of Kiwis (who are not Christian) from feeling excluded at this time of year. Good grief.

If someone wishes me Happy Hanukkah, I don’t feel excluded.

Also Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. Now followers of Islam and Judaism do not revere him as the Son of God, but they do greatly respect him as a prophet of God. So there is no reason they should feel offended by someone saying Happy Christmas.

It’s time to ditch her role and the entire office she heads. I know my position will be unpopular among the hand-wringers and do-gooders but let me explain.

We celebrate Christmas in New Zealand. It’s part of who we are, whether we are Christian or not. 

It’s a time for family, gifts, talking, laughing, over-eating, drinking, celebrating the end of the year and, if you so desire, church. No-one needs to worry about being excluded from the joys of the season. 

At the last census 42 per cent of Kiwis identified as non-Christian. But I have never felt excluded by the word “Christmas”. 

Indeed if atheists can live with Christmas, everyone can!

University bans yoga as culturally insensitive!

November 27th, 2015 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reported:

A Canadian university has raised international eyebrows by cancelling yoga classes over concerns about “cultural genocide”, colonialism and “Western supremacy”. 

In an email from a student representative at the University of Ottawa Student Federation, yoga instructor Jennifer Scharf was told her seven-year-old program would be discontinued due to “cultural issues of implication” involved in the practice.

“Yoga has been under a lot of controversy lately due to how it is being practiced and what practices from what cultures (which are often sacred spiritual practices) they are being taken,” the student wrote in an email exchange that was published by the Washington Post.

“Many of these cultures are cultures that have experienced oppression, cultural genocide and diasporas due to colonialism and western supremacy, and we need to be mindful of this and how we express ourselves and while practicing yoga.”

You have to laugh to stop yourself crying.

I thought it was funny

November 26th, 2015 at 6:54 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

When Jimmy Carr warned The One Show his jokes might get them into trouble, the presenters probably took it as another quip.

But yesterday the BBC1 programme found itself at the centre of a formal probe by the broadcasting watchdog, after a risque comment about dwarves backfired.

Carr, who was on the show to promote his Greatest Hits tour, told viewers that he had once come up with a two-word gag.

He said: “I tried to write the shortest joke possible. So, I wrote a two word joke which was: ‘Dwarf shortage’. It’s just so I could pack more jokes into the show.”

He then looked directly at the camera and added: “If you’re a dwarf and you’re offended by that, grow up.”

Heh I thought that was pretty funny.

But whether you think it is funny or not, one should be able to tell jokes on TV.

Now two viewers have complained to communications regulator Ofcom, which is looking into whether the programme on November 4, broke television rules.

“We’re investigating whether potentially discriminatory comments in this programme met generally accepted standards,” a spokesman said.

It is unusual for Ofcom to launch an investigation against a broadcaster after only two complaints, prompting speculation among insiders that the watchdog wants to make an example of the incident.

Ofcom need to get a life.

Even Obama says political correctness going too far

September 28th, 2015 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Vox reports:

People concerned about liberal political correctness on college campuses have a powerful ally: President Obama.

At a town hall here on college affordability on Monday afternoon, one student asked Obama to respond to Republican presidential contender Ben Carson’s proposal to cut off funding to colleges that demonstrate political bias.

Unsurprisingly, Obama didn’t like it much. “I have no idea what that means, and I suspect he doesn’t either,” he said, then continued: “The idea that you’d have somebody in government making a decision about what you should think ahead of time or what you should be taught, and if it’s not the right thought, or idea, or perspective or philosophy, that person would be — they wouldn’t get funding, runs contrary to everything we believe about education,” he said. “That might work in the Soviet Union, but that doesn’t work here. That’s not who we are.”

After that criticism, he went on to give his opinion about what’s been called the “new political correctness” on college campuses:

It’s not just sometimes folks who are mad that colleges are too liberal that have a problem. Sometimes there are folks on college campuses who are liberal, and maybe even agree with me on a bunch of issues, who sometimes aren’t listening to the other side, and that’s a problem too. I’ve heard some college campuses where they don’t want to have a guest speaker who is too conservative or they don’t want to read a book if it has language that is offensive to African-Americans or somehow sends a demeaning signal towards women. I gotta tell you, I don’t agree with that either. I don’t agree that you, when you become students at colleges, have to be coddled and protected from different points of view. I think you should be able to — anybody who comes to speak to you and you disagree with, you should have an argument with ‘em. But you shouldn’t silence them by saying, “You can’t come because I’m too sensitive to hear what you have to say.” That’s not the way we learn either.

