Monday, April 20, 2015

A New Yorker is shocked to learn women may not like catcalls

City Hall bleeds our money away

It’s always something at City Hall isn’t it?

Social housing bosses receiving “bonuses” while low-income tenants live in squalor amid a huge repair backlog rapidly closing in on $1 billion.

Or the never-ending renovation of Nathan Phillips Square — going on right outside the front doors of City Hall — 50% ($20 million) over budget and at least three years overdue.

Or the financially troubled Toronto-York Spadina subway, which suddenly can’t be completed without an injection of $150 million more, $90 million from Toronto property taxpayers, $60 million from those in York Region.

Or another fiasco at the TTC, broken by Sun City Hall Bureau Chief Don Peat last week.

That’s that the TTC is bleeding almost $100,000 per week — $1 million so far this year — paying about 85 bus drivers to sit around doing nothing every day before going home after five hours, while earning eight hours’ pay...

Today is Harold Lloyd Day

Today is Harold Lloyd's birthday.

Lloyd (1893-1971) was one of the greatest (I think the greatest,) of the silent screen comedians.

UC Santa Barbara apologizes for serving Mexican food during Sci-Fi space alien party

With stuff like this happening all the time, I don't know how the satirical website The Onion stays in business. Moronic political correctness has eliminated the difference between satire and reality.

In today's fun example, UC Santa Barbara is making staff undergo sensitivity training because they served Mexican food during a space alien-themed science fiction party. Don't get the connection? Neither did the caterers, or the students, or anyone else until some idiot decided that it might offend illegal aliens from Mexico and Latin America.

This actually happened:

A residential college at the University of California, Santa Cruz has apologized for serving a Mexican food buffet during an intergalactic-themed party which featured spaceships and aliens.

In an email sent to Stevenson College students, Dr. Carolyn Golz, a college administration officer, said that as a result of the event, all Programs staff will now be required to undergo cultural competency training.

“Unfortunately, the program planners made a poor decision when choosing to serve a Mexican food buffet during a program that included spaceships and ‘aliens’, failing to take into account how these choices might be perceived by others,” Golz wrote in the email. “We would never want to make a connection between individuals of Latino heritage or undocumented students and ‘aliens’ and I am so sorry that our College Night appeared to do exactly that.”...

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Women get ejected from Calgary Expo Comic Convention for dissenting from 3rd Wave Feminism

Like any other movement of fanatical totalitarians, Third Wave Feminists neither tolerate dissent nor do they exhibit much understanding of humor.

Yesterday, both those unpleasant factors came into play at the Calgary Expo, a large-scale comic convention.

Normally, such things were the domain of geeky guys obsessed with the strange fantasies that unfold in comic books and science fiction. But in the last couple of decades, more women have emerged as leaders in the field. More recently still, such events have become infused with movements trying to impose their versions of political correctness, and dictates of hyper-sensitivity to their own points of view at the cost of any others.

That reached a peak at Calgary Expo when during a panel discussion, one of the panelists rhetorically asked about why Men's Right's advocates became so infuriated about women's participation in comics. A woman named Alison Tieman was in the audience and asked if she could address the question as she identifies as a female Men's Rights advocate.  Tieman raised a point about "damselling," which is a term for women playing the victim to their advantage and discussed, in what the recording sounds like a very polite, thoughtful exchange, the perceptions of female and male roles in comics and different writing genres, both as characters and creators.

One of the most salient points made by Tieman, who herself is a comic book author, was, "I made the comic I wanted to see. That was what I did. I think that's the message you need to tell people. Don't say you're a victim of this culture. Say that you build what you want to see."

Evidently that was too much for the 3rd Wave Feminists on the panel and the Calgary Expo organizers, who must have been "triggered" by Tieman's assertion of self-sufficiency and statement that women don't have to revel in their own victimhood.

The panel continued, seemingly normally, but then when it was over, Tieman and her "Honey Badger Brigade" booth was ejected from the Calgary Expo for "harassment."

The website The Mary Sue published an account by one of the panelists, Brittney Le Blanc, trying to justify Tieman's ejection. But an audio recording of the panel suggests Le Blanc's account is merely a series of distortions, slanders, and smears.

Calgary Expo's censorial priggishness took an even more preposterous turn when they attempted to justify their abhorrent narrow-mindedness. The Calgary Expo censors "discovered" a fundraising web post by the Honey Badger Brigade, to seek funds to travel to the convention. In the pose, the Honey Badgers wrote:

...the Honey Badgers plan to put on a booth at the Calgary Comics and Entertainment Expo! We plan to infiltrate nerd culture cunningly disguised as their own. Each of us has been carefully crafting a persona of nerdiness through decades of dedication to comics, science fiction, fantasy, comedy games and other geekery, waiting for this moment, our moment to slip among the unaware. Once there we will start distributing the totalitarian message that nerd and gamer culture is… perfectly wonderful just as it is and should be left alone to go it’s own way. 
That’s it folks...
Evidently, Calgary Expo's organizers believed, in literal seriousness, the sarcastic joke that the Honey Badgers had spent decades crafting the persona of comic book geeks for the purpose of slipping in to a comic convention.

