Help YALE Students Go Back To Their “Safe Space”

University is a place where ideas are explored and challenged, where concepts are subject to rigorous debate and horizons are expanded. Well, except if you go to Yale. One of the United States’ most prestigious and acclaimed universities is being held hostage because some students have confused university with kindergarten.

The source of the controversy is an email sent out regarding Halloween costumes. The email stated that students should be mindful of cultural appropriation when selecting their attire for Halloween related tomfoolery. The email was responded to by Erika Christakis, Associate Master of Silliman College who was supported by Nicholas Christakis, Master of Silliman College. They had the nerve to consider that while the intention of the email regarding Halloween costumes was good, as university students are adults they are able to make decisions about how they dress themselves. They also expressed that it is better to have an open dialogue about these things and if one finds a costume offensive then they should ignore it or tell the person wearing the costume that they are offended by it.

You see what the Christakis’s did not consider was that some students at Yale do not like it when their ideas are challenged. The students have protested, called for resignations, vilified the couple and directly abused them. It seems a “safe space” only exists for students who have been upset by someone disagreeing with them. The term “safe space” doesn’t apply to members of staff being surrounded and verbally abused.

We really need to help these students. They’re paying a fortune to attend an elite academic institution for adults when they really only need to pay for a kindergarten. I’m outraged for them as consumers, more than anything.  We have a solution! I’m gathering up a list of names and we will take their place at Yale so that they can go home to their “safe space”.

I mean they probably could have done some research on what they were getting themselves into if they read Yale’s Mission Statement:

“Yale aims to carry out each part of its mission at the highest level of excellence, on par with the best institutions in the world. Yale seeks to attract a diverse group of exceptionally talented men and women from across the nation and around the world and to educate them for leadership in scholarship, the professions, and society.”

I’m sorry Yalies but no one reaches the highest levels of excellence or benefits from diversity when living in their “safe space”. If you want to be a leader, excel in scholarship, a profession or just be a functioning adult, you will be challenged. You will be confronted with people saying things you don’t like and you will be offended. I’m pretty offended right now that you’re at Yale at all, really. I respectfully suggest that if you’re not ready for university, we will gladly relieve you of the burden that is your oppressive Yale education.

It is okay to be upset and offended by someone raising a different point of view. The truth is that you might not be ready for university. We get it privileged Yale students, really. You’re oppressed. You’re triggered. You cannot withstand the pressure of being confronted with another opinion so you throw a tantrum. I get it – I once told my two year old niece she couldn’t have ice cream before dinner and boy was she upset. Self-awareness and respect is something that you learn as you mature. Unfortunately, you’re just not mature enough to go to university. If you are looking for a “safe space” or a “home” whereby you are told you are special, wonderful and unchallenged, you should probably go back to your mother’s house. By the sounds of it, you weren’t challenged there either. Your parents can give you the unconditional love and support you need to develop into a thinking and functioning adult. It’s better late than never.

There are millions of people across the world who would gladly take your place at Yale. Anyone who would like to help these students by taking their place at Yale should sign this petition: Dear Yale, if your students cannot handle rigorous debate and ideas, enrol us instead!

Click HERE to sign!

Danielle Davidson is a Queensland-based budding lawyer and proud cat owner, Dani stands up for academic integrity and overcoming the privileged silencers of intellectual debate on university campuses

Silence Of The Liberal Lambs: A Scathing Critique Of the NSW Liberals

unnamed-1-150x150-150x150 When the media policy becomes the story, perhaps it’s time to change the media policy, writes Alex Butterworth…

A motion at the upcoming New South Wales Young Liberal Council has drawn broad criticism from grass roots members of the Liberal Party across the nation. The motion is not about a controversial issue of policy; it is a censure motion, targeting a member of the Young Liberals for daring to have an opinion on policy, and for challenging Liberal members of parliament on policy, principles and values. It is symptomatic of a culture that seeks to silence robust policy debate. It is a culture that seemingly only exists in the New South Wales Liberal Party, while other states and territories actively encourage rigorous policy debate both inside and outside party forums.