The word Obama chose is telling. The idea that college students are demanding to be “coddled” comes up frequently in debates about how much colleges should accommodate requests from students for trigger warnings on syllabuses, for example, or how they should respond to criticisms of graduation speakers or even comedy shows. A recent Atlantic article on the phenomenon was headlined “The Coddling of the American Mind.”

Self-censorship on US campuses is reaching massive levels. Controversial speakers (only from the right of course) are banned because they say something that offends someone.

Your politically correct guide to language

July 31st, 2015 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

NY Mag has a copy of The University of New Hampshire’s bias-free language guide. Some examples:

Preferred: people of advanced age, old people*

Problematic/Outdated: older people, elders, seniors, senior citizen

*Old people has been reclaimed by some older activists who believe the standard wording of old people lacks the stigma of the term “advanced age”. Old people also halts the euphemizing of age. Euphemizing automatically positions age as a negative.

Preferred: person living at or below the poverty line, people experiencing poverty

Problematic/Outdated: poor person, poverty-stricken person

Preferred:  person of material wealth

Problematic: rich

Being rich gets conflated with a sort of omnipotence; hence, immunity from customs and the law. People without material wealth could be wealthy or rich of spirit, kindness, etc.

Preferred: people of size

Problematic/Outdated: obese*, overweight people

Preferred: person who is blind/visually impaired

Problematic: blind person, “dumb”

Preferred:  U.S. citizen or Resident of the U.S.

Problematic: American

Preferred: White people, European-American individuals

Problematic: Caucasian people

Preferred: Folks, People, You All, Y’all

Problematic/Outdated: Guys (when referring to people overall)

Preferred: Other Sex

Problematic/Outdated: Opposite Sex

Preferred: Children who are gender non-conforming, Children who are gender variant

Problematic/Outdated: Girlie or Tomboy

So the sentence:

“Guys, I had lunch with Sheldon Adelson, an American senior citizen who hates anybody who is not Caucasian, and he insisted we go Dutch, even though he is really rich and I am poverty-stricken.”

would have to be:

“People, I had lunch with Sheldon Adelson, a US citizen of advanced age who hates anybody who is not a European-American, and he insisted we go Dutch, even though he is a person of material wealth and I am a person experiencing poverty

I wonder how many staff ours went into the salaries of the language police who produced this.

 

Hehir on Internet fury

July 9th, 2015 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Liam Hehir writes:

From time to time you happen to stumble upon a concept that so clarifies an aspect of the human condition that you can’t help seeing it everywhere afterwards. This happened earlier in the year when a podcast by pseudonymous blogger Ace of Spades introduced me to the idea of “altruistic punishment”.

The subject was raised in connection with a discussion of novelist Douglas Preston’s book Trial by Fury. The book is about Amanda Knox, the American woman wrongfully imprisoned in Italy after being accused of murdering her flatmate in 2007. Knox was exonerated in March this year, which is good given the enormous holes in the case against her (which Preston’s book documents in convincing fashion).

In many ways, however, the most interesting part of Trial by Furycomes at the end, when the author discusses the unflinching hatred of Knox evinced by many people he encountered on the internet. No matter what the evidence showed, many had an unshakeable – almost religious – belief in the need for Knox to be punished.

This is what led Preston to the phenomenon of altruistic punishment which, briefly stated, is the manner in which people will punish perceived wrongdoers despite not personally being affected by the wrongdoing. Brain scans show that when we punish somebody for violating a social norm, we are rewarded with feelings of self-satisfaction. This is what drives us to stick up for people being bullied, report shoplifters to store security and castigate people who park in disabled people’s parking spaces. 

Most of us have done that.

It goes without saying that this instinct is a good and necessary thing. It is easy to see how altruistic punishment is an essential ingredient of any justice system – and is therefore a big part what allows us to build and live together in civilisations. The desire to punish wrongdoers is therefore part of what makes us human. In fact, this is so much the case that no other animals, including chimpanzees, punish third-party offenders in this way.

What Preston was interested in was the idea that the internet can overload this sense of righteousness, leading users to take leave of their sense of proportion. There’s a lot to be said for the idea. …

An entirely foreseeable result of this is that zealous punishers have little trouble finding each other, feeding off one another and organising themselves into digital mobs to mete out digital mob justice.

And that’s how people like Sir Timothy Hunt lose their jobs.

Hunt is a Nobel Prize-winning British biochemist and cancer researcher. A few weeks ago, at a conference in Korea, he gave a talk to an audience of female scientists. An audience member tweeted parts of his talk that – as reported – included sexist observations about men and women working together in laboratories.

