Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The incorrectness of beautiful women

See Wicked Pics for pictures of some of the ladies concerned -- including Miss Sweden. Amusing that it took a Greek to organize any contest at all in Sweden

This year's Miss Universe pageant is missing one of its most noted contestants: Miss Sweden, a statuesque blonde whose country is one of the few to win the crown three times. Isabel Lestapier Winqvist, 20, has dropped out because Swedes say the Miss Universe competition, airing live Monday night from Mexico City's National Auditorium, is degrading to women and weighed down by scandals.

"We're taking a big beating by being linked to it," said Panos Papadopoulos, the organizer of the Miss Sweden contest, which scrapped its swimsuit competition and allowed women to apply for the position like any other job after heavy criticism from feminists.

Participants in the pageant also are breaking the mold. Miss Jamaica, 25-year-old Zahra Redwood, is the contest's first Rastafarian and the first to appear in dreadlocks. She wants judges to see her as a "Rastafarian promoting the message of peace, love and unity throughout mankind." Miss Tanzania, Flaviana Matata, an electrical technician whose country is participating for the first time, is also challenging stereotypes of beauty with her shaved head [Yuk!]. "I never let anyone define me neither by hair nor clothing as I believe God made me perfect as a pure, natural African woman," she said.

Donald Trump, who now co-owns the contest with NBC, says the Miss Universe Organization has redefined beauty pageants. "With each passing year our ratings continue to get better because of the beautiful and intelligent women who participate in our competitions," he declared.

But the Miss Universe competition is still judged solely on an interview and swimsuit and evening gown competitions, continuing a tradition that began with a spat over a swimsuit more than 50 years ago. California's Pacific Mills clothing company launched the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants after the 1951 Miss America, Yolande Betbeze, refused to pose in its swimsuit.

Miss Universe is considered a wilder rival to Miss America, which offers scholarships and values its talent contest more than its swimsuit competition. Other than Vanessa Williams, who stepped down in 1984 after Penthouse published her nude photographs, Miss America has had relatively few scandals. But risque photos and public drunkenness have increasingly landed Miss USA and Miss Universe contestants in the tabloids.

Miss Nevada USA Katie Rees was dethroned from this year's competition after her racy pictures emerged on the Web. Miss New Jersey USA Ashley Harder resigned when she got pregnant. And before Tara Conner handed her crown to the latest Miss USA, Tennessee journalism graduate Rachel Smith, the telecast opened with a string of news clips about Conner entering rehab for boozing at New York clubs.

Even the outfits in this year's contest have raised eyebrows. Miss Mexico Rosa Maria Ojeda was forced to change her gown to a fruit-and-vegetables motif after Mexicans were outraged by the bullet-studded belt and images of hanging bodies and firing squads in her skirt's original design, which referred to the bloody Cristero war, a Roman Catholic rebellion in the 1920s. Miss Jamaica donned a Bob Marley T-shirt to honor her country's culture, while Miss Ecuador, Lugina Cabezas, appeared holding a fake, bloodstained banderilla, a colorful barbed stick stuck in the back of bulls during bullfighting, outraging animal rights groups.

Organizers say the Miss Universe contest carefully selects women who are intelligent, well-mannered and cultured, and dispute the notion that beauty queens are clueless about international issues. The pageant's Web site notes that Miss Universe 2000, Mpule Kwelagobe, helped build a 400-bed pediatric AIDS hospital and orphanage in her native Botswana, while Miss Universe 1981 Irene Saez of Venezuela went on to become mayor of a municipality and later ran as president, losing to President Hugo Chavez in 1998. "We do change with the times," said Paula M. Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization. "It really opens doors for people. It's nice for us to pick somebody who is not known, give them a shot and change their life forever."

Sweden is a three-time Miss Universe winner, behind only the United States, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. But Papadopoulos, owner of the Panos Emporio brand swimsuits, which in 2004 bought the rights to the Miss Sweden contest, said Trump's pageant doesn't fit with Miss Sweden's new, more professional image. "The modernization of the international competition has been significantly slower than the Swedish contest, although we see signs of change on the horizon," Papadopoulos said. Miss Universe organizers took it in stride. "We will miss you," Papadopoulos said they told him by e-mail, "and we will miss Miss Sweden."


Responsible censorship in China?

I have some sympathy for this. Upsetting little children is hard to excuse

China has launched a crackdown on scary children's stories including the popular Japanese "Death Note" comic book series, state media said Saturday. Authorities are ordered to seize "illegal terrifying publications" from vendors ahead of China's Children's Day on June 1, the Xinhua News Agency and China Daily newspaper reported.