While the party’s media policy is intended to limit negative media attention over internal party matters, it actually generates more negative media attention and stifles policy debate.

In this latest situation, Kerrod Gream, the Australia and New Zealand Chairman of Students for Liberty (ANZSFL), is accused of criticising the NSW Liberal Party’s brand and contravening the NSW Liberal Party’s media policy. Mr Gream leads the regional body of an impressive global organisation, with values and objectives that fit neatly into Sir Robert Menzies’ We Believe statement. As President of ANZSFL, he advocates small government, individualism, and free markets. ANZSFL is strictly non-partisan and welcomes members of all parties that believe in these values. In Mr Gream’s case, he is a member of the Liberal Party, because he sees it as the appropriate fit for his beliefs and values. Like many, he raises concerns when the party’s policy platform, or individual members of parliament, stray from the Menzies principles. However, some would rather that the NSW Liberal Party escape accountability for its failure to stick to the ideological principles which have served the party so well.

It is policy of the NSW Liberal Party that members “consider carefully any comments or statements they make on websites, social networking sites or blogs” so their comments “do not result in damage or cause embarrassment” to the party. While the party’s rules provide for ‘procedural fairness’ in the enforcement of this policy, the NSW Liberal Party Constitution overrides these procedural fairness provisions, and allows the State Director of the party to unilaterally suspend members of the party for a breach of the policy as determined by the State Director. No rights of appeal, no rights of reply, or right to representation: just suspension.

I have personally been targeted by these provisions over an article written for Menzies House earlier this year. In August this year, I called for the Liberal Party to retain its existing leader, Tony Abbott. This was in response to suggestions by other Liberal Party members on social media that we should make Julie Bishop Prime Minister. My article argued that Julie Bishop is an outstanding Foreign Minister and an excellent Deputy Liberal Leader, but that the traits that make her a great performer in these roles are the same traits that would stop her from being a great Prime Minister. My article did not rule out a Julie Bishop Prime Ministership, but simply set out the things that, in my opinion, would need to change for her to become Prime Minister and lead successfully.

Following publication of this article, I received a telephone call from the NSW Liberal Party State Director, Tony Nutt. One might have thought that the State Director of the NSW Liberal Party would have better things to do than monitor Facebook status updates of ordinary branch members, but apparently not. The consequence of that telephone conversation was my resignation from the New South Wales Division of the Liberal Party the next day. After 10 years as a member of the Liberal Party, with a Youth Meritorious Service Award medal on my shelf and a history of services across two states, I had to choose between saying what I really think, and being a member of the New South Wales Division. Contrary to the media policy’s intention, I am now free to say whatever I wish publicly. The threat of penalty for ‘overstepping the line’ is gone altogether, because it was used too liberally (pun intended) for a minor issue. Where I might have previously thought twice about writing an article such as this, I am now free to speak openly about matters, whether external or internal.

While other state and territory divisions of the party relish the challenge of policy debate, there is a chilling effect that occurs in New South Wales because of the media policy. The “tall poppies” who express a view are torn down. Others don’t dare to say anything for fear of a similar fate. Those who fight the culture are sidelined and pushed out, no matter how distinguished their past service to the party has been.

If the New South Wales Liberal Party wants to be a political force to be reckoned with, with policies to match, it can’t be an organisation of silent lambs. The party’s media policy must be reformed, if not abolished entirely.

Alex Butterworth is a technology lawyer and former president of the Australian Liberal Students’ Federation, the Western Australian Young Liberals, the Western Australian Liberal Students and the Pearce Division of the WA Liberal Party. 

Free Speech Must Be Defended

Jack Baker looks at the violent intersection of democratic free speech and the offence taken by some Muslims.

The attack and murder of twelve defenceless women and men in France by three Islamist men wielding assault rifles is as cowardly as it is disgusting. The supposed crime of most of the people murdered was to work at satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which in 2011 published cartoons mocking Islam and its founder Muhammad.