It's hard to imagine how anyone who isn't functionally retarded could come to the conclusion which the Calgary Expo organizers used to justify their actions by (re)tweeting it out through their account.

I've written before that I think the Men's Rights Movement is a generally silly, but harmless phenomenon. Considering some of the responses to them, I'm no longer sure of that, at least where it comes to they're being silly. The reactions they have evoked from fanatical 3rd wave feminists show that some of the issues they raise are indeed valid. Censorship and politically correct totalitarianism is neither silly nor harmless, and it needs to be fought if we want to live in a society where only the establishment's ideas are permitted.

The ugly response by Calgary Expo's organizers to the discussion at the Women in Comics panel is sad for a number of reasons. Not the least of which is that otherwise, they seem to have done a great job of putting together what should have been a hugely enjoyable event. They had stars like Neil Patrick Harris in attendance, the convention drew huge crowds, and had a fantastic parade through the streets of Calgary leading up to the expo.

Unfortunately, by this one spectacular screw-up, Calgary Expo won't be remembered for the fun it gave the overwhelming majority of its attendees, but the cruelty and censorship they inflicted on a few.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

How did a picture of Yoda get into a 13th Century church manuscript?

A long time ago, in a place far away, a manuscript was created with an enigmatic figure who looks a great deal like a certain little — and yet powerful — green guy from theStar Wars films. It's an unlikely connection between a religious tome and science fiction. 
The similarity to Jedi Grand Master Yoda was recently highlighted by British Library curator Julian Harrison, who runs the Medieval Manuscripts blog...

Bill Maher: Explaining Jokes to Idiots – #RespectForZayn Edition

Jesuit-funded Loyola University's Queer Summit Tells Students to Consider Ditching Monogamy

There's nothing I could write about this item that would make it seem more ridiculous than it actually is.

The headline is just the tip of the iceberg and I had to make sure the piece wasn't dated April 1st.

It wasn't.

Here's a sample: "...For those not interested in sex, Qmunity will also feature a workshop on asexuality and “aromantic” identity..."

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Volokh Conspiracy: How the Constitution protects “free range” parents

...The Supreme Court has always indicated that parental rights are not absolute. The state can intervene to protect children against serious threats to their health and safety, and to ensure that all children get at least a basic education. But, as Troxel makes clear, the state can’t infringe on parental control over child-raising unless they have real evidence showing that there is a genuinely significant threat to the children’s safety and well-being. Otherwise, as Justice O’Connor’s opinion makes clear, the authorities must respect the “presumption that fit parents act in the best interests of their children.”

Forcibly detaining elementary school-aged kids for walking by themselves in a safe, middle-class neighborhood doesn’t even come close to meeting the necessary standard. Statistically, such walking is extremely safe, and probably less dangerous than police officers’ actions in forcibly detaining the children and driving them to a CPS officeAccording to the Center for Disease Control, car accidents are a leading cause of death among small children; riding in a car as a passenger is far more dangerous for kids than walking in most neighborhoods. Far from “protecting” the two children, the police and the CPS probably put them at greater risk than they were exposed to before (though the risk was still very low in an absolute sense). The Meitivs’ parenting practices are also much safer than numerous typical childhood activities, such as participating in contact sports like basketball and hockey, or going downhill skiing. If the CPS can force parents to stop letting their children walk home from the park, it can similarly target every other comparably risky activity, including numerous sports, and even driving the children in a car.

The bottom line is that the CPS’ actions here seem to be the result of exactly the kind of “mere disagreement” with parental choices that the Supreme Court specifically barred as a basis for overriding parents’ constitutional right to direct their children’s upbringing. Economist Bryan Caplan, an expert on child safety data, sums it up well: “it’s crazy, people are being persecuted for doing things that are extremely statistically safe just because other people disagree.”...

As if needed - more proof that SJW's (Social Justice Wankers) are oblivious to irony

Not a day goes by where one or another group of  determinedly sanctimonious halfwits, whose entire identity is wrapped up in their so-called "Social Justice" activism, demonstrates their complete shallowness and inherently dictatorial nature.

What makes them funny on top of that is that they they have no sense of humor, so they remain thoroughly oblivious to the ironies of their preposterous pontificating.

In today's amusing example, the American Library Association is celebrating "Banned Books Week," a worthy cause bringing attention to the dangers of censorship by those who would limit information to others and try to impose only their own ideas.

You might think the value of adults being able to read those books they want and make their own choices about them would be self-evident to people living in a free society.

Not so to the Social Justice Wankers.

The poster for The ALA's Banned Books Week shows a woman holding up a book with an eye-slit in what is the international symbol for "restricted." In the opinion of some SJW's, it resembles a niqab, making the poster "Islamophobic," and therefore it should be banned, and they have created a petition to bring that about.