Communist authorities regularly launch sweeps to seize publications deemed pornographic or socially harmful. They are especially concerned about the influence of foreign books, movies and other pop culture on Chinese children.

One target in the latest crackdown is "Death Note," a Japanese series of comic books about a notebook that can kill people whose names are written in it. The story "misleads innocent children and distorts their mind and spirit," said Wang Song, an official of the National Anti-piracy and Anti-pornography Working Committee, quoted by the China Daily. "Death Note" publications have been seized in Shanghai and areas across central and southern China, the newspaper said.


Free Speech and Hate Speech

Leftist lawyer Gloria Allred likes to say that there's a difference between "free speech" and "hate speech" - the former being protected by the U.S. Constitution, while the latter must be criminalized. Such slogans are easy to make, but where must the line be drawn? Is free speech a radical version of what we like, while hate speech is anything we oppose?

I. Free Speech - Burning the American Flag; Hate Speech - Insulting the Koran

The Left has been near-uniformly opposed to a law or Constitutional Amendment banning flag burning. It has repeatedly been held by Courts that flag-burning is legitimate speech because it expresses one's opposition to American policies, government, people and/or culture.

Burning American flags, spitting on them, walking on them has been a normal part of "welcoming" U.S. Presidents and high-ranking diplomats in the Middle East, Latin America and other parts of the world. It is treated as normal, and American officials claim that such "speech" is welcome because it shows that the "welcoming people" have a mind of their own, and the lack of response from Washington is a sign democracy.

Several months ago, however, someone stuffed the Koran into a toilet at Pace University in New York. The University and mainstream media went on full-alert. PU promised to leave no stone unturned to catch and punish the offender. The Left was in uniform agreement that such acts cannot be allowed.

As such, a distinction was drawn - burning, spitting at and walking on the American flag, the symbol of the United States, is "free speech" to be praised, but placing a Koran, the symbol of Islam, in a disreputable place is "hate speech" that must be criminalized.

II. Painting Jesus in urine and Mary in feces - free speech; Cartoon where Muhammad complains that of being followed by extremists - hate speech

Several years ago, New York's Museum of Modern Arts (MOMA) put up a painting of Virgin Mary in horse dung. Rudy Giuliani and social conservatives protested government funding of this project, as well as a previous painting of Jesus in urine.

Rudy was immediately condemned as a bad lawyer who does not understand the basics of U.S. Constitutional law, while social conservatives were described as "religious nuts" that are destroying the very nature of America by infringing on the Constitutional right to a freedom of speech, free of of religious expression, and separation of Church and State.

Mind you that these so-called "religious nuts" were not opposed to anti-Christian paintings, but rather the government funding of such. Yet, this was too much for the Left - apparently, there's something in the American Constitution which makes it mandatory for the government to sponsor anti-Christian art.

And yet, when anti-Muhammad cartoons were published - first in Denmark, then elsewhere in Europe - it was debated whether such was a hate crime. Several Europeans were dragged into court to face criminal charges and civil suits for insulting Islam. Charlie Hebdo was sued in France for "public insults against a group of people on the basis of religion" after publishing two of these cartoons. This was described by the Great Mosque of Paris as "an act of deliberate aggression" against Muslims.

To its credit, the Time Magazine started its article at the time of these trials, "Voltaire must be spinning in his grave." Others, however, discussed how far Europe should go to be culturally more sensitive and closer to those who believe that they are entitled in burn cars and kill innocents in response to any negative speech about them. Here, freedom of speech did not apply. Muhammad cartoons are hate speech, while paintings of Virgin Mary in feces in free speech.

3. Kill the honkie - free speech; race and gender are not social constructs, but actual biological facts - hate speech

Prof. Steven Pinker of Harvard University, a superstar experiment psychologist and cognitive scientist, wrote a book in 2002 entitled "The Blank Slate" where he describes the interference from the Left in scientific research. College Professors from Departments of Sociology, Politics and Education, who are usually completely ignorant when it comes to science, insist that science Professors repeat the politically-correct mantras that not only are gender and race differences non-existent, but even the concept of gender and race is nothing more than a "social construct" invented by White Male Racists/Sexists.

The humanities Professors insist that since there's an overlap in almost every quality (e.g., some men have larger breasts than some women; some rare Whites have darker skin than some rare Blacks), then race and gender do not exist.