Sadly, this is merely the latest occurrence in a litany of absurd reactions stretching back decades. The commonality is that every time, a number of Muslims have been offended by something said, drawn or recorded about their religion, and chosen to react violently.

Following the publishing of Salman Rushdie’s book ‘The Satanic Verses’ in 1988, scores of people were killed around the world and hundreds injured. 20,000 people protested in Parliament Square in London, burning effigies of Rushdie. Bookstores in the United States and England were firebombed. The publishers or translators of the book in numerous countries were stabbed and shot.

When the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published 12 cartoons of Muhammad in 2005, numerous Danish embassies were set on fire. Over one hundred people were killed in protests, primarily in Muslim countries. Staff members at the newspaper continue to face death threats.

When an obscure American threatened to burn the Qu’ran in 2010 and then did so in 2011, dozens of people were killed around the world. In contrast, when a Muslim cleric in Egypt burned the Bible in front of thousands of people in 2012, it went largely ignored by the media and there were no violent riots. Continue reading

There’s nothing edgy about ‘honour killings’

I can’t believe this needs to be said, but the choices of the Festival of Dangerous Ideas suggests it does.

Uthman Badar, spokesman for Hizb ut-Tahrir in Australia, will be speaking at the Festival on the topic “Honour killings are morally justified”.

How clever.

It has been many years since FODI has shown any desire to live up to its name. Their existences hinge on the flow of government grants, directly or indirectly through the units that make up the art establishment. It’s not here to disrupt the status quo. It is here because, as a Facebook friend snarked, “the whole idea of a Festival of Dangerous Ideas [is to be] some white–person wankery for inner–city latte drinkers to indulge themselves in a trip to the opera house and [provoke] the special feeling of belonging to that special part of society that attends ‘cultural’ events.

So whilst I am openly impressed that FODI has actually gone and proposed a dangerous idea in that context, as far as dangerous ideas go this is quite safe… which is what makes it so dangerous.

It is dangerous in the first instance because the material is justifying murder. Violence is generally accepted as dangerous.

For anyone who, say, might like to think of themselves as culturally enlightened, the barest of philosophical forays will lead you to the subjectivity of morality and/or its experience by the individual.

Armed with this, it is totally conceivable that people who commit what we call “honour killings” have reasons for doing so. It’s a scary rejoinder to the idea of monstrosity as other and seemingly perfect for a crowd seeking “danger”.

This makes it a safe bet. It’s destined to light up blogs like this, and papers and talkback tomorrow, and possibly the 6pm news from earlier this evening. Helen Dale – who has lit up the local media a few times, including this week – called the decision to give Badar a platform “the intellectual equivalent of streaking”, which is so right not just because it’s flashy, insubstantive, and guaranteed to get your eyeballs on the dangly bits, but also because it isn’t novel.

We know that attention will be paid because we have had these debates before. We have had these debates before because there are millions of people who believe murder is a prurient respond to the exercise of certain kinds of autonomy – but they’re other, safely ‘over there’, and the unbridled, uncritical acceptance of the other is how the worst sort of unthinking leftist gets their counter-cultural jollies.

It will be controversial. Why millions of people would hold values so far removed from our own always will be.

And thus we have Badar at FODI, surrounded by the latte elite, who have already started falling over themselves to demonstrate their open-mindedness by paying to listen to a man who fronts the national arm of an organisation that opposes the close-mindedness of a Western liberalism that would go back to stoning women if the culture wasn’t so close-minded.

If an open-mind is worth keeping on this issue this is still not a justification for FODI’s decision. The point of keeping an open mind is to think, judge, and close it eventually. If it never closes it is no great feat of mind, but the simple abrogation of critical thought. FODI is, by choosing to give this violent idea a platform, abrogating that responsibility in the name of whoring themselves out for attention. This is not an act without consequences; what we say in public sends a powerful message about (are you ready for this?) what is is acceptable to say and do in public.