The rise of the virtual lynch mob.  His career was destroyed because of this.

Now that a transcript has been leaked, however, we can his remarks were made with ironic intent. Lame though the joke may have been, it was actually part of a larger observation about the importance of getting women into the sciences.  And instead of attacking women, Hunt’s poor attempt at humour was actually aimed at himself and his own supposed reputation for chauvinism.

Oh yeah – it also turns out that “after the fact” media vetting of Hunt’s principal accuser raises serious questions about her reliability.

But to update a saying of Mark Twain, outrage will go round the world while context is pulling its boots on. The man has been personally destroyed and his career is in ruins. UCL has said that reappointing Hunt now would “send entirely the wrong signal”.

Personally, I’m not convinced that bringing Hunt’s cancer research to an end will make the world a better place – however unwise his words were.

People need to start understanding that fury on Twitter, is not the same as fury in the real world. Every hour of every day there is a group of people getting outraged on Twitter. Just leave them to it.

 

The ruin of US colleges

May 22nd, 2015 at 3:15 pm by David Farrar

Kirsten Powers at The Daily Beast writes:

The root of nearly every free-speech infringement on campuses across the country is that someone—almost always a liberal—has been offended or has sniffed out a potential offense in the making. Then, the silencing campaign begins. The offender must be punished, not just for justice’s sake, but also to send the message to anyone else on campus that should he or she stray off the leftist script, they too might find themselves investigated, harassed, ostracized, or even expelled. If the illiberal left can preemptively silence opposing speakers or opposing groups— such as getting a speech or event canceled, or denying campus recognition for a group—even better.

In a 2014 interview with New York magazine, comedian Chris Rock told journalist Frank Rich that he had stopped playing college campuses because of how easily the audiences were offended.

We live in the age of offence, where people think they have a right not to be offended.

Instead, the politically correct university is a world of land mines, where faculty and students have no idea what innocuous comment might be seen as an offense. In December 2014, the president of Smith College, Kathleen McCartney, sent an email to the student body in the wake of the outcry over two different grand juries failing to indict police officers who killed African-American men. The subject heading read “All Lives Matter” and the email opened with, “As members of the Smith community we are struggling, and we are hurting.” She wrote, “We raise our voices in protest.” She outlined campus actions that would be taken to “heal those in pain” and to “teach, learn and share what we know” and to “work for equity and justice.”

Shortly thereafter, McCartney sent another email. This one was to apologize for the first. What had she done? She explained she had been informed by students “the phrase/hashtag ‘all lives matter’ has been used by some to draw attention away from the focus on institutional violence against black people.”

Insane. She had to apologise for saying “all lives matter”.

On today’s campuses, left-leaning administrators, professors, and students are working overtime in their campaign of silencing dissent, and their unofficialtactics of ostracizing, smearing, and humiliation are highly effective. But what is even more chilling—and more far reaching—is the official power they abuse to ensure the silencing of views they don’t like. They’ve invented a labyrinth of anti-free speech tools that include “speech codes,” “free speech zones,” censorship, investigations by campus “diversity and tolerance offices,” and denial of due process.

And we saw this in Australia where some staff and student groups basically blackmailed the university into revoking the appointment of Bjørn Lomborg, as he doesn’t buy into their view that the world is doomed.

Or how about the Brandeis professor who was found guilty of racial harassment—with no formal hearing—for explaining, indeed criticizing, the word “wetbacks.” Simply saying the word was crime enough. Another professor, this time at the University of Central Florida, was suspended for making a joke in class equating his tough exam questions to a “killing spree.” A student reported the joke to the school’s administration. The professor promptly received a letter suspending him from teaching and banning him from campus. He was reinstated after the case went public.

And all this in the land of the 1st amendment.

The list goes on and on. The University of Wisconsin-Stout at one point had an Information Technology policy prohibiting the distribution of messages that included offensive comments about a list of attributes including hair color.

Get suspended for making a ginga joke!

One student alleged that when the professor changed her capitalization of the word “indigenous” to lowercase he was disrespecting her ideological point of view.

And he was accused of racial microaggression and suspended.

A new level of political correctness

May 22nd, 2015 at 12:15 pm by David Farrar

I don’t think it is any big thing that we use group descriptions imperfectly. For example we use the term Asian instead of specifying Chinese, Japanese, Korean etc etc. Likewise we use Pasifika rather than Tongan, Samoan, Niuean etc etc. Most people understand why group labels are convenient.

I use the term “guys” as a non gender specific term now. I often e-mail my (all bar one female) supervisors and say “Thanks guys”.