Thus, a scientist cannot state that male hormones cause boys to have a growth spurt during puberty that is unseen in girls. Indeed, even stating that men are on average taller than women is politically incorrect. Saying such immediately draws a response to the effect of: "It's not true that on average men are taller than women. Some women are taller than some men."

That this person does not understand the concept of "average" is ignored as the Left cheers, grateful that someone "proved" that there's no correlation between male hormones and height. [Some women are taller than some men, but that is normally not because of testosterone, but rather due to genetics: tall parents may have a daughter who's 5-foot-8, while short parents may have a son who's 5-foot-5. Nevertheless, the tall girl would be even taller if she were born male, while a short boy would be even shorter if he were female].

Noticing that men are taller than women, that they have different temperaments, different crime rates, different interests and different abilities is considered offensive hate speech. Luckily, it is not criminalized in the United States as of yet. However, saying such will get a humanities Professor fired from college and a college student may be forced into "sensitivity training" or even get expelled.

Noticing that races and ethnicities are different in some ways is even worse, and would make one an unrepentant racist. Never mind that evolution means adjusting to your environment, so groups faced with different environments will wind up being different (meaning that Leftist ideology is a denial of the very concept of evolution).

Defending the idea that human groups may be culturally and environmentally different would get one driven out from academia so fast, it would make your head spin.

And yet, when African-American Professors incite their Black students against Whites, they are praised. The Professor, Nikki Giovanni, chosen to eulogize the victims of Virginia Tech Massacre wrote the following poem:

Can a nigger kill a honkie
Can a nigger kill the Man
Can you kill nigger
Huh? nigger can you kill
Do you know how to draw blood
Can you poison
Can you stab-a-Jew
Can you kill huh? nigger
Can you kill
Can you run a protestant down with your `68 El Dorado (that's all they're good for anyway)
Can you kill
Can you piss on a blond head
Can you cut it off
Can you kill
A nigger can die
We ain't got to prove we can die
We got to prove we can kill
They sent us to kill Japan and Africa
We policed europe
Can you kill
Can you kill a white man
Can you kill the nigger
in you
Can you make your nigger mind die
Can you kill your nigger mind
And free your black hands to strangle
Can you kill
Can a nigger kill
Can you shoot straight and
Fire for good measure
Can you splatter their brains in the street
Can you kill them
Can you lure them to bed to kill them
We kill in Viet Nam for them
We kill for UN & NATO & SEATO & US
And everywhere for all alphabet but BLACK
Can we learn to kill WHITE for BLACK
Learn to kill niggers
Learn to be Black men

Prof. Giovanni has been celebrated as Ebony Magazine's Woman of the Year; received keys from New York, Dallas, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Los Angeles; and dozens of other awards and honors.

Telling young Black students that they are "niggers" unless they kill "honkies" is, thus, free speech. Admitting that some diseases may effect some racial and ethnic groups more than others (making it easier to cure ill people) is hate speech.

So what is free speech and what is hate speech? Free speech is radical speech we enjoy, with positive statements about groups like and negative about those we do not. Hate speech is any negative statement about favored people, or positive expression about politically-incorrect groups and ideas.

Criminalization of "hate speech" should be opposed for many reasons - most basic is the Constitutional right to say what we please so long as it does not physically harm someone.

This is usually countered on the Left with a statement that one is not allowed to yell fire in a movie theater. But yelling "fire" in a movie theater is not mere speech - it is an act. The only reaction one might expect from this is to scare people into running out and potentially injuring one another in the hysteria. Likewise, calling someone to tell them, "give me money or I will kill your child" is not merely speech, it is an act of aggression against a family.

But burning the American flag or the Koran is speech. It is speech meant to express one's opposition to the United States, to Islam, or to the policies promoted by Americans or Muslims. Seeing a burning flag or a burning book does not cause one the same harm as knowing your child will die unless you pay ransom. It does not necessarily cause hysteria that one would expect in an allegedly burning movie theater. That some people choose to react in violent ways is not the fault of the speaker - it is the fault of those who choose to riot and even murder in response to political cartoons.

But just as importantly, we must recognize that any time the government interferes in our speech, it will necessarily take sides with the ideas that are currently politically correct against those thoughts presently deemed morally wrong. That reason alone should be enough to limit government intervention to the absolute minimum.


Only White People Can Be Racists

Canada, lacking a heritage of slavery, is not afflicted with institutional racism. That's what Canadians have always believed, and that's what has put them on the moral high ground vis-…-vis their southern neighbor. Until very recently, since Canada had almost no ethnic minorities other than Native Canadians, this was an easy position to maintain. No ethnics, no racism, no problem!