They’re not concerned about that, nor are they actually concerned about whether we should kill slutty sluts for slutting. They’re concerned about how they can leverage Uthman Badar and the Hizb ut-Tahrir brand and the white guilt that creates the cultural relativism that baby leftists are injected with when they submit their first protest poster for assessment, in service of painting the Festival and it’s supporters as open-minded, critically engaged and edgy, and getting the attention that gets them paid. With taxpayer dollars.

If open engagement is what we desire there’s an endless supply of literature on the subject that could be privately consumed. Somehow I don’t think that’s what Hizb ut-Tahrir wants.

That is what I find the most dangerous – it’s lovely to have organisations like FODI that self-consciously hike their skirts and whore their stages in the pretence of glorying in liberalism while trying to undermine it. These ideas don’t deserve to be paraded on a platform as flimsy as amusement. There is no honour in giving a microphone to a man who doesn’t want to give the microphone back, when he will use it to promote a ban on microphones.

FODI sets its own agenda. They made a considered choice to offer the stage to a lobbyist for Islamototalitarianism to promote the murder of (mostly) women.

If FODI wants to truly be provocative, there are orthodoxies far better challenged than the secular, liberal, individualist democracy that permits people – including women – to pursue the free thought that allows them to consider and reject the killing women who exercise autonomy could be totally sweet.

FODI has the right to offer the PR flak for totalitarian organisation a space on its platform, and its secular “cultural establishment” type audience is mature enough to consider the idea without accepting it (the way the Murdoch-media-swilling general publicans apparently cannot, no doubt). Minds aren’t likely to slip out from under the warm, prosperous blanket of liberalism for the rock hard reality of whatever backwards logic makes it okay to kill for a contorted derivative of honour. 

The Slow Death of Free Speech

In trawling through the intertubes as I do, I came across an article written by Mark Steyn in The Spectator. Like the Brendan O’Neil article that I shared yesterday, it is a topical article that goes on the attack with regards to modern approaches to Freedom of Speech.

“I heard a lot of that kind of talk during my battles with the Canadian ‘human rights’ commissions a few years ago: of course, we all believe in free speech, but it’s a question of how you ‘strike the balance’, where you ‘draw the line’… which all sounds terribly reasonable and Canadian, and apparently Australian, too. But in reality the point of free speech is for the stuff that’s over the line, and strikingly unbalanced. If free speech is only for polite persons of mild temperament within government-policed parameters, it isn’t free at all. So screw that.”

Full story via The Spectator

The Endangered Political Species

I’ve always been a great admirer of Senator George Brandis QC, having had the privilege of meeting him on a number of occassions and hearing a lecture he delivered at the University of Queensland last year (my notes of which are lost somewhere in the confusing mess of terror that is My Documents), and it fills me with such hope that we have politicians, and more importantly an Attorney-General, like Sen. Brandis who stand ready to take on the media, the Leftists, nanny-staters, and even those from within the ranks of the Coalition, in order to deliver enhanced Freedom of Speech to all Australians.

This admiration of Sen. Brandis meant that I was captivated by an article written by none other than Brendan O’Neil, of which some of you may or may not have already read. I highly recommend it, just in the first paragraph I was hooked:

“Ever since Captain Cook set foot here, Australia’s exotic creatures have wowed the rest of the world. Mammals that lay eggs! Marsupials that hop! Well today, Australia contains what must surely count as the most exotic, rarely sighted creature of the twenty-first century: a politician who believes in freedom of speech. Extinct in Europe, seriously endangered in America, this most hunted of the modern era’s political beasts still survives Down Under, and it goes by the name of George Brandis.”

It’s a great piece about a very important issue, so follow the link provided and give it a read.

http://www.spiked-online.com/freespeechnow/fsn_article/the-state-should-never-be-the-arbiter-of-what-people-can-think#.U1fPIFd2Fe6

The Freedom to be Wrong

Recently the Attorney-General, George Brandis’ amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act have come under fire by the political elite, claiming they are in support of bigotry. In fact these laws simply take human rights out of the hands of the government and allow the free-exchange of ideas without external interference. Few people on either side of parliament are bigoted or want to make it easier for serious verbal damage to be done to our ethnic communities but the fact is that it is very difficult to legally define what constitutes ‘offensive.’