But for some reason it gets  a bit precious when it comes to the gay community. Once upon a time gay was short-hand for what is now the wider rainbow community. Then lesbians said they’re not gay, they’re lesbians. And so it was GL. Then bisexuals said we’re not gay or lesbian and it was GLB. And then transsexuals said they are none of the above. so we went to GLBT. Then inter-sexuals were not covered and it was GLBTI.

But that isn’t politically correct enough for the Greens. In a blog post Jan Logie feels the need to state at the bottom:

*The addition of an asterisk to the word trans is to indicate that the term functions as an umbrella term for an extremely varied range of identities, including culturally specific ones. I use it to include identities such as: whakawahine, tangata ira tane, FtM, MtF, transsexual, fa’afafine, transgender, transmen, transwomen, akava’ine, leiti, genderqueer and gender-neutral people.

Oh good God.

That is just too precious.

Would we do that for every time we use the term Asian*. Imagine that:

The addition of an asterisk to the word Asian is to indicate that the term functions as an umbrella term for an extremely varied range of identities, including Turkic, Mongolic, Persians, Tatars, Sarmatians, Chinese, Indian, Afghan, Japanese, Korean, Tibetan, Uyghur, Kazakh, Manchu, Buryats, Evenks, Yakuts, Sri Lankan etc etc

When referring to an individual, it is polite to use whatever term they identify as. But when referring to a group, there is no need to turn it into a encyclopedia entry.

BBC censors the term “girl”

June 2nd, 2014 at 7:21 am by David Farrar

The Daily Mail reports:

The BBC was embroiled in an extraordinary censorship row last night after cutting the word ‘girl’ from a documentary about the Commonwealth Games, fearing it might cause ‘offence’.

Broadcaster Mark Beaumont, 31, joked after being hurled to the floor by a judo champion: ‘I am not sure I can live that down – being beaten by a 19-year-old girl.’

His remark was broadcast in full when the 30-minute episode of The Queen’s Baton Relay was first shown on the BBC News Channel in April.

But evidently sensitive to charges of sexism, BBC executives decided to edit out the word ‘girl’ when the programme was repeated last week, leaving an awkward pause in place of the offending word.

Asked by a viewer what had happened, Mr Beaumont tweeted: ‘Maybe the editor thought it was sexist – it wasn’t. I’m not worried about it.’

Even the judo champion involved, Cynthia Rahming, was left bemused. ‘I wasn’t offended – I didn’t find it sexist,’ she told The Mail on Sunday.

It doesn’t matter whether or not people think it was sexist. The BBC should not be censoring what someone said because it is politically incorrect. Deliberately editing a word or words out should only occur when it is a word not suitable for broadcast.

Feminist novelist Kathy Lette, 55, however, said: ‘If the athlete didn’t find it upsetting why should the BBC mount their politically correct high horse and gallop off into the sanctimonious sunset?’

Exactly.

Colin Craig says

December 13th, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Audrey Young interviews Colin Craig:

Increasing oil and mineral exploration

It’s almost criminal to be so well vested with resources and not use them. I wonder at the logic of that. I find it fascinating that if you dig a hole and plant a tree in it, you are a greenie; if you dig a big hole, take the gold out of the ground and plant a forest, suddenly you’re an eco-terrorist. There’s no consistency in that. I do think we should make sensible use of our resources. I’m not so keen, however, on letting foreign corporations take the lion’s share … Norway did it well.

Well said.

Labour’s target to get 50 per cent women MPs by 2017

I don’t believe positions should be picked on the basis of whether you are a man or a woman. I think it should be merit. I’m not a politically correct person. I despise political correctness because what it actually really does is just keeps people quiet. I would rather live in an environment where we could freely debate things.

Hear hear.

On the Maori seats and the Treaty of Waitangi

We think the Maori seats served a purpose at a time; that time is over. They don’t serve that purpose any more so we need to move forward and moving forward means getting rid of the Maori seats.

I think they should go, but only if Maori agree. What I would do is have a referendum every nine years on whether to keep them, amongst those of Maori descent. I’d replace them with the recommendations of the Royal Commission on the electoral system to have no threshold for Maori parties to gain List MPs.

Parliament now has 25 MPs of Maori descent. I doubt there is another Parliament in the world that has the indigenous minority so over-represented in their Parliament. I don’t think it is a bad thing we have such over-representation. But I do think it weakens the case for retaining the Maori seats.

Another man ban

July 14th, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Calwatchdog reports:

The radical feminists are on a roll. They continue to make gains in their attempt to make “man” and “men” officially unacceptable terms in government.