The American Library Association's Office of Intellectual Freedom, a concept SJW's find incomprehensible, have clarified that the poster was not intended to represent Islamic dress.

But even if it were, so what? Islam, as a culture, has the least free speech and most restrictions on individual liberty of any in the world. Anyone who believes in genuine social justice would want that fact brought to light and try to change it.  But the mere effort to ban a Banned Books Week poster is of itself something that anyone with the least sense of irony should find bizarre.

So here we have another demonstration that people who call themselves "social justice activists," are active against, rather than for justice and individual liberty.

This 2008 interview with John McCain was a completely accurate prediction of Obama's foreign affairs incompetence

Leading up to the 2008 election, The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg interviewed Barack Obama and John McCain about Iran, Israel and matters related to the Middle East.

In what now looks like a glimpse into a crystal ball, McCain predicted, with total accuracy, how Obama's naivety and empathy with America's enemies would prove devastatingly dangerous to America's national security interests:

JG: What do you think motivates Iran?

JM: Hatred. I don't try to divine people's motives. I look at their actions and what they say. I don't pretend to be an expert on the state of their emotions. I do know what their nation's stated purpose is, I do know they continue in the development of nuclear weapons, and I know that they continue to support terrorists who are bent on the destruction of the state of Israel. You'll have to ask someone who engages in this psycho stuff to talk about their emotions.

JG: Senator Obama has calibrated his views on unconditional negotiations. Do you see any circumstance in which you could negotiate with Iran, or do you believe that it's leadership is impervious to rational dialogue?

JM: I'm amused by Senator Obama's dramatic change since he's gone from a candidate in the primary to a candidate in the general election. I've seen him do that on a number of issues that show his naivete and inexperience on national security issues. I believe that the history of the successful conduct of national security policy is that, one, you don't sit down face-to-face with people who are behave the way they do, who are state sponsors of terrorism.

Senator Obama likes to refer to President Kennedy going to Vienna. Most historians see that as a serious mistake, which encouraged Khrushchev to build the Berlin Wall and to send missiles to Cuba. Another example is Richard Nixon going to China. I've forgotten how many visits Henry Kissinger made to China, and how every single word was dictated beforehand. More importantly, he went to China because China was then a counterweight to a greater threat, the Soviet Union. What is a greater threat in the Middle East than Iran today?

Senator Obama is totally lacking in experience, so therefore he makes judgments such as saying he would sit down with someone like Ahmadinejad without comprehending the impact of such a meeting. I know that his naivete and lack of experience is on display when he talks about sitting down opposite Hugo Chavez or Raul Castro or Ahmadinejad.

JG: There's no rationale for sitting down with Iran?

JM: Yes. I could see a situation hopefully in the future if the Iranians would change the policies that you and I have just talked about, but there would have to be negotiations and discussions and all kinds of things happening before you lend them the prestige of a face-to-face meeting with the President of the United States of America. As you know, our ambassador in Iraq, Ryan Crocker, has met with the Iranian ambassador in Baghdad on a couple of occasions. Those discussions, according to Ambassador Crocker, have been totally unproductive, because Iran is hell-bent on the destruction of Israel, they're hell-bent on driving us out of Iraq, they're hell-bent on supporting terrorist organizations, and as serious as anything to American families, they're sending explosive devices into Iraq that are killing American soldiers.

“Don’t you someday want to see a woman president of the USA?”

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens - the new trailer!

Read about it HERE

The Problem With Patriarchy Theory

This makes a lot of sense:

The Volokh Conspiracy: Gary Trudeau of Doonesbury's Brain Fart

...Islam has an estimated 1.6 billion adherents, and is the most powerful religion in many important countries. Being powerful, it has been doing plenty of its own “punching downward” lately, and not just by means of satire. It has plenty of “the self-satisfied and hypocritical” within it. Much within Islam — like much within many religions — merits some “afflicting” through criticism and even ridicule.

Yet somehow this, in Trudeau’s eyes, is illegitimate. Look closely at the rhetorical trick in his argument. First, take a general rule of good manners (don’t make fun of the genuinely afflicted, especially when they are afflicted through no fault of their own). Then broaden it to any supposedly “powerless, disenfranchised minority,” including ones that are defined by a belief system — which, like other belief systems, may well deserve criticism (regardless of how powerful its adherents might be, and especially because even “powerless” belief systems often exercise a lot of potentially harmful power over some, such as their women and children). And then deploy this to deligitimize criticism of one of the most important and powerful belief systems on the planet, because in Hebdo’s home country that belief system attracts a mere 7.5% or so of the population.

What’s more, according to Trudeau himself, this part of the population is far from innocuous. After all, he says that “many Muslims throughout France” are now “mak[ing] common cause with [presumably Islam’s] most violent outliers.” Sounds like those outliers, in Trudeau’s view, really aren’t such outliers within French Islam after all, if a few cartoons can turn “many Muslims” into the supposed outliers’ allies...
Gary Trudeau's recent sanctimony reminded me why I haven't looked at a Doonesbury comic on purpose in over 25 years.