The 1995 amendments section 18 to The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) by the Keating government made it illegal to ‘offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate’ others based on their race or ethnicity. At first glance these provisions may seem reasonable after all, for example, their is no doubt as to the humiliation that survivors of the holocaust must feel when extreme-right fringe-dwellers undermine their experiences by denying the atrocity ever happened. However it is by being able to withstand critique that the truth is all the more relevant. As John Stuart Mill said ‘If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.’ To have strength in our convictions we must be exposed to all contrary viewpoints. You cannot simply oppose something while being forbidden to know precisely what it is that you oppose.

Furthermore, with pre-existing statutory conditions on defamation and vilification there is adequate scope for the rights of individuals to be protected without imposing rigorous sanctions on the freedom of speech.

But this isn’t enough for ethnic advocates  with Jewish community leader Jeremy Jones fearing that the new legislation could open the door for holocaust deniers. Left-wing intellectuals argue that freedom of expression must be counter-balanced with the freedom to be free from verbal persecution.

I argue however, how can freedom of speech remain uncompromised if it is to be qualified by the  subjective standards of the government?

To bind free expression to the caveat of whether it conforms to the standards of the government of the day is to nullify it completely. If you believe in freedom of speech you believe in it on a sunny and a wet day, and uphold that no matter whether the speaker is Andrew Bolt or Sarah Hanson-Young, in the eyes of the law, their opinions are no more or less legitimate.

There are many that say that society is not comprised of an even playing field and that individuals like Cory Bernardi and Alan Jones are given a disproportionate  voice compared to the minorities they denounce  and that the government is required to step in as an independent arbiter. These people should be reminded that the government is in itself a class compromised of the upper echelons of society from the top-tier, sandstone universities and beset with a born to rule mentality fixated from birth. To have them as the qualifier of what is in good taste is to place severe boundaries on culture and expression.

Moreover, is there any practical outcomes to be achieved by the prohibition of free speech? History shows that when you try to put a cap on the bottle, the cap bursts off. With almost every government intervention there is a reasonable backlash which quite often strengthens the cause of the suppressed individuals. The fact remains that people aren’t cured from being a racist by governmental legislation, the process is cultural and starts from the bottom up.

To combat racism and bigotry the onus is on individuals, families, schools, work-places and media outlets to inform the people that that is not okay conduct. The suggestion that we need a centralised body to do so shows a fundamental distrust for humanity arguing that teachers, family members and colleagues are incapable of taking the initiative themselves to combat discrimination. The attitude that only government can save us from ourselves ultimately plays into the hands of the policy-making elites in allowing them to dictate the terms in which we interact and, in doing so, depriving us of our individual responsibility.

Edited by Matt Russell

My Submission to the Human Rights Policy Branch Re: Amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975

I encourage all freedom patriots to send in their own submission. Feel free to cherry pick anything I have written below. Make sure you get your submission in by COB Wednesday 30 April 2014.

Email: s18cconsultation@ag.gov.au

To whom it may concern,

Article 19 from the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

I support the proposed amendments stated in the draft exposure bill – Freedom of Speech (Repeal of S.18C) Bill 2014

Should the Freedom of Speech (Repeal of S.18C) Bill 2014 fail pass into law, then Australian’s will not have the right to freedom of opinion and expression as expressed by the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and instead will be on par with totalitarian regimes like China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Burma and Yemen who severely censor freedom of opinion and expression.

If freedom of opinion means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.

Thomas Jefferson, 3rd US President, was right when he said that “The liberty of speaking and writing guards our other liberties.”

So give me the right to free speech and I’ll use it to secure and protect all of my other human rights.