The latest weird politically correct idea to make it into legislation seeks to remove alleged “gender bias” from the language — at taxpayer expense. Using the word “man” is no longer allowed.

Washington state is now actively replacing “gender bias” words with new gender-neutral references, and requires the use of such words as “handwriting” instead of “penmanship,” “signal operator” for “signalman,”  ”fisherman” with “fisher” and  ”freshman” with “first-year-student.” There are no more “journeyman plumbers”; now they are “journey-level plumbers.”

I’m not sure what a “journey-level” is. This ridiculousness proves that gender-neutral language is ungrammatical, and not allowed in AP Style. How will I write?

And further:

When I was in college, I worked at a grocery store as a “box boy,” also known as a “bag boy.” During my two-year stint, the offensive term was changed to “courtesy clerk.”

“Nearly 3,500 Washington state code sections, out of a total of about 40,000 have been tediously scrubbed of gender bias, although most involve adding pronouns ‘she’ and ‘her’ to augment the existing ‘he’ and ‘his,’” the Huffington Post reported recently.

Washington’s Legislature,  controlled by Democrats, recently passed the bill outlawing these manly words and ordered the state’s law books to be painstakingly edited to reflect the new man-free law.

According to the Huffington Post, Washington is the fourth state to eliminate gender “bias” from its official lexicon. Florida, North Carolina and Illinois preceded Washington.

Some think this is a proper use of lawmakers’ time, and taxpayer money because of their belief that we must eliminate gender “bias” from the language.  ”Nearly 3,500 Washington state code sections, out of a total of about 40,000 have been tediously scrubbed of gender bias, although most involve adding pronouns ‘she’ and ‘her’ to augment the existing ‘he’ and ‘his,’” the Daily Mail UK reported.

I recall when I was on the Otago University Council the OUSA SRC passed a resolution demanding the university rename Chairmen of Departments, Chairpersons. I told the SRC they could pass what they wanted, but I wasn’t going to undermine my credibility on Council by wasting their time with such trivia. It wasn’t that I was against a name change, but that it ranked around 99/100 on my list of priorities after lecturer assessment, fees, facilities etc etc.

 

Greens ban perfume and aftershave

June 3rd, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Note this is not a parody post.

A friend e-mails:

I was at a friend’s place last night. There were about 15 of us catching up and one of my mates who is in the Green Party had been to the Green Party Conference earlier in the day.

He told me that the conference was “fragrance free” that no one could wear aftershave or perfume (and I wonder if that extended to deoderant as well??).

It was written in the agenda booklet too.

This is really too funny for words.

Equality at work

November 16th, 2012 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Food News reports:

A school lunch lady in Falun, Sweden has been told by education authorities to get in step and stop serving better quality meals than lunch ladies at other schools.

Horrific. That means there is no food equality. It is not fair kids at one school get better meals than kids at another school.

She has been told to stop baking her own bread in favour of the store-bought version and to reduce the range of vegetables she offers in her now famous vegie buffets.

In spite of working within her budget, and meeting all health and nutrition standards, Annika Erikson has been told her super lunches are unfair on students at other schools, and she must stop such anti-social behaviour immediately.

Yes, initiative and excellence are anti-social behaviour.

Katarina Lindberg, head of the authority which overseas school meals in the region, told local news media, “A menu has been developed. …It is about making a collective effort on quality, to improve school meals overall and to try and ensure everyone does the same.”

Oh yes the collective effort, This is the same collective effort that argues against performance pay for excellent teachers because it is all about the collective effort.

Another article on this has a great quote:

The “same,” even if everyone is worse off. Or as Winston Churchill put it, “socialism is the equal sharing of misery.”

Equality, comrades!

School bans hugging!

November 13th, 2012 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Yvonne Tahana reports:

North Shore students have been banned from hugging during school hours because too many of them – mainly girls – were consistently arriving late to their classes.

Umm, then you should ban being late to class – but not ban hugging.

A trend among groups of year 8 students – 12- to 13-year-olds – had driven the call, Mrs Cattell said.

“It’s just a little thing that they’re doing. It got out of hand towards the end of morning tea time especially. There would be groups that got back to class 10 to 15 minutes late because they were going around making sure they’d hugged the whole group before they got back to class.

I think hugging is a very healthy positive activity. It’s great kids want to show their friendship for each other with hugs.

More than 600 attend the school and there were also concerns that some children’s feelings could be hurt if they were left out.

Oh dear God.

Parent Lorna Subritsky, whose daughter attends the school, said she could understand it might be annoying for teachers for have stragglers to their classes but the issue could be dealt with by addressing the lateness, not the physical contact.

Exactly.