However, for the last few decades, Canada's new multicultural immigration policies have allowed it to acquire its fair share of fashionable ethnic groups. And now - surprise! - the new immigrants aren't convinced of Canada's lack of institutional racism. No matter how many diversity initiatives are launched, regardless of mulitcultural outreach and dialogue, despite the passage of "hate speech" laws that protect the new groups from even the most tenuous of insults, it's not enough. Canadian minorities are moving resolutely down the path of "No Justice! No Peace!"

The latest skirmish in the ethnic culture wars came about because of a group called New Black Youth Taking Action, which decided to hold a rally in Queen's Park in Toronto on May 15th.

New BYTA is no ordinary hands-across-the-world multi-culti mushmouth liberal anti-racist organization. These people mean business. Their demands include the "[i]mmediate establishment of K-12 black-focused schools; change in the current K-12 curriculum to establish truth; immediate diversion of the $250 million from Brampton (super) jail; and immediate repeal of Safe Schools Act".

The Safe Schools Act was passed in an attempt to cut down the rising level of black-on-black violence in Canadian secondary schools. While I was in Toronto this past week there was a shooting at a local high school in which a 15-year-old African Canadian boy was killed. I gaped in disbelief as I watched the story on the local TV news - how could this happen in Canada? Everyone knows that Canada has banned guns!

But somehow, despite the ban, a gun made its way into C.W. Jefferys Collegiate Institute and killed a black kid. The Toronto police have identified a suspect and are reportedly close to an arrest, but since the police spokesman makes no mention of "racism" when referring to the crime, one has to assume that the prime suspect is also black.

This is exactly the kind of violence which the Safe Schools Act was trying to stop, but BYTA considers such initiatives to be inherently racist, and wants the act repealed.

Make no mistake: when BYTA calls for the "establishment of K-12 black-focused schools", they mean blacks-only schools. The president of the group is Nkem Anizor, and she is a member of the Nation of Islam, whose separatist views are well known. If a white group called for separate schools for whites and blacks, he would immediately run afoul of Canada's hate speech laws. But, as usual, the favored victim groups are exempt from such rules.

It was only natural that BYTA, in solidarity with its comrades to the south, decided to invite NOI leader Malik Zulu Shabazz to be their main speaker at the May 15 rally. That's when the trouble started.

Mr. Shabazz, like many other Nation of Islam leaders, has a well-documented history of uttering inflammatory anti-Semitic remarks. According to the Anti-Defamation League:

During a protest in front of the B'nai B'rith building in Washington, D.C. (April 20, 2002), Shabazz led chants of:

"death to Israel," "the white man is the devil," and "Jihad." Shabazz also said, "Kill every goddamn Zionist in Israel!
Goddamn little babies, goddamn old ladies! Blow up Zionist supermarkets!"

Despite Mr. Shabazz' impeccable credentials as a certified victim of American racism, this was to big a pill for even Canada to swallow. Canadian B'nai B'rith protested his visit, and the authorities discovered a previous misdemeanor arrest in Mr. Shabazz' history, allowing them to bar him from the country on a technicality.

The rally went on without its celebrity star, but Ms. Anizor gained a huge new weapon with which to bludgeon the charge of "racism" into Canada's obsequious ‚lite opinion makers. Black voices in Canada were being silenced, and the sinister machinations of the Zionist lobby were to blame! ......

There's no denying a history of white racism. There's also no denying a history of black racism, Chinese racism, Arab racism, etc., etc. Heck, there are probably even Hottentot racists - Those stupid Bantus! How many Bantus does it take to put in a light bulb? How do you tell the bride at a Bantu wedding?

But where does it end? When the last white racist either dies or repents of his evil ways, will all the black non-racist anti-Caucasians change their tune?

When current demographic trends play out, and whites become a persecuted minority in a country, will the black people in the same country automatically become racists? Will their white victims automatically have the "racist" stigma removed from their collective character?

What does it profit the black grievance industry to peddle this kind of nonsense? Does their vitriol persuade even a single white person to change his beliefs, and accept blacks as equals? Or - more likely - do their angry accusations generate "racist" feelings where none existed previously?

The ugly fact is that racial grievance-mongers do not serve their own ethnic group well, nor do they reduce anybody's "racist" sentiments.

As Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have amply demonstrated, race-baiting is simply a ticket to a lucrative career. It's the shakedown to end all shakedowns.

More here


Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


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