END

Continue reading

MONKEY LAW

Supreme-court

EXCLUSIVE:

by William Puisne

England soccer manager, Roy Hodgson, had a PC poison dart shot at him for telling this joke;

After using only monkeys in space capsules, NASA decided to send a man into space with a monkey.
Following launch, the intercom crackled, “Monkey, fire the retros.”
A little later, “Monkey, check the solid fuel supply.”
Later still, “Monkey, check the life support systems.”
The astronaut is annoyed and testily radios NASA, “When do I get something to do?”
NASA replied, “Feed the monkey in half an hour.”

Raceophobic, islamophobic, homophobic, lesbophobic, fatophobic, transgenderophobic, youthophobic??
Come off the grass.

Nevertheless, a complaint was made. The remark was capable of offence. And he had to apologise – to the universe at large – saying he hadn’t intended any hurt.

Just one more success for the PC brigade.

Prosecuting people in the news in these mushrooming hurt feelings courts is great fun.

It wasn’t so bad when they blethered about being offended and there was no law about it. No court. No penalty. Just the ABC and Fairfax. But things are different now.

Al Gore, upped the ante recently when he said that anyone holding a view different to his on Climate Change was a racist. This meant that if one of Australia’s Offended Feelings Tribunals held that such a view was, in fact, “racist” then penalties would follow for disagreeing with Tim Flannery or Christine Milne.

Gore’s outburst is not unique.

In May just gone, the French Assembly legislated the word “race” and the word “racist” out of all French laws – to combat racism !! Blind Freddy predicted in his weekly address to the Futurologists Society that the French will later pass a bill outlawing the word “poverty” and everybody will then be rich. Same thing with “disease”.

Now, any remark or phrase does not have to be objectively offensive. It does not have to be offensive by any known standard. It only has to be offensive to someone who claims he/she was offended.

In Victoria, there is the case of Tess Corbett. Tess Corbett was Bob Katter’s candidate for Wannon. She runs a kindergarten and told a local reporter, “I don’t want gays, lesbians or paedophiles working in my kindergarten”.

When asked if she considered homosexuals to be in the same category as paedophiles, Ms Corbett replied “Yes”. “Paedophiles will be next in line to be recognised in the same way as gays and lesbians and get rights.”

Objectively, the additional remark was capable of being interpreted as a prediction that paedophiles will eventually be recognised by the law and society as homosexuals have been. And she doesn’t want any of them to work in her kindergarten.

But the fact that it can easily mean that was not enough for homosexual activist Gary Burns who took her to the institutions that deal with this sort of thing.

In 2009, the same Burns took action against Jeff Kennett, for making comments in 2008 which, like Corbett’s remarks, appeared to equate homosexuality with pedophilia. A conciliation hearing was held in NSW, with Kennett listening to Burns’ demand that he apologise publicly to the gay community and donate a sum of money to a homosexual organisation. Kennet told him to rack off and Burns dropped the charges.
He was luckier this time. His target was not the resourceful Jeff Kennett.

The decision of the Tribunal on Corbett was, “[A]ny pronouncement that ‘brackets’ . . . homosexual people with paedophiles is capable of . . . urging [people] to treat homosexuals as deserving to be hated or to be regarded with serious contempt.”

So it isn’t what she said, it isn’t what she intended, it is what her expression was capable of.

On that same principle, if one walks down a street with a gun in his pocket, he is capable of bank robbery. If he has a long bladed knife at home, he is capable of murder. If he is a man he is capable of rape. A citizen, simply because he has a tongue, is capable of saying that the tribunal’s deputy president Michael Chesterton has announced a decision that is as mad as a two bob watch, and that Gary Burns action in prosecuting Tess Corbett is that of a publicity seeker.

In short, it doesn’t matter in the end what one says, it is what the Thought Police and the Naughty Thoughts Court says words are capable of meaning, even if taken out of context.

There is a NSW Supreme Court Appeal Court decision involving a man in just such a position. He was tagged with a shottie and a balaclava in his car. Must have been intending to stick someone up… or something… said the police.

“Come off the grass,” said the Court.

Is this why all these ridiculous “Tribunals” exist? To avoid having to prove guilty intent?
And substitute some kind of Monkey Law?